Talk:MassMessage

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For help: please read MassMessage's help page or leave a message below!

Copy of "Help test better mass message delivery"[edit]

This message was sent out to nearly every person who's ever been involved with mass message delivery on the English Wikipedia or Meta-Wiki. Copied below for reference. --MZMcBride (talk) 15:40, 12 October 2013 (UTC)


Hi. You're being contacted as you've previously used global message delivery (or its English Wikipedia counterpart). It doesn't feel so great to be spammed, does it? ;-)

For the past few months, Legoktm has built a replacement to the current message delivery system called MassMessage. MassMessage uses a proper user interface form (no more editing a /Spam subpage), works faster (it can complete a large delivery in minutes), and no longer requires being on an access list (any local administrator can use it). In addition, many tiny annoyances with the old system have been addressed. It's a real improvement! :-)

You can test out MassMessage here: testwiki:Special:MassMessage. The biggest difference you'll likely notice is that any input list must use a new {{#target:}} parser function. For example, {{#target:User talk:Jimbo Wales}} or {{#target:User talk:Jimbo Wales|test2.wikipedia.org}}. For detailed instructions, check out mw:Help:Extension:MassMessage.

If you find any bugs, have suggestions for additional features, or have any other feedback, drop a note at m:Talk:MassMessage. Thanks for spamming! --MZMcBride (talk) 05:25, 1 October 2013 (UTC)


Testing underway[edit]

testwiki:Special:Log/massmessage --MZMcBride (talk) 14:23, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Feedback[edit]

This is very cool, and it's nice that this feature is getting some support in the software so we can rely less on bots. I'm glad there's a log too, that was going to be one of my suggestions. Preview is also awesome.

Question: is there any way to stop a script while it's being sent? For example, if someone messes something up or jumps the gun, it might be better to stop it while it's queued (before it starts) or even midway through. It also might be nice to make an undo button, but that's a little less necessary since all administrators would be able to rollback anyway.

Also, the namespace restrictions are both good and bad. It's nice on a wiki like the English Wikipedia where all mainspace pages are articles and should not be posted on, but it's bad on wikis like Meta where Wikimedia Forum is in the mainspace and should be posted on. Will the extension respect that different wikis have different requirements and, even though you're sending something from enwiki where you can't post in the mainspace, you might be sending it to Meta-Wiki where you can?

Otherwise, looks pretty good. My only other comment would be to make it prettier, but I understand that's superficial and low on the feature list. ;) Cbrown1023 talk 14:39, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

CB: Thanks for the kind words. :-) Lego has worked hard to make this a really nice tool.
Re: stopping a delivery, I'm not sure there's much we can do here. In my mind, sending a message with MassMessage is similar to hitting "send" on an e-mail. There's no real recall mechanism, unfortunately. Given the architecture, I don't think we can pull jobs out of the job queue and even if we could, I'm not sure most admins would be fast enough (the jobs seem to get processed pretty quickly, with several hundred edits happening in the same minute, for better or worse). My general recommendation here was to try to catch errors prior to sending, including (but not limited to) requiring a preview of the message, attempting to catch unclosed tags (with a scary warning being issued to the sender), and explicitly telling the sender how many targets will be delivered to (I'm not sure if this ever got implemented...). Any additional ideas for preventing human error are more than welcome.
Re: namespace restrictions, this is a good point and I brought it up as well during design and development. Do you know of any wiki besides Meta-Wiki in which it's appropriate to post in namespace 0? My recommendation was to special-case Meta-Wiki in the configuration, but if there are other wikis where this would be a problem (I can't think of any off-hand), we may need a different approach.
Re: design: any and all suggestions welcome, of course. Lego sent a message to the design mailing list, but there were no replies (yet).
Thank you for taking the time to test out the new tool and provide feedback. It's very much appreciated. --MZMcBride (talk) 18:46, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
About the namespace restrictions, none of the content wikis that I can think of would require posting in the main namespace. The only ones I can think of are chapter wikis (like bewikimedia) or Meta-Wiki. We might be able to handle just doing special-case exemptions. It's helpful to restrict posting in the main namespace for most wikis, because that's often something people mess up -- people often link to Commons:Community portal instead of Commons:Commons:Community portal, and that restriction would catch those errors. Cbrown1023 talk 21:40, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
You can always block the bot as a worst case scenario, but that won't stop messages on other wikis, and it's possible that multiple deliveries are running at the same time.
For namespace restrictions, they can be configured per wiki and will apply to the wiki they are delivered to. So if metawiki allows posting in mainspace, you still wouldn't be able to post on enwiki's Main Page (not that it could bypass the protection...) and if you sent a message from enwiki (not allowing mainspace messages) to metawiki mainspace, it would work fine. Legoktm (talk) 21:31, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Checking bad input[edit]

Re: human error, it should probably ask the sender if neither ~~~~ nor ~~~~~ appears in the message. Also, is there any way it could check the interwiki links? A lot of people seem to mess that up. (Someone even sent out a message "correcting" the link with another broken link!) It should also warn the user if any mismatched tags appear, such as that case with the unclosed small tag that messed up quite a few pages. (Edit: I just realized this is already implemented! Great!) Require dir="ltr" somewhere? A way to edit the messages after sending them (if they still exist) would be great, but it relies on the bot's comment remaining in place, and would probably not work if anything was subst'ed. PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:53, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

bugzilla:54848 tracks timestamp, and bugzilla:54846 is for interwiki links. I'm not so sure about dir="ltr", as that isn't something that would apply to all wikis. It should be trivial for someone to take the current HTML tag checking JS code and adapt it to check for dir="ltr" and set it up as a gadget on meta. Legoktm (talk) 21:18, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Better interface for translatable pages[edit]

It would be great to have a better interface for translated messages (e.g., Tech/News). PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:53, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

bugzilla:54839 (thanks for filing it!) Legoktm (talk) 21:22, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Warning for #target[edit]

Also, why not have it warn when the wikis in the #target are not valid? PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:53, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

bugzilla:54850 Legoktm (talk) 21:28, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Test results and feedback[edit]

Hi all. First off, thanks for your work on this. It's a substantial improvement over the previous process (which was already a godsend, don't get me wrong).

I tested out MassMessage with a target list that included both test.wiki and test2.wiki, and that included a few intentional errors. Here are a couple things I noticed about what got delivered, and what didn't.

  1. My intentional misspellings (substituting User_talk:Jmargan_(WMF), a nonexistent account, for User_talk:Jmorgan_(WMF)) were caught and ignored.
  2. A message I sent to Testwiki:User:Jmorgan (WMF) seems to have been routed to Testwiki:User_talk:Jmorgan (WMF).
  3. I sent two messages to Test2wiki:User talk:Jmorgan (WMF). Only one of these messages were delivered.
  4. I sent two messages to Testwiki:User talk:Jtmorgan, one with the target template {{#target:User talk:Jtmorgan|test.wikipedia.org}} and the other with target template {{#target:User talk:Jtmorgan}}. Only one of these was delivered (I'm guessing the message I sent with the target {{#target:User talk:Jtmorgan}}?).

In all of these cases, the bot did the right thing: it ignored bad input (#1), redirected a userpage post to the relevant talk namespace (#2), and ignored a verbatim duplicate (#3) and an effective duplicate (#4). However in #2, the bots behavior resulted in duplicate messages since I had also included User_talk:Jmorgan (WMF) as a target in my list. To avoid this kind of duplication in future, you might implement a step where the bot checks for any duplicates that would result from rerouting a target to the associated talk namespace. I'm curious whether the bot is set up to always redirect to talk namespaces, or if that's enabled on a per-namespace basis.

The namespace forwarding is currently only enabled for User --> User talk. It's configurable per wiki though. One issue with checking duplicates for namespace redirection is that we can't necessarily resolve namespaces for remote wikis. However, we probably should for local deliveries. Will file a bug in a moment. Legoktm (talk) 00:04, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

In #4, I'm also curious whether the bot recognized {{#target:User talk:Jtmorgan|test.wikipedia.org}} and {{#target:User talk:Jtmorgan|test.wikipedia.org}} {{#target:User talk:Jtmorgan}} (copy/paste error. <--This was what I meant Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 15:53, 7 October 2013 (UTC)) as duplicates, or if it just doesn't recognize targets of the format {{#target:Namespace:Page|this.wikipedia.org}}? If the second guess is correct, you might want to change that; I can anticipates that some users will include the domain parameter in all their targets, not just the cross-wiki ones.

If the site is not provided, internally it will complete it with whatever the local wiki is. So it did correctly recognize the two targets as duplicates. Legoktm (talk) 00:12, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

In all of these cases, it would be useful for me, as a user, to see a report of which messages were sent, and which ones weren't (and why) after I've submitted my message to the queue. This lets me know if there's anything I need to re-send. For some kinds of errors (like invalid targets), you might want to just perform some validation when the user previews, and ask them to correct the errors before they submit their message. The overall thrust of this recommendation is to make it more transparent to the user whether their messages were sent successfully.

Features/UI
  • "Page containing list" field: I like that this field includes some validation. It uses autocomplete to check if the page you're specifying actually exists, and throws an error if you preview with an invalid list page. For future versions, it would be nice to increase the degree of client-side validation so that it lets you know in real time if you've specified a nonexistent page, and won't let you proceed if so. See first example here [1]. Not a huge deal, but a good little tweak.
  • Confirmation: I always like to spot-check that my messages have been delivered. It would be useful to provide the user with a link to MessengerBot's contribs after they've submitted the message, so they can easily see which of their messages went through (on this wiki, anyway). If would be even more useful to provide MessengerBot contrib links for all the wikis that the bot delivered messages to. The current link to Special:Statistics doesn't really help me.
    I'm currently working on a way that you would get an Echo notification once your job finishes bugzilla:54861. I'm not sure that contribution links would be that helpful, since there can be multiple deliveries going on at once. There also is bugzilla:54253 which lightly touched on the idea of linking to contribs, but didn't make it into the final patch. I'll look into that again. Legoktm (talk) 19:01, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Signatures: In my first test, I signed my message with four tildes. After I clicked 'Preview', I saw that all that did was sign the message for MessengerBot, rather than signing it for myself, as was my intention. Shouldn't four tildes append the logged-in user's sig, and MessengerBot's sig be appended automatically to all messages? Also I agree with PiRSquared17 that the form should require the sender to sign all their messages.
    The way the backend works, is that the wikitext you added is literally added to the page as a new section. So any ~~~~ will automatically be assigned to the bot account. Legoktm (talk) 19:01, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

All in all, a bang-up job. Thanks to everyone involved in this project! Cheers, Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 23:39, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for all of your feedback! I responded to a few things inline, have to go afk right now, and will respond to the rest once I get back. Legoktm (talk) 00:21, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Re signatures, you should probably use something like [[m:User:Jmorgan (WMF)|Jmorgan WMF]] ([[m:User talk:Jmorgan (WMF)|talk]]) ~~~~~. PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:08, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

WikiData newsletter[edit]

Apparently, the delivery of the WikiData newsletter was interrupted by a delivery sent out of the Signpost newsletter. I think that a new delivery request should "get in line", so to speak, and not have precedence over another Wiki newsletter. Postings should happen sequentially. Now, I need to look for someone at the top of the WikiData subscription list so I can cut and paste the newsletter from their Talk Page to my own.

This is all FYI, by the way. I imagine the chances of two Wiki newsletters being sent out during the same hour (especially on a Saturday) are probably low. But it's still a bug that could be looked at. Liz (talk) 17:22, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

@Liz: The problem is with GMD (EdwardsBot), not MassMessage. Currently MassMessage is only enabled on test wikis, and EdwardsBot (which I consider a kludge or hack (n1)) is currently used for cross-wiki message delivery. PiRSquared17 (talk) 17:26, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand then because there was a link asking about the delivery service which brought me to this Talk Page. That's why I posted my comment here.
My apologies then. Liz (talk) 17:29, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Copy of "Beginning of MassMessage, end of EdwardsBot"[edit]

This message was sent out to every current EdwardsBot user. Copied below for reference. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:42, 22 November 2013 (UTC)


Hi. You're being contacted as you're listed as an EdwardsBot user.

MassMessage has been deployed to all Wikimedia wikis. For help using the new tool, please check out its help page or drop a note on Meta-Wiki.

With over 400,000 edits to Wikimedia wikis, EdwardsBot has served us well; however EdwardsBot will no longer perform local or global message delivery after December 31, 2013.

A huge thanks to Legoktm, Reedy, Aaron Schulz and everyone else who helped to get MassMessage deployed. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:36, 22 November 2013 (UTC)


User:MediaWiki message delivery[edit]

Someone complains that the user page is unclear and/or repetitive as regards who does what where. If someone has ideas to improve it without making it a verbose copy of this main namespace page, please be bold. --Nemo 10:59, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Err, yeah, I'm not sure why we need both User:MediaWiki message delivery and MassMessage. Can we redirect the user page(s)? Lego and others: thoughts? --MZMcBride (talk) 05:39, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
The idea is to sync that user page in all wikis (for instance with a mass message of that translatable page to MediaWiki message delivery's talk pages on all wikis), to have some contact info/explanation of the sort bots and scripts are sometimes asked to have. Sadly, interwiki hard redirects don't work. --Nemo 09:41, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Personal ruminations[edit]

Regarding this, Tilman is probably right... though the emerging bureaucracy surrounding the use of this tool is a bit painful to watch grow. --MZMcBride (talk) 05:32, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Mass Message Sender[edit]

This mass message is very useful. But in order to send a mass message you need to be an admin that's bad. Edwards Bot has an access list where some trusted non-admins were listed to sent spams through the bot. But with the MassMessage no non-admin will be able to send a spam. Now that's why I'm requesting to create a new group massmessage sender (can be added and removed by sysops) in active wikis or in those wikis where Edwards bot is working. So when Edwards Bot is left you can grant this right to the users who are in access list. --Pratyya (Hello!) 12:28, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

I see it's here at meta. But no in en.wikipedia. I was talking about that. Face-smile.svg --Pratyya (Hello!) 13:59, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Meta:MassMessage senders -- this group already exists, and admins can add people to it. PiRSquared17 (talk) 14:24, 2 December 2013 (UTC) Why don't you ask on w:WP:VPT or w:WP:VPP for a new group? PiRSquared17 (talk) 15:05, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Flooding[edit]

User:MediaWiki message delivery is flooding the RC. Would someone give it the bot flag (or globally perhaps)? unsigned comment by Glaisher (talk)

This is something that the local community should decide. Please be cognizant of the fact that MassMessage, as its core, does little more than automate what any user could do with browser tabs without even logging in. Romaine (talk) 09:21, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
I completely agree with Romaine. :-) Which wiki's recent changes feed is being flooded? --MZMcBride (talk) 20:54, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Meta-Wiki request made here: Special:Permalink/6671423#Add MediaWiki message delivery to bot user group. --MZMcBride (talk) 21:08, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Not that I disagree, but if it was given the bot flag, then it could be added to MediaWiki:Echo-blacklist and prevent hundreds or thousands of accidental notifications, no? Technical 13 (talk) 16:06, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
MassMessage internally prevents creation of mention notifications. Legoktm (talk) 04:54, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

not working in ru.wiki[edit]

That's the log - ru:Служебная:Журналы/massmessage: I don't know, what's the reason of message delivery fail? What can we do? rubin16 (talk) 14:17, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi rubin16. I've filed bugzilla:58237 to track this issue. Thanks for the note! --MZMcBride (talk) 20:58, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
So the IP address "127.0.0.1" is blocked on ruwiki, and that is the IP the extension uses internally, see localhost. If that IP can be unblocked, it should start working again. Legoktm (talk) 21:23, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Should MassMessage respect "retired" templates?[edit]

I've noticed ongoing delivery of messages to talk pages of retired editors, such as in this edit to User talk:Secret, who has {{retired}} on User:Secret.

  • Should MassMessage respect categories, or literal text on user pages?
  • Does MassMessage already have a "skip" mechanism, which should be described on retirement instruction pages (or implemented in {{retired}}) ? --Lexein (talk) 18:47, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
@Lexein: Hello! Happy New Year! :-) You should do the second using Category:Opted-out of message delivery per mw:Help:Extension:MassMessage#Opting_out. PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:56, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

MessMessage not working for the Signpost[edit]

Hi, Special:MessMessage isn't sending the Signpost to the list at w:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Tools/Spamlist. Any thoughts? Ed [talk] [en] 04:31, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

@The ed17: this might only apply to global/Meta massmessages, but I think you need to use {{#target: }} syntax. See the help page mentioned at the top of this talk page. PiRSquared17 (talk) 04:36, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
I've been told that the subscription page needs to be updated so that Special:MassMessage can read it. Thanks for the quick reply! Ed [talk] [en] 21:57, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
See also mw:Thread:Extension_talk:MassMessage/Incompatible with existing recipient list format. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 01:37, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

appearance in notifications / emails[edit]

When you are notified of a MassMessage-delivered message -- or get an email announcement of them -- it says: "MediaWiki message delivery left a message on your talk page." This seems like unintuitive wording -- I wasn't sure what was going on the first several times I got one (until I looked and saw it was a meetup notification, or a wikiproject newsletter, or whatever). I wonder if we can make this wording friendlier or more obvious? The best thing would be if we could pass a variable in the message (so "wikiproject x has left you a message"); second best might be to customize the notifications wording for this service (so "a project message or announcement has been left on your talk page"); third best might be to rename the service so it shows up differently ("Wikipedia announcement service left a message on your talk page"). Thoughts? -- phoebe | talk 02:47, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

eh, seems this is already / has been discussed at here and is filed as a bug [2]. -- phoebe | talk 02:52, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

What does it do?[edit]

allows a user to send a message to a list of users via special page "Special:MassMessage"

What does this actually do? Is it an e-mail, an Echo notification, an update to the user's talk page, or ?? I've read this page, the extension page, and its talk page, and none explains what happens. -- S Page (WMF) (talk) 21:45, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

It edits the talk page (resp. specified project pages), as is the usual way of talking to people on wikis. --MF-W 22:28, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
It also sends an Echo notification and possibly an email, depending on the user's settings. PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:32, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Template vs parser[edit]

In addition, on this wiki there is a wrapper template ({{target}}) that should be used for input lists.

Is it preferable to use the template from here, or merely an available option? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:53, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Preferable to use the template. It provides a simple way to track usage, and makes any possible future migration nearly trivial, since it's just one template that needs updating, not hundreds of pages. Legoktm (talk) 04:55, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

new message at the top of the page[edit]

Is it somehow possible to set some markers at the list of targets so that MassMessage will deliver new messages not to the bottom of the user talk page (as usual) but, to some marked pages, - to the top of user talk page? Some users prefer such way of messages being received and I am not sure whether it's possible. If not, I would post to bugzilla rubin16 (talk) 09:26, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Basically you want to append it to the bottom of section=0 always. How would MassMessage sender know? A category on the talk page? A template? Technical 13 (talk) 15:38, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
  • For example, set it in the target list: # {{target | user = Rubin16 | append = bottom}} rubin16 (talk) 17:50, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi. rubin16. This feature request has been brought up previously. bugzilla:31919 is the relevant bug for reversing post order on a per-page basis. There have also been requests to support arbitrary section posting by slot. For example, some village pumps would prefer to have a weekly newsletter always be the first or second post on the page; consequently they'd like the ability to do something similar to {{#target | page = Village pump | site = foo.wikiproject.org | section = 1}}. I doubt either of these enhancement requests will be implemented soon. --MZMcBride (talk) 18:20, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer rubin16 (talk) 18:28, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

How to send Mass Message with substituted template[edit]

Since the message I want to place is in the form of a template which has the title and etc. How can I do this? --///EuroCarGT 22:30, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

  • I almost always use a template to send a message (and suggest those requesting a message to create a table). Then, all I do is substitute the template in the message box. So, if your message was on User:EuroCarGT/Message_1, then you would put {{:User:EuroCarGT/Message_1}}. Technical 13 (talk) 22:39, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Now I got The subject line is empty? Thanks for the quick reply! --///EuroCarGT 22:45, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Put something in the subject line (That is the header, you will probably have to remove the header from the template and it probably isn't a good idea to have it in there anyways). Technical 13 (talk) 22:47, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
For example I want to send {{subst:Upload warning}}, and that template creates the level header, title and etc. If I put something in the text box, will it appear? --///EuroCarGT 22:49, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Was using that as an example :/. Well what I mean is the level 2 headers created by templates. --///EuroCarGT 23:02, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
  • It was a bad example since it didn't illustrate your point. I suggest editing the template to allow for a parameter that allows you to disable the header for subst: using MMs. If you point me to the template you have in mind that adds the header, I'd be happy to add that optional parameter for you on one as an example of how it is done. :) Technical 13 (talk) 23:05, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
w:Template:TAFI weekly selections notice, thanks! EuroCarGT Mobile (talk) 23:10, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
  • The header in that template already has a switch to deactivate it. {{<includeonly>SUBST:</includeonly>#if:{{{1|}}}|| ==This week's [[WP:TAFI|article for improvement]] (week {{<includeonly>SUBST:</includeonly>CURRENTWEEK}}, {{<includeonly>SUBST:</includeonly>#time:o}})== }} is the code used which says if {{{1}}} exists, do not place the header. So, you would use {{TAFI weekly selections notice|no}} to send the message without the included header, but you will need to make sure that you put This week's [[WP:TAFI|article for improvement]] (week {{SUBST:<noinclude />CURRENTWEEK}}, {{SUBST:<noinclude />#time:o}}) in the "subject line". Technical 13 (talk) 23:17, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Multiple steps[edit]

Some village pumps (like the Italian Wikipedia one, for example) require a couple of steps before the message is really visible to all; 1) a page containing the message must be created; 2) the title of the page needs to be manually included on the one which displays discussion topics for that day. It doesn't really look nice/fair to have local wikipedians clean up after the message delivery; I guess there isn't a way to automate step 2 as well? Thanks. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 15:16, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Not with MassMessage, no. Legoktm (talk) 21:20, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Author name[edit]

Name of the message author is not included into the message itself, in the one you deliver. It would make contacting the author more intuitive... Gryllida 09:32, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

You should be able to see it at the end of the message as a hidden comment. Something like <!-- Message sent by User:Foo@metawiki using the list at http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Global message delivery/Targets/Tech ambassadors&oldid=xxxxx --> --Glaisher [talk] 16:00, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

I'd like to see a couple of added-by-default items, perhaps with tick boxes or pop-up menus to set them:

  • Sign your name as (box showing wikitext, filled with my user/user talk pages at the local wiki)
  • Add date stamp at the end (always ticked by default)
  • Language used in this message (defaults to English for multilingual projects/local language for others).

This should stop some of the problems with LTR languages on RTL projects, missing date stamps, etc. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:52, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Watchlist[edit]

The recent edits by User:MediaWiki message delivery on talkpages like MediaWiki talk:Common.css on ptwiki didn't show up in my watchlist. Is this the expected behavior? Helder.wiki 16:49, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

If you have bot edits hidden then you shouldn't see the edits. Legoktm (talk) 21:17, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I see what you mean. That probably doesn't make sense then. Users will get a "You have new messages" indicator, so that's fine, but for other namespaces, they probably shouldn't be flagged as a bot. Legoktm (talk) 21:19, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I think it would be good idea not to mark edits outside user talk pages as minor. Should I request that on bugzilla? Helder.wiki 01:15, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
You mean as bot right? They shouldn't be marked as minor anyways. And yes please :) Legoktm (talk) 08:15, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
bugzilla:65180. Legoktm (talk) 09:12, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

GSoC project to improve MassMessage[edit]

Between May and August, I will be working on a Google Summer of Code project to improve the backend and user interface for managing target page lists. Details are available at mw:Extension:MassMessage/Page input list improvements. Please feel free to ask any questions and to comment on the proposal. Thanks. wctaiwan (talk) 05:15, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Apologies for writing in English...[edit]

Why do automated messages from Media always start with my apologies for writing in English? See here. It makes the site look amateurish especially as English Wikibooks is an English language project. Can't something be changed so messages to the English projects don't start with such a phrase?--Xania (talk) 23:00, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Good point. Something like {{subst:#ifeq:{{subst:CONTENTLANG}}|en||Apologies for writing in English ...}} should do the trick. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 04:48, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree, great point, Xania. Thanks for the code, Tbayer. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 02:56, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
I've added it to outreach:Best practices for reaching out to projects in multiple languages as suggested by Keegan. Note that this code regards Commons as an English-language project and will prevent the "Apologies.." message from appearing there as well, even though Commons also has some non-English village pumps. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 03:57, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments above.--Xania (talk) 22:45, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Note: CONTENLANG is not a template but a keyword whose value is site-wide. It is not the actual content language of the current page (when it is translated, for that use template {{pagelang}} in Meta-Wiki), and it is also not the preferred user language or the current UI language (for that, use the {{uselang}} template in Meta-Wiki). Avoid using the "int:lang " tweak directly (it has some technical caveats that would be long to explain) for the UI language, and avoid using as well the SUBPAGENAME builtin keyword (also there are tricky technical issues about it).
But please note: Meta-Wiki is NOT an English wiki even if its CONTENTLANG says so. Meta-Wiki is international (or should be), just like Commons, and MediaWiki-Wiki. All od these just use Englsih as a very default (weakly assumed only because more people in this site can read basic English than any other language, but remamber that this is only for a very basic level of English and most people are more confident in writing in their own language : there are more users that use another native language than English, theuir level of English is very limited, they may read it but have important difficulties to write it. Even in US !)
We have no other solution than learn being multilingual on this site and share our experience on translation and internationalisation problems (plus accessiblity problems that we will not be able to solve all, but where we can greatly improve the user experience). verdy_p (talk) 16:34, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Not sure if you saw it, but I already noted that limitation above, in the case of Commons - in my observation the only site where this matters for the present use case (which almost always involves posting to village pumps from this list, and Commons seems to be the only site there with village pumps in languages that differ from CONTENTLANG). I don't disagree with your general observations about multilinguality on Meta, but I don't see how they apply here - all threads on Wikimedia Forum (the only Meta page on that list) are currently in English, so it would seem silly to start a new thread there with "Apologies for writing in English". And in the case of Commons, the template you mention ({{pagelang}}) does not exist. It would be great to find another method to detect that, say, c:Commons:Bar italiano is not in English; do you know one?
"CONTENLANG is not a template but a keyword " - correct, it is a magic word (variable). But did anyone claim it is a template? Or are you saying this because you are unfamiliar with the fact that "subst" can also be used for magic words? (You can learn more at mw:Manual:Substitution.)
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 19:22, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm aware of that but CONTENTLANG has almost no use, and I don't know where it is even useful to substitute it when you can just use "en" anywhere it is used in Meta or Commons, and still you have not changed anything and not solved any internationalization problem, but only continued to assumed that everything needs to be in English... with most people of the world excluded.
And I've not advicated duplicating the talk spaces even if we need to accept in talk spaces that multiple languages will be seen and used. But most content spaces shold be translated and offered the same level of navigation to find automatically what is available in a language, and reosnnably offer a fallback to a language that is not necessarily English. More efforts must be made when creating content pages without being very centric to English (including for the page layout, text styles, too small font sizes, too compact lines, missing descriptions for images, missing basic accessobility rules, or assiming that eveyone can acces the sites with the same technical means on a wide screen, or with a physical keyboard. There are also false assumptions about privacy concerns which are severe in some countries. Plus a relal lack of understanding of the problem by technicians working on the software, putting a barrier too high, and refusing to listen those that can only comment in other languages, or not taking the time to create a corrdinated talk space where other contributors can relay the information with developers. Too many developers just consider this is too complex for them, or don't care, thinking it is not an emergency or a minor issue. Internationalization and accessibility is not a minor problem these should be a permanent design concern that needs to be addressed extremely soon (and its more than just probiding a few spaces to translate randomly selected strings developers MUST learn the requirements just like they have to learn a programming language or an API. And they must work less isolately, using QA tools that will evaluate their code and their skill. The Wiiemdia projects are te perfect space where they should learn from other people and not just from bad old programming cookbooks... The same is true when they discuss about new policies, or when they forget the requirements for other countries, as they only discuss with a few people within their immediate neighborhood and tey do not seek a more open cultural landscape.
To reach the first billions people it was relativelty easy, but people tend to escape when technicians here refuse to accept some efforts and think that the reported issues are minor. To rech the next billion people or more, there's no choice, everyone must consider outreach as a top priority. It is even essential to keep peopel on the project (thy have to realize that even in thefirst billion a very large part of them use English only with difficulties and sooner or later they will leave the projects when they will have seen that their concerns are constantly ignored or delayed indefinitely, with the same errors and false assumtions continuing to be made by the same technicians
And things get even worse when they are also admins blocking or reverting pages instead of acepting that they also need help to fix these issues; without owning the projects fonly for what they do and understand, even if this complicates their work: such necessary complication for a few technicians is less damageable for the projects than the unnecessary complications affecting billions users around the world, from whom technicians can learn a lot).
Even from someone that has made good work, it is always valuable to be open to learn more, and admitting without feeing dishonored that we will never know everything. Learning (including developing the capabilities to learn) is even the first goal of Wikimedia; before absolutely everything else, it is even more important than knowledge itself (which is equally valuable when it is small or large but more valuable when it comes from more people). And even if someone makes some errors, it is not a problem as long as things get explained and people want to learn how to limit them or detect them, and tey accept that others will help by correcting them or discussing about possible compromizes or temporary solutions to make things evolve instead of freezing them.
So I will also give some apologoes to people if I cannot speak their language correctly. Sorry then, for writing English with my poor level and with my faults; but I accept reading people in any language using some tools and acept that people will correct my words as soon as they respect my intent and don't overinterpret things that I did not really intend... verdy_p (talk) 01:17, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the code above needs to use {{subst:CONTENTLANG}} instead of {{CONTENTLANG}} because otherwise the ifeq comparison won't work. Regarding "almost no use", I think that the Tech Newsletter uses the same variable every week to ensure posting the content in the local language if available.
As for the rest of your comments, I appreciate your dedication to true internationalization and don't disagree with what you are saying, but I still fail to see how it applies to the present use case, which is merely about avoiding an unnecessary and confusing statement when posting on English-language village pumps.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 20:21, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I know that Meta is a multi-lingual project. My point was about the messages which appear on English Wikibooks (another one appeared today). En.wikibooks is an English project so no need to apologise for using English.--Xania (talk) 19:51, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, do you have a link to that latest message? (I don't see it at b:Wikibooks:Reading_room/General.) You can always find out who sent a particular message via MassMessage by looking at the HTML comment in the wikitext, e.g. (to take the latest message there): <!-- Message sent by User:Keegan (WMF)@metawiki using the list at http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Keegan_(WMF)/MassMessage/Multimedia/Media_Viewer&oldid=8631315 -->. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 21:45, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Well, I finally did it[edit]

Apparently, you can accidentally click "send" twice and it will do exactly that. I don't remember clicking twice, but I am wondering if there is a way to prevent it from double-sending a message, since that is clearly disruptive to leave a duplicate notice on user talk pages. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 03:47, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

I just submitted my first mass message request to the list en:Wikipedia:Meetup/Portland/Participants regarding Wiki Loves Pride. Hoping the list is formatted properly and that the talk page invitations are distributed correctly! *fingers crossed* --Another Believer (talk) 16:15, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
There's a way to prevent double click and this generally includes using web forms containing invisible data containing a checked edit id that can be used only once, attached to the user session.
The first click may pass but the second must be rejected. This means that the very thiing that the server must do when it receives form data, valid or not and even before processing it, is to check the unique id to see if it matches and is not reused. verdy_p (talk) 01:24, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
How did you manage to click it twice? When you hit it the first time, it should take you to a success page, with no "Send" button. Legoktm (talk) 04:31, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
There are frequent cases where a two clicks will throw the execution of a thread executing some javascript. The two scripts will run concurrently until one decides that the form is validated and submitted to the server. The current page (or its form data won't be fushed immediately). Yes two clicks are possible and they occur very frequently.
It is extremely easu in MediaWiki to click twice on the submit button. When you use the page editor, there's a unique ID in the form data that will allow the server to detect that the form is not usable twice. But some events on the interface are unchecked, notably for submissions in the background by XHttpRequest or a JsonRequest. Note that when a script is running on the client browser, there's no exclusive lock on the server to sync the requests, and it's up to the client to sync itself. verdy_p (talk) 05:59, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Except the form is never submitted with JavaScript... Legoktm (talk) 03:06, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Even if the form is submitted with HTML, there's a validation step and there could be event handlers for the "onsubmit" event that will not automatically purge the current document and invalidate all other pending form input. There's always a small delay between the click and the final submission of the form, even with plain HTML form without any even handler, where the data is sent by clicking the "submit" button. Most input forms used in MediaWiki use a validation step before submission, except basic search buttons you can create with a basic Mediawiki extension tag and limiting the type of input data you can submit and limiting the target URL, generally to a predermined special page handling the request.
And I really don't think that the MassMessage extension will submit data to the server without any prior validation step, displaying a new page for the preview, and with a final "Send" button with the prefilled, and prevalidated and non modifiable data in hidden data input fields (if you start modifying the input form by typing anything there, the prefilled hidden data should be immediately cleared and the "Send" button replaced by a "Preview" button whcih will enforce the preview again (in my opinion MassMessage should never be usable without a required preview confirming that all is correct before proceeding; and the hidden prefilled data should contain a hidden unique ID that will be accepted by the server only once if ever the browser sends it twice by a fast enough double-click on the "send" button).
It is in fact very frequent (and easy to do) that input forms in MediaWiki are sent twice. When editing a page, the unique ID is the version number of the edited page, this causes the first data arriving to the server to be accepted, and the second one to cause an edit conflict because the unique ID has been invalidated by the server handling the first request by creating a new version. You can very easily press a "Submit" button twice as long as the server has not replied to the request (thous could require several seconds), the current document is NOT invalidated by the browser, because it has still not received the redirect message to display the result of the action. verdy_p (talk) 06:57, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Lack of signature time stamp breaks auto archiving[edit]

When I get messages from this service, they tend to pile up on my en.wiki user talk page. This is because, for some reason, the signature line never includes a time stamp. The archive bots use the time stamp to decide which sections to archive -- no time stamp = no archiving. Is this the fault of this messaging system? Because it would seem unlikely to me that experienced users who send these would make such an omission themselves. Elipongo (talk) 16:24, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

It's indeed an operator error: compare [3] to [4]. That message was sent from en.wiki, so it's a local issue; but you can link them the documentation available here. --Nemo 17:49, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Also, MassMessage does warn the user that they are missing a timestamp. Legoktm (talk) 18:45, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Thank you. I will contact the users directly, then. --Elipongo (talk) 07:11, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

I came here with the same concern. Despite the blame on the operator, I see this as a software bug. Coders should know that operators cannot be trusted to do anything and should make the software force people to do things the right way against their wishes. I might encourage operators to be more thoughtful, but I still wish the software were more compelling. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:52, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
MassMessage no timestamp warning.png
Umm, no. MassMessage already warns the user if they don't have a timestamp (see screenshot), but since it's basically impossible to check whether a timestamp was provided, we should never require it. Legoktm (talk) 19:46, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand why adding a timestamp isn't automatic. IMO the form should be,
Page or category containing list of pages to leave a message on:

Subject of the message (also used as the edit summary):

Body of the message:

[X] Include timestamp

[X] Mark language as using [Pop-up menu, default to English]

—with both of those boxes ticked by default. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:18, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Mainly because a lot of times people will include text after where the signature goes, so it might be awkward to automatically add it. I think the "mark language as" would be pretty useful though, could you file a bug for it in bugzilla? Legoktm (talk) 19:46, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

GSoC project update[edit]

For those interested, I've posted an update to my project to improve the management of delivery lists on MediaWiki.org. (Please leave comments there, as I don't usually visit meta. Thanks.) wctaiwan (talk) 04:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I can't find my MassMessage anywhere - help?[edit]

Hi everyone, I sent my first MassMessage yesterday but I can't see it anywhere. The list of users we have is short so far (less than 10 people), so I went into several users' talk pages to see if they got the newsletter on their talkpage. I also added my meta user, but I didn't get the message. It is not queued, according to Special:Statistics. The only space where I can see my contribution is on Special:Log/massmessage. When is the message supposed to arrive? user:Matanya and user:Glaisher, do you have any additional information about MassMessage? Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks, MCruz (WMF) (talk) 14:00, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

@MCruz (WMF): Actually, it got delivered already but unfortunately two things were messed up so I have reverted all those messages. You'll have to send them again.
1) The format of the delivery list was messed up. For mass message to work, the recipients' list should be in the format which can be seen on this edit notice (it appears at the top when you are in edit mode on delivery list). I have fixed it now. See this diff. Note that the value of the user parameter should be exactly the same as the username of the recipient. The (WMF) part in your username was not there and it got delivered to another user with the username User:MCruz: diff; that explains why you didn't get the message.
2) Templates do not get transcluded cross-wiki and if a template is unavailable in that wiki, it will show up as a redlink. See difference between this (at English Wikipedia, where en:Template:Report/Highlight does not exist) and this (here at Meta-Wiki, where {{Report/Highlight}} resides). At User:MCruz (WMF)/Sandbox/Newsletter/MassMessage, there were templates from Meta-Wiki but which are not present at other wikis. To fix this issue, the contents of the templates need to be substituted to the actual page. I have fixed that that as well: diff. You can read more about substituting at en:WP:SUBST. Ideally, you should not use template substitution but instead use the wikitext where possible because it clutters up the source text with unnecessary template codes. See Tech/News/Sandbox for example of a right way to use it. And one more thing, use interwiki links where necessary or redlinks appear again. diff. Regards, --Glaisher (talk) 16:39, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Hi Glaisher, thank you very much for your help. I will take all this into account for the next issue. It really is very kind of you to make all the corrections to the message and also to explain with so many details how to make it work. Best regards, MCruz (WMF) (talk) 22:08, 1 August 2014 (UTC)