Community Wishlist Survey 2016

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Magic Wand Icon 229981 Color Flipped.svg The Community Wishlist Survey 2016 is over... Magic Wand Icon 229981 Color Flipped.svg

Click here for the 2017 Community Wishlist Survey!
Here are the Community Wishlist Survey 2016 results!
Thank you for participating!

Total: 265 proposals, 1132 contributors, 5037 support votes

Curious about what happens next? Check out the Community Wishlist Survey 2016 FAQ.

Click on a category to view proposals

Admins and stewards
9 proposals
Bots and gadgets
13 proposals
6 proposals
21 proposals
34 proposals
34 proposals
Mobile and apps
10 proposals
Moderation tools
13 proposals
23 proposals
Programs and events
7 proposals
10 proposals
11 proposals
24 proposals
26 proposals
2 proposals
18 proposals
4 proposals


  • Submit, discuss and revise proposals: Nov. 7–20, 2016
  • Community Tech reviews and organizes proposals: Nov. 21–27
  • Vote for proposals: Nov. 28–Dec. 12
  • Survey analysis: Dec. 13–14
  • Results posted: Dec. 15
  • Screening and assessment of top wishes by Community Tech team: end of December
  • Presentation of the initial assessment: Early January 2017
  • Working on wishes: January–December 2017!


What is the Community Wishlist Survey?

The Community Tech team is a Wikimedia Foundation product team focused on meeting the needs of active Wikimedia contributors for improved, expert-focused curation and moderation tools. The projects that we work on are determined by the Wikimedia community, through an annual Community Wishlist Survey.

Once a year, active Wikimedia contributors are invited to submit proposals for features and fixes that you'd like our team to work on. After two weeks of collecting proposals, we invite you to vote on the ideas that you're most interested in. The proposals with the highest votes are the team's top priority backlog to investigate and address.

We held our first Community Wishlist Survey in November and December 2015, and in 2016, we've been working on the top 10 wishes.

This survey process was developed by Wikimedia Deutschland's Technical Wishes team, who run a wishlist survey on German Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation's Community Tech is following their lead, with an international wishlist for contributors from all projects and languages.


How many wishes were addressed from the last survey?

Quite a few! Here's a brief list.

  • Wish #1: Migrate dead external links to archives—Community Tech supported a volunteer-run project on English Wikipedia, writing and testing code that helps InternetArchiveBot to detect dead links.
  • Wish #2: Improved diff comparisons—The nightmare diff in the proposal was a small change made in a huge paragraph, which highlighted the paragraph and obscured the change. A WMF developer updated the diff engine; now it shows what actually changed.
  • Wish #5: Numerical sorting in categories—Community Tech implemented support for numerical sorting and has deployed the feature to 18 different wikis so far; we're currently offering the feature to any wikis that want to try it.
  • Wish #7: Pageview stats tool—Community Tech built the Pageviews Analysis tool, which is now in use on all Wikipedias.
  • Wish #9: Improve the plagiarism detection bot—Community Tech built CopyPatrol, a new interface for the plagiarism detection workflow that's attracted more patrollers, and eliminated the backlog of cases.

Community Tech is currently working on wish #4, Cross-wiki watchlist, and there are more wishes that have been addressed by volunteers and other teams.

Some of the top 10 wishes weren't feasible for various reasons; you can see all the wishes on the Survey Results page, with links to project pages and discussions.


What happens during the proposal phase?

The proposal phase is the first two weeks of the survey—from November 7th to 20th, 2016.

In the proposal phase, contributors from every project and language are invited to submit proposals for features and fixes that you'd like to see in 2017. Proposals may be submitted in any language, but English is encouraged (in order to facilitate feedback from the Community Tech team and other editors).

Proposals should be discrete, well-defined tasks that will directly benefit active Wikimedia contributors. When the proposal phase opens, we'll have a form to fill out, with the following questions:

  • What's the problem you want to solve?
  • Which users are affected? (editors, admins, Commons users, Wikipedia users, etc.)
  • How is this problem being addressed now?
  • What are the proposed solutions? (if there are any ideas)

Your proposal should be as specific as possible, especially in the problem statement. Don't just say that "(x feature) is out of date", "needs to be improved" or "has a lot of bugs"; that's not enough information to figure out what needs to be done. A good proposal explains exactly what the problem is, and who's affected by it. It's okay if you don't have a specific solution to propose, or if you have a few possible solutions and you don't know which is best.

Submitting a proposal is just the beginning of the process—the two-week proposal phase is a time that the community can collaboratively craft a proposal that presents the idea in a way that's most likely to succeed in the voting phase. When a proposal is submitted, everyone is invited to comment on that proposal, and help to make it better—asking questions, and suggesting changes. Duplicate proposals can be combined; very broad proposals should be split up into more specific ideas. The goal is to create the best possible proposal for the voting phase.

The person who submits a proposal should expect to be active in that discussion, and help to make changes along the way. Because of that, we're going to limit proposals to three per person. If you post more than three proposals, we'll ask you to narrow it down to three. Bring your best ideas!

One more note: Proposals that call for removing or disabling a feature that a WMF product team has worked on are outside of Community Tech's possible scope, and won't be carried over to the voting phase.

Proposals that didn't make it to voting can be seen on the Archive page.


Can I resubmit a proposal from the 2015 survey?

Yes, there are definitely some worthwhile proposals that didn't get enough support votes last year, and deserve a second try. They'll need to be rewritten in the updated format, answering these questions:

  • What's the problem you want to solve?
  • Which users are affected? (editors, admins, Commons users, Wikipedia users, etc.)
  • What are the proposed solutions? (if there are any ideas)

It's helpful if you want to post a link to the previous discussion, but please don't copy over the votes and discussion from last year. If there are good points that people made in last year's discussions, incorporate the suggestions or caveats in the new proposal.

If you decide to copy a proposal from the old survey into the new survey, we expect you to "adopt" that proposal—meaning that you'll be actively participating in the discussion about that idea, and willing to make changes to the proposal in order to make it a stronger idea when it moves to the voting phase. As we said above, there's a limit of three proposals per person, and posting a proposal from last year counts.


What happens during the voting phase?

After a week's break, the voting phase happens over next two weeks—from November 28th to December 12th.

All active contributors are invited to review and vote for the proposals that you want to support. You can vote for as many different proposals as you want. You need to be logged in to cast a support vote.

The only votes that are counted are Support votes; the final list of wishes will be ranked in order of the most Support votes. No need to indent other types of votes or comments to prevent them from being numbered – it's helpful to see how much attention a proposal is getting overall. We have our own automated system of counting support votes.

However, lively discussion is encouraged during the voting phase, and if you want to post an Oppose or Neutral vote with a comment, then feel free. These discussions can help people to make up their mind about whether they want to vote for the proposals. The discussions also provide useful input to guide the work that will happen through the year.

A reasonable amount of canvassing is acceptable. You've got an opportunity to sell your idea to as many people as you can reach. Feel free to reach out to other people in your project, WikiProject or user group. Obviously, this shouldn't involve sockpuppets, or badgering people to vote or to change their vote. But a good-faith "get out the vote" campaign is absolutely okay.

Note also that the proposals are occasionally rotated to ensure all get fair visibility. This is done by simply moving the top proposal to the bottom.


What about smaller projects and user groups?

Last year, some people from smaller projects and user groups were disappointed to see that the top 10 proposals were all for the biggest projects, like Wikipedia and Commons. There are many smaller groups and projects that don't have enough "voting power" to boost their proposal into the top 10, but are doing important work for our movement.

After the voting phase, when we have the prioritized backlog, we plan to allocate 75% of our wishlist work to the top 10 wishes, and 25% to proposals important to smaller groups. This will include campaign and program organizers, GLAM participants, smaller projects like Wikisource and Wiktionary, and stewards and CheckUsers. As we get proposals over the first few days of the Wishlist Survey, we'll be able to identify categories that will be included in this "smaller groups" tier. So – yes, please come and post your proposals, even if you don't think you'll get into the top 10!


What if a lot of people vote to support a bad idea?

The Support-vote rankings create a prioritized backlog of wishes, and the Community Tech team is responsible for evaluating and addressing the top 10 wishes. To do that, we investigate all of the top wishes, and look at both the technical and social/policy risk factors.

The Oppose and Neutral votes are very helpful in raising potential downsides. For controversial wishes, we balance the voting with a more consensus-based review. As an example, this worked in the 2015 survey: The wish to "add a user watchlist" received a lot of votes but also some heartfelt Oppose votes. We listened to all sides, and made a decision on whether to pursue the project or not.


Why are we doing a new survey this year...

... instead of addressing every item from #11 to 107 from the 2015 survey?

The main reason why we're making the survey an annual event is that we want to include more people! More people know about the team and the survey now, and after a year where many of the top wishes were completed, we're expecting that people will be even more interested and excited about participating. We want to give everyone a chance to bring new ideas.

Also, the Technical Collaboration team uses the wishlist to identify projects that volunteers can pick up for hackathons, and student programs. Most of the volunteer-sized wishes have been worked on by now, so we need another set for next year's volunteers.

If there are wishes from last year's survey that you think deserve another shot, see "Can I resubmit a proposal from the 2015 survey?" above.