2017 Community Wishlist Survey/Admins and stewards/Make AbuseFilter easy to use for nontechnical admins by making filter editing more visual

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⬅ Back to Admins and stewards The survey has concluded. Here are the results!


  • Problem: AbuseFilter is very powerful and flexible. There are plenty of situations where it could be a more appropriate tool than blocking or page protection (see e.g. all the proposals about limited blocks of problem users), and can handle spammers and sockpuppeteers who can defeat all other tools. Unfortunately it was written by tech people for tech people. Most admins are effectively excluded from using it because it's presented like a programming language, even though its concept is not that difficult (simple statements using "and" and "or").
  • Who would benefit: Admins and the communities they work for.
  • Proposed solution: Make AbuseFilter intuitive and easy to use for everyone by
    • replacing (or, preferably, complementing) the programming-language-like interface with some kind of visual condition editor (Blockly would be one good candidate);
    • integrating a decent regex editor (good example: regex101);
    • merging the filter editing / creation interface and the filter testing interface: show what the filter would match as it's being edited.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Tgr (talk) 11:17, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

Discussion

Tgr: Good proposal, but at the moment it's very broad – making the tool easier to use, and then a number of different things we could potentially do. I'm worried that if people vote for this, hope for something and the team then does some of the potential proposals but not what people were hoping for, they'll be disappointed. Could we narrow it down a bit, make it more specific? /Johan (WMF) (talk) 17:22, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

@Johan (WMF): do you mean changing the title to better match the three specific things proposed, or removing (splitting up? if that's OK to do past the proposal deadline) the proposed solutions so there is one technical task per proposal? Tgr (talk) 20:55, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

I think there could be a number of ways to go about that – either splitting it up, rephrasing it, or focusing more on specific solutions (e.g. "here are the things I think should be done" instead of "some potential solutions") or problems. Just so we don't end up in the situation where everyone who wants something done about the AbuseFilter think this is the task and then the Community Tech team ends up focusing on something else than they were hoping for. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 21:22, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
The "proposed solutions" section seems pretty specific to me: it lists the three things which IMO should be done - make a visual condition editor, integrate a regex visualisation/testing tool, live-update the list of matches as the filter is being edited (or at least make it easy to update them, without having to context-switch and copy-paste between the filter edit page and the filter test page). I only mentioned the specific technologies/tools I had in mind as examples because I haven't done the investigation needed to be sure they are viable. --Tgr (talk) 21:36, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
And the three features are interdependent (at least in my mind) - they visualize different aspects of the filter (logical structure, regular expressions, actual effect on edits) that a non-technical person would have a hard time understanding from the current interface. --Tgr (talk) 21:38, 20 November 2017 (UTC)
Tgr: Reading through this again, I'm wondering if I didn't read "situations" as "solutions" first. Mea culpa. But I think a more specific title would be a good idea. (: /Johan (WMF) (talk) 14:41, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
Renamed. --Tgr (talk) 19:31, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
I see the third feature as the critical one. If it's easy for non-technical people to edit abuse filters, it must be easy for them to see what their filters will do. For an example of what happens without this feedback, see the history of the Enwiki titleblacklist from around 2008, where a user without a good understanding of regex managed to do things like block all pagemoves to titles containing the letter "p", or block a randomly-selected quarter of all pagemoves. --Carnildo (talk) 23:58, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Voting

  • Support Support I've seen some people struggle with AbuseFilter if they don't have technical knowledge of regex, so this is a definite + Reception123 (talk) 18:29, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Tgr is right! It is set up for tech people and those actually want to use it. OrsolyaVirág (talk) 18:55, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Stryn (talk) 18:59, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Rschen7754 19:22, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Tacsipacsi (talk) 20:11, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support It would be very helpful Kuailong (talk) 22:29, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Jc86035 (talk) 01:17, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support as proposer. Tgr (talk) 05:29, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - yona B. (D) 05:47, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support β16 - (talk) 10:06, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 12:47, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support YFdyh000 (talk) 13:16, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Sadads (talk) 13:32, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Jianhui67 talkcontribs 14:10, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Consulnico (talk) 15:30, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Owula kpakpo (talk) 15:44, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Sakretsu (talk) 17:02, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support SupportAjraddatz (talk) 20:30, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support SupportAlvaro Molina ( - ) 20:31, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Gripweed (talk) 21:24, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Chico Venancio (talk) 21:29, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Thomas Obermair 4 (talk) 21:32, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Sjoerd de Bruin (talk) 22:03, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support IKhitron (talk) 22:53, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Good idea. Jules78120 (talk) 00:09, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Shizhao (talk) 02:46, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Paucabot (talk) 06:45, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support--Shanmugamp7 (talk) 06:49, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support JAn Dudík (talk) 10:46, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Eurodyne (talk) 19:35, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support EVinente (talk) 19:43, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Defender (talk) 20:02, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Patar knightchat/contributions 20:43, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Keith D (talk) 20:57, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support SupportMeiræ 21:59, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support MGChecker (talk) 22:03, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --g (talk) 00:25, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --L736Etell me 07:57, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support, also to reduce chances of error even among the clueful. JzG (talk) 15:23, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Good idea. Vachovec1 (talk) 17:28, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Trizek from FR 20:00, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Dromedar61 (talk) 20:31, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Superchilum(talk to me!) 16:13, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Bencemac (talk) 17:42, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Pamputt (talk) 18:58, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support ديفيد عادل وهبة خليل 2 (talk) 20:53, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Ckoerner (talk) 21:23, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Amir (talk) 00:46, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support ~Cybularny Speak? 12:11, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support I do not really understand why the VE has been developped with emphasis while the filtering tool or sparql is less self-explanatory than the source code for wiki pages has ever been → «« Man77 »» [de] 13:49, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 15:33, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --MARKELLOSLeave me a message 17:52, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --PallertiLapin.svgRabbit Hole 18:46, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Yes, please. I'm one of the "non-technical admins" who deals with a lot of vandals and spammers. I've never touched an abuse-filter for fear of breaking it. While acknowledging that an "improvement" may end up not helping me, I think any effort in this direction would be worthwhile. Oh, and it would help a lot if we had a guide to editing abuse filters, too. Vanamonde93 (talk) 05:53, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Slemi (talk) 05:58, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Waldir (talk) 10:13, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 16:21, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support ★ Anoop / ಅನೂಪ್ © 17:56, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support rxy (talk) 22:17, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Guycn2 · 19:15, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Yeza (talk) 23:15, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Lofhi (talk) 17:58, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Spiritia 19:20, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Ixocactus (talk) 01:39, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Ahm masum (talk) 21:16, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Unfortunately there are too many people who have good ideas on improving AbuseFilters but are not technical enough to write rules for it, and too few people who both have good ideas and can write AbuseFilter rules — NickK (talk) 19:37, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Szilas (talk) 19:41, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - Akela (talk) 22:53, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --EniPort (talk) 23:31, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Hkoala (talk) 05:00, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support -- User: Perhelion 13:31, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Steinsplitter (talk) 14:13, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support -- Hungarikusz Firkász (talk) 11:21, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Tobias1984 (talk) 11:40, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --HakanIST (talk) 12:25, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support — Luchesar • T/C 13:12, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Winston (talk) 13:15, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Hirannor (talk) 14:10, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Rlevente (talk) 14:42, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Szalax (talk) 16:02, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Hunyadym (talk) 17:13, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Samat (talk) 17:39, 11 December 2017 (UTC)