Community Tech/Ping users from the edit summary

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This is the project page for Ping users from the edit summary, the #2 wish in the 2017 Community Wishlist Survey. You can follow this page and get updates as the Community Tech team works on this wish.

The purpose of the project is to give users a way to alert another contributor about a specific edit that they would be interested in seeing. Currently, you can ping people from talk page messages but if you want to draw someone's attention to a particular content edit, you have to ping them on the talk page or on their user talk page. It would be more convenient to ping people from the edit summary itself.

How it works[edit]

An example on-wiki notification

Mention notifications will be delivered (both on-wiki and via email) if a user links to another user's page in an edit summary. For example:

  • splitting section into two, as per discussion with [[User:Apples]]
  • rewriting this section — [[User:Apples]] and [[User:Bananas]], please check that I've done this correctly?

A maximum of 5 users can be pinged per edit summary, any additional usernames can be saved in the summary but will not trigger a notification. Localized namespaces (e.g. [[Benutzer:Apples]] in German or [[利用者:Apples]] in Japanese) will trigger notifications.

Notifications will not be triggered by:

  • Using templates in an edit summary — e.g. {{Ping|Apples}}
  • Links to a user page preceded by a colon — e.g. [[:User:Apples]]
  • Edits made by bot accounts
  • Reverts, which will only trigger the existing Revert notification. If users have the 'Revert' notification preference disabled they will not receive either notification.

These Mention notifications can be disabled with the existing 'Mention' notification preference or the Mute list.

Status[edit]

March 16, 2018[edit]

This feature is now live on all Wikimedia wikis! 🎉

The most pressing issue is that it notifies users when a page is reverted to their edit. A fix is in progress and will release soon, track our work at phab:T189819.

Please leave additional feedback on the talk page.

March 12, 2018[edit]

We have informed many wikis on their Village Pumps that this feature is releasing on March 15, 2018.

March 6, 2018[edit]

This is still available for testing. We are still discussing pipes in usernames (which are supported in the beta version) and how edit summaries provided by bots should work.

We are still determining our rollout plan.

Update: Piped usernames will be supported in our initial release and edit summaries from bot accounts will not trigger notifications. We are on track to enable this feature on all wikis of all languages this week.

February 27, 2018[edit]

The feature is available to be tested on beta wikis, including https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Main_Page. Have a test and let us know what you think!

We are determining our rollout plan.

February 20, 2018[edit]

The feature is in development, and should be ready for testing in the coming weeks. We'll share a link here when it's ready.

We've decided to limit the number of users that can be pinged per summary to 5. The requirements at the bottom of this page has been updated.

January 31, 2018[edit]

Wrote out the first draft of requirements for this project, see #Requirements below.

January 30, 2018[edit]

Team discussion notes:

  • We will want to de-duplicate notifications in some cases:
    • if a user {{Ping|Apples}} on a talk page edit and [[User:Apples]] in the same edit's edit summary. The user should only receive one notification, likely the existing Mention notification. We will probably skip this for V1 though.
    • reverts should only trigger the existing Revert notification. If users have the 'Revert' notification preference disabled they will not receive either notification.
    • If a user types the same username in the same edit summary, only one notification should be sent.
  • Throttling
    • In general, we will use whatever already exists for other notifications, including limiting the total number of pings a user can send in a time frame.
    • We will not set a maximum number of pings per edit summary, unless there is there an existing limit for Mentions. The 255 byte length is already a limit in itself)
  • The existing 'Mention' preference will control if these notifications are received. The Mute list will also be respected.
  • We still need to determine/finalize the notification contents
  • Technically we will create a new formatter but put it in the Mention type.
  • We will ask the Collaboration team to OK our plan, and they will tell us if we need to fill out the notification type Phab ticket.

January 2, 2018[edit]

First discussion with the team.

There are two possible directions for this project:

  1. use the existing edit summary field as in the above examples
  2. create a separate field under the edit summary to add a list of names

The separate field idea was suggested by several people during the proposal and voting phase.

After discussion, we've decided to use the first approach -- adding user names in the edit summary field itself. Our rationale:

  • The user interface for both the wikitext editor and the visual editor are already pretty complicated.
  • The restricted length of the edit summary is actually a beneficial limiting factor for the use of this feature. This feature is intended as a heads-up ping for one or two people, as seen in the example use cases. It's not intended to be a replacement for discussion pages -- if there needs to be a group discussion about the edit, then you should have that discussion on the talk page.
  • Creating a new field would encourage more use of the feature than is really necessary. This is useful as a heads-up ping, but we don't want editors to feel like it's expected that they ping somebody with each edit.
  • A separate field would have to be stored somewhere, and available in logs so people can moderate/oversight it. That already comes free with the existing edit summary system.

The feature will use [[User:Username]] as the ping -- we won't support ping templates or @ signs. The basic rationale is just to keep things simple and easy to roll out globally. Templates change, and every project has their own templates. A link to the user name would work for every wiki.

One thing to think about is how this interacts with reverts. Does the notification disappear if the edit is reverted? Can a person get pinged twice because of a revert summary? Revert summaries automatically include a linked username, and there is already a separate notifications type and preference for 'Edit revert.'

Also, we'll have to fill out the Collaboration team's New Notification Data Form, as seen on phab:T174388.

If anyone has ideas or questions, feel free to post them on the talk page.

Investigation ticket: T184030

December 13, 2017[edit]

The team will start investigating this project early in 2018. If you've got suggestions or questions, please write your thoughts on the talk page!

Important links[edit]

Requirements[edit]

Existing Mention notifications, for reference
  • Notifications will be delivered if a user types in [[User:*]] in the edit summary. Templates will not be supported.
    • Should support the localized namespace name for the wiki's language (e.g. [[Benutzer:Apples]] in German or [[利用者:Apples]] in Japanese.
  • The contents of the notification (on-wiki and email) should be:
    • Icon: Existing Mention icon Echo mention icon.svg
    • Text: Username mentioned you in an edit summary on pagename.
      • Should use the same pagename detection logic as the existing Mention notification.
      • Page name should be bolded.
    • First few characters of the edit summary, truncated with an ellipsis so the preview displays on one line.
    • Link & person icon to user who mentioned you
    • When the on-wiki notification is clicked or the 'View mention' button is clicked in an email, the notification should navigate the user to the diff page of the mention
    • Email subject: Username mentioned you on wikiname
  • TBD: Throttling. In general, we will use whatever already exists for other notifications, including limiting the total number of pings a user can send in a time frame.
  • De-duplication
    • Reverts should only trigger the existing Revert notification. If users have the 'Revert' notification preference disabled they should not receive either notification.
    • If a user types the same username in the same edit summary, only one notification should be sent.
  • Preferences
    • When the 'Mention' notification preference is disabled, the notification should not be delivered, for both on-wiki and email notifications
    • Mute list should be respected (e.g. If Apples mutes Bananas, Bananas can link to [[User:Apples]] in an edit summary but Apples will not receive either an on-wiki or email notification.)
  • A maximum of 5 users can be pinged per edit summary. Any additional usernames can be saved as the summary but should not send a notification
  • Accounts with the 'bot' flag should not trigger mention notifications.