Community Wishlist Survey 2021/Bots and gadgets/Improve Auto-wiki-browser

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  • Problem: Auto-wiki-browser's resolution is very low and cannot display pages in visual diff mode.
  • Who would benefit: AWB users
  • Proposed solution: Add support for visual diff mode and visual editor in AWB and improve it's resolution. It would also be great if a web-app version is available.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: WikiAviator (talk) 06:25, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • Isn't that maintained by users, not MediaWiki/WMF? DemonDays64 (talk) 09:07, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
    It is, however it has never been an obstacle for CommTech. A more serious problem is that AWB is developed on Windows while WMF engineers only use Mac/Linux. Max Semenik (talk) 10:29, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
    Oh come on, I'm sure we can fund some cloud instances with Windows from an external provider.
    Although I remember seeing a web port at some point. Don't remember where I saw it and if it shares some codebase with the Windows app. Maybe working on that would be helpful?--Strainu (talk) 11:43, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
    Yeah I think so. For working on CommTech, I don't see it as a problem because WMF can always modify it (assuming it is released on an open license) and make an officially-maintained version of it. Also, it would be better if more users could use AWB.WikiAviator (talk) 13:36, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
    AWB is a community maintained, yes. I have been trying to rework it, but its codebase is so outdated, and there's a huge lack of comments in general in the code which makes it hard to see what does what. However, I am trying to swap out the Internet Explorer elements with Chromium (CEFSharp), but I can't make any promises with how feasible it is, and whether or not it'd just be better for somebody to start it all again from scratch. Ed6767 (talk) 14:46, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
    I think we can start this from scratch as a Web-based application (for easier access) based on Auto-Ed, that would be easier for the developers in the community as well as the WMF. WikiAviator (talk) 06:14, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    .NET 5 is open source and can now be downloaded for Mac and Linux.[1]. I assume there is a compiler available for Mac/Linux development. (And why does WMF only use Mac/Linux? Is that even relevant if we have at least one volunteer compiling to Windows? Completely offtopic, I know. :) --Izno (talk) 05:48, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
    Historically Windows is not a very developer-friendly OS (considering everything we deploy to is Linux-based). But times have changed, as I understand it. Windows can now do Linux-y things too, and I know several WMF and WMDE devs who use Windows. Regardless, I don't think we should perpetuate AWB as a Windows application by adding more features to it. If it's true .NET can be used cross-platform, as you say, getting that working is step #1, but it sounds like a complete rewrite is the better long-term option which is surely out of scope :(
    That said, @WikiAviator have you tried JWB, as Fastily mentions below? That is a web-based version that I think would be much easier for us to contribute to (if the maintainer is open to outside contributions). MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 22:03, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
    I've tried it lately and it has problems making lists (can't make list for new pages), but the foundation is solid (it works smoothly overall). I think we can collaborate with the maintainer so we can revamp and publicly release it as official commtech (like Huggle and AWB). I agree that the web version would be easier for us compared to the Windows version (running discontinued IE). If JWB is stable enough, we can abandon AWB altogether. WikiAviator (talk) 13:29, 23 November 2020 (UTC)
    The core of .NET 5 is open-source and cross-platform, but this doesn’t mean everything built on this core is as well. Windows Forms, used by AWB, is still Windows-only in .NET 5. Although it’s possible in theory to get current AWB work on Linux (with Mono and some other additional software), I haven’t been able to do so yet. GTK# is an open-source GUI alternative, but it looks like a dead project at a glance. As far as I understand, .NET MAUI is truly cross-platform and under heavy development, but this heavy development means that its general availability is planned in a year, so while porting AWB to it may be the way to go, it probably won’t happen in 2021. —Tacsipacsi (talk) 00:24, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
  • There is a browser based version of AWB: w:User:Joeytje50/JWB -FASTILY 05:11, 18 November 2020 (UTC)