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Community Wishlist Survey 2021/Miscellaneous/Customizable sidebar

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Customizable sidebar

  • Problem: Right now we have a "one size fits all" situation, where all users get the same sidebar menu. It doesn't matter if you are an occasional reader, a first-time contributor or a veteran with 15+ years of experience. For me (and probably many other long-time users) the sidebar is almost useless. To be quite honest there are only three positions in the sidebar of my homewiki that I sometimes use; I have to get to my "favorite" pages via the watchlist, search bar or URL bar in my browser. In my opinion users should be able to customize their own sidebars. Some might want to put there the articles they often check, some external links to often used references or tools, while some might prefer the default setting.
  • Who would benefit: Experienced users as they can have their workflow improved
  • Proposed solution: I'd have some ideas but don't know if any of them is good. I would see it as a Special Page (Special:Customize sidebar? Additional tab in Preferences?) because I don't think we can trust users to not break their sidebars if that was done in any other way (like creating own pages like MediaWiki:Sidebar). The special page can check if everything (or at least technical aspect) is okay with user's input. The special page could be a form that looks somewhat like this:
Customize your sidebar
Section: (Main) [buttons: create new, edit, remove] [checkbox: collapsible Y/N]
Link: [Text Input] Name to display: [Text Input] [Buttons: Edit Remove]
Link: [Text Input] Name: [Text Input] [Buttons: Edit Remove]
Of course everything done in OOUI, where you can drag and drop elements, with options to create new elements, edit them or whatever, decide whether or not to display the logo, etc. The "Tools" or other "page-specific" sections ("Print/export", "Languages") of the sidebar should not be customizable (so that users cannot break them).