Community Wishlist Survey 2023/Notifications, Watchlists and Talk Pages/Wikibreak/OoO notification autoresponder

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Random proposal◄ Notifications, Watchlists and Talk Pages  The survey has concluded. Here are the results!

Wikibreak/OoO notification autoresponder

  • Problem: I get pings or email messages from people trying to inform me about things, or trying to ask me without going to my user page and/or my talk page. Sometimes, they ping/message me when I'm on a break (which they aren't necessarily aware of). They get frustrated when I'm not reacting.
  • Proposed solution: A new notification. If I do [something] (a preference? a template on my user page?) anyone who pings me or messages me will have a notification informing "the user you've just reached out to is on a break and may not respond soon".
  • Who would benefit: Volunteers responsible for maintaining things (like tools and gadgets), any Wikimedia organization staff, contractors, board members, etc. (affiliate, WMF), and broadly speaking, any functionaries
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Tar Lócesilion (talk) 00:39, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Tar Lócesilion, the Growth team offers this option for mentors. Mentors can set themwelves as away and, during they away time, newcomers who ask them questions are redirected to another mentor, with a responder message. I don't know how easy it is to offer this option to anyone, but it could be an inspiration. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 20:07, 1 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks for info, @Trizek (WMF). I hope that it'd be clear for the voters that I'm asking for something different. This could perhaps be some inspiration at most. Tar Lócesilion (talk) 19:58, 17 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @KHarlan (WMF): Any thoughts? Do you think it would be possible to make it available for other users? KSiebert (WMF) (talk) 19:43, 2 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @KSiebert (WMF) yes, we could explore making our "I am away" functionality for mentors something that is available to all users, via Special:Preferences. I'll file a subtask of T327655 about that. I'm not sure about the autoresponder side of it, but we could allow it to modify the appearance of a user's signature, perhaps. KHarlan (WMF) (talk) 13:52, 7 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Filed as T329052 KHarlan (WMF) (talk) 13:55, 7 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • People should also be aware that this is a platform run by volunteers, being in different time zones all over the world, who cannot and will not be standby 24/7. So it might take some time before you get an answer, sometimes several days. --JopkeB (talk) 10:40, 11 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Just going to mention that when it comes to the messages (i.e. someone writing you on the talk page), you can set up (or ask admins to) an edit notice, and if you have it transclude either a labeled section or just a plain old subpage in your user space you will have control over it without the need to poke admins every time. I have such a set up on my ukwiki user talk page so that I can warn people of a wikibreak. As I am currently not at wikibreak at ukwiki, you can see a PoC on testwiki:User talk:Base (try creating a new topic). Now when it comes to pings this will not work of course. --Base (talk) 21:00, 17 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks @Base. Tacsipacsi mentioned this in the sandbox. My answer was: "That would be a poor ersatz, though. I mostly mean notifications and pings outside of the user talk page namespace. It's more about Admins' noticeboards, WikiProject talk pages, Village Pumps, anywhere where template/gadget maintainers get chased - spaces where someone may ping you specifically and never ask themselves if you're active at a given moment." Best, Tar Lócesilion (talk) 23:01, 17 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]