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Replay Edits

idea creator:

Jeph Paul

project contact:



Jeph Paul

volunteers: Parul Bhatti, Arun Madhanagopal


It seeks to visualize the page edits by showing the evolution of the page through the edits.

engagement target:

English Wikipedia, other languages as requested

strategic priority:

Improving Quality

total amount requested:

500 USD

2013 round 1

Project idea[edit]

It aims to helps editors to inspect and go through a large number of revisions easily and in lesser time than with the current interface. It shows the user how the edits in a page evolved visually. It will enable the user to view the edits happening on the page in an animated fashion. The current revision compare page has only one dimension , the line number .The lines are presented side by side showing the older version on the left side and the newer version on the right.The proposed idea will show the edits happening right in its position in the document . It will have a playback like functionality, which will let you see the changes happening in the document like a video being played out.It is a visual complement to the textual diffs that are currently shown.

Eg, If there are five edits on a page from date A to date B, the user will see the edits happening on the page , some text getting modified , text getting added , deleted etc in their browser like a video playback.

  • A Mockup of the tool
  • An updated mockup of the tool
  • Replay edits github repo
  • Replay Edits lightning Talk presentation
  • A working Replay edits demo
  • A blog post about the visualisation tool.
  • A Slider for the tool, that shows the time between consecutive edits in the selection.
  • The tool with a new UI and a bunch of new features.
  • Copy importScript( 'User:Jeph_paul/common.js' ); importStylesheet( 'User:Jeph_paul/common.css' ); into your common.js to use it as a userscript

Project goals[edit]

  • It will make it much easier and reduces the time needed to go through multiple revisions.
  • It will make it faster for an user/editor to spot/identify a particular edit.
  • It helps you to understand the evolution of an article quicker and help you to spot biases and improve the article.

Open questions[edit]

  • Hi, where will it get the data from? Will you pre-compute diffs for a whole article so it's a seamless, movie-like experience or will you let the diffs be generated on the fly when one clicks on one of the "next" arrows? In the latter case it would not be possible to have a movie or slider, right? Also: Do you plan to provide something like a lookup of who wrote what words?-- 13:53, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Project plan[edit]


Scope and activities[edit]

I will spend my time developing the tool. It will be a standalone script/gadget. I would like to take it forward and integrate it into mediawiki , but that is currently out of scope. By the end of the project any user should be able to visually go through the edits without any pain and without having to spend time staring at long columns of texts stating the changes line by line.

Tools, technologies, and techniques[edit]

  • A good understanding of the implemented Wikimedia infrastructure and its architecture .
  • A good idea of the mediawiki api and its limits so as not to strain it and impair the total performance of the system.
  • The plan is to adopt a hybrid approach as mentioned in the talk page , the parsing of the simpler diff wikitext is done on the client side and the more complex wikitext will be parsed on the server side using the mediawiki api.


Total amount requested[edit]

Total amount: 500$

Budget breakdown[edit]

  • To use the services of a UI/UX designer in building the tool. (25hr * 20$/hr , based on average Indian rates)

Intended impact:[edit]

Target audience[edit]

  • A user who wants to make an edit , essentially making it simpler for a wider audience to view a page's history and edit it.
  • It will make the experience of editing more engaging even for a casual user.

Fit with strategy[edit]

  • It aims to make the revisions/edits easier and more intuitive to understand increasing participation.
  • Lowering the barrier to edit and making the whole experience more interesting.


The tool in its current avatar is standalone (Mediawiki gadget).The aim is to integrate it into mediawiki in future (out of scope of this grant) .

Measures of success[edit]

  • Three months after the end of the project , the number of users should reach 3700 , ( the average number of users for a gadget , User Preferences )


Jeph Paul has been employed as a web developer for the last two years , developing features with the help of python ,Jquery and other javascript libraries.


Community Notification:[edit]

English Wikipedia Village Pump


Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.

  • I'm pretty new to Wikipedia and one thing that struck me immediately is the tremendous amount of editing done to many articles. I was frustrated though that it isn't easy to visualise this. A gadget like this would make it easier.21:45, 17 April 2013 (UTC)--Bair175 (talk) 21:47, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I am doing courses in Wikipedia and I think this could be quite useful to show how an article develops. Would be nice if it was developed so that input from bots could be discarded, only showing "human" edits. Best regards, Ulflarsen (talk) 19:26, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I just took the mockup for a test drive and it is really terrific. What a wonderful idea, and watching the edits really does give some interesting insights. Thanks for this work. Jane023 (talk) 09:48, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
  • This is very enlightening, allowing you to see the amount of work and maintenance that goes to an article. I think all edits, also by bots, are important to visualize, as it gives us insight into discussions about justification of deletions or bot-created entities. Great! --Susannaanas (talk) 08:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
  • A great tool, very useful, makes writing long articles fun. Keep up the great work. ----Rsrikanth05 (talk) 17:10, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
  • A very useful tool, especially for researchers. One can have a glimpse of how articles evolve overtime, which would particularly be of interest to digital historians and academicians. For editors, this tool would make it possible to spot specific edits quickly. The interface is cool and easily navigable. Regards Netha Hussain (talk) 06:31, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Community member: add your name and rationale here.

Mentions & Citations[edit]

"We then shortly present two tools we recently developed and published in this regard in Section 3: Contropedia and whoVIS; and we introduce whoCOLOR, a userscript for highlighting provenance and controversity of words in Wikipedia articles. Further we briefly describe the above mentioned older legacy tools and one Wikipedia community solution called “Wikireplay”, which we believe could also provide a useful approach to our goal. (...)
Wikireplay (or “re Edit”, http://cosmiclattes.github.io/wikireplay/player.html , by Wikipedia user Jeph Paul) is a community-built web application that allows the user to select a Wikipedia article and a starting revision. It then displays the look of the HTML view of the article at the given time and sequentially visualizes all single additions and deletions that took place in a video-like animation."