IRC office hours/Office hours 2013-05-09

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IRC office hour: Answering questions about Flow and showing off the prototype
Time/date: 2013-05-09 18:00 UTC
Channel: #wikimedia-office

Timestamps in UTC. Log copied from original.

[17:48:03] <Sven_Manguard> The FLOW office hours is here?
[17:49:42] <jorm> in 12 minutes.
[17:55:05] <marktraceur> James_F: I can only make a topic as good as the topic I'm given
[17:55:21] <James_F> marktraceur: Well, there's only one prototype. :-)
[17:55:31] <marktraceur> may need updating then!
[17:55:42] <James_F> marktraceur: It changes, week by week.
[17:56:05] <marktraceur> James_F: Last week there were forty prototypes, now we've killed off 39?
[17:56:20] <James_F> marktraceur: Last week there was a prototype updated 40 times. :-)
[17:56:37] <jorm> which prototype?
[17:59:10] <jorm> hey jared.
[17:59:15] <jaredzimmerman> hello
[17:59:22] <sumanah> hi jaredzimmerman
[17:59:38] <jaredzimmerman> hey sumanah
[17:59:57] <jorm> let's let peeps show up.
[17:59:58] <sumanah> jaredzimmerman: a pleasure to "meet" you. :-)
[18:00:01] <Ypnypn> hi everyone
[18:00:09] <Sven_Manguard> Is this the first office hours after the successful deployment of Echo on enWiki?
[18:00:30] <jorm> uhm, i think there was a wikidata thing, and a bug day?
[18:00:44] <jorm> and then there was an echo chat yesterday.
[18:00:53] <Sven_Manguard> whoops
[18:00:56] <sumanah> Sven_Manguard: we had an office hours yesterday about Echo - has more details as does
[18:02:00] <jorm> So, let's start with pasting this bad boy at you:
[18:02:52] <jorm> It would really save me a lot questions if you read the wiki page first before diving into the prototype but who wants to go to school before playing? No one.
[18:03:16] <jorm> So the prototype is directly accessible at
[18:03:28] <fabriceflorin> Hey Jared, sumanah, James_F and everyone …
[18:03:51] <jorm> (I'm gonna laugh if no one shows up for this)
[18:04:13] <sumanah> I'm actually reading the wiki page
[18:04:15] <sumanah> because I'm like that
[18:04:26] <fabriceflorin> jorm: Give it a few minutes, it takes people a while to wander in ...
[18:04:27] <Krenair> Is Flow going to be based on the LQT code?
[18:04:33] <jorm> Krenair: no.
[18:04:38] <Krenair> okay, good
[18:04:56] <jorm> It may be based on the database model that was developed for the (canceled) LQT3 project.
[18:05:34] <jorm> the reason for that is: a) it's a good data model; and b) so that there is an upgrade path for people with LQT2
[18:05:39] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: will the final version be artificially constrained so that the width is only half of my screen?
[18:06:00] <jorm> So, what we're talking about here is "measure" on a line, Sven.
[18:06:10] <jorm> And the answer is "probably", because constraining the measure is *good* for you.
[18:06:22] <Sven_Manguard> Umm?
[18:06:28] <jorm> The longer a line of text is, the harder it is to read, and the more eyestrain it causes.
[18:06:42] * sumanah figures out the difference between Board & Feed�
[18:06:46] <Ypnypn> the screen can only fit 3-4 comments at a time; each one takes up several inches of vertical height
[18:06:48] <Sven_Manguard> Okay, but having half of my screen be white is... bad
[18:07:05] * bawolff laughs at the staffer of the year thread in the prototype�
[18:07:18] <Sven_Manguard> is the thread the same for everyone?
[18:07:23] <jorm> heh. bawolff: I parsed out my talk page.
[18:07:28] <jorm> yeah, the threads are the same for everyone.
[18:07:35] <Sven_Manguard> because there's a bunch of stuff about me at the bottom
[18:07:40] <Sven_Manguard> which is, admittedly, strange
[18:08:07] <jorm> you'll find many connections between that and my talk page. i just needed "real" data to work with.
[18:08:12] <sumanah> Sven_Manguard: Did you say your real username when you started the prototype?
[18:08:17] <Sven_Manguard> yes
[18:08:35] <Sven_Manguard> but none of the stuff at the top is mine
[18:08:36] <sumanah> ok, so threads from my 'board' will show up in other people's 'feed's and vice versa, right?
[18:08:47] <Sven_Manguard> I make a point of not following Jimbo's page
[18:08:48] <sumanah> (if they subscribe)
[18:08:50] <jorm> If they are subscribed to you, yes.
[18:09:02] <jaredzimmerman> Sven_Manguard an interesting short read on idea line length for web here
[18:09:20] <fabriceflorin> It's worth noting that if you log in with your user name, the current prototype may use canned comments that you didn't actually make. This is intended for demonstration purposes only, of course.
[18:09:22] <jorm> here's another thing about measure:
[18:09:30] <jaredzimmerman> Sven_Manguard and a longer one here
Amazon link to The Elements of Typographic Style [Paperback] by Robert Bringhurst (Author) removed due to spam filter
[18:09:59] <jorm> extra white space, with larger sites, we can actually use it for other functionality, mind you.
[18:10:04] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: my issue is not with that the text is constrained, it's that there's a cosmic fuckton of whitespace
[18:10:11] <sumanah> The links in the grey box - Profile page, Archived talk, Contributions, Email User, & Express Gratitude - do not work for me. Is this a bug I should report, or just not implemented yet?
[18:10:26] <jorm> Just examples, not implemented.
[18:10:42] <jorm> but that would be a way to do things like wikilove, etc.
[18:10:44] <sumanah> ok. I looked in and didn't see it yet
[18:11:01] <jaredzimmerman> Sven_Manguard that whitespace might find itself home to new interesting things
[18:11:07] <fabriceflorin> For people who are just joining this chat now, check out this overview of how jorm's prototype works: … scan it first, then you can dive in to the prototype itself by clicking the big link at the top.
[18:11:57] <jorm> Now, I want to ask: is there anyone who would be interested in getting a 10,000 foot view of what Flow is and what problems it solves?
[18:12:04] <jorm> (or attempts to solve)
[18:12:11] <jorm> I sure hope so, because you're getting one.
[18:12:22] <Sven_Manguard> jorm and co:
[18:12:27] <Sven_Manguard> look at how much whitespace that is
[18:12:33] <howief> hola
[18:12:34] <Sven_Manguard> it's hugely unsettling
[18:13:04] <jorm> Sven, i need you to buckle down and ignore your whitespace. Come back to me, Sven.
[18:13:06] <jorm> Come back!
[18:13:15] <jorm> This is a prototype. It's not a final product.
[18:13:21] <Sven_Manguard> but it's sooooooooo white.
[18:13:22] <Maryana> greetings sven_manguard et al. :)
[18:13:31] * Sven_Manguard loses retinas�
[18:13:46] <fabriceflorin> Hi ldavis, maryana and howief : We're just getting started with the Flow chat, and inviting folks to read this overview, before trying out the prototype:
[18:13:49] <Sven_Manguard> alright, I'll stfu until jorm is done with his speaking part
[18:14:16] <fabriceflorin> Sven_Manguard: Hehe :)
[18:14:27] <jorm> A while back, we at the Foundation started looking at what our problems were. Where things - processes - were breaking down, or difficult, or whatever.
[18:14:44] <jorm> And we kept coming back to one of two things: Notifications and Discussions.
[18:15:03] <jorm> Notifications we are solving with Echo. Discussions is being solved with Flow.
[18:15:33] <jorm> Flow is more than just a "talk page replacement". But that's a really good starting point for the discussion.
[18:16:08] <jorm> So, when you look at talk pages - especially User Talk pages - they're just . . . they're really just a cancer.
[18:16:36] <Krenair> Unrelated to Flow, but I was wondering if Echo is planned to be used to notify users of technical change announcements? Not really in the structured way we use at the moment...
[18:16:58] <jorm> (Probably not, Krenair - that seems like a spammy type of a notification)
[18:17:51] <jorm> If you go to the Flow Portal, and go to you can watch several videos of people trying to use talk pages.
[18:17:55] <sumanah> Hmmm, we should talk about that Krenair & jorm
[18:17:59] <sumanah> but not right now :)
[18:18:02] <jorm> I say "trying" and I mean it. Trying.
[18:18:19] <jorm> It is a parade of trainwrecks.
[18:18:34] <jorm> And they're trying to do the *simplest* thing. Which is respond to a talk page message.
[18:19:23] <jorm> So we picked four primary "issues" to solve.
[18:19:47] <jorm> 1) Ease of use. We need to make it easier to use. No having to sign your signatures, or type ::::: to indent or reply.
[18:20:30] <jorm> 2) Solve for fragmented discussions. If you leave a message on my talk page, do I respond on yours? So confusing, and gives rise to odd social norms like "Talkback templates"
[18:21:09] <jorm> 3) Determining freshness. There's no way to recognize new comments in a discussion *without comparing multiple diffs*. That's *INSANE*. We can (and will) do better.
[18:21:25] <Sven_Manguard> timestamps?
[18:21:58] <jorm> and finally, 4) Solving for interest context. If I leave a message on your talk page, I don't care about all the other conversations you're having. I only want to be notified about the one - mine. But the way talk pages work, it's all-or-nothing for watching.
[18:22:20] <jorm> Timestamps that appear at the end of a block of text?
[18:22:27] <mooeypoo> I may be inviting a mobbing here from mw-purists, but I have a question.. I like what I see in the flow prototype and as a newbie, I completely agree that talk pages are really quite frustrating (you need to know the rules of play in order to participate, which seems to be against the point) -- but I wonder, it seems like what you're going for is a sort of forum or 'threaded comments'. So, just curious, there are systems lik
[18:22:27] <mooeypoo> e that existing. Are we reinventing the wheel, or do you mean to take an example from existing systems?
[18:22:44] <jorm> I'm glad you asked that.
[18:23:07] <lwelling> I think jorm has planted a mole to ask leading question :)
[18:23:09] <bawolff> Being able to link to a discussion without it being a permalink (so new replies are seen) but garunted the link wont be stale due to archiving would be nice too
[18:23:44] <jorm> Our use cases and workflows for all the different types of discussions that can happen on Wikimedia sites are *fantastic* and varied. So varied that no single off-the-shelf solution will solve for it. We have to do this special.
[18:23:54] <jorm> bawolff: that's a "single topic" view.
[18:24:24] <jorm> Consider the following types of discussions: 1) You got a barnstar! 2) You got asked a question! 3) You got blocked! :(
[18:24:36] <jorm> That's three different mental models, and ONLY on user talk.
[18:24:43] <mooeypoo> Hm. Fair enough.
[18:25:16] <Sven_Manguard> are the responses 1) Thank you! 2) Oh, you! 3) Fuck you! ?
[18:25:19] <jorm> When we add in things like "Request for Deletion", or "Village Pump Thread" or "Request for Adminship", etc. etc. the models start stacking up and up and up.
[18:25:39] <mooeypoo> What do you do about ownership? User talk page is clear -- the user "owns" it in terms of being responsible for answering/following. What about other pages? Is this covered in following discussions/threads or will users be able to be notified on "categories" of pages?
[18:25:52] <jorm> this *kind* of leads inot the next level of scaffolding about what Flow actually is.
[18:26:20] <jorm> So, you're talking about the "subscriptions" framework. And in release one, we're *ONLY* targeting user talk pages.
[18:26:41] <jorm> in the future, though, we can (and will, most likely) start adding in other kinds of discussions. and then you could subscribe to them.
[18:26:50] <jorm> Consider if, say, the Signpost was "flow-enabled".
[18:27:02] <jorm> and it was always published with a tag, "#Signpost"
[18:27:20] <jorm> then you subscribe to the tag #Signpost and when new issues come out they automatically go into your feed.
[18:27:47] <jorm> That's just theory, though, and future thinking. We're not there yet. We need to learn a lot and we're going to do that with user talk.
[18:28:18] <mooeypoo> Yeah, that sounds good. I was wondering about more obscure pages that no one changed/takled in for months.
[18:28:26] <jorm> this is terribly easy, guys. where's the fire and hate?
[18:28:37] <sumanah> um. boo! is that it?
[18:28:38] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: WHITESPACE!!!1!
[18:28:40] <Sven_Manguard> that better?
[18:28:41] <TheDruId> jorm, would this be only for registered users, or responses to IPs as well?
[18:28:46] <mooeypoo> ... I thought the point was to go with the Flow.
[18:28:48] <legoktm> jorm: power user question: will it be possible to edit the raw wikitext of a thread-thing?
[18:29:09] <bawolff> Are tags going to be prefixed with #?
[18:29:10] <jorm> IP Interactions are always tricky, but i think they'll get Flow *boards* but maybe not *feeds*.
[18:29:21] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: admin question: How will revision deleting and oversighting be effected
[18:29:25] <jorm> bawolff: indeterminate yet. we're deeply looking at tags.
[18:29:42] <jaredzimmerman> jorm it might be helpful to summarize the difference between boards and feeds
[18:29:53] <jorm> legoktm: i'd honestly prefer not. We are going to be using the VisualEditor for the topic/comment editor. Allowing raw wikitext editing is inviting trouble.
[18:30:04] <Maryana> jaredzimmerman: +1 :)
[18:30:06] <jorm> Jared: good point.
[18:30:17] <bawolff> Jorm: oh ok. I was all ready to give you sone WIKIPEDIA IS TURNING INTO TWITTER! Hate
[18:30:20] <mooeypoo> jorm: How would this work in terms of mobile usage? Still using javascript (which may be a problem) or are there fallback plans to support using this through mobile phones/devices?
[18:30:30] <jorm> Okay. You will have a Board and you will have a Feed.
[18:30:36] <jorm> mooeypoo: i'll get to that in a sec.
[18:31:26] <jorm> The difference between Board and Feed is about the context of the content.
[18:31:44] <legoktm> jorm: ok so slightly related: Say I wanted to add a comment to the top of a thread, how would that be done? Can I edit the top comment? (I don't see a button for that)
[18:32:02] <fabriceflorin> For people who are just joining this chat now, check out this overview of how Flow works, which outlines the differences between Board and Feed: … scan it first, then you can dive in to the prototype itself by clicking the big link at the top.
[18:32:06] <jorm> The Board is like a User Talk Page. It is where people go to start conversations with you. It is where your conversations appear. It may (eventually) include things like your block history, or even your contributions.
[18:33:13] <jorm> The Feed, however, is not necessarily about *you*. It is about your *interests*. Instead of going to ten different talk pages to respond to 10 different people, you just go to your feed, where all 10 of those conversations appear for you.
[18:33:27] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: I'd be very opposed to making block history even easier to find than it already is, it's stigmatizing
[18:33:49] <jorm> (I used that as an example, Sven. This is all examples we're talking about here)
[18:33:54] <Sven_Manguard> okay
[18:33:56] <legoktm> jorm: so tl;dr a feed is your fb news feed, your board is your profile/wall itself?
[18:34:01] <jorm> bingo.
[18:34:07] <mooeypoo> hah
[18:34:08] * Sven_Manguard shudders�
[18:34:11] <jaredzimmerman> Sven_Manguard but point taken
[18:34:16] <Maryana> so let's say i'm a new user, and someone has just left me a message on my board. i now have an echo notification with a link to my board, and a separate link to my board in the user nav, and then a thing called a feed. where do i go to see my new message? :)
[18:34:38] <jorm> with one thing, one MAJOR difference: Facebook is about your *social* interactions. We don't care about that. We care about your *collaboration* interactions.
[18:35:00] <jorm> You could go to any one of those three things.
[18:35:16] <Maryana> but i don't know what a feed is. i'm just told about the board
[18:35:20] <Maryana> by echo
[18:35:22] <jorm> since a message left on your board will also appear on your feed. and since it was left on your board, you get an echo notification.
[18:35:43] <Maryana> right – i guess i'm just wondering how i'd ever discover the feed
[18:35:49] <Eloquence> jorm, did you settle on whether you want to provide a "zoomed in" view to the conversation, where it doesn't really matter whether it's a "board" or "feed" view?
[18:36:01] <jorm> yes, and Feature Exists, erik.
[18:36:13] <jorm> click on an echo notification in the prototype.
[18:36:19] <jorm> sec. i owe mooeypoo an answer.
[18:36:30] <Sven_Manguard> unanswered from earlier: How will revision deleting and oversighting be effected
[18:36:54] <legoktm> Sven_Manguard: click the gear, and there is a "delete" and "oversight" button
[18:37:06] <TheDruId> Is this something that user would opt into, or could choose not to opt into?
[18:37:22] <jorm> mooeypoo asked about "mobile first" design, effectively. The answer is that a) the prototype is built for desktop because it's throwaway. b) we've already been thinking about how to handle this mobile-wise.
[18:37:22] <Eloquence> Maryana, FB makes the distinction between personal feed and newsfeed somewhat irrelevant by focusing on a single conversation when you go through the notifications. afaict the flow prototype is going for a similar model.
[18:37:55] <jorm> Revision Deleting and Oversighting will work similar to LQT. You click the gear, click "revdel" or whatever.
[18:38:07] <mooeypoo> Eloquence: Doesn't that already exist though? If you click on a notification about some answer/comment you are taken to that conversation directly.
[18:38:10] <legoktm> jorm: I think you missed this one: [01:31:44 PM] <legoktm> jorm: ok so slightly related: Say I wanted to add a comment to the top of a thread, how would that be done? Can I edit the top comment? (I don't see a button for that)
[18:38:30] <mooeypoo> jorm: So it's not going to be in the first releases, but it's planned?
[18:38:32] <Eloquence> mooeypoo, yes, it exists in the prototype as jorm pointed out earlier.
[18:38:44] <Maryana> mooeypoo, good point
[18:38:57] <jaredzimmerman> mooeypoo for all of our design work we'll be thinking about platform appropriateness, both in what is displayed, what actions are possible and what are ideal for the context
[18:39:01] <jorm> TheDruid: the *current* roll-out plan (and don't hold me to this, please) is that phase 1 is "Board & Feed to new Users, Feed to all Users, and anyone can upgrade from Talk to Board"
[18:39:33] <mooeypoo> jaredzimmerman: Fair enough. I'm just thinking that forum/topic discussions are often done through phones (on most platforms) because they're less time-consuming than actual edits.
[18:39:39] <bawolff> Will people be able to downgrade?
[18:39:45] <jorm> legoktm: Editing *other* people's comments is not something we are planning to support.
[18:39:55] <mooeypoo> So, I know I answer forum/posts in my phone a lot of times, I'd love to have that option here too, but it's definitely not urgent.
[18:39:59] <jorm> However, there is thought about having "collaborative" posts, that anyone can edit.
[18:40:10] <Maryana> i think what mooeypoo is saying is that notifications already let you respond to any notification from anywhere. the fb feed model is more about passive consumption of content scrolling through than active discussions you're having. that's what i'm having trouble fitting into our wikipedia user-to-user-messaging mental model
[18:40:30] <jorm> Inserting comments at arbitrary points in a discussion thread (like you can do in Talk pages) is not something we're going to support either, I think. That's not a really great experience, and it's supser confusing.
[18:40:31] <bawolff> What happens to the talk page? What if a bot tries to edit it via the api?
[18:40:33] <jaredzimmerman> mooeypoo a good point, we've certainly started thinking about
[18:40:34] <TheDruId> So the spelling error in the Staffer of the Year award post stays there forever?
[18:41:02] <legoktm> jorm: i think that might cause issues then. if someone adds a personal attack, it means we have to delete their entire post to just remove it. or what if i want to add a {{notice|Please see [[#Other thing]] below before commenting}} or something.
[18:41:04] <jorm> bawolff: we have hooks to snag edits via the api and turn them into Flow Posts.
[18:41:13] <mooeypoo> Maryana: FB's structure is more about grouping content; the content itself is more or less the same - people put stuff on their "walls". Then, if they're your friends you see it in your feed, if you follow their topic, you see it in your notification, etc. So there's no real difference in content, ther'es a difference in where you are exposed to the content.
[18:41:29] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: if people are not able to edit other people's posts, that would severely limit options when we get someone that's out of line
[18:41:34] <mooeypoo> If I understand correctly, that's similar to what jorm was talking about too? In terms of board and feed?
[18:41:52] <Eloquence> jorm, how about letting admins edit posts and having a clear policy on that pop up when they do so?
[18:42:08] <jorm> That's where we get into our moderation and abuse controls (which are only barely expressed in the prototype). Moderation is a tricky subject.
[18:42:24] <mooeypoo> I was about to ask about moderation :)
[18:42:24] <bawolff> Jorm: right now its common to add /tracked in bigzilla/ or /redolved/ templates to the top of posts. Will that use case be supported somehow?
[18:42:38] <jorm> okay. when i say "no editing other people's posts" i mean "standard wild-west style".
[18:42:54] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: thanks for the clarification on that
[18:43:01] <jorm> admins, obviously, get to edit. but it will be noted that they *have done so*. It will also be noted if you edit your own stuff.
[18:43:01] <jaredzimmerman> mooeypoo I'll let jorm expand but i think the general idea is to handle abuse via flagging/reporting rather than direct edits
[18:43:24] <Maryana> mooeypoo, that's a good summary. you sure you're not jorm's sock? ;)
[18:43:31] <jorm> seriously.
[18:43:49] <jorm> I swear to all I hold holy that mooeypoo is not a plant by me.
[18:43:52] <mooeypoo> I'm a moderator in a lage science forum -- and even though it's relatively "niche" space, we still find ourselves running after moderation actions; spam and bans are "easy". The trick is what do you do with trolls, or with destructive conversations. Sometimes it's not necessarily as clear cut as "flag/noflag".. you warn people, etc. But that's for a full blown forum. Not sure what you'd do here.
[18:44:16] <jorm> I'd dearly love to implement hellbanning
[18:44:18] * jorm ducks�
[18:44:19] <legoktm> mooeypoo: ANI is a "full blown forum" :P
[18:44:26] <lwelling> I see the strong motivation for not allowing general people to go and edit earlier parts of the conversation, and not allowing inserting new posts at the top. People being able to edit somebody else's signed block of text is nuts.
[18:44:31] <legoktm> lwelling: this *is* a wiki
[18:44:32] * mooeypoo is not a plant, she's a pretty flower�
[18:44:47] <legoktm> everything is logged in the history anyways
[18:44:52] <mooeypoo> the irony is that I'm a complete newbie. So I will take the plant idea as a complement. :D
[18:45:05] <lwelling> legoktm, but normal people don't expect talk pages to act like a wiki
[18:45:10] <jorm> So, some sites have a "suggest edits" feature. Do you think that would help solve for some of your concerns?
[18:45:28] <legoktm> lwelling: I think most people do....
[18:45:29] <jorm> (I personally don't suggest edits on other sites, but I do accept suggested edits from time to time)
[18:45:50] <jorm> actually, no. most people - new people, at any rate - are completly surprised by how wiki talk pages work.
[18:45:51] <bawolff> Jorm: a big use case of threads on vp type pages is voting (particularly on non enwikipedia). Will the standard list of *support be supported somehow? (This is supposed to replace vp and afd type things, right?)
[18:46:23] <mooeypoo> legoktm: "ANI" ?
[18:46:25] <jorm> I've seen people start replying by putting the cursor at the top of the screen and hitting return a couple of times because they think it's like email and you top-post reply.
[18:46:25] <lwelling> you get used to the idea, and people mostly play by the socially enforced rules, but it's super wierd that I can fake a reply from another user, or vandalise a real one, and somebody has to check the history and revert
[18:46:40] <legoktm> mooeypoo: Be careful and make sure you don't get sucked in
[18:46:50] <Sven_Manguard> mooeypoo: don't click on that link, just don't
[18:46:59] <legoktm> lwelling: Yet we've let people do that for 10+ years and no one has complained yet?
[18:47:03] <Ypnypn> Bawolff: according to the UseCase documentation, yes
[18:47:04] <jorm> bawolff: I talked earlier about "different discussion type", and mentioned the !vote (but I referred to it explicitly as RFA, AFD, etc).
[18:47:06] <jorm> but yes.
[18:47:18] <jorm> We'll clearly have to have some kind of "enumerated value discussion element"
[18:47:27] <mooeypoo> legoktm: by "full blown forum" I meant more like something like IPB or vB, where your entire purpose is large expansive discussions with random people who often get derailed in discussions even if they're not full-fledged trolls.
[18:47:51] <legoktm> mooeypoo: That is ANI…. ;)
[18:47:52] <Ypnypn> Would it be possible to move discussions to a more relevant place?
[18:47:54] <Moonriddengirl> lwelling, there are occasional issues, but also some advantages I think - if we need to remove inappropriate content pronto (like libel), it's nice that any editor can do it. :)
[18:48:04] <sumanah> mooeypoo: English Wikipedia has various fora that have developed over the years to deal with the kinds of edge cases you only get in a really populated environment. ANI is one of them.
[18:48:05] <mooeypoo> So something like "close thread" is useful... "move thread" to another location, or even "move post" to another thread... etc. It might be useful here too, but not sure it's as easily doable in something like Flow
[18:48:23] <mooeypoo> sumanah / legoktm: I'll check into that
[18:48:24] <jorm> Topic locking, splitting, and merging.
[18:48:38] <jorm> It's actually listed in the "to be implemented" section; I want to get an idea of how those flow around.
[18:48:38] <Eloquence> jorm, the collab posts thing isn't prototyped yet, right?
[18:48:44] <Sven_Manguard> wait, will admins have the ability to actually close a topic?
[18:48:45] <jorm> No, no prototyped collaborative post.
[18:48:50] <jorm> so will users, sven.
[18:48:59] <jorm> Close the topic, apply a summary, and it's locked.
[18:49:07] <jorm> It can be re-opened, but pain in the ass.
[18:49:08] <fabriceflorin> jorm: If I would like to leave a new message on someone else's board, how would I do that? would there be a comment field at the top of your board? Or would it be at the bottom? Is there a way to test that use case on your prototype yet?
[18:49:20] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: that sounds like an invitation for trouble
[18:49:27] <jorm> if a topic is old - say, no replies in 14 days - it'll be "stale" and you'll get a warning before replying.
[18:49:28] <legoktm> ^Seconded.
[18:49:32] <lwelling> legoktm cite needed on "Nobody has complained" but I'm guessing they mostly don't complain they just go away, leading to
[18:49:57] <jorm> There's a "+ New Message" button up at the top, fabrice.
[18:49:58] <mooeypoo> Sven_Manguard: I thought the same, but isn't this the entire idea of MW/Wikis in general? You trust users and you trust even more the community as a whole.
[18:50:15] <Sven_Manguard> mooeypoo: some projects are built on mutual trust
[18:50:25] <Sven_Manguard> the flagship project, English Wikipedia, isn't one of them
[18:50:30] <Sven_Manguard> it's built on constraints
[18:50:46] <sumanah> mooeypoo: I think it's more nuanced than that :-)
[18:50:53] <jorm> let's be honest. a lot of those constraints exist because the software allows for the craziest, dumbest activities.
[18:50:57] <sumanah> (trust *and* constraints)
[18:51:00] <jaredzimmerman> fences make good neighbors
[18:51:02] <legoktm> lwelling: I'm 100% sure that that drop is not *just* because people don't know how to use talk pages.
[18:51:10] <Sven_Manguard> English Wikipedia is built on the assumption that it's going to get hit hard and get hit constantly by people that want to destroy it, and both Wikipedia's culture and it's practices reflect this
[18:51:13] <legoktm> Or because people can edit their comments
[18:51:27] <Eloquence> legoktm, damnit, there goes my plan to dedicate the entire engineering department to flow ;-)
[18:51:27] <mooeypoo> no, of course it is, hehe, but I meant that in general, the idea of wikis is a little more "open" to trusting the user than something like a "strict forum" system like IPB or vB
[18:51:46] <Sven_Manguard> I'm sure that someone in jorm's team is playing the role of "experienced user reminding the team of how bad Wikipedia's community and its vandals can be" but this seems like a horrible oversight
[18:51:48] <legoktm> Eloquence: :P
[18:51:51] <fabriceflorin> jorm: I see the 'New Message' button on my own board, but would that be the same on someone else's board? Would it be helpful to have a comments field open at the top of someone else's board, to make it easier to post a comment?
[18:51:55] <jorm> i think that drop is about a lot of things, many of which we can solve in software, and most of which will be solved with a user-friendly collaboration engine.
[18:52:12] <jorm> it is on all boards, but not feeds, fabrice.
[18:52:22] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: I think that the drop is also culture
[18:52:26] <lwelling> legoktm I'm 100% sure it is not too, but it is one of the parts of wiki functionality users find unwelcoming
[18:52:36] <jorm> jared and i talked about including the new message feature inline but there's issues with real estate.
[18:52:50] <TheDruId> That drop might be partially due to users no longer using socks, for example.
[18:52:59] <jaredzimmerman> fabriceflorin the affordance for starting new threads is something we'll be investigating
[18:53:05] <jorm> it could also be alien abductions.
[18:53:16] <jorm> (which is my bet.)
[18:53:16] <Ypnypn> Jorm: each post takes up several inches of vertical space, far more clutter than on a talk page. Only three posts can be seen at a time
[18:53:22] <jorm> Yup.
[18:53:32] <jorm> and the font's *huge*
[18:53:36] <jorm> you know why?
[18:53:39] <jorm> Because it's more readable.
[18:53:53] <jorm> Less strain on the eyes. Shorter measure means you don't lose your place.
[18:53:56] <Ypnypn> no it's not. I can't see a conversation at a glance
[18:54:01] <legoktm> lwelling: Well at the core, Wikipedia is a is a "wiki", something that anyone can edit. Except for security risks and high-vandalism targets, we let people edit anything, including other people's posts. We trust that people don't refactor other people's comments, and it works well enough. Removing that ability is going to cause major problems.
[18:54:02] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: but for people in their 20s, can it be shrunk?
[18:54:03] <fabriceflorin> norm jaredzimmerman : Cool. I couldn't figure out a way to leave a message on someone else's board with the current prototype. Hence the question about how that would behave ..  :)
[18:54:08] <Sven_Manguard> agree with Ypnypn
[18:54:12] <Sven_Manguard> It's *too* big
[18:54:21] <TheDruId> That's something I fix by icreasing the zoom level.
[18:54:36] <sumanah> I'm sure that whatever we create will consider a11y
[18:54:49] <Sven_Manguard> TheDruId: which is a poor hack for what should be an easy user interface option to implement
[18:54:54] <sumanah> (accessibility to people with motor dysfunction, different levels of eyesight, colorblindness, etc.)
[18:55:07] <jorm> if you have to add a preference to fix your behaviors you probably didn't get the behaviors right.
[18:55:14] <jorm> i want to delete ALL preferences from mediawiki.
[18:55:25] <jorm> except maybe one. "Opt in to experimental features"
[18:55:31] <Eloquence> I don't disagree with the spacing concerns. talk pages can get a pretty high velocity and I'm wondering if we can do a bit of tweaking to help people scan large threads more quickly.
[18:55:32] <jaredzimmerman> but thats for a different office hours
[18:55:38] <sumanah> yeah
[18:55:48] <fabriceflorin> jorm : On a related note, would there be a 'Leave a message for this user' button on someone else's user profile, that would make it easy for me to drop you a note, even if I don't know what boards or talk pages mean?
[18:56:07] <Ypnypn> good idea
[18:56:16] <jorm> I'm certain that will be part of the GlobalProfile project, fabrice.
[18:56:28] <jorm> but profiles aren't in this baileywick.
[18:56:41] <jorm> Okay. We've got four minutes left, officially.
[18:57:08] <fabriceflorin> jorm: Fair enough. Just asking naive user questions, so we keep them on our radar, even if they get implemented later.
[18:57:10] <legoktm> One last question, will it be possible to move threads across wikis with the use of Special:Export/Import?
[18:57:13] <jorm> Any serious, firey hatred?
[18:57:17] <mooeypoo> I am not sure I agreew ith the 'no preferences' sentiment, but this is probably not the time to discuss it.
[18:57:29] <jorm> legoktm: I would dearly love that. but i think that's *way* in the future.
[18:57:47] <Eloquence> mooeypoo, no preferences will never happen, so staking out an extreme position may be necessary to make any headway at all :)
[18:57:48] <jorm> I don't see why you can't export them, though, like we do normal wiki stuff. but just repointing them to a different wiki, i dunno.
[18:57:52] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: I can certainly convince myself to get all firey over the size of the posts and the interface
[18:58:00] <Sven_Manguard> and the whitespace
[18:58:02] <bawolff> Lots of our current prefs are pretty stupid
[18:58:18] <TheDruId> While I'm not a fan of 'change-for-the-sake-of-change', I do see this as a worthwhile improvement.
[18:58:23] <fabriceflorin> jorm: I just want to say this prototype is **awesome!**. I am really, really impressed with all the great progress you've made in recent weeks. It seems herculean, both in scope and quality. Kudos, man!
[18:58:24] <mooeypoo> Eloquence: That would suggest there is place for the other extreme. Perhaps I should start advocating *everything* should have a preference :D
[18:58:31] <Eloquence> hee.
[18:58:31] <legoktm> jorm: One other thing as something to consider might be a maintenance script (if even needed) to convert DPL forum --> Flow
[18:58:39] <legoktm> Would be awesome for third-party wikis
[18:58:49] <bawolff> Dpl forum!
[18:59:01] <bawolff> People use that?
[18:59:01] <jorm> legoktm: I have a rather nasty perl script that attempts to translate talk pages into flow postings.
[18:59:21] <legoktm> bawolff: yup :D
[18:59:22] <Ypnypn> ultimately, if talk pages are eventually eliminated, will archives be preserved
[18:59:26] <jorm> writing it *bent my brain* and i was exposed to cthulhu while doing so.
[18:59:28] <legoktm> jorm: heh, perl. :/
[18:59:28] <mooeypoo> oh! I have a question! almost forgot -- can you link to a specific conversation?
[18:59:29] <Eloquence> you have a nasty perl script? that's redundant.
[18:59:34] <jorm> yes, archives will be preserved.
[18:59:43] <mooeypoo> even to cross-link inside another conversation or something like that
[19:00:02] <jorm> mooeypoo: yup! that's teh single topic view. it talks a bit about this in the instructions page.
[19:00:10] * mooeypoo nods�
[19:00:17] <lwelling> legoktm, I don't disagree. All mediawiki change proposals are a balancing act between keeping the old guard, who've given countless hours to the project, happy, while also creating a place that new editors want to come back to and contribute hours too also. It can't be a museumlike preserved space that the same greying set of people from 2005 feel at home in but nobody replaces them as they dwindle.
[19:00:26] <mooeypoo> awesome. Would be helpful to have that option for a specific reply too if possible.
[19:00:41] <Ypnypn> 2005 people aren't graying yet
[19:00:52] <legoktm> lwelling: I don't see what that has to do with editing other peoples comments?
[19:01:20] <mooeypoo> Ypnypn: Wait 'till wikis have *everything* in preferences. That'll do it.
[19:01:26] <jorm> Okay. So, we are going to continue to iterate over the designs.
[19:01:30] <sumanah> btw mooeypoo and other people interested in product design at Wikimedia, is a list you could check out
[19:01:42] <jorm> If you're interested in following the changes, put in your watch list.
[19:01:43] <mooeypoo> oooh awesome, thanks sumanah
[19:01:55] <jorm> and please leave feedback on that talk page, so that we have it in the open and can discuss it there.
[19:02:04] <jorm> There's a LOT of stuff up at Flow Portal.
[19:02:21] <sumanah> jorm: so there'll be the 1 Flow portal on - no cross-wiki stuff?
[19:02:32] <jorm> And we'll be actually creating additional ones on enwiki and meta (so that we don't require people to leave thier home wiki)
[19:02:33] * sumanah checks in, thought it'd be different�
[19:02:35] <sumanah> oh ok!
[19:02:57] <jorm> And additional office hours to be scheduled, the next one at (i think) 3 am. my time local.
[19:03:10] <jorm> Or something like that.
[19:03:17] <jaredzimmerman> Thanks everyone for feedback, its extremely helpful to us
[19:03:22] <Ypnypn> wait, when will Flow finally be on?
[19:03:25] <sumanah> jorm: let me know whenever you put it up at and I'll help advertise it
[19:03:26] <Moonriddengirl> lwelling: I'm not sure "some greying set of people from 2005" is a really good way to make sure that older contributors feel valued as well.
[19:03:33] <Eloquence> jorm, thanks for all the work on the prototype so far :)
[19:03:40] <sumanah> yes, thank you jorm
[19:03:49] <Sven_Manguard> thanks jorm
[19:03:55] <howief> yes - it's really helped push the convo forward
[19:03:56] <Ypnypn> thank you jorm
[19:04:01] <fabriceflorin> jorm: Here, here! And thanks for all the constructive comments from everyone on this chat ...
[19:04:06] <jorm> I have a thing I have to go to in half an hour, but you know me - I'm always around and willing to answer questions at any time.
[19:04:06] <legoktm> thanks jorm
[19:04:18] <sumanah> jorm: do you feel like you're getting a sufficient level of feedback from people who read/write very different languages than English?
[19:04:27] <Moonriddengirl> jorm, it looks like an exciting innovation from where I sit. :)
[19:04:28] <jorm> sumanah: no. i do not.
[19:04:31] * sumanah is curious about that and about cultural differences in what people want�
[19:04:38] <Krenair> <jorm> And we'll be actually creating additional ones on enwiki and meta (so that we don't require people to leave thier home wiki)
[19:04:39] <Krenair> um
[19:04:42] <jorm> it may be that i won't need a lot of it.
[19:04:58] <jorm> but one never knows. localizing these things to french is always enlightening.
[19:05:04] <Krenair> Surely requiring them to visit enwiki/mediawikiwiki/metawiki for most people requires leaving their home wiki
[19:05:05] <lwelling> Moonriddengirl, I just mean that to stay vibrant the community has to recruit, otherwise it will eventually fade away
[19:05:20] <sumanah> I'm wondering about Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Urdu....
[19:05:23] <mooeypoo> jorm: French? Try Hebrew and Arabic. RTL, man.
[19:05:23] <Maryana> there was a comment from a russian wikipedian on some mailing list thread – he referrenced livejournal, which is fascinating :) it'd be good to keep in mind that different folks from around the world have different expectations for discussion systems
[19:05:40] <jorm> Krenair, I am well aware of the irony in having to set up multiple conversation portals to discuss a conversation system.
[19:06:02] <Eloquence> we'll make a facebook group *runs*
[19:06:02] <Krenair> ... not the point but that too :P
[19:06:17] <jorm> Nah. Hebrew and Arabic are actually fairly easy, imo. It's when the French have 6 words for 2 word phrases that gets me.
[19:06:44] <legoktm> Eloquence: For every like, the WMF will donate $1 to starving developers around the world!
[19:06:45] <jorm> "rate this" becomes 65 characters long.
[19:07:00] <Moonriddengirl> lwelling, good to hear. But our recruitment efforts are, I hope, age-blind. :D
[19:07:30] <Eloquence> legoktm, yes .. somewhat oddly concentrated in the south of market area of san francisco ...
[19:07:30] <mooeypoo> jorm: French is just using 12 letters for 2 syllables. RTL languages have mixes of LTR/RTL that really make things problematic... dates, for example, where the numerals appear the other way around, or parenths, etc.
[19:07:55] <sumanah> I have heard that in East Asia people strongly prefer to use weak pseudonyms or be completely anonymous (as opposed to the long-held pseudonym style that many Westerners favor). Is that so? Would it affect the design of a conversation system like this?
[19:08:03] <jorm> mooeypoo: we'll get that handled. we've got a handful of people with localization experience.
[19:08:06] <Maryana> alrighty, time for lunch. thanks, everyone, it's been real
[19:08:30] <lwelling> I hope so too Moonriddengirl :) But I'm pretty sure those who choose to hang around go grey at _at_least_ the same rate as the general population
[19:08:44] <sumanah> jorm: mooeypoo is actually aiming to work on VisualEditor RTL as a GSoC project this summer
[19:09:00] <sumanah> so she will become quite familiar with our i18n/l10n folks!
[19:09:14] <jorm> there we go.
[19:09:59] <mooeypoo> I thought I was the plant.
[19:10:03] <Moonriddengirl> Yes, and grey or not they may be vibrant enough to keep the community thriving. :)
[19:11:01] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: I don't mean to press too much, but really, is there going to be sizing options in the final version?
[19:11:03] <sumanah> GorillaWarfare in case you have a burning desire to read the meeting logs :-)
[19:11:27] <Sven_Manguard> I can't stand how large everything is, it slows everything down for me
[19:11:29] <jorm> probably not, sven. that's not a great experience.
[19:11:38] <jorm> but we'll take a look at it.
[19:11:47] <mooeypoo> Isn't this something that can be fixed by CSS ?
[19:11:52] <jorm> sumanah: can you post that log to the village pump?
[19:11:53] <GorillaWarfare> Thanks sumanah
[19:12:00] <lwelling> Sven your browser has a sizing option ... although depending on the browser it resets on reload
[19:12:10] <sumanah> jorm: sure, willdo.
[19:12:46] <Sven_Manguard> I have Firefox, but if I have to change the size of everything to make talk pages readabally small, there's going to be collateral for everything else I read
[19:13:05] <jorm> you still have a user.css, d00d.
[19:13:26] <Sven_Manguard> jorm: please keep in mind that many users have no idea how to do anything with those
[19:13:41] <jorm> trust me, i kow.
[19:13:56] <Sven_Manguard> A lot of websites have that thing with the different sized As AAA that allow them to change sizes for text on a page
[19:14:15] <Sven_Manguard> realistically how hard would it be to give people the option?
[19:17:04] <lwelling> Sven_Manguard you would not like my solution :) At the same time as talk pages getting bigger fonts, body copy on every page does, so you can shrink it all evenly
[19:17:36] <Sven_Manguard> lwelling: you're right, I think that is a terrible idea
[19:17:57] <Sven_Manguard> to me, if something is absurdly large, it's not professional looking
[19:18:02] <mooeypoo> I actually agree this should be an option for people. I personally don't mind it's bigger in the talk page, but I think users should probably have the option. Is it possible to make 2 different "themes" for this that the user can prick from?
[19:18:12] <mooeypoo> pick. pick from. wow that was a bad typo.
[19:20:17] <lwelling> My neutrally phrased opinion actaully is that they should be the same. If that is the correct size for user expectations on the 2013 web then it should apply to all pages. If it is not then it should both be adjusted to whatever is, but I don't see why articles and talkpages should be different
[19:20:40] <mooeypoo> Sven_Manguard: Worse comes to worse, it can be an extension :\
[19:22:44] <Sven_Manguard> mooeypoo: no, worst comes to worst there's a large scale rejection of Flow by experienced editors and implementation becomes a bloodbath
[19:23:09] <Sven_Manguard> the community tends to make implementation difficult as it is
[19:23:44] <mooeypoo> Good point.
[19:24:39] <mooeypoo> Sven_Manguard: I agree with you, I think users should decide for themselves, but I have no idea how hard this may be to implement - maybe if they see this becomes a bigger problem, it'll be something that is worked on for the next versions. For the moment it's still in the initial stages, no?