IRC office hours/Office hours 2013-10-17

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Chat on Flow
Thursday 17 October 2013
18:00 - 19:00 UTC

[18:06:43] <Ironholds> hey PinkAmpersand :)
[18:06:50] <PinkAmpersand> afternoon :)
[18:07:18] <Finnegan> So I hear we're talking or something?
[18:07:29] <Ironholds> PinkAmpersand: here for Flow?
[18:07:47] <Ironholds> Finnegan: yep, although if nobody has any thoughts we're happy to just wander off
[18:08:01] <PinkAmpersand> here because legoktm posted a link in a very intimidating way, and I was scared of what would happen if I didn't click on it
[18:08:05] <PinkAmpersand> but Flow's cool too
[18:08:11] <Maryana> haha
[18:08:11] <PinkAmpersand> *the link
[18:08:17] <Ironholds> PinkAmpersand: bahaha
[18:08:25] <Ironholds> I can't imagine legoktm being intimidating
[18:08:30] <Ironholds> "nice IRC channel, shame if it got netsplit"
[18:08:32] <legoktm>  :<
[18:08:32] <Maryana> ah, all-caps
[18:08:41] <legoktm> well i have a question
[18:08:46] <Maryana> shoot :)
[18:08:50] <PinkAmpersand> I've been up for 24 hours, as always. Everything's intimidating, man.
[18:09:02] * PinkAmpersand shuts up so people can be serious�
[18:09:14] <Ironholds> PinkAmpersand: have you ever known me to be serious?
[18:09:40] <legoktm> the first deployment is for "wikiprojects", are there specific pages that are being converted? where do projects sign up? can people volunteer their userpages?
[18:09:47] <legoktm> s/userpages/user talk pages/
[18:10:04] <Maryana> legoktm: any wikiproject that's interested
[18:10:12] <quiddity> Greetings folks, we had a scheduling error, that made it through 3 proofreaders, so the official meta page says Oct 17, but the note we sent to other places said Nov 17, so today will probably be a bit quiet... >.>
[18:10:37] <Maryana> legoktm: you can let me or quiddity know if you're in a project that might be interested :)
[18:10:41] <NativeForeigner> ah got it
[18:11:24] * PinkAmpersand tries to find the most change-resistant WikiProject to nominate for Flow beta-testing�
[18:11:26] <legoktm> all the wikiprojects i'm a part of are dead, but i'll see if i can thnk of any :P
[18:11:38] <quiddity> legoktm, specifically, leave a note at
[18:11:40] <NativeForeigner> Milhist tends to be
[18:11:43] <NativeForeigner> change resistant
[18:11:46] <Maryana> PinkAmpersand: good luck with that. some milhisters were interested :D
[18:12:13] <Finnegan> Milhist is the only wikiproject that's not moribund, really
[18:12:17] <legoktm> quiddity: you should probably spam that link to WP:VPT :)
[18:12:24] <PinkAmpersand> hmmm. is there, like, a "WikiProject We Hate Everything the WMF Does?" (punchline: yeah, it's called the village pump)
[18:12:26] <Ironholds> NativeForeigner: actually they seem pretty optimistic about it
[18:12:44] <NativeForeigner> really? I haven't been a coord since 2011 which would explain a change in opinion.
[18:12:49] <Ironholds> PinkAmpersand: Finnegan's statement suggests not ;p
[18:12:58] <Ironholds> NativeForeigner: yeah, check out the talkpage; people seem pretty positive
[18:13:07] <Maryana> we don't need projects to be super-active. the first release is going to be more of a trial that helps us understand what additional features to build/bugs to fix/etc.
[18:13:10] <Finnegan> Maryana: more seriously, Wikiproject Editor Retention on enwp might be receptive. They tend to want to be user-friendly, which is what Flow is supposed to do, right?
[18:13:32] <Maryana> Finnegan: if they're interested
[18:16:11] <QueenOfFrance> Finnegan: isn't editor retention about retaining old editors?
[18:16:21] <NativeForeigner> it is
[18:16:27] <QueenOfFrance> :D
[18:18:43] <Finnegan> QueenOfFrance: as best I can tell, no one is quite sure who they want to retain and/or gather. Everyone has a different idea.
[18:18:57] <QueenOfFrance> Finnegan: that was my impression too
[18:19:02] <Ironholds> Finnegan: well, if they're interested they can approach us as MILHIST did (praise be to Dank!)
[18:19:08] <Ironholds> ditto anyone else who is interested
[18:19:25] <Ironholds> in terms of releasing to specific user talk pages; we're not talking about that namespace at the moment, I'm afriad
[18:19:27] <Ironholds> *afraid
[18:19:37] <PinkAmpersand>  :(
[18:19:53] * PinkAmpersand heads off to start his own WikiProject so he can play with Flow�
[18:20:13] <QueenOfFrance> PinkAmpersand: can't you do that on labs or wherever? :P
[18:20:14] <Ironholds> but when we do roll out, I'm sure we'll look for victi- uhh. willing volunteers.
[18:20:45] <PinkAmpersand> QueenOfFrance: lame
[18:21:29] <Ironholds> QueenOfFrance: we have a labs instance, actually!
[18:21:42] <Ironholds> ech, PinkAmpersand
[18:21:48] <Ironholds> it's buggy and not really a proper prototype, but it exists
[18:21:55] <NativeForeigner> the main thing I dislike reading the proposal is simply the line you guys have in terms of whitespace
[18:22:08] <QueenOfFrance> I tried it once and I couldn't understand it at all :(
[18:22:08] <PinkAmpersand> haha i've fiddled with it before :)
[18:22:14] <Finnegan> so, guys, I'm going to ask a question that's probably not answerable as I ask it, but might give you some food for thought in how to approach the community about adoption: say I'm Joe Schmoe user. What functions/workflows am I used to using now, on non-Flow, that I will not have access to with Flow? (I know, you're automatically thinking "you won't LOSE
[18:22:14] <Finnegan> anything, but...". Ignore that impulse. Think as a normal user, who will find that they have to do things differently all of a sudden, or can't do them at all)
[18:22:20] * PinkAmpersand tried rephrasing that content like three times to not sound dirty, and then gave up�
[18:22:49] <Ironholds> NativeForeigner: howso?
[18:23:18] <NativeForeigner> I edit on two landscape monitors, and although I understand the text may be more readable, simply having more available to me at any given time is an important thing to me
[18:23:19] <ebernhardson> Finnegan: well, most workflows that you have outside discussions arn't going to be supported in the MVP, which is why the MVP release is for wikiprojects rather than user talk or article talk pages
[18:23:25] <Ironholds> Finnegan: that's kind of a complex question (with a pretty complex answer. Maryana, tell me if I get this wrong)
[18:23:38] * Ironholds whaps ebernhardson . Inside baseball! Finnegan, "MVP" - the first version we throw out�
[18:23:43] <quiddity> NativeForeigner, the Design FAQ has some details on the whitespace, see
[18:23:43] <ebernhardson> :P
[18:24:00] <NativeForeigner> quiddity: which I have read. It attempts to set my priorities.
[18:24:00] <ebernhardson> MVP === minimum viable product
[18:24:12] <Ironholds> Finnegan: so, the answer right now is 'we don't know'. I promise that's less apocalyptic than it sounds
[18:24:23] <NativeForeigner> I don't mind that as default but why not include options in terms of width?
[18:24:40] <Ironholds> part of Flow is going to be a system for building workflows - so, "user closes a discussion on pageX, it does Y" sort of thing
[18:24:46] <QueenOfFrance> quiddity: I have read the FAQ, the prototype still wastes 2/3 of my monitor...
[18:25:03] <Ironholds> think of it as being a bit like the existing template-based workflows (the unblock template, say!) but actually integrated with mediawiki
[18:25:07] <quiddity> NativeForeigner, additionally, the initial design is experimental in nature and intent, and will be changing based on feedback and onwiki testing, over the coming months.
[18:25:09] <Finnegan> ebernhardson: what sort of workflows outside of discussion? Like, I can no longer email users? I can't read their contribs? I can't edit articles? (yes, that's purposeful Reductio ad absurdum. I think.)
[18:25:25] <Ironholds> our plan is to start working out what processes people have, and therefore what we need to support
[18:25:30] <Maryana> Finnegan: uh, no, you can still do all of those things
[18:25:35] <Ironholds> so the answer is likely to be "everything will change, but we shouldn't lose capacity"
[18:25:36] <Maryana>  :)
[18:25:53] <NativeForeigner> makes sense quiddity, I don't disagree with the arguments made but having the flexibility either way is quite important to me
[18:25:58] <Ironholds> so, you won't necessarily find the unblock templates working; instead you might find 'requesting an unblock' actually, properly integrated in mediawiki so that it notifies you the conversation is going on.
[18:26:06] * Finnegan is asking this because, from past experience, I'd say that where you get pushback from the community is where you're telling them they can't do thing X the way they're used to doing it, or they can't make X happen. As opposed to "hey, now you can do X, which you couldn't do before!"�
[18:26:07] <Ironholds> Maryana can explain this better than me.
[18:26:11] <Maryana> Finnegan: the only thing that will change for you as a user is that when you go to a flow-enabled talk page, you'll see some boxes to type in, instead of a wiki page :)
[18:26:18] <PinkAmpersand> too tired to pay attention to this stuff, and too lazy to troll, so think i'll be heading out. :P ttyl Ironholds
[18:26:40] <Ironholds> PinkAmpersand: laters, dude :D
[18:26:46] <Ironholds> oh god, I've gone californian.
[18:27:17] <NativeForeigner> Cheers
[18:27:22] <PinkAmpersand> well my y'all-ing has increased 150% since moving south fo the Mason-Dixon Line, so I feel ya
[18:27:54] <Ironholds> PinkAmpersand: bless your heart ;p
[18:27:56] <duh> Ironholds: californians say hella :)
[18:28:05] <marktraceur> duh: Northern Californians
[18:28:15] <duh> marktraceur: better* californians
[18:28:23] <marktraceur> duh: Ironholds is inexplicably turning into a Southern Californian
[18:28:29] <duh>  :(
[18:28:33] <QueenOfFrance> The thing with the fixed width is that to me, no matter what eye resting thing you put for it, it's still 2/3 of the monitor I don't get any use out of, and instead get white light from. I keep having to scroll, scroll, scroll
[18:28:54] <duh> [18:24:40] <Ironholds> part of Flow is going to be a system for building workflows - so, "user closes a discussion on pageX, it does Y" sort of thing <-- Ironholds: how much overlap do you think there will be with
[18:29:00] <QueenOfFrance> If it's not possible to have a non-fixed layout as mediawiki is normally, then at least double its size...
[18:29:30] <ebernhardson> in addition to what flow does my default, mediawiki offers a plethora of ways for users to customize their viewing via user specific and gadget css/javascript, so while flow may default to a certain width there is nothing preventing users from changing that
[18:29:42] <Ironholds> duh: not seen that; hangon
[18:30:04] <duh> Ironholds: i dont need a response now, just wondering
[18:30:22] <duh> also, i think somewhere it was mentioned that flow uses infinite scrolling? is there a non-JS fallback?
[18:30:36] <Ironholds> duh: should be overlap in function, but I don't see any reference to that actually progressing
[18:30:49] <Ironholds> (like, internally, I've heard bupkis about it from Howie et al, even as we've been determining what is in Flow)
[18:31:05] <Ironholds> there will be a non-JS fallback for Flow; it might be a bit ugly and not have all of the functionality, but it will have the necessary stuff
[18:31:19] <duh> Ironholds: yeah it's not. It's just on my list of "things I'd like to eventually do in the future someday maybe"
[18:31:24] <duh> Ironholds: is that in the MVP?
[18:31:28] <Ironholds> duh: then, yes, overlap
[18:31:31] <Ironholds> the non-JS site?
[18:31:34] <duh> yeah
[18:31:44] <duh> > Topics and posts will not be archived; instead, they will be lazy-loaded, with less recent conversations accessible by scrolling down.
[18:31:49] <Ironholds> duh: sorta, albeit not explicitly called out
[18:32:00] <quiddity> QueenOfFrance, I think that's possibly a bug (or unimplemented feature), the designers say that it should (now or eventually) be responsive to monitor/window size.
[18:32:01] <Ironholds> so, our use of 'MVP' is...nonstandard (something I have taken issue with, don't worry)
[18:32:17] <T13|needsCoffee> Is there a mockup of flow available to test yet? I remember seeing middle of October on some road map someplace.
[18:32:21] <Ironholds> MVP is "the first release prototype" not "the thing where, if we were all hit by a bus after deploying it, we would have something that meets the test of replacing talkpages"
[18:32:30] <QueenOfFrance> quiddity: okey so you're saying the 65% white space is a bug? That's a relief to hear
[18:32:32] <Ironholds> T13|needsCoffee: yep, let me grab the URL
[18:33:08] <Ironholds> T13|needsCoffee: - it's buggy and prototype-y and you shouldn't assume the interface is concrete, but it's there
[18:33:11] <quiddity> Yup
[18:33:29] <duh> Ironholds: right, so when I say MVP I'm talking about the first enwiki deployment for wikiprojects
[18:34:09] <Ironholds> duh: yep. Goood question; ebernhardson, Maryana?
[18:35:08] <Maryana> everything piece of core flow functionality we're building has a non-JS fallback of some sort, yes
[18:35:11] <Maryana> *every
[18:35:27] <Maryana> though it's likely to need some adjustments
[18:35:29] <duh> Maryana: So can I add "there will be a non-JS fallback" to that part of the MVP page?
[18:35:43] <Maryana> sure, go for it :)
[18:36:07] <T13|needsCoffee> Maryana: is that non-js fallback available on the page Ironholds just linked for testing?
[18:36:36] <Maryana> should be - go try it out :)
[18:36:44] <Maryana> and let us know what's borked, please
[18:36:49] <T13|needsCoffee>  :) Will do...
[18:37:14] <duh> cool, done
[18:39:33] <T13|needsCoffee> Want my bug reports for that on Bugzilla or -corefeatures?
[18:39:35] * quiddity notices a lack of indent (and other needed styling) in the non-js version, and makes a note...�
[18:39:56] <duh> Maryana: oh right, I also asked this on the talk page but assume you just haven't seen my reply yet. If you turn off flow due to something breaking/world ending/etc, will we still be able to access the discussions?
[18:40:16] <Maryana> yes
[18:40:28] <Maryana> we can port all existing flow discussions back into wikitext
[18:40:33] <duh> <3
[18:40:36] <Maryana> :D
[18:40:39] <duh> that is awesome.
[18:41:29] <quiddity> T13|needsCoffee, in corefeatures would be fine :)
[18:41:30] <Ironholds> T13|needsCoffee: either works, but BZ is good - we have it integrated with our mingle thingy.
[18:41:35] <quiddity> >.>
[18:41:42] <T13|needsCoffee> Lol..
[18:41:47] <duh> If you have that functionality, it would be really cool if there was some kind of read-only way to get wikitext via the API
[18:42:04] <T13|needsCoffee> I'll put them on bz and !b #### in corefeatures
[18:42:34] <Ironholds> duh: that is, wikitext from Flow?
[18:42:44] <Ironholds> the API already handles exporting wikitext for everything else, of course
[18:43:17] <duh> Ironholds: if i give the name of the flow discussion, the API returns the wikitext equivalent for it
[18:43:41] <Ironholds> duh: good question. ebernhardson?
[18:43:58] <Ironholds> T13|needsCoffee: awesome!
[18:44:13] <duh> More technical question…why does the flow API not use the standard edit token?
[18:44:23] <Ironholds> also for ebernhardson!
[18:44:26] <duh>  :)
[18:44:30] <Ironholds> I didn't know we even had an API yet ;p
[18:44:47] <duh> It looks very similar to the LQT API.
[18:44:59] <duh> I already found a bug too :)
[18:45:23] <Ironholds> duh: ooh! threw it in BZ?
[18:45:37] <duh> I'm submitting a patch, it's pretty stupid
[18:45:42] <Ironholds> heh
[18:46:37] <T13|needsCoffee> Someone want to put wm-bot in -corefeatures since I'm lazy and don't want to have to configure rights? :p
[18:47:37] <Maryana> we don't wanna make that channel too noisy :)
[18:47:44] <Maryana> we already have gerrit bot
[18:48:28] <ebernhardson> Ironholds: doh i wasn't paying attention, what? :)
[18:48:39] <ebernhardson> read only wikitext? yes that already works
[18:48:55] <duh> ebernhardson: is there an API module that exposes it?
[18:49:00] <ebernhardson> from our js its something like mw.api.flow.readTopicBlock( workflowId ) or some such
[18:49:19] <T13|needsCoffee> wm-bot only talks when told to if feeds aren't enabled. :)
[18:49:24] <ebernhardson> duh: the simple answer is yes, the detailed answer is a little different :)
[18:49:44] <duh> heh, good enough for me. I'll bug you later about it :)
[18:49:58] <ebernhardson> duh: well, its just that behind the scenes flow only has 1 api call
[18:50:05] <T13|needsCoffee> Heh heh.. duh said bug
[18:50:29] <duh> ebernhardson: also [11:44:13 AM] <duh> More technical question…why does the flow API not use the standard edit token?
[18:50:34] <ebernhardson> duh: and that hooks into a, for lack of better description, widgeting solution that flow uses to build workflows
[18:50:55] <ebernhardson> duh: that widgeting solution provides the same data via api as is available via standard html pages, just in json format
[18:51:17] <ebernhardson> duh: because werdna wrote it :P It uses an edit token its just using the 'flow' prefix or some such
[18:51:29] <ebernhardson> duh: but its the standard core edit token code that we get the edit token from
[18:51:37] <duh> so its not using a custom salt?
[18:51:55] <duh> $wgFlowTokenSalt
[18:51:59] <ebernhardson> it is, but imo thats still the standard edit token :P
[18:52:09] <duh> so it *might* be the same as a standard edit token, or not.
[18:52:16] <ebernhardson> i'm thinking from a "what code path does it follow"
[18:52:27] <duh> I'm just looking at the API module
[18:52:30] <ebernhardson> in which case, its the same code path just with different parameters
[18:52:38] <ebernhardson> i dunno how that works from a frontend standpoint really
[18:52:54] <ebernhardson> what reasons are there to not salt it so i can bring it up with werdna?
[18:52:55] <duh> i'll file a bug for it
[18:53:06] <ebernhardson> ok
[18:54:09] <Maryana> ok, i guess we should wrap this up :) we'll try to schedule a more real office hours next week
[18:54:21] <Maryana> duh, feel free to keep chatting in #wikimedia-corefeatures
[18:54:29] <duh> will do :)
[18:54:30] <Maryana> ^ ditto anybody who's interested in chatting with us
[18:54:51] * T13|needsCoffee is already there..�