IRC office hours/Office hours 2014-03-17

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Chat on VisualEditor
Wednesday 17 March 2014
1500 - 1600 UTC

[15:00:40] <Maggie_Dennis> Hello, everyone, and welcome to the VisualEditor office hour for 3/17. :) I just want to remind you that this channel is logged and that these logs will be posted on Meta.
[15:01:00] <Maggie_Dennis> We have with us James_F, aka James Forrester, the product manager for VisualEditor.
[15:01:10] <James_F> (Heya.)
[15:01:19] <Maggie_Dennis> Hi, James_F. :)
[15:01:29] <Maggie_Dennis> Does anyone have any questions for James?
[15:02:00] <Micru> yes! I have a question regarding VisualEditor -> wikidata integration
[15:02:05] <Maggie_Dennis> Hi, Micru. :)
[15:02:31] <Micru> (actually it is more a follow-up of past conversations :))
[15:02:34] <Maggie_Dennis> Go ahead, please. :)
[15:02:39] <Micru> hi Maggie_Dennis
[15:02:40] <James_F> Hey Micru. :-)
[15:03:35] <Micru> my main question is when is it planned to start working on Wikidata-Infoboxes-Templates? Is it planned for this year?
[15:04:01] <James_F> So, by "Wikidata-Infoboxes-Templates", what do you mean?
[15:04:17] <Micru> I wrote a little dissertation here >>
[15:04:19] <James_F> Is it "being able in VE to insert a template that uses Wikidata"?
[15:04:25] <James_F> That should work now.
[15:04:35] * James_F scans quickly.�
[15:04:42] <Micru> more like "edit Wikidata values from VisualEditor"
[15:04:53] <James_F> Oh, right. Interesting question.
[15:05:18] <James_F> So I've been speaking to some of the Wikidata development team about what we can do in this area.
[15:05:45] <James_F> In general, it's something I'd like to see happen, but we've not got specific plans to work on it.
[15:05:54] <James_F> The most obvious place to start is language links.
[15:06:19] <Micru> I thought language links were already "mastered" by VE?
[15:06:20] <James_F> There are a number of concerns related to community interaction (how do you know to follow the rules of Wikidata if you're editing the German Wikipedia? Etc.)
[15:06:33] <James_F> No, they're read-only in VE.
[15:06:40] <Micru> ahh, ok
[15:07:09] <James_F> So whereas before Wikidata was rolled-out, you could edit language links locally, now you can't, except for the occasional local over-rides.
[15:07:29] <Micru> I was thinking that it could be useful to let each wikipedia decide which template fields connect to Wikidata, like this >>
[15:07:33] <James_F> Because it's so rare, and the Wikidata cross-project editing workflow wasn't worked out, we didn't want to rush in and disrupt things.
[15:07:46] * James_F nods.�
[15:07:59] <Micru> but that requires to specify on each template what are the WD equivalent properties...
[15:08:12] <James_F> True, but this is what TemplateData is for. :-)
[15:08:19] <Micru> So my second question was regarding that ;)
[15:08:43] <Micru> I know that in Commons there was a long RFC, but I don't know if there is any decission taken
[15:08:57] * James_F nods.�
[15:09:06] <James_F> I think the Commons RfC didn't reach a conclusion.
[15:09:16] <James_F> If I'm wrong, I'd love to be corrected. :-)
[15:09:29] <James_F> There were concerns about TemplateData, right?
[15:09:39] <Micru>
[15:09:56] <Micru> more or less the consensus was "Commons should support moving TemplateData to its own namespace"
[15:09:57] <James_F> Oh, hmm.
[15:10:32] <James_F> Well, I don't really see how that's a useful RfC, unless they're planning to do the work to make MediaWiki support related namespaces. :-)
[15:10:47] <Micru> He, he :)
[15:11:06] <James_F> Certainly it's an outcome I think would be great, but it's a very large amount of complicated work.
[15:11:17] <Micru> So what is going to be the course of action?
[15:11:34] <James_F> And that's going to need at least one technical MW RfC to propose a way to do it, ideally with code attached.
[15:12:08] <James_F> It's not a high development priority for the VE team; if other people want to do it, we may be able to offer support and advice.
[15:12:55] <Micru> Unfortunately I cannot think of anyone with enough knowledge ready to lead the discusion....
[15:13:13] * James_F nods.�
[15:13:37] <Micru> James_F, if you could suggest anyone, maybe I could ask?
[15:13:55] <Micru> No idea who was working on that in the past...
[15:14:05] <James_F> It's a hard area to make changes in; it's not really been changed since 2003.
[15:15:11] <Micru> The main benefits seem to be for VE, right? Or are there any parties interested?
[15:15:12] <James_F> I would suggest starting a draft RfC on and asking for input?
[15:15:43] <James_F> Multimedia would probably like it for their file metadata work.
[15:16:00] <James_F> (File data:… alongside File:… and File talk:…)
[15:16:22] <Micru> Ok, James_F, I'll try to draft it the best I can...
[15:16:26] <James_F> And it would let us have Template data… and Template… and Template documentation:… maybe.
[15:16:36] <Micru> which points should it address? Template data? Template docu?
[15:17:13] <James_F> The general problem (no way to associate blobs with blobs), and particular examples that would benefit from it.
[15:17:20] <James_F> I'll ask people to help.
[15:17:28] * Micru makes a mental note�
[15:17:54] <Micru> Ok, I need to think about it and do some research before writing anything
[15:17:58] <James_F> Cool.
[15:18:04] * Elitre raises hand for the next question.�
[15:18:10] <James_F> Feel free to e-mail me or shout on IRC. :-)
[15:18:26] <Micru> Cool, thanks! :) Elitre, your turn ;)
[15:18:36] <Maggie_Dennis> Thanks, Micru. :)
[15:18:47] <Elitre> Hiii :) James, would you please update us about where we are with ULS integration in VisualEditor.
[15:18:56] <James_F> Hey Elitre. :-)
[15:19:11] <Elitre> (ULS = Universal Language Selector), for those who were on another planet lately :)
[15:19:16] <James_F> So from the outside perspective integration with ULS hasn't progressed very much. :-(
[15:19:27] <James_F> (I assume you mean ULS's IME, rather than other things?)
[15:19:45] <Elitre> yes, I do.
[15:19:49] <James_F> Right.
[15:20:07] <James_F> So, ULS's IME, along with many (but not all) IMEs gets tripped up inside VisualEditor.
[15:20:45] <James_F> David, a member of the Language Engineering team, is spending about half his time trying to re-do big parts of VisualEditor's core so that IMEs – including ULS's IMEs – work in it.
[15:21:14] <James_F> A couple of weeks ago we got his re-write of how pressing "Enter" works.
[15:21:47] <James_F> (No-one should have noticed changes in behaviour except for a few bugs being fixed, but it is now vastly more compatible with IMEs.)
[15:22:38] <James_F> This week we got his re-write of another part, related to re-drawing the surface on changes (which was breaking a lot of IMEs, especially those for pictographic languages like Chinese).
[15:22:59] <James_F> Though each IME has its own special, unique, frustrating way of assuming things work.
[15:23:21] <James_F> Once we've got the next few major changes landed, it will be a case of manually working through IMEs to ensure that they do indeed work.
[15:23:30] <James_F> But this is a slow and laborious process.
[15:23:54] <Elitre> Can the community help with this, and how?
[15:23:57] <James_F> Luckily, I think that ULS's IMEs use a shared system, so if one works then hopefully(*) they all will.
[15:24:06] <Elitre> (he said)
[15:24:09] * James_F grins.�
[15:24:15] <Elitre>  :)
[15:24:59] <James_F> Yes, for testing IMEs we will ask for people to submit examples of how their IME works (we've got a logging framework that we can use to replicate their exact interactions as intended) so that we can check whether they work in VE automatically.
[15:25:26] <James_F> Testing IMEs has been stalled whilst we land the rest of the major changes, however.
[15:25:42] <Elitre> I guess there's a list of IMEs somewhere...?
[15:27:02] <James_F> Elitre: Not really; only lists for POSIX platforms, for example, and there's no equivalent list I can see for Mac/Windows/etc.
[15:27:53] <Elitre> thanks James_F!
[15:28:00] <Maggie_Dennis> Anyone else have a question for James?
[15:28:02] <James_F> Elitre: "A list of IMEs" is like "A list of drawing programs". :-)
[15:28:51] <Elitre> James_F: I always choose software I need by reading comparison articles like those!
[15:28:57] * James_F grins.�
[15:29:21] * Elitre adds "free software".�
[15:35:35] <Maggie_Dennis> Question for James? The guy here talking about VisualEditor? :)
[15:50:25] <Maggie_Dennis> We have ten more minutes to go, in case there are further questions. If not, James will be back again on March 19 at 0100 UTC.
[15:53:24] <Elitre> James_F: I saw a couple of people showing up on IRC, volunteering to do stuff about VisualEditor for Google Summer of Code.
[15:53:54] <James_F> Yeah.
[15:54:28] <Elitre> while this is great, this usually happens when San Francisco is asleep :) what's their best way to reach the team about this?
[15:54:45] <James_F> Ha. Good question.
[15:55:04] <James_F> Last year we had three GSoC students for VisualEditor.
[15:55:20] <James_F> This was fun, and we got some great code written, but it was very draining.
[15:55:25] <Maggie_Dennis> (5 minutes to go.)
[15:55:45] <James_F> The level of support we can give from SF for people in very different time zones is hard, and is something we want to avoid.
[15:56:31] <James_F> So for people far away from SF may not be best placed to do VisualEditor work, sadly. :-(
[15:56:54] <James_F> GSoC is meant to be fun and worthwhile but also valuable for the individuals doing it, and we don't want them to get discouraged.
[15:57:36] <Elitre> I see. In general, is a good guide for them? or ?
[15:57:41] <James_F> But to answer your question, e-mail works reasonably well.
[15:57:54] <James_F> Yes, those are both good, especially the first.
[15:58:16] <James_F> But there are loads of great teams who aren't based in SF that GSoCers might be interested in - we shouldn't steal all the great ones. :-)
[15:59:10] <Elitre> Ok, thanks!
[15:59:29] <Maggie_Dennis> Okay, well, this wraps our hour for today. :)
[15:59:39] <Maggie_Dennis> Thanks, Micru and Elitre and all the people who are silently reading. :)
[15:59:51] <Maggie_Dennis> James will be back on 3/19 at 0100 for our next hour.
[15:59:56] <Maggie_Dennis> The logs for this will be posted in a few minutes.
[16:00:02] * James_F waves.�
[16:00:04] <Maggie_Dennis> Thank you, James_F. :D
[16:00:24] * Elitre waves as well (but more Pope-like, since she's Italian).�