IRC office hours/Office hours 2014-11-19

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Time: 16:00-17:00 UTC
Channel: #wikimedia-office
Timestamps are in UTC.

[15:46:09] <Elitre> hi everybody. the monthly VisualEditor office hour is going to take place here in 15 minutes or so.
[15:50:00] * James_F waves.
[15:59:56] <Elitre> so, welcome everybody to our monthly appointment with VisualEditor. As usual, the channel is logged, and logs are published shortly after the meeting ends on Meta. We're not just here to tell things, we're hear to listen! Please shoot your questions, I'll take note. While you type them, let's hear from our guest star, James.
[16:00:06] <James_F> Heya.
[16:00:37] * tommorris waves to James_F and listens.
[16:00:42] * marktraceur sits down with some popcorn
[16:00:45] <James_F> So, in the past month we've squashed quite a few bugs and made some general improvements, but I imagine the thing that most people care about is that we've got table structure editing now available.
[16:01:14] <Elitre> tommorris: we're glad to have you around! marktraceur: please share?
[16:01:21] <marktraceur> James_F: When will the public Parsoid API be available?
[16:01:31] * marktraceur hands Elitre the bag of popcorn
[16:01:36] <James_F> This means you can insert new tables, add and remove columns and rows, merge and unmerge cells, add, edit and remove table captions, and mark cells (and rows/columns) as "headers" or not.
[16:01:49] <Finnegan> oh my god tables. You just made my day.
[16:02:00] <James_F> This covers "most" of the functionality we want to deliver right now.
[16:02:07] <James_F> There are still some bits and pieces.
[16:02:11] <marktraceur> Finnegan: LOSE YOUR SHIT. EDIT A FRIGGIN TABLE.
[16:02:26] <James_F> For instance, drag-and-drop of table columns and rows would be really nice to have.
[16:02:36] <James_F> Also, making a table as having sortable columns or not.
[16:03:04] <James_F> The current interface is pretty janky and we're not happy with it - there are 5(!) places to do different kinds of control on a table, so we'll be addressing that.
[16:03:25] <James_F> Also, interacting with tables made up with templates as well as "real" table cells is a bit messy and confusing, and I want that to be nicer.
[16:03:28] <James_F> But it's a start. :-)
[16:03:45] <Elitre> Finnegan: you hadn't heard about tables yet? /me shamelessly plugs ...
[16:03:52] * James_F grins at Elitre.
[16:04:28] <James_F> There are some table-related items that we're not currently planning to do soon – most visibly, adding or changing custom CSS on tables, rows and cells.
[16:05:03] * Finnegan signs up, wonders if she gets a keychain or something
[16:05:10] <James_F> I know that's used by a few very experienced users, but it's also widely abused to make hideous tables and I'm not sure how we would give people the tools without engendering a bunch of mess.
[16:05:20] <marktraceur> Finnegan: Your free toaster is in the mail
[16:05:23] <James_F> (Cf. the famous Jurassic Park quote in reverse.)
[16:06:09] <James_F> That's about it for me to spiel about.
[16:06:35] <James_F> As always, I'd recommend people who are keen to see what we're working out look at our roadmap ( ) and complain / praise as you see fit.
[16:07:06] <James_F> So, I guess it's time for questions.
[16:07:13] <James_F> marktraceur: The Parsoid API…
[16:08:04] <James_F> I'm not the expert on the Parsoid team's work – they are! – but you can see their detailed worklist for the quarter here:
[16:08:18] <marktraceur> Well, subbu's not here, and cscott_away looks away
[16:08:42] <James_F> Integrating Parsoid with "RESTbase" (the API system that the Services team has built) is currently underway.
[16:09:22] <James_F> I don't know exactly where they are with that; I know they have an ambition to complete it by the end of this quarter, but Q2 is always very disrupted by holidays and so aspirations and reality sometimes diverge.
[16:09:33] <marktraceur> Yeah
[16:09:37] <marktraceur> I'll bug -parsoid about it
[16:09:52] * James_F nods.
[16:10:10] <James_F> marktraceur: For what particular things are you looking?
[16:10:45] <marktraceur> James_F: Well, I'd like a way to go back and forth between wikitext and HTML for other clients. I know I could use the VE-specific API for now, but I've heard that's not to be trusted as stable
[16:11:09] <James_F> marktraceur: What's wrong with the existing Parsoid API?
[16:11:17] <marktraceur> e.g. my editDescriptions.js script on commons currently parses





templates on the frontend, and that's stupid

[16:11:22] <marktraceur> James_F: It's just not public AFAIK
[16:11:47] <James_F> marktraceur: It isn't? works fine?
[16:12:12] <YuviPanda> that's an internal URL :)
[16:12:12] <marktraceur> James_F: Ah, well, maybe we've had this conversation before, I should write it down this time
[16:12:21] <marktraceur> Oh, ty YuviPanda
[16:12:23] <YuviPanda> it's not 'public public' anywhere.
[16:12:28] <James_F> YuviPanda: Fair.
[16:12:39] <James_F> BTW, the Roadmap I linked above obviously is turning into reality right now through Bugzilla. As of tomorrow evening Bugzilla is getting shut down and all the content will be moved to Phabricator. This is going to be much easier for non-techies to see, interact and suggest changes.
[16:12:41] <marktraceur> So yeah, user JS on-wiki wouldn't be able to access that at all
[16:12:48] <YuviPanda> James_F: also, no https on that URL (since it's internal)
[16:12:51] <James_F> marktraceur: Err. Yes they can.
[16:12:55] <YuviPanda> it was made public as a hack, IIRC.
[16:13:04] <YuviPanda> marktraceur: it *can*, just shouldn't
[16:13:10] <marktraceur> Shouldn't, whatever
[16:13:43] <James_F> However, the switch-over to Phabricator will probably be a bit messy, so exact pointers to where to go to see that week's work, or what our current high-priority bugs are, will change (and haven't been worked out yet).
[16:14:26] <James_F> YuviPanda: It'd be nice for the "officially official" system to be in place, yes, but it's been working fine for nearly two years now.
[16:14:52] <YuviPanda> well, except no https :) and technically it can go away at any time when someone messes with LVS on the ops side.
[16:15:02] <James_F> marktraceur: documents the current API.
[16:15:10] <James_F> YuviPanda: That's also the case when Ops break enwiki. :-D
[16:15:25] <YuviPanda> true, but when we break enwiki, we try to fix it as well :)
[16:15:44] <tommorris> reading the Parsoid roadmap, I see PhantomJS and print CSS for rendering. does this mean we might have Wikipedia having a clean, beautiful print stylesheet, and the export-as-PDF option on Wikipedia running on the same stylesheet? because currently, the printable version of Wikipedia is uuugly.
[16:15:44] <James_F> YuviPanda: Given the number of alarms on the Parsoid service, you'll hear about breaking it too. :-)
[16:16:04] <James_F> tommorris: Hey. Yes!
[16:16:15] <tommorris> given WebFonts exists, Wikipedia print outs could be non-ugly.
[16:16:26] <James_F> Well, we're not planning to do WebFonts just yet.
[16:16:38] <tommorris> rather than the poorly-laid-out Times New Roman monstrosities they currently are.
[16:16:58] <James_F> But e.g. is now created using Parsoid HTML via PhantomJS
[16:17:29] <James_F> Yeah, I think the current print stylesheet needs a lot of love to make it useful.
[16:17:40] <tommorris> is there any chance of getting custom print stylesheets on different WMF projects? with my wikinews hat on, it'd be great if we could have wikinews print-outs looking beautiful.
[16:17:53] <James_F> cscott_away is the expert on this.
[16:18:04] <James_F> I /think/ the print stylesheet is actually customiseable per-wiki.
[16:18:12] <tommorris> cool. will look into it.
[16:18:15] <James_F> But I've never fiddled with that side of things, so I'm not sure.
[16:18:33] <James_F> Improving from the technical side is now mostly done, I think.
[16:18:46] <James_F> So improvements on the side of making it actually nice to use is probably next. :-)
[16:19:37] <Elitre> (re: Phabricator, please create your accounts there ASAP if you haven't done it so far! Instructions at .) Who else has questions for James? Or maybe someone wants to tell us their experience with VE?
[16:19:50] <James_F> is a better example of the current PDF output.
[16:20:59] <James_F> Oh, yes, and during the switch-over to Phabricator there will be special arrangements for emergency bugs.
[16:21:20] <James_F> If you go to there will be instructions.
[16:21:31] <James_F> If you're in IRC, I'll be around, as always. :-)
[16:22:12] <tommorris> with the phabricator changeover, what's the current process for filing bugs?
[16:22:32] <tommorris> the link that Elitre posted talks about "Creating a task". Tasks == bugs?
[16:22:44] <James_F> tommorris: Current process is to go to
[16:22:58] <James_F> tommorris: Yeah, in Phabricator they're called tasks (which is more accurate).
[16:23:14] <James_F> E.g. "switch VisualEditor on for Catalan Wiktionary" (which I did yesterday) wasn't really a "bug".
[16:23:40] <tommorris> (yay for catalan wiktionary)
[16:23:59] * tommorris is watching Phabricator rollout carefully.
[16:24:13] <James_F> With Phabricator, it'll be something like
[16:24:41] <James_F> (NOT that actual URL; that is for the Editing Team at large.)
[16:25:14] <James_F> Right now the VisualEditor project hasn't been created in Phabricator (that will be done as part of the import), so… no useful link, sorry.
[16:26:32] <gwicke> tommorris: I did experiment with print CSS improvements at; from my POV the biggest issue for pure-CSS solutions is currently relatively poor support for break-before/break-after to control page breaks
[16:27:17] <tommorris> well, JavaScript could be used given that the PDF rendering is done in PhantomJS. ;)
[16:27:25] <gwicke> we could resurrect something like
[16:27:34] <gwicke> currently that's pretty abandoned
[16:27:47] <James_F> tommorris: "Could" or "should"? ;-)
[16:28:06] <tommorris> Could.
[16:28:07] <gwicke> also, it will only work with PhantomJS 2 once that's released, as Phantom 1 is based off some old Safari version without CSS region support
[16:29:40] * James_F nods.
[16:29:51] <James_F> gwicke: Is PhantomJS 2 really going to be a success?
[16:30:06] <gwicke> btw, VE folks: I'm really happy about our new table editing powers!
[16:30:15] <James_F> gwicke: We've moved our testing infrastructure over to headless Chrome and Firefox, because…
[16:30:20] <James_F> Ha. Thanks, gwicke. :-)
[16:31:59] <James_F> So, any more questions?
[16:32:07] <gwicke> James_F: anything more modern and reliable than phantomjs 1 with print-to-pdf support should work
[16:32:47] * James_F nods.
[16:33:22] <James_F> gwicke: In your copious free time (and his), Krinkle can talk about getting headless Chrome in the cluster to work.
[16:33:58] <James_F> In unrelated news (but lots of people in the office are talking about it right now), today is the day we'll switch the English Wikipedia over to the new search system, completing this marathon of work.
[16:34:35] <James_F> Which will have some benefits for using VisualEditor – when you are prompted for a link, a template, a category or a file it'll be based on the better, new search system.
[16:34:46] <James_F> Not to steal their thunder or anything. :-)
[16:36:59] * tommorris shall test table editing later.
[16:37:27] <James_F> tommorris: Excellent. :-)
[16:37:56] <Elitre> any other VE questions? otherwise we could close this conversations earlier, I guess.
[16:40:36] <James_F> Seemingly no.
[16:40:50] <Elitre> well, I guess this is a goodbye then :) Please remember there won't be any appointment in December, but we'll be here again early in January.
[16:41:38] <Elitre> January 7th , 10pm UTC: mark your calendars if you want (it's a Wednesday again).
[16:41:41] <James_F> See you all!
[16:41:52] <tommorris> Keep on being awesome, James_F, Elitre et al.
[16:42:04] <Elitre> thanks everybody for coming! talk to you on wikis and beyond!
[16:42:14] <James_F> tommorris: Thanks. :-)