IRC office hours/Office hours 2015-01-07

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Time: 22:00-23:00 UTC
Channel: #wikimedia-office
Timestamps are in UTC.

[21:58:33] <Elitre> Hi all! VisualEditor office hour in a few minutes here!
[21:59:15] <Elitre> James_F: are you ready? :)
[22:00:52] <James_F> Thank you, ChanServ.
[22:01:33] <Elitre> hi and welcome everybody!
[22:01:38] <Elitre> long time no see.
[22:02:42] <Elitre> hope everything is ok with you and you had a great start of the year.
[22:03:31] <Elitre> we skipped the appointment in December since there were the holidays, but here we are again.
[22:03:56] <James_F> And later than we've done it for a few months, it feels like?
[22:04:26] <James_F> Anyway, I suppose I should talk about Editing and in particular VisualEditor. :_)
[22:04:43] <Elitre> great. go ahead, James.
[22:05:00] <James_F> The big thing that people will notice is that, as of today (for Wikipedias) or yesterday (for non-Wikipedias), the design of VisualEditor has changed a bunch.
[22:05:20] <James_F> This is part of the new work from the Design team to converge our designs across all teams.
[22:05:48] <James_F> It follows on from "Minerva" and "Agora" and "Athena" and "MediaWiki UI" and a bunch of other old code-names.
[22:06:08] <James_F> Technically, the change has been to the OOjs UI interface system, which VisualEditor uses, rather than to VisualEditor itself.
[22:06:20] <James_F> However, from a user perspective the change will feel like it's quite big and sudden.
[22:06:33] <James_F> In general, the new design is simpler, lighter, bolder and bigger.
[22:06:42] <James_F> Backgrounds are now plain white rather than textured.
[22:07:02] <James_F> Buttons are solid-filled rather than gradiented.
[22:07:33] <James_F> Layouts have more padding and a little more space.
[22:07:58] <James_F> This new design has been live in VisualEditor on Mobile for two months or so.
[22:08:26] <Elitre> ...that's why it felt familiar!
[22:08:28] <James_F> I believe that the plan is to roll it out to the entirety of MediaWiki in future, though I'm not involved in that work.
[22:08:54] <James_F> Early versions of it have been used in a few places from time to time, like the login page or the Mobile Web interface.
[22:09:20] <Elitre> While James writes his updates, please prepare your questions for him!
[22:09:25] <James_F> Lots more to come there, I'm sure. The wikitext editor, Special:Log, Special:RecentChanges for instance.
[22:09:55] <James_F> But that's not really my area of speciality so I'm not sure I'm best to answer questions on that, but if you have one please feel free to ask. :-)
[22:09:58] <James_F> Anyway.
[22:10:25] <James_F> Beyond that, there are some new features and fixes in VisualEditor since the last all staff.
[22:11:17] <James_F> We'd just launched table editing last time, I believe.
[22:11:36] <Elitre> I really can't recall if it had already landed, you know.
[22:12:05] <Elitre> Just in case: table editing is now out there. It feels pretty much like magic.
[22:12:19] <James_F> Since then we added search-and-replace, category redirects, Esc to escape, and a few others.
[22:12:41] <James_F> Search-and-replace lets you find some content and replace it; this was asked for by a bunch of users.
[22:13:17] <Elitre> I have a question about that, actually
[22:13:36] <James_F> There are some fun bits there – case-insensitive searching; regular expressions; replace-all, etc.
[22:13:37] <James_F> Sure!
[22:13:56] <Elitre> some users felt like an X button to close it was needed. do you plan to add it?
[22:14:13] <James_F> Aha! Yes, we added that last week. It rolled out to Wikipedias today.
[22:14:27] <James_F> Just this week we worked on performance of the system so searching for ' ' on a really long page doesn't crash the browser trying to highlight every single space on the page.
[22:15:10] <James_F> (One of the perils of Wikipedia is how the pages are much longer than most editor systems have to deal with, and industry-standard solutions aren't good enough for what we need.)
[22:15:15] <Elitre> Great! Now I need to remember where I can post the reply, but that's definitely not your problem.
[22:15:19] <James_F>  :-)
[22:15:45] <James_F> There are a few more improvements to make to search-and-replace; the interface is still a little janky, with button layout feeling odd.
[22:16:12] <James_F> OK, what else?
[22:16:53] <James_F> Category redirects means if you add Category:Cat in VisualEditor, and Category:Cat is actually #REDIRECT[[Category:Cats]] VisualEditor will instead magically add Category:Cats for you.
[22:17:17] <James_F> This means bots don't have to clean up after you if you accidentally add the redirect category rather than the proper one.
[22:17:57] <Elitre> not bad.
[22:17:58] <James_F> Esc to escape is simple but useful: pressing "Esc" will escape the editor – or prompt you to save first.
[22:18:27] <James_F> (There was an unfortunate bug there which meant pressing Escape inside a dialog would also escape the editor, but we fixed it.)
[22:18:49] <James_F> Beyond that, we've fixed a lot of bugs and made a bunch of minor improvements, design tweaks and so on.
[22:19:40] <Elitre> when you're done, James, I think we have a guest who's looking forward to asking us something! Let's see if Simon's client works.
[22:20:22] <Elitre> (/me also waves to Simon's fellow Wikipedian Trizek)
[22:20:50] <Elitre> Looks like Simon's having issues in posting here, I'll copy/paste his question.
[22:20:51] <James_F> Aha.
[22:21:00] <James_F> 177 tickets closed as "Resolved":
[22:21:16] <James_F> So, lots of changes. :-)
[22:21:37] <Elitre> Wait, looks like more people are blocked. Let's take a look to what's happening.
[22:21:42] <James_F> Performance is a big piece of work for us.
[22:21:45] <James_F> Oh, that's not good.
[22:23:33] <James_F> Aha.
[22:23:39] <James_F> Elitre: /mode -m
[22:24:06] <Elitre> /mode -m
[22:24:28] <James_F> There.
[22:24:29] <Krenair> lol.
[22:24:39] <James_F> Now hopefully people can ask some questions. :-)
[22:24:45] <Simon> test
[22:24:49] <James_F> Hey Simon.
[22:24:55] <Simon> \o/
[22:25:02] <James_F> Success. :-)
[22:25:02] <Elitre> (sorry everybody. it's 11pm where I live! thanks for your understanding.)
[22:25:04] <spagewmf> smothering dissent since 14:01 :)
[22:25:05] <Krenair> Elitre, what about +sF?
[22:25:11] <Krenair> why did you set those?
[22:25:41] <Simon> Hi James_F. I wanted to know if it is possible to activate the VE on a specitif page ?
[22:25:52] <Simon> I want it for my education projects pages on the French Wikipedia (all subpages of and
[22:25:58] <James_F> Simon: Hey Simon.
[22:26:01] <James_F> Right.
[22:26:29] <James_F> So the quick answer is "no"; VisualEditor has a configuration about a lot of things, and one of them is what namespaces you should make it available in.
[22:26:57] <James_F> Right now, VisualEditor lets you bypass the configuration with ?veaction=edit for some settings, but not for namespaces.
[22:27:16] <Simon> Ok. Can we activate it on the Wikipedia namespace on the French Wikipedia ? Did you have discuss this with the French community before ?
[22:27:21] <James_F> We could make it also bypass-able, or we could enable it in the Project (here, Wikipédia) namespace.
[22:27:36] <James_F> We could do that, and no, we've not had that discussion.
[22:27:48] <Trizek> Be bold :p
[22:27:55] <James_F> I have a worry because the Wikipédia namespace has discussions in it often.
[22:28:02] <James_F> And discussions don't work well with VisualEditor. :-)
[22:28:18] <James_F> But that just means people should remember not to get confused.
[22:28:31] <James_F> This is already the way that Wikidata's use of VisualEditor is configured.
[22:28:41] <Trizek> James_F: If discussions on Wikipédia namespace on French worries you, we can fix it.
[22:28:45] <James_F> If you want it for French Wikipedia, file a Phabricator ticket.
[22:28:55] <James_F> Trizek: I don't want to be the cause of disruption.
[22:29:27] <James_F> (It's about 5 minutes' work to make VisualEditor available in a namespace, but especially for big wikis it's probably work mentioning it to the community first before making the change just to check. What do you think?
[22:29:29] <James_F> )
[22:29:36] <Krenair> This channel is still secret and with forwarding enabled.
[22:29:49] <spagewmf> discussions work well in Flow, but the Collaboration team don't want to be the cause of disruption either :)
[22:29:49] <Trizek> James_F: Don"t :) I mean we (French community) can study it.
[22:29:59] <James_F> spagewmf: Exactly. :-)
[22:30:15] <spagewmf> James_F: first, congratulations! I'll miss the lime Apex colors but consistency is a big win.
[22:30:18] <James_F> Krenair: Not germane to the meeting; /query Elitre instead. :-)
[22:30:34] <Krenair> I did but it's not changing anything
[22:30:42] <James_F> spagewmf: I miss them too. Special secret: standalone VisualEditor still has Apex, not MediaWiki. ;-)
[22:31:16] <James_F> spagewmf: But thank you. The work of TrevorParscal, MatmaRex and the Design team has been immense, and I'm very grateful to them all.
[22:31:23] <spagewmf> kaity and I noticed some differences with mw-ui- CSS, e.g. the text-shadow.
[22:31:53] <James_F> spagewmf: Right. Did you tell violetto_? She's the owner of the design.
[22:32:10] <James_F> spagewmf: We're just the users of it, not the designers. :-)
[22:33:06] <marktraceur> Elitre: Much channel heat
[22:33:17] <Elitre> thanks a lot, marktraceur. sorry for the inconvenience.
[22:33:28] <marktraceur> -o
[22:34:06] <James_F> Anyway.
[22:34:16] <James_F> What other questions do we have?
[22:34:23] <spagewmf> James_F: Not yet. How is WMF keeping the "simple" mw-ui-button mw-ui-constructive and OOjs UI's more elaborate oo-ui-widget > oo-ui-buttonElement oo-ui-flaggedElement-constructive CSS in sync? Are we able to share LESS rules?
[22:35:26] <James_F> spagewmf: MW UI isn't being kept in sync with the new design, I believe. I don't think it's credible to try to marry the technologies together with shared files – it'd be a huge amount of work for a short-term hack.
[22:35:40] <Simon> James_F : Can we activate EV on a namespace only with a gadget-style option ?
[22:36:01] <James_F> Simon: I'm not sure exactly what you mean?
[22:36:57] <Simon> (on google translate)
[22:37:27] <Simon> I mean : can we activate the EV on a namespace on the French Wikipedia only by checking some special option on our « Preferences » ?
[22:37:48] <James_F> Simon: Oh. Yes, it would be possible, but it might be a bit confusing?
[22:38:03] <Simon> Why ?
[22:38:09] <James_F> Simon: If necessary, you could over-ride it with a gadget right now.
[22:38:16] <James_F> Simon: Because more options == more confusion for users. :-)
[22:38:28] <James_F> But yes, it could be built today if someone had the time.
[22:38:43] <Simon> Ok. This seems to be a law that I didn't know :)
[22:39:09] <Elitre> Are there other questions for James? Now it's a good time to ask.
[22:39:25] <Simon> I'm searching a option to activate the EV only for my students of my education projects,
[22:39:26] <Trizek> If it is not possible to activate VE on specific pages, is it possible to desactivate it on specific pages?
[22:39:33] <James_F> Simon: Ha. :-) Yeah, we're very careful not to bring in more options without a good reason.
[22:39:53] <James_F> Trizek: No, there's no facility for that, sorry.
[22:40:08] <Trizek> James_F: OK, thanks! :)
[22:40:52] <James_F> Trizek: Again, we could build it but you would have to convince people to spend time on it over other things.
[22:41:37] <Trizek> Right.
[22:42:13] <James_F> So… questions? :-)
[22:42:18] <Trizek> I have an other question: on fr, we are corrently rewriting all help pages. I
[22:42:20] <Simon> James_F : I'm a little bit surprised about the discussion problem issue. For now, the EV is activated on the main and User namespaces, and the user namespace is a lot of discussion
[22:42:36] <James_F> Simon: In User:? Not User talk:?
[22:43:05] <Simon> Ah, yeah, it's true
[22:43:11] <Elitre>  ;)
[22:43:26] <spagewmf> James_F: I'll follow up with designers nearby. The mw-ui- classes are a lot easier for humans to grok/reuse, e.g. It could be very cool for pages to have OOjs UI gadgets someday.
[22:43:38] <Trizek> I would like to know if someone can create a checkbox on the preferences in order to select his favorite tool between VE and wikitext.
[22:43:56] <Elitre> Trizek: this is a great question...
[22:43:57] <James_F> Simon: The plan is that Flow will take over all the discussion rôles.
[22:44:09] <Trizek> This option would permit to display specific help pages
[22:44:16] <James_F> Trizek: Ah, interesting idea.
[22:44:27] <Trizek> James_F: Thanks ^^
[22:44:39] <James_F> spagewmf: Well, tough. :-) MW-UI won't be around for much longer.
[22:44:50] <Simon> James_F : When ?
[22:45:27] <James_F> Simon: I don't know. A long time, I think. :-( Flow development is slow because they're being very careful to build the perfect tool, which is great.
[22:45:35] <Elitre> Trizek: fr.wp is still ezperimenting with Flow, right?
[22:45:35] <Trizek> We are currently working on a prototype, with one page for VE and one for wikitext
[22:45:53] <James_F> Trizek: That sounds difficult.
[22:45:54] <Trizek> Elitre: Yes. On two pages.
[22:46:05] <Trizek> James_F: Oh? Why?
[22:46:10] <James_F> Trizek: Also, sorry for making all the screenshots wrong. ;-)
[22:46:21] <James_F> Trizek: Difficult to keep both pages up-to-date. Twice as much work.
[22:46:30] <Trizek> James_F: Which screenshots?
[22:46:44] <James_F> Trizek: The VisualEditor ones on
[22:46:59] <James_F> But the
[22:47:01] <James_F> Bah.
[22:47:05] <James_F> But the help page looks good.
[22:47:16] <Trizek> Don't worry, we love to write Help pages and illustrate them.
[22:47:20] * James_F grins.
[22:47:20] <James_F> OK.
[22:47:53] <Elitre> Trizek: you probably weren't here while we were discussing the new VE design, landed on Wikipedias today.
[22:48:29] <Trizek> Nope. We have a major event on fr today, with a lot of vandalism. :/
[22:48:48] <Trizek> We will change the screenshots soon, I think :p
[22:48:50] <spagewmf> Trizek: indeed, my sympathies
[22:48:55] <Elitre> +1
[22:49:14] <Trizek> Thanks! So, is it possible/imaginable for the option?
[22:50:11] <Elitre> (Everybody, last 10 minutes for this office hour. Questions, again?)
[22:50:31] <James_F> Trizek: It is possible to have it, yes. I'm not sure how it would work, though? Users already have both, but the option to hide VE.
[22:51:26] <Trizek> James_F: My purpose is to select, or redirect people automatcally to the good help page.
[22:51:47] <James_F> Yes.
[22:52:22] <James_F> So…
[22:52:25] <Trizek> (I hope to express myself correctly ^^)
[22:52:41] <James_F> There's a lot of possibilities for us to build around wikitext and VisualEditor options.
[22:52:46] <James_F> Overall preferences.
[22:52:54] <James_F> Preference per namespace.
[22:52:56] <James_F> Etc.
[22:53:07] <James_F> I worry this could be complicated, and not much value.
[22:53:16] <Trizek> Ok.
[22:53:44] <James_F> However, a quick gadget to force VisualEditor to be available on every page (or every page in the Wikipédia: namespace, or every page called "foo", or…) is probably pretty easy.
[22:54:01] <James_F> That could solve the immediate problem for Simon.
[22:54:06] <James_F> But not for the help pages.
[22:54:11] <Trizek> I think I've not been clear :p
[22:54:16] <James_F> I think this needs more discussion.
[22:54:23] <Trizek> Me too ^^
[22:54:28] <Trizek> I send you an email?
[22:54:29] <James_F> No, Trizek, you're very clear, I'm being unclear, sorry.
[22:54:32] <James_F> That would be great.
[22:54:35] <Trizek> ok
[22:54:41] <Trizek> Let's do this
[22:54:45] <James_F> Trizek: Cool. ;-)
[22:55:10] <Trizek> (One more email for a WMF staff member ^^)
[22:55:13] <Elitre> or, you can all come back here on Thursday 19 February, 19 UTC!
[22:55:27] <Trizek> (I'll spend the rest of my week writing to SF :-))
[22:55:29] <spagewmf> can help pages tell if the user asking for help was likely to be using VisualEditor? Seems tricky
[22:55:29] <Elitre> the next office hour will be then.
[22:55:41] <jem> Hi, time for one last question/comment?
[22:55:42] <James_F> Trizek: Sure. :-)
[22:55:46] <James_F> jem: Go for it.
[22:55:50] <jem> Thanks :)
[22:55:50] <Elitre> 5 minutes to go!
[22:56:03] <James_F> spagewmf: They can if we build the help access into VisualEditor… ;-)
[22:56:04] <Elitre> Shoot your questions now, ladies and gentlemen.
[22:56:05] <jem> It's just about
[22:56:29] <jem> I commented it and I think it's very interesting for the projects
[22:56:47] <Elitre> (and if you are not getting our VisualEditor multilingual mailing list... sign up now at )
[22:57:25] <Elitre> *newsletter, of course
[22:57:28] <James_F> jem: Right, yeah.
[22:57:31] <jem> It could be a way to introduce VE to veteran wikimedians in reluctants projects as
[22:57:55] <jem> By making its petitions to the administrators, etc.
[22:58:01] <jem> their*
[22:58:09] <James_F> How often is it used for useful things for real users, and not just administration stuff?
[22:58:19] <James_F> Like writing articles?
[22:58:41] <James_F> Mostly I see it used for nominating something for deletion, which is a discussion so isn't suitable for VisualEditor.
[22:58:44] <jem> In fact, yes... for the sandbox or the article creation assitant
[22:59:09] <jem> Well, I was thinking in vandalism warnings
[22:59:36] <jem> Or requests to move, to protect, to speedy delete...
[22:59:49] <jem> Or requests for new permissions
[23:00:12] <James_F> Most of those are discussions.
[23:00:13] <James_F> All except "Article creation assistant".
[23:00:21] <James_F> And that doesn't work very well I find.
[23:00:38] <James_F> We should provide a better tool, perhaps? Rather than re-implement one that isn't so good.
[23:01:00] <James_F> Anyway.
[23:01:02] <Elitre> We're out of time, I think. Thanks a lot for coming and discussing despite technical difficulties. I'll post the logs ASAP on Meta.
[23:01:04] <James_F> I think we're out of time.
[23:01:14] <James_F> Thank you Elitre, and everyone else.
[23:01:16] <James_F> Bye!
[23:01:27] <jem> Oh
[23:02:34] <jem> Well, I was going to ask if there are no plans to implement it in the long term...
[23:03:01] <Elitre> please feel free to ask on Phabricator directly, jem?
[23:03:20] <jem> Elitre: In fact I have asked there :)
[23:03:23] <Elitre> in the same task you linked above?
[23:03:30] <Trizek> Thanks for this office hour Elitre James_F|Away spagewmf and everyone!
[23:03:44] <jem> Well, I have made a comment, but I don't know if it will ever be answered
[23:04:11] <Elitre> I'll make sure James sees it then, that's the least I can do.
[23:05:19] <jem> Thanks, Elitre
[23:05:27] <Elitre> don't mention it!
[23:05:30] <jem>  :)
[23:05:37] <jem> And if not, I'll try again in the next office hour
[23:05:49] <Elitre> that's the spirit ;)
[23:06:16] <jem> Yes :)