On semi-automation

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(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Many tasks in Wikimedia projects are done together and as such, semi-automating them server-side or client-side becomes pertinent. Semi-automation is the kind of behaviour which is triggered by something, but acts absolutely nothing — the only action is a notification of the user, either directly, or when the user visits a certain page.

Full automation may be confusing or in some cases impossible.

Such tasks include:

  • Replacing templates, . Replacing them by hand all the time kills our invaluable time and concentration effort.
  • For some cases listed in the line above, it is to feel better when you include a customized message with the action — such as reviewing newly created drafts, unblock requests, leaving contributors messages about their vandalism (more detail as here; please see mw.feedback(), it does something of this sort.)
  • Creating articles, as each part of an article — name, content, categories, file license — has relevant documentation. Opening it manually and associating it with the relevant parts of an article hard. (Again, see how StackOverflow does this when asking a question — project-specific popups, similar on SuperUser and the like).

A server-side framework for easy semi-automation is due to make the above-mentioned routine work more interactive, humane, and enjoyable.