Talk:Community Tech/Who Wrote That revision search tool

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Hi! I like the proposed mookup; it's simple and easy to understand. The only thing I don't like is «On a given page, the user can click a button to enter the "Who Wrote That" mode»; this will be the first button on a content page (at least that I cas see now). Instead of this, in order of preferences:

  1. a link in the "Tool" sidebar
  2. a button on the "History" of the page
  3. a tab at the top of page (near "Edit", "History", "Move", ...)

--β16 - (talk) 08:50, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

@Beta16:, thanks for your feedback. We still haven't decided what the best way for activating the feature will be. There are several options, as you mentioned. A link under the "Tools" section is indeed our top choice right now (see mock design). I didn't want to distract from the actual feature so I did not post that mock here. Once I get feedback about the key features, then I will gather feedback from our designers and engineers about the best placement for that and share on the project page. Thank you. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 21:10, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
Pretty much as aboive - this is actually a lot better than I was expecting, given how clumsy the old tool was. JzG (talk) 23:42, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
I agree with both of the above. Also, please keep in mind that JavaScripts and CSS can operate on "objects" in the left and top toolbars, to arrange them as people want, so this is the most flexible approach. Anyway, I want to be clear that I agree also with "this is actually a lot better than I was expecting", not just that I agree with ideas on how to implement it. Good work!  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  03:52, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Like the new name. Mockup looks reasonably intuitive. A dropdown option in the "view history" tab seems a good place to activate from. Information in popup looks useful, but it is not clear whether the highlighted text is from the diff (all the changes made in that edit) or only the surviving text from that edit.
The amount of information looks OK. If you have the Username, links to talk and contributions should be trivial. If you have the diff, the timestamp should be trivial. Without the username and diff the whole thing seems pointless, so I don't see how less information is really an option. Also dont see what additional information might be useful, but accept that you might find some.
Would this tool work on historical versions, or only on latest version? Reason is that if somene had corrected a spelling error in the selected word, the corrector of the spelling error is not generally the user one would be looking for. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 04:54, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
@Pbsouthwood: The idea is that we highlight all the text by that same user in the article. The darker text is from the edit which added the specific word the user clicked on. The lighter text is from other edits by the same user. About the latest versus past revisions, I am not sure I understand the reasoning. How would one find out the spelling error if it was already fixed? Do patrollers normally go to old revisions to find problems which have been fixed in the latest revision? I am not familiar with their workflow so understanding this would be helpful. Thank you. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 17:31, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
Suppose editor A adds some content that I want to check up on, but misspells the word I want to check. Editor B comes along and fixes the spelling error berore I look for who wrote the contentious word. Do I get only the word that editor B corrected, or can I go back to the version before the correction and find out who put in that word and what else they wrote? Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:50, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
@Pbsouthwood: Ah, okay. My understanding of the API is that it doesn't let us find the history of a specific word but it does give us something called a "conflict score" which can tell us if a word has been edited by multiple people. I will look into whether it will be able to give us the info we are seeking. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 23:26, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Language and time[edit]

Hello, will the tool be available only in English, or some work can be done to provide other interfaces?

I see time in UTC, for me it would be better to use my local time. Is is possible? --Dalka (talk) 05:22, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

I assume the tool will work with text strings. The language should not make any difference, and the user-interface should be trivial to translate, so I would be surprised if it is not made available in any/all left to right languages. For right to left languages I do not know enough to comment. Local time setting should also be a minor tweak. Getting the tool to do what it says in the specification is the main job. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:01, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Cool tool! Can't wait till it's available on as many wikis as technically possible. @Peter S: why it would only work on LTR-languages? If designed, developed & tested well enough there should be not much (if any) difference in working for all supported languages. Klaas `Z4␟` V:  11:29, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
If you read what I said you will see that I have no idea if RtL languages would be a problem or not, so specifically excluding them from my opinions. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:28, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
@Dalka, Pbsouthwood, and KlassZ4usV: Hello. The tool will rely on an external API service and the wikis we can make it available on will depend on that. Currently, the API only supports five projects and we are in conversation to expand it to be available on other projects. This will be a gradual process and we will be reaching out to wikis to gauge interest over time. As for the interface language itself, there are a few different possibilities. I will be updating the project page as we talk about the project in the team and the details become clearer. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 00:26, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
@NKohli (WMF):, Thanks for clearing that up. Are there any other known limitations/constraints that might be useful to make clear at this point? Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:13, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
@Pbsouthwood: I believe there are some other technical limitations that will surface as we narrow down on our implementation approach on this project. I will be sure to flag them as they come up. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 17:34, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
That usually happens. So nothing that is known that you think we should know? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:54, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
@Pbsouthwood: I can't think of anything else right now. Not a lot of details about the project are known or well understood at the moment. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 23:27, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Search "Who Deleted That"[edit]

Is it possible, having an old revision, find who deleted a quote - between that and actual revisions? --Dalka (talk) 11:02, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

@Dalka: My understanding from the existing api is that it does not allow look up for deleted text. This might change, as we talk with the API maintainers. I will keep you posted. Thanks Dalka. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 17:36, 25 February 2019 (UTC)


  • When I look at edits on my watchlists the time of the edits is shown in my local time. I see no reason to show the UTC time in the blame tool.
  • It's not immediately clear whether clicking talk brings you to the talk page of the user in question or whether it brings you to the talk page of the edit. I would prefer the text in the popup to be "Foo(talk|contribs‎) created the edit on 08:50, 15 February 2019. Show diff"
  • In cases where the edit in question was reviewed I would want to see that information "Alice(talk|contribs‎) created the edit on 08:50, 15 February 2019. Bob(talk|contribs‎) reviewed the edit on 11:50, 15 February 2019. Show diff" (For Wikis like dewiki that have approval, that information should be shown analogous by replacing reviewed with approved.
  • I don't think that the button/link should be placed on a regular page. I would add the button in the edit mode of the page. ChristianKl❫ 15:13, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
@ChristianKl: Thanks for the feedback! Replies below:
  • I will look into showing the local time. We put UTC in the mock because I am not fully certain what the API returns to us. Hopefully it is not a lot of work to offer the local time.
  • Good point about clarifying the text to indicate it will take you to the user talk page. I will relay that to the designer.
  • Showing review status for an edit is going to be challenging, to say the least. That information is not stored in a way that is easily accessible by this tool. In addition, pulling that data will make this tool slower - i.e. the popup will take longer to load. I'm afraid it's not straightforward include that information.
  • About placing the button on the edit mode of the page - do you mean that the popups should be shown when a user clicks on a word in the VE/standard editor? Note that in the editor there are already tools like syntax highlighting that "take over" the wikitext and to add one more JS tool to the mix there will be problematic.
Thanks again. This is very helpful. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 20:42, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't get why it's complicated to get the review data. I would expect there to be a database that can be queried with the edit-id and that then returns the data. Would that take longer then say 50ms? I think it's beneficial to show who reviewed an edit given that a person should be partly responsible for the content they reviewed.
I would put a button in the edit-mode to toggle blame mode being activated/deactivated. The benefit would be that it doesn't add complexity to the page that displays articles. ChristianKl❫ 10:02, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
ChristianKl The complication with review data is that it's only stored for recent-changes so there won't be data for revisions older than 30 days. I talked with other people on the team and their opinion is that different wikis also have different workflows around revision patrolling. Customizing this to work for specific projects will be a very big task.
About putting the button in edit mode - do you imagine the text highlighting happening inside the editor when a user wants to see who added a piece of text? Do you think that will interfere with syntax highlighting?
Thanks. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 19:07, 14 March 2019 (UTC)


Hope there will be an API interface so bots can access this information. They currently search revision by revision, but it is not easy and expensive. A hook to this tool would be fantastic. Either way looks really great and wish you the best of luck. -- GreenC (talk) 15:52, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

@GreenC: The way this tool will work is that it will utilise existing WikiWho APIs. This is a third-party API maintained by the GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. The APIs are freely available for everyone to use so bots can already access this information if they want to. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 19:11, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

More feedback[edit]

Hi. I like the mockup. I look forward to a working tool.

I also wonder how "what's wrong with existing solutions" is still an "open question". To the best of my knowledge there are no working existing solutions. (There were, in the past.) So, are you actually still wondering what's wrong with existing solutions, or is the "open questions" section just out of date and in need of editing? Ijon (talk) 15:00, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

@Ijon: Hello. It's not an open question anymore. I didn't get around to updating that section yet, like you guessed. To my knowledge, there are a couple of solutions that currently work to some extent including WikiBlame and WikiWho/WhoColor scripts. We will be building this project off of the latter service. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 20:11, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Great, thanks! (WikiBlame did not work at all, when I last tried it, about half a year ago.) Didn't know about WikiWho. Ijon (talk) 20:20, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

See also for reference; [[:de:Benutzer:Atlasowa/edit history visualization. I especially like and use de:Benutzer:Atlasowa/edit_history_visualization#Schnark_artikel-statistik:

Schnark artikel-statistik zu Artikel Inversor von Peaucellier, ältere Version des Skripts)

Hope this helps, NKohli (WMF). Would love to have this in default wikipedia! --Atlasowa (talk) 21:26, 29 March 2019 (UTC)

That is helpful. Thanks, Atlasowa! -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 00:39, 30 March 2019 (UTC)

Feedback - Alsee[edit]

Multiple people have mentioned time. In order to match timestamps from history and elsewhere you need the time based on Preferences/Appearance/Time_offset setting. I'd presume the API gives you that automatically.

Your rough mockup looks like it's based on the article-read view. I'd also like to be able to search from the wikitext editor. There's a lot of content in an article that isn't accessible from read-view. In fact earlier today I was manually hunting down who added __NOSECTIONEDIT__ - that text isn't visible anywhere except wikitext view. Alsee (talk) 15:14, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

Case sensitive?[edit]

Will it be possible to toggle between case sensitive or not? Thanks in advance, Ottawahitech (talk) 15:26, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

Help us test the prototype[edit]

Hey 👋🏽 I am the designer for the Who Wrote That tool, and I've been working on a prototype based on the wireframes and the feedback we've received for it. We'll be doing a round of usability testing using these prototypes and we'd would love to get your feedback on it.

We'll be using to get structured feedback and reactions on the prototype. We'll also be posting the prototype here for open feedback. If you're interested in participating in the usability test (it would be really helpful for us if you do), you can leave your email address using this form. We'll use it only to invite you to the test. Thanks! --PSaxena (WMF) (talk) 10:49, 22 May 2019 (UTC)