Talk:New Readers/Offline

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Prototype Feedback[edit]

Thanks for helping us build the right features for you and our readers by giving us your feedback. We're really interested to hear from you, so please check out the testing instructions.

We will close this round of feedback December 11, 2016. We'll do our best to follow and respond to questions before that date, but responses may take a few days as we're testing the prototypes with readers at the same time.

General feedback[edit]

Would this be useful to you or not? Why?

Are there any things that were hard to do? Anything you particularly liked?

Do you see yourself using 1 of these more than the others? Why?

Anything else we should know?

Prototype #1: Saved Pages[edit]

Feedback 1[edit]

  • works flawless on Android, also wikilinks, if respective articles are offline available, too
  • would it makes sense to add the option to audo-download connected media files (e.g. pictures), either in a larger, but fixed size, or full size?
  • would be great to have batch download capability, e.g. all articles of a given category, or all articles geographically nearby, etc.
  • licence CC BY-SA: should there be at least a link like "Originators: wikipedia contributors", linking to the version history of the page to accomodate the licence? I would not recommend listing all contributors directly, as it had been the case for the old "print as PDF" functionality
  • coordinates: coordinates presented in the article would ideally be handed over to an offline map app, like OsmAnd or google maps

Best wishes --Agricolax (talk) 13:31, 3 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

What you mentioned in your third point was also my idea, but I thought not about categories, but about saving all pages linked by a page until a specified deepth. — K​P​F​C​💬 13:25, 4 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Feedback 2[edit]

  • Very neat. Works well on Android;
  • Would be nice if we could get to see the pictures (or then make them unclickable so that we're not left with a silly page that does not load up);
  • I would see potential for a limited use, e.g. wikivoyage for a given destination (or couple of);
  • Two important features that were missing: alphabetical sorting (not needed when you have 10 pages, more important if you have 100); and a way to easily delete bookmarks (rather than going to each and everyone to untick them).
  • It would be neat (and probably dangerous in terms of size) to be able to download a whole category (or at least see the category and pick which articles should be saved). Stephane (talk) 15:58, 7 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Feedback 3[edit]

  • Awesome feature! Works well on Android, including UC Browser.
  • IMO, It's a good choice for those who do not have much data in their plan, or who don't always have access to stable network connection. Imagine someone who often works or travels outside where the mobile signal is not so good. They can use this feature to prepare something that they'd like to read later.
  • Maybe it should be made clear whether this feature is intended to dump a number of pages or categories out of Wikipedia. Note that some categories can be awfully large.
    • If this feature is to be an "offline reading-list", then I suggest to offer an option to download a page and all the link targets on that page, or at least provide a summary of the link targets.

--CXuesong (talk) 13:05, 12 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Prototype #2: Wikilater[edit]

Is it hard to find these PDFs later?

Anything else we should know?

Feedback 1[edit]

Fantastic initiative! Will be highly welcomed by all people travelling or with limited net-access. A few comments (tested on android 4.4.2 tablet):

  • Handling is easy and intuitive
  • Downloaded pdf files are found easily, please consider a different naming convention. Currently all files are named pdf.pdf, additional files are pdf-1.pdf etc., would be ideal to name the files according to article title
  • tables are a challenge, if they are too wide, the right part is cut, see e.g. the climate table in the article en:Frankfurt, or more challenging: the tables in the en:List of Show Mines
  • minor point: Infoboxes have too much whitespace, see again in Frankfurt article
  • section headings start with a new page, this gives sometimes way too much empty space, if a section title is followed by a subsection title you receive a nearly empty page with the section title only. Solution would be to skip "new page" completely.
  • would be great to have some kind of batch download option, e.g, all articles of a given category or all articles with coordinates that are near a given location
  • licence CC BY-SA: should there be at least a link like "Originators: wikipedia contributors", linking to the version history of the page to accomodate the licence? I would not recommend listing all contributors directly, as it had been the case for the old "print as PDF" functionality
  • coordinates: coordinates presented in the article would ideally be handed over to an offline map app, like OsmAnd or google maps

Best wishes --Agricolax (talk) 12:22, 3 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Feedback 2[edit]

Overall nice.

  • Files are easy to retrieve;
  • You take it for granted that readers will have a pdf viewer on their smartphone: that's risky;
  • Layout on Android is quite good, except maybe for some (not all) illustrations that got half-pushed out of their original alignment (it happened when there was an illustration on the right AND on the left in the initial text, e.g. some way down in en:Botany);
  • I have a hard time seeing how it could be used beyond very occasional document-sharing (as opposite to batch download), but then not everyone is a student who wants a whole category covered.
  • What's good for reading on a mobile device is not that great if you try to read the same PDF on a desktop computer. What I mean is that it generates dozens of pages with large letters and little text. If I'm exporting a pdf it probably is something I'd like to print at some point: I could see whole forests dying right there. Stephane (talk) 16:38, 7 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Feedback 3[edit]

  • Works well in Android with system built-in Browser, while UC Browser cannot download the PDF file.
  • I believe downloading & installing a PDF viewer is easy and free of cost.
  • If this feature is to make the content available offline so that readers can read them whenever they're free, I think Saved Pages is competent enough for this scenario, because it can keep the content intact, while tables will be broken up and user will have to switch between PDF reader and browser when clicking wikilinks.
  • There's already an "Export as PDF" link on the left side, e.g. Exportd Wikipedia:Pi PDF and, I assume, Wikilater is a mobile version of this?
  • I guess this feature is to make sharing an article more conveniently and independent of the network; however, for me I'll just post up the link because I'll probably share it via E-mail, Facebook or other IM apps. Naturally I'll assume people who can see this link have no problem with their network.
    • Nonetheless, things might be different if we take certain heavily censored networks into consideration, but honestly I'm not sure whether this feature will ameliorate the situation. (They might need a full dump XD)
    • Though it might be an approach to archive Wiki pages, there may be better ways to do so.

--CXuesong (talk) 13:52, 12 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Feedback 4[edit]

  • Seemed really slow, then gave me a 404
  • Advantage of this approach is you then have a file that you can re-share

--Djcunning (talk) 16:43, 14 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Prototype #3: Quickfact[edit]

Would you share this type of file? How would you do that?

What do you think of the name "Quickfact"? Any better ideas?

Anything else we should know?

Feedback 1[edit]

  • The files are small, easy to retrieve and share. Name tells it like it is.
  • Neat layout; I understand how the trick of putting the first image at the top works, but then if there's only one image in the article you just get a weird duplicate (give a try to en:Malakoff (food) to see what I'm talking about).
  • Hopefully the information I need is in the header (and then if it's a long one in the first 5-600 caracters), otherwise it's pretty useless.
  • Getting rid of the citation markers: smart ^^
  • I did not see the material advantage vs. taking a regular screenshot and sharing it.

Overall the least promising product maybe (at least to me). One common point to all these prototypes is that readers have to know in advance what they'll be looking at later. With quickfact, I doubt there is much information in a 500 caracters header that I won't be able to remember later. Downloading/saving one article at a time also completely shuts off the who serendipity process that made contributed to the brand's fame (see, e.g. this XKCD). Stephane (talk) 16:38, 7 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Feedback 2[edit]

  • The layout of the images is simple but awesome. Works well in Android with system built-in Browser, while UC Browser cannot download the PDF file. Also works in Edge on Windows 10.
  • I doubt how users will share these images, because
    1. we cannot click the link and go to the corresponding page.
    2. most of the social sites (e.g. Facebook) generate the cover image and summary for the pages as users share them, though the summary might be too short.
  • But this Quickfact image might be useful. I believe I just didn't come up with an idea, because it's virtually an image, and one can put this image anywhere.
    • It looks like a "teaser" or "sneak preview" to intrigue the readers on other sites. Maybe it will be more useful for other MediaWiki sites, say, Wikia, where characters in books or equipments in games can be made into this kind of cards.
    • It could be used as a kind of "side-banner" (I'm not sure about the name), like a kind of "advertisement" on the left/right side on a page even outside Wikipedia.
  • As for the name, "Quickfact" is a good one; whereas some other names based on "flashcard" might also do, like, uhmmm… "Wikicards"? Just kidding lol

--CXuesong (talk) 14:08, 12 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]


Did you write to the list? --Nemo 21:24, 29 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Not yet, but on the to-do list. Thanks for the bump, Nemo_bis. AGomez (WMF) (talk) 23:23, 2 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Done AGomez (WMF) (talk) 00:30, 3 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]


voy:Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub#Help test offline Wikipedia mentions WP but doesn't explain what impact any of this has on Wikivoyage or any other project. voy:Wikivoyage:Goals and non-goals specifically calls out "offline use by voyagers on the road" as one of the project's core purposes; the idea is that this can be tucked away into carry-on baggage and taken to destination. Which of the proposals actually apply to WV and not just WP alone? K7L (talk) 03:17, 30 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Hi K7L, thanks for reaching out. The prototypes we've been working on are features that we'd love to push to Wikivoyage as well, if they're useful to you. I've commented on the village pump for Wikivoyage as well. AGomez (WMF) (talk) 00:20, 3 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Offline editing[edit]

It may be too far along into the design process to suggest this, but have you considered offline editing? It could be very interesting. NMaia (talk) 12:37, 30 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Hi NMaia. Offline editing is super interesting... it's not something that we're looking into right now as we're really focused on addressing the needs of readers, but definitely an area that I hope we come to address down the line. One thing you might be interested in is WikiFundi, which is exploring offline editing in Africa. AGomez (WMF) (talk) 00:23, 3 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the reply, AGomez (WMF)! WikiFundi does look promising. I hope the WMF can tackle offline editing in the future :) NMaia (talk) 00:48, 3 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]


Do any extra functionalities for wiktionaries will be included? Reader may want to have only one language section or only the definitions or only etymology or only inflection or only declension or both definition and declension etc. etc. Also some wiktionaries have translation or declension sections in expanding boxes. Will these boxes be expanded?
Also in all wiki projects the time is critical. Will the revision id or the revision time be included? It will be very hard to identify or compare the contents of the pdf in an article with many later revisions. (Sorry if this is not the appropriate place to ask these questions.) --Xoristzatziki (talk) 21:24, 27 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Does phabricator:T171123#4232709 mean that WMF is abandoning any direct work on this front? Please help merge any deliverables produced in the meanwhile to existing pages (see Talk:Offline wiki user group). --Nemo 13:44, 26 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]