Talk:WMDE Technical Wishes/ReferencePreviews

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Reference Tooltips[edit]

See also mw:Reference Tooltips and its improved version on the discussion page. The RedBurn (talk) 23:41, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

Choosing hover/click[edit]

If WMDE is considering to implement this by default (like WMDE does with everything), please consider providing a way to choose whether someone wants to have previews by click or by simple hover. It is an option in the current gadget and it is there for a reason, since, if there are functional previews available, there’s no reason for people to click on footnotes to go to the bottom of the page.

Also, as I said on Phabricator, personally I consider these mockups to be too big in their size. Footnote previews can be substantially longer than article previews, and they should be generally less important to the reader than article previews. Right now the mockup is substantially bigger than it should be.

Please take time to consider nested content (lists, footnotes in footnotes etc.) and good luck in your development. stjn[ru] 11:23, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

@Saint Johann: Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'm sorry it took me a while to reply. I'm not sure I'm understanding you right when you ask for "a way to choose whether someone wants to have previews by click or by simple hover". In the proposed solution, you would see the preview both on click and on hover. Could you describe a bit more when and why having only one of the two would be important?
The topic of popups sizes is certainly an interesting one. We've received feedback both to make them smaller and to make them bigger, and both are valid. At this point, we don’t know for sure which one is better. The presented solution worked well in the first tests we did, but this topic doesn’t seem to be finished.
Concerning nested footnotes, I replied in the section below (#A few points).
-- Thanks and have a happy weekend, Johanna Strodt (WMDE) (talk) 14:44, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
@Johanna Strodt (WMDE): I can answer that one! Some people get very frustrated by things that randomly "pop up" when they were just moving their mouse cursor across the screen. (I.e. They find it distracting, off-putting, confusing, mental-train-derailing). The ability to set the ReferenceTooltips to only show when the user makes a conscious decision to "click" a citation number, was made to help those people. -- This has been the primary source of complaints about the PagePreviews feature. -- I also took a look at w:en:WP:NAVPOPS and it doesn't look like that gadget has a similar feature (unless the experimental/undocumented setting popupPreviewButtonEvent handles this?), but there was an old request for it.
IMO, an alternative solution that might possibly satisfy this issue, is to add a preference for changing the "timing", i.e. being able to set how many seconds I need to hover a link before it pops. This is a widely used preference in NAVPOPS (enwiki search result), and is also available in ReferenceTooltips (screenshot), and was originally a user-configurable setting in PagePreviews (but removed during a code rewrite), and I suggested it as a primary component in my wireframe idea for the proposed accessibility/usability panel. HTH! Quiddity (talk) 20:00, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
Well, basically, I’d like to have control and not be dependent on some algorithm. I would probably be satisfied with any solution that disables the function of links to references (going to a target ID), but that’s what would be most important to me.
For the topic of popups size, it would be definitely helpful to do some kind of exploration over how big is a text of typical reference to know for sure, but I don’t doubt that it would be hard to do with all our templates. I lean toward smaller text (in a moderate approach, of course) because it would fit more information without much harm. In that way, I don’t find current header-text-link approach too good for this. stjn[ru] 12:04, 15 December 2018 (UTC)

Size and scrolling[edit]

I'd like to see how further examples and discussion about how it would/could/should work with larger content within each <ref>. There are many articles that contain large and detailed citations, or include large quotation-excerpts from the citation, so this will be a significant aspect of how it works.

I'm concerned about the proposed idea of scrollable content within these previews ("If the footnote's content is too big, you can scroll within the pop-up."). Specifically I'm concerned about how big the preview would need to be before it starts offering a scrollbar (versus just expanding-to-fit). However I do understand that it has to happen at some size (ie. it has to fit within the browser window). My top-most specific worries are:

  • Readers are less likely to see anything that requires interaction, so long citations and excerpts that are cut-off partway will inevitably get fewer readers.
  • Secondary scrollbars are often considered a UX anti-pattern, because they can interfere with user-intentions in a few ways. E.g. when scrolling within a sub-window, once I scroll to the end of the area it can cause the entire window to start-scrolling which might lose my place in the page. E.g.2. I might want to scroll the entire page, but because my mouse cursor is in the wrong place either the sub-window scrolls or nothing happens. (I'd guess this depends on technical implementation details)

For a random example (and I wish I had time to find more of these, or track down the example used in the embedded video) at w:en:ASCII#cite_ref-Haynes_2015_55-0 the Reference Tooltips gadget displays the long-ish excerpt in full (screenshot). I hope ReferencePreviews can also accomplish this. HTH! Quiddity (talk) 19:54, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Thanks, Quiddity! As I've written in my reply to stjn above, there seem to be opposing preferences when it comes to the size of popups. We don't know yet which way will be the best in the end, but we'll gladly take all of your feedback to figure this out. -- A happy weekend to you and sorry for replying so late, Johanna Strodt (WMDE) (talk) 14:44, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

A few points[edit]

Regarding the "Research" section: All of the gadgets mentioned (enwiki, dewiki, nlwiki) are in fact ReferenceTooltips, which is enabled by default on 59 Wikipedias and available opt-in on many others. Some styling changes were made by certain wikis to match Page Previews styles.

Regarding intended behaviour, I very much advise against removing support for nested footnotes. I also share Quiddity's concerns above.

Please run this by the community somewhere before implementing potentially controversial changes. --Yair rand (talk) 20:18, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Agree about the nested tooltips. If you are going to introduce support for short citations (which is great), this would be practically worthless if nested tooltips aren't supported (that's the animation of how the current gadget in ruwiki handles this). Jack who built the house (talk) 11:26, 9 December 2018 (UTC)
@Yair rand and Jack who built the house: Apologies for my late reply. Thanks for your feedback, and for the animation, it's really helpful. At this stage, we’re still in the process of creating the first base version, and having a popup appear on a popup is a little bit of a risky move. We'd like to discuss this at a later point in time. -- Best, Johanna Strodt (WMDE) (talk) 14:44, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
@Johanna Strodt (WMDE): It is the animation of the updated version of the Reference Tooltips gadget. Honestly, if you're just reworking the codebase for (almost) the same appearance, I don't see the incentive to move to the future ReferencePreviews extension. As a person who developed the new version and knows relatively well its benefits and drawbacks, I would argue in my community to stick with my version if the one created by your team wouldn't be at least not worse. Thanks. Jack who built the house (talk) 01:47, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
@Yair rand: Even though you wrote this a while ago, I'd like to reply to your request to run these changes by the community before implementing them. Our plan is to deploy this feature as a beta feature first (as we usually do), and we do this specifically to collect feedback. In our opinion, a beta phase has the benefit that people can comment on an actual feature that they can use. -- Have a good weekend, Johanna Strodt (WMDE) (talk) 13:09, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
I'll add a +1, and note that I use the gadget NavigationPopups instead of PagePreviews partially because PagePreviews cannot do (or doesn't show) nested links. The wiki-rabbit-hole is so much deeper and richer and faster to navigate with nested links (aka recursive links). (I usually have both turned on, because I load navpopups globally and therefor it doesn't get detected by the local extension, hence I can take easy screenshot comparisons!). Quiddity (talk) 20:16, 14 December 2018 (UTC)