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WMDE Technical Wishes/Edit Conflicts/Feedback Round Paragraph-Based Prototype

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New paragraph-based prototype – rough visualization of the functionality

Welcome to the testing of the new prototype for the edit conflict resolution page! This feedback round was open until March 12, 2018. @Trizek, Insertcleverphrasehere, Alsee, Amorymeltzer, Arkanosis, DGG, Ciencia Al Poder, Nemo bis, Lofhi, SMcCandlish, Saint Johann, and Jeblad: A summary of the feedback collected here and on dewiki and the next steps are now published. Thanks for taking the time to test and give feedback!

About the paragraph-based prototype[edit]

TwoColConflict - current beta feature
Prototype for the new paragraph-based approach in action

Why a new prototype[edit]

The Two Column Edit Conflict view has been a beta feature on all wikis for about 9 months. By now, more than 47.000 users have activated it as a beta feature. According to feedback and data, the beta feature is already an improvement to the default edit conflict resolution page. However, we think we can do better: This is why we have asked for feedback on German Wikipedia and here on Meta in autumn 2017. Based on this feedback and further research we've now developed the paragraph-based approach as a prototype.

Testing the new prototype[edit]

Please try out the new prototype (see screen video; the original link is no longer available):

  • You can simulate edit conflicts without messing anything up and registration is not required.
  • You can choose one of the example articles listed on the page to test the functionality.
  • When you edit the article text, this creates your edit -> this is half of the conflict. The test page makes random changes to the page, too -> this creates the edit that you are conflicting with. In case you are not making any changes by yourself, the test page still will add random changes to create the other half of the conflict.

Please note that it's a prototype and not a complete implementation. The prototype provides the basic functionality to get an idea of the concept and to find out if this approach is generally useful to solve edit conflicts.

Thank you very much for testing! Please let us know if the new approach works for you - your feedback is much appreciated and will help us to further develop the feature!


Was it easy to understand how this prototype works?[edit]

If yes, what made it easy? If not, what was confusing?

  • The paragraph to paragraph edit conflict is clear to use. However, I would like to have a more clear way to distinguish the version I've selected, for instance by fading more the version I haven't selected. Trizek from FR 20:44, 12 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yep. seems to work pretty well. Wish it displayed the text in the boxes a bit smaller, but maybe that is my screen settings. Insertcleverphrasehere (talk) 06:25, 13 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Irony alert! I got edit-conflicted when posting this. lol. I assume the lack of preview is merely a prototype limitation? Preview is important. It took me a moment to figure out that I needed to click the pencil icon. You should check if this is a stumbling block for people. Other than that, I found it pretty clear. Alsee (talk) 06:52, 13 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yes, quite clear, and more so that the two-column option. It made it very obvious what to do and how to do it, but I'll agree that it wasn't clear to click the pencil icon to edit. Otherwise, looks great. ~ Amory (utc) 11:37, 13 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Undeniably. It was supposed to be like that from the beginning, it's really a very useful addition. Editing conflict is clearly visible and allows quicker and more efficient correction. Lofhi (talk) 01:59, 16 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yes, although I can only hope that there will be fewer popups on subsequent uses (since the current version, for example, shows a popup every time you are confronted with edit conflict instead of remembering which option did you choose and allowing to change preferred version inline). stjn[ru] 23:18, 19 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Could you solve the edit conflict?[edit]

How did you solve the conflict? What were the steps you made? Was there a frustrating moment or something especially positive? Did the result meet your expectations?

  • I've just successfully selected the versions I wanted to keep.
    • I've been a bit frustrated by the lack of edit tools: I often edit conflict with other people who have a good idea, or newcomers who have improved their edit while I was fixing some stuff. In those cases, I like to improve their edit to avoid a future conflict.
    • Visual diffs have been released today, and should be integrated there. newcomers struggle with complex code. Trizek from FR 20:44, 12 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Jest copied my comment and manually re added it to the right side after telling it to keep the current version. Insertcleverphrasehere (talk) 06:27, 13 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I was able to resolve that edit conflict, and I can see how this prototype can make some edit conflicts quicker and simpler to resolve. However the lack of a full unrestricted edit box is weird and concerning. During an edit conflict I might have good reason to edit a gray section. This system would force me to escape out of the conflict-system and start a new edit from scratch. Adding an edit-pencil to the gray sections would probably(?) restore almost all lost editing capability, short of the ability to copy-paste the full text to&from an external text editor. A full copy&paste is an occasional edit workflow, although I'm not sure I'd consider it a fatal issue here if editable-gray-sections is otherwise effective in solving the limitations of the partial edit-boxes. Alsee (talk) 07:03, 13 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • worked well enough, was able to handle references, but gave the appearance of allowing achange in categories, but the change, though selected, did not get into up in the final version. Being able to edit any paragraph , as suggested above, would help, but isn't essential. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DGG (talk) 22:22, 14 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I swapped 2 consecutive paragraphs (P1 P2 became P2 P1, concretely on the Horse page, in the Behavior section) and the conflict resolution gave me only one of those paragraphs in conflict but comparing the differences was very difficult because it marks the entire paragraph as different (there's an unbalanced newline in one of them). I'm not sure if it's caused by the forced conflict, or that diffs generally sucks at comparing whitespace changes (which I suspect it's the latter). --Ciencia Al Poder (talk) 10:34, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I chose the versions I wanted according to the conflict. By clicking on these different versions, I was able to directly modify the paragraphs to add what might be missing in my contribution. This is far less annoying than resolving editing conflicts right now. A more positive feeling. Lofhi (talk) 02:05, 16 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I was able to resolve an edit conflict, but my comments about the experience are probably the same as Alsee’s. The fact that there is no clear edit boxes on the start is very confusing, you have to guess that you can edit the picked version afterwards. If this was a real edit instead of simulation, I would’ve just picked best parts instead of editing something new. Also it is regrettable that new version requires the thrice amount of clicks to resolve an edit conflict. Would like to see how it would take care of a discussion edit conflict, since that wasn’t shown and it is probably more common now than edit conflicts in the articles. stjn[ru] 23:18, 19 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Usefulness in numbers[edit]

On a scale from 1 (very useful) to 6 (not useful at all) how would you rate the feature?

Other remarks[edit]

  • I haven't read the guided tout. People don't read, they do. :) Maybe have something more visual, especially for the editing options. Trizek from FR 20:49, 12 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Great idea, and long overdue. The current beta replacement for the old edit-conflict resolver is so close to unusable I had to turn it off. Its usage is so confusing that in one case it cost me over four hours of painstaking editing work because I selected the wrong option. Enhancing the original with a paragraph-by-paragraph approach, as contemplated here, would be far more practical.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  23:15, 19 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Per-segment radio buttons: Having radio buttons for each segment (in this case paragraph) seems an intuitive interface to me, although I'm not sure how it will work when multiple paragraphs need a manual conflict resolution. In Special:PageMigration we also have per-paragraph matching, but with text areas which can be edited individually. --Nemo 12:55, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Two columns vs. Three columns: This keeps the core problem where two diverging edits must be merged. In those cases you must see the changes in both entries to be able to properly merge them. Now it is sort of half-way between two and three column edits, you chose one column to act as the third, but by doing so you loose change-highlighting. I would strongly suggest that the double column solution is replaced by a triple column solution, it is way more user friendly for the difficult cases. Now it is easy for those DarnSimple™ cases where one of the paragraphs can be replaced by the other, but it isn't for those cases where the user need support by a tool, and those are the hard cases where edits are intermingled. — Jeblad 13:05, 26 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]