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Community Tech/Global cross-wiki talk page/Notes

Preliminary assessment meeting, Dec 17Edit

Doing this on wiki talk pages: how would it work?

  • Going to a user talk page on XX wiki actually reroutes you to the master user talk page on a central wiki. You make the edits on that page.
  • The user talk page on each wiki pulls from a master talk page. You make an edit on XX wiki and it updates the master page on the central wiki.

Questions: Do people really want to go off-wiki? How would you do links? Where would this history and contributions be?

Possible to hack something -- when you go to a user page that doesn't exist, it would pull the talk page via the API from the central wiki. If you want to post on it, it would have a JS interface that keeps each conversation and each message separate.

With existing shared user pages, you can't edit those pages on the local wiki; it just shows you the content. You don't get an edit tab -- you get Create, and if you click that, it overrides the global page with a new local page.

Something that allows you to actually edit pages cross-wiki would be on the client side, by the API. It would be a completely different interface.

Option, see if it's technically feasible -- pull the talk page from the central repo and ask people to edit it locally on the server side, and then have everything written on the other page.

Cache invalidation problem -- not sure how technically feasible. It's different from how anything on MediaWiki works.

You'd have to rewrite links. If I'm on de.wp and I add a link to the Camel milk article, I want that link to go to de:Camel milk, wherever you read the message. Telling people to add prefixes for every link is not scaleable. You could add a hook on save, and then go through and replace links to add the project and language prefix for that link. But when somebody refactors or archives the talk page, all those links would be rewritten again.

The big problem -- doing this would require you to treat each conversation and potentially each message as a separate item, structured discussions. This is Flow functionality. Whatever people feel about Flow, it's a lot faster to get from current Flow to cross-wiki Flow than it would be to start from scratch.

Also: starting on a fourth talk page system -- wiki talk pages, LiquidThreads, Flow and now #4. This is not an appealing idea.

That being said -- 66 support votes, #8 on the list. Assume a good number of those people already know about Flow, and want something different. We need to go deep into what this would look like if we're building on top of existing wiki talk pages, actually do the work of going through what's involved. Invite people to think it through with us. If there's a really good way to do this on top of existing wiki talk, we need to describe how that would work.