Community Wishlist Survey 2017/Bots and gadgets/Turn UTCLiveClock into an extension

Turn UTCLiveClock into an extension

  • Problem: The UTCLiveClock is one of the most used gadgets across the projects (typically within the top 5). There are 3 problems with it:
    1. It loads after the rest of the page loads, which causes the other links in the user toolbar to shift, often leading to people accidentally clicking the "Log out" link.
    2. Some projects don't have the gadget.
    3. Because it's a gadget rather than a preference, it won't be available as a global preference.
    Turning it into a extension will solve all three of these problems.
  • Who would benefit: All current and future users of UTCLiveClock
  • Proposed solution: Turn it into an extension with its own preference. Migrate people who are using the existing extension.
  • Phabricator tickets:


  • I added a similar idea to mw:Extension:Purge the other day: Perhaps the UTCclock and MediaWiki:Gadget-purgetab.js could be combined into one extension? Sam Wilson 00:30, 9 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I have all sorts of things up there in my top bar, which looks like: A Den Jentyl Ettien Avel Dysklyver - Alerts (0) - Notices (0) - Talk - Sandbox - AfDs Closing - Page Curation - AfDs Today - AfDs All - Preferences - Beta - Watchlist - Contributions - Log out - 15:10:00, and they load all at different times over a few seconds, anything to get them to load at the same time would be useful. A Den Jentyl Ettien Avel Dysklyver (talk) 15:13, 9 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It's a bit hacky, but you can use peer gadgets to put in the space with CSS before the JavaScript loads, so that things don't jump around. This is already being done with the UTCLiveClock gadget on English Wikipedia and If you wanted to source the gadget as a user script (in global.js, for instance), you'd have to add the necessary CSS as well (e.g. see the bottom of User:MusikAnimal/global.css). But an extension is still better! I think it makes just as much sense to include it as part of Purge, too — MusikAnimal talk 20:17, 9 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I understood that Performance team were working to remove the purge action entirely from MediaWiki. This seems to go against that work? Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 02:16, 15 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That's being tracked in phab:T56902, and seems like it'd be a reasonably complex and lengthy project (that ticket's been open for four years). On the other hand, cleaning up these gadgets would be a pretty easy thing to do (and most of the work has already been done). So I think it's still worth it, even if it's only used for a year or two. Maybe. Happy to be convinced otherwise though! Sam Wilson 06:47, 15 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Fair. I'm just uneasy about giving such high profile endorsement (even if we don't think of it that way) to a feature we're already planning to kill… People might feel misled. Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 20:08, 15 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The Performance team is working on making sure that purges are never triggered with GET requests. Getting completely rid of them is more of a long-term aspiration (that would require major changes in our caching and parsing architecture) than something being worked on, I think. --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 06:09, 18 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree that we should assume that purging will eventually be deprecated (even though it might take a very long time for that to happen). Thus I would favor implementing this as a separate extension that has purging as an optional feature, rather than turning the UTC clock into an optional feature of the Purge extension. Kaldari (talk) 22:46, 16 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The clock thing is one of those usability train wrecks that have been around so long that we have mostly stopped noticing how bad they are. Using a clock to purge the current page, and then putting it into the personal toolbar, just makes no UX sense whatsoever. As a clock, it has poor usability anyway; the reasonable approach would be something like Google Calendar's world clock where you can set which timezones you want to see (plus maybe integration with timestamps on the page). But I doubt anyone cares about the clock part anyway. The purge link should just live in the page action dropdown. --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 06:09, 18 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • @Tgr (WMF): Actually, I only care about the clock part (which I use a lot). I don't even want purging ability. I don't think setting the time zone is needed. I just need UTC time so that I can tell when various on-wiki actions occurred. Kaldari (talk) 18:19, 20 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • 1) The visible layout change after page-load was fixed on 2) Creating an extension seems overkill for this feature, especially because it seems to bypass the existing project for "Global gadgets" which would solve this. This could become one of the first gadgets to be ported to WikimediaGadgets.git. 3) It is indeed safe to assume the current Gadgets system will not support "Global Preferences" because they are per-wiki (similarly named gadgets could be different things on different wikis). However, it is also safe to assume that this restriction does not apply to global gadgets. As such, if this gadget were a global gadget, it would be trivial to add its preference to the list of global preferences. --Krinkle (talk) 04:33, 21 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]