Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Bots and gadgets/Globalize some of Twinkle's functionality

Globalize some of Twinkle's functionality

  • Problem: enwiki Twinkle is really powerful tool, but it requires Javascript knowledge to port to other wikis (not talking about translating UI) - knowledge, that's not available in many small/medium projects (or devs, who doesn't have time for that), who would really want to use it.
  • Who would benefit: RC patrollers, powerusers
  • Proposed solution: Create a gadget with some basic(?) functionality, that is easily customizable.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Edgars2007 (talk) 17:23, 4 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


It doesn't nessecarily does have to be called Twinkle, it can be a completely new product. Most wikis won't need all those very specific modules, that enwiki has. I would propose such "modules":

  • propose deletion of page - most wikis simply add {{delete}}-like template on the page. No daily subpages, PROD, speedy etc.
    • with option to add a notification on user's talk page
  • "last" module from enwiki, as is
  • "unlink" module
  • "restore and rollback" module
  • page tagging with maintenance templates
  • general deletion module.

Of course, details can be discussed. Edgars2007 (talk) 17:23, 4 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Edgars2007, I tweaked the title of the proposal to clarify that you're asking for the basic functionality. Thanks for the proposal! -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 18:15, 13 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Tools like Twinkle have been associated to the drop-off in editor retention in numbers of active editors since 2007. Does anyone have any estimates as to what this proposal might do to editor retention in smaller wikis? HLHJ (talk) 04:04, 14 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@HLHJ: To what are you referring? Has anyone argued that access to tools like this has a measurable effect on retention? Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:51, 17 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, it's argued in Research:The Rise and Decline, which also discusses other possible reasons; if anyone has a more definitive discussion of the problem, please post. Graphs below.
These are all just the English Wikipedia. Graphs for all other languages are available; some show the same 2007-ish change in editor growth, others do not. I have not seen an analysis of these changes by the rate and nature of automated tool use on each of these wikis. MMiller (WMF), do you know of any? If this proposal is accepted, I would strongly suggest that the rollout be used as an experiment to better characterize the effects of Twinkle (and the way in which Twinkle is used) on editor retention. Twinkle provides a lot of useful abilities to editors, especially for fixing vandalism. But I think it would be a missed opportunity not to study its effects. We might learn ways to improve it.
By "improvement", I mean something like this excellent proposal for tagging fixable additions. Or adding a new-user flag when users are reverting a newbie so they can respond as they see fit (maybe by linking jargon and giving more encouragement in the message). Or a way to tag excellent edits and exemplary new editors as models for newbies. Or whatever editor-retention aids the Twinkle community wants to try; some readers will almost certainly have better ideas, and I hope they will post them on en:Wikipedia talk:Twinkle. HLHJ (talk) 19:51, 17 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@HLHJ: I'm sorry for the long delay on my response. The "Rise and Decline" paper that you linked to is the definitive source on how automated tools have impacted the experience of new editors, with the theory being that the impersonal bureaucratic experience that newcomers get from those tools makes it difficult for them to find their place in the wikis and learn comfortably. That said, I think it is quite possible for automated tools to be designed with care such that they retain a "human touch" and do not alienate newcomers. As you said above, perhaps this proposal could be an opportunity to try out different wording and functions that could lead to better outcomes. -- MMiller (WMF) (talk) 00:56, 29 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]