Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Larger suggestions/Chat client/Proposal

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  • Problem: Communicating about smaller things or conversations that require frequent back-and-forth are time-intensive and annoying to conduct on Talk pages. As a result, communities have been set up on other platforms like Discord and Telegram to conduct these types of conversations. All wiki conversations should conducted and centralized on their wiki for openness and collaborative efficiency, but because of the current lack of communication methods they are not and have moved to different platforms.
  • Proposed solution:
    • A chat client that can be accessed on any wiki page through a button at the upper right by your profile icon that opens a chat dialog box where you can access all of the chats you are subscribed to. The client will also have its own dedicated page so that you can keep it open in a separate tab. Realtime notifications could be enabled.
    • Chats will be derived from containers present on talk pages. For example, a talk page will have a normal Wikitext container and then a chat container (maybe one after the other or side-by-side?). The chat container will house a custom client that shows a list of active and previous chats for that page and allows users to start a new chat about a topic or subscribe to one just like current talk pages. Once created or subscribed-to, these chats will be realtime/live-updating and able to be accessed from the chat client when you are away from the talk page.
    • Chats will be structured in a thread-like format. Every response to the last message sent by another user will be by-default considered a reply to that message or series of messages unless a specific message or series of messages is selected to be replied to. This way, chats can be converted into Wikitext conversations if-wanted and vice-versa. If the topic changes from what was originally being discussed, a message can be marked as the starting point for a new chat. That message will create a new chat on its page (or could even be moved to another) to indicate to other editors it is a new topic, but will still remain a continuation of the chat it was derived from.
    • Chats would primarily be enabled on personal and community talk pages like User, WikiProject, and wiki-encompassing talk pages, but not article pages.
    • Chats will not replace Wikitext conversations. Wikitext conversations are beneficial for topics that require the attention and input of an entire community that would see a talk page. They act as a permanent notice and community forum, rather than a chat where points mentioned by users in a conversation can quickly disappear. For example, discussions about changing something fundamental about a WikiProject would be appropriate for a Wikitext conversation.
    • Continuous non-thread-like-chats may want to be created to provide a fun off-topic place for editors to converse. That way we don't have to rely on Discord for that either.
  • Who would benefit: All editors.
  • More comments: See also Wikimedia Social Suite. This is a set of communication services hosted by Wikimedia itself including chat services like Mattermost, Rocketchat, and Zulip. This proposal is different in that it seeks to build an on-wiki centralized chat service.
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Lectrician1 (talk) 07:56, 11 January 2022 (UTC)