Grants:Project/ClemFlip/Wikifab/Various types of transclusions of Structured Discussions boards

statusnot selected
A special page to gather Structured Discussions discussions
summaryWe propose to create an extension that creates a special page to gather all Structured Discussions discussions of a Mediawiki instance in one page.
targetThe Structured Discussions extension (formerly known as “Flow”) is installed on 1,051 MediaWiki sites, including many from the Wikimedia foundation (for exemple: fr.wikipedia.org, de.wikipedia.org, mediawiki.org). For the complete list of sites, check this page on wikiapiary.com.
type of granttools and software
amount27,924 EUR
type of applicantgroup
granteeClemFlip
contact• ClemFlip• Pyro853
volunteerFokebox
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created on10:29, 3 August 2017 (UTC)


Project ideaEdit

What is the problem you're trying to solve?Edit

Structured Discussions boards (formerly known as “Flow”) are very powerful. However, they can only be used on the discussion page of a specific page. This doesn't encourage collaboration because users usually visit the pages they watch and some discussion remains unanswered for days...

We believe a special page that gather all the discussions of the wiki will improve collaboration between users.

In the meantime, discussions boards are displayed in a separate tab. This can be confusing to newcomers. If the discussion boards were transcluded under the wiki page itself, it'd look like what users are used to see on other sites (like comments on a blog).

The Extension:StructuredDiscussions is installed on 1,051 MediaWiki sites, including many from the Wikimedia foundation (for exemple: fr.wikipedia.org, de.wikipedia.org, mediawiki.org). For the complete list of sites, check this page on wikiapiary.com. We believe this project can improve the experience of thousands of MediaWiki users around the world.

What is your solution?Edit

As the user of a MediaWiki site, I'd like to have:

  1. ability to combine discussion boards from multiple wiki pages to create one common "forum". This could only be limited to conversations that you're currently subscribed to, in the same way that Special:Watchlist works;
  2. create personal feeds on user activity or profile pages to show all discussions that they subscribe to in their activity page;
  3. ability to transclude discussion boards inside or under the wiki page itself.

On the "forum" page, I want to be able to:

  • browse all the discussions (by default, discussions will be listed by date (last active discussions first))
  • sort discussions by most recent, author, category, most viewed (TBD), most answers, or status (Unanswered/accepted);
  • search for discussions by keywords (knowing that on-board searchs will be developed this year: T76823: Basic search on Structured Discussions board (tracking). (Advanced is T106767));
  • quickly join a discussion without leaving the forum page.

Project goalsEdit

We will create a separate MediaWiki extension that aims to provide:

  • A special page to gather all the Structured Discussions in one page;
  • A magic word to display the discussion board of a page inside the page itself;
  • A parameters to display the discussions of a users on its user profile page;

Project impactEdit

How will you know if you have met your goals?Edit

According to Wikiapiary (see here), the Structured Discussions extension were installed on 1,051 sites by August 2017.

We will consider this project complete when:Edit

  1. The extension will be published on Gerrit, with all the documentation needed to install and use it on MediaWiki
  2. The extension will be will be set up on wikifab.org, and start to have users using it
  3. We'll have good feedback about it from community liaisons and Wikipedia frequent users.

We will consider it very successful when:Edit

  1. At least, 15 popular MediaWikis will use the extension
  2. At least, 2 sites of the WM foundation will use the extension
  3. We'll have good feedbacks from community liaisons and Wikipedia frequent users.

Project planEdit

ActivitiesEdit

For this Grant, we propose to provide a project manager from our team and to hire a professional PHP programmer (junior) for 5 months to do the task.

Months
Task 1 2 3 4 5
Project Management Recruit the developer, Functional specifications, mockups & design Project management ---->
Development Technical specifications Development Testing & Documentation

We commit to use and maintain the extension to the lastest versions of MediaWiki.

BudgetEdit

Item Cost (EUR) Note
Full time junior software developer (5 mo) 16,250 Based on average starting salary in France[1]
Taxes on salary 7,020 Taxes on salary in France are 43% [2]
Project Management 20% 4,654 Extra costs and admin covered by Wikifab team
Total 27,924 Approx. USD 32,200
  1. According to http://www.payscale.com/research/FR/Job=Software_Engineer/Salary (Low 28.3k; high 56.8k; median 39k/p.y.)
  2. According to https://embauche.beta.gouv.fr/simulateur/ with a monthly salary at 3,250 EUR

Community engagementEdit

Wikifab communityEdit

We have a small but active volunteer developer community with which we regularly engage. Wikifab already has its own Twitter and Facebook feeds as well as this discourse site for bug reporting. We plan to release a few blog posts to increase community awareness.

Wikimedia Hackathon 2018Edit

We have attended the Wikimedia Hackathon 2016 in Jerusalem and 2017 in Vienna. We plan to organise a session next year to present our work to the Wikimedia developers.

Over the course of the project advancement will be communicated on the relevant mailing list, Facebook groups and phabricator tasks.

SustainabilityEdit

We will make sure to let the Structured Discussions team aware of our progress and technical choices. Using this Phabricator task. We will also write a complete documentation on MediaWiki.org.

Get involvedEdit

ParticipantsEdit

  • Clément Flipo is the co-founder of Wikifab. He manages Wikifab's project management and regularly participates in events presenting this solution (most recently in Vienna for WM Hackathon 2017);
  • Pierre Boutet is a software developer and the co-founder of Wikifab and Dokit. He still is the lead developer for Wikifab' core code;

We have a strong experience in MediaWiki extension development. Our team of professional PHP developers have created (among others) the following extensions:

  • VEforPageForm: The VEForPageForm extension allows to use the VisualEditor on textarea fileds created with the PageForms extension.
  • UsersWatchlist: The UsersWatchlist extension creates a Special:EditUsersWatchList page that allows you to follow the contributions of a list of users and creates a Special:UsersWatchList page which lists the latest contributions of the users that you follow.
  • UsersWatchButton: The UsersWatchButton extension adds a follow/unfollow button on user's profile page to let you control your UsersWatchList
  • ImageAnnotator: The ImageAnnotator extension enables users to insert markups (arrows, circle, etc.) on a layer on top of an image
  • PageMediaGallery: The PageMediaGallery extension adds a gallery of medias (specific per page) to simplify the management of medias (video, images) in FormEdit mode

VolunteersEdit

Hello, my name is Philip and I am interested in this project to create a special page for Structured Discussions extension that provides users "Forum" page. I can be helpful at translation extension into Russian Fokebox (talk) 06:40, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Community notificationEdit

EndorsementsEdit

Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • TitusiMW: Yes, I highly recommend this project for grant. Structured Discussions is a great software. I have not find any other discussion library that is as powerful as Structured Discussions. And with VisualEditor integration ... this is unbeatable. But it misses super critical features that are needed for it be useful for collaboration. Not able to search 3 years of useful comments sucks. Not able to show feed of comments on authors activity page sucks. Also no ability to transclude anywhere sucks. I am willing to contribute financially as well as for code development help if someone wants to take lead, plan, organize, manage this project and susequent maintenance of the extension.
  • Nicolas Nallet : Yes this feature could be definitively useful !
  • Structured Discussions could clearly benefit from aggregation of the sort that Special:Watchlist provides. Given that Structured Discussions development from within the WMF is at an impasse, having this (relatively) small-scale project, done by outside developers and on a separate extension, seems like an efficient and cost-effective way to provide some much-needed functionality in the near future. Yaron Koren (talk) 14:23, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
  • yes, as discussed at wikimania, communication channels are broken, needs collaboration tools update. i would like to see expense reimbursement for UX beta testers. Slowking4 (talk) 15:39, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Full endorsement, but suggest strong and tight communication lines with the Collaboration team as prerequisite. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:09, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Currently it's not possible to search Structured Discussions posts without using an external search provider like Google ! It's an essential feature that was missed in Structured Discussions's development. So if someone can code this, it'll be genius. --Framawiki (talk) 19:12, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Structured Discussions is great but search Structured Discussions posts is complex. This new feature would be useful for the community. LaMèreVeille (talk) 11:25, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
  • As a private wiki administrator (and not one of the 1,051 sites listed on wikiapiary), the Structured Discussions extension provides my users great value. The problem noted is one I recognize and the solution appears to be one that would add value to my organization and its users. DHillBCA (talk) 14:37, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I believe that this proposal will inject new momentum to Structured Discussions which is in general a very useful tool for discussions which however seems to be in some kind of paralysis and still suffers from show-stoppers e.g. the detachment from the actual talk page and the respective subject page. Thus this proposal provides useful and reasonable enhancements here and beyond. --[[kgh]] (talk) 15:24, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I endorse, and in addition, as pointed in this discussion, it would be great if the last edit(s) in a Structured Discussions page you watch, and even if the edit was not done in a topic you watch, can be shown in a watchlist --Christian Ferrer (talk) 20:06, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
  • The proposed feature is an important addition to the existing discussion system and will promote awareness of hot spots as well as entry points for collaboration. This is much needed! --Mglaser (talk) 15:41, 24 October 2017 (UTC)