Grants talk:IEG/Global Watchlist

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Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2014Edit

This Individual Engagement Grant proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 2014 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review for round 2 2014 begins on 21 October 2014, and grants will be announced in December. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

Jtud (WMF) (talk) 22:31, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Similar toolsEdit


Here are two scripts which might be useful:

Helder 18:54, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi Helder, Does this mean that this work has already been done? Jane023 (talk) 22:07, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes and no. The existing scripts probably need some improvements to be more user friendly. Helder 00:10, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
@He7d3r and Jane023:I would agree that some of the work has already been done. However, I have not seen the ability to watch/ignore individual talk page threads in those tools, or others. In addition (as mentioned), the tools are not that user friendly, or do not integrate with the watchlist (e.g. toollabs:xtools/echo).
As with any project, I do not propose to ignore work that has already been done. If appropriate, any such project should incorporate work that has gone before. Good engineering includes considering the cost of developing a solution in the choices for how to proceed. One of the significant benefits of working in an open-source environment is that it is often possible to re-use code which has already been written. In doing so, it is, of course, necessary to be in compliance with the license under which such code is released. Beyond the strict legal compliance with the license, there is also an ethical requirement that appropriate credit be given to the original author(s) of the code which is incorporated/modified. Makyen (talk) 13:50, 20 October 2014 (UTC)


Also, for mw:GSoC we don't accept any application which doesn't come with a completed microtask; similarly, I propose that for this to be funded the proposer first completes a microtask such as fixing an existing bug or feature request in one of the tools above. --Nemo 09:36, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

@Nemo bis: I do not have a problem having the completion of a microtask be a prerequisite to funding. I will need to determine if something in the above appears appropriate. Are you suggesting that such microtask specifically be required to be within one of the above, or merely suggesting those as possible sources of the microtask? Makyen (talk) 13:50, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Those are just possible sources; but it needs to be an equally in-use piece of software, and there aren't many more. If you need more suggestions, you can also fix a watchlist bug in MediaWiki: [1]. --Nemo 08:48, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Notification suggestionsEdit

Hello Makyen, thank you for this proposal. One important part of an IEG grant is making posts to relevant pages on Wikimedia projects, so that interested Wikimedians can give you feedback on your proposal. It also lets editors who may be impacted by your work know what you are doing and the idea behind it. Best of all, you may even find Wikimedians who want to help. As your proposal is a tool all Wikimedians could use, a note to the main noticeboard here at Meta would be appropriate. Also, the Small Wiki Monitoring Team may be interested. Best regards, PEarley (WMF) (talk) 01:59, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

While I'm intrigued...Edit

How does this proposal differ from the functionality that already exists in the form of LQT? How does this proposal differ from what will be offered when FLOW is released? It appears that you wish to create a new userscript to do the work instead of doing it server side with an actual extension; if that is the case, how would such a script interact with FLOW once released? I'm not saying I oppose or support this proposal at this time, I'm just trying to get a better understand and feel for what you are hoping to accomplish. Thanks. Technical 13 (talk) 00:17, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

@Technical 13:: It is a user script, not a MediaWiki extension because it includes functionality that is difficult, at best, to perform within an extension and because MediaWiki extensions are explicitly excluded from being permitted for IEG.
FLOW comes with a considerable amount of additional features which are not desired by a significant portion of Wikipedians. FLOW completely changes the user interface which is available for talk pages, not just adding the ability to watch/ignore threads. As to interacting with FLOW: are you saying that FLOW will prevent having talk pages listed in the watchlist? I am not sure what information you are actually asking for here. The intent is to have the threads being watched appear on the watchlist and those that are ignored, or not being watched, will not appear there.
As to w:Wikipedia:LiquidThreads: LQT makes changes to how talk pages are presented to the user. This script does not propose to make such changes. — Makyen (talk) 18:00, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
  • So, it's a sliver of what FLOW will offer (hence included in FLOW anyways). I have no idea how FLOW will interact with the watchlist, although I might be lead to believe that talk pages will not be listed on watchlists as they are now but instead just threads will be listed (like what LQT does now). So, it will be a short term stop-gap until FLOW is enabled on all Wikipedias. That is all I wanted to know. :) Technical 13 (talk) 23:04, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Technically feasible?Edit

Over on English at en:WP:PERENNIAL#Watchlist changes, it's noted that this hasn't happened do to technical challenge, and that a lot a changes would be needed to the Mediawiki software for this to work. Has something changed, and is it feasible now for some reason when it wasn't in the past? Oiyarbepsy (talk) 22:26, 31 October 2014 (UTC) Please ping me when replying, as it seems that I can't put a meta page on my English watchlist :)

@Oiyarbepsy:, At that location, they are talking about changes to the MediaWiki software to enable an interwiki watchlist as a default MediaWiki feature. This IEG does not propose changing the MediaWiki software. In fact, changes to the MediaWiki software are not permitted for an IEG proposal. What is proposed is a user script which will consolidate your watchlist from multiple Wikipedia projects/languages and have additional features. As a user script, it does not have the same technological constraints as exist for the MediaWiki software. It is feasible to do this with a user script which interacts with the MediaWiki software on multiple wikis even though it is not feasible do do this as a default feature of the MediaWiki software.
The MediaWiki software runs on the servers and, generally, does not communicate between the different wikis. A user script runs in the browser on your computer. Just like it is possible for you to open multiple pages each containing a watchlist from different wikis, a userscript can request information from multiple wikis and consolidate the information into one watchlist. — Makyen (talk) 00:22, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

As a user script, it does not have the same technological constraints as exist for the MediaWiki software.

Why not? Helder 02:24, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
(@Oiyarbepsy, He7d3r, and Makyen:) That's only sort of correct. Its true that user scripts face different technical constraints than MediaWiki software (not to mention different social and quality standards constraints). However, being able to communicate with multiple wikis isn't (or at least isn't directly) one of them. The more pressing concern for MediaWiki software is how worst case performance can affect a lot of people. With a user script, if it has to load watchlist from a lot of wikis, and ends up being slow as a result, that will affect one person. When its in MediaWiki core, if doing the load watchlist multiple times thing causes a lot of delay, it could cause lots of the php servers to be busy, causing all traffic to get backed up (Which is very bad), or if it involves making a lot of queries all at once, it could cause load spikes on the database servers, etc. Bawolff (talk) 22:44, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Global WatchlistEdit

Scoring criteria (see the rubric for background) Score
1=weak alignment 10=strong alignment
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it fit with Wikimedia's strategic priorities?
  • Does it have potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Innovation and learning
  • Does it take an Innovative approach to solving a key problem?
  • Is the potential impact greater than the risks?
  • Can we measure success?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in 6 months?
  • How realistic/efficient is the budget?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
  • Does it support diversity?
Comments from the committee:
  • General idea is great. This is a problem which many of us would like to see solved. Likely most useful for power users.
  • Missing quantitative measures of success, and it is unclear what level of tool functionality or community adoption would be considered a successful outcome.
  • Excessive budget, and not adequately justified. Proposed labor rate appears high for the complexity of the work proposed, and we have concerns about purchasing hardware for testing.
  • Unclear whether the grantee has the necessary skills
  • Some tools are already developed, and they could be improved and used as base. A userscript could be easily maintained by other users and can build on scripts that are already existing.
  • We would like to ensure that this expands to other sister projects (and languages) too rather than just Wikipedia.
  • Does not appear to be strongly aligned with any strategic priority. Missing evidence that the lack of a global watchlist is a significant concern for a large number of participants, or that existing tools are inadequate to mitigate this concern.
  • Possible overlap with a Toolserver tool in the past and with Flow is a concern both in budgeting and in impact. Could be more useful in the Mediawiki core. This solution may be another workaround, rather than the real solution.

Thank you for submitting this proposal. The committee is now deliberating based on these scoring results, and WMF is proceeding with its due-diligence. You are welcome to continue making updates to your proposal pages during this period. Funding decisions will be announced by early December. — ΛΧΣ21 17:00, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Round 2 2014 DecisionEdit


This project has not been selected for an Individual Engagement Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding, but we hope you'll continue to engage in the program. Please drop by the IdeaLab to share and refine future ideas!

Comments regarding this decision:
A Global Watchlist would be lovely, but ultimately we were unsure that this was the right approach to creating it at this time. Would love to see more details and clearly demonstrated understanding of what else exists in the tools ecosystem for future ideas you may have!

Next steps:

  1. Review the feedback provided on your proposal and to ask for any clarifications you need using this talk page.
  2. Visit the IdeaLab to continue developing this idea and share any new ideas you may have.
  3. To reapply with this project in the future, please make updates based on the feedback provided in this round before resubmitting it for review in a new round.
  4. Check the schedule for the next open call to submit proposals - we look forward to helping you apply for a grant in a future round.
Questions? Contact us.
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