Hey, You've got mail via ppelberg[at]wikimedia.org. Thanks, RhinosF1 (talk) 15:58, 11 February 2020 (UTC)

Subscribe fails, and the design model commentsEdit

I used Subscribe and tried a variety of kinds of edits. Subscribe failed to report most of them. To make the issue simple and clear, see this edit pretending to change my vote. I can't use the subscribe tool if it's not going to show that someone altered my vote. The reason subscribe doesn't show stuff is because you're thinking the unit here is "comment". The correct unit is "edit". We need to see the edits. We already have an entire infrastructure built around edits. Here's a real-world talk page example moving two chunks of content and deleting 4 templates. We need to be able to see any arbitrary edit to the section. This is an already-solved problem, standard diff. One diff can also span 300 edits or more. No one wants to log on and deal with 300 notifications for one Village Pump section, plus another 150 notifications for an RFC somewhere.

And that is why the community has requested section watchlisting year after year - the existing tool virtually defines the needed functionality.

As you know, I previously tested reply tool and found all sorts of content corruption by deliberately throwing ugly wikitext at it. Ironically, reply tool failed the very first time I tried posting a comment for real. My comment consisted of nothing but plain letters, spaces, and periods. All reply tool had to do was accurately insert the plain letters, spaces, and periods into the page. It was unable to post the comment without breaking it. It managed to mangle plain letters, spaces, and periods.

In Phabricator I see multiple people coming in wanting control over the indentation, raising issues with the default signature, I see no apparent plan to deal with various discussions that might need : or * or #, and apparently your plan for tables and stuff is to launch a major project hacking down into the parser and redefining wikitext to get it to work.

If I may, I think I see a common thread behind all of the issues above. You're caught fighting against the nature of the wikipage. You're you're trying to construct your familiar discussion model atop a platform that does not fit the model.

The outcome of the Talk consultation was to explicitly keep wikipages, with the intent of embracing wikipages, continuing to use our existing tools and support for wikipages, and to make it super-easy to make the identical comments we make today.

  1. Give a reply link.
  2. Give a text box with signature and auto-indentation (which may be hidden).
  3. Maybe have a button to unhide the markup for the indentation&signature, and edit it if we wish.
  4. Go to line Z in the wikitext, insert that blob (a plain insert), and save.

That pretty well solves the issues above except for section watch, and it does so and without hacking the parser. The basic flow is identical to what you have now. Anyone can just click reply, type a comment, and save. The mental model is "tool assisted wikitext edit", it merely happens to make basic comments dead-simple. Alsee (talk) 11:56, 13 July 2021 (UTC)