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Curation and feeds discussion
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Session scheduled on Monday Jan 4 2pm at UnConference Room 2

What are the current problems with Special:Log, Special:RecentChanges, Special:NewFiles, and other feeds? What can we do to make them better? What wiki-local hacks are worth sprucing up and sticking into core or an extension? These questions, and more, will be asked in this session.


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etherpad notes:

Session name: Curation and Feeds Discussion
Meeting goal: Determine what parts of the curation/feed systems need work, and what steps to take
Meeting style: Problem-solving
Phabricator task link:

Topics for discussion:

Mark is facilitating the session

General notes


  • Log pages list actions
  • Recent changes lists all sorts of changes
  • Commons has some custom buttons on their version of Special:NewFiles

Joe (product manager):

Mark (which mark?):

  • there are also tools that read recent changes from api


  • there are rc feeds (rc stream)


  • recent changes is used for looking for vandalism, especially on small wikis

Russ: (runs small wiki)

  • users want to see changes



  • recent changes is almost like tabular data but it is not formatted as such
  • maybe we can build reputation systems for patrollers so that we can train and evaluate newcomers before graduating them to primary patroller status (captured by halfak)


  • We've merged a patch which uses a mustasche template for each row. It would only take a bit more work to render a tabular format using this method.


  • The "Legend" box on RC, began at RuWikipedia, and is now at all wikis. There were a few user complaints about it adding clutter to the page.

Josh Minor

  • push notifications?


  • find solutions...
  • display is cluttered


  • What gadgets and tools are being used at larger wikis to improve things? What is missing in the default?



Tilman: let's look at the pages feed Matt mentioned:


  • there are lots of different formats (enhanced, non-enhanced, mobile, clean changes for translations, feeds, api formats, gadgets) and format/presentation code for recent changes is mixed with backend (query code).
  • presentation code should be split from the backend, and abstracted in a way that we could support alternative backends like cassandra (probably would help with global watchlist, etc) or maybe elastic (and then would be easier to filter changes)
  • no sane way for extensions to register new change types and core to be aware of these additional types, (right now we have rc_type which uses global constants, e.g. RC_EDIT, and there is rc_source but still uses a fixed list of types) and then be able to format these types differently in non hacky way.
  • patrolling should work on mobile (captured by halfak)





  • collaboration has it on its roadmap (?) maybe or eye on the topic


  • how much to take input from readers? let them flag something?


  • keep in mind past efforts (ArticleFeedback)
  • maybe flagging copyright violations would be easier


  • more relevant content makes a deluge of changes more interesting. Signal-to-noise ratio. Better categorization.


Tilman: : new articles, etc. filtered for WikiProjects e.g. or


Looked at that, lots of bespoke regexes, hard to productize

Quiddity [etherpad only]:

AaronH: also need to filter newcomers (for good-faith users that need support), that's a firehose too
patrollers don't need to deal personally with every newbie that makes mistake, but need an efficient way to route these users somewhere where they will be helped (like Teahouse)


and the reason all these user talk page (warning) templates was that patrollers were overwhelmed with repeating themselves. and

Mark: a third kind of curations - identify and highlight high quality stuff, e.g. for featured content


Joe: how soon start research, survey...?

Mark: if/when we have the design research resources to do it, we should

Roan: our team is probably responsible for a lot of the things shown here, but we have our hands full until at least April

Frances: it's about what kind of task we make easier[?]

Pau: need to learn more about how different people go through these different processes

Matt: Following on what Frances said, it would be good to better distribute genuine good-faith human interaction. For edits that are flagged or detected as problematic, try to semi-randomly direct people to engage with those users, rather than just leave automated warning messages. Broaden the pool of people welcoming and directing newcomers to deal with it better and reduce burnout.

Josh: recognize existing social norms, even if they need to be changed. Current pages are useful to some people at least.

Frances: people get really creative on how they use things

James: come to tomorrow's session on WikiProjects

Action items with owners:

DON’T FORGET: When the meeting is over, copy any relevant notes (especially areas of agreement or disagreement, useful proposals, and action items) into the Phabricator task.

See for more details.

Wikimedia Developer Summit 2016 ended two weeks ago. This task is still open. If the session in this task took place, please make sure 1) that the session Etherpad notes are linked from this task, 2) that followup tasks for any actions identified have been created and linked from this task, 3) to change the status of this task to "resolved". If this session did not take place, change the task status to "declined". If this task itself has become a well-defined action which is not finished yet, drag and drop this task into the "Work continues after Summit" column on the project workboard. Thank you for your help!

This task about a WikiDevSummit 2016 session is still open and has no active projects associated.
The Etherpad document for the session lists seems to list no action items / "suggestions on moving forward" that could be turned into followup tasks.

@MarkTraceur: How to proceed before closing this task as resolved?

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I'm closing this task as invalid (as this does not seem to get anywhere).