Page MenuHomePhabricator

Web-based AutoWikiBrowser alternative
Open, Needs TriagePublic

Tokens
"Hungry Hippo" token, awarded by czar."Mountain of Wealth" token, awarded by RandomDSdevel."Love" token, awarded by He7d3r."Like" token, awarded by Liuxinyu970226."Orange Medal" token, awarded by Krinkle."Like" token, awarded by iank."Like" token, awarded by David_Hedlund.
Assigned To
Authored By
srishakatux, Feb 6 2017

Description

Proposed in Community-Wishlist-Survey-2016. Received 56 support votes, and ranked #17 out of 265 proposals. View full proposal with discussion and votes here.

Problem

AutoWikiBrowser is a huge success, helping people make millions upon millions of semi-automated edits, making repetitive tasks so much easier to accomplish. However it has lots of problems:

  • It is a desktop app, so
    • It's Windows only
    • It requires installation (including dependency as cumbersome as .NET framework)
    • It requires updates
    • It can't follow you across devices
  • It was created without localization in mind so making its interface support multiple languages would amount to a rewrite
  • While it's written in a language that is reasonably popular, it's less popular among open source developers and overall less popular than modern web stack languages. As a result, it never had enough developers.
  • Very early on, it had cosmetic "general fixes" introduced to it, that now generate lots of unnecessary controversy, slow down page processing and drain developer time on supporting them.

Who would benefit

power users, potentially expanding reach to "simple mortals"

Proposed solution

Create a web-based replacement for AWB. Having a web app would also allow users to contribute on mobile platforms (phones and tablets) where typing is hard, but clicking "Save"/"Reject" is something people can do while commuting to work, for example.

Proposed implementation: I envision a site on Tool Labs that hosts a mostly-JS AWB that does editing. The backend would only authenticate users (OAuth), store settings and editing lists, and collect statistics. Most of JS code can be made reusable in Node.js for use by fully-automated bot developers.

Technical details

Time, expertise and skills required

  • e.g. 2-3 weeks, advanced contributor, javascript, css, etc

Suitable for

  • e.g. Hackathon, GSOC, Outreachy, etc.

Proposer

@MaxSem

Related links

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptFeb 6 2017, 7:28 AM
Reedy added a subscriber: Reedy.Feb 6 2017, 12:42 PM

It requires installation (including dependency as cumbersome as .NET framework)

Installation of the app itself is just unzipping a zip... If that's too difficult for people... ;)

Granted, .NET FW is somewhat harder, but should just be running an EXE from MS on older Windows, else letting it auto install on newer...

I like the idea of having a Web version of AWB whether it be Java based or something else and there is already a working version so most of the ground work has been put in place by Joey to do just that.

I also believe however we need to continue support and development of the client side version as well.

IMO the best use of this ticket would be to discuss how the 2 can best work together because I think there should and could be a collaboration of the two so that they can share resources (such as the Checkuser page, The Type fixes page, Template redirects and others).

I think it would be greatly beneficial as well to separate other things like perhaps general features so that we can make them easier to tailor by project. Some of this has already been done with the JWB. This would make it much much easier to tailor the general fixes by project and could reduce overall maintenance and development requirements on both by sharing resources. Its important to remember AWB is used by a lot of projects outside Wikia and abandoning a working client version of the application, to me, seems like a bad idea.

srishakatux updated the task description. (Show Details)Feb 11 2017, 1:30 AM
MaxSem claimed this task.Feb 27 2017, 6:06 AM
This task was proposed in the Community-Wishlist-Survey-2016 and in its current state needs owner. Wikimedia is participating in Google Summer of Code 2017 and Outreachy Round 14. To the subscribers -- would this task or a portion of it be a good fit for either of these programs? If so, would you be willing to help mentor this project? Remember, each outreach project requires a minimum of one primary mentor, and co-mentor.
Jc86035 added a subscriber: Jc86035.Mar 3 2017, 7:42 AM

There's an AWB-style script on enwiki (it's rather buggy but works for simple non-regex find-and-replace). Is the replacement going to be based on it?

MaxSem added a comment.Mar 3 2017, 9:04 AM

No, 100% new code base. Reusing is problematic for a lot of reasons:

  • Unclear license. The script says it's GPL, WP edit form says CC.
  • Where it resides. I don't want to run it off wikis, and I won't be using libraries MW uses.
  • I'm playing with a completely different tech stack right now, without even jQuery.
iank awarded a token.Apr 27 2017, 12:54 AM
Yarl added a subscriber: Yarl.May 7 2017, 5:19 PM
XXN added a subscriber: XXN.May 9 2017, 1:36 PM
Krinkle added a subscriber: Krinkle.
FNDE added a subscriber: FNDE.May 12 2017, 9:16 PM
Jona added a subscriber: Jona.Jun 8 2017, 6:58 AM
Izno added a subscriber: Izno.Nov 17 2017, 6:29 PM

AWB is used extensively outside of WMF properties.

Hosting on tool labs isn't that great for those people.

Would it possibly be better as an extension?

Krinkle removed a subscriber: Krinkle.Nov 17 2017, 9:07 PM
czar awarded a token.Nov 17 2018, 9:29 PM
czar added a subscriber: czar.