Improve structured discussion features for the communities that use them, based on user feedback and prioritising technical debt
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Authored By
Jdforrester-WMF, Jun 14 2017

Description

This is currently a list of changes to the structured discussions tool known as "Flow" to be done in FY2017–18 based on feedback and on-going architectural and other technical issues.

Q1 (July–September 2017)

  • First: Storage format – can we use mixed storage format, and set the system to slowly migrate over from HTML to wikitext storage? If yes, let's do it. (T174374)
  • Quick engineering checks:
    • Threading model – can we wire the reply-to-latest-comment button to at least insert the right data into the database (even if it isn't displayed for now)? If yes, let's do it. (T174371)
    • LQT removal – Move/copy rendering code for old log lines and namespaces to WikimediaMessages - (T89426)
  • Make a plan for what needs to be done for suppression (to address T96454/T116109/T116301/T103616) – can we just change the "magic suppression revision" to also be accepted as non-top, and if so just hide content before then? (this means if you accidentally suppress the wrong post, then unsuppress, the current content is visible, but old content before suppression permanently isn't. Does this also apply to deletion (deletion is mostly the same as suppression, except suppression is stronger)?) Etc.
  • Rename the software to something more accurate, and un-squat the "Flow" term for some future thing that actually does support workflows. (T174137)
    • Review the project presentation (T175142)

Q2 (October–December 2017)

Q3 (January–March 2018)

Q4 (April–June 2018)

  • Overflow for work above.

De-prioritised work, out of scope

  • "don't show me topics I created" (T138807)
  • Be able to redirect Flow boards (T135538)
  • Categorise topics on-page (T167979) (clarify what this is referring to, linked task is a tracking ticket)
  • Threading based on user selection rather than hard-coded into the data structure. (T105438 and T108998)
  • Moderation and history (T85540)
    • History integration is currently poor in consistency with everything else (T85563)
    • Recentchanges integration is also lacking (e.g. T132027)
    • Lack of moderation/protection tools (T73456, T113902, T94779) (there are more moderation, should probably be a moderation tracking task)
    • Relative timestamp issues (T111596)
  • Other post/topic interaction issues
    • Allow IPs to edit own comments (T169167)
    • Support hiding side tracks (T168895)
    • Hide reply form for resolved topics (T168709)
  • Other design improvements (T100269, T90280, T132817, T165471 and no doubt others)
  • Toolbars (T19653)
  • Messages rendering for consistency
  • Better dumps support. (no task yet) (there is in-progress work with specific tasks, e.g. T164262: Make flow dumps run faster, but what is this referring to?)
  • Other backend stuff. (T85260, T118024, T89426, and no doubt others)
  • Other database stuff. (no task yet)
  • Activity
    • Let users view all their Flow activity in one place (T100858)
    • Notifications (T100528)
  • Tech debt (e.g. T170330, and many others)

Related Objects

Restricted Application added a project: Collaboration-Team-Triage. · View Herald TranscriptJun 14 2017, 9:31 PM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald Transcript
Trizek-WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)Jun 15 2017, 4:12 PM
Trizek-WMF added a subscriber: Trizek-WMF.
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Mattflaschen-WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)
Trizek-WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)Jun 23 2017, 8:13 AM
Trizek-WMF added a comment.EditedJun 29 2017, 1:11 PM

Possible cool improvement as a new feature: T90069: Tags for topics

jeblad added a subscriber: jeblad.Jun 30 2017, 12:01 AM

Could it be possible to add a task for adding a topic to two or more flow boards?

From description: "If some improvements are done to fit demands expressed by users concerning"... then what?

Catrope updated the task description. (Show Details)Jul 3 2017, 6:18 PM
Catrope updated the task description. (Show Details)
Catrope updated the task description. (Show Details)Jul 3 2017, 6:32 PM

Could it be possible to add a task for adding a topic to two or more flow boards?

I would say it is a possible option for future features. At the moment, Special:MassMessages allows it. It is a bit overkill, but it prevents spam.

Catrope updated the task description. (Show Details)Jul 11 2017, 8:40 PM
Catrope updated the task description. (Show Details)Jul 18 2017, 5:50 PM
Catrope updated the task description. (Show Details)Jul 18 2017, 6:03 PM
Catrope updated the task description. (Show Details)Jul 18 2017, 6:22 PM
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jeblad removed a subscriber: jeblad.Aug 25 2017, 10:03 PM
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Jdforrester-WMF renamed this task from Proposed changes to Flow to be done in FY2017–18 to Improve structured discussion features for the communities that use them, based on user feedback and prioritising technical debt.Aug 28 2017, 7:13 PM
Jdforrester-WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)
Mattflaschen-WMF updated the task description. (Show Details)
Qgil awarded a token.Sep 12 2017, 12:47 PM

Since we're now moving to a WikiText-based model (yay!), I'm curious if anyone has considered just migrating to Wikia's Nirvana discussion system. I don't know a whole lot about it, but my understanding is that it is WikiText-based and less of a severe departure from the existing MediaWiki discussion system than Flow was.

Since we're now moving to a WikiText-based model (yay!), I'm curious if anyone has considered just migrating to Wikia's Nirvana discussion system. I don't know a whole lot about it, but my understanding is that it is WikiText-based and less of a severe departure from the existing MediaWiki discussion system than Flow was.

No. And this is not the right venue to suggest massive investments of engineering time. :-)

Tgr awarded a token.Fri, Oct 6, 9:13 PM
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