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Make it more clear how to create an @ mention (you need to select an item from the suggestions list)
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Description

This task is about exploring how we can make it more clear to people how to "create" a ping.

This task is prompted by @Krenair reporting [1] it not being obvious that for a ping to be "created" you need to explicitly select a suggestion from the username completion list. This behavior is described in the "Scenario" section below.

Scenario

The behavior that prompted this ticket.

  1. Go to https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Talk:Cats
  2. Click any "Reply" link
  3. Go to the tool's visual mode
  4. Type @Whatamidoing-WMF + space
  5. Notice @Whatamidoing-WMF appears within the text input area; however, a ping (read: user link) has NOT been created.

Approaches

The below is a provisional list that may not be technically feasible.

  • Enable people to create @ mentions simply by typing (as Phabricator and Twitter does)

  1. "...I was trying @Whatamidoing (WMF) and assumed that once I got to the end of the username (which the suggestions recognised) it'd automatically convert the text into a ping, but this didn't work and I had to click the suggestion." | Source

Event Timeline

This is one of those areas where our really lax username options make it tricky, because we allow spaces and many other punctuation characters.

If someone types "@WhatamIdoing (WMF)", do they mean they want to mention "Whatamidoing" or "Whatamidoing (WMF)"? -- they're both valid usernames... and might both be registered, even.

Twitter and phabricator both don't allow this, so it's really simple to just look for an @ followed by a run of letters. We could implement that as a simple fallback... but it'd fail a lot, notably in the specific real username that @Krinkle noticed the issue with in the first place. 😁

Another thing we could do is switch to inserting the user link if you space away from the completion with a known-real username as the remaining input. But then there's the question of "what if the user really doesn't want to ping them, and that's why they didn't select something?" and also "but what if there's network lag which has slowed our search for users so we don't know whether there's a real user selected at the moment that happens?".

Enable people to create @ mentions simply by typing (as Phabricator and Twitter does)

Agree with David. This isn't possible because wikitext doesn't work like Phab/Twitter where @<word-without-spaces> is always a user link.

To illustrate David's point above not wanting to create a link, say I want to type "SETI @home", every time I type "@home<space>" it would become a link to [[user:home]].

ppelberg renamed this task from Make @ mention confirmation more clear to Make it more clear how to create an @ mention.Jun 3 2020, 4:35 PM
Krinkle removed a subscriber: Krinkle.Jun 6 2020, 6:06 PM
matmarex moved this task from To Triage to Triaged on the VisualEditor board.Jun 10 2020, 7:10 PM
Esanders renamed this task from Make it more clear how to create an @ mention to Make it more clear how to create an @ mention (you need to select an item from the suggestions list).Jun 26 2020, 5:03 PM