This task represents the work involved with increasing peoples' awareness of things others say in conversations they are interested in by offering a new feature for electing to be notified about new comments in specific sections people have chosen to subscribe to.
More details below.
Objective and theory of change
This work is intended to increase the likelihood Junior and Senior Contributors receive timely and relevant responses to the things they say.
Theory of change
We think that:
- If people are able to be more specific in deciding the new comments they are and are not notified about...
- ...then they will be able to more easily and quickly identify comments requiring a response...
- ...and be more likely to respond to those comments in a timely manner.
As a Senior Contributor who is watching many pages across Wikipedia namespaces, I want to be made aware when another person adds a new comment in a conversation I am interested in, so that I can decide whether it is necessary/worthwhile for me to respond.
As a Senior Contributor who is interested in a particular conversation that is happening on a busy talk page, I want to be made aware when another person adds a new comment in said conversation, so that I can decide whether it is necessary/worthwhile for me to respond.
As a Junior Contributor who is interested in a particular conversation that is happening on a talk page, I want to be made aware when another person adds a new comment in said conversation, so that I can follow how the conversation unfolds.
- On pages that have many active threads[i], people have a difficult time staying up-to-date about the specific conversations they are interested in.
- "...pertinent changes to sections that interest me get superseded by subsequent changes to other sections." | Source: meta.wiki
- On pages that have a few active threads [i], people can miss out on comments posted in other, less active, sections.
- " Sometimes the movement of the terrace is very large, and times when only one or two topics account for almost all editions on the terrace. When this happens editions in other topics may go unnoticed among others, then we don't even see that there are new comments, sometimes we don't even see that there is a new topic" | Source: pt.wiki
- People risk missing important information about their wiki work
- People risk not responding to others who would value their input
The risks above are especially important for they threaten a core promise people depend on talk pages to fulfill: to facilitate interactions with other people. Said another way: if people understand talk pages as places to talk with other people and those "other people" don't respond in a timely manner, the people seeking contact with others will lose faith in and stop using talk pages.
- Platforms: mobile and desktop
- Editing interfaces: should be able to be notified about "qualifying comments" regardless of the editing interface used to publish them. Said another way: whether someone posted a comment using the Reply Tool or full-page wikitext editing should *not* affect the notification said comment triggers.
Being made aware functionality exists
- Upon landing on a talk page that contains at least one "qualifying section," people should know it is possible to subscribe to receive notifications about new comments posted to them and how to go about doing this.
- People should be able to subscribe to be notified about "qualifying comments" posted in any "qualifying sections" on the page.
- The first time people subscribe to a "qualifying section," they should understand the following:
- What the action they just took means for them. Read: when other people post new comments to this topic, the person subscribing will be notified.
- They have the ability to control how they receive these notifications and how to exercise this control. Read: visit Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo
- Upon subscribing to receive notifications about new comments about a topic, people should be able to quickly scan the page and identify the topics they are and are not currently subscribed to receive notifications about.
- People should be able to elect to be notified about qualifying comments in sections that meet any of the following conditions:
- The section exists on a page in a talk namespace
- The section exists on a page where __NEWSECTIONLINK__ is present (T245890)
- The section starts with an ==H2 heading
- Comments that meet the conditions below should cause people who have subscribed to that topic to receive notifications in the way(s) they've elected to in Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo:
- The comment was posted at any point after people subscribed to the topic
- The comment was published by someone other than the person who subscribed to the topic.
- Notifications about new comments in sections people are subscribed to should appear in Notices.
- By default, notifications about new comments in sections people are subscribed to should be delivered through the same channels (e.g. Web/Apps/Email) people have elected to receive notifications for Talk page message.
- Said another way: the new event this work will introduce to the table within Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo should copy over the same default settings from those which people have set for the existing Talk page message event.
- People should be able to elect to receive topic subscription notifications on all of the platforms they may be contributing (web, iOS and Android).
- Note: people receiving notifications on the apps depends on them supporting Echo.
- The topic subscription notifications people receive should equip them with all of the information/context they will need to know what – if any – action they need to take as a result of having received the notification. Example components listed below...
- What the notification is.
- E.g.: a new comment in a topic you are subscribed to.
- Where the notification comes from.
- E.g. the title of the topic the comment was added to and the title of the page on which that topic exists.
- Why the recipient is being notified.
- E.g. They are subscribed to this topic.
- Who wrote the comment the person is being notified about.
- When the comment they were being notified about was written.
- A snippet of the coment they are being notified about
- What the notification is.
- The topic subscription notifications people receive should enable them to take the following actions:
- View the comment they are being notified about in context
- For the purpose of this task, after clicking a notification, people should be taken to the section in which the comment they are being notified exists.
- Note: The work required to take people to the EXACT location on a talk page where the comment they are being notified appears will happen in T253082 and before that, T273072.
- Reply to the comment they are being notified about
- #TODO: what happens for people who don't have the Reply Tool enabled?
- Turn off notifications for the section the specific notification "belongs" to
- Mark a notification as "read"
- Learn about the author of the comment they are being notified about
- View the comment they are being notified about in context
- People should be able to control the channel through which notifications about topics they are subscribed to are delivered. E.g. "Web," "Email," and "Apps".
- [LATER] People should be able to see all of the topics they are subscribed to in one location. Withi this same view, people should be able to turn on/off subscriptions to individual topics within this list. See: T273342.
- 12. What approach should we take for assigning topics and comments unique identifiers?
- Context: T264885#6859503.
- 1. Can we ensure topic subscription notifications be delivered via the apps?
- If the apps support Echo, yes. If not, no.
- 2. How might topic subscriptions get implemented on the apps?
- Editors using the iOS or Android app, who have Apps notification delivery enabled in Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-echo will receive all new Echo notifications the Editing Team introduces. Reason: the Android and iOS apps depend on Echo to deliver app users notifications.
- Considering the iOS app currently shows people mobile web talk pages, the Editing Team can assume iOS app users will be able to subscribe to topics from within the iOS app. We'll need to revisit this assumption later this summer when the iOS team begins working on implementing talk pages natively on iOS.
- Considering the Android app currently uses a native implementation of talk pages, the Editing Team should NOT assume Android app users will be able to subscribe to topics from within the app
- 3. What should happen to the watch this page checkbox within the Reply and New Discussion Tools?
- For now, it will remain unchanged. If/when this becomes problematic, we will revisit this decision. More in: T273911#6882727.
- 4. How – if at all – does peoples' use of the Reply Tool and New Discussion Tool affect topic subscriptions?
- For now, we are going to limit the scope of this task to "explicit" topic subscriptions. We will consider "implicit" topic subscriptions in T263819.
- 5. How – if at all – should topic subscriptions consider/relate to temporary watchlisting?
- Considering we are currently thinking that topic subscription updates will be delivered via Echo rather than via Watchlists, we do not see there being a relationship to temporary watchlisting.
- 8, If necessary, would it be possible for people to elect to have topic subscription updates published to their Watchlist?
- For now, new comment notifications will not be explicitly "published" within peoples' Watchlists. We will revisit this decision if/when it becomes necessary.
- 10. When and how should topic subscriptions get rolled out on mobile? E.g. Should the feature, initially, be offered in both the mobile overlay and Read as wiki page view?
- As discussed during the team's 4-March standup, we are going to design for the "Read as wiki page` view.
6. What happens if a topic you are subscribed to gets renamed?
7. What happens if a specific section you are watching gets moved?
9. How – if at all – should people watching talk pages affect whether they are notified when a new topic is added?
- This will be decided on in T263821.
11. What actions should people be able to take from the new comment notifications that will appear in the Notice tray/drawer?
- This will be decided on in T273911.
- All ===Open questions are addressed
- Mockups are created that fulfill the ===Requirements above.
The above is built on valuable thinking and talking that has happened in the past. Links to *some* of this research and conversations are listed below. If you can think of more, please boldly add it here and post a comment alerting us that you've done so.
i. E.g.: AfD (en.wiki), Tearoom (en.wikitionary), Village pump (ru.wiki), user pages (e.g. User:WhatamIdoing), wp:ANI (en.wiki), wp:Reference desk (en.wiki), WP:ERRORS, Wikipedia:AN, Wikipedia:Village pump (technical), Teahouse