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Revise existing Discussion tools Beta Feature
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Description

This task is about revising the behavior and appearance of the existing Discussion tool beta feature that appears in Beta Features.

Background

Soon, the New Discussion Tool will be made available as a Beta Feature. [i] In doing so, the way the existing Discussion tools beta feature works and is described will become outdate for it will come represent the Reply Tool and the New Discussion Tool.

Requirements

  • 1. On wikis where the Reply Tool and the New Discussion Tool are available as Beta Features (e.g. fr.wiki), the description of the Discussion tools beta feature should read as follows:
 Enables experimental talk page features:
* [Reply](https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk_pages_project/replying) to talk page comments in one click
* [Add new topics](https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk_pages_project/New_discussion) using an in-line form`

You can customize these features in [Special:Preferences](https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spécial:Préférences#mw-prefsection-editing)`. 

Updates will be posted on the [Talk pages project's update page](https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk_pages_project/Updates).

Please note: 
- Over time, new experimental features will be added
- All of the features above may not be available at your wiki //yet//

Note: we'll add list items for notifications (T272197) and visual enhancements in (T272198).

  • 2. On wikis where the Reply Tool and the New Discussion Tool are available as Beta Features (e.g. fr.wiki), the image that accompanies the Discussion tools beta feature should depict: 1) the Reply Tool and 2) the New Discussion Tool in a style similar to what's currently implemented [ii].
    • We're going to leave the image as-is. If, at some future point, people come to find the "disconnect" between the Beta Feature's text and image confusing, we'll consider revising the image.

Note: a description for how the Discussion tool Beta Feature should behave can be found in: T270119.

Open questions

Done

  • The ===Requirements above are implemented
  • All ===Open questions, if any exist, are answered

i. T269471
ii. https://fr.wikipedia.org/w/extensions/DiscussionTools/images/betafeatures-icon-DiscussionTools-ltr.svg

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Event Timeline

It's going to be difficult to maintain images and copy for every possible variant of which features are in/out of beta. I would suggest that we just write the text generically such that it doesn't matter. I don't think it matters too much if the image shows all/some of the features.

If it is essentially to list which features are still in beta, that would be easiest to do as an actual list, then we can build it dynamically, e.g.

Enables experimental talk page features:

  • a new workflow for [replying to specific comments]
  • [adding new discussion topics]
  • [visual enhancements]

It's going to be difficult to maintain images and copy for every possible variant of which features are in/out of beta.

Mmm, I hadn't considered this cost. Okay.

...I don't think it matters too much if the image shows all/some of the features.

Fair enough. Thinking about this again: let's do as you're suggesting and leave the image as-is for now. If it becomes problematic, we can change it in the future.

If it is essentially to list which features are still in beta, that would be easiest to do as an actual list, then we can build it dynamically, e.g.

Enables experimental talk page features:

  • a new workflow for [replying to specific comments]
  • [adding new discussion topics]
  • [visual enhancements]

...I like this idea; I've updated the task description to incorporate the above.

If it is essentially to list which features are still in beta, that would be easiest to do as an actual list, then we can build it dynamically, e.g.

Enables experimental talk page features:

  • a new workflow for [replying to specific comments]
  • [adding new discussion topics]
  • [visual enhancements]

...I like this idea; I've updated the task description to incorporate the above.

Currently BetaFeatures only lets you specify a message key for the description, so we can vary which message key we send to BF, but we can't build a complex message like this and send the result to BF.

Without making changes to BetaFeatures, the best we can do is word the message to state that "some of the features" are available, and to check the relevant section in preferences to see which ones. Or create messages for every possible combination of features enabled (potentially 2^n - 1 messages, e.g 7 messages when we have 3 sub-features).

Currently BetaFeatures only lets you specify a message key for the description, so we can vary which message key we send to BF, but we can't build a complex message like this and send the result to BF.

This helpful to know. Noted.

Without making changes to BetaFeatures, the best we can do is word the message to state that "some of the features" are available, and to check the relevant section in preferences to see which ones. Or create messages for every possible combination of features enabled (potentially 2^n - 1 messages, e.g 7 messages when we have 3 sub-features).

  • @Esanders: can we implement the latter, create messages for each combination, option? I ask with the following in mind:
    • I assume writing and maintaining these 7 messages, while not ideal, is relatively low "cost."
    • I do not foresee us introducing more than the 3 features you alluded to above, leading me to feel reasonably confident 7 messages will not turn into 15 or 31 messages.
  • Can you confirm that in taking the second approach you proposed in T270120#6736295, and the one I referenced above, we will still be able to display the text that is drafted in the task description's ===Requirements section?

Personally I don't think this is worth the effort. A message which just describes the possible features with links to your preferences would be sufficient, given the nature of beta features.

An open-ended description also sets up the expectation that the feature list enabled by this beta feature may change in the future.

If we are going to expend extra effort to do this "right" then we should just "fix" BetaFeatures to accept constructed messages. It will be a similar amount of effort and easier to maintain going forward.

Personally I don't think this is worth the effort. A message which just describes the possible features with links to your preferences would be sufficient, given the nature of beta features.

An open-ended description also sets up the expectation that the feature list enabled by this beta feature may change in the future.

Let's start with the approach you are proposing above. [i][ii] I've drafted the copy below and added it to the task description's ===Requirements section.

If we are going to expend extra effort to do this "right" then we should just "fix" BetaFeatures to accept constructed messages. It will be a similar amount of effort and easier to maintain going forward.

Noted.

Beta feature copy

 Enables experimental talk page features:
`* [Reply](https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk_pages_project/replying) to talk page comments in one click`
`* [Add new topics](https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk_pages_project/New_discussion) using an in-line form`

You can customize these features in [Special:Preferences](https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spécial:Préférences#mw-prefsection-editing)`. 

Updates will be posted on the [Talk pages project's update page](https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk_pages_project/Updates).

Please note: 
- Over time, new experimental features will be added
- All of the features above may not be available at your wiki //yet//

i. Thinking for the approach above: I'd rather people be explicitly aware of the possible features that could be enabled by turning on the beta feature, even if all of the features are not currently available on their wiki, than for them to wonder about these features and be subsequently reluctant to turning the beta feature on.
ii. Note: I think the list of features we include should be limited to those features that are available as beta features on at least one wiki.

- All of the features above may not be available at your wiki //yet//

It should be Some of the features, shouldn’t it? Also, am I right assuming that the slashes are for Phabricator only and it won’t be italic in the final MediaWiki message? I think italization would be too much of emphasis in the beta feature description.

nb we can link straight to the discussion section using Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing-discussion

Change 656579 had a related patch set uploaded (by Esanders; owner: Esanders):
[mediawiki/extensions/DiscussionTools@master] Update description of BetaFeature to mention new topic tool

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/656579

Change 656579 merged by jenkins-bot:
[mediawiki/extensions/DiscussionTools@master] Update description of BetaFeature to mention new topic tool

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/656579

- All of the features above may not be available at your wiki //yet//

It should be Some of the features, shouldn’t it?

Good catch, @Tacsipacsi.

I think italization would be too much of emphasis in the beta feature description.

On second thought, I agree and it appears Ed did as well considering he's implemented the copy without the italics. [i]

nb we can link straight to the discussion section using Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing-discussion

Good spot, Ed.


i.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 21.32.25.png (724×1 px, 146 KB)