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Help panel: Remove dependency on Help Desk title existing
Open, MediumPublic

Description

The "help desk" (place where help panel posted questions to) used to be an integral part of the help panel experience. But the help panel has evolved -- it's now a conduit for showing guidance when editing, on some wikis it posts to your mentor and not the help desk, etc.

The code for the help panel contains a check to see if the configured help desk title exists, and if not, it won't display. This means for suggested edits, the user won't see guidance, as was the case on Korean wiki this month (T239695).

My proposal is to remove the check for help desk title existence. Instead, we can still show the help panel but we will just hide the section that allows asking questions (unless it's configured to post to a mentor page, that is)

Event Timeline

Note: The pages for Jan~Feb was created by someone @ Korean Wikipedia
Community, so I just created for the remainder of 2021.

There was no failure, as kowiki had a functional helpdesk pages for each
week of Jan existed since December 2020, and Feb since January 2021.

Note: The pages for Jan~Feb was created by someone @ Korean Wikipedia
Community, so I just created for the remainder of 2021.

There was no failure, as kowiki had a functional helpdesk pages for each
week of Jan existed since December 2020, and Feb since January 2021.

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I saw the task about creating help pages, checked if the help panel loaded on my mobile device (it didn’t) and then I checked on desktop after I thought the help pages were created and saw the help panel worked. Hence my assumption that there was some breakage.

However I currently don’t see the help panel on kowiki with my mobile device so something else must be going on.

Urbanecm_WMF triaged this task as Medium priority.

Change 667960 had a related patch set uploaded (by Urbanecm; owner: Urbanecm):
[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@master] Help panel: Do not require help desk to be configured

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/667960

Change 667960 merged by jenkins-bot:
[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@master] Help panel: Do not require help desk to be configured

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/667960

Change 668149 had a related patch set uploaded (by Urbanecm; owner: Urbanecm):
[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@wmf/1.36.0-wmf.33] Help panel: Do not require help desk to be configured

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/668149

Change 668150 had a related patch set uploaded (by Urbanecm; owner: Urbanecm):
[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@wmf/1.36.0-wmf.32] Help panel: Do not require help desk to be configured

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/668150

Change 668149 merged by jenkins-bot:
[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@wmf/1.36.0-wmf.33] Help panel: Do not require help desk to be configured

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/668149

Change 668150 merged by jenkins-bot:
[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@wmf/1.36.0-wmf.32] Help panel: Do not require help desk to be configured

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/668150

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2021-03-03T19:53:26Z] <urbanecm@deploy1002> Synchronized php-1.36.0-wmf.32/extensions/GrowthExperiments/: a036d9fa10fb522279bd5b7f2c0a14e1de7bb0ae: Help panel: Do not require help desk to be configured (T273118) (duration: 01m 10s)

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2021-03-03T19:57:40Z] <urbanecm@deploy1002> Synchronized php-1.36.0-wmf.33/extensions/GrowthExperiments/: 4cba1843591dc689ade47aab700a47134b8c15c4: Help panel: Do not require help desk to be configured (T273118) (duration: 01m 10s)

Change 668539 had a related patch set uploaded (by Urbanecm; owner: Urbanecm):
[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@master] cleanup: Remove help panel URL from Help homepage module

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/668539

Change 668511 had a related patch set uploaded (by Urbanecm; owner: Urbanecm):
[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@wmf/1.36.0-wmf.33] cleanup: Remove help panel URL from Help homepage module

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/668511

This code exists in WikimediaEvents extension:

return ExtensionRegistry::getInstance()->isLoaded( 'GrowthExperiments' ) &&
			$config->get( 'GEHelpPanelEnabled' ) &&
			$config->get( 'GEHelpPanelHelpDeskTitle' ) &&
			HelpPanel::getHelpDeskTitle( $config )->isValid();

You'd have to remove the two $config->get() checks to get to a breakage, so maybe it's fine as is, but we might want to confirm that we have a Title before calling isValid() just to be safe.

Change 668539 merged by jenkins-bot:
[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@master] cleanup: Remove help panel URL from Help homepage module

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/668539

Change 668511 merged by jenkins-bot:
[mediawiki/extensions/GrowthExperiments@wmf/1.36.0-wmf.33] cleanup: Remove help panel URL from Help homepage module

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/668511

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2021-03-04T20:08:43Z] <urbanecm@deploy1002> Synchronized php-1.36.0-wmf.33/extensions/GrowthExperiments/includes/HomepageModules/Help.php: 8cc65e3fd0b4a75599171b619108584526784853: cleanup: Remove help panel URL from Help homepage module (T276450; T273118) (duration: 00m 58s)

Etonkovidova added a subscriber: Etonkovidova.

I'm closing this task as Resolved (tentatively) since there is T276634: [wmf.33-regression] Homepage: "Ask your mentor" panel displayed short which might be caused by one of the patches for this task (it seems unlikely though).

Reopening per kosta's comment, which still needs to be addressed.

Change 670023 had a related patch set uploaded (by Urbanecm; owner: Urbanecm):
[mediawiki/extensions/WikimediaEvents@master] GrowthExperiments: Do not expect help desk is defined

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/670023

There is one edge case to check:

  • a wiki has the Mentorship module
  • Help panel is not enabled in Preferences

Then, there will be the issue described in T276634: [wmf.33-regression] Homepage: "Ask your mentor" panel displayed short

Could be there wikis that do have Mentorship but not Help desk? Or could there be the cases when Help panel is not enabled in Preferences (not counting the cases when users do not enabled it when enabling Homepage manually)?

Hello,

Wikis are no longer required (or even encouraged!) to provide a help desk.
Mentorship is the only question asking mechanism that wikis are encouraged
to use right now. So yes, wikis with mentorship and no help panel are
pretty common, and will be even more common in the future.

Afaik, the software never automatically enables only homepage or only help
panel. The only way that can happen is when an user manually changes their
preferences. But even in that case, I don't see why there should be any
error happening?