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Allow more than five wikis as projects in Global Watchlist
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Description

Currently, the Global Watchlist is limited to five wikis. It would be convenient to be able to use at least 15 projects, which was already possible in the Global Watchlist script.

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Aklapper renamed this task from Allow more projects in Global Watchlist to Allow more than five wikis as projects in Global Watchlist.Mar 2 2021, 9:23 AM

This will require a performance analysis first; see T260862#6804671

RhinosF1 added subscribers: Gilles, RhinosF1.

Adding performance team and @Gilles who did the original review for their opinion.

I would like to know how and if people are working around this limit. For instance, does sticking to the limit of 5 means that a significant amount of users would still use the old gadget (what limit did that have?). Do they instead keep many browser tabs open on dozens of projects and refresh those manually?

The current description makes it sound like this is a nice to have, not an essential feature. We have limits on many things to avoid excessive requests, the first step to increasing them is demonstrating that higher limits are essential to some editors. I understand that people might want to watch 15, 20 or 50 projects if they could, but are they actually acting on the notifications they receive and actively contributing to all the projects they're watching as a response to what they find there? It's not worth increasing the limits if it's mostly for entertainment value, without ever acting on the long tail of projects that are watched.

I am currently using the script with 32 wikis.

Thanks for the info. I see that you have 100+ edits on 26 wikis: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth?target=1234qwer1234qwer4 I presume that's the bulk of the wikis you watch this way?

@DannyS712 did the script have no limit?

IKhitron added a subscriber: IKhitron.

I used the script with 20 wikis. Now I use it for 5 and the script for the rest.

Thanks for the info. I see that you have 100+ edits on 26 wikis: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:CentralAuth?target=1234qwer1234qwer4 I presume that's the bulk of the wikis you watch this way?

@DannyS712 did the script have no limit?

@Gilles correct, the script has no limit

In that case, given that users like @1234qwer1234qwer4 and @IKhitron essentially generate the same amount of requests using the script as a workaround, for valid reasons since they're active editors on dozens of wikis, I think we should increase the limit to 50.

It might be worth considering to display a warning when users have say, more than 10 wikis watched and the total amount of time it takes to fetch the updates for all wikis takes a long time due to a slow connection. Just to manage expectations of how functional this feature is when you combine a lot of wikis watched and a slow connection.

In that case, given that users like @1234qwer1234qwer4 and @IKhitron essentially generate the same amount of requests using the script as a workaround, for valid reasons since they're active editors on dozens of wikis, I think we should increase the limit to 50.

It might be worth considering to display a warning when users have say, more than 10 wikis watched and the total amount of time it takes to fetch the updates for all wikis takes a long time due to a slow connection. Just to manage expectations of how functional this feature is when you combine a lot of wikis watched and a slow connection.

I wouldn't want to be warned on each new page load - perhaps we can include a message on the settings page?

On my device, the global watchlist takes just above 3 seconds to reload. 50 might be a bit high, but why not.

Just a thought. If you have two refresh buttons it may help. One to show first five wikis in the list. Another to show all. It can save a lot of performance if one presses the second button much less often.

Just a thought. If you have two refresh buttons it may help. One to show first five wikis in the list. Another to show all. It can save a lot of performance if one presses the second button much less often.

I have no real idea how to do that, and it'll be confusing with how those work, how they interact with each other, and the live updates mode. My grant to develop the extension is currently over, and while I'm planning to request more funding for continued development and support for now this isn't a priority.

On my device, the global watchlist takes just above 3 seconds to reload. 50 might be a bit high, but why not.

I think concerns about the time it'll take to reload might be a bit exaggerated, since if I recall all of the sites are loaded in parallel, so its based on whichever site takes the longest to load and process (for me thats enwiki) and any other sites added that don't take as long shouldn't result in a longer overall load time.

Just a thought. If you have two refresh buttons it may help. One to show first five wikis in the list. Another to show all. It can save a lot of performance if one presses the second button much less often.

I have no real idea how to do that, and it'll be confusing with how those work, how they interact with each other, and the live updates mode. My grant to develop the extension is currently over, and while I'm planning to request more funding for continued development and support for now this isn't a priority.

Tell if you change your mind one day, I'll give full answers. Looks like it should took to implement all this for 30 minutes top.

On my device, the global watchlist takes just above 3 seconds to reload. 50 might be a bit high, but why not.

I think concerns about the time it'll take to reload might be a bit exaggerated, since if I recall all of the sites are loaded in parallel, so its based on whichever site takes the longest to load and process (for me thats enwiki) and any other sites added that don't take as long shouldn't result in a longer overall load time.

So, why do you care how many sites are there at all?

I don't think counting # of wikis is a good indicator for the actual perf impact GlobalWatchlist has. Instead it would be better to count the number of titles across all the watchlists. If someone is only watching like 5 pages on 50 wikis, those queries are going to be really fast compared to if you're watching 200k pages on 2 wikis.

Well, in 14 from 20 wikis I have maximum 3 pages in each.

I don't think counting # of wikis is a good indicator for the actual perf impact GlobalWatchlist has. Instead it would be better to count the number of titles across all the watchlists. If someone is only watching like 5 pages on 50 wikis, those queries are going to be really fast compared to if you're watching 200k pages on 2 wikis.

Thanks, I realised this after Danny's comment T276195#6875755, too. My stats are probably not very representative, since my maximum over all wikis is below 400 pages. Some people have more than 10 or even 100 thousand pages, which will reflect in the loading times (however, the loading times might still be pretty much the same as for the regular watchlist (?), and I don't know if people have this much elements on multiple wikis).

While this is not a Use Case I have personally done (yet), an editor may well have need to watch a single page across 200 wikis. If malicious individuals are attacking someone famous, it may be necessary to watch that one biography page in each Wikipedia language plus related pages on other projects. Some people also maintain versions of specific template(s) that have been copied across many wikis. There are various kinds of useful work that can be done independently of the local language.

Change 672419 had a related patch set uploaded (by DannyS712; owner: DannyS712):
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] GlobalWatchlist: allow watching up to 50 sites

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/672419

Change 672419 merged by jenkins-bot:
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] GlobalWatchlist: allow watching up to 50 sites

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/672419

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2021-03-15T23:11:22Z] <legoktm@deploy1002> Synchronized wmf-config/InitialiseSettings.php: GlobalWatchlist: allow watching up to 50 sites (T276195) (duration: 01m 04s)

DannyS712 claimed this task.
DannyS712 moved this task from Backlog to Done on the MediaWiki-extensions-GlobalWatchlist board.

Bumped up to 50