User availability status extension
OpenPublic

Description

Author: rehman.wikimedia

Description:
Per the linked Meta discussion, I would like to propose a feature where users of all Wikipedia projects could display their online status (Online, Offilne, and maybe "Custom") on their userpages.

Based on the meta discussion (which is also linked from en.wiki and Commons), the key use of this feature is to increase user response time, by enabling users to search for online/non-busy users to contact (i.e. ordinary editors contacting admins or sysops). And as said by another user, it would also be very helpful to the OTRS team.

This proposal is only for the implementation of a simple dot and text, that could either (depending on consensus here):

a). Change color and text, from Green/Orange/Red and Online/Away*/Offline, which is system-assigned and not editable by the user. Away shows when the editor is online, but haven't edit for, say 15 minutes.

b). Allow the user to create custom (editable) statuses and colors (limit to 5?). This would not be auto-selected by the system, and has to be manually selected by the user. *Has one major issue; see issues section (way below).

c). As (b), allow users to create custom statuses/colors, but also allow them to assign "rules" that, if met, would swap statuses automatically by the system.

A key point discussed for (b) was to make the statuses global (like the global change when changing email addresses). This is because, as a global user manually sets in his/her status on a particular Wiki, there is a high probability the s/he would forget to change the status back when leaving. A global status would make that happen less often.

Ways to implement this (based on my limited knowledge with MediaWiki):

  1. We could base the updates on a system similar to that of when changing the Watchlist, which doesn't really record a list of changes/contributions (as it would when a user assigns a special page like "User:Example/Status", and transclude it on his/her userpage, thus clogging the contribs on every

update). To me, it seems like only (a) could be done this way, but that's just me.

  1. Another way to work this out (which seems to be for only two statuses: Online/Offline), could be to use the [[Special:UserLogin]] and [[Special:UserLogout]]. Where logging in would automatically set the status to "Online", and logging out would set to "Offline". This is where one major issue, also mentioned at (b), comes to play:

What happens if:

  • The user closes the browser instead of clicking [[Special:UserLogout]]?
  • And what about the users who never close anything, and walks away when done?
NOTE: As read above, I propose only what is said above, and not a live-chat feature (aka. social networking) which many oppose. :)

Version: unspecified
Severity: enhancement
URL: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Meta:Babel#Status

bzimport added a subscriber: wikibugs-l.
bzimport set Reference to bz26246.
bzimport created this task.Via LegacyDec 5 2010, 1:41 AM
Peachey88 added a comment.Via ConduitDec 5 2010, 1:43 AM

This should be done as a extension.

Peachey88 added a comment.Via ConduitDec 5 2010, 1:45 AM

-shell, no shell tasks at present.

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitDec 5 2010, 2:08 AM

rehman.wikimedia wrote:

(In reply to comment #1)

This should be done as a extension.

I don't understand. Should I modify something?

MZMcBride added a comment.Via ConduitDec 5 2010, 2:16 AM

This seems like a duplicate of bug 13520 or bug 6109 or perhaps another bug. I'm not sure if any sysadmin has said "not happening on Wikimedia." There are already extensions like http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:OnlineStatus and I know this discussion recurs perennially.

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitDec 5 2010, 4:24 AM

rehman.wikimedia wrote:

Although I hinted here and there, I did not it make clear that:
This is a proposal for an OPT-IN FEATURE for all wikis, which is off by default.

demon added a comment.Via ConduitDec 5 2010, 4:29 AM

(In reply to comment #4)

This seems like a duplicate of bug 13520 or bug 6109 or perhaps another bug.

It is, afaict. Extenion(s?) exist already, although they may not cover the scope of what is being requested here. I haven't used them so I can't speak to it.

I'm not sure if any sysadmin has said "not happening on Wikimedia." There are
already extensions like http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:OnlineStatus
and I know this discussion recurs perennially.

Would be nice to get an answer on that from Someone Who Knows.

Krinkle added a comment.Via ConduitDec 7 2010, 6:51 PM

Aside from existing extensions, we should not forget that it should work with CentralAuth, assuming we will not differentiate between accounts that are essentially the same.

I think logging in/logging out is a good way to do it.

a mw_user_status table could exist with columns us_user and us_touched within centralauth. Each row a user that is online.
When logging out the entry is removed, when logging it an entry is added.
When making an edit or log action (!) the column us_touched is updated..

When viewing user-page or user-talk-page of a user that has this preference enabled for his SUL-account (just like emailadres is centralized) the status returned is either offline (if there is no row in mw_user_status), online (if us_touched is empty or less then X minutes ago) or away (if us_touched is more than X minutes ago).

X minutes could be set per-user.
ie. if my preference 'status-away-minutes' is set to 5 minutes and John Doe's last action was 5,1 minute ago, I see it as away.

Personally I think adding custom statuses and allowing users to set it to away themselfs is too much, but that's just me.

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitDec 8 2010, 12:51 AM

rehman.wikimedia wrote:

(In reply to comment #7)

I think logging in/logging out is a good way to do it.

But then, what about the two issues mentioned at the bottom of the proposal? If that's not solved, I'm quite sure many frequent editors would not see this feature as useful as it could be...

Krinkle added a comment.Via ConduitDec 8 2010, 8:05 AM

(In reply to comment #8)

(In reply to comment #7)
> I think logging in/logging out is a good way to do it.

But then, what about the two issues mentioned at the bottom of the proposal? If
that's not solved, I'm quite sure many frequent editors would not see this
feature as useful as it could be...

Read my reply. I think it's wise not to actually 'set' the Away-status but termine that when somebody views the User-page based on the last activity timestamp.

Ie. if I edit now and you view my userpage it says "online", if go go away, close browser or crash my workstation, if you keep refreshing that page, at some point it'l start reading "Away" instead.

Depending on your setting it may be either 5, 10, 20 whatever you choose number of minutes untill it's considered 'away' (just like you can set the number of bytes to consider an article 'stub').

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