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Notification email digests: Copy tweaks
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Description

As discussed, I found a couple small copy issues related to the email digest on MediaWiki.org:

  1. Subject line

It would be great if the subject line could include the site name, as follows:

'You have new notifications on Wikipedia today'

(instead of: 'You have new notifications today')

  1. Add a salutation

To be consistent with the HTML email specs, I recommend we add a 'Hi' salutation at the top of the plain text emails, to help make them a bit friendlier:

'Hi Fabrice Florin'

(instead of: 'Fabrice Florin')

  1. Add colons (:) to category headers

Given that we have no formatting on plain text emails, I think that adding a ':' colon after the category headers would help establish the relation between the header and the contents below:

'Page link:'

(instead of: 'Page link')

Here are the full feature requirements for this Email Digest feature:

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Echo_(Notifications)/Feature_requirements#Email_Digests


Version: unspecified
Severity: normal

Details

Reference
bz47846

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lwelling wrote:

Erik B. points out, and I agree, that wordings of the form "You have 42 new notifications on Wikipedia today" are a bit clunky sounding.

"You have new notifications on Wikipedia" would be cleaner, or if you want to emphasize the time period, past tense is probably more consistent.

"You received 42 new notifications today on Wikipedia"

Thanks, guys, excellent point!

I agree with you that it would be best to move 'today' before 'on Wikipedia', to emphasize the date, as you suggest:

'You have new notifications today on Wikipedia'

(instead of: 'You have new notifications on Wikipedia today')

Though I would recommend we stick with 'have' over 'received', because it seems simpler.

Also, for the record, I believe we gave up on giving numbers of notifications (e.g. '42'), because it's hard to accurately estimate the totals due to bundling. Correct me if I'm wrong on that point. :)

bsitu wrote:

Can we remove the ':' from the category title, for example, 'Talk page post:' and 'Page links:'. This message is used in the dismiss interface as well, it looks very awkward if it's re-enabled

Hi Benny, we have no plans to re-enable the Dismiss feature in its current form. The reason we disabled it is because we decided it was not appropriate at the category level, and needs a different design with more granularity.

So there is no longer any need to support that old feature. Instead, let's optimize for the current feature which is live. Once HTML email is deployed in a couple weeks, we can revisit that decision.

While we're discussing email copy, there are a few other issues I recommend we fix:

  • Individual email notification titles should also have 'on Wikipedia' at the end, if we are on a wikipedia.org site. For example, we should say: 'You have a new talkpage message on Wikipedia'.
  • The first sentence in individual email notifications about talk pages should have a ':' colon at the end of the sentence, so that it can refer to the payload text below. For example:

'Fabrice Florin posted on your talk page:
/* Kudos on deploying Notifications! */ new section'

  • The first sentence in individual email notifications about page links should have a '.' period at the end of the sentence, so that you know the sentence has ended. For example:

'Tam Valley was linked from Golden Gate National Recreation Area.'

Please check that all sentences in other individual notifications have an appropriate punctuation mark at the end, so we send grammatically correct notifications to our users.

Thanks!

bsitu wrote:

(In reply to comment #5)

Hi Benny, we have no plans to re-enable the Dismiss feature in its current
form. The reason we disabled it is because we decided it was not appropriate
at
the category level, and needs a different design with more granularity.

So there is no longer any need to support that old feature. Instead, let's
optimize for the current feature which is live. Once HTML email is deployed
in
a couple weeks, we can revisit that decision.

While we're discussing email copy, there are a few other issues I recommend
we
fix:

  • Individual email notification titles should also have 'on Wikipedia' at the end, if we are on a wikipedia.org site. For example, we should say: 'You have a new talkpage message on Wikipedia'.
  • The first sentence in individual email notifications about talk pages should have a ':' colon at the end of the sentence, so that it can refer to the payload text below. For example: 'Fabrice Florin posted on your talk page: /* Kudos on deploying Notifications! */ new section'
  • The first sentence in individual email notifications about page links should have a '.' period at the end of the sentence, so that you know the sentence has ended. For example: 'Tam Valley was linked from Golden Gate National Recreation Area.'

    Please check that all sentences in other individual notifications have an appropriate punctuation mark at the end, so we send grammatically correct notifications to our users.

    Thanks!

Hi Fabrice,

The category title is also used in preference page and probably some other places in the future. In the case colon doesn't apply, we would need to create a new set of category messages.

Thanks, Benny. I'm fine with colons after the labels in preferences, but I see your point about future uses. How about adding the colons in the email code? Would that be possible?

(In reply to comment #7)

How about adding the colons in the email code? Would that be possible?

If that's a proposal to split strings (turn "foo:" into "foo" and ":") I'd file an I18N bug if I saw that. e.g. French needs "foo :" and there are RTL langs.
If that's not a proposal to split strings, please elaborate.

bsitu wrote:

(In reply to comment #7)

Thanks, Benny. I'm fine with colons after the labels in preferences, but I
see
your point about future uses. How about adding the colons in the email code?
Would that be possible?

Fabrice, as Andre pointed out in the previous comment, we usually try to avoid concatenating message in the code. In English, it is a colon following foo like foo:, but in some other languages it may be some other symbol than colon.

bsitu wrote:

(In reply to comment #9)

(In reply to comment #7)
> Thanks, Benny. I'm fine with colons after the labels in preferences, but I
> see
> your point about future uses. How about adding the colons in the email code?
> Would that be possible?

Fabrice, as Andre pointed out in the previous comment, we usually try to
avoid
concatenating message in the code. In English, it is a colon following foo
like foo:, but in some other languages it may be some other symbol than
colon.

The position of the colon may be different as well

There is a 'colon-separator' i18n message in core that we should be able to use for this.

lwelling wrote:

Passing colon-separator in, and having a space for it as $1 should work then? That way, we can optionally call it with blank, and a translator could move the $1 to the start of the line if that makes sense for a RTL language?