Append a references list to bottom of the page when the first reference is added
Open, NormalPublic8 Story Points

Description

"References" or local wiki language equivalent section and {{reflist}} template should be added if it does not exist to the bottom of pages when the first reference is added to a page with visual editor rather than displaying

"Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found"

Details

Security
None
Reference
bz54906

We've discussed adding the reference list (note: NOT {{reflist}}) automatically to the end, but I'm not so sure about adding local wiki structures as it would be a real mess to maintain.

  • Bug 58049 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

I worry that this will cause issues if the references are added manually, rather than through the {{Reflist}} template that we'll be creating an inconsistency and moving in a direction that we don't want to go it (I don't know if we want to go in this direction at all)

(In reply to Jared Zimmerman (WMF) from comment #3)

I worry that this will cause issues if the references are added manually,
rather than through the {{Reflist}} template that we'll be creating an
inconsistency and moving in a direction that we don't want to go it (I don't
know if we want to go in this direction at all)

References should *never* be added through the {{reflist}} template (which itself should *never* be used) in VisualEditor… Hence the huge amount of work we're doing to make the new citation inserting system and improve the existing citations system to obviate the need for the use of templates as hacks around deficiencies in the system.

If wikis use their own template instead of using <references /> directly, this doesn't sound like a good idea...

Will <references /> break or display an error or will it just look different in the wikitext than what they are used to?

It 'just' looks different in most cases, as far as I'm aware.

(In reply to Alex Monk from comment #5)

If wikis use their own template instead of using <references /> directly,
this doesn't sound like a good idea...

This is why bug 51260 exists.

So if it's a difference in the look or style of the wikitext only. And the resolution is fewer or no errors for end users, then this seems like an easy choice to make.

I disagree that this is blocked by bug 51260; this bug will avoid breakage for users (who insert references and don't know to insert a reference list), whereas bug 51260 is a nice-to-have set of options around styling said reference list.

Removing "section"; this is totally un-do-able in a scalable fashion.

(In reply to Jared Zimmerman (WMF) from comment #9)

So if it's a difference in the look or style of the wikitext only. And the
resolution is fewer or no errors for end users, then this seems like an easy
choice to make.

I agree with you, but it doesn't sound like it will be that uncontroversial in wiki communities.

Saying this depends on native VE support of multi-column reflists before fixing it is rediculous as saying native gallery support is required before we handle individual image insertion without an error. Let's walk before we run, and think of the audience before we get too hung up in site politics. The VE inserted references object can be seen as a placeholder for someone *if* they want to swap it out for something site specific but it doesn't seem like a blocker for this by any stretch of the imagination when the alternative is throwing up errors to the use or not displaying a reflist at all.

Alex, I realized after a bit that this may have sounded like it was (angrily) directed at you rather than just general frustration at unfixed bugs. Just wanted to appogize if it sounded like that to you too. I definitely don't want to be a part of the negative culture we sometime have, and wanted to clear that up. Again sorry if that seemed directed at you.

It's fine, I'm just not convinced this is a good idea with:

  • the current state of {{reflist}} (or equivalent) vs. <references />
  • the assumption that references will always be at the absolute bottom of the page (often it's followed by external links, subject navigation templates, etc.)
  • making changes to the document without the user explicitly triggering them

Perhaps it would be okay with some detailed explanation to the user (maybe a warning beforehand, perhaps with a checkbox they can untick to prevent it or something, or maybe just a notification dialog of some sort after it's done). But we it should be clearly thought out and established here how that should be handled.

Right now, VE does the same thing as the wikitext editor in this respect - i.e. nothing. Perhaps even just a note on the new reference dialog saying "You'll need to add a <references />/{{reflist}} otherwise this will error when saving." could solve the underlying issue here.

Why not treat references like the TOC and always have MediaWiki output them at the bottom of the page (or section when in preview mode in wikitext) unless a <references/> tag is present?

(In reply to Erik Moeller from comment #16)

Why not treat references like the TOC and always have MediaWiki output them
at the bottom of the page (or section when in preview mode in wikitext)
unless a <references/> tag is present?

Nice idea; I've created this as bug 66860.

Change 149117 had a related patch set uploaded by Jforrester:
[WIP] If there isn't one already, append reference list to page when creating a reference

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/149117

Jdforrester-WMF changed the title from "VisualEditor: Append references list to bottom of pages when first reference is added" to "Append references list to bottom of pages when first reference is added".Nov 24 2014, 1:46 AM
Jdforrester-WMF assigned this task to Krenair.
Jdforrester-WMF set Security to None.
Jdforrester-WMF moved this task from TR9: ???? to TR5: Rich media tools on the VisualEditor board.
Elitre added a subscriber: Elitre.Feb 27 2015, 3:54 PM

Change 149117 had a related patch set uploaded (by Alex Monk):
If there isn't one already, append reference list to page when creating a reference

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/149117

Change 149117 abandoned by Alex Monk:
If there isn't one already, append reference list to page when creating a reference

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/149117

Krenair removed Krenair as the assignee of this task.Apr 2 2015, 3:32 AM
Krenair removed a project: Patch-For-Review.
Jdforrester-WMF changed the title from "Append references list to bottom of pages when first reference is added" to "Append a references list to bottom of the page when the first reference is added".Dec 3 2015, 6:51 PM
Jdforrester-WMF edited the task description. (Show Details)
Jdforrester-WMF edited a custom field.
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptDec 3 2015, 6:51 PM
Cirdan awarded a token.Mar 9 2016, 7:35 PM
Cirdan added a subscriber: Cirdan.Mar 9 2016, 8:00 PM

Add Comment