|Open||None||T76230 [Epic] data quality and trust|
|Resolved||hoo||T87263 [Bug] do not allow adding non-existent images in statements|
The behaviour here has changed. Until recently I would get an error if I didn't select a valid file (although it seems from this older ticket that there was a way to get around the check). Now there appears to be no check at all and I'm able to save whatever I want as the value, e.g. https://www.wikidata.org/w/index.php?title=Q4115189&diff=253493005&oldid=253457577
While I did used to see people edit image statements to non-existent files from time to time, since a few days ago I've seen a lot more (i.e. multiple times a day) and it's usually people adding statements with external URLs (like I did in the link above), which is not something I used to see at all.
I can confirm that it is possible to link to random non-existing image names, see for example https://www.wikidata.org/w/index.php?title=Q64&type=revision&diff=254077747&oldid=251454075
The situation seems to be as follows:
- The backend applies validation to all API input (from the UI and from bots). For CommonsMedia, this does not (and never did) check whether the image exists, it just checks whether the input is a syntactically valid image name.
- The UI provides suggestions while the user is typing input. It does however allow the user to enter something that does not match any suggestion.
I suspect that in the past, the UI applied an extra validation step on the user input, which got dropped when we consolidated all validation in the backend.
- Make backend validation check image existence. This would make it impossible to link non-existing images. It may (depending on how things are implamented) also make it impossibel to edit statements that link images that got deleted - it would not be possible to change the rank, or qualifiers, and the resulting error message may be confusing (the error has nothing to do with the edit the change the user was trying to make).
- Make the input widget in the UI allow only input that matches a suggestion. I suspect this was the case in the past (or an extra validation step was applied). This would not prevent non-existing images to referenced via the API directly, so bots could still create "bad" image links.
The first solution sounds better to me. I'm not sure why we would want to keep links to deleted images (I seem to remember the statements being deleted when an image gets deleted on Commons, but maybe I'm confusing it with something else) or why we would want to edit such a statement without fixing the image. If it would generate a confusing error message, it seems like the error message should be improved. :)
The second sounds like it would revert the behaviour back to how it used to work, which would be better than the current behaviour, but it wouldn't solve the original problem, since changes like the one in the description would still be possible.