Phabricator has a tokens feature, but it's very unclear what the purpose of it is. It may make sense to disable the tokens feature.
|Declined||Qgil||T899 Unclear what the point of tokens in Phabricator is|
|Declined||None||T138 Define an equivalent to Gerrit's +-1 +-2 for code review evaluation|
But they are being awarded to bugs/tasks, not users. "Congratulations, software bug! Here's a reward."
Not sure I follow that part. I agree with MZMcBride as well - really seems like an unnecessary application for our uses of this software.
Phabricator is task-centric. To go on to think about software bugs or bug tracker is to raise down your horizon.
Generally I follow my intuition but I can see some pattern in my tokens use in 2.5 years:
- I tend on several Phabricator installs to use trees tokens to organic or growth project like better documentation.
- Cactus as potted for UI changes improving the user experience, like a potted plant
- Silver pieces indicates small software improvements in useful areas like API, back-end libraries.
- I rarely use love token but spontaneously I were recently thinking oh I love that idea and added one. it's only occurred once to the Differential revision implemented the idea.
I've also observed from other people on several installs two different use of the burn token:
- one to reinforce the Unbreak now! idea
- in an installation, an automated agent added burning tokens to Differential revisions when Jenkins reported test failures. Team members soon added too burning tokens in Audit when they saw security issues.
The point of tokens today is that people willing to use them can use them for the purpose and with the meaning that pleases them. There is no process requiring tokens so far, so nobody is forced to use them or to interpret them.
Looking at https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/token/ it seems to be clear that the popular ones have a clear meaning: I like this, I love this, here is my gratitude. It seems to be used mostly as a Thanks button.
So yes, Tokens is an application and it can be technically disabled. However, I don't see a reason to remove it. Tokens are not doing any harm, and they seem to be doing some good.
Then one day code review will arrive here, and chances are that people involved will use them as equivalents of +1, 0, -1, this time as part of a process.
Most of Phabricator's interface seems to be fairly subdued (lots of grey, lots of light blue, etc.). Looking at (for example) T70069 my eye is immediately drawn toward the bright green tree. If I hover over this mysterious tree, Phabricator tells me "PiRSquared17". Uhh, thanks.
I don't see much hope for tokens actually being disabled at this point... if anything, we'll probably see additional silly features (such as memes) enabled instead. Oh well.
The issue here seems more "the meaning of the PiRSquared17 isn't understood". But don't worry, we generally understand more or less the pattern of tokens of the majority of people we interact with in some weeks.
I see tokens as a fast way of approving, disapproving in the process and as a little thank you after the task is done without the need to write a comment. So keeping them with a much reduced variety (just thumbs up, thumbs down, barnstar) will be nice.
I think it's like Wikilove and useful. I'd be interested if it's possible to add/upload _new_ award tokens. it would be more fun if we cold have _actual barnstars_ and things that are specific to Wikimedia.
Tokens are usually taken as a sign or appreciation or a form of a +1 but I have seen, through the use of the thumbs down token, that it can also be used as a -1 or a disproval act (as can be seen in this and the token). I'm a bit divided over this use of tokens. Its a bit counter intuitive and doesn't show the disproval very well. Its awarding a token and then it shows up on the user's page which then could show that this user has closed this many "bad" or controversial issues.
I think it would help if we only had a subset that had at least a loosely documented meaning at mw:Phabricator/Tokens , where I have added links and meanings for some of them.
Some of the tokens have a mostly well established meaning, such as Like and Dislike. The currency tokens also borrow from symbols that are commonly understood.
However the majority of them have no clear meaning, even in English, so if some groups are currently using them for specific meanings they are effectively having a private conversation in public, and we should be rejecting exclusionary communication methods.
And of course the situation is much worse for ESL. e.g. even with the currency tokens, the first three would be more inclusive if the hover-overs for the first three mentioned "bronze", "silver" and "gold", as those 'value' meaning are mostly universal understood. "Haypence" is especially confusing, as Heypence is plural, while the icon only has a single coin. The most common actual haypence was the three-halfpeny, a single silver coin. I've created redirects on English Wikipedia to try to guide people to the most suitable article about the bronze coin, whereas previously it was directing readers to the silver three-haypenny.