Big problem to solve: good WYSIWYG on WMF wikis

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Re: [Foundation-l] Big problem to solve: good WYSIWYG on WMF wikis

masti-2
> That is true - "We can't do away with Wikitext" always been the
> intermediate conclusion (in between "My god, we need to do something
> about this problem" and "This is hopeless, we give up again").
>

between wikitext and WYSISWYG is a simple solution of colourizing text
like for hundreds of programing (and otehr) languages formats in a
simple text editor. This is not a rocket science but we still do not
have it :(

masti

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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Platonides
In reply to this post by Aryeh Gregor
Aryeh Gregor wrote:

> We could also try to work out ways to make adminship less important.
> If protection, blocking, and deletion could be made less necessary and
> important in day-to-day editing, that would reduce the importance of
> admins and reduce the difference between established and new
> contributors.  You could often make do with much "softer" versions of
> these three things, which could be given out much more liberally.
>
> For instance, to replace blocking, you could have a system whereby any
> reasonably established editor (> X edits/Y days) can place another
> editor or IP address in moderation, so that their edits have to be
> approved before going live, in Flagged Revs style.  As with blocking,
> any established editor could also reverse such a block.  Abuse would
> thus be easily reversed and fairly harmless (since the edits could go
> through automatically when it's lifted, barring conflicts).  Sysops
> would only be necessary if people with established accounts abuse
> their rights.
>
> Likewise, most deletion doesn't really need to make anything private.
> Reasonably established editors could be given the right to soft-delete
> a page such that any other such editor could read or undelete it.
> This would be fine for the vast majority of deletions, like vanity
> pages and spam.  Sysops would only have to get involved for copyright
> infringement, privacy issues, and so on.
>
> As for protection, we already have Flagged Revs.  Lower levels of
> flagging should be imposable by people other than sysops, and since
> those largely supersede semiprotection, sysops would again only be
> needed to adjudicate disputes between established editors (like
> full-protecting an edit-warred page).  Obviously, all these rights
> would be revocable by sysops in the event of abuse.


There's an extension to 'delete' pages by blanking. I find that approach
much more wiki.
We should also work on allowing more protection levels. Fixing problems
with the "if you can protect, you can edit anything" behavior and such.


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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

David Gerard-2
On 31 December 2010 00:02, Platonides <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There's an extension to 'delete' pages by blanking. I find that approach
> much more wiki.


"Pure wiki deletion" is a perennial proposal. One problem is that
there doesn't appear to be a wiki anywhere that actually uses it, or
ever have been one. (I've asked for examples before - does anyone have
any?) This suggests that the biggest wiki in the world might not be
the greatest place to be the very first.


- d.

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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Platonides
In reply to this post by Alex Zaddach
Alex wrote:

> One thing that I think could help, at least on the English Wikipedia,
> would be to further restrict new article creation. Right now, any
> registered user can create a new article, and according to some
> statistics I gathered a few months ago[1], almost 25% of new users make
> their first edit creating an article. 81% of those users had their
> article deleted and <0.1% of them were still editing a few (6-7) months
> later, compared to 4% for the 19% whose articles were kept, giving a
> total retention rate of 1.3%.
>
> However, for the 75% of users who started by editing an existing
> article, the overall retention rate was 2.5%. Still a small number, but
> almost double the rate for the article creation route.


This is significant, but I'm not convinced about the reason.

There is surely an attacking factor. You make them go through hoops,
having to register an account, then destroy its work. It's normal that
some potentially good contributors leave. But many of those are single
purpose accounts which would only be interested in adding its myspace
band, ever.
We should support the first type users, but we don't want even its
register for the second type.


> The English Wikipedia, with 3.5 million articles, has been scraping the
> bottom of the notability barrel for a while. Creating a proper new
> article is not an especially easy task in terms of editing, yet the
> project practically encourages new users to do it. We're dropping new
> users into the deep end of the pool, then getting angry at them when
> they start to drown.

Completely. This mentality should be changed.


> What we should be doing instead is suggesting that
> users add their information to an existing article somewhere (with
> various tools to help them find it). And if they can't find anything
> remotely related in 3.5 million articles, ask themselves whether they
> still think its an appropriate topic.

That's a good point, but not suitable for all topics.
If I want to create an article that would have been considered relevant
you shouldn't make me wander in circles. Some people shouldn't be
treated as babies, while others should.


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Re: [Foundation-l] Big problem to solve: good WYSIWYG on WMF wikis

Platonides
In reply to this post by masti-2
masti wrote:

>> That is true - "We can't do away with Wikitext" always been the
>> intermediate conclusion (in between "My god, we need to do something
>> about this problem" and "This is hopeless, we give up again").
>>
>
> between wikitext and WYSISWYG is a simple solution of colourizing text
> like for hundreds of programing (and otehr) languages formats in a
> simple text editor. This is not a rocket science but we still do not
> have it :(
>
> masti

Have you tried wikiEd ?


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Re: [Foundation-l] Big problem to solve: good WYSIWYG on WMF wikis

Platonides
In reply to this post by masti-2
masti wrote:

>> That is true - "We can't do away with Wikitext" always been the
>> intermediate conclusion (in between "My god, we need to do something
>> about this problem" and "This is hopeless, we give up again").
>>
>
> between wikitext and WYSISWYG is a simple solution of colourizing text
> like for hundreds of programing (and otehr) languages formats in a
> simple text editor. This is not a rocket science but we still do not
> have it :(
>
> masti

Have you tried wikiEd ?


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Re: [Foundation-l] Big problem to solve: good WYSIWYG on WMF wikis

masti-2
In reply to this post by Platonides
On 12/31/2010 01:19 AM, Platonides wrote:

> masti wrote:
>>> That is true - "We can't do away with Wikitext" always been the
>>> intermediate conclusion (in between "My god, we need to do something
>>> about this problem" and "This is hopeless, we give up again").
>>>
>>
>> between wikitext and WYSISWYG is a simple solution of colourizing text
>> like for hundreds of programing (and otehr) languages formats in a
>> simple text editor. This is not a rocket science but we still do not
>> have it :(
>>
>> masti
>
> Have you tried wikiEd ?

yes :(

why not have this functionality in wikiedit window?



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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

masti-2
In reply to this post by Platonides
On 12/31/2010 01:02 AM, Platonides wrote:
> There's an extension to 'delete' pages by blanking. I find that approach
> much more wiki.

if you like to be blocked for blanking ...

masti

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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Michael Dale-4
In reply to this post by Neil Kandalgaonkar
Looking over the thread, there are lots of good ideas. Its really
important to have some plan towards cleaning up abstractions between
"structured data", "procedures in representation", "visual
representation" and "tools for participation".

But, I think its correct to identify the social aspects of the projects
as more critical than purity of abstractions within wikitext. Tools,
bots and scripts and clever ui components can abstract away some of the
pain of the underlining platform as long as people are willing to accept
a bit of abstraction leakage / lack of coverage in some areas as part of
moving to something better.

One area that I did not see much mention of in this thread is automated
systems for reputation. Reputation systems would be useful both for user
interactions and for gauging expertise within particular knowledge domains.

Social capital within wikikmedia projects is presently stored in
incredibly unstructured ways and has little bearing on user privileges
or how the actions of others are represented to you, and how your
actions are represented to others. Its presently based on traditional
small scale capacities of individuals to gauge social standing within
their social networks and or to read user pages.

We can see automatic reputation system emerging anytime you want to
share anything online be it making a small loan to trading used DVDs.
Sharing information should adopt some similar principals.

There has been some good work done in this area with wikitrust system (
and other user moderation / karma systems ). Tying that data into smart
interface flows that reward positive social behaviour and productive
contributions, should make it "more fun" to participate in the projects
and result in more fluid higher quality information sharing.

peace,
--michael

On 12/29/2010 01:31 AM, Neil Kandalgaonkar wrote:

> I've been inspired by the discussion David Gerard and Brion Vibber
> kicked off, and I think they are headed in the right direction.
>
> But I just want to ask a separate, but related question.
>
> Let's imagine you wanted to start a rival to Wikipedia. Assume that you
> are motivated by money, and that venture capitalists promise you can be
> paid gazillions of dollars if you can do one, or many, of the following:
>
> 1 - Become a more attractive home to the WP editors. Get them to work on
> your content.
>
> 2 - Take the free content from WP, and use it in this new system. But
> make it much better, in a way Wikipedia can't match.
>
> 3 - Attract even more readers, or perhaps a niche group of
> super-passionate readers that you can use to build a new community.
>
> In other words, if you had no legacy, and just wanted to build something
> from zero, how would you go about creating an innovation that was
> disruptive to Wikipedia, in fact something that made Wikipedia look like
> Friendster or Myspace compared to Facebook?
>
> And there's a followup question to this -- but you're all smart people
> and can guess what it is.
>


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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Neil Kandalgaonkar
In reply to this post by Platonides
On 12/30/10 3:33 PM, Platonides wrote:

>> But you're right; they can't be everywhere, so maybe there should be a
>> guidelines page on design principles. We have WP:CIVILITY, do we have
>> similar guidelines for software developers, on how to make it easy for
>> the community to be civil?
>
> I'm lost here. Are you calling uncivil the developer community for this
> thread? You mean that WP:CIVILITY should be enforced by mediawiki?
> Developers should be more helopful when dealing bug reports? What do you
> mean?

I guess I have not been clear... I was picking up on what Tim said, that
we have to work on making WP and other projects into places where people
feel more welcome.

Telling people to be nicer may help, but I actually think that people
are more shaped by their environment. If you go from a party at a
friend's warm apartment to an anonymous street your mood and
receptiveness to others changes instantly.

The point is to make MediaWiki more like the friend's apartment, and
less like the anonymous street. If we have interfaces that make it easy
for admins to be rude to new editors, they will be more rude. If we make
it easy to be nice, then maybe they'll also be nicer. This isn't a
radical new idea.

Tim already noted that he hopes Pending Changes (nee FlaggedRevs) would
help people be less brusque with one another. Polite template responses,
things like that.

Users are influenced by very subtle cues. Understanding how they work is
a very rare ability. So I was suggesting we collect rules of thumb for
people who are making interfaces. Not policies to bash each other with.

--
Neil Kandalgaonkar (   <[hidden email]>

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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 1:07 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> There is some discussion of how the community and ArbCom enable
> grossly antisocial behaviour on internal-l at present. Admin behaviour
> is enforced by the ArbCom, and the AC member on internal-l has mostly
> been evasive.

Wtf?
ArbCom members are expected to be responsive to discussions about
English Wikipedia occurring on internal-l?
Could you please clarify who are you're obliquely attacking here?

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Conrad Irwin-3
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On 31 December 2010 00:08, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 31 December 2010 00:02, Platonides <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> There's an extension to 'delete' pages by blanking. I find that approach
>> much more wiki.
>
>
> "Pure wiki deletion" is a perennial proposal. One problem is that
> there doesn't appear to be a wiki anywhere that actually uses it, or
> ever have been one. (I've asked for examples before - does anyone have
> any?) This suggests that the biggest wiki in the world might not be
> the greatest place to be the very first.
>

If you want to being the biggest wiki in the world to mean anything,
you need to innovate. Wikipedia will continue to stagnate if everyone
is too scared to try out new stuff. This is in my mind the biggest
problem facing Wikimedia — it's suffering from complete feature-freeze
because everyone is so scared of making a mistake. On all fronts,
encyclopedic, social, technical, nothing has really moved forward at
all for the last year or two. Sure, we've optimized a few workflows,
tightened a few procedures, and added some content — but there's no
innovation, nothing exciting and new.

Evolution is the best model we have for how to build something, the
way to keep progress going is to continually try new things; if they
fail, "meh", if they succeed — "yay"! There are no planning meetings,
no months of deliberation about exactly what shape a finger should be.
Sure, nothing built by evolution is "perfect", but that's fine, it
will continue to get better in ways not even imaginable from this
point in time (everyone knows you can't see into the future, so stop
wasting time trying). One reason that wikis are such a good way of
creating content is that they use the same process — anyone can make a
random change. If it is good, it is kept; if not it isn't. The same
model is appearing in other places too. Github allows random people to
change software, and only the good stuff gets merged. Google does the
same: Wave was a fun idea, it turns out it was also useless — oh well,
lesson learnt, move on.

There is no Wikipedia-killer in a concrete sense. The world will
continue to evolve. Wikipedia has a simple choice: evolve or get left
behind.

Conrad

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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Alex Brollo
2010/12/31 Conrad Irwin <[hidden email]>

>
>
> Evolution is the best model we have for how to build something, the
> way to keep progress going is to continually try new things; if they
> fail, "meh", if they succeed — "yay"!
>

Just to add a little bit of "pure theory" into the talk, wiki project is
simply one of the most interesting, and successful, models of "adaptive
complex systems theory". I encourage anyone to take a deeper look into it.
It's both interesting for wiki users/sysops/high level managers and for
complex systems researchers.

I guess, complex system theory wuld suggest too politics. Just an example:
as in evolution, best environment where something new appears is not the
wider environment, but the small ones, the "islands", just like Galapagos in
evolution! This would suggest a great attention about what happens into
smaller wiki projects. I guess, the most interesting things could be found
there, while not so much evolution can be expected  into the "mammoth"
project. ;-)

Alex (from it.source)
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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Happy-melon
In reply to this post by Michael Dale-4

"Michael Dale" <[hidden email]> wrote in message
news:[hidden email]...

> One area that I did not see much mention of in this thread is automated
> systems for reputation. Reputation systems would be useful both for user
> interactions and for gauging expertise within particular knowledge
> domains.
>
> Social capital within wikikmedia projects is presently stored in
> incredibly unstructured ways and has little bearing on user privileges
> or how the actions of others are represented to you, and how your
> actions are represented to others. Its presently based on traditional
> small scale capacities of individuals to gauge social standing within
> their social networks and or to read user pages.
>
> We can see automatic reputation system emerging anytime you want to
> share anything online be it making a small loan to trading used DVDs.
> Sharing information should adopt some similar principals.
>
> There has been some good work done in this area with wikitrust system (
> and other user moderation / karma systems ). Tying that data into smart
> interface flows that reward positive social behaviour and productive
> contributions, should make it "more fun" to participate in the projects
> and result in more fluid higher quality information sharing.
>
> peace,
> --michael

I think this is a fascinating idea, and one that I think meets a very
valuable criterion: being more useful to newcomers, who are used to seeing
such things on other sites, than to established editors (who will inevitably
hate it).  I can see a deployment path along the lines of the Foundation
saying "we are going to enable this extension, whether or not you ask for
it.  You do not have to use it, but you may not disable it.", and watching
what happens.  It could well be months or years before people get over
complaining about it and it start to bed down.  Of course in that time (and
generally) it needs to be immune to various forms of credit farming, which
could lead to some interesting metrics to try and ensure that sockmasters
cannot earn huge reputations by passing credit amongst their socks, while
ordinary users can be rewarded.

With ideas like this, and more generally, I think the Foundation has an
increasing role to play in fighting the growing inertia in the projects.
It's easy to say that any intervention will damage the community and so
should be avoided; but let's not forget that a (mildly) torn muscle will
heal stronger, and that the alternative is, as mentioned, complete
stagnation.  It's important that the community keep evolving and innovating
as well; and if that means that some of its more inflexible members cannot
keep up and leave, so be it, as long as they are replaced by new and excited
members such that the community as a whole remains vibrant.  Of course
that's a horribly difficult balance to strike, and it would be easy to kill
the golden goose.  But the goose is now getting rather grey and arthritic,
and we could really do with some golden goslings right now.

--HM


 



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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Platonides
In reply to this post by masti-2
masti wrote:
> On 12/31/2010 01:02 AM, Platonides wrote:
>> There's an extension to 'delete' pages by blanking. I find that approach
>> much more wiki.
>
> if you like to be blocked for blanking ...
>
> masti

If it was the right way of deleting, it would actually be the way
specified by the policy... if that page really deserves to be deleted.


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Re: [Foundation-l] Big problem to solve: good WYSIWYG on WMF wikis

Maciej Jaros
In reply to this post by masti-2
masti (2010-12-31 01:33):

> On 12/31/2010 01:19 AM, Platonides wrote:
>> masti wrote:
>>>> That is true - "We can't do away with Wikitext" always been the
>>>> intermediate conclusion (in between "My god, we need to do something
>>>> about this problem" and "This is hopeless, we give up again").
>>>>
>>> between wikitext and WYSISWYG is a simple solution of colourizing text
>>> like for hundreds of programing (and otehr) languages formats in a
>>> simple text editor. This is not a rocket science but we still do not
>>> have it :(
>>>
>>> masti
>> Have you tried wikiEd ?
> yes :(
>
> why not have this functionality in wikiedit window?

Because wikEd is wicked ;-) and spoils simple editor window so that many
other scripts have problems using it. Also probably because it's not
really helpful for all users to work with and certainly is making your
computer work slower.

Regards,
Nux.

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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Jay Ashworth-2
In reply to this post by George William Herbert
----- Original Message -----
> From: "George Herbert" <[hidden email]>

> MW was designed to build an encyclopedia with Web 1.5 technology. It
> was a major step forwards compared to its contemporaries, but sites
> like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter are massive user experience advances
> over where we are and can credibly go with MediaWiki.

MediaWiki is nearly perfectly usable from my Blackberry with CSS, images,
and JavaScript disabled; please don't break that.

Cheers,
-- jra

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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Jay Ashworth-2
In reply to this post by Neil Kandalgaonkar
----- Original Message -----
> From: "Neil Kandalgaonkar" <[hidden email]>

> Meanwhile, MediaWiki is perhaps too powerful and too complex to
> administer for the small organization. I work with a small group of
> artists that run a MediaWiki instance and whenever online collaboration
> has to happen, nobody in this group says "Let's make a wiki page!"

Why not?

> That used to happen, but nowadays they go straight to Google Docs.

Oh.

Well, that's bad.  But people will choose the wrong tools; I don't think
that's evidence that MediaWiki's Broken As Designed.

"Too powerful and complex to administer"?

It needs administration?  In a small organization?

I set one up at my previous employers, and used it to take all my notes,
which required exactly zero administration: I just slapped it on a box,
and I was done.

And my successor is *very* happy about it.  :-)

Cheers,
-- jra

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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Ryan Kaldari-2
On this note, MTV Networks (my previous job) switched from using
Mediawiki to Confluence a couple years ago. They mainly cited ease of
use and Microsoft Office integration as the reasons. Personally I hated
it, except for the dashboard interface, which was pretty slick. Some
Wikipedia power-users have similar dashboard style interfaces that they
have custom built on their User Pages, but I think it would be cool if
we let people add these sort of interfaces without having to be a
template-hacker.

The sort of interface I'm talking about would include stuff like
community and WikiProject notices and various real-time stats. If you
were a vandal fighter, you would get a vandalism thermometer, streaming
incident notices, a recent changes feed, etc. If you were a content
reviewer, you would get lists of the latest Featured Article and Good
Article candidates, as well as the latest images nominated for Featured
Picture Status, and announcements from the Guild of Copyeditors. The
possibilities are endless.

Ryan Kaldari


On 12/31/10 4:35 PM, Jay Ashworth wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
>    
>> From: "Neil Kandalgaonkar"<[hidden email]>
>>      
>    
>> Meanwhile, MediaWiki is perhaps too powerful and too complex to
>> administer for the small organization. I work with a small group of
>> artists that run a MediaWiki instance and whenever online collaboration
>> has to happen, nobody in this group says "Let's make a wiki page!"
>>      
> Why not?
>
>    
>> That used to happen, but nowadays they go straight to Google Docs.
>>      
> Oh.
>
> Well, that's bad.  But people will choose the wrong tools; I don't think
> that's evidence that MediaWiki's Broken As Designed.
>
> "Too powerful and complex to administer"?
>
> It needs administration?  In a small organization?
>
> I set one up at my previous employers, and used it to take all my notes,
> which required exactly zero administration: I just slapped it on a box,
> and I was done.
>
> And my successor is *very* happy about it.  :-)
>
> Cheers,
> -- jra
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>    

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Re: How would you disrupt Wikipedia?

Tei-2
On 1 January 2011 03:03, Ryan Kaldari <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On this note, MTV Networks (my previous job) switched from using
> Mediawiki to Confluence a couple years ago. They mainly cited ease of
> use and Microsoft Office integration as the reasons. Personally I hated
> it, except for the dashboard interface, which was pretty slick. Some
> Wikipedia power-users have similar dashboard style interfaces that they
> have custom built on their User Pages, but I think it would be cool if
> we let people add these sort of interfaces without having to be a
> template-hacker.
>
> The sort of interface I'm talking about would include stuff like
> community and WikiProject notices and various real-time stats. If you
> were a vandal fighter, you would get a vandalism thermometer, streaming
> incident notices, a recent changes feed, etc. If you were a content
> reviewer, you would get lists of the latest Featured Article and Good
> Article candidates, as well as the latest images nominated for Featured
> Picture Status, and announcements from the Guild of Copyeditors. The
> possibilities are endless.
>
> Ryan Kaldari
>

So, what stop people from writing a "dashboard wizard" that let people
select a predefined one?



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