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Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)

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The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas.
Before creating a new section, please note:

Before commenting, note:

  • This page is not for consensus polling. Stalwart "Oppose" and "Support" comments generally have no place here. Instead, discuss ideas and suggest variations on them.
  • Wondering whether someone already had this idea? Search the archives below, and look through Wikipedia:Perennial proposals.
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Updating the left sidebar

I am closing this discussion as the RfC will be launched momentarily at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/2020 left sidebar update. Further comments should go there. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:37, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

So, given all the free time we have, I'm thinking about taking on a fairly big task: trying to build a consensus to revamp the links in the sidebar that appears at the left of every page to improve usability and ease of navigation. This issue was last raised, as far as I can tell, in 2013 by Steven Walling (now retired) in an RfC that has a subpage here. The close (by Keithbob) noted that All participants seemed to agree that the sidebar's content, design and appearance could be improved but that there was a wide variety of suggested changes none of which appeared to have universal support, so no changes were implemented. I would've supported most of them had I been around in 2013. The design of the sidebar appears not to have changed noticeably since then. I'm hoping to kick off a more formalized proposal at some point, but for testing the waters at the idea lab here, some questions:

  1. Have there been any big changes to or discussions about the left sidebar since 2013 that I've missed and should review?
  2. Which WikiProjects or other venues on Wikipedia might be interested in this and able to help me craft a solid proposal?
  3. How would you suggest bringing up the proposal/organizing the discussion to avoid the pitfalls that seem to have foiled the last update attempt?
  4. Any other advice you'd give going into an initiative like this?

Cheers, Sdkb (talk) 21:02, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

(Seems to be a thing going around, people thinking about new design proposals. I've been writing up a proposal for redesigning the preferences page. :) )
Sidebar changes since 2013: The "In other projects" section was added when Wikidata became capable of supporting it, and the "Create a book" link was removed by consensus in a few months ago after this discussion.
My recommendations: Any parts of the proposal that can be divided should be divided. Smaller/simpler proposals are easier to get done. For larger changes, figure out the details before launching the actual RfC. --Yair rand (talk) 22:03, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
  • @Sdkb:, Can't really help on the first two questions. I'd suggest a more informal discussion amongst those particularly interested, to filter the process down to, say, 3 good possibilities (plus no change). Then encourage, in the intro, people to give ranked choices. You can't demand such, but those who would like some change, any change, might specify, reducing the chances of "yes change, no to any specific change". Nosebagbear (talk) 14:18, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
@Sdkb: You should check out the desktop improvements project at the WMF, which is going to explore some potential improvements to the sidebar. Sam Walton (talk) 14:52, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
@Sdkb: Don't forget that the appearance and location of links can vary based on which skin you are using (more so for Timeless than other skins). It's not necessarily a single sidebar that appears at the left of every page. - Evad37 [talk] 15:34, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
@Yair rand, Nosebagbear, Samwalton9, and Evad37: Thank you all — those comments are super helpful! Mulling it over, I think the first change I'd want to pursue would just be the re-ordering, to better separate the links for readers and the links for contributors (move "about", "help", and "contact" up) and to separate the page-specific tools in the toolbox from the more general contributing pages (move "special pages" and "upload file" up to the latter section). It seems like a pretty intuitive fix, but for an area that visible, I'm guessing it may not be as easy to enact as I'd wish. Is that your sense of things, too? I reached out to WP:WikiProject Usability, but it seems very inactive, so not sure there's anyone there to help. Sdkb (talk) 07:31, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
@Sdkb: I like the idea of redesigning the sidebar. I created a move discussion here regarding if we should title the Main Page into sentence case. As of right now, the consensus seems to be against it. If the move discussion closes with a consensus not to move the page, then I think we should capitalize the "p" in the sidebar. If we decide to revise the sidebar, then I think editors should throw ideas into what links should be removed from the sidebar and what links should be added. These are just my thoughts. Interstellarity (talk) 19:28, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
@Interstellarity: Where do you think would be the most appropriate place to start developing a draft proposal/proposals? Sdkb (talk) 19:35, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
@Sdkb: Maybe an RFC. Interstellarity (talk) 20:01, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
@Interstellarity: I'm thinking more a space that'd allow the proposals to be drafted rather than !voted on. I'd prefer to not be alone in formulating the proposal that'd be then be brought in front of a wider audience for something like an RfC that could lead to consensus for adoption. Sdkb (talk) 20:04, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
@Sdkb: I thought about this and I think the links to WP:Featured content and Portal:Current events should be removed. I also think WP:Community portal should be replaced with WP:Dashboard while I think WP:FAQ and WP:Maintenance should be added. You are welcome to disagree with me on this. What are your thoughts? Interstellarity (talk) 20:16, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
@Interstellarity: Woah, my main thought is that those proposals would be a massive restructuring and would generate a massive amount of opposition (e.g. considering the recent portal drama, I doubt they'd take kindly to the idea to remove Current events). Given the previous difficulties reaching consensus in 2013 and the advice above, I'm inclined to start with a much more modest proposal that sticks to reordering without adding/removing anything.
Since you brought up some specific ideas, though, briefly: I'm not inclined to remove Portal:Current events given its massive pageview stats compared even to the other sidebar links. I'd be fine taking out WP:Featured content, since it's just not how people tend to browse. Make it a sidebar or something at the WP:Contents page and keep just that one. I'd oppose replacing the Community portal with the Dashboard — the community portal is explicitly designed to be the landing spot, and it's evolved to fill that role. Anything else would be inappropriate. I'd oppose adding WP:Maintenance — there's only room for one editor landing page on the sidebar, and that's the community portal (plus I prefer the Task Center for newcomers, and sidebar links need to be newcomer-friendly). I'd similarly oppose adding WP:FAQ, since there's only room for one help page and one about page, and those are Help:Contents and Wikipedia:About, respectively (I'm also not convinced that FAQs are a useful format for those with questions, and the FAQ system needs a massive revamp anyways).
As I said above, the main proposal I'm considering launching is just to re-order a few things, to give better weight to more/less important items, and to make them categorized more intuitively. Right now, I'm hugely bugged by the mixing of pages for readers and pages for editors — I think WP needs to do a much better job preventing those from bleeding into each other. Sdkb (talk) 20:47, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
@Sdkb: I started an RFC here by proposing that we capitalize the "p" in Main Page and removing WP:Featured content. I did say that I am open to reorganizing the links, removing some, and adding some. As always, you are welcome to comment on it. Interstellarity (talk) 21:17, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
@Interstellarity: If it's alright, I'm going to move your proposal to draft space for now. Modifying the sidebar is a huge impactful change that will be seen by every English-language visitor to one of the world's biggest websites. If there's going to be a single RfC page for it, it needs to be fully fleshed out, listing precedents, starting principles, etc. that reflect thorough consideration. See the 2013 example for an idea of what that looks like. The few sentences you wrote, while fine, are nowhere near that, and you are not incorporating the advice of others above to separate out separate proposals. I'd love to have your help with this, but it'll be useful to do a little more research before jumping in. Sdkb (talk) 21:36, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
@Sdkb: I originally moved the RFC somewhere and an admin deleted it, but I removed it because a user suggested not starting it yet. Maybe we can get some ideas on how we can restructure the sidebar before proposing anything. Interstellarity (talk) 22:19, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Draft set of proposals

@Yair rand, Nosebagbear, Samwalton9, Evad37, and Interstellarity: Okay, I wrote out a draft set of proposals! Here it is: Draft:Wikipedia:Requests for comment/2020 left sidebar update. Your feedback would be much appreciated! One question I have: where would it be most appropriate for the RfC to reside — on VPPR or as its own page? (I plan to link to it from WP:CENT either way.) It'd also be helpful to know if there is any background regarding collapsing that I should read up on. Cheers, {{u|Sdkb}}talk 08:18, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

@Sdkb: I recommend having this on its own page. I think if this were at WP:VPPR, then it would probably be moved to its own page due to the length of the discussion. This is my thought. Interstellarity (talk) 11:26, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
Agree that it's own page makes sense. I do think we should consider closer how this work might overlap with the planned desktop refresh work linked above, particularly with regards to things like auto-collapsing sections. I've pinged the team responsible to make them aware of this RfC and see if they have anything to add :) Sam Walton (talk) 11:37, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
@Samwalton9: Thanks! I posted previously at the project discussion page, but not sure if everyone involved follows that. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 15:29, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
Hey Sdkb. Of course we do follow that page :) We're working on our reply. Please stay tuned! And thanks Samwalton9 for mentioning us here. SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 20:30, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
@Sdkb: In your proposal, can you include a proposal to capitalize the 'P' in Main page? Interstellarity (talk) 18:19, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
@Interstellarity: Sure, feel free to add it yourself in the renamings section, and be sure to link to the recent RM. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 19:12, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
@Sdkb: I added it. Interstellarity (talk) 20:16, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
  • @Sdkb: In the 2013 proposal, the "Donate" option was placed in the "Contribute" section, which makes sense to me. --Yair rand (talk) 20:59, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
    • @Yair rand: Yes, I went back and forth about that before deciding to keep it in the main section in my proposal. My rationale are that (a) donating is something that casual readers can/should do, so it's better to have the link in the section targeted at them, not editors, (b) moving it down could negatively affect the number of donations the WMF gets, and (c) the donate and merchandise links should be grouped together and it wouldn't make sense to put merchandise in the contributing section. That said, there's room for discussion on that, so feel free to comment once the RfC begins. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:41, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
      • I should also probably mention the other proposed change from 2013 I don't support, adding a "Create an Article" button. Creating an article is the worst task for a new editor to take on given its difficulty, so I think it's a bad idea to encourage it by including it in the sidebar. Again, though, if someone else feels differently there's room in the RfC as currently structured for that to be brought up and discussed. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:41, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
    • Regarding the languages collapsing, thank you for catching that. I had that setting turned off, but I don't remember turning it off, so maybe I was grandfathered in or maybe I just forgot I changed it. I just checked when logged out and it's indeed on by default. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:44, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
      @Sdkb: Do you think the RFC is ready to be moved yet? If not, what needs to be done in order to have it moved? Interstellarity (talk) 12:15, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
@Interstellarity: I'm waiting for the reply SGrabarczuk (WMF) said was forthcoming. Once we get that, assuming it doesn't contain any major wrenches, I think the RfC will be ready to launch. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 16:03, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
Annotated Wikipedia Vector interface (logged-out).png
  • @Sdkb: again, thank you for taking our perspective into account. We really appreciate that. The Web team is going to make adjustments evolutionally, by small steps, with the guide of the gadgets existing locally on wikis, and on the basis of communities' feedback. As my friend says: How to eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Currently, the team is focusing on making the sidebar collapsible, and isn't going to work on changes to the selection or sequence of links or on the wording used in the sidebar, so its plans regarding the adjustments are parallel to, and not conflicting with your initiative.
    We believe this user research report might be helpful for you. In particular, I'd recommend you to take a look at the complete results where users claimed they didn't understand some links.
    Additionally, let's take a look at the interface screen to the right. Article tools are distinct from the links above them. Their function and target group are different. The report confirms that (I'd be surprised if it didn't!). In a more distant future, I believe it'd be beneficial to... strengthen their separation, i.e. remove them and put them somewhere else. But as I wrote, it's too early for the team to take a position on how, where or when exactly this should be done.
    I hope we would be in touch. Please watch our pages on MediaWiki wiki and don't hesitate to write directly on my talk page! SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 12:48, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
    @SGrabarczuk (WMF): thanks for sharing that! I just read through the user research report, and it was helpful for providing more concrete evidence of phenomena. @Yair rand, Nosebagbear, Samwalton9, Evad37, and Interstellarity: I will be launching the RfC momentarily. Feel free to participate there. Cheers, {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:36, 10 April 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

RFC: Video for Deletion

April Fool. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:51, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The purpose of this paper is to propose an additional deletion forum, which will be Videos for Review for clips in the Timed Text namespace. (This will of course also include audio clips in the Timed Text namespace, but AFD would not be unambiguous.) There have been three clips nominated for deletion at MFD, and that implies that there may be a substantial number of these clips for deletion coming in, and a separate forum for their discussion is in order. Video and audio that are in the MediaWiki namespace can also be nominated for deletion here.

Enter your support or opposition in the Survey. Provide detailed ideas for how this will be implemented, such as whether each clip will have a separate discussion page or whether there will be a daily structure, in the Detailed Proposals. Threaded discussion may be in the Threaded Discussion section. It should be restated that the second pillar of Wikipedia still does apply to stupid comments in the Threaded Discussion, although many of the comments in any Threaded Discussion are stupid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robert McClenon (talkcontribs) 00:13, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Survey

Threaded Discussion

  • oppose. Premature RfC. Please discuss issues and form some collaborative ideas before launching heavy weight RfCs.
Why would FfD not suffice? More forums do not usually make for better forums. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:24, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Use FFD instead. Catgirllover4ever (talk) 01:00, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Check the date, people. --Izno (talk) 01:45, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
    I don't think this is an April Fools joke, given that Robert McClenon mentioned it on several serious MfDs for TimedText pages. * Pppery * it has begun... 14:27, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment - Now that it is 2 April in London, I may comment on the TimedText MFDs. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:49, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

Detailed Proposals


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Want Quiz for every article

At past it was discussed in the page https://meta.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/Grants:IdeaLab/Wikimuseum,_Wikiquiz_and_Wiki-interative however I dont have enough programming knowledge. I request other users to take up the project and build a flashcard type quize for every article.

RIT RAJARSHI (talk) 07:08, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

A quiz for every article is extremely ambitious. To create quizzes for some of our articles using free flashcard software shouldn't need any programming knowledge, but I'm not sure where the best place to host such quizzes would be. Phil Bridger (talk) 07:36, 2 April 2020 (UTC)
@Phil Bridger:Thank you I did not meant it to be created immediately. But this feature could be greatly helpful and engaging.
I am submitting an image to express what I am thinking about.
Wiki Quiz Sample
Wiki Quiz Sample
@RIT RAJARSHI: Per WP:NOT, I think there would be some objection that quizzes aren't encyclopedic and not where we should be focusing our attention. But you might have luck at one of our sister projects, Wikiversity. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 13:17, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

@Sdkb: One way could be Wikiversity can host the quiz but it will be linked to Wikipedia pages. In cases of Wikipedia page merge the associated quizes may be merged by some bot. RIT RAJARSHI (talk) 15:23, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

@all I have created a discussion in Wikiversity https://en.wikiversity.org/wikipedia/Wikiversity:Colloquium#Requesting_flashcard_stule_quiz_for_all_Wikipedia_pages. RIT RAJARSHI (talk) 15:26, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

Related pages (but I cannot put anything at their talk page idk why): https://en.wikiversity.org/wikipedia/Quiz

Thank you all 2409:4060:2105:5F69:8859:8BF9:BF08:D3AE (talk) 20:02, 2 April 2020 (UTC) https://en.wikiversity.org/wikipedia/Test_and_Quiz https://en.wikiversity.org/wikipedia/Quizbank

RIT RAJARSHI (talk) 15:32, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

This would be a good addition to Wikiversity, to be honest. Take it up on their version of the Village Pump. Catgirllover4ever (talk) 17:54, 2 April 2020 (UTC)


Thank to you all RIT RAJARSHI (talk) 20:06, 2 April 2020 (UTC) (I was logged out somehow so the signature was weird, IP).

Create a Covid-19 information tree

Never in the history of mankind has there ever been a place, virtual or physical, where governments of all levels in the entire world can come together to collaborate and share vital information to accomplish a common goal.

Wikipedia can be a very effective but simple and no cost weapon in combating the coronavirus. Here is a sample I created: http://covid19.wiki-site.com/index.php/Main_Page

This collaboration tool allows anyone in the world to get vital information about the Covid-19 pandemic in his/her local community, organization, village/baranggay, city, province/state, country and the world all in one central location. Each community, village/baranggay, city, province/state and country is responsible for creating and maintaining their own Covid-19 information page (wiki page). This allows leaders at various levels to give timely updates or changes on statistics and quarantine orders and instructions to their constituents. This also allows leaders to monitor the latest news and status of other jurisdictions near them, below them or above them so they can make better decisions and collaborate with other leaders. The leaders can give instructions to their citizens on the best way to contact them for questions and concerns. This allows anyone to monitor or get up to date status of their hometown if they happen to be far away so they can make better decisions in helping their love ones.

Based on my observations, many people are clamoring for a single go to place to seek vital information about the Covid-19 pandemic. People are worried sick about their love ones due to lack of information.

The great thing about this idea is that it can be used for future pandemics, epidemics or other calamities or natural disasters. I do not wish or expect any credit or acknowledgment on this idea. I simply want to help.

Wikipedia can deploy this weapon to the entire world by simply inserting an announcement in all the Wikipedia pages to ask the user to create a covid-19 Wikipedia page and pressure the media and their administrative head of government (mayor, governor, president/prime minister) to inform the public about it. Here's a sample message:


sample message --------------------------------

Dear fellow citizens of the world,

Anyone in the mood for making history? Never in the history of mankind has there ever been a place, virtual or physical, where all levels of government in the entire world comes together to collaborate and share vital information to accomplish a common goal.

A very effective but simple and no cost weapon in combating the coronavirus is in your hands at this very moment: Wikipedia can be used as a collaboration tool that allows anyone in the world to get vital information about the covid-19 pandemic in his/her local community, organization, village/baranggay, city, province/state, country and the world ALL IN ONE CENTRAL LOCATION. Each community, village/baranggay, city, province/state and country is responsible for creating and maintaining their own covid-19 information page (wiki page). this allows leaders at various levels to give timely updates or changes on statistics and quarantine orders and instructions to their constituents. This also allows leaders to monitor the latest news and status of other jurisdictions near them, below them or above them so they can make better decisions and collaborate with other leaders. The leaders can give instructions to their citizens on the best way to contact them for questions and concerns. This allows anyone to monitor or get up to date status of their hometown if they happen to be far away so they can make better decisions in helping their love ones.

It only takes 15 minutes for an entry level web developer to learn the basic syntax of this powerful tool. An administrative head of government (president/prime minister, governor, mayor, village/baranggay captain) simply has to assign anyone with at least entry level web developing skills to read the main page of the covid-19 Wikipedia site. It only takes 30 minutes to create.

The staff at Wikipediai humbly and sincerely asks you to do your part in deploying this weapon. Create a Covid-19 wikipage for your town, city, province/state or country or ask someone you know with basic web developing skills to do it for you. Then go to the facebook pages of your local media and administrative heads of governments to pressure them to inform the public about the Covid-19 wiki site.

Together, we can stop this virus.

Sincerely, Wikipedia — Preceding unsigned comment added by IanCJCrystal (talkcontribs) 04:00, 6 April 2020 (UTC)

New algorithm for unanswered peer reviews?

Side note: the following (except from the signature) is copied from a previous discussion at WT:PR. I was told to try and post it here.

Instead of the algorithm detecting the next edit after the page's creation, could we make it so that the algorithm detects when a user other than the person who created the page edits it? That way we wouldn't need the small box on the WP:PR/UA page. I'm not necessarily a tech person, so this might not be possible, but let me know if there are any other suggestions or queries. Thanks, Thatoneweirdwikier Say hi 05:37, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

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