--- Comment #8 from Maryana Pinchuk <mpinc...@wikimedia.org> ---
Some replies to Brian's comments:
*Users expect that this is how the wiki works. Imo this belief is very very
strongly ingrained (heck, its related to where we derive the work "wiki" from),
and users would probably not like it if things didn't update. (Obviously this
is anecdotal. I have no data to back that assertion up, but I feel it to be
true quite strongly)
Well, Flow isn't how a wiki works ;) There's never been a structured discussion
system like this before on any Wikimedia project; it's fundamentally different
by design. The "but this isn't how we've always done it!" argument could
certainly be valid in instances when there's legitimate user confusion and/or
broken workflows -- however, the only way we'll know if this is the case is
when actual users begin to use Flow. That's why we're deploying to a few pages
where people can test it out and tell us if this is important to fix asap.
*In cases of vandalism. People using templates in flow posts well a template is
vandalized, won't have their edits fixed when the template is fixed
But vandalism works the other way around, too. Take the Meepsheep vandal of..
2011, I think? The guy who found a bunch of unprotected transcluded templates
that were used on thousands of really high-visibility articles and inserted
pictures of swastikas and dead babies in them. I'd argue that's a much more
common and much more serious form of vandalism that the current mediawiki setup
does not adequately address.
*Things being deleted - Person writes post, person b deletes template a month
later, person re-edits their post a year later, suddenly template doesn't work
= confusing. This is especially bad when combined with usage lists not working.
Also without templates updated, notices that a template is up for deletion
wouldn't show up on flow posts where the template is used.
Yes, it's entirely possible that this could be confusing, but again, it's also
extremely confusing when a template is used for years, is edited, and suddenly
looks completely out of context in places where the older version still lives.
For example, Template:Opentask on enwiki was, for a long time, just a list of,
well, open tasks. Then it got too long and crazy, so me and a few other
Wikipedians pruned it down, changed the formatting, and tested it to see if it
was more efficient and getting people to actually do the tasks via the
Community portal. But now it looks really weird transcluded onto user pages,
like this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Dgrant.
Do we want to live in a world where we have to consult with every single user
(many probably no longer active) before we make changes to widely-used
templates, because otherwise we'll break someone's workflow? I'm not sure, but
I'd like to propose we try a different way and see if that works better. Again,
having some real users try Flow out and see if it actually makes sense to
preserve the historical state of templates in discussions or update them would
be tremendously valuable, instead of just making assumptions one way or the
*Redlinks. People expect the redness of links to reflect reality instantly
That's a good point; I'm not sure how important it will be in talk namespaces,
though (see also the comment below).
*Images (The following may change in some mythical future, how we currently
handle images is not ideal): Person uses an image. A couple days later someone
uploads a new version of the image that has different dimensions. Flow post
would have the image squished (As the new image would get fitted to the old
I'd like to see some stats on how often this actually happens in talk
namespaces. I can see how this would be an issue in articles even if it was
extremely rare, but in discussion?
*There's probably other things I haven't thought of.
Sure, there's probably other things I haven't thought of, too :) The point is
that this is one of many instances where we're not entirely sure what the
"right" solution is, and it would help tremendously to have the end-users of
our software test it out and give us a better sense of what we should do.
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