Something that that would be useful is a video demonstration of Flow in

I like the goal of VE in principle, and I hear lots of comments to the
effect that it is improving over time. MediaViewer seems to be on the road
to improvement. I understand where both of those are headed. But I am
trying to get a mental picture of Flow from what I've read. A video would
be worth a thousand words. If Flow helps us to organize discussions in ways
that makes them easier for everyone to follow, that will be good. If Flow
disrupts constructive ways of having conversations and is not intuitive,
there will be yet another round of power users asking why time and money
are being spent on projects that miss the biggest pain points and may cause
more pain. I am hoping that Flow will be an improvement, and I think a
video demo or mockup of Flow would be helpful to evaluate if Flow's design
is likely to produce the intended results.


On Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 11:29 PM, Erik Moeller <> wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 11:13 PM, Erik Moeller <> wrote:
> > That's a legitimate question, although it's not as "radically
> > divorced" as you would think; ultimately it'll use the VisualEditor
> > (probably with a simplified toolbar by default) just like Flow does.
> .. just like article editing, I mean - you'll have a choice between
> VE/wikitext, probably with a toolbar that's optimized for comments
> (perhaps advanced tools available when needed).
> Moreover, I think the idea that talk pages are actually an intuitive
> system once you're familiar with editing articles is both unproven and
> contradicted by all user research into article editing and talk pages.
> Users discover wikitext incrementally, and they understand it to be
> "kind of like HTML". They think of it as a document formatting
> language.
> When they first discover talk pages, they have to learn a whole new
> set of conventions -- the notion of signing and indenting your own
> comments, the idea that in order to participate in a thread you have
> to edit it, etc. That is a system divorced from editing, and it's a
> mental model unlike any other discussion system.
> The argument would be more supportable if you could layer a decent UI
> on top of wikitext-based talk pages, as you suggest. But if you can do
> that, you'll end up with a UI that introduces many of the same
> conventions that Flow introduces, just with a hard limitation on some
> of the additional capabilities and conveniences you can introduce. It
> may be, as I acknowledged, still worth doing - even as an interim step
> towards Flow.
> Erik
> --
> Erik Möller
> VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
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