Wikinews:Water cooler/technical/archives/2018/February

Mirroring Wikinews

I would like to mirror Wikinews to facilitate on-wiki JavaScript development that is difficult to do here because we can not publish arbitrary articles on the main site. This means a MediaWiki instance on another server with the same extensions, settings, and content. When mirroring content, is there a particular reason to keep the entire revision history? Or is it sufficient to only mirror the latest revision? This could save a lot of time and space. --Gryllida 10:25, 29 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@Gryllida: It is best for attribution. What exactly would constitute a legal attribution is probably an open question. For instance, you could probably have a footer that says, "This page edited by Wikinews users [x], [y], and [z]" or post something similar on the talk page. If you are just intending to do this mirror personally and it's not liable to have much or any traffic on the Web, it's probably not an issue either way but just some nice etiquette. —Justin (koavf)TCM 10:29, 29 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Per the boilerplate at the bottom of Wikinews pages, it is only necessary to attribute Wikinews. Per the terms of service, the easiest way it to do it properly is to link back to the original article:

Re-use: Re-use of content that we host is welcome, though exceptions exist for content contributed under "fair use" or similar exemptions under copyright law. Any re-use must comply with the underlying license(s).

When you re-use or re-distribute a text page developed by the Wikimedia community, you agree to attribute the authors in any of the following fashions:

  1. Through hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the page or pages that you are re-using (since each page has a history page that lists all authors and editors);
  2. Through hyperlink (where possible) or URL to an alternative, stable online copy that is freely accessible, which conforms with the license, and which provides credit to the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on the Project website; or
  3. Through a list of all authors (but please note that any list of authors may be filtered to exclude very small or irrelevant contributions).
Cheers, --SVTCobra 13:48, 29 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
At en.wb, when we import pages from sister projects (usually Wikipedia), in addition to whatever revisions we import (maybe all, maybe just one or three), the imported page also has a line in its revision history that says "<number> revisions imported from <link>", which guarantees that the imported revision history includes a link to the url of the original page. --Pi zero (talk) 14:15, 29 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you. I believe linking to the original where the page is imported from already solves the attribution problem. Would Koavf agree? --Gryllida 19:30, 29 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I certainly think so--referring to a URI is a completely legitimate citation. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:39, 29 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
OK. Thanks! --Gryllida 10:39, 1 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Are there issues, other than "attribution is less clear but still available" as discussed above? --Gryllida 19:30, 29 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Design Refresh - 2 Parts

A few of the old folks around here might remember about 2009-ish when the Vector was brand new, we were one of the first Wiki's to request it be implemented as the default skin. I think it's about time we lead the way again (granted I don't know how early we are this time around). If you've not already, give the new Timeless skin a try. Its nice, different yes, but also responsive - which is a major bonus.

Second item that goes hand-in-hand with the first. Update/Overhaul/Refresh the homepage and add CSS Grid support. The current design is wonderful (I should know, I was the idiot who went cowboy on the front page overhaul) but about 8 years old. It also isn't responsive. As content authors I know no one really cares that much about cellphones (you're certainly not going to be writing the news on a phone), but a huge portion of content consumption these days in on the go. I think it's worth working on catering towards that demographic, especially if it doesn't require huge sacrifices from other areas.

And yes, I know this (and me) are out of the blue. I lurk. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 03:59, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

inactive-lurking… - Amgine | t 04:09, 8 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed. Lives change. I thought I had something I could contribute to help and the time to it so I thought I'd say something. Every time someone has reached out to me for something I've been responsive. But that being said, if it's not of interest - so be it. No big deal. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 05:06, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
So prickly!! <grin> I was putting myself in that class, but pointing out that I am listening despite inactivity. Just as last time I haven't much to say about design/appearance. I sort of like the look of Timeless; not as minimalist as certain retired skins (Nostalgia) - Amgine | t 05:12, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
As someone who grew up pre-Internet, I'm still fascinated (as well as worried, of course) by how extraordinarily easy it is for folks to misread each other's tone on the internet. Despite my general disapproval of "Assume Good Faith", at least it's trying to address the problem of reading negative tone where none was intended (not that it succeeds, but I have sympathy for something that tries).

(I have little to offer on the raised style issue myself, as I dislike Vector and consequently still use monobook.) --Pi zero (talk) 12:15, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@ShakataGaNai: As a technical incompetent with no idea of web design, may I ask a stupid question? What do you mean by "responsive"? Yngvadottir (talk) 17:55, 9 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@Yngvadottir: "Responsive" is the new "dynamic" or "DHTML" if you remember back that far--things change as user behavior changes but it doesn't load a new page. In this case, CSS Grid is actually a really incredible way of using CSS to align elements on a page that allows them to be shuffled around and move elastically as the browser is resized or as you scroll. It replaces flexbox if that means much to you. —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:01, 10 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
/me pictures things changing unpredictably and is skeptical. --Pi zero (talk) 12:04, 10 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Think of how nice and easy it is to lay out a web page as a table, but how some people with smaller screens have to scroll to see the all the information? Responsive means the page rearranges to suit the client, but still is easy to lay out. (And I would serve time in purgatory for this over-simplification if there were an after-life.) - Amgine | t 16:07, 10 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@Pi zero: If you've not looked at any CSS Grid demos or experiments online, you really should. It's pretty spectacular what it can do versus flexbox or the horribly incorrect tables-for-layout in HTML. —Justin (koavf)TCM 09:01, 11 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Concur that the timeless skin is nice. I would set it on by default. I discovered it last week. Gryllida 01:47, 11 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure precisely how to rewrite the front page. Perhaps someone (possibly several people) could attempt to do this in their user space. Gryllida 01:47, 11 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@Gryllida: What do you have in mind for rewriting the front page? Do you have a mock-up of something you would like to see? —Justin (koavf)TCM 09:01, 11 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
The "±" icon leads to editing the template, and is visible to anyone, including people who are not logged in -- perhaps this could be shown only to sysops.
I'd suggest to rely on DIVs more than on tables. Sample (its codes for historical reference).
Now to think of it, what bugs me is that when the user clicks a topic, a list of articles is presented without images. I'd rather have it shown in the same formatting as on the front page. --Gryllida 00:04, 14 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I rather like the Timeless skin. I like the way to puts the article contents into a central column. It's easier on your eyes to read in a more restrict column than from edge-to-edge, at least on my computer screen. —mikemoral (talk) 23:57, 13 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Perhaps endorse Isarra's grant application to continue development of timeless skin -- they've authored it and are willing to continue to maintain it if adequate support is provided. --Gryllida 00:28, 14 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Per this wikitech-l message we might make a list of tasks and if we find mentors then students may implement them. User:Gryllida/Tasks is one possible list. What are the desired tasks and their priorities? --Gryllida 20:48, 13 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I had asked Pi zero about requesting dialog tools as a GSoC project last year, and also to mentor it; we could do that now.
•–• 01:40, 14 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Then someone needs to add the idea to mw:Google Summer of Code/2018 following the provided template. Gryllida 07:17, 14 February 2018 (UTC) (URLFIXED 07:23, 14 February 2018 (UTC))[reply]
Correction: I was advised that, rather than adding the proposal to the wiki page I linked above, the first step is fling a phabricator task ([1]) and tagging it with "google-summer-of-code-2018". It is also necessary to say who is mentoring it from May to August. This page has recommendations on the skills required from a mentor. There can be more than one mentor for such project as this exposes the students to more technical expertise and a backup mentor may be able to respond to questions of complex nature or questions asked at a time when another mentor is unavailable. --Gryllida 11:22, 14 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Plagiarism check script

If you add " importScript('User:Gryllida/js/plagiarismcheck.js'); " to Special:MyPage/common.js, it adds a 'Open in DupDet' tab. This provides a list of links to dupdet results against the external links present in the currently open article. Is this how you use dupdet? Does this help you so that you do not copy/paste the URLs into dupdet by hand? --Gryllida 00:35, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

After seeing dupdet results, do you go back to the article to find where the offending passages are located? --Gryllida 00:56, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

If you go back to the article to find the offending passages do you use 'edit > find in page' or you find them from memory by re-reading (or skimming) the article? --Gryllida 00:56, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

If you go back to the article to find the offending passages then it may also need to be addressed by the script, for example, by highlighting the relevant text and providing footnotes that contain the dupdet results for the highlighted passage. This would be only in your web browser and would not be saved in the article. Would that be a useful way to put it? --Gryllida 00:56, 15 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

On Screen Edit gadget not fully functioning

"On screen edit: Allows person to hilight, strikeout, delete text in a WYSIWYG type editor (not a real editor; no save). Meant to help reviewers to keep track of what they've reviewed by allowing them to mark sections of the text. Once enabled, adds line to toolbar at bottom of left column" -- Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets

That's ticked, and an "On screen edit" is present in the left sidebar. However that produces an error message:

ReferenceError: onScreenEditInit is not defined 1 onScreenEditInit();void%200:1:1
<anonymous> javascript:onScreenEditInit();void%200:1:1

Appending "?debug=yes" to a page URL slows it down tremendously, but the on screen edit starts working as the text formatting controls appear at the top of the screen and they work to highlight the currently selected text. Not sure where the different behaviour comes from. --Gryllida 21:11, 16 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@Gryllida: OnScreenEdit (see WN:Tips on reviewing articles#The On Screen Edit gadget), was a simple (aka "quick and dirty") device that Bawolff created for us years ago, exploiting a feature that had just been added to... I'm guessing, html. For several years (iirc) I used it for practically every review, to keep track of which bits of the article I'd verified, which were problematic in one or another way. The one frustration with it was that it had absolutely no memory, so if you ever accidentally navigated off the page you'd been on-screen-edit-ing, when you came back all your on-screen-edits would be gone. Then the (gratuitous, afaics) tinkering of the Foundation disabled it; permanently, I'm guessing. But by about then I had enough of my dialog tools working to easily create the breadboard device, with which it is somewhat more cumbersome to highlight things (I use {{background color}}), but it has the advantage that if you accidentally navigate away and back again, your work is still there. --Pi zero (talk) 21:22, 16 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I fixed the gadget. Bawolff 22:32, 16 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks Bawolff! --Gryllida 00:50, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Cool. Thanks Bawolff! :-)  --Pi zero (talk) 01:08, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Reproduced the issue with going away from the page. Implemented a new version which uses localStorage. It adds a 'save' and 'restore' buttons to the On Screen Edit toolbar.
Does that work well? --Gryllida 01:25, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

flow extension uninstall

Special:Version shows that Extension:StructuredDiscussions (Flow) is installed. However it's not being used on this wiki. Do we want it removed? Perhaps this could be held as a vote. (We're using wiki markup for the Talk: namespace, and Extension:LQT for Comments: namespace.) --Gryllida 07:43, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

  • Should this discussion be moved to the policy water cooler? At any rate,

      Remove We discussed Flow on Wikinews years ago and agreed that LQT, with all its faults, is superior for the one thing we use it for that Flow would even be a candidate for. For my part, I believe that for wikis to thrive, wiki markup should be the ground representation for everything, and Flow is a symptom of the Foundation's failure to understand this. And in my own experience (such as it is) of projects that make use of Flow, any discussion page that uses Flow is painfully cut off from the otherwise ubiquitous and flexible wiki-markup-based infrastructure (an inherent design failure of the whole concept of Flow). Flow should be removed. --Pi zero (talk) 15:34, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Switching or not switching to the Timeless skin by default

Drawing from the discussion above, this is a dedicated section to comment on the suggestion to switch to timeless skin by default. Preview; the relevant preferences pane. To make the outcome actionable it may be formatted as a vote. --Gryllida 07:46, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I've been using Timeless for the last week and can say I am very fond of it. One aesthetic consideration is the logo at top, it's the word "Wikinews" written in the same font as Wikipedia's logo. Something should replace that for some distinction from the sister site. —mikemoral (talk · contribs) 08:24, 18 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

disable visual editor for anonymous contributors

Do we want to set "VisualEditorDisableForAnons" to "true" to disable visual editor for anonymous contributors? Currently they are presented with a 'Switch to visual editor' or 'continue editing' welcome dialog at the time of creating a new page, and VisualEditor is poorly adapted to suit the news writing needs...

Interested people would still be able to log in and enable visual editor in an opt-in manner.

--Gryllida 00:25, 20 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Seems a reasonable thing to do. --Pi zero (talk) 00:38, 20 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I strongly oppose it because of the reason provided. Let us not assume what “interested people” want.
•–• 02:40, 20 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Global preferences available for testing

Please help translate to your language.


Global preferences, a highly request feature in the 2016 Community Wishlist, is available for testing.

  1. Read over the help page, it is brief and has screenshots
  2. Login or register an account on Beta English Wikipedia
  3. Visit Global Preferences and try enabling and disabling some settings
  4. Visit some other language and project test wikis such as English Wikivoyage, the Hebrew Wikipedia and test the settings
  5. Report your findings, experience, bugs, and other observations

Once the team has feedback on design issues, bugs, and other things that might need worked out, the problems will be addressed and global preferences will be sent to the wikis.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks! --Keegan (WMF) (talk) 00:24, 27 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]