Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-02-28/Discussion report
Improving discussion pages
An ongoing discussion is happening right now at Wikipedia:Talk pages consultation 2019 at the Wikimedia Foundation's request to consider how discussion pages (including talk pages as well as pages like WP:ANI, WP:AFD, and WP:VPR) can be improved. Discussion pages have been a major focus of the WMF for some time. Previously, the Foundation has invested significant resources into tools to make these pages more accessible (especially for new users).
LiquidThreads (see this example page from a non-WMF wiki), Wikimedia's first attempt, was introduced in 2006. A 2011 RfC resulted in a consensus to not enable it anywhere on English Wikipedia. Development of a similar system, best known on this site as "Flow" and renamed to "Structured Discussions" in 2017 (example Flow page), began in 2012. Flow was activated on some talk pages as a test, but was never deployed on the English Wikipedia on a larger scale. In 2016, Flow was officially uninstalled from the English Wikipedia; at the time of its uninstallation, it was only deployed on two pages, WT:WikiProject Hampshire and Wikipedia talk:Flow/Developer test page. Flow has also been removed from Meta and Commons. Development of Flow ended in 2015 (see previous Signpost coverage, "Flow placed on ice").
The common (no pun intended) thread among both of these was that they were removed from the site after they were met with strong opposition from English Wikipedia editors, with several editors citing lack of consultation with the community by the WMF as a reason for these projects' failure. As the WMF returns to the issue of talk pages, it now seeks to avoid its past mistakes and start this consultation so that the result of their work is amenable to a larger number of communities. In particular, English Wikipedia's opinions are likely to be considered especially carefully, as it is the largest Wikimedia site.
So, what is the WMF looking to get out of this? It is best put on the main page for the consultation:
Problems with portals?
As some readers might recall, last April an RfC was held about ending the system of portals. The namespace survived, and since then the Portals WikiProject has been hard at work, creating over 4000 new portals. This streak may be ending soon, however: there is a discussion of pausing the creation of portals using semi-automated tools, which is how many of the portals were created. See the full discussion here. D
- Wikipedia doesn't currently have a single place to discuss topics currently in the news, so one user proposed the creation of a Current Events Noticeboard to assist in the maintenance of Wikipedia articles about topics currently in the news. If created, it would function similarly to the biographies of living persons noticeboard. At time of publication, the discussion is currently active.
- The Steward elections have just closed as of publication time.