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Consider CSS changes for better narrow viewport (e.g. mobile device in portrait mode) display

I know that we are missing really good tools for responsive design in article layout, but I think there are probably some tweaks that could be made to the Signpost's markup that would help make viewing on a small screen a nicer reading experience. I'm hopeful that RfC: Allow styling in templates will eventually provide easier solutions for CSS that includes @media variations, but until then it may be worth giving up some of the precise layout control used for large viewport devices in favor of layout that degrades more gracefully for small viewports. --BDavis (WMF) (talk) 16:44, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

  BDavis (WMF): I was the one that implemented the current design. I found it effectively impossible, given the limited CSS allowed on MediaWiki sites, to implement a design that scaled well both to very large and very small displays. The current design is optimized for ~11-15 inch displays, scales well to displays bigger than that, and scales poorly to smaller ones. Something had to give. I'm still not convinced anyone reads the Signpost in mobile at all. I've heard colloquially that a few do. Do you have better data on this? ResMar 03:28, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
  Resident Mario: I do not have data, but I would hypothesize that you are correct that the readership of The Signpost on devices the size of a typical phone is very low. This may be due in part to the fact that it is completely unreadable. On my iPhone the current main signpost page is rendered as 3 columns with the outer columns having a width of 2 characters and the middle column having a width of 7 characters. The article layout gives a width of 3 characters to the headlines and 12-15 characters to the article body. I think what is needed most is a flex box grid of some kind for the layout rather than the current inline styles. I'm very aware that the editing tools to make this easy are badly missing in MediaWiki in general. The only way to accomplish it that I know of personally is by getting css with @media selectors added to the site css like was done for the .mw-tpl-portal-* styles on Wikitech. Just fixing Common.css is also not enough due to the Mobile Frontend extension. It ignores Common.css and instead introduces Mobile.css which is bottom loaded and thus causes a FOUC before the mobile specific CSS is applied. --BDavis (WMF) (talk) 15:36, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
  BDavis (WMF): Polluting global stylesheets with local page specific CSS is exactly the sort of thing that the site as a whole needs to avoid, though. ResMar 22:24, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
@Resident Mario: Thank you for your design work. Would it be practical to have two different layouts created, one for small displays and one for tablet-and-larger ones? If not, would it be practical to generate something like a "book" or "single page" edition that is at least usable on small screens? I'm sure there would have to be compromises, such as eliminating or thumb-nailing large images (the user could click on them to view the files description page, and from there, the image, if he wanted to). davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 17:49, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
  Davidwr: It doesn't appear to be possible to appease both types of displays in one page, but if you split Signpost stories into two separate pages, making one work for small displays would be trivial. That's not a bad idea, given the unlikelihood of more advanced CSS controls coming to Wikipedia. On that end however there's a separate problem: the Signpost is getting by right now doing publication using a not actively maintained bot script, and there's little prospect of the necessary bot changes being made unless a new script is written from scratch by a new maintainer. ResMar 22:24, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Very glad to see this under discussion. I'm not too knowledgeable about CSS, but this is one of several interrelated issues that are high on my priority list to find a way to improve in 2017. One note, actually the current production model involves an almost entirely manual process that usually takes a couple hours and yields mistakes and oversights. The script is, as I understand it, far too broken to use (and my understanding is that the main culprit is the evolution of MediaWiki over time). We're also trying to figure out stuff like getting listed on Google News, improving SEO, updating the way attribution is handled in stories, making sure we have a good RSS feed, etc. The discussions are a bit scattered as yet, but I'm hoping to get more organized about it, and ideally to get some good help in a new production manager(s), as I believe our current production manager has too many RL obligations at the moment.

A data point -- it's true that few people are accessing the SP via mobile, but not an insignificant number. And it could well be that people have learned that mobile SP reading is annoying, and avoid it for that reason...in which case, a low number would not be a good reason to ignore the problem! Yesterday, 536 people accessed the main page via desktop, while 26 accessed it via mobile app or browser. Our most widely read piece was Year In Review; 604 read it via Desktop, 37 via mobile. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 22:58, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Suggestion -- could the columns issue be partially addressed the same way as the {{reflist}} template handles it? e.g., {{reflist|colwidth=30em}} This seems to limit column width on my Android phone to a pretty reasonable width. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 23:10, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
Reflist uses a custom class which was inserted into the global CSS. The gist of this is that every single time a page on Wikipedia is loaded, one of the "bits and pieces" that has to get loaded is a set of reflist-specific instructions, even on pages which don't have any references whatsoever. For an ultra high-volume template like reflist, this cost is negligible, but it would be very hard to justify carving a Signpost-specific clause in the globals (side note: the global is already full of junk that WMF personnel hacked in to get That One Specific Page working back in the bad old days). Besides, it wouldn't help, at least not the way the Signpost content is currently written.
If the Signpost wishes to stay "on premises" on Wikipedia itself—and it does, and ought to—this issue is totally intractable. The Signpost is already facing serious structural issues that are far more serious than the question of mobile viewership. ResMar 23:38, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Resident Mario; very helpful context. My question was slightly different; maybe the answer is a simple "no, that won't work," but let me clarify to be sure. (My understanding of how CSS works is admittedly hazy.) Is it possible to piggyback on the CSS class that's already used for {{reflist}} -- that is, without introducing new CSS? -Pete Forsyth (talk) 00:46, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Awfully derivative, but a clever idea...it might be possible. I'll try to experiment with it later. ResMar 01:07, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
@Resident Mario: Where can I learn more about the bot issues you all are facing? I might be able to help :) As for redesigning The Signpost, I agree with BDavis that the flexbox model is probably our best bet. It would be tricky, but I think it would be possible to get what we want without the use of media queries MusikAnimal talk 01:52, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
@MusikAnimal: There was once a bot/script that automated this obscenely long process. :-) Having that again would save Pete a lot of time. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 02:25, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
  MusikAnimal: Re: bot code. The publishing bot was written by Jarry1250 in ~2013, when he was a highly active editor in charge of the Technology report. It's written in PHP using the Peachy framework, which I believe he had a hand in writing. The web interface is here; the code for it is available on GitHub. I would at this point say "Jarry has since moved on to other things", which I do believe was true at one time (hey, I'm technically retired, right? Sure!), but he seems quite to the contrary to be quite active. So I suppose that with regards to fixing the bot, the next line of action ought to be this one: @Jarry1250: ResMar 02:34, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
PS: @The ed17: Been a while since I've needed this one—(edit conflict) ;). ResMar 02:34, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Re: flexbox. It's been a while since I've written heavy Wikipedia styling code, but I'm pretty sure style="display:flex" isn't allowed, right? Tough place to build a flexbox out of...what do you think of this reflist trick? It's devious, which means it might work. ResMar 02:34, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Hi Res! Yup, pretty active again (for now). Last I knew my interface still worked. I thought the point was that Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/KharBot had replaced it, and maybe made some other changes at the same time? - Jarry1250 [Vacation needed] 20:09, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
  Jarry1250: Well this is awkward! @Kharkiv07:, but it does appear that he hasn't edited in three months. Unfortunately the source code is not publicly available—the BRFA states "Source code available: No... willing to provide if issues arise". @Peteforsyth:, have you contacted Kharkiv07 recently? Obviously the ideal would be for him to come back on and fix the bot up. If not, we really need for him to at least release the source code to the bot, so that others can patch it up (I'm very surprised that BRFA doesn't require stronger justification for not open sourcing your code!).
Edit: actually, reading the BRFA again, is the problem that the bot is broken, or is it that the only user with access to it and the know-how to use is not around to run it? ResMar 20:37, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

Yes, Resident Mario, I discussed these issues with Kharkiv07 several months ago. Three significant pieces from our discussion:

  • The bot is substantially broken, mainly due to updates to the MediaWiki software
  • Recommended to rewrite the bot from scratch, but before doing that, best to have a thorough understanding of various possible changes to the Signpost.
  • They are not likely to have the bandwidth to do that work themselves, but are probably available to advise.

I'll start a separate thread below to outline what those changes could/should be. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 22:51, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

Thanks Peteforsyth. I'd be happy to make any changes to the main publishing scripts (i.e. both those changes that prompted Kharkiv's fork, plus any new ones). - Jarry1250 [Vacation needed] 23:08, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

I have fixed the three column layout, as well as another bug with the series sidebar messing up styling in some cases in articles.. Most of all however.. article layout is a mess... People seem to throw around div's like they are newlines and someone broke the entire idea behind the templates at some point. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:20, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Whenever you have </div> repeating, then that should be inside a template. Having loose div's inside an article should be a RARE exception. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:30, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Right some questions:

  • There is a framing of 50px on the left and the right of the main content. This is the primary reason that much of the content is unreadable on mobile, since that is 1/4 of the screen already. So do we need it ?
The framing acts as a gutter to the text content. It was meant to be a small optimization targeted at large displays, and I believe that it was the most controversial change in the format on the editorial board at the time that I introduced it. It's nonessential. ResMar 17:16, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
@Resident Mario: Right, I figured something like that. But it's completely different from the indentation of the header and the footer, is that also intentional ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:07, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
I think so. The gap was stylistic. Again, though, maybe not worth the overhead. ResMar 21:48, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
    • Perhaps we can use viewport relative sizes for the margin/paddings ?
  • There is a maximum width of 46em, but it is not clear to me if that intentionally excludes the sidebar or not.
This intentionally excludes the sidebar. The page was designed around two columns of content in mind: the story text on the left, and visual/interactive supporting content on the right. If you haven't already, I suggest taking a look at Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom/Style to see the design principles, or at the original reference I had in mind when I was working on this. ResMar 17:16, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
  • All content of the sidebar is right aligned, meaning that on very wide pages, the sidebar is far removed from the content. I'm guessing that wasn't intentional ?
I wasn't aware of alternative methods of achieving this. The idea was that on smaller screens (IPad, not IPhone) the content would mesh, which would preserve readability. ResMar 17:16, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
I might be able to do something that keeps the sidebar closer on large screens. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:07, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Is it intentional that the content block is left aligned, or should it be center aligned ?
I believe I experimented with center alignment, but it didn't work out so great. I don't recall why, but if you can make it work, sure, it can be used. ResMar 17:16, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
That would actually be a lot easier probably :) —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:07, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
  • @Resident Mario: another question. There is a different indentation for the 'content' blocks and the 'in brief' blocks. Is that intentional ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:07, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
I believe not. I'm not sure, but I think someone updated the top margin at some point. ResMar 21:48, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

I've also made a new preload template, that doesn't use raw divs and a new preload template to experiment with some more friendly mobile settingsTheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:16, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

    • OK, I think i'll make forks of some of the templates and do the following:
      1. Use viewport relative margins and make them a bit smaller, to avoid wasting too much space on mobile, without having to use media queries.
      2. I'll make all blocks 'full width', and 'self contained' aka balanced, so that divs, won't span the entire page anymore. unbalanced divs (begin and end templates) are really annoying in combination with VE and parsoid
      3. I'll define consistent indentation
      4. I'll see if I can improve the sidebar a bit.
    • That should help a lot. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:07, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Ok great, I'll leave you to it then! ResMar 21:48, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Resident Mario and TheDJ, delighted to see you forging ahead with this. It sounds like you both have a much better handle on how it does / should fit together than I do, so I'll just stay out of the way; but it would be good to check in once you're done, so I can get a sense of what changes you made, why, and how we can best honor them in our day-to-day practices. And I can use that as an opportunity to go through the excellent Style Guide linked above, and make sure it's fully up-to-date and concise. Please reach out if needed for any reason. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 22:11, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Hi Resident Mario and Peteforsyth, can I get your opinion on Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Templates/Story-preload/NAN3 and Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Templates/Story-preload/NAN3. It's not finished, but it should give a good idea about the general layout, and should work for both mobile and desktop. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:47, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you TheDJ, they look good to me -- but, I don't have a very clear idea of what aspects I should be paying closest attention to, what represents a change, etc. They certainly look good on the surface. One detail, on the mobile version when viewed on my 4.5" Android screen, the "small" image is about the same size -- actually, I think a bit larger -- than the "large" image. I don't know that it's a problem, there may be no need to offer two different size options for small screens. But that's the only thing I notice.
Are you finished with the main Signpost page reformatting? Both the desktop and mobile versions do look quite a lot better on my mobile device now, thank you. Any further changes planned there? -Pete Forsyth (talk) 23:10, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
TheDJ, I hope you don't mind, I moved a couple pieces from the main page into templates -- getting a couple of raw DIV tags off the page (per your earlier suggestion), and getting rid of a stray DIV tag as well. Please take a look, and let me know if I've messed something up, or adjust as you see fit. Special:Diff/756880458/757133956 -Pete Forsyth (talk) 00:55, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
One more question on this, TheDJ and Resident Mario: Might you be able to incorporate the "blurbs" (that is, the descriptive text about each section), and perhaps even cover image(s), into the Signpost archives? See this archive of Aug. 18 edition and the front page during the Aug. 18 edition -- the "blurb" text only ever lives on the main front page, and goes away when the next edition is published. This does not seem ideal to me. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 19:57, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
This would require a change in publishing and bot procedures. The page in question is transcluded from Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-08-18, which is generated at runtime by the bot (or by the publisher, if the manual procedure s followed) and is also used in other parts of the interface. Considering how rarely archive front pages are accessed directly, the additional complexity this would introduce isn't worthwhile. ResMar 17:14, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

WikiProject report

Hi - I've noticed the WikiProject report hasn't been updated in a few months. Will this be a continuing feature of the Signpost? If so, I'm interested in helping out as a contributing writer/interviewer. I tried to comment on the talk page of that desk but was redirected here... Funcrunch (talk) 21:25, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Also I'm aware of the staffing shortages and other challenges; I've read the above section etc. I'm just looking for where I can help out without over-committing myself. Funcrunch (talk) 21:27, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
Many thanks for the offer, Funcrunch, and sorry for the slow reply! We could indeed use some help on WikiProject Report, and in other areas. (And, as a somewhat circular answer, it will be a continuing feature if and only if there's somebody to write it...but we very much want it to be!) I will be in touch shortly by email. If you have any ideas of which WikiProjects you're most interested in covering, let's discuss. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 18:20, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

Content submission for Feb 4 2017

@Tony1, Milowent, and Pete Forsyth: Sorry for the late submission. I wonder if this can go in the next issue.

The main feature here is a video of three speakers from 15 January, including Katherine. To fill out an article I transcribed some excerpts from the talk. At the panel an entertainer introduced this talk, and to keep the news as light as the event I have some notes about that also.

I am polishing this a bit for the next 30 minutes but right now, if you can accept this, it is mostly done. Blue Rasberry (talk) 21:51, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

At first glance, it looks like an excellent submission, Bluerasberry -- thank you. We're down to the wire, trying to publish tomorrow; but unless something significant comes up on a closer reading, I'd imagine we can get this edited and turned around in time. I'll add it to our list for this edition. Will you be available for clarifying questions or adjustments in the next 24+ hours? -Pete Forsyth (talk) 21:57, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Peteforsyth Yes. Sorry to ask, but if clarification is needed, could you signal me both on-wiki and by email? Since time is tight I would appreciate both notices. Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 21:59, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Bluerasberry Will do. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 22:14, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Milowent and I are looking for replacements

Is there anyone interested in continuing the Top 25 Report/Traffic Report? Both Milowent and I are coming down with outside commitments and tackling the report every week is becoming a bit burdensome. There's a discussion about a possible replacement over at the Report's talk page. If anyone's interested, please let us know. Thanks! Serendipodous 07:44, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

Serendipodous and Milowent, this is unfortunate news -- your contributions have been consistently engaging, insightful, and entertaining. But thank you for the notice. Once the present edition is out (next 24 hours or so), let's discuss how we can work together to find successor(s) and ensure a smooth handoff. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 03:02, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Making sure Rosiestep sees this too. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 06:20, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

News or special reports

  Evad37:: Merging the desks is a good idea, given their low levels of individual activity, however if I were you I would call the first of the two categories of submissions "special reports", not "news". The latter construes that only things that are new-sy are publishable, which is not true: well-written stories about "old" material and community commentary that isn't particularly newsy at all are all good submissions. ResMar 17:13, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

@Resident Mario: I was trying to have a term that would also cover submissions (from irregular/first-time contributors) that would fit within a regular section – basically, everything that isn't opinion. Which is why I didn't go with "special". Maybe something like "article" would work? - Evad37 [talk] 23:50, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Good point Resident Mario -- I've tweaked it some, and may continue to work on it: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Submissions What I'd like the text to do is (a) convey a general sense that we have different expectations of news vs. opinion, and (b) express that if the submitter is unsure, they can just pick one at random! We can always sort that out after submission if needed, it's no biggie. I'd hate to think somebody hesitated to submit a good idea simply because they couldn't decide between the two options. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 23:56, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Question

If I see a capitalization error, grammatical error, spelling error, etc., can I fix it? RileyBugzYell at me | Edits 21:57, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Good question RileyBugz. For simple corrections like this, please do! If a change affects the meaning of the piece, please bring it up for discussion, or address the author or an editor directly. On rare occasions (such as the title of our latest Traffic Report, which borrowed a song's title) the capitalization might have more subtle reasons...but if so, we can always sort it out. Simple corrections are very welcome and much appreciated, and disagreements are usually pretty easy to work through if they do arise! -Pete Forsyth (talk) 22:24, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

RSS

Check Wikipedia talk:News#POST RSS, please. Appears the signpost RSS is wrong.--200.223.199.146 (talk) 14:23, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

A new RSS feed is now available here - Evad37 [talk] 04:52, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Updates to Signpost practices

Here's a list of possible changes to the Signpost process. Let's first (say, by January 1) make sure we have a complete list; let's discuss the pros and cons of each in a separate section below; and then we can make a determination of which we'll actually move ahead with after that. Please feel free to add items to this list -- I'm sure I will, as I remember things I've forgotten.

  • Change all Signpost page names from Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost... to Wikipedia:Signpost... This has been on the "to-do" list for a very long time; if we're going to redo the bot, that should make it substantially easier. I'd imagine careful use of AWB would make this pretty doable.
  • Establish a separate website that mirrors Signpost content in a highly readable (desktop, mobile...) format. See notes here: Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/Mirroring
  • Email addresses for team members at custom domain
  • And/or: At minimum, set up an RSS feed that points to Signpost content in its existing home. Perhaps using mw:Extension:FeaturedFeeds. (Relevant notes also at Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/Mirroring.)
  • Make sure our front page, archive pages, and article pages show up reasonably well on both mobile and desktop. This is under discussion in the section above; if it's not possible to make the number of columns adjust dynamically, I (Pete) would suggest we simply go to a one-column format across the board. (Front page, archive pages.) It would look slightly less pretty on desktop, but vastly better on mobile.
  • Do we want to have separate pages for every story? For instance, "News and notes" as it stands might have anywhere from 0-4 stories, plus "Brief notes." A more thorough (and Google-friendly) redesign might include moving each to its own page and URL. (This would be a throwback to the early days, when page titles might look more like: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-12-26/Wiki tools and Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-12-26/Semi-protection.)
  • Attribution -- let's make attribution more prominent, as a small incentive to our contributors.
  • Currently, each page gets a "blurb" that shows up in one and only one place: WP:Wikipedia Signpost. It doesn't show up in the article itself, and it doesn't show up on the Archive page. Should we (a) incorporate it into the archive pages? Or should we eliminate it?
  • Are there worthwhile ways to automate or further facilitate social media posting?
  • While I don't think we will be moving off of English Wikipedia any time soon, it would be good to keep the possibility of moving everything to Meta in mind through any recoding/redesigning project.
  • other ideas?

-Pete Forsyth (talk) 02:42, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

  • Plus another idea: consider becoming a User Group. --Rosiestep (talk) 21:56, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Any thoughts (detailed ones in a section below, please) or additions? The ed17 tony1 Arborrhythms tedder Tbayer (WMF) Gamaliel Jayen466 Rosiestep Evad37 Kaldari Michael Snow Ragesoss Go Phightins!

Re-pinging, as I didn't get it. Tony1 Arborrhythms Tedder HaeB Gamaliel Jayen466 Rosiestep Evad37 Kaldari Michael Snow Ragesoss Go Phightins! Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:34, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Whoops, I wasn't on that list... LOL! Montanabw(talk) 23:28, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

Discussion

  • While I don't have any particular objections to any of the above (although I am not certain how advantageous some of them are, particularly splitting up pages that are already pretty short (e.g., Brief notes/News and notes), I think the most effective way to improve readership and reach would be to recruit more writers and publish on a reliable and regular basis. I mean...sure, go for it to make things more "Google-friendly", but it would only succeed in bringing readers once if they find a Signpost that's a month old. Risker (talk) 04:04, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Most of the above would be worth doing, but I am not seeing the benefit of Email addresses for team members at custom domain. However, a "group" email-list address like en-signpost-team@wikimedia.org might be helpful. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 05:31, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Given the scope of the changes that Pete is suggesting, as well as the critical juncture at which the Signpost now finds itself generally, I think that this is a good point in time at which to stop and ruminate, at some length, on what the Signpost is, was, and will be.
Risker brings up the elephant in the room, above, making a well-founded point (and one that I'd alluded to just before): that the chief issue facing the Signpost at the moment is a structural lack of writers. The editing members of the editorial board (AKA the people that feel they have an obligation to produce something at the end of the day) right now consists of, ask far as I can tell, of Pete and Tony. This situation fluctuates: things were worse two summers ago, when essentially all the content was being written by Ed, and they were a heck of a lot better a year or so ago, when the board had five or six active members.
The Signpost always prided itself on publishing weekly...until it didn't. The situation now is tenuous as always: if either Tony or Pete were to go, the Signpost might simply cease to exist. The descent from the weekly schedule and into publish-time uncertainty is a symptom of this fact, and so extensive changes to the way the Signpost operates, the technical forces for which now seem aligned, need to be evaluated against two key metrics:
  1. Things that will attract more net contributions.
  2. Things that will allow the Signpost to function with less overhead.
I ran a first-ever analysis of the Signpost's actual (as opposed to perceived) traffic pattern almost a year ago now, the results of which you can read here. While it would be interesting to run an update, I am all too sure that my original conclusion still hold, chief among which was a substantiated impression that this focus on "weekliness" (as expressed by e.g. Risker above) is totally misleading.
I have a college, and my college has a newspaper. I was an avid reader of the school broadsheet back in high school, but neither I nor seemingly anyone else really follows college news. The trouble is that the paper publishes too often: there are too many young journalism students who need CV material, and too much money circulating around, for them to stick to the most interesting stories and publish in a monthly format, like my high school paper did.
I admit, "The Signpost is weekly!" is something that I admit I also once loved to brag about. After looking at the numbers, however, I realized that maintaining such a schedule encourages "shortcuts", flavor-of-the-week stories, and other such brief coverage of associated trivia that people don't actually want to read. It burns out editors who get tired of the commitment (as I inevitably did), and I believe that, just as in the case of the school newspaper, it burns out readers who may be interested in tuning into the "best" stories, but don't want to have to muck through weaker stuff to get to them.
I think the Signpost ought to be a sleeker, more magazine-like, monthly publication. Instead of going wide but shallow, we should go narrow but deep. Yes this week's...month's...Signpost took a long time to arrive, but on the whole, the content was excellent. I like this new way of doing things. I think this is the future of the Signpost. We should keep doing things this way, and thinking along these lines.
All this is premised, of course, on having a strong, reliable infrastructure for sending out new issue notifications. This infrastructure is wanting, but, it appears, is a temporary hurdle. Not only is the bot hopefully going to get fixed, but there's also the prospect of the long-awaited Newsletter extension finally arriving and further streamlining the notification strategy. I'm particularly excited about this bit of code because if it's easy to use, and if we do a bit of lobbying to get people aware of its existence, the Signpost could easily double or triple its subscription base through sheer ease-of-use (this is another conversation we need to have).
This is my opinion on what, strategically, needs to be done. I'll have some specific comments on Pete's points and hopefully some of my own ideas in a bit. ResMar 07:11, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Just to be clear, ResMar, I think it would be advantageous to have a regular publishing cycle, but it doesn't have to be weekly. I think the recruitment of more contributors is the more essential issue. When one reads back on the archives, there are some pretty significant swings in the editorial voice which is moderated more when there are a large number of contributors and less when there are only one or two. In other words, you need more contributors to be a source of information, not just opinion. Risker 16:52, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
  Risker: The trouble is that the Signpost has been writing From The Board pieces for years and years pleading for more contributors. More editors is obviously a good thing, but how are you going to get them? Outside of the Signpost receiving funding of some kind, I only see the staffing issue getting worse—certainly not going away. The format needs to follow the need. ResMar 17:23, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
How does the Kurier do it? Does it get funding? Does it have a larger editorial staff? (I'm of the impression that it doesn't get funding, at least directly, but that it does have a lot more contributors. I could be wrong.) Has there been any recent communication between the two projects? I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "the format needs to follow the need". Risker (talk) 17:49, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
There has not been much communication, no, primarily due to the language barrier. What I mean by the format following the need is that rather than thinking about the Signpost format as a constant we should make a conscious effort to shift the format to one more accessible to outside contributions. ResMar 17:58, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
If anything, the Kurier is more opinionated. There's no structure, just people chiming in with their opinions on a topic whenever they so desire. (not a critique, just a descriptor) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:06, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
A format like that one could make for an interesting auxiliary to the Signpost. It's something I might sketch out. ResMar 20:08, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Thank you all for the in-depth thoughts and reflections. Resident Mario, it's especially valuable to know your thinking in more detail, with the data and experience you bring. As far as I'm concerned, formally moving to monthly publication is something we've considered and discussed, but we don't intend to make a definite decision right away. I'm not opposed to it, but if we move to monthly publication, I want it to result from a clear assessment of what we want to be (rooted in what our audience wants us to be), rather than what we feel capable of. I don't think the fortnightly schedule we've been aiming for (and missing) recently is out of reach; but it's possible that monthly is better anyway. (Of course, if we are successful in recruitment efforts, a monthly cycle could lead to truly enormous editions -- and that's one thing I'd like to keep in mind as we continue to mull this over.) Regardless -- it's nice to see the idea spelled out and endorsed here, outside our current echo chamber.

I see some possible thematic overlap between something Kurier-like and our suggestions page.

As for recruitment, it is our undisputed top priority, but it doesn't surprise me to learn that is rather invisible. We want to be cautious about running the kind of solicitations ResMar refers to above, which -- to the degree they are not effective -- can detract from and clutter our core function. We don't want to make a major push until we have confidence we can help new contributors feel welcome and productive quickly, if we are successful in drawing them in. Until we have some things in place, you will probably not see a broad push -- but we are reaching out to individuals from time to time, and trying to accommodate what does come our way as best we can.

Please keep the ideas and input coming. It's very gratifying to be reminded how much various people in the community care about this stuff -- it's both flattering and, frankly, a bit intimidating, as a reminder of the responsibility that comes with stewarding this publication. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 22:57, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

A specific suggestion -- it's great to learn from your blog, Resident Mario, which tools you created and why. I have been thinking it would be good to do some sort of "tools audit" -- an accounting of what tech tools exist, and have existed, in the Signpost world, who made them, what worked out and what was abandoned, etc. Maybe we can just start a wiki page in our namespace as a sort of directory. I can give it a try...it may be telling just how little I've been able to suss out! -Pete Forsyth (talk) 23:00, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
There's four that I'm aware of: Jarry's non-working bot, and three automatic import scripts that I wrote and hosted on Labs that went down because of unstable hosting. I will try to see if I can't spin them up again later. ResMar 23:18, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Hi. Is my bot working? No-one's ever given me a bug report for it.
On the particular point of mirroring, which is probably the one I feel most strongly about, I don't really see the value. We used to have a blogspot(?) blog version, but no-one ever read it as far as I could tell. I think the on-wikiness is part of the charm really -- the Signpost is written by insiders, not outsides (with/without axes to grind).
In terms of number of writers, twas ever thus. I think it does work better when you can target individuals rather than the usual From the editor stuff (despite being guilty of that myself).
By the way, I did a traffic analysis in 2011 Res. Yours would therefore be the second-ever :) Not to be petty or anything... - Jarry1250 [Vacation needed] 23:34, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Jarry1250, I don't know whether or not your bot is working -- I don't know how to run it -- but my guess is that it is not, as Kharkiv07 seemed to believe that changes to MediaWiki had substantially altered what is possible to accomplish with a bot. (But, perhaps your bot uses substantially different hooks than theirs, so...I just don't know.)
Thanks for the link to your traffic analysis!
On mirroring and separate sites -- it's important, but not mission-critical, and it seems unlikely to me that it would impact, or be held back by, any of the stuff under discussion here. So we needn't delve into it too much if it's not grabbing people's interest here. The main thing driving it is a wish to more clearly establish the Signpost's legitimacy and discoverability, which could in turn impact three significant things: it could help get our content listed in places like Google News (good for when we break new stories whose interest extends beyond Wikipedia, and/or stories whose interest might not be readily apparent, e.g. easy access to the Tech Report series might happen to interest open source journalist if they could find it). It could add to the incentive for people to write for the Signpost. And to a smaller degree, it could add to the cachet of being covered in the Signpost. I don't want to expend a great deal of energy on it, especially week-to-week; my belief is that with a little upfront work, a process can be set up that requires very little maintenance, but opens up a few doors for us in the long run.
For WP:Wikipedia Signpost/Signpost tools, I'm thinking it might include a few more things than bots and import scripts. Specifically, templates, and the code (does it live in templates?) that generates things like the MassMessage text and the text for Wikimedia-Announce. I'd also like to note external technologies -- such as Slack, which is where we're doing most of our coordination these days, and Google Docs, which we use pretty heavily too. I've been thinking about using Trello as well, to keep track of the various goings-on. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 00:00, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
I take your point about discoverability – but I wonder if there's a way of achieving the same end on-wiki. Which reminds me: have we thought about whether the move to off-wiki drafting (and off-wiki chat – you mention Slack) has contributed the loss of contributors? - Jarry1250 [Vacation needed] 02:17, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
Sure, and again, I'm interested in learning what's possible with FeaturedFeeds, which as I understand it would mean creating an RSS feed for the on-wiki home of our our content. Jarry1250, help me understand your level of interest -- your offer to rebuild the bot is very generous and valuable, and my first instinct here is to avoid pulling you in directions that would be less interesting to you, and potentially a distraction. But if you are interested in exploring in greater detail, let me know.
As for online- vs. offline composition, yes, we've thought and talked a great deal about related issues. The specific one you raise, I'm not sure how to assess; as Resident Mario said above, there have been periods of low engagement for a long time, and I'm not sure when offline composition became more prevalent, so I don't have enough data to assess. But a few closely related points: (1) MediaWiki software lacks any facility for contextual commenting, which is a major deficiency for an edited publication. We've had good luck in a few cases layering Hypothes.is on top of on-wiki drafts for this purpose, so it's not a total dealbreaker. But for the needs of the Signpost, MediaWiki is a platform that simply doesn't meet our needs for many complex or challenging stories. (2) While we do see a little bit of collaboration on those items drafted on-wiki, it's rarely more than two or three people, who are known to have an interest in the piece ahead of time. I don't recall seeing any substantial, serendipitous editing, so I don't see much reason to think its absence is damaging to our collaborative practices. (3) For some stories on sensitive topics, an early draft might reflect a misunderstanding on the part of the writer. Sorting through it can be a delicate process. While we all value iteration and "making mistakes in public" to some degree, in some cases it poses a substantial obstacle to getting the work of writing and editing articles done.
Your question is a good one, though; I'm inclined to think about it in a slightly more general way. How can we make our processes accessible and sensible to new contributors, who for the most part will have experience collaborating on wiki, and some comfort with that mode of engagement? I think we do reasonably well at that, but I see many opportunities for improvement. Describing how we do approach that and how we want to improve it going forward might get us pretty deep in the weeds, so I'll leave it at that for now. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 20:44, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
  • My two cents here is pretty short:
  1. I am ADAMANTLY opposed to publishing staff email addresses. Huge privacy issues and spam magnet to boot. People can use the "email this editor" feature.
  2. We definitely have a shortage of feature writers, that said, we could standardize and formalize a few more regular features so that they are easier to write an a good place for new contributors to get a toehold.
  • And in all of these years, not one regular news writer has been female. We all lose out from that. Tony (talk) 09:54, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  • This discussion is becoming unreadably long, so allow me to chunk off parts of it. I would like to point out something that Peteforsyth and Jarry1250 should be aware of: the development of the upcoming newsletter extension. This will substantially ease all of these processes, as it will remove all of the user notification processes out of the bot workload and replace them with a simpler, easier system with more convenience and reach. Once it arrives, this will net the Signpost a substantial boost. A publication bot written or touched up today should be aware of these upcoming changes. ResMar 23:42, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
 
Mockup of what the Newsletter preference pane might look like once complete. UPDATE - it turns out this mockup is outdated, there are NO PLANS to handle user talk page delivery.
  • Resident Mario, thanks, I've now delved into that enough that I think I understand its intended use and its status pretty well. I believe that it will make it easier for (English language) Wikipedians to add or remove themselves as subscribers; and perhaps it will also offer them echo and/or email delivery options in addition to a user talk notification option. It will also be pretty straightforward to migrate our existing subscription base over there.
    It won't be designed to address the publication steps that create all our pages. It won't do anything for our subscribers on Meta Wiki (unless we mirror our front page on Meta Wiki). And, we can't rely on it being completed on any particular schedule, since it's merely an aspiration being built incrementally by volunteers.
    Certainly a valuable initiative to be aware of, and your advice to make sure the bot is designed to transition smoothly to it in the future is well taken. Have I missed or misunderstood anything? -Pete Forsyth (talk) 06:54, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
    Also, for future reference -- I'd recommend the MediaWiki page as the best intro to the extension: 'mw:Extension:Newsletter -Pete Forsyth (talk) 06:57, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, this would not be of any help for building Signpost output, only for publishing it. I believe that it will simplify the meta (well, out-of-enwiki) process, because it can take advantage of cross-wiki notifications, which are now enabled by default (as I understand it). That means that the Signpost will no longer need to maintain a separate mailing page for off-wiki notifications, which erases an additional step from the publishing process. As for whether or not it's completed: I'm reasonably confident that it will be released by mid-2016. You're right that deadlines do slip, and we can't rely on it, but it's something to keep in mind for the future nevertheless.
Further discussion about tweaking the bot, and everything else that comes with it, is on hold (?) until DJ finishes his CSS upgrades. ResMar 00:00, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Here's an idea combining possibly the best of both worlds. Publish a weekly (pick a day, say Monday) The Signpost Supplements concerning run-of-the-mill things. Adminship, TechNews, Bots Approved, Featured Content, etc. A lot of this content could be bot-generated, then lightly tweaked and lightly commented. E.g. for Featured Content, get a bot to scrape newly closed nominations, and create the featured article list based on the leads of those articles, similar for lists, good articles, featured pictures/media, etc. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 00:20, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Then, on the last Monday of the month, you publish The Signpost which highlights a selection of the more interesting stories from the past month, with all substantial pieces of writing people submitted (Special Reports, WikiProject Interviews, etc...).
Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 00:20, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I think the lack of editors and the opacity of the format are closely related. To an outsider, it is not obvious how to see what stories are in development and how to join in. If you set up a familiar structure of draft pages and noticeboards saying what sorts of pages you want, you'll get more editors wandering in and perhaps staying. Wnt (talk) 01:59, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Redlinks in single-page edition

Bonjour Signpost editors! Please note for future reference that wikilinks to content on subpages of the Signpost's dated edition turn into redlinks in the single-page edition. Please make sure to create redirects as appropriate. For this time, I did it for you after hunting down where the content was:

Thanks in advance! :)  · Salvidrim! ·  16:44, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Thanks Salvidrim! It was a last-minute decision to include those as sub-pages, and I didn't think about the single page edition. Much appreciated, and we'll keep that in mind for future editions. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 19:10, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Overview: How will the Newsletter Extension impact the Signpost's future?

So, thanks to the discussion above and (and, especially, guidance from Resident Mario -- thanks!), I went off and read a bunch about the forthcoming Newsletter Extension, tested its current pre-release version a bit, and have asked a bunch of questions. I want to report back on my current thinking on how it will affect the Signpost, and see what others think. The extension is being actively worked on right now, and a release (as a MediaWiki extension) is imminent -- perhaps in a few weeks. (I'm not sure what the plan is for gaining buy-in and deploying it on English Wikipedia, but sooner or later that will happen.)

When it becomes available on English Wikipedia, things will get very messy for us, until such time as a decisive majority of our subscribers are happy with the web and email notification options, and we are willing to abandon talk page notification altogether. (Or more ideally, until something that reproduces the various benefits of talk page notification gets built into a future version of the extension; this is my hope, but I've had difficulty getting anybody to engage with that concept so far.)

The Newsletter Extension presents a fundamentally new framework for newsletter subscription and delivery (and impacts no other aspects of managing a newsletter). Here are the significant differences I see, from the current setup:

  • Subscription list is visible/editable only to admins and publishers. (Users may add/remove themselves.)
  • It provides delivery via Echo notifications, and/or by email. (I'm unsure how the email formatting will work.)
  • It does not permit delivery to user talk pages in any form. There is no plan to include this functionality.
  • No facility (?) for web notification of users of other wikis.
  • Detailed pros & cons enumerated here: mw:Topic:Tit9gtsmop8qd2d8

So, I'd imagine what we have coming is like this:

  1. Current phase
  2. Blended "testing phase" (we register the Signpost for use with the extension, and continue maintaining the wiki-based system) (very messy!)
  3. The end goal (after enough stakeholders are satisfied with the new software that we can abandon the wiki-based system) (very good)

The only thing that's clear to me thus far is that both transitions -- that is, the beginning and the end of the blended testing phase -- will be pretty delicate, and we should be thoughtful about how we approach each of them. It's hard for me to guess at any of the dates:

  • when a testable version of the extension will be available on enwp
  • when we should implement it (but that's almost certainly after smaller and simpler newsletters have given it a pretty thorough workout)
  • when we should stop publishing to user talk pages

...but I think the scale will be months or quarters, not weeks. I therefore don't think this particularly impacts bot efforts; we will need a bot that's capable of publishing to user talk pages for a long time, and I believe any needed hooks into the Newsletter extension will be pretty minimal.

Thoughts? -Pete Forsyth (talk) 06:21, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

Discussion (newsletter extension)

  • Will the Watchlist and {{Signpost-subscription}} template still work? These are the only ways I follow The Signpost, and I have not missed an issue in years. I do not want email or talkpage traffic because they create persistent clutter unless I actively delete them. ~ Ningauble (talk) 17:22, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
    • Ningauble, I'd hesitate to make strong, specific commitments about the long term; the purpose of this note and poll are to learn more about what our readers want, so we can accommodate as best we can. I erred in not listing the template among the options in the poll; it was an oversight, and there's no plan to stop using it. I can't imagine any reason we'd do so. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 18:22, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
      • Thanks. I assume watchlisting Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Issue will also continue to work. ~ Ningauble (talk) 19:01, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
        • Yes, Ningauble -- I'm sorry, these points have clear answers, and I should be more candid. I do have a hard time imagining any circumstance that would require us to break the template, or the watchlist subscription. Even if we were to shift 100% to the Newsletter Extension and turn off user talk page notifications, the template and the "issue" page you identify would still work. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 07:27, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Newsletter extension poll

We will be running this poll in the next edition of the Signpost. Reproducing the questions here for future reference. (I'll post the results here as well.)

Signpost subscription & notification poll

How should we deliver the Signpost? Signpost subscription poll; please submit answers by January 31, 2017

  1. Your Wikimedia username (optional)
  2. Your home wiki
    • English Wikipedia
    • Other:
  3. Are you currently a Signpost subscriber?
    • Yes
    • No
  4. How do you usually find a new edition of the Signpost?
    • My own user talk page
    • Somebody else's user talk page
    • Watchlist, not a user talk page (e.g., Signpost main page)
    • Social media
    • Other:
  5. How did you first learn about the Signpost?
    • Another Wikipedian's user talk page
    • Elsewhere on Wikipedia
    • Another Wikimedia site
    • Social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…)
    • Other:
  6. How important is it to see our story titles as links on your talkpage? (Table of Contents)
    • Very important
    • Somewhat convenient
    • I don't care
    • Unimportant; I just click through to the main page
  7. What's your preferred way to receive the Signpost?
    • User talkpage delivery with story titles laid out (as currently offered)
    • Delivery of the Table of Contents, with links, via email
    • Delivery of a single link to the new edition, via email
    • Single notification via "Echo" (the menu next to your username at the top of the screen)
  8. Our subscriber list has always been publicly visible. Should this continue?
    • Yes, keep it public.
    • I don't care one way or the other.
    • No, it should not be publicly visible.

Poll results and our path forward

To any following this conversation (pinging: Qgil-WMF, Resident Mario, Quiddity), we just published the poll results and our analysis. TL;DR, we will not plan on using the extension in the foreseeable future, but will continue to monitor developments, and applaud the effort to build this new functionality. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 19:42, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Layout

Why is it that the Signpost articles have a narrow layout a few inches wide, with a foot or two of white space to the right (which sometimes holds an image), although the Brief notes romps across the page? Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:32, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Good question, Hawkeye7. I've wondered this myself. From a practical standpoint, it's because the CSS for our layout has been around for a while, and nobody on our volunteer "staff" has the expertise or bandwidth to make changes. It's possible we're not entering things in the templates quite precisely as intended, but if so, I'm not sure where we are erring. Perhaps Resident Mario, Jarry1250 or TheDJ can offer further insights? -Pete Forsyth (talk) 21:38, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Because that's the best that could be done with the CSS that we have/had available at the time. TheDJ is working on squeezing out something better; this would be a good juncture to ask him how progress on that has been? Last I checked, he "only" needed to convert the templates to the new format. ResMar 04:59, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
ping Peteforsyth, Resident Mario. I've converted everything to (what i call) the v2 layout. This is gonna be a bit messy for a while perhaps. I have not made these changes to the 'old' layout, mostly because I did not want to break old versions of articles, and because i want to give you the option to revert to the 'old' version temporarily if there are any problems in the new version. The story pre-loaders have all been updated. Note that the sidebar templates very much depend on the version of the layout, and the usage of signpost-article-block-start/end. You cannot intermix them with the old version, or expect them to work without using the block-start/end templates. If you have any questions, or need help, do poke me, but realize that my response-time can be rather long. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:59, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Wonderful!   Peteforsyth: You can see what the new layout looks like over at the style guideline. All of the starter templates have been updated, which means that we'll be using this layout automatically from now on. It might take an issue or two to shake out a couple of bugs, maybe, but I think this will be a seamless transition. ResMar 19:09, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
@Hawkeye7: I hope you find it is better for you in the latest edition ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 08:56, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
It has changed. The text in the middle doesn't get any wider, but it now stays centred, so the white space problem is not so acute. Hawkeye7 (talk) 09:17, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Good that was the intention. The exact width used by the signpost is changeable, but I find that more to be an editorial decision than a technical decision. So far, people seem to really enjoy reading the signpost in a more 'narrow' form. And there are actually two width, a narrow width images in the side, and a 'fullwidth' (where the main column occupies the space of the images as well) often used by featured content etc. Any width consideration I leave up to Peteforsyth and his fellow signpost editors, and I can adjust for them accordingly. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:05, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

Back issue

I tried to find it in the archives without success. I'm trying to find a Signpost story that mentioned how a journal enforcing a condition for publication upon paper acceptance is to ask authors to create (or add) content on Wikipedia that is directly related to the compound they used in the study. Can anyone recall or point to the story I'm referring to? OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:59, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

The second page of a Google search of "Signpost story that mentioned how a journal enforcing a condition for publication upon paper acceptance is to ask authors to create signpost site:Wikipedia.org" led me to Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-01-03/SPV. Scroll down to "Biology journal requires summaries on Wikipedia". Is this what you wanted? davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 22:30, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, thank you. Can't believe I still remembered a blurb from Signpost from 2009. OhanaUnitedTalk page 23:01, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

I think I broke it

After I added my name to the subscribe list, the page blanked. What did I do wrong? SGPolter (talk) 13:40, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

I have no idea, but I purged the page and now it's back. Sam Walton (talk) 13:44, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Thank you! SGPolter (talk) 13:53, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

Note from editor(s)-in-chief

Next edition: May 15, 2017 or earlier

@PeteForsyth: Just wanted to quickly check as usual whether this is still the current best estimate - for RR, we (i.e. Masssly) are going to send invitations for RR to potential contributors soon, and it would be useful to be able to include the current ETA. Thanks! Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 18:34, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Any updates? Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 01:56, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
No response here or elsewhere - it appears that Peteforsyth has been incommunicado for several weeks now. Pete, in case you're reading this, I hope you're well! If a real-life situation is preventing you from publishing this issue for the foreseeable future (which can of course happen - we know it's volunteer work!), it would be highly useful to at least let people know here. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 03:14, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
  • I understand Pete is well but extremely busy with non-wikipedia projects at the moment, I'll see if I can get a message to him for an update.--Milowenthasspoken 13:40, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
  • @The ed17: Any idea, what we can do if the editor-in-chief is missing (now for over a month)? Armbrust The Homunculus 09:53, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Armbrust, it looks like no one is volunteering. Is anyone even around that knows how to publish the signpost? It all seems far too complex to the average observer (including me), whereas in 2005 it was a much simpler product.--Milowenthasspoken 13:16, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
    @Milowent: I'm sure someone could figure it out by following Pete's contribs from the sending of the last newsletter, but is there an issue that's actually written and assembled ready to go? Sam Walton (talk) 13:17, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
    Can someone call for an election or something like that....?? this would be the last thing I would want to hear... -The Herald (Benison)the joy of the LORDmy strength 18:45, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
    @Milowent, Sam Walton, and The Herald: I would be happy to talk anyone through how to publish it. (It's a bit time-consuming, so note that I literally mean talking, as in Skype or Google Hangouts, because it would take far less time than (say) typing on IRC.) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 02:50, 19 April 2017 (UTC) (Updated to reflect the realities of limited free time. 04:56, 22 April 2017 (UTC))
  • Wikipedia is not dying! Is it possible the Signpost is dying? Yes, though I suspect it or some successor will continue in some form. What was needed for editors in 2005 or 2010 may not be what is needed or wanted in 2017. I really don't have the interest or time to take on a role beyond my niche roles. If someone wants to step up, they just need to take the bull by the horns, that has always been a refreshing thing about Wikipedia!--Milowenthasspoken 14:12, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
  • We over-organized it to death, I think...  ;-) We can resurrect it, but we have gone through how many EICs in the last 12 months? Are there old staffers still active on WP who could be convinced to come back? Montanabw(talk) 22:51, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Over-organised? How so? Tony (talk) 03:15, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm also unsure what "over-organized" means, or what leads to that conclusion. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 19:26, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Note: Discussion about the next issue is now happening at Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_Signpost#The_next_edition. Regard, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 20:19, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

5K FAs

@Armbrust: Guys, looks like we are going to hit 5000 FAs mark anytime this week. That deserves a report right? -The Herald (Benison)the joy of the LORDmy strength 17:07, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Would be a good subject for a special report, IMO. Armbrust The Homunculus 17:41, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Publishing as soon as possible

Hello. The paper has been down since February. I am not aware of anyone having plans to do anything in response to this. I would call this a crisis. The Wikimedia community needs news now both because of the general news backlog and this week to get out a notice to vote in the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees election. I cannot be an editor for The Signpost, but editor is a fun job and perhaps others would step up to do that. A tedious aside to being editor is "publisher", or the performance of the technical process of making the issue go live.

Very soon, maybe tomorrow, I am going to give a go at grabbing whatever content has been submitted recently and publishing it. This will be publication without an editor. I do not want things this way and I know many others do not also, but as of now this is a crisis situation and to go forward we have to try anything plausible.

I need the support of others. @Evolution and evolvability, Kaldari, Milowent, Armbrust, The Herald, Samwalton9, The ed17, Montanabw, Tony1, Go Phightins!, and Peteforsyth:, you all have recent engagement with The Signpost. Here is what I request of you at this time -

  1. Please excuse me for asking for your attention, when I have no idea what I am doing and might not be able to even go through with publishing. I am giving this a go.
  2. Please support me in trying to put an issue out in this unorthodox way, as a publisher without an editor. We need ideas and experiments and this is what I have to offer at this time.
  3. Please help me minimize controversy. Because we do not have an editor, we are not in a position to defend from criticism, so as a short term goal please do whatever you can to keep the paper stable and the newsroom positive for anyone who comes here.
  4. If anyone wants to play editor, provide links to text content which is ready for publication. I have no capacity to edit anything, and plan to only grab and publish whatever seems ready to go.
  5. I need an election notice for meta:Wikimedia Foundation elections/2017/Board of Trustees and the official election committee discussion at Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees Candidates Discussion. I would really appreciate if someone would write 3-5 sentences and format a link to the election page, so that we can publish an article about the election and tell people to vote. The Signpost always advocates that all eligible voters vote. The election ends 14 May.
  6. Let's come up with some ideas to respond to crisis. I want publishing to be easier for The Signpost staff and more dependable for the readers.

I appreciate whatever anyone else can contribute. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:42, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

Please see WT:POST, sounds like we are both looking at a similar approach. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 17:06, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
  Resolved
@Peteforsyth: Ah, thanks, there is a plan developing. Resolved here, I will pick up there, and all additional conversation should go there. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:47, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

Interested writer

I'm interested in helping and I see the Signpost needs help. Can I help? I made a short submission yesterday. 68.233.214.74 (talk) 16:03, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Hi, 68. We're very keen to have more writers/editors on the Signpost. But you'd need to log in and get a username; then Pete, the editor in chief, would be in a position to talk. Would that be possible? Tony (talk) 04:11, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

I don't wanna be that guy, but...

...how long does it take to get this out to the people? Its been 8 weeks already, I've already gotten 2 editions of the Bugle, and Milhist publishes those monthly. Is there some reason why this hasn't shipped out in over two months, or is it just another sign of the slow death of Wikipedia as whole? TomStar81 (Talk) 17:37, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Editor-in-chief apparently too busy in real life. Armbrust The Homunculus 19:41, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Conversation ongoing over at WP:NEWSROOM. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 03:01, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
From weekly newspaper to bimonthly magazine? – Athaenara 13:03, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
The election for the board has begun. Would be good to at least see a special issue (one section if that is all contributors can manage) on the topic. I would take the lead but am running in the election myself. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:32, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
I second this! The Signpost has played a really valuable role in raising awareness of previous elections and contributing to the debate around them, particularly because of the very static "statement and questions" format of the formal election process. It would be wonderful if anyone was able to whip up an election special. The Land (talk) 17:45, 30 April 2017 (UTC) (also a candidate so can't help)
I third ;) this! I came here with the precise question: could we get the special issue for the Elections? I did like your coverage, and having been a FDC candidate 2 years ago, I did enjoy Tony's questions and I hope they helped everyone to make their decision. Seeing how Q&As are limited this year, any additional questionnaire, debate among candidates, diligent coverage would be appreciated. Best, aegis maelstrom δ 11:36, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
I think it's fantastic that people recognize the need for community journalism, but I don't think any of you realize the amount of work required to create something like this. If the volunteers can't put out a regular issue of the Signpost because of their real-life commitments, then it is time for new volunteers to step forward instead of demanding more from the existing ones. Gamaliel (talk) 17:19, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Agree to keep the Signpost alive a larger group of people need to care sufficiently to put in the work. And yes a high quality paper is a huge amount of work. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:22, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
Just to throw in a totally different approach: German-language Wikipedia's "Kurier", which is treated as the Signpost's German counterpart (and interwiki-linked), doesn't have any designated editors or an editor-in-chief and isn't published in "volumes" and "issues"; rather, anyone who feels that some news or issue calls for a Kurier-style article, can write and post it immediately. Most articles are kept; only rarely they are removed if there's a consensus on the talk page that something isn't really suitable as a "Kurier article". This has advantages and disadvantages, of course. The main advantage ist that the "Kurier" is updated continuously (there are several articles in most weeks, often one or more per day). The main disadvantage, probably, is that the quality and importance of the articles is fluctuating a lot. Gestumblindi (talk) 17:23, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
Now we've skipped April as well. I had a comic strip joke about Wikipedia to submit. I'm not sure whether it was in the strip or the comments, but whichever it was, it's yet another example of how Wikipedia is part of our world.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 18:01, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

March 2017 skipped

The Signpost skipped the whole month, March 2017, for the first time. Response? --George Ho (talk) 20:59, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Yeah. I hate to add pressure, but just wanted to say I miss Signpost! Can't wait for the next one, whenever that is. Stevage 00:48, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
This workhorse is tired. Tony (talk) 02:23, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
So am I. I don't have time and I'm already a month behind on reading.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:09, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
I feel your pain, Tony1. Burn-out is real! Look after yourself. Stevage 05:06, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Stevage. Just one problem the Signpost has faced more recently is the lack of IT maintenance. We went through many years when the editor-in-chief could just press a button for largely automated publication—and we had good, reliable tech-skilled people on board. The automated system broke down some time last year, and we've had no IT person since. It has meant that the act of publishing, which typically comes after a big heave of late nights by the editor-in-chief and others, then requires up to two hours of fiddly clerical work and crossed fingers. Tony (talk) 09:29, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Make a WP:BOTREQ? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 11:50, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Headbomb—We probably should have gone down that route last year. I'll check with colleagues. Tony (talk) 12:05, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
@Tony1: Last December I offered to be the nerd-in-chief, but at the time it sounded like Jarry1250 and/or Kharkiv07 were going to revive their bots. Again, offer is on the table! I'd love to be a part of the Signpost :) MusikAnimal talk 23:53, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
I would like to take full responsibility for this, and deeply apologize to The Signpost team. I went through hell IRL, some of which I explained to them, so of which not. I more or less fell of the face of the earth without and support left behind. Sorry all. I can't commit to helping anytime soon, but I'm more than happy to send some of my stuff to anybody who wishes to take over. Kharkiv07 (T) 01:39, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

Clearly the current editor is too busy. That is unfortunate, but it is time to move on. (And it is one of the foreseeable problems with a single person left in charge since the previous co-editor resigned last November and was not replaced - without the one person, we have a single point of failure, and everything falls apart.)

Is there anyone else with the time and the inclination, willing to step up to the plate and help make the Signpost happen again? One or two of the regular authors perhaps? Or of the previous editors? No need for perfection here - something would be better than nothing for two months. There must be someone who wants to continue the 12 year tradition of weekly fortnightly monthly regular periodical community journalism. (I expect someone will tell me to do it. Sorry, not happening.)

If not, if everyone is just too exhausted to carry on, perhaps we should just mark this project as historical and close it down. A shame, but to everything there is a season: a time to be born, and a time to die. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.205.251.27 (talk) 11:29, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

I've posted over at Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous). Perhaps that might elicit some attention if the current editorial and writing teams are exhausted..

Overdue note from Editor in Chief

Hello all,

I'm sorry for the extended lapse in Signpost publication. I've been in communication with Tony1 about how to move forward, and I have been the bottleneck in making a statement.

I'm pleased to see that many community members have expressed an interest in what needs to be done to get back on track. To be perfectly honest, I don't see a clear path forward, but I'd like to find one soon. Both Tony and I have been buried in off-wiki responsibilities, and the simple fact is that in recent months, the two of us have been the core of the team that produces each edition. Many excellent contributors have done a great deal, but in terms of writing, soliciting, and editing the main news content, it has mostly fallen to the two of us.

At this point, I am pretty out of touch with what's needed in the short term to resume publication, though I believe I have a clear view of what's needed in the longer term. I'd like to get back on track in some form as soon as possible, even if it's at a somewhat reduced quantity and/or frequency of coverage. But to do so will require substantial help. In the next few days, I plan to put some time into planning out what that will look like, and figuring out how to incorporate any assistance that's offered. I'll start by reviewing and responding to the many kind and helpful messages that have come in.

Best, -Pete Forsyth (talk) 03:49, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

User:Peteforsyth Many thanks for the update. The roll the Signpost plays within or movement is very important. Glad to hear you are coming back to it :-) I will try to recruit some volunteers. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:53, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Greetings, -Pete Forsyth (talk) and Doc James (talk) Chiming in here with my two cents worth about recruiting volunteers. This morning I constructed another section on my User page about Active editors which may help locate additional help.
Another suggestion would be to only do two elements of the current Signpost each week of the month on a random basis. For example,
  • Week 1; FROM THE EDITORS; RECENT RESEARCH
  • Week 2; TECHNOLOGY REPORT; IN THE MEDIA
  • Week 3; GALLERY; SPECIAL REPORT
  • Week 4; OP-ED; FEATURED CONTENT
  • Additional; TRAFFIC REPORT; BLOG; WIKIPROJECT REPORT
Note that I included "WikiProject Report" even though it's not showing in this Signpost issue. Back in January 2016, I had suggested several WP's that were archived here, but not acted on.
Rather than waiting for "the full boat" of articles to be completed, thus creating a delay of publishing, it seems more practical to setup a new format and procedure.
The idea would be that when any two or three articles are done, "Go and publish" them. This would fit in with the irregular timing of article completions. I think Signpost readers would enjoy this variable content as well with each issue being different content.
Regards, JoeHebda • (talk) 18:13, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
You could always switch to German-language Wikipedia's "Kurier" approach, which doesn't require designated editors. As I wrote above, the downside of this approach is that article quality isn't very consistent, and it introduces an element of randomness, but on the other hand, a constant stream of articles about current issues isn't a bad thing either. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:07, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Gestumblindi, I like your idea. SarahSV (talk) 04:21, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Gestumblindi, I think this is a reasonable enough idea; but I'm not entirely sure it accomplishes what I assume (?) is your main goal, which is to reduce the amount of effort required to get the Signpost out, and thereby make it easier to publish on a more frequent basis. There is one major obstacle that I think is pretty close to resolvable -- getting the publication process re-automated. The process is quite onerous, which is one of the main reasons that our publications became less frequent. I think with the right technical minds on it, the process could be pretty easily automated, perhaps in a way that is less susceptible to breaking with MediaWiki updates (which I think is what has happened in the past). Updating it could drastically reduce the amount of human effort required to put out each edition. Evad37 has expressed interest in taking a slightly different approach than has been done in the past. I'd like to know his current assessment of the feasibility of getting this accomplished soon, and what kind of help might be useful. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 05:15, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

My previous response should have been to JoeHebda, it was about publishing shorter and more frequent editions. To Gestumblindi, I agree there is value in such an approach, which English Wikipedians have maybe encountered at the Wikipedia Weekly Facebook group, sites like Wikipedia Review and offwiki.org, and even the Wikimedia-L email list.

If something like that is set up on Wikipedia, that might be a very worthwhile thing. But it would bear little resemblance to the Signpost, and I see no reason to use the same name, or to think of it as a replacement or competitor. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 17:01, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

I do not think that Gestumblindi's idea would be wise here, too much of an anarchy to have zero editorial control. The buck has to stop somewhere. Montanabw(talk) 03:15, 9 May 2017 (UTC) The idea of doing different sections each week has some potential, though. Montanabw(talk) 03:15, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Newsroom discussion for issue 2017-06-03

  • Hi everyone...Any room for me in FC? :-P ...It feels so good to be back..-The Herald (Benison)the joy of the LORDmy strength 13:27, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
    • @The Herald: Any assistance you can provide would be most welcome! (Sorry about the delayed response, we've only just recently been organised enough to publish an issue.) - Evad37 [talk] 02:52, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

I think we should try to get another issue out by the end of the month. If we were to return to a fortnightly schedule, that would make the next publication date 23 June. - Evad37 [talk] 02:59, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

I hate to be pessimistic, but there is almost no way that this will be ready for publication in three days.Eddie891 (talk) 16:41, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm a bit optimistic, but I do think its possible to be ready by the 23rd (which is five days, not three). I've added some notes below on what I think needs to be done for each section, perhaps that might encourage more people to help out. - Evad37 [talk] 00:48, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
It would help if I could count. Sorry Eddie891 (talk) 16:49, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

I see you're working on the Tech report, Evad37. May you please summarize the RfC discussion (repeated summary)? That is, which projects are included and which others are excluded from the search results? Thanks. George Ho (talk) 00:32, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

Sure, I'll write something up - Evad37 [talk] 00:53, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Evad. Found another: Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 154#Sister projects search results. I see that the story is mentioned twice as a lead story and "In brief" (which uses Mediawiki link). What can you do with those? --George Ho (talk) 01:22, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. Once I've written the main story I'll remove the "In brief" note - Evad37 [talk] 01:35, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Evad37, Wikibooks was included by the developers in error. Actually, there was "no consensus" to favor the inclusion of Wikibooks as part of search results. Therefore, I filed a Phabriator task to suppress those results. May you please update "Tech report"? Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 02:33, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
@George Ho: Actually, it looked to me like it was intentional, see discussion at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)/Archive_155#Follow-up_to_the_RfC_for_sister_projects_in_search_results - Evad37 [talk] 02:37, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
That was a misreading on their part. Would you please look below "Commons" and see "Wikibooks"? Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 02:40, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

The next issue is looking good. (Maybe combine WikiCup w/ N&N if it remains just a para?) A regular schedule (with whatever depth of coverage is possible at that rate) is good -- particularly helpful for synchronizing w writers who have dedicated audiences elsewhere / do most work outside of this newsroom. Even on weeks when the signpost only provides an additional regular outlet for tech+research+summary reports, runs the update script, and sends out email, it's still providing a key service to long-time readers.

Is there an reminder script that can ping recent active editors to say "come copyedit, deadline in 2 days"? I think there's a way to ping all members of a group. At least {Ping project} works on WikiData, and could be copied from there.

Also, @Barbara (WVS):, if not a humor-only essay, perhaps you'd be interested in helping w the Comics wikiproject report? :) – SJ + 07:11, 22 June 2017 (UTC)


@Bri, Evad37, Sj, Josve05a, Hexatekin, and Altercari: I am done editing to go to sleep for now. I will not be up until after the deadline. You've all done great work, and I'm excited to see what will await me when I wake up. Great work, and I look forward to whatever will happen. Good Night (in NY). Eddie891 (talk) 00:25, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

I'm about to join a local meetup and will be done soon. Will try to pop into the newsroom and do gnomish things if possible. It's been great collaborating with y'all. - Bri (talk) 00:32, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
Looks like we're just about done now, just a couple of things that could do with copyediting. A big   Thank you to all contributors to this issue! - Evad37 [talk] 02:14, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

Time for a simpler approach?

It seems like one of the primary issues with running the Signpost, and in getting it running again by interested editors, is that it's a huge amount of work. Perhaps - in the interests of getting issues out again - it would be best to trim out the unnecessary sections, simplify processes where possible, and then slowly add them back in at a later date. For what it's worth, I'd love to help but really don't have the time for at least another couple of months. Sam Walton (talk) 11:37, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

If we are willing to accept more ad hoc contributions that would simplify things some I think. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:50, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Sam, I'll hold you to that! Tony (talk) 08:12, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I would be supportive of that; one thing I have found a bit daunting about being a copyeditor and an occasional contributor for the last year and a half or so is the complexity of the process. Montanabw(talk) 03:12, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Sam, warmly agreed. From a reader's perspective, I'd prefer a fixed schedule with variable quality over a variable schedule.
You could combine user:gestumblindi's idea of borrowing the continuous-editing process from the Kurier: have a single page listing all submitted articles. Pull the latest from that list when making the regular summaries + "editions". [Here you can leave out any articles that are not time-sensitive and not yet ready]. A script can ping {recent authors, copyeditors, alpha-readers} a day before the new edition is set to come out.
And to Doc's point, ad hoc contribs are easy and enjoyable. A concise template w/ links to "edit | submit news" below each page header would be inviting. (More than the current Contribute link, possibly streamlining the Suggestions link + header-box.) – SJ + 19:57, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Humour

I know some of the funniest places on Wikipedia. Is there a place for a short humorous essay once in a while?

Best Regards,
Barbara (WVS)   14:46, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
I too want to know if the Signpost could use something like this.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 18:43, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Too late. If it's from King Features, it's gone after a month.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 18:45, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
These sound like great ideas to me. Humorous essays: example? Comics: if you find a good CC comic artist that produces one-offs rather than a regular series, it would be a nice thing to try. – SJ + 22:25, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

I hereby propose: That once/month article be authored by a cadre of editors who believe that there is still humor in wikipedia (And I don't mean scary clown movies). I volunteer to write and will attempt to recruit more editors to my cause. I know one very skilled, prolific, and genteel editor that likes to do stand up, or so they claim. So how does one go about putting this idea into action?

Best Regards,
Barbara (WVS)   22:59, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
Here's the Submissions page; post this idea as an Opinion proposal, and link to a first example in your userspace. – SJ + 00:38, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Publication process automation

My idea is to make a userscript rather than a bot. Its a bit hard to future-proof anything, other than not relying on anything currently marked as deprecated – but the advantage of a script rather than a bot is that any admin can edit it, rather than just the bot operator. And should it need to be adjusted in the future, there's tech-savy people at WP:VPT that can help with fixing scripts when there are breaking changes. I've started working on such a script at User:Evad37/SPS.js. There is quite a bit that the script needs to do (almost everything that is currently done manually)... I would guess that coding and testing it would be on the order of weeks, based on how long it took to code my last big scripting project. - Evad37 [talk] 07:33, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

I am not at all techie, but if someone can develop a userscript that can be used with relative ease, I'm for it. Montanabw(talk) 03:15, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
See User talk:Jarry1250/Archive 19#Porting a script onto labs:

Though keen to upgrade the publication bot if someone can tell me what needs doing (sorry, after a burst of activity over the New Year I went back to work and dropped out of some of those convos). - Jarry1250 [Vacation needed] 23:06, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Fantastic! Glad to see that it wasn't too hard. Updating the bot requires that DJ finish working out his fixes to the layout first, I think. ResMar 04:37, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
@Jarry1250: Are you still available to upgrade the publication bot if someone can tell you what needs doing?
@Resident Mario: Who is DJ? What fixes? What layout?
It would be a shame to have to spend on the order of weeks to reinvent this, if fixes can be relatively easily implemented. – wbm1058 (talk) 22:17, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
I think he meant TheDJ. Armbrust The Homunculus 00:57, 10 May 2017 (UTC)

Just noting here that the script has been completed: User:Evad37/SPS.js. I did let Pete know on his talk page, but he hasn't been active on-wiki since. - Evad37 [talk] 02:26, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Great! I do still stand by my offer. I'm still really unclear in what way it is broken. - Jarry1250 [Vacation needed] 22:32, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Latest issue out

It looks good. Thanks so much, Evad. – SJ + 05:12, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Problem with transcluded latest issue

Just got my delivery – all red links. (As you probably all know) the talk page issue transcludes Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2017-06-09, in which you'll see all the links are broken. I'm going to see if I can figure out what's wrong with the markup, but I thought I'd post a note here first; maybe someone more familiar with the coding can fix it faster.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:24, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Move along, nothing to see here: Mz7 has already fixed it.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:26, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) There was an issue with the way the articles were linked at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2017-06-09. This should fix it. Purge your user talk pages to see the updates.   Mz7 (talk) 02:28, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I've created redirects for all the redlink links, and Mz7 fixed the original template, but the redlinks will continue to display on cached page versions until they're regenerated. Quiddity (talk) 02:30, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Mine are all redlinks--just loaded it. ―Justin (koavf)TCM 02:37, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for the quick fixes Mz7 and Quiddity – I did try to sort it out myself but wasn't quick enough, and got an edit conflict. - Evad37 [talk] 02:40, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

@Evad37: Not the first time this has happened to the Signpost, if my memory serves... :-) Live and learn! Thanks for publishing the issue. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 02:42, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Email + other notifications

How are these sent out? That's how I used to get pinged about new issues. Is there also a script that sends out off-wiki social notifications? – SJ + 05:12, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

The details are towards the bottom of Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom/Coordination#Manual_process... but I don't have access to those accounts. I have sent an email to the WikimediaAnnounce-L moderators requesting a posting (can't post to it directly because it is a closed list) - Evad37 [talk] 05:26, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

No Issues since March

Has there been any issues since March? I have only received today's edition and no other editions since March. Simply south ...... time, department skies for just 11 years 22:03, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Alas no, see the From the editors note & discussions above. Warmly, – SJ + 00:53, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Reviving the Signpost

If we as a movement want a Signpost, it appears someone is going to need to take the bull by the horns to revive it. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:03, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Lots of people are submitting content which is not getting published. Recruiting an editor to do editorial work is fairly easy; people step up for that. Right now the bottleneck is the tedious act of publication and the learning curve of understanding The Signpost's software. Only a few people know how to publish and there are no instructions published which can lead a volunteer to do this without guidance from someone who knows. I propose to separate the act of publishing to be a paid staff role and leave other parts, like editor and content creation, to volunteers. I drafted a grant request at meta:Grants:Project/bluerasberry/fund a Signpost publisher. I also think that there should be a user group for The Signpost. There was a user group application in 2015 at meta:Wikimedia user groups/Applications/The Signpost. That application process is now deprecated; a new team could apply at meta:Special:Contact/affcomusergroup. If there were a user group for The Signpost then I think that would make a case for getting funding for a publisher. If there were funding for a publisher then I think that volunteering for The Signpost would be fun for others involved, and that it would be much more stable and effective. I can support a little of this but I do not want to be too involved. I like submitting content and reading the paper, and I appreciate the community around the paper. Blue Rasberry (talk) 21:34, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Simplifying & automating should be enough to start -- Evad's done much of that already. (Needed next: a similar script to clear and repopulate 'Next issue' drafts with the standard template) – SJ +

I'm incredibly grateful for Evad37's response to help. I haven't contributed to the Signpost but I've read it a lot, if anyone needs me to play editor give me a ping, I have editorial experience off-wiki. ProgrammingGeek talktome 14:47, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

The Signpost died because it got organized to death and two key positions have been vacated. What we need is 1) an EIC who can oversee content 2) An editorial committee of staff who can discuss ideas and submissions, copyedit and do the gnoming work. 3) Writers who can commit to doing the regular content and 4) The tech piece to publish whatever gets created. This should not be brain surgery and we don't really need grants, committees or a user group to make it happen. We need 1 and 4. The folks at 2 and 3 already exist (I am one of them) but absent a wheel and a pilot, we are a bit adrift. Montanabw(talk)
@Montanabw, can #1 be replaced by a consensus of the issue's editors (#2)? And wouldn't Evad's script take care of #4, if that too couldn't be made to operate by the issue's editors (#2)? czar 21:33, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
All sound suggestions. – SJ + 22:55, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Let's ask for help right away, in the current update [or before, if help is needed getting it out]. Most interested contributors don't know of the need; I only realized once I went looking. Here's a 1st pass:

Needed now
  • publishing.
Needed soon
  • ways to mass-contact [active] editors. are there current tools for this?
  • more contributors to News & Notes [W/ only this + tech + random other pages each week, SIGN would still be v useful]
  • publishing & EIC: can be a group familiar w the process, standards, + how to hit 'publish'
  • process help: make simpler, consolidate process pages, update docs
  • template help: simpler overview for drafts, ways to draft a beat even if it's not going out in the next edition
  • ce & proofers: for quick feedback in the 24h before publication
  • other scripting/bot support: generating lists of active users (by interest?), automating syndicated sections
    • Hi, SJ. I am an authorized MassMessage Sender and can send messages to as many editor talk pages as are needed to recruit Signpost submissions, editors, etc. I have also worked under JoeHebda in the Tip of the Day department, and under Montanabw at Wikiconference North America 2016. Ping me back. Cheers! {{u|Checkingfax}} {Talk} 06:30, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
      • Hi @Checkingfax:, thanks for the offer. You might start by chatting with the contributors in each beat, to see if there's an obvious list of people to message. We could perhaps extract one from recent signpost editor-lists :) Also, see my thoughts in #What 'simpler' might look like: perhaps we can find ways to embed "making a Signpost-ready summary" into existing processes. @GaperPro64: I'd love to hear your thoughts on whether this could work for Arbitration. – SJ + 00:59, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Updated 'From the Editors'

A very brief letter from the editors, inviting help, would be nice. Something like:

From the editors – Help wanted!
Dear reader,
Our apologies for the recent hiatus. We love writing for you, but need your help to keep the Signpost publishing regularly. We are looking for help at all levels: editors and contributors, submitted news items and blurbs, and ideas to simplify the process. If you are interested, please join us. —{Evad37, OZOO, Armbrust, EpochFail, Piotrus, Tbayer, Milowent, Kaldari + all contributors to this edition}

Please edit mercilessly. – SJ + 22:16, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

I was pinged about writing a short paragraph as part of "From the editors". The above passage asks an encouragement to write stuff regularly. However, the delay has been three to four months, indicating that Signpost may slowly losing its regularity anymore. Also, like Wikipedia, Signpost is voluntary, but even something so voluntary serves readers of English Wikipedia. Here's my rough draft:

From the editors – Status of Signpost, more volunteers welcome
Dearest to all, especially readers,
Our apologies for the three- or four-month hiatus. We love writing for you but would not be able to publish Signpost regularly as we have had in the past. However, this should not imply the end of Signpost. We can still write and then publish articles from time to time. To make up for the long hiatus, we would ask you te the publishing pace of Signpost back to regular basis as it has been. Nevertheless, we would welcome our own efforts too join us to write articles part- or full-time for Signpost. We would be gladder and happier if you would like to publish the Signpost either biannually, seasonally, monthly, or weekly to help Signpost survive. If you are interested, feel free to join us. —{Evad37, OZOO, Armbrust, EpochFail, Piotrus, Tbayer, Milowent, Kaldari + all contributors to this edition}

My writing above might not be up to par, but this represents how we should be respectful to others' wishes. George Ho (talk) 23:42, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Thanks. Here's a proper draft you can edit directly; I incorporated your suggestions. – SJ + 00:12, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Ooh... Brilliant! I like your writing at that page better. ;) George Ho (talk) 00:48, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
I added two sentences. That's it. --George Ho (talk) 00:55, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Ok, the letter looks ready for final review. – SJ + 19:26, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

What 'simpler' could look like

I would get just as much joy out of a Signpost that mainly syndicated + summarized specialized reports from around the projects, with only two regular unique sections: News + Notes and Op-eds. The rest could be largely covered by

  • Syndicated newsletters: publishable as-is. (Tech, Research, Media*, Arbitration**)
    Published on whatever their natural schedule is. Optional: extra CE/layout/curation by Signpost.
  • Automated reports: scriptable summaries + stats. (Featured articles, Popular articles [Traffic]***, Stats?).
    Normally w/ editing and short summary by Signpost, but not needed in a crunch. Optional: Analysis, longer summary.
  • Special series: proposed and run by dedicated authors.

Syndicated articles would only go out in the Signpost when they had been published elsewhere. Automated reports could be published with minimal intervention, if noone had time to curate a summary [readers could improve a sparse summary if they desired]. Op-eds would appear when evailable, and could be queued up if too many arrived at once. This would guarantee a much lower minimal workload to publish an issue, while allowing for as many special items or series as desired.

* Cf. the internal media report. Does ComCom still produce / get it? Else this could be semi-automated. (And should search esp for mentions of smaller projects)
** ArbCom spends a huge amount of time communicating and summarizing. This could be as simple as agreeing on a page and format for a clerk to post terse updates.
*** NB: Traffic is currently both syndicated and an automated report w/summary. Perhaps Featured and Arbitration reports could be maintained as regular summaries in their own wikiprojects as well, then syndicated in The Signpost. – SJ + 19:26, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

The next edition

I welcome the suggestions about general changes to the Signpost, and I'd like to continue those discussions; but in the immediate future, I think producing a new edition more or less in the mold of what we've been doing is the first priority. I am happy to work on that later this week (and could personally put some work in Thursday through Sunday, and could commit to publishing on Monday or perhaps earlier). Given the WMF board election schedule, earlier would be desirable, if we can publish something valuable and informative about the election.

With that in mind, can I solicit some perspectives on what the next edition should look like? Which of the various ideas and submissions that have come in over the past 2+ months are still worth pursuing, and which have become less relevant? What's the most important angle of the election to cover, and is there anyone willing to take a central role in assembling the needed information?

Let's use this section for specific suggestions (lists of sections to publish, links to worthwhile proposed/submitted content, offers to take on a story or a project, etc.). No problem with continuing more general discussions in other sections. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 05:27, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

The next edition should cover a) Featured content; at least a sampler b) Perhaps a single traffic report based on the past month (as opposed to four separate ones), presuming the stats can be generated that way Milowent? 3) A combined NAN, ITM and research summary, perhaps just a bulleted list with short blurbs and links. 4) The best of the remaining ideas as a headlined story or two -- where ARE the submissions that have come in over the last 2+ months, anyway? Montanabw(talk) 03:18, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Actually, I just updated the featured content report... so now everything is in it until the end of April. Armbrust The Homunculus 10:17, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
OK, here are a few specifics:
  • Thanks Armbrust, I'll review, and would be pleased if anybody else wants to do so as well.
  • Milowent and Serendipodous, I see there is some now-very-outdated info in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Next issue/Traffic report. What do you think is the best thing to do about Traffic for this upcoming edition?
  • There is nothing in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Next issue/News and notes yet. I think the most vital thing is to have some info about the Board election, even if it's only basic announcement stuff. If anybody wants to work on that, please feel free to jump in.
  • There's some good content, primarily from Milowent, in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Next issue/In the media, but it's pretty dated by now. Probably worth keeping, but we could use some suggestions of significant, more recent news pieces. I'd think coverage relating to Turkey and China would be important. We definitely need to link this response] to Guy Macon's op-ed.
  • An op-ed from Kaldari is queued up and ready to go, could probably use a close reading prior to publication, but there are no major issues.
  • There's a lot of good stuff in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Next issue/Recent research which I think has not yet been published anywhere. I very much regret this one, and apologize to Tbayer (WMF) for the unannounced lapse. Shall we publish this more or less as-is? I can give it a review if so, unless plans to publish it elsewhere have emerged in the meantime.
  • Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Next issue/Technology report has a lot of good info; the lead story is now outdated, as it announces a test that has presumably now been run, and should be revised (if we run it) to report the results of the test.
-Pete Forsyth (talk) 19:17, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Just has the News and Notes section updated for the newest user groups. But over months we saw sth shocking related to the movement and persons related, from WMF's objection to Trump's immigrant act to de-recognition of WMHK (and later WMPH) to WikiTribune. But sorry that I'm not willing to take all the tasks for this section - English is not my first language, in my home project (zhwp), there're undue tasks (preparations for our annual writing contest), and I have nearly zero experience on Signpost prior to this. It may be hard for me to gather everything to make a readable piece. --Spring Roll Conan ( Talk · Contributions ) 10:50, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
@Peteforsyth: Great to see you back in the saddle!
Agree with the focus on getting out the next issue as soon as possible. In my personal opinion, the most important thing is to revive the Signpost from this near-death experience and resume regular publication. And if that means having to delay some important news (that's already not so new anymore) until the subsequent issue, readers should be able to excuse it.
I had indeed already made preparations to publish the recent research section independently first, through our usual channels for the research newsletter. I was going to do that this week. But if publication here is imminent, I can wait until the weekend or Monday the latest. Last night I did some further work on the draft, and I can commit to having it in a publishable state tomorrow (Friday) evening PDT.
PS: I think this discussion is better suited for the Newsroom page; for now I will leave a note there pointing here.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 20:18, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
The section is now be ready to be published if needed (see also the Newsroom). Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 06:21, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
  • @Peteforsyth: Today is the last day to reasonably give notice about the Wikimedia Foundation election voting period ending 14 May. I am at hand today by email, Skype, Google Hangouts, or whatever else. I do not have the technical ability to publish The Signpost. If there is anyone with the technical ability, I would like to help them in publishing now. If the issue were nothing more than a few sentences encouraging people to vote then I think that would be fine, but I think we also have a little content ready to go now. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:59, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
  • During your fight against Lila Tretikov and others, you suggested you were representative of a large part of the community. Perhaps, this was not so true ? Pldx1 (talk) 15:07, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
@Pldx1: To whom are you speaking? Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:57, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
Who is about to publish some "notice" as late as the 13 May about a 1–14 May election ? Great opinion makers ! Pldx1 (talk) 20:43, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
  • @Peteforsyth: I wrote an election notice draft at User:Bluerasberry/election_2017. If an issue runs in time, then please consider sharing it. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:57, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
    • Looks good Bluerasberry. I'll review more closely in a few hours, and should be able to publish a minimal edition within the next 12 hours. To anyone following along, I'd gladly accept further input or submissions in the meantime. Specifically, Tbayer (WMF) -- the Recent Research will certainly be part of it. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 18:39, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Update: the Board of Trustees elections are over. Let's await results then. --George Ho (talk) 03:13, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Hello all including @Peteforsyth:, I have revised the draft Traffic Report to include the most recent Top 10 we have prepared at WP:TOP25. There is no easy way to do "monthlong" reports based on our systems.--Milowenthasspoken 19:24, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
  • @Peteforsyth: I have added one more week to the featured content report... so now it contains exactly three months. Hopefully the Signpost will be published during the next week. Armbrust The Homunculus 23:28, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Assistance from Evad37

@Bluerasberry: While not a simple walk in the park, publication instructions are available at Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom/Coordination#Manual_process. Plus I've made a userscript to automate those steps. If you can get the writing and editing taken care of, I can hit the publish button when that's done. - Evad37 [talk] 00:20, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
@Evad37: Here are several articles. Some of them are tagged as needing updating, which I can get managed. Supposing those are updated and I get someone to play editor and greenlight them. Is that all you need?
Blue Rasberry (talk) 01:16, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: That's most of what's needed. Each article also needs a title and blurb, and should be properly formatted per the style guideline/cheatsheet (especially non-regular sections, like the Op-Ed currently in the newsroom). - Evad37 [talk] 02:05, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
It would also help if I had mass-message sender user right on meta, and page mover user right here - Evad37 [talk] 02:12, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Requested at meta:RFH and WP:RFP/PM - Evad37 [talk] 03:09, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
@Evad37: Thanks for your support. I do not want to put you in the position of having any obligation, but right now, it is helpful to have your publishing assistance, and I also would like to ask you for a voice conversation sometime in which you take me through the publication process so that I can watch it and understand it better. You now have pagemover rights.
One of the requirements of getting mass message rights is a confirmation of the need to have it. @Peteforsyth, Pldx1, Milowent, Armbrust, and Wbm1058: and anyone else who wishes to comment - could I ask any of you to comment at the meta review page about Evad37 getting message rights so that they can use an automated tool to deliver The Signpost to subscribers on their userpages? Comment on either or both of two points - about the need for someone to do this, and about the extent to which Evad37 seems likely to use the tool in accord with Wiki rules. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:16, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
With my Meta hat on, I think that conversation/comment here is quite suitable, no need to take comment to meta. Meta can reference the conversation. — billinghurst sDrewth 23:42, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Both   Done now - Evad37 [talk] 00:16, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: Also, I think Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Next issue/Op-ed is ready now. Good luck! Kaldari (talk) 00:49, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Next edition: last steps

Thanks @Evad37:! The sections all look ready to publish, even if the research update is short; I've marked them as such. I think just one thing remains to be written: A two-paragraph summary of Global elections: A Board update and a reminder about the FDC. @George Ho: any interest in writing a short summary? It might be good to add a one-para "From the editors" inviting help? And @ProgrammingGeek: your help in general would be most welcome -- readers becoming contributors is how the Signpost has persisted. --– SJ +.

Update: I've created stubs for each of these topics. Now we really are close to publishing: decide whether or not to include a "from the editors" article, sanity-check the election piece (sorry, no Tony-quality FDC interviews!). – SJ + 00:12, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Should the election article go in News & Notes? That way we could include some brief notes like WP:POST/S#5k_featured_articles - Evad37 [talk] 02:09, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
As you like -- there was nothing else for N&N, so I used a more specific name. There's some value to getting out the notice about FDC elections before the end of the week. – SJ + 03:02, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
@Sj: I've added some in briefs to the elections article. It should probably be moved to the N&N page, with that page either WP:HISTMERGEd or just G6 deleted. - Evad37 [talk] 05:07, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Moved to N&N. More ce/layout love would be nice, but this looks ready to publish. Perhaps tomorrow morning, giving people a bit longer to weigh in? – SJ + 17:20, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Sounds good. I'll publish at around 02:00 UTC - Evad37 [talk] 23:34, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
@Evad37, OZOO, Armbrust, EpochFail, Piotrus, Tbayer (WMF), Milowent, and Kaldari: — you all have contributed to the current Signpost draft :) Anything missing before publication? Please take a final look.
Tech report's not quite finished with regards to bots, and I need to go through the tech news items for link formatting consistency - Evad37 [talk] 02:09, 8 June 2017 (UTC).   Done now - Evad37 [talk] 04:23, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
@Tony1, Pete Forsyth, Go Phightins!, and Gamaliel:: thoughts about the list of technical needs and a 'from the editors' note? It might also be nice to reach out to Ed, Romaine, Gestumblindi and editors of other wiki newsletters, to invite ideas for simplifying.
@Evad37, Kharkiv07, MusikAnimal, Jarry1250, and JoeHebda:: it seems there's a call for testing/maintaining a few scripted tasks - one-button publishing + archiving (done), filling draft articles w/ templates (mostly done?), pinging authors who have been regular contributors to a feature in the past

(Joe, can we add the Signpost to the queue for the activity-bot?),

Sorry for the belated response Sj, on this. Unfortunately I know nothing about "activity-bot". I have only a passing awareness that there are bots "out there" running various tasks. Regards, JoeHebda • (talk) 01:29, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

making sure enough people know how these systems work. It might be worth having a small permanent section here for technical & automation requests.

– SJ + 01:13, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Three of the automated tasks you ask for already exist – my script will do the publishing and archiving. And when reset, the newsroom will have buttons that create new articles already preloaded with the templates. - Evad37 [talk] 02:09, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Grand. Perhaps a short list of requests & current solutions can be in the header? – SJ + 03:01, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Links to all articles for the next issue:

 
(can someone explain why Wikipedia_Signpost/Next_issue redirects to userspace rather than being used for this sort of summary?)
WP:Wikipedia_Signpost/Next_issue needs to exist but have no content when transcluded so that the draft articles don't break. I've changed it to be a noincluded list of its subpages. - Evad37 [talk] 02:09, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
Aha :) – SJ +
@Evad37: You're a hero. @Sj: Looking forward to seeing this on a more regular basis, I hope! And if so, I wish you the best of luck. If I can answer any questions, please don't hesitate to email me. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 03:22, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

What about Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Next issue/Arbitration report, summarizing two cases of this year? The last update was 26 March. --George Ho (talk) 04:29, 8 June 2017 (UTC); Pinging GamerPro64. 13:48, 8 June 2017 (UTC) --Yes! Added. – SJ +

Final deadline 02:00 UTC

Publication time is at or about 02:00 UTC. Any final, last minute changes should be made now. - Evad37 [talk] 23:36, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Next issue/Humour is nearly blank; pinging Barbara about this. Also, Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Next issue/Recent research needs a blurb and confirmation for publication. --George Ho (talk) 00:55, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
I think /Humour should be left for next time, to give Barbara a proper chance to work on it - Evad37 [talk] 01:35, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
RR blurb done - Evad37 [talk] 01:43, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, I didn't realize that the deadline was so soon. Yes, please lets just wait until next time. I will also want other editors to get involved and want to contact them. I've been pretty busy fending off 3 AfD discussions on articles that I created about squirrels.
Best Regards,
Barbara (WVS)   21:01, 9 June 2017 (UTC)