User:Jack who built the house/Convenient Discussions

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The script's logo. The colors represent the backgrounds of comments of different types

A screenshot of a page that uses Convenient Discussions
Convenient Discussions adds a number of elements to the watchlist: the "CD" button group to the left of the watchlist settings button and the "comment" links to the right of edit summaries.

Convenient Discussions (CD) is a JavaScript tool providing a shell over the existing MediaWiki discussion system that enhances user experience with talk pages in multiple ways.

The script's features include:

  • posting and editing comments without switching to a separate page;
    • @mentions, [[#comment links]], [[wikilinks]], {{templates}}, and <tags> autocomplete;
    • autofilling the edit summary with indication of the addressee of the comment;
    • saving comment drafts to restore the forms' content after unexpected events such as browser crashes;
  • creating topics and subsections;
  • redesigned talk pages, with author and date displayed on top of comments (opt-in) and thin lines denoting threads;
  • collapsible threads;
  • comment timestamps in local time and arbitrary format, including relative;
  • highlighting and navigating new comments (via the navigation panel or the table of contents);
  • highlighting own comments;
  • checking for new comments in the background and automatically rendering simple comment edits;
  • watching sections, which affects notifications and highlighting edits on pages that list revisions;
  • desktop notifications about replies to the user's comments and comments in watched sections on open pages (opt-in);
  • moving topics between talk pages;
  • thanking for and copying links to edits that added comments;
  • jumping to a specific comment from the watchlist and other pages that list revisions;
  • always seeing the current section's name and navigating page parts in one click.

The script makes the user forget about:

  • the need to search the code for a place for a comment, count colons, type tildes and other markup;
  • edit conflicts;
  • reading talk pages through diffs;
  • the need to completely reload the page and look for new comments with eyes, or even check the watchlist;
  • the need to convert UTC dates to local time.

A limitation of the script is that it works only in modern browsers, i.e., doesn't support Internet Explorer.

Convenient Discussions has started in 2018 as Russian Wikipedia's user script. It is being developed by Jack who built the house, enriched by the contributions and feedback from the global Wikimedia tech community and users. It also borrows the code for parsing timestamps in different formats from Matma Rex and uses solutions and ideas from the Wikimedia engineering and design teams.

Installation[edit]

To install the script for all Wikimedia wikis, add this to your global.js on Meta:

mw.loader.load('https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Jack_who_built_the_house/convenientDiscussions.js&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript');

To install the script on a specific wiki where it's not a gadget, add the same code to your common.js. If the wiki has the script as a gadget, activate it in user preferences. Even if you have the script installed globally, it would make sense to add the gadget—the script would load faster on that wiki.

Every wiki has its own peculiarities that the script can address in the configuration file. Those are individual for each wiki and created by volunteers. If you know JavaScript and your wiki doesn't have one, see § Configuring for a wiki. Having a configuration file for the wiki will also speed up the execution of the script.

Compatibility[edit]

To make the script compatible with the script displaying time in the local time zone (w:User:Gary/comments in local time.js or w:User:Mxn/CommentsInLocalTime), call the latter like this:

mw.hook('convenientDiscussions.commentsReady').add(function () {
	// comments_in_local_time.js import code
});

Usage[edit]

Settings dialog

You can adjust the script according to your preferences in the settings dialog. It is available at the click of the gear icon OOjs UI icon advanced which can be found in the "CD" section of the watchlist and under any comment form.

The hotkeys can be found at the click of the "?" button under any comment form and on hover over the navigation panel buttons.

Comment types[edit]

  • New comment (a comment is considered new if the page was loaded within 15 minutes since the comment was loaded first time)
  • Own comment
  • Target comment (opened by a link or has been jumped to)
  • Deleted comment

Navigation panel[edit]

Convenient Discussions navigation panel info en.svg

FAQ[edit]

The script doesn't work on a page where it should work / works on a page where it shouldn't work. How to fix it?
The script uses a number of factors to determine whether it should process a certain page, such as the presence of the "Add topic" tab and the wgExtraSignatureNamespaces config value. The simplest way to make it process/not process a page is to click "Run Convenient Discussions on this page once" in the page footer. But that will work only for one time. You should contact the user maintaining the configuration file on your wiki or create your own configuration file according to the instructions below. In that file, regular expressions to match page names should be added to/removed from the pageWhitelist / pageBlacklist values. A worse way to deal with it is to add an element with class="cd-talkPage" or class="cd-notTalkPage" to the source code of the page. In that case, the page will still be classified incorrectly on log pages (the watchlist, history pages etc.).
What does "(-)" after the comment text in an edit summary mean?
It means that the whole text of the comment is displayed in the edit summary, and there is no more text in the comment other than that is displayed, so no point to open the page if you only want to see the contents of this edit. It's a notation that was used on some old Internet forums.
The comment menu (Reply/Edit/Thank/...) overlaps a user link, and I can't click it.
Make a long click/tap or right click on the block; it will disappear.
How to set settings for one wiki, not for all wikis?
Use var cdLocalSettingName = value; in your common.js on that wiki. You can get the names of the settings here (the first letter should be in upper case, for example autopreviewcdLocalAutopreview).
I would like to have inserted after a user mention like in the {{Ping}} template.
Hold Ctrl while choosing the name you want to mention. You can also press the mention icon while holding Ctrl — if you're replying to a comment, a mention of the target comment's author with will appear at the beginning of your comment.

Data[edit]

Here's what the script stores, why, how, and how to delete the data. Note that you can delete all the data associated with the script in one click, by opening the script settings and pressing the button "Remove all script data" on the "Data removal" tab. Note that while the settings (except for a few) are global, visits and watched sections are stored individually for each wiki, so you'll have to remove them separately.

What Why How How to delete[1]
Settings To allow tuning the script according to the user's preferences. On the Wikimedia servers as a user option named userjs-convenientDiscussions-settings.

Global settings (the highlighted line will not be needed after the bug preventing deletion of global preferences is resolved):

new mw.Api().postWithEditToken({
  action: 'globalpreferences',
  optionname: 'userjs-convenientDiscussions-settings',
  optionvalue: '',
});

Local settings:

new mw.Api().saveOption('userjs-convenientDiscussions-localSettings', null);
Last talk page visits To detect new comments on talk pages. In compressed form, on the Wikimedia servers as a user option named userjs-convenientDiscussions-visits.[2]
new mw.Api().saveOption('userjs-convenientDiscussions-visits', null);
Watched sections To show notifications and highlight comments on pages that list revisions: the watchlist, recent changes page, history pages, user contributions pages. In compressed form, on the Wikimedia servers as a user option named userjs-convenientDiscussions-watchedSections.[2]

Using the "Edit watched sections list" dialog accessible from the watchlist, or

new mw.Api().saveOption('userjs-convenientDiscussions-watchedSections', null);
Unsent comment forms' content To restore comment drafts after page reloads, browser crashes, accidental jumps to a different page etc. For no longer than 60 days, in the browser's local storage.
localStorage.removeItem('convenientDiscussions-commentForms');
Edits thanked via CD To reflect in the interface that a comment has already been thanked for. For no longer than 60 days, in the browser's local storage.
localStorage.removeItem('convenientDiscussions-thanks');
Seen comment changes When a comment is updated, its new version is sometimes rendered immediately. If the user has seen the update, this fact is saved in the memory, so that there is no notification the next time the user sees it. For no longer than 60 days, in the browser's local storage.
localStorage.removeItem('convenientDiscussions-seenRenderedChanges');
  1. ^ To execute the code in the "How to delete" column, open the browser's developer tools (done by pressing F12 in most browsers), switch to the "Console" tab, paste the code into the input and press  Enter.
  2. ^ In Russian Wikipedia, for historical reasons, the option names use cd instead of convenientDiscussions, and userjs-cd-watchedTopics is used for the watched sections option.

Note that other scripts that you use on wiki pages, as well as side-wide scripts, have access to this data too.

Feedback[edit]

It's best to post bug reports and proposals on Phabricator under the "convenient-discussions" tag. If you don't have an account there and don't want to create one, post to the talk page (please ping Jack who built the house).

Configuring for a wiki[edit]

Structure of the project

The scheme of loading the script on a wiki is the following: There is the main script file on Commons and a configuration file on the wiki (if somebody has created it). The configuration file can be a gadget or a user script (a gadget will load faster). The configuration file requests the main script file if it is not loaded yet. Conversely, if the main file is loaded first, it requests the configuration file if the URL of the configuration file is specified in it. So, there is no difference which file is loaded first.

To configure the script for a wiki, you may use the configuration generator as described below and then supplement it with the configuration values you want. If you want the configuration file to be loaded when users load the script from Commons, you should contact the repository owner. If it proves safe, he will add the URL of the configuration to config/urls.json (you can make a pull request too).

To generate a configuration, run the generator script in your browser's console for any page of the wiki you want the configuration for. You can do it by executing

mw.loader.load('https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Jack_who_built_the_house/convenientDiscussions-generateBasicConfig.js&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript')

in the console. The result will contain a configuration object with values that can be automatically retrieved (system messages, some site info, template names) wrapped in the universal wrapping code. You then should create a configuration file with that content.

The meaningful part of the configuration is contained in the convenientDiscussions.config object. Its possible properties are documented here with default values, alphabetically. The source code of that documentation has them in a more logical order.

It is recommended to keep only those properties that differ from the default ones.

You can also add any additional instuctions (for example hooks) you need below the object.

Examples[edit]

Debugging using Node.js and Git[edit]

If you want to debug your configuration more closely in the browser's development tools and you're familiar with Node.js and Git and have them installed, clone the script's repository, run npm install while in the script's directory to install the dependencies, create a .js file in the config folder named using pattern project_code[-language_code].js (for example, w-en.js, wikt-de.js, mw.js), and put the following code into it:

export default {
  // List of properties
};

// Any additional code, e.g. hooks

Then you will need to add the code as described above. After the configuration is ready, you will need to build an actual configuration file that you will put in your wiki. Do it by running npm run configs. The resulting file will be named dist/convenientDiscussions-config/filename.

Test your configuration file by running npm run single -- project=project_code lang=language_code. A file named convenientDiscussions-single-project_code[-language_code].js will be created (and updated on code changes) in the dist folder. Load it to the wiki using mw.loader.load('http://localhost:9000/filename').

It will be best if you make a pull request to include your configuration in the CD repository. This way, if something in the script environment changes that affects your configuration file (the format of a property changes, for instance, or a default value, that your value is based on, is updated), other people including the maintainer of the script would be able to notice it and inform you and/or make changes themselves.

Development[edit]

  • GitHub repository is used to store code. GitHub Actions is used to build and deploy the resulting files to wikis, as well as docs to Toolforge.
  • Phabricator tag is used to coordinate efforts. (Post bug reports and proposals there, not at GitHub.)
  • Toolforge has an automatically generated code documentation.
  • Translatewiki has localization strings. Please suggest improvements to the English source through a pull request to en.json.

Your contributions are welcome! You can either improve the script itself or write plugins for it. Some notes:

  • The global object of the script is convenientDiscussions (the modules use the cd alias).
  • convenientDiscussions.s() is an analog of mw.msg() for the script's language strings. convenientDiscussions.sParse() is an analog of mw.message(...).parse(). Please make sure all strings that have their raw HTML inserted into the page use convenientDiscussions.sParse() to prevent introducing XSS vulnerabilities. (All code from untrusted sources is sanitized at earlier stages, but a double check won't hurt.)
  • "Events" in the left panel of the documentation correspond to names used by mw.hook. For example, to attach a handler to the commentFormCreated event, you need the code mw.hook('convenientDiscussions.commentFormCreated').add(handler);.
  • To see message names instead of messages themselves on a page, add the uselang=qqx parameter to the end of the URL (just like with MediaWiki).
  • If you write a plugin and need some internal method to be available publicly via the global object, contact the script's maintainer (or just make a relevant pull request).
  • So far there are very few automatic tests (although it would be great to have more); most testing should be carried out manually. Some common test cases for comment detection and adding/editing comments are collected at User talk:Jack who built the house/CD test cases.

Building[edit]

Use:

  • npm run start to serve the script from http://localhost:9000/convenientDiscussions-dev.js and automatically rebuild on updates. Wiki configuration and translation will still be loaded from web.
  • npm run single -- project=project_code lang=language_code to serve the script as a single file. Useful to debug configuration and translation.
  • npm run build to build the main file, source maps, project configuration files, translation files, and license file. Use --test to build the files with the -test postfix.
  • npm run docs to generate documentation from JSDoc comments.
  • npm run configs to generate wiki configuration files. Use --test to generate the files with the -test postfix.
  • npm run deploy to deploy the built files (except for wiki configurations) to the wiki as configured in config.json5. Use --test to deploy the test versions.

See also[edit]