Displaying / importing Wikimedia Space feeds in Wikimedia wikis

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a page in your preferred wiki displaying Wikimedia Space latest news, or latest topics of a specific category or tag? Or even showing your last Wikimedia Space posts in your wiki user profile?

It is technically possible and, with your help defining requirements and testing, we would like to implement these features.

Discourse is full of RSS feeds. Just add .rss to the end of any category or tag page, or even user activity page, and you will see. The same goes for WordPress.

One option would be to display the feed without actually changing the wiki page (just like a template can display different information without touching the page source). Another option could be to actually update the wiki page, which would allow users to watch the page regularly.

Related: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T215053

Interested? Let’s talk! :nerd_face:


I was trying to subscribe to the discussions using Feedly (RSS) — entering just https://discuss-space.wmflabs.org/ did not work, but after reading your post I tried https://discuss-space.wmflabs.org/latest, and that did.

Thanks for this post!

1 Like

I would say enabling notifications would be good enough.

I think it is not good idea. It will make much edits for purpose to be done with dynamic content. At the phabricator ticket @Tgr_WMF proposed better solution regarding watchlist.

@Wargo @Tgr_WMF Whether “subscribing” a wiki page to a feed makes much edits or not will depend on the feed, right?

Let’s take the #tech-news tag as a realistic example. Right now Tech News is being distributed to a series of community pages (e.g. village pumps) and user talk pages. Currently discovering, subscribing and also distributing Tech News implies some kind of convoluted process for readers and publishers, based in MassMessage. I wonder whether thanks to this feature we could see one day a publication like Tech News being distributed to village pumps and user talk pages using this feature.

And imagine doing the same for #wiki-loves-monuments #español #wikimedia-commons and so on in specialized pages subscribing to these feeds.

The current technology for delivering Tech News, as an example, is something we’re immensely grateful for (because doing this manually would take forever), but it’s a way to update a page that doesn’t lend itself to automatic updates. This makes it time-consuming, invites mistakes over hundreds of pages across many wikis – the fact that we see so few of those is because those who send out Tech News have years of experience handling MassMessage on a regular basis, but it makes it more difficult for others to get involved – and we run into delivery problems where people don’t get their newsletters on a regular basis.

Having said that, I’ve got a couple of concerns regarding dynamic content that I’d like to see solved before we embark on replacing the current workflows. Today, community pages are one of the most important arenas. As a Village Pump is structured, people tend to go to the bottom to see new things (unless it uses Flow). To be discoverable, it’d have to behave as expected, i.e. be found where new content is found.

If you follow community pages for updates like these, your notification is in the watchlist. Would it be visible there? (Also, would it be discoverable in recent changes feeds? If not, that’s hardly a dealbreaker, but it does mean it gets harder to discover.)

I’m also concerned about discoverability over time – the ability to easily find multiple issues if you’ve been away for, well, nine days or so and missed a week – which I think will diminish a fair bit if you have to go to an archive, but I’d happily trade that for a simpler and more reliable process.

Not having to manually include all language codes every week to include all translations would be a good bonus as well, compared to the current system.

Good points about the inclusion of feeds from here being somewhat different to the normal way of things on-wiki, and hard to track. I think for the village pump type of discussion space this is right, and I’m not sure how good integration of Space would look.

I think for other places, simple dynamic inclusion of recent posts or coming events (filtered by tag combinations) would be quite useful and maybe better than the status quo. Places such as wikiproject or meetup homepages, where there might be less volume of discussion and also people might be less likely to watch all the relevant subpages.

I think there’s probably quite a distinction between lists of recent posts (and extracts, reply-counts, etc.) and lists of future events; the former is trying to replicate what existing discussion places do, but the latter is not really handled well anywhere. Maybe focusing on events to start with is a good way to go?

A post was split to a new topic: Discourse threads shown on wiki pages

I think this is a good use case and would make a good target for a MVP. Watchlists are very personal items so I wonder if that comes later. :thinking: