[Tagging] Changing proposal process rules - RFC

Minh Nguyen minh at nguyen.cincinnati.oh.us
Thu Jan 7 02:20:35 UTC 2021

Vào lúc 16:04 2021-01-06, Seth Deegan đã viết:
> I am an active community member of the OSM World Discord Server and am 
> the "usual person" who manually posts updates to what proposals are in 
> what status on the #proposals channel of the server. The fact that I 
> have to do this manually is quite annoying. We do have a Matrix-linked 
> bot that posts tagging mailing list updates in a dedicated channel, but 
> because proposal discussion and tagging discussion is mixed, we can't 
> just add this to the #proposals channel. My posts are 
> /extremely/ helpful to the members of the Discord Server since most are 
> not subscribed to the mailing list. The votes and feedback from those 
> that saw my proposal update posts in the server on recent proposals has 
> made a noticeable impact on voter-participation and community input for 
> all of them.

Kudos for posting those updates and generally trying to get people on 
the same page. We haven't had someone doing that regularly on OSMUS 
Slack, but I know people there respond to ad-hoc notices about tagging 
proposal voting when they come up, so I'm sure a more reliable version 
of that would be appreciated.

> /Solutions:/
> An announcement mailing list would work, but because it's a mailing 
> list, it means that every other external communication channel (like 
> Discord) outside of the mailing list itself would have to establish a 
> middle-man bot that would post these updates to their channel from the 
> mailing list.
> A better option would be to have a dedicated webhook, SMS, or other 
> option that can broadcast updates proposal status much more bot-friendly 
> and possibly provide better formatting than what an email can. Options 
> include:
>   * Dedicated form or site similar to OSMcal that any user can post
>     their proposal updates to.
>   * Wiki bot that broadcasts a notification every time one of the
>     Proposal Status Categories on the Wiki gets a page added/removed
>     (unfortunately adding a category to a watchlist doesn't mean new
>     pages added to the category give notifications
>     <https://www.mediawiki.org/w/index.php?title=Topic:W05td0g2ftxou8dc>)
>   * Or something else?

Even before thinking about automation, there may be low-hanging fruit to 
improve the proposal process's discoverability, assuming we want to keep 
the process in its current form. Currently, a mapper has to follow five 
links from the wiki's main page to get to a proposal that's in 
"proposed" status (if they're even familiar with the eight statuses):

1. "Map features" in the sidebar or on the main page leads to 
2. "Proposed features" in the fourth paragraph leads to 
3. "Proposals by status" leads to 
4. "Proposals with 'Proposed' status" leads to 
5. A hopefully descriptively titled link leads to the proposal

Even in the absence of new extensions, I figure we could make more 
extensive use of templates and categories to implement a section on the 
main page that can surface interesting discussions. For example, the 
news template [1] had only three items in all of 2020 -- how about 
adding every RFC to that box?

If we do need automation, then the lightweight DynamicPageList extension 
would be a lightweight solution [2], though it wouldn't provide 
notifications like the other extensions proposed below.

> *Updated Information/Proposals:*
> I have created 2 topics/proposals for the Wiki on it's Meta page that 
> solve the "Talk page source editing only" problem and the proposal 
> notification problem (however further automation could be added) using 
> MediaWiki extensions.
>   * Add Structured Discussions (Flow) Extension
>     <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Wiki#Add_Structured_Discussions_.28Flow.29_Extension>:
>     Changes talk pages using this extension to this user-friendly page
>     that allows for easy conversations.
>   * Add CategoryWatch Extension
>     <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Wiki#Add_CategoryWatch_Extension>:
>     "extends watchlist functionality to include notification about
>     membership changes of watched categories"

These are both pretty neat extensions. Hopefully they wouldn't impact 
the wiki's maintainability from a sysadmin perspective. Flow is only 
deployed in a limited fashion on Wikimedia wikis, but I think that's due 
to the community's attachment to wikitext-based discussions. For us, 
anyone who loves monospaced text enough can still post to this mailing 
list. :-D

[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Template:News
[2] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Wiki#DynamicPageList_extension

minh at nguyen.cincinnati.oh.us

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