Flags - a new way to maintain article notice boxes
Good morning, Star Wars Fanon fans!
As part of our ongoing work to help ensure articles display well across many kinds of devices, we've been hard at work on a new article feature to update the way 'content notices' behave, which we are calling Flags.
What we're talking about are the kinds of notice templates you see at the top of articles with information like 'major updates are incoming...' or 'this page should be divided...'. Essentially, they are metadata for an article - communicating the status of that article, rather than being article content itself.
A Flags access point A sample flags dialog What does it do?
With Flags, the notice templates are separated from the article content and given their own management tool. They still use the exact same templates as before (and you can continue to create new ones and update existing templates, just as you do today) - but now users can browse, add and remove them without resorting to fairly specific knowledge of how the templates work.
By adding a quick layer of data to these templates, communities will have more control over which notices appear to which people (e.g. a 'Major' notice would be relevant to all readers, but a 'Divide' notice may only be relevant to logged-in contributors.) The layer of data would also allow for custom reports via Insights (e.g. an Insight list of all pages that have a certain flag.) The content of these templates will no longer clutter Google and on-Wikia search results, and we'll be able to display abbreviated versions of the notices on mobile phones.
Other potential ideas include mobile users easily being able to mark pages that need work (e.g. you notice a page is full of typos, and flag it for yourself or others to improve later), or even modifying how the page behaves based on the flags (e.g. hiding spoiler article text from on-Wikia search results). If you have more ideas around this, we’d love to hear them.
How can you help?
We have been working on a simple version of the Flags tool, which is already live on several communities, such as WARFRAME Wiki, The Maze Runner Wiki, 007 Wiki and Red Dead Wiki. We're really interested to see how it works on active, smart communities like yours, to help us understand how it works in real-world environments.
We're looking to globally enable this feature in the future, and we think SWFanon would be an excellent place to gather early feedback. Any and all feedback on how it works will be invaluable, and will likely strongly influence future development in this and other areas.
What would enabling it mean for your community?
When Flags is enabled, we'd automatically convert usages of notice templates to the new type of code. (If it needs to be reversed, this is possible.) Afterwards, you'd use a new option on the 'Edit' button dropdown to choose which flags should appear on an article.
You can view the current, draft flags setup for your community on Special:Flags., which TK-999 helped set up (thanks!). This can't be directly edited yet (we're working on that functionality), but we're able to easily update it to cover any other 'notice' templates you may have (or correct any errors).
You can read lots more detail about how exactly the tool works on Help:Flags. The tool is under heavy development right now, and more abilities and options will be added as and when they are completed.
So - we'd love to hear all your thoughts and feedback about this feature. We'll keep an eye on this thread for any ideas or questions you may have - assuming there are no major concerns, we'd love to get it enabled here within the next few days.