I am game, to make me interested again in the editing sense of Wikipedia,
there are a few things on my wish list.
The first thing I will happily contribute to are "red links on steroids".
The problem with red links is disambiguation.. Suppose that there is no
article by that name, chances are that in another Wikipedia, Wikidata the
subjects is already known. Only when an article is written about *that
the red links is bluefied. Easy, obvious. The first start is to have a
background job link all the blue link to their respective Wikidata items
and then compare links on the same subject. There are bound to be a lot of
false friends becoming obvious in that way.
The second wish is that lists are marked as such. My preference is that we
use Listeria on steroids ie the data displayed is from Wikidata but that is
secondary. What I aim to achieve is that with lists marked as such, it
becomes easy to compare lists and mark them for attention when attention is
needed to get agreement on the list.
The third wish is that when there are individual references for list items,
they are shared. A great example is found in the list of fellows of the
African Academy of Science. I noticed this in the English Wikipedia and it
started me adding references because typically they are great reads as well.
My most cherished wish though is that we stimulate people to *read *more
than what we offer in a Wikipedia article. Currently we offer our blue
links, interwiki links and references as reading material and it is quite
the rabbit hole. Great for our readers, not so much for our editors. What
they need is more and more found in the links that are part of the Scholia
 for any subject, author paper name it. The experience is becoming more
rich. Unlike Reasonator  which has only one way of serving its audience,
Scholia has different views telling different stories. It allows for new
papers / literature for a subject.
Given that *we want people to read*, why not expand search results in any
project with what is available elsewhere in our Wikiverse. Those who know
about it have it for years now. I do not want to do without it. It is a
great tool to help with disambiguation. It can be expanded with Scholia
results... to be really, really wild.
Talking about disambiguation.. Reasonator has always been superior at
disambiguation. We know how to prioritise results, we have had superior
description, descriptions for many years.
My key take away, if you want to be better forget dogma or "consensus" and
start with objectives and how we aim to get there.
On Sun, 15 Dec 2019 at 18:53, Paul J. Weiss <pjweiss(a)uw.edu> wrote:
"I think we all generally endorse incremental
of drastic overhauls."
Um, that is clearly not true, since otherwise, for example, the original
poster would not have sent out his message.
For readers, I think many, if not most, would want a look and feel that
works for them, aesthetically and functionally, regardless of how much a
redesign was evolutionary or revolutionary. Many websites have gone through
major redesigns successfully. (And of course some have been utter
disasters, but many of those disasters came about because of poor design,
not just because the design was a significant departure from the previous
For WMF wikis with very small editor bases, the degree of change may be
less important than the quality of the change. A meaningful change, however
small or large, may enable that community to recruit new editors who were
previously turned off by wiki syntax (or other) complexities.
As a WP editor myself, I would absolutely welcome a drastically different
design, if it were a great design, that facilitated the editing and reading
activities I want to engage in, and was pleasant to the eye. I welcome each
change, regardless of size, that is an improvement.
One side benefit of a revolutionary design change is that it can make
long-term users reassess their use of a website, sometimes discovering a
"new" feature, which has actually been there all along, nevertheless
creating more engaged users. Another, I imagine, is that often there is a
spike in word-of-mouth surrounding a major redesign, which can also have
positive recruitment effects. A third might be that a drastic redesign
would re-level the playing field, so to speak. New editors might be less
subject to poor conduct from some long-term editors who lord their arcane
wiki knowledge over newbies.
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