[This is in response to all the bitching and whining that's taken
place since December 24th, on mailing lists, bug trackers, village
pumps and sleazy little back-alley forums...I apologise for the
crossposting. As ever, please feel free to forward this to other
appropriate parties or lists, but keep responses and/or discussion on
All right, this bickering has gone far enough. The fact of the matter
is that we're under constant pressure to keep the site alive and
introduce new features and fixes on a regular basis. I can well
understand that a lot of people will object to each change, and we do
our best to make things non-intrusive.
When this feature was first introduced, some bright spark on the
English Wikipedia edited the global CSS and made the numbers bright,
garish green and red, and emboldened them - I didn't agree with that,
but whatever. However, there were a huge number of not-too-polite
complaints blaming us for doing it, and some of these failed to
subside when it was pointed out that this had nothing to do with the
We might not implement their letter, but the spirit of the ideas of
keeping civil and assuming good faith *are* applied at the development
level; we just reserve the right to be blunt. If I've been
particularly rude to anyone over this issue, I do apologise for it -
and I'm sure anyone else who may have been apologises too.
If we're to implement certain tweaks for this in user preferences,
then we need some co-operation from the user base to allow us time to
determine a clean means of doing so (we want to avoid duplication of
code when generating changes list items), and we want people to
remember that politeness goes both ways.
Just because user A dislikes a feature, it doesn't mean that user B
will, and it is not fair to scream and rant and rave over it because
we tried to implement something that was useful. I would like to note
also that the numbers, as with the "minor edit" flag, and the whole
concept of edit summaries, are advisory - what we provide is a factual
statement of who changed what, and how much they changed, and we allow
that user to present justification for their changes. If that user
chose to lie in their edit summary, or deliberately mis-labelled a
minor edit, then there is nothing any of us can do - and you (the
users) have coped with that well enough over (at least) the past four
years or so.
I will open a fresh feature request, giving an opportunity for Brion
to say "yes" or "no" definitively, and I will avail myself to Leon or
anyone else who would then wish to implement the outcome should they
want any input.
I point-blank refuse, however, to work with any user who feels that it
is acceptable to assume bad faith on the part of the development team.
That attitude could very well lose you a lot of the behind-the-scenes
supporting cast one day, without whom you wouldn't even *have* a