On the one hand, this seems like a potentially useful feature. On the
other, it sounds like a very controversial feature that will present new
opportunities for spam, not to mention working out a way that help can be
provided uniformly across the board.
I'd really like to read more about this project and I'm sure others would
too, but my searches thus far have been in vain. Where should I be looking?
Hey, Harry. Sorry to not get back to you sooner -- I was out of the office
for a couple days.
Chat is definitely not something we've positively decided to implement yet,
but I believe it could be very useful so I've been investigating and
experimenting with it. I'm still in the early stages of that, basically
figuring out which technologies might integrate with Mediawiki most readily,
the advantages/disadvantages of each, and the effort-to-benefit ratio we
I wrote up a draft proposal, but have been pulled away from chat research
for the last couple weeks by work on UploadWizard. It's not really complete
(needs to be filled out, have references added, etc), but you can read what
I've got down so far here:
Once again, please be kind, as it's not done. I'm posting now because the
discussion is happening, so it's clearly the time to have it. :)
You're right, spam is a possibility. I'm pretty confident that we could put
effective anti-spam measures in place, though. Other sites manage such
infrastructure without it being a serious problem. I'm confident we can do
I'm not sure this feature has to be controversial at all--nobody would be
required to use it, and participation in the live-help functionality would
be strictly opt-in. Providing a way to support new editors, answer their
questions about policy, convention, and UI, and connect them to actual
established community members seems pretty valuable.
As far a concurrent editing is concerned, that's mostly a thing Neil K is
looking at. We're working together inasmuch as whatever chat backend we use
would ideally be general-purpose enough to be used everywhere such a thing
Thanks for writing and getting this conversation started.