[Foundation-l] Report a problem link

Robert Rohde rarohde at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 00:06:37 UTC 2009

I'm breaking this specific idea out of the main thread, in order to focus on it.

There seems to be considerable support for adding some kind of "Report
a problem" link to pages, (probably not necessarily) to the sidebar.

I'd like to give a little more thought to this idea, i.e. where we
want a link to go, and what we want it to do.

Personally I think if such a link simply mails OTRS, that would be
suboptimal.  It would risk creating a lot of email volume for
relatively minor problems, and make it harder to differentiate
important issues from minor ones.

By preference, I'd like to see a link that goes to a simple page for
requesting help with options such as, "post a public message on the
talk page", "email a volunteer for help", etc.  In principle, such a
page, could even have a single text box for composing a message, a set
of instructions, and a dropdown list of actions to take ranging from a
talk page post to an OTRS email, etc.  Reports of vandalism and other
simple problems might also be channeled automatically to one of the
existing onwiki noticeboards if the reporter is not asking for

Clicking on the "report a problem" link should automatically fill in
what page one came from.  Even more ideally, the report a problem link
might be modified based on indicators in the page, such as
"Category:Living people", in order to better prioritise and direct
correspondence.  If the person reporting the problem does choose to
post publicly, the post could be flagged with something like
"Category:Unresolved problem reports", which might then be replaced
with "Category:Resolved problem reports" after it has been looked at
and handled.

Ideally, I think problem reports should include the option of being
completely anonymous (though presumably with a CAPTCHA or other device
to limit spam posts).

-Robert Rohde

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