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Submissions/Collaborative drafts

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2015.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Collaborative drafts
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Adam Roses Wight
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

I have an unofficial (volunteer-hat) proposal to make a small technical change which will enable many collaborative features that I think are more friendly to editors. I'd like to discuss these ideas with editors, get feedback, and find people willing to work with me towards similar goals. The possibilities are open-ended, and development should be guided by real-world needs.

In technical terms, this change will allow an article revision to have more than one descendant. Some of the potential editor-facing effects are:

  • Detach change rather than revert - A great starting point for a prototype would be an extension that replaces the Revert action. Editors would opt in to use this behavior, and then would see a "Detach" action instead. When a change is detached, the effect on the main article is a reversion, however, the change will be stored as a new draft, in a way that it can be corrected by the author and resubmitted.
  • Collaborative drafts - Make it possible to collaborate on article drafts with mentors or other partners, then have automated assistance in merging these changes back into the original article. The key here is that we have a record of which revision of the original article was copied into the drafts space, which helps us determine exactly what has changed.
  • Conflict resolution workflow - Edit conflicts do not have to be resolved immediately, so there is less danger of losing someone's edit due to a bad resolution. Instead, conflicting changes will be stored as a proper revision, and admins can resolve at their leisure, with the author's help if needed.
  • No need to protect pages or require "autoconfirmed" - Replace page protection with something better in which editors are not forbidden from making a change. The equivalent of protection would be, changes to protected articles would have to be reviewed before being published to the main article.
  • Federated wikis - Synchronize across federated wikis, so completely independent editor societies can exchange work with each other. This might also facilitate decentralized storage and control.

My plan is to spend 5-15 minutes presenting the change, then to facilitate an open discussion for the remainder of the session.

WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
45 minutes.
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Yes, depending on funding.
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 12:31, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. AGreen (WMF) (talk) 16:50, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 06:16, 23 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
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