Help talk:Style/Edit summary

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Change Edit Summary label and possibility to make it mandatory

All edits to articles should be accompanied by some words in the summary filed, answering the question "Why did you edit the article?". "What", "where", "when" and "how" are self-explained by the diff itself, it's redundant to add them. An explanation is not mandatory in talk pages, where the "why" should be already evident. Remember that links are allowed in the summary field, so it is allowed to point to an existing discussion. -- Kynikos 09:32, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

Maybe we could submit a bug to request the change of the word "Summary:" to "Reason for editing:" next to the input in the edit page itself? -- Kynikos 11:33, 3 May 2011 (EDT)

+1
Would it go directly upstream? The Polish wiki has something like Summarize the changes [you've made to the article]. Wikipedia has Edit summary (Briefly describe the changes you have made). They all deal with what is being changed, not why - we need to fix this :-) -- Karol 12:04, 3 May 2011 (EDT)
Done: FS#24075, remember you can vote it. -- Kynikos 12:57, 3 May 2011 (EDT)
Any wiki admin can change this message (aside: can you view Special:AllMessages?) I think it might be more fitting to include this as an addendum to the copyright notice instead (text above the summary field). Perhaps we should also consider making the edit summary mandatory (i.e. prevent saving with a blank summary). -- pointone 22:55, 4 May 2011 (EDT)
Nice, I can see that page, I didn't know that ^^ Maybe I should close the bug request then. Anyway I'm quite sure that only appending this recommendation to the copyright notice would make people start ignoring it very soon (as it happens with road signs eheh): I'm still in favour of changing the word "Summary", as it's misleading. Making the field mandatory could be a great idea instead, but for what I've seen until now, if the edit page returns an error, it forgets about the editing done, and it would be quite annoying (the textarea could be easily repopulated echoing $_POST['...'] instead of recovering the text back from the database; I have only tested this when trying to edit a page that has been edited by somebody else meanwhile). -- Kynikos 06:15, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
(Well, doing it in javascript would solve the problem, though using JS is not very wiki-style it seems) -- Kynikos 06:17, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
When saving an edit that conflicts with another, your changes are saved. MediaWiki presents you with two text areas: one contains the page contents and the other contains your edit.
Either way, a quick Google search reveals User:DieBuche/forcesummary.js and Wikipedia:Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts/Scripts/Force edit summary as two possible solutions. There also is a user preference option under Editing > Advanced options > Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary -- I wonder whether we can enable this option by default as a less-intrusive solution.
-- pointone 09:16, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
Uhm it always looked like I lost my changes everytime I had edit conflicts (always easily recovered with the back button), anyway it could be that I didn't look well.
About the main topic, I would first try just to change the Summary text, anyway if you want to go the JS way immediately, do it in a way that the user understands that he has to answer the question "why", not "what", otherwise all edit summaries would probably be filled with "added section", "corrected code", "deleted section" and so on (well, those are summaries in the end, and that's what the form requests literally atm). -- Kynikos 11:07, 5 May 2011 (EDT)
I think it's also OK to combine 'what' with 'why' e.g. 'removed outdated links'. I'm not a native English speaker, but it sounds more natural than 'links were outdated'. -- Karol 11:50, 6 May 2011 (EDT)
Of course it's also ok, anyway I'm not a native speaker either, but if a label says "Reason for editing" it comes more natural to me to write "links were outdated". This system should also exploit a bit of psychology afterall. -- Kynikos 12:56, 6 May 2011 (EDT)
<facepalm> Of course you are absolutely right ... I - ummm - forgot that we wanted to change 'Summary' to 'Reason for editing'. Sorry about that. -- Karol 19:58, 8 May 2011 (EDT)
Since the bug got closed as 'Upstream', do we go upstream with this? -- Karol 19:58, 8 May 2011 (EDT)
I am curious whether this has been discussed upstream already... I have no problem with making the change on our end, since every wiki handles summary policy differently (as pointed-out above in examples). -- pointone 22:46, 8 May 2011 (EDT)
Well you are the one in charge here, you can decide what to do now ;) -- Kynikos 05:53, 9 May 2011 (EDT)
The style part of this discussion has been implemented in the guide. I'd still be interested in changing "Summary" to "Reason for editing", anybody else? -- Kynikos 15:32, 21 September 2011 (EDT)
Going upstream would benefit more that just our wiki, as mediawiki is a pretty popular piece of software. +1 from me. -- Karol 16:45, 21 September 2011 (EDT)
The relevant system message is MediaWiki:Summary. I would suggest that the word "Summary" itself remain, as it is referenced in other locations and the documentation. My vote is for addition of an explanatory subtext à la Wikipedia. (Summary: (Briefly describe the changes you have made)). -- pointone 13:50, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
Cooool, that's the way to go! +1000 XD
Some ideas:
  • Briefly explain the reason for the changes you have made
  • Briefly explain the reason for your edit
  • Briefly explain the reason for your changes
  • Briefly explain the reason why you edited the page
-- Kynikos 15:55, 22 September 2011 (EDT)
I think a combination of using explanatory text (I like something such as "Briefly explain the reason for your changes" from your suggestions), and investigating how to set "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary" user option by default would make it more noticeable and be a great start here. Emiralle 12:56, 15 October 2011 (EDT)
I'd like to make the edit summary strictly mandatory (meaning that a blank summary field won't allow submitting the edit): pointone mentioned some possible methods for doing this in the first part of the discussion, I'm just adding some more references as reminders (don't know exactly what to do with them yet... :P ): [1] (see "forceeditsummary"), [2], [3]. -- Kynikos 15:01, 20 October 2011 (EDT)
For the moment I've changed the label to:
Summary (what you did and why):
as you can see when opening a page for edit, I hope it's ugly and annoying enough to be noticed by many >;)
-- Kynikos (talk) 11:37, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
The edit box has been moved to the right, so it's easy to spot that something's different. I like it, good job, Kynikos. -- Karol (talk) 19:14, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Proper use of "This is a minor edit"

I know it is mentioned in Help:Editing#Editing (with a link to Wikipedia:Help:Minor_edit) but is it worth mentioning on the style guide as well? It seems at least as relevant as Help:Style#Edit summary. James Eder 15:32, 28 September 2011 (EDT)

Actually there are some things that should me moved from Help:Editing to this article, the reference to minor edits is only one of them. The scope of Help:Editing should be redefined as a description of all the "tools" that users have for writing articles, and how they work, while Help:Style should define the "boundaries" within one can use those tools. -- Kynikos 20:07, 28 September 2011 (EDT)

On the other hand it would likely be even more effective if "This is a minor edit" were changed to "This is a minor edit" (with the link opening in a new window). James Eder 15:32, 28 September 2011 (EDT)

Eheh the "link opening in a new window" is not something that can be made light of, I don't know if it's possible to do it using wiki syntax on a per-link basis, maybe pointone has more info :) -- Kynikos 20:07, 28 September 2011 (EDT)
This would appear to be a system-wide setting: Opening external links in a new window. The relevant system message is MediaWiki:Minoredit. -- pointone 13:06, 4 October 2011 (EDT)
I see, however I don't think it'd be worth the effort. -- Kynikos 17:52, 4 October 2011 (EDT)