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Opened 9 years ago

Closed 6 years ago

#6152 closed enhancement (maybelater)

Suggestion: standard form for errors messages

Reported by: slaffik's profile slaFFik Owned by: r-a-y's profile r-a-y
Milestone: Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version:
Component: I18N Keywords: needs-patch, ux-feedback, trac-tidy-2018


Here is what we have right now:

There was an error (when|) [verb]ing ...

Real life examples:

There was an error posting that reply. Please try again.
There was an error when posting your update. Please try again.

Lots of them.

I think might be a good idea to omit the "when" word.

Change History (12)

#1 @r-a-y
9 years ago

  • Keywords needs-patch added
  • Milestone changed from Awaiting Review to 2.3
  • Type changed from defect (bug) to enhancement

Would be great to standardize these messages!

Moving to 2.3.

#2 @r-a-y
9 years ago

  • Owner set to r-a-y
  • Status changed from new to assigned

#3 @r-a-y
9 years ago

  • Keywords ux-feedback added
  • Milestone changed from 2.3 to 2.4

Since this ticket is about changing strings in our messages, it may be a good time to discuss making a bigger change.

I think "There was an error when posting that reply" sounds a little cold.

Perhaps "We encountered an error when attempting to post your reply" would sound better?

If we made this change, then other strings should follow a similar pattern using possessive pronouns. Messages like "Activity deleted successfully" would change to "Your activity item was deleted successfully".

Moving to 2.4 for more time to discuss this.

#4 @r-a-y
9 years ago

  • Milestone changed from 2.4 to 2.5

Would still like to address this, but changing the strings for all our feedback messages might be too drastic a change this close to beta.

Would love some feedback from some UX people like @mercime and @hnla.

For now, moving to 2.5.

#5 @hnla
9 years ago

Quick feedback:

Sounding cold and attempting to make programs seem more human and personable? I'm never sure whether short, clear, concise, to the point is necessarily to be regarded as cold, being as informative as possible about the issue though is always good.

'When' - as mentioned - ought to be removed, it's the sort of language I would use but is largely redundant, I also wonder how readily that translates.

On the matter of translation/localization does our original string present problems for translators if it does include any ? vernacular which requires translators to either hunt down a equivalent or re-write the string in which case should we not then be keeping things as straightforward and possibly 'cold' to aid translation - but translating is not a process I'm that familiar with.

I think I would err on the side of perfunctory strings but with as much detail as to 'why' as possible.

#6 @mercime
9 years ago

Would be great to standardize these messages!

@r-a-y +1

We could compile all messages in a spreadsheet and identify which persona (e.g. developer or regular user) is most likely to encounter specific messages then rephrase our messages accordingly if need be. Having a spreadsheet with information of the context of each message can make it easier for translators if they are provided with a link to said online info. In addition, it could become a guide for present and future BP core devs for a unified helpful tone as new features or enhancements are introduced.

#7 @r-a-y
8 years ago

  • Milestone changed from 2.5 to 2.6
  • Type changed from enhancement to task

I dropped the ball on this :(

#8 @DJPaul
8 years ago

  • Milestone changed from 2.6 to Future Release

#9 @DJPaul
8 years ago

  • Component changed from Locale - i18n to I18N

#10 @DJPaul
8 years ago

  • Type changed from task to enhancement

#11 @DJPaul
6 years ago

  • Keywords trac-tidy-2018 added

We're closing this ticket because it has not received any contribution or comments for at least two years. We have decided that it is better to close tickets that are good ideas, which have not gotten (or are unlikely to get) contributions, rather than keep things open indefinitely. This will help us share a more realistic roadmap for BuddyPress with you.

Everyone very much appreciates the time and effort that you spent sharing your idea with us. On behalf of the entire BuddyPress team, thank you.

If you feel strongly that this enhancement should still be added to BuddyPress, and you are able to contribute effort towards it, we encourage you to re-open the ticket, or start a discussion about it in our Slack channel. Please consider that time has proven that good ideas without contributions do not get built.

For more information, see
or find us on Slack, in the #buddypress channel:

#12 @DJPaul
6 years ago

  • Milestone Awaiting Contributions deleted
  • Resolution set to maybelater
  • Status changed from assigned to closed
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