Last modified: 2010-06-15 13:11:35 UTC

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Bug 1235 - Add support for inline telephone number detection
Add support for inline telephone number detection
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
Parser (Other open bugs)
All All
: Lowest enhancement (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
Depends on:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2004-12-30 13:19 UTC by Thilo Pfennig
Modified: 2010-06-15 13:11 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description Thilo Pfennig 2004-12-30 13:19:58 UTC
I would like to see some feature for telephone numbers. Wikimedia should
recognize them like it does with ISBN. If not, the phone numbers are not
correct. if correct they could be rendered differently. It could be made
possible to automatically read those numbers with software, so one could dial a
number via a Wikipedia-page. Get the idea?
Comment 1 Antoine "hashar" Musso (WMF) 2005-01-07 00:23:52 UTC
Maybe it can be done with the callto:// href protocol. Not sure
if it's attended for telephone numbers though.
Comment 2 Rowan Collins [IMSoP] 2005-01-07 00:45:22 UTC
I'm not entirely sure what is being requested here: a way of integrating
MediaWiki with some kind of phone-via-Internet service? a way of magically
verifying the "correctness" of a phone number (AFAIK, there is no simple test
for "validity" of a phone number, although some country-specific heuristics
could probably be cobbled together; note that ISBNs are not only an
internationally standard format, but have a built-in redundant check-digit for
testing validity)? What exactly do you expect phone numbers "recognised" by this
code to *do*?

Meanwhile, a very brief search suggests that "callto:" is a Microsoft NetMeeting
thing, and nothing to do with phone numbers (e.g.

[Oh, and btw, beware using "Wikimedia" when you mean "MediaWiki" (see; confusing, I know, but I like to correct
people for future reference wherever possible]
Comment 3 Thilo Pfennig 2005-01-07 14:02:32 UTC
>What exactly do you expect phone numbers "recognised" by this
code to *do*?

I expect the possibility that hone numbers are recognizable for MediaWiki. I
would like the ability to click on a phone number and having the phone number
given to an application.

I also did some research and found RFC 2806 (,  URLs for
Telephone Calls ) from Nokia. Well, that would mean, that there is no need for
MediaWiki to add something. The only thing would be to render those URLs
differently. See also the part 2.5 (Parsing telephone, fax and modem URLs)

As an example it shows: " tel:+358-555-1234567" ( This URL points to a phone
number in Finland capable of receiving
voice calls. The hyphens are included to make the number more human-readable:
country and area codes have been separated from the subscriber number.)

One could pack this like [[tel:+358-555-1234567| tel.: 555-1234567]] . I could
imagine for this to be very useful in the future. With people can write Phone
numbers like they want, but one could make them usable. I think this might not
be such a big work?
Comment 4 Rowan Collins [IMSoP] 2005-01-07 19:53:30 UTC
(In reply to comment #3)
> I expect the possibility that hone numbers are recognizable for MediaWiki. I
> would like the ability to click on a phone number and having the phone number
> given to an application.

I still can't quite see why anyone would want to do such a thing, but if
somebody's designed a protocol definition, then theoretically all that's needed
is for that protocol (or those protocols) to be added to the list of accepted
URL prefixes. See bug 431 for a suggestion to make this list more easily
configurable by the system admin. [Of course, we then get into potential
confusion over what characters and sequences are acceptable in each protocol,
but I imagine using a "lowest common denominator" approach (all ext. links
beginning with a recognised prefix are assumed to be valid, barring any
characters which are *universally* excluded) wouldn't do much harm. So
"tel:l-me-your-name" would be rendered as though it were a valid link.]

> One could pack this like [[tel:+358-555-1234567| tel.: 555-1234567]] . 

Well, since this is a kind of *external* link, it would look more like
[tel:+358-555-1234567 tel.: 555-1234567] - your example resembles an *internal*
(or, at most, "interwiki") link - but that's a minor point.
Comment 5 Thilo Pfennig 2005-01-08 11:34:39 UTC
> I still can't quite see why anyone would want to do such a thing

Well, sometimes people like to dial phone numbers. Not everybody insists on
writing it down. Withe internet telephony I think phoning with the computer is
getting more and more common. This might not be used that often in the
Wikipedia, but in other Wikis, certainly. This could also be used by mobile
phones when accessing a Wiki-page.
Comment 6 Donald Lancon 2005-05-29 02:18:37 UTC
(In reply to comment #5)
> Well, sometimes people like to dial phone numbers. Not everybody insists on
> writing it down.

I assume almost everyone's browser has a way of copying text to a clipboard or
similar functionality, especially if it can also do what you're suggesting.
Autolinking things can cause problems (see Bug 1344 for example); IMO it
shouldn't be done unless there's a really good reason. - dcljr
Comment 7 peter green 2005-05-29 02:30:17 UTC
this seems like the kind of feature that would be more trouble than its worth
for the wikimedia projects. do we really wan't to wiki-dot peoples home phones?!

having said that i can see the potential use for other mediawiki users so maybe
it would be a nice idea to implement as an extention.

Comment 8 Rowan Collins [IMSoP] 2005-08-15 00:06:34 UTC
I'm resolving this "FIXED", although it's sort of also "WONTFIX" - with external
link prefixes configurable using $wgUrlProtocols, this functionality is now
possible on any wiki where the admin adds "tel:" to that list. The sense in
which it's "WONTFIX" is that no-one's done that on the Wikimedia wikis, and
neither does it seem likely that they will - not until such links gain
widespread use AND the case is made for a reasonable use for them on those wikis.
Comment 9 Brion Vibber 2005-08-17 00:07:18 UTC

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of 431 ***
Comment 10 Daniel Friesen 2010-05-08 09:12:12 UTC
I'd like to reopen this bug. There have been relevant recent developments in mobile technology, namely the iPhone. The iPhone supports tel: urls, and in a friendly way, including tel: inside the protocol list would allow phone numbers to be listed on a wiki using tel: just like e-mail addressed are allowed using mailto: and would make it possible for those numbers to be dialed quickly by any iPhone user.
Comment 11 Max Semenik 2010-05-08 10:02:24 UTC
My S60-based Samsung also supports it. Since there's a RFC and enough support for it, I'm in favor of implementing it. I'm a bit wary of having it enabled on Wikipedia though.
Comment 12 Niklas Laxström 2010-05-08 10:06:24 UTC
It's still not clear what is being requested here. Having the possibility to enable tel-links (already done), having it enabled by default (I'm not convinced about this), or having it enabled on WMF (not convinced about this either).
Comment 13 Daniel Friesen 2010-05-08 10:53:01 UTC
Default... It's the equivalent of mailto: for telephone numbers. I see no reason to exclude it when mailto: is allowed and support for tel: is growing (I bet the Android phones support them too).
Comment 14 Derk-Jan Hartman 2010-06-15 13:11:35 UTC
Telephone numbers differ in pattern greatly among the different nations in the world. An implementation with low fault rate would miss all international telephone number patterns and still paint all kinds of non phone numbers as phone numbers. A pattern that would recognize all kinds of international numbers would would generate so many errors, it's not gonna happen for sure.

If people want to have tel: added to wgUrlProtocols by default, or to all WMF deploys, please open a separate bugticket and make that request. The issue detailed in this bugreport "recognize telephone numbers just as ISBN numbers" has been dealt with as wontfix and I don't see why that changing.

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