[Wikimedia-l] Alpha version of the VisualEditor now available on the English Wikipedia

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Wed Dec 12 10:56:54 UTC 2012

Is it only available on the English Wikipedia or is it also available on
any other Wikipedia on the same opt in basis? If not why ?

On 12 December 2012 04:30, James Forrester <jforrester at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> TL;DR: Today we are launching an alpha, opt-in version of the
> VisualEditor[0] to the English Wikipedia. This will let editors create
> and modify real articles visually, using a new system where the
> articles they edit will look the same as when you read them, and their
> changes show up as they type enter them — like writing a document in a
> word processor. Please let us know what you think[1].
> Why launch now?
> We want our community of existing editors to get an idea of what the
> VisualEditor will look like in the “real world” and start to give us
> feedback about how well it integrates with how they edit right now,
> and their thoughts on what aspects are the priorities in the coming
> months.
> The editor is at an early stage and is still missing significant
> functions, which we will address in the coming months. Because of
> this, we are mostly looking for feedback from experienced editors at
> this point, because the editor is insufficient to really give them a
> proper experience of editing. We don’t want to promise an easier
> editing experience to new editors before it is ready.
> As we develop improvements, they will be pushed every fortnight to the
> wikis, allowing you to give us feedback[1] as we go and tell us what
> next you want us to work on.
> How can I try it out?
> The VisualEditor is now available to all logged-in accounts on the
> English Wikipedia as a new preference, switched off by default. If you
> go to your “Preferences” screen and click into the “Editing” section,
> it will have as an option labelled “Enable VisualEditor”).
> Once enabled, for each article you can edit, you will get a second
> editor tab labelled “VisualEditor” next to the “Edit” tab. If you
> click this, after a little pause you will enter the VisualEditor. From
> here, you can play around, edit and save real articles and get an idea
> of what it will be like when complete.
> At this early stage in our development, we recommend that after saving
> any edits, you check whether they broke anything. All edits made with
> the VisualEditor will show up in articles’ history tabs with a
> “VisualEditor” tag next to them, so you can track what is happening.
> Things to note
> Slow to load - It will take some time for long complex pages to load
> into the VisualEditor, and particularly-big ones may timeout after 60
> seconds. This is because pages have to be loaded through Parsoid which
> is also in its early stages, and is not yet optimised for deployment
> and is currently uncached. In the future (a) Parsoid itself will be
> much faster, (b) Parsoid will not depend on as many slow API calls,
> and (c) it will be cached.
> Odd-looking - we currently struggle with making the HTML we produce
> look like you are used to seeing, so styling and so on may look a
> little (or even very) odd. This hasn't been our priority to date, as
> our focus has been on making sure we don't disrupt articles with the
> VisualEditor by altering the wikitext (correct "round-tripping").
> No editing references or templates - Blocks of content that we cannot
> yet handle are uneditable; this is mostly references and templates
> like infoboxes. Instead, when you mouse over them, they will be
> hatched out and a tooltip will inform you that they have to be edited
> via wikitext for now. You can select these items and delete them
> entirely, however there is not yet a way to add ones in or edit them
> currently (this will be a core piece of work post-December).
> Incomplete editing - Some elements of "complex" formatting will
> display and let you edit their contents, but not let users edit their
> structure or add new entries - such as tables or definition lists.
> This area of work will also be one of our priorities post-December.
> No categories - Articles' "meta" items will not appear at all -
> categories, langlinks, magic words etc.; these are preserved (so
> editing won't disrupt them), but they not yet editable. Another area
> for work post-December - our current plan is that they will be edited
> through a "metadata flyout", with auto-suggestions and so on.
> Poor browser support - Right now, we have only got VisualEditor to
> work in the most modern versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari. We
> will find a way to support (at least) Internet Explorer post-December,
> but it's going to be a significant piece of work and we have failed to
> get it ready for now.
> Articles and User pages only - The VisualEditor will only be enabled
> for the article and user namespaces (so you can make changes in a
> personal sandbox), and will not work with talk pages, templates,
> categories, etc.. In time, we will build out the kinds of specialised
> editing tools needed for non-articles, but our focus has been on
> articles.
> Final point
> This is not the final form of the VisualEditor in lots of different
> ways. We know of a number of bugs, and we expect you to find more. We
> do not recommend people trying to use the VisualEditor for their
> regular editing yet. We would love your feedback on what we have done
> so far – whether it’s a problem you discovered, an aspect that you
> find confusing, what area you think we should work on next, or
> anything else, please do let us know.[1]
> [0] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:VisualEditor
> [1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback
> Yours,
> --
> James D. Forrester
> Product Manager, VisualEditor
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
> jforrester at wikimedia.org | @jdforrester
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