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

Terry Chay tchay at wikimedia.org
Wed Dec 12 20:03:07 UTC 2012


As James pointed out before launch[1], there are two distinct parts of the VisualEditor project: the Visual Editor and the Parsoid.

The original intent was to also launch on one or two other language wikis to test the alpha. I believe VisualEditor messages have already been i18n'd to be localizable. However we made an error and forgot to ask the Parsoid team about i18n concerns. (Actually, the Parsoid team was asked a question about i18n, just the wrong one :-D). Therefore other languages wikis could not be certified for the alpha release.

The problems Gabriel mentioned later in this thread (localized namespaces and other issues) are currently the bottleneck preventing an alpha test for multiple language wikis. Currently debugging[2] the parsoid[3] has a higher priority over these issues, but the Parsoid team is willing to accept any patches[4] if anyone is sufficiently motivated[5] to help them out.

As for even more language wikis or the sister projects after a basic i18n, that's contingent on getting the VE out of alpha. Right now there are a lot of issues, generating more than enough bug reports for the team to chew on, many issues James has already mentioned (inconsistencies in rendering, missing browser support, missing key features,…). The VisualEditor core was refactored to be extensible, so the possibility of building in visual support for unique features in the sister projects was a consideration in its design.

Take care,


[1]: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/12/07/inventing-as-we-go-building-a-visual-editor-for-mediawiki/
[2]: http://parsoid.wmflabs.org:8001
[3]: http://parsoid.wmflabs.org
[4]: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Parsoid
[5]: #mediawiki-parsoid @ Freenode, warning: parsoid is a pretty complex beast :-)

On Dec 12, 2012, at 3:14 AM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hoi,
> As I remember there is a document with requirements ... I would love the
> powers that be confirm that they have dealt with all the issues mentioned.
> I also seem to remember that this is not exhaustive...
> A friend of mine says that internationalisation is an architecture ...
> getting proper internationalisation in when everything is "done" is the
> similar to doing the software all over again.
> Thanks,
>     Gerard
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/VisualEditor/Internationalization_requirements
> On 12 December 2012 12:07, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Hoi,
>> The point is not so much sister projects but much more ensuring proper
>> internationalisation and localisation. The software cannot be completed
>> without proper internationalisation and when people can opt in to edit
>> using the visual editor there is an incentive to work on the localisation.
>> Given the amount of languages involved and the technical issues with
>> internationalisation it is key for us to start as early as possible to make
>> it work as required for MediaWiki's use for Wikipedia.
>> Thanks,
>>       Gerard
>> On 12 December 2012 11:58, Andrea Zanni <zanni.andrea84 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> As Gerard says (dont' forget sister projects...)
>>> Anyway, outstanding work.
>>> Aubrey
>>> On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM, Gerard Meijssen <
>>> gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
>>>> wrote:
>>>> Hoi,
>>>> 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 ?
>>>> Thanks,
>>>>     GerardM
>>>> 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
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>>>>> Wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org
>>>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
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