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

Tom Morris tom at tommorris.org
Thu Dec 13 00:20:22 UTC 2012

On Wednesday, 12 December 2012 at 20:29, Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> Terry with respect, an alpha release that is not even ready to be used in
> the scripts and languages of Wikipedia is not worthy of the designation
> alpha. It has pointed out for more than a year that the
> internationalisation of the visual editor needs serious attention. The
> notion that internationalisation is an architecture is very much accepted
> wisdom.

The VisualEditor has yet to serve me tea and croissants, mix me a cocktail or arrange a threesome. Here I was, with disgusting visions in my head involving whipped cream and Olympic gymnasts, and all I get to do is play with a visual editor. Oh well, I suppose it is just an alpha.

Perhaps the engineering team are a bit too busy trying to fix complicated parser bugs to meet either your ludicrously high expectations or my even higher and more ludicrous expectations. If you are trying to write a parser, whether the textual components of the parse tree that results are in Somali, Hindi, Japanese or English doesn't matter a great deal qua being a good parser. Making sure that the right bits of syntax result in the right parse tree is what matters. Rolling out a primitive visual editor on a single Wikipedia language is fine because the intention isn't to fine-tune the interface but allow the community to help find parser bugs.

Would it be impolite for me to point out that having a properly specced, properly implemented, bidirectional parser implementation rather than an unspecified bundle of regex and pain is likely to actually make dealing with complex internationalization (and international text input) issues easier?

Congrats to James and his team for all their hard work. 

Tom Morris

More information about the Wikimedia-l mailing list