[Wikimedia-l] Feedback for the Wikimedia Foundation
romaine_wiki at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 23 09:13:20 UTC 2013
In the most early stages WMF has told us via various way that the visual editor would have an opt-out. It appears that at the last moment before the the launch on the English Wikipedia this was removed.
A lot of people are annoyed for years that developers of various software inside and outside Wikimedia expect of end users that they accept and use new functions, while many of them do not have any need for those and do not want new functions. When there are complaints about that behaviour of developers it is very very irritating that those developers then say: "deal with it". It is very much arrogance that developers can decide for users what they must use, really, that is absolutely not the way how the users themselves think about that. Saying that users have to deal with it is roughly similar with saying "we don't car what the community is thinking about it".
Last week a power user of nl-wiki described another example: A long time ago he had learned to use Wordperfect. He learned everything about the software and knew exactly what it did. Wordperfect changed to Word. That was a big change, a lot of things were different, so called on an "intelligent" way. He then had to re-learn everything from beginning how this editor worked. And then, right at the moment that user knows the software completely, the software company changed the user interface completely. All familiar menus disappeared and a ribbon came in place of it. And what must the current software (Word) do? still the same as Wordperfect!
> "Tick this checkbox if you don't want to deal with VisualEditor ever
> again" seems to me to be more problematic in creating distance between
> WMF and its most active users.
The opposite is true. People use the MediaWiki software for many years now, sure there are users who consider the visual editor as handy but many users do not want to change. They are happy with the software as it is, they understand that the visual editor can be handy for other users, but absolutely do not want to be forced to use it themselves. Not be able to opt-out gives them the feeling not being taken seriously by the WMF. (Combine that with the broken promise, it gives double that feeling.)
> We want to actually make sure that the default user experience we can
> offer _works_ for power users
Power users need fast software, that works for everything, with customized tools. The visual editor is sooooo slowww, doesn't work for everything and the usual customized tools are useless in the visual editor. I am a power user, I see no reason at all to use the visual editor. Also I experience the visual editor as clumpsy, I really can't say that with the current visual editor you understand what power users do and how they work. (In combination with the previous mentioned things it gives triple the feeling not been taken serious.)
Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Tue Jul 23 07:01:00 UTC 2013
On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 10:06 PM, MZMcBride <z at mzmcbride.com> wrote:
> This particular ongoing saga (refusing to provide an opt-out mechanism for
> VisualEditor) seems to largely echo past issues with treating Wikimedia
> editors as customers instead of colleagues.
That's not the intent, and I'm sorry if that's how it comes across.
The "Just make it go away if you don't like it" solution of saying
"Tick this checkbox if you don't want to deal with VisualEditor ever
again" seems to me to be more problematic in creating distance between
WMF and its most active users. As this dialog hopefully demonstrates,
distance is the last thing we want to create.
We want to actually make sure that the default user experience we can
offer _works_ for power users, rather than just making it easy to
freeze the experience in time and having us not worry about "those
users" anymore. Like I said in my response to Adam, that was the
approach taken to Monobook->Vector, and it's not one we want to
As I've noted in my response to wikitech-l just now, there's also the
issue of what "opt-out" should mean as VE becomes increasingly more
pervasive in the user experience.
But as I've noted in , I do not think a compromise on the
preference question is necessarily out of reach. I've asked James and
team to deliberate on some of the possibilities here, and offered the
same suggestion I noted in .
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
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