About Beta Features

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Screenshot of the new Beta Features preferences page.
Media Viewer is one of the new Beta Features being tested this week.
Typography Refresh is another of the new Beta Features being tested this week.

Welcome to Beta Features, a new program that lets you test new features on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites before they are released for everyone.

The Beta Features program lets developers roll out new software in an environment where lots of users can use these features, then give feedback to help make them better. Think of it as a digital laboratory where community members can preview upcoming changes and help designers and engineers make improvements based on their suggestions. Learn more below and on this project hub.

Initial features[edit | edit source]

Here are the current beta features:

Media Viewer
Improve your multimedia viewing experience with this new tool. Media Viewer displays images in larger size on pages that have thumbnails. Images are shown in a nicer 'light box' overlay, and can also be viewed in full size. Discuss this feature.
VisualEditor
VisualEditor makes it easy to edit pages without having to learn wiki code. Beta Features will include an opt-in version of this tool on sites where it is available but not enabled by default. We're also adding new experimental features that enhance VisualEditor (see below). Discuss this feature.
VisualEditor Formulæ
With this opt-in feature, you can add support inside VisualEditor for creating and editing mathematical formulæ like algebra or equations on pages you're working on. Discuss this feature.
Typography Refresh
This beta feature makes text more readable, accessible and consistent. It updates the Vector skin to use 'serif' fonts in section headings and 'sans serif' fonts in the body copy, for a better visual experience. Discuss this feature.
Nearby Pages
This feature lets you see other related pages to pages you view which contain longitude and latitude information. Discuss this feature.
New Search
Use a new search engine, "CirrusSearch". Available on wikis where the alternative search backend is provided as an opt-in. Discuss this feature.
Compact language links
Show a shorter version of the language list, with just the languages that are more relevant to you. Discuss this feature.
Hovercards
Provides readers with a short summary of an article whenever they hover over a link to it. Discuss this feature.

How you can help[edit | edit source]

Can you help us test Beta Features in coming days? Our first features are now available for testing by logged-in users on on all wikis worldwide.

To test new features, check the items you want in the new BetaFeatures section of your user preferences — and click 'Save' (see screenshot). You can also automatically enable all new beta features as they are released or turn off any of these options at any time. To make it easier for you, a small 'Beta' link will show up next to 'Preferences' in your personal menu when you log in.

Try out Beta Features and let us know what you think of this program on this discussion page. You can also comment on each feature's discussion page (see links above and on your Beta Features preferences page). If you find any technical bugs, please report them here.

Note: If you would like to hide the 'Beta' link in your personal menu, you can easily remove it by going to your personal style page and pasting in this CSS rule on a line by itself: #pt-betafeatures { display: none; }. For more technical documentation, visit the BetaFeatures extension page.

Beta Features was created by the Wikimedia Foundation's Design, Multimedia team and VisualEditor teams. These and other teams will be adding more features every few weeks, going forward. We also invite community developers to start testing their new improvements in Beta Features in coming weeks by working closely with WMF designers and engineers. To prepare a new Beta Feature, read these helpful tips, check this technical documentation and post your submission on the queue for new Beta Features.

Acknowledgements[edit | edit source]

Beta Features was brought to you by many Wikimedia Foundation team members, including: Fabrice Florin, James Forrester, Mark Holmquist, Jared Zimmerman, Jon Robson, Ed Sanders, Gergő Tisza, Bryan Davis, May Galloway, Keegan Peterzell, Nick Wilson, Maggie Dennis, Quim Gil, Erik Moeller, Howie Fung, Rob Lanphier, and Tomasz Finc, to name but a few. We're also grateful to all the community and team members who helped create this system — and look forward to many more productive collaborations in the future.

Have fun, and don't forget to let us know what you think!