User:Jdforrester (WMF)

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James Forrester
Product Manager, VisualEditor team, Wikimedia Foundation
James Forrester

About me

I've been a Wikipedia editor since 2002 on the English Wikipedia and a few other Wikimedia projects (see my personal account). In May 2012 I joined the Wikimedia Foundation as the "Product Manager" for the VisualEditor team.

My work

My job is to help make sure the VisualEditor team understands what the community wants and needs, is focussed on the things that matter, and is engaging with and understood by the community.
Disclaimer: I work for or provide services to the Wikimedia Foundation, and this is the account I try to use for edits or statements I make in that role. However, the Foundation does not vet all my activity, so edits, statements, or other contributions made by this account may not reflect the views of the Foundation.

Contact me

  • E-mail:
  • IRC: "James_F" on freenode
  • Skype: jdforrester
  • GTalk IM:

Current projects[edit | edit source]

VisualEditor[edit | edit source]

VisualEditor was updated as part of the wider MediaWiki 1.25wmf11 branch deployment on Wednesday 3 December. In the week since the last deployment, the team added a new minor feature, worked on the infrastructure supporting future improvements, and provided a range of bug fixes.

You can now exit VisualEditor by pressing the "Esc" key; as with other methods to exit, if you have outstanding changes you are asked whether you want to save first (T52868).

We fixed and quickly released a regression that meant that using the citation menu options inside a referenced didn't work (T76082), and one which meant the "switch to source editor" tool was disabled (T75965) and didn't pull your changes (T76114). We also fixed an issue that meant that all inspector tools – like the link, language, and formula editors – would close immediately after they were opened (T76076), and one where the media dialog wouldn't ever enable the "Apply changes" button when you changed a caption (T76074).

Our work to support languages which use Input Method Editors took another step forward, and in so doing we believe we fixed two long-standing bugs with multi-symbol characters in Malayalam (T53511 and T56057). With help from the Language Engineering team, we improved a couple of the interface messages to be easier for translators and more consistent for users (T75969 and T75971).

The OOjs UI library had two new versions, 0.2.3 and 0.2.4, released, which VisualEditor and MediaWiki both now use. These releases fixed a number of issues with the size and layout of buttons in dialogs when you first opened one (T72061) and when they resized (T75783), a follow-up that avoids windows animating from zero height when they resize (T76371), and finally changing the default target for buttons' links to not open in a new window (T75452).

You can monitor the live results of the automated browser tests (triggered every twelve hours) on the server. A complete list of individual code commits is available in the 1.25/wmf11 changelog, and all tasks closed in this period are on Phabricator's list.

Editing[edit | edit source]

In October, the Editing team worked on the front-end standardisation project, now one of Wikimedia Engineering's Q2 priorities, as well as the work on VisualEditor, both of which are reported separately. The team welcomed Marielle Volz as a new team member, who will focus on improving citations support. The team created the wikitext concept of <indicator>s, a way to show icons which tell the user something about the page in MediaWiki. These features are now supported in the Vector, Monobook, Cologne Blue and Modern skins, and will replace the need for the local CSS hacks that some wikis have used to approximate this feature. The TemplateData extension now wraps its contents in a <noinclude> tag unless editing a sub-page, and the help link's target can now be set to a page other than the one on MediaWiki. The last vestiges of the CiteThisPage extension were removed from the Cite extension, as part of a complex manoeuvre to simplify the naming of the system; it now has its own home. The team's more significant work, on front-end standardisation, is now reported under that project.

Parsoid[edit | edit source]

  • 2014-11-monthly:
    In November, the Parsoid team continue to work through the big blockers to using parsoid HTML for read views. We made further progress in customizing the cite extension via CSS, and started work on supporting templates that Parsoid does not handle properly yet. These templates used on a subset of pages on wikipedias generate attributes of a table as well as content of the table and do not fit well within the DOM-based model that Parsoid works with. We expect both these blockers to be lifted by early January which significantly furthers our goal of serving read views via Parsoid's HTML. Besides this, we continued to ongoing code cleanup, maintenance, bug fixes, and regular deploys.

ResourceLoader (maintenance-only)[edit | edit source]