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]

The template editor now warns you about missing required fields when inserting or editing a template, including citations (bug 50747). The save dialog's "Cancel" button is now labelled "Resume editing" as some users worried that the button might end the edit session and throw away their changes (bug 69116). We added keyboard shortcuts for marking some text as "strikethrough" –  Ctrl+ Shift+5/ Cmd+ Shift+5 (bug 60257) – and as "code" –  Ctrl+ Shift+6/ Cmd+ Shift+6 (bug 52597). When you switch to source mode, we now show a pending state so that it's clear something is happening (bug 65012).

We fixed a few bugs for immediate release. We found a case where an error was thrown (bugs 70770 and 70782), which also caused the toolbar to not be destroyed when you left the editor (bug 70768). There was a bug that meant inserting a template which had multiple parts would crash the editor and insert multiple snowmen ("☃") characters (bug 70777). We worked around a bad bug in Internet Explorer that caused style and bgcolor attributes to be normalised when you edited a page (bug 70856). Unfortunately this uncovered an even worse bug in Firefox that would change any category link with an accent or non-Latin character in it into a link to MediaWiki:Badtitletext, and any link would have its spaces replaced by underscores (bug 70897). These were all fixed and released immediately, and we apologise again for the disruption.

The template editor was mis-counting the number of available fields left to add, which we corrected (bug 70609). If you click and drag and move the pointer out of the document, we now keep track of the mouse until you unclick (bug 59822). We worked around a corruption caused by Windows's native clipboard adding HTML comments when using Chrome (bug 70799). We re-wrote an old piece of code that stopped you from adding a new paragraph at the end of a page if the existing last line was an empty section heading (bug 59652). The cite menu's options now are disabled when user clicks outside the document, rather than staying enabled (bug 70870).

We corrected a problem that caused issues for users of Safari in most dialogs (bug 70578). Inserting a link will now keep the bold, italics and related styling of the content around it (bug 70534). We found and fixed an issue where if you pasted in content with an "auto" direction and no language attribute, like a MediaWiki page title, editing it with the language editor would cause a crash (bug 70731). We also fixed an issue where if you selected the link inspector after inserting a link by selection a formula or other node, you would get the link added as text in the editor (bug 60843).

VisualEditor now keeps track of pages that it has found out exists due to link, template or category searches so it can more efficiently show red links when needed (bug 69886). The OOjs UI library was improved with a number of fixes. Popup items now position themselves correctly when the dimensions change, and help popups now appear floated to the right of the FieldLayout to which they refer, rather than inline. Pending statuses are now brought together into a PendingElement mixin. TextInputMenuWidget items now update their width before the labels are fitted into it, which fixed a bug where labels would be truncated initially even though there was enough space, and then be displayed in full when you typed a second character.

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 1.24/wmf22 changelog, and all Bugzilla tickets closed in this period are on Bugzilla's list.

Editing[edit | edit source]

The TemplateData GUI editor was significantly improved, including being updated to use the new types, and recursive importing of parameters if needed, and deployed on Norwegian Bokmål Wikipedia. The volunteers working on the Math extension (for formulæ) moved closer to deploying the "Mathoid" server that will use MathJax to render clearer formulæ than with the current versions.

The Editing team as usual did a lot of work on improving libraries and infrastructure. The OOjs UI library was modified to make the isolation of dialogs using <iframe>s optional, re-organise the theme system as part of implementing a new look-and-feel for OOUI to make it consistent with the planned changes to the MediaWiki design, in collaboration with the Design team. The OOjs library was updated to fix a minor bug, with two new versions (v1.0.12 and then v1.1.0) released and pushed downstream into MediaWiki, VisualEditor and OOjs UI.

Parsoid[edit | edit source]

  • 2014-08-monthly:
    In August, we wrapped up our face-to-face off-site meetup in Mallorca and attended Wikimania in London which was the first Wikimania event for us all. At Wikimania hackathon, we co-presented (with the Services team) a workshop session about Parsoid and using it. We also had a talk at Wikimania about Parsoid.

The GSoC 2014 LintTrap project also wrapped up and we hope to develop this furr.ther over the coming months and go live with it later this year.

With an eye towards supporting Parsoid-driven page views, the Parsoid team worked on a few different tracks -- we deployed the visual diff mass testing service @, we added Tidy support to parser tests and updated tests which now makes it easy for Parsoid to target the PHP Parser + Tidy combo found in production, and continued to make CSS and other fixes.

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