Welcome to the portal for VisualEditor, a new way of editing Wikipedia being developed by the Wikimedia Foundation. Editing Wikipedia has historically required people to learn wiki markup, a fairly complex markup language, even to make tiny corrections to an article. In 2001, this was acceptable; in 2013, it's driving contributors away. VisualEditor allows people to edit without having to learn wiki markup, and will, we hope, help encourage people to contribute to Wikipedia.
About VisualEditor[edit | edit source]
VisualEditor is a "visual" way of editing Wikipedia, a new system which will let people contribute without having to learn wikimarkup. It has been available as an opt-in "alpha" release on the English-language Wikipedia since December 2012, in 16 other languages since April 2013, and almost all other languages since the beginning of June. We expect to make it available to almost all Wikipedias by the end of 2013, starting with the English-language Wikipedia on 1 July.
If you're interested in using VisualEditor, we have a guide to doing so, as well as a list of common keyboard shortcuts. If you're interested in helping us with the deployment, there are lots of tasks you can do. We will be releasing regular status updates, which you can have delivered directly to your talk page by signing up for our newsletter.
At the moment, VisualEditor has a number of bugs; this is inevitable. If you encounter an issue, please do not hesitate to report it on the Feedback page. There are also some areas where we still have to build entirely new features. Current limitations include:
- Slow to load — It will take some time for long, complex pages to load into VisualEditor. In the future the software will be a lot faster, and will allow for the loading of larger pages.
- Odd-looking — We currently struggle with making the HTML we produce look like what you are used to seeing, so styling and so on may look a little (or even very) odd. We're increasing the time we put into this, but so far our focus has been on making sure that VisualEditor does not alter wikitext unexpectedly.
- Incomplete editing — Some elements of "complex" formatting will display and let you edit their contents, but not let users edit their structure or add new entries – such as tables or definition lists. Adding features in this area is one of our priorities.
- Limited browser support — Right now, we have only got VisualEditor to work in the most modern versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari. It does not work in very old versions of each browser, and does not work in Opera, although a volunteer is working on Opera support. Internet Explorer currently does not work, but we aim to have support for the latest versions of IE by the time we release VisualEditor to a larger audience.
- Articles and User pages only — VisualEditor will only be enabled for the article and user namespaces (so you can make changes in a personal sandbox). In time, we will build out the kinds of specialized editing tools needed for non-articles, but our focus has been on articles.
Because of these limitations, and inevitable bugs, we recommend that users click "Review your changes" before saving the page, and report any problems they encounter.
How to help out[edit | edit source]
For VisualEditor to be as good as it can be, there are a lot of things we need help with. Obviously, one big area is using the software, finding bugs and reporting them, but there are many other tasks as well. These include:
- Updating help pages — All of our projects have help pages to make it easier for new users to contribute. Unfortunately they are all built around the markup editor, and when VisualEditor is launched, the screenshots and tutorials will all become outdated. It would be very useful if people could update help pages, based on our tutorial to using VisualEditor.
- Adding TemplateData to templates — VisualEditor features a nice template editor, which is described in more detail on our help page. As you'll see if you use it on Wikipedia, some templates have named parameters and nice descriptions that make it easy to use. Others do not. This is because templates need "TemplateData" before this feature will work. If you're interested in adding TemplateData, we have a guide to doing so, along with a list of the most important templates to add it to.
- Help new users — If the VisualEditor launch is successful, we will have a lot more new users than we are used to, and even though editing may be easier, working out how to interact with the community will still be hard. Please do try and spend some time on the help desk, or in the IRC help channel, to help these newcomers become acclimatized to Wikipedia.