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For the VisualEditor deployment at the English Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:VisualEditor.
For changes made using the VisualEditor, see VisualEditor, VisualEditor: Check, and VisualEditor: Switched

The VisualEditor project aims to create a reliable rich-text editor for MediaWiki. It is being developed so it can be used as a MediaWiki extension, using the Parsoid project to supply HTML+RDFa.

It is currently deployed to various namespaces on this wiki (including the main namespace in which this page exists); more information about this test deployment can be found on Wikimedia's blog, the FAQs, and VisualEditor:Welcome or VisualEditor:Test. Please note that the test deployment only works with the Vector skin. For more information, please visit the VisualEditor Portal.

Rationale[edit | edit source]

The decline in new contributor growth is the single most serious challenge facing the Wikimedia movement. Removing avoidable technical impediments associated with Wikimedia's editing interface is a necessary pre-condition for increasing the number of Wikimedia contributors.

Status[edit | edit source]

2014-07-31 (MW 1.24wmf16):

VisualEditor was updated as part of the wider MediaWiki 1.24wmf16 branch deployment on Thursday 31 July. In the week since the last deployment, the team worked on the mobile version of VisualEditor for tablet users, fixing a number of bugs, some of which were released early to minimise disruption, and prepared to Wikimania.

From 14 August, tablet users will be able to use VisualEditor on wikis' mobile websites without being in "beta"; the existing wikitext editor will remain the default editor for all wikis for now. The tablet version does not have all of the features of desktop VisualEditor yet, and phones will not get VisualEditor at this point. The icon for comments was switched from a bright orange to a simpler grey, and its display was fixed after a glitch (bug 68721). The version number, which now is shown at the bottom of the help menu, is now wrapped so that it displays correctly for RTL users (bug 68688).

We made an emergency fix to all wikis after finding a bug that meant that once you reviewed the wikitext diff of your changes, VisualEditor ignored any further changes and would shave the page as it had been then (bug 68619). We fixed a critical area of the code which led to number of disruptive bugs causing the insertion of pawn ("♙") and snowmen ("☃") characters when typing after templates with sibling HTML elements, rushed the fix out to all wikis (bugs 67992, 68147, 68151, 68539, 68666, 68733, and 68740).

The "re-use existing reference" dialog had been optimised for performance a little too much so that it never re-built the list of references to insert after the first time it was opened; we corrected this (bug 68869). A related issue meant that the contents of a newly-added reference would show up the first time it was used (bug 67342), and that once you had inserted a re-used reference you couldn't re-insert it (bug 68582). The styling of references' names in the re-use search interface has been tweaked to appear lighter. Finally for this tool, a bug that meant the contents of the re-use reference tool wouldn't show up for basic references unless you had reference list was fixed (bug 68079).

Selecting a comment now looks correct rather than being unselected, and (working around a browser bug) they can now be copy-and-pasted in Firefox. Cursoring off gallery blocks was fixed to work like other nodes like templates, images and references, rather than breaking the display of the cursor. If you edit an "alien" (unrecognised) MediaWiki extension's code we now use the extension's name in the menu, rather than just telling you it's an "Alien". Selection nodes like references, images and templates displayed better in Firefox. We fixed a bug which meant that selecting a link and typing to replace it wouldn't undo correctly (bug 68677).

The language dialog now opens in the correct part of the window stack, which means it now displays correctly (bug 68486), and can be used inside the media and reference ("sub-editor") dialogs (bug 68808). The media search window now will only show the "No results found" message after the results have come back, rather than immediately (bug 67438) and a bug that caused errors in some cases when searching (bug 67749 and related technical debt bug 65321). The toolbar for the caption in the media settings dialog is now only active when the caption is active, rather than starting that way even if you type in the alt text box (bug 68805).

A bug meant that once you opened the page options dialog no further changes would be remembered by VisualEditor until you exited the page was also fixed (bug 68901). We fixed the behaviour when we hide the "breadcrumb" beneath the title on redirect pages restoring correctly when you save the page (bug 68432). Mirroring the wikitext editor, the "Your edit was saved" message now doesn't show if your VisualEditor edit had no changes (a "null edit") because MediaWiki doesn't actually save the page (bug 51243).

On private third-party wikis which lock-down their API in a particular way, searching for an image now works by using a different protocol – this bug did not affect Wikimedia production sites, including private ones, due to different configuration there (bug 64822). The rare warning that there may be corruption from VisualEditor when you save, which had accidentally disappeared a few weeks ago, has been restored. We fixed a bug that meant that a category sortkey containing an underscore ("_") could get corrupted by VisualEditor.

As part of the work to get Mobile ready for release, we fixed a number of issues there. There were a few issues with the positioning of the toolbar and the context (bugs 67390, 67433, 67637, 68198, and 68546). The Agora-like styling of mobile was improved and made to work with the new windowing system in a few more areas (bug 68194). Opening the link editor for the second time in an edit would make the page zoomed, making the editor title overlapped with the browser tab (bug 68197) and scrolling and tapping in the main editor would no longer work (bug 68878).

Some performance and code architecture improvements were made to the system for attaching events to focusable nodes, the document and cursor directionality detection, code for selecting the cursor as the user types, the descriptions of link annotations, and the node resizing code. We removed some unused CSS message and a reference to an old interface message that is no longer used. The interface images were refined to be more compact, and the node resize icons were embedded to work like all the others.

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/wmf16 changelog, and all Bugzilla tickets closed in this period are on Bugzilla's list.
You can see the team's current code dashboard on gerrit.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • Some level of exploration was done in 2010 by the Wikipedia Usability Initiative.
  • The 2011 product whitepaper published by the Wikimedia Foundation's strategic product team identified rich-text editing as one of the "Great Movement Projects". Work subsequently started in May 2011.
  • The 2011-12 Wikimedia annual plan, released July 2011, states a goal for VisualEditor: "First opt-in user-facing production usage by December 2011, and first small wiki default deployment by June 2012".
  • The 2012-13 Engineering Goals document sets a timeline for VisualEditor's development and deployment up to the end of June 2013.
  • VisualEditor is scheduled to be deployed across Wikimedia projects over the coming months. Below is the schedule as of December 2013:
Wikipedia roll-out timeline (detailed list)
Week of… Launch Users Projects Status
Summer 2012 Phase 0 All users[1] YesY Done
1 July 2013 Logged-in users English Wikipedia (en)[2] YesY Done
15 July 2013 All users YesY Done
24 July 2013 Phase 1 Logged-in users 7 of the largest Wikipedias

Spanish (es), French (fr), Hebrew (he), Italian (it), Polish (pl), Russian (ru) & Swedish (sv)[3]

YesY Done
29 July 2013 All users YesY Done
30 September 2013 Phase 2 Logged-in users 27 of the next largest Wikipedias

Bulgarian (bg), Catalan (ca), Cebuano (ceb), Czech (cs), Danish (da), Modern Greek (el), Estonian (et), Basque (eu), Finnish (fi), Galician (gl), Croatian (hr), Hungarian (hu), Indonesian (id), Latvian (lv), Malay (ms), Neopolitan (nap), Norwegian - Nynorsk (nn), Norwegian - Bokmål (no), Sicilian (scn), Simple English (simple), Slovak (sk), Slovenian (sl), Turkish (tr), Ukrainian (uk), Venetian (vec), Volapük (vo), Waray-Waray (war)

YesY Done
7 October 2013 All users YesY Done
2 December 2013 Phase 3 All users 91 Wikipedias with all characters normally directly available to users

Acehnese (ace), Aymara (ay), Central Bikol (bcl), Bislama (bi), Banjar (bjn), Chavacano (cbk-zam), Chechen (ce), Chamorro (ch), Cheyenne (chy), Corsican (co), Kashubian (csb), Zazaki (diq), Emilian-Romagnol (eml), Extremaduran (ext), Fijian (fj), Faroese (fo), Franco-Provençal/Arpitan (frp), North Frisian (frr), Friulian (fur), Scottish Gaelic (gd), Hawai'ian (haw), Fiji Hindi (hif), Haitian (ht), Interlingua (ia), Ilokano (ilo), Ido (io), Lojban (jbo), Kongo (kg), Kikuyu (ki), Greenlandic (kl), Komi-Permyak (koi), Ripuarian (ksh), Cornish (kw), Ladino (lad), Lak (lbe), Ganda (lg), Limburgish (li), Ligurian (lij), Lombard (lmo), Banyumasan (map-bms), Malagasy (mg), Maori (mi), Minangkabau (min), Maltese (mwl), Erzya (myv), Nauruan (na), Low Saxon (nds), Dutch Low Saxon (nds-nl), Novial (nov), Norman (nrm), Northern Sotho (nso), Chichewa (ny), Oromo (om), Pangasinan (pag), Kapampangan (pam), Papiamento (pap), Picard (pcd), Pennsylvania German (pdc), Norfuk (pih), Piedmontese (pms), Portuguese (pt), Quechuan (qu), Romansh (rm), Romani (rmy), Kirundi (rn), Aromanian (roa-rup), Tarantino (roa-tara), Kinyarwanda (rw), Northern Sami (se), Sango (sg), Samoan (sm), Shona (sn), Somali (so), Sranan (srn), Swazi (ss), Sesotho (st), Saterland Frisian (stq), Sundanese (su), Tongan (to), Tok Pisin (tpi), Tsonga (ts), Tumbuka (tum), Tahitian (ty), Tuvan (tyv), Veps (vep), West Flemish (vls), Kalmyk (xal), Yiddish (yi), Yoruba (yo), Zeelandic (zea), Zulu (zu)

YesY Done
13 January 2014 Phase 4 All users 23 remaining Wikipedias with all characters normally directly available to users

Alemannic (als), Aragonese (an), Asturian (ast), Bavarian (bar), Belarusian (be), Belarussian Taraškievica (be-x-old), Bosnian (bs), Esperanto (eo), West Frisian (fy), Irish (ga), Javanese (jv), Latin (la), Luxembourgish (lb), Lithuanian (lt), Occitan (oc), Palatinate German (pfl), Romanian (ro), Scots (sco), Albanian (sq), Swahili (sw), Tswana (tn), Vietnamese (vi), Xhosa (xh)

YesY Done
TBC Phase 5 All users 53 Wikipedias with some characters not normally directly-available to users

(Provisional list) Abkhazian (ab), Afrikaans (af), Akan (ak), Anglo-Saxon (ang), Avar (av), Azerbaijani (az), Bashkir (ba), Samogitian (bat-smg), Bambara (bm), Breton (br), Buryat (bxr), Crimean Tatar (crh), Old Church Slovonic (cu), Chuvash (cv), Welsh (cy), Lower Sorbian (dsb), Ewe (ee), Fula (ff), Võro (fiu-vro), Gagauz (gag), Guarani (gn), Hausa (ha), Upper Sorbian (hsb), Igbo (ig), Inupiak (ik), Icelandic (is), Karakalpak (kaa), Kabyle (kab), Kabardian (kbd), Karachay-Balkar (krc), Komi (kv), Kyrgyz (ky), Lezgian (lez), Lingala (ln), Latgalian (ltg), Moksha (mdf), Meadow Mari (mhr), Macedonian (mk), Mongolian (mn), Hill Mari (mrj), Maltese (mt), Nahuatl (nah), Navajo (nv), Ossetian (os), Rusyn (rue), Sakha (sah), Silesian (szl), Turkmen (tk), Tatar (tt), Udmurt (udm), Venda (ve), Walloon (wa), Wolof (wo)

TBC Phase 6 All users 59 Wikipedias with complex characters inserted using Input Method Editors

(Provisional list) Amharic (am), Arabic (ar), Aramaic (arc), Egyptian Arabic (arz), Assamese (as), Behari (bh), Bengali (bn), Tibetan (bo), Bishnupriya (bpy), Buginese (bug), Min Dong (cdo), Cherokee (chr), Sorani Kurdish (ckb), Cree (cr), Dhivehi (dv), Dzongkha (dz), Persian (fa), Gilaki (glk), Gothic (got), Gujarati (gu), Manx (gv), Hakka (hak), Hindi (hi), Akan (hy), Japanese (ja), Georgian (ka), Khmer (km), Kannada (kn), Korean (ko), Kashmiri (ks), Lao (lo), Malayalam (ml), Marathi (mr), Burmese (my), Mazanderani (mzn), Nepali (ne), Nepal Bhasa (new), Oriya (or), Punjabi (pa), Pali (pi), Saraiki (Western Punjabi) (pnb), Pontic (pnt), Pashto (ps), Sanskrit (sa), Sindhi (sd), Serbo-Croatian (sh), Sinhala (si), Tamil (ta), Telugu (te), Thai (th), Tigrinya (ti), Tagalog (tl), Uyghur (ug), Urdu (ur), Wu (wuu), Zhuang (za), Classical Chinese (zh-classical), Min Nan (zh-min-nan), Cantonese (zh-yue)

TBC Phase 7 All users 9 language variant Wikipedias

Gan (gan), Inuktitut (iu), Kazakh (kk), Kurdish (ku), Tachelhit (shi), Serbian (sr), Tajik (tg), Uzbek (uz), Chinese (zh)

VisualEditor may be offered to users at non-Wikipedia projects, such as Commons or Wiktionary, after deployment to the Wikipedias has completed. No timeline has been set for this.

VisualEditor was made opt-in on the English Wikipedia in September 2013.

VisualEditor was made opt-in on the Spanish Wikipedia in February 2014.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Initially restricted to just the VisualEditor: namespace, later for all pages.
  2. Subsequently switched back to "opt-in" mode in September 2013.
  3. German (de) and Dutch (nl) initially proposed, but withdrawn before full deployment due to community concerns.

Documentation[edit | edit source]

You can speak with us in our chat channel, #mediawiki-visualeditorconnect.

Related pages[edit | edit source]

For more information on VisualEditor and its design process, see these directory pages:

See also[edit | edit source]