2017 wikitext editor gadget compatibility

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Background[edit]

Gadgets are an important part of the editing process for experienced editors. Gadgets are bits of JavaScript and CSS, written by the Wikimedia communities, that customise the wikis. There are a wide variety of complex and laborious tasks that experienced editors are exposed to on a regular basis, such as processing and archiving sockpuppetry investigations or reverting vandalism and warning users, and gadgets facilitate those tasks by automating them to some degree. Some gadgets modify the editing and reading experience significantly, by hiding, augmenting, or completely replacing interface elements. There are a small number of gadgets which are enabled by default, and therefore affect the experience of all users, even those without accounts.

Maintenance of gadgets is an ongoing problem. All code needs maintenance to continue to function properly and to avoid bit rot; frequently gadgets have gone years without maintenance, and the people who wrote them are no longer active. Gadgets often contain faulty assumptions, use deprecated functions, contain poor documentation and unclear code, and have a multitude of other problems; these problems can cause gadgets to fail when things change on the site. Sometimes gadgets fail safely or silently, and other times they fail in more serious ways and impair other functionality.

The 2017 wikitext editor is a significant change to the editing environment, and updates will need to be carried out to ensure gadgets work properly within the new editor. Gadget compatibility, both generally and in this specific case, is a shared responsibility: new extensions and products must be updated to be compatible with gadgets, but gadgets must also be updated to be compatible with new extensions and products. If communities wish to use a gadget with the 2017 wikitext editor, they may need to update it. Similarly, the Editing team must ensure that the 2017 wikitext editor provides the appropriate APIs and extensibility to enable gadget support.

What's happening[edit]

The Editing team does not have the agency to interfere in the community-owned process of gadget creation and maintenance, nor the resources to carry out such maintenance. That said, the team wants to be as helpful as possible, so we will be carrying out an audit of major gadgets to ensure their compatibility with the 2017 wikitext editor. Where gadgets are incompatibile, or partially compatible, with the 2017 wikitext editor, the team will aim to provide advice on how communities can update those gadgets. Where the 2017 wikitext editor is incompatible, or partially incompatible, with gadgets, the team will update the 2017 wikitext editor.

Feedback[edit]

Feedback can be left on the talk page.

Updates[edit]

10 May 2018[edit]

So far, 49 gadgets on the English Wikipedia have been tested. The supermajority of gadgets (42 of 49 gadgets, or 86%) are fully compatible with the 2017 wikitext editor.

A small number of gadgets (3 of 49, or 6%) were partially compatible, meaning they mostly worked but had some minor issues. A small number of gadgets (4 of 49, or 8%) were incompatible due to being implemented to be dependent on the older wikitext editors.

8 May 2018[edit]

Results of an initial audit of the compatibility of gadgets on the English Wikipedia is being collated at User:Deskana (WMF)/Gadgets/enwiki.