- For the status of current Editing projects, see Visual-based mobile editing.
Extending and improving the editing tools used at Wikimedia
The Editing team was formed in 2011. The team is a part of the Contributors Team who work on tools for editing – generally across MediaWiki, and the suite of editors including WikiEditor, VisualEditor and CodeEditor, plus specific tools like Cite, and many smaller tools like TemplateData and Citoid.
Strategically, the Editing Team supports the Audiences department's "New Content" program, and, in turn, the Wikimedia Foundation's long-term goal of "Knowledge Equity". Those initiatives are about building strong communities that bring broad and deep content to people all over the world. One way to accomplish this is by improving the mobile editing experience to make it easier for someone to contribute productively to Wikimedia projects on a mobile device from a browser. The goal of this work (as mentioned in the Annual Plan 2018-2019) is to increase mobile edits and improve retention of new contributors. One way in which we will track our progress is by monitoring the:
- edit success rate per period for mobile visual edits,
- number of edits per period via mobile visual editing by newer editors (within their first 6 months after registration), and
- number of editors per period using mobile visual editing feature(s).
As we track our progress, we encourage a two-way dialogue with the community.
Community Relations Specialist
Sr. User Experience Designer
Senior Software Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
Sr. Technical Program Manager
- On-wiki collaboration: From September 2019 to 2020-2021, the Editing team's priority will be to help improve how contributors collaborate on-wiki by evolving existing talk pages to be more intuitive.
- Visual-based mobile editing: From July 2018 to September 2019 the Editing team's priority will be improving the mobile editing experience to make it easier for someone to contribute productively to Wikimedia projects on a mobile device from a browser. The goal of this work (as mentioned in the Annual Plan) is to increase mobile edits and retention.
What does it mean to "retain new contributors"?
For the purposes of this team, "new contributors" are people who have had a registered account on a wiki project for less than six months. To "retain" them means that they make a first edit, and then continue to make additional edits over time.
As we work, the Editing team will determine which types of retention are most important to track and to increase.
The WikiEditor extension provides an improved interface for editing wikitext. It is the wikitext editing interface that Wikipedia started using in 2010 for desktop users, so it is sometimes called the 2010 wikitext editor. The extension used to provide "Labs" features for "publication" and "preview" steps, but these are removed from REL1_31 onwards.
VisualEditor was built with the goal of removing avoidable technical impediments associated with Wikimedia's editing interface, as a necessary pre-condition for increasing the number of Wikimedia contributors. In addition to its word-processor-like visual editing mode, VisualEditor has a built-in wikitext mode, which is sometimes called the 2017 wikitext editor. Our latest research on the current state of VisualEditor usage will be shared by the end of November 2018.
The CodeEditor extension extends the WikiEditor advanced editing toolbar with an embedded Ace editor widget, providing some handy features for user/site JS, CSS pages, and when Extension:Scribunto is also installed, for pages in Module. Currently, the extension is under development, and details of activation and functionality are subject to change.
The TemplateData extension introduces a
<templatedata> tag and an API which together allow editors to specify how templates should be invoked. This information is available as a nicely-formatted table for end-users, and as a JSON API, which enables other systems (e.g. VisualEditor) to build interfaces for working with templates and their parameters.
The citoid node.js service generates citation data given a URL, DOI, ISBN, PMID, or PMCID. It has a companion extension, Citoid, which aims to provide use of the citoid service to VisualEditor. Bugs, issues, and suggestions for improvement can be added to the Citoid phabricator project.
How to work with us
Although the main focus area for 2018–2019 is improving the mobile editing experience for mid-sized Wikipedias that already have a significant number of people editing from the mobile site, we are looking for information from every community. Here are some ways you can help us.
- Give feedback on early ideas.
- Visual-based mobile editing/Ideas — Central page for ideas and possible projects. Share your thoughts on the talk page.
- Share your experience with editing. We want to hear what you think. Post your questions and comments to the correct page:
- Stay informed and spread the word
How to write the code
Software developers and those aspiring to become ones can work on the source code of VisualEditor. The software overview, How to become a MediaWiki hacker and the API documentation are helpful guides to get started. If you're active on Wikimedia projects, you might find it more convenient to develop gadgets or user scripts that extend VisualEditor.
(Pre-university students can also participate in the Google Code-in contest in fall/winter.)
VisualEditor developers on IRC via connect.
Need a place to start? Check out:
- Tasks tagged as #goodfirstbug (see also Annoying little bugs#VisualEditor)
- Tasks estimated as 1 story point, as of 2018-10 (see story points; this list is larger but less carefully curated)
How we work
Main Phabricator Board
|FY2016–17||Minutes; Slides||Minutes; Slides||Minutes; Slides||To come|
|FY2015–16||Minutes; Slides||Minutes; Slides||Minutes; Slides||Minutes; Slides|
|FY2014–15||Minutes; Slides||Minutes; Slides||Minutes; Slides||Minutes; Slides|
|FY2013–14||Minutes; Slides||Minutes; Slides||Minutes; Slides|
|FY2012–13||—||—||Minutes; Slides||Minutes; Slides|
We will update this section with links and research that underpin the background, principles, challenges, and solutions above, and that continue to shape our team’s thinking.