Help:VisualEditor/Community Taskforce/T137571


Thanks to Stryn, Gnom, Amir, Geraki, Liridon, Janak, Eduardogobi, Miya, Czar, Eran, Music1201, ImperfectlyInformed, Josve05 for answering questions related to phab:T137571.

Question 1[edit]

Was the existing documentation about how to adapt the visual editor to your context useful to you?

Do you have ideas about how to improve or expand it? (Note it has been changed recently, here's what it looked like before.)
What is your preferred format to learn about something or about how to get things done? Feel free to list tools or other resources, even if they aren't being used currently on our sites.
  • Well, to be honest I have not used that page a lot, if at all, but seems useful for those who are new with VE / or who want to help users in their community with VE.
  • I am sorry but I think that I have never used this documentation. (About format) I think it is "newsy" texts such as the VE newsletter.
  • That page is pretty complete. I'll use the opportunity to mention my usual delenda est thing, however, even though it's non-trivial and requires a lot of patience and dedication: Investigating the appearance of <nowiki> tags, frequently auto-inserted by VE and Parsoid (and by extension Content Translation). I did it in the Hebrew Wikipedia, documented it in English, and reported a bunch of bugs as a result (some fixed, some declined ;) ). Along the way, all the appearances of <nowiki> can be removed from the article space. I can think of no good reason for them to ever appear there, at least in the languages I know, although they are often needed in other spaces like Project: and Help:. They can easily be found by running a search for "insource:nowiki". There were thousands of them in Hebrew, and I removed them all. In other languages I can see thousands of them. I'd love to help dedicated people who know the relevant language get rid of them. The common reasons for their appearance may be different in other languages. It's useful not just for wiki syntax cleanliness, but also for finding useful VE and Parsoid bugs.
  • Yes, the documentation was OK. Most of the times I didn't need anything more than "where" to do something, rather than "how" to do it. I am not sure what can be improved. My own preferred format is lists of small texts with basic information (usually I don't need a step-by-step guide).
  • As per my knowledge Visual editor is very useful tool in Wiki movement but i am unable to apply it's use in Incubation project.
  • Yes,
    • a) I think it should be kept simple, the way it is.
    • b) Documentation and examples, of course.
  • Sorry, but I cant make VE my main editor - I prefer TWO TABs.
  • I didn't know of this documentation, so it wasn't useful for me, but it seems to be nice idea.
    • I think it is too long and as such not very accessible. I believe the audience for this page are mostly non English speakers so it would be nice to make it sentence-less page with pointers to more details
    • MediaWiki documentation pages for extensions
  • You might want to experiment with the page's layout, as it reads a bit like a wall of text in areas (especially with the big, italicized text)—might be better to just keep the normal typeface size and try to make the headers/contents more concise. For example, "Keep yourself and your community up-to-date on visual editor news \n We publish a multilingual bimonthly newsletter so you can learn about new, exciting features as they are made available, and about planned improvements. \n Sign up for the newsletter, and please add your name to the translators' list so that other people at all projects in your language will be able to read the bulletin in your language on community pages there." → "Subscribe to our multilingual, bimonthly newsletter for news about VE features and improvements as they are released" and I'd add the translator ask to the other translation section, for example.
  • Yes, the existing documentation about visual editor was useful to me, and I don't have any ideas for expansion at this time.
  • My basic answer is that I didn't actually have any trouble using visual editor. I found it intuitive and figured it out pretty quickly. But I'm also a programmer and I'm used to things like keyboard shortcuts....
  • I had not seen that document as of yet, so have not had any use for it. I have not been part of helping rolling out VE, but rather a "helping hand" to report and deal with issues. I like to discuss things as I go along and do stuff, so a link to an IRC channel or something would be nice.

Question 2[edit]

What is the one thing related to adapting the visual editor which is not explained well anywhere and you're still struggling to learn more about?

  • For me configuring Citoid is the hardest things that I hope would be easier. Many times when I'm adding a source using the automatical tool (Zotero?), it only adds a title and URL, but no site, date, language, and other useful information. A long time ago I tried adding some sites to Zotero, but it was too hard.
  • Making templates VE-accessible.
  • Being an experienced Wikipedian, I am not struggling with this myself, but every time I explain about VE to other people, the need to know names of templates when inserting them is the most puzzling part for the newbies. This is filed as .
  • I think I have no questions about something now, so either everything is well explained or some thing do not need any explanation. :-)
  • It's difficult to get Templates, Infobox etc explained well in Visual editor. Now i am struggling to learn more about this for Incubation project.
  • The User Guide is pretty much self-explainable
  • "adopt" = adopt wiki / customizations to make VE work in wiki or adopt=adopt user to VE? I will answer both:
    • Users - There is a gap in the way newbie can adopt VE. For example as talk pages doesn't work with VE. Hence, newbies most learn both (simple) wikitext as well as VE for actual editing.
    • Wikis - WMF cannot, and probably don't want to, take responsibility for developing any type of customization that specific wiki need. (and if it does, it usually end up badly as Extension:PageTriage which is by design works only for enwiki). Special, non built-in customization for VE, required for specific site can only be written as JS gadgets - I did try to improve this area (see 3), but I feel it is still partially missing. I hope this obstacle can be mitigated at least partially in T106996 and by additional examples of gadgets.
  • IMO, everything was clearly mentioned in some way on instructions pages/documentation pages.
  • I did some work on the "VE-page" on sv.wp to help users report errors. But that page is a bit hidden, so it is not easy to find the feedback-page.

Question 3[edit]

Did you create additional documentation/resources to help yourself and others? Like user guides, how-to/instruction pages, etc.? If so, please provide links.

  • I have created fi:Wikipedia:Visuaalinen muokkain (the main page for VE) and many other pages under this main page.
  • Other than the nowiki thing, which I created, and which I update continuously, there's a simple thing I do: Every time I happen to notice diffs in which somebody is struggling to do something using VE, I go to the help page about it in my home wiki and make sure that it explains how to do it in VE. Many of the local help pages were written many years ago before VE and only reflect wiki syntax (and sometimes they are outdated even for wiki syntax). I did this for the Hebrew counterparts of Wikipedia:Categorization and Help:Footnotes and maybe other pages I forgot ;)
  • I have created screenshots for the user guides + videos as tutorials for using VE (
  • I have started to translate, but more is needed, and hope to find time to continue.
  • We have created Help page, Self education for Wikipedia . links as Self education for Wikipedia and Helppage.
  • I created a short documentation, ja:Help:ビジュアルエディター ("short" at first) in order to say "Let's try VE! You can switch VE and wiki editor back and forth! "
  • VisualEditor/Gadgets - which I think is one of the more important stuff that is still partially missing (because there are not so many existing examples).
  • No I have not, but I plan to extent Template Data related pages.

Question 4[edit]

Did somebody else from WMF or your community assist you with the visual editor community work you did so far? Please list names and the ways they provided support (like, Alice sent me an email to explain how to do X). Please, add community members' names to the taskforce list if they are not there yet.

  • Not really assisted, but we have a tech-guy on fiwiki, User:Zache, who have helped with VE. For example, by default the Citoid will print the citation date as "2016-05-05", and on fiwiki we use "5.5.2016", so Zache created some modules and fixed templates to show the dates in correct format (fi:Wikipedia:Kahvihuone_(tekniikka)/Arkisto_38#Visuaalisen_muokkaimen_p.C3.A4iv.C3.A4m.C3.A4.C3.A4r.C3.A4t).
  • Well, I founded a small self-help group :-)
  • Other than WMF VE developers, designers, managers and liaisons (like you!), the community person with whom I worked on this the most is probably Eran (@ערן), who knows much more than I do about deep customization and gadgets than I do.
  • When I started at Wikimania, I had help from Amir E. Aharoni.
  • From my community Mr. Ram Prasad Joshee and Nirajan pant helping me in translate wiki.
  • VE team members - like you, Elitre - were always helpful, reporting issues to phabricator, encouraging translation, answering to questions...
  • VE team (and Mooeypoo) are very responsive and kindly assists me whenever I need any help
  • You Elitre have helped me, Quiddity has helped triage bugs and helped me check if they have been reported or not on Phab.