Help talk:VisualEditor/VE as the main editor

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I welcome suggestions about a better title for this page! --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 02:49, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

So one thing I'd probably like to add at some point, as a best practice example, is a suggestion to create a page like What I did there back then was explaining very plainly:
what the change was about; what people would perceive as such
what's really cool about VE
what still can't be done with VE
who was already using it...
...even to create articles from scratch
where people can get related updates
where relevant community discussions had taken place
who was doing what to support the deployment (let's be grateful with brave pioneers!)
what's left to be done
what to do in case of problems, or to disable it, etc.
Re: the "Hall of Fame" part, I believe that there's huge value in finding VE "power users" and involving them. That's because they'll have a lot of stories/tips and tricks to share, and they also know where VE should improve. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 12:19, 1 February 2016 (UTC)


Visual Editor was built on the theory that wikitext was an obstacle in the on-ramp for new editors, and initial interviews with non-editors seemed to support that theory. The idea was that a Visual Editor would make it easier to edit and that it would bring in new editors. The VisualEditor Rationale states: 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. That is a laudable goal, however Visual Editor has manifestly failed to meet that rationale. The WMF's May 2015 study found that making VE available helped an additional 0% of new users make their first edit, it resulted in a 0% increase in new editor retention, and it resulted in a 0% increase in total contributions. I will skip the debate over why wikitext editing is actually easier to learn and why it is generally superior to VE. I will simply let the WMF's data attest to the fact that VE yielded exactly 0% of the claimed benefits. The original theory turned out to be wrong, and the initial interviews with non-editors turned out to be misleading.

There are significant community concerns that VE is not an option as the only editor (making it necessary for any serious editor to learn both), and that Visual Editor may have negative impact on the general editing learning curve which not which may not shown up in those new editor statistics. To the best of my knowledge, the prevailing community view is that the wikitext editor is the main editor and should remain the main editor for the foreseeable future.

Is this page intending to assert that VE is the main editor? Or is this hoping to persuade the communities that VE should become the main editor? Alsee (talk) 18:59, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

See my first remark at the top of this very page. As a non-native speaker, I simply used an imperfect term to describe a then current situation (VE being deployed as the first editing tab - where first just means "the one on the left", for LTR wikis, which was the default setting for almost all the wikis). Other terms, like "primary", "default" etc., although more widely used, are similarly imperfect, FWIW. I still lack a term to describe "the moment when the VE option isn't in the Beta tab anymore". --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 07:53, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
Left&right edit tabs are gone at some wikis, and will be gone at all of them. The WMF is in the middle of single edit tab deployment. New users are (or soon will be) only given ONE edit link. For new users, that one and only available link loads the "Primary editor" first. When I tried accessing Polish Wiki, the only available edit button made my browser freeze up while I watched VE slowly load. Once VE finally completed, it gives a new-user popup with a click-to-continue. Click-to-continue drops the new user into the VE-Primary default. As I currently understand it, the WMF has already defined VE as the "Primary editor" for every wiki except EnWiki (because we've previously established consensus regarding VE). I'm wondering if there need to be mass community RFCs at all the other wikis if they also consider wikitext to be the Primary editor? Alsee (talk) 13:56, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

UPDATE: TODAY THE WMF IMPOSED VISUAL EDITOR AS THE DEFAULT/PRIMARY EDITOR ON ENGLISH WIKI. New users are now only given one edit link. That only link loads VE. New users get a popup pushing them to simply "Continue" in VE. I was explicitly assured by the Product Manager that the WMF would not set VE as Primary without discussion. Hopefully this was simply a bug. I provided a link on the right to the Phabricator link for Single Edit Tab deployment on EnWiki. Alsee (talk) 21:31, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

For next update[edit]

The Citoid part needs to be mentioning Zotero better. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 15:06, 9 May 2017 (UTC)