Talk:Talk pages project/replying

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The team would value any thoughts and/or questions you have about this new tool for Replying to specific comments on talk pages.

Give preference to choose editor for once

Summary by PPelberg (WMF)
Ammarpad (talkcontribs)

I don't like the way that the default editor is Visual Editor and always I have to switch to the source. I don't use VE at all, and I would like to not be forced to. Please give preference that I will tick so at all time, I will only see source editor.

Another minor related issue is that I notice the window changes size when switching. It becomes bigger in VE. Is this intentional? is there any documentation of why this is good?, I'd expect the text in source editor to be larger in size, and not sure why its window is smaller. But this is minor issue, if you allow us to disable VE altogether (like we do in normal editing), this problem will go away. Thanks

Valereee (talkcontribs)

You can't set that in your Preferences>Editing tab?

Ammarpad (talkcontribs)

There's no preference to do that there. Or maybe I am not seeing it, can you give the exact name?.

Geraki (talkcontribs)
Ammarpad (talkcontribs)
Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

That preference doesn't appear if you disabled the visual editor, since "Always give me the source editor" would naturally be the only option.

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

The default editor for the reply widget is not visual editor – it's whichever editor you have selected for editing articles (the preference Geraki linked), or if you selected "Remember…" or "Show me both…", it's whichever editor you used the last time.

After you change editors in the reply widget, it should remember your choice and always use the editor you used last from then on.

We didn't want to add another preference for a few reasons:

  • The usual – it adds clutter on Special:Preferences and it increases the complexity of the code
  • Switching editors in the reply widget is much faster than in articles, since we don't need to reload the contents of the page
  • Most of the time the comments on talk pages are just text, so it doesn't really matter which editor you use anyway
Ammarpad (talkcontribs)
  • The presence of the two modes also adds clutter, more distracting than if it were on a special page, that I rarely visit.
  • This is a standalone extension, so I am not sure why it should not come with preferences for users to disable what they'll not use at all, but end up always seeing.
  • Users who want the source only don't anticipate any switching, so why not allow them use what they want. Why should we have duplicate things doing the same thing?
  • No, it matters. Even in articles significant percentage of edit is text. I cannot remember last when I added anything not text in article. I greatly appreciate that I am not being confronted with a switch button before saving.
Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

The presence of the two modes also adds clutter, more distracting than if it were on a special page, that I rarely visit.

I agree with this actually, we have a task about it: T255448. Personally I'd prefer a dropdown in the toolbar like the one we're using in Flow here.

This is a standalone extension, so I am not sure why it should not come with preferences for users to disable what they'll not use at all, but end up always seeing.

To be clear, there will always be a preference to disable the reply widget (and any related tools), currently you can do that by turning off the beta feature. I am not really convinced that we also need a preference to disable the ability to switch editors within the reply widget.

Ammarpad (talkcontribs)

Thank you for that ticket T255448. The task issue is different from my feedback but they are indeed related. It's yet another confirmation that this tool will probably be better without this two modes, or at least a way to make it one per user. It confuses the new editors (per usability research in the task) and it annoys the older editors (who prefer source).

I said 'probably', since I am not privy to the research you have done about it, but I believe giving option to disable it will not hinder any workflow. I hope you'll consider the third alternative of allowing people to choose one.

On the second issue, I didn't know I can disable the tool entirely and I really hope not to. I like the tool and appreciate the people working on it, but if the VE mode kept distracting me, I believe I have to disable it one day.

Matma Rex (talkcontribs)

I think the real bug here is that the initial edit mode for you was visual, even though you also have completely disabled visual editor for articles in preferences.

It seems that if you disable the visual editor, we stop updating the data about which editor you used the last time you edited, but we still remember which editor you used previously. If that was the visual editor, then it seems that the reply widget will also use visual mode initially.

I filed a bug about this problem: T257234

Ammarpad (talkcontribs)

I appreciate your clarification and starting that task. But it's not the real bug here. It will indeed ameliorate the issue, but the main issue remains.

If you want feel of the real bug in this feedback, open this enwiki article. Imagine that every section edit button is followed by VE edit button, that I must choose in between during any edit. I am aware that some people see two buttons, some see only VE buttons, but that's fine because they intentionally choose to see that from their preference pages. I personally choose to see only single [edit] button always. We did not say, both buttons should be shown to everybody even if they elect to see only one.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Ammarpad, which wiki are you talking about? It looks like you've posted a screenshot of Special:Preferences from but the only edit I can find you ever making with the Reply tool was at the French Wikipedia, which (of course) has different prefs settings.

Ammarpad (talkcontribs)

@Whatamidoing (WMF), yes the prefs page is of But I am also testing the tool here on not on French Wikipedia. Actual editing with the tool is not necessary to understand the bug I described. So I intentionally didn't make any post with it, I just tested by opening/reloading the page and switching the tabs to see what happens. Ammarpad (talk) 19:41, 6 July 2020 (UTC)

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

But perhaps if you actually made an edit, then that would record your preference, and thereby solve your problem?

Ammarpad (talkcontribs)

Thanks, I did here: Project_talk:Sandbox. It did not go away. The test text is self-explanatory. (Forget the bunch of nowiki tags and double signature that the VE mode added which did not go away after I switched mode.)

And if you ask me why I start editing without switching, it's because I don't think I will be able to remember this always. From my feel, I will always start editing once I open the window, but the moment I saw my text being transformed to something else, it's the time I will attempt switching to Source. But then it's not always normal switching. I may inherit things like these, that may require another edit to cleanup.

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Ammarpad thank you for sharing this feedback. It looks like @Matma Rex and @Whatamidoing (WMF) have helped get to the bottom of the feedback you are sharing. I wanted to follow up with two things:

1. Edit modes: I've included the comment you made in T255448#6284266 to the description of T255085 where we are considering the collection of issues around the input modes.

2. <nowiki>....</nowiki>: so you're aware, <nowiki> tags were added to this edit in order to ensure that what people type in the tool's Visual mode resembles, as closely as possible, what is shown on the talk page once the comment is posted. With this said, we are in the process of revising this behavior so, in the case you demonstrated, typing ~~~~ in the tools visual mode will result in the four tildes (~~~~) being transformed into a signature without any <nowiki> tags being inserted into the page.

You can see how this approach will work by experimenting with it on this test wiki: And if you end up giving this a try, we'd value hearing what you think about it.

Reply to "Give preference to choose editor for once"

V2 live observations: Pelagic

Summary by PPelberg (WMF)
Pelagic (talkcontribs)

Wow, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Reply 2.0 is live now.

One thing that I meant to mention from the mockups but think I neglected was the [ B I ] buttons instead of the [ A ˅ ] dropdown that's in VE and SD. Really happy to see [ A ˅ ] in the release version. :) (I'm not fussed whether bold and italic get their own buttons or appear on a submenu, but I want to be able to access all the other formatting like small, code, etc.)

I had a small difficulty on iOS where I selected some text in the top line, and the native context menu obscured the toolbar. There was no way to make it disappear or scroll it out of the way, so I inserted a couple of temporary newlines to move the text down. Short of putting the toolbar below, which is rather drastic, I don't see an easy design fix for that.

Pelagic (talkcontribs)

Just noticed, is the @-dropdown not working in Source mode?

PPelberg (WMF) (talkcontribs)

...but I want to be able to access all the other formatting like small, code, etc.)

@Pelagic, can you share a bit more here? Were there tools you were expecting to see that were not present within th