Talk:VisualEditor/Survey 2015

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privacy policies[edit]

Hi, there are references to our own privacy policies and those from Qualtrics and it is not really clear when and how the one or the other is relevant. Could that be clarified before the survey is published? Lyzzy (talk) 12:58, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

I understand that both are relevant if you take the survey at the Qualtrics website, and only the WMF privacy policy is relevant if never visit the Qualtrics website. If you have a more detailed question, I can ask someone from the Legal team to look in. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:46, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Pinky sl[edit]

  1. First, to which project do you contribute most often?
    • Wikipedia, Wikidata, Commons
  2. How frequently do you use VisualEditor when you are editing articles?
    • Almost every day
  3. How likely are you to recommend VisualEditor to a new editor?
    • Most likely ... I like VE
  4. Choose all that apply:
    • I sometimes start editing in VisualEditor, but then switch to the wikitext editor.
  5. In VisualEditor, the area that needs the most improvement is...
    • Support for languages other than English
    • Adding or editing templates
    • Having discussions with other editors
    • Switching back and forth between VisualEditor and wikitext editor
    • Showing me diffs and the history of articles visually
  6. I would like to see improvements to this area (the one selected in the previous question). If I could make one change to this area, I would change...
    • I would change... editing templates. I miss linking tool inside template dialog ... it is pain in the ass using [[]] by hand.
    • And I would love to see »« to work like Formatting tool - first select some text and then »«. In Slovenian Wikipedia we use guillemets pointing inwards (»like this«) to indicate speech, etc and not "like this". It is hard to find them on keyboard, so you have to use symbols via Special character insertion.
  7. How did you hear about this survey?
    • A message on my user talk page

--Pinky sl (talk) 15:38, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

You're the first on this page, Pinky sl! Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know what you think. Regards, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 15:40, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
No problem, I recently give some lectures about VE to senior citizens, and sometimes it is double work to teach them how to use VE and on the other hand explain them what do they see in diffs and history. --Pinky sl (talk) 15:54, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Unsolicited e-mail[edit]

I was just sent an e-mail linking to this page and to the survey page on Qualtrics; the problem that I have with this is that I have never expressed any permission to use my e-mail address for such purposes. It seems that the reason I was contacted is because I had filled, or commented on, a bug related to VisualEditor on Bugzilla or Phabricator. However, my contributing to those websites by no means equals permission to be contacted about surveys like this one; indeed, in no place does Phabricator (or did Bugzilla) mention that filling bugs or posting comments means that I can be contacted by e-mail to fill in surveys related to software that activity was related to.

The fact that the survey e-mail was unsolicited by me, and that it appears to have been sent in bulk classifies it--according to Wikipedia--as nothing else than spam. That said, I would like to understand who and why made the decision to contact people by e-mail without their express permission and who and why made the decision to harvest e-mail addresses left on Bugzilla or Phabricator to do that. I think it reflects very poorly on the organizers of the survey that they have to resolve to sending spam to ask for people's input on VisualEditor. I also think that we should agree for the future that the Foundation as a whole--and not just organizers of this survey--will not contact people on e-mail asking to fill surveys unless they specifically opted-in to receiving such e-mails. Thank you, odder (talk) 20:44, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

"If you choose to provide your email address, we will keep it confidential, except as provided in this Policy.
We may occasionally send you emails about important information.
You may choose to opt out of certain kinds of notifications."
From Wikimedia's Privacy Policy. Linked from the bottom of,,, Bugzilla, and Fabricator. Ckoerner (talk) 20:59, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't see how this survey is important as compared to a million different issues I was not e-mailed about, and anyway, I wasn't given the change to opt-out of this kind of notification, even though it had been promised by the policy. odder (talk) 21:03, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I suppose that "importance" is a subjective criteria, but as this relates to the WMF's #1 engineering and product goal for this quarter, I think that this might reasonably fall within that subjective standard. However, I disagree with your claim that you never agreed to being contacted in e-mail: I sent e-mail only to people who filed bugs or commented on bugs about VisualEditor in Bugzilla. When you created your account at Bugzilla, you explicitly (as a condition of participating there) opted in to being contacted via e-mail by any registered user "for more information" related to anything that you posted there. This request for more information about how you would prioritize the problems you commented on fits easily within that loose framework.
Additionally, you were given the chance to opt-out of this specific kind of notification at the first possible opportunity, namely in the message itself. The message also said that this is the only time that I expect to contact Bugzilla contributors via e-mail, so opting out, although possible, is probably also pointless. (You may still reply to that e-mail if you want to do that.)
Finally, as to why I e-mailed people who had contributed to bugs in Bugzilla, the answer is: because there is no other way to reach those people. One of Bugzilla's failings was publishing email addresses but not recording on-wiki usernames. With Phabricator's use of OAuth, this problem of having e-mail addresses but not Wiki(m)(p)edia usernames may not be such a significant problem in the future (although it will continue to be a problem for people who report bugs here but aren't contributors to other WMF sites). However, for right now, we have to use the contact methods that people provided when they created their Bugzilla accounts.
(In case anyone's curious, yes, the Legal team did approve contacting these people via e-mail in advance. I'm not entirely sure that the number of e-mail addresses included was high enough to actually qualify as "bulk" e-mail, though. I could have sent that message several times over without triggering any limits.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:31, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

"to" not translatable[edit]

These two "to" texts are not possible to translate:

  • (10% to 90%)
  • (1 to 9)

Someone here knows how to mark them for translation? :) --Stryn (talk) 18:49, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the reminder! I've fixed it. I sent the whole phrase, not just the "to", because a few languages don't use Arabic numbers. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:21, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Gehts noch?[edit]

Erst wird auf zig Benutzerdiskussionsseiten ein fremdsprachiger Text massenhaft verbreitet und dann muss man das mühsam mit Google übersetzen. Im Text wird man auf eine ominöse Liste verwiesen aus der man sich austragen soll (ich hatte mich NIE in eine solche Liste eingetragen, aber das sei nur am Rande erwähnt). Ich stehe nicht mal in der Liste und kann mich folglich auch schwerlich austragen! Was soll der Unfug?!? Von der Borniertheit dieses angelsächsischen Sprachimperialismus will ich gar nicht erst anfangen... Mit einer alten Frau wie mir, kann man es ja machen. Unmögliches Betragen ist das. Weissbier (talk) 12:46, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

(I fixed my mistake and replied to the user. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 14:30, 25 March 2015 (UTC))

Even the survey ignores my request for true section editing[edit]

I clicked the link inside this sentence in the note on my Wikipedia talk page: "You can share your thoughts by clicking this link."

I filled out the pages of the survey form. I got to the page in the form with this at the top: "I would like to see improvements to this area: Other. If I could make one change to this area, I would change..."

I wrote about my desire for true section editing and left this link:

I discussed the slow loading times of the Visual Editor. The longer the page, the longer it takes VE to load.

When I clicked the forward arrow on the bottom of the page it ate my note, and reloaded that page blank. So even the survey ignores my request for true section editing. :)

Just sayin. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:44, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Hi Timeshifter, thanks for the note. I'll make sure it gets on the list.
Section editing may not be any faster; in fact, it could be paradoxically slower. I'd be interested in knowing how long it takes you to open pages these days. James F seems to be using w:en:Barack Obama, because it's so large and has so many templates. How long does it take you to just load the page (for reading)? To open the wikitext editor? To open VisualEditor? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:15, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Barack Obama: 20 seconds to load for reading. 3 to 4 seconds to edit various sections in wikitext. 26 seconds til the blue bar disappears in VE.
I would be happy with true section editing in VE, but without all of VE's features that come with full page editing. That might bring the loading time down greatly for VE editing. No editing of references not found in that section. No ability to use references found outside that section. No tables or images that start in the previous section. None of those things are possible in wikitext section editing anyway, and so I wouldn't miss them in true section editing via VE. It might take a massive rewrite of VE, but I think it would be worth it, because far more people would use it. I would really like to use VE, but I have no patience to wait half a minute just to do minor edits. Most of the edits I do are minor edits separated in time from each other. I like to save often since I bounce around various projects in various browser windows and tabs, and could lose those edits due to computer glitches, Firefox crashes, etc.. if I didn't save often. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:57, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Timeshifter, Thanks, that was useful. James is getting about 8 seconds, but I think that's probably one of those "under the best of all possible circumstances" numbers. I'm glad to have your "real-world" numbers. How long does it take you to open all of Barack Obama in the wikitext editor? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:21, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Around 5-6 seconds for the whole page to open for wikitext editing. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:06, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll let him know. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 06:53, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
By the way, I currently am on a 30mbps home connection, using Windows Vista on my main PC. It is 9 years old, with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 CPU, 3 GB of RAM, and a video card. I am using Firefox browser, and vector skin on Wikipedia. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:56, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Closing soon[edit]

It's been over a week since the last group of editors was invited to take this survey. There have been no new responses in the last 24 hours, so I think that everyone who was interested has already taken the survey. I may wait for a day or two, but I'd like to get started on the analysis end, so I'll probably disable the survey on Qualtrics sometime in the next couple of days. You can still use the normal feedback channels, like VisualEditor/Feedback, if you want to share your suggestions.

Thanks to all who participated. We've got just over 500 responses at the moment. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 06:53, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

I've just closed this in Qualtrics. I believe that if you've already started one, you can still finish it. Alternatively, you can always post your answers here for the next few days. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:18, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I think I've posted everything except a summary of the 300 free-form text responses. I'm working on a summary and will post it later (maybe next week, but it depends on how busy other projects get).
By the way, if there's a particular comparison that you'd like to see, please let me know before my Qualtrics login expires. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:19, 28 April 2015 (UTC)


  1. How frequently do you use VisualEditor when you are editing articles?

Seldom, but sometimes.

  1. How likely are you to recommend VisualEditor to a new editor?

As a start, i would recommend VisualEditor to a new editor that is very patient or slow. I would recommend to switch to viewing wikitext/source text before saving/for artefact control and for hidden comments.

  1. Choose all that apply:
    • I have tried to use VisualEditor, but I often left the page without trying to save my changes.
    • I sometimes start editing in VisualEditor, but then switch to the wikitext editor.
    • I have provided feedback about VisualEditor on wiki at pages like VisualEditor/Feedback.
  2. In VisualEditor, the area that needs the most improvement is...
    • Adding or editing citations


    • Images and other media
    • General editing
    • Support for languages other than English
    • Adding or editing templates
    • Performance and speed


    • Making or editing links to other pages and other websites
    • Copying and pasting
    • Having discussions with other editors
    • Switching back and forth between VisualEditor and wikitext editor
    • Having two edit buttons rather than the software remembering which I like to use


    • Handling edit conflicts without showing me wikitext
    • Showing me diffs and the history of articles visually
    • Formulæ, imagemaps, timelines or other special content types
    • Stability and reliability
  1. I would like to see improvements to this area (the one selected in the previous question). If I could make one change to this area, I would change...

1) speed! faster!

inserting references made easy!

2) citoid support But not the dumbed-down version which leads VisualEditors to just insert whatever garbage-data-ref the feature produces! See also my comments which were completely ignored and T89045 After Citoid fills in the data, please leave the citation open for review.

  1. How did you hear about this survey?
    • A message on my user talk page

--Atlasowa (talk) 19:40, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for this response. I'll add it to the others.
About your suggestions for Citoid, you weren't "ignored" (see, for example, ~600 words in direct reply from me in the first discussion you linked there). You were "disagreed with". I have not yet found anyone who shares your opinion that seeing a fragment of unformatted text in boxes is a better way to review a citation than seeing the actual citation. Perhaps anyone else who is watching this page will look at the options and share their opinions about which one makes it easier to spot the error. Here are the two options:
You've just added a citation. Which display makes it easier for you to spot an error?
Citoid results in VisualEditor Screen Shot 2015-04-02.png VisualEditor - Editing references 5.png
This display shows you all the information, in its final format. This display shows the first three blanks.
I'm interested in all opinions, not just those that might agree with me. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:34, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Whatamidoing (WMF): "I have not yet found anyone who shares your opinion that..." i even gave you a link to phabricator where user:John_Broughton made similar points as me. I quote: "At the moment, Citoid's building a citation from a URL is wrong at least 75% of the time. (...) By "wrong" I mean that the article title includes the publisher, or one or more of the six suggested fields (...) are not filled in when in fact information is available at the URL. If that percentage is accurate, then at least three of four times, the user is will need to click "Edit" to go back into the citation to fix it, if in fact he/she realizes it's incomplete or wrong, to fix it. That's not a very smart editor. I do understand the desire to minimize mouse clicks. Perhaps a compromise: If all required and suggested fields are filled in by Citoid, then return the user to the full edit window (and display the citation in popup); otherwise, display all required and suggested fields, whether filled or not, and let the user decide when the citation is fully built." WMF response: "No, that's not the direction we're going..." Closed, Declined.
Re: "Which display makes it easier for you to spot an error?" The second display.
The first one does not at all make me try to spot an error, it asks me to accept the automagically appeared ref. You're lead to assume the ref is as it is supposed to be. And you can't see if the title comes from the title field or publisher field. Or if an important ref part is missing (page number?). Really small text size too. This design will result in a lot of "wrong" refs!
RefToolbar: Cite web
The second display makes it obvious that the editor himself is building this ref and has to check its accurate form/errors. The tool is helping with prefilled values, but the rest is the editors responsibility. BTW, the design is less than ideal, wasting a lot of space and 2 lines per text field. As i told you before, "Have a look at makeref and templator by magnusmanske, these tools do this well (blue-framed fields are mandatory, white ones optional; please fill out as many as possible)." Or just look at the (current default!) Reftoolbar.
The VisualEditor team got timely, very specific feedback, with enough explanation and constructive suggestions. But you don't want to listen. Those crappy refs will certainly blow back to you when you roll this out. Just ask the WMF mobile team how their "minimum-clicks-optimized mobile web upload feature" played out (aka "mobile crap magnet"/"selfie-pocalypse"). --Atlasowa (talk) 22:35, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
John was looking at a very early test version that did not include either of these displays: he went from "Lookup URL" to a "finished" little blue clickable number, with nothing at all to see in between.
I have had no trouble spotting misplaced text in a citation: it ends up in the wrong order, and in the particular example of a publisher being recorded as part of the title, the publisher's name will either be in quotations (which is obviously wrong) or italicized (which is also obviously wrong). I've personally noticed the missing page numbers (multiple times) in the current system.
On my screen, what you call "really small text size" appears to be about 95% of the normal text size. The actual size, as with all font displays, will depend upon your personal settings.
So far, the current system has been getting far more praise than criticism, and nearly all of the criticism is due to it not supporting all sources. There has been remarkably little criticism of the overall design. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:33, 19 April 2015 (UTC)