Topic on 2017 wikitext editor/Feedback

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MGChecker (talkcontribs)

If I want to test the new editor, I can't use the old one any more. Why is this required? This is really annoying.

By the way: If you ever want to set this as default, I can imagine really well that many communities won't appreciate this decision.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

You can use the old one again: just go back to Special:Preferences and change your settings again.

MGChecker (talkcontribs)

Of coures I can do this, but if I want to chose an editor based on the given situation, I don't want to do this every time.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

The team considered several approaches, e.g., three buttons (essentially 'Edit, Edit source, The other way to edit source' on every page and every section link) or asking you which of the three (or more) systems you wanted to use each time. They found none that were satisfactory.

Can you give an example of when you might specifically need one wikitext editing system over the other?

Cpiral (talkcontribs)

Any wiki with Translations extension needs VE/NWE (a word processor). For example, on this wiki it is next to impossible to help document your CirrusSearch software. VE/NWE would solve the "only translate stable and mature pages that don't get many changes" guideline that translations admins/bureaucrats ignore.

Translation is the one service I would momentarily lose text-editing for (and my permanent skills) and suffer word processing + mouse + slowness (loading the program, loading the full page, finding my section without a TOC). That support is missing, but looks close when I try it.

Jhertel (talkcontribs)

I would like to test the new mode too, but when I found out that several things were missing compared to the standard editor, and that I cannot have both, I had to turn off the beta testing again.

It would be much better with all three options. If some don't want all three editors, and you want only two editors as default, there could simply be another, adjacent option that also turned on the old wikieditor. Or there could be a combined choice with three options: Only the old (beta editor turned off), only the new (as now), or both (new option). Problem solved for everyone, and I bet you would get more beta testers.

What I think I would miss the most by using the new editor is the speed of editing wikitext using the standard editor. With the standard editor, I can start editing the text almost immediately, so it doesn't interrupt my flow. With the new editor, there is the same initial speed penalty as in the Visual Editor, often several seconds on my otherwise quite fast computer (Intel i5, SSD, enough RAM), and that's annoying, especially if I only want to make a tiny correction. So I would definitely be using both if I were testing the new editor. They each have their advantages.

Another advantage of using the old editor is it's full feature set and that it is stable. You know what you get, that it works, and that you can do everything with it. The new editor is a beta, and as such comes with no "guarantee" except perhaps the guarantee that there will be bugs or missing features. Sometimes you are fine with taking that risk or not having those features, other times you want to go for the stable option with all features.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Which features are you missing?

Jhertel (talkcontribs)

I think I already said that. Speed, stability and having the full feature set. You can see other posts on this page, or perhaps phabricator, for what is specifically missing or doesn't work compared to the old, stable editor. The point is not having specific features, but having all the features of the old editor available if and when I need them. And it can relatively easily be done by optionally having all three editors available at the same time.

But I'll just stick with the old one for now, combined with the Visual Editor. I'm pretty fine with those. I just wanted to take part in the beta testing, but if I can't have the old editor at the same time, I'll simply not test the beta. That was my point. I just wanted to say that, because my guess is I am not alone in making that choice.

And if there are enough beta testers, that's not really a problem. The point was more that if more beta testers were wanted, I think you/they would get that by not taking anything away from those who beta test.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Right now, my list of "missing features" contains exactly one item:

  • the list of transcluded templates that's under the edit window

Local scripts/gadgets have generally not been converted, but they're not part of "the old editors". And there are a few reports that something is "missing" when it's actually present but not in a location that was immediately obvious to that particular editor (which is a problem, but a different problem).

So I've got one missing feature on my list. If your list is longer than that, then please help me expand mine.

Jhertel (talkcontribs)

Thanks for explaining. I admit that I only superficially skimmed the other issues and that I thought there were more missing features than the missing list of transcluded templates. I am glad to hear that there aren't. So my issues are currently three: stability, speed (the delay before editing is possible) and that missing list. And speed is a real issue for me.

I could imagine speed could be an even bigger issue for people with slower computers, for instance in countries where they normally can't afford to buy a faster one. But a slow computer is currently not my specific problem, so I am just imagining that.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I understand that speed depends upon your location (which WMF server your computer is talking to) as well as your processing power. I agree that it's a relevant factor for a lot of experienced editors, especially if you want to just make one quick little change.

A few wikis have some popular gadgets that will be missed by their editors. Some of the older ones can be replaced easily (e.g., using the built-in language software tools that were added a couple of year ago) but some will need to be updated.

JAn Dudík (talkcontribs)

For me:

  • Wikitext - standard
  • VisualEditor - useful for minor typos, inserting citations or fixing liks
  • NWE - too many missing or buggish features now
TheDJ (talkcontribs)

I quickly found another need. I rather often fix page bugs that are caused by incorrect templates. But all the "Used on this page" etc links are not there. I think I can also find them trough page information, but I haven't adjusted to that yet :)

Jc86035 (talkcontribs)

Maybe a button could be added on the loading screen, or an option shown when the mode-switching button is right-clicked?

197.218.83.215 (talkcontribs)
Elitre (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hey 197.218.83.215, if you consider anonymous testing as in "we should expose this very early iteration of this software to our hundreds of millions readers!", I'll need to disagree with you. Even if the software was already significantly "better", it may still have occasional bugs that would confuse new users too much. Also, a person entirely new to our environment would currently have no means to figure out that this is a beta, and that feedback is highly welcome. Most importantly, since they don't know much about how wikitext works, there's an entire set of problems they just won't see ("the editor should do this, it does that instead").

197.218.90.81 (talkcontribs)

Not really, I meant using the direct URL to access it. Since the link won't be available in the interface most anonymous users won't even know of its existence anyway. So it is a non-issue as far as bugs are concerned.

The best people to test any interface in the world are those who have never used it. Basic wikitext (not crazy templates and parser functions) can be learnt within less than a day. Everyone who has touched a particular interface has an inherent bias because they will always compare it to something else.

Take for example the user on this very board who claimed that "comments" inside link markup should be rendered properly. They are so desperate to find flaws that they even look for contrived undocumented examples, and label it as "features" that should work rather than a flaw on the previous tools.

"Tunnel vision".

197.218.90.81 (talkcontribs)

Of course experienced users should also test software, but they will always be biased by their prior experiences and will suggest things that may make the tool worse for new users.

Good tools take user experience into account and hide or reduce complexity of tools for novices while allowing advanced users to see them. Unfortunately, MediaWiki and its extensions often take the shortcut of one "site" fits all.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I think that we're keeping the devs busy enough right now to not push this beyond the strictly opt-in-only stage. The first 100 saved edits produced more than 150 comments on the feedback pages, plus bugs and feature requests being filed directly in Phabricator.

I'm sure the team will consider making it more accessible to new contributors and logged-out editors in due course.

Reply to "Either old editor or new one"