User talk:Whatamidoing (WMF)

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Edit request[edit]

Hi, Whatamidoing. Would you kindly read Talk:VisualEditor/Portal/ja and help me to modify the page? Thanks.--miya (talk) 05:46, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

I have replied there. I think it is fixed now. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 14:26, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Re: A barnstar for you![edit]

Oh, thank you, that's nice. I have expected no expressed appreciation. Just doing my work ;) Tar Lócesilion|queta! 22:19, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Another info. I didn't introduce myself and now is a proper moment. On the Polish Wikipedia, I coordinate all of metastuff (as I described on my user page) so I believe we'll collaborate. But now, I have to go offline for a few days and I won't be keeping my eye on VE pl.translating/lauching/proper namespaces/you know/and so on — so if you want to contact somebody interested, experienced and knowledgeable from plwiki with VE stuff, I suggest Matma Rex and PMG (our technicians) and Maire (translates into Polish). At the moment we 4 (or — in a few hours — they 3) can help and want to. As you know, an important thing is importing translated pages from mw to pl regularly — which, unfortunately, I cannot do (damn, I need more rights :P). So I have a question: who can we ask for import it except you? The Stewards? Tar Lócesilion|queta! 14:02, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Unexpectedly, I'm back earlier. You're right, the translation is in PD, so I can copy and paste it and there's no problem with import right (yes, plwiki admins have it). Tar Lócesilion|queta! 11:31, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Re: Urgent small translation[edit]

'Done' and 'at your service' :) Tar Lócesilion|queta! 18:31, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Thank you! If pl.wikipedia really is on the list now, then those banners will be visible over there later today. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:37, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for this info, it's obviously very important and very interesting ;) In summer, it's so sleepy on our project—many of us go offline or at least take a Wikibreak. I have brought the news (indeed, we have many communication paths) and I hope that most of us will read it and everything will be ok, after all :) Tar Lócesilion|queta! 20:05, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Re: Progress[edit]

Yes, I like it :) I've also noticed your page before :) I care about the translation, because I realize that the whole documentation must be translated not only before VE is launched, but as soon as possible—in order to provide complete information for those who are clicking on the CentralNotice banner even right now. Imho Wikipedia must be most reliable ;) Tar Lócesilion|queta! 21:05, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Hi[edit]

You took my name of the RFC list on English Wikipedia. Can you restore it please, and if possible add the missing RFC notifications to may talk page? Thank you. RFC watcher (talk) 20:55, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

You can do it yourself.
I am curious why a person who never comments on any of them actually wants people to ask him for his comments, though. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:05, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Of course were I able to do it myself I would do so. I only asked for your help because it was needed. As to your curiosity, application of a little thought will doubtless satisfy you. RFC watcher (talk) 18:17, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
You are able to do it. The page is not protected. Anyone can edit that page. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Media Viewer: German translation[edit]

Hi, you commented on my little issue with the German translation "In Vollbild anzeigen" in Media Viewer and suggested, to remove the preposition to make it "Vollbild anzeigen", in case nobody would mind. But the section with the suggestion has now been archived. I thought, I remind you of the matter here, so it doesn't get lost. --Miss-Sophie (talk) 22:40, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Miss-Sophie. I've made the change. I don't know when it will reach the wikis, but I believe it's usually about one day. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 15:22, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Danke! :-) --Miss-Sophie (talk) 17:59, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Miss-Sophie, A translator at TWN has changed it to "Im Vollbildmodus anzeigen", which is an option that we hadn't previously discussed. I don't know what you think of that. I've left a note for the translator. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:49, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Heiya, once again thank for your pointer. I reverted back to the previous version of the translation hopefully before the scheduled translations update to the repo. Thus this would remain just at twn. "Im Vollbildmodus anzeigen" may perhaps be to technical for some tastes so I am fine with other translations, too. Cheers --[[kgh]] (talk) 19:35, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I would have been fine with that version, too. If you read our discussion again, you'll find, that I had actually suggested "Im Vollbildmodus anzeigen" as an alternative, too :-) . I don't prefer one or the other, as long as it's not "In Vollbild anzeigen". --Miss-Sophie (talk) 23:18, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I forgot about that; I'm sorry. Kgh, I'm okay with anything that makes both of you happy. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:15, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I am not absolutely happy with the current solution, but what I did yesterday is not best of breed either. After more thinking I came up with the pair "Vollbildanzeige aktivieren" and "Vollbildanzeige deaktivieren". Since this is going to end up in Popups for informatory purposes this appears to me a good one. Miss-Sophie? --[[kgh]] (talk) 13:16, 18 July 2014 (UTC) PS Indeed "In Vollbild anzeigen" is no good.
I don't like the word "Vollbildanzeige". Better "Vollbildansicht aktivieren/deaktivieren"? --Miss-Sophie (talk) 20:52, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that's even better. Cool, I believe we should go for this pair. :) --[[kgh]] (talk) 20:06, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for making that update, User:Kghbln. You and Miss-Sophie make a great pair. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:50, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your effort to make us liaise. --[[kgh]] (talk) 07:30, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Looks nice with "Vollbildansicht aktivieren", User:Kghbln, thanks. Would be even better, if one could actually also see the opposite (for deactivating) on mouseover (I complained about this and they opened a bug report, but grudgingly; it seems, there are too many larger problems right now or they consider it unimportant.) --Miss-Sophie (talk) 22:14, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Perfection is always possible. Good that we found ours here. :) MediaViewer is already a great improvement but basically just "2 months" old. So I expect heaps of changes anyway. Cheers --[[kgh]] (talk) 08:03, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

RE:A barnstar for you![edit]

Thanks! Bye, --Elisardojm (talk) 22:07, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

RE: VE character inserter - Icelandic[edit]

I think you have misunderstood by post at the VisualEditor/Feedback page. That post was sent as an answer to en:Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Iceland#Feedback_request:_VisualEditor_special_character_inserter. So let me re-summarize my previous post.

I don't think Icelandic needs an special character inserter. Icelandic has had keyboard support since the 1980's. Currently there is Icelandic support on mac, windows, android and iOS.

This does raise an question. Why is Icelandic in phase 5 on VisualEditor's roll-out schedule? Why is the VE team falsely claiming that Icelandic employs "characters or diacritic marks not supported by common keyboards in the region" ? (quote copied from VisualEditor/Rollouts) --Snaevar (talk) 16:49, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Snaevar, is it your experience that all editors at is.wp have these settings enabled? Or do some of them work with (for example) English settings, and add the more complex characters through other means? If using the Icelandic keyboard settings are very common, and if you'd all like to have VisualEditor enabled by default at is.wp now, then I could ask it to be done as early as Tuesday. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:06, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Translation (VisualEditor Survey)[edit]

No problem at all. You can use those translations as you see fit.Lsanabria (talk) 22:12, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Thank you! Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:25, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Q4 triage meetings[edit]

Why only on Google Hangouts? Please justify. There should be some alternative method rather than just video , as not all users will be equipped with that feature and not everyone has reliable internet connection.

Or have I got it all wrong about how it is going to work , anyway please explain , it'll be helpful.

--Leaderboard (talk) 20:47, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Hi Leaderboard,
You don't have to use video to use Google Hangouts. I frequently have mine dialed down to zero, and I've used it to telephone people who were away from their computers.
The main issue is the cost–benefit equation. User:Elitre (WMF) and I have provided real-time summaries of the discussions this quarter, and AFAICT, no volunteers have shown up in the IRC channel for the last couple of meetings. Zero joined the Hangout last week, either, and in previous weeks, the people who weren't present for their jobs tended to number just two or three.
Posting announcements, scheduling the meeting, and setting up the IRC channel takes me at least half an hour. Then there's the time of the meeting (originally an hour, but only 30 minutes more recently), plus about 10 minutes of time to shut down (e.g., posting the IRC logs). I'm left feeling like I'm spending more than an hour each week on facilitating a meeting that is so unimportant to our tens of thousands of volunteers that exactly zero of them are showing up for it.
So we're working out a low-maintenance plan. The meetings will happen anyway, because the work needs to be done, and there's no need to keep them closed. What we can eliminate is scheduling changes, weekly announcements, last-minute reminders, typing everything out in IRC, and posting logs. That turns a 30-minute meeting into 31 minutes of work (one minute to login to the Hangout, plus 30 minutes for the meeting) for James F and 0 minutes of work for me, rather than 75 minutes of work for me and 31 minutes of work for James F (work that he'll be doing anyway, in case I want to drop in and ).
If you have other ideas about how to achieve the same level of efficiency, then please feel free to share them. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:59, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
In addition to this, you don't even need to be there to make sure tasks are considered. The procedure for nominating them is described on the meetings' page, and you can discuss them at any time on Phabricator itself and on IRC in the team's channel. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 11:02, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Starting conversion of LiquidThreads to Flow at mediawiki.org[edit]

Hello. I'm sending this to you, because you've been one of the top 50 users of LQT on mediawiki.org over the last 360 days,[1] and I wanted to make sure that you'd seen the announcement at Starting conversion of LiquidThreads to Flow at mediawiki.org. There are links in the topic-summary at the top, for other discussions (wikitech-l and Project:Current_issues), and a link to the planned process and timeline (scheduled to begin April 6, with smaller conversions at first). Please do test Flow out at Talk:Sandbox if you haven't tried it recently, and give any feedback/suggestions/requests at that main discussion location. Much thanks, Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Talk:Content translation[edit]

Hey. I just noticed there is an unanswered query (1 day old) at Talk:Content translation. Not nagging, just pointing it out in case it's been missed. (I've left a comment that doesn't need an answer.) --Anthonyhcole (talk) 09:03, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. It's easy to miss things here, especially in Flow. User:Amire80 will have to answer that one, though, as I don't know the answer. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 05:20, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

phab:T119457[edit]

Thanx! Naraht (talk) 14:17, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Phabricator task:T120738 - List Of Contributors[edit]

Hello,

I am planning to do my GSoC 2016 with Mediawiki Community. I recently came across the project -List Of Contributors in the phabricator task -https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T120738 . I found it to be very interesting and would like to work on it for my GSoC this year. It is a useful feature that can be enabled in Mediawiki. But currently no mentors are assigned to it. So I wanted to know if you will be able to mentor this project for this year's GSoC.

Hi Devi, thanks for your note. I'm asking around to see who can help you with this. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 06:09, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Devi, I have asked a developer at phab:T120738#2075688. Let's see how it goes.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 14:24, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

A brownie for you![edit]

Brownie transparent.png Here's a brownie for you!
Nokiaustasi (talk) 15:00, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

Update[edit]

Yes. ? saw the bug was resolved, but thank you for the notification :)--Fringioα†Ω 16:18, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

==Kreyol Ayisien Translation==

Hello! I got your message about translating an urgent message into kreyol. I didn't know where to send it so I will leave it here for you:

Fondasyon an Wikimedia pral fè yon tès nan sant done li yo nan Dallas. Sa a pral asire w ke Wikipedya ak Wikimedia rete sou entènèt menm apre yon dezas. Tès sa a pral demontre ke Wikipedya ka chanje soti nan yon sant done nan lòt la. efò sa a egzije pou ke anpil Wikipedya prepare yo pou tès la ak lojisyèl ranje nenpòt pwoblèm inatandi. Tout trafik Wikipedya pral chanje nan sant done nan Dallas nan Mèkredi, 19 avril 2017. Nan Mèkredi, 3 me 2017 yo, yo pral chanje tounen nan sant la prensipal done. Malerezman, paske nan kèk limit nan MedyaWiki yo, tout koreksyon dwe sispann pandan de switch sa yo. Nou ekskize nou pou dezòd sa a, epi n ap travay pou misyon pou minimize l 'nan tan kap vini an.
Ou pral kapab li, men se pa modifye yo, tout wiki pou yon kout peryòd de tan.
Ou pa yo pral kapab modifye pou apeprè 20 a 30 minit nan Mèkredi, 19 avril ak Mèkredi, 3 me. Si ou modifye oswa sove pandan moman sa yo, ou pral wè yon mesaj erè. Nou espere ke pa gen okenn edits yo pral pèdi pandan minit sa yo, men nou pa ka garanti li. Si ou wè mesaj la erè, tanpri rete tann jiskaske tout bagay se retounen nan nòmal. Ou ta dwe kapab pou konsève pou modifye ou yo. Nou rekòmande pou ou fè yon kopi chanjman ou jis nan ka.
Lòt efè:
Travay nan lòt zòn yo pral ralanti ak kèk ka pa travay nan tout. Lyen yo wouj nan atik ka pa mennen nan lòt atik kòm byen ke nòmal. Si ou ekri yon atik ki deja lye nan yon atik nan yon diferan, lyen ki pa kapab travay epi rete wouj. Gen kèk pwogram yo ap sispann. Li pral fè lòt kòd ki pa pral travay pandan semèn yo nan 17 April 2017 ak 1 me 2017. pouvwa chanjman sa a dwe ranvwaye. Ou ka li orè a nan wikitech.wikimedia.org. Nenpòt chanjman ki fèt pral anonse nan orè a. Li pral fè plis notifikasyon sou sa a.
I couldn’t translate “15:00 BST, 16:00 CEST, 10:00 EDT, 07:00 PDT” and “Non-essential code deployments will not happen.” because I don’t even know what the text means (she said with a red face).
Best Regards
Barbara (WVS) (talk) 18:55, 29 March 2017 (UTC) aka Barbara Page
Thank you! I was just thinking about sending a note to the translators mailing list about the timezones. It makes sense to only include the ones that are relevant (that'd be the Eastern timezone for Haitian speakers). And I'd have no idea how to translate that line about the technical side, either. I know what they mean (every week, there's a whole dance that moves bug fixes and other recently written code onto the correct servers, and that's not happening during this test), but it's kind of specialized jargon, isn't it? I think we can ignore it. I'll go set up the translation page for Haitian. Look for another ping from me in a little while... Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:14, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I've got it started. What I'd like you to do is to click this link to see the translation page. It should take you straight to a two-column layout that shows the original (English) on the left and the parts of your translation that I've pasted in on the right. First, please check to make sure that I didn't screw anything up. ;-) If I did, then just click on the error, and it'll give you a box to fix that sentence/short section. Click "Save translation" when you're happy with it. If something's missing (I've only copied about a quarter of your work), then you can click the missing item, and you can add the translation yourself. Each translated bit gets saved separately, and you can easily skip anything that you don't want to do (it lists the keyboard shortcuts for this near the save button, or just click on a different bit). You can check the results at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech/Server_switch_2017/ht – it updates immediately.
Two things to know: First, if you see wikitext markup ('''bold''', [[brackets]] for [links], etc.), then use that markup just like you normally would. Second, the only thing that's likely to surprise you is the $variable system for links. You'll need to edit "The test will start at [$time 14:00 UTC] (10:00 a.m. EDT)." to say in Haitian Creole that the test will start at 14:00 UTC (which is 10:00 a.m. in Haiti and on the East Coast). If you keep the "[$time 14:00 UTC]" part the same, and the reader will see "14:00 UTC" there, and the link will let the reader figure out what the local time is. The brackets are to mark the external link (just like always), and the $time is so that the translation box isn't filled with a long URL.
Please let me know how you get along with this translation interface. And thank you so much! Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:37, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
Do you want me to do a more accurate cut and paste on the page you sent me to? It doesn't seem to line up correctly and I want to make sure I did it right. Did you get someone to translate into 'Simple English'? The list of top medical editors for 2016 is out now and somehow the ht wikipedya didn't get listed in my column. Not that it matters but it would be nice if that caught the attention of another potential medical editor.
Best Regards, Barbara (WVS) (talk) 19:17, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I'd be happy to have you fix it all. You can see the current state at m:Tech/Server switch 2017/ht. I haven't heard of anyone planning a Simple English translation. Are you interested?
Odd that the editing stats weren't complete. Maybe they didn't include any small wikis? Or they might be dependent upon WikiProject tags, which the small wikis don't use. User:Doc James probably knows what the limitations are. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:31, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Which editing stats are we wondering about? Doc James (talk) 22:57, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
The ones that count how many edits were made by WPMED folks each year. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:41, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Not sure what you are asking? The stats do include small Wikis via the intralanguage links. Doc James (talk) 14:00, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
@Doc James: Barbara says that her work at ht.wikipedia.org wasn't included. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 15:26, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Hatian WP was listed for you[2]
It only includes edits to article which link via Wikidata to an article tagged by EN WP. User:Barbara (WVS) do you have edits in 2016 that correspond to that? I can than follow up with Amir who generates the data. Doc James (talk) 15:37, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
It looks like some of her contributions there are at articles that don't have interlanguage links set up. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 15:42, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

VE user guide[edit]

Hullo! Since you have at leasta uploaded most of the screenshots used on the VisualEditor guide page, I'm guessing you're kind of "in charge" of it maybe? When recreating Norwegian-language screenshots for it, I noticed that the following images don't seem to be current anymore, so maybe you should make new screenshots for them?

I may add some more if I come across any. :-) Jon Harald Søby (talk) 12:32, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Hmmm, when I think about it, those may perhaps be current, but using different systems than what we have in the Norwegian Wikipedia. If that's the case, do you know of any wikis (maybe some labs wikis) that use the various systems, so I can go there to take screenshots? Jon Harald Søby (talk) 13:05, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
First of all: thank you for doing this work!
There are three different citation systems in VisualEditor. No, I'm wrong; there are four, depending on how you count:
  1. the one that you have at nowiki (uses the citoid service),
  2. the one that you see at etwiki (citation templates, but no citoid service),
  3. the one that you see at dawiki (like etwiki, but without citation templates), and
  4. the one that you see here at mediawiki.org and most of the sister projects (like dawiki, but the button is hidden at the end of the Insert menu).
It's a nightmare for documentation. I started a couple of sub-pages before option #4 was created, but I haven't touched them for a long time. My idea was that a wiki could pick the relevant section, and ignore the rest (but it's a lot of work, and it's not easy for translations). Do you have ideas/advice/suggestions? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:06, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

VE and math formulas[edit]

Hi Whatamidoing, I am currently creating a small survey w:de:WP:Umfragen/Math-Tags concerning Extension talk:Math/Roadmap#inline vs. blockstyle and intrested in what the WMF-developers think about the issue. If you can address the problem somewhere, I'd be happy to provide more detailed questions, translate the survey for you or add a WMF-proposed-solution.--Debenben (talk) 18:20, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

Hi Debenben,
As a quick reply, I suspect that the devs will not be happy about any change that breaks all the existing wikitext (e.g., requiring that all math formulaes include an explicit "inline" or "block" setting), unless somoene is volunteering to fix it all first.
Additionally, the use of : to produce a visual effect is wrong (produces invalid HTML and annoys people who use screen readers) and shouldn't be done.
Beyond that, I'm not sure whether the devs have developed views yet. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:20, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick reply. I would have guessed, that they do not like invalid HTML formatting, but that inevitably means changing all existing wikitext. Personally, I can only see a benefit of doing that if it does not mean changing to a system that is broken in a different way (having an incomprehensible, wrong default format). Please let me know if they come up with a solution.--Debenben (talk) 20:15, 1 May 2017 (UTC)
Right now, AFAICT, there are three 'styles'. The three styles do not look the same (to the reader). It might be possible to reduce this to two styles (block and inline), with "block" being used whenever the style is not specified in the wikitext. What do you think of this approach? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:21, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
It should be reduced to two styles, but I think whenever the style is not specified, "inline" should be used. When looking for example at w:en:Pythagorean theorem, most uses of <math> are indeed block-equations and plain HTML or w:en:Template:Math is used inside the text. This is because the <math> is not very well adjusted to the typography of the surrounding text (see w:en:WP:Rendering math for comparison). This approach is specific to the English Wikipedia. In the German Wikipedia, the equivalent math-template does not exist. Instead, it is encouraged to write all mathematical symbols in TeX with the argument that TeX is the proper way of typesetting them and the shortcomings of browsers and the MediaWiki software in displaying them nicely can hopefully be overcome in the future. As a result w:de:Satz des Pythagoras has a lot more inline formulas. Replacing all of them with <math display="inline"> would make the wikitext much more difficult to read and type and in my view is not a good solution. A solution could be to introduce a new shortcut, e.g. <$> for inline equations or making "inline" default and adding display attributes to all block equations, which is much less obtrusive. A different solution that I have not yet added to the list, would be to introduce new templates. The advantage would be that the math tags do not need to change its behavior and the German Wikipedia community can name and customize its templates independently. For the VE however, it means supporting a bunch of new templates in the future. I am sure, ultimately everyone would like to have a behavior as close to LaTeX as possible. People will only have different views on how to get there and what trade-offs to accept.--Debenben (talk) 20:57, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Hmm:

Default looks like this:

Inline looks like this:

Block looks like this:

Do we really have three styles in use (at this wiki)? I see a slightly difference in the number of blank pixels above the superscripted numbers, but... Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:27, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Sorry for the confusion, I misused the word "style". With "should be reduced to two styles" I mean two display-formats: One to be used inside the text (inline) which should be the default format, and one that creates a new paragraph (block). There are in fact at least four different "styles" of which only two are really relevant:
  • displaystyle this should be the default for block equations
  • textstyle this should be the default for inline equations
  • scriptstyle
  • scriptscriptstyle
In fact the difference between the current "default" display-format and the "inline" display-format is that "default" puts a \displaystyle in front. In most cases, where no exponent or large operator is used, it is the same as \textstyle. I guess a lot of people actually know how to change the style and thus theoretically how to get the current "default" display-format from an "inline" display-format, but they would expect the VE in a "default" setting to automatically switch to inline and use \textstyle.--Debenben (talk) 16:41, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

Sorry in advance for the following lengthy answer. I'll start with an explanation how I think the problem was created, because it helps to understand why changing the CSS unfortunately is not enough to solve it:

In the very early days there was no math extension and people used HTML in the text and for more complicated block-formulas ASCII with a space in front. Then <math> was introduced to create images replacing the ASCII formulas. The images were not intended for use inside the text (they did not have proper size or alignment). The layout was left to the editors, so they could use the images in tables etc. which lead to the use of : for indentation.

Because some math-characters were not available in HTML and the editors used to write mathematical expressions in TeX as well as for consistency and the same visual appearance of characters, <math> was increasingly also used inside the text.

The two use-cases in principle have different requirements: Block equations are \displaystyle by default, can get a label and LaTeX adds (1) (2) ... by default. (Side-remark: w:en:Template:EquationRef unfortunately has quite a few deficiencies and is not compatible with the display="block" format.) To solve this, a display variable was introduced, implementing the LaTeX way of centering block equations and \textstyle as default for inline equations and eliminating the need for :-indentation. The "default" format was kept for backwards-compatibility. The new display variable did not get an editor-friendly wikitext-interface, therefore it was not known, not used, and there was no need to change anything for the editors.

Then the VE editor was designed to support all three display-formats, but not the solely used : indentation and the current problem is complete, namely: (1) Almost all mathematical and scientific articles can only be edited to a limited degree with the VE, since it does not know how to add or remove leading :-indentations. (2) New editors get frustrated, trying to produce the : effect with the VE. I can give several examples, my final motivation to create the survey was this. (3) New editors are confused by the "default" format, since the VE always shows them "default", even though they clearly edit inline or block formulas in existing articles and cannot use "default" for creating block formulas themselves and switching between "default" and "inline" often does not change anything. (4) The result is inconsistent layout, (5) inconsistent wikitext and in case inline math would be changed to <math display="inline"> on a large scale, also hard-to-read.

Changing the CSS solves (2) and (4), but the other problems will persist and only get worse in the long term.--Debenben (talk) 23:12, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

Hi Debenben,
CSS changes solve (1) as well as (2) and (4), because then you can remove the semantically incorrect formatting from all the existing articles. I'd like to do this anyway, regardless of whatever else is done. But I hesitate, because there is a tendency for each group to believe that their preferred style is objectively the best, and removing the centering might upset some people.
Are scriptstyle and scriptscriptstyle truly never needed on any wiki (even for a mathematics textbook at Wikibooks)?
I really appreciate your patience in explaining this to me. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:08, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a look at the problem. I agree with the CSS change as a first step. Indenting and centering are common in literature but not a mixture of both. For the German Wikipedia community I can safely say that the CSS change will largely remain unnoticed (display="block" is used 4 times) and people will be happy with a consistent layout. From the English Wikipedia I remember a little RFC after which MathJax was switched to left-indentation. I don't expect people to have a strong opinion on the centering or indentation question. In general they tend to agree that the objectively best style in print is standard LaTeX or similar to it. They disagree on how to get this into a standard browser with the least drawbacks.
Sorry, in case I caused confusion with the styles again. All styles are used, but for different purposes. \displaystyle and \textstyle are two variants for the "body of an equation". \displaystlye being "the most beautiful and easy to read" and \textstlye is shrunk vertically such that LaTeX can fit all "common equations" into a text without additional spacing between lines. \scriptstyle is used for things like exponents. In
the should be \scriptstyle and and \scriptscriptstyle. Those styles are selected automatically and not changed in normal use. When changing them like
the looks like a fancy notation for some boundary. Therefore, instead of adding further "super- or subscripts" one rewrites e.g. with . You will find a lot of abuse of \scriptstyle in Wikipedia that dates back to the time when the alignment and size of <math> was worse and \scriptstyle, although formally incorrect, resulted in an almost correct size and alignment in the text. Very recently someone also fixed size and alignment of SVG for different font sizes e.g. in image captions. Whoever did it: Thank you for that! Since then I don't know any example where \scriptstyle is needed or abused since explicitly changing styles is possible, but generally not needed and not encouraged in LaTeX.--Debenben (talk) 16:39, 18 May 2017 (UTC)