VisualEditor

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For the VisualEditor deployment at the English Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:VisualEditor.
For changes made using the VisualEditor, see VisualEditor, VisualEditor: Check, and VisualEditor: Switched

The VisualEditor project aims to create a reliable rich-text editor for MediaWiki. It is being developed so it can be used as a MediaWiki extension, using the Parsoid project to supply HTML+RDFa.

It is currently deployed to various namespaces on this wiki (including the main namespace in which this page exists); more information about this test deployment can be found on Wikimedia's blog, the FAQs, and VisualEditor:Welcome or VisualEditor:Test. Please note that the test deployment only works with the Vector skin. For more information, please visit the VisualEditor Portal.

Rationale[edit | edit source]

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.

Status[edit | edit source]


2014-04-24 (MW 1.24wmf2):

VisualEditor was updated as part of the wider MediaWiki 1.24wmf2 branch deployment on Thursday 24 April. In the week since 1.24wmf21, the team made some minor feature improvements, some infrastructure changes, and fixed a number of bugs.

Dialogs now use a "pending" animation of moving diagonal lines such as in the template and the save dialogs, instead of the previous animated GIF images. The animation of opening a template dialog should now be smoother and not open and then close a tray. The content language editor, soon to be released as a Beta Feature, now uses a simplified ULS interface rather than the whole one. A careful audit of all Wikimedia wikis led to fixing broken local MediaWiki:Common.js (and similar) pages; these were each fixed to ensure that VisualEditor runs on all of them (bug 60842).

Edit notices for globally-blocked users and cascade-protected pages now show correctly (bugs 53009 and 53893). The "Print/Export" MediaWiki tools are now hidden whilst VisualEditor is active (bug 57940). The preference to not warn a user when they leave the editor mid-edit is now functional in VisualEditor too (bug 51057). When editing categories, you can now set or change the __HIDDENCAT__ and __NOGALLERY__ attributes if you so wish (bugs 57169 and 57170). In preparation for VisualEditor working better on multi-script wikis like Chinese, on those wikis you can now set or change the __NOCONTENTCONVERT__ and __NOTITLECONVERT__ attributes (bugs 57171 and 57172). The dummy "wikihiero" hieroglyphics editor, available on testing wikis as a demonstration editor, now updates live, like the formula editor did before. 

VisualEditor now uses Parsoid, not MediaWiki, to preview fragments of the page (like new or updated templates); there should be no obvious changes, except a slight speed improvement (bug 48524). The calls to parse edit notices and templates were corrected to know the context of the page, and not just mysteriously claim to be run on the API (bugs 50172 and 63600). Similarly, pre-save transforms (like converting template substitution calls or the "pipe trick") are now performed when the edit's preview of the wikitext diff is shown in the save dialog (bug 52345). The language links page is now populated for non-articles like categories and user pages as well as articles (bug 49226).

A bug with an improvement to inspectors' support for forced language directionality was fixed and released early to avoid breakage (bug 64072). A bug with the forthcoming mobile integration of VisualEditor that meant re-opening the editor would break nastily was also fixed and released early (bug 64034). Another bug with mobile which meant that the code to fetch a new edit token if your edit timed out was missing, breaking the editor; this was fixed (bug 64267). VisualEditor now works around a browser bug in Chrome that wrongly doesn't show a bullet for blank bullet list items other than an image inside it (bug 64117).

A bug that meant that existing <strong> tags on the page would make adding boldness to a selection irreversible was fixed (bug 64244). Some fixes were made to the soon-to-be-arriving citation dialog (bug 64199).

In preparation for the formula editor being made available to all users, some minor issues were corrected, including inserting a new formula into a "block slug" (bug 58286), trying to insert a formula when a template or reference was selected would crash (bug 56644), and inserting one when selecting an image would cause the formula to try to be inserted into the image's caption (bug 58045).

An issue that meant that clicking out of an inspector wrongly caused the selection to get restored was corrected (bug 63906), as was an unrelated issue that meant that inserting a new reference would move the cursor to the top of the document (bug 64041); this last one was released early to prevent disruption for a key community workflow. A bug that meant that one of the FlaggedRevisions-related checkboxes didn't show up inside VisualEditor's save dialog was fixed (bug 59608). VisualEditor now updates local Javascript variables to help other gadgets that use the page revision IDs (bug 56532).

You can monitor the live results of the automated browser tests (triggered every twelve hours) on the server. A complete list of individual code commits is available in the 1.24/wmf2 changelog, and all Bugzilla tickets closed in this period are on Bugzilla's list.
You can see the team's current code dashboard on gerrit.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • Some level of exploration was done in 2010 by the Wikipedia Usability Initiative.
  • The 2011 product whitepaper published by the Wikimedia Foundation's strategic product team identified rich-text editing as one of the "Great Movement Projects". Work subsequently started in May 2011.
  • The 2011-12 Wikimedia annual plan, released July 2011, states a goal for VisualEditor: "First opt-in user-facing production usage by December 2011, and first small wiki default deployment by June 2012".
  • The 2012-13 Engineering Goals document sets a timeline for VisualEditor's development and deployment up to the end of June 2013.
  • VisualEditor is scheduled to be deployed across Wikimedia projects over the coming months. Below is the schedule as of December 2013:
Wikipedia roll-out timeline (detailed list)
Week of… Launch Users Projects Status
Summer 2012 Phase 0 All users Mediawiki.org[1] YesY Done
1 July 2013 Logged-in users English Wikipedia (en)[2] YesY Done
15 July 2013 All users YesY Done
24 July 2013 Phase 1 Logged-in users 7 of the largest Wikipedias

Spanish (es), French (fr), Hebrew (he), Italian (it), Polish (pl), Russian (ru) & Swedish (sv)[3]

YesY Done
29 July 2013 All users YesY Done
30 September 2013 Phase 2 Logged-in users 27 of the next largest Wikipedias

Bulgarian (bg), Catalan (ca), Cebuano (ceb), Czech (cs), Danish (da), Modern Greek (el), Estonian (et), Basque (eu), Finnish (fi), Galician (gl), Croatian (hr), Hungarian (hu), Indonesian (id), Latvian (lv), Malay (ms), Neopolitan (nap), Norwegian - Nynorsk (nn), Norwegian - Bokmål (no), Sicilian (scn), Simple English (simple), Slovak (sk), Slovenian (sl), Turkish (tr), Ukrainian (uk), Venetian (vec), Volapük (vo), Waray-Waray (war)

YesY Done
7 October 2013 All users YesY Done
2 December 2013 Phase 3 All users 91 Wikipedias with all characters normally directly available to users

Acehnese (ace), Aymara (ay), Central Bikol (bcl), Bislama (bi), Banjar (bjn), Chavacano (cbk-zam), Chechen (ce), Chamorro (ch), Cheyenne (chy), Corsican (co), Kashubian (csb), Zazaki (diq), Emilian-Romagnol (eml), Extremaduran (ext), Fijian (fj), Faroese (fo), Franco-Provençal/Arpitan (frp), North Frisian (frr), Friulian (fur), Scottish Gaelic (gd), Hawai'ian (haw), Fiji Hindi (hif), Haitian (ht), Interlingua (ia), Ilokano (ilo), Ido (io), Lojban (jbo), Kongo (kg), Kikuyu (ki), Greenlandic (kl), Komi-Permyak (koi), Ripuarian (ksh), Cornish (kw), Ladino (lad), Lak (lbe), Ganda (lg), Limburgish (li), Ligurian (lij), Lombard (lmo), Banyumasan (map-bms), Malagasy (mg), Maori (mi), Minangkabau (min), Maltese (mwl), Erzya (myv), Nauruan (na), Low Saxon (nds), Dutch Low Saxon (nds-nl), Novial (nov), Norman (nrm), Northern Sotho (nso), Chichewa (ny), Oromo (om), Pangasinan (pag), Kapampangan (pam), Papiamento (pap), Picard (pcd), Pennsylvania German (pdc), Norfuk (pih), Piedmontese (pms), Portuguese (pt), Quechuan (qu), Romansh (rm), Romani (rmy), Kirundi (rn), Aromanian (roa-rup), Tarantino (roa-tara), Kinyarwanda (rw), Northern Sami (se), Sango (sg), Samoan (sm), Shona (sn), Somali (so), Sranan (srn), Swazi (ss), Sesotho (st), Saterland Frisian (stq), Sundanese (su), Tongan (to), Tok Pisin (tpi), Tsonga (ts), Tumbuka (tum), Tahitian (ty), Tuvan (tyv), Veps (vep), West Flemish (vls), Kalmyk (xal), Yiddish (yi), Yoruba (yo), Zeelandic (zea), Zulu (zu)

YesY Done
13 January 2014 Phase 4 All users 23 remaining Wikipedias with all characters normally directly available to users

Alemannic (als), Aragonese (an), Asturian (ast), Bavarian (bar), Belarusian (be), Belarussian Taraškievica (be-x-old), Bosnian (bs), Esperanto (eo), West Frisian (fy), Irish (ga), Javanese (jv), Latin (la), Luxembourgish (lb), Lithuanian (lt), Occitan (oc), Palatinate German (pfl), Romanian (ro), Scots (sco), Albanian (sq), Swahili (sw), Tswana (tn), Vietnamese (vi), Xhosa (xh)

YesY Done
TBC Phase 5 All users 53 Wikipedias with some characters not normally directly-available to users

(Provisional list) Abkhazian (ab), Afrikaans (af), Akan (ak), Anglo-Saxon (ang), Avar (av), Azerbaijani (az), Bashkir (ba), Samogitian (bat-smg), Bambara (bm), Breton (br), Buryat (bxr), Crimean Tatar (crh), Old Church Slovonic (cu), Chuvash (cv), Welsh (cy), Lower Sorbian (dsb), Ewe (ee), Fula (ff), Võro (fiu-vro), Gagauz (gag), Guarani (gn), Hausa (ha), Upper Sorbian (hsb), Igbo (ig), Inupiak (ik), Icelandic (is), Karakalpak (kaa), Kabyle (kab), Kabardian (kbd), Karachay-Balkar (krc), Komi (kv), Kyrgyz (ky), Lezgian (lez), Lingala (ln), Latgalian (ltg), Moksha (mdf), Meadow Mari (mhr), Macedonian (mk), Mongolian (mn), Hill Mari (mrj), Maltese (mt), Nahuatl (nah), Navajo (nv), Ossetian (os), Rusyn (rue), Sakha (sah), Silesian (szl), Turkmen (tk), Tatar (tt), Udmurt (udm), Venda (ve), Walloon (wa), Wolof (wo)

TBC Phase 6 All users 59 Wikipedias with complex characters inserted using Input Method Editors

(Provisional list) Amharic (am), Arabic (ar), Aramaic (arc), Egyptian Arabic (arz), Assamese (as), Behari (bh), Bengali (bn), Tibetan (bo), Bishnupriya (bpy), Buginese (bug), Min Dong (cdo), Cherokee (chr), Sorani Kurdish (ckb), Cree (cr), Dhivehi (dv), Dzongkha (dz), Persian (fa), Gilaki (glk), Gothic (got), Gujarati (gu), Manx (gv), Hakka (hak), Hindi (hi), Akan (hy), Japanese (ja), Georgian (ka), Khmer (km), Kannada (kn), Korean (ko), Kashmiri (ks), Lao (lo), Malayalam (ml), Marathi (mr), Burmese (my), Mazanderani (mzn), Nepali (ne), Nepal Bhasa (new), Oriya (or), Punjabi (pa), Pali (pi), Saraiki (Western Punjabi) (pnb), Pontic (pnt), Pashto (ps), Sanskrit (sa), Sindhi (sd), Serbo-Croatian (sh), Sinhala (si), Tamil (ta), Telugu (te), Thai (th), Tigrinya (ti), Tagalog (tl), Uyghur (ug), Urdu (ur), Wu (wuu), Zhuang (za), Classical Chinese (zh-classical), Min Nan (zh-min-nan), Cantonese (zh-yue)

TBC Phase 7 All users 9 language variant Wikipedias

Gan (gan), Inuktitut (iu), Kazakh (kk), Kurdish (ku), Tachelhit (shi), Serbian (sr), Tajik (tg), Uzbek (uz), Chinese (zh)

VisualEditor may be offered to users at non-Wikipedia projects, such as Commons or Wiktionary, after deployment to the Wikipedias has completed. No timeline has been set for this.

VisualEditor was made opt-in on the English Wikipedia in September 2013.

VisualEditor was made opt-in on the Spanish Wikipedia in February 2014.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Initially restricted to just the VisualEditor: namespace, later for all pages.
  2. Subsequently switched back to "opt-in" mode in September 2013.
  3. German (de) and Dutch (nl) initially proposed, but withdrawn before full deployment due to community concerns.

Documentation[edit | edit source]

You can speak with us in our chat channel, #mediawiki-visualeditorconnect.

Related pages[edit | edit source]

For more information on VisualEditor and its design process, see these directory pages:

See also[edit | edit source]