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Wikimedia Rolls Out Its WYSIWYG Visual Editor For Logged-in Wikipedia Users 71

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-you-sing-is-what-you-get dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Wikimedia Foundation has finally enabled its long-awaited VisualEditor for all logged-in users on the English-language version of Wikipedia. The classic Wikitext source editor will remain available to edit both pages and page sections, and the organization stressed there are currently no plans to remove it. This is because VisualEditor doesn't yet support the broad range of functionality that Wikitext allows, and Wikimedia further notes it is aware some editors may prefer it. Nevertheless, the organization is hoping to the majority of editors will transition to VisualEditor, which is why it is slowly becoming the default." In other Wikipedia news, reader GerardM writes "Today the 'Universal Language Selector' premiered on the English Wikipedia. There is a ton of functionality in there and it has a lot of potential. The one thing that may prove to be a game changer for people with dyslexia is the inclusion of the OpenDyslexic font. Once people with dyslexia start to adopt this font, chances are that they can actually read/use Wikipedia. A lot of people are dyslexic; to quote the en.wp article on the subject: 'It is believed the prevalence of dyslexia is around 5-10 percent of a given population although there have been no studies to indicate an accurate percentage.'"
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Wikimedia Rolls Out Its WYSIWYG Visual Editor For Logged-in Wikipedia Users

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  • Awesome Job (Score:2, Insightful)

    by theArtificial (613980)
    Lowering the barrier for contributing............. will ensure more user edits will never see the light of day! More contributions and a lower percentage of them getting through the winding colon of wikipolitics. It sounds like everyone wins!
    • Management has reached the conclusion that there isn't a management problem.

      • Management has reached the conclusion that there isn't a management problem.

        As a long-time contributor and administrator I am painfully aware how we are screwing up the experience for new editors. This is ironically possibly due to our culture of self-empowerment: we give too little feedback for moderately experienced Wikipedians who decide to lay down the law for new Wikipedians. We let them discourage newcomers, because probably mean well in their endevour to keep Wikipedia clean, and the line between the right thing and not the right thing in practice is often blurry. Much of th

        • by jbolden (176878)

          The visual editor will help some as it lowers the barrier for small edits. Small edits can make a huge difference to articles so that's a good thing.

          You do have authority figures.
          the victory of deletionists 5 years ago
          the change of admin from being a shop keeping function to a privileged clique
          summary bans instead of arbitration committee process

          etc... has turned Wikipedia into a thoroughly unpleasant community. And there is no question there is a hierarchy in place and cruel indifferent one at that. Wi

          • The visual editor will help some as it lowers the barrier for small edits. Small edits can make a huge difference to articles so that's a good thing.

            agreed

            You do have authority figures.

            who?

            the victory of deletionists 5 years ago

            it's slowly turning around, fortunately. Check AfD and compare to say 3 years back.

            the change of admin from being a shop keeping function to a privileged clique

            I still generally find it mop-up-on-isle-5

            summary bans instead of arbitration committee process

            are you pleading for authority figures now? While ArbCom was given the ability to ban users in case the community can't figure out whether or not to ban, that responsibility lies primarily with the community, not with ArbCom. Letting ArbCom decide on all possible bans is exactly the power that we don't want to give it, but want to retain with the community

            etc... has turned Wikipedia into a thoroughly unpleasant community.

            No argument fro

            • by jbolden (176878)

              jbolden: summary bans instead of arbitration committee process
              Martin: are you pleading for authority figures now? While ArbCom was given the ability to ban users in case the community can't figure out whether or not to ban, that responsibility lies primarily with the community, not with ArbCom. Letting ArbCom decide on all possible bans is exactly the power that we don't want to give it, but want to retain with the community

              3+ years ago if a person was going to be banned there was either an extensive comm

              • 3+ years ago if a person was going to be banned there was either an extensive community process (very rare) or an arbcom ruling. They got due process. Today admins apply indef bans rather freely. I don't mind arbcom doing bans they showed discretion and insured due process, I do mind indef blocks to well established editors under almost any circumstances.

                Similarly admins sent stuff to moderation in 2007 they didn't ban people for "edit warring". If an admin was going to get involved in an article they had

                • by jbolden (176878)

                  I'm not sure what you mean by 'send stuff to moderation'.

                  Frequently 2006-7 if an admin got involved and saw a disagreement they would encourage or outright file a request for Mediation Committee or Mediation Cabal (which I notice is now shutdown). Mediation Cabal ran about 80-90 in getting success.

                  Also I see no significant difference between ANI in 2007 [wikipedia.org] and ANI now.

                  I suggest you look at how often articles won at ANI and how infrequently it was used against quality articles. Having to

                  • Ask anyone who was editing then. The stuff that happened in 2006 / 7 never would be allowed today. I was constantly able to get good quality articles from knowledgeable insiders and later get them properly referenced. Today that's simply not allowed.

                    This is the important part. I think the Wikimodel is an amazing model at creating content to solidly mediocre to pretty decent levels. To a very good level, not so much. Maintaining a very good level, even much less so. When we started getting more articles ac

                    • by jbolden (176878)

                      When I look over the history of the Bristol Palin article, I see a prod, which was removed by the very next editor (not you), and an AfD [wikipedia.org] which, well, saying one had to fight ones way to keep it is not really the reality of that discussion

                      You are looking too late. The discussion was getting the article off 6 months of semi-protection and getting the right to create it and.... I'm glad after having to put up with all that nonsense the AN/I was a non event. The article was on my userspace

                    • I don't know about that. If wikipedia had kept on growing it could have something like 200m articles and hundreds of thousands of editors. I'd love to be able to get a good or even so-so quality article on every piece of networking equipment. Get a good or even so-so quality article on every command in every programming language. Get a good or even so-so quality article on every major building in the world. How are the almost 200m articles better for me?

                      It was a direct result on the ~2006-2010 "lolwikiped

                    • by jbolden (176878)

                      It was a direct result on the ~2006-2010 "lolwikipedia so unreliable" what was getting heard more and more (notice how you rarely hear this anymore), for better and for worse.

                      At the time there was competition from mainstream encyclopedias. In particular and last to go was Britanica. Britanica had a large number of excellent articles written by experts. Wikipedia beat them when they were unreliable: 20x the size, free, better web interface, more up to data. People valued that more than accuracy.

                      But I w

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...to automatically roll back any contributions that disagree with the administrator's politics?

    Because that seems to be the feature most Wikipedia administrators would use most...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Example please. I'm fed up with these accusations. Just about every time it turns out the whiner is sour just because he/she couldn't get his/her own political agenda into the article.

  • There's probably only a hundred or so people that are able to successfully edit Wikipedia pages, and they're ok with the code. Everyone else gets their edits rolled back without a glance.
    • Re:Useless (Score:4, Interesting)

      by wallsg (58203) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @08:01PM (#44171557)

      There's probably only a hundred or so people that are able to successfully edit Wikipedia pages, and they're ok with the code. Everyone else gets their edits rolled back without a glance.

      I didn't realize that I was so special. I've made a dozen edits to Wikipedia entries, including one that wasn't trivial...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I didn't realize that I was so special. I've made a dozen edits to Wikipedia entries, including one that wasn't trivial...

        Same here, I edit articles related to my engineering specialty and don't recall ever being rolled back. I normally only add changes that I have references for, and usually leave a short comment that mentions where I made the changes...

        I don't log in to Wikipedia, so I suppose someone energetic could ID me?

      • Adding new rules to the Meta pages doesn't count.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Or, try editing pages nobody else is really editing. I have some automotive-related edits which have been successful, even including a media upload. Even better, I have been cited in a Wikipedia article which cited the article which cited it. And I cited it first and included an entry in, IIRC, MLA format at the foot of my article where it belongs. Winning!

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      I've made dozens of edits over the years, some big and some small- and never had my changes rolled back unreasonably.

      Might I suggest that if your edits are continually being rolled back then it might have more to do with the quality of your edits, rather than the editing process as a whole?

    • by jbolden (176878)

      Look I hate wikipedia's culture it is dreadful. But there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of people who edit articles successfully. I'd say 90-95% of my edits to an article are not rolled back and I hate the place, I'm certainly not one of the special 100.

  • ..reading anything on wikipedia that is wrong, and then correct it, immediately gets reverted. So I wouldn't trust this at all. It's a shame that sheeple believe a lot of the tripe on there.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You know you can trivially link to any edit on Wikipedia. Linking to some examples of your edits would go a long way towards proving that you're not just slinging some BS here.

    • ..reading anything on wikipedia that is wrong, and then correct it, immediately gets reverted. So I wouldn't trust this at all. It's a shame that sheeple believe a lot of the tripe on there.

      If you have examples for me, I'll make sure to fix it, and set blind reverters straight.

  • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @09:04PM (#44171983) Journal

    I'm reasonably impressed with what they've got, except that the performance blows, and slows editing way down... It at least allows using existing references (which most people don't know how to do), and will try to auto-complete links to other articles, but that's about it.

    With references in particular, it only inserts the <ref> tags, leaving you complete freedom to type anything, or nothing, in there. Compare this to ANY of Wiki reference templates, where references are named, and there's a strong syntax enforced for dates, names, titles, publisher, and tons, tons more. eg.

    <ref name=ebu_surround_test_2007<{{Citation | last = B/MAE Project Group | title = EBU evaluations of multichannel audio codecs | pages = | date=September, 2007 | publisher = [[European Broadcasting Union]] | url = http://www.ebu.ch/CMSimages/en/tec_doc_t3324-2007_tcm6-53801.pdf [www.ebu.ch] |format=PDF| accessdate = 2008-04-09 }}

    The big problem with Wikipedia is the HUGE number of tags, templates, categories, etc., and the editor does nothing to introduce you to them when you don't know about them, nor help you find and insert the one you're looking for.

    When editing, I'd be constantly doing free-form searches, to find useful tags, syntax, and just exploring around similar pages to find good categories.

    Rather than WYSIWYG, they'd do far better just to have a few hierarchical menus, that'll insert the proper wiki code for you, rather than constant copy/paste from template pages... For example, the ref button is pretty useless... But a ref drop-down, with sub-options like "Book" "Web" "Magazine" etc., would be far more useful. Of course if they could make a pop-up form, with fields for all those values, and automagically guessing which type of ref you've input, and which template is best, would be far better still.

    • [snip]For example, the ref button is pretty useless... But a ref drop-down, with sub-options like "Book" "Web" "Magazine" etc., would be far more useful. Of course if they could make a pop-up form, with fields for all those values, and automagically guessing which type of ref you've input, and which template is best, would be far better still.

      The problem with this is that the VisualEditor software is a general purpose part of the MediaWiki software, and that those templates are templates used locally on the English Wikipedia, and the VisualEditor doesn't have any knowledge of them (and it shouldn't. If you run your home wiki on MediaWiki, why would you want it to know about the templates used for citations on the English Wikipedia?). I really can't quickly think of a good solution to this.

      • by evilviper (135110)

        It should be possible to query the database to dynamically determine what templates (or categories, or anything else) are defined.

        Wikimedia is far too free-form and untyped, so if there needs to be a back-end change to improve this, it would be a great benefit even without the editor.

        • keeping backend changes backwards compatible (a newer version of MediaWiki should still be able to parse the entire history of an article) is a massive massive undertaking, way larger than this visual editor - and that already took way too long. That said, there has been talk of a hypothetical MediaWiki 2.0. I won't say it's vaporware on forehand, but if it does get serious, it's going to take a long time to deliver. And than it will be just as long before all current templates have been migrated. And then
      • by jbolden (176878)

        I can. The drop downs are editable as well. The visual editor is based off editable templates. Those probably should be locked to admin only but there is no reason that adding a new template in common usage couldn't result in a visual editor change.

    • by yusing (216625)

      "a ref drop-down, with sub-options like "Book" "Web" "Magazine" etc., would be far more useful."

      That actually exists It's part of the editing bar that appears at the top of each edit box, when you have that enabled.

      But it (was at least) a preference, and there's (was at least) more than one to choose from. In Preferences>Editing select "Show edit Toolbar". Then when editing, find the toolbar at the top of the edit box, Click on "Cite" over on the right side, and then on the left side (lousy UI) a "Templa

  • This has been available to registered user in their options for some time in beta status. I've had it enabled for some time and it really makes it worth logging in to make the little edits here and there. I hope that they plan to enable it for everyone by default.

    • Here's the VisualEditor FAQ [mediawiki.org] which states:

      • 24 June: A/B test on the English Wikipedia. VisualEditor is released by default to 50% of newly registered accounts.
      • 1 July: Deployment of the VisualEditor to the English Wikipedia, available for all logged-in users.
      • 8 July: Deployment of the VisualEditor to the English Wikipedia, available for anonymous and logged-in users.
      • 15 July: Deployment of the VisualEditor to most large Wikipedia wikis, available for all users. Which wikis are in this list is still to be deter
  • See this picture http://i44.tinypic.com/j7ffoz.jpg [tinypic.com] (picutre: bust of the Kennewick Man located at the entrance of the Kennewick Library).
    belongs here wouldn't you think http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennewick_Man [wikipedia.org] not so says wikipedia.
    Jumped the barrels and did the hoops, still a copyright issue that shouldn't be.

    For me the wikipedia is just to hard to use - I know there are programs to help but I don't wish to make it a profession, just add an entry or two. I'd hope
    VisualEditor would make it easier to edit

    • Re:Time will tell (Score:5, Informative)

      by similar_name (1164087) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @12:06AM (#44172853)
      At least in the U.S. pictures of copyrighted work can be considered violations of copyright. An obvious example is a cam copy of a movie in a theater violates copyright law. Even if it's not for monetary gain. Your picture clearly shows a copyright and date that shows it is still under copyright. Why would Wikipedia risk any problems?
    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      I don't know who the Kennewick Man is but that's a bust of Sir Patrick Stewart.

      • I don't know who the Kennewick Man is but that's a bust of Sir Patrick Stewart.

        When I saw the Kennewick Mans bust my very first thought was why is a star trek figure being featured so prominently.

    • Re:Time will tell (Score:5, Informative)

      by kpmlrtx (2965719) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @01:08AM (#44173103)

      This is a copyright issue. It's stupid, no doubt about that, but the outdated copyright laws are to blame in this case, not Wikipedia.

      Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter [wikimedia.org]: "If the original artwork remains in copyright a license from the artist is nearly always needed. Mere physical ownership of an original artwork such as a sculpture does not confer ownership of the copyright: that remains with the artist.
      In some countries a 3D artwork that is permanently located in a public place can be photographed and the image uploaded without the artist's permission: See Commons:Freedom of panorama."

      Commons:Freedom of panorama#United States [wikimedia.org]: "Artworks and sculptures: not OK."

      • This is a copyright issue. It's stupid, no doubt about that, but the outdated copyright laws are to blame in this case, not Wikipedia.

        Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter [wikimedia.org]: "If the original artwork remains in copyright a license from the artist is nearly always needed. Mere physical ownership of an original artwork such as a sculpture does not confer ownership of the copyright: that remains with the artist.
        In some countries a 3D artwork that is permanently located in a public place can be photographed and the image uploaded without the artist's permission: See Commons:Freedom of panorama."

        Commons:Freedom of panorama#United States [wikimedia.org]: "Artworks and sculptures: not OK."

        I left out a bit didn't think it would become an issue, I called the head of the library and got permission to use it, but we both felt a bit odd as there wasn't a
        need to. It's a statue and a statue is free game - but I got all of the permissions.

        • This is a copyright issue. It's stupid, no doubt about that, but the outdated copyright laws are to blame in this case, not Wikipedia.

          Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter [wikimedia.org]: "If the original artwork remains in copyright a license from the artist is nearly always needed. Mere physical ownership of an original artwork such as a sculpture does not confer ownership of the copyright: that remains with the artist. In some countries a 3D artwork that is permanently located in a public place can be photographed and the image uploaded without the artist's permission: See Commons:Freedom of panorama."

          Commons:Freedom of panorama#United States [wikimedia.org]: "Artworks and sculptures: not OK."

          I left out a bit didn't think it would become an issue, I called the head of the library and got permission to use it, but we both felt a bit odd as there wasn't a need to. It's a statue and a statue is free game - but I got all of the permissions.

          The head of the library can give permission all he wants, he doesn't own to copyright to the statue, the artist does (even if the object itself was donated), so his permission is pretty insignificant. Even if he did own the copyright, since stuff on Wikipedia must be freely licensed, he should have released it under CC-BY-SA 3.0 or compatible. Copyright is a pain, and terribly convoluted and complicated to do right, but a basic value of Wikipedia. As simple as possible turns out to still be surprisingly co

          • we both felt a bit odd as there wasn't a need to. It's a statue and a statue is free game

            Federal claims court disagrees, it's in the freedom of panorama link you replied to. I'm not sure why you would think otherwise when it has just been pointed out to you.

            • we both felt a bit odd as there wasn't a need to. It's a statue and a statue is free game

              Federal claims court disagrees, it's in the freedom of panorama link you replied to. I'm not sure why you would think otherwise when it has just been pointed out to you.

              Was rushed the first reply and a "canned response". This time I did take the time to read the links provided:
              "For artworks, even if permanently installed in public places, the U.S. copyright law has no similar exception,
              and any publication of an image of a copyrighted artwork thus is subject to the approval of the copyright holder of the artwork."

              I'll get the darn photo(s) approved. I'm certain the wish of the reconstructors as well as "The Friends of the Library" was for this to be in the
              public domain and

  • It is believed the prevalence of dyslexia is around 5-10 percent of a given population although there have been no studies to indicate an accurate percentage.

    Those numbers are out of date. The number of dyslexics has tripled in the last six months.

  • Its embarrasing really. A great site, full of PORN. Why, laissez faire bullshit.
    A simple label would work, but all you lib's in SF don't see the need.
    Sad.
  • I really wanted to install this on our internal wiki that we use in IT, but then I saw the node.js requirement. What the fuck, man?

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