Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback

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Use this page to tell the Wikimedia developers your ideas and issues about using VisualEditor. All comments are read, but personal replies are not guaranteed.

Feedback

Please click here to report a problem with VisualEditor.
Please include your web browser, computer operating system, and Wikipedia skin (usually Vector, sometimes Monobook).
Please click here to make a suggestion.
Ideas about user interface choices and the priorities for adding new features are especially welcome.


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Help Local archives

Editorial notes denoted only by a tiny grey exclamation point[edit]

I just added an empty section to an article[1] with a editorial note. When I used VE to edit the section, I noticed the editorial note was transformed into a tiny grey square exclamation point. I'm not sure newbies will comprehend what this signifies, or if they will even notice it. Is there any discussion on other mechanisms to show editorial notes? Thanks. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 21:38, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

If it applies to the whole page, then you can use an WP:Edit notice.
Do you think that a different color would be a good idea? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:11, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd vote for an orange exclamation mark. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:00, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for asking, Whatamidoing (WMF). I'd say it would be nice to do much more than make it orange. Sometimes editorial notes provide a lot of good information that helps future editors. Sometimes it's necessary to see that note in context with the wikitext. Editorial notes are sometimes placed at important spots within the article, where edits may commonly occur that go against consensus or wise editing practices.
Maybe we could make the exclamation point two exclamation points, and orange, with text in between that says "see editorial note". When you click on it, it might pull up the text in context with a small amount of surrounding wiki-text with the option to edit the editorial note? The current way seems to dismiss the value or potential importance of editorial notes. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 13:45, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Or once one clicks to activate VE, it could show the editorial note just in a different color, exactly where it is, with perhaps something else to designate that it isn't actually part of the visible text of the article from a reading perspective, but only an editing one. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 13:48, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Or just make them editable colored superscripts, and do away with the little box entirely. I think that would work nicely. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 14:10, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
These are good ideas. Biosthmors, can you give me an example of a note that doesn't make sense unless you can see the wikitext? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:13, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
The only example I can cite at this moment is in an infobox next to the field "alias": [2]. Ironically, these editorial notes were recently removed. They prevented a recent edit of mine, when I considered posting a nickname there a while back, but I didn't because of the note and explanation. I'm confident much better examples exist. Biosthmors (talk) pls notify me (i.e. {{U}}) while signing a reply, thx 17:04, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
In that example, VisualEditor shows you the wikitext (as part of the parameter), and while I see that it's a relatively important message, I don't see why you would need to see the wikitext itself (i.e., not the hidden HTML comment, but actual wikitext markup) to make sense of the comment. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:49, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

How to use on tablet?[edit]

I was testing mobile editing, and I have this shiny new tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0). If I use Wikipedia in Firefox, the desktop version is identical to Firefox on the PC. Wikitext editing is just the same.

But it won't let me use VE. Even though Firefox for Android is as identical to Firefox for a PC as Mozilla can make it. Even "?title=Pagename&veaction=edit" doesn't work.

I've already chosen to opt in to VE, what's being overly helpful here and preventing me from trying this? - David Gerard (talk) 19:31, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Do you want to use the desktop site, or do you want to use the mobile site?
On the desktop site, the browsers may be blacklisted. Let me see if I can dig up the browser list again. It's been months and months since I looked at it. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:18, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm trying to use the desktop site. As I noted, wikitext editing works just as expected. I'm assuming the tablet is blacklisted, though as I note there is no reason the browser couldn't run VE - particularly as nobody on en:wp is running VE without explicitly wanting to - David Gerard (talk) 20:34, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I didn't see anything in the blacklist. I'll have to ask around. Most of the team is en route to the Hackathon in Lyon, so I'm not sure who I'll reach. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:12, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
At your leisure :-) There should be some way to force it on ... I suppose I could play silly buggers with user agents - David Gerard (talk) 08:32, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
phab:T94725 is making me think that it's deliberately disabled. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:49, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Auto complete with categories[edit]

Just a minor bug. When trying to add a new category using the Wizard, I was trying to use auto complete from the drop down box. Rather than displaying the full name of the category University of Hanover alumni it just displayed condensed form "University ... alumi" making it really hard to see if I had the right category.--Salix alba (talk): 07:51, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. It's known and annoying, and I have no idea when that impossible situation will finally be fixed. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:05, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Automatically generated citations with Cookie messges[edit]

Bug report VisualEditor
Description Cookie messages in automatically-generated citations
Intention: add a citation from our city's major newspaper using just the URL from their website
Steps to Reproduce:
Results: What appeared in the citation was "No Cookies
Expectations: I had expected to see the title "King George Square designer wouldn't change a thing despite calls to bring back the grass"
Page where the issue occurs
Web browser
Operating system
Skin
Notes:
Workaround or suggested solution

Kerry (talk) 23:01, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

A/B test finally scheduled[edit]

Hey everyone, that A/B test that we talked about a while ago has finally been scheduled. They're going to start with a 24-hour pilot run, beginning a week from now, just to make sure that the logging software is working correctly. (There have been some problems with that.) About a week after that, assuming all's well, they'll do the real thing for exactly one week. User:EpochFail's running it, and you can follow along (everything's public) or ask questions about the methodology at project page on Meta. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:07, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Editing sections[edit]

When editing a section, I've noticed that the editing window does not normally position itself in the right place. So I need to scroll up or down to find the section that I want to edit. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:15, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

MSGJ, I've been thinking recently that this is less reliable than it used to be, but I was thinking it might just be me (I've been having other problems). What browser/OS are you using? The last round of this had to be fixed separately in each browser. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 15:47, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Case sensitivity and categories[edit]

When typing categories the suggestions are case-sensitive, which is a little bit annoying. Could they be made insensitive? Thanks — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:19, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't have high hopes for this one (I think it displays whatever the normal search offers), but I've asked. If it's possible, then it would be great. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 15:50, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Unless I've misunderstood you, the normal search does do this. If you type Mosques in e in the search bar, the autocomplete will suggest Mosques in Europe and Mosques in Egypt regardless of the case of the "e". — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:53, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Pressing enter on edit summary box[edit]

I keep pressing "enter" when typing in the edit summary and expecting it to save the page, but instead it puts a carriage return in the edit summary, which is not even possible to display. Please make enter be a shortcut to save page, like the source editor. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:49, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

I do the same thing. There is a shortcut, but it's control Option s (in Safari/Mac OS). The meta keys depend upon your browser and OS, so the quickest thing to do is to go to the list of Keyboard shortcuts (in the middle of VisualEditor's "(?)" Help menu and look at the list. The last item is for saving.
I still want plain old Return to work here. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 15:54, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
I too press RETURN expecting to Save, but, I do this because it's a source-editor behaviour. It is not so clear to me that new contributors only using the VE will expect this behaviour and indeed they may expect the opposite behaviour (that is, that they can embed RETURN into the edit summary). I note that, since you need to use the source-editor to give feedback on this page, it follows that feedback is more likely to come from editors already very familiar with the source-editor who are not the users for whom the VE is developed. Indeed, it is not clear to me that there is any way that VE-only users can give feedback. Kerry (talk) 04:32, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
It looks like some of the devs are thinking along the same lines as you. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:07, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • FYI, I've proposed using control + enter (or command + enter for OS Xers) as a keyboard shortcut to submit dialogs like this, which has the double benefits of allowing enter to add new lines (which we may want to start displaying at some point in the future) and of following the behavior of a lot of other websites including Gmail, Facebook, and Google Docs (T98105). It's been suggested that we make the edit summary box a single-line text box instead of a multi-line text area (T54133). This would make it possible to save just by pressing enter, and would make browsers auto-complete the field by default. However, it would also make the field less usable: the larger text area seems to be more inviting to new users, while I've heard that single-line text fields tend to confuse people because they visually cut off summaries that exceed the length of the field and make it difficult to scroll back to see the overflow.Neil P. Quinn-WMF (talk) 06:16, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
    Deskana's comments on Phabricator are spot on. The edit summary is a single line of text and I've never seen a proposal to change this. Why would you present it to editors as a multi-line text and then just remove their carriage returns to make it single line? It is counter-intuitive. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:51, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
    • Replacing the "editarea" with a regular edit box (regardless of its shape) has been a long-standing request. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:07, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Collapse into a simpler wikilink if the piped text is same as page title[edit]

Bug report VisualEditor
Description Collapse into a simpler wikilink if the piped text is same as page title
Intention: On a page, there was a link like this: Sotheby's which I wanted to convert to Sotheby's
Steps to Reproduce: So I clicked on the word, and changed the link to point to Sotheby's instead of Sotheby.
Results: Which resulted in [[Sotheby's|Sotheby’s]].
Expectations: I wanted it to result to a simpler wikitext: [[Sotheby’s]].
Page where the issue occurs https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Silver_Car_Crash_%28Double_Disaster%29&type=revision&diff=662524516&oldid=655405526
Web browser Firefox, 37.0.2
Operating system Ubuntu 64-bit
Skin Don't know.
Notes:
Workaround or suggested solution

Siddhant (talk) 01:14, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

@Siddhant: Thanks for the report! I think what's going on is that the link text used curly quotes, while the link itself used straight quotes. The two types of quotes are separate characters, so VisualEditor treats them differently. When I do the same thing using only straight quotes, VisualEditor correctly makes a non-piped link.

In the long term, it may be worth having VE automatically do things like turn curly quotes into straight quotes, but changes like that are almost always more complicated then they seem: for example, we'd have to make it possible for each project to customize its autocorrect rules (so that the English Wikipedia could turn all curly quotes straight, and the German Wikipedia could turn all straight quotes curly), which would be quite an undertaking.—Neil P. Quinn-WMF (talk) 21:03, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Null edits[edit]

Bug report VisualEditor
Description I cannot do a null edit for the purposes of forcing a refresh of the links and templates on a page.
Intention: Force a refresh of links and templates.
Steps to Reproduce: Clicked "Edit", went to click "Save" but found it greyed out. Reproducible.
Results: Could not SAVE and hence did not purge.
Expectations: Expected the SAVE to occur without requiring an edit summary forcing the purge.
Page where the issue occurs
Web browser
Operating system
Skin
Notes:
Workaround or suggested solution add a character and delete it, that un-greys the SAVE

Kerry (talk) 04:38, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for this suggestion, Kerry. I've filed a task for this. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:46, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Blacklisted external links - take 2[edit]

There seems to be a miscommunication about a problem I brought up earlier. So, let's try again.

Situation: If someone using VE adds a blacklisted url, VE does nothing until the person tries to save the page. Then, in a dialog box titled "Something went wrong", the following error message appears, with the box being too small for the whole message, so the user needs to scroll down to see it all. And no, the message is not formatted - what is shown below is exactly what the user sees, though the line width is less.

{{fmbox |type = warning |id = mw-spamprotectiontext |image = none |text = Your edit was not saved because it contains a new external link to a [[Wikipedia:Spam blacklist|site registered on Wikipedia's blacklist]]. * '''To save your changes now''', you must go back and ''remove the blocked link'' (shown below), and then save. **Note that if you used a redirection link or [[URL shortening|URL shortener]] (like e.g. 'goo.gl', 't.co', 'youtu.be', 'bit.ly'), you may still be able to save your changes by using the direct, non-shortened link - you generally obtain the non-shortened link by following the link, and copying the contents of the address bar of your web-browser after the page has loaded. ** Links containing 'google.com/url?' are resulting from a copy/paste from the result page of a Google search - please follow the link on the result page, and copy/paste the contents of the address bar of your web-browser after the page has loaded. * '''If you feel the link is needed''', you can: ** ''Request that the entire website be allowed'', that is, removed from the [[MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist#Proposed removals|local]] or [[meta:Talk:Spam blacklist#Proposed removals|global]] spam blacklists (check both lists to see which one is affecting you). ** ''Request that just the specific page be allowed'', without unblocking the whole website, by asking on the [[MediaWiki talk:Spam-whitelist|spam whitelist talk page]]. Blacklisting indicates past problems with the link, so any requests should '''clearly''' demonstrate how inclusion would benefit Wikipedia. }} The following link has triggered a protection filter:<strong> examiner.com/ </strong><br /> Either that exact link, or a portion of it (typically the root domain name) is currently blocked.

Apparently back in 2013, the developers thought they were providing users with a clear message in such situations - see https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T52826 . As I hope is obvious from the above, the current message is anything but clear. Perhaps T52826 should be reopened? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 03:54, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

@John Broughton: Thanks for the report. The Mobile Apps Team ran into similar problems as this. Basically, extensions like the spam blacklist and abuse filter were designed under the assumption that you'd be using the desktop wikitext editor, and nothing else. It's extremely difficult to integrate things like VisualEditor and the mobile apps with these extensions. In fact, the abuse filter even caused the app to crash for a little while because of how erratically it behaved. These extensions need overhauling (which needs dev work), and a big chunk of the messages need rewriting across all wikis (which needs community work). It is actually a surprisingly large undertaking to fix this problem. In terms of what's next, it'd be better to file a new Phabricator task rather than reopen that one, because the original task to implement the functionality is complete, whereas you would like it improved. Hope that helps. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 05:05, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm surprised that presenting an identical interface to extensions such as the spam blacklist and the abuse filter isn't a requirement for VE. Surely we aren't going to require extension developers to be aware of two different editing interfaces?—Kww(talk) 05:25, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
@Kww: You're absolutely right that extension developers shouldn't have to write special code for each interface. Extensions should be modular. That's actually exactly what caused this problem; these extensions go too far in the other direction, and make a load of assumptions which are true if the user's using the wikitext editor and false otherwise, which leads to the problems I mentioned. As to whether it's a requirement or not for VisualEditor, I can't speak to that as I'm not part of that team. --Dan Garry, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 05:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd appreciate some detail on this one. It would seem to be an inherent requirement on VE that no other application could detect its presence. Of course, I've been surprised before by what would seem to me to be an obvious requirement that wasn't obvious to the VE team.—Kww(talk) 15:50, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Right, John. That's a mess. Thanks for re-explaining; whatever the underlying limitations of the blacklist extension are, that needs fixing now. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:43, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Praise and a suggestion[edit]

I really like the order of the "new" edit bar (I say new, it's only looked like that since yesterday for me). The suggestion is, is there any way of making transcluded templates like the one used on the palmares section in this article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Craven) more editor friendly. I needed to fix a few things and went back to using wikisource because it was easier and more straightforward than using VE. Not a problem but I know you're trying to move to having VE be the first port of call. Red Fiona (talk) 12:42, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

You're right. The {{colbegin}} and {{colend}} templates did not behave at all well with VE. Perhaps it is easy just to use tables? Then you can just double-click the cells to edit them directly. I have done this on Dan Craven - what do you think? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 14:52, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very much. The only problem I can see (other than having to migrate all of the palmares sections over to tables unless there's a bot for that) is that while the colbegin/colend system automatically made the contents of the two columns as even as possible, this doesn't happen automatically with the table system (compare the two versions of the palmares section in my sandbox https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Redfiona99/sandbox), which could be a problem with some like say Tom Boonen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Boonen). Red Fiona (talk) 16:49, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
IMO the real solution is to make wikitext handle columns properly, rather than having all of these templates to add HTML. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

number of police/people convicted[edit]

User agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_10_3) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/42.0.2311.152 Safari/537.36

In the Candelaria massacre page it mentions that two police were convicted, then later in the "aftermath" portion it says that only one was convicted...

Maggiebpdx (talk) 19:52, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia, Maggiebpdx! I've tagged the problem in the article, but I don't know the answer, so I can't fix it. If you do (especially if you have a WP:Reliable source for the information), then please WP:Be bold and fix it yourself! WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:35, 21 May 2015 (UTC)