User:John Broughton/Op-Ed - Enhancing Wikipedia for Better Editing

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Enhancing Wikipedia for Better Editing[edit]

Note: all of this pertains only to pages in Article namespace

WYSIWYG makes editing easier, technically, but it still treats Wikipedia largely as if it is just another wiki - essentially, a blank page. Wikipedia is not - it's an encylopedia, which means - in the article namespace - that the underlying software should understand what an editor is doing, and assist the editor in doing things correctly.

Bits and pieces of this exist - warnings about editing semi-protected articles [is this true, or am I just thinking of when one edits the Help desk - which is a good example of understanding what an editor is doing], the red markings that appear for such things as as ref name=foobar/ where there is no foobar cite, preventing someone from citing a blacklisted website.

Today there are the bots that post warnings about editing problems (DAB, unbalanced brackets, other?]. But this should be built into the MediaWiki software, at least as Wikipedia-specific extensions. Why warn an editor after an edit is completed, rather than during the edit?

By analogy, MediaWiki extensions like Echo and Flow are acknowledgments, in code, that editors aren't independent islands, but rather part of a community.

  • Infobox in separate namespace
  • Automating citations (see separate page)
  • Error notifications at the top of the screen, in preview mode [includes things like RED error messages for cite problems, DAB links, unbalanced brackets, anything else a bot would show up to tell an editor on his/her user talk page, or anything else a bot might fix.
  • Article evaluations at the top of the page, in preview mode (e.g., quality and number of citations, evaluations of neutrality of wording - peacock, weasel words, "claim", "assert", "served"; non-standard sections that are lists; text in the "References" section, excessive use of links to the website of the subject of the article)