Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Updates/20 March 2014
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The template dialog has been simplified to make it faster and easier to add information. Read the user guide for more information.
Since the last newsletter, the VisualEditor team has mostly worked on changes to the template and image dialogs.
The biggest change in the last few weeks was the redesign of the template dialog. The template dialog now opens in a simplified mode that lists parameters and their descriptions. (The complex multi-item transclusion mode can be reached by clicking on "Show options" from inside the simplified template dialog.) Template parameters now have a bigger, auto-sizing input box for easier editing. With today's update, searching for template parameters will become case-insensitive, and required template parameters will display an asterisk (*) next to their edit boxes. In addition to making it quicker and easier to see everything when you edit typical templates, this work was necessary to prepare for the forthcoming simplified citation dialog. The main priority in the coming weeks is building this new citation dialog, with the ultimate goal of providing autofill features for ISBNs, URLs, DOIs and other quick-fills. This will add a new button on the toolbar, with the citation templates available picked by each wiki's community. Concept drawings can be seen at mw:VisualEditor/Design/Reference Dialog. Please share your ideas about making referencing quick and easy with the designers.
- The link tool now tells you when you're linking to a disambiguation or redirect page. Pages that exist, but are not indexed by the search engine, are treated like non-existent pages (bug 54361).
- Wikitext warnings will now hide when you remove wikitext from the paragraph you are editing.
- The character inserter tool in the "Insert" menu has been slightly redesigned, to introduce larger buttons. Your suggestions for more significant changes to the special character inserter are still wanted.
- The page options menu (three bars, next to the Cancel button) has expanded. You can create and edit redirect pages, set page options like
[NO]NEWEDITSECTION__, and more. New keyboard shortcuts are listed there, and include undoing the last action, clearing formatting, and showing the shortcut help window. If you switch from VisualEditor to wikitext editing, your edit will now be tagged.
- It is easier to edit images. There are more options and they are explained better. If you add new images to pages, they will also be default size. You can now set image sizes to the default, if another size was previously specified. Full support for upright sizing systems, which more readily adapt image sizes to the reader's screen size, is planned.
- VisualEditor adds fake blank lines so you can put your cursor there. These "slugs" are now smaller than normal blank lines, and are animated to be different from actual blank lines.
- You can use the Ctrl+Alt+S or ⌘ Command+⌥ Option+S shortcuts to open the save window, and you can preview your edit summary when checking your changes in the save window.
- After community requests, VisualEditor has been deployed to the Interlingual Occidental Wikipedia, the Portuguese Wikibooks, and the French Wikiversity.
- Any community can ask for custom icons for their language in the character formatting menu (bold, italic, etc.) by making a request on Bugzilla or by contacting Product Manager James Forrester.
The developers apologize for a regression bug with the deployment on 6 March 2014, which caused the incorrect removal of
|upright size definitions on a handful of pages on the English Wikipedia, among others. The root cause was fixed, and the broken pages were fixed soon after.
Looking ahead: Several template dialogs will become more compact. Looking further out, the developers are also working on support for viewing and editing hidden HTML comments. You will be able to see the Table of Contents change live as you edit the page, rather than it being hidden. In-line language setting (
dir="rtl") may be offered to a few Wikipedias soon.
If you have questions or suggestions for future improvements, or if you encounter problems, please let everyone know by posting a note at Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback or by joining the office hours on 19 April 2014 at 2000 UTC. Thank you!