Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Editing/Keep the lightweight text editor

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Random proposal◄ Editing  The survey has concluded. Here are the results!

Keep the lightweight text editor

  • Problem: A few days ago, the normal wikitext editor was decapitated of a lot of usability with the deletion of core tools from the software. It was said that the 2017 text editor should be used as an alternative, but it ain't. It's just some extension to the VE, and thus takes hours to load its heavy burden of clutter before you are able to edit anything. The good old text editor on the other hand is fast and furious, and has more than enough tools to edit anything, unless it gets ditched by some short-sighted devs.
  • Who would benefit: All power users that are used to their well-known tools to edit their thousands of articles, and those with no high-end machines and connections, that can't really use anything as cluttered as the VE and its derivates.
  • Proposed solution: Keep and maintain the good old editor, including the tools like toolbars and such.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 21:21, 8 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Note: This proposal originated from another, very richly discussed and widely supported wishlist-entry, which was most unfortunately discarded.


  • Sänger, for the record, when the 2006 wikitext editor was removed, editors were given the option to use either the 2010 or the 2017 wikitext editors. While the 2017 editor is, as you describe, based on Visual editor, the 2010 wikitext editor isn't. The 2010 wikitext editor is just as lightweight as the 2006 one, isn't based on Visual Editor in any way, and only differs slightly in the locations of buttons (buttons are larger, and some are located in subpanels such as "Advanced", "Special Characters", or "Cite"). To enable it, just choose "Enable the editing toolbar" in the "Editing" section of your preferences. --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 23:30, 8 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A) The editor is just the white window I just write in, the buttons and menus are not the editor, but tools for the usage of that editor. This proposal/wish is about the core of that, 2017 is no alternative, it's far too slow.
B) The 2006 toolbar and the 2010 toolbar are fine, but there was a collateral damage. And there was not any option, the toolbar above and the special character line beneath the editor simply vanished in thin air. Nobody was warned about that (except perhaps the nerds in some tech-news gibberish).
C) The 2010 is not es flexible ans adoptable as the 2006 I've been told by heavy users of it (I didn't customise it, but I believe those that did and need this). Those are the ones that should have been asked beforehand, whether they want something new or different, not just devs.
Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 23:47, 8 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It would be most helpful to first study the very richly discussed and widely supported original wishlist-entry, which has been first archived, then moved to the forum.

For the charinsert-part, there is a potentially reusable char-insert replacement in a nearly finished state on de:WP and currently under test on beta, discussion (in german) here. However, a global gadget to replace the one-click customizable toolbar is still dearly missed and the current workaround barely a band-aid. So, given that a rollback doesn't look like a realistic option anymore, it would be most welcome to code a global gadget that at least replicates, what was lost in close dialogue with not only nerds, but real authors. Best regards --Eloquenzministerium (talk) 00:20, 9 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Панель 2010 и 2017 года не являются полноценными заменами панели 2006 года! И проблема не в оформлении, хотя оно тоже дико не привычно. Они хуже: там много лишнего, а нужное трудно найти. Легче это нужное найти под окном редактирования, но самое главное есть в панели 2006 года.Авгур (talk) 03:13, 9 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Welcome to our russian-speaking friend, here's a machine-translation: "The panel of 2010 and 2017 are not full replacements of the panel of 2006! And the problem is not in the design, although it is also not wildly familiar. They are worse: there is a lot of superfluous, and the necessary is hard to find. It is easier to find what you need under the editing window, but the most important thing is in the 2006 panel"
Indeed. --Eloquenzministerium (talk) 10:17, 9 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The light-weight WikiEditor still exists (among the gazillions of other editor options that all need people to maintain them), I'd say? --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 12:55, 9 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And people who maintain them is exactly the description of the WMF (and the software part of WMDE). That's the very essence of the pure existence, especially that of software dev employed by the WMF: To maintain the existing software according to the wishes if the content editors (in regard of editing interfaces, some can of course as well cater the readers wishes, but editors, i.e. the very core of the wikiverse, should have precedence). Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:35, 9 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Everyone, it would be helpful in this discussion area if we could just talk about what the technical need is, and not talk about the WMF/contributor relationships. That's obviously a long-standing and difficult concern, and it won't reach resolution here. We also don't need to get into comparisons of the 2006 vs 2010 vs 2017 editors. Sänger has posted a proposal with a specific techical request that the Community Tech team will investigate and address, if this proposal is voted up into the top 10. At that time, Community Tech will be able to figure out the best technical solution that will give the people who voted for the proposal the functionality that they need. -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 17:33, 9 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Per some discussion at Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Editing/Put mw.toolbar back, this can already be done. While I don't know what the preference is called in other language, in English, go to the Editing tab in Preferences, uncheck the checkbox which says "Enable the editing toolbar (This is sometimes called the '2010 wikitext editor')". This proposal should be archived. --Izno (talk) 16:17, 10 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unfortunately, the 2010 editor is much more memory consuming and significantly slower than the 2006 one. Maybe, there is some way to make it loading faster and consume less memory? Ankry (talk) 17:31, 10 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This proposal is not "re-add the toolbar" per the discussion at the other proposal. This proposal is "make the standard text area available", which it already is if you uncheck the preference. --Izno (talk) 18:25, 10 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This proposal is there as a security measure, as some really had the gall to mention the VE-extension, that is a nearly unusable time-hog, as an alterative to the light-weight editor. Thwe plain text editor is the core of heavy editing, and it's surround by a small amount of tools, like toolbars, CharInsert and such. With the deletion of one heavy used tool of this editor, and such making it nearly unusable for a lot of editors, the devs showed their contempt to this editor, and my fear was, that this is the first step of the deletion of the whole editor, because those non-editing devs that seem to run the place may have the impression, that the VE-extension is a viable alternative. It's not. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 22:45, 10 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have seen multiple discussions come to the conclusion that the plain text area is what MediaWiki should ship by default, regardless of any toolbars or other editors. It's not going anywhere. --Izno (talk) 23:17, 11 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • How is this a different proposal than Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Editing/Put mw.toolbar back? Why are there essentially two proposals for the same thing? Repeating my comment from there: This is a proposal that will get a lot of support for no reason other than old toolbar’s removal happening exactly around the time of CWS 2019. Sad state of affairs, really, these events should’ve not coincided so that there would’ve been a fairer vote. stjn[ru] 09:24, 17 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi stjn, you should look at it on a different way. This desire for a stable, simple working basis, which is offered to a user in all language versions for his work, is a deep and serious desire. It is a basis for good work. Many Greetings — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Itti (talk) 10:48, 17 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@George Ho: Regarding your question in your vote: I'm talking about the basic white field, a plain an simple text editor without any VE clutter. The surrounding tools like buttons and stuff like CharInsert is what the other wish is about. Of course any of these tools should be shipped with the editor as default, just a plain white box without anything around it would be bad as well. I want to make clear, that Texteditor2017 is not what it says on the outside, as it's just an extension of the VE, and is contaminated with all the clutter and extreme time-lags that VE creates. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:07, 17 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd recommend that editors evaluate TE17 for themselves. I'm only one voice but I can apportion its weight to affirm that it is possible for one's individual experience to culminate with an entirely different conclusion. Mine certainly did. Pozdrowienia od--John Cline (talk) 13:55, 18 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I can't work out what this wish is asking for. "Keep and maintain the good old editor" - which mw:Editor? If the 2003 wikitext editor, well, that still exists and isn't going away, so this is effectively a wish asking WMF to not do something which they are not planning on doing. And "including the tools like toolbars and such" - isn't the other wish elsewhere in this section of the Wishlist talking about toolbars? Or are we once again getting confused between the blue toolbar above the edit window and the character insertion tools below it, which are entirely separate pieces of functionality? This, that and the other (talk) 10:18, 19 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's the problem with all this Special language talking, everybody means something else with the same word.
I'm talking probably about the thing that's called the default MediaWiki editor, which is an HTML <textarea> on the page you linked. There are only two light-weight tool-sets for this editor over there: the 2006, and the 2010, and there is the wikEd, that for me was as well just a tool-set for the lightweight editor, but needs more ressources on the computer. It's just like customising the LibreOffice menue buttons, the editor itself stays the same.
The so-called 2017 wikitext editor is something completely different: It's just an extension to the VE, and ist thus as heavy-weighted as the VE itself. I especially don't want that to be viewed as a good alternative, it's not.
And then there are a lot of very special UIs, that cater only very selected projects and needs. They are something, the special interest groups that need them should decide about.
This wish is to keep the default MediaWiki editor, which is an HTML <textarea>, and keep and maintain one or two sets of tools for it, and look very dilligent whether you brake anything, if you delete one of the good old work horses, to not create any collateral damage for the most valued power editors. The Software is for the Content editors, not the other way around. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:48, 19 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]