Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Archive/Avoid generating artifacts in article content versions

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◄ Back to Archive  The survey has concluded. Here are the results!

NoN Proposes a policy/cultural change rather than a technical one

  • Problem: The different editors, Visual editor (VE), tag editor (TE), users, or bots behave differently as to (non-functional) spacing between tags.
  • Who would benefit: All moderators, and peer reviewers
  • Proposed solution: Please decide on a single strategy on "== style ==" or "==style==" constructs regardless on what the author typed, or the VE or TE or bot decided to generate.

    The VE sometimes decides to generate additional non-functional spacing e.g. between subsequential categories (some users type categories into one large sequence of categories on one single line instead of on multiple lines). The VE splits a table into multi-line | constructs instead of one-row || columns. The VE sometimes adds or removes leading or trailing spaces before or after table cell || or parameter | separators. All this leads to artifacts in the stored version of the wiki text. I honestly believe we require to standardise non-functional spacing (that has zero effect on the rendering; it only concerns internal code) much like e.g. Microsoft Visual Basic does. Duplicate and trailing spaces could be removed as well before storing tag text.

  • More comments: Additional advantages: The version side-by-side difference view would be much smaller. No more artifacts would appear. Peer reviewers and moderators would no longer be distracted by non-functional spacing.
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 16:51, 4 November 2018 (UTC)


  • The One True Way isn't going to get any support. You might consider other proposals to put forth. --Izno (talk) 01:28, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Can editing tools simply avoid adding or removing any optional items, leaving the page with whatever spacing it had before (even if inconsistent), so we can see the real changes more clearly? Certes (talk) 23:35, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
    They try, typically. --Izno (talk) 00:34, 7 November 2018 (UTC)


Our team wouldn't be able to work on this proposal as it's primarily about setting community standards while we're a technical team first of all. Thanks for participating in our survey. MaxSem (WMF) (talk) 22:12, 13 November 2018 (UTC)