Grants:IEG/Visual editor- gadgets compatibility/Final

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Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the Individual Engagement Grantee's 6-month project.

Part 1: The Project[edit]


In a few short sentences, give the main highlights of what happened with your project. Please include a few key outcomes or learnings from your project in bullet points, for readers who may not make it all the way through your report.

Methods and activities[edit]

What did you do in project?

Please list and describe the activities you've undertaken during this grant. Since you already told us about the setup and first 3 months of activities in your midpoint report, feel free to link back to those sections to give your readers the background, rather than repeating yourself here, and mostly focus on what's happened since your midpoint report in this section.

  • See Midpoint:
    1. created a list of all the gadgets in various projects (and number of user for each gadget)
    2. We converted some of the most popular editing gadgets to support the new VisualEditor, and created a guide for writing new gadgets
  • Dialog with community:
    • We wrote a post in Wikimedia blog about our project
    • Discussion with the community in various village pumps (examples: fa], it, fr, pl)
    • Discussions and feedbacks in project talk page and others
  • Extending and maintaining the gadget list- updated the statistics and added default gadgets for projects
  • Created various VE gadgets (citations, search & replace) and extended the guide for writing [[:mw:VisualEditor gadgets|VisualEditor gadgets]

Outcomes and impact[edit]


What are the results of your project?

Please discuss the outcomes of your experiments or pilot, telling us what you created or changed (organized, built, grew, etc) as a result of your project.

  • Gadgets list - We mapped all the gadgets (in any language) and created a list of all the gadgets in various projects, with popularity rating across projects, and a different list for default gadgets (since there is no "popularity metric" for default gadgets). This list is very useful to find important (=popular) gadgets that are available only in specific languages, and it is also helpful for developers to know what are the important gadgets to focus for maintenance and extending (e.g: extend to MediaWiki extension/extend to work with VE)
  • Guide
  • Based on this list we select key gadget, the most popular editing gadgets, and rewritten them to support the new VisualEditor:
    • Spell checker (Rechtschreibpruefung) - Spell checking for common errors. Spelling mistakes are highlighted in red online while writing!
    • Reftoolbar - help editors add citation templates to articles.
    • Directionality tool - Adds button to add RTL mark useful in RTL languages such as Arabic and Hebrew
    • Common summaries - Add two new dropdown boxes below the edit summary box in save dialog with some useful default summaries
    • search&replace gadget - Allows easy replacement of content in article
  • guide for VE gadgets writers - While writing our gadgets, and due to the lack of good documentation for extending the VE we created a guide for VE gadgets writing, which should help developers to extend the VisualEditor with custom features. This guide already proven to be useful[1][2]: other developers used it to extend the VE with custom features such as signatures, citation tool.
Screenshots for different gadgets

Progress towards targets and goals[edit]

Please use the below table to:

  1. List each of your original measures of success (your targets) from your project plan.
  2. List the actual outcome that was achieved.
  3. Explain how your outcome compares with the original target. Did you reach your targets? Why or why not?
Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
Actual result Explanation
Accessible statistics of gadget popularity across wikis. (It will help wiki admins [who is able to edit MediaWiki namespace] to know about cool gadgets that could be adopted) Gadgets list (see above) This full list of gadgets and their popularity in different projects provides accessible statistics for gadgets usage. However, since the toolserver was shutdown, and wmflabs don't provide yet ([3]) database access to table of user preferences, we weren't able to provide persistent tool (for such statistics in the future).
Number of gadgets updated to support VE - about popular 20 gadgets that their features will be available also in the VE See above gadgets written for VE We wrote some useful gadgets for VE (see above list) based on popularity. It was harder than expected to extend the VE: there is lack of documentation for extending the VE, and the VE API is unstable and it was changed while we were working on gadgets.

Think back to your overall project goals. Do you feel you achieved your goals? Why or why not?

We feel that we have achieved most of our project goals. We know that it isn't possible (and not required) to make all the gadgets supported in VE, but for some important ones we believe extending them to VE may be great. We implemented some of these gadgets, and our guide for writing gadgets for VE helps other developers to also extend the VE. As a side effect of our project (or a midpoint goal), our list of gadgets by popularity is a useful tool for others.

Indicators of impact[edit]

Do you see any indication that your project has had impact towards Wikimedia's strategic priorities? We've provided 3 options below for the strategic priorities that IEG projects are mostly likely to impact. Select one or more that you think are relevant and share any measures of success you have that point to this impact. You might also consider any other kinds of impact you had not anticipated when you planned this project.

Option A: How did you increase participation in one or more Wikimedia projects?

Option B: How did you improve quality on one or more Wikimedia projects?

Our project helps editors to extend the VisualEditor with custom needs. It is important to have the VisualEditor extendable to specific communities/requirements, so it could be supported/developet by external programmers or super-users. Our project demonstrated how to extend the VisualEditor with some useful gadgets and provides a guide for others to extend it by themselves. Our dialog with the community in various projects may helped to highlight the VisualEditor to experienced users and may helped to extend the number of users that are using the VE.

Project resources[edit]

Please provide links to all public, online documents and other artifacts that you created during the course of this project. Examples include: meeting notes, participant lists, photos or graphics uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, template messages sent to participants, wiki pages, social media (Facebook groups, Twitter accounts), datasets, surveys, questionnaires, code repositories... If possible, include a brief summary with each link.


The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you took enough risks in your project to have learned something really interesting! Think about what recommendations you have for others who may follow in your footsteps, and use the below sections to describe what worked and what didn’t.

What worked well[edit]

What did you try that was successful and you'd recommend others do? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.

  • Community impact , Let the community know
    • Users - after publishing our gadgets, we got good hints that improve them and make them more useful for users.
    • Developers - the lack of sufficient documentation for VE required us to get into the code, hence we created a guide for visual editors hackers and published it in mediawiki wiki.

What didn’t work[edit]

What did you try that you learned didn't work? What would you think about doing differently in the future? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • Community adoption of our gadgets - we published our gadgets but there is not wide adaptation of our gadgets. This may be due to not many editors (experienced editors) using the VE.
  • VE documentation/infrastructure - The VisualEditor is complex system with many classes and features, and there are no many users (developers out of WMF) that use it, therefore there is less documentation than other "core" features.

Other recommendations[edit]

If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please list them here.

Next steps and opportunities[edit]

Are there opportunities for future growth of this project, or new areas you have uncovered in the course of this grant that could be fruitful for more exploration (either by yourself, or others)? What ideas or suggestions do you have for future projects based on the work you’ve completed? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • Our project had wide goals, and the goal of making accessible and useful statstics for gadgets was just a side goal. We think it is possible to extend gadgets statstics to useful web-tool.

Think your project needs renewed funding for another 6 months?

Part 2: The Grant[edit]


Actual spending[edit]

Please copy and paste the completed table from your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed the actual expenditures compared with what was originally planned. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided to explain them.

Expense Approved amount Actual funds spent Difference
Developers (2) $4500 $4500 0$
Total $4500 $4500 0$

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any unspent funds from the grant?

Please answer yes or no. If yes, list the amount you did not use and explain why.


If you have unspent funds, they must be returned to WMF. Please see the instructions for returning unspent funds and indicate here if this is still in progress, or if this is already completed:


Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grantsadmin(_AT_), according to the guidelines here?

Please answer yes or no. If no, include an explanation.

  • No, there were no external expenses

Confirmation of project status[edit]

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?

Please answer yes or no.

  • Yes

Is your project completed?

Please answer yes or no.

  • Yes

Grantee reflection[edit]

We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on what this project has meant to you, or how the experience of being an IEGrantee has gone overall. Is there something that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed, or that you’ll do differently going forward as a result of the IEG experience? Please share it here!