IRC office hours/Office hours 2013-09-30

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Chat on VisualEditor
Monday 30 September 2013
1900-2000 UTC

[2013-09-30] <Maggie_Dennis> Hi, guys. Welcome to the VisualEditor office hour. We have James_F here, today.
[2013-09-30 15:01:10] <Maggie_Dennis> And it looks like we have howief, as well?
[2013-09-30 15:01:18] <howief> hello!
[2013-09-30 15:01:21] <Maggie_Dennis> Anybody else from engineering or the VE team, James_F?
[2013-09-30 15:01:35] <James_F> Maggie_Dennis: Not active, no.
[2013-09-30 15:01:51] <Finnegan> oh, good, thanks howief for making time, i know people were hoping to see some people from higher up in the chain
[2013-09-30 15:01:51] * marktraceur waves, is inactive
[2013-09-30 15:01:59] <marktraceur> I've been trying to work out more, but
[2013-09-30 15:02:06] <marktraceur> We also have marcoil!
[2013-09-30 15:02:07] <Maggie_Dennis> For those who don't know, James F is James Forrester, Product Manager of Visual Editor.
[2013-09-30 15:02:08] <subbu> gwicke, cscott and me from parsoid.
[2013-09-30 15:02:13] <subbu> and marcoil
[2013-09-30 15:02:15] <marcoil> and me :)
[2013-09-30 15:02:16] <Maggie_Dennis> HowieF is Howie Fung, who is Director of Product Development at WMF.
[2013-09-30 15:02:24] <howief> James_F is plenty high up :)
[2013-09-30 15:02:28] * cscott pokes his head up
[2013-09-30 15:02:41] * marktraceur whacs cscott
[2013-09-30 15:02:41] =-= Mode #wikimedia-office +v James_F by chanserv
[2013-09-30 15:02:44] <James_F> Yeah, loads of VE and related engineers in IRC, but I was hoping not to steal their time. :-)
[2013-09-30 15:02:47] =-= Mode #wikimedia-office +v howief by chanserv
[2013-09-30 15:02:54] <James_F> Thanks.
[2013-09-30 15:03:02] *chanserv* You have been voiced on #wikimedia-office by Jamesofur
[2013-09-30 15:03:02] =-= Mode #wikimedia-office +v Maggie_Dennis by chanserv
[2013-09-30 15:03:24] <James_F> So.
[2013-09-30 15:03:47] <fuzheado> Pretty boring week eh?
[2013-09-30 15:03:48] <James_F> This is the first time we've had a formal "office hour" (as opposed to just encouraging people to talk to us in IRC).
[2013-09-30 15:04:04] <James_F> But I'm hoping to do them regularly if they're useful.
[2013-09-30 15:04:13] <jorm> hey, it's andrew!
[2013-09-30 15:04:23] * fuzheado waves at jorm
[2013-09-30 15:04:33] <Finnegan> the gang's all here, wow
[2013-09-30 15:04:37] <James_F> I don't really have any "prepared remarks" or anything, happy to just take questions.
[2013-09-30 15:04:56] <Maggie_Dennis> (I imagine most of you know Eloquence, also known as Erik Möller, Deputy Director of WMF and Vice President of Engineering and Product Development.)
[2013-09-30 15:05:05] <fuzheado> Do we dive into light questions first or heavy ones?
[2013-09-30 15:05:09] <Eloquence> heya :)
[2013-09-30 15:05:22] <fuzheado> Hi Erik, Howie, all
[2013-09-30 15:05:31] <Maggie_Dennis> fuzheado, what do you have? :) Might as well lay it out.
[2013-09-30 15:05:34] <howief> hello fuzheado
[2013-09-30 15:05:41] <fuzheado> I'm not sure you're ready for what i have :)
[2013-09-30 15:05:58] <James_F> fuzheado: Try it. :-)
[2013-09-30 15:05:59] <jorm> sounds ominous.
[2013-09-30 15:06:09] <fuzheado> Ok I'll just start with the heavy
[2013-09-30 15:06:12] <Finnegan> James_F: I wonder if it would be useful if you shared a bit about how you guys do QA, bug testing, etc? I've seen a lot of commentary about how you clearly must not be doing testing, etc, and I'm wondering how much it's true to say the testing done on VE is less than optimal/the norm
[2013-09-30 15:06:16] <marktraceur> James_F: I can add, to the end of the queue, a general inquiry about the status of uploading files via VE. Not pressing, let others ask questions for a bit first.
[2013-09-30 15:06:44] <James_F> Finnegan: Sure.
[2013-09-30 15:06:46] <James_F> So there are a bunch of different testing strategies used across WMF.
[2013-09-30 15:07:00] <James_F> We have unit tests, integration tests, browser tests, manual testing and production testing.e
[2013-09-30 15:07:15] <James_F> This last one is one we like using least, though sadly it still happens that things get through.
[2013-09-30 15:07:32] <cscott> Finnegan: note that a lot of VisualEditor's functionality is also implemented by Parsoid, which has it's own test suites
[2013-09-30 15:07:47] <marktraceur> (re: cscott) and _lots_ of them.
[2013-09-30 15:08:13] <MartijnH> is the perceived buggyness mainly from parsoid behaviour, VE behaviour, or pretty evenly split?
[2013-09-30 15:08:15] <James_F> On VisualEditor we have an unusually high number of unit and integration tests, partially because it's a very complex job, and partially because we're particularly keen to avoid exposing broken logic to real users.
[2013-09-30 15:08:23] * fuzheado lets folks talk techie first, which is probably better
[2013-09-30 15:08:28] <Eloquence> for pre-production testing, we also have BetaLabs (e.g. ) which replicates most aspects of our production infrastructure in a virtualized (OpenStack) environment.
[2013-09-30 15:08:28] <Maggie_Dennis> (@fuzheado, I'm keeping a list, so feel free to put it out there, if you want.)
[2013-09-30 15:08:37] =-= qchris is now known as qchris_away
[2013-09-30 15:09:01] <James_F> However, this can only go so far, and we've struggled for a long time to build some proper browser-based testing.
[2013-09-30 15:09:36] <James_F> All code has to pass the unit tests before being merged - see for example
[2013-09-30 15:10:03] <James_F> Browser tests are run every 12 hours - you can always see the live VE results here:
[2013-09-30 15:10:15] <cscott> i think a good starting question to address is, "what is a bug"? are we talking about places where VE crashes? or where the wikitext isn't what you expect? or where a feature is missing, or doesn't behave like you expect.
[2013-09-30 15:10:38] <James_F> But yeah, as cscott pre-empted me, "bug" is a wide term.
[2013-09-30 15:11:03] <cscott> it's probably safe to say that VE has very few crashers, for instance. there are a much larger number of missing features.
[2013-09-30 15:11:28] <brion> speaking of features -- i think there's some hunger for extensions and gadgets to be able to hook into VE. what's the status of the plugin interface?
[2013-09-30 15:11:32] <Eloquence> we're currently also hiring an additional QA analyst to support the team on a day-to-day basis, to better catch what the automated tests don't.
[2013-09-30 15:11:55] <cscott> and certain sorts of 'bugs' -- like where VE doesn't match a given editor's workflow well -- are really hard to define until the given editor gives VE a whirl and then tells us their experience.
[2013-09-30 15:12:02] <James_F> brion: It's working but not documented for extensions. For gadgets, it's not fully working yet, and also not documented.
[2013-09-30 15:12:20] <brion> followup question: "who do I bug every week about this?" ;)
[2013-09-30 15:12:35] <brion> i would be happy to help with that documentation if need be
[2013-09-30 15:12:42] <cscott> brion: Roan, i think. he wrote it.
[2013-09-30 15:12:46] <Eloquence> general note, #mediawiki-visualeditor and #mediawiki-parsoid are good channels to hang out in for technical chatter
[2013-09-30 15:12:54] <brion> excellent :D
[2013-09-30 15:12:56] <James_F> brion: Yeah, Roan.
[2013-09-30 15:13:33] <James_F> Though I'd note that pinging developers is generally negative sum, and that's what we have Bugzilla for. :-)
[2013-09-30 15:13:35] <cscott> brion: i've also written an extension that extends VE, so i'm also interested in those issues. feel free to cc me where appropriate.
[2013-09-30 15:13:48] <James_F> Anyway.
[2013-09-30 15:13:51] <brion> thanks
[2013-09-30 15:13:52] <Finnegan> James_F: Corollary to my question, as well, now that I think about it: At what type of rate are the community-reported bugs being squashed? To reference the nebulous "people i see" again, I have seen people saying that new VE releases don't fix anything (or very little) from the outstanding bugs, instead focusing on deploying new features
[2013-09-30 15:14:20] <cscott> Finnegan: that sort of begs the question, "what proportion of the community-reported bugs are actually missing features?"
[2013-09-30 15:14:34] <VojtechDostal> Just a short I-know-nothing question, is reference toolbar going to get implemented or is it too soon now to think about particularities such as these?
[2013-09-30 15:14:54] <Finnegan> cscott: yeah, definitely, and I'm probably a bad person to be asking this question, because i'm not familiar with software development enough to do anything more than wave my hands and say "people talk about BUGS!"
[2013-09-30 15:15:15] <James_F> Finnegan: Yeah, that's nonsense. :-) We've not really done a proper new feature for over two months, and focussed mostly on bugs. But yes, it's frustrating when the number of bugs goes up, not down.
[2013-09-30 15:15:24] <Eloquence> VojtechDostal, Improved citation support is one of the highest priority enhancements, yes.
[2013-09-30 15:15:39] <cscott> Finnegan: it's really hard to answer the nebulous questions. a concrete improvement would be if the community wanted to curate a list of 'top N VE bugs' or some such. information about priority is always useful, and help communicating bugfixes to the community is also a useful thing.
[2013-09-30 15:15:58] <VojtechDostal> Eloquence: in your personal opinion, is it a matter of ... weeks, months, years?
[2013-09-30 15:16:14] <cscott> if someone wanted to curate a list, they could be correlated with items in the features roadmap where appropriate, etc.
[2013-09-30 15:16:15] <Eloquence> VojtechDostal, heh :). I'll let James_F answer that as he owns the timeline.
[2013-09-30 15:16:15] <James_F> VojtechDostal: We're not going to just implement the English Wikipedia's wiki-specific code, we're going to build a proper system, but it's a major focus.
[2013-09-30 15:16:20] * Ainali is happy to hear citations are getting dev love
[2013-09-30 15:16:46] <MartijnH> appart from improved citation support, just addressed by Eloquence and James, what can we look forward for which will be new or improved in VE for a medium term (say next two months)
[2013-09-30 15:16:48] <James_F> VojtechDostal: Have you seen where Kaity has been going through some possible designs of how this might work?
[2013-09-30 15:16:54] <Charmlet> James_F: On that topic (reftoolbar), is the code super different such that it's unlikely to be easily adaptable?
[2013-09-30 15:17:23] <VojtechDostal> Thank you. It is the only major obstacle for me if I want to teach our students use VisualEditor now
[2013-09-30 15:17:27] <Eloquence> MartijnH, I would really like us to see if we can make section editing work, as that would address a lot of the performance concerns on long pages.
[2013-09-30 15:17:32] <James_F> Charmlet: We're not going to even try to retrofit that code to work for other wikis inside VE; it would take ages and not really add value compared to doing it properly.
[2013-09-30 15:17:41] <MartijnH> oh, that's nice Eloquence
[2013-09-30 15:17:53] <Finnegan> Eloquence: section editing would be GRAND
[2013-09-30 15:18:11] =-= Mode #wikimedia-office +v Eloquence by chanserv
[2013-09-30 15:18:14] <Eloquence> The tricky bit with section editing in VE is that you may be extracting a part of the page that's not valid HTML (e.g. a section in the middle of a table), so we have to find a way to balance the HTML/disable the feature on edge cases we can't support
[2013-09-30 15:18:16] <James_F> VojtechDostal: So… weeks/months, certainly.
[2013-09-30 15:18:35] <VojtechDostal> James_F: that sounds reasonable, thanks
[2013-09-30 15:18:38] <Charmlet> James_F: but is there any way to hack together a hack from the existing reftoolbar for the time being, just such that it'd be useable? I know it's not the highest priority, but is it even *possible*
[2013-09-30 15:19:13] <James_F> MartijnH: Other things likely to be coming soon are proper rich copy-and-paste (to and from internal and external); formulæ editing; media item editing (alt text, left/right/centre, etc.)
[2013-09-30 15:19:22] =-= bd808|LUNCH is now known as bd808
[2013-09-30 15:19:43] <James_F> Charmlet: Possible? Yes. But it would take longer than doing it for all wikis properly, so…
[2013-09-30 15:19:59] <Charmlet> makes sense :)
[2013-09-30 15:20:17] <James_F> Charmlet: If someone wants to modify the enwiki gadget to work inside VE, that's awesome. But it would take them a lot of work.
[2013-09-30 15:20:31] <VojtechDostal> yeah we had to translate the whole toolbar to Czech and it was quite a job
[2013-09-30 15:20:43] <James_F> Charmlet: I really want to get proper citations inside references done very soon, so I'm wary of getting distracted.
[2013-09-30 15:21:04] <Charmlet> Yeah, that'd be better.
[2013-09-30 15:21:34] <Maggie_Dennis> James_F, we've got an outstanding question -
[2013-09-30 15:21:37] <Maggie_Dennis> marktraceur
[2013-09-30 15:21:37] <Maggie_Dennis> James_F: I can add, to the end of the queue, a general inquiry about the status of uploading files via VE. Not pressing, let others ask questions for a bit first.
[2013-09-30 15:21:37] <VojtechDostal> James_F: good luck on that to you all ;)
[2013-09-30 15:21:48] <James_F> Longer-term I really want to get a start on table structure editing, get our full language support finished off, and uploading of files inside…
[2013-09-30 15:21:51] <James_F> Ha, timing. :-)
[2013-09-30 15:21:59] <Maggie_Dennis> Oh,:D
[2013-09-30 15:22:04] <marktraceur> Good job, Maggie_Dennis :0
[2013-09-30 15:22:06] <marktraceur> :)*
[2013-09-30 15:22:14] * Maggie_Dennis bows
[2013-09-30 15:22:17] =-= gwicke is now known as gwicke_away
[2013-09-30 15:22:19] =-= Krinkle|detached is now known as Krinkle
[2013-09-30 15:22:40] <MartijnH> what does mean full language support here? full WikiText, or something else?
[2013-09-30 15:22:46] <James_F> Yeah, I'm really keen for us to let users upload media items to Commons (or local wiki, depending on licence/etc.) from inside VE and then insert it immediately.
[2013-09-30 15:23:10] <James_F> MartijnH: No, full support for human languages (all 340 variants or whatever, for all 293 Wikipedia wikis).
[2013-09-30 15:23:37] <MartijnH> how far along are you in that regard?
[2013-09-30 15:23:41] <James_F> MartijnH: So editing in Japanese/Arabic/Mongolian/Xhosa/etc. with the various IMEs
[2013-09-30 15:24:35] <James_F> MartijnH: Not great. :-( We're basically complete for languages in Latin and Cyrillic scripts (except for a character inserter, which we still need to build), but for languages that use IMEs like Korean, Indic languages, … there's a lot of problems still.
[2013-09-30 15:24:42] <Eloquence> one hugely tricky bit with language support is that a user may have an input method running in their browser that allows them to type in their language, and that input method may interact in surprising and unpredictable ways with the editor, causing bugs/unexpected behavior
[2013-09-30 15:25:13] <VojtechDostal> must go now, thank you for your kind answers :) good luck
[2013-09-30 15:25:22] <MartijnH> how about Right to left scripts?
[2013-09-30 15:25:22] <Eloquence> with mobile devices you even have to deal with swipe-based input methods and such, even in English
[2013-09-30 15:25:31] <James_F> MartijnH: Part of the issue is trying to test this automatically - e.g. iBus 1.4.3 vs. 1.4.4 can have radically different behaviour for VE in the same language/browser/OS - and iBus is one of the more regular IMEs.
[2013-09-30 15:25:51] <James_F> MartijnH: Our RTL support is good, actually - we're live in Hebrew and have been since July.
[2013-09-30 15:25:58] <Maggie_Dennis> Thank you, VojtechDostal!
[2013-09-30 15:26:13] <MartijnH> oh, nice, that's at least one fairly large hurdle taken
[2013-09-30 15:26:21] <Eloquence> Moriel Schottlender, our awesome GSOC student, has written a very illuminating post on RTL/BiDi support:
[2013-09-30 15:26:26] <James_F> MartijnH: Mostly thanks to Moriel, an awesome GSoC student over the Summer who worked with us to fix the interface a lot.
[2013-09-30 15:26:31] <James_F> Bah, Eloquence stealing my thunder. :-)
[2013-09-30 15:26:44] <Eloquence> :P
[2013-09-30 15:27:18] <Finnegan> copyvio, both of you said "awesome GSoC student"! *deletes*
[2013-09-30 15:27:22] <Maggie_Dennis> I don't show anything unanswered at the moment. More questions?
[2013-09-30 15:27:45] <Eloquence> Finnegan, statements that can't be expressed in any other way aren't copyrightable ;-)
[2013-09-30 15:27:58] <James_F> MartijnH: Most of our language issues resulted from us following the Unicode standard and, it turns out, reality not doing so. :-(
[2013-09-30 15:28:14] * marktraceur is only 20% satisfied with James_F's discussion of uploads
[2013-09-30 15:28:18] <James_F> MartijnH: We've got a lot of work done on that, but there are still issues.
[2013-09-30 15:28:28] * Eloquence wants a progress bar on marktraceur's satisfaction
[2013-09-30 15:28:45] <aschmidt> could you please explain how you will take into account the community's concerns about the beta ve?
[2013-09-30 15:28:47] <MartijnH> James_F, that's quite interesting. I would love to see a blog post on that (doesn't have to be naming and shaming others, just issues you can/will run in to)
[2013-09-30 15:28:48] <Maggie_Dennis> Thanks, martraceur. :) What more do you want to know? Can you ask specifically?
[2013-09-30 15:29:03] <James_F> MartijnH: If you've ever had a pawn or snowman character inserted by VE, that's a debugging character that's made it in (which is of course a major sign something's gone completely wrong).
[2013-09-30 15:29:04] <Maggie_Dennis> Speaking from my own experience, it can be really hard to keep up in this format. :)
[2013-09-30 15:29:07] <Finnegan> James_F: etc: At the risk of causing you to wish to murder me, I'm going to ask the question you're probably really sick of hearing: can you guys explain what went into the decision process to deny enwp the opt-in setting (especially in light of dewp getting it), and then what went into the ultimate choice to reverse that? <--- Maggie_Dennis you can add that
[2013-09-30 15:29:07] <Finnegan> to the queue
[2013-09-30 15:29:11] <James_F> MartijnH: Will try. :-)
[2013-09-30 15:29:18] <marktraceur> Maggie_Dennis: I'm trying to get James_F to say something substantive about when we plan to work on it, what's blocking it, etc.
[2013-09-30 15:29:30] <Maggie_Dennis> Thanks, Finnegan.
[2013-09-30 15:29:34] <marktraceur> Especially since likely I'll be called into service to support it :)
[2013-09-30 15:29:41] <Maggie_Dennis> And thanks, marktraceur.
[2013-09-30 15:29:55] <James_F> marktraceur: No work done on it yet (beyond some paper sketches of what it might look like).
[2013-09-30 15:29:58] <marktraceur> Tharktraceur.
[2013-09-30 15:30:06] <James_F> There's lots of process discussion to have
[2013-09-30 15:30:21] <James_F> For example, how many licences do you offer people (do you offer them a choice?), etc.
[2013-09-30 15:30:35] <marktraceur> Heh, yeah. I can see why you might want to wait
[2013-09-30 15:30:52] <marktraceur> Yuvi and I are working on getting some data about how people use licenses in UploadWizard, which should be halpful
[2013-09-30 15:30:58] <marktraceur> Wow, bad time for DarTar to leave
[2013-09-30 15:30:59] <James_F> And how do you expose that "you could upload an image here, if only you were logged in" in a way that doesn't get loads of copyvios or selfies.
[2013-09-30 15:31:33] <James_F> aschmidt: When you say "the community's concerns", what do you mean? Which community? Which concerns?
[2013-09-30 15:31:49] <marktraceur> James_F: FWIW I'm considering the license framework in MediaWiki part of the Multimedia tech debt, but it could reasonably be a wider project - we should chitchat
[2013-09-30 15:31:58] <James_F> marktraceur: Definitely.
[2013-09-30 15:32:02] <marktraceur> Or rather lack of license framework.
[2013-09-30 15:32:05] <James_F> Yeah.
[2013-09-30 15:32:16] <aschmidt> James_F: i mean the RFCs in dewp and enwp that finally lead to the VE being opt-in
[2013-09-30 15:32:34] =-= kaity is now known as kaity|away
[2013-09-30 15:32:45] <James_F> aschmidt: OK, I guess I'll answer your question and Finnegan's together.
[2013-09-30 15:33:00] <aschmidt> right
[2013-09-30 15:33:33] <James_F> My main objective is to make VisualEditor the most brilliant, easy-to-use, quick, simple, sensible/etc. way to edit content (for Wikipedia, for Wiktionary, for Commons, for…).
[2013-09-30 15:33:51] <James_F> One of the main ways to do that is to engage with people in asking what they want.
[2013-09-30 15:34:15] <James_F> But another is to actually look at "real-world" usage of VisualEditor and see what patterns emerge.
[2013-09-30 15:34:54] <James_F> A lot of the people we're trying to reach with VisualEditor haven't edited yet, or don't have an account, or wouldn't ever think of editing a website.
[2013-09-30 15:35:50] <James_F> If we don't listen to those people - if we just listen to people who already know what it feels like to edit a website, a wiki, Wikipedia; to use wikitext; to understand how you're meant to structure an article; etc. - then we will fail.
[2013-09-30 15:36:15] <James_F> We will fail because we'll have built an editor that's excellent, but only for some of the people who are meant to use it.
[2013-09-30 15:37:03] <Jeske_Couriano> Sounds like you're putting the cart before the horse, and developing VE for *potential* editors, as opposed to genuinely *beginning* editors.
[2013-09-30 15:37:11] <James_F> So… I was (and am) very keen for real newbies to use VisualEditor in reality.
[2013-09-30 15:37:21] <fuzheado> Jeske_Couriano: how so?
[2013-09-30 15:37:43] <Jeske_Couriano> fuzheado) "A lot of the people we're trying to reach with VisualEditor haven't edited yet, or don't have an account, or wouldn't ever think of editing a website."
[2013-09-30 15:37:47] <fuzheado> The Foundation does user testing and has done so extensively for newbie editors
[2013-09-30 15:38:01] <Jeske_Couriano> fuzheado) What's to say they'll actually do any of those things even with VE in place?
[2013-09-30 15:38:06] <aschmidt> all user groups (newbies, regulars, sporadic editors) should be considered
[2013-09-30 15:38:14] <James_F> aschmidt: I agree.
[2013-09-30 15:38:24] <fuzheado> Yep, and I'd argue that the RFC process is notoriously insider and power user driven
[2013-09-30 15:38:31] =-= awjr_lunch is now known as awjr
[2013-09-30 15:38:34] <fuzheado> And that is what has turned back Visual Editor this past week
[2013-09-30 15:38:52] <James_F> I think we released VisualEditor too early, on reflexion.
[2013-09-30 15:38:56] <Finnegan> James_F: have you considered (or have you done) focus group-type things, where you bring in newbies and ask them to use the software and then give you impressions? It seems like that would be another way to get the naive perspective without having to go head to head with the community
[2013-09-30 15:38:56] <fuzheado> What about the community of newbie editors who don't even know what an RFC is or what Village Pump is? and for those who are potential editors?
[2013-09-30 15:39:07] <aschmidt> fuzheado: this happended because the regulars were not taken into account sufficiently
[2013-09-30 15:39:17] <Jeske_Couriano> I know that, but if you're developing for *potential* editors then you should have something that's far more ironclad than what this VE was.
[2013-09-30 15:39:25] <James_F> Finnegan: Yeah, we do that, but that's often very misleading because of the small numbers of users skewing data (and the in-person effect).
[2013-09-30 15:39:28] <fuzheado> aschmidt: regulars know how to disable VE, frankly. It's not hard
[2013-09-30 15:39:41] <Jeske_Couriano> We had a few helpees on #wikipedia-en-help who were utterly defeated by VE.
[2013-09-30 15:39:53] <TheDruId> fuzheado, I didn't
[2013-09-30 15:40:04] <Eloquence> Jeske_Couriano, what aspects of VE were they defeated by?
[2013-09-30 15:40:14] <fuzheado> You had an "Edit source" button no?
[2013-09-30 15:40:30] <aschmidt> fuzheado: but they felt they should also act for newbies because they think VE is not ready yet ... which in turn hinders testing ... and so on
[2013-09-30 15:40:33] <TheDruId> fuzheado, Yes.
[2013-09-30 15:40:48] <Jeske_Couriano> Eloquence) Mainly the bugs, though it didn't help that most of us helpers had no VE experience and couldn't help them circumvent the bugs that plagued their edits
[2013-09-30 15:41:22] <James_F> Jeske_Couriano: In the middle of a discussion with me this morning, a user (who's been around for years) mis-typed ~~~~ as ~~~~~. Sysops with > 50k edits "defeated" by wikitext. Except we don't talk about it that way - we say "typo" or "whoops, fixing" or "formatting changes" or whatever.
[2013-09-30 15:41:24] <Finnegan> James_F: so it sounds like you felt that keeping it opt-out on enwp was of high value to you because you *need* naive editors to be using it, to help you shape your requirements and such. Why, then, did other communities have an easier time switching to opt-in? That is, did it have to do with the communities' responses, or to do with the value you place on
[2013-09-30 15:41:25] <Finnegan> naive editors from those editor pools...
[2013-09-30 15:41:42] <James_F> Jeske_Couriano: But it's all the same issue - we need to build forgiveness.
[2013-09-30 15:41:43] <Jeske_Couriano> James_F) In this case they were not typoing.
[2013-09-30 15:41:53] <fuzheado> aschmidt: the number of newbies flummoxed by wiki markup after hitting edit… that has to be accounted for too.
[2013-09-30 15:41:54] <Jeske_Couriano> James_F) They were using VE to the best of their ability.
[2013-09-30 15:42:01] <MartijnH> Eloquence, we noticed (anectotically, but still clearly) an influx of new editors who didn't manage to make the edits they wanted - the bugs. Apart from that, documentation on-wiki on processes always assumes wikitext. Apart from that, the people who help out there were - and are - still a little out of their depth with VE. Apart from *that* through a text-only medium as IRC it it far easier t
[2013-09-30 15:42:02] <MartijnH> o explain to someone what to do in wikitext than in a gui
[2013-09-30 15:42:13] <James_F> Finnegan: I think I would say "we all need new users to use VisualEditor to work out how to improve it".
[2013-09-30 15:42:17] <MartijnH> it
[2013-09-30 15:42:23] <Eloquence> Jeske_Couriano, right. It would be helpful to have specifics, e.g. what types of bugs were the most disruptive, and what time period we're talking about here -- many critical bugs have been fixed since July 1.
[2013-09-30 15:42:36] <MartijnH> 's a suite of probelms really, some of which are VE problems, and some are deployment problems
[2013-09-30 15:42:38] <James_F> Finnegan: Wikis that get out of deployment get paid less attention to.
[2013-09-30 15:43:03] <Jeske_Couriano> This was about 07/15, and I unfortunately can't check my logs (I don't log channels on freenode).
[2013-09-30 15:43:11] <Eloquence> The problem of our existing community needing to adapt to VisualEditor is one that we can only solve with time -- there's no magic bullet here.
[2013-09-30 15:43:37] <Finnegan> James_F: i don't really understand what "get out of deployment" means
[2013-09-30 15:43:58] <Eloquence> Jeske_Couriano, yeah - we've definitely resolved many key issues since then, and fixes for some of the most problematic remaining issues (e.g. copy/paste behavior) are around the corner.
[2013-09-30 15:44:00] <Jeske_Couriano> I do know there was about ten, fifteen minutes of confusion before it clicked for us helpers that thehelpee was using VE, and another five while we tried to sort out what specifically in VE was causing the problems.
[2013-09-30 15:44:24] =-= roblaAWAY is now known as robla
[2013-09-30 15:44:31] <aude> James_F: when the visual editor was disabled, it came to me with little/no notice
[2013-09-30 15:44:42] <James_F> Finnegan: In general, wikis with lots of users using VE will generate more noise than other wikis. Consequently, wikis that are opt-out (like French and Spanish and so on) are likely to find, and get fixed, issues much more quickly than wikis without (like English and German).
[2013-09-30 15:44:55] <fuzheado> Jeske_Couriano: not that what you're saying isn't valid, but what of all the other newbies who used VE and said either "Wow this is great I can edit WP now" or even the more muted, "This is exactly how it should work"
[2013-09-30 15:45:02] <aude> for people wondering where it is, can we put a beta opt-in back next to the personal links
[2013-09-30 15:45:06] <James_F> Finnegan: In the long run, this means that the software is likely to end up being better for fr/es than de/en, which worries me.
[2013-09-30 15:45:08] <aude> e.g. my user name,
[2013-09-30 15:45:10] <marktraceur> mooeypoo: Welcome, and good bloody job with the language support :)
[2013-09-30 15:45:16] <Eloquence> aude, that is planned.
[2013-09-30 15:45:20] <aude> Eloquence: good
[2013-09-30 15:45:22] <Jeske_Couriano> I saw none of those, fuzheado, until literally a minute ago
[2013-09-30 15:45:22] <James_F> aude: Yeah, sorry about that; we're working on that.
[2013-09-30 15:45:25] <marktraceur> (echoing James_F and Eloquence from earlier)
[2013-09-30 15:45:32] * aude knew to look in preferences but most people won't know it
[2013-09-30 15:45:32] <mooeypoo> marktraceur: thanks and thanks, my pleasure :)
[2013-09-30 15:45:34] <Finnegan> James_F: ah, ok, so going to opt out sort of reduces a project's priority in the bug-squashing, and thus opting out can slow wanted developments on that project's implementation?
[2013-09-30 15:45:37] <Eloquence> we're planning to roll VisualEditor into the BetaFeatures frameowrk marktraceur is working on
[2013-09-30 15:45:46] * marktraceur waves
[2013-09-30 15:45:51] <Eloquence>
[2013-09-30 15:45:53] <fuzheado> Jeske_Couriano: just saying that you may see squeaky wheel cases that don't tell the whole picture
[2013-09-30 15:46:03] <marktraceur> Also++
[2013-09-30 15:46:07] <Eloquence> so for wikis that are opt-in, it will be very discoverable (initially only for logged-in users)
[2013-09-30 15:46:12] =-= kaity|away is now known as kaity
[2013-09-30 15:46:15] <aude> Eloquence: good
[2013-09-30 15:46:27] <James_F> Finnegan: Exactly.
[2013-09-30 15:46:29] <Frakir> Hello. On, there were ~56 detections/day of 'nowiki' additions one month ago (in abusefilter log), ~47/day now... the decrease is slow, what can you answer ?
[2013-09-30 15:46:44] =-= RoanKattouw_away is now known as RoanKattouw
[2013-09-30 15:47:01] <Eloquence> Frakir, we saw the biggest drop in nowikis when we added the wikitext warning; see
[2013-09-30 15:47:43] <Eloquence> <nowiki> issues that still occur are often due to things like imprecise linking, e.g. a user selection parts of a word, and VisualEditor adding a <nowiki/> to ensure that the whole word doesn't become a link
[2013-09-30 15:48:00] <James_F> Yeah.
[2013-09-30 15:48:04] <Finnegan> James_F: That's actually a really useful piece of information as far as "the big bad WMF"'s motivation, and I'd encourage you to go into that onwiki if the issue comes up. It's useful for people to know that this was a matter of you thinking we were asking for something (opt-in) that would ultimately interfere in getting us what we want (less bugs), rather
[2013-09-30 15:48:04] <Finnegan> than the many other theories people have floated for why you resisted
[2013-09-30 15:48:24] <Eloquence> so here VisualEditor is "doing the right thing" (what the user intended), but we actually have to correct for a user's errors by optimizing the default behavior.
[2013-09-30 15:48:36] =-= InezK_away is now known as InezK
[2013-09-30 15:48:36] <Maggie_Dennis> Are there any questions from the above that people feel are unanswered? Or new questions?
[2013-09-30 15:48:46] <James_F> Finnegan: I said that in the response to the RfC, but people didn't seem to like it then. Not sure re-stating it will help much. :-(
[2013-09-30 15:48:47] <Maggie_Dennis> I don't have anything on my list. :)
[2013-09-30 15:48:50] <Frakir> Ok Eloquence
[2013-09-30 15:49:07] <thoken> New question: Modeless frame/sheet for reference, template, file editing - has that been considered at development start?
[2013-09-30 15:49:26] <Eloquence> Frakir, it's tricky because sometimes users _want_ to do this kind of very precise linking :P
[2013-09-30 15:49:37] <James_F> thoken: I don't know what you mean by "modeless"?
[2013-09-30 15:49:48] <Finnegan> James_F: for what it's worth, I've done a lot of reading around the VE pages, including your and other staffers' responses, and I managed to miss wherever you said it. It's probably worth saying again even if it feels redundant to you
[2013-09-30 15:50:12] <James_F> Finnegan: Sure.
[2013-09-30 15:50:29] <aschmidt> Maggie_Dennis: i would like to dwell on my question what you will do in order to address the concerns of newbies, sporadic and regular users alike in the future?
[2013-09-30 15:50:35] <Maggie_Dennis> Just a heads up to all that we have about 10 minutes to go. :)
[2013-09-30 15:51:09] <Maggie_Dennis> aschmidt, I'm not sure I really understand your question. I believe that the Wikimedia Foundation's developers try to consider and address those concerns now.
[2013-09-30 15:51:10] <James_F> aschmidt: In a week's time, >30 wikis will have all users getting VisualEditor.
[2013-09-30 15:51:10] =-= edsanders is now known as edsanders|away
[2013-09-30 15:51:22] =-= edsanders|away is now known as edsanders
[2013-09-30 15:51:26] <James_F> aschmidt: It's probably not a large enough number of edits, but it's a start.
[2013-09-30 15:51:43] <aschmidt> after all this project is driven by regulars. it is not possible to act against them.
[2013-09-30 15:51:46] <thoken> modeless: no dialog boxes
[2013-09-30 15:52:46] <Stevie_WMUK> Greetings from London :) We're seeing a lot of mention of newbies and I am curious about the feedback and stats we're seeing wrt new / inexperienced editors. What are they saying about VE? Do they like it?
[2013-09-30 15:52:47] <Eloquence> aschmidt, The tricky bit with supporting new users well is that VisualEditor has to be able to edit the _entirety_ of wikitext, which is comparable in features complexity to something like Microsoft Word -- e.g. we even have a toolbar button for hieroglyphics now
[2013-09-30 15:52:48] <Eloquence> aschmidt, So one aspect this problem we're discussing now is how to organize the editing tools without ending up with a ribbon-like disaster (ribbons were the UI introduced with Office XP)
[2013-09-30 15:53:08] <Finnegan> aw, i like ribbon
[2013-09-30 15:53:11] <Eloquence> :)
[2013-09-30 15:53:14] <gwicke_> Frakir:
[2013-09-30 15:53:16] <Steinsplitter> aschmidt: VE is a great tool for newbies... ;-)
[2013-09-30 15:53:21] <James_F> Stevie_WMUK: Most of the feedback we've had from new users was very positive, yes. Obviously there's more to do, like improve the toolbar and make doing things like adding references easier, but it's not too much of an issue for them.
[2013-09-30 15:53:35] <Steinsplitter> thoken: not 100% perfect, but good imho.
[2013-09-30 15:53:45] <James_F> thoken: So… how would you edit them?
[2013-09-30 15:53:58] <gwicke_away> Frakir: sorry, pushed the wrong button on my phone
[2013-09-30 15:54:17] <Eloquence> James_F, want to take a crack at Stevie_WMUK's question?
[2013-09-30 15:54:38] <thoken> james f: just like a ve frame or a wikitext textbox
[2013-09-30 15:54:42] <James_F> Eloquence: ^^^ I've answered it?
[2013-09-30 15:54:48] <Eloquence> ah got it
[2013-09-30 15:54:57] <mooeypoo> aschmidt: VE might be driven by regulars, but it should cater to all, including newbies. Wasn't this one of the purposes? to make something anyone can edit articles with without having to be a regular? It's at the very least a balancing act between the two.
[2013-09-30 15:55:05] =-= gwicke_away is now known as gwicke
[2013-09-30 15:55:05] <Stevie_WMUK> :) thanks very much, that's very encouraging to hear!
[2013-09-30 15:55:33] <aschmidt> James_F: but the feedback you had from experienced users was a disaster, wasn't it? that's the problem.
[2013-09-30 15:55:36] <Maggie_Dennis> thoken, can you possibly try explaining that a bit more? I'm not really following you. Editing references without dialog boes?
[2013-09-30 15:55:37] <Eloquence> the community liaison team is also tracking individual success stories of editors (currently I think this doc is only internal, but I'd love to see it public)
[2013-09-30 15:55:57] <James_F> thoken: Oh, you mean, you want to edit templates as wikitext? VisualEditor doesn't edit wikitext, it edits HTML, and giving users wikitext would be very hard to do properly (because partial structures can trivially break the entire page).
[2013-09-30 15:56:20] <Maggie_Dennis> 5 minutes, guys.
[2013-09-30 15:56:24] <marktraceur> Hey there protonk
[2013-09-30 15:56:43] <TheDruId> Was it VE or something else that made re-entering the edit box return to the top of it?
[2013-09-30 15:56:45] <RoanKattouw> thoken: Do you mean a smaller pop-out thing like the link inspector, as opposed to a modal dialog that takes over the entire page?
[2013-09-30 15:56:49] <James_F> aschmidt: No, feedback from most experienced users was roughly "I can't do everything I want to do, e.g. X and Y, and there is a bug in Z." I don't think that that is "a disaster" at all.
[2013-09-30 15:56:50] <protonk> hey hey, marktraceur
[2013-09-30 15:57:07] <marcoil> RoanKattouw: I think that was what thoken meant with 'modeless'
[2013-09-30 15:57:21] <marktraceur> Modalless
[2013-09-30 15:57:35] <aschmidt> James_F: okay, thanks. i had a different impression from the German community
[2013-09-30 15:57:38] <Elitre> feedback from experienced users is what is making VE grow. new users and unregistered ones rarely point out bugs or request features.
[2013-09-30 15:57:57] =-= InezK is now known as InezK_away
[2013-09-30 15:58:01] <mooeypoo> James_F: especially in non-english wikis, where VE seemed to be *helping* people edit articles, from my general impressions at least.
[2013-09-30 15:58:21] <James_F> aschmidt: Well, one of the things that VisualEditor doesn't do right now is table structure, and the German Wikipedia community clearly said that they considered that vital for editing all pages due to the much larger number of tables that they have.
[2013-09-30 15:58:34] <James_F> TheDruId: Re-entering the box?
[2013-09-30 15:58:57] <James_F> TheDruId: Which box? In the wikitext editor? VisualEditor doesn't do anything to the wikitext editor right now.
[2013-09-30 15:58:59] <Steinsplitter> (@aschmidt: du solltest dich mal genau über VP informieren... was du in anderen channels von dir gegeben hast bezüglich VM ist s chon die höhe.)
[2013-09-30 15:59:06] <Steinsplitter> *VE
[2013-09-30 15:59:14] <Maggie_Dennis> We have one minute left, guys.
[2013-09-30 15:59:19] <Maggie_Dennis> Just a reminder that this is just the first of two office hours. The second will be held on 2013-10-02 from 00:00 UTC until 01:00 UTC .
[2013-09-30 15:59:20] <thoken> Maggie_Dennis:
[2013-09-30 15:59:33] <aschmidt> James_F: but there's more to it than just tables, references as well. most said they tried it out and then switched it off because they didn't find it useful
[2013-09-30 15:59:35] <TheDruId> James_F, Doing anything else with the cursor, then returning to the edit box.
[2013-09-30 16:00:07] <Maggie_Dennis> Thank you, thoken. If you don't feel answered, can you send me an email? I'm I'll see if I can get it on the table for the next office hour.
[2013-09-30 16:00:43] <Maggie_Dennis> I'll be posting the logs for this office hour within the next 20 to 30 minutes.
[2013-09-30 16:00:44] <marcoil> marktraceur: I had never seen it written like that (modalless)
[2013-09-30 16:01:02] <marktraceur> marcoil: That's because it's not really a word, I was just theorizing
[2013-09-30 16:01:08] <marcoil> :)
[2013-09-30 16:01:18] <Maggie_Dennis> Thank you, James_F, Eloquence, HowieF et al. for answering questions.
[2013-09-30 16:01:22] =-= marktraceur has changed the topic to ``IRC office hours -''
[2013-09-30 16:01:27] <James_F> Thanks everyone.
[2013-09-30 16:01:28] <Maggie_Dennis> And thanks everyone else for asking them!
[2013-09-30 16:01:30] <howief> thanks all
[2013-09-30 16:01:41] <marcoil> thanks all, very informative!
[2013-09-30 16:01:43] <MartijnH> thanks for the updates and answers
[2013-09-30 16:01:44] <Stevie_WMUK> Thanks guys and I know it's difficult but keep on keeping on - all of your efforts are appreciated
[2013-09-30 16:01:56] <aschmidt> thank you!
[2013-09-30 16:02:37] <Eloquence> :)