IRC office hours/Office hours 2013-12-03

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Chat on VisualEditor
Tuesday 4 December 2013
0100 - 0200 UTC

[00:58:28] * James_F waves.
[00:59:53] * AnnaKoval waves back :)
[01:00:04] * marktraceur particles
[01:00:07] <AnnaKoval> Shall we begin? :)
[01:00:17] <James_F> Sure.
[01:00:58] <James_F> So…
[01:01:07] <James_F> I did an office hours about 6 hours ago.
[01:01:16] <James_F> I don't think the log is up yet, sadly.
[01:01:36] <AnnaKoval> Welcome everyone to this office hour on VE :)
[01:01:44] <James_F> But mostly it was just me answering questions - there wasn't a "big reveal", this is just our regular monthly round of these.
[01:01:45] <Jan_telco1> it is
[01:01:50] <AnnaKoval> Actually I believe it is :)
[01:01:54] * marktraceur cracks the topic whip at James_F
[01:02:06] <AnnaKoval> thanks Jan_telco1 :)
[01:02:21] <James_F> marktraceur: s/ext/ow/g done.
[01:02:28] <Jan_telco1> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/IRC_office_hours/Office_hours_2013-12-02 <- afaik
[01:02:28] <marktraceur> Bah
[01:02:32] <James_F> Aha.
[01:02:34] <marktraceur> You've topicappended it
[01:02:40] * marktraceur OCDs all over James_F
[01:02:43] <James_F> Well, awesome.
[01:02:52] <AnnaKoval> Yes. Thanks. :)
[01:02:58] <James_F> marktraceur: Better?
[01:03:00] <James_F> OK, anyway.
[01:03:04] <AnnaKoval> Any questions for James_F on the topic of VE?
[01:03:07] <James_F> Everyone can go and read that log if they want.
[01:03:20] <James_F> Or not and just ask questions. :-)
[01:03:32] <AnnaKoval> And eel free to private msg me and I'll keep track.
[01:03:46] <James_F> Since then, we threw the switch to enable VisualEditor by default ("opt-out") for the 102 Wikipedias that were in "phase 3".
[01:03:50] <AnnaKoval> oops^feel not eel
[01:04:02] * werdna eels
[01:04:06] <werdna> freely, of course.
[01:04:11] <werdna> cause that's the wikimedia way
[01:04:38] <James_F> But other than that, we've just been plugging away.
[01:04:44] <James_F> So… questions?
[01:04:48] <marktraceur> James_F: Yrrrrs
[01:05:08] <AnnaKoval> James_F, lacking specific questions, why don't you talk more about the switch flipping today? :)
[01:06:00] <James_F> Err.
[01:06:03] <James_F> Well, not much to say.
[01:06:13] <James_F> For those wikis involved, of course it's a big change.
[01:06:31] <James_F> The largest of them (by far) was Portuguese, but there were 101 others.
[01:06:59] <James_F> We also enabled opt-in testing of VisualEditor on the Swedish Wiktionary, and on the Swedish chapter's wiki, by request.
[01:07:14] <James_F> Which is the first time VE has been enabled on a non-testing, non-Wikipedia public wiki.
[01:07:21] <James_F> So feedback will be very helpful.
[01:07:46] <AnnaKoval> Any feedback yet?
[01:08:23] <James_F> So far, no, but it's only been a couple of hours.
[01:09:07] <James_F> You can see e.g. ptwiki VisualEditor edits here: https://pt.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?namespace=&tagfilter=visualeditor&title=Especial%3AMudan%C3%A7as+recentes
[01:10:01] <James_F> Anyway.
[01:10:11] * James_F watches the dustbowl.
[01:10:19] <James_F> No questions at all? :-(
[01:10:20] <AnnaKoval> thanks :)
[01:11:29] <AnnaKoval> Dragonfly6-7 had an interesting question in your earlier office hour...
[01:11:36] <greg-g> So, what's your favorite pizza topping?
[01:11:49] <werdna> I'm sort of curious about how everything's going in general, but I haven't read any of the project updates so I feel like I'd just be asking you to type them out over and over again.
[01:11:52] <James_F> Mushrooms. And goat's cheese.
[01:11:57] <James_F> werdna: :-)
[01:12:00] <kaldari> capers, each one is a little mystery
[01:12:01] <werdna> outstanding choice James_F
[01:12:13] <werdna> My only problem is
[01:12:19] <werdna> I add all these toppings to my paper
[01:12:22] <werdna> pizza*
[01:12:27] <werdna> and there isn't mush room for anything else
[01:12:43] <James_F> Anyway.
[01:12:46] <AnnaKoval> lol werdna :)
[01:12:47] <James_F> So, status-wise.
[01:12:53] <AnnaKoval> Really? No questions?
[01:13:03] <James_F> Right now VisualEditor is in the middle of a period of fixing bugs and improving performance.
[01:13:07] <AnnaKoval> Besides' werdna's. Sorry. :)
[01:13:14] <werdna> :P
[01:13:19] <James_F> We're working on new features a bit, too, but not as much as just improving things generally.
[01:13:22] <AnnaKoval> How so, JamesF?
[01:13:30] <werdna> what is your game plan wrt enwp?
[01:13:56] <kaldari> when is VisualEditor going to support WikiText ;)
[01:14:01] <James_F> Also "missing" features that people expect, like rich pasting from external sources (coming to MediaWiki.org on Thursday!) or image option editing (not on Thursday!).
[01:14:06] <werdna> \o/
[01:14:42] <werdna> One thing I'm wondering about – I'm sure it's been suggested before – is allowing power users to type simple syntax in themselves and get what they expect out – particularly links.
[01:14:53] <kaldari> James_F: actual question, when does vertical editing go live?
[01:14:54] <werdna> I'd much rather type [[User:Werdna|that asshole]] than click through the link dialogs.
[01:15:12] <werdna> but maybe that's a power user thing that you're not targetting, I dunno.
[01:15:47] <James_F> werdna: So we've discussed that at length, and we've essentially decided that a mark-up based system (even one which magically converts it to HTML) is MediaWiki's job, and is not the right fit for a rich editor.
[01:16:15] <werdna> mmmm, I think it would be neat if you at least had keyboard shortcuts for linking
[01:16:26] <James_F> werdna: There's some possibility of some very limited exceptions to that, but I don't think we want to get into the habit of magically replacing what users type with what we "think" they wanted us to do.
[01:16:47] <werdna> for me, in Flow, I actually switched off VE because there was too much mousework involved in doing basic stuff that you have to do in every post.
[01:16:53] <werdna> I mean, I don't mind if it's not a magic replacement
[01:16:55] <kaldari> werdna: perhaps someone could write a gadget for this?
[01:17:02] <James_F> werdna: No mouse is needed…
[01:17:05] <legoktm> werdna: there are keyboard shortcuts iirc...
[01:17:10] <werdna> well, I haven't figured out the keyboard shortcuts yet :D
[01:17:25] <werdna> you could do smart hints like I had in LQT (yes, I am using LQT as a *positive* example :o)
[01:17:27] <James_F> werdna: Hover over the buttons. The shortcuts display themselves in the tooltips. :-P
[01:17:46] <werdna> if somebody types [[User:X|Y]] you could have a popup that says "Psst? Want to make a link? Try Ctrl-K or whatever"
[01:17:50] * James_F refuses to listen to the crazy person that thinks LQT is a positive example. :-)
[01:17:55] <werdna> :D
[01:17:55] <kaldari> lol
[01:18:15] <werdna> It looks like you're trying to make a link
[01:18:18] <werdna> would you like some help?
[01:18:18] <James_F> Well, we could do that - right now we put up the wikitext warning box, which isn't ideal.
[01:18:21] <werdna> nod
[01:18:22] <AnnaKoval> legoktm could you share a link to those shortcuts please?
[01:18:22] <James_F> Yeah, clippy.
[01:18:24] * James_F sighs.
[01:18:24] <werdna> well, that's a start.
[01:18:38] <legoktm> AnnaKoval: [05:17:27 PM] <James_F> werdna: Hover over the buttons. The shortcuts display themselves in the tooltips. :-P
[01:18:44] <Eloquence> yeah - ideally everything in VE should be fast and keyboard-accessible. not everything is yet, but the basic functions are.
[01:18:48] <legoktm> i have no idea what they are off the top of my head.
[01:18:59] <Eloquence> templates are still a nightmare, but I think they'll get better soon ;-)
[01:19:06] <werdna> I'm not trying to second guess your design, it's just that this was a pain point for me – I was used to being able to link and so on very quickly just using mystery markup that nobody knows
[01:19:10] <AnnaKoval> thanks legoktm. i'm still sorta new here. :)
[01:19:15] <werdna> :)
[01:19:27] <AnnaKoval> That's good to hear, Eloquence!
[01:19:38] <James_F> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/VisualEditor/Portal/Keyboard_shortcuts
[01:19:46] <James_F> But there's some new ones I've not added yet.
[01:19:54] <James_F> Superscript is Ctrl+,
[01:20:00] <James_F> Subscript is Ctrl+.
[01:20:12] <James_F> Save will be coming soon as well.
[01:20:13] <James_F> Etc.
[01:20:16] <AnnaKoval> Thanks, James_F! kaldari asked an actual question earlier: when does vertical editing go live?
[01:21:23] <James_F> So VE currently supports languages which are LTR (e.g. English) RTL (e.g. Arabic), obviously.
[01:21:51] <James_F> But we also support TTB languages too, like Mongolian.
[01:22:22] <James_F> TTB is "Top To Bottom" - i.e. instead of going across the page and then down, they go down and then across.
[01:22:59] <James_F> Right now you can't make selections of text TTB or RTL, but support for that (what we call the "language inspector") is coming very soon for in-line selections, and slightly-less-soon for block selections.
[01:23:17] <James_F> We'll roll that out as a Beta Feature opt-in tool for testing at first, of course.
[01:23:27] <James_F> And get feedback from the community
[01:23:43] <James_F> I know that some wikis are particularly keen to get it ASAP, like Hebrew.
[01:24:29] <AnnaKoval> Good to know.
[01:24:33] <AnnaKoval> James_F, werdna asked: what is your game plan wrt enwp?
[01:24:36] <James_F> Then there's a wider question about whether we want to expand language direction support in MediaWiki, given that we now have a sane way to edit it. :-)
[01:24:51] <James_F> Yeah.
[01:24:55] <James_F> So… enwiki.
[01:25:09] <James_F> We don't have a particular "game plan" for the English Wikipedia.
[01:25:33] <James_F> Right now we're busy fixing and improving VisualEditor, and rolling it out to additional wikis.
[01:26:08] <James_F> Obviously at some point soon we should start discussing the grounds for re-enabling it by default on the English Wikipedia, as that's an important wiki to us, but it's far from our only concern.
[01:26:27] <James_F> There's also German and Dutch Wikipedias, of course. Let's not focus only on English.
[01:26:56] <AnnaKoval> Good point.
[01:27:08] <AnnaKoval> Just wanted to acknowledge the question. :)
[01:27:09] <Risker> James_F,. before you even consider enabling by default in any of these wikis, you need to have it good enough that it can be equally prominent as wikitext editor
[01:27:13] <werdna> James_F: make it so good that enwiki begs for it back, right? :)
[01:27:14] <James_F> So… not much of an answer.
[01:27:15] <AnnaKoval> Hi Risker :)
[01:27:15] <Risker> and it's not close yet.
[01:27:23] * Risker waves at AnnaKoval
[01:27:27] <James_F> Risker: That's, of course, a subjective judgement, however.
[01:28:06] <Eloquence> I'm hoping the new citations UX will be a big win for enwiki users
[01:28:10] <James_F> Risker: There's no magic device that will go "ping" when VisualEditor is "good enough".
[01:28:12] <Risker> well, until tables and references are as easy on VE as they are on Vector
[01:28:17] <Risker> you're not there yet
[01:28:25] <James_F> Risker: On Vector?
[01:28:35] <Eloquence> Risker, work on citations is underway -- and very high priority :)
[01:28:40] <Risker> Vector using wikitext.....the references are tons easier to do
[01:29:04] <James_F> Risker: You mean the toolbar gadget that enwiki wrote and didn't share with other wikis? :-) Yeah, as you know well we've been working on that for a while.
[01:29:28] <Eloquence> It's a cool gadget, shared or not.
[01:29:30] <Risker> you mean the toolbar gadget that nobody else bothered to borrow?
[01:29:38] <Eloquence> And sets a high bar of usability to follow.
[01:29:45] <Eloquence> We're nowhere close yet, and it's important to acknowledge that.
[01:30:00] <James_F> There is a lot left to do, indeed.
[01:30:44] <AnnaKoval> Just wanted to post a link to the log to today's earlier office hours
[01:30:46] <AnnaKoval> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/IRC_office_hours/Office_hours_2013-12-02
[01:30:58] <Risker> I am still extremely confused about how the team is defining its target user group.
[01:31:22] <James_F> Risker: The target user group is everyone, still. Why?
[01:31:52] <Risker> well, that contradicts above, where people who want lots of shortcuts and technical tweaks aren't the target
[01:32:02] <James_F> I didn't say they weren't the target.
[01:32:18] * James_F is lost.
[01:32:31] <Risker> "everyone" is not a target group.
[01:32:48] <James_F> And yet it's the exact same target group that the wikitext editor targets.
[01:32:52] <Risker> what editor group was VE desiged to accommodate at first blush
[01:33:02] <Risker> *designed
[01:33:04] <James_F> I'm not sure meaningless product groups are a worthwhile focus.
[01:33:12] <kaldari> James_F, Risker, Eloquence: Actually there are a few wikis that have ported the RefToolbar gadget
[01:33:24] <Risker> doesn't surprise me, kaldari
[01:33:24] <Eloquence> kaldari, awesome :)
[01:33:32] <James_F> kaldari: 31, IIRC. Or, in other words, 870 haven't got it.
[01:33:38] <James_F> Risker: It's designed to be used by humans with computers who want to constructively edit a wiki.
[01:33:53] <Eloquence> It's a great gadget - invaluable for content authors
[01:34:17] <James_F> It's an impressive tool of its time, yes.
[01:35:00] <AnnaKoval> Any other questions for James_F et al?
[01:35:01] <Risker> James_F, I'm really sorry that I'm having a hard time making myself understood here.
[01:35:21] <AnnaKoval> And I'm sorry I interrupted you, Risker.
[01:35:36] <Eloquence> Risker, you can contrast VE with something like Google Docs -- Google Docs doesn't target "new users" or "experienced authors"; its limitations are primarily technical in nature (documents of certain lengths, certain features missing) which somewhat constrain the use cases to which it can be put.
[01:35:53] <Risker> well, that's why I don't use google docs. They're crap.
[01:36:05] <Eloquence> In authoring Wikipedia content, there's a very long tail of features that we ultimately must support, and in prioritizing, we obviously ought to focus on the most widely used and most important ones.
[01:36:08] <Eloquence> heh, Risker. I disagree :-)
[01:36:17] <Risker> everytime someone from the WMF sends me one, I give them a hard time
[01:36:23] <Eloquence> I think Google Docs is an awesome product, if proprietary. But that's a matter of opinion.
[01:36:29] <James_F> Indeed.
[01:36:30] <Risker> they're the only people who use it
[01:36:36] <Eloquence> lol, that's ridiculous :)
[01:37:04] <AnnaKoval> Other questions about VE?
[01:37:20] <AnnaKoval> Or James_F's favorite foods?
[01:37:49] <James_F> Oh.
[01:37:55] <James_F> Apparently no Risker.
[01:38:07] <James_F> :-(
[01:38:07] <AnnaKoval> Rubber tortoise? Am I the only one confused by that?
[01:38:12] <AnnaKoval> :(
[01:38:16] <James_F> AnnaKoval: No, it's a bit random. :-)
[01:38:17] <James_F> Anywy.
[01:38:27] <AnnaKoval> Yeah, if there's no questions....
[01:38:29] <James_F> Any other questions, assuming Risker can't re-connect?
[01:38:34] <AnnaKoval> James_F can go get pizza...
[01:38:37] <James_F> Ha.
[01:38:40] <James_F> Or a salad.
[01:39:08] <James_F> No questions? None at all?
[01:39:50] <AnnaKoval> Well, if there's no questions...
[01:39:59] <AnnaKoval> Sounding the 5 minute warning...
[01:40:18] <AnnaKoval> (Could be 5 long, awkward minutes...)
[01:40:26] <James_F> Maybe the 5 second warning. ;-)
[01:40:33] <AnnaKoval> ;)
[01:40:57] <AnnaKoval> All righty then, folks...
[01:41:05] <James_F> Thanks everyone.
[01:41:08] <AnnaKoval> I'd like to thank you all for stopping by.
[01:41:09] <Coren> James_F: Actually, I have one. Do we* give support to third parties for VE?
[01:41:20] <AnnaKoval> Or not... :)
[01:41:23] <Coren> In other words, is it a first-class citizen like mw itself?
[01:42:17] <James_F> Coren: Yes, VE is for third-party users as well as MW users, though in practice I don't think there are any non-MW re-users yet.
[01:42:33] <James_F> Coren: Which reminds me about some slides I need to write for a presentation next month…
[01:43:04] <AnnaKoval> Thanks, James_F.
[01:43:42] <Coren> So there is the intent that there will be a release cycle for VE?
[01:44:04] <Coren> (And with that I'm done)
[01:44:15] <AnnaKoval> Well, thanks, folks, and if there are no more questions, then we're gonna call it a night/day/whatever it is where you are! :)
[01:44:23] <werdna> what about mid-afternoon?
[01:44:28] <James_F> Coren: Yeah, something like that. Longer-term consideration.
[01:44:37] <AnnaKoval> Works for me, werdna! :)
[01:44:42] <James_F> werdna: 12:45 isn't mid-afternoon.
[01:44:55] <werdna> heh, considering I woke up at 10:30, you're probably right
[01:45:04] <AnnaKoval> James_F: Coren's last question?
[01:45:45] <James_F> Thanks everyone.
[01:45:48] <Coren> AnnaKoval: I think "something like that" was suitable handwaving in that direction. I.e.: we intend to, but not now. :-)
[01:45:56] <James_F> AnnaKoval, Coren: Yeah.
[01:46:02] <AnnaKoval> All right.
[01:46:11] <James_F> We'll work out a release cycle once we've got a non-pre-release.
[01:46:33] <AnnaKoval> Take care, everyone. See you at the next VE office hours, time still tbd. :)
[01:46:53] <AnnaKoval> I'll post the logs shortly...
[01:47:01] <James_F> Thanks. :-)