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In my experience watching dozens of new editors over their shoulder at various events, the main problem with the traditional editor is that the save button isn't even visible without scrolling. We have many such pages where the main action button or textarea or other isn't visible or reachable unless you already know where to look. Nemo 05:58, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

That's why the new editor has its save/publish button on top, like VE has. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 07:38, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

Milestone, and how to add translations[edit]

From Whatamidoing (WMF) to translators-l: "I wanted to share a big milestone:

There ought to be some way to throw confetti in e-mail for achievements like this. Congratulations. You all are awesome. :-)

If this message is still not translated in a language that you know, then here are two links that might be useful:

Just change the "af" bit to the language code for your language and edit the resulting page." --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 11:34, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Most recent research[edit]

Several people have asked for an example of the research behind this, so I thought I'd post a link to the most recent one here: File:Editing - New Wikitext Editor, Save Publish Findings 2016.12.pdf

This is the same end result that they got in the previous studies (most of which were unfortunately not published beyond offhand comments in the mailing lists or strategy discussions) and very typical for individual user research (for example, using the industry-standard sample size). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:46, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

This older research might also interest some people:,_Experience,_and_Evaluation_Study#Preview One of the known problems with "Save" is that people don't realize that it means "Put this on the internet right now". So they think that the sensible thing to do is first to "save" their changes, and then to preview them. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:53, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

Not a good idea[edit]

Sorry, but for Wikis as de:WP with Reviewing pending changes installed, this will not work. Those new editors will feel we make fun of them. The thing, their edits will be published - but then waiting for a review. Maybe the WMF should not work on such unnecessary uniformity, but on really usefull things. Marcus Cyron (talk) 12:48, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Hi Marcus Cyron,
Thanks for this note. I know that you are an admin at Commons (which means that you know a lot about copyright law), so you might be the best possible person to help me with this. I've been thinking about Flagged Revisions. As you understand, of course, the new version of the article is available to the public (via the edit history or &oldid= links), so it is "published". If someone makes an edit today, and that edit doesn't get reviewed until 2025, then the date of publication is 2017, not 2025. However, if a logged-out user goes to "[[Beispiel]]", then that user won't automatically see the newest version. So it might confuse editors who don't know how Flagged Revisions works. I've had three ideas so far, and I'd like to get your advice on them:
  1. Is there a clearer translation that should be used at the German Wikipedia?
    • The translation needs to make sense for both new editors and experienced editors, on all pages (including those without Flagged Revisions). Unfortunately, the software does not permit us to use different labels for different pages or different types of editors.
    • The main meaning is "You are publishing this" (in the legal sense), rather than "This will instantly be shown to everyone reading this page".
  2. We could update the Flagged Revisions notice to be bigger or clearer.
  3. We could (perhaps) get permission to expand w:de:MediaWiki:Wikimedia-copyrightwarning to say that changes may not be immediately visible to all users.
What do you think? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:50, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I am a German speaker and I can't think of a short wording that conveys the meaning "publish changes in the legal sense, but don't expect to see them appear in the wiki until they have been sighted by another user". I agree with Marcus Cyron, in wikis that use flagged revisions, labeling the button "publish" instead of "save" will do more bad than good and will especially confuse new editors. So if the software is not able to display two different texts depending on whether the user has "Sichterrecht" or not, then I think the best solution is: for those wikis that use flagged revisions, we simply keep the existing name (e.g. on German Wikipedia, "Änderungen speichern"). --Neitram (talk) 14:13, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
P.S. Or perhaps "Änderungen speichern/veröffentlichen", although this is awkwardly long. --Neitram (talk) 14:24, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
That is awkwardly long, and it would get worse when they change the button (it will become BIG and bright blue, probably in about a month). What do you think about adding extra explanation elsewhere in the interface? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:10, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Maybe „absenden“? --DaB. (talk) 15:13, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
I think adding extra explanation elsewhere in the interface would probably not help very much because the label on a button they press is so much more in the user's mind than an explanation elsewhere in the interface. They would still come and complain loudly "I pressed "Änderungen veröffentlichen", so why is my change not published?" --Neitram (talk) 10:07, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
It might depend upon how it's handled. An editor at de.wikipedia suggested taking them to a separate page after the edit is "Published", so that their whole screen is covered with a large message with information about why their change is not showing up on their friends' computers yet. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:01, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Instead of such a "dramatic" screen, I propose to program the following: on a wiki that uses Flagged Revisions, for those users who don't have "Sichterrecht" (i.e. after saving the edit, it will need to be reviewed by an experienced user before it is visible to everyone), make the button label read "Zur Sichtung einreichen" (Submit to review) instead. --Neitram (talk) 07:28, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
There is betawiki:MediaWiki:Revreview-submitedit for "Submit to review" --Wargo (talk) 13:39, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
Ah, so this feature exists already but it is not visible on because betawiki:MediaWiki:Revreview-submitedit/de is currently set to "Änderungen speichern", which is identical to betawiki:MediaWiki:Savechanges/de? --Neitram (talk) 11:10, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Or how about "Änderungen speichern (öffentlich)"? I don't particularly like it as it's equally awkwardly long, but it's better than the verb "veröffentlichen" which misleadingly implys an immediate visibility to everyone, which is not the case here. The adjective "öffentlich" has slightly different connotations, at least to me. When we label the Save button as "Save (public)", we emphasize that after the user presses this button, the edit is saved in a public place and everyone can see that edit if they look for it (e.g. in the revision history) -- but not necessarily that the edit is visibile to everyone who opens the wiki page. --Neitram (talk) 11:12, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

Small clarification needed[edit]

Do I understand correctly, that the rationale for changing "Zapisz" (i.e. "Save") to "Opublikuj zmiany" (google translation of "Publish changes") in Polish language Wikipedia was done on the basis of this this meticulous and thorough research, in which participated - unquestionably representative for all Wikimedia projects - sample of 5 (FIVE) editors? And of these five editors, three from US, presumably English speakers, one from Uruguay (Spanish?) and one from Scotland (hopefully a Gaellic native, but I am afraid also native English speaker) represent all-languages of Wikimedia projects communities?

Curiously yours--Felis domestica (talk) 14:56, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

PS. I do not want to "publish changes" separately from the main text. I just want to "save" the text I have written/edited. I've been saving texts for the last 20 years, I have published several (in the "real world") and no publisher wanted to publish the changes separately from the main text. But what do I know....--Felis domestica (talk) 14:56, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

No, this change was based on multiple studies over the last decade. Only the most recent study was linked in some of the announcements. Many were not (and cannot be) published (e.g., because the studies were face-to-face video tapes of identifiable humans, and we don't have consent from the participants to publish the videos).
For better or worse, in-depth testing with five users is the industry standard. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:55, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Not small clarification needed[edit]

Zapowiedź dotyczyła zamiany “Save page” na “Publish page”, a nie ma dokładnie takiej zmiany w polskojęzycznym interfejsie. Badanie w żaden sposób nie dotyczyło polskiej wersji językowej. Wprowadzanie jej na pl-wiki jest w żaden sposób nieuzasadnione, żeby nie powiedzieć nieuprawnione. Aktualna dyskusja w pl-Kawiarence wskazuje, że jest bardzo źle odbierana. Czy nie jest to dobry przykład na zniechęcanie edytorów przez kolejne zmiany bez odpowiednich konsultacji ze Społecznością?


The announcement concerned the conversion of the "Save page" to the "Publish page", and there is no such change in the Polish interface. The study was in no way related to the Polish language version. Placing it on a pl-wiki is no way unreasonable, not to say uninvited. The current discussion in the pl-Village pump (technical) indicates, that it is very poorly received. Is not that a good example for discouraging editors for subsequent changes without proper consultation with the Community? --Wiklol (talk) 21:32, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

Jest taka zmiana! --Wargo (talk) 11:11, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Nie było Zapisz stronę, tylko Zapisz. Znacznie lepsze IMHO byłoby Zapisz zmiany, bo poza utworzeniem nowego artykułu nie publikujemy nowej strony, tylko zapisujemy zmiany na niej. Uważam, że potrzebna jest dyskusja w celu wypracowania konsensusu, a jak się nie da go uzyskać, to wtedy metodą jest głosowanie, a nie jakiś sondaż, w którym nikt z nas nie uczestniczył - dosłownie nikt. Z resztą nigdy nie spotkałem się z jakimikolwiek problemami ze zrozumieniem, co robi przycisk Zapisz. Po co zmieniać? Kto pozmienia wszelkie strony pomocy? Jeśli to bardzo dobrze zrobi płatny pracownik fundacji, to pół biedy, a jak wolontariusze, to Wikipedia jedynie na tym straci. Straci czas i chęci na edytowanie w main. --Wiklol (talk) 17:32, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Wiklol, this was proposed and discussed by community members since at least 2009 (yes, eight or nine years ago!) and was specifically announced in August 2016 at the Polish Wikipedia, where it received one response from an admin, and zero objections. If that community had questions or concerns, then why did they not talk to me about this in August? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:22, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
1) Gdzie w polskojęzycznej Wikipedii było dyskutowane od 2009 roku - poproszę link. 2) Po komunikacie z 9 sierpnia 2016 wspomniany administrator po zaledwie 17 minutach wpisał Załatwione, co wyraźnie sugerowało, że temat jest załatwiony i nie ma potrzeby, by ktokolwiek się dalej zajmował sprawą, a nawet nie ma potrzeby, by czytać ten komunikat, zwłaszcza że był nie po polsku, wiec od wielu osób wymagałoby to odpowiedniego wysiłku, by go sobie przetłumaczyć. Być może nie taki był cel administratora, ale w efekcie zapewne prawie nikt tego komunikatu nie czytał. Nie sposób uznać tego za odpowiednie załatwienie sprawy. Nie było dyskusji, nic nie ustalono. Nadal uważam, że temat nie jest załatwiony, o czym świadczy linkowana przez mnie powyżej dyskusja w polskojęzycznej Kawiarence. --Wiklol (talk) 20:05, 5 April 2017 (UTC)


To make things easier for new and old editors of PlWiki, I have changed back the button to "Zapisz" ("Save") - to no small relief of at least part of PlWiki actively editing community.

What is my counter-revolutionary rationale? Well, it is a question of context of language use. I am only moderately qualified, because I've been editing texts in Polish only semi-professionaly for only the last ten years. Therefore if any of previously mentioned five editors (three Americans, an Uruguaian and a Scott, if I remember correctly, including one woman) has any better knowledge of Polish language and usage, I will be happy to discuss the matter with him/her and be persuaded.

Meanwhile... If any Polish computer user, age three or more, tries to use his/her computer (mobile device) using (s)he will encounter:

  • Using MS Word or any other MS Office application: "Zapisz" ("Save")
  • Using LO Writer or any other LibreOffice application: "Zapisz" ("Save")
  • Playing Solitaire: "Zapisz" ("Save")
  • Playing Minesweeper: "Zapisz" ("Save")
  • Using email: "Wyślij" ("send") or "Zapisz" ("Save")...
  • etc.

Therefore, I believe, for most of the Polish people, "Zapisz" ("Save") is quite intuitive to use.

What about "Opublikuj zmiany" ("Publish changes")? Yes, this phrase also has its place in Polish language. To use it, one needs to be 21 (in case of Sejm) or 30 yrs old (in case of Senate) and win the elections to any of the just mentioned houses of Polish Parliament. Then, by voting and ammending any of the existing laws, (s)he would agree to "Opublikowanie zmian" ("Publishing of changes"): namely Dziennik Ustaw (Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland) would publish changes to an act so-and-so, without publishing the act in its entirety (although this would follow after a while).

The number of Polish MPs is 560, elected every 4 years, so the number of Poles used to "publish changes" is quite limited, and as far as I know, not many of them used to be or are active Wikipedia editors, so their experience in using "Opublikuj zmiany" ("Publish changes") does not help Wikipedia much.

Yours --Felis domestica (talk) 18:25, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

PS. If somebody is not familiar with a concept of "context of language" should read this story aloud (warning: for adult English speakers only):

And then ask yourself the question: should you translate this text to other language using this languages's equivalent of English noun screw? --FD. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Felis domestica (talk) 18:25, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Felis domestica, it sounds like an awkward translation was chosen for Polish.
The problem with "Save" as in Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, and email is that the in-context meaning of "Save" is "put a private copy on my own computer". The goal for this label is much closer to "Wyślij" ("send") in e-mail: "If you click this button, then your changes will be available to the public on the internet forever" (possibly even if the page is deleted by an admin, because some edits get indexed and copied to mirrors quickly). It's also "Publish" as in "Under copyright law, the publication date is as soon as you click this button".
What would you pick to communicate that idea? A word-for-word literal translation is not necessary, but it needs to say something more like "Make this public right now" than "Save (a private copy)". Would just plain "Publish" (without "changes") work better? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:37, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
The user will simply know from the editing context whether a "Save" button saves a private copy on their own computer or saves something on a web page. When I opened a local file from my computer in order to edit it, I know that pressing "Save" after making changes will save that local file. When I'm editing a public wiki page to change it, I know that I opened something that is both public and remote, i.e. not a local file on my computer, and so pressing "Save" after making changes will save that public remote text. If felt necessary, the user interface can contain extra text that explains that saving a wiki page means publishing the changes in a legal sense. But I would not expect to read the word "Publish" on the "Save button's" label. It is irritating because users are used to look for the word "Save" in the user interface, and they are not used to look for the word "Publish". --Neitram (talk) 11:59, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
That is an attractive theory. However, the data indicates that new editors (i.e., people who are not us) do not reliably guess correctly that "Save" means "Make this visible to anyone with an internet connection". Most new editors instead express confusion when they're asked what they think that button will do, and some believe that "Save" on Wikipedia works like the "Save" button in their web-based e-mail or on WordPress (which does not make the contents visible to anyone with an internet connection – they have a separate "Publish" button for making your posts visible).
If you look above, User:Neitram says that your proposal to add some additional text is unlikely to be effective. I wonder whether the two of you could come to an agreement on this point? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:02, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
  • @Whatamidoing (WMF): "The data indicates" - are we still talking about these three Americans, etc....? I hope not. Personally, I'd prefer you wrote "we talked it over a cup of coffee in our cubicle" or "younger sister of my boyfriend told me". This is typical way of doing things ;) Quoting research data from five persons-strong sample (even including one Scott) is.... not even funny. Just pitiful.
  • Back to local "Save" vs. online "Publish". As @Neitram: wrote above, if one opens a remote file, than one should understand that one saves the remote file. Yes, for sure there are people too stupid to understand the difference. The question is: are they the future Wikipedia editors we are aiming for? There is a difference, crucial one, between simplifying things and dumbing them down.
  • About adding legalistic jargon to "Save" button. Again: if the editor has IQ above 60, he knows it, it is written in many places. If he does not reach this level, he won't understand the difference even if the MediaWiki software used Bugs Bunny-style huge hammer to smack him on the forehead.
  • If your really want to be sure the people understand the consequences of saving a page under the CC-whatnot licence, than make big, red button, clearly marked: "DON'T BE AN IDIOT! IF YOU PUBLISH IT EVERYBODY CAN USE IT AND EARN HARD CASH ON YOUR HARD WORK. YOU WILL GIVE IT UP FOREVER AND NOBODY WILL EVER THANK YOU FOR IT", which a) is perfectly true b) draws attention almost like Bugs Bunny's hammer c) translates legalistic jargon into a simple and straightforward message
  • No, I am not joking. Want to make it legally clear and striaghtforward? Go for it. Nobody but a lawyer would spot the legal hint in the difference between "Save" and "Publish". I would, for example, take it just for a case of bad Polish/English/whatever/
  • Unless the legalities are what matter - and making things easier for editors is just a smokescreen, the real focus is on sneaking in legalistic clauses and precautions, to make selling the whole business to one of the big corporations easier. Where did I get such idea from? It appeared in the discussions on the sense of "Save/Publish Changes" matter.
  • As you see, if good, level-headed editors cannot explain the rationale behind the support team actions, and they arrive at such possible conclusions, it means the level of trust is pretty low.
  • If I may suggest: ain't broken, don't fix it is pretty good philosophy for button changes etc. On the other hand, I seem to remember plans of improving the "Search" function.... five years ago? Or was it six? So long ago, that I forgot when....
Yours --Felis domestica (talk) 00:20, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
@Whatamidoing (WMF): I am both Neitrams, and here's the result of my clarification with myself. :) I believe that both labels, "Save" and "Publish", will work. The name "Save" has worked very well in MediaWiki for 15+ years, because of people's intelligence to know that editing and saving a public wiki page means publishing the changes -- that's the whole point of a wiki and the meaning of the name "wiki". The name "Publish" will work too: it is a slightly unusual button name, but with time users will get used to it. Maybe in some languages like Polish, the word for "Publish" appears so awkward in a GUI context that there are stronger reasons against it. I would therefore leave it up to each wiki community to decide on the label, which shall explicitly also include the possibility to stay with the status quo ("Save"). I wrote above that I feel additional text is unlikely to be effective to undo the harm (confusion) that the label "Publish" will cause on wikis that use Flagged Revisions. I do not think that additional text is completely useless. It can be a useful place to put longer explanations about the legal implications. In summary, my point is that the label name must be very carefully chosen in each wiki individually. --Neitram (talk) 07:58, 6 April 2017 (UTC)


This has been rolled out to most wikis, and I want to add a note here about changes:

  • If a translation is poor or missing, then it would be best to fix it centrally, rather than changed locally and still broken on all the other wikis. I've run across two instances of missing translations already, so please let me know if you find any others.
  • If a community wants to change the meaning of the label, then they should talk to the WMF first, especially to make sure that there are no objections from the Legal team. Some changes (e.g., "Save a private copy") would obviously be unacceptable for legal reasons. In some other cases (e.g., "Publish changes – please preview first"), there may be better ways to achieve the goal.
    I can help any community that wants to propose a change. Leaving a note on my user talk page on any WMF wiki (especially or the English Wikipedia) is usually the fastest way to get my attention. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:45, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Change to "publish" is much confusing in user sandboxes[edit]

Regularly I teach students about Wikipedia (etc) and how to write articles in Wikipedia. I ask all students to write in their sandbox (user namespace), so I can check the articles and give the students feedback. Since the change from save page to publish page, in every class students have much confusion as they understand the word "publish" as publishing as an article, instead of understanding that they publish their sandbox just as a draft. This happens in all the languages students write in.

Before this change, this was almost never an issue. Since the change it is an issue in every class, and remains an issue even after explaining over and over.

Maybe the change made it more clear in the article namespace, in the user namespace it creates much confusion to those users that are new on Wikipedia. Please fix this! Romaine (talk) 05:29, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

PS: I created a task on Phabricator for this at phab:T164812. As the intent of the change was to create more clarity, this fails in the user namespace and needs a fix somehow. Romaine (talk) 05:29, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Restricting the new label to the main namespace may make sense. The term "publish" is ambiguous in English and has at least two distinct meanings (related to being publicly available on the wiki or to reaching the final audience), but other languages may have more or less distinctions than this. Nemo 16:45, 7 June 2017 (UTC)