Since the last newsletter, the Editing team has reduced technical debt, simplified some workflows for template and citation editing, made major progress on Internet Explorer support, and fixed over 125 bugs and requests. Several performance improvements were made, especially to the system around re-using references and reference lists. Weekly updates are posted on Mediawiki.org.
There were three issues that required urgent fixes: a deployment error that meant that many buttons didn't work correctly (bugs 69856 and 69864), a problem with edit conflicts that left the editor with nowhere to go (bug 69150), and a problem in Internet Explorer 11 that replaced some categories with a link to the system message MediaWiki:Badtitletext (bug 70894) when you saved. The developers apologize for the disruption, and thank the people who reported these problems quickly.
Increased support for devices and browsers
Internet Explorer 10 and 11 users now have access to VisualEditor. This means that about 5% of Wikimedia's users will now get an "Edit" tab alongside the existing "Edit source" tab. Support for Internet Explorer 9 is planned for the future.
Tablet users browsing the site's mobile mode now have the option of using a mobile-specific form of VisualEditor. More editing tools, and availability of VisualEditor on smartphones, is planned for the future. The mobile version of VisualEditor was tweaked to show the context menu for citations instead of basic references (bug 68897). A bug that broke the editor in iOS was corrected and released early (bug 68949). For mobile tablet users, three bugs related to scrolling were fixed (bug 66697, bug 68828, bug 69630). You can use VisualEditor on the mobile version of Wikipedia from your tablet by clicking on the cog in the top-right when editing a page and choosing which editor to use.
The tool for editing TemplateData has been deployed to 30 more Wikipedias this week. Other Wikipedias and some other projects may receive access next month. This tool makes it easier to add TemplateData to the template's documentation. When the tool is enabled, it will add a button above every editing window for a template (including documentation subpages). To use it, edit the template page or a subpage, and then click the "Edit template data" button at the top. Read the help page for TemplateData. You can test the TemplateData editor in a sandbox at Mediawiki.org. Remember that TemplateData should be placed either on a documentation subpage or on the template page itself. Only one block of TemplateData will be used per template.
Several interface messages and labels were changed to be simpler, clearer, or shorter, based on feedback from translators and editors. The formatting of dialogs was changed, and more changes to the appearance will be coming soon, when VisualEditor implements the new MediaWiki theme from Design. (A preview of the theme is available on Labs for developers.) The team also made some improvements for users of the Monobook skin that improved the size of text in toolbars and fixed selections that overlapped menus.
VisualEditor-MediaWiki now supplies the
mw-disambig class on links to redirects and disambiguation pages, so that user gadgets that colour in these types of links can be created.
Templates' fields can be marked as '
required' in TemplateData. If a parameter is marked as required, then you cannot delete that field when you add a new template or edit an existing one (bug 60358).
Language support improved by making annotations use bi-directional isolation (so they display correctly with cursoring behaviour as expected) and by fixing a bug that crashed VisualEditor when trying to edit a page with a
dir attribute but no
lang set (bug 69955).
=== Looking ahead ===
The team is also working on support for adding rows and columns to tables, and early work for this may appear within the month. Please comment on the design at Mediawiki.org.
In the future, real-time collaborative editing may be possible in VisualEditor. Some early preparatory work for this was recently done.
Supporting your wiki
At Wikimania, several developers gave presentations about VisualEditor. A translation sprint focused on improving access to VisualEditor was supported by many people. Deryck Chan was the top translator. Special honors also go to संजीव कुमार (Sanjeev Kumar), Robby, Takot, Bachounda, Bjankuloski06 and Ата. A summary of the work achieved by the translation community is available. Thank you all for your work.
This was the first translatable VisualEditor newsletter, so thanks to everybody who made this possible! If it hasn't been delivered in your language, and you'd like to help with translations in the future, please subscribe to the Translators mailing list or contact Elitre (WMF), so that you will be notified when the next issue is due.
VisualEditor can be made available to most non-Wikipedia projects. If your community would like to test VisualEditor, please contact product manager James Forrester or file an enhancement request in Bugzilla.