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Submissions/VisualEditor — helping users edit more easily

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Scheduled for Saturday, August 9, 16:30 - Auditorium 1.
Submission no. 1090
Title of the submission
VisualEditor — helping users edit more easily
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
James Forrester and Trevor Parscal
E-mail address
Jdforrester (WMF)
Country of origin
United Kingdom
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Foundation
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
VisualEditor is the most significant and complex change that the Wikimedia wikis have ever undertaken since we began 13 years ago. We began our journey to build a visual editor three years ago, letting users create, fix and improve articles without having to learn wikitext, in a rich, browser-based editor that guides them to do the right things whilst still having the same power and flexibility that wikitext users enjoy.
A year ago, we released VisualEditor for normal users to try out for real, giving them a tool that was basic and missing some common abilities, but already better for new users than wikitext. Since then, we’ve made a huge number of improvements, helped by the great feedback and ideas from new and existing community members.
Building an editor that can express the richness of wikitext – a much more powerful system than HTML – and yet remains easy, intuitive and simple is a very hard task. The progress we have made since then has taken us on the first few steps of the journey, but we have a great distance still to go. This presentation is a companion piece to the more technical, engineering-side presentation about how VisualEditor works internally and some of the challenges that the team has overcome.
Work in VisualEditor yet to come spans everything from simple editing of entries on Wikidata and Commons while editing the Wikipedia page (so you don’t get distracted or taken away from your main edit when you add some categories to an image and some more references to an item) to collaborative, real-time editing (so that an experienced user can coach and help a newbie on how to best write an article, or a team at an event can work together at once on the same article without endless edit conflicts).
James and Trevor will talk about and show off the work we've done over the past year, the decisions we made and the issues we worry about. We will outline our current priorities for making VisualEditor better, and ask you to tell us what you think, what your issues or concerns are for you and your communities, and what more we need to do to making editing Wikipedia – and all our wikis – truly open to everyone.
WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. GorillaWarfare (talk) 22:22, 4 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
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