Extending and improving the editing tools used at Wikimedia
The Editing team is part of the Core Experiences group. They work on tools for editing—generally across MediaWiki, and the suite of editors including WikiEditor, VisualEditor and CodeEditor, plus specific tools like Cite, and many smaller tools like TemplateData and Citoid. The team is currently working on a set of improvements for VisualEditor called EditCheck.
Strategically, the Editing Team supports the Product department's "New Content" program, and, in turn, the Wikimedia Foundation's long-term goal of "Knowledge Equity". Those initiatives are about building strong communities that bring broad and deep content to people all over the world. One way to accomplish this is by improving the mobile editing experience to make it easier for someone to contribute productively to Wikimedia projects on a mobile device from a browser. The goal of this work is to increase mobile edits and improve retention of new contributors. One way in which we will track our progress is by monitoring the:
- edit success rate per period for mobile visual edits,
- number of edits per period via mobile visual editing by newer editors (within their first 6 months after registration), and
- number of editors per period using mobile visual editing feature(s).
As we track our progress, we encourage a two-way dialogue with the community.
People (11 members)
Community Relations Specialist
Senior Software Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
- On-wiki collaboration: From September 2019 to 2020-2022, the Editing team's priority is to help improve how contributors collaborate on-wiki by evolving existing talk pages to be more intuitive.
- Stated October 2022, Edit check is a set of improvements for the visual editor to help new volunteers understand and follow some of the policies and guidelines necessary to make constructive changes to Wikipedia projects.
What does it mean to "retain new contributors"?
For the purposes of this team, "new contributors" are people who have had a registered account on a wiki project for less than six months. To "retain" them means that they make a first edit, and then continue to make additional edits over time.
As we work, the Editing team will determine which types of retention are most important to track and to increase.
The WikiEditor extension provides an improved interface for editing wikitext. It is the wikitext editing interface that Wikipedia started using in 2010 for desktop users, so it is sometimes called the 2010 wikitext editor. The extension used to provide "Labs" features for "publication" and "preview" steps, but these are removed from REL1_31 onwards.
VisualEditor was built with the goal of removing avoidable technical impediments associated with Wikimedia's editing interface, as a necessary pre-condition for increasing the number of Wikimedia contributors. In addition to its word-processor-like visual editing mode, VisualEditor has a built-in wikitext mode, which is sometimes called the 2017 wikitext editor. Research on VisualEditor usage can be found in the VisualEditor on mobile report (2018).
The CodeEditor extension extends the WikiEditor advanced editing toolbar with an embedded Ace editor widget, providing some handy features for user/site JS, CSS pages, and when Extension:Scribunto is also installed, for pages in Module. Currently, the extension is under development, and details of activation and functionality are subject to change.
The TemplateData extension introduces a
<templatedata> tag and an API which together allow editors to specify how templates should be invoked. This information is available as a nicely-formatted table for end-users, and as a JSON API, which enables other systems (e.g., VisualEditor) to build interfaces for working with templates and their parameters.
The citoid node.js service generates citation data given a URL, DOI, ISBN, PMID, or PMCID. It has a companion extension, Citoid, which aims to provide use of the citoid service to VisualEditor. Bugs, issues, and suggestions for improvement can be added to the Citoid phabricator project.
How to work with us
- About the Talk Pages Project
- The best way to stay up to date about the project is by adding the “Updates” subpage to your watch list. The team will use this page to share information about new feature development, deployment plans and questions the team would value your input on. For a summary of the features we are currently working on, see Talk pages project/Feature summary.
- Spread the word
- We want to hear what you think. Post your questions and comments to the correct page:
We review and triage new requests on a biweekly cadence and do our best to address critical bugs as soon as possible.
- Report a bug or suggest a new feature
- Internally request work from the Editing Team
- If you work for WMF and want to request any work from the Editing team, please create a task in Phabricator (tag it with #Editing-team)
- If your team is blocked on a task, please ping us on Phabricator. Feel free to reach out on Slack too.
- Slack: #talk-to-editing (Slack channels are generally for WMF staff only with occasional exceptions for WMDE colleagues and contractors)
How to write the code
Software developers and those aspiring to become ones can work on the source code of VisualEditor. The software overview, How to become a MediaWiki hacker and the API documentation are helpful guides to get started. If you're active on Wikimedia projects, you might find it more convenient to develop gadgets or user scripts that extend VisualEditor.
VisualEditor developers on IRC via connect.
Need a place to start? Check out:
Main Phabricator Board
- Editing team/Archive/Current priorities
- Editing team/Archive/Weekly triage meetings
- Editing team/Community Conversations
- Editing team/Editing Team Archive
- Editing team/Editing Team Archive/Weekly triage meetings
- Editing team/Projects
- Editing team/Release timeline
- Editing team/Research
- Editing team/Research/References
- Editing team/team norms