Having now managed to read through the project page and these discussions, I'd like to offer my support.
As I understand, WMF want to develop and test a simple but effective way for newcomers to make quick, efficient edits (of one particular type to begin with) that will be:
- Easy to develop and trial
- Easy for newcomers to enhance Wikipedias without having to learn the complexities of editing processes
- Not too damaging to articles if misused
- Expandable (if successful) to include other types of structured task.
- Encouraging and motivating for newcomers to use.
I welcome this idea. wholeheartedly. Whilst the opportunity to make very small improvements in this way without having to directly edit pages won't teach someone how to open and edit a page, it will immediately give someone the feeling that they have made a small, but worthwhile contribution to the encyclopaedia that "anyone can edit". I suspect that if they're able to get feedback and satisfaction from that task, they may move on to other structured tasks, and may eventually become interested enough to do more in-depth editing.
A by-product of this approach will be to offer experienced editors who are "on the go" to be able to make small, easy contributions on a mobile, whether in a bus queue, doctor's waiting room or (ahem) under the covers at night, unable to get to sleep.
I don't understand the explanation in the table of Newcomer Tasks that offering discrete copyedits such as spelling checks as one of the early structured tasks is too difficult. It seems that if an article already contains a probable error, very little harm can be done by changing it to another spelling variant. And I would have thought it would have been quite easy to integrate spelling dictionaries from a multitude of languages into a structured task. I have spent many a lunch hour using either Lupin's spellchecker or AutoWikiBrowser to fix things like 1980's > 1980s, or recieved>received, and derived quite some satisfaction of time well spent when I couldn't do more technical work. Doing that on the go via Structured Tasks would have been brilliant. If it's not too much trouble, could I ask for a (simple!) explanation why finding and presenting probable spelling errors is too technical a task to achieve? It seems counter-intuitive not to offer spelling errors. On en-wiki we even have our own list of common errors (see here).
Failing that, I would have thought that adding recommended Wikilinks would be slightly less rewarding but, again, relatively little harm would be done if the wrong word were linked to. So I would support this as a trial Structures Task if Spell-checking is really off the cards.