We all get edit conflicts, those of us who have stayed on wikipedia are largely those who have learned to resolve them, or to do lots of little edits in order to minimise the time lost when we get an edit conflict. There have been many proposals on bugzilla and elsewhere to reduce edit conflicts, but they haven't had resource as keeping new editors didn't use to be a priority. But this is one of the things that new editors find most bitey about wikipedia, and usually it is the newbie who loses the edit conflict because they are taking minutes on their edit and the categoriser or templater only seconds.
Edit conflicts are exactly the same in both the visual and wikitext editors, because the parser has resolved changes per LINE (e.g., a paragraph or a template on its own line), not per ==Section==, since approximately 2004. Editors who are not editing the same or adjacent lines will not get an edit conflict, regardless of whether they are editing the whole page or a single section, no matter which editing environment they use.
Currently we don't even have public statistics on number of editors lost through edit conflicts. Simply measuring them and the number of times they predict an editor leaves would either confirm this was one of the biggest causes of good new editors leaving, but actually fixing some of the things that cause edit conflicts would likely take as little resource.
Getting rid of all edit conflicts would require a revolutionary change in the user interface, but halving edit conflicts would take a fairly minor investment.
Specific ways to reduce edit conflicts include:
- Treat the addition of a template at the top of an article or a category at the end as not conflicting with the alteration of the contents in between.
- Pre populate all newly created articles with sections such as ==References== and ==See also== or equivalents in other languages
- Treat # the same as a section heading so two replies in two different threads of the same section would not be treated as a conflict.
WereSpielChequers (talk) 20:54, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
This card tracks a proposal from the 2015 Community Wishlist Survey: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2015_Community_Wishlist_Survey
This proposal received 41 support votes, and was ranked #21 out of 107 proposals. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2015_Community_Wishlist_Survey/Editing#Halve_edit_conflicts
- T72163: Edit conflicts (tracking), which may overlap/duplicate.
- T108664: Provide an interactive edit conflict resolution tool