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Re-design the Editing preferences to make it easier to pick the editing environment that you want to use
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Description

Current status:

  • There's a checkbox that, when turned off, enables the 2003 wikitext editor.
  • But not if you have a different checkbox ticked, which silently overrides the first checkbox.
  • Except if you have the Beta Feature enabled for the 2017 wikitext editor (VisualEditor's wikitext mode), which silently overrides all of that.

This is unnecessarily difficult. People should be able to figure out which editing environment you're using, just by looking at one spot in the prefs page. It should be something more like a dropdown menu or a list of radio buttons, that says something like this:

  • No toolbar [2003 wikitext editor]
  • Enhanced toolbar [2010 wikitext editor]
  • VisualEditor's wikitext mode [2017 wikitext editor]

and you just pick one (and you can't pick several at the same time).

See also:

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald Transcript

One problem: If you choose the VisualEditor's wikitext mode as your wikitext editor, then I'm not sure what would happen if you https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random?action=submit (which VisualEditor ignores). The site's non-VisualEditor default, perhaps?

One problem: If you choose the VisualEditor's wikitext mode as your wikitext editor, then I'm not sure what would happen if you https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random?action=submit (which VisualEditor ignores). The site's non-VisualEditor default, perhaps?

action=submit will always load the classical wikitext editor, regardless of namespace, wiki or any VE settings, with whatever toolbar (none/small/enhanced) you have enabled in your settings. And at least I use this to force the old editor, even though my default wikitext editor is the wikitext mode of VE.

Deskana triaged this task as Medium priority.Aug 28 2018, 6:39 PM
Deskana added subscribers: iamjessklein, Deskana.

This is something that I should speak to @iamjessklein about!

I discussed this with Jess today and we went over a few options. For now, this is waiting until T201547, which relates directly to the Editing team's Q1 goal, is completed.

One problem: If you choose the VisualEditor's wikitext mode as your wikitext editor, then I'm not sure what would happen if you https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random?action=submit (which VisualEditor ignores). The site's non-VisualEditor default, perhaps?

action=submit will always load the classical wikitext editor, regardless of namespace, wiki or any VE settings, with whatever toolbar (none/small/enhanced) you have enabled in your settings. And at least I use this to force the old editor, even though my default wikitext editor is the wikitext mode of VE.

Where classical means the 2010 wikitext editor, from my test just now.

Where classical means the 2010 wikitext editor, from my test just now.

"Classical" means whichever of the old wikitext editors is set in your non-Beta Feature prefs (and available in your environment). Presumably, when the 2017 WTE (VisualEditor's wikitext mode) is moved out of Beta Features, and you used this trick to reach one of the older WTEs (and you have Javascript enabled), then you would get the site's default wikitext editor (e.g., the 2010WTE for enwiki).

That's assuming that the 2017WTE wasn't the site's default. If it were the default (or if the default were unavailable, e.g., due to a typo in a config file), then I have no idea what would happen. The 2003WTE, perhaps?

Another point: You can reach this list of prefs on the mobile site, e.g., http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing, but they have no effect on the mobile site. So perhaps labeling them as "Editors (on the desktop site)" would be a good idea.

Another point: You can reach this list of prefs on the mobile site, e.g., http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing, but they have no effect on the mobile site. So perhaps labeling them as "Editors (on the desktop site)" would be a good idea.

That's not specific for the editor preference only, but applies to many other preferences as well.

I've seen two unrelated conversations in the last week about the Editing preferences. Both are concerned about the label that says "Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta". It's no longer beta software (so this is out of date), and they are concerned about the "temporary" language. Fixing this problem would automatically fix all parts of that complaint, without making translators update that label in the meantime.

So are the actual choices something like as follows? (1)

  1. “Desktop” web
    1. Visual editing
      1. Visual Editor / VE / &veaction=edit
    2. Source editing
      1. New Wikitext Editor / NWE / VE in source mode / 2017 Editor / &veaction=editsource
      2. Classic editor(s) / non-Parsoid editors / &action=submit
        1. Toolbar / 2010 Editor / enhanced toolbar / WikiEditor enhanced with Wizards / "modern" toolbar / box with JavaScript
        2. legacy (2006) toolbar gadget / small toolbar / BBS-style toolbar / "classic" toolbar
        3. No-toolbar / 2003 Editor / plain box without JavaScript?
          1. (optional CharInsert gadget combined with any of the preceding three)
  2. “Mobile” web
    1. Visual editing
      1. VE with limited toolbar; second page having: edit summary not pre-filled with /* section*/, minor edit checkbox, watch page checkbox, preview changes button that gets covered by on-screen touch keyboard
    2. Source editing
      1. (hidden (2) inaccessible form with discrete edit box, edit summary text box pre-populated with /* section */, minor edit checkbox, and watch page checkbox)
      2. full-screen wikitext editor; second page having: preview, edit summary box, invisible non-modifiable /* section */ component, and no option to mark edit as minor (even with AMC enabled)
      3. talk page editor when not in "read as wiki page" view (similar to or same as App discussion editor, below?)
        1. new section experience
        2. reply experience
  3. mobile App (Wikipedias only)
    1. wikitext with syntax highlighting (articles only)
    2. discussion editor / line-break-preserving plain-text editor / wikitext-with-no-preview editor (3) (user-talk only)
    3. embedded browser, see Mobile web (other namespaces)

@Schnark, what are the "none/small/enhanced" toolbars? [Edit: never mind, I found the 2006 toolbar gadget.]

A little off-topic, but what names do you use for 2.A.a. through to 3.C.?

(1) ignoring alternatives like wikEd
(2) 2.B.a. may flash up briefly as 2.B.b. is loading - wish I had the option to use it. [EDIT: this is probably the no-JS editor discussed at T205778: Ability to select different editors for mobile web]
(3) does some interesting things with subheadings ;)

Minor observation: on en-wp,turning on-and-off the setting "Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta" (saving settings in between) resets the Editing mode dropdown back to “Remember my last editor”. Previous preference (in my case “Show me both editor tabs”) is not retained.

I've seen two unrelated conversations in the last week about the Editing preferences. Both are concerned about the label that says "Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta". It's no longer beta software (so this is out of date), and they are concerned about the "temporary" language. Fixing this problem would automatically fix all parts of that complaint, without making translators update that label in the meantime.

Agree, the wording of this is confusing. But I'm not sure how redesigning the choice of source editor affects “Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta”. That setting seems to just do:

  1. suppress the editing-mode-switching-pencil
  2. force the edit links to be source-editing, same as if you'd chosen “Editing mode: Always give me the source editor”

It also doesn't affect mobile, which always has the mode-switching-pencil (as distinct from the section-editing pencil).

On the other hand, if I tick both Beta featuresNew wikitext mode and EditingTemporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta, then I still get NWE – the beta feature takes precedence. I guess 'VE in visual mode' isn't strictly 'a visual editor' even though it is 'the Visual Editor' under the hood?

Instead of rewording, is it time to make the checkbox go away? We have another control that achieves almost the same thing (#2 above).

Anyway, sorry for the digressions. If we move the 2017 NWE out of beta, but leave the 2006 toolbar as a gadget, then instead of a 3-item drop-down, we could have:

Source editing
(•) 2017 editor [about]
(_) Classic editor
...(•) 2010 toolbar [about]
...(_) 2003 plain editor (no JavaScript)

That would make it explicit what happens with &action=submit, at the expense of using 5 lines instead of one or two.

Or, I think this works better:

Source editing [learn more]
(•) 2017 editor
(_) Classic editor: [x] with toolbar

legacy (2006) toolbar gadget / small toolbar / BBS-style toolbar / "classic" toolbar

The 2006 wikitext editor was removed about 18 months ago. Some wikis have brought it back as a local gadget or user scripts. WikEd is another user-supported gadget that's a popular editing environment at some wikis.

The list at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Editor is reasonably complete, although it doesn't include everything, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:%E9%95%9C%E9%9F%B3%E9%93%83/Wikiplus or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Enterprisey/reply-link

I think I'm more inclined not to separate 'classic' from 'non-classic'. Just pick the wikitext editor you want, all on the same level:

(_) 2017 editor [about]
(•) 2010 toolbar [about]
(_) 2003 plain editor (no JavaScript)

The 2017WTE is not a Beta Feature on office.wiki. It's 'deployed' as a regular preference. The result is this:

  • Enable the editing toolbar (This is sometimes called the '2010 wikitext editor'.)
  • Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta
  • Use the wikitext mode inside the visual editor, instead of a different wikitext editor.

Which editor would you expect to get if you ticked all three of those boxes? This is much more confusing than necessary.