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Named References in VE: Determine Potential Design Options
Open, Needs TriagePublic



  • Editors want Wikitext to be readable. Having named (instead of numeric) references helps with this.
  • When using a reference at multiple places, editors want its name to be memorable.
  • When copying references from another article or a sandbox, editors don't want to deal with 'name collisions' that occur due to the numeric reference names.


  • Always auto-generate a name, but let the user edit if they like.
    • This should be done for both Automatic and Manual references
  • Provide more space in the Re-use section for the reference names (as they might be longer now)
  • Add an " Options" header to Automatic citations (similar to the one present in Manual) and show the reference name there.
More space for named referencesAdd reference name under the Options menuAdd an Options menu is all references
Screenshot 2020-02-26 at 9.47.00 AM.png (580×564 px, 135 KB)
Screenshot 2020-02-26 at 9.47.09 AM.png (716×852 px, 151 KB)
Screenshot 2020-02-26 at 9.47.14 AM.png (772×860 px, 100 KB)



Acceptance Criteria:

  • Consult existing wish
  • Determine potential UI experience for new feature
  • Provide mockup examples of UI recommendations

Event Timeline

Prtksxna renamed this task from NRVE: Determine Potential Design Options to Named References in VE: Determine Potential Design Options.Feb 26 2020, 4:19 AM
Prtksxna updated the task description. (Show Details)
Prtksxna added subscribers: ifried, Mooeypoo.

@Aklapper Sorry, it's 'Named References in VE,' which is one of the wishes from the 2019 Wishlist. We have not launched the project yet, but we are beginning the early stages of planning & investigation. Sorry for the cryptic name!

@Prtksxna I discussed these mockups with @Mooeypoo today. In particular, we discussed the ability to edit auto-generated reference names in VE. Unfortunately, there are some technical issues. The technical work to allow such behavior would be complex and substantial; the engineers have advised against it. Most likely, it would be very time-consuming for the team. For this reason, we may need to steer clear of allowing the editing of reference names in VE. If users want to edit or change the reference names, they'll be able to do that in source editing. We should discuss this in greater detail, so I'll schedule a meeting for us to talk about it together. Thanks!

Sorry, it's 'Named References in VE,' which is one of the wishes from the 2019 Wishlist. We have not launched the project yet, but we are beginning the early stages of planning & investigation. --ifried, Feb 26 2020, 2:14 PM

@ifried: For the record, also appears to be one of the wishes from the 2017 wish list, with unanimous support. Is there an update on the status?

@Mathglot Hello! I am no longer on the Community Tech team. Questions about the status of the work can directed to the team product manager, @NRodriguez. Thanks!

@NRodriguez can you explain what the status ‘ Open, Needs Triage’ listed at the top means, and what the next steps are?

ldelench_wmf subscribed.

Removing the Community-Tech tag - we have reprioritized our work based on a new scoring process, and are in the process of cleaning up our backlog to provide a more accurate view of our focus areas this year.
For additional background, see the status report for 2019 wishlist. cc @NRodriguez

Aklapper added a subscriber: Prtksxna.

Removing task assignee due to inactivity as this open task has been assigned for more than two years. See the email sent to the task assignee on August 22nd, 2022.
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