VisualEditor: Be able to name references manually in the reference dialog
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If you create a new reference, you can specify a name - great! If you try to modify an existing reference to add a name... oops.

Version: unspecified
Severity: enhancement


bzimport set Reference to bz50568.

Actually, it even looks like the ability to name a reference has been removed from the reference creation interface. Expanding the scope of this request accordingly.

Being able name references is an important step to allow compatibility with the classic wikitext editor: human-readable names are much easier to use than names like ":5".

Editor APerson at en.wp, is asking for this and suggests that the name of a reference could be set in the "Options" section along with the group name.

It would even be convenient if VisualEditor suggested a unique label for the ref, perhaps using the first alphabetic string of characters in the ref (usually the first author's last name).

Useful for default would be to read from the parameters of the cite template if provided. The following would be a useful preference order I think

  1. Lastname and Year (e.g. Smith2013)
  2. Author and year (e.g. Bob Smith2013)
  3. Lastname and serial number (e.g. Smith001)
  4. Title (first 3 words) and year (e.g. FreddieStarrAte1986)
  5. domain, underscore, page name (If only a bare url is given) (e.g. bbc_magazine-23969607)
  6. fist alphabetic string in reference (when neither a template or a url) and a string of four digits from the reference (e.g. Jones1999)
  7. fist alphabetic string in reference and a serial number (when neither a template or a url and no sequence of four digits is present) (e.g. Brown001)
  • Bug 57459 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Perhaps Citoid could suggest a ref name.

Mvolz added a subscriber: Mvolz.Feb 26 2015, 6:43 PM

The citoid extension could definitely come up with an automated reference name, but that should be filed as a separate issue as a feature request :). For editing citations, the extension uses the same reference dialog as the rest of VE.

Mvolz removed a project: Citoid.Feb 26 2015, 6:44 PM
Mvolz set Security to None.

Here's another idea for an automatically suggested (but still editable) ref name that would work with manually formatted citations:

Use the longest text string is in the citation, appending numbers as necessary to keep the names unique. You might end up with a lot of refs named "September", but it in many cases it will pick up the most significant keyword in the source's title.

Risker added a subscriber: Risker.Mar 5 2015, 2:47 AM

At the triage meeting on 11 March it was agreed that this is too complex and imprecise to keep as a Q3 objective, but that a much more on-point task, T92432: Come up with a better way to auto-label references, could be done instead.

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