Adding a reference in VisualEditor does not update fake references blocks inside templates
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When you add a new citation in VE, templates which wrap the <references /> tag do not update to display it until the page is saved. Examples include {{reflist}} on the English Wikipedia and {{listaref}} on the Spanish Wikipedia. This bug doesn't block any of the core citation workflows (creating, editing, and reusing) since those are accessed from the toolbar and the in-text reference numbers, but it's still very annoying.

However, it remains unfixed because it's an extraordinarily hard technical challenge, verging on impossible given the current architecture of Mediawiki. No one has any idea what a workable solution would look like. Just to give one facet of the problem, you could implement this in VE right now if you completely re-parsed the entire page every time the user touched a template or a reference—which would be a horrible user experience and place insane loads on the servers. It's possible that in the future, someone will think up a brilliant solution that avoids all these huge issues, so this task remains open.

In the meantime, the planned solution is to update the <references /> tag, which does update properly during editing, to support multiple columns and alternative list styles so they have all the functionality of these templates (T53260). When that task has been completed, communities will be able to replace the templates with references tags at whatever pace and with whatever tools they prefer (if there's demand for it, it would probably be possible to do a more immediate, bot-driven changeover).


bzimport set Reference to bz50769.
Ironholds created this task.Jul 4 2013, 8:20 PM

(In reply to comment #0)

What it says on the tin; the addition of a reference is not reflected in an
update to {{reflist}} or <references/> or whathaveyou.

I can't replicate the bug as described, but re-purposing to be about our desire to update fake reference lists inside templates on edit, rather than the current unhelpful not-updated-'til-page-save issue.

Note that we can't currently see a way to do this without round-tripping the entire page, which would be a sub-optimal solution, to put it mildly.

  • Bug 51607 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

So to clarify, it is a known bug that adding references will display the updated reference list when the <references /> tag is used in the article, but not when the {{reflist}} template is used?

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Neil_P._Quinn_WMF changed the title from "VisualEditor: Adding a reference cannot update fake references blocks inside templates" to "Adding a reference in VisualEditor does not update fake references blocks inside templates".Jun 16 2015, 1:19 AM
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Neil_P._Quinn_WMF lowered the priority of this task from "Normal" to "Lowest".
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