VisualEditor: Edit summary box should be a text input box and not textarea
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Description

Author: KilliondudeWP

Description:
The edit summary box currently uses a textarea input box. Current functionality has the return key starting a new line in the textarea, but upon save the edit summary is truncated into one line in the page history (line breaks are turned into spaces). Thus, the textarea box is misleading.

A more sane option would be to use a single line text input box, where the enter key processes the edit rather than starts a new line.

See bug 38042 and bug 40034, and specifically https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=40034#c5.


Version: unspecified
Severity: normal
See Also:
https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=40034

bzimport added a project: VisualEditor-MediaWiki.Via ConduitNov 22 2014, 1:54 AM
bzimport set Reference to bz52133.
bzimport created this task.Via LegacyJul 27 2013, 4:37 AM
bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitAug 1 2013, 7:08 PM

KilliondudeWP wrote:

Another issue brought up with having a text area box is that previously entered summaries are not suggested. Most browsers suggest prior terms entered into text input boxes, this allowing editors to choose from their (frequently) used summaries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Improvements&oldid=566754323#Autofill_edit_summary

Jdforrester-WMF added a comment.Via ConduitAug 1 2013, 8:20 PM

By making the summary a textarea rather than an inputbox we've seen a radically-greater number of editors (especially, anonymous and new editors) entering edit summaries for their edits. I think we should think very seriously about the impact of such a change before just making it.

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitAug 2 2013, 3:39 AM

sk8er_97456 wrote:

I seriously doubt that that is the reason you have a higher incidence of edit summaries. What you did in parallel to making it a textarea was that you hid the "Save page" final submit button behind a dialog that prominently presents the box for an edit summary. Users no longer feel free to skip a mysterious text box and click "Save page" right away, the look and feel of the modal dialog forces them to consider filling it out in full before proceeding. That's why you're getting more edit summaries.

Jdforrester-WMF added a comment.Via ConduitAug 2 2013, 3:55 AM

(In reply to comment #3)

I seriously doubt that that is the reason you have a higher incidence of edit
summaries. What you did in parallel to making it a textarea was that you hid
the "Save page" final submit button behind a dialog that prominently presents
the box for an edit summary. Users no longer feel free to skip a mysterious
text box and click "Save page" right away, the look and feel of the modal
dialog forces them to consider filling it out in full before proceeding.
That's why you're getting more edit summaries.

Sure, but collapsing the box down to a single line would de-emphasise the edit summary, however, and turn it back into "a mysterious text box" that uses "feel free to skip".

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitAug 2 2013, 4:41 AM

sk8er_97456 wrote:

Sure, but collapsing the box down to a single line would de-emphasise the
edit
summary, however, and turn it back into "a mysterious text box" that uses
"feel
free to skip".

Why would it?

It's still hidden behind a modal dialog. I will wager that editors still feel forced to fill it in simply because it is there.

Jdforrester-WMF added a comment.Via ConduitAug 2 2013, 6:01 AM

(In reply to comment #5)

> Sure, but collapsing the box down to a single line would de-emphasise the
> edit summary, however, and turn it back into "a mysterious text box" that
> uses "feel free to skip".

Why would it?

It's still hidden behind a modal dialog. I will wager that editors still feel
forced to fill it in simply because it is there.

The numbers went up when we switched from inputbox to textarea. Expecting them not to fall when we reverse that change seems unlikely to me.

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitAug 2 2013, 10:40 AM

JohnCD67 wrote:

Killiondude's comment 1 is an significant usability point - for repetitive tasks it is very helpful that the browser pops up a list of suggestions to click on, which is context-sensitive and based on previous usage. I did not realise how helpful that was until with VE I found myself having to type the full edit summary each time.

PamD added a comment.Via ConduitAug 3 2013, 9:19 AM

Bug 48274 seems to cover the same ground, and was one of the first things I found problematic with VE: those of us who do a lot of regular work on many different articles usually have a set of standardised edit summaries which can convey a lot of useful information, with links, to help other editors. The autocomplete facility provided by browsers for a one-line input box worked well.

Amire80 added a comment.Via ConduitAug 28 2014, 5:39 PM

Is it possible to meet in the middle: To show it as a textarea, but to allow saving using Enter/Return? And maybe provide autocomplete?

Spinningspark added a comment.Via ConduitSep 22 2014, 1:18 PM

(In reply to Amir E. Aharoni from comment #9)

Is it possible to meet in the middle: To show it as a textarea, but to allow
saving using Enter/Return? And maybe provide autocomplete?

That will lead to another problem: newbies will accidentally save before they have finished entering the summary.

The fact is, the edit summary *is not* a text area and should not be displayed as such. It can only ever be a single line of text. That is what should be shown. Enter should initiate a save.

Spinningspark added a comment.Via ConduitSep 22 2014, 1:45 PM

(In reply to Spinningspark from comment #10)

However, the input box should be large enough to accomodate the maximum permitted length of edit summary, even if that means using two lines.

Jdforrester-WMF moved this task to Backlog on the VisualEditor workboard.Via WebNov 24 2014, 4:24 PM

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