July 10, 2013

Wikimedia Unwraps WYSIWYG Visual Editor for Logged-in Users


For Wikipedia developers in need of a tool to edit English pages without needing to learn wiki markup language, Wikimedia Foundation has launched the beta version of VisualEditor, a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor. According to Wikimedia, both the VisualEditor and the old wikitext editor are automatically available for all registered editors on all article pages.

Developers can continue to edit Wikitext directly using the "Edit source" tab.  As per the report, the classic Wikitext source editor will remain available to edit both pages and page sections. The Wikimedia Foundation said that currently there are no plans to eliminate it.

The simple reason behind this step is that VisualEditor today does not support the broad range of functionalities offered by Wikitext. Plus, Wikimedia thinks that there are some developers out there who still prefer Wikitext. Nevertheless, the Wikimedia Foundation believes that the majority of editors will slowly transition to VisualEditor, making it the default editor.

Per Wikimedia’s explanation, there are many reasons why existing and prospective contributors are not editing Wikipedia pages. However, the chief amongst them is the complexity of wiki markup language. A statement released by Wikimedia Foundation states, “One of VisualEditor’s goals is to empower knowledgeable and good-faith users to edit and become valuable members of the community, even if they’re not wiki markup experts. We also hope that, with time, experienced editors will find VisualEditor useful for some of their editing tasks.”

Image via Techspot

Recently, Wikimedia said that after all these years, Wikipedia still relies on a markup code that precludes many people from actively contributing to the world’s biggest online encyclopedia.

The Wikimedia Foundation, which has been working on the WYSIWYG VisualEditor for a few years now, thinks that it has been the “most challenging software project it has ever worked on.”

Currently, the report indicates that the beta version of VisualEditor supports only the recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. The Internet Explorer is not supported browser presently. Also, reports show that Wikimedia is planning to open the floodgates to those without an account, as well as extend it to other languages.




Edited by Rachel Ramsey



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