The team working on the VE needs this feedback and is asking for it.
Can we collate it and send it to them?

On 3 July 2013 18:19, Adam Jenkins <> wrote:

> I've been curious about it, but hadn't tried it before now. I kind-of wish
> I hadn't. I took a basic article and tried to do a couple of things that a
> typical new editor would try.
> First, I tried adding a reference to a web page for an unsourced claim.
> This is particularly important to me, as I was rewriting my "how to edit
> Wikipedia" materials to trim it back to five rules, one of which was to
> "reference everything". So, looking at the VE, it isn't obvious to a new
> editor which button is for adding a reference. All of them use icons rather
> than words, so only a mouseover could help. One proved to be "insert
> reference", so I clicked on that. (There is also "References list", but
> that is for another job). Clicking it brings up a search box saying "what
> do you want to reference". I wanted to reference this article, so that was
> a bit odd. Then I thought it might have meant what kind of thing I wanted
> to reference, so I added "web page" and pressed return. Nothing happened.
> So I added a url and clicked pressed return. Still nothing. I tried
> pressing "Insert reference". Nothing. So I clicked on "create new source",
> which doesn't make a lot of sense, as the source was already online, and
> that let me click on "insert reference". Yay!
> Except that it didn't insert the reference. Instead it brought up a new
> editing window that had something called "use this group" below a box
> called "reference content" with some basic buttons and my url. One of the
> buttons was "transclusion", so I thought it might bring up some referencing
> options, but it didn't. Instead it opened a new window that made no sense
> at all. It seems I'm expected to both know how to format a reference and do
> it myself, with no hints, instructions, or any form of assistance. Anyway,
> I got that to work,  but there was no warning or hint that it wouldn't
> appear due to the lack of a references list at the end. Until. of course, I
> saved it, and was presented with a red message saying "Cite error: There
> are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a
> {{reflist}} template", none of which makes any sense in terms of the VE,
> which neither shows ref tags nor reflist templates as options.
> I tried to fix this by clicking on "edit" again, but this came up with a
> warning saying that I was editing an old revision of the page. I was
> surprised, because I didn't think anyone would have had time to make any
> changes, so I checked the history. No, mine was the most recent edit. It
> seems that the warning appears if I try to edit twice without physically
> clicking on the reload button in my browser. Anyway, after doing that I
> fixed it by going to the bottom of the page and clicking on "References
> list", which opened a new window with a "use this group" option - something
> rarely used on articles that would make no sense to new editors. But
> clicking on "Apply changes" made it work.
> For the second job I thought I'd tidy up an existing image that was
> incorrectly formatted.  My first thought was to add an infobox. That was an
> absolutely lost cause - there was no way in the VE that I could see that
> would do this, unless it was something to do with the weird "Transclusion"
> button the made no sense at all when I clicked on it. So I selected the
> image and clicked on "media". This opened a new window showing the photo
> and a search box, with the subject's name in it and one photo. So I clicked
> on the photo and it made the old one disappear and the new one appear in
> the right spot. Except a) it wasn't the picture that was already there, b)
> the caption didn't go with it, and the only way to add a caption was to
> click on it again once it was there, and c) there was no option to add alt
> or descriptive text for people with disabilities. The original picture
> didn't even appear as an option, possibly because it had been uploaded to
> Wikipedia rather than Commons.
> These weren't hard tasks. But not being able to easily reference is a deal
> killer for me. The problem with the "editing an old revision" notice was
> serious, especially for a new user, as was the lack of image tags is a
> major issue for accessibility. This is a surprise - it would have taken
> only a little bit of work with new user focus groups to have worked out
> that this wasn't ready to go live.
> So, summary:
> * Most of the options only make sense for experienced editors. But it is
> lacking core functions that experienced editors need, so they'll be
> sticking with the source option.
> * New users are faced with options that make no sense, no assistance (even
> though there is a lot of room to add help), and a poor method of adding
> references, increasing the likelihood of their work being reverted.
> * It is buggy, with that "editing an old version" message very confusing,
> and problems showing up after adding an image that I didn't cover.
> * Images were added at a non-standard size, without prompts for captions
> or a means of adding alt text.
> I honestly don't understand why this is live.
> Adam.
> On 3 July 2013 15:33, Kerry Raymond <> wrote:
>>  For those of you who have taken the Visual Editor for a test drive,
>> what did you think?****
>> ** **
>> We have seen Gnangarra’s thoughts already and so I thought I’d share mine.
>> ****
>> ** **
>> To start, I should say that I sincerely believe that having a visual
>> editor should make editing Wikipedia much more accessible to those folk who
>> are used to Microsoft Word etc and not accustomed to seeing markup. I am
>> all in favour of this initiative. I have worked for many years using
>> WYSIWYG tools like Word (so-so) and FrameMaker (much better) and SeaMonkey
>> (beats raw HTML any day), so I don’t come into this discussion with a
>> mindset that “markup = good”, quite the opposite. As they say in The
>> Matrix, “why send a man to do a machine’s job?”.****
>> ** **
>> However, in its current state, I don’t think the VisualEditor (VE)
>> achieves its goal. There’s a few reasons:****
>> ** **
>>    1. It doesn’t run on Internet Explorer, which is the out-of-the-box
>>    browser when you have a Windows PC. The less tech-savvy a person is, the
>>    more likely I think they are to have a Windows PC with IE. So, the very
>>    people being targeted with the VE probably can’t use it because they have
>>    the wrong browser.****
>> ** **
>>    1. The functionality of the VE seems very limited. Yes, I can type
>>    text. Yes, I make text bold/italic. Yes, I can make a heading. Yes I can
>>    make a link if the name of the link will suffice as the text, e.g. [[dog]]
>>    but not if I want [[dog|puppy]]. Or, at least, I could not work out how to
>>    do it. Although the toolbar seems to suggest there is a way of working 
>> with
>>    images, references and transclusions, I failed to be able to do anything 
>> at
>>    all with them. Now, it may be that I am too conditioned by the existing
>>    editor to be able to think in the new paradigm of the VE; perhaps what
>>    should be done will be obvious to the less-conditioned newbie editor.
>>    Although I am a bit uncertain that the newbie will know what 
>> “transclusion”
>>    means; indeed I think if they do know what it means, then they would
>>    already be familiar with markup.****
>> ** **
>>    1. The VE cannot always be used. If you try to change the content of
>>    an article with the VE, you will often get green-diagonal-stripes 
>> appearing
>>    across the chunk you are trying to edit with a message that the Visual
>>    Editor cannot edit that sort of material. You have to switch into Edit
>>    Source (aka the existing markup editor) to work with it. ****
>> ** **
>> I can see that if a newbie comes along (with the right brand of browser)
>> and clicks Edit for the first time because they’ve seen a spelling error or
>> want to add an extra sentence, then the VE should work for them, unless of
>> course they want to do it in a photo caption or inside a table or …. But,
>> as it stands, there is no real growth path for them to develop their
>> editing skills beyond such very simple changes. They either have to stay
>> locked into a world of very limited functionality or they have to click
>> Edit Source for the first time and deal with markup for the first time. I
>> guess the question that only time will be able to answer is whether the
>> transition to the markup editor is made in any way easier by the initial VE
>> experience as opposed to the previous situation where you were dropped
>> straight into editing markup. However, for even a mildly experienced editor
>> (and I certainly don’t rate myself as any kind of expert editor), I cannot
>> see what benefit the VE gives you. All of things you can do with the VE
>> appear to be just as easily achievable with the toolbar in the existing
>> editor – the difference is that you can see the markup produced in the
>> existing editor but not in the VE. I cannot see a reason an existing editor
>> would shift to the VE; the loss of functionality would frustrate you very
>> quickly.****
>> ** **
>> Now it’s a fair thing to say “hey, the VE has just been released – it
>> will be further developed and greater functionality will be available
>> through it”. This is indeed true, but I can’t see the VE ever developing to
>> the point where we can throw away the markup editor. Part of the challenge
>> (perhaps “most of the challenge”) of further extending  the VE is that
>> Wikipedia markup and its templates etc have grown like topsy. There is a
>> lot of ad-hoc-ery and not a lot of coherence to many existing features. I
>> don’t know if there is any easy answer to providing a “simple visual” tool
>> for working with templates and other exotic features. The task of building
>> the VE would have been made easier if they could have first removed some
>> existing features out of the current editor and then out of the articles
>> that used them, but no doubt there would have been howls of outrage if that
>> had occurred. If the goal is an easy-to-use WYSIWYG editor, then I think
>> some existing functionality will have to be discarded or revised to achieve
>> it.****
>> ** **
>> How are other people finding the Visual Editor?****
>> ** **
>> Kerry****
>> ** **
>> ** **
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