New visual editor available for Wikipedia - A way forward for our Wiki?

Just found out that Wikimedia and Wikia have developed a new extension for MediaWiki for visual editing called VisualEditor. I know that our current visual editor has created a lot of problems, and I think this would be a great (and much better) alternative that would provide a way forward if someone is willing to clean up after the old editor (there are roughly 250-300 pages in the default namespace, not including things like dev chat logs, Nando’s blog posts, or user pages in general). While technically in beta, it has been rolled out on the English Wikipedia.

Some relevant info:
Wikipedia page:
Wikipedia blog post:
Wikipedia meta page:
Mediawiki page:
Mediawiki extension page:

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From a cursory look at the links, it isn’t obvious how this is different from the visual editor that is currently enabled.  Can you elaborate?

LFP6 – this is intriguing – looking forward to hearing more.

Yes, of course. Overall, I’d just consider it a “general upgrade”. However, it does break down into a few areas:

  • Look and feel - The new editor both looks nicer and is generally easier to use
  • Features - The new editor has a bunch of cool bells and whistles, like a visual editor for using/filling out a template, an embedded search bar to find a page to link, shortcuts for some more advanced formatting (equations, formulas, etc), easy visual page setting adjustment (categories, redirects, etc). There are some minor things that would require manually editing wikimarkup/HTML like centering text or adding margins to tables, though I don’t find that to be a huge detraction (we rarely use them, it’s not really hard to do, and I imagine that they will be added in time)
  • Generated Markup - This is the BIG one. One thing that Nando has raised in the past as a significant issue with the current WYSIWYG editor is that the markup it generates creates issues. This makes it harder to manually edit the markup when more complex adjustments are desired (ie the editor would overwrite them or break them, it’s harder to read/not semantically correct, etc), breaks common features (ie, citation, which has been much-desired, and possibly more advanced templates as well), and on top of that removing the editor (from my understanding) can immediately break parts of the pages that it created. With the new visual editor, it’s built to generate clean wiki markup, so it doesn’t have any of these issues.
    When I talked to Nando at one point about making improvements on the wiki, he cited the wysiwyg editor as a significant blocking point because it created so many problems in the pages that it generates. I’m hoping that with some effort to clean up after the old editor, the new editor could resolve this issue.

Also, The wiki is somewhat out of date (1.20, whereas 1.27 is the current LTS release, 1.28 is the most recent), so I imagine that it could be beneficial to do an upgrade at some point.

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