Submissions/Life Without Brackets: Visual Editing for Wikitext

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Life Without Brackets: Visual Editing for Wikitext
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Trevor Parscal and Roan Kattouw
E-mail address ,
User:Trevor Parscal , User:Catrope
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wikimedia Foundation
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
A preview of the Visual Editor, with side-by-side editing of wikitext and rich text

Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia that anyone[citation needed] can edit. We know from research, however, that most people can’t edit, and that building a visual editor is the most important thing we can do to bridge the gap. Previous attempts to use existing browser-based HTML editors to edit wikitext have fallen short of the needs of Wikipedia, primarily because wikitext is a superset of HTML and Wikipedia’s content is so complex. So we are building a new editor that is designed specifically for editing wikitext.

We, a team of engineers from the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikia, led by Trevor Parscal, have been working on this project for over a year. In that time the unique challenges posed by creating an editor for wikitext and deploying it to an enormous corpus of existing articles have led us to push the limits of web browsers, JavaScript, parsers and our own creativity.

The resulting editor will provide a simple way to create new articles, expand on stubs or make changes to mature and complex articles, while still allowing experienced editors to use the old wikitext editor if they want to. With an eye to the future, we have also been carefully preparing the way for the later addition of real-time collaborative editing. We have also identified that it is important for improvements to revision review tools to keep pace with improvements to editing tools.

But we need your help. The success of this project is ultimately going to depend on an active collaboration with the editing community. We need early adopters, bug reporters, passionate advocates, optimistic critics, and everything in between.

Trevor and Roan will speak about the state of the editor and plans for the future and begin a discussion about the impact the editor will have on Wikipedia and how the community can get involved in making this project a success.

Technology and Infrastructure
Length of presentation/talk
25 minutes, but we could easily fill 50
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special request as to time of presentations
If this presentation and Rob Moen's presentation about extending the Visual Editor UI is accepted, please schedule Rob's presentation immediately after ours.

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. Steven (WMF) (talk)
  2. Yaron Koren (talk) 01:36, 20 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Juttavd (talk) 03:31, 20 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Eloquence (talk) 01:15, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. SarahStierch (talk) 03:27, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. CT Cooper · talk 19:18, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Graham87 (talk) 14:05, 31 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Foxj (talk) 03:22, 2 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  9. SupaplexTW (talk) 07:40, 2 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Nonoxb (talk) 11:32, 9 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  11. 21:33, 10 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  12. JoBaWik (talk) 12:06, 17 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Dmitri Lytov (talk) 15:17, 6 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Boite-en-Valise (talk) 15:13, 5 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Add your username here.