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14 December 2011, 11:53

Wikimedia testing visual editor

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Zoom The visual editor sandbox

The Wikimedia Foundation is calling on users to test a first prototype of a visual editor for Wikipedia. The development of an editor for directly editing formatted Wikipedia articles is a high-priority project that is designed to make it easier for new Wikipedia contributors. The Wikimedia Foundation hopes that this measure will help to counteract the decreasing number of contributors.

Once the visual editor is finished, users will be able to create and edit articles both in the editor and in the traditional wiki markup language. This dual functionality is an explicit aim of the project, one that poses significant technical challenges. The Wikimedia Foundation says that the wiki markup language is "enormously expressive, complex and complicated", and that "there's a huge amount of content which uses every facet of this markup language" – the Foundation noted that all of this must be implemented correctly in the visual editor.

The newly introduced prototype of the visual editor offers a basic user interface for editing articles. It supports a variety of character and paragraph formats and "in the best case scenario" creates valid wiki markup that can be copied directly into an article. The prototype can be tested in the visual editor sandbox.


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