VisualEditor ( VE ) is a project to provide a “visual” or ” WYSIWYG -like” online as a MediaWiki extension to Wikipedia . It was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation in partnership with Wikia . [2] In July 2013 the beta was enabled by default, with the ability to opt-out , for and several of the Wikipedias. [3] [4]

The Wikimedia Foundation considered the most challenging technical project to date, while the Economist has called it Wikipedia’s most significant change. [5]According to the Daily Dot , Wikimedia Foundation’s pursuit of wider participation may alienating alienating editors. [6] In September 2013, English Wikipedia’s VisualEditor was changed from opt-out to opt-in , following user complaints, [7] [8] after further development. [9] A 2015 study by the Wikimedia Foundation found that VisualEditor failed to provide the anticipated benefits for new editors. [10]


Presentation from Wikimania 2013 : VisualEditor – The present and future of editing our wikis

The original web-based Wikipedia editor provided by MediaWiki is a single browser based [note 1] text editor Where authors Had to learn the wiki markup language to edit. [11] A WYSIWYG editor for Wikipedia Wikipedia , the enabling wider participation in editing, and subsequently reversing the decline in editor numbers of 50,000 in 2006 to 35,000 in 2011, Having peaked in 2007. [5] [6] It was share of a $ 1m project Developing new features and making improvements. [5] WYSIWYG VisualEditor WYSIWYG. [12] According to Wikimedia Foundation’s Jay Walsh, the hope is to redress under-represented contributions from Arabic , Portuguese , and Indic-languageversions of the site. [6] [note 2]

According to Wikimedia Foundation, “One of the most important issues in the history of wikipedia is that it is not the only one that can be translated into English. 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. ” [4] In 2012, Sue Gardner , the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, said “we do not think that the visual editor, in and of itself, is going to solve the challenge”, [13] and Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales remarked “This is epically important”.


MediaWiki is used by a large number of wikis . [15] VisualEditor was designed to be rolled out on the English-language Wikipedia for editors with registered accounts, and then for anonymous editors. [16] The alpha version was made available in April 2012, widened to all registered users in April. [17] It was default editor for users logged-in the English-language Wikipedia in July 2013. [4] [6] It was subsequently made opt-in on the English-language Wikipedia in September 2013 due to community complaints over icts stability and implementation Was buggy and HAD limitations [7] [8] (though it Remained active for MOST not -English Wikipedias). [18] In 2015 it was readopted by English Wikipedia. [9]


The Wikimedia Foundation joined forces with Wikia to work on the project. [19] The implementation encountered challenges with the wiki markup language, due to it being continuously extended over 12 years to include seldom-used Were not easy to reproduce. [20] The technical implementation required improvements to MediaWiki in parsing , wiki markup language, the DOM and final HTML conversion. [21] Parsoid [note 3] which is written in Node. Js and was created to convert in both directions between wikitext and a format suitable for VisualEditor. [20] The Wikimedia Foundation considered VisualEditor its most challenging technical project to date. [5]

As of April 2015 supported web browsers include modern versions of Chrome , Firefox , Midori , Opera , Safari and Internet Explorer (10+).

The VisualEditor MediaWiki extension is available for download by MediaWiki.

Online rich-text editor

According to the VisualEditor team, “to create a reliable rich-text editor for MediaWiki”, [22] a “visual editor” which is “WYSIWYG-like”. [23] The implementation is split into a “core” online rich-text editor which can run independently of MediaWiki, [24] and a MediaWiki extension. [25] The MediaWiki extension is in the category “WYSIWYG extensions”.


The Daily Dot suggests that the Wikimedia Foundation’s pursuit of more users may be at risk of alienating the existing editors. [6] Some experienced editors have expressed themselves about the rollout and bugs, with the German Wikipedia community voting overwhelmingly against the VisualEditor the new default, and expressing a preference for making it an “opt-in” feature instead. [6] [26] Despite these complaints, the Wikimedia Foundation continued with the rollout to other languages. [6] The Register said, “Our brief exploration suggests it certainly removes any kind of parenthesis belongs where.” [17] The Economist ‘ S LM, said it is “the most significant change in Wikipedia’s short history.” [5] Softpedia ran an item titled “Wikipedia’s New VisualEditor Is the Best Update in Years and You Can Make It Better”. [27] Some opponents have said that users may feel belittled by the implication that “certain people” are confused by wiki markup and therefore need the VisualEditor. [28] [27] Some opponents have said that users may feel belittled by the implication that “certain people” are confused by wiki markup and therefore need the VisualEditor. [28] [27] Some opponents have said that users may feel belittled by the implication that “certain people” are confused by wiki markup and therefore need the VisualEditor. [28]

The Daily Dot reported on September 24, 2013 that the Wikimedia Foundation had experienced a mounting backlash from the English Wikipedia community, which criticized the VisualEditor as slow, poorly implemented and prone to break articles’ existing text formatting. In the resulting “test of wills” between the community and the Foundation, a single volunteer administrator overrode the Wikimedia Foundation’s settings to change the availability of VisualEditor from opt-out to opt-in. The Foundation acquiesced, aims to continuously develop and improve the VisualEditor. [7] [8]

Research results

The Wikimedia Foundation ran a study on the effects of VisualEditor in May 2015. The study found that VisualEditor does not increase the number of newcomers who successfully begin editing, does not increase their productivity, and does not increase new editor retention . Editing was found to take. [10] A previous June 2013 controlled test – when VisualEditor was less mature – shown similar neutral and negative results. [29]

See also

  • List of web browsers
  • List of HTML editors § WYSIWYG editors


  1. Jump up^ other text editors are supported; SeeWikipedia: Text editor support
  2. Jump up^ Respective Wikipedia websites:Arabic,Portugueseand Indonesian ‘Urdu,Hindi,Bihari,Gujarati
  3. Jump up^ “Parsoid” .


  1. Jump up^ LICENSE.txt, VisualEditor source code repository,
  2. Jump up^ Andrew Webster (2012-06-22). “Wikimedia releases updated prototype for simplified visual editor” . The Verge . Retrieved 2013-07-27 .
  3. Jump up^ “Wikipedia: VisualEditor” . Wikipedia . Retrieved 15 September 2013 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:c Emil Protalinski (2013-07-02). “Wikimedia rolls out WYSIWYG visual editor for logged-in users accessing Wikipedia articles en français” . The Next Web . Retrieved 2013-07-06 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:e L.M. (2011-12-13). “Changes at Wikipedia: Seeing things” . The Economist . Retrieved 2013-07-28 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:g Tim Sampson (2012-07-04). “Will Wikipedia’s pretty new editing software solve its recruitment crisis?” . The Daily Dot . Retrieved 2013-07-27 .
  7. ^ Jump up to:c Andrew Orlowski (2013-09-25). “Revolting peasants force Wikipedia to cut’n’paste Visual Editor into the bin” . The Register . Retrieved 2013-10-06 .
  8. ^ Jump up to:c Tim Sampson (2013-09-24). “Wikipedia faces revolt over VisualEditor” . The Daily Dot . Retrieved 2013-09-25 .
  9. ^ Jump up to:b Forrester, James (2015-09-01). “Gradual availability of VisualEditor for new users is now complete” . Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .
  10. ^ Jump up to:b “VisualEditor’s effect on newly registered editors / May 2015 study” . . Wikimedia Foundation . Retrieved 2 August 2016 .
  11. Jump up^ Martin Brinkmann (2012-02-24). “Wikipedia Visual Editor Coming Soon” . Ghacks . Retrieved 2013-07-28 .
  12. Jump up^ ehe (2011-12-14). “Wikimedia testing visual editor” . H-online. Retrieved 2013-07-28 .
  13. Jump up^ Megan Garber (2012-07-12). “On the Ugliness of Wikipedia” . The Atlantic . Retrieved 2013-07-29 .
  14. Jump up^ Gene Ryan Briones (2012-06-21). “Wikimedia launches new prototype” visual editor “for Wikipedia” . . Retrieved 2013-07-29 .
  15. Jump up^ Jamie Keene (2011-12-15). “Wikimedia Foundation previews simplified visual editor” . The Verge . Retrieved 2013-07-28 .
  16. Jump up^ Gabriela Vatu (2013-06-06). “Wikipedia’s Visual Editor to Be Rolled Out” . Softpedia . Retrieved 2013-07-06 .
  17. ^ Jump up to:b Simon Sharwood (2013-06-07). “Wikimedia edges closer to banking Wikitext” . The Register . Retrieved 2013-07-28 .
  18. Jump up^ “VisualEditor” .
  19. Jump up^ “VisualEditor – the past, present and future” . Wikia Community Central . Retrieved 2015-12-02 .
  20. ^ Jump up to:b djwm (2012-12-13). “VisualEditor launched in Wikipedia” . H-online . Retrieved 2013-07-28 .
  21. Jump up^ Sumana Harihareswara, Guillaume Paumier. “The Architecture of Open Source Applications (Volume 2): MediaWiki” . . Retrieved 2013-07-27 .
  22. Jump up^ “VisualEditor” .
  23. Jump up^ “VisualEditor: Welcome” .
  24. Jump up^
  25. Jump up^
  26. Jump up^ Andrew Orlowski (2013-08-01). “Wikipedians say no to Jimmy’s ‘buggy’ WYSIWYG editor” . The Register . Retrieved 2013-08-05 .
  27. Jump up^ Lucian Parfeni (2013-07-02). “Wikipedia’s New VisualEditor Is The Best Update In Years And You Can Make It Better” . Softpedia . Retrieved 2013-07-30 .
  28. Jump up^ Simonite, Tom (October 22, 2013). “The Decline of Wikipedia: Even As More People Than Ever Rely on It, Fewer People Create It” . MIT Technology Review . Retrieved January 17, 2014 .
  29. Jump up^ “Research: VisualEditor’s effect on newly registered editors / June 2013 study” . . Wikimedia Foundation . Retrieved 10 August 2016 .

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