Mostly about anglophile devs, and a small complaint about VisualEditor

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Mostly about anglophile devs, and a small complaint about VisualEditor

John Erling Blad
I'm not the most active bug reporter, but when I report a bug it is usually
because something is broken in one of the non-english languages, and
usually Norwegian. A few of the devs seems to believe that the only
language that mater is English, and that their understanding of "English"
is "The only One".

There are a lot of languages, and solutions that work in English more often
than not does not work in other languages. Please start to handle incoming
bug reports with respect, there are people out there that tries to track
down bugs for you.

Thank you!

Then a small complaint about VisualEditor/Parsoid.

A lot of things are much simpler in VisualEditor, but a lot of stuff is
harder to do or simply does not work. It doesn't matter if things look
shiny if people use a lot more time doing the same task. One area is
editing from the keyboard, how can we do all the same things at least
equally fast - not just that we can do them?

We insert a lot of top-notices (article marks), and edit them, but how can
we do it fast? Yes we can add top-notices as templates, but they are hardly
fast to add that way.

We link and delink articles, but how can we do it fast? (And yes, the -
mumbles "shitty" - interface for linking articles is the reason why I ended
up writing this email)

To me it seems like a lot of work has gone into making the VE very user
friendly, with a constraint that it should be possible to do something, but
without the constraint that it should be fast to do this "thing". Because
of this we have ended up with a lengthy click-click-click (and some more
clickety-click-click-click) to end up with something we at least half the
time must fix with LessVisualEditingWikiText.

John Erling Blad
/grumpy-jeblad
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Re: Mostly about anglophile devs, and a small complaint about VisualEditor

Amir E. Aharoni
2016-03-13 20:49 GMT+02:00 John Erling Blad <[hidden email]>:

> I'm not the most active bug reporter, but when I report a bug it is usually
> because something is broken in one of the non-english languages, and
> usually Norwegian. A few of the devs seems to believe that the only
> language that mater is English, and that their understanding of "English"
> is "The only One".
>
> There are a lot of languages, and solutions that work in English more often
> than not does not work in other languages. Please start to handle incoming
> bug reports with respect, there are people out there that tries to track
> down bugs for you.
>
> Thank you!
>

Agree, a million times. Violating this directly contradicts Wikimedia's
Guiding Principles.


> Then a small complaint about VisualEditor/Parsoid.
>
> A lot of things are much simpler in VisualEditor, but a lot of stuff is
> harder to do or simply does not work. It doesn't matter if things look
> shiny if people use a lot more time doing the same task. One area is
> editing from the keyboard, how can we do all the same things at least
> equally fast - not just that we can do them?
>

As a general comment about this, it makes sense to me that somebody would
run a rigorous numerical comparison of how much time does it take to do
tasks in Visual Editor and in the source editor, and to do it with several
types of editors: experienced with wiki syntax, inexperienced with wiki
syntax, experienced with both wiki syntax and VE, experienced with wiki
syntax but explicitly inexperienced with VE, etc. The WMF has a design
research that can do such things; AFAIK it's already busy with a lot of
things, but this is a thing that can be planned for some time. (And
somebody else can do it, too.)

What feels slow may turn out to be fast when the time is actually measured
(though the _feeling_ of slowness may still have to be addressed by better
UX design).


> We insert a lot of top-notices (article marks), and edit them, but how can
> we do it fast? Yes we can add top-notices as templates, but they are hardly
> fast to add that way.
>

Ideally, this should some day be real metadata and not templates. Using
templates for this is a hack that keeps living long after it should have
died.

And it should be easy and fast to edit this metadata, no matter if the
editor prefers VE or wiki syntax.

This is a far-fetched ideal, but that's a how it should be.

We link and delink articles, but how can we do it fast? (And yes, the -
> mumbles "shitty" - interface for linking articles is the reason why I ended
> up writing this email)
>

While I agree that it's not perfect, there are some things that it provides
that wiki syntax does not. For example, title auto-completion: Without VE,
the editor has to type the whole target article title, or to open the
target article and copy the title. It's part of the linking process, and
with VE this part becomes faster.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: Mostly about anglophile devs, and a small complaint about VisualEditor

Bartosz Dziewoński
In reply to this post by John Erling Blad
On 2016-03-13 19:49, John Erling Blad wrote:
> A lot of things are much simpler in VisualEditor, but a lot of stuff is
> harder to do or simply does not work. It doesn't matter if things look
> shiny if people use a lot more time doing the same task. One area is
> editing from the keyboard, how can we do all the same things at least
> equally fast - not just that we can do them?

At least speaking for the OOjs UI library (on top of which
VisualEditor's interface is built), I can assure you that a lot of
effort goes into making all actions available from keyboard only, and
making our interfaces at least no worse than the "native" ones. I think
the VisualEditor team shares these principles.

There are some things which take more key presses (you just have fewer
"degrees of freedom" when instead of arbitrarily many buttons, you have
a finite set of keyboard keys, especially after you exclude keys
ordinarily used for typing text), and things which are slightly
different than native ones (for example, dropdown lists are different in
every OS and every browser, and we try not to do anything
browser-specific, so our dropdowns are probably different yet). But we
try our best.


> We insert a lot of top-notices (article marks), and edit them, but how can
> we do it fast? Yes we can add top-notices as templates, but they are hardly
> fast to add that way.

This is supposed to be doable from the keyboard:
1. Type '{{' to open template insert dialog
2. Type the template name (the right field should be focused), confirm
    with Enter
3. Press Tab a few times until focus moves to the 'Insert' button,
    confirm with Enter

...but, something is definitely not right at the last step. I just tried
and the focus moved through a few invisible buttons first; filed this as
T129791 [1]. Another improvement would be to be able to confirm the
dialog with Ctrl+Enter from any field, David actually implemented this
recently [2] and it should reach Wikipedias next week.

[1] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T129791
[2] https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/c/274984/


> We link and delink articles, but how can we do it fast?

To remove a link from some text, select it and press Ctrl+\ (that's the
backslash) or Ctrl+M. (This also removes any other formatting, like bold
or italic.)

To add or edit a link, press Ctrl+K with the text selected. You can just
confirm with Enter, or edit it and confirm them.

By the way, there's a list of all available keyboard shortcuts built
into VisualEditor – it's under the '?' button on the toolbar, or under
the Ctrl+? shortcut :)

--
Bartosz Dziewoński

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Re: Mostly about anglophile devs, and a small complaint about VisualEditor

David Gerard-2
On 13 March 2016 at 20:43, Bartosz Dziewoński <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 1. Type '{{' to open template insert dialog


... this is something I never knew existed. Thank you!


> By the way, there's a list of all available keyboard shortcuts built into
> VisualEditor – it's under the '?' button on the toolbar, or under the Ctrl+?
> shortcut :)


BTW, my favourite VE test article, [[:en:OpenOffice.org]], now takes
14 seconds to open for editing in VE. Down from 90+ in July 2013. Well
done all :-)


- d.

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Re: Mostly about anglophile devs, and a small complaint about VisualEditor

Derk-Jan Hartman
In reply to this post by Amir E. Aharoni

> On 13 mrt. 2016, at 20:36, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Ideally, this should some day be real metadata and not templates. Using
> templates for this is a hack that keeps living long after it should have
> died.
>
> And it should be easy and fast to edit this metadata, no matter if the
> editor prefers VE or wiki syntax.
>
> This is a far-fetched ideal, but that's a how it should be.

Also don't forget that VE is still new. you could write twinkle like tools using VE to edit metadata templates quickly, but no one has done that so far. These kinds of developments tend to go rly slowly, especially if something that already works and that ppl are already familiar with is already in place.

DJ

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Re: Mostly about anglophile devs, and a small complaint about VisualEditor

John Erling Blad
In reply to this post by Amir E. Aharoni
On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 8:36 PM, Amir E. Aharoni <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2016-03-13 20:49 GMT+02:00 John Erling Blad <[hidden email]>:
>
> What feels slow may turn out to be fast when the time is actually measured
> (though the _feeling_ of slowness may still have to be addressed by better
> UX design).
>

Yes, I suspect that most often than not it is that we feel something is
slow because now we don't have so much to do, the system does it for us.

> We insert a lot of top-notices (article marks), and edit them, but how can
> > we do it fast? Yes we can add top-notices as templates, but they are
> hardly
> > fast to add that way.
> >
>
> Ideally, this should some day be real metadata and not templates. Using
> templates for this is a hack that keeps living long after it should have
> died.
>
> And it should be easy and fast to edit this metadata, no matter if the
> editor prefers VE or wiki syntax.
>
> This is a far-fetched ideal, but that's a how it should be.
>

Yes, this should probably be metadata, but right now it is templates and
they are slow to insert.


>
> --
> Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> http://aharoni.wordpress.com
> ‪“We're living in pieces,
> I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Mostly about anglophile devs, and a small complaint about VisualEditor

John Erling Blad
In reply to this post by Bartosz Dziewoński
Thank you for the pointer to the shortcuts-page. Tried some of them, they
didn't work... I'l try to remember to write a bug tomorrow.

Selected text, tried Control-M, bolding did not go away. Backslash is not
an easy character to reach on Norwegian keyboards, it is way off on some of
them. Control-M is more manageable.

On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 9:43 PM, Bartosz Dziewoński <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> On 2016-03-13 19:49, John Erling Blad wrote:
>
>> A lot of things are much simpler in VisualEditor, but a lot of stuff is
>> harder to do or simply does not work. It doesn't matter if things look
>> shiny if people use a lot more time doing the same task. One area is
>> editing from the keyboard, how can we do all the same things at least
>> equally fast - not just that we can do them?
>>
>
> At least speaking for the OOjs UI library (on top of which VisualEditor's
> interface is built), I can assure you that a lot of effort goes into making
> all actions available from keyboard only, and making our interfaces at
> least no worse than the "native" ones. I think the VisualEditor team shares
> these principles.
>
> There are some things which take more key presses (you just have fewer
> "degrees of freedom" when instead of arbitrarily many buttons, you have a
> finite set of keyboard keys, especially after you exclude keys ordinarily
> used for typing text), and things which are slightly different than native
> ones (for example, dropdown lists are different in every OS and every
> browser, and we try not to do anything browser-specific, so our dropdowns
> are probably different yet). But we try our best.
>
>
> We insert a lot of top-notices (article marks), and edit them, but how can
>> we do it fast? Yes we can add top-notices as templates, but they are
>> hardly
>> fast to add that way.
>>
>
> This is supposed to be doable from the keyboard:
> 1. Type '{{' to open template insert dialog
> 2. Type the template name (the right field should be focused), confirm
>    with Enter
> 3. Press Tab a few times until focus moves to the 'Insert' button,
>    confirm with Enter
>
> ...but, something is definitely not right at the last step. I just tried
> and the focus moved through a few invisible buttons first; filed this as
> T129791 [1]. Another improvement would be to be able to confirm the dialog
> with Ctrl+Enter from any field, David actually implemented this recently
> [2] and it should reach Wikipedias next week.
>
> [1] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T129791
> [2] https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/#/c/274984/
>
>
> We link and delink articles, but how can we do it fast?
>>
>
> To remove a link from some text, select it and press Ctrl+\ (that's the
> backslash) or Ctrl+M. (This also removes any other formatting, like bold or
> italic.)
>
> To add or edit a link, press Ctrl+K with the text selected. You can just
> confirm with Enter, or edit it and confirm them.
>
> By the way, there's a list of all available keyboard shortcuts built into
> VisualEditor – it's under the '?' button on the toolbar, or under the
> Ctrl+? shortcut :)
>
> --
> Bartosz Dziewoński
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
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Re: Mostly about anglophile devs, and a small complaint about VisualEditor

Gabriel Wicke-3
In reply to this post by Derk-Jan Hartman
On Sun, Mar 13, 2016 at 3:39 PM, Derk-Jan Hartman
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>> On 13 mrt. 2016, at 20:36, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Ideally, this should some day be real metadata and not templates. Using
>> templates for this is a hack that keeps living long after it should have
>> died.
>>
>> And it should be easy and fast to edit this metadata, no matter if the
>> editor prefers VE or wiki syntax.
>>
>> This is a far-fetched ideal, but that's a how it should be.
>
>
> Also don't forget that VE is still new. you could write twinkle like tools using VE to edit metadata templates quickly, but no one has done that so far.

There is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jackmcbarn/editProtectedHelper,
which "adds the ability to respond to edit requests quickly". It is
using Parsoid, but not VisualEditor.

Gabriel

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Re: Mostly about anglophile devs, and a small complaint about VisualEditor

James Forrester-4
In reply to this post by John Erling Blad
On 13 March 2016 at 23:51, John Erling Blad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thank you for the pointer to the shortcuts-page. Tried some of them, they
> didn't work... I'l try to remember to write a bug tomorrow.
>
> Selected text, tried Control-M, bolding did not go away. Backslash is not
> an easy character to reach on Norwegian keyboards, it is way off on some of
> them. Control-M is more manageable.
>

Yes, we added Control-M for some European languages for which Control-/ was
harder to use.

I've created https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T129865 in anticipation of
your bug report. :-)

​J.​
--
James D. Forrester
Lead Product Manager, Editing
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

[hidden email] | @jdforrester
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