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  • The Wiki could really use some TLC in this area. I mean some really simple things.

    In lots of places, dialogs pop up and when I start typing, under the assumption that the cursor is in the dialog's textbox, it is not and instead other things happen in my browser page as I am typing and sometimes I'll even lose edits due to this.

    This happens, for example, when I am done editing a page and the summary dialog pops up, I have to move the cursor to the textbox each time. Some simple javascript can do this. It's kind of ridiculous that in 2016 this isn't just standard behavior.

    There are more simple things like this. I am just bringing up this one now because it's just bitten me again.

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    • Which wiki?

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    • http://atlantica.wikia.com

      Don't all wikias run on the same software?

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    • Not really. There are at least 3 slightly different versions, I believe. You can also compare Special:Version on various wikis to see the custom plugins each wiki has.

      Also, the experience people have with editing varies depending on what editor/editing mode they use (see Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing). I use Source Editor exclusively, so I don't even see that popup.

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    • Thanks for the tips!

      I use the Source Editor often, but you still need to save the page after wards, and that's when the Save dialog prompts you like this.

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    • Hmmm... I don't get any warnings when I save with a blank edit summary. You're probably using the Source edit mode, which is different from the Source Editor.

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    • Thanks for getting back to me. Excuse my ignorance on the subject. You can verify which it is by going to http://atlantica.wikia.com and editing any page and you'll see what I mean.

      I am simply using the default tools Wikia provides. I'm certainly open to suggestions if I can use a better editor (or any other better tools).

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    • Did you check Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing?

      There should be a choice of editors after you click the Editing tab.

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    • So that editor is better at some things and worse at others. I probably need to use it for a while to learn all the tricks. Thanks agin!

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    • I suggest reading about it in Help:Editing.

      Anyway, to answer some of your usability issues / doubts:

      In lots of places, dialogs pop up and when I start typing,

      Yes, this is because the developers deliberately made the editor cater to both experienced editors and newbies, and in doing so added a few unintuitive (for a beginner) shortcuts that add popups. For example, typing "[[" will pop up a link dialog, because that's how it is using wikitext, typing "*"  at the beginning of a sentence will create a list, and finally typing some obscure wikitext that a newbie might not even know will trigger "loud" warnings about not doing so. Personally, I think they should either just disable all of these, or make it optional.

      under the assumption that the cursor is in the dialog's textbox

      Cursoring is the biggest problem with all html based editors, because at any point the browser or other tools itself may steal the focus. Not to mention the complication with non-latin based languages.

      instead other things happen in my browser page

      Typing in a browser is a constant war between the huge amount of keyboard shortcuts and any extra tools that a site may have. For example, typing backspace may result in loss of work as the browser goes to a previous page. There are ways to mitigate this, but ultimately the browser is the boss, and has the last say.

      when I am done editing a page and the summary dialog pops up

      I do agree this is particularly annoying. One solution is to click tab key twice. That being said, I've tested Wikimedia's version and it has been fixed there at least (https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Project:Sandbox?action=edit).

      In short, VisualEditor is a work in progress improving every so often.  The one true sourceTM editor is a permanent fallback, and the some of other editors will be eventually be killed off. 

      Anyway, I suggest submitting these ideas or issues to staff, see Special:Contact.

      So that editor is better at some things

      One of its greatest strengths is table editing, and it saved me a lot of time today.

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    • P.S. If you know javascript by all means fix the ones you can by yourself. You may be waiting a long time if you expect the developers to fix all of these in the short term.

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    • It will be an extremely long time before I ever consider the Visual Editor for my primary editor. It's too damn slow! That makes any other possible advantages mostly irrelevant.

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    • Fandyllic wrote:
      It will be an extremely long time before I ever consider the Visual Editor for my primary editor. It's too damn slow! That makes any other possible advantages mostly irrelevant.

      Well, that's mostly true. It is very slow on huge pages with many templates, links or references and images. The thing is that it essentially reloads part of the page (adding more html) and requests all its libraries, while the wikitext editor just requests the wikitext to dump into a text box. 

      One approach they might consider to improve its speed is to load all the libraries whenever an individual page is loaded for reading, and cache that. Another approach might be to lazy load the images because even if they are never seen they still affect performance, for example, a bunch of animated gifs.

      On a side note, disabling images, cache and loading Death_Knight takes about ~ 18 seconds using VE, and about ~8 seconds using the rich text editor (VE & RE ~ 10 secs with caching). That page seems to be loading a good amount of extra content for popups which amounts to about ~ 1MB on full page load.

      I think the performance is reasonable for casual editing on a new wiki or a simple page, it certainly beats having to preview a page dozens of times.

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    • Thanks guys, this is really useful feedback. I appreciate it!

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    • Dessamator wrote:
      P.S. If you know javascript by all means fix the ones you can by yourself. You may be waiting a long time if you expect the developers to fix all of these in the short term.

      Should a wiki user really be expected to implement bug fixes? Even if it's really basic stuff, I'm here as a fan trying to write about my favorite game, not as a developer (although I am one). Much of the feedback and my search for help really makes me question if Wikia is a mature enough product. It's not intuitive and some really basic things are not in place. I'm not sure I would choose it if I had to start over with another Wikia. It's a bit late to switch platforms now, but color me unimpressed!

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    • Wikia has the misfortune of being more of a pseudo developer in that it inherits much of the core functionality it has to deal with. Also, from what I can tell, they don't really use much in the way of SW development best practices, but opt for fast-and-loose "agile" web development with high rates of failure and talk about rapid iteration without actually doing it.

      Given all that, Wikia could be alot worse and the alternatives are no better.

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    • Fandyllic wrote:
      Wikia has the misfortune of being more of a pseudo developer in that it inherits much of the core functionality it has to deal with. Also, from what I can tell, they don't really use much in the way of SW development best practices, but opt for fast-and-loose "agile" web development with high rates of failure and talk about rapid iteration without actually doing it.

      Given all that, Wikia could be alot worse and the alternatives are no better.

      I've done no research on alternatives, I was just venting a bit. Overall, it mostly does what you want it to.

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    • Smashix wrote:

      Should a wiki user really be expected to implement bug fixes? Even if it's really basic stuff, I'm here as a fan trying to write about my favorite game, not as a developer (although I am one). Much of the feedback and my search for help really makes me question if Wikia is a mature enough product. It's not intuitive and some really basic things are not in place. I'm not sure I would choose it if I had to start over with another Wikia. It's a bit late to switch platforms now, but color me unimpressed!

      I'm describing a bug as "an unexpected defect, fault, flaw, or imperfection"[1]  whereas some of the things you describe are deliberate design. 

      The pop-up dialogs when entering specific characters is deliberate design actually requested by some users , regardless of whether other users agree with it or not. Everything else included in the main post may possibly be software defects depending on what you did to trigger them.

      So to answer your question:

      Should a wiki user really be expected to implement bug fixes?

      Yes, if they believe it is important enough to be fixed quickly, such is the nature of open source software. For each one you notice there are hundreds if not thousands more mediawiki / VisualEditor  higher priority software defects.

      As a sidenote, some of these software defects are actually fixed in recent VisualEditor versions, Developers just need to upgrade it. It doesn't seem straight forward to do so, probably because some fixes are in MediaWiki core, and Wikis here use a considerably older forked (altered) version.

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    • Let's agree to disagree.

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    • It's a bit misleading to say Wikia uses open source software. Some is and and some isn't.

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    • Fandyllic wrote:
      It's a bit misleading to say Wikia uses open source software. Some is and and some isn't.

      It really depends on your perspective. The software being discussed in this thread, VisualEditor, is  opensource so there isn't anything misleading about what I wrote.

      Although they may certainly use closed source software, it is somewhat offtopic in this thread.

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    • A FANDOM user
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