The new wikitext editor
New editor for 2017
A new "2017 wikitext editor" is under development. This will be similar to the Visual Editor, in terms of interface style and available tools, such as the Citoid referencing feature. There will also be improved switching between visual editing and wikitext editing. Other features that could be developed, depending on expense and performance impact, include the ability to:
- automatically save local drafts during editing, to prevent loss of work when power is lost or a tab is closed;
- syntax highlighting and folding blocks of wikitext, such as long infobox templates; and
- add edit summaries with one click, based on recent activity.
An early, "very alpha" version of the 2017 wikitext editor is available for testing on the Beta Cluster test site. A separate account is required; once created, the new wikitext editor can be opted into via Special:Preferences § Beta features. To test it, start editing with the visual editor and then switch to wikitext. Feedback can be given at WP:VEF; there was also discussion at the thread on the technical village pump before it was archived.
New parsing algorithm, server switches
Tidy will be replaced as part of an effort to make pages' underlying HTML more compliant. Tidy cleans up mistakes editors make, such as improper table syntax and invalid HTML included in wikitext. More specifically, Tidy parses the MediaWiki output and cleans it up to ensure that valid HTML is rendered. For example,
<br.> will all render as
Tidy is based on the old HTML4 semantics. The new HTML 5 parsing algorithm will be more consistent with Parsoid, which is used in features such as VisualEditor and Flow. One feature enabled by the replacement will be visual diffs. The replacement will not occur until 2017, because it would otherwise cause problems on a number of wikis. Pages with broken wikitext or bad HTML will need to be fixed first, otherwise they will appear broken. To find out how to help on the English Wikipedia, see WikiProject Check Wikipedia, or ask on the project talkpage.
The WMF tested a new backup data center in Dallas, Texas in April 2016. The servers were switched from Virginia to Texas for a few days to test the reliability of such a switch, which might be needed to keep Wikimedia sites online after a natural disaster or other emergency. The test resulted in wikis being read-only for brief periods on two days, and in delays to edits appearing in the recent changes log. Though originally scheduled for late 2016, the next round of testing has been delayed until February 2017 at the earliest.
Changes to new page workflow
In response to community requests, several improvements have been made to the workflow for the creation and review of new articles:
- New (non-auto-confirmed) users will see a customized edit notice when attempting to create a new article. This edit notice includes buttons for switching to the user's sandbox (if they want to experiment) or going through the Article Wizard. Users will still be free to create an article the normal way if they choose. Auto-confirmed users will still see the original edit notice when creating new articles.
- All newly created articles will be marked noindex until they are reviewed or patrolled, or the article is no longer eligible to be patrolled (that is, it is older than 30 days).(further info) This is to prevent spam and attack pages from being indexed by search engines such as Google before admins delete them. To bridge the period between when a problematic article is reviewed and when it is deleted, pages tagged with speedy deletion templates can also automatically be noindexed. These changes were originally requested in an RFC in 2012.
In addition to these changes, the community recently approved an RFC to create a new page-patrolling user group and to remove the right to patrol from all other user groups except admins and higher. This RFC will be presented to the WMF once a related RfC, concerning qualifications for the new right, concludes.