Forums: Index > The Wizengamot > Disable the Visual Editor?

So I've been thinking - the visual editor has caused us a lot of problems in the past - what with images being inserted helter-skelter and stuff being oddly removed, etc. What if we just disabled it? I know of a couple other wikis that have done it, just like how we recently got rid of the attribution on the pictures. If nobody objects, I say let's get rid of it! ProfessorTofty (talk) 03:28, September 1, 2012 (UTC)

That would be a good idea, but would it be worth the weeks, maybe months, of users trying to figure out the coding? I'd say we keep it for the time being, but let's watch and see what happens, in my opinion. By the way, make sure you're packed and ready for the Hogwarts Express, which leaves at eleven o'clock today :P james (talk) 04:04, September 1, 2012 (UTC)
Well, other wikis have done it without any major problems. And it really shouldn't take weeks and months to learn coding - mastering the basic stuff like putting stuff in italics or bold or signing your username should really be a matter of days at most, and the more advanced stuff requires coding anyway. And, as for the later - sorry, not for me I'm afraid - check my user categories on my profile. Besides, I live in the U.S. anyway, so even if the previous weren't true... ProfessorTofty (talk) 06:08, September 1, 2012 (UTC)
I only wanted to mention that there are already pages you only can edit in the source mode because of the complex codes in them. Is there a problem? You can look in the preview to look what it looks like.  Harry granger   Talk  contribs 13:03, September 1, 2012 (UTC)
That's quite true, I just wanted to make absolutely sure that we knew what we were doing when we started in with this whole "Disable ALL the Visual Editors!" campaign. I thought it was a good idea, just figured at the time that I'd note a flaw I saw in the plan. Sort of like at the Battle of the Seven Potters, the real Slim Potter (for those who don't know Eminem, he has a song called the Real Slim Shady) found a problem, suggested it, and ProfessorMoody revealed the answer to Potter's querie. Yes, I think it's quite a good idea once you take everything into account. And I live in Canada, but I'm still hoping to see the flying car (what I meant bout the Hogwarts Express was that it'd be quite likely that part of Pottermore would open sometime today, as Seth Cooper rightly said, because most of the events in chapter 5 take place today). Cheers, james (talk) 14:07, September 1, 2012 (UTC)
I know that there are some that can't be edited in visual mode, yeah. The issue with visual mode is the problems I've mentioned that we've had in the past - code getting messed up without explanation and pictures being dumped in seemingly random positions in the text. ProfessorTofty (talk) 15:56, September 1, 2012 (UTC)
"I 'gree with Sirius..."
Yep, so let's see here... the visual editor isn't doing any good (except saving people's fingers from getting sore from typing so many codes). In fact, it does the opposite. There are already pages where we can't use the visual editor. Let's just get rid of it! Severus Snape (talk) 03:28, September 1, 2012 (UTC)

Thank you, Seth. That having been said, would you be interested in weighing in with your thoughts about the idea? Do you think that disabling the visual editor would be a good choice? ProfessorTofty (talk) 14:48, September 2, 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I don't think it would be a bad idea, although I understand if the casually-editing anon would disagree. Perhaps getting rid of the visual editor might scare away potentially good editors (in the long term) because they don't have the time / didn't bother to learn WikiFormat? I'm not sure. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 15:17, September 2, 2012 (UTC)
I dunno. I don't want to scare anyone away, but as I have mentioned, there are other wikis that have chosen to disable it, and apparently decided it wasn't a problem to do so. Most anons only come in and make a few edits then never come back anyway, and those that do stick around are exactly the type that we really want to learn code anyway. For those that are only dropping in, if the visual editor goes away, then they may never even know that it was there in the first place. And getting rid of it serves as an incentive to learn code, whereas as long as it remains, there's always that crutch there. Also of note - even without the visual editor, the basic features such as boldface, italics, and redirect links, and even the "Add features and media" section still remain on the interface. ProfessorTofty (talk) 15:31, September 2, 2012 (UTC)
I was just expressing a concern; you make a pretty good argument, I guess, and I kind of agree with you. Perhaps we should wait for other users to weigh in their oppinion? --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 15:42, September 2, 2012 (UTC)
So... just to establish an overview, the "pros" of keeping the visual editor are that 'casually-editing anons' probably feel more comfortable with it. The "cons" of keeping the visual editor are picture misplacement, spontaneous removement of content, and difficulty learning codes (and as Professor Tofty stated, it shouldn't take that long to learn them). The basic things such as bold, italic, signatures, add features and media, and inter-wiki linking (is that what it would be called if I made a link on Bellatrix Lestrange's page to Voldemort's?) are all still the same (except mayhaps that you need to press a smaller button).
So far, there are two definite yeses, a maybe, and what I'm taking for agreement (a statement that there are some pages such as, or so I believe, Colin Creevey's page, are already required to use source mode for editing.
All in all, I think it'd be for the best if we do disable the visual editor, but as you said, perhaps we ought to wait for other users to provide their thoughts. Hunnie Bunn (talk) 16:14, September 2, 2012 (UTC)
I have found that, apart from things such as images being inserted into the middle of words, use of the visual editor also results (presumably as a result of marked-up text being copy-pasted from external visual editors such as Microsoft Word) in needless font changes and the like being added. An extreme case occurred on July 23 2012, when an editor added a table to "Dæmon" on the His Dark Materials Wiki which increased the page size by over 130,000(!) characters whilst adding almost nothing of substance. (I later, for want of anything better to do, removed all the pointless fluff from that revision, which on inspection proved to have come from the use of Microsoft Word, a notoriously bad HTML editor; the fluff turned out to amount to over 100,000 of the characters added.)
There's an option to turn off the visual editor as far as one's own edits are concerned, and this I have taken; but to my mind the visual editor does more harm than good, and should be disabled for everyone. -- RobertATfm (talk) 03:52, October 3, 2012 (UTC)
I completely agree. Most of us experienced editors agree that it's a problem and there's been no major objections to disabling it. So why don't we just do it? ProfessorTofty (talk) 05:17, October 3, 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I third the motion (should such a thing be proper grammar). It doesn't do much good, and if I knew how I would permanently disable it for myself (this is assuming such is not merely clicking the "Source" tab when editing). I agree that there are no major objections (actually, I personally haven't noticed any objections). --Hunniebunn (talk) 19:31, October 3, 2012 (UTC)
To answer the implied question in the above: one disables the visual editor for oneself by going into "My preferences" (on the drop-down list given by your username at the top left of the screen), clicking on the "Editing" tag, and unchecking the "Enable visual editor (where available)" checkbox (the top one). Then saving of course. -- RobertATfm (talk) 14:55, October 9, 2012 (UTC)
I recognised a new problem when deleting the "Visual" Mode, which should be solved before deleting, see this: File talk:Sally mortemore-pince.png.  Harry granger   Talk  contribs 10:50, October 4, 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the issue was you were having. But I just found and removed the category. ProfessorTofty (talk) 12:08, October 4, 2012 (UTC)
I tried again and I didn't see this category box in source mode, only in visual mode, ridiculous. I never saw the category box on the right side in the "source" mode, always visual mode. I am using Firefox. Perhaps the Firefox is the problem, I don't know.
But that's a stupid thing. After I wrote the above on the mentioned talk page I now see the same as you, really ridiculous.  Harry granger   Talk  contribs 13:21, October 4, 2012 (UTC)
I hope my old problem of above is away then because when I open this page for editing in source mode the right box is NOT there - AGAIN!!!  Harry granger   Talk  contribs 14:43, October 9, 2012 (UTC)
Alrighty. I've contacted Wikia Staff to disable the visual editor site-wide. It'll probably take them a few days (they say probably 2-3 business days), as they work through all of their messages. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 14:58, October 7, 2012 (UTC)
Whoops. Missed this before. Excellent! Glad to know this won't be an issue anymore. ProfessorTofty (talk) 10:52, October 9, 2012 (UTC)
I got this response:
Hi Seth,
Thanks for contacting Wikia. Disabling the visual editor is not something we are offering anymore. To disable that would be to remove a core functionality of the Wikia service. If you're encountering any bugs that you feel are hurting the editor on the wiki, or you have any suggestions for how you think it can be improved, you're welcome to send them our way and we'll make sure the Engineering Team and Product Team (respectively) have that information.
Thanks, and feel free to let us know if you need anything else.
--  Seth Cooper  owl post! 23:33, October 11, 2012 (UTC)
Well, that changes things. Does that mean, then, that it can't be done? In which case it can still be something individual users can do... A shame, though, because there are quite a few disadvantages. I suppose, though, that we can (indeed, we have to) work around it. --Hunniebunn (talk) 23:55, October 11, 2012 (UTC)
Oh, that's nonsense. They'll let it remain disabled on those wikis where it's already been disabled, but then claim that that's no good for other wikis because it breaks a "core functionality"? Come on. Well, in that case I strongly recommend reporting the issues that we've had as suggested - that edits made using the visual editor often break the infobox and often leads to things such as pictures being placed directly in the middle of text, messing up the formatting. It is not a good feature. ProfessorTofty (talk) 03:22, October 12, 2012 (UTC)
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