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    Wikimedia Foundation previews simplified visual editor

    Wikimedia Foundation previews simplified visual editor


    The Wikimedia Foundation has released a preview version of its new page editor, which is expected to launch in June 2012 and reach Wikipedia sometime afterwards.

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    It looks like all of those donation requests are paying off. Wikimedia's just released a preview of its new visual editor, which is designed to make it easier for the average user to edit Wiki pages. The new editor hides the mass of square brackets that comprises a WikiCode page, and instead shows an editable preview far closer to the actual look of a page. There's a more accessible toolbar for styling text and adding links, along with a contextual mini-menu which pops up when you select text. Power users can still access the more complex features of the Wikipedia editor, with buttons to the right for WikiCode, JavaScript, and HTML.

    The preview's only available in a sandboxed mode for now, giving users the chance to try it out for themselves and find bugs before it goes live across the rest of the site. In its 2011-2012 annual plan, the Wikimedia Foundation revealed that the number of active editors is in decline, and that it sees making its editing tools more user-friendly as key to reversing this trend. The platform powers a huge number of Wikis, not just Wikipedia, and while new editor is expected to roll out to smaller sites by June 2012, the developers say that it's some way off being ready for use in the crowdsourced encyclopedia.