Wikinews:Visual Editor

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This page is designed to list all the issues that need to be taken into account before the deployment of Visual Editor on English Wikinews so that all the tools on English Wikinews will continue to work.

Article contributor entrance

Unlike Wikipedia, contributors cannot edit 99.99% of articles on English Wikinews. Rather, unless they are collaborating with another writer on a story in development, they will almost certainly be working on a new article. Articles on English Wikinews require users to go through Wikinews:Writing an article, which preloads a template for article formatting. This includes having a template that indicates the article's status, a template pulling in the date, and preformatted source templates. If a user does not use this method as an entrance to writing a story, their work will not pass review and will almost certainly be deleted.

When integrating Visual Editor into Wikinews, the entrance to new article writing needs to be carefully considered as the first priority for the Visual Editor team.


MediaWiki:Gadget-easyPeerReview.js is the gadget (JavaScript tool) that allows people with reviewer rights to review an article, and either mark it ready or not ready for publication. Once this is done, Peer Review then goes to the next step to indicate the article status on the talk page and the article itself. After the writing an article page, the is the most tool for English Wikinews because it controls what is and is not published. It uses the API for editing actions, and should not be affected by Visual editor deployment.

Wikinews:Make Lead is the third most currently used tool because post publication, it allows an article to appear on the front page of Wikinews. It uses javascript. It uses the API for editing actions, and should not be affected by Visual editor deployment.

Help:Dialog is a set of tools being developed by pi zero to address some major issues identified through research and experience that would enhance the ability of editors succeeding at getting published, and make it easier for reviewers to review. Compatibility is a major goal if VE is integrated because of the man hours project wise spent on tool development for what is seen as essential for the scalability of the project.

Both Make Lead and Dialog make use of page-specific JavaScript, a hook built into MediaWiki:Common.js that allows custom JavaScript to be loaded automatically when viewing any specific page. Dialog makes heavy use of this hook, and its set of such pages is meant to be extensible over time; other pages using the hook include Main page, WN:Newsroom, and Category:Review. Complete list of page-specific JavaScript is here.


LiquidThreads is used for the comments pages on all Wikinews articles. It is deployed on a third comment tab. It is independent of the talk page in that it serves a completely separate purpose, and needs to remain separate from the talk page.

Other extensions known to be deployed:

  • FlaggedRevisions is hugely important. It is vital to the project functioning as articles are not editable post publication following a certain timeframe.
  • Google News Sitemap is important in terms of maintaining traffic levels. This is one of the more important extensions to make sure it remains compatible. (It is extremely unlikely there will be any compatibility issues here.)
  • Quiz is not very important, but it is used on project. Long term, as we had more news on a daily basis, it would likely be more useful.
  • Extension:DynamicPageList is used here as well.
  • Extension:InputBox Input box extension is often used, especially combined with the preload option to preload the article structure. This is the most likely area to not work with VisualEditor.
  • Others listed on Special:Version.

Note: Of these, the one most likely to be affected by deployment of VE is the Quiz extension, whose quizzes' code not be editable using VE. Also, DynamicPageList. It is possible to wrap both DynamicPageList ({{DPL}}) and Quiz ({{Quiz}}) in a template. While this is not commonly done for DynamicPageList currently, there is nothing stopping us from using a template wrapper, and simply falling back on visual editor's template support.


There a few core templates used on articles. Broadly, they fall into several categories:

  • Article creation: Template:New page. This is one of the most important templates on the project. It has several variants, some (but perhaps not all) of which are in Category:Preload templates.
    • The current workflow of using the inputbox extension combined with preload templates, is the most likely to be incompatible with visual editor.
  • Infoboxes: Often these rely on DPL to pull in a list of the most recent articles.
  • Images: Image templates include galleries and template:Image credit.
  • Sources: These templates require user input to complete. Template:Source is the primary one used. Template:Original is also used but outside alignment has no user input required.
  • Article linking: The main template for article linking is Template:w. This is probably one of the most used templates on Wikinews.
  • Dates and location: template:date requires no user input, but is based on subst and pulling in the date.
  • Review: Includes template:draft, template:review
  • Dialog: Tool development by pi zero.

There are not many (barring infoboxes and dialog templates, which are particularly open-ended sets), but those used get extensive use.

Lesser important templates include ones used for project notification and for user pages. These are less essential as they do not directly impact content creation, review and publication. Examples include Template:Votings‎.