Exciting news up for those who tried out the VisualEditor to edit Wikipedia pages while it was still in its "alpha" stage – a Wikimedia blog post confirms that they are very close to releasing it in "beta". VisualEditor, for those not in the know, is the new visual interface to edit Wikipedia pages; it was under development and testing for a significant period.
The upcoming visual interface is an interesting thing to get acquainted with, since it removes the need to learn the complex wiki markup. This way, it claims to make editing simpler for both new and experienced editors.
Guys at Wikipedia now plan to get it going for all logged-in users of English Wikipedia early next month, to logged-out users later next month and to other Wikipedias thereafter. Even before they start the roll-out in July, they will be carrying out a test of VisualEditor for some randomly picked new accounts on the English Wikipedia from June 17. In the testing period, they will observe the impact on users, take in feedback and solve issues.
Coming in "beta" soon
The alpha prototype had been made available earlier to users with a registered account only and who chose to test VisualEditor. It had been first made available to English Wikipedia in December last year and was then rolled out to 16 more language editions in April. It will reach the remaining Wikipedias latest this week.
Here's the important bit: They're urging users to try VisualEditor again, like they did when it was in "alpha" version. "It’s very important that we fix as many critical issues as possible prior to the deploying for everyone in a few weeks’ time — of course, we’d love to fix them all, but that may not be possible," the post adds.
If you're interested, you can start off by enabling the VisualEditor – in preferences, under the editing tab. You will have to check the box labelled “Enable VisualEditor” and submit any bugs that you find.