Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Editing/Avoid VisualEditor edits changing only the link text or only the link target

Avoid VisualEditor edits changing only the link text or only the link target

Example of a VE edit diff where the user tried to correct a year with unintended results
  • Problem: There is an uncountable amount of VisualEditor edits changing only the link text, not the target, especially dates, like this (it’s far less common the other way round, but it should be accounted for as well).
  • Who would benefit: Readers by not getting confusing links, editors (mostly bot owners) by not having to fix them.
  • Proposed solution: I don’t know. It’s a long-standing problem, no ideal solution appeared so far. The main task is to find the solution, not to develop it.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Tacsipacsi (talk) 17:49, 11 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


This was touched upon in T55973#2792012, I agree that we could try to catch common errors like this. ESanders (WMF) (talk) 18:37, 15 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

One proposed solution is T56947 (show some kind of warning to users when they change only the text). T55973 itself proposed showing the link text in the edit dialog. That has been implemented, and anecdotally it has been ineffective, although I have not seen hard numbers on this yet. (Unfortunately filtering for these kinds of edits based on a text diff is not easy.) --Tgr (talk) 07:07, 27 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

This is a big problem for patrollers because VisualEditor's behavior is so unintuitive that even users with lots of experience fall victim to it, including trusted (autopatrolled) users, in which case patrollers will never see the change. The Hungarian editor community is pretty close to disabling VE over this (which makes it a big problem for outreach/growth as well). --Tgr (talk) 09:10, 27 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

A possible solution - By default, changing the text of a link on visual editor will Automatically delete the link (the text of the link will become normal text). editors will have to Manually recreate a new link. autopatrolled users would be able to cancel this condition in the preferences. Netanel488 (talk) 23:03, 28 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]