The first experience for new users to the English Wikipedia

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I think that would help a lot during article development. Although it probably wouldn't hurt to have some way to remind editors that they have these limbo articles, so they don't forget them and leave some good work lying invisible.

02:44, 12 March 2011

We can already do this manually with user subpages, and the page creation blurb even suggests doing so. Implementing an automatic UI for this would be relatively easy, I imagine.

Sounds like we have a new feature idea...

03:20, 12 March 2011

I think it might work better by adding a "Save in My Workspace" button (along with Save and Preview). When I sit down, I always think I am going to do whatever I have come to do in one sitting. But the reality is interruptions (if you want to know why so few Wikipedians are women, think interruptions!). So better to defer the decision until the point of standing up and walking away.

Actually, if the Preview button saved the article in the user's workspace as a side-effect, then that would kill two birds with one stone:

  • the "interruption" scenario
  • the "forgot I did a Preview not a Save and now I've lost my edits" scenario

Of course, increased use of the user workspace increases the risk of edit conflicts.

05:11, 12 March 2011

Adding more features means the manuals have to get bigger. Wikipedia is complex because the underlying MediaWiki software is easy to extend with new features. More features = more complexity = raising the hurdle for newbies.

This is not an argument against adding features, merely an observation about complexity resulting from the endless quest for power.

01:18, 13 March 2011

I don't expect people to read a dictionary before they write an essay, and I don't expect people to read a manual before creating an article. Or before doing an update, as in copying a citation format and changing the fields. We learn the cut and paste concept in kindergarten for a reason: it's easy, it's fun, it's fast. ;-)

06:02, 14 March 2011