Link wiki pages and work items, write math formulas in Wiki, Keyboard shortcuts and more…

Happy new year to all Wiki lovers. We are learning a lot with each passing day and in this blog I will share our learning and value that we delivered in the past few sprints. Few of these features are coming up in this sprint (Jan end).

In October, we had enabled the referencing work items to a wiki page, now you can link a work item to a wiki and vice versa. You can link work items to wiki to create epic pages, release notes, and planning content that will help you track the work items associated with a wiki page and validate what % of your epic page is complete.

Link work items with wiki

 

Linked work items then show up on the wiki page

 

I found this feature really useful when I had to skim through sprint emails or release  notes to see what features got shipped in a sprint. Please share how you intend to use this feature in your wiki pages?

Wiki supports mathematical formulas

If your application deals with mathematical formulas and equations, you can now put them in Wiki using the LaTeX format. You can use VSTSWiki to bring Gamma,Delta,Theta,Lambda and Pi to life.

Rich markdown rendering in code repo markdown

We were creating all this richness in the Wiki edit experience and it was just fair to ensure all of VSTS shares these rich experiences. Therefore, now you can now create these rich markdown files in your git repositories as well. The markdown rendering of the MD files in code repositories now supports HTML tags, Block quotes, Emojis, image resizing, and mathematical formulas. Going forward we will ensure there is parity in markdown rendering in Wiki and MD files in code.

Keyboard lovers can write their pages faster in Wiki

Coming by Jan 2018 end.
Wiki edit and preview experience now supports keyboard shortcuts allowing you to do things faster only using your keyboard. One of my new favorites after “Ctrl + s” is “Ctrl + Enter”.
Wiki edit shortcuts

Wiki preview shortcuts
These are in addition to standard editing shortcuts such as Ctrl B for BOLD, Ctrl I for Italics, Ctrl K for linking etc.

Print Wiki pages

Coming in Jan 2018 end

Now you can print a wiki page and read it in your spare time, add comments using pen and paper or even share an offline PDF copy with users who don’t have access to VSTS. Simply click on the context menu of a page and click on Print page. 

Save paper Save trees!!

 

Currently this feature is not available in firefox due to bug with the browser. 

Did you know?

Today, in this section I want to talk about certain investments that did not make into our release notes. We have been investing continuously to reduce all Wiki errors and I talk about 3 such scenarios here.

We had initially set the file attachment size to 5MB. We got loads of feedback and client side errors when wiki attachments size was set low. When we analyzed the data, we found that setting the limit to the magical number of 19MB would reduce the total # of errors significantly.  So we increased the limit from 5MB to 19MB and now the error count has reduced significantly.

 

Errors when attachment size was set at 5MB

When we shipped Wiki in July, we supported only 14 file extensions.

Initial set of 14 extensions supported in Wiki

  • Images: PNG (.png), GIF (.gif), JPEG (both .jpeg and .jpg)
  • Documents: Word (.docx), Excel (.xlsx and .csv), and Powerpoint (.pptx), text files (.txt), and PDFs (.pdf)
  • Compressed files: ZIP (.zip) and GZIP (.gz)
  • Video files: MOV (.mov), MP4 (.mp4)

We soon realized that these file extensions were not enough. .HTML, .VSDX, .SQl, and .XML were the most frequently attached extension types. Now Wiki supports these 32 additional extensions.

“.CS”,”.CSV”, “.DOC”, “.DOCX”, “.GIF”,”.GZ”, “.HTM”, “.HTML”, “.ICO”,”.JPEG”, “.JPG”, “.JSON”, “.LYR”,”.MD”, “.MOV”, “.MPP”,”.MSG”, “.PDF”, “.PNG”, “.PPT”,”.PPTX”, “.PS1”, “.RAR”, “.RDP”,”.SQL”, “.TXT”, “.VSD”, “.VSDX”,”.XLS”, “.XLSX”, “.XML”, “.ZIP”

.SVG and .EXE continue to show a high count but we have not enabled these yet due to security concerns.

Updating wiki pages offline does not throw a warning anymore

Users who had updated the wiki offline around 3 months back may have seen this warning symbol.

It used to happen when a page is pushed to the master branch of the wiki but either the ORDER file is not updated or it has a page name not supported by VSTS Wiki. refer: this document to get more details. When we checked the usage patterns, we found that there were very few offline updates in the first few months of wiki launch. But soon the # of offline updates spiked and have been rising ever since and we decided to revisit this error and reduce it to zero. And so we did!! We relaxed the requirement to update the .ORDER file when a new file is added and now wiki auto-updates the order when you move the page.

I thought of sharing some of these investments we have been making to ensure we offer a smooth experience while working with VSTS wiki.

Coming up next

Some of the upcoming investments include:

  1. Fix broken links on page move or page rename (54 votes)
  2. Publishing documentation from code repository as wiki (21 votes)
  3. Wiki page titles will support -,/,#,\,? etc. using UTF-8 encoded strings (3 votes)

Report Issues

If you have a feature request or want to report a bug:

  1. Report a Wiki bug on developer community
  2. New feature request for Wiki 
  3. Issue in migration tool

 

 

Author: Sandeep Chadda (MSFT)

Sandeep is a practicing program manager with Microsoft. When he is not running and spending time with his son, he would like to believe that he is playing a small part in changing the world by creating products that make the world more productive.

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