Improve admin revision UI / handling

Always been a big PITA: The user interface for the revision system. Just a few hours ago I had another run-in with it, essentially wasting the revision I actually wanted to restore. Tried it a few times … thanks to not being clear WHICH part we are currently trying to restore.

I’d like to see a few PROPER, well-done highlights and pointers to fix that issue.

Read-only archive:

Author: Fabian Wolf

Vote count: 6

Status: open


  • request-modify-feature
  • difficulty-moderate


I think all it really takes to the confused mind is to click “Help” on the top right screen area, and read there the instructions how to use this very simple tool.
Amongst other helpful things, it will say there:

  • The red text on the left shows the content that was removed. The green text on the right shows the content that was added.
  • To restore a revision, click Restore This Revision.

If that is still unclear (it is actually very clear also without reading this help text), then I think even a “PROPER, well-done highlights and pointers to fix that issue.” doesn’t help, because that is already what is happening:

  • there is a red highlight on the left for things gone
  • there is a green highlight to the right for things new
  • the entire screen represents a revision (so, of course, the left and right side are diffs of the same revision, representing the changes, they do NOT represent 2 different revisions)

I would propose to close this petition as IMO there is nothing to change or do better (and if, then we need to have some proposal as of what exactly would be the desired betterment. Just saying something is bad doesn’t really help, we need to be part of the solution)


Anyone who has used a program like GitHub would feel certainly comfortable with this concept, but there’s a lot that haven’t, and don’t.

It could equally mean

  • there is a red highlight on the left for the unwanted changes that you will drop if we go ahead
  • there is a green highlight to the right for the good things that we will be restoring

All it needs is a label at the top of the screen that says “Current version” and “Previous version”.

Everyone can understand that.

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But where to put those “current version” and "previous version’?
The very screen does not show 2 versions, it shows the same version where removals and additions are shown.

It is basically always the “version that will be used if re-instantiated”, unless you are on the last revision, which is the current version of the post.

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Well, you could name them however you want, but I was thinking something like…

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But that is exactly it.
This is not how the revision screen works :slight_smile:
Left and right are the same versions, it is just one with removals and the other with additions, it is not 2 distinct revisions.

It is the same one, with a proper diff look.
Basically, each screen (each step in the slider bar) is one revision.
If you go with the slider full to the right, you see the “Restore” thingy gets inactive because there is nothing to restore. You are on the last, active version

Now if you go a step to the left with the slider, the “restore” thingy becomes active, and if pressed, it restores that active revision, which is the entire screen. Left removals, right additions, but it is the same thing

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Well then, all I can say I seem to be as confused as others. :confused:
Mind you, I never actually use it at all.

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Re-looking at this you might be right?

While for me it is clear that green means “added” and red is “removed”… it is also right to say that left is “old” and right is “new”.

This especially becomes the case when you “compare any two revisions”, in that case left will be the “any older” and right is “any newer” version, and reinstantiating would mean to reinstantiate the right side!

I think for me it was always expected like that because the chronology goes from left (oldest) to right (newest) and thus, if I am able to click “restore” I will get the newest version I see on screen, which is the right side, but I need the left side to see what was removed, versus the right side that shows what was added.

So … concluding probably you are right after all?!

So perhaps I am the one who sees it wrong and accidentally never had an issue with that.

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Well, I think one thing is clear… it is not clear!


OK so lets add a darn fat “left is old, right is new” statement and go get popcorn for the political discussion that will unfold from it.

PR Coming, should not take long I hope :stuck_out_tongue:

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Does that look more like it?

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Or perhaps even more detailed

The problem, here, is not the code, it is the wording and level of detail. Would it not be better to just update the “Help” tab info?

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Errr… I think so. But it might be good to get some more opinions on this.

As I said, I never really used the revision thing (probably because I have always found it confusing).

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Who ever looks at the Help tab??? :joy:

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Well lets see what others think…

PS I look at the help tabs regularly. It is surprising what kind of info and links you find in there sometimes :wink:

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This is a place where WP just got it wrong, IMO. The revisions are essentially diffs… this was added, that was removed. That’s great if you know what a diff is, but, my guess is that average editors haven’t even heard of a diff. I think revisions should have been implemented to show just the final revision, with arrows to navigate back and forth in the history, without the split-screen of diffs. This feature, as implemented, is near useless for the intended audience.

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Yes, same here. The revision UI is beyond awful. I’ve never understood why there have to be 2 versions side by side, and I’ve never been clear about what will result from any clicks I make.

In my view one revision should be shown, with a link to preview it (or even an iframe). For me, the headings don’t make much difference.

If this means I’m misunderstanding it, then perhaps asking why I and so many other misunderstand it would be a useful exercise.