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VisualEditor is the WYSIWYG editing component of MediaWiki. VisualEditor contains browser-side component that works in tandem with a server-side called "Parsoid". The basic architecture of MediaWiki's VisualEditor infrastructure

Browser                 Server                 Server
VisualEditor            Parsoid                Database
Wikitext DOM  <------>  Wikitext DOM
                          converts to
                        Wikitext      <------> Wikitext

The Wikitext DOM is an annotated HTML that makes it possible for clean roundtripped changes to the Wikitext. Thus, diffs to changes in Wikitext are reasonably easy to read.