A new multimedia team is being formed at the Wikimedia Foundation, to build features that will enable easier contributions of multimedia content to Wikimedia projects.
Read more about our first two projects:
Both features are now available for early testing by logged-in users on MediaWiki.org, on Meta.Wikimedia.org and on Wikimedia Commons. Based on test results, we aim to release it on all wikis worldwide on 21 November, 2013.
Goals[edit | edit source]
Here are the multimedia team's feature goals for the coming year:
- Improve the viewing experience for multimedia content
- Enable multimedia contributions in a more seamless way
- Improve file curation and feedback tools to manage contribution streams
- Help editors add media files to articles on Wikipedia and other projects
- Support organizers of multimedia campaigns like Wiki Loves Monuments
- Better integrate Wikipedia and Commons
- Implement a first version of Beta Features, to make it easier to test new features
- Improve the upload pipeline to fix key bugs and support more features
- Implement structured data on Commons and integrate it with Wikidata
- Support more file formats, especially new audio/video codecs
Near-term goals[edit | edit source]
The multimedia team is now focusing on these near-term projects for fiscal year 2013-14:
- Beta Features
- Media Viewer
- Upload Pipeline
- File Notifications
- File Feedback
- New Video / Audio Formats
Rationale[edit | edit source]
Multimedia enables users to learn about the world in vastly different ways than text articles. We believe that images, sounds and videos are key to engaging more users and supporting their diverse learning styles, as modern culture shifts towards more audio-visual than textual information delivery.
To better serve our users in this changing information landscape, we can greatly improve the educational value of our sites by empowering everyone to share media, collaborate on improving that media, and using that media well throughout Wikipedia, Commons, and MediaWiki sites.
At the present time, the number of Commons contributors is one of the few editor engagement metrics that are increasing. Over the past year, Commons has seen sustained growth in contributors, and we expect that trend to continue. The web is also moving towards more visually driven interfaces, so having strong multimedia support helps WMF meet the expectations of modern readers.
In previous years, we developed the technology infrastructure that previously was not available to support the storage and use of large amounts of multimedia. This was a necessary precondition for increased investment in contribution tools in this fiscal year.
When developing new contribution streams (mobile photo uploads, improved integration of uploading into Wikimedia projects, etc.), we have to keep in mind that we are likely to receive a significant amount of low-quality or inappropriate uploads. Accordingly, we want to focus not simply on increasing the inflow of new contributions, but also on improving quality management tools, including simple means for audience feedback.
For more information, visit our planning page for 2013-14.
Activities[edit | edit source]
In coming months, we plan to focus on these core activities:
- Improve the display and viewing of various types of multimedia content
- Support content uploads with code refactoring and a better user experience
- Develop feedback / curation tools to surface the best media files
- Improve integration between Commons and Wikipedia, as well as other client projects or third party users
- Support for media campaigns, competitions or contests like Wiki Loves Monuments.
Open tasks include:
- Product tasks
- New Gallery Layout - development in Q1
- Media Viewer - design and development in Q1
- File Notifications - specifications in Q1 - development in Q2
- File Feedback - design in Q2 - development in Q3
- GLAM Toolset - development in Q2
- Upload Wizard Refactor - development in Q2
- Other tasks
- Bug Triage
- Architecture Audit
- Metrics Research
- Multimedia Roundtables
- User Experience Design
- Video codec licensing
Status[edit | edit source]
We also released Beta Features on all Wikimedia wikis, where it is already used by thousands of users. This experimental program invites users to try out new features before they are released widely, then give feedback to developers. To use Beta Features, click on the small 'Beta' link next to your 'Preferences' on your site, or test the latest version on MediaWiki.org.
Fabrice Florin managed product development, led the creation of the Multimedia Vision 2016 (with Pau Giner), hosted roundtable discussions and updated the team's multimedia plans, based on community and team feedback.
Bryan Davis, Aaron Schulz and Chris Steipp reviewed new code for the upcoming GLAM Toolset for batch uploads by museum curators. We also welcomed Aaron Arcos as volunteer software engineer, who is joining our multimedia team full-time through Spring 2014.
Team[edit | edit source]
This year, we are expanding our multimedia team, which now includes:
- Product Manager: Fabrice Florin
- Engineering Director: Rob Lanphier
- Front-end Developer: Mark Holmquist
- Software Engineer: Gergő Tisza
- Senior Platform Engineer: Bryan Davis
- Interaction Designer: Pau Giner
We are also recruiting for one more position for the multimedia team:
Please spread the word about this unique opportunity to create a richer multimedia experience for Wikipedia and MediaWiki sites!
Community[edit | edit source]
The Wikimedia Foundation invites community members from Wikipedia, Commons and other MediaWiki projects to discuss our plans through a variety of discussions about multimedia issues and new feature ideas. We hope you can join us for one of these events.
- Join our mailing list
To keep up with our work and participate in our conversations, please join our public Multimedia mailing list, where we discuss software tools that support the viewing, contribution, curation, discovery and use of multimedia content on Wikipedia, Commons and other MediaWiki projects.
You can learn more and subscribe to this list on this page.
- Upcoming events
We plan to host more roundtables and meetings in coming weeks, as outlined below:
- Roundtable 5 on Multimedia - Google Hangouts - December 4, 2013
- Multimedia Meetup - Wikimedia Office in San Francisco - December 9, 2013
- Past events
Here are links to some of our recent discussions about multimedia with community members:
- Roundtable 4 on Multimedia - Google Hangouts - November 27, 2013
- IRC Chat on Multimedia - #wikimedia-office - August 22
(Here's the log of that discussion, for the record. During this one-hour chat, we talked about our Multimedia Plans in the coming year, as well as this proposed Media Viewer, which we are starting to develop -- and the new image gallery tags, which we just released.)
- Roundtable 3 on Multimedia - Wikimania 2013 in Hong Kong - August 8, 2013
(Here are links to videos of that Roundtable: (Part I and Part II; subsets from both videos will be uploaded to Commons in coming days -- and we're looking for volunteers to transcribe them, if anyone's interested.)
- IRC Chat on Multimedia - #wikimedia-office - July 18, 2013
- Roundtable 2 on Multimedia - Google Hangouts - July 10, 2013
Both discussions were generally found productive by all participants, and many community insights are now being included in the foundation's development plans. Thanks to everyone who participated in these invaluable conversations!
Communications[edit | edit source]
- Breaking through walls of text: How we will create a richer Wikimedia experience - Blog post, April 2013
Related documents[edit | edit source]
- See also
- Multimedia Quarterly Review Slides - December 3, 2013 (meeting minutes)
- Multimedia Project Slides - WMF July 18, 2013 (see update)
- Multimedia Goals for 2013-14
Past work[edit | edit source]
Media storage[edit | edit source]
- Scaling media storage at Wikimedia with Swift by Ben Hartshorne, February 9, 2012.
The current Wikimedia storage architecture (as of February 2013) relies on a central NFS server for storage of media files. It's a single point-of-failure in our infrastructure, and scaling this out to multiple machines is difficult with the current MediaWiki design.
The goal of this project is to build a file store using Swift, and deploy Extension:SwiftMedia which is a new MediaWiki extension that interfaces with Swift file stores.
Roadmap[edit | edit source]
- Deploy SwiftMedia for purposes of storing thumbnails: scheduled for the week of February 6th
- FileBackend refactoring, and modifying SwiftMedia extension to use FileBackend
- Implement multi-file writing code to write to both NFS store and Swift store
- Deploy multi-file, primarily serving off of NFS store, while populating Swift store.
- Switch over to Swift store as primary store
- Decommission NFS store
Documents[edit | edit source]
- Swift page on wikitech – the full details of the Swift deployment.
- Multimedia/Architecture - currently a list of grievances. Might one day describe our multimedia architecture.