Wikimedia Features engineering
Current projects[edit | edit source]
|Project||Description||Project lead & team||Status|
|Editor Retention: Editing Tools|
|VisualEditor||Creating a visual editor for MediaWiki, other platforms and the Web at large||James Forrester, Trevor Parscal, David Chan, Roan Kattouw, Inez Korczyński (Wikia), Rob Moen, Ed Sanders, Moriel Schottlender, Timo Tijhof, Christian Williams (Wikia), Rummana Yasmeen|| Status: (2013-12-05 (MW 1.23wmf6)) |
VisualEditor was updated as part of the wider MediaWiki 1.23wmf6 branch deployment on Thursday 5 December. In the two weeks since 1.23wmf5, the team worked on some new features, performance and usability improvements, minor bug fixes and code infrastructure.
You can now paste rich content copied from external sources (not just as plain text), including other VisualEditor surfaces (bugs 41193, 48170, 50128, and 53828). You can paste the clipboard as plain (unformatted) text by using a new keyboard shortcut, + + or + + (bug 53781). It is now possible to edit auto-numbered external links (i.e. one that appears like ""); you can change the target using the link inspector as with other links. If you change it to an internal link, it will replace the auto-numbered anchor with the name of the target (bug 53505). You can now launch into VisualEditor by appending
We now optimistically submit the page Parsoid for serialisation into wikitext as soon as the user launches the save dialog, before they've clicked "save page", which should make saving the page appear faster for many use cases (bug 56011). If you have loaded the wikitext diff of a page ("Review your changes") and then try to save it without making changes, VisualEditor will keep a copy of the wikitext from the first time, so saving will be much faster (bug 55979).
We significantly changed how VisualEditor stores the contents of the page internally (from UTF-8 back to UTF-16), which fixes a large number of issues related to inserting, deleting, cursoring around and selecting over non-Latin scripts like Devanagari, Arabic or Thai (bugs 51472, 51596, 51846, 53757). We now annotate the body tag of the HTML document with a class ("
A bug which meant that switching to wikitext when logged out always gave an edit conflict warning has been fixed (bug 56835). Auto-numbered external links now also auto-number when they appear in generated content like reference lists (bug 57420). Cursoring over a generated content node (a media file, template, reference or similar) now does not get you stuck in an infinite cursoring loop in Firefox (bug 57600). Clicking in the blank space above the link inspector now closes the inspector, so you won't get a pawn ("♙") appearing if you try to insert content there (bug 56976). A bug that effected the rendering of
The browser tests now test the media insertion dialog, and were updated a number of times to keep up with changes to VisualEditor. OOjs is now available in MediaWiki core for other users, and OOjs UI was extended, with additional widgets including checkboxes and generic labels. The automated testing system has been greatly expanded to cover script and input-method-editor issues, with an IME simulator able to check every change in the code for breaking any of dozens of known IME tools; further information about new IMEs can be added as it is gathered, and a tool to help collect this information is now available.You can monitor the automated browser tests' results (triggered every twelve hours) live on the server. A complete list of individual code commits is available in the 1.23/wmf6 changelog, and all Bugzilla bugs closed in this period are on Bugzilla's list.
|Parsoid||A bidirectional wikitext parser and runtime. Converts back and forth between wikitext and HTML/XML DOM with RDFa.||James Forrester, Gabriel Wicke, C.Scott Ananian, Arlo Breault, Marc Ordinas i Llopis, Subramanya Sastry|| Status: (2013-11-monthly) |
November saw the deployment of major changes to the DOM spec in coordination with the VisualEditor team. Link types are now marked up by semantics rather than syntax, interwiki links are detected automatically, categories are marked as page properties and more. During the deployment, we found that the newer libraries used by the web service front-end were buggy. We reverted the library upgrade and contributed fixes upstream. This incident prompted us to work on tests for the HTTP web service to catch issues like this in continuous integration.
After these issues were sorted out, we continued with continuous improvement and fixes. Editing support for magic words and categories was improved, several dirty diff issues were fixed and the API was refined for page-independent wt2html and html2wt conversion. See our deployment page for details.Cassandra load testing for the Rashomon storage service continued and uncovered several issues that were reported back upstream. With Cassandra 2.0.3 the 2.0 branch is now stabilizing in time to make deployment in December feasible. Cassandra is now stable at extremely high write loads of around 900 revisions per second, which is more than 10 times the load we experience in production.
|Notifications||Project hub for the Notifications infrastructure and UI (code-name: Echo)||Fabrice Florin, Terry Chay, Howie Fung, Ryan Kaldari, Benny Situ, Luke Welling, Vibha Bamba, Brandon Harris, Oliver Keyes, James Forrester, Andrew Garrett, Matthias Mullie|| Status: (2013-10-monthly) |
In October, we released Notifications worldwide on about 800 different sites, including most of the remaining Wikipedia wikis and 'sister projects'. Fabrice Florin and Keegan Peterzell managed the community outreach for these final releases, while Benny Situ proceeded with the technical deployments. Community members we've spoken to generally find this tool helpful, across languages and world regions. Notifications are also available on mobile devices, and seem to be adding value on these platforms as well. We now plan a final release of Notifications on the German and Italian editions of Wikipedia at the end of November. To learn more, visit our project hub, read the help page and join the discussion on the talk page.
|Flow||Initial ideas for the user "home page" feed system, including modules.||Terry Chay, Andrew Garrett, Benny Situ, Brandon Harris, Erik Bernhardson, Maryana Pinchuk, Matthias Mullie, Oliver Keyes, S Page|| Status: (2013-11-monthly) |
This month, the Flow team finished out the feature set for our minimum viable product. We added watchlist integration, the ability to see board, topic, and post histories, and did a first round of community feedback and testing with our product to date. We also prepared for release to production wikis in December by working on Operations and Security needs.
|Article feedback||A new tool to engage readers to improve articles on Wikipedia.||Fabrice Florin, Matthias Mullie, Reha Sterbin, Yoni Shostak, Mike Jackson, Pau Giner, Roan Kattouw, Andrew Garrett, Oliver Keyes, Dario Taraborelli, Brandon Harris, Howie Fung, Erik Möller|| Status: (2013-10-monthly) |
There was no activity on Article Feedback in October, as we await the results of the French pilot to determine our next steps for this project.
|Growth||To create sustainable growth in the community of editors on Wikimedia projects.||Terry Chay (EPM), Matt Flaschen, Aaron Halfaker Steven Walling|| Status: (2013-11-monthly) |
In November, the Growth team primarily worked on refactoring the GuidedTour and GettingStarted extensions, including development of an API for the latter. This public API will be used by the Growth team, the Mobile team and others to deliver editing tasks to users across a variety of Wikipedia interfaces.
The team also spent significant time on the research and design preparations for its anonymous editor acquisition and Wikipedia article creation projects. This included participating in a community Request for Comment about a potential Draft namespace for articles, requirements gathering, and working on a Draft namespace patch.Matthew Flaschen and Pau Giner attended the Wikimedia Diversity Conference and presented (along with Jared Zimmerman and Vibha Bamba) on how diversity related to the team's engineering and product work.
|Support (Fundraising, Education…)|
|2013 Wikimedia fundraiser||Engineering support and development for the 2013 fundraiser of the Wikimedia Foundation||Katie Horn, Peter Gehres, Adam Wight, Matthew Walker, Jeff Green|| Status: (2013-11-27) |
|Wikipedia Education Program||Wikipedia Education ProgramA MediaWiki extension to support the||Terry Chay, Andrew Russell Green, Sage Ross, Jeroen De Dauw (original author)|| Status: (2013-11-monthly) |
This month, we improved a feature that was built in October (allowing instructors to assign articles to student editors), completed a new feature (allowing instructors to add users as students) and started another one (displaying information about student editors' courses on Special:Contributions). We fixed some bugs, and kept up with changes in MediaWiki core. We also continued preliminary work—started last month—towards renewing the UX and broadening the extension's scope.
Future and backburner projects[edit | edit source]
|Project||Description||Project lead & team||Status|
|Article Creation Workflow||A feature to improve the article creation workflow for new editors.||Fabrice Florin, Benny Situ, Ryan Kaldari, Ian Baker, Brandon Harris, Oliver Keyes, Howie Fung, Dario Taraborelli, Terry Chay|| Status: (2013-03-monthly) |
|GlobalProfile||A set of features to help users provide information about themselves and associate by interests.||Alolita Sharma, Brandon Harris|| Status: (2011-09-30) |
This project was on hold in September, because of a lack of development resources.
|Community prototyping||Features development to support community research and community change experiments.||Alolita Sharma, Katie Horn|| Status: (2012-12-monthly) |
In December, active development has begun on the user metrics API project in E3. The effort is threefold: to standardize user metrics , to build infrastructure to efficiently compute metrics for a large set of users [2,3], and finally to expose those results via an API. The technical portion of this project is written in Python and Flask, and the assigned resources are Dario Taraborelli and Ryan Faulkner. Development and documentation efforts will be continuing through January. https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/gitweb?p=analytics/E3Analysis.git;a=summary
|LiquidThreads 3.0||LiquidThreads extension to improve its back-end and UIA rewrite of the||James Forrester, Andrew Garrett, Brandon Harris,|| Status: (2012-07-14) |
"Further deployments of LiquidThreads are indefinitely on hold because we don't have the resources to support it." – Andrew Garrett (2012-03-19) there is no further development expected.
|Etherpad lite integration||Create a project page for this activity (how-to)|
|MoodBar||A feature to encourage new users to provide feedback.||Alolita Sharma, Brandon Harris, Howie Fung, Ian Baker), Rob Moen, Benny Situ|| Status: (2013-09-monthly) |
|Mobile/Athena||Create a project page for this activity (how-to)|
|FlaggedRevs maintenance||A feature to allow changes made by logged-out and new users to be reviewed before they appear as the primary version of an article.||James Forrester, Matthias Mullie, Aaron Schulz|| Status: (2012-11-monthly) |
No update this month.
|MicroDesign||Low hanging fruit||Howie Fung, Oliver Keyes, Munaf Assaf, Vibha Bamba, Rob Moen, Benny Situ|| Status: (2013-10-15) |
|UploadWizard||Wikimedia Commons, the media library associated with Wikipedia.A feature that provides an easier way of uploading files to||Erik Möller, Ryan Kaldari, Mark Holmquist|| Status: (2013-01-monthly) |
No update this month.
Recently completed projects[edit | edit source]
|Project||Description||Project lead & team||Status|
|Feedback Dashboard||A dashboard allowing experienced users to answer comments and concerns coming from MoodBar||Fabrice Florin, Brandon Harris, Ian Baker, Rob Moen, Benny Situ, Alolita Sharma|| Status: (2012-01-31) |
We implemented a leaderboard of recent top responders on the feedback dashboard. New editor feedback is now added to a dedicated log. When feedback is marked as helpful, that fact is displayed on the feedback dashboard itself. Other than a few other smaller changes, we're now moving the project into maintenance mode to focus on article creation workflow and New Page Triage.
|WikiLove||An extension to encourage expressions of appreciation between users.||Alolita Sharma, Ryan Kaldari, Jan Paul Posma, Roan Kattouw, Brandon Harris||Status: (2011-08-01)|
|Page Curation||Interface for reviewing new pages||Fabrice Florin, Ryan Kaldari, Benny Situ, Brandon Harris, Vibha Bamba, Howie Fung, Terry Chay|| Status: (2012-12-monthly) |
Page Curation is now in 'maintenance mode', following its release on the English Wikipedia in September 2012. There was no significant development activity on this project this month. Oliver Keyes has completed a project to look at various ways of localizing Page Curation to any and all wikis that want it: it is currently being reviewed by Howie Fung to assess its feasibility.
Create infastructure for providing guided tours, as well as some initial tours
|Terry Chay, Matt Flaschen, Steven Walling|| Status: (2013-02-07) |
Matt Flaschen has created initial documentation for on-wiki tours.
|2012 Wikimedia fundraiser||Engineering support and development for the 2012 fundraiser of the Wikimedia Foundation||Katie Horn, Peter Gehres, Adam Wight, Matthew Walker, Jeff Green|| Status: (2013-03-monthly) |
In March, we wrapped up our 2012/13 non-English international fundraising efforts, making approximately 5 million USD over the course of the month. Originally, we had planned to run the non-English international fundraiser continuously until June, but were forced to accelerate our plans due to some potential instability at the beginning of April with one of our crucial payment gateways. At the very end of March, we started publishing aggregate public fundraising data to samarium.wikimedia.org.