Wikimedia mobile engineering
Mission[edit | edit source]
The Wikimedia Mobile Engineering Department, a part of the Wikimedia engineering team, is responsible for creating, growing, and evolving how the diverse set of Wikimedia projects use mobile technologies. We do this through a diverse set of teams and projects focusing on mobile web, iOS and Android apps, and Wikipedia Zero.
Mobile[edit | edit source]
Teams[edit | edit source]
- Mobile web works primarily on Mobile Frontend, a MediaWiki extension providing a mobile web front-end to MediaWiki sites including Wikipedia. The mobile interface of a Wikimedia project can be reached by visiting langcode.m.X.org (where X is the name of a Wikimedia project). This project constitutes a number of sub-projects which include mobile web editing, a visual editor on the Mobile Frontend and structured profiles.
- Mobile Apps
- Wikipedia Zero
Priorities[edit | edit source]
- Mobile support for other product work:
- Visual Editor
- Mobile first design: mobile web and apps represent both new contexts, and new sets of users where we can create new features from a mobile first perspective. These features will have simpler design - emphasizing easier and more structured workflows.
- Porting existing features to mobile: this includes reader facing, editor facing, and admin facing features that currently exist on the desktop site.
Projects[edit | edit source]
Bringing in new users[edit | edit source]
- Photo uploads including: Mobile Photo Upload A simple mechanism for users to upload photos from mobile devices, either directly to Commons or via a Wikipedia article or other front-end to Commons (Status). And Wikimedia_Apps/Commons app developed by Wikipedia for Android and iOS which helps users upload media directly to Wikimedia Commons, the free image repository of Wikipedia. Users can upload multiple files and add categories (Android only so far) and share uploads through their favorite image sharing sites. Users can also upload media directly to commons through Wikipedia's mobile version. Contributions to Commons can help illustrate the world’s largest encyclopedia and make knowledge come to life for millions of readers around the globe. Wikipedia has launched campaigns like Wiki Loves Monuments encouraging expert Commons users and people new to Wikimedia projects alike to contribute to high-need content areas. Have a look at what we have been up to, here.
- Mobile wikitext editing started on mobile web in beta on Jan 2013 and was released to stable on July 2013. It is also slated to appear in the new release of the Wikipedia app
- Mobile onboarding is aimed at onboarding new users acquired through mobile channels. Find user research here.
- Wikipedia Zero is an initiative of the Wikimedia Foundation to enable mobile access to Wikipedia free of data charges in developing countries. The objective of the program is to reduce barriers to accessing free knowledge—one of the largest barriers being cost of data usage. The Wikipedia Zero initiative is based on partnerships with mobile phone operators, whereby the operator agrees to deploy a version of Wikipedia in such a way that their users do not need to pay for data access. Follow the Wikimedia Q&A PAge and the Wikipedia Zero blog for detailed information on the project. Follow our developments in this project, here.
- The Wikipedia S40 J2ME app is designed for use on features phones (primarily Nokia Series 40) that enables efficient reading of Wikipedia. Despite the fact that J2ME is a dying platform for mobile apps, it is still prevalent in many parts of the world on a wide variety of feature phones. Recent feedback from mobile operators in India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America indicate a high preference for a J2ME app over Android apps and browser-based experiences.
- Wikipedia Over SMS and USSD: This project aims at providing access to Wikipedia over SMS and USSD using an open source project called Vumi.
Humanizing Wikipedia[edit | edit source]
Mobile user experience[edit | edit source]
Other projects[edit | edit source]
|Open Street Map||OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world.||Status|
|Mobile support in MediaWiki core||Building native mobile-device support in MediaWiki by porting critical components of Extension: MobileFrontend to core and building additional functionality as needed.||Status|
|Mobile default for sister projects||Migrating our sister projects to default to their own mobile interfaces.||Status|
Roadmaps[edit | edit source]
2013–14 fiscal year:
Get involved[edit | edit source]
Readers and editors[edit | edit source]
- Report any issues you encounter casually browsing to our feedback list.
- Become a Wikimedia beta tester and try out new features.
- Help us expand our currently set of tested browsers.
- Test the Wikimedia mobile projects in the languages you know and report any issues.
- Help translate the mobile user interface and apps by volunteering at translatewiki.
- Promote the Wikimedia mobile engineering/imported/mobile projects among your friends and Wikimedia fellows through Twitter, Facebook and other social networking tools.
- Browse not only Wikipedia but our sister sites on mobile and send us feedback.
- Try the app for: iOS, Android, or BlackBerry.
- Check the App Catalog to find more mobile apps developed by third parties that rely on Wikimedia content.
- Help us brain storm what features you need most on mobile.
Developers[edit | edit source]
- If you receive any errors, report it on Bugzilla.
- Go through the repositories at Github and Gerrit and try out the code.
- Report and fix bugs in our beta sites.
- Help us write automation tests.
- Join us at irc.freenode.org #wikimedia-mobile and get involved and talk about our current projects.
Contact us[edit | edit source]
- Talk and discuss our current projects at .
- Follow us @WikimediaMobile on Twitter.
- Join the MediaWiki technical mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Follow the Wikimedia Tech Blog
List of projects[edit | edit source]
|Project||Description||Project lead & team||Status|
|Wikimedia Apps||Wikimedia Mobile Applications for iOS, Android, and new platforms||Tomasz Finc, Yuvi Panda, Jon Robson, Phil Chang & Brion Vibber||
The team added saved pages, article navigation, and language support to the mobile Wikipedia app. During the quarterly planning meeting, it was decided to postpone photo uploads from our market release plan in favor of text editing.
|Commons App||An iOS and Android app that allows you to upload media to Commons.||Tomasz Finc, Brion, Yuvi, Shankar||
A large change set was made to the iOS Commons app including:
|Wikipedia Zero||Free and zero rated access to Wikipedia through our partners||Tomasz Finc (Director of Mobile, Engineering); Carolynne Schloeder (Director of Mobile, Programs), Dan Foy (Tech Manager), Yuri Astrakahn, Adam Baso||
During the last month, the team added zero-rating for HTTPS for select carriers in cooperation with the Operations team. In collaboration with the Mobile Apps team, we integrated Wikipedia Zero into the forthcoming rebooted versions of the Android and iOS apps, including API and client-side code for zero-rating detection. We updated the legacy Firefox OS app with bugfixes from January (make spinner background opaque, remove mozmarket.js legacy JS); we also prepared other bugfixes for that app (keep last page browsed on low memory crash, avoid text overlaying <select> dropdwon, ensure 'X' clicks stop processing and not send user to Main Page). Discussion with the Operations team and Platform Engineering continued on the ideal portal hosting approach concurrent with sprint planning; portal work is probably deferred until the hosting strategy is formalized. The team also started work on the core API to allow dynamic category pages based on search terms, as well as continuing the discussion on core ResourceLoader features, in support of a proof of concept HTML5 webapp riding atop MobileFrontend. We also started a patch to make contributory features (not just banners and rewritten URLs) present for Wikipedia Zero users on carriers supporting HTTPS zero-rating. Last but not least, Yuri Astrakhan performed extensive analytics work on pageviews and page bandwidth consumption for gzip-capable Wikipedia Zero clients across all Wikipedia Zero-scoped partner pageviews; Yuri also conducted additional analytics work on SMS/USSD data.
|Mobile web projects||MobileFrontend mobile gatewayFeatures and design work on the Wikimedia||Kenan Wang, Jon Robson, Juliusz Gonera, Ryan Kaldari, Max Semenik, Arthur Richards, Michelle Grover, Vibha Bamba||
We have been directing much of our attention over the last month at delivering a tablet-friendly MobileFrontend experience. We've added support for tables of contents in MobileFrontend for tablets, made some design improvements for tablets, and have worked towards making VisualEditor work with MobileFrontend for tablets (in alpha for now). We've hit some roadblocks and are hoping to collaborate more with the VE team in the near future to keep moving forward on the project. Following up from last month, we have also released our overlay UI improvements as well as an improved inline diff view for MobileFrontend into stable. Finally, we have also been working to expand our coverage of browser tests to facilitate quality assurance and help prevent the introduction of bugs and regressions.