Annoying little bugs

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This page is meant to be a curated list of bugs that are relatively easy for a new MediaWiki coder to fix, or tiny features you could add. These are a good way to start getting familiar with the MediaWiki code base.

Helpful information for new MediaWiki coders[edit | edit source]

Code[edit | edit source]

The code of MediaWiki, its extensions, and Wikimedia's server configuration is located in Git repositories. Patches have to be submitted to Wikimedia Gerrit for review. See Developer access and Gerrit/Tutorial for more information. In case you have problems with Gerrit you could use the Gerrit Patch Uploader.

Suggested reading[edit | edit source]

If you choose to work on a bug report that requires writing or changing code, you might want to at least skim these pages first to avoid unnecessary setbacks during the review process:

Feedback, questions and support[edit | edit source]

  • You are expected to do some basic research yourself first: Look at the code, try to get some understanding what it is supposed to do, and try to find the probable place(s) where you need to make changes in order to fix the bug.
  • If you have general questions about infrastructure, the software architecture or workflows which are not tied to the specific bug that you want to work on, use generic channels like IRC, mailing lists, or wiki discussion pages. For example, if you have a problem with Gerrit, the Gerrit discussion page could be a good place to ask.
  • If you have a specific question about the bug itself, comment in the corresponding Bugzilla report. "What do I have to do to fix this bug?" is not a good question to start with: The more specific your questions are, the more likely somebody can answer them quickly. If you have no idea at all how to fix the bug, maybe that bug is not (yet) for you - please consider finding an easier one first.
  • When asking, elaborate what you have tried and found out already, so others can help at the right level. Try to be specific - for example, copy and paste your commands and their output (if not too long) instead of paraphrasing in your own words. This avoids misunderstandings.
  • Avoid private email or support requests in our social media channels.
  • Please be patient when seeking input and comments. On IRC, don't ask to ask, just ask: most questions can be answered by other community members too if you ask on an IRC channel. If nobody answers, please ask on the bug report or wiki page related to the problem; don't just drop the question.
  • Learn more at Communication.

Communicate that you work on a bug[edit | edit source]

You do not need to be set as the assignee in a bug report or announce your plans before you start working on a bug, but it is welcome. At the latest when you are close to creating a patch for the bug, it is good to announce in a comment that you are working on it. Your announcement also helps others to not work on the bug at the same time and duplicate work.

If you stop working on a task you should remove yourself as the assignee of a bug report and reset the assignee to the default assignee, so others know that they can work on the bug report and don't expect you to still work on it.

By communicating early you will get more attention, feedback and help from community members.

Potential bugs to work on[edit | edit source]

MediaWiki[edit | edit source]

MediaWiki is the core software which provides basic wiki functionality. It is written in PHP. General development questions can be asked on the wikitech mailing list and the #mediawiki-dev and #mediawiki IRC channels.

Pywikibot[edit | edit source]

PyWikibot is a Python-based framework to write bots for MediaWiki. General development questions can be asked on the Pywikibot mailing list and the #pywikipediabot IRC channel.

VisualEditor and Parsoid[edit | edit source]

VisualEditor is MediaWiki's WYSIWYG editor. General VisualEditor development questions can be asked on the wikitech mailing list and the #mediawiki-visualeditor IRC channel.

VisualEditor is powered by Parsoid, a wikitext parser and runtime. General Parsoid development questions can be asked on the wikitext mailing list and the #mediawiki-parsoid IRC channel.

Mobile Apps[edit | edit source]

There are numerous applications for mobile devices (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, …) to access Wikimedia wikis. General development questions can be asked on the Mobile mailing list and the #wikimedia-mobile IRC channel.

Wikidata[edit | edit source]

Wikidata is a centralized knowledge base for structured data, such as interwiki references and statistical information. General development questions can be asked on the Wikidata mailing list, the #wikidata IRC channel and on the wiki.

Design[edit | edit source]

Fixing design bugs or requests requires existing graphics skills working with a Vector graphics application (e.g. Inkscape). Basic knowledge of CSS can also be helpful for integration. General development questions can be asked on the Design mailing list and the #wikimedia-design IRC channel.

System messages[edit | edit source]

System messages in MediaWiki or its extensions often need small corrections to the English text, but the source text can only be changed in the code by developers, contrary to translations. This has grown into a large backlog of usually very easy fixes (which might be as easy as fixing a typo).

Also, many messages are unclear and require better documentation (see Localisation#Message documentation). Missing documentation can also be added by just editing the /qqq subpage of the message on translatewiki.net, like all translations, but may require some study of the code to understand what a message is for: it's therefore optimal to start understanding the code, and very useful for the translators (who do not have such skills).

And many more…[edit | edit source]

Still not enough ideas? There are more fields you can explore - MediaWiki has hundreds of extensions and tools! Check out the complete list of bugs recommended for new contributors:

If you have any trouble or questions, please feel free to contact sumanah or Quim Gil or ask for help via IRC.

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Oldest open changesets in Gerrit — your help reviewing them is welcome
  • Possible projects for volunteers willing to dive into more complex challenges
  • How to contribute — Learn about more ways how you can contribute to MediaWiki and the free culture community (e.g. translation, documentation, …)