Events/MediaWiki Workshop - Kolkata



The newly formed Mozilla Community of Kolkata is organizing MozTI@BESU, a 2 day (Jan 5 - Jan 6, 2013) event dedicated to Free and Open Source Software and various Mozilla initiatives, where participants will get chance to interact with professional developers and renowned FOSS activists as well as some Mozilla Representatives from the Mozilla India Community. And they want to have a MediaWiki part as well and had approached me for the same. I had approached few people from MediaWiki and checked if they could come over. But Santhosh, Yuvi Panda, and Harsh Kothari seem to be occupied at that specific period of time, although they are ready to help remotely. So, I am planning to do one small workshop on MediaWiki there, with 10-15 students maybe. It would be great to have your support, and suggestions are welcome too.


Date and Timing[edit]

10 AM - 1 PM (IST), Januray 5, 2013.

Basic Agenda[edit]

  • Userscripts and Gadgets:

Lesson Plan:

  1. Environment (JS, Dev Toolbar, Common.js, importScript, mw.loader.load)
  2. Data (API, API Sandbox, actions)
  3. Accessing Data from the Environment (AJAX concepts, mw.API, mw.loader.using)

  • Introduction to IRC: People should get the idea of the amazing community out there! So, I thought IRC environment should get them that feel, and would also help them for future work. I am thinking of introducing them to the channel #mediawiki on freenode.

Things I would expect to get:[edit]

  • 10-15 interested people who know wiki stuff and also a little programming stuff ( A little base of jQuery, Javascript and CSS to be specific) , and I shall help them to be able to write code for Wikipedia. And I would want to give full attention to the people there. So, I would prefer having potential contributors.I have created a form for the interested participants, which they need to fill up and submit. And we shall choose 10-15 people out of them. Check the registration form. DO circulate it wherever possible.
  • A place with proper internet connection. Like, some really good internet connection. Need not be a lab or something. Because I would prefer not to use the lab computers.
  • I want people to bring their own laptops. That would make things easier for me, and for them as well. As I have mentioned before, I would prefer not doing it on the lab computers. One does not have any control over lab computers. People are familiar with their own machines.
  • It would be good if the participants have some debugger installed on their browser already. ( Chrome or Firefox with firebug ). And also they should have one English Wikipedia account. It would not work really, if we want to create too many accounts from the same IP. So keep that in mind, please.


  • Sayantan Datta
  • Saswata Ghosh
  • Satrajit Datta
  • Shibashis Chatterjee
  • Anurag Chatterjee
  • Anirban Chatterjee
  • Debopriyo Banerjee
  • Saurish Bhowmick
  • Purnata Ghosal
  • Zahira Nasrin
  • Soumya Kanti ghosh
  • Sounak Dutta


We had a Google form that people filled up with a few simple questions — and picked out 13 from the 58 that signed up. This was important since I was the only one conducting it — and I wanted to keep it to a manageable number. It started at 10:00 a.m. in the evening and was supposed to go on till 2:00 p.m.

The Workshop:

The workshop started around 10:30 a.m. I started with a brief introduction to Wikipedia, Wikimedia, MediaWiki, Free Software and OpenSource, as I personally like people to know why the would like to contribute to FOSS. And the fact that they would actually be contributing, its not always just about knowing a technology and doing a project.

Although not many of the participants were very much comfortable with Javascript and jQuery, the enthusiasm was lovely! Not everyone had Wikipedia Account, so they created their accounts on English Wikipedia, in the very beginning. We started off with basics of how to customize your Wikipedia experience with JS and CSS, building a very basic user script that would simply give a pop-up showing an alert, just a single line code but helped them to get the fun out of it! Then we headed on to a another simple script which would print the date of registration in the console. This way they were introduced to Data (API, API Sandbox, actions). As, they were not really very much acquainted with Javascript, and also there was not much time left, we could not work move to the next project. Everyone worked at their own pace — and since there were smaller number of people I was able to (mostly) provide individual attention.

I introduced them to IRC (#mediawiki) and introduced them to the concept of Internet Relay Chat. It was a 3 and a half hour long session, and I am glad the enthusiam remained till the end.


  • It ended up being a very basic introduction to MediaWiki. They did learn about the tech behind Wikipedia, and the ways to help out.
  • I told them about the mailing lists to join to stay connected and also shared with them idea of forming a MediaWiki Group Kolkata. Most of them seemed interested to be a part of the community.
  • Considering, they were all from totally non-wiki background and also were not so expert with Javascript, the fact they were finally able to build code for MediaWIki, and also the interest they showed were quite satisfying.

Future plans:

  • I will make sure that they get informed about all the opportunities, that they could use to keep contributing to MediaWiki.
  • We keep having remote sessions for those who are interested. They will be informed about those, and can join those if they want to!
  • A MediaWiki Group Kolkata could be formed soon.

I would like to thank Mozilla Kolkata Community for organizing MozTI@BESU, also my session would not be so meaningful without the constant support from Quim Gil, Yuvaraj Pandihan T and Harsh Kothari of MediaWiki community.