This page is obsolete. It is being retained for archival purposes. It may document extensions or features that are obsolete and/or no longer supported. Do not rely on any information on this page.
Last update on: 2014-12-monthly
Integration of Resource Loader in MediaWiki 1.17 in timedMediaHandler code base in progress. This will help overall integration of the video editor.
Michael Dale has been working on the integration of TimedMediaHandler and the Add Media Wizard with the Resource Loader, by converting them from gadgets to MediaWiki extensions. A prototype for TimedMediaHandler is now available to showcase some of its new features.
Michael Dale continued to address Brion Vibber's comments from code review by updating and fixing the TimedMediaHandler code. He also started to work on a test plan to perform user experience testing on a prototype.
Michael Dale continued to address comments from code review, and participated in a Multimedia sprint planning meeting. He also started to plan the final review and possible deployment of TimedMediaHandler around September.
Neil Kandalgaonkar and Ian Baker reviewed some of Michael Dale's code. Alolita Sharma and Michael discussed a timeline for testing, code review and deployment, as well as related hardware requirements.
Ian Baker and Neil Kandalgaonkar continued to review Michael Dale's code to prepare it for deployment. Ben Hartshorne has set up the initial development environment for Engineering to have a platform on which to test and continue development of the SwiftMedia extension. Ben and Mark Bergsma continue to do performance testing on Swift prior to using it in production. Aaron Schulz started to refactor the file backend code, a requirement to using SwiftMedia.
Aaron Schulz merged the FileBackend branch into /trunk. Ben, Aaron and Ariel discussed sharding the swift containers.
Ian Baker and Neil Kandalgaonkar completed the review of all the code, including the transcoding part. They started to plan a test plan and a deployment to Wikimedia Labs. Aaron Schulz merged the FileBackend branch into
/trunk, and Tim Starling started to review the code. Aaron, Ben Hartshorne, Ariel Glenn discussed sharding the Swift containers at the MediaWiki level, and Aaron started to implement it.
FileBackend code has been merged, and has gone through preliminary review with Tim. Some fixes still being made in trunk. MediaWiki-level sharding of containers is currently being implemented by Aaron.
Container sharding added FileBackend class. Aaron has a testwiki running of the swift test cluster and SwiftFilebackend.
Aaron continues to make performance improvements and minor fixes to the Swift backend and FileOp classes.
The beginnings of a TimedMediaHandler test setup were put into place in Wikimedia Labs, including video transcoding infrastructure, at http://commons.wikimedia.beta.wmflabs.org. Work on this test setup will continue in February, with the goal to begin executing the test plan in preparation for deployment. Aaron Schulz added container sharding to FileBackend, and continued to make performance improvements and fixes. The Swift back-end now passes all unit tests; the code is being reviewed and cleaned up. Some of Aaron's code for purging thumbnails will be backported to MediaWiki 1.18. Ben Hartshorne has prepared interim hardware for production deployment, which will begin the week of February 6.
Michael Dale and Jan Gerber continued testing and improving the TimedMediaHandler extension setup in Wikimedia Labs (inside the Wikimedia Commons deployment-prep wiki). It will be tested there before it is prepared for deployment to production, with the required transcoding infrastructure. After more polish by Aaron Schulz and a February deployment of SwiftMedia and Swift, Swift is now serving 100% of thumbnails on Wikimedia Commons (engineering report).
Michael Dale and Jan Gerber have TimedMediaHandler set up on beta. It is running into issues related to the Labs beta setup that are preventing the test plan from being run. Labs and QA leads are working with them to get to the point where testing can be run. QA support has been lined up. Swift is deployed for thumbnails. There are still some corrupted thumbnails in the Squid cache, but all known issues with new thumbnail corruption have been resolved. Work is underway to test and deploy Swift for original images, with work scheduled to complete in late May.
Michael Dale and Jan Gerber are looking into transcoding bugs in TimedMediaHandler. A lot of issues on beta are hardware- or configuration-related (virtual instances are running out of resources) and more hardware will be going online soon. In the meantime, the client-side playback parts of the test plan are being run by Chris McMahon and Tauhida Parveen. Ben Hartshorne and Leslie Carr have been running a script to clean up corrupted thumbnails in Swift. Aaron Schulz has been fixing bugs, and is now focusing on adding concurrent file operation support to PHP cloudfiles (the PHP interface to Swift) and to MediaWiki's FileBackend code. This should help alleviate bug 34717.
As of 5/18, Antoine updated beta config to closer track master branch (production) of Mediawiki via git/puppet. Video can be uploaded via UploadWizard and queued by TMH. Queue processing is blocking on the ffmpeg2theora missing from the configuration.
Antoine Musso and the Labs team have unblocked the deployment prep issues; Labs is now closely tracking production MediaWiki. Most of the features (upload, play, full screen, etc.) are now in testing, and upload seems to be faster than before as well. Aaron Schulz and Ben Hartshorne deployed a new version of the thumbnail handler to Commons, test, test2, and mediawiki.org, that uses our Swift FileBackend code. It should provide us with useful production testing prior to using Swift FileBackend for handling original files. Cleanup of corrupted thumbnails is now finished. Aaron deployed a SiteStats fix that should make uploads much faster and fix some timeout problems. Ben and Aaron will also roll out the FileBackend-based thumbnail handler to the rest of the wikis.
Ben is installing SSDs for use in storing the object listing database, in hopes that having faster storage will result in faster purge times (fixing bug 34717). All work for deploying Swift for storage of originals is on hold until we fix the object listing performance problems.
Development on TimedMediaHandler has been put on pause until Jan Gerber comes into San Francisco late July for the final push. Ben Hartshorne is installing SSDs for use in storing the object listing database, in hopes that having faster storage will result in faster purge times (fixing bug 34717), which we hoped to complete in June, but which is stretching into July. All work for deploying Swift for storage of original images is on hold until we fix the object listing performance problems.
Jan Gerber is in San Francisco, currently working on fixing up the transcoding, and ensuring interoperability with SwiftMedia
Aaron has the process of migrating image originals into Swift well underway. Commons is done (barring a few minor problems to investigate in the logs). The rest of the wikis are in various stages of progress. Meanwhile, there's also a minor architectural change (MultiWrite backend) that will be deployed next week, which is a necessary prerequisite to serving/storing originals in Swift. Thumb handling changes may also be deployed next week during the scheduled window (currently slated for Wednesday, August 1)
Jan Gerber is in San Francisco, currently working on fixing up the transcoding, and ensuring interoperability with SwiftMedia, working with Michael Dale. On July 31, Aaron Schulz, Jan, and Michael deployed the TimedMediaHandler extension to test2. Aaron Schulz is in the process of migrating image originals into Swift. Commons is completed (barring a few minor problems to investigate in the logs), and the rest of the wikis are in various stages of progress. Meanwhile, there's also a minor architectural change (MultiWrite backend) that will be deployed soon, which is a necessary prerequisite to serving/storing originals in Swift.
All Wikis are using a multi-write backend to push writes to both Swift and NFS. This has been running for several weeks. All reads of upload originals are served from Swift, including upload.wikimedia.org. The Math and Timeline extensions will be migrated to Swift soon.
In August we concentrated on testing on the testwiki, and found some issues that need addressing. The project is on hold for now, but we expect to resume in September. All Wikimedia sites are now using Swift as the primary storage mechanism for multimedia files such as images (both original images as well as image thumbnails). We continue to write images to our old NFS server as well, though we plan to turn this off in September. Some specialized extensions still use the old NFS server, such as the Math and Timeline extensions. These will be migrated to Swift soon (tentatively in September).
The test deployment and testing are tracked in bug 27699; Michael Dale is following up and we are hoping to fix the last issues to deploy TMH to Wikimedia sites soon. The Math, EZTimeline, and ConfirmEdit extensions were updated to be able to use Swift-based storage, and all but ConfirmEdit are now using Swift in production. We weren't able to turn off the old NFS server (ms7) as we originally planned, due to hardware issues on our Swift nodes and unanticipated issues with Swift-based replication to our Ashburn data center. We are very nearly out of space on ms7, so our new plan is to back our media storage onto a newer NFS system.
The last of the blocking bugs have been resolved, so we now plan to deploy TimedMediaHandler to English Wikipedia on October 31 at 16:00 UTC. Further deployments will follow, tentatively the week of November 5. At the beginning of October, we had our new Swift distributed file storage cluster in production, with copies of all original media also being made to an NFS server (ms7) that was destined to fill up in the month of October. Our original plan was to shut off copying to ms7 and rely solely on the Swift cluster. Because of hardware issues with the Swift cluster, we decided we couldn't afford to switch off the copying of files to an NFS backup. We migrated the contents of ms7 over to a much larger NFS server (nas1), and configured nas1 to be the new live backup for images. We plan to remain in this configuration for the foreseeable future as we stabilize our distributed file store.
We have now deployed TimedMediaHandler to English Wikipedia (see some examples of videos). We plan to deploy to all other wikis but commons on Monday, November 5 at 18:00 UTC, and then deploy to Commons on Wednesday, November 7 at 17:00 UTC.
We have now deployed TimedMediaHandler to all wikis. We deployed to most wikis Monday, November 5, and then most recently to Commons on Wednesday, November 7 at 17:05 UTC.
Thumnails (and math/timeline files) are now written to nas1 and swift. More improvements have been made to FileBackend to avoid extra HEAD requests for 404s. Webm thumbnails use temp swift URLs to support range requests. Feature requests and bugs reports are filed against ceph as MW takes advantage of other swift features.
We have deployed TimedMediaHandler to all wikis. Jan Gerber and Michael Dale continue to fix bugs. Jan Gerber and Aaron Schulz are working on an improved file upload mechanism in UploadWizard to make larger file uploads more practical. Thumbnails (and math/timeline files) are now written to nas1 and Swift. More improvements have been made to FileBackend to avoid extra HEAD requests for 404 errors. Webm thumbnails use temporary Swift URLs to support range requests. Feature requests and bugs reports are filed against Ceph as MediaWiki takes advantage of other Swift features.
Jan Gerber continued to refine the TimedMediaHandler extension, making the transcoding steps more robust. Captchas are ready to be served from Swift. They previously were for several days, but the configuration had to be reverted to due random errors from Swift. A new set of captchas are being tweaked for readability and are served from Swift on the test wikis. Captchas are one of the last NFS dependencies.
Jan Gerber continues bugfixing and refining TimedMediaHandler, mainly focusing on operational improvements to make more efficient use of our server infrastructure. NFS for uploads/thumbnails has been unmounted from all Apache servers and the NFS back-end configuration was removed from MediaWiki; all files now only use Swift. A workaround has been added for the Swift back-end class when used with Ceph, so that temporary URLs can be used (for making video thumbnails for example). A Python script to copy files into Ceph has been run and is being worked on. Various issues have been reported in Ceph's bug tracker and are being looked at by the developers.
Jan Gerber continues to work part-time for the WMF to fix multimedia bugs. Fixes include better support for FLAC files (bug 43249) and better support for metadata display in small embedded players (bug 44272). Nearly all files have been copied from Swift (in Tampa) to Ceph (in Ashburn). Further scripts will be run to synchronize the Ceph files to account for deletions and updates to files. The Varnish configuration to handle URL rewriting (to take the place of rewrite.py in swift) is already coded, though not yet in use.
Transcoded videos have been moved to there own container so the file backend and caching layer can make improvements specific to videos (bug 43343). Improvements for smaller embeds and getting rid of any gM call for messages.
An API to rotate images was merged into core bug 33186
Mostly bugfixing this month, as well as hiring for the two multimedia positions. Jan Gerber finished work on an API to rotate images (bug 33186), which needs a little site configuration work to get deployed. Transcoded videos have been moved to their own container in the Swift filesystem in anticipation of video-specific optimizations (bug 43343). Jan also improved the user interface in cases where an embedded media player is too small to display credits and player controls. TimedMediaHandler was extended so that other MediaWiki extensions can render player elements using PHP. The Score extension can now use TimedMediaHandler or OggHandler to render the audio player (see bug 43388), which puts the Score extension one step closer to deployment and music staves one step closer to generation and display in wiki pages (see bug 189).
TimedMediaHandler was extended so that other extensions can render player elements from PHP. The Score extension can now use TimedMediaHandler or OggHandler to render the audio player. bug 43388
Score extension is now working on test2 and is ready for deployment (bug 46374). Some videos that were uploaded as Ogg Theora had problems being transcoded into WebM, so we upgraded our transcoder (libvpx) and that has been deployed; failed transcoddes need to be queued again, which will happen soon (bug 46795). VipsScaler will be deployed after a new version of vips library is upgraded on our image scalers (bug 32721).
Differently-sized video thumbnails now only require one reference thumbnail (for the time position) to be generated. This helps to avoid expensive decoding to derive thumbnails. The Score extension was deployed on April 22nd. It allows users to create and document musical scores on Wikimedia sites.
After deploying Score in April, various performance improvements and fixes were merged in May. To improve scaling of large images, the VipsScaler extension was prepared on the cluster and is ready for deployment in the next weeks. TimedMediaHandler had various bug fixes and the libraries used to encode WebM videos were updated to improve quality and address encoding issues.
In June, we started expanding our multimedia team: Fabrice Florin joined as product manager, and Brian Wolff began a summer contract as software engineer. We started work on improving the display of images in galleries and are now planning our next development steps in consultation with community members. Some of the first features under consideration include file curation and feedback tools, as well as media viewers, new video formats and other platform improvements, to be prioritized based on user feedback and technical feasibility. We are also recruiting for two more positions: a multimedia systems engineer and a senior software engineer. Please spread the word about this unique opportunity to create a richer multimedia experience for Wikipedia and MediaWiki sites!
In July, we continued to expand our multimedia team: Mark Holmquist joined as front-end software developer, working with product manager Fabrice Florin and engineering director Rob Lanphier, as well as contractors Brian Wolff and Jan Gerber. We prepared a first multimedia plan for the coming year and discussed our goals with community members in two separate events: a multimedia roundtable and an IRC chat. Based on community feedback, we identified five main areas of activity 2013-2014: improving the viewing experience and upload pipeline in the first half of the year, then focusing on file curation, discovery and placement in articles for the second half of the year. Our overall goals for this year are to increase both the number of contributions and files used in Wikipedia articles. For now, we have started work on a new media viewer to display images in larger size when you click on a thumbnail, as well as display file information and a full-screen viewing option, right on the same page. We plan to have a first version of that feature next month, and will be testing it as part of a beta experiment on a few pilot sites. We will also be hosting more community planning discussions, such as this multimedia roundtable at Wikimania 2013. To participate in these discussions and keep up with our work, we invite you to join this new multimedia mailing list. Last but not least, we are also recruiting for two more positions for our team: a multimedia systems engineer and a senior software engineer. Please spread the word about this unique opportunity to create a richer multimedia experience for Wikipedia and MediaWiki sites!
In August, we continued to expand our multimedia team: Bryan Davis joined us as senior platform engineer, working with product manager Fabrice Florin, front-end engineer Mark Holmquist and engineering director Rob Lanphier. We discussed multimedia plans and new feature ideas with community members in two separate events: a multimedia roundtable at Wikimania 2013 and an IRC chat, and updated our multimedia plan for the coming year based on their feedback (see slides). Summer contractor Brian Wolff completed the development of new gallery tags to support more appealing layouts for thumbnails, while Jan Gerber made improvements to the Score and TimeMediaHandler extensions. Mark Holmquist started development on the Media Viewer, based on designs by May Tee-Galloway and Jared Zimmerman; this new tool will display images in larger size when clicking on article thumbnails, as well as display file information and a full-screen viewing option, right on the same page. We aim to test a first version of this tool as part of a beta experiment on a few pilot sites in coming weeks. To discuss these features and keep up with our work, we invite you to join this new multimedia mailing list. Last but not least, we are also recruiting for two more positions for our team: a multimedia systems engineer and a senior software engineer. Please spread the word about this unique opportunity to create a richer multimedia experience for Wikipedia and MediaWiki sites!
In September, we continued to expand our multimedia team and updated our multimedia plan for the coming year (see slides). Mark Holmquist continued development on the Media Viewer to improve the image viewing experience, based on designs by May Tee-Galloway and Jared Zimmerman. We also made good progress on the Beta Features project, which will invite users to test, give feedback, and use a range of new features in real-world settings. We aim to have first beta versions of both products ready by the end of the October. New employee Bryan Davis started work on several multimedia platform bugs, and Summer contractor Jan Gerber completed his work on the TimedMediaHandler extension. To discuss these features and keep up with our work, we invite you to join the new multimedia mailing list. Last but not least, we are also recruiting for a senior software engineer position on our team.
In October, we continued to expand our multimedia team and hired Gergő Tisza as software engineer. Mark Holmquist worked with Gergő to develop a first beta version of the Media Viewer, which displays images in larger size or full screen; this work was based on designs by Pau Giner, May Tee-Galloway and Jared Zimmerman. We also completed development on the Beta Features program, which invites users to try out new features before they are released for everyone. A first version of both products is now ready for testing by logged in users on MediaWiki.org (to try new features, click on the small 'Beta' link next to your 'Preferences'). We plan to release the Beta Features program in coming days to Wikimedia Commons and Meta-Wiki, then to all wikis worldwide at the end of November. Fabrice Florin managed the development of both projects, and updated our multimedia plans to prepare for roundtable discussions with community members next month. Bryan Davis started work on improving the thumbnail pipeline and guided the development of an upcoming GLAM Toolset for batch uploads by museum curators. To discuss these features and keep up with our work, we invite you to join the new multimedia mailing list. We are also recruiting for a senior software engineer position on our team.
In November, Mark Holmquist and Gergő Tisza developed a second beta version of the Media Viewer, based on new designs by Pau Giner. For a more immersive experience, this next version displays larger images, as shown in the demo. 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. To discuss these features and keep up with our work, we invite you to join the multimedia mailing list. We are also recruiting for a senior software engineer position on our team.
In December, Mark Holmquist and Gergő Tisza updated the beta version of the Media Viewer, based on new designs by Pau Giner. This new version now features next and previous arrows, as well as faster image load and an enhanced metadata panel, as shown on this demo page. Fabrice Florin managed product development, spearheaded the team's Multimedia Quarterly Review meeting, hosted more roundtable discussions and presented a Multimedia Vision 2016 to get more community feedback about our goals, with help from volunteer Aaron Arcos. Bryan Davis, Aaron Schulz and other team members helped Dan Entous and David Haskiya release a first version of the GLAM Toolset for batch uploads by museum curators. We also started work on fixing bugs for the Upload Wizard, which we'll aim to improve as our primary focus this quarter. Last but not least, we are delighted to welcome Gilles Dubuc, who is joining our multimedia team as senior software engineer. To discuss these features and keep up with our work, we invite you to join the multimedia mailing list.
In January, the multimedia team focused on developing the Media Viewer and planning our next projects for the year. Gilles Dubuc, Mark Holmquist, Gergo Tisza and volunteer Aaron Arcos implemented a number of improvements to the beta version of the Media Viewer. Some of the features we created or improved include: faster image load, a full-screen mode, better navigation between files, an expanded meta-data panel with caption, location, categories and other information. We invite you to test the new UI features on this beta site; faster image load can be tested on this MediaWiki.org page (In both cases, you need to create an account, then click on 'Beta' in your personal menu and enable Media Viewer.) Pau Giner also designed a new user interface for displaying slides, video and audio files in the upcoming v0.3 version of Media Viewer, based on team recommendations. Fabrice Florin started a community discussion of our team's Multimedia Vision for 2016, which proposes a range of improvements to help engage users and support productive collaborations in coming years (more comments welcome). We also planned our work for this quarter's release, which focuses on Media Viewer through the end of March, and started planning our next big priorities for the rest of the year: UploadWizard and Structured Data on Commons. Lastly, we started a Request for Comments about possible support for the MP4 video standard: we invite you to participate in this discussion, which is due to end in mid-February; we will plan our next steps for video based on community feedback for this RfC. To discuss these projects and keep up with our work, we invite you to join the multimedia mailing list.
In February, the multimedia team continued to focus on Media Viewer v0.2, getting it ready for a wider release next quarter. Gilles Dubuc, Mark Holmquist, Gergő Tisza and Aaron Arcos released a variety of new features, such as: permissions, file usage, pre-loading of images, previews during load and an improved full-screen experience. We also started development on a better 'Use this file' panel, including share, embed and download features. Pau Giner designed this panel, as well as a new Zoom feature for a future version v0.3 of Media Viewer. We invite you to test the latest version (see the testing tips) and share your feedback. Fabrice Florin managed product development for Media Viewer and prepared the release plan for a gradual deployment of Media Viewer out of beta in coming months, based on the team's latest development goals. We also hosted an IRC chat to discuss Media Viewer with the rest of the community and plan our next steps together. Lastly, the video RfC we started last month was closed with a community recommendation to not support the proprietary MP4 video format on our sites; as a result, we will only support open video formats like WebM and Ogg in the next version (v0.3) of Media Viewer. For more updates, we invite you to join the multimedia mailing list.
In March, the multimedia team’s main project was Media Viewer v0.2, as we completed final features for the tool's upcoming release next quarter. Gilles Dubuc, Mark Holmquist, Gergő Tisza and Aaron Arcos developed a number of new features, including: share, embed, download, opt-out preference,file page link and feedback link, based on designs by Pau Giner. We invite you to test the latest version (see the testing tips) and share your feedback. Fabrice Florin coached the multimedia team as product manager and hosted several planning and review meetings, including a cycle planning meeting (leading to the next cycle plan) and the Multimedia Quarterly Review Meeting for the first quarter of 2014, which summarizes our progress and next steps for coming work (see slides). He also worked with Keegan Peterzell to engage community members for the gradual release of Media Viewer, to be enabled by default on a number of pilot sites next month, then deployed widely to all wikis a few weeks later. For more updates about our multimedia work, we invite you to join the multimedia mailing list.
In April, the multimedia team released Media Viewer v0.2 on 14 pilot sites, in preparation for a wider deployment next month: overall response has been favorable so far, and a growing majority of survey respondents are finding this new multimedia browser useful. Gilles Dubuc, Mark Holmquist, Gergő Tisza and Aaron Arcos developed final features for this release, as described on this release's wall, based on designs by Pau Giner. We also developed a set of metrics dashboards to track global activity, image load and network performance, as well as local metrics dashboards for selected sites: first results show a decline in image load time, and suggest that Media Viewer loads faster than file description pages. We invite you to test the latest version of Media Viewer (see these testing tips) and share your feedback. Fabrice Florin led product planning and management, hosting a planning meeting for our next development cycle (leading to a wall of tasks): for the next six weeks, we plan to divide our time between Media Viewer (e.g. serious bugs, basic zoom feature), Technical Debt (e.g. image scalers) and Upload Wizard. Keegan Peterzell and Fabrice announced the gradual release of Media Viewer on dozens of wiki sites, starting new discussions in collaboration with our community partners, as well as launching surveys in multiple languages to get reader feedback about this tool. For more updates about our multimedia work, we invite you to join the multimedia mailing list.
In May, the multimedia team released Media Viewer v0.2 on more large wikis (Dutch, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian Wikipedias), with over 10 million image views daily. This multimedia browser has been well received: 70% of survey respondents find this tool useful; based on this favorable feedback, we plan to deploy Media Viewer on all wikis in June. Gilles Dubuc, Mark Holmquist, and Gergő Tisza fixed more bugs and features during this development cycle, with design help from Pau Giner.
The team has switched its focus to new projects, starting with the UploadWizard, our main user-facing feature this year: this month, we collected metrics, reviewed user feedback, created new designs, fixed bugs and refactored code as part of a major upgrade of this important contribution tool. We also allocated a third of our time to technical debt and bug fixes for other multimedia tools, with an initial focus on improving image scalers, GWToolset and TimedMediaHandler.
Fabrice Florin managed product development, hosting an annual planning meeting to define our goals for 2014−15: this year, we aim to engage more users to contribute media to our sites through tools like UploadWizard, while implementing structured data on Commons and continuing to address our technical debt and fix critical bugs. Keegan Peterzell and Fabrice also continued to engage our community partners throughout the release of Media Viewer. We are planning new discussions in coming weeks to improve our plans together. For join these conversations and keep up with our work, we invite you to subscribe to the multimedia mailing list.
In June, the multimedia team released Media Viewer v0.2 on all Wikimedia wikis, with over 20 million image views per day on sites we track. Global feedback was generally positive and helped surface a range of issues, many of which were addressed quickly. Based on this feedback, Gilles Dubuc, Mark Holmquist, and Gergő Tisza developed a number of new features, with designs by Pau Giner: view images in full resolution, view images in different sizes, show more image information, edit image file pages, as well as easy disable tools for anonymous users and editors.
This month, we started working on the Structured Data project with the Wikidata team, to implement machine-readable data on Wikimedia Commons. We are now in a planning phase and aim to start development in Fall. We ramped up our work on UploadWizard, reviewed user feedback, collected metrics, fixed bugs and started code refactoring, with the help of contract engineer Neil Kandalgaonkar. We also kept working on technical debt and bug fixes for other multimedia tools, such as image scalers, GWToolset and TimedMediaHandler, with the help of Summer contractor Brian Wolff.
As product manager, Fabrice Florin helped plan our next steps, hosting a planning meeting and other discussions of our development goals, and led an extensive review of user feedback for Media Viewer and UploadWizard with new researcher Abbey Ripstra. Community liaison Keegan Peterzell introduced Media Viewer and responded to user comments throughout the product's worldwide release. To learn more about our work, we invite you to join our discussions on the multimedia mailing list.
In July, the multimedia team reviewed more feedback about Media Viewer, from three separate Requests for Comments on the English and German Wikipedias, as well as on Wikimedia Commons. Based on this community feedback, the team worked to make the tool more useful for readers, while addressing editor concerns. We are now considering a new 'minimal design', which would include: a much more visible link to the File: page; an even easier way to disable the tool; a caption or description right below the image; removing additional metadata below the image, directing users to the File: page instead.
As described in our improvements plan, these new features are being prototyped and will be carefully tested with target users in August, so we can validate their effectiveness before developing and deploying them in September. You can see some of our thinking in this presentation.
This month, we continued to work on the Structured Data project with the Wikidata team and many community members, to implement machine-readable data on Wikimedia Commons. We prepared to host a range on online and in-person discussions to plan this project with our communities, and aim to develop our first experiments in October, based on their recommendations. We also continued a major code refactoring for the UploadWizard, as well as fixed a number of bugs for some of our other multimedia tools.
Last but not least, we prepared seven different multimedia roundtables and presentations for Wikimania 2014, which we will report on in more depth in August. For now, you can keep up with our work by joining the multimedia mailing list.
In August, the multimedia team had extensive discussions with community members about the various projects we are working on. We started with seven different roundtable discussions and presentations at Wikimania 2014 in London, including sessions on: Upload Wizard, Structured Data, Media Viewer, Multimedia, Community and Kindness. To address issues raised in recent Requests for Comments, we also hosted a one-week Media Viewer Consultation, inviting suggestions from community members across our sites.
The team also worked to make Media Viewer easier to use by readers and casual editors, our primary target users for this tool. To that end, we created a new 'minimal design' including a number of new improvements such as a more prominent button linking to the File: page, an easier way to enlarge images and more informative captions. These new features were prototyped and carefully tested this month to validate their effectiveness. Testers completed easily most of tasks we gave them, suggesting that the new features are now usable by target users, and ready for development in September.
This month, we prepared a first plan for the Structured Data project, in collaboration with many community members and the Wikidata team: we propose to gradually implement machine-readable data on Wikimedia Commons, starting with small experiments in the fall, followed by a wider deployment in 2015. We also continued our code refactoring for the UploadWizard, as well as fixed more bugs across our multimedia platform. To keep up with our work, join the multimedia mailing list.
These improvements aim to make Media Viewer easier to use by readers and casual editors, with these features: a more prominent "More Details" button, linking to the File: page; separate icons for "Download" and "Share or Embed" features; and an easier way to enlarge images by clicking on them. Next, we plan to work on an easier way to disable Media Viewer for personal use and a caption or description right below the image. We would like to thank all the community members who suggested these improvements. Our research suggests that they offer a better user experience, that is both clearer and simpler.
This month, we also ramped up the Structured Data project, in collaboration with community members and the Wikidata team: in October, we will start developing a first prototype for a high-end API that can read and write machine-readable data on Wikimedia Commons, to be followed by a wider deployment in coming months. In parallel, the foundation is also launching a file metadata cleanup drive to add machine-readable attributions and licenses on files that lack them, spearheaded by Guillaume Paumier. To learn more, join our Structured Data Q&A on Thursday, October 16 at 18:00 UTC, for an office hours chat on connect (Freenode IRC).
We also continued our code refactoring for the UploadWizard, and started to collect metrics for an upload funnel analysis, to find out how many users drop out at each step of the upload and where failure is occurring, so we can prioritize bug fixes. For more information about our work, join the multimedia mailing list.
In October 2014, the multimedia team started work on the Structured Data project, co-hosting a weeklong bootcamp in Berlin with community members and the Wikidata team. Participants developed first ideas for data models and user interface designs, as well as a high-end API prototype to read and write machine-readable data on Wikimedia Commons. These first ideas are now being documented here on Commons and in these project slides, for discussion purposes. If you would like to get involved, we invite you to sign-up for the newsletter and join the discussions on the Structured data hub. You can also learn more about the related metadata cleanup drive in this blog post. Our next office hours chat on Structured Data will take place on Thursday, November 20 at 19:30 UTC, on connect (Freenode IRC).
The team also developed and released more improvements to Media Viewer, based on feedback from the recent community consultation and user research. These improvements include: an easier way to disable Media Viewer for personal use, as well as re-enable it from a file page, pre-render thumbnails on backend for new uploads and make MediaViewer text larger in Monobook. Our last improvement for this release will be a caption or description right below the image, to be launched in November. In parallel, we also continued our code refactoring for the UploadWizard, and are now analyzing metrics for the upload funnel analysis, to gradually fix the most critical bugs that cause error messages during upload.
Lastly, the team hosted a quarterly project review for multimedia and planned its activities for this quarter, as shown in these slides. For more information about our work, join the multimedia mailing list.
The team attended the Amsterdam Hackathon, with a focus on GLAMs and structured data. There work was done on a working prototype for what entering structured data on Commons might be like, on research and groundwork for means to track per-file views (a long-standing request from GLAMs) in preparation for Erik Zachte and Christian Aistleitner's RfC as well as parsing image annotations so that they may be displayed in Media Viewer in the future.
The team's focus on Media Viewer has significantly reduced after releasing the last round of improvements that came out of the community consultation. The project has moved to maintenance mode, taking care of major bugs that need immediate attention. The team has provided support for the file metadata cleanup drive and will continue to do so, in order to improve the accuracy of the metadata displayed in Media Viewer.
UploadWizard has seen numerous code cleanup improvements, as well as the trimming down of a few obscure legacy features. This refactoring effort is already making UploadWizard easier to maintain, which supports the team's goal of fixing bugs and improving the efficiency of the upload pipeline.
For more information about our work, join the multimedia mailing list.
In December 2014, the team fully migrated its tasks and workflow to Phabricator.
Active maintenance was performed on Media Viewer and CommonsMetadata, which have both seen several minor improvements. The long tail of small bugs affecting Media Viewer in particular was a source of several Google Code-in tasks, which several volunteers tackled.
UploadWizard has been the continued focus of major code cleanup and test coverage increase efforts. Bugs were fixed along the way as well.
Thumbnail chaining was deployed for a short period of time and subsequently undeployed following concerns about over-sharpening it caused. Investigations regarding the performance improvements or lack thereof introduced by thumbnail prerendering at uploaded time and thumbnail chaining were conducted. The discussion and further research are happening on our mailing list.
For more information about our work, join the multimedia mailing list.