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V1 of Wikidata Bridge is almost ready to be tested on Wikipedia

3
Lea Lacroix (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hello all,

I have exciting news to share about the Wikidata Bridge! We’re getting close to being able to deploy the first version of Wikidata Bridge. This means that once we achieve the last steps of development, we are ready to experiment with the Wikipedia communities who are willing to try the Bridge on their wiki.

Below, I will summarize what this first version contains and what it does not contain, what the next steps are for us to reach, and how we will work with the communities to deploy the tool step by step.

Feel free to leave comments on this thread and to share this message with your local Wikipedia community!


Summary of what is included in the v1

It is important to understand that the product we are ready to deploy is not the final version. As mentioned on the /development page, we are starting with a first version, with which we want to make sure that the concept fits your needs before moving forward. This means that the communities who are willing to try it will have the opportunity to be involved very early in the process; however, this also means that the product at that point is far from perfect and does not include all the features you expect from it yet.

The v1 will allow you to:

  • Enable the Bridge for the infoboxes that you choose, by updating their Lua code and template
  • Edit some Wikidata values directly from Wikipedia, values having the datatype string: for example, postal code, Commons category…
  • Fix the existing value or update an outdated value, after asking you why you changed the value. This will ensure that the correct edit is made on Wikidata for you including setting ranks correctly
  • Display the existing references coming from Wikidata
  • Be redirected to Wikidata in case the action you want to perform is not available in the Bridge yet

The v1 doesn’t allow yet:

  • Editing values other than strings (for example, other Items, coordinates)
  • Adding new values
  • Editing Wikidata references from within the Bridge
  • Editing local values or switch from local values to values coming from Wikidata

You can read more details on the features on the development page.


Where are we going to deploy?

It is really important to us to work with wiki communities who are onboard with the project and willing to test the first versions of the Bridge. We also want to start with a small scope (only one Wikipedia), learn from our experience, and deploy slowly on new wikis.

Catalan Wikipedia seems like a good start for several reasons: its community is already using Wikidata-powered infoboxes, several people mentioned their enthusiasm for the Bridge and participated in the discussions, and the size of the wiki seems good for experiments. Therefore we would like to start with deploying on Catalan Wikipedia. A few months later, we would follow with 2 to 3 new wikis. Currently, we have in mind the Basque, Romanian, and Russian Wikipedia, based on their existing use of Wikidata-powered infoboxes and interest for the project. If other wikis are interested, they can let us know and we could consider including them in the next rounds.

We will not deploy this first version before making an announcement to the communities and asking for their approval first. This is the part where we need your help! You can talk to your community about the project, help us translate information, for example this message, and prepare the ground for a community consultation, based on the rules in place on your wiki (vote, RFC, etc.)


What are the next steps?

This timeline is not complete and can evolve based on multiple factors. We’re sorry that we cannot give you more precise dates for now, but new announcements will follow.

  • Test the Bridge on a beta system: already possible here
  • Performance review of the code (done by WMF): unknown, it can take a few more weeks
  • Community consultation on Catalan Wikipedia: started here
  • Roll out on the first Wikipedia: will be announced once the performance review is done and that we adapted our code if needed
  • Monitor the usage of the tool, fix possible issues, get feedback from the community
  • More work on Bridge v2: later this year
  • Possible roll out on new wikis: end of 2020 or early 2021

Thanks for reading this long message. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Bluerasberry (talkcontribs)

Thanks for posting. I will ask around.

I have a request - consider if this deployment is time for a general wiki community conversation. If it is, can you do the deployment with a little project announcement which I could use to make a story in the English Wikipedia community newsletter, The Signpost? I would rather that this conversation happen sooner and more slowly, so talking about this as a pilot or experiment sooner seems appropriate. I expect that English Wikipedia will be one of the late projects to consider adopting this, but I would like to raise awareness there. Thanks.

Lea Lacroix (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Thanks for your interest in the topic, and for your offer to write something in the Signpost.

I agree that it would be interesting to start discussions soon on wikis that will need more time to consider adopting the Bridge, for example English Wikipedia. We planned to reach big Wikipedias relatively soon in the process, once we successfully test the feature on small and medium-size Wikipedias where communities actively support the use of Wikidata.

However, I would be careful to not make this step too soon: at the moment, as described in the announcement, the version we have is quite far from the final product we want to deliver. For example, it doesn't allow editing all data types, it doesn't show the edit in the edit history on Wikipedia, etc. Showing this to people and letting them think that this will be the final Bridge feature could be very counterproductive, as they would point out (rightfully) that the feature is not answering their needs.

We would be interested in continuing this discussion with you in the near future, and we would definitely appreciate your support when bringing the topic to English Wikipedia. Let's stay in touch, maybe we can schedule a call with you in the next months.

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