Community Bonding Period
Goals for the first half of the internship
- Implementing the getting started guides in a new structure and adding a FAQ page to Labs documentation
- Finishing up on a template for project documentation of every project hosted in labs and start completing the documentation according to the template
Communication with the community happens mainly with Labs-I mailing list and #wikimedia-labs IRC channel. In the perspective pf the project the communication up to now has only happened with the mentor. We will hope to contact the project admins of each and every project soon for completing the project documentation. For that we hope to use semantic forms extension to convert our template on to a form and give the project admins to fill.
Lessons Learned since 21st April
- Got familiar with Wikimedia Labs and tool labs and their projects
- Learned to use semantic MediaWiki extension with templates and semantic forms
Week 1 :19th May - 25th May
Implementing the test template using the semantic wiki and implement a test form from it to complete for the project owners. But found it has some drawbacks so still finding a way to connect the links of the users and admins and let the users select from them in the semantic form rather than typing their name. Come up with a plan for the Getting started documentation like adding an FAQ page and adding getting started links and FAQ links in the left sub menu.
Week 2 : 26th May - 1st June
Participated the IRC chat for opw interns in gnome IRC channel. Making a demonstration of proposed changes and alternative solution for adding "Getting Started" links in the main page. It can be found at proposed changes for the new main page. Making plans for the FAQ page of the labs and suggested separating the tool labs help page under different topics rather than having all the information and FAQ page under one topic.
Week 3 : 2nd June - 8th June
Prepared the initial versions of FAQ page for Wikimedia labs. First prepared the questions and and discussed with the mentor and removed some of the suggested questions and added the questions suggested by the mentor. Then go through the existing documentation including help pages, terminology and getting started pages to add the answers to the questions and sent for the mentor for the approval. The final version of the FAQ version can be found here.
Week 4 : 9th June - 15th June
Prepared a second and more detailed version of FAQ from suggestions and feedback from the mentor. Improve the answers and added some more questions to the FAQ.
Week 5 : 16th June - 22nd June
Improved the second version of the FAQ on the Google doc according to the feed back from the mentor. Transferred the FAQ page to WIkitech. You can now find the Wikimedia Labs FAQ page in here. Found all the outdated wiki articles about Wikimedia Labs asked by the mentor. one of them is Wikimedia Labs page in media wiki. It contains lot of outdated information so that the mentor asked it to mark as obsolete. By searching through the wiki I found out that obsolete template is not working in the new version on the wiki and as a result we have to use outdated template.So marked the page outdated and remove the link to it from wikitech main page. Now the main page directly links to FAQ page.
Week 6 23rd June - 29th June
Since the FAQ page is finished as the next step I had to move in to the completing the project documentation section of the project. Since the project page already has the "Add documentation" but not much useful form directed from it when compared to the form we created. So asked to find a way to replace the form with the form we created. After going through all the templates which were used to create the project page found out that the add documentation form is nit created with a template. It is only created as a form.A feasible solution would be changing the already linked form adding the missing fields from our form.
Week 7 30th June - 6th July
As in the previous week it is decided to merge the new documentation form with the "add documentation" link in each project page I had to remove the redundant fields like project name project admins and project members from the template I created for the documentation. The new edited template can be found here.After the template is edited the form created using the template is also edited to match the template. The new edited form can be found here. But rather than changing the link to "add documentation" to our new template , changing the existing form is feasible. So the fields are added to the existing form from the existing form. The new edited Nova project documentation form can be found here.
Week 8 7th July- 13th July
Although the form is added to add the documentation it does not add the details to the page. Trying to fix this problem. This problem occurred because in the previos week we edited only the form connected to "add documentation". There is a template related to that form which should be edited. Because that template is not edited the details did not appear in the page. To find the cause of this problem it took a considerable amount of time reading and understanding wiki and semantic wiki syntax.
Week 9 14th July- 20th July
Edit the template Nova Project Documentation to show the details when documentation of a page is edited with a form.When doing this had to focus on many things as not displaying empty headers in the project pages where the documentation is not complete. For this task community help was given with editing the template which I appreciate very much.
Week 10 21st July- 27th July
Added another field "Anticipated Time Span" as requested by the mentor as a feedback to the last template I edited. Now the "Edit Documentation" form is complete I started contacting project admins alphabetically respective to their projects and asking them to complete their project's documentation and resolving their problems regarding that through their user talk pages.
Week 11 28th July - 3rd August
Changed a template a bit adding sentence-style referencing as suggested from a feedback i received from a project admin. Answered the problems the admins face regarding adding the documentation. Waiting for the admins to finish the project documentation in their projects.
Week 12 4th August - 10th August
Go through the project list again and documented the progress of the completion of documentation. The purpose of this is identify the not complete projects. Update the list marking the mothballed and deleted projects.
Week 13 11th August - 17th August
Started sending mails to the admins who haven't yet filled their projects' documentation form. Studying semantic wiki to make a query to find out when will the project expire according to their last modified date and anticipated time span.
Final Summary and Overview
Wikimedia Labs is an open source project providing a platform to host virtual machines. The contributors engage in software development in projects which have one or more instances. These project instances are called virtual machines.
My project “Welcome to Labs” is a documentation project which I had to improve the documentation in Wikimedia Labs such as it will make new comers’ and existing contributors’ life easy. From a new comer’s perspective the getting started documents should be easily accessible and should direct him to his goals whether they are starting a whole new project or contributing to an already existing project. When a new comer has a problem which is not already answered in getting started documents he should be lead to a FAQ page. If that doesn't serve his purpose either, he should be directed to mailing lists and irc channels.
One of the significant contributions from my internship period is the FAQ page for Wikimedia Labs. It handles the frequently asked questions from existing contributors as well as newbies. You can find it here.
The most important task of my project is to make the documentation of each project hosted in Wikimedia Labs complete and easily queryable. This will let new comers to get a good idea about the current status of the project. This will also help the administrative task like identifying finished projects. For this first I have created a Nova Project Documentation|template to suit all the projects in Wikimedia Labs. Then the template was converted to a form. For the form I have used Semantic wiki extension. Then I have asked the project owners to fill the form and the project documents will be automatically updated. Throughout this process Wikimedia community has been a great help, suggesting improvements on the forms and providing feedback.
Last but not least I would like to express my gratitude to my mentor Andrew Boggot, who was very supportive from the start to end, Quim Gil and Sumana Harihareswara, OPW coordinators, who provided great feedback and helped to cope up through the project.