Wikimedia Engineering/2016-17 Q2 Goals

Q1 Wikimedia Engineering Goals, FY2016-17, Q2 (October - December) Q3

Purpose of this document: Goals for the Wikimedia Technology and Product Development department, for the second quarter of fiscal year 2016–17 (October 2016 – December 2016). The goal setting process owner in each section is the person responsible for coordinating completion of the section, in partnership with the team and relevant stakeholders.

Status fields can use the following templates: In progress In progress, To do To do, N Postponed, Yes Done or Incomplete Partially done

ETA fields may use the initialism EOQ (End of Quarter).


The Product department, alongside the community, builds, improves and maintains the user facing features on all the Wikimedia projects. The software, interfaces, apps, and other systems and applications the team supports are essential means by which contributors and readers connect with our sites. The work of the team’s three “audience” groupings – Discovery, Editing, and Reading – is interrelated and enables a channel for progressive engagement with the users of the Wikimedia projects.

Our mission is to make the wealth of knowledge and content in the Wikimedia projects easily discoverable.

Team Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status

Goal setting process owner: Dan Garry

Enable the backend for cross-project searching from Wikipedias to their sister projects
  • Improve backend performance to allow cross-project searching
  • Generate and agree upon rollout plan for enabling the cross-project search feature
  • Community Liaison
  • Plan for migration path that is decided upon in Q1
EOQ Yes Done
Enrich the data stored in ElasticSearch to allow targeted improvements to result relevance
  • Migrate away from "all" field in Elasticsearch
EOQ Yes Done (except for all spaceless languages, e.g. zh)
Interactive team

Goal setting process owner: Yuri Astrakhan

Increase maps and graphs usage on Wikipedia
  • The <maplink> and <graph> usage graphs show an upward trend
  • Reading & editing team buy-in
  • Outreach from Community liaisons
EOQ In progress In progress
Enable shareable Geoshapes and Tabular data storage on Commons    
  • Commons is able to store new formats for tabular and geographic data
  • Reading & editing team buy-in
  • Legal's OK
  • Last round of the technical review
EOQ In progress In progress

Wikidata Query Service will not have any dedicated goals this quarter. The service will continue to be maintained by Stas and Guillaume, and Stas will work on user feature requests as time permits. Additionally, the dedicated hardware for the service will be upgraded to support the continued growth and use of the service. will not have any dedicated goals this quarter. Per Katie's email to the Discovery mailing list, Jan will continue to maintain the page by fixing critical bugs and performing regular statistics updates. No other work on the page is planned in Q2. The Services Team is planning on prototyping a version of which uses service workers; this should increase the performance and decrease the data usage of the page, and allow some content on the page to be accessible offline, whilst having minimal or no impact on the user interface and experience of the portal.

Goal setting process owner: User:Trevor Parscal (WMF)

The Editing Department build collaborative, inclusive tools for creating and editing free knowledge.

Also see the more detailed version of these goals and Program 4 of the Annual Plan

Annual Goal Team Objective Output (deliverable) Outcome Dependencies ETA Status
1: Maintain and incrementally improve current content creation and curation interfaces VisualEditor Iterate on the New Wikitext Editor Beta Feature Add features to the new wikitext editor, such as auto-saved drafts, and prepare for rollout to wikis on desktop and mobile. Editors have a unified, consistent editing interface between mobile and desktop Web, and between visual and wikitext editors.
  • Editing Design
  • Community Liaisons
  • Parsing
EOQ Yes Done (more coming)
2: Improve editing experience by reducing technical and product debt Parsing Remove Tidy dependency from MediaWiki output Deploy (disabled by default) Tidy replacement service and deploy ParserMigration extension in production. Editors can compare output of a page with Tidy and with its replacement service.
  • Operations
  • Security
  • Community Liaisons
EOQ N Not done (delayed)
Multimedia Improve architecture of rich media file annotations Integrate multi-content revision system to allow annotations to be used outside the file page. Users are supplied with relevant data, tags and other information as they see media files.
  • WMDE
  • Operations (DBA)
EOQ N Not done (delayed)
UI Standardization Apply and refine the style guide Apply and refine the overhauled style guidelines in current Editing products and in parts of MediaWiki core. Users have a unified, easier-to-use interface and time-saving front-end implementation.
  • Design Research
  • Editing Design
  • Editing Front-end engineers
  • TPG
EOQ Yes Done (more coming)
3: Invest in new types of content creation, and new forms of curation and collaboration tools Collaboration Provide an edit-review process suited to the needs of new contributors Add ORES good-faith and damaging tests, optimized ORES data display, new filtering UI and a new user filter to the recent changes page. Reviewers will gain insight into contributors’ intentions and be able to identify damaging but good-faith edits by new users. Also, a Beta release will yield user response information.
  • Analytics
  • Research & Data
  • Editing Design team
  • Community Liaisons
EOQ N Not done (delayed)
Language Stabilize Content Translation for going out of beta Support for block and inline templates

Users are shown an indication when templates cannot be adapted.

Editing mode for block level templates

Content Translation is more stable in terms of publishing articles with templates, requiring less maintenance work from patrollers. EOQ Yes Done (more coming)

Goal setting process owner: User:Khorn_(WMF)

Objective Key result Dependencies ETA Status
Fix bugs and prep for Big English
  • Ingenico top bugs
  • Central Notice bugs
  • Civi CRM bugs and de-dupe fixes
  • Stabilize, stop getting regular failmails.
  • Partner with Advancement to create list of key fixes
Mid November Yes Done
Cross Training with Operations (Jeff Green)
  • Increase emergency preparedness
  • Increase bus factor
  • Increased ability to test changes
  • Increased availability of sensitive resources for fire fighting and debugging
  • only internal Fundraising Tech staff
EOQ Partially done. Kicked off new hire.
Support Big English
  • Fundraising creative reaches their donation goals in December
  • Do whatever it takes to keep the pipeline healthy for the first week of December.
  • Fundraising (creative) team
EOQ Yes Done

This is still very much a draft. We plan to coordinate with Advancement on the details of high priority english campaign support. Also this is a very randomizing time for us. We plan to wait until the last week of September to form full bug lists and plans.

Also, starting in mid-October, we will begin a code freeze for all our major systems. Anything that has a chance of endangering the english campaign will wait until January. This may mean that other cross team projects or coordination will be largely on hold.

Team Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Web Increase learning by lowering cost of exploration Refine hovercards feature and remove all known blockers for moving from beta to stable
  • Results of a/b test in Hungary, Russia, Italy
  • Community Liaisons
EOQ In progress In progress
iOS Enable location based exploration and search. Add a Nearby tab (similar to Android) with map based search and browsing functionality.
  • Design Research
Update: Q3 In progress In progress
Android Open up a new and simple way for readers to start contributing, and reinforce the idea that Wikipedia articles are editable by anyone. Enable editing of Wikidata descriptions from the app.
  • Wikidata Consultation
  • Design research
  • Community Liaisons
EOQ In progress In progress
New Readers Collect feedback on direction and implementation of proposed user-facing software changes from both potential end-users and community members. Deliver a wrap up report of the feedback that was received and the changes that were made as a result.
  • Design Research
  • Community Engagement
  • Communications
  • Partnerships
EOQ In progress In progress
Reading Infrastructure Bolster MediaWiki API consumer (apps, bots, mashups, etc.) ability to obtain key revision quality and pageview stats MediaWiki API endpoints are available and operate at scale for: Research (ORES), Analytics EOQ To do To do
Mobile content service Notify users that Wikipedia has the background info on the latest current events Deploy real time Trending Page API based on the number of edits performed by users
  • Services
EOQ In progress In progress

Goal setting process owner: Danny Horn

Team focused on meeting the needs of active Wikimedia contributors for improved, expert-focused curation and moderation tools.

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Increase core contributors' productivity Build a proof-of-concept version of Cross-wiki watchlist (#4 on wishlist), to determine the hardware requirements for the finished tool
  • Performance
  • Operations
EOQ To do To do
Help program leaders to organize and manage their programs Make UI improvements to WMF's Programs & Events Dashboard
  • Learning and Evaluation
  • WikiEd Foundation
EOQ Yes Done
Improve the contribution workflow for an underserved Wikimedia project/language Deploy a tool to use Google OCR service for Indic language Wikisources EOQ Yes Done
Include Wikimedia communities in goal development and prioritization Conduct 2016 Community Wishlist Survey, in collaboration with contributors from all Wikimedia projects EOQ Yes Done
Reduce barriers for new volunteer developers Extend Striker to help new developers create an LDAP account and manage their SSH keys, removing barriers in the new account creation process
  • Security
EOQ In progress In progress
Improve workflows for Tool Labs developers Define evaluation criteria for evaluating Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions
  • Tool Labs Community
EOQ In progress In progress
Encourage community maintenance of important tools Develop a takeover policy for abandoned tools, in collaboration with the Tool Labs community
  • Tool Labs Community
EOQ Yes Done
Measure success of Tool Labs changes over the last 12 months Run a second annual Tool Labs user survey and analyze the results
  • Tool Labs Community
EOQ Yes Done

Goal setting process owner: Kristen Lans

The Team Practices Group (TPG) supports the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) teams in their continual improvement.

Mission: TPG believes that healthy teams reliably deliver customer value and innovative products. Through dedicated resourcing, coaching, and workshops at the Wikimedia Foundation, we facilitate the use of practices that support team health, with a strong emphasis on creating conditions of clarity, trust, and continuous improvement.

Note: our team is piloting a prototype goals template.

Goal 1: Maintain the quality of our services across embedded teams that we support
What is your objective / workflow? Who are you working with? What impact / deliverables are you expecting? Status
Work with teams requesting embedded TPG support
  • Design Research (collaborating on survey)
  • Q2 Embedded teams
Maintain average net promoter score of 40 or greater across embedded teams.

We also aim to learn from open-ended feedback from customers.

Yes Done
Goal 2: Ensure high-quality of service to Light Engagement customers
Work with teams requesting lightweight coaching or workshops
  • Design Research
  • Light Engagements TBD
Establish baseline metrics for Light Engagements:
  • Determine what questions are giving us the most meaningful information
  • Could be: net promoter score, ratings of "outcome being better with TPG's involvement", or something around open-ended feedback
  • Use that feedback and associated metrics to drive our own learning and improvements
Yes Done
Goal 3: Work with Design-related roles and stakeholders to improve collaboration
Iterative and incremental cross-team and organizational collaboration improvements
  • Community Liaisons
  • Design  (ux engineers, ux designers, design researchers, communications)
  • External design stakeholders (broader WMF Staff, Community members)
Design Statement of Purpose Phase 2: Incomplete Partially done


Goal Setting and process owner is Lydia Pintscher.

Wikidata is Wikimedia's structured data project and knowledge base. Our goal is to support all the other Wikimedia projects with structured data and provide a top-notch knowledge base to everyone who needs structured data about the world.

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
UI Improvements

We will continue to evolve the user interface based on results of usability testing, user feedback and trends in our larger ecosystem.

  • Established UX Design and UX Research process to incorporate user feedback and iterate the user interface with the community.
EOQ In progress
Wikimedia Commons build out

In 2015 the Wikidata development team and the WMF Multimedia team have started working on improving Wikimedia Commons infrastructure by providing it with structured data support. This work will continue in 2016 / 2017. The end result will be a good technical foundation to store metadata related to multimedia files in a structured and machine-readable way. This will allow many future innovations like multilingual search and display of file information, easier license compliant re-use of our content and a richer multimedia experience on Wikipedia. We're making progress towards that goal.

  • Testsystem running
  • Integrate community feedback for further development
  • Editing (Multi Media) Team / activities
  • Ops Team (Deployment) & Discovery team (for Search)
  • Commons community
Q4 In progress

Some of our small projects struggle to provide their readers with the information they are searching for because they lack manpower. The ArticlePlaceholder can help those projects. When searching for a concept that is not covered by an article on the project the reader will be shown a quick overview of the information available on Wikidata about this concept. The reader will also be invited to start writing an article.

  • Refinement and further roll-out of the ArticlePlaceholder extension
  • At least five Wikimedia projects actively use ArticlePlaceholder extension
Wikipedia Communities (small WP) EOQ Done
Automated list generation

Wikipedias have a lot of list articles like the list of space missions. They are currently maintained and updated by hand. With Wikidata we can provide the means to automatically generate them based on data in Wikidata while still giving the editors full control. This activity depends on the Wikidata Query Service currently in development together with WMF.

  • Provision of an automated list generation feature
  • Automated list generation feature is used in at least five Wikimedia project's
Input from Discovery team Q4 In progress
Unit conversion & new data types

The height a mountain and other measurements can be entered in Wikidata. The editor can specify it using the unit given in the original source of the data point. However, to be able to meaningfully query all this data and for example get a list of the ten highest mountains, these data points need to be converted to a base unit. We will make this possible and provide converted data to the Wikidata Query Service.

New datatypes:

  • Implement new data types/Improve existing ones.
  • More and better ways to input data leading to more and better quality data.

Unit conversion

  • possible to query for data in standard units
Input & Implementation supported by Discovery team Q4
  • New Datatypes: Done
  • Unit conversion: In progress
Extend and Implement data partnership process with community

Data from external sources becomes increasingly important as Wikidata grows. Data donations enrich not just Wikidata, but are then also availible to generate more content in Wikimedia sister projects. From the external perspective, WMDE has the opportunity to grow Wikidata’s reach, relevance and usability for partners and institutions beyond the Wikimedia projects.

  • Process and key contacts for data partnerships published.
  • Published two success stories about successful data partnerships
Wikidata community EOQ In progress


Goal setting process owner: Nuria Ruiz

These goals are preliminary until the end of September 2016, they are on priority order

Feedback can be sent to (public e-mail list)

Objective Key result Dependency Outcome/Rationale/Value Proposition Status
Productionize Druid Pageview Pipeline and UI (pivot) on Druid task T138261 Easy access for WMF-internal users to Druid query UI. Users can get to pageview data without having to write SQL Security, Operations Carry on from LAST quarter Yes Done
Operational Excellence Operations Set of tasks needed to keep lights up and update/upgrade existing systems to maintain and improve current level of service
Count Pageviews for all wikis. task T130249 Outreach wiki and others will be able to easily retrieve pageviews from pageview API Yes Done
Wikistats 2.0 (ongoing goal). ticket task T130256. * Replacing edit metrics in dashiki with data from new edit data depot task T143924 Enables Easy consumption of edit data. At this time consuming edit data from database or dumps is cumbersome Yes Done
Public Event Stream (ongoing goal). Details: here task T130651 Productionization of POC that happen last quarter task T143925 N Not done
A/B testing framework design doc. task T135762 Contingent on traffic's team avaialability N Not done

Goal-setting process owner:  Rob Lanphier

Objective Key result Dependencies ETA Status
WikiDev17 - Represent ArchCom on the WikiDev17 Planning Committee WikiDev17 that improves on WikiDev16 Community Engineering, Product, Technology EOQ To do To do
Wikitext - Work with Parsing team on making the Wikitext spec clearer for wider interoperability, helping with complicated i18n issues Ability to eventually deploy VisualEditor to all wikis, and having wider understanding of how Wikitext works Parsing, Language EOQ To do To do

Goal-setting process owner: Ori Livneh

Speed is Wikipedia's killer feature. ("Wiki" means "quick" in Hawaiian.) As the Wikimedia Foundation’s Performance team, we want to create value for readers and editors by making it possible to retrieve and render content at the speed of thought, from anywhere in the world, on the broadest range of devices and connection profiles.

The following is a summary of the Performance Team Goals.

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status

Thumbor deployment

  • Serve 100% of production thumbnail traffic with Thumbor
Operations EOQ N Not done (partially done)
Active/Active datacenters
  • Lag spikes (> 5 sec) at 0/week for main databases
  • Require HTTP POST for ?action=rollback
  • Prevent pre-send write queries on page view
  • Prevent pre-send master connections on page view
Design EOQ N Not done (partially done)
Save time performance
  • Deploy new AbuseFilter tree parser
EOQ Yes Done
Front-end performance
  • Continue critical rendering path optimisations. - task T127328 (Reuse of style modules; Remove top-bottom queue distinction)
  • Support other teams and products.
EOQ Yes Done
ResourceLoader Improve stability.

Add support for modular package loading. - task T133462

EOQ N Not done

Goal setting process owner: Greg Grossmeier

All tracked in: #releng-201617-q2 - More details at Wikimedia Release Engineering Team/Goals/201617Q2

Objective Key result Dependency Team members ETA Status KPI (if applicable)
Address Technical Debt Continuous Integration
  • Perform an assessment of the current state of CI and outline a plan a future composition without disrupting expected services and performance. - task T153155
Ops (advice)
  • Antoine (lead)
  • Chad
  • Dan
  • Mukunda
  • Tyler
EOQ Yes Done
Deployment tooling (Train 2.0)
  • Migrate MediaWiki deploys to scap3 (part 1)
    • Use a unified git repo for MW deploys - task T147478
    • Assess new directory structure and how it will interplay with MW
    • Stretch goal: Replace rsync with git syncing
Ops (puppet)
  • Chad
  • Dan
  • Mukunda
  • Tyler (lead)
EOQ Yes Done
Release MediaWiki 1.28 A quality MediaWiki 1.28 is successfully released - task T148087
  • Wikimedia / MediaWiki dev community
  • Chad (lead)
  • Tyler
End of November Yes Done

In Wikimedia Research we use qualitative and quantitative methods to provide strategic insights and technological solutions to the movement and the Foundation, to foster innovation and to inform the development of new products.

Research & Data[edit]

Goal setting process owner: Dario Taraborelli [ Wikimedia Research goals overview ]

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status


  • Implement probabilistic grammar for "vandalism", "spam", "attack", and "featured" sentences (T144636)
  • Build new draft article quality model for splitting concerning creations ("spam", "vandalism", "attack") from OK drafts (T148038)
  • Editing (Collaboration)
EOQ In progress In progress

Discussion modeling

  • Analyze the impact of personal attacks and aggression on editor retention (T127531)
  • Paper submission
  • Formal collaboration (Jigsaw)
EOQ In progress In progress

Reader segmentation research

  • Taxonomy of Wikipedia readers
  • Taxonomy of Wikipedia articles with respect to the readership
  • Paper submission and presentation of additional results.
  • Formal collaboration (GESIS)
EOQ In progress In progress


  • Fundraise for and organize the 2017 event (to be held in Q4). (T144291)
  • Advancement (Foundations and Major Gifts)
EOQ In progress In progress

Stub recommendation

  • Formalize new research collaboration
  • Expand research on recommender systems to stub expansion (Start)
  • Formal collaboration (EPFL)
EOQ In progress In progress

Design Research[edit]

Goal setting process owner: Abbey Ripstra [ Wikimedia Research goals overview ]

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status

New Reader research

  • Collaborate with New Readers core team on concept evaluation (against data from the field and with users we are building for) and iteration, focusing in on 1-3 concepts each for 2 of the 24 findings from research. T144016
  • Reading
  • Global Reach
  • Communications
  • Community Engagement
end of Q2 Yes Done

New editor support

  • Provide concept development support for Edit Review Improvements project T137987
  • Perform and publish analysis of the quality of new editor support provided at Wikipedia Teahouse T132809
  • Perform and publish expanded analysis of the impact of Teahouse on new editor retention T127523
  • Research & Data
  • Editing (Collaboration)
end of Q2 In progress In progress

Design Research policy updates

  • Implement data audit process to ensure compliance with WMF data retention guidelines and privacy policy T143234
  • Draft general on-wiki privacy statement for design research user studies (generative and evaluative) T144641
  • Update user study consent forms T144642
  • Editing (design researcher)
  • Reading (design researcher)
mid Q2 Yes Done

Persona development

  • Work with various stake holders on how to use personas T141113
  • Product (designers, researchers, PMs, engineers)
end of Q2 Yes Done

Goal setting process owner: Darian Patrick

More details at Wikimedia Security Team/Goals 2016-2017#Q2_.28Oct-Dec_2016.29

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Continue Security Team hiring process Increase team capacity Input from interview team EOQ N Not done
Onboard new Security Team members Increase team capacity Hiring completion EOQ N Not done
Improve automated scanning implementation Increased utility of existing tools Onboarding (unit on automated scanning) EOQ In progress In progress

Goal setting process owner: Gabriel Wicke

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Reliably process events with EventBus & ChangeProp infrastructure.
  • Support at least three additional services. Candidates:
    • Trending articles (reading)
    • Push notifications (reading)
    • Problematic edits (collaboration)
    • Search updates (discovery)
Reading, Collaboration, Discovery EOQ Done
Provide infrastructure for ServiceWorker web frontend with support for offline, poor connectivity & caching of authenticated requests. Performance, Reading EOQ Done

Under consideration:

Team Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Core Ops

Experiment with Kubernetes for services in production

  • Install kubernetes in production, experimenting with Calico for networking
  • Create a network entry point for serving the outside world
  • Stretch: Decide a model for authentication/authorization N Not done
  • Stretch: Implement a container image registry
EOQ Yes Done

Replace Ganglia with Prometheus

  • Machine-level metrics collected into Prometheus from all production machines
  • Migrate software metrics from Ganglia
  • Implement Ganglia-like cluster dashboard
  • Make Ganglia deprecated
EOQ Yes Done


Upgrade Labs DB replica service and introduce High Availability

  • Initial setup and provision of labsdb1009, labsdb1010 and labsdb1011
  • Implement a frontend failover solution for labsdb replicas
  • Provide at least 2 separate service endpoints: one for slow, long running queries; and another for quick, web requests
  • Provision with data the new labsdb servers and provide replica service with at least 1 shard from a sanitized copy from production

Core Ops (DBAs)

EOQ Yes Done

Finish Varnish 4 migration

EOQ Yes Done

Complete a valid, workable design for a standardized A/B test infrastructure

Analytics EOQ N Not done