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Wikimedia Engineering/2016-17 Q4 Goals

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Q3 Wikimedia Engineering Goals, FY2016-17, Q4 (April - June) Q1 for Audiences; Q1 for Technology

Purpose of this document: Goals for the Wikimedia Technology and Product Development department, for the second quarter of fiscal year 2016–17 (April 2017 – June 2017). 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.

Goal setting process owner: Dan Garry

Team Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Search Improve search by researching and load testing machine learning to automatically re-rank search results
  • Research and develop new models to determine which ones work best
  • Build out data munging and data pipeline to develop new models
  • Deploy automated model which matches current performance of manually-configured search result relevance
  • Begin performing load tests on new models to make sure they can be safely deployed to production
  • Community Engagement, Team Practices Group, Analytics
EOQ Incomplete Partially done
Improve support for different languages by researching and deploying new language analyzers
  • Perform research spikes to find new analyzers for different languages
  • Test new analyzers to see if they are improvements
  • Deploy new analyzers that are found to be an improvement
  • Community Engagement, Team Practices Group, Analytics
EOQ Yes Done
Refine and test new design of search results page with occasional deployments
  • Test new functionality with at least 2 A/B tests
  • Analyze tests and gather community feedback
  • Roll out new functionality with small releases to production across all Wikipedias
  • Community Engagement, Analytics
EOQ Incomplete Partially done
Interactive Stabilize maps and graphs code base
  • Stabilize and fix high priority bugs
  • Community Engagement
TBD In progress In progress

Wikidata Query Service goal for this quarter will be working on integrating the Mediawiki API. The service will also continue to be maintained by Stas and Guillaume to support the continued growth and use of the service.

Wikipedia.org Portal team will not have any dedicated goals this quarter other than continuing to maintain the page by fixing critical bugs and performing regular statistics and translations updates. No other work on the page is planned in Q4.

Goal setting process owner: Trevor Parscal (WMF)

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

Also see the more detailed progress on these goals which are based on 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 Collaboration Improve efficiency for edit reviewers in general while providing an edit-review process suited to the needs of new contributors. Make improvements to the New Filters for Edit Review beta features based on user research and feedback. Spread the beta features to all wikis. Smaller backlogs, improved retention...? more reviewers, better quality of the wikis... For the first time, reviewers will have data about user intent. More people involved? More productive. CLs, to work with target communities.

Editing Design Research to assess user satisfaction with the beta.

EOQ Yes Done
Language & VisualEditor Stabilize Content Translation for going out of beta Replace the contenteditable editing component of Content Translation to VisualEditor and preserve the current CX functionalities Content Translation is more stable in terms of article publishing, requiring less maintenance work from patrollers, and more ready to be enabled by default for all users. Parsing

Editing Design (for OOjs UI)

EOQ In progress Continues
2: Improve editing experience by reducing technical and product debt Parsing Support audio and video content in Parsoid Parsoid HTML will emit markup for video and audio content according to an agreed-upon spec Parsoid rendering for media files matches existing rendering by the PHP parser bringing us closer to the goal of using Parsoid HTML for edits as well as read views. Deployed April 26, 2017 Yes Done
UI Standardization Define and support mobile browser stack in OOjs UI Define design requirements for widgets on mobile devices and develop an initial implementation of those design elements on some popular browsers. A clear and documented path forward for making OOjs UI a fully responsive and unified experience across platforms Editing Design (for OOjs UI) EOQ In progress Continues

Goal setting process owner: Katie Horn

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Import Silverpop data into Civi Unsubscribes must flow back to Civi email team EOQ To do To do
Continue Ingenico reintegration continue bulk of engineering work Ingenico EOQ To do To do
Central Notice research and outreach Multi year redesign plan Joseph Seddon and external designer EOQ To do To do

Goal setting process owner: Jon Katz

Team Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
New Readers Better support offline users by allowing them to browse and download collections of content via ZIM files in the Android app. Requirements defined and documented in partnership with Android and Reading Services team, including consultation with the Kiwix team. Android, Reading Services EOQ To do To do
Reading Web Improve the quality of printed content on desktop to support offline usage Update and improve current print styles for desktop Community liaisons EOQ To do To do
Increase learning by lowering the cost of exploration Deploy page previews feature to all wikipedias Community liaisons EOQ To do To do
Move towards a single PDF rendering service to simplify UX and lower maintenance requirements Evaluate current OCG functionality and expand the functionality of the Electron Rendering Service Reading Infrastructure, Community liaisons, New Readers EOQ To do To do
Assess the possibility of providing an offline-capable app and unifying content through various services to improve performance and development speed. Define and scope changes to the mobile website for development in 2017-2018 Services, Community liaisons, Apps, New Readers EOQ To do To do
Reading Infrastructure Support power users across devices by developing a Reading List Service Design and Develop a Reading list Service. Deploy to Beta Cluster. ArchCom (RFC) EOQ To do To do
Finalize push notification architecture to bring relevant content and messages to our users Make all key architecture decisions for a Push notification service. Begin development ArchCom (RFC), Ops, Services EOQ To do To do
Android app Support offline users, by adding support to import, read and search offline content from the ZIM format to the Android app. Design and release to beta a version of the app which allows importing, reading and searching the ZIM format. Reading Services. New Readers EOQ To do To do
iOS app Bring relevant content to our users by completing integration of Trending Edits service into Explore feed and Trending Widget. Deliver a feature in the Explore feed and related widget to base "trending content" information on edit rates, rather than previous days page view counts. Reading Services EOQ To do To do
Multimedia Support more expressive media formats, namely 3D models (the 11th most requested item in the 2015 wishlist). Evaluate and address user experience improvements for 3D model support via the beta cluster, and coordinate release to production with the Commons community. TechOps, Services, Community Liaisons, (optional) Communications EOQ To do To do

Goal setting process owner: Danny Horn

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

Team Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Anti-Harassment Tools Improve community culture and reduce incidence of harassment
  • Hire and onboard all five new team members, equipped with the knowledge and initial experience to perform efficiently in FY17-18
Recruiting EOQ Yes Done
Improve the quality of existing admin and staff tools
  • Research, reach agreement on, and begin implementing performance and anti-spoof improvements to AbuseFilter
  • Implement requested changes for SuSa's Trust & Safety tools
... EOQ In progress In progress
Partner with community on identifying and prioritizing needed improvements
  • Produce report of analysis and design research on the User Interaction History feature, based on Wikipedia community input
  • Conduct early stakeholder meetings with admins, stewards and checkusers to gain input on AbuseFilter, ProcseeBot, and CheckUser improvements
  • Design Research
  • Support and Safety
EOQ In progress In progress
Community Wishlist Improve core contributors' productivity Rewrite a stable version of XTools, a popular suite of volunteer-created curation and moderation tools EOQ In progress In progress
Simplify metrics reporting for grant recipients Create a Grant metrics tool that automatically counts and updates important metrics * Community Resources EOQ To do To do
Improve editing experience for active editors Add syntax highlighting to the classic wikitext editor * Editing team EOQ To do To do


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.

Wikidata adapt their programs for WMDE’s new annual plan in 2017. These goals are:

    • Goal 1: Continue to assure the technical and social sustainability of Wikidata (software and community) as the central, structured knowledge data base for the Wikimedia movement and beyond. (Sustainability of Wikidata)
    • Goal 2: Continue to increase the reach of Wikidata into the Wikimedia projects. (Wikidata for Commons, Wiktionary, Wikipedia)

Here you can find all objectives for next quarter.

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Sustainability of Wikidata

Improve the usability of Wikidata.

  • Researched migration to OOUI framework to be more in line with the rest of the Wikimedia projects and improved our input widgets (e.g. preview in the CommonsMedia suggester).
  • Improved the keyboard navigability of the user interface.
  • Created new datatype for linking to geoshapes on Wikimedia Commons.
  • Adapted to Wikimedia’s color palette.
  • Implemented an API for constraints checks.
EOQ In progress
Sustainability of Wikidata

Improve the documentation around Wikidata.

Organized an event to support the community in order to improve documentation and help pages for regular users at the upcoming Wikimedia hackathon in Vienna.

  • Community
EOQ In progress
Sustainability of Wikidata

Keep the community involved, happy and connected.

Start organizing WikidataCon, an event build for and by the Wikidata community for Wikidata’s 5th birthday.

  • Community
EOQ In progress
Wikidata for Commons

Provide structured data support for multimedia files to Wikimedia Commons.

Federation test system (will be published in early April)

  • WMF engineering and database expertise.
EOQ In progress
Wikidata for Wiktionary

Support for storing lexicographical data in order to support Wiktionary.

  • Worked on the Lexeme prototype in order to let the community try it out.
  • Prepared roll-out of support for automated sitelinks to Wiktionary.
  • Published the technical data model specification.
  • Did user research with Wiktionary editors.
EOQ In progress
Allow editing of Wikidata’s data directly from Wikipedia

Continue to increase the reach of Wikidata into the Wikimedia projects.

Iterated on click-dummy based on community feedback.

EOQ In progress
Make ArticlePlaceholder pages discoverable by search engines in order to help small Wikipedias grow their reach

Continue to increase the reach of Wikidata into the Wikimedia projects.

Did a successful trial run on Welsh Wikipedia.

  • Operations team.
EOQ In progress
Automated creation/update of list articles based on queries to Wikidata

Continue to increase the reach of Wikidata into the Wikimedia projects.

Experimented with different ways to make it easier to write and edit queries - specifically query templates. Improved the documentation.

EOQ In progress


Goal setting process owner: Nuria Ruiz

The Analytics Engineering makes Wikimedia related data available for querying and analysis to both WMF and the different Wiki communities and stakeholders. We develop infrastructure so all our users, both within the Foundation and within the different communities, can access data in a self-service fashion that is consistent with the values of the movement.

Objective Key result Tech Goal Dependency ETA Status
Improve tools for data display for the Foundation and community. Better tools to access data. Wikistats 2.0 Initial Launch of Wikistats 2.0 Website which will be a replacement of http://stats.wikimedia.org task T160370 .

Work includes user interface but also development of a new backend on top of the mediawiki edit reconstruction dataset that exists on hive. task T156384

A. Org Level Priority. B. Serving our Audiences. Cloud Services N Not done
Improve data computation and release. Global Unique Devices Counts (Preliminary vetting) task T143928 .

Metric for the number of devices that access *.wikipedia.org. Helps to quantify our global user base in terms of users. Please see: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Unique_Devices

A. Org Level Priority. B. Serving our Audiences. Cloud Services Yes Done
Improve data computing and release Real Time Prepare to deprecate most python RC feeds (July 7th) and help clients migrate. Better support for consumers of real time edit data, less code on server side task T156919 B. Serving our Audiences. Ops Yes Done
Operational Excellence Set of tasks needed to keep lights up and update/upgrade existing systems to maintain and improve current level of service. In order of priority.
  • Improve purging and replication on eventlogging MySQL datastores task T124307, task T161855 To do To do
  • piwik infrastructure refactoring and security upgrades task T159136 Yes Done
  • stat1002/3 replacement task T152712 To do To do
  • Reimage cluster to debian task T157807 Yes Done
  • Consolidation of JVM GC default settings (mostly on the Hadoop cluster) task T159219 Yes Done
  • Preparation work for upgrading kafka and enabling security features in Q1 task T161637, task T161636 Yes Done
  • Improve the Analytics VLAN firewall rules and establish a maintainable upgrade process (could be even decide to drop the rules?) task T157435 To do To do

C and D. Tech Debt and improve our own feature set

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.

Goal-setting process owner: Gilles Dubuc

Objective Key result Quadrant
Outreach B: Customer goal
  • Set up alerts for NavigationTiming - T153169
  • Set up alerts for Save timing - T153170
C: Feature
  • Implement Thumbor thumbnail width request limit - T150741
  • Serve all production traffic with Thumbor - T121388
  • Continue critical rendering path optimisations - T127328
  • Complete migration to jQuery 3 - T124742
  • Evaluate Dynomite on beta - T156938
D: Tech debt
  • Research isolated browser testing environment and proxy - T153360
C: Feature

Goal setting process owner: Greg Grossmeier

All tracked in: #releng-201617-q4 - More details at Wikimedia Release Engineering Team/Goals/201617Q4

Objective Key result Dependency Team members ETA Tech Goal Quad. Status
Streamlined Services Delivery
  • Build a runnable image from tested and confirmed code that is suitable for promotion.
    • define 'tested and confirmed' / determine the entry-point for building a container
    • generate or consume a docker file for building
    • build image, upload and  tag it in docker registry
  • Ops:
    • Docker registry
    • k8s staging cluster to run images  built via the above/our goal
  • Antoine
  • Dan
  • Tyler (Lead)
EOQ Yes Done
Train 2.0
  • Move MW+Extension deploys to scap3 - task T114313 (part 3)
    • Integrate scap with etcd/pybal to automatically depool and repool servers - task T104352
  • Ops (maybe)
  • Chad
  • Mukunda (Lead)
EOQ N Not done
Release MediaWiki 1.29 A quality MediaWiki 1.29 is successfully released - task T153271
  • Wikimedia / MediaWiki dev community
  • Chad
  • Tyler (lead)
End of May N Not 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

AI as a service

  • Contractors/interns
  • Formal collaborators
EOQ Yes Done

Research discoverability

  • Develop all contents for a landing page to improve the discoverability of Wikimedia Research. (T161560)
  • Contractors/interns
  • Design Research
EOQ In progress In progress

Annual workshops and outreach

  • Host the annual Wiki Research Workshop at WWW '17 (Perth, April 2016)
  • Host the WikiCite '17 event (Vienna, May 2016). (T144291)
  • Co-organizers
  • Conference hosts
EOQ Yes Done

Design Research[edit]

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

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status

Generative research

  • Structured Data for Commons
    • Interviews with GLAM representatives to identify user requirements for new batch upload features on Wikimedia Commons
  • New editor experience
    • Analysis of prior research to bring forward what we know and don't know about new editor retention.
    • Design and implementation of contextual inquiry in South Korea and Czech Republic to learn more about new editor retention in mid sized wikis.
    • Author and share findings from the research
  • Movement Strategy: Consultation and ad hoc support for contextual inquiries in Brazil and Indonesia to inform Movement Strategy, track D.
  • Structured Data Program
  • Editing team and Reboot
  • Movement Strategy Track D team and Reboot
EOQ In progress In progress

Evaluative research

  • User evaluation of Recommender systems
    • Identify a set of recommendation-driven features to evaluate in FY17/18, define evaluation goals, methods, and timelines
  • New readers
    • Move offline concepts toward usability and usefulness for new readers, consulting with Mobile Web team as needed for evaluative research.
    • Contribute design research perspectives and collaboration with Awareness and Affordability tracks as needed.
  • Research & Data
  • Scoring Platform (ORES)
  • New Readers team
EOQ In progress In progress

Research communication

  • perform stakeholder interviews and draft key content for research landing page
  • Technical writer (contractor)
EOQ In progress In progress

Goal setting process owner: Darian Partick

Objective Key result Dependency Team members ETA Status
Update automated scanning infrastructure
  • Document use of existing tools
  • Develop standard for review/update of rulesets and tool versions
  • Cross-train staff on tool use
  • TBD
  • Darian
  • Brian
  • Sam
EOQ To do To do

Goal setting process owner: Gabriel Wicke

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Modernize and speed up the storage backing the REST API.
  • Finish implementation of new, more efficient storage schema for recent revisions.
  • Test Cassandra 3, and determine upgrade strategy.
  • [Stretch] Start gradual migration, to be finished in Q1 2017/18.
EOQ In progess
Establish requirements and identify issues for the container development environment and pipeline.
  • Prototype port of mediawiki-containers to the Minikube environment, focusing on the service development use case.
  • Document pain points encountered on the way to guide the planning process for next year’s Technology-wide goal.
EOQ In progress
Team Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Core Ops

Perform a datacenter switchover

  • Successfully switch backend traffic (MediaWiki, Swift, ElasticSearch, RESTBase, and Parsoid) to be served from codfw with no downtime and reduced read-only time
  • Serve the site from codfw for a longer period of time than the last switchover (at least 2 weeks)
  • MediaWiki
  • Performance
  • Release Engineering
  • Services (RESTbase)
  • Discovery (Search)
  • Parsing (Parsoid)
  • Analytics (EventBus)
  • Community Liaisons
May 5th Yes Done

Prepare to serve applications from Kubernetes

  • Eliminate SPOFs in the existing eqiad infrastructure
  • Expand the infrastructure to codfw
  • Prepare and maintain base container images
  • Define a process to keep images up-to-date on similar standards as the rest of production
  • Design and implement a Kubernetes-based staging environment. (stretch)
  • Services
  • Release Engineering
  • Purchasing
EOQ Yes Done

Reduce Swift technical debt

  • Support diversified storage policies such as different levels of replication and low-latency containers
  • Upgrade the Swift infrastructure to run using Debian jessie (or later)
  • Allow rate-limited container operations for better isolation among Swift users and use cases
  • Delete non-used/non-requested thumbnail sizes periodically to reclaim space
EOQ Yes Done

Make progress on Asia Cache DC deployment

  • Finalize and sign contract with the datacenter vendor
  • Finalize system specifications and purchase the necessary hardware
  • Prepare and deploy configuration changes needed for the new systems
  • Allocate the datacenter's IPv4/IPv6 address space
  • Finance
  • Legal
EOQ In progress In progress

Goal setting process owner: Bryan Davis

Objective Key result Dependency ETA Status
Prototype Neutron network configuration that will eventually be applied to the main OpenStack cluster
  • Working Neutron networking in labtest cluster
EOQ Yes Continues
Make a strong technical hire to replace capacity lost in team due to staff attrition
  • Fully staffed team

Recruiting EOQ N Continues
Replace all Wikitech workflows and reporting which rely on Semantic MediaWiki features
  • Uninstall SMW extension from Wikitech
EOQ Yes Done