Wikimedia Engineering/Project documentation howto

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New approach in Phabricator[edit]

WMF manages engineering projects in Phabricator, in which we have a Roadmap workboard for high-level goals.

More details coming, see discussion in Talk:Wikimedia Engineering#Moving to Phabricator

Old Engineering project pages on mw.org[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation aims to work as transparently as possible, and this includes development and operations work (collectively referred to as "engineering").

Engineering projects are documented publicly whenever possible. In particular, development projects each get a "project page" on this wiki.

The project page is the central venue for the project team to coordinate their efforts publicly, and for the rest of the world to learn about what is being done and how they can help. MediaWiki development relies heavily on volunteers. Project pages allow you to make it easier for volunteers to find information about your projects, and to get involved.

Project pages usually include basic information about the project (name, description, team, dates, etc.) and links to other documents (design and architecture docs, etc.). It's really up to you and your team to find how to best use the project page. Just know that the more open you are, the more engaged the community will be about your work.

A very important piece of information for a project is its current status; status updates are recorded in a subpage and surfaced in many places, including the monthly engineering report.

This page provides information on how to create, use and update project documentation pages. Feedback and questions are appreciated on the talk page.

How to create an activity page[edit]

Features, Mobile & Platform groups[edit]

  1. Go to your team hub: Features, Mobile, Platform or Analytics
  2. Click the Edit button.
  3. Add a line for your new activity similar to the existing ones in the list.
    Syntax: {{Wikimedia project index line|Title of your new activity here}}
  4. Save the page.
  5. Click the red link labeled "Create a project page for this activity".
  6. Fill in the fields of the template according to the instructions, and save the page. This will add more boiler

Other groups[edit]

If your group doesn't have a hub:

  1. Enter the name of the activity in the field below and press the button:


  2. Fill in the fields of the template according to the instructions, and save the page. This will add more boilerplate content.
  3. If appropriate, remove the unneeded elements on the page, and add links / content specific to your activity
  4. Add your new activity to the Wikimedia Engineering portal:
    Syntax: {{Wikimedia project shortdesc|Title of the page you just created}} (in the appropriate section)
  5. Add your new activity to the next monthly engineering report (in the appropriate section). The date is the last day of the month the report covers, in ISO 8601 format.
    Syntax: {{Wikimedia engineering report project status|Title of the page you just created|date=2012-01-31}}

How to add a status update for the monthly engineering report[edit]

Features, Mobile, i18n, E3 & Platform[edit]

  1. Make sure you have enabled the WMF Project Status Helper gadget in your preferences. If you haven't, check the appropriate box and save your preferences.
  2. Find your project in the next report
  3. Click the [edit] link next to your project; this should open an overlay called Project status helper.
  4. Check that the correct project was selected from the drop-down menu.
  5. Check that the Include in Monthly report? box is checked (the date doesn't matter).
  6. Enter your status update in the "Description" field, preview, and publish. You're done!

Operations, Wikidata & Offline[edit]

Edit the next monthly engineering report directly. You won't have the nifty overlay.

How to add a new status update to a an activity page[edit]

Features, Mobile & Platform groups[edit]

  1. Make sure you have enabled the WMF Project Status Helper gadget in your preferences. If you haven't, check the appropriate box and save your preferences.
  2. Go to your team hub: Features, Mobile or Platform.
  3. Find your project in the list.
  4. Click [add new] on the right; this should open an overlay called "Project status helper".
  5. Check that the correct project was selected from the dropdown menu.
  6. Check the date.
  7. Enter your status update in the "Description" field, preview, and publish.

How to edit the activity information (team, dates, etc.)[edit]

  1. Go to your team hub: Features, Mobile or Platform.
  2. Find your activity in the list.
  3. Click [edit] in the Description or Team column

You can also edit the project page directly: Go to the project page, edit and save.

See also[edit]