- This content is prepared for inclusion in the August 2013 Wikimedia Foundation report. It is a shorter and simpler version of the full Wikimedia engineering report for August 2013 that does not assume specialized technical knowledge.
Major news in August include:
In August, the VisualEditor team continued to work on this visual interface to edit wiki pages without markup, and met with the Wikimedia community at Wikimania in Hong Kong to discuss how to best improve it. The software saw three major updates this month, with other smaller updates to fix urgent issues. The focus of this work was on improving the stability and performance of the system, fixing a number of bugs uncovered by the community, and making some usability improvements.
Work also continued on Parsoid, the software that converts wikitext to annotated HTML behind the scenes of VisualEditor. The team continued to improve the compatibility with existing wiki markup, thanks to the feedback provided by users after VisualEditor was released in July. The infrastructure used for the conversion between formats received a much-needed overhaul, notably to improve performance by changing the storage back-end. Performance statistics are now recorded, which will make it easier to identify performance bottlenecks and catch regressions.
In August, the Notifications feature was added to Wikipedia in French, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese and Swedish. It was well received, particularly the ability to notify people by mentioning them in a discussion, and the ability to thank users for an edit. Notifications should be added to all Wikimedia sites in the coming months.
Development continued on the upcoming discussion system ("Flow"). New features were added to the prototype, notably the revision history and a moderation tool.
A few changes were made to the Article Feedback Tool on the English and French Wikipedias, like improvements to the opt-out tool. Feedback notifications have also been added, to let users know when useful feedback is given for a page they monitor. The article feedback tool will be made available to other wiki projects interested in testing it later this year.
This month, the Editor Engagement Experiments team (E3) primarily focused on development for its next and final test of the Getting Started task suggestion system, a part of a project aimed at onboarding new Wikipedians. The team also worked on enhancements and bug fixes for the GuidedTour feature, such as adding the ability to customize default tour actions and better integration with VisualEditor.
In August, the Mobile Apps team released a new version of the Commons photo uploader app for iOS and Android. The interface of the iOS version was improved, while the Android version received incremental updates, such as better support for upload campaigns (like Wiki Loves Monuments). The team also started making plans for the next generation of the Wikipedia reader app, which will be more closely integrated with the mobile web site, to ensure that new features are always available through a web view, even where there isn't specific native support.
The team continued to plan the re-architecture of Wikipedia Zero, the program that allows free mobile access to Wikipedia on select carriers. They also analyzed HTTPS requirements in support of a push for greater usage of HTTPS across Wikimedia projects.
Last, the mobile editing feature on the mobile site continued to be improved. Bugs were fixed, and the feature show at the section level of articles was expanded. The first iteration of mobile notifications was also activated on wikis projects where Notifications are enabled.