- This content is prepared for inclusion in the December 2013 Wikimedia Foundation report. It is a shorter and simpler version of the full Wikimedia engineering report for December 2013 that does not assume specialized technical knowledge.
Major news in December include:
- a retrospective on Language Engineering events, including the language summit in Pune, India;
- the launch of a draft feature on the English Wikipedia, to provide a gentler start for Wikipedia articles.
In December, the VisualEditor team worked to continue the improvements to the stability and performance of this interface that allows users to edit wiki pages visually rather than using wiki markup. Most of the team's focus was on major new features and fixing bugs. There is now basic support for rich copy-and-paste from external sources into VisualEditor, and a basic tool to insert characters not otherwise available on users' keyboards. Work also continued on a dialog for quickly adding references using citation templates.
The Parsoid team, who is developing the parsing program that converts wiki markup to annotated HTML (and back) behind the scenes of VisualEditor, continued their relentless work to eliminate bugs and incompatibilities. Problems arose during the migration to node 0.10, the platform that runs Parsoid. The team rolled back the upgrade, investigated and fixed the issue. Testing has also been improved so that similar issues are caught in the future. Last, the team created several requests for comment concerning architectural components of the MediaWiki platform.
In December, we enabled Flow to a few selected pages on mediawiki.org (Talk:Flow and Talk:Sandbox) and collected feedback about the features and design to date from the community (read the summary). Throughout the feedback period, we worked on implementing design changes, such as a more compact view of the board and a different interface for topic and post actions, as well as different visualizations of history information, based on the comments of users testing the software.
We also began a straw poll about launching Flow as a beta trial in the discussion spaces of WikiProject Breakfast, WikiProject Hampshire, and WikiProject Video Games on the English Wikipedia. Based on the outcome of these polls, we hope to deploy Flow to those pages in January.
The Growth team spent time working on product development and research for upcoming Wikipedia article creation improvements. First and foremost, the team fulfilled a request from the English Wikipedia community to launch the new Draft namespace there. Pau Giner and others on the team simultaneously began design work on future improvements to drafts functionality, including recruiting for usability testing sessions.
During the last month, the Wikipedia Zero team continued to make it easier to configure partnerships with telecommunications carriers that offer access to Wikipedia at no data cost to their mobile subscribers. They also implemented a global landing page redirector for mobile Wikipedia website access. Last, the team started working on an HTML5 webapp proof of concept as an option for rebooting the Firefox OS app.
The Mobile web projects team has been working on finishing the redesign of the overlays and mobile on-boarding. The "Keep going" feature has been changed to a workflow that asks users to add blue links and includes a tutorial. This is consistent with what we've learned about how guiding users helps accomplish more edits, and it fits into more of micro contributory workflow that we want to experiment with. We've also worked on an A/B test displaying an edit guider for users signing up from the left nav menu. This is mirroring the edit guider that displays for users signing up through the edit call to action. It also is consistent with the behavior that the desktop site will be displaying to users as a result of the OB6 A/B test.
The mobile apps team added saved pages, article navigation, and language support to the mobile Wikipedia app. During the quarterly planning meeting, it was decided to postpone photo uploads from our market release plan in favor of text editing.