Wikimedia Engineering/Report/2013/February/summary

Jump to navigation Jump to search
TriangleArrow-Left.svg Summary for January 2013 Summary of the Wikimedia engineering February 2013 report Summary for March 2013TriangleArrow-Right.svg
This content is prepared for inclusion in the February 2013 Wikimedia Foundation report. It is a shorter and simpler version of the full (and English-only) Wikimedia engineering report for February 2013 that does not assume specialized technical knowledge.

Major news in February include:


VisualEditor is on schedule to become the default editor for Wikimedia users by July 2013. The alpha version of the VisualEditor on the English Wikipedia and was updated twice, adding support for Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 9 and above), improving the support for multiple languages, preparing the backend for upcoming features and fixing several issues reported by the community. Software engineer and Commons contributor Ed Sanders joined the team to work on the VisualEditor data infrastructure.

In the backend, Parsoid is going through intense activity focusing on performance improvements. New contributor volunteer contributor C. Scott Ananian improved its performance by switching the DOM library from JSDom to Domino. He also improved image handling and contributed numerous other patches. The team wrote a blog post explaining the technical challenge.

Editor engagement[edit]

The Notifications project (codenamed Echo) is preparing its beta release to English Wikipedia by the end of March. This new set of features, already enabled at, was summarized for the Wikimedia community through a blog post. New features are being developed: bundling notifications, dismissing types of notifications and defining user preferences.

Article Feedback v5 (AFT5) is now feature complete, and a new release is being prepared for interested Wikimedia projects. English Wikipedia will use it as an optional feature, while French and German Wikipedia projects are planning to enable it for all articles. The new features include simpler moderation tools, better filters, new feedback link, auto-archive and discuss on talk page. We posted a usability study report about the effectiveness of the new moderation tools.

The Editor Engagement Experiments team continued testing Guided tours as part of the onboarding new Wikipedians experiences currently enabled on English Wikipedia. GuidedTour extension was enabled on Wikimedia Commons and six Wikipedias (including French, German, and Dutch). The GettingStarted extension is being enhanced to include a wider variety of task types offered to new editors.


Mobile web uploads functionality went out of beta and is now enabled in all Wikimedia projects. All registered users have now the ability to upload and add images to articles lacking them. We also explored two new upload workflows: adding a call to action to articles that appear in the Nearby and Watchlist view, and allowing users to quickly see articles near them that may need an image. Lastly, we began collaborating with the Fundraising team to enable CentralNotice on the mobile web, giving us the ability to deliver targeted banners to mobile users.

The new Commons app beta for Android and iOS got a first wave of users (installation instructions) and feedback, leading to many updates during the month. The Android app is in Google Play. iOS users need to go through a process for testers until the app is stable and available at the Apple App Store.

Wikipedia Zero launched with a new partner, Orange Botswana. We've also begun testing with Vimpelcom for an upcoming launch in March.