Wikimedia blog maintenance/status


Last update on: 2012-04-monthly


After assessing the current situation of Wikimedia blogs, Guillaume Paumier worked with the Communications team, and other departments, to collect requirements. A technical proposal was then created and a prototype set up. Implementation should now happen shortly.


Rob Halsell set up a test blog and documented the blog our configuration management system. This will facilitate backups and redeployment, and further streamlining and automating our operations processes. Technical issues with the back-end delayed the implementation, but Rob resolved them with Ryan Lane's help. Deployment happened on May 7 and went smoothly. This project is considered completed, even though we'll continue to improve the blogs incrementally in the future (read more).


Guillaume Paumier fixed bugs and made tweaks to the theme, which is still hosted on github (until Wikimedia switches to git). There are plans to host a prototype blog in Wikimedia Labs to facilitate testing of new functionality.


Guillaume Paumier continued to fix bugs in the blog's theme, and started to develop a WordPress plugin to bring functionality specific to the Wikimedia blog independently of the theme (for example, expanding the group of users who can upload files).


The new WMBlog plugin (which brings functionality specific to the Wikimedia blog independently of the theme) was deployed in January, as well as tweaks to the theme. Due to the SOPA/PIPA blackout-related traffic, the Operations team moved the blog to a newer, more powerful server and added caching layers (Varnish & Memcached), and Guillaume Paumier fixed the blog's theme to paginate comments. Guillaume also fixed issues with attachment pages, and created a custom "meta" widget that adds a link to the Wikimedia blog guidelines to the WordPress standard meta widget.


Rob Halsell upgraded the WordPress code and third-party plugins to their latest version, and started to set up a test instance in Wikimedia Labs. The recent improvements to the theme and new features in the WMBlog plugin are awaiting deployment to the production site. In the meantime, Guillaume Paumier has started to rewrite the theme's layout so it can be centered.


Development was mostly on hold in March in favor of discussions and longer-term planning. The theme's layout rewrite should be resumed in April.


Guillaume Paumier made minor changes to the theme, like not displaying trackbacks and pings in the comments list. He investigated plugins to support multiple authors, photo galleries and multilingual posts, and is testing Piwik as a possible solution to record metrics. Chad Horohoe created git repositories for the WP-Victor theme and the WMBlog plugin in Gerrit, and imported their history from GitHub.