Pune hackathon (10–12 February 2012, Pune, India) — Preparation began and registration opened for an outreach-focused developers week-end to take place in Pune, India, and led by Alolita Sharma. Approximately 70 participants are expected, focusing on the gadgets framework, mobile Wikimedia access, and internationalization.
Data Centers [?] — The team deployed a new MediaWiki profiling system based on graphite, to track performance across the application stack, and to provide statistics/graphing as a service for MediaWiki within the WMF production environment. Some database servers were moved to newer hardware (including OTRS), and those in the Ashburn data center were upgraded to a new build of mysql-at-facebook. Mark Bergsma refactored our configuration tool (Puppet) to address scalability and performance issues.
Media Storage [?] — As part of the preparation for the migration of our media service to Swift, a distributed storage back-end, we need to keep the current system afloat a bit longer. We reclaimed some space by purging thumbnails not newly generated and not in use on any of our projects. We also performed Swift thumbnail integration and stress testing. Read performance is about 10x what we need on the performance test cluster so we're good on that front. Write performance is only 2x what we need, but sufficient to move forward. Tests and research indicates performance drops over a few million objects; the easiest path forward is to shard the Commons container using the existing hashed characters in the URL, splitting the container into 256 containers.
HTTPS — HTTPS support was added for mobile, for Wikipedia. After an initial testing period, we'll enable this for further mobile sites. A number of other miscellaneous services also had HTTPS set up or fixed.
Wikimedia Labs [?] — A server admin log was created for every project, as well as a combined log. OpenStackManager 1.3 and LdapAuthentication 2.0a were deployed to Labs. Live migration of instances has been enabled for the OpenStack Nova infrastructure, allowing updates and upgrade of hardware without bringing instances down. A gluster storage cluster has been ordered for use as volume storage. A number of projects were added or moved to Labs, including adminbot, nagios, Cluebot, testswarm and the reportcard service. There are now 33 projects, 52 instances, and 74 users.
Data Dumps [?] — The end of the year closed out with another full dump of the English language Wikipedia on schedule. More work was done on code to allow restart of the history phase of a dump from a specified point without a long catchup delay. An experimental service was tested this month: a newly formatted file of article content and an accompanying index, more convenient for data analysts and for use with offline readers.
Article feedback — Aaron Halfaker, Oliver Keyes and Dario Taraborelli have finished gathering valuable data from the community about the usefulness of comments coming in from each of the three forms launched in December. A survey to get comments from readers about the effectiveness and attractiveness of each design was also introduced, and the team has been compiling the various sets of data to produce a report on the pros and cons of each form. Fabrice Florin is leading development on the next round of features, including a new feedback page, to be implemented by OmniTI, our development partner.
UploadWizard — Users can now choose a default license for all uploads in their user preferences under "Upload Wizard" (bug 24702). All license choices now also link to the legal code of a license. The built-in feedback form more prominently links to Bugzilla.
Mobile Research [?] — Mani Pande and Parul Vora consolidated all the research findings from Brazil, India, and the USA into one report. It's currently being converted to PDF and wikitext to facilitate its publication.
Android Wikipedia App [?] — Several release candidates were released over the month and we're nearing completion of the first version of the app, thanks to developers Yuvaraj Pandian and Brion Vibber. Nightly builds are available for testing.
WikipediaZero — We began work on the infrastructure for zero-rated Wikipedia access. Next month, we'll start testing with one of our partners to work out the kinks of giving users free data access to Wikipedia.
GPS Storage/Retrieval — Max Semenik joined the mobile team and began prototying an API to store and retrieve GPS coordinates on our wikis. This will be a critical component of the mobile projects; it will replace our existing use of GeoNames.org and can also supplement GeoHack.
Featured Article RSS — Max Semenik built the first version of an extension to expose featured articles, In the news, and other main page content so that our partners can better re-use our data.
2011 Fundraiser — The DonationInterface extension underwent enhancements to tighten up security. Support was also added for monthly recurring donations for credit cards through our new payment processor, GlobalCollect, and we are working on automating the processing of recurring payments to our instance of CiviCRM. We built custom mass-mailing scripts to e-mail about 1 million past donors to encourage them to donate again. The ContributionReporting extension was enhanced by storing aggregated data in their own tables and updating them periodically, to eliminate the cache stampede problem uncovered last month. We added support for automatic notification of non-credit card payments from GlobalCollect, which allows us to automatically record donor and donation information in our donor database.
VipsScaler — VIPS hasn't proven as effective at saving memory on large PNG files as what was expected, but it has shown improvements for large TIFFs. Deployment to Wikimedia sites is deferred until MediaWiki 1.19 is deployed. Bryan Tong Minh will reach out to upstream developers to include fixes for PNG and JPG files.
Wikimedia Report Card 2.0 — The reportcard 2.0 was moved to the Labs environment, and its source code centralized. The back-end and front-end code of stats.grok.se was rewritten and is being deployed to Labs as well. A renewed effort is expected as new employees come on board in January.
Bug management — Mark Hershberger followed up on MediaWiki 1.18 bugs, and wrote a FAQ listing issues and offering solutions until 1.18.1 is released. Mark also continued to go through "highest priority" bugs, dealt with bugzilla vandalism, reviewed patches submitted in bugzilla, and held bug triages on MediaWiki 1.18 and Fundraising engineering.
MediaWiki architecture document — This project was mostly on hold in December, while the book's technical reviewers went through the content. They provided a second round of feedback and minor recommendations, that will be addressed in January.
The engineering management team continues to update the Software deployments page weekly, providing up-to-date information on the upcoming deployments to Wikimedia sites, as well as the engineering roadmap, listing ongoing and future Wikimedia engineering efforts.