Google Summer of Code: Peter Potrowl
We continue a series of articles about this year's Google Summer of Code (GSoC) with student Peter Potrowl, who describes his project to develop a system for transcluding templates from other wikis:
I have been a daily user of MediaWiki for more than five years and, in the months before the application phase of GSoC, I noticed that sharing templates across wikis would be particularly interesting and could save a lot of energy, especially for the small wikis whose users often have to re-create templates which already exist in bigger wikis. Having some templates (license templates, climate and population charts and, why not, infoboxes) stored on a reference wiki (like the images on Commons) would allow each wiki to transclude them on demand and updating the data on that wiki would update it on the small wikis as well. After consulting MediaWiki's central bug and feature request repository Bugzilla, I found that some feature requests had already been opened for quite a long time and I decided that my proposal for GSoC would be to answer those requests.
After my proposal was accepted, I worked for three months this [northern] summer, supervised by Roan Kattouw (User:Catrope), to implement this "interwiki template transclusion" in MediaWiki's core. The challenge was to produce reliable and efficient code ... to allow its deployment on the WMF's servers. For this, the opinion and advice of the other MediaWiki developers was very helpful and, with them and my mentor, I managed to produce a prototype which is currently running and can be tested by anybody. Further improvements still need to be made before this code is merged into the trunk (i.e. goes live to any sites) and I hope Wikimedia contributors will be able to use this feature in a few months. I plan to continue improving MediaWiki after this. Thanks to all the people who contributed!
Readers interested in the possibilities of interwiki transclusion may wish to refer to Daniel Kinzler's blog post earlier this month.
Not all fixes may have gone live to WMF sites at the time of writing; some may not be scheduled to go live for many weeks.
As part of an ongoing upgrade of the antiquated storage of user preferences, users have had the storage of their options changed en masse. Previously, changing a preference would trigger the invisible upgrade, but since many users do not customise their preferences, 9.3 million users on the English Wikipedia alone were still on the old system, with fewer than 4 million on the new. The consistency this creates will be used in a number of new projects, including a universal "Take me back" button to switch back to the Monobook skin.
A PagedTiffHandler for the display of TIFF files was briefly enabled on Wikimedia Commons, but was soon disabled because of its negative side-effect (disabling the upload of any non-TIFF file, bug #24954).
The Bugzilla interface for tracking bugs and feature requests has been upgraded to version 3.6.2 from a previous 3.4.x series installation (bug #24874, release notes).
Many of the outstanding bugs with image thumbnailing have been fixed (e.g. bug #24824).
Oversighters are being given the capability to suppress AbuseFilter log entries (cf. bug #24943.)
The recent changes feed has been provisionally made available via the XMPP protocol, mainly for the use of bots. It is thought to be a significant improvement over the existing IRC feed.