Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-01-10/Technology report

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The Wikipedia Signpost

Bugs, Repairs, and Internal Operational News

By Aude, 10 January 2009

This is a summary of recent (as in, since the last technology report was written) technology and site configuration changes that affect the English Wikipedia. Note that not all changes described here are necessarily live as of press time; the English Wikipedia is currently running version 1.28.0-wmf.20 (3b2ecce), and changes to the software with a version number higher than that will not yet be active. Configuration changes and changes to interface messages, however, become active immediately.

Fixed bugs

  • Searches for words with less than four characters are now possible. (r43920, bug 7726)
  • MediaWiki now returns a 404 HTTP status code when a non-existent page is requested, enabling external bots and spiders to detect broken links to non-existent or deleted pages. This change should be transparent to end-users. (r44919, bug 2585)
  • Terminology on article history pages has changed, from saying "(cur)(last)" to "(cur)(prev)". (r45311, bug 6749)

New features

  • Users can now specify a timezone in user preferences, which will automatically fill in the time correction to UTC and adjust according to daylight saving time changes. (r44915, bug 505)
  • An option has been added to Special:Preferences to reset preferences to the site defaults. (r45563, bug 2164)
  • Parser function added to provide protection status of a page. {{PROTECTIONLEVEL:edit}} will return the protection level for page edits. (r45587, bug 9947)
  • The upload limit has been increased from 20 to 100 megabytes, though some uploads on the high end of that range might hit post-size limits and not succeed. The upload limit increase provides added ability to upload videos to Wikimedia Commons, and djvu files to Wikisource. (bug 12595)
  • The Collection extension [1] developed by PediaPress has gone live on Wikibooks, and may be enabled on other Wikimedia projects in the future. This extension allows exporting pages as Adobe PDF documents. The extension also provides a Special:Collection page, with additional options for printing, as well as ordering printed book versions through PediaPress. A portion of the PediaPress sales will be donated to the Wikimedia Foundation. (bug 474)

Interface changes

  • The "Image" namespace has been renamed to "File", since sound and other media files are also uploaded to that namespace. "Image" is now listed as an alias for the "File" namespace, for backward compatibility purposes. Thus, "Image" still works where it is used on Wikipedia. (r43639, bug 44)

Other news

  • The Wikimedia Foundation is now hiring for three positions (based in San Francisco) for the Wikipedia Usability Initiative, supported by a grant from the Stanton Foundation. The goal of this initiative is to measurably increase the usability of Wikipedia for new contributors by improving the underlying software on the basis of user behavioral studies, thereby reducing barriers to public participation. The three open positions are Interaction Designer, Software Developer, and Sr. Software Developer. See the Wikimedia Foundation site for details.
  • The toolserver was down for a couple days around New Year's, due to the servers being moved from the Amsterdam facility to another data center. After the move, there were problems with one of the database servers (yarrow), which took a few days to fix. While awaiting the fix, a log file was deleted and replication on one of the clusters is now not working. This means that database copies on the toolserver for some Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects are not up-to-date. However, the replication problem is only affecting some of the smaller projects and not English Wikipedia. Some interwiki tools such as CheckUsage (for images) are not fully functional at this time, producing outdated results.

Ongoing news

  • Internationalisation has been continuing as normal; help is always appreciated! See mw:Localisation statistics for how complete the translations of languages you know are, and post any updates to bugzilla or use Betawiki.

Also this week:

News and notes — In the news — Dispatches — Features and admins — Technology report — Arbitration report

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