News and notes
Commons, conferences, and more
Commons reaches 4 million files
The four millionth file on Commons
Commons reached 4 million files on March 4, 2009, less than eight months after it reached 3 million. This makes Wikimedia Commons currently the fastest growing Wikimedia project.
The 4 millionth file is an image of mountains near Masca in the Canary Islands, and was uploaded by Kallerna. The photo is released into the public domain.
In December and January, Commons received a significant boost from the Bundesarchiv project, in which nearly 100,000 donated images were uploaded. Commons reached 2 million files on 8 October 2007 and 3 million on 16 July 2008.
Developer meetup planned for April
A MediaWiki developer meetup is planned for April 3-5 in Berlin. According to the project page, the meetup is for anyone "who works on MediaWiki, writes extensions, builds bots, writes scripts for the toolserver, or is otherwise interested in the technical aspects of Wikimedia." The event will be run as a barcamp, with a loose schedule.
The meeting will be in parallel with a Wikimedia Foundation Board and Chapters meeting.
Attendees are asked to pre-register by March 20th; details are here.
Wikimania bidding cities
The bidding cities for Wikimania 2010 have been announced; they are Amsterdam, Gdańsk and Oxford. The next stage is a month-long period where bids may be improved; this will be followed by a public meeting on March 30 and a two-week judging period by the Wikimania jury.
New usability team members and testing
Naoko Komura, leader of the Wikipedia Usability Initiative, has announced that three new people have joined the usability team: Arash Boostani, Parul Vora and Trevor Parscal. Boostani is formerly of Genentech, and joined the project as Senior Software Developer. Vora was formerly a designer at Yahoo! and a researcher at Yahoo! Research Berkeley, and brings user interface design experience to the team. Parscal is a current member of the Wikimedia tech team, who is transferring to the usability team as software designer. The usability team is also currently interviewing for a second software designer position.
Usability testing as part of the Usability Initiative is also now underway. According to Komura, a CentralNotice (image) aimed at recruiting Wikipedia readers in San Francisco for the tests has been running this week, and in-person and remote testing will occur on March 24, 25 and 26. The target audience of testers are Wikipedia readers who have little or no experience in editing articles. The banner is displayed within the range of 1:400 to 1:100 page views, and is set to be disabled on March 12.
Flagged revisions proposal
Although discussions about potential trials of the flagged revisions extension have essentially ground to a halt, Jimbo Wales has indicated on his talk page that he is "shopping a very premature proposal around", with "[n]ews to come soon." This follows Wales's request in January that flagged revisions be enabled based on a straw poll showing 60% support for a vaguely defined trial; developer Brion Vibber indicated that it would not be enabled "before working out some very specific parameters for the test first" (see earlier story). A number of potential trials were outlined following the events in January, but no single dominant proposal has emerged for evaluation.