Bugs, Repairs, and Internal Operational News
Wikimania live streaming and rebroadcast
As Wikimania draws to a close, the debate about how best to (re)broadcast video footage has begun on the wikitech-l mailing list. There was general praise for the quality and reliability of this year's live video feeds provided by the iStream.pl company – for instance, User:Bodnotbod commented that "most talks had multiple camera set-ups and live cutting to keep it more visually engaging. It really made me feel a part of the conference". However, User:Gmaxwell criticised the choice of an Adobe Flash-based mechanism for displaying them. Flash, developed commercially, has wide support among operating systems and web browsers but remains proprietary: this conflicts with the Foundation and community-at-large's vision of a world based around open source software. An open source alternative exists in the form of the Theora OGG format (.ogv), though support for OGG remains patchy despite Wikimedia and other groups pushing for its adoption.
Last year, there was almost no live streaming, with just about all video converted to OGG format overnight and relayed via Wikimedia Commons and other sites. This time round, it seems unlikely that OGG files will be available for several weeks, but they could potentially be of a more professional standard. In the meantime, slideshows and PDF versions of the presentations are already available.
Import of French books begins
In April this year, the French chapter of the WMF, Wikimedia France, announced it had reached an agreement with the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF) to import about 1400 French public domain texts primarily for use on the French Wikisource (see Signpost coverage). This week, the technical work began. This involved first downloading each text from the BNF in DjVu form on July 7, and reuploading it directly into the system, the following day. It is not known how complete the transition is.
[Update: See the talk page of this section for some corrections and additional information]
Note: 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.
- Bug #24196, referring to problems with Special:ValidationStatistics (itself related to pending changes), has been fixed.
- The first support for "Special:" namespace pages has been added to the MediaWiki API, namely the ability to check their existence and other basic properties (bug #24185).
- The Wikipedia pageview statistics visualiser http://stats.grok.se has suffered from intermittent readings. The cause is thought to be an underlying one in the data itself supplied by the software.
- A dynamic recent changes feed for the latest web browsers has been created and is available on the Toolserver. More details, including how to embed it as a user script, are available.
- The option "Mark all edits minor by default" is soon to be removed from Special:Preferences, because "users often set it and forget it, causing non-minor edits to be marked minor." (bug #24313).
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