Last week saw a significant discussion on the wikitech-l technology mailing list about the future of category sorting. The discussion was prompted by Aryeh Gregor (User:Simetrical) announcing that he would be working on the area. Among the outstanding bug requests being targeted was the ability to paginate sub-categories, pages and files separately. Of particular interest to non-English wikis is the development of a system to allow custom category sort-orders, instead of relying on the Unicode specification. For example, this would allow the sorting of "é" straight after "e" in languages that use such a diacritic, rather than at the end of the alphabet as at present. Discussion on how best to fix these bugs is ongoing.
Multimedia upload wizard: preliminary test results promising
Highlights from the testing of the current upload interface: user consternation!
As User:TheDJ wrote, last week Guillaume Paumier (User:Guillom) of the Wikimedia Multimedia Usability team published some results on his blog from the first testing done of the usability of the Wikimedia Commons upload process, and the first prototype for the new upload wizard currently under development. Paumier noted of the tests:
Long story short: the current interface is a nightmare, and the prototype is way better, even if there are some minor things to improve. The good news is, all the items to improve were already planned features at the time of testing, and they have either already been added, or will be before the upload wizard is released.
Namely, one of the main remaining issues is the fact that users don’t really understand copyright and free licenses. That’s why we've been working on a licensing tutorial at the same time, to be released jointly with the new upload wizard.
He added, "we don't want to make a lot of publicity about our prototype yet. If you happen to know about it and you want to share your opinion, that's fine. But we'll officially invite the community later to try it out."
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.
Edits to extensions are now more likely to be (auto-)"deferred" in the CodeReview process for centrally managing improvements to the MediaWiki software. The hope is to save time for reviewing edits to the MediaWiki core (wikitech-l mailing list post).
The page_props database table will now include the displaytitle value, allowing its far quicker retrieval via the API (bug #23936).
XML-format dumps were halted temporarily to allow for the removal of several bad dumps and the implementation of improved creation processes.
Guillaume Paumier also reported about his participation in a recent conference about KDE: Wikimedia at KDE Akademy 2010 (including video and slides for his presentation about the UX program, together with fellow Wikimedia developer Parul Vora)