Bugs, Repairs, and Internal Operational News
This week saw the final release of MediaWiki 1.17.0 to external sites. Since Wikimedia wikis have been running a version of it for some months now, its feature set (highlighted in a post to the wikitech-l mailing list and a blogpost to accompany the release) will be familiar to regular Signpost readers: the new ResourceLoader, category sorting, and the usual array of new features and bug fixes. 1.17 also features a new installer that makes it easier to set up a new wiki from scratch, especially where the user is not experienced with writing code, and better support for the Oracle database system. 1.17 comes 11 months after the last major release, 1.16.0.
This gap between releases is something that many developers are keen to avoid with 1.18, which has been already been stabilising for nearly two months (see previous Signpost coverage). The process of stabilisation includes reviewing all the code developed for 1.18: code which stretches to thousands of revisions. As of the beginning of June, there were still over 1600 left to be checked. As the most experienced developers, those able to perform code review, have swapped their focus from 1.17 to 1.18, the pace of code review has quickened (chart). After several weeks of missing tentative targets which would focus on a deployment in early August, it was announced this week that the 1000 target would be broken, only a day or two behind schedule (wikitech-l). (At the time of writing, the number of revisions still to be reviewed stands at approximately 825.)
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.
- According to the Foundation-maintained "Software deployments" page, the UploadWizard was updated on 23 June, whilst next week will see improvement to the ArticleFeedback extension and an improved caching mechanism to speed up server processing times.
- The Wikimedia Techblog carried a post describing the WikiLove extension, designed to be a friendly alternative to the automated warning systems of Twinkle and other gadgets. See also this week's "News and notes"
- Sanskrit-language Wikipedias now have the Narayam extension activated. It allows users to write in the Sanskit script much more easily via an automated transliteration system. It remains strictly optional.
- Tomasz Finc, a developer with the WMF, summarised the results of a recent usability study of the Kiwix Wikipedia reader in a blogpost on the Foundation's blog. Among the issues participants found tricky were managing bookmarks, using Kiwix's tabbed interface, and getting to grips with the keyboard shortcuts it does and doesn't support.