Intermittent outages planned, first Wikidata client deployment
Wikidata deployed to Hungarian Wikipedia
The Wikidata team in April 2012
The Wikidata client extension was successfully deployed to the Hungarian Wikipedia on 14 January, its team reports. The interwiki language links can now come from wikidata.org, though "manual" interwiki links remain functional, overriding those from the central repository. Although they are now little more than edit window clutter, members of the Hungarian Wikipedia community have been hesitant with regard to remove existing links, given that Wikidata-ignorant interwiki bots remain in operation, potentially re-inserting the "missing" links in the wikitext. Changes coming from Wikidata can also be seen in recent changes and in the watchlist, though they are hidden by default, marking an end to interwiki-link changes cluttering watchlists (announcement on huwiki (in Hungarian) and blog post (in English) on the Wikimedia Germany blog). Deployments to the Hebrew and Italian Wikipedias are planned for 30 January, and assuming all goes well – and communities remain receptive – the Wikidata client should have found its way onto English Wikipedia by the end of February and then onto other language Wikipedias in the following month. The Wikidata team welcomes feedback, either via the Contact the development team page on Wikidata, on #wikimedia-wikidata on IRC, or on the mailing list. In addition to Hungarian Wikipedia, the client is also enabled on test2wiki where interested users who do not speak Hungarian can test it.
Development of phase 2, relating to infobox-style data entries is progressing well, the Wikidata team reports, though again code review is likely to be a slow and arduous process and no deployment dates have yet been set. In related news, the 3 millionth Wikidata item was created on January 13: "List of mayors of Westdorpe", a large village in the Netherlands.
Intermittent outages expected during primary data centre switchover
Servers at the Ashburn data centre
CT Woo, the Foundation's Director of Operations, announced the change on the wikitech-l mailing list:
||The team has scheduled the week of 22nd January, 2013 to perform the switchover. We are going to block a 8-hour migration window on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th. During those periods, 17:00 UTC to 01:00 UTC (9am to 5pm PST), there will be intermittent blackouts. ... We will make the final Go/No decision on 18th January.
In the event of an outage, Wikimedians can get updates on IRC in the #wikimedia-tech channel, or via Wikimedia's Twitter accounts @wikimedia or @wikimediatech (detailed server logs).
As the operations and core platform team are setting up new servers and infrastructure, they are taking it as an opportunity to also switchover to new deployment tools (git-deploy) and a new internal workflow for the regular code updates to the Wikimedia projects.
Echo project holds office hours
Notifications on MediaWiki.org
The Echo team held IRC office hours on January 8 where they discussed development progress on a Facebook-style notification system for editors. As previously reported, Echo, currently deployed on MediaWiki.org, provides notifications when someone edits your talk page, creates a link to an article you created, nominates it for deletion, adds maintenance tags, or reverts your edit. There will be a notifications "badge" at the top of the page, next to your user name, which can replace the "yellow" bar that users see now when you have a new talk page message. The team described how they have a "'user mention' notification in the works" which could work similar to Twitter mentions and notify you when someone mentions you on another page. The team welcomes feedback on the types of notifications to provide, although they initially have in mind new users, who are more likely to miss important events than established users. Echo may also provide a public notifications API that could be used by bots and scripts, the team said, though they, together with the community, would need to figure out how to balance ease of use of the tool while minimizing abuse and spamming with the notifications API.
Echo is available for testing on test2wiki. The Echo team plans on initial experimental deployment to English Wikipedia sometime next month (presumably of an opt-in nature). Interested editors can also stay informed and discuss with the Editor Engagement team about Echo and other projects on their new editor engagement mailing list.
- Disclaimer: User:Aude is an employee of Wikimedia Germany, working on the Wikidata project.
Not all fixes may have gone live to WMF sites at the time of writing; some may not be scheduled to go live for several weeks.
- Experimental features pushed to mobile: Following the release of a new mobile Wikimedia experience in 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation has further extended their beta to include new features. This update is intended to "unleash the full creativity of our engineers and designers without disrupting the user experience for millions of readers". Specifically, logged-in mobile users can now upload pictures to the Wikimedia Commons directly from their browser, while Wikimedia editors will be interested in the new watchlist and section editing tools. These features, while functional, are described as experimental at this time.
- Monthly engineering report published: The Wikimedia Foundation has released their December 2012 technical report, highlighting important developments including the deployment of VisualEditor to the English Wikipedia, as well as progress on many of the Foundation's less-well-known projects.
- Universal Language Selector deployment broadens: The Internationalisation team at the Wikimedia Foundation is deploying the Universal Language Selector on wikis with the Translate extension currently enabled (Meta-Wiki, MediaWiki.org, Outreach wiki, Incubator and the Wikimania wikis). The Universal Language Selector is replacing the similar Narayam and WebFonts extensions, which will be disabled on those wikis. The Selector, which enables easier switching between interface languages and input scripts, will be available only to logged-in users, as there are still caching issues for logged-out users; the plan is to release it to all users later in the year.
- Staff promotion at Foundation: Patrick Reilly has been promoted to the role of Site Performance Engineer and Senior Technical Advisor at the Wikimedia Foundation. Reilly has previously worked on the MobileFrontend extension and as technical lead for the mobile development team.
Explore Wikipedia history by browsing The Signpost archives