As you might already know, Wikdiata Query Service has been misbehaving
in the last 24 hours. Our public SPARQL endpoint  was slow and
throwing timeouts. Sadly, exposing a public SPARQL endpoint is a hard
problem and we don't have a final solution to this. Still we have some
improvements. Have a look at the incident report  if you want
I also started to write a runbook for WDQS . This should be
interesting mostly to our SRE team, but feel free to also have a look
and suggest improvements / clarifications.
Note that our internal WDQS endpoint was stable during that time (as expected).
Thanks for your help and your patience!
Operations Engineer, Search Platform
UTC+2 / CEST
I thought that this video, published in May 2018, was somewhat interesting
and I am sharing it in case others are also interested. The presenter uses
a change of design of Wikipedia's front page search box from 2010 (see
as an example, though I would hope that the lesson from this video isn't
that it's okay to frequently disrupt the workflows of existing users with
design changes regardless of the amount of complaints from existing users.
The main points that I drew from this presentation are that interfaces
should be intuitive and should have relatively light cognitive load. Those
points may sound obvious to experienced UX designers, but may be of
interest to people whose areas of expertise are in other domains.
I also appreciated that the presenter shared an example of a situation in
which people said one thing in surveys but behaved in the opposite way in
Here is the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxzK4sWfvH8
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
Not directly a search feature in the sense of our normal queries,
indexes, and results pages, but I thought this research by Amir Elisha
Aharoni is worth mentioning on this list.
Amir has logged the queries people search for via the Compact Language
Links search box. He then provides a list of "most wanted" articles.
>From Amir, "This is a report of the articles that people most often
try to find in a different language, and cannot find. This is done by
logging the searches in the Compact Language Links' language search
box that don't yield any results. For example, if somebody goes to the
English Wikipedia article en:Newspaper, searches for "telugu", and
this article doesn't exist in the Telugu Wikipedia, this is logged and
As part of T195491 <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T195491>, Erik has
been looking into the details of our regex processing and ways to handle
ridiculously long-running regex queries. He pulled all the regex queries
over the last 90 days to get a sense of what features people are using and
what impact certain changes he was considering would have on users. Turns
out there are a lot more users than I would have thought—which is good
news! And a lot of them look like bots.
He also made the mistake of pointing me to the data and highlighting a
common pattern—searches for interwiki links. I couldn't help myself—I
started digging around found that the majority of the searches are looking
for those interwiki links, and the vast majority of regex searches fall
into three types—interwiki links, URLs, and Library of Congress collection
Overall, there are 5,613,506 regexes total across all projects and all
languages, over a 90-day period. That comes out to ~62K/day—which is a lot
more than I'd expected, though I hadn't thought about bots using regexes.
Read more on MediaWiki
Sr. Software Engineer, Search Platform