The fact that the hex-encoded sortkey must be converted to binary format for prop=categorymembers cmstartsortkey and cmendsortkey has long been an odd wart in the API.

Bug 70690[1] showed that the binary values for these parameters is actively breaking on some wikis. In Gerrit change 159746[2] these parameters have been deprecated in favor of new parameters cmstarthexsortkey and cmendhexsortkey which take the sortkey in the same hex-encoded format that is returned by the API.

This change should be deployed to WMF wikis with 1.24wmf22, see for the schedule.


Brad Jorsch (Anomie)
Software Engineer
Wikimedia Foundation