*tl;dr: We'll be stripping all content contained inside brackets from the
first sentence of articles in the Wikipedia app.*
The Mobile Apps Team is focussed on making the app a beautiful and engaging
reader experience, and trying to support use cases like wanting to look
something up quickly to find what it is. Unfortunately, there are several
aspects of Wikipedia at present that are actively detrimental to that goal.
One example of this are the lead sentences.
As mentioned in the other thread on this matter
lead sentences are poorly formatted and contain information that is
detrimental to quickly looking up a topic. The team did a quick audit
the information available inside brackets in the first sentences, and
typically it is pronunciation information which is probably better placed
in the infobox rather than breaking up the first sentence. The other
problem is that this information was typically inserted and previewed on a
platform where space is not at a premium, and that calculation is different
on mobile devices.
In order to better serve the quick lookup use case, the team has reached
the decision to strip anything inside brackets in the first sentence of
articles in the Wikipedia app.
Stripping content is not a decision to be made lightly. People took the
time to write it, and that should be respected. We realise this is
controversial. That said, it's the opinion of the team that the problem is
pretty clear: this content is not optimised for users quickly looking
things up on mobile devices at all, and will take a long time to solve
through alternative means. A quicker solution is required.
The screenshots below are mockups of the before and after of the change.
These are not final, I just put them together quickly to illustrate what
I'm talking about.
- Before: http://i.imgur.com/VwKerbv.jpg
- After: http://i.imgur.com/2A5PLmy.jpg
If you have any questions, let me know.
Associate Product Manager, Mobile Apps
As mentioned previously, the current version of the Android app contains an
A/B test where it presents "read more" suggestions to the user, based on
(a) the standard "morelike" query, or (b) the new "opening_text" query.
Here are the results from the last ~10 days of the test:
- The clickthrough rate using the default morelike query is (and has been)
- With the new opening_text query, the clickthrough rate decreases to about
[image: Inline image 1]
Therefore, it seems that the new query has a nontrivial negative effect on
We'll plan on removing this test in the next release of the app, but we'll
be happy to plug in a different or updated query, if it will be of further
use to Discovery.
(queries embedded as comments in the headers)
Senior Software Engineer / Product Owner (Android)
We all know the vision: All the knowledge. Every single human being.
To achieve this, we need to support users across geographies and languages,
but also people with different physical abilities.
The iOS team, along with others at the foundation, are taking the next week
to focus on how we can make our app, and projects, easier for people with
visual impairments. We're working with an expert blind developer named
Austin Seraphin to make sure we get it right, but we also need your help!
Check out our wiki: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Accessibility/2016_sprint
Some highlights of special events you can participate in over the next week:
- *If you are in the Philadelphia area this Saturday *join engineers
from the WMF iOS team for an in person hack-a-thon to make the app more
- Tune in one week from today, or join us in SF, for a *brownbag about
progress and challenges *of making OOjs UI and the iOS Wikipedia app
- *Contribute code*, testing or comments for our accessibility tasks for
iOS, or across the projects
If you're not able to join us this week, Corey from the iOS team has also
proposed a related session for the Tech Summit. Check it his proposal here
 Check his TedX talk on how mobile phones have enabled the blind:
 Event is at 1:15 PST in the 5th floor common space, and will be
broadcast and archived on YouTube. Streaming link will be posted on the
wiki shortly. For staff, this event is on the Staff and Learning and Fun
 Get started contributing by checking out our github:
https://github.com/wikimedia/wikipedia-ios Our work will happen on this
phab board for the next release:
 There's no shortage of tasks for the web, apps and even internal tools:
PM for Wikipedia app for iOS
Cross post to mobile-l and wikitech-ambassadors in case you don't follow
wikitech-l directly. See you at CREDIT!
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Adam Baso <abaso(a)wikimedia.org>
Date: Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 10:55 AM
Subject: CREDIT Showcase in two days - 2-Nov-2016 - call for demos
To: Wikimedia developers <wikitech-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
The next CREDIT showcase is in two days - Wednesday, 2-November-2016 at
1800 UTC (1100 San Francisco).
Got a demo? Add it here:
Last month (WebM
we saw great demos of a Raspberry Pi based network conditioner, Wikidata
credits for maps, extended OCR support for Indic Wikisource projects, an
intro to EventBus and ChangePropagation, data visualizations on maps, and
an alternative table of contents approach.
We're excited to see what's next! Whether you've just launched a new
feature or are just getting started with an idea, we welcome demos from
Wikimedia community members and staff alike.
See you soon. And if you would like to invite anyone to CREDIT, feel free
to use this template.
*I hope all is well with you! I wanted to let you know about CREDIT, a
monthly demo series that we’re running to showcase open source tech
projects from Wikimedia Community, Reading, Editing, Discovery,
Infrastructure and Technology.*
*CREDIT is open to the public, and we welcome questions and discussion. The
next CREDIT will be held on November 2nd at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 18:00 UTC. *
*Here’s a link to the YouTube live stream
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmfqtP3pr2Y>, which will be available
shortly before the event starts. There’s more info on MediaWiki.org
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/CREDIT_showcase>, and on Etherpad
<https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/CREDIT>, which is where we take notes and
ask questions. You can also ask questions on IRC in the Freenode chatroom
#wikimedia-office (web-based access here
*Please feel free to pass this information along to any interested folks.
Our projects tend to focus on areas that might be of interest to folks
working across the open source tech community: language detection,
numerical sort, large data visualizations, maps, and all sorts of other
*Thanks, and I hope to see you at CREDIT.*
Hello mobile Wikimedians,
We've just pushed another beta of our upcoming release to our TestFlight
channel. This update fixes:
- Register our Notifications with the OS, so users are correctly asked
for permission and notifications can actually be sent
- Lots of crash fixes, especially on app launch, iPad and when scrolling
the Explore feed
Thanks to the many many testers who reported these issues.
If you are not in the beta, but would like to join, please sign up here:
The beta of the next version (5.3.0) of the Wikipedia app for iOS is now
available to beta testers on TestFlight.
This beta includes a few significant improvements:
- Support for simplified and other Chinese character preferences for zh
- Major improvements in the loading and scrolling speed of the Explore
feed, and use of the feed API developed by the Android team
- Support for widgets on iOS 9
- In the News items from the Main page now included in the feed (see also
- Improved presentation of citations on iPad (phone coming in next beta)
- Trending In the News push notification…
The iOS beta is also piloting a push notification option for users. If
the user is interested, the app will notify them of new In the news items
from their primary language which meet a page view threshold. You can 3D
press the notifications to see more info, or tap through to read more.
This kind of content notification is a new concept for the Wikipedia apps
and we look forward to hearing from you and our users whether we should
keep it, and how to make it better.
*To sign up for the beta,* please go here: https://goo.gl/forms/
*If you are in the beta,* your feedback about the notifications is very
much requested here:
 See this blog post for more about the feed and API
 See previous list announcement (https://lists.wikimedia.org/
pipermail/mobile-l/2016-June/010254.html) and blog post (
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/06/17/wikipedia-mobile/) about the
potential directions and plans for content notifications on apps
We have finally released this week a new version of Kiwix for Android.
This major release introduces many improvements which have been
developed by our developers team during the last 7 months.
Here the list of improvements:
* NEW: Integrated download manager
* NEW: user friendly content manager
* NEW: Clean history
* NEW: Open new tab in background - settings option
* NEW: Kiwix search home screen widget
* NEW: Splash Screen and improved Welcome Screen
* FIXED: Opening filenames with special characters
* FIXED: Useless "w820dp" language
* FIXED: Failing he, id, yi locales
* FIXED: Non-localised setting language list sorting
* FIXED: Multiple search history problems
* FIXED: Crashes with 'Twillight' app
* FIXED: Full text search with split ZIM files
The app is available on Google play at http://android.kiwix.org and the
APK can also be download at http://download.kiwix.org/bin/kiwix.apk
Kiwix - Wikipedia Offline & more
* Web: http://www.kiwix.org
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/KiwixOffline
* more: http://www.kiwix.org/wiki/Communication
The Wikimedia Developer Summit
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_Summit> is the annual
meeting to push the evolution of MediaWiki and other technologies
supporting the Wikimedia movement. The next edition will be held in San
Francisco on January 9-11, 2017.
We welcome all Wikimedia technical contributors, third party developers,
and users of MediaWiki and the Wikimedia APIs. We specifically want to
increase the participation of volunteer developers and other contributors
dealing with extensions, apps, tools, bots, gadgets, and templates.
- Monday, October 24: This is the last day to request travel
sponsorship. Applying takes less than five minutes.
- Monday, October 31: This is the last day to propose an activity. Bring
the topics you care about!
Subscribe to weekly updates: https://www.mediawiki.org/
Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who might be interested in