On Friday of last week, the Wikimedia Foundation's iOS team pushed a new
version to our beta channel. During this testing we discovered a
regression with tapping images in articles, and have just pushed a very
slightly updated version to TestFlight.
This is our release candidate build for version 5.0.5, and barring any
issues we plan to submit this update to the App Store early next week.
As usual thanks to our volunteer testers for the help and feedback,
Hello mobile wikimedians,
*tl;dr Today we pushed a beta for our next version, 5.0.5, to beta testers
with major stability and performance updates under the hood. We’re thinking
about notifications and nearby features, so take a look [7,9] and let us
know what you think.*
== 5.0.5 beta 2 Released ==
As mentioned previously on list, starting with the release of iOS 9.3 and
Wikipedia version 5.0.3, we saw a near doubling of our crash rate. This is
evident in recent app store ratings and reviews, and OTRS reports.
To address this we have focused on updates to core components which have
been sources of significant instability or risk.
In addition to a library architecture change made in 5.0.4 (which has seen
our crash rate reduced) the team has been working hard to transition our
core html rendering component (called a “web view” in app terminology) from
the older Apple “UIWebView” to the more modern “WKWebView”. (WK here
stands for WebKit). Since article display with html is the main function
of the app, this is essentially like putting a new engine in your car. As
with a new engine, this one should not only break down less often, but also
be faster and more resource efficient.
== Upcoming Plans ==
With all our planned technical, stability and performance improvements
included in this beta, we’re focusing again on improving the features and
usability of the app. In particular we plan to address user requests to be
able to search within pages, and provide easier access to everyone’s
favorite Random articles. We will also continue to work on making the app
accessible to disabled readers.
We also want to continue to experiment with new ways to engage with the
encyclopedia on mobile devices, as part of the Foundation’s Reach focus in
the recent strategy process, and the Reading team’s focus on improving
the encyclopedia experience, trying new mobile-centric modes of interaction
and assessing their effect on repeat app usage.
== Feature Wikis ==
In a post on the Wikimedia Foundation blog today, I introduced our
initial ideas around notifications. You can also check out our wiki for
more detailed initial concepts for content notifications. Completing an
initial test of notifications is also our teams goal for the upcoming
===Nearby and Map based browsing===
Building on the existing Android map based experience, and the iOS
compass-based approach, we’re exploring adding add a new tab for searching
and browsing Wikipedia based on location and via a map. Check out our wiki
on the potential features and designs for Nearby on iOS.
We welcome your feedback on these features on the relevant talk pages. And
of course we welcome general feedback, suggestions and code contributions
in the usual places: email, IRC (#wikimedia-ios and #wikimedia-mobile) or
Reading Product Manager, Wikipedia for iOS
 - WebKit is an open source html rendering and browsing engine (
https://webkit.org/) used by Safari and many other browsers
(Referred to in the Strategy discussions as “Reach - Approach 6”)
 - https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/06/17/wikipedia-mobile/
 - https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Apps/Team/iOS/Notifications
 - https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Apps/Team/iOS/Nearby
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Florence Devouard <fdevouard(a)gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 4:58 PM
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Announcing WikiFundi and the Wikipack Africa
WikiAfrica has recently started a new project, the Wikipack Africa.
The project amalgamates:
* the coding of a software, WikiFundi, that provides an off-line editing
environment that mimics the Wikipedia environment. The software will be
made available in French and English.
* the creation of action packs for use by local Wikimedia chapters, user
groups or isolated individuals in Africa, and
* a Wikipedia Writing Contest to be run in African Schools, #WikiChallenge
It will roll out in two phases :
Phase 1 involves the creation of the WikiPack Africa. WikiPack Africa is a
digital kit located via a local network device (Raspberry PI). The local
network device will provide access to an off-line editing platform that
mimics Wikipedia, and provides related materials and additional OER
resources. The WikiPack Africa will both facilitate the outreach work of
Wikimedia chapters, User Group and individuals, and encourage the growth of
digital skills and content contribution by teachers and students across
Africa. The pack allows for ongoing training and contribution even when
technology, access and electricity outages fail or are not available at all.
The WikiPack Africa delivered to users will comprise two Raspberry PIs and
some offline materials (posters, leaflets, pull-up banner, tee-shirts,
etc.). The WikiPack will be delivered to several Wikimedia User Groups
located in Africa end of 2016. A Call for Interest will be made to identify
which groups will receive the Packs (8 countries will be covered as part of
the pilot launch).
The project has been conceptualised and conceived by Isla and myself after
seeing how frustrating limited access to internet or even to electricity
could be when trying to participate to Wikipedia.
The WikiPack Africa is primarily meant for individuals and groups wanting
to implement outreach projects and:
* work with galleries, libraries, archives and museums to bring cultural
* work with education partners to get educators and students contribute or
better understand Wikimedia projects;
* more generally, organise edit-a-thons, photo hunts, workshops, press
conferences, etc. to promote Wikimedia projects.
The #WikiChallenge African Schools (Phase 2) will use the WikiPack Africa
to facilitate an entertaining, powerful, collaborative and interactive
content creation competition between schools in Sénégal, Côte d'Ivoire,
Guinée, Niger, Tunisia, Madagascar, and Cameroon (countries may change...).
The challenge will run early 2017.
The full project is run in partnership with Wikimedia CH and the Orange
Foundation. It will be primarily implemented by Florence, Isla and Emmanuel
Engelhart (Kelson, from Kiwix) from May 2016 until summer 2017.
The project proposal, its documentation and its outcomes will be under a CC
BY SA 4.0 licence.
CALL for SUPPORT
Current next steps include in particular
* working on the WikiFundi software. This shall be lead by Kelson and part
of the development should be done during the Kiwix Hackhaton prior to
Wikimania. If you are interested to help, and simply interested to better
understand what is planned, please get in touch;
* working on the content that will be put on WikiFundi.
We will NOT provide the entirety of Wikipedia on the plateform, but only a
mix of "presentation material", some "help:pages", "showcase of best
articles" and a large % of templates currently available on Wikipedia. If
you want to help or provide insightful input, please get in touch (with
me), by email or on the wiki talk page or during Wikimania.
We start working on the English content first. My current challenge is to
identify the most relevant help pages... and adapt them to this offline
* To read more about Wikifundi:
* More information about the wikipack :
* WikiProject page on the English Wikipedia :
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
New messages to: Wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org
A new version of Kiwix for iOS has been released last week: 1.5. This
version is thought to work on iPhones, iPads and iPods running iOS9+.
Here are the last improvements and fixes:
* Improved search interface
* Fulltext search (add idx folders using iTunes)
* Include / Exclude books in search
* Fixed bug that sometimes books (zim files) not in online library
disappear after library refresh
Kiwix for iOS is still pretty young, less than a year, but we think it's
already probably one of the best Wikipedia offline apps available on
iTunes. We really need you to get on the top of the Wikipedia apps so
please leave a feedback on iTunes!
If you have features requests or bug reports, please let us know:
Kiwix - Wikipedia Offline & more
* Web: http://www.kiwix.org
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/KiwixOffline
* more: http://www.kiwix.org/wiki/Communication