*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
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Emmanuel Engelhart <kelson(a)kiwix.org>
Date: Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 3:26 PM
Subject: [Offline-l] [INFO] Few good news about mwoffliner
To: Using Wikimedia projects and MediaWiki offline <
Cc: "kiwix-developer(a)lists.sourceforge.net" <
We rarely write here specifically about mwoffliner, even if this tool is
time to time named by-the-way in threads. But these last months we have
done many interesting improvements to this important tool and I thought
it might be valuable to report quickly about them.
As a reminder, mwoffliner is a script which is thought to build a ZIM
file from any (recent) online Mediawiki. It scraps a snapshot of the
online wiki (HTML/JS/pictures/...) on your local disk.
Here is the list of recent improvements:
* We have introduce Parsoid as a local dependence, which means that even
if a Mediawiki does not have Parsoid/Visual Editor installed, mwoffliner
should have a chance now to build the ZIM file of it by running Parsoid
* We have introduced the Parsoid mobile layout suppport which allows to
build ZIM file with a similar layout as Wikipedia Mobile version. This
is pretty much in beta and we plan first to use it only for Wikipedia.org.
* We have introduced the support of audio/video which means that now,
like the pictures, they are mirrored too. Our first tests show that for
Wikipedia it tends to multiply the size of the ZIM file by a factor
four. As a consequence we won't use it directly everywhere. That said
the feature is there and we will step-by-step introduce video in the ZIM
files we are generating with mwoffliner.
* We have published mwoffliner (and mwmatrixoffliner) to the npmjs
repository: https://www.npmjs.com/package/mwoffliner. Now everybody can
install it easily (but you still need to take care about the dependences).
* We have made the script a bit more modular: you can call it like any
other program but now you can also use it as a library in your own
* We have moved the git repository to the openZIM organization on
Github: https://github.com/openzim/mwoffliner. By moving all our scraper
to the openZIM organization we hope to bring a bit of clarity between
Kiwix and openZIM respective duties. Have a look to all other scrapers
we have migrated to openZIM: https://github.com/openzim
mwoffliner is not a tool for everybody but it is really important to
continue to improve it to provide quality ZIM files of Wikipedia,
to prepare the next big steps forward
Kiwix - Wikipedia Offline & more
* Web: http://www.kiwix.org
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/KiwixOffline
* more: http://www.kiwix.org/wiki/Communication
Offline-l mailing list
> On Mon, 12 Jun 2017 18:21:10, Jon Robson <jrobson(a)wikimedia.org>
> It's deployed!
Good to hear that! I tried to print a page using my mobile and it
looked great! Great work people. It would be better if the following
1. Currently it seems that the images found in the unexpanded sections
aren't rendered in the PDF file. As a result a blank space is found in
their place and the image description seems to be describing a blank
space!! Possible solutions are,
i) Trying to render all images found in a page regardless of whether
the sections are expanded or not
ii) Don't print the unexpanded sections
I would love to see (i) being chosen as a solution. :)
2. Rendering links would be helpful but it seems to clutter up the
reading experience of printed articles which have a lot of links in
them (e.g. God). It would be better if some kind of alternative was
chosen to highlight links such that they don't distract the user from
their main motive (reading).
> Note they will only work if you are using the print function on your
> phone... not if you are viewing the mobile site on desktop :)
Hello mobile Wikimedians,
The iOS team is excited to announce that v5.5.0 of the Wikipedia app for
iOS is now available in the app store:
This is a MAJOR update with tons of bug fixes and improvements. Highlights
- New Places tab lets you find Wikipedia articles about places near you,
or across the globe. Use maps to find the most interesting articles next
door, or anywhere your curiosity takes you.
- Quick search box on the Explore screen lets you easily access the
search menu to find the information you need, now.
- Streamlined "In the News" design, makes it easier to learn more about
what’s happening around the world.
- Updated Explore design makes discovering new content even easier.
Added "infinite" scroll so you can catch up on what you missed just by
- Clear app caches from the Settings menu, to reclaim storage the
Wikipedia app takes on your device.
- Overall performance improvements mean faster loading and smoother
As usual I'd like to thank our beta volunteers, translatewiki localizers
and all the folks that participated in user feedback rounds. I also want to
particularly thank volunteer contributor NHarateh for her several patches
on this version!
PM, Wikipedia for iOS
Sorry, the "smart" client cluttered up the formatting. Here's a better
> == Web ==
> === New print styles for the mobile web ===
> Based on the findings of the New Readers team, we learned that users
> increasingly getting information online, and then sharing or
> consuming it
> offline. In terms of mobile devices, this often means taking
> screenshots of
> useful information, or saving the article as a PDF to read later on
> phones. Our older print styles did not account for reading on mobile
> devices - they focused on paper printing. We will update our print
> for mobile devices to account for offline consumption, making them
> to read and navigate, as well as accounting for missing crucial
> such as article title and branding.
I would love to see this getting deployed :)
> === Moving the lead section before the infobox on the mobile web ===
> Over the past few quarters, we've been focusing on the top of the
> article experience on the mobile website. One of the identified
> issues was that, for articles which contained an infobox, users were
> exposed to the infobox content prior to having an overview of the
> subject of the article itself. To improve on this issue, we've moved
> the lead section of each article so that it appears before the
> infobox on mobile, allowing readers to have access to the main
> content of the page earlier. This change is now live on all projects.
> Before,  After 
> === Completing related pages deployment ===
> Since March 30, 2017, we have been running a test on enwiki on the
> related pages feature. Over the past month, we collected data and
> analyzed the performance of the feature. Based on the results, we
> completed the deployment of the feature on mobile English Wikipedia.
These seem to be great features too. Thanks a lot for the great work!
The Wikipedia iOS app team is excited to announce the first beta of our
next big update. TestFlight users should be able to install this update
now. If you'd like to join our beta test group (please!) sign up here:
This is a major update chock-a-block with new and improved features:
- New Places tab lets you find Wikipedia articles near you or across the
globe. Use maps to find the most interesting articles next door, or
anywhere your curiosity takes you.
- Quick search box on the Explore screen lets you get right to search
for the answers to your burning questions.
- Improved "In the News" design, to make it easier to learn more about
whats happening in our world.
- Updated Explore design to make discovering interesting new content
even easier. Add "infinite" scroll so you can catch up on what you missed
just by scrolling down.
- Clear app cache from the Settings menu, to reclaim storage the
Wikipedia app takes up on your device.
==A Note About Places==
The Places feature currently uses the iOS provided Apple MapKit library and
Apple maps. This is not a decision the team made easily, but after much
feedback and research, we believe this is the only option for now. A couple
1. This is only used in the Places tab, as a means of search and
discovery. These maps are NOT used in the encyclopedia itself, and do not
replace, prevent or circumvent work by editors to add open maps to articles
2. Our users' privacy is preserved. We don't share what articles you're
reading with Apple, and Apple has put significant technical and legal oomph
into preserving privacy for their built-in maps library.
If you have concerns or questions, please check out the page we wrote
explaining the situation in much more detail. We also welcome your
addition to the Discussion either on wiki, on the task request to replace
Apple Maps or via email.
PM, Wikipedia for iOS
We're excited to announce that we've rolled out several new features and
bug fixes for the Commons Android app over the past few months. Some of
the major ones include:
- A map of nearby places that need pictures (in addition to the existing
list). Selecting a nearby place allows users to see the associated Wikidata
item, get directions to the place, or view the associated Wikipedia article
- A new and improved UI, including a light and dark theme, a navigation
drawer, and a logout option
- Fixed memory issues preventing users with older phones from accessing the
- Licenses now include CC-BY 4.0 and CC-BY-SA 4.0, and licenses can be
selected individually when uploading a picture
- The total number of pictures that have been uploaded from an account are
now shown, and the image details pane now displays the upload date and
Thank you for your support and encouragement though all this time!
Feedback, bug reports, and suggestions are always welcome on our GitHub