Over the next fiscal year, the Wikimedia Foundation Readers Web team will be making technical improvements to the mobile web codebases (MobileFrontend and MinervaNeue).

The project, which we’re calling ‘Invest in the MobileFrontend & MinervaNeue frontend architecture’, contained in Output 2.7 of the Platform Evolution CDP [1], is currently in its specification and planning stages. The outcomes of the project are:

1. Improve developer experience (on-boarding, maintenance, development)
2. Reduce technical debt and make production improvements
3. Separate presentation and logic
4. Make Minerva and MobileFrontend better citizens of the MediaWiki ecosystem

MobileFrontend & MinervaNeue, which power the Wikimedia mobile sites, make heavy use of client-side UIs with templates, CSS and JavaScript. Over the past eight years of developing a mobile-first wiki experience we have learnt and frontend technology has evolved. We will improve and modernize the code bases to continue supporting our mobile web users in the future. Please see Outcomes 1, 2 and 3 in the wiki page for more detail.

Minerva will become an independent skin without a dependency on MobileFrontend, and vice versa. Please see Outcome 4 in the wiki page for more detail.

Please visit the project page on MediaWiki.org to learn more about the outcomes and outputs, and share your questions. [2]

N.B. This project is distinct from “Output 3.1: Contribution tools on mobile web via an existing mediawiki skin” [3], described in the FY 2018-2019 plan.

Joaquin Oltra Hernandez 
Senior Software Engineer, Readers Web

[1]: https://wikifarm.wmflabs.org/platformevolution/index.php/Plan:FY18-19/2/7
[2]: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Reading/Web/Projects/Invest_in_the_MobileFrontend_%26_MinervaNeue_frontend_architecture 
[3]: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Annual_Plan/2018-2019/Audiences#Outcome_3:_Mobile_Contributing