I've been spending a lot of time recently looking--from a user's
perspective--at how MediaWiki handles TIFFs. I'm interested in this because
in my work with the U.S. National Archives, we uploaded many tens of
thousands of TIFFs. I am planning to upload far more by the end of this
year, potentially at higher resolutions, and the new GLAMwiki Toolset
raises the possibility that other institutions may do the same in the
future. Even though TIFFs seem esoteric, I think there is a high potential
for impact in improving the user experience around them.
The main issue is that MediaWiki's handling of TIFFs is unsatisfactory
enough that projects like Commons are resorting to asking contributors to
upload exact duplicates of any TIFFs as JPG as well and treat the TIFF as
just an archival copy for downloading, but not for categorizing or
embedding on Wikimedia projects--even though MediaWiki generates JPG
thumbnails of TIFFs for display in articles and even (thanks to Brian) now
let users download full-resolution copies of TIFFs in JPG format. This a
bad workaround, since it introduces unnecessary duplication, and identical
pages which are left out of sync.
I'm hoping to interest you all in resolving a few of the outstanding bugs
related to display of TIFFs so we can abandon this practice in the future.
A couple of these are relatively minor interface design issues. Here are
the 5 bug reports I think are most critical here:
1.) TIFFs are less sharpened than JPG equivalents.
2.) Display file format of preview if different format from original file
3.) More prominent display of both full-resolution files available for
4.) Consider raising $wgMaxImageArea limit for images
5.) Better error handling for files that break the megapixel limit
Anyone have thoughts about these?
Cultural Partnerships Coordinator, Wikimedia District of Columbia
@Dominic_MP | @wikimediadc