Hello all,

This change is relevant for everyone using the wbeditentity endpoint of Wikidata’s API.

While working on editing the termbox from mobile, we discovered a bug in our code of the wbeditentity endpoint, that does not conform with the implicit interpretation of the documentation.

A request including {"aliases":{"en":[]}} should, according to the implicit interpretation of its documentation, replace all aliases in English by an empty string, meaning removing all aliases. However, at the moment this action is not actually performed, meaning that this request would leave the aliases untouched.

We want to fix this bug, because we need this request to work in order to be able to remove all aliases also in the new termbox on mobile. We are treating this bug fix as a breaking change because the documentation was ambiguous, and there may be some tools currently sending requests with empty alias arrays when nothing need to be touched, intentionally or not.

If you are maintaining a tool, please inspect your tool usage of wbeditentity endpoint, and make sure that no calls with empty alias arrays are sent unless the intention is to remove these aliases.

According to our breaking change policy, this bug fix will be first deployed on beta.wikidata.org later on May 28th, then on wikidata.org on June 12th.

If you have any question or issue, feel free to discuss in the related ticket.


Léa Lacroix
Project Manager Community Communication for Wikidata

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24
10963 Berlin

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.

Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter der Nummer 23855 Nz. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.