Well, if we need to have better support for multimedia, first we need to
give some attention to the existing system that is basically falling apart.
Let me give you some examples.
Thumbor, the software that builds small sizes of the images is on
deprecated infrastructure, on EOL python version (python2), uses an
extremely old fork of the upstream and does not have an owner. And this is
a pretty critical software, if it goes down, virtually no image can be
shown in all of Wikipedia (including all SVG files). Because of that, we
can't move it to a newer infrastructure (kubernetes), make it use a more
modern python version or upstream code, to make it use a more modern
version of svg converter to fix countless svg bugs the current system has
. It in itself is blocking adding more features on all of Wikipedia. For
example, as a certified science nerd, I want to add support for chemical
markup files (.bxr, etc.) that would enrich our chemistry articles  but
well, it's blocked on thumbor being unmaintained.
The old video player, kultura, is still in production and used quite
heavily. The replacement media player exists but has some bugs that are
rather easy to fix and unblock further rolling out. But because no one is
on this task, it's basically a group of volunteers (including yours truly)
struggling to find the time to work on it. . It would give a slightly
more modern look to our media player.
This is mostly fixed but worth mentioning, the image table in commons was
bigger than 300GB compressed (and 600GB uncompressed), it would take 15
hours to take a simple backup and basically a ticking bomb given how
heavily it is used. Commons went readonly and caused a big outage so
technically it was a bomb that exploded already once. The problem was
metadata of pdf files and djvu files were massive, the pdf files got fixed
by Tim Starling and I (I did it in my volunteer capacity) which in turn
reduced 200GB from it. And now we are working on fixing djvu.  Again in
volunteer capacity. This work is actually blocking redesign of the image
table to make it more useful  or practically any change that would
impact size of tables in commons.
The problems have passed the point of blocking improvements and adding more
features, they are reaching the point of actually bringing down our systems
and bleeding to the rest of our systems. And it all boils down to not
having a dedicated team on multimedia but in all fairness, it's not
something you can fix overnight. You need to grow, hire, plan, etc. etc.
On Sun, Oct 17, 2021 at 1:08 PM Juergen Fenn <jfenn(a)gmx.net> wrote:
Am 16.10.21 um 16:25 Uhr schrieb Yaroslav Blanter:
In a few years, there will be tools for editing video. If by that time
we are not ready to incorporate video at full scale to Wikimedia
projects, we will be where AOL is now.
We already _are_ there. When we tried to relaunch German Wikiversity
almost ten years ago we sadly had to shrug and decline offers to bring
converted classroom scenarios to Wikiversity because Commons did not
accept mp4 videos and we could not include frames from YouTube where it
all happens. Period. That was the end of online learning with Wikimedia.
(Fair enough, there were more reasons why we did not succeed.)
BUT: When we incorporate multimedia content at full scale it should be
clear that Wikimedia is NOT YouTube. We won't accept everything. We need
high qualitity educational content. Only.
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