This is the first monthly report from the Wikimedia Performance Team.
of these reports is to showcase our work, track our progress, and spark
## Who we are ##
As the Wikimedia Foundation’s Performance Team, we want to create
value for readers
and editors by making it possible to retrieve and render content at the
speed of thought, from anywhere in the world, on the broadest range of
devices and connection profiles.
We are five engineers: Aaron Schulz, Gilles Dubuc, Peter Hedenskog,
and me. Each of us was born in a different country and has a different mother
tongue. We work out of San Francisco, London, Stockholm, and Montpellier.
## What we are working on ##
* Availability. Although Wikimedia Foundation currently operates six data
centers, MediaWiki is only running on one (in Ashburn, Virginia). If you
are an editor in Jakarta, Indonesia, content has to travel over 15,000
kilometers to get from our servers to you (or vice versa). To run MediaWiki
concurrently from multiple places across the globe, our code needs to be
more resilient to failure modes that can occur when different subsystems
are geographically remote from one another.
* Performance testing infrastructure. WebPageTest provides a stable
reference for a set of browsers, devices, and connection types from
different points in the world. It collects very detailed telemetry that we
use to find regressions and pinpoint where problems are coming from. This
is addition to the more basic Navigation Timing metrics we gather from real
users in production.
* Media stack. We're currently working on overhauling our thumbnail
infrastructure to achieve multiple goals. Improving future-proof
maintainability by taking thumbnail code out of MediaWiki-Core and using a
service instead to perform thumbnail operations. Saving on expensive
storage by no longer storing multiple copies of all thumbnails on disk
forever. Enabling far-future expires for images, to greatly improve their
client cacheability. And finally switching to the best performing
underlying software to generate thumbnails faster.
* ResourceLoader. ResourceLoader is the MediaWiki subsystem that is
code executes only sparingly (in reaction to editors modifying content)
ResourceLoader code runs over half a billion times a day on hundreds of
millions of devices. Its contribution to how users experience our sites is
very large. Our current focus is on improving ResourceLoader's cache
that allows it to be reused across page views without needing to be
## How are we doing? ##
In future reports, we will spend less time on introductions and more time
reporting on how particular performance metrics have trended since the
previous report and why. In the meantime, we invite you to check out our
## Feedback? ##
Please let us know what you think about these reports and whether we have
picked the right lists to send it to. (We're going to make sure this
information is available on mediawiki.org
Until next time,
Aaron, Gilles, Peter, Timo & Ori