Dear all, A lot has happened since March when we Introduced the Wikimedia
and began community conversations about the project’s development. Now is
an important milestone to give everyone:
1) an update responding to community advice we’ve received; and
2) to describe what is happening next.
The idea of an API for the specific needs of the commercial sector had been
discussed for more than a decade
(both for the purposes of improving user experience, and also to diversify
revenue). The announcement in March introducing the Wikimedia Enterprise
API generated a lot of Wikimedia-community and mainstream-media attention -
most notably in WIRED
Since then, the team has been hard at work building the actual product and
hosting many conversations (regular public meetings and participation in
events including SWAN, Wikimania, EMWCon, Clinic) - as well as a
considerable volume of discussions on our meta talkpage
All of this has generated lots of suggestions, which we have endeavoured to
incorporate and respond to before the actual commercial launch. On behalf
of the whole team, I thank the many many people who have been willing and
able to share constructive feedback with us over these months. Links to
recordings from those meetings/presentations can be found on our meta
1. To that end, here are some updates in response to community advice:
WMF Board statement.
Subsequent to the most recent WMF Board of Trustees meeting, a statement
reaffirming their support of the project, and in particular its operating
principles relating to its future revenue, has been published. You can find the
board Statement here
and the Enterprise operating principles on Meta here
Consistent community feedback was that our published principles were good
and sensible, but for such a new and unusual thing in our movement, an
overt statement from the Board of Trustees was requested. This statement
- Revenues of the WMF obtained from commercial activities shall not
surpass 30% of the total planned revenue via all sources (including
donations) in that fiscal year, and no further revenue would be sought
beyond that limit;
- The Board of Trustees will be notified in advance of any large
commercial agreements, giving them time for review - exactly mirroring the
procedure for large gifts;
- Revenue obtained from Wikimedia Enterprise services is under the
oversight and control of procedures for revenue raised by the Wikimedia
Foundation and the revenue will not be earmarked for a specific program.
Each of these things were already noted on-wiki, but they were very much
worthwhile re-stating formally. Equally it bears repeating: the existing
APIs and methods of accessing Wikimedia sites remain. The creation of this
optional commercial service, designed for those with specific high
data-volume demands, does not change the experience (legally or
technically) for anyone else.
Relatedy, and also in response to community suggestions, the formal
contracts which define the legal relationship of the non-profit Wikimedia
Foundation to this commercial activity, have now been published on the
governance wiki and linked from the related section on the project’s
Free technical access for the community.
You will soon be able to access a copy of the Enterprise dataset, refreshed
each fortnight, at the Wikimedia dumps portal <http://dumps.wikimedia.org/>.
Furthermore a ‘daily dump + hourly diff’ version is also already available, via
Wikimedia Cloud Services
any users of Toolforge, Cloud VPS, or PAWS. Both of these are provided to
anyone, for free (in both ‘gratis’ and ‘libre’ senses of the word).
Importantly, and consistent with community feedback, neither of these
access methods require any special request process to access them, other
than the existing terms of service on those platforms.
Software development updates are published monthly on our page on MediaWiki
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Enterprise#Updates> (as is the API
the work is coordinated on our Phabricator board
Next public meeting.
As mentioned, the team has been holding regular public calls. If you would
like to meet with, and ask any questions of, the Enterprise team (a.k.a.
Friday October 22 @ 1500 UTC on Zoom
<https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/88994018553>. If you would like to arrange a
conversation about this project with a group in the community that you are
part of (at a time, language, and meeting-software platform of your
choice), please contact me directly.
2. What is happening next:
The launch of the project’s standalone website, denoting the service as
“open for business”, will take place early next week.
In parallel we will also be announcing the first customers - both from the
commercial and non-profit sectors. We expect this will generate some
attention in the media. Despite our best efforts to be visible across the
wikiverse, reading about the Wikimedia Enterprise API in the media will
probably be the first time that some Wikimedians hear about it - which
might be surprising for them. So, next week, if you see any Wikimedians
asking about this project on community forums, please notify me by email,
on-wiki [as user:LWyatt (WMF) ], and/or direct them to the project FAQ on
(currently available in 7 languages).
Once again, thank you to all who have been involved in the development of,
or given feedback to, *Enterprise*. It’s been a long road getting from
there to here...
* Liam Wyatt [Wittylama]*
Program Manager for *Enterprise, WikiCite,* and *Newcomer Experience*
On Tue, 16 Mar 2021 at 17:02, Liam Wyatt <lwyatt-ctr(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
Over the last few months, a small team at the Wikimedia Foundation has
been working on a project that has been discussed by many people in our
movement for many years: building ‘enterprise grade’ services for the
high-volume commercial reusers of Wikimedia content. I am pleased to say
that in a remarkably short amount of time (considering the complexity of
the issues: technical, strategic, legal, and financial) we now have
something worthy of showing to the community, and we are asking for your
feedback. Allow me to introduce you to the Wikimedia Enterprise API project
– formerly codenamed “okapi”.
While the general idea for Wikimedia Enterprise predates the current
movement strategy process, its recommendations identify an enterprise API
as one possible solution to both “Increase the sustainability of our
movement” and “Improve User Experience.” That is, to simultaneously
create a new revenue stream to protect Wikimedia’s sustainability, and
improve the quality and quantity of Wikimedia content available to our many
readers who do not visit our websites directly (including more consistent
attribution). Moreover, it does so in a way that is true to our movement’s
culture: with open source software, financial transparency, non-exclusive
contracts or content, no restrictions on existing services, and free access
for Wikimedia volunteers who need it.
The team believes we are on target to achieve those goals and so we have
written a lot of documentation to get your feedback about our progress and
where it could be further improved before the actual product is ‘launched’
in the next few months. We have been helped in this process over the last
several months by approximately 100 individual volunteers (from many
corners of the wikiverse) and representatives of affiliate organisations
who have reviewed our plans and provided invaluable direction, pointing out
weaknesses and opportunities, or areas lacking clarity and documentation in
our drafts. Thank you to everyone who has shared your time and expertise to
help prepare this new initiative.
A essay describing the “why?” and the “how?” of this project is now on
Also now published on Meta are an extensive FAQ, operating principles, and
technical documentation on MediaWiki.org
. You can read these at   and
 respectively. Much of this documentation is already available in
French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
The Wikimedia Enterprise team is particularly interested in your feedback
on how we have designed the checks and balances to this project - to ensure
it is as successful as possible at achieving those two goals described
above while staying true to the movement’s values and culture. For example:
Is everything covered appropriately in the “Principles” list? Is the
technical documentation on MediaWiki.org
clear? Are the explanations in the
“FAQ” about free-access for community, or project’s legal structure, or the
financial transparency (etc.) sufficiently detailed?
Meet the team and Ask Us Anything:
The central place to provide written feedback about the project in general
is on the talkpage of the documentation on Meta at:
On this Friday (March 19) we will be hosting two “Office hours”
conversations where anyone can come and give feedback or ask questions:
13:00 UTC via Zoom at https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/95580273732
22:00 UTC via Zoom at https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/92565175760
this is Saturday in Asia/Oceania)
Other “office hours” meetings can be arranged on-request on a technical
platform of your choosing; and we will organise more calls in the future.
We will also be attending the next SWAN meetings (on March 21)
and also the next of the Wikimedia Clinics
Moreover, we would be very happy to accept any invitation to attend an
existing group call that would like to discuss this topic (e.g. an
affiliate’s members’ meeting).
On behalf of the Wikimedia Enterprise team,
Peace, Love & Metadata
-- Liam Wyatt [Wittylama], Wikimedia Enterprise project community liaison.
*Liam Wyatt [Wittylama]*
WikiCite <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiCite> Program Manager &
Enterprise <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Okapi> Community Liaison