---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Peter Youngmeister <py(a)wikimedia.org>
Date: Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 3:15 PM
Subject: [Wikitech-l] upgrades to search cluster
To: Wikimedia developers <wikitech-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
I have moved all search traffic to hosts now running ubuntu 12.04
(precise). This should be a no-op, as the search software itself has not
changed, and all automated tests looked good, but I wanted to make you all
aware as I neither the time nor languages skills to manually test every
If you notice any irregularities, please let me know!
I am the Wikimedia Foundation's Product Manager for the
VisualEditor project (and others).
I am conscious that the VisualEditor will be a major change that is
coming down the tracks, and that I need to do more to make sure that
all our communities (through you) know what is happening (and make
sure they have as much opportunity to tell us when we're wrong, as
well as help guide the priorities for development and improvement).
Right now (and for the past few months), both the core of MediaWiki
and all the extensions on Wikimedia's cluster are updated on the live
site every fortnight in a new branch. Though VisualEditor is currently
only deployed to mediawiki.org, in time (when it's ready) we'll be
making it available on all other Wikimedia wikis. I have started to
write up the technical "changelog" as a status update, giving some
(hopefully ;-)) more useful, human-readable "release notes".
I thought it might be useful to copy them below, both for the
VisualEditor tool and the new Parsoid service that is separate but
vital for VisualEditor to work.
However, I am worried that posting these here every two weeks might be
a bit spammy, so I'd love feedback not just on the content (for which
the best venue is the central feedback page) but also as to whether
you would value me doing this every fortnight (or perhaps less
regularly?), or if there are better, or additional fora that might be
suited to getting this information for users on the Wikimedia
The VisualEditor was updated as part of the wider on Monday 20 August
MediaWiki 1.20wmf10 branch deployment.
The most visible new item in the two weeks since 1.20wmf9 is the
much-improved link inspector. This now guides users to create a link
to a suggested existing article, a redlink or an external link, and
replaces the previous basic functionality that did not suggest links
or inform you if the target of your link existed. We have also
improved the save dialogue, streamlining the interaction based on
feedback from the design team.
There have also been a number of bug fixes, such as preserving spaces
before and after the content in headings and other forms (so that
"<nowiki>== Foo ==</nowiki>" doesn't have spacing either side of it in
the editor display, but doesn't strip them either -- bug 37935 ),
using browsers' native deletion mechanisms which helps with support
for short-cuts and internationalisation (bug 38461 ), and handling
of "alien nodes" (pieces of content that the editor does not know how
to edit yet) so that they do not break the rest of the editor when
included. However, most of the changes have been improvements to the
code architecture to allow it to be re-used and extended to support
new 'node types' like categories or tables when we work on these
A complete list of individual code commits is available in the
1.20/wmf10 changelog, and all Bugzilla bugs closed in this period
on Bugzilla's list.
prototype, in preparation for the C++ port. The port will allow an
efficient integration with PHP and Lua, improve performance and allow
the parallelization of the parser in the longer term in preparation
for production use.
An important milestone we reached is the implementation and
verification of the template DOM range encapsulation algorithm, which
now identifies all template-affected parts of the DOM for
round-tripping and protection in the VisualEditor. We are currently
implementing template round-tripping based on this. Other new features
include oldid support so that previous versions of pages can be
edited, rather than just the current one, and more complete error
reporting in the web service. Wikitext escaping in the serializer is
much improved, and now also handles interactions across multiple DOM
nodes. An ongoing task has been improving test coverage to enable us
to refactor code with more confidence and also help test the
correctness of the C++ port.
Most details of the C++ port were researched. A basic build system
including the selected libraries was set up, and design work on the
basic data structures has started, ahead of full porting which we
expect to start next iteration.
The full list of Parsoid bugs closed in the last two weeks is
available in Bugzilla[B].
Hope this is helpful! As I said, feedback gratefully received.
 - https://mediawiki.org/wiki/VisualEditor
 - https://mediawiki.org/wiki/VisualEditor:Welcome
 - https://mediawiki.org/wiki/VisualEditor/Feedback
 - https://mediawiki.org/wiki/VisualEditor/status#2012-08-20_.28MW_1.20wmf10.29
 - https://mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.20/wmf10
 - https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=37935
 - https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=38461
 - https://mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.20/wmf10#VisualEditor
 - https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/buglist.cgi?query_format=advanced&bug_status…
 - https://mediawiki.org/wiki/Parsoid/status#2012-08-20_.28MW_1.20wmf10.29
[A] - https://mediawiki.org/wiki/Parsoid
[B] - https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/buglist.cgi?list_id=140016&chfieldto=2012-08…
James D. Forrester
Product Manager for Visual Editor and Flagged Revisions
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
jforrester(a)wikimedia.org | @jdforrester | +1 415-839-6885 x6844
As you may have read in our recent engineering reports, the Wikimedia
Foundation's engineering team is concluding its transition from NFS to
Swift as the default media storage system for all media files.
[Technical details: Files are currently uploaded to both Swift and
NFS, and read from NFS. Starting on Thursday (if all goes according to
plan), files will be read from Swift instead. This change notably
includes Apache configuration changes.]
This consists mostly of behind-the-scenes work on the set of servers
that host all images, videos, sounds and other media files on
Wikimedia sites (more details below)
If all goes well, this change should be transparent to all users.
However, in the event of a problem, it is likely that you'll notice
Please let your local communities know about the change so that
they're not surprised if they encounter issues.
Please also help us consolidate reports of persistent issues:
As a sidenote, I'd like to encourage you to take a look at this new
initiative to recruit more tech ambassadors:
I'd love to get your feedback (ideally on the talk page) about the
proposal, and how to make it better.
Technical Communications Manager — Wikimedia Foundation