The report covering Wikimedia engineering activities in November 2013 is
We're also proposing a shorter, simpler and translatable version of this
report that does not assume specialized technical knowledge:
Below is the HTML text of the report's summary.
As always, feedback is appreciated on the usefulness of the report and its
summary, and on how to improve them.
Major news in November include:
a new way for users to try out new features on Wikipedia and other
Wikimedia sites before they are released for everyone;
- The launch of our search for a VP of
- A retrospective by the Mobile engineering team on best practices for
- The activation of OAuth on Wikimedia
which allows users to authorize third-party applications to take actions on
their behalf without sharing their password;
- A presentation of the "Wikidata concept
- A retrospective on the ability to add musical
pages on Wikimedia sites.
In November, the VisualEditor team continued to improve the stability and
performance of this new editing interface, and add new features. The code
was updated three times. Most of the team's focus was on fixing bugs, and
on some major infrastructure changes, splitting out reusable code from
VisualEditor to make it available to other teams. Much of the team
travelled to the Open Source Language
Pune, India to learn more about how to improve VisualEditor for a
variety of languages, scripts, users and systems.
Thanks to two new members of the QA
the automated browser tests have expanded in breadth and depth of coverage.
Work continued on major new features like full rich copy-and-paste from
external sources, a dialog for quickly adding citation templated
references, and a tool to insert characters not available on users'
keyboards. The editor was made available by default on just over 100
additional Wikipedias as part of the continuing roll-out. VisualEditor was
also enabled for opt-in testing on Swedish Wiktionary and Wikimedia
Sweden's wiki, the first time it has been available on a non-Wikipedia
Work also continued on Parsoid <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Parsoid>,
the parsing program that converts wikitext to annotated HTML to make
VisualEditor work. Major changes were made to the specification and
representation of elements. Due to bugs in external code used by the team,
tests were added to catch similar issue automatically in the future.
Editing support for categories was improved and several wikitext corruption
issues were fixed. Work continued to test the performance of a system to
store HTML and related information to improve performance of Parsoid.
Editor engagement <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/New_editor_engagement>
In November, the
was added to the German and Italian Wikipedias, completing the
worldwide release of this tool. Community response to Notifications has
been generally favorable on all wikis. While feature development has now
ended for this project, we expect new notifications and features to be
developed by other teams in coming months.
The Flow <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Flow_Portal> team finished the
basic features of this new wiki discussion system. We made Flow work with
the watchlist and added history view for boards, topics and posts. We asked
for community feedback and testing, and prepared for release to production
wikis in December by working on Operations and Security needs.
The Growth <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Growth> team primarily worked on
including development of an computer
that will be used to show editing tasks to users across a variety of
The team also worked on the anonymous editor
by taking part in a community discussion about a possible Draft
namespace <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Draft_namespace> for articles,
identifying user needs and preparing the code changes.
A few members of the Growth team attended the Wikimedia Diversity
presented on how diversity related to their work.
During the last month, the Wikipedia
launch of Wikipedia Zero via text (USSD/SMS) in
partnership with Airtel Kenya and Praekelt for the first pilot of the
program. The team also continued to improve and simplify the process and
files to configure Zero partners, enhanced performance and added safeguards
to avoid previous issues.
The A/B test done by the Mobile web
resulted in an Edit Guider, now available on the mobile site. Other
features like an interface overhaul and better user profiles are currently
being tested in beta.
Technical Communications Manager — Wikimedia Foundation