The report covering Wikimedia engineering activities in January 2014 is now available.

Wiki version: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_engineering_report/2014/January
Blog version: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/13/engineering-report-january-2014/

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 January include:


In January, the VisualEditor team continued their work on improving the stability and performance of this visual editing interface to edit pages on Wikipedia and its sister sites; they also added some new features. You can now edit page settings like whether to display a table of contents or whether to show section edit labels. You can also specify the size of a media file manually, see a list of keyboard shortcuts, and create and edit media galleries using a very basic stand-in editor whilst the final form is being designed. Work also continued on a dialog for quickly adding "citation" references based on templates, more media and page settings, setting content language and right-to-left indicators, and equation editing.

The Parsoid team (developing the program that converts wikitext to annotated HTML, behind the scenes of VisualEditor) did a lot of bug fixing around images, links, references and various other areas. We also mentored students, participated in discussions relating to the architecture of MediaWiki, and started to work on "packaging" Parsoid to make it easier to install.

Editor engagement

This month, the Core Features team worked on integrating MediaWiki tools for dealing with spam and vandalism (AbuseFilter and Spam Blacklist) into Flow, a new wiki discussion system. We also launched an updated visual design and user interface for Flow, based on the first round of experienced user feedback last month, as well as ongoing user testing with new users. Lastly, we created a script to disable Flow and convert its content, so that we can begin testing Flow on two WikiProjects that volunteered on the English Wikipedia while being able to revert to wikitext if needed.

The Growth team improved the GettingStarted extension, in part to support local configuration for different Wikipedias. The latest version of GettingStarted and GuidedTour will be released in English and 23 other languages in early February. The team also completed several iterations of design and data analysis in support of upcoming work on Wikipedia article creation. We presented new designs for the Draft namespace, and completed a series of remote usability tests. We also finalized and published extensive quantitative analysis of trends in article creation across the largest Wikipedias.


During the last month, the Wikipedia Zero team worked on supporting secure HTTPS connections for partners in the Zero program, which allows mobile subscribers to access Wikipedia content at no data cost. We also continued to work on a proof of concept HTML5 web app for Firefox OS, fixed bugs in the legacy Firefox OS Wikipedia app, and prepared alpha functionality for the integration of Wikipedia Zero with the rebooted Android Wikipedia app. The team also met with the business development team to plan for partners and Wikipedia Zero-related work at large, and conducted tech facilitation to enable partner launches and align approaches with current and future partners.

The Mobile web projects team has been directing much of their attention over the last month at delivering a tablet-friendly mobile experience. We've added support for tables of contents, made some design improvements, and have worked towards making VisualEditor work on tablets (in alpha for now). We have also released our overlay UI improvements as well as an improved inline diff view for MobileFrontend into stable. Finally, we have also been working to expand our coverage of browser tests to facilitate quality assurance and help prevent the introduction of bugs and regressions.

Guillaume Paumier
Technical Communications Manager — Wikimedia Foundation