Community Wishlist Survey, Status Report #2, May 2016
This is the second status report on the progress made by WMF's Community Tech team, Wikimedia Deutschland's Technical Wishes team (TCB), and other Wikimedia staff and volunteers on the features requested by the wiki communities in our 2015 Community Wishlist Surveys.
Wikimedia Deutschland's TCB team and the German-speaking communities conducted the Technical Wishes 2015 survey for the German-speaking Wikimedia communities in October, and Community Tech followed with a 2015 Community Wishlist Survey in December, open to an international audience. There's overlap between the two wishlists, and the teams are collaborating on various wishes, so this report includes progress made by both teams -- as well as the incredible work being done by volunteer developers, staff, and the Technical Collaboration team.
This was #1 on the International Community Wishlist Survey.
For the Community Tech team, this project is supporting the work of User:Cyberpower678, the creator of Cyberbot II. The bot has been running since mid-2015 on English Wikipedia, replacing external links that have been tagged by users as dead links with a link to an archived version from the Internet Archive.
Cyberbot II has now worked through all of the pages on English Wikipedia marked with the Dead link template. There are still approximately 60,000+ pages in the category of articles with dead links; these are links for which the Internet Archive doesn't have a suitable archive.
Community Tech set up a centralized logging interface for fixed dead links, which can also be used by other bots, doing similar work on other wikis.
In the next phase of the project, Cyberbot II will start checking all articles on English Wikipedia, and detecting dead links on its own (via dead link detection code contributed by the Community Tech team). Cyberpower678 is currently running trials for this phase on English Wikipedia.
Once Cyberbot II is successfully detecting and replacing dead links on English Wikipedia, Community Tech will assist Cyberpower678 in making this functionality available for all languages to use, if they want it.
This was #7 on the International Community Wishlist Survey, partly overlapped with #15 on the German-speaking Community Wishlist Survey.
There are also several sub-tools available - Massviews, showing the total pageview statistics for a category or a selected group of pages; Langviews, showing the pageviews of an article across all languages; and Topviews, showing the most viewed pages on a project over a particular period of time.
- Note See Traffic reporting for documentation on these tools and others. If anyone knows of other pages discussing pageview stats, please mention them on the talk page of this documentation.
Global Echo notifications
This was #3 on the German-speaking Community Wishlist Survey.
The feature was built by the WMF Collaboration team, and deployed in March to all projects.
This was on the German-speaking Community Wishlist Survey 2013.
Catwatch is a new MediaWiki feature that tracks category membership changes. Using watchlists or the recent changes list you can now see whether an article has been added to a category or removed from a category. Catwatch was deployed as an opt in feature in January 2016 by the WMDE's TCB team.
Improve the plagiarism detection bot
This was #9 on the International Community Wishlist Survey.
The plagiarism detection bot currently running on English Wikipedia is EranBot, which is built and maintained by User:Eran. The bot looks at every edit that adds a substantial amount of text to an article page, and checks the text against the Turnitin search database to identify potential copy and paste violations. When it finds a potential match, it adds to a table on the EranBot interface so that volunteers can check for possible copyvio. When a page has been checked and fixed, or marked as not needing any work, the item is closed.
Community Tech is currently building a new version of EranBot's interface on Tool Labs, called Copy Patrol. The new interface will be easier to understand and use, making the tool accessible for more volunteers to work on it. Improvements include a way to view the source comparison without leaving the interface, and an easier way to sort reports by WikiProject. This is currently in prototype, and should be fully functional within the next couple months.
Once the English WP interface is finished, we'd like to work with Eran to offer the service in other languages as well.
Improved diff compare screen
This was #2 on the International Community Wishlist Survey.
One of the major examples of diff malfunction brought up in the wishlist survey is the diff for long paragraphs, which shows the whole paragraph highlighted rather than the actual changes made to that paragraph. WMF developer User:MaxSem has created a fix for that -- T128697, "Investigate increasing limit for word-level diffs". This will greatly improve diffs for long paragraphs. Community Tech is contributing code review.
Numerical sorting in categories
This was #5 on the International Community Wishlist Survey.
The goal of this project is to make sure numerical sorting in categories is done in a way that makes sense to humans (i.e. numbers are sorted in numerical order rather than lexicographic order). There are several steps necessary to achieve this:
- Add new indexes to the categorylinks tables of all the projects
- Switch the projects to use libicu collations
- Enable numerical sorting for the collations
- Rebuilt the category collation data for all the wikis
The plan is to apply this change to all projects and languages, pending discussion on any project that would like to discuss it first.
Possibility to add an expiry date to watchlist items
This was a wish on the German-speaking Community Wishlist Survey 2013 and #12 on the International Community Wishlist Survey.
The Watchlist expiry project offers a way for users to add a page to their watchlist that will automatically expire after a day, a week, a month or a custom time limit. From January to April, the TCB team has refactored the watched item code, a prerequisite to adding the watchlist expiry feature. More details about the refactoring can be found here. Since one change of the refactoring has to be applied to all existing wikis, the TCB team is currently waiting for the change to be made on all wikis. You can see more details about the realization of the wish in this ticket.
Show all edit summaries in diff view
This was #16 on the German Technical Wishes Survey.
Inspired by DerHexer's revisionjumper gadget, the Community Tech team built a revision slider prototype in the beginning of this year. The revision slider is intended to help editors navigate through diff pages without having to go back and forth between the diff and history pages. It also allows you to see all edit summaries without having to leave the diff page. During the Wikimedia hackation in Jerusalem, the prototype was picked up by the TCB team, and brought home to Berlin to fulfill the wish from the wishlist. A first version will be deployed as a beta feature once it passes the security review. With the beta feature we want to gather more feedback.
This was #4 on the International Community Wishlist Survey.
The cross-wiki watchlist project aims to make it easier for editors who edit on more than one wiki by enabling them to keep track of all articles they are watching from one wiki. Community Tech will build this as an optional Beta feature, with plans to have it available on all wikis.
From January to April, the TCB team prepared cross-wiki watchlists by refactoring the entire watchlist code. In April, Community Tech ran a survey of active watchlist users to learn more about their needs; you can see the results on the project page.
We've posted a couple of early wireframes for community discussion, and we're currently talking about how to represent the different groups of watchlist items. There will be changes to the wireframes based on the feedback that we've received, and updates will be coming. Please join the discussion!
Improve edit conflict handling
This was #1 on the German Technical Wishes Survey.
The wish was picked up in May by the TCB team. We started with a community feedback round to get a better understanding what exactly bothers people on the edit conflict view. The discussion (in German) can be found here and here. We plan to include the international community starting with the Wikimania in June.
Multilingual categories in Commons
This was #6. on the International Community Wishlist Survey.
After evaluating various possible solutions, we have decided that the best long-term solution to this request is to add a multilingual tagging system via Wikibase (the same software that powers Wikidata). This will best facilitate doing complex searches and queries on Commons and will be language agnostic. Work on this project is currently deferred until structured data support has been added to Commons. This work is being headed by the Wikidata team, with support from Community Tech (See T68108 and T125822).
Central repository for gadgets, templates and Lua modules
This was #3. on the International Community Wishlist Survey. There's no change for this project right now, see Community Tech/Central repository for gadgets, templates and Lua modules for our internal assessment from earlier in the year.
Global cross-wiki talk page
This was #8. on the International Community Wishlist Survey. See Community Tech/Global cross-wiki talk page for our previous internal assessment.
Add a user watchlist
This was #10. on the International Community Wishlist Survey. See Community Tech/Add a user watchlist for our previous internal assessment.
Wishes from German wishlist
Since there is a merged list of the German speaking 2013 and the 2015 surveys, we will not list it here. If you are interested in the merged list, please go to the WMDE_Technical_Wishes#Backlog.
There were 107 proposals on the international Wishlist Survey, and the Community Tech team is responsible for addressing the top 10. For all the other wishes from 11 on down, the Technical Collaboration team has been coordinating with volunteer developers from around the world, encouraging skilled people to work on some of these top community wishes -- together at Hackathons, or as individual projects.
The table below summarizes some of the work being done on items from the Community Wishlist Survey. Follow the links to Phabricator tickets for more information about each project.