Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Larger suggestions/Refinement of MediaWiki to meet the needs of the Wikinews project (news writing and approval, feed, DynamicPageList, RSS)

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Refinement of MediaWiki to meet the needs of the Wikinews project (news writing and approval, feed, DynamicPageList, RSS)

  • Problem: The Wikinews project appeared in 2004-2005, but the MediaWiki engine is very poorly adapted to a news site. Members of both the English and Russian sections, including myself, tried to solve technical problems on their own and make the site more like a regular news site. In particular, in 2008, following the example of the English-language section, I tried on my own to create an RSS feed of fresh news for use separately and for broadcasts to social networks. Much more has been done by many other contributors who have taken on the task of adapting MediaWiki for news. For example, Wikinews needs a built-in updatable newsfeed (was temporarily resolved through the DynamicPageList extension, which however is a "crutch" and does not work properly). All these things, of course, had to be handled by the Wikimedia Foundation and its staff programmers, since MediaWiki is a Foundation project. Wikinews requires much more engine development than Wikipedia to function at least at a minimal level. Unfortunately, the news feed had to be formed by the participants with the help of a bot. Such a scheme of work is unstable. Now the news feed for broadcasting to social networks is not being formed.
  • Proposed solution: The MediaWiki engine needs to be reworked to fit the needs of the Wikinews project. With new tools and a new interface, news writing and approval, breaking news feed, RSS/Atom/subscriptions/social media feeds, and other innovations needed by the community and readers should be available. If you need to refine DynamicPageList, you need to do it. If it is not possible to support DynamicPageList and you want to deprecate it, you must create a replacement.
  • Who would benefit: Contributors and readers of all language sections of Wikinews. I believe that the load on the Wikimedia Foundation servers should be reduced. DynamicPageList, as I understand it, does not work well and puts a lot of load on the servers.
  • More comments: Unlike Wikipedia, which has an infinite time horizon, Wikinews immediately needs a fully developed engine and services to function properly. On the bare MediaWiki engine, Wikinews is not functional. Requires too many manual actions, bot work, DynamicPageList extension. Because of this, Wikinews, in my opinion, is still at the technical level of Wikipedia in 2003-2004. Over the years, the Wikimedia Foundation has funded significant improvements to Wikimedia Commons (e.g., many video formats and transcoding), Wikidata, Wikiguid, Wikifunctions, improvements to the MediaWiki engine with SUL, new designs, new gadgets and features, but nothing has been done for Wikinews. Over the years, RSS technology has come into vogue, been added to browsers, and is now completely out of fashion. Wikinews contributors are truly heroic in carrying out the work that is the responsibility of the Wikimedia Foundation. Unfortunately, the Wikimedia Foundation has dealt with everything but the needs of the Wikinews project over the past 10 years. I myself have been looking forward to improvement in the past 10 years, but, apparently, the current technical condition is as bad as it was more than 10 years ago. If Wikinews puts a lot of load on servers due to bad software, then that is the responsibility of the Foundation, not the contributors. Unfortunately, due to server load, an incident occurred with User:Krassotkin.
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer:  ruASG+1 05:30, 23 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion

  • +1; phabricator ticket: phab:T287380 --Ssr (talk) 12:48, 24 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This unfortunately is outside the scope of Community Tech, but we recognize it is an important problem for Wikinews and have moved it to our Larger suggestions category for further discussion and voting for the broader movement. Thanks for participating in the survey, MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 21:05, 26 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • there are kind of 3 different things related to dpl that could be done here, and they are all very different in scope:
    1. unbanning Krassotkin/reenabling on ruwikinews - that's political (with a technical component) which seems out of scope here.
    2. increasing safety of dpl by figuring out what is wrong with pool handler that prevents it from working with this extension. That's pretty self-contained, but maybe outside of the area of experience of commtech
    3. rewriting dpl to be backed by elastic search. That's a bit of a larger project.

Bawolff (talk) 05:13, 17 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Voting