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Grants:IEG/Enhance the ProveIt gadget/Final

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Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the grantee's project.

Part 1: The Project



ProveIt minimized.
The reference list.
Editing a reference.
Loading a reference via the Citoid service.
After a reference has been loaded via Citoid.

In a few short sentences, give the main highlights of what happened with your project. Please include a few key outcomes or learnings from your project in bullet points, for readers who may not make it all the way through your report.

Before the midpoint report:

  • Migrated all code, documentation and issues from GitHub and the English Wikipedia to Gerrit, Phabricator and Commons
  • Fixed many bugs and made several enhancements
  • Adopted by the French Wikipedia, Russian and German underway.
  • Greatly polished the localization process

After the midpoint report:

  • The gadget was adopted by 9 more Wikipedias, making a total of 12 (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Russian, Finnish, Bengali, Estonian, Chinese, Hindi and Bihari)
  • More than 600 active users improved more than 10,000 articles using the gadget
  • Added the gadget to TranslateWiki (first gadget ever) and got it localized to 40+ languages
  • Added Citoid support to the gadget

Methods and activities


What did you do in project?

Please list and describe the activities you've undertaken during this grant. Since you already told us about the setup and first 3 months of activities in your midpoint report, feel free to link back to those sections to give your readers the background, rather than repeating yourself here, and mostly focus on what's happened since your midpoint report in this section.

Since the midpoint report, my main activities were:

  • Finally got the new version of the gadget accepted by the English Wikipedia. To accomplish this, I had to preserve the old version of the gadget under the name "ProveIt classic" for those users who just didn't want the new version.
  • Added the gadget to TranslateWiki, thus becoming the first gadget ever to be localizable at TranslateWiki. As a result, the gadget messages are now localized to 40+ languages and counting.
  • Enabled the gadget on 9 new Wikipedias. The gadget is now enabled on the English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Russian, Finnish, Bengali, Estonian, Chinese, Hindi and Bihari Wikipedias, and the process to enable it on new Wikipedias is better documented and easier than ever.
  • Had a talk with the lead-developer of the new wikitext editor (Ed Sanders) about the future of the gadget in the face of the phasing out of the current wikitext editor.
  • Closed many Phabricator tasks. Some of the most significant are:
    • Added Citoid support to the gadget. Users can now add references automatically by just copy-pasting the URI of the reference they want.
    • Mouseover tooltips for all template parameters explaining what they do.
    • Added a Today button to every date field, that when clicked adds today's date.
    • Added a way to filter/search among the references to quickly find the one you're looking for.
    • Added a way to filter/search among the parameters to quickly find the one you're looking for.
    • Support for block-style templates.
    • Support for unregistered parameters.
    • When a reference name is changed, now ProveIt automatically updates the name in all the citations.

Outcomes and impact




What are the results of your project?

Please discuss the outcomes of your experiments or pilot, telling us what you created or changed (organized, built, grew, etc) as a result of your project.

Before the midpoint report:

  • Created the new central documentation page at Commons, see here.
  • Created the new central project at Phabricator, see here.
  • Created the new central repository at Gerrit, see here.
  • Created pages at Commons for hosting and serving the code to all Wikipedias, see here and here.
  • Got revision tags created for tracking the gadget usage at the Spanish and English Wikipedias, see here and here.
  • Started a collaboration relation with User:Iniquity from the Russian Wikipedia and Bastenbas from the French Wikipedia.

After the midpoint report:

  • Made the gadget localizable at TranslateWiki and got it localized to 40+ languages, see the translation project here.
  • Finally got the gadget enabled on the English Wikipedia, and then on other wikis.
  • Got revision tags created on most Wikipedias for tracking gadget usage.
  • Added Citoid support.
  • Started collaborating with User:Zache from the Finnish Wikipedia, who did the first crude implementation of the Citoid service, continued the collaboration with Iniquity, and got feedback from various Wikipedias, which shows that the centralization efforts are paying off.
  • Documentation about the gadget was created on several Wikipedias, usually by translating the documentation I created and maintained for the English and Spanish Wikipedias.

Progress towards stated goals


Please use the below table to:

  1. List each of your original measures of success (your targets) from your project plan.
  2. List the actual outcome that was achieved.
  3. Explain how your outcome compares with the original target. Did you reach your targets? Why or why not?
Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
Actual result Explanation
Enhance the gadget I managed to add all the features I promised, and more, but I failed on one very big one: the Wikidata integration. Around the time I started researching and experimenting on how to do the Wikidata integration, the new wikitext editor came out as a beta feature. I also learned that this new wikitext editor will eventually replace the current wikitext editor, so unless the ProveIt gadget is updated to work with the new wikitext editor, it will eventually cease to be available. However, the new wikitext editor already has a visual reference manager. Furthermore, the new wikitext editor works very different to the old one, so updating ProveIt to work with the new editor is no small feat. I set up a meeting with the main developer of the new wikitext editor, who confirmed my worries that the arrival of the new wikitext editor will probably mean the end of ProveIt. Therefore, I thought that undergoing the huge task of integrating the gadget with Wikidata was not so efficient anymore, especially because given the nature of the integration, it would be a never-ending task. So after some meditation, I figured it made more sense to fix bugs, spread the gadget and do many small tasks, than delving into a never-ending task that would only end when the gadget is phased out by the new wikitext editor. However, to more or less compensate, I decided to do the Citoid integration, which wasn't part of the original plan for this grant but introduces a functionality that is somewhat similar to the original Wikidata integration proposal.
Spread the gadget to 10 Wikipedias The gadget is now enabled on 12 Wikipedias, localized to 40+ languages, and is easier than ever to localize and enable on more Wikipedias The German Wikipedia has rejected the gadget (because they have a wiki-wide policy of no new gadgets and they already have a gadget that does something similar to ProveIt). The Japanese, Polish and Thai Wikipedias have not achieved consensus about wether or not to enable the gadget (generally per lack of participation, despite my occasional bumps). However, other Wikipedias beyond the top 10 have spontaneously adopted the gadget (Finnish, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Bihari and Estonian) without me asking, which proves how easy it is now to enable the gadget on new wikis. We can only expect that as time goes by, new wikis will continue to adopt it.
Double the amount of monthly edits done with the gadget When I started the grant, the gadget was enabled for 13000 users in the English Wikipedia and 420 in the Spanish Wikipedia. Now the gadget is enabled for:
  • 14,149 users in the English Wikipedia (no stats available about the number of "active" users)
  • 2,198 users in the Chinese Wikipedia (of which 173 are "active" users)
  • 558 users in the Spanish Wikipedia (of which 96 are "active" users)
  • 225 users in the Bengali Wikipedia (of which 24 are "active" users)
  • 190 users in the Russian Wikipedia (of which 80 are "active" users)
  • 123 users in the Portuguese Wikipedia (of which 26 are "active" users)
  • 121 users in the French Wikipedia (of which 52 are "active" users)
  • 57 users in the French Wikipedia (of which 25 are "active" users)
  • 19 users in the Hindi Wikipedia (of which 6 are "active" users)
  • 9 users in the Estonian Wikipedia (of which 5 are "active" users)
  • 8 users in the Finnish Wikipedia (of which 4 are "active" users)
  • 1 user in the Bihari Wikipedia (of which 0 are "active" users)

Every Wikipedia that adopted the gadget also created a revision tag for it, so here here are the number of edits done with the gadget on each wiki:

  • 9098 edits in the English Wikipedia
  • 570 edits in the Spanish Wikipedia
  • 360 edits in the French Wikipedia
  • 199 edits in the Russian Wikipedia
  • 102 edits in the Portuguese Wikipedia
  • 92 edits in the Estonian Wikipedia
  • 82 edits in the Italian Wikipedia
  • 78 edits in the Finnish Wikipedia
  • 76 edits in the Chinese Wikipedia
  • 19 edits in the Bengali Wikipedia
Unfortunately I wasn't diligent enough to keep track of the amount of edits done with the gadget month by month, and the RecentChanges page only allows me to see details about the changes done with the gadget on the last 30 days, so I cannot exactly know if the total number of edits done with the gadget per month has doubled as promised. However, given that most wikis didn't have the gadget enabled before, it's clear that those wikis more than doubled the amount of monthly edits done with the gadget. ;-) As to the English and Spanish Wikipedias, I can't tell if the edits have doubled, but given that the number of users with the gadget enabled has increased, we can reasonably infer that the edits per month done with the gadget have at least increased.
Improve the quality of the references Because I didn't accomplish the Wikidata integration, the proposed measure of success for this goal isn't possible. The proposed way to measure the improvement in the quality of the references was by counting the number of edits done on Wikidata with the gadget. However, as the Wikidata integration wasn't accomplished (the reasons were explained above), the success on this goal just cannot be measured. However, the recent addition of Citoid service to the ProveIt gadget should, in the long run, bring some improvement on the quality of the references.

Think back to your overall project goals. Do you feel you achieved your goals? Why or why not?

Despite the obvious lack of the Wikidata integration, I feel the project has been an overall great success. The gadget is now at its best, fully centralized at Commons, Gerrit and Phabricator, standards compliant, well documented, localized to 40+ languages and enabled on 9 Wikipedias (and more are likely to follow). The source is elegant and well commented, the interface is smart and clear, and the bugs are few and minor. Usage is on the rise, complaints are gone, and collaborators are appearing. The gadget is now certainly one of the most advanced, and in some aspects the most advanced, of the gadget landscape. As to the goals, I accomplished most of them, underachieved in some but overachieved in others, so I think that overall the project was a success.

Global Metrics


We are trying to understand the overall outcomes of the work being funded across all grantees. In addition to the measures of success for your specific program (in above section), please use the table below to let us know how your project contributed to the "Global Metrics." We know that not all projects will have results for each type of metric, so feel free to put "0" as often as necessary.

  1. Next to each metric, list the actual numerical outcome achieved through this project.
  2. Where necessary, explain the context behind your outcome. For example, if you were funded for a research project which resulted in 0 new images, your explanation might be "This project focused solely on participation and articles written/improved, the goal was not to collect images."

For more information and a sample, see Global Metrics.

Metric Achieved outcome Explanation
1. Number of active editors involved 600 According the the Special:GadgetUsage page in the various Wikipedias using the gadget, the number of active editors using the gadget are 173 + 96 + 80 + 24 + 26 + 52 + 25 + 6 + 5 + 4 = 491. I rounded this up to 600 because there are no stats for the number of active editors using the gadget in the English Wikipedia, but given that 14,149 users there have the gadget enabled, assuming that 109 of those users are active is a conservative estimate.
2. Number of new editors 0 The gadget is meant to help existing editors, rather than attracting new ones.
3. Number of individuals involved 4238 When I started this grant, the gadget was enabled only in the English and Spanish Wikipedia, with 13,000 and 420 users with the gadget enabled, respectively. Now, the English Wikipedia has 14,149 users with the gadget enabled and the Spanish Wikipedia has 558, which means that 1,149 users from the English Wikipedia and 138 from the Spanish Wikipedia have enabled the gadget since I started this grant. Furthermore, the other 9 Wikipedias that now have the gadget enabled didn't have it before this grant, so all the users that now have the gadget enabled must have interacted with ProveIt at least once. Adding all up, it's a total of at least 4238 users interacting with the gadget since I started the grant.
4. Number of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages 20 In order to better document the gadget, I took some screenshots of the interface in various languages and uploaded everything to Commons:Category:ProveIt
5. Number of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects 10,676 Adding up all the edits marked with the "proveit" rev tag. This is a conservative estimate, as some Wikipedias using the gadget don't have the tag.
6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects 5,850,448 In the last 30 days, the ProveIt users in the English Wikipedia did 407 changes and added 223,093 bytes [1] so we can deduce that the average number of bytes added per ProveIt edit is 223,093 / 407 = 548. Multiply this average by the total number of edits done with ProveIt on all Wikipedias (10,676) and we get a total of 5,850,448 bytes added. This number doesn't take into account the thousands or millions of bytes added to the Wikimedia projects related to documentation of the gadget, or the gadget code itself, so any exaggerations in the number of bytes added by the users are vastly compensated by the number of bytes added by myself and others in the process of developing and documenting the gadget.

Learning question
Did your work increase the motivation of contributors, and how do you know?

Since I started the grant, I have received support, feedback and help from several users, including Iniquity from the Russian Wikipedia, Bastenbas from the French Wikipedia, Zache from the Finnish Wikipedia, Matthew Flaschen (one of the original developers of the gadget, now part of the WMF) and several users from the English Wikipedia.

Indicators of impact


Do you see any indication that your project has had impact towards Wikimedia's strategic priorities? We've provided 3 options below for the strategic priorities that Project Grants are mostly likely to impact. Select one or more that you think are relevant and share any measures of success you have that point to this impact. You might also consider any other kinds of impact you had not anticipated when you planned this project.

  • Option A: How did you increase participation in one or more Wikimedia projects?
  • Option B: How did you improve quality on one or more Wikimedia projects?
  • Option C: How did you increase the reach (readership) of one or more Wikimedia projects?

Option B: The main contribution of this project to the movement's strategic priorities has been improving the quality of the content through the addition of thousands of new references and the improvement of many existing references. The exact metrics have been explained in detail above.

Project resources


Please provide links to all public, online documents and other artifacts that you created during the course of this project. Examples include: meeting notes, participant lists, photos or graphics uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, template messages sent to participants, wiki pages, social media (Facebook groups, Twitter accounts), datasets, surveys, questionnaires, code repositories... If possible, include a brief summary with each link.

Wikipedia Localized messages Initialization code Documentation Stats
English Link Link Link Usage - Tags
Spanish Link Link Link Usage - Tags
Portuguese Link Link Link Usage - Tags
French Link Link Link Usage - Tags
Italian Link Link Link Usage - Tags
Russian Link Link Link Usage - Tags
Estonian Link Link Link Usage - Tags
Finnish Link Link Usage - Tags
Bengali Link Link Link Usage - Tags
Chinese Hans - Hant Link Link Usage - Tags
Hindi Link Link Link Usage - Tags
Bihari Link Link Link Usage - Tags
Polish Link
German Link
Turkish Link Link (old version) Link Usage - Tags
Kazakh Link JS - CSS (old version) Link Usage - Tags
Persian Link JS - CSS (old version) Link Usage - Tags
Tamil Link Link (old version) Link Usage - Tags



The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you took enough risks in your project to have learned something really interesting! Think about what recommendations you have for others who may follow in your footsteps, and use the below sections to describe what worked and what didn’t.

What worked well


What did you try that was successful and you'd recommend others do? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.

What didn’t work


What did you try that you learned didn't work? What would you think about doing differently in the future? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • The German Wikipedia has a policy against new gadgets, so proposing new gadgets to them is futile.
  • In Special:RecentChanges you can see the edits tagged with a given rev tag in the last 30 days, and in Special:Tags you can see the total number of edits tagged with a given rev tag, but there is no easy way to find out how many edits were tagged with a given rev tag in an arbitrary time range. A custom query to the API needs to be crafted for the job, so if you want to avoid doing that, you must manually record the total number of edits done with the rev tag you're interested in by visiting Special:Tags every month.

Other recommendations


If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please list them here.

Next steps and opportunities


Are there opportunities for future growth of this project, or new areas you have uncovered in the course of this grant that could be fruitful for more exploration (either by yourself, or others)? What ideas or suggestions do you have for future projects based on the work you’ve completed? Please list these as short bullet points.

An important thing I learned during the project is that the current wikitext editor is going to be phased out in the next few years in favor of a new wikitext editor. This new wikitext editor works very differently to current one, so updating the ProveIt gadget to work with the new wikitext editor is very difficult. Furthermore, the new wikitext editor already has a visual reference manager, so it seems that the future of the ProveIt gadget is uncertain. That being said, until the gadget is phased out, it will continue to be used, and I will continue working on it on my spare time.

Part 2: The Grant




Actual spending


Please copy and paste the completed table from your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed the actual expenditures compared with what was originally planned. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided to explain them.

Expense Approved amount Actual funds spent Difference
Migrate the gadget to Gerrit, the GitHub issues to Phabricator, the live code and documentation to Commons. USD 500 USD 500
Finish the integration with TemplateData, start spreading the word. USD 500 USD 500
Localise the gadget to the top Wikipedia languages, continue the spread campaign. USD 500 USD 500
Integrate the gadget with Wikidata or a custom database at Tool Labs, continue the spread campaign. USD 1000 USD 1000 Although the Wikidata integration wasn't accomplished, the funds destined to this task were spent on integrating the Citoid service into the gadget.
Fix reported bugs, add requested enhancements, continue the spread campaign. USD 500 USD 1000
Total USD 3000 USD 3000

Remaining funds


Do you have any unspent funds from the grant?

Please answer yes or no. If yes, list the amount you did not use and explain why.

  • There are no remaining funds. The money was used to pay for my time enhancing the gadget.

If you have unspent funds, they must be returned to WMF. Please see the instructions for returning unspent funds and indicate here if this is still in progress, or if this is already completed:



Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grantsadmin(_AT_)wikimedia.org, according to the guidelines here?

Please answer yes or no. If no, include an explanation.

  • No, because there were no expenses other than my time, so there are no invoices or documentation to send.

Confirmation of project status


Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?

Please answer yes or no.

  • Yes

Is your project completed?

Please answer yes or no.

  • Yes

Grantee reflection


We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on what this project has meant to you, or how the experience of being a grantee has gone overall. Is there something that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed, or that you’ll do differently going forward as a result of the Project Grant experience? Please share it here!

I've said most of what I had to say already. There's only one more thing I'd like to add, regarding the reason why this project took me one year to complete, rather than the proposed 6 months. When the project started, the first half of my grant (USD 1500) was released pretty quickly and I got started even before that. The first three months I was very motivated and delivered on time, as can be readily seen from my midpoint report. However, when the time came for the second half of my grant to be released, my contact in the WMF had some serious personal and health issues that kept her from communicating effectively. I wasn't in an economic position to work for free, so I decided to give priority to some other jobs I had until the WMF released the second half of my grant. This only happened sometime in January (in other words, more than 3 months late). When I received the second half, I was on holidays until February. When I returned I resumed work, focusing on the Wikidata integration. However while investigating, I found out about the new upcoming wikitext editor and the phasing out of the old one, so it made me step back and think about the overall usefulness of the Wikidata integration (as explained in detail above). So I organized a talk with Ed Sanders to help me decide what should I do. This talk delayed for a couple more weeks. After the talk, I decided to give up on the Wikidata integration and go for the Citoid integration, so I resumed work, but at a slower pace than when I first started the project (let's say I wasn't as motivated as when I first started). As a result of all of this, the project took me a few more months than I expected, but as stated above, I'm satisfied with the end result and the metrics are good, so overall I consider this project to be a success.