Grants:IEG/MediaWiki data browser/Timeline

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Timeline for MediaWiki data browser[edit]

Timeline Date
First version of the software is released. It provides a generic interface for browsing through the structured data of a single category of a MediaWiki wiki, using at least one of the two browser database solutions (IndexedDB and WebSQL). 1 May 2013
Capability is added to do the same for some subset of Wikidata's data, as well as for the other browser database solution, if only one existed before. 1 June 2013
Handling is added for browsing through multiple categories, where the categories are linked to each other in some way (for example, a category of cities and a category of countries). More complex displays are also added, such as maps for coordinate data and timelines for date-based data. 1 July 2013
The ability to turn this code into a full-fledged mobile app is created, using one or more tools such as PhoneGap. The display may be customized for the smaller screens of mobile devices as well. 1 August 2013
Display is made smarter, able to tailor itself to the nature of the data - for instance, if there are more than 50 possible values for a given field, maybe only the most popular values will be shown; or maybe the values will be further subdivided by the first letter of their name, etc. This will most likely involve feedback from one or more user interface experts. 1 September 2013
Administrative interface is improved, possibly with a web-based tool, to make setup of an app as easy and foolproof as possible. 1 October 2013

Monthly updates[edit]

Please prepare a brief project update each month, in a format of your choice, to share progress and learnings with the community along the way. Submit the link below as you complete each update.


A proof-of-concept was created, that uses Javascript, PHP and WebSQL to display a browsing interface for arbitrary CSV files generated from a MediaWiki wiki. However, the code was not yet publicly released.


The code remained unreleased at the end of May, but it became significantly improved during the month: more stable, more powerful, and with better code structure. Importer scripts were also developed for MediaWiki wikis (including Wikipedia), Semantic MediaWiki wikis, and Wikidata. Feedback was solicited, and in some cases incorporated, on the user interface. The big gap in functionality remains IndexedDB: the decision was made not to pursue an IndexedDB solution at all, due to technical problems with IndexedDB, despite the fact that this will mean that apps will not work on Firefox or Internet Explorer.


The code was still unreleased at the end of June, but in every other respect the project is proceeding as scheduled: the code supports handling multiple categories of data, it makes use of maps and date outlines for geographical and date-based information, respectively (though the display of date-based information could become more flexible, based on the date range involved - explicit timelines and calendars would be helpful), and includes scripts for importing data from Wikidata and Wikipedia, among others. In addition, the code has had significant improvements in quality and robustness.


The application was released, as the Miga Data Viewer, or Miga for short. And offline capability was added, which means that the web app can be started and run without an internet connection, giving it equivalent functionality to a mobile app. That, in addition to a bunch of improvements made to the interface, means that all the main goals of the project are already done.


Additional bug fixes were done, and the first outside use of Miga appeared, at (based on data from Wikinosh, a Semantic MediaWiki-based wiki.)


More bug fixes.