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Grants:IEG/Replay Edits/Final

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Welcome to this project's final report! This report shares the outcomes, impact and learnings from the Individual Engagement Grantee's 6-month project.

Part 1: The Project




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

  • Made a tool that lets the user to visually see the edits in an article like a movie.
  • Also made it into a userscript.



In your midpoint report, you told us about the setup and background for your project. Do you have anything else to add to your methodology from the second half of your project? If so, please add it here.

  • Finding the difference between the htmls of different versions has been a challenge from the beginning.
Different libraries like htmldiff.js, domdiff.js (Used in mediawiki) and delta.js were tried.
  • htmldiff.js had performance issues and would take a really long time on a medium sized article.
  • domdiff.js (when I tried it a few months back) would not output very useful diff.
  • delta.js (Which is a very comprehensive library doing diff, match and patch in javascript) did not give a diff that was identical to what the users saw on the history tab. It also had some performance issues.
A few other html diff libraries were also tried.
The strategy finally adopted was to use the js version ofgoogle-diff-match-patch
  • It can diff strings very fast.So the html was converted to a string by replacing the html tags with a unicode character. Then run the diff and finally convert it back. html diff with unicode
  • Currently the tool does not show pure markup changes (Eg test -> test) is not detected as an edit.
  • An important component of a tool like this is the ability to navigate through the edits. The user must be able to select the set of edits to be viewed.
  • A slider was built.It has gone through a number of iterations and continues to evolve.
  • The requirements were:
  • It should give the user an idea about the time between edits. (If edits were made after a year, they need to convey that versus edits that happened in the space of two weeks etc)
  • It has to give all the edit related info (author,date, minor etc)
  • It should be able to show the edits of articles where there have been a large number of edits (10,000+).
  • The current version is able to do most of the above, but there is scope for improvement.



What did you do over the course of your project?

Please list all activities you’ve undertaken as part of your project, and provide a description for each activity.

  • With the tool reaching a degree of functionality the help of UI and interaction designers was sought for the tool.
  • Arun Madhanagopal and Parul Bhatti have been the go to guys for all things UI/UX. I actively engaged & continue to work with them.
  • Different versions of the tool have been put out over the last few months & the community has been very helpful with feedback and comments. Their feedback can be viewed here
  • As part of outreach & to generate a buzz a video was made showing the tool in action.

Outcomes and impact


What are the results of your project?

  • The standalone version of the tool. It is currently hosted on github.
  • A userscript of the same tool has been built and thus the tool can be used directly from wikipedia.
Copy "importScript( 'User:Jeph_paul/common.js' );importStylesheet( 'User:Jeph_Paul/common.css' );" into your common.js to use it as a userscript

Please discuss anything you have created or changed (organized, built, grown, etc) as a result of your project.

Progress towards stated goals and targets


Please use the provided table to:

  1. List each of your original goals/targets (measures of success) from your project plan.
  2. Next to each goal/target, list the actual outcome that was achieved.
  3. Explain how your outcome compares with the original goal. Did you reach your planned targets? Why or why not?
Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
Actual result Explanation
3700 users of the userscript after the end of the project A standalone version & a userscript has been made. The uptake is starting to get measured. Exact number of active users will be added at a later date. It takes some time for traction to build and we'll be in a better position to judge the usage of the some time from now (The goal was to hit the target three months after the completion of the project)

Strategic impact


Please reflect on Wikimedia’s strategic priorities. We've provided 3 options below for the strategic priorities that IEG projects are mostly likely to impact. Select one or more strategic priorities that you feel your project has had impact on. Answer the question related to the priority you've selected by sharing any measures of success you have that point to this impact.

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?

  • The tool can be used by a power user and at the same time is something that would pique the interest of a new user as it is interactive & visual. (Usage stats will be added once enough data has been collected)

Additional impact


Did your project have any other kinds of impact you had not anticipated when you planned your goals and targets?

Key Learnings


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 was successful? What would you recommend doing again? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • Putting out versions of the tool even before it was fully built helped.
It helped in getting the word out & letting people know the existence of such an effort.
It helped get valuable feedback & refine the feature set.
  • In general it is really useful to stay in touch with the community & constantly engage with them.

What didn’t work


What would you not do again or recommend that others do differently in the future? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • The barrier to use a userscript is quite high. Especially if he or she is a new user. The user has to paste code into his common.js.
  • Userscripts may not be the best way to get to a wide audience.
  • Engaging with UI/UX designers at a later stage. (Should have started working with them right from the begining).

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.

  • Turn it into a beta Feature to explore ways to integrate it directly into wikipages.
  • The slider made as part of the tool can be made into a separate component that can be reused in other projects. (wikislider, It has already been separated, but a lot of changes have since been made to the slider in the tool and haven't yet been added to wikislider )

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.

  • Link to the code repository of the tool
  • Link to the code repository of the slider that can be reused.
  • Link to a blogpost & video of the tool.
  • Link To the very first version of the tool
It lets you playback an article from its beginning & only the first 500 edits.

Some the mockup's created for the slider in the tool

Mockup for the homepage

Part 2: The Grant




Actual spending


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

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.

  • Yes
The entire grant amount of 500$ remains.
Both the designers I'm working with volunteered without any remuneration.

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:

  • I'm yet to start the process of returning the funds back.



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.

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 an IEGrantee 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 IEG experience? Please share it here!

Being an IEG grantee has been a rewarding experience both personally and technically. I've learnt a lot over the period of the grant. I had been toying with the idea for almost a year before the grant happened. The tool and I are only started. The tool will continue to evolve and change. The tool may not be the best answer to representing edit history but I believe it was a worthwhile experiment. The community is very active and vocal with feedback. They also seems to be receptive of experimental ideas like this endevour.

See also