Jump to content

Grants:Project/Rapid/-jem-/Chronology sorting/Report

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2018-19 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • To read the approved grant submission describing the plan for this project, please visit Grants:Project/Rapid/-jem-/Chronology sorting.
  • You may still comment on this report on its discussion page, or visit the discussion page to read the discussion about this report.
  • You are welcome to Email rapidgrants at wikimedia dot org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.


Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?

The goals were achieved and I'm really happy about the project: the programming work was more complex than estimated, but that was an interesting challenge for me, and the final result is now more complete, useful and flexible. The tool is already available and in use at the given address and has already been improved with users' feedback; there is a full help text in Spanish and in English with more concrete and technical details for you to check. You can also check the source code linked from the main page; I made an effort to use variable names and write comments in the code in English, so it can be as much a Wikimedia-wide project as possible, and I hope and will work to make it useful in other projects beyond Wikipedia in Spanish.


Please report on your original project targets.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
75 improved articles 87 improved articles to date (2019-06-30). The tool was publicly announced with some delay as the grant approval also got delayed beyond the start date, but several users have been quick in using it and the target was surpassed on June 24. The number of articles is still growing over time, so please check the current updated data here.


Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:

  • What worked well?
    • The user interface and specially the previews of the lists and tables are even better than my expectations, as I didn't know for sure how the wikitext parsing outside MediaWiki would work. This is a key element of the project, as the previews allow the user to select or not the changes with certainty and safety.
    • Users got involved very soon and have been using the tool and giving useful feedback; here is the first example, about recognizing "Present" as a mark for the end of a year range, which I have already implemented.
  • What did not work so well?
    • I underestimated the users' "creativity" with the wikitext and I found more complex date uses, formats and exceptions to be treated than expected, which took longer to solve.
    • The tool uses parameters in the URL (Web) address (technically, GET forms or no forms instead of POST forms) to handle the data, which allows easy, flexible and "permanent" linking to different functions and gives more transparency, so it was a thoughtful choice; but it also added some complexity in the code and for future maintenance.
    • The general design had to be rethought after the initial analysis: the web interface and the internal parsing function are still in separated files, but in the same directory of the same server; and the Jembot general functions are called just for the actual edits. Anyway, this makes the code flow simpler and the tool itself more independent and accesible for collaborations.
    • The case with tables using "rowspan" through rows with different date marks can't be solved at the moment (I guessed and assumed that not every complex case could be solved, anyway), but my conclusion after an analysis is that a community consensus should be reached about "normalizing" or "flattening" that kind of tables, including duplication of those rowspan cells in every row, and possibly other fixes. This would require another future "table normalizer" tool integrated with this one, and was out of my reach during programmng, so this is not properly a "did not work so well" item at the end.
  • What would you do differently next time?
    • The estimation of the number of hours needed was not realistic (low), but this isn't easy to solve without beginning the analysis phase of the project itself.
    • The approval of the grant and the bureaucracy took longer than expected, which made me start programming way beyond the planned date. For future projects (which I hope there will be), I'll just set longer deadlines to anticipate any eventuality.


Grant funds spent[edit]

Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.

As stated in the request, the full amount of 800 euros paid the programming time; this was a bit longer than estimated, but not a problem.

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

No, there are no remaining funds.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

As stated in the proposal, the tool will remain open to improvements based on user feedback and adaptations to other projects, within my volunteer time. As a first step, in the next weeks I'll work with Wikipedia in Aragonese users to make adaptations for that project and language (translations and long date format). Anyway, the WMF support has been essential, and I hope this tool, after the positive experience, is only the first of several useful technical proposals to come. So thanks and "see" you soon.