Grants:Project/Rapid/Article template libraries - user sandbox space organization/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2017-18 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.


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

Proposed Goals Achieved Goals
Equity for more editors: Assist new editors, instructors and editathon organizers, in order to significantly increase Wikipedia's article creation and editor retention. The toolkit, in a simpler form, has been used and extensively tested in Greek Wikipedia. 8-10% of the articles there, in 2016 have been created by people instructed to use it, even 8-year-olds. Article templates library functionality and new help implemented in the tool, for less guidance, are yet to be tested, also in additional languages.
Request was for completing the tool with article template libreries functionality, and translating it to be used in Argentina, Ghana, Iran, Tynisia, Nepal, Italy and Egypt. The tool was completed and succesfully ported to Greek, Spanish, English, Farsi, French, Nepali, Italian and Arabic languages, according to the plan. It has also been implemented in Esperanto and German languages, as well.
Enhance and simplify the tool following first feedback The team has responded and external users as well, tool was simplified and enhanced in various ways. in appearance and functionality, before porting to all languages.
Ability to use the tool to edit directly in visual editor. Mediawiki support was unlocked and the ability to start pages directly in visual editor was achieved, after a mediawiki bug correction. Page start process was a lot simplified.
Globally increase (in-project-involved) Wikipedia article production: 20%, article retention: 80%, editor retention: 5% Yet to be measured
Newbie confidence in writing on Wikipedia. In April 30 I started a new class in University of West Attica and all 8 new users started an article of their preference in their own space. 7 users continued there and 1 started building content in personal offwiki online space. Despite the safety feeling of the tool, Publish button, instead of Save button, is scary for users, even in user sandbox space.
Reduce time invested in mentorship with this global support tool. Yet to be tested in editathons and beyond
Increase Wikipedia article production. Yet to be tested in editathons and beyond
Increase Wikipedia article retention from newbies. Yet to be tested in editathons and beyond
Increase editor retention as their confidence is built over time. Yet to be tested in editathons and beyond
Adoption in more countries In German language, adaptation was asked in order for the tool to be used and this request is completed. Marathi and Portuguese have asked for implementation there and translation will begin within a week or two. In Arabic, it started being used by persons beyond the team and assisted by admins there (Arabic an Greek languages have enabled hover highlighting enhancement of the tool as default for all users). In French language, it is considered to be used (beyond Tunisia) in France as well, and in Hebrew interest is shown in using it (users have enabled it in english) which must be followed up.
Implement as a gadget or an extension future plan


Please report on your original project targets.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
Build a tool to assist newcomers and organizers of editathons Built The tool is functioning as designed, within the limits/restrictions of template code and non-admin rights.
Translate & port tool to several languages Done + 2 more languages
Train organizers of editathons Partially done More training is needed, explanatory steps in video help has been asked to assist.

During WMCON 2018 more program leaders were initially trained on the tool. Its usage was demonstrated to over 25 people and some had already experienced it through others (word of mouth that led to demonstration).

Start of using the tool Already produced articles in English and Greek language The tool is now starting to be used. Program leaders need more assistance to build libraries for editathons.


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?
    • User sandbox+ is functional as expected, and was delivered on time, after time was extended
    • User sandbox+ is accepted as is (under consensus) in English Wikipedia. One more person knows the tool's code now. In fact he has already improved the tool and helped in its simplification and well standing.
    • The tool had warm acceptance from the global community of program leaders and WMF staff, at WMCON 2018.
    • Feedback was given to make the tool better, even during its development, and feedback from WMF staff was given, too.
    • Community feedback comments had already been discussed in team space & project documentation, but a WMF staff proposal on one was a great hint to advance the tool.
    • Feedback & request for one more parameter showed that structured pages to become articles, meant for equity in participation, can be also used for massive creation of articles.
    • The team supporting the creation and testing of the tools were very helpful from start to finish of the project.
  • What did not work so well?
    • Tool implementation was delayed in English Wikipedia because of guides and norms needed to be met there.
    • More time was needed to meet the needs of different languages, than estimated.
    • No translation system exists for such multi-template tools. Had to use spreadsheet & documents combination to semi-automate translation.
    • In German Wikipedia the template space was not considereed proper for implementing the tool and it had to be moved to user space
  • What would you do differently next time?
    • Follow project grant procedure, instead of rapid grant.


Grant funds spent[edit]

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

The grant money (1,607 EUR) were spent on working hours on the project, for developing code and training.

  • February 1 - March 4: Building code in English and Greek Wikipedia, as well as sample templates
  • February 16 - February 26: Building of manual translation matrix onwiki
  • March 3 - March 4: Manually porting of code in Italian
  • March 4 - March 12: Restructure and optimization of template tree and code in collaboration with English Wikipedia experts
  • March 11 - March 12: Restructure Greek version
  • March 13 - March 24: Design and development of semi-automatic off-wiki translating system for multiple templates
  • March 24: Restructure Italian version
  • March 25: Update Italian and translate / port in French and Nepali using translation toolkit
  • March 26 - March 28: Failed to translate and port in Arabic
  • March 29: Port in German
  • March 31: Port in Esperanto
  • April 4 - April 5: Succeed to translate and port in Arabic and Farsi

Training was given in between of developing the tool.

Building of help, porting to new languages, training and mentoring still continues.

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?


Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

NB: Similar training for community leaders and organizers of editathons will be organized at Wikimania