Lingua Libre/SignIt/2023/Phase 1

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Following 2022/Phase 2 and according to its #Top priorities, the October 2022-October 2023 period aims to :

  1. restore the video recording chain
  2.  to support an outreach campaign in order to…
  3. initiate a significant[1], improved[2] and diversified[3] content creation.

Campaign vision[edit]

For 2023, we have the following informal objectives for LinguaLibre SignIt :

  • Fix existing bugs (3)
    • T312554 - Sign language video recordings appear as audio on Commons.[4]
    • T316097 - Firefox > Sign language video recording stuck on first word forever.[5]
    • T316104 - RecordWizard always default to audio recording even if user's default language is signed.[6]
  • 2023/04/13: Discuss recording collaboration in Toulouse University → nothing on short term ; possibility of academic project.
  • T311843 Make LinguaLibre a Featured Project.[7]
  • Flyer SignIt : create ;  fix ; print.
  • Initiate communication campaign


2023 URFIST Occitanie sponsoring[edit]

TLDR: Toulouse University and its Wikimédien en résidence program sponsored a 2400$ efforts on the video recording chain in order to put Lingua Libre SignIt content production chain back on track. This project demonstrates a low budget and reactive approach to bug fix possible by freelancing former volunteer developers with mastery of the said project. Now fixed, this opens the way for Lingua Libre SignIt's next phases : outreach and content production.
A Ghanaian sign language interpreter at a Wikipedia training at the Special Education Department of the University of Education, Winneba.


Acknowledging the value of sign languages and the opportunity presented by Lingua Libre/SignIt for both inclusiveness, linguistic diversity and potential participatory science… the Unité Régional de Formation à l'Information Scientifique et Technique (URFIST) d'Occitanie, a department of the Université de Toulouse, decided to support Lingua Libre SignIt with a 2,400€ funding. This funding was made following strong local interest in French Sign Language, supported by URFIST Occitanie's co-directors Guillaume Sire and Amélie Barrio, advised by Hugo en résidence. It was lead with agreement from the French Minister of Education and Research, which currently funds 3 « Wikimediens en résidence » in Toulouse, Bordeaux and Rennes.

Detailed Timeline[edit]

On March 21st, a review of the project strength and weakness was provided by Hugo en résidence to its superiors, enlightening current assets :

  • a recording chain for content creator (signers)
  • an extension for content consumers (sign language learners)
  • a strongly multi-lingual code and project
  • the potential for rapid growth.

The video recording chain of Lingua Libre/SignIt suffering 3 modest yet critical bugs blocking the project's growth.

It was decided to hire User:0x010C –a freelance web developer with expertise on this code since it created it in 2016– to lead a rapid and willfully small scale operation to fix the video recording chain. The following code were requested to be fixed :

  • T312554 – Sign language video recordings appear as audio on Commons.
  • T316097 – Firefox: Sign language video recording stuck on first word forever.
  • T316104 – RecordWizard always default to audio recording even if user's default language is signed.

On April 7th, 0x010C's pricing being in accordance to the industry and other conditions being met, the freelance was green-lighted and work started.

On April 14th, 0x010C confirmed the 3 bugs' were successfully reviewed and fixed locally.

As a good will gesture, 0x010C also fixed 2 modest bugs

  • T307773 – Recording: "Click on $1 below" i18n variable not replaced on Special:RecordWizard step 4.
  • T274864 – Migrate warning prompt before closing the recording window and pending uploads from Common.js to RecordWizard's code

And documented one bug from upstream software MediaWiki :

  •  T97539 (documented) – UploadStash - Cannot serve a file larger than 1048576 bytes.

On April 20th, those fixes were pushed to production thank to User:Poslovich, tested and accepted by User:Hugo en résidence. Payment have been approved and will close this upgrade operation.

Side effect[edit]

A side affect was reported by the community on April 24th, 2023 :

  • T335284 — New users cannot open Record Wizard

This issue was documented, resolved, deployed in production within 6 hours thanks to users Hugo en résidence, 0x010C and Poslovitch respectively.

Learning pattern for policies makers[edit]

This upgrade cycle taking the form of a modest, fast, low cost format by leveraging the lead volunteer facilitator's as project lead and a knowledgeable former volunteer developer as web freelancer is reproducible. The project was reactive, low risk, easy to handle and finally successful within a month. Such format could benefit Wikimedia France, reducing costs while speeding up upgrades and therefore impact. On the human side, this approach would lower burdens, increasing the well-being of contributors and employees alike, while redistributing reasonable economic resources to former volunteer developers.


See also[edit]