Talk:Tech/News

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New years wish: A brief look into the future[edit]

Since the last Tech News requested for improvements wishes, here is mine: Tech News informs you great about what happened in the last week but it's still hard to keep an overview of bigger projects that are running. Maybe you could introduce a category in the Tech News where you keep a list of links to the ongoing/planned changes of the next year or so? -- MichaelSchoenitzer (talk) 12:14, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Thanks MichaelSchoenitzer. I'll spend some time over the next few months trying to figure out how to improve Tech News; I'll add this to the things to think about how to do better. (: /Johan (WMF) (talk) 17:22, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

For translators[edit]

If there are any Tech News translators who are not on translators-l but are reading this: There's a new way to handle dates in the newsletter. The point is to make it easier for you, because you only need to translate it once and then it will be a 100% match in the translation memory in the future, so you won't have to manually change the days and months every week.

There are some explanations in a couple of emails:

If you don't know what to do, or feel confused – please just write here or ping me and I'll help. The point is to make it easier for you, not more difficult. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 17:18, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

More Extensive 'Changes this week?'[edit]

Recently I've started to get intrigued by 'The new version of MediaWiki will be on test wikis and MediaWiki.org from …. It will be on non-Wikipedia wikis and some Wikipedias from …. It will be on all wikis from … (calendar link).' item under 'Changes this week' (usually at/near the end) but not enough to go and wade through the ginormous list of changes included in the indicated release. Is there any chance that a summary of the most notable changes included in new WMF-internal MediaWiki versions mentioned in Tech News could be included in this section under the relevant bullet point?

— RandomDSdevel (talk) 02:56, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

RandomDSdevel: Generally speaking, this is what I try to do! The main point of this item is to remind people of when the promised changes are happening: "Changes this week" haven't happened yet when the newsletter is delivered, so this is there to tell them roughly when they can expect them to take place. Then it includes a link to what's included, but as you've noticed, most of it isn't that relevant. If I understand you correctly, you'd like me to lower the bar for inclusion somewhat, by just mentioning a few things in one bullet point, even if they don't get their own item? /Johan (WMF) (talk) 08:35, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, a brief summary of what the upcoming changes will actually be would be great. You could include it either in the existing bullet point or one list level down under that (as sub–bullet points.) It might be a good idea to include such a summary on the actual changes page in addition to or instead of this, though…? In any case, just do what you think will best serve the community at large.
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 22:39, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
RandomDSdevel: Sorry for the late reply. This is what "changes this week" is supposed to do – take the very most important ones and bring them to light. Do you have anything in particular that's on your mind that would be an example of something that should have been mentioned but isn't? I'm not disagreeing with you – I'm pretty certain there are things that should be mention but aren't – just trying to better understand what you mean.
As for the page itself, it's difficult for me to summarize it, I'm afraid, because it's actually created days after Tech News is finalized. Tech News is distributed in ~20 languages, so the issue is finalized on Friday afternoon/evening (UTC), and sent out to the translators so they'll have a couple of days to translate it, then distributed on Monday afternoon/evening (UTC). However, that page isn't created until Monday. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 16:05, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Oh, then I suppose this scheduling difference would make summarizing MediaWiki release notes in 'Changes this week' rather difficult. That's a bit of a shame, as the changelings tend to be rather long and would definitely benefit from some kind of summary. Maybe this could end up at the top of the release notes instead since logistics currently prevent it from shipping as part of Tech News? Might you also consider copying the summary over into Tech News if the relevant timing issues ever get resolved? (Or maybe they could be grabbed automatically by the script/bot that uploads Tech News…? Just an idea…)
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 23:36, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Replacing Tidy[edit]

Lego created this dashboard to track progress on one of the steps for mw:Parsing/Replacing Tidy: https://tools.wmflabs.org/wikitext-deprecation/ Most communities are set, but some have more than a thousand pages that need to be fixed. It's not a sortable table, so it's not easy to grab a list of the ten with the most problems, but at a quick glance, I believe that arwiki, fawiki, idwiki, kawiki, thwiki, euwiktionary, lawikitionary, and hewikisource all have more than 2,000 pages to fix  – and ocwiki leads the list with an astonishing 37,000+ pages to fix, and mswiki is in second place with 17,000 pages in the category. (It's category-based, so the problem may actually be bigger than it looks.)

Could a link to this tool be provided, with some encouragement to check your home wiki and make sure that these errors get fixed soon? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:19, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

This has now been added to the current Tech News draft. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 18:53, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
Whatamidoing (WMF), I've added basic sort functionality. Please let me know if there are other features you'd like to see. Legoktm (talk) 09:44, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Everyone, please note there's a related conversation at Talk:Tech/News/2017/06. :) Elitre (WMF) (talk) 10:10, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Tech/News/2017/08: "The edit summary box is now a little bit bigger"[edit]

This is half-truth. The box is bigger in the wrong direction and smaller in the relevant one. See the image. — Mikhail Ryazanov (talk) 23:18, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Mikhail Ryazanov: Badly phrased, yes. My apologies. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 00:38, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Tech News: 2017-09[edit]

3D files: if I understand the Phabricator threads correctly, only STL format will be supported. The support for AMF format was dropped after some problems were revealed during the security review(s). See phab:T132063, phab:T157077. --212.79.110.27 21:27, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Thanks. I'll check it out and, if so (and I see no reason to suspect you're wrong), I'll include a correction in next issue. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 22:22, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Searching the Tech News archives[edit]

I'm wondering how best to search past Tech News issues, e.g. to find mentions of <references /> tags like there are in the current issue. Any pointers? -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 00:53, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

There's a search box at Tech/News/Archives, which should work. Though it is filled with the translated results, too, and it's not possible to filter those out (afaik). HTH. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 01:44, 14 March 2017 (UTC) @Daniel Mietchen: Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 01:45, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
OK, thanks. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 01:53, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Script error in 20 Mar 2017 edition of Tech News[edit]

This isn't a serious problem, but this week's edition of Tech News left some parser functions that added my enwiki talk page to Category:Pages with script errors. I only noticed this when a bot fixed the error. I don't think this had any effect on the output of the page. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 00:02, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Yep, please don't use Module:Template_translation in the messages. Most projects obviously don't have this module, so the page gets marked as containing a script error. Candalua (talk) 11:39, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Ack, my mistake, sorry. I removed the first set of parser functions from the item "The new version of MediaWiki will be on test wikis from [...]" and didn't realize there was a second one. I'm still trying to understand the new time&date setup. I will attempt to clean this up. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 18:11, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, it looks like this was a problem in previous weeks, too (e.g. last week's edition). I will investigate further, and probably propose changing back to the old manual system. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 19:03, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Code freezes and read-only mode[edit]

Here's a reminder about Tech/Server switch 2017, which should run in Tech/News/15 and subsequent (if not sooner):

  • There will be code freezes for the weeks of 17 April 2017 and 1 May 2017. Non-essential code deployments will not happen.
  • You will not be able to edit for approximately 20 to 30 minutes on Wednesday, 19 April and Wednesday, 3 May, beginning at 14:00 UTC.

I don't know if there is a particular Phab task to associate with this. However, https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech/Server_switch_2017 and https://wikitech.wikimedia.org/wiki/Switch_Datacenter#Schedule_for_2017_switch are probably the most useful from the POV of editors and other non-devs. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:40, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

There's now a piece about the read-only mode in Tech/News/2017/15. The code freeze will be mentioned next week, as that's when Tech News typically mentions what'll happen with new versions etc (and developers who need to know about a code freeze shouldn't rely on Tech News for that information, given that Tech News is a tool to explain what's happening in the technical community to everyone else). /Johan (WMF) (talk) 11:46, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Tech News: 2017-15 - Javascipt[edit]

"Some older web browsers will not be able to use JavaScript on Wikimedia wikis from this week?" Which browswers are affected, please? Why couldn't the news text be more specific? -- YaganZ (talk) 20:27, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

YaganZ: Tech News tries to give a very short overview, and then link (the [2] after the sentence in this case) to more information if one feels this is relevant. This is done for a number of reasons – spare the translators, ease of glancing through the topics and so on, but of course also cause problems (e.g. when there's no translation of the material linked to). It's very possible I erred in this case, and should have worked to include the most common affected browsers. I'd guess the major ones here are Mobile Safari (iOS) 4, Android 2, and Internet Explorer 9. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 22:30, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
You can see more in this diff. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 22:32, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. That's all I wanted to know. --YaganZ (talk) 08:19, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

Content Translator dissapeared[edit]

Hi, I don't know where ask that, I hope that you can help me. I'm a wikipedian from gl.wiki and I used to use the Content Translation tool, but today I noticed that the tool doesn't appears at my Contributions link. Who knows what happened? Bye, --Elisardojm (talk) 13:03, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Yes it's temporarily disabled because of a database problem. See more at phab:T163344. Stryn (talk) 13:32, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Stryn! --Elisardojm (talk) 22:37, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Mentioning option to disable global user page[edit]

A new magic word __NOGLOBAL__ was added in September 2016,[1] but only few people knew about this, and the documentation pages were not updated until several minutes ago. I think this info should be made public via Tech News, even with such delay, to let people know about this, as this already created some confusions. CC Johan (WMF). --XXN (talk) 22:45, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

Stuff gonna break[edit]

We need an icon to highlight very, very clearly when a change will cause some kind of breakage around. Suggestions so far vary from skull (with or without crossbones), to broken heart, to screamy face emoji, to ! warning signs. Discuss. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 10:48, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

I support either a black skull (with or without crossbones), or a exclamation mark warning sign if will be inside of a red shape (triangle, circle) - something like File:Exclam icon.svg. But as currently the style of these news messages uses only black & white signs, I'd chosse a skull. For emojis - a strong oppose vote. --XXN (talk) 14:18, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
I've been thinking about this, and I see a couple of problems:
  • Tech News has only been using icons to identify things you do not need to read. "This is a recurrent item" or "this is a technical item". I think having one set of icons for things that are less important for the average reader, and one thing that we consider to be more important, will be confusing. At the moment, not having an icon is what signifies importance.
  • We use icons that should be in the newsletter often, so that readers are familiar with them. Something that will be used irregularly will be less effective, because it's more difficult to remember what it means.
I wonder if a standard phrasing that would indicate breaking changes wouldn't be better, a first sentence used in all items regarding breaking changes.
If I'm wrong, and we should use icons, I'd prefer something breaking or broken, rather than something that for me is connected to (biological) death or piracy. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 12:37, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
This is OK Johan, and I was exaggerating on purpose, although I would have loved us to use that emoji. Maybe a new section title would be enough, if you also don't want to do bold, caps, and text in red/highlighted. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 09:05, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
What about a separated section for breaking changes at the top of the newsletter? The Exclam icon.svg icon proposed by XXN also looks good. Using a color icon in this case might be warranted. --Lsanabria (talk) 13:07, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
If we're to have an icon, I agree that's my favourite suggestion so far – it's been adopted by a pretty large number of important scripts and languages, so it should work decently across languages and cultures. The problem would be the languages and scripts that don't use it, as the icons are kept when we do translations. If you don't speak a language that uses the exclamation mark, I imagine the icon has little meaning. But portraying an idea in an icon that works across the entire world is very hard. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 14:03, 15 May 2017 (UTC) 
As you said, the use of icons in TN has a different meaning, so we shouldn't change how that works. We should focus on the wording of a new section title. We do have Problems, but I dunno that that is enough. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 14:05, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
I think a standard sentence that highlights breaking change (or simplification thereof) might be enough. It should immediately stand out. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 14:19, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Though a section of its own might be a better idea. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 14:19, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
The Global Collaboration newsletter is experiencing the use Star Icon to tag major/breaking changes, starting on this month issue. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 10:00, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

Translators![edit]

For anyone translator the current issue, Tech/News/2017/20: It seems the Translate extension isn't working on Meta at the moment. I've set up a mw:User:Johan (WMF)/Tech News translation 201720 copy of the issue, with the same items and translate tags, where the tools is working. Let's assume this is fixed by the time I deliver Tech News on Monday. You can translate there, and then I can copy and paste your translation to Meta, if you haven't had time to fix it yourself. Or solve it some other way. We'll have translations, at least. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 03:52, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

This turned out to be a script error affecting more than the Translate extension; everything should be back to normal now. (: /Johan (WMF) (talk) 05:28, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

[edit]

Tech news terrible logo.svg

As requested, it is terrible. I considered putting flames/explosions on it, but figured a localisation problem would be even more appropriate. -— Isarra 16:27, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

Looking at the timestamp, I'm assuming this is a Wikimania thing I missed not being at Wikimania. (: But, uh, thanks. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 08:31, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Isarra offered to design logos for projects during the hackathon, under the condition that they'll be quite likely 'terrible' and you'll just have to live with that. They are generally pretty awesome :) —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:14, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Recent feedback[edit]

Some take-aways from recent feedback: Tech/News/Reader feedback/2017/Analysis. /Johan (WMF) (talk) 21:06, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Please keep a stable version of mediawiki software if possible[edit]

Is so a frequent release of new mediawiki software really needed? Is it really impossible to keep a stable version of software, and to allow to test deeply new versions as an option for advanced users? Working into it.wikisource, I'm severely alarmed by any new release of mediawiki software - and often it turns out to be not a unjustified alarm. --Alex brollo (talk) 07:35, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

Alex brollo: I think User:Greg (WMF) would be best suited to explain the problems involved here. Could you explain what your problems are? /Johan (WMF) (talk) 11:26, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Johan (WMF) I happens that tools/gadgets stop. They are far from perfect for sure, but they happily run.... until a new mwdiawiki version breaks them. It's so frustrating. --Alex brollo (talk) 13:01, 26 September 2017 (UTC)