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I suggest trying this /starting it alongside VideoWiki, so that there's an existing pool.or users and media while working out the algorithm and design language. Then run a demo site for generating these at higher volume / for a wider range of uses. –SJ talk  17:30, 23 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Sj Yes! I just created a video on Malaria based on the VideoWiki version. The new video lacks several features from the original (notably links and references), but adding those features is on the roadmap.
@Doc James I've been looking into VideoWiki but I still want to dig deeper to understand better. Once I do, would you be willing to have a talk about if and how these two projects may merge? I'm thinking that if your main developer has moved on, and if the WikiVideos extension evolves enough to replicate the key features of VideoWiki, then maybe we could migrate the existing videos to the <wikivideo> syntax (like I did with Malaria) and continue the VideoWiki project under this new technology? What do you think? Is it possible? What would need to happen? Sophivorus (talk) 23:13, 25 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
User:Sophivorus would be happy to discuss further collaboration. Should we set up a time to meet? As I mentioned I am a fan of also having the static versions on Commons / NC Commons for offline use via apps and Internet in a Box. I also like having the video within a separate page as these templates can get long. Our development plans also include adding fancier functions like being able to set coordinates and have the software create a zoom in to those coordinates using OSM. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:55, 8 September 2022 (UTC)[reply]

What is the technology here?[edit]

It seems like this proposal is centered on

  1. text to speech tools
  2. online video editors which use Wikimedia Commons files

Is that correct? Bluerasberry (talk) 12:59, 5 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Bluerasberry Hi! Regarding (1), yes. Currently Google's text-to-speech service is used, but eventually other services (like Amazon Polly or Wikispeech) could be used. Regarding (2), yes, but it's not a regular visual video editor. It's just wikitext (see However, I think that eventually, a more regular visual video editor can be added to the visual editor, similar to how galleries have a visual editor. Makes sense? Cheers! Sophivorus (talk) 13:57, 5 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I get it. Bluerasberry (talk) 20:23, 5 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Bluerasberry With the new version, we're now able to edit videos with the visual editor, using the gallery interface. Sophivorus (talk) 13:08, 6 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Copyright for text to speech output?[edit]

Current Google text to speech is used. What ownership do they claim over the output of this tool and how do we verify? Bluerasberry (talk) 13:09, 5 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Bluerasberry I did a Google search and while I didn't find a specific statement by Google, I found this answer that suggests there's no copyright claim over the text-to-speech output. Somewhat related, the Amazon Polly text-to-speech service has this FAQ where it clearly states that we retain ownership of content processed and stored by them. Sophivorus (talk) 14:07, 5 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
YesY Yes, it seems that the output of the service can have whatever license the service user assigns to it. This makes sense. Everything seems cool to use this to make Wikimedia content. Bluerasberry (talk) 20:24, 5 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Related projects[edit]

I really like this collaborative video approach. I'd just like to add that it reminded me a bit of Wikistories, which also combines media from Wikimedia Commons and text to create Instagram-like stories, although not read aloud. If you agree that they do have something in common, maybe the project could be added to the "Related projects" section. What do you think? Cheers! Diegodlh (talk) 13:19, 5 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Diegodlh: I think it is similar and I added it. Bluerasberry (talk) 13:25, 5 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Is a new project really needed?[edit]

Couldn't this just be collaborated on in a namespace on Wikimedia Commons? And from the examples, it's not really videos, so a possible name could be Slideshow. Ainali talkcontributions 14:13, 5 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hi all!
  1. The current examples are not like slideshows because they incorporate audio, which slideshows don't. More importantly, future versions of the WikiVideos extension will support the use of other media, notably videos, so their similarity with slideshows will be even less. Therefore, I think Wikivideos is a more appropriate name.
  2. Regarding the possibility of doing this in Commons, I think it could be. A new project would definitely catch more interest than an obscure feature in Commons, but the question is how much prominence we want to give it. On the other hand, my previous experience trying to get a much simpler extension reviewed and enabled in a much smaller wiki (phab:T149424) will probably prevent me from ever attempting to enable WikiVideos in Commons, at least not without someone else supporting and encouraging me.
  3. As to the "procedural closing" of the project proposal by @Dronebogus, I think it was a bit soon, hardly a week went by. However I don't want to be the one to re-open. If no one else cares enough to do so, then perhaps the assessment of little enthusiasm and no niche was correct.
  4. Regarding the objection of the low quality of the example videos though, I think that's because I put much more time and effort into the software than the example videos. I didn't think the examples were that important, and eventually someone with more talent would create better videos. I don't think the software is inherently limited, it's just a matter of putting more time and love into the videos.
  5. Lastly, regarding the similarity to VideoWiki, I think the implementation is so radically different, that it's difficult to compare. I believe the WikiVideos extension is much better integrated to the MediaWiki software because it simply introduces a new parser tag, a completely standard feature.
However, as I said above, I won't reopen this project. If someone else considers it worthwhile and wants to reopen, then great, we'll continue pushing this idea together. Else there's probably no point to it. Cheers! Sophivorus (talk) 20:32, 13 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I like this idea! Definitely has a purpose. But starting a new sister project -- and maintaining it against spam and rot -- is generally harder than getting an extension implemented. ;). Definitely try it on an existing wiki first. It's not clear to me what the community of practice would be *doing* other than using these tags that is so different from an existing project. –SJ talk  17:38, 23 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Sj You're probably right. See my comment below! Sophivorus (talk) 23:01, 25 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

FWIW, there are some technical things with the extension that would prevent it from being deployed on Wikimedia wikis as is. I'm not sure if the extension is meant purely as a prototype or what stage you are at with it, but if you're interested, I could write up a review of some of the potential issues that i see (To be clear, i don't work for WMF anymore, so my review means nothing in terms of it actually getting deployed and is just my opinion). Although as you discovered before, getting political will for deploying an extension at wikimedia is almost as hard if not harder than the technical part, which is a whole other thing. Anyways, let me know if you're interested in some code review. Bawolff (talk) 06:15, 25 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Bawolff Thanks! I'm very aware that this extension is nowhere near deployment on Wikimedia lol There's barely any error handling, inefficiencies everywhere, hacks, security issues, etc etc. Taking that into consideration, I'd really appreciate a code review at this stage for several reasons: (a) to learn about issues that I don't know about (b) to correct big architectural issues while the monster is still small, (d) to fix incorrect ways of doing things, and (d) because currently there's barely 500 lines of code so it should be much easier for you! So yes, please, if you feel like it go ahead, and feel free to contact me in private if you want to talk about about it (I'd love to). Cheers! Sophivorus (talk) 23:00, 25 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Why a project[edit]

This seems like a technology not a project. Like i can imagine it being useful to wikipedia, commons or whatever, but i don't get what exactly Wikivideos as a "wiki" would be. Bawolff (talk) 05:57, 25 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Bawolff More and more I think you, @Sj and @Ainali are right and I should try enabling this on Commons, Wikipedia, Wikiversity or whatever. In fact, having it enabled in Wikipedia could potentially have much more impact than a new project. That being said, I think it's worth leaving this project proposal open for a while to hear other voices and opinions. Sophivorus (talk) 22:51, 25 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

New version, new features, new video![edit]

Hi all, great news! Yesterday I coded a new version of the WikiVideos extension and deployed it at The new version brings a few key improvements:

  • We can now use files directly from Commons! However, only JPG, PNG and GIF files are supported for now.
  • We can now mix different file types into the same video!

To test out the new features and in reply to some comments above, I created a video on Malaria based on the original VideoWiki version. The new video lacks several features from the original (notably links and references), but those features are on the roadmap. Cheers! Sophivorus (talk) 22:45, 25 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Sophivorus: This is very cool, it reminds me of TikTok. TikTok has a video production and sharing model which works, so it makes sense to have options in the Wikipedia ecosystem which can produce similar media. Bluerasberry (talk) 13:55, 26 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Sophivorus: I like this. Of course missing a bunch of features VideoWiki has. Would be interested in discussing mergeing the projects. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:02, 8 September 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Apply for grants[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation offers grants to develop new technology. I cannot say what their funding priorities are, but for me, I can say that I like this prototype and would like to see it developed further. The application for technology grants is at Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Research & Technology Fund. Unfortunately the page seems out of date, but still, I wanted to share that if developers of this project applied, then I would support. Thanks. Bluerasberry (talk) 13:57, 26 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Bluerasberry Yes! I applied for other grants in the past and completed them successfully. I'd be happy to apply for a grant to further develop wikivideo technology once the call opens. Cheers! Sophivorus (talk) 13:06, 6 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]

New version![edit]

Hi all! I just deployed a new version of Extension:WikiVideos at

The main change is that wikivideos are now just gallery tags, with mode set to "video". This has many advantages:

  • Most importantly, wikivideos can now be edited using the visual editor (just like other galleries).
  • Wikivideos can now be developed at Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. They will render as normal galleries there, but if transcluded at, they will produce videos (example).
  • Downplaying wikivideos as "just another kind of gallery" may put some defenses down and make their adoption easier.
  • This change has simplified the code quite a bit. @Bawolff It's now readier than ever for an early code review.

Another important change is that there's now (experimental) support for wikitext, so we can use links, references, etc. I updated the presentation video with all the new features!

Lastly, a possible next step would be a system for uploading (some) wikivideos to Commons. This would make them immediately usable at Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Such a system would require a script that not only uploads videos, but also generates file description pages that properly credit all authors of images used in the video (I can do that though, no problem). However, another challenge would be getting a bot account authorized to upload files to Commons from What do you think? Would you support such a request? Cheers! Sophivorus (talk) 13:01, 6 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal stalled[edit]

Well, one year went by since I proposed this, registered and set up a demo wiki there. Since then, there's been barely any signups, discussion or support, and absolutely zero videos made. So I think there isn't any real support or need for this project. I just let the domain expire and marked this proposal as stale. Sophivorus (talk) 17:39, 21 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]

@Sophivorus, Alas! It is clearly a good idea and maybe I just happen to know a double-handful of people excited about it but I heard about it from multiple independent groups last year. I found the idea great for automated translation and low-literacy communication. I suppose there are other pipelines for that, but it's certainly good to have this feature in gallery.
Zero videos made is cause for pause, but on my end I was waiting for some update announcement about a release, or an active wiki with the extension turned on. Getting people over to a new wiki is hard (also a reason that 'new wiki proposals' rarely succeed / have a hard time reaching critical mass when they do. But did you ever get it running on Wikispore? I hope this will at least be part of discussions at Wikimania this year about collaborative video editing. –SJ talk  02:47, 23 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Efforts around VideoWiki still continue here. We have about 70 videos created on MDWiki[1] and a number in other languages of Wikipedia. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:21, 26 March 2023 (UTC)[reply]