Tech/News/Manual

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This page documents the publishing process for the weekly Tech News newsletter. It provides guidelines based on our experience in creating this particular newsletter, but might also be used as a guide for other Wikimedia publications that are delivered to multiple wikis.

The following notes are intended to serve as guidelines for the process of publishing the Tech/News weekly newsletter and as a place to gather experiences and best practices learned from the publication and delivery of the newsletter's previous issues. There are more details about deadlines and inclusion criteria for editors who want to contribute or translate.

Writing guidelines[edit]

Brief version: Tech/News#contribute

Language[edit]

You can check your writing in the Hemingway app and the Up-Goer 6 tools that will highlight complex sentences and rare words. There are a few guides to writing in plain English.

For more specific guidelines, you can try the English Wikipedia Signpost's style guide as well as the more general Manual of Style. Consider using prepositions liberally and avoiding grouping long phrasal groups composed of many nouns.

Links[edit]

Always use the short-interwiki links: m:Example to link to anything on Meta-Wiki; w:en:Example to link to anything on English Wikipedia; q:de:Beispiel to link to anything on German Wikiquote, etc. (Context: The full-size interwiki links will break (redlink) on the specific-projects themselves, because wiktionary: is also the Project-namespace name on Wiktionaries.)

Special: pages should either be:

  • linked using the English-default/fallback (so they work locally at all wikis), and the labels tvar'd for translation.
    • E.g. [[<tvar name="af">Special:AbuseFilter</tvar>|abuse filters]]
    • or - [[<tvar name="af">Special:AbuseFilter</tvar>|Special:AbuseFilter]]
  • linked using {{#special:...}}
    • E.g. <tvar name="special-undelete">[[{{#special:Undelete}}]]</tvar>

Code[edit]

  • All visible MediaWiki or HTML tags should be wrapped in <code><nowiki>...</nowiki></code>;
  • Add the direction of LTR blocks, for RTL languages compatibility. For instance, <code dir=ltr>.mw-ui-constructive</code> will be rendered as a LTR text in a RTL translation.
  • A fully bi-directional code-snippet within a tvar might look like this:
    <bdi lang="zxx" dir="ltr"><code><nowiki> ... the code snippet ... </nowiki></code></bdi>
    
  • A listing of separate code-snippets all within a single tvar might look like this:
    <bdi lang="zxx" dir="ltr"><code>.class1</code></bdi>{{int:comma-separator/{{TRANSLATIONLANGUAGE}}}}<bdi lang="zxx" dir="ltr"><code>.class2</code></bdi>
    

Translation[edit]

  • Whenever issues contain text similar to one that had already been published, use the same to reduce amount of work required of translators and take advantage of translation memory.
  • Inline links that are not supposed to be translated should be put inside <tvar> to simplify translations and direct all users to the same page, for example: [[c:somelink|description]];
    • For recurring items, use the same tvar, so that translators can use translation memory more easily. link, link2, link3 etc. are good generic tvar labels.
    • When you put displayed text inside a tvar, add directionality markers so it displays properly on RTL wikis (and ideally also the language): <bdi lang="en" dir="ltr">your content</bdi>
  • &rlm; can solve some RTL problems. Example.
  • Reference links (e.g. to Phabricator tickets) should be at the end of an item, outside the <translate> tags. External links are preferred (even if an interwiki link is possible) because they're automatically numbered.
  • Interface messages (button names, etc.) should be internationalized using {{int:...}}. See mw:Help:Magic words#Localization for details. Append ?uselang=qqx (or &uselang=qqx) to a URL, to show the interface message's variable name.
    • Example: "<tvar name="1">{{int:wikieditor-toolbar-tool-file-upload}}</tvar>"
  • For digit-grouping, consider using <tvar name="count1000">{{formatnum:1000}} instead of plain-text of "1,000".
  • For entries that are short and technical, but perhaps don't deserve expansion within the entry itself, consider adding a qqq explanation for the benefit of the translators. for example this one.

Standardized lines[edit]

  • Here are some standardized lines we occasionally have to use:
    • There is no new MediaWiki version this week.
      • There is no new MediaWiki version next week. (added after the existing line in a separate translate-block - example)
    • MediaWiki <tvar name="mwversion">1.36.0-wmf.1</tvar> was scheduled to be deployed on some wikis last week. The deployment was delayed because of unexpected problems.
    • You will be able to read but not edit [[<tvar name="somewikis">phab:T1111111</tvar>|some wikis]] for a few minutes on {{#time:<tvar name="defaultformat">j xg</tvar>|<tvar name="date2">2020-01-01</tvar>|<tvar name="format_language_code">{{TRANSLATIONLANGUAGE}}</tvar>}}. This will happen around [<tvar name="time">https://zonestamp.toolforge.org/1630818058</tvar> 05:00 UTC]. This is for database maintenance.
    • [[<tvar name="switch">m:Special:MyLanguage/Tech/Server switch</tvar>|All wikis will be read-only]] for a few minutes on 14 September. This is planned at [<tvar name="time">https://zonestamp.toolforge.org/1631628002</tvar> 14:00 UTC].
    • Last week, all wikis had slow access or no access for NNN minutes. This was caused by [??a database problem??].
    • <translate>One new wiki has been created:</translate> <translate>a <tvar name="wiki">{{int:project-localized-name-group-wikipedia}}</tvar> in [[<tvar name="1">d:000000</tvar>|LANGUAGE]]</translate> ([[w:LAN:|<code>w:LAN:</code>]]) [https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T000000]

Icons[edit]

You can add the "Recurring item" and "Advanced item" icons to the start of entries (before the entry's own <translate> marker), by copying these lines:

  • [[File:Octicons-sync.svg|12px|link=|alt=|{{safesubst:Tech news text/{{TRANSLATIONLANGUAGE}}|recurrent item}}]]
  • [[File:Octicons-tools.svg|12px|link=|alt=|{{safesubst:Tech news text/{{TRANSLATIONLANGUAGE}}|advanced item}}]]
  • [[File:Octicons-gift.svg|12px|link=|alt=|{{safesubst:Tech news text/{{TRANSLATIONLANGUAGE}}|wishlist item}}]]

Search[edit]

Drafting and publication schedule[edit]

See also: Tech/News/For contributors#When is the work done?

The current distribution date for the newsletter is Monday, during the UTC evening. This deadline is linked to from the upcoming issue.

Distribution[edit]

See an overview of the process in this 2014 blog post

The distribution generally happens on Monday between 15:00–19:00 (UTC). If you change that time, update the deadline linked to from the upcoming issue.

  1. Purge this page to fix the "week numbers" below.
  2. Open the edition and do the final change and checks
    1. Remove the "deadline" template, and mark for translation.
    2. Open all translations on Meta and check for these problems in case there was an error during the translation:
      • red links
      • broken tvars
      • random linebreaks
    3. Open each of their History pages (alt-shift-h), to thank the translators and check for problems. Do it as you check on pages, as there is a limit to the number of thank you can send.
  3. Test the message – Make a test delivery using a small test distribution list; the process is the same as for the actual delivery (described further below), except for the target list.
    1. Open Special:MassMessage in another tab or window
    2. In "Page or category containing list of pages to leave a message on": use the page-name of your test distribution list (examples by Guillaume, Johan, Quiddity, Trizek)
      • Test distribution list: A good rule of thumb is to check:
        • on the English Wikipedia
        • on another language with an existing translation
        • on another language without a translation (defaulting to English)
        • on an RTL wiki
        • on a multilingual wiki (e.g. mediawikiwiki, commons, wikidata, etc)
        • on a Flow talk page
        • and on a community page in a localized namespace.
    3. In "Page to be sent as a message", add the page name of the issue you are delivering. Example:
      • Tech/News/2024/22
      • ↑ Check this week number is correct ↑
    4. Add the partial signature in the "Body of the message" using:
      • <bdi lang="en" dir="ltr">[[User:MediaWiki message delivery|MediaWiki message delivery]]</bdi> ~~~~~
    5. Click on the Preview button
    6. Go to "Section of the page to be sent as subject:" and choose "technews-subject"
    7. Go to "Section of the page to be sent as message:" and choose "technews-2024-W22"
    8. Preview again
    9. If everything looks good, click the Send button on the page.
      • Test it exactly like you plan to send it, including the subject of the message.
      • Open each of the pages in your test distribution list, to check if they arrived properly.
        • (Pay attention to any new bluelinks or redlinks, which might indicate a problem)
      • If you see a mistake, test it again after you fixed the mistake.
  4. Launch the actual delivery
    1. Go through the same process as when testing, except in Step #2 replace the target delivery list with the actual one:
      • "Page or category containing list of pages to leave a message on":
        • Global message delivery/Targets/Tech ambassadors
    2. [...]
    3. Do a final check, and if everything looks good, click on the Send button on the page
  5. Wrap up
    1. Thank the translators on their mailing list at translators-l@lists.wikimedia.org.
    2. Send the English edition to the Tech ambassadors at wikitech-ambassadors@lists.wikimedia.org in an HTML e-mail (topic: Tech News 2024, week 22). Copy the text of the newsletter from the desktop site. You may have to copy the language bar into a text document and copy it again to get the right amount of formatting.
    3. Publish it on Diff (m:Diff (blog))
      1. Create a new blog post,
      2. copy & paste the content from the edition into the blog-post body,
      3. add a header:
        • Tech/News/2024/22
      4. categorize it with technology,
      5. tag it with tech news,
      6. select a "featured image" (search for "tech" or "rods" or "gears" for a few examples)
        • You can resize the image if you want, as Diff post images have a 1200x675 pixels format.
      7. select "Pending review" and click "Save as pending review". (or click "Publish" and "Submit for review".)

Structural components of Tech/News[edit]