The Toolhub project is an effort to catalog the various software tools used in the Wikimedia movement. This project is being led by the Wikimedia Cloud Services team. Research and planning for the project began in January 2018, with implementation work estimated to begin in the second half of 2018.
How you can help right now
- Please review the data model page and leave feedback in any language. The data model describes the information we collect about each tool. Does this data model describe everything you're looking for in a tool?
Tools are used by our community for many different purposes, including semi-automatically making many edits quickly, presenting data about wiki content, and managing outreach events and contests. Tools fill in the functional gaps not covered by the wiki software itself; without tools, our work would be so much harder. Different efforts have attempted to catalog all of the different tools used in the community, each addressing different aspects of tools and their users. For the first three months of 2018, the Cloud Services team investigated 14 tool cataloguing efforts (as many as we could find) and compared them on 23 different features and 24 different data attributes. We also interviewed tool developers and learned more about how tools are developed and promoted.
As a result of this process, we have come up with a preliminary blueprint of what a useful, comprehensive catalog of Wikimedia tools might look like. Our foundation will be Hay's Tool Directory, which describes over 450 tools through tool description files hosted on wikis and code repositories that are then periodically crawled. Based on our conversations with community members, including at the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin, we will evolve the data model used by Hay's Tool Directory to allow for richer tool descriptions, including a new annotation system to allow community members to annotate tool descriptions with additional metadata fields. From there, we will create a new API to add and modify this data, open for developers to use to create their own interpretations and remixes of the Toolhub data corpus. Eventually, Hay's Tool Directory and Toolhub will merge together to create one authoritative database of software tools.
What is changing
At first, not much. While a new version of the Wikimedia Tool JSON schema will be finalized in June 2018, it will be backwards compatible with the current standard. Eventually, a backwards-incompatible schema may be released.
As Toolhub matures, Hay's Tool Directory will be phased out and replaced with Toolhub. There is no timeline for this yet. When it happens, we will do what we can to minimize disruption, including maintaining redirects between old URL paths and new ones.
We invite you to leave feedback on the talk page in any language. You can also send private feedback to jharewikimedia.org.
- 7 May 2018: We have released the proposed data model. Please review and leave feedback in any language.
- 31 March 2018: We're happy to announce this project to the public!