WMDE Technical Wishes

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Welcome to the page of the German community technical wishlist.

Logo of WMDE's Technical Wishes Project
WMDE Technical Wishes: Ways of collecting and prioritizing technical requests

The German-speaking communities' Technical Wishlist is the result of two surveys in 2013 and 2015. The surveys have been initiated by user:Raymond, conducted in close collaboration with Wikimedia Deutschland's software development department and many other people who support the technical wishes project with their ideas, technical requests and discussion of requests.

The team at WMDE's software development department is working on the list in various ways: Estimation, communication, coordination, development.

The Technical Wishlist of the German-speaking communities is not the same as the International Community Wishlist. Nethertheless, there is overlap between the two wishlists. The WMDE team is working in close collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation's Community Tech team and other WMF teams – from coordination and exchange over shared tasks to supporting each other with code review et al.

Current status report of the technical wishes activities: 2015 Community Wishlist Survey/Status report 3.

More details on WMDE's technical wishes approach and community centered software development can be found in the Technical Wishes Concept, published in 2015.

Current projects (as of March 2017)[edit]

For the more technical details, please see the WMDE's TCB team's workboard in Phabricator.

Correctly move files from Wikipedia to Commons[edit]

In many cases, locally uploaded files should be moved to Wikimedia Commons, so that they can be used in all Wikimedia projects. The current transfer process is complicated and files cannot be moved correctly including their complete version history and information about who moved the file. When moving files to Wikimedia Commons, all data should be kept intact, therefore a new functionality needs to be implemented. After an investigation phase and conversations with users in 2016, the WMDE team is now working on the two Mediawiki extensions FileImporter and FileExporter to allow the correct transfer from local files to Commons (Status of March 2017).

Better solution for edit conflicts[edit]

Improving the current handling of edit conflicts was wish #1 on the 2015 German Technical Wishes Survey. After multiple iteration rounds with the German and the international communities, the WMDE team was working on the "TwoColConflict extension" from October 2016 on. As of February 2017, the "two column edit conflict" view is provided as a beta feature on mw.org, meta, dewiki, arwiki and hewiki (Status of March 1st, 2017).

Show text changes when moving text chunks[edit]

Showing text changes within a text chunk when moving that chunk was wish #2 of the German-speaking Technical Wishes Survey in 2015. Diff code is highly complicated and extremely challenging to work on. Performance might be a major issue, too. In addition, the implementation of the change would need to be done in both, C++ and PHP programming language. As of September 27, due to open questions on performance etc., it is not clear if the team can actually implement this wish. As a first step, the team has started to work on a prototype written in C++. Next steps will be: Investigation of performance issues, investigation on the question if the C++ prototype could be implemented in a similar way in PHP, too. (Status of October 14th, 2016)

Watchlist Expiry[edit]

In the 2013 German Technical Wishes Survey, people wished for an option of putting pages on the watchlist for a limited period of time. This request was also #12 of the International Wishlist Survey. The WMDE team started working on this task in the beginning of 2016, and is currently blocked by a database update that needs to be applied to all existing wikis.

Shipped in 2017[edit]

Tables in PDFs[edit]

Wish #9 of the German-speaking Technical Wishes Survey was adding tables to PDFs. As a first step, the WMDE team added a notice about the omittal of PDFs to the article PDF download page. As an outcome of the wm2017:Hackathon the WMDE team came up with a proposal to allow tables in PDFs through a browser-based rendering service. The different tasks to fulfil the wish were shared between WMDE and WMF teams: The WMF Services team is providing and maintaining the Electron PDF render service. The WMDE team was writing the extension that provides access to that service. Further, the WMF Reading team took over the responsibility for the long term maintenance and planning of PDF rendering. As of February 2nd 2017, the extension is available on dewiki, meta and mediawiki.org. It is planned to provide the new service to all wikis in February/March 2017.

Shipped in 2016[edit]


Catwatch is a MediaWiki feature that allows users to view category membership changes in the recent changes and watchlists. Users can watch when a page was added or removed from a category. The feature is available on all Wikipedias and Wikimedia Commons since January 28, 2016. It is configured as "opt in" and can be enabled by default in the user preferences.

Notifications about mentions[edit]

Notification about successful and failed mentions are two new notification types built within the Echo/Notifications-system. "Successful mentions" is an option to receive notifications whenever a mention has been sent. "Failed mentions" is an option to receive notifications when a mention has not been sent. The latter only applies for some cases. It aims to help users to better understand how and when a notification does work or not. The two new notification types were deployed to Mediawiki.org and Meta on September 7. As of September 8, failed and successful notifications are available on all wikis. The options are configured as "opt in" an can be enabled by default in the user preferences.

RevisionSlider (show edit summaries in diff view, navigate through diff pages)[edit]

The RevisionSlider helps editors to view edit summaries and the version history on diff pages. The RevisionSlider fulfills wish #16 of the 2015 technical wishes survey. As of September 13th 2016, the RevisionSlider is available as a beta feature on all wikis. As of November 22, RevisionSlider is enabled for all users on German, Arabic and Hebrew Wikipedia as well as Mediawiki.org. The feature can be provided as a default feature for the users of all other wikis in 2017.


The Backlog contains the list of open requests from the German-speaking Community Wishlist. Requests in the backlog have only been roughly estimated so far. In quarterly plannings, the team decides what tasks they're going to work on in the next quarter. Criteria for the decision-making are: Number of votes for the respective request, no current blockers like „this task needs community consensus/another community iteration first“ or „this task can be picked after the technical issues X, Y, Z have been solved“ and resources of the developers who would be best to work on that task (e.g.: person x is an expert for issue y, but he/she is already planned in for working on another task in the next quarter). The complete technical wishlist including current work, deployed features and backlog is currently only available in German.