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WMDE Technical Wishes/Approach

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

About the project

If you’re interested to learn more about the project, have a look at our White Paper Technical Wishes 2018, which contains our biggest lessons learned and more about the way we work.
MediaWiki Infographic -Visualization of the connections between MediaWiki software, the global and local components and the individual wikis

The Technical Wishes project is an approach to identify and prioritize technical needs in a collaborative way.

The team aims to:

  • focus on building new and improved features in MediaWiki
  • serve diverse users across wikis
  • work problem-oriented instead of solution-oriented

Core element of the Technical Wishes Project is the Technical Wishlist, containing tasks resulting from the Technical Wishes surveys, but also from workshops. So far the Technical Wishes survey has been conducted on German Wikipedia in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. The survey has been a initiative by the community from the start, developed into a collaboration beetween the German-speaking communities, the WMDE software development department and many other people who support the Technical Wishes Project with their ideas, technical requests and discussion of requests. Starting 2019, the Technical Wishes project will focus on solving problems from topic areas that the community votes for in a survey.

Although the first ideas for new projects come from the German-speaking communities, software development for the Wikimedia projects is global and contributors of all language projects should benefit from improved or new features that come out of the Technical Wishes project. Therefore, research, feedback rounds or conversations to learn more about a problem are not only conducted on deWP, but take place on Meta, and at international events like Wikimania or Hackathon. Once a feature reaches the beta status, the central help and feedback page will be set up on MediaWiki.org.

The Technical Wishlist of the German-speaking communities is not the same as the International Community Wishlist. Nevertheless, there is overlap between the two wishlists and the WMDE team is working in close collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation's tech teams.

Addressing diverse users' needs


Currently we work with the following list of criteria to address diverse users' needs:

List of Criteria

Different levels of experience
(e.g. new and long-term contributors, tech-savvy users ...)
  • User testing with non-editors for many features Yes
  • Feedback rounds in early stages that are accessible for new and experienced contributors Yes
  • Translatable and easy structured help pages and tutorials with supportive images (example) Yes
Non-Latin scripts
  • Support of RTL scripts Yes
  • We increase our awareness of regional/language-specific differences through conversations with users onwiki and at real life events Yes
  • Interfaces are translatable (wiki standard) Yes
Different browsers
Different skins

Support of

  • Vector Yes
  • Monobook Yes
  • Timeless Yes
Different devices
  • Support on a case by case basis: Decisions are made based on resources and expected gain.
Visual impairments
  • Screenreader support: Minimum: At least not making the user experience worse (Yes)
  • Colour blindness support: Considered within the regulations of the MediaWiki conventions Yes
  • No text in images Yes
Physical impairments
  • Basic keyboard navigation Yes

With more resources and increasing knowledge, we could do more -> we continue exploring potential topics/issues in this area.

Further Reading