This page has the latest updates from the Community Tech team.

Community Wishlist Survey: Status report #1 edit

Hi everyone,

We've posted the Community Tech team's first status report on our progress with the Community Wishlist Survey, and you're invited to come and check it out: 2015 Community Wishlist Survey/Status report 1.

In November and December, we invited active contributors to Wikimedia projects to propose, discuss and vote on the features and fixes that they most want to see. 634 people participated in the survey, voting on 107 proposals.

Our team has committed to investigating and responding to the top 10 wishes. In many cases, our team will be designing and building tools ourselves, or collaborating with other teams and volunteers who are working in that area. For the wishes that we can't build this year -- because it's too big for our team, or there's a problem that we can't solve -- then we can at least offer open discussion on the problem, and detailed documentation explaining what we've learned, so the information can be used by other developers in the future.

We've done a preliminary assessment of the top 10, which is described in the status report. As of right now (mid-January), the two items that we're actively working on are #1) Migrate dead links to the Wayback Machine, and #7) Pageview Stats tool. Why are we working on those two and not the others? Check out the status report for all the answers.

I'm going to post the quick overview of the top 10 wishes here. Each of these wishes is discussed in detail on the status report page.

1. Migrate dead links to the Wayback Machine: Currently in progress, working with a community developer and the Internet Archive. This is one of the two projects we're actively working on now (mid-January).

2. Improved diff compare screen: Needs investigation and community discussion to define the problems that we want to solve.

3. Central repository for templates, gadgets and Lua modules: Needs underlying technical work that's currently under discussion by another team.

4. Cross-wiki watchlist: Needs technical investigation on the existing Crosswatch tool, and the Collaboration team's cross-wiki notifications.

5. Numerical sorting in categories: Investigation is underway. There are a couple potential solutions that we need to figure out.

6. Allow categories in Commons in all languages: Currently talking with Wikidata about using structured metadata to solve the underlying problem.

7. Pageview Stats tool: Currently talking with the Analytics team about their new pageview API. Needs some community discussion to define the front-end spec. This is one of the two projects we're actively working on now (mid-January), because the Analytics team is eager to use the new API that they've developed.

8. Global cross-wiki talk page: Needs community discussion to define the product.

9. Improve copy and paste detection bot: Need to work with volunteer developers to define scope on improving the existing Plagiabot.

10. Add a user watchlist: We've heard significant pushback about the vandal-fighting use case, because of the risk of enabling harassment. Currently investigating an opt-in version that would be useful for mentors, classes, editathons and WikiProjects.

Here's the status report link again, for lots more information: 2015 Community Wishlist Survey/Status report 1.

Our team is really excited about the work that we'll get to do this year, and we're looking forward to talking and working with you as we go along. -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 01:42, 21 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Community Wishlist Survey results: The top 10 edit

Hi everyone,

I'm happy to announce that the Community Tech team's 2015 Community Wishlist Survey has concluded, and we're able to announce the top 10 wishes!

634 people participated in the survey, where they proposed, discussed and voted on 107 ideas. There was a two-week period in November to submit and endorse proposals, followed by two weeks of voting. The top 10 proposals with the most support votes now become the Community Tech team's backlog of projects to evaluate and address.

Here's the top 10:

  1. Migrate dead links to the Wayback Machine (111 support votes)
  2. Improved diff compare screen (104)
  3. Central global repository for templates, gadgets and Lua modules (87)
  4. Cross-wiki watchlist (84)
  5. Numerical sorting in categories (84)
  6. Allow categories in Commons in all languages (78)
  7. Pageview Stats tool (70)
  8. Global cross-wiki user talk page (66)
  9. Improve the "copy and paste detection" bot (63)
  10. Add a user watchlist (62)

You can see the whole list here, with links to all the proposals and Phabricator tickets on this page: 2015_Community_Wishlist_Survey/Results.

So what happens now?

The next step is for the team to do a preliminary assessment on the top 10, and start figuring out what's involved. We need to have a clear definition of the problem and proposed solution, and begin to understand the technical, design and community challenges for each one.

Some wishes in the top 10 seem relatively straightforward, and we'll be able to dig in and start working on them in the new year. Some wishes are going to need a lot of investigation and discussion with other developers, product teams, designers and community members. There may be some that are just too big or too hard to do at all.

Our analysis will look at the following factors:

  • Support: Overall support for the proposal, including the discussions on the survey page. This will take the neutral and oppose votes into account. Some of these ideas also have a rich history of discussions on-wiki and in bug tickets. For some wishes, we'll need more community discussion to help define the problem and agree on proposed solutions.
  • Feasibility: How much work is involved, including existing blockers and dependencies.
  • Impact: Evaluating how many projects and contributors will benefit, whether it's a long-lasting solution or a temporary fix, and the improvement in contributors' overall productivity and happiness.
  • Risk: Potential drawbacks, conflicts with other developers' work, and negative effects on any group of contributors.

Our plan for 2016 is to complete as many of the top 10 wishes as we can. For the wishes in the top 10 that we can't complete, we're responsible for investigating them fully and reporting back on the analysis.

So there's going to be a series of checkpoints through the year, where we'll present the current status of the top 10 wishes. The first will be at the Wikimedia Developer Summit in the first week of January. We're planning to talk about the preliminary assessment there, and then share it more widely.

If you're eager to follow the whole process as we go along, we'll be documenting and keeping notes in two places:

What about the other 97 proposals?

There were a lot of good and important proposals that didn't happen to get quite as many support votes, and I'm sure everybody has at least one that they were rooting for. Again, the whole list is here: 2015 Community Wishlist Survey/Results.

We're going to talk with the other Wikimedia product teams, to see if they can take on some of the ideas the the community has expressed interest in. We're also going to work with the Developer Relations team to see if some of these could be taken on by volunteer developers.

It's also possible that Community Tech could take on a small-scale, well-defined proposal below the top 10, if it doesn't interfere with our commitments to the top 10 wishes.

So there's lots of work to be done, and hooray, we have a whole year to do it. If this process turns out to be a success, then we plan to do another survey at the end of 2016, to give more people a chance to participate, and bring more great ideas.

For everybody who proposed, endorsed, discussed, debated and voted in the survey, as well as everyone who said nice things to us recently: thank you very much for coming out and supporting live feature development. We're excited about the work ahead of us.

We'd also like to thank Wikimedia Deutschland's Technischer Communitybedarf team -- they came up with this whole survey process, and they've been working successfully on lots of community wishes since their first survey in 2013.

You can watch this page for further Community Tech announcements! -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 23:06, 19 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]

November 2015 edit

Here's what the Community Tech team's been up to lately.

  • Community Wishlist Survey: we've been running this survey to identify the most important features and fixes to work on in 2016; you might have heard about it because we've been spamming mailing lists and village pumps. If you haven't checked it out yet -- the voting phase ends on Monday, please come and vote for the proposals you want to support! There are a lot of proposals, and many of them are awesome.
  • Gadgets 2.0: A new Gadget Manager has been in the works for a long time, to replace Mediawiki:Gadgets-definition as the interface for managing gadgets on a wiki. We're helping to complete the feature, building on Krinkle and Legoktm's work. In November, we created new Gadget and Gadget_definition namespaces and content models, and we're currently working on the Gadget Manager itself. For more info: task T31272.
  • GadgetUsage: We made some improvements to the Special:GadgetUsage report, filtering out removed gadgets and adding a recently active users count. You can see the improved report on's Special:Gadget Usage page, and it'll roll out to more projects next week.
  • Citation bot: We've been working on getting Citation bot into shape; check out task T108412 for more.

In December, we've got more work coming up on Gadget Manager, Citation bot and storing WikiProject article assessment metadata. Plus come and vote in the Wishlist Survey so that we have interesting things to work on in January. Thank you and good night. DannyH (WMF) (talk) 19:47, 10 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Technical Support Satisfaction survey results edit

The Community Tech team conducted a Technical Support Satisfaction survey in October, inviting 100 randomly selected active editors from ten wikis to report on how well they feel the Wikimedia Foundation is providing needed technical support. The survey included nine Wikipedia projects -- in Russian, German, Chinese, Spanish, English, Arabic, Japanese, Portuguese and French -- as well as Wikimedia Commons.

We've posted preliminary survey results on the survey's Research page, showing the aspects where respondents were most satisfied, and least satisfied. We'll post more analysis soon, along with qualitative results on important areas that were missing in the survey questions. DannyH (WMF) (talk) 17:57, 5 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]

October 2015 edit

In the Community Tech team, we're constantly striving to make the world better by creating helpful things and fixing unhelpful things. We're basically superheroes, and we wear capes at all times. Here's what we've been up to this month.

  • We built a new Special:GadgetUsage report that's live on all wikis; it lists gadgets used on the wiki, ordered by the number of users. Not to be clickbait or anything, but THE RESULTS WILL SHOCK YOU. Check it out on your own favorite wiki.
  • HotCat is one of the most popular gadgets -- see: GadgetUsage report above -- which helps people remove, change and add categories. We fixed HotCat on over 100 wikis where it was broken, including Wikipedias in Egyptian Arabic, Ripuarian, Buginese and Navajo, and five projects in Farsi -- Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikivoyage and Wiktionary. You're welcome, Farsi!
  • CitationBot is a combination tool/on-wiki gadget that helps to expand incomplete citations. We got it running again after the https change, updated it, and fixed some outstanding bugs, including handling multiple author names.
  • We also built a prototype of a new tool called RevisionSlider, which helps editors navigate through diff pages without having to go back and forth to the history page. The prototype is live now on test.wp, and we'd love to get your feedback -- visit the RevisionSlider page for the links.

Coming up in November:

  • We're starting a big cross-project Community Wishlist Survey on November 9th, inviting contributors from any wiki to propose and vote on the features and fixes they'd like our team to work on. The survey page is at 2015 Community Wishlist Survey -- please join us there on Monday to add your proposals.
  • While that's going on, we're currently considering work in a few different areas, including completing Gadgets 2.0 and building some modules to help WikiProjects.

You can keep track of what we're working on by watching this page-- and feel free to leave questions or comments on the talk page. Thanks! DannyH (WMF) (talk) 22:15, 3 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]

RevisionSlider prototype available for testing edit

The RevisionSlider in action, showing a diff on test.wikipedia's main page.

We've got a new prototype to try out -- the RevisionSlider! The slider appears on diff pages that are within the last 50 revisions, and it helps you navigate through diff pages without having to go back and forth to the history page.

This is an alpha prototype that we built as a proof-of-concept. We'd like to know what you think; if people like it, then we could put time into making this an actual feature.

You can see the prototype in action on test.wikipedia -- enable <gadget-RevisionSlider> in your test.wikipedia preferences, and then check out this diff to see an example.

There's more information about the feature on Community Tech/RevisionSlider, and please leave some feedback on the RevisionSlider talk page! Thanks for checking it out. DannyH (WMF) (talk) 19:10, 30 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Community Wishlist Survey coming soon edit

In November and December, the Community Tech team will be conducting a Community Wishlist Survey to determine the team's top priorities for the coming year.

In phase 1 (Nov 9-22), we'll invite Wikimedia contributors and tool developers from any project and language to submit proposals for the features and fixes they'd like us to make. This phase will last two weeks.

In phase 2 (Nov 30-Dec 14), the proposals that we've collected will be up for voting. Contributors and developers can vote for the projects they'd like to see. This phase will also last two weeks.

The proposals with the highest votes will be the team's top priority backlog to investigate and address. We'll also be encouraging volunteer developers to use the prioritized backlog to find interesting projects to work on.

We're looking forward to getting this started. If you've got any questions or ideas, leave a message on the talk page. DannyH (WMF) (talk) 20:54, 21 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]