Community Wishlist Survey 2021/Multimedia and Commons/Interactive chess content

Interactive chess content

  • Problem:
    WMF wikis cannot provide interactive chess content which makes it difficult to convey information. Unlike other websites which allow readers to see pieces move on the board or automatically show a game move-by-move, WMF wikis are limited to static content or less-interactive video/gif content.
  • Who would benefit:
    Wikipedias, WikiBooks, and Wikiversity would most immediately benefit. The featured book b:Chess has openings and example games, and providing an interactive board would improve learning by allowing readers to see the pieces move on the board as they would in a real game. Many Wikipedias have articles on famous chess games such as the w:Evergreen game and the w:Opera game. Adding an interactive chess viewer would provide a critical piece of content for understanding these games that is currently missing, and it gives readers greater control over the pacing of movements than a video or GIF. For Wikiversity, which currently has limited chess content, the new functionality would encourage collaboration on v:Chess and other teaching materials. Future versions could incorporate Stockfish, a free and open-source chess engine, which could be used on Wikiversity for automating chess puzzles or writing quizzes. Development would also benefit the wider wiki-community by providing a high end, freely licensed extension for chess wikis like Chess Programming Wiki and WikiChess.
  • Proposed solution:
    mw:Extension:ChessBrowser is a community-developed MediaWiki extension which reads w:Portable game notation (PGN) and displays a board with arrows to progress through the moves of a chess game. It is based on a javascript gadget used on the Hebrew and Russian Wikipedias, but unlike the gadget, most of the extension's code is run on WMF servers so that it reduces the load time for readers. As a community developed extension, developer time is limited and the deployment process is complex. Support by the community development team would ensure that the extension is well designed and that the deployment process runs smoothly and efficiently.
  • More comments:
    1. Co-proposed, revised, and moved from "misc" to "multimedia" section by Wugapodes (talk) 00:02, 29 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    2. in lieu of demo page for the extension (see stalled request phab:T244075), please view the "demo page" for the script used on hewiki and ruwiki, which i set up long ago - w:he:משתמש:קיפודנחש/ארגח 1. hopefully, a real demo for the extension can be set up soon.
      also, see this hewiki article and ruwiki article, and compare each with its English interwiki, to judge the effectiveness and value of showing games interactively. peace - קיפודנחש (talk) 18:23, 30 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    3. see enwiki community consensus here: w:en:Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)/Archive_175#Enable_chess_PGN_viewer_for_chess_articles. the main objection was the fact that the proposal was for the "standalone" script rather than an extension.
  • Phabricator tickets: phab:T244076, phab:T244075, phab:T246736, phab:T239446, phab:T248272.
  • Proposer: קיפודנחש (talk) 00:02, 29 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]


  • We've been talking about this for several years at this point. It just keeps hitting snags and losing momentum as far as I can tell. Maybe the wishlist will get it across the finish line. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 01:48, 29 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Implementation of this would almost immediately make almost all of our chess-related content on all language Wikipedias and WikiBooks useful to several times more readers and go from incomprehensible to understandable for those without high expertise in chess. It seems like this is not a big task for Comm Tech or something that would interfere with existing projects or interfaces, so I'd ask that it be considered even if it's a bit lower payoff than some larger-scale tasks. — Bilorv (talk) 15:41, 29 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]