Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/Recent improvements in the Phabricator project management tool

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  • Recent improvements in Wikimedia's project management tool Phabricator

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  • For the last two years, Wikimedia has been using Phabricator (a free and open source software) for project management, software bug reporting and feature requests. This blog post covers some recent changes and improvements.

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In May 2016, the WMF Technical Collaboration team collected a list of Phabricator bugs and feature requests from the Wikimedia Developer Community. After identifying the most promising requests from the community, these were presented to Phacility (the organization that builds and maintains Phabricator) for sponsored prioritization.

We are already seeing the benefits of this initiative. Several sponsored improvements have landed on Wikimedia Phabricator over the past few weeks.

FixedEdit

The following requests ("tasks") are now resolved:

Three of those have task numbers lower than 2000. Those long-standing tasks date from the first months of WMF's Phabricator evaluation and RFC period. When those tasks were originally filed, Phabricator was just a test installation running in Wikimedia Labs.

Work in progressEdit

Four more issues were identified for sponsorship and are still awaiting a complete solution. Some of these are at least partially fixed and some are still pending:

Other recent changesEdit

Besides the sponsored features and bug fixes, there are several other recent improvements which are worth mentioning.

Milestones now include Next / Previous navigationEdit

This was developed by Mukunda Modell as a Wikimedia-specific extension. The code is available.

Recurring calendar events also gained next / previous navigationEdit

This was also developed by Mukunda and proposed to Phacility for inclusion. That patch is still pending code review.

New feature for Maniphest tasks: dependency graphEdit

This helpful feature displays a graphical representation of a task's parent tasks and Subtasks to express relationships between tasks.

https://phab.wmfusercontent.org/file/data/ro72rtnmnyclzrv3t257/PHID-FILE-x25u6wwoaoufybgtjrmx/preview-Screenshot_from_2016-07-19_16-10-44.png

Initially there was an issue with this feature that made tasks with many relationships unable to load and get displayed in the web browser. (This was exacerbated by the historical use of so-called "tracking tasks" in the Wikimedia Bugzilla context. Phabricator superseded Bugzilla.) Thankfully after a quick patch from Evan Priestley (the primary author of Phabricator) and lots of help and testing from Wikimedia Community members Danny B. and Paladox, Mukunda was able to deploy a fix for the issue a little over 24 hours after it was discovered.

Here's to yet more fruitful collaborations with upstream Phabricator!

Learn more about Wikimedia Phabricator.

Mukunda Modell, Software Engineer at the Wikimedia Foundation