New Upload Wizard launches in beta on Wikimedia Commons

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Today, we’re launching a new upload wizard in beta phase to make it easier to contribute multimedia works to Wikimedia Commons. “Commons” is the free, collaborative media repository associated with all Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia. Although Commons contains over 7 million images, videos and sounds, uploading a file has long been an arduous path reserved to the most adventurous souls. The new upload wizard aims to make the uploading experience simpler and more pleasant for all users.

The upload wizard allows multiple files to be uploaded at the same time.
The upload wizard allows multiple files to be uploaded at the same time.

The new upload tool consists of a step-by-step wizard guiding the user through the successive stages of the process, rather than presenting a huge complicated form. It allows the user to upload multiple files at once, and grant permission for them in batch.
The wizard integrates our brand new illustrated licensing tutorial to help new participants understand the basics of copyright and free licenses. Since its publication, the tutorial has been translated and localized into about eighteen languages, and more are underway.
This new feature is one of the main outcomes of the Multimedia Usability project, a one-year project funded by the Ford Foundation, aiming to increase multimedia participation on Wikimedia websites. Although the grant is now officially over, the Wikimedia Foundation will fund subsequent development of the wizard to make it more robust and feature-rich.
We unveiled a prototype version of the wizard a few months ago, and we’ve got a lot of useful, constructive feedback from Commons testers. Since then, many bugs have been fixed, and the interface is much cleaner. The other main accomplishment has been the development of a private temporary holding area for files missing mandatory information.
The upload wizard is available in beta version as an additional uploading option. It’s far from perfect, and there are still bugs and missing features. But we do think it will provide a useful alternative to participants who want to use it and help us improve it.
The new wizard will eventually become the default uploading option on Commons, but it won’t replace the regular upload system until it provides a satisfying (and hopefully improved) coverage of the use cases currently supported by the “old” one.
You’re warmly invited to try the new system (you’ll need an account on Commons) and report issues you encounter with it. Please be sure to save your time by checking the Questions & Answers page and the list of open issues first.
If your issue hasn’t been reported yet, you can enter it directly in our tracker, or leave a note on the feedback page.
Since this concludes the Multimedia usability project, we’ll publish a full project report shortly for people interested in the details. In the meantime, you may be interested in two behind-the-scenes articles about the licensing tutorial: one by our illustrator, Michael Bartalos, and one by myself, focusing on the collaboration with the Wikimedia community.
Guillaume Paumier, Product Manager − Multimedia usability

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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Let me know when it actually works!

Thank you Wikimedia.
In the last years your effort to make people like me save hours of time while working on Wikipedia. This is great news for me and millions of other people.
Keep up the good work!!

Follow-up comment:
I got it to work (finally) but it’s buggy and slow and time consuming, plus I don’t need a cartoon – I’ve figured it out already… :/ But I do like Puzzly – we need him to be our new mascot.
Perhaps something for advanced users.

I saw the cute cartoon, hit “next” at the bottom, hit the button to select the file, selected it, hit upload, and got “failed because the upload didn’t have enough information (probably a bug” (I may have mistaken the wording slightly but the unbalanced parenthesis was real). Any idea when it will start working? Or is there something odd about me, for example my habit of uploading direct from the SD card? ~~~~

Wow! Thank you so much for including this as it was a huge pain in the butt using the old upload system. I love Wikipedia and I’m really grateful for all the constant improvements you guys are making 🙂

Unless it lets users select multiple images at a time from the “choose file” box, it doesn’t save any time over the original. All other image uploaders on the web let you select as many as you please without having to go back and forth — please join them!

[…] Une version améliorée du téléversement de fichiers (upload wizard) est disponible sur Wikimedia Commons depuis le 30 novembre. Perso je m’en fout un peu, mais ça intéressera les photographes d’entre vous (voir aussi ce post de guillom) […]

Mono: yes, the wizard, in its current state, is mostly for new users. I hope we can improve it in the coming months to also benefit experienced users. Jim: If you can reproduce this behavior, please report the issue in our bug tracker or on the feedback page; it’ll help us investigate to try and fix the problem. Bholt: “all other image uploaders on the web” allow you to select multiple files at once using Flash, which is a proprietary technology that the Wikimedia Foundation wants to avoid. We have plans to implement this feature for the most recent browsers… Read more »