Wikimedia Highlights, September 2014

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Highlights from the Wikimedia Foundation Report and the Wikimedia engineering report for September 2014, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement

Wikimedia Foundation highlights

Beta test of HHVM

After several months of preparation by WMF engineers, editors were invited to beta-test Wikimedia servers running on HHVM, the alternative runtime environment for PHP that speeds up MediaWiki. It decreases the loading time for any page viewed while the user is logged in, and for saving pages, whether the user is logged in or not. To make it easier to find bugs in advance of deployment to all servers, edits made via HHVM were tagged with a “HHVM” label in the edit history.

Greek Wikipedia user wins key hearing in court case

Supported by the Foundation’s Legal Fees Assistance Program, Greek Wikipedia user Diu won a key hearing in a lawsuit brought by Greek politician and academic Theodore Katsanevas. The dispute involves what was written in the first will of the late Andreas Papandreou, former father-in-law of Mr. Katsanevas and former Prime Minister of Greece. The court declared that the content appearing in the Wikipedia article did not differ from the content of the will and that the formulation of the article did not indicate an intent to disparage the reputation or honor of Mr. Katsanevas.

Community consultation in Brazil

The Foundation’s Grantmaking department participated in a community consultation on the future of Wikimedia work in Brazil, where the Foundation had been funding a one-year project with local partner Ação Educativa since 2013.

Damon Sicore joins WMF as Vice President of Engineering

At the end of September, Damon Sicore joined the Foundation in the newly created role of Vice President of Engineering, reporting to Executive Director Lila Tretikov. Simultaneously, the Foundation’s technical department was split into separate Product and Engineering department.

Data and Trends

Global unique visitors for August:

418 million (+1.3% compared with July; -15.8% compared with the previous year)
(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects, not including mobile devices; comScore will release September data later in October)

Page requests for September:

23.129 billion (+9.4% compared with August; +28.5% compared with the previous year)
(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation content projects including mobile access, but excluding Wikidata and the Wikipedia main portal page.)

Active Registered Editors for August 2014 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

78,645 (+3.4% compared with July / +2.4% compared with the previous year)
(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)

Report Card (integrating various statistical data and trends about WMF projects):



Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of August 31, 2014

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of August 31, 2014

(Financial information is only available through August 2014 at the time of this report.)

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date August 31, 2014.

Revenue 6,852,023
 Engineering Group 3,311,321
 Fundraising Group 480,442
 Grantmaking Group 465,676
 Grants 226,245
 Communications Group 193,662
 Governance Group 171,443
 Legal/Community Advocacy Group 547,370
 Finance/HR/Admin Group 1,836,578
Total Expenses 7,232,737
Total deficit (-380,714)
in US dollars
  • Revenue for the month of August is $3.87MM versus plan of $2.00MM, approximately $1.87MM or 93% over plan.
  • Year-to-date revenue is $6.85MM versus plan of $4.01MM, approximately $2.84MM or 71% over plan.
  • Expenses for the month of August is $4.25MM versus plan of $5.26MM, approximately $1.01MM or 19% under plan, primarily due to lower capital expenditures, internet hosting expenses, grants, outside contract services, personnel expenses, and travel & conference expenses offset by higher accounting and legal fees.
  • Year-to-date expenses is $7.23MM versus plan of $9.12MM, approximately $1.89MM or 21% under plan, primarily due to lower legal fees, capital expenditures, grants, outside contract services, personnel expenses, and travel & conference expenses.
  • Cash and Investments – $46.84MM as of August 31, 2014.

Other highlights from the Wikimedia movement

Biplab Anand, a versatile contributor on Maithili and Nepali Wikipedia and also the admin of the Facebook page on Maithili Wikipedia.
Biplab” by बिप्लब आनन्द, under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Preparations for the launch of the newest Wikipedia

Despite being spoken by tens of millions of people in both Nepal and India, the Maithili language had no Wikipedia version until 2014. A blog post described the work by volunteers to establish this youngest Wikipedia. It involved preparing content in the incubator to demonstrate sufficient community activity, discussions with a member of the Wikimedia Foundation’s Language Committee, coverage by local media, outreach on Facebook and recruiting Maithili-speaking editors in Wikipedias of related languages, such as the Hindi Wikipedia. (The Maithili Wikipedia subsequently launched successfully at as the 288th language version of Wikipedia.)

Wiki Loves Monuments 2014

Wiki Loves Monuments, the world’s largest photography competition, took place for the fifth consecutive year in September. More than 9,000 photographers uploaded over 321,000 freely-licensed photographs of historic buildings, monuments and cultural heritage sites in 41 countries.

Winning photo of Wiki Loves Monuments 2014: Holy Mountains Monastery,. Sviatohirsk, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine.
Svjatogorsk, Lavra 3” by Konstantin Brizhnichenko., under CC BY-SA 4.0

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

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