The Small Wiki Toolkits project kicked off as a focus area at this year’s Wikimania Hackathon in Stockholm. The project included sessions and discussions on topics that continued into the main conference. The goal of the Small Wiki Toolkits focus area was to support small wikis and communities that don’t have many technical contributors and to help connect developers and editors with each other.
We encouraged participants to contribute to the focus area in the following ways: hack on a project, improve existing documentation, or provide technical support.
As coordinators of the focus area, one of the things we focused on before the event was encouraging facilitators to follow a set of guidelines for developing their workshop toolkits. These guidelines encouraged the use of a template, publishing the materials to Wikimedia Commons with detailed notes, and linking the source of PDF in the file description. We want to ensure that the toolkits are easily accessible, modified, and understood quickly by learners and potential trainers.
Five workshops and two sessions were conducted at the Hackathon. They covered a wide range of topics including, developing user scripts and gadgets, working with Wikimedia APIs, writing templates in Lua, generating Wikidata infoboxes, leveraging Wikimedia cloud services, translating pages via the Translate extension and using Phabricator.
A participant summarized one of the session aptly on Twitter:
Each of these topics is intended to equip contributors with a technical skill that will help them address a need the wikis they are associated with have. All presentation materials used for running the sessions and workshops are now available on the Small Wiki Toolkits page on Meta-Wiki. Based on the feedback gathered informally from workshop participants Wikimania, we plan to iterate further and improve these toolkits.
Participants also engaged in activities related to the Small Wiki Toolkits focus area such as, Wikidata documentation translation sprint and cleaning MediaWiki:Common.css with TemplateStyles. Others brainstormed on technical topics and discussed specific questions with their peers at the community booth. For example, they discussed how to get started with Toolforge, use Phabricator for a particular project or a chapter, promote a user script to a Gadget, etc. There was even a session run by the AKlapper bot 🙂
A group-discussion style session focused on building technical capacity in small wikis gathered inputs from community members about challenges small wikis face, and ideas for solutions for addressing them! The majority of the proposed solutions centered on producing training materials and improving documentation about various technical topics. This was an area that the Small Wiki Toolkits focus area emphasized. Here are the complete notes from the session.
For those interested in following updates on the next steps:
- Watch the Small Wiki Toolkits page to receive notifications on the edits and any new announcements.
- If you have an idea for building local technical capacity or you have developed a toolkit on a technical topic relevant for small wikis, please get in touch here.
- If you are attending WikiArabia, express your interest in participating in this session: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiArabia_2019/Program/How_to_Build_Technical_Capacity_for_the_Arabic_Community.
Thanks to all the facilitators and attendees who contributed to the focus area at the Hackathon and have shown interest in participating further 🙂
Srishti Sethi, Developer Advocate, Technology