Signpost Technology Report — March 2022

This Technology Report covers the period from March 1, 2022 to March 27, 2022 UTC. It is republished from the Signpost on-wiki, and by extension is dual-licensed under CC BY SA 4.0 and GFDL 1.3.

2022 Wikimedia Hackathon

The logo of the Hackathon

The Wikimedia Hackathon 2022 is taking place as a hybrid event on May 20–22, 2022. The Hackathon will be held online and there will be grants available to support local in-person meetups around the world. The Hackathon is for anyone who contributes (or wants to contribute) to Wikimedia’s technical areas – as code creators, maintainers, translators, designers, technical writers and other technical roles. You can come with a project in mind, join an existing project, or create something new with others. The choice is yours! Newcomers are welcome. If you have any accessibility or translation requests, please contact hlepp@wikimedia.org. A Wikimedia Hackathon is a space for the technical community to come together and work together on technical projects, learn from each other, and make new friends. The Hackathon will primarily be held online. Local affiliates can also apply for grants to host in-person local meetups. Meetups can be anything from social gatherings with food, to a party for watching the opening or closing ceremony, to renting a venue where people can participate together in the online event. The Code of Conduct for Wikimedia’s Technical Spaces will be in effect throughout the event, on all platforms, discussion channels, and at local meetups. Please have a look at it and ensure you are willing and able to follow it.

Desktop Improvements from the Web team

A series of new features and rearrangements to the Vector skin.

It has been almost 12 years since the current default desktop skin (Vector) was deployed. Since then, web design, as well as the expectations of readers and editors, have evolved. At the same time, the interface has been enriched with extensions, gadgets and user scripts. Most of these were not coordinated visually or cross-wiki.

In 2019, the Wikimedia Foundation Web team took a close look at Vector. It was time to take some of these ideas and bring them to the default experience of all users, on all wikis, in an organized, consistent way. Inspired by the existing tools, The Web team decided to build out improvements to the desktop experience based on research and communities’ feedback. So the Desktop Improvements project began.

Its goals are to make Wikimedia wikis more welcoming, increase the utility for viewing, and maintain the utility for editing. The Web team measures the increase of trust and positive sentiment towards our sites, and the utility of our sites (the usage of common actions such as search and language switching).

Improvements that the team has worked on include: logo reconfiguration, a collapsible sidebar, limiting content width, moving the search widget (and other search improvements), adding a more intuitive language switcher, implementing a user menu, programming a sticky side and article header, improving the table of contents, and rearranging page tools. Next, they will make general aesthetic improvements.

Currently, on most wikis, only logged-in users are able to opt-in individually by selecting Vector (2022) in preferences. On almost 30 early adopter wikis, the changes are deployed for all by default, and logged-in users are (and will be) able to opt-out. The team increases the set of early adopter wikis gradually.

Before June 2022, they will begin conversations with all the communities of the largest wikis, including the English and German-language Wikipedias, to make the improvements default on those wikis. They are inviting everyone to an open meeting with them which will take place on Tuesday March 29 at 18:00 on Zoom.

Sunflower, a new Commons uploading tool

A screenshot of the Sunflower interface

A simple and fresh take on uploading files

Fastily, on the project documentation page

Sunflower is an upload tool created by Fastily for macOS which makes it easy to batch-upload files to the Wikimedia Commons. The tool has a clean, intuitive yet featured-packed interface. The project’s maintainer describes it as a simple and fresh take on uploading files to Commons. This means it won’t do everything under the sun, nor should you expect that. Sunflower is currently available for macOS Monterey (12.2 or newer). More details are on Commons.

In brief

New user scripts to customise your Wikipedia experience

For further news and updates associated with user scripts, see the Scripts++ Newsletter

Bot tasks

Recently approved tasks

Bots that have been approved for operations after a successful BRFA can be found here (edit) for informational purposes. No other approval action is required for these bots. Old requests can be found in the archives.

Current requests for approval

Current bot requests for approval can be found here. The Bot Approvals Group recommends all community members to participate in the requests process, even if they have little to no knowledge of programming.

Latest tech news

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community: 2022 #12, #11, & #10. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available on Meta.

Meetings

  • Recurrent item Advanced item You can join the technical advice meeting on IRC. During the meeting, volunteer developers can ask for advice. The meeting takes place every Wednesday from 4:00–5:00 p.m. UTC. See how to join here.