Wikipedia:WikiProject X/Newsletter/Past issues/9

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Newsletter • May / June 2016

This month:

An update on CollaborationKit
A list of pages on a wiki installation, featuring square icons, links to articles, and accompanying captions. There are five links to articles on various dog breeds, and a button on the bottom to add to the list.
A demonstration of the list functionality in the CollaborationKit extension for MediaWiki. Please enjoy this list of dogs.

Development on the CollaborationKit extension is underway. There is not much to see at the moment; much of the work up to this point has been on back-end matters. To summarize the work to date, we are making use of a relatively new feature in MediaWiki that allows the creation of pages to be something other than freeform text. Wikidata uses this feature—called ContentHandler—to store its content as structured, machine-readable data while presenting it to users in a human-readable format. For WikiProjects, this means creating functioning, well designed WikiProjects is as simple as filling out a form. This form will let you pick from a menu of WikiProject Features—bot reports and the like—so that you no longer need to scramble to find the different bot reports and all the different ways to set them up for your project. And if you operate a bot, you can infer from the JSON structure of the WikiProject page whether that project has signed up to use your bot. (All the old approaches will continue to work as well.) This will significantly reduce the burden of maintenance on those who operate WikiProjects: a substantial challenge we identified during our initial research last year.

One new feature I would like to show off is our lists functionality, as seen in the screenshot. WikiProjects have many different lists, including lists created by bots and humans alike. We would like lists of both sorts to include not just page titles but details that are relevant to editors; we would like the presentation to be consistent, regardless of the provenance of the list; and we would like them to look engaging and not like imposing walls of text. Thus we have created a list mode as part of CollaborationKit that allows for the simple addition and removal of articles from lists, with pictures automatically loaded from the corresponding articles. Adding an item to the list is as simple as filling out a short form, and removing an item is as simple as clicking on the garbage can icon. (There will also be a more "traditional" editing mode for mass addition/removal of entries.) These lists can then be selectively transcluded on WikiProjects. With this option, you can have a lengthy full list but show an abbreviated version of the list on the WikiProject main page, show a "random article for improvement," or whatever else you can think of.

There is, of course, much more in the works, and we look forward to showing you more as progress is made. Big thanks to Isarra and Bawolff who have invested significant amounts of time working on this.

Technical improvements to Reports Bot

Reports bot provides several automated lists for WikiProjects, including lists of not-yet-assessed articles, pages not tagged by the WikiProject (but could be), and missing articles via Wikidata. We would like to make more types of reports available to WikiProjects, but before we could do so, we needed to make some changes to the bot's underlying infrastructure. After months of delay, we have now developed a re-engineered backend for the bot, allowing it to, for instance, run on wikis other than the English Wikipedia. There is still a small amount of work to do, but once it is complete, we will begin migrating the existing reports over to this new system and begin working on some new ones.

What automated reports would you like to see for your WikiProject? Let us know on our talk page.

Thank you to The Earwig for all his help on Reports Bot.

Until next time,

Harej (talk) 00:20, 25 June 2016 (UTC)[]