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Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2017-06-09/Technology report

< Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost‎ | 2017-06-09
Tech news catch-up: Bots, scripts, tools, and changes from February to June 2017

Tech news: February to June 2017

Tech news from the Wikimedia technical community: 2017 #9#23. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available on Meta.

  • Problems
    • On 22 February the portal did not work for an hour. This was because of a problem with a JavaScript file. (Wikitech incident documentation)
    • Some watchlist gadgets didn't work for a period of time in the first week of March. This has now been fixed. (Wikitech mailing list)
    • Admins who click on "mass delete" on a user's Special:Contributions will be taken directly to a list pages created by that user. It has worked like this before, but not lately. (Phabricator task T158502)
    • On 15 March some interwiki links to other languages were not correctly sorted. This has been fixed. If you still see pages where the interwiki links are not sorted as they should be, they should be fixed automatically with time or you can edit the page and save it without changing anything. If this doesn't work, please report it. (Phabricator task T160465)
    • Special:AllPages was disabled for two days due to some performance issues. It is back, but the filter for redirects is gone as the cause of the performance problem. It still needs to be fixed. (Phabricator tasks T160916, T160983)
    • Wikidata descriptions, aliases and labels that used some characters could not be saved. This has now been fixed. (Phabricator task T161263)
    • After the data centre test on April 19 the content translation tool was disabled. This is because of a database problem. It was restored on April 25.(Phabricator task T163344)
    • Some users have a problem with the watchlist. Some changes in categories make the watchlist a blank page. The developers are working on this. Until this is fixed you can try some things that have helped other editors if you have this problem. You can turn on Hide categorization of pages in your watchlist preferences. You can turn off Expand watchlist to show all changes, not just the most recent in your watchlist preferences. You can remove problematic categories from Special:EditWatchlist/raw. (Phabricator task T164059)
    • There was a problem with the visual editor for several days. You could not save edits that triggered a CAPTCHA. This would for example be when a new user added external links in references. This was fixed on 2 May. (Phabricator task T164157)
    • May 25th’s MediaWiki version was rolled back from some wikis because of a problem. This means planned changes did not happen. It was fixed late the following week. (Phabricator tasks T163512, T165957)
  • Recent changes
    • Editing:
      • You will be able to use <chem> to write chemical formulas in the visual editor. Previously this only worked in the wikitext editor. (Phabricator task T153365)
      • The way you switch between wikitext and the visual editors in the desktop view has changed. It is now a drop-down menu. This is the same as in the mobile view. (Phabricator task T116417)
      • When you edit with the visual editor, you will be able to switch the direction you write in from right-to-left to left-to-right as you are editing. This is especially important for editors who edit in languages that write from right to left. You can do this with a tool in the editing menu. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+X on PCs or Cmd+Shift+X on Macs. (Phabricator task T153356)
      • When you edit with the visual editor, you can see a visual diff as well as a wikitext diff when you review your changes. ( documentation)
      • The list of special characters in the wikitext editor and the visual editor will now have a group of Canadian Aboriginal characters. (Phabricator task T108626)
      • Octicons-tools.svg Tidy is going to be replaced with an HTML5 parsing algorithm. Bad HTML in wikitext would cause problems on a number of wikis. There is now a ParserMigration extension on all wikis that you can use to help clean this up. You can read more about how you can use it. (Phabricator task T141586)
      • DMOZ no longer works. Templates that use DMOZ can be redirected to or another mirror. DMOZ has been removed from the RelatedSites extension on Wikivoyage. (Phabricator task T128326)
      • The tracking category Category:Pages with template loops is now added when a template loop is found. A template loop is for example when a template tries to use a second template that uses the first template. (Phabricator task T160743)
      • The Save page button now says Publish page or Publish changes on most Wikipedias, and on other Wikimedia wikis except for Wikinewses. The point is to make it more clear that the edit will change the page immediately. Publish page is when you save a new page and Publish changes when you edit an existing page. Information on Meta-Wiki)
      • When you edit you can switch between the visual editor and the wikitext editor. This works if the wiki you edit has the visual editor. The menu will now say Visual editing and Source editing instead of Switch to visual editing and Switch to code editing. This is because it was confusing when the menu said you could switch to the editor you were already using. (Phabricator task T162864)
      • You can now use ISBNs to automatically generate citations in the visual editor. This works on wikis that have enabled Citoid. (Phabricator task T145462)
      • Octicons-tools.svg String comparisons in Scribunto modules are now always done case-insensitively by byte order. Before they were sometimes in a case-sensitive US-English collation order. This could break some modules. (Phabricator task T107128)
      • The 2006 wikitext editor will be removed the week of 27 June. This is the old toolbar with small square blue buttons. You can see a picture of it. 0.03% of active Wikimedia editors use this old tool. They will not see a toolbar at all.( documentation, Phabricator task T30856)
    • Interface:
    • Administrators:
    • Scripts:
    • Other projects:
      • You will be able to show references from <references /> tags in more than one column on your wiki. This is the list of footnotes for the sources in the article. How many columns you see will depend on how big your screen is. On some wikis, some templates already do this. Templates that use <references /> tags will need to be updated, and then later the change can happen for all reference lists. This feature will be deployed turned off by default. It can be turned on at a local wiki by requesting a configuration change. (Phabricator task T33597, project)
      • The Linter extension is now on smaller Wikimedia wikis. It helps editors find some wikitext errors so they can be fixed. It will come to other Wikimedia wikis later. The extension will be able to find more errors later. (Phabricator task T148609)
      • Octicons-tools.svg The Wikiversity and Wikinews logos are now shown directly from the configuration and not from [[File:Wiki.png]]. If you want to change logo or have an anniversary logo, see how to request a configuration change. This is how it already works for other projects. They can request logo changes the same way. (Phabricator task T161980)
      • Wiktionary will handle interlanguage links in a new way. The Cognate extension will automatically link pages with the same title between Wiktionaries. For this to work all old interlanguage links have to be removed. You can read more about this. ( announcement)
      • Octicons-tools.svg The MediaWiki-Vagrant portable development environment has been updated to use Debian Jessie. This means local development and testing will be more like on the majority of Wikimedia production servers. (Wikitech mailing list)
      • Your Meta user page is shown on all wikis where you don't have a local user page. You can now add the magic word __NOGLOBAL__ to your Meta user page to stop this. (Phabricator task T90849, documentation)
      • Octicons-tools.svg The Architecture Committee will change and get a new name. You can read and comment on the draft that describes the new committee.
      • You can upload 3D files to Commons. The file formats are AMF and STL. The plan is for this to work with the STL first; the AMF format will be available later. (Phabricator tasks T132058 & T158830)
    • New tools
      • The GuidedTour extension will be enabled on all wikis. This is a tool to explain to new users how to edit. (Phabricator task T152827)
      • Wikimedia wikis use OCG to create PDFs. The OCG code has a lot of problems and will stop working. It has to be replaced. An alternative is Electron. You can tell the developers what you need the PDF service to be able to do. Electron already works on German Wikipedia. It will be on English Wikipedia later this week so you can test it there too. (Phabricator task T165956)
  • Future changes
    • Octicons-tools.svg CSS in templates will be stored in a separate page in the future. (Q&A, discussion on
    • will be replaced. You can see the new prototype. You can leave feedback on this change.
    • Page Previews will be turned on for logged-out users on a large number of wikis in May. It could be postponed and happen later. Page Previews shows readers a short part of a linked article when they rest their mouse pointer on the link. This is to help them understand what it is about without leaving the article they are reading. Page Previews used to be called Hovercards. Users who have tested the feature can give feedback. Notes on Meta-Wiki)
    • All Wikimedia wikis will have cookie blocks from May 8. This is an extension to the autoblock system so when a user is blocked, the next time they visit the wiki a cookie will be set. This means that even if the user switches accounts and to a new IP address the cookie will block them again. (Phabricator task T5233)
    • The Publish changes, Show preview and Show changes buttons will look slightly different. This is to fit with the OOUI look. Users can test scripts, gadgets and so on to see if they work with the new interface by adding &ooui=1 to the URL. (Phabricator task T162849)
    • You will be able to get a notification when a page you created is connected to a Wikidata item. This will come to Wikivoyage on 9 May. If there are no problems it will come to most Wikipedias on 30 May. It will come to other projects and English, French and German Wikipedia later in the summer. It will be opt-in for existing users and opt-out for new users. (Phabricator task T142102)
    • Octicons-tools.svg Markup that looks like code for language variants might need to be fixed. If -{ is used in transclusions or web addresses it has to be escaped appropriately. You can use -<nowiki/>{ for transclusions and %2D{ in web addresses. A transclusion could for example be when you use -{ in a template: {{1x| sad :-{ face }}. This is because of some code fixes to the preprocessor and affects all wikis. (Wikimedia code review, documentation)

In brief

New tools

  • MTC! (short for "Move to Commons!") by User:Fastily is an easy-to-use tool that simplifies and streamlines the transferring of files to Commons. MTC! includes mass-transfer options and a built-in file filter which skips non-free and other Commons-ineligible files.

New user scripts to customise your Wikipedia experience

Newly approved bot tasks

Installation code

  1. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Caorongjin/wordcount.js' ); // Backlink: User:Caorongjin/wordcount.js
  2. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:WikiMasterGhibif/capitalize.js' ); // Backlink: User:WikiMasterGhibif/capitalize.js
  3. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Kangaroopower/rawtab.js' ); // Backlink: User:Kangaroopower/rawtab.js
  4. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Erutuon/footnoteCleanup.js' ); // Backlink: User:Erutuon/footnoteCleanup.js
  5. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Erutuon/scripts/imageSize.js' ); // Backlink: User:Erutuon/scripts/imageSize.js
  6. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Evad37/XFDcloser.js' ); // Backlink: User:Evad37/XFDcloser.js
  7. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    importScript( 'User:Uglemat/RefMan.js' ); // Backlink: User:Uglemat/RefMan.js