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Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2017-07-15/Technology report

New features in development; more breaking changes for scripts: Syntax highlighting, changes to Recent Changes, Wikidata on the enhance watchlist, accessible editing buttons and jQuery upgrade may break scripts.

The colour of wikitext

Codemirror popup.png
Syntax highlighting is now available for testing

Syntax highlighting for wikitext is a much-sought feature to assist with editing. While userscripts can and have made syntax highlighting possible, a solution integrated into MediaWiki ranked #6 on the 2016 Community Wishlist Survey. The WMF Community Tech team has a version available for testing, as a Beta feature on the test Wikipedia. Barack Obama is a suggested test article. Comments and questions should be directed to the project talk page on Meta.

Changes to Recent Changes

New filters bookmarking - 2 -save the set of filters.png
Recent changes filters can now be bookmarked

New filters for edit review were recently added as an optional beta feature. This feature improves Special:RecentChanges and Special:RecentChangesLinked by adding highlighting and filtering, including quality and intent filters using ORES. Filters bookmarking is now available, to save the set filters, and more new features are planned: additional filters (for namespaces, tagged edits, categories and usernames), live updates, and a redesigned navigation. The Collaboration team also plans to make the interface clearer by hiding the links currently shown at the top of the page. Mockup screenshots are available on Phabricator, and feedback on the change can be given on the talk page.

Users are also now able to choose whether they want to see Wikidata changes in the enhanced recent changes and watchlist. The enhanced mode is available in your preferences, under the "Recent changes" tab, as the "Group changes by page in recent changes and watchlist" option. This way you can see the changes that happened to data on Wikidata that is used in the Wikipedia pages. You might need to uncheck the "hide Wikidata" checkbox on the recent changes or watchlist page to see them.

Breaking script changes

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The big blue buttons which may break some scripts

Accessible editing buttons ("big blue buttons") have been deployed to Meta-wiki and several large Wikipedias, and will soon be deployed elsewhere, including English Wikipedia. They are intended to be more accessible, and be consistent with the majority of the rest of the user interfaces provided in MediaWiki. Instructions for testing and fixing affected scripts are available on

Another potentially breaking change is the upgrade of the jQuery library in MediaWiki from 1.x to 3.x (the current stable version). The timeline for deployment to production wikis was August 2017. An overview of the important changes, and advice on how to migrate code, is available from jQuery. In most cases migration involves fairly simple changes, such as using a different method name, or adding quotes in selectors. The vast majority of the added requirements and removed methods will be restored through the jQuery Migrate plugin with a deprecation warning in the console – as such, it is unlikely that code will require any immediate changes.

In brief

Fewer labs labs labs

  • "Tool Labs" will be renamed "Toolforge", and the OpenStack cluster "Labs" will change to "Cloud VPS", as the Wikimedia Cloud Services team attempt to raise awareness of and reduce confusion around their products.

Newly approved bot tasks

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community: 2017 #26, #27, & #28. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available on Meta.

  • Recent changes
    • The <inputbox> has a new searchfilter parameter. You can add values like searchfilter=insource:foo. It will add that to the user's search query. [1]
    • Users will be able to choose whether they want to see Wikidata changes in enhanced watchlist/recent changes. Previously, this was disabled for everyone. [2]
    • There was a problem with maps on Wikimedia wikis that used <mapframe> when you clicked on the link to another map service. Open Street Map or Google Maps are examples of other map services. If you had marked a place on the map the marker would not be in the same place on the other map service. It was in the middle of the map. This has now been fixed. [3]
    • Very old and inactive unpublished translations in the Content Translation database were removed on July 6. This is because of technical maintenance. Translations that were started or have been worked on after 1 January 2016 will not be affected.
    • Octicons-tools.svg EventStreams is a new way to show activity on Wikimedia wikis. It works with the recent changes feed. It will do more things later. It will replace RCStream. Tools that use RCStream should move to EventStreams. [4]
    • There are sometimes links to pages about the same thing on other Wikimedia projects. A Wikipedia article about Berlin can link to the Wikivoyage guide or Wiktionary entry about Berlin. You can now see when that page has a badge. A badge could be the star that shows that an article is a featured article. [5]
  • Future changes
    • Mobile users will be able to edit Wikipedia without JavaScript. This will make it possible to edit the wikis from older mobile phones. This will probably happen on 18 July for most wikis. [6]
    • We will not use Tidy on Wikimedia wikis in the future. It will be replaced by June 2018. It could be earlier. Editors will need to fix pages that could break. You can read the simplified instructions for editors.