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Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-02-28/Technology report

< Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost‎ | 2019-02-28
Tool labs casters-up: Tool labs goes kaput, bots running wild (not really), interface administrators step into the breach, new gadgets and other tech happenings.

Problems in the tool labs

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Some unfortunate lab incidents occurred this month.

A series of incidents in mid-February resulted in some Toolforge and Cloud VPS services being unavailable. Toolforge and Cloud VPS (formerly known as Tool Labs and Wikimedia Labs) allow Wikimedia community developers to host bots such as Cydebot, semi-automated editing tools such as Huggle, and webservices such as InternetArchiveBot's management interface.

On February 13 and 14 February, the PAWS service was offline due to database connection issues. Several tables crashed – most were able to be repaired, but two were unrecoverable.

The Cloud VPS infrastructure also experienced a "mysterious hardware failure" involving three separate solid-state drives. Turning them off and on again initially appeared to resolve the issue, but that was short-lived. During this time https://tools.wmflabs.org/ was down, responding with a 500 Internal Server Error. There was also some data corruption caused by the disk failure.

The hardware problems were fixed by 16 February, with the service described as "mostly stable right now"; however the database connection issues remained, with dependent tools and services still affected. The Cloud Services team estimated that at least ten days would be required for a full recovery.

On 18 February, the tools database service was switched to a new server, resolving the connection issue.

E

Gadgets Galore

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This month Wikipedia gained three new interface administrators: Evad37, Galobtter and Enterprisey. I'm excited to see what our new IAdmins do; they all seem eager to work with gadgets. Speaking of gadgets...

As mentioned last month, Enterprisey recently proposed that their "Script Installer" tool become a gadget. On the other hand, Galobtter has already begun making their short description helper into a gadget; it is current available for installation in your preferences under "Editing". Looking ahead, Evad37 says that they plan to suggest that their XfD closer and Rater tool become gadgets.

Additionally, this month saw the proposal of two other gadgets. Cyberpower678 has brought up adding a "Read Now" feature for book references; a working demo is available. FR30799386 has also proposed making their mobileUndo script into a gadget.

A grant request has also been made for funding to expand the ProveIt gadget. Planned improvements include compatibility with both the visual editor and the new wikitext editor.

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In brief

Miniature Gadgets?

There is an ongoing discussion about a proposal to create a pseudo-namespace for housing "script modules". Such snippets of code could be easily reused by different script developers through a unified framework. Learn more here.

New user scripts to customise your Wikipedia experience

Bot report

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New admin bots

This month, MusikAnimal filed a BRFA for MusikBot II, an Admin bot that would automatically configure protection for certain templates and modules. So far, MusikBot has successfully finished its trial, protecting 47 different templates and modules.

Recently approved tasks
Current requests for approval

Latest tech news

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community: 2019 #6, #7, #8, & #9. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available on Meta.

Mobile
  • You can use the ambox CSS class to show page issues to mobile readers. When you use ambox there are classes you can use.
  • When you thank someone on the mobile web you will now have two seconds to cancel the thank. This is in case you clicked on the thank button by accident. [1]
  • There is a proposal to add a red link to mobile search results if there is no page with that name. This is how it works on desktop. You can leave feedback. [2]
  • There is a new version of the iOS Wikipedia app. It has for example syntax highlighting and new toolbars to make it easier to write wikitext. It also has night mode, a find-on-page function and other things. You can give feedback and suggestions. [3]
  • The Wikipedia app for Android will invite users to add Wikidata descriptions to Wikidata objects that have Wikipedia articles but no Wikidata descriptions. It will only invite users who have added a number of Wikidata descriptions in the app without being reverted. This is to avoid spam and bad edits. You can read more and leave feedback.
Other recent changes
  • It was easy to untick a box by accident in Special:Preferences. This will now be fixed. [4]
  • When you look at your watchlist or the recent changes page you can use the new filters for edit review. There you can choose tags to filter different edits. Empty tags will no longer be shown. [5]
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.

Installation code

  1. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    {{subst:iusc|1=User:Suffusion of Yellow/filter-highlighter.js}}
  2. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    {{subst:iusc|1=User:Abelmoschus Esculentus/DiscussionCloser.js}}
  3. ^ Copy the following code, click here, then paste:
    {{subst:iusc|1=User:Evad37/timeless-newMessageHighlight.js}}