Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-11-29/Technology report

Reference things, sister things, stranger things: The latest tech news and updates.

Previews of references

Popup with reference details displayed over article text
An example of Reference Previews

A new beta feature has been deployed which allows you to preview references by hovering over the inline footnote. Reference Previews display the reference and its type in a popup with a link to navigate to the reference. Similar functionality has been available through gadgets on several wikis, such as Navigation popups and Reference Tooltips.

Sudden script stoppages, semicolons, and other strangeness

Several userscripts stopped working suddenly on October 21, as reported on the technical Village Pump. This was due to code being deprecated and removed over a shorter timeframe than usual and without much forewarning. Following this incident, XFDcloser was made into a gadget.

The Contributions special page had its limit of 5,000 results per page decreased to just 500. The lower limit was implemented to prevent potential denial of service attacks due to the impact of certain queries with long date ranges.

Extraneous semicolons started appearing on the Watchlist and other listings on November 8. The issue arose from improvements to the mobile watchlist that unexpectedly impacted the desktop view.

Little sisters' wishes

Popup of page preview, with a header containing the Wikibooks logo and text "From a related project: Read on Russian Wikibooks"
Interwiki popups concept, one of many wishes on this year's survey

The Community Wishlist Survey 2020 is open for voting until December 2nd. The WMF's Community Tech team, as per previous years, will work on the top wishes decided on by the community. Unlike previous years, this survey is exclusively for the smaller sister projects, with wishes for Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata specifically excluded. There are a total of 72 wishes in the survey, mostly for Wikisource, Wiktionary, and Wikiversity.

In brief

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Latest tech news

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community: 2019 #45, #46, #47, & #48. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available on Meta.

Recent changes
  • MediaWiki:ipb-default-expiry can set the default length to block a user for your wiki. You will be able to use MediaWiki:ipb-default-expiry-ip to set a different default block length for IP editors. [1]
  • MediaWiki2LaTeX can create a PDF document containing pages from a Wikimedia wiki. Previously limited to around 800 pages, it now supports approximately 5,000 pages.
  • The mobile beta mode will be disabled to reduce maintenance. The developers will focus on the desktop improvements project. You can turn on advanced mobile contributions mode if you want to see the page categories. To restore the ability to return to the top of an article via a link, you can use a gadget or user script. [2]
  • Parsoid is software we use for the visual editor, content translation, Flow and the Android app. This has been rewritten. It will come to the wikis gradually over the next two weeks. It has been tested, but there could be some diffs or previews that don't look right. If you see any you can report them. [3]
Future changes
  • Wikimedia will take part in Google Code-in. This is for young students who want to help with open source software. See MediaWiki's Google Code-in page for more details. Experienced technical Wikimedians can mentor students.
  • Similar to the desktop view, in future tabs will be used in the mobile view to switch between an article and its talk page. [4]