The Signpost

Technology report

8-year-old attribution issues in Media Viewer

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By EpicPupper and Szymon Grabarczuk

Issues with attribution for restorers in Media Viewer

A screenshot of the Media Viewer interface for the file File:WDG - Wikipedia20 background Cake slim.jpg.

Media Viewer is a MediaWiki component developed by the Wikimedia Foundation to display images in an immersive multimedia experience. It was deployed as the default image viewer on the English Wikipedia on June 3, 2014, and all Wikimedia wikis on June 19, 2014. Ten days after its deployment on the English Wikipedia, Adam Cuerden opened a Phabricator ticket detailing his concerns regarding attribution for restorers of images. Creator templates such as Creator:Alfons Mucha are a common way of assigning credit to images on Commons. Since the rollout, images with multiple creators, of which one or more have a creator template, have been found to lack proper attribution: only the first template will be displayed, which is problematic when only one creator has a template, or there are multiple creator templates in use. Adam Cuerden opened an Arbitration Committee case request regarding the matter on 16 January 2022, but it was closed as out-of-scope. An example of this issue can be found here. The Signpost requested a comment from the Wikimedia Foundation Legal department regarding the legal implications of a lack of attribution but received no response by publication deadline. E

New status page for Wikimedia projects

The Wikimedia Site Reliability Engineering team announced on Diff the creation of a new status page informing the public of outages and other production issues. They hope that it will be useful for the editor community and others directly involved in the projects in the event of issues like wikis being very slow or unreachable for many users. Apart from notices of detected outages, the site generates automated graphs of five key metrics to performance and stability: total request volume, user-reported connectivity errors, wiki error responses, wiki response time and successful edits. This service is intended to supplement existing discussion forums such as the technical village pump, rather than replace them. The site is available at, and is hosted on Atlassian Statuspage. Interested editors can read more on Diff. E

Desktop Improvements project nearing an end

The current look of the Desktop Improvements. The newest feature is the sticky table of contents

As we wrote in the last Technology report, the Wikimedia Foundation Web team is working on the Desktop Improvements project and the new interface, Vector 2022. They began in 2019, and now most of the work is done. This is the next report about this project. In this issue, we're focusing on how Web has worked on these changes and how the community can work with the team.

  1. The homework: The team established what seemed to be an issue according to the existing documentation and tools. They analyzed the previous research and skins, existing gadgets, user scripts, plugins.
  2. User research: Next, in-depth, in-person studies with diverse groups of participants were conducted. They looked at how users of different profiles (backgrounds, skills) interact with the interface.
  3. Community prototype testing: They built four prototypes. Each of those presented some changes recommended as a result of the research. The prototypes were shared with different communities (Wikipedias and sister projects, large and small wikis) via banners. More than 200 editors shared their thoughts on each prototype.
  4. A/B testing (and before & after tests) on early adopter wikis: They have asked or have been approached by various communities interested to use the improvements earlier. Currently, there are more than 20 such communities, and the number is growing. When introducing each change, the team only deploys it for 50% of logged-in users. After two weeks, Web checks the results of the tests. Read a blog post about what they did when one test didn't give satisfactory results.
  5. Constant discussions with communities: they invite everyone to write on the project talk page and join monthly online meetings. The next meetings will take place on Friday, April 29, at 13:00 and 18:00 UTC.

This is how they have been working on each feature separately. Soon after the publication of this issue, the team will introduce the sticky table of contents. It is intended to make it easier to reach the table of contents, gain context about the page, and navigate throughout the page without needing to scroll. Next, they will move the page tools from the sidebar to the other side of the screen. After that, they will improve the overall aesthetics of the interface, and before July, everything should be ready for all readers and logged-in Vector users on the English Wikipedia. SG (WMF)

In brief

New user scripts to customise your Wikipedia experience

Bot tasks

Recently approved tasks

Bots that have been approved for operations after a successful BRFA will be listed here for informational purposes. No other approval action is required for these bots. Recently approved requests can be found here (edit), while old requests can be found in the archives.

Current requests for approval

Latest tech news

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community: 2022 #16, #15, & #14. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available on Meta.


Installation code

  1. ^ Copy the following code, edit your user JavaScript, then paste:
  2. ^ Copy the following code, edit your user JavaScript, then paste:
  3. ^ Copy the following code, edit your user JavaScript, then paste:
    {{subst:lusc|1=m:User:Dragoniez/Selective Rollback.js}}
  4. ^ Copy the following code, edit your user JavaScript, then paste:
In this issue
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Discuss this story

SG attribution

From the use of the third person, I would never know unless I hovered over the abbreviated SG signature that the Desktop Improvements project section was written by the WMF Desktop Improvements team's community relations specialist, not by a community member. It's far from ideal to have the team writing coverage of themselves rather than reporting on them independently, but it's understandable given the Signpost's perennial staff shortage. But when that happens, it's vital it be disclosed clearly and prominently. This was not. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 00:25, 25 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

You're right, @Sdkb. For full disclosure, I contacted EpicPupper and had his acceptance for my direct contribution to the Signpost. It's... yeah, "sub-optimal", as they say, for me to write for the Signpost directly, as if it was a Diff blog post. I've added a clear "(WMF)" and I'm open to suggestions on how to further improve the situation in the future. (On a side note, hey, no bragging or anything, but I've been a community member since 2010, I just work for the WMF as well. :p ) Peace✌️ and see you at the office hours, I hope! SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 01:41, 25 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the note, SGrabarczuk (WMF). To be clear, I don't see anything warped in your write-up; my comment was directed at The Signpost based on the principle of it. For future instances, I think requiring that people writing about themselves use the first person and including footnote disclosures like here would be a reasonable approach for the publication to take. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 17:24, 25 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Media Viewer documentation

The release of the Media Viewer triggered one of the largest Wikimedia community protests in the history of the Wikimedia Movement. One side was Wikimedia community members with ethical and social concerns; paid staff of the Wikimedia Foundation presented counter arguments to those concerns. I regret that in the end, the Wikimedia community did not set up documentation linking to its positions, and fear that the community's advocacy and organization will be forgotten in the future if it is not documented. If anyone were to set up an archive for discussing that activism, and perhaps connect the present request to that past activism, then I would join in talking, and I expect that others would also. Bluerasberry (talk) 18:53, 25 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

This protests and concern of superprotect protection to force installing MediaViewer is imminent at that time. Thingofme (talk) 02:14, 1 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Desktop Improvements

I'm opted in to see Desktop Improvements as soon as possible, and on the whole I think a very good job is being done. I've got quibbles, but I was no fan of the old display, which kept Wikipedia firmly in the year 2001. Doubtless the team will see more complaints than positive feedback, firstly because you only make the effort to contact them if you have a big complaint, and secondly because the community are really, really resistant to design changes. Reflecting on design changes to desktop is a good time to also think about how the mobile view looks: almost all editors work exclusively on desktop, but the mobile view of an article is at least as important as desktop. As editors, we have responsibility to think about how the articles we write look on mobile. — Bilorv (talk) 09:23, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks @Bilorv! You may be surprised to learn this (I would be) but honestly, we've been hearing a lot of pure enthusiasm (like "I only came here to say 'this rocks', bye") and constructive comments/requests. However, the more communities use our interface as default, the more likely any kind of negative feedback is. Some communities are also more challenging to talk to than others. So we have a nice mix of approaches and experiences. BTW, join our office hours if you'd like to talk more about the project! SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 02:30, 28 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That's good to hear—the team definitely deserve the praise. I'm not generally the biggest fan of the WMF, but with the Desktop Improvements and the Growth Team features, there has been some fantastic stuff recently. — Bilorv (talk) 19:42, 28 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


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