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Wikimedia Technical Conference 2018 Session - Building MediaWiki to Support Collaboration
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MediaWiki is used in many 3rd party environments as a platform for content management. It is also used by WMF in that context, although without some of the 3rd party extensions that assist in this domain. This session will explore features that benefit MediaWiki for content management and assess how they might benefit from tighter integration with MediaWiki.

Session Themes and Topics

  • Theme: Defining our products, users and use cases
  • Topic: 3rd Party

Session Leader

  • Cindy Cicalese


  • Kate Chapman

Questions to answer during this session

QuestionSignificance: Why is this question important? What is blocked by it remaining unanswered?
Which content management and collaboration features could be useful for the WMF and chapters for internal use and community collaboration that are currently only used by 3rd parties?There may be features provided by extensions that are frequently used by 3rd parties and may also be useful for the WMF and chapters. These are not features for managing encyclopedic content but rather features that could help the internal workflows of the WMF and chapters. Developing and supporting these extensions increase productivity, allowing us to use our own software better. With the additional support of WMF, these extensions could also have increased quality and security.
Should access control be a core feature of MediaWIki and, if so, at what level of granularity? Should draft pages and an approval mechanism be a core feature of MediaWiki? What trade-offs and blockers are involved in providing this functionality?The current design of MediaWiki does not support page level access control in core. This cannot be added comprehensively in an extension without leaving potential vulnerabilities. If these are desired features, architectural support will need to be provided in core.
How do storage and query/visualization of structured data augment 3rd party MediaWiki usage? What approaches are used (e.g. Wikibase/Wikidata, Semantic MediaWiki, Cargo, or others) and why? What approaches are most useful in what situations?While other sessions will discuss implementation options, this session will address what use cases for wiki-based structured data exist and their benefits. This will help guide later implementation focused discussion.
How important is it to have an integrated discussion system for MediaWiki? What level of granularity should be supported (per page, per revision, on sentences or phrases, on citations, etc.)? What additional features are helpful (moderation, voting, etc.)? How do talk pages fit in? What has worked well? Not so well?This can help drive features for future enhancements to on wiki discussion systems.
Which features that are currently developed and maintained by the WMF are NOT useful to 3rd parties? For example, is CentralNotice useful to 3rd parties?For features not used by 3rd parties, architectural constraints (e.g. implementation as a service or requiring installation/configuration of additional software) are removed and no resources need be directed at packaging for reuse.

Session Structure

Session instructions and introduction
Participants are all given sticky notes and asked to write as many individual features as they can per note using the following prompt:

  • Features that 3rd party users use for collaboration.
  • Features that currently prevent using MediaWiki for collaboration and instead another tool is used
  • Features that are supposed to be used for collaboration, but are missing key pieces to make it possible to use them.

Participants review the notes and ask clarifying questions if needed. Session and grouped together and triaged.
Participants are each given five dot stickers and place them on the features they think are the most important.
The participants are broken into groups of no more than 5. Each group takes three of the highest scored features from the earlier part of the session. Each group answers the following questions:

  • Who is this feature useful for:
    • WMF internal
    • WMDE
    • 3rd Parties
    • Wikipedia Contributors
  • What extensions does this already exist in?
  • If any who is using it?
  • Would you expect this to be available on a barebones MW install?

Report backs. Each group speaks for 3 minutes to report what they discussed in their small group discussion.

Facilitator and Scribe notes

Facilitator reminders

Session Leaders please:

  • Add more details to this task description.
  • Coordinate any pre-event discussions (here on Phab, IRC, email, hangout, etc).
  • Outline the plan for discussing this topic at the event.
  • Optionally, include what it will not try to solve.
  • Update this task with summaries of any pre-event discussions.
  • Include ways for people not attending to be involved in discussions before the event and afterwards.

Post-event Summary:

Five areas for improvement were identified:

  • Access control
  • Workflows
  • Real-time collaborative editing
  • Discussion systems
  • Annotations


  • How do we prioritize these?
  • What is the impact of each on Core?

Action items:

  • Collect more information on installed extensions, what versions people have installed as part of the Pingback mechanism (T200375)

Event Timeline

kchapman renamed this task from Wikimedia Technical Conference 2018 Session - MediaWiki for Collaboration to Wikimedia Technical Conference 2018 Session - Building MediaWiki to Support Collaboration.Oct 3 2018, 2:16 AM
kchapman updated the task description. (Show Details)
CCicalese_WMF claimed this task.