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Default $wgMathMathMLUrl points to non-working mathoid.testme.wmflabs.org
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Description

http://mathoid.testme.wmflabs.org (used by Extension:Math by default, and probably by thousands of third-party wikis) is currently down, which results in <math> not working in mathml mode.

I reported this on T156289 on November 4 and (as of November 15) it doesn't look like anyone was looking into it.

If this server has been removed by operations or something, MathMathMLUrl in extension.json should be replaced with http://mathoid-beta.wmflabs.org or something else that works.

Event Timeline

Pkra moved this task from Mathoid to MW Math Extension on the Math board.
Pkra added a subscriber: Pkra.

From https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T156289#4813510:

As I suggested in T156289#2971141, one can use https://mathoid-beta.wmflabs.org/ or use the storage-powered REST API at https://en.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/api/rest_v1/#/Math . The http://mathoid.testme.wmflabs.org/ was set on an alternative project and we don't plan on supporting it. Resolving as declined since there are other viable alternatives.

I'm not sure why there would be any default value for this setting. Shouldn't a wiki using the MathJax mode expect to run their own Mathoid service?

@bd808 wrote

Shouldn't a wiki using the MathJax mode expect to run their own Mathoid service?

I don't know but the extension's page seems to suggest not to https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Math#Mathoid_as_a_service.

The numerous issues asking for help on installing mathoid seems to indicate that it is challenging.

As convenient as it would be for WMF to say "just go install your own Mathoid, Restbase, etc.",
the facts are:

  1. Math is an extension of immense importance. It's used on many third-party wikis, including scientific wikis operated by small groups or individuals.
  2. In the past, Math didn't have all those complex dependencies. You just placed texvc executable where needed and it worked.
  3. Later Math was rewritten to require Mathoid server and (apparently) Restbase server. Those are memory-consuming daemons that run always (even if the wiki has like 30 formulas overall) and require adding NodeJS (not the least memory-leaky thing in the world) to the stack.
  4. An experienced engineer can setup that, but let's be honest about it, most noncommercial third-party wikis won't be able to.
  5. ... so wikis who have like 30 formulas use the default configuration, with enwiki as Restbase and WMF's beta mathoid as Mathoid. This is reflected by default settings.
  6. Breaking those default settings, either by blanking them or by shutting down the public Mathoid server that WMF has been operating, would just break Extension:Math on many sites, and prevent many more from using it.

Now, I understand that WMF is under no obligation to help some unrelated sites in any way, but a solution "just break them" nevertheless requires an easy-to-configure alternative.

What is the blocker for changing the default setting of this configuration parameter to the working URL https://mathoid-beta.wmflabs.org/?

I have no objections. But please do not point to the mathoid https://mathoid.beta.math.wmflabs.org since I am using that one for testing of new features.

If someone makes a PR I will review it.

Change 558573 had a related patch set uploaded (by Kghbln; owner: Kghbln):
[mediawiki/extensions/Math@master] Switch configuration parameter setting to a working URL

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/558573

Change 558573 merged by jenkins-bot:
[mediawiki/extensions/Math@master] Switch configuration parameter setting to a working URL

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/558573

In my opinion this require a backport to previous MediaWiki branches.

In addition per T156289#4813675 this should be changed to a service not in wmflabs.org.

In my opinion this require a backport to previous MediaWiki branches.

Indeed, this is what I mentioned in my talk on the commit

In addition per T156289#4813675 this should be changed to a service not in wmflabs.org.

This suggests https://mathoid-beta.wmflabs.org as one of the possible alternatives

Change 564701 had a related patch set uploaded (by Kghbln; owner: Kghbln):
[mediawiki/extensions/Math@REL1_34] Switch configuration parameter setting to a working URL

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/564701

Change 564702 had a related patch set uploaded (by Kghbln; owner: Kghbln):
[mediawiki/extensions/Math@REL1_33] Switch configuration parameter setting to a working URL

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/564702

Change 564703 had a related patch set uploaded (by Kghbln; owner: Kghbln):
[mediawiki/extensions/Math@REL1_31] Switch configuration parameter setting to a working URL

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/564703

@Physikerwelt I just cherry-picked for all supported branches. It will be cool if you can merge them. After that this task can be closed as resolved. Thanks and cheers

I have no permissions to do that.

I have no permissions to do that.

Well, that's the way it is I am afraid. I also have no idea how may have merge rights for the Math extension. In the worst case these changes just rot and can be abandoned once the respective versions are no longer supported.

The changes could be merged by basically all WMDE and WMF employees. I have not looked into the special requirements to backport changes and there might be good reasons not to merge certain changes.

Physikerwelt changed the task status from Open to Stalled.Feb 17 2020, 4:28 PM
Physikerwelt edited projects, added Platform Engineering; removed Mathoid.

Can someone^TM from the core platform team look at the op PR and decide how to proceed with them.

I have no permissions to do that.

Well, that's the way it is I am afraid. I also have no idea how may have merge rights for the Math extension. In the worst case these changes just rot and can be abandoned once the respective versions are no longer supported.

I would personally prefer abondoning the changes rather them letting them rot.

WDoranWMF added subscribers: thcipriani, WDoranWMF.

@thcipriani Similarly, we have question here about backporting to past releases, whether this is ok for us to take on or if there is a procedure we should follow.

Change 564701 abandoned by Kghbln:
Switch configuration parameter setting to a working URL

Reason:
Unfortunately Physikerwelt no longer has commit access to the Math repo and nobody else seems to care about this. Thus abandoning.

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/564701

Change 564702 abandoned by Kghbln:
Switch configuration parameter setting to a working URL

Reason:
Unfortunately Physikerwelt no longer has commit access to the Math repo and nobody else seems to care about this. Thus abandoning.

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/564702

Change 564703 abandoned by Kghbln:
Switch configuration parameter setting to a working URL

Reason:
Unfortunately Physikerwelt no longer has commit access to the Math repo and nobody else seems to care about this. Thus abandoning.

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/564703

Kghbln claimed this task.

Unfortunately Physikerwelt no longer has commit access to the Math repo and nobody else seems to care about this. Thus I abandoned the patches I created for older supported branches of Math. Fortunately a fix is in master assuring that 1.35+ do not need manual configuration by system admins. Let's be realistic: This is the best we can do here.