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Enlarging the default thumb size on Dutch Wikipedia
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Background: A few years the visual editor was for the first time enabled on various Wikipedia's including the Dutch Wikipedia. The Dutch community noticed a series of issues with the software and asked to put the employment of the visual editor on hold for the Dutch Wikipedia.

After some years time, almost all the issues we noticed were solved, besides one and that is related to the template largethumb, used on the Dutch Wikipedia to line out images straight under the infoboxes (that all have the same width). However, in the visual editor this causes multiple empty rows on top of the page that editors try to remove, and with this hiddenly remove images.

At Wikimania's we have been asking if also this issue can be solved, and going through all the options and difficulties, we learned that the easiest way to deal with this issue is to get the standard thumb size of 220px enlarged to 260px. This solves the issue of the largethumb (as it becomes obsolete), it also solves the issue that many users experience the default thumb size as too small.

Recently: We recently had some complaints of people noticing that editing is still hard without the visual editor and it was concluded that we need to enlarge the default thumb size of 220px with 40px. When this is implemented, the community will discuss how the visual editor can be implemented.

So our request: please enlarge the default thumb size to 260px on the Dutch Wikipedia.

Thank you!

Event Timeline

Romaine created this task.Feb 2 2019, 4:24 PM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptFeb 2 2019, 4:24 PM
Mbch331 added a subscriber: Mbch331.Feb 2 2019, 6:42 PM
Romaine updated the task description. (Show Details)Feb 2 2019, 9:10 PM

@Romaine, thank you for filing this. I have read the linked discussion. Romaine made this suggestion two weeks ago. There was no opposition, and several people agreed. I believe that this is ready to implement as soon as possible.

Ammarpad claimed this task.Feb 10 2019, 4:16 PM
Ammarpad triaged this task as Normal priority.

Nothing seems to have happened, we are still waiting...

The discussion automatically has been archived by the archivebot and can be found here now:

Change 490395 had a related patch set uploaded (by Ammarpad; owner: Ammarpad):
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] Increase default thumb size to 260px on Dutch Wikipedia

Nothing seems to have happened, we are still waiting...

Hi, we are on phabricator :) tasks can get weeks to month to be concluded.

Ejs-80 added a subscriber: Ejs-80.Feb 14 2019, 3:34 PM

Nothing seems to have happened, we are still waiting...

@Romaine: See how you can propose software changes (patches).

@Ammarpad seems to have already written the patch. What else needs to be done?

@Ammarpad seems to have already written the patch. What else needs to be done?

Someone needs to give it a +2 on Gerrit so it gets merged

Jdforrester-WMF added a subscriber: Jdforrester-WMF.

Has this been signed off by SRE and Performance? The last times people wanted to change the default thumb size were I think vetoed because of concerns about causing a server stampede with all the requests for new thumb sizes that weren't previously requested and so weren't generated and cached.

Krinkle added subscribers: Gilles, Krinkle.EditedMar 15 2019, 7:38 PM

In wmf-config, wgUploadThumbnailRenderMap is currently set the same for all (public) wikis, as:

[ 320, 640, 800, 1024, 1280, 1920 ]

This does not contain 220 (the current default for nlwiki). Which means in terms of rendering thumbnails after first use in an nlwiki article, I suspect it would be the same as today (it isn't pre-rendered).

In terms of server load, I don't know if there's concern with 220 vs 260. It's possible that 220 may or may not align with a common non-default size used elsewhere by other wikis and that 260 would still make it cause extra load. The opposite is unlikely to be true given that other wikis only have 200, 250 and 300 as options. So 260 is definitely "unique".

Having said that, I don't know how significant that load would be. I'll leave it to @Gilles to speak to that.

Also, it's worth noting that it's quite possible that this change is mostly no-op, because the majority of popular articles on Dutch Wikipedia don't use the default thumbnail size. They use {{largethumb}} instead, which is set to 260px. That's in fact the reason they want to change the default, so that this template is no longer needed, and by extent, VisualEditor easier to use. Depending on how true this claim really is (that most popular articles do this already), it may or may not be a significant change.

Someone needs to give it a +2 on Gerrit so it gets merged

Precisely no, that's more complicated, see :)

Gilles added a comment.EditedMar 18 2019, 9:30 AM

Stats to consider, as of May 2017 (last time we ran this analysis):

  • 220px: 15th most common thumbnail size (with 11,842,737 thumbnails)
  • 440px (2x density): 29th (7,110,046)
  • 260px: 76th (1,591,095)
  • 520px: 127th (944,399)
  • 250px: 17th (11,259,575)
  • 500px: 18th (11,243,190)
  • 300px: 9th (17,296,731)
  • 600px: 20th (11,023,267)

I don't know about the layout implications, but in terms of performance, 300px and 250px that are close in terms of size are much better options than 260px. It's always better to pick sizes that are popular with other (probably bigger) wikis. As @Krinkle pointed out, if you really want optimal performance and are ok with diverging in terms of layout/size, then 320 is the best choice, since it gets prerendered on new uploads (and 640 too).

Now, regardless of which size you want to switch to, you should do it in this order:

  • convert the top 100 or top 1000 articles in terms of traffic to the new size via wikitext
  • convert articles known to contain a lot of images via wikitext
  • change the default for the wiki

With all those precautions in place, changing the default thumbnail size should be fine. nlwiki only represents 1% of our traffic.

kchapman moved this task from Inbox to Radar on the Performance-Team board.Mar 18 2019, 9:04 PM
kchapman edited projects, added Performance-Team (Radar); removed Performance-Team.
Ciell added a subscriber: Ciell.Sun, Apr 14, 2:46 PM
Krinkle added a comment.EditedSun, Apr 14, 5:56 PM

To do:

  • Update top 100 articles from last month on, and make them the same as they would be after changing the default.

Any [[File:]] that has no px-size and no {{largethumb}}, should have {{largethumb}} added. This might be possible to do with a bot (or AWB).

See list from Page view API (site:, Turn on "Whole month").

  • Update pages with over 250 images on, and make them the same as if the default was changed.

Any [[File:]] that has no px-size and no {{largethumb}}, should have {{largethumb}} added.

You can ignore infoboxes, templates, and <gallery>.

I made a query at which shows there are 162 pages on that have "> 250 image links" (not including audio files, not including user sub pages and talk pages).