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Code Stewardship Review: Collection Extension
Open, MediumPublic



The Collection extension has been generating multiple production errors for over a year. Some of the extension's functionality has been extracted into the Proton service. The book creation aspect of this extension however has not.

Number, severity, and age of known and confirmed security issues

See for those who have access to Security issues

Was it a cause of production outages or incidents? List them.


Does it have sufficient hardware resources for now and the near future (to take into account expected usage growth)?


Is it a frequent cause of monitoring alerts that need action, and are they addressed timely and appropriately?

Yes, there have been some ongoing errors in production (e.g. see T197797, T203594, T223742, T224443, T189636).

When it was first deployed to Wikimedia production

2008 or earlier, according to

Usage statistics based on audience(s) served


Changes committed in last 1, 3, 6, and 12 months

12m: 65 commits
6m: 48 commits
3m: 27 commits

Reliance on outdated platforms (e.g. operating systems)


Number of developers who committed code in the last 1, 3, 6, and 12 months

12m: 11 authors
6m: 7 authors
3m: 6 authors

Number and age of open patches


Number and age of open bugs


Number of known dependencies?


Is there a replacement/alternative for the feature? Is there a plan for a replacement?


Submitter's recommendation (what do you propose be done?)


Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald Transcript

Thanks @Aklapper and @Krinkle for the additional detail on this CSR.

greg triaged this task as Medium priority.Jul 3 2019, 10:29 PM

Collection is currently only a gateway to the PediaPress print-on-demand bookshop, which I imagine is not used much. AIUI the plan is for PediaPress to eventually provide PDF rendering functionality though. (Proton only renders single pages, it can't handle large pages, and the approach used is very different (headless Chrome vs. LaTeX generation) so they probably have different strengths and weaknesses.) Also there is a community effort to render books to PDF, mediawiki2latex, which probably deserves to be exposed at some point. So Collection is still valuable IMO.

The code is rather horrible (mostly just due to age) but it's not doing anything particularly complicated (no actual PDF rendering involved, it's just a frontend for building a book definition in session storage, exporting/importing to/from wiki pages, and sending it to some background service) and would not be hard to upgrade / rewrite.

I would endorse the comments by '''Tgr''' so far as they go, but it is important to remember that making a collection is a necessary prerequisite to pulling it form MediaWiki2LaTeX. Also, the collection extension was originally intended to build reading lists, whether for offline reading as a "book" or online reading simply as a more functional alternative to bookmarks/favourites lists. I do not know how much it is used for this, but the focus on "book" building does not make it obvious to inexperienced users. I would hope that we now have a good opportunity to revisit this.

Removing task assignee due to inactivity, as this open task has been assigned for more than two years (see emails sent to assignee on May26 and Jun17, and T270544). Please assign this task to yourself again if you still realistically [plan to] work on this task - it would be very welcome!

(See for tips how to best manage your individual work in Phabricator.)

For everyone's info, currently no Code-Stewardship-Reviews are taking place as there is no clear path forward and as this is not prioritized work.
(Entirely personal opinion: I also assume lack of decision authority due to WMF not having a CTO currently. However, discussing this is off-topic for this task.)