The Connected Heritage team is offering more public, free events and webinars in 2022 as the project progresses. If you work or volunteer for a heritage or cultural organisation, please do come along. 

Webinars

If you want to learn more about the Connected Heritage project, or find out why editing Wikimedia projects is a great way to enhance digital skills while at the same time improving the long term preservation and findability of your collections – come along to a webinar. 

About the webinars

In the one-hour webinar Leah Emary and Dr. Lucy Hinnie will introduce the Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia, and outline the benefits of engaging with these sites. The talk will last for about 45 minutes, with 15 minutes for questions and discussion with the audience.

Wikipedia is read 22 billion times a month, making it one of the most visited websites in the world. It is a crucial way to share knowledge. Wikimedia UK is a registered charity and has received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help heritage and cultural organisations develop skills, tools and communities of practice for the sustainable digital preservation of heritage. 

If you work or volunteer for a heritage or cultural organisation, please do come along. 

After this webinar, participants will understand more about open knowledge; know how to follow up if they would like to continue with the project; and have resources and materials to make a case for participation to organisation leaders.

To sign up for a Zoom webinar, please select from the following dates, and register via Eventbrite. You need only attend one webinar. Sessions are free, open and no prior Wiki experience is required.

Wikithons

If you’re already convinced and are ready to start editing, come to an Edit-a-thon.

About the wikithons:

Our Potluck Wikithons are designed to offer a taster of what a Wikithon would offer for a partner organisation. Participants are encouraged to bring along material that they would like to work with, and we will train them in how to edit Wikipedia and add material to Wikimedia Commons. They are a lot of fun, and a great way to see what it is that we offer.

The post Learn more and get trained with Connected Heritage in 2022 appeared first on WMUK.

GitLab → Packagist

03:17, Thursday, 19 2022 May UTC

I’ve been wondering for a while how it’d be setting up a package on Packagist from Wikimedia’s GitLab… turns out it’s incredibly simple, and we now have wikimedia/toolforge-skeleton added and working! There’s still more to be done on it, but hopefully it’ll make it super quick to bootstrap the development of new PHP tools.

Improving Wikipedia’s alcázar article

17:06, Wednesday, 18 2022 May UTC
Kaitlin Falk, left, and Zoe Kobs, right.
Images courtesy Kaitlin Falk and Zoe Kobs, all rights reserved.

If you read Wikipedia’s article on an alcázar, a type of Islamic castle or palace in the Iberian peninsula, you’ll get a detailed description of the history of alcázars and a description of their common features. That’s all thanks to two University of San Diego students, who recently improved the article as part of a class assignment in Kate Dimitrova’s The Year 1500 – A Global History of Art and Architecture course.

“I think we both saw how much potential the article had since it lacked organization and overall didn’t do justice to the complexity of alcázars as a topic,” says Kaitlin Falk, one of the students who improved the article. “In that way, it really introduced a challenge to us as students to help refine the article.”

Kaitlin and her classmate, Zoe Kobs, started by creating a list of what was missing from the article. They each worked on different sections, collaborating together to significantly expand the article. In doing so, they drew knowledge from training materials provided by Wiki Education’s Dashboard in how to edit Wikipedia.

“All of the Wiki Education training modules provided me with the tools to contribute to the site,” Zoe says. “I had to alter the way I research to pull facts from multiple sources to create a neutral, reliable, statement. By the end of the project, I became confident in both my ability to research and participate in Wikipedia.”

Both Kaitlin and Zoe expressed initial surprise that they were being assigned to edit Wikipedia as a class assignment. Neither knew Wikipedia could be edited by students. Now, both are converts to the idea.

“My perspective on Wikipedia has changed through this process,” Zoe says. “Wikipedia has always been something I have used for learning something new, but once I was in school there was a negative connotation with using it for research. Until now, I hadn’t realized the value Wikipedia has. The site is actively serving information to millions of people every second by thousands of passionate, hard-working, editors. I am happy to be a part of that.”

Kaitlin agrees.

“I actually think I would prefer to do a Wikipedia assignment over a general academic paper,” she says. “Editing a Wikipedia article feels more important and exciting since your work will be made public and you’re adding to an academic dialogue. You’re not only learning, you’re also educating whoever will read your edits. On the other hand, a paper is only seen by your professor. “

Both expressed willingness to continue editing after the conclusion of their class. As Zoe notes, even small changes helped her feel connected to the world.

“The fact that my work will be revised and transformed by other Wikipedians benefitted me in my research process. When writing formal papers, I always get stuck in making sure I cover everything extensively. In Wikipedia, I know my research will be continued by other editors so I can take the time to convey the right information,” Zoe says. “Working on Wikipedia is very rewarding. The project gave me the ability to make an impact on my education. Not only am I fulfilling my class material, but also am sharing what I have learned with millions of others!”

Interested in learning more about teaching with Wikipedia? Visit teach.wikiedu.org.

Image credit: Rafa Esteve, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We are excited to be dropping the second episode of WIKIMOVE, the new podcast on everything Wikimedia Movement Strategy.

What’s in this episode?

Wiki Movimento Brasil surveyed the Portuguese speaking communities about some of the big juicy concepts in the MS20230 recommendations – equity in decision making, leadership development and diversity. By doing that, they reached many community members not previously engaged. In this pod they talk about the insights, opportunities and challenges that emerged. These Wikimedians are showing the way of how we can make the strategy come to life at community level, and jointly figure out what our next steps are locally and regionally. We also talk about money, building communities and the Movement Charter Drafting Committee….

Our guests are…

Érica Azzellini, Community Manager at Wiki Movimento Brasil 

Érica is in charge of community support, partnerships and strategy development at Wiki Movimento Brasil. She is also a member of the movement charter drafting committee. 

Lucas Piantá, Wiki Movimento Brazil’s Strategy Working Group 

Works as researcher on the movement strategy implementation in the lusophone community. He serves on a number of committees including the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Committee.

You can find the audio podcast on our websiteand a video version with english and portuguese subtitles on Youtube. Please visit our meta page to react to the episode and subscribe to get notified of each new release. You can also follow us on Twitter to continue the conversation. 

The topic and guests for our next episode will be announced soon, stay tuned!

Best, 

Nicole, Nikki & Eva 

Tech/News/2022/20

09:05, Wednesday, 18 2022 May UTC

Other languages: Bahasa Indonesia, Deutsch, English, español, français, italiano, magyar, polski, português, português do Brasil, suomi, svenska, čeština, українська, עברית, العربية, ไทย, 中文, 日本語, 한국어

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available.

Changes later this week

  • Some wikis can soon use the add a link feature. This will start on Wednesday. The wikis are Catalan Wikipedia, Hebrew Wikipedia, Hindi Wikipedia, Korean Wikipedia, Norwegian Bokmål Wikipedia, Portuguese Wikipedia, Simple English Wikipedia, Swedish Wikipedia, Ukrainian Wikipedia. This is part of the progressive deployment of this tool to more Wikipedias. The communities can configure how this feature works locally. [1]
  • The Wikimedia Hackathon 2022 will take place online on May 20–22. It will be in English. There are also local hackathon meetups in Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Nigeria and the United States. Technically interested Wikimedians can work on software projects and learn new skills. You can also host a session or post a project you want to work on.
  • The new version of MediaWiki will be on test wikis and MediaWiki.org from 17 May. It will be on non-Wikipedia wikis and some Wikipedias from 18 May. It will be on all wikis from 19 May (calendar).

Future changes

  • You can soon edit translatable pages in the visual editor. Translatable pages exist on for examples Meta and Commons. [2]

Tech news prepared by Tech News writers and posted by bot • Contribute • Translate • Get help • Give feedback • Subscribe or unsubscribe.

This post is also available in English.
Puede encontrar la versión de este artículo en español aquí.

Este mês, a Fundação Wikimedia — a organização sem fins lucrativos que torna o conhecimento livre e acessível a todas as pessoas ao redor do mundo — começa uma série de campanhas de financiamento na Wikipédia na Índia, América Latina e África do Sul. Mensagens de financiamento aparecerão em artigos da Wikipédia para leitores nestas regiões, pedindo a eles que considerem contribuir com uma doação.

Você pode ver essas mensagens e se perguntar por que estamos promovendo essas campanhas e como as doações para a Wikipédia são usadas.

A Wikipédia é o único grande site do mundo administrado por uma organização sem fins lucrativos: a Fundação Wikimedia. Nossa missão beneficente garante que todas as pessoas possam acessar e compartilhar conhecimento de graça. A Wikipédia não é um website comercial guiado por lucro ou por incentivos publicitários. Em vez disso, ela é apoiada por doações de leitores como você.

Doações para a Wikipédia ajudam a Fundação Wikimedia a garantir que projetos de conhecimento livre cresçam e sobrevivam. Conquanto muitas pessoas conheçam a Wikipédia porque a usam regularmente para encontrar respostas para tópicos dos divertidos aos sérios, poucas contemplam a grande infraestrutura necessária para manter um site que recebe 18 bilhões de visitas por mês. Doações de leitores garantem a independência a longo prazo que a Wikipédia tem de anúncios e interesses corporativos; mantêm-na segura de maus elementos; protegem-na de interferência e censura; e ajudam a Fundação a apoiar a comunidade Wikimedia voluntária global que cria e mantém a Wikipédia e projetos de conhecimento livre; entre muitas outras coisas.

Além disso, sabemos que os leitores e contribuidores da Wikipédia na Índia, América Latina e África do Sul são uma parte integral do ecossistema global da Wikimedia. Essas campanhas de financiamento visam garantir que essas pessoas possam continuar a acessar e contribuir com a Wikipédia pelos anos que virão. 

  • Índia. No mês passado, leitores da Índia visitaram a Wikipédia mais de 767 milhões de vezes, o quinto maior número de visualizações de qualquer país. A Índia também tem o terceiro maior número de editores voluntários ativos (5 mil por mês).
    Ao longo dos últimos anos, muitos projetos foram financiados pela Fundação Wikimedia para ajudar as comunidades indianas a sobreviver e crescer. Elas incluem o Wiki Loves Butterfly, um projeto para aumentar a quantidade de materiais de licença livre sobre espécies de borboletas disponíveis no leste e nordeste da Índia, bem como desenvolver a qualidade e quantidade de artigos da Wikipédia sobre borboletas nesta região.
    Além disso, desde 2012, nós financiamos o CIS-A2K (Centre for Internet and Society – Access to Knowledge; “Centro de Internet e Sociedade – Acesso ao Conhecimento” em tradução livre), uma campanha para catalizar o crescimento do movimento do conhecimento aberto na Ásia do Sul e em línguas índicas.
  • América Latina. Mensagens de financiamento para a Wikipédia aparecerão em vários países latinoamericanos: Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colômbia, México, Peru e Uruguai. Juntos, leitores nestes países visitam a Wikipédia mais de 772 milhões de vezes por mês — usando a enciclopédia online para aprender tanto sobre tópicos sérios quanto sobre os peculiares.
    Com a ajuda da Fundação Wikimedia, a comunidade voluntária latinoamericana liderou alguns projetos incríveis: indo da expansão do movimento Wikimedia no Peru com foco na ecologia, cultura e gênero ao Wiki meets Sustainable Fashion, um esforço para expandir a cobertura da Wikipédia em espanhol de moda sustentável e para preencher a lacuna de gênero criando artigos para as maiores líderes no ramo.
    Adicionalmente, uma colaboração com o Banco Interamericano de Desenvolvimento e a Wikimedia Argentina, apoiada pela Fundação, está ajudando jovens da América Latina e no Caribe a fortalecerem sua alfabetização digital e suas habilidades do século XXI.
  • África do Sul. Pessoas na África do Sul visitam a Wikipédia cerca de 68 milhões de vezes por mês, mais do que qualquer outro país na África. Muito graças aos esforços da Wikimedia África do Sul, um capítulo reconhecido do movimento Wikimedia, nove das 11 línguas oficiais da África do Sul estão representadas na Wikipédia. No ano passado, a Wikimedia África do Sul colaborou com a Fundação e a comunidade criativa local na campanha #WikipediaByUs, que celebra o poder do conhecimento e o direito de todas as pessoas acessarem, criarem e compartilharem conhecimento.

A Wikipédia e os projetos Wikimedia pertencem a todos—eles são construídos para e por você. De leitores a editores, nós todos temos uma participação na preservação e contação de histórias da nossa história, nossa cultura e as pessoas interessantes e notáveis que moldaram nosso mundo. Reconhecemos que nem todos têm a capacidade ou os meios para doar. Para quem não pode nos ajudar financeiramente, tudo que pedimos é que você siga nos buscando como o maior recurso de conhecimento livre do mundo.

Para quem pode nos apoiar, suas doações ajudarão a continuar a fortalecer e sustentar os sistemas que tornam a Wikipédia possível, e garantir que o movimento do conhecimento livre possa crescer e sobreviver. Nossa missão é garantir que o conhecimento livre fique disponível para o mundo, para todas as pessoas, em todos os lugares.

Podemos estabelecer este compromisso graças à tremenda generosidade de doadores passados e presentes, e o trabalho incrível das comunidades Wikimedia voluntárias globais—mas nosso trabalho não está feito. Tem muito mais conhecimento no mundo, e tantas mais pessoas para atingir. Se você se sente conectado a esta missão, por favor visite donate.wikimedia.org para fazer sua contribuição hoje. Se você tiver perguntas adicionais, visite nossa FAQ.

Como Diretora Sênior de Financiamento Online na Fundação Wikimedia, Pats Pena lidera a estratégia e execução da experiência de doações digitais da Wikimedia.

Puede encontrar la versión de este artículo en español aquí.
Você pode ler a versão em português deste artigo aqui.

This month, the Wikimedia Foundation — the global nonprofit that makes knowledge free and accessible to everyone around the world — kicks off a series of fundraising campaigns on Wikipedia in India, Latin America, and South Africa. Fundraising messages will appear on Wikipedia articles for readers in these regions, asking them to consider contributing with a donation.

You may see these messages and wonder why we are running these fundraising campaigns and how donations to Wikipedia are used.

Wikipedia is the world’s only major website run by a nonprofit organization: the Wikimedia Foundation. Our charitable mission ensures everyone can access and share knowledge for free. Wikipedia is not a commercial website driven by profit or advertising incentives. Instead, it is supported by donations from readers like you.

Donations to Wikipedia help support the Wikimedia Foundation in ensuring free knowledge projects grow and thrive. While many know Wikipedia because they regularly use it to find answers to topics from the fun to the serious, few contemplate the large infrastructure required to sustain a website that gets 18 billion visits a month. Reader donations strengthen Wikipedia’s long-term ensure its long-term independence from ads and corporate interests; keep it secure and safe from bad actors; protect it from interference and censorship; and help the Foundation support the global Wikimedia volunteer community who create and maintain Wikipedia and free knowledge projects; among many other things.

Further, we know that Wikipedia readers and contributors in India, Latin America, and South Africa are an integral part of the global Wikimedia ecosystem. These fundraising campaigns aim to ensure they can continue to access and contribute to Wikipedia for years to come. 

  • India. Last month, readers in India visited Wikipedia more than 767 million times, the fifth highest number of views from any country. India also has the third-highest number of active volunteer editors (5,000 each month).
    Over the last several years, many projects were funded by the Wikimedia Foundation to help the Indian communities thrive and grow. These include Wiki Loves Butterfly, a project to increase the amount of free license materials regarding available butterfly species of eastern and north-eastern part of India, as well as developing the quality and quantity of Wikipedia articles on butterflies in this region.
    Additionally, since 2012, we have funded CIS-A2K (Centre for Internet and Society – Access to Knowledge), a campaign to catalyze the growth of open knowledge movement in South Asia and in Indic languages.
  • Latin America. Fundraising messages for Wikipedia will run in several Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. Combined, readers in these countries visit Wikipedia over 772 million times each month — using the online encyclopedia to learn about serious and quirky topics alike.
    With support from the Wikimedia Foundation, the Latin American volunteer community has led some incredible projects: ranging from expanding the Wikimedia movement in Peru with a focus on ecology, culture and gender, to Wiki meets Sustainable Fashion, an effort to both expand Wikipedia’s Spanish language coverage of sustainable fashion and to close Wikipedia’s gender gap by creating articles for the foremost female leaders in the field. 
    Additionally, a collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank and Wikimedia Argentina, supported by the Foundation, is helping young people in Latin America and the Caribbean strengthen their digital literacy and 21st century skills.
  • South Africa. People in South Africa visit Wikipedia about 68 million times each month, the most of any country in Africa. With many thanks to the efforts of Wikimedia South Africa, a recognized chapter of the Wikimedia movement, nine of South Africa’s 11 official languages are represented on Wikipedia. Last year, Wikimedia South Africa collaborated with the Foundation and the local creative community on the campaign #WikipediaByUs, which celebrates the power of knowledge and everyone’s right to access, create, and share knowledge.

Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects belong to everyone—they are built for and by you. From readers to editors, we all have a stake in preserving and telling the stories of our history, our culture, and the intriguing and notable people who have shaped our world. We recognize that not everyone has the ability or means to donate. For those unable to support financially, all that we ask is that you continue to seek us out as the world’s largest free knowledge resource.

For those who can support us, your donations will help continue to strengthen and sustain the systems that make Wikipedia possible, and ensure the free knowledge movement can grow and thrive. Our mission is to make sure free knowledge is available to the world, for everyone, everywhere.

We are able to make this commitment thanks to the tremendous generosity of past and present donors, and the incredible work of the global Wikimedia volunteer communities—but our work is not done. There is so much more knowledge in the world, and so many more people to reach. If you feel connected to this mission, please visit donate.wikimedia.org to make a contribution today. If you have additional questions, please visit our FAQ.

As Sr. Director of Online Fundraising at the Wikimedia Foundation, Pats Pena leads the strategy and execution for Wikimedia’s digital donation experience.

China rejects Wikimedia from important UN body

10:15, Tuesday, 17 2022 May UTC


Many international organisations have made commitments to improve transparency and civil society participation. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) apparently continues to see things differently. On Monday, six Wikimedia chapters were denied observer status at the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights.

No surprises

The decision did not come as a complete surprise. China had already vetoed the Wikimedia Foundation’s accreditation in 2020 and 2021. Now the People’s Republic also opposed recognition of the independent Wikimedia chapters from France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, and Switzerland. Since WIPO generally operates by consensus, China’s vote against was enough to block the applications.

The Wikimedia movement, which is the movement behind Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia platforms, is an important global actor for the dissemination of knowledge to mankind. Wikipedia, to give one example, hosts one of the largest collections of knowledge in human history. Knowledge that is freely accessible for us all.

This work is heavily affected by global conversations around copyright and related rights. Copyright law has a significant impact on the ability of hundreds of thousands of Wikimedia volunteers to do their work and contribute to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. 

For this reason, the six Wikimedia affiliates had applied to become observers at the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights of the WIPO, one of the most important global forums for copyright rulemaking.

The Wikimedia movement is asking to participate in these negotiations. Wikimedia is uniquely positioned to contribute to discussions which are aimed at modernizing copyright to a digital, globally connected era.

unfounded claims about disinformation

Unfortunately, China has chosen to politicise WIPO, claiming that Wikimedia chapters are complicit in spreading disinformation.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the globe draw on independent sources to provide verifiable, reliable information. In fact, the entire Wikipedia model constitutes a bulwark against faulty information. Wikimedia chapters support the communities, but would never influence the content of Wikimedia projects.

The impact of the decision is that one of the most important enablers of access to knowledge are excluded from taking part in conversations around the regimes that make this enabling possible. It also sets a dangerous precedent, in which countries may prevent any stakeholder that they disagree with from becoming an observer to WIPO. 

It also means that this important forum for technical conversations is being politicised by an authoritarian regime. There are fewer and fewer spaces in the international system where dialogue is possible. If democratic countries do not oppose the exclusion of civil society, this will have a significant impact for work at the UN.

Wikimedia urges European governments, and representatives of the EU institutions, to speak out. This pattern must be reversed. A number of Wikimedia chapters have also applied for observer status to the WIPO General Assembly. European countries need to take a stand. Otherwise, we might see a new dangerous trend for the involvement of civil society in global conversations, in more areas than only copyright.

Justus Dreyling

Advisor International Regulation, Wikimedia Deutschland

Eric Luth

Project Manager for Advocacy and Involvement, Wikimedia Sverige 

Naphsica Papanicolaou

Public Affairs manager, Wikimedia France

Iolanda Pensa 

Chair, Wikimedia Italia

Jenny Ebermann

Executive Director, Wikimedia CH

Dawn Hudson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

(Read this message in other languages on Meta-wiki: ‎Deutsch • español • français • Русский • 中文 • हिन्दी  • Bahasa Indonesia •日本語 • 한국어 • Português • hrvatski • српски / srpski)

We are excited to announce the members of the Leadership Development Working Group. After receiving more than 60 applications, a panel of community members (4) and Wikimedia Foundation staff (2) conducted an anonymous review. Fifteen members were selected for the working group. 

Diversity and representation were important considerations. We are happy to share that the group has representatives from all 8 regions [1] (two from each region, except US + Canada have one). The group size has expanded from 12 to 15 members to increase diversity. Together, the group members speak at least 17 languages. Members hold different roles in the movement, including: a meta-organizer, a community-elected Steward, a past Affiliate executive director, and a jack-of-all-trades volunteer. The members range in their years in the movement, from newer community members to community members with more than 15 years of experience. Regarding gender, we have 7 women, 6 men, 1 non-binary and gender-fluid person, and 1 preferred not to identify their gender. 

A big welcome to the members of the Leadership Development Working Group! The members of the group will have a 1-year term and begin meeting at the end of May 2022. The group will be supported by a facilitator, Jyotsna Sara George, who will work closely with the group to support their collaboration and process. We look forward to sharing more information once the group begins their work together!

Without further ado, let us introduce you to the members of the Leadership Development Working Group: 

Hello! I go by Vermont on Wikimedia projects. I’m a Wikimedia Steward, admin and CheckUser on Meta-Wiki and the Simple English Wikipedia, and a Merchandise Giveaways coordinator. I’ve joined this group in the interest of supporting community and leadership development from a practical standpoint, and promoting editor retention and development in line with current movement priorities and Wikimedia’s mission.

Hi, I’m Flavia Doria (she/her), I’m Brazilian, living in Portugal since 2016, and I’ve been involved with the Wikimedia Movement since early 2020. I’m currently working as Ambassador of the Portuguese-speaking community for the Wikimedia Foundation. As a volunteer I’m part of the Wikipedia group Wiki Editoras Lx, the first and perhaps only Lusophone group composed only by women and non-binary people who edit within the gender theme. In my group I work in several fronts such as training new users, organizing events and promoting debate within the community. From the beginning, I quickly became more involved in issues related to decision-making within the Movement and the importance of including marginalized groups from our community in these debates and how this inclusion is key to keeping Wikimedia projects relevant to society.

I am also a communicologist and journalist, I have a special interest in the social and political aspect of the Information and Communications Technology debate, and have recently published an academic paper on gender and Wikipedia and hope to do so more often.

Now as a member of the Leadership Development Working Group, I hope that we can collectively learn how to use our resources to promote more autonomy for our communities, especially those who fall outside of our standard average user profile. I am excited to meet more people interested in this debate and I look forward to working with all of you!

I’m Francesc, a Catalan-language editor from València. I’ve been a very active editor for a 

long time, but I haven’t been that much involved with international communities until 2019.  

I’m very excited on discovering and learning new things about Wikipedia.

I am a food safety specialist and a volunteer contributor to Wikipedia for more than 8 years, building capacity for new editors, nurturing, and helping new editors to grow in  Nigeria. 

I co-founded the Wikimedia User Group Nigeria, (now a charitable organization in Nigeria) to support volunteers and continue to provide both technical and administrative support for the volunteers. 

During the peak of the COVID-19, Isaac led an initiative in partnership with the Moleskine Foundation to create Wikipedia articles relating to COVID-19 in local languages and produced a video in Yorùbà language to educate the people with little or no education on how to avoid being infected with COVID-19 and to highlight how Wikipedia is helping to fight the pandemic. The video featured notable film actors in Nigeria. 

I was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2020.

Having realized that millions of articles on Wikipedia are lacking photos to illustrate them, I launched an international campaign called “Wikipedia Pages Wanting Photos Campaign” in 2020 to engage volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic by encouraging Wikipedia editors across the world to add images from Wikimedia Commons to Wikipedia articles.

In 2021, I co-lead an initiative to document and preserve Nigerian languages that are not written or thought in Schools. More than 50 audiovisuals were created in the first stage. 

I am a sysop on the Yoruba Wikipedia, a member of the Wiki Indaba Steering Committee (WISCOM), and a former member of the Individual Engagement Grant Committee and Project Grant Committee. 

I am from an underrepresented community and one of the questions that often come to my mind is “why are Africans not always included in leadership roles within the movement?” WMF does a better job of including Africans but it’s often very difficult. Perhaps we usually do not make input on policy discussions or participle in related discussions. Africans are part of the movement, we should strive to participate in decision-making discussions as much as possible. The Wikimedia movement is growing at a very fast rate and leadership development is pivotal to our mission. This is my intrinsic motivation for joining the leadership working group.

My name is Goodness Ignatius (she/her) from Nigeria and my username across all wikis is Olugold. I’m a member of the Igbo Wikimedians User Group (IWUG). I am glad to be a part of this group and I’m here to collaborate with other team members to support the group’s mission.

I’m Ivan (User:ProtoplasmaKid), from Mexico, Wikimedian more than a decade ago and Spanish Wikipedia editor since 2006 and admin since 2016. Former 2021 BoT candidate. Human Rights Defender and Activist. I would love to be able to contribute to a better movement with shared knowledge in order to enrich what we collectively know about leadership. 

I am Rocío Consales and I have been participating in different instances of the Wikimedia movement for more than 17 years. I was director, vice president and president of the board of Wikimedia Chile.

I joined the working group to contribute from my experience with the various lessons I have learned over the years.

I have a degree in Philosophy from the University of Chile and a Master’s Degree in Publishing (Publisher) from the Pompeu Fabra University from 2020 to 2021. I am a publisher, specialized in small format books. I currently live in Luxembourg.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis. In any community, if we are ambitious to develop it, I think the first step is to build leaders! 

This is Donia Domiaty. an Egyptian medical student. I joined Arabic Wikipedia for the first time in February 2019. By the end of 2019, I had created more than 100 articles; more of them were in medicine. I participated in the virtual Wikimania 2021 by 2 sessions; one of them was a solo session. I am a member of many user groups, a winner of many competitions, and an organizer of many edit-a-thons and photo competitions whether local in Egypt or throughout the whole Arabic community.

Despite being a 21-year-old medical student, I have 3-year-experience of leading groups, inside and outside wikiprojects.

For what is inside wiki projects, I founded and managed Wikipedian Editor Project, a project that reaches all Arab countries through online workshops and edit-a-thons to encourage more volunteers to participate and edit on Arabic Wikipedia and learn more about sister projects, during the previous 2 years, I led my project and tried to make some participants leaders for initiatives and events related to the project. On the other side, in many communities other than the Wikimedia community, I was nominated to be head of HR in many projects inside or outside my university. Being an HR manager for a long time made me deal with many leaders in many fields, which helped me improve my leadership and negotiation skills this is what inspired me that Leadership is an acquired skill and anyone can acquire it by working on themselves.  

A leader has good communication skills, inspiration, creativity, decision-making skills, and many other skills. And we need Leader characters in all Wikimedia communities.

I am Nada Alfarra, I am an intern doctor from Palestine. I am a member of Wikimedia Levant. Being a member of such active group enhances my eagerness to upgrade my leadership skills and experience. I have organized workshops to document Levantine authors’ works on Arabic Wikipedia and co-organized an online Interwiki Women Collaboration 2020 workshop. I have also guided few newcomers in Wikimedia Levant to members to use Photoshop for editing photos and uploading to Wikimedia Commons. This is the outcome of my experience as an online project coordinator for a project to enrich the digital Arabic content for children with 100 stories translated from English to Arabic. I am a long-life learner and I believe that Leadership Development Working Group will guide my journey to influence people to be more proactive, cooperative and decision makers and this group will connect me with mutual minds where I can learn better and have our collective endeavors be more effective.

Wikimedian since 2006, creator of Commons Quality Images and what has been adopted as basic image requirements. Admin on Commons, retired in good standing as an admin on en.Wikipedia after 13 years service. Two years as President of Wikimedia Australia, and 4 as Vice President. Various terms on VRT, part of the development of ESEAP and COT for the cancelled 2020 Wikimania, then on the COT for Wikimania 2021 created the scholarship process for that. Lead the development of Nyungar Wikipedia, ran multiple workshops given many talks including to on National Radio and Television shows. My goal now is to pass on my knowledge, encourage new leaders to step up and take the movement into the future.

Hi! I am Imelda, a volunteer Wikimedian from the Philippines. I joined this group to be able to share my experiences, both as an organizer and editor of different Wikiprojects, in developing a shared understanding of what leadership is and how we can leverage this shared definition to improve editing and organizing experience of every volunteer around the Movement, especially of those communities around the East and Southeast Asian countries.

Hi everyone, my name’s Jan! I live in Germany, where I currently study Biochemistry. I have been a soft skills trainer for a couple of student NGOs for a little over a year; right now, I’m aiming at professionalising this hobby of mine and get some of my ideas implemented. So when I read about the Leadership Development working group, I immediately applied as I see huge potential in leadership training for the movement. I’m excited to start developing thoughts about the way the we might provide capacity building.

Erokhin has been a member of the Wikimedia Movement for over 12 years. He was a member of Wikimedia Russia for 5 years. As one of the members of Wikimedia RU, I have organized and conducted several wiki expeditions and wiki tours in Russia and other countries. I have interacted with different bodies of state power, local government, commercial and non-commercial organizations, and private persons to transfer their resources to free licenses, and increase their integration into Wikipedia. First and foremost, I work on Wikimedia projects in Russian, and in languages of the peoples of Russia and the former Soviet Union. There is a desire and time to develop the Wikimedia movement in North Asia and Central Asia, and the rest will follow. I am motivated by the opportunity to improve and develop my skills and competencies for better participation in the Wikimedia Movement, to be more useful and more effective to the community and the Wikimedia Foundation.

​​I am Nitesh and my user name is Nitesh Gill. I belong to Punjab, India. I am pursuing my PhD in Punjabi Literature. I am active editor of Punjabi Wikipedia since 2015. I am a contact person of Punjabi Wikimedians User Group and admin on Punjabi Wikipedia. I have participated and conducted many activities. I am also leading and coordinating a few projects in volunteer capacity. Nowadays, I am trying to focus that others who are long time Wikimedians come forward and take a lead on their own. The same thing I am doing in my community. When I came to know about this working group I read about it and I want to be becoming a part of it. The group has potential to encourage people to take initiative for their own communities or people. I believe I will be play a good part in this group.

From the experience of several years of fieldwork in the Wikimedia Movement in South Asia, I can feel the urge to unify the process of creating and nurturing leadership in the movement. This is very much needed to secure the sustainability of the movement; especially for the underrepresented communities, this can be a game-changer. The process of leadership development may vary due to the social and geographical context of any target Wikimedia community, I’m very much interested to learn about different Wikimedia communities from all over the world and working with them closely to identify the scopes and processes to develop leadership there and for the same reason, I considered joining the Leadership Development Working Group.

[1] The 8 regions are: Middle East and North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; East, Southeast Asia, and Pacific (ESEAP); South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC); Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Central Asia; Northern and Western Europe; United States and Canada; Latin America (LATAM) and the Caribbean

Explaining git diff to myself

17:56, Monday, 16 2022 May UTC

But try to understand
Try to understand
Try try try to understand
Git’s a magic command.

Heart  💕

Once upon a time, I believed git was storing diffs somewhere. But then I learned I was wrong.

It’s challenging to wield git’s clunky interface when you have a broken mental model of its internals. Learning more about what’s happening inside git transformed me into a more effective git user.

In this post, I’ll attempt to explain all the deep details of git diff to my past self.

📍 Git add makes blobs

We can add files to repos using git add. But behind the porcelain, git’s busy compressing and storing this file deep in its bowels. Git terms the results of this process a “blob.”

Git stores blobs (among other things) inside the .git/objects directory.

$ git init
Initialized empty Git repository in /tmp/bar/.git/
$ echo "Hi, I'm blob" > foo
$ git add foo
$ tree .git/objects/
.git/objects/
└── 26
  └── 45aab142ef6b135a700d037e75cd9f1f1c94dc

But what’s in a blob? And why is this blob stored as ./26/45aab142ef6b135a700d037e75cd9f1f1c94dc?

🗃️ Git stores things by their hash

Why did git add foo store the contents of foo as 2645aab142ef6b135a700d037e75cd9f1f1c94dc?

Git mapped our file to a number via a hash function.

A hash function maps data to a unique number (mostly)—whenever the data changes, the hash function’s output changes dramatically.

SHA1 is the hash function git uses by default. And when we git add foo git applies SHA1 to the contents of fooHi, I'm blob\n—and that spits out 2645aab142ef6b135a700d037e75cd9f1f1c94dc.

Blobs are all about content. The filename “foo” doesn’t matter at all! We could have named the file “🌈”—git still would have stored it in the same place. If the file contents are EXACTLY the same, then the hash will be exactly the same.

🌱 Git commit creates commits and trees

You already know git commit creates a commit, but what is a commit?

A commit is a type of object. Git uses the word “object” to mean: a commit, a folder or directory (tree), a file (blob), or a tag. Git stores objects in its object database—everything inside the .git/objects directory.

$ git commit -m 'Initial Commit'
[main (root-commit) 0644991] Initial Commit
1 file changed, 1 insertion(+)
create mode 100644 foo
$ tree .git/objects/
.git/objects/
├── 06
│   └── 449913ac0e43b73bfbd3141f5643a4db6d47f8
├── 26
│   └── 45aab142ef6b135a700d037e75cd9f1f1c94dc
└── 41
  └── 81320a57137264d436b2ef861c31f430256bf4

After our commit, the object database has three objects: 06449913, 2645aab1, and 4181320a.

So now we’ve established that one of these three objects is our blob (2645aab1)—let’s see if we can suss out the others.

✨ The magic command

The magic command to learn about any object is git cat-file -p. We can use that command to find out more about our mystery objects:

$ git cat-file -p 06449913ac0e43b73bfbd3141f5643a4db6d47f8
tree 4181320a57137264d436b2ef861c31f430256bf4
author Tyler Cipriani <tcipriani@wikimedia.org> 1652310544 -0600
committer Tyler Cipriani <tcipriani@wikimedia.org> 1652310544 -0600

Initial Commit

This object (06449913) appears to be our commit. A commit is metadata compressed and stored inside git’s object database.

Some of the metadata is obvious, but then there’s a tree. And that tree points to our other mystery object, 418132. Let’s see what we can learn about our last remaining mystery object using our magic command:

$ git cat-file -p 4181320a57137264d436b2ef861c31f430256bf4
100644 blob 2645aab142ef6b135a700d037e75cd9f1f1c94dc    foo

So a tree is an object that stores a directory listing of objects by their SHA1s. And a commit is an object that points at a tree by recording the tree’s SHA1!

Commits point to trees, and trees point to blobs and other trees. Neat!

📈 Git’s dependency graph

So if we graphed the state of dependencies in our object database, we’d get something like this:

Simple git repo’s object dependency graph

The commit incorporates our tree, which includes our blob—everything depends on our blob!

So if we change even a single bit inside a single file: git will notice—everything is entirely traceable from the commit down to the bit level. We get this for free by hashing objects and including those hashes in other objects.

This is the whole concept of a Merkle Directed Acyclic Graph (Merkle DAG)!

🍔 So, where’s the diff?

When we type git diff, git presents us a diff. We know there are blobs and trees and commits—so where’s the diff!?

Git doesn’t store diffs anywhere at all! It derives diffs from what’s stored in the object database.

$ echo "I'm ALSO blob" > baz
$ git add baz
$ git commit -m 'Add baz'
$ tree .git/objects/
.git/objects/
├── 06
│   └── 449913ac0e43b73bfbd3141f5643a4db6d47f8
├── 26
│   └── 45aab142ef6b135a700d037e75cd9f1f1c94dc
├── 41
│   └── 81320a57137264d436b2ef861c31f430256bf4
├── 95
│   └── 42599fac463c434456c0a16b13e346787f25da
├── 9b
│   └── 2716e4540c11e8d590e906dd8fa5a75904810a
└── e6
   └── 5a7344c46cebe61d052de6e30d33636e1cd0b4

We made a new commit, and now we have three new objects. We added a new file (blob), which made our directory different (tree), and we committed it (commit).

Our graph now looks like this:

Simple git repo’s updated object dependency graph

You might be surprised by a few things in the graph:

  • Our new commit stores its parent commit as metadata
  • Our new tree points to our old blob, and our NEW blob

So now what happens when we try git diff:

$ git diff 064499..e65a73
diff --git a/baz b/baz
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..9b2716e
--- /dev/null
+++ b/baz
@@ -0,0 +1 @@
+I'm ALSO blob

Git compares the two commits, finds their trees, sees a new blob in the second commit, and shows you the diff of /dev/null and baz.

No diffs. Just Merkle DAGs. And now you know.


Thanks to Joe Swanson for providing excellent early feedback on this post. And thanks to Kostah Harlan for reading an early draft of this post and making it less terrible. <3

Tech News issue #20, 2022 (May 16, 2022)

00:00, Monday, 16 2022 May UTC
previous 2022, week 20 (Monday 16 May 2022) next

Tech News: 2022-20

weeklyOSM 616

10:03, Sunday, 15 2022 May UTC

03/05/2022-09/05/2022

lead picture

Mechelen, Belgium, styles: OSM-FerraGIS 2021 and Ferraris 1777 [1] © Manuel Claeys Bouuaert | map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Mapping

  • Pete Masters pointed out that Becky Candy’s feedback to mappers (we reported earlier) has been translated to Japanese and Spanish .
  • Ikuzo is a POI oriented ‘map editor made specially for travel photographers, influencers and other content creators’ for categorising, filtering, sharing POIs and adding pictures to them. It is powered by OpenStreetMap. Unfortunately POIs are opened in Google Maps.
  • The MapComplete theme for trees got an update to easily add wikidata for species to trees.
  • User Frank, aka Dooley, has (de) > en taken the page OSMsuspects permanently offline. The page cannot be operated by other sites because of missing sources. User mmd suggested replacing (de) > en parts of it with the help of overpass queries.
  • A request for comments on a proposal for a consistent tagging scheme for highway networks belonging to sub-state administrative divisions of the USA has been made.
  • Voting on the amenity=ticket_validator proposal, for tagging ticket validators, which are often required to gain access to an area or service like public transport or parking garages, is open until Tuesday 24 May.

Community

Local chapter news

  • OpenStreetMap Belgium wrote a diary post about their open street-level imagery project. They are buying 360° cameras and lending them to volunteers to generate more and better street-level imagery as open data. They hope to not just collect data, but to also inspire others to start contributing. The project page is available in English, French and Dutch

Events

  • State of the Map France 2022 released (fr) > en its planning for the event taking place 10 to 12 June in Nantes.
  • Enjoy excerpts from a 45 minute improvisation between Eric Theise, manipulating digital maps, and Helena Espvall, performing on cello with electronics.
  • The list of publications from the last SotM US is getting longer. New videos on the OpenStreetMap US YouTube channel include:
    • Martijn van Exel talking about MapRoulette
    • Philipp Kandal and Alex Ilisei explaining that Grab uses OSM and how they generate images for Kartaview (formerly OpenStreetCam and OpenStreetView) to contribute to OSM.
    • Steve Coast explaining the MapMetrics tool that TomTom introduced in 2021. He also demonstrated how to work with it. Furthermore he gave an outlook on ‘automatic road alignment’.

Education

  • Christian Quest has published (fr) > en a tutorial for French mappers interested in contributing streets to OpenStreetMap through comparison with the Institut National de l’information Géographique et Forestière (National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information) open database BDTopo.
  • barefootstache shared a video showing advanced JOSM techniques to map buildings.

OSM research

  • The International Journal of Geoinformation has gathered together 15 research papers for a special issue named ‘OpenStreetMap as a multi-disciplinary nexus: Perspectives, Practices and Procedures’.

Maps

  • [1] Joseph Jean François, Count of Ferraris, created the ‘Carte-de-Cabinet’ of the Austrian Netherlands in his own style between 1771 and 1778. Manuel Claeys Bouuaert recreated Ferraris’ style in QGIS for use with OpenStreetMap data. In his blog post, Manuel described in detail how he proceeded and shows many beautiful examples. Using sliders you can compare the OSM ‘FerrarGis 2021’ and Ferraris 1777.

Software

  • Organic Maps have released the April update for Android and iOS, which has improvements in support of Wikipedia articles, Euskara (Basque) translations, speed and battery optimisation. As usual, maps are updated, and routing and translations are improved.
  • Anton Khorev wrote a diary entry about loose link detection in note-viewer, which will replace a plaintext URL with a dotted hyperlink. For now, it only handles openstreetmap.org and StreetComplete’s image hosting URLs, but other sites may be added in the future.
  • garmin.openstreetmap.nl has not been fully functional for some time, so now an automatic redirection to an alternative service of bbbike.org is now in place.
  • ‘On The Go Map’ is a route planner for running, walking, biking, or driving, where you can plot your route points, see the elevation, and share the map – powered by OpenStreetMap.
  • Balluchon (fr) > en is a tool aiming to ease contributing to OpenStreetMap, putting a focus on pedestrian data. As of now, it allows adding and modifying entrances along buildings. A live demo is available here (fr).
  • Patrick Gendre created (fr) OpenMobilityIndicators, using open data to draw a map of sustainable mobility indicators.
  • Vespucci is planning to remove support for Android 4.0.1 to 4.0.4 (released in 2011) devices in version 18 (fall 2022). People still using such devices, with a private instance of the OpenStreetMap API, are asked to contact the Vespucci team.
  • xrisnik shared a JOSM preset for adding addresses to houses.

Programming

  • Hans Hack tweeted about his beta release of ‘a geoprocessing tool to handle GeoJSON files fast and simple’. It allows the processing of GeoJSON files in an if-this-then-that manner. For example ‘Remove this:<Berlin.geojson> from that:<Germany.geojson>’. There are ‘sentences’ that find shared geometries (areas), dissolve areas in other areas and repair GeoJSON files.
  • Jean-Marie Favreau has released (fr) > en the source code for OSM Tag Challenge. Each day, the Twitter bot posts pictures of a place from a Flickr album without context and challenges us to ‘reflect on OpenStreetMap’s ontology’.

Releases

Did you know …

  • Acastus-Photon, an address and POI lookup application for Android based on OpenStreetMap data? Available through F-Droid, the app is said to be more reliable than other POI lookup solutions thanks to using Photon, developed by the Komoot team, as its default backend.
  • … how to create a layer highlighting a custom POI type in OsmAnd?
  • … Volodymyr Agafonkin, creator of Leaflet, has explained the most important steps for rendering map tiles in a tutorial? This tutorial and much more (including a ‘sourdough calculator‘) can be found on his ‘Notebooks’ page.

OSM in the media

  • Amy Flaming, from The Guardian, reported on secondary school teacher Michael Shanks, who has had the satisfaction of having drawn GPS lines over all 6,000 streets of his city Glasgow, and other people equally motivated to reach their own target of travelling every street in their city.

Other “geo” things

  • Taylor Brooker has made an unusual and beautiful hand crafted map as a wedding present.
  • HouseFresh gathered up Google search data from 2021 and created a map of the world’s houseplants based on each country’s most popular species.

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
Lyon Rencontre mensuelle Lyon osmcalpic 2022-05-17 flag
151. Treffen des OSM-Stammtisches Bonn osmcalpic 2022-05-17
Lüneburg Lüneburger Mappertreffen (online) osmcalpic 2022-05-17 flag
Zürich Missing Maps Zürich Mapathon osmcalpic 2022-05-18 flag
Montmorillon Printemps des Cartes osmcalpic 2022-05-19 – 2022-05-22 flag
Olomouc květnový olomoucký mapathon osmcalpic 2022-05-19 flag
Kaskazini B Tanzania Mapping Groups May Mapathon osmcalpic 2022-05-21 flag
京都市 京都!街歩き!マッピングパーティ:第30回 相国寺 osmcalpic 2022-05-22 flag
臺北市 OpenStreetMap街景踏查團工作坊2 osmcalpic 2022-05-22 flag
[Online] OpenStreetMap Foundation board of Directors – public videomeeting osmcalpic 2022-05-23
OSMF Engineering Working Group meeting osmcalpic 2022-05-23
Bremen Bremer Mappertreffen (Online) osmcalpic 2022-05-23 flag
San Jose South Bay Map Night osmcalpic 2022-05-25 flag
City of Nottingham OSM East Midlands/Nottingham meetup (online) osmcalpic 2022-05-24 flag
Düsseldorf Düsseldorfer OpenStreetMap-Treffen osmcalpic 2022-05-25 flag
Santiago 3a reunión bimestral de OSM Latam osmcalpic 2022-05-28 flag
Town of Victoria Park Social Mapping Sunday: East Vic Park osmcalpic 2022-05-29 flag
Bruxelles – Brussel Virtual OpenStreetMap Belgium meeting osmcalpic 2022-05-31 flag

Note:
If you like to see your event here, please put it into the OSM calendar. Only data which is there, will appear in weeklyOSM.

This weeklyOSM was produced by Lejun, MatthiasMatthias, Nordpfeil, PierZen, SK53, Sammyhawkrad, SomeoneElse, Strubbl, TheSwavu, cafeconleche, derFred, fazlerabbi37, tordans.

Wikimedia Hackathon 2019

The Wikimedia Hackathon is happening next weekend, and the Wikimedia tech community is excited to share some details about all the activities that will be taking place – and how you can get involved either in-person or online.

Building on experience from last year’s virtual hackathon, this year’s Wikimedia Hackathon will take a new approach: it will happen both online and in-person on May 20-22, 2022. 

Collaboration is a key aspect of our community. The Wikimedia Hackathon is a great opportunity to meet others and work together on technical projects during a fun three-day event. The main Hackathon events will happen in an online game-style space, while local meetups organized by community members happen around the world. These two formats will have a diverse set of activities that everyone is welcome to join – no matter the technical background they have!

We’re expecting to have participants from many different places, so the schedule is planned to allow people in multiple time zones to participate comfortably. There will be core hours several times a day when most events will occur, and online social and hacking spaces open 24 hours a day throughout the three days.

Participating in a Hackathon doesn’t necessarily mean coding! Of course you’ll find sessions about technical topics, but you can also find sessions about culture, diversity, and some activities that can help you get skills to inspire and motivate your team. The Wikimedia Hackathon seeks to welcome a larger audience, beyond just developers. 

If you would like to join the Hackathon, take a look at the different options that are available and find the ones that interest you the most:

  • Host a session. You can check out our schedule page and pick an open slot in the category that best fits your topic, you just need to add yourself there!
  • Contribute to or create a project. If you want to get involved in the hacking activities, check the Phabricator board and add a task. 
  • Attend in-person meet ups. Find out if there is a meeting near you here.
  • If you want to explore other options, there are a lot of tasks you can contribute to! You can help out welcoming newcomers, contributing to translations or you can even just explore the virtual game space and meet new people. Check the list of activities we have for you.

Please feel free to reach out to anyone on the Wikimedia Hackathon team if you need any support or have any questions. Make sure to bring your best ideas to the table and be ready to work along with developers, designers, translators and other tech Wikimedians in a fun and collaborative environment!

Gayathri 1.20 released

04:15, Saturday, 14 2022 May UTC

A new version of Gayathri typeface is available now. Version 1.20 comes with a few bugfixes and glyph additions. New version is available at SMC website for preview and download. Changes Fix the size issue of fullstop and comma Add 0D7B+0D4D+0D31 based ന്റ Improve kerning for latin Add 22 latin glyphs Fix spacing issues for quote signs Flatten the nested components Update build dependencies and CI The latest version is not yet available at Google fonts.

In Central America there is a gap in the creation of knowledge and information on the Internet. In Wikipedia, biographies from the region represent only 1.8 percent and in the case of El Salvador only represent 0.14 percent.

In order to promote the generation of knowledge from and about El Salvador and Central America, a group of volunteers have joined together to develop educational programs that involve Wikipedia and its sister projects as the main protagonists of change in digital education.

Thus, on May 20, 2021 Wikimedia El Salvador was launched, formed as a group of Wikipedians that aims to raise awareness in the country about the use of Wikimedia Foundation projects.

The Wikipedistas seek to collaborate with communities and organizations in the development of education based on free knowledge and universal access to information through a free and open internet in which all people have the right to search, create, share culture and knowledge.

In addition, several events are planned to eradicate the stigmas and myths that exist around the use of Wikipedia and to show the power of the rest of the spaces that Wikimedia has as a foundation.

Since the launch of the initiative, events have been held to promote the collection of knowledge about El Salvador on different topics such as historical memory, gender, sports and culture. This through workshops, talks and collaborations with different organizations such as the Olympic Committee of El Salvador, the Latin American Council of Social Sciences and the Cultural Center of Spain in El Salvador.

In 2021, in the framework of the Bicentennial of Central America, a Wikipedia workshop was held in which the Central American Bicentennial entry was created together with researchers from the region.

The Wikipedians have also participated in the Art+Feminist initiative since before the launch of Wikimedia El Salvador.

This year they have held events for Women’s Month, such as talks, Wikipedia workshops with a gender focus, editatonas, as well as participating in the Latin American regional campaign “¡Alto! Mujeres Trabajando” (¡Stop! Women Working).

The Wikipedistas plan to become an official user group this year, in addition to continuing with events, workshops and actions that allow the creation and improvement of entries on women, environment, culture and history in Wikipedia.

“Now and in the future we will continue to work to contribute to open knowledge through the Foundation’s projects,” they say.

Learn more about Wikimedia El Salvador, here our networks:

Our Facebook account

Our Instagram account

Twitter account

Wikipedia's JavaScript initialisation on a budget

09:36, Friday, 13 2022 May UTC

This week saw the conclusion of a project that I've been shepherding on and off since September of last year. The goal was for the initialisation of our asynchronous JavaScript pipeline (at the time, 36 kilobytes in size) to fit within a budget of 28 KB – the size of two 14 KB bursts of Internet packets.

In total, the year-long effort is saving 4.3 Terabytes a day of data bandwidth for our users' page views.

The above graph shows the transfer size over time. Sizes are after compression (i.e. the net bandwidth cost as perceived from a browser).


How we did it

The startup manifest is a difficult payload to optimise. The vast majority of its code isn't functional logic that can be optimised by traditional means. Rather, it is almost entirely made of pure data. The data is auto-generated by ResourceLoader and represents the registry of module bundles. (ResourceLoader is the delivery system Wikipedia uses for its JavaScript, CSS, interface text.)

This registry contains the metadata for all front-end features deployed on Wikipedia. It enumerates their name, currently deployed version, and their dependency relationships to other such bundles of loadable code.

I started by identifying code that was never used in practice (T202154). This included picking up unfinished or forgotten software deprecations, and removing unused compatibility code for browsers that no longer passed our Grade A feature-test. I also wrote a document about Page load performance. This document serves as reference material, enabling developers to understand the impact of various types of changes on one or more stages of the page load process.

Fewer modules

Next was collaborating with the engineering teams here at Wikimedia Foundation and at Wikimedia Deutschland, to identify features that were using more modules than is necessary. For example, by bundling together parts of the same feature that are generally always downloaded together. Thus leading to fewer entry points to have metadata for in the ResourceLoader registry.

Some highlights:

  • WMF Editing team: The WikiEditor extension now has 11 fewer modules. Another 31 modules were removed in UploadWizard. Thanks Ed Sanders, Bartosz Dziewoński, and James Forrester.
  • WMF Language team: Combined 24 modules of the ContentTranslation software. Thanks Santhosh Thottingal.
  • WMF Reading Web: Combined 25 modules in MobileFrontend. Thanks Stephen Niedzielski, and Jon Robson.
  • WMDE Community Wishlist Team: Removed 20 modules from the RevisionSlider and TwoColConflict features. Thanks Rosalie Perside, Jakob Warkotsch, and Amir Sarabadani.

Last but not least, there was the Wikidata client for Wikipedia. This was an epic journey of its own (T203696). This feature started out with a whopping 248 distinct modules registered on Wikipedia page views. The magnificent efforts of WMDE removed over 200 modules, bringing it down to 42 today.

The bar chart above shows small improvements throughout the year, all moving us closer to the goal. Two major drops stand out in particular. One is around two-thirds of the way, in the first week of August. This is when the aforementioned Wikidata improvement was deployed. The second drop is toward the end of the chart and happened this week – more about that below.


Less metadata

This week's improvement was achieved by two holistic changes that organised the data in a smarter way overall.

First – The EventLogging extension previously shipped its schema metadata as part the startup manifest. Roan Kattouw (Growth Team) refactored this mechanism to instead bundle the schema metadata together with the JavaScript code of the EventLogging client. This means the startup footprint of EventLogging was reduced by over 90%. That's 2KB less metadata in the critical path! It also means that going forward, the startup cost for EventLogging no longer grows with each new event instrumentation. This clever bundling is powered by ResourceLoader's new Package files feature. This feature was expedited in February 2019 in part because of its potential to reduce the number of modules in our registry. Package Files make it super easy to combine generated data with JavaScript code in a single module bundle.

Second – We shrunk the average size for each entry in the registry overall (T229245). The startup manifest contains two pieces of data for each module: Its name, and its version ID. This version ID previously required 7 bytes of data. After thinking through the Birthday mathematics problem in context of ResourceLoader, we decided that the probability spectrum for our version IDs can be safely reduced from 78 billion down to "only" 60 million. For more details see the code comments, but in summary it means we're saving 2 bytes for each of the 1100 modules still in the registry. Thus reducing the payload by another 2-3 KB.

Below is a close-up for the last few days (this is from synthetic monitoring, plotting the raw/uncompressed size):

The change was detected in ResourceLoader's synthetic monitoring. The above is captured from the Startup manifest size dashboard on our public Grafana instance, showing a 2.8KB decrease in the uncompressed data stream.

With this week's deployment, we've completed the goal of shrinking the startup manifest to under 28 KB. This cross-departmental and cross-organisational project reduced the startup manifest by 9 KB overall (net bandwidth, after compression); From 36.2 kilobytes one year ago, down to 27.2 KB today.

We have around 363,000 page views a minute in total on Wikipedia and sister projects. That's 21.8M an hour, or 523 million every day (User pageview stats). This week's deployment saves around 1.4 Terabytes a day. In total, the year-long effort is saving 4.3 Terabytes a day of bandwidth on our users' page views.


What's next

It's great to celebrate that Wikipedia's startup payload now neatly fits into the target budget of 28 KB – chosen as the lowest multiple of 14KB we can fit within subsequent bursts of Internet packets to a web browser.

The challenge going forward will be to keep us there. Over the past year I've kept a very close eye (spreadsheet) on the startup manifest — to verify our progress, and to identify potential regressions. I've since automated this laborious process through a public Grafana dashboard.

We still have many more opportunities on that dashboard to improve bundling of our features, and (for Performance Team) to make it even easier to implement such bundling. I hope these on-going improvements will come in handy whilst we work on finding room in our performance budget for upcoming features.

– Timo Tijhof


Further reading:

Production Excellence #43: April 2022

21:00, Thursday, 12 2022 May UTC

How’d we do in our strive for operational excellence last month? Read on to find out!

Incidents

Last month we experienced 2 (public) incidents. This is below the three-year median of 3 incidents a month (Incident graphs).

2022-04-06 esams network
Impact: For 30 minutes, wikis were slow or unreachable for a portion of clients to the Esams data center. Esams is one of two DCs primarily serving Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

2022-04-26 cr2-eqord down
Impact: No external impact. Internally, for 2 hours we were unable to access our Eqord routers by any means. This was due to a fiber cut on a redundant link to Eqiad, which then coincided with planned vendor maintenance on the links to Ulsfo and Eqiad. See also Network design.


Incident follow-up

Remember to review and schedule Incident Follow-up work in Phabricator, which are preventive measures and tech debt mitigations written down after an incident is concluded. Read more about past incidents at Incident status on Wikitech.

Recently resolved incident follow-up:

Reduce mysql grants for wikiadmin scripts
Filed in 2020 after the wikidata drop-table incident (details). Carried out over the last six months by Amir @Ladsgroup (SRE Data Persistence).

Improve reliability of Toolforge k8s cron jobs and Re-enable CronJobControllerV2
Filed earlier this week after a Toolforge incident and carried out by Taavi @Majavah.


Trends

During the month of April we reported 27 new production errors. Of these new errors, we resolved 14, and the remaining 13 are still open and have carried over to May.

Last month, the workboard totalled 298 unresolved error reports. Of these older reports that carried over from previous months, 16 were resolved. Most of these were reports from before 2019.

The new total, including some tasks for the current month of May, is 292. A slight decrease! (spreadsheet).

Take a look at the workboard and look for tasks that could use your help.

View Workboard


Thanks!

Thank you to everyone who helped by reporting, investigating, or resolving problems in Wikimedia production. Thanks!

Until next time,

– Timo Tijhof

In a fair fight, I'd kill you!
— Well, that's not much incentive for me to fight fair then, is it?

Sara Sierko sitting on a ledge
Sara Sierko
Image courtesy Sara Sierko, all rights reserved.

When Sara Sierko started working on the Wikipedia article for Margaret Crang, the University of Alberta student thought she was just sharing a story that had been forgotten by her local community. She did do that — but she also gained skills that gave her a place in that community.

Crang didn’t have a Wikipedia page, even though she was an important figure in local history. That may be because sources weren’t easy to find on Google. To find enough information to write Crang’s biography, Sara had to dig up information in the City of Edmonton archives and the Bruce Peel archives, including old newspaper clippings. In the process of doing her research, she spoke with Senator Paula Simons and local historian Tom Monto. The former happened to mention that the Edmonton Naming Committee, which is responsible for naming new roads, parks, and buildings after Edmonton community members, had a vacant seat.

“I applied to this position and utilized the Wikipedia project to demonstrate my archival research skills, my interest  for local history, and my passion for community engagement,” Sara says. “And I am pleased to say that I am now the newest member of the Edmonton Naming Committee!”

She also landed a job thanks to her Wikipedia assignment: Sara serves as a costumed interpreter at Fort Edmonton Park, teaching guests the history of Edmonton in the 1920s.

“My Wikipedia submission gave me the opportunity to learn archival research skills, critically engage with my community’s history, and explore my passion for local history. I am very grateful for this project because it opened the door for multiple job opportunities focused on my interest in local history. I also gained new friendships and working relationships with other like-minded people,” Sara says. “After this experience, I now consider myself to be another local Edmonton historian!”

Sara — who’s from Edmonton — says she was particularly inspired to write about Margaret Crang because she admired her career. Her history of feminist thought professor, Felice Lifshitz, assigned Sara and her classmates to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of feminist advocates.

“I thought that Margaret Crang was an excellent person to write about because of the numerous women and gender studies themes in her story. She participated in war and openly challenged the societal expectations of women,” Sara says. “I believe that our city has forgotten about this radical and progressive leader. Therefore, I thought that it was my responsibility to educate my community on this dynamic and important figure.”

And Wikipedia was a great way to educate her community. Not only did Sara learn about Crang, but she also learned a valuable lesson about historical representation. Women participated in municipal politics, Sara says, but precisely because they were women, it’s hard to find evidence of their work.

“Margaret Crang did not conform to the expectations of womanhood, in fact she openly defied it. She participated in war, shot a gun, and was a radical feminist activist. All things that do not get recorded in history because they are actions that are outside the realms of gender and expectation,” Sara explains. “I learned that the act of recording people and events into history is intentional. This choice dictates who gets to be remembered and who doesn’t. Therefore, if someone is a threat to the ruling powers, they will not get memorialized, valorized, and recorded into history.”

Wikipedia presents one impactful way to correct that record. Sara was so inspired by the project she did for class that she’s continuing to edit, adding information about women in Edmonton politics. She used the class assignment as a way to write something not just for her professor, but for the public.

“I am very grateful for this Wikipedia assignment because it gave me the opportunity to meet members of my local history community and form new friendships with like minded people,” Sara says. “At the beginning of this project, I never would’ve expected this as an outcome. In the past, I have felt very lonely while in the pursuit of research and academia. However, I pleasantly discovered that local history is a topic that brings people together to celebrate our rich and vibrant past.”

To learn more about Wikipedia assignments, visit teach.wikiedu.org.

Image credit: WinterE229 WinterforceMedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Sverige providing help to students at a University in Sweden. Foto: Axel Pettersson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

As part of the work with a Content Partnerships Hub, Wikimedia Sverige launches a helpdesk. The Helpdesk will provide hands-on support to affiliates and volunteers who are trying to form content partnerships, especially for local communities in the underserved and underrepresented parts of the world. 

Wikimedia Sverige is experimenting with an initiative for a content partnerships hub. The aim is to build a service to the movement, and help Wikimedia communities worldwide make content available on the Wikimedia platforms, together with partners. 

In preparation for the hub, the team at Wikimedia Sverige held interviews with more than fifty movement leaders. Views and perspectives have varied, but one reply has been consistent in almost all interviews:

The movement wants to work more with content partnerships, but often lacks the know-how, and would like concrete support.

As a response to this, Wikimedia Sverige has developed a Helpdesk concept. With this blog post, we are officially launching the Helpdesk!

The Helpdesk will provide hands-on support to affiliates and volunteers who are trying to form content partnerships, especially for local communities in the underserved and underrepresented parts of the world. 

We are also planning events around the Helpdesk and other aspects of the thematic hub. At the event we will reply to questions about the Helpdesk and discuss next steps. You can find out more about the events here

We will provide dedicated staff time to help solve the problems you have requested. Wikimedia Sverige has had hundreds of content partnerships over the years, where GLAM institutions and other partners have shared hundreds of thousands of media files and we want to help.

The support can take various forms and help solving issues such as:

What does a good partnership agreement look like? How do we convince partners about free licenses? How do we do a batch upload of photos or data? How do we share the outcome with our partner?

Requests can be made by chapters, user groups, individual volunteers, or any kind of grouping within the movement.

The crucial thing is that the support is tailored to the needs of the communities. Needs vary with the situation and the context, and the hub is a function for the entire movement.

The idea is also not to transfer all the work with content partnerships to the hub – but rather to to build capacity across the movement for actors to begin this journey themselves. 

If there is a request that the Helpdesk team does not have the answer to, then it will work to find other experts within the Wikimedia movement that can assist. We will also initiate conversations with affiliates in the movement, on how we can collaborate around this. We hope that other affiliates will dedicate staff time to help with the requests to the Helpdesk in their areas of expertise.

In order to give proper feedback to the requests, and to prioritize when there are more requests than time to handle them, an expert committee is being appointed, by a diverse group of qualified volunteers. The setup, members and function of the expert committee will be outlined in a followup blog post.

We are currently developing the portal page for the helpdesk. If you already have a content partnership in mind, for which you would like support, do not hesitate to visit the website and reach out to helpdesk@wikimedia.se.

The Content Transform team, along with the Editing team and the Language team, is happy to announce that the Translate extension is officially supported in the visual editor, starting with MediaWiki 1.38. This will make it easier for editors and translation administrators to edit translatable pages.

Some context about the Translate extension

Many Wikimedia projects, such as Commons, MediaWiki.org, or WikiSource, as well as some third-party wikis, provide content to their readers in multiple languages. The Translate extension is what makes creating and maintaining multilingual content possible. Editors can mark regions of a wiki page as translatable by delimiting them with <translate>…</translate> tags. The translatable content is then split into smaller chunks by a translation administrator, with the help of automated tools. These smaller chunks are finally translated into other languages, and can be updated when the original text is modified.

Before and After

Before: Contributors could not directly edit content between tags in the visual editor.
After: Contributors can now directly edit content between <translate> tags (see the highlighted text in the screenshot above) as they can any other string of text using the visual editor.

Up until MediaWiki 1.38, contributors were not able to fully edit pages containing translation markup using the visual editor. The Translate extension was not compatible with Parsoid, and hence could not support editing with the VisualEditor extension—in practice, any content between <translate>…</translate> tags would not be editable directly. Editors on such pages would have no other choice but to edit the page as wikitext.

The version of Parsoid that is enabled in MediaWiki 1.38 supports the Translate extension natively. This enables the editing of content between the <translate> tags using the visual editor. The existing guidelines about editing translatable pages remain, but translatable pages should now be mostly editable directly in the visual editor.

… “Mostly” editable, you say?

There’s a caveat. If the content between two <translate> tags is not well-nested, the <translate> range gets expanded in the visual editor to enclose a well-nested range of content.

To give a couple of examples,

* first <translate>list item
* second</translate> list item

would be expanded to

<translate>
* first list item
* second list item
</translate>

because the Translate range encompasses parts of two different list items, and

some '''bold <translate>text'''</translate>

would be transformed to

some <translate>'''bold text'''</translate>

to enclose all the bold text.

These examples are purposefully exaggerated, and the misnestings will typically be more subtle than that. These expanded regions are protected from editing using the visual editor to avoid dirty diffs (unrelated changes to portions of the wikitext which the editor didn’t “touch”) and page corruptions (including in some cases potentially breaking the translation markup) when the edited page is saved and converted back to wikitext. Updates to the linter are planned in the near future to automatically detect and gather those areas that are not editable in the visual editor.

Caveat: translatable areas that are not well-nested are not editable in the visual editor.

To be able to edit the full page in the visual editor, it is advised to follow the guidelines provided by the Markup examples section of the Page translation administration wiki page, and to split the translation ranges into smaller, well-nested sections if a region is flagged as uneditable.

Feedback, suggestions and bug reports

We have tested the feature and fixed numerous bugs already, but editing translatable pages in the visual editor hasn’t passed the test of real-life content yet: there may still be rough edges. If you encounter an issue, please revert the edit if necessary and fall back to the Wikitext editor. You can file the issue on Phabricator on the Parsoid project, or contact the Content Transform team for feedback or information. Further improvements and bug fixing for this feature are to be expected with MediaWiki 1.39. We are excited to continue to fully support translation and multilingual content on our platform.

Happy localization!

#WikiXHumanRights and Biodiversity in Colombia

07:00, Thursday, 12 2022 May UTC

The goal of the #WikiXHumanRights and #WikiXBiodiversity campaign is to ensure that everyone has access to neutral, fact-based, and up-to-date information on our Right to a Healthy Environment from a local perspective.

This campaign in Colombia is consolidated from a series of activities that seek, on the one hand, the visibility of situations and issues in Colombia from the climate crisis, and on the other hand, give them a place within Wikimedia projects. We will start the campaign with the EditatonXElMedioAmbiente, the documentation and photographic registration workshop and we will end with an editathon on food sovereignty.

WikiXHumanRights and Biodiversity. Image of the local campaign.

Topics of interest of the local campaign

  • Political and cultural rights, third generation rights, collective and communal rights: collective perspectives on the right to a healthy environment.  
  • Women and femininity as protectors of life and biodiversity.
  • Biodiversity and animism, popular beliefs and home remedies.
  • Ethnic diversity and biodiversity.
  • Multi-sectoral alliances for biodiversity: from community gardens in the cities to eco-friendly peasant-indigenous productive alliances in rural areas.
  • Climate Change and Displacement.

Campaign activities

We have developed three activities and many more are coming. Don’t miss out and sign up!

Here is more information about the past activities:

Editathon for The Environment

On April 22nd we gathered Wikipedian volunteers from various regions of the country with an interest in the environment and biodiversity. It is important to know that Colombia, despite its small area in comparison with other countries, is considered the second country with the greatest wealth of biodiversity (1).

We were able to create and improve articles, mainly on paramo ecosystems (páramo de las Moyas and Sumapaz) and tropical dry forest (Ranchería River), as well as to make visible indigenous and global initiatives to improve the environment and biodiversity, such as urban agriculture. Thanks to the participants, especially for the dialogue of knowledge with the Wayúu culture.

Editathon for the Planet

From April 19th to April 26th, with high school and elementary school teachers attached to the Ministry of Education, we had the opportunity to train editors committed to protecting the environment and native biodiversity. They improved articles, for example on the Arzobispo River (in Bogota) and starting the creation of the article Climate change and displacement. Thanks to the teachers who are committed to a pedagogy in favor of human rights and biodiversity.

Discussion at FILBo

In the framework of the international #WikiforHumanRights Campaign and local #WikiForHumanRights and #WikiForBiodiversity, a conversation for the right to a healthy environment was held on the campaign at the local level, along with the artistic exhibition “Basurolandia”, an activity developed in partnership with HeyCirco and El Espectador, within the International Book Fair of Bogota on April 27, 2022. If you want to know more, we invite you to read the review “Basurolandia” and see the photos of the activity, or if you want to watch these short videos. Special thanks to HeyCirco who show us the importance of connecting with initiatives developed from the same communities through art and respect.

Coming soon…

Are you interested in biodiversity, human rights, natural sciences?

There’s still time to be part of it, join the activities!

Join this May 17 at the Wikimedia Commons workshop with Uniminuto University

Learn about Wikimedia Commons, the platform for free and shared knowledge audio and video resources. Upload photos and give visibility to your projects. Take advantage of the resources for your transmedia projects.

Join the Editathon for Food Sovereignty on June 1st.

When, how and where? Virtual, just contact us, it will be an activity that will run from 4:00-7:00 p. m.

We will meet synchronously in a virtual event. We will have two sensitization sessions and then we will move on to editing. We will be joined by the Minganet organization. You don’t need to know how to edit on Wikipedia, we will have two sessions beforehand to teach you how to edit, so sign up to participate (limited space).

Dialogues on human rights, environmental health and communities affected by environmental problems in Colombia.

Dialogues: Human rights, environmental health and communities affected by environmental problems in Colombia.

When, how and where?

Date: From May 2nd to May 27th.

We are meeting synchronously in virtual events in which we are having the participation of invited experts, who are telling us about the environmental problems in Colombia, the need to talk about the issue and the role of Wikipedia in civil actions.

It is not necessary to have knowledge on the subject, they is room for the general public.

Themes of the sessions

  • Editing in Wikimedia projects with environmental focus
  • Political and cultural rights, third generation rights, collective and communal rights.
  • Women and femininity as protectors of life and biodiversity.
  • Biodiversity and animism, popular beliefs and home remedies.
  • Multi-sectoral alliances, community gardens in the cities or eco-friendly peasant-indigenous productive alliances in rural areas.

If you are part of an organization or collective and want to develop an activity within the framework of the alliance with us, please write to contacto@wikimediacolombia.org Let’s continue environmentalizing Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects from Colombia! Don’t miss out on our campaign, we have prizes and surprises for those who participate.

(1) https://minciencias.gov.co/sala_de_prensa/colombia-el-segundo-pais-mas-biodiverso-del-mundo#:~:text=El%20pa%C3%ADs%20ocupa%20el%20segundo,la%20diversidad%20de%20sus%20ecosistemas.

Should Vector be responsive?

20:48, Wednesday, 11 2022 May UTC

Here I share some thoughts around the history of "responsive" MediaWiki skins and how we might want to think about it for Vector.

The buzzword "responsive" is thrown around a lot in Wikimedia-land, but essentially what we are talking about is whether to include a single tag in the page. The addition of a meta tag with name viewport, will tell the page how to adapt to a mobile device.

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

More information: https://css-tricks.com/snippets/html/responsive-meta-tag/

Since the viewport tag must be added, by default websites are not made mobile-friendly. Given the traditional Wikimedia skins were built before mobile sites and this tag existed, CologneBlue, Modern, Vector did not add this tag.

When viewing these skins on mobile the content will not adapt to the device and instead will appear zoomed out. One of the benefits of this is that the reader sees a design that is consistent with the design they see on desktop. The interface is familiar and easy enough to navigate as the user can pinch and zoom to parts of the UI. The downside is that reading is very difficult, and requires far more hand manipulation to move between sentences and paragraphs, and for this reason, many search engines will penalize traffic.

Enter Minerva

The Minerva skin (and MobileFrontend before it) were introduced to allow us to start adapting our content for mobile. This turned out to be a good decision as it avoided the SEO of our projects from being penalized. However, building Minerva showed that making content mobile-friendly was more than adding a meta tag. For example, many templates used HTML elements with fixed widths that were bigger than the available space. This was notably a problem with large tables. Minerva swept many of these issues under the rug with generic fixes (For example enforcing horizontal scrolling on tables). Minerva took a bottom-up approach where it added features only after they were mobile-friendly. The result of this was a minimal experience that was not popular with editors.

Timeless

Timeless was the 2nd responsive skin added to Wikimedia wikis. It was popular with editors as it took a different approach to Minerva, in that it took a top-down approach, adding features despite their shortcomings on a mobile screen. It ran into many of the same issues that Minerva had e.g. large tables and copied many of the solutions in Minerva.

MonoBook

During the building of Timeless, the Monobook skin was made responsive (T195625). Interestingly this led to a lot of backlash from users (particularly on German Wikipedia), revealing that many users did not want a skin that adapted to the screen (presumably because of the reasons I outlined earlier - while reading is harder, it's easier to get around a complex site. Because of this, a preference was added to allow editors to disable responsive mode (the viewport tag). This preference was later generalized to apply to all skins:

Responsive Vector

Around the same time, several attempts were made by volunteers to force Vector to work as a responsive skin. This was feature flagged given the backlash for MonoBook's responsive mode. The feature flag saw little development, presumably because many gadgets popped up that were providing the same service.

Vector 2022

The feature flag for responsive Vector was removed for legacy Vector in T242772 and efforts were redirected into making the new Vector responsive. Currently, the Vector skin can be resized comfortably down to 500px. It currently does not add a viewport tag, so does not adapt to a mobile screen.

However, during the building of the table of contents, many mobile users started complaining (T306910). The reason for this was that when you don't define a viewport tag the browser makes decisions for you. To avoid these kind of issues popping up it might make sense for us to define an explicit viewport to request content that appears scaled out at a width of our choosing. For example, we could explicitly set width 1200px with a zoom level of 0.25 and users would see:

If Vector was responsive, it would encourage people to think about mobile-friendly content as they edit on mobile. If editors insist on using the desktop skin on their mobile phones rather than Minerva, they have their reasons, but by not serving them a responsive skin, we are encouraging them to create content that does not work in Minerva and skins that adapt to the mobile device.

There is a little bit more work needed on our part to deal with content that cannot hit into 320px e.g. below 500px. Currently if the viewport tag is set, a horizontal scrollbar will be shown - for example the header does not adapt to that breakpoint:


Decisions to be made

  1. Should we enable Vector 2022's responsive mode? The only downside of doing this is that some users may dislike it, and need to visit preferences to opt-out.
  2. When a user doesn't want responsive mode, should we be more explicit about what we serve them? For example, should we tell a mobile device to render at a width of 1000px with a scale of 0.25 ( 1/4 of the normal size) ? This would avoid issues like T306910. Example code [1] demo
  3. Should we apply the responsive mode to legacy Vector too? This would fix T291656 as it would mean the option applies to all skins.

[1]

<meta name="viewport" content="width=1400px, initial-scale=0.22">

In 2021, the Community Development team launched two online courses as part of the WikiLearn Pilot that was delivered over an 8-week period. Participants who enrolled in either course attended live sessions each week and completed graded assignments. The goal of the pilot was to better understand how our team could deliver capacity building experiences online. 

The Community Development team is pleased to announce these courses are now available for self-guided study on the new WikiLearn platform, based on the free software Open edX. Open edX is a free software learning management system that was started in 2012, and is developed in Python using the Django framework. The platform will host courses developed by Wikimedia Foundation teams on a variety of topics relevant to doing Wikimedia work. The intended audience of the platform is Wikimedia contributors of all kinds, and all you need to access the platform is your existing Wikimedia account. As we continue to evolve some governance mechanisms for the platform, it will  become open for contribution from all Wikimedia contributors.

You can access the platform at learn.wiki 

The courses currently available from the Community Development team are:

  1. Introduction to Building Partnerships – This course will provide an in-depth curriculum on how to develop meaningful programmatic and organizational partnerships within the movement and with external partners.
  1. Addressing Harassment Online – This short, introductory course will focus on developing skills that will help volunteers empathetically respond to online harassment.

These courses are self-paced and graded by the original instructors of the live course. A computer graded version of these courses will be available shortly. 

Please note that the self-paced/human-graded format will return marked assignments on a bi-weekly/monthly basis depending on capacity. 

Each course has been adapted from its original live format to be suitable for self-paced study. The Identifying  and Addressing Harassment course was authored and taught by Simona Ramkisson.  The Introduction to Partnership Building course was authored and taught by Asaf Bartov. 

All Wikimedians with an active Wikimedia account can login to the WikiLearn platform using their Wikimedia identity (OAuth) without needing a separate account.

As we continue to evolve some governance mechanisms for the platform, it will  become open for contribution from all Wikimedia contributors. The current courses are published in English with potential translation possible in FY 22-23.

If you have any questions or concerns about the courses or the WikiLearn platform, please email the Community Development team at comdevteam@wikimedia.org 

Thank you, 

The Community Development Team

First months as The Mixed Museum’s intern

12:07, Wednesday, 11 2022 May UTC

In this post, Anastasia reflects on the process of editing a Wikipedia article, and the challenges it presented. You can read more about the Mixed Museum internships in our blog, and over at The Mixed Museum website.

The Mixed Museum

March was an extremely beneficial and eventful month. Working alongside such ambitious experts was extremely helpful in furthering my existing knowledge about editing and writing and learning new skills such as using Wikipedia. I am grateful to the Mixed Museum for giving me an exciting opportunity to work with and learn from the Wikimedia team members.

After starting my internship, I became acquainted with the Wikimedia UK team through an insightful Potluck Wikithon. It was fascinating to get to know the inside-outs of Wikipedia, as I could have never imagined that so much work needed to be done to create a single credible article. It was a challenge to adapt to the writing style of Wikipedia at first, as it seemed so different from that of university essays. Wikipedia requires a factual, detached description of events, whereas personal opinion and thorough, logical analysis are the basis of the papers I am so used to. However, the support I was getting from both the Mixed Museum and Wikimedia was highly useful in overcoming the challenges I faced.

When I first began editing my assigned page, Black people in Ireland, I felt that it was far from what we were hoping to end up with. I noticed that some information was shallow, and many sections lacked credible sources. Unfortunately, I was forced to delete some of the claims as I could not prove their reliability, since there were no available sources to back them. I improved the article to show that Black people’s history in Ireland is more profound and complex than considered before. 

I believe that education is crucial for the formation of independent-minded and tolerant people, and Wikipedia can help that cause by working on articles concerning minorities’ histories. Being the most accessible resource for young people all over the world, Wikipedia needs to uphold a high standard in showcasing not only the history of oppression but also the lifestyles of those minorities.         

Another challenge was one of the main tasks of the internship: searching for and adding pictures to the page I was editing. I found it complicated to understand the copyright and laws concerning the usage of photographs, despite detailed explanations from the team during the introduction section. I was able to retrieve several pictures from the Wikipedia domain after researching the process. However, finding relevant photos with appropriate copyrights was hard, as most are reserved for exclusive use, and the rights to publish these can only be purchased. 

Although the work I was doing throughout the internship was mainly independent, I never felt like I was left alone to deal with all the aspects of the job. The team was highly supportive via Slack and email most days. Slack was especially useful, as it felt like a social media website, where one could chat with colleagues via instant messages and get responses quicker. It was also less formal than traditional means of business communication, which helped me feel more comfortable asking questions. 

This experience was precious, as I have acquired essential skills, worked with Wikimedia software, and communicated with two professional teams to spread awareness about such a crucial topic. I hope that my contribution made an impact on the Wikipedia audience and helped someone out there learn more about Black Irish history.

The post First months as The Mixed Museum’s intern appeared first on WMUK.

Interviewed on Between the Brackets podcast

05:22, Wednesday, 11 2022 May UTC

I was recently interviewed on Between the Brackets: A MediaWiki podcast: Episode 112 - Kunal Mehta. I'm the first ever repeat guest, my first appearance was in 2018 in Episode 9. You can listen through the web interface or in your favorite podcast client.

Thanks to Yaron Koren for having me on.

Episode 112: Kunal Mehta

16:39, Tuesday, 10 2022 May UTC

🕑 57 minutes

Kunal Mehta is back for a second appearance! Last time he was here, he was working for the Wikimedia Foundation; but now he is a Senior Software Engineer at the Freedom of the Press Foundation. (Though he is still a volunteer MediaWiki developer.)

Links for some of the topics discussed:

This Month in GLAM: April 2022

04:24, Tuesday, 10 2022 May UTC

Geneva, Switzerland — Today, six Wikimedia chapters—independent Wikimedia movement affiliate organizations—were rejected from gaining accreditation to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).

WIPO is the specialized United Nations (UN) agency that determines global policies on copyright, patents, and trademarks. The Wikimedia chapters of France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, and Switzerland applied as ad hoc observers to the WIPO committee that is responsible for shaping the future of global copyright policy. Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects rely on open, flexible copyright policies to ensure knowledge can be accessed and shared freely across its platforms.

“Wikimedia chapters have first-hand experience of the legal barriers to sharing information in their countries and deep expertise in copyright policy. Their presence at WIPO would help guarantee a global and diverse presence of civil society organizations in the SCCR, ensuring that copyright policies reflect the needs of the global web ecosystem,” said Amanda Keton, General Counsel of the Wikimedia Foundation. “We ask member states to recognize and support the value that the Wikimedia free knowledge movement brings to WIPO.”

China was the only country to oppose the accreditation of the Wikimedia chapters, inaccurately claiming that chapters were complicit in spreading disinformation. These allegations are unfounded and misrepresent Wikipedia’s model, which prioritizes neutrality and requires citations to reliable secondary sources in its content.

China has also objected to the application of the Wikimedia Foundation twice for observer status, first in 2020 and again in 2021. The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects globally.

China’s objection is unprecedented in WIPO committee discussions and contradicts WIPO Rules of Procedure. One country generally cannot veto participation of civil society groups in WIPO committees.

The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is composed of WIPO country representatives, non-governmental organizations, and private companies, which offer expertise in helping the specialized UN agency realize its global mandate. With this rejection, the Wikimedia chapters will be prevented from participating in international discussions on copyright that profoundly affect their work in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. 
The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit that supports Wikipedia, Wikimedia projects, and its free knowledge mission on a global scale. Wikimedia chapters are independent, nonprofit organizations which support and promote Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in a specific geographic location. While the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia chapters collaborate in our shared free knowledge mission, each organization operates independently with its own bylaws, Board, and organization plan.

I will start by saying that I am a process-turned-product person.

That is, I’m a process-turned-product person with a passion for making systems just, equitable, and transparent. It’s these values that drew me to the Wikimedia Foundation in the first place. I wanted to be part of the nonprofit with a vision where everyone, everywhere has access to freely share in the sum of all knowledge — and I wanted to dedicate myself full-time to making that vision a reality by centering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our work.

“I wanted to dedicate myself full-time to making Wikimedia’s vision a reality by centering diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work.”

In my early years at the Foundation as a Technical Program Manager, I became familiar with the breadth of 13 Wikimedia projects spanning 300 languages, edited by hundreds of thousands of volunteers from all over the world. These dedicated people help make knowledge available to millions of global readers. There are many multilingual editors that contribute to large language wikis like English Wikipedia, while also creating articles on growing language wikis like Yoruba Wikipedia.

At the same time, I got to know actual Wikimedia movement leaders (the volunteers who lead the creation and curation of content on projects like Wikipedia and Wikidata), and the host of barriers and biases they face while doing this important work. I discovered how challenging it is to ensure our products represent the nuances of different geographical contexts and cultures across languages while remaining an open source free knowledge movement.

“I got to know actual Wikimedia movement leaders (the volunteers who lead the creation and curation of content on projects like Wikipedia), and the host of barriers they face while doing this important work.”

I also saw an opportunity.

I saw that there were several initiatives and champions eager to make the Wikimedia movement and projects more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. But there was no model to connect these efforts, ensure their consistency, or standardize the way we assessed their impact.

We were missing a standard, cohesive framework that included concrete resources and examples of how we build the technology that powers the Wikimedia movement. Also missing was a way to ensure Foundation product and technology teams check for potential bias at each step in the software development lifecycle.

“We were missing a standard, cohesive framework that included concrete resources and examples of how we build the technology that powers the Wikimedia movement.”

Not only was there no framework at the Wikimedia Foundation; it was also nearly impossible to find a detailed DEI-centered software development framework outside the organization with concrete steps for open source environments.

In June 2020, during the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, I felt a greater sense of urgency to organize my observations and ideas into a plan for action. My goal was to ensure Foundation development teams had access to resources for checking their biases and ensuring transparent, intersectional, and contextual practices, all informed by existing DEI efforts across the Wikimedia movement was baked into their work.

In a proposal to Foundation leadership and colleagues, I laid out how we could approach inclusive development practices — and why it is critical to our mission. With their buy-in, a working group was formed, and our shared journey began to put DEI at the center of the technology behind Wikimedia projects.

“In June 2020, during the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, I felt a greater sense of urgency to organize my observations and ideas into a plan for action. … I laid out how we could approach inclusive development practices — and why it is critical to our mission.”

Since that time, our working group has learned a lot.

We have a fundamental belief that organizations, especially those working in open source environments, should publicly share their software development process models, so that we can all continue to learn from each other in a proactive way. Although our framework is still a work in progress, we hold ourselves to that same standard.

To that end, here are ten things we have learned thus far in developing a framework for equitable product development.

1. Buy-in from organization leadership is essential.

Achieving a DEI-centered software development process requires commitment from those who are at the top of the organization.

“This work entails tough calls of choosing equity over speed.”

This work entails tough calls of choosing equity over speed. It requires support for resources such as multicultural, multilingual research. Importantly, teams will need to feel they have the agency to prioritize metrics other than efficiency and scale as they measure success in reaching specific audiences.

2. Start with research.

It can be tempting to jump right in with solutions and anecdotes when developing a playbook, or even when doing product development work in general; however, steer clear of putting forward a one-size-fits-all approach. No matter the eagerness to implement, it cannot be impactful without doing the work up front in understanding context.

Our inclusive product development working group started with establishing a baseline by conducting a comprehensive review of existing best practices, or bright spots as we called them, and areas for improvement. The working group interviewed 15 software development teams at the Foundation with different focuses. We also researched best practices for inclusive product development, as well as the opportunities and pitfalls software development teams at other technology companies.

“Steer clear of putting forward a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Our research helped us glean important insights and shaped our approach. First, it cemented for the group that the type of open source software development framework we were seeking to build — one that centered voices that have been traditionally underrepresented in our movement — was not currently as accessible as it should be. We determined that we needed to work in the open and iteratively to continue to establish and evolve a framework.

3. Unlock your next steps by sharing insights early, and really listening to reactions.

After synthesizing our research, we shared findings at an all-staff meeting. In that forum, we heard from other Foundation teams who shared our appetite for building products with DEI at the center. The outcomes of our surveys, paired with the feedback from this meeting demonstrated that, in many cases, teams had an appetite for this work and were already on this journey in their own ways.

“Teams craved cohesion and tangible guidance on how to intentionally build products in an inclusive way.”

What was also evident was that because teams were going about this separately without a common framework, clear gaps existed. Some teams needed a standard process for language support; others hadn’t figured out how best to be inclusive of low-vision users; many had requested more support and guidance around understanding if their products were furthering gender bias or favoring one country within a language wiki more than another.

There was also interest in understanding what demographic of Wikimedia editors and readers we were not hearing from and how to best reach them. Above all, teams craved cohesion and tangible guidance on how to intentionally build products in an inclusive way, and the permission to take more time to build for a more equitable outcome.

4. Draw on the expertise of DEI professionals.

A persistent question for our working group was how to define diversity, equity, and inclusion. When questions like this come up, it is important to recognize different roles and responsibilities surrounding DEI work. It is everyone’s shared responsibility to advance DEI. However, to do this work thoughtfully and effectively, there is a responsibility to consult those with professional DEI expertise.

“To do this work thoughtfully and effectively, there is a responsibility to consult those with professional DEI expertise.”

We turned to colleagues on the Foundation’s Global DEI team within our Talent and Culture Department to share their expertise and establish the following organization-wide definitions to guide our working group:

  • Diversity is about our people: about the variety of identities represented in our movement, workforce, departments and teams. Individuals cannot be diverse; only groups can. We focus on identities that include but are not limited to caste, race, ethnicity, colour, national origin, nationality, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, language, culture, education, abilities, income, and environment.
  • Equity about fair access to resources and opportunities for people by identifying and dismantling barriers that result from direct and structural systems of oppression and injustice. Equitable outcomes are realized through our behaviors, actions, policies, processes and the distribution of resources.
  • Inclusion is about the intentional steps that give all people, and especially those who are excluded or prevented from having a say, meaningful representation in planning and decision making across the Foundation.

5. Categorize your insights to make them actionable.

After we collected feedback on our research from others in the Foundation, we worked with a design expert to tease apart the findings and provide shared insights and opportunities based on overarching themes and tensions.

We were able to identify six categories:

  1. Process (the flow of work): User perspectives should appear earlier and more consistently in the product development processes.
  2. Strategy (setting relevant and clear goals): Teams crave more clarity around DEI goals from the top of the organization, and they require more resources to deliver.
  3. Incentives (how desired behavior is rewarded): Employee incentives do not explicitly reward good DEI-related behavior at present.
  4. Structure (role and relational clarity): All teams operate under resource constraints and need to be smart and structured about how they connect with other teams, experts, communities, and volunteers to bring DEI to their work.
  5. Talent (recruitment, resourcing and development): While people generally aspire for greater demographic representation within teams, more teams could benefit from a range of roles.
  6. Tools (organizational software, methods, or spaces): Tools to measure DEI impact in Wikimedia communities are challenging to incorporate given the importance of user privacy.

With these organized findings, and inspiration from industry leaders, the double diamond and agile methodologies, we were positioned to develop the first draft of our Inclusive Product Development Playbook. The playbook aimed to start with the process category, while the Product Platform Strategy set by Product leadership provided the guardrails for setting equity strategy goals.

6. Before testing, get input from your key stakeholders and end users.

Before putting the draft Playbook into practice, we shared it with a key constituency: the Wikimedia volunteer community. At our annual Wikimania conference in 2021, the working group presented the draft playbook and shared our intentions for the inclusive product development framework to get feedback from the community on what to include and iterate on.

Following the presentation, we joined a virtual discussion of prospective opportunities and challenges from the community’s perspective. We also shared ways in which people could work with us as we continue on this journey, which included the creation of a MediaWiki page to watch for updates. This type of community and stakeholder engagement is always key, but it’s especially critical in open source environments like the one in which Wikimedia operates.

7. Foster a community among a smaller test group.

It was important to test our draft Playbook with a smaller group of teams before rolling it out to everyone. In October 2021, seven beta teams at varying phases in their development lifecycle agreed to adopt the Playbook and, for at least one stage of their development, attempt to complete each task in the framework and provide feedback on obstacles, successes, and learnings.

The seven teams — who are in the process of finalizing testing of the Playbook — include front end teams and one back end team serving desktop and mobile users. The teams meet monthly to discuss their progress and to surface challenges and insights. We were excited to see that the regular syncs resulted in the development of a FAQ document and an open Slack channel that we hope will benefit future Foundation teams as we iterate and roll out the Playbook more broadly. We have been intentional with keeping the scope of the teams tight but diverse enough to build a base Playbook. We have the intention to add even more supplementary materials to our framework as we expand the teams we serve and their unique needs.

8. Avoid assumptions, and enable teams to establish their own baselines.

The working group was responsible for the process and resources to ensure our software development lifecycle promotes DEI. As part of this, it was important for us to not be anecdotal or provide made-up benchmarks numbers without understanding the context of each team’s available metrics capabilities and relevant platform audiences.

In some cases, teams have data analysts on staff, while others do not. Some teams can access quantitative data to inform decisions, while others rely on qualitative surveys. It was for this reason that we encouraged every test team to start by establishing a baseline understanding of who their current audiences were and pragmatically understand where there was potential to grow and diversify audiences.

9. Reinforce that this work is never “done.”

I’ll say that again: There is no such thing as done when it comes to inclusive product development.

As our VP of Product Carol Dunn puts it, asking when the framework and a team’s adoption of it is done is akin to asking “when will I be done being healthy?” Everyone’s health is contextual to their own body at a given point in time, and rituals of being healthy evolve as your body changes and grows. We see building inclusively the same way.

“Asking when the framework and a team’s adoption of it is done is akin to asking ‘when will I be done being healthy?’”

There is always more to do, not just at a team level, but as an organization and movement as well. As we learn more, we will adapt accordingly. Adaptation will take the form of the artifacts we produce, who serves in the working group, what our processes are for soliciting feedback, and other ways that may not be apparent to us at this moment. It can be enticing to look for concrete answers that can be broadly applied, but inclusive product development requires adaptability.

10. Share the journey.

As we continue to learn from the teams that are currently testing the Playbook and providing feedback, we will expand the number of test groups, add more resources, and continue to transparently share what we learn and create (including through more blogs like this!).

We hope this process can remain participatory and that we can bring everyone with us on this journey of ensuring that every human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge — openly, inclusively, safely, and equitably.


Personally, I hope to see more open source organizations take similar steps or share their existing work in this area so we can learn from each other. It is our collective responsibility to ensure these DEI-centered practices and learnings are accessible to all.

Author’s note: I would like to thank the many people who contributed to this work. Namely, members of the working group; the Beta teams; community members who provided insights at Wikimania; and the Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color who forged a path for this work (Anne Jean Baptise, Timnit Gebru, Joy Buolamwini and Safiya Noble).


Jazmin Tanner is a Lead Product Manager at the Wikimedia Foundation focused on inclusive product development and Android app development. You can follow her on Twitter at @ItsJazTanner.

Friends newsletter/2022/Issue 1

14:39, Monday, 09 2022 May UTC

Welcome

Welcome to the Spring/Summer 2022 newsletter! I hope you have had a good start to the year, and a lovely bank holiday weekend over Easter.

This newsletter is full of information, stories and snippets about Wikimedia UK’s work in partnership with volunteers and institutions to open up knowledge, with a particular focus on knowledge equity, information literacy, and climate information. I hope you will find something to inspire, interest or excite you.

On a slightly different note, I have been moved by our community’s response to the terrible situation in Ukraine, and pleased to have played a small role in securing safe refuge, in the homes of Wikimedia UK donors, for two families seeking refuge from the war. Thank you to all those who responded to my emails about this in March.

With very best wishes

Lucy Crompton-Reid

Chief Executive

UK chapter update

Going further with student engagement

Over the last few years, Wikimedia UK and partners have been increasingly involved with or have helped with the hosting of internships or student work placements focused on delivering Wikimedia-related projects. We wanted to bring together some examples of this kind of work, explore how these kinds of
placements sit within the ethos of the Wikimedia community, and share what we have learned from these experiences, offering what we have in terms of best practice. The intern case study booklet is aimed at organisations in education or cultural sectors who already work with interns or student placements and want to explore whether Wikimedia-focused internships is a model of collaboration which could be beneficial to them.

Events and projects you can join

Annual General Meeting

The 2022 Annual General Meeting will be held online on the morning of Saturday 9th July. This is an important date for your diaries, particularly if you are a member of the charity (which costs just £5 a year). The meeting will include reports from the board and executive, voting on resolutions and of course trustee elections. There will be an opportunity to ask questions about our work in 2021/22 and to find out more about people standing for election to the board.

Celtic Knot conference

Celtic Knot 2022 banner. CC BY-SA 4.0.

The Celtic Knot Wikimedia Language Conference will return in July 2022 over the 1st and 2nd. The conference aims to bring people together to share their experiences of working on information distribution in minority and minoritized languages on the Wikimedia projects. Our aim is to help people learn how to direct the flow of information across language barriers and support their communities. As in previous years we will have a strong focus on Wikidata and its potential to support languages.

The Celtic Knot is a place where people working on growing and maintaining their communities (on Wikipedia, but also Wikisource or Wikidata) can meet, learn from each other, and support each other on topics like community growth, technical tools, or collaboration with partners. Driven by Wikimedia UK’s vision, together with local partners and fellow Wikimedia chapters, the conference carries the experience of five annual editions, including two online events. In each of the first five years, the conference has spotlighted a language or language family, and the participants can learn more about the cultural context as well as the state of the Wikimedia projects in these languages. For the 2022 edition, Wikimedia UK, with the support of Wikimedia Deutschland, will be adopting a broader approach, with an emphasis on skills development for a diverse group of participants.

Our new climate actitvities

WikiForHumanRights: Right to a Healthy Environment campaign banner. CC BY-SA 2.0.

We are excited to announce that WikiForHumanRights: Right to a Healthy Environment is back for 2022. This year, our aim is to ensure that everyone has access to neutral, unbiased and fact-based information on the “triple planetary crisis” of climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. Taking part in the competition fits with the growing number of climate and environment based projects Wikimedia UK is taking on. Open access to climate information and data will play an increasingly important role in our shared ability to understand this crisis and act collectively. Running from April 15th through to June 14th 2022, this campaign aims to encourage our supporters, members and volunteers interested in the campaign to organise activities around the theme of environmental sustainability and climate knowledge.

The WikiForHumanRights campaign falls in line with Wikimedia UK’s new strategic focus on climate. We will be launching projects and programmes that support our editors, communities and partner organisations that relate to climate change and environmental sustainability. A few of our current projects include:

  • We have been working with Climate Policy Radar, an open data climate startup to improve Wikidata’s ability to support environmental policy work.
  • In 2021, we ran a 24-hour COP26 editathon with the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. 52 editors took part, creating 363 edits and resulting in over 150 thousand views worldwide.
  • We are working with our partners, Natural Resources Wales and Llen Natur to feed localised data directly onto Wikipedia based on the threat of climate change to local communities.

Wiki Loves Earth 2022

Brown hare (Lepus europaeus). CC BY.SA 4.0.

Wales will participate in the Wiki Loves Earth 2022 international competition again this year, and the new website was rolled out last week. Wikimedia UK has again partnered with the National Library of Wales and WiciMon, in organising the work: other partners will be announced this week. 

Our work in partnership

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month 2022 interviews banner. CC BY-SA 4.0.

We again did a series of interviews for Women’s History Month, showcasing the people and initiatives that are closing the gender gap on wiki projects. There were four interviews, with Helen Close from WES, Hope Miyoba from the Science Museum Group, Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh, along with three students who are involved in the gender gap projects, and finally Monisha Shah, Wikimedia UK’s Chair. We were so proud of the work these initiatives have achieved, and encourage you to watch the full series on our YouTube.

We also ran a number of events throughout March for Women’s History Month with the help of collaborating organisations:

We ran a Wiki Workshop with the British Library’s Eccles Centre and the University of Leeds to make Black women in 20th century theatre more visible on wiki projects. We wanted to expand and amplify knowledge produced by and about Black women, and about gender, feminism and the arts on Wikipedia. At this Wiki editing workshop, participants received training on creating and editing wiki pages in order to communicate the central role played by Black women in British theatre making between 1900 and 1950, women like Una Marson and Pauline Henriques. They were also invited to explore resources that can enable better citation justice for women of colour knowledge producers and greater access to archive collections documenting Black British histories. It’s really crucial for us to continue having an intersectional approach to our gender gap work, with women of colour well represented in the activities.

This is also shown in our collaborations with the David Livingston Museum. The David Livingstone Birthplace is the only independent museum in Scotland that is dedicated to preserving the legacy of David Livingstone and examining his work within the complex and painful realities of slavery, colonialism and Nineteenth Century European attitudes towards African people and community groups. Our Scotland Programme Coordinator was glad to join staff and volunteers at the museum for a hybrid editathon focussing on the women connected to David Livingstone, and continuing work on articles that we’d worked on at our last event. The in-person event was based in the new museum, and our worklist was drawn up by museum staff, using their subject knowledge, as well as resources from the museum and elsewhere. The editathon saw 1.44k words added to Wikipedia, and 14 references added.

As part of the National Lottery funded Digital Skills for Heritage initiative, we run webinars to showcase what Wiki-based platforms and the digital skills gained through contributing to them for the GLAM heritage sector. To round up the second series of these webinars, the Connected Heritage team hosted a potluck for International Women’s Day.  Participants learnt Wikipedia basics and made their first edits. In addition, the event allowed them to see how a Wikithon is run, and how it could work for their organisation and how you can best support the growth of open knowledge. Ideally, participants brought an idea of a topic or theme they wanted to work on. As the date is close to International Women’s Day, we encouraged them to bring projects relating to women.

We did a workshop with Protests and Suffragettes and Women’s History Scotland to celebrate International Women’s Day and the theme of #BreakTheBias, adding and improving entries for Scottish Suffragettes on Wikipedia. ​​We’ve collaborated with Protests and Suffragettes for quite some time. They’re a creative project led by a team of artists, activists, and local historians working to recover and re-voice the histories of women activists in Glasgow, and across Scotland. They create ‘artWalks, and public art and creative interventions in the public realm, while conducting archival research and recording oral histories. They work with Wikipedia as knowledge activists. Women’s History Scotland is a new partner for us, they’ve been working with P&S and this is the first in a series of events we’ll be doing with them. The event saw 4.36K Words Added to 16 Wikipedia articles, and 92 References Added.

Connected Heritage

Digital Skills For Heritage banner. CC BY-SA 4.0.

The aim of the Connected Heritage project is to help cultural and heritage organisations share their knowledge through the Wikimedia projects, with a particular focus on underrepresented knowledge. The team have been busy delivering a series of webinars, workshops, and training events. Since the start of the year the project team have been setting up partnerships with really exciting external partners. From our workshops, 52 people have worked together to improve 54 articles which have already been read more than a quarter of a million times.

More than 100 organisations have been represented at our events and our potluck wikithon or International Women’s Day was fully booked well in advance. There is a lot of enthusiasm for Wikipedia and the potential for reaching new audiences. There isn’t space here to mention all the organisations we’ve worked with so far, but one highlight has been the work of interns from the Mixed Museum. They edited articles on South Asian people in Ireland and Black people in Ireland, adding important background information. Incredibly, they extended Wikipedia’s coverage of South Asian people in Ireland back by three centuries. That was quite a gap to fill and shows how important cultural and heritage organisations are for improving Wikipedia.

International Museum Day 2022

The International Museum Day 2022 Wikidata Competition is part of the Wikimedia events around the International Museum Day on 18th May. Its goal is to improve Wikidata content about museums, including related objects, people and events, in all participating countries and regions.

International Museum Day is an event organised by the International Council of Museums since 1977 to raise awareness that “museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” About 20 Wikimedia Chapters worldwide joined their forces to transfer this awareness into free accessible content of Wikipedia and its sister projects. In a joint campaign from 4th-18th May, the national Wikimedia associations and groups invite the community of Wikipedia contributors to edit, update, translate Wikipedia articles in the context or upload pictures. A Wikidata competition completes the offer around the IMD 2022 (see the project page in English).

A landmark for the Khalili Collections

Landau carriage in the Khalili Collection of Enamels of the World. CC BY-SA 4.0.

Since February 2020, the Khalili Collections have hosted a Wikimedian in Residence to share their context with the Wikimedia projects. Martin Poulter has been sharing images, writing articles, and helping Wikimedia and the Khalili Collections learn about Wikipedia’s gaps in the arts. The residency recently passed a remarkable milestone: images from the Collection have been viewed more than 50 million times through Wikipedia and its sister projects. The residency has also connected with the University of Edinburgh, with students adding images from the Collections to Wikipedia.

Film

Robin Owain, our Manager in Wales has been working with the Welsh community on collating data on films from Wikidata, Rotten Tomatoes etc, preparing a semi automated batch of articles on international films from around 50 languages. The articles will again contain automated templates, bringing live ‘feed’ of information into the articles, with text being generated on-the-fly, especially that which changes over time (list of awards etc), thus keeping the information up to date and correct. 

Extending the NIHR residency

In our winter newsletter we were very excited to announce that we have been working with the National Institute for Health and Care Research to set up a Wikimedian in Residence project. Adam Harangozó started his residency in early December, and has been working with the organisation to identify where their research can have the most impact on Wikipedia. Initially a six-month project, it has been extended for another three months.

You can follow the work of the project on Wikipedia, and Adam recently had an interview with The Scotsman.

Wikipedia goes to university

Much of students’ focus is on writing text, but illustrations, such as this one shared by one of the Sussex students enhance Wikipedia’s content.

New terms and semesters began at universities across the country earlier this year, with students picking up new modules. Wikimedia UK supports lecturers who want to use Wikipedia in the classroom. There are often conversations with lecturers to help them explore the possibilities, and excitingly this has led to the University of Sussex involving Wikipedia editing in two modules this year. Both run by Nimi Hoffmann, the first for forty first-year undergraduates module ran late last year, and the second module for about a hundred second year undergraduates started this spring. As part of their assessment, the students are writing about education and development. At the University of Derby, we were delighted that Suzanne Nelson decided to again get students editing as part of her MA Journalism course. The module simulates a work placement, and the students are busy writing and due to share their work in May.

The Wikimedian in Residence project at the University of Edinburgh is continuing strongly, and Ewan McAndrew has been supporting students from a variety of backgrounds including Translation Studies MSc, Digital Education MSc, and History of Art.

Join us

We’re very grateful to and proud of the network we’ve built around our chapter. You can support the governance of the charity by becoming a member, donate to us online, or volunteer on some of the projects above.

We’re also on social media if you prefer to chat there, we always appreciate new followers and sharers of our news; TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn. You can also follow our blog, which has more details on some of the activities mentioned in the newsletter.

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