Wikimedia blog

News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Site fixes this week

We’re still in the middle of cleaning up some lingering issues from the 1.17 deployment, and despite our best efforts, you may see a little bit of quirkiness in the site:
  • One problem with the site since the deployment was a problem with our job queue, which meant that emails that were supposed to be sent from the site weren’t.  This backlog was removed last night, and a lot of pent-up email was sent.
  • There were some HTML cache invalidations that caused parts of the site to get overloaded for a few minutes.
  • Yesterday, we started the deployment of the category sorting improvements.  We deployed some modifications to the database today.  This resulted in a few hiccups on the site that we’ve since mostly recovered from.
Category collation

One key set of improvements in the MediaWiki 1.17 release is the category sorting work spearheaded by Aryeh Gregor. This code will eventually improve the sorting of categories in different languages, allowing us to choose the most appropriate sort order for the language. For now, we’re at least switching over to a more sensible sorting algorithm (Unicode Collation Algorithm (UCA)), and have made other improvements to sorting.

This set of changes required a modification of the database that we didn’t believe was risky, but was irreversible. Given how complicated the initial 1.17 deployment was, we decided to hold back on deploying this work.

There are still some maintenance scripts left to run before this work is fully-deployed, but most parts of this are done.

Other fixes
We’re also aware of and working on other problems with the job queue. We’re investigating these problems and hope to have these fixed soon.

6 Responses to “Site fixes this week”

  1. Stephen Kosciesza says:

    I’m not clear what all this means; does it have anything to do with a big change in alphabetization on Category pages? They no longer separate capital an lower case Sortkeys under two alphabets.

  2. bawolff says:

    >For now, we’re at least switching over to a more sensible sorting >algorithm (Unicode Collation Algorithm (UCA)

    Umm, aren’t we currently doing just uppercase pending installing relevant extensions to php needed for uca-default.

  3. Bulwersator says:

    On plwiki there are multiple reports from unregistered users about CSS styles failing to load.

  4. Rehman says:

    You’re welcome. And thanks for the quick reply. :)

  5. Thanks for the pointer Rehman. The problems on commons do appear to be a temporary result of new category sorting deployment. There’s a long running script that is still in the process of running on the largest wikis (including commons). After the script is complete (hopefully later today), much of the weirdness should clear up. We’ll be tracking the problems in bug 27956:

  6. Rehman says:

    Just to let you know that Commons is still having some problems:

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