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News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

New mobile site launched on Wikipedia, soon for sister wikis too.

Thanks to Patrick Reilly, Asher Feldman, many volunteers developers, and lots of testers, we’ve now launched our new Mobile gateway, powered by the MobileFrontend MediaWiki extension. It is enabled on Wikipedia, and will be rolled out to its sister sites gradually.

The launch went very smoothly, and barring any major issue in the next weeks, we’ll take off the beta icon. We’ve learned a ton about WURFL, Varnish, X-Device-Headers, and more in making this launch happen. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or mail us at mobile@wikimedia.org.

English Wikipedia Main Page

With this change, we’re saying thank you to our Ruby & Hawhaw mobile gateways and retiring them in favor of a simpler php extension. Many thanks to Hampton Caitlin, theDJ, and everyone who has helped run our old gateways over the last couple of years. Combined, the Ruby & Hawhaw gateways have served hundreds of millions of users each month and have been an integral part of our mobile ecosystem.

Moving forward, we’ll be developing MobileFrontend as our primary mobile interface. Our future mobile projects, involving offline, editing, uploads, etc., will all in some way interact with the extension. We’re eager to see more developers working on it, along with getting broader usage of it within the various Wikimedia projects and beyond.

With MobileFrontend, we now have the ability to easily allow not only Wikipedia but our sister projects to have a mobile friendly view. No longer will it just be Wikipedia that has a mobile view.

Here are a couple of examples:

I’m really excited to see how all of the Wikimedia projects embrace mobile as a new way of surfacing amazing freely licensed content.

One area where we could use some help is to create the home pages for these projects. Right now they look like this: http://en.m.wikinews.org. Creating these pages is easy and you can find information about how to get started on meta. Once we have a couple more home pages created, we can start to make the mobile view be the default for these projects.

You can learn more about our mobile projects and future work by visiting our Mobile Projects page. If you are a developer and would like to get involved, check out the page detailing our work. And if you just want to say hello or give us some super quick feedback, join us on IRC on freenode in #wikimedia-mobile.

Come help make Wikimedia projects on Mobile better for everyone.

 

Tomasz Finc
Director of Mobile and Special Projects

29 Responses to “New mobile site launched on Wikipedia, soon for sister wikis too.”

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  1. It won’t let me zoom in on most pages. And before the beta it would.

  2. bridgman says:

    Lack of zoom function (using curve 9300) liteally makes this app the antithesis of a mobile site: You can’t read it on a mobile phone!

  3. Aaron says:

    Show button doesn’t work on Android either (does nothing).

  4. Jeremy says:

    Mobile site doesn’t work with firefox or built in browser on my droid x. Clicking “show” buttons does nothing.

  5. freneticpony says:

    The “show” buttons do nothing on the iPhone. They have been working up until now.

  6. Krinkenstein says:

    The “Show” buttons on the mobile pages don’t work, making it impossible to actually read articles. How do I fix this?

  7. meddoc says:

    When be released mobile editing Wikipedia?

  8. Trillian says:

    Had to disable the mobile site. It’s become completely useless due to the show buttons no longer working under iOS.

  9. iPod touch user says:

    Show buttons do not work on iPod touch.

  10. Frustrated Blackberry User says:

    Ditto. Clicking the “Show” button takes you to a random article, completely unrelated to the article you are looking at. Very frustrating as I also use Wikipedia frequently. This seems to be an issue with any Blackberry that attempts to use the mobile site. :(

  11. Jon Bach says:

    I have the same problem mentioned by Dusty Rhodes (sept 16); when I click on a “show” button, I am redirected to a totally random and unrelated article. I also have a blackberry.

  12. Dusty Rhodes says:

    The mobile site doesn’t seem to work on my Blackberry. Clicking the “Show” buttons in the body of the article doesn’t open what it says it will. Instead it takes you to a totally random article. I live on Wikipedia, so this is incredibly frustrating. I have many friends with Blackberries, and they all have the same problem. I read a forum post earlier that was answered by someone from Wikipedia, and he said the problem was in the person’s phone. That doesn’t seem likely, considering the same problem is identical on multiple phones.

  13. Jerrold Maddox says:

    Yes, not being able to zoom is a problem. Why not user-scalable=yes ?

  14. Terence Eden says:

    I’ll raise this as a bug, but I think it bears mentioning here.
    Currently, the viewport is set to “width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=1.0, user-scalable=0″
    This means users can’t zoom in on the text – which makes it very hard to use for those with poor eye-sight (or small screens).

    Is there any technical reason for this?

    Great work, btw, very impressed with the speed.

  15. Hampton Catlin says:

    Awesome news! So exciting. I’m so happy that when people email me asking if they can run their own mobile version of a wiki, I can now proudly say HELLZ YES!

    Amazing work by Patrick and team.

    My poor overworked servers can now expect a long retirement elsewhere in the WMF clusters.

    -hampton.

  16. This is timely, given the growing attention paid to the QRpedia project , which uses QR codes to deliver mobile-Wikipedia pages in the user’s preferred language.

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