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 email@example.com.
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:
- On Wikinews:
- Out of space in outer space: Special report on NASA’s ‘space junk’ plans
- Drought conditions and high winds lead to wildfires in Texas
- On Wikibooks:
- On Wikiquote:
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.
Director of Mobile and Special Projects