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News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Google Summer of Code students reach project milestones

Congratulations to the seven Google Summer of Code students who made it through the summer of 2011! They all accomplished a great deal, but want to continue contributing to ensure their work maximally benefits Wikimedia.

Google Summer of Code logo 2011

MediaWiki participated in Google Summer of Code 2011.

Yuvi Panda‘s assessment parsing/aggregating extension aims “to make it easier to select and export article selections for various offline collections.” Yuvi needs some code review and suggestions on how to improve it to meet the Foundation’s quality standards for deployability, as he wrote the developers’ mailing list.

Salvatore Ingala worked on making gadgets customizable. As he elaborated, that means:

  • “allowing gadgets to easily declare the list of configuration
    variables they have;
  • allowing users to easily change those settings, with an easy-to-use
    UI integrated to the Special:Preferences page.”

The next step is merging his code into trunk, which Salvatore’s planning with other MediaWiki developers.

Kevin Brown created the ArchiveLinks project to address the problem of linkrot on Wikipedia:

In articles we often cite or link to external URLs, but anything could happen to content on other sites — if they move, change, or simply vanish, the value of the citation is lost. ArchiveLinks rewrites external links in Wikipedia articles, so there is a ‘[cached]‘ link immediately afterwards which points to the web archiving service of your choice. This can even preserve the exact time that the link was added, so for sites which archive multiple versions of content (such as the Internet Archive) it will even link to a copy of the page that was made around the time the article was written.

Kevin’s next step: getting a security review of his code, getting a starter feed set up so that the Internet Archive can start archiving it, and campaigning to interest Wikimedians and thus eventually get consensus to turn it on. At least one Wikimedian has already praised Kevin for his work.

Akshay Agarwal wrote a MediaWiki extension, SignupAPI, that makes it easier for a new user to create an account. “This extension creates a special page that cleans up SpecialUserLogin from signup related stuff, adds an API for signup, adds sourcetracking for account creation & provides Ajax-ified validation for signup form.” Akshay’s waiting for code review and discussion before the project can move forward further and benefit Wikimedia users.

MediaWiki logo

Seven students contributed to various parts of MediaWiki, the wiki software that supports WMF sites.

Yuvi, Salvatore, Kevin, and Akshay all worked on features that they aim to get into Wikimedia Foundation-run wikis, such as Wikipedia, Wikisource, Wikinews, etc., sooner rather than later. In contrast, three students worked on extensions that will primarily benefit the larger MediaWiki community. For example, Yevhenii Vlasenko‘s project was a “UserStatus” feature for SocialProfile. The SocialProfile extension is not currently deployed on any WMF wikis, but will benefit several other MediaWiki administrators and users. Zhenya finished his work but would like to continue by integrating better with social networks.

And two students worked on Semantic MediaWiki, which is also not currently deployed on any Wikimedia Foundation sites. Devayon Das made a “QueryCreator” and other improvements, and hopes to simplify its layout, make its interface easier to use, and add some features. And Ankit Garg worked on “Semantic Schemas”.

Congratulations to the students and their mentors.  Here’s hoping they’re all here to help out when next year’s interns roll in! :-)  And I’m looking forward to meeting Kevin and Salvatore, and introducing them to other Wikimedia & MediaWiki developers, at the New Orleans developers’ meetup next month.

Sumana Harihareswara
Volunteer Development Coordinator
Wikimedia Foundation

3 Responses to “Google Summer of Code students reach project milestones”

  1. bawolff says:

    In other related GSOC news, 1.18 that’s in the middle of being deployed contains GSOC projects from 2010 (or more specifically my GSOC project ;) which is kind of exciting (or it is to me anyways).

    Its great to hear that the 2011 gsoc-ers want to continue contributing :)

    Cheers.