Wikimedia Foundation highlights
Lua speeds up pages and empowers Wikimedia’s technical contributors
On March 13, Lua was enabled for templates on all Wikimedia wikis. The existing syntax for wikitext templates is complicated and limited: it does not offer loops, for example. With Lua, editors can now use a real programming language, in which they can also contribute to programming projects outside Wikimedia. For Wikimedia wikis, Lua means a big performance gain in widely used templates, such as citations. For example, 300 citations on an English Wikipedia article now render in 3 seconds instead of 18 seconds.
Mobile uploads launch for apps and the mobile web
On the mobile version of Wikipedia, smartphone users can now easily upload a lead image to Wikipedia articles that lack one. Also in March, the Mobile team released a dedicated app for Wikimedia Commons, allowing media uploads from Android and iOS devices.
First Individual Engagement Grants awarded to innovative community projects
The recipients of the first Individual Engagements Grants were announced on March 29. These grants fund projects by individuals or small teams for a duration of six months. Among the largest of the eight funded grants are “The Wikipedia Library” ($7500), which aims to give editors access to reliable sources, donated by publishers, “The Wikipedia Adventure” ($10,000), an on-wiki game for new editors, and a project to collaboratively define a vision for the future of Wikisource (10,000 Euros).
Wikipedia Zero wins award, reaches new users
Wikipedia Zero, which gives people around the world mobile access to Wikipedia free of data charges, won the 2013 SXSW Interactive “Activism” award, beating four other finalists. Also in March, Wikipedia Zero became available to more than 55 million additional subscribers in Russia, as part of a partnership with Beeline (VimpelCom). This was the biggest launch for the Wikipedia Zero team to date. The same month, a new Wikipedia Zero partnership with Axiata Group was announced, which will expand the program in Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh this year.
Ombudsmen meet, might expand mandate
Data and Trends
Global unique visitors for February: