Google Summer of Code and Outreachy are two software development internship programs that Wikimedia participates in every year. For the last nine years, college students have applied to be a part of the coding summer, one of many outreach programs operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. After being accepted, they work on their project from May to August and are invited to a Mentor Summit in Google in November.
For the first time, all Wikimedia projects that passed the evaluation were immediately deployed in production or Wikimedia Labs. Take a look!
Reinventing Translation Search
TranslateWiki is a popular translation platform used by many projects across Wikimedia and several times as many outside it. Developed single-handedly once by Niklas Laxström, the platform has expanded significantly since its launch in 2006. This project aims to add a Search feature to the Translate extension. Without a search feature, it is difficult for translators to find specific messages they want to translate. Traversing all the translations or strings of the project is inefficient. Also, translators often want to check how a specific term was translated in a certain language across the project. This is solved by the special page Special:SearchTranslations. By default, translators can find the messages containing certain terms in any language and filter by various criteria. After searching, they can switch the results to the translations of said messages, for instance to find the existing, missing or outdated translations of a certain term. You can check it out here. Dibya Singh was the project intern.
Crosswatch is a cross-wiki watchlist for all Wikimedia wikis. The goal of the project is to help editors who are active in several wikis to monitor changes and generally to provide a better watchlist for all editors. Among other things, crosswatch includes cross-wiki notifications, dynamic filtering and the ability to show diffs for edits. As an external tool which uses OAuth to retrieve the watchlists on behalf of the user, it doesn’t have the same constraints as MediaWiki and can experiment with the design and functionality of a watchlist without breaking existing workflows or code. It’s design is much more similar to the mobile watchlist than classical MediaWiki watchlist layout, there is however an option to use the traditional layout. Crosswatch can show a unified watchlist for all wikis or a watchlist subdivided into wikis. One of the predominant features is the native support to show a diff for an edit. The project was completed by Jan Lebert.
Wikivoyage PageBanner extension
Wikivoyage is a wiki about travel and holds rich details related to visiting places. This wiki has a special preference for showing page wide banners at the top of each of their articles to enhance their aesthetic appeal. An example of such a banner can be seen here. These banners are traditionally shown using a template on the wiki. The banners shown through templates however had a few shortcomings such as not delivering an optimum size banner for each device, not rendering properly on mobile devices, too small banners on small mobile screens, not being able to show more than one level, or table of contents inside the banners. The project is all about addressing these issues and adding capabilities through a Mediawiki extension to take the banner experience to the next level. You can test it out here. Summit Asthana was the project intern.
Language Proofing Extension for VisualEditor
LanguageTool is an extension for VisualEditor that enables language proofing support in about twenty languages. This includes spelling and grammar checking. Before this tool, VisualEditor relied on the browser’s native spelling and grammar checking tools. LanguageTool itself is an open source spelling and grammar proofing software created and maintained by Daniel Naber. This extension is an integration of the tool into VisualEditor. You can test this feature here and learn more about it here. Ankita Kumari completed the project.
Newsletter Extension for MediaWiki
Many Wikimedia projects and developers use newsletters to broadcast recent developments or relevant news to other Wikimedians. But having to find a newsletter main page and then subscribing to it by adding your username to a wiki page doesn’t really sound appealing.
The main motivation of this project is to offer a catalog with all the newsletters available in a wiki farm, and the possibility to subscribe/unsubscribe and receive notifications without having to visit or be an active editor of any wiki. You can see this project in action here and learn more about it here. Tina Johnson was the intern for this project.
Flow support in Pywikibot
This was a project to add support for Flow, MediaWiki’s new discussion framework, to Pywikibot, a Python framework widely used for bots operating on Wikimedia wikis. To accomplish this task, a module was implemented in Pywikibot with classes mapping to Flow data constructs, like topics and posts. Code supporting Flow-related API calls was also added, and tests were included for loading and saving operations. As it stands, Pywikibot-driven bots can now load Flow content, create new topics, reply to topics and posts, and lock and unlock topics. Learn more about this task here. This project was completed by Alexander Jones.
OAuth Support in Pywikibot
MediaWiki supports OAuth v1.0a as a method of authentication via OAuth extension. This project adds OAuth v1.0a support for Pywikibot. Pywikibot may be used as an OAuth application for MediaWiki sites with OAuth extension installed and configured properly. Developers may use Pywikibot to authenticate accounts and replace password with OAuth authentication as an alternative login method. This project also includes switching of HTTP library from httplib2 to requests and unit tests related to OAuth authentication and its integration with Pywikibot. All integration builds of Pywikibot now test OAuth on Travis CI (Ubuntu) and Appveyor (Win32). This enables ‘logged in’ tests to be performed on some wiki sites, including beta wiki, which is deployed on Beta Cluster and is an environment where password’s are not considered secure. Learn more about this project here. The project was completed by Jiarong Wei.
Extension to identify and remove spam
SmiteSpam is a MediaWiki extension that helps wiki administrators identify and delete spam pages. Because wikis are openly editable, they make great targets for spammers. From product advertisements to absolute garbage, any kind of spam turns up on wikis. While accurate detection of a spam wiki page is an open problem in the field of computer science, this extension tries to detect possible spam using some simple checks: How frequently are external links occurring in the text? Are any of the external links repeating? How much wikitext is present on the page? The extension does a reasonably good job of finding particularly bad pages in a wiki and presents them to the administrators. They can see a list of pages, their creators, how confident SmiteSpam is of them being spam, the creation time of the page and options to delete the page and/or block the creator. They can also mark users as “trusted”. Pages created by trusted users are ignored by SmiteSpam and will hence reduce the number of false positives in the results. Vivek Ghaisas completed the project.
VisualEditor Graph module
ve-graph is a module within the Graph extension that aims to bring graph editing tools to VisualEditor in order to bridge the gap between editors and Vega, the visualization engine powering graphs in MediaWiki pages. Before, the only way for users to create and maintain graphs was to directly alter their specification in raw wikitext, which was not only hard to grasp for beginners but also very prone to errors. Those errors would simply render the graph unusable without offering any kind of feedback to the user as to what went wrong. With ve-graph, it is now possible to display graphs within VisualEditor and open up an interface to edit graph types, data and padding. The UI also offers a way to edit the raw JSON specification within VisualEditor without having to switch to the classic wikitext editor, in case more advanced users want to tweak settings not supported by the UI. This first step serves as a stepping stone for many possibilities with graph editing within VisualEditor, and there are a lot of ways in which ve-graph can be improved and expanded. This project is in live in action and you can see a demo here. Frédéric Bolduc completed the project.
Niharika Kohli, Wikimedia Foundation