Hi everybody,

You may have seen the recent communication [1
about the product and tech tune-up which went live the week of June 5th,
2017. In that communication, we promised an update on the future of
Discovery projects and we will talk about those in this email.

The Discovery team structure has now changed, but the new teams will still
work together to complete the goals as listed in the draft annual plan.[2]
A summary of their anticipated work, as we finalize these changes, is
below. We plan on doing a check-in at the end of the calendar year to see
how our goals are progressing with the new smaller and separated team

Here is a list of the various projects under the Discovery umbrella, along
with the goals that they will be working on:

Search Backend

Improve search capabilities:


   Implement ‘learning to rank’ [3] and other advanced machine learning

   Improve support for languages using new analyzers

   Maintain and expand power user search functionality

Search Frontend

Improve user interface of the search results page with new functionality:


   Implement explore similar [4]

   Update the completion suggester box [5]

   Investigate the usage of a Wiktionary widget for English Wikipedia [6]

Wikidata Query Service

Expand and scale:


   Improve ability to support power features on-wiki for readers

   Improve full text search functionality

   Implement SPARQL federation support


Create and implement automated language statistics and translation updates
for Wikipedia.org


Provide in-depth analytics support:


   Perform experimental design, data collection, and data analysis

   Perform ad-hoc analyses of Discovery-domain data

   Maintain and augment the Discovery Dashboards,[7] which allow the teams
   to track their KPIs and other metrics


Map support:


   Implement new map style

   Increase frequency of OSM data replication

   As needed, assist with individual language Wikipedia’s implementation of
   mapframe [8] <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Maps/how_to:_embedded_maps>

Note: There is a possibility that we can do more with maps in the coming
year; we are currently evaluating strategic, partnership, and resourcing

Structured Data on Commons

Extend structured data search on Commons, as part of the structured data
grant [9] via:


   Research and implement advanced search capabilities

   Implement new elements, filters, relationships

Graphs and Tabular Data on Commons

We will be re-evaluating this functionality against other Commons
initiatives such as the structured data grant. As with maps, we will
provide updates when we know more.

We are still working out all the details with the new team structure and
there might be some turbulence; let us know if there are any concerns and
we will do our best to answer them.

Best regards,

Deborah Tankersley, Product Manager, Discovery

Erika Bjune, Engineering Manager, Search Platform

Jon Katz, Reading Product Lead

Toby Negrin, Interim Vice President of Product

Victoria Coleman, Chief Technology Officer

[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/June_2017_changes


[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_to_rank




[7] https://discovery.wmflabs.org/

[8] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Maps/how_to:_embedded_maps

[9] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Structured_data
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