Hi All, welcome to the monthly MediaWiki Insights email!

We’re starting this email again by celebrating volunteer contributors who
got their first patch merged in MW core, WMF deployed extensions or
services over the past month:

Many thanks and congrats to Nemoralis, RockingPenny4, Theprotonade, S8321414,
Philip and Aram!

Enable more people to know MediaWiki and contribute effectively

We’ve officially hit the baseline
we’ve set to measure the growth in number of people who have submitted
patches to MediaWiki core: During the period July 2022 - June 2023 (= last
WMF fiscal year), 70 people have submitted more than 5 patches to MW core.
This year, we reached this number already in March and are currently
observing a 14.5% increase in the number of contributors who have submitted
more than 5 patches between July 2023 and March 2024 compared to July 2022
- March 2023.

To achieve the goal of a 20% increase, we will continue with consultancy
and code review for teams and volunteers as part of our regular work. We
are also planning a dedicated MediaWiki focus area for the upcoming Wikimedia
Hackathon <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Hackathon_2024> to help
people contribute to MediaWiki. If you are attending the Hackathon and are
interested in joining the fun to help others onboard in MediaWiki, want to
get started with MediaWiki development or already have a project you’d like
to get help on, please monitor the Hackathon channels and workboard over
the coming weeks for more communication around this!

Project Snapshots: Sustainability and evolution of the platform requires
the efforts of many: Deprecated wfGetDB(), migration to Prometheus and
supporting page content in core REST API

The theme of many initiatives that ensure sustainability and evolution of
the MediaWiki platform is that it requires the collaborative effort of
many. In some cases this may be work done primarily by specific teams, in
other cases this is a collective effort of staff across teams and

One great example for the collective effort of volunteers and staff is
that wfGetDB()
- the old global function to get database connections - is now
hard-deprecated <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T273239>, thanks to many
people who did the migration across many extensions!

With wfGetDB() out of the picture, we no longer rely on global state when
accessing database connections. This means that code that wants to access
another wiki’s database may not end up accidentally mixing information from
two wikis. Besides, the new IConnectionProvider interface -
getReplicaDatabase() is hopefully more readable than wfGetDB(DB_REPLICA). This
is part of our wider work to modernize MediaWiki's platform so that we can
inject services for scale and testing.

Supporting page content in core REST API for fetching HTML

We already talked about RESTBase deprecation and Parser Unification
milestones in the last edition
of the MediaWiki Insights email. Oftentimes, work on one initiative
benefits other initiatives and vice versa. This is very true for the
following achievement, which is closely related to Parser Unification and
RESTBase deprecation:

The MediaWiki REST endpoints for fetching page HTML
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/API:REST_API/Reference#Get_HTML> now
support all kinds of content. This provides an easy way for bots and
scripts to get the content of any wiki page just like it would be shown to
users when they view an article in the browser (*).

This may seem like a simple and obvious thing, but we did not have the
capability until recently: From introduction of these endpoints in 2020 up
until the completion of the work on T359426
<https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T359426>, they were limited to wikitext
pages and would fail on pages containing JavaScript or Lua or Wikidata

A lot of changes were necessary “under the hood” to get to a point where
the REST API could provide rendered HTML for all kinds of content, while
using the Parsoid rendering of wiki pages. Much of the necessary work
overlaps with the efforts of sunsetting RESTbase
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/RESTBase/deprecation> and implementing
support for Parsoid page views <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T55784>.
Some key aspects were:

   - Integrating Parsoid with ContentHandler (T311648
   - Populating the cache with Parsoid output when pages are edited (T320534
   - Removing the caching layer for Parsoid output in RESTbase (T344945
   - Implementing variant conversion for the API endpoint (T317019

Having support for all kinds of page content in the REST API while using
Parsoid for wikitext pages is a major milestone towards supporting Parsoid
page views. It demonstrates that Parsoid has been fully integrated with the
content rendering and caching infrastructure in MediaWiki. This is the
culmination of the efforts of several teams over multiple years. Many
thanks to everyone involved!

Note that, while the REST endpoints now support all kinds of content, they
are not quite yet ready for prime time: they still lack proper integration
with the edge caches <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Varnish_caching>
that will ensure good performance when a lot of clients start using these
APIs. To address this issue and to improve version management for API
endpoints, we are considering changing the canonical URLs of the endpoints.

(*) We still use the old parser of page views though. See the last
MediaWiki Insights email
for where we’re at on the roadmap.

MediaWiki metrics to Prometheus migration: Status and call to action

The Observability team is currently working on migrating MediaWiki metrics
to Prometheus <https://prometheus.io/docs/introduction/overview/>,
utilizing StatsLib <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Stats>, an
internally developed, Prometheus-capable metrics interface. We have been
using Prometheus in Wikimedia production for several years as it offers
several benefits over Graphite
<https://prometheus.io/docs/introduction/comparison/>. Migrating ensures we
stay ahead with a supported, scalable metrics platform for a more
effective, multidimensional metrics analysis and storage engine.

We are closing in on about 8% of total metrics emitted to graphite migrated
over to Prometheus
and are now ready to invite more people in to help contribute to this
effort! Your expertise can help drive the success of this migration and support
in migrating your component’s metrics to StatsLib (T350592)

   - Look up your component, extension, or module and follow the
   examples/docs in the task to migrate your metrics to the new metrics
   - Help deprecate and clean up/remove outdated metrics not in use (or
   graphed in dashboards).
   - Collaboration in testing and feedback for a seamless transition.

A more detailed announcement and call to action will follow.

Many thanks to the Observability team for their leadership on this
initiative, Derrick, Timo and Larissa from the MediaWiki Platform team for
their consultancy and help in converting MediaWiki metrics so far; Kavitha,
Giuseppe, Janis, and Clement from Service Ops for infrastructure support;
and the Search Platform team for their recent involvement!

Annual Plan 2024/25: Key Result drafts published

The Wikimedia Foundation has recently published the draft “key results”
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectives_and_key_results> by the Product &
Technology department for the upcoming annual plan. While this is not yet
at the project/initiatives level (“hypotheses”), the draft KRs give
insights in focus areas for the next year. The most relevant objectives for
MediaWiki platform work and services for developers are WE5 (“Knowledge
Platform I”) and WE6 (“Knowledge Platform II”). Input and questions on
these drafts
are welcome!

Upcoming: MW 1.42 release

MW 1.42 <https://mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.42> release is coming! The
tentative target was set as May 2024
<https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T359833> and in the next few weeks, it
will be the time to polish and prepare for the release. Stay tuned for
updates and use Phabricator
<https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/view/6601/> to engage with us
and raise potential blockers if you haven’t done yet.

Thanks all for reading,


Birgit Müller (she/her)
Director of Product, MediaWiki and Developer Experiences

Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
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