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Month: June 2009

Year: 2009 Week: 26 Number: 109

Technical news [New “Green” Data Centers] – The Foundation announced a new “in-kind” sponsorship (valued at over €300,000) by “green” (environmentally friendly) Data Center EvoSwitch.  EvoSwitch will be Wikimedia’s new Internet HUB for Europe.  Not only does this provide us with a long-term solution for delivering faster and better traffic in Europe and beyond, it also means that Wikimedia servers are taking advantage of cutting edge green power technology provided by Evoswitch. [Public repositories for dumps] – A new public repository has been created to host WikiXRay database dumps, containing info extracted from public Wikipedia dbdumps.  The image is hosted by RedIRIS (in short, the Spanish equivalent of Kennisnet in Netherlands).  These new dumps are aimed to save time and effort to other researchers, since they won’t need to parse the complete XML dumps to extract all relevant activity metadata.  As of press time, only some of the biggest Wikipedias are available.  However, in the following days the full set of available languages will be ready for downloading. — mailing list post — respository [Chinese search improved] – the search function for the Chinese and Japanese wiki’s are improved due to to a better support of the language structure. Request for help [Spread the word!] – We are very happy with your readership, but the subscriber numbers are not really growing anymore.  Wikizine could...

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Year: 2009 Week: 29 Number: 108

Technical news [Code updates] – In the past, the Wikimedia sites were updated roughly every week with the new code from Wikimedia’s revision (or version) control system (SVN). But recently, this has not been taking place due to the developers being busy elsewhere — the last update was on March 25, months ago! To help with this, Erik announced that the Foundation is planning to hire a full-time “QA engineer to help with code review, bug triaging and deployment”. *Update*: After the writing of this entry, a code update took place to r51904 (r51864 for extensions). But as of publication, SVN’s latest revision was r25015, so help is still needed. — mailing list post — SVN [MW 1.15.0] – MediaWiki 1.15.0 was released, this is the first stable release of the 2009 Q2 branch of MediaWiki. — release notes — mailing list post Request for help [New study] – There is a new research study about effects of a modification to the Wikipedia editing interface. Participants will test an experimental change to one aspect of the Wikipedia interface. All that you have to do is edit Wikipedia as you would normally. After the observation is complete, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and you’ll be able to continue using the interface modification if you like. — mailing list post about the...

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Year: 2009 Week: 23 Number: 107

Technical news [Chrome Support for Ogg] – Google’s Chrome browser is going to support Theora video (the type of audio files that Wikimedia uses) natively with the HTML5 video tag. Earlier announced Mozilla also this support in there upcoming version Firefox 3.5 [Usability] – The Usability Team has been working on a number of new projects that hope to make editing easier.  Among others, there is a new skin (vector) and an action-grouped toolbar.  The toolbar which hides the overwhelming number of tool icons which are not being used by novice users and the new skin has a streamlined tab layout. Lots of clutters will be removed from the interface. — blog post — design descriptions on usability wiki — image of skin [New search] – After some initial hardware issues, the new search backend/servers has been enabled on all wikis.  This new feature has many cool parts, including “did you mean”, wild cards, prefix, etc. — full feature list [Google Wave] – Google has recently announced a new communication and collaboration tool called Google Wave.  There was a long thread on foundation-l about how this “wiki-like” tool could fit in with Wikimedia projects. — mailing list thread — Wikipedia article Request for help [Licensing update] – GFDL wikis must migrate their licenses by August 1 to remain compatible with Wikimedia...

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