“Green Stuff”

“Green Stuff”

TIL that Gregory Kohs was actually allowed to post on wikimedia-l at some point in the past.

Global merge of accounts at Wikimedia

is now slowly happening, and I am the test subject!

Wikipedia Apps reboot taking shape nicely


Prettier, faster and more feature packed! Native Wikipedia app for Android coming real soon!

PHP being insane, part 5832

Somehow: ( $a && $b ) || ( $b && $c ) || ( $a && $c )

Became: $a ? ( $b || $c ) : ( $b && $c )

Became: count( array_filter( array( $a, $b, $c ) ) ) >= 2

Became: "$a$b$c" > 1

God dammit PHP…

(from discussion among me, ^d, ori-l, bd808 and anomie on #mediawiki-core about how to represent ‘if at least 2 of three conditions are true’)

Lots of discussion over tiny things that do not matter in the long run, part 5321

On gerrit this time


Devlog for Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I’ve given up on trying to make DevLogs really comprehensive and complete, and just try to make them – even if they are incomplete. Perhaps this will help me actually write more devlogs, and thus make it more comprehensive…

I started on the Functional Programming in Scala course today. I wanted to do it the last time, but did not find the time. This time will be different – I’m in a different spot mentally, and a big drain on my emotional / time resources (“college”) is no longer a factor. I’ve already gone through the first week’s lectures (most seem straight ports from SICP), and am 2/3 of my way through the assignments for the first week. Though I’m normally not fond of the typical types of exercises (“How many ways can you make change for this scenario?”), doing them functionally seems to be enough of a twist to keep me interested. The regular languages I seem to work with these days (Java, PHP, Puppet, Python and a bit of JS) aren’t exactly well tuned to the functional style of programming (except JS, but I don’t really do that much JS these days) – so going through this course and hopefully building something in Scala can exercise my ‘OMG HOLY SHIT THIS NEW THING IS AWESOME!!1′ muscles.

The course recommends using Scala IDE. Which is Eclipse based. Despite my deep distaste for Eclipse, I’ve given it a shot and it seems fairly stable and much less shitty than the Eclipse I’m used to! Let’s see how that goes.

The way I learn the best seems to be to find a project I want to build, and then build it in a new language. I’m looking around for fun projects that I could build with Scala, and I’m pretty sure I’ll find one at some point. I should also try to diversify the communities I contribute to, so perhaps I should look for a non-Wikimedia project where I can contribute to in Scala. Should be fun :D

Other than that – I’ve been investigating performance problems with the Campaigns API – turns out Mediawiki’s Parser is really, really slow. Who would’ve thought, eh? ;). The ‘solution’, of course – is to just add more caching. Which is a sortof biggish, hairy-ish problem because of the number of changes that can cause cache invalidation. The way Mediawiki handles caching is… rather complex – but that is more due to how much functionality exists rather than anything else. Needs a proper ‘clean’ solution that is not just “Let’s cache everything for 5 minutes!!!1″. Should be fun to write up and fix!

I’ve also been spending time integrating Mediawiki-Vagrant with Wikimedia Labs. This will make it easy for anyone to setup a base mediawiki installation on Labs, and save time dicking around various mundane deployment-of-test-instance issues (did I turn on caching? How do I get this extension on? etc). This is interesting because it merges two different puppet repos – operations/puppet.git and mediawiki/vagrant.git on one machine and provides different ways of managing them. Since this is also using puppet as a sort of ‘deployment’ tool (rather than just a configuration-of-systems tool), that is an interesting / fun aspect too. Should be able to get the patch merged in a few weeks.

I visited San Francisco for the last 2 weeks. I don’t really feel insecure anymore :)

Devlog for Monday, Aug 26, 2013

Nothing new started. The UploadCampaigns API patch I talked about yesterday was fixed and merged. I also helped merge some of MarkTraceur's JS cleanup patches to UploadWizard. And Brion's big detail view patch for Android Commons app. Also another cleanup/api feature patch to UploadWizard.

DevLog for Sun, Aug 25, 2013

DevLogs have been something I've not been writing much of of late. Time to fix that!

WLM Android App

Spent some time reviving the WLM Android App. Wasn't too hard, and am surprised at how well it still runs :) Some work still needed to update the templates and other metadata to refer to WLM2013 rather than WLM2012 – but that should not be too hard. The fact that it is an issue at all is simply because I ripped out all the Campaign related APIs a few weeks ago with my UploadCampaign rewrite.

multichill was awesome in moving the Monuments API to Tool Labs – hence making it much faster! Initially we thought that the Toollabs DB was too slow for writes – but this turned out to be a mistake, since apparently the Replica Databases had slow writes, but tools-db itself was fine. There's a bug tracking this now. Toollabs version of the API still seems much faster to me than Toolserver's :)

UploadCampaigns API

Mediawiki sucks. Eeeew! Specifically, writing API modules – why can't we just be happy and have everything be JSON? Sigh!

I'm adding a patch that allows UploadCampaigns to be queried selectively, rather than just via the normal page APIs. Right now, this only lets us filter by enabled status – but in the future, this should be able to also filter on a vast array of other properties. Properties about Geographic location come to mind as the most useful. That patch still has a good way to go before it can be merged (continue support being the foremost one), but it is getting there :)

The ickiest part of the patch is perhaps that it sends out raw JSON data as a… string. So no matter which format you are using on your client, you need to use a JSON parser to deal with the Campaigns data. This sortof makes sense, since that is how the data is stored anyway. Doesn't make it any less icky, though!

Not bad for a lazy Sunday, eh?

Update: After not being able to sleep, I also submitted a patch to make phpcs pass for UploadWizard, and also fought with the UploadCampaigns API patch to have it (brokenly?) support continuing. Yay?

Nitpicking about the Order of Cards

Someone pointed out this happening on Gerrit…

First major feature to Commons deployed

My UploadWizard work has just been deployed to Wikimedia Commons and my name is listed in the on site credits. Special thanks to Mark Traceur for code review!

This feels very, very nice :) Now to sneak more code into other extensions…

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