WBStack 2020 Update 2 (May)

May 17, 2020 1 By addshore
This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series WBStack

WBStack is now in its 7th month with 76 user accounts who have created 226 MediaWiki sites running Wikibase, of which 145 are currently online (81 deleted sites). 295,000 edits have now been made in total, which is an increase of 95,000 in the last month, which roughly equates to 2 edits a minute for the month.

The most active site is currently UniTest which is “a Wikibase sandbox with information about the research ecosystem”. Second and third come School of Design and Hercules Demo.

Screenshot of the WESO UniTest Main Page, 17 May 2020


I have been keenly listening to the discussions going on in the Telegram group and some of the top requests are now available for you to try out. These include:

  • Default skin customization
  • Optional restrictions for who can register an account (using the ConfirmAccount extension)
  • Wikibase string value maximum length increases

All of which are available on the configuration page for a site.

Screenshot of the wbstack site management page, 17 May 2020

Cradle & Magnus Tools

You can now use Cradle, a tool by Magnus Manske, on your WBStack site. You should find a link in the toolbox on all sites. Cradle is a tool that allows Wikibase users to create new Items using a UI form that can be defined on a wiki page by users, or by using a ShEx.

Cradle also brings the deployment of the WiDaR tool as a dependency, which will likely make bringing more Magnus tools to WBStack easier in the future if there is more demand.

A screenshot showing an example Cradle form for creating and Item with an ISBN value

All of the Magnus Tools (cradle, widar, quickstatements) now also have sessions that remain across service restarts, so you should get logged out less!

General resilience

The platform had one outage in early May which left sites unusable for a period. This was caused by the first batch deletion of Items using the Nuke extension on a site. All deleted Items were sent simultaneously, instead of being batched, to an API endpoint controlling the query service update process which quickly used up all available CPU and memory. This issue has now been fixed and the platform has since seen multiple much larger deletions with no issues.

In order to ensure that registered users can make use of password reset functionality, and have registered with the correct email address, any user that missed verifying their email will now be forced to do so before continuing to interact with their control panel.


Thanks again to Rhizome, who run their very own Wikibase, for their support paying the Google Cloud bill in the early stages of this project.

Thanks to Magnus Manske for the changes to Cradle that made it easier to deploy for WBStack. I hope to be able to submit a few more changes for it upstream soon.

If you want to give it a whirl, then contact me, or tweet me.

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