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WBStack 2020 Update 2 (May)

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
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WBStack 2020 Update 1

WBStack has now been up and running for 6 months. During that time it has helped 70 people create 178 MediaWiki installs running Wikibase, a SPARQL query service and quickstatements, all at the click of a button, with a total of around 200,000 edits across all sites.

The most active site is currently virus-taxonomy.wiki.opencura.com which was developed during the Virtual Biohackathon on COVID-19 as a staging environment for “improving the taxonomy of viruses on Wikidata”. It currently stands at 20,000 edits, around 7000 Items.

Screenshot of the virus-taxonomy Wikibase Main Page, 19 April 2020

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.

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WBStack Infrastructure

WBStack currently runs on a Google Cloud Kubernetes cluster made up of 2 virtual machines, one e2-medium and one e2-standard-2. This adds up to a current total of 4 vCPUs and 12GB of memory. No Google specific services make up any part of the core platform at this stage meaning WBStack can run wherever there is a Kubernetes cluster with little to no modification.

A simplified overview of the internals can be seen in the diagram below where blue represents the Google provided services, with green representing everything running within the kubernetes cluster.

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WBStack – November review

It’s been roughly 1 month since WBStack appeared online, and it’s time for a quick review of what has been happening in the first month. If you don’t already know what WBStack is, then head to my introduction post.

The number of users and wikis has slowly been increasing. In my last post I stated ” 20 users on the project with 30 Wikibase installs”. 3 weeks after that post WBStack now sits at roughly 38 users with roughly 65 wikibases. Many of these wikibases are primarily users test wikis, but that’s great, the barrier to trying out Wikibase is definitely lowered.

If you would like an invite code to try WBStack, or have any related thoughts of ideas, then please get in touch.

What’s changed

As WBStack is a shared platform, all changes mentioned in this blog post are immediately visible on all hosted Wikibases. In the future there will be various options to turn things on and off, but at this early stage things are being kept simple.

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An introduction to WBStack

WBStack is a project that I have been working on for a couple of years that finally saw the light of day at Wikidatacon 2019. It has gone through a couple of different names along the way, MWaas, WBaas, WikWiki, OpenCura and finally WBStack.

The idea behind the project is to provide Wikibase and surrounding services, such as a blazegraph query service, query service ui, quick statements, and others on a shared platform where installs, upgrades and maintenance are handeled centrally.

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Changing the concept URI of an existing Wikibase with data

Many users of Wikibase find themselves in a position where they need to change the concept URI of an existing Wikibase for one or more reasons, such as a domain name update or desire to have https concept URIs instead of HTTP.

Below I walk through a minimal example of how this can be done using a small amount of data and the Wikibase Docker images. If you are not using the Docker images the steps should still work, but you do not need to worry about copying files into and out of containers or running commands inside containers.

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Creating a Dockerfile for the Wikibase Registry

Currently the Wikibase Registry(setup post) is deployed using the shoehorning approach described in one of my earlier posts. After continued discussion on the Wikibase User Group Telegram chat about different setups and upgrade woes I have decided to convert the Wikibase Registry to use the prefered approach of a custom Dockerfile building a layer on top of one of the wikibase images.

I recently updated updated the Wikibase registry from Mediawiki version 1.30 to 1.31 and described the process in a recent post, so if you want to see what the current setup and docker-compose file looks like, head there.

As a summary the Wikibase Registry uses:

  • The wikibase/wikibase:1.31-bundle image from docker hub
  • Mediawiki extensions:
    • ConfirmEdit
    • Nuke
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wikibase-docker, Mediawiki & Wikibase update

Today on the Wikibase Community User Group Telegram chat I noticed some people discussing issues with upgrading Mediawiki and Wikibase using the docker images provided for Wikibase.

As the wikibase-registry is currently only running Mediawiki 1.30 I should probably update it to 1.31, which is the next long term stable release.

This blog post was written as I performed the update and is yet to be proofread, so expect some typos. I hope it can help those that were chatting on Telegram today.

Starting state

Documentation

There is a small amount of documentation in the wikibase docker image README file that talks about upgrading, but this simply tells you to run update.php.

Update.php has its own documentation on mediawiki.org.
None of this helps you piece everything together for the docker world.

Installation

The installation creation process is documented in this blog post, and some customization regarding LocalSettings and extensions was covered here.
The current state of the docker-compose file can be seen below with private details redacted.

This docker-compose files is found in /root/wikibase-registry on the server hosting the installation. (Yes I know that’s a dumb place, but that’s not the point of this post)

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Wikibase extensions on Wikidata.org

Wikidata.org runs on MediaWiki with the Wikibase extension. But there is more to it than just that. The Wikibase extension itself is split into 3 different sections, being Lib, Repo and Client. There are also 6 other extensions all providing extra functionality to the site and it’s sisters. The extensions are also loaded on a different combination of Clients (such a Wikipedia) and the Repo itself (wikidata.org).

A diagram of current dependencies between the various Wikibase extensions running on wikidata.org
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Customizing Wikibase config in the docker-compose example

2019 Edit: If you want to use a Dockerfile and custom image take a look a here.

Just over a month ago I setup the Wikibase registry project on Wikimedia Cloud VPS using the docker-compose example provided by Wikibase docker images. The Wikibase registry is the first Wikibase install that I control that uses the Wikibase docker images, so I’ll be using it as an example showing how the docker images can be manipulated to configure MediaWiki, Wikibase, and load custom extensions and skins.

The example docker-compose file at the time of writing this post can be found at https://github.com/wmde/wikibase-docker/blob/5919016eac16c5f0aefc448240fdf6a09bb56bec/docker-compose.yml

Since the last blog post new wikibase image tags have been created (the ‘bundle’ tags) that include some extensions you might want to enable, as well a quickstatements image for the quickstatements service used on Wikidata written by Magnus Manske.

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