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Tech Lead Digest – August 2021

Welcome to the 4th instalment of my Wikidata & Wikibase Tech lead Digest for August 2021. For previous instalments see Q1, Q2 & July.

🧑‍🤝‍🧑Wikidata & Wikibase

The Wikidata Query Builder has been deployed. The Wikidata Query Builder provides a visual interface for building a simple Wikidata query. It is ideal for users with little or no experience in SPARQL.

The Wikibase fall release, which will be compatible with MediaWiki 1.36 will be made in the next month or so. At some point in the next 3-6 months we will likely also make a Wikibase 1.37 release. Keep an eye out on the mailing list for these.

Work is about to wrap up on the next iteration of Wikibase Federated Properties which will enable the use of properties from multiple sources at once, such as Wikidata and also the local Wikibase.

Work continues on the Wikidata Mismatch Finder. You can read more about this future tool on wikidata.org.

The campsite worked on many other things. Most notably Ladsgroup spotted that SpamBlacklist was rendering content on Wikidata twice (phabricator). This fix resulted in a rather significant improvement in save times for Wikidata, and users of Wikibase and SpamBlacklist in combination.

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Tech Lead Digest – July 2021

Welcome to the third installment of my tech lead digest digest. In order to allow myself some extra space to write, and also to provide these public updates and thoughts on a more regular basis, this is now becoming a monthly digest.

I’m going to try to incorporate some of the ongoings from other Wikidata / Wikibase projects, as well as my regular digest and reading.

🧑‍🤝‍🧑Wikidata & Wikibase

Work continues on the next iteration of Wikibase Federated Properties (phabricator board). This work will allow use of properties from multiple sources at once, such as Wikidata and also the local Wikibase.

Work also continues on the Wikidata Mismatch Finder (phabricator board) which is a tool to enable finding mismatches between Wikidata’s data and data in other databases.

The Campsite continues to work on a variety of smaller tasks, in the last month including a new release of our Design System, dealing with the Query Builder security review and preparing for deployment, performing some maintenance on WBStack including preparing for 1.36 and adding Elasticsearch. We also continue to support a university team in deploying a new Property Suggester algorithm (announcement coming soon), work towards tagging all edits made from the UI (T236893), as well as many other smaller tasks.

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Tackling Technical Debt, big and small, in Wikidata and Wikibase

If you’re working with legacy code, chances are you’ve inherited some technical debt. Infact, if you’re working with code, chances you’re already surrounded by technical debt of varying sizes, at least by some measures.

Some believe that technical debt is something to be avoided, and that technical debt that exists is a dirty secret that should be hidden. The reality is that technical debt is a fact of life when code iteratively changes to deliver product solutions.

Striving for programming perfection is great in principle, but ultimately code is meant to deliver features, and there is always a good, better and best approach, with many other variations in-between.

Over the last year at Wikimedia Deutschland we have worked on refining how we record, triage, prioritize and tackle technical debt within the Wikidata and Wikibase product family.

There are many thoughts out there about how to track, tackle, and prioritize technical debt. This post is meant to represent the current status of the Wikidata / Wikibase team. Hopefully you find this useful.

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Tech Lead Digest – Q2 2021

This is the second installment of my tech lead digest digest with my tech lead hat on for the Wikidata Wikibase team.

This is a digest of my internal digest emails. These contain lots of links to reading, podcasts and general goings on that could be useful to a wider audience.

🧑‍🤝‍🧑Wikidata & Wikibase

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Tech Lead Digest – Q1 2021

At some point last year I started sending a weekly internal digest to the Wikidata Wikibase team with my tech lead hat on.

The emails are internal only but contain lots of links to reading, podcasts and general goings on that could be useful to everyone.

So here is my first Wikidata Wikibase tech lead digest digest!

🧑‍🤝‍🧑Wikidata & Wikibase

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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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