Community Central
Community Central
Technical Update

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Hello hello! And welcome to the first tech update from 2024. It has been a long time since our previous update and code freeze on December 15th, so we have a lot of changes to announce this time! Please keep in mind that this is just a snapshot of the work done during the last weeks, we are featuring only the most relevant updates.

But let’s talk about the most recent changes!

Notable changes[]

  • To avoid unwanted image uploads, user avatar changes will only go live on the platform after you save the changes.
  • Submitting the account registration form no longer clears all fields if the username is unavailable.
  • Map namespace is localized for non-English languages now.
  • Template pages created by the new InfoboxBuilder will show a default example infobox if none is provided by the creator.

Recent Fixes[]

  • Having your preferences set to the 2010 source editor, loading a URL with the suffix ?veaction=editsource didn’t do anything. Now it’ll load the 2017 VE Source Mode Editor as intended.
  • FandomMobile fixes:
    • List of abbreviations module in Recent Changes was white in the FandomMobile dark skin.
    • FandomMobile was incorrectly moving content into a new <p> tag, thus forcing content on a new line.
    • Bulleted list font thickness was different depending on which subheading level it’s under (H2 or H3)
    • Selecting the Search modal input on Safari triggered a page zoom; increasing the font size fixed this.
    • Navigating to collapsed sub-headings via the table of content didn't always automatically open the collapsed heading as expected.
  • Several notification issues got fixed:
    • Fixed multiple problems with the “Mark All As Read” button on Desktop and Mobile Browser.
    • Invisible notifications recurring after the release of reported posts on-site notifications.
    • Notifications not updating or loading new ones after the first 10 items.
    • Notification bell was showing a different number to the unread notifications.
  • Marketing notifications can now be dismissed without having to engage with them Closing the notification removes it for 30 days and no other notification will be shown for the next 24 hours.
  • File processing:
    • Images using navigation=”true” in galleries were losing their transparency.
    • window-crop option was stopping GIF animations.
    • Fixed some problems with Webp images not being converted to other formats via format=<format>.
    • PDF files are no longer converted to JPG on Blink browsers (Chrome, Edge).
  • Blog:Recent_posts wasn’t updating in a timely manner
  • The lightbox on desktop will now reflect the actual number of fetched thumbnails in the image strip that can be displayed rather than the number of all images on the wiki.
  • Recent images module was displaying timeago system message for anon users instead of the real time.
  • Special:ListUsers was timing out in some cases.
  • Right rail WhatLinksHere links were broken on pages that do not exist.
  • Min-height of VisualEditor (source mode) text area has been extended in User Talk pages to avoid visual problems.
  • Special:Analytics returned upstream request timeout error in some wikis, preventing it from loading and showing the data.
  • Math & chem formulas are no longer throwing errors, now utilize proper svg tags, and are themed properly per the chosen light or dark theme.

Fixes in Development[]

  • Data is not getting stored into Cargo tables after page creation until another edit.
  • Links in image captions are missing in lightbox on FandomMobile.
  • VisualEditor: references toolbar is positioned incorrectly, breaking the feature.

Development Updates[]

User-Generated Content (UGC) team[]

  • [Experiment Results] Simplified editor for first-time contributors: This did not result in more edits or editors, but we saw new users taking more actions inside the editor tool. After checking pros/cons, we are shipping this change. This will result in a redesign of the Visual Editor (both Visual and Source mode) to streamline the editor interface and be consistent between both editors. While certain buttons may move location, no functionality will be removed.
  • [Experiment Concluded] Visual Editor performance improvement: After some updates and important changes to increase the loading time, the experiment finished and we will analyze the results soon.
  • [Experiment Results]: The Advanced Mobile Contributions (AMC) tool adds some of the moderation tools to the mobile skin. However, enabling this for everyone led to a decrease in engagement with the content pages for logged-in mobile visitors by 2%. As such, we will not be enabling this by default, but it remains available to everyone to enable on a personal basis. You can do this by navigating to Special:MobileOptions while on a mobile device and enabling the “Advanced Options”.

User Experience[]

  • [Experiment] Global nav redesign: Following up on a roundtable conversation with the Fandom Stars, we launched our first of many experiments regarding a redesign of the Global Navigation. Moving existing icons into an Explore panel, some right-rail widgets into a Current Wiki panel, and replacing those icons with Recently Visited page links, we’re currently investigating with an experiment that will run for at least 1 week whether or not users engage most when having the Explore and Wiki panels expose when hovered or when clicked.
  • [Experiment] Fan Feed number of tiles: We have experimented with the number and type of options we provide with FanFeed to see how it impacts the navigation between articles and wikis. Analysis revealed a clear increase by 20% on mobile by reducing the number of tiles. Next step is to test removing the FanFeed altogether and see if it negatively impacts the navigation.
  • [Experiment] Picture Links under paragraph: We want to help readers discover great content so they can go deeper into the lore and stay longer engaged with us. We’ll be experimenting with different reiterations of widgets and placements to put images and links based on the links presented in the content paragraphs to entice readers to go down the rabbit hole. We learned in the first experiment with this that over 70% of the variant test group never scrolled down far enough to see the widget, so for the next run we will be trying another placement and design.

Traffic team[]

  • Quick Answers: As one of the last steps in fine-tuning the Quick Answers Dashboard, we will be testing what we call a “vetting period” or in other words, giving those with access to the Quick Answers Dashboard a week the time to review and edit new Quick Answers before they go live on the wiki. With the help of 4 willing wiki communities, we’ll test this out and if all goes well, we’ll be in the homestretch of releasing Quick Answers again to more wiki communities. Stay tuned for a more in-depth blog about this!

And that’s all! But before ending the update, I would like to remind you of the blog post published by Grunny at the end of 2023. The performance improvements explained in that post are just part of the work done under the hood to reach a new level in the Fandom user experience. These Technical Updates, the performance improvements, the tools released every year, are just the gears of a big machine where you are the energy that keeps the platform going and motivates us to continue to improve your experience.

Thank you for all your support, and as always, if there is anything you think should be fixed, please contact your Wiki Representative or, if your wiki doesn’t have one, send us a bug report!

Avatar - Bola staff
Fandom Staff
Antonio R. Castro is part of Fandom since May 2007. He was helper for 3 years focused on ES community and since 2011 he is a member of the Fandom staff. He is working currently like Product Support Lead. Fan of wikis, videogames, Star Wars, Song of Ice and Fire and any TV series pre or post Breaking Bad.

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