Community Central
Community Central

Welcome to 2023! Hopefully you all had a relaxing holiday season and are headed into a great new year. I for one am excited to share this first Technical Update for the new year and re-kick off our bi-weekly series where we provide updates on bugs that are being worked on and new features that are being developed. This is our first one since December 16, 2022, and we’ll dive into the most recent updates in just a moment.

Before we get started, I wanted to make sure we shared that we’ll have more information about where we’re going in 2023 soon. That’s because we’re taking January to still finalize our full year plan, so we’re not quite ready to announce any major themes for the year yet. Certain things we already talked about like the upgrade from MediaWiki 1.37 to MediaWiki 1.39, making mobile CSS editable, and enabling a MediaWiki extension chosen by the community are already baked into that plan, so this will be for what else we’ll be working on.

Notable Changes[]

Most of the bugs fixed since we returned from holiday break are not user-facing, and included updates to staff tools and post/reply history which hasn’t been released yet (more on that later in this blog, though!). However, our Known Issues section below includes some impactful bugs that we hope to fix in the next sprint or two.

Known Issues[]

  • Encoding issues when accessing page history on mobile. We are aware that for non-English wikis, mobile article history pages sometimes don’t load and show an error instead.
  • Copy/Pasting issues in 2017 source mode. We are investigating why copying and pasting text sometimes makes the editor extremely slow, especially when syntax highlighting is enabled.
  • Scrolling issues in the mobile editor on iOS. We know that for mobile users on iOS that scrolling within the editor is not possible, preventing access to most of the page.
  • Loss of unsaved edits when switching from 2017 visual mode to 2017 source mode. We are aware that when users switch from the 2017 VisualEditor mode to 2017 source mode, any unsaved edits are not carried over. Instead, users see a browser popup warning them that information may be lost.

Development Updates[]

Mobile + Theming[]

  • Link Contrast. The CATS development team worked through the polishes for the link contrast fix, and we’re excited to announce that should go live next week on both FandomDesktop and FandomMobile. As a refresher, users have been experiencing issues with links having poor color contrast with article text (thus making them difficult to read) after choosing a link color with enough contrast to complement their article background color. In order to fix this, links will be underlined automatically when the chosen link color has less than a 1.5 contrast ratio with the surrounding text. This will only affect links in the body text of wiki articles, and will not be present in areas like the navigation bar, right rail, table of contents, templates or category pages. The underlines will disappear as soon as a link color with the proper contrast of 1.5 is selected, which can be seen in real time in the preview window of Theme Designer.
  • Mobile CSS. We’re mapping out a timeline for when mobile CSS will be editable this quarter (as in, prior to April 1st). The technical lift should be pretty minimal, with the bulk of the work consisting of 1) an update to the customization policy that takes mobile into account and 2) an initial test with a select number of communities to confirm our belief that the addition of mobile CSS won’t cause any SEO or performance issues for the wikis using it.

Discussions/Feeds[]

  • Post/Reply History. We’re not done yet, but we’re confident we’re in the home stretch now as we’re committed to getting this out to our initial test communities prior to a wide release. After taking stock of what’s left to do, we feel confident we’ll be able to start live testing by the end of this month. The bad news of this being delayed was that the team working on it, which hadn’t worked much with Discussions before (we transferred a lot of the responsibility from one team to another) found out the code for Discussions is a lot more complicated than anticipated. The good news, though, is that now we know and our engineers working on it are up to speed. This will help improve our estimates for how long future Discussions work will take.
  • Other moderation improvements. Previously discussed improvements to Discussions moderation that we had told you about—on-site notifications for reported posts, being able to provide a reason for why something is being reported, being able to remove images directly from the feed, and being able to block and promote from within Discussions—are all being incorporated into our 2023 product roadmap. The timing is to be determined, but we are committed to delivering the things we told you we were going to do.
  • Discussions and Comments on Gamepedia. This isn’t a new development, but as a reminder: Discussions is now available by request on Gamepedia wikis, and Comments can be turned on by admins and communities who want to use it. One success story so far is the Escape from Tarkov Wiki. As admin Muhawi told me, “Article comments were an often requested feature by the Tarkov community, as they are a modern and easy to use alternative to talk pages. So far they have shown to be very useful, and our concerns about added moderation workload caused by potential abuse have not been confirmed.”

Platform[]

  • MediaWiki 1.39. Backend work on the upgrade from MediaWiki 1.37 to MediaWiki 1.39 continues uninterrupted. We’re also close to being able to share more concrete information about how the upgrade will happen, and we expect that we’ll be able to share that info prior to our next Technical Update scheduled for January 27th.
  • Two-Factor Authentication. We’re getting close, we promise! We weren’t able to release this before the end of the year like we’d hoped, but the last thing we’ve needed to do is translations which are just about done.
  • Extension Review. We asked and wow did you answer! We received nearly 200 Extension Review nominations! Thanks to everyone who participated in the nomination process. The Community team reviewed the list and narrowed it down to 15 of the most popular nominations based on community votes and staff recommendations. Now the Product team will review the list, come up with a shortlist of extensions that they believe they will have the time to be able to work on, and then we’ll have the community vote from that list of finalists which one they want to see enabled. Stay tuned for updates on Community Central!

FanCentral [Beta][]

  • New in-feed modules. We’ve added additional wiki-focused modules into the feed of the different fandoms you can follow. Those modules include:
    • New page. This is a new module that recommends newly created pages on the wikis for the fandoms you follow.
    • Recently edited. This is a new module that recommends pages that were recently significantly updated on wikis for the fandoms you follow.
    • Recently updated images. This is a new carousel of recently uploaded images on the wikis for the fandoms you follow.

Other[]

The a screenshot of the Fandom.com homepage where you can see vertical menus in the global navigation bar.

An example of the global navigation's vertical menus in action.

  • Vertical Menus on the Global Nav. We're releasing a change where we’re adding a menu of recommended wikis that will appear when you hover over the Gaming, Anime, TV, and Movie icons on the global nav while using FandomDesktop. This has already appeared for some logged out users since last year, and now we’ll be rolling it out to all users on the platform including logged in users. This is a step toward making the global nav more interactive and useful, as we said we would be aiming for after the rollout of FandomDesktop, so we’re excited to get this live. Note that for now, the recommendations are hardcoded and static and are currently only available in English.

If there’s anything you still think needs to be fixed that hasn’t yet, please be sure to either contact your Wiki Representative or, if your wiki doesn’t have one, send us a bug report!


BrandonRhea
Fandom Staff
Hey I'm Brandon, VP of Community at Fandom.
I'm a huge fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, and Marvel.
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