Community Central
Community Central
Technical Update

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Hello hello hello, my lovely people! Bit of a switch from my usual Community Central blog appearance, which has just been to celebrate Halloween. The bugs I will be talking about today are of the less scary kind though, as I'll give you a rundown of some of the technical things we fixed on the platform, as well as what we're still working on, and what's upcoming. If you're a history buff and would love to still take a look at what happened two weeks ago, then you can check out the previous Technical Update blog.

Notable Changes[]

Tech Blog April 19, 2024 - Fullscreen map view

The regular and fullscreen mode of an Interactive Map on the Genshin Impact Wiki.

  • Interactive Map fullscreen viewing option: A highly-demanded feature, all Interactive Maps can now be enjoyed in fullscreen mode, both on desktop and mobile. The button is always present on the map, above the zoom control buttons. A massive shoutout to Macklin, the creator of the MapsExtended script, who has been working closely with Fandom's Engagement Team on this endeavor. His script previously offered this functionality already, but he adjusted it to work alongside the new native solution. We continue to collaborate with him to further refine the Maps feature, as we already included some of his suggestions in our upcoming roadmap.
  • The wiki description visible in the "Welcome to the community" section on Discussions now pulls from MediaWiki:wiki-description-site-meta as opposed to from the description given in the Mobile Main Page tool. This is another step taken by the UXFCP team to eventually deprecate that tool altogether.
  • Fan Feed removal: The UXFCP team removed the Fan Feed from the desktop experience for pages that have less than 200 words of content. Testing showed that removing it there resulted in a 0.12% engagement bump, whereas removing it on longer pages on desktop and any pages on mobile actually resulted in an engagement drop.

Recent Fixes[]

  • CodeMirror testing release: as a quick recap, CodeMirror is an extension providing syntax highlighting in MediaWiki's wikitext editor. Our first attempt at an update at the beginning of February led to more issues than we'd expected, so we reverted the change and worked on the reported issues and more. This time, we will release it to a handful of willing test communities first to see the effects on live wikis and verify that everything is to our users' expectations. We aim to start testing for both the 2010 source editor and the 2017 Visual Editor - source mode before the next tech update. Before we rerelease platform wide, we also intend to have a list available of the potential DOM class changes caused by this update.
    Based on the feedback we received last time, these are some of the things we've worked on:
    • On Firefox, you couldn't add a new line when the cursor was on the last (or only) line in the 2010 editor.
    • Link suggest selection via keyboard was broken in various ways on both editors, though more work continues to be done here.
    • The line height with syntax highlighting enabled decreased in the 2010 editor.
    • We made sure click+ctrl works again to be able to add to your selection.
    • Option to expand the editor screen no longer worked with syntax highlighting enabled in the 2010 editor.
    • The keyboard redo action (ctrl+y) stopped working in the 2010 editor.
    • Rather than just highlighting the searched text, the editor search moved the cursor into the 2010 editor, which wiped the selection when you pressed "enter" rather than searching for the next match.
    • The 2010 editor limited the reach of the browser search to the visible portion of the editor.
    • Using the "tab" key in 2010 editor took you out of the editor rather than to the edit summary field like expected.
    • The 2010 editor will also get an improved search and replace feature, as well as collapsible templates.

Fixes in Development[]

  • On historically Gamepedia wikis with anon editing disabled, all anonymous users see "editedit source" as the header entry point rather than the pencil icon.

Development Updates[]

We elaborated some days ago on the renewed structure of the Community Team (you can read all the details here). A dedicated Product Support team was created as part of this new structure – that's us, hi! – with each person on the team having their own assigned product project to work with. We will list each "Product Support Owner" under their own relevant section, so it is clearer who the best person would be to reach out to with questions or feedback about a certain topic.

Engagement[]

Product Support Owner: Héctor

Tech Blog April 19, 2024 - Map log in

An overview of the "prompt to log in" process.

  • [New Experiment] Register to mark Interactive Map progress: At the beginning of March, we announced that we'd be testing the ability for gamers to mark their in-game progress on our Interactive Maps by showing checkboxes to mark or unmark locations. The results of this have been promising, so our next experiment builds on that by investigating if users will also be willing to register for an account in order to track their progress. This experiment will run on all gaming wikis with at least 1 Map, and this for one week on desktop and two weeks on mobile. You can read more details about it here.
    • We want to acknowledge a mixup that happened yesterday where the experiment was released on wikis also using the MapsExtended script when those should have been excluded. This caused the script to break down, making the Maps unusable. We apologize to the affected wikis for the inconvenience caused by this. The release of the experiment was reverted because of it, and we will rerelease shortly as originally intended: only on the wikis where that script is not in use.
  • [Future Release] Embedding Interactive Maps: As we teased before, more Interactive Maps work is being done. Now that the fullscreen mode has been released, we're looking at new ways to embed maps on pages, and we hope – though don't promise – to release this by the end of May.

News & Ratings team[]

Product Support Owner: Dylan

  • [New Experiment] Cross-linking GameFAQ "Guides" widget experiment: While a previous rendition of this experiment connected some of our Fandom readers to game guides on GameFAQ, we believe that re-running the experiment with an improved widget design and more relevant game links will improve the success of the widget. The widget will be visible on the logged-out desktop experience only on the same 300 gaming wikis that had the previous version and were reviewed and approved by the community team last time. It's placed after other widgets like "Recent Images", "Others like you also viewed", etc. and above the sticky "Popular Pages" widget. The test will relaunch next week and will run for a minimum of two weeks.

Platform team[]

Product Support Owner: Antonio

  • Not really something new, but more a renewed announcement about our commitment to user safety as we recently updated the program: aside from relying on all of you to help us track down practical bugs that escaped us, we are also working with a bug bounty program where we're partnering with technical experts to comb through the code on the platform on the hunt for security issues that can be exploited to cause platform and/or user harm. Beyond our own code, we can also rely on them to review MediaWiki issues as well as third-party extensions. We continue to invest in programs like this to make our platform as safe as possible for users to explore.

Traffic team[]

Product Support Owner: Jenny

  • Quick Answers: We have reached out to a few communities about starting a collaboration to receive the Quick Answers feature with new questions. Five communities have received QuickAnswers to 10 characters pages, which means minimum 30 and maximum 50 QuickAnswers, and have, unless they requested another time, 30 days to review and adjust if necessary before the questions are automatically published. Further release is temporarily on hold while we continue to gather more feedback from these new communities and work on changing the "tone" of the generated responses to be more in line with the encyclopedic nature of our wikis.

User-Generated Content (UGC) team[]

Product Support Owner: Antonio

  • [Nearly Concluded] Welcome messages on Message Walls: we've been targeting 50% of the users making their first edit on the local wiki (the other 50% is the control group) and leaving them a welcoming message thanking them for their edit and inviting them to check out Special:Community for more things to do on the wiki. Three staff members had their accounts tied to the experiment and have been responding to the numerous replies of new users. The experiment will end later next week, after which we'll analyze the data thoroughly to determine whether or not we'll move to productize this feature.

UX Team[]

Product Support Owner: Jenny

Tech Blog April 19, 2024 - Nav bar 2 mock

The second nav bar experiment on regular view and when scrolling down.

  • [Upcoming Experiment] Global Nav Bar Redesign: The next step in our efforts to create a nav bar that's more engaging to users will be released next week. 3% of randomized logged-in and logged-out users will see a horizontal bar at the top with a more prominent search bar next to the "Create a new wiki" button, Recent:Changes and notification bell icon, and the user profile. While scrolling, the Top nav bar will be hidden in favor of the local Wiki navigation. The experiment will run for three weeks. You can find more details and some early design mockups here.
  • [Upcoming Experiment] Unification of Recent Images: Over the past months, we have been reworking our widget design based on brand awareness as well as community feedback. One of the big things was increasing the awareness of the widget being curated by Fandom as well as it being distinguishable from an advertisement. As such, we'll be putting the existing widget in its new design jacket and monitor if the new design at the very least does no harm and at best may entice users to engage more with the wiki content. Similar redesign experiments are planned for other widgets, such as the "Popular Pages" and "Others like you also viewed".
  • [Upcoming Experiment] Mobile "Drawer" component: In an effort to improve the mobile reading experience for our logged-out users, we are experimenting with a "drawer" component that slides up from the bottom, without covering the entire page, to allow access to all of our Mobile "non-wiki" features and advertisements, thus creating a go-to space for fans to decide whether to engage or not with our features or our advertising customer's content.
  • [Upcoming Experiment] Collapsing the Table of Contents (ToC) on desktop: We will be testing the hypothesis that by bringing the content higher on the page by removing or collapsing the "in content" ToC, logged-out users will find the content they desire more rapidly with less scrolling, and therefore are enticed to spend more time perusing the page. We'll test three variants – a default collapsed view, a fixed height with an expand/collapse button, and the current experience – after which we'll analyze the results and take it from there.

That's it for these weeks! If you encountered something that felt off about the platform, please report it by sending in a bug report, reaching out to us on our Walls/talk pages, or sounding off in the comments. As always, thank you for your support. Happy editing, everyone!


Lostris
Wiki Team
Lostris is a Wiki Team member at Fandom. When not online, she lives to travel, play roller derby, and escape the world by watching anything that has a good plot, good acting, and preferably a ton of sassy one-liners.


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