If this is the first you're hearing about the Unified Community Platform project, read this to learn more about the entire scope of the project before commenting.
We are happy to announce that the Unified Community Platform is entering the second stage of the rollout - moving wikis without complex extensions or feature sets over to the new platform!
What does that mean? It means that the Unified Community Platform has reached the point where a number of existing wikis on the legacy Fandom platform can now move over to take advantage of new and improved tools like mobile editing and the 2017 Editor from the Wikimedia Foundation, just like the one used on Wikipedia.
You’re probably wondering how wikis will be selected. That’s covered later in the blog, but first I want to walk you through some major features released recently or soon to be released.
What’s new since UCP initial release and coming soon?
As mentioned last year, a survey of Gamepedia editors revealed that 34% of editors on that platform had their first edit experience on mobile. It is a massive opportunity for engaging new editors and also providing a better option for editors from countries where a smartphone is more likely to be their primary device for accessing the internet. Mobile Editor was added to the UCP a few weeks ago. You can learn more here.
Redesigned to run on the same technology as Discussions, Article Comments will perform the same role as before and existing content will be transferred over. This does mean that, while the new Article Comments system will not support the use of wikitext, it will have the most common formatting options. Additionally, we are looking at trends in wikitext use from legacy products like Forums, old Message Wall, and old Article Comments to see if there is a better way forward for advanced formatting. We’ll have more info on that in the coming months.
Discussions enhancements from Forums feedback
Thanks to fantastic feedback and input from our Forums power users, we will be deploying the first round of enhancements to Discussions to make it friendlier for communities moving over from Forums. The first enhancements focus on making the Discussions feed more user-friendly for fans of a more traditional forum experience, with an optional condensed post list view and more emphasis on categories. Here are some design illustrations of these enhancements. They do not reflect the final implementations.
The Current View
The Condensed View (Optional)
Disregard the mismatch of content. It’s just a design system thing.
Thanks to the results of a User Experience Research (UXR) study we conducted recently, you can expect further enhancements in the future. More on the upcoming enhancements and the UXR findings soon in a blog!
How are wikis selected?
For the first batch, our Product and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) teams looked at wikis based on the availability of features on the Unified Community Platform which they need to succeed. We considered wikis with different levels of traffic, to best understand how well they migrate onto the platform. Wikis were disqualified if they had any of the following:
- Unmigrated Forums
- Semantic MediaWiki
- Shared uploads configured with a wiki that would also not be migrated in this round
The wiki teams then double-checked the list against their own knowledge of the individual communities, to ensure that wikis slated for migration are well-suited to thrive on the new platform. For example, wikis that have new content rolling out might be excluded from this initial wave so that there is no disruption to the ongoing discussion of said content.
Additionally, we have a process available for wikis that have not yet been selected by staff for migration to volunteer themselves. You can find information on that process and how to use it on this blog.
How will migration work?
A banner will appear at the top of the wikis slated for migration, similar to ones we’ve used for important platform notices in the past. It is likely that you came to read this post from a link in one of those banners!
On the migration day, all of your wiki content will be imported onto the new platform.
Here’s how that will work:
- Your wiki will go read-only
- A backup of your content will be made
- A copy of that backup will be made and will stay on the legacy platform
- The original backup will run through an automated upgrade process and be set up on the new platform
- In that process, a script will check the structure of your content so that it looks like it would’ve been a fresh UCP wiki (but with all your content, edit history, etc)
- Several requests will be made against key pages on your wiki on the new platform to check for errors, like content not displaying correctly, database exceptions, etc.
- The wiki domain will then point to the version on the UCP and your wiki will no longer be read-only
We will have alerts set for error spikes after your wiki transitions to the new platform and, if something goes wrong that cannot be fixed quickly, we’ll be able to revert your wiki back to the legacy platform.
If the import does not work correctly for some reason (i.e. the content does not transfer accurately or the import service fails) or another issue comes up with your migration, we will be able to point your URL back to the copy on the legacy platform. The reason that the SEO team has been involved in curating the first batch of migrations is to make sure we get good data on how the SEO for wikis changes. We are anticipating a net benefit to SEO as a result of the performance improvements on the new platform.
This stage is the second step in our process to get all the wikis in good standing onto a single codebase running a modern version of MediaWiki. As the process goes on, more and more features from the legacy Fandom and Gamepedia platforms will be added onto the new platform.
In the meantime, we’re happy to take your questions and answer what we can. To keep an eye on the details of what is released week to week, including bugs fixes and new feature additions, be sure to read the Release Highlights posts in the Technical Updates forum.
Will "MisterWoodhouse" Kavanagh Fandom Staff
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