You are more than welcome to edit the wiki version of this report for the purposes of usefulness, presentation, etc., and to add translations of the “Highlights” excerpts.

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Video of the monthly Wikimedia Foundation metrics and activities meeting covering the month of August (September 4, 2014)


1 Data and Trends

2 Financials

3 Highlights

3.1 Lightweight version of VisualEditor becomes available for tablets

3.2 First transparency report on requests for user information and demands for alteration or deletion of content

3.3 Global metrics for grants

3.4 Foundation staff report on their work at Wikimania

4 Engineering

4.1 HHVM

4.2 Mobile Apps

4.3 Mobile Web

4.4 Flow

4.5 VisualEditor

4.6 SUL finalization

4.7 Phabricator migration

4.8 MediaWiki core front-end libraries

4.9 Metrics and dashboards standardization

4.10 Content API

5 Fundraising

5.1 Major Gifts and Foundations

5.2 Online Fundraising

6 Grantmaking

6.1 Department highlights

6.2 Visits and Events

6.3 Annual Plan Grants Program

6.3.1 Grantee highlights from the Q2 progress reports

6.4 Project and Event Grants Program

6.4.1 Grants funded in August 2014

6.4.2 Reports accepted in August 2014

6.5 Individual Engagement Grants Program

6.5.1 Grantee updates

6.6 Travel and Participation Support Program

6.6.1 Requests awarded in August 2014

6.6.2 Reports accepted in August 2014

6.7 Wikimania Scholarships

6.8 Learning and Evaluation

6.8.1 Outreach and community support

6.8.2 Grants programs

6.8.3 Grants operations and tools

6.8.4 Grantmaking overall

6.8.5 Program Evaluation & Design Upcoming next month

6.9 Wikipedia Education Program

6.9.1 Wikimania

6.9.2 Wikipedia Education Collaborative

6.9.3 Arab world programs

6.9.4 Communications

7 Human Resources

7.1 August Staff Changes

7.2 August Statistics

8 Finance and Administration

9 Legal and Community Advocacy

9.1 Contract Metrics

9.2 Trademark Metrics

9.3 Domains obtained

9.3.1 Coming & Going

9.3.2 Other Activities

10 Communications

10.1 Major announcements

10.2 Major storylines through August

10.3 Other worthwhile reads

10.4 Wikimedia blog posts

10.5 Media contact

10.6 Wikipedia Signpost

10.7 Communications Design

Data and Trends

Presentation slides about unique visitor numbers from the metrics meeting

Global unique visitors for July:

413 million (-4.38% compared with June; -16.1% compared with the previous year)

(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects, not including mobile devices; comScore will release August data later in September)

Page requests for August:

21.138 billion (+2.7% compared with July; +15.3% compared with the previous year)

(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation content projects including mobile access, but excluding Wikidata and the Wikipedia main portal page.)

Active Registered Editors for July 2014 (>= 5 mainspace edits/month, excluding bots):

76,543 (+2.67% compared with June / +1.07% compared with the previous year)

(Database data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects.)

Report Card (integrating various statistical data and trends about WMF projects):




Wikimedia Foundation YTD Revenue and Expenses vs Plan as of July 31, 2014

Wikimedia Foundation YTD Expenses by Functions as of July 31, 2014

(Financial information is only available through July 2014 at the time of this report.)

All financial information presented is for the Month-To-Date and Year-To-Date July 31, 2014.




Engineering Group


Fundraising Group


Grantmaking Group




Governance Group


Communications Group


Legal/Community Advocacy Group


Finance/HR/Admin Group


Total Expenses


Total deficit


in US dollars

Revenue for the month-to-date and year-to-date of July is $2.98MM versus plan of $2.01MM, approximately $0.97MM or 49% over plan.

Expenses for the month-to-date and year-to-date of July is $2.99MM versus plan of $3.87MM, approximately $0.88MM or 23% under plan, primarily due to lower legal fees, capital expenditures, grants, outside contract services, personnel expenses, and travel & conference expenses.

Cash and Investments – $48.27MM as of July 31, 2014.


Lightweight version of VisualEditor becomes available for tablets

In August, a mobile-friendly opt-in version of VisualEditor was launched for users of the mobile site on tablets. Tablet users can now choose to switch from the default editing experience (wikitext editor) to a lightweight version of VisualEditor, which offers some common formatting tools (for bold and italic text, and for adding/editing links and references).

First transparency report on requests for user information and demands for alteration or deletion of content

The Wikimedia Foundation announced the launch of its first ever transparency report, which included two years of data about third-party requests for user information and for the alteration or deletion of Wikimedia content, as well as information on how WMF responded to such requests.

Global metrics for grants

The Grantmaking team introduced Global metrics, a small required set of metrics to be used in grant reporting form (e.g. the “Number of articles added or improved on Wikimedia project” as part of a grant project). They are meant to help achieving a a shared understanding of how successful programs are in expanding participation and improving content on Wikimedia projects. The team also launched a new Evaluation portal and a new Project & Event Grants (PEG) portal.

WMF Executive Director Lila Tretikov presenting her Wikimania keynote

Foundation staff report on their work at Wikimania

From August 6 to August 10, around 2000 Wikimedians from around the world came together in London on the occasion of this year’s annual Wikimania conference (see also this month’s movement highlights). The keynote of Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Lila Tretikov was titled “Facing the Now” (slides), and the schedule included many other presentations by WMF staff and contractors (frequently captured on video):

“Machine aided article translation – The content translation project WMF“ Santhosh Thottingal with the WMF Language Engineering team

“Growing the Awesome in your Programs“ (workshop) Jaime Anstee, Edward Galvez and Maria Cruz

“Crazy Contentious Copyright Challenges Constraining Community Creativity“ Michelle Paulson and Stephen LaPorte

“The State of Wikimedia Scholarship 2013-2014“ Tilman Bayer (co-presenter, with Benjamin Mako Hill and Aaron Shaw)

“Human-centered design for free knowledge“ Yana Welinder, Jonathan Morgan and Jessie Wild

“Learning Literacy with Wikipedia“ C. Scott Ananian

“Multimedia Overview“ Fabrice Florin

“The State (and Fate) of Video in Wikimedia“ Fabrice Florin (with Andrew Lih)

“Freedom in motion: the state of open video and audio at Wikimedia“ Brion Vibber

“Legal Demands: The Good, The Bad, & The Just Plain Wrong“ Stephen LaPorte and Michelle Paulson

“Beyond talk pages: Supporting collaboration with Flow“ Nick Wilson (Quiddity), May Galloway and Erik Bernhardson

“Measuring community health: Vital signs for Wikimedia projects“ Dario Taraborelli, Aaron Halfaker and Dan Andreescu

“Wikipedia Education Collaborative Panel“ panel including Floor Koudijs

“CirrusSearch: How we’ve replaced a great search engine with an awesome search engine“ Chad Horohoe, Nik Everett and Dan Garry

“Best practices for the evaluation of GLAM-Wiki cooperations“ Jaime Anstee (workshop, with Beat Estermann and Maarten Brinkerink)

“The URAA, Copyright Terms, and the Wikimedia Projects“ Yana Welinder and Ryan Kaldari

“Interface Vision“ Jared Zimmerman

“The Athena Project: Where are We?“ Brandon Harris (Jorm)

“Roundtable: Admin tools development“ Dan Garry and Rob Lanphier

“An update and LIVE A/B Test from the Fundraising Team“ Megan Hernandez, Peter Coombe, Victor Grigas and Jessica Robell

“Join the technical community – an introduction for absolute beginners“ Erik Moeller

“Showcase ALL the (cool) things!“ Marc A. Pelletier

“Wikipedia Goes Viral: Experiments in Social Media“ Siko Bouterse (with Addis Wang, Jake Orlowitz, Netha Hussain and Ivan Martinez; panel)

“Creative Ways to Alienate Women Online: A How-to Guide for Wikipedians“ Maryana Pinchuk and Steven Walling

“Parsoid: Dealing with Wikitext so you don’t have to™“ Subramanya Sastry, Gabriel Wicke, C. Scott Ananian, Marc Ordinas i Llopis and Arlo Breault

“Finding and fixing software bugs for Wikipedia“ Chris McMahon

“Ask the Developers“ Siebrand Mazeland and others (panel/hot seat)

“Virtual Community Roundtable“ Aaron Halfaker, Marc A. Pelletier, Brandon Harris and Jonathan Morgan (with Raph Koster, Yaneer Bar-Yam and David White)

“The WMF’s Free Software Advocacy Group and how you can help“ Greg Grossmeier

“Open Source Hygiene: Getting the Details Right“, Luis Villa and Stephen LaPorte

“Creative Commons 4.0 : Everything You Wanted to Know, and Probably More“ Luis Villa (with Kat Walsh from Creative Commons)

“WMF Grants Showcase: Funding Diversity“ Siko Bouterse, with participation of the Grantmaking team

“Replaying edits & visualising edit history“ Jonathan Morgan (presenting for Jeph Paul Alapat)

“Testing internationalized applications for Wikimedia content“ Kartik Mistry and Runa Bhattacharjee

“IdeaLab Workshop: Making Ideas into Action“ Siko Bouterse, with Jonathan Morgan and Heather Walls

“Access to Knowledge and Wikipedia Zero“ Yana Welinder (with BJ Ard)

“Liquid Lobbying – How could Wikimedia change EU copyright?“ panel including Luis Villa

“Wikistats: New Patterns“ Erik Zachte

“Hi, my name is unmasking anonymous editors on Wikipedia“ Steven Walling and Aaron Halfaker

“The missing Wikipedia ads: Designing targeted contribution campaigns“ Dario Taraborelli

“VisualEditor — helping users edit more easily“ James Forrester and Trevor Parscal

“It’s Alive! The Joy of Real-Time Collaboration“ Erik Moeller

“Real-time Collaborative Editing with TogetherJS“ C. Scott Ananian

“Thank you for your email: A day in the Wikimedia Mail Room“ Keegan Peterzell

“Meet the press: Introducing WMF’s new Communications team, the new blog and new chances for community collaboration on media“ Tilman Bayer, Katherine Maher, Heather Walls, Victor Grigas

“Trust and Sharing“ Luis Villa

“State of the Wiki“ Brandon Harris

“Wikipedia in Education: by the numbers“ Tighe Flanagan (with Prakash Neupane, Shani Evenstein, Toni Sant and Jami Mathewson)

“How we’ve grown mobile into something that everyone does“ Tomasz Finc

“User interface: Consistency, consistency, consistency!“ Mun May Tee-Galloway

“Big in Japan: Combating Systemic Bias Through Mobile Editing“ Oliver Keyes

“A data and developer hub for Wikimedia“ Moiz Syed, Jared Zimmerman, Stephen LaPorte and Dario Taraborelli

“The Wikimedia open source project and you“ Quim Gil

“WikiCredit – Calculating & presenting value contributed to Wikipedia“ Aaron Halfaker

“VisualEditor — engineering against the odds“ Roan Kattouw and Trevor Parscal

“Multimedia Roundtable“ Fabrice Florin

“takedowns, inappropriate images and more: How the LCA team uses technology to scale“ James Alexander

“Diversity Workshop: Gender Gap Strategy into Action“ Siko Bouterse, Anasuya Sengupta and Gayle Karen Young (with Netha Hussain and Emily Temple-Wood)

“JavaScript and long-term relationships“ Trevor Parscal

“Expanding the encyclopedia: trends in article creation on Wikipedia“ Steven Walling, Aaron Halfaker and Matthew Flaschen (with Jodi Schneider, Bluma Gelley and Subham Soni)

“Growing a Culture of Kindness“ Fabrice Florin

“Design Communication Roundtable“ Brandon Harris (Jorm) and the Wikimedia Foundation Design Team

“‘Tech News': Fighting technical information overload for Wikimedians“ Guillaume Paumier


A detailed report of the Tech Department’s activities for August 2014 can be found at:


Department Highlights

Major news in August includes:

the Wikimania 2014 conference in London, and the associated hackathon;

progress on the new content translation tool and its passing the milestone of 100 translated articles.


HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine) is aimed to improve the speed of Wikimedia sites. We migrated test.wikipedia.org to HHVM in early August and saw very few issues. Giuseppe shared some promising benchmarks. Re-imaging an app server was surprisingly painful, in that Giuseppe and Ori had to perform a number of manual actions to get the server up-and-running, and this sequence of steps was poorly automated. Doing this much manual work per app server isn’t viable.

Mark submitted a series of patches to create a service IP and Varnish back-end for an HHVM app server pool, with Giuseppe and Brandon providing feedback and support. The patch routes requests tagged with a specific cookie to the HHVM back-ends. Tech-savvy editors were invited to opt-in to help with testing by setting the cookie explicitly. The next step after that will be to divert a fraction of general site traffic to those back-ends. The exact date will depend on how many bugs the next round of testing uncovers.

Tim is looking at modifying the profiling feature of LuaSandbox to work with HHVM; it is currently disabled.

Mobile Apps

In August, the Mobile Apps Team focussed on bug fixes for the recently released iOS app and for the Android app, as well as gathering user feedback from Wikimania.

The team also had unstructured time during Wikimania, in which the engineers are free to work on whatever they fancy. This resulted in numerous code quality improvements on both iOS and Android. On iOS, the unstructured time also spawned a preliminary version of the feature “Nearby”, which lists articles about things that are near you, tells you how near they are to you, and points towards them. On Android, the unstructured time spawned a preliminary version of full text search, an improved searching experience which aims to present more relevant results.

Mobile Web

This month the mobile web team, in partnership with the Editing team, launched a mobile-friendly opt-in VisualEditor for users of the mobile site on tablets (see also “Highlights” section). We also began building a Wikidata contribution game in alpha that will allow users to add metadata to the Wikidata database (to start, occupations of people) directly from the Wikipedia article where the information is contained. We hope to graduate this feature to the beta site next month to get more quantitative feedback on its usage and the quality of contributions.


In August, the Flow team created a new read/unread state for Flow notifications, to help users keep track of the active discussion topics that they’re subscribed to. There are now two tabs in the Echo notification dropdown, split between Messages (Flow notifications) and Alerts (all of the other Echo notifications). Flow notifications stay unread until the user clicks on the item and visits the topic page, or marks the item as read in the notifications panel. The dropdown is also scrollable now, and holds the 25 most recent notifications. Another new change — subscribing to a Flow board gives the user a notification when a new topic is created on the board.


In August, the team working on VisualEditor presented at Wikimania 2014, worked with a number of volunteers at the hackathon, adjusted key workflows for template and citation editing, made major progress on Internet Explorer support, and fixed over 40 bugs and tickets.

Users of Internet Explorer 11, who we previously prevented from using VisualEditor due to some major bugs, will now be able to use it. Support for earlier versions of Internet Explorer will be coming shortly. Similarly, tablet users browsing the site’s mobile mode now have the option of using a mobile-specific form of VisualEditor. A greater range of VisualEditor editing tools on tablets, and availability of VisualEditor on phones as well as tablets, is planned for the future.

Improvements and updates were made to a number of interface messages as part of our work with translators to improve the software for all users, and VisualEditor and MediaWiki were improved to support highlighting links to disambiguation pages where a wiki or user wishes to do so. Several performance improvements were made, especially to the system around re-using references and reference lists. We tweaked the link editor’s behaviour based on feedback from users and user testing. The deployed version of the code was updated three times in the regular release cycle (1.24-wmf17, 1.24-wmf18 and 1.24-wmf19).

Presentation slides about SUL finalization

SUL finalization

The SUL finalisation team continues to work on building tools to support the finalisation. There are four ongoing streams of work, and the team is on track to have the majority of the work by the end of September.

The ability to globally rename users was deployed a while ago, and is currently working excellently!

The ability to log in with old, pre-finalisation credentials has been developed so that users are not inadvertently locked out of their accounts. From an engineering standpoint, this form is now fully working on our test environment. Right now the form uses placeholder text; that text needs to be ‘prettified’ so that the users who have been forcibly renamed get the appropriate information on how to proceed after their rename, and more rigorous testing should be done before deployment.

A form to globally merge users has been developed so that users can consolidate their accounts after the finalisation. From an engineering standpoint, this form is now fully working on our test environment. The form needs design improvements and further testing before it can be deployed.

A form to request a rename has been developed so that users who do not have global accounts can request a rename, and also so that the workload on the renamers is reduced. From an engineering standpoint, the form to request a rename has been implemented, and implementation has begun on the form that allows renames to rename users. Once the end-to-end experience has been fully implemented and tested, the form will be ‘prettified’.

Phabricator migration

The project is getting close to Day 1 of a Wikimedia Phabricator production instance. For better overview and tracking, the Wikimedia Phabricator Day 1 project was split into three projects: Day 1 of a Phabricator Production instance in use, Bugzilla migration, and RT migration. Furthermore, the overall schedule was clarified. In the last month, Security/permission related requirements got implemented (granular file permissions and upload defaults, enforcing that policy, making file data inaccessible and not only undiscoverable). In upstream, Mukunda added API to create projects and Chase added support for mailing lists as watching users. Chase worked on and tested the security and data migration logic. Mukunda continued to work on getting the MediaWiki OAuth provider merged into upstream. Chase and Mukunda also worked on the Project Policy Enforcer action for Herald, providing a user-friendly dropdown menu to restrict ticket access when creating the ticket. A separate domain for user content was purchased. Chase also worked on the scripts to export and import data between the systems and support for external users in Phabricator and the related mail setup. Chase and Chad also took a look at setting up Elasticsearch for Phabricator.

MediaWiki core front-end libraries

In August, the work to improve MediaWiki’s core front-end libraries continued on two fronts. The preparation for implementing of the request for comment on refactoring MediaWiki’s skin system continued, with all skins moved out of MediaWiki and into their own repos, cleaning up the old shared skins infrastructure to a better location, and improvements to the ResourceLoader to support the improvements to the skins system. The second prong of work, to create a “MediaWiki” theme for OOjs UI, a toolkit used to compose complex widgets, progressed in collaboration with Design. This work has taken longer than anticipated due to delays in agreeing the complexities of user interactions but is on target to be completed soon, after which the toolkit will switch to this theme for all users. Additionally, work to share code between the OOjs and Mantle efforts continued, with the EventEmitter interface being ready to switch over to a single shared codebase.

Metrics and dashboards standardization

We published a report on mobile trends expanding the data presented at the July 2014 Monthly Metrics meeting. We started work on referral parsing from request log data to study trends in referred traffic over time.

Content API

August was mostly a month of travel and vacation for the service team. We deployed a first prototype of the RESTBase storage and API service in Labs. We also presented on both Parsoid and RESTBase at Wikimania, which was well received.

Later in August, computer science student Hardik Juneja joined the team as a part-time contractor. Working from Mumbai, he dived straight into complex secondary index update algorithms in the Cassandra back-end. At the end of the month, design work resumed, with the goal of making RESTBase easier to extend with additional entry points and bucket types.


Major Gifts and Foundations

The Major Gifts & Foundations team received a $500,000 grant from Mary Graham, to support Wikipedia Zero.

We are hosting a fundraising event at the New York Public Library in September.

Online Fundraising

The online fundraising team ran full-scale campaigns in South Africa and Malaysia. Low-level banner tests continued world-wide throughout August. Emails were sent to previous donors in South Africa and Malaysia. Approximately $1.4 million USD was raised in August through these campaigns (preliminary numbers as donations are still settling).

The team prepared translations of fundraising messages into multiple languages for upcoming international banner campaigns. If you would like to help with the translation process, please get involved.

We held a presentation session at Wikimania on Wikipedia fundraising A/B testing (video).

The Wikimedia Shop was part of the Community Village at Wikimania 2014. The Shop’s presence was successful (a few items sold out!), and it was a great opportunity to connect with the community and grantees. Thank you everyone for the valuable feedback!

Wikimedia shop volunteers and staff at Wikimania

Wikimedia shop volunteers and staff at Wikimania


Department highlights

The Wikimedia Foundation Individual Engagement Grants program is accepting proposals for funding new experiments from September 1st to 30th. And this round we’re testing out a new tool for easier proposal-creation!

New Evaluation portal launched at Grants:Evaluation

New Project & Event Grants (PEG) portal launched at Grants:PEG!

Launched the “global metrics,” a small required set of metrics which will be incorporated into each grantmaking reporting form (see also <a href="https://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/11/30/wikimedia-foundation-repo

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