Saying no to proprietary code in production is hard work: the GPU chapter

Maintaining and improving one of the largest websites in the world using Open Source software requires a continuous commitment. The site is always evolving, so for every new component we want (or need!) to deploy, we need to evaluate the Open Source solutions available.

Computational knowledge: Wikidata, Wikidata query Service, and women who are mayors!

One of the main aims of Wikidata is to represent knowledge in a way that is computable—that is, amenable to automatic processing. Wikipedia already contains a lot of information; much of it is reasonably easy for a human to understand—though some of the more esoteric bits are decidedly not—but it’s not at all readily crunchable by a computer.

Parsoid in PHP, or there and back again

In December 2019, we replaced the original version of Parsoid, written in JavaScript, with a version written in PHP, the primary programming language of MediaWiki. This new version, called Parsoid/PHP, is roughly twice as fast on most requests as the original version Parsoid/PHP brings us one step closer to integrating Parsoid and other MediaWiki wikitext-handling code into a single system.

WikimediaDebug v2 is here!

WikimediaDebug is a set of tools for debugging and profiling MediaWiki web requests in a production environment. WikimediaDebug can be used through the accompanying browser extension, or from the command-line. This post highlights changes we made to WikimediaDebug over the past year, and explains more generally how its capabilities work.

Wikipedia’s JavaScript initialisation on a budget

This week saw the conclusion of a project that I’ve been shepherding on and off since September of last year. The goal was for the initialisation of our asynchronous JavaScript pipeline (at the time, 36 kilobytes in size) to fit within a budget of 28 KB – the size of two 14 KB bursts of Internet packets.