Wikibase Yearly Summary 2020

This article presents what happened around Wikibase in 2020, with a timeline followed by some analyses:

Timeline

Items are listed using the following categories:

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Insights

Overview

In 2020, Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) had an ambitious roadmap around Wikibase. Not everything was accomplished (it was a tough year for everyone…), but the global direction seems right.

In my opinion, three important achievements around Wikibase in 2020 were:

In 2020, two weaknesses of Wikibase were:

Wikibase documentation

In July 2020, Wikimedia Deutschland released a new version of wikiba.se, the official website of Wikibase, including a new documentation. This made the Wikibase documentation spread over several websites:

Several of them cover the same topics or are not maintained. Fortunately, Wikimedia Deutschland started to centralize some documentation on mediawiki.org. It will be easier to maintain (for example, just adding a link on the official website is tedious), and will benefit from the additions by the community. The migration is in progress:

There are other examples of dispersion and unfinished work:

Trademark issues

The brand Wikibase is de facto not protected. Several companies now use the term in their names (some were created before the inception of the project Wikibase), like Wikibase Solutions or The Wikibase Consultancy. It might seem harmless, but I already witnessed an experienced Wikimedian mistake one of these companies for the developer of Wikibase. You can also easily imagine the confusion outside of the Wikimedia movement, especially when some of them present themselves as “the Wikibase team”.

End of a formal Wikibase Community User Group

The Wikibase Community User Group is an organization, independent from Wikimedia Deutschland, founded by volunteers to promote Wikibase. For instance, its members created the Wikibase mailing list and the first Wikibase group on Telegram. The Wikibase Community User Group is a recognized affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation, which gives several rights, like using the logos of the Wikimedia movement, taking part in strategic discussions of the Wikimedia Foundation with other affiliates, or voting for the affiliate-selected board seats of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Until 2020, Wikimedia Deutschland never got really involved in the user group and, since its inception, had regular tensions with the various volunteers trying to make it live. At the beginning of 2020, Wikimedia Deutschland undermined the discussions that the user group initiated with the chapter to prepare several events in cooperation. Wikimedia Deutschland made it clear that the user group was stepping on their toes, also stating that they wouldn’t help nor wanted to be involved in the user group, with the effect of discouraging the volunteers active in the user group at that time. Surprisingly, a few months later, Wikimedia Deutschland took over the user group. However, this was made without respecting the conditions an affiliate must comply with to stay recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation and, consequently, the Wikibase Community User Group will eventually formally disappear.


See also → Wikibase Yearly Summary 2021


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