Wikibase Yearly Summary 2020
This article presents what happened around Wikibase in 2020, with a timeline followed by some analyses:
Items are listed using the following categories:
- Articles & News
- 2020-01-22 Wikidata & Wikibase office hour by Wikimedia Deutschland [notes].
- 2020-01-22 Samantha Alípio becomes Product Manager for Wikibase at Wikimedia Deutschland.
- 2020-01-22 2020 development roadmap for Wikidata and Wikibase by Wikimedia Deutschland.
- 2020-01-23 Change: Wikibase installations: new term store enabled.
- 2020-01-25 WBStack Infrastructure, by Addshore.
- 2020-02-01 Wikibase Ecosystem, taking Wikidata further, by Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) at FOSDEM [slides, video].
- 2020-02-05 Change: Action API parameter validation.
- 2020-02-06 ADR-7: Use vuex-smart-modules in Data Bridge.
- 2020-02-17 Wikidata is just a matter of facts, by Andra Waagmeester.
- 2020-02-17 ADR-8: Format Bridge references via API.
- 2020-02-20 First online meeting of the Wikibase Community User Group [notes].
- 2020-03-04 Could you wikify an authority file? Wikibase has been evaluated for the Integrated Authority File (GND), by Barbara Fischer (DNB) and Jens Ohlig (WMDE).
- 2020-03-04 ADR-9: Refactor hooks for testability.
- 2020-04-01 → 2020-04-03 EMWCon Spring 2020
- 2020-04-07 Wikidata & Wikibase office hour by Wikimedia Deutschland [notes].
- 2020-04-07 ADR-10: Do not add source information to Property IDs for the Federated Properties MVP.
- 2020-04-07 [es] Primeros pasos con Wikibase [First steps with Wikibase], by BVMC.
- 2020-04-16 Change: Blank node deprecation in WDQS & Wikibase RDF model.
- 2020-04-19 WBStack 2020 Update 1, by Addshore.
- 2020-04-21 Mohammed Sadat becomes Community Communications Manager for Wikidata and Wikibase at Wikimedia Deutschland.
- 2020-04-23 ADR-11: declare strict_types Rollout.
- 2020-05-05 Wikidata Course, Part 2/4: Wikibase & Lexemes, by Shani Evenstein (TAU), with Lydia Pintscher (WMDE).
- 2020-05-17 WBStack 2020 Update 2, by Addshore.
- 2020-05-19 Dan Shick becomes Technical Writer for Wikibase/Wikidata at Wikimedia Deutschland.
- 2020-05-20 Building an OpenRefine Reconciliation Endpoint for a Wikibase project: Lessons Learned, by Jeff Mixter and Bruce Washburn (OCLC).
- 2020-05-30 [fr] Exploration Wikibase [Wikibase Exploration], huge technical experience feedback on Wikibase, related to FNE proof of concept.
- 2020-06-10 Cataloguing Practices in the Age of Linked Open Data: Wikidata and Wikibase for Film Archives, by Adelheid Heftberger and Paul Duchesne (FIAF).
- 2020-06-15 ADR-12: PSR-4 and maintenance scripts [T172368].
- 2020-06-18 Experimentations with Wikidata/Wikibase, by Karen Smith-Yoshimura (OCLC).
- 2020-06-26 ADR-13: Register shared features in Repo and Client.
- 2020-06-29 Getting started with Wikibase, by Dan Shick (WMDE).
- 2020-07-02 Second online meeting of the Wikibase Community User Group [notes].
- 2020-07-02 Version 1.1 of wikiba.se is released.
- 2020-07-09 Linked data for libraries with Wikibase, by Jens Ohlig (WMDE) at LD4 [video].
- 2020-07-13 [fr] Preuve de concept FNE : synthèse et décisions [FNE proof of concept: synthesis and decisions], by BnF and ABES [report].
- 2020-07-15 Change: removing special pageterms behavior on repo wikis, use entityterms instead.
- 2020-07-16 [fr] Projet FNE : preuve de concept Wikibase aboutie [FNE project: Wikibase proof of concept completed], by ABES.
- 2020-07-20 Change: WikibaseClient example config will no longer define an example repo.
- 2020-07-21 Wikidata & Wikibase office hour by Wikimedia Deutschland [notes].
- 2020-08-05 ADR-14: Make Wikibase.git a monorepo.
- 2020-08-06 Third online meeting of the Wikibase Community User Group [notes, video].
- 2020-08-17 Change: New datatype fields in Lexeme JSON output.
- 2020-08-19 Semantic MediaWiki vs Wikibase vs Cargo, by Jeroen De Dauw (Professional.Wiki).
- 2020-09-03 SSHOC Online Information Sessions: Open-Source Vocabulary Hosting and Management Platforms — Introduction to Wikibase Vocabulary Platform
- 2020-09-03 Fourth online meeting of the Wikibase Community User Group [notes].
- 2020-09-03 Semantic Wikibase Released, by Jeroen De Dauw (Professional.Wiki) [repository, video].
- 2020-09-16 The first version of the Wikibase Manifest Output Format is released [T261285, WikibaseManifest].
- 2020-09-16 Change: lib/WikibaseLib.php is no longer an entry point to the Lib extension.
- 2020-09-17 Wikidata, Wikibase and the library linked data ecosystem: an OCLC Research Library Partnership discussion, by Merrilee Proffitt (OCLC).
- 2020-09-24 An Introduction to Wikibase and Wikidata with Barbara Fischer and Sarah Hartmann, part of the Wikicite Discussion Series made by IFLA Wikidata Working Group.
- 2020-10-01 Fifth online meeting of the Wikibase Community User Group [notes].
- 2020-10-05 Local Media Support for Wikibase, by Jeroen De Dauw (Professional.Wiki) [video, repository, T258932].
- 2020-10-06 Jens Ohlig, Software Communication Strategist, announces leaving Wikimedia Deutschland.
- 2020-10-07 Wikibase Consultants and Support Providers (see also MediaWiki Professional development and consulting).
- 2020-10-08 IFLA Wikidata Working Group kick-off meeting.
- 2020-10-15 SEMIC 2020 (full programme) — Providing sustainable data services through Wikibase and Wikidata [video]
- Encoding, sharing and promoting Cohesion Policy projects as Linked Data with Wikibase, by Francesco Foglia (UNIRC), Max De Wilde (European Commission DG CNECT).
- Decentralising the management of national authority files through Wikidata, by Anila Angjeli (BnF), Benjamin Bober (ABES), Barbara Fischer (DNB), Joel Thill (National Archives of Luxembourg), Christel Kayser (BnL).
- 2020-10-25 [it] WikiBase, partendo da zero [Wikibase, starting from scratch], by Luca Mauri at itWikiCon 2020 [slides, notes].
- 2020-10-26 ADR-15: Use PSR-11-compatible MediaWiki service container as extension basis.
- 2020-10-27 Wikidata & Wikibase office hour by Wikimedia Deutschland [notes].
- 2020-10-28 An informal conversation about the emerging Wikibase community during 24-hours meetup of Wikidata’s Eighth Birthday, by Mohammed Sadat and Jens Ohlig (WMDE).
- 2020-11-02 Automatic synchronization of RDF graphs representing ontologies and Wikibase instances at Wikidata Workshop, by Alejandro González Hevia, Guillermo Facundo Colunga, Emilio Rubiera Azcona and Jose Emilio Labra Gayo (University of Oviedo) [paper].
- 2020-11-12 Sixth online meeting of the Wikibase Community User Group [notes].
- 2020-11-17 The WikiLibrary Manifesto.
- 2020-11-17 [de] Deutsche Nationalbibliothek und Wikimedia Deutschland veröffentlichen WikiLibrary-Manifest [German National Library and Wikimedia Germany publish WikiLibrary Manifesto], by Barbara Fischer (DNB).
- 2020-11-23 → 2020-11-27 Semantic Web in Libraries (SWIB20)
- Using IIIF and Wikibase to syndicate and share cultural heritage material on the Web, by Jeff Keith Mixter (OCLC) [video].
- 2020-11-24 → 2020-11-26 Semantic MediaWiki Conference Fall 2020 (SMWCon Fall 2020)
- 2020-12-13 Open Sourcing WBStack, by Addshore.
- 2020-12-15 [fr] La gestion des données d’autorité archivistiques dans le cadre du Web de données [Management of archival authority data as part of the web of data], by Anne Chardonnens (ULB); see also Linking the Past.
- 2020-12-17 Seventh online meeting of the Wikibase Community User Group [notes].
- 2020-12-27 Transferring Wikibase data between wikis, by Jeroen De Dauw (Professional.Wiki).
This section was initially published on March 1, 2021.
In my opinion, three important achievements around Wikibase in 2020 were:
- WikibaseManifest, a Mediawiki extension that allows tools to easily interact with any Wikibase and to no longer be specific to Wikidata.
- WikibaseLocalMedia, a Mediawiki extension that adds the support for local media files to Wikibase (you are no longer limited to files hosted on Wikimedia Commons). It was developed by Professional.wiki. While it’s not the first third-party Wikibase extension (for instance, Lingua Libre has some since 2018), it’s one of the most interesting as it covers a general use case, and it will probably be widely adopted on many Wikibase installations.
- The WikiLibrary Manifesto. At the moment, signatories are primarily German-speaking institutions, and some absences are odd, like the National Library of France (BnF), one of the leaders in the adoption of Wikibase.
In 2020, two weaknesses of Wikibase were:
- The proper packaging and release versioning of Wikibase are still work in progress.
- The inconsistencies and dispersion of Wikimedia Deutschland, at every level. One example is the Wikibase documentation, and we’ll see in the next section how Wikimedia Deutschland is already working to fix some issues in this domain.
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:
- wikiba.se, the official website
- learningwikibase.com, created by a WMDE employee
- mediawiki.org, the official wiki about Mediawiki, where its extensions like Wikibase are usually documented
- doc.wikimedia.org, technical documentation, mainly for developers of Wikibase and its extensions
- gerrit.wikimedia.org (WikibaseManifest, etc.) and github.com (mediawiki-extensions-Wikibase, wikibase-docker, etc.)
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, as there are still some issues:
- Old pages of wikiba.se should redirect to mediawiki.org (at the moment, you can still find them via a search engine, and there is no way to be aware that they are no longer maintained).
- There are several links to fix (for instance, some links on the front page of wikiba.se still target the old pages).
- The documentation on mediawiki.org should rely more on Mediawiki features (for instance by using internal links or subpages when relevant).
There are other examples of dispersion and unfinished work:
- The list of consultants and support providers for Wikibase was made on Meta, while this topic is usually covered on mediawiki.org (example).
- The extension WikibaseManifest was built in 2020.
- If you look for WikibaseManifest on a search engine like Google, you’ll stumble upon an old repository, with no obvious way to realize it is no longer maintained.
- On the up-to-date repository, the example link to Wikidata does not work (as the extension doesn’t seem to be installed on Wikidata).
- WikibaseManifest was not really presented to the community. A blog post on Tech News would be welcome, with a simple presentation highlighting the benefits of the extension, followed by a more technical dive-in.
- Wikimedia Deutschland should clarify their strategy about the Wikibase documentation, even internally.
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, applying for specific grants, 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 A short history of the Wikibase Community User Group.
See also → Wikibase Yearly Summary 2021
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