Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#Wikimedia #Mobile Frontend is opening up

The mobile frontend of #Wikipedia achieved 9.5% of the total traffic. It is growing rapidly. Having a strategy to support your wiki on mobile platforms is really important. There was a bit of good news on the Wikitech mailing list:

[Wikitech-l] First steps at making MobileFrontend usable beyond the WMF infrastructure
 Over the last couple of weeks, I've taken a few steps to remove some of theWMF-specific bits of the MobileFrontend code base:https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=34144https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=34145
Also, now if you view an article with "useformat=mobile" in the URL's querystring, MobileFrontend will keep the mobile view enabled as you browse pageto page until you explicitly exit the mobile view.
While MobileFrontend has now been generalized enough to be used beyond theWMF cluster, there are still quit a few things that could be done toimprove the ease of out-of-the-box usage. For instance, adding configurableWURFL support (which I believe should be fairly straightforward - this isout of date but the same idea should still work:http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2012-January/057478.html)or making it possible to use path-based modifiers to signify mobile view(eg http://mywiki.com/wiki/Article -> http://mywiki.com/wiki/m/Article -https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=35178).
It would be great if anyone can help test/provide feedback for the changesthat have been made, and especially if anyone wants to help add thefeatures mentioned above!
There are many organisations large and small who use MediaWiki. Many of them stand to gain a lot of traffic with out of the box support for mobile devices. The great thing of this effort is that the MobileFrontend will be supported in the next releases; it is what the WMF uses itself.
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