This page is outdated and is kept for historical purposes.

This page is for planning and discussing possible changes in Incubator, e. g. regarding what the Langcom has decided during its meeting in May 2011 (see this report, first section).

Not all the content here are up-to-date. For the WikimediaIncubator extension, please direct any queries you may have to User:Hydriz.

2018/19 Developments


2018 has seen a major proposal for the reformation of the Wikimedia Incubator (in which the discussion can be found at Incubator:Reform discussions). This shows that it is about time the extension is improved to match the changing demands of users. Hence, Hydriz has stepped up to take over the maintenance of the extension, along with Ebe123, who are long-term bureaucrats of the Wikimedia Incubator.

Main goal: We want to make test wikis appear like they are in their own wiki.

Proposed improvements


The WikimediaIncubator extension is a MediaWiki extension that was written back in 2010/2011. The MediaWiki software has evolved much since then, and there are lots of new features that we can take advantage of. This is a non-exhaustive list of possible improvements to be considered:

  • Make use of ContentHandler to store test wiki infopages. We can then store the status of the wiki in a machine-readable format which can also act as an access control function.
  • Limit the powers of test administrators. It should be possible to restrict the actions of the test administrator to a specific test wiki.
  • Per-wiki statistics. When a user uses the number of articles magic word, the number of articles in that test wiki should be returned, not the number of articles in the whole of Incubator, which brings the next point:
  • MediaWiki should be aware of the context that the user is in. We already can have per-wiki logos, why not make everything per-wiki based? We can then do away with having to manually add the prefix when linking pages.
  • New wikis created: Need to simplify the process. Ideally, the user just needs to go to a certain special page, click export and all the required pages are exported and prefixes are automatically removed. That way, we can prevent a repeat of what happened to elwikinews. Same can be done for closing wikis. Server-side transfer is very unlikely to happen unless there is some level of cooperation with the Wikimedia operations team.
  • Have progress bars to creation of a wiki? Something to consider from StackExchange (see below).
  • Also, make the extension less Wikimedia-specific if possible, so that other wiki farms can run their own Incubators. Not very important though it is something we must consider.

The proposed changes are huge epics. Lots of stakeholders will be involved, especially in the case of Wikidata. However, not all listed here will be implemented, especially those with huge technical complexities. Ultimately, performance of the wiki is still the most important factor.

Action 2012



See I:Maintenance
  • PrefixExport
  • Simplify process for wiki creation
    • usability for requesters
    • we should be able to create wikis ourselves, not WMF devs
  • improve info page further
  • Wikimedia Incubator now has a project on Wikimedia Labs, developers of the Incubator extension please ask Ryan_Lane for an account and Hydriz will add you to that project. Wikimedia Labs is designed for us to have a better testing ground for our extension(s).


  • Make good docs
  • Enable Translate extension (already on Meta &
  • Steal translators



Discussion space




New term for test wikis?

  • A "test wiki" is: A virtual wiki within Incubator
  • It might be better to use another name
    • since "test wiki" may be ambigous (having the current name could bring comparision between (or and the different "test wikis" in the prefixes of incubator itself.)
    • necessity of making the proposed change of Incubator's functions clear (some test wikis who won't leave Incubator)

Ideas already discussed by some admins include:

  • Proposed wiki?
  • Incubating wiki? - this is a good one, although it still assumes it *has to* go out of Incubator at some point - what about "Incubated wiki"? (I'm not too sure about the connotation differences this has in English exactly) - not really good IMO. The "test wikis" are being incubated, "Incubated wikis" should be wikis that already have their own subdomain.
  • Virtual wiki (sounds 'unreal')
  • Fostered wiki (sounds too much as if it were preferred over others)
  • Subwiki (not a good one, but just mentioning)
  • Development wiki (I actually kinda like that one.. althought it may be a confusing name)
  • Wiki = general name (also for wikis on incubator); subdomain (for real wikis)

--MF-W {a, b} 21:49, 22 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

What about "local wiki"? It's vague but it's clear that it can't refer to a real wiki with a subdomain, so it should achieve its goal :-) SPQRobin 18:36, 11 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
What about "Wiki in development", less confusing,"Development wiki" would more mean Wiki for development of something. Ebe123 (Talkabout it|contribs) 14:56, 27 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Startup-project was suggested (not "wiki", as that would suggest a seperate wiki). Romaine 23:48, 12 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Or simply test project. --OWTB 21:47, 28 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Info page template


Please see /info page for a draft of a new version that will be in the extension. If you have any comments/ideas, please tell. Also, please see if I didn't miss any status (see below on the page). SPQRobin 00:19, 23 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Relation Incubator -- Language Committee



  • Internal Language Committee
    • current committee; semi-closed
    • makes actual decisions (approvals etc), and discusses about linguistic and/or technological issues, e.g. macrolanguages
  • Community Language Committee
    • in fact, we Incubator admins, but with a "rebranding" to make it more known
    • completely transparent, open
    • communicates with the internal committee (some members are in both)
    • "PR", communicates with chapters and coordinates with their efforts
    • maintains Incubator
    • helps anyone with anything needed to start a new language version

Loosely based on ideas from the Berlin Hackathon (Milos, Danny B) and own frustrations ;-) Regards, SPQRobin 22:24, 10 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I think this can be very useful, if implemented in a good way.
--MF-W {a, b} 22:59, 10 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Looks interesting, but board decision is still the most important factor here. --Hydriz 09:13, 11 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
For the "final approval" for sure, but this is more about strengthening the public relations activity of the langcom. --MF-W {a, b} 14:52, 11 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Interesting, but how about announcing this on wikimedia-announce for more users. Ebe123 (Talkabout it|contribs) 12:02, 11 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I think this can be done soon when we elaborated the idea a bit more/had more discussion about it. --MF-W {a, b} 14:52, 11 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]


I just wanted a little space to pen my notes down, feel free to ignore. --Hydriz (talk)

The ultimate goal of the Incubator-specific extension is to improve the overall usability of the Incubator. We want to create an environment whereby our users who contribute to the various test wikis here can feel like they are contributing to a real wiki, while keeping with the fact that a separate wiki for the site will only be created after the content of the wiki is verified to be good and can have its own site.

More often than not, we get complaints regarding the workflow of getting new wiki created. It is not that we dislike creating new wikis, just that many of us have different expectations to when a wiki can be created.. Here, I propose some things that I have learnt after trying to get a new Q&A website on StackExchange:

  • We should have a status bar on the Wx/xx pages so that the test wiki users know how far they are before their site gets created. The status bar reaching 100% is based on the factors:
    • Number of articles within the prefix (simple and cheap to implement)
    • Number of users contributing to it/users committed to contributing to the site (may be cheap, not too sure since need to query who contributed to all pages in a prefix)
    • Localisation
  • A different site logo from the Incubator's logo within a test wiki and should be easy to customise. (seems to be done though not complete since clicking on the logo brings us to the Incubator's main page, when it should bring us to the main page of the test wiki)
  • Ability to create links to pages within the test wiki even without prefixes (currently handled by the AddPrefix gadget, but hackish, not good). This includes categories and templates too.
  • A "from Wx/xx" tagline below the page title, which is a link to the "Wx/xx" page.

Possible but harder to implement:

  • Enable specific extensions based on what project the test wiki is under.
  • Have a changeable sidebar per test wiki.
  • Search bar while in a test wiki searches within the test wiki and not everywhere on Incubator.
  • Interwiki links for each page should be directed to the respective projects instead of pointing to Wikipedia.
  • Server side transferring of pages for a test wiki.