As the GSoC project period has come to a close, I want to give the Wikimedia community an update on the status of my project to improve MediaWiki’s watchlist feature.
Thus far, the project has added watchlist grouping, permissions to make watchlists publicly viewable by other users, and a new raw watchlist page. Although these features are still at an experimental phase, I would like to solicit ideas from the greater Wikimedia community for a more detailed plan in preparation for a Wikimedia deployment.
The primary component of the project yet to be realized is revamping the user interface. I’ve done some tinkering with jQuery and Ajax as implemented in MediaWiki, however I opted to focus on server-side operations initially, so that client-side additions would not need major changes later on.
I’m currently looking for other developers who would be interested in collaborating on this project, especially UI designers. If there is a specific feature or improvement you would like to see, please let me know – you can adopt it or suggest someone who would be interested in working on it with me.
Finally, there are several people I’d like to acknowledge: My mentor, Alex, for always being there when I needed him; Reedy, Eranroz, and Nikerabbit for being excellent, eagle-eyed debuggers; and Sumana and Greg for being awesome GSoC project coordinators!
I truly enjoyed this unique opportunity to work with Wikimedia over the summer. Working through GSoC has given me my first real form of paid work experience in programming. It has shown me that the greatest challenge of distance work is organizing people in the community who may be juggling numerous other responsibilities. My advice for future GSoC students: manage your time wisely, communicate early and often, and strike a balance between independent and collaborative problem solving. I look forward to working with Wikimedia and other open source projects in the future.