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Technical Update: August 21, 2012

Here are the latest technical updates at Wikia. Keep in mind that our system updates happen every Wednesday, so we’re posting this on a Tuesday to give you advance notice. Also note that we change hundreds of tiny details every week, so these are just the highlights.

MediaWiki Upgrade UpdateEdit

As of this moment, the number of wikis on the MediaWiki 1.19 platform is approaching the 30,000 mark. Approximately 3,000 wikis were upgraded last week!

New FeaturesEdit

There are a few additions and changes to Message Wall. Starting Wednesday, you will see:

  • Quoting - You can now quote specific parts of another user's message in your post/reply. A small "Quote" button appears next to the "More" dropdown, which will allow you to select specific text you want to quote and add it automatically to a new message, with a space for you to comment below. It will also include a reply link that links back up to the message you quoted from.
  • Preview - You can now preview your message before posting it.
  • Notifications - Message Wall notifications will now always appear in the top-right Notifications dropdown, even you're on a wiki without Message Wall enabled. Community Messages and Talk Page notifications will continue to appear in bubbles at the bottom of the screen, and won't be affected. If you do not have a notification, the notification icon will not be displayed.

Along with these changes, Message Wall itself is moving out of Labs and into the main section of Special:WikiFeatures. It will be enabled by default on all new wikis, though admins are free to turn the feature off, as they can with other 'default on' extensions that appear in WikiFeatures.

Also, in the Wikia mobile skin, we've made some changes to provide a more consistent experience across all media types. Captions for image and video thumbnails will display in a cleaner overlay across the bottom, and a tap on the image/video thumbnail will take the viewer to the lightbox interface.

Major Bugs FixedEdit

  • In some cases, article images were not loading in the mobile skin when a page was reloaded
  • Videos embedded on the front page of a wiki were not opening in a lightbox, instead misdirecting the user to the video page.
  • Avatars changes were not going through, still displaying the previous avatar even after completing the upload dialog.

Other Notable ChangesEdit

  • This code release will include code that allows for wiki's to create "minified" custom JavaScript and CSS. Minified scripts allow for faster page. We'll have a full post about minification and how you can implement it on your wiki tomorrow.

Select Known IssuesEdit

  • In the Tabview extension, the first tab is loading content, but the subsequent ones are not.
  • Special:ImportFreeImages (upload using the Flickr service) is whitescreening.
  • We are investigating reports of missing email notifications for recent changes to watched pages.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them below. And if you have additional bugs to report, please send them to us via Special:Contact.

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