Reading/Multimedia/Media Viewer/Release Plan

Here is our proposed release plan for Media Media Viewer , a new tool for browsing multimedia content which is now in beta on Wikipedia and other MediaWiki sites.

Media Viewer lets you browse larger images on Wikipedia.

This new tool is being developed by the Wikimedia Foundation's multimedia team, to support these goals:

  • Provide a richer multimedia experience, to match user expectations
  • Display images in larger size, on the same page where you click
  • Reduce confusion when users click on thumbnails

Media Viewer has been tested extensively on many large wikis around the world, and the feedback collected from thousands of users suggests that this tool is generally useful to them for viewing images, as outlined in these survey results.

We are now releasing version v0.2 of Media Viewer gradually out of beta, enabling on a few more sites every week. We expect to be done with this global release by the end of June 2014.

We are grateful to all the community members who helped create this tool, through a series of discussions held in 2013 on multiple channels. We now invite other community members to test the release version, give us more feedback -- and help bring it to more users in coming weeks.

The plans below are subject to change and will be adjusted from time to time, based on community and team feedback.



We plan to test and deploy Media Viewer gradually, in several separate releases:



Test Media Wiki by default on a few pilot sites with smaller, tech-savvy communities.

First Pilot -   Done
Next Pilots - 1st batch -   Done
Next Pilots - 2nd batch -   Done

During these first pilots, we will study the impact of Media Viewer on these two fronts:

  • Community: how are editors responding? what are readers saying in the survey? is the overall feedback favorable?
  • Performance: how fast do images load? any slowdowns during peak hours? is the overall performance acceptable?

Note that the pilot list is still being finalized. If you are interested in being a pilot site, please contact us.

Large Wikis


Based on pilot test results, we plan wider releases on larger wikis:

Large Sites - 1st batch -   Done
Large Sites - 2nd batch -   Done
Large Sites - 3rd batch - May 13 2014   Done
Large Sites - 4th batch - May 15 2014 -   Done

(We plan to devote an entire release to Wikimedia Commons, because it is a more complex deployment, so we want to keep a closer eye on it than other deploys.)

Large Sites - 5th batch - May 22 2014 -   Done
Large Sister Site Pilot - 6th batch - May 29 2014 -   Done
  • Wikisource (in all languages - announced in mass mailing to all wikis below)

(This will let us test performance on sister sites that use a lot of thumbnails)

Large Sites - 7th batch - June 3 2014 -   Done

All Wikis


If all goes well with the large wiki releases, we plan to turn on Media Viewer by default for all other wikis, about a week later.

  • Target date for release to all wikis: June 19 2014   Done
  • Announcements:



We are deploying Media Viewer gradually, a few sites at a time, in collaboration with community members worldwide:

  • April 10 2014 - First limited pilot release: Enable by default on - Gerrit change 125031 -   Done
  • April 17 2014 - Second limited pilot release: Enable by default on a few small pilot sites (batch 1: Catalan, Hungarian, and Korean Wikipedias, English Wikivoyage) - Gerrit change 125032 -   Done
  • April 24 2014 - Third limited pilot release: Enable by default on a few small pilot sites (batch 2: Czech, Estonian, Finnish, Hebrew, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Thai, Vietnamese) - Gerrit change 125033 -   Done
  • May 1 2014 - Fourth limited pilot release: Enable by default on first large pilot sites: Dutch and French Wikipedias - Gerrit change 125034 -   Done
  • May 8 2014 - Fifth release: Enable by default on more large sites: Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish - Gerrit change 125035 -   Done
  • May 13 2014 - Sixth release: Telugu and Kannada Wikipedia Gerrit change 132967 -   Done
  • May 15 2014 - Seventh release: Wikimedia Commons Gerrit change 132968 -   Done
  • May 22 2014 - Eighth release: Enable by default on more large sites: Italian and Russian Wikipedias - Gerrit change 134808 and Gerrit change 134809 -   Done
  • May 29 2014 - Ninth release: Enable by default on all Wikisources - Gerrit change 134810 -   Done
  • June 3 2014 - Tenth release: Enable by default on more large sites: English and German Wikipedias - (Note special Tuesday deployment) Gerrit change 134811 and Gerrit change 134812 -   Done against explicit community wishes.
    English Wikipedia decided to remove the feature as a default setting, effective July 9 2014.   Rejected for implementation
    English Wikipedia confirmed this decision on November 5. Not yet implemented
    German Wikipedia decided to remove the feature as a default setting, effective August 8.   Rejected for implementation
  • June 19 2014 - Eleventh and final release: Enable by default on all wikis -   Done

Note these these dates may change, based on community or team feedback.

Launch Tips


To prepare for a smooth release of Media Viewer, we invite community champions for each site to consider the following localization tasks:

Translate Extension


Make sure that the user experience for Media Viewer has been translated well in your language, and that the translation is complete. You can help translate the MultimediaViewer extension here on

Translate Product Pages


We also invite you to translate these product pages in your language:

Local Product Pages


If you think your community would like a local version of these pages, we encourage you to create one. We also recommend that you include a test gallery like this one, so users can try out this tool with a variety of images.

Local Discussion Page


Prepare a local discussion page where people can give feedback in your language. This could be inspired by this main discussion page for this product.

Local Announcement


When the above tasks are complete, we invite you to announce the release on your site. This is a good opportunity to invite folks to test Media Viewer while it is still in beta, so we can address any key issues before launch. This announcement could be inspired by this draft below.

Feedback updates


If possible, post regular updates from your local discussion on our our main discussion page for Media Viewer on It would be best if these updates were posted in English on that page — if not, you could do this in your language on a corresponding talk page like this one.

Thanks for helping make Media Viewer a success in your community!



Here is the announcement draft which we invite you to adapt when introducing Media Viewer to your community.

Feel free to edit or shorten it as needed for your purposes. This announcement will also be posted by the Wikimedia Foundation on Commons, English Wikipedia and a few other large sites later this week.

Introducing Media Viewer

Media Viewer lets you browse larger images on Wikipedia.

We are happy to announce the upcoming release of Media Viewer, a new tool for browsing multimedia content on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites.

Today, viewing images on our sites can be a frustrating experience for casual users: when you click on a thumbnail in an article, you are taken to a separate page where the image is shown in medium size and surrounded with a lot of text information that can be confusing to readers. Media Viewer aims to improve this viewing experience by showing images in larger size, as an overlay on the current page. To reduce visual clutter, all information is shown below the image, and can be expanded at a click of a button. Read more below.

This new tool was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation's multimedia team, in collaboration with community members worldwide -- and they now plan to gradually release this tool in coming weeks -- starting with a few pilot sites, with wider deployments every week, as described in this release plan.

How it works


With Media Viewer, you can click on any image thumbnail to see it in large size, without visual clutter. You can see the file name and author credits at the bottom of the screen -- and view more information in an expandable panel below the image. You can also expand the image to full screen, for a more immersive experience -- or browse through all images in an article or gallery by clicking on the next and previous arrows. The 'Use this file' tool makes it easier to share images with your community, add them to articles or download them for your own purposes -- with full attribution to contributors. Learn more on this Help page.

User surveys and usability studies so far suggest that Media Viewer provides a richer multimedia experience, right where people expect it. They tell us they can see the images more clearly, without having to jump to separate pages -- and that the interface is more intuitive, offering easy access to images and metadata.

How you can help


Can you help us test Media Viewer in coming days, before it is released on this site? To try it out, log in and click on the small 'Beta' link next to 'Preferences' in your personal menu. Then check the 'Media Viewer' box in the Beta Features section of your user preferences — and click 'Save'. Then click on any thumbnail image on this site to see it in Media Viewer. For more info, check out these testing tips.

Try out Media Viewer and let developers know what you think on this discussion page. If you find any technical bugs, please report them in the bug tracker. Over 20,000 other beta testers have now enabled Media Viewer around the world. Here is an overview of the feedback they have kindly offered to help improve this tool.

The multimedia team is grateful to all the community members who helped create this feature, through a series of roundtable discussions held in 2013, over multiple channels.