Reading/Multimedia/Media Viewer/Timeline

Media Viewer is a new multimedia browser aimed at Wikimedia readers and casual editors. This tool was developed by Wikimedia Foundation's.multimedia team from July 2013 to December 2014.

Media Viewer aims to improve the viewer experience for Wikimedia readers

This timeline lists key milestones and events throughout the development and release of this tool. It is intended as a reference to support the Media Viewer 2014 Research report.


  • July 1: Multimedia team is formed, with product manager Fabrice Florin and software engineer Mark Holmquist
  • July 9: First Media Viewer product slides posted as Google presentation
  • July 9: Mark starts developing sample code for a first version of MultimediaViewer extension
  • July 10: Roundtable discussion about Media Viewer and other projects, on Google Hangouts
  • July 18: IRC Office Hours Chat about Media Viewer and other multimedia projects
  • July 19: First Media Viewer feature requirements and specifications posted on Mingle
  • July 22: First user interface designs, based on community feedback and requirements
  • August 8: Multimedia roundtable discussion at Wikimania in Hong Kong
  • August 22: IRC office hours about Multimedia plans
  • August 22: Updated design mockups by May Tee-Galloway posted on Wikimedia Commons
  • September 4?: Brian Wolff develops first working version of CommonsMetadata extension
  • September 18: Development starts on Beta Features, to support Media Viewer beta launch
  • September 24: Pau Giner joins the multimedia team as part-time interaction designer
  • October 1: Full set of feature requirements for Media Viewer minimum viable product
  • October 10: Start online discussion on Wikimedia Commons about Media Viewer
  • October 14: Gergo Tisza joins the multimedia team as full-time software engineer
  • October 21: Keegan Peterzell starts work as part-time community liaison for multimedia
  • Oct. 31: Release Media Viewer as a Beta Feature on
  • October 31: Start Media Viewer talk page on
  • Nov. 7: Release Media Viewer as a Beta Feature on all Wikipedias
  • Nov. 11: Updated development tasks for Media Viewer, based on community feedback
  • Nov. 19: Aaron Arcos joins the multimedia team as full-time volunteer engineer for 5 months
  • Nov. 22: IRC Office Hours Chat about Media Viewer and Beta Features
  • Nov. 27: Roundtable discussion about Media Viewer on Google Hangouts
  • Dec. 4: Roundtable discussion about Media Viewer on Google Hangouts


  • Jan. 6: Gilles Dubuc joins the multimedia team as full-time senior software engineer
  • Jan. 13: First weekly sprint planning meeting, using Mingle and agile development tools.
  • Jan. 28: New designs for share, download, re-use and other features
  • Feb. 2: First quarterly planning meeting with a full multimedia team
  • Feb. 10: Expand community engagement for Media Viewer beta testing
  • Feb. 21: IRC Office Hours Chat about Media Viewer beta.
  • Feb. 24: Usability testing starts for Media Viewer beta on
  • Feb. 27: Blog post invites community members to help test Media Viewer.
  • Mar. 3: Reach out to community champions for gradual release of Media Viewer worldwide
  • April 10 - First pilot release on
  • April 17: Release on Catalan, Hungarian, and Korean Wikipedias, English Wikivoyage
  • April 24: Release on Czech, Estonian, Finnish, Hebrew, Polish, Romanian, Thai Wikipedias
  • May 1: Release on first large pilot sites: Dutch and French Wikipedias
  • May 8: Release on Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish Wikipedias
  • May 13: Release on Telugu and Kannada Wikipedia
  • May 15: Release on Wikimedia Commons
  • May 22: Release on Italian and Russian Wikipedias
  • May 29: Release on on all Wikisources
  • Jun. 3: Release on English and German Wikipedias
  • Jun. 7: English RfC starts.
  • Jun. 12: Release ‘View original file’, scroll down for info, show file page link to all users.
  • Jun. 19: Final release on all wikis
  • Jun. 23: Release ‘Disable’ for anonymous users (T77606), tooltips. Start tracking disable rates.
  • Jun. 27: Commons RfC starts.
  • Jul. 1: Release ‘Show attributions in Download’. Remove all surveys.
  • Jul. 8: German RfC starts.
  • Jul. 10: English Rfc closes, with request that Media Viewer be disabled by default
  • Jul. 10: Respond to English RfC that we will not disable by default, but keep improving.
  • Jul. 30: Media Viewer Review with Lila, agree to not disable, keep improving
  • Aug. 1: Start work on new improvements and user research.
  • Aug. 7: Respond to Commons RfC, agree to disable for logged-in users by default
  • Aug. 8: German RfC closes, requests disabling by default.
  • Aug. 9: Respond to German RfC that we will not disable by default, but keep improving.
  • Aug. 10: German users hack their site to remove Media Viewer extension
  • Aug. 10: WMF implements ‘Superprotection’ feature to prevent hacking .js pages.
  • Aug. 20: Community petition to remove ‘superprotection’ and Media Viewer
  • Aug. 26: Disable Media Viewer as the default for logged-in users on Commons
  • Aug. 27: WMF removes ‘superprotection’, offers to improve Media Viewer further
  • Aug. 28: Host community consultation, collecting 130 suggestions for improvements
  • Sep. 2: Test prototype of new improvements with about 10 users, who find them useful
  • Sep. 9: Remove 'File Usage' and 'Categories' from the metadata panel
  • Sep. 11: Evaluate community suggestions for improvements, select a dozen 'must-haves'
  • Sep. 18: Release first improvement: Enlarge feature (go to original file in full resolution)
  • Oct. 2: Release next improvements: More Details (go to file page), Download, Share/Embed
  • Oct. 4: Meet productively with German community members at WikiCon in Cologne
  • Oct. 6: Second English RfC starts, requesting first RfC request for removal be re-opened
  • Oct. 23: Release more improvements: disable/enable settings, monobook support
  • Nov. 6: Release final improvements: captions above the fold, final layout
  • Nov. 6: Second English RfC on removing Media Viewer is closed
  • Nov. 21: Second English RfC on removing Media Viewer is re-opened
  • Dec. 8: Fourth research study shows users can complete all key tasks with Media Viewer
  • Dec. 9: Second English RfC is closed with 'no consensus' on removing Media Viewer
  • Dec. 11: Multimedia team holds retrospective of lessons learned from Media Viewer
  • Dec. 17: Metrics improvements, start tracking scrolling to open metadata panel