Wikimedia Technical Documentation Team

This page documents the work and processes of the Wikimedia Foundation Technical Documentation Team (Tech Docs Team).

For information about how to find and create technical documentation, see: Documentation.

Mission

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Empower people to use and contribute to Wikimedia technology by making technical documentation easy to find, use, create, and maintain.

The document or site works when target users can find what they need, understand what they find, and act on it confidently.
—"Five Steps to Plain Language", centerforplainlanguage.org

Open-source software is an essential part of the Wikimedia movement. It provides platforms for content, enables us to expand our reach, and encourages us to look at knowledge is new ways. Documentation is the method through which software can be shared and collaborated on. Our mission is to ensure that everyone who wants to use or contribute to Wikimedia software can easily find and use the information they need. This work builds on over 20 years of technical documentation by the Wikimedia technical community. It strives to make technical information more accessible, more inclusive, and more reliable so that open-source software can continue to empower the Wikimedia mission.

Contact us

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Goals

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Drive documentation work with data

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Documentation success is notoriously difficult to measure. However, in order to prioritize our work and create a shared understanding of documentation quality, we must establish metrics, based on quantitative and qualitative methods, for measuring documentation health and tracking improvements.

Documentation effectively meets users’ information needs

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Better understanding the health of our technical documentation across technical areas enables us to identify where the need for improvement – and potential for impact – is greatest. Technical writers provide documentation strategy to support critical user journeys across products and projects. Our holistic view of Wikimedia technical content helps us create and structure content for multiple, overlapping audiences. As partners in development workflows, technical writers provide a crucial user-focused perspective, helping improve our technology so that it needs less documentation.

Build the culture of documentation

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The Wikimedia technical ecosystem spans hundreds of services, extensions, libraries, and tools, created by both staff and volunteers. To effectively manage technical documentation at this scale, we must empower Wikimedians across the movement to create and manage docs. This requires community outreach, self-service tools, and processes that support (and require) documentation updates. We must also invest in automated tools, like CI-based documentation checks and content linters, to make it easier for everyone to participate in maintaining great docs.

Active projects

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For more details, read our twice-monthly updates on Talk:Wikimedia Technical Documentation Team, and visit our workboard on Phabricator.

Project Alignment Contact Status
Consolidate and improve data usage docs SDS TBurmeister In progress
Redesign Data Platform docs on Wikitech SDS TBurmeister In progress
Documentation metrics dashboard Team goals KBach In progress
Replace jsduck with JSDoc3 across all Wikimedia code bases WMF essential work APaskulin In progress
Google Season of Docs 2024 WMF essential work APaskulin In progress
AQS 2.0 user documentation SDS2.6 KBach In progress
Tool documentation hackathon project WMF essential work TBurmeister In progress

Past projects

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Maintenance projects

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We maintain the following projects that align with our team goals. Maintenance responsibilities include reviewing patch requests, fixing critical bugs, monitoring wiki pages, and monitoring Phabricator projects.

Wikimedia Developer Portal

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The Developer Portal is a static website that helps people find Wikimedia technical documentation. For more information, see the project documentation.

Documentation resources on mediawiki.org

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Documentation and its subpages provide resources to help you find technical documentation, improve your docs or your writing, and get involved in contributing to Wikimedia technical documentation efforts.

API Portal

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(Beta) The API Portal is an experimental API documentation and OAuth credential management wiki, including a wiki instance at api.wikimedia.org, a skin, and an extension.

API spec reader

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The API spec reader is a tool that renders OpenAPI specifications with a built-in sandbox. For more information, see the project documentation.

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The mediawiki-api-demos repository contains sample apps for MediaWiki Action API tutorials, sample code for MediaWiki Action API docs, and code for the MediaWiki Apps Gallery.

doc.wikimedia.org

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doc.wikimedia.org is a platform for Wikimedia technical documentation, including static sites and generated docs. We lead the documentation strategy for the platform.

JSDoc WMF theme

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In partnership with WMF frontend teams, we co-maintain the Wikimedia theme for generated JavaScript documentation on doc.wikimedia.org, including leading documentation strategy, triaging and implementing minor fixes and enhancements, and releasing new versions.

Technical documentation dashboard

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The technical documentation dashboard is a Toolforge tool that aggregates metrics about collections of documentation pages on wiki.

Team members

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Person Timezone Location Developer account IRC Phabricator Gerrit GitLab
Alexandra Paskulin
(team lead)
UTC-8/-7 California, USA apaskulin apaskulin apaskulin Alex Paskulin apaskulin
Tricia Burmeister UTC-5/-4 Pennsylvania, USA tburmeister tburmeister TBurmeister Triciaburmeister tburmeister
Kamil Bach UTC+1/+2 Belgium kbach kbach KBach KBach kbach