From Wikifunctions

This page aims to give a reasonably current view on the current status of Wikifunctions. If something does not work, this page is a good first stop to check if that is a known issue.

This page is not the complete source of details. A more immediate view is the "Abstract Wikipedia" Phabricator board. This page just aims to provide a good and more easily understandable overview of major known issues and problems.

See Wikifunctions:Report a technical problem for details on how to report a bug or make a feature request.

Summary: This page is not complete. We don't plan to list every single user facing issue, but merely the main ones.

Prioritisation framework

This is the framework the development team use to make sure we're working on the important things for you.

Task prioritisation framework for Wikifunctions issues, July 2023
Level Meaning Timeliness Areas of concern Example
P0 A critical concern in production that must be fixed immediately Fix immediately. Drop everything.
  • Data corruption
  • Damage to integrity of the system
  • Leaking of sensitive data
  • Any time someone presses 'Publish', the page is instead broken for everyone until reverted
  • Abusive calls at a scale that overwhelms the system so real users can't do anything
  • Unauthorised users can see the IP used by a user making a function call
P1 The service is significantly limited, for a large number of users Fix within a week.
  • Major functionality loss for many people
  • Significant performance issue for most users
  • The editing system doesn't work on mobile devices
  • When most users press "Evaluate", they instead get a "Sorry, system busy" message
P2 The service is limited, for a smaller number of users Fix within a month.
  • Minor functionality loss for only a few people
  • Minor performance issue that doesn't impact most users
  • The function calling system doesn't work for users of a minor browser
  • For a few minutes a day, functions take ten or so seconds to reply instead of less than one.
P3 The service is imperfect, or could do better (including new feature requests) Triage and set expectations.
  • User experience leads to confusion
  • Non-optimal experience
  • Some key system labels have been translated very expansively or technocratically, and the UX feels very clunky or intimidating
  • After making an edit, the new page flashes into view rather than smoothly transitions from one state to the next

Short-term current issues to fix

These are issues that we're trying to fix immediately.

Editing broke, and then fixed itself

Tracked in Phabricator:
Task T343253

On publishing edits to an object, you would get an error message Caught exception of type MediaWiki\Extension\WikiLambda\ZErrorException and the edit would not be published. This is currently (2023-08-02) now working again, but without an understanding of how it broke we can't be sure it won't break again.

Medium-term improvements

These are issues that we hope to fix or improve in the next few weeks and months, based on your feedback.

Function calls are restricted to logged-in users

We have for now limited function calls to logged-in users as we scale the service. We are working on providing access to logged-out users too.

Object creation & editing is restricted to Functioneers, not all users

Logged-in contributors can edit any non-object pages, like this one. Object pages are currently restricted to contributors with the Functioneer role. Contributors can apply for editing rights on wiki. Object editing rights will be granted slowly and gradually over the next few weeks, following our release plan. Thank you for your patience.

You can't link Wikifunctions pages on Wikidata yet

This needs delicate work from the Wikidata team, lest it break Wikidata for everyone everywhere. Hopefully it will be done soon!

Only String and Boolean types are supported

For now, we only support the String and Boolean types. There are a number of built-in functions, e.g. first element of a list, typed list, and many others, which are currently not well supported by the site. There is currently no due date for when this will be fixed. We are ready to add some user defined Types almost right away. But generic types and generic functions require a bit of development and bug-fixing.

Multi-lingual support is in early version

A language switcher is live on top of the page. We hope it works and you stay in your chosen language. Please report issues. We expect this to be a bumpy experiences when using a different interface language. We are committed to continually improve language support, but adding proper multi-lingual support to MediaWiki is difficult. Some major problems are already known, and once these are resolved we will be asking you to keep an eye open for issues in our multilingual support so that we can continue improving that.

Diffs are ugly

For now, diffs "work" but shows ugly blobs of JSON rather than a nice, understandable, formatted result. We want an experience like Wikidata's.

Long-term plans

These are issues that we will prioritise based on your feedback and ideas, as part of the bigger plans for Wikifunctions and Abstract Wikipedia.

You cannot fetch an Entity or Lexeme from Wikidata in your function

This will be a key part of the work for natural language generation and other needs.

You cannot embed Wikifunctions calls in Wikipedia articles, Wiktionary entries, etc.

This will be a vital part of helping communities get the benefit of Wikifunctions, as well as building towards the Abstract Wikipedia goal.

Function pages don't show you where or how much they're used

This would be an important way for the Wikifunctions community to decide how to focus effort and warn users of changes, like how the GlobalUsage tool guides the Commons community.

Search is ugly

For now, the search "works" but shows ugly blobs of JSON rather than a nice, understandable, formatted result.