[Mediawiki-i18n] Report on WebFonts deployment

Alolita Sharma asharma at wikimedia.org
Wed Dec 14 18:36:08 UTC 2011

Siebrand - Thanks for the detailed report.

Again, let me reiterate that the I18n team has been working round the clock
responding to feedback and fixing bugs. We all have been triaging
outstanding bugs (critical and non-critical) and will continue to work
through resolving these to continue improving the WebFonts functionality.
We have also reported upstream on font issues that we cannot fix ourselves.

As referred to earlier, please:
* Join the Language Support Teams to help us with technical requirements,
testing and support of your favorite languages.
* Use the mediawiki-i18n mailing list to report issues you're facing and
discuss with us solutions that can be implemented.
* Join us on the freenode irc channel #mediawiki-i18n for discussions
* File bugs using bugzilla.wikimedia.org
* Report issues at http://ur1.ca/6ov9a
* Help us test!

Also, you're welcome to ping me or Siebrand with any questions you may have
re: testing, support, development roadmap, more. I am available on irc at
#wikimedia-dev, #mediawiki-i18n, and #mediawiki.

Thanks and look forward to your feedback.

On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 9:49 AM, Siebrand Mazeland (WMF) <
smazeland at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Dear all,
> My apologies up front for the long e-mail that follows. In this e-mail you
> will find a comprehensive status overview of the recent WebFonts deployment.
> On Monday December 12 at 18:00 UTC we deployed the extension WebFonts[1]
> to 40 wikis in 11 Indic languages and Wikimedia Incubator -- all wikis in
> Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya,
> (Eastern) Punjabi, Sankrit and Telugu have WebFonts now. WebFonts was not
> deployed on Malayalam and Tamil projects. The reason for this was that
> community members had requested us not to. We are confident that in time,
> the communities will request that WebFonts is enabled on their projects.
> WebFonts aims to resolve the issue that users see incomplete web pages,
> because the fonts to properly render the page is not present in the local
> system by downloading the font through the browser.
> One of our great challenges developing this functionality is the multitude
> of scripts and the low availability of freely licensed fonts that may be
> modified and redistributed.
> Over the past few months we have tried to build out a collection of fonts
> in the extension mainly for Indic languages, and we have performed many
> tests. We have solicited community involvement through messaging in village
> pumps, e-mails on mailing lists, blog posts on personal blogs as well as on
> the Wikimedia Foundation blog, at developer events, through personal
> e-mails and through our bug tracker, and gotten some feedback, although
> unfortunately not for all the languages we would like to have gotten it
> for. We will of course continue our efforts in this area. Next to the
> community involvement, we have had a two day session with the Red Hat
> Localisation team in Pune, India.
> Since the deployment, we have been criticised for not communicating enough
> -- or not through the right channels, not with the right people, not in
> time, or too soon, or not with the right messages. I'm not really sure how
> to respond to that, except for uttering a general "mea culpa, mea maxima
> culpa". We are working really hard in continuously improving the work that
> we do, and the way that we do it. We make mistakes, we are human after all,
> and when we become aware of our mistakes, we will do everything in our
> power to make it better.
> With our team we support the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation to
> "imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
> sum of all knowledge." I care about that -- a lot. We all care, and I am
> pretty certain that we're not ignorant, dismissive or incapable. I
> acknowledge that we as the Localisation team are a relatively new entity
> within the MediaWiki development community and within the Wikimedia
> Foundation, with a very wide scope, and that we are dealing with a lot of
> technical details on which we are simply not able to assess the final
> quality; there are after all 7.500 languages in this world of over 7
> billion people that we theoretically all cover, some 350 of those languages
> are supported in MediaWiki, and 280 within Wikimedia.
> I accept that we cannot keep everybody happy -- doesn't keep us from
> trying, though. I want to try and work with as many people as possible in a
> constructive way. With these numbers, that's not always easy to coordinate.
> To channel the input on languages, we have set up "Language Support
> Teams"[2]. We do not yet have a language support team for every language.
> Please sign up if you care about the technical facilitation of your
> language in the Wikimedia movement. Let's use the mediawiki-i18n mailing
> list[3] to have constructive discussions about language support. Let's use
> the #mediawiki-i18n IRC channel[4] on Freenode to have real-time
> discussions. Let's use bugzilla.wikimedia.org to report bugs[5]. Link [5]
> explains the bug reporting procedure. If you already know how, report
> issues quickly using this link: http://ur1.ca/6ov9a .
> Since the deployment, we have been made aware of about 17 issues. Some
> very serious in nature, others not requiring immediate attention. Yesterday
> an issue with web fonts not loading in Firefox was resolved in the
> infrastructure. Today around 15:30 UTC, we have deployed fixes for an
> additional hand full of issues[6]: functionality disabled in IE6, IE8 on
> Windows XP, selection buttons not working properly in IE7 and hiding the
> Samyak fonts in the font selector. During our current sprint, we are
> working on a framework for multi-lingual and localised user documentation
> as well as feature based feedback functionality for WebFonts, Narayam and
> Translate. In the future we will also explore what is known as "dark
> launch" by some, a kind of hidden live deployment of a feature, only usable
> be for example manipulating a URL. This would allow us to deploy a feature
> in a live environment, without having the "full deployment" impact.
> Thanks for reading through this. I am looking forward to working with you!
> Please read on for details on all the issues that were reported on WebFonts
> recently.
> Cheers!
> Siebrand Mazeland
> Product Manager Localisation
> Wikimedia Foundation
> =======================================
>                          Links
> =======================================
> [1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:WebFonts
> [2] https://translatewiki.net/wiki/Language_support_team
> [3] https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/mediawiki-i18n
> [4] https://translatewiki.net/wiki/Special:WebChat
> [5] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Bugzilla
> [6] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/106204
> =======================================
>                          Open issues
> =======================================
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33004 -- Old cached pages do not have web
> fonts enabled
> Priority: HIGH
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Wikimedia is able to serve this many pages with relative few servers
> because of very aggressive caching strategies, especially for anonymous
> users. WebFonts requires the addition of JavaScript for anonymous users,
> which is not being done for pages that are in the squid cache at the moment
> WebFonts was enabled. All squid cache objects for wikis on which WebFonts
> was deployed need to be purged. An internal RT ticket created for the
> Wikimedia Operations team to get anonymous squid caches purged. This may
> take up to a week or longer to be resolved.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33018 -- Firefox 5 on Windows XP has
> script time-outs
> Priority: MEDIUM
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The Localisation team has tested this report, and was not yet able to
> confirm the observation. The reason for using a non-recent version of
> Firefox for the report was the alleged lower memory usage. Brion noted that
> Mozilla has been actively working on lowering memory usage over the last
> year, so the reporter may be better off with the current versions than the
> old ones.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33110 -- Google Crome on Windows XP
> dispays gibberish
> Priority: LOW
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Observed very rarely on a page on Wikimedia Incubator, and we have not
> been able to reproduce this observation, let alone reproduce it reliably. A
> screenshot is present in the bug report. Except for reporting upstream, no
> action is being taken on this issue at this point in time.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33054 -- Hinting issues in Lohit fonts
> Priority: MEDIUM
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Confirmed in Windows XP. We can do something to the font by adding
> hinting, but this is a lot of work if it needs to be done manually. The
> stem of the Lohit glyphs could do with more width and darkness. This may
> not be desirable for platforms (Linux) which render it perfectly, because
> it already has hinting and anti-aliasing on an operating system level. Same
> goes got Windows 7.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33100 -- Page crashes on Webkit browsers
> with WebFonts enabled.
> Priority: MEDIUM (could be HIGH if we find many occurances)
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> A page in Nepali Wikipedia makes a tab on Mac OS X 10.7.2 with Google
> Crome crash. This behaviour was also reported for Mac OS X 10.7.2 (11C74)
> with Safari 5.1.1 (7534.51.22, r102522)  [This is a webkit nightly build]
> by thedj. This is most probably related to the WebFonts code, because if,
> as a logged in user, web fonts is disabled in preferences, the page does
> not crash Chrome.
> Developer Derk-Jan Hartman was asked to report this bug in the WebKit.
> Please make us aware of any additional pages that would cause this
> behaviour in any wiki.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33102 -- OSX 10.7.2/Opera 11.60 has no
> fallback for Latin characters
> Priority: MEDIUM
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is a bug that needs to be reported upstream. No technical measures
> have been taken so far to mitigate this issue. One of the Localisation team
> members has been in contact with a high level executive of Opera, and will
> contact that person again. We're going to wait for a few days for an
> outcome -- if there is no expectation of a relatively quick fix, we might
> disable WebFonts for Opera completely. Opera unfortunately does not have a
> public bug tracker.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33027 -- Narayam and WebFonts both loading
> slows down page
> Priority: MEDIUM
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The reporter claims that the functionality is quicker on translatewiki.netthan it is in Wikimedia wikis. A commenter states that more functionality
> usually means more code, means more data that needs to be transferred, and
> without changing bandwidth, that causes longer load times.
> This currently isn't our highest priority, but eventually we will look
> into this a little deeper. We're inviting volunteers to do some of the data
> gathering and analysis for us. What is needed in our opinion is insight in
> the data volume added by WebFonts, as well as an assessment of the code
> quality with regards to size optimisation. All referenced properly, of
> course :). There are alternate EOT conversion tools that have a good
> compression ratio. Needs to be explored, but EOT is not required for modern
> browsers since they started using WOFF fonts which are compressed OpenType
> fonts.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33085 -- Integration of updated
> Lohit-Tamil Font
> Priority: MEDIUM
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Request to update WebFonts with a font that is updated upstream. This is
> something the Localisation team checks regularly. Will probably be closed
> this week, pending issues the have a higher priority.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/32942 -- Provide help page and bug report
> link for WebFonts
> Priority: HIGH
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> More recently developed tools by the Wikimedia Foundation have often
> included feedback mechanisms. The Localisation team plans on implementing
> these for the functionality of the WebFonts, Narayam and Translate
> extension. Besides that, we also want to provide multi-lingual and
> localised documentation. This needs some thinking and some work to provide
> in a structured and navigable way. We'll keep you posted. It will most
> probably involve translatable *user* documentation on MediaWiki.org and
> hopefully it is possible to have one feedback location per feature across
> the multiple Wikimedia wikis -- this is something we're going to contact
> the ArticleFeedback and MoodBar teams for.
> =======================================
>                          Closed issues
> =======================================
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33025 -- When changing to a non-default
> web font, the content does not
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This issue was a side effect of a feature to allow multiple web fonts to
> be used using the "lang" attribute. It was resolved in
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/105980 and has been
> deployed.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33034 -- Web fonts not loading in Firefox
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Duplicate reports were 33038 and 33044. This issue originated from
> http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-fonts/#same-origin-restriction. Almost all
> browsers except for Firefox ignore that specification. A fix was designed
> and deployed: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/106092,
> https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/1501. Thanks to Roan, Brion and Ryan for
> their help.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/32775 -- Gibberish in Internet Explorer 8
> on Windows XP
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is an unexplained phenomenon only observed in Internet Explorer on
> Windows XP. It is also hard to reproduce. One of the developers was able to
> make something somewhat reproducible on a clean, fully patched installation
> of Windows XP with Internet Explorer 8. See bug report for details.
> Based on these observations we think it is a bad idea to keep supporting
> WebFonts in Internet Explorer 8 on Windows XP and we have disabled it in
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/106172. This fix
> has been deployed.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33096 -- Internet Explorer 6 does not have
> font fallback
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> IE6 not having font fallback causes Latin characters to display as squares
> when a web font is loaded that does not contain glyphs for the Latin
> script. A screenshot is available at
> http://media.crossbrowsertesting.com/users/34057/screenshots/window/z66900205a439264709a.png.
> Based  on this observation, we think it is a bad idea to keep supporting
> WebFonts in Internet Explorer 6 and we have disabled it in
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/106172. This fix
> has been deployed.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33024 -- WebFonts menu buttons not working
> in IE7
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This  was caused by the JavaScript $( '<input type="radio" />' ) .  attr(
> "name" ,"font"); not working in IE6 and IE7. Updating name  attributes once
> they have been created is not possible. We think there  may be more
> occurances of this in our code (one occurance in jQuery has  already been
> identified: resources/jquery/jquery.validate.js:59). A fix was made in
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/106175. This fix
> has been deployed.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33040 -- Overlap in Samyak font for Hindi
> and Sanskrit
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This issue occurs in Windows XP and Windows 7 (possibly also in Windows
> Vista) when using Google Chrome. It is not observed when using Chrome with
> Mac OS X 10.7.2 or several Linux distributions (Debian and Fedora). Samyak
> Devanagari is available as a non-default web font in Hindi, Marathi, and
> Sanskrit. Samyak Gujarati is available for Gujarati as a non-default font.
> This font needs to be corrected. The maintainers will be notified of the
> observed issues, and mean while, the fonts will be removed from the
> WebFonts selection list (but can still be used using the font-family
> property. A fix was made in
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/106179. This fix
> has been deployed.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33039 -- Overlap in Madan font for Nepali
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This report was invalid. The reporter was not aware of the correct glyph
> for the Nepali script.
> Comments on this bug report resulted in two odd observations (Crome crash,
> Opera font fallback), that have been split off into separate bug reports:
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33100 and
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33102.
> https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/33095  -- WebFonts menu can expand off the
> screen
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> If the translations for "Select font" and "Login / Register" are really
> short, like in http://mr.wiktionary.org, expanding the WebFonts menu for
> anonymous users will display a menu that is partially off the screen. It
> was resolved in
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/106186,
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/106197,
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/106201,
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/106202. These
> revisions also depend on a few small UI changes of both WebFonts and
> Narayam, and will be deployed on December 19, 2011.
> <no bugzilla report> -- WebFonts menu expands under the control for
> customised input method in IE6 on transliteration
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> There are issues with the z index in IE6. Because of
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/106172, WebFonts is
> no longer available in IE6, so this issue is obsolete. Observing that the
> Hindi projects Wikipedia and Wiktionary are using an custom input methods
> tool, we would like to invite them to test Narayam which contains many
> input methods in a MediaWiki extension. We are very open to having the
> Hindi input method InScript tested and add a transliteration input method
> with some community representatives, as we have done with other Indic
> languages. We hope this will eventually lead to Narayam being adopted by
> the Hindi community, and the custom input method being abandoned.

Alolita Sharma
Director, Features Engineering
Wikimedia Foundation
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