MediaWiki Workshop at MozTI@BESU

So, the first ever MediaWiki Workshop in Kolkata took place on January 5, 2013 at Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur. 

We had a Google form that people filled up with a few simple questions — and picked out 15 from the 58 that signed up. This was important since I was the only one conducting it — and I wanted to keep it to a manageable number. It started at 10:00 a.m. in the evening and was supposed to go on till 2:00 p.m.

  
The Workshop:
  
The workshop started around 10:30 a.m. I started with a brief introduction to Wikipedia, Wikimedia, MediaWiki, Free Software and OpenSource, as I personally like people to know why the would like to contribute to FOSS. And the fact that they would actually be contributing, its not always just about knowing a technology and doing a project. 
Although not many of the participants were very much comfortable with Javascript and jQuery, the enthusiasm was lovely! Not everyone had Wikipedia Account, so they created their accounts on English Wikipedia, in the very beginning. We started off with basics of how to customize your Wikipedia experience with JS and CSS, building a very basic user script that would simply give a pop-up showing an alert, just a single line code but helped them to get the fun out of it! Then we headed on to a another simple script which would print the date of registration in the console. This way they were introduced to Data (API, API Sandbox, actions). As, they were not really very much acquainted with Javascript, and also there was not much time left, we could not work move to the next project. Everyone worked at their own pace — and since there were smaller number of people I was able to (mostly) provide individual attention.
I introduced them to IRC (#mediawiki) and introduced them to the concept of Internet Relay Chat. It was a 3 and a half hour long session, and I am glad the enthusiam remained till the end. 
Outcomes: 
  • It ended up being a very basic introduction to MediaWiki. They did learn about the tech behind Wikipedia, and the ways to help out.

  • I told them about the mailing lists to join to stay connected and also shared with them idea of forming a MediaWiki Group Kolkata. Most of them seemed interested to be a part of the community. 

 Considering, they were all from totally non-wiki background and also were not so expert with  Javascript, the fact they were finally able to build code for MediaWIki, and also the interest they showed were quite satisfying. 

Future plans:
  • I will make sure that they get informed about all the opportunities, that they could use to keep contributing to MediaWiki.
  • We keep having remote sessions for those who are interested. They will be informed about those, and can join those if they want to!
  •   A MediaWiki Group Kolkata could be formed soon. 

 I would like to thank Mozilla Kolkata Community for organizing MozTI@BESU, also my session would not be so meaningful without the constant support from Quim Gil, Yuvaraj Pandihan T and Harsh Kothari of MediaWiki community.

Here’s to sharing knowledge! 🙂

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