All posts by Lewis Cawte

#MissingType and Mistakes

This week’s update focuses on the rather noticeable unsuccessful MediaWiki 1.27.0 which we’ve previously talked about here on the blog, and the important #MissingType campaign.

For a summary of what happened, we’ve embedded a copy of our Facebook apology.

We’ve learnt from the mistakes from this episode and we have been working on adding in a testing environment to our setup to stop future repeats of this. We’re also taking steps to make sure we tell our users what a problem is in future.

As some of you have noticed, we’re missing letters. We’ve decided to take part in the #MissingType campaign, which promotes blood donation by moving the letters of the three letters of the major blood groups – A, B and O. (We do know we missed the wide scale campaign, but the work is never done!)

Earlier today, I personally took part and donated my own blood for the first time. The process usually takes less than an hour and most people can become blood donors. In the UK, there are over 3000 different venues across the country.

First time blood donation. #giftblood #missingtype

A photo posted by Lewis Cawte (@lcawte) on

For those in the UK, signing up is as simple as going to For those in the US, see the Red Cross Website and for those in the rest of the world, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cresent Societies website will help you find information about your country.

Sign up, #GiftBlood and help save a life today.

Code Duplication Reduction

This week, our team has continued to work towards the 1.27.0 upgrade while providing our users with quick and useful support.

We’ve identified a number of additional bugs this week that have to be fixed, and in some cases have started working towards a solution.

The main technical highlight of the week has been some initial ground work being laid on T98 – Write a ShoutWiki library. This project will allow our team to continue to maintain our custom tools and extensions, specifically made for our wiki farm setup by reducing code duplication in various simple but essential pieces of code. This in turn, makes it easier to update these tools to allow us to focus on adding additional features and providing great user support.

I am personally very happy with the place ShoutWiki has been in the last week. We’ve had some of the best staff-user engagement we’ve seen in a long time, while making some great progress on some of our technical projects.

There will be no update next week – the majority of the team will be taking some much due holiday, however we will be answering essential queries through our support ticketing system and keeping the ship afloat. We expect to see you again in two Sundays time!