GrowthExperiments setup

This is a documentation for developers for adding Growth features to a Wikimedia wiki. For requesting these features as a community member, see mw:Growth/Communities/Get the Growth experiments on your wiki instead.

Preparation

Add special page aliases for the new language. (Example patch: 643084 Note: do not include namespace names.) Unlike the other changes described here, this is deployed via the train so it's worth doing ahead of the rest. This is an i18n change so if you need to backport it, you have to use scap sync-world.

This can be omitted if needed.

Dark mode deployment

Growth features are usually first deployed in so-called dark mode

Prepare patches

In wmf-config/InitialiseSettings.php (can be found in operations/mediawiki-config repository), you will need to enable wmgUseGrowthExperiments. In addition to wmgUseGrowthExperiments, you need to add the wiki to the growthexperiments dblist by adding growthexperiments to the inheritsFrom list in wmf-config/config/{wiki id}.yaml same repo (run composer buildDBLists to update dblists/growthexperiments.dblist).

You also need to set wmgGEFeaturesMayBeAvailableToNewcomers to false to ensure features are not available to newcomers yet.

This part can be done ahead of actual deployment, and does not require any permissions apart from having a developer account. Rest of the instructions require deployment access.

Deployment

It is recommended to proceed only if you are comfortable with editing on-wiki config files (for that, +staff or similar access is needed), if necessary. If everything goes all right, it should not be needed, but the need might arise.

Usually, the deployment is done as part of a backport window (without booking a dedicated window) – the scripts should not be time consuming.

  1. Run mwscript extensions/WikimediaMaintenance/createExtensionTables.php --wiki=XXwiki GrowthExperiments. This is important, as it will create necessary database tables. !log the table creation.
  2. Merge the prepared configuration patch and fetch it to the deployment server.
  3. ssh to maintenance server and pull the patch there via scap pull.
  4. Initialize the on-wiki config via running mwscript extensions/GrowthExperiments/maintenance/initWikiConfig.php --wiki=xxwiki --phab=Txxxxx
  5. Go to https://xx.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki:GrowthExperimentsConfig.json and https://xx.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki:NewcomerTasks.json and verify the configuration looks fine.
  6. Deploy the patch using instructions at Backport windows/Deployers.

Verification

To ensure the features work, go to the wiki, enable newcomer dashboard and editor help panel in your preferences and go to Special:Homepage. You can also see the number of tasks available at https://xx.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:NewcomerTaskInfo.

  1. Test by enabling User profile > Display newcomer homepage and Editing > Enable the editor help panel in Special:Preferences, visiting Special:ClaimMentee (this will validate the mentor page as a side effect), visiting Special:Homepage, and clicking on a suggested task to bring up the help panel in suggested editing mode.
  2. Check that there are enough tasks, by going to https://xx.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:NewcomerTaskInfo. It's especially important for the copyedit and links task types to have some tasks for each topic.
    • Ideally, we would check whether there are enough tasks before deployment, but we don't have the tooling for that yet.