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User interface for managing terms in Wikibase.

This file can be considered a quick setup guide. To dive into the development documentation please refer to the docs folder.

In a nutshell, this project provides the following functionalities:

  1. when run as server ("SSR") provides an HTTP API that is consumed by Wikibase TermboxRemoteRenderer to shows the HTML result on Wikibase entity pages
  2. contains a dist/ folder with auto-generated JavaScript and CSS files, that are consumed by a MediaWiki component called ResourceLoader, to be used in the frontend on Wikibase entity pages. The configuration for this can be seen in resources.php.
  3. contains the tools to facilitate development of the termbox application and components used inside of it

How this connects to Wikibase

This code can be found as a git submodule of Wikibase at the following relative path: extensions/Wikibase/view/lib/wikibase-termbox/

The commit of this submodule on Wikibase master may not be the latest development version of this code so to get the latest development version you may need to run:

git checkout master

Since the Wikidata runs a weekly snapshot of Wikibase master we can be explicit about which version of termbox we run by changing the commit of the submodule rather than always having to use master of termbox.

JavaScript in MediaWiki

Wikibase is an extension to MediaWiki and as such uses its JavaScript delivery mechanism. In order to reduce the amount of bytes transferred to users, libraries used in multiple sub-products, like vue in termbox, are externalized on build and shipped through MediaWiki. For this to work successfully, it is important that the same version of the libraries are used. As a consequence, some libraries are pinned to specific versions in dependency management (see package.json). Their update must be coordinated with the update of the library in MediaWiki.



As this project only comes to full fruition in integration with wikibase some configuration is required to make them collaborate. Set the user-specific environment variables: cp .env.example .env and modify .env according to your setup.

These environment variables can be distinguished in two groups - some are relevant configuring how the SSR service works ("production level"), some add to this for the development context ("development level"). Set all of them. Reasonable defaults are in place where it is possible but this needs your attention to get a working setup.

  • Production level environment variables

    • SSR_PORT is the port at which the node server performing server-side vue rendering can be reached (by mediawiki to render entity pages, or your browser to try it in isolation)
    • WIKIBASE_REPO is the wikibase installation used as information authority (e.g. to load entity information), including the path (where both index.php and api.php are located)
    • WIKIBASE_REPO_HOSTNAME_ALIAS is used to replace the hostname in WIKIBASE_REPO. Added to help with deployment in the WMF cluster. It must be set but in can be the same as the WIKIBASE_REPO hostname. In most cases setting them to be the same is what non-WMF installs will desire.
    • MEDIAWIKI_REQUEST_TIMEOUT is the duration ( in milliseconds ) after which the ssr-server terminates any request to mediawiki in any case. This parameter is optional and will be set by default to 3000.
    • MESSAGES_CACHE_MAX_AGE is the maximum age of entries in the messages cache in ms. This parameter is set to 1 minute by default. Setting this to a negative value will effectively disable this cache.
    • LANGUAGES_CACHE_MAX_AGE is the maximum age of entries in the languages cache in milliseconds. This parameter is set to 5 minutes by default. Setting this to a negative value will effectively disable this cache.
    • HEALTHCHECK_QUERY is the query string for the OpenAPI x-amples healthcheck. Note that the revision and entity id must refer to an existing entity revision on the corresponding Wikibase installation. If this is not set, no healthchecks will be performed, i.e. x-monitor will be set to false in the OpenAPI spec.
  • Development level environment variables

    • MEDIAWIKI_NETWORK_TO_JOIN is the (local docker) network of your mediawiki development setup. The SSR service will attach itself to it in order to make it available to wikibase and vice-versa.

      Recommendation is to use termbox in conjunction with addshore/mediawiki-docker-dev.

      Check via docker network ls for the name, by default it is derived from your mediawiki development project, e.g. mediawiki-docker-dev_dps.

      The SSR service can be reached inside of this network at http://node-ssr:<SSR_PORT from your .env file> to get HTML, in turn the SSR services calls <WIKIBASE_REPO> to get essential information.

    • CSR_PORT is the port at which you can reach the development server on your machine to live-preview changes to the termbox application. This allows development outside of MediaWiki, using a simulated environment as configured in src/dev-entry.ts.

    • STORYBOOK_PORT is the port at which you can reach the storybook server on your machine to live-preview changes in the component library

    • NODE_ENV is the environment to set for node.js

Building Docker image

# ensure the node user uses your user id, so you own generated files
docker-compose build --build-arg UID=$(id -u) --build-arg GID=$(id -g) node

# install npm dependencies
docker-compose run --rm node npm install

Configuring Wikibase

In order to have this termbox displayed in Wikibase entity pages Wikibase need to be configured. For details see:

For development in particular set the following in your LocalSettings.php

$wgWBRepoSettings['termboxEnabled'] = true;
$wgWBRepoSettings['termboxUserSpecificSsrEnabled'] = true;
$wgWBRepoSettings['ssrServerUrl'] = 'http://node-ssr:3030/termbox';

Right now the new termbox is also only visible with the MinervaNeue skin enabled which requires MobileFrontend. Hence you may need to clone and enable these in LocalSettings.php e.g.:

wfLoadExtension( 'MobileFrontend' );
wfLoadSkin( 'MinervaNeue' );

Wikibase Termbox will only work if you have installed the Universal Language Selector package. Download to the /extensions folder and enable it as well in LocalSettings.php

wfLoadExtension( 'UniversalLanguageSelector' );


  • docker-compose run --rm node npm run build builds the frontend code
  • docker-compose run --rm node npm run build-server builds the server-side manifest and the node entry point

Starting it up

  • docker-compose up starts three development servers
    1. an SSR server (HTTP endpoint to be hooked up to your wikibase), reachable at http://localhost:<SSR_PORT from your .env file>
    2. a server for the frontend part in development mode (akin to the dist/ folder working on a dummy entity), reachable at http://localhost:<CSR_PORT from your .env file>
    3. a storybook server for component development, reachable at http://localhost:<STORYBOOK_PORT from your .env file>

    🗯 These more or less mirror the individual project functionalities


Run all code quality tools

  • docker-compose run --rm node npm test

Run code quality tools individually

  • docker-compose run --rm node npm run test:unit runs all tests
  • docker-compose run --rm node npm run test:lint for linting, docker-compose run --rm node npm run fix for fixing auto-fixable lint errors

Blubber build

This project can be build with blubber, configuration is located in the .pipeline directory.

Instructions above will gradually be migrated to use blubber.

Running tests

blubber .pipeline/blubber.yaml test > Dockerfile
docker build -t wmde/wikibase-termbox-test .
docker run --rm wmde/wikibase-termbox-test

To read more about tests, and the intricacies of browser tests in particular, see docs/


If you have worked with vue before you may be familiar with vue cli. Given at time of writing our development workflows are all rather shell-centered we opted against adding its weight as a dependency but you can fire it up dynamically by invoking

docker-compose run --rm -p 8000:8000 node npx @vue/cli ui --port 8000 --host

Amongst others it provides a neat (webpack) analysis of the build artifacts.

Running for production

E.g. with production wikidata configured as the backend (WIKIBASE_REPO).

Using a custom build

blubber .pipeline/blubber.yaml production > Dockerfile
docker build -t wmde/wikibase-termbox-production .
docker run --rm -p "3030:3030" -e WIKIBASE_REPO= -e -e SSR_PORT=3030 wmde/wikibase-termbox-production

Using official, automatically created images

Changes to this project that are successfully merged into the main line (master) are automatically run through a so called service pipeline job which builds the production variant and publishes the resulting image under a descriptive name as a tag in the docker registry.

You can reference these tags directly when spinning up a container - the simplest conceivable way to reproduce a production setup at a given moment in time; e.g. to reproduce a reported bug. Note that in the command below, a service-runner config.yaml is mounted into the container to get logs and metrics printed to stdout. Otherwise the service would attempt to connect to statsd and logstash, and fail if they're not available.

docker run --rm -v $(pwd)/config.debug.yaml:/srv/service/config.yaml -p "3030:3030" -e WIKIBASE_REPO= -e -e SSR_PORT=3030

Asserting service health

We can use the release engineering docker image to assert if our service passes the monitoring x-amples it defines in openapi.json.

Assuming you are running the SSR service through docker-compose and have it exposed to your host system at port 3030, run

docker run --rm -it --network host http://ssr:3030

This should yield: "All endpoints are healthy."

To make the most of this, make sure to set a HEALTHCHECK_QUERY inside your .env file which matches your system (i.e. mentioning an entity-revision-combination present in your database).

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