As we announced in the October newsletter, the Structured Data team at the Foundation is working on adding references to the Structured Data on Commons interface. The steps towards the launch are being shared through this phabricator ticket (T230315).
According to the developer team, this feature is about to be released, in the second week of January, as it is in its final testing phase. At the moment, users are able to test the feature, as it can already be enabled by appending ?MediaInfoEnableReferences to any file page link.
The SDC references will function and look similar to the way a qualifier does on the SDC interface. However, when editing and adding the data, users will find the option for references below qualifiers. Among the data users will now be able to add are properties such as publication date (P577), stated in (P248), among others. To visualize how the adding references process will look like, there's a video recording available on the phabricator ticket.
SDC references have been a wish from some Commons contributors, especially those working on GLAM-related activities, for some time now. The feature will allow contributors to attribute the metadata's provenance in a better way, which will be especially interesting for GLAM institutions to receive credit for the metadata they share, and it will allow them to more easily identify and update their metadata without overwriting community contributions.
Improved support for the Wikimedia Commons Query Service (WCQS)
The Wikimedia Commons Query Service (WCQS) will soon be in production for general availability, with a release date planned for 1 February 2022. This SPARQL endpoint for the Structured Data on Commons (SDoC) dataset has been available as a beta service since July 2020. Moving WCQS from beta to production comprises some key updates to enhance stability and functionality of the service. The Foundation will aim for 99% of updates to SDoC to be handled within 10 minutes (this dashboard tracks performance). Keep in mind that, similarly to WDQS, while the new Streaming Updater resolved some of our issues with latency, Blazegraph’s instability can still affect update lag.
The biggest change to user behavior will be the requirement for user authentication to use all endpoints. While we recognize that this may make it more difficult for some users to use WCQS, it allows us to address problematic queries that can cause service disruptions for all users, as frequently happens on Wikidata Query Service (WDQS). Please let us know if you experience any issues adapting to this change.