Submissions:2014/Using web API client libraries to play with and learn from our (meta)data

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Title of the submission
"Computer, Tell Me All About This Data": using web API client libraries to play with and learn from our (meta)data (Part 2)
Themes (Proposal Themes - Community, Tech, Outreach, GLAM, Education)
Technology and Infrastructure
Type of submission (Presentation Types - Panel, Workshop, Presentation, etc)
Author of the submission
Frances Hocutt
E-mail address
frances.hocutt a t gmail . com
US state or country of origin
Washington, USA
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Seattle Attic Community Workshop
Personal homepage or blog;
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Ever wanted to add to the amazing collection of Wikipedia-based visualizations, handle wiki-related metadata with ease and panache, or just grab one piece of information from each page in a category? This workshop, which covers a couple of different ways to interact with the MediaWiki web API, is for Wikimedia community members who want to learn interesting and effective ways to fetch and play with Wikipedia's contents and(meta)data--without having to find it on hundreds of individual wikipages!

We'll start by using the MediaWiki and Wikidata API sandboxes to explore what types of information are available to us and how we can narrow down the results to find just what we want. We'll move on to using a sample MediaWiki web API client library to automate this process, and finally, we'll use that library to compare editing trends on any pages that have caught your interest.

This workshop doesn't assume any experience with web APIs. If you've ever fiddled with wiki templates or any scripting language at all, you'll be able to get something out of this session.

By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Learn how web APIs work and how to find more information on MediaWiki's
  • Have a sense for similarities and differences between accessing data/metadata in a webpage and via the web API
  • Be comfortable with using the MediaWiki API sandbox to access new types of information and metadata
  • Be able to describe the difference between directly accessing data with the API and using a more abstracted client library to help automate the task and take easy advantage of the wiki's structure
  • Know some ways to make the XML/JSON-formatted API results human-readable
  • Have used an API client library to examine and compare editing trends on pages that interest them
  • Have ideas for how they can use the MediaWiki web API to enhance other Wikipedia/Wikidata projects!

Length of presentation/talk (see Presentation Types for lengths of different presentation types)
45-60 min
Will you attend WikiConference USA if your submission is not accepted?
Yes, if I receive a scholarship
Slides or further information (optional)
Special request as to time of presentations
This should take place after Submissions:Using the MediaWiki web API to get (only) the data you need (Part 1) but not necessarily immediately after

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. Sumanah (talk) 12:25, 2 April 2014 (EDT) - and check out for some exercises to help you get your computer set up before this session!
  2. Rhododendrites (talk) 21:37, 9 April 2014 (EDT)
  3. Timathom (talk) 13:38, 26 May 2014 (EDT)
  4. Add your username here.