Wikidata:REST API feedback round

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We regularly get feedback that Wikidata (and Wikibase in general) needs an API that’s easier to understand and use in order to get more people to build tools that use data from Wikidata and other Wikibase instances. The existing action API has several problems. The biggest ones are that it’s not a widely used standard, not versioned and that it is not very well suited for Wikibase’ structured data (as opposed to MediaWiki’s usual wikitext). Over the last weeks we’ve looked at ways to improve the situation and have come up with a draft for a REST API for Wikibase. We’d love to have your feedback on it.

What we want to achieve with it[edit]

  • Provide a more industry-standard and versioned way to access and manipulate data in Wikibase. This will make it easier for programmers to get started building tools with and around Wikidata and other Wikibase instances.
  • Provide an API that is more tailored to the Wikibase data model to, for example, make it possible to get exactly the part of an Entity you need instead of the whole entity.
  • Solve a number of issues in the current API that are easier to solve with REST.

A few things to keep in mind[edit]

  • This is only touching the Wikibase-specific API modules, not any of the others that MediaWiki provides.
  • We’ve started with the specification around Items and Properties. Once we are sure the direction is good, we will look at other parts of the data model and content like Lexemes and MediaInfo.
  • For existing users of the action API: Nothing changes for you for now. If the feedback is positive, and we go ahead, it’ll take us some time to actually implement the proposed changes. It’d be very important for us to hear your feedback now to ensure that the new API meets your needs in the future.

We have prepared the following documents to explain the proposed REST API that we would now like to get your feedback on:


At any point, feel free to give feedback on this talk page. Updates will be announced on the usual communication channels (Project Chat, weekly newsletter).

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