On 2013-02-21 1:40 PM, "Mark A. Hershberger" <mah@everybody.org> wrote:
> (Adding a couple of mailing lists so others can weigh in.  Changing
> subject so those added aren't completely lost.)
> On 02/21/2013 11:55 AM, Quim Gil wrote:
> > Ok, just a question as humble 3rd party MediaWiki user and technical
> > volunteer coordinator at the WMF: is there a possibility to consider
> > having a regular free software release process?
> >
> > master/unstable ---> (testing releases?) ---> stable releases
> ...
> > I think the current process is ok-ish in the short term: non-WMF
> > contributors are getting +2 and 3rd parties are getting tarballs.
> As you say, I think the current process is Ok(ish) for now. We need to
> get others in the MediaWiki "ecosystem" involved in core before this
> becomes something we really need to do.
> It would be great to have developers from other significant MediaWiki
> sites (like Referata, Wikia, Citizendium, etc) become more involved and
> start introducing features or hooks that they use into core or making
> the extensions available.  Of course, some of those developers have
> already been involved.
> But right now, I don't sense a huge amount of friction between the WMF's
> needs and the non-WMF MediaWiki-using community.  The most that can be
> said is that the WMF is focused on its sites and doesn't make third
> party use a priority.  This doesn't stop support for other databases,
> though: Oracle, MS SQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, or even my recent changes to
> separate out DB schema changes in MySQL.
> That said, I'm very interested in this conversation.  As MZ will remind
> you, I did advocate for the formation of the MediaWiki Foundation.
> Mark.
> --
> http://hexmode.com/
> There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.
>    -- Mahatma Gandhi, "Non-Violence in Peace and War"
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Having wikipedia use unstable versions helps to catch many bugs. Not only are wikimedians great testers (they (ab)use the software in insane ways), by in large bugs encountered by wikimedians get reported effectively.

Thus the use of unstablish releases on wikimedia allows for much more stable core releases.