On 25/09/12 20:48, Erik Moeller wrote:
1) WMF is a technology organization. Hosting the core
for Wikimedia projects is very much what we do. This includes data
center operation, monitoring and backups, software deployments,
software/service upgrades, code versioning infrastructure, bug
tracking infrastructure, additional support systems and services (like
this mailing list), etc.
Toolserver is in fact hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation today, in our
Amsterdam data-center. We provide space, power and racks for the
toolserver cluster, at a cost of about $65,000/year to WMF according
to our Director of TechOps.
Something we should all be grateful for.
We also maintain the database replication
on our end which enables tools to function.
A replication which WMF is already doing for itself, adding an extra
slave hosted by a trusted party doesn't make a techical difference.
While WMF gains a backup server (at some point the toolserver was the
only externally hosted backup). It has also inadvertedly dropped the
binlogs needed by TS when doing server cleanup.
So while very welcome, the WMF side of the db replication is not the
most important piece of the toolserver (having a db copy still makes the
TS better than any other alternative available at the time, though).
The value is probably in how WMDE was able to open that database and
many fruitful tools emerged.
We can't provide the same level of service for the
infrastructure as we do for core operations, and it makes no sense for
a chapter to build out the required staffing and expertise to do so
(set up/maintain all or some of the aforementioned functions). Even
with slightly increased investment, toolserver would always suffer
from being second or third tier infrastructure.
labs is also a second class citizen.
Moreover, it is explicitely stated not to be for production-like level.
What will happen if a really successful tool reaches to a point where it
de-facto needs it ? (eg. a WLM tool, tools to Request to get an Account
Created, or Request an Unblock appeal...)
2) We're not comfortable hosting the toolserver
There are too many idiosyncratic aspects of its configuration;
it has its own wiki,
Since when is that a problem? To take an obvious example, labs also
began by making its own wiki, instead of incorporating itself into an
its own (closed source) version control system,
The vcs isn't closed source, it's just plain subversion.
The *repository viewer* is closed source, although with a an Open Source
license. I don't know if people really use it too much.
its own (closed source) issue tracker.
not a fan of jira, but this is the silliest reason to drop the
There are hacks like TUSC that we want
to replace with better systems/services (e.g. OpenID/OAuth).
OpenID nor OAuth are currently available. If they were, TUSC wouldn't
have been developed in the first time. When they appear, they will
-slowly at first- take over TUSC, as it should.
This ball is at WMF side.
Not to mention, if these «idiosyncratic aspects» were really a problem,
they could easily be changed.
Chapters are autonomous organizations, and it's
WM-DE's call how much
/ whether it wants to continue to invest in infrastructure of any kind
(and the decision of funding bodies like the FDC to accept or reject
that proposition). However, for our part, we will not continue to
support the current arrangement (DB replication, hosting in our
data-center, etc.) indefinitely.
This sounds as forcing them to go this route.
The timeline we've discussed with Wikimedia
Germany is roughly as follows:
- Wind down new account creation on toolserver by Q2 of 2013 calendar year
- Decommission toolserver by December 2013
WMF can't commit to providing technical support for tool transition
(there are too many tools), so if there's any area where I think it
would make sense to ramp up investments on WM-DE's part, it's in
engineering capacity to support tool developers in porting tools to
So the tool authors are "on their own", while forced to move out.
What is the WMF *offering*?
That said, there may be a need for emergency
keep TS in a usable state until December 2013 (and perhaps allow for
some buffer room beyond that). That's not our call to make.
But you are refraining WMDE from investing to it now. Would for instance
WMF be willing to lend a few servers to the toolserver until December 2013?