I am pleased to share with you the news about the formation of the latest team in the Technology department, the MediaWiki Platform team!
The MediaWiki Platform team will be tasked with leading maintenance and improvements related to the core MediaWiki platform codebase. That includes encouraging future development of the MediaWiki platform and addressing the technical debt that has accumulated during the 15-year history of MediaWiki.
MediaWiki is an amazing, powerful, and complex open-source software platform. The number and variety of extensions, and the wide variety of communities who have adopted MediaWiki as their method for knowledge collection and dissemination, are a testament to its strength as a software platform.
Like any significant codebase with a long development history, there are remnants of design choices and experiments that are no longer in use, and some areas of code are in need of modernization. However, at its core is a large amount of highly functional, secure, performant code, capable of supporting a robust platform through the use of extensions and hooks. There is also a great amount of flexibility to adapt to new requirements.
This team will have a more focused purpose than the previous MediaWiki Core team.. While the previous team was at times spread too thin, many areas are now covered by dedicated teams like Security and Performance. The new MediaWiki Platform team will center their efforts on the core codebase. The team will also have a dedicated Product Manager who will be creating the platform roadmap in collaboration with the team, the Architecture Committee and the MediaWiki user community.
Specific goals for this team are to:
* Assist and encourage development of features for MediaWiki by providing developers with a strong core.
* Undertake feature development work which is primarily architectural in nature.
* Facilitate the development and publication of MediaWiki's roadmap to assist coordination between internal and external users.
* Maintain and promote guidelines and standards for the MediaWiki core.
I am thrilled that Tim Starling has agreed to lead the team, reporting directly to me. He will be joined by Brion Vibber, Kunal Mehta and Brad Jorsch. The team officially launches on Monday April 3, and will complete the hiring and onboarding of additional team members in the coming months. Their initial workplan will include core support for multi content revisions for the Structured Data on Commons project and will be discussed in more detail during the upcoming consultation for the Wikimedia Foundation 2017-2018 annual plan.
I am excited by this latest evolution in the structure of the Foundation's Engineering group. We will continue to learn from our collective knowledge and expertise, and make adjustments to our composition and plans. I appreciate the input provided by many in the community that helped inform this decision. I also want to thank the members of the Wikimedia Foundation's Product, Technology, and Community Engagement departments who were involved in this process. In particular, I would like to thank Toby Negrin, Adam Baso, and Trevor Parscal - whose support was critical in bringing this plan together.
Join me in welcoming and celebrating our new team!
I'm Isarra, a volunteer MediaWiki developer, and I've submitted a grant
proposal to the WMF to support my work on a new responsive skin designed
for the Wikimedia projects, Timeless:
* Abstract: A new skin, Timeless, has been deployed to the Beta Cluster,
but to make it worth eventual deployment to all projects, we need proper
research into what's expected/needed from a better skin, and the ability
to devote development resources to making it meet these
expectations/needs. This grant, as part of a larger series of vaguely
planned grants intended to work on many of the underlying issues with
MediaWiki's user-facing interfaces, will serve to address this need.
Timeless currently exists as fairly basic prototype, but I invite you to
take a look at the current version:
* Wiki specifically for Timeless:
* To see what it might look/act like in production, there is a copy of
the Simple English Wikipedia on the Beta Cluster, where Timeless has
already been deployed:
https://simple.wikipedia.beta.wmflabs.org/wiki/Main_Page - you can
create an account, set your skin to Timeless, and go through some of the
things you might do here, or simply append the string ?useskin=timeless
to the end of any page url to see what it would look like in Timeless
* Skin documentation: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Timeless
If this looks like a project you would be interested in seeing happen, I
would very much appreciate your feedback. This applies especially if you
have any specific concerns about the skin or the proposal itself, or
have faced particular problems on your own projects that you think this
might be able to address, because the more of these are documented, the
better they will be.
I look forward to working with all of you to redefine how we handle our