I realize that mediawiki-l is a good list for reporting bugs in
mediawiki, however, this posting addresses organizational elements of
the 1.7 release
that I feel need to be taken seriously by the Wikimedia Foundation and
some changes made in your processes. The statements that follow are
the result of my 20+ years experience as a 1) CEO of high tech companies
2) Chief Scientist of high tech companies 3) Wikipedia developer
4) Wikigadugi Language Project leader. Wikimedia can take or leave the
comments -- they are for your benefit and consideration.
1. Great that MediaWiki 1.7.1 is released.
2. Has Dependencies on PHP 5.0.0 (5.1.4). php 5 is a bug infested
experimental release which does not have consistent installs on the
Linux distributions, including Red Hat ES 4, Suse 10, etc, crashes on
apache, is poorly documented, and has a slew of defects, is difficult to
install and configure.
3. Wikitext and MediaWiki has no dependencies for "wikitext" markup on
php versions, so requiring php upgrades is unnecessary and thoughtless,
and should be stopped. When you allow the developers of a technology to
operate in a vacuum without accountability to customers and end users,
the projects get driven by the community ego and not end goals to
promote the technology to the public.
4. The biggest failure of community driven programs and open source is
a lack of accountablity to end users and customers.
What should happen in the future:
1. MediaWiki needs to post releases against commercial Linux distros
and not a "roll your own" with a patchwork of patches and fixes. As it
MediaWiki 1.7.1 is not installable or usable on RedHat ES4 or FC5
without major patching and recompiling -- steps outside the skills of
who need to use Wikipedia content.
2. Wikimedia needs to enforce MediaWiki releases to allow seamless
importing and use of XML dumps and content.
My 2 cents.
I spend currently about 40% of my time getting around MediaWiki problems
with Wikipedia XML dumps, and 60% of my time actually working on Native
language translations. The Uto-Aztecan language is being added at
present as the Ute and Unita tribes have joined the WikiGadugi project.
It would be nice if the MediaWiki folks would give more thought to
ensuring their software works properly before posting releases, and the
Wikimedia Foundation needs to enforce compatibilty between its published
XML dumps and make certain they work properly with released MediaWiki
versions. As it stands, the current setup almost appears
anti-competitive by design to prevent folks from creating Wiki's of
Wikipedia content (though I do not believe this is intentional on the
part of Wikimedia).
The "we are community driven" excuse only works if the community is also
the customer and end consumer of Wikipedia content, which it is not.
Anything we can do to make all of our jobs easier and more pleasant is