On Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 8:34 AM, Gergo Tisza <gtisza(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
On Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 5:27 PM, Rob Lanphier
Do you believe that declaring "the
implementation is the spec" is a
sustainable way of encouraging contribution to our projects?
Reimplementing Wikipedia's parser (complete with template inclusions,
Wikidata fetches, Lua scripts, LaTeX snippets and whatever else) is
practically impossible. What we do or do not declare won't change that.
Correct, re-implementing the MediaWiki parser is a mission from hell.
And yet, WMF is doing that with parsoid ... ;-)
And, WMF will no doubt do it again in the future.
Changing infrastructure is normal for systems that last many generations.
But the real problem of not using a versioned spec is that nobody can
reliably do anything, at all, with the content.
Even basic tokenizing of wikitext has many undocumented gotchas, and
even with the correct voodoo today there is no guarantee that WMF
engineers wont break it tomorrow, and not inform everyone that the
spec has changed.
There are many other, more realistic ways to encourage
users who are interested in wikis, but not in Wikimedia projects.
(Supporting Markdown would certainly be one of them.) But historically the
WMF has shown zero interest in the wiki-but-not-Wikimedia userbase, and no
other actor has been both willing and able to step up in its place.
The main reason for a spec should be the sanity of the Wikimedia
technical user base, including WMF engineers paid by donors, who build
parsers in other languages for various reasons, including supporting
tools that account for a very large percent of the total edits to
Wikimedia and are critical in preventing abuse and assisting admins
performing critical tasks to keep the sites from falling apart.