Couple quick clarifications:
1. There have been many IEGs that focus on tool development, including
those from the most recent round
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG#ieg-engaging>. There's no
"tradition" of denying software projects: they're quite well represented
among completed IEG projects too
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:IEG/Proposals/Completed>. In the
past, there have been concerns from members of Product/Engineering that
IEGs would divert resources from established development priorities, so
projects that rely on MediaWiki integration were sometimes a tough sell.
Im aware there are "tool" projects and "gadget" projects. While these
important, and can potentially have a big impact, they are ultimately a
side show to our main technology (hopefully no one takes that the wrong
way. Our tool creators do amazing things). My post is concerning mediawiki
related projects. The problem is not that they are a "tough sell". The
problem is that they are categorically rejected regardless of how much
sense they may or may not make.
And yes, the original thread was about a tool. I suppose I've totally
hijacked this thread...
2. IEG accepts applications twice a year; this coming
round (April) the
focus will be on gender-gap themed projects. The focus of the September
2015 round, if there is one, has not been established yet. But it's
unlikely to be gender gap.
I apologize, i was relying on rumour. I should have verified. Nonetheless
if every period has a theme, it makes it difficult for people to get
funding to do a specific project that inherently interests them. However i
suppose that's going off topic