>>>> "JW" == Jimmy Wales
Zocky> A) MediaWiki is a general purpose wiki infrastructure, [...]
Zocky> B) MediaWiki is support infrastructure for Wikipedia. [...]
JW> I'm primarily supportive of (B). I have no problems with
JW> MediaWiki being accessible for other users, because if it is,
JW> then we'll attract more developer talent, which is a good
So, actually, this may come as a surprise, but I support B), too. I
don't think we'd be using MediaWiki for Wikitravel if it was a more
general-purpose Wiki engine. What's good for making an
encyclopedia turns out to be good for making a travel guide. That's
why we picked MediaWiki in the first place.
That said, I think some level of generalization (say, extracting
config stuff into LocalSettings.php, extracting strings into
LanguageXX.php) has made MediaWiki into a better piece of software --
even if it were run _only_ for English-language Wikipedia, ever.
I don't do admin on larousse or pliny, but I'm pretty sure it's easier
to tweak a single message in LanguageXX.php than to do a
search-and-replace for some string in umpteen source files. And
turning off expensive functionality under high load seems to have been
valuable, too. So, some of the features of MediaWiki that are for
generalization actually help English-language Wikipedia proper, too.
I also think it makes new Wikimedia projects (other-language
Wikipedias, new projects) relatively low-cost in terms of time and
effort to start up. That's probly a good thing.
From a selfish standpoint, I'd _prefer_ to have new
designs in MediaWiki be _at_least_ configurable to be turned off. But
in the worst-case scenario we could maintain custom local patches. Not
optimal, but possible.
Anyways, here's my point: if there's something that's right for
Wikipedia, and you're worried it might not be right for downstream
projects, well... Go for it. We'll cope. But! if it's not right for
us, it _might_ not be right for Wikipedia or other Wikimedia
projects. So it's a good thing to think through.
Evan Prodromou <evan(a)wikitravel.org>
Wikitravel - http://www.wikitravel.org/
The free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide