[Foundation-l] Status of Current MediaWiki Tools and Other Issues which affect the Foundation

Jeff V. Merkey jmerkey at wolfmountaingroup.com
Sat Feb 24 22:50:53 UTC 2007

This is posted here for the foundation to consider rather than on 
Wikitech as these issues affect the credibility of the Foundation.   
Posts on these issues to Wikitech get ignored and/or are not responded 
to at all.  I am writing this in response to requests to GFDL enable the 
wikigadugi.org sites.  I am unable to complete the process at present 
because of severe problems with MediaWiki and the Foundations dumps.   I 
have an extensive set of tools for mirroring wikipedia and they work 
very well, provided I spend a lot of needless time cleaning up after the 
MediaWiki developers.

1.  The current Mediawiki releases have had breakage with importDump.php 
since 1.7.  I have been unable to make any progress in getting
complete runs of the Foundation XML dumps to post without modification 
to MediaWiki and/or writing programs to clean up NULL titles
and other problems with the dumps.  Bottom line is that the mediaWiki 
software DOES NOT WORK with standard XML dumps provided by the 
foundation AT ALL through its sites, despite the Foundation's clear 
messages this is in fact the case.   This harms the reputation and 
credibility of the Foundation.    It needs to be addressed and fixed.

2.  mwdumper does not import the dumps.  It processes the files and 
NOTHING shows up in the database.  If these tools do not work, the Meta 
pages discussing them should say so and the programs should be removed 
and/or other alternatives suggested or a disclaimer should be placed 
there that states this.  As it stands, the information is misleading and 
results in a lot of folks wasting a lot of time trying to make tools 
work which clearly do not.  I have found dozens of blog entries and bug 
reports on these issues and the developers ignore them.  

3.  The Foundation needs to ask Brion Vibber and the developers to 
cease  posting dumps which are incompatible with MediaWiki releases and 
which the developers KNOW do not work and force compliance of these 
processes and mediaWiki compatibility. 

In other words, I do not think its too much to ask that the XML dumps 
posted by the Foundation work with the released MediaWiki versions.  It 
needs to be mandated and complinace required.    At present, you almost 
need a degree in advanced computer science to be able to fix this 
stuff.  I have spent several weekends debugging Brion's PHP code and 
writing programs to correct these issues just so I can run import on the 
latest dumps.    It would be much nicer if this stuff just worked.

Posts and emails to Wikitech are typically ignored on a lot of these 
issues.  They need to be elevated and corrected.


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