[MediaWiki-l] Third-Party Users Wish List - Does Anyone Know of Existing/Experimental Solutions?

Chris Steipp csteipp at wikimedia.org
Wed Jan 30 20:14:00 UTC 2013

On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 4:06 AM, Mariya Nedelcheva Miteva
<mariya.miteva at gmail.com> wrote:
> Chris, in what way was the list helpful? I am asking because it might give
> me a better idea of whom to share it with/ how to move on with it.

As a WMF employee, it's helpful to hear what our other users want from
MediaWiki. I think at the foundation, the internal demands are the
ones I hear most about, followed by when I hear from someone in the
WMF community who is very passionate about their one issue getting
addressed. So having one list from many voices I think helps to see
the broader picture.

> About access control  I see  the problem is not technical but rather
> cultural. Is this something that is under discussion in WMF or is it
> absolutely set that it's against WMF policy? Can it be brought up to
> discuss?  If it's not for the "dogma" against access control I imagine some
> consensus can be reached with conversation.

I'm not aware of any conversations in the WMF about it, nor do I think
it's a policy. I think it's more just how we've done it in the past,
and some fresh conversation (preferably with some numbers, like how
many other sites with how many visitors/mo who want certain features)
would be welcome.

> *>> > 11. Update to the documentation about creating a simple extension
> that is
>>> > XSS safe.
> *
> *This, however, I think I can make happen :)*
> Make happen sounds great:) Do you need help? Anything I can do? ( I can't
> really help with the documentation itself but maybe I can help with
> something organizational).

Any more details from the people who made the request would be nice--
like is this for an extension with a special page vs parser functions?

> Mariya
> On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 8:15 PM, Chris Steipp <csteipp at wikimedia.org> wrote:
>> Maria, I found your list to be very helpful. Thanks for putting that
>> together!
>> On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 8:26 AM, Yury Katkov <katkov.juriy at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > Hi Maria! Let me clarify the situation about access control. There are
>> > several dozens of ways (!) to get the information of a wiki page - and
>> > that's only in the core! And what's about extensions? Each of them is
>> > responsible for access control by itself, therefore each of them provides
>> > another couple of ways to access any content you want. I'm pretty sure
>> that
>> > now it's impossible to create a reliable (the one you can store your
>> credit
>> > card number) Access Control extension without hacking and patching the
>> core
>> > - and aftyer that some ways to get the data still remains. The WMF
>> position
>> > here is the following: "if you need access control, if you want to hide
>> > some stuff from some groups of users - get out of here and choose another
>> > wiki engine." If you're asking us about our problems - here is one of the
>> > most depressing problem of all.
>> From my personal perspective (not speaking as a WMF representative), I
>> don't think it would be too much work to support some level of access
>> control in core-- at least standardizing how read access is checked,
>> and then making sure it's checked for each read. Defining the
>> granularity, making sure there's community consensus on it, and
>> auditing extensions for compliance (and somehow marking those
>> extensions as compliant) would take some work. But we already
>> essentially do this for edit access ("blocked users should not be able
>> to edit" is one of our access control policies, and we do a pretty
>> good job of enforcing it throughout the code). Also, auditing access
>> to make sure that policy is being followed would take some work, but
>> is probably not insurmountable as an option in core or an extension.
>> However, making sure that all core and extension developers are on
>> board with the same idea of what policy should be followed so that
>> code from now on complies with whatever policy is chosen is going to
>> take a lot of training, persuasion, and could even prevent new
>> developers from getting involved if it's treated as more valuable than
>> their contributions.
>> So I think it's totally possible, but it's not (in my mind at least)
>> so much of a code or feature task as it is a culture and consensus of
>> policy problem. Which I think is a much more difficult problem to
>> solve, but I do hope I'm wrong about that.
>> >> > 11. Update to the documentation about creating a simple extension
>> that is
>> >> > XSS safe.
>> This, however, I think I can make happen :)
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