[MediaWiki-l] Introducing the MediaWiki Platform Team!

Victoria Coleman vcoleman at wikimedia.org
Sun Apr 2 15:21:28 UTC 2017

Hello everyone,

I am pleased to share with you the news about the formation of the latest team in the Technology department, the MediaWiki Platform team![1]

The MediaWiki Platform team will be tasked with leading maintenance and improvements related to the core MediaWiki platform codebase. That includes encouraging future development of the MediaWiki platform and addressing the technical debt that has accumulated during the 15-year history of MediaWiki.

MediaWiki is an amazing, powerful, and complex open-source software platform. The number and variety of extensions, and the wide variety of communities who have adopted MediaWiki as their method for knowledge collection and dissemination, are a testament to its strength as a software platform.

Like any significant codebase with a long development history, there are remnants of design choices and experiments that are no longer in use, and some areas of code are in need of modernization. However, at its core is a large amount of highly functional, secure, performant code, capable of supporting a robust platform through the use of extensions and hooks. There is also a great amount of flexibility to adapt to new requirements.

This team will have a more focused purpose than the previous MediaWiki Core team.[2]. While the previous team was at times spread too thin, many areas are now covered by dedicated teams like Security and Performance. The new MediaWiki Platform team will center their efforts on the core codebase. The team will also have a dedicated Product Manager who will be creating the platform roadmap in collaboration with the team, the Architecture Committee and the MediaWiki user community. 

Specific goals for this team are to:

* Assist and encourage development of features for MediaWiki by providing developers with a strong core.

* Undertake feature development work which is primarily architectural in nature.

* Facilitate the development and publication of MediaWiki's roadmap to assist coordination between internal and external users.

* Maintain and promote guidelines and standards for the MediaWiki core.

I am thrilled that Tim Starling has agreed to lead the team, reporting directly to me. He will be joined by Brion Vibber, Kunal Mehta and Brad Jorsch.  The team officially launches on Monday April 3, and will complete the hiring and onboarding of additional team members in the coming months. Their initial workplan will include core support for multi content revisions for the Structured Data on Commons project and will be discussed in more detail during the upcoming consultation for the Wikimedia Foundation 2017-2018 annual plan.

I am excited by this latest evolution in the structure of the Foundation's Engineering group. We will continue to learn from our collective knowledge and expertise, and make adjustments to our composition and plans. I appreciate the input provided by many in the community that helped inform this decision. I also want to thank the members of the Wikimedia Foundation's Product, Technology, and Community Engagement departments who were involved in this process. In particular, I would like to thank Toby Negrin, Adam Baso, and Trevor Parscal - whose support was critical in bringing this plan together.

Join me in welcoming and celebrating our new team!


[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_Platform_team <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_Platform_team>
[2] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_MediaWiki_Core_Team <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_MediaWiki_Core_Team>

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