[MediaWiki-l] MobileFrontend disruption: Plans to break Minerva out into its own repository

Jon Robson jrobson at wikimedia.org
Mon Jul 3 17:03:48 UTC 2017

Dear all
Back in 2014, Legoktm made the sensible suggestion [1] that we should pull
the skin portion of code from the MobileFrontend extension.

I've spent the last few months making it possible and I now plan to make
this a reality. I now plan to make this change on the 12th&13th July with
Chad (RainbowSprinkles) [2].

I'm writing to give notice; answer questions and minimise the disruption
that may cause. A while back when Vector was pulled out of MediaWiki core,
there was a little bit of pain so I'm keen to help people avoid this.

Please make sure you update vagrant. Vagrant will install the new skin as
part of the MobileFrontend role and provided you do `vagrant git-update`
you will not experience any breakage.

If you are not using Vagrant, please install the new skin [3] and load it
using wfLoadSkin (after including MobileFrontend extension). When
MobileFrontend stops working thats a sign you need to pull the latest code
from Master.

*3rd parties who are using MobileFrontend in deployed wikis*
Please be aware of this change when updating MobileFrontend. To be safe you
should install the MinervaNeue skin [3] as part of your deploy process and
keep an eye on compatibility.

The MinervaNeue skin and MobileFrontend are being kept backwards
compatibility to ensure we do not break anything in Wikimedia's production
cluster, which is detailed in the Phabricator task [4].

As part of the migration I will be porting over translations to the new
skin from MobileFrontend. There may be some changes to the message keys
during this period of time so please bare this in mind when translating.
The goal is to avoid unnecessary translations!

*Why are you doing this?!!?*
I've tried to write up this here [5]. Feel free to ask questions on the
talk page there. It's a good conversation to have.

*Can I just use MobileFrontend?*
Sure. If you just have MobileFrontend it will give you a separate mobile
site and you are free to use whatever skin you want there.

*Can I just use the Minerva skin and throw away my mobile site?*
Not quite. But that's the next step that this enables... :) More on that

*Any questions?*
Feel free to reply to this thread with any concerns or questions you have
or any way I can improve this migration.

*Can I do nothing?*
If you do not update sure, but if you are updating your instance it's going
to break soon if you do not do anything.

Let me know if any questions!

[1] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T71366
[2]  https://wikitech.wikimedia.org/wiki/Deployments#Week_of_July_10th
[3] https://github.com/wikimedia/mediawiki-skins-MinervaNeue
[4] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T166748

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