[Wikimedia-l] FreeBSD fate and the lesson for Wikimedia movement

Terry Chay tchay at wikimedia.org
Mon Dec 10 17:47:35 UTC 2012

Furthermore, WordPress is actually not strong in the government/enterprise space. Instead Drupal is with direct outreach to institutions. The difference in DrupalCon vs. WordCamp SF reflect this.

WordPress presence (around 9% of all domains on the internet) in addition to a rapid decline in the dominant player in ots space (MoveableType) started out with a relatively well defined problem area to focus on: blogging. Drupal and MediaWiki have begun as more generalized problems first (cms and wiki) that are opaque to the average non-developer.

MediaWiki has further been hampered by its original sin: transclusion followed by templates, gadgets, etc. What this has done is built a whole ecosystem of "stuff" dependent in the platform. This makes it more stable by the stable dependencies principle. Stable in this context is bad because it means "resistant to change" at this level (MediaWiki core) and thus it is less adaptable to changes that would create as viable a 3rd party support as WordPress enjoys.

Not to say some effort here shouldn't be enjoined. I just wanted to emphasize the difficulty of the problem and realize that effort on this front comes at the cost of efforts elsewhere (VisualEditor for example). Where possible engineers have worked to pay down this technical debt with cleaner abstraction and establishment looser coupling between components through contract-based design (example: parsoid in VE interacts with core through the API). Some of our best engineers started out as and still maintain 3rd party MediaWiki instances so the interest and ability is there.

I hope this helps explain a small of the puzzle about WordPress vs. MeediaWiki.

Take care,


Sent from my <free corporate advertising removed at the request of the owner>

On Dec 9, 2012, at 11:51 PM, George Herbert <george.herbert at gmail.com> wrote:

> The CIA version added ACLs.  Never say never...
> George William Herbert
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Dec 9, 2012, at 10:29 PM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 10 December 2012 05:17, Amir E. Aharoni <amir.aharoni at mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
>>> Wordpress' strong card is its rather stable PHP-based
>>> platform, and when you think of it, that platform is not much more
>>> technically advanced than MediaWiki is, but it has a much more vibrant
>>> community of users. And when I say "vibrant", I mean "lots of people
>>> make money out of installing Wordpress for their clients". I know that
>>> it's a dirty question, but did anyone ever try to estimate how much
>>> money is made around the world from maintaining MediaWiki sites?
>> Not a huge amount. MediaWiki needs to be a *lot* more popular for the
>> enterprise. Compared to Confluence, it lacks the tick-box items "ACLs"
>> and "WYSIWYG"; it'll never have ACLs, but the visual editor should
>> help a great deal. Confluence is also one of the few things I can
>> think of that makes MediaWiki look lightweight.
>> - d.
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