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MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group/Blog/2015-06-02

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Mediawiki in the State of the Wikimedia Foundation ReportEdit

Author: Chris Koerner

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Tags: Wikimedia Foundation, MediaWiki,

In early April the Wikimedia Foundation published a report titled "State of the Wikimedia Foundation". The in-depth report covers the work the foundation is focused on and the strategy and vision of the foundation for the coming year. From the executive summary, "we initiated a process designed to deliver a new strategy for the organization. This process understands not as a set of goals or objectives, but rather as a direction that will guide the decisions for the organization. This report is one of the outcomes of that process."

You should read the entire report, as it's not only a incredibly transparent look into the ongoings of the foundation, but there are many initiatives underway that will impact MediaWiki as a platform in both the near and long-term future.

Below I've highlighted a few sections that I found are of particular interest to MediaWiki users.

From the "A Look Back" section covering work in the recent past:

Engineering and Product

The WMF Engineering teams worked to ensure that Wikimedia technology was scalable, reliable, secure, and accessible to the world. Key priorities included increased support for mobile web and apps development, partnering with leading engineering organizations on upstream projects, improving developer tooling and processes, supporting the developer community, and ensuring the security and reliability of the projects and underlying infrastructure.

...

Considerations for Engineering and Product centered on the increase of mobile readership without a commensurate increase in mobile editing, change management and change aversion on desktop (for example, in the roll-out of Media Viewer), third-party reader interfaces that develop more quickly than Wikipedia's reader experience can change, and a lack of structured data on project knowledge. These teams also cited the obscurity of MediaWiki as a deterrent for further volunteer participation.


From the "Engineering & Product" section:

Engaged roughly 400 volunteer and external engineer technology contributors

....

Ensured that the underlying platform behind Wikimedia – MediaWiki – remains scalable, reliable, and secure for users, and accessible in order to encourage third-party contributions.

....

Initiated librarization of MediaWiki to improve platform flexibility and performance.

  • Beginning in Q2 FY14 the MediaWiki Core team began breaking MediaWiki into reusable libraries which can be integrated into any PHP application.
  • Goals for the librarization project include making MediaWiki more accessible to developers and easier introduction of code from third parties.
  • The first two libraries released were CSSJanus and CDB.
  • Librarization has become a standard operating procedure in 2015, as new libraries are introduced and old functionality continually gets rolled into new libraries.

From Engineering Community:

  • Engaged more than 400 active individual volunteer contributors.
  • Two professional engineers volunteered full-time on quality assurance, multimedia, and HHVM.
  • Co-organized the Wikimedia Hackathon EU, the Wikimania Hackathon, and 25 Tech Talks.
  • Participated in outreach programs such as Google Summer of Code, FOSS Outreach Program for Women, Facebook Open Academy, and Google Code-in.
  • Helped bootstrapping the MediaWiki Stakeholders Group.

Again, I encourage you to read the full report. As the Foundation and the moment is the driving force behind MediaWiki, being informed on their focus and strategy is important to understand the future of the MediaWiki platform.