MediaWiki Stakeholders' August News Roundup
Author: Chris Koerner
|People: Legoktm, Krinkle, Isarra|
|Tags: News, Event, Mediawiki Release, Request for Comments|
There has been a flurry of activity in the last few months and I wanted to take a moment to highlight a few events, happenings, and releases for MediaWiki users.
- MediaWiki 1.29 is out - That's right, another release of our favorite wiki software.   A few highlights:
- Default cookie experiatnion for logins has been reduced to 30 days
- User can now be assigned to user groups for a limited period of time
- Lots of Action API changes
- Language fallbacks have been expanded
- Minerva and MobileFronted breakup - The skin part of the MobileFrontend extension, which allows MediaWiki wikis to have a noble-specific format, will be separated into it's own repository in the near future. If you use the extension, test compatibility in your development/test environment. 
- Semantic MediaWiki sees two new point releases - Both SMW 2.5.3 and 2.5.4 have been released in the last few months. Bug and security fixes are found within along with a few enhancements.  
- SMWCon Fall 2017 - Oct 4-6 Rotterdam - Speaking of Semantic MediaWiki, location and hotel information for the latest Semantic MediaWiki Conference has been announced. Registration is now open and proposals for tutorials and workshops are welcome.   
- Upgrade to jQuery 3 is coming - The latest version of the jQuery library will be included in MediaWiki 1.30 (expected in November 2017). If your code relies on the library, check your console and be prepared. 
- MediaWiki Extension development best practices - At the Wikimania Hackathon developer Legoktm hosted a session titled, "What makes a high quality MediaWiki extension?".  The discussion of best practices have been collected in this etherpad: https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/highquality
- The plan is to eventually have a set of criteria and recommendations for extension developers, with some way of grading extensions that meet and exceed these expectations.
- Timeless skin now available on MediaWiki.org - The last time a new skin was added to a Wikimedia site was Vector nearly a decade ago! Timeless is a new responsive skin for MediaWiki that incorporates some more modern best practices in information density and layout. Isarra has been working on this project for quite some time and is looking for folks to test and give feedback. You can enable Timeless in your preferences and give feedback via Phabricator. 
- ArchCom adopts Charter, becomes TechCom - After a long process the Wikimedia Architecture Committee has become the Wikimedia Technical Committee - repleat with a new charter. From the mission statement, "TechCom is the guardian of the integrity, consistency, stability, and performance of the software supporting the Wikimedia projects. It acts as the senior advisor and the convergence point of all decisions related to technical work that is strategic, cross-cutting, and/or hard to undo."