Wikimedia Engineering/WMF Tech Days 2012/MediaWikiFoundation

First, we all agree not to call anything "The MediaWiki Foundation" ever. Naming is left for later.

What exactly do we need? Does a foundation make sense, or some other kind of organization?

Tim's suggestion of minimal support: hire one person as the 'third-party MediaWiki support guy'. This isn't exclusive with having an outside organization.

We should clarify maintainership -- components without a maintainer should be called out (so people can volunteer for them?)

cf: ^ please add to this discussion

Some possibilities:

  • single dev
  • small department
  • subsidiary company (+commercial/paid support)
  • separate company (+commercial/paid support)

Having supporting organizations do appointees might help -- consortium model. Danger is that folks may pull their reps later.

Note that we do care on a few things -- partnership with Wikia for Visual Editor for instance.


Core commit policy -- what do we need to change? Currently that's through us (WMF) - requests and public vote. Ideally under current plan there'll be more volunteers in there over time. [getting people done]

Conflict handling? IN some cases interests are not aligned; how do we resolve issues where the 3rd-party users and WMF go in different directions?

   [tim] ex: everybody cares about say performance, 3rd party users maybe more so in some ways than wmf who can afford to buy hardware. Traditionally we work by consensus; this should still scale in most things.
   [robla] shared hosting vs node/c++ extensions/etc -- potential issues
   [ryan] ex openstack: has a technical committee to resolve disputes. they've got lots of partners in there
   [sumana] there's a lot of 3rd party folks (ontoprise, wikiworks, etc) -- should work with them to come together and do stuff
   [ryan] better distro support?
   [ariel] release schedule planning & organiing with the distros?
   volunteer attemps on packaging etc tend ot run out of time or fall off of the radar?
   [robla] should we treat it more like linux kernel / linux distros? (linus doesn't do a distro, he just throws kernels over the wall -- but distros have people involved in kernel dev). is it not painful enough for 3rd parties to come in and handle distribution here? are we on the wrong side of the valley?
   [ariel] maybe we should use the same packages that others use....
   maybe we should support flexibility like putting deb's config files in /etc? instead of fighting it?


   [sumana] we need an ex officio ping at some point -- brion/tim/robla work this out
   [brion] please do comment on