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News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

The future of third-party releases on MediaWiki

MediaWiki, the software that powers the Wikimedia movement sites, is a remarkable piece of engineering. Not only does it support the very specific use cases of the various projects (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource, etc), but it is also used by many other individuals and organizations spanning the entire range of institutional size, from the biggest multinational firm to the smallest boutique site. Those third-parties (users outside Wikimedia) are an important part of the MediaWiki ecosystem, as they provide added testing and development time to the project.

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Today, the Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to announce that we have contracted with two long-time members of the MediaWiki community–Mark Hershberger and Markus Glaser–to manage and drive forward third-party focused releases of MediaWiki.

Over a month ago, the Wikimedia Foundation sent out a request for proposals (RFP) to help us fill an important and underserved role in the development of MediaWiki. Two very solid proposals were produced, the community weighed in with questions and comments, and there was an open IRC office hour with the authors and interested community members. The Wikimedia Foundation is pleased with the outcome of this RFP and excited to begin this new chapter in the life of MediaWiki.

Mark and Markus bring a wealth of knowledge to this endeavor, as they are both MediaWiki contractors helping others set up, use, and do unique customizations of MediaWiki on a daily basis. They certainly know what third-party users of MediaWiki want.

“We are excited to work with the Foundation to enable the community of developers to respond in a more agile way to third-party MediaWiki users,” Mark said about the opportunity. ”Together, we will develop the next generation of MediaWiki software and build strategic and lasting relationships with Open Source organizations and third-party wikis.”

Mark and Markus will be working on various things, especially leading the efforts to make new tarball releases of the software, to improve the continuous integration infrastructure, to shepherd through changes to extension maintenance, and to collaborate with others as they add documentation for third-party users. All of their progress will be documented on the MediaWiki wiki for others to follow along and help.

Please join me in congratulating Mark and Marcus. We’re very excited to see what they will accomplish!

Greg Grossmeier
Release Manager, Wikimedia Foundation

2 Responses to “The future of third-party releases on MediaWiki”

  1. Sam Klein says:

    This is exciting news. I remember the early discussions about a MediaWiki Foundation… I hope that the third-party release updates will include hooks that remind installers of security and other updates, and (optionally, at the installer’s request) callback to some central database that tracks who has installed which version…

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