Hi, I’m Alolita Sharma, and I’ve recently started working at the Wikimedia Foundation to help program-manage usability and feature-related software development.

I wanted to send everyone an update on Phase V of the Usability Initiative Rollout.  This is the final phase of the rollout and we are planning to deploy the usability features (the new “Vector” skin and enhanced editing features) to all remaining projects that have not yet been switched.  The release date has been set for Sep 1, 2010 at 10am PDT / 5pm UTC.

In preparation for the release, we’re doing (among other things) a push to identify and fix critical blockers.  We’re running a Central Notice on all remaining projects asking for your help to facilitate the effort by testing gadgets, extensions, and custom scripts on Vector.  We’d also like to ask readers of this blog to contribute as well.  If you’re working on one of the Phase V projects (that is, if your project is still showing the “Monobook” skin by default), please help us identify blockers by trying the beta and posting bugs either in Bugzilla (file under “Usability Initiative”) or our bug report page.

We’ve also created an Ambassadors mailing list (Wikitech-ambassadors) for anyone interested in helping coordinate or follow-up on release activities.  We will also be available on the newly created #wikimedia-dev IRC channel to respond to any questions or feedback.

To give feedback on the rollout process, please leave a comment here.

— Alolita Sharma, Features Engineering Program Manager, Wikimedia Foundation