MediaWiki, the software that powers most of the Wikimedia movement, is an amazing piece of technology. It brings the power of a wiki-world to millions of people. Not only those who are amongst the 500 million who visit a Wikimedia movement site each month, but also those who participate on one of the countless other wikis it powers.

MediaWiki is being used in all kinds of environments, from internal and private corporate wikis to other Free Culture wikis. That is, of course, the great benefit behind Free and Open Source Software; the software can be modified and used in new situations the original authors didn’t necessarily expect.

Because the Wikimedia Foundation wants the MediaWiki project to be as healthy as possible, and also address the needs of as many different constituencies as possible, the Foundation invests a lot of time and effort into ensuring the entire MediaWiki community feels empowered, not just those that happen to have an email address. You can see this effort most notably from the Engineering Community Team and the efforts especially around volunteer coordination and outreach.

To encourage further outside investment in MediaWiki, we are opening a Request for Proposals (RFP) (PDF) for the release management of MediaWiki. The long-term goal of this effort is to jump-start these activities as community-supported functions, thus encouraging widespread leadership in the future of MediaWiki.

The process for this RFP is a community-involved one. There is a three-week period for organizations to prepare and submit their proposals, after which the community can comment on and ask questions of the proposers. The Wikimedia Foundation will take all of this feedback into account when making the final decision for who will lead the release management of MediaWiki for the next year.

With this, the future of MediaWiki looks bright, and we’re excited to see where this will lead us!

Greg Grossmeier, Release Manager
Rob Lanphier, Director of Platform Engineering
Wikimedia Foundation