Over the past few months, engineers in the MediaWiki Core team at the Wikimedia Foundation have been developing Extension:OAuth. A preliminary version of the extension is now live on all Wikimedia wikis.
OAuth allows users to authorise third-party applications to take actions on their behalf without having to provide their Wikimedia account password to the application. OAuth also allows a user to revoke an application’s access at any time, adding an extra layer of security for users. By using OAuth, third-party applications can streamline their workflows by no longer needing to direct people to the wiki to perform actions such as creating accounts or unblocking users. For example, on the English Wikipedia, Snuggle, the Account Creation Tool, and the Unblock Request System have begun work on implementing OAuth so that users can use their tools more seamlessly.
The list of actions that third parties can be authorised to do is extensive, and extra actions can be added in if there is demand for them. We hope that OAuth will empower third-party application developers to make even better applications to help Wikimedians do their work, and we look forward to seeing what applications are created.
If you need help or have any questions, feel free to visit Help:OAuth on MediaWiki.org. If your question is not answered on that page, please ask on the talk page and a member of the OAuth team will answer it for you. For technical details on the OAuth protocol, visit http://oauth.net.
Associate Product Manager for Platform, Wikimedia Foundation