Proposal:Support technical development towards other WMF projects

From Strategic Planning
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The status of this proposal is:
Request for Discussion / Sign-Ups

This proposal is associated with the bolded strategic priorities below.

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation.
  4. Ensure that the underlying project infrastructure is secure, stable, and sufficient to guarantee the permanence of the projects and support ongoing growth.
  5. Encourage Innovation.


MediaWiki software was developed regarding the needs of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. As the time was passing, other projects were deployed on this software. But it is logic, as the software was developed for Wikipedia, that for other projects such as Wiktionary, Wikisource or Wikiversity it has to be synchronized. This can be done by the changes of MediaWiki core or by several extensions, which can be implemented.

Its not so long ago, that there has been just 2 IT specialist, to do all the stuff around Bugzilla and so on. Now there are more, but there are also much more projects and non Wikipedia communities within the Wikimedia Foundation. Sometimes, you need to implement something on your project and you don't know, how much time it will take the developers (if there is other stuff to do before) to implement it. It can take days, weeks even several month. Waiting so long for one small portion of customization - means projects community suffer and erode. While in Wikipedia you can play with unlimited human resources in other projects, you have to take care of the users. Here the policy of unlimited human resources can fail.

And let me give you another example. Recently I wanted to test extension called Memorize. I wanted to show it to other participants of our project. But there is no link to the wiki project you can test it, even there is no project under WMF to test it. When I was looking for a project to test it, I have discovered many background projects, but not a place like this (e.g. bugzilla,,, etc., etc., etc.). Finally they told me (on #mediawiki channel) to test it on my own wiki. Well, I am a biologist, not an IT specialist, so to edit project its easy, to install also, but to synchronize it and test a new extension its not so easy for a person who haven't studied programming.

This proposal calls to strengthen the IT staff behind the Wikimedia Foundation and offer the continual help regarding the synchronization and customization of non Wikipedia projects for a better success in the future.


I propose here, to employ more people, who will be working on the software of MediaWiki. People, who will help in fulfilling the bugs from Bugzilla and who will help to current core developers. Then there should be also a server, where our lamers, can experiment with MediaWiki and/or test new extensions for new projects. As a bonus, technical guidance can be offered to the projects. As normal wikipedian do not need to know so much technical background. Nor the administrator of Wikipedia, but for the people of other projects it is much needed, to be able to create a better environment. So do not leave this issue for the time of 10 years in the future and help now!


  • Better technical support is missing. It is very difficult to get answers on the #mediawiki IRC channel.
  • There is no place to test new extensions.
  • It take even month to fulfill some bugs.
  • Start to synchronize/customize non Wikipedia project now, will strengthen them in the future.

Key Questions

Do we want to help other projects now?

Does it help having more developers with the velocity and amount of software issues done?

Potential Costs



Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:Support technical development towards other WMF projects.

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