The Foundation's Engineering Update for December (and covering the activities of November) was published last week on the Wikimedia Techblog, giving a brief overview of all Foundation-sponsored technical operations in the last month. Developer Rob Lanphier (User:RobLa) gave an executive summary of the month:
Our more visible work involved launching the Fundraiser and the Upload Wizard on Commons. Behind the scenes, we worked on the next iteration of Article Feedback, continued to improve our infrastructure (e.g. monitoring, media storage, backups, analytics infrastructure, credit card handling) and continued to chip away at our code review backlog. We continue to hire at a rapid pace, looking to fill many different roles.
In addition to the major developments covered in recent editions of the Signpost, a number of items had their statuses updated since last month. For example, the announcement noted that the location for a new data centre in Virginia has now been selected and is about to be leased by the Foundation; supplies for it are being procured at the moment. It also confirmed the appointment of Russ Nelson to investigate media storage solutions. The status of the 'Monitoring' subsection was updated to read "We now have text message notification of downtime on critical services [and are] turning our attention to implementing Watchmouse, which will help us spot trends and provide a public status page." Such real-time support should help the Foundation meet its "five nines" goal of ensuring only 5 minutes of downtime a year by preventing minor problems cascading into site-wide disturbances.
In terms of contracting out work, the Foundation added that a firm called Calcey Solutions had been hired to build new automated tests (using the Selenium framework) that can be run against (test) wikis to make sure any desired functionality is continually maintained. Continuing progress on code review was noted, forecasting a finish date of February or March 2011 at current rates, though it is plausible that the rate of review will increase during that time. Likewise, the status of the new Resource Loader was moved to "Integration and testing in progress. We hope to have this ready for deployment in January, so that it can be part of a MediaWiki release sometime after that."
Not all fixes may have gone live to WMF sites at the time of writing; some may not be scheduled to go live for many weeks.
As predicted last week, version 1.17 of the MediaWiki software has now been branched (wikitech-l mailing list, including details for developers). It opens the way for the release of the software in the early months of next year.
The fix for bug #21526, important for Wikisource contributors, was pushed live. It improves the ability of the software to automatically extract the text layer of input files before proofreading can begin.