After the attempted deployments of MediaWiki 1.17 on 8 February 2011, which were quickly reverted on performance grounds (cf. Signpost coverage), the latest edition was deployed once more to Wikimedia sites on February 16. Although a number of relatively significant problems soon appeared, these were regarded as fixable without the need for a retreat to 1.16 (Wikimedia Techblog). There was only a partial recurrence of the load spikes seen with the previous attempts at deployment.
Other issues were equally temporary. For example, the new stricter SVG parser refused to accept a number of images it had previously allowed, resulting in a loss of thumbnails. Some were soon fixed with a change to the parser (being incorrectly failed); others still need to be fixed manually as they have invalid syntax which results in discrepancies between web browsers, and, in the worst case, security holes. A change in the color of the "New messages" box from orange to blue (cf. Signpost coverage), was soon reverted locally on the English Wikipedia and several other wikis; the change, which was supposed to make the box visually more similar to the Vector skin, may still be reverted globally.
Developer Rob Lanphier explained where the development team was going to go from here:
We still have some deployment work left to do... we also want to reintroduce the category [pagination] improvements that Aryeh Gregor made last summer,... plan to update ArticleFeedback now that we’re on the newer codebase, and we’ll probably also update some other extensions, too.
Developer attention turn to 1.18
With the deployment to WMF wikis of MediaWiki 1.17, developer attentions have begun to turn towards the strategy for MediaWiki 1.18. Mark Hershberger, developer and interim bugmeister (cf. Signpost coverage), outlined his views on where MediaWiki development should go from here (Wikitech-l mailing list):
The solution I'm proposing is that we branch 1.18 immediately after the release of the 1.17 tarball [the release to non-WMF wikis expected in the next couple of weeks]. Revisions on the trunk could be [proposed to be] merged to the 1.18 branch. Or, to make merging into 1.18 less of a chore for a single person, we could enable those doing code review to merge code they've reviewed into the 1.18 branch. In this way, we achieve Roan's (and my) goal of continuous integration [reviewing and deploying code very rapidly, rather than waiting for large set-piece deployments].
The issue has been a hot topic in recent months (cf. Signpost coverage from October 2010: 1, 2) and this week proved no exception. Discussions included a debate of the merits of Subversion as the best version control software to be used, and whether a Mozilla-style system (where all developers submit patches, rather than adding their changes to the global codebase immediately) might be a better step. Developer Roan Kattouw expanded on Mark Hershberger's more modest proposal:
If we want to move to continuous integration (and I think the consensus is we do, considering the mess we've made for ourselves by deploying 9 months worth of commits and not knowing which of the ~15,000 new revisions killed the cluster the other day), our first step should be to get closer to continuous integration, i.e. bring deployment closer to trunk [the bleeding-edge codebase]. By the time we deploy 1.17, trunk will already be more than two months ahead... Stabilizing and deploying 1.18wmf1 should take considerably less time and allow us to get much closer to a continuous integration model.
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.
Early on Saturday, 19 February 2011, bugmeister Mark Hershberger posted a list on wikitech-l of critical bugs to work on over the weekend and fix before a MediaWiki 1.17 tarball is released.
Load on 4 servers cut in half
P.Copp reported bug #27302, a ResourceLoader bug that attached a timestamp to site JS and CSS (e.g. MediaWiki:Common.js), even if these were empty, and attached timestamps to user JS and CSS, thus bypassing the caches, even if a user is logged out and does not have user JS or CSS. Developer Roan Kattouw fixed (r82219 and r82468) the bug, and with the fix, cut load to the 4 Apache servers serving ResourceLoader in half. 
Other bug fixes
Over the weekend, the following other bugs were fixed:
The edit screen autoscrolling bug #27496 that occurred in IE8 is fixed in r82474.
With the 1.17wmf deploy, LocalisationUpdate failed (#27524); A fix was committed and deployed on 19 February in r82448.
Bug #27328 occurred when using relative paths in CSS imports, causing CSS to break. Fixed with commit r82457.
Bug #27486 involved Special:Import ignoring the destination namespace and providing the incorrect source in logs. Fixed in commit r82482.
Bug #27546 caused RSS/Atom feeds of user contributions to break due to the deletedOnly parameter in the link. Fixed in r82486.
Bug #27355 occurred when WikiEditor automatically falls back to the classic editor, and the toolbar buttons failed in IE6 . Fixed in r82530.
Bug #27499 caused the "Stub size threshold" in preferences to not work. Fixed in r82363.