Code reviewers, October Engineering update, brief news
More developers to review code
Following Brion Vibber's temporary rehiring (see last week's Signpost), and with the absence of the only previous code reviewer (developer Tim Starling) imminent, another measure was last week taken by the Foundation to unblock bottlenecks in the code review process. Rob Lanphier (User:RobLa) announced that, partly because of Tim's absence, and partly "because we're long overdue for distributing the load", there would be an expansion in the number of users able to take part in the "code review" process, which defines the time it takes for new code to get from the sandbox into a live Wikimedia site, or in some cases a MediaWiki release version (wikitech-l mailing list).
Here's who we have available for code review, and what they'll be focused on:
- Brion [Vibber] - general review, see his mail from earlier this week
- Chad [Horohoe] - general review
- Roan [Kattouw] - ResourceLoader, API, CentralNotice, UploadWizard
- Trevor [Parscal] - general review, mostly front-end
- Tim [Starling] - general review
- Mark [Hershberger] - general review as available
October update on WMF Engineering
The Foundation has published a draft version of what its focuses have been over the past month in terms of "major development and operations initiatives" (MediaWiki.org):
- Testing and deployment of the grant-funded improvements to media uploading. These activities must be completed by a certain date so that we can meet our contractual agreement with the funder;
- Testing and deployment of the new ResourceLoader, which will improve performance of our sites for all users;
- Testing and deployment of the article feedback tool, which is timed to coincide with the Public Policy Initiative's first semester;
- Engineering and testing for the 2010 fundraiser, including testing of a new analytics framework;
- Build-out of a new primary data center location in Virginia. The new data center will eliminate our Tampa data center as a single point of failure for all Wikimedia Foundation projects;
- A bug-smash in October to resolve the backlog of general bug and maintenance requests;
- Ongoing development of Pending Changes.
This is a monthly follow-up post to September's WMF Engineering update; for October's, collaboration was invited (unsuccessfully).
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.
- Full history dumps (backups) of the English Wikipedia have been generated in chunk form for the first time. The chunks are now awaiting re-compression before being in their final form (wikitech-l mailing list).
- Several bugs affecting the API's "paraminfo" module were fixed (bug #25248). (They remain in MediaWiki 1.16 and the Wikimedia version of MediaWiki and may later be backported)
- The Foundation has begun advertising for the new post of "bugmeister". The position, which will be filled during October, entails "organizing public bug reporting for the Wikimedia projects, and establishing community habits to ensure that our bug tracking tools become and remain organized and friendly" and is seen as a direct response to criticisms of the existing processes, where difficult bugs can languish for years.
- Gerard Meijssen (User:GerardM) has been blogging significantly about the importance of Unicode support for the Burmese script in growing support for small language Wikipedias in South-East Asia.
- Guillaume Paumier proposed a "universal language picker" when choosing between different display languages. It would allow multiple inputs (French, Français, Französisch) to be mapped to the same language code (fr).
- Magnus Manske unveiled a tool to easily share media from Wikimedia Commons. The tool called "Stockphoto" adds several links to the file description page, inspired by early designs by Guillaume Paumier for the Multimedia Usability project. These links allow users to easily download the file or to share it by e-mail and provide code snippets to use it in wikis or blogs. This new feature was quickly deployed for all users, including those editing anonymously.
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