The code review group continues to make headway on the backlog of outstanding checkins in "new" status. We peaked at 1400 unreviewed check-ins [updates to the software] back in September, last month we were at 800, and now we're now under 300.
We *hope* this means we can push a 1.17 version of MediaWiki to production sometime this month, with a tarball [i.e. a release to non-WMF sites] available some time after that. That still looks like a bit of a stretch goal, but more plausible now than the last time this came up.
Due to the way Wikimedia wikis are run, they already benefit from some, but not all, of the updates present in 1.17. Most external sites have not yet been able to take advantage of these changes.
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.
Signpost regulars will note the lack of an Engineering Update in this issue. The report due (January 2011) is still in draft form and should be published shortly. The Signpost will of course report on its contents when this occurs.
Thumbnails and the upload preview will now be auto-rotated if a rotation is built into the metadata associated with an image e.g. by a digital camera (bug #6672).
Users installing MediaWiki on their own servers will now have the option of easily subscribing to the announcements mailing list (bug #26550).
svn.mediawiki.org is now an alias (alternative name) for svn.wikimedia.org when trying to access the MediaWiki Subversion repository (bug #26474).
A range of new parameters have been added to the MediaWiki API, allowing users to get information about a page (interwiki links, external links, etc.) without parsing the page's wikitext directly (bugs #26480, #26483, #26484 and #26485).