Wikimedia's domain names (including wikipedia.org) will no longer be managed by U.S.-based registrar Go Daddy, it was decided this week following concerns over the registrar's political activities.
The process that led to the decision to ditch the company that has managed Wikimedia's domains since at least 2007 seems to have begun with a December 23 post on the social news website reddit. The post, which has since received 35,000 votes and hundreds of responses, was a simple request directed at Jimmy Wales to "transfer Wikimedia domains away from Go Daddy to show you're serious about opposing SOPA". It refers to the registrar's then open support of the Stop Online Piracy Act, to which many Wikimedians and redditors are emphatically opposed. Many reddit commenters pledged donations if Wales committed to moving Wikimedia domains away from Go Daddy, part of a wider reddit campaign to get organisations to leave Go Daddy.
The response to the post was swift. The same day as the post, Wales committed to a move away from Go Daddy on his Twitter page, although an orderly transition is likely to take some time. (Wales also announced the transfer of Wikia domains as part of the same process.) A twist came shortly after the announcement, when Go Daddy issued a press release stating that it was withdrawing its support for SOPA. The statement, a world away from their earlier description of their opposition to SOPA as "myopic", does not seem to have yet prompted any change of action by Wales or the Foundation.
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.
MediaWiki core group explored: Director of Platform Engineering Robert Lanphier used a post on the Wikimedia blog to highlight the "core" grouping within the WMF platform engineering team. Lanphier writes how the group "is responsible for our sites' stability, security, performance and architectural cleanliness. This ends up translating into a lot of code review, along with infrastructure projects like disk-backed object cache, heterogeneous deployment, continuous integration, and performance-related work." The group is also notable for the fact that its members all started as volunteers, and has an open position (Software Security Engineer); Lanphier appealed for applications from interested developers.
84 hours of pageview statistics missing: Approximately 3.5 days' worth of page view statistics, covering the period 23 December to 26 December, appear to have been lost after a change that contained an error was made to the code responsible for their creation in the early hours of 23 December (UTC). The alarm was raised on the English Wikipedia technical village pump; unfortunately, it seems likely that stats.grok.se and other page view counters will continue to report reduced viewer figures for 23 and 26 December, and zero counts for 24 and 25 December.
LocalisationUpdates resume: On a more positive note, the WMF installation of the LocalisationUpdate extension has now been fixed. The extension, which copies across up-to-date translations daily from translatewiki.net, had been experiencing problems since early November.
WMF features office hours: The WMF features team, which drives big projects such as the Visual Editor, will hold an "office hours" RC talk on 4 January, Community Organizer Steven Walling clarified this week (foundation-l mailing list).
Module experts acknowledged?: A discussion on the wikitech-l mailing list pointed to the definition and use of developer specialisations. The system would label developers (either paid or volunteer) as being the standard first point of call in an area, and there would be the potential for reviewing tie-ins, similar to how Mozilla developers handle patch review. The suggestion is one of many made in recent months to combat the problem of lengthy code review times.
Internal programming languages: The issue of the provision of a safe programming language to template coders was once again discussed this week (wikitech-l mailing list). The often mooted topic centres around what an ideal "template language" would look like, so it could be safe, to allow new templates to be created, and to simplify the coding of existing templates.