WMF to get up to 21 students under Summer of Code scheme
"Managing a body of 21 students represents an unprecedented challenge for the WMF, who have struggled to help previous students get their work deployed.
Nevertheless, if all the WMF achieves is that it retains half of the 21 students as volunteer developers, few will be disappointed with the final outcome. The Foundation, and the community at large, has very little to lose in that regard."
Harry (User:Jarry1250) has been the lead writer of the "Technology Report" since May 2011.
The Wikimedia Foundation will be receiving more than $100,000 worth of free developer time courtesy of internet giant Google, it was announced this week. The funds, allocated as part of Google's Summer of Code programme, will support up to 21 student developers through three months of coding time.
As long-time readers of the Signpost will recognise, the figure of 21 is considerably greater than the number of placements Google has offered to fund in previous years (one to eight seats in each of the seven past years participating) and it is not entirely clear why it has now decided to allocate the Wikimedia Foundation the full number of slots it requested. Students are being paired up with (normally but not exclusively staff) "mentors" to guide them through a development project related to MediaWiki and their proposals are being rated by those mentors. WMF will turn in the final selection to Google on May 24, and Google will announce student acceptances on May 27. At time of writing, 47 applications from a total of 69 originally received from students are thought to still be in the running for the 21 places available, although MediaWiki may choose to accept fewer than 21 students depending on the strength of their applications.
"And now, if you don't mind, I'll go get some sophisticated alcohol-free drink to celebrate", wrote Quim Gil, the Foundation's Technical Contributor Coordinator and primary liaison for the programme, thanking everyone involved for their efforts so far.
Not all fixes may have gone live to WMF sites at the time of writing; some may not be scheduled to go live for several weeks.
Fallout continues following Echo deployment: The fallout from last week's deployment of the Echo notifications system to the English Wikipedia continued this week as a Request for Comment (RFC) asking for the orange "You have new messages" bar to be restored at least temporarily hit 125 supports. Despite only 29 opposes, the RFC has not received an official response, with the perceived inflexibility of the WMF management on the issue drawing angry responses from some commentators. At the end of the day, however, most editors who voiced an opinion suggested that the extension represented a "net positive" for WMF wikis despite its baptism of fire. Last week's change to the placement of the section  links has also proved controversial, albeit to a lesser extent.
Foundation gains UX chief: The Wikimedia Foundation has hired a Director of User Experience ("UX"), it was announced this week. Following a five month search, it settled on Jared Zimmerman, formerly Autodesk's Principal Interaction Designer, to lead one of the Foundation's most rapidly expanding teams (wikitech-l mailing list).
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