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Submissions/How to get what you want from MediaWiki developers

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

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Title of the submission
How to Get What You Want From MediaWiki Developers
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Sumana Harihareswara
Session Notes
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wikimedia Foundation
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

We, the MediaWiki development community, work to serve you, readers, editors and administrators. Here's how we can work together to do great things!

The presenter will discuss common types of failure, where the development community did not ask for community opinion before building something early enough in the process, or the community did not contribute its thoughts at the best opportunity. And I'll discuss common approaches that lead to success.

I'll describe how developers try to work with the community at every phase (brainstorming, design, prioritizing, dev, test, deploy, upgrades, translations, documentation), how we've failed in the past, and how we're trying to change that. We seek consensus on goals, and take leadership on implementation methods.

As I take you through the workflow of MediaWiki development, I will highlight Mark Hershberger's role as Bugmeister, Guillaume's role as Technical Communications Manager, my role as Volunteer Development Coordinator, and RobLa's role as Director of Platform Engineering. This presentation aims to introduce and connect you with us and encourage you to keep in touch as we work to align community and development goals.

I'll show you some ways to keep your fingers on the pulse of the dev community: the wikitech-l mailing list, the roadmap, the Product Whitepaper, the techblog (especially monthly blog posts), and IRC channels. And I'll discuss places we look for your comments & questions to guide us: Bugzilla (our bug-reporting and enhancement-request filing system), comments on the blog & via IRC, questions via wikitech-l, and Village Pump pages. These are often more efficient ways to get developers' attention than foundation-l or other media.

And I'll suggest seven ways for interested community members to make bigger impacts on MediaWiki development:

  • filing bug reports
  • documentation and planning (think external program management)
  • talking to us at conferences and via blogs/IRC
  • evangelizing our messages to other admins & users (upgrade, extend, translate)
  • beta testing
  • bug triage
  • entry-level coding
Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Wiki Infrastructure and Technology
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Not sure
Slides or further information (optional)

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  1. Andrew Garrett
  2. Vibhijain 12:55, 4 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Juttavd 23:35, 10 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
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