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Submissions/The Site Architecture You Can Edit

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

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Title of the submission
The Site Architecture You Can Edit
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Ryan Lane
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)
Nearly everything on Wikimedia sites is editable. Anonymous users can edit most content, logged in users can edit even more, and Admins can even edit the site messages, CSS and Javascript. With a little effort, anyone edit the software by getting commit access. Unfortunately, the site architecture isn't editable. Due to the size and profile of the sites, it is difficult or impossible to give root access to new non-staff members. It's even difficult to give root to non-ops staff members. Originally the site architecture was created totally by volunteers, and I'd like to go back to a model where volunteers are able to work with us, as root.
Our operations team works in a very specific way, and requires the use of specific tools. The new infrastructure built will allow volunteers to adopt our methods at their own pace. By ensuring volunteers are able to follow our methods we can give them more privileges over time, hopefully extending to root on the production cluster.
This infrastructure will also empower our developer community to perform ops work without needing root privileges on the cluster. This is useful for testing and for demoing new features that require different or extra infrastructure.
Many community developers feel there is a disconnect between staff and the rest of the community when working on new projects and features for the sites. A further goal of this infrastructure is to provide a means for staff and non-staff developers to work together on projects in a common environment. Developers will be able to request the creation of new projects, within which they will be able to add other members. Within these projects developers will be able to create test and development wikis, and work on them with anyone else who wants to join in.
A very main goal of this infrastructure is to require as little ops involvement as necessary. The basic idea is to empower the volunteer ops and developer community to be able to maintain their own infrastructure.
This presentation will go over the philosophy, the implementation plan, and will give a demo of the current state of implementation.
Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Will provide later.

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  1. Helder Ribeiro 17:58, 15 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Phoebe 21:19, 1 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Steven (WMF) 02:55, 4 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Tobias 18:26, 6 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  5. JuhaV 13:40, 14 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Vibhijain 11:50, 6 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Amir E. Aharoni
  8. Ruslik 09:01, 25 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Krinkle 10:28, 5 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]