Kudos for Kevin's ArchiveLinks extension
Wikipedia, and the other WMF projects, have become a great resource for humanity. This is mainly due to the projects having reliable information. We know that this information is reliable because of the citations and references used to create these articles. Having easy access to these references (via the Internet) helps a great deal, but many things on the net are ephemeral and don't last long. When these links go dead, it compromises Wikipedia's integrity. This has become known as the link rot issue.
Many people have attempted to address this issue over the years. There have also been coordinated efforts to address these issues, but all of them have had problems... until now.
Kevin's ArchiveLinks extension has made more progress this summer than all of our other efforts combined. This is an enormous benefit to all our projects. I'm not certain people fully appreciate what a monumental task this is. I have been involved with this issue and can tell you that some of our best software engineers (a.k.a. volunteer Wikipedians) have worked on this problem yet we still have the link rot issue. It now appears that Kevin has solved the issue with the work he has done this summer. I have been thoroughly impressed by his breaking down the issue in to small parts, organizing them and working on a solution for each. I'm also impressed with his work contacting outside archiving organizations and coming up with solutions. But most importantly, his software engineering expertise has really been the key to making this a success. I cannot express how valuable I think his work has been to the community.
So I want to personally thank you and the WMF for helping to make this happen. But I really want to express my appreciation for Kevin's hard work and diligence in getting a handle on one of Wikipedia's most fundamental issues.
I hope you will let Kevin know how valuable he has been to our community and what a fine job he has done. I thank both you and Kevin, very kindly, for all your work and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your efforts. All the best. - Hydroxonium (T•C• ) 04:34, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I was also very pleased with the progress Kevin made over the summer and I was glad that he decided to tackle such an important problem.
I'll point Kevin here, but for future reference, his User page on MediaWiki.org is at User:Kevin_Brown.