MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group/Blog/2015-10-13

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The Future of Shared Hosting and MediaWiki

Author: Chris Koerner

People: Gilles Dubuc,
Tags: Third-Party, Hosting, Future, VPS, Shared Hosting, Administration,

There's an interesting conversation going on regarding the future of shared hosting support for MediaWiki. I encourage you to read the whole thread and provide your own input on that task. It is well worth your time if you're a third-party user - even if you don't use shared hosting.

The gist is that as MediaWiki has evolved to pace the growth of large sites like Wikipedia there have been more and more services - non-MediaWiki core, non-PHP - development around MediaWiki as a platform. One of the largest and well-known is Parsoid, the node.js-based backend for wikitext parsing used in VisualEditor.

"The future of mediawiki is based on service-oriented architecture (SOA). That much has been decided 2 years ago and many efforts are going in that direction. Meanwhile, we are still supporting (or are supposed to be supporting) mediawiki running as a pure PHP/JS install without services."

What this potentially means, is that MediaWiki will become more difficult to install fully-featured on a shared hosting provider (Dreamhost, Bluehost, GoDaddy, etc.). This also means the community must plan for providing similar installations on virtual private servers (VSP) or - in a harrowing discussion - not support the third-party usage of MediaWiki in any capacity.

This topic will be discussed at the upcoming Wikimedia Developer Summit in January by Gilles Dubuc. Please contribute your thoughts as this is a rather important discussion.