Release Management RFP/2013

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MediaWiki is a free software open source wiki package written in PHP, originally for use on Wikipedia. It is now also used by several other projects of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation and by many other large and small wikis. The Wikimedia Foundation is seeking an individual or organization to manage the release of MediaWiki for third-party non-Wikimedia Foundation users. The long term goal of this effort is to jump-start these activities as community supported functions, thus any proposals that include functions that enable long term sustainability are preferred.

See the official Request for proposals (RFP) (PDF; 173 KB).

Timeline[edit]

May 21st -- Announce the RFP
June 12th -- Proposals deadline
June 12th -- Community feedback period begins
June 20th -- @ 17:00 UTC: Office hours with applicants and community
Log online (starts at 17:00).
June 26th -- End of community feedback period
July 26th -- Goal date to announce selection

How to Apply[edit]

Submitting a proposal for this RFP involves the following steps:

  1. Create a proposal wiki page, explained below
  2. Answer the provided questions (below) on that page
  3. Link to your proposal wiki page below, in the "Proposals" section
  4. Announce your proposal on the wikitech-l mailing list
  5. Officially submit your proposal to greg@wikimedia.org
  6. Respond to feedback and questions from the community

Creating Proposal Page[edit]

To complete an application for the RFP, it is required to post your proposal on this wiki, as a sub-page of this page, with the page name either your name or your organization.

Include on that page:

  • A short description of your organization.
    • Links to and summaries of your Free/Open Source Software contributions are especially encouraged.
  • A listing of your qualifications (especially as they related to the stated Required Qualifications on the RFP).
  • Your answers to the questions below.
  • Any endorsements from other community members or those who have experience with your work. Please have them add the endorsements unless they are unable to for extenuating circumstances.
  • Include at the end an empty section called "Feedback" for interested parties to submit follow-up/clarification questions and/or comments. Please respond as you are able.

Questions to Answer in Proposal[edit]

  • Please describe you experience doing public software releases.
  • What, in your opinion, are the current bottlenecks/friction points in the MediaWiki release process? How would you address them?
  • Please describe your general plan for how you would manage the release.
  • Relatedly, the two releases per year cycle is expected and normal for our community. At the same time, there may be reasons you have to make it different; please explain.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation anticipates providing support for this work for the foreseeable future. However, we can't guarantee that we will always be able to fund this. Additionally, the MediaWiki community would benefit from a more diverse set of benefactors for MediaWiki maintenance. What steps will you take to ensure this is a financially sustainable activity, even in the absence of support from the WMF?

How to Provide Feedback[edit]

Are you an interested community member that wants to see the best possible selection be made? Then you questions and input are greatly sought after and appreciated!

Please leave your feedback/questions on the relevant Proposal's wiki page in the "Feedback" section so others are able to see and contribute as appropriate. If, however, you feel more comfortable with provided feedback regarding a particular proposal privately, please email your feedback to Greg Grossmeier and Rob Lanphier (greg@wikimedia.org and robla@wikimedia.org). Any feedback submitted privately will be kept confidential to members of the WMF RFP Review team.

Proposals[edit]

NB: This is where the list of proposals will live.

Frequently Asked Questions[edit]

This RFP hopes to address a long standing need in the MediaWiki community, and as such, there are many facets to the conversation and many questions to be answered related to the RFP. This is where those answers live.

  1. Does this mean a change in the frequency of releases of MediaWiki?
    Not necessarily. This depends on the selected proposal's vision for the release cycle of MediaWiki and how the community responds to the vision through their feedback.
  2. Does this mean the Wikimedia Foundation will be giving less attention to released versions of MediaWiki (and only focusing on the versions they have deployed on the WMF cluster)?
    In the short and medium term, no. The Wikimedia Foundation plans to play a leading role in the release process, in cooperation with the community, as has always been done. By starting this process, we hope to build up a strong, well-funded partner in the release process for MediaWiki, so that the software can further flourish for needs that are independent of the Wikimedia movement. If (and only if) we’re successful in building a strong, independent partner would we then reconsider our investment in MediaWiki as a standalone product.
  3. Who will be responsible for MediaWiki release management after this contract ends?
    It depends. We hope that the organization selected for this contract will do amazing work, stay in alignment to the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation, garner all the needed community support, and figure out how to financially sustain it’s effort in the future. However, if the need presents itself (less than stellar release management work, lack of community support, etc) the Wikimedia Foundation is prepared to reopen a new search for this work at the end of this contract.