Topic on Talk:Third-party MediaWiki users discussion

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G.Hagedorn (talkcontribs)

As operators of a medium sized wiki farm (http://biowikifarm.net) we are happy with the high quality of mediawiki core version updating. However, testing each and every extension, often filing many extension bug reports (where the extension was working ok with the previous mediawiki core, but now has bugs after updating core) is complicated. I want to open a discussion on what might be improved here.

I see the extensions as falling into three categories:

  1. Extensions used on Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) sites. These are generally well maintained. However, the problem here is that often bug fixes are applied only to Head and the WMF versions, but not to the stable and oldstable releases of mediawiki. It may be valuable to lobby WMF to create a policy that its software engineers try to port all fixes to WMF-fixed extension also in the old stable and stable (e.g. REL1_19, REL1_20) branches of the extensions, making sure that when updating to the extension branches corresponding to the core extension, one has a a fair chances of getting the already existing bugfixes (rather than finding the bugs again, as is currently the case).
  2. Extensions installed at the vast majority of non-WMF sites, even if not on WMF itself. These could get special attention similar to WMF extensions. Here the problem seems to be that the list of these extensions is difficult to built. The attempts to do statistics of existing wikis (used to be linked in infoboxes) could not be kept current. Is there a chance to build a consensus list among those involved here?
  3. Extensions that vary greatly in usage. There is little that can be done for those, but if we had to deal only with these few (in our case that is perhaps 5 extensions out of 90) we would be happy... :-)

In general it might be helpful if someone could write something like a "Best practice to maintain and upgrade your extension zoo" wiki page. For example, we found that it is advisable to use svn/git to better manage the extension updating and bug fixing.

Katkov Yury (talkcontribs)

I think that the extensions may be also classified by their quality; it's not necessary that the quality assurance is made by WMF. But it would be very useful to catogorize the extensions to "well-written", "dangerous", etc.

Mitevam (talkcontribs)

Is there a chance to build a consensus list among those involved here? There is an effort going on currently to make a list of extensions to be integrated in core and in the installer here that I have already suggested everyone should participate in. Is that different from the consensus list you are envisioning?

I am trying to find out if a guide for maintaining your "extension zoo" exists anywhere already to reuse that and maybe build on it. It seems like a common issue and it might be good to have some "best practices".

User:Katkov_Yury, how to you envision the quality assurance? Do you imagine something like a rating system? Who would judge?

Amgine (talkcontribs)

An upgrade 'panel' is pretty standard for other CMS. Dokuwiki has an upgrade plugin (and a plugin manager plugin). It makes life much easier for the OPS, even of a dedicated use website like Wikipedia.

The nutshell extension zoo guideline for MW is: download a repo, test each one separately with your current MW installation and keep only those which work currently. Never upgrade anything until you have set up the future MW version and tested every currently used extension and *proven* they work in the future version.

The key there is "never upgrade anything".

The most important thing I need to know about extensions is does it work with MediaWiki version 1.X, for each version of the extension. Any meta data after that is nice, but not required.

Katkov Yury (talkcontribs)

Too much questions!! Here is the first answer. > There is an effort going on currently to make a list of extensions to be integrated in core and in the installer here that I have already suggested everyone should participate in. Is that different from the consensus list you are envisioning?

Yes, it's a different list but they can obviously intersect in many points. The RECOMMENDED extension is like the featured article in Wikipedia - it has to be so absolutely needed for many people that it's available to install via installer itself. For example Extension:Cite. But there are also just AWESOME extensions that serve very important purposes and very well-written but maybe don't have to be included with the installer pack. They're just very good extensions and should be more visible.

Katkov Yury (talkcontribs)

>User:Katkov_Yury, how to you envision the quality assurance? Do you imagine something like a rating system?

Well the quality assurance is our main job in Wikivote. :-) Technically this can be done within MediaWiki + extensions: there are several extensions for voting, most notably Article feedback. It has been developed by WMF so there is a chance for it to be installed on mw.org ;)

Speaking about voting I can imagine the categories of quality of the extensions with formal criteria like the presence of unit-tests, modularity, extensibility, vulnerability, following the coding standards. Article Feedback can be used for that or we can provide our voting extensions for free.

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

As a hobbyist MediaWiki sysadmin I would really appreciate ratings / feedback on extensions. Now it's a whole adventure to find the right ones for you.

This post was posted by Qgil-WMF, but signed as Qgil.

Katkov Yury (talkcontribs)

> Who would judge? This question is very important indeed. In terms of people I think that the policy here should be similar to the code review policy (who has the exclusive rights to judge there?). Core developers and greatest contributors can make the final judgments, developers of other extensions can vote for or against. Maybe the system of promotion of the extension can be similar to the policy of choosing the featured article. Isn't that a best practice?

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