This page outlines my Google Summer of Code 2010 project which I did for the Wikimedia Foundation, mentored by Brion Vibber.
My initial proposal was to create an extension management platform similar to what WordPress has. I send the first 2 months mostly doing research into how to best achieve this, and revised the project goals along the way. One of the first things that got dropped was doing configuration, as deployment on it's own is a big project. I checked out existing work in this area such as the Deployment Framework of Ontoprise and the new MediaWiki installer, and also implementations of other application level package managers such as PEAR and the stuff WordPress has. I ended up making some changes to the new installer and creating the Deployment and Distribution extensions. Distribution serves as a package and deployment metadata repository, that will be installed on mediawiki.org. Deployment is an extension that will provide the tools needed to update local MediaWiki installations and install new extensions. It's meant to be put into core once stable, so MediaWiki has out-of-the-box extension management capabilities at last.
I'm now working on creating an extension that will serve as a deployment repository on mediawiki.org, called Distribution. The idea is to first create a very simple version (not much time left in GSoC) that gets info via scripts going through the svn repo. Although this gets us only very basic deployment functionality, this will be a big win in installing extensions, and serve as a proof of concept.
After (and probably during) that, I'll work on the Deployment extension, to use the api provided by Distribution. After that the web interfaces (special pages) can be created, although this will definitely be for after GSoC.