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sumanah at wikimedia

Sep 12, 2011, 5:57 PM

Post #1 of 17 (1684 views)
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Help us document MediaWiki's history

A cool software history project, "Architecture of Open Source
Applications," asked MediaWiki for a short history of our software.
So we're collecting your historical knowledge, stories and opinions on
MediaWiki's architecture. Go to

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_architecture_document

to find out more, and go to the orange "Add your piece." box to share
your thoughts. We have a few questions for you to answer. If you
have a few minutes to answer them, please do it by September 30th so
Guillaume Paumier and I have time to organize all the contributions
into one coherent narrative.

Thanks!

Sumana Harihareswara
Volunteer Development Coordinator
Wikimedia Foundation

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gpaumier at wikimedia

Sep 13, 2011, 5:41 AM

Post #2 of 17 (1666 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

Hi,

On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 2:57 AM, Sumana Harihareswara
<sumanah [at] wikimedia> wrote:
> A cool software history project, "Architecture of Open Source
> Applications," asked MediaWiki for a short history of our software.
> So we're collecting your historical knowledge, stories and opinions on
> MediaWiki's architecture.  Go to
>
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_architecture_document
>
> to find out more, and go to the orange "Add your piece." box to share
> your thoughts.  We have a few questions for you to answer.

I want to stress how important it is for the MediaWiki community to be
actively involved in this.

When the book's editor contacted us, he has in mind a traditional
setup, where one or two subject matter experts would write the whole
thing.

We decided to go with a more inclusive, collaborative process, for two reasons:

* We know the Power of The Crowd; the more eyeballs, the better. The
collective history of MediaWiki is recorded in wikis, mailing lists,
and commits, but most importantly, in the experience, memories and
opinions of its developers.

* The one or two subject matter experts who could have been able to
write the whole thing were too busy actually doing stuff, to spend too
much time writing a chapter on this. By using a crowd-sourced,
collaborative process, we split the workload, and it allows Sumana and
I to support the community more effectively.

I believe the final document will be extremely useful for new
MediaWiki developers, and I hope that experienced developers will also
find some use for it.

So please, take a few minutes to share your historical knowledge and
opinions about MediaWiki:
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_architecture_document

You know what they say over at Wikipedia; Nobody knows everything, but
everybody knows something.

Please share what you know.

Thanks,

--
Guillaume Paumier
Technical Communications Manager — Wikimedia Foundation
http://donate.wikimedia.org

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dgerard at gmail

Sep 13, 2011, 5:56 AM

Post #3 of 17 (1660 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

On 13 September 2011 13:41, Guillaume Paumier <gpaumier [at] wikimedia> wrote:

> I want to stress how important it is for the MediaWiki community to be
> actively involved in this.


I want Magnus to tell the story of just why it's in PHP. Possibly in
section 2 of that page ;-)


- d.

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hashar+wmf at free

Sep 13, 2011, 10:32 AM

Post #4 of 17 (1657 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

On 13/09/11 14:56, David Gerard wrote:
<snip>
> I want Magnus to tell the story of just why it's in PHP. Possibly in
> section 2 of that page ;-)

Because wikipedia used UseMode wiki written in Perl which IMO is worse
than PHP.

Python, ruby etc were not that popular at that time and PHP was becoming
the de facto web language. He could have used ASP or ColdFusion though. :-)

Historical notes:
- python2 was released in 2001 IIRC.
- ruby was only known in Japan and was made known to occidental with
Ruby on Rails (2004-2005?).

yet, it would be great to have his own explanation :b

--
Ashar Voultoiz


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neilk at wikimedia

Sep 13, 2011, 12:18 PM

Post #5 of 17 (1663 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

This isn't MediaWiki history, but...

On 9/13/11 10:32 AM, Ashar Voultoiz wrote:
> Historical notes:
> - python2 was released in 2001 IIRC.

2000 actually. And if you were in the Python community you probably had
been using 2.0-ish features via the __future__ interface.



> - ruby was only known in Japan and was made known to occidental with
> Ruby on Rails (2004-2005?).

The first english Ruby book, Programming Ruby (aka the Pickaxe Book),
was published in 2001. But you're right that RoR greatly enhanced Ruby's
popularity.


> yet, it would be great to have his own explanation :b

As much as we all love to hate PHP, it was (and is) a good choice.


--
Neil Kandalgaonkar ( ) <neilk [at] wikimedia>

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lists at nadir-seen-fire

Sep 13, 2011, 2:01 PM

Post #6 of 17 (1655 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

On 11-09-13 12:18 PM, Neil Kandalgaonkar wrote:
> This isn't MediaWiki history, but...
>
> On 9/13/11 10:32 AM, Ashar Voultoiz wrote:
>> Historical notes:
>> - python2 was released in 2001 IIRC.
> 2000 actually. And if you were in the Python community you probably had
> been using 2.0-ish features via the __future__ interface.
>
>
>
>> - ruby was only known in Japan and was made known to occidental with
>> Ruby on Rails (2004-2005?).
> The first english Ruby book, Programming Ruby (aka the Pickaxe Book),
> was published in 2001. But you're right that RoR greatly enhanced Ruby's
> popularity.
>
>
>> yet, it would be great to have his own explanation :b
> As much as we all love to hate PHP, it was (and is) a good choice.
;) Now if we could only ditch it for a compiled-to-PHP alternative to
get rid of the parts that we hate.

--
~Daniel Friesen (Dantman, Nadir-Seen-Fire) [http://daniel.friesen.name]


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hashar+wmf at free

Sep 13, 2011, 2:03 PM

Post #7 of 17 (1661 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

On 13/09/11 21:18, Neil Kandalgaonkar wrote:
>> yet, it would be great to have his own explanation :b
> As much as we all love to hate PHP, it was (and is) a good choice.

Nowadays I will go for Javascript but still believe PHP is the best
overall choice for MediaWiki :-D

--
Ashar Voultoiz


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hashar+wmf at free

Sep 13, 2011, 2:05 PM

Post #8 of 17 (1658 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

On 13/09/11 02:57, Sumana Harihareswara wrote:
> A cool software history project, "Architecture of Open Source
> Applications," asked MediaWiki for a short history of our software.
> So we're collecting your historical knowledge, stories and opinions on
> MediaWiki's architecture. Go to
>
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_architecture_document
>
> to find out more, and go to the orange "Add your piece." box to share
> your thoughts. We have a few questions for you to answer. If you
> have a few minutes to answer them, please do it by September 30th so
> Guillaume Paumier and I have time to organize all the contributions
> into one coherent narrative.

Sumanah, you probably want to conduct an interview with Magnus and
lcrawte for the very early history. Then Brion and Tim will be able to
complement.
Gabriel Wicke should be able to retrace the monobook skin history.

--
Ashar Voultoiz


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roan.kattouw at gmail

Sep 13, 2011, 2:12 PM

Post #9 of 17 (1655 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 11:05 PM, Ashar Voultoiz <hashar+wmf [at] free> wrote:
> Sumanah, you probably want to conduct an interview with Magnus and
> lcrawte
You probably meant lcrocker, right? Lcawte was a bit young at the time :)

Roan Kattouw (Catrope)

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z at mzmcbride

Sep 13, 2011, 3:58 PM

Post #10 of 17 (1652 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

Guillaume Paumier wrote:
> When the book's editor contacted us, he had in mind a traditional
> setup, where one or two subject matter experts would write the whole
> thing.

For reference: <http://www.aosabook.org/en/index.html>.

> I believe the final document will be extremely useful for new
> MediaWiki developers, and I hope that experienced developers will also
> find some use for it.

I doubt it. I do think you ought to be re-titled to "Storyteller," though.
:-)

> So please, take a few minutes to share your historical knowledge and
> opinions about MediaWiki:
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_architecture_document

Since nobody else has, I'll throw out two links:
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki#History
* http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_history

There's also likely some decent content buried in the archives of wikitech-l
and on Meta-Wiki. I don't really know what else you'd need when writing the
history of MediaWiki that isn't already readily available (commit messages,
mailing list posts, IRC chats, wikitech.wikimedia.org, mediawiki.org, etc.).
Looking at some of the questions you're asking, though, this project seems
to have very little to do with history in any traditional sense of the word.

> You know what they say over at Wikipedia; Nobody knows everything, but
> everybody knows something.

I don't think anyone at Wikipedia says that.

MZMcBride



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krinklemail at gmail

Sep 13, 2011, 4:40 PM

Post #11 of 17 (1657 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 7:32 PM, Ashar Voultoiz <hashar+wmf [at] free> wrote:

> On 13/09/11 14:56, David Gerard wrote:
> <snip>
> > I want Magnus to tell the story of just why it's in PHP. Possibly in
> > section 2 of that page ;-)
>
> Because wikipedia used UseMode wiki written in Perl which IMO is worse
> than PHP.
>
>
See also the section in an archived project page regarding the "Phase II"
software:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:PHP_script_FAQ#Why_are_we_using_PHP_instead_of_Perl.3F



--
Krinkle
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midom.lists at gmail

Sep 13, 2011, 6:39 PM

Post #12 of 17 (1652 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

Hi!

> A cool software history project, "Architecture of Open Source
> Applications," asked MediaWiki for a short history of our software.

If you're soliciting feedback, you should note that putting this into an initial version of initial ideas list is somewhat odd way to attract contributions:

"Drawbacks, decisions we have rued
dependence on MySQL?"

What did you mean here? The word 'rued' sounds relatively rude to me. It is not that we have strict dependency on MySQL (did you see the code?), nor there were too many bitterly regrets (it is somewhat least problematic part of technology stack, imo ;)

Domas
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tstarling at wikimedia

Sep 13, 2011, 10:33 PM

Post #13 of 17 (1652 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

On 14/09/11 11:39, Domas Mituzas wrote:
> Hi!
>
>> A cool software history project, "Architecture of Open Source
>> Applications," asked MediaWiki for a short history of our
>> software.
>
> If you're soliciting feedback, you should note that putting this
> into an initial version of initial ideas list is somewhat odd way
> to attract contributions:
>
> "Drawbacks, decisions we have rued dependence on MySQL?"
>
> What did you mean here? The word 'rued' sounds relatively rude to
> me. It is not that we have strict dependency on MySQL (did you see
> the code?), nor there were too many bitterly regrets (it is
> somewhat least problematic part of technology stack, imo ;)

Obviously Sumana was referring to the fact that the MediaWiki
community collectively ignored an experienced system administrator
with a "Wikipedia loving heart" who posted this very compelling
argument in favour of PostgreSQL:

<http://article.gmane.org/gmane.science.linguistics.wikipedia.technical/10844>

Just think how different the world might have been ;)

-- Tim Starling


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hashar+wmf at free

Sep 13, 2011, 10:59 PM

Post #14 of 17 (1654 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

On 13/09/11 23:12, Roan Kattouw wrote:
> You probably meant lcrocker, right? Lcawte was a bit young at the time :)

lcrocker of course :-) Thanks Roan.

--
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hashar+wmf at free

Sep 13, 2011, 11:03 PM

Post #15 of 17 (1658 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

On 14/09/11 07:33, Tim Starling wrote:
<snip>
> <http://article.gmane.org/gmane.science.linguistics.wikipedia.technical/10844>
>
> Just think how different the world might have been ;)

Well done Tim ! :-b

--
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bharris at wikimedia

Sep 13, 2011, 11:11 PM

Post #16 of 17 (1653 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

This is my new favorite URL, ever.


On 9/13/11 10:33 PM, Tim Starling wrote:

> <http://article.gmane.org/gmane.science.linguistics.wikipedia.technical/10844>
>
> Just think how different the world might have been ;)
>

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midom.lists at gmail

Sep 13, 2011, 11:35 PM

Post #17 of 17 (1655 views)
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Re: Help us document MediaWiki's history [In reply to]

Well played sir.
:-D

>
> Just think how different the world might have been ;)

Pity there was no Mongo at that time.

Domas

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