From the editor

From the editor

This week, we're soliciting questions for another interview, this time with Wikimedia Chief Technical Officer Brion Vibber. Because of issues with using the IRC medium for conducting interviews, we'll be conducting the interview by e-mail. You can post your questions on this article's talk page.

I'm hoping to do one to two interviews a month, with a wide range of participants from all areas. You can suggest future interview subjects here.

Thanks for reading the Signpost.


Also this week:
  • From the editor
  • Wikimania 2008
  • Board meeting
  • Two-million Commons
  • Job openings
  • CSN closed
  • Adminbot approved
  • License changes
  • WikiWorld
  • News and notes
  • In the news
  • WikiProject report
  • Features and admins
  • Technology report
  • Arbitration report

  • Signpost archives

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    Discuss this story

    Questions here:

    • Are you currently working on getting database dumps for the English Wikipedia to work properly? What is the status of this?
    • What is the status of Single User Login?
    • What does the Foundation have in the way of disaster recovery plans?
    • What is the status of stable versions? (the partial and growing content fork at seems to be pre-empting this long-awaited and long-promised feature)
    • Any chance that internal search functionality will be upgraded?
    • What are the long-term plans for MediaWiki? —Preceding unsigned comment added by ChazBeckett (talkcontribs) 11:41, 16 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    What about servers? There seems to be no problem accessing the various Wikimedia sites, while earlier (2004-05) one could experience very slow response. The list of servers are however not changed for quite some time. Is the current fast response due to tuning the existing servers, adding new servers without updating the list, or some other explanation? Have heard rumors that Google/Yahoo takes a significant part of the load, without stating it, as a service to Wikimedia - is that correct? Ulflarsen 11:54, 16 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    When adding or removing a new line in an article, mediawiki sees it as removing an entire paragraph and adding a new paragraph. This, in theory, hides any changes that the editor makes to the article. Is this any work on improving this? Jon513 13:01, 16 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Actually, that's incorrect. The behavior you describe is caused by splitting or combining paragraphs, not merely adding lines AFAIK. I actually filed a bug for it. Circeus 21:19, 16 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    When these is a questionable fact not fit for outright removal, or a statement which needs to be explain, often the best course of action is to speak directly to whoever put in the sentence in the first place. Sifting though the history can be difficult, and in large article nearly impossible. Is there any way to add a feature that tell who wrote a particular sentence. Jon513 13:01, 16 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Solutions already exist for this: Wikiblame and User:AmiDaniel/WhodunitQuery. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:09, 28 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Any chance that the useful StringFunctions extension will be enabled on Wikimedia wikis? If not, why? :) Nihiltres(t.l) 16:02, 16 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    What perennial, unworkable request do you find the most irritating? Circeus 21:19, 16 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Some of the larger, heavily-cited articles, especially BLPs that have 200 or more references using the {{cite}} template, are becoming very slow to render in browsers. Is anyone looking at optimizing the rendering process, such as possibly adding server-side caching of intermediate representations of the articles or improving the parsing speed of templates? Wasted Time R 22:20, 16 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    What other major changes to you see in the future for Mediawiki (besides stable versions)? 22:26, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

    Are there any plans to make Mediawiki more WYSIWYG? 22:26, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

    Magnus Manske and Tim Starling have their official days. Is there a developer you feel is unappreciated at present for her/his contribution? - Cimon Avaro, not logged in. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 16 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    You must get requested to do a lot more work than you have time for, how do you decide which requests to fulfill and what kind of work do you typically spend your time on? ssepp(talk) 21:14, 18 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Why allow creation of multiple articles manipulating capital and small letters?

    We can create new article just by changing letter from capital to small and vice-versa. Why allow, for example, to create articles 'Brion vibber', BrION VIBber, BRION vIBBER... and then redirect it to 'Brion Vibber'? Why not make changes in software so that even if person type 'BrioN vibbEr' and click 'go', it should lead to article 'Brion Vibber'?

    Let me search 'Wikipedia signpost' again.

    TRIRASH 16:26, 22 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Err... the software does that already, for the Go button (as long as the resulting article title is in title case or sentence case). --ais523 12:51, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

    umm... I was supposed to say 'search' button. But you will agree that we can create new pages by manipulating capital/small letters and that is unnecessarily increase number of pages. If lucky, some vandalist may get away with false page. The vandalist should have to be lucky just once, but administrators have to be lucky all the time.

    Also if Brion give me option to track categorywise changes, then it will be better for experts in specific subject to track vandalism.

    TRIRASH 16:21, 29 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    What makes wikipedia tick?

    Thanks for your work, and thanks to all the people making wikipedia work technically. I am very curious as to how this happens. Is there some place with a breakdown or outline or map of all the interconnections, hierarchies, etc. between all the technical people. And which technical people get paid? What about equipment, hardware, donations of hardware and services, etc.. What makes wikipedia tick? :) --Timeshifter 12:55, 23 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    New projects, and single user login via subdomains

    Could new projects be created by using subdomains of wikipedia, and using the existing user base of wikipedia? Users would not have to create new registrations, I would think, with this method.

    Few projects will ever be as successful as wikipedia until they get the numbers of registered users that wikipedia has. The simplest way would be to tap the existing pool of registered users of wikipedia by automatically making them registered users of all subdomain projects.

    Subdomains such as:

    • - public domain books, and documents.
    • --Timeshifter 13:16, 23 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]


    How's the move going? How do you like your new home in San Francisco? Will the Foundation ever set up a Wikipedia mirror or data center in the Bay Area, or will the primary data center always be in St Petersburg? -lethe talk + 17:59, 4 December 2007 (UTC)[reply]


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