Wikimedia engineers have finished up the latest version of MediaWiki, the software that powers Wikipedia and its sister sites. We have begun deploying this version, labeled “1.20wmf1,” to all Wikimedia sites in stages. We started on April 10th and will continue until April 25th.
Yes, we only deployed MediaWiki 1.19 a few weeks ago. This new update is part of our effort to get you fixes and improvements much more regularly (a reason we recently switched from Subversion to Git).
We plan to deploy the latest software every two weeks. Rather than calling each version of the deployed software 1.20, 1.21, 1.22, etc every two weeks, we’ll be using a variation of the “1.20” moniker for the next few months.
We’re decoupling our deployment process (to Wikimedia sites like Wikipedia) and our release process of standalone MediaWiki installer for use on third-party sites. We plan to have MediaWiki 1.20wmf1 and 1.20wmf2 in April, 1.20wmf3 and 1.20wmf4 in May, etc., until we actually release a new MediaWiki 1.20 installer this fall (probably October).
Only after this point will we start referring to deployments as “1.21” deployments. The cycle will repeat approximately every six months, with Wikimedia deployments every two weeks, and installer releases every six months.
We’ve already tried out the 1.20wmf1 version on a test wiki and on mediawiki.org, and things are looking good. But the schedule may change based on unexpected issues, so you should refer to the MediaWiki 1.20 roadmap for an up-to-date schedule of when your wiki will be affected.
This is a fairly small set of changes, compared to the March deployment of MediaWiki 1.19. This is intended to minimize disruption and possible issues, and make it easier to identify the cause of problems, since the possibly problematic code will be much more recent.
The biggest thing you’ll notice is the new diff style (example on mediawiki.org), designed to improve the experience of color-blind and partially sighted visitors.
More polish you’ll notice: There is a new option on Special:Prefixindex and Special:Allpages to hide redirects (addressing bug 30963). New edit emails for watched pages always provide a link to the edit which triggered the mail (fixing bug 32210). And “Creating” is now given in the page title instead of “Editing” when you are creating a page (fixing bug 22870).
And, of course, developers have improved the software “under the hood” in many ways. A list of all changes is available in the draft release notes.
Snags and glitches?
If, despite our efforts, you encounter issues due to the upgrade, we’ll try and fix them as soon as we can. Get an account and report issues in our bug tracker, which is where we look for reports of problems. And the faster you tell us about problems, the faster we can address them.
Sumana Harihareswara, Volunteer development coordinator
Rob Lanphier, Director of Platform Engineering
Images contained in this blog post are available under CC-BY-SA