By Meredith Farkas | August 5, 2006
Brion Vibber is the CTO of the Wikimedia Foundation.
OMG, there is a serious lack of women in this room!
This talk was about improvements in the pipeline for MediaWiki, so I didn’t want to miss it since most of my wikis are MediaWiki wikis.
User accounts: The problem is that there are too many accounts. Each Wikipedia language and Wikimedia project has its own set of user accounts. Sometimes someone will have your username in another project so you need to have multiple usernames.
Solution: Single sign-on for Wikimedia projects. No one got around to a central user database until hundreds of separate wikis were already in place. Some accounts will be merged automatically, but the project will involve a lot of resolution of accounts that may not have the same e-mail address or password. They are also looking into global watchlists and global blocks.
People can also set up a number of wikis and have single signons on those as well.
Stable revisions: The German Wikipedia will be experimenting with this. Important feature for ensuring quality. Uses include marking stable versions for display, marking reviewed versions for publishing subsets, and llowing edits on locked articles while default view is to the last-checked version. This involves version tagging, which would not be a feature available to everyone.
OpenID – Identity system to track your posts and comments. Uses include: use your wikimedia account to identify your posts on blogs and wikis supporting OpenID, use your blog or wiki account to identify your edits on Wikimedia wikis, a step up from anonymous IP addresses. Available as an extension currently.
There are two MediaWiki projects being worked on in conjunction with the Google Summer of Code.
Threaded discussion – love the idea of threaded comment sections in a wiki rather than the free-form discussion section you see currently. This would be easier to archive, search, etc. HOT!
Handling of video files – creating thumbnail images of video files and integrating a player into the system so that nothing has to be downloaded/played on an outside app. Like YouTube.
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