MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

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MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Brian J Mingus
They are going to add something like PHP/Python/Lua so that you can
program the encyclopedia. If you want to participate in the
conversation you should join wikitech-l. Cheers ;)

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Thomas Dalton
2009/7/1 Brian <[hidden email]>:
> They are going to add something like PHP/Python/Lua so that you can
> program the encyclopedia. If you want to participate in the
> conversation you should join wikitech-l. Cheers ;)

"Program the encyclopaedia"? At least try and give people a meaningful
idea of what the thread you are pointing them towards is about...

There is a (rather technical) discussion going on about implementing a
new language for writing templates to replace the current mess of
parser functions.

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Brian J Mingus
On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 9:09 PM, Thomas Dalton<[hidden email]> wrote:
> 2009/7/1 Brian <[hidden email]>:
>> They are going to add something like PHP/Python/Lua so that you can
>> program the encyclopedia. If you want to participate in the
>> conversation you should join wikitech-l. Cheers ;)
>
> "Program the encyclopaedia"? At least try and give people a meaningful
> idea of what the thread you are pointing them towards is about...

Dude. Go nitpick someone else.

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Gwern Branwen
In reply to this post by Brian J Mingus
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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

stevertigo-2
In reply to this post by Brian J Mingus
On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:13 PM, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 9:09 PM, Thomas Dalton<[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > 2009/7/1 Brian <[hidden email]>:
> >> They are going to add something like PHP/Python/Lua so that you can
> >> program the encyclopedia. If you want to participate in the
> >> conversation you should join wikitech-l. Cheers ;)
> >
> > "Program the encyclopaedia"? At least try and give people a meaningful
> > idea of what the thread you are pointing them towards is about...
>
> Dude. Go nitpick someone else.


Your response to Thomas' legitimate point is in poor form. Thomas is right:
You provide no context, no direct link to a substantive wikitech-l post, no
link to an overview on a meta page, and (more to the point) you gave no
indication that the techies actually want non-technical input.

-S
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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Steve Bennett-8
In reply to this post by Brian J Mingus
On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 1:13 PM, Brian<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 9:09 PM, Thomas Dalton<[hidden email]> wrote:
>> 2009/7/1 Brian <[hidden email]>:
>>> They are going to add something like PHP/Python/Lua so that you can
>>> program the encyclopedia. If you want to participate in the
>>> conversation you should join wikitech-l. Cheers ;)
>>
>> "Program the encyclopaedia"? At least try and give people a meaningful
>> idea of what the thread you are pointing them towards is about...
>
> Dude. Go nitpick someone else.

Here's the quick summary: The senior techie MediaWiki people (Brion
Vibber, Tim Starling et al) are discussing alternatives to the current
ad-hoc templating language, including Python, PHP, Lua and server side
JavaScript. No decisions have been made, and nothing may eventuate,
but with Brion's support, something is sure to happen.

The thread is "On templates and programming languages" on Wikitech-L.

Steve

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Brian J Mingus
In reply to this post by stevertigo-2
On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:19 PM, stevertigo<[hidden email]> wrote:
> You provide no context

The title says it all - MediaWiki is getting a new programming language.

> no direct link to a substantive wikitech-l post

I assume, having signed up to this list, that you understand what
wikitech-l is and where it is located

> (more to the point) you gave no indication that the techies actually want non-technical input.

The fact that the "techies" do not actively seek out community input
is why we ended up with ParserFunctions. Furthermore these changes are
supposed to be 'community' decisions. The 'techies' are also not the
people who edit Wikipedia articles the most. They write code, fix
servers etc...

Anyone interested by MediaWiki's new programming language will have no
problem finding the conversation based on the information I provided.
It is wholly sufficient.

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Thomas Dalton
2009/7/1 Brian <[hidden email]>:
> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:19 PM, stevertigo<[hidden email]> wrote:
>> You provide no context
>
> The title says it all - MediaWiki is getting a new programming language.

That doesn't even mention the word "template", which is what the whole
discussion is about.

>> (more to the point) you gave no indication that the techies actually want non-technical input.
>
> The fact that the "techies" do not actively seek out community input
> is why we ended up with ParserFunctions. Furthermore these changes are
> supposed to be 'community' decisions. The 'techies' are also not the
> people who edit Wikipedia articles the most. They write code, fix
> servers etc...

ParserFunctions were implemented because there was a demand for them.
One of the greatest strengths and also the greatest weaknesses of the
way MediaWiki is developed is that there is very little top-down
direction and people just get on and do what seems like a good idea.
That results in a lot of quick fixes, like ParserFunctions, which
means features that are high in demand get implemented quickly but it
also means that the solutions are often far from optimal. I don't see
how any of that would be fixed by community discussion. I'm not even
sure what community would discuss it - the core Mediawiki code is used
by far more than just the English Wikipedia (or even the whole of the
Wikimedia movement).

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Brian J Mingus
On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:36 PM, Thomas Dalton<[hidden email]>
wrote:

> I don't see
> how any of that would be fixed by community discussion. I'm not even
> sure what community would discuss it - the core Mediawiki code is used
> by far more than just the English Wikipedia (or even the whole of the
> Wikimedia movement).


I have not forgotten what many of you have.

Any changes to the software must be gradual and reversible. We need to make
sure that any changes contribute positively to the community, as ultimately
determined by everybody in Wikipedia, in full consultation with the
community consensus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jimbo_Wales
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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Thomas Dalton
2009/7/1 Brian <[hidden email]>:

> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:36 PM, Thomas Dalton<[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> I don't see
>> how any of that would be fixed by community discussion. I'm not even
>> sure what community would discuss it - the core Mediawiki code is used
>> by far more than just the English Wikipedia (or even the whole of the
>> Wikimedia movement).
>
>
> I have not forgotten what many of you have.
>
> Any changes to the software must be gradual and reversible. We need to make
> sure that any changes contribute positively to the community, as ultimately
> determined by everybody in Wikipedia, in full consultation with the
> community consensus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jimbo_Wales

You haven't responded to either of the points you quoted...

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Brian J Mingus
On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:43 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>wrote:

> 2009/7/1 Brian <[hidden email]>:
>
>
> You haven't responded to either of the points you quoted...
>

Yes, I did. Your comments demonstrate my points. More technically minded
folks believe that they can sit down and powwow about the technically best
solution to a problem and can't even imagine what sort of input the
community could possibly provide. It's totally backwards. The conversation
should start on WikiEN-l, not wikitech-l. You have to first adequately
characterize a problem before you start implementing solutions.
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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Thomas Dalton
2009/7/1 Brian <[hidden email]>:

> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:43 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> 2009/7/1 Brian <[hidden email]>:
>>
>>
>> You haven't responded to either of the points you quoted...
>>
>
> Yes, I did. Your comments demonstrate my points. More technically minded
> folks believe that they can sit down and powwow about the technically best
> solution to a problem and can't even imagine what sort of input the
> community could possibly provide. It's totally backwards. The conversation
> should start on WikiEN-l, not wikitech-l. You have to first adequately
> characterize a problem before you start implementing solutions.

That's better done by surveying the community, not a community
discussion. Anyway, that's only one of the points you quoted. You're
still talking as if the English Wikipedia is the only site using
MediaWiki.

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Brian J Mingus
On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:52 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>wrote:

> That's better done by surveying the community, not a community
> discussion.
>

Yeah, still waiting for that survey. Or that community discussion. Or that
usability study. Something tells me that without any griping I will wait
forever. I wonder what it is. Oh that's right - precedence. I dug through
all of the conversations around ParserFunctions. There wasn't much. It takes
a lot of diligence to fully consult the community consensus. It's hard work
that developers, historically speaking, haven't card one iota about. Whoever
finishes their implementation first and is best friends with a core dev
wins.
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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Thomas Dalton
2009/7/1 Brian <[hidden email]>:

> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:52 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> That's better done by surveying the community, not a community
>> discussion.
>>
>
> Yeah, still waiting for that survey. Or that community discussion. Or that
> usability study. Something tells me that without any griping I will wait
> forever. I wonder what it is. Oh that's right - precedence. I dug through
> all of the conversations around ParserFunctions. There wasn't much. It takes
> a lot of diligence to fully consult the community consensus. It's hard work
> that developers, historically speaking, haven't card one iota about. Whoever
> finishes their implementation first and is best friends with a core dev
> wins.

Technical decisions should not be made by a consensus of laymen.

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Steve Bennett-8
In reply to this post by Brian J Mingus
Guys, please cool it. This thread is sucking.

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

stevertigo-2
In reply to this post by Brian J Mingus
On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 9:23 PM, Brian <[hidden email]> wrote:

The fact that the "techies" do not actively seek out community input
> is why we ended up with ParserFunctions. Furthermore these changes are
> supposed to be 'community' decisions. The 'techies' are also not the
> people who edit Wikipedia articles the most. They write code, fix
> servers etc...


You are not actually correct. Things develop the way they do because they
arise as the natural next step. All things improve incrementally, and in
accord with available tools and available understanding. You're too young to
remember what CamelCase is aren't you?

More technically minded
> folks believe that they can sit down and powwow about the technically best
> solution to a problem and can't even imagine what sort of input the
> community could possibly provide. It's totally backwards. The conversation
> should start on WikiEN-l, not wikitech-l. You have to first adequately
> characterize a problem before you start implementing solutions.


While you are certainly right about this idea that techs can get stuck in
certain places that non-tech insights could help with, you are wrong about
certain other things. The facts are: They deal with a lot already, they know
the work involved for any request, they understand the concepts well enough
to know what works and what doesn't, they can reconceptualize ideas and
solutions in ways that the rest of us cannot (seen this a dozen times here),
and they know very well where the tipping point is when things need to get
to the next step.

If there's a technical idea that the tech and general communities need to
interface about, write it up in detail on the meta wiki, and give us a link.
[[meta:New parser language]] or [[meta:New backend scripting language]]
might work.

-Stevertigo


PS: Other comments and responses:

The title says it all - MediaWiki is getting a new programming language.
>

What does that even mean? That everything in PHP code will be rewritten in
Python? Context for non-techies means something you may not yet understand.


It was wholly sufficient.


Your initial message, unlike perhaps your typical coded program, was neither
wholly sufficient nor actually sufficient. "Template parser functions" for
example, as Tom said, would have provided context.

I assume, having signed up to this list, that you understand what
> wikitech-l is and where it is located
>

1) Dont assume anything. 2) Always provide a link. 3) "Location" does not by
itself or in context indicate any relevance. 4) Terseness of the type you
provide does not facilitate *any understanding.
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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

AGK-2
Um, why are we giving Brion such a hard time? If his message didn't provide
enough details, then a polite request for clarification would be in order;
on the contrary, however, some of the replies to his post were just plain
rude. I do miss the days when we all played nice.
AGK
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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Carcharoth
On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 10:59 AM, AGK<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Um, why are we giving Brion such a hard time?

<snip>

Brian, not Brion. :-)

Carcharoth

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Peter Coombe
2009/7/1 Carcharoth <[hidden email]>:
> On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 10:59 AM, AGK<[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Um, why are we giving Brion such a hard time?
>
> <snip>
>
> Brian, not Brion. :-)
>

I think people are giving *Brian* an unfairly hard time because he is
giving *Brion* (and the other "techies") an unfairly hard time. :-)

Pete / the wub

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Re: MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

AGK-2
In reply to this post by Carcharoth
>
> Brian, not Brion. :-)


Oops - I misread.

My comment stands. ;)

AGK
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