Sunday, 5 February 2012

Time to update your MediaWiki?

Newer versions of MediaWiki get better and better (see the release notes). I'm constantly impressed with this project. It produces a slick**, usable, and 'web-scale' (yes, I said web-scale) software for free, and runs perhaps the most important resource on the internet.
        ** Easy to install, configurable, language independent, easy to upgrade, easy to extend, and extend, ...

Newer versions are not only easy to install, add constantly improving usability and functionality, but also fix important security issues (more info, more reasons). There are only two or three real reasons not to update (and they are all arguable):

  • You forked the codebase instead of using (or developing) the extension mechanism (silly you!), or
  • You rely on functionality provided by an extension that is incompatible with newer versions of MW (poor you!), or
  • You work in a production environment with an old version of PHP, and upgrading PHP is likely to be problematic.

However, (politely?) asking people to update in no uncertain terms can result in being slapped down...

Subject: Re: Dear wiki owners

Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2011 12:20:57 +0200
Cc: Everyone I was pestering
To: Dan Bolser 

Dear Dr. Bolser,

I hope you must be joking.

Although we are happy to collaborate to the best of our abilities and resources with any project that might benefit from it, I object to the arrogant tone of your message. Our XXXwiki web site is functional and we do have to juggle many priorities in our development work. If we can upgrade our system without breaking it, we will consider doing the upgrade quickly.

In the future, I do suggest that you approach people you don't know personally in a more diplomatic way. It might be just as helpful for the people you know personally too.

In the meanwhile, do whatever you please with the BioWiki catalogue.


Xxxx Xxxxxx

On 14 Apr 2011, at 00:41, Dan Bolser wrote:

> Hi all,
> Just a quick weekly reminder that your wikis, XXXwiki, XxxxxxxWiki,
> XXXX wiki and Xxxxxxxxxxx, are woefully out of date and/or chronically
> and needlessly broken (see below).
> I'm happy to take good excuses or to remove your sites from the
> BioWiki catalogue. Until then, I'll probably keep sending weekly
> reminders.
> Faithfully,
> Dan Bolser.

Yeah... I guess I over did it.
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