Ok, Rob’s starting to clear out some of the FlaggedRevs setup requests, now that we’ve cleaned up some of the configuration files.
If everything’s going smoothly there, we’ll start chugging through the rest over the coming days.
I’ve got MediaWiki on the live Wikimedia sites all up to date at r43514 now.
We’d been updating some extensions individually over the last couple weeks, but full updates were held back as general code review got a little behind during the lead-up to the fundraiser and our staff meeting last week… I’m hoping to get us on a regular weekly update schedule, probably Tuesdays since my experience is that Mondays end up totally unproductive. :)
I did have to pull back the Special:Search redesign for the moment; it’s looking *awesome* but has a few glitches still, which I’m hoping we can resolve before putting it live.
I’m thinking we should start making more active use of branches for experimental/iterative development like this, where existing features in core are majorly refactored and need some iterations of testing before going live.
We try to keep our trunk code ready-to-run at all times, so when something in trunk is not quite ready yet we end up rolling it back (which requires tracking down multiple changes and reverting all of them) or else rushing fixes so we can get an update pushed out.
The SVN server was updated to 1.5 a while ago, which is apparently a little handier at branch merging, but branching still is kind of awkward in SVN. Any good recommendations on SVN-friendly DVCSs? I know some folks use SVK or a GIT-SVN bridge for doing various local development, but how easy is it to share a development branch among multiple developers over time this way?
This is shaping up as a busy week at Wikimedia HQ… We’re starting our year-end fundraiser, our remote staff are flying into town for an all-staff meeting, and to top it off there was this election thingy going on…
Over the last few weeks we’ve all been scrambling to get things ready. The fundraiser landing pages are beautiful, our donation tracking system seems to actually work (thanks David!), and the site notice banner doesn’t have any scrolling marquees… ;)
Thanks to the tireless work of Tomasz and Trevor, we now have a workable system for previewing notice banner updates and scheduling them before they go live — which should make things much smoother as the designs get updated over the course of the fundraiser season.
We started live-testing the notice Monday on test.wikipedia.org:
By Tuesday morning, Rand and the rest of the fundraiser team were rushing to fix up the donation pages in response to review and broken-link testing, and we started deploying notices live — first to Wikibooks, then Wikipedia in Japanese, Polish, French, and German.
After a few hours of testing and tweaking, we stuck the notice on full on all Wikipedias… And saw a prompt decline in site traffic as several of our proxy cache servers threw themselves into some kind of overload failure.
This being a) the start of our fundraiser and b) the night of the US Presidential election, we thought we’d better stay in and fix it instead of going out for a tech department dinner…
I canceled our reservation and ordered some Indian delivery while Tim and Mark sorted out the servers, and we kept a sharp eye on things as the evening continued…
The overload may have been triggered by extra hits to backend web servers for the images in the notice; to be on the safe side we moved them over to the upload/media servers before redeploying.
Around the time the networks started calling the election for Obama, we were ready to put the notices back in. We were seeing some load spikes on backend web servers, but these seemed to be from legitimate page rendering, most likely related to the heavy editing traffic for election results.
As McCain conceded the election, we started filtering in the fundraising notice for about 1 in ten hits, making sure it wasn’t breaking anything.
By the middle of Obama’s victory speech, we’d ramped it up to 100% of hits, and started to see the donations rolling in.
We’re seeing definite positive response — people are certainly turning out to support Wikipedia! We’re also getting feedback on the layout of the notice itself, and are making some tweaks in response. For starters we’re changing the “Hide” link to a more accurate “Collapse”; like last year’s the link doesn’t completely hide the notice, just collapses it to a smaller version.
Thanks everybody for your support (and I hope you voted, too, if you were eligible!) — we’ll try to keep things smooth on our end and keep the fundraiser classy.