[Pkg-mediawiki-devel] Debian maintainers: Please join wikitech-l

Mark A. Hershberger mah at wikimedia.org
Sat May 12 00:36:58 UTC 2012

Executive Summary:

Please join wikitech-l
(https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l) so that we can
work more closely together to make a better, more secure MediaWiki package.


One of the maintainers for Fedora's MediaWiki package opened a bug about
licensing issues with different parts of the MediaWiki package (see

We (the Wikimedia Foundation) are getting an opinion from our legal
counsel about this particular issue and should have it resolved soon.

However, I'd like to use this opportunity to start working more closely
with Linux distribution packagers.  Daniel Zahn has been scanning
existing MediaWiki installations (http://wikistats.wmflabs.org/) and
we've found an incredible number of sites with old, probably insecure

In the past we (MediaWiki hackers) have discouraged people from using
packages provided by Linux distributions since they were out of date or
worked sub-optimally.  We felt people who used packages were not getting
the most out of their MediaWiki installation.

While this may have been true, it has left a huge number of MediaWiki
installations out-of date and not likely to be upgraded soon or at all.

To get around this problem, I'd like to start working more closely with
packagers of MediaWiki for different Linux distributions.  My hope is
that we can then ask people to install a MediaWiki package with apt-get
or yum and be confident that it will remain (relatively) secure.

The wikitech-l mailing list is currently the list for this sort of
coordination, but the traffic may be a little high if you are simply
concerned about keeping the package up-to-date.  If there is enough
interest, we can start a new mailing list specifically for coordinating
our efforts.

I'm interested in your thoughts.

Mark A. Hershberger
Wikimedia Foundation
mah at wikimedia.org

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