We are planning to run some small UX tests on Wikipedia.org page, and before we do that we need to take a few steps to make us ready for it.
The scope of this task is to create a gerrit repository that one could build the portal from if so desired. We can then show this to prominent contributors to the portal such as @mxn and get feedback, announce the changes publicly, then switch the portals over to the more sane system.
We've compiled documentation around Wikipedia.org Portal Improvements project here: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikipedia.org_Portal_Improvements
Also there is some information about our research plans for the project here: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Portal_experiments