The current implementation of the pingback feature sends new data on the first page load after running the update.php maintenance script if no ping has yet been sent for the wiki's current MediaWiki version. There is no way by observing the event log to determine if a given wiki is still operational, since no further pings are sent unless the MediaWiki version on the wiki changes. Wikis that are created for
testing purposes or that have been decommissioned will continue to live on in the pingback data.
This task proposes adding a monthly heartbeat ping. The structure of the heartbeat ping is identical to the original ping. The heartbeat ping serves not only to indicate that the wiki is still alive; it will send updated information, so it will be possible to find out if any of the data, such as the PHP version or memory limit, has changed since the last ping even if the MediaWiki version has stayed the same.