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Changing MediaWiki Language Extension Bundle (MLEB) Release Process
Open, Needs TriagePublic

Description

The Language team is considering changes to the MLEB release process. Below are the key points and proposals for the new process.

Current Process:

  • MLEB is released every quarter.
  • Supports the two latest stable MediaWiki releases.

Motivation for Change:

  • Discussion during the team's off-site on whether the current process needs revision.
  • Extensions' development has stabilized significantly, with fewer changes and adequate language coverage.
  • Backwards compatibility policy creates overhead, requiring conditional code that complicates extension maintenance and contributions.
  • The value proposition of easy extension bundling with example configuration remains relevant.

Historical Context:

  • MLEB releases were initiated in 2012.
  • Transitioned from monthly to quarterly MLEB releases in 2015.

Proposals:

  1. Align MLEB Releases with MediaWiki: Release MLEB twice a year, coinciding with MediaWiki releases, and drop the backwards compatibility policy. This change impacts especially MediaWiki LTS users, who would need to update their MediaWiki to use newer MLEB versions.
  2. Integration into MediaWiki Tarball: Discontinue separate MLEB releases and work on including these extensions in the MediaWiki tarball, ensuring useful default settings. This approach aims for greater integration and simplicity.

Next Steps:

  • Announce these proposals in the upcoming MLEB release announcement to solicit user feedback.
  • Refine proposals based on feedback and decide on any changes.

Event Timeline

I like the proposed changes. As an MW LTS user, I am forced to stick to outdated versions of MLEB due to PHP incompatibility, so the first proposed change is no change for me. If I am not mistaken, integration into the MediaWiki tarball as proposed with change 2 would even improve my situation.

We didn't receive much feedback, though none of the feedback we got was opposing the proposed changes.

Our plan is to release 2024.07 as per current policy. After that release, we will change the policy to make releases after new MediaWiki stable version has been released (assumed twice a year), alleviating the challenges of the current backwards compatibility policy.

Step 2 with bundling the major extensions in the MediaWiki tarball is left for future exploration and consideration.