(bug titled in honor of a talk by Benjamin Mako Hill, 2012-09-13)
I've discovered that the builtin page protection is nicely configurable, but very difficult to extend. Specifically, I attempted to implement a gated-trunk model which allows anyone to edit a protected page, but to do so the builtin protection mechanism would have to be effectively disabled.
Rewriting the builtin protection in any significant way is an enormous and expensive task (this patch removes almost 5,000 lines of code), and errors could result in damaged reputation or even lawsuits. I decided that the code would be much more easily managed as an extension, and can even be replaced by an entirely different system.
The initial goal you see reflected in these patches is simply to refactor the code in a way that preserves exactly the same functionality, while also keeping code structure intact whenever possible, to facilitate review.
See [[Extension:ProtectedTitles]] for more information.
https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/23999 ( Remove protection from mediawiki core )
https://github.com/adamwight/wmf-ext-protection ( so-called Extension:ProtectedTitles )