Architecturally it may be desirable to factor our codebase into multiple independent services with clear APIs, but small wikis would clearly like a "single server" installation with all of the services running under one roof, as it were. Some options previously proposed have involved VM containers that bundle PHP, Node, MediaWiki and all required services into a preconfigured full system image.
A proof-of-concept has been built. The node package [`php-embed`](https://www.npmjs.com/package/php-embed) embeds PHP 5.6.14 into a node.js (>= 2.4.0) process, with bidirectional property and method access between PHP and node. The package [`mediawiki-express`](https://www.npmjs.com/package/mediawiki-express) uses this to embed MediaWiki into an [express.js](http://expressjs.com/) HTTP server.
**WORK IN PROGRESS**
* Desire to execute from a clean tree. Make vendor/extension/skins directories relocatable. (And paths instead of single directories?)
* MW core/service communication could happen over a unix socket, rather than a network socket.
* Standardized mechanism for "services" to declare themselves & be connected & configured.