Accepted Talks:

Bringing MediaWiki back into Debian

MediaWiki is a free and open-source wiki software package written in PHP. It scales extremely well, and is powerful enough to power the extremely high-traffic Wikipedia, but also run on shared hosting setups. It was previously packaged in Debian, but removed from jessie due to being significantly out of date and having unpatched, known, security issues. Working with other Debian contributors who are part of the MediaWiki community, I took over the package and updated it to MediaWiki’s latest version, and prepared it for the stretch release.

This talk will mostly cover social aspects of packaging a pretty large web application for Debian, and the different steps taken in interacting with the upstream community as well as the Debian community. As I was pretty much an outsider to the Debian development community, I’ll talk about my experiences getting started and some of the initial impressions with contributing to Debian. I’ll also discuss some strategies I used to get other MediaWiki contributors to contribute indirectly to Debian and help with packaging efforts.

The intended audience is for people who may be interested in getting into Debian development, but as outsiders find the process daunting, or Debian community members who want to make the process easier. Finally, I’m also going to try and recruit MediaWiki community members who are in Montreal for Wikimania to attend, and would use the common topic to introduce new members into the Debian community.