Hello everyone,

I am pleased to share with you the news about the formation of the latest team 
in the Technology department, the MediaWiki Platform team![1]

The MediaWiki Platform team will be tasked with leading maintenance and 
improvements related to the core MediaWiki platform codebase. That includes 
encouraging future development of the MediaWiki platform and addressing the 
technical debt that has accumulated during the 15-year history of MediaWiki.

MediaWiki is an amazing, powerful, and complex open-source software platform. 
The number and variety of extensions, and the wide variety of communities who 
have adopted MediaWiki as their method for knowledge collection and 
dissemination, are a testament to its strength as a software platform.

Like any significant codebase with a long development history, there are 
remnants of design choices and experiments that are no longer in use, and some 
areas of code are in need of modernization. However, at its core is a large 
amount of highly functional, secure, performant code, capable of supporting a 
robust platform through the use of extensions and hooks. There is also a great 
amount of flexibility to adapt to new requirements.

This team will have a more focused purpose than the previous MediaWiki Core 
team.[2]. While the previous team was at times spread too thin, many areas are 
now covered by dedicated teams like Security and Performance. The new MediaWiki 
Platform team will center their efforts on the core codebase. The team will 
also have a dedicated Product Manager who will be creating the platform roadmap 
in collaboration with the team, the Architecture Committee and the MediaWiki 
user community. 

Specific goals for this team are to:

* Assist and encourage development of features for MediaWiki by providing 
developers with a strong core.

* Undertake feature development work which is primarily architectural in nature.

* Facilitate the development and publication of MediaWiki's roadmap to assist 
coordination between internal and external users.

* Maintain and promote guidelines and standards for the MediaWiki core.

I am thrilled that Tim Starling has agreed to lead the team, reporting directly 
to me. He will be joined by Brion Vibber, Kunal Mehta and Brad Jorsch.  The 
team officially launches on Monday April 3, and will complete the hiring and 
onboarding of additional team members in the coming months. Their initial 
workplan will include core support for multi content revisions for the 
Structured Data on Commons project and will be discussed in more detail during 
the upcoming consultation for the Wikimedia Foundation 2017-2018 annual plan.

I am excited by this latest evolution in the structure of the Foundation's 
Engineering group. We will continue to learn from our collective knowledge and 
expertise, and make adjustments to our composition and plans. I appreciate the 
input provided by many in the community that helped inform this decision. I 
also want to thank the members of the Wikimedia Foundation's Product, 
Technology, and Community Engagement departments who were involved in this 
process. In particular, I would like to thank Toby Negrin, Adam Baso, and 
Trevor Parscal - whose support was critical in bringing this plan together.

Join me in welcoming and celebrating our new team!


[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_Platform_team

[2] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_MediaWiki_Core_Team 

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