MediaWiki Contributions: My Extensions

Recently, I have decided that I want to start writing some extensions for the MediaWiki wiki engine. This is, in addition to being a chance for me get a hands-on knowledge of the project and its code base, a real opportunity to actually contribute to the software I have been using for ages.

Of course, it might be that the extensions I will write won’t be that useful. Indeed, several others exist that already do what my first extension is supposed to achieve. However, the way they go about it is not as tidy and neat as I am used to. Their set up and configuration is not minimal. They have not kept up with the best practices of software development, and have not kept the pace of growth of the Object-oriented paradigm within the PHP community.

Most importantly, they are not well maintained. I remember well that my OOD professor used to say that a software dies the day its maintenance is discontinued.

So, I will be writing a state-of-the-art and well-designed (hopefully) extension to handle the job of preloading user specified texts into newly created pages, while allowing them to maintain control of this aspect of their Wikis without having to have any knowledge of programming.

I have currently requested access to Gerrit and Git for the MediaWiki codebase and will hopefully start coding as soon as I get this access.

Update

Well, I am kind of disappointed in the whole MediaWiki developer community. It took them four days to review and then grant my request, even though the influx of requests was not that high (10 per 5 days).

Afterwards, I had to request, separately, for git access, and now, after a whole week my request has not even been reviewed.

Will be posting updates on this.

New Updates

Well, I officially give up. I don’t think I will be pursuing this extension, since the MediaWiki community don’t seem to really want to take new users.

I might perhaps work on this on my own and then publish the extension somewhere else, and make the code available publicly.

JPowerPack

I have been busying myself lately with writing a set of powerful tools for any Java programmer, dubbed JPowerPack. This might seem — and indeed, to myself, it sort of does — like an ambitious and arrogant bearing, but I feel like I have the knowledge at the moment to try and embark on this.

What I am doing is providing a set of traditional tools for refletion, plus — in the near future — more advanced tools for generating code, compiling code, and generally wreaking havoc on the world of pre-compilation code writing.

This has come to be after I have been working on a similar set of utilities at my work. This project is now up on Github, and anyone willing to contribute or fork is invited to join.

First impression of Scala

Even though generally speaking, I am against choosing symbolic programming over verbose and well-readable code, I have to admit that this code snippet taken from the Wikipedia entry on Scala is nothing short of beautiful: