Announcing Ubuntu Ensemble, mediawiki community feedback requested

Platonides platonides at
Sat Jun 11 22:14:13 UTC 2011

Ahmed Kamal wrote:
>> So, when you add a second demo-wiki, how is the second mediawiki
>> configured? A simple copy ? How are further changes synced?
> The same hooks that configure the first instance, are triggered to
> configure the second instance. Since hooks should be written in an
> idempotent manner, all instances reach the same configuration state
> driven by the provided Ensemble variables. I'm not sure what you mean by
> sync'ed. All MW instances use the same DB, thus get the same data. If
> you're talking about a shared file-system, I don't believe the formulas
> have that yet, however, there is work to do a glusterfs formula (and
> other shared FSs) to enable that. If that is something that interests
> anyone here, you can write that formula, it's really quite simple

A really simple case: you want to change the wiki name. The process is 
that you edit $wgSitename at LocalSettings.php. But if you have several 
copies floating around...

>> What about optional packages? If you are installing for a large scale
>> cloud deployment of mediawiki you probably also want php-apc, or
>> wikidiff2 extension.
> Well if you want php-apc, just add it to the apt-get line of the install
> hook. Very soon, formulas will be configurable as well, so having
> php-apc as an "optional" install will be possible. I have no idea what
> wikidiff2 is, but can't see a reason why it cannot be installed as well.
> It really depends on what you (the expert community) define as best
> practice

wikidiff2 is a php module written in C++. It calculates the same diffs 
that the php code provided in mediawiki does, but faster.

Sure, if you have the know-how, you know that php apps should have a 
bytecode accelerator, that MediaWiki is better with wikidiff2...
But in that case you may prefer to do things manually instead of using 

>> I see you are creating your own LocalSettings.php, but the way you are
>> installing it is really ugly. I advance you that it will break in the
>> new installer of MediaWiki 1.17 You will have an install.php cli
>> script there, though.
> Well, that is exactly why I'm reaching out for your help. You see
> Ensemble plans to cover many pieces of software (wordpress, drupal,
> joomla...etc) basically anything that is cloud deployable! Maintaining
> the MW formulas such that it's in tip-top shape, would really benefit
> from being done by MW experts, and so on for other packages. What would
> be absolutely awesome, is if you could patch the formula and show me how
> it should be done. I am willing to help with absolutely anything to have
> that happen

I would need to actually go through the docs and understand how they are 
supposed to work.

>> I recommend you to plan and test with 1.17 and tell us if you need
>> some additional feature. It still could enter in the release, if it's
>> simple enough.
> Thanks! I don't think we should need any modifications to MW (or any
> other package for that matter). At least I hope we don't! Regarding
> testing and tweaking for 1.17, I'd love to do that, however since
> Ensemble is on its way to supporting all cloud deployable software, the
> only scalable model I can see is for the expert community of each
> respective package to step-up and start tweaking the formulas.

Note that those communities may not be interested in suporting your "pet 
system" (no offense intended). Maybe they would if it becomes the new 
standard for cloud configuration. But back to point #1 for that you need 
the configurations to be supported.
I think you should start supporting very well just a few apps. When it 
is "good and reliable" for X,Y,Z support for more projects will easily 
come. OTOH a half-solution for many projects is unlikely to be found 
acceptable by most developers.
You will probably have a better response from people whose needs 
intersect with what enemble offers. For instance Wikimedia is managing 
its hosts using puppet. If it wasn't using any system perhaps they would 
give a try to ensemble.


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