Submissions/What Does THAT mean? Engineering Jargon And Procedures Explained

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
What Does THAT mean? Engineering Jargon And Procedures Explained
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Authors of the submission
Sumana Harihareswara, possibly Rob Lanphier or additional members of the engineering staff of the Wikimedia Foundation
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wikimedia Foundation
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
You want to understand what's going on under the hood and behind the scenes, but what does all of this technical jargon in the monthly engineering report mean? If you look at all those nouns ("Swift", "LAMP", "Bugzilla") and feel lost, this session is for you.
This will be a questions-and-answers session in which I (and possibly other members of the Foundation's Technical Liaisons and Developer Relations group) give explanations for smart laypeople. Questions of the sort we will answer:
  • What is a deployment and why does it take a month?
  • Why are we getting into HipHop and Lua?
  • What is a parser and why did we have to spend so long rewriting it just to make a Visual Editor possible (and why do we call it that)?
  • What is Swift and why have we spent so much time on it?
  • What is Subversion, what is Git, why did we switch, and what benefit are ordinary users getting out of that work?
  • Why do we need that new data center?
In 25 minutes we can probably cover about 3 of these questions.
No developers, please! You'll just be bored.  :-)
Track (Wikis and the Public Sector; GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums); WikiCulture and Community; Research, Analysis, and Education; Technology and Infrastructure)
Technology and Infrastructure
Length of presentation/talk (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 Minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Arguably, this shouldn't go in the tech track, since it's specifically meant for the nontechnical Wikimedia community. Also, I'd like to take special steps to ensure that people who feel a bit shy about asking questions ("what if I look dumb?") get a chance to ask them without feeling embarrassed. Maybe interested attendees could ask questions on the talk page of this submission?
Special request as to time of presentations (for example - can not present on Saturday)

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. I have been reading wikitech-L for a couple of years in the hopes of picking up techie-as-a-second-language. This looks like one for me! Risker 03:46, 17 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Rangilo Gujarati 12:56, 17 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. HstryQT (talk) 19:25, 8 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Marclaporte (talk) 05:21, 11 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Ironholds (talk) 20:50, 17 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Joyless pale vegetarian
  7. Yes, please. SarahStierch (talk) 02:58, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Dmitri Lytov (talk) 20:48, 6 June 2012 (UTC) (I'll try to attend but not 100% sure)[reply]
  9. Add your username here