Dan Poltawski's blog

Excellent contributing experience with Mediawiki

Moodle Docs is built upon MediaWiki and this week I’ve been working on upgrading Moodle Docs to the latest MediaWiki release (1.23.0).

I use open source software all the time, but Mediawiki has strong parallels to Moodle1 and it gave me an opportunity for reflection whilst I was doing the sort of tasks Moodle administrators do; reading release notes, testing customisations and discovering bugs. I became involved in Moodle coming from exactly this situation but it’s been quite a few years since I was far enough removed to consider the experience objectively.

I’ve long held the view that making the process clear and responses prompt & encouraging is the key to the successfully converting first-time contributors into long time contributors.2 Mediawiki have nailed this experience in the last few hours:

Great job MediaWiki! I saw the emails this morning (Saturday) and was excited to respond to your feedback.

  1. Being a PHP based web application (though clearly the site profiles and functionality is dramatically different to Moodle) ↩︎

  2. It was exactly that experience which lead me to stick around in Moodle. ↩︎

  3. I have used gerrit< with Mahara before, so may have had a head start. ↩︎