In February I discussed the inability of updating the MediaWiki messages with Tom Maaswinkel. The consequence of this inability was several people did not localise at translatewiki.net. They did not because they did not see the benefits of their work because it took months before the messages became available.
What we needed was a system that would compare the English message in SVN with the local message. When they were exactly the same, it would be certain that all the localisations for that message would be valid and could be used. Tom wrote the first version of the LocalisationUpdate and it worked.
When it works for me, it does not mean that it works for somebody else. The next hurdle was to convince people that we need this for all the WMF projects. I talked with Siebrand. He was more realistic then I was; he expected that it would take at least six months before it might go live. We talked with people and it was when Tom came to California that the idea of timely updates was adopted by the WMF.
Several people did a lot of work on it, Roan, Niklas, Brion and in the end it was found that it could only go live after the next software update.. That was at Wikimania. Today the LocalisationUpdate is live and it already provides some 5257 messages. This is already more then twice the number of all the MediaWiki core messages.
The LocalisationUpdate may not be glamorous, but it makes all the difference to the people who localise; they find that their work matters and will now be available in a timely manner.This in turn makes all the difference to our users, they will benefit from the improved usability that is the consequence of the improved localisations.
I want to thank and congratulate Tom, Brion, Roan, Tim and Niklas for their efforts. This is an awesome moment.