Wikimedia Foundation and, he certainly means business. There have been mails with suggestions and discussions on improving the process and now there is a call for all you MediaWiki developers to get involved in the sprint to make release 1.17 ready for release.
The impression this gives is wonderful. Wonderful because it invites people to get involved and stay involved. It gives the impression that contributions are welcome and that there is even someone ready to leverage the power of the many developers who do not yet have commit access as well.
What is also shiny is that by using terminology like "sprint" notions of agile project development come into focus. I am not advocating a new MediaWiki release every four weeks, but having four or more releases a year will be less stressful then the current waterfall of functionality that is in release 1.17.