I did a search on mediawiki.org to find a suitable embedding extension for flash videos. A few options pop up at the top of the results list, but I notice some strange similarities: EmbedVideo, EmbedVideo++, EmbedVideoPlus, all of which appear to be forks of the same original codebase. I also found at least two other independently-developed variants of the same extension in my searches.
The original EmbedVideo extension was developed by mediawiki hacker jimbojw some time ago, but he has completely stopped maintaining it. In his absence, the EmbedVideo++ extension was forked off his work to add some new features. However, that extension has since been abandoned as well. Add another fork from yet another developer--EmbedVideoPlus--which has already not been modified in over a year. I saw two other variants as well which are almost identical minus some small additions but which weren't listed in the released extensions list. Neither of these look to be actively developed, at least not towards a larger goal of a generally more-useful extension.
Where the story starts to get funny is that I had to make some of my own modifications to the extension, and was about two button clicks away from hosting my own version publicly when I had an insight: Why add another version, when I could try to take over maintainership of some (or all!) of the existing versions? Two of them are listed as "abandoned" on the mediawiki.org website. One other hasn't been modified in over a year. Two more are slightly more recent but by no means under active development. Each developer has done just enough work to get their own changes added, but stopped active development as soon as that was complete. I think I can do a little better than that. At the very least, I can put the project into some kind of public source control and make sure it gets exposure and some level of development sanity.
So, Sunday afternoon I sent out a handful of emails to the involved developers: I would like to take over the project, merge all the variants together into a single extension, throw it up on github, do some new development, and actively maintain it. I've only received a reply back from Jimbojw so far, but he seemed enthusiastic.
Yesterday I created a project on Github and uploaded some initial files. The original EmbedVideo.php file with some modest modifications, LICENSE, CREDITS, and README files, and some other related stuff. I've got a few big TODO items that I want to tackle in the coming weeks and months:
- Refactor the code to follow current best practices
- Test the code to work with newest development versions of MediaWiki. I've heard some reports that there are some incompatibilities.
- Add proper i18n support.
- Add in some support for new video hosting websites
- Add in some other bits and pieces from the other extension forks, as possible.
I'll post more news and updates as development progresses.