Yesterday we deployed Thumbor support for Wikimedia-hosted private wikis. While 99.9% of our traffic is for public-facing wikis, the Wikimedia Foundation hosts a number of private MediaWiki instances on the same infrastructure.
Introducing Thumbor replaces an existing service, and as such it’s important that it doesn’t preform worse than its predecessor. We came up with a strategy to reach feature parity and ensure a launch that would be invisible to end users.
To understand why Thumbor is a good fit, it’s important to understand where it fits in our overall thumbnailing architecture. A lot of historic constraints come into play, where Thumbor could be adapted to meet those needs.
Making Thumbor production-ready for Wikimedia is a journey that started a year and a half ago. Let’s look at the rationale for this project.