Last modified: 2008-07-12 04:08:08 UTC
The developer testbed wiki, test.wikipedia.org has a fair number of users with various rights for testing different extensions and has been adopted as a sandbox for bot-owners and users wanting to adapt scripts and gadgets to new versions of MediaWiki.
Requesting these rights has been done via the stewards for the most part for esoteric rights (POVWatch, Import, Transwiki) and local bureaucrats for the more mundane (bureaucrat, bot, sysop).
Bureaucrats on test.wikipedia obviously do not have the ability to remove those rights, other than the bot flag.
I'd propose, since users with steward on test.wikipedia can't change rights outside of test.wikipedia, to give a very small number of trusted users the steward right. Obviously, since IP data can be compromised on a Foundation-owned server via Checkuser, they would require identification to the Foundation.
Stewards on Meta would have less to deal with in the way of requests there regarding test.wikipedia and having the rights available for developers (script/gadget and otherwise) rapidly and at-will without bothering shell users would encourage testing and development of tools usable elsewhere.
This of course assumes that the developers aren't opposed to this idea, which is a primary reason for this bug report, and potentially opens the use of test.wikipedia up for non-MediaWiki-development use. The same restrictions on identification should apply to checkuser and oversight use, and promoting/demoting others to and from the steward group should be forbidden without developer consent.
Well, I'm sure there are stewards that wouldn't mind being the ones doing the removal of "esoteric rights".
OTOH, I think it's really easy to configure the site so that local bureaucrats can remove all the "esoteric rights" as well as "mundane ones". But that's a one-time job for sysadmins.
Bastique seems to be volunteering for the job at the moment. I'd still like to see a "Manager" or somesuch permission (q.v. Founder on enwiki: 'founder' => array( 'makesysop' => true, 'userrights' => true ), ) assigned to a (very) small number of developer-trusted people.
Leaving this open in case there's any more input.