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[Wikimedia-l] Editor retention implies social features

 

 

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okeyes at wikimedia

Apr 28, 2012, 8:33 PM

Post #26 of 31 (253 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Editor retention implies social features [In reply to]

Jan; we get new features fairly regularly :). At the moment we're working
on two new pieces of software - the Article Feedback Form, v5, and New Page
Triage (a replacement for Special:NewPages). After that we're moving on to
a proper notifications system to allow better communication and
participation across wikis. I appreciate the rate of progress may seem
slow; it is worth pointing out we have a very small teem of features
engineers (although more are being hired!) and so are limited in how many
different things we can work on at once.

On 25 April 2012 19:50, Jan Kučera <kozuch82 [at] gmail> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> yes, there surely were comments from developers... that is positive.
> But the result as general is still nothing at all (the feature is not
> even nearing deployment). WMF should invest in new features. I am not
> a dev and thus can not contribute any code.
>
> Kozuch
>
> 2012/4/25 Sumana Harihareswara <sumanah [at] wikimedia>:
> > On 04/23/2012 01:03 PM, Jan Ku?era wrote:
> >> Hi there,
> >>
> >>> If, on the other hand, you just mean "features to promote greater
> >>> communication and networking between editors", that's a clear priority
> -
> >>> I'm happy to talk to people about the work we're doing, and to hear any
> >>> suggestions along the way :).
> >>
> >> yes I exactly meant that. It is about making contributing not "suck".
> >> How often does Wikipedia (=MediaWiki) get big new features??? I posted
> >> a bug about integrating some kind of graph/chart feature
> >> (https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=29806) and in 9 months
> >> almost nothing happened... and this really sucks... beleive it or
> >> not...
> >>
> >> Kozuch
> >
> >
> > Hi, Kozuch. I look at
> >
> > https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=29806
> >
> > and I see that, within a day of the issue being filed, multiple
> > experienced MediaWiki developers commented on that issue to explain what
> > the chart software's developers would have to do in order to make it
> > suitable for use on our sites. I've also contacted the author of that
> > extension to point at that bug's comments and at this procedural guide:
> >
> > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Writing_an_extension_for_deployment
> >
> > so if you could help me in alerting the extension's author to those
> > comments, that would be great. Thanks!
> >
> > --
> > Sumana Harihareswara
> > Volunteer Development Coordinator
> > Wikimedia Foundation
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>



--
Oliver Keyes
Community Liaison, Product Development
Wikimedia Foundation
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meta.sj at gmail

Apr 28, 2012, 10:07 PM

Post #27 of 31 (260 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Editor retention implies social features [In reply to]

Sumana writes:
>> so if you could help me in alerting the extension's author to those
>> comments, that would be great. Thanks!

Jan Kučera writes:
> yes, there surely were comments from developers... that is positive.
> But the result as general is still nothing at all (the feature is not
> even nearing deployment). WMF should invest in new features. I am not
> a dev and thus can not contribute any code.

+1 to investing in supporting code written by others.

I think Sumana put it very well above :) You can help facilitate
better/faster communication between core mediawiki devs and extension
writers.

SJ

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kozuch82 at gmail

Apr 29, 2012, 1:04 AM

Post #28 of 31 (257 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Editor retention implies social features [In reply to]

Hi Oliver,

the development progress definitely is very very slow. As a
comparison, did you watch how the web front-end of Facebook changes
within the last year? It was completely overhauled about three
times... You may object Facebook is commercial and not comparable to
Wikimedia, but this basically is not true at all sice BOTH sites
compete for the same users (editors in case of Wikimedia). I know that
comparison to any other commercial site is not welcome here, but that
is a sad point people in the community still think
commercial/noncomemrcial are two different worlds - they arent. There
is only one user, who actually does not care a lot about a site being
commercial/uncommercial... There is only one market, so Wikimedia has
to behave much like the commercial sites (of course with little
specifics to a non-profit like privacy etc.).

From the point of this comparison, there is almost no development to
MediaWiki... this is very sad, from a multi-million budget we only
have few feauter engineers... :((( The software is a significant part
of the whole site and community, if you have bad software you will
never have great content... Features engineers should be the core of
all Wikimedia staff, it is pitty to see the reality is exactly the
other way round...

The example can be myself - I am missing chart features withint
MediaWiki/Wikipedia, I filled a bug, nothing happens, I may leave the
community for good... This is the same story over and over again.
Foundation did not really care till now...

Kozuch

2012/4/29 Oliver Keyes <okeyes [at] wikimedia>:
> Jan; we get new features fairly regularly :). At the moment we're working
> on two new pieces of software - the Article Feedback Form, v5, and New Page
> Triage (a replacement for Special:NewPages). After that we're moving on to
> a proper notifications system to allow better communication and
> participation across wikis. I appreciate the rate of progress may seem
> slow; it is worth pointing out we have a very small teem of features
> engineers (although more are being hired!) and so are limited in how many
> different things we can work on at once.
>
> On 25 April 2012 19:50, Jan Kuera <kozuch82 [at] gmail> wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> yes, there surely were comments from developers... that is positive.
>> But the result as general is still nothing at all (the feature is not
>> even nearing deployment). WMF should invest in new features. I am not
>> a dev and thus can not contribute any code.
>>
>> Kozuch
>>
>> 2012/4/25 Sumana Harihareswara <sumanah [at] wikimedia>:
>> > On 04/23/2012 01:03 PM, Jan Ku?era wrote:
>> >> Hi there,
>> >>
>> >>> If, on the other hand, you just mean "features to promote greater
>> >>> communication and networking between editors", that's a clear priority
>> -
>> >>> I'm happy to talk to people about the work we're doing, and to hear any
>> >>> suggestions along the way :).
>> >>
>> >> yes I exactly meant that. It is about making contributing not "suck".
>> >> How often does Wikipedia (=MediaWiki) get big new features??? I posted
>> >> a bug about integrating some kind of graph/chart feature
>> >> (https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=29806) and in 9 months
>> >> almost nothing happened... and this really sucks... beleive it or
>> >> not...
>> >>
>> >> Kozuch
>> >
>> >
>> > Hi, Kozuch. I look at
>> >
>> > https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=29806
>> >
>> > and I see that, within a day of the issue being filed, multiple
>> > experienced MediaWiki developers commented on that issue to explain what
>> > the chart software's developers would have to do in order to make it
>> > suitable for use on our sites. I've also contacted the author of that
>> > extension to point at that bug's comments and at this procedural guide:
>> >
>> > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Writing_an_extension_for_deployment
>> >
>> > so if you could help me in alerting the extension's author to those
>> > comments, that would be great. Thanks!
>> >
>> > --
>> > Sumana Harihareswara
>> > Volunteer Development Coordinator
>> > Wikimedia Foundation
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> Wikimedia-l [at] lists
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Oliver Keyes
> Community Liaison, Product Development
> Wikimedia Foundation
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> Wikimedia-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l

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bharris at wikimedia

Apr 29, 2012, 12:29 PM

Post #29 of 31 (252 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Editor retention implies social features [In reply to]

On Apr 29, 2012, at 1:04 AM, Jan Kuera wrote:

> Hi Oliver,
>
> the development progress definitely is very very slow. As a
> comparison, did you watch how the web front-end of Facebook changes
> within the last year? It was completely overhauled about three
> times... You may object Facebook is commercial and not comparable to
> Wikimedia, but this basically is not true at all sice BOTH sites
> compete for the same users (editors in case of Wikimedia). I know that
> comparison to any other commercial site is not welcome here, but that
> is a sad point people in the community still think
> commercial/noncomemrcial are two different worlds - they arent. There
> is only one user, who actually does not care a lot about a site being
> commercial/uncommercial... There is only one market, so Wikimedia has
> to behave much like the commercial sites (of course with little
> specifics to a non-profit like privacy etc.)


You are comparing apples and oranges.

Facebook:
* Has *hundreds of millions* of dollars to devote to developer staff;
* Does *not* have a community that demands to be consulted for every change;
* Does *not* require that features work in ancient browsers;
* Does *not* have to support skins and other technology built ten years ago;
* Does *not* have to develop in order to support non-Facebook installs of their software;
* Has *only* about 100 languages to develop for;
* Pays *above* market rate


> From the point of this comparison, there is almost no development to
> MediaWiki... this is very sad, from a multi-million budget we only
> have few feauter engineers... :((( The software is a significant part
> of the whole site and community, if you have bad software you will
> never have great content... Features engineers should be the core of
> all Wikimedia staff, it is pitty to see the reality is exactly the
> other way round..

I'm not sure I agree with you that Features Engineers should be the core of the Foundation's staff but that's not really relevant.

There are two major constraints that I think need to be understood.

First, the "multi-million budget" we have is actually *nothing* by the standards of sites and tech systems that are 1/20th of our size and scale. Bear in mind that features engineering only receives a fraction of the 30 million (or whatever) each year.

(For comparison, a friend of mine runs a moderate-sized e-commerce site. Her budget, per year, is $300 million dollars. They get probably 1/100th of our traffic and users. Probably less.)

Second, and this is going to make people surly, but the we don't pay crap. Our salaries are the lowest of the low. It is close to impossible to attract experienced talent when you are offering 80% of market rate. So even if we decided to put ALL the budget into hiring software engineers, it wouldn't mean anything because we still couldn't hire those people.

> The example can be myself - I am missing chart features withint
> MediaWiki/Wikipedia, I filled a bug, nothing happens, I may leave the
> community for good... This is the same story over and over again.
> Foundation did not really care till now...


This is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. If you feel strongly about this, you should lobby more and more people, and create a greater consensus that your chart software is important to everyone and should be elevated. Leaving the community isn't the solution: you miss 100% of the balls you don't take a swing at.

---
Brandon Harris, Senior Designer, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate


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sumanah at wikimedia

Apr 30, 2012, 7:19 AM

Post #30 of 31 (258 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Editor retention implies social features [In reply to]

Kozuch,

Others have responded to many of your other points. I just wanted to
help with two things:

On 04/25/2012 02:49 PM, Jan Kučera wrote:
> Hi,
>
> yes, there surely were comments from developers... that is positive.
> But the result as general is still nothing at all (the feature is not
> even nearing deployment).

The reason that feature is not moving towards deployment is because of
the issues that the other developers explained in their Bugzilla
comments. Can you help by asking Robert Horlings & Gérard de Smaele to
respond to those comments? I have tried to contact them but haven't
heard any response.

> I am not a dev and thus can not contribute any code.
>
> Kozuch

We welcome the contributions of non-developers to the software
development process! For example, you can:

* help test the software and file bug reports (example:
http://www.mkltesthead.com/2012/04/weekend-testing-on-march-5th-something.html
)
* help document the current state of engineering activity so everyone's
more aware of what's happening:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/Project_documentation_howto
* join the wikitech-ambassadors list to help communicate between your
wiki communities and WMF about upcoming and desired changes:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-ambassadors

And I see you're already on the Bug Squad to help monitor new incoming
bug reports and check whether old ones are still valid:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Project:WikiProject_Bug_Squad Thank you!

Thanks.

--
Sumana Harihareswara
Engineering Community Manager
Wikimedia Foundation

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bodnotbod at gmail

May 1, 2012, 7:00 AM

Post #31 of 31 (253 views)
Permalink
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Editor retention implies social features [In reply to]

On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 09:04, Jan Kuera <kozuch82 [at] gmail> wrote:

> people in the community still think
> commercial/noncomemrcial are two different worlds - they arent. There
> is only one user, who actually does not care a lot about a site being
> commercial/uncommercial...

I'm going to assume that by "user" you're primarily talking about our
readers rather than regular contributors.

I think it's difficult to estimate whether they care that the site is
"uncommercial". We don't have a test-wiki or a competing site that
shows ads and is funded by those. Who can say with confidence that if
there was an ad-funded Wikipedia that users wouldn't flee? So we can't
know if they care or not.

> if you have bad software you will
> never have great content...

Which raises the question: are you saying Wikipedia content is bad?
Wikipedia's position in the most visited websites would appear to say
that users disagree with you.

> The example can be myself - I am missing chart features withint
> MediaWiki/Wikipedia, I filled a bug, nothing happens, I may leave the
> community for good... This is the same story over and over again.
> Foundation did not really care till now...

I too have a long outstanding feature request to do with improving
watchlists (grouping pages together so you could have eg a soccer
watchlist and a politics watchlist). I put out a plea some years ago
and it looks like it may finally happen as someone on the Google
Summer of Code program is going to give it his best shot this summer.

Instead of leaving the project why not try and form a relationship
with some programmers and nudge them towards working on your
idea/needs? Be the squeaky wheel looking to be oiled. And be patient.
If you can't achieve what you want due to missing features at the
moment, surely there are other things you can contribute that you
would find fulfilling?

The fact that my watchlist doesn't have the functionality I desire has
meant that I haven't used my watchlist much, but there's still 1,001
things to do that have nothing to do with a watchlist.

Bodnotbod

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