Re: [Wikimedia-l] Moving the technical infrastructure out of the US

2020-10-01 Thread Antoine Musso

On 30/09/2020 13:55, Pascal Martin wrote:

Hi all,
Maybe one way in France :
I could contact them if it s possible, and more particularly the criann
he would only charge for electricity.
At the same time this allows to be able to save energy for users who
consult wikipedia in Europe.


Wikimedia has caches servers located in Amsterdam in the same facility 
of AMSIX which is one of the largest internet exchange point in Europe. 
The caches thus have a very good connectivity with all the major 
internet service provider in Europe (and beyond).

France several exchange points (France-IX, PARIX, SFINX which is 
operated by renater) and possibly others. But to my knowledge none offer 
the same amount of connectivity as AMSIX.

Beside privacy, hosting would have to obey to french laws and the 
copyright laws are entirely different than the one in the USA. On top of 
my mind: there is no such thing as "fair use" and no "freedom of panorama".

Surely laws can be changed by intense lobbying and could I see the use 
case for France to relax some copyrights laws to better accommodate 
hosting.  That could potentially attract a wide range of content that 
are seeking a safe copyright heaven.  But I don't see it happening 
anytime soon and that would require a lot of lobbying by a wide range of 
organizations beside just Wikimedia.

Maybe WMF CEO can try giving a call to french president and see whether 
some arrangement can be made :-]

Antoine "hashar" Musso

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF work environment

2019-10-03 Thread Antoine Musso

On 03/10/2019 12:47, Antoine Musso wrote:


[official website]

As a follow up, note that this source of data is most probably 
inaccurate. The website might not be always up-to-date, and might not be 
immediately updated when people join and leave.  So all the analysis is 
to be picked with a large grain of salt ;-]

In the end, that would be better address by board/T which have the 
accurate data.

Antoine Musso

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF work environment

2019-10-03 Thread Antoine Musso

On 02/10/2019 22:09, Pine W wrote:


Something I am sensing from multiple sources, sometimes more through
implication than specific statements, is that there is a sense of turmoil
in WMF. I think that some amounts of internal politics and staff turnover
are normal, but over the past few months I am sensing an increase in
internal turmoil. I am noticing the departures of some staff people that I
personally like and respect. I am wondering if WMF Talent and Culture or
maybe someone on the ED's office would be willing to comment regarding
these issues. I'm not intending to add additional stress to people who are
generally competent and are trying to do good work. I would like to better
understand the degree of turmoil (perhaps my impressions are incorrect),
what might be causing the turmoil, and whether the turmoil is good or bad.
Hopefully any increase in turmoil is temporary, but I am somewhat
concerned. If staff are focused too much on internal WMF issues then this
may affect their productivity on projects that support the community, and
having highly stressed or discouraged staff would be a problem.

Hello Pine,

[turnover] rate i  a measure of how many employees leave an organization 
compared to the total number of employees. It greatly varies by season, 
sector, type of organization, area, country etc. See the wikipedia 
article for more details.

From a [board meeting public report, page 18]:

Turnover rate per fiscal year:

| Year  | Rate
| FY14-15   | 15,40%
| FY15-16   | 16,80%
| FY16-17   |  7,30%
| FY17-18   |  7,00%
| FYTD18-19 |  3,54%

The last line might be based on Dec 31 2018, and maybe can be 
extrapolated to 3,54% x 2 = 7,08%.

For more recent numbers, the list of staff and contractors are listed 
publicly. That has long been on a wiki [staff history] and is now on the 
[official website].

It is thus not too difficult to grab those data and make them machine 
readable, which is unofficially available at:

June 27 th: 367 persons
October 2nd: 375 persons

29 people joined
21 have left

Which based on the Wikipedia article calculation would gives:

 Turnover rate = 21 left / ( (367 + 376) / 2 )
   = 0,0565

Which would be 5% since July 1st.  Remember that turnover is often 
seasonal, but linearly expanding that quarter to a full year assuming 
the three other quarters would be similar:

29 join on Q1 * 4 quarters = 116 join
21 leaves on Q1 * 4 quarters = 84 left

Delta 32
Total 399

And the formula would yield:

 Fictional turnover rate = 84 leaving / ( ( 367 + 399 ) / 2 )
 = 0,219

Or slightly less than 22%. But again, turnover is often seasonal and the 
foundation headcount (and thus rate of leaving/joining) grows.  So that 
number is pure fiction.  One would need to:
* do some backtracking over the actual data for the last few years to be 
able to draw any conclusion as what those 5% for FYQ1 mean or the 
fictional 22% I have made up.
* analyze who and why people left during Q1, which might well be 
independent from the WMF and just be conjectural.

Again that is situational and I am not sure whether one can draw any 
conclusion from the numbers I am indicating here.

The board of trustee report indicates that they turnover rate is 
reported to them which probably implies it is a key indicator.

As for the claimed internal turmoil, you might want to give details 
about what leave you to think there is any turmoil.  Having some view 
from the inside (I am a contractor to the WMF), I don't have that feeling.

cheers ;]



[staff history]


[official website]

[board meeting public report, page 18]

Antoine "hashar" Musso

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [Huhall] Viola wikipedia

2019-10-03 Thread Antoine Musso

On 01/10/2019 17:46, Samuel Klein wrote:

 From a Harvard biology list, via my friend Chris: a newly named species of
Viola !

== Forwarded message ===

Many of you may use Wikipedia.

Here is a plant name (*Viola Wikipedia*), which may be first name to honor

Viola wikipedia J.M.Watson & A.R.Flores, Int. Rock Gard. 117: 47. 2019


According to the international plant names index [0], the name is 
illegitimate [1] and the plant actual name is "Viola angustifolia".  We 
should probably have the created articles to be renamed toward the 
legitimate name instead :]

It is still a great token of appreciation, and I am quite happy to see 
Wikipedia being of good use for plant research!


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation joins the global climate strike

2019-09-24 Thread Antoine Musso

On 23/09/2019 18:41, Bence Damokos wrote:

In fact, there are countless offset projects in the $1-$15/tonne range, as

The total offsetting budget would not need to be too enourmous, yet it
could be impactful.

Best regards,

Hello Bence,

Very nice, thank you to have shared the link.

I have picked a project in Malawi to replace cooking fires with a fuel 
efficient stove:

There are even progress reports:

If I got it right, they have 38 000 tonnes per year at $8.50 for a total 
of $323 000.

Given the foundation emitted 2100 tonnes in a year, that would cover 18 
years of emission! For an extra few thousands we could probably have a 
Wikipedia sticker on the stoves to raise awareness ;-]

In short, I am a bit amazed at how "cheap" it is to offset a tonne of 
CO2 as well as how "little" the foundation generates.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] New Wikimedia Foundation has soft launched!

2018-08-22 Thread Antoine Musso
On 22/08/2018 13:01, Andy Mabbett wrote:
>> So your concerns will be acknowledged once they make their way to
>> Phabricator. You can login there with your wiki account.
> Were I to perform that redundant clerical task, perhaps they would.
>> Until you do so, your concerns will stay under the radar on this list.
> That's rather an odd assertion, given that I posted a pointer to my
> last update on this list, here:


I was merely suggesting that your reply on this list probably got
forgotten somehow. Phabricator is tailored toward tracking an issue from
its opening until its resolution. It is a great tool.

My apologizes to have phrased that in a bad and harsh way :-\

I guess Gregory Varnum (and others involved in the project) do monitor
the talk page. So you should get a reply there.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] New Wikimedia Foundation has soft launched!

2018-08-22 Thread Antoine Musso
On 21/08/2018 21:01, Andy Mabbett wrote:
>> The text I cited has now been changed to "All text on Wikimedia sites
>> is available as Creative Commons material".
>> This does not resolve the issue I raised above; as my first bullet
>> point applies not only to media files, but also to numerous texts on
>> Wikimedia sites; not least a large part of Wikisource.
> This is still the case. When will it be fixed? Will it?
>>> Furthermore, the "Sesame Street" image used on the site's home page
>>> and the linked article, is labelled on Commons: "This work might not
>>> be available under a free license in the United States because it is
>>> based on an artwork or sculpture that may be protected by copyright
>>> under U.S. law."
>> This image is still on the pages I mentioned.
> And still is; over two weeks after I first pointed it out. No-one at
> WMF has even acknowledged my comment.


As several people pointed out, the issues should be reported on
Phabricator. As "a b" stated on August 12th:

> Please file the relevant tasks in phabricator to enable better tracking of
> issues compared to on the mailing list:

To which you kindly replied:

> Thank you; no.

So your concerns will be acknowledged once they make their way to
Phabricator. You can login there with your wiki account.

Until you do so, your concerns will stay under the radar on this list.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What's making you happy this week? (Week of 11 June 2017)

2017-06-13 Thread Antoine Musso
Le 11/06/2017 à 22:51, Pine W a écrit :
> What's making you happy this week?

I have been using Wikipedia for 7 700 000 minutes.

The French wikipedia about [morse code] is an article I have stubbed
years ago.  I am very happy with it is state nowaday:

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

2017-04-06 Thread Antoine Musso
Le 05/04/2017 à 12:52, Fæ a écrit :
>  I'm taking that further by
> proposing that we stick to a neutral gender for all our policies and
> help pages. In practice this means that policies avoid using "he or
> she" and stick to "they" or avoid using a pronoun at all. 

As a non native English speaker the use of a plural form definitely
confuses me or at best.  The example takes a sentence from Commons:FAQ
which roughly looks like:

A photographer has to be given credit when his or her picture is used.

With the proposal to instead:

A photographer has to be given credit when their picture is used.

Why isn't "picture" plural as well?  If using masculine as a neutral
pronoum is the issue, just stop using the pronoum entirely. Eg one can
instead write:

A photographer has to be given credit when the picture is used.

That is going to be quite a challenge when ported to other languages.
For 'A photographer', the english indefinite article is gender less.

In french that would be either 'un' (masculine) or 'une' (feminine).
What some are advocating is using:

  Un/une photographe

If the noun varies as well, that becomes messy. Here for 'administrateur':

 Un/une adminstra-teur-trice

That is not solvable in french and all other latin based languages most
probably have the same issue (blame Rome!).

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Status of the Code of Conduct for technical spaces

2017-03-09 Thread Antoine Musso
Le 08/03/2017 à 20:02, Pine W a écrit :
> I am not sure that I agree with that closure. There have been several
> concerns mentioned in the talk page and in email threads, and it's not
> clear to me that the document should be moving forward without an RfC on
> the whole document. If I had time to look into this further I would be
> considering reverting Brion's closure as premature in the absence of an RfC
> on the whole document. Unfortunately I'm buried in other issues at the
> moment and I would need to do a detailed look at the talk page and its
> archives before I felt certain about proceeding with a reversion. Someone
> who has the time to read the talk page carefully may wish to contest/revert
> the close.
> I'm not looking for more reasons to have drama about that document, but I'm
> very uncomfortable proceeding with that document without an RfC on the
> whole document.
> Pine

The RfC has been going on for almost two years already. Given the flood
of announces on a wide range of mailing lists, I don't see how one could
have missed it.

There are a lot of things I dislike with that document but really I
summarize it as:


Else you get banned.

Please don't start a drama.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Maps for Haiti

2017-03-08 Thread Antoine Musso
Le 08/03/2017 à 10:19, Gerard Meijssen a écrit :
> Hoi,
> A lot of effort has gone into getting ready to support OSM in our projects.
> What I want the Wikimedia Foundation is to allow the use of OSM maps in the
> Haitian Wikipedia because existing maps are largely not in sync with the
> reality in Haiti. As I understood from information at the website of
> Doctors without Borders, much of the infrastructure is gone and it is
> problematic to know what exists. They rely on OSM.
> By providing the best maps to the Haitian Wikipedia we provide a relevant
> service. I understand that we do support OSM in Wikivoyage.
> Could we please support OSM maps in the Haitian Wikipedia.


In short:
*  get community consensus
* fill a task in Phabricator for #wikimedia-site-requests
* profit!

The full explanation:

The Wikimedia Foundation renders OpenStreet map tiles on servers hosted
and maintained internally.  The entry point can be seen at:

The integration in wiki projects is made possible by the MediaWiki
extension Kartographer:

That extension is enabled on every public wikis:

 'wmgUseKartographer' => [
 'default' => true,
 'private' => false,

By default we only enable  which is a link that when clicked
popup a map for the given latitude/longitude at some zoom level.  Example:


To enable embedded maps, one needs to enable extra settings. You would
want to fill a task in Phabricator using  #wikimedia-site-requests and a
requirement is to have community consensus about it.  Typically done on
the Wiki equivalent of a village pump.

Past examples:

Finish wikipedia
Norwegian wikipedia

The technical change is absolutely trivial. I can not tell about its
implication for the mobile Zero data plan though.  I am assuming that is whitelisted.


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF advanced permissions for employees

2017-02-17 Thread Antoine Musso
Le 16/02/2017 à 11:31, Vi to a écrit :
> Dealing with staffs they are way so close to more serious stuffs than the
> mediawiki user interface, so I wouldn't care about their on site accesses.
> Root access to db, squid data, mailman, physical access to residuals of old
> identification system, subpoena etc (even random paper sheets left on the
> top of a desktop) is, to me, way more serious than being able to make some
> noise in a fairly controlled environment
> .


I have some of the access you describe and had them for more than a
decade. Partly as a volunteer in the early days, nowadays as a
contractor to the WMF.   I have been following the whole thread, let me
highlight a bit about the technical side of it since you mention site

Those accesses are granted solely for technical reasons. It has always
be made clear to me that technical people should NOT use their rights to
mess with the sites community. All the rest is the role of Support &
Safety, Community Liaisons, Legal, ArbCom or whatever else. They are way
better than us to gauge how to interact with people, and heck it is
their job!

In the very early days there were no staff and I eventually got granted
access after lot of online discussion and ultimately with an half an
hour phone call from France to Australia. (hello Jeronim). I guess it
was a matter of trust.

Nowadays that is legally enforced with Non Disclosure Agreement, Server
Access Responsabilities. For contractors a commercial contract, for
staff with an employment contact and all the associated laws.

A standard in the industry is that people only have a slice of rights
granted to them.  They should be limited to the sub set of accesses that
let them do their work. Any requests for more has to be justified and
goes via a quarantine period to make sure it is properly endorsed.

* I do not have access to mailman , cache logs nor I have root on
databases. When I need informations from such systems, I ask them to
people who have the access. They will either deny my request or get the
informations and deliver them back to me.

* I do have access to the databases of the public wikis. So I can for
example help a user to recover access to their account (there is a
process for that) or do the equivalent of CheckUser when one script bot
is threatening the infrastructure.

Only a few people do have all the technical accesses. They have process
and follow them. So if we have a process to revoke someone access, they
will make sure the requirements have been fulfilled (eg: signed by Legal
or C-level) and do their duty.  Their job is not to question whether the
revocation is justified, their role is to make sure that it is the
proper person asking for the revocation and then just do it.  They might
have personal feeling, might do the revocation against their own will.
In the end they act.  And having witnessed that first hand a couple
times, it is not fun at all, but that is the part of the job.

As a side note, all the people I know having such accesses are heavy
defender of privacy. Up to a point we end up all being very paranoid.

Antoine "hashar" Musso
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apple Pay donations

2016-11-15 Thread Antoine Musso

On 15/11/16 02:12, Steven Walling wrote:

 Given that payments on mobile are such a huge headache and
declining desktop traffic to Wikimedia properties, it might be an
interesting pilot to explore nonetheless.


Going out of topic sorry. Regarding mobile and desktop traffic 
declining, according to

* Overall page views is about the same since 2013.
* Mobile traffic quickly raised until reaching a plateau in 2015.

Surely one can say that traffic shifted to mobile, but for the last two 
years the desktop/mobile ratio seems fairly stable.

The Fundraising team might have some data regarding donations made 
through desktop vs mobile and their evolution though.  Maybe mobile has 
a better engagement rate, then the mobile app is only a drop of our traffic.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] FLOSS for operations equipment

2016-03-22 Thread Antoine Musso
Le 22/03/2016 07:04, James Salsman a écrit :
>> >... as far as I know, high-end networking hardware is not
>> > available with Libre OSes
> Are the FreeBSD-based pfSense C2758 series in the Foundation's throughput 
> tier?
> What are the current Foundation throughput bandwidth requirements?

I would not qualify the PfSense product as high-end. It is basically a
PC with packet management handled at the software layer.  Wikimedia does
not have FreeBSD systems AFAIK and the operations people dealing with
networking would need a training for PfSense.

From wikitech, ones can get a list of hardware routers and switches
being used:

They are Juniper, a leader in networking equipments (another is Cisco).
Its operating system administration commands are well known by network
engineers around the world. That makes it easier to enroll new network

According to the wikitech page, the routers are MX80 and MX480 and
switches EX4200 / EX4550.  They come with integrated circuits to deal
with packets, ie it is a hardware chip dealing with packets and network
flow. That makes them order of magnitude faster.   The Juniper operating
system is BSD based and comes with a wide range of features that are
imho unmatched in the Libre world.

I understand the idea behind pushing for 100% FOSS, but that should not
be a goal of the foundation.  As long as the projects can be cloned and
rebuild based on FOSS, I think it is good enough.

Surely, I don't see the Foundation asking for buildings plans to be
under a creative common or forbid use of Mac OS, Windows or iPhone ?
That is really a different goal than sharing knowledge.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement clauses

2016-03-13 Thread Antoine Musso
Le 13/03/2016 03:09, Andreas Kolbe a écrit :
> things like standard boilerplate language to be signed by
>> > all employees doesn't strike me as something in and of itself to be kept
>> > private - there is a valid interest in showing that our policies are
>> > fair and humane for employees, responsible in terms of the privacy of
>> > personal information, etc.
>> >
> Nothing appears to have happened since then – we seem to be no nearer to
> transparency about the non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement
> clauses WMF staff have to sign than we were two weeks ago, when discussion
> around this topic kicked off in another thread.[2]
> This seems to be a recurring (and daunting) pattern. People call for
> transparency about a particular issue. Eventually, someone in a leadership
> position responds that yes, demands for transparency about this issue are
> quite reasonable, and in fact more transparency would be absolutely
> desirable.
> At this point, people relax, feeling they have been heard. The clamouring
> crowd disperses. But in fact, nothing happens, and the same questions arise
> again some weeks, months, years down the line.
> Maggie, is this something your department could take on? It would be good
> to have one identified person at the Foundation who is responsible for
> tracking such queries and reporting back to the community, one way or the
> other.
> Andreas
> [1]
> [2]

Hello Andreas,

I am a contractor to the WMF and have signed a wild range of legal
documents.  Both to protect my company, myself, the Wikimedia Foundation
Organization and the end-users.

Among such documents, there is the Non Disclosure Agreement which is
pretty much standard whenever an organization deal with any kind of
sensitive informations.  Wikimedia Foundation handles emails, passwords,
email address, IP address and most probably payment information for the
fundraising and shop.

To the best of my knowledge such agreements are not public, but honestly
there is no conspiracy behind that.  There are public clues though:
 Others at:

Volunteers (ie neither staff or contractors) might have to sign a NDA
whenever they get privileged access. The process is on:

What I suspect is granting public read access to the NDA would also
disclose the list of signer and that might be a problem for people using
a pseudonym.  But do not quote me on that.

For access to the servers, there is another document. It is a mix of
technical recommendations and again a remember about sensitive data. An
example would be:

The short version is: do not mess with the infrastructure or extract
sensitive informations.  You will be prosecuted.

As for why you haven't had anyone reply back, a few hints:

* ED has changed
* folks are busy
* not everyone monitor wikimedia-l

So I would assume good faith: probably nobody noticed the request hidden
somewhere in a thread.

Since NDA is a legal document, I would highly recommend you to reach out
directly to their Legal team: , apparently the answers@ email
would be a good entry point.

(I have read/signed the documents there is nothing any important for the
end users to see beside what is already publicly available. They can
probably be made public.  In effect there is no conspiracy.)

Hope it helps.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Subject for Wikimedia Hackathon(s) 2014-2015: CoSyne

2014-07-09 Thread Antoine Musso
Le 09/07/2014 14:33, Romaine Wiki a écrit :
 As a subject of one/more hackathons I would like to recommend CoSyne [1].
 CoSyne is translation and multilingual synchronisation tool. The project
 was set up by Wikimedia Netherlands together with several universities and
 other partners, including the EU. The tool makes it possible to translate
 much more easier from one Wikipedia (etc) to another with much better
 quality translations than existing translating tools. It does not matter if
 an article is already written, it is possible with this tool to expand
 existing articles and to update articles with a new section when on one
 Wikipedia this was added. It makes it possible to exchange information in
 more languages and helps users to keep the articles up-to-date.
 I have tested the Bèta version of this tool and these tests were very


Seems it is very similiar to the content translation Wikimedia i18n team
is working on:

Demo video:

Antoine hashar Musso

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