Re: [Wikimedia-l] Collaboration team reprioritization

2015-09-01 Thread Kerry Raymond
Will the Visual Editor be enabled on Talk Pages then for use of the Visual 
Editor user? Flow had been heralded as the solution for those not able to 
contribute in wikitext but if that option is off the table, what is the 
solution for the VE-only user?


-Original Message-
[] On Behalf Of MZMcBride
Sent: Wednesday, 2 September 2015 10:15 AM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List 
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Collaboration team reprioritization

Danny Horn wrote:
>To better address the needs of our core contributors, we're now 
>focusing our strategy on the curation, collaboration, and admin 
>processes that take place on a variety of pages. Many of these 
>processes use complex workarounds -- templates, categories, 
>transclusions, and lots of instructions -- that turn blank wikitext 
>talk pages into structured workflows. There are gadgets and user 
>scripts on the larger wikis to help with some of these workflows, but 
>these tools aren't standardized or universally available.

I absolutely agree that existing wiki workflows need love. I think anyone who 
has looked at various wiki request for deletion processes, for example, easily 
sees and understands the need for a better system.

What I'm struggling with here is that Flow seems to have failed to deliver. It 
hasn't met its goals of covering even basic talk pages and it sounds as though 
further development work on Flow will now be suspended.

From my perspective, after over two years of development, we've basically 
accomplished creating pages such as "Topic:P0q3m7vwysdezd2m" (I wish I were 
kidding, that's an actual page title) on development wikis such as This is a pretty bleak outcome, in my opinion.

Given the failure in addressing basic talk pages, why would anyone trust the 
Collaboration team to work on and improve more complex workflows? I don't see a 
track record of success or, alternately, a good explanation for why the 
previous work has failed and what will be better next time.


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] New WMF initiative: Community Capacity Development

2015-08-25 Thread Kerry Raymond
Obviously discussions on these six topics are not new as they are
frequently discussed on a number of Wikimedia mailing lists and forums.
Ideas are often put forward that attract some who say it will work
wonderfully, while others doubt if it will work at all, while a third group
think it will do harm.  One of the issues that frequently arises is the
need for some capacity to experiment  Will there be any support for testing
ideas? That is, to be bold and try something instead of just talking about
it? E.g. repeal policy XYZ for a month and see if it makes a difference and
whether it is for better or worse. And of course some ideas might require
engineering support to test. Will that be available?

To illustrate a concrete example, what if we wanted to trial a grace period
for new users (one of the example ideas)? Right now, it is very easy for
anyone to undo a newbie's edit and WP:NOBITE is routinely ignored. So, to
implement a grace period, we would probably need to do some re-engineering,
perhaps require an extra step in the undo process where the reverter had
to acknowledge that this was a new user within the grace period and then
asked if the edit appeared to be good faith (and then directed on to more
appropriate ways to respond to good faith edits by newbies) or bad faith
(allowed to continue with the undo action). Will there be support for
experimentation or for engineering needed for experimentation? Will there
be support from the metrics team around those experiments to collect
appropriate qualitative and quantitative data to assist drawing conclusions
as to whether the experiments were beneficial or not?

It seems to me that without support for experimentation it will be
difficult for communities to put forward ideas as even the formulation of
ideas will be bogged down from a lack of evidence. As you say, talk is
cheap and it is clear that years of talking have not made a great
difference. It's time to experiment if only on a small scale (a subset of
users, a subset of articles) etc. Are the resources to do this available?


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