Re: [Wikimedia-l] convert from BitCoin to FoldingCoin and other proofs of useful work

2018-11-01 Thread Robert Rohde
> What is a 51% attack?

A 51% attack is when a single malicious entity controls >51% of the
computing power being used to validate the blockchain of a particular
digital currency.  Blockchain-based digital currencies rely on a consensus
of computing participants acting in good faith to verify transactions and
coin ownership.  However, if a single entity controls a majority of the
compute power, then it is possible for them to maliciously validate bad
transactions to steal, double spend, and otherwise commit fraud using the
currency.

Smaller digital currencies, with fewer participants acting to maintain
their blockchain, are generally more vulnerable to this kind of attack.  A
bad actor can rent a large block of computing power and then use it to
attack a small blockchain.   Such attacks have been becoming more common,
though the largest coins (e.g. BTC) are still resistant due to the size of
their community.
https://www.coindesk.com/blockchains-feared-51-attack-now-becoming-regular/

I don't know anything about FoldingCoin and whether it is more or less
vulnerable to this kind of fraud than other cryptocurrencies.

However, the 51% attack may just be the death of many smaller alt-coins,
unless an effective countermeasure can be developed.

-Robert Rohde

On Thu, Nov 1, 2018 at 8:23 AM James Salsman  wrote:

> Geni, it's the "Day of the Dead" now so I want to attempt to resurrect
> this thread.
>
> Is FoldingCoin still vulnerable to a 51% attack? What is a 51% attack?
>
> Do you think it is reasonable for the Foundation to convert bitcoin to
> FoldingCoin as part of its program to source clean electricity?
>
> Best regards,
> Jim
>
>
> On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 7:21 AM James Salsman  wrote:
> >
> > > Cryptocurrency. If your first thought isn't "how could a scammer
> > > exploit this" you are doing it wrong.
> >
> > I've thought about that for several hours now, and I'm sure scammers
> > far prefer bitcoin. Folding@Home's lab director is a partner
> > Andreessen Horowitz, so he has certainly had no lack of resources to
> > defend against the possibility, and I am persuaded that the Indiana
> > nonprofit behind FLDC is sincere and acting in good faith at present.
> > If the Foundation is hesitant, they might sponsor an audit of either
> > or both, but the Folding@Home project is so established that its
> > article is featured on enwiki.
> >
> > I have no financial interest in any cryptocurrency, and I never have,
> > and I don't have a familial interest with anyone who I am aware has
> > any either.
> >
> > Best regards,
> > Jim
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Duty of care

2018-02-01 Thread Robert Rohde
Hi Renee,

Not a real answer, but you might consider looking for different
terminology.  Using "duty of care" the way you do is more common in British
English.  On the American side of the pond, it is less common to talk about
a "duty of care" and more common to talk about specific issues, like health
and safety.  I don't know if there is a specific policy regarding the WMF's
relationship with volunteers, but if there is (and if it was drafted by
Americans), then it might well be framed and phrased differently without
necessarily referencing "duty" as such.

Good luck.

-Robert

On Sat, Jan 27, 2018 at 1:22 PM, Renée Bagslint 
wrote:

> Looking at a couple of situations that have arisen recently on one of the
> projects, where the health and well-being of volunteers might have been
> affected by their participation, I wonder where we can find a clear
> statement of the Foundation's Duty of Care towards the volunteers?  I
> looked on Meta, but the search appeared to return only pages relevant to
> the Trustees duty towards the Foundation.  I was looking for something
> about the Foundation's duty towards the community?  Can anyone help?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] June minutes from the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

2016-07-24 Thread Robert Rohde
L8   v6d44oh

On Jul 23, 2016 2:54 AM, "Stephen LaPorte"  wrote:

Hi all,

The Board of Trustees have published minutes from the summer Board meeting
on June 22-23 and the Board meeting on June 29 to discuss the endowment.
You can find the meeting minutes and accompanying documents on the
Foundation Wiki:

https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2016-06

https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2016-06-29

Best,
Stephen

-- 
Stephen LaPorte
Senior Legal Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation

*NOTICE: As an attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation, for legal and ethical
reasons, I cannot give legal advice to, or serve as a lawyer for, community
members, volunteers, or staff members in their personal capacity. For more
on what this means, please see our legal disclaimer
.*

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

2016-01-11 Thread Robert Rohde
Can someone on the Board comment on the Board's general approach to vetting
Trustee candidates?

I would hope that someone neutral is explicitly responsible for reviewing
candidates and providing at least a cursory report to the Board on their
background, qualifications, and any potential liabilities.  Such a
responsible person might be WMF staff, though an independent HR agency
might be even better.

It wouldn't have taken a lot effort to identify and highlight the potential
issues with Arrnon.  The fact that some people are now expressing a degree
of ignorance about these issues suggests that the recent candidates didn't
receive much in the way of scrutiny.

Obviously one hopes each member of the board would also take the time to
learn about each candidate and make an informed decision before voting on a
new appointment.  However, Board members are busy people which is one of
the reasons why also having a third-party report seems worthwhile.

If the Board knew about Arrnon's past and made an informed decision to
appoint him anyway, then that is at least a decision that could be argued
and defended.  However, if the Board is overlooking such things due
primarily to a lack of scrutiny then that suggests the process of vetting
Board candidates is in serious need of improvement.

-Robert Rohde


On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 6:43 PM, Matthew Flaschen <
matthew.flasc...@gatech.edu> wrote:

> On 01/08/2016 12:43 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 3:16 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Dariusz, you said in your statement that was published in the Wikimedia
>>> Blog that WMF "considered dozens of candidates from all over the world,
>>> with not-for-profit and technology experience, and the highest
>>> professional
>>> standards.” I would be interested to hear how you reconcile "highest
>>> professional standards" with the prior actions of Arnnon,
>>>
>>>
>> I have read about these allegations today, and I am going to follow up on
>> that.
>>
>
> WMF doesn't have the excuse of ignorance, or that the case is in
> progress.  When you appointed him:
>
> 1. The documents were unsealed.
> 2. The Department of Justice case was fully complete.
> 3. The civil case by employees was fully complete and payouts had either
> started or were fully complete.
>
> Saying you learned about this *after* voting to appoint him is incredibly
> frustrating and disappointing.
>
> Being ignorant of the allegations is even worse than coming up with some
> dubious reason why we should forgive him, and he's still high-integrity
> enough to represent a non-profit backing movement with strong values.
>
> The board had an obligation to fully research both candidates, and insist
> on more time as needed to do so.
>
> There is nothing to wait for (the shareholder lawsuit will probably also
> be settled, but there is no need to wait for it given the released
> documents and fully complete cases above).
>
> See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Tech_Employee_Antitrust_Litigation
> for details (though I'm sure someone has linked this from the list).
>
> Matt Flaschen
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2016-01-02 Thread Robert Rohde
Dariusz,

One of the things you said gives a different impression than Patricio's
official statement in an important aspect.

Specifically you said:

> James knew what he did wrong, but he assumed that he could
> effectively use a second chance.

That seems to suggest that James made recent error(s), that he acknowledged
these errors, and that he was willing to work on avoiding them in the
future.  By contrast, Patricio's said:

> Over the course of the past few months, the Trustees had
> multiple conversations around expectations for Trustee conduct,
> responsibilities, and confidentiality. Ultimately, the majority of the
> Trustees came to the opinion that we were not able to reach a
> common understanding with James on fulfilling those expectations.

This seems to suggest that there was a long-standing disagreement about
appropriate behavior for Board members, and despite best efforts James and
the majority of the Board were not able to reach an amicable resolution.

So far, James's own comments seem more in line with the narrative that
there was a good faith but irreconcilable difference of opinion between
himself and the majority.

Would you (or James) care to clarify?

-Robert Rohde

On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 5:25 PM, Lodewijk <lodew...@effeietsanders.org>
wrote:

> Dear Dariusz,
>
> Thank you for the response. I understand that you (and the board) want to
> move on. But there are in many organisations (and countries) certain powers
> that are 'excessive' - and I think expelling a board member is one of
> those. I agree there can be circumstances where this power has to be
> invoked, and surely I'm more than willing to assume good faith.
>
> However, the use of such power (especially when dismissing a community
> selected board member) comes with a responsibility to explain /why/ the
> person was expelled towards the electorate. Patricio did a poor job at it
> (he focused on process) and your elaboration makes some suggestions/nods in
> which direction to look for an answer. I hope you understand that people
> keep trying to figure out why James was dismissed. Even if you can't share
> details, the general reason should, imho, be shared.
>
> James suggests in his email that he was dismissed for two reasons primarily
> (the third point he makes, is after the dismissal, hence irrelevant and
> process). Paraphrasing, he talked with staff (and the board thought he
> shouldn't have), and he would have leaked information.
>
> Could you, or another board member, confirm whether this is a fair
> representation? Again, I'm not looking for specifics if that is truely
> confidential information - but I think that from a community point of view,
> it is important to understand what kind of reasoning was at the basis for
> this decision.
>
> Besides that, there are many process questions still open (I agree with
> many that the percentage is way too fuzzy at this point, and should perhaps
> be clarified for the future, for example) but that is basically something
> that should be handled independent of this particular decision.
>
> Best,
> Lodewijk
>
> On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 12:08 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak <dar...@alk.edu.pl>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi there,
> >
> > I wanted to send a note to all of you, that shares my perspective on the
> > recent Board decision. These are my own thoughts, as a community-selected
> > Board member who voted in the minority for the recent resolution.
> However,
> > I also want to be clear that I support the outcome and the majority
> > decision, and look forward to a new community Trustee. I hope that, even
> > though you may continue to have questions, you will too.
> >
> > From my own perspective, the issue of "trust" had nothing to do with
> James’
> > personal integrity. The Board however must ensure that members follow
> their
> > duties and obligations in their roles as Trustees. My personal (not
> > organizational) trust in James is 100%, in the sense that I would buy a
> car
> > from him, and leave him the keys to my house without hesitation. James is
> > an exceptional individual and an amazing Wikipedian. I feel privileged to
> > know him.
> >
> > Yet, when governance is involved, things work out a bit differently. I
> can
> > explain to you how I understand the results of the vote. I myself
> > considered voting in favor of the resolution. I also believe that others
> > reasonably considered their vote. James himself recognized his errors and
> > admitted that he made mistakes and stepped out of process for a Board
> > member. Our collective decision was carefully thought through. I also
> > understand well the reasons of many Board members who voted as they did.
&g

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-30 Thread Robert Rohde
Jimbo, on his talk page, says this was a removal "for cause", and that he
expects the whole Board will provide a further statement.

-Robert Rohde

On Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 12:03 AM, Kevin Gorman <kgor...@gmail.com> wrote:

> As far as I can tell, no one alleges Doc James did anything wrong - if
> there were serious allegations of wrongdoing then, for one thing, I have
> trouble seeing Dariusz as having supported James staying on the board.  The
> board *can* remove members for any reason, but if you're removing one
> member elected - and generally quite trusted - from the board, and that
> removal is opposed by *another* community elected board member, there
> better be a damned good reason behind it - board *can* ignore the will of
> two of the three directly elected trustees, but doing so without a damn
> good reason is a significant error.  To be honest, since the motion to
> remove James was clearly prepared in advance, I'm pretty surprising that
> board didn't ask WMF comms for help preparig to deal with the fall-out.
> I've been told by multiple sets of people that this doesn't involve
> allegations of wrongdoing against James - but if it does, that needs to be
> quickly communicated, as James holds multiple other positions of trust in
> the Wikimedia movement.  And if doesn't involve allegations of wrongdoing
> by James... well to be honest, I have a hard time seeing a situation where
> the removal of James (a community elected trustee) which was opposed by
> Dariusz (another community elected trustee) is reasonably justifiable.
> Without more details about the situation, it really reads like a board out
> of touch with the community it is intended to serve.
>
> Unless an extraordinarily good reason is produced (like James regularly
> shouting things Cluebot would censor in the middle of meetings,) I would
> hope that the board would consider reinstating James... and spending the
> time to learn how to work with with a respected and accomplished
> Wikipedian.  Doc James is one of the most active contributors to
> Wikiproject Medicine, is a long time former president of Wikimedia Canada
> and the Wiki Project Med Foundation, and has done a ton of other
> wiki-stuff. It's hard to see him as a detriment to the WMF board, and it's
> concerning that the first time the WMF board has ever felt the need to
> remove a member it was a member as awesome a human being and Wikimedian as
> James.
>
> Best,
> KG
> -sent from mobile.
>
>
> On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 2:23 PM, Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 3:25 PM, olatunde isaac <
> reachout2is...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I'm very disappointed to know that the board meeting was still ongoing
> as
> > > at the time James revealed that he was ejected from the board. It is a
> > > silly idea! Perhaps he felt the community can stop the meeting or
> > override
> > > the decision of the board of trustee. The WMF BoT is not a parliament
> > where
> > > the house do not have the veto power to remove an elected member.
> > > Section 7 (remover) of the WMF's bylaws clearly stipulated that
> > > “Any Trustee may be removed, with or without cause, by a majority vote
> of
> > > the Trustees then in office in accordance with the procedures set forth
> > in
> > > Section 617.0808(1), or other relevant provisions of the Act”. Based on
> > > this bylaw, James remover is justified!
> > > I understand that majority of the community members who elected James
> are
> > > likely not to be aware of this provisions but James is aware of it and
> > will
> > > probably have an answer to (1) the reason for his remover (2) why his
> > > remover was supported by eight members and (3) why the third
> > > community-elected trustee, Denny Vrandečić, lost confidence supported
> his
> > > removal.
> > > The fact that James never stated the reasons why he was ejected from
> the
> > > board as at the time he disclosed his remover is worrisome.
> > > James, I'm sorry if I'm too factual here.
> > >
> > > Best,
> > >
> > > Olatunde Isaac.
> > > Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
> > >
> > >
> > He didn't use his phone to mail to the list while sitting in a meeting...
> > He was dismissed from the board and then ejected from the board meeting.
> > After he left the room as ordered, he posted the notification. We don't
> > know all the precise circumstances, but I couldn't guarantee I wouldn't
> > have done the same in his place.
> > ___

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

2015-12-30 Thread Robert Rohde
Given the timing (less than a month after the last Board Meeting), and some
of the comments at Jimbo's talk, it seems likely that a special meeting was
called with the question of dismissing James from the Board as a major (and
perhaps only) topic.  However, no one has explicitly said if this was a
special meeting or whether there were any other topics on the Agenda.

Based on James statements, after the vote he was also ejected from the
meeting.  Presumably if the Board wanted to discuss a joint statement or
communication strategy then they could have asked him to stay for that
purpose.  No one has said whether there was any discussion of creating a
joint statement prior to this going public, though Jimbo said that he
wishes that James had waited to make the announcement "in a time and manner
that both his perspective and that of other board members could be
presented fully".  James also said that he had been encouraged to resign
for several weeks, so this clearly wasn't something that occurred as an
emergency with no opportunity to plan at all.

If the Board wanted a joint announcement and James refused, that would be
interesting.  If the Board wanted a joint announcement but neglected to
discuss that with James before ejecting him from the meeting, then that
suggests poor handling by the Board.

-Robert Rohde


On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 9:25 PM, olatunde isaac <reachout2is...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> I'm very disappointed to know that the board meeting was still ongoing as
> at the time James revealed that he was ejected from the board. It is a
> silly idea! Perhaps he felt the community can stop the meeting or override
> the decision of the board of trustee. The WMF BoT is not a parliament where
> the house do not have the veto power to remove an elected member.
> Section 7 (remover) of the WMF's bylaws clearly stipulated that
> “Any Trustee may be removed, with or without cause, by a majority vote of
> the Trustees then in office in accordance with the procedures set forth in
> Section 617.0808(1), or other relevant provisions of the Act”. Based on
> this bylaw, James remover is justified!
> I understand that majority of the community members who elected James are
> likely not to be aware of this provisions but James is aware of it and will
> probably have an answer to (1) the reason for his remover (2) why his
> remover was supported by eight members and (3) why the third
> community-elected trustee, Denny Vrandečić, lost confidence supported his
> removal.
> The fact that James never stated the reasons why he was ejected from the
> board as at the time he disclosed his remover is worrisome.
> James, I'm sorry if I'm too factual here.
>
> Best,
>
> Olatunde Isaac.
> Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
>
> -Original Message-
> From: wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org
> Sender: "Wikimedia-l" <wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org>Date: Wed,
> 30 Dec 2015 19:10:11
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> Reply-To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 141, Issue 104
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>1. Re: Announcement about changes to the Board (Nathan)
>2. Re: Announcement about changes to the Board (Fæ)
>3. Re: Announcement about changes to the Board (Thomas Goldammer)
>4. Wikimedia Argentina Memorial 2015 (Anna Torres)
>5. Re: Announcement about changes to the Board (Pine W)
>6. Re: Announcement about changes to the Board (Lodewijk)
>
>
> --
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 09:44:38 -0500
> From: Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
> Message-ID:
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Increase in size of the core editing community

2015-09-10 Thread Robert Rohde
For enwiki, whose stats I happen to know best, one might say the bottom was
actually around mid-to-late 2013.  The plateau and subsequent modest upward
trend was visible first with occasional/new editing metrics like new active
editors (>= 5 edits per month), but has since also appeared in measures of
highly active editors (>100 edits per month).

This timeline would suggest that at least some of the change predates what
Lila put in place, though her team may deserve credit for the continued
improvement.

In 2015, we are also poised for something of a transition.  The cohort of
editors who registered on enwiki in 2006 have made more edits to enwiki
than any other annual cohort in every year from 2006 to 2014.  If you
choose any edit at random since 2006, the most likely year that the account
registered was 2006.  That cohort, a legacy of Wikipedia's great growth
period, has had an outsized impact on enwiki editing for nearly a decade.
 (2005 and 2007 cohorts also have a strong pattern of continued editing,
though not as huge as 2006.)  If current trends continue, the 2006 cohort
will finally lose their crown in 2015.  The 2015 cohort is likely to make
more edits in 2015 than the 2006 cohort makes in 2015.  It will also be the
second year in a row that first-year accounts have increased their total
edit count, after seven earlier years of declining edit totals for
first-year accounts.

I think there are plenty of reasons to be modestly optimistic.  I'm not
sure we should every again expect dramatic growth, but if we can move
towards a more stable or slowly growing community that would seem to make
an apocalyptic collapse less likely.

-Robert Rohde



On Thu, Sep 10, 2015 at 7:56 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> James,
>
> Yes, there is more to the story than can be told in the data that we have.
> On the other hand, it seems to me that it's a bit harsh to respond like
> that to WSC's attempt to share good news. Perhaps you can also think of
> positive ways to interpret the data, such as that the increased speeds of
> page loads may be having a desirable positive effect on the productivity of
> highly active editors.
>
> I believe that Aaron H. is working on ways to measure the "value" of an
> editor's contributions. When that work is done, I hope that we'll have a
> better measure for how productivity is changing over time for different
> cohorts of editors.
>
> Pine
>
> On Sep 10, 2015 8:58 AM, "James Forrester" <jforres...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
> >
> > On 10 September 2015 at 07:21, WereSpielChequers <
> > werespielchequ...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > A quick follow up to the signpost article of a couple of weeks ago
> > > <
> > >
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-08-26/In_focus
> > > >We
> > > now have the August figures
> > > <https://stats.wikimedia.org/EN/TablesWikipediaZZ.htm>, and August has
> > > continued what we might reasonably start calling the new trend. The
> English
> > > Wikipedia has more editors with 100 or more live edits in mainspace
> than
> > > for any August since 2010. Across all Wikipedias combined the figures
> are
> > > up almost as steeply with a near 10% increase on August 2014, though
> this
> > > doesn't quite get us back to 2012 levels.
> > >
> >
> > ​Interesting data, but it's just data, not a conclusion.​
> >
> > Also, and a bit off-topic, "core editing community" is a pretty offensive
> > term to use for "editors who make more than 100 edits a month",
> > disregarding the continuing editors who make fewer than 100 edits as
> > non-core regardless of the value they add to the wikis; the normal term
> is
> > "very active editors" to avoid implicit disparagement.
> >
> > ​[Snip]​
> >
> > editors making 5 or more saves
> > > ​[is]
> > >  down
> > > across Wikipedia generally when comparing August 2015 with 2014.
> > >
> >
> > ​So, actually, your title​ is faulty and misleading. Instead, you could
> say:
> >
> >- "English Wikipedia editor numbers continue to decline but
> meta-editors
> >are up",
> >- "Editor diversity falls as more edits are done by fewer editors", or
> >even
> >- "Beset by a falling number of editors, existing users of the English
> >Wikipedia feel compelled to edit still more in their desperate
> attempts to
> >fix things"?
> >
> >
> > But it's nice to have one metric be positive.
> > >
> >
> &g

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Does openly declaring your gender change the probability of having an upload overwritten?

2015-08-14 Thread Robert Rohde
To summarize the numbers a bit:

Male uploads that were overwritten by anyone: 7226
Female uploads that were overwritten by anyone: 536
None uploads that were overwritten by anyone: 21484

Male uploads that were overwrote anyone: 6775
Female uploads that were overwrote anyone: 619
None uploads that were overwrote anyone: 21861

As a percentage of all overwritten uploads
Male: 24.7%
Female: 1.8%
None: 73.5%

As a percentage of all uploads that overwrote someone
Male: 23.2%
Female: 2.1%
None: 74.7%

Assuming random assortment, we would expect:

Male-male: 0.247*0.232 = 5.7%
Male-female: 0.52%
Male-none: 18.5%
Female-male: 0.42%
Female-female: 0.038%
Female-none: 1.3%
None-male: 17.1%
None-female: 1.5%
None-none: 54.9%

Given the number of events observed, that translates to expectations of:

Male-male = 1667
Male-female = 152
Male-none = 5412
Female-male = 122
Female-female = 11
Female-none = 380
None-male = 5003
None-female = 439
None-none = 16061

These numbers are broadly consistent with what you posted.  There are some
deviations, but given the sample size and the number of possible
confounding factors (some of which have been mentioned by others) I think
you'd need evidence of a quite large effect before assuming there was an
important bias.

-Robert Rohde


On Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 2:20 AM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 I have pulled together the following table together for the past 360 days,
 counting whenever an image was reverted by someone who was not the last
 uploader, and then attempting to find any declared gender:

 2014-2015 Commons file overwrite stats compared to gender

 +---+--+
 | sex   | count(*) |
 +---+--+
 | female-female |1 |
 | female-male   |  110 |
 | female-none   |  426 |
 | male-female   |  139 |
 | male-male | 1376 |
 | male-none | 5711 |
 | none-female   |  479 |
 | none-male | 5289 |
 | none-none |15716 |
 +---+--+

 Key: none means not set in user preferences, female-male means a woman
 has overwritten a man's file and male-none means a declared male has
 overwritten an account with no gender set.

 I'd appreciate any views on whether there is any statistical meaning to be
 pulled from these figures, apart from showing that men probably outnumber
 women contributors by ten times on Commons.

 If the email is displaying badly, you can find a wiki formatted table and
 original generating SQL on the Commons village pump[1]. I thought this
 would be of wider interest as though image revert warring is mostly an
 issue for Wikimedia Commons, it is a very similar area of heated disputes
 when compared to edit revert warring on Wikipedia projects. The question
 popped up from someone interested in my long running 'significant reverts'
 tracking report.[2]

 Links:
 1.

 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#Does_openly_declaring_your_gender_change_the_probability_of_having_an_upload_overwritten.3F
 2. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae/SignificantReverts

 Fae
 --
 fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Superprotect's first birthday

2015-08-13 Thread Robert Rohde
No, the WMF can't be physically prevent from using superprotect or
something like it.  Removing the tool from the software would be more a
symbolic measure than anything.

In principle though, it may be possible to convince the WMF not to use it
(or only use it under conditions agreed upon in consultation with the
editor communities).  Building such an agreement could have benefits for
WMF-Community relations, whereas misuse of the tool would be detrimental to
community relations.  Though intangible, those relationships are important,
and the WMF appreciates that there is value there that should be considered.

So, no, we can't force the WMF to respect our wishes, but we can hope that
they will work with us because a good relationship between the WMF and the
editor community is important for both groups.

-Robert Rohde

On Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 10:55 AM, Peter Southwood 
peter.southw...@telkomsa.net wrote:

 Is there actually any way that WMF could be prevented from access to the
 tool if and when they decide they need it? If not, this discussion seems a
 bit pointless. Do they not have physical access to the hardware and
 complete access to the software? If they decide they need to use it they
 will do so. They may do so for good or bad reasons, depending on who is
 doing the reasoning, and we all have the option of explaining after the
 fact why it should have been done differently. The person or group who
 authorises the action takes the responsibility.
 Cheers,
 Peter

 -Original Message-
 From: wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org [mailto:
 wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Pine W
 Sent: Thursday, 13 August 2015 10:26 AM
 To: Wikimedia Mailing List
 Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Superprotect's first birthday

 A few legitimate use cases could be:

 *Superprotection by stewards of legally or technically sensitive pages, to
 prevent damage caused by a hijacked admin account. The theory here is that
 admin accounts are more numerous than steward accounts, so the liklihood of
 a successful admin account hijack may be higher. Superprotection would
 proactively limit possible damage. Admins doing routine maintenance work,
 or taking actions with community consent, could simply make a request for a
 temporary lift of superprotect by a steward or ask a steward to make an
 edit themselves.

 *Upon community request, superprotection of pages by a steward where those
 pages are the subject of wheel-warring among local admins.

 *Superprotection of a page by a steward for legal reasons at the request
 of WMF Legal, for example if a page is the subject of a legal dispute and
 normal full protection is inadequate for some  compelling reason.

 None of this is an endorsement of WMF's first use of superprotect. I would
 prefer that if superprotect continues to exist as a tool, that it be in the
 hands of the stewards and not WMF directly.

 Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Superprotect's first birthday

2015-08-11 Thread Robert Rohde
On Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 10:56 PM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:
snip

 There are situations where not even the administrators of a particular
 community should be allowed to edit a page. A good example would be the
 pages that describe the copyright and licensing of Wikimedia products.

snip

Since being full protected 6 years ago, Enwiki's current license page has
been edited by administrators nearly 50 times.  Most of those edits consist
of modifying categories, interwikis, navigational templates, similar
things.  Those edits probably aren't essential, but I would still say they
are useful.

Though hypothetically possible I can't think of any examples of an admin on
enwiki modifying a legal page in a harmful way, which makes it seem like
you have solution for a problem that doesn't actually exist.

-Robert Rohde



 On 11 August 2015 at 16:43, Romaine Wiki romaine.w...@gmail.com wrote:

  So far I know it has only be used once after the occasion, see:
  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Superprotect
 
  If anyone knows another occasion, I would like to ask to report this
 usage
  at this talk page to keep an overview in future.
 
  Greetings,
  Romaine
 
  2015-08-11 20:28 GMT+02:00 Magnus Manske magnusman...@googlemail.com:
 
   Out of curiosity, was it ever used again after that initial action?
  
   On Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 6:13 PM Laurentius laurentius.w...@gmail.com
   wrote:
  
Il giorno mer, 12/08/2015 alle 01.11 +0900, Hong, Yongmin ha scritto:
 It has been a year (and a day) since the gerrit 153302 [1] has been
 merged
 and deployed to the dewiki.
   
And it's high time it got removed.
   
Laurentius
   
   
   
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Superprotect's first birthday

2015-08-11 Thread Robert Rohde
On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 12:00 AM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:

 Who said the problem was on enwiki?


If you think this issue is only a problem in some specific place or class
of wikis, then say so.  Otherwise, I would have to assume you consider it a
problem that exists everywhere, including the large wikis like enwiki.

-Robert Rohde



 On 11 August 2015 at 17:58, Robert Rohde raro...@gmail.com wrote:

  On Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 10:56 PM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:
  snip
 
   There are situations where not even the administrators of a particular
   community should be allowed to edit a page. A good example would be the
   pages that describe the copyright and licensing of Wikimedia products.
 
  snip
 
  Since being full protected 6 years ago, Enwiki's current license page has
  been edited by administrators nearly 50 times.  Most of those edits
 consist
  of modifying categories, interwikis, navigational templates, similar
  things.  Those edits probably aren't essential, but I would still say
 they
  are useful.
 
  Though hypothetically possible I can't think of any examples of an admin
 on
  enwiki modifying a legal page in a harmful way, which makes it seem like
  you have solution for a problem that doesn't actually exist.
 
  -Robert Rohde
 
 
  
   On 11 August 2015 at 16:43, Romaine Wiki romaine.w...@gmail.com
 wrote:
  
So far I know it has only be used once after the occasion, see:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Superprotect
   
If anyone knows another occasion, I would like to ask to report this
   usage
at this talk page to keep an overview in future.
   
Greetings,
Romaine
   
2015-08-11 20:28 GMT+02:00 Magnus Manske 
 magnusman...@googlemail.com
  :
   
 Out of curiosity, was it ever used again after that initial action?

 On Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 6:13 PM Laurentius 
  laurentius.w...@gmail.com
 wrote:

  Il giorno mer, 12/08/2015 alle 01.11 +0900, Hong, Yongmin ha
  scritto:
   It has been a year (and a day) since the gerrit 153302 [1] has
  been
   merged
   and deployed to the dewiki.
 
  And it's high time it got removed.
 
  Laurentius
 
 
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Does Foundation have 3rd party standing against Harald Bischoff?

2015-07-27 Thread Robert Rohde
On Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 3:59 PM, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:

 snip

This still leaves me
 wondering if WMF Legal could be involved in the legal defense of the
 reusers if they acted in good faith in attempting to comply with the
 license terms as they understood them on Commons.

snip


Acting in good faith will, at best, mitigate against damages.  It isn't
actually a defense against liability.  If people are getting sued after
doing absolutely everything right, then I could maybe imagine getting
involved.  However, in many licensing disputes there is a legitimate case
that the reuser violated the terms of the license (e.g. by neglecting
details regarding authorship / attribution / etc.), often due to ignorance
of what the license requires.  In many such cases, the reuser may well face
a likelihood of losing if the case ever made it to court.  In a world of
good faith we might expect that reusers who made mistakes out of
ignorance to be treated kindly, but the legal system isn't exactly geared
towards kindness.

I think that we (the community + the WMF) should do more to help ensure
license compliance and educate reusers about appropriate attribution, etc.
However, I don't think that WMF Legal should get involved in cases where
someone wanted to do the right thing but failed.  There is no need to waste
our resources on third-party cases where there is a significant risk of
losing.

-Robert Rohde
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] harald bischoff advertising to make images for the wikimedia foundation and then suing users

2015-07-20 Thread Robert Rohde
What do you mean by legalize?  The license is what the license is, while we
might influence future versions of the license, we don't really control how
current licenses are interpreted.  That is an issue for the courts.

There is a modest ambiguity in CC BY-SA 3.0 about the attribution clauses
(e.g. you must ... provide attribution and license information) that at
least allows for an argument that reusers should be personally providing
author and license information.  In CC BY-SA 4.0, clauses were added to
make explicit that linking to a page that includes that information is
sufficient (at least in cases where using a hyperlink is reasonable).

I am unaware of any legal cases that have actually delved into the issue of
what is sufficient attribution, which in practice means we don't really
know how the attribution requirements will be applied by the courts.  In
practice, most people are friendly about it and publishers work with
content creators (within reason) to satisfy the creator's expectations
about attribution.  However, this would not be the first case of a
publisher getting and paying a monetary demand on the basis of not meeting
a content creator's expectations about attribution.

Are you suggesting that we stop using older CC licenses (and GFDL, etc.)
that don't explicitly say that a hyperlink to the source can be sufficient
attribution?  If not, what are you actually asking for?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] harald bischoff advertising to make images for the wikimedia foundation and then suing users

2015-07-20 Thread Robert Rohde
Poking around I found the following related discussions listed below (all
in German) dealing with the current issue and a similar 2013 complaint.  In
the second link Harald responds a couple times to the 2013 complaint.  The
Google translate versions of the linked discussions are somewhat hard to
follow so I'll leave it to someone with a native understanding to
summarize.  As far as I can tell no one has raised the current issue on his
talk page (either at DE or Commons).

It is also worth noting that Harald has about 800 photos on Commons, mostly
of athletes or minor celebrities.  Spot checking a couple dozen suggests
that the majority of his photos are unused, but at least a small fraction
are widely used across many Wikipedias.

Current German Wikipedia Discussion:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Caf%C3%A9#In_eigener_Sache_.E2.80.94_Fast_900_Euro_Verlust:_Die_Freiheitsliebe_wurde_abgemahnt.21

2013 German Wikipedia Discussion about Harald's behavior:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administratoren/Notizen/Archiv/2013/08#WP:URF.23Fotos_werden_Hochgeladen_-_gesucht_und_dann_gezielt_abgemahnt_.3F

2013 Commons Discussion about same:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Forum/Archiv/2013/August#de:WP:URF.23Fotos_werden_Hochgeladen_-_gesucht_und_dann_gezielt_abgemahnt_.3F

-Robert Rohde

On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 7:56 PM, Newyorkbrad newyorkb...@gmail.com wrote:

 I would have a serious problem with someone litigating, or threatening to
 litigate, over an instance of technical non-compliance with the license
 terms; much less so if the (alleged) infringer persisted in republishing
 without requested attribution information after warnings.

 Has anyone directly contacted Mr. Bischoff and asked him what he is doing
 and why?

 Regards,
 Newyorkbrad


 On Monday, July 20, 2015, Robert Rohde raro...@gmail.com wrote:
  On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 5:46 PM, Brad Jorsch (Anomie) 
 bjor...@wikimedia.org
  wrote:
  snip
 
  Since when has that ever been a thing? With respect to licenses such as
 CC,
  we follow the same rules as anyone else.
 
 
  Not really.  Commons actually recommends that an explicit credit line
  accompany CC BY images, which is something that Wikipedia doesn't do in
  articles.  See below.
 
 
  If the description here is accurate, it sounds to me like this harald
  bischoff should be blocked and possibly have his files deleted as
  incorrectly licensed (since he apparently doesn't accept the usual
  interpretation of CC BY), unless he publicly renounces the behavior of
  suing reusers. But I'll leave that to Commons and dewiki to work out.
 
 
  Commons' own guidance to reusers [1][2][3] recommends including an
 explicit
  credit line alongside CC BY images, e.g.
 
  You must attribute the work to the author(s), and when re-using the work
  or distributing it, you must mention the license terms or a link to
  them...
  [R]eusers must attribute the work by providing a credit line
 
  And recommends credit lines of the form:  John Doe / CC-BY-SA-3.0, with
  an included link to the license.
 
  As I understand it, Harald sent a demand letter to a reuser who failed to
  mention his name and the license.  In other words, he demanded
 compensation
  from a reuser who failed to do precisely the things that Commons actually
  says that CC BY image reusers are supposed to do.  While I agree that
  Harald's actions are not friendly, it is also hard for me to get behind
 the
  notion of punishing someone for demanding that reusers due the things
 that
  Commons actually recommends that they do.  His behavior is either A) a
  mean-spirited attempt to extract money from unexpecting people by
 fighting
  against the spirit of the license, or B) a vigorous defense of his rights
  under the license.  And I'm not really sure which.  Suppose,
  hypothetically, that Harald actually sued someone (as opposed to just
  sending demand letters) and the courts actually agreed that the 3.0
 license
  requires that reusers provide a credit line (not an impossible outcome).
  Would that change how we viewed his behavior?
 
  CC BY 4.0 explicitly says that a link to a page with attribution and
  license terms is sufficient, but prior to 4.0 it isn't clear whether such
 a
  link actually compiles with the license.  There has been enough recurring
  doubt over the issue that CC decided to explicitly address the linking
  issue in the 4.0 version.  Wikipedia behaves as if merely linking to an
  attribution page is always okay, but Commons' advice to reusers seems to
 be
  written with the perspective that it might not be.  (I don't know the
  history of the Commons pages, so I'm not really sure of the community's
  thinking here.)
 
  I do think there is something of a problem that Wikipedia models a
 behavior
  (i.e. linking) that is different from what Commons recommends (i.e.
 credit
  lines).
 
  -Robert Rohde
 
  [1]
 

 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Reusing_content_outside_Wikimedia
  [2

Re: [Wikimedia-l] harald bischoff advertising to make images for the wikimedia foundation and then suing users

2015-07-20 Thread Robert Rohde
On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 5:46 PM, Brad Jorsch (Anomie) bjor...@wikimedia.org
 wrote:
snip

 Since when has that ever been a thing? With respect to licenses such as CC,
 we follow the same rules as anyone else.


Not really.  Commons actually recommends that an explicit credit line
accompany CC BY images, which is something that Wikipedia doesn't do in
articles.  See below.


 If the description here is accurate, it sounds to me like this harald
 bischoff should be blocked and possibly have his files deleted as
 incorrectly licensed (since he apparently doesn't accept the usual
 interpretation of CC BY), unless he publicly renounces the behavior of
 suing reusers. But I'll leave that to Commons and dewiki to work out.


Commons' own guidance to reusers [1][2][3] recommends including an explicit
credit line alongside CC BY images, e.g.

You must attribute the work to the author(s), and when re-using the work
or distributing it, you must mention the license terms or a link to
them...
[R]eusers must attribute the work by providing a credit line

And recommends credit lines of the form:  John Doe / CC-BY-SA-3.0, with
an included link to the license.

As I understand it, Harald sent a demand letter to a reuser who failed to
mention his name and the license.  In other words, he demanded compensation
from a reuser who failed to do precisely the things that Commons actually
says that CC BY image reusers are supposed to do.  While I agree that
Harald's actions are not friendly, it is also hard for me to get behind the
notion of punishing someone for demanding that reusers due the things that
Commons actually recommends that they do.  His behavior is either A) a
mean-spirited attempt to extract money from unexpecting people by fighting
against the spirit of the license, or B) a vigorous defense of his rights
under the license.  And I'm not really sure which.  Suppose,
hypothetically, that Harald actually sued someone (as opposed to just
sending demand letters) and the courts actually agreed that the 3.0 license
requires that reusers provide a credit line (not an impossible outcome).
Would that change how we viewed his behavior?

CC BY 4.0 explicitly says that a link to a page with attribution and
license terms is sufficient, but prior to 4.0 it isn't clear whether such a
link actually compiles with the license.  There has been enough recurring
doubt over the issue that CC decided to explicitly address the linking
issue in the 4.0 version.  Wikipedia behaves as if merely linking to an
attribution page is always okay, but Commons' advice to reusers seems to be
written with the perspective that it might not be.  (I don't know the
history of the Commons pages, so I'm not really sure of the community's
thinking here.)

I do think there is something of a problem that Wikipedia models a behavior
(i.e. linking) that is different from what Commons recommends (i.e. credit
lines).

-Robert Rohde

[1]
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Reusing_content_outside_Wikimedia
[2]
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Reusing_content_outside_Wikimedia/licenses
[3] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Credit_line
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] harald bischoff advertising to make images for the wikimedia foundation and then suing users

2015-07-20 Thread Robert Rohde
On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 8:38 PM, Andy Mabbett a...@pigsonthewing.org.uk
wrote:

 On 20 July 2015 at 18:09, Robert Rohde raro...@gmail.com wrote:

  it is also hard for me to get behind the
  notion of punishing someone for demanding that reusers due the things
 that
  Commons actually recommends that they do.

 It's not a question of punishment, but of protecting Commons'
 reputation (from being brought into disrepute, as it might be
 termed)


There are two ways of looking at it though.  In one narrative you block
Harald and delete his images to protect reusers, but in another narrative
you are telling content creators that the few rights they are nominally
granted by the required license (e.g. attribution) are worthless because if
they try to enforce those rights we'll kick them out.

Ultimately though, I wonder if this mailing list is rather a poor venue for
this discussion.  Isn't it more an issue for Commons?

-Robert Rohde
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A transition and a new chapter.

2015-04-13 Thread Robert Rohde
Erik, thank you for everything you have contributed to Wikimedia over the
years.  It has made an immeasurable impact, and whatever future projects
you turn to will be lucky to have you.

I have often thought that Erik held a somewhat special place in the WMF as
the highest ranking staff member who began their career as a major editor
on the projects themselves.  Hence, I have tended to imagine that he would
be there to provide the outside hires with valuable insights into the
functioning and feelings of the editor community.  Not a flawless process
for sure, but still an important one.

Out of curiosity, with Erik's departure, who will be the highest ranking
staff member(s) with extensive editing experience (say 5000 edits, or
something like that)?  I skimmed the WMF bios, and I don't think there is
anyone left in a VP or C-level position that grew out of the community.  It
is the nature of the beast that many of the best talents will come to
Wikimedia from outside of the community, and consequently they will have to
learn what the community is all about.  However, I am a little surprised
that there aren't more identifiable community members among the top level
staff.  I would think that having that background and experience would be
valuable for some of the roles.

With Erik's departure it feels like we've passed some sort of milestone in
the evolution of Wikimedia.  We've moved toward a more professional staff,
but also a staff that is more distant from the roots of Wikimedia.

Anyway, best wishes Erik.  Your contributions and eloquence will be missed.
 (Though I won't be shy in reminding you that you can still participate in
the WMF projects as a volunteer, should you get that itch.  ;-)  )

-Robert Rohde

P.S.  Some of the senior staff bios could really use some cleanup and
expansion (e.g. Lisa Seitz-Gruwell).


On Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 4:41 PM, Johan Jönsson brevlis...@gmail.com wrote:

 Thank you, Erik, for the time and effort you've spent on the Wikimedia
 projects (and will continue spending, I hope, in some capacity).

 Best of luck in your future endeavours.

 //Johan Jönsson
 --

 2015-04-13 20:12 GMT+02:00 Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org:

  Hi all --
 
  As Lila noted, since January 2008 I've worn many hats at the Wikimedia
  Foundation, and in the six years before that I was a Wikipedian,
  MediaWiki developer, and member of the WMF board of trustees. I became
  involved in Wikipedia when I was 22 years old. :) The Wikimedia
  movement has accomplished amazing things, but I believe it's time now
  for me to do something different and new.
 
  It's been a long and incredible journey, and one I am privileged to
  have helped to shape. When I joined the Foundation in December 2007 we
  were a staff of a dozen people, with barely enough funds to keep the
  lights on. Since then, we've tackled challenges of a complexity and
  scale faced by few other organisations. In doing so, we’ve been
  generously supported by people all over the world who are grateful for
  the gift of free knowledge.
 
  I’m proud of and happy with what we've achieved. Reaching people on
  mobile. Pioneering new approaches working with universities.
  Painstakingly building a visual editing experience on top of wikitext.
  :) I’m glad we’ve taken a stand when it matters (SOPA blackout, NSA
  lawsuit) and that we don’t shy away from complex issues such as
  community health and diversity.
 
  I’m excited that Wikidata is growing in leaps and bounds with the help
  of Wikimedia Germany, and that more and more powerful tools and
  services are being built on the basis of Wikimedia APIs and data. I’ve
  always believed that Wikimedia chapter and affiliate organizations are
  key to the success of the movement, and I hope they are going to truly
  thrive in years to come.
 
  But it's time. As the leadership team begins to coalesce under Lila, I
  want to open up space for the organization to learn and explore anew
  -- and I’d like to rediscover for myself what it means to tackle
  challenges outside of my areas of comfort and familiarity.
 
  I’m very interested in the technical challenges of federated
  collaboration, and am looking forward to getting my hands dirty in
  that domain. I also want to explore how to make patterns of ethics,
  policy, and self-governance more accessible and re-usable for
  communities. In short, I’m itching to immerse myself in new problem
  spaces and new ideas.
 
  Lila, Damon, Terry, myself and others in the org have been discussing
  how to organize product going forward to set the org up for success in
  the years to come, and we’ll have an update on that very soon. This is
  a very natural point for me to pursue something new.
 
  What Wikimedia does in the world is wonderful  important. I’m sure I
  will continue to cross paths with many of you in future as I continue
  to move in free culture circles, and I very much look forward to it.
 
  I’ll continue to be @ WMF full-time through April

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement: WMF to file suit against the NSA

2015-03-12 Thread Robert Rohde
I agree that it is good for someone to stand up to the NSA, though I am
also very sympathetic to the point that taking legal action may require the
WMF to devote considerable time and money to this project, and distract
from other goals.  Perhaps the ACLU and the other plaintiffs are going to
shoulder a significant part of that burden?  After all, we may have the
public clout but other organizations have more lawyers and more experience
fighting the government in court than we do.

On that tack, I find it somewhat surprising that there are no other
technology organizations as partners to the suit.  The same Snowden-leaked
slide that mentioned Wikipedia also mentioned Google, Facebook, Yahoo,
etc.  While NSA snooping may have some chilling scenarios for Wikipedia
editors living in certain countries, I would expect that NSA snooping
through email and social networks would seem like a much more severe
intrusion for the typical reader than capturing their Wikipedia activity.
Thus it would seem that many of the big tech companies would have more to
fear, and be in a better position to argue the potential harm caused by
pervasive surveillance than Wikimedia.  At the same time, many tech
companies also have more financial resources and larger legal departments
than WMF.

I suppose other tech companies might have been invited to participate but
declined for various reasons.  Or there might be non-obvious arguments for
thinking this suit will do better without large corporations being
involved.  I can imagine there might be many good reasons for choosing
certain partners and excluding other possible partners.  Though, it does
seem somewhat surprising to me that WMF would be lead plaintiff on a case
like this.

I don't really expect that the WMF is going to explain their legal strategy
or provide much detail on how they expect to share the cost / time burden
associated with pursuing this suit.  So let me just say that I hope that
everyone at the WMF has thought through the logistics of this endeavor and
is doing it for all the right reasons with an eye towards maximizing the
chance of success (ideally in court, though possibly though the court of
public opinion and political action).  Fighting the government is not a
small thing, so let's hope the ideological motivations aren't causing
people to lose sight of the practical concerns.

Anyway, the die is cast, so good luck with it.

-Robert Rohde

On Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 10:03 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

 Hi.

 I'm of two minds here. I would love for mass surveillance to stop; the
 revelations of the past few years are disgusting. However, this lawsuit
 has the appearance of being the start of a completely un-winnable case
 that's merely an expensive political stunt. Perhaps especially due to the
 SOPA protests, I'm very wary of the Wikimedia Foundation engaging in
 stunts like this. I have a few questions.



 Has the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees passed a resolution
 authorizing the Wikimedia Foundation general counsel and executive
 director to pursue this lawsuit? I understand that one board member
 (Jimmy) is involved, of course, but something of this scale seems like it
 would require explicit authorization.

 What's the projected financial cost of this lawsuit for the Wikimedia
 Foundation?

 What's the projected length of time that this lawsuit will take to resolve?

 What specifically is the Wikimedia Foundation hoping to accomplish with
 this lawsuit? I read about filing this suit [...] to end this mass
 surveillance program in order to protect the rights of our users around
 the world, but what's a best-case scenario here? What could a federal
 judge do here?

 How does the Wikimedia Foundation intend to protect the rights of users
 around the world when it will have a nearly impossible time of protecting
 Americans, much less non-Americans? U.S. courts and the U.S. Congress have
 made it very clear that spying on non-Americans is completely acceptable,
 so when I read that the aim is to protect users worldwide, I'm pretty
 skeptical.

 Is there any indication from prior court cases that this lawsuit will be
 successful? Reading https://www.eff.org/node/84572 about Jewel v. NSA
 leads to me to think that we already know almost exactly what's likeliest
 to happen here.

 Aside from standing, U.S. government agencies (even outside of
 intelligence agencies) have broad immunity from lawsuits. How does the
 Wikimedia Foundation intend to penetrate immunity here? It seems very
 unlikely that a single slide in a classified presentation, which honestly
 references Wikipedia only in passing as an example of a site using HTTP,
 will convince any judge that there's enough to establish standing and
 penetrate immunity.



 My concern is that this will be an expensive, decade-long lawsuit that
 will eat donor money and ultimately accomplish nothing.

 Nearly all of the surveillance that takes place on our projects comes
 from our users. We're

Re: [Wikimedia-l] proportion of wiki size to what?

2015-01-26 Thread Robert Rohde
A few weeks back, I was playing around with some numbers.  It is true that
number of effective speakers isn't a very good predictor, but it is a place
to start.

Most of our mature editor communities have about 20 active editors per 1
million effective speakers, give or take a factor of 4.  In other
words, among communities with at least 100 active editors most range from
5 to 80 active editors per million effective speakers.  Admittedly, that is
not a very precise range.  English, for example, is right at 20 on this
metric.  There are also some important outliers, such as the Chinese and
Arabic communities (both less than 2 active editors per million speakers),
which probably have yet to reach parity with the other active languages.
There are also a few major languages (e.g. Hindi, Bengali, and Malay) that
arguably haven't even begun.  Those have fewer than 100 active editors and
less than 0.5 editors per 1 million speakers, despite hundreds of millions
of speakers.

I suspect that if one could start adjusting for other factors, e.g.
speakers with internet access, one might be able to narrow that predicted
range.  Economic and cultural factors are also probably important, as well
as the penetration of secondary languages like English.

Structurally, it seems like this kind of data analysis problem would be
fairly amenable to various kinds of regression analysis.  The main
difficulty would be gathering the right data, e.g. number of effective
speakers (which probably needs to subdivided by country in order to compare
to other data sets), internet penetration, economic indicators, access to
education, etc.  Anyone happen to know where there is comprehensive
language data broken down by country?

As others have suggested, I would emphasize community participation or
readership metrics rather than article metrics due to bot biasing, etc.

Anyway, if one uses 20 active editors per 1 million speakers as a rough
guide, one can estimate which languages have the most natural potential for
growth.  The top 15 on that list would be in order: Chinese, Hindi, Arabic,
Malay, Spanish, Indonesian, Bengali, Portuguese, Russian, Punjabi, Marathi,
Tagalog, Javanese, Wu, and Telugu.  Those would collectively account 70% of
missing editors if we assume that we roughly expect 20 editors / 1
million speakers.  In terms of feature development for under-utilized
languages, those are probably a reasonable set to be thinking about.

Most of the list is from Asian countries, and with the exception of Spanish
and Portuguese, they are all languages that use non-latin character sets.
So support for other scripts is obviously important.  On the other hand, it
is also possible that many of these language are missing in part because
the computer literate among the populations who speak these languages
actually prefer to edit in some other language (e.g. English).

Anyway, just a few thoughts.

-Robert Rohde

On Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 5:57 PM, Amir E. Aharoni 
amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il wrote:

 Hi,

 It is well-known that the size of a Wikipedia in a given language is not
 proportional to the number of people who speak that language. By size I
 mean the article count and the active editor count.

 This begs the question: Is it proportional to anything else?

 I can think of a bunch of possible things (to most items you can add ...
 in the countries where this language is spoken):

 * Penetration of Internet access
 * Quality of education
 * Number of people who know other major languages, such as English, French,
 Russian, Spanish, etc.
 * Number of people who *don't* know other major languages
 * Gross domestic product
 * Human Development Index
 * The level of usage of this language in the education system (in some
 countries schools function in foreign languages)
 * Amount of published literature in that language
 * Level of censorship and press freedom
 * [[Language planning]] policies (think Catalonia, Ukraine, Quebec, Israel)

 It is quite possible that the size of a Wikipedia is proportional not to
 one of these things, but to a combination of them. It is also possible that
 it is not proportional to any of the above, or to anything at all.

 Did anybody ever try to research this?

 --
 Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
 http://aharoni.wordpress.com
 ‪“We're living in pieces,
 I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Request for comments: How to deal with open datasets?

2014-05-15 Thread Robert Rohde
Micru,

There are several related aspects of datasets, that I would enumerate as:

1) Storing / archiving datasets
2) Editing / manipulating datasets
3) Using excerpts (e.g. specific data) from datasets

Each of these involves a different, but related set of tools.

It isn't entirely clear to me, but I think the question you started
with is aimed at how we might use excerpts from externally managed
datasets.  For example, having a way to pull data from CKAN and have
it appear in a Wikipedia article?  That would remove steps one and two
from immediate consideration, as someone else would be responsible for
maintaining the data.  On the other hand, the responses so far seem
more aimed at question one, i.e. where / how would Wikimedia best
store datasets.

Personally, I think all parts of the question are ultimately
important, as I would love for Wikimedia to have a complete data
management solution.  But am I correct in thinking that you asked the
question primarily out of a desire to think about how we could use
externally managed data sets?

-Robert Rohde

On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 2:25 AM, David Cuenca dacu...@gmail.com wrote:
 Hi,

 During the Zürich Hackathon I met several people that looked for solutions
 about how to integrate external open datasets into our projects (mainly
 Wikipedia, Wikidata). Since Wikidata is not the right tool to manage them
 (reasons explained in the RFC as discussed during the Wikidata session), I
 have felt convenient to centralize the discussion about potential
 requirements, needs, and how to approach this new changing landscape that
 didn't exist a few years ago.

 You will find more details here
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/How_to_deal_with_open_datasets

 Your comments, thoughts and ideas are appreciated!

 Cheers,
 Micru
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's accept Bitcoin as a donation method

2013-12-11 Thread Robert Rohde
On Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 2:37 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:
 Has there been any discussion about simply accepting Bitcoins but not
 exchanging them?
snip

I don't have a strong opinion on whether WMF should or should not
accept Bitcoin donations.  However, even if we were to accept them, I
don't believe we should be collecting them.  As I believe is already
the case with most foreign currency donations, Bitcoins (if accepted)
should be exchanged for dollars shortly after being received.

Whatever else Bitcoins might be, they are certainly subject to rapid
variations in market prices and considerable uncertainty regarding the
future regulatory environment.  As such, as an investment, they would
have to be classed as highly speculative.  Some people have made a lot
of money off of Bitcoins, and some others may yet make a lot more, but
there is also the potential to lose a lot of value if regulatory fiats
or undiscovered flaws in the Bitcoin system cause their value to
plummet.  I don't think holding on to high-risk investment vehicles
makes sense for a non-profit that aims to make responsible use of
people's donations.

-Robert Rohde

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor

2013-08-01 Thread Robert Rohde
If we are going to discuss Minimal Viable Product, then we might want
to take note of the line in the Wikipedia article that says:

The product is typically deployed to a subset of possible customers,
such as early adopters that are thought to be more forgiving, more
likely to give feedback, and able to grasp a product vision from an
early prototype or marketing information.

More than any specific deficiency in VE, I think the aggressive roll
out did the most to cause user dissatisfaction.  If you want to claim
that VE is a minimal product, then it stands to reason that it
wouldn't be ready for all users.  There are plenty of ways to stage a
deployment and gather feedback that are intermediate between the early
opt-in and turning it on for all users everywhere.  The WMF took
nearly the most aggressive deployment path possible while the quality
of the software really didn't warrant that.

-Robert Rohde

On Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 12:00 AM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Hey Kevin,

 contrary to your belief (and in spite of your desire to blame me ;-),
 I actually have a ton of respect for the opinions you've expressed
 throughout the process, and for the level of detail and time you've
 committed to it, including helping in a hands-on manner. I don't agree
 with you on quite a few issues, obviously, but I've really enjoyed
 reading your comments, which are always well-reasoned and on point.
 :-) I hope you don't lose your patience with us, as you really are the
 kind of person we enjoy working with due to your diligence and the
 quality of your reports.

 So, if you've personally felt that it's been disruptive for you and
 caused you annoyance and frustration, I'm sorry, because I do respect
 your opinion and your work as an editor.

 On the subject of an appropriate MVP:

 If you had followed that, and understood that the Minimum Viable Product
 included cut-and-paste, table editing, and maybe the ability to successfully
 and completely edit the hundred or so most edited articles out of all the
 millions, you wouldn't have hit the level of pushback you've encountered.

 Couple of diffs from a few minutes ago of table edits:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Major_League_Soccercurid=71802diff=566676293oldid=59395
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_True_Blood_characterscurid=23290782diff=566675268oldid=565993704

 That's not just plain vanilla tables, but tables with inline CSS
 specified by hand, templates inside cells, etc. No roundtripping
 issues or other problems as far as I can tell.

 The kind of table you want us to make work well is this type:

 onlyinclude{| class=wikitable style=margin: auto; width: 100%
 |-
 ! colspan=2 rowspan=2 style=width:3%;|Season
 ! rowspan=2 style=width:5%;|Episodes
 ! colspan=2|Originally aired
 ! colspan=2|DVD release
 |-
 (...)
 | style=background:green; color:#134; text-align:center;|
 | style=text-align:center; colspan=2| '''[[List of Big Time Rush
 episodes#Film|Film]]'''
 | style=text-align:center; colspan=2| {{Start date|2012|3|10}}
 | style=text-align: center; top {{N/a}}
 | style=text-align: center; top {{N/a}}

 which injects this kind of template:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:N/aaction=edit

 In other words, a table partially constructed out of table cell templates.

 Now, I understand that you've dealt with dirty diffs resulting from
 people editing pages using those templates, and I know that sucks, so
 sorry about that - but it's a hard problem, and I don't think it's
 reasonable to frame it as an MVP-level one. The reasonable expectation
 is to fix roundtripping issues on those hairy tables as soon as
 possible, and ideally avoid any kind of accidental leakage of CSS into
 the UI. But as you know, some of these templates don't even map
 against HTML elements, so it's not a trivial issue.

 We could spend literally months trying to make
 tables-constructed-out-of-templates work nicely, and it would still be
 a shitty experience, and those would be months not spent on actual MVP
 features. Before we sink countless person hours into
 tables-constructed-out-of-templates, I think we need to step back and
 see what our options are for solving that particular problem well in
 the long run. Perhaps there's a type of table-template we can support
 well, and gradually migrate all tables to it, but it won't be easy.

 I appreciate that you created the Disable VE template which makes it
 possible to shield pages that are vulnerable to dirty diffs from VE.
 That was a great hack (we should have included _that_ one with the
 MVP, it would have saved users a lot of pain), and should help in
 cases where an immediate fix isn't feasible.

 As for copy-and-paste, yes, it's pretty wonky still, and I'm sure
 causes a fair bit of frustration for first-time VE users who have no
 experience with wikitext. However, it is there within a VE session,
 and we see very few diffs where users are causing problems due

Re: [Wikimedia-l] NSA

2013-08-01 Thread Robert Rohde
On Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 5:13 PM, Luis Villa lvi...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 As a quick reminder here, before any conspiracy theories about orders and
 data retention get out of control:

 1) We've flat-out denied any sort of involvement in this, and we continue
 to stand by that denial:
 https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/06/14/prism-surveillance-wikimedia/

 2) Take with a grain of salt, of course, but our understanding (based on
 the few gag orders that have been made public) is that we could be forced
 to not confirm having received a National Security Letter, but we can't
 actually be forced to lie about it. In other words, if we'd received one we
 would not be allowed to say we've received one, but we also could not be
 forced to deny it - we'd always have the option to remain silent instead.
snip

If we are going to chase crazy down the rabbit hole, then it may be
worth noticing that the NSL gag order makes it a crime to discuss NSL
demands with anyone except A) personal legal counsel, and B) persons
who are directly necessary to fulfill the demand.  In particular, if I
(as an individual) am served with an NSL then there is no provision
allowing me to tell my boss or my subordinates unless I directly need
their help to satisfy the request.  If someone with root access were
directly served with an NSL, it isn't obvious that WMF executives
would ever learn about it.  This is one of the ways that NSL gag
orders are ridiculous.

-Robert Rohde

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] On the gentrification of Wikipedia, by Superbass (was: Visual Editor)

2013-07-30 Thread Robert Rohde
On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 1:06 AM, Martijn Hoekstra
martijnhoeks...@gmail.com wrote:
snip
 4. Block the creation of new templates with deprecated syntax. Also block
 saving templates that were free of deprecated syntax would an edit
 introduce deprecated syntax.
snip

Strictly speaking this is impossible.  While there are some common
cases that could be recognizable on a per template basis, there are
other cases that are only recognizable as problems when placed in the
context in which the are used.

To give a ridiculous example:

A template {{foo}} consisting of  Nothing here  looks innocuous
enough until embedded in a page that reads div{{foo}}/div.

Because templates can contain tag, table, and other markup fragments,
the implications for the parser aren't necessarily clear until the
template is used in context with other elements.  So one could
identify this as an issue when saving the page that uses it, but there
is no general way to identify all templates that might be problematic
at the time the template is written.

-Robert Rohde

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] On the gentrification of Wikipedia, by Superbass (was: Visual Editor)

2013-07-30 Thread Robert Rohde
When discussing issues like this.  One should keep in mind that we
don't really want to be in the business of solving hard problems
simply by pushing the difficulties onto other people.  Wikitext has
some characteristics that make parsing it hard (some might say
ridiculous).  Changing wikitext will create problems elsewhere (and a
lot of work for volunteers).  In addition one should be careful that
any changes are made in such a way that important workflows are not
made significantly harder for editors.

To give a common example, see {{nom}}, which consists of:

style=background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle;
text-align: {{{align|center}}}; {{{style|}}} class=no table-no2 |
Nominated

A clever person will quickly realize that this is used in a table context like:

{|
| Golden Globes || Best Actress || {{nom}}
|}

Where the {{nom}} template carries with it not just the text
Nominated but also part of the styling to be applied to the table.

This would seem to be a hard example to reimplement in a context
agnostic way.  At present the template content only makes sense
because it is placed in the context of a wiki table.  Getting around
that would seem to be awkward.  You could try to fudge it by applying
the {{nom}} styles to something like a div block.  However, placing
that block within the table cell would run the risk of cell padding
and other table properties causing conflicts or bad appearance, not to
mention that such an approach couldn't be used if the template is also
passing colspan / rowspan directives to the cell.  Alternatively, one
would pretty much have to pull all or most of the table into the
template, which would seem to lead to new headaches and make the
source that is much more complicated for authors than the present
version.

This is one of the examples where there would seem to be few good
alternatives.  Maybe the devs who are imagining reengineering wikitext
can also think up good alternatives for some of the uses they might
contemplate making obsolete?

-Robert Rohde

P.S. {{nom}} and its sister templates are an example of templates that
VE can't presently handle.

On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 1:06 AM, Martijn Hoekstra
martijnhoeks...@gmail.com wrote:
 On Jul 30, 2013 4:58 AM, Marc A. Pelletier m...@uberbox.org wrote:

 On 07/29/2013 10:02 PM, Rschen7754 wrote:
  If I'm reading this right, it *would* cause massive problems on the
 English Wikipedia

 Oh, it *would* if the syntax was just disabled outright!

 Now, if it were me that was in charge of fixing wiki markup, this is
 what I would do:

 (a) require that syntactic elements opened in a template be closed in
 that template during transclusion* (without a change in code now; i.e.:
 deprecate but not enforce yet).
 (b) provide a mechanism by which templates which do this are
 categorized/marked and otherwise findable.
 (c) wait suitably long
 (d) convert current invalid (according to (a) and identified by (b))
 syntax by substituting still transcluded templates inline (thus not
 breaking content)
 (e) delete/blank/comment out those templates
 (f) render the previous syntax invalid (by implicitly closing any
 syntactic construct at the end of transclusion)
 (g) provide a list of all the subst done in part (d) to the community so
 that automated tools can fixup/convert/cleanup with new markup/LUA where
 applicable.

 Something like the following process might be a little easier on the
 projects. Assuming that ultimately want each page to be a valid fragment,
 suitably defined:

 Introduction period:

 1. Deprecate the alternative *right now*, by publicly announcing what it is
 exactly we would rather not see exist, wikitext wise.

 2. Start engaging the projects, and set up wikiprojects that are
 responsible for finding the cases where no reasonable alternative for the
 current legitimate uses is, and work on expanding the language to make sure
 these cases are covered as well as being responsible for setting up forums
 for getting help on how to migrate away from depricated syntax.

 Transition period:

 3. For a suitably long time, display a warning when such a page is saved,
 refering users to the local working group that can help them learn how to
 write New Wikitext. More legitimate uses will emerge, and reasonable
 alternatives must be found or created for everything we are able to do now.

 4. Block the creation of new templates with deprecated syntax. Also block
 saving templates that were free of deprecated syntax would an edit
 introduce deprecated syntax.

 5. When the wikiprojects are no longer buckling under the load of the
 stream of unimagined creative and useful yet horrible uses of wikitext they
 didn't forsee, and a good deal of templates have been fixed, start showing
 warnings when saving pages that transclude pages with deprecated syntax.
 Repeat the above steps of waiting and fixing.

 6. Announce a date from where on saving a page with a transcluded legacy
 template will be blocked. Expect public

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor

2013-07-30 Thread Robert Rohde
It is absolutely true that the power users can't directly speak for
the new users or anons.

That said, it would be unusual (though not impossible) if 85% of one
group held an opinion without a large fraction of other related
communities also sharing that view.  If the WMF or someone else wants
to commission a study of anon and new users opinions, that would
definitely be interesting to see.  Personally, I think VE is probably
still too immature to be spending a lot of money asking people about
it.  (In other words, many of the problems and missing features are
pretty obvious and we don't need to query large numbers of people to
hear about things we already know.)  Once it is a bit more stable and
the low hanging fruit have been addressed, it could be quite
instructive to get some user interaction studies on how people think
it could be made better.

We also might be able to get some useful data by further A/B testing.
For example, if VE is disabled, then assigning some anons to a VE
enabled group (perhaps by a cookie) could provide a valuable
comparison that we don't presently have.

For the moment, the thing we do have is edit counts over time (and
similar data).  Such data is certainly subject to various confounding
influences, but the data we do have for anons and new users isn't
exactly exciting.  New users are only choosing VE at the 30-40% level
for article edits, while anons are at the 20% use level.  Not exactly
a sign of wild enthusiasm for the new editing platform.  By itself,
these lowish use numbers are probably enough to conclude that neither
group is overwhelmingly excited by VE, though admittedly both numbers
are much higher than the 6% usage seen by established users.

The number I worry a bit more about is that total anon editing of
articles has fallen 9% in the two weeks since introduction (compared
to the prior two weeks).  During the same time period total editing of
articles by registered users rose 2%.  Again, correlation is not
causation, but if novice editors really liked VE then I would rather
have expected total anon editing to increase relative to established
users.  Even though anons and power user undoubtedly have different
needs.  I can't help worrying that the bugs, missing features, and
sluggish performance that power users complain about might also be
discouraging some of the anonymous and new users.  If the present
state of VE is actually discouraging new editors then that would be a
good sign that it isn't yet ready for wide deployment.

If I were designing a research program to study VE, I would certainly
make getting additional information on anon behaviors a high priority,
either by conducting new comparison trials or by finding better ways
to tease out patterns in editing trends.

-Robert Rohde





On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM, Steven Walling
steven.wall...@gmail.com wrote:
 On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:

 de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
 asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
 subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
 hasn't.)


 [Speaking personally, not for the VE team in any way.]

 Why should a consensus of any arbitrary number of power editors be allowed
 to define the defaults for all editors, including anonymous and
 newly-registered people? Anonymous edits make up about 1/3 of enwiki edits,
 IIRC. Every day, 3,000-5,000 new accounts are registered on English
 Wikipedia. These people are not even being asked to participate in these
 RFCs. Even if they were, they typically don't know how to participate and
 find it very intimidating.

 This system of gauging the success of VE is heavily biased toward the
 concerns of people most likely to dislike change in the software and
 frankly, to not really need VE in its current state. That doesn't mean
 they're wrong, just that they don't speak for everyone's perspective. The
 sad fact is that the people who stand to benefit the most from continued
 use and improvements to VE can't participate in an RFC about it, in part
 because of wikitext's complexities and annoyances. It is a huge failure of
 the consensus process and the Wikimedia movement if we pretend that it's
 truly open, fair, and inclusive to make a decision about VE this way.

 In WMF design and development, we work our butts off trying to do research,
 design, and data analysis that guides us toward building for _all_ the
 stakeholders in a feature. We're not perfect at it by a long shot, but I
 don't see a good faith effort by English and German Wikipedians running
 these RFCs to solicit and consider the opinions of the huge number of
 new/anonymous editors. And why should they? That's not their job, they just
 want to express their frustration and be listened to.

 To answer David's question: I think we need a benchmark for making VE
 opt-in again that legitimately represents the needs of _all the people_ who
 stand

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Questions for the WMF Board of Trustees?

2013-07-30 Thread Robert Rohde
On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 1:24 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:
 Hi Robert,

 This is a great question. Would you mind adding it to the wiki so we don't
 lose track of it?
snip

I don't mind adding it, but I'm not sure where you want it to go?
Also, should I copy your reply, too?

-Robert

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Questions for the WMF Board of Trustees?

2013-07-29 Thread Robert Rohde
Phoebe,

I am wondering if you (or another board member) would elaborate a
little on how you see the Board's role when it comes to the evolving
technical development of WMF projects?

WMF has articulated a medium- to long-term vision for Mediawiki that
builds on projects like VisualEditor, Flow, Echo (notifications),
Parsoid, etc.  While I don't expect the Board to be in the business of
choosing what technology to use, the WMF vision does seem to speak
heavily to future changes in what the experience of editing Wikipedia
(and other projects) will be like.  More visual and mouse based, etc.
Is that something the Board ever involves itself in?

Given current plans, it seems likely that questions surrounding
changes in user experience and the deployment of new technology will
be among the most significant issues for the editor community.

-Robert Rohde

On Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 8:31 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:
 Hi all,

 Every year at Wikimania the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees hosts a
 panel where they take questions from the audience on the work of the WMF
 and the Board.

 In past years the board has also taken questions via IRC. This year we'd
 also like to provide the opportunity to leave questions on a wiki page
 ahead of time:
 http://wikimania2013.wikimedia.org/wiki/WMF_Board_Q%26A

 While there is only time to answer a few questions during the session
 itself, hopefully this will be a good way of getting questions from
 attendees as well as from those who can't make it. The board will also take
 questions from the audience at Wikimania, as time permits.

 Remember the Board doesn't deal directly with work on or problems on the
 projects, and does not have a direct hand in how the WMF operates
 day-to-day. Rather, the board thinks about the big picture, and gives
 direction on strategy for the WMF. You can find out more about what the
 board does (and does not do) here:
 http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees and
 http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_handbook

 best,
 phoebe

 --
 * I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers at
 gmail.com *
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor

2013-07-28 Thread Robert Rohde
I don't speak German, but with the aid of Google Translate, I think
one can get a decent gist of the results.


Firstly, let me note that this German Umfragen process is structured
largely as a vote.  Some participants added short explanatory
statements, but it is not a discussion forum so one shouldn't expect
detailed explanations.

Participants were asked their opinion about how VE should be deployed
on dewiki.  The vote is still ongoing, but so far the results are:

22 individuals (4.4%) feel that VE should be deployed for anonymous
users as scheduled.

7 users (1.4%) feel that VE should stay at its present status, i.e.
deployed for registered users but not anons.

442 users (87.7%) feel that the VE deployment should be rolled back so
that it is only available to users who explicitly opt-in at this time.

33 users (6.5%) chose a fourth opinion, the meaning of which is
somewhat unclear to me using Google Translate, but which appears to
express the opinion that VE should continue to be active in the
interface but that it should be assigned a new button and not take
over the edit functions.


Some of the people voting for the fourth option also supported one of
the other three options as an alternative / supplemental preference.

Rather than continuing with the deployment to anons (scheduled for
tomorrow), it appears that most of the contributors in this poll would
prefer that VE be rolled back and only delivered as an opt-in process
at this time.

Among the users choosing to offer an explanatory statement, the most
common opinions offered in support of rollback (in no particular
order) were perceptions that:

VE is too buggy / error-prone.
VE is missing too many essential features.
The current performance of VE is too slow.
Various complaints about UI (edit section animation, button labels, etc.)
Creates more work than benefits.
Poor experience will deter rather than encourage new editors.
Not intuitive.


The overarching theme of the comments is that VE was perceived as too
immature/incomplete to justify any form of wide-scale deployment at
this time.  It should also be acknowledged that many participants
agreed with the idea of a visual editor, in principle, but felt that
the current implementation wasn't yet adequate.

-Robert Rohde


On Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM, Bence Damokos bdamo...@gmail.com wrote:
 Can somebody summarize the concerns raised in that RfC?

 Best regards,
 Bence


 On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 2:36 AM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski tom...@twkozlowski.net
 wrote:

 Hi,
 there is a famous quote on courage by Winston Churchill, a British Prime
 Minister, who once wisely said: Courage is what it takes to stand up and
 speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

 Over the weekend, more than 440 editors of the German Wikipedia took part
 in an RfC-like process (Umfragen) at https://de.wikipedia.org/**
 wiki/Wikipedia:Umfragen/**VisualEditor_Opt-inhttps://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Umfragen/VisualEditor_Opt-in
 and voted against the activation of the VisualEditor for anonymous users,
 asking the WMF to revert to an opt-in phase instead of the currently
 existing opt-out.

 This is yet another signal coming from the community that there is
 something very broken about the process in which VisualEditor is being
 rolled out. Most of the criticism has been ignored so far, but on the other
 hand, we haven't yet seen such an enormous community objection against the
 VisualEditor anywhere.

 Let us therefore use this opportunity, and have the courage to sit down
 and listen. Or, perhaps, in the wiki spirit, let's edit this quote, and let
 us sit down and talk.

 And, together, let's learn a lesson from this, and correct the errors so
 that they don't become mistakes.

   Tomasz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Updates on VE data analysis

2013-07-26 Thread Robert Rohde
I would suggest that it would be good to look specifically at daily
total article edit counts by editor classes.  The anon total in
particular is off considerably (~15%) since VE launched.

Also, many of the graphs seem to be reporting only a single month
worth of values.  That will become a problem once we are more than a
month past VE's launch.  It would be nice to extend the graphs to two
or three months if possible to get a longer-term perspective.

-Robert Rohde


On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 6:31 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:
 On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 7:28 PM, Dario Taraborelli 
 dtarabore...@wikimedia.org wrote:
...
 We do have a graph of total hourly edits on enwiki across mainspaces here:
 http://ee-dashboard.wmflabs.org/graphs/enwiki_edits_api - it's trivial to
 bin
 by day and filter to the main namespace only, I'll add this to my todo
 list.

 Thank you! Here is a daily graph of edits by source and visual editor with
 totals:

 http://i.imgur.com/2f0tmEu.png

 It would be great to know what the average total edits per day was in June.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Feedback for the Wikimedia Foundation

2013-07-25 Thread Robert Rohde
If I understand the minutes of the VE / Parsoid quarterly review [1]
correctly, then significant changes for templates could be on the
table for the first half of calendar year 2014.  One of the largest
technical challenges for the handling of templates in the VE / Parsoid
context is that individual templates can have open-ended syntax where,
for example, one template opens a table and an different template
closes it (and even more ridiculous examples).  Hence the individual
templates are not necessarily closed units in themselves but may
interact with content from other parts of the pages, which creates
various problems for parsers.

In the minutes, the possibility of simply banning such open-ended
templates is mentioned, though the reply in the minutes suggests that
such an option was seen as probably too disruptive of existing
content.  Hence the developers mentioned a need to find better ways to
enforce the nesting of templates while also supporting all (or at
least most) existing content.

However, it does seem likely that devs are discussing changes to the
way templates are handled that would move away from the current
structure where templates are allowed to contain completely arbitrary
blocks of wikitext that would only be interpreted once the whole page
is assembled.

-Robert Rohde

[1] 
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Metrics_and_activities_meetings/Quarterly_reviews/VisualEditor-Parsoid/July_2013

On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM, Martijn Hoekstra
martijnhoeks...@gmail.com wrote:
 On Jul 24, 2013 9:57 AM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 9:25 AM, Tom Morris t...@tommorris.org wrote:

  Should that even be a concern? I mean, if lots of newbies and
  technophobes start using the Visual Editor and a bunch of us
  dorks who love writing markup don't, would that matter?

 That's a great question, Tom. :)

 We're confident that in the long run, we'll be able to offer features
 and capabilities that will give experienced community members
 compelling reasons to use VisualEditor, so when people say things like
 I will never use VisualEditor, I can only note that never is a very
 long time, and the bulk of our continued effort will go into making
 VisualEditor the best possible editing experience it can be.

 This is not a feature we're launching and forgetting about. This isn't
 an effort that's scheduled to end. Enabling collaboration is part of
 our core mission; it's at the heart of what we do. We've got our work
 cut out for us for the next few months, and we also know what some of
 the longer term objectives are (integration with discussions,
 real-time collaboration). Beyond that - sky's the limit.

 So, does it matter if people continue to use markup? Probably not -
 but if you're a human, we'll aim to give you a much better tool to get
 the job done. So even if you are, as you put it, a markup-loving dork,
 we hope you'll come visit us in VisualEditor-land every once in a
 while and mingle with us. We do have cookies, and tales of template
 madness.

 Erik
 --
 Erik Möller

 Speaking of template madness, the current horrible brokenness that are
 templates seem to be on the long term roadmap to be fixed. Fixing them
 requires breaking a whole lot, far more than a visual editor preference. Is
 two way community dialog on how to handle that on the roadmap? It might
 still be years and years away, but boy will it hurt, and we better brace
 ourselves.

 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: change in article edits after visual editor roll-out (was Re: Feedback for the Wikimedia Foundation)

2013-07-23 Thread Robert Rohde
On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 11:35 PM, James Salsman jsals...@gmail.com wrote:
 Oliver Keyes wrote:

 active editors == editors with  [5/10/depending on standard] edits a
 month. It's pretty impossible, at our end, for us to identify one person
 between multiple IPs or one person between multiple IPs.

 Why can't you use behavioral and expertise characteristics to measure
 the proportion of anonymous IP editors who edit with the same
 distinguishing attributed and skill as active long term editors, as
 below, in order to estimate their active proportion? The assertion
 that you can't is like saying you can't count black swans unless you
 can get their feathers in a centrifuge to check the pigment chemically
 simply because it's dark at nighttime.
snip

I've had essentially the same thought.  One doesn't even have to be
very sophisticated at this to get a rough impression.  For example,
comparing the percentage of anons who add templates to the fraction of
normal users who add templates would already be suggestive. Other
markers of sophistication like adding images or refs could also be
useful.  Less complex tasks like communicating on talk pages might
also offer some information (though I suspect people who choose to be
anonymous might be less inclined to use talk pages regardless of other
experience / ability).

-Robert Rohde

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikipedia in jail!

2013-06-18 Thread Robert Rohde
Very cool.

I'm curious, did the prison have any concerns about content or want
things filtered out?

I've know that some prisons don't allow reading material that is
sexual, violent, etc.  Did restrictions like that have to be
considered?  Obviously, most of Wikipedia is pretty mundane, but if
you look hard enough I'm sure some people might find things to object
to.

-Robert Rohde


On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 7:15 AM, Charles Andrès
charles.andres.w...@gmail.com wrote:
 Wikipedia for prisoners – an unexpected partnership between a swiss prison 
 and Wikimedia CH

 Following an initiative from Emmanuel Engelhart, with the support of 
 Wikimedia CH CAO, Chantal Ebongué, since March 2013, prisoners who request 
 can have an access to Wikipedia offline (Kiwix project). The idea is to 
 stimulate or to support the interest for education of prisoners who were, for 
 a large majority, condemned to long-time sentences.

 After three months of pilot phasis, the project is successful : Among the 36 
 prisoners of the Bellevue’s prison in Gorgier, 18 possess or rent a computer. 
 All of them requested the upload of Wikipedia offline on their PC. For 
 security reasons, swiss prisoners have a very restricted access to internet.

 More informations in the press releases (ENG, DE, FR, IT) that was sent today 
 to the swiss media

 Regards,

 Charles


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] User retention statistics?

2012-04-18 Thread Robert Rohde
PS. This story was triggered by Fastily's retirement.  He has 46000
edits on enwiki, and only about 620 editors have reached that plateau.
 Of these, 90% are still active.  So such retirements are relatively
rare.  Personally, I hope he decides to come back after taking some
time to relax and recharge.  It seems to be the case that many such
declared retirements aren't really permanent.

-Robert Rohde

On Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 4:08 PM, Robert Rohde raro...@gmail.com wrote:
 On Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 11:07 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter pute...@mccme.ru 
 wrote:
 snip

 1. What is the average lifetime of a Wikipedia editor (for instance the one
 with at leat 1000 contributions)? I recollect smth about two years, but I am
 pretty sure I have never seen any research on this. How does it depend on
 the number of contributions?

 For enwiki, using data from last August:

 28243 users have at least 1000 edits (all namespaces).

 Of these, 9898 had not edited in the six months before the end of the data 
 set.

 So about 65% of the major editors are still active, at least occasionally.

 The mean wiki-lifetime for the 28243 major users was 49.9 months.

 For the 9898 users who were not recently active, the mean
 wiki-lifetime was 35.6 months.


 Further, there are 4685 users with at least 1 edits, and of these,
 all but 914 were still active in the last 6 months of the data set.
 So 80% of the editors at the very high end are still active (at least
 occasionally).  The mean wiki-lifetime on the total group is 60.5
 months, and the departed group is 42.6 months.


 Incidentally, the mean account age of individuals editing article
 space is now over 3 years for enwiki.  A lot of the work is being by
 the relative old-timers.  By the same token though, people who have
 ever made it to 1000 edits are more likely than not to still be active
 today.

 -Robert Rohde

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