Re: [Wikimedia-l] A fundraising banner we'd like to try in a short test

2017-11-15 Thread pajz
> This test would run for 1 to 2 hours, and then we'd evaluate results to see
> if it's worth spending any more time on the concept. For now, we're simply
> hiding the banner all together below 920px, as at smaller viewports it
> begins to interfere with site navigation elements.

It is truly an amazing banner, as it might be the first donation banner in
the history of donation banners that actually improve the readability of
our content. Indeed, we have never been closer to line length
recommendations for optimal readability than with this banner.


On 15 November 2017 at 01:25, Liam Wyatt  wrote:

> >
> > TL;DR: A short test of a new banner concept will help us decide if it's
> > worth iteration and improvement.
> >
> > Here's a link to the banner:
> >
> > right10=US=1
> I appreciate that you're trying to innovate, and this requires pushing
> boundaries. I also appreciate that the WMF fundraising principle "minimal
> disruption"[1] is subjective thing - and that the WMF has traditionally
> taken this to mean "be disruptive for the shortest period" rather than "be
> less disruptive overall, even if it takes longer".
> However, I do feel that *resizing all the article content to the left, and
> occupying the entire right side third of the screen with a donation request
> that follows me as I scroll *is significantly more than minimally
> disruptive. Personally, I would request that this design approach not be
> pursued on that basis.
> -Liam / Wittylama
> p.s. Also, on my screen at least, the "x" dismiss button in the top-right
> is so small that it hides under Chrome's translucent scrollbar
> [1] that
> Fundraising
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] 35 year copyright termination

2017-03-01 Thread pajz
On 28 February 2017 at 06:11, James Salsman  wrote:

> > 17 U.S. Code § 203 - Termination of transfers and licenses
> > granted by the author

I don't usually post to this list and hope this isn't too off-topic, but,
coincidentally, I've looked into that matter a bit last year as a
tangential issue (from a comparative law perspective). So, I don't know if
you're aware and interested, but there are some articles dealing with this
termination issue under U.S. copyright law in the context of open-content

Specifically, I'd refer you to Loren, Building a Reliable Semicommons of
Creative Works, 14 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 271, 318-28 (2007) (arguing that
section 203 is inapplicable to CC licenses under a suggested doctrine of
limited copyright abandonment); Armstrong, Shrinking the Commons, 47 Harv.
J. on Legis. 359, 405-09 (2010) (expressing skepticism as to whether courts
would adopt Professor Loren's approach, suggesting, alternatively, an
analogy to the abandonment provisions of the Patent Act to justify limits
on the termination of open-content licenses); and Greenberg, More than Just
a Formality, 59 UCLA L. Rev. 1028, 1060-63 (2012) (suggesting legislative
action). All three articles are also freely available online (in one case
at least in a pre-publication version), at , , and <>, respectively.

(None of them are touching upon the derivative work issue, which is a
rather Wikimedia-specific consideration. It could arguably not provide a
universal solution to the potential problem, since the availability of a
derivative work is the exception, rather than the norm, even in an
open-content world. I have therefore not looked into this.)

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open letter: Issues needing addressing by the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees

2016-02-29 Thread pajz
On 29 February 2016 at 06:18, SarahSV  wrote:

> Everything Doc James has said so far appears to have been correct, based on
> the information we have.

Ha, like those "Oh, I have done nothing wrong and no have no idea why I was
removed" messages we heard for two weeks after James' removal, during which
James avoided to mention that just about a week before he got dismissed
from the Board, he personally emailed his then-Board colleagues and
apologized to them for his mistakes, saying that he himself even considered
stepping down but instead now wanted to ask the other trustees for a
"second chance" since he's a guy who "learn[s] from [his] mistakes"? Of
which we only learnt after insistent nagging by Denny?

I don't know if James' removal from the Board was justified or not, and
maybe it was not. But I find it difficult to come up with a rationale for
suggesting to the world that you were kicked out of the Board without any
reason, when you yourself begged the Board for a second chance just a week
before that decision. When I ask someone for a second chance, I know I
messed something up, and of course I know what that was.

At any rate, not mentioning that fact from the start strikes me as
surprisingly intransparent, particularly so given that James quickly
started to praise himself for his transparent approach, to the extent he
eventually even suggested that his removal from the Board was a result of

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What it means to be a high-tech organization

2016-02-23 Thread pajz

thank you and Brion for some really insightful e-mails. I'll just add one
thought to one of your points.

On 24 February 2016 at 00:41, SarahSV  wrote:

> Should the Foundation be paying for that kind of work
> and thinking in those ways? I would say not.


4. Rethinking Sue's decision that the Foundation would never pay for
content. I can think of several ways in which the Foundation could either
> pay or facilitate payment.

Well, we all know about the problems of giving monetary compensation to
editors. Just thinking aloud here, but I guess if you want to reward
editors in some way, but don't want to pay them directly, there's some
middle ground: Don't pay them, but let them donate their share of the cake.

At the beginning of the year, the WMF would set a budget, add some buffer,
and all that is received on top of that goes to a charity pool which
"belongs" to the editors. However, they can't claim any of the money for
themselves, but instead can choose how much they'd like to give to charity
A, charity B, etc. So, for instance, I'm a fan of the work of UNICEF and a
lesser-known charity called Evidence Action. So "my" compensation for my
Wikipedia work would be an amount X that I prorate between these two
organizations. Other editors would also take part in this scheme.

That would ensure we have a fully-funded (but not over-funded) WMF, we've
all done something good for the world, readers have a way to show
appreciation for editors, we don't negatively affect the intrinsic
motivation of editors by giving them money, all while transaction costs are
low as there'd just be one cumulative transfer per organization.
Economically speaking, I also think it's quite efficient: The WMF has a
great shiny product to showcase: Wikipedia. Wikipedia is something that
lots of people use, and benefit from, so it's rather easy to get them to
donate. On the other hand, if a more "classical" charity spends money on
installing water dispensers in Malawi, that goes unnoticed by most people.
So you'd expect that redirecting money to other charities should also
increase the total amout of donations made. Aside from that, the marginal
utility of the 50,000,001st dollar received the WMF is probably pretty low,
whereas if you're in the business of installing water dispensers, one would
expect it to be pretty high.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Vote for freedom of panorama in France

2015-10-17 Thread pajz
Dear Berard,

thanks for sharing that. I assume you (wisely) borrowed most of the wording
of your proposal directly from the Infosoc directive -- at any rate, the
two texts seem to match word-for-word, with one noticeable difference:
While the Infosoc directive does not require a limitation to particular
categories of works, your proposed amendment would apply (only) to "oeuvres
architecturales et des sculptures;" the Directive meanwhile refers to
"oeuvres, telles que des réalisations architecturales ou des sculptures"
(Art. 5(3)(h)). I'd be interested in the reasoning for that choice. I'm not
criticizing it, I'm just curious about the 'why.'

I noticed recently that the Wikimedia organizations involved in the policy
debates surrounding the "freedom of panorama" repeatedly fell back to such
a limitation, to the extent that the Bernardi/Isaias/Lobert memorandum
) even -- contrary at least to the common understanding of the term among
German/Swiss/Austrian commentators and the few U.S. scholars who
occasionally use the term -- goes so far as to /define/ freedom of panorama
as an "unconditional copyright exception vis-à-vis works of architecture
and sculpture placed permanently in public places." That certainly doesn't
match the everyday understanding of "panorama" either. Surely, a "panorama"
is not, for most people, limited to architectural and sculptural works.
Think of works, say paintings or sgraffiti, on the exterior walls of
buildings. They are not necessarily part of the architectural work (just
see Leicester v. Warner Bros, 232 F. 3d 1212 (9th Cir. 2000) for a U.S.
take on this), so even using pictures of the architectural work could prove
impossible under such a provision. Austrian law, for instance, limits the
applicability to "works of architecture and works of fine art" (s. 54(1)(5)
Copyright Code), which would seem like a considerably less troublesome
alternative to "works of architecture and sculptural works."


On 16 October 2015 at 11:59, Berard Myriam 

> Dear all,
> The French government is currently staging an open online consultation on
> the "Loi sur la République numérique" (Digital Bill) on the internet.
> The public is invited to suggest amendments to 30 proposed measures,
> ranging from net neutrality to making official documents available to all.
> Everyone can propose amendments to the text and vote for or against the
> proposals online.
> The current version of the bill does not include any freedom of panorama
> implementation perspective in France. Wikimedia France is thus proposing an
> amendment to make FoP a reality in France.
> You can:
> 1. Vote for our amendment:
> (requires
> registration)
> 2. Vote against a proposal reduced to a non-commercial use
> 3. Share this around to any person who would be interested in FoP
> Votes are open until October 18th.
> For more information, an article was just published (in French) on the blog
> of Wikimedia France and is available
> .
> Thank you all !
> Myriam BERARD
> Chargée de projet relations publiques & propriété intellectuelle
> Wikimédia France
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia OTRS Annual Report

2015-02-26 Thread pajz
Hi, thank you all for your feedback. Asaf and MZMcBride, I'll try to
answer your questions in one email, hope that's fine:

 I am curious in my volunteer capacity about the prominence of the
 commons-permissions-he queue among other permission queues and relative to
 the size of the Hebrew Wikipedia.  Does anyone have a good theory to
 explain it?

I don't really know about it, and volunteers from that queue probably
could share more insights, but I'd just note that, first, he doesn't
also have a permissions-he queue (as opposed to -de, -en, etc., which
all have two permissions queues, one for Commons and one for other
projects), and, second, there are two people who sent in more than a
fifth of all tickets responded to in 2014 ( 200 tickets), which is
somewhat high. Indeed, if you look at the 10 most frequent customers
you find that they account for almost 400 tickets, which might explain
how even a small language/Wiki community can have quite a busy queue.

 I'm curious about this as well. I see that source code is mentioned at, but I didn't see a
 link off-hand. If a code repository exists somewhere that people could
 contribute to, it might be nice to add a link in the footer. Just poking
 around the HTML page source, the report seems to be built using at least
 jQuery, Bootstrap, and xtable. Very neat, I'd be interested to learn more.

I've added a link. Nothing fancy, really. I just wrote the HTML from
scratch based on Bootstrap with the TOC borrowed from someplace I
don't remember (but the Bootstrap team uses it in their own
documentation as well); the tables look the way they look because of
bootstrap-table (; the two
interactive (simple) charts were made using Chart.js
(; xtable is an R package (I've used R for
the analytical parts that I did) which has a function to print R data
tables/frames as HTML tables, so that was all just copypaste. All
static. The bar charts were created using ggplot2 and the R
API ( Not sure if that's what you wanted
to know, but I hope it helps ;).

Regarding long-term archival of the report, I've answered at
(in short: yes, there will be a PDF, and the web version has also been
saved via


On 26 February 2015 at 11:48, Kasia Odrozek wrote:
 This is a great report on a truly amazing job!
 Thank you Patrik and all OTRS agents across the movement, I'm a fan of

 2015-02-26 7:32 GMT+01:00 MZMcBride



 phoebe ayers wrote:
 p.s. The report layout/webpage is lovely! could it be used for other

 I'm curious about this as well. I see that source code is mentioned at, but I didn't see a
 link off-hand. If a code repository exists somewhere that people could
 contribute to, it might be nice to add a link in the footer. Just poking
 around the HTML page source, the report seems to be built using at least
 jQuery, Bootstrap, and xtable. Very neat, I'd be interested to learn more.

 I also left a note on the wiki talk page about preserving this report. I'm
 pretty concerned that these micro-sites won't last nearly as long as the
 wikis, which is probably fine and to be expected, but I want to make sure
 we don't lose important historical data.


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 Vorstandsreferentin / Executive Advisor

 Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
 Tel. +49 (030) 219 158 260
 Mobil: +49 151 46752534

 Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e.V.
 Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
 der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
 Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.
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[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia OTRS Annual Report

2015-02-25 Thread pajz
Hi everyone,

it is my pleasure to announce the release of the 2014 annual report on
Wikimedia's OTRS and specifically the Volunteer Response Team's
activities. Please find it at

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them at

About OTRS/the Volunteer Response Team: The Volunteer Response Team is
the group of volunteers that handles email traffic related to the
Wikimedia projects, from general inquiries to file permission emails.
The software they use is called OTRS, and our installation of OTRS is
also used by several other users within our movement, including
chapters, WMF staff, oversighters, Wikimania organizers etc. For more
information, see

On behalf of the OTRS administrators,
Patrik (User:Pajz)

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Commons / OTRS is broken

2015-02-04 Thread pajz
Hi Andreas and others,

On 4 February 2015 at 12:31, Andreas Kolbe wrote:

 Just for the avoidance of doubt – when you say these e-mails can take up
 to an hour to process, I presume you mean that it takes one hour just to
 read them and understand the complaint. Am I understanding you correctly?

I'm pretty sure that's what he meant, yeah.

I'd like to second Michael Maggs' suggestion – having real-time statistics
 on OTRS queues available online would aid visibility and transparency
 (assuming such data aren't publicly available already some place I am
 unaware of). It might also help recruitment, and bring in volunteers to
 help with backlogs and bottlenecks.

Yes, I agree with that. Incidentally, Krd just made an attempt at
implementing something like that (i.e. live-reporting the queue size) a
few days (weeks?) ago, and I've suggested we post this to Commons directly
rather than OTRS Wiki. It's pretty much experimental at the moment, and I
think needs some tweaks first (Krd can tell you more), but I imagine this
to be a file on Commons updated automatically on a daily basis, which can
then be transcluded from some maintenance page. That way, Commons
volunteers will get an idea of how permissions is doing at the moment.
Here's an example with up-to-date values:
-- I think that's pretty cool (the graph, that is, not the backlog ...).

Now, as far as other metrics are concerned, it's something that we (as OTRS
admins) are working on, but also something that is not too easy given OTRS'
built-in reporting functionalities are so rudimentary, they can hardly be
used to produce anything meaningful. Starting this month, however, we'll
post monthly reports (rather than just an annual report), featuring first
response times, workload distributions and ticket load. These will be
posted with a bit of a delay (to be able to report the response time), i.e.
the January report is due at the beginning of March. Our annual report for
2014 -- which will be signicantly expanded vis-à-vis the 2013 doc -- will
be posted sometime during the next two weeks (an announcement will also be
sent to this list).

It's likely that there is quite some bid-ask spread when it comes to
getting good stats, but I very much welcome your suggestions.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How to fix Commons

2014-12-13 Thread pajz

On 13 December 2014 at 19:46, Bruentrup wrote:

 WMF must implement a professional ticketed system for media takedowns,
 and DMCAs must be the exception rather than the norm.

hmm, do you have evidence of this? There are often delays when it comes to
acknowledging the receipt of permission statements (due to the high amount
of such emails), but frankly I have never heard of copyright infringement
notices not being processed. From my impression this is one area where we
are particularly swift to react, and respecting third-party copyrights is
one of the cornerstones of the project (incidentally, the original thread
here was started precisely because, supposedly, Commons users take
copyright law too seriously). That doesn't mean there might not be an
outlier occasionally, but almost all of these copyright-related complaints
that I see are dealt with within a few days at the most. (That doesn't, and
shouldn't, mean that everything is acted on just because someone claims
their rights were violated without providing any proof of that claim. In
this case it might be necessary to resort to the DMCA's notice process
since it's the only way to at least expose the claimant to some danger
should his assertion prove untrue.)

Also, the extremely low number of DMCA take-down requests (see
seems to contradict your claim that they are the norm. It would be highly
implausible that you can run a platform like the Wikimedia projects at 58
DMCA requests in two years (apparently less than 10/year related to
Commons) unless you have a pretty efficient mechanism apart from that in
place to address such issues.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising banner interfering with Google results

2014-12-07 Thread pajz
On 7 December 2014 at 12:19, Fæ wrote:

 Wow, 8 million returns on Google. Er, Lila, someone, how about making
 a decision to pause using fundraising banners until this is fixed or
 at least we understand why it is happening?

See Erik's comment somewhere in this kilometre-long thread on the
fundraising banners:

This came to our attention this morning SF time, and we quickly deployed
fixes on our end:

This should fix the issue, but Google will need to recrawl the affected
pages. We've already reached out to our contacts there to see if this can
be done more quickly.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fundraising banners (again)

2014-12-03 Thread pajz
On 3 December 2014 at 14:09, Liam Wyatt wrote:

 Dear WMF Fundraising team, please do not take this thread (or this email)
 as an attack on yourselves or the professionalism that you apply to your

I would suspect that what drives this is indeed the professionalism of the
Fundraising team. I don't mean to be overly speculative, but what we are
talking about here is an issue that doesn't readily translate into metrics.
Creating and gathering metrics for damage to the Wikipedia brand would be
extremely difficult and expensive. On the other hand, creating and
gathering metrics for the number/amount/... of donations received is easy
and cheap. Relatedly, damage to the Wikipedia brand is not something the
impact of which you feel directly, while the number/amount/... of
donations received is something that immediately translates into WMF's

So I assume the Fundraising team is in a somewhat uncomfortable position
here. Getting them to change the way they run the campaigns might, in this
case, really not work on its own; rather, in my view, any decision on this
likely has to come from the very top of the Foundation (those that
Fundraising reports to), who, to some degree, have to place their gut
feeling over the implications derived from the available/feasible set of
hard quantitative metrics.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] FDC funds allocation recommendation is up

2014-11-23 Thread pajz
On 23 November 2014 at 11:25, Fæ wrote:

 Having carefully read through some of the FDC rationales I thought
 they were appropriately strategic and made it pretty obvious exactly
 what those chapters that did not get what they were hoping for, need
 to change in order to bid more successfully.

I am not entirely sure about this. My concern is essentially that it is
unclear to me how the FDC determines the extent of the cuts it makes and
which item(s) of the budget get(s) cut by what amount of money. For
instance, when to Committee suggests to reduce the allocation to WMDE by
EUR 360,000 vis-à-vis what they requested (-30%), it is not clear to me how
the Committee arrived at that amount of money.

There are plenty of possibilities, after all: It could be that they looked
at individual items in the budget and found that the chapter overspends on
these (in which case the Committee must have some idea of the amount of
money they would find justifiable); it could be that the Committee members
were generally angry about the alleged poor quality of the proposal and
made an across-the-board cut; or it could be a combination of the two. But
either way, while the FDC -- righly -- demands from chapters to present
their budgets at a high level of detail (particularly if high sums are
involved), the same, I would say, also applies to the FDC itself. An
uninvolved third party should be able to see why you cut WMDE's budget by
EUR 360,000 rather than by 150,000 or 550,000. I'm not seeing this. (Btw,
I'm just using WMDE as an example because of the large amount of money
involved; I think the issue I'm referring to applies to other proposals as

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] FDC funds allocation recommendation is up

2014-11-23 Thread pajz
Hi Dariusz,

On 23 November 2014 at 14:04, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:

 the current framework ONLY allows to make across the board cuts. Sadly. We
 would very much rather have a possibility to recommend some projects to be
 funded or not, but these are unrestricted funds.

While the latter may be true, I do not see why that would be a requirement
to what I suggested. It is nonetheless possible to lay down transparently
why an entity's proposed budget was considered too big and which parts of
it you do not find worth funding. As far as I can see, this is not by any
means affected by the Committee's inability to impose binding restrictions
on the use of allocated funds.

My point is this: What I think the Committee currently provides is a) a
list of things that the FDC members like, b) a list of things that the FDC
members don't like, and c) some recommended amount of money. What's missing
is a link between a)/b) and c). If I were to vandalize the page tonight and
reduce WMDE's the recommended amount by EUR 300,000, would anybody notice a
discrepancy? I don't think so. I'm not saying, by the way, that the FDC
should only be able to make cuts to specific items in the budget. This is
sometimes not possible, and that's fine. But I do think that this should be
made explicit (We reduced the total amount by 10% due to concerns about
governance.) At the same time, there are arguments that only seem to
jusitfy item-specific cuts. When you say that a certain programme doesn't
generate sufficient results or is for other reasons not something you feel
comfortable funding, then I could imagine something like We do not think
that programme xy should be funded, so we reduced the recommended amount by
that amount.

Finally, I would argue that this is also an important issue of
accountability. If you think it through, the way you present these cuts
make it effectively impossible to appeal a decision by the FDC. If you give
six reasons why a chapter should get EUR 360,000 less than requested,
without putting numbers to it or even making a priorization, how is the
chapter supposed to appeal that decision? If they say Well, your third
argument isn't really correct, you can always say But look, there a five

Best wishes,
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] FDC funds allocation recommendation is up

2014-11-23 Thread pajz
Hi Dariusz,

thanks for the quick response.

On 23 November 2014 at 14:52, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:

 I am no certain that we could (or should) account for every 10% cut by
 apportioning it to something (10% because of governance, 10% because of
 lack of clarify of proposal, etc.). But of course this is not necessarily
 what you're proposing, you're asking for MORE detail, basically.

I'll comment on that at the end of my email.

 Please, observe that we did recommend Wikidata to be fully sustained.

Just to be clear -- I am not affiliated with WMDE. I've kept out of
chapter-related issues since I started contributing to the Wikimedia
projects in 2007, and I do not feel a need to change that. So when I'm
exemplifying a point here with the German chapter's proposal, that is not
due to my desire to argue their case, but I'm weighing in because I truly
believe that the process itself should be reflected. The fact that you
recommend to secure funding for Wikidata is therefore of relevance to the
German chapter, but not really something that matters to the case I'm

Also, remember, that all appeals are not going to the FDC at all - we will
 not have ANY opportunity to argue one way or another in case of all
 appeals. The Board will consider them, and will base not only on our
 recommendations, but also on the notes from confidential proceedings of the
 FDC committee (two Board members are non-voting observers). There is also
 an ombudsperson overseeing the whole process formally.

Ok. What I mean is that you can't make a substantiated complaint about the
FDC's allocation if the Committee doesn't indicate how it arrived at that

In any case, I understand that it would be more desirable to see every
 dollar cut connected to one item of our feedback. I am not certain, though,
 if we will be able to do so in the future in all cases (but we may try,
 when possible).

I'm not quite sure I understand that. Can you maybe explain how the
Committee does currently determine the recommended amount? I mean,
practically speaking. I would have guessed that you do discuss indiviual
aspects and quantify the impact on your recommended allocation.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] FDC funds allocation recommendation is up

2014-11-23 Thread pajz
Thank you, Dariusz, for your explanations. I did not imagine the decision
to be formed that way. I would have assumed that you look at individual
proposals / budgets, discuss them, identify potential weaknessess, and then
go through that list of potential weaknesses and discuss their budgetary
implications. (Incidentally, someone points out at the German Wikipedia's
Kurier talk page right now that the FDC's cut to WMCH's proposal is roughly
equal to the cost of the additional staff intended for the Kiwix project,
which at least re-assures me that I'm not the only person with that view on
the process.) Hmm. Well, in this case, of course, the process in
unaccountable by design, in the sense that if the Committee reports We
felt that A, then nobody can ever know how that feeling (as opposed to 10
other feelings by FDC members) impacted the recommended amount.

I'm not saying this approach is generally wrong or anything, I just have
doubts it is a good one. I personally would fear that such a design fosters
budget decisions that are based too much on gut feeling as opposed to the
actual deficiencies of the proposal. And for the affected chapters it's
basically impossible to make a substantiated appeal, just as it is
basically impossible for the public to criticize a decision in a
substantiated way, since I can only criticize your reported findings, but
never ever know how each of them relates to the actual outcome of the
process (which, of course, is what matters).


On 23 November 2014 at 16:28, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:

  I'm not quite sure I understand that. Can you maybe explain how the
  Committee does currently determine the recommended amount? I mean,
  practically speaking. I would have guessed that you do discuss indiviual
  aspects and quantify the impact on your recommended allocation.
 Practically, before our meeting we work on reading the proposals and
 evaluations, as well as community's feedback, and request additional
 information, if necessary. Then we make anonymous initial allocations. Then
 we meet and discuss each case in rounds (at least two per proposal, more or
 longer if necessary - e.g. we spent definitely more time discussing WMDE
 proposal than any other one this round). In each round we go into
 discussing the details of the project. In the first round we typically
 would end with additional anonymous allocation (each time we also see the
 results - how they are clustered, the mean, the median, deviation, etc.).
 After seeing the allocations we discuss WHY each of us proposes a
 cut/increase/full funding and have a free exchange of arguments. We repeat
 this process, then we move to gradients of agreement tool (allowing to
 express 7 different shades of agreement/disagreement for a proposed
 amount). We continue discussions and arguments, including considerations of
 what will need to be cut in terms of budgetary items, whether there may be
 need to make staff cuts (which we really try to treat responsibly, we know
 that people's lives are involved), until we have agreement on a certain
 allocation. In absolutely most cases the consensus is really high

 dariusz pundit
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] FDC funds allocation recommendation is up

2014-11-23 Thread pajz
Hi Dariusz,

On 23 November 2014 at 18:05, Dariusz Jemielniak wrote:

 All in all, this is
 unrestricted funding scheme - all of our recommendations are basically
 advice, we cannot really make demands on what needs to be expanded, and
 what needs to be shut down.

sure, I understand this, but I'm sure that you and the other members are
making such demands anyway (internally); my suggestion is to make that a
part of the deliberation process of the entire committee, and then put a
price tag to individual concerns. The chapter can still make its own
decisions about how to spend their money, but at least it facilitates both
the affected chapter's and the public's understanding of what's going on.

One more question on a somewhat different subject, if you allow: I was
wondering about your suggestion (to WMDE in this case, or to other chapters
as well?) to fund some projects (in this case Wikidata) outside of the FDC
process. Is this borne out of a general strategic consideration of the FDC
or is this something specific to the Wikidata project? In WMDE's case it
sounds a bit, well, dangerous from the chapter's perspective (obviously if
one moves the one big success out of the ordinary FDC process, this gives
the FDC completely free hand in setting next year's allocation at no risk
of endangering the continued success of Wikidata), but generally speaking
it does sound like an interesting approach if you're considering this for
other projects as well. I'm just asking because I haven't heard of such a
funding scheme before, and it doesn't seem to fit in any of the existing
grants programs of the WMF, right?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open Letter to Lila Regarding Access to Non-Public Information Policy

2014-06-29 Thread pajz
Trillium, while I sympathise with several of the points you're making, the
Board has approved the current version of the policy. In light of this,
your insinuation that the Executive Director could simply alter the policy
to her liking seems somewhat far-fetched. Just because staff have not yet
implemented the new version doesn't mean they can just make it disappear.

Nathan, several suggestions have been made how identities can be confirmed.
The proponents of the now-enacted laissez-faire policy continuously suggest
that the Foundation would have had to reinvent the wheel here. However, all
sorts of organizations need to confirm the identity of individuals. Just
look at how banks do it. In Switzerland, you can make a copy of your ID and
have it certified by your post office, then mail it to the WMF along with
your signed confidentiality agreement. In Germany, companies use the
PostIdent process which the WMF can use as well (Austria has something
similar), or you go to a bank and have your signature certified. Canada
Post provides a verification service, etc. And what if there are countries
where no such process is available? What's the issue? These users can still
just copy their passports or IDs. The policy still makes sense if we can't
really be certain of the identity of some volunteers, and this could be
reviewed on a case-by-case basis. It's not like we're talking about an
inordinate amount of people here.

Pine, even if we were merely talking about retaining copies of IDs, the
argument misses that there is not only the potential case of volunteers who
intend to misuse the tools already at the time they are given access. Based
on experience from Wikipedia, the much more likely scenario seems to be
that users are indeed valuable community members when they get access but
later become frustrated / change their personality / ... and only then
start to make trouble. If their identity were confirmed at one point, this
would constrain them for all time to come.

On 29 June 2014 08:31, Pine W wrote:


 I am having difficulty understanding how retaining copies of possibly
 forged identification documents helps anyone with holding accountable any
 rogue functionary or OTRS user. Can you explain that please? Surely someone
 who intends to misuse the tools will be smart enough to forge an
 identification document. Even in the United States, forging identification
 documents is not impossible, and the police occasionally catch people
 creating such documents.


 On Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 7:42 AM, Trillium Corsage

  You said so if you want to argue that such users should be positively
  identified, then please make some practical suggestions (which you have
  conspicuously avoided doing so far). How should identities be confirmed?
  what circumstances should the ID information be disclosed, and to whom?
  What, fundamentally, is the usefulness in collecting this information to
  begin with? What are the use cases in which it is necessary?
  It would be a good faith evaluation of the copy of the identification
  document provided. There's no need to be quarrelsome about the practical
  suggestions I've conspicuously avoided. I did at least suggest a secure
  filing cabinet and making use of a removable hard-drive. As to the
  criteria by which an identification document is deemed good enough, I'd
  suppose those would be developed on a good faith basis by the action
  officer. Nobody is depending on perfection by that individual. The
  principle would be that the document appears genuine, has the minimum
  elements settled on by the policy (name, age, address, possibly other
  elements). If the document is in a foreign language, say Swahili, and the
  WMF person can't read that, I would think it would be a do the best you
  can and file it by respective Wikipedia and username. None of these are
  insurmountable obstacles. The answer to this is hard is not well,
  just stop doing it. The answer is this is important, let's just do the
  best we can.
  I have called for a basic examination of the document, not any
  verification process. I'd suppose if the document looked suspect in some
  way, then a telephone call or follow-up could be done, and that would be
  verification, but I would expect that to be the exception, not the
  Again, these details would be settled by the hands-on person, not by me
  attempting to write a ten-page standard operating procedure while Nathan
  zings me with what are your specifics on the mailing list.
  What is the usefulness in collecting this information to begin with?
  Well, I thought the premise here was obvious. It was obvious enough to
  those that crafted the previous policy in the first place. It establishes
  some level of accountability to those individuals accorded access to the
  personally-identifying information of editors. Personal accountability