On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 4:41 AM,  <birgitte...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> You must live in a very simplistic world, but I am afraid it does resemble 
> reality very well. Here are how some various types of things and people are 
> funded. Tool server=chapter. Developers= Mostly WMF but some chapter. 
> Marketing professionals=WMF but no chapter I am aware of. Legal 
> professionals=WMF and chapter.  Administration of fundraising campaign=WMF 
> and chapters. You will not find any bright lines in reality.

Indeed. And given the magnitude and multitude of problems we are
trying to solve as a movement, I think it's absolutely appropriate and
desirable for chapters to undertake, for example, software engineering
projects (I have reservations about infrastructure-hosting projects).
One of the advantages of our open source model is that we already have
to operate under a standard assumption that others may want to make
significant contributions without centralized management thereof, so
we _should_ be able to accommodate chapter-driven software engineering

The Wikidata project is an example of this. What's notable about
Wikidata is not just that it's a very significant scale project
(>$1.5M in funding), but also that the funding doesn't come from the
classic contribution streams (online donations) but from a network of
funders that Wikimedia Germany brought together. The project would not
have been started or funded without Wikimedia Germany, which really
validates the importance of chapters.

Chapters indeed have the potential to build out a significant presence
to advance engineering and product development, and I'd love to see
more of that in future with regard to underrepresented technical
priorities (e.g. geo-data related functionality, quality management
tools, ProofreadPage style functionality, etc.). In addition to adding
to our overall ability to fund and manage projects, they have the
ability to recruit and build offices in their geographies, potentially
at a much lower salary cost than we do in the SF Bay Area as our
primary HQ.

The one caveat I have is that, if chapters don't contribute, as part
of this process, fully by means of participating in code review and
general MediaWiki development, there's a risk that any such
chapter-driven engineering work contributes to the overall backlog,
and requires adding to a centralized pool of resources. Moreover, a
short term project with limited funding has the potential to also add
to the long term maintenance/improvement burden for WMF.  We're trying
to manage this balance very carefully with the Wikidata project, and
we'll draw a lot of lessons from the project as it continues.

All best,
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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

Wikimedia-l mailing list
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l

Reply via email to