"No employee should be
made to receive that sort of harassment in the course of their job, no
matter how much you disagree with them."

How did it come to be part of Erik's job to create superprotect and attempt to 
force the community to accept it? As the WMF is defined in its mission 
statement, its purpose is to "empower and enable" the community to create the 
projects. Somehow disabling the community came to be seen as legitimate. Erik 
was, we suspect, highly involved in that, but really this is between Erik and 
his management.

The wiki communities often harass unpopular messengers. This isn't just about 
Erik, it's about how wikis function, and unless the WMF manages to facilitate 
clearer and more efficient and more reliable community process, it's very 
likely to stay that way, because these kinds of community characteristics are 
self-reinforcing, since anything else is driven away. Solutions are prohibited, 
crushed immediately.

The real issue in this affair, as many have noted, was not MediaViewer, it was 
about power and control, which are survival issues, instinctive for human 
beings. Anyone who was surprised by the intensity of the response doesn't know 
human beings. Not surprising, I suppose, for software people. But shocking for 
the WMF as a whole, so I'm hoping that there is some real soul-searching in the 
WMF offices. This was *entirely predictable.*

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax (413) 584-3151 business (413) 695-7114 cell
I'm so excited I can't wait for Now.

> From: Craig Franklin <cfrank...@halonetwork.net>
>To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org> 
>Sent: Monday, September 1, 2014 8:00 AM
>Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Next steps regarding WMF<->community disputes       
>about deployments
>I think you've hit the nail on the head here.  It's not about MediaViewer
>at all, it's about two things:
>#1: The frustration of some volunteers that they feel their views are not
>being adequately considered in major deployments of new software.
>#2: A lack of confidence and faith in the WMF Engineering team to deliver
>quality software.
>The second is the more dangerous one at this point.  After the catastrophic
>aborted launch of the Visual Editor, complete with numerous bugs that
>should have been picked up in even a cursory unit testing scheme or
>regression testing scheme prior to being deployed to a productive
>environment, there's not a good deal of faith left.  The technical problems
>with MediaViewer were not as serious, but since a significant portion of
>the power user base was expecting a failure, they jumped on the flaws that
>it did have, and here we are.  To be honest, if Erik were to turn water
>into wine at this point, people would still complain, and loudly, that he
>had provided them with red when they wanted white.
>I'm not sure that the solutions that have been offered; a new deployment
>process, or a tech council, are going to be sufficient to correct the real
>problem, which at this point is largely one of perception.  Similarly, I
>don't think that the WMF adopting a complete hands-off approach as some
>seem to be demanding is going to lead to anything other than stagnation as
>individual communities squabble indecisively over what changes should be
>made.  I do know that if it's not fixed, that pretty much every major
>deployment of new features is going to follow this same pattern, which is
>obviously highly undesirable.
>What I'd suggest is that we leave the "emotional hostility" at the door and
>try to be reasonable.  Neither side is going to get exactly what they want,
>and that is to be expected.  To be honest, some of the invective that has
>been directed at Foundation staff has been completely over the top; phrases
>like "Taliban diplomacy" or honest-to-god comparisons to the Nazis don't
>move us towards a solution or make one seem like someone that can be
>intelligently reasoned with, they only harden feelings on both sides and
>make a suitable arrangement being found less likely.  No employee should be
>made to receive that sort of harassment in the course of their job, no
>matter how much you disagree with them.
>Craig Franklin
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