Thank you very much, Marc, for this clear and sound statement. It
seems to me that there are many discussions that are far away from the
real points, like the multitude of information on our pages. I once
counted how many links there are on the German main page of Wikimedia
Commons, I stopped when I reached 170...
By the way, I enjoyed your talk at Wikimania, and your enthousiasm
about many tools - actually, tools that often help to overcome the
downsides of our wiki pages.
Kind regards

2014-09-01 17:10 GMT+02:00 Marc A. Pelletier <>:
> Warning, tl;dr rant below in which live my personal opinion.
> On 09/01/2014 08:00 AM, Craig Franklin wrote:
>> fter 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.
> That /was/ a bad botch; and (IMO) the reason why that happened is that
> someone set a hard deploy date that should never have been set in stone
> and then held to it even though VE was clearly not ready.  (It is *now*
> at a point with rollout would have been plausible).
> Clearly nobody at WMF Engineering is going to do *that* again.
> But I also don't think that was causative in any way; the tension
> between WMF holding the reins to the servers and (part of) the
> communities was the same years before that.  ACCTRIAL anyone?
> The fundamental issue is that the WMF is attempting to provide some
> direction, and the communities do not want any (for various and
> divergent reasons).
> I side with the WMF in this; not because they sign my paycheck (I'm in
> Ops - I have zero to do with dev work) but because I've been a
> Wikipedian for >10 years and I *see* that the communities have no
> capacity for change - or that what little change manages to gather
> micro-consensus is local and often shortsighted.  The projects are
> directionless, and it shows in the increasing stagnation and calcification.
> Are all the attempts by the WMF at providing direction successes?  Not
> even close.  Some of the things they tried ranged from merely misguided
> to downright daft (also IMO, obviously).
> The process *does* need community engagement.  That'd seriously
> increases the value of what (and how) the WMF does things, and likely
> reduce the number of bad ideas from the outset.
> But the community engagement it needs is one that is done in good faith;
> something which I have yet to see more than exceptions here and there.
> It also needs fewer reactionnary hotheads.  Editing sucks.  Reading is
> lacking.  Most of the tooling is crap.  That X editors have gotten used
> to it and have implemented piles of workarounds doesn't justify keeping
> the old shit around.
> MV is a perfect example.  99% of the problems it objectively has (we
> ignore here matters of taste) derive from the difficulty of parsing the
> multitude overcomplicated templates living on File: pages to work around
> the fact that a wikitext page is complete and utter crap at storing
> metadata.  It's not an argument against MV, it's an argument for getting
> rid of the horrid way we handle File: pages with ad-hoc workarounds.
> The *correct* solution is to fix the damn image pages, not to remove MV.
> How is it that the old saying goes?  "'We've always done things this
> way' is the most dangerous statement in any language?"
> -- Marc
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