On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 3:29 AM, Wil Sinclair <w...@wllm.com> wrote:
> This somewhat circuitously brings us back to the subject. We have a
> chance to rollout Flow the right way. There are some questions that
> come to mind that might tell us if we're headed for a big win or a
> bigger debacle:
> 1) Is the WMF working with the community as closely and substantially
> as possible to make sure Flow is ready for primetime?
> ...
> What can we do to make the Flow rollout as smooth as starting '''now'''?

IMO the WMF should stop focusing on English Wikipedia as a target
deploy site, and stop allowing its product management team and WMF
staff in general to be salesman for it - it is scaring the community
that all WMF staff seem to be so heavily vested in this 'product' as
the salvation of the wikis.

Risker's assessment of the design problems is spot on.  As such, a
typical WMF-style big bang deploy of Flow is going to be the most
almighty bang the WMF has ever seen.  And the community is rightly
worried that 2015 is going to be the year that WMF forces Flow onto
the projects using its typical deploy methodology.

Start development of a rollout plan, and gain consent from the
communities on that rollout plan.

After rollout on MediaWiki has stablised, Meta-Wiki should be high on
the deploy list, as should any wiki which has LQT enabled by community
request.  Until discussion-focused wikis, such as Meta, universally
*likes* Flow, trialling it or rolling it out onto any
'work'/content-focused wiki without community consent is silly.  Until
it is satisfactorily deployed onto at least one non-English language
content project, it shouldnt be deployed onto English Wikipedia, as it
is safe to assume that the design will be too English Wikipedia
specific, and will fail badly on non-English projects, becoming
another WMF tool which looks nice on English Wikipedia but other
projects cant have it because it is designed wrong.

Allow project level opt-out of the Flow rollout plan.  Focus on the
projects that want it, and find/employ community advocates with the
necessary language skills for the projects at the top of the rollout
plan. They need to start work *now*.  They need to document existing
project workflows, talking with bot operators and site admins
especially when developing a migration plan.  Bot and gadget software
will need to be re-engineered *before* the deploy.

John Vandenberg

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