Erik Moeller wrote:
>I'm not seeing any developer contract time allocated to GLAM tooling
>work yet. At the same time I'm seeing reports of breakage and missing
>functionality in important tools running in Labs. To the extent that
>this breakage is due to Labs infrastructure or access to data, it's
>our job (WMF) to fix it and you should (continue to) poke us to do so
>-- but to the extent that it can be addressed in the tools themselves,
>I'd love to see chapters take this on directly.

Maybe, but we need to clearly define what a smart investment of resources
looks like. In my opinion, it's much closer to the development of an
extension such as GWToolset than it is to trying to have someone hack at a
few PHP scripts on Wikimedia Labs.

Labs is a playground and Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums are
serious enough to warrant a proper investment of resources, in my view.
Magnus and many others develop magnificent tools, but my sense is that
they're largely proofs of concept, not final implementations.

We need to build infrastructure, and while Labs is itself infrastructure,
it's really a sandbox for neat ideas, not a proper resolution to technical
problems facing the wikis.

If people want to substantively contribute to the technical ecosystem,
that requires fully integrating into it. This typically means developing
and supporting a deployed MediaWiki extension or, more rarely, integrating
directly into MediaWiki core. This type of development requires an
intelligent and focused set of requirements for new extensions or
development projects that gets a thorough review (and sign-off) by the
people who will ultimately be deploying and indefinitely hosting this code.

GLAMs and Chapters could make all kinds of investments into new
functionality for the projects. Improved Wikidata modeling and data entry
into Wikidata, an in-browser SVG (or rasterized image) editor, better
media search, enhancements to Wikisource/OCR, etc. There's no shortage of
work to be done, but it's moderately challenging currently to develop
scalable solutions to the larger problems. If GLAMs and Chapters aren't
willing to try to tackle a harder problem, there are also plenty of
smaller improvements needed to both MediaWiki and its hundreds of
extensions that could also benefit everyone. But again, the focus would be
integrating into the Wikimedia technical platform and fixing issues in
production, rather than trying to make Labs scripts and tools better.


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