Obviously discussions on these six topics are not new as they are
frequently discussed on a number of Wikimedia mailing lists and forums.
Ideas are often put forward that attract some who say it will work
wonderfully, while others doubt if it will work at all, while a third group
think it will do harm.  One of the issues that frequently arises is the
need for some capacity to experiment  Will there be any support for testing
ideas? That is, to be bold and try something instead of just talking about
it? E.g. repeal policy XYZ for a month and see if it makes a difference and
whether it is for better or worse. And of course some ideas might require
engineering support to test. Will that be available?

To illustrate a concrete example, what if we wanted to trial a grace period
for new users (one of the example ideas)? Right now, it is very easy for
anyone to undo a newbie's edit and WP:NOBITE is routinely ignored. So, to
implement a grace period, we would probably need to do some re-engineering,
perhaps require an extra step in the "undo" process where the reverter had
to acknowledge that this was a new user within the grace period and then
asked if the edit appeared to be good faith (and then directed on to more
appropriate ways to respond to good faith edits by newbies) or bad faith
(allowed to continue with the undo action). Will there be support for
experimentation or for engineering needed for experimentation? Will there
be support from the metrics team around those experiments to collect
appropriate qualitative and quantitative data to assist drawing conclusions
as to whether the experiments were beneficial or not?

It seems to me that without support for experimentation it will be
difficult for communities to put forward ideas as even the formulation of
ideas will be bogged down from a lack of evidence. As you say, talk is
cheap and it is clear that years of talking have not made a great
difference. It's time to experiment if only on a small scale (a subset of
users, a subset of articles) etc. Are the resources to do this available?

Thanks

Kerry
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