MZMcBride <z <at>> writes:

> Forwarding this to wikimedia-l as it doesn't seem to be very technical in
> nature, but definitely seems worthy of discussion.
> MZMcBride
> Danny Horn wrote:
> >For a while now, the Collaboration team has been working on Flow, the
> >structured discussion system. I want to let you know about some changes in
> >that long-term plan.
> >
> >While initial announcements about Flow said that it would be a universal
> >replacement for talk pages, the features that were ultimately built into
> >Flow were specifically forum-style group discussion tools. But article and
> >project talk pages are used for a number of important and complex
> >processes that those tools aren't able to handle, making Flow unsuitable
> >for deployment on those kinds of pages.
> >
> >To better address the needs of our core contributors, we're now focusing
> >our strategy on the curation, collaboration, and admin processes that take
> >place on a variety of pages. Many of these processes use complex
> >workarounds -- templates, categories, transclusions, and lots of
> >instructions -- that turn blank wikitext talk pages into structured
> >workflows. There are gadgets and user scripts on the larger wikis to help
> >with some of these workflows, but these tools aren't standardized or
> >universally available.
> >

Nearly every ambitious project starts with huge promises and fizzles out
with a "change in focus". What's the underlying issue here? How can we get a
product to a point where it's deployed and usable? I know there's a problem
with scope creep for Wikimedia projects (due to design by committee), but
that alone can't be the reason.

I know no one wants to admit failure, but when WMF says something is in
maintenance mode they really mean they're killing the project. Can there be
a postmortem for this, so that we can at least learn something from the failure?

- Ryan

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