OK, long thread, I'll try to answer in one here...

* I've been writing code for over thirty years now, so I'm the first to say
that technology in not "the" answer to social or structural issues. It can,
however, mitigate some of those issues, or at least show new ways of
dealing with them

* New things are not necessarily good just because they are new. What seems
to be an improvement, especially for a technical mind, can be a huge step
backwards for the "general population". On the other hand, projects like
the Visual Editor can make work easier for many people, but few of them
will realize what a daunting undertaking such a project is. The complexity
of getting this right is staggering. Expectations of getting it all
perfect, all feature-complete, on the initial release, are unrealistic to
say the least. And many of the details can not be tested between a few
developers; things need to be tested under real-world conditions, and
testing means they can break. Feedback about problems with a software
release are actually quite welcome, but condemning an entire product
forever because the first version didn't do everything 100% right is just
plain stupid. If Wikipedia had been judged by such standards in 2001, there
would be no Wikipedia today, period. Technology improves all the time, be
it Visual Editor, Media Viewer, or Wikidata; but in the community, there is
a sense of "it was bad, it must be still bad", and I have a feeling that
this is extended to new projects by default these days.

* In summary, what I criticize is that few people ask "how can we make this
better"; all they ask is "how can we get rid of it". This attitude prevents
the development of just about any new approach. If the result of a long,
thorough analysis is "it's bad, and it can't possibly be made better",
/then/ is the time to scrap it, but no sooner.

* Of course, "the community" is an ill-defined construct to begin with.
When I use that phrase above, I do mean a small but prominent subgroup in
that demographic, mostly "old hands" of good editors, often with a "fan
club" of people repeating the opinions of the former on talk pages, without
really investigating on their own. After all, they are good editors, so
they must know what they are talking about, right?

* As I tried to say in the interview, I do understand such a conservative
approach all to well. We worked hard for Wikipedia to get where it is now,
and with trolls, on the left, vandals on the right, and half-done tech
experiments in front, retreating into the safety of the castle seems like a
good choice. And sometimes it is. But while we can defend the castle
comfortably for some years to come, we will never grow beyond its walls. I
think we are already seeing the first fallout from this stagnation, in
terms of dropping page views (not to mention editors). If people stop
coming to a Wikipedia with 5 million articles, 10 million articles would
not make much difference by themselves; more content is good, but it will
not turn this supertanker around on its own. We do have some time left to
change things, without undue haste, but we won't have forever.

* Just to make sure, I am NOT saying to throw away all the things that have
proven to work for us; I'm just saying we shouldn't restrict us to them.

* As for this "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia" sentiment - bullshit. (I
would like to be more eloquent here, but for once, this is the perfect
word.) Wikipedia and Wikidata are two very different beasts, though they do
have an overlap. And that overlap should be used on Wikipedia, where it can
help, even in the gigantic English Wikipedia, which covers but a third of
Wikidata items. Transcluded data in infoboxes; automatically generated
lists; a data source for timelines. Those are functions that will improve
Wikipedia, and will help especially the hundreds of smaller language
editions that are just getting towards critical mass. And there,
automatically generated descriptions can help get to that mass, until
someone writes an actual article in that language.

* So Google is using Wikidata in their search results? Good! In case you
have forgotten, our mission is not to have a nice article about your pet
topic, or have humans write articles that are little better than
bot-generated stubs, or have your name in ten thousand article histories;
the mission is the dissemination of free knowledge. And the more third
parties use the knowledge we assemble, even (or especially!) if it is that
other 800 pound gorilla on the web, the better we fulfil that mission.

I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)

On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 7:10 PM Andrew Lih <andrew....@gmail.com> wrote:

> I cannot speak for Magnus, but there’s a distinction that needs to be made:
>
> Writing, “… all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not because
> they are a problem, but because they represent change” is not maligning all
> editors who complain.
>
> It simply says that those who resist innovation because it is a change from
> the status quo, and without solid reasoning, should reconsider. The
> detailed analysis of Jonathan Cardy and Risker criticizing VE’s suboptimal
> 2013 launch are well-informed and legit. But many, unfortunately, don’t
> apply such high standards for analysis.
>
> -Andrew
>
>
> On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:13 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > After the assertion "From the Media Viewer, the Visual Editor, to
> Wikidata
> > transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
> > because they are a problem, but because they represent change," I would
> > suggest a very large "citation needed" tag.
> >
> > Pine
> > _______________________________________________
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