Once the VisualEditor was fit for purpose and a good deployment strategy
had been developed, the English Wikipedia community overwhelmingly
supported rolling it out. (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_125#Gradually_enabling_VisualEditor_for_new_accounts
)

It's not Luddism, it's not "resistance to change", it's not "power users"
grumpy about newbies having an easier time, it's not anything like that.
It's that in the state it was initially released in, the thing did not work.

So yes, by all means, let's try new things. But try:

1: Asking us what we actually want, before coding something up and feeling
obligated to push it out. People are a lot more receptive to something they
asked for than something being forced upon them. That's been an issue with
Flow. It's not that it doesn't work well (though it doesn't), it's that it
wasn't wanted to start with. So instead of "Here's the new discussion
system", ask "What can we do to make our system of discussion better?"

2: Make sure it works. Have an opt-in beta phase. Doesn't have to be
perfect, but certainly make sure it's not breaking page formatting all over
the place. You'll notice, for example, that there wasn't really any
resistance to HHVM. It worked well, it was desirable, it was clearly fit
for purpose. So no, there isn't just a reflexive change aversion. Though
the previous missteps and hamfisted followups have, rather ironically,
created a lot of the reflexive change aversion that people said was there.

3: Be nice (but NOT condescending or patronizing) if an issue comes up.
"Superprotect" alienated people right quickly, and turned what could have
been a productive (if tense) conversation into a war. Same with refusal to
budge on VE and the arrogant tone several people took. Yes, some people
might be rude about objecting to the change. Don't sink to their level. If
they call the new software a steaming pile, ask "Could you offer more
concrete feedback?"

4: Don't surprise people. Not everyone follows the Village Pumps or what
have you. If a major new feature is set to roll out, do banners, do
watchlist notices, do whatever it takes, but make sure people know. When
Mediaviewer was rolled out, all of a sudden, I was just having images act
completely different. I had no idea what was going on. People are more
amenable to change if you brace them for it. Even better, do that to
develop a rollout strategy in advance with the community. (You already know
they want it; they asked for it. Right?)

5: If at all feasible, offer an easy opt-out. People are actually more
likely to give something a decent try if they know they can switch back if
they don't like it.

6: Show willingness to budge. "No, we won't do ACTRIAL, period." "You get
VE, like it or not." "You're getting Mediaviewer even if we have to develop
a new protection level to cram it down your throats!" That type of
hamfisted, I'm-right-you're-wrong approach will gear people right up for a
fight. Fights are bad. Discussions are good. But people don't like to talk
to a brick wall.

Many of us were asking for a WYSIWYG editor for some time, because we very
much need a way to reach out to prospective editors who are intimidated by
wikimarkup or just don't care to learn it. So it wasn't that we were
opposed to VE in principle. Good idea, bad execution.

On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 7:39 AM, Anthony Cole <ahcole...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Magnus, you've missed the point of the visual editor revolt. A couple of
> people here have tried to explain that to you, politely. And you're
> persisting with your idée fixe.
>
> There were two parts to the visual editor catastrophe, actually. The
> product wasn't ready for anyone to use. Not veteran editors. Not newbies.
> Newbies who used it were less likely to successfully complete an edit. It
> was broken, and the WMF insisted we had to use it.
>
> The second part of the problem was arrogance. Yes, a few editors were
> unnecessarily rude about the product and the developers. But then most of
> the developers and tech staff who dealt with the community arrogantly
> characterised *anyone* who complained about the product as an ignorant,
> selfish Ludite - and you're persisting with that characterisation now.
>
> The WMF under Lila has learned the lessons from that, and they have
> fostered a much healthier relationship between the developers and the
> community. You clearly haven't learned all you might have.
>
> In fact, reading the arrogant responses from you here and in the concurrent
> thread titled "How to disseminate free knowledge," and from Denny in
> earlier threads addressing criticism of WikiData, it seems to me there is
> still a significant arrogance problem that needs addressing, at least over
> at WikiData.
>
> Some people may approach you arrogantly, maybe even insultingly, about an
> innovation, and I suppose you might be justified in talking down to them or
> ridiculing them (though I advise against it.). But if you can't distinguish
> them from those who approach you with genuine concerns and well-founded
> criticisms, then no matter how clever you think your technical solutions
> are, you will soon find you're no more welcome here than those WMF staffers
> who thought insulting well-meaning critics was a good career move.
>
> Denny's contemptuous dismissal of valid criticisms of his project, and your
> contemptuous dismissal of the valid criticisms of the early visual editor
> and its launch are both very disappointing.
>
> Anthony Cole
>
>
> On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 7:24 AM, Magnus Manske <
> magnusman...@googlemail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > The iPhone was a commercial success because it let you do the basic
> > functions easily and intuitively, and looked shiny at the same time. We
> do
> > not charge a price; our "win" comes by people using our product. If we
> can
> > present the product in such a way that more people use it, it is a
> success
> > for us.
> >
> > I do stand by my example :-)
> >
> > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 10:37 PM Michael Peel <em...@mikepeel.net>
> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > > On 18 Jan 2016, at 22:35, Magnus Manske <magnusman...@googlemail.com
> >
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > As one can be overly conservative, one can also be overly
> > enthusiastic. I
> > > > would hope the Foundation by now understands better how to handle new
> > > > software releases. Apple here shows the way: Basic functionality, but
> > > > working smoothly first.
> > >
> > > But at a huge cost premium? I'm not sure that's a good example to make
> > > here. :-/
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > > Mike
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