You talked about things that I'm in no place to comment but I want to
emphasize on this part of your email:
"For the last 8 years, just two things have been working without
problems in WMF: Money and tech infrastructure (servers, "plain"
MediaWiki, optimizations etc.)."
We hear about technical issues of Wikipedia a lot. We hear Wikipedia is
behind in technology, that it's underperforming. etc. etc. It's not just
you. It's a lot of people in the community of editors too. I highly doubt
that I can comment on this matter, there are definitely better people but I
can't keep it anymore. Maybe my perspective as a non-WMF employee who works
in technical issues would be worth publishing.
The process of getting something technical done is as the same as editing
in wiki. It needs a certain amount of expertise like editing most of the
articles as well. Anyone can make a patch for every part of Wikipedia and
after some code review. it's there. IMO saying "technical parts of
Wikipedia sucks" is as the same as "Wikipedia sucks". Technical space of
Wikimedia is filled with volunteers. I saw unimaginable times that people
work over the weekend, take a day off and then work again because unlike
most companies people care about their job in a good way. Helping in
technical issues just need passion and caring. Let me tell you a story. I
didn't know how to write a line of code in my first three years of editing
Wikipedia. I was just a teenage boy who was making articles about movies he
watched, songs he liked, etc. and then I cared about Wikipedia so much that
I wanted to help more and I heard about cool things called robots (and
believe me, for a very long time I thought bots are physical things that
edit Wikipedia) so I tried to read about it, there was virtually no help in
Persian and my English was so bad that I needed dictionary for everything I
read (google translate was a sci-fi idea back then) but I learned and
learned and I'm still learning just to make Wikipedia a better place, I
hate programming as a goal, it's just a mean.
I just want to remind you people done a hell out of job in technical
aspects. It wasn't just in their working time. It was also a huge volunteer
time too, either by staff or non-WMF employees. Feeling this advantages is
not hard. Just take a look at Google's Knol. It was done by *the* Google
and it's this. We, as a movement, are competing with companies like Google,
Facebook or twitter the same way we are competing with Britannica.
Honestly, I think if someone just published a statement saying "There is a
cool project called Knowledge Engine but we don't have money for it, We can
just give you a space to put your source code and test it, and running it."
We would be knocking over google by 2020, as what we did with Britannica.
I think, maybe I'm wrong please correct me if I am, the biggest problem is
the user interface design of Wikipedia. It looks boring. I know there were,
and there are great designers who also love Wikipedia the same way you do.
I saw what they are capable of. Look at Winter or preferences redesign .
They are capable of making Wikipedia ten times more user-friendly and
beautiful. I don't know why it hasn't happened, maybe the community is too
conservative, maybe it's some kind of branding. I asked my life partner and
he said Wikipedia looks beautiful to the most of its readers, the same way
a fresh cupcake smells good, because Wikipedia is awesome. I guess people
who work in bakeries doesn't like the smell of cupcakes as much as other
My last words: If you encounter any technical issues, please report and if
you think it's important to solve technical problems you are more than
welcome to join the club. Just check out the developer hub  and
there are tons of manuals in the internet, also there are people in IRC
channels willing to help.
: It aches my heart every time I see it:
I hope more people chime in and comment to fix this misconception or
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