> On 2 Mar 2016, at 5:24 AM, Kevin Smith <ksm...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> 
>> You can tell me the scope was intended to be only for Wikimedia projects,
>> but that isn't what is said in that grant application. That document as it
>> stands literally states that it is to be an Internet search engine. No, I
>> correct myself. It says it is to be THE Internet's search engine.
>> 
> 
> Clearly there are still aspirations to include non-Wikimedia projects in
> the search results. I can't speak for the board, or c-levels. But I can say
> that in my work with the Discovery team, we have not been asked to, and
> have not had even rough plans to, search non-free information sources.

It’s not even the wrong thing to do :-) Thank you for clarifying this though. 
> 
>> So when you say than there is confusion between the internal presentation
>> and the official external grant application, I must respectfully disagree
>> with you. There is no such confusion. The two parts of the application I
>> have quoted cover almost a third of the grant application and I'd argue are
>> the key parts of the application.
>> 
> 
> I would argue that the deliverables are THE key part of the application,
> but I freely admit that you are correct that the other parts matter. And
> are somewhat disturbing.

That’s a fair perspective for those actually doing the important work of making 
sure the grant is fulfilled. The deliverables are extremely important, but from 
my POV, the deliverables for the “discovery” phase inform the rest of the 
project, which is where the rubber hits the road. The deliverables ask to set 
the core and usage and performance metrics, which must be determined from the 
overall overall grant objective. User research and testing, similarly, can’t 
just be executed but the study and testing has to be designed and scoped, which 
again has to come from the overall grant objective, which is what I highlighted 
earlier. 

> 
> There has been some handwaving going on from a variety of different parties
>> that "oh, it's just a Grant application, these things are very high level
>> and vague, it doesn't really matter what we write in it lets just put the
>> broadest possible objectives and vision for this thing and we'll deal the
>> scope later on after we've been given the grant money".
>> 
>> Others may not think this is not a concern. I do though, and I'm very
>> concerned that we are making grant applications and not really disclosing
>> our full intentions, and we are not making it clear what are the
>> corresponding scope limitations. Before someone objects, it's even worse
>> when I have asked about the first challenge that could threaten the project
>> and the response [3] is, in part:
>> 
> 
> Most of us on the Discovery team share your concerns about how this grant
> was conceived, pitched, received, and (not) publicized. Most of the team
> didn't see the grant until you did.

I feel need to tell those on the Discovery team who may think that my questions 
seem to be denigrating those on the team - I’m sorry if in any way I’ve written 
something that could give you a perception that I don’t believe in the worth of 
what you are doing. I want to put my hand up and take responsibility for it, 
because it’s absolutely not the case. My issues are literally with the Board of 
Trustees and the way they went about getting that grant, and set (or rather, 
didn’t set) effective and clearly-communicated strategy. 

Shortly after I sent that last email, I reread the Discovery FAQ again to see 
if I’d missed anything. And I realised that I had missed that there was a 
portal and a whole bunch of material already prepared by folks in that team. I 
mean, there is a gerrit reviewer hooked into the version control system and 
everything, so it’s all being done in the open, exactly in the way that I’ve 
been rabbiting on about in a number of emails. I can see that Chris Koerner has 
attempted to ensure that all the material has been communicated and centralised 
on the team’s Wiki, the team’s goals are tracking very nicely [1] Oliver did a 
study which I was going to go back to read but for the life of me I can’t find 
it… the portal is up and running [2] and I can see that the team have been 
continuing to hold their meetings and publish their minutes in a very open and 
accessible manner. 

So I’d like to not only apologise if I’ve offended or upset anyone in the 
Discovery team. That was never my intent. Actually, now that I’ve found how to 
view the work you are doing, I’m actually very impressed!

My only feedback is that information is *really* scattered. I’m finding it hard 
to follow what is going on, not that this should be a concern as I’m not doing 
the work. It might be nice to have a slightly reorganized page for this project 
so we can see what is being done. I’d love to see blog posts from the team 
showing off their work. It really helps to get to grips with what is going on. 

Anyway, it’s heartening to see that the Discovery team is getting on with it, 
even through all this turmoil. 

Chris

1. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/2015-16_Q3_Goals
2. http://discovery.wmflabs.org/metrics/#kpis_summary

Chris
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