The issue is that you are framing all objections to be of the "it's
new, so it's bad" crowd. I'm not even convinced that such a crowd
exists, let alone that it is the mainstream of community is behind it,
as you seem to imply. To be honest, as a member of the community who
had a negative opinion about the first released version of visual
editor, I feel personally insulted by your statements. Which I had to
be, because I know you have done many good things.

And how would you want to "come together and fix it"? Your average
Wikipedia/other project editor does not have the software engineering
skills to just go and repair the Mediawiki code, and even if they did,
they would not have the power to make their repairs go life in short
term (and before I'm misunderstood, I am not complaining about that,
it is entirely logical and doing it differently would probably cause
disasters). They can of course complain, and file bug reports
etcetera, but they have no idea what will happen with them.

I think a big part of the blame lies with Wikimedia's way of working
in this, at least that's what I see in the Imageviewer case. People
see issues, and want them resolved. But some of those issues are so
large that they do not want the product at all *until they are
resolved*. By not only using the user as a beta tester, but also
forcing the product on them in the period between the discovery of the
issues/bugs and the time they are resolved, Wikimedia in my opinion is
instrumental in turning the objections against specific issues into
resistance against the product as a whole.

On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 3:56 PM, Magnus Manske
<> wrote:
> Anthony, it does seem you've missed some of which I wrote in this thread. I
> have no problem with specific criticism where it is deserved, and I do well
> remember that the Visual Editor, in its early incarnation, was not quite up
> to the job.
> What I do have a problem with is people fixating on some technical or
> early-lifecycle issues, declaring the entire thing worthless, even
> dangerous, and spreading that view around. This behaviour, I have seen time
> and again, with the Media Viewer, with Wikidata.
> It's bad because it's broken - let's come together and fix it.
> It's bad because ... well, everyone says it's bad. And new. And Not Made
> Here. THAT is a problem, and not a technological one.
> On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 2:39 PM Anthony Cole <> 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 <
>> 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 <>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > >
>> > > > On 18 Jan 2016, at 22:35, Magnus Manske <
>> >
>> > > 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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