This reminds me of en wiki's non-free policy.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Non-free_content_criteria#1
highlights the point fairly clearly Usage of non-free materials is often
easier and higher quality than using the free equivalent . However
Wikimedia's mission and goal's are to support and promote free content, yes
you will need to jump thru a few more hoops and adds a little more work.
But without those driving factors we will often see the free options wither
and fail.

On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 10:22 AM, Dan Garry <dga...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hey Magnus,
>
> There are a few other factors to consider in addition to those listed. For
> example, development cost. Our maps tile service is not compatible with the
> iOS app out of the box. This isn't surprising; Apple wants you to use
> things like Apple Maps rather than your own solution. Android is, by its
> nature, a more open platform, so I am not too surprised that it was easier
> to integrate our tile server into the Android app than the iOS app. Sadly,
> it's not as simple as just switching over to OSM-based tiles; on the
> contrary, it's a significant amount of work.
>
> Now, using our tile service would also have required the iOS app to use the
> MapBox SDK. This is the size of all their other third party libraries
> combined, significantly increasing app download size. The size of your app
> can significantly reduce downloads [1]. Switch a single feature over to a
> different set of map tiles, and possibly decreasing downloads of the app,
> seems like a dangerous and counterintuitive tradeoff to me.
>
> So the question is, given all this, is switching over the nearby feature to
> use OSM-based tiles instead of Apple Maps worth it? In the long run, if
> these problems could be solved, I'd say it absolutely is worth it. But, in
> the short term, the work would take significant time and effort, and could
> actually decrease app usage by decreasing the app download rate; that
> tradeoff doesn't seem worth it to me.
>
> Thanks,
> Dan
>
> Disclaimers: These are my opinions only. I worked on the apps in the past,
> but haven't for two years; my statements about development costs may be
> wrong, and the apps folks may well disagree with me about things. I work in
> the department responsible for Wikimedia maps, but have only worked on the
> team working on maps for a couple of months.
>
> [1]: https://segment.com/blog/mobile-app-size-effect-on-downloads/
>
> On 15 March 2017 at 09:25, Magnus Manske <magnusman...@googlemail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Josh, all,
> >
> > I am not one hell-bent on "FOSS or death"; I tend to use whatever works
> > best.
> >
> > That said, the cost-benefit analysis of using Apple Maps seems to boil
> > down:
> > * Apple Maps has slightly better rendering (didn't check, but I assume)
> > * Apple Maps uses less mobile bandwidth
> > * Apple Maps is not free (as in freedom)
> >
> > Now, looking at these points:
> >
> > * Somewhat better quality is not an argument. If it were, we would have
> > stayed with Britannica, and skipped that whole Wikipedia nonsense.
> > Wikipedia became better, in part, because people actually used it, saw
> the
> > issues, and fixed them. And OSM rendering might be not quite en par with
> > Apple Maps, it is quite usable, in my experience.
> >
> > * Less bandwidth usage is not an argument either. I doubt we are talking
> > about a significant percentage of an average users' data volume here. If
> > Android users can afford the bandwidth, so can people who buy an iPhone
> > (source: used to have iPhone).
> >
> > * The price tag is the "non-freedom". As far as I can tell, this would be
> > the very first Wikimedia "product" that incorporates non-free technology
> > and data. It sets a precedence. It also has the potential to poison the
> > otherwise great relations between the Wikipedia, Wikidata, and OSM
> > community. It says "OSM is not good enough (at least for Apple users)"
> > quite plainly. How would we feel if OSM started to remove Wikidata tags
> and
> > replace them with Britannica links?
> >
> > All in all, IMHO, the cost is too high for the (at best) flimsy benefits.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Magnus
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 12:52 AM Joshua Minor <jmi...@wikimedia.org>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hello,
> > >
> > > My name is Josh Minor, and I am the Product Manager for the Wikipedia
> iOS
> > > app. I wanted to speak to a couple specific issues and
> misunderstandings
> > > raised by this email thread.
> > >
> > > First, please take a look at
> > > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Apps/Team/iOS/Maps_service
> > which
> > > provides some background on this decision. Jonatan linked to it, and it
> > > covers several of the concerns raised on the thread and gives our
> > > reasoning. I'd also suggest subscribing to this ticket:
> > > https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T157763 which Jonatan filed, and
> where
> > > you can track efforts and issues with replacement maps.
> > >
> > > A few clarifying points:
> > >
> > > 1. The Places tab[1], and its use of Apple’s maps tiles, is not part of
> > the
> > > articles or article display, it is a navigational aid to help you find
> > > articles. This doesn’t mean it’s exempt from considerations raised
> here,
> > > but just want to clarify that this is not about editor created maps in
> > > projects, but rather an app-specific discovery mechanism.
> > >
> > > 2. The feature doesn’t violate our privacy policy[2] and was reviewed
> by
> > > Wikimedia Foundation's Legal department before entering beta. The App’s
> > > access to the users’ geolocation to recommend nearby articles, with the
> > > users’ explicit consent, is already part of both apps. The new feature
> > > merely adds a different way to visually view nearby articles - the user
> > > must, as before, still provide explicit consent for the App to access
> > their
> > > geolocation. Users can always turn on or off the provision of their
> > > geolocation via their iPhone location settings.
> > >
> > > The feature also makes requests to Apple’s map tile servers for display
> > on
> > > the App. These tiles may or may not be near the actual location of the
> > > user. It doesn’t involve sending Apple the articles you read or
> anything
> > > about your Wikipedia usage. Apple has public statements and
> documentation
> > > to explain[3] how their maps service preserves privacy by using a
> > > randomized and frequently changing device ID to request the maps, by
> not
> > > tracking users over time, and by not  building map usage profiles of
> > users.
> > > Overall, Apple’s data collection practices are governed by their
> privacy
> > > policy [4], which  users must agree to order to use their iPhones.
> > >
> > > We plan to further expand the explanation in the FAQ/privacy section of
> > the
> > > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Apps/Team/iOS/Maps_service
> page
> > > in
> > > the next day or so.
> > >
> > > 3. As stated by others on this thread, the issue at hand is the
> > feasibility
> > > and usability of a libre maps tile server, and impacts on users and how
> > it
> > > reflects (or doesn’t) the values of Wikimedians. The rest of the work
> on
> > > this feature (such as the time spent on search, visually clustering
> items
> > > on the map, a list view of nearby landmarks, and the Wikipedia article
> > > pins) will be applicable, independent of the map provider. In fact, I’d
> > > estimate the engineer doing the work spent more time on hacking to try
> to
> > > make a combination of MapBox and Wikimedia tiles work, than he did/will
> > on
> > > integrating/removing Apple maps.
> > >
> > > 4. This feature was announced on the Wikimedia Blog[5], described in an
> > > initial MediaWiki.org page[6], all work was documented and tracked on
> > > Phabricator (including an initial tech investigation, the request to
> > remove
> > > Apple Maps during development, and the overall feature[7]) and then the
> > > decision to push into beta with Apple Maps further documented on
> > > MediaWiki.org[8].
> > >
> > > In conclusion, I would like to thank you for the feedback and the
> > > opportunity to engage in a civil discussion about these important
> issues.
> > > Again, if you are interested in the next steps, I’d invite you to
> > subscribe
> > > and comment on the phab ticket https://phabricator.wikimedia.
> org/T157763
> > > or
> > > the MediaWiki.org page.
> > >
> > > [1] Design specification: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T130889
> > > [2]
> > > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Apps/Team/iOS/
> > Maps_service#Privacy
> > > [3] https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203033,
> > > https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207056,
> > > http://www.apple.com/privacy/approach-to-privacy/
> > > [4] http://www.apple.com/privacy/privacy-policy/
> > > [5] https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/06/17/wikipedia-mobile/
> > > [6] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Apps/Team/iOS/Nearby
> > > [7] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/tag/ios-app-feature-places/
> > > [8] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Apps/Team/iOS/
> Maps_service
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>
>
> --
> Dan Garry
> Lead Product Manager, Discovery
> Wikimedia Foundation
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