*Cross-posting to wikitech-l as it's a topic related to development.*

On Wed, 8 Jul 2020 at 23:01, Maarten Dammers <maar...@mdammers.nl> wrote:

> Of interest to the wider community. I really hope this is not part of a
> larger pattern of the WMF ignoring community.
> Maarten

I've had a great experience in the "Discussion Tools" (WMF's talk pages
reply tool) project. Feedback is properly documented, considered and worked
on. I recall having quite some input on the UI design and I'm happy that
resulted in a clean, focused UI.

That is an example to follow, but there's a lot to improve in other areas.
Although I favor GitLab, I was surprised that this introduction didn't have
a community round other than the developer feedback survey. I assume
the non-public results of the surcey justify this move and I'm happy
with it, so no complaints, but it came as a surprise to me that this is
happening as such discussions were promptly shut down on phabricator: I've
given this suggestion once in a related topic and rude comments told me
this is off-topic and basically to keep it to myself. The discussion ended
abruptly and the ticket was closed within a day.

There was another discussion <https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T167547> closed
and declined after 4 comments from 3 participants in 12 minutes. This
discussion was later referred to as the official decision to avoid GitLab
And prior to the current announcement, an attempt was made to rename this
discussion to "RFC: ..."
I have a hard time to understand these actions and correlate it to any
consensus process and transparent communication.

The recent update to the history diff font
<https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T250393> also could have been
communicated better. Informing editors about a simple solution (to change
your editor font setting or add some CSS to common.css/global.css) would
have avoided disruption and community backlash. Instead the latter solution
was only shared reactively after complaints and the simple solution was not

I'd hope the developer team gives more attention to communication and
transparency. I think this has improved in the last year, primarily in the
preparation of Desktop Improvements and Talk pages project, but it's still
a long path to improve engagement generally with the community and in
particular development matters.

Aron (Demian)
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