Hi Yuvi

On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 9:37 PM, Yuvi Panda <yuvipa...@gmail.com> wrote:

> This happened on IRC over a few hours, between me, quim and harsh. Most of
> the conversation was quim convincing me that a mediawiki-india list would
> be a much better Idea than a MediaWiki India User Group (which he succeeded
> in), and Harsh volunteering to start the Ahmedabad one. The logging bot has
> been wonky, so no logs.

So, to summarize again, Quim, a staff member, and you, a contractor/staff
member had a discussion with harsh - I don't know harsh so please forgo any
mistaken assumption on my part, had a discussion on IRC, and between the
three, it was decided, if a group would be a better option to a list.
Unfortunately, there are no logs to even prove the above discussion, which
would brig me to reiterate what I said earlier, now confirmed with the
explanation above. For the time being, I stand by what I said.

> As for 'why User Groups, why not a SIG' - the User Group idea is neither
> unique nor novel - it is a very well understood concept. Linux User Groups,
> Python User Groups, Ruby User Groups, Java User Groups, etc abound on
> per-city levels. This is just another user group for a piece of open source
> software. MediaWiki does not run just Wikipedia, but is also (IIRC) the
> most popular software used for standalone wikis. Plenty of projects that
> use MediaWiki have nothing to do with the Wikimedia movement (An experiment
> with using Semantic MediaWiki for Public Transit routing a bunch of us
> tried a few years ago, the w3c wiki (w3.org/wiki), lots of internal
> company's documentation wikis, lots of open source software wikis, etc).

Hmm I have no idea about these user groups, or what levels of formalization
they do have, so I'll take your word for it. What I do know is the concept
of Wikimedia User groups is a new territory for us, the first group using
this approach is being led by the staff, as I said earlier.

Second, MediaWiki *is* independent and might have nothing to do with
Wikimedia. But then again, why are we on a list of Wikimedia asking
Wikipedians to join or create the said group? To the extent of my
knowledge, Mediawiki is a platform, a piece of software, in terms of real
world implications it has no existence. Which would then lead the
discussion back in to the circle, that went on the tech list about a
MediaWiki foundation and an independent identity, because clearly that's
the problem we have right now - shortage of committees, and groups and
organizations to conflate a bunch of stuff rather than the actual work they
are supposed to do.

The simplest question is what would this achieve? Let's say there is a
group or a list, what then? would the work materialize that so far has not?
or would we be left with dead organizations in a year or two that will
continue to carry the Wikimedia or Mediawiki name till someone realizes the
exposure of proliferating these. I can point you to 2 dozen dead lists with
no activities, in order to get wider participation they forward important
announcements to the major lists like this, so, if you end up forwarding to
the India list most of the times, what is the separate list achieving. It's
the same people, perhaps more so on the older lists.

> And 'why formalize their affiliation'? IIRC you need to go through the
> process to obtain the right to use 'MediaWiki' in your group's title. That
> is all (from my perspective, at least).

Actually, the discussion about demarcating the rights to use a term is
still ongoing. Thematic organizations are being discussed on Meta and if
they should use Wikimedia or even Wiki in their name, I suppose some
extension would apply to Mediawiki as well. I hope I don't need to point
out that the 2 words are the same in both organizations, 'Media' and 'Wiki'.

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