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Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps?
Hi.

This morning the Wikimedia Foundation had a meeting about migrating to
Google Apps. Google Apps is a Web-based closed source office suite that
includes Gmail and a few other services.[1]

I had a few questions about this migration.

Has the decision to use Google Apps been finalized? If so, who made the
final decision?

What are the benefits of using Google Apps for the Wikimedia Foundation?

Is there a concern about using closed source software when there are
comparable open source alternatives?

Is there a concern that this will bring Google and the Wikimedia Foundation
closer together? After a $2 million grant, I imagine some people looking in
from the outside have their concerns about a takeover.

Are there concerns about Google's privacy practices? It doesn't seem
particularly wise to hand them all of your e-mail, especially if they
possibly have a business interest.

Any clarifications on this would be great!

MZMcBride

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Apps



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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 8:22 PM, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
> Hi.
>
> This morning the Wikimedia Foundation had a meeting about migrating to
> Google Apps.

Using Google Apps for what?

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 11:22 AM, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
> Hi.
>
> This morning the Wikimedia Foundation had a meeting about migrating to
> Google Apps.

Where was this announced / discussed ?
Or, how the heck did you find out?? ;-)

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On 10/25/2010 06:22 PM, MZMcBride wrote:
> Has the decision to use Google Apps been finalized? If so, who made the
> final decision?
>
> What are the benefits of using Google Apps for the Wikimedia Foundation?
>

One thing I will say to the benefit of Google Apps is that they allow
long-distance collaborative content development that seems to work
better than a wiki for some things. Particularly the spreadsheets and
the document processor is quite useful and something that would be nice
if we could adapt that to at least some of the content development on
Wikimedia projects. I really don't know of a "free" alternative to
these applications, even though the MediaWiki software at least in
theory does display the same information as a final product. It is the
methods of putting the content in that I think Google does better, and
in particular how that input can be done collaboratively.

I don't think it would be too difficult to build a peer-to-peer
application instead of something that goes through a server to
accomplish nearly the same thing, but it would take some significant
software development effort to get that to happen. Google Apps is
available and written, therefore it is hard to ignore.

> Is there a concern about using closed source software when there are
> comparable open source alternatives?
>
>
Give a good example if you are going to suggest that there are
alternatives. Open Office, while some excellent "open source" tools,
aren't comparable. What else are you suggesting?

I'm merely ignorant about this, so please tell me if there really is
something else "out there" that does pretty much what Google Apps do.
> Is there a concern that this will bring Google and the Wikimedia Foundation
> closer together? After a $2 million grant, I imagine some people looking in
> from the outside have their concerns about a takeover.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
In terms of a "takeover", I think if there was some significant concern
about the management of the WMF, that there would be a fork or something
else happen within the community where any "takeover" attempts would be
dismissed. The "right to fork" is something integral to all open source
projects, and tends to be a good check on anybody that gets too big of a
head. While I'm not 100% happy with everything the WMF does, they are
better than a typical non-profit organization and do a fairly decent job
of generally managing the projects. I've been asked to get involved
with a fork of Wikimedia projects in the past, and my response has been
to wait it out over those issues that were of concern. At least to wait
until there was a very serious concern where forking several projects
would have widespread appeal and that the bulk of the community would
come over to the fork. Setting up a complimentatry organizaiton to the
WMF would not be easy to accomplish and IMHO would have to include the
support of several chapters if that were to happen too.

Google isn't going to be "taking over" the WMF nor is any other group
going to do that. The community wouldn't put up with it.

-- Robert Horning
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
Anthony wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 8:22 PM, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>> This morning the Wikimedia Foundation had a meeting about migrating to
>> Google Apps.
>
> Using Google Apps for what?

My understanding is that it would be used for e-mail, calendars, and Google
Docs primarily. When I asked "What are the benefits of using Google Apps for
the Wikimedia Foundation?" in my original post, that's roughly what I was
trying to get at.

John Vandenberg wrote:
> Where was this announced / discussed ?
> Or, how the heck did you find out?? ;-)

I don't think this was announced or discussed anywhere publicly. I figured
foundation-l would provide a reasonable place to discuss the subject.

Robert S. Horning wrote:
> On 10/25/2010 06:22 PM, MZMcBride wrote:
>> Is there a concern about using closed source software when there are
>> comparable open source alternatives?
>
> Give a good example if you are going to suggest that there are
> alternatives. Open Office, while some excellent "open source" tools,
> aren't comparable. What else are you suggesting?
>
> I'm merely ignorant about this, so please tell me if there really is
> something else "out there" that does pretty much what Google Apps do.

Obviously for something like e-mail, there are plenty of hosting and webmail
client alternatives.

I'm not sure I'd call Open Office an alternative here. It's certainly an
alternative for non-web-based document editing, and I'm fairly sure most
Wikimedia employees already use it instead of the Microsoft Office suite.

Which alternatives are available largely depends on what Wikimedia intends
to use Google Apps for (which was one of the questions in my original post).
My biggest concern would be e-mail, personally, though the larger principle
of switching the organization to a closed source system is one that I think
should be examined.

> Google isn't going to be "taking over" the WMF nor is any other group
> going to do that. The community wouldn't put up with it.

Hmm, I wouldn't be so sure about that. Google has a lot of money and they're
not stupid. I'm sure more than a few contributors would stick around,
especially if Google invested some serious resources.

MZMcBride



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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
I don't know about anyone else, but I couldn't possibly care less what
office software the Foundation uses. I suppose the paranoid conspiracy
theory of a Google takeover fueled by illicit access to WMF data
doesn't strike me as remotely realistic.

Nathan

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On 26 October 2010 13:23, Nathan <nawrich@gmail.com> wrote:

> I don't know about anyone else, but I couldn't possibly care less what
> office software the Foundation uses. I suppose the paranoid conspiracy
> theory of a Google takeover fueled by illicit access to WMF data
> doesn't strike me as remotely realistic.
>
> Nathan
>
> +1

It is very important that all software used in the direct delivery of the
Wikimedia projects is F/LOSS but I don't see why that requires the WMF (or
Chapters) to not be allowed to used proprietary software for the other
elements necessary to run the organisational side of things (as mentioned:
email, calendars, documents). The WMF (and chapters) use open source systems
for these things when possible (e.g. Linux OS, CiviCRM for fundraising,
OpenOffice for wordprocessing). But this shouldn't mean that proprietary
systems are not allowed when they get these organisational functions done
well/better.

-Liam

wittylama.com/blog
Peace, love & metadata
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On 26 October 2010 14:23, Nathan <nawrich@gmail.com> wrote:

> I don't know about anyone else, but I couldn't possibly care less what
> office software the Foundation uses. I suppose the paranoid conspiracy
> theory of a Google takeover fueled by illicit access to WMF data
> doesn't strike me as remotely realistic.


I wonder how many WMF and chapter staff and Foundation and chapter
volunteers use Gmail ... hope we've all got really good passwords!


- d.

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On 26 October 2010 11:00, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 26 October 2010 14:23, Nathan <nawrich@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I don't know about anyone else, but I couldn't possibly care less what
> > office software the Foundation uses. I suppose the paranoid conspiracy
> > theory of a Google takeover fueled by illicit access to WMF data
> > doesn't strike me as remotely realistic.
>
>
>
Google's greatest weakness is in the privacy sector. Anyone remember when
they turned on Buzz and suddenly there was all kinds of personal information
made available because they linked people's multiple accounts? Well, the
same thing holds for all their other applications.

One might think that people operating within the WMF, and in the higher
levels of the chapters, are likely to have publicly linked their "real life"
names with their wiki-identities, but that is not always the case; there are
definitely chapter-level people who have not done so. Maintaining that
separation is very difficult and needs to be checked on a regular basis,
since Google changes their algorithm periodically. Using Google Apps may
have the unintentional side effect of deterring valuable contributors from
participating in certain activities.

Certainly, oversighters on English Wikipedia have had to deal with the
fallout of personal information being unintentionally revealed by editors
who were unaware of this situation with Google. When we are providing
information on how to address perceived privacy violations, we include a
recommendation to those who use Gmail to review all of their Google-related
accounts and ensure that they remove all links.

Risker/Anne
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
Nathan wrote:
> I don't know about anyone else, but I couldn't possibly care less what
> office software the Foundation uses. I suppose the paranoid conspiracy
> theory of a Google takeover fueled by illicit access to WMF data
> doesn't strike me as remotely realistic.

There was a story about a month ago in which a Google employee was fired for
snooping on e-mail of minors he had befriended.[1] I think the part that
struck me most about the story was that the employee apparently wasn't very
high up in the company, but still had the ability to read people's e-mails,
their Gtalk conversations, and even get their phone numbers, according to
the articles published about the incident.

Perhaps it's very unlikely that Google would snoop on Wikimedia's e-mail, I
can't say one way or another. I can say that I was disturbed by the news
story and I can say that Google definitely has a business interest here
(anyone remember Knol?).

Perhaps Google Apps has some terrific benefits that Wikimedia sorely needs;
that was the reason I asked what benefits Wikimedia saw in migrating their
systems in my original post. However, from where I'm standing, the cost
versus benefits simply don't add up, particularly when you consider what
impact this might have from a public relations/perceptions standpoint.

I think the broader issue of Wikimedia using non-open source software is one
that needs clarification, as it still seems very murky to me.

MZMcBride

[1]
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/google-enginee
r-fired-for-snooping-on-emails-2080464.html



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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On 26 October 2010 21:30, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:

> Perhaps Google Apps has some terrific benefits that Wikimedia sorely needs;
> that was the reason I asked what benefits Wikimedia saw in migrating their
> systems in my original post. However, from where I'm standing, the cost
> versus benefits simply don't add up, particularly when you consider what
> impact this might have from a public relations/perceptions standpoint.


Gmail is just ridiculously better than any other email client I've
ever used ever, having previously progressed through Pine, elm, mutt
and Thunderbird. Perhaps it's just me, but I'd guess otherwise from
the number of Wikimedians with gmail,com addresses.
free
Google Docs is ridiculously usable for real-time collaboration. More
so than anything I've ever used.

I suggest it's quite plausible that the Google versions are so far
ahead of self-hosted open source equivalents that we'd be crippling
ourselves.


> I think the broader issue of Wikimedia using non-open source software is one
> that needs clarification, as it still seems very murky to me.


It is, of course, quite possible that we should in fact use less good
open source equivalents, even if we would be near-crippling ourselves.
We're not the FSF and our technology policy isn't set by Richard
Stallman. That said, RMS does have the important plus point of having
been pretty much right about most things, so we would be very foolish
indeed to disregard what I will term the "rabid free/open source
software" position out of hand.

Wikimedia is a creature of the broader free culture movement. Erik
Moeller, a Wikimedian since the wikipedia.com days and currently WMF
deputy CEO, *wrote* the Free Content Definition. We're aggressively
neutral about most things, but our essential values stand foursquare
for the ideals of that movement: more freedom, more information,
refusal of strings attached.

I suppose I'm saying that it's a tricky one. I have a pretty much
entirely free software desktop (except Opera for browser checking and
Lotus Notes for work [1]) but I still live in my Gmail, and it'd
utterly bugger my ability to keep up with my email to give it up,


- d.

[1] http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Lotus_Notes

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
2010/10/26 David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com>:
> Gmail is just ridiculously better than any other email client I've
> ever used ever, having previously progressed through Pine, elm, mutt
> and Thunderbird. Perhaps it's just me, but I'd guess otherwise from
> the number of Wikimedians with gmail,com addresses.
> free
> Google Docs is ridiculously usable for real-time collaboration. More
> so than anything I've ever used.
>
> I suggest it's quite plausible that the Google versions are so far
> ahead of self-hosted open source equivalents that we'd be crippling
> ourselves.

That's the gist of it. Our general policy is to be as open on internal
tools as reasonably possible, which includes giving people an Ubuntu
laptop even if they've only ever seen that name on a restaurant in
Napa. [1] It also includes pretty substantial investment in some open
tools where we can make a significant difference through our adoption
and support, e.g. CiviCRM.

We've still got lots of Macs, but are gradually moving away from them
where we can; we've standardized on OpenOffice.org (soon LibreOffice?)
for formatting documents, and of course we use wikis extensively for
sustained collaboration. I've started a page a while ago to publicly
document the internal tools use of WMF and other players in the
Wikimedia movement:

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FLOSS-Exchange

We've recommended Thunderbird in the past (with some folks sticking
with GMail, yours truly included), but unfortunately it doesn't meet
all our needs. We're reluctantly switching to GMail as the standard
email solution, but we'd love to switch to an open solution in future.
Jon Davis can elaborate a bit on the assessment process. Naturally
folks will be able to continue to use open source clients.

Google Docs is a great collaborative drafting tool (as is Etherpad,
which is open), but I don't want us to become dependent on it -- for
any document that needs to be worked on over sustained periods of
time, it ends up being moved out of GD. I'd love to see at least a
basic MediaWiki/Etherpad integration, it would give MW a huge
productivity boost for real-time note-taking and collaboration.

[1] http://www.yelp.com/biz/ubuntu-restaurant-and-yoga-studio-napa

--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
Howdy,
As a quick introduction, I'm Jon Davis[1], one of the Office IT guys in the
SF office. Since the Google Apps migrations is one of my major projects,
I'll try to answer your questions the best I can. Replies in line.

On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 17:22, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:

> Hi.
>
> This morning the Wikimedia Foundation had a meeting about migrating to
> Google Apps. Google Apps is a Web-based closed source office suite that
> includes Gmail and a few other services.[1]
>
>
You are correct. I gave a presentation yesterday morning to the staff. I'm
impressed that you're already on top of this.


> I had a few questions about this migration.
>
> Has the decision to use Google Apps been finalized? If so, who made the
> final decision?
>
>
Yes, the decision has been made. Office IT did the original research and
made our recommendations to the CxO level.


> What are the benefits of using Google Apps for the Wikimedia Foundation?
>
>
I presume you mean benefits over our existing setup. In which case some of
the answers are: integrated calendaring, shared contacts, web based access
and general integration.


> Is there a concern about using closed source software when there are
> comparable open source alternatives?
>
>
The problem with this question is the word "comparable". Yes, there is a
multiplicity of software that does _similar_ but just because it is similar
means one will work in place of the other (Gimp vs Photoshop for example).
Office IT spent many hours evaluating a number of email/calendaring/contact
solutions, most of which were Open Source (but we had some other options in
there like Google Apps). Based on our specific needs (which is more than
just the few high level points above), Google Apps was the only reasonable
choice.

Something else to consider is what "open source" means. Many of the "open
source" options aren't totally open source. In order to get the full feature
set or have more than a handful of users, you have to pay them for a
license. So while many of these products advertise themselves as "open
source", a large portion of the features (possibly everything that would
make us want to switch) is not actually open source code.

One of the important things to remember is that even though Google is closed
source, they use open standards. We will migrate our email in via IMAP, our
calendars via iCalendar, and (should we wish to to do so) we can leave the
exact same way. Nothing about this migration will be locking us in. In
fact, we already have plans to revisit the open source options (after a
reasonable amount of time has passed) to see how they have evolved. If in a
few years time an OSS solution will meet our needs - we'll switch back over.

Is there a concern that this will bring Google and the Wikimedia Foundation
> closer together? After a $2 million grant, I imagine some people looking in
> from the outside have their concerns about a takeover.
>
>
Google Inc had nothing to do with this decision. When we wanted to pursue
the Google Apps project further, we contacted a sales rep. In the end, we
went through the process like any other group would, and we pay the standard
price. We were not afforded any luxuries nor were any corners cut due to or
in spite of our relationship with Google.

Are there concerns about Google's privacy practices? It doesn't seem
> particularly wise to hand them all of your e-mail, especially if they
> possibly have a business interest.
>
>
The EULA for Google Apps [3] is slightly different than the normal one. We
continue to own our data and Google doesn't. [4] We have had the EULA
reviewed by legal counsel, as well as our in-house tech staff, and received
the opinion that the privacy provisions were strong enough to meet our
needs.


> Any clarifications on this would be great!
>
> MZMcBride
>
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Apps
>
>
>
I hope this helps to answer some of the questions about Google Apps
specifically. I'm sorry for the slow reply, but you caught me at the end
of the day yesterday.

Thank you-
-Jon

[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_contractors
[2] http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/customers.html
[3] http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/user_terms.html
[4] http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=60762
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 4:43 PM, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
> Gmail is just ridiculously better than any other email client I've
> ever used ever, having previously progressed through Pine, elm, mutt
> and Thunderbird. Perhaps it's just me, but I'd guess otherwise from
> the number of Wikimedians with gmail,com addresses.

Well, yeah, that's why I forward my email to gmail. But I can't
imagine using them for my domain's MX record. I'd want more control
and flexibility than that.

As a related anecdote, the IRS recently banned gmail addresses when
signing up for a preparer identification number, because Google was
sending their registration password emails to the bit bucket (no, not
to the spam folder, the emails were just disappearing, even if you
explicitly added a filter not to send them to spam). See
http://www.google.co.nz/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?tid=4e489afd6114c49a&hl=en

On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 5:01 PM, Erik Moeller <erik@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> We're reluctantly switching to GMail as the standard
> email solution, but we'd love to switch to an open solution in future.

Is this going to affect the mailing lists? OTRS?

Is the WMF paying for this? What are the service guarantees? I'd
imagine no on the former. Being able to add the Wikimedia Foundation
to the list of people who have "gone Google" will be a huge coup.

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 8:01 AM, Erik Moeller <erik@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> 2010/10/26 David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com>:
>> ..
>> Google Docs is ridiculously usable for real-time collaboration. More
>> so than anything I've ever used.
>>
>> I suggest it's quite plausible that the Google versions are so far
>> ahead of self-hosted open source equivalents that we'd be crippling
>> ourselves.
>
> That's the gist of it...

Ya'll need to be booked into a RMS refresher session on 'convenience'. ;-)

I've been on mine recently.
http://nicta.com.au/nicta_events/events/event_repository/upcoming_events/big_picture_seminar_brisbane_richard_stallman

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 5:20 PM, Jon Davis <jdavis@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> When we wanted to pursue
> the Google Apps project further, we contacted a sales rep.  In the end, we
> went through the process like any other group would, and we pay the standard
> price.

Wow. The standard price? Is the person who negotiated that deal the
same one that just recently got fired?</sarcasm>

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
This migration will not effect anything but Staff email. OTRS, wiki's,
mailing lists and anything else I've forgotten to mention will continue to
work as they did previously.

As for paying, Yes we are. As for the SLA, the standard [1]

-Jon

[1] http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/sla.html

On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 14:21, Anthony <wikimail@inbox.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 4:43 PM, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Gmail is just ridiculously better than any other email client I've
> > ever used ever, having previously progressed through Pine, elm, mutt
> > and Thunderbird. Perhaps it's just me, but I'd guess otherwise from
> > the number of Wikimedians with gmail,com addresses.
>
> Well, yeah, that's why I forward my email to gmail. But I can't
> imagine using them for my domain's MX record. I'd want more control
> and flexibility than that.
>
> As a related anecdote, the IRS recently banned gmail addresses when
> signing up for a preparer identification number, because Google was
> sending their registration password emails to the bit bucket (no, not
> to the spam folder, the emails were just disappearing, even if you
> explicitly added a filter not to send them to spam). See
>
> http://www.google.co.nz/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?tid=4e489afd6114c49a&hl=en
>
> On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 5:01 PM, Erik Moeller <erik@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> > We're reluctantly switching to GMail as the standard
> > email solution, but we'd love to switch to an open solution in future.
>
> Is this going to affect the mailing lists? OTRS?
>
> Is the WMF paying for this? What are the service guarantees? I'd
> imagine no on the former. Being able to add the Wikimedia Foundation
> to the list of people who have "gone Google" will be a huge coup.
>
> _______________________________________________
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>
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 5:26 PM, Jon Davis <jdavis@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> This migration will not effect anything but Staff email.  OTRS, wiki's,
> mailing lists and anything else I've forgotten to mention will continue to
> work as they did previously.

Are the MX records going to point to WMF, or to Google? For which domains?

> As for paying, Yes we are. As for the SLA, the standard [1]

43 minutes of downtime allowed every month... 7.2 hours of downtime
gets you a 10% refund. If you're down for 1 1/2 days, you get 25% of
your monthly fees back. Down more than that, and you get half your
money back.

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
The MX records point to McHenry (WMF). At this point mail is sorted and
sent to the correct locations (Be it OTRS, Mailing Lists or Google Apps).

-Jon

On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 14:31, Anthony <wikimail@inbox.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 5:26 PM, Jon Davis <jdavis@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> > This migration will not effect anything but Staff email. OTRS, wiki's,
> > mailing lists and anything else I've forgotten to mention will continue
> to
> > work as they did previously.
>
> Are the MX records going to point to WMF, or to Google? For which domains?
>
> > As for paying, Yes we are. As for the SLA, the standard [1]
>
> 43 minutes of downtime allowed every month... 7.2 hours of downtime
> gets you a 10% refund. If you're down for 1 1/2 days, you get 25% of
> your monthly fees back. Down more than that, and you get half your
> money back.
>
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> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 5:40 PM, Jon Davis <jdavis@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> The MX records point to McHenry (WMF).  At this point mail is sorted and
> sent to the correct locations (Be it OTRS, Mailing Lists or Google Apps).
>
> -Jon

Ah, that's not so bad, then. Anything that has to be really really
confidential (shouldn't be read from home) just can not get forwarded
through gmail, and in the event of major downtime you don't even have
to wait for the MX records to time out.

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
Erik Moeller, 26/10/2010 23:01:
> We've recommended Thunderbird in the past (with some folks sticking
> with GMail, yours truly included), but unfortunately it doesn't meet
> all our needs.

Why?

> Google Docs is a great collaborative drafting tool (as is Etherpad,
> which is open), but I don't want us to become dependent on it -- for
> any document that needs to be worked on over sustained periods of
> time, it ends up being moved out of GD. I'd love to see at least a
> basic MediaWiki/Etherpad integration, it would give MW a huge
> productivity boost for real-time note-taking and collaboration.

There are lots of things on our Etherpad which should be eventually
copied on some wiki to be organized and easily findable. (Should we
suppose that Etherpad texts are CC-By-SA?)
Actually, I've watched some etherpad history "replays" and I've seen
simple patterns of a number of edits by an user and then a number of
edits by another user (even on another section): nothing you can't
easily do on MediaWiki.

Nemo

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On Oct 26, 2010, at 3:02 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:

> Actually, I've watched some etherpad history "replays" and I've seen
> simple patterns of a number of edits by an user and then a number of
> edits by another user (even on another section): nothing you can't
> easily do on MediaWiki.

I can safely say that for fundraising we use a series of etherpads
that absolutely couldn't be done on a wiki. We'd be edit conflicting
all over the place. :)

Philippe

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
Jon Davis wrote (among other things):
> On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 17:22, MZMcBride <z@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>> I had a few questions about this migration.
>>
>> Has the decision to use Google Apps been finalized? If so, who made the
>> final decision?
>>
> Yes, the decision has been made. Office IT did the original research and
> made our recommendations to the CxO level.

Thank you very much for the detailed reply to my questions. :-)

I figured the decision had already been made, but I still thought it would
be nice to discuss some aspects of it. I think some of the discussion has
shed a bit of light on current practices, procedures, and principles, which
is always good.

MZMcBride



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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 15:02, Federico Leva (Nemo) <nemowiki@gmail.com>wrote:

> Erik Moeller, 26/10/2010 23:01:
> > We've recommended Thunderbird in the past (with some folks sticking
> > with GMail, yours truly included), but unfortunately it doesn't meet
> > all our needs.
>
> Why?
>
>
All things considered, I like Thunderbird, but it has two main issues for
us.

#1 - No integrated & centralized calendar.
#2 - Search. A number of people have mentioned this to me and I think it
might be the biggest single issue with Thunderbird that I've seen. If you
have a large number of emails, search in Thunderbird works in strange ways.
It will find some emails that seem totally unrelated to your search term,
and miss the most obvious ones. I consider myself fairly adept at
manipulating search engines into finding what I need and even I have had
serious issues finding what I want. It's gone so far that at least one
staff that I know of took to sorting emails into folders by whom they were
received from, then color coding each "thread" differently - simply so the
user could find what they were looking for.

-Jon
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps? [ In reply to ]
On 10/26/10 11:01 PM, Erik Moeller wrote:
I'd love to see at least a
> basic MediaWiki/Etherpad integration, it would give MW a huge
> productivity boost for real-time note-taking and collaboration.

+ 1 !

Anthere


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