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[Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor
Hi,
there is a famous quote on courage by Winston Churchill, a British Prime
Minister, who once wisely said: "Courage is what it takes to stand up
and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."

Over the weekend, more than 440 editors of the German Wikipedia took
part in an RfC-like process ("Umfragen") at
<https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Umfragen/VisualEditor_Opt-in>
and voted against the activation of the VisualEditor for anonymous
users, asking the WMF to revert to an opt-in phase instead of the
currently existing opt-out.

This is yet another signal coming from the community that there is
something very broken about the process in which VisualEditor is being
rolled out. Most of the criticism has been ignored so far, but on the
other hand, we haven't yet seen such an enormous community objection
against the VisualEditor anywhere.

Let us therefore use this opportunity, and have the courage to sit down
and listen. Or, perhaps, in the wiki spirit, let's edit this quote, and
let us sit down and talk.

And, together, let's learn a lesson from this, and correct the errors so
that they don't become mistakes.

Tomasz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
Can somebody summarize the concerns raised in that RfC?

Best regards,
Bence


On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 2:36 AM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski <tomasz@twkozlowski.net
> wrote:

> Hi,
> there is a famous quote on courage by Winston Churchill, a British Prime
> Minister, who once wisely said: "Courage is what it takes to stand up and
> speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
>
> Over the weekend, more than 440 editors of the German Wikipedia took part
> in an RfC-like process ("Umfragen") at <https://de.wikipedia.org/**
> wiki/Wikipedia:Umfragen/**VisualEditor_Opt-in<https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Umfragen/VisualEditor_Opt-in>>
> and voted against the activation of the VisualEditor for anonymous users,
> asking the WMF to revert to an opt-in phase instead of the currently
> existing opt-out.
>
> This is yet another signal coming from the community that there is
> something very broken about the process in which VisualEditor is being
> rolled out. Most of the criticism has been ignored so far, but on the other
> hand, we haven't yet seen such an enormous community objection against the
> VisualEditor anywhere.
>
> Let us therefore use this opportunity, and have the courage to sit down
> and listen. Or, perhaps, in the wiki spirit, let's edit this quote, and let
> us sit down and talk.
>
> And, together, let's learn a lesson from this, and correct the errors so
> that they don't become mistakes.
>
> Tomasz
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
I don't speak German, but with the aid of Google Translate, I think
one can get a decent gist of the results.


Firstly, let me note that this German "Umfragen" process is structured
largely as a vote. Some participants added short explanatory
statements, but it is not a discussion forum so one shouldn't expect
detailed explanations.

Participants were asked their opinion about how VE should be deployed
on dewiki. The vote is still ongoing, but so far the results are:

22 individuals (4.4%) feel that VE should be deployed for anonymous
users as scheduled.

7 users (1.4%) feel that VE should stay at its present status, i.e.
deployed for registered users but not anons.

442 users (87.7%) feel that the VE deployment should be rolled back so
that it is only available to users who explicitly opt-in at this time.

33 users (6.5%) chose a fourth opinion, the meaning of which is
somewhat unclear to me using Google Translate, but which appears to
express the opinion that VE should continue to be active in the
interface but that it should be assigned a new button and not take
over the "edit" functions.


Some of the people voting for the fourth option also supported one of
the other three options as an alternative / supplemental preference.

Rather than continuing with the deployment to anons (scheduled for
tomorrow), it appears that most of the contributors in this poll would
prefer that VE be rolled back and only delivered as an opt-in process
at this time.

Among the users choosing to offer an explanatory statement, the most
common opinions offered in support of rollback (in no particular
order) were perceptions that:

VE is too buggy / error-prone.
VE is missing too many essential features.
The current performance of VE is too slow.
Various complaints about UI ("edit" section animation, button labels, etc.)
Creates more work than benefits.
Poor experience will deter rather than encourage new editors.
Not intuitive.


The overarching theme of the comments is that VE was perceived as too
immature/incomplete to justify any form of wide-scale deployment at
this time. It should also be acknowledged that many participants
agreed with the idea of a visual editor, in principle, but felt that
the current implementation wasn't yet adequate.

-Robert Rohde


On Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM, Bence Damokos <bdamokos@gmail.com> wrote:
> Can somebody summarize the concerns raised in that RfC?
>
> Best regards,
> Bence
>
>
> On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 2:36 AM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski <tomasz@twkozlowski.net
>> wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>> there is a famous quote on courage by Winston Churchill, a British Prime
>> Minister, who once wisely said: "Courage is what it takes to stand up and
>> speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
>>
>> Over the weekend, more than 440 editors of the German Wikipedia took part
>> in an RfC-like process ("Umfragen") at <https://de.wikipedia.org/**
>> wiki/Wikipedia:Umfragen/**VisualEditor_Opt-in<https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Umfragen/VisualEditor_Opt-in>>
>> and voted against the activation of the VisualEditor for anonymous users,
>> asking the WMF to revert to an opt-in phase instead of the currently
>> existing opt-out.
>>
>> This is yet another signal coming from the community that there is
>> something very broken about the process in which VisualEditor is being
>> rolled out. Most of the criticism has been ignored so far, but on the other
>> hand, we haven't yet seen such an enormous community objection against the
>> VisualEditor anywhere.
>>
>> Let us therefore use this opportunity, and have the courage to sit down
>> and listen. Or, perhaps, in the wiki spirit, let's edit this quote, and let
>> us sit down and talk.
>>
>> And, together, let's learn a lesson from this, and correct the errors so
>> that they don't become mistakes.
>>
>> Tomasz
>>
>> ______________________________**_________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
Hey Tomasz,

this is a good way to start a new thread here, so let me respond.

We've done the following with regard to the VE beta so far:
- We've overall slowed down the beta rollout schedule;
- We've excluded nlwiki from the phase 2 beta rollout;
- We've switched dewiki back to opt-in;
- We've offered an easy way to hide VisualEditor (it was always
possible not to use it).

We've also pushed out lots of fixes & improvements, including a first
round of performance improvements, a better (still not awesome)
citations dialog, improvements to the template dialog, etc.

If we have to globally go back to opt-in for a while, or some
middle-ground (instant opt-out, or advertised beta) we'll do that too.
We'd prefer not to, because having developers quickly see the impact
of their changes at scale, positive and negative, is essential to
making the product better quickly. The steady stream of feedback has
been invaluable, and I think the changelog of the last few weeks
demonstrates that beyond all doubt.

We see very few roundtripping errors. We do see incidents of
problematic edits that are unique to a visual editing environment
(e.g. backspace-deleting an infobox vs. having to select & delete all
the markup representing it; reduced precision in applying formatting
to content due to mouse selection). Some of those we can help reduce,
some of them are inherent and we'll likely have to accept as a cost of
introducing a new editor. And we do see the much-discussed issues with
complex templates where the question isn't really who is "at fault"
but what the right long term solution is.

There are quite a few ugly bugs (it's a beta), but most of those
aren't that hard to squash. It'll take longer to make really big gains
in performance, though -- that's a genuinely hard problem.

We don't think going back into opt-in mode is in the interests of
advancing Wikimedia's mission -- maintaining VE as the "edit" button
while making it trivial to edit source forces us to really stay at a
high pace of continuous improvement that meets user needs. Nothing
constrains choice and imposes urgency like reality.

Our preference is therefore to work with the community to stay in
continuous improvement mode. If the overwhelming community sentiment
is that the cost of continuous improvement with a large scale user
base is larger than the benefit (as it was on dewiki), we'll switch
back (or to a compromise), and use a more rigid set of acceptance
criteria and a less rigid deadline for getting back into large scale
usage later in the year.

Erik
--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On 30 July 2013 17:03, Erik Moeller <erik@wikimedia.org> wrote:

>If the overwhelming community sentiment
> is that the cost of continuous improvement with a large scale user
> base is larger than the benefit (as it was on dewiki), we'll switch
> back (or to a compromise), and use a more rigid set of acceptance
> criteria and a less rigid deadline for getting back into large scale
> usage later in the year.


de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
hasn't.)


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On 30 July 2013 14:13, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 30 July 2013 17:03, Erik Moeller <erik@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
> >If the overwhelming community sentiment
> > is that the cost of continuous improvement with a large scale user
> > base is larger than the benefit (as it was on dewiki), we'll switch
> > back (or to a compromise), and use a more rigid set of acceptance
> > criteria and a less rigid deadline for getting back into large scale
> > usage later in the year.
>
>
> de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
> asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
> subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
> hasn't.)
>
>
>
Just noting in passing:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Default_State_RFC

Risker
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:

> de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
> asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
> subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
> hasn't.)
>

[Speaking personally, not for the VE team in any way.]

Why should a consensus of any arbitrary number of power editors be allowed
to define the defaults for all editors, including anonymous and
newly-registered people? Anonymous edits make up about 1/3 of enwiki edits,
IIRC. Every day, 3,000-5,000 new accounts are registered on English
Wikipedia. These people are not even being asked to participate in these
RFCs. Even if they were, they typically don't know how to participate and
find it very intimidating.

This system of gauging the success of VE is heavily biased toward the
concerns of people most likely to dislike change in the software and
frankly, to not really need VE in its current state. That doesn't mean
they're wrong, just that they don't speak for everyone's perspective. The
sad fact is that the people who stand to benefit the most from continued
use and improvements to VE can't participate in an RFC about it, in part
because of wikitext's complexities and annoyances. It is a huge failure of
the consensus process and the Wikimedia movement if we pretend that it's
truly open, fair, and inclusive to make a decision about VE this way.

In WMF design and development, we work our butts off trying to do research,
design, and data analysis that guides us toward building for _all_ the
stakeholders in a feature. We're not perfect at it by a long shot, but I
don't see a good faith effort by English and German Wikipedians running
these RFCs to solicit and consider the opinions of the huge number of
new/anonymous editors. And why should they? That's not their job, they just
want to express their frustration and be listened to.

To answer David's question: I think we need a benchmark for making VE
opt-in again that legitimately represents the needs of _all the people_ who
stand to benefit from continuing the rapid pace of bug fixing and feature
additions. I don't think an on-wiki RFC is it.

Steven
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
> On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
>> asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
>> subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
>> hasn't.)
>>
>
> [Speaking personally, not for the VE team in any way.]
>
> Why should a consensus of any arbitrary number of power editors be
> allowed
> to define the defaults for all editors, including anonymous and
> newly-registered people? Anonymous edits make up about 1/3 of enwiki
> edits,
> IIRC. Every day, 3,000-5,000 new accounts are registered on English
> Wikipedia. These people are not even being asked to participate in these
> RFCs. Even if they were, they typically don't know how to participate and
> find it very intimidating.
>
> This system of gauging the success of VE is heavily biased toward the
> concerns of people most likely to dislike change in the software and
> frankly, to not really need VE in its current state. That doesn't mean
> they're wrong, just that they don't speak for everyone's perspective. The
> sad fact is that the people who stand to benefit the most from continued
> use and improvements to VE can't participate in an RFC about it, in part
> because of wikitext's complexities and annoyances. It is a huge failure
> of
> the consensus process and the Wikimedia movement if we pretend that it's
> truly open, fair, and inclusive to make a decision about VE this way.
>
> In WMF design and development, we work our butts off trying to do
> research,
> design, and data analysis that guides us toward building for _all_ the
> stakeholders in a feature. We're not perfect at it by a long shot, but I
> don't see a good faith effort by English and German Wikipedians running
> these RFCs to solicit and consider the opinions of the huge number of
> new/anonymous editors. And why should they? That's not their job, they
> just
> want to express their frustration and be listened to.
>
> To answer David's question: I think we need a benchmark for making VE
> opt-in again that legitimately represents the needs of _all the people_
> who
> stand to benefit from continuing the rapid pace of bug fixing and feature
> additions. I don't think an on-wiki RFC is it.
>
> Steven

Let me confess, I hate all new things. I hate the constantly changing
complicated wiki markup and I hate the new editor, cause I don't know how
to work it even if it would be simpler if I were starting from scratch.
The point was to design an editor that would be better for casual and new
editors; I have nothing whatever to add from my own experience because I
can't duplicate from my experience that of a casual or new editor.

Fred


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On 30 July 2013 21:47, Steven Walling <steven.walling@gmail.com> wrote:

> Why should a consensus of any arbitrary number of power editors be allowed
> to define the defaults for all editors, including anonymous and


OK - so why were those people listened to on de:wp? What happened
there that they convinced you?


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
Dear Steven, I think I understand what you mean, and I am concerned about a
certain conservatism among the editors, too. Some editors complain all the
time anyway. But when 87% reject such a software feature I suppose they
cannot be all wrong (by the way, I am one of this huge majority). There are
two groups among the "rejectors": Those who object a VE in general, and
those who are eager to have one but have experienced major problems using
it (I am one of them).
One of my compatriots has expressed it as I feel it: we often see "beta
phase" software, and sometimes after the beta phase there has never been a
"final version". But those beta versions usually work well. This is
different to the VE version we have experienced.
I do appreciate Erik's explanations from above, see that the Foundation
does notice what happens, and I agree that the existing community should
not have an absolute veto power with regard to the "potential community of
the future". I do have the impression that people were used as guinea pigs
who did not ask for being that. :-)
Kind regards
Ziko








--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ziko van Dijk
voorzitter / president Wikimedia Nederland
deputy chair Wikimedia Chapters Association Council

Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland
Postbus 167
3500 AD Utrecht
http://wikimedia.nl
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


2013/7/30 Steven Walling <steven.walling@gmail.com>

> On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
> > asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
> > subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
> > hasn't.)
> >
>
> [Speaking personally, not for the VE team in any way.]
>
> Why should a consensus of any arbitrary number of power editors be allowed
> to define the defaults for all editors, including anonymous and
> newly-registered people? Anonymous edits make up about 1/3 of enwiki edits,
> IIRC. Every day, 3,000-5,000 new accounts are registered on English
> Wikipedia. These people are not even being asked to participate in these
> RFCs. Even if they were, they typically don't know how to participate and
> find it very intimidating.
>
> This system of gauging the success of VE is heavily biased toward the
> concerns of people most likely to dislike change in the software and
> frankly, to not really need VE in its current state. That doesn't mean
> they're wrong, just that they don't speak for everyone's perspective. The
> sad fact is that the people who stand to benefit the most from continued
> use and improvements to VE can't participate in an RFC about it, in part
> because of wikitext's complexities and annoyances. It is a huge failure of
> the consensus process and the Wikimedia movement if we pretend that it's
> truly open, fair, and inclusive to make a decision about VE this way.
>
> In WMF design and development, we work our butts off trying to do research,
> design, and data analysis that guides us toward building for _all_ the
> stakeholders in a feature. We're not perfect at it by a long shot, but I
> don't see a good faith effort by English and German Wikipedians running
> these RFCs to solicit and consider the opinions of the huge number of
> new/anonymous editors. And why should they? That's not their job, they just
> want to express their frustration and be listened to.
>
> To answer David's question: I think we need a benchmark for making VE
> opt-in again that legitimately represents the needs of _all the people_ who
> stand to benefit from continuing the rapid pace of bug fixing and feature
> additions. I don't think an on-wiki RFC is it.
>
> Steven
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On 30 July 2013 22:27, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 30 July 2013 21:47, Steven Walling <steven.walling@gmail.com> wrote:

>> Why should a consensus of any arbitrary number of power editors be allowed
>> to define the defaults for all editors, including anonymous and

> OK - so why were those people listened to on de:wp? What happened
> there that they convinced you?


And I would remind you - I've been an ardent advocate of the absolute
necessity for a Visual Editor for Wikipedia for the past few years. My
qualms are not with change, but this particular instance and the
serious problems on many levels the project of its implementation has
manifested. It's possible the present project is recoverable into
something usable, but it's really not going to just happen.


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 2:27 PM, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:

> OK - so why were those people listened to on de:wp? What happened
> there that they convinced you?
>

If you're replying to me... this is why I said I wasn't speaking for the VE
team. I didn't make that call. :)

Steven
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
It is absolutely true that the power users can't directly speak for
the new users or anons.

That said, it would be unusual (though not impossible) if 85% of one
group held an opinion without a large fraction of other related
communities also sharing that view. If the WMF or someone else wants
to commission a study of anon and new users opinions, that would
definitely be interesting to see. Personally, I think VE is probably
still too immature to be spending a lot of money asking people about
it. (In other words, many of the problems and missing features are
pretty obvious and we don't need to query large numbers of people to
hear about things we already know.) Once it is a bit more stable and
the low hanging fruit have been addressed, it could be quite
instructive to get some user interaction studies on how people think
it could be made better.

We also might be able to get some useful data by further A/B testing.
For example, if VE is disabled, then assigning some anons to a VE
enabled group (perhaps by a cookie) could provide a valuable
comparison that we don't presently have.

For the moment, the thing we do have is edit counts over time (and
similar data). Such data is certainly subject to various confounding
influences, but the data we do have for anons and new users isn't
exactly exciting. New users are only choosing VE at the 30-40% level
for article edits, while anons are at the 20% use level. Not exactly
a sign of wild enthusiasm for the new editing platform. By itself,
these lowish use numbers are probably enough to conclude that neither
group is overwhelmingly excited by VE, though admittedly both numbers
are much higher than the 6% usage seen by established users.

The number I worry a bit more about is that total anon editing of
articles has fallen 9% in the two weeks since introduction (compared
to the prior two weeks). During the same time period total editing of
articles by registered users rose 2%. Again, correlation is not
causation, but if novice editors really liked VE then I would rather
have expected total anon editing to increase relative to established
users. Even though anons and power user undoubtedly have different
needs. I can't help worrying that the bugs, missing features, and
sluggish performance that power users complain about might also be
discouraging some of the anonymous and new users. If the present
state of VE is actually discouraging new editors then that would be a
good sign that it isn't yet ready for wide deployment.

If I were designing a research program to study VE, I would certainly
make getting additional information on anon behaviors a high priority,
either by conducting new comparison trials or by finding better ways
to tease out patterns in editing trends.

-Robert Rohde





On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM, Steven Walling
<steven.walling@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
>> asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
>> subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
>> hasn't.)
>>
>
> [Speaking personally, not for the VE team in any way.]
>
> Why should a consensus of any arbitrary number of power editors be allowed
> to define the defaults for all editors, including anonymous and
> newly-registered people? Anonymous edits make up about 1/3 of enwiki edits,
> IIRC. Every day, 3,000-5,000 new accounts are registered on English
> Wikipedia. These people are not even being asked to participate in these
> RFCs. Even if they were, they typically don't know how to participate and
> find it very intimidating.
>
> This system of gauging the success of VE is heavily biased toward the
> concerns of people most likely to dislike change in the software and
> frankly, to not really need VE in its current state. That doesn't mean
> they're wrong, just that they don't speak for everyone's perspective. The
> sad fact is that the people who stand to benefit the most from continued
> use and improvements to VE can't participate in an RFC about it, in part
> because of wikitext's complexities and annoyances. It is a huge failure of
> the consensus process and the Wikimedia movement if we pretend that it's
> truly open, fair, and inclusive to make a decision about VE this way.
>
> In WMF design and development, we work our butts off trying to do research,
> design, and data analysis that guides us toward building for _all_ the
> stakeholders in a feature. We're not perfect at it by a long shot, but I
> don't see a good faith effort by English and German Wikipedians running
> these RFCs to solicit and consider the opinions of the huge number of
> new/anonymous editors. And why should they? That's not their job, they just
> want to express their frustration and be listened to.
>
> To answer David's question: I think we need a benchmark for making VE
> opt-in again that legitimately represents the needs of _all the people_ who
> stand to benefit from continuing the rapid pace of bug fixing and feature
> additions. I don't think an on-wiki RFC is it.
>
> Steven
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:

> de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
> asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
> subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
> hasn't.)

Hey David,

to me, this isn't about power dynamics (who decides, what is the
threshold, etc.) but about doing the right thing. It's pretty clear
where the en.wp RFC is going - a lot of users aren't comfortable
enough with the state of VE to give it the level of visibility it has.
Fair enough. I'm not going to dismiss that concern as "conservatism
about change" or any BS like that. There's plenty of that, and
there'll be more, but that's not the core issue right now.

Where we're coming from is simple. VE needed to get out of the
development model with a tiny group of users. It's been absolutely
critical to get the level of feedback we've been getting, and to have
thousands of users hit every edge case combination of
browser/OS/template complexity/editing operation. To get real world
reports on various aspects of the experience. To have people in India
or Argentina tell us "We used VE in a workshop, and here are some of
the things that worked and didn't work".

And this is not a one-time thing. We can't just work through a
mountain of feedback in a waterfall development model and hope that
all our assumptions about how to fix this or that complex issue will
work out in practice. You can throw cheap user tests at every design,
but at the end of the day, you need to go into the real world. Doug
Engelbart put it well: "The rate at which a person can mature is
directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate."

This is why our preference is to keep fixing issues every day, as we
have been, addressing many of the highest priority real world issues,
including performance improvements, reducing <nowiki> escaping,
improving template/citation dialogs, etc. And every time we push out
one of those changes, we learn quickly whether it's working or not.

The opt-in alpha period wasn't sufficient to give us a large diversity
of users. The large-scale beta we're in right now, in spite of not
taking anything away from the ability to edit wikitext, is feeling too
disruptive for many at this time. What's a reasonable middle ground we
could shoot for?

In order to continually improve, we really need to build a large pool
of users that include IPs, new users, and experienced users. One
possibility is to aim for a prominent beta switch that's available to
all, similar to what we have on the mobile site. That would be an
opportunity to consolidate beta features, and to consistently treat
beta as opt-in as is being requested, while increasing the diversity
of the pool through increased prominence and recruiting. We'd have
some self-selection bias if we don't do better recruiting.

Another possibility would be to just maintain a separate, clearly
labeled tab for the VisualEditor that gives a prominent beta notice on
first-time invocation, with easy permanent dismissal.

We may also need to continue to run split A/B tests for different user
groups, in order to really get solid quantitative data on experience
differences.

Other thoughts & ideas? All of this is to say - to me this isn't a
game with a winner or a loser. We're working on this together to build
an awesome editing environment, not to score political points. So
let's iterate and find the best way forward together. :)

Cheers,
Erik

--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On 31 July 2013 06:28, Erik Moeller <erik@wikimedia.org> wrote:


Thanks. So, how did de:wp convince you when en:wp didn't? I notice you
didn't address that point at all.


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
Am 30.07.2013 20:14 schrieb "David Gerard" <dgerard@gmail.com>:
>
> On 30 July 2013 17:03, Erik Moeller <erik@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
> >If the overwhelming community sentiment
> > is that the cost of continuous improvement with a large scale user
> > base is larger than the benefit (as it was on dewiki), we'll switch
> > back (or to a compromise), and use a more rigid set of acceptance
> > criteria and a less rigid deadline for getting back into large scale
> > usage later in the year.
>
>
> de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
> asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
> subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
> hasn't.)

Hi David, i am editing on dewp and enwp. I consider myself an experienced
editor, but not an expert. I did not participate voting in dewp, but i like
to try ve from time to time. Beeing a software developper I fully support
eriks arguments before. Imo pragmatic and flexible decisions help such
development a lot, just like Erik explained.

What i would have hoped though is that the wiki syntax gets changed where
it is difficult to implement. And what i would have expected are more ideas
to just edit parts of a page, like e.g. hotcat does it, to avoid such a
mammoth dealing with everything which feels slow then.

To give three examples:
1. why not define a metadata section for every page, where categories, and
access rights are stored? Then these parts already can be split out of the
"page ve".

2. Why not having a read and edit mode? Edit mode just adds "edit" links to
all applicable parts of a page.

3. Why not decide references can only be after paragraphs, and edited via
edit links showing up in Edit mode? so this part can be split out of "page
ve".

Rupert
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
Thanks Erik for the helpful attitude.

Out of curiosity (not sure if this was discussed in more detail before -
apologies for that), is it indeed true that Visual Editor is significantly
slower than the regular editor (it feels like that to me, but might be my
computer playing tricks on me), and is there any chance this will be
overcome soon? I'm asking because you state that you want VE to move
outside the small group of users - and making it faster might quite easily
make it more popular with the non-diehard-non-new users. Right now I often
simply use the regular editor for simple edits, because it is just quicker
(less clicks, but also faster loading).

Lodewijk


2013/7/31 rupert THURNER <rupert.thurner@gmail.com>

> Am 30.07.2013 20:14 schrieb "David Gerard" <dgerard@gmail.com>:
> >
> > On 30 July 2013 17:03, Erik Moeller <erik@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> >
> > >If the overwhelming community sentiment
> > > is that the cost of continuous improvement with a large scale user
> > > base is larger than the benefit (as it was on dewiki), we'll switch
> > > back (or to a compromise), and use a more rigid set of acceptance
> > > criteria and a less rigid deadline for getting back into large scale
> > > usage later in the year.
> >
> >
> > de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
> > asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
> > subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
> > hasn't.)
>
> Hi David, i am editing on dewp and enwp. I consider myself an experienced
> editor, but not an expert. I did not participate voting in dewp, but i like
> to try ve from time to time. Beeing a software developper I fully support
> eriks arguments before. Imo pragmatic and flexible decisions help such
> development a lot, just like Erik explained.
>
> What i would have hoped though is that the wiki syntax gets changed where
> it is difficult to implement. And what i would have expected are more ideas
> to just edit parts of a page, like e.g. hotcat does it, to avoid such a
> mammoth dealing with everything which feels slow then.
>
> To give three examples:
> 1. why not define a metadata section for every page, where categories, and
> access rights are stored? Then these parts already can be split out of the
> "page ve".
>
> 2. Why not having a read and edit mode? Edit mode just adds "edit" links to
> all applicable parts of a page.
>
> 3. Why not decide references can only be after paragraphs, and edited via
> edit links showing up in Edit mode? so this part can be split out of "page
> ve".
>
> Rupert
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On 31 July 2013 10:59, rupert THURNER <rupert.thurner@gmail.com> wrote:

>> de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
>> asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
>> subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
>> hasn't.)

> Hi David, i am editing on dewp and enwp. I consider myself an experienced
> editor, but not an expert. I did not participate voting in dewp, but i like
> to try ve from time to time. Beeing a software developper I fully support
> eriks arguments before. Imo pragmatic and flexible decisions help such
> development a lot, just like Erik explained.


Certainly. However, it's the obvious question to ask, and a curious
question to spend several paragraphs not answering.

Erik, James - how did de:wp convinced you when en:wp hasn't?


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On 31 July 2013 08:36, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 31 July 2013 10:59, rupert THURNER <rupert.thurner@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >> de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp? (I'm
> >> asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
> >> subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
> >> hasn't.)
>
> > Hi David, i am editing on dewp and enwp. I consider myself an experienced
> > editor, but not an expert. I did not participate voting in dewp, but i
> like
> > to try ve from time to time. Beeing a software developper I fully support
> > eriks arguments before. Imo pragmatic and flexible decisions help such
> > development a lot, just like Erik explained.
>
>
> Certainly. However, it's the obvious question to ask, and a curious
> question to spend several paragraphs not answering.
>
> Erik, James - how did de:wp convinced you when en:wp hasn't?
>
>
>
I would also like to see a direct answer to David's very specific
question.

Risker
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
Erik Moeller, 31/07/2013 07:28:
> We can't just work through a
> mountain of feedback in a waterfall development model and hope that
> all our assumptions about how to fix this or that complex issue will
> work out in practice.

+1
Also, such an important feature cannot be based on biased feedback from
a subset of users and projects.

Erik Moeller, 30/07/2013 18:03:
> The steady stream of feedback has
> been invaluable, and I think the changelog of the last few weeks
> demonstrates that beyond all doubt.

I think it would be helpful, if possible, to give some guesstimates of
this, i.e.: how longer a wait it would cost us to reach some rank of
quality if the deployment was downscaled; or, what would be the
"deadline" for feedback on aspects X and Y to be actually able to be
processed and worked on, before previous development decisions become
irreversible or the developers move on to something else.
We have seen some other products stuck for a few weeks or months in
semi-ready state, which have then been deployed and have experienced
some problems that were not predicted; or other products which have been
used only on en.wiki (with dozens of WMF staffers involved in processing
the feedback from one single wiki) and which are later deployed to other
wikis when the product is already in maintenance mode, so that those
wikis will never have a chance to influence the development.
If de.wiki users or other users discussing/voting on whether to delay
wider VE deployment could do so knowing that "delaying by x months will
make us wait y months more to get use case w to work", or "if we delay
after day z, feedback from our community will not influence the
deployment of w", the conclusions would be more meaningful. If one
assumes that the cost of delaying is 0, as it's what we've been using
for 12 years, of course the benefits will always seem to outweigh the
downsides.

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On 07/31/2013 10:52 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:
> I think it would be helpful, if possible, to give some guesstimates of
> this, i.e.: how longer a wait it would cost us to reach some rank of
> quality if the deployment was downscaled; or, what would be the
> "deadline" for feedback on aspects X and Y to be actually able to be
> processed and worked on, before previous development decisions become
> irreversible or the developers move on to something else.

Is it even possible to quantify this without just pulling numbers out of
one's ass? It's not just a matter of "10 times the number of users
means 10 times the number of bugs found" since the /profile/ of the
users changes drastically as well.

For instance, allowing the VE only for registered editors is guaranteed
to never reveal bugs/issues that only affects anonymous editing or
interaction between anons and registered editors.

Likewise, requiring opt-in or allowing opt-out changes the makeup of the
users a great deal (the former making certain that only editors with at
least some familiarity with how we work use it and thus preventing
usability issues for "true newbies" from being found, the latter by
allowing the more vocal and knowing segments of editors to "hide" the VE
and no longer see issues they alone are well-equipped to notice or
evaluate).

-- Marc


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
Hoi,
Quality like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One thing that I learned
today is that the Visual Editor will have functionality that only the more
accomplished editors will enter directly or they will use templates. With
VE these templates are redundant.

From my perspective, the future will be with the VE and not with the
horrible tortuous templates that require study to use. One of the reasons
why I prefer Wikidata over Wikipedia is that Wikidata does not have
templates and is certainly as relevant. When I notice the improvements in
the Wikidata experience, I can only applaud the improvements made.

What is truly beyond me is that people protest the availability of the VE
edit button. It is the choice of everybody to use VE or not. When they do
they will have a similar experience I have with Wikidata.. You can only
rejoice for the improvements that are made. Given that the improvements to
the VE are a top priority, this experience can only be that much more
enjoyable..

For all the oldies who complain about VE I want to remind them about the
Commons experience; Commons existed without any functionality. It took
months before we could use the images in any Wikipedia.

Really stop moaning and let that button be.
Thanks,
Gerard


On 31 July 2013 18:26, Marc A. Pelletier <marc@uberbox.org> wrote:

> On 07/31/2013 10:52 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:
> > I think it would be helpful, if possible, to give some guesstimates of
> > this, i.e.: how longer a wait it would cost us to reach some rank of
> > quality if the deployment was downscaled; or, what would be the
> > "deadline" for feedback on aspects X and Y to be actually able to be
> > processed and worked on, before previous development decisions become
> > irreversible or the developers move on to something else.
>
> Is it even possible to quantify this without just pulling numbers out of
> one's ass? It's not just a matter of "10 times the number of users
> means 10 times the number of bugs found" since the /profile/ of the
> users changes drastically as well.
>
> For instance, allowing the VE only for registered editors is guaranteed
> to never reveal bugs/issues that only affects anonymous editing or
> interaction between anons and registered editors.
>
> Likewise, requiring opt-in or allowing opt-out changes the makeup of the
> users a great deal (the former making certain that only editors with at
> least some familiarity with how we work use it and thus preventing
> usability issues for "true newbies" from being found, the latter by
> allowing the more vocal and knowing segments of editors to "hide" the VE
> and no longer see issues they alone are well-equipped to notice or
> evaluate).
>
> -- Marc
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
Am 31.07.2013 15:07 schrieb "Risker" <risker.wp@gmail.com>:
>
> On 31 July 2013 08:36, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On 31 July 2013 10:59, rupert THURNER <rupert.thurner@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > >> de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp?
(I'm
> > >> asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
> > >> subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
> > >> hasn't.)
> >
> > > Hi David, i am editing on dewp and enwp. I consider myself an
experienced
> > > editor, but not an expert. I did not participate voting in dewp, but i
> > like
> > > to try ve from time to time. Beeing a software developper I fully
support
> > > eriks arguments before. Imo pragmatic and flexible decisions help such
> > > development a lot, just like Erik explained.
> >
> >
> > Certainly. However, it's the obvious question to ask, and a curious
> > question to spend several paragraphs not answering.
> >
> > Erik, James - how did de:wp convinced you when en:wp hasn't?
> >
> >
> >
> I would also like to see a direct answer to David's very specific
> question.
>
From a software developers standpoint its nice to have the 2 biggest wikis
following a different strategy. Enwp is enough to get a lot of testers. But
some accommodation of the users comes with it. Switching over wpde later
gets again not accommodated and more critical feedback.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On 31 July 2013 13:32, rupert THURNER <rupert.thurner@gmail.com> wrote:

> Am 31.07.2013 15:07 schrieb "Risker" <risker.wp@gmail.com>:
> >
> > On 31 July 2013 08:36, David Gerard <dgerard@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > On 31 July 2013 10:59, rupert THURNER <rupert.thurner@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > >> de:wp convinced you. What would it take to convince you on en:wp?
> (I'm
> > > >> asking for a clear objective criterion here. If you can only offer a
> > > >> subjective one, please explain how de:wp convinced you when en:wp
> > > >> hasn't.)
> > >
> > > > Hi David, i am editing on dewp and enwp. I consider myself an
> experienced
> > > > editor, but not an expert. I did not participate voting in dewp, but
> i
> > > like
> > > > to try ve from time to time. Beeing a software developper I fully
> support
> > > > eriks arguments before. Imo pragmatic and flexible decisions help
> such
> > > > development a lot, just like Erik explained.
> > >
> > >
> > > Certainly. However, it's the obvious question to ask, and a curious
> > > question to spend several paragraphs not answering.
> > >
> > > Erik, James - how did de:wp convinced you when en:wp hasn't?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > I would also like to see a direct answer to David's very specific
> > question.
> >
> From a software developers standpoint its nice to have the 2 biggest wikis
> following a different strategy. Enwp is enough to get a lot of testers. But
> some accommodation of the users comes with it. Switching over wpde later
> gets again not accommodated and more critical feedback.
>
>
Without rejecting your position, what we really want to hear is Erik
Moeller's reasoning, in his role as VP Engineering. It was Erik's
decision, and we want him to explain his reasoning in his own words.

Risker
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's have the courage to sit down and talk about VisualEditor [ In reply to ]
On Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 12:47 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<gerard.meijssen@gmail.com> wrote:
> Quality like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One thing that I learned
> today is that the Visual Editor will have functionality that only the more
> accomplished editors will enter directly or they will use templates. With
> VE these templates are redundant.

Some, perhaps. But would you rather use a template or remember the
multiple buttons in VE and the right CSS style/class string (if that's
even possible in VE?) to do the same thing manually?

> From my perspective, the future will be with the VE and not with the
> horrible tortuous templates that require study to use. One of the reasons
> why I prefer Wikidata over Wikipedia is that Wikidata does not have
> templates and is certainly as relevant. When I notice the improvements in
> the Wikidata experience, I can only applaud the improvements made.

Wikidata also deals with discrete bits of usually-unformatted data,
rather than heavily-formatted encyclopedia articles. I'm not sure
you're comparing apples to apples there.

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