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[Wikimedia-l] Board statement on the Media Viewer roll out
Hi all,

Some of you have asked the Board and its individual members for feedback. Some of us are already in conversation with you or are planning to answer on different pages. This is our general common statement:

The Board supports the decision to protect the Media Viewer roll out. Our platform powers a top-5 website. We need operational protocols that are consistent with this position. This includes making improvements, rather than a tendency towards reverting to the status quo.

At the Board meeting before Wikimania, Lila laid out her strategy to put in place best practices for product development. We will communicate sooner, we will prioritize smarter, we will test more, and we will achieve better outcomes. Her vision is to involve the community at each step of product development, including more structured feedback stages and reviews. We endorse this vision.

We realize that there is concern about the superprotect user right and how it affects power balance and influence on content and administration. We recognize the concern that we need to explain and introduce our measures better. However, stability of the platform is necessary as we seek to improve our sites, and, for that reason, we support the creation of this tool. We also understand that with more robust rollout plans and better staged community feedback - as Lila envisions - the tool should rarely be used.
We urge you to focus on specific improvements you'd like to see in the Media Viewer and the roll-out process. Lila intends to incorporate that feedback as she plans to improve Media Viewer and the process for future product roll outs.
The Wikimedia Foundation needs to be in a position to make software and configuration changes for which it is responsible. We expect restrictions of MediaWiki code-level editing to be a temporary step to enable us to move forward with improvements. As we say, Media Viewer should be improved; our procedures to date have not yet met the high standards we want to set for ourselves. Lila wants to address both now, and we need to give her the space to do so. She has our full support and confidence as she tackles this tough challenge.

On behalf of the Wikimedia Board of Trustees

Jan-Bart de Vreede
Chair
Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board statement on the Media Viewer roll out [ In reply to ]
Hi Jan-Bart,

thanks for this statement.
Thanks to all on the board and Lila working on this, the improvement of
our website and trying to recover the trust of our community.

/Manuel

Am 14.08.2014 15:42, schrieb Jan-Bart de Vreede:
> Some of you have asked the Board and its individual members for feedback. Some of us are already in conversation with you or are planning to answer on different pages. This is our general common statement:

[...]

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board statement on the Media Viewer roll out [ In reply to ]
Only after the last editor has been been driven away
Only after the last article written by a volunteer has been published
Only after the last vandal has been reverted by a volunteer
Then will you find that money alone cannot write an encyclopædia.

See: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weissagung_der_Cree

Regards,
Jürgen.


2014-08-14 15:42 GMT+02:00 Jan-Bart de Vreede <jdevreede@wikimedia.org>:
> Hi all,
>
> Some of you have asked the Board and its individual members for feedback. Some of us are already in conversation with you or are planning to answer on different pages. This is our general common statement:
>
> The Board supports the decision to protect the Media Viewer roll out. Our platform powers a top-5 website. We need operational protocols that are consistent with this position. This includes making improvements, rather than a tendency towards reverting to the status quo.
>
> At the Board meeting before Wikimania, Lila laid out her strategy to put in place best practices for product development. We will communicate sooner, we will prioritize smarter, we will test more, and we will achieve better outcomes. Her vision is to involve the community at each step of product development, including more structured feedback stages and reviews. We endorse this vision.
>
> We realize that there is concern about the superprotect user right and how it affects power balance and influence on content and administration. We recognize the concern that we need to explain and introduce our measures better. However, stability of the platform is necessary as we seek to improve our sites, and, for that reason, we support the creation of this tool. We also understand that with more robust rollout plans and better staged community feedback - as Lila envisions - the tool should rarely be used.
> We urge you to focus on specific improvements you'd like to see in the Media Viewer and the roll-out process. Lila intends to incorporate that feedback as she plans to improve Media Viewer and the process for future product roll outs.
> The Wikimedia Foundation needs to be in a position to make software and configuration changes for which it is responsible. We expect restrictions of MediaWiki code-level editing to be a temporary step to enable us to move forward with improvements. As we say, Media Viewer should be improved; our procedures to date have not yet met the high standards we want to set for ourselves. Lila wants to address both now, and we need to give her the space to do so. She has our full support and confidence as she tackles this tough challenge.
>
> On behalf of the Wikimedia Board of Trustees
>
> Jan-Bart de Vreede
> Chair
> Board of Trustees
> Wikimedia Foundation
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board statement on the Media Viewer roll out [ In reply to ]
The Board did not even consider to apologize for the rushed interference of
WMF staff on de:MediaWiki:Common.js which caused so much trouble in the
last days? No empathy for German Wikimedians who feel completely overruled
and locked out from maintaining its display and implementing community
consensus, a long established procedure btw.? No urge on WMF staff to
implement policies on who should use superprotect and when in order to
maintain our display the best, together? By just telling us that they did
what they had to do and would even repeat it identically (without warnings,
discussions, or anything) just in order to remove some bad JavaScript code
which was not covered by community consensus either and hence would have
been removed by local administrators anyway, you most likely will lose much
more trust there and globally which cannot be the goal you wanted to
achieve. Personally, I know that superprotect can be helpful in certain
circumstances because I had to deal with JavaScript abuse on Common.js'es
as a Wikimedia steward from time to time. That is why I support creating a
tool which prevents inexperienced admins from maintaining our display. But
does that necessarily be rushed which will leave an impression of attacking
the community by interfering in their originated responsibilities although
this was not intended? Without any idea which groups from now on will
maintain the display (crats? stewards? on consensus? on WMF instruction),
or does WMF staff wants to maintain all Commons.js, Vector.js, Monobook.js,
etc. on all 900 wikis alone? Some clarifications are needed in order to
solve this problem together. And that should be our goal: working together
to make Wikimedia projects are more welcome place for readers, authors, and
anyone.

Cheers,
Martin


2014-08-14 15:42 GMT+02:00 Jan-Bart de Vreede <jdevreede@wikimedia.org>:

> Hi all,
>
> Some of you have asked the Board and its individual members for feedback.
> Some of us are already in conversation with you or are planning to answer
> on different pages. This is our general common statement:
>
> The Board supports the decision to protect the Media Viewer roll out. Our
> platform powers a top-5 website. We need operational protocols that are
> consistent with this position. This includes making improvements, rather
> than a tendency towards reverting to the status quo.
>
> At the Board meeting before Wikimania, Lila laid out her strategy to put
> in place best practices for product development. We will communicate
> sooner, we will prioritize smarter, we will test more, and we will achieve
> better outcomes. Her vision is to involve the community at each step of
> product development, including more structured feedback stages and reviews.
> We endorse this vision.
>
> We realize that there is concern about the superprotect user right and how
> it affects power balance and influence on content and administration. We
> recognize the concern that we need to explain and introduce our measures
> better. However, stability of the platform is necessary as we seek to
> improve our sites, and, for that reason, we support the creation of this
> tool. We also understand that with more robust rollout plans and better
> staged community feedback - as Lila envisions - the tool should rarely be
> used.
> We urge you to focus on specific improvements you'd like to see in the
> Media Viewer and the roll-out process. Lila intends to incorporate that
> feedback as she plans to improve Media Viewer and the process for future
> product roll outs.
> The Wikimedia Foundation needs to be in a position to make software and
> configuration changes for which it is responsible. We expect restrictions
> of MediaWiki code-level editing to be a temporary step to enable us to move
> forward with improvements. As we say, Media Viewer should be improved; our
> procedures to date have not yet met the high standards we want to set for
> ourselves. Lila wants to address both now, and we need to give her the
> space to do so. She has our full support and confidence as she tackles this
> tough challenge.
>
> On behalf of the Wikimedia Board of Trustees
>
> Jan-Bart de Vreede
> Chair
> Board of Trustees
> Wikimedia Foundation
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board statement on the Media Viewer roll out [ In reply to ]
<sigh>
This is all very nice "going forward", but it completely misses the salient
points.

1. It is an egregious social blunder to act as Erik has done - he
apologised (sort of) on the English Wiki, he should at the very least have
the grace to do so on the German,

2. There are concerns about the MV software breaking attribution (among
other things). These need to be taken seriously. I am not familiar with
the detail, but if they are supported by fact the Media VIewer should be
withdrawn until it is fixed. Breaking the law is not what the free content
movement is about.

3. The Mediawiki community are knowledgeable, intelligent and experienced
as a group. They are not objecting because they are reactionary old farts,
but because there are significant issues. It is standard software
development practice to have a roll-back plan in place in case of just such
an event. It is not and should not be seen as a "defeat" or "climbdown" to
disable a new component while improvements are made. It is a learning
opportunity.

4. Superprotect. The suggestion that all software on the projects needs to
go through code review is absurd posturing that points up the cultural
difficulties. If there are features that should not be accesible to
Admins, then the software should not expose them. Traditionally, though,
such features have resulted in a divisive environment with chages to
configuration requested and denied by devs on the grounds that "we know
best".

5. Development. Note that the community does not have head-to-head clashes
with legal, financial and other parts of the Foundation. The development
team includes some of the best and the brightest of Wikipedians recruited
over the years. I have had the pleasure of talking to several of them at
Wikimanias, and despite the fact that they are lovely people, there is a
sense that they have become increasingly out of touch with the community,
and convinced that they are the guardians of the one-true-flame. I might
cite the developer who changed his mind three times during the Hifa
Wikimania over the solution to the "parser function" problem. His sole
decision resulted in considerable effort being directed in a way that took
years to deliver a result, when what we were asking for could have been
delivered in ten minutes.

6.Mission statement. The mission is to "encourage and empower" the
community. Not to bully and coerce it. I believe that during the time the
WMF has turned its gaze outwards, to attempt (mostly unsuccessfully) to
grow and diversify the editor base it lost focus on its mission. We need
to refocus so that the WMF can encourage and empower the community
efficiently. We need to ask the difficult questions on Gender Gap, on
content, on translation, on advocacy, on wiki-culture - and yes on HCI
too. We need to work with academic partners, talented volunteers,
contractors and staff to build evidence on which to base our decisions.
We need to build the software development structure Lila talks of. We need
to engage in content building strategies. All this will be a thousand
times as fruitful with an "encourage and empower" dynamic than the present
confrontational one.

All the best, Rich Farmbrough.



On 14 August 2014 15:00, Manuel Schneider <manuel.schneider@wikimedia.ch>
wrote:

> Hi Jan-Bart,
>
> thanks for this statement.
> Thanks to all on the board and Lila working on this, the improvement of
> our website and trying to recover the trust of our community.
>
> /Manuel
>
> Am 14.08.2014 15:42, schrieb Jan-Bart de Vreede:
> > Some of you have asked the Board and its individual members for
> feedback. Some of us are already in conversation with you or are planning
> to answer on different pages. This is our general common statement:
>
> [...]
>
> --
> Wikimedia CH - Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
> Lausanne, +41 (21) 34066-22 - www.wikimedia.ch
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board statement on the Media Viewer roll out [ In reply to ]
Juergen Fenn <schneeschmelze@googlemail.com> wrote:

> Only after the last editor has been been driven away
> Only after the last article written by a volunteer has been published
> Only after the last vandal has been reverted by a volunteer
> Then will you find that money alone cannot write an encyclopædia.

> See: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weissagung_der_Cree

> [...]

I doubt that WMF employees are paid in encyclopaedias :-).

Tim


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board statement on the Media Viewer roll out [ In reply to ]
On Thu, 14 Aug 2014, at 23:42, Jan-Bart de Vreede wrote:
> At the Board meeting before Wikimania, Lila laid out her strategy to put in place best practices for product development. We will communicate sooner, we will prioritize smarter, we will test more, and we will achieve better outcomes.
> Her vision is to involve the community at each step of product development, including more structured feedback stages and reviews. We endorse this vision.

Thanks Lila! Hope to see this in clear action very soon.

svetlana

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