On Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 3:14 PM, Toby Negrin <tnegrin(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
Many of you have read Magnus' post on his
I've commented on his blog and I wanted to repost here and address Magnus'
First of all, I'm sorry that we let Magnus and other folks down on the
page view APIs -- we made some commitments late last year that we weren't
able to meet. Not only that, these failures echoed previous points of
frustration with the Foundation.
I do want to note that we actively support the infrastructure that feeds
data to stats.grok.se. We've fixed a number of issues with that pipeline,
most recently last week. We understand the importance of this data to the
The page view API project has been challenging for a number of reasons --
the size of the data, the fact that definitions of page views have not been
updated to stay in line with the changing traffic (mobile, bots, API
requests, etc) and the challenges in aggregating various aliases. We've
needed to revisit our definitions of page views in order to get this right
as well as design and build a global architecture for collecting these and
other metrics. In addition, we've tried to do this with a perspective of
privacy and respect for our users.
To this end, we presented an approach to measuring page views in MediaWiki
at FOSDEM in January and have made progress towards our new infrastructure
by deploying middleware delivering unsampled page view data from mobile
devices from our globally distributed datacenters to our compute cluster
However, these initiatives are complex and will take several months to
complete at the earliest. In the meantime, we're working with Henrik to
scale up stats.grok.se.
I also want to call out that the Analytics team has been supporting a wide
range of users and stakeholders during the year. We've developed
WikiMetrics, a tool for measuring editor productivity that is used by WMF
program evaluation and community members; provided dashboards and support
for Wikipedia Zero, our program to partner with our mobile partners to
enable mobile Wikipedia access free from data charges; and supported
product teams and researchers both inside and outside of the foundation.
We've been prioritizing and working on these projects as our resources
allow and it's important to understand that the team has not been idle.
While we've done a less than stellar job in communicating our progress to
the community, information on what we've been doing is available via our planning
pages <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Analytics/Prioritization_Planning> on
mediawiki. In the future, we will be more proactive in communicating with
the community regarding our goals and projects.
I think this is reasonable. It's always been hard that the team's scope has
ostensibly been "any analytical need in the Foundation and probably in the
Wikimedia community at large".
I think the Analytics team deserves respect for an honest and realistic
response in this case, which is that we care very much about the problem of
accurately generating pageviews data at Wikimedia scale, but it's not going
to happen overnight. And admitting that in the past where we've
overestimated our abilities. That's something probably all of us are
tempted to do in Wikimedia-land, where we care desperately about overcoming
obstacles but aren't always resourced or prepared to tackle a certain
problem. That includes me.
Keep on truckin'