I have somehow come across this email and i wanted to say, thanks for writing it YiFei. Am glad i could be of help :)

On Thu, Mar 30, 2023 at 6:00 AM YiFei Zhu <zhuyifei1999@gmail.com> wrote:
On Mon, Mar 27, 2023 at 2:39 PM Bryan Davis <bd808@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> After talking with both Arturo and Birgit about things we might
> present at Wikimania, I came up with this abstract for a talk:
> Co-creating platforms and products: how the Wikimedia Cloud Services
> team works with the larger Wikimedia technical community to build and
> maintain Cloud VPS, Toolforge, Quarry, PAWS, and more
> Did you know that volunteers are involved in planning, building, and
> maintaining the Cloud VPS and Toolforge projects as co-equals with
> paid staff from the Wikimedia Foundation? Since the start of the
> "Labs" project in 2011, one of the guiding principles for WMCS
> projects has been improving collaboration between Foundation staff and
> technical volunteers. Learn more about some of the policies and
> practices that are used to make this collaboration possible.
> The submission would be under either the "governance" or "technology"
> tracks. I think it would work best as a panel discussion that is
> either "hybrid" (some folks in Singapore, some on-line) or
> pre-recorded video.
> I think this is something that folks in the community might be
> interested in learning a bit about. I also think it would be
> interesting for those of us who have participated in this process to
> take some time to reflect on how we have worked together in the past
> and how we might like to see those those processes and practices
> evolve in the future. To make this talk work well there should be
> active voices from both the paid and volunteer staff involved. Towards
> that end, I'm mailing the cloud-admin@ list + 4 of you that I know
> have been active in the past in helping with Toolforge and/or Cloud
> VPS admin and features work to gauge your interest in participating.
> Thoughts?

[+ CC Petrb]

Oops forgot to reply. (I was like 'this is a long text I'll read it
later' and then I forgot).

I like having this talk. I think one of the things that potential
contributors may have is feeling intimidated by the complexity and
that feeling of "this is too much", or that "this is something for the

Personally, I don't remember why I started being more and more
interested in the infrastructure, it may have been just curiosity.
Like, when I jsub a bot task, which host executes it and how the
program gets invoked. Or it might have been debugging needs, like,
figuring out why my bot seems to be hanging. With the grid nodes back
then, I think we could ssh into any grid exec node and observe program
behavior (I don't know if this still holds true), which I think I
found interesting to observe how different components interacted. I
think I also talked a lot to Yuvi back in 2015 or so? I think I was
developing video2commons (sorry I had to abandon this tool due to
COI), and IIRC Yuvi suggested the architecture of having flask and
celery, and I think during this I found web development to be pretty
interesting (though I was and still am more interested in
infrastructure). It was also around this time Yuvi first showed PAWS
and I was kinda like 'wow how is this even possible' and I had no idea
what Docker is or does. Then around the time Yuvi was leaving I was
looking at a requested feature of exporting to excel sheets, so I
talked to Yuvi and was like 'I kinda wish I can fix this myself' and
Yuvi was like sure. So that happened. Luckily Quarry was also using
flask so I got familiar with quarry architecture pretty quickly. I
think I later tried to get Framawiki on board with maintaining Quarry
too but I think I kinda got bored in some ways later.

I think maybe a takeaway would be that even though I was
co-maintaining some cloud VPS projects like Toolforge & Quarry, it
didn't mean I was doing the entire project. There are plenty of things
that I didn't understand, such as the Kubernetes cluster, and I don't
think I have the time and energy to like, figure everything out and
maintain everything all at once (although Taavi seems to be doing this
- how they are doing it is beyond me).

I don't think I can make it to Singapore but I'm interested in hearing
the talk. Depending on the time & sleep schedule maybe I could be
there for the hybrid slot. Really looking forward to it.

Also CC'ed Petr, who was very active maintaining Toolforge during the
2013-2014 era.

YiFei Zhu

> Bryan
> --
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> Principal Software Engineer                               Boise, ID USA
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