That's a good response, but I'm not sure it provides a practical way
forward. How can volunteers bring this issue to the attention of the WMF
leadership to get the allocation of the time of Wikimedia staff who can
take ownership implement changes here?
Presumably emails on these lists have relatively little impact at the
most senior levels, so they aren't a good way forward - and similarly on
The Wishlist provides a way of showcasing issues and a relatively clear
way forward to get them implemented, but with really limited capacity.
How would a case for technical support be made apart from that? It's not
clear if a simple survey would be sufficient. Would an RfC and
discussion on meta help? Does it need the media to be involved to make
it a public crisis? Or should it be proposed as a grant request, perhaps
for a Wikimedia affiliate to implement? Or is there another avenue that
could be persued? Bearing in mind that there's no practical way for
community members to propose changes to the WMF annual plan for multiple
Sorry to defocus things and express more frustration, but I think there
should be a clear way forward with this type of issue, which isn't
obvious right now. Personally, my hopes are on the Wishlist, although
I'll be reposting a 14-year-old issue there for the fifth time when that
process opens on the 10th January...
On 1/1/22 20:10:43, Asaf Bartov wrote:
> Writing in my volunteer capacity:
> On Sat, 1 Jan 2022, 08:43 Amir Sarabadani <email@example.com
> <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>> wrote:
> Honestly, the situation is more dire than you think. For example,
> until a couple months ago, we didn't have backups for the media
> files. There was a live copy in the secondary datacenter but for
> example if due to a software issue, we lost some files, they were
> gone. I would like to thank Jaime Crespo for pushing for it and
> implementing the backups.
> But I beat my drum again, it's not something you can fix overnight.
> I'm sure people are monitoring this mailing list and are aware of
> the problem.
> [My goal in this post is to ficus effort and reduce frustration.]
> Yes, people reading here are aware, and absolutely none of them expects
> this (i.e. multimedia technical debt and missing features) to be fixed
> What's lacking, as you pointed out, is ownership of the problem. To own
> the problem, one must have *both* technical understanding of the issues
> *and* a mandate to devote resources to addressing them.
> It is this *combination* that we don't have at the moment. Lots of
> technical people are aware, and some of them quite willing to work
> toward addressing the issues, but they are not empowered to set
> priorities and commit resources for an effort of that scale, and the
> problems, for the most part, don't easily lend themselves to volunteer
> It seems to me there are *very few* people who could change status quo,
> not much more than a handful: the Foundation's executive leadership (in
> its annual planning work, coming up this first quarter of 2022), and the
> Board of Trustees.
> Therefore, the greatest contribution the rest of us could make toward
> seeing this work get resourced is to help make the case to the
> executives (including the new CEO, just entering the role) with clear
> and compelling illustrations of the *mission impact* of such investment.
> In parallel, interested engineers and middle managers could help by
> offering rough effort estimates for some components, a roadmap, an
> overview of alternatives considered and a rationale for a recommended
> approach, etc.
> But this would all be preparatory and supporting work toward *a
> resourcing decision* being made. So long as such a decision isn't made,
> no significant work on this can happen.
> Finally, while it is easy to agree that *this* is necessary and useful
> on its own, to actual resource it in the coming annual plan it would be
> necessary to argue that it is *more* useful and necessary than some
> *other* work, itself also necessary and useful.
> Another thing that may help is being explicit about just how important
> this is, even literally saying things like "this would have far more
> impact on our X goal than initiative A, B, or C", naming actual
> resourced or potentially resourced things. It is sometimes difficult for
> managers who aren't practicing Wikimedia volunteers to assess just how
> necessary different necessary things are, from different community
> And of course, one such opinion, or a handful, would not be a solid base
> for resourcing decisions, so perhaps a large-scale ranking survey of
> some sort would be helpful, as SJ implicitly suggested in the original post.
> (In my volunteer capacity)
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