From: Gregory Varnum <gregory.varnum(a)gmail.com>
Subject: New, lower traffic, announcements only email list for Wikimedia developers
Date: 30 June, 2012 1:23:11 AM EDT
Following discussions with Wikimedia developers more on the "fringe" and not as
engaged in frequent IRC or mailing list conversations, the request for an announcements
only mailing list came up. I wanted to let folks know that this list has been created and
is ready for membership: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-announce
- wikitech-announce(a)lists.wikimedia.org There will also be a signup list for this and
other lists at Wikimania Hackathon.
Unlike this list, which allows for discussion, or the MediaWiki-announce list, which
focuses exclusively on MediaWiki release announcements, wikitech-announce will be used for
occasional announcements on both MediaWiki and broader Wikimedia developer related news
items. This includes an announcement when monthly tech or engineering reports are posted,
important news updates on git or developer related tools, and information on upcoming
sprints, events or other major developer collaborations.
Having presented this idea a few times, there are some common questions I will get out of
the way now.
Why not just send these out on MediaWiki-announce? There was quick reaction from several
of these less-engaged developers that some really did want JUST MediaWiki release info
sent out on that list. In other words, the audience of that list did not like the idea.
Will this duplicate emails sent to wikitech-l? Probably, but it is not designed for
folks already utilizing wikitech-l - it is designed for folks who would like less email
traffic and want announcements - not conversations.
Is this really going to save folks that many emails? In June, the wikitech-l list had
639 individual messages (so far). It is unlikely that this list would exceed 12 a month.
For reference, MediaWiki-announce has sent out 3 messages this month and mediawiki-l had
121 messages. This list presents a middle ground between the two extremes.
Do we not already have enough lists? Yes, but as our developer community grows, so too
must our means of communicating. Many individuals, myself included, have been
intentionally trying to engage developers generally less present, but just as important to
our community. Such as corporate developers with an interest in sharing extensions who
can benefit from announcements about git. Similarly, some students would prefer to get
basic info that helps them stay on top of the latest developments.
Generally, if you find yourself having a concern about this list, it is probably not the
list for you to join. However, if you find yourself excited at the idea of less
development chatter while remaining informed, this might just be the list for you.
Thank you to Sumana and TheHelpfulOne for supporting this effort and to Daniel Renfro for
proposing this idea and getting the discussion started.
I have volunteered to moderate the list at its start, but will be interested in
recruiting others that are willing to help. Anyone with an announcement can submit one,
and a moderator will approve messages which fit within the list's scope.
Finally, like any new tool, I anticipate its usage will evolve over time - so please do
engage in discussion on any ideas you may have for its future.
-greg aka varnent