>> Thank you for your support. I would like to again
>invite all interested
>> parties (especially developers, but also writers,
>photographers etc.) to
>> add themselves on the above page, so that we can
>together move this
>> project forward after MediaWiki 1.3 has reached a
>stable state. As the
>> above proposal states, I hope that we can also
>implement single sign-on in
>> one fell swoop with the Commons itself, which would
>be one important step
>> to bring the individual Wikimedia projects closer
>>I am still willing to help and aid in this project.
>>However, as things
>>look now, the only help I can offer you is to
>>discontinue any plans I
>>myself have in this direction until you are ready.
>>One time there was just the English Wikipedia, then
>>were made. I have the feeling that I'm like someone
>>wanting to set
>>up another language and getting the answer that it's
>a >good idea, but
>>that in half a year there will be a new software with
>>and the possibility to have an interface adaptable to
>>I just wait for that.
>>It's not that I don't like your plans. I do. And when
>>comes, I'll join in. For now I'll just count my
>>losses. And wonder
>>why you might succeed and I do not. Is it because you
>>developer and I'm not? Because your plans are grand
>>down-to-earth? Because I'm not brazen enough? Anyway,
>André. Pause réflexion. Un vrai leader évite de
>perpétuellement marcher sur les pieds des autres. Il
>leur laisse de la place pour s'exprimer, parfois même
>il s'efface pour laisser les autres s'occuper d'un
>projet qui leur tient à coeur. Il évite de créer des
>rancoeurs :-) Enfin, juste ma triste opinion. ant
C'est bien de voir que tout au moins quelqu'un se souvient de la liste
correcte pour discuter ces sujets. Est-ce que tous les autres oublient
parce que en ce moment Jimbo ne reçoit pas les messages de cette liste-ci ?
You all know the IRC channel, no? #wikipedia on irc.freenode.net? And
its small army of related channels?
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/IRC_channels has the dirt.
Up until this point, our relationship with Freenode has largely been
ad hoc. Eloquence registered #wikipedia some time ago, and for a long
time that and the other channels were just managed as necessary.
However, Freenode also allows groups to set up an official contact
with Wikipedia. A few months ago, I took some initiative, filled out a
little form and answered a phone call and got designated as
Wikipedia's Group Contact with Freenode. (I wanted a .wikipedia
username cloak, and you needed a group contact to manage that, so...)
I've used this position mostly to give out similar IRC cloaks.
Recently, I used my group-contact status with Freenode to gain
temporary operator status to ban Michael and Lir, who had just joined
the channel to brag about their recent exploits on WP:RFA, and to stir
up ill will. Profanities were being thrown. About this time, Fire had
also set himself up as a contact, using the same credentials (some
sysop power, et cetera), and has undertaken to straighten out the
Wikipedia-related channels. In particular, he got added as a level-30
contact in #wikipedia, and added several people with ChanServ access
which would allow them to become operators.
While this is useful, and the people added were trustworthy, this
brings up a salient point. We don't just want anyone- or even any
sysop- to be able to come on and reorganize the channel structure or
anything. I think it would be useful if the Board could appoint an
Official Freenode Liason to be the #1 group contact, and if we could
decide how we would like to have these sorts of affairs managed.
The contact has a few properties: he (or she) can contact Freenode
staff and ask for a change in ownership of a project-related channel,
for access to the channel, for temporary operator status, or anything
related to the projects' channels which he cannot do by himself.
Additionally, the contact is responsible for asking Freenode staff to
apply "cloaks" for the users' hostmasks. I have used this and page on
the English wikipedia to set up people with username "Foo" as
"Foo.wikipedia" on IRC. This provides a way to prove that you are who
you say you are on IRC. However, we are running into the problem of
language-related requests, and since we don't have a unified login,
there is room for confusion. At present I have reccomended to Fire
that we keep cloaks a per-language setting, and having
user.XX.wikipedia as a cloak, where XX is a language code, *except* if
the language is English, in which case it is not used (although we
could change this if desired).
There has also been talk about a Q: line for the Recent Changes bots'
nicknames. This would prevent someone using the <enrc> or
categorically similar nicknames without authorization.
I think that all of these issues could be best resolved if we had
official sanction for at least one #1 Head Honcho group contact, and a
good place to manage these affairs.
You keep using that word...
I do not think it means what you think it means.
>> Referring to demographic survey of Wikipedians
> Would this be a study of only the English Wikipedia or also others?
> Maybe it is also interesting to find out of there are real differences
> between the Wikipedias besides the language.
I see no reason why such a survey should be restricted to any one language
wikipedia, other than the practical issue of translation. And I don't think
it would be too hard to get collaborative translation projects going of the
master survey version, on a wikipedia-by-wikipedia basis.
By the way, off topic grammatical note on "Wikipedia" (capitalized) vs.
"wikipedia" (small letters): I understand that the standard English rule for
capitalizing things like this (I don't know how this works in other
languages) is that when you are referring to something of which there are
many instances, you should use small letters. However, if there is only one
such sample in the whole world/universe, you should capitalize it. For
instance, website uses small letters because there are millions of them, but
the Web is capitalized because there's only one World Wide Web. The Sun
should be capitalized (though it often is not, in practice) when referring
to [[Sol]], the star of the Solar System, but sun should be left in small
letters when referring to any generic star in any generic solar system.
By this rule, I would think that "wikipedia" (small letters) should refer to
any of various language wikipedias (e.g. de.wikipedia.org and
zh.wikipedia.org), whereas "Wikipedia" (capitalized) should refer to the big
mama that comprises all the daughter wikipedias (the Wikipedia should be
www.wikipedia.org, though that link automatically points to the wikipedia at
en.wikipedia.org, I guess because that one was the first, and is the largest
and the most visited).
The proposal is available at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Membership_fees.
This proposal was set based on discussions with many editors, on meta,
on irc, by email. Though it is probably not perfect, I believe it is a
fair proposal trying to take into consideration all comments made.
I tried at the same time to propose something
* which keeps in mind that membership is meant to collect money. It is
important because it is the safest and strongest and least controversial
method of financing
* which is fairly simple
* which takes into account the existing community and recognition of its
diversity (allowing to join less wealthy good contributors for a rather
* which allow people to indicate what they would prefer the money to be
* which will set relationships between local chapter and foundation.
I would like to remind editors that whether they give money or not, they
are members of the Foundation. Contributing to articles, organisation,
software, maintenance etc... is a great way to help. Giving money is
another. If people can do both, fine. But you will still be important to
us if you do not give money. Only provide what you feel like providing,
time/energy or money, only time/energy, only money. You will be welcome
in any cases.
I'll add to this, that members joining local chapters, will be
contributing members to the foundation as well, provided that there is
an agreement between the local chapter and the Foundation. Next step is
to see how we can legally and technically do this :-) I have a proposal,
which I shall explain tomorrow to current and future chapters.
For now, I would like you to read this membership fee proposal, and
explain it to non english people please, as all languages will be
concerned. I tried to be rather descriptive, to avoid misunderstandings.
But I guess the proposal might be summarized in just a few lines.
Thanks for your attention :-)
Hello, we are writing to all active developers to survey views on
development and how these might interact with a rewards system that
has been proposed. There has been a discussion about this at
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Developer_payment. It would be really
helpful if you could find time to answer the questions at the end of
Some people believe that Wikimedia could benefit from having certain
MediaWiki features developed or developed more quickly that they
However, some of these features might not be coded because we do not
have internal resources to take care of them ourselves. Others do not
exist because no one is doing them, possibly due to low motivation,
being overworked by other tasks, or because no one is aware the
features are requested.
For these reasons, it has been suggested that we create a system which
would influence development activity in certain directions. In short,
that the Wikimedia Foundation offers bounties for certain development
In order to take such a decision, we need to determine whether the
solution is potentially a good one, or not (both *technically* and
*socially*). We also wish to explore alternative solutions to increasing
performance and individual satisfaction.
Whilst recognizing that there is nothing wrong or amoral to wish to be
paid or rewarded for volunteer activity, we do not wish to alienate
people who are strongly opposed to the idea, nor donors who gave money
with another dream in mind. As with any system relying on voluntary
activity, use of money as an item of exchange for work is
controversial. What we would like to understand better is how
controversial it is, both for editors and for developers. This poll is
meant to help us understand better what developers' opinions are on
A number of questions are included below, but please feel free to not
answer any that you not wish to respond to, particularly if you feel
they are too personal or not relevant to you. Add comments if you
wish, but try to keep them short and clear :-). Any complex proposals
should be added to Meta or sent to wikitech-l.
Please send your answers to anthere9ATyahoo.com.
Note : The reason we are distributing this questionnaire privately rather
than publicly is for the simple reason that some people are
uncomfortable talking about money issues in public. Also, some might
prefer not to enter into public controversies.
All replies will be kept confidential. If any statistics are released,
they will only be aggregate ones, and no comments will be quoted if
the author of them could be identified.
Are you, or have you been in the past, involved in development of
MediaWiki or maintenance of the Wikimedia servers?
If so, can you briefly indicate which specific activities you have
done (maintenance of servers, performance improvement, development of
features, debug, interface, "hotline" etc)
Which tasks, if any, really ought to be done, but currently are not?
Are there any tasks that you would like to get involved with but have
not yet done so?
If so, what is preventing becoming more involved with those tasks?
Is there anyone that you would like to be more involved with certain
tasks? If so, which tasks?
Did you find it easy to join the development team? Did you receive
appropriate guidance to allow you to start helping? Do you feel it is
easy now for newcomers to get involved?
If not, what do you think would help new developers to "get in"?
Was there anything in particular that you found helped you to join in?
Are you proud of what you are currently doing?
Do you feel your work is undervalued or under-recognized?
If you are now less involved with the development team than you were
previously, what made you decrease your contribution there?
What is the best reward for your good work, or what way would you prefer to be
Do you think any of the following could help? Thinking only of
technical considerations, please rate the following on this five point
scale from A to B.
A. Yes, I am convinced that could help a lot. I strongly support
B. Yes, it might help eventually. I slightly support this
C. I don't know if this will help. I neither support nor oppose this
D. No, I think it will not be helpful. I am slightly opposed to this
E. I am strongly opposed to this option, whether helpful or not
1. Having paid staff (permanent, full or part time, for example a
sysadmin). (Ie, paying someone for rather loosely defined activity)
2. A system of bounties or similar. For example, a one off contract
for a specific task, such as the development of a feature.
3. An award system : nomination of a "developer of the month" (for a special thank you
time) with an explanation of why. This could be advertised on IRC with
a paypal link on the fundraising page.
4. Another award system. For example, once a year, between one and three
developers could receive an award of the "best developer of the year",
possibly with a price of hardware or of money, and thank you notes
5. A "get to know me more" system : A special "know more about our developers" page, where each developer may explain how he contributed to the project, add a paypal
link, webpage link etc. This could be prominently linked to from the fundraising page.
6. Professional training to some of the developers if the Wikimedia Foundation could secure free or reduced price training.
7. Make our third global press releases oriented toward development issues, in order to attract new contributors for software and hardware issues. Focus on tech news site for promotion.
8. A meet-up for developers to work together occasionally (in Germany perhaps, with round of beers paid by the foundation :-))
9. A big clean up of the development pages on Meta, and clearer paths
to help new developers to "jump in".
10. Nomination of "organiser(s)" whose role would be to clean up the
list of tasks to do, clarify priorities, go around asking who could do
that, attract volunteers etc...
11. Please add your own ideas below.
Would you be interested to make a living directly or undirectly from Wikip�dia ?
If the Board were to hire staff, what type of staff do you think would be most helpful?
Do you think staff should be hired internally or externally? (ie, someone already volunteering, or someone who is not a participant)
If the Foundation were hiring, would you consider applying for a
How would you summarize your view on the proposed bounty system?
Strongly support / support/ neutral/ opposed/ strongly opposed/ undecided.
If opposed, please briefly indicate why.
If the Board decided to use a bounty system, would you try to get involved to get some of the bounties?
Do you feel your motivation level would be increased or decreased through the use of a bounty system?
If you are opposed to a bounty system, would its implementation cause you to decrease your level of contribution?
Please cite three tasks that you feel would be well suited to a bounty system.
Given that we would roughly evaluate the number of hours for a task, how much do you think should be given for a bounty (ie, amount of money per hour)? Alternatively, how much would you suggest the Foundation should offer for the tasks you mentioned just above?
What do you think would be the largest benefit of implementing a bounty system?
What do you think would be the largest harm caused by a bounty system?
Do you have your own pay pal account?
Would you be interested in having a little bio about you and your achievement on WMF site ?
Would you be interested in having a link on the site whereby users could donate money to you via this account?
Would you be interested in receiving professional training?
If developers were to be awarded special prizes by the Board, would you prefer to receive money or hardware?
Are there any ways of improving organization that you feel you can commit yourself to right now? For example, cleaning up pages, writing documentation, coaching newbies, writing technical press releases, improving the bug tracking system, setting up a "tech news" reporting page, playing the pom pom girl?
Please send your answers to anthere9ATyahoo.com.
We thank you for your time and attention, and hope you will agree to participate to this survey. As board members and representants of all wikipedians, it is important to Angela and I that we take decisions which will be at the same time beneficial to the project, beneficial for WMF, consistent with our shared values and agreeable to the community.
Do you Yahoo!?
New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages!
Thanks for your responses. Here are my comments:
>> I am currently working on a couple of research projects involving
>> Two specific projects involve:
>> 1. Obtaining a scholarly evaluation of the quality of its articles by
>> comparing Wikipedia articles with those of other encyclopedias; and
ANGELA> This part sounds great.
CHITU> I think this study is very important both for Wikipedia's publicity,
and also for my research program, so that I can "prove" to other scholars
the legitimacy of researching Wikipedia. You know the usual reactions: "You
mean ANYONE can write whatever they like? How do they control this?" ... and
so on. "Scholarly types" are even more uncomfortable than average with these
ideas. I believe such a study would help provide verification in terms they
understand of what I already believe (but am trying to prove with scholastic
rigour): that Wikipedia is CURRENTLY a top-notch encyclopedia, and its only
uphill from here.
>> 2. Mapping the sociological networks of Wikipedians among each other in
>> their wiki activities, and the effects of these networks on their
>> and group performance in Wikipedia.
ANGELA> This part concerns me slightly. Could you explain what you mean by
ANGELA> this please? What would you be doing other than surveying people?
ANGELA> it cause any disruption to Wikipedia? Will the users be aware they
ANGELA> being studied? Will they be able to opt out?
CHITU> Actually, this part is much more benign than it sounds. This project
(which I am currently working on as we speak) doesn't involve any
involvement at all by Wikipedians or the Wikimedia Foundation. I've
replicated the English Wikipedia using a database dump, and I'm analyzing
the historical entries directly via SQL queries and special social
networking software to observe these relationships. No problemo. As much as
possible of my research will work directly from my replicated Wikipedia
installations and will involve no direct interaction with Wikipedia or
>> In return, they would
>> have to send you a letter of support indicating that they will be
>> you to collect the data you need via surveys, etc.
ANGELA> We might be able to help, but we can't guarantee any particular
ANGELA> response rate since completion of the surveys would obviously have
ANGELA> remain completely optional to the users.
CHITU> Of course; response rates are a basic risk with any survey research.
Which is why I LOVE the database dumps--the data is all right there! But for
this kind of investigation, we would have to beg the users to respond as
usual. For the SourceForge hacker survey
(http://www.bcg.com/opensource/BCGHACKERSURVEY.pdf), they got 526 responses
out of 1,648 developers contacted--an awesome response rate of 34.2%. On the
other hand, when they surveyed the Linux Kernel group, they got 134 out of
around 4000--a measly 2.4%.
>> However, some of the further research I might need to do could need
>> substantial help from the Wikimedia Foundation. One particular idea I
>> in mind would be to conduct a survey of Wikipedians to figure out who
>> are, and why they do what they do.
ANGELA> What sort of support were you expecting from us here? Do you want us
ANGELA> to host the surveys? Do you want us to create the database where the
ANGELA> responses will be stored? Or would simply advertising them and
ANGELA> to them on an external site be enough? Is there any reason the
ANGELA> would need to be on Wikipedia itself?
CHITU> I was thinking of something like a temporary link (perhaps for a week
or two) on all pages (kind of like the fundraising banner) asking for
participation in the survey. This link could link to an external Web survey
host that I would manage directly, so that it would not need to expend any
further Wikipedia/Wikimedia resources other than the links. Of course, the
survey questionnaire itself would have to be fully approved by the Wikimedia
Foundation. I was thinking of at least two different surveys--one for
Wikipedia readers, available for every article page, and a second one for
Wikipedia contributors, available only when they click "Edit this page".
Just thoughts out load. Either way, I would only do what was approved by the
For those of you who haven't followed the discussion, GNOME is a highly
popular open source desktop suite. GNOME development is to some extent
coordinated by the GNOME Foundation, which has employed bounties to get
certain key development tasks done.
This of course is of great interest with regard to our own thoughts about
doing something similar.
In order to qualify the success of the GNOME bounty system I contacted the
GNOME foundation and asked them for their opinion on whether the project
had been a success or failure, and how it affected the culture of the
GNOME development community. Their conclusions are almost entirely
positive and they want to repeat the bounty process, see attached reply by
Jonathan Blandford of Red Hat / GNOME Foundation.
Caveat lector: The system which I think should be used by the Wikimedia
Foundation is different. With GNOME's bounty system, you have potentially
the situation where two developers hack away on the same stuff, but only
one of them (who submits the code earlier) gets paid.
I think there should be an open call for tenders process, where a
technical-minded steering committee appointed or elected by the foundation
outlines certain key tasks, and the developers can name the conditions
under which they are willing to complete them (e.g. "I'll do this for free
by February next year", "I'll do this for a rate of $20/hour", "I'll do
this for $200 upon delivery of the code"). These competing tenders can
then be held up against one another, and the committee decides which one,
if any, to take up. Once they do so, there is a contract between the
Foundation and the developer, and there's no risk of competing work being
done at the same time.
In this system, those who allege that volunteer effort is good enough will
have the opportunity to prove this by negotiating voluntary agreements
over contracts with the steering committee. So payment is not given an
advantage over non-payment; both solutions are equally acceptable.
Similarly, this scheme gives both the foundation and the developers wiggle
room to settle on mutually acceptable terms, rather than giving one or the
other an advantage from the outset.
A wiki is perfect both for the negotiations and the collaborative writing
of the task specifications.
Because "bounty" carries strong connotations of competition rather than
cooperation, I would like us to stop using that word, at least when
referring to the proposal described above. Instead, it should be described
as a tender process.
- - - - - - - -
From: Jonathan Blandford <jrb at redhat dot com>
To: Erik Moeller <moeller at scireview dot de>
Kopie: <board at gnome dot org<
Sorry for the delay in answering your questions. I'm hoping we can get
some of the administrators of the bounty system to comment, as they have
a better idea a lot of the details of the last round. I'll try to fill
in a few gaps until they reply.
As you noticed, the bounties were modest in scope, and were pretty
successful. It helped get several new hackers involved in GNOME, and
brought attention to integrating several modules. It doesn't seem to
have modified GNOME's culture in any noticeable way, and contributed to
some neat code being written. Even the bounties that weren't fully
filled had positive effects.
On the flip side, a few maintainers felt extra pressure to look at and
accept the bounty patches, which was to be expected. Also, the bounty
program was intentionally very uncontroversial and small in scope.
We don't really know how well an expansion of the system to a larger
scope would be like. We do plan to repeat the process soon on a similar
 compared to the size of the rest of the project.
"An interesting comparison would be this one : a french firm already
offered to host 3 or 4 of our servers for free. We will cite this firm
as a sponsor of Wikimedia on the website. How much does hosting 4
servers per year cost ?"
First I withdraw the 'ridiculously", of course such a nice gesture should be
appreciated. My concern was that really large companies would get an almost
free ride. Now if we would publish below the logo what the exact
nature/amount of the gift is, that would help, as I'm sure e.g. IBM would
not want to be listed for $1000. If they wish we could print instead
"unspecified but considerable amount", or something like that, at the
discretion of the board, who can judge if the proposed gift is a worthy
> Just in case... do you by any chance speak french ?
Oui, j'en parle, mais comme une langue sécondaire (je viens du Nigéria), et
pourtant la variété québécoise. Peut-être il serait mieux dire que je parle
From: anthere9(a)yahoo.com [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: July 29, 2004 9:40 PM
Subject: [Foundation-l] Re: Personal research grant collaboration request
Just in case... do you by any chance speak french ?
Otherwise, I noted your proposition. Jimbo, Angela and I will answer you
as soon as possible. Meanwhile, I hope that some editors will comment on
your proposition :-)
Chitu Okoli wrote:
>> Dear Wikimedia Foundation,
>> My name is Chitu Okoli. I am a professor in information systems (MIS) at
>> Concordia University in Montréal, and I've been very interested in
>> for a while. (I am also a light Wikipedian, User:cokoli, since March
>> year. In addtion, I've been listening in on foundation-l for a little
I wonder if a regular fee of $60 will raise much more than one of $30, as
certainly much less people will take the bait on such a considerable sum.
After all it does not buy them much except the satisfaction that they
contributed to a healthy Wikipedia. I have no idea where the optimum lies,
we would have to ask some economist to measure the price elasticity of a
clean conscience and/or ideological zeal, but this is a considerable amount
for people with average income. $30 sounds much better to me, keep the
goodies like a coffee mug with logo for people who add an extra donation of
$30 or more. Yes people can opt for a $6 contribution, but we would not want
to push them in that direction, would we?
Since this choice is pretty arbitrary and a suboptimal choice will cost us,
could we not keep a anonymous vote of what people would be willing to pay?
There are nice applets that make this a quickie to pull off.
On the other hand $500 to $1000 sounds ridiculously low for a company that
wants to donate. We might offer to add their logo on a sponsor page, but
that should start at no less than $10,000 IMO. If they want to be recognized
as sponsors they should have made a real difference.