2014-08-12 21:41 GMT+02:00 Magnus Manske <magnusmanske(a)googlemail.com>om>:
On Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 5:33 PM, Henning Schlottmann
There is a common pattern in the conflicts between WMF and several
communities over software developments during the last few years. As I
wrote two weeks ago to Rachel:
| Decision making seems to be focused on reader experience, including
| winning readers to become authors, but existing authors and their
| experience (in both meanings of the word) is ignored. Even by people |
like Eric, who once was a prolific author himself
| Authors see themselves as the single most important group in the
|Wikimedia universe. Without their content, there would be nothing: No
| readers, no fundraising banners, no donations, no employees, no
| foundation. On the other hand, WMF seems to see the readers (and
| donors) as their main target audience. Of course WMF knows, that all
| the projects need content and authors, but in my opinion most of them
| fail in appreciating the existing authors and focus too much on
| winning readers to become authors, by simplifying the entry.
This is serious. WMF really needs to appreciate the expertise of the
author community and accept their experience a important and valid. If
authors tell the WMF and particularly the devs, that a particular
function is necessary, then the devs really, really need to think.
I do agree with this. Visual Editor (which works much better these days)
and MediaViewer are not aimed at the experienced editor. They aim to make
the reader more comfortable, and try to ease the first steps into editing.
Winning new editors has been deemed a priority, somewhat at the expense of
WMF-made support for the power user. This is a judgement call the
Foundation has to make.
I am not sure how it is for other wikis but we have seen bugs in the Visual
Editor which cause newbies to do wrong edits (like removing stuff which a.
should not be removed, b. was not intented to be removed by the newby) that
other users can repair later. If new software causes us extra work, purely
because of problems in the software itself, the software is absolutely not
ready to set on by default. And we are not talking about an extra tool but
about a basic functionality that is going to be used massively with many
many changes in many pages.
The first priority is having the software work well on a basic level (and
the servers in general). The second priority is to attract more new
Until this event, I thought the dev process to be
broken, not just the
communication around devs. But now I believe the
conflict runs deeper.
It points out an issue we (community and WMF) should discuss, in a more
general sense. What should the decision process be for technical changes?
When does the Foundation get precendence, and when should the community
have the last word? What weight should small-scale "votes" of editors have?
Should random polls be done, and included in such votes? Etc.
The MediaViewer "affair" itself gets blown out of proportion IMO.
I fully agree. If a community really has serious problems, these should be
carefully considered and the community should be attacked on various ways
by WMF. At the current situation, WMF thinks in my opinion to lightly about
the role of the community, and to lightly about how she can behave towards
a community. We all want the best of each other, than this is not the way
to do that.