2011/4/4 Amir E. Aharoni <amir.aharoni(a)mail.huji.ac.il>
2011/4/4 David Gerard <dgerard(a)gmail.com>
On 4 April 2011 16:20, Amir E. Aharoni <amir.aharoni(a)mail.huji.ac.il>
I understand that WMF's resources are
limited, but the development and
the deployment of Vector did cost some money and also forced a lot of
volunteers in English and in all other language projects to make
adjustments to their sites. Measuring volunteer effort is harder to
measure than money, but it's certainly not negligible.
If this is a valid argument - that technical changes should not be
made if it would make work for other volunteers - then God forbid
development continue on MediaWiki.
Of course every change makes volunteers work and it's perfectly
understandable. The problem is that sometimes it is justified and
sometimes it is not. As nifty as Vector, SimpleSearch and the new
toolbar are, i have doubts about their contributions to Wikimedia's
mission. But again, i might be wrong, and that's why i am asking what
measurements were made.
See the current thread on
what to do about the problem, given that freezing MediaWiki in
perpetuity is really just not going to happen.
... I am following it closely. It is, in fact, strongly related to
this topic: Polishing and modernizing gadgets developed by volunteer
JS gurus in local projects and exporting them to other projects and
languages is a much better investment of time and money, simply
because it is quite certain that these gadgets were created to answer
real needs of real editors, whereas Vector grew out of very small
For example, in the Hebrew Wikipedia there was a Search and Replace
gadget long before the advent of Vector's Search and Replace dialog.
It was developed due to popular demand, bottom-up, by a volunteer, and
- here's the scariest part - without any grants. It is still used in
the Hebrew Wikipedia, probably much more often than the Vector thingy,
which is still rather useless due to bugs such as 20919 and 22801.
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
"We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace." - T. Moore
As Erik Möller said the qualitative analysis is the user testing with a few
dozens of users. This user testing was conducted several times during the
development cycle, and it was thorough. The best user testing consist of no
more than 30 users, and I can tell the user testing conducted by the
Usability Team is high quality and standard.
As for the quantitative analysis, the one made during the beta testing of
Vector was detailed. It clearly showed that most users - and especially
newbies - preferred Vector over Monobook (retention rates of 70 - 80 % and
Now, the Usability Initiative endend in April 2010, soon after the
deployment of Vector to all Wikimedia Wikis. The Wikimedia Foundation did
not place usability as one of their main priorities, and that was a mistake
on my opinion. And so no quantitative analysis after the deployment of
Vector was made. Several projects of the Usability Initiative became frozen.
Since no more information is given on this topic, it now raises doubts in
the public's minds about the quality of the Usability Initiative itself.
You're certainly not the only one thinking this way. This is not the fault
of the Usability Initiative however, they have done a good job the whole
time. The Usability Initiative was timed to end abruptly because it was
funded by a grant, and it's the Wikimedia Foundation's fault for not
carrying on the Usability Initiative.
As for the bugs you point out
22801 <https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=22801>) they are now
the responsibility of MediaWiki developers to be fixed. And we all know that
the Wikimedia Foundation doesn't employ nearly enough developers to fix such
bugs. The amount of bug reports that needs to be addressed just keeps piling
up. It's a shame.
I hope it clarifies the situation. Cheers, Rodan Bury