When usability improvements are to be implemented, it will change the
dynamics of a project. It is easy to argue why the smaller projects need
more content and more contributors. It is also easy to argue the same for
the bigger and biggest projects. When a skin becomes available with a BIG
button saying "Create new article", there will be loud voices explaining why
it is a bad idea. Arguments that make sense up to a point.
It is important to start thinking in terms of: when it becomes easier to
contribute to a MediaWiki project, what are the implications. I am of the
opinion that this will be on balance beneficial. But that is just me.
I have not been addressing the board. I am grateful if the board takes an
interest but I would prefer it when the WMF organisation takes up the baton.
At most and at best the board can give usability more of a priority, but I
would not be surprised if the organisation is ready to give usability more
priority without Board involvement. The timing would not be that bad as the
new developers are getting experienced and I expect that most of the work
associated with the fund raiser is done.
If you are a developer, I would LOVE you to have a look at the code. I would
love to see proposals for a skin that does include a "CreatePage" button. I
would love you to fix the bugs that have been identified by MinuteElectron.
I am sure that there is enough that you can do to make usability an issue
that we are now starting to address.
2008/12/1 Nathan <nawrich(a)gmail.com>
Thanks for that, Gerard. In other terms I suppose my
question would be
You've identified a problem (usability, particularly in languages with the
smallest or least technologically wealthy communities) and a partial
solution (usability extensions developed by UNICEF). Your post, though, had
the tone of hoping that readers would offer assistance of some sort - so
what assistance would you like? Was your post aimed primarily at the Board,
or is there something that other people could be doing as well?
On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:39 PM, Gerard Meijssen
The software has been tested but not all extensions are considered ready
WMF production. I am establishing contacts with, among others, people at
UNICEF to make sure that we identify the outstanding issues carefully and
fix them efficiently. Given that the CreatePage extension requires
to the skin, it may make sense to consider using
a superset of monobook
do not know how feasible this is).
Given that the software is already being localised at Betawiki, we do not
need to restrict ourselves to English. I understand that UNICEF uses some
their software in Swahili :) I would love to consider Swahili for this
Kennisnet is interested in this functionality,
that would make Dutch an
option. It needs to be clear that it is not only Wikipedia projects that
The benefits from a more useable interface have little to do with a
approach. Newbies are not able to contribute. Our need for more
and content is most dire in our smallest projects. Personally I am not
interested in using "simple" as a test
environment. From my perspective,
should be there for all the projects that want
it. Obviously, when this
extension is localised first, it will be more effective.
When we are to test this in a Wikimedia Wiki, we need to get involvement
from Brion. It would help a lot when the WMF actively takes part in this
collaboration and make usability a priority.
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