Writing in my volunteer capacity:
On Sat, 1 Jan 2022, 08:43 Amir Sarabadani <ladsgroup(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Honestly, the situation is more dire than you think. For example, until a
couple months ago, we didn't have backups for the media files. There was a
live copy in the secondary datacenter but for example if due to a software
issue, we lost some files, they were gone. I would like to thank Jaime
Crespo for pushing for it and implementing the backups.
But I beat my drum again, it's not something you can fix overnight. I'm
sure people are monitoring this mailing list and are aware of the problem.
[My goal in this post is to ficus effort and reduce frustration.]
Yes, people reading here are aware, and absolutely none of them expects
this (i.e. multimedia technical debt and missing features) to be fixed
What's lacking, as you pointed out, is ownership of the problem. To own
the problem, one must have *both* technical understanding of the issues
*and* a mandate to devote resources to addressing them.
It is this *combination* that we don't have at the moment. Lots of
technical people are aware, and some of them quite willing to work toward
addressing the issues, but they are not empowered to set priorities and
commit resources for an effort of that scale, and the problems, for the
most part, don't easily lend themselves to volunteer development.
It seems to me there are *very few* people who could change status quo, not
much more than a handful: the Foundation's executive leadership (in its
annual planning work, coming up this first quarter of 2022), and the Board
Therefore, the greatest contribution the rest of us could make toward
seeing this work get resourced is to help make the case to the executives
(including the new CEO, just entering the role) with clear and compelling
illustrations of the *mission impact* of such investment. In parallel,
interested engineers and middle managers could help by offering rough
effort estimates for some components, a roadmap, an overview of
alternatives considered and a rationale for a recommended approach, etc.
But this would all be preparatory and supporting work toward *a resourcing
decision* being made. So long as such a decision isn't made, no significant
work on this can happen.
Finally, while it is easy to agree that *this* is necessary and useful on
its own, to actual resource it in the coming annual plan it would be
necessary to argue that it is *more* useful and necessary than some *other*
work, itself also necessary and useful.
Another thing that may help is being explicit about just how important this
is, even literally saying things like "this would have far more impact on
our X goal than initiative A, B, or C", naming actual resourced or
potentially resourced things. It is sometimes difficult for managers who
aren't practicing Wikimedia volunteers to assess just how necessary
different necessary things are, from different community perspectives.
And of course, one such opinion, or a handful, would not be a solid base
for resourcing decisions, so perhaps a large-scale ranking survey of some
sort would be helpful, as SJ implicitly suggested in the original post.
(In my volunteer capacity)