I am not sure where this discussion is going to. Srikanth had specific questions on why
the MediaWiki user group and why not a technical SIG instead. At least that's what I
gather from his mail.
However you seem to be asking why a MediaWiki user group at all. For this you will need to
rewind to previous mailing list threads where community members, oblivious to any
possibility of such MediaWiki groups had expressed the desire to have some kind of a
technical collaborative. In fact on this thread itself, I remember a response on the
chapter list informing people whom this could interest. The mailing list objections
don't quite make sense to me. Nor do the arguments about dead groups. That is the
nature of volunteer communities perhaps. People were informed about this proposal on all
lists precisely due to te absence of an existing tech list.
I personally don't see why there needs to be any justification to start a
collaborative group as long as it is not pulling on precious resources. If enthusiastic
volunteers of Ahmedabad wish to call themselves MediaWiki group Ahmedabad and have already
localized gadgets and think that formalizing would attract more like minded local users, I
don't see any harm.
Did you see the mini hackathon post and the announcement for all interested members to
have a chat with Sumana? Did you also see sucheta and pratik's initiatives in the same
vein? Wouldn't it be unfair to term this as an absolute staff initiative and undermine
On Jan 3, 2013, at 10:07 PM, Theo10011 <de10011(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 9:37 PM, Yuvi Panda <yuvipanda(a)gmail.com> wrote:
This happened on IRC over a few hours, between
me, quim and harsh. Most of the conversation was quim convincing me that a mediawiki-india
list would be a much better Idea than a MediaWiki India User Group (which he succeeded
in), and Harsh volunteering to start the Ahmedabad one. The logging bot has been wonky, so
So, to summarize again, Quim, a staff member, and you, a contractor/staff member had a
discussion with harsh - I don't know harsh so please forgo any mistaken assumption on
my part, had a discussion on IRC, and between the three, it was decided, if a group would
be a better option to a list. Unfortunately, there are no logs to even prove the above
discussion, which would brig me to reiterate what I said earlier, now confirmed with the
explanation above. For the time being, I stand by what I said.
As for 'why User Groups, why not a SIG' - the User Group idea is neither unique
nor novel - it is a very well understood concept. Linux User Groups, Python User Groups,
Ruby User Groups, Java User Groups, etc abound on per-city levels. This is just another
user group for a piece of open source software. MediaWiki does not run just Wikipedia, but
is also (IIRC) the most popular software used for standalone wikis. Plenty of projects
that use MediaWiki have nothing to do with the Wikimedia movement (An experiment with
using Semantic MediaWiki for Public Transit routing a bunch of us tried a few years ago,
the w3c wiki (w3.org/wiki
), lots of internal company's documentation wikis, lots of
open source software wikis, etc).
Hmm I have no idea about these user groups, or what levels of formalization they do have,
so I'll take your word for it. What I do know is the concept of Wikimedia User groups
is a new territory for us, the first group using this approach is being led by the staff,
as I said earlier.
Second, MediaWiki *is* independent and might have nothing to do with Wikimedia. But then
again, why are we on a list of Wikimedia asking Wikipedians to join or create the said
group? To the extent of my knowledge, Mediawiki is a platform, a piece of software, in
terms of real world implications it has no existence. Which would then lead the discussion
back in to the circle, that went on the tech list about a MediaWiki foundation and an
independent identity, because clearly that's the problem we have right now - shortage
of committees, and groups and organizations to conflate a bunch of stuff rather than the
actual work they are supposed to do.
The simplest question is what would this achieve? Let's say there is a group or a
list, what then? would the work materialize that so far has not? or would we be left with
dead organizations in a year or two that will continue to carry the Wikimedia or Mediawiki
name till someone realizes the exposure of proliferating these. I can point you to 2 dozen
dead lists with no activities, in order to get wider participation they forward important
announcements to the major lists like this, so, if you end up forwarding to the India list
most of the times, what is the separate list achieving. It's the same people, perhaps
more so on the older lists.
And 'why formalize their affiliation'? IIRC you need to go through the process to
obtain the right to use 'MediaWiki' in your group's title. That is all (from
my perspective, at least).
Actually, the discussion about demarcating the rights to use a term is still ongoing.
Thematic organizations are being discussed on Meta and if they should use Wikimedia or
even Wiki in their name, I suppose some extension would apply to Mediawiki as well. I hope
I don't need to point out that the 2 words are the same in both organizations,
'Media' and 'Wiki'.
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