Thank you Arun for moving this discussion to more generic terms. I am
answering to your questions below.
Pradeep, I agree that this discussion needs to go on until we reach to
an agreement satisfying all parties. But looking at the thread there is
little to nothing specific to Ahmedabad here. One could even say that it
is not even restricted to India since this type of situation will happen
wherever there is a national chapter and some contributors willing to
create a Wikimedia User Group or a MediaWiki Group. I have renamed the
thread and you might even consider moving the discussion to wikimedia-l
in order to gather opinions from other chapters and contributors elsewhere.
On 01/07/2013 05:20 AM, Pradeep Mohandas wrote:
However, this act of creating a new entity comes along
with it the
responsoibility of answering questions and concerns other members of the
community may have.
For what is worth Harsh has been answering promptly to any requests
about the Ahmedabad proposal coming from myself (as promoter of
MediaWiki Groups), the Affiliations Committee and the Wikimedia India
chapter in the direct contacts with Srikanth Ramakrishnan.
Asking Harsh or the Ahmedabad volunteers to answer the generic questions
in this thread is like asking Belgium to come up with answers about the
problem of Global Warming. Or something. :)
*From:* Arun Ramarathnam <arunram25(a)gmail.com>
For now, it is unclear to me what treating the Ahmedabad Mediawiki user
group as a formal wikimedia user group actually means?
I tried to answer questions like the ones you are asking at
. I'll try harder now. :)
Maybe the simplest way to explain local MediaWiki Groups is that they
are like Wikipedia Meetups, but focusing on MediaWiki instead.
"Local MediaWiki groups collaborate with Wikimedia chapters, See also
Wikipedia meetups and other local communities related with Wikimedia,
free software, free culture..."
No more, no less.
Does that mean it would be non-incorporated entity
Indeed. MediaWiki Groups are not meant to be incorporated. Maybe this
should be put clearly in our documentation to avoid confusion.
and have trademark reuse rights (from the chapter?).
No. The only right you get as MediaWiki Group Something is to use
"MediaWiki Group Something" in your activities and materials. For
anything else you need to ask the chapter or the WMF just like anybody
"MediaWiki groups can request support from the Wikimedia Foundation and
chapters in various forms:
Advice on the use of Wikimedia / Wikipedia / MediaWiki logos and
trademarks in your activities."
It suppose it would need to depend on funding as
needed from the chapter or WMF.
Being a MediaWiki Group doesn't grant you any funding. You need to find
your own resources or ask the chapter / Funds Dissemination Committe,
WMF... again just like anybody else.
India has been a test bed to test out models without
About the several mentions of the WMF experimenting in India with new
models. I can't speak about the past since I wasn't here. But I can
assure you that the WMF has no specific plans or intentions regarding
MediaWiki Groups in India.
If some the first proposals are coming from India is because there are
people here with an interest in organizing MediaWiki activities locally.
India is a computer science powerhouse and there is a history of
MediaWiki / Wikimedia tech activities. That explains, not any
undisclosed WMF plan. Yuvi Panda might have a @wikimedia.org address at
work but his interest is personal. Harsh and the Ahmedabad promoters
don't have any ties with the WMF that I'm aware of.
If someone would have started in Germany, Australia or wherever we would
be now supporting them just in the same way. We are supporting MediaWiki
Group Ciudad de México just in the same way, only without lengthy
discussions because there nobody seems to see a problem in this kind of
If you still think there is a WMF agenda behind MediaWiki Groups in
India please speak up, otherwise we will just accumulate a silent layer
I care for the movement and do believe that
strengthening chapters to be
the custodians of the movement in respective countries is the way to go
forward. In my view, all movement entities should focus on assisting
chapters to be successful who in term focus on supporting the community
and local outreach. If there isn't belief in chapters, better to scrap
them than run parallel entities (I am not referring to the Ahmedabad
I wish someone would explain how a MediaWiki Group (or a Wikimedia User
Group) harms a chapter. In my previous email I tried to explain how
MediaWiki Groups are designed to support chapters and collaborate with
MediaWiki groups are Wikimedia User Groups, and afaik WUGs have been
designed and approved by the people organizing the chapters and the
presence of the Wikimedia community in the World.
What is sad is in the midst of this complexity of
entities, we perhaps risk losing truly enthusiastic volunteers whose
only interest is in contributing to the movement. Catalysing and
supporting volunteer enthusiasm and interest ought to be our collective
sole purpose and focus.
E X A C T L Y !
Thank you for writing this down so beautifully. Now, this is the
situation: a group of volunteers wants to create a MediaWiki Group,
which is a type of entity approved by the Wikimedia movement and is
meant to work in collaboration with chapters. Weeks after the proposal
was presented no argument has been presented against this group of
volunteers in Ahmedabad, and they are not overlapping with other
Can we just let them do what they want?
Like Wikipedia Meetups, they are "just" a group of people getting things
done locally and coordinating through a web page. If thanks to this
lengthy discussion or other experience we find improvements we can just
apply such improvements to this Ahmedabad group and others that will
raise. Evolution, the wiki way
I request Harsh and the other volunteers to keep the
focus on the
"coding" and the cool stuff than get caught up in the debate of the
organizational complexity which is best left to the chapter EC and the
WMF to sort out quickly.
In fact, ultimately this is a decision to be discussed between Wikimedia
India and the Affiliations Committee. The WMF has actually little extra
The WMG Engineering plan does contemplate the creation of MediaWiki
groups in the World to "extend the capacity of the Wikimedia Foundation
in events, training, promotion and other technical activities benefiting
Wikipedia, the Wikimedia movement and the MediaWiki software." For doing
that we are using the tools created by the Wikimedia community:
Wikimedia user groups, which happen to share the basic idea with open
source user groups - which is what we are really after with the
Technical Contributor Coordinator @ Wikimedia Foundation