I totally understand this frustration, and I'm not really sure what the
solution is. There's no WMF team responsible for Wikisource (other than
the small amounts of work that my team, CommTech, gets to do; although
I'm writing this email as my volunteer self). So it's up to whoever
wants to do the work, and generally getting the work done comes first
and any announcements or outreach are an after-thought and can sometimes
There's lots of development happening with Wikisource-related things at
the moment, because there are more developers interested. Which is
really great! I feel like it's exciting, and there's lots of enthusiasm.
Some bits of the Wikisource stack have been unchanged for years and
years, because they're quite complicated, and responsibility has fallen
on the same few users to fix any problems. Now we seem to be in an era
of new features, which comes with different challenges.
So I'm sorry if it feels like Wikisource is used as a guinea pig — I
think it's more that the software stack here is unique among Wikimedia
projects. Changes do get tested, nothing is ever merged that hasn't been
checked by multiple developers. But we don't have a good system of
rolling out big changes like the recent update to the zoom/pan library
(from a homegrown system to OpenSeadragon).
We need more volunteer product managers! As in, people to have a good
overview of what development is happening or needs to happen, and help
it go smoothly. It's no harder than herding cats, surely!
Sorry, I don't think I'm writing any of this very clearly... all I
really wanted to reply was "we're doing our best, and no one's got
enough time!". But there's lots more to it.
On 20/11/21 9:33 pm, Ruthven wrote:
as usual, I get surprised every time there are major changes on the
MediaWiki software that are deployed without providing advance warning
to the community.
Every time it's the same story: something stops working on the
project. A gadget, a toolbar or some personalised JS.
This time it was T288141 (see
<https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T288141>), that was deployed in all
the Wikisources (then rolled back because WikiMedia computer
scientists are the best) completely disrupting redesigning the image
side of the Page namespace. This affected the toolbars (see
<https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T296033>) and several gadgets
around all the Wikisources.
I am not saying that MediaWiki software shouldn't be improved: it's
normal that we're trying to get all we can from this outdated
software. I am just asking that major changes that affect all the
Wikisources should be announced in every single Village Pump waaay
before deploying them on the projects.
Is it possible, as a Usergroup, to do a little pressure to be
considered as a community and not as guinea pigs on which to deploy
new, partially-tested features?
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