A few weeks ago a car salesman came to us and said: 'You will get a new car.' We
were able to do some test drives with it before it got delivered and noticed that the car
still needed doors and a steering wheel, but the idea was great! We reported to the
manufacturers that some essential things weren't ready, like the doors, safety bumbers
and steering wheel and the manufacturers said that they will make sure that that will be
ready when the car is delivered. They also said that in a month time the car will be
delivered, and we said - seeing the car - that the timeline is too short in regards with
the things that needed repair.
In the past week we got the notice that the car will be delivered this week. Again we did
a full check, and while a lot of things were changed, still our reported essential things
weren't ready. When we asked about this, we got a car salesman who tried to sell the
car even harder and pushed as much as he could to sell the car. We all together discussed
the situation and came to the conclusion that the car would damage the people and damage
the road, and that local people afterwards can solve the problems what the car causes. The
onliest thing we good do, for the sake of the people and the roads, is to refuse to
receive the car. When that came clear to car manufacturer, they started to threaten us,
that we must use it, no matter if it caused many damage or not.
The car salesman told us in the mean while that the delivery is delayed for two days and
that the car for 5 days only should be used by adult users and later children may also use
it. He also told us that the main reason to deliver the car too early was because of that
the manufacturer made for himself a too short time schedule to get it finished, it hired
its personnel for a too short time and that it shortly after would go produce something
else, instead of delivering a fully functional car.
When other people heard about the this story and the worse policies of the manufacturer,
they got angry as they think that the safety and health of the local people and
environment are more important than the goal of the manufacturer, while the manufacturer
does not respect that.
This story is in fact the story what happened on the Dutch Wikipedia in the past weeks,
the car is the visual editor, the manufacturer is WMF, the salesman is the liaisons hired
by WMF. In the past days the Dutch community held a voting that very clear explained what
the situation is, what the problems are and asked the community if they considered the
issues of the visual editor as a problem that needs to be fixed first or that the visual
editor should be launched already.
About 80% of the users is for delaying the visual editor as this software is **not** ready
and causes too many problems in articles. Among the 20% of users were also users who
dislike the visual editor completely and do not like it to be deployed at all.
In general the Dutch community likes the idea of getting an visual editor as they like the
idea that (new) inexperienced users will be able to edit the articles, but at the moment
it is too soon as the software is not ready.
Some reactions I have seen (roughly translated):
* Seems to buggy. The WMF has product managers... If managers can be paid, why not pay
programmers to do their work properly?
* A worse product from the developers. If they do something, they must do that in a good
* Not yet stable.
* Multiple times crashed with the visual editor.
* Switch off until all problems have been solved. Wikipedia has no need for its own
OV-chipkaart (Dutch card to travel with public transport with so many bugs with the
launch): something that is finished half, not been tested sufficiently and still pushed
through your throat. Njet !
* First the teething troubles out
* It's a very good alpha, but it should never have been launched outside of a test
deployment. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Alpha
Conclusion: if software is launched for everyone, communities want a finished product. If
not it is respect-less for local communities who daily do the actual work: writing,
updating and improving articles. Communities want respect and taken serious. The current
communication wasn't that, it was mainly one way communication as WMF doesn't
listed to our concerns. At least since 2007 there are complaints about the communication
of WMF, sure you are trying to improve, but hiring liaisons but not listing yourselves to
what communities have to say is still a problem.
This is not about small things, it is about damaging articles due software that
doesn't understand all wikisyntax. We have these problems black on white but we are
We care very much for the articles in Wikipedia, we explained again our problems today to
WMF, and instead of being listened to us we got threatened.
Is that the way how the Wikimedia Foundation works? Forcing things whatever it takes?