Hello all! I've finally decided to become a developer,
so I've taken the necessary first step of lurking
around on the mailing list. Not sure yet how much I'll
be able to contribute; I figure I'll brush up on PHP,
get the needed things installed and configured on my
boxen, and go from there. I'm looking forward to
Do you know stuff? Contribute to Wikipedia! http://www.wikipedia.org/
Help preserve the public domain by becoming a Distributed Proofreader. http://www.pgdp.net/
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
Hey you out there -- have you submitted bug fix patches that haven't
been applied yet? (I'm pretty sure there are a few.) I know that's awful
If so, please repost them here so we can get these committed or
corrected and move on to the next set of fun bugs. :)
If possible, do a 'cvs diff -u' against the current main CVS branch so
it can integrate cleanly. Mail often munges plaintext patches, so please
either attach a gzipped copy or just post a URL. (If there's a relevant
bug report on SourceForge, you can upload the file there.)
-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)
THE POLL IS BELOW
I'd like to remind you of the current ongoing poll. About a dozen people have participated in the past 3 days. Which is great ! It was truely very informative to me. However, I am still missing some opinions, in particular from a couple of very active developers (or so is my feeling they are active :-))
PS : Eloquence, I tried to send you an email yesterday, but your mailing box is full, so the mail was rejected :-(
I would like to insist that this is not only about payment, but also meant to perhaps discuss some improvement in the organisation of development.
I also would like to remind that we are in a situation where participants voted to elect their representatives (Angela and I) to act as proxies, representing your will. We agreed to free you from the responsibilities of the daily business of the foundation management, without stripping you entirely of political power.
Polling is necessary to us to accurately measure your views. We can not be in your shoes (they are probably too large for us). I preferred a sampling poll over a regular vote with fixed rules, as it gives more flexibility and richness (you may participate or not; you may answer only to part of the questions rather than all; you may comment at will...).
And from the sample I got, your views are very diverse indeed. So more feedback would be great.
The board can very well decide whether to hire people, or whether to set financial rewards or not. Technically we do not need your opinion. However, in reality, we do. The one thing I would find really dramatic is that we take a decision for which 3 people will agree, 3 will be neutral and 20 strongly oppose, resulting in huge drop of motivation and perhaps even people leaving.
I have seen mostly discussion here, about whether that might be a technical benefit, eg a way to orient development toward certain tasks rather than others, a way to speed up development, a way to motivate people.
I doubt not these might be beneficial.
However, I do think benefits should not only be measured in terms of technical benefits, but from the social perspective as well.
So thank you for helping us representing your views better :-)
Hello, we are writing to all active developers to survey views on
development and how these might interact with a rewards system that
has been proposed. There has been a discussion about this at
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Developer_payment. It would be really
helpful if you could find time to answer the questions at the end of
Some people believe that Wikimedia could benefit from having certain
MediaWiki features developed or developed more quickly that they
However, some of these features might not be coded because we do not
have internal resources to take care of them ourselves. Others do not
exist because no one is doing them, possibly due to low motivation,
being overworked by other tasks, or because no one is aware the
features are requested.
For these reasons, it has been suggested that we create a system which
would influence development activity in certain directions. In short,
that the Wikimedia Foundation offers bounties for certain development
In order to take such a decision, we need to determine whether the
solution is potentially a good one, or not (both *technically* and
*socially*). We also wish to explore alternative solutions to increasing
performance and individual satisfaction.
Whilst recognizing that there is nothing wrong or amoral to wish to be
paid or rewarded for volunteer activity, we do not wish to alienate
people who are strongly opposed to the idea, nor donors who gave money
with another dream in mind. As with any system relying on voluntary
activity, use of money as an item of exchange for work is
controversial. What we would like to understand better is how
controversial it is, both for editors and for developers. This poll is
meant to help us understand better what developers' opinions are on
A number of questions are included below, but please feel free to not
answer any that you not wish to respond to, particularly if you feel
they are too personal or not relevant to you. Add comments if you
wish, but try to keep them short and clear :-). Any complex proposals
should be added to Meta or sent to wikitech-l.
Please send your answers to anthere9ATyahoo.com.
Note : The reason we are distributing this questionnaire privately rather
than publicly is for the simple reason that some people are
uncomfortable talking about money issues in public. Also, some might
prefer not to enter into public controversies.
All replies will be kept confidential. If any statistics are released,
they will only be aggregate ones, and no comments will be quoted if
the author of them could be identified.
Are you, or have you been in the past, involved in development of
MediaWiki or maintenance of the Wikimedia servers?
If so, can you briefly indicate which specific activities you have
done (maintenance of servers, performance improvement, development of
features, debug, interface, "hotline" etc)
Which tasks, if any, really ought to be done, but currently are not?
Are there any tasks that you would like to get involved with but have
not yet done so?
If so, what is preventing becoming more involved with those tasks?
Is there anyone that you would like to be more involved with certain
tasks? If so, which tasks?
Did you find it easy to join the development team? Did you receive
appropriate guidance to allow you to start helping? Do you feel it is
easy now for newcomers to get involved?
If not, what do you think would help new developers to "get in"?
Was there anything in particular that you found helped you to join in?
Are you proud of what you are currently doing?
Do you feel your work is undervalued or under-recognized?
If you are now less involved with the development team than you were
previously, what made you decrease your contribution there?
What is the best reward for your good work, or what way would you prefer to be
Do you think any of the following could help? Thinking only of
technical considerations, please rate the following on this five point
scale from A to B.
A. Yes, I am convinced that could help a lot. I strongly support
B. Yes, it might help eventually. I slightly support this
C. I don't know if this will help. I neither support nor oppose this
D. No, I think it will not be helpful. I am slightly opposed to this
E. I am strongly opposed to this option, whether helpful or not
1. Having paid staff (permanent, full or part time, for example a
sysadmin). (Ie, paying someone for rather loosely defined activity)
2. A system of bounties or similar. For example, a one off contract
for a specific task, such as the development of a feature.
3. An award system : nomination of a "developer of the month" (for a special thank you
time) with an explanation of why. This could be advertised on IRC with
a paypal link on the fundraising page.
4. Another award system. For example, once a year, between one and three
developers could receive an award of the "best developer of the year",
possibly with a price of hardware or of money, and thank you notes
5. A "get to know me more" system : A special "know more about our developers" page, where each developer may explain how he contributed to the project, add a paypal
link, webpage link etc. This could be prominently linked to from the fundraising page.
6. Professional training to some of the developers if the Wikimedia Foundation could secure free or reduced price training.
7. Make our third global press releases oriented toward development issues, in order to attract new contributors for software and hardware issues. Focus on tech news site for promotion.
8. A meet-up for developers to work together occasionally (in Germany perhaps, with round of beers paid by the foundation :-))
9. A big clean up of the development pages on Meta, and clearer paths
to help new developers to "jump in".
10. Nomination of "organiser(s)" whose role would be to clean up the
list of tasks to do, clarify priorities, go around asking who could do
that, attract volunteers etc...
11. Please add your own ideas below.
Would you be interested to make a living directly or undirectly from Wikip�dia ?
If the Board were to hire staff, what type of staff do you think would be most helpful?
Do you think staff should be hired internally or externally? (ie, someone already volunteering, or someone who is not a participant)
If the Foundation were hiring, would you consider applying for a
How would you summarize your view on the proposed bounty system?
Strongly support / support/ neutral/ opposed/ strongly opposed/ undecided.
If opposed, please briefly indicate why.
If the Board decided to use a bounty system, would you try to get involved to get some of the bounties?
Do you feel your motivation level would be increased or decreased through the use of a bounty system?
If you are opposed to a bounty system, would its implementation cause you to decrease your level of contribution?
Please cite three tasks that you feel would be well suited to a bounty system.
Given that we would roughly evaluate the number of hours for a task, how much do you think should be given for a bounty (ie, amount of money per hour)? Alternatively, how much would you suggest the Foundation should offer for the tasks you mentioned just above?
What do you think would be the largest benefit of implementing a bounty system?
What do you think would be the largest harm caused by a bounty system?
Do you have your own pay pal account?
Would you be interested in having a little bio about you and your achievement on WMF site ?
Would you be interested in having a link on the site whereby users could donate money to you via this account?
Would you be interested in receiving professional training?
If developers were to be awarded special prizes by the Board, would you prefer to receive money or hardware?
Are there any ways of improving organization that you feel you can commit yourself to right now? For example, cleaning up pages, writing documentation, coaching newbies, writing technical press releases, improving the bug tracking system, setting up a "tech news" reporting page, playing the pom pom girl?
Please send your answers to anthere9ATyahoo.com.
We thank you for your time and attention, and hope you will agree to participate to this survey. As board members and representants of all wikipedians, it is important to Angela and I that we take decisions which will be at the same time beneficial to the project, beneficial for WMF, consistent with our shared values and agreeable to the community.
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.
Would someone have an idea for me (how to fix the bug) or a new IRC
client to recommand me (I am on macintosh OS9, netscape 7.02 and no, I
cant upgrade to a newer system) ?
I was previously on chatzilla.
I had what I thought a bug (I could not close tabs of personal channels).
I went to freenode to seek from help and they recommanded I upgraded my
chatzilla. Looking in the new versions, I discovered it was not a bug,
but... a non existent feature, which was fixed in most recent versions.
I hence upgraded chatzilla. http://www.hacksrus.com/~ginda/chatzilla/
Now, when I start chatzilla (I later tried all versions I could find), I
have an error message, and the application is not working anymore.
I installed with pain Shadow IRC (which was the first irc I used, but is
by far less confortable to use) and contacted the chatzilla irc. I
discussed during 2 hours with Silver, one of the big guy for chatzilla.
We concluded that for some reason, I had a file missing nslFile
Protocole Handler component.
I understood that file location was changed in 2002, so it was likely
that chatzilla was looking at the new location, while my browser being
borderline 2002-2003, could still have it at the ancient location
(chatzilla does not handle "yet" the old location, but Silver said he
might do the patch for the next release).
However, the problem is that we were not able to find the file at all.
neither of the two exist.
What is quite curious is that chatzilla was previously working on an old
version. But when I installed it, I remember quite well that the newer
version had the same bug. This suggest that the file concerned existed
then, and that older versions of chatzilla were able to manage somehow.
I entirely reinstalled my computer about 1 month ago; so might have
"lost" something ???
I already reinstalled netscape/mozilla and chatzilla entirely yesterday
night, but the file still not there.
Does that suggest any thing to someone ?
Alternatively, who has a decent and free irc client to recommand me ?
Shadow is really unconfortable to use.
Meanwhile, I think I won't be much on IRC any more. Which is somehow
problematic for communication.
Only benefit is that it will help cure my wikiholism :-)
From: Nat Friedman <nat at novell dot com>
To: Jonathan Blandford <jrb at redhat dot com>
Copy: Erik Moeller <moeller at scireview dot de>
Subject: Re: GNOME bounty system success
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 16:12:28 -0400
Jonathan's summary is good. One quick point on numbers: only 11
bounties have been paid, but we've had patch submissions on >50% of the
total bounties; release engineering timelines have made it hard for
bounty submitters to get some of their patches accepted by module
maintainers, and therefore paid, so that contributes to the small number
of paid bounties you see.
One thing that's surprising is that pretty much all of our bounty
submissions came from first-world economies. Despite efforts to promote
the bounties heavily in e.g. India.
I think there's a need for a bounty administration infrastructure; some
piece of software that can run these programs automatically, instead of
the mostly hand-generated web pages I wrote.
I can't attest to how good it is because I've never used it, but I hear
IRCle being mentioned from time to time. It works on all kinds of
MacOS versions (their site says): http://www.ircle.com/download.shtml
- Julian Ostrow (X13)
> Would someone have an idea for me (how to fix the bug) or a new IRC
> client to recommand me (I am on macintosh OS9, netscape 7.02 and no,
> cant upgrade to a newer system) ?
> I was previously on chatzilla.
> I had what I thought a bug (I could not close tabs of personal
> I went to freenode to seek from help and they recommanded I upgraded
> chatzilla. Looking in the new versions, I discovered it was not a
> but... a non existent feature, which was fixed in most recent
> I hence upgraded chatzilla. http://www.hacksrus.com/~ginda/chatzilla/
> Now, when I start chatzilla (I later tried all versions I could
> have an error message, and the application is not working anymore.
> I installed with pain Shadow IRC (which was the first irc I used, but
> by far less confortable to use) and contacted the chatzilla irc. I
> discussed during 2 hours with Silver, one of the big guy for
> We concluded that for some reason, I had a file missing nslFile
> Protocole Handler component.
> I understood that file location was changed in 2002, so it was likely
> that chatzilla was looking at the new location, while my browser
> borderline 2002-2003, could still have it at the ancient location
> (chatzilla does not handle "yet" the old location, but Silver said he
> might do the patch for the next release).
> However, the problem is that we were not able to find the file at all.
> neither of the two exist.
> What is quite curious is that chatzilla was previously working on an
> version. But when I installed it, I remember quite well that the
> version had the same bug. This suggest that the file concerned
> then, and that older versions of chatzilla were able to manage
> I entirely reinstalled my computer about 1 month ago; so might have
> "lost" something ???
> I already reinstalled netscape/mozilla and chatzilla entirely
> night, but the file still not there.
> Does that suggest any thing to someone ?
> Alternatively, who has a decent and free irc client to recommand me ?
> Shadow is really unconfortable to use.
> Meanwhile, I think I won't be much on IRC any more. Which is somehow
> problematic for communication.
> Only benefit is that it will help cure my wikiholism :-)
> Wikitech-l mailing list
I have looked at the validation parameters on the article validation page on test.
I am wondering what happened to "CopyEdit." Is this going to be done by the German users? If so, where is the rating system for "Copyedit?"
-------------- Original message from Magnus Manske : --------------
> Hello all,
> as some of you know, a company will release a snapshot of the German
> wikipedia on CD. They will use a dump from September 1, less than one
> month from now.
> We (de.wikipedia) would very much like to get the validation feature up
> and running ASAP, even though it is only in the early stages (but
> functional), so we can harvest WikiPower (tm) to sort out the junk, er,
> the "articles" that should rather not go on CD.
> Now for the scary part: Can we soon go live with what is CVS HEAD, or is
> there something utterly unstable in it?
> Also, any help with the validation feature will be greatly appreciated.
> The current state of affairs can be seen at http://test.wikipedia.org
> Wikitech-l mailing list
I would like to have a query with all words in Arabian, Farsi, Hebrew sorted alphabetically. Arab words can be found in nl:wiktionary by the references to [[Sjabloon:-ar-]]. (15 words at this time but growing..)
Now the catch is that in these languages the first letter is on the right. The query will be used to show all words in order, and to create a list of all words starting with ..