On Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 5:58 PM, Erik Moeller <erik(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
I think that we agree more than we disagree here.
Obviously a huge
code review and deployment backlog is bad for everyone. Volunteers
should feel that their contributions are wanted, supported, and
appreciated (so should staff). And we are, in good faith, working
together to make sure this happens. We all want to build a healthy
community, and reminding us that we all can contribute to that, I
think, what Roan was mainly trying to do in this thread. :-)
I entirely agree that everyone should adopt a positive attitude and
try to avoid an us-vs.-them take on things. Brion wisely pointed out
on IRC that my earlier giant post on this topic could have been better
written as "problems with the current MediaWiki development process"
instead of "community vs. centralized development" (it even had "vs."
in the name!). I tried from the beginning to word myself so as to
avoid confrontation, but like many techy people, I'm not terribly good
at diplomacy. Still, I can always try harder, and will.
However, adopting a positive attitude will not fix non-attitudinal
problems such as code not being deployed for months; or people making
changes in a manner that results in other interested parties not
seeing them until they're deployed; or people reverting others'
commits because they contradict prior decisions that the original
committer had no realistic way of knowing of; or other problems of
that nature. Attitude does not play a big part in those problems, and
improving attitudes will not help them. Indeed, pressuring people too
much to avoid conflict will mask substantive problems. So while
having a good attitude is important, it's largely orthogonal to any
problems we might be having with "Collaboration between staff and
volunteers", the title of this thread.
(I wonder where the "n" in "attitudinal" comes from.)
On Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 6:07 PM, Trevor Parscal <tparscal(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
In the mean time, I see you disagreeing with Roan that
cut the staff developers, especially the newer members thereof, some
slack and assume good faith, which just doesn't connect. You should be
agreeing with him - we should all be looking for ways to be nicer and
more understanding of each other.
Oh, please don't mistake me -- I'm completely against anyone attacking
others, assuming bad faith, etc. I don't believe in blaming people,
naming names, or factionalism, and I think everything should be
phrased in positive terms to the greatest extent possible (although
not to the point of ignoring serious issues for fear of upsetting
people). I try to do this myself all the time, both in MediaWiki
matters and everything else, and if I fail sometimes -- or often --
it's due to my social ineptitude rather than lack of trying. I've
also both publicly and privately asked volunteers to moderate their
tone and speak more constructively about conflicts, with some success.
It's just that, despite the many merits of a good demeanor, it won't
help solve underlying concrete problems. For that, we need changes in
procedure, in where work is assigned, or in other concrete things. As
I said, we're starting to see this with code review, which is great,
since that was always the number one issue. The way people act on
their unhappiness is a very separate issue from the unhappiness
itself, and they shouldn't be conflated. Ideally, the latter issue
should just be fixed, and then the former will be moot.
On Sat, Oct 16, 2010 at 4:34 PM, MZMcBride <z(a)mzmcbride.com> wrote:
Having a plan is great and it sounds like a completely
reasonable plan, but
currently only Tim is able to do general code updates and he's not really
around, from what I understand.
I don't think anyone is treating Tim as necessary for code updates
right now. There are plenty of people with the privileges to do it,
and it's not especially complicated or hard. It will require a
considerable amount of planning for such a huge backlog, to do things
like work out all the schema updates and have enough people on hand to
quickly handle all the inevitable regressions that will arise. But I
don't think any particular single person needs to be the one to do it.