George Stepanek a écrit:
Given the recent recovery of the database, and the
work to fix the performance
problems experienced earlier this year, it may be time to think again about the
issue of rewarding WikiMedia developers for their oustanding efforts on our
behalf. Their achievements are considerable. I don't believe that anyone has
ever before run such a popular website on so small a budget. They have been able
to scale a rough-and-ready technology to accommodate phenomenal growth.
I have read the ongoing discussions about the subject. The idea of bounties for
specific projects has been mooted, but has not taken off. Part of the problem is
that there appears to be considerable confusion as to what it is the developers
actually do. Their most critical work is not actually development at all; it is
keeping the system running smoothly.
Software development is quite a creative and rewarding activity. The MediaWiki
codebase is reasonably well documented, and it is actually quite accessible. It
would not be hard to find new people to fix bugs and develop new features. But
given the maturity of the software, there is not much that really needs to be
System operations, on the other hand, is an exhausting, frustrating and largely
thankless activity. It relies on a few key individuals who have deep familiarity
and expertise with the current setup. When things go wrong, the pressure on
these people becomes enormous.
I propose paying a bonus to those developers who make substantial contributions
towards the running the of system. Someone who works 40 or more hours over the
course of a week would receive $400 (US) for their efforts. Someone who works at
least 20 hours would receive $200.
Is this a fair recompense? No. It is way below market rate. But it might help
out a student who would otherwise have to wait tables to make ends meet. And it
would be a nice "thank you" to anyone else: it could pay for a mini-break, or
night on the town.
What do you think?
Hi, your title is a bit confusing, as in Wikipedia, sysops are usually
not system operator...
But well, I understand what you mean.
I am not sure you have been informed that since january, the foundation
has decided to pay a bit two people.
One person (Chad) is paid since early january, one day a week, to help
with the servers themselves.
Brion should now been part time (though paper work has not been done
yet...) to help on various issues.
I think what you propose makes sense, but it may be also controversial.
As with many topics, the best thing is to move slowly, to insure
decisions taken will not upset editors nor tip a balance.
There is also the question of who to pay, how long, how much, how to
measure quality of work provided...
Also, it is important to note that our ressources are quite fragile, and
that paying people will increase our financial needs a lot.
And finally, there is an important point to consider.
It is why so many people here work for free.
They do because it is fun. They do because they are with others, they do
not have a boss telling them what they should do; they can do whatever
they feel like, and when they feel like. They can be away for 2 months
if there is need. And they can oppose what they do not like.
This freedom is very important. So, while I know very well some people
need money and while it would be nice that some people have only one job
rather than 2 at the same time, it is important to be slow in any
decision to pay people.
I'd say, essentially, we should right now listen to people reaction,
thoughts and proposals. Not straight take the decision to give 400
dollars to anyone working 40 hours a week on wikimedia servers :-)