[Foundation-l] Policy governance ends

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Mon Apr 16 12:53:57 UTC 2007

On 16/04/07, Brianna Laugher <brianna.laugher at gmail.com> wrote:

> The first thing I would like to see (long term) is major expansion of
> MediaWiki development. The starting of mediawiki.org has been a great
> move for this.
> I am not totally sure this kind of goal is appropriate for WMF, or if
> large healthy open source development communities have to happen by
> themselves, but I suspect a bit of benevolent dictator-like prodding
> doesn't go astray.

I have long joked that the admin politics on English Wikipedia are
silly because the developers hold all the real power.

However, I'm increasingly thinking that development is critical to the
content surviving and continuing to be worked on - that improving
MediaWiki is the vitally important thing.

And even though content writers love Wikipedia and flock to it,
developers aren't. Hence my frequent attempts to recruit anyone
working on customising MediaWiki to their ends to contribute back to
the main stream of development.

By the way, we still don't have a good full-history dump of en:wp
online and I can't remember last time we had a good Commons image

See also http://davidgerard.co.uk/notes/2007/04/10/disaster-recovery-planning/
- what do we do in the event the Foundation fails?

(answer: anyone who wants to wipe Wikipedia from the face of the earth
only has until the next good en:wp history dump.)

> The second (also long term) is I believe WMF should lobby and
> publicise for "copyleft", "share alike" and "open content" movements,
> so that governments, organisations and individuals have a better
> understanding (or at the moment, even an inkling) of what they mean
> and imply. (Our libraries, custodians of a lot of knowledge, have some
> way to go.)
> "Free" (shareware) is not good enough. NC and ND especially is not
> good enough. WMF, with Wikipedia behind it, is in the most powerful
> position to explain to the world why.

Wording like that is part of the WMF's charitable purposes, I believe.
(I point this out doing press when they're trying to get me to say
something combative about Citizendium - "they're open content, it's
all good, the more the better. It validates the model.")

That Erik started and writes lots of http://freedomdefined.org/
doesn't hurt that cause ;-)

> The third, another long term, is that WMF should keep searching for
> innovative ways to provide information to people worldwide *in their
> own language*. Whether that be pushing for more stable internet access
> in some parts of the world, or negotiating with governments who block
> our content, or getting involved with printed material, or working on
> improving access by phone[1], or ...  whatever the next technology
> turns out to be.

<whisper>a search for Commons that doesn't suck!</whisper>

- d.

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