[Foundation-l] Some Ideas About Technical Stuff/Community Relations Improvements

Eugene Zelenko eugene.zelenko at gmail.com
Thu Dec 11 04:13:09 UTC 2008


There are many signs of miscommunications between technical side of
WMF operations and outside worlds (users, administrators, external
projects): periodical rattling on Planet Wikimedia, frustrations on
TranslateWiki, almost impermanently growing number of bug reports in

Typical example may include:

1) There is approved project X which still not created for Y days
2) Why new translations are not propagated to project X
3) Bug reports with opened years ago with several duplications

Definitely technical stuff members are limited resource. And even
trivial fixes or problems may took much more time then expected. Code
changes reviewing require efforts. But outside world don't know what
is going on and could only make uneducated guesses and in best case
scenario perceive technical stuff as black box

I think will be good idea to introduce some kind of technical stuff
reporting and future planning (may be located on WMF site). It'll
provide approximate answer for question 1; explain clearly situation
with 2 (like "rXYZ introduced database scheme changes, currently
updating WMF servers"). This will also highlight and communicate
priorities to general public.

This is not about control over developers but about development
process transparency, which I believe, will improve understanding and
appreciation of job done from outside. Think how CodeReview improve
transparency of MediaWiki code base maintaining.

Also development road map for next quarter/year may be considered.

Possible solution for problem 3:

* WMF may consider to allocate some part of development budget to
outside developers. It may be in form of bug fixing bounties, gifts or
sponsoring travel/accommodation for participation in
Wikimania/MediaWiki developers conference.
* Advertisement of "Google Summer of Code" jobs on WMF projects.



Disclaimers: I write weekly reports on work and don't think is most
interesting part of it. I don't believe that reports are best
reflection of working process.

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