[Foundation-l] Why is the software out of reach of the community?

Brian Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu
Fri Jan 9 22:33:49 UTC 2009

In order to solicit community feedback on this very important issue, I
suggest the Foundation put up a multi-language banner on all Wikipedia's
soliciting input via a survey.

*How can Wikipedia be more usable?*

I also suggest the Foundation put up a We're Hiring banner. In tough global
economic conditions, and for the amount of money the Foundation has been
given, they could afford to hire 20 best in class developers who are
otherwise out of work.

800,000 / 30,000 = 26. Is that not a fair wage? If the Foundation only plans
to hire three developers to work on this project then it must be spending
the money on something else entirely.

The community also deserves a usability lab, and a full assessment of how
Semantic MediaWiki, Semantic Forms, and Project Halo could contribute to
usability. I predict they will find that, while they do not cover every
problem, the main issue that needs to be worked on is scaling them. This is
something that the core developers are experts at. They are not experts on

I would like to make clear that I believe the usability issue has largely
been solved, and the community is just waiting for the core developers, who
have kept a tight lock and key on the source code, to recognize that.

On Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 3:00 PM, Brian <Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu> wrote:

> Why are so few community-developed mediawiki extensions used by the
> Foundation?
> Why do developers have such priviledged access to the source code, and the
> community such little input?
> Why must the community 'vote' on extensions such as Semantic MediaWiki, and
> yet the developers can implement any feature they like, any way they like
> it?
> Why does the Foundation need 1 million for usability when amazing tools
> continue to be ignored and untested?
> Why has the Foundation gone ahead and approved the hire of several
> employees for usability design, when the community has had almost zero input
> into what that design should be?
> Why is this tool not being tested on Wikipedia, right now?
> http://wiki.ontoprise.com/ontoprisewiki/index.php/Image:Advanced_ontology_browser.gif
> --
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