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

Brian Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu
Fri Jan 9 23:59:29 UTC 2009

Well, I believe my concerns have been adequately addressed. I have only one
last point of input on usability (for now ;-). I believe it my be the case
that the often bizarre idiosyncrasies of MediaWiki were implemented because
the developers were spread out around the world, in isolation, communicating
only over IRC and sometimes e-mail. I know there are yearly developer spurts
at Wikimania, but I do not know about the daily development environment at
the offices, and whether development continues in a largely isolated
It seems that it would be prudent to accept consulting advice from Ward
Cunningham, as he not only invented wiki collaboration, but revolutionized
programmer collaboration with Extreme Programming. It is not prudent to
allow developers to collaborate in any manner of their choosing, as it will
often be far below what is optimal. If you want to spend the money wisely,
and avoid the common pitfalls prevalent in MediaWiki's fragile design, you
must ensure the developers are working side by side and following certain


On Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 4:30 PM, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> 2009/1/9 Brian <Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu>:
> > Erik I am glad you are still around and keeping an eye on things.
> Thank you, I appreciate that. :-)
> > I believe that, with the audience the Foundation has access to, it could
> > save a lot of money by hiring people who love Wikipedia and want to work
> for
> > it. I don't think its true that the only way to get seasoned developers
> is
> > to wave a large carrot (aka $$$) in front of their face. I believe there
> > exist experienced developers who would gladly give a year of their life,
> > working at a lower wage, to work on Wikipedia.
> That is evidently true. In fact, everyone we're hiring accepts that
> they are going to be paid under market rates. We are also working with
> remote contractors on specific projects. If you are interested in
> working as a remote contractor, or you know brilliant people who would
> be, make a pitch to jobs at wikimedia dot org. We have put a general
> note on the job openings page that we appreciate hearing from people
> who are passionate and interested throughout the year, regardless of
> current openings.
> As for advertising this extremely broadly, I think that would be doing
> a disservice to serious candidates as we simply would be drowning in
> applications. (Sometimes, we already are.) And, having reviewed CVs
> for almost every position that we've hired for in 2008, I can tell you
> that arriving at a reasonable shortlist in a fair and accurate fashion
> is a lot of work - and with the exception of some sanity filtering,
> it's not a task you can easily give to someone else. We might try it
> regardless, but only if we have a process in place to deal with the
> predictable level of interest.
> --
> Erik Möller
> Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
> Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
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