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

Chad innocentkiller at gmail.com
Sat Jan 10 13:02:06 UTC 2009

On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 4:03 AM, Gerard Meijssen
<gerard.meijssen at gmail.com>wrote:

> [snip]
> When the usability of MediaWiki is improved, people will be encouraged to
> contribute to MediaWiki projects. It will be really hard to make the
> convoluted policies of the different Wikipedias clear. Many policies exist
> that on the face of it makes sense. However, when you combine them all, you
> get a mess that prevents people from contributing. I recently declined to
> write an en.wp article because I am hesitant because of all this.
> Realistically, in order to make MediaWiki and Wikipedia more usable, there
> are two aspects. There are technical aspects that will make it easy to
> contribute and there are the community aspects. For the Stanton project to
> do the technical aspects is a no brainer; obviously they will experiment
> with all the technical bits and bobs and make a difference. To get some
> traction on the community aspects, it takes a community that acknowledges
> that cleanup is needed.
> [/snip]

For once Gerard, you and I agree 100%. I got into a similar discussion with
Andrew Lih and Liam Wyatt on a recent episode of Wikipedia Weekly. And
we came to the same conclusion: usability in Wikimedia projects is hindered
by two things. Firstly, the usability issues within MediaWiki itself. The
being community issues.

As you say above and I said in the podcast: the usability grant will
improve the usability of MediaWiki itself, and I look forward to seeing
work, for both the benefit of WMF projects and outside users of Mediawiki.
However, no sum of money can solve the underlying community issues.
That's for the wikis to identify and fix themselves.


More information about the foundation-l mailing list