[Foundation-l] Sue Gardner, Erik Möller , William Pietri: Where is FlaggedRevisions?

MZMcBride z at mzmcbride.com
Mon Mar 1 04:59:00 UTC 2010

I finally figured out that the "view history" button in Pivotal Tracker is
where all the relevant details are. For each of the items I'm looking at,
Aaron appears to have completed them "2 months ago." But they're not marked
as finished because you and Howie haven't done so? What's the hold-up

(And isn't this yet another reason you should be using something less
brain-dead than Bugzilla. I never thought it was possible to find worse
issue tracking software, but leave it to Wikimedia....)

William Pietri wrote:
> There's no need to persuade me of the value of Flagged Revisions. I
> already think the project is important, or I wouldn't be working on it.
> My point is that drama will slow things down, not speed things up. My
> long experience is that people swearing at programmers impedes progress.
> You should decide which you're after. I figure it's progress, which is
> why I mentioned it.

Are you a programmer? The programmers seem to be the ones who have done
their jobs here. This isn't a development issue by the looks of it, it's a
management issue. And I'm "swearing" at the management (see e-mail subject
> There have been substantial changes to the code. We don't want to break
> either the English or German Wikipedias, so we test before shipping.
> This is not an unusual approach to running a production web site.
> "Measure twice, cut once," works even better in software than carpentry.

Actually, historically that hasn't been the trend. The site has been broken
countless times, not that that's a goal anyone should be aiming for. I
suppose it's as good an excuse as any for the complete mishandling of this
project, though. (In your defense, this was a clusterfuck before you
arrived, so you don't get the full blame here.)

> Also, the community doesn't yet believe the software is ready, at least
> judging by the last round of feedback on the labs site.

I watch a live feed of every edit and action to the FlaggedRevisions labs
site <http://flaggedrevs.labs.wikimedia.org> and I've been the one doing the
admin promotions on there since September 2009.

Can you point to where you're seeing this feedback you're talking about?

> The usability team and I agreed with that, as did others, which is what
> motivated this latest round of changes.

Where are the comments from the Usability team? I've been idling in their
IRC channel for the past few months. Here's every mention of "flagged" that
I have: http://paste.pocoo.org/show/184170/

Who exactly is working on these user interface issues? What are they doing?
I'm curious.

And shouldn't I be able to see all of this Usability work at your Pivotal
Tracker? I don't.

> There is no specific deadline. The approach I thought best for this
> project was one where we measure actual progress and use that to project
> dates. (That's why I used Pivotal Tracker, a tool designed for tracking
> and measuring real, fine-grained progress.)

I can't say unequivocally that Pivotal Tracker is the worst issue tracker to
exist, but it's certainly the most user-unfriendly I've personally ever

> As soon as we can release to labs and check out the new stuff, which I
> ardently hope is soon, we'll have some useful data on productivity.

You "ardently hope"? Aren't you the person in charge of this project? If
not, what exactly do you do day-to-day and who is in charge of getting
FlaggedRevisions enabled on the English Wikipedia?

> If everybody feels the new version is ready to go live, then I am not
> aware of any impediment to public release right after that decision.

Unlike the impediments you've been throwing up in this thread and that
others have been throwing up over the past months and years? Originally it
was getting the software mostly finished. That happened, and Erik announced
that any project could request FlaggedRevisions. Then it became an issue of
user interface (and oh-my-god usability). Then a hardware issue (though that
turned out to be mostly, if not completely, bunk). I wonder what the next
boogeyman will be. Perhaps http://bit.ly/djkLDa ?

> If, as seems likely, there are some further proposed changes, we'll be
> able to estimate development time and project dates.

You've said in this very thread that "there is no specific deadline." Now
you're saying the opposite? Estimating "development time and project dates"
sounds like a deadline to me. Why can't we have one of those? Why can't
there be a specific date by which FlaggedRevisions will be enabled on the
English Wikipedia. That's what I'm after.

> As to consequences, we all serve at the pleasure of Danese Cooper most
> directly, and to Erik, Sue, and the board from there, so if they think
> we're doing a bad job I'm sure they'll deal with that.

Is Danese alive? I haven't seen her on a public mailing list, IRC channel,
or wiki since she was hired. At all.

> Everybody is  also keenly aware that this is a high-profile, high-priority
> project. 

"High-profile, high-priority"? This has been in development for years and
years and still isn't finished. What on Earth happens to the low priorities?

z at mzmcbride.com

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