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

William Pietri william at scissor.com
Mon Mar 1 05:05:43 UTC 2010

Hi, Alex. Good questions.

On 02/28/2010 08:10 PM, Alex wrote:
>> >  When might that be? Is there a specific deadline? If not, why? And if there
>> >  is a deadline and it slips by yet again, what's the consequence to those
>> >  running the project?
>> >  
> I second this. Are William and Howie just under contract indefinitely
> until FlaggedRevs is finally "ready"? Who are they responsible to, and
> why is that person apparently not giving them any sort of priorities
> (like, creating a plan or a deadline)?

As to who I'm responsible to, that was Erik Moeller and is becoming 
Danese Cooper. We of course have a plan, which is publicly posted, and 
which I'm glad to answer questions on. Elsewhere in this thread (and in 
the blog post) I've explained why I haven't just made up an arbitrary 
deadline, but am instead trying to measure productivity and project a 
date. If you have further questions on this, let me know.

Regarding incentives, I believe that this project borrowed Howie part 
time from the Usability Team, who will welcome having him back when 
we're done. For my part, I certainly have an reason to get this done 
soon. Like everybody, I thought this would go quicker, and I gave WMF a 
70% discount from my normal rate, because heck, I love Wikipedia. But 
each week this goes on means a slightly larger hole in my 2010 revenue 
picture. A worthwhile one, to be sure, but I'd still like to keep it as 
small as possible.

> Why is there such little transparency in this whole process? Rather than
> use the normal bug tracker that all other MediaWiki developers use and
> that the community is used to, they're using some entirely separate one,
> hosted on a 3rd party website.

See my explanation elsewhere in the thread, but basically, I'm not 
tracking bugs, and Bugzilla is a poor fit for the approach I thought 
best. I used the fastest-to-use tool that suits that approach, so as to 
maximize the time spent on actual work. Nobody has mentioned an issue 
with it until now. If people would rather I also tracked a bunch of 
tickets in Bugzilla we can talk about that, and I'm eager to hear other 
suggestions for ways to increase transparency.

> As far as I can tell, there's only been
> one unprompted communication with the community regarding this - the
> techblog post in January that had little new information.

I've reported when I thought I had something to report, and I've 
certainly answered direct questions from people. I'm definitely planning 
to announce boldly when we actually have something to show, and I'll do 
that far and wide.

Although I considered it, it didn't seem useful to send out a "hey, 
still working" update in the meantime. Partly because there's not a 
great venue for it, and partly because the subsequent roiling of the 
waters takes up time and energy I'd rather see productively used. But 
mainly because it's hard to do that without throwing under the bus 
whatever person or group is currently the bottleneck. And not only is 
that unfair, but it's terrible for both morale and productivity, so it 
seemed like waiting for a labs update was the best option.

I'm open to suggestions, though, so definitely drop me a line (perhaps 
off list?) if you want to discuss something.


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