[Foundation-l] Scheduled intermittent downtime on all Wikimedia projects on May 24

Thomas Morton morton.thomas at googlemail.com
Wed May 25 11:23:46 UTC 2011

Maybe we can replace the IRC link in the Squid error message with a
link to the WatchMouse page
@Tim; that seems a good idea.

@Domas, I'm afraid you don't seem to have understood the premise of my
suggestion.. which is fine. But one fallacy is worth responding to:

> You have some annoying users, our users are awesome and don't complain

The first rule of a website people use regularly is: "users will complain

One of my business mentors has a good maxim about this: "Just because you
can't see them complaining, don't simply assume they are not. Because they

Twitter, Facebook, IRC and all sorts of other websites had people
complaining about the down time. That is just a fact of life :)

To wit: If that static error page cannot easily be changed prior to a
maintenance, then fine :) no worries


On 25 May 2011 12:10, Domas Mituzas <midom.lists at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi!
> > That's... completely missing the point. Yes the specific errors faced
> were
> > unexpected or unforseen, BUT they were a* direct result* of the
> maintenance
> > between 13:00 and 14:00. I am simply passing on the feeling of our
> > readership; which was that the situation was badly communicated to them.
> As majority of our users are anons, who visit us once a day or two, we
> should probably have started a communication campaign at least two months
> before the maintenance.
> We practice a lot during fundraisers :-)
> OTOH, if there's no downtime, maybe we're causing quite some frustration
> with superfluous communication? :-)
> > I am trying to share my experience here as a sysadmin and website
> operator;
> Oh, finally we got some sysadmins and website operators here.
> As a sysadmin you sure understand that in larger distributed systems which
> are not all built on a set of SPOFs there can be various failure modes,
> happening at various layers and various fuzziness.
> As a website operator you sure know that it is lots of effort to prepare
> boilerplates for every possible situation :-)
> > users hate downtime/maintenance, and will complain about it endlessly.
> You have some annoying users, our users are awesome and don't complain
> endlessly!
> > Improving our communication of planned maintenance is definitely a good
> idea.
> So is curing cancer.
> Marcus Buck wrote:
> > Domas, what are you trying to achieve with your comments on Tom's
> > suggestions?
> Put some clue in?
> > The sensible reaction (from a person who is involved in the maintenance)
> would be:
> I know nobody likes this, but sensible reaction is to work on good
> operation rather than standing in front of a mirror and trying five hundred
> different "I'm sorry" phrases.
> You look too much from that single position, that "communication is good",
> without weighting costs or other options.
> Cheers,
> Domas
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