[Foundation-l] Community consensus for software changes (Re: Show community consensus for Wikilove)

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Mon Oct 31 20:30:45 UTC 2011

On Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 19:36, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 11:22 AM, Michael Snow <wikipedia at frontier.com> wrote:
>> If I understand correctly, the English Wikipedia is the main test
>> deployment for this as an experimental feature. While the feature
>> remains experimental, additional deployments to other wikis would only
>> happen if requested by community consensus.
> That's right. Because we're not actively organizing or vetting any
> efforts to localize the feature beyond its initial test deployment, we
> can't deploy to other languages unless there's a clear, proposed
> configuration and a consensus to use it. Given the still experimental
> nature of the feature, and the relatively high cost to manage a
> community-wide change, that's purely a pragmatic choice. We've made
> the same choice for ArticleFeedback and other experimental features,
> and will likely do so with others.

There are two issues here:

First, it's not the same to implement (a) something really needed
(let's say, optional WYSIWYG editor when it would be done, hopefully
before the next decade), (b) something about editors don't care, (c)
something which has potential to irritate editors because of various
reasons. (Wikilove irritates me, for example, because it was promoted
as "improvement", "new cool thing", while it's basically useless,
irritates others because of other things and talks a lot about
disconnect between WMF staff and reality.)

In the case (a) I don't think that any sane person would say anything
against implementation. Of course that you should implement WYSIWYG
editor ASAP. The case (b) is not an issue because nobody cares about

The case (c) could be easily predicted (if you WMF staff is not able
to predict such things, you should consider employing an expert in
predicting things; I could suggest you a couple of good shamans). And
it's your job to prevent conflicts, not to make them because a couple
of you think that something "is really cool" and that "it could pass"
and "if not, we'll think later". There are very straight-forward
options for that, including the one below.

Second issue is related to the position of English Wikipedia. Yes,
it's obvious that you need to show some feature somewhere and that
English Wikipedia is the best place to do that. However, instead of
just putting it and making excuses of various kinds, you should make
clear that it's used as an example for limited period of time (ten
years, if you want), after which community would be able to decide
does it want it or not. Otherwise, it doesn't just sound arrogant, but
it *is* arrogant behavior.

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