The Community Tech is a Wikimedia Foundation team running the Community Wishlist Survey. It builds and improves curation and moderation tools for experienced users, supports bot operators, and more. The creation of the team is a direct outcome of requests from the most active contributors. The team works closely with editors, volunteer developers, and other Wikimedia teams.
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|Real Time Preview for Wikitext|
|Bibliographic bot for Wikidata|
We have an update about the wish. We have finished user tests. Læsning
November 2, 2021: Real Time Preview for Wikitext
October 19, 2021: Declining the Bibliographic Bot Wish
Wish Title: Bibliographic Bot
Wish Rank: #14
Reason Summary: Scope of work too large, not enough votes.
We have decided to decline this project. We did this after careful consideration and multiple rounds of feedback within the team and conversations with other teams at WMF and affiliates.
Rationale: First, the engineers and designers investigated the scope of work defined in the problem statement of the wish (T243150). We have determined that the work alone far exceeds our initial estimation of it.
This wish scored very high in our prioritization process because at a glance, it seemed straightforward to duplicate the Citoid behavior inside of Wikidata. We assumed that it involved a low complexity from a technical and design perspective because we could reuse the code and designs. However, citations in Wikidata must be linked as references to other objects in the database. This significantly increases the complexity.
This wish did not score the top 10 most popular wishes. It came in at #14. We were wrong about the initial estimation. In fact the work for this wish was worked on by Wikidata/Wikimedia Deutschland for multiple months. The final solution was too complex to complete given the resources available at the time. This would take the Community Tech team multiple months to complete, and there are other wishes that were more popular that we will work on instead.
August 20, 2021: The 2022 Community Wishlist Survey will happen in January
We will be running the Community Wishlist Survey 2022 in January 2022. We need more time to work on the 2021 wishes. We also need time to prepare some changes to the Wishlist 2022. In the meantime, you can use a dedicated sandbox to leave early ideas for the 2022 wishes. Læsning
What we do
We mainly work on the Community Wishlist Survey. It's an annual project which contributors from all Wikimedia wikis can ask for changes that they would most like to see.
We work on relatively small tasks and that have a direct benefit for the most active contributors. In particular, we support those who:
- Participate in the curatorial and administrative layers of the Wikimedia projects
- Work on technical features for wikis such as templates, modules, gadgets, user scripts, and bots.
Occasionally, we also work on other projects. We do that to help smaller groups that may not have enough support in the Survey. This is how we have worked on:
Tasks that are in scope include:
- Creating gadgets, bots, and wizards to help users in what they already do
- Modifying existing gadgets and bots so that they can work on more projects
- Converting heavily-used community code (gadgets and user-scripts) into part of the MediaWiki software
- Building tools for WikiProjects
- Identifying and fixing issues with most important old tools for experienced users, such as AbuseFilter or Citation bot
- Creating better documentation for these tools so that they can be better utilized
Tasks that are not in scope include:
- Maintaining orphaned/abandoned projects from other WMF teams.
- Supporting internal needs of WMF teams.
- Large, long-term development projects like converting Commons to use structured meta-data or creating an entirely new watchlist interface.
- Being the point of contact for all community technical requests.
- Sysadmin type tasks such as managing Toolforge, improving site performance, creating new wikis, managing IRC channels, etc.
For a more detailed breakdown of the team's current work, check our Kanban board in Phabricator.
Staff Software Engineer, Tech Lead
User Experience Designer
Lauren de Lench
The Community Tech team has a similar mandate to Wikimedia Deutschland's Community Tech team – Technischer Communitybedarf, or TCB – which provides technical assistance and software development for the German Wikimedia community. We will be collaborating with them on projects that overlap between our teams and assisting each other with technical assessment and code review. We will also be collaborating with other WMF development teams when high-priority community requests fall within their scope. In such cases, we will work with the leaders of the other teams to negotiate timelines, expectations, priorities, and ownership. We also spend a good deal of our time working with and supporting Wikimedia volunteer developers.
Engaging with Community Tech
We review and triage new requests on a biweekly cadence.
We also host monthly Talk to Us hours.
It's important to us...
- To work on projects that have a big impact
- To help large wikis and small wikis, in many languages
- To be open and communicative
- To be responsive to people's requests and concerns
- To be calm and civil, and to assume good faith
We're a small team, and there's a lot to do! We want to be as helpful and effective as we can, so we can't take everything on. Saying no to requests that we can't help with is an important part of our job, because it frees up time and energy for the requests that we can help with.
But "no" is hard to hear sometimes, so here are some guidelines about working and communicating with the Community Tech team.
- Please be calm and civil, and assume good faith on our part. We care about the projects too.
- We love our jobs and we work hard, but we don't work 24/7, and we can't guarantee an immediate response.
- If a specific person or issue is taking an outsized percentage of our on-wiki time, that takes time and attention away from other people. We'll sometimes have to close a conversation, and say that we can't spend more time on a particular subject.
- We can't take on projects that are currently on another product team's roadmap, or a project that directly conflicts with another team's work.
- If there's an issue with another product team's work, we can direct you to the appropriate person to talk to.
- We can't answer questions about staffing issues, or confidential matters.
Template for Reference
- Preferred Name:
- How to talk to me:
- (Optional) Pronouns:
- (Optional) Things I like:
- (Optional) Things I’m bad at:
- (Optional) Annoying things I do:
- (Optional) How to cheer me up when I am grumpy:
- (Optional) Hot takes:
- (Optional) Anything else you should know about me:
Find our user guides here:
- Community Tech/Development
- Community Tech/Team Processes
- Community Tech/Phabricator Criteria for Community Tech