Talk:Community Tech/Project ideas

(Redirected from Talk:Community Tech project ideas)
Latest comment: 8 years ago by Ryan Kaldari (WMF) in topic 2015 Community Wishlist Survey



There is a lot of great ideas here. Glad to see this moving forwards and getting support from the WMF. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:07, 6 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

I don't think the current proposals have much to do with community demands, except a few. --Nemo 05:38, 13 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
There does not appear to be much movement taking place in the WMF. @TNegrin (WMF): is supposed to be "incubating" this project but has not dropped in to inform us of what progress, if any, the team is making towards hatching, so to speak, or to offer guidance to the preliminary discussions taking place here. The comment by Garfield Byrd [1] that "We are only taking on Community Tech, as we have received request for us to provide resources in this area" is hardly a ringing endorsement of the WMF's commitment. I think we should assume that there is no serious intention to make this project succeed, although no doubt WMF staff will be happy enough watching various discussions taking place here as a substitute for doing any actual work. Didcot power station (talk) 05:59, 4 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
The current problem is exactly the opposite: there is a lot of movement taking place in the WMF these days, caused by the Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2015-16 work, which affects everybody's plans at the WMF. The Community Tech team is the main response to one of the points of the WMF Call to Action (WMF to improve its process for community input and allocate dedicated technical resources to community requests), so there is no question that it is happening. The hiring process for the team lead is also progressing but, as it is usual in hiring processes, not much info can be shared until the selected candidate is announced.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 08:16, 4 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Not very impressive. Talking about internal reorganisation is not a substitute for real, customer-facing work. Starting a Phabricator card is not a substitute for real, customer-facing work. Actual work involves doing actual things that change the way actual things happen. Nobody has even touched that Phabricator card for a month, let alone done anything visible to improve the process for community input. If you want to do some actual thing, find User:TNegrin (WMF) and challenge him to come to this discussion and explain to the community what progress, if any, he has made toward forming the team, when he expects to start real visible work and what, if anything, he expects to be actually done towards the tasks to implement the Wikimedia Foundation Call to Action 2015. Didcot power station (talk) 20:31, 9 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
So, no answer, no appearance by User:TNegrin (WMF) and no action either. Talk, talk, talk and nothing but talk. It is clear that no-one at WMF takes this Community Tech thing seriously. This page is an ineffectual talking shop, the "incubator" can't be bothered to say anything, there's no timeline, no plan, no-one doing any real work and no-one in charge. This is a sham, and by that I mean that Community Tech is a conscious and deliberate deception, designed and implemented to give the impression that WMF takes community technical input seriously when in fact it has nothing but contempt for the volunteer population in general and their technical requirements in particular. WMF staff -- if you disagree, it's easy to prove me wrong. I challenge the WMF leadership to do some actual thing here, not just watch us carry on talking in an endless and pointless closed loop. Didcot power station (talk) 17:34, 17 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
User:Didcot power station I was recently elected to the board of the WMF. I believe that I was elected in part because the community wants to see improvements in the relationship with the WMF. I started in July and will make figuring out where things are at regarding this project a priority. Thus I would request your patience before you give up. I too am persistent :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:42, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
As said above, no WMF employee will say much on behalf of the Community Tech team before the Community Tech team lead is hired and announced. As said also above, the hiring process is ongoing and, as it is usual in these cases, no details are shared until it is concluded. I understand these are not impressive replies, but it is the real situation we are at. I appreciate your time, hence the silence here while there are no news. I'll keep connecting Community Tech project ideas with existing tasks in Phabricator, since I believe this is more productive right now.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 08:27, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
We have noticed that no staff member will say much. Waiting to make this appointment is simply an excuse for delay, and of course when the new staff member is appointed, they will have a steep learning curve, during which we will be asked again for further patience while nothing actually happens. The new team leader is being appointed by someone, and will report to someone, in the WMF hierarchy, who should already have determined the responsbilities for the new team and its leader. Have they nothing to say? Not to us, it appears.
By contrast, this is how a real process works. There is a designated "incubator" who could and should have spoken up, as a courtesy to the community if nothing else, to say. "Hello, I'm AAA and I'm responsible for setting up the Community Tech team in conjunction with BBB who has responsibility for the department that team sits in and CCC who wrote the job description and determined the responsbilities for the new job, which you will find at page DDD. The teams responsbilities are EEE and the leaders are specifically FFF, but do not include GGG and HHH, with are being dealt with by teams III and JJJ: you will find a complete list of those teams and details of their respective responsbilities on page KKK. We are setting it the team now, the appointment process will complete by LLL and the new teams will start work on MMM. In the interim, as a temporary measure, we will collect community suggestions on page NNN, in a process which will be overseen by staff member OOO, who will collate responses and present them to the community and to the new team when they start work on MMM. In the interim, this message is being promulgated to the community by publication at PPP, QQQ and RRR: in particular, we are going to need translation volunteers, and they will be called for at SSS, TTT and UUU, initially to help out at page NNN. The new team will need to interact with the WMF software development design and decision process which you can find documented at VVV and WWW."
Did any of that happen? No, it did not. A real process, intended to effectively and efficiently interact with the volunteer community, would already have included, and published, all of those elements. But then, as I say, and you do not deny, this is not real, it is a sham. Didcot power station (talk) 15:59, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

Handle this list as a backlog in Phabricator


Probably most (or all?) of these entries have already a task in Phabricator. What about maintaining the list as a backlog there, to avoid duplicity and assure that the actual tasks are up to date, associated to the right projects, related to the right blockers / blocked tasks? Besides, subscribing to single tasks is easy and probably more efficient for many users than watching this entire page.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 08:16, 11 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

@Qgil-WMF: I love that idea! Is there a Comm Tech project? --Varnent (talk)(COI) 08:20, 11 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
I don't love that idea; it's hard enough for community members (you know, the target of these projects) to figure out where to suggest things within the wiki-based projects, especially for those that have limited technical knowledge. Sending them to Phabricator is just plain mean. And how did those things overleaf get on the list? I'm looking at the watchlist one in particular; the community never asked for gather, it asked for watchlist improvements, and that's what should be on the list. In fact, I'm going to change that. Risker (talk) 16:14, 11 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
@Risker:, that is an excellent point. What about using Meta to collect ideas, and Phabricator to track (since they will be technical tasks and wind up there anyway. We could set it up so folks can easily add to this page, and then add a note when their idea has been added (or tracked down) in Phabricator. I recognize that's a bit of duplication, but I agree that Phabricator might not be the best place to solicit ideas from non-developer types, but is the most logical place to track their development. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 17:45, 11 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for starting this page, Kaldari. There are good points here about how to gather the ideas and organize them, and we could definitely try several things. For example, I know that de.wp has a Top 20 list, and there was a pilot survey run in December 2014 to en.wp and es.wp asking communities what they wanted (the conversation about what they wanted changed and updated, however, is backlogged for another month or two). Re: using Meta as a place to track ideas - that would be great to have a centralized location, but do you think it would be fair to say that request lists may need to be discussed and ported from individual projects (like de.wp's list)? -Rdicerb (WMF) (talk) 18:47, 11 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Personally, yes, I think it would be good to collect from as many reasonable places as possible. Perhaps at some point this team could help centralize that across wikis, but for now, I think collecting a lot of ideas is more helpful than leaving places out. Phabricator again seems like a logical place to house those for the actual team, but perhaps a presence can be built up on Meta to allow for more easy tracking by non-developer types. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 19:33, 11 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Phabricator may be appropriate for tasks but presumably it is intended to discuss, decide and design first? What is needed first is a highly active campaign of getting ideas together from the community for that initial discussion stage. No doubt that will be put into action in the very near future by the Community Tech team going out into the various projects to solicit their input? Didcot power station (talk) 06:00, 12 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Yes agree what is needed is discussion occurring were non tech people feel more comfortable. Thus we should keep discussion here and have links from Wikipedias to here. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:05, 12 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
I believe that a number of suggestions for how to do this sort of thing were made at Community Engagement (Product)/Process ideas and further information was gathered at Community Engagement (Product)/Product Surveys. Which, if any of those ideas will be implemented? Or is some other process envisaged for engaging with the community? Perhaps the Community Tech people would like to explain the decision they have come to on their preferred process(es) for engaging with the community on these matters. Didcot power station (talk) 06:06, 13 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

Well, of course (MediaWiki) wiki pages are more powerful than a mere issue tracker and a dumping area for software ideas doesn't harm. But there must be a person in charge of maintaining this page and eventually syncing it with the issue tracker, just like etherpads from bug triages; otherwise there will be a lot of wasted effort. --Nemo 19:59, 14 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

Agree we need to keep the different areas discussions are occurring in sync. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:18, 15 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

For what is worth, phab:tag/german-community-wishlist/ exists now, and I'm advocating to merge this backlog with the Community Tech team backlog in order to have one and only one list of tech community requests in Phabricator. On the discussion above, users are happy to discuss in environments they are familiar with, that is absolutely true. However, what makes them really really happy is to see their requests addressed and solved, or at least declined with a reasonable argument. Community Tech project ideas is already a wall of texts without clear authors, priorities, dependencies, subscribers, owners... No matter what happens on-wiki, technical tasks will need to be addressed in technical terms in Phabricator. Once a task in Phabricator is moving, non-technical users can subscribe and comment easily on them. Once you get used to the idea, following "your" task in Phabricator is a lot simpler than watching a page with dozens of ideas listed, even if you are a MediaWiki expert user.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 07:54, 1 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

We; however, need to determine which ideas have significant community support before we bring them to the tech team / phabricator. Thus I think having discussion in the mediawiki environment is useful. We just need to archive ideas that do not have significant support. This needs to turn into a noticeboard that does not simply list all possible ideas. But a list of top community development priorities with clear evidence of community support. I will look at formatting it like this. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 08:42, 1 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
What about using Flow for the on-wiki part? Flows handles notifications and discussions very well, allowing users to subscribe only to the requests they are interested about. Flow topics also can have unique URLs for their own pages, making it simpler to link from Flow topics to Phabricator tasks and vice versa.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 08:49, 1 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
I would be happy to. How does one turn on Flow for a given page? I was thinking of moving most of these to as subpage as there is no evidence of community support and than only moving the ones with community support to this page when there is clear community support. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 08:52, 1 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
As of today, new Flow pages still need to be requested to the Flow team, but they reply pretty quickly. I don't know what is the status of Flow in Meta, though. The extension is enabled, but there might be some community decision needed (or I might have outdated information, since I haven't followed the topic closely, which was controversial a long time ago). has plenty of Flow pages, and creating a new one there would be trivial.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 09:03, 1 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Yes we should keep the discussion on meta though IMO. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 09:09, 1 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Flow won't be enabled anywhere on Meta without wide consensus at Meta:Babel. Past discussions: Meta:Babel/Archives/2012-01#Enabling_Liquid_Thread_on_meta, Meta:Babel/Archives/2010-12#LiquidThreads. --Nemo 21:00, 1 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Just asking, isn't an option to host these discussions?--Qgil-WMF (talk) 21:33, 1 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
I think it would be best to have discussion on what the community wants on one of the main community sites (WP would be best but we want this to be multilingual so meta is the next logical choice). By the way how long before universal notification is rolled out? That will make were the discussion occurs less important.
Only once there is clear consensus for a number of projects should they be brought to tech people and take up their time. I would than envision us "moving" the winning ideas from here to were the tech people want them for the final stages of discussion and the beginning of developement. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:03, 2 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
What about the opposite premise: the sooner the tech folks are aware about a request, the sooner we will be able to check against previous discussions. Phabricator has about 100.000 tasks, and the chances that a "new" proposal from an editor has been requested before are noticeable. A frustrating scenario would be to have a dozen editors involved in a heated discussion during a couple of weeks only to find out that a similar discussion happened years ago and it was wontfixed because of some technical reasoning that they were not aware of that still applies. However, I feel I'm being too pushy with this topic, so I'm backing up. No matter what steps, the direction is good. Thank you for your patience and work, Doc James.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 08:10, 2 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Yes good points. The question that will need to be decided here is what of all the ideas on this page and on phabricator do we the community want the three community tech people to work on.
We need to have a sufficient show of community support such that there are both community members to guide developement and champion rollout.
I remember a big set of questions regarding what people want to see developed. Do you know were the results of that are? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 08:32, 2 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Are you thinking of the AllOurIdeas survey, which is described here? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 09:36, 3 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Probably, since that page was explicitly mentioned in this very thread three weeks ago [2]. Incidentally, on that occasion, some questions were asked which are not answered by the rather curt summary here. Will those questions be deemed worthy of an answer at some stage? Merging the suggestions raised in that survey into this list, with some indication of their support, would be help to the Community Tech team when they are in a position to begin their work. Didcot power station (talk) 19:15, 3 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
This one [3] yes Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:34, 3 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

Graphing and mapping talk


There's an upcoming tech talk about the new Vega-based graphing system this week. It's 13:00 PDT on Thursday, 14 May (21:00 UTC). If you're interested, the link is There should be a demo as well as some technical information about how the system is built. Please share this link with anyone who may be interested. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:25, 13 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

English Wikipedia


Any proposal related to tools, practices or requests specific to the English Wikipedia should be immediately disqualified. --Nemo 06:13, 13 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

Why is that? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:48, 14 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
I'd hope to see requests that are not necessarily intended for use on every single project. For example, there are undoubtedly needs in projects that use non-roman and right-to-left scripts, needs for projects such as Wikisource, and a willingness to develop tools requested on non-English projects - many of which may prove valuable to wider communities. I would hope that good ideas that come from Enwiki won't be ignored just because they're from Enwiki. I think it might be fair to suggest that there has been a tendency in the past for development activities to be disproportionately responsive to Enwiki requests to the detriment of recommendations and requests from other language Wikipedias and from non-Wikipedia projects; I'm sure someone could give reasons for that, but I'm not sure they're all good reasons. At the same time, I'd hope Nemo would agree that if there is a good suggestion coming from an English Wikipedia community member (especially ideas that are helpful for multiple projects), then it should be considered as having the same value as an equally useful request or suggestion from community members of German Wikipedia or Russian Wikisource or Bengali Wikipedia. (That is, no idea should get priority because of the home wiki of the person submitting the request, but should be judged on criteria such as ease to develop, potential for use across similar projects, impacts on other existing standards, and so on.) Risker (talk) 18:01, 15 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Yes that would be my position aswell. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:08, 15 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
+1 Wittylama (talk) 20:26, 20 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

Process questions


It would help the community to help you if you would explain the process for managing these suggestions in more detail. For example, what level of detail about a proposal do you expect? Should a proposal come with links to a community discussion demonstrating some level of backing, or can it be a personal idea? (Incidentally some of the historical proposals collected already are currently seriously lacking in both detail and in links to their previous dicussions). What process will you use for publishing the proposals to the communities affected, and where will the ensuing discussions take place? What process will be used to make decisions and who will yo involve? What criteria do you expect to use for decisions that proposers should take into account? What timescales do you expect to adhere to in gathering information and making decisions? Where can we see the list of proposals which have already been proposed internally or is this it? (You did plan all these things before publishing this exercise, didn't you?) Didcot power station (talk) 05:45, 14 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

  • In the absence of any response I assume either that nobody bothered to plan the process of engaging with the community, or that nobody can be bothered to implement those plans, or that it was not intended to engage seriously. What exactly is going on here? Didcot power station (talk) 18:04, 19 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Didcot power station, All your concerns are valid. There is no clear and definite answers so far, but definitely there will be another discussion around process: How do we prioritize ideas, what is the level of community engagement in implementation, how are results and workflow communicated..etc. --Melamrawy (WMF) (talk) 20:21, 19 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Is there a date by which the Community Tech team plans to have finished those discussions and be in a position to begin actively engaging with the community? If so, what is that date? I may say that "no" is not the right answer to the first part of this question! Didcot power station (talk) 21:05, 19 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Just for clarification, I am personally not part of the team, but clearly, the team itself isn't 100% complete yet, therefore the logical process you are talking about, seems to be a step after there is a complete team at first place :) Thanks--Melamrawy (WMF) (talk) 22:52, 19 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
User:Didcot power station as a Wikipedia / Wikivoyage editor this is a move I see as a huge step forwards. This is an idea I have been pushing for for years. I do realize that it is going to take some time to roll out and define processes.
I am currently running for the to board of the WMF in part to make sure this effort gets the support from the foundation it needs / deserves. Voting is here. Regardless of who is elected though we need to make sure this works and the best way to do so is to have community involvement from the beginning. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:03, 20 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
The move would be a greater step forward if it was actually moving. Not having a complete team, or even a timeline for doing the work, shows a lack of commitment to community tech as opposed to the other activities that the 265 staff of WMF are engaged in. Didcot power station (talk) 07:05, 20 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
This project should definitely be a priority, I agree. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:10, 20 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Unfortunately the omens are not good. In the past there was no process, and a deliberate disinclination on the part of some members of WMF staff to engage constructively. Last year there was a flawed attempt to discuss possible engagement modalities, which again certain staff members were relcutant to engage in constructively, which has failed and been abandoned without lessons learned. Now we start again with a low-priority aspiration, for which the resources do not match the asipitation or the magnitidue of the task, to be implemented by a team that does not yet fully exist, with no current plan for engagement, a background of failure to develop such a plan, and no timeline for constructing that plan, let alone developing the engagement process and then actually beginning the engagement. I sadly conclude that, not only is there neither the will nor the ability within the WMF to engage with the volunteer community in this space, there is a conscious and deliberate effort to refuse to do so while maintaining a pretence of willingness. Meanwhile, volunteer effort and donor money is being wasted and dispersed. This is at best a shambles and at worst a deception. Didcot power station (talk) 06:41, 21 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
I am thinking of flying to San Fran to look into these matters in person :-) I know the ED is behind this which is a huge move forwards. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:47, 21 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
As a newly elected Trustee, you will be able to do exactly that. I look forward to hearing the results of your investigation. Didcot power station (talk) 21:07, 17 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • This ideas page was started by a volunteer; said volunteer happens to work for the WMF but still the action was done as a volunteer and not in WMF staff capacity. If it was a staff action it would have been done using an official WMF account. Holding the not yet fully staffed Community Tech team to account for describing the process that will be used to evaluate a list of volunteer created project ideas seems unreasonable. WP:AGF please. --Anonymous coward 24 (talk) 03:03, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
    • This is the communities project. Thus we the community get to define how we want to decide what projects get priority in development. I do not think this is something we should hand over to the WMF. We should be going to them in a couple of months and say "we want our three tech people to consider these 8 projects initially" or whatever number we choose Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:45, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
The process -- if you can call it that -- used to be that members of the community engaged in random discussions with random people, some of them members of WMF staff, some of them purporting to act in an official capacity. Unfortunately there was never a connection to the WMF decison-making process for software development, which turned out plans for such items as Media Viewer, Visual Editor and Flow. Things that members of the community wanted but which did not happen to suit the inclinations of staff at the time went nowhere, as there was always another wiki, board or forum to divert the discussion to, and nobody charged with steering proposals into decisions.
The Community Tech proposal is supposed to fix that. So what do we have? An unofficial board for random discussions with random people, some of them members of WMF staff, some of them purporting to act in an official capacity. No connection to the to the WMF decison-making process for software development. An "incubator" who can't be bothered to turn up. A series of excuses; discussions in which there's always another wiki, board or forum to divert the discussion to, and nobody charged with steering proposals into decisions. Staff are being paid with donors money to execute this Community Tech thing, and it is a sham. Didcot power station (talk) 06:44, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
If we came up with half a dozen projects we think community tech should work on, I will personally site down with them / the ED in Nov and figure out the process for development. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:46, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for that assurance. How sad it is that it fals to a volunteer trustee rather than one of the hundreds of paid staff to make that commitment. Didcot power station (talk) 16:01, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
I prefer to view it as how amazing it is that we hand over to volunteers this much authority. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:09, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

Determining what projects get Tech time in what order

Tracked in Phabricator:
Task T105942

I think this is the the major process we need to figure out. We have a limited amount of tech time, how do we determine what projects get what amount of time in what order? We need to first make sure we do not develop projects that lack community support. Some some criteria / thoughts include:

  1. Project proposer presents project and links to support for said project
  2. Projects with the greatest support are analyzed by the tech members to determine how much work said project require
  3. Project may need breaking down into components with different components being labelled as essential versus nice to have
  4. New software need a clear roll out plan with most software beginning as an opt in gadget. If there is significant uptake than more development resources can be allocated
  5. Do we need a group of members similar to the FDC to than make a final decision on ordering of project development?
  6. Do we need criteria regarding what to do if the project turns out to be more complicated than initially expected or if it goes over the allocated tech time?

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:16, 20 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

I was going to raise the same issue. There's nothing "community" about this list. At least not yet. Currently this is nothing more than a list of random ideas nominated by random individuals. If the WMF simply selects random projects from this list they could unknowingly select things that the Community is actually opposed to. Proposals need to be thoroughly vetted by both the Community and the WMF before final selection is made. The community could immediately begin RFC discussion of individual items or the list as a whole, but we really need some statement from the WMF on how it intends to engage on this process. Alsee (talk) 00:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
We have limited community tech support. I am thinking the community should take the lead and determine which of these WE wish to see developed first and than have them ready to present. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:13, 27 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
Doc, I had the same thought about the community organizing all the initial work. My concern is getting some comment from the WMF that they actually view a community process and a Formal Community Consensus as a legitimate partner here. So far we don't have that. I don't see the point in organizing major community work without it. Alsee (talk) 06:06, 27 May 2015 (UTC)Reply
The WMF usually listens to the the community when it presents a well supported request. I think we can take the lead on this. Will look at drafting something. For each of the proposed ideas we need to have at least links to discussion that is supportive of the idea in question. We can than arrange ideas on this page with the ones at the top having evidence of community support and one lower down still pending community support / further discussion. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:47, 27 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

A few more:

  • Projects need a champion(s). These are community members who carry out an appropriate community consultation / help guide the project through completion / roll out.
  • Externalities need to be clearly though of, explained, documented (ie how may this negatively affect those not involved)
  • How the project helps the movement achieve its goals

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:16, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

Maybe we can find connection with the process to promote Possible Tech Projects. That process was born and is being polished in the context of Google Summer of Code and Outreachy. It is more pull (a potential developer or a possible mentor is interested in a possible project) than push (a qualified group decides that a possible project is important). We let mentors and potential developers go first with their proposals, and then specific proposals go through a community review process to assure that such proposals are sensible. Not the same, but I wonder what could be adapted or recycled at least for the qualification of proposals. Sorting the backlog is another story.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 21:22, 23 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Yes good idea, would be an additional group to which these ideas could be pitched. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:25, 23 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

Minimum support required before consideration


We need a list that is more than just a random collection of ideas supported by at least one editor. Would be good to clearly define criteria that should be fulfilled before ideas gets consideration by the tech team. Also on En Wikipedia there are lists of proposed ideas that failed for various reasons. Some proposed criteria:

  • support of at least 10 Wikipedians in good standing
  • greater than around 66% support
  • does not already have technical support from the WMF

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:27, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

Categories of projects


As this list grows I wondering if it would be useful to break it down by category of items? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:11, 22 May 2015 (UTC)Reply

That seems logical. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 02:56, 30 May 2015 (UTC)Reply



Moved from subject page as it became a meta-discussion on what suggestions are legitimate. Nemo 20:01, 25 July 2015 (UTC) Fixed a link broken by the move. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:25, 25 July 2015 (UTC)Reply

"In the not too distant future the Flow project will be abandoned" [Citation needed].--Anders Feder (talk) 01:19, 22 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
Anders Feder, I don't think it's productive to challenge other people's beliefs/strong opinions on this page. You can read up on pages such as w:en:Wikipedia talk:Flow if you're interested in learning more about the negative sentiments on the matter. I encourage you to remove your message (and mine). --Nemo 08:11, 24 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
Nemo, I don't think it's productive for other people to assert their beliefs/strong opinions on this page. You can settle the issue elsewhere, before coming here to pretend that it is already settled. I encourage you to remove your message and this whole "section"/thread with it.--Anders Feder (talk) 13:39, 24 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
While the mw:Community Tech team define their roadmap and deliverables, this page remains an ad hoc effort supported only by the community. It currently serves as a venue for all elements of the community discussions relating to proposals for new tools. Consensus can emerge if we all put forward propositions in clear terms and discuss them rationally. In this particular case, there is at least evidence that the Flow project may be discontinued (see Community Tech project ideas#Improve talk pages editing above). Proposing a tool for reversion of talk pages from Flow is therefore a reasonable topic to discuss. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:38, 24 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
There is zero "evidence" in that section. There is the personal musings of two or three people out of a community of hundreds of thousands. Discuss tools for reversion of talk pages from Flow as much as you want - just don't pretend there is community support where none can be demonstrated.--Anders Feder (talk) 21:43, 24 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
I made no assertion about the nature of the community support for anything, merely that this is a reasonable matter to discuss and that this is a reasonable place to discuss it. If you go to the section I mentioned, youwill see that there are links there to quite protracted discussions wih the Executive Director of the WMF about the WMF plans for Flow, which support the claim that it is possible that the WMF may discontinue the project. It is also clear that no decision had been made yesterday. The Executive Director said to me today, in response to my direct question, This has been a long and difficult investigation. We have given an update at Wikimania and I will ask our Director of the Editing team to respond here as well. [4] So on that basis I continue to maintain that the future of Flow is still uncertain and that the necessity for a regression tool is at least a probable future outcome. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:33, 25 July 2015 (UTC)Reply

August 2015 Engineering management offsite


On a related subject: I was told by the Executive Director today [5] that We are working on a draft that we intend to publish this quarter on improvements to our software process. Engineering management has an offsite specifically focused on that at the end of August. I am grateful to her for that information, which I thought would be of interest to anyone reading these pages.

Please would a staff member update this project page with the date of the offsite, or, better, the last date by which community comments will be able to be considered at that meeting. It would also of course be much appreciated if when that draft is published, a link to it could be put on this project page, together with a link to the page where they will host community discussions. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 16:00, 25 July 2015 (UTC)Reply

Team staff and scope


The Community Tech team staff and scope have now been published at mw:Community Tech team. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:43, 4 August 2015 (UTC)Reply

Update from WMF


Hey guys! As you may have heard I've recently taken over as Engineering Manager for the new Community Tech team. We will be publishing a blog post about the launch of the team within the next couple weeks, but in the meantime, I've updated the on-wiki documentation about the team, including information about the scope of the team's work and our tentative roadmap for the next few months. Sorry I haven't been participating in the discussions here as it's been very hectic the last couple weeks getting the ball rolling. We will be working closely with the community going forward and will do our best to make our processes and decision-making collaborative, productive, and transparent to everyone. As a long-time community member myself, I am very excited about the possibilities for this team and being able to directly support the requests of the community. Expect more info about our plans in the near future. In the meantime, if you have thoughts, questions, or concerns about our scope or tentative roadmap, please post them at mw:Talk:Community Tech team. Cheers! Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 03:57, 5 August 2015 (UTC)Reply

Ryan great to have you taking the lead on this :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 09:16, 5 August 2015 (UTC)Reply
Indeed, glad to hear from the team. It would now be helpful to clarify the status of this page, especially in the light of the decision at phab:T107833. Is it worth continuing discussions here? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 07:06, 9 August 2015 (UTC)Reply
These are some great ideas IMO and have clear broad support already. So agree good place to start working.
Discussing future ideas here would be good. Than they can maybe be put in the next survey. I think this format of polling the community is reasonable. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 08:36, 9 August 2015 (UTC)Reply
The discussion at phab:T105942 suggests otherwise. The tenor there is that the team will decide, and then announce their decision at mw:Community Tech team. The community discussions and consensus here seems to be at odds with that decision. I do hope that all the work done here is not going to go to waste. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 11:09, 9 August 2015 (UTC)Reply
To be clear, our prioritization process will be community-led. The criteria at phab:T105942 are for us to provide useful feedback to the community about their suggestions and to help us triage the suggestions that the community has identified as high priority. Please see my comments in the Phab ticket for more info. We will be posting more info about our processes on-wiki soon. This page was created as a place to brainstorm project ideas, not as a place to prioritize work for the Community Tech team. There will be a venue for doing that soon and we will make sure that as many projects know about it as possible so that the priorities aren't just decided by Meta editors. We want to get input from as many editors and projects as possible. Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 19:26, 10 August 2015 (UTC)Reply
Whatever the initial reasons for creating this page it is clear from the sections above that there is a need for that discussion within the community and currently no alternative venue. Meta is the project coordination wiki and hence a reasonable location for the community to hold an inter-project discussion. That is not to say that the discussions should be restricted to those who normally edit at Meta. Indeed, holding these discussions will require considerable effort at producing cross-language materials. Again, the portal for that is here at Meta:Babylon. If you let the community help you, it will be very much more powerful than if you try to move the discussions off onto Phabricator which is not suitable for large scale discussions and decision making. Please consider restricting your use of Phabricator to internal and short term specific tasks for the team alone and making use of your existing resources, such as Meta, for community discussion and decision making. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:43, 10 August 2015 (UTC)Reply
I agree that Meta is probably the best location for such an inter-project discussion. And yes, we would love the community's assistance in setting up and administering such a discussion. We are just beginning to plan how such a survey will work and how we will handle the multi-language issues. We are also trying to coordinate with WMDE as they will be conducting a similar survey around the same time (for the TCB team) and we don't want to confuse people if we can prevent it. Regarding Phabricator, our plan is to mainly use Phabricator for internal discussions and task-specific documentation. Any discussions about work prioritization for the survey suggestions will either be on-wiki or both on-wiki and in Phabricator (mirrored as much as possible), as we want it to be transparent and community-driven. Our current work on the All Our Ideas tasks is mainly so that our developers aren't sitting around doing nothing while we plan for the cross-project survey. Our process for those tasks is more stream-lined since they have already been ranked by the community and we want to start working on them quickly. We will be posting documentation about the processes for both sets of work this week. And yes, the processes will be open to community input. Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 00:21, 11 August 2015 (UTC)Reply
It sounds to me as if you're proposing that the community should put forward a list of ideas and then the team will decide which ones to take forward. A survey may give you some information but is unlikely to be as useful as a community discussion, in which requirements and solutions are iterated until a consensus emerges. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:08, 11 August 2015 (UTC)Reply
The survey will most likely be conducted in two phases: a submission and discussion phase, and a voting phase. We are currently creating a draft document for the process which we will post on-wiki and invite community feedback on. Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 01:19, 14 August 2015 (UTC)Reply
The process documentation for the All Our Ideas work has been posted: mw:Community Tech team/All Our Ideas/Process. If you have any feedback on that, please post to the talk page there. The process documentation for the upcoming cross-project survey (which is probably more interesting to people here) is still being reviewed internally. I expect it to be ready to post on-wiki next week. Sorry for the delay. Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 22:47, 14 August 2015 (UTC)Reply

A draft of the documentation for the upcoming cross-project community wishlist survey has been posted. Please take a look and add your thoughts to the talk page. Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 23:26, 19 August 2015 (UTC)Reply

2015 Community Wishlist Survey


Hey guys, the Community Tech team has launched the 2015 Community Wishlist Survey. This is a survey to solicit and prioritize technical project ideas for the Community Tech team. While this page (Project ideas) was intended as an informal brainstorming and discussion space, the Wishlist Survey has a formal process for submitting (and later) voting on project ideas. The top ideas from that survey will become an official work backlog for the Community Tech team. Please feel free to take any popular ideas from this page and submit them as formal proposals at the 2015 Community Wishlist Survey. Proposals should ideally be within the scope of the Community Tech team. If they aren't, they may be referred to other development teams or declined. For example, the idea to Start a project -- a real project with measurable goals and a schedule -- to reduce page weight is not really within the scope of our team. Such a project would be referred to the WMF Performance team (which is already working on such a project). Currently, Wishlist Survey proposals are limited to 3 per person. Ping me if you have any questions/comments. Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 17:24, 9 November 2015 (UTC)Reply

Return to "Community Tech/Project ideas" page.