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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Platform evolution planEdit

Would it be possible to move the platform evolution CDP plan to a production wiki? I'm apprehensive about having program plans live on a Cloud VPS, since those don't have the same standards of availability and data persistence as one of the official wikis. harej (talk) 23:32, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it uses the Semantic MW extension, which is why it is being hosted on wikfarm. CFloyd (WMF) (talk) 21:47, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
It is now posted on wiki at CDP2: Platform Evolution. CCicalese (WMF) (talk) 23:54, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

Regarding "Support new and existing contributors through a richer suite of onboarding tools..."Edit

I was pleased to read this comment. I am aware of the plans to improve the onboarding experience for GLAM staff for Commons structured data. Are there any other WMF plans for improvements for the onboarding experience in 2018-2019? As you probably know, I am currently working on volunteer time to create improved training tools for novice Wikimedians, and I would like to harmonize my plans with WMF's.

I would like to do a much more extensive analysis of WMF's Annual Plan but regrettably I have so many responsibilities on my agenda already that I'm not planning to do an extensive analysis this year.

Thanks, --Pine 03:31, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

I have now found Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2018-2019/Audiences#Outcome 1: Progressive Onboarding.

I think that in principle this is a good idea.

I'm going to speak mostly about English Wikipedia here, but I think that many of my comments will also apply to Commons, German Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites with highly developed (some might say "complex and confusing") community policies and practices.

Creating well-designed onboarding is much more complex than one might first think, as I discovered when I started to work on LearnWiki.

I realize that one of the goals for these kinds of help systems should be to present topics in ways that users with little knowledge of policies and tools can quickly learn what they need to know without being overwhelmed. This requires a lot of careful thought and ideally some support from analytics and research.

I plan to continue my work on a volunteer basis for the foreseeable future in what I am currently calling "Phase 2" of my project. (I am trying to avoid requesting WMF grant funding, but I am leaning toward the conclusion that my goals cannot be achieved without external funding and that WMF is the only likely funding source.) I request that WMF sync with me regarding what it plans to do in order to minimize duplicate work, take advantage of my existing knowledge and vision for Phase 2 of my project, and try to synchronize timelines and goals where possible.

Pinging Quiddity, Mjohnson (WMF), and CKoerner (WMF) to make them aware of this discussion. --Pine 03:54, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

Hi Pine: Thanks for posting; we're definitely interested in learning more about your project. We'll get in touch on your talk page to connect. -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 18:21, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
  • @DannyH (WMF): that sounds good. I suggest that we have a somewhat detailed conversation while the WMF Annual Plan is still a draft so that WMF and I can make any adjustments to our respective plans sooner rather than later. I don't think that WMF's plans will block mine or that my plans will block WMF's, and I think that there will be opportunities for harmonization and the leveraging of each other's work. Thanks, --Pine 22:09, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

HeadcountEdit

In the Budget by Goal table, the first 2 data rows are for Existing Headcount and New Headcount. I'm assuming those mean number of WMF staff? Is there a typo in each number for New Headcount? It seems odd that WMF would plan to reduce staffing by such drastic amounts. Libcub (talk) 18:58, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

I think it's safe to assume that 'Existing Headcount' + 'New Headcount' = '2018-2019 headcount'. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 00:31, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Hi @Libcub:, thanks for the question. @Mike Peel: is correct. The plan includes keeping the 307 existing headcount and adding an additional 37 for a total of 344. JBaldwin (WMF) (talk) 15:22, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

About "improved translation tools"Edit

This is a very weak statement, given the poor support of TranslateWiki (and Translate Extension) from WMF. An inadmissible situation, where both support and development is based on a single person. We just need one more developer only for this direction (already, it's impossible to offer anything to improve, because Niklas has no time and energy; I'm really afraid that he will simply overstrain). Maybe for Amir, too, someone would help, who knows many languages.

And also need to develop and maintain the wiki-site itself, including by integrating useful extensions and gadgets.

Translation tools with TranslateWiki are now one of the key elements of multilingualism in the Wikimedia world, and they are very vulnerable. If someone thinks that translations appear by themselves, then this is a dangerous mistake. You need to make a conscious effort to build a community of translators within the Wikimedia community - including special surveys, motivation and involvement programs, and so on. The movement has accumulated quite a lot of luggage of concepts, terms and methods of their use, and we need tools in order to formalize it and pass it on to the next generation of translators (who also must somehow appear).

All this includes both organizational and technological aspects, and all this requires much more close attention from the Foundation than it has been until now.--Kaganer (talk) 00:38, 1 April 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this up. We have added an objective directed specifically at the needs for Translate and translatewiki.net . Going forward we would like to explore how we can make this a more sustainable effort for everyone involved. regards --Runa Bhattacharjee (WMF) (talk) 03:13, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
@Runab WMF: Thanks, I'm seen this page. See my comment about this in talkpage. I believe that this is not enough. Please be sure to explicitly designate plan for the addition of new staff positions - at least 1 developer, and if possible 1 supporter / tester / faclitator. What will you do, when Niklas will go on vacation (for example)? Does it stop at all? In my opinion, this should be justified by simple considerations of safety and sustainability. --Kaganer (talk) 13:48, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
Hello. What you highlight about the bus factor is absolutely correct, and is an unfortunate reality we have been operating under. It is stressful for everyone involved, more so for Niklas. Thankfully, mostly due to Niklas' constant efforts we do have visibility (through the phabricator board mostly) into the unresolved issues which helps us understand the magnitude of the work that will be needed around Translate and twn to retain a steady level of maintenance. We hope to move towards that in the upcoming fiscal year and the stated goal is the first step in that direction. We already have a highly valuable QA person on our team, and going forward we want to be able to have at least one more developer who can work on this. Hope this helps answer your query further. Thanks. --Runa Bhattacharjee (WMF) (talk) 02:13, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
@Runab WMF: As I understand it, if you do not explicitly budget the new staff unit, it will not appear by itself in a magical way. And not magical too. And no reasonable reason will not help us. I'm absolutely sure that you need to explicitly write the task of strengthening the Language Engineering Team - so that it clearly implies an increase in the number of developers. Current Output 4.2: "Improve Translate extension & Translatewiki process" does not promise anything like this. This goal is should be part of "Evolve our Systems and Structures" > "Program Expenses: Staffing" (as I understand). Currently, this item has no public detalisation. How can I be sure that these costs are taken into account there? Who should be asked to give a clear and responsible answer? --Kaganer (talk) 10:36, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
The question is very simple: the new annual plan provides for the costs for a new engineer's full-time position in the Language Engineering Team, and if not, why? And if so, where and how is it fixed? --Kaganer (talk) 10:44, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Hello. We are moving away from allocating resources towards specific projects as this really impacted our flexibility in the past, and prevented us from moving faster. Instead what you see as numbers in the draft are projections for the overall goal, of which the outcome related to Translate is part of Grow New Contributors & Content.
Actual hiring schedules can also be hard to predict as they are dependent on many factors, which in-turn can affect specific commitments. We are working across teams to address this issue, and trying to get a better understanding on how we can adapt hiring needs and project commitments.
I realize this isn't a satisfying answer to your question, so I want to tell you what we are doing right now for this particular objective. We've identified Translate and twn as our highest priority in this area and are working with Niklas to prioritize and address issues. There is also this added overhead that twn is independent of WMF, so there are other factors also to keep in mind besides resourcing. Hence, the explicit detailing of future headcount that you recommend is currently part of this new form that we are planning to use.
Meanwhile, considering your immense experience with twn and also the Translate extension, I was hoping if we could perhaps reach out to you at a later stage for additional guidance on matching the priorities with user needs? Hope this is helpful. Thanks.--Runa Bhattacharjee (WMF) (talk) 15:53, 5 April 2018 (UTC)

MeasurementsEdit

I am not objecting in the least with the goal, but more about how you will actually know we’re successful when:

  • Wikipedia is meaningful to 1 billion women

How do you know that ? in the sense that if you ask a sample of women whether they know about wikipedia, they answer yes ? Anthere (talk)

@Anthere: That is an important question, and one we are not entirely sure how to answer. Part of this program includes an initial stage during which we create definitions and success measurements. Those will initially be based on, and influenced by, the work of the New Readers team. There is more information on the page of the related program. We are setting out to learn what it really means for every human to participate in all knowledge, starting with awareness. Concerns, suggestions, and collaboration are welcome! Heather Walls (WMF) (talk) 04:06, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
@Heather (WMF): Defining a metric and a target when you don't have measures or definitions is *extremely* bad practice! If you want to do research on this topic, then define it as a research topic, not as a metric to aim for by the end of the financial year. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 23:58, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

ToolsEdit

Support new and existing contributors through a richer suite of on boarding tools and intuitive mobile contribution experiences

The annual plan is ambitious but much of its success depends on sustaining the encyclopedia's reputation for quality and accuracy. The majority of the meta work on Wikipedia concerns achieving this goal. Not only for onboarding new users, but tools are urgently required by those who maintain the quality and content of the encyclopedias. The challenges that face the encyclopedias, especially the English Wikipedia, concern not only the legal aspects of copyright and BLP violations, but more significantly, include the dramatic increase in its use as a platform for commercial exploitation by

  1. . Organisations using it through promotional articles in order to enhance their SEO (any subject that has a Wikipedia page is at the top of a Google search),
  2. . Registered users whose sole purpose is to make a career out of creating articles for money.

Since en:Orangemoody editing of Wikipedia exposed the huge extent of these issues in 2015, it has been clearly demonstrated by both empirical and scientific research that the maintenance community is no longer in a position to address these issues manually. The key function in investigating the suitability and appropriateness of new articles rests solely on the patrolling of new pages.

As new contributors - including spammers, and hoaxers - are not provided with adequate information before they begin, everything concerning the inclusion of new articles hinges on the effort of volunteers to process these new pages. The extent to which user-developed palliative scripts has been exhausted; improved tools are urgently needed in order to assist this process.

Repeated requests over the past 2 years to the WMF to update and enhance the page Curation/New pages feed system have failed. We at the English Wikipedia have done our part in creating new user rights to ensure that the processes are carried out by competent users, and by insisting that new page creation now be restricted to registered, confirmed users. However, and which cannot be scientifically assessed, the enthusiasm of those volunteers is now fraught with frustration at the lack of support from the Foundation and despite over 500 users having been accorded special rights in order to improve the system, the bulk of the work is carried out by a small dedicated group of some 50 or so users. It's an uphill battle against clearly unwanted content. Some assistance has been provided by the WMF in support for the en:ACTRIAL program, and they are now 'looking into' the function of en:Articles for creation.

What is now required urgently is a dedicated team of developers to build and/or rebuild the tools that are required. Kudpung (talk) 00:54, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

I second this. The WMF needs to prioritize increasing content and contributor quality and ignore the usual spammer metrics (i.e. the numbers Faecesbook, Twitter and the like use to convince advertisers and investors of the merits of their platforms). Someone who registers for promotional purposes is not a good thing, distracts us from completing our mission yet inflates monthly active users, signup rate, amount of content (not withstanding that a promotional page is worse than nothing) etc. Ensuring new users are aware of, and agree to, our goals before they start editing is a win for all. MER-C (talk) 12:55, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
This is a little counter intuitive, but it came up a few weeks ago when I was chatting with User:Jmorgan (WMF). One way of relieving some of the AfC burden may be to actively push users toward improving existing articles, rather than creating new ones (which is undoubtedly harder). I expect most of our sustained users learned what they were doing by improvement, rather than creation, and I would expect many of the folks we end up BITING away (those who create bad articles in good faith, rather than bad articles in bad faith like obvious spammers), end up getting bitten over new article creation.
So the idea was to identify initial edits, probably by category/WikiProject, and have a bot suggest something like Welcome to Wikipedia. You are obviously interested in the subject of Cricket, since that's the first thing you edited. Here are five stubs in this subject area that you may be interested in improving. Also here's a link to WikiProject Cricket. It's a pretty indirect way of addressing the AfC backlog, but it may have some measurable effect. At the very least, since there is an existing stub, we can probably guess that the subject is likely notable, and the user isn't going to be immediately met with a big nasty template about how we're deleting or declining their work. (Please ping me if I'm needed. I don't frequent meta.) GMGtalk 14:10, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
User:GreenMeansGo you can read more about the research project that's developing the 'wikiproject matcher' here. User:Sumit.iitp is leading development with mentorship and support from User:EpochFail. Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 22:55, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
And two related project that might also be of interest: Research:WikiProject_Recommendation and Research:Voice_and_exit_in_a_voluntary_work_environment/Elicit_new_editor_interests if you're curious :) Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 22:57, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Reading through this, I very much get the impression that I'm reading something from someone who understands post graduate methodology and statistics, but has no idea what it is they're studying. GMGtalk 02:11, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I guess I'm being a little harsh with my wording. And sorry that this is a bit off topic. I'll leave a comment over there. GMGtalk 21:26, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't wish to belittle the work of these research groups, but my first impression is that they are research for the sake of research - in any case, it all seems to be very long term. I started this thread in the hope that it would draw the Foundation's attention to the urgent need to prioritise the creation and improvement of the practical tools we need for the day-to-day maintenance of the encyclopedia right now. This is where IMO, funds should be allocated.
The questions are: Who is in overall charge? and how do we reach that person/those persons to convince them? Kudpung (talk) 02:36, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Hi Kudpung: This page is the right place to ask those questions, and you're talking to the right people. I agree with you that the New Page Patrol is doing important work that helps English Wikipedia uphold its standards of quality and reliability. However, when we're looking at where we should invest time and resources, there are a lot of important projects that we could work on, and it's tough to figure out which of the many important projects we can invest in each year. As you can see from the Annual Plan, one of the goals that we're working on is increasing the retention of new contributors -- there are thousands of people who want to contribute to our projects, but our retention is very low, and it's important for our movement that we help more people to contribute successfully.
As you, MER-C and GreenMeansGo point out, there are a lot of people who come to our projects specifically to create a new page, and a significant number of them are actually not contributors that we want to retain -- they're spammers or marketers, or people who are genuinely good faith, but are only interested in writing about themselves. I agree with GreenMeansGo that creating a new page is not the best way for a new contributor to learn how to edit. The work that we've done over the last year with the New Page Patrol group has really improved our understanding of that dynamic, and when we're thinking now about interventions that we could make, we're looking at directing people to other tasks that are more appropriate for a brand-new person.
As far as investing further in the New Page Patrol tools: the Foundation has actually invested some work and time in the NPP process this year, including hiring a contract researcher to conduct the ACTRIAL research. Now that that project is over, there's a product manager who's currently working with the people who manage the Articles for Creation workflow, to provide more tooling for another part of the new page quality control process. (Here's the link.)
Given that there's still important work that needs to be done for the New Page Patrol workflow, there is a Foundation product team that can handle that work: the Community Tech team, which uses the annual Community Wishlist Survey to determine which projects to spend time on during the year. In 2016, there was a proposal for "New User Landing Page - Article Creation Workflow", which got 63 votes, and reached #14 on the survey. Community Tech's mandate is to work on the top 10, so unfortunately, #14 wasn't quite high enough to make it a priority that year. In 2017, nobody submitted a New Page Patrol-related proposal. I would urge you to propose this as a project in the 2018 survey, which will start in November.
Now, Kudpung, obviously I'm aware that you and I have discussed the Community Wishlist Survey in the past. You've said that this workflow is actually too important for the Wishlist Survey, and that you want a team to be assigned to work on it without going through the Wishlist process. However -- that is the process that results in a Foundation product team working on the tools that you want them to work on; it provides direct access from community volunteers to a software development team. If you choose not to participate in that process, then there isn't another team that's standing by to take requests. I hope that you change your mind, and participate in the Wishlist Survey in November; I know that the team would be happy to work on that project. -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 03:00, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
DannyH (WMF) thank you for taking the time to reply. However, the specific purpose of my opening this thread was to address the person, or the people, who are senior to your department and to whom we can appeal for the development of the Page Curation (begun 7 years ago by Kaldari) to be seriously prioritized. We have made it quite clear that this is a critical issue and not something for your Xmas wishlist of convenience gadgets.
I'm sure everyone appreciates the bit of time your department has taken to investigate AfC, but this will only result in tool development if the community agrees to migrate AfC to the NPP GIU. On it's own, AfC is still a low priority volunteer Wikiproject and able to cope quite adequately with its own homegrown scripts - their problem is not one of software but ones of too few interested reviewers and sloppy reviewing, while NPP is a core function, with proper software made by the WMF, and with standards I introduced two years ago; it is the only firewall against unwanted content. If people stop using the system (and they are already beginning to tire of it, because the requirements are not being addressed), what will en.Wiki be in 2 or 3 years time?
The very reason we did not avail of that wishlist in 2017 was that at one stage you clearly told us that what we require is not within the remit of your department! So what's it to be? Who is really in charge and how do we get an audience with her (or him)? (FYI MER-C. Kudpung (talk) 03:32, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Kudpung: Like I said, you're in the right place, and you're talking to the right person. The person above me is Toby Negrin, who read your post and asked me to respond. The person above Toby is Katherine Maher -- I don't know if she's read your post, but if she does, she'll ask Toby, and Toby will ask me. This is my job.
I understand that you have a low opinion of the Community Wishlist and the Community Tech team, but that is the path that will result in a Foundation product team working on the things that you want us to work on. Rejecting that offer of help doesn't result in a new source of help; it just means that you're not taking advantage of the opportunity that's available to you. I hope that you reconsider, and participate in the Wishlist Survey this year. -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 05:02, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
I absolutely do not have a low opinion of the Community Wishlist and the Community Tech team and to suggest as much is getting too personal. I do not doubt for a moment they are more than sufficiently competent to write code for software solutions. Everyone has their area of expertise, but one in which software coders are not necessarily skilled at is recognising the needs of stakeholders, creating bushiness plans, and prioritising what tools are needed in the factory to make the product. Tool designers are told by the marketing people what tools to design.
You have still not explained why you clearly told us that Page Curation is not within the remit of your department yet you are telling us here that we have to join the queue again in another 9 months time. There is clearly something wrong here, and something which Mahern and the Board should personally look into. Kudpung (talk) 06:11, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Kudpung: I don't recall the circumstances when I said that; can you provide a link? -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 15:34, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
The Community Wishlist suffers one major flaw: popular implies success on the Wishlist, but necessary and urgent do not imply popular. NPP improvements (and many of the things I propose) are necessary and urgent, but not necessarily popular. Add to that the huge backlog of tasks that has built up in part because the WMF (the Community Tech team included) habitually squanders development resources on unwanted shit like Gather, Flow, Article Feedback, Moodbar and the like and fails to prioritize the things that are necessary and urgent (over merely "nice to have"s) is the reason why we're not buying your argument. MER-C (talk) 11:45, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
MER-C (and Kudpung): The Wishlist Survey works in the same way that other kinds of advocacy do: you have to make a compelling case that convinces people to agree with you. In this situation, there are several ways to do that. You can make a compelling case to me, which you're currently engaged in; you can make a compelling case to Katherine or the Board, which you're welcome to do; and/or you can make a compelling case to the community at large, which is what the Wishlist Survey is for.
We openly encourage people to canvass during the survey, because we're measuring the enthusiasm that people have for the tools that they care about. If only ten people care enough about a specific tool, then those ten people need to make the case to other contributors that support for that tool is essential. If those ten people can't convince other contributors that their tool is important, then maybe it's not actually that important. I agree with you that PageCuration is important, so I'm encouraging you to add it to the survey next year. -- DannyH (WMF) (talk)
┌───────────────────────┘
@DannyH (WMF): Page curation is a fundamental function of English Wikipedia. The idea that each year WMF requires editors to advocate for resources to support and improve it is, frankly… stupid and an exercise in sub-standard management practices which I find shocking. Either the WMF supports the tools which are used by editors to maintain the flagship WMF project or your flagship will sink — overburdened by spam, hoaxes, native advertising and other trash.
I reiterate. Fragmentary short term planning contingent on yearly advocacy rather than building on reasoned goals which respond to identified need is not only foolish, it is flat out incompetent. I strongly suggest that the WMF work with those editors who have spent an incredible amount of time and effort working to create a system to curate and sustain en.wp over the long term to make a three to five year plan to develop, improve and maintain the tools needed for the work. Part of that needs to be a way to improve and modify the tools outside of this farcical process. Consensus engineering is bad engineering.
Hopefully, you can work with the editors who are more patient and diplomatic than I have grown before they too loose their taste for dealing with recalcitrant idiocy. I would suggest the first step is to designate a POC on your side who has decision making authority to create a framework for ongoing communication. I would then suggest that person designate a developer POC to work with the en.wp POCs to create a development plan — requirements definitions, resource requirements, prioritization, goals; you know all the good old traditional project managements 101 stuff I do not recall seeing on ant WMF project. Hell, take a walk on the wild side and throw together some PERT and GANTT charts. Y'all can move on to that 'agile management' stuff after you get the fundamentals down but agility does one no good if one Knows neither where one is going or how one can get there. JbhTalk 16:30, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
Hi Jbhunley: I am actually the person who has decision-making authority in this area; I'm the Director of Product Management for the Contributors team. As I said above, there are people who are above me in the organization, but I'm the person that they employ to make this kind of decision. So you're talking to the correct person here.
But how are we making those decisions? Setting priorities for where to invest resources is complicated, especially in a complex environment like the Wikimedia movement. If you start a list called "Things That Are Important", you could write that list forever, and there would still be things left off that people consider important. That's why we make an Annual Plan every year -- to create a framework that helps us to make decisions about where to invest.
You'll see on the Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2018-2019/Draft page that this year, the process started with a global consultation that involved hundreds of people -- staff, chapters, volunteers and allies, from all around the world -- to create a Wikimedia Movement Strategy. If you're interested, there is a lot of information on that Movement Strategy page about how the process worked, how we got to the conclusions that we reached, and where we're going from here. The core strategy boils down to two key areas: Knowledge equity, and Knowledge as a service. You can read all about that in the Introduction to the Annual Plan. The box on the side -- "The world around us" -- helps to explain some of the opportunities and concerns that our movement faces right now, including a huge increase in the number of people coming online around the world, a growing population of potential contributors whose only internet access is through their phones, and a concern that people are underrepresented on Wikimedia wikis based on gender, language and geography. It's a lot of stuff to tackle, and we have to make very difficult decisions about what we invest in. You'll see how we break down the areas that we're investing in this year under "The year ahead".
Okay, back to your question about new page curation on English Wikipedia. I agree with you that the New Page Patrol work is very important for maintaining the high quality of content that's on English Wikipedia, and that's worth talking about and working on. However, in the context of the Annual Plan, working on the Page Curation software on English Wikipedia is not as important to us as (for example) helping people around the world to contribute to wiki projects using their phone as their only internet access.
Now, when I said above that I was a decision maker, obviously I don't mean that I was personally in charge of the Movement Strategy or the Annual Plan -- I participated in both, along with lots of people. But I am the decision maker in charge of how we direct the product teams' work, so I'm able to determine whether the request for improvements to the Page Curation tool fits into our work on the goals set out by the Annual Plan. That specific request for technical assistance on the Page Curation tool did not make it into the Annual Plan this year.
So, Jbhunley, when you suggest that a product team should take on gathering requirements, setting scope and executing on improvements to the Page Curation tool, what I can say is that the product teams that we have are currently spoken for, working on the projects that you can see detailed in the Annual Plan. Fortunately, we do have one team -- the Community Tech team -- that is specifically designed and funded to work on exactly that type of project. Community Tech is an exception, a team that doesn't take on projects related to the Annual Plan, and instead works on projects determined directly by the active contributors, through the annual Community Wishlist Survey. That is the opportunity that you have to get work done on the project that you feel most strongly about. -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 19:29, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment by power~enwiki - There seem to be several issues here.
  1. There's a lack of clarity around how much the remit of the WMF is to build software specifically for Wikipedia, versus building MediaWiki as a general platform used by many organizations. The issues found in the largest half-dozen Wikipedias are almost certainly not relevant to third-parties that use MediaWiki. I'm not entirely sure how the largest non-English Wikipedias handle page creation.
  2. There's no real agreement on what tools are necessary to encourage new users to participate and create useful content. Personally, I would like the ability to read and edit Wikipedia through Git repositories, but that's obviously a niche feature request.
  3. There's no agreement on the English Wikipedia as to what is "acceptable" content. The old inclusionist/deletionist battle is still occasionally relevant. The most effective tools to minimize inappropriate article creations are not allowed as a result of that. There is a limit to how much tools can solve a cultural problem.
power~enwiki (talk) 16:47, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • The page curation tools are useful, and do need improving: it is a dated software that can be glitchy, and while bugs are normally fixed after a few months if I submit a phab ticket, it would be nice not to have to do that. I also have a pretty decent relationship with several people at the WMF who have worked on things related to NPP, and they have been pretty gracious at making a few improvements over the past 18 months, not as much as I would like, but I also get that there is limited time.
    While Kudpung and I usually agree, something where he and I differ on this is that I do not see the entire list of features as all being needed to improve the curation tool. The last time I checked the list, it was nearing 60 requests. I don't really think all 60 requests need to be implemented for it to be a fully functional tool, and even if all of them were 100% necessary, there are other tools that I would much prefer the Wikimedia Foundation work on (for example, as an administrator the single most useful thing for me would be making deleted page histories equivalent to the live page histories. I think MER-C proposed this at the wishlist survey, and it got some support, but it will never get that much because it isn't a sexy feature. If I had one feature I wanted the WMF to work on above all others, it would be this one.)
    That being said, I do think there are some very valid requests for improvement of the page curation software. I also remember there being concerns about it being en.wiki only, but some users from zh.wiki (I think) expressing a desire to use it as well. Perhaps the best way forward here would be to find the functions that need improving that would be useful across all MediaWiki installations and that would be the most impactful. I'm sure that the suggested improvements list has some of these. If these can be identified, then that would be a way forward to getting improvements that the community wants. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:30, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  • DannyH (WMF), I think we all very much appreciate your engagement in the issues concerning the AfC project. Just out of curiosity however, I would be interested to know why, where NPP is the major concern and a core Wkipedia process, the WMF is prioritising AfC development while insisting that urgent improvements to the Page Curation/New Pages Feed tool the WMF developed must wait for another year to be discussed even for priority. I ask this, because a major community discussion will soon start regarding combining the the AfC process into the NPP GUI - which many volunteers already agree might be a worthwhile solution. A community consensus will of course decide. Kudpung (talk) 01:40, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Kudpung, I think that conversation is probably best somewhere other than the Annual Plan talk page. Feel free to ping me somewhere else. -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 03:33, 14 April 2018 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done [1]. Kudpung (talk) 04:07, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Details missingEdit

> The rate of content growth in target languages increases by 10% year-over-year
> New contributor retention in target languages increases by 10% year-over-year
> Number of edits on mobile increases by 20% year-over-year in target languages
> with improved user experiences for targeted geographies
What are the target languages, or is this to be decided? Footnote, please. MER-C (talk) 13:09, 10 April 2018 (UTC)


> Increase support for the global Wikimedia community by rethinking and improving our community grantmaking, leadership development, and tools to make contributors’ work easier and more productive > Support new and existing contributors through a richer suite of onboarding tools
What tools are you planning to build? (I see these are mentioned in the individual subplans, footnotes and/or links would help quite a bit. More on this below.) MER-C (talk) 13:09, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

> The amount, diversity, and quality of content on Wikimedia projects increases
How are you going to measure the increase in quality? How are you going to determine whether your efforts (or lack thereof) to increase quality are successful? MER-C (talk) 13:09, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

@MER-C: This is a fair question. I don't have a good answer for it at this abstract level but I can tell you a couple of things we have committed to in TEC-9 and CDP-3 that may justify part of the sentence you've quoted. Outcome 1 of TEC-9 focuses on the amount of content by building recommendation systems that help editors identify missing content gaps and contribute towards closing such gaps. We don't have direct measures of quality for these two programs. This being said, you can think of a successful section recommendation algorithm as a way to expand the content in articles (we know there is a correlation between number of sections and content quality in Wikipedia. Check Figure 1 at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.05995.pdf ). You can also think of more citations added to Wikipedia as increasing the quality of the articles in the project. I want to emphasize that this has not been our commitment, so we won't be measuring that directly, but it may still be helpful for you to get a sense of why that statement may have made it to the abstract version of the annual plan. --LZia (WMF) (talk) 12:34, 11 May 2018 (UTC)

> More people contribute to the Wikimedia projects
As written, this is a spammer metric (a crude measurement used by Faecesbook, Twitter and the like use to convince advertisers and investors of the merits of their platforms, such as "monthly active users"). It's not so much about the number, you need to measure whether their edits are aligned with the Wikimedia mission. I'd take one editor who is knowledgeable about the Wikimedia mission and is committed to it over 30 semi-literate bozos who need to reminded of what an encyclopedia is and then leave because their self-promotional junk got rightly deleted. Same goes for editor retention. MER-C (talk) 13:09, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

@MER-C: Hi. I did one pass over your questions now to see if there are any I can address with my knowledge about TEC-9. If I understood correctly, most of them are outside of the scope of that program's commitments. This specific comment that you quoted may be related to it, but I'm not sure. Can you let me know where you got this quote from? That can help me understand if there was an aggregation on top of TEC-9 commitments that has resulted in this statement. If so, I can try to expand the scope and intentions behind it. I'm sorry that I cannot immediately respond. --LZia (WMF) (talk) 12:19, 11 May 2018 (UTC)

Some additional questions/comments:

  • What percentage of the increase in head count goes towards anti-harassment, Community Tech and engineering work on core MediaWiki software? MER-C (talk) 13:09, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
    • There will be six additional heads added to the Core Platform Team who is the owner of Mediawiki. —VColeman (WMF) 22:23, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
  • The department sub-plans are poorly organized and formatted. It is difficult to determine what the goals are and how they will be achieved at a glance. MER-C (talk) 13:09, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • I had a quick skim of the Technology annual plan and saw no mention of increasing the number of things that can be done with the MediaWiki API. MER-C (talk) 13:09, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • There is no mention of how community health and content quality can be increased by improving non-harassment related tools. MER-C (talk) 13:09, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • The plan makes absolutely no mention of projects that aren't Wikipedia, Wikidata or Wikimedia Commons. What's up with that? MER-C (talk) 13:09, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

A general commentEdit

I was originally hoping to provide some detailed feedback on this plan, but ultimately I haven't been able to find the motivation / a good way to positively phrase my views. As today is the deadline for comments, I'm just going to make a general appeal instead.

Please, put the WMF annual plan through the FDC process completely and on the same basis as other Wikimedia organisations do - including the metrics and the overall budget for the organisation.

It's embarrassing that the FDC process is more rigorous with its assessments of metrics and more strict on the increase in budgets of the affiliates than the process that the WMF's budget goes through - in particular when the WMF wants to increase its budget this year by triple the affiliate budget on the basis of 'strategy', while also flat-funding the affiliate budget on the basis of 'strategy'.

And please, focus on what the WMF can do well on a global basis (in particular technology development), and stop wasting money on projects like the New Readers program, where that money could be better spent directly by affiliates working in those areas. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 00:29, 16 May 2018 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
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