Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

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Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Tomasz W. Kozlowski
Hi!
I was surprised to see that Twitter is now the preferred method of
contacting the Wikimedia Foundation, and that it is much more effective
than long disputes and discussions on mailing lists, Bugzilla and wiki
pages.

Indeed, it is so effective that it leads to the WMF clearly preferring
un-free fonts over their free equivalents; something that, I believe,
participants of this very mailing lists agreed /not/ to do.

FYI: <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?diff=602800100>.

                 Tomasz

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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Andre Klapper-2
On Sun, 2014-04-06 at 18:52 +0200, Tomasz W. Kozlowski wrote:
> Hi!
> I was surprised to see that Twitter is now the preferred method of
> contacting the Wikimedia Foundation, and that it is much more effective
> than long disputes and discussions on mailing lists, Bugzilla and wiki
> pages.

The related ticket (see last comments explaining some stuff) is
https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=63512 . Can't judge the
"effectiveness" though. :)

andre
--
Andre Klapper | Wikimedia Bugwrangler
http://blogs.gnome.org/aklapper/


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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Tomasz W. Kozlowski
On 6 April 2014 17:52, Tomasz W. Kozlowski <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I was surprised to see that Twitter is now the preferred method of
> contacting the Wikimedia Foundation, and that it is much more effective than
> long disputes and discussions on mailing lists, Bugzilla and wiki pages.
> Indeed, it is so effective that it leads to the WMF clearly preferring
> un-free fonts over their free equivalents; something that, I believe,
> participants of this very mailing lists agreed /not/ to do.


I originally went "what on earth" too, then I went to the bug and
looked at the samples. Here's how the previous font stack rendered in
Chrome on Windows without Cleartype on:

http://i.imgur.com/9QD1ujH.png

That's ... pretty broken.


- d.

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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Antoine Musso-3
Le 06/04/2014 21:11, David Gerard a écrit :
> I originally went "what on earth" too, then I went to the bug and
> looked at the samples. Here's how the previous font stack rendered in
> Chrome on Windows without Cleartype on:
>
> http://i.imgur.com/9QD1ujH.png

Those crazy free fonts is what make me abandon Linux distributions as a
desktop.  I was tired of fighting with fonts :-D

--
Antoine "hashar" Musso


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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Steven Walling
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 12:11 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I originally went "what on earth" too, then I went to the bug and
> looked at the samples. Here's how the previous font stack rendered in
> Chrome on Windows without Cleartype on:
>
> http://i.imgur.com/9QD1ujH.png
>
> That's ... pretty broken.
>

Yes.

For the record: Jon talked to one person via Twitter, which is why Tomasz
is complaining about. We also got a *much* larger and more detailed stream
of complaints via on-wiki discussion forums, and other sites like Reddit
where users are discussing the change. Hence the report in Bugzilla. The
idea that we're just responding to the bug based on one report via Twitter
is untrue and absurd.

Steven
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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Tomasz W. Kozlowski
Steven Walling writes:

> The
> idea that we're just responding to the bug based on one report via Twitter
> is untrue and absurd.

You are responding to the bug based on reports that come from outside the
Wikimedia universe — and to say otherwise is untrue and absurd in itself.

You saw the feedback, Steven, with your own eyes, in January of this year: it
was submitted by Wikipedian Patrick87 on January 8 at
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Typography_refresh/Archive_2#Default_sys
tem_fonts_should_be_given_preference_over_free_fonts_.28especially_on_Windows
.29>.

You had almost three full months to deal with the problem, and yet you are
only responding to it when people pointed it out to you on Twitter, Reddit,
Quora, and wherever else.

/If/ you value feedback from Wikipedians, why don't you act on it?

                    Tomasz



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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Steven Walling
On Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 2:59 PM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> You are responding to the bug based on reports that come from outside the
> Wikimedia universe -- and to say otherwise is untrue and absurd in itself.
>
> You saw the feedback, Steven, with your own eyes, in January of this year:
> it
> was submitted by Wikipedian Patrick87 on January 8 at
> <
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Typography_refresh/Archive_2#Default_sys
>
> tem_fonts_should_be_given_preference_over_free_fonts_.28especially_on_Windows
> .29>.
>
> You had almost three full months to deal with the problem, and yet you are
> only responding to it when people pointed it out to you on Twitter, Reddit,
> Quora, and wherever else.
>
> /If/ you value feedback from Wikipedians, why don't you act on it?
>

Tomasz,

We should be having this conversation in Bugzilla. I replied to this issue
at https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=63512#c29

TL;DR: one user saying they chose to download the fonts in question is not
the same thing as a report that a significant minority might have them.

On the general point: you and others seem to be simultaneously angry that
we tried a version without a freely-licensed font *and* that we have tried
versions which did have FOSS fonts, but that had unexpected bugs for some
Windows users. Which is it? Or is that you're just looking for an excuse to
be mad and cause a fuss because we changed the typography at all? It sounds
to me like it's the latter.

New software updates that reach this widely always have issues that come up
for unexpected edge cases. The preexisting defaults have been around a long
time, and gone through much bug fixing and tweaking based on user feedback
across wikis. The same will be necessary for the new typography as well.

Steven
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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Brian Wolff
> >
> > You had almost three full months to deal with the problem, and yet you
are
> > only responding to it when people pointed it out to you on Twitter,
Reddit,

> > Quora, and wherever else.
> >
> > /If/ you value feedback from Wikipedians, why don't you act on it?
> >
>
> Tomasz,
>
> We should be having this conversation in Bugzilla. I replied to this issue
> at https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=63512#c29
>

Odder is raising a concern about how feedback is handled, not the specific
feedback itself. I dont know if this thread is the appropriate venue, or if
it was raised in the best way, but the bug is definitely not the correct
place for such meta discussions. The bug should be about fixing the
technical issue only (in theory anyways. Its already pretty offtopic)

--bawolff
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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Tomasz W. Kozlowski
In reply to this post by Steven Walling
Steven Walling writes:

> On the general point: you and others seem to be simultaneously angry that
> we tried a version without a freely-licensed font *and* that we have tried
> versions which did have FOSS fonts, but that had unexpected bugs for some
> Windows users. Which is it? Or is that you're just looking for an excuse
to
> be mad and cause a fuss because we changed the typography at all? It
sounds
> to me like it's the latter.

You are clueless, kind sir, so let me get some things straight.

1. I am deeply uncomfortable with the fact that you are choosing un-free
fonts over free ones.
2. I am deeply uncomfortable with the fact that you decided not to respect
the consensus /not/ to choose non-free fonts — such as Arial and Helvetica —
over free fonts; a discussion which I only read, but which, as far as I
remember, saw participation from yourself, Quim, Greg, and some other
people.

As for your suggestion that I'm only looking to make a fuss, here's some
basic facts for you to ponder.

A. /I/ pointed it out to Greg and to you on IRC that deploying Typography
Refresh to all wikis on the same day (March 28) was a bad idea, and that it
would be better to roll it out with MediaWiki 1.23wmf21, as it would give
time to inform the community (as well as to push some last-minute fixes).
B. /I/ was the one who added information about Typography Refresh to the
last two issues of Tech News, therefore delivering information about it to
almost 250 individual subscribers and several community pages & village
pumps.

Now, don't you think that if I wanted to make a fuss about the change:

I. I would have supported your plan to deploy it to all wikis at the same
time, so as to ensure maximum community drama, chaos and anger;
II. I would have kept the community in the dark, to ensure even more drama &
vitriol coming your way?

I'm used to you suggesting that I fabricate stuff, so if you want to think
that I'm part of some bad faith conspiracy to mean you harm in this case,
then that's fine; just keep in mind that other people might not be as
welcoming.

                Tomasz


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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Brian Wolff
>
> You are clueless, kind sir, so let me get some things straight.

Please keep things civil on list.

--bawolff
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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Steven Walling
In reply to this post by Tomasz W. Kozlowski
On Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 4:05 PM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski
<[hidden email]>wrote:

1. I am deeply uncomfortable with the fact that you are choosing un-free
> fonts over free ones.
> 2. I am deeply uncomfortable with the fact that you decided not to respect
> the consensus /not/ to choose non-free fonts -- such as Arial and Helvetica
> --
> over free fonts; a discussion which I only read, but which, as far as I
> remember, saw participation from yourself, Quim, Greg, and some other
> people.
>

We've tried the alternative and it's untenable according to the feedback
we're getting. I wish it wasn't. I'd rather put free fonts first in the
stack, if they actually work for users. Twice now we've tried putting
different freely-licensed fonts first. Both times, Windows users who had
them have told us they either merely disliked them or they have caused
unacceptably poor rendering, particularly for those without font smoothing.
There simply is not widely-available font that meets all our needs while
also being freely-licensed. The compromise is either to deliver a
freely-licensed webfont to all users (which we're not going to do right
now, though it's the ideal IMO) or to specify the best fonts users already
have on their system free or not, which accomplish the consistency and
legibility we're looking for. This is just the reality. Whether or not the
CSS/LESS declares them explicitly or not, non-free fonts are what most
users have already and want to use, because they actually work. This is
true whether we set a more specific stack than "sans-serif" or not.


> As for your suggestion that I'm only looking to make a fuss, here's some
> basic facts for you to ponder.
>
> A. /I/ pointed it out to Greg and to you on IRC that deploying Typography
> Refresh to all wikis on the same day (March 28) was a bad idea, and that it
> would be better to roll it out with MediaWiki 1.23wmf21, as it would give
> time to inform the community (as well as to push some last-minute fixes).
>

Delaying release to anticipate bugs that have not yet been reported by
anyone makes no sense. At the time of release there were only four bugs
open related to VectorBeta as an extension, none of which could have told
us about the issue. How could last minute fixes be pushed for a bug no one
had actually reported yet?
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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

wctaiwan
On 6 April 2014 19:19, Steven Walling <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Twice now we've tried putting
> different freely-licensed fonts first. Both times, Windows users who had
> them have told us they either merely disliked them or they have caused
> unacceptably poor rendering, particularly for those without font smoothing.

I don't think we should prioritise users with font smoothing disabled.
ClearType has been available since at least Windows XP. If there are
legibility issues, we should probably fix it; but if it merely looks
ugly, the solution is for the users to enable font smoothing if they
want prettier font rendering.

wctaiwan

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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Brian Wolff
On 7 April 2014 00:16, Brian Wolff <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> You are clueless, kind sir, so let me get some things straight.

> Please keep things civil on list.


This was in response to "Or is that you're just looking for an excuse
to be mad and cause a fuss because we changed the typography at all?
It sounds to me like it's the latter."


- d.

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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Brian Wolff
On 4/6/14, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 7 April 2014 00:16, Brian Wolff <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>> You are clueless, kind sir, so let me get some things straight.
>
>> Please keep things civil on list.
>
>
> This was in response to "Or is that you're just looking for an excuse
> to be mad and cause a fuss because we changed the typography at all?
> It sounds to me like it's the latter."
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l

I'd appreciate it if both sides avoided inflammatory language.
Remember folks, criticize the code (or issue in question as the case
may be), not the people.

--bawolff

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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Steven Walling
In reply to this post by wctaiwan
On Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 4:24 PM, wctaiwan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I don't think we should prioritise users with font smoothing disabled.
> ClearType has been available since at least Windows XP. If there are
> legibility issues, we should probably fix it; but if it merely looks
> ugly, the solution is for the users to enable font smoothing if they
> want prettier font rendering.
>

I too was surprised at how many users are A) on XP with ClearType off,
which is the default there or B) turn font smoothing off intentionally.

I should note that by fixing this bug we won't be changing the appearance
for users on most platforms, except those on Windows who have these two
fonts (Arimo, Liberation Sans), so we're not degrading the quality of font
rendering just to optimize for those without smoothing.
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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Zack Weinberg
On Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 8:39 PM, Steven Walling <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I too was surprised at how many users are A) on XP with ClearType off,
> which is the default there or B) turn font smoothing off intentionally.

I have no comment on any of the rest of this, but with my Firefox dev
hat on, we've been through several cycles of being told in no
uncertain terms that a vocal minority of our userbase _hates_ what
ClearType does to the visual appearance of text, and will stop at
nothing to suppress it.  (That the vast majority of fonts do not have
the extra hinting required to look good with ClearType off matters not
to them; these people generally also wish to force all websites to use
their preferred fonts.  Possibly I should say preferred *font*.)

zw

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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

rupert THURNER-2
In reply to this post by Steven Walling
Am 07.04.2014 01:20 schrieb "Steven Walling" <[hidden email]>:
>
> On Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 4:05 PM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski
> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
> 1. I am deeply uncomfortable with the fact that you are choosing un-free
> > fonts over free ones.
> > 2. I am deeply uncomfortable with the fact that you decided not to
respect
> > the consensus /not/ to choose non-free fonts -- such as Arial and
Helvetica

> > --
> > over free fonts; a discussion which I only read, but which, as far as I
> > remember, saw participation from yourself, Quim, Greg, and some other
> > people.
> >
>
> We've tried the alternative and it's untenable according to the feedback
> we're getting. I wish it wasn't. I'd rather put free fonts first in the
> stack, if they actually work for users. Twice now we've tried putting
> different freely-licensed fonts first. Both times, Windows users who had
> them have told us they either merely disliked them or they have caused
> unacceptably poor rendering, particularly for those without font
smoothing.

> There simply is not widely-available font that meets all our needs while
> also being freely-licensed. The compromise is either to deliver a
> freely-licensed webfont to all users (which we're not going to do right
> now, though it's the ideal IMO) or to specify the best fonts users already
> have on their system free or not, which accomplish the consistency and
> legibility we're looking for. This is just the reality. Whether or not the
> CSS/LESS declares them explicitly or not, non-free fonts are what most
> users have already and want to use, because they actually work. This is
> true whether we set a more specific stack than "sans-serif" or not.
>
>
> > As for your suggestion that I'm only looking to make a fuss, here's some
> > basic facts for you to ponder.
> >
> > A. /I/ pointed it out to Greg and to you on IRC that deploying
Typography
> > Refresh to all wikis on the same day (March 28) was a bad idea, and
that it
> > would be better to roll it out with MediaWiki 1.23wmf21, as it would
give
> > time to inform the community (as well as to push some last-minute
fixes).
> >
>
> Delaying release to anticipate bugs that have not yet been reported by
> anyone makes no sense. At the time of release there were only four bugs
> open related to VectorBeta as an extension, none of which could have told
> us about the issue. How could last minute fixes be pushed for a bug no one
> had actually reported

Steven, given there was a Font stack which worked fine for years, i am a
little puzzled how you can break it and then argue using non free fonts is
a solution listening to people on twitter telling you it is broken now.
instead of reverting the change, or fix it properly? I mean, windows xp is
not new. And turning off clear type is common. I do it first because the
Microsoft standard fonts look dizzy with small font sizes on windows7.

Rupert
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Re: Forget mailing lists and on-wiki discussions; Twitter's the place!

Matthew Flaschen-2
In reply to this post by Antoine Musso-3
On 04/06/2014 04:05 PM, Antoine Musso wrote:
> Le 06/04/2014 21:11, David Gerard a écrit :
>> I originally went "what on earth" too, then I went to the bug and
>> looked at the samples. Here's how the previous font stack rendered in
>> Chrome on Windows without Cleartype on:
>>
>> http://i.imgur.com/9QD1ujH.png
>
> Those crazy free fonts is what make me abandon Linux distributions as a
> desktop.  I was tired of fighting with fonts :-D

This issue is specific to Windows and particular free fonts.  It's not
present on the Linux desktop.

Matt Flaschen


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