Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

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Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Brion Vibber-4
The last couple years we've done a big MediaWiki Dev Summit in January,
around the time of the Wikimedia Foundation all-hands meeting. Invitations
have been fairly broad to known developers, but there's a very strong
feeling that newbies, non-technical people, and in general *the people
MediaWiki is created and maintained for* are not welcome.

I think we should change this.

I would really like a broader MediaWiki Dev Summit that asks our users to
participate, and asks "developers" to interact with them to prioritize and
work on things that really matter to them.

I want template authors, Lua module authors, template users, power editors,
folks working on the lines of defense for vandalism patrol and copyvio
checking. I want people with opinions on discussion systems. I want people
who have been editing for years and have experience with what works and
what doesn't. I want people who wish they could edit but have a bad
experience when they try, and want to share that with us so we can help
make it better.

Thoughts?

-- brion
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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Pine W
I like the concept. I wonder, if instead of having a standalone dev summit,
it would make sense to have this broadly scoped conference be combined with
or adjacent to Wikimania.

Pine

On Sep 1, 2016 10:12, "Brion Vibber" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The last couple years we've done a big MediaWiki Dev Summit in January,
> around the time of the Wikimedia Foundation all-hands meeting. Invitations
> have been fairly broad to known developers, but there's a very strong
> feeling that newbies, non-technical people, and in general *the people
> MediaWiki is created and maintained for* are not welcome.
>
> I think we should change this.
>
> I would really like a broader MediaWiki Dev Summit that asks our users to
> participate, and asks "developers" to interact with them to prioritize and
> work on things that really matter to them.
>
> I want template authors, Lua module authors, template users, power editors,
> folks working on the lines of defense for vandalism patrol and copyvio
> checking. I want people with opinions on discussion systems. I want people
> who have been editing for years and have experience with what works and
> what doesn't. I want people who wish they could edit but have a bad
> experience when they try, and want to share that with us so we can help
> make it better.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> -- brion
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Tony Thomas
In reply to this post by Brion Vibber-4
On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 10:42 PM, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thoughts


Great. I was thinking the same thing last time during WikiConference India
too. We had couple of hackers hacking around in one room, and editors
editing in another room. When some of us took time to go near them, they
told about various issues they face (but this one was more or less language
specific, wiki-centric issue etc), and when we sat near them and tried
fixing it, it worked, and they were overjoyed! I think this might be the
only possible way to reduce the gap between users and devs.

Quoting one more situation, there was a Wikimedian there at the WCI, who
was typing in page titles to a wiki page and waiting for the red/blue link
to show up to check if the page exists. He was doing it as part of some
project. which was to find out which all pages never existed for a list
(don't know who gave him the list, though) - and create the same in his
home wiki. Experts would know it can be done with a python script calling
one of API, and I was lucky to show him that.

Wait, this might move the focus from a Mediawiki Dev summit, though - but
something like this should happen, I hope.

Thanks,
Tony Thomas <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:01tonythomas>
Home <http://www.thomastony.me> | Blog <https://tttwrites.wordpress.com/> |
ThinkFOSS <http://www.thinkfoss.com>
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Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Brian Wolff
Last year there was an attempt to sort of do this (mostly by extending the
word "developer" to mean new things). Largely those types of people didnt
attend (although there were a few exceptions), however I remember being
left wondering if they did attend, what would they do? It seems to me most
sessions were about architecture design decisions that actually didnt
affect anyone not working on the code (ie we were going to make the user
visible feature either way, the question was do we use method x or method y
in the backend). With that in mind. Otoh, its entirely possible that some
of the sessions i didnt attend were more applicable to these groups.

With that in mind are you proposing the focus of event also change? Or do
you think that these groups would be interested in it as is?

--
Brian

On Thursday, September 1, 2016, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The last couple years we've done a big MediaWiki Dev Summit in January,
> around the time of the Wikimedia Foundation all-hands meeting. Invitations
> have been fairly broad to known developers, but there's a very strong
> feeling that newbies, non-technical people, and in general *the people
> MediaWiki is created and maintained for* are not welcome.
>
> I think we should change this.
>
> I would really like a broader MediaWiki Dev Summit that asks our users to
> participate, and asks "developers" to interact with them to prioritize and
> work on things that really matter to them.
>
> I want template authors, Lua module authors, template users, power
editors,

> folks working on the lines of defense for vandalism patrol and copyvio
> checking. I want people with opinions on discussion systems. I want people
> who have been editing for years and have experience with what works and
> what doesn't. I want people who wish they could edit but have a bad
> experience when they try, and want to share that with us so we can help
> make it better.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> -- brion
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Brion Vibber-4
On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 10:32 AM, Brian Wolff <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Last year there was an attempt to sort of do this (mostly by extending the
> word "developer" to mean new things). Largely those types of people didnt
> attend (although there were a few exceptions), however I remember being
> left wondering if they did attend, what would they do? It seems to me most
> sessions were about architecture design decisions that actually didnt
> affect anyone not working on the code (ie we were going to make the user
> visible feature either way, the question was do we use method x or method y
> in the backend). With that in mind. Otoh, its entirely possible that some
> of the sessions i didnt attend were more applicable to these groups.
>
> With that in mind are you proposing the focus of event also change? Or do
> you think that these groups would be interested in it as is?
>

Yes, I think we *should* provide a focus for the event, and that the focus
should be on users, use cases, and what we as developers need to do to
achieve those things.

In my opinion we haven't had a strong focus to the event in the past, and
it's limited what we accomplish there to largely making a set of technical
presentations and having a few discussions that either don't produce a
decision or don't have much affect on what actually happens after the
summit.

(I'd be very interested also in some feedback on things that *have* worked
well at MWDS in the past, as I'd love to encourage anything that has been
productive! But I think we've not been successful in an architectural focus
so far.)

-- brion
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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Brian Wolff
On Thursday, September 1, 2016, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 10:32 AM, Brian Wolff <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Last year there was an attempt to sort of do this (mostly by extending
the
>> word "developer" to mean new things). Largely those types of people didnt
>> attend (although there were a few exceptions), however I remember being
>> left wondering if they did attend, what would they do? It seems to me
most
>> sessions were about architecture design decisions that actually didnt
>> affect anyone not working on the code (ie we were going to make the user
>> visible feature either way, the question was do we use method x or
method y

>> in the backend). With that in mind. Otoh, its entirely possible that some
>> of the sessions i didnt attend were more applicable to these groups.
>>
>> With that in mind are you proposing the focus of event also change? Or do
>> you think that these groups would be interested in it as is?
>>
>
> Yes, I think we *should* provide a focus for the event, and that the focus
> should be on users, use cases, and what we as developers need to do to
> achieve those things.
>
> In my opinion we haven't had a strong focus to the event in the past, and
> it's limited what we accomplish there to largely making a set of technical
> presentations and having a few discussions that either don't produce a
> decision or don't have much affect on what actually happens after the
> summit.
>
> (I'd be very interested also in some feedback on things that *have* worked
> well at MWDS in the past, as I'd love to encourage anything that has been
> productive! But I think we've not been successful in an architectural
focus
> so far.)
>
> -- brion
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Melody Kramer
In reply to this post by Brian Wolff
I'm not a dev (by day job) but frequently attend hackathons and other
coding events, and just wanted to detail what I do and what I've seen
others do (without coding.)

- write documentation
- do rapid protosketching or user testing
- write content for the platform/app
- user test existing platforms (if devs want someone to test something out)
- ideation and initial brainstorming
- translation
- develop comms. strategies so that the participants continue to work
beyond the event
- accessbility testing (I haven't done this but have seen people do it.)

I've never attended this particular summit, but thought the list might
provide some food for thought. This is a good blog post
<https://18f.gsa.gov/2015/04/21/hackathons-not-just-for-folks-who-code/> on
how to shape a hackathon or dev event for non-coders too. (Full disclosure:
I used to work there, though I didn't write that post.)

On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 1:32 PM, Brian Wolff <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Last year there was an attempt to sort of do this (mostly by extending the
> word "developer" to mean new things). Largely those types of people didnt
> attend (although there were a few exceptions), however I remember being
> left wondering if they did attend, what would they do? It seems to me most
> sessions were about architecture design decisions that actually didnt
> affect anyone not working on the code (ie we were going to make the user
> visible feature either way, the question was do we use method x or method y
> in the backend). With that in mind. Otoh, its entirely possible that some
> of the sessions i didnt attend were more applicable to these groups.
>
> With that in mind are you proposing the focus of event also change? Or do
> you think that these groups would be interested in it as is?
>
> --
> Brian
>
> On Thursday, September 1, 2016, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > The last couple years we've done a big MediaWiki Dev Summit in January,
> > around the time of the Wikimedia Foundation all-hands meeting.
> Invitations
> > have been fairly broad to known developers, but there's a very strong
> > feeling that newbies, non-technical people, and in general *the people
> > MediaWiki is created and maintained for* are not welcome.
> >
> > I think we should change this.
> >
> > I would really like a broader MediaWiki Dev Summit that asks our users to
> > participate, and asks "developers" to interact with them to prioritize
> and
> > work on things that really matter to them.
> >
> > I want template authors, Lua module authors, template users, power
> editors,
> > folks working on the lines of defense for vandalism patrol and copyvio
> > checking. I want people with opinions on discussion systems. I want
> people
> > who have been editing for years and have experience with what works and
> > what doesn't. I want people who wish they could edit but have a bad
> > experience when they try, and want to share that with us so we can help
> > make it better.
> >
> > Thoughts?
> >
> > -- brion
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>



--
Melody Kramer
Read a random featured article from Wikipedia!
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:RandomInCategory/Featured_articles>

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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

bawolff
In reply to this post by Brion Vibber-4
>
> Yes, I think we *should* provide a focus for the event, and that the focus
> should be on users, use cases, and what we as developers need to do to
> achieve those things.
>
> In my opinion we haven't had a strong focus to the event in the past, and
> it's limited what we accomplish there to largely making a set of technical
> presentations and having a few discussions that either don't produce a
> decision or don't have much affect on what actually happens after the
> summit.
>
> (I'd be very interested also in some feedback on things that *have* worked
> well at MWDS in the past, as I'd love to encourage anything that has been
> productive! But I think we've not been successful in an architectural focus
> so far.)
>
> -- brion

[Sorry about last email. accidentally hit send]

Yes, we certainly do have issues with follow-through on summit decisions.

For me personally, I've found the dev summits mostly useful as a
community building type thing (For the MediaWiki developer community).
As a remotee (Or at other various points in time, as a volunteer), its
rare I actually see everyone in real life. The dev summit provides a
venue to actually interact with everyone. While it may not actually be
the best at resolving architectural issues, I feel like it helps me
understand where everyone is coming from.

In particular, I find that the dev summit is more effective for this
purpose than hackathons, as the unstructured nature of hackathons tend
to get people clumping in groups that already know each other. The dev
summit on the other hand better provides for cross-pollination of
ideas in my experience. (Don't get me wrong, I love hackathons too,
just for different reasons).

However, use-cases and users is why we're here, so I'm certainly not
opposed to that focus. I just hope we continue to retain this as an
event that's more talky and less hacky, as I feel that's where a lot
of the uniqueness of the event came from.

One aspect of the first MediaWiki architecture summit that I really
liked but has been mostly lost, was inviting non-Wikimedia mediawiki
users. They're a group that has use-cases that we don't often hear
about, and provide a unique perspectives. Although I suppose its not
surprising that their involvement has kind of been lost. I would love
to see them come back, although I'm not exactly holding my breath for
that.

--
Brian

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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Russell Uman
> One aspect of the first MediaWiki architecture summit that I really
> liked but has been mostly lost, was inviting non-Wikimedia mediawiki
> users. They're a group that has use-cases that we don't often hear
> about, and provide a unique perspectives. Although I suppose its not
> surprising that their involvement has kind of been lost. I would love
> to see them come back, although I'm not exactly holding my breath for
> that.

As a non-wikimedia mediawiki developer, who attended this year's summit
for the first time, I thought there was a reasonable amount of
discussion that would be interesting for users/editors.

There was a lot of discussion about how developers decide what to
implement. Community tech wishlist most prominently, but also for other
features. I remember a pretty great discussion on the first day around
the various ways to support lower-bandwidth and mobile users. There was
also a great discussion about the future of mediawiki core as a
standalone product. Maybe that was only interesting to me :)

I'd like to see this event keep its developer focus. But I think
users/editors can benefit from meeting developers as much as developers
can benefit from meeting developers.

Even though many talks are implementation focused, I think users can
help make sure the initial use cases and requirements don't get lost in
those discussions, and can help with usability and acceptance testing
for new features.

--
russell  uman
    firebus
((((d-_-b))))

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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Brion Vibber-4
In reply to this post by bawolff
On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 11:11 AM, bawolff <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Yes, we certainly do have issues with follow-through on summit decisions.
>

*nod*


> For me personally, I've found the dev summits mostly useful as a
> community building type thing (For the MediaWiki developer community).
> As a remotee (Or at other various points in time, as a volunteer), its
> rare I actually see everyone in real life. The dev summit provides a
> venue to actually interact with everyone. While it may not actually be
> the best at resolving architectural issues, I feel like it helps me
> understand where everyone is coming from.
>
> In particular, I find that the dev summit is more effective for this
> purpose than hackathons, as the unstructured nature of hackathons tend
> to get people clumping in groups that already know each other. The dev
> summit on the other hand better provides for cross-pollination of
> ideas in my experience. (Don't get me wrong, I love hackathons too,
> just for different reasons).
>

That's a very good point! It may be good to have distinct spaces for these
environments, and 'hackathon' type events tend to have a different focus on
bringing people in with shorter-term projects.

I think we may want to look at ways to "boost signal" on input to and
output from MWDS. Even if we don't have as much physical cross-pollination
between devs and users as we could co-hosting with a bigger, less
dev-focused event like Wikimania, it's important to retain that focus on
user needs -- both as input to make technical decisions based on, and as
output when we're reporting back what we expect to work on and if/how we
can either assign resources within WMF, WMDE etc or if we need help from
outside and how to organize that.


> However, use-cases and users is why we're here, so I'm certainly not
> opposed to that focus. I just hope we continue to retain this as an
> event that's more talky and less hacky, as I feel that's where a lot
> of the uniqueness of the event came from.
>

Yeah, I get that. Thanks for bringing up the positive side of less-hacky. :)

One aspect of the first MediaWiki architecture summit that I really
> liked but has been mostly lost, was inviting non-Wikimedia mediawiki
> users. They're a group that has use-cases that we don't often hear
> about, and provide a unique perspectives. Although I suppose its not
> surprising that their involvement has kind of been lost. I would love
> to see them come back, although I'm not exactly holding my breath for
> that.
>

*nod* Some of those use-cases are great for potential Wikimedia-world uses
too; we shouldn't forget those "other" users. :)

-- brion
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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

C. Scott Ananian
In reply to this post by Brion Vibber-4
On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 1:12 PM, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The last couple years we've done a big MediaWiki Dev Summit in January,
> around the time of the Wikimedia Foundation all-hands meeting. Invitations
> have been fairly broad to known developers, but there's a very strong
> feeling that newbies, non-technical people, and in general *the people
> MediaWiki is created and maintained for* are not welcome.
>
> I think we should change this.
>
> I would really like a broader MediaWiki Dev Summit that asks our users to
> participate, and asks "developers" to interact with them to prioritize and
> work on things that really matter to them.
>
> I want template authors, Lua module authors, template users, power editors,
> folks working on the lines of defense for vandalism patrol and copyvio
> checking. I want people with opinions on discussion systems. I want people
> who have been editing for years and have experience with what works and
> what doesn't. I want people who wish they could edit but have a bad
> experience when they try, and want to share that with us so we can help
> make it better.
>

Hear, hear.

To make the discussion concrete, here are some issues I've had at past dev
summits, which may also answer the question "what would these non-devs do?":

* In a big session on services-oriented architectures, a lot of time was
spent theorizing about what small wikis who do their hosting on
shared-hosting services do, and whether various solutions we were proposing
would make it easier or harder for these non-WMF users of mediawiki.  *But
none of these users were at the summit.*  So no decisions could ultimately
be made, as the necessary affected parties were not present.

* I've tried to have conversations about the role of LanguageConverter and
Content Translation at each dev summit.  However, no one was present at the
dev summit who used LanguageConverter on their home wiki, and few folks who
rely on Content Translation routinely.  (Maybe one or two were present, but
not enough to have a reasonable discussion about the future of these
features.)  For better or worse, previous dev summits have had weak
representation from those who are not American users of
projects-other-than-enwiki.  (Again, not that it as 100% American enwiki
users, just that not enough others were present to constitute a reasonable
quorum for discussing issues affecting them.)

* The parsing team has various proposals for improvements to the template
system.  We don't really have a quorum of the "power users" of the wiki
projects who write and use nontrivial templates.

* In general the dev summit is pretty quite about projects other than
wikipedia!  Wikisource/wikibooks/wikitionary/commons/etc have lots of
interesting technical work to be done, which is poorly represented by WMF
employees.

 --scott

ps. I am sympathetic to the idea that this sort of broader conversation
about technical topics might fit better at wikimania.  But the last few
wikimanias have been moving in the opposite direction, to being less
WMF-driven, and I actually thought Esino Lario was a quite nice example of
how that can work.  No one I talked to at Esino Lario felt that "not enough
WMF staff were present" or that they couldn't get WMF answers to their
questions when they needed.  But this trend is opening a gap between WMF
engineering and our user community, which we should try to bridge somehow
or other.
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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Rob Lanphier-4
In reply to this post by Brion Vibber-4
On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 10:12 AM, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I think we should change this.

I think so too!  I have a lot more to say, but I'm thinking that the
best place to say it will be on wiki rather than on mailing list.  So,
I copied your message here:
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:WikiDev17>

I'd like to give you a better response later when I have more food in me  ;-)

Rob

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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Rob Lanphier-4
On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 1:33 PM, Rob Lanphier <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I copied your message here:
> <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:WikiDev17>

Ooops, I meant here:
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Developer_Summit_2017>

Rob

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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

bawolff
In reply to this post by C. Scott Ananian
>
> * In a big session on services-oriented architectures, a lot of time was
> spent theorizing about what small wikis who do their hosting on
> shared-hosting services do, and whether various solutions we were proposing
> would make it easier or harder for these non-WMF users of mediawiki.  *But
> none of these users were at the summit.*  So no decisions could ultimately
> be made, as the necessary affected parties were not present.
>

I don't think that would change, regardless of what we do. Even if we
have more users at the summit, its not going to be a representative
sample of every type of user we have. I don't think its reasonable to
assume that just because a usecase isn't represented at the summit
that it doesn't exist. Anyone taking the time out of their day to
travel all the way to a MediaWiki event, is probably a power user, and
thus this will bias the representation of users at the summit.

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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

C. Scott Ananian
On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 6:54 PM, bawolff <[hidden email]> wrote:

> >
> > * In a big session on services-oriented architectures, a lot of time was
> > spent theorizing about what small wikis who do their hosting on
> > shared-hosting services do, and whether various solutions we were
> proposing
> > would make it easier or harder for these non-WMF users of mediawiki.
> *But
> > none of these users were at the summit.*  So no decisions could
> ultimately
> > be made, as the necessary affected parties were not present.
> >
>
> I don't think that would change, regardless of what we do. Even if we
> have more users at the summit, its not going to be a representative
> sample of every type of user we have. I don't think its reasonable to
> assume that just because a usecase isn't represented at the summit
> that it doesn't exist. Anyone taking the time out of their day to
> travel all the way to a MediaWiki event, is probably a power user, and
> thus this will bias the representation of users at the summit.
>

Quite possibly!  And thus perhaps we should just exclude those sort of
topics from the summit -- if we can't get representative participation, we
shouldn't have a decision-oriented summit session.

Sessions oriented around "learning from our community" might still work --
we could have invited a cross-section of shared hosting users for a
workshop where we gathered info about different hosting providers, walked
them through installs using vagrant (or what-have-you), listened to their
concerns & problems, and worked together with them to figure out what might
work.  At the end, we can't say "this will work for all users of shared
hosts" but at least we can say, "for the 15 people we worked with, here are
the ways they managed to install a services-oriented prototype of
mediawiki" or something like that.

"Community workshop" is an underexplored dev summit format.  But maybe that
would be a better fit at wikimania?
  --scott
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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Matthew Flaschen-2
In reply to this post by C. Scott Ananian
On 09/01/2016 03:35 PM, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
 > However, no one was present at the
> dev summit who used LanguageConverter on their home wiki, and few folks who
> rely on Content Translation routinely.  (Maybe one or two were present, but
> not enough to have a reasonable discussion about the future of these
> features.)  For better or worse, previous dev summits have had weak
> representation from those who are not American users of
> projects-other-than-enwiki.

I think this general problem is partly inevitable.

I'm not saying that all Dev Summit attendees are enwiki users, or will
be in the future.  But I think that even with scholarships and outreach,
it will inevitably be skewed in a few ways:

1. Almost no one will show up, when compared to our broad user base.
The people who do come will mostly be a subset of the most enthusiastic
power users.

Power users are one of the groups we're building software for, but not
the only one.

This can be mitigated with hard work at outreach to representative users
who don't typically come to this kind of thing.

But this is also why we need to use other outreach and measurement
efforts, like EventLogging, to reach and measure the people that don't
attend summits (and may not answer surveys regularly).

2. The people that do come will be skewed towards being native speakers
of English.

3. They will be heavily skewed towards being either WMF employees, San
Francisco, or able to afford to fly.  Scholarships can help with this,
but only partly.

So I would be careful about seeing this as a great opportunity to meet
an accurate cross-section of our user base.  We need to be a little more
strategic when thinking about what to build and who we're building for.

I agree with C. Scott there might be a role for specifically inviting
key groups of users (e.g. shared hosting) to work with them in person
and understand their needs.  Though this could be at the Dev Summit, it
doesn't necessarily have to be.  It could be at Wikimania, or in SF but
another time, etc.

Matt

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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Risker
In reply to this post by Brion Vibber-4
This topic is a great read, and as a non-developer who's interested in
technical matters, I was quite excited to see this proposal.

It might be an idea to identify one or two specific topics that may be
particularly amenable to outreach to users outside of the "usual suspects"
who attend the Dev Summit, and then actively recruit interested parties. It
is quite possible that scholarships may be required to ensure a broader
(i.e., more than English North Americans) participation, so this may be a
budgetary issue that needs to be weighed against using those same
scholarships for active developers. I think some of the comments on this
thread are correct, that it's likely that at least some of the discussions
at the Dev Summit will be too esoteric for non-developers.  On the other
hand, there was a point where I only understood about 3% of what was posted
on this mailing list, and I think I can quite honestly say I'm all the way
up to 25% now.  People do learn by assimilation. :-)

A similar process can be done with Wikimania - which has the added
advantage of already attracting hundreds of community members for other
reasons.  I'd suggest that a special "developer/community day" be held in
conjunction with the hackathon.  While it's likely you'd still need to
offer scholarships, in most cases it would be the cost of an additional
day's accommodation/per diem rather than flight/accommodation/per diem,
because you would target people who are already planning to attend
Wikimania.  I expect that the 2017 Wikimania will be one of the largest
ones, since it is in North America and easily accessible by just about
everyone, so there is likely to be a large target audience.  You might want
to work with Marc-Andre (who is the Wikimania Convenor) to see how this
could be accommodated.

Thanks Brion for raising the topic - and thanks to everyone in this thread,
you've all taken this idea to heart and recognized the value of user
input.

Risker/Anne



On 1 September 2016 at 13:12, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The last couple years we've done a big MediaWiki Dev Summit in January,
> around the time of the Wikimedia Foundation all-hands meeting. Invitations
> have been fairly broad to known developers, but there's a very strong
> feeling that newbies, non-technical people, and in general *the people
> MediaWiki is created and maintained for* are not welcome.
>
> I think we should change this.
>
> I would really like a broader MediaWiki Dev Summit that asks our users to
> participate, and asks "developers" to interact with them to prioritize and
> work on things that really matter to them.
>
> I want template authors, Lua module authors, template users, power editors,
> folks working on the lines of defense for vandalism patrol and copyvio
> checking. I want people with opinions on discussion systems. I want people
> who have been editing for years and have experience with what works and
> what doesn't. I want people who wish they could edit but have a bad
> experience when they try, and want to share that with us so we can help
> make it better.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> -- brion
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Quim Gil-2
Thank you for starting this conversation, Brion!

Let me share the point where Rachel Farrand (Summit organizer) and I
(Summit budget owner) find ourselves, after some conversations.

GOALS

First we need to define the goals of the Summit, then we can talk about the
target audiences and the structure of the event that will help achieving
these goals. The Summit and its goal have been a moving target over the
years, as you can deduce from the many changes of names & goals. [0]

Widening the audience was a main goal last year. This is why we renamed it
to Wikimedia (not MediaWiki) Developer Summit, and we invited developers of
tools, templates, bots, mobile apps, the MediaWiki Stakeholders Group, and
also non-Wikimedia users of our APIs. It was a half-backed thought that
received half-backed support that unsurprisingly brought half-backed
results.

Still, even if we would have done better, "widening the audience" is not a
goal per se. What should we widen the audience for? Here is an idea.

What if the Summit would be product driven, with architecture and the rest
following that drive. All we are here to offer better products to our
users. All the technical discussions make more sense when there is a clear
product vision to be either supported or contested with reality checks.

We have a Wikimedia Foundation Product department and also a Community
Wishlist where the communities push for product improvements. We could set
the goal of selecting (top down) a small number of product challenges and
invite whoever needs to be involved to push them forward. Then we can leave
plenty of free space for other topics that participants want to push
(bottom up).

That "we" should be representative and effective in order to define a list
of goals in a few days (we need to open registration asap). It should be
possible to get a short list from the Product and Technology departments,
the Community Tech team (representing the Community Wishlist) and the
Architecture Committee. Then again these product goals cannot be too
surprising, since they are supposed to be prominent in discussions and
plans already now.


AUDIENCE

If the Summit will focus on product goals, then it is evident that software
architects and core developers will not be enough to achieve it. Product
managers, UX designers, researchers, [add other roles here], and maybe even
selected users/editors must be invited too in order to push the selected
product improvements forward.

But there is a problem: we have a capacity limit of 200 people. The
Foundation alone could basically fill the event if we don't set limits, The
Summit is immediately followed by the Wikimedia Foundation AllHands annual
meeting. The Summit is actually the successor of Tech Days, an AllHands for
all people who worked in tech at the Foundation.

We do have some travel sponsorship budget for volunteers, and I believe we
could get more participants among non-Wikimedia users of Wikimedia APIs and
MediaWiki if we really want to target them. However, we simply cannot go
for a big outreach while keeping an expectation of general attendance from
Foundation's Product and Technology departments.

Maybe we should go back to the invitation-only model with the capacity
limit of 200 people in mind, and the representation of target audiences we
want to get. For instance, we could set priorities on those directly
involved in the product improvements selected (and that means that we need
to select them asap) and define a % limit for Foundation participants.

Basically, we would need to make some tough calls to define main goals and
main audiences for the Summit in 2017. Successful events (just like
successful products) are often the result of tough calls, so no surprise
here.

PS1: someone asked about lessons learned -->
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_Summit_2016/Lessons_Learned

PS2: Rob suggested that a single email thread is not the best channel to
solve this complex discussion and I agree with him... but I didn't want to
kill this interesting thread either. Please note that the canonical places
for Summit discussion are
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Developer_Summit_2017 and the
related Phabricator project task
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/board/2192/

[0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_
Summit_2017#Previous_summits

On Sun, Sep 4, 2016 at 9:17 PM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> This topic is a great read, and as a non-developer who's interested in
> technical matters, I was quite excited to see this proposal.
>
> It might be an idea to identify one or two specific topics that may be
> particularly amenable to outreach to users outside of the "usual suspects"
> who attend the Dev Summit, and then actively recruit interested parties. It
> is quite possible that scholarships may be required to ensure a broader
> (i.e., more than English North Americans) participation, so this may be a
> budgetary issue that needs to be weighed against using those same
> scholarships for active developers. I think some of the comments on this
> thread are correct, that it's likely that at least some of the discussions
> at the Dev Summit will be too esoteric for non-developers.  On the other
> hand, there was a point where I only understood about 3% of what was posted
> on this mailing list, and I think I can quite honestly say I'm all the way
> up to 25% now.  People do learn by assimilation. :-)
>
> A similar process can be done with Wikimania - which has the added
> advantage of already attracting hundreds of community members for other
> reasons.  I'd suggest that a special "developer/community day" be held in
> conjunction with the hackathon.  While it's likely you'd still need to
> offer scholarships, in most cases it would be the cost of an additional
> day's accommodation/per diem rather than flight/accommodation/per diem,
> because you would target people who are already planning to attend
> Wikimania.  I expect that the 2017 Wikimania will be one of the largest
> ones, since it is in North America and easily accessible by just about
> everyone, so there is likely to be a large target audience.  You might want
> to work with Marc-Andre (who is the Wikimania Convenor) to see how this
> could be accommodated.
>
> Thanks Brion for raising the topic - and thanks to everyone in this thread,
> you've all taken this idea to heart and recognized the value of user
> input.
>
> Risker/Anne
>
>
>
> On 1 September 2016 at 13:12, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > The last couple years we've done a big MediaWiki Dev Summit in January,
> > around the time of the Wikimedia Foundation all-hands meeting.
> Invitations
> > have been fairly broad to known developers, but there's a very strong
> > feeling that newbies, non-technical people, and in general *the people
> > MediaWiki is created and maintained for* are not welcome.
> >
> > I think we should change this.
> >
> > I would really like a broader MediaWiki Dev Summit that asks our users to
> > participate, and asks "developers" to interact with them to prioritize
> and
> > work on things that really matter to them.
> >
> > I want template authors, Lua module authors, template users, power
> editors,
> > folks working on the lines of defense for vandalism patrol and copyvio
> > checking. I want people with opinions on discussion systems. I want
> people
> > who have been editing for years and have experience with what works and
> > what doesn't. I want people who wish they could edit but have a bad
> > experience when they try, and want to share that with us so we can help
> > make it better.
> >
> > Thoughts?
> >
> > -- brion
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>



--
Quim Gil
Engineering Community Manager @ Wikimedia Foundation
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Qgil
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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Eran Rosenthal
>
> But there is a problem: we have a capacity limit of 200 people.

In hackthons (either Wikimedia hackathon or Wikimania hackthon days) there
is not always a large enough hall for all the devs, and people may sit in
different rooms.
So the capability limit can be soften a bit - this could be a simultaneous
event in multiple different locations where the main part take in SF, but
Wikimedia chapters may organize in the same time smaller scale events (it
could be even 1 room +pizza ++beer).

We could set the goal of selecting (top down) a small number of product
> challenges
>
One possible goal: Citations
Citation support in MW is very hacky  - based on hacks EVERYWHERE from
parsoid, VE, ContentTranslation (tech) and template/modules (where every
wiki have its own version/some version imported from enwiki...)

I can imagine rewriting the Extension:Cite from scratch (Extension:CiteV2),
with more structured data support (similar to in sense to Brion''s idea
from Wikimania Mexico) - then the Wikidata support + importing /generating
bibliographic data in wikidata (or other Wikibase repo?) takes part in
Berlin where there is strong pywikibot/WD community, while
Parsoid+VE+core/extension support for Cite takes place in SF.












On Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 9:14 AM, Quim Gil <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thank you for starting this conversation, Brion!
>
> Let me share the point where Rachel Farrand (Summit organizer) and I
> (Summit budget owner) find ourselves, after some conversations.
>
> GOALS
>
> First we need to define the goals of the Summit, then we can talk about the
> target audiences and the structure of the event that will help achieving
> these goals. The Summit and its goal have been a moving target over the
> years, as you can deduce from the many changes of names & goals. [0]
>
> Widening the audience was a main goal last year. This is why we renamed it
> to Wikimedia (not MediaWiki) Developer Summit, and we invited developers of
> tools, templates, bots, mobile apps, the MediaWiki Stakeholders Group, and
> also non-Wikimedia users of our APIs. It was a half-backed thought that
> received half-backed support that unsurprisingly brought half-backed
> results.
>
> Still, even if we would have done better, "widening the audience" is not a
> goal per se. What should we widen the audience for? Here is an idea.
>
> What if the Summit would be product driven, with architecture and the rest
> following that drive. All we are here to offer better products to our
> users. All the technical discussions make more sense when there is a clear
> product vision to be either supported or contested with reality checks.
>
> We have a Wikimedia Foundation Product department and also a Community
> Wishlist where the communities push for product improvements. We could set
> the goal of selecting (top down) a small number of product challenges and
> invite whoever needs to be involved to push them forward. Then we can leave
> plenty of free space for other topics that participants want to push
> (bottom up).
>
> That "we" should be representative and effective in order to define a list
> of goals in a few days (we need to open registration asap). It should be
> possible to get a short list from the Product and Technology departments,
> the Community Tech team (representing the Community Wishlist) and the
> Architecture Committee. Then again these product goals cannot be too
> surprising, since they are supposed to be prominent in discussions and
> plans already now.
>
>
> AUDIENCE
>
> If the Summit will focus on product goals, then it is evident that software
> architects and core developers will not be enough to achieve it. Product
> managers, UX designers, researchers, [add other roles here], and maybe even
> selected users/editors must be invited too in order to push the selected
> product improvements forward.
>
> But there is a problem: we have a capacity limit of 200 people. The
> Foundation alone could basically fill the event if we don't set limits, The
> Summit is immediately followed by the Wikimedia Foundation AllHands annual
> meeting. The Summit is actually the successor of Tech Days, an AllHands for
> all people who worked in tech at the Foundation.
>
> We do have some travel sponsorship budget for volunteers, and I believe we
> could get more participants among non-Wikimedia users of Wikimedia APIs and
> MediaWiki if we really want to target them. However, we simply cannot go
> for a big outreach while keeping an expectation of general attendance from
> Foundation's Product and Technology departments.
>
> Maybe we should go back to the invitation-only model with the capacity
> limit of 200 people in mind, and the representation of target audiences we
> want to get. For instance, we could set priorities on those directly
> involved in the product improvements selected (and that means that we need
> to select them asap) and define a % limit for Foundation participants.
>
> Basically, we would need to make some tough calls to define main goals and
> main audiences for the Summit in 2017. Successful events (just like
> successful products) are often the result of tough calls, so no surprise
> here.
>
> PS1: someone asked about lessons learned -->
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_
> Summit_2016/Lessons_Learned
>
> PS2: Rob suggested that a single email thread is not the best channel to
> solve this complex discussion and I agree with him... but I didn't want to
> kill this interesting thread either. Please note that the canonical places
> for Summit discussion are
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Developer_Summit_2017 and
> the
> related Phabricator project task
> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/board/2192/
>
> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_
> Summit_2017#Previous_summits
>
> On Sun, Sep 4, 2016 at 9:17 PM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > This topic is a great read, and as a non-developer who's interested in
> > technical matters, I was quite excited to see this proposal.
> >
> > It might be an idea to identify one or two specific topics that may be
> > particularly amenable to outreach to users outside of the "usual
> suspects"
> > who attend the Dev Summit, and then actively recruit interested parties.
> It
> > is quite possible that scholarships may be required to ensure a broader
> > (i.e., more than English North Americans) participation, so this may be a
> > budgetary issue that needs to be weighed against using those same
> > scholarships for active developers. I think some of the comments on this
> > thread are correct, that it's likely that at least some of the
> discussions
> > at the Dev Summit will be too esoteric for non-developers.  On the other
> > hand, there was a point where I only understood about 3% of what was
> posted
> > on this mailing list, and I think I can quite honestly say I'm all the
> way
> > up to 25% now.  People do learn by assimilation. :-)
> >
> > A similar process can be done with Wikimania - which has the added
> > advantage of already attracting hundreds of community members for other
> > reasons.  I'd suggest that a special "developer/community day" be held in
> > conjunction with the hackathon.  While it's likely you'd still need to
> > offer scholarships, in most cases it would be the cost of an additional
> > day's accommodation/per diem rather than flight/accommodation/per diem,
> > because you would target people who are already planning to attend
> > Wikimania.  I expect that the 2017 Wikimania will be one of the largest
> > ones, since it is in North America and easily accessible by just about
> > everyone, so there is likely to be a large target audience.  You might
> want
> > to work with Marc-Andre (who is the Wikimania Convenor) to see how this
> > could be accommodated.
> >
> > Thanks Brion for raising the topic - and thanks to everyone in this
> thread,
> > you've all taken this idea to heart and recognized the value of user
> > input.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> >
> >
> >
> > On 1 September 2016 at 13:12, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > > The last couple years we've done a big MediaWiki Dev Summit in January,
> > > around the time of the Wikimedia Foundation all-hands meeting.
> > Invitations
> > > have been fairly broad to known developers, but there's a very strong
> > > feeling that newbies, non-technical people, and in general *the people
> > > MediaWiki is created and maintained for* are not welcome.
> > >
> > > I think we should change this.
> > >
> > > I would really like a broader MediaWiki Dev Summit that asks our users
> to
> > > participate, and asks "developers" to interact with them to prioritize
> > and
> > > work on things that really matter to them.
> > >
> > > I want template authors, Lua module authors, template users, power
> > editors,
> > > folks working on the lines of defense for vandalism patrol and copyvio
> > > checking. I want people with opinions on discussion systems. I want
> > people
> > > who have been editing for years and have experience with what works and
> > > what doesn't. I want people who wish they could edit but have a bad
> > > experience when they try, and want to share that with us so we can help
> > > make it better.
> > >
> > > Thoughts?
> > >
> > > -- brion
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > > [hidden email]
> > > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Quim Gil
> Engineering Community Manager @ Wikimedia Foundation
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Qgil
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
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Re: Opening up MediaWiki dev summit in January?

Brad Jorsch (Anomie)
In reply to this post by Quim Gil-2
On Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 2:14 AM, Quim Gil <[hidden email]> wrote:

> What if the Summit would be product driven, with architecture and the rest
> following that drive. All we are here to offer better products to our
> users. All the technical discussions make more sense when there is a clear
> product vision to be either supported or contested with reality checks.
>

IMO that depends on what you define as "product". In the sense that
MediaWiki and Wikipedia are products, sure. In the more narrow sense dealt
with by the WMF's Product department, perhaps not.


--
Brad Jorsch (Anomie)
Senior Software Engineer
Wikimedia Foundation
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