Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Happy Melon-2
On 5 December 2013 23:36, Bartosz Dziewoński <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, 05 Dec 2013 23:00:04 +0100, Dan Garry <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>  How about getting this stuff included in the Signpost? I think that's a
>> good medium for it.
>>
>
> Signpost is English-specific, Wikipedia-specific and
> English-Wikipedia-specific.
>


But let's be honest; the disproportionate majority of user discontent is
enwiki-specific as well...  :-p

--HM
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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Let us be honest indeed. The others are not heard when they scream and
shout in their little corner of the world..
Thanks,
     Gerard


On 5 December 2013 23:41, Happy Melon <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5 December 2013 23:36, Bartosz Dziewoński <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On Thu, 05 Dec 2013 23:00:04 +0100, Dan Garry <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >  How about getting this stuff included in the Signpost? I think that's a
> >> good medium for it.
> >>
> >
> > Signpost is English-specific, Wikipedia-specific and
> > English-Wikipedia-specific.
> >
>
>
> But let's be honest; the disproportionate majority of user discontent is
> enwiki-specific as well...  :-p
>
> --HM
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Guillaume Paumier-3
In reply to this post by Brian Wolff
Hi,

On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 10:22 PM, Brian Wolff <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> As it stands we don't really summarize changes very well, which is a
> prerequisite for telling people about changes. Occasionally changes
> make it to Tech/news, but that seems sporadic.

<snip>

> I think the best way forward would be to more accurately describe
> upcoming changes on tech/news. Once we actually have a user-readable
> summary of actual changes that are happening, then we could have a
> more reasonable discussion about how to get the information into
> people who care's hands, without spamming people who don't. Of course
> maintaining tech/news would probably require more effort being put
> towards it then is currently done, which requires someone (or multiple
> someones) to actually do so.

Yep. Most of the limitations of Tech News stem from the fact that it's
largely a one-man effort, which means (among other things) that things
get missed.

As for the "accurate description" part, it's a difficult balance to
strike between tech-savvy readers who would understand accurate (but
complex terms), and readers without deep technical expertise who need
things to be explained more simply (and maybe slightly inaccurately).
On top of that, we also need to facilitate the work of translators by
avoiding colloquialisms, etc.

I think the Tech news page makes it simple enough to get involved and
contribute: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech/News#contribute ; We
also have a reasonably-stable schedule, so now we "just" need more
people to give a hand. I'm actually drafting an overview of how Tech
news works behind the scenes; I'll share it on this list when it's
out.

Developers would be ideally-placed to help identify noteworthy changes
that will affect Wikimedia users, but most find that activity about as
interesting as writing documentation, which says something :)

Earlier this year, in a discussion about Gerrit keywords, I suggested
that we could use them to tag noteworthy changes, in order to make it
easier for developers to identify noteworthy changes, while reducing
overhead. Unfortunately, the discussion apparently died:
http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.science.linguistics.wikipedia.technical/68183/focus=68292

In the meantime, sending a short message to the wikitech-ambassadors
list, or dumping a gerrit/bugzilla link at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech/News/Next is the best way to make
sure something is communicated to Wikimedians who have subscribed to
be informed of tech-related changes likely to affect them.

I have ideas on how to improve things in the long term, but I'm open
to other suggestions to improve things in the shorter term as well.

--
Guillaume Paumier
Technical Communications Manager — Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

John Mark Vandenberg
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Dec 6, 2013 1:12 PM, "Gerard Meijssen" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hoi,
> Let us be honest indeed. The others are not heard when they scream and
> shout in their little corner of the world..
> Thanks,
>      Gerard

How true. Alex asked because of a major upgrade problem on Wikisource which
interrupted almost everyone. See wikisource-l for details.

I think there are times when a community would like a mass notice of some
sort, and it will differ based on the project and community size and the
likely impact of the upgrade.

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John Vandenberg
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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Amir E. Aharoni
In reply to this post by Guillaume Paumier-3
2013/12/6 Guillaume Paumier <[hidden email]>

> I think the Tech news page makes it simple enough to get involved and
> contribute: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech/News#contribute ; We
> also have a reasonably-stable schedule, so now we "just" need more
> people to give a hand. I'm actually drafting an overview of how Tech
> news works behind the scenes; I'll share it on this list when it's
> out.
>

Well actually, this reminds of the perennial "who should update the
RELEASE-NOTES" discussion. It's hard to update it all the time in Gerrit,
because it creates a lot of conflicts, so people don't do it and leave it
to the release manager (or something along these lines).

The RELEASE-NOTES file should be useful for people who install MediaWiki on
their servers. It isn't so useful for Wikipedia readers and editors. The
Tech News should do the job of RELEASE-NOTES for Wikipedia readers and
editors, and it's easy to update it because it's a wiki page. What can be
suggested is that every time a significant feature that visibly affects
end-users is merged, the developer who committed it should update the Tech
News page, and before publishing Tech News a responsible editor
(Guillaume?) should edit it and remove the less important things.

Of course, there are two problems:
* What's a "significant feature that visibly affects end-users"
* How to get developers not to forget to write that.

Quim, Guillaume - ideas on how to improve it?

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Guillaume Paumier-3
On Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 9:31 AM, Amir E. Aharoni
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> * How to get developers not to forget to write that.
>
> Quim, Guillaume - ideas on how to improve it?

There's already a reminder at the top of
https://wikitech.wikimedia.org/wiki/Deployments , and Greg does a
great job at highlighting the major changes that are going to be
deployed every week (which are then included into tech news).

Maybe we should add a similar one to the code review checklist?
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Gerrit/Code_review#Review_checklist

I'm open to other suggestions.

--
Guillaume Paumier

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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Guillaume Paumier-3
In reply to this post by John Mark Vandenberg
On Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 9:30 AM, John Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> How true. Alex asked because of a major upgrade problem on Wikisource which
> interrupted almost everyone. See wikisource-l for details.
>
> I think there are times when a community would like a mass notice of some
> sort, and it will differ based on the project and community size and the
> likely impact of the upgrade.

Agreed; while Tech news can help communicate general technical news to
Wikimedians, it isn't supposed to be a substitute for targeted
communication with specific wikis or language communities.

Ultimately, it's the responsibility of the developer (or their product
manager / community liaison if they're lucky enough to have one) to
make sure users are properly informed of a major technical change
they've made. I'm also available to support developers who need help
disseminating such information, but I can't do that unless someone
asks :)

--
Guillaume Paumier

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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Bartosz Dziewoński
In reply to this post by Amir E. Aharoni
On Fri, 06 Dec 2013 09:31:09 +0100, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Well actually, this reminds of the perennial "who should update the
> RELEASE-NOTES" discussion. It's hard to update it all the time in Gerrit,
> because it creates a lot of conflicts, so people don't do it and leave it
> to the release manager (or something along these lines).

As recently discussed here [1], this is a solved problem, someone just has to write some glue code for jenkins, deploy the new versions and the conflicts will be gone forever. Maybe everyone should ask the responsible people at WMF to prioritize this instead of perennially complaining.

[1] http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/wiki/wikitech/403927


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Matma Rex

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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Bartosz Dziewoński
In reply to this post by Guillaume Paumier-3
On Fri, 06 Dec 2013 08:53:36 +0100, Guillaume Paumier <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Developers would be ideally-placed to help identify noteworthy changes
> that will affect Wikimedia users, but most find that activity about as
> interesting as writing documentation, which says something :)
>Earlier this year, in a discussion about Gerrit keywords, I suggested
> that we could use them to tag noteworthy changes, in order to make it
> easier for developers to identify noteworthy changes, while reducing
> overhead. Unfortunately, the discussion apparently died:
> http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.science.linguistics.wikipedia.technical/68183/focus=68292
>In the meantime, sending a short message to the wikitech-ambassadors
> list, or dumping a gerrit/bugzilla link at
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech/News/Next is the best way to make
> sure something is communicated to Wikimedians who have subscribed to
> be informed of tech-related changes likely to affect them.
>I have ideas on how to improve things in the long term, but I'm open
> to other suggestions to improve things in the shorter term as well.

The reason tech news are not updated is because it has to be done after the
patch is merged. The merger will almost always assume it's the patch creator's
responsibility (which is reasonable to me, personally).

Then, the patch creator will…
* likely not even notice the merge happening if he ignores mails from gerrit
* just forget to do this
* no longer remember what exactly the patch was about which makes writing any
   notes harder.

We should come up with the way to write "Wikimedia" "release notes"/tech news
at the same time we write "end-user" release notes – when creating the patch.

--
Matma Rex

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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Daniel Friesen-2
In reply to this post by Amir E. Aharoni
On 2013-12-06 12:31 AM, Amir E. Aharoni wrote:
> The RELEASE-NOTES file should be useful for people who install MediaWiki on
> their servers. It isn't so useful for Wikipedia readers and editors. The
> Tech News should do the job of RELEASE-NOTES for Wikipedia readers and
> editors, and it's easy to update it because it's a wiki page. What can be
> suggested is that every time a significant feature that visibly affects
> end-users is merged, the developer who committed it should update the Tech
> News page, and before publishing Tech News a responsible editor
> (Guillaume?) should edit it and remove the less important things.
MediaWiki is not a Wikimedia-only product, Wikimedia and Wikipedia are
one user of MediaWiki.
And the MediaWiki development community is separate from Wikimedia and
consists of more than just people developing features intended for the
Wiki[pm]edia community.
I do not believe it should be the responsibility of volunteer MediaWiki
community developers to provide the on-site deployment news for a single
user of the software.

~Daniel Friesen (Dantman, Nadir-Seen-Fire) [http://danielfriesen.name/]


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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Bináris
There could be a small-sized version number somewhere on screen. Those who
are interested in would learn where it is and could watch it, while others
won't be disturbed.
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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

K. Peachey-2
People that are interested in the version will more than likely already
know about [[Special:Version]], if they want the added onscreen [clutter]
presence they could whip up a gadget or something to pull it from the API.


On Sat, Dec 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM, Bináris <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There could be a small-sized version number somewhere on screen. Those who
> are interested in would learn where it is and could watch it, while others
> won't be disturbed.
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

MZMcBride-2
K. Peachey wrote:
>People that are interested in the version will more than likely already
>know about [[Special:Version]], if they want the added onscreen [clutter]
>presence they could whip up a gadget or something to pull it from the API.

Any wiki wanting to use a site notice to display version information could
presumably use the "{{CURRENTVERSION}}" magic word inside the page
"MediaWiki:Sitenotice", of course. But I doubt many wiki communities
really want this.

Version numbers, particularly with MediaWiki extensions, hot fixes, and
Git branches, can be a bit tricky. I doubt many users would gain a lot by
seeing "1.23wmf6 (d8475d3)" change to some other partial hash. I suppose
you could truncate and users could see the difference between 1.23wmf6 and
1.23wmf7 more easily, but I think users are instead interested in what's
actually changing that affects them.

We have "Tech/News" and the ambassadors mailing list and IRC and other
communication avenues. Avoiding banner blindness is a real concern and the
possible benefit seems small. My two cents. :-)

MZMcBride



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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Helder .
In reply to this post by K. Peachey-2
On Sat, Dec 7, 2013 at 5:19 AM, K. Peachey <[hidden email]> wrote:

> People that are interested in the version will more than likely already
> know about [[Special:Version]], if they want the added onscreen [clutter]
> presence they could whip up a gadget or something to pull it from the API.
>
>
> On Sat, Dec 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM, Bináris <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> There could be a small-sized version number somewhere on screen. Those who
>> are interested in would learn where it is and could watch it, while others
>> won't be disturbed.

Indeed, and here is an example:
https://pt.wikibooks.org/wiki/User:Helder.wiki/Tools/AddMediaWikiVersionLinkToRecentChanges.js

Helder

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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Matthew Flaschen-2
In reply to this post by Daniel Friesen-2
On 12/06/2013 08:51 PM, Daniel Friesen wrote:
> And the MediaWiki development community is separate from Wikimedia and
> consists of more than just people developing features intended for the
> Wiki[pm]edia community.
> I do not believe it should be the responsibility of volunteer MediaWiki
> community developers to provide the on-site deployment news for a single
> user of the software.

That's a fair point.  However, some commits (e.g. an initial deployment
of an extension to a particular Wikimedia wiki, or a major configuration
change), specifically or primarily affect Wikimedia.  It would be
reasonable to add it to Tech News then.

Matt Flaschen


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Re: Please use sitenotice when a new version of software is deployed

Guillaume Paumier-3
In reply to this post by Guillaume Paumier-3
Hi,

On Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 8:53 AM, Guillaume Paumier
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I think the Tech news page makes it simple enough to get involved and
> contribute: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech/News#contribute ; We
> also have a reasonably-stable schedule, so now we "just" need more
> people to give a hand. I'm actually drafting an overview of how Tech
> news works behind the scenes; I'll share it on this list when it's
> out.

As promised, here's the link to that post:

https://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/01/07/tech-news-fighting-technical-information-overload-for-wikimedians/

--
Guillaume Paumier
Technical Communications Manager — Wikimedia Foundation

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