Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

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Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

John Erling Blad
The backlog for bugs are pretty large (that is an understatement),
even for bugs with know fixes and available patches. Is there any real
plan to start fixing them? Shall I keep telling the community the bugs
are "tracked"?

/jeblad

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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Amir Sarabadani-2
Hey,
I'm not WMF so I'm not the best one to answer the question but I think your
statement is overgeneralizing. Some teams have more resource constraints
than the other ones and treating all of WMF as a big monolith doesn't seem
to be a good approach. I think you should be more precise and give a more
clear statement on what do you think is wrong.

Two other things to note:
1- As a developer who loves to fix bugs, the reason I can't sometimes fix a
bug is that it's not clearly defined, and/or there's no proper instruction
to reproduce. Don't always blame the other party.
2- Everything is open-source and as non-profit, there's always resource
constraint. If it's really important to you, feel free to make a patch and
the team would be always more than happy to review.

Best

On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 1:31 PM John Erling Blad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The backlog for bugs are pretty large (that is an understatement),
> even for bugs with know fixes and available patches. Is there any real
> plan to start fixing them? Shall I keep telling the community the bugs
> are "tracked"?
>
> /jeblad
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l



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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Dennis During
 On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 9:04 AM Amir Sarabadani <[hidden email]> wrote:

" Everything is open-source and as non-profit, there's always resource
constraint."
So if only wikiworld were for profit, then it wouldn't be
resource-constrained?  Therein could lie the solution of all problems, not
just those of wikiworld.



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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

David Barratt
>
> So if only wikiworld were for profit, then it wouldn't be
> resource-constrained?
>

You don't have to be for-profit to have a self-sustaining business model.
But you do have to have a problem (or a need), with a solution, that
customers are willing to pay for to solve. Even if you give the software
away for free, is that the entire solution to the problem?

On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 10:20 AM Dennis During <[hidden email]> wrote:

>  On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 9:04 AM Amir Sarabadani <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> " Everything is open-source and as non-profit, there's always resource
> constraint."
> So if only wikiworld were for profit, then it wouldn't be
> resource-constrained?  Therein could lie the solution of all problems, not
> just those of wikiworld.
>
>
>
> --
> Dennis C. During
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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Strainu
In reply to this post by Amir Sarabadani-2
Pe vineri, 8 martie 2019, Amir Sarabadani <[hidden email]> a scris:

> Hey,
> I'm not WMF so I'm not the best one to answer the question but I think your
> statement is overgeneralizing. Some teams have more resource constraints
> than the other ones and treating all of WMF as a big monolith doesn't seem
> to be a good approach. I think you should be more precise and give a more
> clear statement on what do you think is wrong.


Several things:
* the bug backlog has been steadily increasing in all phabricator reports I
have seen (I don't read them all, so some decreases might have occurred
occasionally, but the trend is there)
* feature development is prioritized over bug fixes (read: once a feature
goes into maintenance, good luck getting a fix without bribing someone)
* after Andre stopped being bug wrangler, nobody else took the job of
clarifying user requests, closing obvious duplicates etc.

I'm sure there are legitimate reasons for these problems, the question is
what can be done to improve the situation?


> Two other things to note:
> 1- As a developer who loves to fix bugs, the reason I can't sometimes fix a
> bug is that it's not clearly defined, and/or there's no proper instruction
> to reproduce. Don't always blame the other party.


This is bound to happen when 99% of your users are non-technical.  It would
be great if you (globally) could take some time to ask for clarifications
when you feel they are required.


>

2- Everything is open-source and as non-profit, there's always resource
> constraint. If it's really important to you, feel free to make a patch and
> the team would be always more than happy to review.


No, not always. There are over 4600 open reviews, some 5 years old. There
are some reasons why one would want to keep a review opened, but very few
IMHO. You also need to consider the fact that open reviews might discourage
people from proposing new fixes. And again, 99% of MW  users are
non-technical.

All the best,
  Strainu


>
> Best
>
> On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 1:31 PM John Erling Blad <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > The backlog for bugs are pretty large (that is an understatement),
> > even for bugs with know fixes and available patches. Is there any real
> > plan to start fixing them? Shall I keep telling the community the bugs
> > are "tracked"?
> >
> > /jeblad
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
>
>
> --
> Amir
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Andre Klapper-2
On Fri, 2019-03-08 at 20:03 +0200, Strainu wrote:
> * after Andre stopped being bug wrangler

{{Citation needed}}

andre
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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Alex Monk
In reply to this post by Strainu
On Fri, 8 Mar 2019 at 18:04, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Several things:
> * the bug backlog has been steadily increasing in all phabricator reports I
> have seen (I don't read them all, so some decreases might have occurred
> occasionally, but the trend is there)
> * feature development is prioritized over bug fixes (read: once a feature
> goes into maintenance, good luck getting a fix without bribing someone)
> * [snip]
>
> I'm sure there are legitimate reasons for these problems, the question is
> what can be done to improve the situation
>

Also should be on the list: Sometimes bugs have a known fix that isn't
being rolled out, in favour of a larger more fundamental restructuring
(demanding even more resources).
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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

John Erling Blad
> Also should be on the list: Sometimes bugs have a known fix that isn't
> being rolled out, in favour of a larger more fundamental restructuring
> (demanding even more resources).

Yes, I've seen a lot of cookie licking. It makes it hard to solve even
simple bugs.

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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

bawolff
In reply to this post by John Erling Blad
"tracked" does not mean someone is planning to work on it. This could be
for a lot of reasons, maybe the bug is unclear, maybe its not obvious what
a good way to fix is, maybe nobody cares (This sounds harsh, but the simple
truth is, different things have different people caring about them, and
some parts just don't have anyone).

This is not really a paid vs unpaid thing. Volunteer projects have a big
backlog of bugs. Commercial projects also have a backlog or things they
just don't intend to fix (although usually big commercial projects keep the
list of bug reports secret).

I really think its no different from Wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Backlog isn't getting any smaller.
That's just the natural way of things. Its a bit easier to yell {{sofixit}}
on wiki than it is to yell it about technical tasks, as technical stuff by
their very nature require specialized knowledge (Although i would argue
that lots of tasks on wiki also require specialized knowledge). At the end
of the day, to get a task fixed, someone who knows how to do it (Or is
willing to learn how to do it) needs to be interested in doing it.

--
Brian

On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 12:31 PM John Erling Blad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The backlog for bugs are pretty large (that is an understatement),
> even for bugs with know fixes and available patches. Is there any real
> plan to start fixing them? Shall I keep telling the community the bugs
> are "tracked"?
>
> /jeblad
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Strainu
Pe vineri, 8 martie 2019, bawolff <[hidden email]> a scris:

> "tracked" does not mean someone is planning to work on it. This could be
> for a lot of reasons, maybe the bug is unclear, maybe its not obvious what
> a good way to fix is, maybe nobody cares (This sounds harsh, but the simple
> truth is, different things have different people caring about them, and
> some parts just don't have anyone).
>
> This is not really a paid vs unpaid thing. Volunteer projects have a big
> backlog of bugs. Commercial projects also have a backlog or things they
> just don't intend to fix (although usually big commercial projects keep the
> list of bug reports secret).


How many successful commercial projects leave customer issues unresolved
for years because they're working on something else now? I can name a few
which used to do that because they were monopolies, but even those improved
eventually, pressured  by the market. There are companies that require
weekly reports of progress on customer issues, others that don't release
until all bugs are closed one way or another etc.

The discussion at https://lists.gt.net/wiki/wikitech/889489 is relevant, I
believe. The request there was to not decline low-priority issues that
might be resolved by volunteers and this clearly increases the number of
open bugs (as I said, there are good reasons for that :) ). There were a
number of proposals on how to track such issues so that reporters have a
clear image of the status of the bugs. Have any of them been tried by at
least one of the teams at wmf? If so, is there a way to share the results
with other teams? If not, how can we convince the wmf to give them a
chance?

Strainu


> I really think its no different from Wikipedia.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Backlog isn't getting any smaller.
> That's just the natural way of things. Its a bit easier to yell {{sofixit}}
> on wiki than it is to yell it about technical tasks, as technical stuff by
> their very nature require specialized knowledge (Although i would argue
> that lots of tasks on wiki also require specialized knowledge). At the end
> of the day, to get a task fixed, someone who knows how to do it (Or is
> willing to learn how to do it) needs to be interested in doing it.
>
> --
> Brian
>
> On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 12:31 PM John Erling Blad <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > The backlog for bugs are pretty large (that is an understatement),
> > even for bugs with know fixes and available patches. Is there any real
> > plan to start fixing them? Shall I keep telling the community the bugs
> > are "tracked"?
> >
> > /jeblad
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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
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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Dan Garry (Deskana)
On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 at 11:26, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:

> How many successful commercial projects leave customer issues unresolved
> for years because they're working on something else now?
>

Almost all of them, they just keep it secret. Companies pay millions of
dollars each year for support packages, even after having paid for software
in the first place, specifically because otherwise their support issues may
not be answered in a timely fashion, or even answered at all. I don't think
comparing us to commercial products makes much sense in this context.


> There were a
> number of proposals on how to track such issues so that reporters have a
> clear image of the status of the bugs. Have any of them been tried by at
> least one of the teams at wmf? If so, is there a way to share the results
> with other teams? If not, how can we convince the wmf to give them a
> chance?
>

I don't agree with shifting responsibility onto the Wikimedia Foundation.
There's an anti-pattern here: we all have a big mailing list discussion,
agree there's a problem, agree that the Foundation should solve the
problem, then ask again in a year what they did even though they didn't
actually say they'd do anything about it. That's not a healthy dynamic.

The technical space is owned by all of us, so if we, as a technical
community, decide this is important to us, then we can look at the problem
and try to tackle it, and then figure out how the Wikimedia Foundation
could catalyse that.

Dan
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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Pine W
This discussion touches on a number of my frustrations. If someone is in a
bad mood then they might want to postpone reading my comments below.

As far as I know, WMF wants to advertise itself as being a provider of
infrastructure for fundraising purposes, and wants to exercise absolute
power over technical matters (see, for example, Superprotect). I think that
it would be difficult to reconcile these factors with an attempt by WMF to
disclaim responsibility for deficiencies in the technical infrastructure
that WMF created and remains in use on Wikimedia sites. (I think that this
does not generally extend to bots, tools, etc. that were not primarily
created by WMF.)

Regarding "There's an anti-pattern here: we all have a big mailing list
discussion,
agree there's a problem, agree that the Foundation should solve the
problem, then ask again in a year what they did even though they didn't
actually say they'd do anything about it. That's not a healthy dynamic.":
if WMF doesn't say that it will fix a widely known problem, that is not
necessarily an excuse for not fixing it by a year later, and may also
indicate a failure by WMF to clearly communicate what it *won't* fix.

It's true that for profit companies can sometimes ignore important bugs and
have poor customer service, but when a provider is not a monopoly then
customers who are unhappy can (with varying amounts of expense and pain)
change providers.

Other organizations being sloppy does not imply that WMF should follow
their bad example or make excuses that WMF is probably no worse than others.

I don't agree that the technical space is owned by all of us. WMF never
apologized for Superprotect, and there is nothing to stop WMF from making
arbitrary decisions against community consensus other than the threats of
(1) community members quitting in substantial numbers and (2) bad press
coverage. Also, WMF's technical services are one of the primary
justifications for WMF's budget.

I believe that WMF does a lot of good for the world, but it also has a lot
of room for improvement, and hearing excuses (or getting no substantive
responses) regarding the same problems year after year gets old,
particularly as WMF's payroll continues to grow.

These subjects are frustrating and depressing for me, so let me close on a
more positive note. I am glad that we have these discussions in public, and
the strategy process may be a way to make progress. Also, I think that WMF
has improved the infrastructure over the years. For example, I like the New
Wikitext Editor, and I think that VisualEditor is now a good option for
many use cases. Citoid is wonderful. Wikimedia sites generally seem to be
more performant than in years past. The Search Platform team seems to do a
lot of good work. I like the new edit filters in the watchlist.

So, much good has been done, and there remains much to improve.

Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )


On Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 4:13 AM Dan Garry (Deskana) <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 at 11:26, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > How many successful commercial projects leave customer issues unresolved
> > for years because they're working on something else now?
> >
>
> Almost all of them, they just keep it secret. Companies pay millions of
> dollars each year for support packages, even after having paid for software
> in the first place, specifically because otherwise their support issues may
> not be answered in a timely fashion, or even answered at all. I don't think
> comparing us to commercial products makes much sense in this context.
>
>
> > There were a
> > number of proposals on how to track such issues so that reporters have a
> > clear image of the status of the bugs. Have any of them been tried by at
> > least one of the teams at wmf? If so, is there a way to share the results
> > with other teams? If not, how can we convince the wmf to give them a
> > chance?
> >
>
> I don't agree with shifting responsibility onto the Wikimedia Foundation.
> There's an anti-pattern here: we all have a big mailing list discussion,
> agree there's a problem, agree that the Foundation should solve the
> problem, then ask again in a year what they did even though they didn't
> actually say they'd do anything about it. That's not a healthy dynamic.
>
> The technical space is owned by all of us, so if we, as a technical
> community, decide this is important to us, then we can look at the problem
> and try to tackle it, and then figure out how the Wikimedia Foundation
> could catalyse that.
>
> Dan
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Strainu
In reply to this post by Dan Garry (Deskana)
Dan,

Thank you for your response. I appreciate far more someone disagreeing with
me than someone ignoring me :)

Let me start with a simple question, to put the references to wmf into
context. You keep talking below about volunteer developers and how they can
take over any project. While that's true, how many fully-volunteer teams
are there?  How does that number compare to the number of wmf teams? Am I
right to assume the ratio is hugely in favor of wmf teams?  Note: teams,
not developers, since decisions on project management are usually done at
team level.

Pe sâmbătă, 9 martie 2019, Dan Garry (Deskana) <[hidden email]> a scris:

> On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 at 11:26, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > How many successful commercial projects leave customer issues unresolved
> > for years because they're working on something else now?
> >
>
> Almost all of them, they just keep it secret. Companies pay millions of
> dollars each year for support packages, even after having paid for software
> in the first place, specifically because otherwise their support issues may
> not be answered in a timely fashion, or even answered at all. I don't think
> comparing us to commercial products makes much sense in this context.


In my experience in b2b contracts they don't keep it a secret, they usually
have SLAs they respect, but ok, let's leave it at that.


> > There were a
> > number of proposals on how to track such issues so that reporters have a
> > clear image of the status of the bugs. Have any of them been tried by at
> > least one of the teams at wmf? If so, is there a way to share the results
> > with other teams? If not, how can we convince the wmf to give them a
> > chance?
> >
>
> I don't agree with shifting responsibility onto the Wikimedia Foundation.


Responsibility for what? Developing and hosting  MediaWiki? Helping
communities concentrate on creating and attracting content without having
to work around bugs? I'm sorry, but that's precisely one of the
responsibilities of the wmf and this is what's discussed here.



> There's an anti-pattern here: we all have a big mailing list discussion,
> agree there's a problem, agree that the Foundation should solve the
> problem, then ask again in a year what they did even though they didn't
> actually say they'd do anything about it. That's not a healthy dynamic.


This is one thing that we agree on: nobody committed on anything. Ever.
That's why I asked above: what does it take to have someone (anyone) at the
WMF act upon these discussions?

My role in the Wikimedia tech community is tech ambassador above all else,
so I'm caught in the middle here: I have to explain new features and
technical decisions to people who don't care about php, js or server
performance , but I also feel obligated to relay their requirements, as I
see them, to the development team. This second process does not happen as
smoothly as it should.

It's not healthy to ignore discussion after discussion and claim it's a
community issue. It's not. It's a governance issue and it's growing every
day.




>
> The technical space is owned by all of us, so if we, as a technical
> community, decide this is important to us, then we can look at the problem
> and try to tackle it, and then figure out how the Wikimedia Foundation
> could catalyse that.


The projects belong to the community at large, not just the technical
subcommunity. They are the ones affected by the  bugs and also they are the
ones that need our support. So why should they be ignored in taking this
decision?

My proposal is to begin the discussion here: how can we better relay issues
that are more important to communities than new features? How can we have a
"community whishlist for bugs"?

Cheers and a great weekend to everyone,
  Strainu



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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Dan Garry (Deskana)
Strainu,

I, too, am glad for the discussion!

On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 at 22:31, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Let me start with a simple question, to put the references to wmf into
> context. You keep talking below about volunteer developers and how they can
> take over any project.


I'm confused by this. I didn't mention volunteer teams taking over projects
at all, and I don't think that'd work except in very rare and limited
circumstances. I was talking about people helping with bug triage on
Phabricator.


> While that's true, how many fully-volunteer teams
> are there?  How does that number compare to the number of wmf teams? Am I
> right to assume the ratio is hugely in favor of wmf teams?  Note: teams,
> not developers, since decisions on project management are usually done at
> team level.
>

See above; this wasn't what I meant.


> In my experience in b2b contracts they don't keep it a secret, they usually
> have SLAs they respect, but ok, let's leave it at that.
>

Yes, I have more to say about this, but this would be tangential to this
discussion. :-)


> Responsibility for what? Developing and hosting  MediaWiki? Helping
> communities concentrate on creating and attracting content without having
> to work around bugs? I'm sorry, but that's precisely one of the
> responsibilities of the wmf and this is what's discussed here.
>

Well, in your earlier emails in this thread, you mentioned the bug backlog
steadily increasing, so that was what I was talking about. Is that not what
you were talking about in your subsequent emails?


> This is one thing that we agree on: nobody committed on anything. Ever.
> That's why I asked above: what does it take to have someone (anyone) at the
> WMF act upon these discussions?
>
> My role in the Wikimedia tech community is tech ambassador above all else,
> so I'm caught in the middle here: I have to explain new features and
> technical decisions to people who don't care about php, js or server
> performance , but I also feel obligated to relay their requirements, as I
> see them, to the development team. This second process does not happen as
> smoothly as it should.
>
> It's not healthy to ignore discussion after discussion and claim it's a
> community issue. It's not. It's a governance issue and it's growing every
> day.
>

I agree. It's not a community issue, it's a movement-wide one. I don't know
how to solve it.


> The projects belong to the community at large, not just the technical
> subcommunity. They are the ones affected by the  bugs and also they are the
> ones that need our support. So why should they be ignored in taking this
> decision?
>

I'm confused by this too. I wasn't talking about ownership of the Wikimedia
projects, I was again talking about the bug backlog, which anyone is
welcome to get involved in simply by registering an account.


> My proposal is to begin the discussion here: how can we better relay issues
> that are more important to communities than new features? How can we have a
> "community whishlist for bugs"?
>

The community wishlist explicitly accepts requests to fix bugs, as well
requests for new features. So, is what you're asking for some process to
supplement that?

Dan
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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

bawolff
In reply to this post by Strainu
Regarding:
>My proposal is to begin the discussion here: how can we better relay issues
>that are more important to communities than new features? How can we have a
>"community whishlist for bugs"?

Well fundamentally it starts with making a list.

This is basically a lobbying discussion right. People think WMF should do
more of X. Lobbying discussions are more successful the more specific they
are. Having a list of the top 20 worse bugs is something you could convince
people to do something about. Even something like /WMF spends too much time
on new features and not enough time on maintenance/bug fixing/, is
something you could convince people to change, if you for example knew how
much time WMF currently spends on bug fixing, and you have an idea of how
much time you think they should be spending. Even if management doesn't
agree with your proposal, it would at least be specific enough to debate.

When these discussions start from vague places, like there's too many bugs,
is when they go nowhere. Even if WMF stopped everything else it was doing,
and worked solely on bugs, I doubt they would fix every bug in existence.
(We can't all be TeX!), and attempting to do that would be a bad idea.

Change happens when stuff is measurable, and people can work towards a
goal. Failing that, change happens when people can be held accountable.
Objective measures are needed.

--
Brian


On Sat, Mar 9, 2019 at 10:31 PM Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dan,
>
> Thank you for your response. I appreciate far more someone disagreeing with
> me than someone ignoring me :)
>
> Let me start with a simple question, to put the references to wmf into
> context. You keep talking below about volunteer developers and how they can
> take over any project. While that's true, how many fully-volunteer teams
> are there?  How does that number compare to the number of wmf teams? Am I
> right to assume the ratio is hugely in favor of wmf teams?  Note: teams,
> not developers, since decisions on project management are usually done at
> team level.
>
> Pe sâmbătă, 9 martie 2019, Dan Garry (Deskana) <[hidden email]> a
> scris:
>
> > On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 at 11:26, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > How many successful commercial projects leave customer issues
> unresolved
> > > for years because they're working on something else now?
> > >
> >
> > Almost all of them, they just keep it secret. Companies pay millions of
> > dollars each year for support packages, even after having paid for
> software
> > in the first place, specifically because otherwise their support issues
> may
> > not be answered in a timely fashion, or even answered at all. I don't
> think
> > comparing us to commercial products makes much sense in this context.
>
>
> In my experience in b2b contracts they don't keep it a secret, they usually
> have SLAs they respect, but ok, let's leave it at that.
>
>
> > > There were a
> > > number of proposals on how to track such issues so that reporters have
> a
> > > clear image of the status of the bugs. Have any of them been tried by
> at
> > > least one of the teams at wmf? If so, is there a way to share the
> results
> > > with other teams? If not, how can we convince the wmf to give them a
> > > chance?
> > >
> >
> > I don't agree with shifting responsibility onto the Wikimedia Foundation.
>
>
> Responsibility for what? Developing and hosting  MediaWiki? Helping
> communities concentrate on creating and attracting content without having
> to work around bugs? I'm sorry, but that's precisely one of the
> responsibilities of the wmf and this is what's discussed here.
>
>
>
> > There's an anti-pattern here: we all have a big mailing list discussion,
> > agree there's a problem, agree that the Foundation should solve the
> > problem, then ask again in a year what they did even though they didn't
> > actually say they'd do anything about it. That's not a healthy dynamic.
>
>
> This is one thing that we agree on: nobody committed on anything. Ever.
> That's why I asked above: what does it take to have someone (anyone) at the
> WMF act upon these discussions?
>
> My role in the Wikimedia tech community is tech ambassador above all else,
> so I'm caught in the middle here: I have to explain new features and
> technical decisions to people who don't care about php, js or server
> performance , but I also feel obligated to relay their requirements, as I
> see them, to the development team. This second process does not happen as
> smoothly as it should.
>
> It's not healthy to ignore discussion after discussion and claim it's a
> community issue. It's not. It's a governance issue and it's growing every
> day.
>
>
>
>
> >
> > The technical space is owned by all of us, so if we, as a technical
> > community, decide this is important to us, then we can look at the
> problem
> > and try to tackle it, and then figure out how the Wikimedia Foundation
> > could catalyse that.
>
>
> The projects belong to the community at large, not just the technical
> subcommunity. They are the ones affected by the  bugs and also they are the
> ones that need our support. So why should they be ignored in taking this
> decision?
>
> My proposal is to begin the discussion here: how can we better relay issues
> that are more important to communities than new features? How can we have a
> "community whishlist for bugs"?
>
> Cheers and a great weekend to everyone,
>   Strainu
>
>
>
> > Dan
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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
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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Victoria Coleman-2
Also, the Tech team at the Foundation is investing in Technical Engagement team who I hope will be (amongst other things) become advocates for the tech debt that affects our communities.

Best regards,

Victoria

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 9, 2019, at 6:28 PM, bawolff <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Regarding:
>> My proposal is to begin the discussion here: how can we better relay issues
>> that are more important to communities than new features? How can we have a
>> "community whishlist for bugs"?
>
> Well fundamentally it starts with making a list.
>
> This is basically a lobbying discussion right. People think WMF should do
> more of X. Lobbying discussions are more successful the more specific they
> are. Having a list of the top 20 worse bugs is something you could convince
> people to do something about. Even something like /WMF spends too much time
> on new features and not enough time on maintenance/bug fixing/, is
> something you could convince people to change, if you for example knew how
> much time WMF currently spends on bug fixing, and you have an idea of how
> much time you think they should be spending. Even if management doesn't
> agree with your proposal, it would at least be specific enough to debate.
>
> When these discussions start from vague places, like there's too many bugs,
> is when they go nowhere. Even if WMF stopped everything else it was doing,
> and worked solely on bugs, I doubt they would fix every bug in existence.
> (We can't all be TeX!), and attempting to do that would be a bad idea.
>
> Change happens when stuff is measurable, and people can work towards a
> goal. Failing that, change happens when people can be held accountable.
> Objective measures are needed.
>
> --
> Brian
>
>
>> On Sat, Mar 9, 2019 at 10:31 PM Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Dan,
>>
>> Thank you for your response. I appreciate far more someone disagreeing with
>> me than someone ignoring me :)
>>
>> Let me start with a simple question, to put the references to wmf into
>> context. You keep talking below about volunteer developers and how they can
>> take over any project. While that's true, how many fully-volunteer teams
>> are there?  How does that number compare to the number of wmf teams? Am I
>> right to assume the ratio is hugely in favor of wmf teams?  Note: teams,
>> not developers, since decisions on project management are usually done at
>> team level.
>>
>> Pe sâmbătă, 9 martie 2019, Dan Garry (Deskana) <[hidden email]> a
>> scris:
>>
>>>> On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 at 11:26, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> How many successful commercial projects leave customer iss


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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Victoria Coleman-2
Re reading this now on the ground in Austin, reminds me not to send emails in a hurry from an airplane! So trying again - hopefully more grammatically sound this time!

The Tech Engagement team (which includes Wikimedia Cloud Services) in the Tech department is investing in a developer advocacy team who I hope will (amongst other things) speak on behalf of the communities that are affected by tech debt.

All the best,

Victoria

> On Mar 9, 2019, at 6:39 PM, Victoria Coleman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Also, the Tech team at the Foundation is investing in Technical Engagement team who I hope will be (amongst other things) become advocates for the tech debt that affects our communities.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Victoria
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Mar 9, 2019, at 6:28 PM, bawolff <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Regarding:
>>> My proposal is to begin the discussion here: how can we better relay issues
>>> that are more important to communities than new features? How can we have a
>>> "community whishlist for bugs"?
>>
>> Well fundamentally it starts with making a list.
>>
>> This is basically a lobbying discussion right. People think WMF should do
>> more of X. Lobbying discussions are more successful the more specific they
>> are. Having a list of the top 20 worse bugs is something you could convince
>> people to do something about. Even something like /WMF spends too much time
>> on new features and not enough time on maintenance/bug fixing/, is
>> something you could convince people to change, if you for example knew how
>> much time WMF currently spends on bug fixing, and you have an idea of how
>> much time you think they should be spending. Even if management doesn't
>> agree with your proposal, it would at least be specific enough to debate.
>>
>> When these discussions start from vague places, like there's too many bugs,
>> is when they go nowhere. Even if WMF stopped everything else it was doing,
>> and worked solely on bugs, I doubt they would fix every bug in existence.
>> (We can't all be TeX!), and attempting to do that would be a bad idea.
>>
>> Change happens when stuff is measurable, and people can work towards a
>> goal. Failing that, change happens when people can be held accountable.
>> Objective measures are needed.
>>
>> --
>> Brian
>>
>>
>>> On Sat, Mar 9, 2019 at 10:31 PM Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Dan,
>>>
>>> Thank you for your response. I appreciate far more someone disagreeing with
>>> me than someone ignoring me :)
>>>
>>> Let me start with a simple question, to put the references to wmf into
>>> context. You keep talking below about volunteer developers and how they can
>>> take over any project. While that's true, how many fully-volunteer teams
>>> are there?  How does that number compare to the number of wmf teams? Am I
>>> right to assume the ratio is hugely in favor of wmf teams?  Note: teams,
>>> not developers, since decisions on project management are usually done at
>>> team level.
>>>
>>> Pe sâmbătă, 9 martie 2019, Dan Garry (Deskana) <[hidden email]> a
>>> scris:
>>>
>>>>> On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 at 11:26, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> How many successful commercial projects leave customer iss
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l


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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

zppix e
To blame WMF for having a huge backlog is wrong imho. Most development work is done by volunteers, and while I do believe more can be done from both sides but blaming it all on WMF is wrong.

--
Devin “Zppix” CCENT
Volunteer Wikimedia Developer
Africa Wikimedia Developers Member and Mentor
Volunteer Mozilla Support Team Member (SUMO)
Quora.com Partner Program Member
enwp.org/User:Zppix
**Note: I do not work for Wikimedia Foundation, or any of its chapters. I also do not work for Mozilla, or any of its projects. **

> On Mar 9, 2019, at 11:40 PM, Victoria Stavridou-Coleman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Re reading this now on the ground in Austin, reminds me not to send emails in a hurry from an airplane! So trying again - hopefully more grammatically sound this time!
>
> The Tech Engagement team (which includes Wikimedia Cloud Services) in the Tech department is investing in a developer advocacy team who I hope will (amongst other things) speak on behalf of the communities that are affected by tech debt.
>
> All the best,
>
> Victoria
>
>> On Mar 9, 2019, at 6:39 PM, Victoria Coleman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Also, the Tech team at the Foundation is investing in Technical Engagement team who I hope will be (amongst other things) become advocates for the tech debt that affects our communities.
>>
>> Best regards,
>>
>> Victoria
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>>> On Mar 9, 2019, at 6:28 PM, bawolff <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Regarding:
>>>> My proposal is to begin the discussion here: how can we better relay issues
>>>> that are more important to communities than new features? How can we have a
>>>> "community whishlist for bugs"?
>>>
>>> Well fundamentally it starts with making a list.
>>>
>>> This is basically a lobbying discussion right. People think WMF should do
>>> more of X. Lobbying discussions are more successful the more specific they
>>> are. Having a list of the top 20 worse bugs is something you could convince
>>> people to do something about. Even something like /WMF spends too much time
>>> on new features and not enough time on maintenance/bug fixing/, is
>>> something you could convince people to change, if you for example knew how
>>> much time WMF currently spends on bug fixing, and you have an idea of how
>>> much time you think they should be spending. Even if management doesn't
>>> agree with your proposal, it would at least be specific enough to debate.
>>>
>>> When these discussions start from vague places, like there's too many bugs,
>>> is when they go nowhere. Even if WMF stopped everything else it was doing,
>>> and worked solely on bugs, I doubt they would fix every bug in existence.
>>> (We can't all be TeX!), and attempting to do that would be a bad idea.
>>>
>>> Change happens when stuff is measurable, and people can work towards a
>>> goal. Failing that, change happens when people can be held accountable.
>>> Objective measures are needed.
>>>
>>> --
>>> Brian
>>>
>>>
>>>> On Sat, Mar 9, 2019 at 10:31 PM Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Dan,
>>>>
>>>> Thank you for your response. I appreciate far more someone disagreeing with
>>>> me than someone ignoring me :)
>>>>
>>>> Let me start with a simple question, to put the references to wmf into
>>>> context. You keep talking below about volunteer developers and how they can
>>>> take over any project. While that's true, how many fully-volunteer teams
>>>> are there?  How does that number compare to the number of wmf teams? Am I
>>>> right to assume the ratio is hugely in favor of wmf teams?  Note: teams,
>>>> not developers, since decisions on project management are usually done at
>>>> team level.
>>>>
>>>> Pe sâmbătă, 9 martie 2019, Dan Garry (Deskana) <[hidden email]> a
>>>> scris:
>>>>
>>>>>> On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 at 11:26, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> How many successful commercial projects leave customer iss
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> 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
_______________________________________________
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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

David Barratt
>
> Most development work is done by volunteers


According to https://wikimedia.biterg.io/ that does not appear to be the
case.
Or is there some other metric that is more accurate?

On Sun, Mar 10, 2019 at 6:33 PM Zppix <[hidden email]> wrote:

> To blame WMF for having a huge backlog is wrong imho. Most development
> work is done by volunteers, and while I do believe more can be done from
> both sides but blaming it all on WMF is wrong.
>
> --
> Devin “Zppix” CCENT
> Volunteer Wikimedia Developer
> Africa Wikimedia Developers Member and Mentor
> Volunteer Mozilla Support Team Member (SUMO)
> Quora.com Partner Program Member
> enwp.org/User:Zppix
> **Note: I do not work for Wikimedia Foundation, or any of its chapters. I
> also do not work for Mozilla, or any of its projects. **
>
> > On Mar 9, 2019, at 11:40 PM, Victoria Stavridou-Coleman <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Re reading this now on the ground in Austin, reminds me not to send
> emails in a hurry from an airplane! So trying again - hopefully more
> grammatically sound this time!
> >
> > The Tech Engagement team (which includes Wikimedia Cloud Services) in
> the Tech department is investing in a developer advocacy team who I hope
> will (amongst other things) speak on behalf of the communities that are
> affected by tech debt.
> >
> > All the best,
> >
> > Victoria
> >
> >> On Mar 9, 2019, at 6:39 PM, Victoria Coleman <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> Also, the Tech team at the Foundation is investing in Technical
> Engagement team who I hope will be (amongst other things) become advocates
> for the tech debt that affects our communities.
> >>
> >> Best regards,
> >>
> >> Victoria
> >>
> >> Sent from my iPhone
> >>
> >>> On Mar 9, 2019, at 6:28 PM, bawolff <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Regarding:
> >>>> My proposal is to begin the discussion here: how can we better relay
> issues
> >>>> that are more important to communities than new features? How can we
> have a
> >>>> "community whishlist for bugs"?
> >>>
> >>> Well fundamentally it starts with making a list.
> >>>
> >>> This is basically a lobbying discussion right. People think WMF should
> do
> >>> more of X. Lobbying discussions are more successful the more specific
> they
> >>> are. Having a list of the top 20 worse bugs is something you could
> convince
> >>> people to do something about. Even something like /WMF spends too much
> time
> >>> on new features and not enough time on maintenance/bug fixing/, is
> >>> something you could convince people to change, if you for example knew
> how
> >>> much time WMF currently spends on bug fixing, and you have an idea of
> how
> >>> much time you think they should be spending. Even if management doesn't
> >>> agree with your proposal, it would at least be specific enough to
> debate.
> >>>
> >>> When these discussions start from vague places, like there's too many
> bugs,
> >>> is when they go nowhere. Even if WMF stopped everything else it was
> doing,
> >>> and worked solely on bugs, I doubt they would fix every bug in
> existence.
> >>> (We can't all be TeX!), and attempting to do that would be a bad idea.
> >>>
> >>> Change happens when stuff is measurable, and people can work towards a
> >>> goal. Failing that, change happens when people can be held accountable.
> >>> Objective measures are needed.
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Brian
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> On Sat, Mar 9, 2019 at 10:31 PM Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> Dan,
> >>>>
> >>>> Thank you for your response. I appreciate far more someone
> disagreeing with
> >>>> me than someone ignoring me :)
> >>>>
> >>>> Let me start with a simple question, to put the references to wmf into
> >>>> context. You keep talking below about volunteer developers and how
> they can
> >>>> take over any project. While that's true, how many fully-volunteer
> teams
> >>>> are there?  How does that number compare to the number of wmf teams?
> Am I
> >>>> right to assume the ratio is hugely in favor of wmf teams?  Note:
> teams,
> >>>> not developers, since decisions on project management are usually
> done at
> >>>> team level.
> >>>>
> >>>> Pe sâmbătă, 9 martie 2019, Dan Garry (Deskana) <[hidden email]> a
> >>>> scris:
> >>>>
> >>>>>> On Sat, 9 Mar 2019 at 11:26, Strainu <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> How many successful commercial projects leave customer iss
> >>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> 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
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Question to WMF: Backlog on bugs

Bartosz Dziewoński
In reply to this post by Strainu
On 2019-03-09 12:25, Strainu wrote:
> The discussion athttps://lists.gt.net/wiki/wikitech/889489  is relevant, I
> believe. The request there was to not decline low-priority issues that
> might be resolved by volunteers and this clearly increases the number of
> open bugs (as I said, there are good reasons for that :) ). There were a
> number of proposals on how to track such issues so that reporters have a
> clear image of the status of the bugs. Have any of them been tried by at
> least one of the teams at wmf? If so, is there a way to share the results
> with other teams? If not, how can we convince the wmf to give them a
> chance?

In my experience WMF teams usually have a way to distinguish "bugs we're
going to work on soon" and "bugs we're not planning to work on, but we'd
accept patches". This is usually public in Phabricator, but not really
documented.

For example for VisualEditor, if a task is put in the "Freezer" or
"External" columns on the workboard [1], then we're not planning to work
on it. I know other teams use a similar system, but the workboards were
created independently by every group and have various differences.

[1] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/board/483/?hidden=true

--
Bartosz Dziewoński

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