Tech News: How to add news items

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Tech News: How to add news items

Johan Jönsson-2
Hey everyone,

This is a reminder about Tech News and how it works. If you know exactly
what it is and how to add items to it, or never have reasons to spread or
help others spread technical news to our communities, you can stop reading

We're big enough to get new folks on a pretty regular basis, so I send this
out to this mailing list maybe once a year or so, which I hope is somewhere
in the right balance between keeping newcomers informed and not spamming

Here is the current draft, which will be sent out to the wikis on Monday:


a) What is Tech News?

Tech News is a newsletter for reaching out with technical updates to the
general Wikimedia editor communities, to make sure they can keep track of
what's happening. It's typically distributed in 14–20 languages, reaching
roughly 100 community pages (Village Pumps etc) in addition to those who
read it on Meta, see it included in the Signpost, get it in their email
inbox, or are among the 740 individual subscribers. Typically, this is how
we tell our editors we are changing or planning to change something, or
explain technical problems we have or have had.

b) How is Tech News written?

Simplification is key. Technical news for non-technical readers. Should be
easy to translate as well as be written with en-1 and en-2 readers in mind.
A couple of sentences per item, then a link to a Phabricator task, wiki
page or email if they need more information. Too long and we put an
unreasonable burden on the translators. This doesn't mean you should avoid
adding things because all of this seems difficult – we'll edit it, if
necessary. It's a wiki, after all.

c) I've done something technical. The communities should know. How do I add

Just add it. This is the best and simplest way. will take you to the
relevant issue. Remember to always link to a relevant Phabricator task,
wiki page or mailing list email.

(You can also add the "user-notice" tag in Phabricator together with a
simple 1–3 sentence explanation of what this is and how it affects editors.
Don't worry about polish; we'll take care of that. Or if you're not sure if
it fits the newsletter – we'll take a look, and if it doesn't, we'll just
remove the tag. Or you can write on
Tech/News – but adding it yourself is the simplest way.)

d) When is it distributed?

Weekly, each Monday afternoon/evening UTC. The deadlines for additions are
several days prior to that to give the translators time to do their work.

/For_contributors#When_is_the_work_done.3F for when to add things to have
them included in the next newsletter.

This is typically earlier than people tend to assume.

e) What is Tech News not?

* A general Wikimedia newsletter. Everything in the Wikimedia world is at
most one step removed from being technical. This doesn't mean Tech News is
the best place. Typical items are new or upcoming features or potential
breaking changes.

* The best way to reach the Wikimedia technical community. If you want to
reach Wikimedia developers, an email to wikitech-l is usually better than
an item in Tech News. Tech News is a way to keep Wikimedia contributors
up-to-date with technical changes.

* A way to talk about all the important things that happen in the
background. They're often awesome and we should talk more about them, but
if they don't affect how contributors interact with the sites, then this is
not the place.

* A place for updates about one wiki. If it's just relevant for English or
German Wikipedia, you should update English or German Wikipedia, not the
entire Wikimedia community. Exceptions to this rule are Commons and
Wikidata, because they're used by so many other Wikimedia wikis.


//Johan Jönsson
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]