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Tech Talk: Wikimedia Foundation Technology and Product Q&A Session #2

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Tech Talk: Wikimedia Foundation Technology and Product Q&A Session #2

Srishti Sethi
Hello everyone,

Please join us for the Wikimedia Foundation Technology and Product Q&A
Session #2 by Victoria Coleman (CTO) and Toby Negrin (Interim VP of
Product) on May 9, 2017, at 17:00 UTC via YouTube live.

Link to live YouTube stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4kfgU9SZcg

IRC channel for questions/discussion: #wikimedia-office

More details:

This talk is a follow-up of the Wikimedia Developer Summit session
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0JdtauJkKs> and will address the next set
of questions gathered via a voting survey for the summit:


   -

   For WMF dev teams, what is the right balance between pushing own work
   versus seeking and supporting volunteer contributors?



   -

   Do we have a plan to bring our developer documentation to the level of a
   top Internet website, a major free software project?



   -

   How can volunteers bring ideas and influence the WMF annual plans and
   quarterly goals? (Currently, when plans are published it's too late)



   -

   What vision do you see for MediaWiki and volunteer developers five years
   from now?


Looking forward to your presence!

Best,
Srishti

--
Srishti Sethi
Developer Advocate
Technical Collaboration team
Wikimedia Foundation

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:SSethi_(WMF)
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Re: Tech Talk: Wikimedia Foundation Technology and Product Q&A Session #2

Srishti Sethi
REMINDER: This talk starts in 1 hour.

On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 3:54 PM, Srishti Sethi <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
>
> Please join us for the Wikimedia Foundation Technology and Product Q&A
> Session #2 by Victoria Coleman (CTO) and Toby Negrin (Interim VP of
> Product) on May 9, 2017, at 17:00 UTC via YouTube live.
>
> Link to live YouTube stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4kfgU9SZcg
>
> IRC channel for questions/discussion: #wikimedia-office
>
> More details:
>
> This talk is a follow-up of the Wikimedia Developer Summit session
> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0JdtauJkKs> and will address the next
> set of questions gathered via a voting survey for the summit:
>
>
>    -
>
>    For WMF dev teams, what is the right balance between pushing own work
>    versus seeking and supporting volunteer contributors?
>
>
>
>    -
>
>    Do we have a plan to bring our developer documentation to the level of
>    a top Internet website, a major free software project?
>
>
>
>    -
>
>    How can volunteers bring ideas and influence the WMF annual plans and
>    quarterly goals? (Currently, when plans are published it's too late)
>
>
>
>    -
>
>    What vision do you see for MediaWiki and volunteer developers five
>    years from now?
>
>
> Looking forward to your presence!
>
> Best,
> Srishti
>
> --
> Srishti Sethi
> Developer Advocate
> Technical Collaboration team
> Wikimedia Foundation
>
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:SSethi_(WMF)
>



--
Srishti Sethi
Developer Advocate
Technical Collaboration team
Wikimedia Foundation

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:SSethi_(WMF)
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https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Tech Talk: Wikimedia Foundation Technology and Product Q&A Session #2

Srishti Sethi
Thanks everyone for coming! Here is the link to the YouTube video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4kfgU9SZcg

Enjoy!

On Tue, May 9, 2017 at 9:05 AM, Srishti Sethi <[hidden email]> wrote:

> REMINDER: This talk starts in 1 hour.
>
> On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 3:54 PM, Srishti Sethi <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> Hello everyone,
>>
>> Please join us for the Wikimedia Foundation Technology and Product Q&A
>> Session #2 by Victoria Coleman (CTO) and Toby Negrin (Interim VP of
>> Product) on May 9, 2017, at 17:00 UTC via YouTube live.
>>
>> Link to live YouTube stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4kfgU9SZcg
>>
>> IRC channel for questions/discussion: #wikimedia-office
>>
>> More details:
>>
>> This talk is a follow-up of the Wikimedia Developer Summit session
>> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0JdtauJkKs> and will address the next
>> set of questions gathered via a voting survey for the summit:
>>
>>
>>    -
>>
>>    For WMF dev teams, what is the right balance between pushing own work
>>    versus seeking and supporting volunteer contributors?
>>
>>
>>
>>    -
>>
>>    Do we have a plan to bring our developer documentation to the level
>>    of a top Internet website, a major free software project?
>>
>>
>>
>>    -
>>
>>    How can volunteers bring ideas and influence the WMF annual plans and
>>    quarterly goals? (Currently, when plans are published it's too late)
>>
>>
>>
>>    -
>>
>>    What vision do you see for MediaWiki and volunteer developers five
>>    years from now?
>>
>>
>> Looking forward to your presence!
>>
>> Best,
>> Srishti
>>
>> --
>> Srishti Sethi
>> Developer Advocate
>> Technical Collaboration team
>> Wikimedia Foundation
>>
>> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:SSethi_(WMF)
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Srishti Sethi
> Developer Advocate
> Technical Collaboration team
> Wikimedia Foundation
>
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:SSethi_(WMF)
>



--
Srishti Sethi
Developer Advocate
Technical Collaboration team
Wikimedia Foundation

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:SSethi_(WMF)
_______________________________________________
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https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: Tech Talk: Wikimedia Foundation Technology and Product Q&A Session #2

Cindy Cicalese
In reply to this post by Srishti Sethi
During the Q&A yesterday, Victoria mentioned information provided to her by
the MediaWiki Stakeholders' Group and other attendees at EMWCon, the
Enterprise MediaWiki conference held in March 2017. At the conference,
Victoria Coleman asked the attendees for their input on how the third-party
MediaWiki community benefits the Wikimedia Foundation and what support that
community would like from the Foundation. A group of EMWCon attendees
worked together at the EMWCon Create Camp the last day of the conference
and continued their discussion electronically the following week. The
result of these discussions including some recent updates is the write-up
below. The contributors include (listed alphabetically): Cindy Cicalese,
Bernadette Clemente, Bryan Davis, Markus Glaser, Richard Heigl, Mark
Hershberger, Chris Koerner, James Montalvo, Tobias Oetterer, Lex Sulzer,
Gergő Tisza, Daren Welsh, and Brian Wolff. [Please note that James and
Daren participated in this discussion as individuals, not on behalf of
NASA.]



--------------



What is the third-party MediaWiki community, and how does it benefit the
Wikimedia Foundation?



A substantial, growing community of MediaWiki users and developers outside
the Wikimedia movement has evolved, creating wikis that vary in size,
number of editors, number of readers, access restrictions, and activity.
The benefits of this third-party community to the Wikimedia Foundation
include:



- A direct contribution to the Wikimedia mission: One of the many
third-party uses of MediaWiki is to collect and develop free educational
content. The amount of such content produced by non-Wikimedia wikis is
roughly comparable to that of Wikimedia wikis [0]. Wikis like Appropedia or
the Geek Feminism Wiki offer important, if narrow, contributions to the
body of free knowledge. The Wikimedia movement currently does not have the
capacity to provide in-depth content for similar niche topics; and these
projects lack alternatives to MediaWiki without increased costs, lower
quality, or a significantly less open content production model.



- A larger and healthier developer community:

                - More developers: Third-party MediaWiki developers
contribute new features - visualizations, data management, integration with
external data sources and data formats, and more - through core patches and
new extensions [1]. While community health statistics are not yet fully
reliable, preliminary data shows that about half of all Wikimedia git
commits for all repos hosted by Wikimedia come from independent developers
[2]. For MediaWiki core, third-party developers seem to account for a
quarter of the commits and third of the pull requests. Anecdotally, many
experienced MediaWiki developers got involved by starting their own wiki,
and better support for MediaWiki as generic free wiki software would likely
increase the number of such developers. This is especially important as the
current developer community seems to be on an unsustainable course [3].



                - More resources: Enterprise use of MediaWiki provides an
alternative source of funding for MediaWiki development. With the Wikimedia
Foundation hitting fundraising limits despite increasingly aggressive
banner campaigns, this might help prevent funding from becoming a
bottleneck in the growth of MediaWiki.



                - More diversity: Use of MediaWiki outside Wikimedia
projects, especially in enterprise settings, results in the involvement of
professionals with backgrounds atypical to Wikimedia projects and the
Wikimedia Foundation (e.g. knowledge management professionals) which leads
to a greater diversity of backgrounds and expertise in the community.



                - More testing: More eyes make MediaWiki bugs more likely
to be revealed. By exercising the software in different ways with
additional extensions beyond those that the Wikimedia project wikis use,
bugs are discovered that might not otherwise be detected. Some large
organizations using MediaWiki have their own IT departments that perform
information security or accessibility reviews of MediaWiki code that
surface vulnerabilities and other issues. Once found, third-party
developers often contribute patches to address these bugs and issues.



- Increased innovation and editor retention in the Wikimedia editor
community: The wide variety of different third-party use cases present
different perspectives that feed fresh ideas back into the Wikimedia
community for novel approaches to knowledge creation, management, and
delivery as well as new user engagement and retention. Users of third-party
wikis are an untapped resource from which the Wikimedia Foundation can
learn. Observing such users interacting with third-party wikis spurs
innovation to the benefit of the Wikimedia community. Such users also find
it much easier to adapt to the Wikipedia user interface and social norms.
Imagine someone coming to Wikipedia and thinking, “I can edit this. It’s
just like at work.” Users of enterprise wikis often tend to be
subject-matter experts, a highly desirable demographic for Wikipedia.



--------------



What organizations use MediaWiki, and what are third-party wikis used for?



In 2015, the MediaWiki Stakeholders’ Group surveyed third-party users of
MediaWiki [4]. While  the typical respondents to that survey were from
small organizations with 25 or less people, the close to forty attendees of
the recent EMWCon Spring 2017 conference tended to be from much larger
organizations [5]. These included:



- NASA: Seventeen wikis functioning both as historical documents as well as
collaborative workspaces supporting real time International Space Station
operations

- Intellipedia: the go to reference place in the United States intelligence
community with 350 million page views since its inception

- Diplopedia: United States Department of State wiki with 100,000 users

- Statipedia: United States government statistics agency wiki for
scientific and administrative information and glossaries

- Maryland Department of Transportation: an internal policy manual for
12,000 employees and an external resource for engineering and regulation
management modeled after the wikis at the Missouri and Michigan Departments
of Transportation

- MITRE: 80+ unique wikis to support blast injury preventions standards
recommendation, science and technology investment roadmapping, specialized
software tool catalogues, task planning, process workflow, job placement,
malware attribution enumeration and characterization, network operations
best practices, etc.

- VistaPrint: just celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the global
documentation wiki for its 10,000 employees with 8,000 readers, 1,000
active contributors over 30 days, 250,000 articles, and 2.5 million edits

- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Clinic: documentation of a standard set
of terminology and definitions

- Genesys: documentation for software to create and manage call centers

- Columbia University: collaborative research project on historical Tibetan
newspapers

- Large oil and gas companies have not only implemented MediaWiki
internally but work together on a regular basis to discover improvements
based on common business needs

- Organizations using wikis to document business practices of service
redesign in health care

- Non-profits sharing historical information and enabling families to
contribute information about members of Halls of Fame

- Organizations such as the United States Department of Energy, United
States Army Corps of Engineers, Los Alamos National Laboratory, General
Electric, Safran Electrical Power, and University of Paderborn



--------------



What does the third-party MediaWiki community wish for from the Wikimedia
Foundation?



The MediaWiki Stakeholders’ Group maintains a wishlist of MediaWiki
features requested by the third-party community [6]. At EMWCon Spring 2017,
attendees discussed areas in which they would like to work in partnership
with the Wikimedia Foundation to improve MediaWiki and the MediaWiki
software ecosystem. The most important of these issues are:



- Ease of MediaWiki and extension installation, upgrade, maintenance, and
configuration management

- Improved mediawiki.org extension directory increasing findability and
accuracy for users and developers [7]

- Improved MediaWiki user and developer documentation on mediawiki.org
augmented with Wikimedia project and third-party “best practices” -
security, scalability, template management, data backup, wiki farms,
getting end-user contributors, etc.

- Marketing by Wikimedia Foundation or through Wikimedia Foundation
communication channels (e.g. the blog) of MediaWiki as a viable third-party
solution, especially in enterprises, answering such questions as “Why not
SharePoint/Confluence?”

- Regularly scheduled Wikimedia Foundation and third-party developer
community events to demonstrate innovative approaches and best practices in
third-party wikis to the Wikimedia Foundation and third-party developer
communities

- A MediaWiki Roadmap



The third-party MediaWiki community members are dedicated advocates for the
use of MediaWiki. Members of this community seek to grow the collaborative
relationship with the Wikimedia Foundation through grant applications to
the Wikimedia Foundation as well as ongoing discussions to help direct work
on these items inside the Wikimedia Foundation as well as in the
third-party MediaWiki community.



[0] 100M Wikimedia wiki pages and 90M non-Wikimedia wiki pages are tracked
by Wikistats: http://wikistats.wmflabs.org/

[1] A ballpark estimate based on mediawiki.org categories weighted by lines
of code indicates that about 20% of the MediaWiki extensions on gerrit are
used by Wikimedia Foundation. The remaining extensions comprise 1.75M lines
of code: that equates to 400 person-years of effort or $55M with the
standard COCOMO model. The Semantic MediaWiki extension alone is estimated
to have a $1.5M development cost per
https://www.openhub.net/p/smw/estimated_cost.

[2] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Community_metrics#wikimedia.biterg.io

[3] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T160508

[4] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_Usage_Report_2015

[5] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/EMWCon_Spring_2017

[6]
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_Stakeholders%27_Group/Tasks/Feature_wishlist

[7] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T155029 and item #11 on
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Developer_Wishlist/2017/results
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Re: Tech Talk: Wikimedia Foundation Technology and Product Q&A Session #2

Gergo Tisza
Now at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/EMWCon_Spring_2017/Third-party_wikis
to prevent eyeball harm.
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Re: Tech Talk: Wikimedia Foundation Technology and Product Q&A Session #2

Pine W
Thanks Cindy, I found that report to be interesting and useful.

Thank you Srishti, Toby and Victoria for the meeting video.

I agree with Toby about the value of making MediaWiki simpler for site
administrators. I've done two MediaWiki installations, and neither have
gone smoothly. A nice installation experience would be very welcome.
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