WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

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WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

Greg Grossmeier-2
Welcome to the latest edition of the weekly deployment highlights!

The full schedule for next week is at:
https://wikitech.wikimedia.org/wiki/Deployments#Week_of_June_17th

= Monday =

* MediaWiki 1.22wmf7 will go out to all non-Wikipedia project sites (eg:
  Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikibooks, Wikiquote, Wikiversity,
  and a few other sites)


= Tuesday =

* ULS (Universal Language Selector) will be enabled on the following
  wikis:
** Portuguese (pt), Chinese (zh), Vietnamese (vi), Ukrainian (uk),
   Catalan (ca), Waray-Waray (war), Norwegian (BokmÃ¥l) (no), Cebuano
   (ceb), Finnish (fi), Persian (fa)
* On Tuesday VisualEditor team will enable an A/B test, where half of
  new accounts created on English Wikipedia will get VisualEditor
  enabled by default. This is to test performance and features before
  the larger rollout in July.


= Thursday =

* MediaWiki 1.22wmf7 will go out to all Wikipedias
* MediaWiki 1.22wmf8 will go out to test/test2/mediawiki


If you have any questions, please do let me know!

Have a good weekend,

Greg

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Re: WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

MZMcBride-2
Greg Grossmeier wrote:
>* On Tuesday VisualEditor team will enable an A/B test, where half of
>  new accounts created on English Wikipedia will get VisualEditor
>  enabled by default. This is to test performance and features before
>  the larger rollout in July.

As I commented at <https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/49604>, the (apparent)
lack of an easy means of opting out of this experiment and the increased
frequency of severe VisualEditor-related bugs being reported recently both
make it appear that an A/B test of this nature would be premature and
potentially very damaging. Dirty diffs, inadvertent section removals, etc.
are still common when using VisualEditor. Are we really expecting our
newest users to be able to spot and correct these issues?

MZMcBride



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Re: WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

Nicolas Vervelle-4
On Sat, Jun 15, 2013 at 6:09 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Greg Grossmeier wrote:
> >* On Tuesday VisualEditor team will enable an A/B test, where half of
> >  new accounts created on English Wikipedia will get VisualEditor
> >  enabled by default. This is to test performance and features before
> >  the larger rollout in July.
>
> As I commented at <https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/49604>, the (apparent)
> lack of an easy means of opting out of this experiment and the increased
> frequency of severe VisualEditor-related bugs being reported recently both
> make it appear that an A/B test of this nature would be premature and
> potentially very damaging. Dirty diffs, inadvertent section removals, etc.
> are still common when using VisualEditor. Are we really expecting our
> newest users to be able to spot and correct these issues?
>
>
I'm also quite surprised to see that VisualEditor could be activated by
default for some new accounts.

I tried again VisualEditor on frwiki, and I don't see how it could be
effectively used by new users :
* VE is still very limited : for example, not being able to edit template
is clearly a big limitation. How a new user will react when he tries to
edit an article for a first time and see many parts that he can't edit ?
* VE is still doing dodgy things in some situations : how a new user can
deal with modifications done by VE without his knowledge ?

Currently, I think that VE should only be activated voluntarily, so that
people know what they are doing, are prepared to fix incorrect
modifications made by VE, and can easily work outside of VE to overcome its
current limitations.
I think that new users would quickly get a bad first impression if using VE.

For me, VE is currently a good start for a more user friendly editor, but
as it still lacks a few important features and still has a few bugs, it
should stay in opt-in mode and clearly not in opt-out mode.

Nico
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Re: WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

Neil Harris
On 15/06/13 08:09, Nicolas Vervelle wrote:

> On Sat, Jun 15, 2013 at 6:09 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Greg Grossmeier wrote:
>>> * On Tuesday VisualEditor team will enable an A/B test, where half of
>>>   new accounts created on English Wikipedia will get VisualEditor
>>>   enabled by default. This is to test performance and features before
>>>   the larger rollout in July.
>> As I commented at <https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/49604>, the (apparent)
>> lack of an easy means of opting out of this experiment and the increased
>> frequency of severe VisualEditor-related bugs being reported recently both
>> make it appear that an A/B test of this nature would be premature and
>> potentially very damaging. Dirty diffs, inadvertent section removals, etc.
>> are still common when using VisualEditor. Are we really expecting our
>> newest users to be able to spot and correct these issues?
>>
>>
> I'm also quite surprised to see that VisualEditor could be activated by
> default for some new accounts.
>
> I tried again VisualEditor on frwiki, and I don't see how it could be
> effectively used by new users :
> * VE is still very limited : for example, not being able to edit template
> is clearly a big limitation. How a new user will react when he tries to
> edit an article for a first time and see many parts that he can't edit ?
> * VE is still doing dodgy things in some situations : how a new user can
> deal with modifications done by VE without his knowledge ?
>
> Currently, I think that VE should only be activated voluntarily, so that
> people know what they are doing, are prepared to fix incorrect
> modifications made by VE, and can easily work outside of VE to overcome its
> current limitations.
> I think that new users would quickly get a bad first impression if using VE.
>
> For me, VE is currently a good start for a more user friendly editor, but
> as it still lacks a few important features and still has a few bugs, it
> should stay in opt-in mode and clearly not in opt-out mode.
>
> Nico

I agree completely.

VisualEditor is a great project with lots of potential, and it's been
greatly improved in the last few weeks, but I think it's many months
away from being ready to be turned on by default.

Neil



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Re: WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

Federico Leva (Nemo)
I disagree with the last three messages: the visual editor is bound to
be painful when enabled; if the team has established that they're in a
stage where they are done with the knowns in some areas but need more
testing on the field (and feedback) to discover more, they must be
allowed to, otherwise they'll surely lose time, not working on important
issues they couldn't predict.
        I'm not able to make such an assessment, but I read today a discussion
on it.wiki where it was noted how only 132 edits were made with the
visual editor. It's impossible, for the community (or anyone) on any
given wiki, to gain any confidence in the tool as long as its usage is
at such negligible levels.
        VE is useless for power users, so we can only try with newbies. I don't
know if new accounts are the best choice, maybe it should be triggered
only after the 10th edit (we know at this point the survival rate is
much better); but this can be changed any time, I guess.

Nemo

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Re: WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

MZMcBride-2
Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:
>I disagree with the last three messages: the visual editor is bound to
>be painful when enabled; if the team has established that they're in a
>stage where they are done with the knowns in some areas but need more
>testing on the field (and feedback) to discover more, they must be
>allowed to, otherwise they'll surely lose time, not working on important
>issues they couldn't predict.

You seem to be mis-reading. :-)  The issue isn't a dearth of known issues
in VisualEditor, it's the opposite: there are a lot of known issues in
VisualEditor that will easily trip up new editors.

I agree with you that once VisualEditor is in a place where there are
fewer known issues, further testing and trialling will certainly elicit
useful bug reports and actionable items.

However, just as an example, currently templates such as {{lowercase
title}} are trivial to destroy, as they have no output in VisualEditor, so
an extra press of the deletion key can easily remove them.

In addition, Parsoid has issues with template parameter and HTML attribute
normalization, sometimes resulting in dirty diffs. And there are
occasionally spurious <nowiki> tags inserted into the edit area.

> VE is useless for power users, so we can only try with newbies. I don't
> know if new accounts are the best choice, maybe it should be triggered
> only after the 10th edit (we know at this point the survival rate is
> much better); but this can be changed any time, I guess.

I wouldn't characterize VisualEditor as useless for power users. I've used
it occasionally and I imagine it'll become more popular in time. Have you
tried VisualEditor?

Can you explain how to set a user preference based on the number of edits
a new user has? Has the VisualEditor team set up a script to roll back
(i.e., undo) this change to the user preferences of new users if this
experiment doesn't work well? Personally, I think it would be a little
crazy to press forward with this experiment on June 19 as planned.

MZMcBride



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Re: WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

Derric Atzrott
>Can you explain how to set a user preference based on the number of edits
>a new user has? Has the VisualEditor team set up a script to roll back
> (i.e., undo) this change to the user preferences of new users if this
>experiment doesn't work well? Personally, I think it would be a little
>crazy to press forward with this experiment on June 19 as planned.

Based on what I have seen the few times I have fooled around in Visual Editor
(not sure if I actually saved any edits or just said screw this and went with
the regular editor), I also think that this is a bit premature.

If we need additional feedback, rather than automatically enabling it for half
of the new editors, or even half of the new editors with X number of edits, we
could provide a notice to new editors with X number of edits that asks them if
they would like to try Visual Editor.  We could provide a notice at the top of
Visual Editor to allow them to easily change the preference back as well.

While this doesn't solve the template issue (and the clean-up that will
inevitable come of that), it might work as a solution to the getting new users
to test VE issue.

Thank you,
Derric Atzrott


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Re: WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
The fact that there are known issues doesn't mean that finding new,
unknown issues will slow down the work on the known; it's up to the team
to decide what sort and what amount of feedback they'll be able/need to
process (and to adjust if they were wrong).

Gradually enabling a feature is not an "experiment" on some poor
victims, it's a normal development strategy (as opposed to sudden
revolutions/waterfalls on the wikis). I still don't see any indication
of why it should raise the end net harm of the VE development on the wikis.

I don't know how to enable the preference at some point of users'
lifecycle; probably, in the same way you do it for half new users. A
hook I assume, it was mentioned in some Echo and enotif bugs.

Nemo

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Re: WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

Nicolas Vervelle-4
Hi,

The interest of the VE team is not the only one to take into account I
think...
The impact on the new wikipedia editors should be a more important
parameter in my opinion.

I tried VE a few times, and clearly think it's not yet in a situation where
it could be rolled out to unexperienced users :
* VE is still very limited in what you can do with it (no templates, no
references, ...). What will be the reaction of a new user when he sees that
he can't edit some parts of the article ?
* VE is still quite buggy (adding nowiki tags, deleting references,
modifying templates, ...). While it's not a problem with users that
opted-in for testing, it's quite different for users that don't even know
what VE is.
* Beta testers made a few suggestions for enhancements that would be quite
helpful for editors (like being able to choose between VE and wikitext when
editing a given section and not globally, ...)

Why do you want to rush a forced test on new users when VE is not yet a
stable, fully functional product ?

You mentionned the low number of edits with VE currently.
I think it's low because of the problems mentionned above, not because of a
lack of testers. I saw several users do like me: try it, see that many
editions can't be made or end up with side effects, report the problems,
and use again the wikitext waiting for the problems to be solved in a next
version. I do believe than once VE is stable and has more features, people
will start to use it more widely.

Has there been any analysis done to foresee the impact on new users that
would have VE enabled by default ?
Like taking a few hours or a day of modifications on enwiki, keeping only
the modifications made by users registered in the last few days, and try to
do the exact same modification with VE :
* What percentage of modifications could be achieved with the current set
of features available in VE ?
* What percentage of modifications would have been done without undesired
side effects ?
That would give an idea on how many new users would run into problems with
VE (for me, they are very low, but I'm not a new user).
With the current version of VE, I believe both those percentages will be
low, implying many new users will have problems.

Nico


On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 12:12 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo)
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> The fact that there are known issues doesn't mean that finding new,
> unknown issues will slow down the work on the known; it's up to the team to
> decide what sort and what amount of feedback they'll be able/need to
> process (and to adjust if they were wrong).
>
> Gradually enabling a feature is not an "experiment" on some poor victims,
> it's a normal development strategy (as opposed to sudden
> revolutions/waterfalls on the wikis). I still don't see any indication of
> why it should raise the end net harm of the VE development on the wikis.
>
> I don't know how to enable the preference at some point of users'
> lifecycle; probably, in the same way you do it for half new users. A hook I
> assume, it was mentioned in some Echo and enotif bugs.
>
> Nemo
>
>
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Re: WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

Federico Leva (Nemo)
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Re: WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

Steven Walling
In reply to this post by Nicolas Vervelle-4
On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 5:42 PM, Nicolas Vervelle <[hidden email]>wrote:

> I tried VE a few times, and clearly think it's not yet in a situation where
> it could be rolled out to unexperienced users :
> * VE is still very limited in what you can do with it (no templates, no
> references, ...). What will be the reaction of a new user when he sees that
> he can't edit some parts of the article ?
>

I would always double check the latest version before we talk about VE's
limitations -- the feature set is evolving pretty rapidly right now, to the
credit of the team. For instance, VE now supports adding and editing
references and templates. (This weekend on English Wikipedia, I was able to
pretty smoothly add navigation box templates and page protection templates
to articles.)
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Re: WMF Deployment Highlights - Week of June 17th

Nicolas Vervelle-4
On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 10:49 PM, Steven Walling
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 5:42 PM, Nicolas Vervelle <[hidden email]
> >wrote:
>
> > I tried VE a few times, and clearly think it's not yet in a situation
> where
> > it could be rolled out to unexperienced users :
> > * VE is still very limited in what you can do with it (no templates, no
> > references, ...). What will be the reaction of a new user when he sees
> that
> > he can't edit some parts of the article ?
> >
>
> I would always double check the latest version before we talk about VE's
> limitations -- the feature set is evolving pretty rapidly right now, to the
> credit of the team. For instance, VE now supports adding and editing
> references and templates. (This weekend on English Wikipedia, I was able to
> pretty smoothly add navigation box templates and page protection templates
> to articles.)


My mail is more than a week old, those features have been activated since
then, they weren't available when I sent the mail...
But I still think that VE is far from being stable, tested and enhanced
enough to be set as the default editor for new contributors.
The activity on the various feedback pages is a good indicator that it's
not yet ready for being the default editor.

Nico
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