[Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

Federico Leva (Nemo)
Thomas Morton, 25/07/2012 22:04:
> We also need to be understanding of the "99%" - the ones who just want to
> read.
>
> Our interface should suit the reader - with a prominent prompt to edit.
> Which once clicked opens things up into the world of editing Wikipedia.
>
> But if you don't click that prompt then you don't get useless fluff to
> distract you.

What exactly is the fluff?
Even the most hidden toolbox links are crucial for reading articles and
understanding them, for instance WhatLinksHere.
I'm more interested in things which try to get some of that "clutter" to
be understood by and useful for readers, like the "last modified"
experiment to increase history browsing (despite all the problems, of
course).

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

Kim Bruning
In reply to this post by Thomas Morton
On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 09:04:46PM +0100, Thomas Morton wrote:
>
> This all ties back to my view that we don't think of the average reader
> enough :)


What do we want the "average reader" to do? Who do we want them to be.
Do we want them to be an encyclopedia reader, a wiki editor,
or ... something in between?

A novel thought that!

I think that every person who comes to take something away, also
has something to bring back in.

Actually, that's pretty much certain, sooner or later.

An encyclopedia is a starting point for research. Once you're even
just halfway researching your topic, you probably know more than the
encyclopedia does.

This is how I sometimes contributed to wikipedia early on. [1]

Rather than giving up and calling people "the average reader", can
we think about how we can get them to give something back?

Sure, we probably can't get 100% of readers to give something back, but we
can definitely do better than the meager fraction-of-1% we have now.

Our policies/procedures/work-patterns have swung a little too far
encyclopedia-ward. We need to get the pendulum swinging back
wiki-ward for a while.

sincerely,
        Kim Bruning


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Lost_functionalities#Using_wikipedia_as_an_.28anonymous.29_research_tool



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

Kim Bruning
In reply to this post by Svip
On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 09:48:50PM +0200, Svip wrote:
> Oh and here is a fun fact I have discovered over the years; reading
> large texts of a serif typeface is a lot easier than a sans-serif
> typeface.


See, I'm *not* crazy to think that! <phew>

That's why I still use the classic skin, it's the only skin that
has serif fonts for body text. :-/

sincerely,
        Kim Bruning

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

Mike DuPont
In reply to this post by Michel Vuijlsteke-2
On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 5:37 PM, Michel Vuijlsteke <[hidden email]>wrote:

> And we may want to consider if it is really _everyone_ we want
> > to edit our articles.
> I don't believe you actually said this.
>

I would say this is a theme that I have seen on the wikipedia. People dont
have time to take new editors by the hand, for example 12 year old kids who
write articles about themselves are deleted instead of being nicely told to
turn the page into their user page for example, the list goes on and on.
mike

--
James Michael DuPont
Member of Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova http://flossk.org
<http://flossk.org>Saving wikipedia(tm) articles from deletion
http://SpeedyDeletion.wikia.com
Contributor FOSM, the CC-BY-SA map of the world http://fosm.org
Mozilla Rep https://reps.mozilla.org/u/h4ck3rm1k3
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

Michel Vuijlsteke-2
In reply to this post by Kim Bruning
On 26 July 2012 02:57, Kim Bruning <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 09:48:50PM +0200, Svip wrote:
> > Oh and here is a fun fact I have discovered over the years; reading
> > large texts of a serif typeface is a lot easier than a sans-serif
> > typeface.
>
>
> See, I'm *not* crazy to think that! <phew>
>
> That's why I still use the classic skin, it's the only skin that
> has serif fonts for body text. :-/
>
>
Serif vs. sans for legiblity: the jury's still out. It's been a contentious
question for ages (see
http://alexpoole.info/blog/which-are-more-legible-serif-or-sans-serif-typefaces/
for
a discussion, with plenty of sources, in 2008).

The one thing we know for sure is that as displays get better and better,
we'll be able to approach paper typography better and better.

Incindentally, you can safely switch to Vector and edit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Yourusername/vector.css to contain
something like

#bodyContent { font-family: Georgia, serif; }

(Change "Georgia" to your favourite serif font or leave it out to have the
browser choose a default).

Michel
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Andreas Kolbe-2
On 07/25/12 12:48 PM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
>
> So there were how many years of faffing about before they hired *one guy*
> for this project? This is an organisation with a $20m annual budget, now
> acquiring umpteen paid chapter officials.
>
The "paid chapter officials" are employees of the chapters themselves.
The best way to bring hostility against your own pet projects is by
being hostile towards the projects of others. What makes one project
more deserving than another.

Ray


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

Andreas Kolbe-2
On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 7:42 AM, Ray Saintonge <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 07/25/12 12:48 PM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
>
>>
>> So there were how many years of faffing about before they hired *one guy*
>> for this project? This is an organisation with a $20m annual budget, now
>> acquiring umpteen paid chapter officials.
>>
>>  The "paid chapter officials" are employees of the chapters themselves.



The money comes from the same pot, as you know. The chapters are funded
from the same donations as the Foundation.



> The best way to bring hostility against your own pet projects is by being
> hostile towards the projects of others. What makes one project more
> deserving than another.



Simplistically, chapters are marketing, while programmers and designers are
product development. Marketing is important, but not more so than product
development. To be fair, the Foundation is hiring product development
staff, and it's not a choice of either/or.

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Job_openings
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

Birgitte_sb




On Jul 26, 2012, at 5:33 AM, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 7:42 AM, Ray Saintonge <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 07/25/12 12:48 PM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> So there were how many years of faffing about before they hired *one guy*
>>> for this project? This is an organisation with a $20m annual budget, now
>>> acquiring umpteen paid chapter officials.
>>>
>>> The "paid chapter officials" are employees of the chapters themselves.
>
>
>
> The money comes from the same pot, as you know. The chapters are funded
> from the same donations as the Foundation.
>
>
>
>> The best way to bring hostility against your own pet projects is by being
>> hostile towards the projects of others. What makes one project more
>> deserving than another.
>
>
>
> Simplistically, chapters are marketing, while programmers and designers are
> product development. Marketing is important, but not more so than product
> development. To be fair, the Foundation is hiring product development
> staff, and it's not a choice of either/or.
>
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Job_openings
>

You must live in a very simplistic world, but I am afraid it does resemble reality very well. Here are how some various types of things and people are funded. Tool server=chapter. Developers= Mostly WMF but some chapter. Marketing professionals=WMF but no chapter I am aware of. Legal professionals=WMF and chapter.  Administration of fundraising campaign=WMF and chapters. You will not find any bright lines in reality.

Birgitte SB
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

Ray Saintonge
On 07/26/12 4:41 AM, [hidden email] wrote:

> On Jul 26, 2012, at 5:33 AM, Andreas Kolbe<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>> On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 7:42 AM, Ray Saintonge<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>>> On 07/25/12 12:48 PM, Andreas Kolbe wrote:
>>>> So there were how many years of faffing about before they hired *one guy*
>>>> for this project? This is an organisation with a $20m annual budget, now
>>>> acquiring umpteen paid chapter officials.
>>>>
>>>> The "paid chapter officials" are employees of the chapters themselves.
>> The money comes from the same pot, as you know. The chapters are funded
>> from the same donations as the Foundation.
>>> The best way to bring hostility against your own pet projects is by being
>>> hostile towards the projects of others. What makes one project more
>>> deserving than another.
>> Simplistically, chapters are marketing, while programmers and designers are
>> product development. Marketing is important, but not more so than product
>> development. To be fair, the Foundation is hiring product development
>> staff, and it's not a choice of either/or.
>>
>> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Job_openings
> You must live in a very simplistic world, but I am afraid it does resemble reality very well. Here are how some various types of things and people are funded. Tool server=chapter. Developers= Mostly WMF but some chapter. Marketing professionals=WMF but no chapter I am aware of. Legal professionals=WMF and chapter.  Administration of fundraising campaign=WMF and chapters. You will not find any bright lines in reality.
>
>
To this must be added work with the GLAM community. This is largely
driven by the chapters. Their ability to contact these institutions is
likely key to opening up access to large stores of material. It would be
far more difficult to do this as a foreign organization.

Ray

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Apparently, Wikipedia is ugly

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Birgitte_sb
On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 4:41 AM,  <[hidden email]> wrote:

> You must live in a very simplistic world, but I am afraid it does resemble reality very well. Here are how some various types of things and people are funded. Tool server=chapter. Developers= Mostly WMF but some chapter. Marketing professionals=WMF but no chapter I am aware of. Legal professionals=WMF and chapter.  Administration of fundraising campaign=WMF and chapters. You will not find any bright lines in reality.

Indeed. And given the magnitude and multitude of problems we are
trying to solve as a movement, I think it's absolutely appropriate and
desirable for chapters to undertake, for example, software engineering
projects (I have reservations about infrastructure-hosting projects).
One of the advantages of our open source model is that we already have
to operate under a standard assumption that others may want to make
significant contributions without centralized management thereof, so
we _should_ be able to accommodate chapter-driven software engineering
work.

The Wikidata project is an example of this. What's notable about
Wikidata is not just that it's a very significant scale project
(>$1.5M in funding), but also that the funding doesn't come from the
classic contribution streams (online donations) but from a network of
funders that Wikimedia Germany brought together. The project would not
have been started or funded without Wikimedia Germany, which really
validates the importance of chapters.

Chapters indeed have the potential to build out a significant presence
to advance engineering and product development, and I'd love to see
more of that in future with regard to underrepresented technical
priorities (e.g. geo-data related functionality, quality management
tools, ProofreadPage style functionality, etc.). In addition to adding
to our overall ability to fund and manage projects, they have the
ability to recruit and build offices in their geographies, potentially
at a much lower salary cost than we do in the SF Bay Area as our
primary HQ.

The one caveat I have is that, if chapters don't contribute, as part
of this process, fully by means of participating in code review and
general MediaWiki development, there's a risk that any such
chapter-driven engineering work contributes to the overall backlog,
and requires adding to a centralized pool of resources. Moreover, a
short term project with limited funding has the potential to also add
to the long term maintenance/improvement burden for WMF.  We're trying
to manage this balance very carefully with the Wikidata project, and
we'll draw a lot of lessons from the project as it continues.

All best,
Erik
--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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