[Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

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[Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

Damon Sicore

Dear Wikimedians,

We are changing our engineering processes to improve how we engage with you -- our valued contributors and editors -- around software development.

We are beginning with the collaborative buildout and deployment of VisualEditor. We are moving community engagement processes and product decisions into earlier stages of development, and making them iterative. In a perfect world this process would start prior to feature development, but in this case VisualEditor is already in-flight, so your participation now is critical. With your participation, we can work together to ensure this new process works.

In this new process, we commit to:

• Collectively identify success criteria for each target audience, from new editors (simple feature set) to expert editors (complex feature set).
• Ensure success criteria represents the quantified and qualified goals. The feature will only be shipped when the success criteria is met.
• Enable the feature for only portions of specific audiences that would best benefit (a process known as “incremental roll-out”) at a time.
• Triage and prioritize all bugs and feature requests on a weekly basis to ensure they are addressed in a timely fashion. Publicly post responses, assessment, and target implementations. This will replace the RFP process and ensure we are tracking on all requested features efficiently.

How you can engage:

• Report bugs or enhancement requests in Phabricator:  https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/tag/visualeditor/
• Join any of the weekly triage meetings to nominate a release blocker. Please see the instructions at: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:VisualEditor/Portal
• Participate in development. You can find the team on IRC in the #mediawiki-visualeditor channel on irc.freenode.net.

We are excited to get this long-standing feature to the level of quality and success we all want and need. It is a collective effort. You are not only a stakeholder, but an active contributor in this work. We want to all to be proud of the outcome. Please participate now.

All my best,

Damon



Damon Sicore
VP of Engineering
Wikimedia Foundation
[hidden email]





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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

phoebe ayers-3
On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 12:31 PM, Damon Sicore <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Dear Wikimedians,
>
> We are changing our engineering processes to improve how we engage with you -- our valued contributors and editors -- around software development.
>
> We are beginning with the collaborative buildout and deployment of VisualEditor. We are moving community engagement processes and product decisions into earlier stages of development, and making them iterative.


Dear Damon and all,

I think this is great, and I'm genuinely excited to see what gets
developed and built with our editing and engineering communities
working together. I look forward to both participating in the process
and using the fruits of this work as an editor!

best,
Phoebe


--
* I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers
<at> gmail.com *

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Damon Sicore
Damon Sicore, 11/02/2015 21:31:
> • Collectively identify success criteria [..]
>
> How you can engage:
>
> • Join any of the weekly triage meetings to nominate a release blocker [...]

Lila:
 > Visual Editor Built-out/Roll-out planning -- engage now to define
deployment criteria

I don't know others, but I didn't identify any question in the text of
this email. Yet, it's written as if you expected some response.*
        It looks like you're asking proposals for "success criteria" and
"deployment criteria". Is there a list or summary of existing criteria?
I couldn't find one, in the linked resources.
        What the linked page does talk about is a process to "nominate
blockers", listed here:
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/board/1015/ Blockers are not
defined. Usually a blocking bug is simply a bug which blocks another
bug, i.e. a required milestone in the way to a *determinate* place.
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Bugzilla/Fields#Blocks
        In other words, I don't see a way to comment or propose "success
criteria", which is what you were apparently asking. Don't expect any
success criteria to come out of this exercise.
        A quick search shows LibreOffice has one such "bug blocker nomination"
process: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Release_Criteria Their
definitions are much clearer but this might be what you have in mind. If
so, this is about a process to control release quality, correct? Not a
process to measure/decide success of VisualEditor.
        Is my interpretation correct?

Nemo

(*) If you expect replies and only get silence/you hit a wall, please
don't let us disappoint you unknowingly; ask us to try harder. I didn't
plan to answer this email but 0 community replies in 2 days might look
discourteous/irresponsible. Or maybe I misunderstood and it was just an
announcement, in which case ignore this entire message.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

Nathan Awrich
I think the goal with this message is to kick off a deeper, more meaningful
engagement between engineering and the various communities that use
MediaWiki. But it's hard to see how the message will move the needle. It's
jargony, as if aimed at an audience of software developers. The mechanisms
proposed for engagement are technical - report bugs in Phabricator (hardly
anyone receiving this message will know what that is), nominate release
blockers (which are what?), or join IRC meetings.

The message contains nothing about vetting the features themselves, no
outreach from the engineering team to the receiving communities, no
translation from English or facilitation for community members who don't
read and write in English, etc. So I think it's fair to ask that
Engineering work a little harder to reach the people who have objected to
previous feature rollouts where they live. The reactions from these people
have presumably driven the desire to engage more fully, so the nature of
that engagement must actually reach them. If these things are actually
being done, that's great and I think readers of Wikimedia-l would love to
hear about it.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

Rachel diCerbo
Hi all,

Regarding criteria, there is a list of objectives for VisualEditor to
achieve for this quarter in Phabricator [0], so all tasks which do not
allow reaching those objectives should be nominated as "blockers", as
explained on Mediawiki [1].

In these Triage meetings, we are seeking the attention of interested
developers and technical users with the purpose of reviewing and
collaborating on completing those tasks. If this doesn’t describe you, your
feedback about VisualEditor product is welcomed on feedback on pages in
your language [2].

Tech News is intended to inform interested users about engineering projects
and written to minimize jargon. We encourage you to subscribe if you are
not [3]. The Editing Team also publishes a periodic VisualEditor newsletter
for more in-depth information about VE [4].  Both newsletters are available
in several languages.

The Triage meetings are being held at different times to accommodate as
many interested contributors as possible; the second is scheduled for Wednesday
18 February at 4pm UTC [5] (reminders will follow in the next few days).
Results of the current status of these bugs are listed in Phabricator [6],
and results of the meetings will be posted at the portal soon [5].

If you just want to spend time with the team to chat about the product and
the process, we’ll have VisualEditor office hours again soon. [7]

Community Engagement is continuously considering effective ways of
interacting with you around product development and would love your
suggestions. What kinds of communications from WMF would you like to see?

Thank you, and have a good weekend,

rachel


[0] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/view/1015/

[1]
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:VisualEditor/Portal#How_to_join_the_triage_meetings

[2] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/VisualEditor/Feedback

[3]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Global_message_delivery/Targets/Tech_ambassadors

[4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/VisualEditor/Newsletter

[5] http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:VisualEditor/Portal

[6] https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/sprint/board/1015/

[7] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/IRC_office_hours#Upcoming_office_hours



--

Rachel diCerbo
Director of Community Engagement (Product)
Wikimedia Foundation
Rdicerb (WMF) <https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/User:Rdicerb_%28WMF%29>
@a_rachel <https://twitter.com/a_rachel>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

Erik Moeller-4
And if you do like the technical detail, James just sent a full recap of
last week's triage to wikitech-l:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2015-February/080803.html
--
Erik Möller
VP of Product & Strategy, Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Damon Sicore
Hoi,
As a very involved Wikimedian I do not get anything out of your approach.

It is obvious that you care about the VisualEditor because you have self
nominated it. That is fine. I do not care either about it so you already
lost me. Given that this is the Wikimedia list and not the Wikipedia list I
hope you find my reply obvious and irritating. When you want to engage all
of us, make sure that you do not phrase a general plea for engagement in
something that is mostly Wikipedia.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 11 February 2015 at 21:31, Damon Sicore <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Dear Wikimedians,
>
> We are changing our engineering processes to improve how we engage with
> you -- our valued contributors and editors -- around software development.
>
> We are beginning with the collaborative buildout and deployment of
> VisualEditor. We are moving community engagement processes and product
> decisions into earlier stages of development, and making them iterative. In
> a perfect world this process would start prior to feature development, but
> in this case VisualEditor is already in-flight, so your participation now
> is critical. With your participation, we can work together to ensure this
> new process works.
>
> In this new process, we commit to:
>
> • Collectively identify success criteria for each target audience, from
> new editors (simple feature set) to expert editors (complex feature set).
> • Ensure success criteria represents the quantified and qualified goals.
> The feature will only be shipped when the success criteria is met.
> • Enable the feature for only portions of specific audiences that would
> best benefit (a process known as “incremental roll-out”) at a time.
> • Triage and prioritize all bugs and feature requests on a weekly basis to
> ensure they are addressed in a timely fashion. Publicly post responses,
> assessment, and target implementations. This will replace the RFP process
> and ensure we are tracking on all requested features efficiently.
>
> How you can engage:
>
> • Report bugs or enhancement requests in Phabricator:
> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/tag/visualeditor/
> • Join any of the weekly triage meetings to nominate a release blocker.
> Please see the instructions at:
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:VisualEditor/Portal
> • Participate in development. You can find the team on IRC in the
> #mediawiki-visualeditor channel on irc.freenode.net.
>
> We are excited to get this long-standing feature to the level of quality
> and success we all want and need. It is a collective effort. You are not
> only a stakeholder, but an active contributor in this work. We want to all
> to be proud of the outcome. Please participate now.
>
> All my best,
>
> Damon
>
>
> —
> Damon Sicore
> VP of Engineering
> Wikimedia Foundation
> [hidden email]
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
When the community and the developers are to be more involved, I want to
share with you the kind of discussions we have far, far away in Wikidata
land. There are a few thing you must know.

   - most subjects are not covered in any Wikipedia
   - we want to link to subjects that are not present at present in a
   Wikipedia
   - we want to show the information as much as possible preferably in the
   local language
   - we want to ensure that vandals in Wikidata will not destroy the
   credibility of a Wikipedia or Wikidata

This is mostly an engineering issue as most of these issues have a proof of
concept. So yes, we very much want engineering and community to be more
mutually engaged.
Thanks,
      GerardM

On 14 February 2015 at 09:56, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hoi,
> As a very involved Wikimedian I do not get anything out of your approach.
>
> It is obvious that you care about the VisualEditor because you have self
> nominated it. That is fine. I do not care either about it so you already
> lost me. Given that this is the Wikimedia list and not the Wikipedia list I
> hope you find my reply obvious and irritating. When you want to engage all
> of us, make sure that you do not phrase a general plea for engagement in
> something that is mostly Wikipedia.
> Thanks,
>       GerardM
>
> On 11 February 2015 at 21:31, Damon Sicore <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>
>> Dear Wikimedians,
>>
>> We are changing our engineering processes to improve how we engage with
>> you -- our valued contributors and editors -- around software development.
>>
>> We are beginning with the collaborative buildout and deployment of
>> VisualEditor. We are moving community engagement processes and product
>> decisions into earlier stages of development, and making them iterative. In
>> a perfect world this process would start prior to feature development, but
>> in this case VisualEditor is already in-flight, so your participation now
>> is critical. With your participation, we can work together to ensure this
>> new process works.
>>
>> In this new process, we commit to:
>>
>> • Collectively identify success criteria for each target audience, from
>> new editors (simple feature set) to expert editors (complex feature set).
>> • Ensure success criteria represents the quantified and qualified goals.
>> The feature will only be shipped when the success criteria is met.
>> • Enable the feature for only portions of specific audiences that would
>> best benefit (a process known as “incremental roll-out”) at a time.
>> • Triage and prioritize all bugs and feature requests on a weekly basis
>> to ensure they are addressed in a timely fashion. Publicly post responses,
>> assessment, and target implementations. This will replace the RFP process
>> and ensure we are tracking on all requested features efficiently.
>>
>> How you can engage:
>>
>> • Report bugs or enhancement requests in Phabricator:
>> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/tag/visualeditor/
>> • Join any of the weekly triage meetings to nominate a release blocker.
>> Please see the instructions at:
>> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:VisualEditor/Portal
>> • Participate in development. You can find the team on IRC in the
>> #mediawiki-visualeditor channel on irc.freenode.net.
>>
>> We are excited to get this long-standing feature to the level of quality
>> and success we all want and need. It is a collective effort. You are not
>> only a stakeholder, but an active contributor in this work. We want to all
>> to be proud of the outcome. Please participate now.
>>
>> All my best,
>>
>> Damon
>>
>>
>> —
>> Damon Sicore
>> VP of Engineering
>> Wikimedia Foundation
>> [hidden email]
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> [hidden email]
>> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/GuidelinesWikimedia-l@...>
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

James Salsman-2
In reply to this post by Damon Sicore
Rachel diCerbo wrote:
>...
> Community Engagement is continuously considering effective ways of
> interacting with you around product development and would love your
> suggestions. What kinds of communications from WMF would you like to see?

Please volunteer to co-mentor my GSoC proposal:

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Accuracy_review

There is absolutely no way I can possibly do this without a co-mentor
from the WMF or WEF. It's not a hard task, and one of the major
benefits I just learned yesterday is a robust implementation of
per-word text attribution, which amazingly still hasn't been available
to the wider community in a way that handles reverted blanking and
text moves since WikiTrust went offline. Maribel Acosta, Fabian
Floeck, and Andriy Rodchenko did a suitable replacement algorithm in
2013, but it hasn't been folded back into the Wikimedia Utilities
distribution.

Please, WMF engineering staff, remember 2.5 years ago when I was
literally the only one publicly arguing that you should be paid market
rate for tech workers instead of lower nonprofit worker salaries? I
took so much public abuse and scorn for that for over a year until it
happened. Please consider giving back by co-mentoring the accuracy
review GSoC proposal.  It shouldn't take more than a few hours per
week over the summer.

Best regards,
James Salsman

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

Oliver Keyes-5
Personal opinion: as I recall, a big chunk of that scorn came from WMF
engineers. I appreciate it wasn't your intent, but the way you're phrasing
things here makes it look very much like you're saying 'hey, I bumped your
salary, throw some of your time my way' - which is not how it works. Ideas
should be worked on or not based on whether they can stand on their own,
not whether or not the writer thinks people owe them.

I agree that this is something that should be worked on: I disagree that
the idea, or your request for engineer time, has anything to do with the
question Rachel actually asked, which was (to rephrase it): 'community
people, what ideas do you have for better ways for us to communicate around
software?' 'Work on my thing' does not answer that question.

On Saturday, 14 February 2015, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Rachel diCerbo wrote:
> >...
> > Community Engagement is continuously considering effective ways of
> > interacting with you around product development and would love your
> > suggestions. What kinds of communications from WMF would you like to see?
>
> Please volunteer to co-mentor my GSoC proposal:
>
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Accuracy_review
>
> There is absolutely no way I can possibly do this without a co-mentor
> from the WMF or WEF. It's not a hard task, and one of the major
> benefits I just learned yesterday is a robust implementation of
> per-word text attribution, which amazingly still hasn't been available
> to the wider community in a way that handles reverted blanking and
> text moves since WikiTrust went offline. Maribel Acosta, Fabian
> Floeck, and Andriy Rodchenko did a suitable replacement algorithm in
> 2013, but it hasn't been folded back into the Wikimedia Utilities
> distribution.
>
> Please, WMF engineering staff, remember 2.5 years ago when I was
> literally the only one publicly arguing that you should be paid market
> rate for tech workers instead of lower nonprofit worker salaries? I
> took so much public abuse and scorn for that for over a year until it
> happened. Please consider giving back by co-mentoring the accuracy
> review GSoC proposal.  It shouldn't take more than a few hours per
> week over the summer.
>
> Best regards,
> James Salsman
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email] <javascript:;>
> ?subject=unsubscribe>



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

James Salsman-2
In reply to this post by Damon Sicore
First, thanks to John Vandenberg for considering co-mentoring the
accuracy review project for the Indonesian Wikipedia. I think he would
be an excellent co-mentor. But ideally I also hope to also obtain at
least one co-mentor from WMF engineering, design, or education
divisions, and a co-mentor from the WEF too, please:
 https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Accuracy_review#Mentors_needed_.28at_least_two_co-mentors_required.3B_please_sign_up_here_if_you_are_interested.29

Oliver Keyes wrote:
>... the question Rachel [asked] was (to rephrase it):
> 'community people, what ideas do you have for better
> ways for us to communicate around software?'
> 'Work on my thing' does not answer that question.

Co-mentoring the accuracy review project is literally nothing but
communication. Community members ask for the Foundation's help all the
time. And even if the mentors end up helping with some of the code,
Rachel asked about interacting with the community, not just
communicating with it.

And it should not be "my thing" -- it is supposed to improve
wikipedias and similar references in all languages, by addressing
their primary existential crisis: more out of date content than
volunteer editors are willing or able to maintain. It's lucky that we
may be able do that with the side effect of creating the largest
automatic computer-aided instruction system ever, by several orders of
magnitude. But that's more than just I can possibly do just in my
spare time. It will have to be a community effort. The Foundation
can't directly sponsor content improvements, but creating a system to
support the community's efforts in that regard is fine. Assuming
everyone approves after testing, either Foundation could, if they
wanted to, cause it to be used in many ways which would not risk the
WMF's safe harbor provisions. That would be more difficult for the
community.

Furthermore, there was no way 2.5 years ago, when I was asking that
the Foundation pay market rate for technical staff to compete in
retaining and attracting the best and brightest, that I would have
known this would become a GSoC proposal under a new co-mentor
requirement today. So the insinuation that there is some kind of a
preconceived attempt at quid-pro-quo is absurd. There are some very
serious downsides to repeatedly being the only one opposed to
groupthink, and I have no regrets about bringing up the fact that I've
repeatedly had to deal with that kind of impediment to progress
without even a single word of thanks. I'm not asking for a medal, just
common courtesy. And maybe people who find themselves in situations
where they might be involved with groupthink mistakes should be a
little less harsh against those who are trying to fight such mistakes.
Our contemporary top-heavy economic predicament is the result of too
much groupthink leveraged by the sociopathic few, resulting in the
vast majority of consumers having lost ground during the current
economic expansion (e.g., as shown in
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/27/upshot/the-benefits-of-economic-expansions-are-increasingly-going-to-the-richest-americans.html
-- especially its graphs.) If there is a better example of
unsustainability, I would like to see it. Yes, I stick my neck out to
fight for people who are getting the short end of the stick, and
causing their own organizations, whether they be foundations or
nations, to be less effective because of it, and I'm proud I am one of
the very few who do.


On Saturday, 14 February 2015, James Salsman <jsalsman at gmail.com> wrote:

> Rachel diCerbo wrote:
> >...
> > Community Engagement is continuously considering effective ways of
> > interacting with you around product development and would love your
> > suggestions. What kinds of communications from WMF would you like to see?
>
> Please volunteer to co-mentor my GSoC proposal:
>
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Accuracy_review
>
> There is absolutely no way I can possibly do this without a co-mentor
> from the WMF or WEF. It's not a hard task, and one of the major
> benefits I just learned yesterday is a robust implementation of
> per-word text attribution, which amazingly still hasn't been available
> to the wider community in a way that handles reverted blanking and
> text moves since WikiTrust went offline. Maribel Acosta, Fabian
> Floeck, and Andriy Rodchenko did a suitable replacement algorithm in
> 2013, but it hasn't been folded back into the Wikimedia Utilities
> distribution....
>
> Best regards,
> James Salsman

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