[Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

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[Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Andrew Lih
There’s an excellent profile of Magnus Manske in the Wikimedia blog today.
It’s hard to think of people more important to the movement than Magnus has
been since 2001.

Selected quotes: "...we have gone from slowdown to standstill; the
interface has changed little in the last ten years or so, and all the
recent changes have been fought teeth-and-claw by the communities,
especially the larger language editions. From the Media Viewer, the Visual
Editor, to Wikidata transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of
editors, not because they are a problem, but because they represent
change... all websites, including Wikipedia must obey the Red Queen
hypothesis: you have to run just to stand still. This does not only affect
Wikipedia itself, but the entire Wikimedia ecosystem... if we wall our
garden against change, against new users, new technologies our work of 15
years is in danger of fading away... we are in an ideal position to try new
things. We have nothing to lose, except a little time.”

Link:
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/01/18/fifteen-years-wikipedia-magnus-manske/
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Andrea Zanni-2
I'm waiting for the day when Magnus will have a profile on the New Yorker,
but this is nice, for the time being :-)

Aubrey

On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 2:34 PM, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There’s an excellent profile of Magnus Manske in the Wikimedia blog today.
> It’s hard to think of people more important to the movement than Magnus has
> been since 2001.
>
> Selected quotes: "...we have gone from slowdown to standstill; the
> interface has changed little in the last ten years or so, and all the
> recent changes have been fought teeth-and-claw by the communities,
> especially the larger language editions. From the Media Viewer, the Visual
> Editor, to Wikidata transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of
> editors, not because they are a problem, but because they represent
> change... all websites, including Wikipedia must obey the Red Queen
> hypothesis: you have to run just to stand still. This does not only affect
> Wikipedia itself, but the entire Wikimedia ecosystem... if we wall our
> garden against change, against new users, new technologies our work of 15
> years is in danger of fading away... we are in an ideal position to try new
> things. We have nothing to lose, except a little time.”
>
> Link:
>
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/01/18/fifteen-years-wikipedia-magnus-manske/
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Andrew Lih
Hoi,
Magnus developed functionality to replace the "red links". Arguably
replacing wikilinks with Wikidata in the background will improve Wikipedia
(in any language) substantially.

It is just not considered.
Thanks,
       GerardM

http://ultimategerardm.blogspot.nl/2016/01/wikipedia-lowest-hanging-fruit-from.html

On 18 January 2016 at 14:34, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There’s an excellent profile of Magnus Manske in the Wikimedia blog today.
> It’s hard to think of people more important to the movement than Magnus has
> been since 2001.
>
> Selected quotes: "...we have gone from slowdown to standstill; the
> interface has changed little in the last ten years or so, and all the
> recent changes have been fought teeth-and-claw by the communities,
> especially the larger language editions. From the Media Viewer, the Visual
> Editor, to Wikidata transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of
> editors, not because they are a problem, but because they represent
> change... all websites, including Wikipedia must obey the Red Queen
> hypothesis: you have to run just to stand still. This does not only affect
> Wikipedia itself, but the entire Wikimedia ecosystem... if we wall our
> garden against change, against new users, new technologies our work of 15
> years is in danger of fading away... we are in an ideal position to try new
> things. We have nothing to lose, except a little time.”
>
> Link:
>
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/01/18/fifteen-years-wikipedia-magnus-manske/
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Jens Best-2
In reply to this post by Andrew Lih
Hi,

thanks Andrew for bringing Magnus' words into the mailinglist-discussion. I
would like to balance the direct critic made by Magnus with an attempt to
differentiate the matter at hand a bit.

The obvious attempt to frame "the community" as conservative and not open
to changes is a clever narrative, but it is wrong in its generalizing
conclusion.

The narrative which is trying to tell a story of a progressive,
future-aware and tech-oriented Foundation and a "nothing has to
change"-community is wrong, no matter how often it is told.

There is not only one way to the future of Wikipedia, but many.
There is not only one way to implement tech innovation into the
Wikiprojects.

But tech innovation should support the factual kernel of the movement idea
- which is to build an encylopedia written for humans by humans.
Not primarily for databases, not primarily for crawlers, no primarily for a
"Knowledge Engine" (what ever that supposed to be in the end).

Tech innovations which try to replace quality human editing are not a good
idea.
Tech innovations which try to reduce the encylopedia to a
question/answer-machine are maybe fashionable and trendy, but do not fit to
the idea of an encylopedia. They could be an addition, but not if they
endanger the kernel.

I was an outspoken supporter of the idea of Wikidata. But I now realize
that this great idea is used to work against the human editors of the
Wikipedia. This isn't the way Wikidata was sold to the public in the
beginning. And it is surely not the way it is welcome in Wikipedia.

The idea of connecting the informations in Wikipedia with other sources of
free knowledge to give people the chance to build a variety of better tools
based upon it is a great idea - the way it is done is not good.

The idea of creating tech tools that relieve human editors from reiterating
work and along the way implementing structured data into the workflows of
Wikipedia (and other projects) is a great idea - the way it is done is not
good and is pointing in a wrong direction.

I'm a big fan of new users and while in many different circumstances
introducing new people to Wikipedia I'm trying to think of procedures how
this can be done in more efficient, inviting and understanding ways.

I agree with Magnus when it comes to new users. More new users (specialists
and generalists) are a critical and challenging endeavor.
I don't agree with Magnus when it comes to "new technologies" which are in
the medium term changing the encylopedia in a Q/A-machine.

I believe in people, I don't believe in a Wiki-version of HAL 9000.

Best regards,
Jens Best

2016-01-18 14:34 GMT+01:00 Andrew Lih <[hidden email]>:

> There’s an excellent profile of Magnus Manske in the Wikimedia blog today.
> It’s hard to think of people more important to the movement than Magnus has
> been since 2001.
>
> Selected quotes: "...we have gone from slowdown to standstill; the
> interface has changed little in the last ten years or so, and all the
> recent changes have been fought teeth-and-claw by the communities,
> especially the larger language editions. From the Media Viewer, the Visual
> Editor, to Wikidata transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of
> editors, not because they are a problem, but because they represent
> change... all websites, including Wikipedia must obey the Red Queen
> hypothesis: you have to run just to stand still. This does not only affect
> Wikipedia itself, but the entire Wikimedia ecosystem... if we wall our
> garden against change, against new users, new technologies our work of 15
> years is in danger of fading away... we are in an ideal position to try new
> things. We have nothing to lose, except a little time.”
>
> Link:
>
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/01/18/fifteen-years-wikipedia-magnus-manske/
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
You accuse Wikidata of something. That is ok. However, it helps when it is
clear what problems you see.

When Wikidata was introduced, it improved quality of interwiki links in a
meaningful way. Most Wikipedians do not care about such links so it was an
easy and obvious improvement. Similar improvements are possible as I wrote
earlier when Wikidata technology is used for Wiki links, red links and
disambiguation pages. They do not impact editing in any way but will
increase the quality of Wikipedia in a measurable way.

The big problem with what you write is that you do not make clear what the
problem is. Without such substantiation it is FUD. Please enlighten us why
Wikidata is going about it in the wrong way. That will make this a
meaningful discussion.
Thanks,
       GerardM


>
On 18 January 2016 at 15:17, Jens Best <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> thanks Andrew for bringing Magnus' words into the mailinglist-discussion. I
> would like to balance the direct critic made by Magnus with an attempt to
> differentiate the matter at hand a bit.
>
> The obvious attempt to frame "the community" as conservative and not open
> to changes is a clever narrative, but it is wrong in its generalizing
> conclusion.
>
> The narrative which is trying to tell a story of a progressive,
> future-aware and tech-oriented Foundation and a "nothing has to
> change"-community is wrong, no matter how often it is told.
>
> There is not only one way to the future of Wikipedia, but many.
> There is not only one way to implement tech innovation into the
> Wikiprojects.
>
> But tech innovation should support the factual kernel of the movement idea
> - which is to build an encylopedia written for humans by humans.
> Not primarily for databases, not primarily for crawlers, no primarily for a
> "Knowledge Engine" (what ever that supposed to be in the end).
>
> Tech innovations which try to replace quality human editing are not a good
> idea.
> Tech innovations which try to reduce the encylopedia to a
> question/answer-machine are maybe fashionable and trendy, but do not fit to
> the idea of an encylopedia. They could be an addition, but not if they
> endanger the kernel.
>
> I was an outspoken supporter of the idea of Wikidata. But I now realize
> that this great idea is used to work against the human editors of the
> Wikipedia. This isn't the way Wikidata was sold to the public in the
> beginning. And it is surely not the way it is welcome in Wikipedia.
>
> The idea of connecting the informations in Wikipedia with other sources of
> free knowledge to give people the chance to build a variety of better tools
> based upon it is a great idea - the way it is done is not good.
>
> The idea of creating tech tools that relieve human editors from reiterating
> work and along the way implementing structured data into the workflows of
> Wikipedia (and other projects) is a great idea - the way it is done is not
> good and is pointing in a wrong direction.
>
> I'm a big fan of new users and while in many different circumstances
> introducing new people to Wikipedia I'm trying to think of procedures how
> this can be done in more efficient, inviting and understanding ways.
>
> I agree with Magnus when it comes to new users. More new users (specialists
> and generalists) are a critical and challenging endeavor.
> I don't agree with Magnus when it comes to "new technologies" which are in
> the medium term changing the encylopedia in a Q/A-machine.
>
> I believe in people, I don't believe in a Wiki-version of HAL 9000.
>
> Best regards,
> Jens Best
>
> 2016-01-18 14:34 GMT+01:00 Andrew Lih <[hidden email]>:
>
> > There’s an excellent profile of Magnus Manske in the Wikimedia blog
> today.
> > It’s hard to think of people more important to the movement than Magnus
> has
> > been since 2001.
> >
> > Selected quotes: "...we have gone from slowdown to standstill; the
> > interface has changed little in the last ten years or so, and all the
> > recent changes have been fought teeth-and-claw by the communities,
> > especially the larger language editions. From the Media Viewer, the
> Visual
> > Editor, to Wikidata transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups
> of
> > editors, not because they are a problem, but because they represent
> > change... all websites, including Wikipedia must obey the Red Queen
> > hypothesis: you have to run just to stand still. This does not only
> affect
> > Wikipedia itself, but the entire Wikimedia ecosystem... if we wall our
> > garden against change, against new users, new technologies our work of 15
> > years is in danger of fading away... we are in an ideal position to try
> new
> > things. We have nothing to lose, except a little time.”
> >
> > Link:
> >
> >
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/01/18/fifteen-years-wikipedia-magnus-manske/
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Risker
In reply to this post by Andrew Lih
Thank you for flagging this for us, Andrew.  I have been unsuccessful in
accessing this page and have been told by others who tried to do so that
they were also getting various error messages.  I will try again later
using different technology - the problem may be that the blog doesn't come
up well certain types of phones.  Personally, I have always been a bit
heartbroken that I missed out on the chance for a "Magnus Manske has a
Posse" t-shirt a while back; his work has genuinely changed the course of
our project on more than one occasion, and his reputation is solidly earned.

With that in mind - that I've not yet got the full context of Magnus's
comments, but that I believe anything Magnus says is worth listening to and
considering - I'm a bit concerned about any suggestion that "the community"
rejected Visual Editor because it was "new".

The English Wikipedia community rejected it because it was really bad
software that was causing so much damage to the project that even editors
whose focus was on content writing and improvement wound up wasting their
time fixing the errors inserted into the text by VisualEditor.  We went
from a somewhat-difficult-to-use text editor (wikitext) as the default to a
not-even-beta-level default editor that could not carry out even basic
editing functions and was actively damaging existing content - without even
a way for editors to select a "no VE" preference, which had to be written
after implementation.  While it was available to IP editors, the community
wound up reverting almost 100% of their edits because the VE-generated
problems were so severe.  This was not a failure of the community to accept
change.  This was the failure of the WMF to understand what a minimal
viable product should be.  The poorly thought out implementation of
VisualEditor has caused a huge amount of damage to the reputation of the
software - remember, the community had been asking for something along this
line as far back as 2003, so it wasn't that we didn't want this type of
editing interface - and it also caused an entirely predictable backlash
from the community of 2013.  Remember, this was not the community of 2003
that understood almost everyone involved in software creation was a
volunteer too, and thus would tolerate less refined software releases.  The
community of 2013 (quite correctly, I think) expected much higher quality
work from paid staff.  Bluntly put, not even when almost all of the
software was being written by volunteers did we see such a problematic
"upgrade".

The Visual Editor of January 2016 bears little relationship to that which
was released on July 1, 2013 - it is dramatically better, easier to use,
and has some really great features that even experienced editors will find
useful. I hope more experienced users will give it another try.

I often find it ironic that the great concern about attracting new editors
and thus creating VisualEditor is then immediately dumped to the bottom of
the drawer when it comes to Wikidata. First we'll make it easy for them to
edit. Then we'll include a whole pile of data that they can't edit -or at
least can't edit on the website they logged into.  They're pretty opposite
ideas, but of course that's considered luddite thinking.

Risker/Anne


On 18 January 2016 at 08:34, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There’s an excellent profile of Magnus Manske in the Wikimedia blog today.
> It’s hard to think of people more important to the movement than Magnus has
> been since 2001.
>
> Selected quotes: "...we have gone from slowdown to standstill; the
> interface has changed little in the last ten years or so, and all the
> recent changes have been fought teeth-and-claw by the communities,
> especially the larger language editions. From the Media Viewer, the Visual
> Editor, to Wikidata transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of
> editors, not because they are a problem, but because they represent
> change... all websites, including Wikipedia must obey the Red Queen
> hypothesis: you have to run just to stand still. This does not only affect
> Wikipedia itself, but the entire Wikimedia ecosystem... if we wall our
> garden against change, against new users, new technologies our work of 15
> years is in danger of fading away... we are in an ideal position to try new
> things. We have nothing to lose, except a little time.”
>
> Link:
>
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/01/18/fifteen-years-wikipedia-magnus-manske/
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Pine W
In reply to this post by Andrew Lih
After the assertion "From the Media Viewer, the Visual Editor, to Wikidata
transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
because they are a problem, but because they represent change," I would
suggest a very large "citation needed" tag.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

David Goodman-2
In reply to this post by Risker
Although  "Tech innovations which try to replace quality human editing are
not a good idea."  Tech innovations which can adequately replace the need
for quality human editing when that editing is not sufficiently available
can be a very good idea, So  can tech innovations which try can assist low
quality human editing to become of higher quality. So can tech innovations
which merely replicate what some people can do at a high quality, but most
people cannot. I saw little need to replace the wikitext editor because I
have worked enough in html for that to be as natural as using a keyboard,
but it is easy to forget the needs of those who have only worked through
WSIWYG interfaces. I find the talk page system quite intuitive, but I'm
aware that many others don't share this feeling.

The difficulty is in differentiating these situations, and I haver seen
here as in many situation elsewhere that the people who develop technology
are willing to use it even when  imperfect and badly documented, and even
pride in their ability to do so. This was certainly true in my own
profession, where we librarians never understood why most of the public
found navigating our manual and early automated system so difficult.

I share in detail Risker's feeling about the visual editor in particular: I
use it now, and the key factor which improved it for me was the recent
addition of the ability  to go back and forth between the two editing modes
without losing work, so I can   use the strengths of each of the as needed.
(But  I am aware of the   pressure to release *something* to the public
after the very slow development; that original slow development was perhaps
the root problem.)





On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 11:44 AM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thank you for flagging this for us, Andrew.  I have been unsuccessful in
> accessing this page and have been told by others who tried to do so that
> they were also getting various error messages.  I will try again later
> using different technology - the problem may be that the blog doesn't come
> up well certain types of phones.  Personally, I have always been a bit
> heartbroken that I missed out on the chance for a "Magnus Manske has a
> Posse" t-shirt a while back; his work has genuinely changed the course of
> our project on more than one occasion, and his reputation is solidly
> earned.
>
> With that in mind - that I've not yet got the full context of Magnus's
> comments, but that I believe anything Magnus says is worth listening to and
> considering - I'm a bit concerned about any suggestion that "the community"
> rejected Visual Editor because it was "new".
>
> The English Wikipedia community rejected it because it was really bad
> software that was causing so much damage to the project that even editors
> whose focus was on content writing and improvement wound up wasting their
> time fixing the errors inserted into the text by VisualEditor.  We went
> from a somewhat-difficult-to-use text editor (wikitext) as the default to a
> not-even-beta-level default editor that could not carry out even basic
> editing functions and was actively damaging existing content - without even
> a way for editors to select a "no VE" preference, which had to be written
> after implementation.  While it was available to IP editors, the community
> wound up reverting almost 100% of their edits because the VE-generated
> problems were so severe.  This was not a failure of the community to accept
> change.  This was the failure of the WMF to understand what a minimal
> viable product should be.  The poorly thought out implementation of
> VisualEditor has caused a huge amount of damage to the reputation of the
> software - remember, the community had been asking for something along this
> line as far back as 2003, so it wasn't that we didn't want this type of
> editing interface - and it also caused an entirely predictable backlash
> from the community of 2013.  Remember, this was not the community of 2003
> that understood almost everyone involved in software creation was a
> volunteer too, and thus would tolerate less refined software releases.  The
> community of 2013 (quite correctly, I think) expected much higher quality
> work from paid staff.  Bluntly put, not even when almost all of the
> software was being written by volunteers did we see such a problematic
> "upgrade".
>
> The Visual Editor of January 2016 bears little relationship to that which
> was released on July 1, 2013 - it is dramatically better, easier to use,
> and has some really great features that even experienced editors will find
> useful. I hope more experienced users will give it another try.
>
> I often find it ironic that the great concern about attracting new editors
> and thus creating VisualEditor is then immediately dumped to the bottom of
> the drawer when it comes to Wikidata. First we'll make it easy for them to
> edit. Then we'll include a whole pile of data that they can't edit -or at
> least can't edit on the website they logged into.  They're pretty opposite
> ideas, but of course that's considered luddite thinking.
>
> Risker/Anne
>
>
> On 18 January 2016 at 08:34, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > There’s an excellent profile of Magnus Manske in the Wikimedia blog
> today.
> > It’s hard to think of people more important to the movement than Magnus
> has
> > been since 2001.
> >
> > Selected quotes: "...we have gone from slowdown to standstill; the
> > interface has changed little in the last ten years or so, and all the
> > recent changes have been fought teeth-and-claw by the communities,
> > especially the larger language editions. From the Media Viewer, the
> Visual
> > Editor, to Wikidata transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups
> of
> > editors, not because they are a problem, but because they represent
> > change... all websites, including Wikipedia must obey the Red Queen
> > hypothesis: you have to run just to stand still. This does not only
> affect
> > Wikipedia itself, but the entire Wikimedia ecosystem... if we wall our
> > garden against change, against new users, new technologies our work of 15
> > years is in danger of fading away... we are in an ideal position to try
> new
> > things. We have nothing to lose, except a little time.”
> >
> > Link:
> >
> >
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/01/18/fifteen-years-wikipedia-magnus-manske/
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
David Goodman

DGG at the enWP
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:DGG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Andy Mabbett-2
In reply to this post by Andrew Lih
On 18 January 2016 at 13:34, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There’s an excellent profile of Magnus Manske in the Wikimedia blog today.
> It’s hard to think of people more important to the movement than Magnus has
> been since 2001.

> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/01/18/fifteen-years-wikipedia-magnus-manske/

Since some people are reporting problems accessing the page. here it
is (but you miss out on the lovely photo of a younger Magnus!):


#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#

The world and the Internet have been permanently altered in the last
fifteen years: Altavista and Lycos, for instance, were the popular
search engines of the day, and “Googling” something had three more
years to come about. The concept of social media was nearly
non-existent.

It should come as no surprise, then, that when Magnus Manske started
editing Wikipedia in 2001, the encyclopedia was a very different
place. Its home page in November 2001, now utterly dated, boasts of
having 16,000 English-language articles—and the contributors could
only dream of getting to 100,000. There were no images on the front
page, only black text and blue hyperlinks.

Manske told the blog that he vividly remembers this original front
page: “Back in 2001, Wikipedia was the new kid on the block. We were
the underdogs, starting from a blank slate, taking on entities like
Brockhaus and Britannica, seemingly eternal giants in the encyclopedia
world. I remember the Main Page saying ‘We currently have 15
not-so-bad articles. We want to make 100,000, so let’s get to work.’
‘Not-so-bad’ referred to stubs with at least one comma.”

“It was a ghost town, with just about no content whatsoever.”

Still, humor was not lost on the pioneering editors who were working
towards a seemingly impossible and unattainable goal. When the subject
of replacing the Wikipedia logo came up—at this time, there was no
world-famous Wikipedia ‘globe’ logo; in its place was a quote from
Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan—one contributor referenced the infinite
monkey theorem: “A million monkeys. A million typewriters. Wikipedia.”

At that point in time, even MediaWiki—the software that underpins
Wikipedia and other wiki sites around the word—didn’t exist. However,
the site’s growth posed problems for the original UseModWiki code, as
it could not scale up to meet the demand. Manske coded a replacement
for UseMod, which he called Phase II. It introduced a number of
innovations that Wikipedia editors still use today, such as
namespaces, watchlists, and user contribution lists.

However, even Manske’s code had to be rewritten a year later, as
Wikipedia was growing explosively. That original goal 100,000 articles
would have put Wikipedia in the same category of Brittanica; Manske
said that based on Wikipedia’s initial growth, they thought they would
hit 100,000 in ten years—and “even that seemed overly optimistic.”

In reality, it took only two. “Once we hit exponential growth, it all
became a blur; suddenly, the rocket was off the ground. We tried our
best to hold on and stay on course. Two months ago we passed five
million articles, fifty times the number we hoped for.”

In the succeeding fifteen years, Manske has seen several life
changes—in 2001, he was just another a biology student at the
University of Cologne. His work on Wikipedia since then has heavily
influenced his life. His current job in population genetics actually
sprung out of it: “During my PhD, I got an email from a professor in
Oxford who wanted to run a wiki in his lab, and he somehow heard that
I am the man to talk to. He invited me over to the UK to give a brief
talk and answer some questions, which I did. He then realized I was in
biology and would be looking for a post-doc soon, and he was starting
a group in Cambridge.”

Wikipedia has too. The blog asked Manske for his thoughts on where
Wikipedia is today:

“ While it is fine to grow a little conservative in order to protect
our common achievement that is Wikipedia, I think we should be more
open and enthusiastic for new possibilities. A prime example is the
site itself. People love the site not just for its content, but also
for its calm, ad-free appearance, an island of tranquility in the
otherwise often shrill web; the calm and quiet of a old-fashioned
library, a refuge from the loud and hectic online world.

But we have gone from slowdown to standstill; the interface has
changed little in the last ten years or so, and all the recent changes
have been fought teeth-and-claw by the communities, especially the
larger language editions. From the Media Viewer, the Visual Editor, to
Wikidata transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of
editors, not because they are a problem, but because they represent
change. For these editors, the site has worked fine for years; why
change anything?

To some degree, all websites, including Wikipedia, must obey the Red
Queen hypothesis: you have to run just to stand still. This does not
only affect Wikipedia itself, but the entire Wikimedia ecosystem. Our
media handling is antiquated to say the least; video inclusion in
article is only now starting to pick up, many years after sites like
YouTube have become as ubiquitous as Wikipedia itself. Other great
projects, like Wikisource and Wikiquote, remain in their own little
niche, hampered to a large degree by the lack of appropriate
technology. Wikidata, the only radical new technology in the recent
WikiVerse, was spawned by [Wikimedia Deutschland/Germany], not WMF
proper, and remains poorly understood by many Wikipedians.

A lot has changed since 2001. Wikipedia is a success. We are no longer
fighting with our back at the abyss of failed start-ups; we have a
solid foundation to work from. But if we wall our garden against
change, against new users, new technologies, new approaches, our work
of 15 years is in danger of fading away. An established brand name
only carries so far. Ask IBM. Ask AOL. Right now, we are in an ideal
position to try new things. We have nothing to lose, except a little
time.


Ed Erhart, Editorial Associate
Wikimedia Foundation

#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#

It has a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 unported license There's a
comment thread, there, too.

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Risker
Hoi,
When people complain that Wikidata has a real awful user interface, I
wholeheartedly agree. It is really bad, so much so that I only use it to
edit. I am a big fan of Magnus's Reasonator. It turns data into
information. It works well, it works in many languages. I search in
Reasonator, I use Reasonator for disambiguation. It is superior.

When you say that the current Wikidata has a bad user interface, do not
excuse yourself; it is awful. For me it indicates  that Wikidata is
underfunded. However, there is a general rule that throwing more developers
at a problem does not necessarily make it better. Given the challenges that
the Wikidata development face, I do not complain. I respect the effort
involved, I truly respect Lydia and her team.

When Reasonator is to be used by the whole of the Wikimedia movement, I
know it will fail. It works well up to a point, this point can be much
improved but in my appreciation it is not trivial at all to scale it up. In
the mean time people who use it like myself are blessed with a user
interface that is wonderful.
Thanks,
       GerardM

On 18 January 2016 at 17:44, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thank you for flagging this for us, Andrew.  I have been unsuccessful in
> accessing this page and have been told by others who tried to do so that
> they were also getting various error messages.  I will try again later
> using different technology - the problem may be that the blog doesn't come
> up well certain types of phones.  Personally, I have always been a bit
> heartbroken that I missed out on the chance for a "Magnus Manske has a
> Posse" t-shirt a while back; his work has genuinely changed the course of
> our project on more than one occasion, and his reputation is solidly
> earned.
>
> With that in mind - that I've not yet got the full context of Magnus's
> comments, but that I believe anything Magnus says is worth listening to and
> considering - I'm a bit concerned about any suggestion that "the community"
> rejected Visual Editor because it was "new".
>
> The English Wikipedia community rejected it because it was really bad
> software that was causing so much damage to the project that even editors
> whose focus was on content writing and improvement wound up wasting their
> time fixing the errors inserted into the text by VisualEditor.  We went
> from a somewhat-difficult-to-use text editor (wikitext) as the default to a
> not-even-beta-level default editor that could not carry out even basic
> editing functions and was actively damaging existing content - without even
> a way for editors to select a "no VE" preference, which had to be written
> after implementation.  While it was available to IP editors, the community
> wound up reverting almost 100% of their edits because the VE-generated
> problems were so severe.  This was not a failure of the community to accept
> change.  This was the failure of the WMF to understand what a minimal
> viable product should be.  The poorly thought out implementation of
> VisualEditor has caused a huge amount of damage to the reputation of the
> software - remember, the community had been asking for something along this
> line as far back as 2003, so it wasn't that we didn't want this type of
> editing interface - and it also caused an entirely predictable backlash
> from the community of 2013.  Remember, this was not the community of 2003
> that understood almost everyone involved in software creation was a
> volunteer too, and thus would tolerate less refined software releases.  The
> community of 2013 (quite correctly, I think) expected much higher quality
> work from paid staff.  Bluntly put, not even when almost all of the
> software was being written by volunteers did we see such a problematic
> "upgrade".
>
> The Visual Editor of January 2016 bears little relationship to that which
> was released on July 1, 2013 - it is dramatically better, easier to use,
> and has some really great features that even experienced editors will find
> useful. I hope more experienced users will give it another try.
>
> I often find it ironic that the great concern about attracting new editors
> and thus creating VisualEditor is then immediately dumped to the bottom of
> the drawer when it comes to Wikidata. First we'll make it easy for them to
> edit. Then we'll include a whole pile of data that they can't edit -or at
> least can't edit on the website they logged into.  They're pretty opposite
> ideas, but of course that's considered luddite thinking.
>
> Risker/Anne
>
>
> On 18 January 2016 at 08:34, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > There’s an excellent profile of Magnus Manske in the Wikimedia blog
> today.
> > It’s hard to think of people more important to the movement than Magnus
> has
> > been since 2001.
> >
> > Selected quotes: "...we have gone from slowdown to standstill; the
> > interface has changed little in the last ten years or so, and all the
> > recent changes have been fought teeth-and-claw by the communities,
> > especially the larger language editions. From the Media Viewer, the
> Visual
> > Editor, to Wikidata transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups
> of
> > editors, not because they are a problem, but because they represent
> > change... all websites, including Wikipedia must obey the Red Queen
> > hypothesis: you have to run just to stand still. This does not only
> affect
> > Wikipedia itself, but the entire Wikimedia ecosystem... if we wall our
> > garden against change, against new users, new technologies our work of 15
> > years is in danger of fading away... we are in an ideal position to try
> new
> > things. We have nothing to lose, except a little time.”
> >
> > Link:
> >
> >
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/01/18/fifteen-years-wikipedia-magnus-manske/
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Ricordisamoa
Hoi,
As much as you like Reasonator, you should acknowledge that the Wikibase
GUI has to be kept as general as possible to be scalable and flexible
enough for everyone to use.

Il 18/01/2016 19:52, Gerard Meijssen ha scritto:

> Hoi,
> When people complain that Wikidata has a real awful user interface, I
> wholeheartedly agree. It is really bad, so much so that I only use it to
> edit. I am a big fan of Magnus's Reasonator. It turns data into
> information. It works well, it works in many languages. I search in
> Reasonator, I use Reasonator for disambiguation. It is superior.
>
> When you say that the current Wikidata has a bad user interface, do not
> excuse yourself; it is awful. For me it indicates  that Wikidata is
> underfunded. However, there is a general rule that throwing more developers
> at a problem does not necessarily make it better. Given the challenges that
> the Wikidata development face, I do not complain. I respect the effort
> involved, I truly respect Lydia and her team.
>
> When Reasonator is to be used by the whole of the Wikimedia movement, I
> know it will fail. It works well up to a point, this point can be much
> improved but in my appreciation it is not trivial at all to scale it up. In
> the mean time people who use it like myself are blessed with a user
> interface that is wonderful.
> Thanks,
>         GerardM
>
> On 18 January 2016 at 17:44, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Thank you for flagging this for us, Andrew.  I have been unsuccessful in
>> accessing this page and have been told by others who tried to do so that
>> they were also getting various error messages.  I will try again later
>> using different technology - the problem may be that the blog doesn't come
>> up well certain types of phones.  Personally, I have always been a bit
>> heartbroken that I missed out on the chance for a "Magnus Manske has a
>> Posse" t-shirt a while back; his work has genuinely changed the course of
>> our project on more than one occasion, and his reputation is solidly
>> earned.
>>
>> With that in mind - that I've not yet got the full context of Magnus's
>> comments, but that I believe anything Magnus says is worth listening to and
>> considering - I'm a bit concerned about any suggestion that "the community"
>> rejected Visual Editor because it was "new".
>>
>> The English Wikipedia community rejected it because it was really bad
>> software that was causing so much damage to the project that even editors
>> whose focus was on content writing and improvement wound up wasting their
>> time fixing the errors inserted into the text by VisualEditor.  We went
>> from a somewhat-difficult-to-use text editor (wikitext) as the default to a
>> not-even-beta-level default editor that could not carry out even basic
>> editing functions and was actively damaging existing content - without even
>> a way for editors to select a "no VE" preference, which had to be written
>> after implementation.  While it was available to IP editors, the community
>> wound up reverting almost 100% of their edits because the VE-generated
>> problems were so severe.  This was not a failure of the community to accept
>> change.  This was the failure of the WMF to understand what a minimal
>> viable product should be.  The poorly thought out implementation of
>> VisualEditor has caused a huge amount of damage to the reputation of the
>> software - remember, the community had been asking for something along this
>> line as far back as 2003, so it wasn't that we didn't want this type of
>> editing interface - and it also caused an entirely predictable backlash
>> from the community of 2013.  Remember, this was not the community of 2003
>> that understood almost everyone involved in software creation was a
>> volunteer too, and thus would tolerate less refined software releases.  The
>> community of 2013 (quite correctly, I think) expected much higher quality
>> work from paid staff.  Bluntly put, not even when almost all of the
>> software was being written by volunteers did we see such a problematic
>> "upgrade".
>>
>> The Visual Editor of January 2016 bears little relationship to that which
>> was released on July 1, 2013 - it is dramatically better, easier to use,
>> and has some really great features that even experienced editors will find
>> useful. I hope more experienced users will give it another try.
>>
>> I often find it ironic that the great concern about attracting new editors
>> and thus creating VisualEditor is then immediately dumped to the bottom of
>> the drawer when it comes to Wikidata. First we'll make it easy for them to
>> edit. Then we'll include a whole pile of data that they can't edit -or at
>> least can't edit on the website they logged into.  They're pretty opposite
>> ideas, but of course that's considered luddite thinking.
>>
>> Risker/Anne
>>
>>
>> On 18 January 2016 at 08:34, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> There’s an excellent profile of Magnus Manske in the Wikimedia blog
>> today.
>>> It’s hard to think of people more important to the movement than Magnus
>> has
>>> been since 2001.
>>>
>>> Selected quotes: "...we have gone from slowdown to standstill; the
>>> interface has changed little in the last ten years or so, and all the
>>> recent changes have been fought teeth-and-claw by the communities,
>>> especially the larger language editions. From the Media Viewer, the
>> Visual
>>> Editor, to Wikidata transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups
>> of
>>> editors, not because they are a problem, but because they represent
>>> change... all websites, including Wikipedia must obey the Red Queen
>>> hypothesis: you have to run just to stand still. This does not only
>> affect
>>> Wikipedia itself, but the entire Wikimedia ecosystem... if we wall our
>>> garden against change, against new users, new technologies our work of 15
>>> years is in danger of fading away... we are in an ideal position to try
>> new
>>> things. We have nothing to lose, except a little time.”
>>>
>>> Link:
>>>
>>>
>> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2016/01/18/fifteen-years-wikipedia-magnus-manske/
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Andrew Lih
In reply to this post by Pine W
I cannot speak for Magnus, but there’s a distinction that needs to be made:

Writing, “… all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not because
they are a problem, but because they represent change” is not maligning all
editors who complain.

It simply says that those who resist innovation because it is a change from
the status quo, and without solid reasoning, should reconsider. The
detailed analysis of Jonathan Cardy and Risker criticizing VE’s suboptimal
2013 launch are well-informed and legit. But many, unfortunately, don’t
apply such high standards for analysis.

-Andrew


On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:13 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> After the assertion "From the Media Viewer, the Visual Editor, to Wikidata
> transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
> because they are a problem, but because they represent change," I would
> suggest a very large "citation needed" tag.
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Magnus Manske-2
OK, long thread, I'll try to answer in one here...

* I've been writing code for over thirty years now, so I'm the first to say
that technology in not "the" answer to social or structural issues. It can,
however, mitigate some of those issues, or at least show new ways of
dealing with them

* New things are not necessarily good just because they are new. What seems
to be an improvement, especially for a technical mind, can be a huge step
backwards for the "general population". On the other hand, projects like
the Visual Editor can make work easier for many people, but few of them
will realize what a daunting undertaking such a project is. The complexity
of getting this right is staggering. Expectations of getting it all
perfect, all feature-complete, on the initial release, are unrealistic to
say the least. And many of the details can not be tested between a few
developers; things need to be tested under real-world conditions, and
testing means they can break. Feedback about problems with a software
release are actually quite welcome, but condemning an entire product
forever because the first version didn't do everything 100% right is just
plain stupid. If Wikipedia had been judged by such standards in 2001, there
would be no Wikipedia today, period. Technology improves all the time, be
it Visual Editor, Media Viewer, or Wikidata; but in the community, there is
a sense of "it was bad, it must be still bad", and I have a feeling that
this is extended to new projects by default these days.

* In summary, what I criticize is that few people ask "how can we make this
better"; all they ask is "how can we get rid of it". This attitude prevents
the development of just about any new approach. If the result of a long,
thorough analysis is "it's bad, and it can't possibly be made better",
/then/ is the time to scrap it, but no sooner.

* Of course, "the community" is an ill-defined construct to begin with.
When I use that phrase above, I do mean a small but prominent subgroup in
that demographic, mostly "old hands" of good editors, often with a "fan
club" of people repeating the opinions of the former on talk pages, without
really investigating on their own. After all, they are good editors, so
they must know what they are talking about, right?

* As I tried to say in the interview, I do understand such a conservative
approach all to well. We worked hard for Wikipedia to get where it is now,
and with trolls, on the left, vandals on the right, and half-done tech
experiments in front, retreating into the safety of the castle seems like a
good choice. And sometimes it is. But while we can defend the castle
comfortably for some years to come, we will never grow beyond its walls. I
think we are already seeing the first fallout from this stagnation, in
terms of dropping page views (not to mention editors). If people stop
coming to a Wikipedia with 5 million articles, 10 million articles would
not make much difference by themselves; more content is good, but it will
not turn this supertanker around on its own. We do have some time left to
change things, without undue haste, but we won't have forever.

* Just to make sure, I am NOT saying to throw away all the things that have
proven to work for us; I'm just saying we shouldn't restrict us to them.

* As for this "Wikidata is killing Wikipedia" sentiment - bullshit. (I
would like to be more eloquent here, but for once, this is the perfect
word.) Wikipedia and Wikidata are two very different beasts, though they do
have an overlap. And that overlap should be used on Wikipedia, where it can
help, even in the gigantic English Wikipedia, which covers but a third of
Wikidata items. Transcluded data in infoboxes; automatically generated
lists; a data source for timelines. Those are functions that will improve
Wikipedia, and will help especially the hundreds of smaller language
editions that are just getting towards critical mass. And there,
automatically generated descriptions can help get to that mass, until
someone writes an actual article in that language.

* So Google is using Wikidata in their search results? Good! In case you
have forgotten, our mission is not to have a nice article about your pet
topic, or have humans write articles that are little better than
bot-generated stubs, or have your name in ten thousand article histories;
the mission is the dissemination of free knowledge. And the more third
parties use the knowledge we assemble, even (or especially!) if it is that
other 800 pound gorilla on the web, the better we fulfil that mission.

I hope this clarifies my POV, and doesn't offend too many people ;-)

On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 7:10 PM Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I cannot speak for Magnus, but there’s a distinction that needs to be made:
>
> Writing, “… all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not because
> they are a problem, but because they represent change” is not maligning all
> editors who complain.
>
> It simply says that those who resist innovation because it is a change from
> the status quo, and without solid reasoning, should reconsider. The
> detailed analysis of Jonathan Cardy and Risker criticizing VE’s suboptimal
> 2013 launch are well-informed and legit. But many, unfortunately, don’t
> apply such high standards for analysis.
>
> -Andrew
>
>
> On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:13 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > After the assertion "From the Media Viewer, the Visual Editor, to
> Wikidata
> > transclusion, all have been resisted by vocal groups of editors, not
> > because they are a problem, but because they represent change," I would
> > suggest a very large "citation needed" tag.
> >
> > Pine
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

David Gerard-2
On 18 January 2016 at 20:33, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]> wrote:

> * New things are not necessarily good just because they are new. What seems
> to be an improvement, especially for a technical mind, can be a huge step
> backwards for the "general population". On the other hand, projects like
> the Visual Editor can make work easier for many people, but few of them
> will realize what a daunting undertaking such a project is. The complexity


As a huge VE advocate, I was quite disconcerted how hard the WMF was
trying to force through what was clearly an early beta in need of
real-world testing as if it were a production-ready product; I think
this was the problem and the reason for the backlash. VE *now* has had
a couple of years' development in a real-world environment and is
really quite excellent (and the only sensible way to edit tables). But
the problem here was not fear of change or fear of technology, but
rejecting technology that was being forced on editors when it was
really obviously not up to the job as yet.


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Magnus Manske-2
As one can be overly conservative, one can also be overly enthusiastic. I
would hope the Foundation by now understands better how to handle new
software releases. Apple here shows the way: Basic functionality, but
working smoothly first. That said, problems are to be expected, and a new
Wikitext parser-and-back, plus new interface, were bound to produce some
broken edits.

On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 9:46 PM David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 18 January 2016 at 20:33, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > * New things are not necessarily good just because they are new. What
> seems
> > to be an improvement, especially for a technical mind, can be a huge step
> > backwards for the "general population". On the other hand, projects like
> > the Visual Editor can make work easier for many people, but few of them
> > will realize what a daunting undertaking such a project is. The
> complexity
>
>
> As a huge VE advocate, I was quite disconcerted how hard the WMF was
> trying to force through what was clearly an early beta in need of
> real-world testing as if it were a production-ready product; I think
> this was the problem and the reason for the backlash. VE *now* has had
> a couple of years' development in a real-world environment and is
> really quite excellent (and the only sensible way to edit tables). But
> the problem here was not fear of change or fear of technology, but
> rejecting technology that was being forced on editors when it was
> really obviously not up to the job as yet.
>
>
> - d.
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Mike Peel

> On 18 Jan 2016, at 22:35, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> As one can be overly conservative, one can also be overly enthusiastic. I
> would hope the Foundation by now understands better how to handle new
> software releases. Apple here shows the way: Basic functionality, but
> working smoothly first.

But at a huge cost premium? I'm not sure that's a good example to make here. :-/

Thanks,
Mike
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Magnus Manske-2
The iPhone was a commercial success because it let you do the basic
functions easily and intuitively, and looked shiny at the same time. We do
not charge a price; our "win" comes by people using our product. If we can
present the product in such a way that more people use it, it is a success
for us.

I do stand by my example :-)

On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 10:37 PM Michael Peel <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> > On 18 Jan 2016, at 22:35, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > As one can be overly conservative, one can also be overly enthusiastic. I
> > would hope the Foundation by now understands better how to handle new
> > software releases. Apple here shows the way: Basic functionality, but
> > working smoothly first.
>
> But at a huge cost premium? I'm not sure that's a good example to make
> here. :-/
>
> Thanks,
> Mike
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Anthony Cole
Magnus, you've missed the point of the visual editor revolt. A couple of
people here have tried to explain that to you, politely. And you're
persisting with your idée fixe.

There were two parts to the visual editor catastrophe, actually. The
product wasn't ready for anyone to use. Not veteran editors. Not newbies.
Newbies who used it were less likely to successfully complete an edit. It
was broken, and the WMF insisted we had to use it.

The second part of the problem was arrogance. Yes, a few editors were
unnecessarily rude about the product and the developers. But then most of
the developers and tech staff who dealt with the community arrogantly
characterised *anyone* who complained about the product as an ignorant,
selfish Ludite - and you're persisting with that characterisation now.

The WMF under Lila has learned the lessons from that, and they have
fostered a much healthier relationship between the developers and the
community. You clearly haven't learned all you might have.

In fact, reading the arrogant responses from you here and in the concurrent
thread titled "How to disseminate free knowledge," and from Denny in
earlier threads addressing criticism of WikiData, it seems to me there is
still a significant arrogance problem that needs addressing, at least over
at WikiData.

Some people may approach you arrogantly, maybe even insultingly, about an
innovation, and I suppose you might be justified in talking down to them or
ridiculing them (though I advise against it.). But if you can't distinguish
them from those who approach you with genuine concerns and well-founded
criticisms, then no matter how clever you think your technical solutions
are, you will soon find you're no more welcome here than those WMF staffers
who thought insulting well-meaning critics was a good career move.

Denny's contemptuous dismissal of valid criticisms of his project, and your
contemptuous dismissal of the valid criticisms of the early visual editor
and its launch are both very disappointing.

Anthony Cole


On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 7:24 AM, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> The iPhone was a commercial success because it let you do the basic
> functions easily and intuitively, and looked shiny at the same time. We do
> not charge a price; our "win" comes by people using our product. If we can
> present the product in such a way that more people use it, it is a success
> for us.
>
> I do stand by my example :-)
>
> On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 10:37 PM Michael Peel <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> >
> > > On 18 Jan 2016, at 22:35, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > As one can be overly conservative, one can also be overly
> enthusiastic. I
> > > would hope the Foundation by now understands better how to handle new
> > > software releases. Apple here shows the way: Basic functionality, but
> > > working smoothly first.
> >
> > But at a huge cost premium? I'm not sure that's a good example to make
> > here. :-/
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Mike
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Magnus Manske-2
Anthony, it does seem you've missed some of which I wrote in this thread. I
have no problem with specific criticism where it is deserved, and I do well
remember that the Visual Editor, in its early incarnation, was not quite up
to the job.

What I do have a problem with is people fixating on some technical or
early-lifecycle issues, declaring the entire thing worthless, even
dangerous, and spreading that view around. This behaviour, I have seen time
and again, with the Media Viewer, with Wikidata.

It's bad because it's broken - let's come together and fix it.

It's bad because ... well, everyone says it's bad. And new. And Not Made
Here. THAT is a problem, and not a technological one.

On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 2:39 PM Anthony Cole <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Magnus, you've missed the point of the visual editor revolt. A couple of
> people here have tried to explain that to you, politely. And you're
> persisting with your idée fixe.
>
> There were two parts to the visual editor catastrophe, actually. The
> product wasn't ready for anyone to use. Not veteran editors. Not newbies.
> Newbies who used it were less likely to successfully complete an edit. It
> was broken, and the WMF insisted we had to use it.
>
> The second part of the problem was arrogance. Yes, a few editors were
> unnecessarily rude about the product and the developers. But then most of
> the developers and tech staff who dealt with the community arrogantly
> characterised *anyone* who complained about the product as an ignorant,
> selfish Ludite - and you're persisting with that characterisation now.
>
> The WMF under Lila has learned the lessons from that, and they have
> fostered a much healthier relationship between the developers and the
> community. You clearly haven't learned all you might have.
>
> In fact, reading the arrogant responses from you here and in the concurrent
> thread titled "How to disseminate free knowledge," and from Denny in
> earlier threads addressing criticism of WikiData, it seems to me there is
> still a significant arrogance problem that needs addressing, at least over
> at WikiData.
>
> Some people may approach you arrogantly, maybe even insultingly, about an
> innovation, and I suppose you might be justified in talking down to them or
> ridiculing them (though I advise against it.). But if you can't distinguish
> them from those who approach you with genuine concerns and well-founded
> criticisms, then no matter how clever you think your technical solutions
> are, you will soon find you're no more welcome here than those WMF staffers
> who thought insulting well-meaning critics was a good career move.
>
> Denny's contemptuous dismissal of valid criticisms of his project, and your
> contemptuous dismissal of the valid criticisms of the early visual editor
> and its launch are both very disappointing.
>
> Anthony Cole
>
>
> On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 7:24 AM, Magnus Manske <
> [hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > The iPhone was a commercial success because it let you do the basic
> > functions easily and intuitively, and looked shiny at the same time. We
> do
> > not charge a price; our "win" comes by people using our product. If we
> can
> > present the product in such a way that more people use it, it is a
> success
> > for us.
> >
> > I do stand by my example :-)
> >
> > On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 10:37 PM Michael Peel <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > > On 18 Jan 2016, at 22:35, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]
> >
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > As one can be overly conservative, one can also be overly
> > enthusiastic. I
> > > > would hope the Foundation by now understands better how to handle new
> > > > software releases. Apple here shows the way: Basic functionality, but
> > > > working smoothly first.
> > >
> > > But at a huge cost premium? I'm not sure that's a good example to make
> > > here. :-/
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > > Mike
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
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> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Profile of Magnus Manske

Andrew Lih
In reply to this post by Anthony Cole
On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 9:39 AM, Anthony Cole <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Magnus, you've missed the point of the visual editor revolt. A couple of
> people here have tried to explain that to you, politely. And you're
> persisting with your idée fixe.
>

To be fair, Magnus was addressing more than just the initial complaints
from 2013. He said, “condemning an entire product forever because the first
version didn’t do everything 100% right is just plain stupid.”
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