drive-by site updates

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drive-by site updates

Amir E. Aharoni
The people who decided to enable without any proper testing and announcement
the collapsible sidebar that hides interlanguage links, the search box that
can't search and the new Wikipedia logo which nearly everybody hates -
please don't do this again.

Thank you.

--
אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
Amir Elisha Aharoni

http://aharoni.wordpress.com

"We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace." - T. Moore
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Re: drive-by site updates

Rui Correia-2
I am with you on this!

I also disagree with the language sidebar being collapsed. The default
should be visible language links, if you don't want it, then collapse it.

Rui

On 16 May 2010 10:19, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The people who decided to enable without any proper testing and
> announcement
> the collapsible sidebar that hides interlanguage links, the search box that
> can't search and the new Wikipedia logo which nearly everybody hates -
> please don't do this again.
>
> Thank you.
>
> --
> אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> Amir Elisha Aharoni
>
> http://aharoni.wordpress.com
>
> "We're living in pieces,
> I want to live in peace." - T. Moore
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
O meu número em Luanda: (+244) 936144613
My number in Luanda: (+244) 936144613
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Angola Liaison Consultant
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Tel/ Fax (+27-11) 766-4336
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Re: drive-by site updates

Andrew Garrett-4
In reply to this post by Amir E. Aharoni
On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 7:19 PM, Amir E. Aharoni
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> The people who decided to enable without any proper testing and announcement
> the collapsible sidebar that hides interlanguage links, the search box that
> can't search and the new Wikipedia logo which nearly everybody hates -
> please don't do this again.

I'll feed.

Those people happen to be five or six talented developers who've spent
a year and a half developing and testing a more useful, usable
interface for our project. They've spent the last few days chasing
obscure bugs and connecting with the community on other issues; if
there are problems with this rollout, they're certainly not because of
"drive-by site updates".

Perhaps this thread should be titled "drive-by complaints" — you've
made little attempt to understand and engage with people who have been
working their asses off to bring Wikipedia a better user experience.
No software rollout is ever perfect, and there are perhaps
improvements to make, but your post is thoroughly unconstructive and
entirely devoid of substance.

If you have bugs to report, report them properly, with more useful
details and less attitude (Hint: name the component that's failing,
the steps you took, what you expected to happen, and what actually
happened). If you have constructive feedback on the rollout process,
engage with the already-ongoing discussion on this mailing list, first
reading the existing posts to check that your comments haven't been
made already.

If you simply enjoy writing unhelpful and toxic comments about other
people's work, then I suggest you refrain from sending them, or send
them to somebody else.

--
Andrew Garrett
http://werdn.us/

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Re: drive-by site updates

Amir E. Aharoni
On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 14:57, Andrew Garrett <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 7:19 PM, Amir E. Aharoni
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > The people who decided to enable without any proper testing and announcement
> > the collapsible sidebar that hides interlanguage links, the search box that
> > can't search and the new Wikipedia logo which nearly everybody hates -
> > please don't do this again.
>
> I'll feed.
>
> Those people happen to be five or six talented developers who've spent
> a year and a half developing and testing a more useful, usable
> interface for our project. They've spent the last few days chasing
> obscure bugs and connecting with the community on other issues; if
> there are problems with this rollout, they're certainly not because of
> "drive-by site updates".

The roll-out of Vector, in general, is not a "drive-by update". It was
introduced a few months before. It's not perfect, but at least it's
not too surprising.

But the introduction of the new search box that practically can't
search, was not part of the beta and it was a complete surprise. Am i
badly mistaken?

--
אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
Amir Elisha Aharoni

http://aharoni.wordpress.com

"We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace." - T. Moore

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Re: drive-by site updates

Svip
On 16 May 2010 14:06, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> But the introduction of the new search box that practically can't
> search, was not part of the beta and it was a complete surprise. Am i
> badly mistaken?

After my own attempts, I cannot find any issues with the search box.
Could you describe your problems more accurately?  Or better yet, file
a bug report about it on https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/

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Re: drive-by site updates

Amir E. Aharoni
On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 15:11, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 16 May 2010 14:06, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> But the introduction of the new search box that practically can't
>> search, was not part of the beta and it was a complete surprise. Am i
>> badly mistaken?
>
> After my own attempts, I cannot find any issues with the search box.
> Could you describe your problems more accurately?  Or better yet, file
> a bug report about it on https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/

In Vector, search for "begin". You'll get to the page "Begin". There's
no way to actually search Wikipedia for the word "begin" using this
search box.

There are dozens of comments about it at [[Wikipedia:User experience
feedback]] and [[Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)]].

But that's the technical side. In fact, most of the Usability team's
work has been fantastic. The problem is the decision making. IIRC,
when adding a page to the watchlist became AJAX-y two or three years
ago, it was announced to the community some time before it was enabled
- and that was a rather small change. This time, however, i don't
remember any announcement about the new search box and the collapsible
sidebar. Such an announcement would allow testing and testing would
likely prevent the worst bugs.

So please, in the future, don't test major features just in the labs.
Please allow the wide community to test them before they are deployed.

--
אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
Amir Elisha Aharoni

http://aharoni.wordpress.com

"We're living in pieces,
 I want to live in peace." - T. Moore

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Re: drive-by site updates

Magnus Manske-2
On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 2:50 PM, Amir E. Aharoni
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 15:11, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 16 May 2010 14:06, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> But the introduction of the new search box that practically can't
>>> search, was not part of the beta and it was a complete surprise. Am i
>>> badly mistaken?
>>
>> After my own attempts, I cannot find any issues with the search box.
>> Could you describe your problems more accurately?  Or better yet, file
>> a bug report about it on https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/
>
> In Vector, search for "begin". You'll get to the page "Begin". There's
> no way to actually search Wikipedia for the word "begin" using this
> search box.

<sigh>
Type "begin" in the box, hit the cursor-up key to select the last rows
in the suggest box, hit enter.

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Re: drive-by site updates

Svip
On 16 May 2010 17:12, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 2:50 PM, Amir E. Aharoni
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 15:11, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> On 16 May 2010 14:06, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>>> But the introduction of the new search box that practically can't
>>>> search, was not part of the beta and it was a complete surprise. Am i
>>>> badly mistaken?
>>>
>>> After my own attempts, I cannot find any issues with the search box.
>>> Could you describe your problems more accurately?  Or better yet, file
>>> a bug report about it on https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/
>>
>> In Vector, search for "begin". You'll get to the page "Begin". There's
>> no way to actually search Wikipedia for the word "begin" using this
>> search box.
>
> <sigh>
> Type "begin" in the box, hit the cursor-up key to select the last rows
> in the suggest box, hit enter.

<sigh>
That is /real/ user friendly.  I bet Joe Public can figure that one out.

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Re: drive-by site updates

Svip
On 16 May 2010 17:14, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 16 May 2010 17:12, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 2:50 PM, Amir E. Aharoni
>> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 15:11, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>> On 16 May 2010 14:06, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> But the introduction of the new search box that practically can't
>>>>> search, was not part of the beta and it was a complete surprise. Am i
>>>>> badly mistaken?
>>>>
>>>> After my own attempts, I cannot find any issues with the search box.
>>>> Could you describe your problems more accurately?  Or better yet, file
>>>> a bug report about it on https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/
>>>
>>> In Vector, search for "begin". You'll get to the page "Begin". There's
>>> no way to actually search Wikipedia for the word "begin" using this
>>> search box.
>>
>> <sigh>
>> Type "begin" in the box, hit the cursor-up key to select the last rows
>> in the suggest box, hit enter.
>
> <sigh>
> That is /real/ user friendly.  I bet Joe Public can figure that one out.

Also, I apologise for sending this mail out too quick, but your
suggestion didn't work.  Unless you consider the 'AJAX-suggestions' to
be 'search' (which it isn't, btw).

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Re: drive-by site updates

Bence Damokos
On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 5:15 PM, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 16 May 2010 17:14, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 16 May 2010 17:12, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 2:50 PM, Amir E. Aharoni
> >> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>> On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 15:11, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>>> On 16 May 2010 14:06, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> But the introduction of the new search box that practically can't
> >>>>> search, was not part of the beta and it was a complete surprise. Am i
> >>>>> badly mistaken?
> >>>>
> >>>> After my own attempts, I cannot find any issues with the search box.
> >>>> Could you describe your problems more accurately?  Or better yet, file
> >>>> a bug report about it on https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/
> >>>
> >>> In Vector, search for "begin". You'll get to the page "Begin". There's
> >>> no way to actually search Wikipedia for the word "begin" using this
> >>> search box.
> >>
> >> <sigh>
> >> Type "begin" in the box, hit the cursor-up key to select the last rows
> >> in the suggest box, hit enter.
> >
> > <sigh>
> > That is /real/ user friendly.  I bet Joe Public can figure that one out.
>
> Also, I apologise for sending this mail out too quick, but your
> suggestion didn't work.  Unless you consider the 'AJAX-suggestions' to
> be 'search' (which it isn't, btw).
>
It was kinda announced on the techblog -
http://techblog.wikimedia.org/2010/05/simplified-search-for-vector/  - but I
was expecting some more testing before any rollout. For example, for me the
search box magic that would suggest the "containing" pages doesn't seem to
load at all (FF 3.6.4, XP).

The collapsible sidebar is actually a nice feature but as suggested above, I
would probably keep the interwiki links visible (if the majority of visitors
come outside the anglophone countries, which I am guessing is the case), as
they can be quite useful for non native speaker visitors to find out about
the Wikipedias in their own language (using some JS trick to offer the
version in their browser's language more prominently would work as well).

Best,
Bence



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Re: drive-by site updates

Robert Stojnic-2
In reply to this post by Svip

> Also, I apologise for sending this mail out too quick, but your
> suggestion didn't work.  Unless you consider the 'AJAX-suggestions' to
> be 'search' (which it isn't, btw).
>
>  
Per bug [1] the drop-down has been reverted to the earlier state,
however this had the unfortunately side-effect of Search button
completely disappearing, and remaining only on Special:Search. Hopefully
we will see this bug fixed in the very near future, or the whole search
redesign reverted until the outstanding issues are dealt with.

[1] https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=23498

Cheers, r.

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Re: drive-by site updates

AGK-2
In reply to this post by Amir E. Aharoni
On 16 May 2010 14:50, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> In Vector, search for "begin". You'll get to the page "Begin". There's
> no way to actually search Wikipedia for the word "begin" using this
> search box.

Oh wow. That is a really big bug…

AGK

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Re: drive-by site updates

Magnus Manske-2
In reply to this post by Svip
On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 4:15 PM, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 16 May 2010 17:14, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 16 May 2010 17:12, Magnus Manske <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 2:50 PM, Amir E. Aharoni
>>> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>> On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 15:11, Svip <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>> On 16 May 2010 14:06, Amir E. Aharoni <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> But the introduction of the new search box that practically can't
>>>>>> search, was not part of the beta and it was a complete surprise. Am i
>>>>>> badly mistaken?
>>>>>
>>>>> After my own attempts, I cannot find any issues with the search box.
>>>>> Could you describe your problems more accurately?  Or better yet, file
>>>>> a bug report about it on https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/
>>>>
>>>> In Vector, search for "begin". You'll get to the page "Begin". There's
>>>> no way to actually search Wikipedia for the word "begin" using this
>>>> search box.
>>>
>>> <sigh>
>>> Type "begin" in the box, hit the cursor-up key to select the last rows
>>> in the suggest box, hit enter.
>>
>> <sigh>
>> That is /real/ user friendly.  I bet Joe Public can figure that one out.
>
> Also, I apologise for sending this mail out too quick, but your
> suggestion didn't work.  Unless you consider the 'AJAX-suggestions' to
> be 'search' (which it isn't, btw).

Huh. Worked yesterday. Clearly they're changing stuff, just not the
right stuff...

Magnus

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Re: drive-by site updates

Aryeh Gregor
In reply to this post by Amir E. Aharoni
On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 9:50 AM, Amir E. Aharoni
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> IIRC,
> when adding a page to the watchlist became AJAX-y two or three years
> ago, it was announced to the community some time before it was enabled
> - and that was a rather small change.

I don't remember that, and I was the one who enabled it
<http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/23233>.
Generally, software changes are not announced in advance, because
there are far too many of them and most are incredibly boring, so
users won't look anyway.  The Usability Initiative switch was
announced long in advance, more publicly than any other feature
rollout I can think of offhand.  It actually had a link to opt in in
the upper right of every single page on Wikimedia wikis.  How much
more announcement can you get?

You had ample opportunity to try out the changes by opting into the
beta at any time in the last year or two.  You chose not to, and
that's fine -- you have other things to do, I'm sure.  I didn't opt in
either.  But it means you'll only notice any problems after the beta
is deployed, as you did.

There is no way this could have been avoided.  At some point, we've
gotten all the pre-deployment feedback we're going to get, and that's
when we have to deploy.  No matter how much we announce things, some
people will not have gotten the message, and will only notice things
after deployment.  There is no decision-making problem here, or at
least none that can be fixed.

If you have procedural suggestions for how large feature rollouts can
be better handled in the future, you really have to be more specific.
What exactly would you have had the Usability Initiative announce in
advance of deployment?  If they had announced every one of the dozens
of minor changes they were making, no one would have read them.  The
list would be too long.  The only useful announcement they could have
made is "We're making lots of changes, you can try them out by opting
into the beta" -- which they did, very prominently.

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Re: drive-by site updates

Amir E. Aharoni
On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 22:44, Aryeh Gregor
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 9:50 AM, Amir E. Aharoni
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> IIRC,
>> when adding a page to the watchlist became AJAX-y two or three years
>> ago, it was announced to the community some time before it was enabled
>> - and that was a rather small change.
>
> The Usability Initiative switch was
> announced long in advance, more publicly than any other feature
> rollout I can think of offhand.  It actually had a link to opt in in
> the upper right of every single page on Wikimedia wikis.  How much
> more announcement can you get?

The Usability Initiative was announced, but the search box hardly so.
It was only announced in the technical blog and i actually read it and
tried it in the prototype wiki, but as the prototype wiki says itself,
it is not a real wiki, so i didn't see the bug there.

(To avoid any possible confusion, i don't refer to the search box's
location, but to the fact that it's nearly impossible to use it for
searching. The location change was part of the beta; a lot of people
didn't like it, but i am not talking about that.)

> You had ample opportunity to try out the changes by opting into the
> beta at any time in the last year or two.  You chose not to

I did choose to. I also convinced a few people in he.wikipedia to try
it. I also reported several Vector bugs to Bugzilla and fixed Vector
support for Hebrew in Commons (with help from Eran and Slomox).

The search box changes were not part of the beta on Wikipedia. If i
could choose to test it, i would, but it went from the labs straight
into production.

> If you have procedural suggestions for how large feature rollouts can
> be better handled in the future, you really have to be more specific.

The skin was beta-tested in the live Wikipedia. The editing toolbar
was beta-tested in the live Wikipedia. The search box was not
beta-tested in the live Wikipedia, but only in the labs and apparently
it wasn't enough.

So, quite simply, don't roll out major interface changes without
beta-testing them in the live Wikipedia.

There are issues from the beta-test stage that are still not resolved
and it would be better if they were, but i am not complaining about
that here.

> What exactly would you have had the Usability Initiative announce in
> advance of deployment?  If they had announced every one of the dozens
> of minor changes they were making, no one would have read them.  The
> list would be too long.  The only useful announcement they could have
> made is "We're making lots of changes, you can try them out by opting
> into the beta" -- which they did, very prominently.

See above - the search box not part of the beta.

The rather minor (IMHO) change in Google's search box that was rolled
out recently became headline news all over the world. Wikipedia is not
far behind Google in popularity. So the complete revamping of
Wikipedia's search box is not a minor change by any measure.

--
אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
Amir Elisha Aharoni

http://aharoni.wordpress.com

"We're living in pieces,
 I want to live in peace." - T. Moore

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Re: drive-by site updates

Amir E. Aharoni
In reply to this post by Robert Stojnic-2
On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 18:36, Robert Stojnic <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Per bug [1] the drop-down has been reverted to the earlier state,
> however this had the unfortunately side-effect of Search button
> completely disappearing, and remaining only on Special:Search. Hopefully
> we will see this bug fixed in the very near future, or the whole search
> redesign reverted until the outstanding issues are dealt with.

The whole search redesign is still not reverted and it's still not
quite possible to search Wikipedia except by switching to Monobook or
by manually typing "Special:Search" (there's no link to it anywhere).

--
אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
Amir Elisha Aharoni

http://aharoni.wordpress.com

"We're living in pieces,
 I want to live in peace." - T. Moore

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Re: drive-by site updates

Aryeh Gregor
In reply to this post by Amir E. Aharoni
On Sun, May 16, 2010 at 4:16 PM, Amir E. Aharoni
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> The Usability Initiative was announced, but the search box hardly so.
> It was only announced in the technical blog and i actually read it and
> tried it in the prototype wiki, but as the prototype wiki says itself,
> it is not a real wiki, so i didn't see the bug there.
>
> (To avoid any possible confusion, i don't refer to the search box's
> location, but to the fact that it's nearly impossible to use it for
> searching. The location change was part of the beta; a lot of people
> didn't like it, but i am not talking about that.)

Okay, then I misunderstood.  I'll have to let the usability people
respond to this.

> The rather minor (IMHO) change in Google's search box that was rolled
> out recently became headline news all over the world. Wikipedia is not
> far behind Google in popularity.

But it's three orders of magnitude behind in revenue.  :)  That
affects planning and testing an awful lot, alas.

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