IRC office hours/2010-01-26

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[2:02pm] Philippe|Wiki: oh wait... *** BEGIN LOGGING ***
[2:02pm] angasule joined the chat room.
[2:02pm] Natalie: > Wikimedia Foundation's "backstage" projects
[2:02pm] Philippe|Wiki: It's been a big week for the strategy project....
[2:03pm] Natalie: How goofy.
[2:03pm] Tempodivalse: did somebody de-uglify the main page while i was gone?
[2:03pm] Tempodivalse: :-b
[2:03pm] Tempodivalse: looks nicer than it did a few weeks ago
[2:03pm] Philippe|Wiki: next week, the Board of Trustees will review the suggestions from Sue and the strategy team....
[2:03pm] Philippe|Wiki: And hopefully sign off on them.
[2:03pm] msh210 left the chat room.
[2:03pm] Philippe|Wiki: The task force recommendations are in...
[2:03pm] Natalie: Is this a meeting or a lecture?
[2:04pm] Philippe|Wiki: It's a meeting, dear, but I'm giving a quick overview
[2:04pm] Philippe|Wiki: feel free to chat, not that you wouldn't...
[2:04pm] rainman-sr joined the chat room.
[2:04pm] Philippe|Wiki: And with that, I'll open it up for questions, comments, or potshots at Natalie.
[2:04pm] geniice joined the chat room.
[2:04pm] Natalie: Y'know, it occurs to me that the community-elected Board seat went to Wing.
[2:04pm] Natalie: Who came from the Chinese Wikipedia.
[2:05pm] Natalie: I find it hard to believe that the strategy project would be completely writing off China if the Chinese Wikipedians were adequately represented.
[2:05pm] MuZemike joined the chat room.
[2:05pm] Philippe|Wiki: Natalie: Wing actually has spoken in favor of not investing additional resources in China
[2:05pm] mattis^ joined the chat room.
[2:05pm] Natalie: What about the other Chinese editors?
[2:05pm] Philippe|Wiki: We're not "writing off China" - we're investing in it at the same level we are now.
[2:05pm] Natalie: Which is?
[2:06pm] GerardM-: what is not clear to me ... there is this notion that GLAM is not so much for the WMF itself, I understand that it is first and foremost left to the chapters .. do I read this right ?
[2:06pm] Philippe|Wiki: The same as we invest in every other project, Natalie. We're just saying that the FOUNDATION - a single part of the movement - is not going to invest in putting additional resources into China.
[2:06pm] peteforsyth: Natalie: I suspect everybody understands the seriousness of making a determination about resources and China. Can you make an argument about the substance of the decision, rather than the process by which it is being reached?
[2:06pm] Natalie: peteforsyth: Excuse me?
[2:06pm] Philippe|Wiki: GerardM-: I'm not sure I'm clear on what you're asking.
[2:07pm] Natalie: peteforsyth: I don't think it's unreasonable to question the process.
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[2:07pm] eekim joined the chat room.
[2:07pm] peteforsyth: Natalie: I don't either. Sorry, that's not what I meant.
[2:07pm] eekim: hi everyone
[2:07pm] GerardM-: this is how I understand it, is that correct ?
[2:07pm] Natalie: Esp. as there's evidence that Chinese Wikipedians make up a large percentage of the overall userbase.
[2:07pm] eekim: sorry i'm late
[2:07pm] Philippe|Wiki: Natalie: Again, nobody's writing off China.
[2:07pm] Philippe|Wiki: We're saying that one part of the movement - the Foundation - is not going to put ADDITIONAL resources there.
[2:07pm] eekim: additional resources _specifically in China_
[2:08pm] peteforsyth: But if there's a decision to be (re)made, I think it would be best to address it on the substance rather than the process.
[2:08pm] Natalie: Philippe|Wiki: Should I get the letter out?
[2:08pm] Natalie: GerardM-: That's how I understand it as well. GLAM is a chapter thing.
[2:08pm] eekim: the Foundation will make across the board investments that will have impact world-wide, including China
[2:08pm] Natalie: Because with 1.3 billion people and most of the world's wealth, you want to invest in ... small African children.
[2:08pm] Natalie: I guess most children are small.
[2:08pm] geniice: Natalie well we are not competeing with hoodong there
[2:08pm] peteforsyth: In other words: unless we have an opportunity to fix the process in a very swift manner, we'd do better to do the best we can with the process we have..even, perhaps, acknowledging that the process could be better.
[2:09pm] Natalie: geniice: Perhaps that comes from a lack of resources being pushed in that direction.
[2:09pm] mutante: with the Google vs. China news all over the place right now, if you get any media to turn it into "Wikipedia threatens to pull out of China, too".. they will jump at it
[2:09pm] Natalie: mutante: Quite.
[2:09pm] geniice: Natalie nyet being locked out by the great firewall for 3 years
[2:09pm] mattis^: agree
[2:09pm] Natalie: http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Sue_Gardner
[2:09pm] Natalie: I can't see the letter from Sue.
[2:09pm] Natalie: Did she not actually post it herself?
[2:10pm] geniice: mutante can't pull out of china. Our only dealings with china are being blocked by it from time to time
[2:10pm] Philippe|Wiki: Natalie, it's linked from the main page.
[2:10pm] Philippe|Wiki: And no, I posted it on her behalf.
[2:10pm] eekim: sue's letter is at: http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation/Feb_2010_Letter_to_the_Board
[2:10pm] Natalie: http://strategy.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikimedia_Foundation/Feb_2010_Letter_to_the_Board&action=history
[2:10pm] Natalie: Heh.
[2:10pm] GerardM-: when you leave GLAM to chapters, how do you deal with GLAMS in countries that do not have chapters ?
[2:10pm] mutante: geniice: if resources are located in China, it sounds like being blocked might be even easier.. or not
[2:11pm] eekim: good question, GerardM. What would you suggest?
[2:11pm] GerardM-: or how do you deal with museums where content is largely in another country that is relevant to a countries cultural heritage ?
[2:11pm] Natalie: > China has the world's largest Internet-connected population...
[2:11pm] geniice: GerardM the british museum allows photography
[2:12pm] GerardM-: I would invest in GLAM relations and centre WMF involvement on countries and cultures where there is not a chapter
[2:12pm] Natalie: So do most of the American museums.
[2:12pm] GerardM-: and use it to promote coverage of said cultural heritage in ANY wikipedia
[2:13pm] GerardM-: geniice: most relevant material is not on display
[2:13pm] eekim: GerardM, WMF does employ someone who is responsible for partnerships (Sara Crouse)
[2:13pm] peteforsyth: question: Is the wording of Sue's letter still up for editing?
[2:13pm] eekim: so that would certainly be a possible implementation strategy internally at the Foundation
[2:13pm] geniice: GerardM eh there are ways of dealing with that and they rotate the collection a fair bit
[2:13pm] GerardM-: eekim: there is not even a definition of what makes a partner a parner
[2:13pm] Philippe|Wiki: peteforsyth: The letter has been sent to the Board, after the previous input.
[2:13pm] peteforsyth: I just re-read the section on China, with an eye toward the concerns Natalie and mutante raised. If there's any part of it that seems open to misunderstanding, I think it's the last sentence:
[2:13pm] peteforsyth: "there is little the Wikimedia Foundation could do to more effectively support them."
[2:14pm] peteforsyth: Philippe|Wiki: Ah. Then never mind.
[2:14pm] Natalie: peteforsyth: How much interaction has Sue had with that letter?
[2:14pm] Philippe|Wiki: Natalie: Sue was intimately involved in the creation of that letter.
[2:14pm] Natalie: So... not much, then.
[2:14pm] Philippe|Wiki: You're either not listening, or being intentionally difficult.
[2:14pm] eekim: peteforsyth: http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Thread:Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation/Feb_2010_Letter_to_the_Board_v1/en/This_letter_and_next_steps
[2:14pm] peteforsyth: Philippe|Wiki: exactly what I was thinking.
[2:15pm] Natalie: Philippe|Wiki: Well, she's a busy woman. You're telling me she went through all of the task force recommendations and proposals and pages?
[2:15pm] Natalie: And then wrote that report?
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[2:15pm] Natalie: 'cause common sense and the page history say otherwise.
[2:15pm] geniice: peteforsyth I think it's more that wikipedians react badly to politican/managment speak
[2:16pm] Philippe|Wiki: Natalie: That's not what you asked. You asked how much interaction Sue had with the letter. The answer is "a lot." More than anyone else, I'd say. But to answer your other question, Sue spent a huge amount of time following task force work and reading the wiki.
[2:16pm] eekim: Natalie: Barry Newstead wrote a first draft of that letter. Sue completely rewrote it. Several people (including myself and Philippe) had direct input before the draft was published on the wiki.
[2:16pm] Natalie: Thanks, eekim.
[2:18pm] Philippe|Wiki: Well, that was fun. Eekim pointed out a really important thread, above.
[2:18pm] Philippe|Wiki: Which is: http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Thread:Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation/Feb_2010_Letter_to_the_Board_v1/en/This_letter_and_next_steps
[2:20pm] Philippe|Wiki: A ton more material went up on the wiki this week - mostly a re-synthesis of previous material... I hope you'll take a sec to poke Wikimedia-pedia, which keeps getting bigger and more complete
[2:21pm] FloNight joined the chat room.
[2:21pm] Philippe|Wiki: Hey FloNight
[2:21pm] Natalie: Wikimedia-pedia
[2:21pm] • Natalie shudders goes off to find food.
[2:21pm] Philippe|Wiki: See ya Natalie.
[2:21pm] FloNight: hi
[2:21pm] peteforsyth: eekim: Thanks for that link. Very clear.
[2:21pm] eekim: hey FloNight
[2:22pm] FloNight: hiya
[2:22pm] GerardM-: it says quite explicitly that no investment will be made to other projects ... would a seperate organisation for for instance Wiktionary make sense ?
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[2:22pm] GerardM-: this could target changes to improve for these other projects ?
[2:23pm] eekim: the specific wording is: "We will not make investments dedicated to project-specific work that is unlikely to achieve significant impact."
[2:23pm] eekim: that does not mean that the organization will not invest in non-Wikipedia projects
[2:23pm] GerardM-: right ... how can I interpret this otherwise ?
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[2:23pm] eekim: here are the key takeaways:
[2:24pm] eekim: 1. the Foundation wants to focus on investments with broad impacts. so it will invest in things that impact lots of projects, like ops, localization, etc.
[2:24pm] mutante: did the "China Task Force" http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Task_force/China have an opinion on this too?
[2:24pm] geniice: so 1) we are going to buy openstreetmaps
[2:25pm] eekim: 2. the Foundation has limited resources. when given a choice, it will invest in project-specific work that will have broad impact
[2:25pm] eekim: the challenge is defining what "significant impact" is
[2:25pm] eekim: mutante: they certainly have an opinion in this
[2:25pm] Mike_lifeguard: geniice: wait, what?
[2:25pm] Philippe|Wiki: geniice: As far as we know, no one has suggested that?
[2:25pm] Philippe|Wiki: Let's not start rumor
[2:26pm] geniice: Philippe|Wiki there's no legal way to do it
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[2:26pm] Natalie: What a bad investment that would be.
[2:26pm] Natalie: Sounds perfect for WMF.
[2:26pm] geniice: Mike_lifeguard I defy you to come up with something with broader impact
[2:26pm] Natalie: Broader impact than maps? Biographies.
[2:26pm] geniice: Natalie eh maps at that level are one thing we don't conver in terms of all human knowlage
[2:26pm] GerardM-: investing in Commons as is already planned
[2:27pm] Natalie: And recipes.
[2:27pm] Natalie: And directories.
[2:27pm] geniice: GerardM- We are going to buy the goegraph project and find a way to make it go worldwide
[2:27pm] geniice: ?
[2:27pm] Natalie: And a lot of other things you could reasonably call "knowledge."
[2:27pm] mutante: too bad it seems to be in the nature of the things with the broadest impact that nobody seemed to know ahead of time it would have that impact
[2:27pm] geniice: Natalie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Size_comparisons#Geography
[2:28pm] Natalie: And I'd like someone to explain to me, in small words, how the Simple English Wikiquote contributes to all knowledge.
[2:28pm] Natalie: Or any Wikiquote, really.
[2:28pm] Philippe|Wiki: explain it in simple english?
[2:28pm] eekim: Natalie: My understanding is that a bug has been filed to close Simple English Wikiquote
[2:28pm] Philippe|Wiki: That's correct, eekim.
[2:28pm] Natalie: Sure.
[2:28pm] Philippe|Wiki: We're waiting for a dev.
[2:28pm] Natalie: sysadmin
[2:29pm] Philippe|Wiki: sysadmin, quite right
[2:29pm] Philippe|Wiki: my mistake
[2:29pm] Natalie: And that's after you've invested time and resources into Wikiquote.
[2:29pm] Natalie: And the other useless projects.
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[2:29pm] Natalie: (Or not. Which is the catch-22.)
[2:29pm] eekim: so this is actually a worthwhile conversation, one that hasn't happened yet
[2:29pm] eekim: what should be the standard for Wikimedia projects?
[2:29pm] eekim: when should we accept new ones?
[2:29pm] eekim: when should we close old ones?
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[2:30pm] geniice: the discussion has happened
[2:30pm] eekim: where, geniice?
[2:30pm] Philippe|Wiki: eekim: Are you asking specifically about projects, or about language versions, or both?
[2:30pm] GerardM-: we do not need to close projects ... the ones that do not function optimally do not cost us much
[2:30pm] eekim: mainly projects, although i'm sure there's relevance to languages as well
[2:30pm] geniice: eekim mailing list and meta mostly. The language politics gets messy
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[2:30pm] eekim: so let's focus on projects, then
[2:30pm] peteforsyth: GerardM-: There's a "cost" to having our mission and/or trademarks associated with stuff that isn't working, though
[2:30pm] Philippe|Wiki: GerardM-: They actually do cost us, in terms of brand perception.
[2:30pm] GerardM-: language policy is a compromise
[2:31pm] Natalie: . . .. . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . .. . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
[2:31pm] peteforsyth: (I say that as general principle, without any specific projects ini mind)
[2:31pm] eekim: GerardM-: and also time and energy
[2:31pm] geniice: Central South Slavic diasystem my footr
[2:31pm] peteforsyth: Philippe|Wiki
[2:31pm] mutante: the rule for "when should we accept them" for languages is "if it has a code in ISO 639-2"..right
[2:31pm] peteforsyth: Philippe|Wiki's word "brand" is better than my word "trademark"
[2:31pm] eekim: mutante, okay, since that's clear, let's focus on projects then
[2:31pm] GerardM-: 639-3 and living language
[2:32pm] GerardM-: and some other details
[2:32pm] geniice: /Cornish/ has an ISO 639-2 code
[2:32pm] GerardM-: we do Cornish
[2:32pm] geniice: fayu however does not
[2:32pm] mutante: yes, i noticed that Wikimedia code is like "very close to ISO-639 but special"
[2:33pm] GerardM-: Latgalian was recognised this year
[2:33pm] geniice: GerardM- yes I don't think we should encourage linguistic necrophilia
[2:33pm] FloNight: GerardM-: I agree that there is time and energy in unsuccessful projects.
[2:33pm] geniice: FloNight then there is moldovan
[2:34pm] eekim: FloNight, do you have thoughts on what our standards should be for accepting new projects and closing (or releasing) old ones?
[2:35pm] GerardM-: the most important thing about closing is that it effectively does not happen
[2:35pm] GerardM-: many of these projects are still online
[2:35pm] eekim: what do you mean, GerardM?
[2:35pm] eekim: ah... okay
[2:35pm] GerardM-: Moldovan is read only and so are some 10 others
[2:35pm] eekim: so if we say we're going to close a project, we really should actually close a project
[2:35pm] GerardM-: it would be better when they were completely removed
[2:35pm] mutante: let people vote for new projects, with the system used for letting people vote for the board of trustees
[2:36pm] FloNight: No, nothing specific now. But in general we need to have more discussions about how to make these decisions. And also about how to remove other aspects of projects that are not meeting our quality standards.
[2:36pm] eekim: GerardM-, do you know why that hasn't happened for those projects?
[2:36pm] GerardM-: no
[2:36pm] eekim: one model to consider for accepting/removing projects is Apache Software Foundation. some details are at: http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Apache_Software_Foundation
[2:36pm] GerardM-: it would be good if a tokipona a Yi were all removed either to the incubator or gone completely
[2:37pm] eekim: FloNight, agreed. i also have been meaning to respond to your post about Reader Conversion a few weeks back.
[2:37pm] eekim: there are still some conversations that haven't happened yet. for example, how to get more diversity in our projects.
[2:37pm] eekim: so one of the things we need to do over the next few weeks is have those conversations
[2:37pm] eekim: we can do it one of two ways
[2:38pm] eekim: we can just have the conversations
[2:38pm] FloNight: eekim: Thanks for remembering
[2:38pm] eekim: or, we can try and reconstitute some of the task forces
[2:38pm] mutante: GerardM-: what is better about deleting it, than 10 people reading it? Do not delete unless there is a real technical need or extensive cost for it. That is like a discussion about deleting pages for not being relevant, just on a higher level
[2:38pm] Mike_lifeguard: mutante: And we delete pages all the time.
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[2:38pm] eekim: mutante: i don't know if deleting is necessary (unless it's a resource drain). but certainly clearly stamping it as "read-only" or "archived" would be valuable
[2:39pm] Mike_lifeguard: mutante: So that's simply *not* an argument at all.
[2:39pm] mutante: Mike_lifeguard: and de.wp deletes too many pages all the time.
[2:39pm] GerardM-: mutante: it muddles up the statistics ... in the case of Moldovan there is continued agitation ... in the Incubator people actually can revive a language
[2:40pm] mutante: Mike_lifeguard: more than just a handful of cases, you google and find it has existed before but has been deleted.. sorry, i guess i am an inclusionist
[2:40pm] GerardM-: removal is to be preferred
[2:40pm] GerardM-: <grin> I am an inclusionist for working projects
[2:40pm] Mike_lifeguard: mutante: that's my point
[2:41pm] peteforsyth: GerardM-: and eekim : I wonder if, when closing projects, maybe there is a concern about getting rid of information that may be useful to somebody. If that's the case, maybe there's an opportunity to partner with another organization -- like maybe the Internet Archive -- to host the content?
[2:41pm] eekim: peteforsyth: i'm generally in favor of archiving, as long as it's clearly stamped as an archive
[2:41pm] GerardM-: peteforsyth: when a language is moved to incubator nothing is lost and, there is a process of reviving in plave
[2:41pm] Philippe|Wiki: peteforsyth: that assumes that the content is of a quality worth saving... I think that's a big assumption in some cases. If the content is over-run with inaccuracy, for instance....?
[2:42pm] peteforsyth: eekim: Yeah, the clear stamp is more or less what I was getting at.
[2:42pm] GerardM-: most of these projects are less then 20 articles
[2:42pm] peteforsyth: Philippe|Wiki: Yeah, I don't know enough about it to have an opinion of that. But I get what you're saying.
[2:42pm] Mike_lifeguard: GerardM-: do they predate incubator?
[2:42pm] GerardM-: all of them
[2:42pm] Philippe|Wiki: peteforsyth: neither do I, frankly. I was just raising the argument
[2:42pm] peteforsyth: GerardM-: That sounds like a promising avenue.
[2:43pm] GerardM-: a new language only starts with some 300 articles
[2:43pm] eekim: GerardM-: do you think our current incubator system works well?
[2:43pm] GerardM-: yes
[2:43pm] peteforsyth: Philippe|Wiki: It seems that in a consensus decision-making environment, making a decision to remove information will always be dicey.
[2:43pm] • Philippe|Wiki nods
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[2:44pm] GerardM-: moving to incubator is practicle and it clears things
[2:44pm] peteforsyth: i.e., I would be reluctant, as and admin/bureaucrat etc., to make a "final" determination that there is NOTHING
[2:44pm] peteforsyth: of value....even if it's readily apparent and widely agreed that there is very LITTLE of value.
[2:44pm] GerardM-: the Moldovan thing is a continued pain
[2:44pm] Philippe|Wiki: peteforsyth: I agree.
[2:44pm] eekim: peteforsyth: i think people here generally agree with you
[2:45pm] peteforsyth: eekim: Philippe|Wiki : Yeah. But this is an area where developing some clearly-worded guidelines might be very helpful.
[2:45pm] eekim: peteforsyth: totally agree
[2:45pm] FloNight: Philippe|Wiki and eekim What I'm interested in is having systematic ways to do assessments of projects then make good decisions.
[2:45pm] GerardM-: peteforsyth: the incubator route has been discussed an agreed upon ... it just takes doing
[2:45pm] Philippe|Wiki: FloNight: +1
[2:45pm] eekim: FloNight, that's a good suggestion
[2:45pm] eekim: FloNight, do any projects immediately come to mind as possible models?
[2:46pm] GerardM-: with the current crop of closed projects in WIkipedia, you find that most of the others are at some stage getting traction ... it is happening to Hausa at this time
[2:47pm] GerardM-: Greenlandic is another
[2:47pm] eekim: Hausa, excellent! i did some work in northern Nigeria
[2:47pm] GerardM-: but we have to ensure that our software can deal with other language
[2:48pm] GerardM-: Sign languages and SignWriting come to mind
[2:48pm] FloNight: No. The Strategic Planning process is good because it is introducing broad review and planning into WMF when in my opinion it has been lacking in the past.
[2:48pm] GerardM-: Hausa currently has 50% of the most used messages localised a few 100 articles
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[2:48pm] Mike_lifeguard: GerardM-: did you see Steve's recent post about setting up a test environment?
[2:49pm] GerardM-: yes
[2:49pm] GerardM-: I want it to be under a WMF domain
[2:49pm] eekim: FloNight: i hope we can have an even bigger impact and introduce broad review and planning into the Wikimedia _community_, not just WMF
[2:49pm] mutante: GerardM-: here's an example how that is handled now: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:American_Sign_Language_nouns
[2:49pm] GerardM-: and I have not heard a reply from Erik
[2:49pm] Mike_lifeguard: incubator, ideally
[2:49pm] Mike_lifeguard: mutante: He knows. Also, it sucks.
[2:50pm] GerardM-: mutante: ASL in SignWriting is top down
[2:50pm] Mike_lifeguard: what a waste
[2:51pm] GerardM-: and the names of the articles should be in ASL
[2:51pm] Natalie: How do you type in sign language?
[2:51pm] Natalie: That doesn't make any sense.
[2:52pm] Natalie: And it's a complete waste of WMF resources.
[2:52pm] GerardM-: no WMF resources have been wasted so far
[2:52pm] Mike_lifeguard: Who said anything about typing?
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[2:52pm] Natalie: They're deaf.
[2:52pm] Natalie: They can still read.
[2:52pm] GerardM-: it is all paid by the SignWriting Foundation
[2:53pm] Natalie: The SignWriting Foundation can set up their own wiki.
[2:53pm] GerardM-: Natalie you do not know what you are talking about
[2:53pm] Philippe|Wiki: Actually, there's a valid question there, though. I get the need for, say, a dictionary in sign writing. Why an encyclopedia?
[2:53pm] Natalie: I do, Gerard.
[2:53pm] Mike_lifeguard: No, you obviously don't.
[2:53pm] GerardM-: I can read English and I contributed to the Dutch wikipedia
[2:53pm] Natalie: Mike_lifeguard: Are you suggesting this is a good idea?
[2:53pm] Mike_lifeguard: Luckily, this is neither the time nor the place.
[2:53pm] Natalie: Of course it is.
[2:53pm] GerardM-: Philippe|Wiki: because it has its own language and culture
[2:53pm] Natalie: This is Wikimedia Strategy. Which includes killing the bad ideas before they get off the ground.
[2:54pm] Natalie: If someone had done this years ago, we could've avoided Wikiquote.
[2:54pm] GerardM-: it is NOT the culture of the spoken language
[2:54pm] Natalie: And Klingon.
[2:54pm] Natalie: People speak ASL?
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[2:54pm] eekim: so we need to start getting more rigorous about this
[2:54pm] Mike_lifeguard: Natalie: Yes, there are project which should have been nipped in the bud. This isn't one of them.
[2:54pm] GerardM-: people sign ASL
[2:54pm] Natalie: Mike_lifeguard: Yes, yes it is.
[2:54pm] GerardM-: why ?>
[2:54pm] eekim: if there is a community of people who are excited about a project or language, and if the resources required truly are minimal, then in general, i think it's better to say yes or no
[2:55pm] eekim: but, we have to be honest about what resources are required
[2:55pm] Jamesofur: ^
[2:55pm] GerardM-: eekim: SignWriting is usable for any of the over 100 sign languages around
[2:55pm] Natalie: There are plenty of noble endeavors in the world.
[2:55pm] eekim: if we didn't have esperanto wikipedia, we never would have attracted brionv
[2:55pm] Natalie: Writing things in Simple English is arguably one.
[2:55pm] Natalie: That doesn't mean you need to split limited resources funding it.
[2:55pm] Natalie: There are other organizations and other foundations that can put the necessary time and energy into such side projects.
[2:56pm] Natalie: The "it doesn't cost anything" argument is completely without evidence.
[2:56pm] Natalie: Part of the reason these projects are set up and then fail is precisely that nothing is invested into them.
[2:56pm] GerardM-: as far as en,wp is concerned any of the other projects are effectively side projects ... so that is no argument
[2:56pm] Natalie: And what little resources are invested are eventually thrown away when the project is closed.
[2:56pm] Philippe|Wiki: GerardM-: That's unfair, and untrue. It's absolutely not okay to make generalizations like that.
[2:56pm] eekim: Natalie: not necessarily. not if we learned something, or if something else was improved as a result
[2:57pm] GerardM-: Natalie: that is no longer the case. .. only once the most used messages are localised and there are some 300 articles will a new language start
[2:57pm] Natalie: If the SignWriting Foundation wants to set up their own wiki, they have dumps and other resources provided to them, free of charge to do so.
[2:57pm] Natalie: But that doesn't mean the WMF needs to or should be involved.
[2:57pm] eekim: Natalie: I don't think GerardM- is suggesting that WMF needs to be involved. True, Gerard?
[2:57pm] geniice: the cost of a simple new wiki is minimal in terms of wikimedia's wider budget
[2:57pm] GerardM-: the WMF language policy is of the opinion that an ASLK wikipedia is eligible
[2:58pm] GerardM-: eekim: wrong
[2:58pm] Natalie: I think he's suggesting Wikipedia ASL.
[2:58pm] Natalie: geniice: You're also missing the point.
[2:58pm] eekim: GerardM-: what involvement is required beyond the already existing rules for language acceptance?
[2:58pm] Mike_lifeguard: eekim: the software can't handle signwriting yet
[2:59pm] eekim: Mike_lifeguard, but if someone else is developing that capability...
[2:59pm] GerardM-: it needs support for vertical writing and for the support for the SignWriting script
[2:59pm] Natalie: How many ASL speakers (signers?) are there in the world?
[2:59pm] FloNight: eekim: The discussion on En WP about BLP is moving toward a broad plan to manage the content by reviewing quality. This is an exciting step and one that can be repeated in a more broad way on that project and others.
[2:59pm] GerardM-: Mike_lifeguard: Steve has a new version of the software
[2:59pm] Natalie: Answer: 500,000 to 2 million
[3:00pm] GerardM-: millions .. 50% of them can hear
[3:00pm] Natalie: How many can read?
[3:00pm] Mike_lifeguard: eekim: Yes, Steve is working on it. But he needs (for example) commit access to our subversion repository.
[3:00pm] Mike_lifeguard: Natalie: not the point
[3:00pm] Natalie: Yes, yes it is the point.
[3:00pm] eekim: FloNight, if we set up a page on strategy to capture learning, could you help recruit folks to share what their learnings?
[3:00pm] GerardM-: Natalie: disproportionally many as they have to learn to read for instance English which is a foreign language to them
[3:00pm] FloNight: ok
[3:01pm] eekim: Mike_lifeguard, okay, so let's pull this discussion back then
[3:01pm] Natalie: GerardM-: But presumably they read German or French or whatever their native language is?
[3:01pm] Mike_lifeguard: Natalie: NO, ASL is their native language.
[3:01pm] mutante: i would recommend getting away from the "everything besides en.wp is a side project" thing, and give more resources to non-Wikipedia projects, also tell the MW developers they are allowed to do features requested by non-WP projects / users, to avoid frustration among the smaller communities that they dont get attention. Smaller communities might become frustrated because they hear a lot of "only for Wikipedia"
[3:01pm] eekim: i think we generally want to encourage innovation in MediaWiki without divesting focus on things that are important
[3:01pm] GerardM-: their language is German Sign Lanuage or French Sign Language
[3:01pm] Natalie: They don't read or write?
[3:01pm] Mike_lifeguard: omg, that's not the point
[3:01pm] GerardM-: they need SignWriging for that
[3:02pm] Mike_lifeguard: You obviously have no clue. We're done here on this
[3:02pm] • Natalie shrugs.
[3:02pm] eekim: okay, folks, settle down
[3:02pm] GerardM-: eekim: define important
[3:02pm] cary-lunch is now known as cary.
[3:02pm] Philippe|Wiki: mutante: with very few exceptions, MW devs are allowed to develop just about anything they want.
[3:02pm] eekim: GerardM-: that's something the community needs to decide
[3:03pm] Philippe|Wiki: We don't have many devs "in-house" - the majority are volunteer.
[3:03pm] GerardM-: when the WMF is sued because it does not support the blind and the deaf, it is likely to lose ... does that make it important ?
[3:03pm] mutante: Philippe|Wiki: well for some reason they seem to have agreed on the "we develop mainly for WP" thing..
[3:03pm] eekim: GerardM-: that's a red herring. how many Internet sites get sued because they don't have a sign-writing translation?
[3:03pm] GerardM-: eekim: it is not
[3:03pm] Natalie: GerardM-: I think most judges would say that people who are deaf can still read and write.
[3:03pm] Natalie: And then dismiss the case.
[3:04pm] Philippe|Wiki: My suspicion is that they feel that the majority of the readers are wikipedia, and therefore they should focus their resources there. But I'm guessing on that, mutante
[3:04pm] GerardM-: Philippe|Wiki: WIktionary is the biggest dictionary project in the world
[3:04pm] eekim: believe it or not, there's been a lot of good discussion here
[3:04pm] Philippe|Wiki: I'm aware of that, GerardM-
[3:04pm] eekim: if we want to take it to the next level, we need to start articulating the priorities and criteria
[3:05pm] GerardM-: the argument that the majority of readers ... is therefore discriminatory
[3:05pm] Natalie: So file a lawsuit or shut up.
[3:05pm] eekim: okay, folks, getting out of hand again
[3:05pm] GerardM-: because evidently it is not relevant what is relevant for an important niche
[3:06pm] eekim: if someone external writes code and submits a patch, and if the patch is reasonable, i think our devs will accept it
[3:06pm] GerardM-: No
[3:06pm] GerardM-: they do not even assess it
[3:06pm] mutante: yep
[3:06pm] eekim: GerardM-: so if that's not the case, we need to understand when and why
[3:06pm] eekim: is it simply because we don't have enough devs?
[3:07pm] Mike_lifeguard: eekim: This is why we have pdhanda, supposedly
[3:07pm] peteforsyth: Mike_lifeguard: pdhanda?
[3:07pm] eekim: Mike_lifeguard, definitely code review is a big reason WMF hired her
[3:07pm] GerardM-: it is because Wikipedia and en.wp at that gets all the attention
[3:07pm] peteforsyth: What's that"
[3:07pm] Mike_lifeguard: though having a CTO would help
[3:07pm] peteforsyth: Ah, sorry
[3:07pm] Mike_lifeguard: peteforsyth: new developer
[3:07pm] peteforsyth: tx
[3:08pm] mutante: agrees to GerardM- , that was also my impression
[3:08pm] GerardM-: pdhanda has a backlog of more then a year
[3:08pm] lyzzy left the chat room.
[3:08pm] Mike_lifeguard: Every time I think about that, I imagine everyone in the office must be frantically running around in circles all day yelling "WE HAVE NO CTO"
[3:08pm] Mike_lifeguard: I would
[3:08pm] Mike_lifeguard: it's a pretty scary situation
[3:08pm] GerardM-: update of MediaWiki is behind by at least three months at this time
[3:08pm] Natalie: Frightening...
[3:08pm] Philippe|Wiki: Mike_lifeguard: It's safe to say that the lack of a CTO is a high priority issue.
[3:08pm] eekim: so is hiring more devs
[3:09pm] Mike_lifeguard: eekim: there's plans for more tech hires?
[3:09pm] eekim: at the WMF board meeting in a few weeks, we are going to make it clear that more devs is a high priority issue
[3:09pm] Natalie: Heh. It's too bad some of you haven't been around for longer.
[3:09pm] Natalie: Tomas was supposed to be the dev to fix all of this.
[3:09pm] Natalie: So was Ariel.
[3:09pm] Natalie: And now Pryanka (sp?).
[3:09pm] Mike_lifeguard: Natalie: I remember
[3:09pm] eekim: Natalie: we've talked quite a bit with Tomasz and Ariel
[3:09pm] eekim: and several others
[3:09pm] peteforsyth: Mike_lifeguard: From my close-but-distant spot on the other side of the office, it appears to me that there's a decent balance between "running around with hands waving" and making sure that the right person is ultimately hired.
[3:09pm] GerardM-: there are always other priorities ... and just because of the project work in usability we gained some focus
[3:09pm] Philippe|Wiki: I think it's also safe to say that no single dev is a magic bullet.
[3:10pm] Mike_lifeguard: I've wondered about productivity of our current staff too. But as I'm not a dev myself, I have no way to tell.
[3:10pm] Natalie: Except Brion. Who you all lost.
[3:10pm] eekim: Natalie: That was a huge loss, no question
[3:10pm] Natalie: Mike_lifeguard: Yeah. I've found that's the fastest way to get yelled at.
[3:10pm] eekim: Bums me out considerably
[3:10pm] eekim: Personally, I am very motivated to fix the things that led to some of the problems in the past
[3:10pm] Mike_lifeguard: Natalie: Do we know why he left? I seem to recall an exit interview floating around...
[3:11pm] eekim: And I feel good about our chances
[3:11pm] GerardM-: I am not that sanguine
[3:11pm] eekim: fair enough, GerardM-
[3:11pm] Kozuch left the chat room. (Read error: 60 (Operation timed out))
[3:11pm] Natalie: Mike_lifeguard: http://wikipediaweekly.org/2009/10/03/wikipedia-weekly-83-farewell-brion/
[3:11pm] Natalie: It's two parts.
[3:12pm] GerardM-: as an example, the GLAM thing needs coordination ... and it needs direction
[3:12pm] GerardM-: it is better but it is not good
[3:12pm] Mike_lifeguard: Natalie: Bookmarked. Reader's digest version (if you've listened already)?
[3:12pm] Natalie: I still haven't.
[3:12pm] Natalie: I heard it was good, though.
[3:12pm] Mike_lifeguard: k
[3:13pm] Philippe|Wiki: OK, folks... I have to get moving to other projects.
[3:13pm] eekim: GerardM-, we can't fall into the habit of looking at the Foundation for coordination for everything
[3:13pm] GerardM-: another language support is not paying for content, it is about ensuring that things work technically
[3:13pm] cary left the chat room. ("Leaving")
[3:13pm] eekim: saying that it doesn't have the resources to focus on certain things is also a form of leadership
[3:13pm] Mike_lifeguard: Well, until I hear him say Sue bullied him and that's why he left, I don't think it's fair to say the Foundation or a particular staffer "lost" Brion
[3:13pm] FloNight: eekim: indeed
[3:13pm] Philippe|Wiki: I really do want to thank everyone (even Natalie <grin>) for showing up today... It's a measure of the commitment of the community to the projects that so many people are willing to get involved and want to be heard.
[3:14pm] Mike_lifeguard: I agree, it sucks that he's moved on, but I'm not sure there's blame to be assigned
[3:14pm] GerardM-: eekim: there are people who can do coordinate and direct ... it needs organisational support to make this possible ... as it is we are on islands
[3:14pm] peteforsyth: Thanks all, this was edifying
[3:14pm] eekim: GerardM-, so from a movement roles perspective, we need to do a better job of linking the islands
[3:14pm] eekim: that's something that the Foundation needs to play a role in, but others can and must step up there as well
[3:15pm] eekim: okay, folks, we're 15 minutes over
[3:15pm] GerardM-: As long as it is quality time over ....
[3:15pm] eekim: definitely was
[3:15pm] peteforsyth: GerardM-: I agree that's a huge issue, and try to address that in my work. Please feel free to contact me whenever you have thoughts along those lines.
[3:15pm] mutante: from the Brion interview "the only person in the Wikimedia world who everyone likes"
[3:15pm] rhandler left the chat room.
[3:16pm] Philippe|Wiki: Well, Brion and FloNight possibly.
[3:16pm] GerardM-: <grin> some of the more colourful people are hugely important ... Durova is one such
[3:16pm] Philippe|Wiki: I'm out. See ya
[3:17pm] You left the chat by being disconnected from the server.