2016 Community Wishlist Survey/FAQ

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The 2016 Community Wishlist Survey is over and the results have been posted; now it's time for the Community Tech team, our colleagues, and volunteer developers to start granting wishes!

Who's going to work on all these wishes?[edit]

There are several groups of people who will be working on these wishes in 2017.

  • The Community Tech team is responsible for investigating and addressing the top 10 wishes. If there's a wish in the top 10 that we can't work on, because it's unfeasible or because another group is working on it, then we'll explain what's happened. See the latest status report for our win/loss record in 2016.
  • Community Tech will also pick up some wishes below the top 10 that will support smaller user groups who are doing important work, but don't have the numbers to vote a proposal all the way up to the top 10. This will apply to some combination of: campaign and program organizers, GLAM participants, stewards and CheckUsers, and people working on smaller projects or smaller languages. We haven't determined which wishes we'll pick up yet; we'll be talking about these as we get into 2017.
  • Also, some of these wishes will be granted by volunteer developers; the Technical Collaboration team helps to connect volunteers with important wishes that they can work on.
  • Some of these wishes are or will be on the roadmap for our colleagues on the WMDE Technical Wishes team, or other Wikimedia Foundation product teams.

How can I get updates on progress?[edit]

There are project pages for each of the top 10 wishes, which you can put on your watchlist. We'll update them as the project progresses. (At time of writing, these are just skeletons; actual information on each project is still to come.) Feel free to post questions and suggestions on the project talk pages.

If you're familiar with the Phabricator ticketing system, the main Phab task for each wish is noted on the Results page. You can subscribe to those tickets for updates.

We also publish several status reports through the year, to keep people updated. You can watch the main Community Tech page for updates.

But my proposal is more important than some of the wishes in the top 10![edit]

Yeah, it could be. The Community Wishlist Survey isn't an exact science; it's a measure of enthusiasm. But this isn't the end of the story for your proposal — as we said above, there will be many different people working on projects this year. If your proposal scored pretty high, but not quite high enough, then that's an opportunity for you to advocate for your idea in other settings.

Community Tech can't work on all of the great proposals in this year's survey, but we're rooting for them! Keep talking about your ideas, and keep advocating for the tools your projects need. The Wikimedia world is full of smart and passionate problem solvers, and you now have a list of people who believe in your idea.

Why are there proposals in the top 10 that only affect some languages?[edit]

The Wikimedia movement is global, and it's important to our team that we think internationally. We try to make the projects that we work on apply to as many languages and projects as we can. People who speak English have a very loud voice in our movement, and the English-language projects get a lot of attention. We're happy that the Wishlist Survey is a way for people from other projects to get some attention as well.

Isn't it better to make decisions in conversation with other editors, rather than voting?[edit]

Decisions on our wikis are often made by reaching consensus through conversation. This is often very effective, and it's an important part of who we are. But sometimes loud and persistent voices can drown out other people's ideas, and it's nice to have some spaces where a different mix of voices can be heard.

What can I do to help volunteer developers work on my proposal?[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation now has a Developer Advocate on the Technical Collaboration team — Srishti Sethi, aka User:SSethi (WMF). She's working to support volunteer Wikimedia developers, and helping them discover and complete worthwhile projects. To get picked up by a volunteer developer, a proposal should have a Phabricator ticket, which has all of the information that the developer will need. But there's 265 proposals! If you're able to create or update the ticket for your favorite proposal, that would be a big help. And if you're a volunteer developer with questions about how to get involved, please reach out to User:SSethi (WMF).

What will happen to the wishes from the 2015 Community Wishlist Survey?[edit]

There are still three open wishes from last year's top 10. Community Tech is still working on cross-wiki watchlists, and that development will continue into 2017. The other two are currently being worked on by other teams — Central repository for gadgets, templates and Lua modules, and Allow categories in Commons in all languages. Community Tech will be working on gadgets this year — Global gadgets is the #1 wish in the 2016 survey! — and the Wikidata team is working on bringing structured data to Commons, which will satisfy the Commons category wish.

For the other wishes from 2015, it's the same situation as the wishes on the 2016 survey — these ideas stay alive as long as people talk about them, work on them, advocate for them and contribute to their progress.

This is a huge, complicated, messy journey that we're taking — you, and me, and the Community Tech team, and all of the other devoted Wikimedians who come to our wikis every day to build amazing sources of knowledge on every topic, in every language, for every human being. We will keep working on that.

How can I change things for next year?[edit]

If you've got suggestions for a better process, feel free to write on the talkpage. The Community Tech team has collected some of our reflections on our /lessons learned page.