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Abstract Wikipedia/Updates/2022-05-20

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Abstract Wikipedia Team's first off-site

Last week, the WMF staff on the Abstract Wikipedia team met in person for the very first time. Given that we are spread out over Europe and the Americas, New York City was chosen as an easy to reach point for the members of the team.

The Abstract Wikipedia team was set up in the middle of 2020, after the COVID pandemic had already led to restrictions on travel, office work, and meetings, particularly internationally, and so this became our first chance to meet each other.

Back row, from left to right: Geno, Cory, Denny, James, Mariya, Nick.
Front row: Julia, David, Luca.
Unfortunately, Aishwarya and Cai could not join us.

We used the time to build team cohesion and discuss our processes. We learned a lot about each other. I am particularly thankful to Mariya for leading a session where we explored and explicated individual preferences about working behavior, which will help us to work together. It was also a great time to socialize and get to know each other.

We discussed what it means for Wikifunctions and Abstract Wikipedia to be projects that take diversity, equity, and inclusion seriously, and how to measure that and hold ourselves to account. We will publish more about the results from that work session soon, in order to gather wider input.

Another session was a "Wizard of Oz" session, where we simulated the generation of some article content, and were happily surprised about how well that worked out. We will also write this up in more detail and publish it in one of the future newsletters.

We also celebrated ten years of James Forrester being with the Wikimedia Foundation. Thank you James for your indispensable contributions to the Foundation and the movement, in your many different roles. The Abstract Wikipedia project is benefitting from your experience, skills, and personality.

Big thanks to Cai, Mariya, and Cory for organizing the off-site, and the Foundation teams for their support.

We will see some of you during the ongoing Hackathon this weekend! Thanks to everyone who attended the Wikifunctions session on Friday (slides), and for your great questions.

Further updates:

  • The team experimented with a new Scrum of Scrums process
    • Each of the four workstream leads wrote a status updates for their workstream highlighting blockers, risks, accomplishments, and short-term plans
    • The team met to discuss these blockers and risks, and any points of confusion
  • Below is the brief weekly summary highlighting the status of each workstream:
    • Performance:
      • Conducted current state and requirements discovery
      • Identified workstream tracks and high-level needs
    • NLG:
      • Identified goals of the workstream and prerequisite work
    • Metadata:
      • Finished back-end code to accommodate both forwards and backwards compatibility for the old & new metadata formats
    • Experience:
      • Made progress for function view and editor implementations for desktop and mobile
      • Fixed canonicalize methods in function-schemata
      • Design of 'Text with fallback' is currently in progress

You can now subscribe for on-wiki delivery of these newsletters, at the global message delivery - We will send out future issues to that list.