Cost benefit analysis of various possible technical changes to Wikipedia

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There seem to be no consistent process currently used to evaluate proposed changes.

The simplest way would be to analyse ratio.

By benefit we understand things like:

  • new areas of knowledge being possible to write about without too much effort
  • better high quality printing
  • better accessibility
  • enhanced ease of use
  • opening possibilities for some further good changes
  • ...

And by cost:

  • breaking compatibility
  • braking wikipedians' habits
  • programming effort
  • server load
  • losing possibilities for some further good changes
  • ...

Moving everything to UTF-8[edit]

  • Benefit: high
    • new area of knowledge: linguistics
    • making things easier: writing foreign proper names (like Wałęsa), interwiki links
  • Cost: low
    • just some compatibility stuff for ancient browsers
  • Ratio: very high

SVG[edit]

  • Benefit: high
    • high quality printing
    • opening possibilities: we will be able to write/use plugins that would output SVG
  • Cost: moderate
  • Ratio: high

autogenerating maps[edit]

  • Benefit: high
    • new area of knowledge
    • high quality printing
  • Cost: moderate
  • Ratio: high

go/chess diagrams markup[edit]

  • Benefit: moderate
    • high quality printing
    • new area of knowledge
  • Cost: moderate
  • Ratio: moderate

music markup support[edit]

  • Benefit: moderate
    • new area of knowledge
    • better accessibility
  • Cost: moderate
  • Ratio: moderate

new table syntax[edit]

  • Benefit: low
    • a bit easier (things are very easy already, and hard stuff like complex tables won't become much easier anyway)
  • Cost: high
    • breaking compatibility
    • breaking Wikipedians' habits
    • programming effort & server load: making parser even more complex, and as it's regexp-based, making more parser errors possible
  • Ratio: very low