Grants talk:APG/Archives/2013

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Warning! Please do not post any new comments on this page. This is a discussion archive first created in 2013, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date. See current discussion or the archives index.

Editnotice for proposals?


Since the beginning of the community review, many folks edit the proposal forms to fix typos & links & such. This is understandable − these are Wikimedians we’re talking about and this is a wiki ;-) − but not allowed as part of the FDC process.

May I suggest to add an Editnotice to warn folks that the pages are not supposed to be edited? Not sure how much an editnotice is actually read, but I do not see how it could possibly hurt − and it may save us both FDC staff time spent reverting changes, and community members frustration at having their work discarded.

Looking forward for your thoughts, Jean-Fred (talk) 09:45, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 10:48, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

general questions

  1. eligible teams dropped out. why?
  2. funds requested are lower than previous rounds. why? Slowking4 (talk) 02:14, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Reply to Slowking4's questions

Hello, Slowking4. First, thanks for taking a look at the proposals. These are both good questions.

  1. All entities interested in submitting a proposal to the FDC were required to submit a Letter of Intent in order be evaluated as eligible or not eligible, but these letters and the amounts listed in them are not binding. Some entities may have been considering the possibility of submitting a proposal for this round back in June when the letters were due, but have since decided since then that they would rather continue to seek funding through the Project and Event Grants Program or apply for FDC funding in a future round or year.
  2. Entities may also have different reasons for requesting larger or smaller amounts of funding from year to year, and this will vary based on the plans and circumstances of each entity in each year. It does not seem to be true the entities are asking for smaller amounts than last year across the board (see WMAR's proposal or WMSE's, for example), although it is definitely true in several cases. It may be helpful to look at the amount each entity was actually allocated by the FDC last year as another basis for comparison with this year's number. For example, it does seem to be true that entities this year are generally requesting more than they actually received last year. Does that make sense?

We hope this answers your questions. Cheers, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 02:43, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

PS: You can find the amounts requested and actually allocated by the FDC last year here on this table: FDC portal/FDC recommendations/2012-2013 round1#Recommendations.


yes, thank-you. my followup questions would be:

  • what steps will FDC take to make grant process more accessible and useable by eligible groups?
  • what steps to help eligible groups grow their grant activity ?
  • what steps to cultivate more eligible groups to start grant process? Slowking4 (talk) 22:15, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Feedback: more global technical support

I'm unclear if I should leave feedback here, or on one of the "round" pages.
Anyway: Forget these local organizations, and just use the money to buy servers, so that wikipedia stops being one of the slowest websites I visit on a regular basis! (If this is the wrong place for this message, feel free to move it.) Ariel. (talk) 07:18, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

That is, what I wanted to tell too. It is almost impossible to save larger pages in Commons like this ohne! Buy servers! --Kersti (talk) 22:44, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
This is a good place to leave general feedback. SJ talk  21:41, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Running costs disproportionate

I noticed that the running costs share almost 15-20% in project proposals. For instance, Office rent, consumables, Office equipment and Office furniture consume almost 15% of the total. This won't go on to add any productivity. I feel it can be cut down by observing a bit of austerity. --Jai Ho 19:34, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

I don't understand your wisch. Do you wand the people to sit down on the earth? --Kersti (talk) 19:52, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Two metrics

I put together two metrics - Ratio of funds requested to total expenditures planned, and ratio of funding request to member count. If anyone finds these metrics useful, they can be seen at: Google doc spreadsheet

Preliminary observations:

  • The absolute amount of funding requested by Israel as a ratio to member count sticks out.
  • Several chapters are looking to the FDC for over 80% of their total funding.--Sphilbrick (talk) 21:29, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
    I found this interesting, thank you. A few chapters (SV and DE spring to mind) have been making steady progress shifting away from FDC funding to sustained funding through their own contact lists, regional grants, and partnerships. I'd like us to all learn more from one another about how to do this effectively; the WMF may have things to learn there as well. SJ talk  20:28, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Translation of FDC pages

I would love to see the proposals and other pages in other languages than English; there is obviously a LOT of work to translate the documents and maintain the translations, but a lot of people {{refnec/cn}} would like to see the proposals in their own language (e.g. in France a lot of people badly speak English, and there was complains about this). Before the effective translation it is needed to create the translation framework properly, and particularly see how to manage the interactions between templates and pages and the Translate extension. I do not know in the details the translation stack on Commons, but I know it’s complicated and it is based on the interface language; here I merely propose something based on the Translate extension and language given in the title ("Title/fr", "Title/gu", etc.).

If I understand correctly the template structure of the proposal, the Plan could be:

  1. the pages "FDC portal/Proposals/round/entity" could get a template with a form "{{Template:FDC proposal form v1/{{#titleparts:APG/Archives/2013| 1 | 6}}|...}}" (or something finer than this raw call to titleparts, with some checks), and the same for the other final pages (hub, reports, etc.),
  2. perhaps set a redirect from "Template:FDC proposal form v1/en" to "Template:FDC proposal form v1" (or handle this in the first call in the proposal page, previous point)
  3. activate the Translate extension on "Template:FDC proposal form v1" (carefully not to break the presentation); translate it;
  4. activate the Translate extension on the proposals and other pages (reports, assessments, etc.); translate it.

I am missing something? Is there some better structure?

I began finished translation of Template:FDC proposal hub in one of my subpage, waiting the structure to transfer it.

~ Seb35 [^_^] 12:40, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

An other point: the categories of translations should be specialized by language, perhaps create a parallel category structure by language? But perhaps soften the category hierarchy given one or some (or zero) translations would go in some category by round. ~ Seb35 [^_^] 12:45, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
An other point: in Template:FDC proposal hub and perhaps others, it is heavily relied on PAGENAME, SUBPAGENAME, and BASEPAGENAME. In the case of the translations, most of the links would become invalid, so either the {{#titleparts}} parser function should be more used either it should be added a parameter to substitute these calls to PAGENAME and derivates (which could default to {{PAGENAME}} to keep compatibility with current situation). For matter of archiving and consistency, I tend to prefer the second solution and not to like a wide use of PAGENAME, because any move of the page in the future (for archiving purpose probably if this happens, or typos in the titles (e.g. local names as Wikimédia France, there is already some confusion for this very example)) would totally break the presentation. ~ Seb35 [^_^] 13:15, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
I thought a bit to a system to self-translate or auto-translate templates in a context of Translate extension, and it resulted in the creation of Template:CURRENTCONTENTLANGUAGE. This can be used in two ways:
  • For some very small templates like Template:FDC date/Community review period/2013-2014 round1, this one could be rewritten as {{#time:j F|2013-10-02|{{CURRENTCONTENTLANGUAGE}}}} - {{#time:j F Y|2013-10-31|{{CURRENTCONTENTLANGUAGE}}}}. On an English page, it will be displayed as "2 October - 31 October 2013" and on a French page (ending with "/fr"), it will be displayed "2 octobre - 31 octobre 2013" (and automatic translation in the 300+ languages that MediaWiki knows)
  • For lengthier templates like Template:FDC proposal hub, I am still thinking but I think somethink can be done also (my drafts are on User:Seb35/Translations).
~ Seb35 [^_^] 22:36, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

I searched again what could be done to translate FDC pages, and found the work done by Guillom on the Tech News, based on Template:Translatable template (and Module:Template translation). This solution seems to be really easy to set up: after the translation of the templates with Extension:Translate, you just have to call the template with {{Translatable template|TheTemplate|parameters}} instead of {{TheTemplate|parameters}}. ~ Seb35 [^_^] 16:40, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Good to know. Let’s do that then, shall we? :-) Jean-Fred (talk) 19:17, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry if this is a bad question to ask but are you acquainted with extension Translate? Look at docs on mw:Help:Extension:Translate (all of them) and tell me please what is not covered by this extension. -- Ата (talk) 18:35, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I know the Translate extension and read a big part of the doc, but as far as I know there is no system to connect a translated template to a translated page; this feature is what Template:Translatable template do. And this feature is really needed for the FDC pages because they are heavily template-based. ~ Seb35 [^_^] 17:32, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
I wrote some instructions and best practices on FDC portal/Maintenance#Translation.
Since there is no objections about setting this up, I will ask to translation admins to gradually set up the translations of important templates first: {{FDC schedule}}, {{FDC main questions}}, {{FDC portal intro}}. Then it will be possible to activate the translation on the FDC portal, just by using {{Translatable template}} and translating some strings. The portal will be accessible with titles ending with the language code (e.g. FDC portal/zh), and the links Special:MyLanguage/FDC portal will lead the reader to his/her user language, and s/he will given the choice of changing the language with a language bar on the top.
Then there is another class of templates like {{FDC talk}}, which imho should be autotranslated in the user interface language, following what Commons do.
For the proposal hubs, I don’t know exactly how to choose between the two translation methods: 1/ if you use the titles ending with the language code, you have to translate each proposal into each language but you can point to specific languages; 2/ if you use autotranslated pages, you only have to translate the template (less less work) but you cannot point to a specific language (precisely you have to use URL with the parameter "uselang=zh"). I guess the latter option should be prefered anyway.
~ Seb35 [^_^] 17:01, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
A small note about RTL languages for the FDC portal: {{Tab nav}} could be adapted by using {{#ifeq:{{urlencode:{{DIRMARK}}}}|%E2%80%8E|left|right}}; and this automatically changed depending of the page language. Note the previous code doesn’t work without the urlencode probably because of parser rules; a template {{ifLTR}} can be created to simplify this. ~ Seb35 [^_^] 18:47, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
I believe that I did ask that translation wait a moment (granted it has been a long moment). We are very close to changing the namespace of the portal, as well as the names of many of the pages, and the content. Please do not begin a large translation effort right now, we really are much closer to new pages. Feel free to comment on them starting with the new landing page: Grants:APG. Thank you for your patience! I look forward to the translation of the new Annual Plan Grant pages. heather walls (talk) 17:11, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn’t see this. Ok for waiting some time for the pages. Will the templates {{FDC schedule}}, {{FDC main questions}}, {{FDC portal intro}} substantially change (content or template name) or is it possible to start translation in advance? ~ Seb35 [^_^] 18:56, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi! Yes, they will change quite a bit. The schedule in particular has become impossible to read and will be replaced by Grants:APG/Calendar. Grants:APG/FDC portal/Redesign is a good place to discuss things or make requests. I will look into using the template for dates. Thanks for your help! heather walls (talk) 19:04, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Any chapter which wants funding should review the funding proposals of two other chapters and take responsibility for oversight

Historically none of these proposals have had much oversight. If we have this chapter funding process then chapters should network with each other more and be aware of funding norms and management practices. If extra funding is required to do this then I think that should be granted.

As a good start, every chapter should review the funding proposals of two other chapters and give comments. It would be great if chapters could establish long-term oversight relationships with each other. I have a proposal for this at peer review, which I intended as chapter peer review even though it could be applied in other ways.

I am not suggesting that peer review would be authoritative, but it would be better than the current system with little interaction between chapters and little oversight over how each of them requests and manages their budgets. If this cannot be done before the October 31 deadline then I think it would be fantastic if each chapter had a team commit to do this for two other chapters before too much time passes. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:31, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Strong support for the notion that some of the chapter participants should be taking a close look at other chapters funding requests. This may seem obvious, but when one has a lot to do, it is all too easy to concentrate on one's narrow tasks, and not take time to look at others. I haven't given any thought to the formal process suggested by Blue Rasberry, so I'll remain agnostic about that at the moment, while supporting, at a minimum some informal review and comments. Two examples spring to mind:
  1. The Serbian Chapter plans an initiative to work on WWI. The Nederland chapter plans a project related to WWII. Obviously, some positive results might arise from some coordination.
  2. Some chapters present financial using Wikitables. Other use free spreadsheets, notably Google Docs. Some discussion might identify which is a better option. I see some value in all going to Google Docs, and it might make it easier to create a generic template, which could also be used to aggregate all chapters, which might be useful.--Sphilbrick (talk) 21:28, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with Sphilbrick, more templates should be standardized. Freeform grant requests and freeform grant reports are a huge pain for chapters without nonprofit management experience and would especially benefit new chapters as well as individual recipients of grants doing small projects, like using movement funds to host local conferences of 50-100 people. Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:58, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
yes, and training of grantees. how about a grant template with standard presentation. grant process should be a dialogue. not monologue. Slowking4 (talk) 22:37, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the grant disbursement review process should never end and every time a chapter reports a project other Wikipedians who have received funding should review it immediately and not wait until the end of the year. Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:58, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
That's an interesting wiki-take on review. I like the idea of continual improvement, and templates by project-type, and the WWI/WWII example. SJ talk  20:55, 30 October 2013 (UTC)


Come again? SJ talk  20:55, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

What about basic running costs of Wikipedia

A while ago we were all getting appeals from Jimmy Wales for donations to keep Wikipedia going, paying for the basic operating costs of Wikipedia. Now we seem to be able to give a lot of money away. I think that is wrong. Afterbrunel (talk) 08:49, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Why do you feel this way? Is the purpose of the money not to make Wikipedia grow? Are you saying that the basic running costs should be covered and then there be no growth beyond that? Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:00, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
You miss the point, Blue Rasberry. No-one is saying Wikipedia shouldn't be allowed to grow. However, it is fundamentally dishonest for Wikipedia to solicit donations for the purposes of covering 'basic running costs' and then to spend such vast amounts of money on projects that clearly have nothing whatsoever to do with 'basic running costs'.
In summary, I have no problem with the projects themselves. However, Wikipedia should be honest with its members about why it is asking for their money. Masterdon5 (talk) 14:24, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
A substantial portion of the money raised is for basic operating costs. I haven't reviewed all the solicitations. Did you see one stating that money would not be used for anything else?--Sphilbrick (talk) 20:46, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
You haven't thought that question through, Sphilbrick. Imagine that a charity collector comes to your house, you give him some money and you subsequently find that he's spent it, not on the charity, but on his business. Are you seriously going to tell me that you would be ok with this situation merely because the guy didn't explicitly say that he wouldn't spend it on his business?
It's exactly the same with Wikipedia. We had those irritating banners from Jimmy Wales for ages, begging us to donate in order to keep Wikipedia afloat. Now I see they're funding all these fancy projects. I stand by my earlier claim: this is fundamentally dishonest. Masterdon5 (talk) 21:58, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Hello Masterdon and Afterbrunel, thanks for this input. Wikipedia has always spent some of its funds on Projects that enhance and improve the projects beyond just bandwidth and servers. The question is, which projects are important to the site and which are not? There should not be any "fancy projects" -- only projects that effectively improve how well we can all gather and share human knowledge with one another. Rather than allocating all project spending by staff, we have this community input process; not to "give it away" but to use it to support decentralized projects across our global movement. I would appreciate your specific feedback on the proposals here (though I see above you say you have 'no problem' with them, if some of them seem 'fancy' to you presumably they seem not-so-important) or feedback on specific fundriaising messages (which don't quote 'basic running costs' and do link to a full breakdown of where the money goes, iirc). SJ talk  21:11, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Either they really don't mind throwing a huge banner on top of Wikipedia to distract millions of people, or they have so much money that the task of distributing became enough of a crisis they want all editors and readers to be alerted. DontClickMeName (talk) 02:30, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
I believe it is a banner for editors only; you must be logged in to see it. And the community that looks after the sitewide notice does mind throwing banners up to distract millions of people; though we could be better about how we manage that mental and visual space. SJ talk