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Latest comment: 5 years ago by KCVelaga in topic Budget change

Three day training


This is definitely a good idea but I am uncomfortable with the scale of the project and the way it is packaged into a time-and-training-intensive exercise. The proposer had asked me to be the (or a) resource person for SVG training with Inkscape - while I am, in principle, happy to share my knowledge on this, I feel that this workshop assumes a rather vertical model for the transfer of talent/knowledge (which is perhaps in line with the Indian educational system) when it could be an opportunity for a more interactive workshop. I have some specific suggestions for changes to this model which would make me feel more comfortable about WMF spending money on me to travel and work with (or train) the community - (1) Move away from a vertical mode of skill transfer to one with a greater emphasis for horizontal transfer / group teach-and-learn - which means greater communication between the participants - and spending more time on that rather than to fly experts from afar and spending a shorter but intensive period of training. Seeing the paucity of even translations into Indic languages of pre-existing SVG files on Commons, I believe that there are more basic issues at hand such as whether technical terms should be re-invented in Indic languages or whether they should be transliterated from English etc. Outcomes need to be documented as best-practices in all relevant languages (2) There is considerable overlap, between how SVG is used, how maps are made, the art of illustration, data visualization and so on - all of which call for a wide range of skills. More importantly, while the knowledge is generally easy to gain online with Google searches, key requirements are really aesthetics and philosophy. Searching candidates for these underlying traits is going to be a real challenge. (3) Photography - both still and videos - seems to be slightly different from what could be termed as illustration - whether cartographic or infographical in form. I suspect that attendees wishing to attend photography might be numerous and are most likely to have little interest in the more laborious process of illustration. The workshop seems to treat all visual products on Commons as being equal, when in fact they are quite disparate in the skills needed. (4) I am not sure if you need to get trainers from so far off (esp. in terms of cost) unless there is a very significant difference between in the skills offered. In the case of photography, it is also somewhat ironic given that some of the top images in Picture-Of-the-Year are from Indian contributors. We actually do have some very good photographers on Commons who are capable of sharing their own knowledge (as a micro-example see what comes when a thematic-interest-group self-organizes - here and they also have a Whatsapp group ). I think we could do better by "horizontal training" - brainstorming with multiple Indian contributors with varying abilities and come up with best practices rather than seek a packaged "course" (and I say this after having attended Zach's excellent training session at WikiConference Chandigarh). It would be nice if some local and really-low cost community-driven pilots are attempted before trying out this at the intensity and scale in which it is proposed. Shyamal (talk) 07:02, 26 March 2018 (UTC)Reply

(PS: Having spent the greater part of the last 3 days on generating altitude contours from NASA data using QGIS and other tools and trying to get a small-enough SVG file - I can say that a good-enough training session on vectors or maps will easily spill out of the time-scale budgeted here. Training someone in photography and some post-processing is probably fine for this time scale.) Shyamal (talk) 11:45, 27 March 2018 (UTC)Reply
@Shyamal: Hi Shyamal ji, thanks for the thought provoking comments. Upon understanding the deeper sense, I am happy to realize that each skill that is proposed to be trained is extremely time intensive, and may easily spill out of the planned schedule. With an objective to make the project more effective, I propose the following changes:
  • Total no of national scholarships to be given: 12 (including locals) + 3 (International: Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) + 3 (from Swecha: A regional NGO that we're in collaboration with, for the venue. Also they've professionals working on similar skills, and have organized such workshops in the past; please see the last section of http://summercamp.swecha.org/hyderabad/)
  • Two experts on Inkscape to "moderate" the program
  • The participants will be selected in the ratio of; Intermediate skill level and above: Beginner and equivalents=1:1
  • We'll ensure that at least 9 participants have previously have done some work in this area, and rest will be the ones who're in need of this training, and have identified themselves to work in a specific area of illustrations. Also the beginners, will be asked to go through the basics of Inkscape, and practice a bit from the online resources, before they actually attend the event. I think in this way, we can ensure that the learning curve isn't too vertical.
  • The complete program i.e. three complete days, will focus on illustrations and SVGs only (ruling out both maps, and image processing)
  • Also moving away from vertical learning, just apart from the experts, the program schedule will be designed in such a way that participants will also have sessions share their work/expertise, something similar to unconference, but in pre-planned way.
I hope these changes will help the program to be an effective one. Please suggest if any changes are required to the above proposed, before I make changes to actual proposal. Looking forward to hear from you. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 05:00, 4 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
Please discuss with the larger group of potential attendees. I have not seen any discussion on how the survey was conducted or any of the subsequent discussions. An open discussion would allow one to see to how much thought has been given to all of this. Shyamal (talk) 04:53, 5 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
@Shyamal: I request more elaboration on this. The survey has been sent to the Indian community mailing list, and mailing lists of almost all the Indic language communities earlier in January. This can be seen from the archives; https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2018-January/013193.html & https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2018-January/013196.html. Kindly let me know in detail, about the things to be discussed, and editors to be involved. We can rope in the endorsers and attendees for discussion about changes to the program. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 05:12, 5 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
This is essentially an individual project proposal so my comments are merely suggestions (and Krishna, you most certainly do not need my approval - and I will continue to be happy to help out in the SVG training :) ). You have indeed sent the survey questions but I have not seen a discussion of the survey questions (you will be aware that the way one ask questions can entirely alter the responses of the same respondents to produce apparently entirely contrary responses) - in the absence of verbose points-of-view from the community it is hard to evaluate any specifics on what the potential attendees see as felt or explicit needs. For instance the survey questions (at least from the summaries you have provided) seem to implicitly suggest (or lead) that having "Quality Images" and "Featured Picture" on Commons is an important goal. I feel for instance that wanting to nominate photos for QI or FP and wanting more images from India as "Quality Images" are un-important ultimate goals. I personally would rather want to see images that have a high pedagogical value in Indic encyclopaedic entries. But that is just my point of view and rather than impose it on you would like to see multiple articulated points of view from the potential attendees rather than a summary of closed-ended responses to a set of survey questions which themselves do not appear to have been discussed sufficiently. Shyamal (talk) 05:33, 5 April 2018 (UTC)Reply



I am not privy to discussion held elsewhere (for instance in the Indian chapter) so I am assuming that a summary will appear here. In the meantime, I have a rough outline for a vector illustration workshop - perhaps other SVG illustrators can add to this. I hope something similar can be included in the proposal for all aspects.

  • Understanding rasters and vectors
  • An overview of SVG - how it looks as text
  • Using Inkscape
    • An overview of the interface
    • Objects - rectangles, ellipses
    • Alignment tools
    • Paths
    • Beziers
    • Operations
      • Combine, Group
      • Intersections, Unions, Difference and exclusion
    • Connectors
  • Colors
    • Gradients, shading, 3D effects
  • Text
    • curved text
    • manual kerning
    • font related issues - texts as paths
  • Effects
    • Live Path Effects
    • Filters
  • Using the interpolation tool
    • flattening transforms - plugins
  • Layers
  • Tracing
    • manual and automatic
  • Calligraphy tools
    • Working with tablets (demo)
  • Importing and exporting
  • Working with maps, graphs - with QGIS, R, Excel and other software
  • Commons specific internationalization - best practices
    • Known issues with SVG on Commons
  • External tools
  • Community - how to grow a graphics workshop? How do non-illustrators and illustrators communicate?
    • what are the issues with using Indian language scripts?
    • how do we best make use of pre-existing SVG illustrations on Commons?

@Shyamal: Many thanks for this. It'll be very helpful in designing the program. It would be of more help if you can give rough time estimates for the sessions. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 18:06, 19 April 2018 (UTC)Reply

It would be good to discuss with all the other SVG training resource-persons present. Shyamal (talk) 03:08, 20 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
@Shyamal: Sure. Also, do you have any suggestions for resource-persons? Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 09:12, 20 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
I do not know of any in India, your proposal gave me the impression that you knew several! There might be a way to search for commons contributions from Indic languages editors with the filetype:svg . Shyamal (talk) 10:22, 20 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
@Shyamal: I have a few in my mind (from India), but haven't fixed it. Just hoping if you would know some. I'll try the latter part. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 16:48, 20 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
Ok. Look forward to see their participation here. Shyamal (talk) 04:46, 22 April 2018 (UTC)Reply

Video recording


Since such a training is of immense significance, I would insist the organisers not to limit its scope to those who can attend it. Rather, I would insist on video recording of the relevant sessions and to make an online course out of it, thus making this a prototype event. Under the scope of Wikipedia Welcomes X, something like Wikipedia Welcomes Wikigraphists can be designed and the recorded sessions can be listed systematically so that others can effectively make use of it. The same may be hosted on youtube as well. In fact, since we would be using free software, it would be worth spreading the message for the same. Diptanshu 💬 04:37, 18 April 2018 (UTC)Reply

Actually, if there is enough interest, I am willing to do an online session via any screensharing platform of choice. We could do small sessions every day. Will need to see enough interest though. Shyamal (talk) 04:49, 18 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
But there is a tremendous amount of material online already - see https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAAD35A719CF5A042 https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Inkscape Shyamal (talk) 05:20, 18 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
@Shyamal: Thanks for the posting the outline, it'll be very helpful. If the event is approved, we can do small sessions regularly with the selected participants before they attend the actual event. However, irrespective of the funding decision, we can plan these sessions. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 18:04, 19 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
Wow! Could we not assemble the useful stuff like this and place it together for interested Wikipedians to benefit from? Diptanshu 💬 05:36, 18 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
@Diptanshu Das: I am also interested to record the sessions. But I don't think it would be feasible, considering the event to be a more participant interactive one. Recording would work if it is something like a regular classroom teaching. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 18:04, 19 April 2018 (UTC)Reply

Other discussions


Please see Talk:Wikigraphists_Bootcamp_(2018_India) for other ongoing discussions on the scope of this workshop. Shyamal (talk) 09:04, 7 April 2018 (UTC)Reply

WMF Questions


Hello Krishna Chaitanya Velaga, Please take a look at the questions and suggestions that Shyamal has posted. It would be helpful for you to respond to some of those questions. Specifically, I'd like to get more input on the following questions:

  1. It sounds like there there may be a lack of translation of documentation online for several of the skills you want to teach at this event. Do you think it makes sense to work on those translations prior to having an event?
  2. How many skills can you teach in 3 days? I suggest narrowing the focus on the event to focus on just one or two skills. If this training event is successful, you can repeat it in the future to include more skills.
  3. What illustration skills were most requested in the survey? What kinds of images are most frequently needed in articles? This information should help you scale down the number if skills you will focus on.
  4. It sounds like there is a network of photographers in India with active communication channels where someone could go to ask questions about photography skills. I suggest leaving that topic out of this event.
  5. Can you estimate how many articles are in need of svg images and maps?
  6. Please set a goal for the number of images that each trained person will create and add to articles in the 6 months after the training.

Overall, my suggestion is to find ways to narrow the focus of this event, both by focusing on fewer topics, and by inviting fewer participants. It is also important to set goals for what will change as a result of the trainings. Once you have learned how to organize and have observed how trainings lead to improvements on wiki, we can discuss hosting additional events for other skills. --KHarold (WMF) (talk) 22:07, 3 April 2018 (UTC)Reply

@KHarold (WMF): Thanks for the review. Firstly, I would like to know about the deadline to revise the proposal. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 11:56, 4 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
@KHarold (WMF): Hello Kacie, thanks for review. Kindly go through my responses below:
  1. Although translations are not planned as a part of this bootcamp. We'll consider the possibility of translation of the required documentation, after consulting the trainers.
  2. Both maps, and the photography part of the workshop were dropped off. It is only the illustrations now.
  3. Following the discussion here, it can be said the illustrations of biological features such as birds, animals etc. medical related content, technical components such diodes, tools etc. are much needed. We've planned that the scholarship recipients will have a prerequisite to identify at least 2–3 illustrations or images they intend to create during the workshop. In this is way, it'll be easier to project the outcomes, and also for them to learn the skills for their area of need.
  4. Photography component has been dropped for now.
  5. I think it would be vague to estimate the number of articles, but this category on English Wikipedia may be considered to some extent.
  6. After the event, each participant is expected to create at least five to six illustrations in the next six months and fifty-percent of these will be used in the articles.
Looking forward to hear from you. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 14:34, 16 April 2018 (UTC)Reply
Hi Krishna , thank you for answering my questions and for providing links to the discussion with your community about the questions. I will share this information with the grant committee. --KHarold (WMF) (talk) 20:31, 16 April 2018 (UTC)Reply

Budget change


Due to increased participation and unforeseen expenses, there may be additional expenses than the approved budget of ₹345,855. To bear with these expenses, I request another ₹30,000 (US$415.43 as of 09:50, 21 September 2018 (UTC)). Since final amount approved was half of the originally proposed budget (which in line with the original budget table), several items have been adjusted withing their categories while spending. So it is quite complex to reconstruct the budget table indicating this overspend. However, I am happy to explain what caused the overspend. The first one is that we have one international participant from Sri Lanka. Second one is that the accommodation went a bit high because, post-event many of the participants are going to stay back since it'll be late night by the time they return, and be tough to commute to homes. So they're travelling back on the following day, and we need to book almost five rooms extra, than originally planned. Please let me know if you need any other information. KCVelaga (talk) 09:50, 21 September 2018 (UTC)Reply

@I JethroBT (WMF): Hi Chris, pinging you to consider this request. Thanks, KCVelaga (talk) 15:19, 26 September 2018 (UTC)Reply
@KCVelaga: We are working on processing this request, though it is little more complicated than I was aware of when we discussed this over e-mail. Grant increases require an amendment to be signed, which is a little different than the procedure for Rapid Grants-- I mistakenly thought these processes were the same. The Amendment requires some approvals from our Legal and Finance team before we sending it to you for your signature. The process can take about two weeks depending on their current workload. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 19:40, 26 September 2018 (UTC)Reply
@I JethroBT (WMF): Hi Chris, thanks for the update. KCVelaga (talk) 03:56, 27 September 2018 (UTC)Reply
@KCVelaga: Hi Krishna. Based on your request, the new approved grant amount is now 375,855 INR (345,855 INR + requested 30,000 INR). We will be sending an agreement for you to sign to fulfill this request. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 17:07, 11 October 2018 (UTC)Reply
@I JethroBT (WMF): Hi Chris, many thanks considering my request for budget increment, and approval. KCVelaga (talk) 17:13, 11 October 2018 (UTC)Reply