Grants talk:IEG/MediaWiki data browser/Final

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Hi Yaron,

Congratulations on completing your project, and thanks for this report!

I particularly appreciate your reflections on the experience of writing software as a grantee, and the point you are making about the timeline not having been right for this project. From my perspective, I think another conclusion I am drawing from this experience is that, if we continue to fund tools in the future, we should only fund IEG tool development projects with a clear community organizing component at the forefront (and doubly clarify the expectation from the beginning that WMF isn't publishing or promoting the final product...we can only fund projects where grantees are able to do this themselves). From what I'm reading here, that sounds like it has been a key challenge for your project. If you'd had a partner grantee to help with that side of things, I wonder if that would have been useful? Because it seems to me that, although I appreciate you would have felt much better with a clear stopping point at 3 months, even if we'd funded this project for 3 months rather than 6, it would not have changed the outcomes of the project overall very much. Either way, Miga code would exist, but it wold not have been picked up by as many users as you'd originally hoped, right? Curious to hear your thoughts around this, as I hope our IEG committee will take these learnings into account for their future funding recommendations.

Secondly, I'm not seeing anything in your report related to your planned metrics of success. Can you please speak to that a bit further in your report? I'd expected to see it in your table, but perhaps that wasn't clear in the instructions...feel free to add another section if you'd prefer. In our discussions at the time of funding, you told us that you'd preferred to leave the targets as-is even with half funding. So, what we'd be looking at in an impact assessment for this grant is based on:

  • Software fully developed and available on a code-sharing site such as GitHub.
  • At least 10 apps created by others that make use of Wikipedia/Wikidata data.
  • At least 3 such apps available as true mobile apps.
  • The software in use in conjunction with at least 25 MediaWiki wikis, public and private.
  • A community of users for this software formed, that communicates on a regular basis on either its own mailing list or on one of the existing mailing lists, such as the main MediaWiki or Semantic MediaWiki mailing lists.

Clearly you achieved the first one on the list! :) I appreciate that you have had some challenges getting a community of users started, but it would be helpful to hear some more specifics around these challenges so that we're clear on the outcomes. Do you have a tally of anyone else who created apps etc based off of Miga (ie, were all the demos created by you, or are there some from others using your framework as you'd hoped)? Can you comment on what the community of users for this software is like at this stage, in terms of mailing list activity or other ways you've tried to "market"? Do you have any thoughts on anything you'd do differently in the future (or would recommend others do differently) to avoid similar challenges?

We'll leave this report open for a bit longer so that this discussion can continue and you'll have time to add in the additional info.

And again, congratulations on Miga's release, and thanks for your work on this project. Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:06, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Oops - I didn't see this before. It's important to clarify that the two issues - of six months being (in my opinion) too long for software development grants, and of the lack of usage for this project - are not that related to one another, except that, if this had been a three-month project, there might not have been the emphasis on trying to both develop the software and develop a community around it at the same time.
I got confused when creating the final report about "project goals" vs. "measures of success" - I didn't realize that (I think?) both should go into that table. I just updated the table with the measures of success. To correct one thing you wrote, I did actually specify that the numbers in the "measures of success" should be divided by two, given half the funding - not that it really matters. None of them were met even so, except the first one. There were a few Miga apps created by people other than me, but I don't think it's worth focusing too much on those - the important thing, I think, is getting momentum, which hasn't been achieved yet.
What would I do differently? As I said, ideally the project would have had a lesser scope and time frame, especially given the smaller amount of funding; but given the circumstances as they were, I don't know. Yaron K. (talk) 16:20, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the additions and clarifications, Yaron, these are most helpful :) And agree, we need to clarify how that table should be handled a bit better (you're the test case for these templates, I'm afraid...iterations to follow!). Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 01:45, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Accepted[edit]

This report has been accepted. Thank you for submitting it on-time, and engaging as an IEGrantee - I've learned a lot from this project, Yaron. Best wishes, Siko (WMF) (talk) 01:47, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Timing[edit]

On the timing: if you were done after 3 months, IMHO you should just have published your final report back then. It's extremely hard to navigate the Grants:IEG page because of a lack of TOC, but I can't find any rule against anticipated reports, only upper limits ("final report [...] due within 30 days after the grant's end date"). --Nemo 09:09, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

These demos, like Miga itself, will not work on the Firefox or Internet Explorer browsers.[edit]

I am concerned by that. You exclude about 40% of the desktop web users. Building on a technology that has been rejected by the Mozilla Foundation, Microsoft and the W3C is really disappointing, not to mention the lack of any i18n consideration, nor the fact that you have to pull the data out of your mediaWiki installation and store a copy of that data to make this application work instead of using live-data. I am at a loss for words. As the application/framework currently isn't used anywhere, I see ZERO impact on nothing. It is too sad seeing that IEG committee is preferring to fund vapourware consisting of well sounding PR-gibberish. Sorry if I misunderstood something, I am open to discussion but I fear I have to recover my temper first. Bye -- Rillke (talk) 21:35, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

+1 --Ilya (talk) 19:52, 13 March 2016 (UTC)