Grants talk:PEG/FF portal/Recommendations/Wikipedia Tools; Video Tutorials

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Could you comment on the need for an Adobe Captivate license, over available free software alternatives? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:50, 11 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I absolutely can, and I appreciate the question, as I anticipated it. There are many benefits to CamStudio, which I have used (I have not used the other one), but none that surpass the features offered by Adobe Captivate. I personally favor Captivate due to the fact that I have used it in-depth and therefore would need only minimal transitional experience (for the new version) but primarily because CamStudio is merely a video capture program with few "tutorial" features. I would like to, ultimately, see tutorials that include questions, guided notes, and, potentially, translations to other languages. The translations item is a key feature, as well, since, in Adobe Captivate, you can edit the text files with the note contents and convert it right over (very quickly and simply), whether or not you decide to re-dub. With CamStudio, my understanding is that it would be necessary to entirely re-dub the video. Given that Wikimedia is international and most features hold true from Wikipedia to Wikipedia, I think that this is extremely important. Finally, I simply find the GUI of Captivate to be more intuitive and more efficient; I also have much of the Creative Suite, allowing easy integration using Bridge if edits using other software are necessary. While I am willing to dedicate substantial time to this project, I truly do not feel that there is a feasible open source alternative to using Adobe Captivate, even given my past history promoting open source projects with the Open Source Initiative and the Spread Firefox project. Thank you for your question, and please let me know if you would like me to elaborate further or would like to ask any other questions. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 21:01, 12 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:09, 13 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Scope of tutorials[edit]

The one remaining obstacle to approving this recommendation is the fact (at least some of?) these tutorials will be about STiki; while STiki is a fine tool and can probably use a video tutorial, it is developed by Andrew West, the Flow Funder making this recommendation. Flow funders are supposed to only recommend works having nothing to do with their own projects, and so I'm afraid this proposal is ineligible as it stands. Consider being more explicit about what tutorials exactly would be developed. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:09, 13 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mr. West commented here about the potential for a Conflict of Interest and we discussed the need for transparency on that page as well as my own Talk page. I feel that the every component of every Wikimedia project should be as transparent as possible, and we have sought to do so by being open in that, yes, it will contribute to STiki, and this is part of the reason why I chose to ask Mr. West to sponsor this flow funding despite the potential COI. His expertise in the utilization of tools for the betterment of Wikimedia projects is what interests me. I will also seek to create tutorials for Huggle (which I have yet to learn) and AutoWikiBrowser, making three tools that will have tutorials made. Ultimately, I would like to have something of an "adoption" program that operates through a combination of Wiki edits, video tutorials, and quizzes and incorporates the existing adoption and CVUA programs as well as additional editing material. I see endless potential for video tutorials, but the main attraction to the use of video as a medium is handy for software tools and procedures (whereas policies can be explained). In summary, I commit to making videos for STiki, Huggle, AutoWikiBrowser, and the other items mentioned in the original flow funding discussion; however, I will be transparent in doing so and will continually seek community input and provide output. Should you like me to seek a different flow funder, I will do so and understand the necessity for this. However, Mr. West was a good fit due to my work utilizing his software, his expertise, knowledge, and background with third-party tools for the benefit of Wikimedia, and the available opportunity to fill a niche that another user expressed a need for - not simply because a video tutorial would help STiki. I am even amenable to not creating a tutorial for STiki at all, or doing so after four other tutorials or some such compromise, but I think that, regardless of Mr. West's dual roles, a COI does not exist here, as it has been recognized and addressed. --Jackson Peebles (talk) 04:53, 13 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Asaf, I would like to propose a meta-question here of: "at what point does a COI actually exist, versus it being so minimal or so much in the public domain that it does not matter?" Elsewhere on Meta you experienced surprise (disappointment?) that Flow Funders were not cultivating projects within their immediate communities, but casting a wide net in trying to solicit those in need of funding. Encouraging such local and "grass roots" funding seems to imply a certain degree of COI. My immediate community is those who research/develop/use anti-damage tools for wikis -- and the proposal developed organically out of a need in that space. We're going to see this in other FF proposals of a similar nature.
Yes, I wrote the STiki tool, and it is a non-trivial player in the anti-vandalism space on English Wikipedia. However, does that imply that any flow-funding project I would guide in my area of expertise needs to ignore a significant tool because I wrote the code? I would think it more important that the grant does not highlight STiki to the exclusion of other alternative's in the space (i.e., Huggle and other tools for which Jackson has committed to make tutorials).
I also find the notion of COI difficult to grasp in a purely volunteer setting. What am I really "gaining" here? Yes, more people might start using the STiki tool (although not to the exclusion of other tools, since they should also have tutorials). However, a slightly larger user-base does not make my life easier, better, or increase my community "star power" (I chuckle at such a notion). While STiki was initially developed with academic intentions, it is currently maintained as a purely volunteer effort. The real net gain here is where it should be: the WMF project(s) who gain efficient anti-damage patrollers, because they have tutorials that make the tools inviting instead of being presented with miles of policy and documentation.
Sorry for the rambling organization. I am not at all confrontational here, but I think this well represents some of issues that flow funding needs to broadly resolve. Thanks, West.andrew.g (talk) 05:59, 13 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A recognized COI is still a COI[edit]

I'm afraid I can't accept your reasoning about this, and we will not be able to accept this recommendation as it currently stands. Here's why:

First, the fact Mr. West does not stand to gain financially or academically from this project does not eliminate the COI. Let me spell this out: STiki is an undertaking of Mr. West's; Mr. West is undoubtedly interested in its adoption, success, etc. (Interest #1). Mr. West is entrusted with the power to make spending recommendations to the WMF, in (his judgment of) the best interest of the movement (Interest #2). At least potentially, these could come in conflict, thus at the very least, and without suspecting Mr. West of any actual lapse of judgment, we have the appearance of a COI. We must avoid that.

Secondly, I explicitly reject the notion that once a COI is "recognized", it is no longer a COI.

The plan itself is, to my mind, perfectly sound, and could be submitted to the WMF's Wikimedia Grants Program for consideration. It is just that it cannot be funded solely on Mr. West's recommendation, and the Flow Funding program is about funding things solely on the Flow Funder's recommendation (within the eligibility criteria, including avoiding COI, which this runs afoul of).

Alternatively, I would consider this COI eliminated if the plan is amended to explicitly preclude creating videos for STiki. I would consider that a much inferior solution, as it would impose an artificial limitation on the potential value of this work, and, if construed as a permanent commitment on the grantee's part to never create a video for STiki, would be quite absurd. Nevertheless, I explicitly say this would be fundable, if Mr. West so chooses.

Finally, I would like to reiterate I find nothing wrong with the proposal to support STiki (indeed, having learned about the tool through this proposal, I have begun occasionally fighting vandalism myself using STiki. It's great! :)), and I do not doubt Mr. West's or Mr. Peebles's motives in the least. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 00:36, 16 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Added Grant Request[edit]

I understand the points made. I have made a request at and would appreciate your comments! --Jackson Peebles (talk) 19:51, 17 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks! Do monitor the talk page for any questions by the Grant Advisory Committee. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 20:30, 19 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]