IRC office hours/Office hours 2010-09-30

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Small, informal office hours session - log follows:

<zakg> Happy Rotations, Folks! Who's here for the office hours session?
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  • zakg has changed topic for #wikimedia-office to: "Next Office Hours: Zak Greant, Wed 2010-09-30 04:00-05:00 UTC | | Please note that this channel is logged during office hours and logs are subsequently posted on Meta-Wiki."

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-*- jps is still on foot but only for ~15min
<Ashlee> Do you have ops in here, zakg?
<zakg> I don't think so. However, despite having used IRC for years, I've worked hard to avoid learning much about it. :-P
<zakg> jps: I'll be around.
<zakg> Ashlee: Why do you ask?
<Ashlee> It's kind of silly to hold a meeting without ops.
<Ashlee> Someone could hijack it.
<zakg> Indeed. If anyone shows up, I'll start worrying. Seriously, I do need to talk to someone about process for these things – it seems to have been assumed that I'd just kind of know (or, gasp, ask)
<zakg> I'll ask... uh... someone to make ChanServ know who I am. I might have to do some kind of registery thing for that, I suppose.
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<Ashlee> NickServ is for nicks.
<Ashlee> ChanServ is for channels.
<aude> Hi zakg
<zakg> Right - but doesn't chanserv manage the opsly powers stuff? Anyhow, I'll read up later. :)
<zakg> aude: aloha
<zakg> aude: are you here for the dev docs session?
-*- jps reads
<aude> I think this timeslot for office hours is non-ideal for lots of folks in Europe and east coast us ...
<aude> We did various hours for irc meetings for strategy, some worked better
<zakg> jps: this is where the misc todo items are getting dumped right now. also keep an eye on my weekly reports – that lists what I'm focused on in a given week.
<Ashlee> aude: Already covered that in #mediawiki. ;-)
<aude> Ashlee: Cool
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<aude> zakg: I'm interested in any dev topics :)
<zakg> aude: my initial plan is to run them at these times -
<zakg> aude: great
<aude> So you do docs and help with communications?
<zakg> aude: i'm focused on docs. my work on communications is almost accidental.
<aude> Are you in SF?
<zakg> i started part-time with the wikimedia foundation in the summer
<aude> Good docs are very helpful
<zakg> i'm based a wee bit north of San Francisco. I live in Vancouver, Canada.
<zakg> aude: indeed :)
<jps> url for weekly reports, please, zakg?
<aude> Ah, makes sense... I just got home from visiting th office for few days
<zakg> jps: the current week lives on All reports (which is a bit messy right now) are at
<aude> Didn't remember seeing you there
<jps> thanks!
<zakg> aude: once i get some us citizenship stuff sorted out, i should be visiting the office at regular intervals
<aude> Sounds good
<aude> What did you do with mediawiki before? Or do you come w/ different background?
<zakg> I'm from a different background. I've spent most of the last decade working in various advocacy or management roles for open source non-profits or companies.
<zakg> Before then, I worked as a web dev and writer. I've kept writing and editing the entire time, but not full time.
<aude> Sounds good. Fresh eyes on things like docs can be helpful
<zakg> I've got a little chronology up at
<aude> If anyone else has questions please ask
<zakg> It's good to be a novice to wm dev – the holes are big for me and i keep falling through them, which is exactly what needed. :)
<zakg> jps: are you at a terminal with a decent keyboard yet?
<aude> I'm not a core dev but interested in working on extensionsand mayb getting into some core dev
<zakg> cool. what do you do now?
<aude> Good tutorials are helpful, as are good docs on comparing and evaluating extensions is good
<zakg> Ashlee: did you have any thoughts or opinions to add?
<aude> And I know some sysadmin / server docs are on wikitech wiki and some stuff buried in other odd places
<zakg> aude: agreed. i like to have lots of examples in the docs that i develop – it makes the concepts being explained so much clearer.
<aude> I found stuff only after lots off time searching and being around here for a while
<zakg> aude: the documentation is fairly fragmented right now:
<aude> I would like to work on better capabilities for maps and data, integrated with mediawiki
<zakg> i plan to start roping it all in to one place over time. initially, i'd hoped to start with a blank slate and create a brand new docs wiki.
<jps> excellent! There is so much room for improvement
<zakg> folks helpfully pointed out that a stalled "green field" migration from meta to mw.o was one of the things that led t the current state.
<aude> There's the maps extensionwhich is good and under active development but I also like to experiment with trying other ways of doing maps
<zakg> jps: what particular things has room for improvement?
<jps> I think the hooks' documentation may be some of the lowest hanging fruit for extension developers
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<zakg> aloha mdale: are you here for the office hours session?
<aude> More about hooks, knowing when to use which and examples are good
<jps> there are many hooks, and a table of them, but not all of them are linked from that table and some of its cells are blank
<jps> also the order in which hooks run is not always clear
<mdale> zakg: normally in this channel ;)
<zakg> mdale: *nod*
<aude> jps: agree
<jps> there are some obsolete hooks still listed in the hooks table, or were a month ago
<zakg> jps and aude: that kind of story is repeated throughout the docs. one of the inherent properties of wikis is that they fragement very, very easily. i'm hoping to develop a healthy group of gardeners to try and get this stuff back in line.
<aude> zakg: are you coming to the hackaton?
<zakg> aude: sadly, no.
<zakg> what other things are on folks minds around the docs?
<aude> too bad :(
<jps> also, my philosophy on examples is, even a stale line number pointer into an old version of still-used code is better than a contrived example
<zakg> aude: agreed - it would be very convenient to be able to pick folks' brains in person.
<jps> zakg: to answer your question I am still on my phone but at least sitting in coffeehouse
<zakg> jps: often, yes. i've been chatting with trevor parscal about how we can try to treat documentation examples as part of the unit tests, so that they can be run and validated.
<aude> also, there are docs on enwiki about writing bots, JavaScript customizations, etc
<zakg> jps: inconvenient for you - thanks for still participating!
<aude> More about how to do these things and work with the API would help folks
<zakg> aude: i didn't even look there. i'll add it to the list of the documentation diaspora.
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<aude> And pywikipedia bot framework. These can be used on any mediawiki wiki
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<jps> sorry held my phone wrong
<zakg> aude: pywiki is getting away from the core. i probably won't touch that directly for a while.
<jps> did my comment about the new upload interface post?
<zakg> jps
<zakg> gah.
<aude> zakg: Thats fine, plenty to cover with the more core things
<zakg> jps: i don't think so
<zakg> jps: what did you want to write abuot the upload interface?
<jps> in any case, when the usability team releases the new upload interface, I hope you can devote some time to the upload API changes involved because I want to build three things on it
<zakg> aude, jps - have you skimmed the draft dev docs plan?
<aude> zakg: Not yet, will take a look
<jps> 1-audio recording upload, 2-email attachment upload, and 3-interface to client side A/V editors I've seen
<jps> I have not! url please?
<jps> will do
<zakg> jps: what about the uploader things - i don't grok the comment
-*- jps skimmed...
<jps> well you know there is a new file upload UI comming (very?) soon
-*- zakg nods
<jps> my plan to add microphone upload must wait for it to land
<jps> there are already two upload APIs
<aude> And new resource loader for JS
<zakg> right
<aude> That's quite key for extension developers
<mdale> jsp: Have you looked at how that might work?
<mdale> microphone uploads
<jps> yes; I want to make it easy for wiktionary users to upload example pronunciations
<zakg> jps: ... and you're hoping that they'll be well documented?
<aude> mdale: can I catch you sometime to chat about video uploads
<mdale> aude: for sure .. maybe post it to wikivideo-l ;)
<jps> right now only the English Wiktionary has substantial recording coverage because it's a 9-step process to record, upload, and edit in pronunciations
<mdale> aude: there was a summer of code project to add audio capture to firefogg but did not finish
<aude> I have a 133 mb upload to try one and see how the community might be able to use then
<jps> non-English Wiktionarians haven't bothered much because of that complexity
<aude> Them
<aude> mdale: Will you be at hackathon
<mdale> probably
<aude> Sorry to detract from docs chat
<jps> so I'm hoping for good new upload api docs when the new ui lands
<zakg> it's only a wee handful of us - no worries
<jps> mdale: yes, I have both Java and Flash microphone upload applets ready
<mdale> do they convert to ogg?
<jps> on essentially all platforms the Flash solution is far superior e.g.
<jps> speex, not ogg
<mdale> speex works
<zakg> jps: i'll at least take a look at the state of docs for these things.
<jps> speex is better for a single voice
<mdale> sure
<mdale> speeks in an ogg container ;)
<mdale> speex i mean
<zakg> so...
<zakg> soooo
<mdale> well happy to plop it into the growing set of functionality that is mwEmbed .. a few of the wikitionaries have mwEmbed enabled by default
<zakg> are there any other docs-related questions :)
<jps> in the very hazy months-to-years HTML5 future, there might be native browser speex or ogg vorbis uploads
<jps> for Firefox and Chromium initially
<aude> zakg: I can't think of any more questions
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<jps> not from me;
<jps> your plans look great, Zak
<zakg> righto. i'm going to wrap this up then, as I've been up since 5:00.
<zakg> thanks jps!
<aude> Need to read up on the plans and can email or catch on irc
<aude> Thanks for doing office hours :)
<zakg> aude: thanks. i'm easy to catch - contact details are on my user page
<aude> Cool
<zakg> thanks all!
<aude> Have a good night
<zakg> you too!
<jps> yeah thank you Zak