IRC office hours/Office hours 2014-07-19

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<poem style="font-family:monospace,Courier;background:#F2F2F2"> Time: 21:00-22:00 UTC Channel: #wikimedia-office Timestamps are in UTC.

20:59:02 <whatami> #startmeeting VisualEditor office hour with James Forrester 20:59:02 <wm-labs-meetbot> Meeting started Sat Jul 19 20:59:02 2014 UTC and is due to finish in 60 minutes. The chair is whatami. Information about MeetBot at 20:59:02 <wm-labs-meetbot> Useful Commands: #action #agreed #help #info #idea #link #topic #startvote. 20:59:02 <wm-labs-meetbot> The meeting name has been set to 'visualeditor_office_hour_with_james_forrester' 20:59:11 <whatami> #chair James Forrester 20:59:11 <wm-labs-meetbot> Warning: Nick not in channel: James 20:59:11 <wm-labs-meetbot> Warning: Nick not in channel: Forrester 20:59:11 <wm-labs-meetbot> Current chairs: Forrester James whatami 20:59:28 <whatami> #chair James_F whatami 20:59:28 <wm-labs-meetbot> Current chairs: Forrester James James_F whatami 20:59:43 <whatami> #topic VisualEditor office hour with James Forrester | Channel is publicly logged (DO NOT REMOVE THIS NOTE) | 20:59:52 <whatami> #link 21:00:51 <whatami> Hello, everyone, and welcome to the VisualEditor office hour. 21:00:57 <James_F> Hello! 21:01:02 <Josve|Bad-WiFi> Hi! 21:01:04 <matanya> hello/ 21:01:07 <NotASpy> O.o 21:01:09 <whatami> James Forrester is the product manager for VisualEditor. 21:01:17 <whatami> He is here to answer questions you have about VisualEditor. 21:01:31 <James_F> Also questions you don't have about VisualEditor. :-) 21:01:59 <whatami> Does anyone have any burning questions to start off with? 21:02:22 <matanya> mobile VE ? 21:02:42 <seraphimblade> James_F: With the blowup over VE and the latest over Media Viewer, what do you think can be done to improve the relations between the editing community and the WMF with future software releases? 21:02:49 <James_F> matanya: What about it? Want me to just give an over-view? 21:03:17 <whatami> Let's take Matanya's question first. 21:03:35 <matanya> Yes please, would love to see it live, wiki text editing on mobile is less than fun 21:03:41 <whatami> seraphimblade, I've made a note of yours. 21:03:42 <James_F> Sure. 21:04:11 <seraphimblade> whatami: Thanks. 21:04:20 <James_F> So, the overall plan is to converge the mobile and desktop experiences where practicable to a single experience and set of tools. 21:04:32 <James_F> That covers reading, interactions, editing, etc. 21:04:36 <Josve|Bad-WiFi> (Remark: Why have such a late office hour? It is 23:04 here in Sweden?) 21:04:51 <matanya> for other parts of the world 21:04:58 <Krenair> Josve|Bad-WiFi, you know this is a global thing, right? 21:05:01 <Ariconte> 0700 in Sydney :-) 21:05:05 <NotASpy> is this going to result in VE becoming optimised as much for touch as for more traditional computer setups ? 21:05:15 <James_F> Obviously there are going to be some things that make much more sense on mobile and others that make more sense on desktop. 21:05:23 <whatami> Josve|Bad-WiFi, this is a better time for parts of Asia and Pacific Islands. I believe that this is the first time we've held an office hour at this particular time. 21:05:34 <whatami> Next month's time will be much better suited for Europe. 21:05:43 <Gilderien> not too bad for UK tbh 21:05:45 <James_F> For Editing in general, and VE in particular, that means some challenges. 21:06:02 <Josve|Bad-WiFi> ´okey, Just wanted to know if you did this, so that "we that complain" are asleep. ;P 21:06:15 <James_F> For example, as NotASpy says, touch-only environments are a little challenging for interface design. 21:07:21 <James_F> But I think we're pretty close – if you go to you'll see we've got the majority of the basic functions in VisualEditor working great on a touch device. 21:07:22 <Krenair> <Josve|Bad-WiFi> Office hour for the visual editor in #wikimedia-office starting around now 21:07:22 <Krenair> <natuur12> Isn;t it a bit late for a office-hour? 21:07:22 <Krenair> <Josve|Bad-WiFi> We who "complain" a lot are probl. sleeping. That's their "plan" 21:07:29 <Krenair> From -commons. Seriously? 21:08:00 <James_F> There are still some issues with Android, but that's not so much of a problem as we're initially working on tablets rather than phones. 21:08:10 <Josve|Bad-WiFi> Krenair - Seriously, is was a joke...take a chill-pill. 21:08:15 <Howicus> Office hour still on? 21:08:22 <Josve|Bad-WiFi> Just started Howicus 21:08:24 <whatami> Yes, Howicus, we're still here. 21:08:26 <James_F> Tablets are 94% (or something similar) iPad over Android of our users. 21:08:31 <James_F> Welcome back Howicus. 21:08:35 <whatami> I think James is typing. 21:08:40 <Howicus> Hi again James_F 21:09:18 <Howicus> I wanted to say that even though Visual Editor has problems, something like it is sorely needed. 21:09:40 <James_F> Working together with the Mobile team, we think we'll be ready to launch VE to be available without using the beta site for tablet owners very soon. 21:09:41 <whatami> Thanks, Howicus. Some people really seem to like it, especially after they've had a little while to get used to it. 21:10:26 <Howicus> I spend a lot of time in #wikipedia-en-help with new users, and I think a WYSIWYG editor would be immensely helpful for new users. There have even been a few users who've asked if something like that exists 21:10:31 <matanya> James_F: what about phones? 21:10:54 <James_F> There are going to be some areas where we may alter the design of VisualEditor to work better on tablets and other touch devices, but we'll check each time that we make such changes that they work with real-world users first. 21:11:17 <James_F> matanya: The initial plan is to focus on tablets, as "large format" devices give much more room to see what you're editing. 21:11:39 <James_F> But we're planning to get to all (smart)phones too once we've got that roughly complete. 21:11:59 <James_F> We may have to provide only limited functionality on phones, but hopefully we'll be able to do better than that. 21:12:37 <James_F> Right now tablet VE only does bold/italic/links and citations; it doesn't do (e.g.) adding or editing images, formulæ, etc. 21:13:04 <James_F> Eventually I plan to have the complete desktop tools for VE on mobile for tablets, at least. 21:13:08 <James_F> But we'll see. :-) 21:13:10 <whatami> Does anyone else have any other questions about mobile work, while we're already on the subject? Feel free to jump in if you do. 21:13:57 <James_F> (Very soon ~== a few weeks' time.) 21:14:33 <whatami> If not, we can go back to seraphimblade's question. 21:14:38 <James_F> OK. 21:14:45 <whatami> The question was: With the blowup over VE and the latest over Media Viewer, what do you think can be done to improve the relations between the editing community and the WMF with future software releases? 21:15:08 <James_F> It's an interesting question. I'm not sure I agree with the premise, however. 21:15:27 <NotASpy> It's more of an idea/request than a question, but I'd love to see VE (or the editing app) move to have the ability to tap where you want to add an image, then open up the camera function on tablets/smartphones, take the photo, upload it to Commons and add it straight into the article in a streamlined process 21:15:58 <James_F> We at the Product side of the Foundation need to have ways to get more consistent feedback, I think. 21:16:01 <whatami> NotASpy, Thanks for sharing that suggestion. We'll get back to your idea in a minute. 21:16:32 <James_F> Often months of trialling and advertising that a change is coming result in very little feedback, and then once it's switched on a bunch of editors suddenly pay attention. 21:17:14 <James_F> It would be unkind to say they're "asleep at the wheel", but it's not like these things aren't pre-announced significantly more openly and transparently than for other organisations. 21:17:58 <James_F> But the key thing is to find a way for people to engage with the change process – ideally in a positive way! – earlier, rather than feel that their only hope is loud argument at, or near, the end of the process. 21:17:58 <Ariconte> The definition of editor vs volunteer is part of the problem.... see: 21:18:22 <Ariconte> and the talk page 21:18:54 <James_F> Ariconte: Well, I don't particularly agree with the idea that there's utility in trying to distinguish "project volunteers" and "movement volunteers". 21:19:06 <James_F> We're all part of the same ecosystem of people working to make the world better. 21:19:08 <Ariconte> OK 21:19:13 <NotASpy> James_F: is there a way to add special announcements, like "Please note, MediaViewer is coming next week" in the Notifications for each user or a variation on that theme ? 21:19:15 <Krenair> Ariconte, did you read my email about that page? 21:19:32 <James_F> "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge". 21:19:41 <James_F> That's what brings us together, and what we are working on. 21:19:43 <seraphimblade> Thanks, James. What if that engagement results in a clear "Do not want!"? 21:19:55 <Gilderien> hi james do you think that each language wikipedia should go it's own seperate way on the mix of features they use? 21:19:59 <Ariconte> Krenair - Don't thin so 21:20:01 <Risker> depends on who the customers are, I would think 21:20:32 <James_F> NotASpy: There is not such a technology right now. 21:20:39 <Krenair> Ariconte, wikimedia-l, 5 days ago. "WMF's volunteers" thread 21:20:52 <Ariconte> Thanks 21:21:09 <James_F> NotASpy: It could be built, but a lot of people are very concerned that it would end up drowning out personal messages from the Notifications system and people would begin to ignore it. 21:21:53 <James_F> NotASpy: Also, that only would ever target logged-in editors – it would fail to reach ~ two thirds of the editors each month, much less the 99.999% of our "customers" (as Risker mentions) who don't edit. 21:21:55 <Risker> it would also only target registered users 21:22:03 <James_F> I also loathe the term "customer", FWIW. 21:22:04 <Risker> snap, James_F 21:22:04 <whatami> seraphimblade and Gilderien seem to be asking almost the same question here: Should each of the 800+ WMF wikis have their own custom mix of features? 21:22:13 <sjoerddebruin> Is there any update on tables support? 21:22:42 <NotASpy> we/you/WMF presumably want feedback from logged in users first, the sort of people who can and do hang out on IRC, who file bugs etc. 21:22:51 <seraphimblade> James_F: On your dislike of the "customer" bit, we agree on something. Though "consumer" is even worse. 21:23:12 <Risker> I did a little unscientific experiment with my team at work the other day, it was impromptu, to look at the mediaviewer. 5/8 didn't know beforehand that if you clicked on an image you would get further info. 21:23:12 <James_F> It's so utterly… wrong to talk about our partners, our colleagues, our friends, our readers, our donors and our down-stream users in such a money-/transaction-centred way. 21:23:19 <James_F> seraphimblade: Agreed. 21:23:23 <Ariconte> Krenair = Alex Monk? 21:23:31 <Krenair> Yeah 21:23:48 <Risker> 7/8 preferred mediaviewer - the 8th has downloaded and reused images before and wanted to go right to the file page. 21:23:59 <James_F> NotASpy: We certainly want feedback from regular users, yes. 21:24:36 <James_F> NotASpy: But I don't think that logged-in regular experienced users are the only ones we should worry about. 21:24:38 <Guerillero> FWIW, Risker, I see similar trends at my uni 21:25:51 <Howicus> James_F: Side note about Media Viewer based on a conversation in -en. It seems like it's a little unclear where the option to turn it off is in Preferences 21:26:01 <NotASpy> James_F: I agree about not focusing on regular experienced users, but at the same time, they're largely the ones making the roll-out of new features really difficult, so will need more molly coddling in future 21:26:04 <James_F> My slightly-outré thought is that we are here to serve all humanity – all 7bn of us, and the fact that only 1/14th of the world reads Wikipedia each month is a failing. 21:26:22 <whatami> (Howicus, if you're looking for it, the pref is in the same section as all the other image-related prefs.) 21:26:54 <James_F> NotASpy: I'm not sure molly-coddling people at the expense of making real improvements for the vast majority of our users is a reasonable outcome. 21:27:06 <Risker> Howicus, preferences -->appearance --> files 21:27:22 <Howicus> Risker: Thanks :) 21:27:44 <James_F> NotASpy: We're not a trades union movement. Going on strike or taking "direct action" isn't an appropriate or collegial thing to do. 21:27:57 <whatami> sjoerddebruin, I've made a note of your question. 21:28:01 <James_F> NotASpy: I want us to get away from oppositional ways of thinking. 21:28:06 <MatmaRex> Risker: Howicus: the option is in the mediaviewer window too, at the bottom 21:28:09 <NotASpy> James_F: I do agree, but the way they're involved in testing, filing bugs etc, will need to change. Or we're going to be back having RfCs and getting nowhere rolling out new features. 21:28:10 <quiddity> Howicus, or, just scroll down within any MV image. There's a "Disable Media Viewer" at the bottom of the info, that even works for anons. 21:28:13 <sjoerddebruin> whatami: Thanks. :) 21:28:18 <MatmaRex> btw, i heard this is VE office hour? ;) 21:28:27 <whatami> Yes, MatmaRex. 21:28:43 <whatami> We've got two questions on the list, but feel free to add any you've got. 21:28:47 <whatami> I'm keeping notes. 21:28:49 <James_F> NotASpy: I'd be happy for users to engage more on bugs, be they new or old, yes. :-) 21:29:01 <Risker> James_F, I saw in the planned deployments that there is some thinking of rolling VE out to tablets in the coming month or so? 21:29:13 <James_F> Risker: Yes, sorry, we talked about that before you joined. 21:29:38 <James_F> Risker: It's planned in the next few weeks; I'm working with Mobile to understand exactly when. 21:29:40 <Risker> apologies for my lateness :) I'll read the log 21:29:48 <James_F> Risker: No problem at all. 21:29:54 <Risker> it will not be default, correct? 21:30:00 <James_F> Correct. 21:30:10 <James_F> NotASpy: You had a question about upload and mobile, right? 21:30:52 <James_F> Right now you can't upload files in VisualEditor, or in WikiEditor. Instead you need to follow a series of Byzantine and (intentionally) scary links in hidden places no-one looks (like the navbar). 21:31:11 <NotASpy> yeah, I'd love to see some way to integrate taking a photo and adding it into an article in one go, eventually. 21:31:16 <James_F> It was always planned as part of UploadWizard to have an "upload image" button in the toolbar of WikiEditor, but that never got done. 21:31:40 <Risker> NotASpy - noooo! this is how we get masses of copyvios that nobody ever detects.... 21:31:48 <James_F> On mobile you have the extra power of having an attached camera (and, indeed, microphone). 21:32:02 <James_F> Risker: That's what algorithms are for. :-) 21:32:21 <Risker> they've never worked before, James_F. No reason to think that will change :) 21:32:41 <James_F> Risker: They've never been used. Please don't disparage ideas before they've been explained. 21:33:05 <Gilderien> could you consider mine and seraphimblade 's question? 21:33:15 <whatami> It's on the list, Gilderien. 21:33:21 <Gilderien> :D ok 21:33:23 <NotASpy> Risker: not upload a photo, actually take a photo. So you get readers looking at an article on a building or monument, they can tap to take a photo and when they're happy, the photo is uploaded and added to the article without needing to edit markup etc. 21:33:27 <whatami> We also have sjoerddebruin's question about the table editor. 21:34:16 <James_F> So the plan is make it possible to upload to Commons from within the editor – WikiEditor or VisualEditor – with a quick prompt about file name and licence, and insert. On mobile platforms, I imagine we'd also provide a "take photo" as well as "pick photo" button there. 21:34:20 <whatami> If you're waiting on pins and needles for the table editor update, then part of that answer is posted at 21:34:31 <James_F> Ah, yes, thanks whatami. 21:35:07 <James_F> I agree that there's a need to make sure that steps we take to make editing easier are balanced with tools to make patrolling easier too. 21:35:31 <James_F> So that we don't over-whelm the communities who respond to edits, comments, uploads and so on. 21:35:48 <NotASpy> it would be nice to get access to Google's Image Match facility (or for WMF to make its own), to make detecting copyvios easier at the point of upload. 21:36:21 <James_F> NotASpy: That could be an option, yes; it's called TinEye, and I've encouraged my colleagues in Multimedia to consider it. 21:36:31 <Risker> caution must also be used to not encourage image-taking that we know is likely to be a problem. Like places where freedom of panorama is very restrictive 21:36:42 <James_F> NotASpy: Of course, just because something exists elsewhere doesn't mean it's not openly licensed. 21:36:56 <James_F> NotASpy: Think of Flickr. :-) 21:37:13 <James_F> Risker: Sure, but the same can be said for textual edits, and no-one freaks out about that. 21:37:35 <James_F> So, moving back to Gilderien's question. 21:37:37 <NotASpy> Risker: that's where using onboard GPS should be considered, to give the user an idea of what they can and can't take photos of depending on their location, in easy to understand language. 21:38:09 <James_F> Should each wiki have its own configuration? 21:38:39 <James_F> Maybe. In some areas it makes sense, in others I think it harms our community to split up how our system works in different ways. 21:39:16 <James_F> In general, I'm pretty strongly against vastly-different configurations for different language editions of the same projects. 21:39:26 <James_F> But reasonable places on the spectrum exist. 21:39:43 <James_F> For instance, some Wikipedias don't allow local file uploads, and just use Commons. 21:40:09 <James_F> This means they can't host fair-use content, which makes them more "ideologically pure" but possibly reduces their value to users. 21:40:39 <James_F> On the other hand, some Wikipedias use FlaggedRevisions, which is a very complex and confusing system to try to introduce to an existing editor, let alone a new one. 21:41:19 <James_F> I don't think we should ban such variations – they should be considered individually – but in general, we should think deeply before making such changes. 21:41:27 <Gilderien> ok 21:41:32 <James_F> Additionally, each variation should be re-considered from time-to-time 21:41:44 <James_F> Does it still make sense? Does it help more than it hinders? Etc. 21:41:51 <James_F> Gilderien: Is that helpful? 21:42:02 <Gilderien> yeah that seems to cover it pretty well 21:42:07 <Gilderien> :) 21:42:11 <James_F> Cool. :-) 21:42:17 <James_F> Next up, table editing, right? 21:42:30 <Krenair> Heh - good luck getting each language of a project to agree on a single configuration. 21:42:39 <James_F> sjoerddebruin: Hey, so, table editing. 21:42:44 <sjoerddebruin> Yeah. 21:42:47 <whatami> Table editing is the last question on my list, so if you've got a question, feel free to post. 21:43:03 <sjoerddebruin> Just: is there any updates about it? 21:43:19 <James_F> sjoerddebruin: (which whatami kindly posted before) gives our proposed sketch of how it might work. 21:43:37 <Howicus> whatami: More of a factual thing than anything else. Is Visual editor being unrolled only on -en? Or globally? 21:43:53 <sjoerddebruin> Wooh, nice mock-ups. :) 21:44:01 <whatami> Howicus, I'm not sure what you mean by "unrolled". 21:44:02 <James_F> The idea is to make an easy, touch-appropriate (there you go NotASpy, we do care!) interface to make changes to the structure of tables. 21:44:19 <Howicus> whatami: Er…I mean, does it exist on other language Wikipedias? 21:44:32 <whatami> VisualEditor is already deployed on about half of the Wikipedias. You can see the list here: 21:44:35 <NotASpy> I was going to suggest copying, as much as possible, Excel and Numbers as it appears on Surface and iPad, for table editing. 21:44:39 <Gilderien> it was on the french one howicus last time I checked 21:44:39 <Howicus> whatami: Thank you 21:44:59 <James_F> We spent a lot of time looking at different table editors from a bunch of places, and we think we've found a reasonable compromise between them. 21:45:09 <whatami> Of that list, almost all of them are on by default. The ones where it's not available tend to have languages that are hard to type on a "normal" keyboard. 21:45:22 <sjoerddebruin> But it's coming this year, I hope? 21:45:43 <James_F> sjoerddebruin: Table editing? Yes, we hope to get it done and out in the next few months. 21:46:10 <sjoerddebruin> Okay, please keep us up to date using the tech news. :D 21:46:19 <James_F> sjoerddebruin: Definitely. 21:46:24 <whatami> Notice that James_F is telling you about the plans, not the reality that sometimes takes a bit longer. 21:46:26 <Josve|Bad-WiFi> (I have no idea what I'm talking about, but...) Will Flow use VE? 21:46:56 <James_F> sjoerddebruin: Also, if you have any thoughts about those mock-ups (something we miss or that you think we should consider) please do comment on the talk page! 21:47:18 <sjoerddebruin> Hm, only thing is that buttons should look like buttons. 21:47:22 <whatami> But we still might have reasonable odds of seeing it by New Year's. It just depends on whether it's harder to write than anticipated. 21:47:59 <James_F> Josve|Bad-WiFi: Yes, that's the plan. Right now the Flow team haven't got to the point where they're happy with the VisualEditor integration, but I hope that it will be soon. 21:49:23 <James_F> MatmaRex: BTW, did you have a question? :-) 21:49:28 <whatami> We have about 11 minutes left, if anyone has any other questions. 21:50:01 <MatmaRex> nah, just lurking :) 21:50:11 <James_F> OK. :-) 21:50:24 <Howicus> whatami: Will a newly-registered user be able to see VE by default? 21:50:42 <whatami> Howicus, Not at English, Dutch, German, or Spanish. 21:50:56 <whatami> But for all of the other "done" Wikipedias on the rollout page, yes. 21:51:06 <James_F> Josve|Bad-WiFi: Wikitext (and non-Javascript) editing will continue to work in Flow, though – no-one is being forced to use VisualEditor. 21:51:23 <Howicus> whatami: Alright. If that ever changes on -en, where will the notification be? 21:51:40 <Risker> James_F, just as long as no-one is being forced to use Flow, we'll do okay 21:51:43 <whatami> For the ones marked Phases 5, 6, and 7 (I think I've got those numbers right), they'll be offered VisualEditor later, when the language editing tools are more stable. 21:51:45 <Howicus> (see, I work a lot with new users over in #wikipedia-en-help) 21:51:48 <James_F> Howicus: That's subject to community consultation. :-) Risker may have a view. 21:51:54 <whatami> The most obvious indication is that you'll have two edit tabs. 21:51:59 <Josve|Bad-WiFi> everybody will be forced to use Flow! 21:52:15 <Howicus> James_F: Thanks 21:52:18 <James_F> Risker: Sadly the way talk pages work is either it is or is not one kind of discussion. 21:52:36 <whatami> Howicus, have you subscribed to the newsletter for VisualEditor? Almost everything about VisualEditor is announced there once a month. 21:52:52 <Howicus> whatami: Ah, no! Where would that be? 21:53:00 <whatami> 21:53:05 <Howicus> Thanks 21:53:35 <whatami> You're welcome. 21:53:57 <whatami> Six minutes to go: Any other questions? Any ideas or suggestions? 21:54:20 <Risker> James_F, as I've noted on wikitech-L, it's software nobody asked for, doing things that nobody really wanted, but not doing things people wanted done particularly well. 21:54:51 <legoktm> I'm a bit late and didn't read the entire log so someone might have already asked..the team was recently renamed to the "Editing" team, is there a list of plans they have for non-VE editing enhancements? 21:54:58 <James_F> Risker: None of those statements is true, but this isn't the time or place (and I'm not particularly au faît with Flow) to discuss. 21:55:12 <James_F> legoktm: Good question. 21:55:23 <Howicus> James_F: Maybe set up a Flow office hour? 21:55:39 <whatami> I can suggest that, but it's a different team. 21:55:51 <quiddity> I'll suggest it, Howicus :) 21:56:12 <James_F> legoktm: I created as a start – as you can see we have a bunch of things to worry about :-) – but I've not written out specific plans for each of the 50 areas that we now cover. 21:56:12 <whatami> The Flow team did a couple last year. 21:56:48 <James_F> legoktm: For example, there's some talk about replacing the Cite extension with one based on Wikidata, and there are going to be discussions at Wikimania about it. 21:57:05 <James_F> legoktm: Those are mostly community-driven ideas at this point. 21:57:44 <whatami> Two minutes to go… Last call for questions! 21:57:46 <James_F> Speaking of, I and most of the Editing team will be at Wikimania in London in a couple of weeks' time, and I'd be glad to talk to any of you that are there. 21:59:01 <legoktm> Hm, ok. I think there are some disabled by default things like live preview which just need a bit of cleanup before turning it on by default for everyone, but since they're disabled for most users, they haven't gotten much attention 21:59:10 * James_F nods. 21:59:19 <legoktm> I'll comment on the talk page :) 21:59:24 <James_F> Though I think Ops may have some words to say about throwing the switch on that one. :-) 21:59:31 <James_F> Great, thanks! 21:59:50 <whatami> I think we're out of time. 22:00:04 <whatami> Thanks, everyone for coming and asking your questions. 22:00:28 <whatami> #endmeeting