IRC office hours/Office hours 2014-10-09

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[19:56:43] * philippe waves to Ziko, awjr, others... :)
[19:57:38] <Ziko> hi
[19:57:45] <plipp> I have to miss the engineering office hour because of a schedule conflict. could someone please ask a question for me?
[19:57:50] <philippe> plipp, sure
[19:58:14] * Elitre waves at former boss, then returns into the "others..." oblivion.
[19:58:23] <philippe> Hey Elitre ;)
[19:58:24] <plipp> my question is: when will the Foundation do formal usability testing instead of using production editors for usability tests?
[19:58:33] <plipp> thanks, philippe
[19:58:35] <philippe> Grabbed it and will ask :)
[19:59:01] <plipp> thanks, will check logs, must run
[19:59:21] <Finnegan> I'm going to miss most of this...could someone refresh my memory where the log will be posted afterward? specific link if possible
[19:59:26] <Samoyed> Doesn't the WMF already run usability tests through a contract service?
[19:59:32] <SodaAnt> should be in the topic?
[19:59:46] <legoktm> Finnegan:
[19:59:46] <Finnegan> ...oh. well that's embarrassing. Thanks SodaAnt :
[19:59:50] <philippe> Hey krmaher :)
[19:59:51] <greg-g>  :)
[20:00:24] <philippe> Hey Haitham, Chris :)
[20:00:34] <HaithamS> Hello :-)
[20:00:52] <philippe> Folks, I know it's time... I'm waiting on our guest, and then we'll start. He'll be along momentarily, I'm sure.
[20:01:00] <harej> Who's the guest?
[20:01:11] <philippe> Damon :)
[20:01:14] <philippe> New VP-Engineering
[20:02:15] <alpha> philippe: office hours again? :P
[20:02:23] <philippe> Indeed :-)
[20:02:50] <alpha> philippe: funny how wikia has the same office hours time as wikimedia does
[20:03:36] <gnubeard> Hey!
[20:03:36] <philippe> OK, He's here :-)
[20:03:44] <greg-g> it's a gnubeard :)
[20:03:49] <harej> GNU/beard *
[20:03:50] <James_F> Hey gnubeard.
[20:03:58] <gnubeard> Hi all.
[20:04:03] <alpha> Hi.
[20:04:10] <Eloquence> hi damon :)
[20:04:16] <philippe> OK, all...
[20:04:23] <philippe> as you've figured out, because you're smart like that...
[20:04:31] <philippe> gnubeard = Damon, our new VP-Engineering :)
[20:04:34] <gnubeard> Hey Elo, greg-g, James_F.
[20:04:43] <YuviPanda> ohai gnubeard
[20:04:44] <philippe> So, welcome to everyone for office hours, and welcome to Damon to the WMF :)
[20:04:52] <gnubeard> YuviPanda: greets.
[20:04:56] <philippe> Damon, let's start with the obligatory "tell us about yourself?"
[20:05:30] <gnubeard> Sure thing. First, IRC is like home. I know *most* of the ett, but please, if I miss anything, just say so.  :)
[20:05:38] * philippe nods.
[20:05:55] <alpha> gnubeard: sure thing
[20:06:08] <philippe> Background first, where are you from, what have you done, favorite colors..... it's like speed-dating, only virtual?
[20:07:03] <peteforsyth1> whois peteforsyth
[20:07:12] <philippe> i ask myself daily, pete :)
[20:07:15] <greg-g> (hi pete :) )
[20:07:26] <Elitre> (I think I can answer that!)
[20:07:33] <peteforsyth1> sorry..
[20:07:39] <peteforsyth1>  :)
[20:07:42] <philippe> <grin> no worries
[20:07:47] <gnubeard> Background: I was at Edmodo for about 1.5 years, working in the educations space. I was there long enough to establish a strong pedagogy for my family based on my experience there. Before that, I spent six or so years at Mozilla running engineering for three of those years... where I cut my teeth on Keeping the Web Open, and fighting for user sovereignty.
[20:08:08] <philippe> Yay.  :-) These are things near and dear to the hearts of many of us.
[20:08:11] <gnubeard> I've a CS degree, been in open source for about 15 years or so.
[20:08:11] <ori> hello
[20:08:23] <alpha> gnubeard: I use Mozilla. :D
[20:08:33] <gnubeard> The last 10 years have been mostly leadership-type positions.
[20:08:58] <gnubeard> But, I've written tons of code and I know a lot of hard stuff about the browser guts.  :)
[20:09:19] <gnubeard> alpha: Thank you!
[20:09:23] <philippe> We're going to take questions here, but let's remember that Damon is new and may not be into the weeds on everything yet... :-)
[20:09:30] <philippe> So if he punts, no pitchforks and torches? :)
[20:09:40] <greg-g> s/?/./
[20:09:40] <marktraceur> philippe: You must be new here. :)
[20:09:51] <philippe> LOL, yeah yeah
[20:09:57] <gnubeard> I like hard questions tho.
[20:09:59] <gnubeard> please hit me.
[20:09:59] <philippe> First question was requested a few minutes ago, by plipp who had to take off....
[20:10:11] <philippe> "when will the Foundation do formal usability testing instead of using production editors for usability tests?"
[20:10:17] <marktraceur> gnubeard: Thoughts on software licensing? I'll take whatever's drifting through your brainspace at the time
[20:10:31] <ori> gnubeard: Again, welcome! Now that you've had a chance to get acquainted with the Foundation, what problems seem most urgent to you, and do you have any early thoughts about how you're planning to tackle them?
[20:10:32] <philippe> lyzzy!  :)
[20:10:36] * Reedy hits gnubeard
[20:10:47] <lyzzy> hi all!
[20:10:57] <jorm> oh hai.
[20:10:57] <philippe> Reedy, not great on the ol' career advancement, there.
[20:10:58] <alpha> Hi lyzzy
[20:11:16] <Reedy> philippe: Well, when your boss says to do something...
[20:11:17] <Reedy> [21:09:59] <gnubeard> please hit me.
[20:11:19] <gnubeard> marktraceur: I've spent a lot of time in licenses...
[20:11:22] <philippe> So we've got one question outstanding, then marktraceur and then ori....
[20:11:24] <rdaiccherlb> Reedy, he wasn';t really being literal :P
[20:11:44] <Reedy> literal? Good job I'm over 5000 miles away ;)
[20:11:48] <gnubeard> However, I think that the age of software licenses is starting to pass..
[20:11:51] <philippe> Reedy, we gotta work on the concept of analogy, huh?
[20:12:12] <gnubeard> while they are fundamentally important to how we open source our code and share knowledge, I think the world has come to accept them as the status quo.
[20:12:17] <gnubeard> That said, we can't stop the fight.
[20:12:23] <jorm> aw, give him a break. he's british. they don't understand english all that well.
[20:12:26] <gnubeard> I was around for the birth of open source.
[20:12:35] <alpha> jorm: lol
[20:12:43] <greg-g> gnubeard: I'll go in line after ori and marktraceur and plipp: WMF and community is obviously a very distributed group of people working together. What (hard) lessons did you learn at Mozilla on that and how do you view remote vs local work?
[20:12:49] <gnubeard> I spent five years converting companies to open source... full stack converstions.. swapping out oracle for mysql and postgres... etc.
[20:13:14] <philippe> so were on with marktraceur, then ori, then greg-g and since plipp isn't here, he's queued for a dull moment :)
[20:14:06] <gnubeard> I know what their (the companies) concerns are... and I know what the concerns are for the engineers who write the code. And here, at WMF, since FOSS is in our DNA, licenses are something that we need to fight for mostly in other projects that we will use.
[20:14:47] <marktraceur> gnubeard: I'll get back in line, but I was hoping for some opining on the various licenses too! Carry on for ori. Interesting thoughts all
[20:14:48] <Eloquence> *nod* too many github repos without licenses these days :(
[20:14:52] <philippe> Ori asked: "gnu beard: Again, welcome! Now that you've had a chance to get acquainted with the Foundation, what problems seem most urgent to you, and do you have any early thoughts about how you're planning to tackle them?" (whenever you're ready)
[20:15:17] <alpha> gnubeard: what do you think of freenode? :P (that's rhetorical, don't answer it.) xD
[20:15:37] <gnubeard> The most urgent issue seems to be software quality and shipping what we say we are going to ship, on time.
[20:16:01] <gnubeard> However, this urgency is compounded by the fact that we must be able to compete in mobile
[20:16:01] <jorm> gnubeard: Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin?
[20:16:08] <philippe> jorm, you're queued :P
[20:16:09] <gnubeard> jorm: Sabbath.
[20:16:13] <philippe> LOL
[20:16:26] <jorm> Good answer.
[20:16:43] <gnubeard> ori: Also, our talent base here is fantastic.
[20:16:49] <marktraceur> Agreed, he can stay
[20:16:59] <philippe> Greg-g asked: I'll go in line after ori and marktraceur and plipp: WMF and community is obviously a very distributed group of people working together. What (hard) lessons did you learn at Mozilla on that and how do you view remote vs local work?
[20:17:25] <gnubeard> However, the question I'm left asking: How are we going to build the sum of all knowledge with only seven engineers (not an actual number, but not off by an order, fer sure)?
[20:17:37] <gnubeard> seven mobile engineers? Not enough.
[20:17:45] <gnubeard> it took me 150 engineers to build firefox for android.
[20:17:53] <gnubeard> And that was moving as fast as humanly possible.
[20:18:12] <ori> tfinc, on queue
[20:18:16] <gnubeard> I see us having to scale to a size that enables us to compete with the engineering shops that are trying to kill us.
[20:18:35] <philippe> So we can expect more growth in engineering? :)
[20:18:38] <greg-g> (who's trying to kill us?)
[20:18:43] <greg-g>  :)
[20:18:54] <gnubeard> That means we need to double down on recruiting top talent, and steal the engineers from the sources they use... because... well... they are REALLY GOOD.
[20:19:13] <gnubeard> greg-g: Any company that wants to sell knowledge.
[20:19:25] * greg-g nods
[20:19:29] <marktraceur> Quora! They're winning
[20:19:35] <gnubeard> greg-g: For example, I find it ironic that the WMF office is over Kaplan.
[20:19:43] <greg-g> haha
[20:19:44] <philippe> so many ways.
[20:19:52] <gnubeard> I believe Kaplan is trying to kill us.
[20:19:52] <ori> we've got some REALLY GOOD people too
[20:20:01] <gnubeard> They want to take over the schools because they sell educational content.
[20:20:07] <gnubeard> and we are their biggest threat.
[20:20:27] <harej> gnubeard: That irony's always killed me, too.
[20:20:28] <Reedy> When are we moving the office then? :)
[20:20:34] <alpha> What do you find most challenging as a staff member, and how do you plan to make it less of a hassle? @gnubeard
[20:20:41] <philippe> Reedy, we're not moving to the backwaters of the UK :P
[20:20:45] <harej> We should take over the first floor of 149 New Montgomery and turn it into a Wiki-Pavillion for the publi
[20:20:46] <harej> c
[20:20:49] <James_F> Reedy: How can we keep tabs on them if we move? :-)
[20:20:53] <gnubeard> We will be slowly absorbed behind other systems that present our information unless we build products that our users want to use.
[20:20:55] <Eloquence> philippe, don't wake up the James_F
[20:21:00] <Eloquence> oh you just did
[20:21:01] <Eloquence> damnit
[20:21:03] <philippe> heh
[20:21:08] <philippe> I stuck a "NOT" in there :)
[20:21:19] <ori> gnubeard, thanks for the answer
[20:21:25] <Reedy> I don't think I asked when are we moving to the UK... ;)
[20:21:32] <gwicke> Eloquence: better space those names to avoid the highlight ;)
[20:21:33] <philippe> Greg-g question: "WMF and community is obviously a very distributed group of people working together. What (hard) lessons did you learn at Mozilla on that and how do you view remote vs local work?"
[20:21:38] * James_F laughs.
[20:21:55] <gnubeard> greg-g: working distributed is very hard.
[20:22:05] <gnubeard> about 40% of my team at Moz was distributed.
[20:22:23] <philippe> (alpha, got your Q)
[20:22:27] <gnubeard> I help set up Moz corp presence in about 30 countries to hire engineers all over the world.
[20:22:35] <jorm> <gnubeard> I'm gonna pull a Yahoo or a Reddit and force everyone to move to the office.
[20:22:52] <alpha> ^ lol'd
[20:22:56] <gnubeard> It takes massive infrastructure in order to support a team of 600 distributed engineers.. video conf became a big deal.
[20:23:02] <philippe> as long as you don't force me to come in, jorm.
[20:23:08] <matanya> hello
[20:23:12] <gnubeard> Nope. I don't force people.
[20:23:14] <philippe> hey matanya :)
[20:23:15] <Eloquence> matanya!
[20:23:20] <alpha> Hi Matanya
[20:23:20] <jorm> (i know. i'm kidding.)
[20:23:46] <matanya> just came to say hi and wave at gnubeard
[20:23:48] <philippe> so, gnubeard, video conferencing.. anything else?
[20:24:06] <jorm> i think irc should be mandatory.
[20:24:07] <alpha> (estimates the time before sDrewth joins in)
[20:24:12] <greg-g> gnubeard: I have more questions on that (day-to-day team planning/etc) but I can wait until our 1:1 at 3 :)
[20:24:13] <harej> Question: What is the difference between Engineering and Product, now that they are two separate departments? It sounds like "Engineering" is focusing on software stuff, but I thought that would be Product, since our main product is MediaWiki?
[20:24:17] <gnubeard> but, working remote... I'm all for it. However, do realize that our competition is efficient. It's built into how they operate. And no matter what, we need to be more effecient than them. And that means we will need to borrow their techniques, sometimes only for a short term, in order to win.
[20:24:20] <philippe> harej, queued :)
[20:24:21] <jorm> compulsory communications vector.
[20:24:44] * YuviPanda +1s IRC
[20:24:56] <gnubeard> This means that sometimes, for example, in mobile, when we start doing user acceptance and UX work... we may need to get EVERYONE in the same place.
[20:24:59] <hashar> philippe: my Q: do you have any plan to tremendously grow the "small" engineering team? For a top 5 website, there is less than a hundred of folks. If not, how to better prioritize, if yes, that would need more donations
[20:25:04] <philippe> gnubeard: marktraceur wanted you to opine on various open source licenses, when you're ready.
[20:25:07] <philippe> hashar, got it.
[20:25:10] <ori> maybe they need to borrow some of our techniques
[20:25:23] <gnubeard> ori: Don't worry. They already do.
[20:25:33] <gnubeard> ori: and they do it better.
[20:25:38] <awjr> as a followup to the distributed question - the WMF has tended to centralize leadership/management positions at WMF HQ in SF. do you have any thoughts on or a position in regards to supporting remote leadership/management?
[20:25:52] <philippe> awjr, got it and thanks
[20:26:19] <rfarrand> awjr moves back to SF!
[20:26:25] <awjr>  ;)
[20:26:31] <philippe> +1, rachel
[20:26:35] <gnubeard> marktraceur: Is there a special question on licenses? Pretty broad question.  :)
[20:26:39] <gnubeard> I can opine for days.
[20:26:43] <awjr> rfarrand: or move WMF HQ to tucson!
[20:26:48] <philippe> I think that's what mark is hoping for :)
[20:26:52] <marktraceur> gnubeard: Well, start with what you prefer and what you think the WMF should prefer
[20:26:54] <James_F> awjr: Or somewhere that is good for the planet. :-)
[20:27:02] <awjr> lol
[20:27:05] <awjr> touche
[20:27:13] <greg-g> Great Lakes!
[20:27:25] <harej> greg-g are you saying we should move to Detroit?
[20:27:27] <marktraceur> gnubeard: We can opine at greater length some other time...
[20:27:29] <rfarrand> awjr: too hot, no mts.
[20:27:33] <jorm> we could *buy* detroit.
[20:27:38] <awjr> rfarrand: not true! lots of mountains
[20:27:39] <James_F> I hear that Detroit… bah, harej got there first.
[20:27:48] <awjr> rfarrand: lots of epic climbing
[20:27:49] <philippe> Alpha asks: What do you find most challenging as a staff member, and how do you plan to make it less of a hassle?
[20:27:57] <jorm> My vote is for Hawaii.
[20:28:03] <greg-g> harej: it's cheap :)
[20:28:07] <awjr> but it is hot...
[20:28:20] <harej> Hawaii: Because San Francisco Is Too Cheap
[20:28:28] <marcoil> Move to Europe and stop all that crazy 401k and insurances paperwork ;)
[20:28:38] <marktraceur> harej: We could just buy an island maybe
[20:28:39] <rfarrand> awjr: ok, then I propose that WMF send a small team on a mt HQ scouting trip to the mountains of tucson - I volunteer
[20:28:50] <Ziko> (hi folks, I try to follow the conversation, but all those little jokes make that difficult for me. i am not a native speaker of english, you know)
[20:28:54] * quiddity votes for Canada, and more serious topics.
[20:29:16] <gnubeard> marktraceur: I actually don't have a preference. I will chose the one that is the least restrictive.
[20:29:19] <philippe> yeah, with Ziko and quiddity, and we have a lot queued.  :)
[20:29:22] <gnubeard> depending on my needs.
[20:29:40] <marktraceur> That'll do. :)
[20:29:44] <matanya> gnubeard: does that mean -1 for gpl?
[20:29:47] <marktraceur> (and it sets the stage nicely for future opining)
[20:29:53] <philippe> so alpha was next with: What do you find most challenging as a staff member, and how do you plan to make it less of a hassle?
[20:29:56] <hashar> marcoil: bonus points if we end up on an island.
[20:29:58] <gnubeard> And, actually, on where we are, I'm very concerned about our sovereignty.
[20:29:58] <chasemp> awjr's follow up on leadership and remote working I thought was a good question
[20:30:04] <chasemp> maybe I missed the reply I'm not sure
[20:30:05] <Eloquence> hi Ziko, good to see you :)
[20:30:10] <philippe> chasemp, we're getting there.
[20:30:11] <gnubeard> As for leadership being remote.
[20:30:22] <ori> and how!
[20:30:26] <gnubeard> As an executive, I suspect that any WMF executive really should be local.
[20:30:37] <Seth_Finkelstein> Have you read the site If so, what do you think of it? In general, how do you plan to deal with the sometimes very harsh criticism leveled at WMF actions?
[20:30:49] <philippe> Queue'd, seth :)
[20:30:53] <Eloquence> hi Seth_Finkelstein  :)
[20:31:11] <Eloquence> long time no see
[20:31:12] <Ziko> Q: Is there a way to 'measure' how far the Wikipedia related software is dated? Can you say that in how many years, as an estimation?
[20:31:16] <gnubeard> The reason I say that is for one simple reason: The job requires total immersion. The only way to really do that is to live it 24/7 and constantly, constantly, constantly interacting with the team.
[20:31:17] <Seth_Finkelstein> Hello Eloquence, my old tribe-mate now become Duke.
[20:31:25] <Eloquence> ha!
[20:31:25] <philippe> Got it, Ziko
[20:31:32] <gnubeard> It's not that it can't be done by being remote, it's just that most people can't pull it off.
[20:31:41] <jorm> does *anyone* take wikipediocracy seriously?
[20:31:43] <gnubeard> I haven't met anyone yet who could, as an executive.
[20:31:46] <philippe> jorm, we aren't there yet :P
[20:31:49] <awjr> gnubeard: what about non-C-level leadership?
[20:31:51] <marktraceur> jorm: I imagine wikipediocracy does
[20:32:04] <gnubeard> awjr: Totally supportive of non c-level mgmt.
[20:32:06] <greg-g> gnubeard: what about non-"executives"? (not sure what the line is)
[20:32:12] <gnubeard> being remote, that is.
[20:32:15] * greg-g nods
[20:32:17] <Seth_Finkelstein> horm, be fair - a recent blog post was taken very seriously
[20:32:21] <greg-g> sorry for redundant question :)
[20:32:26] <philippe> harej asks: What is the difference between Engineering and Product, now that they are two separate departments? It sounds like "Engineering" is focusing on software stuff, but I thought that would be Product, since our main product is MediaWiki?
[20:32:59] <gnubeard> Product's job is to guarantee we are building the right products.
[20:33:06] <chasemp> gnubeard: thanks for that clarity. I hadn't considered that someone would want to shake up the remote nature of the team, but it is good to hear you are not.
[20:33:10] <awjr> that is great to hear, thank you gnubeard
[20:33:19] <alpha> I'm sorry, was my question answered? :P - was not really paying attention
[20:33:33] <gnubeard> Guarantee means a lot of things, but it means, specifically that they must tell us when we are winning and why.
[20:34:01] <gnubeard> Product should be in the seat next to engineers.
[20:34:23] <gnubeard> And, really, while there is a org split between the two, they should be interacting constantly.
[20:34:27] <philippe> alpha, I'll be honest, I'm not sure. I just fired the next button. Moderator fail :-)
[20:34:37] <ori>
[20:34:45] <philippe> gnubeard: have anything to say on alpha's? "What do you find most challenging as a staff member, and how do you plan to make it less of a hassle?"
[20:34:47] <gnubeard> Engineering will be focused on ops, processes, testing, quality.
[20:34:52] <philippe> (and did we do it already)
[20:35:03] <gnubeard> But, again, the biggest challenge will be how do we innovate in mobile.
[20:35:19] <alpha> Ah. Okay.
[20:35:27] <gnubeard> We have to be where our users are, and we don't have a place for our mobile users to go yet.
[20:35:27] <philippe> Got it.
[20:35:35] <gnubeard> and we can't get to them.
[20:35:41] <alpha> philippe: thanks :P
[20:35:45] <philippe> yw :)
[20:36:09] <alpha> gnubeard: yeah, that does seem like a problem.
[20:36:23] <philippe> hashar asks: do you have any plan to tremendously grow the "small" engineering team? For a top 5 website, there is less than a hundred of folks. If not, how to better prioritize, if yes, that would need more donations
[20:36:57] <gnubeard> I want everyone to keep this in mind: If we don't move faster and better than google, apple, and microsoft (and their ilk and kin), they will consume us and we will go away. It's that simple.
[20:37:40] <gnubeard> So, that means our engineering processes must be as efficient as possible.
[20:37:47] <gnubeard> We must measure and move with intent.
[20:38:29] <gnubeard> Measuring means efficacy of product changes as well as performance, perceived efficiency, and security.
[20:38:58] <hashar> I understand the need to measure and improve our efficiency. But then there is little magic you can achieve with only a few dozens of devs (compared to big players having thousands)
[20:39:30] <alpha> gnubeard: do you mean bought out, or destroyed when you say "consumed"?; I was under the impression Google and Apple are for-profit and wouldn't buy a non-profit community?
[20:39:42] <Eloquence> hashar, just wait for those bitcoin donations to roll in .. any time now ..
[20:39:49] <gnubeard> Right now, we're number one because the big players in the space (all the ones I mentioned) still respect us. They believe in us. But, if we ship shitty software, that won't last very long, or if we *don't change* we will last an even shorter time.
[20:40:25] <gnubeard> alpha: I don't mean bought out. I mean they will slowly siphon away our traffic.
[20:40:43] <alpha> gnubeard: ah, thanks for clearing that up :)
[20:40:46] <jorm> we need to fix our shitty discussion system.
[20:40:53] <marcoil> jorm: +1M
[20:40:58] <_joe_> jorm: :)
[20:41:00] <hashar> get Flow deployed. Done.
[20:41:03] <chasemp> That seems pretty smart, but I also don't know how it turns out if the public library tries to view barnes and noble as an adversary, seems like we are just an entirely different animal and outliving and being more useful and open is our everyday win
[20:41:04] <jorm> err, s/discussion system/\*/;
[20:41:07] <philippe> And here's the question of the hour, from Seth_Finkelstein: "Have you read the site If so, what do you think of it? In general, how do you plan to deal with the sometimes very harsh criticism leveled at WMF actions?" I'll keep my opinion to myself, but I bet many will guess (and more will be wrong)
[20:41:20] <gnubeard> I mean like this:
[20:41:26] <gnubeard> That google box... that's just the beginning.
[20:41:31] <gnubeard> It's going to get a lot worse.
[20:41:46] <alpha> jorm: I like IRC, mind you
[20:41:58] <jorm> they're a bunch of howling, rage-faced, conspiracy theorists that are difficult to take seriously?
[20:42:06] <greg-g> (w00t, he still uses Fx instead of chrome/ium!)
[20:42:07] <gnubeard> chasemp: The difference is that Barnes and Noble doesn't see libraries as a threat.
[20:42:09] <philippe> heh
[20:42:15] <Seth_Finkelstein> jorm, the question was not to you.
[20:42:36] <jamesofur> But how bad is that? In the end, our job is to spread knowledge not necessarily always to spread knowledge on our domain, I see others reusing our content as good not bad
[20:42:37] <philippe> Seth, seth, seth... you know how IRC works. You don't always get the floor to yourself :)
[20:42:39] <gnubeard> I've read
[20:42:42] <gnubeard> Most of it.
[20:43:03] <alpha> hey jamesofur :D
[20:43:05] <gnubeard> I can't imagine an executive joining WMF without reading it.
[20:43:10] <philippe> (The stuff about me? Mostly untrue. My mother was not a demon, for example....)
[20:43:10] <Seth_Finkelstein> philippe, what would happen if I started giving some of MY opinions like that?
[20:43:22] <marxarelli> gnubeard: where does quality fit squarely into one of the two departments? when i think of things like acceptance testing, user stories, etc. they seem to straddle the two departmental definitions
[20:43:25] <gnubeard> I actually appreciate the fact that it exists.
[20:43:27] <_joe_> philippe: lol
[20:43:30] <marktraceur> Seth_Finkelstein: Depends on how you did it
[20:43:39] <philippe> We'd listen, and then roll our eyes. To a certain point. Just like with Jorm.  :)
[20:43:57] <gnubeard> As for my opinion of it: I read a *lot*. I mean, literature, philosophy, science, etc.
[20:43:59] <greg-g> If you think we don't roll our eyes at jorm too.. well :P
[20:44:06] <jorm> You should.
[20:44:21] <halfak> Someone said Science
[20:44:32] <philippe> Next one from Ziko: Q: Is there a way to 'measure' how far the Wikipedia related software is dated? Can you say that in how many years, as an estimation?
[20:44:54] <jorm> Whatever sane or rational criticism that exists there is buried under the piles of excrement that surrounds it.
[20:45:11] <Seth_Finkelstein> jorm - lots of people say that about Wikipedia articles
[20:45:13] <hashar> gnubeard: ah pointing to Ayn Rand .. excellent pick :]
[20:45:39] <marxarelli> gross :/
[20:45:50] <gnubeard> amateur.
[20:45:51] <gnubeard>  :)
[20:46:09] <greg-g> che, ayn rand, marx-arelli .....
[20:46:15] <greg-g>  :)
[20:46:30] <marxarelli> one of those things is not like the other :)
[20:46:34] <greg-g> who's bringing up moa
[20:46:37] <gnubeard> greg-g: I picked rand because I've only recently learned that Wales was an objectivist.
[20:46:39] <greg-g> mao*
[20:46:47] <gnubeard>  :)
[20:47:10] <gnubeard> My next quote will be from Milton Friedman.
[20:47:19] <_joe_> no please
[20:47:26] <awjr> @_@
[20:47:27] <philippe> i'm with _joe_
[20:47:48] <greg-g> (I like this guy ;) )
[20:47:52] <quiddity> More Feynman, Less Friedman.
[20:47:52] <rfarrand>  :)
[20:48:04] <philippe> So, we've got one question outstanding, from Ziko, "Q: Is there a way to 'measure' how far the Wikipedia related software is dated? Can you say that in how many years, as an estimation?"
[20:48:37] <Qcoder00> Where's tonights agenda?
[20:48:37] <gnubeard> jamesofur: It's not a bad thing if what they are doing doesn't kill you. It kills us because it reduces our relevance.
[20:48:41] <matanya> would "a lot" work?
[20:48:54] <philippe> Qcoder, there isn't one. If you've got a question, throw it out :)
[20:48:59] <philippe> if we're in the middle of something, we'll queue it.
[20:49:05] <Qcoder00> What's the general theme?
[20:49:17] <philippe> Meet Damon, the new VP-Engineering :)
[20:49:17] <greg-g> Qcoder00: 'ask gnubeard questions"
[20:49:41] <jamesofur> gnubeard: the question, which I think needs to be addressed (and is currently mostly taken for granted) is if we're ok embracing the role of a utility given that so many people see it that way {I can certainly make a long argument in both directions}
[20:49:42] <philippe> As a time check, we have about ten minutes left.
[20:49:58] <Qcoder00> OK, Is there going to be a log?
[20:50:02] <jamesofur> ye
[20:50:04] <jamesofur> yes
[20:50:05] <philippe> Qcoder, linked fromt he topic
[20:50:06] <hashar> philippe: mandatory: what is your favorite programming language ? :D
[20:50:06] <Qcoder00> OK
[20:50:10] <gnubeard> On wikipediocracy: and, well, this may hurt a little, but the writing there is amatuer and abrasive. Not something that I would enjoy reading. And also, the arguments are so specific to WMF and attacking individuals that I don't think it will be relevant long term.
[20:50:20] <gnubeard> I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be relative, but the quality of the posts is similar to other sites that attempt to do what they do. Many have come and gone on my watch at Mozilla. Nothing ever comes of them if you build the right product and keep your promises.
[20:50:23] <jamesofur> hashar: Visual Basic
[20:50:24] <philippe> hashar: BASIC. oh, you meant Damon?
[20:50:33] <gnubeard> gahaha flood protection... long messages.
[20:50:44] <gnubeard> I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be relative, but the quality of the posts is similar to other sites that attempt to do what they do. Many have come and gone on my watch at Mozilla. Nothing ever comes of them if you build the right product and keep your promises.
[20:50:49] <gnubeard> dammit.
[20:51:01] <hashar> philippe: shah yeah Basic is nice :]
[20:51:02] <Qcoder00> Question to panel: Does the Engineering role include better protecting Wikipedia from emerging threats?
[20:51:13] <philippe> Qcoder, got it and queued :)
[20:51:21] <gnubeard> philippe: Where are we?  :)
[20:51:23] <pajz> gnubeard, many of the goals you mention are, I feel, "relative" in the sense that you are drawing up a comparison with (other) big players on the internet. However, a Wikipedia article is written by volunteer authors -- it is not the result of an algorithm. How do you want to make sure that your engineerings team's strive for more efficiency and prompter implementation will not alienate people contributing content who are often rather sceptical of
[20:51:23] <pajz> significant changes to the site?
[20:51:34] <philippe> You're number 2 :)
[20:51:53] <gnubeard> pajz: I like that question!
[20:51:56] <chasemp> pajz: well worded and important question
[20:52:08] <gnubeard> let me hit that one.
[20:52:29] <philippe> it's yours, and any that we miss, maybe we can handle on wiki?
[20:52:42] <matanya> not to mention some of the contributers still use monobook?
[20:52:45] <gnubeard> pajz: you are right to ask that, because I am drawing on comparisons with other big corporate projects...
[20:53:24] <Qcoder00> To the Panel: I will note that not even Apple or Google gets right all the time ( Apple maps 1st incarnation was a disaster)
[20:54:10] <gnubeard> pajz: What I want to see is a better connection between those in WMF who are making product changes (which can be anyone, really) and see how they are prioritizing. If those prioritizations do not include our constituents, then I know that we may be going in the wrong direction.
[20:54:14] <gnubeard> almost certainly.
[20:54:16] <philippe> (I'm handing off mod to jamesofur because i've got a General Counsel summoning me :))
[20:54:17] <_joe_> Qcoder00: not to get to the horrible internals of OS X..
[20:54:45] <gnubeard> Qcoder00: You are right, they don't always get it right.
[20:55:07] <gnubeard> Qcoder00: But they can leverage their products to block competition: i.e., the App Store. Android market, etc.
[20:55:25] <Qcoder00> To the panel: Yet people yell louder when OMG Someone brok Wikipedia :(
[20:55:30] <matanya> ugly closed gardens
[20:55:30] <gnubeard> What if no mobile app store anywhere contained any application to see Wikipedia?
[20:55:44] <jamesofur> Qcoder00: we've even had calls from the white house etc :)
[20:56:08] <Qcoder00> To the Panel: Documented appropriately I hope? ( Laughs)
[20:56:11] <gnubeard> Make no mistake: They are figuring out how to do that.
[20:56:14] <matanya> use mobile frontend
[20:56:19] <jamesofur> Qcoder00: I can write these down but to be honest we're going to be out of time
[20:56:21] <gnubeard> I've been in the conversations!
[20:56:52] <Qcoder00> jasmeofur: Gnubeard seems to be responding just fine, I am using the form I am as a convention...
[20:57:05] <jamesofur>  :) Aye but we have 2 people in queue before yours :)
[20:57:15] <alpha> jamesofur is here a lot anyway -- might be best to ask gnubeard the questions whilst he's here
[20:57:35] <Qcoder00> MY apologies
[20:57:42] <matanya> post on wiki
[20:58:02] <matanya> it doesn't have to be live
[20:58:20] <matanya> and he will probably lurk here.
[20:58:28] <jamesofur> aye, he does have a talk page or we can add it to the talk page of the log that will be posted
[20:58:41] <gnubeard> An example: The day Steve Jobs died I was in a meeting with Andy Rubin, yes Andy Rubin, and he rejected allowing Firefox as a browser... we had to fight!!!
[20:58:42] <matanya> would you gnubeard ?
[20:59:02] <hashar> /wikipedia Andy Rubin
[20:59:04] <hashar> grr
[20:59:16] * Eloquence wants to hear more mozilla stories :)
[20:59:17] <gnubeard> That is our threat.
[20:59:30] <jamesofur> I have a feeling we will ALL hear many more mozilla stories ;0
[20:59:32] <YuviPanda> hashar: erstwile Android head
[20:59:35] <greg-g> Fireside chat time!
[21:00:02] <matanya> fix firefox memory leaks! :)
[21:00:15] <marktraceur> Firefoxside chat
[21:00:22] * Eloquence cringes
[21:00:36] <rfarrand> hahah
[21:00:49] <gnubeard> So, on hiring, I don't see how we are going to build the sum of all knowledge with what we have now.
[21:00:50] <jorm> he who would pun would pick a pocket.
[21:00:54] * YuviPanda plays 'what does the fox say?'
[21:00:59] <aschmidt> Just to be sure, this is not Mozilla. It's about writing an encyclopaedia. Period.
[21:01:10] <gnubeard> aschmidt: That's right.
[21:01:20] <James_F> aschmidt: Not just an encyclopædia.
[21:01:21] <gnubeard> But, I don't think it's just about writing an encyclopedia.
[21:01:26] <marktraceur> jorm: I'm working on it, the whole index/middle finger thing is hard to get a grasp on.
[21:01:30] <marktraceur> Ba dum tss.
[21:01:36] <gnubeard> It's about making sure somone can READ and EDIT the encyclopedia.
[21:01:57] <Qcoder00> And presumably not Vandlise :)
[21:02:08] <aschmidt> that's already been the case since 2001, gnubeard
[21:02:29] <aschmidt> nothing new
[21:02:34] <matanya> it is now 2014 ...
[21:02:43] <gnubeard> aschmidt: What's nothing new?
[21:02:57] <hashar> aschmidt: internet died meanwhile
[21:03:04] * bd808 is here to build tools and platforms for collaborative content creation
[21:03:06] <aschmidt> you can read and edit wikipedia.
[21:03:06] <_joe_> gnubeard: you mean we need more people in engineering?
[21:03:21] * jorm is here to troll bd808.
[21:03:47] <Qcoder00> To the panel : (These are being queued , so No worries if there is no time) Does the goal of READ and EDIT, include those for normal methods are difficult? What is being done to implement accessibility.?
[21:03:55] <Qcoder00> *those for whom sorry
[21:03:56] <marktraceur> jorm: Be realistic, we're all here for that
[21:03:57] <James_F> Qcoder00: Time ended four minutes ago.
[21:04:04] <Qcoder00> Oh well
[21:04:06] <marktraceur> Yes, but gnubeard loves IRC!
[21:04:15] <jamesofur> Just so everyone knows gnubeard is lingering to answer more questions but is multi tasking in another meeting so answers may be slower
[21:04:38] <greg-g> thanks jamesofur
[21:04:41] <greg-g> and thanks gnubeard
[21:04:48] <gnubeard> one second... meatspace interaction.
[21:05:19] <jamesofur> there is also a pending question from Ziko Q: Is there a way to 'measure' how far the Wikipedia related software is dated? Can you say that in how many years, as an estimation?
[21:05:29] <hashar> meatspace sounds like a butchery to me
[21:05:43] <Qcoder00> James_F: Can you Drop a note on my talk page with your on Wiki ID, I had a project in mind I'd liek to raise with you?
[21:05:46] <jamesofur> charcuterie
[21:05:46] <greg-g> chartueterie, or however you spell that french word
[21:05:48] <Qcoder00> *like
[21:05:48] <greg-g> that
[21:05:52] <marktraceur> It's a big freezer
[21:06:30] <Poore5> gnubeard, if you have any ideas about how to help the wikimedia movement bridge the gender gap, I would love to hear them. :-)
[21:06:42] <matanya> greg-g: probably with many spare letters
[21:06:49] <greg-g> matanya: :) :)
[21:07:14] <Qcoder00> Poore5: Stop calling it a gender 'gap' would be good for starters... It's a 'participation gap'
[21:07:53] <aschmidt> over the past hour i have read a lot of kidding by the way, i have read a lot about mozilla as it was, but nothing has really touched the questions that matter to the community. sorry to say that. not even the serious question asked by pajz has been addressed adequately. we have read and edited wikipedia since 2001. this hour was about what the WMF intends to change or not, and i'm afraid we have not heard anything consistent an
[21:08:19] <Ziko> +1 aschmidt
[21:09:12] <Seth_Finkelstein> +1 also
[21:10:13] <James_F> Qcoder00: /whois James_F gives you my wiki ID. :-)
[21:10:25] <Qcoder00> Thanks
[21:12:10] <Poore5> Qcoder00: I'm all in for changing the name if you think that will fix the problem. :-)
[21:19:27] <gnubeard> ok
[21:19:28] <gnubeard> back
[21:19:42] <gnubeard> I have another 30 mins and I love talking on IRC.
[21:20:10] <jamesofur> For people interested (and who missed part of the main hour) the log is up at
[21:20:37] <gnubeard> aschmidt seemed to think I was kidding.
[21:20:39] <jamesofur> as always the rest of the log (whatever happens from now on) is available at the bot link in the topic as well
[21:20:48] <gnubeard> I'm serious about everything I said.
[21:21:05] <gnubeard> In no way am I kidding.
[21:22:40] <YuviPanda> gnubeard: re: Mobile, what do you think of our current focus on experimental new features / new ideas vs making current workflows work on mobile?
[21:23:29] <jamesofur> I believe aschmidt has left sadly, though others expressed similarly and can speak up if they wish. I think the biggest thing on his side was that he didn't feel that the issues that the community is concerned about were addressed.
[21:24:32] <Reedy> Ziko: Seth_Finkelstein ^^ Seeing as you guys +1'd aschidt
[21:24:33] <ottomata> gnubeard: q about the 'if we don't move faster...we will go away' comment. why?
[21:24:39] <ottomata> Anecdote time! CouchSurfing was a nonprofit that became a for profit for various complicated reasons. A new CEO came in, and felt threatened by AirBnB. So, they made a tons of changes to the site and to the company to 'keep up' with competition. Now it is going down the pooper, has been through several CEOs and full staff turnovers.
[21:25:24] <hashar> I guess most folks have no idea how the big corporations are potentially threatening internet and free knowledge as a whole :\
[21:25:30] <ottomata> i'm all for doing things faster and more efficiently (we are pretty slow around here), but we should be really careful about the sacrifices we make to be faster
[21:25:31] <Seth_Finkelstein> I was +1 the idea of "questions that matter to the community"
[21:25:42] <Eloquence> ottomata, didn't know airbnb was already cited as a threat, interesting
[21:25:42] <jorm> to *a* community.
[21:25:46] <jorm> we are many communities.
[21:25:51] <gnubeard> And, to repeat what I plan to change: Software Quality, shipping what we say we are going to ship.
[21:25:56] <Seth_Finkelstein> I think there's been ENORMOUS tension over VE, etc.
[21:26:13] <gnubeard> ottomata: software rots. It gets old. Other software comes along and replaces it.
[21:26:15] <Seth_Finkelstein> But I odn't feel qualified "politicially" to make the case to Damon.
[21:26:16] <Reedy> We like boats in deployment
[21:26:57] <ottomata> hm, isn't facebook still stuck with their rotting PHP codebase (that's why we have HHVM :) )
[21:26:59] <ottomata>  ?
[21:27:13] <Eloquence> hack ftw
[21:27:14] <hashar> ottomata: don't they use Hack with a bunch of custom extensions? :D
[21:27:17] <gnubeard> ottomata: if we can't adapt to the market environment fast enough, we won't have users who are interested in us.
[21:27:24] <_joe_> ottomata: speak for yourself; I'm fast as hell.
[21:27:26] <ottomata> haha
[21:27:32] <Reedy> gnubeard: As long as you don't say to rewrite MW in ruby...
[21:27:36] <_joe_> not kidding.
[21:27:55] <gnubeard> ottomata: What happens when there are no more browsers?
[21:27:59] <_joe_> Reedy: now we also have a decent php environment
[21:28:08] * Qcoder00 lols at the idea of collobratively developed programming languge for the web...
[21:28:12] <matanya> with hhvm
[21:28:29] <jorm> i have a friend who got hired at twitter a zillion years ago (employee #13) who immediately became a militant ruby-on-rails evangelist. and then about 6 months later they had to rewrite in java because ruby lol ruby sucks.
[21:28:46] <gnubeard> twitter is not a zillion years old.
[21:28:53] <Reedy> "Episode 2 - All The Cool Kids Use Ruby"
[21:28:56] <ottomata> ja, that's the good counter example, hm. gnubeard maybe i think you are tlaking about something different
[21:28:59] <gnubeard> It's a mote in the universe of time.
[21:29:14] <gnubeard> ottomata: think big.
[21:29:24] <ottomata> from (limited) experience, i just worry when new manager guy comes in and says "we are doing it wronnnnnnng! must change"
[21:29:28] <gnubeard> sure, we've been around for a while.
[21:29:34] <gnubeard> But make no mistake, software rots.
[21:29:43] <ottomata> as for adapting to the changing web, of course
[21:29:52] <gnubeard> How many desktop apps do you use that are ten or more years old?
[21:29:53] <ottomata> that's good, and building things faster to keep up, is good
[21:29:56] <hashar> by mean of changing Software Quality, do you have any idea to share already? I am wondering how we could better work with our users.
[21:29:57] <ottomata> hmmm
[21:29:59] <ottomata> Adium? :p
[21:30:04] <_joe_> gnubeard: emacs
[21:30:04] <jorm> Photoshop.
[21:30:06] <Qcoder00> ottomata: That's a given... Wikipedia started when HTML 4 was new stuff ;)
[21:30:11] <_joe_> counts as desktop?
[21:30:12] <_joe_>  :)
[21:30:14] <ottomata> haha
[21:30:15] <gnubeard> _joe_: software for humans.
[21:30:18] <Reedy> photoshop is rewritten every 6 months? :P
[21:30:19] <matanya> vi
[21:30:23] <Qcoder00> What is it now HTML5 or something?
[21:30:26] <Reedy> well, "changed"
[21:30:27] <ottomata> itunes?
[21:30:27] <ottomata> haha
[21:30:43] <gnubeard> And... all of those products are dramatically different from their conception.
[21:30:55] <ottomata> cept maybe adium...but ja
[21:31:10] <ottomata> jaja, ok, so, you are saying: we need to change to keep up with..uh...change.
[21:31:12] <ottomata> cool.
[21:31:20] <jamesofur> gnubeard: As someone who played with Wikipedia 13 years ago, I'd say we are too :) though lots of people would disagree :)
[21:31:31] <gnubeard> People said the same thing about BBSs back in the day. But, don't think on twitter time. Twitter time is nothing.
[21:31:32] <Qcoder00> gnubeard: I have several apps i use whose cores code hasn't changed in 10 years, granted these are niche items...
[21:31:44] <gnubeard> Qcoder00: exactly.
[21:31:47] <matanya> power to phase 3 jamesofur
[21:32:22] <jamesofur> is our editing (not our reading) platform NOT niche?
[21:32:25] <gnubeard> hashar: some projects in WMF don't have a no regression policy, for example.
[21:32:30] <Qcoder00> The biggest on wiki change has been the Lua implementation , which makes some templated code easier to maintian...
[21:32:33] <gnubeard> Some projects have little to no testing.
[21:32:40] <ottomata> no regression policy?
[21:32:41] <Qcoder00> and thus no metrics?
[21:32:45] <gnubeard> right.
[21:32:59] <gnubeard> If it isn't measured, it doesn't exist.
[21:33:00] <bd808> ottomata: feature and perfomance
[21:33:02] <Qcoder00> And no OMG no-one wrote a test case for this?
[21:33:09] <gnubeard> (don't take that all the way... but you get what I mean).
[21:33:11] <ottomata> ah k
[21:33:24] * matanya hold himself not to mention RTL
[21:33:32] <marxarelli> gnubeard: how do you plan to keep our development goals congruent with our stated product goals and, perhaps more importantly, our product goals congruent with what our community wants?
[21:33:35] <gnubeard> RTL is a great example.
[21:33:36] <hashar> I am all for measurement, but I don't want metrics to become a dictatorship though
[21:33:39] <jamesofur> matanya: to be fair (though it shouldn't be) RTL sucks everywhere from what I can tell
[21:33:41] <ottomata> k, +1 to that
[21:33:51] <Qcoder00> RTL:?
[21:33:57] <bd808> right to left
[21:33:59] <jamesofur> Right to Left (language)
[21:34:05] <hashar> gnubeard: yeah regression and lack of testing is a huge issue in lot of our repositories unfortunately
[21:34:08] <jamesofur> Hebrew/Arabic etc
[21:34:13] <Qcoder00> Oh you mean proper handling of Arabic and Hebrew text rendering?
[21:34:20] <_joe_> I've worked in places where metrics dictated choices, the net result of that is thriving in mediocrity.
[21:34:34] <matanya> i can punish you all to edit a wiki RTL for sometime
[21:34:36] <gnubeard> marxarelli: dev goals congruent with product is easy. That just means we talk. That I can do. As for the community goals, I need to understand our touchpoints with the community now. When I ask these questions here, I don't get the answers I'm looking for.
[21:34:50] <_joe_> (I do think we need to use metrics to make informed choices, not make them a religion)
[21:34:50] <YuviPanda> _joe_: yeah, it also means if you pick a wrong metric, you're doomed. 'proxy metrics' have adverse effects...
[21:35:05] <jamesofur> matanya: I feel punished every time I visit one
[21:35:55] <matanya> now do the math for my sarrow, daily
[21:36:01] * jamesofur nods
[21:36:09] <_joe_> YuviPanda: I found enough awesomely smart people around here to think that is not the main problem
[21:36:38] <gnubeard> _joe_ I can find examples of great projects using great tools and they absolutely fail.
[21:36:39] <gnubeard>  :)
[21:37:23] <YuviPanda> _joe_: hmm, it's happened at least a bit in the past. focusing on user registration meant discarding anon edits, for example.
[21:37:35] <YuviPanda> we've better metrics now, but they all still ignore anons (well, IP editors)...
[21:37:50] <_joe_> gnubeard: my point is - I love metrics, I love observables; I am a scientist at heart. Still I think interpretation is important. And that alone is still not enough.
[21:37:51] <Eloquence> YuviPanda, we did count both in those experiments, and didn't productize experiments which depressed IP activity
[21:38:02] <jamesofur> yeah IP editors do not necessarily = anonymous we use bad words there
[21:38:03] <gnubeard> _joe_: I agree.  :)
[21:38:06] <YuviPanda> Eloquence: sure, but IPs still can't edit.
[21:38:27] <Eloquence> on mobile web, true - I think we need to create a consistent policy between app<->mobile web<->desktop web very soon
[21:38:39] <Eloquence> that was not to increase editing though, but out of conservatism to mitigate risk for the community
[21:39:45] <_joe_> Also, in my limited experience here, I found that sometimes corners are cut because we are really really tiny as an eng team. So I don't think anyone here doesn't agree with that statement. It's mostly a matter of priorities
[21:40:42] <Eloquence> yeah, doing fewer things, or not adding to the list while growing the org, will help to create capacity for improved test coverage, test infrastructure, etc.
[21:40:42] <_joe_> if it is a priority to work more based on metrics, I'm pretty sure everybody will be happy with that
[21:41:44] <Eloquence> _joe_, I don't think we're at risk of being too metrics driven yet.
[21:41:58] <_joe_> Eloquence: surely not :/
[21:42:15] <ottomata> haha
[21:42:26] <_joe_> Eloquence: I still have PTSD from places where numbers dictated everything.
[21:42:45] <^d> +1
[21:42:54] <Eloquence> that culture can set in more quickly when the main thing you have to count is $$$
[21:43:04] <Eloquence> for wmf even figuring out what the right metrics are is often difficult
[21:43:19] * jamesofur nods
[21:43:27] <gnubeard> I've yet to run into a project that has too many metrics.
[21:43:31] <plipp> did my question about formal usability question get answered at the Engineering office hour?
[21:43:36] <_joe_> so every time I hear "a/b tests" I run to my belt of papers demostrating how hard and slow and painful is doing a/b testing correctly. And how bad your decisions will be if you run a/b tests as 99% of web shops do
[21:43:39] <gnubeard> plipp: Nope.
[21:43:40] <matanya> anasuya would say: context
[21:43:42] <marxarelli> gnubeard: (thanks!) as a follow-up: i've only been here a few months but already it seems teams are becoming more mindful of testing as a part of development. do you have any experience with or plans to further promote tdd/bdd? (i'm wondering more about the behavioral side, less about tooling)
[21:43:44] <plipp> formal usability testing*
[21:43:48] <plipp> oh darn
[21:43:52] <Eloquence> plipp, more of a product question really, so I can take that one
[21:44:10] <jamesofur> though we do have to make sure, in our push for metrics, that we don't use the metrics as a core point when we aren't even sure they are the right ones yet [using everything at your disposal is good and important but not as the be all end all]
[21:44:16] <plipp> I saw in the logs that someone says the Foundation contracts usability testing with an outside agency
[21:44:37] <plipp> but I wonder whether they use real editors
[21:44:42] <Eloquence> plipp, we've done limited user testing for years, and the first formal user studies in labs many years ago. but we started building a proper in-house UX research team a few months ago and are now doing more and more testing directly in partnership with product teams on an ongoing basis
[21:44:46] <jorm> we have several types of usability tests. some use 3rd parties.
[21:45:09] <jorm> we have a stack of tests and reports that were done at wikimania with "real editors"
[21:45:21] <Eloquence> plipp, you may want to follow
[21:45:26] <jorm> though, when testing usability, that doesn't mean much. either the software is usable or it is not.
[21:45:55] <jorm> if it is only "usable" to a select group of people - people who are trained in it, perhaps - then it is not "usable" software. it's esoteric.
[21:46:44] <plipp> it seems to me that most of the problems with VE and Media Viewer would likely have been caught with style tests using actual editors. instead of maybe just some third party agency grabbing people off the street and pretending they are equivalent to experienced editors
[21:46:49] <matanya> no one was born with the knowledge to edit a wiki jorm
[21:46:54] <ottomata> gnubeard: let me rephrase my point before and see if I can elicit a different response
[21:46:59] <ottomata> i'm all for more measurement and more efficiency
[21:47:01] <Eloquence> plipp, testing with different personas consistently helps, yes.
[21:47:18] <gnubeard> plipp: I want to add a few points, too. Usability testing is super important. However, I think that getting the usability right before you build the product is a better way to do it. For example, with FirefoxOS, we sent an ARMY of people to the regions where we *suspected* we would launch, years in advance, in order to do testing on the ground *first*... Get the users requirements *first* from them... *in person* by going house to
[21:47:19] <ottomata> but, i don't think perceived threats should be our motivation for changes
[21:47:24] <plipp> jorm: usability isn't a binary thing. You can measure it as a continuum, for example as a floating point speedup factor
[21:47:50] <Eloquence> gnubeard, really interested in learning more about how you scaled that stuff @ moz
[21:48:17] <gnubeard> before we designed the phone, we extracted the intentions and activities out of the community first.
[21:48:28] <Eloquence> I've had some bad experiences w/ premature field research but agree it could be super valuable if done right
[21:48:45] <gnubeard> Eloquence: yep. it's hard.
[21:49:15] <gnubeard> And the usability aspects I'm talking about... aren't down to pixel perfect.. you can't do that upfront.
[21:49:23] <gnubeard> pixel perfect takes rigor.
[21:49:27] <gnubeard> crazy rigor.
[21:49:43] <gnubeard> And the iPhone has subpixels. So, it's twice as hard.
[21:49:47] <plipp> I'm wondering if anyone can think about problems with VE that wouldn't have been caught with formal usability tests using authentic experienced editors
[21:50:13] <Eloquence> heh :)
[21:50:31] <Eloquence> plipp, yes, plenty
[21:50:49] <gnubeard> plipp: usability errors aren't the problem with VE. It's fatally flawed as it is now. I still think it's the right product, just not even to the point where we're really talking about usablility problems. These are tablestakes problems (i.e., load time).
[21:51:22] <matanya> load days you mean
[21:51:27] <Eloquence> plipp, a problem with VE is that it has to deal with millions of articles and edge cases. usability testing works typically with smaller samples of users, so you'll only discover some edge cases
[21:52:53] <gnubeard> Eloquence: That's exactly right. My experience with the Gecko layout engine, and building that team, the edge cases are mind blowing. 70 languages, hundreds of styles and elements, all different on all browsers, now make it all come together and look the same everywhere??!
[21:52:58] <plipp> well, I mean for example things like the pawn symbol insertions and not being able to handle various templates. Those are things that authentic experienced editors would see but UsabilityRUs testers off the street would never catch on to
[21:52:58] <gnubeard> really really hard.
[21:53:05] <gnubeard> Big big brains have to tackle that problem.
[21:53:18] <gnubeard> way bigger than mine.
[21:53:28] <hashar> gnubeard: would you mind looking at marxarelli question from 8 minutes ago related to software testing ? :)
[21:53:51] <ottomata> (hashar poke mine from 6 minutes ago after that :) )
[21:53:56] <plipp> if you are releasing a new smartphone app, it makes sense to do usability testing with people off the street
[21:54:03] <gnubeard> (think )
[21:54:19] <gnubeard> hashar: give me the question again, please?
[21:54:30] <hashar> <marxarelli> gnubeard: (thanks!) as a follow-up: i've only been here a few months but already it seems teams are becoming more mindful of testing as a part of development. do you have any experience with or plans to further promote tdd/bdd? (i'm wondering more about the behavioral side, less about tooling)
[21:54:32] <plipp> but if you have a complicated legacy database format like wikitext, well, you need people who have great familiarity with it before testing will tell you what you want to know
[21:54:41] <gnubeard> plipp: are we releasing a new smartfone app?  :)
[21:54:57] <plipp> no, no, just an example of when an outside agency would make sense
[21:55:03] <Eloquence> plipp, fortunately we have plenty of willing beta testers, too, who do lots of reporting of edge cases. but we stretch people's patience when we push things out too quickly, as we did with VE. we need to take our time to get the complex projects (VE/Flow) right. that's why I'm OK slowing down the deployment targets on these.
[21:55:11] <gnubeard> plipp: Why aren't we?
[21:55:38] <gnubeard> ah... tdd.
[21:55:52] <marxarelli>  :)
[21:55:55] <plipp> an outside agency would still make sense if they have access to authentic experienced editors, but as I understand those companies they pride themselves on the naivety of their testers
[21:56:10] <gnubeard> I promote TDD and the like by asking the hard questions. Like, "how do you know?" ALL the time.
[21:56:23] <plipp> gnubeard: beats me, but it's my suggestion and I'm sticking to it
[21:56:26] <plipp>  :)
[21:56:39] <gnubeard> plipp: Even if it means our death?
[21:56:46] <milimetric> re: tdd: our work on dashiki included what i think is the killer feature for people wanting to do TDD: speed. The karma test runner changed my opinion of TDD from: "ugh, slow" to "most fun way to code"
[21:57:32] <gnubeard> The goal of anything that catches bugs (TDD etc.) is to push the discovery of code flaws as early as possible.
[21:57:49] <plipp> gnubeard: I think it would much more likely lead to editor community harmony! The only thing dying would be the hordes of angry editors with torches and pitchforks. And they wouldn't die, they would transform into enthusiastic supporters
[21:57:58] <Eloquence> milimetric, looks interesting, have you sold Krinkle on it yet ? :)
[21:58:07] <gnubeard> That will be our principle in engineering with regard to testing: Push the discovery of bugs to be as close to the engineer as possible. That way it gets fixed right away.
[21:58:10] <plipp> anyway, I gotta get back to meetings
[21:58:21] <plipp> thank you for the follow-up!!
[21:58:24] <plipp> cheers!
[21:58:27] <hashar> I love TDD for new projects
[21:58:30] <milimetric> Eloquence: it can run qunit just as easily as other test frameworks, so I don't think he'd mind it :)
[21:59:10] <hashar> but lot of our code has a huge legacy and switching them to TDD is going to take a non trivial amount of time (gotta refactor a lot of code and build the basis to make tdd even possible)
[21:59:16] <hashar> (mediawiki/core in mind obviously)
[21:59:18] <YuviPanda> Globals. Globals everywhere.
[21:59:46] <marxarelli> gnubeard: cool, thanks for answering. do you see a distinction between tdd and bdd. in my mind the former is exactly what you've already stated (closer to the developer) while the latter may be further out (it's about fulfilling the contract between stakeholders)
[21:59:51] <hashar> Globals are not worth than singleton or multilion we have
[22:00:05] <marxarelli> i.e. acceptance testing
[22:00:37] <gnubeard> bdd is a little different in that it changes the constraints on the developer in how they design things. I think it's important to consider the full picture of the project before making a decision on bdd. I like the idea, but the results can vary.
[22:00:53] <greg-g> gnubeard: btw, our 1:1 is starting now :) can you add a hangout url to the calendar invite :)
[22:01:09] <gnubeard> greg-g: I was just trying to find a way to do that.
[22:01:26] <greg-g> edit event, click "add video call" under "where"
[22:01:47] <marxarelli> gnubeard: thanks, and great to meet you! i've really enjoyed following this discussion
[22:01:53] <hashar> gnubeard: thanks for all your time answering questions. Have a good meeting!
[22:02:00] <hashar> greg-g: and now I am sleeping :D
[22:02:01] <gnubeard> thanks all!