IRC office hours/Office hours 2015-02-19

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Time: 19:00-20:00 UTC
Channel: #wikimedia-office
Timestamps are in UTC.

[18:50:24] * James_F waves.
[18:50:57] <Elitre> Hi all, this is a reminder that the monthly office hour for VisualEditor is starting in 10 minutes or so here. waving back to James.
[19:00:26] <Elitre> Hello all, time to start our monthly appointment. Before we start, please notice the channel is logged, and I'll post the log on Meta shortly after the meeting ends. Feel free to post your questions in the channel or in a DM to me: now let's hear the latest VE news from James.
[19:00:46] <James_F> Hello everyone.
[19:01:43] <James_F> Right now – and hopefully this isn't news to any of you – our focus is on getting VisualEditor ready to turn it on by default for new users on the English Wikipedia and other big wikis.
[19:02:19] <James_F> Currently VisualEditor is on for all users (except people who opt-out) on about 170 Wikipedias, including French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Hebrew, etc.
[19:03:12] <Elitre> (on top departmental priorities for this quarter for WMF, see .)
[19:03:29] <James_F> However, for many smaller wikis and those with more complex languages we're not yet ready for VisualEditor to be switched on (though we're getting close).
[19:04:28] <James_F> And there are the four big wikis where we either are temporarily off per community request (English and Spanish Wikipedias), or was never switched on at all (German and Dutch Wikipedias).
[19:05:02] <James_F> We've been having weekly open meetings about prioritising what features, bugs and issues people want addressed before VisualEditor is 'ready'.
[19:05:19] <James_F> What 'ready' means is of course subject to discussion, and I imagine different people will have different ideas. :-)
[19:05:45] <James_F> The current agreed criteria are set out at
[19:06:38] <James_F> And the current items being worked on are at
[19:07:17] <James_F> If you think something should block release of VisualEditor, you can add the Phabricator ticket to the '§ VisualEditor Q3 Blockers' project.
[19:07:34] <James_F> They then get discussed at the weekly meetings based on the agreed criteria.
[19:07:53] <James_F> Yesterday we had our second meeting.
[19:08:15] <James_F> Minutes here:
[19:08:51] <James_F> Our next meeting will be at 00:00 UTC on Thursday 26 February (16:00 PST on Wednesday 25 February), and it'd be great to have anyone interested call in.
[19:09:14] <Elitre> (ouch that's late for me ;) )
[19:09:40] <James_F> However, I appreciate that it's not necessarily possible for people to take part (you're asleep, at work, don't have the time for another reason), so Elitre and whatami both help represent the community's voice there.
[19:10:41] <James_F> In broad brush terms, we're mostly working right now on auto-filled citations and performance.
[19:11:24] <James_F> I know lots of people are as excited as I am about auto-filled citations, which I think is going to be very helpful for new and experienced users alike.
[19:11:38] <James_F> Sadly we're still struggling to get the technology to behave.
[19:11:51] <James_F> There's no point releasing it if the experience is bad; it'd just make people sad and confused.
[19:12:02] <James_F> Anyway.
[19:12:12] <Elitre> I think "excited" doesn't even begin to explain how people feel about Citoid.
[19:12:13] <James_F> Enough spiel from me. :-) I'm here to answer questions.
[19:12:18] <James_F> Elitre: :-D
[19:13:53] <Elitre> Any questions for James?
[19:15:59] <Elitre> While we wait for questions to come, I think we could discuss the office hour format.
[19:16:05] * James_F nods.
[19:16:45] <James_F> We've been doing IRC office hours since December 2012.
[19:16:57] <James_F> Monthly since September 2013.
[19:16:58] <Elitre> Do we need office hours while triage meetings happen? Do we want to give o.h. a structure? Do we want to have them quarterly? Should we change the format to a Reddit AMA?
[19:17:27] <James_F> This is the 23rd one.
[19:17:36] <James_F> I'm not sure how useful people find them.
[19:17:54] <James_F> It's important to me that we're open, transparent, approachable and available.
[19:18:02] <James_F> And I think that the office hours help with that.
[19:18:17] <James_F> But I'm not sure it's so valuable in those areas that it's needed.
[19:18:23] <James_F> Maybe I'm wrong.
[19:18:41] <Elitre> I think those were a big deal at the beginning, because there were so many questions on the feedback pages and office hours helped to identify the most pressing needs.
[19:18:43] <James_F> During the weekly meetings happening, it does feel like over-kill.
[19:18:47] * James_F nods.
[19:18:53] <James_F> Yeah, they were hugely useful in the past.
[19:19:09] <James_F> But the absence of questions here today is a bit of a sign. ;-)
[19:19:33] <James_F> We get questions directly quite often.
[19:19:56] <James_F> Is it worthwhile repeating them here and responding?
[19:20:02] <Elitre> I also think that the office hour doesn't work well for questions which can't be answered immediately (like, you need to check something before being able to reply). It's a discussion, and we need people to discuss :)
[19:20:18] <James_F> That is true. :-)
[19:20:22] <James_F> (On both counts.)
[19:20:37] <guillom> James_F: My understanding of "office hour" in the US aademic system is that it's more of an "open doors policy" for a given period of time, during which students can come and ask teachers questions. Perhaps it would be worth trying this approach for future IRC office hours? i.e. dedicate 1-2 hours every week to "being available to respond to queries"
[19:20:55] <guillom> (more than usual, that is)
[19:21:15] <James_F> guillom: Hmm. Possibly. However, yeah, part of the issue is that I'm generally available for about 16 hours a day already. :-)
[19:21:27] <Elitre> guillom: how is that different from what we've done so far, though?
[19:21:30] <James_F> Maybe I should be /less/ available to make office hours more useful in contrast?
[19:22:19] <Elitre> guillom: our office hours have never had an agenda, so people showed up and discussed VE (Mainly bugs they cared about).
[19:22:42] <guillom> Elitre: I don't know; It seems to me that there's some amount of presenting updates in the current office hours, but I haven't attended all of them
[19:22:45] <Elitre> Given that bugs' discussions now happen in triage meeting, that part is gone :)
[19:23:09] <Elitre> guillom: that's true; that's just a general update at the beginning of the meeting
[19:23:25] <James_F> Part of the 'general update' was to help get people up to speed.
[19:23:39] <Elitre> so that people know what's going on in VE land if they, for example, don't receive the newsletter.
[19:23:39] <guillom> Yeah; I'm just thinking aloud :)
[19:23:47] <James_F> When we didn't do it, some people got confused about assumptions inside questions asked by others.
[19:24:22] <guillom> But then again, if people show up without having questions, they're not really here for office hours in the original sense.
[19:24:27] <guillom> (Not saying it's bad.)
[19:24:28] <Elitre> guillom: oh no, your comment makes perfectly sense!
[19:24:39] * James_F nods.
[19:25:22] <Elitre> and since I mentioned the newsletter, let me post my shameless plug... . But we all here receive it. Right? Right?!?
[19:25:23] <guillom> Maybe people should be invited to attend the triage if they want an update, and invited to ask James any time if they have questions. And so the "office hours" are basically "any time James is online and can answer"
[19:25:43] <James_F> Perhaps.
[19:25:52] <James_F> I'm happy to answer questions all the time, as you say guillom.
[19:26:17] <Elitre> James, re:"Is it worthwhile repeating them here and responding?" : I'd say yes if these questions aren't public already.
[19:26:55] <Elitre> Like, if those were asked on a feedback page and got a reply there, I'm not sure what benefit there is in discussing them further?
[19:27:20] <James_F> Well, it shares them with a wider audience.
[19:27:32] <guillom> Yeah; so James_F, perhaps it's up to you: if you feel you get few enough questions to answer them any time, then office hours don't make much sense any more. If there are enough questions that they disrupt your other work, then devoting time to actual office hours makes sense.
[19:27:33] <James_F> E.g. when we get a question on frwiki we can answer it for everyone.
[19:27:40] <James_F> (Well, everyone who speaks English.)
[19:30:51] <Elitre> Speaking of fr.wp, we could find out why the Infobox Edifice religieux "leaks" content at the top of the article in (it was just posted :p )
[19:31:15] <James_F> Hmm.
[19:31:19] <James_F> Looks like a badly-written template.
[19:31:24] <Elitre> yeah.
[19:32:27] <James_F> The Parsoid team are experts at fixing people's broken wikitext.
[19:32:31] <Elitre> the same template seems to behave ok on en.wp, though.
[19:32:34] <James_F> Ideally they wouldn't have to be. :-)
[19:33:19] <Elitre> pinging Subbu since we're here :p ^^^
[19:33:24] <James_F> I will ask them to have a look at that Template to work out what's wrong. Can't see anything immediately obvious.
[19:33:51] <Elitre> so, no questions? last call...
[19:34:06] <subbu> oye ..
[19:34:24] <subbu> Elitre, what page, link .. ?
[19:34:25] <guillom> That infobox uses the subtemplate {{Infobox/Ligne mixte optionnelle}} with usually 2 parameters. The Pays (country) line has 3. Looking now.
[19:35:00] <Elitre> subbu, . something from the infobox is leaking at the top of the article.
[19:35:03] * James_F is of course around to answer questions whenever people have them; #mediawiki-visualeditor is good for that, but ask me or even say the word "VisualEditor" and it'll summon me in any of the 50+ channels in which I reside. :-)
[19:35:34] <subbu> Elitre, ok.
[19:35:42] <Elitre> wait, you have something which pings you if someone says "VisualEditor"?
[19:35:42] <James_F> guillom: It's the only {{Infobox/ligne mixte}}.
[19:35:47] <James_F> Elitre: I do, yes.
[19:35:53] <Elitre> I want that too!
[19:36:00] <Elitre> what if they say VE?
[19:36:06] <James_F> Then it doesn't trigger.
[19:36:10] <Elitre> too bad.
[19:36:27] <James_F> Otherwise words like love and strove and dove and drive would send me mad. :-)
[19:36:40] <Elitre> but it's in caps!
[19:37:17] <James_F>  :-)
[19:37:29] <James_F> Should we cancel the office hour for March, then?
[19:38:08] <Elitre> I wouldn't know about cancelling it - ideally I'd like to ask on a few VE feedback pages first.
[19:38:15] * James_F nods.
[19:38:32] <Elitre> We could say it's the last one if triage meetings are going to be around for a while.
[19:38:47] * James_F nods.
[19:38:55] <Elitre> Do you know if they're supposed to end when the quarter ends, or...?
[19:39:08] <James_F> So far we've only booked them up 'til March.
[19:39:24] <guillom> Uugh
[19:39:28] <James_F> We can keep having them if it works.
[19:39:35] <guillom> Are there closing tags missing or is it just me?
[19:39:39] <James_F> guillom: Welcome to why we're building VisualEditor. :-)
[19:40:02] <Elitre> guillom: you lost me at the 6th brace.
[19:40:08] <guillom> "We're building VisualEditor to make you realize how you really don't understand wikitext at all."
[19:40:20] <James_F> guillom: Yeah, is that meant to be a self-contained row?
[19:40:36] <guillom> I think so
[19:40:48] <James_F> So why does it start with a <th> and end with a <tr>?
[19:41:07] <James_F> Rather than start with <tr><th>…</th><td>…</td></tr>?
[19:41:10] <guillom> Then again the other template is written the same way and works:
[19:41:17] <Elitre> guillom: if you do fin out something about this, please post in your language at ? ;)
[19:41:47] <guillom> Elitre: I probably should get back to "real" work :) but I'll look during my copious volunteer free time :)
[19:42:00] <Elitre> thank you so much! also for being here.
[19:42:09] * James_F grins.
[19:42:16] <Elitre> well, let's say goodbye early then.
[19:42:25] * James_F waves.
[19:42:32] <Elitre> All, please see for infor about the triage meetings.
[19:43:01] <Elitre> James_F: I'll talk to you next Wednesday, then.
[19:43:10] <James_F> Absolutely. :-)
[19:43:34] <Elitre> goodbye!