IRC office hours/Office hours 2016-07-06

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Chat on CREDIT showcase
06 July 2016
21:00 - 22:00 UTC

[21:02:12] <wm-labs-meetbot`> Meeting started Wed Jul 6 21:02:12 2016 UTC and is due to finish in 60 minutes. The chair is TimStarling. Information about MeetBot at
[21:02:12] <wm-labs-meetbot`> Useful Commands: #action #agreed #help #info #idea #link #topic #startvote.
[21:02:12] <wm-labs-meetbot`> The meeting name has been set to 'rfc__improve_the_per_programming_language_listings_for_our_tools'
[21:02:54] <quiddity> Hi all.
[21:02:58] <robla> #link
[21:03:04] <TimStarling> #topic RFC: Improve the per-programming-language listings for our tools | Wikimedia meeting channel | Please note: Channel is logged and publicly posted (DO NOT REMOVE THIS NOTE) | Logs:
[21:03:16] <SMalyshev> hi all
[21:03:35] <MaxSem> do we have ops representatives here?
[21:04:37] <robla> this is about getting a better sense of what our status quo is
[21:04:50] <robla> (at least, that's what I'm hoping to get out of it)
[21:04:53] * ostriches is idly watching
[21:04:54] <quiddity> MaxSem, I beleive we're mainly (at least initially) focusing on the use-case of "how to support newcomer developers". We might (not up to me) get into the larger ops@ issue later on.
[21:05:21] <quiddity> As I see it, the main issue is where (what page(s)) to direct newcomers to, when they are looking for new projects to work on, and they already know just 1 or 2 languages.
[21:05:23] <Scott_WUaS> Hi All
[21:05:24] <SMalyshev> how we define "wikimedia cluster"? i.e., are maps or wdqs part of it for this purpose?
[21:05:37] <Krinkle> DanielK_WMDE: OK. I made a very basic draft at - But feel free to expand on the page and/or on phab.
[21:05:38] <quiddity> There are a number of pages that contain partial information (listed in the bottom of the description of )
[21:06:03] <quiddity> There are 2 sites (github and openhub) that collate information automatically/semi-automatically. Plus our own scattered and incomplete listing on
[21:06:18] <quiddity> I lean towards mergism for documentation, to prevent fragmentation, hence I'm hesitant about starting the new page at - but I'm also not a dev, so ...
[21:06:29] <quiddity> * Do we want to give a bunch of search links such as and/or
[21:06:30] <robla> SMalyshev: I believe so
[21:06:47] <quiddity> * Do we want to provide links to our own existing pages that contain some of this information, and focus on improving/updating them. E.g. and
[21:06:59] <SMalyshev> ok, then we need at least Java there, we run a bunch of Java tools
[21:07:01] <quiddity> Or something else? [EOM]
[21:07:28] <TimStarling> I would also prefer to see a big table or list
[21:07:41] <legoktm> there's also
[21:08:21] <legoktm> (compare with for example)
[21:08:56] <legoktm>!/progornoprog/proglang/py is their language selector thing
[21:09:14] <quiddity> TimStarling, ah, so something that combines everything in the existing listings, such as the links in and links to the subsections of ?
[21:09:57] <Scott_WUaS> As a possible newcomer developer (and having donated WUaS to Wikidata last autumn), I'd be interested in a page that even would precede
[21:10:26] <TimStarling> yes on the first (Template:Conventions_navigation), not sure about the second
[21:10:32] <robla> quiddity: I agree with your mergism tendencies, but started Programming languages because none of the existing editable pages really answered the question that I had
[21:11:18] <TimStarling> I mean that robla wants to create one page per programming language and put all projects related to that programming language on the specific page
[21:11:22] <quiddity> TimStarling, nod. robla, I think that new page is a really good exxample to have available, as one possible direction to head in. I might end up utilizing it as the location for the large table suggested.
[21:12:07] <TimStarling> I think Programming languages is fine, but I'm less convinced about e.g. Ocaml (which doesn't exist yet)
[21:12:10] <chasemp> as a newby to this convo where is the task or rfc on-wiki, I'm not clear on what the meeting subject means exactly
[21:12:14] <SMalyshev> I wonder if that page should be just a category
[21:12:20] <quiddity> chasemp,
[21:12:33] <SMalyshev> i.e. Category:Projects using Python
[21:12:40] <robla> TimStarling: I'm actually not sure if we should create new pages, but just noted that we have Python but not Ruby, and didn't really even have PHP until recently
[21:12:47] <ostriches> I would prefer to having a page or category or something on-wiki. I think the github code base detection is pretty bad tbh.
[21:12:59] <SMalyshev> Category:Projects using OCaml etc
[21:13:06] <legoktm> I think a table with sections for each language would be a good starting point, and if it becomes unweidly, we can split into separate pages
[21:13:09] <ostriches> It's bad with multi-language codebases.
[21:13:09] <quiddity> chasemp, but it's tangentially related to the larger questions asked in
[21:13:18] <ostriches> It's completely off-base on repos mostly made up of submodules
[21:13:23] <ostriches> (eg mediawiki/extensions)
[21:13:46] <Scott_WUaS> If there was something on this page, for example - - about newcomer developers participating in this ArchCom process, in these Office Hours, and then something about how to write a RFC in Wikimedia Phabricator, that could work. Might that be possible, Tim?
[21:14:11] <chasemp> quiddity: ok thank you I was thinking it was aimed at a list of official languages rather than a survey, makes sense
[21:14:51] <ostriches> Is throwing new developers straight into RfC processes a good idea?
[21:14:59] <ostriches> Sounds like it'd be information overload.
[21:15:16] <robla> ostriches: no, not my hope
[21:15:24] <TimStarling> yeah, it's probably not the easiest starting point
[21:15:31] <quiddity> ostriches, nod, that was my perspective, too. The subpages for each, contain more details, but are harder to discern. (e.g. the multicolour line at the top of which shows "Python 1.1%")
[21:15:40] <bd808> Scott_WUaS: maybe you are looking for ?
[21:15:45] <TimStarling> we could definitely improve that page though, you know it links to a phab query that includes closed bugs
[21:16:31] <TimStarling> yeah maybe can link to How_to_become_a_MediaWiki_hacker
[21:16:47] <Krenair> are we thinking of another microsite here? :/
[21:17:20] <ostriches> quiddity: Yeah that's not bad, but stuff like is useless.
[21:17:29] <ostriches> (again: mw/extensions is not python lol)
[21:17:40] <quiddity> Krenair, definitely not! I'm hoping that we conclude that I should focus on improving only pages. But, I'm willing to also take a stab at improving openhub/github links/listings, I can figure out how.
[21:17:42] <legoktm> Krenair: no, I don't think so
[21:17:51] <quiddity> I/we*
[21:18:14] <ostriches> quiddity: How do you propose improving what github spits out?
[21:18:48] <Scott_WUaS> bd808: Thanks, having donated WUaS to Wikidata, I think it's contributing to WMF by developing in both Wikidata and MediaWiki that I'd be interested in learning about, possibly with Phabricator and RFCs after a few months of Office Hours, and from here -
[21:18:54] <quiddity> ostriches, I know I can improve the openhub listings (as Nemo suggested). I'm not sure about github.
[21:19:01] <ostriches>  :)
[21:19:08] <TimStarling> robla: is this only about recruitment at the moment, or do you think this process of documenting how programming languages are used would help with a future discussion about what programming languages we should use for new projects?
[21:20:00] <robla> TimStarling: good question. I'm happy to get into the deeper question if quiddity and everyone else wants to
[21:20:23] <legoktm> so I think the first step would be taking the list at and others and sorting them by programming languages into a table or something?
[21:20:31] <quiddity> I'm satisfied (thanks!) with the feedback and input on my concern. Feel free to go deeper.
[21:20:31] <legoktm> and then we'd figure out how we want to present that data to new users?
[21:21:36] <legoktm> or am I misunderstanding?
[21:21:41] <SMalyshev> I see there's a lot not listed in Invented_Here... is there some procedure to keep it up to date? Or at least telling people it exists (I had no idea)?
[21:21:55] <quiddity> legoktm, nod, I'll start a couple of demonstration tables (sometime over the next couple weeks) and ask for further feedback in the task (
[21:22:06] <robla> legoktm: this is the first time I've looked at that page in this context. interesting idea...
[21:22:27] * robla can't remember if he's ever looked at that page
[21:22:36] <legoktm> quiddity: sounds good :)
[21:22:44] <ostriches> Upstream projects wouldn't have clued me in that there's a list of our own projects on it
[21:22:45] <ostriches>  :)
[21:22:53] <legoktm> SMalyshev: nope, like most of our docs it's always out of date
[21:22:57] <Scott_WUaS> (TimStarling, RobLa and bd808: And perhaps how developing in both Wikidata and MediaWiki would work programming language-wise and from here - and - could be a way in).
[21:23:06] <SMalyshev> yeah, it's like on Windows you click on Start to shutdown :)
[21:23:26] <quiddity> that Upstream page, and, are interestingly tangential. I'd love to combine ALL THE THINGS into a giant table, but we'd need monitors 3x wider. >.>
[21:24:04] <SMalyshev> legoktm: that's why I think using something like categories may be more resistant to neglect...
[21:24:51] * robla agrees with SMalyshev that we need to think about neglect-resistant solutions
[21:25:01] <legoktm> maybe!
[21:26:34] <greg-g> quiddity: 4 dimensional tables ;)
[21:27:07] <SMalyshev> let's put all those projects on Wikidata and just query it :)
[21:27:18] <Scott_WUaS>  :)
[21:27:31] <greg-g> in a previous life I would have said SMW ;)
[21:27:44] <quiddity> Maybe I'll also take a look at our existing navboxes, and see which could be best utilized on Upstream and Developers/Maintainers.
[21:27:53] <robla> DanielK_WMDE: I'm guessing SMalyshev is only half kidding  :-)
[21:28:04] <SMalyshev> robla: you are guessing right :)
[21:28:24] <Scott_WUaS> RobLa: Wikidata-centrism makes much sense :)
[21:30:14] * robla goes back to T136866 to see what questions we should try to resolve
[21:30:53] <Scott_WUaS> To add to Quiddity's observation from yesterday: "So, let's focus tomorrow's conversation on helping newcomers identify "What can I work on in language foo"" I'd explore how and in what programming langauges ... and especially in Wikidata
[21:31:08] <SMalyshev> continuing with the topic of crazy ideas, Wikibase install doesn't have to be Wikidata... just saying...
[21:31:37] <Scott_WUaS> and in Wikidata's process (Wikidata is holding an office hour tomorrow too)
[21:33:32] <robla> so....if some developer (WMF included) wanted to deploy an extension involving non-PHP code, what would they need to consider?
[21:33:56] <Krenair> well we already have JS
[21:34:34] <robla> Krenair:'s talk about server languages, say a new Node.js service
[21:34:43] <Krenair> wouldn't be mediawiki and wouldn't be an extension
[21:34:48] <bd808> robla: an extension? That pretty much by definition needs to be PHP
[21:35:01] <SMalyshev> yeah mediawiki extension == PHP/JS
[21:35:09] <SMalyshev> but service can be pretty much anything
[21:35:14] <TimStarling> we have some extensions that shell out, or are clients for HTTP services
[21:35:31] <SMalyshev> we have nodejs, python, java, probably c[++] too
[21:35:32] <Krenair> yeah we have OpenStackManager
[21:35:35] * Krenair runs
[21:36:03] <bd808> the deploy part is the key probably in robla's question
[21:36:14] <robla> bd808: yup
[21:36:17] <Krenair> setting up the service itself is ops' area
[21:36:19] <SMalyshev> I think we only have standard deploy for nodejs
[21:36:36] <Krenair> the MW extension part in JS/PHP would have to conform to all the usual requirements
[21:36:48] <SMalyshev> all others are pretty much "do your own puppet/scap3"
[21:36:48] <bd808> deploying to WMF prod requires at some point getting approval from releng and techops
[21:36:59] <quiddity> hypothetical for discussion: a new labs service written in an Esolang. (e.g. BrainFNORD)
[21:37:17] <MaxSem> quiddity, E_GOODFORTHEM
[21:37:21] <TimStarling> for node.js we also have service-runner, which is the in house service framework
[21:37:23] <SMalyshev> but the question is: how many volunterrs would be writing non-toollabs services?
[21:37:50] <Krenair> not many I'd imagine, most volunteers I've seen writing code stick to their gadgets and labs tools
[21:38:12] <SMalyshev> right. Or patching existing ones (like pywikibot)
[21:38:24] <robla> is that by design?
[21:38:35] <Krenair> pywikibot is a python bot framework, rather than a service, right?
[21:38:49] <bd808> getting completely new code into production is a non-trivial process but for good reasons I think
[21:38:50] <Krenair> robla, no I think most useful tools are supposed to graduate from labs eventually, theoretically
[21:38:58] <SMalyshev> given how many stakeholders one needs to gather to approve/deploy new service, I'd say it's both design and de facto
[21:39:08] <TimStarling> even getting a new PHP extension deployed on WMF is non-trivial
[21:39:25] <bd808> true
[21:39:50] <bd808> which leads to kitchen-sink extensions like mobilefrontend
[21:40:52] <SMalyshev> Krenair: right, but that eventually leads to bots which are kind of services...
[21:41:02] <bd808> from my personal experience the 2 big hurdles were security review and puppet automation
[21:42:15] <Krenair> because it's easier to put extra features into an existing extension with far less approval than it takes to deploy a new extension?
[21:42:18] <SMalyshev> yeah I think with puppets we don't have much choice besides a) learn puppet or b) bribe somebody who knows puppet
[21:42:19] <bd808> both really due to limited revewer resources.
[21:42:40] <bd808> Krenair: yes. there is no second or third or fourth security review
[21:42:51] <legoktm> it sucks, but I can say from experience that it sucks much less than it did 3 years ago
[21:43:06] <Krenair> Is it a problem of getting puppet code written, or getting into onto the actual production puppetmasters?
[21:43:30] <bd808> for my puppet is was getting it reviewed and merged
[21:43:45] <Krenair> SMalyshev, you're probably right wrt stakeholders btw, I was thinking from the labs perspective
[21:44:15] <TimStarling> it's not simple to test puppet manifests
[21:44:29] <TimStarling> I think the ops team usually deploys them untested (except for a lint check)
[21:44:56] <TimStarling> so to make sure things work, they are limited to staring at the code really hard
[21:45:01] <SMalyshev> TimStarling: yeah that too. even if your build own puppetmaster (non-trivial) still labs and prod differ a lot
[21:46:34] <TimStarling> they said to me "you can build your own puppetmaster" and I said "where is the puppetmaster *you* use to test your changes? can I use that one?"
[21:46:45] <TimStarling> and it transpired that there wasn't one
[21:47:04] <bd808> heh
[21:47:31] <bd808> I've tried to talk folks into testing in deployment-prep more often but... yeah
[21:47:51] * robla looks at and gets sad
[21:48:51] <SMalyshev> robla: probably :)
[21:48:55] <quiddity> it was empty, and is ripe for redirecting.
[21:49:26] <SMalyshev> looks like still ripe for redirecting to wikitech :)
[21:49:42] <quiddity> done
[21:49:50] <bd808> robla:
[21:50:04] <bd808> and
[21:50:49] <bd808> knowing what goes on mw.o and what goes on wikitech and what goes on meta is still a challenge for me
[21:51:14] <Krenair> only if it's mediawiki code
[21:51:20] <Krenair> meta probably not for technical things
[21:51:29] <robla> bd808: I'm guessing it's a challenger for any newcomer to our codebase
[21:51:30] <Krenair> wikitech for pretty much anything wikimedia-related that's technical
[21:51:59] <bd808> Krenair: but mw.o has all of the WMF teams and projects which could be anything
[21:52:09] <Krenair> bd808, yes but should mw.o have all of that?
[21:52:24] <quiddity> Krenair, yes, but that only works if one doesn't mind the SUL issue (notmywiki gets even worse when people have to create a new account just to contribute)
[21:52:24] <bd808> and there are quire a few technical things on meta like quarry docs
[21:52:32] <TimStarling> for a lot of projects I have written a page on each wiki
[21:52:43] <Krenair> those things need to be tagged for moving off of but I've never got around to it
[21:52:43] <TimStarling> they have a different audience
[21:53:15] <TimStarling> for I write for external users, basically public-facing source code documentation
[21:53:26] <TimStarling> for wikitech I write notes for the ops team
[21:53:26] <Krenair> quiddity, if we're talking about people that want to contribute to our software they should probably have gerrit access, and this requires them to have a wikitech account
[21:54:11] <quiddity> contributions can be in the form of user-feedback, and other non-technical guises! ;-)
[21:54:35] <bd808> someday wikitech will be a SUL wiki
[21:54:49] <bd808> gibe me another 9-12 months
[21:55:44] <robla> this has been a really great conversation, thanks everyone! Lemme look up the link to the thing we'll be suggesting for next week....
[21:55:58] <Scott_WUaS> Thanks, All!
[21:57:10] <robla> next week's Phab event is and is what we're tentatively planning on
[21:58:42] <Krenair> I dunno, was it useful to other people? I feel like I've mostly been talking about problems with our existing situation
[21:58:47] <Krenair> Maybe that's useful, maybe not
[21:59:10] <robla> Krenair: it was very useful to me to know what edits to make to, so I appreciated it
[22:00:36] <robla> thanks TimStarling for chairing/meetbot running  :-)
[22:00:50] <TimStarling> #endmeeting