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MV software should be permitted to return to "opt-in" on those projects where that has been clearly called for[edit]

  • Media Viewer remains enabled by default on German Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and English Wikipedia, in spite of local decisions to have it disabled by default.
  • The Media Viewer software should be permitted to return to "opt-in" on those projects where it has been clearly called for, and not returned to "opt-out" until those communities agree that it is a sufficient improvement over the software that has worked for this top-5 web property for over a decade. 700+ people support this notion: see this open letter, here on Meta Wiki: Letter to Wikimedia Foundation: Superprotect and Media Viewer and also on change.org. -Pete F (talk) 22:47, 28 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Discussion (MV software should be permitted to return to "opt-in" on those projects where that has been clearly called for)[edit]

  • Hey Pete, this consultation page is for talking about, for the most part, changes to Media Viewer software that are beneficial. There's a bunch of information on the page itself. I think just about everyone is aware of the petition, and this page is not about the petition, you've got some other venues going on for those conversations. Could we perhaps keep the discussion here to the topic presented? It'd be mighty who of you to afford a little conversation about this :). Perhaps you can revisit some of the issues you had back in February and we can discuss some specifics. If you have nothing more to say, that's fine. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 22:55, 28 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose this move as something that only tackles surface of the problem. More detail on some of the root issues. They have to be addressed first; don't beat head against a brick wall. --Gryllida 04:19, 29 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • Please do not disable it for logged out Joe Users without asking Joe Users about it! Why should the veteran editors have any say in this? They have settings they can change _for themselves_. I postulate that the viewer is already a vast improvement for casual readers and should be enabled, but this claim needs to be verified. Just make sure to exclude veteran editors from the poll! --Romanski (talk) 18:59, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
    • At least in the English RfC, every single comment from an IP said Media Viewer should be disabled by default. Furthermore, the WMF had a poll attached to Media Viewer during the initial deployment. While Media Viewer fared better with readers than editors, fewer than 50% of people who responded to the English version who don't edit Wikipedia said the Media Viewer was even useful for viewing images. Based on the evidence we have so far, readers don't prefer Media Viewer, despite the WMF using them as a justification for a "silent majority" argument. Which is nonsense—the WMF doesn't really care about editors as evidenced by not giving people like me without an account a way to turn Media Viewer off until months after the first deployment. And even now, the anonymous opt-out doesn't work and I'm opted back in periodically without my consent! Speaking for myself, I have no interest in editing Wikipedia. But Media Viewer is such a terrible unwanted regression from the previous functionality that I felt compelled to figure out the terrible MediaWiki editing experience to make sure people like me aren't ignored. And really, how could someone prefer the slower, less featureful Media Viewer to the old file page? As I've said many times before, it's faster most of the time to get the full size original image loaded in my browser's image viewer with two clicks and an intermediate HTML page load with the old file page than it is to get a lower resolution image that I can't explore with my browser's image viewer in Media Viewer. The only use case where Media Viewer makes sense is for viewing slideshows, which is something I've never felt the need to view on Wikipedia. I'm always interested in specific images and the information about those images, not a gallery. -- 19:18, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
    • concur— MV should be opt-in for Joe Users like me. I thought this had been thoroughly discussed and consensus achieved, but I can no longer find those Talk pages. If I can't find the discussion how can I participate? 17:21, 27 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • I very much agree with Pete, this here is both, a) a distraction from the real problem the WMF created by acting aggressively against the community and b) a tool to finally include the communities in the development process of this gadget. As the WMF still believes the gadget is something useful in it's current set-up, a believe I can't believe anyone really can believe in, they refuse to do the simple and non-disruptive solution for the immediate time and make it opt-in for those who asked for it as long as it's as buggy as it still is. This still has to made clear here and not swept under the carpet. But the gadget may be not completely useless, so an involvement of the community in general is fine for the development. Of course it should have been made far earlier, and it's of course the duty of the paid staff (paid by the community btw) do be the active part here (if they don't go to the community, they simply refuse to do their work properly). --♫ Sänger, superputsch must go (talk) 19:49, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
Please keep this suggestion on the main page; do not archive again
This section (above) has been removed at least twice, by at least two WMF employees. However as pointed out before, it identifies clear, actionable, and easy-to-do software configuration changes, as requested in this process. More than 800 people have signed a letter that supports this option. (See Letter here on Meta and Letter on change.org) It should remain on this page, even if WMF wishes to disregard it. -Pete F (talk) 18:00, 1 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • I fully agree with Pete, this hostility by the WMF towards the communities, that ultimately finance them by creating the content and are as such their employers, is unbelievable. Are there really so many so utterly anti-social people, who care f*** about the community? Jimbo said: If you don't like it, fork off. I'd very much like to see a lot of those in WMF to fork off, nobody will miss the creators of superputsch. --♫ Sänger, superputsch must go (talk) 18:06, 1 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
Pete, this section does not articulate a change to the software for the people who are using the software. It articulates a change in whether (most) people use the software, not in how the software itself works. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
Yes, that's right. And that's a discussion the WMF wants to block and evade with might. It's like this fluffy, completely empty letter to deWP by Lila and Erik, that stated: "This is an open process, as long as the WMF gets its way" in quite a lot meaningless marketing goobledygook. I fail to see any reason, why this flimsy gadget hat to be forced with so much might and ruthless brutality against the communities. Of course the WMF wants to distract us from this deplorable behaviour of them, and let us make some useless comments about the (now especially because of this brutallity) so much hated MV. It's the fault of those who used brutal force over reasoning, i.e. Erik and his ilk, that the whole discussion is tainted. And as long as the thread of this force is not completely taken back, by completely disabeling the superputsch divice, making the MV opt-in at least in deWP and enWP until it fits the communities will, and let the WMF eat quite amounts of humble pie, this will not vanish by simply trying to edit it in some unseen back room.
Why is this damned MV so f***ing important to alienate whole communities and use brutal force instead of arguments? I completely fail to see any need for this, if it had been anothe few month opt-in, until it worked well, nothing bad would have happened. --♫ Sänger, superputsch must go (talk) 14:39, 2 September 2014 (UTC)Reply

I'm really glad to see the community coming together like this over any issue. Consensus seems to be hard to achieve, and the letter/petition is an impressive effort that indicates it is possible. That said, I don't agree with the content of the letter, and if there were a letter stating that volunteer community members should not have the final say over something as critical to the software stack as a Javascript file served from the main domain and actually had forward-moving actions/consequences built in to the petition, I'd sign that. Then I'd move on to other things- possibly working on MV itself- because the issue of whether something like Media Viewer is opt-in or opt-out simply isn't worth stressing out over. There are far bigger fish to fry, and I hope we can get the same sort of community consensus on those issues much earlier in the process to minimize disruption to our readers and editors. Cheers! -wʃʃʍ- 07:21, 3 September 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks Wllm for the thoughtful comment. I agree with your position -- at least the specific part. I think it is a bad idea in the long run for "the community" to have final say over software features, or for a process like RfC to be used to decide what goes live and what doesn't. But I'm not convinced that anybody is "stressing out" over whether the software is enabled or not. What I have generally seen, and tried to contribute to, are reasoned arguments for why this software, in its current state (or anything a few tweaks away from its current state) is a poor representation of our movement, and does a disservice to a variety of stakeholders, as well as the strategic goals we agreed to 5 years ago. It should be a rare case where major new software meets with strong community resistance; in recent years it has started to become the norm, but it never should be, and it needn't remain that way. Ultimately, that pattern is not a reflection on the disposition of the editorial community(s) (which seems to be the WMF "party line"), but on the quality of the software at the time of deployment. When the WMF gets it wrong, somebody has to speak up -- and many of those somebodies will do so, out of their passion for our shared vision, even if those somebodies end up getting dismissed as malcontents. Ultimately, we're all just trying to contribute to the free sharing of knowledge; and I think few would disagree, new software is great, as long as it supports that effort. -Pete F (talk) 07:19, 4 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
OK, more specifically, then. In this community, it is far easier to get consensus around opposing action than it is to promote any specific path forward. From what I've seen, this is usually because far fewer people agree on what's actually best for the movement, which is entirely understandable. That said, you have accomplished something extraordinary. You have led an effort that not only has 786 backers at the moment, but includes some people who have disagreed bitterly over issues in the past. You clearly have a gift. So, I appeal to you personally and directly, please use your gift to help the community come to consensus on positive action. Turn this opposition to WMF actions in to support for what actually needs to be done. Let's start with this:
What do you think is the best path forward, Pete? -wʃʃʍ- 01:28, 5 September 2014 (UTC)Reply

Very simple, as mostly expressed in this letter signed by more than 750 Wikimedians:

  1. Move MV back to beta
  2. After step 1, WMF should design and conduct a process (perhaps something like this, except that I'm sure it could be done better if not rushed) wherein it vets its beliefs about the software, iterates, and earns broad buy-in to an improved version of the software
  3. Redeploy.
    -Pete F (talk) 22:23, 4 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
Whoa there, Pete! That is not what that letter says, and some of the 750 Wikipedians you're referring to would not be happy with your misrepresentation of what they have lent their support to. Here's what the letter actually says:


Those of us signing below have varying perspectives on the Media Viewer software: some think it should be discontinued entirely, while others think it is a worthwhile addition to Wikimedia sites. Likewise, we have varying views on the new "superprotect" user right; some think it should not exist, while others think there is an appropriate place for this feature in our world, as long as its proper use is clearly defined and diligently executed. But we are united in our belief that the following are necessary conditions for a healthy and productive path forward. We hereby request that you disavow and reconsider your recent statement to the contrary:

  • The Wikimedia Foundation should remove the "superprotect" status recently enacted on the German Wikipedia's "MediaWiki:Common.js" JavaScript page; and
  • The Wikimedia Foundation should clearly assert that it will permit local projects (such as German Wikipedia, English Wikipedia, and Wikimedia Commons) to determine the default status of the Media Viewer, for both logged-in and non-logged-in users, uninhibited.

We look forward to improving our software together, to better reach our strategic goals and better attain our vision. But that process is hindered by the current state of affairs, and we need the Wikimedia Foundation to act decisively before it is possible to move forward effectively.


Note that the WMF has already agreed with and acted on the first.
If we are endeavoring to be as specific as possible, however, creatively invoking "mostly expressed" to assert a contradictory position to that actually articulated in the petition quoted above - that is, the "Those of us signing below have varying perspectives on the Media Viewer software: some think it should be discontinued entirely, while others think it is a worthwhile addition to Wikimedia sites" part- isn't taking us in the right direction. I'm glad that you've added your own opinion here on positive action, however. I suggest you set up another petition like the first to see how many people agree with you on these next steps. -wʃʃʍ- 02:00, 5 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
Didn't realize the IP was you, thanks for signing. I suppose your right, what I suggest isn't a 100% perfect match for Commons or for en-wp, in that IPs don't have the ability to turn on beta features; but I think WMF has created a way to do that, so if it's deemed significant I think a technical solution is pretty easily attainable. -Pete F (talk) 04:12, 5 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
Sorry about the IP. I could really use a modal dialogue to confirm that I want to post anonymously if there's a Wikipedia user's cookie stored in my browser. Anyways, OT.
I think that your suggestion for Media Viewer is sound, although I personally would prefer to keep Media Viewer on the servers that it has already been installed on and refrain from installing it on other servers- if any- to avoid the complications of a rollback. I realize that we're talking about whether it is opt-in or opt-out- and that's not technically a rollback- but it share many of the same complications of a rollback WRT user experience. As someone who has done his fair share of releases, I consider rollbacks an absolute last resort to be considered only if the software breaks an existing use case either with a bug or poor design, and there is no workaround. They are extremely confusing for the user, and it becomes almost impossible to re-deploy the software after it is fixed with much lower support/enthusiam in the community and internally (in this case, I suppose that would be the WMF).
Perhaps there is a compromise here. You say the software isn't ready and the community hasn't been involved enough. The WMF says that they aren't giving up on Media Viewer with many peeps in the community finding it useful but not up to snuff in the current version. What if it were changed to opt in as part of a scheduled process? That is, what if the WMF, with the help of the community, asserted exactly what would change and set a date for making it opt-in again, so that we all know that we're not giving up on it as one might argue is the case withf VE? Would that address most people's concerns? -wʃʃʍ- 18:01, 5 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
i agree "bad idea in the long run for "the community" to have final say over software features"; need a better way than RfC, which was cobbled together to resolve conflict. the problem with moving MV back to beta, is it will then never be deployed like VE no matter how improved it may be. they already did the user survey, how many should they do? how long should they wait for constructive feedback?
better for the WMF to deploy all new software on mobile and app, and let desktop wither on the vine. it's a pre-existing fork that will route around the community. Slowking4 (talk) 23:47, 4 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
Bump --♫ Sänger - Talk - superputsch must go 19:45, 6 September 2014 (UTC)Reply

The Community in 3 projects decided to make this software opt-in until the major bugs are eliminated. This was by far the most wanted suggestion here, but the WMF decided to wilfully ignore the communities and shove this piece of software on them with might and without discussion. This is for at least 3 communities one of the suggestions that has to go to the "must have" section on the frontpage. Unfortunately WMF staff has this suggestion removed from there, as they obviously don't want to see the truth over there. This was for suggestions about the MV, not just superficial UI stuff, but as well such things as opt-in/opt-out, at least this would have been in an open discussion. -- 09:55, 12 September 2014 (UTC)Reply

Respect the german community and switch the mediaviewer to opt-in![edit]

  • Problem: The WMF does not respect the community and its decisions.

Discussion (Respect the german community and switch the mediaviewer to opt-in!)[edit]

  • Agree the rolled out state of media veiwer was very disrestpectful to the projects media contributors and the WMF could have addressed the community concerns rather than whack it with a big stick but its not helpful to divert this discussion into that area. Gnangarra (talk) 00:08, 29 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
I believe you get better feedback if you do not force people to use something. If the WMF would switch the MediaViewer to opt-in, only people who care for the MediaViewer would use it. These people are much more likely to give positive and helpful feedback.
The MediaViewer is like a school that force the students to eat in its cafeteria where only “good and healthy stuff (because we know what’s best for you!)” is available. And to take the biscuit now the students are ask how to improve that! --DaB. (talk) 00:44, 29 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
DaB., not listening to 100% of what community says is not new; see Limits to configuration changes. This problem has long deep roots starting from 2010 and earlier (also raised at this page, below). Please calm down.
You're in a position to translate complaints from German people here. If something actionable is brought up and is not trivial to fix (and is provided by classic File pages), the feature will be made opt-in as they promised. --Gryllida 04:28, 29 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
+1 The Feature should be opt-in, if communities want it to be. At least until the "must have"s are carried. --Don-kun (talk) 05:14, 29 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
+1 Having this buggy thing as the default reflects poorly on the WMF in the eyes of its vast public. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 12:44, 29 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
+1 I fail to see a single valid reason why MV has to be enforced asap. If it's opt-in in deWP and enWP just as at commons for some months, nothing bad could possibly happen (besides to the egos of some people at WMF, but I don't care about that). It's a pure power game by the WMF to show the unwashed masses who's in charge. --Sänger S.G (talk) 13:33, 29 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
+1 --Gruß Tom (talk) 16:01, 29 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
Comment: There is a discussion of this going on elsewhere, I don't know about anyone else, but I'd like to not see that same discussion also come to this page as it will make the other discussions here more difficult to follow. Zellfaze (talk) 10:56, 30 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
-1 the communities are people who can go and change their settings. What you're forgetting about are vast troves of logged out users who are not part of "the community" that has a consensus on this. Think about all the people affected by the change who have never participated in your community! Have they been asked about what they prefer? --Romanski (talk) 19:13, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
What about the English poll carried out by the WMF where fewer than 50% of users who responded said Media Viewer was useful for viewing images? What of the readers like me who chimed in on the English RfC and were unanimous that Media Viewer should be disabled by default? There's no evidence to suggest that the WMF has a better finger on the pulse of what readers want than the communities that have taken up this issue and much to suggest they have a view biased in favor of their failed product. -- 20:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, I really think this should also apply on the English Wikipedia, where the RfC (which was WIDELY advertised) was overwhelmingly in favor of changing this to opt-in. If there's some sort of idea of bias, then put a banner at the top of the page and hold a new RfC for everyone like was done with the nonsense Terms and Conditions changes.0x0077BE (talk) 23:59, 6 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
+1 Just roll it back to beta, and then start from the beginning with the communication about it and about the reasons, why users don’t want to have it, then this request will be fulfilled. It’s not hard, it’s very easy to do. The WMF just have to have the will to do so, that’s all. Otherwise, there will be no good communication with the communities in the future anymore and no trust will get back neither, if the WMF just does, whatever they want, and ignores the will of hundreds of users in the normal voting processes. I don’t see no other way get out of this whole mess anymore. Communication about something that is constantly pushed upon the users against their will is nothing that will lead anywhere, because it changes nothing. This thing MV is still there, so why communicate about it anymore? I don’t see no sense in that, if the WMF just wants to ignore the will of the users and, by the way, also of the majority of the readers in their own poll. It’s ridiculous seeing this happen here. Do you really want to build up your own encyclopedia by yourself without those users which you prefer to ignore? Is this, what you want? Each day, this goes on, is a lost day. Each day is going to make things worse. I really don’t understand it. --Winternacht (talk) 22:16, 1 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
Just another Bump because if the overeager archive bot here, that even removes unsolved issues out of sight. :( --♫ Sänger - Talk - superputsch must go 19:45, 6 September 2014 (UTC)Reply

Spin-off outside Wikimedia[edit]

  • Problem: Duplication of effort, resources spent. Erik said «As a footnote, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that WikiWand includes a lightbox image viewer. I think it's better in some ways than ours [...] They recently raised about $600K in funding, which means that at least some people believe there's a real demand for a nicer, more modern default reader experience».
  • Proposed solution: Rejoice! Someone is already developing a dumbed-down version of Wikipedia, including a lightbox image viewer, and has the funding to do so. Less work for WMF and Wikimedia in general, we can switch to work on something else. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nemo bis (talk)

Discussion (Spin-off outside Wikimedia)[edit]

Files under fair use, hosted on English Wikipedia, mention a "license" where no license exists[edit]

  • Problem: English Wikipedia permits the use of non-free files under fair use. These files, when seen through the Media Viewer, contain a "view license" link -- but there is no license to view. The Media Viewer is presenting the media in a way that misleads the reader about copyright, free licenses, etc.
  • Example: w:en:File:Mickey_Mouse.png

Discussion (Files under fair use, hosted on English Wikipedia, mention a "license" where no license exists)[edit]

The template w:Template:Non-free use rationale, used on >370000 files, includes the required metadata (thanks to an edit by User:TheDJ back in June). This file uses a variant of that template, w:Template:Non-free use rationale 2, which hasn't been updated yet. It's used on a smaller number of files, around 60000. I'll take a look unless TheDJ beats me to it.--Erik Moeller (WMF) (talk)