User:Jean-Frédéric/Wikimania 2014

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As usual, the two days before Wikimania were the hackathon.

The Official wm-metrics Hacking Space

One of my main objectives for the hackathon was to work on wm-metrics, specifically in order to have a nice demo ready for our Friday presentation. Other madness (duties, sessions, requests) prevented me to get as much done as I would have hoped ; but thanks to the work of Caroline and Pierre-Selim[1], by Thursday evening (just in time for a drink [or two] before the greetings), we had something quite nice to show.

The presentation itself took the three of us most of our Tuesday and a sizeable chunk of my Thursday night.

Other hacking work

Pierre-Selim and I got drafted by Cristian to put together the list of all the pictures uploaded as part of Wiki Loves Monuments 2013, for the Guinness World Record submission. Together, with some help from Maarten, we managed to get encouraging preliminary results - as described here by Pierre-Selim.

Sessions and roundtables

The Wikimedia Foundation Multimedia team, led by Fabrice, had organised several sessions to discuss the works they are undertaking this year. On the first day, I went to the UploadWizard session. Each person in the audience was invited to share their particular workflows and frustrations. Fabrice shared the Multimedia team exciting roadmap for the coming months - bug fixing, interface redesign, and new features like cross-wiki upload or VE integration.

On the second day, I joined the Structured Data discussion - plans to incorporate Wikidata and the Wikibase technology into Wikimedia Commons to make some serious kick-ass multimedia database. Future is now — future starts slow. The session was not as exciting as I would have hoped, but that was probably because I was already mostly up to date with the early discussions on the topic.

I also went to the meeting of the Europeana GlamWiki task force - where I finally met with one of its key member, Jesse (GlamWiki coordinator at Sound & Vision)

Finally, I briefly attended the closing session where folks could share some reflections on the hackathon. I shared how the truckload of 'important' meetings and sessions can prevent from doing any actual hacking.

Hackathon 2015 organisation

During the Zürich hackathon (May 2014) was raised the question of the next one, and several people suggested that it could/should be France, suggestion that I relayed with quite some enthusiasm to the board. The idea was, overall, met positively by the other trustees, and we decided we would voice our interest in hosting the 2015 hackathon while being ready to step down if another chapter would be willing to do it. Over the following weeks/months, while the Wikimedia Foundation team started the process, other chapters voiced their interest as well, and it was decided that we would all discuss and decide at Wikimania.

During the 2nd day, together with Émeric, Sylvain and Christophe we attended a meeting with a dozen people - WMF staff involved in hackathon and the dev community, volunteer organisers of past hackathons, etc. It turned out that France was the last chapter standing, and thus we were unofficially named Hackathon 2015 organisers. We discussed a lot the particularities of the French bid, in particular the possible location.

The next day, I also attended a meeting with Rachel, Quim & folks from Wikimedia Israel on the topic of a Wikimedia hackathon in Isarël, as well as a couple of informal discussions on the topic.

Informal discussions & introductions

As usual, informal and random discussions are the true wealth of Wikimania. During the hackathon, I had the pleasure to catch up with:

  • Luis, WMF Deputy General Counsel, to discuss Monkey selfies & animal art,, and trademark policy
  • Yuvi, on the status of the Wiki Loves Monuments mobile app and quarry, the webservice he is building to interrogate the ToolLabs database and how we could use it for wm-metrics.
  • Toby, Fabrice, Daniel & Derk-Jan on community engagement and software roll-out (in light of the MediaViewer 'incident').
  • Jaime on the topic of Evaluation, in particular to discuss our need of a metric to measure new editors recruited thanks to a chapter workshop.

I also tried my best at making people meet. Among others, I had Édouard present to Fabrice his new and shiny upload tool, ComeOn!

First day[edit]

wm-metrics session[edit]

Friday had a whirlwind start with our wm-metrics session. Although I am fairly satisfied with the technological level of the demonstration, I wish I had time to finalise the web interface for Caroline’s CategoryInduced (I was so close, two more minutes of work were enough), as well as to beef up the Meta progress template - it’s all eye candy but the type to maximise the impact.

On the presentation itself, I wish we had had more time to prepare - especially in my case to beef up the History section, where I could have projected our early work to maximise the impact.

Over the next days I had positive feedback from different movement stakeholders on wm-metrics - WMF people from Grantmaking & Evaluation, as well as chapter people (AT, CH, NL). Our work apparently also raised some interest with some folks from Research & Analytics at the Foundation, with whom the three of us discussed possible convergence points between our respective work.

And it really seems like we need a proper name :-p


The rest of the day, I went to the following sessions:

How to use Wikidata: Things to make and do with 30 million statements by Markus Krötzsch.
A very high-level overview of what one can do with Wikidata, with examples of current applications (Hello, Tempo-Spatial Père-Lachaise!), including some I did not know about, and tips on where to start.
How to stay out of jail and still use images from Wikimedia Commons, by Matthias Schindler.
Presentation of a the Lizenzverweisgenerator (aka "Attribution Generator"), a tool developped by Wikimedia Deutschland to help "generating a legally correct attribution with images from Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons or any other online resource", result of the collaboration of developers and lawyers. The tool looks promising (though I did wonder to which extent it leveraged on the fairly recent CommonsMetadata extension). The source code is on GitHub.
Crazy Contentious Copyright Challenges Constraining Community Creativity, by Michelle Paulson and Stephen LaPorte.
I mostly stuck around for that one because I did not have time anyway to run to any other session — and to play a bit with Sterenn that Édouard lent me for a little while. The two lawyers discussed some legal issues relevant to Wikimedia projects: Fair Use, trademark laws, freedom of panorama and URAA. The first two topics were interestingly put into a quiz format ; but the last two were a bit superficial to my taste – but as a Wikimedia Commons sysop I was probably not the target audience.
Measuring community health: Vital signs for Wikimedia projects by Dario Taraborelli & Aaron Halfaker.
In this talk Dario highlighted the need, beyond cohort-level metrics like WikiMetrics provides, for project-level metrics. After a reminder of how metrics are defined and specified, he explained how they were critical to understand our projects and what might affect them. More awesomeness on Meta at Research:Metrics standardization.
The coolest projects of Wikimedia Chapters - be inspired by Deror Avi.
The Coolest Presentation in town was back from outer space, to the audience great pleasure. In spite of a quite disappointing number of projects presented (it appears only a handful of entities submitted project...), the session proved as cool as ever. I will confess my fondness of the "Redaktionstreffen Essen und Trinken Wien 2013" project co-organised by Wikimedia Deutschland and Wikimedia Österreich — food photography, how awesome is that? But all the projects presented were impressive in their own way, and especially the 'winning' one, a WikiCamp in Armenia where 100 high-school students wrote Wikipedia articles during 14 days. See the PEG proposal for more information, pending the report which should be out soonish.
Open Data Portal Austria by Claudia Garád, Manuel Schneider and Stefan Kasberger.
The success story, or fairy tale, of the Open Data Portal Austria, a joint project by WMAT and OKFN AT. The talk presented the different aspects of the project – from the organisation aspect and the money management to the technical side and the software infrastructure. It also highlighted the relevance to Wikimedia projects, and how the project was conceived to be replicated in neighbouring countries. And hey, there were rainbows and unicorns, and Siebrand, Maarten and I were on the first row to cheer for our friend.

Social event[edit]

For the evening Maarten and I headed to the engagement party of two Wikimedian friends. This happy moment was also the opportunity for some GlamWiki networking and Wikidata discussions. In particular, we discussed with Maarten his newest project Sum of all paintings, initiative to get all paintings on Wikidata, and how Europeana CC-Zero data was golden material for this endeavour.

Second day[edit]


I spent most of my day in tech & research related sessions.

Replaying Edits & Visualising Edit History by Jeph Paul Alapat with the awesome help from Jonathan Morgan.
Replay Edits is a tool that shows the evolution of an article like a video, developed thanks to an IEG. The presentation was surprisingly dynamic, given the fact that it was made over Hangout - kudos to the speaker and his accomplice on stage for this seamless show.
FastCCI: Taming the Commons Category Tree by Daniel Schwen.
Daniel explored the Commons category tree in and out, highlighting their genius (at least that’s my reading ;-p) and pitfalls. He also showed his amazing software, FastCCI, and how it can be a remedy to some of its flaws. The presentation was well-prepared, science-powered and awesomeness-enabled, full of fascinating insights on the Commons category system. Fanboy speaking.
Wikistats: New Patterns by Erik Zachte.
In his talk, Erik, data guru at the WMF, explored two topics. First, "Metrics for public and press", or how our head-spinning numbers of editors, articles, page views, Wikipedia language versions may not be completely in touch with reality: for example, out of 284 Wikipedia, we have 12 dead, 53 zombies and 94 struggling. His conclusion was "Awesomeness recalibrated: ∞ / 2 = ∞" – meaning that even more realistic number are still head-spinning. The second topic was Editor trends: new charts and fancy insights on unique editors, migrations and retention. Unique editors drew on his seminal blogpost from March 2014, "Wikimedia editor trends broken down by project", concluding that editor decline is mostly on the English-language Wikipedia, and that "other Wikipedias on average showed no decline in number of active editors". I appreciated the shout-out to Wiki Loves Monuments, responsible these past 3 years for the visible editor peaks, “editors who stick around at 6-7% 2 years ago, a bit less last year” (quote from memory). Erik then studied migrations: do editors move around between Wikimedia projects or between language versions? Turns out that editors are mostly loyal to their projects: "Few migrations away from Wikipedia or to other language". I did not expect that folks like me (who moved from fr.wp to Commons) were such a tiny minority (though I seem to recall a discussion with Dario hinted that other research, with more relaxed migration criteria, may have different findings --> check that)
Hi, my name is unmasking anonymous editors on Wikipedia by Steven Walling & Aaron Halfaker
The missing Wikipedia ads: Designing targeted contribution campaigns by Dario Taraborelli.
How we organized a hackathon with GLAM institutions, gave open culture to hackers and made everyone happy


After the afternoon sessions I had my appointment with María Cruz, Community Coordinator of Program Evaluation & Design at the Wikimedia Foundation. This follow-up interview to the inaugural June 2013 workshop in Budapest touched on many side-topics on the general Evaluation subject, and lasted for a solid half-hour.

Social events[edit]

For weeks the GlamWiki community had discussed whether to organise a meetup for Wikimania. In the end, a GLAM lunch was organised that day which I joined. In the evening, we briefly joined the cricket match “England vs. the rest of the world”.

Third day[edit]


Bots and Pywikibot, by Maarten Dammers
Expanding the encyclopedia: trends in article creation on Wikipedia by Aaron Halfaker
A Culture of Kindness by Fabrice Florin