# User talk:LilaTretikov (WMF)/Archive 3

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## Our Future and the role of the Foundation

Hi Everyone

This note reflects my personal opinion and might not represent the view of the entire board :)

I am a volunteer. I volunteer for something incredibly special, something that 30 years from now people will either say “That was quite something, whatever happened?” or they will say “I cannot believe it started in such a simple way, and has grown to become a worldwide resource, free for everyone."

Truth is, we are at a crossroads, and unfortunately have been for quite some time. Blaming each other for being there does not make much sense, as it would probably result in us spending more time at that crossroads. If you want me to take part of the blame, I will.

Other internet projects (not limiting ourselves to websites) are passing us by left and right, and none of them have the non-profit goals that we have. In fact, some of them, with more commercial propositions, are actively undermining us.

When we started our search for a new Executive Director, we set out to find someone with a strong executive product background and solid hands-on experience. After years of building up the organization from scratch, Sue made it clear that we needed an expertise different from her own in order to take us all to the next level.

We found Lila, and she is exactly what we need: someone to look at our special thing with a different view. We are unique in many ways, but not unique enough to ignore basic trends and global developments in how people use the internet and seek knowledge. We have to get better at software development, roll-out, and user adoption. And Lila is helping us do exactly that. (a discussion on process ideas has been started here: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Engagement_(Product)/Process_ideas )

But at the same time, change works both ways. There is no point in getting better at the development of software if the roll-out of these new features is going to be partial.

We talk often about “the community” (although in reality we have a lot of different communities, with different characteristics). One thing is clear to me: we need to grow that community - not just in numbers, but also in maturity in welcoming newcomers, accepting change (sometimes for the sake of others), dealing with non-productive discussions, and quickly scaling successful new initiatives.

On Wikimedia-l and in some other places I hear a lot from the few and the angry. There is an argument I hear a lot: “We are the community, without us the projects would be nothing. We are the ones who got us here.” That is true, to a degree. But at the same time… we don’t want to be here…. We want to be much further along the road.

1. We want to attract new editors. They don’t have to become heavy editors, they could even contribute once in a while, as long as we get lots of them. We have to make it easy enough for anyone to contribute so that people once again feel that “anyone can edit.”
2. We want to have our information everywhere. Not just on your browser, or integrated in your operating system and phone (as they are now), but everywhere. While 500 million readers a month may sound like a lot, it’s a fraction of whom we need to reach.
3. We need to move faster than ever before. This means we need to be tolerant of things we may not like and let experimentation happen. We also need to remove things we are attached to that don’t have wide adoption.
4. We need to act as one community, not 1,000. This means we cannot enact the wishes of a few hundred, but have to build processes that support the successes of millions.

All of this is going to require change, change that might not be acceptable to some of you. I hope that all of you will be a part of this next step in our evolution. But I understand that if you decide to take a wiki-break, that might be the way things have to be. Even so, you have to let the Foundation do its work and allow us all to take that next step when needed. I can only hope that your break is temporary, and that you will return when the time is right.

There is one thing will never change, and that is our commitment to providing free knowledge to everyone in the world. And while software development is a part of this, we have a lot of areas in which we also need to make progress -- and these are the areas where we look to you to take the lead. I am looking forward to working with you, the individual volunteers, and all our movement organizations in order to grow our successes.

Jan-Bart de Vreede
Jan-Bart (talk) 15:27, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

PS: Unfortunately I am in a location where I have extremely limited bandwidth (loading and saving this page takes up to five minutes each time) and am not really in a position to reply to most messages here. I will try to find a better place to respond in a few days, but this situation could last until the 1st of September. I will come back to the points made here at some time. Jan-Bart (talk) 07:02, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Simple questions: Do en:User:Jimbo Wales/Statement of principles still exist and have a meaning? Then why did the WMF especially Erik Möller violate principle 4? Do the Mission Statement and the Values of the Foundation still exist and have meaning? Then why is the Board backing up such actions that clearly violate such three chartas of principles that to em were the fundament of the WMF-communities relation? This needs to be fixed before there can be a moving on from my side. Yes, i could say "let's move on, everything fine", but this would be a lie and this issue would remain in me, decouraging me from further work in the Wikipedia.
Why do you think that a way of thinking that works good for Facebook and Google could be any good to cultural projects? We need not growth for the sake of the growth. You sound like a manager of a company listed at the stock exchange who needs to satisfy stakeholders. That is not the right way to handle Wikimedia projects. Encyclopedias are culural products, they reflect the cultural area they are made from and for. With thinking that one solution serves all the same well, you are wrong. And you are just wanting a corporate identity like Google or Facebook. But that is definately not the way o go for the future. We need localization. What do you know about German readers, their cultural backrounds? Or those in China? The local communities do and they are in constantly exchange with their readers who are their target group for every action they take. We need a foundation who understands that. But you are not understanding your own limitations. And when you argument with that Wikipedia is the number 5 page in the internet, it gets totally ridicoulus. You have left serving our mission by thinking like a Google manager. --Julius1990 (talk) 16:10, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
You want convienent contributions of quality mathematics content. WMF wants billions of visitors, contributing what-the-hell-we-dont-care, but make it billions, make it top 5, make it fast (if previous community core does not like it, fork off)! It's not so hard to see the difference, is it? Ca$e (talk) 19:00, 20 August 2014 (UTC) You may be right, but I'm hoping the WMF will say so explicitly whether that is indeed the case. If mathematics content is no longer a desirable goal of the WMF, and a fork becomes the least worst option, then the sooner we know it the better, so that we have good time to prepare a graceful exit. So -- over to Jan-Bart. Deltahedron (talk) 20:01, 20 August 2014 (UTC) I think that the 4th principle applies to some degree. Wrong answer. The principles including the 4th apply to full degree. They are full policy (remember that there wasn't yet any WM Foundation when the founder of Wikipedia declared these principles. Compared to Englisch history these principles are the Magna Charta, and the WMF at the moment tries to be Jack I. --Matthiasb (talk) 09:38, 21 August 2014 (UTC) Jan-Bart, I appreciate your frankness. Your statement shows me very clearly that we work in totally different directions. I can't find a single word in it that refers to the goals I am pursuing with passion in the Wikipedia. About empowering readers to judge for themselves whether a Wikipedia article is good or bad; about dissolving the borders between producers and recipients; about quality issues; about interdisciplinary issues (one of the greatest potential assets of the Wikipedias); about decision and communication structures between volunteers; about self-education in writing; about all that is unique in the Wikipedia universe. My opinion is that software development basically and fundamentally has to serve encyclopedic aims, not necessarily the ones I value most, but definitely encyclopedic issues, however you don't lose a word about these issues. Obviously this is not your aim. You want quantity and velocity and growth, I cannot hear anything from you about the qualities of Wikipedia (with the exception that they be "unique"); I cannot hear anything about what is to grow, where to go to ("faster"), more quantity of what. Maybe I misjudge your statement, in this case I am very open to any correction.--Mautpreller (talk) 17:08, 20 August 2014 (UTC) "you have to let the Foundation do its work" - not at all. Let's leave it at that. See where you will end with this arrogant approach. Ca$e (talk) 18:25, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Hi Mautpreller, I think we are more of the same mind than you think. I just happen to disagree with the way to get there. It should be easy to contribute knowledge and everyone should be able to do it, not just the chosen few. Our strength lies in numbers and diversity, and the English Wikipedia is a good example of where we are not growing those. And with regards to our readers: I see people building applications around our data simply because they find our interface to be too ancient. Our data is being used in phones and operating systems and yet we have no idea how to to facilitate the parties using our data. It is one thing to build an encyclopedia of high quality, and quite another to get it into the hands of every human being on the planet, in their own language. I think that Lila and her team are on the right track to help further those goals. If that means changing the dynamic, this might very well be the time that we have to do that... But I think we share the same goals. Jan-Bart (talk) 18:20, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
"we share the same goals" - No we definitely do not. Ca$e (talk) 18:25, 20 August 2014 (UTC) Sorry, Jan-Bart, but I strongly disagree. Unfortunately, we are not only on different tracks but also on tracks leading in opposite directions. You say: "It should be easy to contribute knowledge and everyone should be able to do it." But in fact it is never easy to "contribute knowledge" and not everyone is able to do it from scratch. Even use and application of knowledge is never easy. You have to learn how to contribute knowledge (and how to use knowledge as well!) and that is the task we should facilitate as much as we can: the task of learning. This is not only true for beginners but also for experienced users. We need learning editors and learning readers (and learning "users of data", as to that). Learning is never easy. However, Wikipedia offers enormous potentials to learn without unnecessary bareers, potentials I never saw elsewhere but these potentials are hardly realized. My understanding of your statement is that you want use and contribution of knowledge an easy thing that can be done without an effort, but this is an illusion (which fits in with the reduction of "knowledge" to "data"). The Media Viewer is, in my eyes, a (minor) materialization of this tendency: It shows the picture and nothing else, pretending to give the "whole thing" - but this is not true. Media are never usable and understandable without context, and an effort is needed to learn this.--Mautpreller (talk) 18:44, 20 August 2014 (UTC) Yes, in that case we do disagree. I do agree that there is learning involved before one can contribute knowledge, but that should never be an effort focused on technology. Technology should never be a barrier to sharing knowledge, and right now it is. Jan-Bart (talk) 18:57, 20 August 2014 (UTC) No, technology should not be a barrier to sharing knowledge, I agree. But again, technology should not deliver a simplified picture because this picture is wrong and prevents learning. If, for example, a better way for referencing (adding sources) could be established, that would be a fine thing, because the way we do this now is very un-intuitive (an unnecessary technological barrier). But an "express way" to isolate a picture from its vital context is just the opposite, it creates an illusion. - My experience is: It is a big mistake to think that an article evolves by way of multiple "contributions of knowledge". Articles need integration, and this is something one has to learn (and many an experienced user has much to learn there, including myself). Not an easy task. However, usually not for technological reasons but rather for social reasons - and most notably for reasons that are in the very nature of knowledge and learning itself.--Mautpreller (talk) 19:13, 20 August 2014 (UTC) After this statement, I see clearly, how far away the Foundation and especially its Board is away from the Communities and how disrespectful they are acting. You say clearly, You don't care about a single editor, not even hundreds of them, because You want to reach millions. Of course this is just an excuse, that You never have to listen to anything, that comes out of the communities, because they only speak for hundreds or thousands, You always speak for the potential millions. You also state, how different the communities are (meaning, the vote of one single community is not important) and at the end all communities must act as one (meaning of course following the direction, that is given by the Foundation). You may not care about a single person, that is lost for the wikipedia because of Your actions. I care of them. I see, how much they are missing in the daily work of the German wikipedia, every one of them. And I am happy, that I am able to respect them as fellow humans and fellow editors, who sacrificed a big part of their lives for working at the same goal as me, meaning, making the German Wikipedia a better place for readers and other editors, and do not see them only as replaceable numbers and their work as something, that is disrespected as "we don’t want to be here…. We want to be much further along the road." --Magiers (talk) 19:23, 20 August 2014 (UTC) That is really not what I wrote, I do care about individual editors and respect them, and I care about their concerns, but its not fair to characterize our need to innovate as "not caring". Jan-Bart (talk) 19:42, 20 August 2014 (UTC) Yes it is. You - as an organziation - are not caring. We explained it often enough now. Ca$e (talk) 19:51, 20 August 2014 (UTC) PS: to be more precise, see Julius1990 below: You "spit in the editors faces". If it is fair to characterize this as "innovate", i leave this up to you. Ca$e (talk) 20:14, 20 August 2014 (UTC) You wrote: "we cannot enact the wishes of a few hundred", which is completely ridiculous if You would ever have worked in a Wikipedia project and would realize, how a few people, some dozens, in best moment hundreds do all the work at every little corner in the projects, and what a deep hole is torn by everyone who is leaving. But hey: "that might be the way things have to be", if just the Foundation is not disturbed in whatever they want to do. --Magiers (talk) 20:56, 20 August 2014 (UTC) Magiers, it's even more ridiculous since Jan-Bart represents the wishes of a group of 10 ... --Julius1990 (talk) 20:59, 20 August 2014 (UTC) Jan-Bart, I am puzzled by your statement, "Other internet projects (not limiting ourselves to websites) are passing us by left and right, and none of them have the non-profit goals that we have. In fact, some of them, with more commercial propositions, are actively undermining us." How are these other projects passing Wikimedia by? Excuse me for replying at length, & with numerous instances I have found that proves this statement false, but this is a point that is repeated at Wikimedians time & again without any elaboration. Perhaps the people who repeat this assertion are looking at something I am unaware of. Consider Wikipedia, for which VE, MV & eventually Flow have been written? How is it failing? It is one of the top 10 sites on the Internet; to my knowledge, there is no other up-to-date general encyclopedia available online or in print as complete as it in any language (Encyclopedia Britannica is on life support); & it is frequently cited as a source of information everywhere I look. Not to say that there aren't problems with its software & community dynamics, but I haven't encountered any online community without problems. (See below for some examples.) In the case of Commons, I can't think of any alternative to it. I understand that it is harder to upload files to it than it should be, but since I haven't uploaded files there in years, I can comment on that. As for Wikisource, it has serious competition in the form of Project Gutenberg, archive.org, & books.google.com, but each appears to have defined its own niche & make an effort to work with each other: if I look for a public domain text at archive.org, it is as likely to direct me to Google for an ebook as to its own collection. Wiktionary also has serious competition from Urban Dictionary, but I find Wiktionary far more useful in general than Urban Dictionary. (I've often used it to translate unfamiliar German & French words -- although that functionality could be made easier to use.) I'm a member of a number of other websites, & I feel the Wikimedia software compares favorably to those. Both Deviant Art & Tumblr have interfaces suffer from interfaces where features break & get fixed without any warning -- & the relationship between the community & the staff is actually worse at both than here most of the time. (At least here before Visual Editor.) The software at Daily Kos may be better in supporting comments & interpersonal communications, but the feature set is limited & the advanced features harder to sue than any Wikimedia project. (I have yet to figure out how to upload an image there, or to find specific ones from the many in their collection -- unlike using images from Commons.) DK's purpose is to promote political agendas, not to make knowledge accessible, so that may not be a fair comparison. Lastly, many websites have problems with the software engine running their comments board -- Talking Points Memo has gone through several, before settling on using Disqus, none of which support Linux -- making the Wikimedia Wiki software looking not only very solid (comments are rarely accidentally lost) but surprisingly flexible. If you're talking about comparing any Wikimedia project to Facebook, you'll find you're in a distinct minority. While there are a few ideas worth stealing from there -- as with probably all social networking sites -- it's purpose is entirely different from those at Wikimedia. And every established volunteer knows that. I suspect this difference is one reason for the decline in volunteer numbers from 2007: a lot of people who joined then did so because they thought it was the k-rad kewl place to be, discovered it was full of odd people who were busy writing articles, not exchanging messages on the latest Internet memes, & decided to move on to fora like Facebook, Something Awful or 4chan. And as people have posted time & again, more volunteers do not inevitably translate to better content, so a decline in numbers may not be a bad thing. But this is all supposition on my part, Jan-Bart. What do you mean when you say "other internet projects (not limiting ourselves to websites) are passing us by left and right"? Please provide specific examples, not vague statements like that. Who knows? I may end up agreeing with you in some or all cases. -- Llywrch (talk) 19:42, 20 August 2014 (UTC) Hey, thanks for the clarifying question. Some examples I am thinking of are Quora (who are better at both interface and engaging users), a recent article on Techcrunch and some of the interface of Facebook and the like (because they simple make it a better experience). And to argue that there is no competion to our encyclopedia is probably making the same mistake that Encyclopedia Britannica made several years ago :( Jan-Bart (talk) 19:59, 20 August 2014 (UTC) Your comment shows that you know nothing about why such classical encyclopedias got smashed by Wikipedia. It was because of us editors who contributed more detailed, more accurate, more recent content that was simply better. And we still do by our constant updating and working to fill in the gaps of knowledge. But what do you do? You have big visions about Facebook-like experiences and same time spit in the editors faces. By saying Jimbos Principle 4 is not applying always (it itself states not that there are such cases and no other of the principles do) you deny what made Wikipedia and the other projects big and successful. If you don't stop and rethink, Wikipedia in two years will look like Facebook, but every of it's qualities drops because the people left and the people that came new were into the Facebook experience, not into writing encyclopedia (a strange, somewhet boring and intrinsincly conservative hobby). And by occupying the movement with your "Top-5-internet-company"-vision you as the WMF Board violate also your Mission Statement and your Values that are about encouraging the editors. You do the exactly opposite. To think it to the end: Your denying of Principle 4, Mission Statement and the Values is like a putsch. --Julius1990 (talk) 20:11, 20 August 2014 (UTC) Exactly, only that i call it a breach of contract, not a putsch. Ca$e (talk) 20:14, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
“Even so, you have to let the Foundation do its work and allow us all to take that next step when needed.” … that's not how a community project like Wikipedia works and which will always result in conflicts, either with hundreds or millions. Proposals, discussions, arguments, stepping back, understanding, rethinking, excuses, compromise, that's our daily bussiness and only that way we all can move forward, together with the WMF which involves us in their software programs. Cheers, —DerHexer (Talk) 20:27, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

I only want to focus on Jan-Bart's last point of the four ones above: We need to act as one community, not 1,000. This means we cannot enact the wishes of a few hundred, but have to build processes that support the successes of millions. As a German, this reminds me of a totalitarian nightmare. I will not be a part of a Gleichschaltung Foundation.--Aschmidt (talk) 20:15, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

+1. We don't need the Nazi comparison, but true is: the ignorance for the differences is the ignorance for the biggest values the movement holds. --Julius1990 (talk) 20:17, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
The phrase "the wishes of a few hundred" is presumably an oblique reference to the various RfC processes that have gone against the decisions of WMF to roll out various software products. Unfortunately, as a governing principal, it has unwelcome implications for the contributors interested in writing mathematics, of whom I imagine there can be at most a few hundred, and so I guess that this is why our communal proposals for the WMF to allocate resources to improved mathematics editing and rendering were, and will continue to be, unsuccessful. Deltahedron (talk) 20:26, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
We want to attract new editors - by getting rid of the old ones? The men with the beards? Good idea. I wish you luck. By the way, those millions that you imagine supporting you are not excisting in reality but if they do, they did not chose you to speak for them. Maybe those millions would rather support the old editors who created the content for them. --Sargoth (talk) 21:02, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

"the wishes of a few hundred" - Just count how many edits that few hundred have done in the past ten years. It is not ok to compare accounts which have corrected some spelling mistakes with, for example, the Swiss user "Voyager" which has written 6486 articles in the German Wikipedia so far. [2] And he is not a bot! He don't uses software for creating that articles! He is just an author which spends the most of his free time for Wikipedia! But actually with your meaning and your idea that he belongs to "only a few (unimportant) hundred" you just kick his ass and the asses of a lot similar people of that community. --Micha (talk) 21:12, 20 August 2014 (UTC) And only that you guys of WMF can imagine it now: We need only 270 guys like Voyager and they write the German Wikipedia (~ 1750000 articles)! You need only 1000 interessted people and the Wikipedia is written. And that is it what acutally happened. Actually the german Wikipedia is written by only a "few hundred people"!!! If you believe what often stands in the media and written by naiv journalists that thousends of people have contributed to Wikipedia and that is the reason why Wikipedia is so huge then you believe wrong. --Micha (talk) 22:01, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Couldn't agree more: Many of "the few hundred" are part of what I would call the "core community" that does a major part of the actual work on content in Wikipedia and other wikimedia projects. Of course there are many, many thousands of contributors, but those "few hundred" wo tend to voice their opinion in community polls etc. tend to be the same few hundred who are the most passionate and productive contributors. Maybe this comparison isn't entirely unfitting: Like Micha, I'm from Switzerland. Switzerland practices direct democracy on all levels of government, including the municipal level. I live in a municipality with a population of approximately 3800. About 2500 of them are Swiss citizens entitled to vote (the others are foreign nationals or under 18). Major decisions are made by the Gemeindeversammlung (a kind of "town meeting") - the legislative body of the municipality consisting of all entitled citizens who decide to attend. Are 2500 citizens attending? No. 2000? No. 1000? No. 500? No, never. Usually, there are not more than 50 to 100 people attending. These 50 to 100 make the decisions binding for all of us in this small Swiss community - every one of the other 2400 would be very welcome to take part, but for some reason or other they abstain. But they know perfectly well that the ones who decide to get involved are the ones making the decisions, and no one would question the validity of the decisions made. The attendees don't have more rights than the others - they just decided to be an active part of the community. And that's IMHO what happens in Wikipedia communities: Some decide to be an active part, and if you don't want to, then you can't say that you're part of some "silent majority" and therefore the decisions made by the active volunteers are invalid. Gestumblindi (talk) 22:51, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
@Jan-Bart: I am devastated by your approach of comparing Wikipedia to Facebook or other social sites which are no Encylopedia. That completely misses the point. We are making and sustaining an encyclopedia here, which includes a very unique community with a unique culure and unique tools, adjusted on all levels for the needs of encyclopedic authoring. If you try to dilute this with concepts of some arbitrary social media, you will destroy its uniqueness and strength. That can't work out - you are risking the top performers to fork off into an own project. As Micha correctly said: The majority of encyclopedic and administrative work here is done by some hundred people. If you put them off, you can shut up the shop. --PM3 (talk) 22:38, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
To make this clear: Many of the people answering here are not the "grumpy old men" or "rampaging minority" as some in the Foundation might want to picture it. PM3 for example is trying to defend the Foundation on German Wiki, trying to reach there, what he think is a constructive compromise. Comments like this from the head of the Board stab these efforts in the back. It is not about the Mediaviewer anymore, even not about the Superprotect. It is about the complete lack of understanding for the principles of the Wikipeda-projects and their daily procedures, that speaks out of comments as above. And it is about an alarming arrogance that is shown from the responsible people in the foundation against the people in the Communities, that do all the work. This is burning the bridges of any compromise about Mediaviewer or Superprotect and of any future trustful cooperation. --Magiers (talk) 06:12, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't like your term of "defending" (which implies attacking). There is lots of misunderstanding here, and all parties should engage in trying to understand each other. Jan-Barts statement shows little understanding of encyclopedic work, while the statements of some community activists show little understanding of software development. I have done both, developing/managing software projects of different sizes (including a community-driven website) and lots of encyclopedic authoring, and from this background I am sad abot the lack of understanding between WMF and Community. Just sad and terrified about the amount of damage which is done to our common thing, and the resposibility for this damage is not solely with the WMF. --PM3 (talk) 18:41, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
The Foundation staff gets paid, for that we can expect a far better performance than they do. The Board is right now happily breaking the contract that was holding the projects and the foundation together for so long. Have you read any serious excuse for all that? No. Instead the Board talks about visions for which a former German chacellor would have send them to the doctor, and he would have been totally right with it. We were for years patient with the Foundation, now they have put a drop to much in the glass. And they are not sorry for it or think in seriously changing. The Board is telling us that we should go, Erik Moeller tries to make things go so slow that teh community simply will give up out of frustration after some time. No, they crossed a line. --Julius1990 (talk) 18:48, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
@PM3: You may be right in the both sides of the misunderstandings, but there is quite a difference in the significance of them. Understanding enyclopedic work is a must for the WMF and every person in a higher position in the Foundation, while understanding software development can not be expected from the users of the software. I am not worried, that the software development process will make steps forward in the future (starting from a quite low level). But I am very worried about the lack of interest in encyclopedic work - and the lack of respect for the people, that have done this work in the past. I quote: "if you decide to take a wiki-break, that might be the way things have to be. Even so, you have to let the Foundation do its work". If this is the mindset behind the disturbing actions of the last two weeks, I see the responsibility of the disconnect clearly on the side of the WMF. --Magiers (talk) 20:27, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

@Jan-Bart: Your premise that we need lots and lots of new casual editors is incorrect. As the main active WPs "fill up" with content, our need is for specialized, academic expertise. We don't need 100,000 Facebookers to roll by and "crowdsource" half a dozen inept edits each — we need serious scholars to source out, expand, and improve esoteric coverage. As long as WMF remains oblivious to this simple truth, we've got problems... You have grandiose goals for readership but a basic misunderstanding of the actual needs of content creation. Carrite (talk) 00:51, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Every day the English Wikipedia gets lots of new editors, mainly from IP addresses. Unfortunately they are mostly vandals, and we need an increasingly sophisticated set of bots to detect and revert them. I hope that the WMF Board have taken into account that the more editors we get, the more vandalism we will have to cope with? Especially on the more mature wikiepedias where many of the "easy" edits have already been done. Deltahedron (talk) 18:52, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Jan-Bart, I have to say that your statement in this section is highly confusing, and doesn't seem to portray any actual understanding of Wikipedia's goals. This is quite disturbing since you head a service organisation that is supposed to provide what Wikipedia needs. Particularly, I have no idea why you view attracting editors as a goal as opposed to producing a product that attracts readers. Why do you think a large number of editors is a goal in and of itself.?Kww (talk) 03:32, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

I quite understand Jan-Bart's message, although as I say I don't agree with it. WMF projects in general, and Wikipedia in particular, are not where the WMF Board want them to be. They want it to change, and to go somewhwere else. In particular, WMF want the experience of reading and writing WMF projects to be more up-to-date. What they want is probably not what some of the old guard, who actually wrote the encyclopaedias as they stand today, want: but the WMF Board gets to decide. Those who don't like it can leave. That all seems pretty clear. Deltahedron (talk) 06:28, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Additional: I just realised that the message is eerily similar to that of Brecht's en:Die Lösung: the current editors have lost the confidence of the Board and can regain it only be redoubled efforts. The Board's intention is now to dissolve the current community and elect another. Deltahedron (talk) 14:48, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

I suggest that anyone who wants to make Nazi comparisons first listens to the venerable Richard von Weizsäcker (search on Youtube for "Weizsacker Rede zum 8. Mai 1985 1"), and only then decides whether he really wants to go on with that. --Ziko (talk) 09:34, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

@User:Jan-Bart . You wrote, that the Statement of principles by Jimbo "applies to some degree". Do you know George Orwells Animal farm? If not please read it. ...Sicherlich Post 13:26, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Just a thought to "they could even contribute once in a while" and "to make it easy enough for anyone to contribute so that people once again feel that “anyone can edit.”" - making it easy okay. But people who once in a while contribute with them you're getting excellent content? Seems for more like you are looking for quantity not quality. But for that we already have bing/google/yahoo... just a thought. Not so long ago it was diversity, before it was women now its the masses. Looking forward what's going to be in 10 years? Maybe you want the Alumni back working? :oD ...Sicherlich Post 13:35, 21 August 2014 (UTC) I'm not at all against new members and not at all against better software. But new and good once and better; not only new

Honestly I personally don't care about the "Media Viewer". It is IMHO only a question of design, nice, but not realy a cornerstone of the project to create a encyclopedia. The majority of my fellows in the german writing Wikipedia voted in an another way. What is realy worrisome is the reaction after the voting: The Weelwar was not o.k. - no question. But to create Superprotect was very unclever in a social community like Wikipedia. Wikipedia lives by contribution of many, but less than it sometimes seems from the outside. I contributed only a few hundred articles, but I know a little bit my fellows. They wanted to be treated with some kind of respect. Or in the words of Principle 7: "Anyone with a complaint should be treated with the utmost respect and dignity. They should be encouraged constantly to present their problems in a constructive way. Anyone who just complains without foundation, refusing to join the discussion, should simply be rejected and ignored. Consensus is a partnership between interested parties working positively for a common goal. We must not let the "squeaky wheel" be greased just for being a jerk." By overruling the votes in such a way it is no surprise, that the community feels not treated with the utmost respect and dignity. I feel particularly with regard to fact that is only a question of design concerned that the situation need something like Superprotect.--Kriddl (talk) 20:06, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Ok, just a few points in reference to the remarks made above (I am not going to make them inline because I have limited bandwidth and because a lot of points are repeated here. If I didn't get to your point, I am sorry, After my trip I will be in a better position to go into points that I missed.

• Although I made it clear that this is my personal opinion, a lot of people equate my opinion with "the board" wants a new community. That is both misrepresting my statement and the breadth of it. I don't want a new community, I would like our community to change, and just like some of you argue that you don't want change, I argue that I do.
• I am being accused of forgetting the most important part of our goal: creating an encyclopedia... In actual fact I think that our goal happens to be to get the sum of all knowledge into the hands of all people in the world. Our premise is that people who have access to information are able to make better informed (life)-decisions. That information has to be be relevant, and preferably in a language that makes it easy to digest. That means we need to reach our readers in languages and platforms that they use every day (which might not be a website, and will hopefully be in a local language). The discussion here focuses a lot on the larger projects, and that is way too limited to serve our goal.
• A lot of people argue that not everyone is capable of adding good encyclopaedic content, and that having a hard core group of editors is essential. While I do not disagree that having a very active group of individuals is important, I strongly disagree that not everyone should be able to contribute. When people refer to our core principles with regards to the software deployment, are we conventiently forgetting that the other principle "You can edit this page right now" is a core guiding check on everything that we do'. Because a lot of seem to argue that you are free to edit as long as you have reached a certain skill level in both technology and knowledge dissemination. This seems to limit "you" to a small group of people... which is not going to help us get to the goal of the sum of all knowledge available to everyone.
small subpoint: this is one of the reasons why I am really disappointed that the "oral citations" project never got further than it did. Our entire approach on knowledge dissemination is based on the western idea of an encylopedia and referencing other written sources in order to back up articles. Yet a lot of cultures around the world have a different way of disseminating (and consuming) knowledge. We should be able to get adapt our model to these cultures as well (celebrating the diversity and seeing new opportunities). I see some great examples of this kind of work by local chapters and that is the kind of work which was also showcased at Wikimania.
• Acting as one community as compared to 1000 does not mean that we have to lose our diversity, we have to understand and cherish our diversity. There are MANY smaller projects who stand in the shadow of en.wp and de.wp, yet they might help us reach new audiences which do desperately need the information we have available.
• Listening to others without being offended and triggered into an aggressive response takes two people (the author and the reader). I am sorry if some of my text offended you, it was however intended to give a different view on the issues that we are currently dealing with. If that is not a helpful view in your opinion, I am sorry.
• I have learned that Facebook is a trigger word :) Yes I am aware it is a completely different concept, YET (here I go again) I think we can learn a lot from Facebook and similar popular websites with regards to interface design. But NO we are in no way comparable to facebook, none whatsoever, really NONE (ok?)

Jan-Bart (talk) 11:01, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

@Jan-Bart: Ok, You want the community to change, some people in the community want the Foundation to change. So let's make war and see, who wins at the end. Is this the essence of the conflict? I don't think it is, but it's the way You are talking. You are again missing the opportunity, to make clear, that You want a change in some topics (e.g. better accessibility, better beginner friendliness), which I think would not be opposed by the majority of the communities. But at the same time, there must be an affirmation of the positive values of the communities, their quality work, theit collaborative achievements, their direct democratic decisions. And above all, the encyclopedic alignment of Wikipedia must be out of question. You only say: What You have done is not good, it's not what I expect, I want You to change. And this is offending and not only misread as being offending. By the way: If You propagate, everyone is capable of adding good encyclopaedic content, why You have never tried to? I invite You to the German Wikipedia, there is even a tutor program for beginners. You can learn there, what the real problems in the daily work are for the people, who are building the projects, that You want to decide on. Maybe it would give You a helpful view and make You reconsider some of Your judgements. --Magiers (talk) 12:09, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
The first princible of wikipedia is, that wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Other project like commons, wikisource... have other parts of "the sum of all knowledge in the world", but wikipedia has only this part.
You say, that a core community is important for a project like wikipedia. That is not correct so, a core community is everything for such a project. Only with a high-active community you can have both: a nearly correct, neutral and actual encyclopedia and participation of everybody. It is fact, that a high percentage of the part-time writers are not interestet in encyclopedian work, but only in vandalism, advertising himself or his company and so on. So you need a core community to integrate these edits or articles in the encyclopedia or delete it. Otherwise, you have either a lot of rubbish and outdated articles or you must lock the project, so not everybody can write.
You want to promote the smaller projects. OK, that's good. But I find it a very odd idea, to promote smaller projects by damage or even destroy the bigger projects with functioning communitys. Why should not the larger project go away their own way? In the last ten years, they were very succesful with this way. You should accept, that the big communitys like de.wp has their own mind, what is good and what is not good for them and that they want to decide itself.
When you will go on your way and not go up to the community, it is very realistic, that the damages to the de.wp are irreversible. Even a complete fork of big parts of the community is not impossible. Neither I not other community-members want it, but when the WMF does not accept the independence of the community, it is a realistic option.
Of course, WMF can ignore the wishes of the community and simply go on their way, but you should think very precisely, whether risks and damages to one the most succesful parts of the wikimedia-idea are not too high. --Orci (talk) 13:15, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
As someone who puts their time into a couple of smaller projects (en.wb and en.wn), I find it hard to take seriously a suggestion that the WMF has any respect for smaller projects. They may tell themselves, and others, that they do, but their actions say otherwise. The last time (that I know of) the Board of Trustees spat in en.wn's collective face was just late last year; and Lila said in her keynote address that the smaller projects don't matter. I consider the current crisis quite serious, but from the perspective of a contributor to smaller projects, I'd describe it as the WMF according larger projects the same lack of respect they've given to the smaller ones. --Pi zero (talk) 14:37, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Jan-Bart, that sounds all a bit more softwashed allright. Let's see how others view your future credibility after you initial statement.
First and foremost, it is not possible to take your statements in the current context as merely you personal views: We requested your intervention in a decisive matter of severe urgency where WMF employees crossed several lines. You neglected our request in your function as head of board. This was in itself hazardous and in sharp contrast to you very mission.
You then voiced that you no longer see WMF bound to its founding principles. It is impossible to take this only as your personal opinion, having nothing to do with your duties as head of board. Especially as you neglected to intervene on behalf of these very principles. You told us that you accept them only "to some degree". We will not tolerate this breach of contract.
Next, nothing in what you now tell us makes good on this breach. Let me remind you: For WMF, the community must be its biggest asset, WMF "must respect the work and the ideas of our community. We must listen and take into account our communities in any decisions taken to achieve our mission", WMF has to "empower" and "support" us [3]. You can check how big of an asset, how listened to, how respected and how empowered and supported we feel e.g. here. There never as been a survey among our community with that many participants and that clear an outcome! Now go and read your very own statements and tell us how they can be reconciled with WMF's actual mission.
Next, instead of producing words that many have seen as either empty or the decisive proof that WMF has departed from its very mission, stand up and do something. We have made it very clear what this should be. Afterwards, we may possibly chat about this or that idea of yours. Ca$e (talk) 12:56, 22 August 2014 (UTC) Regarding Facebook, Jan-Bart, has the WMF considered trialling Facebook-like design & features, e.g. chat on projects where Facebook (almost) is the Internet? I dare say the community there would welcome features like that (every I ask in Indonesia says 'duh, yes, of course'), which might be a pleasant surprise rather than trying to force Facebook-like design & features into the English Wikipedia or similar. With Facebook-like features implemented and accepted on one project, other projects might decide it has beneficial qualities for their community also. John Vandenberg (talk) 13:47, 22 August 2014 (UTC) • Jan-Bart, I have to say that you really don't have the luxury of posting in a purely personal capacity in the way you claim. If you wish your points to be assessed purely on their on merits, and without deriving any of their force from your personal identity, then post under a pseudonym like I do (yes, I admit, my name is not actually "Del") and let your views contend with those of the other contributors. In any situation, especially the current one of tension between the Board and volunteers, when the chair of the WMF board posts under his own name on the talk page of the WMF ED on topics relating to the actions and strategy of the Board on a topic of consuming interest to the entire community, it is going to be seen as authoritative whether you like it or not, and you knew, or should have known, that. At the very least, your personal opinions on current and future strategy are likely to carry significant weight with the Board and the ED, even if those issues are still under discussion; your personal views on the reasons and attitudes for recent Board actions are going to be coloured by the discussions, decisions, formal strategy and views of the Board and ED, even they are not intended to be a comprehensive summary of those topics. So please stand behind your views or modify or repudiate them, but please don't claim that we gave them too much weight. Deltahedron (talk) 13:50, 22 August 2014 (UTC) • @Jan-Bart: (cc. as well off course): I consider the idea of promoting the smaller projects a good idea, I appeciate this thought. But: The smaller projects do not consist of a number of smaller Wikipedia language versions only (with all their specific different needs) but they include Wikinews, Wikisource, Wiktionary, Wikiversity, Wikiquote, and Wikivoyage, each with their own specific needs as well. And it seems that the WMF is neglecting those small sister projects of Wikipedia exorbitantly. MediaWiki as it is is a software fairly adapted to the needs of Wikipedia but – except for Wikivoyage which to some extent is a very similar to Wikipedia but with other focal points in its arcticles and Wikisource which got some minor software adaptions – is rather unsuitable for those small projects. For example, as an editor and administrator of Wikinews I asked repeatedly for a feature to simplify the inclusion of references what atm. is done through templates (cf. en:n:Template:Source or de:n:Vorlage:Quelle) with its cumbersome and time-consuming multiple copy and paste from the source web page. Is it really so difficult to program (and maintain) an browser add-on like WPCITE.xpi (which isn't maintained anymore)? (To explain: If I write an Wikinews article with a length of, say, 200 words, it's more time-consuming to source the article properly than to write the article text itself. I have not so much a clue on programming but I guess to put those few lines of code needed together, an experienced programmer can do faster than I wrote this discussion entry. I asked for such a little helper at least five times, last but not least during the WikiCon 2013 in Karlsruhe. • Aside that, what is needed mostly as a feature, is an improvement how to reference sources in articles. Actually it was more easy to include footnotes in MS Word for DOS documents in Version 5 in 1991 or so than in MediaWiki a couple of decades later. That is what is needed most, not a media viewer, and that need is known at least ten years now, that is where work has to be done. Off course, aside those several thousand bugs from which some are open at bugzilla since 2004. --Matthiasb (talk) 14:32, 22 August 2014 (UTC) • Oh and yet an aspect. It became popularly during the employment of Sue that the WMF focussed on the Global South. On this point I don't want to discuss any of the measures of that time but none of them included Wikiversity. I am sure that any development and improvement on Wikiversity would be a much better investition than WikiZero ever can do. The problem within the board – if they considered it at all – is that that they believe better accessibility to Wikipedia from out of the Global South could improve Wikipedia but at this moment most of the educational material provided to the Global South is provided them by creationistical organizations. I strongly believe that so educated people improve Wikipedia never. It is necessary to open up this blind spot ASAP. --Matthiasb (talk) 14:42, 22 August 2014 (UTC) Jan-Bart, thanks for your statement. The unfriendly behaviour of some community members in discussions - being quickly assaulted, making accusations - is mostly a reaction to the ongoing superprotection of de:Mediawiki:Common.js. Its a flaming sign of mistrust which hurts us and makes us angry. So please stop that. Besides of this: I agree to most of your points, includung change (although not at arbitrary speed). I also agree that diversity is important - but then, why don't you accept that diversity means being different? All local Wikipedias have different looks and feels, different portals, different structured articles, different design details - and a different community culture. So it is natural that there can also be differences in software configuration, adopted to the local habits and needs. Diversty gets meaningless if you try to force them all to look and behave the same. That's the opposite of diversity. What about fixing this flawed diversity concept? --PM3 (talk) 14:32, 22 August 2014 (UTC) I don't know, whom You refer to, but my unfriendly behaviour is a direct reaction on the unfriendly behaviour of my dialogue partner. I am always friendly to contributing newbies in German wikipedia. I am not friendly against a VP, that has misused his power and the technical staff against a community. I am not friendly against a Board Head, who has not only exculpated this but who criticizes the community for not building Wikipedia in the way he wants (although he himself has never ever participated in this building process). Both of them had opportunities, to set their words right in a way, that prove respect for the communities and their work. Both of them failed. I can only conclude from this, that disrespect for the communities is a widespread view in the WMF. And to fix this needs for me now much more, then to just unprotect a single page (although of course this already should have been done). --Magiers (talk) 15:23, 22 August 2014 (UTC) Well said. --Julius1990 (talk) 16:12, 22 August 2014 (UTC) Just so that you know: Recent news coverage (of one of the major german online tech news sites with around 20-25 million visits/month) of your weird kind of "communication". Among the german-speaking community, the damage you are causing is about to reach the state of irreversibility. Ca$e (talk) 18:17, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia ist not just a source of free information, it is a plattform (under construction) of how to cooperate successfully, a new design to reach higher levels of cooperation (Nowak 2006). This cooperation is called coordination in ARTICLE II - STATEMENT OF PURPOSE of the bylaws. A resolution of coordination or even a Charter of Coordination must be the first of many next steps – now and in future. WP does not have to worry about technology progress (or restrictions) but needs to improve social skills in its developement: Coordination. The Mothers and Fathers of the bylaws were quite clever, looking back and forward. --Edward Steintain (talk) 20:56, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Coordination is a rarely mentioned word by WMF - so far - and the missing link for succuessful progress of the mission. Could the WMF describe its unterstanding of community, please. It is a group of international individual volunteers with „Shared values in coordination!“, isn't it? --Edward Steintain (talk) 21:16, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
@Jan-Bart: Your confessions (I read it somewhat like a confession) are very instructive, clearly showing how much we differ. You are stating that "our goal happens to be to get the sum of all knowledge into the hands of all people in the world". To me this is a quite strange phrase. What might be the "sum of all knowledge", and how do you "sum up" knowledge? And how could one "give" knowledge into the hands of people, let alone "all people in the world"? In my view, this would seem a very paternalistic idea. Everybody has to do something to "have knowledge", to acquire it, to adopt it and make it his or her knowledge, otherwise it is not knowledge and will never be knowledge. Our goal might be to enable people to acquire their knowledge (or at least to be of some help here), but definitely not to "give them the sum of knowledge" as that would make them passive recipients of a "sum of knowledge" we are defining.
Even more revealing is the idea that "people who have access to information are able to make better informed (life)-decisions". You really believe in this? That a Wikipedia article or other presentation of Wikimedia content will make people able to decide better on their lives? This appears to me as a very strange upshot of education utopism, especially strange because it keeps ignoring the question "who educates the educators?" that is well-known since more than 150 years, as well as the question what relevant knowledge might be and who decides upon that. Of course, you might keep it simple and simply say, why select? Just give them the "sum of all knowledge" in an easily understandable way ("42"?). But knowledge is in itself selection. The "sum of all knowledge" is zero. This idea has nothing to do with knowledge as a concept, let alone as a concept useful for "life decisions".
You say, "a lot of cultures around the world have a different way of disseminating (and consuming) knowledge" (than the "western idea" of encyclopedia). I sympathize with this statement somehow, as it throws light upon a weak spot of encyclopedia projects. They tend to ignore non-scholarly kinds of knowledge that obviously exist (and there is quite a debate about this subject in humanities). However, to bring different kinds of knowledge together is a very complicated process that needs great effort from all sides. Yes, you need skill to do this and to learn to do this, not exactly "a certain skill level" but skills that still have to be developed in discussion and cooperation processes. Unfortunately, this will never be the case if you insist that participation should be a simple thing. It is not. It is a very demanding task. Empowerment does not mean to make it simple and easy but rather to enable people to learn complicated and difficult things in their own way and following their own devices. Even in a country like Germany there are different "cultures of knowledge" that can very acutely be felt in article discussions on the German wikipedia. But it is an illusion to believe: well, let's be "diverse", lets simply collect "scholarly knowledge" and "knowledge of practice" and "knowledge of experience" by many users in one article, everybody can take what he or she wants from this "sum of knowledge". This does not work at all because in this way you get a ruin of an article that is useful for exactly nobody, notwithstanding culture. We (all of us!) have to develop elaborate procedures how these different "knowledge cultures" can be made fruitful in conflict and cooperation. This is a demanding task and not everybody will be willing and able to participate in it. This does not mean that I want to "close" wikipedia but exactly the opposite: I want opening, but this necessarily demands skill and effort from everybody.--Mautpreller (talk) 20:00, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

### WikiWand

So the Foundation fears that readers will flock to WikiWand (note their Media Viewer) and other providers like that which piggy-back on Wikipedia with a better-looking reader interface, and Wikipedia.org will lose its top-10 Alexa ranking. This seems to be what all of this is about. Andreas JN466 10:11, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Actually no, I am not worried about that. I think that the open nature of our content allows people to do as much as they want with it, great! Especially when these initiatives add value to our information. BUT: if the only added value is a good interface, then I have to wonder: why don't we have that interface? Jan-Bart (talk) 11:01, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Jan-Bart, that seems at odds with what you said above. You said:
Other internet projects (not limiting ourselves to websites) are passing us by left and right, and none of them have the non-profit goals that we have. In fact, some of them, with more commercial propositions, are actively undermining us.
What do you mean when you say "other internet projects (not limiting ourselves to websites) are passing us by left and right"? Please provide specific examples, not vague statements like that. Who knows? I may end up agreeing with you in some or all cases. -- Llywrch (talk) 19:42, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
You replied:
Hey, thanks for the clarifying question. Some examples I am thinking of are Quora (who are better at both interface and engaging users), a recent article on Techcrunch and some of the interface of Facebook and the like (because they simple make it a better experience). And to argue that there is no competion to our encyclopedia is probably making the same mistake that Encyclopedia Britannica made several years ago :( Jan-Bart (talk) 19:59, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
The coy reference to a "recent article on Techcrunch" linked to an article that is all about WikiWand. You spoke of "competition", and how Wikipedia might suffer the same fate as Britannica if you ignored it. You said that some of these competitors were "actively undermining" you.
Who is actively undermining you? It surely can't be Facebook and Quora, the other two examples you gave, because they're simply doing their own thing, which is quite different from Wikipedia.
You meant WikiWand, because they are a commercial proposition, and it stands to reason that if people read Wikipedia there, they will not see your fundraising banners any more, and will not see a prominent "Edit" link. The same thing applies to Google of course, who are pulling more and more Wikipedia content into their search results pages, which they earn money off with their ads. Google's Knowledge Graph has been widely linked to the downturn in Wikipedia pageviews last year.
It seems to me you are now making a U-turn. Just call the child by its name, for goodness' sake, and be honest to the community about why you want a more modern interface. Everybody understands that the Foundation's revenue stream, wikipedia.org's Alexa rank and the influx of new editors will be affected if sites like WikiWand take off in a big way. Lila's speech at Wikimania was all about how doing nothing might see Wikipedia being left behind. I didn't quite understand what she was getting at then, but it is clear as daylight now.
As I see it, no one should be surprised that there is a risk of Wikipedia and Wikidata becoming just backroom engines for big and small commercial providers, such as Google and WikiWand, because the projects were set up to be precisely that, their licences from the very beginning making it clear that commercial reusers like Google and WikiWand should be able to earn money off the work volunteers do here for free. If we're honest, it's a big part of what crowdsourcing is all about, and why commercial enterprises (including both Google and Wikiwand) are willing to support it financially, as they have been.
So lay out your case openly to the community for how you want to thread your path, to avoid the project withering in the long term. I may disagree with you about the methods (I really don't think Wikipedia needs more Facebook users; it needs more expert involvement) – but at least we're not shadow-boxing then. The benefit of an honest conversation is that people can debate competing visions. In my view, there is much the Wikipedia movement in general can learn from the German Wikipedia. While it's by no means perfect, it has done far better than the English Wikipedia in many respects: it has a more sensible and transparent way to deal with paid editing (verified company accounts), has Pending Changes to cut down on hoaxes and other silliness, and generally has a more evolved quality ethic.
And if I am really barking up the wrong tree, then please explain to us who are those sites with "commercial propositions" that are "actively undermining" you. Andreas JN466 07:50, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Leaving out that there is much more to it that "all of this is about" (a general vision that goes against basic principles for relationships between WMF and its former community), you are absolutely right. I commented on this aspect e.g. on Requests_for_comment/On_a_scale_of_billions#A_few_comments_and_additions_by_ca.24e: "You should realize that very many (myself e.g. included, in cases where i really only want to read - in every other case, i, like Kww, curse the mobile version and switch to the desktop view!) often read WP by other means: For mobile phone and tablet users, there are apps that provide a very convenient layout (one popular example for deWP would be http://dasreferenz.com/), or web services (like e.g. http://www.wikiwand.com), or readers such as getpocket.com for longer articles. I also find the idea mistaken to invest larger resources in developing an environment to edit WP from phones or tablets. The time has long passed that we would have profited from stubs of, say, the length of a twitter post. We also do not at all need millions of useless pictures, and especially not without proper licensing. What we need, at the moment and in the coming future, are more well-versed experts on topics where WP still severely lacks in article quality. For these topics, we need profoundly worked-out articles which people will, probably for several years to come, not write on their phone or tablet, but on their desktop."
Now, i, as most other contributors, have no problem at all with wikiwand, other apps etc. They after all enable readers to read the contributions of my fellow colleagues in a more convenient way than anything WMF ever came up with. The distribution of quality content for as many readers as possible was our goal from the start, after all! Why does WMF have a problem with it? This connects with what i cited there by H-stt: "The unlimited money supply from the fundraising campaigns shows the tremendous enthusiasm of our readers, but it has seduced people into hiring staff without first agreeing on goals and methods. This excessive staff and bureaucracy then very quickly became estranged from its base, the community, and is now fighting for self-preservation." When people read WP content with convenient tools such as dasReferenz, WikiWand etc, less people will see WMF's campaigns for funding. What they are thus trying to do, and failing miserably, is copying parts of what WikiWand etc do. However, with WMF's development work being as desastrous as it is, and its stance to stubbornly ignore large amounts of community input, we have more often than not now seen what results this brings. In the process of this ignorant self-preservation-attempts (here again applies H-stt's comment), WMF has come to the stance that those former communities will just have to accept broken software being stoved down their throats (or may simply leave). Thereby, WMF naturally alienates itself from its former communities. This will lead exactly towards what WMF fears. For why should we, who make up all the difference to mere content consumption, have anymore any interest in supporting a business that does not support but alienate us? WMF seemingly also has realized that by ignoring former communities, they will need new communities. So, they decided to focus on people who have no ideas at all about content quality control - people like many twitter/facebook users. We have seen where this will lead to, check [4] for example. Who will filter such pseudocontributions? We? Why should we anymore? Ca$e (talk) 10:47, 21 August 2014 (UTC) • Gosh, talk about en:Streisand effect! I had never heard of en:WikiWand before, and probably never would have if it hadn't been for this discussion. But now, I'm impressed. Rather parochially, it seems to have much better and fast rendering for mathematics. Does anyone know how they do that? Could we do that here too please? Deltahedron (talk) 11:59, 21 August 2014 (UTC) Just in case: You probably are aware of the option to switch on MathJax in your user settings? Ca$e (talk) 14:53, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes: there is a long back-story here, see en:Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Mathematics/Archive/2014/May#VisualEditor_math_formulae, en:Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Mathematics/Archive/2014/Jun#A_challenge_from_Jimbo_Wales, en:Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Mathematics#A_response_from_WMF. Deltahedron (talk) 14:57, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
• Heh, it is rather amazing that Wikiwand manages to display maths equations in the same font as the rest of the text. Beautiful (if not yet quite perfect). Perhaps they should be donating programmers rather than money to the Foundation ... but then, of course, they'd be losing their raison d'être. By the way, some interesting figures about VisualEditor from the French Wikipedia. According to that post, for >90% of edits, people prefer the old wikitext editor, even though VE is the default there. Ever onward. Andreas JN466 14:42, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Jayen, Two question: What is their raison d'être? Is their software freely licensed? Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:47, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
For anyone reading this Jayen kindly pointed me to [5] previously linked by Jan, that Wand's efforts arose form "their own frustration with Wikipedia’s user interface". As for their business model the article says: "In the future, the company plans to monetize by integrating targeted ads for textbooks, articles, and classes." Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:40, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
The font matching probably has more to do with Wikiwand choosing a serif font "Lora" [6]. The equations come from wikimedia PNG rendering which also happen to be a serif font, probably Times or a LaTeX font. The problem for wikipedia which uses a san-serif font for text is than maths equation generally look wierd in san-serif, so a font miss match is unavoidable.--Salix alba (talk) 23:05, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
• For a year, I have recommended that the WMF outsource the software engineering tasks, for which it has proved only incompetence, to companies with records of delivering quality software. For example, I have suggested that the WMF outsource Visual Editor to the producers of Scientific Workplace and similar systems.
Perhaps there is something to Reagan's "Magic of the Marketplace", because WikiWand seems to have delivered an improved interface at no cost to the WMF. Indeed, WikiWand treats the writers with greater respect, in terms of respecting their traditional interface.
Indeed, Wikiwand stated that it is donating 30% of its profits to the WMF, a terrible waste of its shareholders' value with no discernible benefit. Better for Wikiwand to have targeted giving that focuses on supports writers and maintainers of quality articles and that focuses on the problems of exploiting child labor and harboring child predators. The WMF still has not released its updated child-protection policy. To get Lila to act may take a county prosecutor and grand jury investigating a child-endangerment case.
Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 13:46, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

“That was quite something, whatever happened?". That's exactly what I think right now. The Foundation has finally lost whatever little connection to Wikipedia communities they might ever have had. A failed project, not due the many problems inherent in Wiki culture and free knowledge, but due to a complete lack of goodwill and competetent, community-aware staff. --AndreasPraefcke (talk) 14:59, 21 August 2014 (UTC) (donator of tens of thousands of photos for the Commons, admin on de.wikipedia since 2004, but probably not much longer)

Some of my toughts concerning the original posting: 1. "We want to attract new editors." (yes, certainly. But keep in mind, it is much easier to keep one power-editor than get as many new uswes to replace his work. Wikimedia ideed does not much in keeping his main asset - the longtime editors. The main problem for new users is not a complicated user interface - this could be fixed in a short time, but the fact that new users in most cases do not understand we develop an encyclopedia not a "heap of information" and they do not understand they have to base their edits on sources. Most problems with new users are vandalism, contribution for self-promotion and advertisement purposes, POV edits, edits without indicating any source etc. It is quite difficult to detect and support new users who really want to contribute in a usefull way. An enyclyopedia is directed at normally educated people (which implicitely excludes part of people as editors at least).
2. "We want to have our information everywhere."
3. "We need to move faster than ever before."
Ist this true? Who is "we"? Some people of WMF or the community, which survey shows this need? The unlimited growth is one basic principle of capitalistic economy as we have. But Wikimedia is no company at the market. Certainly we beed growth: growth in quality, growth in some countries and languages which are underepresented, in some topics as technics. But the internet is for me absolutely enough. We are no google or facebook and should never be.
4. "This means we need to be tolerant of things we may not like and let experimentation happen. We also need to remove things we are attached to that don’t have wide adoption.

   We need to act as one community, not 1,000. This means we cannot enact the wishes of a few hundred, but have to build processes that support the successes of millions."


Yes but please experiment (together) with us as subjects and not with us (as the object of experimentation). If we cannot enact the wishes of some 100 how can we enact the will of much fewer staff people an technicans the? In my view, we need to know the needs of editors and readers first (based on scientific based surveys, useability studies...). Then we have to develop concepts and software tho fulfill this needs an disuss them extensively with the community in a way anyone haas access, not in some seldom found corner. Then there may be experiementations as usual alpha-stages of software developement with limited numbers of users and the software shall be developped according the results gathered. Then and only then a global rollout might happen. Then, again the user experience shall be gathered and used for further developement. - Andy king50 (talk) 08:34, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

## Feedback on the whole WMF vs Community situation

Solutions

1. 1 EASY but hard on the ego: Only activate the pretty viewer on mobile devices per default. See - easy. And those german wikipedians, who are "in Europe but certainly (not) in the global south (GerardM)" can live happily ever after as well as those tablet driven southern rascals who are the future. Give the chapters some clearly defined discretion concerning feature-activation. Define the difference and rights (!) of the community concerning tech decisions, management stuff and content-specific decisions.
2. 2 HARDER but easier on the ego: Just set it active but don't hinder admins to deactivate it after local RfCs. Get rid of the - now - poisonous superprotect function onece and for all.
3. 3 DESTRUCTIVE but great for the ego: do I have to detail it?

Examples To show that this is something cyclic, that is happening all over the place and in all types of organisations, here some examples of other community vs hq processes. Some helped get a more robust system in place, others just lead to a fork.

1. 1 EVE ONLINE
Situation: Space Sim, you fly spaceships. Management wanted to implement an avatar to make it "more attractive" to new players.
LOW: Subscriber numbers went down, CCP had to downsize.
HIGH: Establishment of a player council, which takes part in decision making processes and also has a say in new tech features (hear hear).
1. 2 OPEN/LIBRE OFFICE
Situation: Business interest and top down management decision angered community - noone wanted to step down.
LOW: Fork, Sun lost.
HIGH: Man, libre office has all the nicest features and the apache foundation keeps open office up too.

I just post this to show you the chances and dangers of this situation - if handled right it can be an asset - or not. Cheers, --Gego (talk) 10:53, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

 WMF competition Top-5-websites cooperation/ coordination free content service to make you love me CommunityiCIV*) migration Readers

Tic-Tac-Toe of Free Content

Dear Lila, would you like to play Tic-tac-toe? Each of the three respective marks/items in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row provides an information which can be used for prudence to win the game.

Of cource, WMF is in competition as a top-5-website and WMF has a distinct realationship with the iCIV*) (international Community of Individual Volunteers) which could be developed, too. „Cooperation is needed for evolution to construct new levels of organization.“[(''coop'') 1]

To move to a higher level of cooperation we – WMF and iCIV – can try to explain what coordination in Bylaws: ARTICLE II - STATEMENT OF PURPOSE means. Someone might even think it has something to do with subsidiarity.

The Game Tic-Tac-Toe of Free Content has a large diversity of rules – not just fight or flight, or tend and befriend if cooperation was not achieved. --Edward Steintain (talk) 08:45, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

P.S. It is well known that in unstructured populations, natural selection favours defectors over cooperators.[(''coop'') 2] And thanks for intending to undertake a review of your present processes immediately and propose a new approach that allows for feedback at more critical and relevant junctures in the next 90 days (Working Together).

1. Nowak, M. A. (2006): "Five Rules for the Evolution of Cooperation". Science 314 (5805): 1560–1563.
2. Hisashi Ohtsuki, Christoph Hauert, Erez Lieberman, Martin A. Nowak (2006): A simple rule for the evolution of cooperation on graphs and social networks. Nature 441, 502–505.

## Update to MediaViewer Consultation

Consultation on MediaViewer is now open to the entire community at Community Engagement (Product)/Media Viewer consultation. This includes an update on recent and planned improvements, and is intended to get a full shared understanding of any remaining critical issues, in order to determine next steps.

Thank you, -- LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 21:23, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

### Consultation "without pre-defined outcome"?

Dear Lila, concerning MV Consultation you wrote to the German-speaking community: "Wir verpflichten uns euch gegenüber, die offenen technischen Fragen zum Medienbetrachter in einer globalen, ergebnisoffenen Konsultation mit der Wikimedia-Gemeinschaft anzugehen..." [7]. The meaning of "ergebnisoffen" is "without pre-defined outcome". You explicetely stated: "The intended meaning is that there is no pre-defined outcome for these talks." [8]

But after talking with you [9] about MV, Jimbo wrote: "There is no question (none) that the future involves MV enabled universally and by default" [10].

So how shall we understand the meaning of "There is no pre-defined outcome"? Do you mean, you commit yourself to a global community consultation without pro-defined outcome, provided that the global community commits itself to an outcome in which MV will be enabled universally and by default? --Niki.L (talk) 10:15, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Jimbo says stuff. He's not always right (no one is), see Image Filters and Pending Changes, for example. Rich Farmbrough 14:58 29 August 2014 (GMT).
"There is no pre-defined outcome" means that any production feature may run into a difficult and blocking problem, if that happens it may need to be pulled back to be fixed. Examples may include legal violation, significant performance degradation, etc. This is why stating the "I cannot do X, and it is critical because of Y" is the most productive way to work together to resolve this. Please participate here. -- LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 19:04, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
If "fails to adequately advance our shared vision" is not on that list of blockers, I think we may have finally arrived at the core of the problem. -Pete F (talk) 19:27, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Lila, I plead with you to urgently reconsider you latest "pre-defined outcome" comment. I believe it will be broadly viewed as a severe breech of Good Faith. The situation before you stated "no pre-defined outcome" was that the MWF was working on various bug fixes or improvements, with the intent to finalize deployment. That is a pre-defined outcome. Alsee (talk) 04:16, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
P.S. I would like to file a bug report. "19:36, 27 August 2014‎ LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk | contribs)‎ . . (355,406 bytes) (+1,755)‎ . . (undo | thanked)" the "thanked" is displayed as plain text when it clearly should be a link to preform an UnThank. Alsee (talk) 08:16, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
To disambiguate: we do have multiple outcomes at our disposal. The MV has changed and additional user testing has been conducted since the last set of bug reports (many of which have been addressed), so it is important to understand the *current state* and remember the purpose of the feature (displaying/browsing media, not replacing the file page and metadata). Based on that, we need to identify: are there things that still break major use cases but are fixable (make things prohibitively laborsome to do and if so this may require temporary suspension or rapid fixing), are there are things that are fundamentally unfixable that we've missed (for example, an architectural design flaw that causes hard to repair performance degradation), or have majority of the blocking issues been addressed or close enough to be addressed rapidly. As you see those are pretty different outcomes: kill, fix, pull & fix. In all of our evaluations we need to be specific about what use cases we must satisfy (as in: "I want to browse easily all images related to this topic", "I want to get access to the file metadata quickly", etc. ) so we can make that determination. In the future we need to do this way earlier than this, which means better participation/consensus (which I hope is possible? Thoughts?) on identifying those use cases jointly during requirement gathering phase of the project. And then jointly holding ourselves responsible to complying with that. -- LilaTretikov (WMF) (talk) 21:42, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
One quick thought: How many resources should the editing communities put towards testing and providing feedback to new software developments? Is it maybe possible that part of the frustration arises from the amount of time editors spend with testing and evaluating new software (and the subsequent feeling that after putting in that volunteer time they may have rather spent on different things, e.g. editing isn't being listened to). This ties in to my earlier point above ("how we do it") of the difficulty and effort in just assessing whether or not it is worth it to put in the effort of triage, testing and providing feedback on new features. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 07:50, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
So in KISS: yes there is a pre-defined outcome; the MV will be in place. Proably changed but its not beeing removed. ...Sicherlich Post 07:53, 1 September 2014 (UTC) and if some community does not like it the superman power is still there. So make no mistake people

## to make it short an clear: change your mind or leave.

hi Lila. to make it short and clear:

• WMF has to respect the communtiy and their decisions.(sic!)
• nobody else than the community has more competence about what is needed for the project of Wikipedia.
• as long as you do not understand Wikipedia you (sorry to be so clear) and any other parts of WMF are bad for this project.
• pls. change your mind or leave.

Regards --Gruß Tom (talk) 21:27, 28 August 2014 (UTC) P.S. WMF should not even try(see) to play chess against the communtiy. short and clear: you will loose.

• Update: read the press[11] Service: "Keine substanziellen Zugeständnisse" ==> No substantial concessions --Gruß Tom (talk) 12:23, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

## Three things I don't like about current state of Wikimedia projects

Dear Lila, I see you have your hands full dealing with MediaViewer and superprodect issues. As most of Wikimedians I usually don't bother with metawiki problems as I have enough of them either way on my home wikis. But recent case made me somehow look more into it, so I read far more comments than I would actually liked to. I agree with some, I disagree with others. But I see one thing those have usually in common - deep frustration. The recent case is just the tip of an iceberg in the long line issues between WMF and different wikicommunities. Some of those frustrated people complain on meta, far more work quietly until the point they simply leave. I myself am frustrated as well, there are many reasons to it but I would like to point out three longstanding isues I see. I am not talking in stead of someone else, I am simply talking for myself only, but I know quite a few people who are not active in community processes and who share at least some of those ideas.

It is all about Wikipedia. Yes, Wikipedia is and in forseeable future will be flagship of WMF. It definitelly attracts most visitors and donors. Smaller Wikimedia project could probably not survive without Wikipedia at all. Yet in my opinion they play important role in fulfilling our vision. Each of them in a different way. Yet it sometimes seems to me that these project are only tolerated as compulsory evil. While Wikipedias have hundreds and even thousands of editors we are afraid of Wikipedia's future, most successful sister projects has tens of them, most of these projects must be satisfied with just handful of regular editors. Because of that, these project do not have a capacity to create any visible presure on WMF. People there basicly have two options - to work on these projects with certain effect OR to lobby on meta with uncertain effect and no work done on the project.

Working on these project are completely different from creating encyclopaedia and is not for everyone, yet it is another place where we can gather people with different interests than those needed for ecyclopaedic work. I myself started on Wikipedia but soon after was attracted by other projects with a completely different atmosphere and needs. But how many people do know about those project? There are even regular Wikipedians do not know much about these projects. Even some local chapters do not see any merit in promoting sisterprojects. Lots of Wikipedians mock editors of sister projects or entire sister projects. Do those projects have any support in WMF? Maybe they have, I am not really sure about it.

Sister projects have different needs than Wikipedia. That goes for software as well. Yet almost all software changes are made for Wikipedia and those few people working on sister project must bear with whatever it is. The great example would be Wiktionary. Wiktionarians have been calling for software enhancements better suited for dictionary for years. Those requests have never been answered, Wikipedia issues have developers' priority. Along with Wikidata (yes I know Wikidata development is not fully under WMF) launch there were voices that information from Wiktionaries could be centralised on Wikidata (and thus making Wiktionaries obsolete). At this point of time we know only one thing, Wiktionary will be the very last project on Wikidata (if ever). Nothing else. What it will look like? When will it happen? Is there any point in continuing working on Wiktionary? Those are questions that can be heard among users yet no answers. Developers have their hand full with features needed for Wikipedia, for example marking Good and Featured articles in interwiki. Another example would be book tool developed to allow users to make their own books from Wikipedia articles. As long as Wikisource is all about books et al. the only logical conlusion is to deliver it there too. And so Wikisources got the exact same piece of software as Wikipedia did. While it works quite well for Wikipedia, Wikisource is quite different and so the result there is not that satisfying, especially in languages not using English typography. And it is like that for years already.

I could continue like this but let's move on another point.

International legal issues of free content. It is really not that long various communities faced the problem called URAA and many communities will face it in the upcoming years. In short the problem lies in the fact that work which is perfectly free in the country of its origin is not allowed on Wikis because of some U.S. law. Communities asked WMF to find some solution to this problem. WMF replied that it's impossible because of this and that which could also be read as there will be no solution because we are proud Americans. Billions of readers can't find content that is free everywhere but United States. Administrators are forced to explain such situation to people who usually don't understand even their own national copyright law. We can disagree, we can protest, but it's about everything we can do. Content on Wikis must be free for all.

I could agree with that last statement if there weren't for one little exception of non-free content made for English Wikipedia. The exception called Fair Use. I am sure WMF stated back then some really important reason why is such exception necessary in our mision but for me, true reason is that WMF didn't want to deal with riots which would ban on Fair Use definitely caused back then. Other wikis were silenced by the cake allowing them to use non-free content if it is ok with their law AND U.S. law. For me Fair Use on English Wikipedia is probably the greatest curse, for our mision and free content at all. English Wikipedia is the most influential Wiki at all, with its influence it has the greatest power to persuade people and companies to release some of their works under free license, yet it is the wiki that plays it safe and easy by using Fair Use the most.

I say WMF should stop discriminate other language versions in terms of permited content and it means that WMF should either forbid non-free content including Fair Use completely or find a way wikis could legally use content that is free in country of origin and probably everywhere in the world but U.S.

The state of the software. Wikis right now are definitely outdated in both visual experience and abilities (is that the right word?). Unfortunately it is not only software but also many templates made by users that look ancient. I firsthand understand dificulties in persuading users into something new or different (because new is always bad). But at the same time I don't agree with the idea that the solution to our problems is simply adding more and more new features. MediaWiki has some history and there are many different reasons for its current state. Users came up with hundreds and maybe thousands little improvements that would make their editing or reading experience better. Some of them were realized, many of them didn't. For years! Reasons? No developer interested in it, too expensive for our servers, not satisfactory implementation etc. After years someone finally noticed that readers and editors are not contented with current software and decided it is time to change. And not some change next door but BIG one. And so instead of small continuous improvements based on actual experience that could be delivered fast with little or no resistance we get wannabe revolutionary pieces of software which development takes years, costs hundreds of thousands dollars, is not based on actual experience or needs and is delivered in the state that is far from usable. Well not all the pieeces are like that but it goes for those really important.

Design process seems to be Achilles heel of current MediaWiki. More and more new features and beta features are added. To the point that developers of such features complain it's hard to find a place where to put it. I don't see clear strategy for what we really want in the end of the current process. Instead of making it simple for newcommers we overload them by those features. Same way I do with this terrible piece of text.

--Reaperman (talk) 16:57, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

I'd be most interested to know what sort of software Wiktionary has been hoping for, to see whether it's at all related to the software I'm developing for en.wn. (I'll follow that up elsewhere, since it's getting off-topic here.)
I'm sorry to hear Wiktionary is having morale problems over their mistreatment. They're not alone. I remarked on the general problem of the Foundation's dismissal of non-Wikipedian sisters at the forum. Basically, I see this dismissal as shortsighted in the extreme. There seem to be some folks around who imagine if they could only kill off the other sisters, that would somehow make Wikipedia stronger — I'm convinced that's completely backwards, and the more they damage the other sisters, the faster Wikipedia will decline. Though if the other sisters are to be strengthened, they're clearly going to have to do it without support from the Foundation; my biggest concern with that plan is that if the other sisters do succeed despite the Foundation's neglect, the Foundation might turn its attention to them — and given the damage the Foundation is doing to Wikipedia by undermining its infrastructure, they'd likely do even more damage to the other sisters that have more specialized infrastructures.
If I might offer some advice, regarding Wiktionary. Don't define your self-worth, as a project, by whether you win approval from the Foundation. My primary project these days, en.wn, went through the trauma of asking the Foundation for what they needed and being unequivocally refused; some left in disgust, but others have stayed, and created a project we're proud of — and we have plans to improve, by providing for ourselves the software we no longer even bother to ask the Foundation for (they'd either refuse outright, or simply leave us hanging forever while they never get to it). --Pi zero (talk) 22:35, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

## Bug with translations that displays as 1.00% when it should say 100%

Hello Lila, I am not sure where to post this bug request. I know you spoke about one of your goals being about a central venue for communication and bug filing, that would be extremely useful.

I want to report a bug is something I see on the translation templates. Translations that are 11% complete display as "0.11%" on my browser (Firefox). So full translations are displayed as "1.00%". I didn't look at the translations because I thought this meant they were only 1.00% complete, but actually they are 100% complete. This happens on all of the pages that use the translation bar. I am just a regular user and am not sure where I should file this request, so I am going to put it here. I hope you are well. Kind regards, --LT910001 (talk) 01:24, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

@LT910001: Where are you seeing these percentages? By the way, the correct place to report this is bugzilla: under Translate extension. See mw:How to report a bug. I've already fixed some bugs in Translate, so I may be able to fix this for you. If not, I'm sure someone else can. PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:22, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Never mind. I was able to track down this bug in a minute or two. It was fixed in gerrit:157666 (Change-Id: Ia72af905ac2cdff5b7c01937d8abf2e8d8705d69) on September 1. It is not deployed yet. PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:28, 5 September 2014 (UTC)