User talk:Pi zero

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Welcome to Meta![edit]

Hello Pi zero, and welcome to the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki! This website is for coordinating and discussing all Wikimedia projects. You may find it useful to read our policy page. If you are interested in doing translations, visit Meta:Babylon. You can also leave a note on Meta:Babel or Wikimedia Forum (please read the instructions at the top of the page before posting there). If you would like, feel free to ask me questions on my talk page. Happy editing! --Mikhailov Kusserow (talk) 04:24, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

The Wikinewsie Group provisional board selection meeting time[edit]

Hi. This is to inform you that the meeting for the provisional board selection meeting for The Wikinewsie Group will take place in #wikinews-groupconnect on May 4, 2013 at 13:00 UTC, which is 8:00 in Mexico City, 9:00 in New York City, 15:00 in Berlin and 23:00 in Sydney. If you are interested in being on the provisional board but cannot attend, please comment at Talk:The Wikinewsie Group/Meetings to let the community know. --LauraHale (talk) 21:24, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Letter petitioning WMF to reverse recent decitions[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation recently created a new feature, "superprotect" status. The purpose is to prevent pages from being edited by elected administrators -- but permitting WMF staff to edit them. It has been put to use in only one case: to protect the deployment of the Media Viewer software on German Wikipedia, in defiance of a clear decision of that community to disable the feature by default, unless users decide to enable it.

If you oppose these actions, please add your name to this letter. If you know non-Wikimedians who support our vision for the free sharing of knowledge, and would like to add their names to the list, please ask them to sign an identical version of the letter on change.org.

I'm notifying you because you participated in one of several relevant discussions. -Pete F (talk) 22:18, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Question[edit]

Could you please elaborate on this for me? --Matthiasb (talk) 17:31, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

@Matthiasb: Um. Which part? (I'm happy to try to explain; it'd be a shame to put a lot of effort into trying to explain something, only to find you were wondering about something else.) --Pi zero (talk) 18:39, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
The last time (that I know of) the Board of Trustees spat in en.wn's collective face was just late last year – what was this? I am curious wether you encountered the same or different issues than we (as in DE:WP). --Matthiasb (talk) 21:06, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
@Matthiasb: Ah. I thought that might be it. I'll try to find a safe way to say this. I have no wish to say something poorly chosen and unnecessarily create obstacles to working with the Foundation Board in future.
Years ago (so I understand; before my time), en.wn figured out what support they needed, and went to the WMF to ask for it. WMF turned them down flat. They had stated justifications for doing so, of course. I gather some Wikinewsies gave up in disgust and walked away at that time. Brian McNeil set up wikinewsie.org to provide some forms of technical support that were really needed, that the Foundation had made clear they were absolutely not going to provide. Since then — and I've seen this part — he's kept it running, out of his own pocket, even when he was unemployed, even when he was homeless.
Years later, Laura Hale arrived, with a plan to set up an affiliated thematic org to support Wikinews. Which, for example, would be a legally incorporated entity and therefore could issue press accreditations that would be recognized by some orgs that don't recognize freelance journalists (such as some governments). Late last year, AffCom recommended to the Board of Trustees to recognize this affiliated thematic org. I understood from Laura that the Board always follows the recommendation of AffCom on these decisions.
And this time, the Board rejected AffCom's recommendation. They invented a new rule, just then, that we'd have to spend two years doing "programming" before they'd recognize us. That is, two years of doing stuff they wanted us to do, without the tool we'd asked for to help us do it, and following many years in which we proved our determination to press on after they wouldn't give us the support we asked for before.
I figure either they understood our situation, or they didn't. If they did understand, then their recommendation was a studied insult. If they didn't understand, then producing that recommendation without bothering to understand our situation showed real uncaring. --Pi zero (talk) 01:02, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I was wondering also, thanks for explaining. Long point of clarification: the Board does not always follow AffCom recs, we consider carefully their analysis. In recent years, a couple of chapters were recognized but later failed (due to inexperience handling funds leading to embezzlement in one case, and lack of activity to complete projects in another - both avoidable with a bit more experience). After new affiliates were defined and small grants & TM use were made simpler, the Board asked the committee to tighten its standards and to identify ways to support affiliates after recognition. Last November AffCom recommended the WNG and WM Island for recognition; both orgs with little project or financial experience. WNG's activity was almost entirely Laura herself - laudable but not enough to sustain a group. The Board suggested that both could use experience running a project as a group, and could apply directly for project grants. They were also invited to reapply for recognition once they had more momentum; as their application was in the pipeline, WNG are not subject to any two-year requirement.
The entire application/communication process seems problematic: too long, unnecessarily confrontational, needs work. We probably should have published our note to the group publicly to avoid the 'telephone game' effect. Similarly, many projects & many people would like to see a more effective body handling press accreditations: it would have been useful for us to work together to focus on that and find ways to make it happen. (Being recognized as a thematic org is, ttbomk, orthogonal to that process.)
I'm not sure what support was requested years ago (category intersection?), but getting small grants for focused content and software projects, such as supporting the costs of running wikinewsie.org, is something that the WMF has tried to make easy for the last 3 years. On this topic: is there a WN-wide, or just en:wn, list of technical and other wishes, similar to de:Wikipedia:Umfragen/Technische_Wünsche? SJ talk  02:22, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that explanation, SJ.
Two key points I hear in that are
  • the Board perceived Laura as doing all the work, and wanted evidence of "momentum" and that we'd be able to handle money if we got it; and
  • you're asking folks for technical wish lists.
In return, I'll offer some thoughts. These are things I believe may be helpful to you (omitting other things that, while passionately felt, seemed unlikely to be constructive).
  • Regarding the Board's perceptions of what Laura was doing versus what others were doing,
  1. In terms of actual effort put in, the Board does not, I think, have any idea what Wikinewsies do (a theme I'll return to further down). That includes the infrastructure that Laura engaged with for every article she published — an infrastructure that only exists through our ongoing activities. I recall a remark, in an internal conversation a while back, that Wikinews is the hardest-working unpaid news team on the planet. So when the Board talks about us not doing things, and about needing to build up momentum — this, about a community who have continued forward for years without support from the Board — a Wikinewsie may have difficulty responding politely.
  2. On the point about "experience", I would mildly suggest that it disregards publicly known personal histories of individuals on the project.
  3. Veteran Wikinewsies who already had "baggage" in their relationships with the Board deliberately stood back from the TWG process, hoping to keep their history from souring things.
  • Regarding software development.
  • You're asking folks for technical wish lists. Frankly, that isn't the fundamental problem, and cannot save any strategy that doesn't successfully address the fundamental problem. And what (you may ask :-) is the fundamental problem? Pardon if I start indirectly, with a couple of specific cases.
  • At Wikimania 2008, Wikinewsies approached WMF about what Wikinews needed. As I've heard the story from Brian McNeil (this was a bit before my time), he explained that Wikinews's basic challenge is that the wiki software, as a CMS, is good for writing an encyclopedia but poorly suited to news production. In retelling this, he notes that the Executive Director was the only other person at the table who knew what a CMS is.
  • When I arrived at Wikinews in 2009, I started by assuming nothing I'd learned on any other sister project would have any bearing on understanding Wikinews, and set out to learn the dynamics of Wikinews by immersion. Hoping to eventually learn how to carefully tune the infrastructure to work better. By the end of 2011 I envisioned a deep augmentation of the wiki software that I believed might have huge benefits, not only for en.wn but really for all the sisters, including Wikipedia. And I also concluded, by watching other Wikinewsies try for years to get a much more modest software improvement through the Foundation's official software development process, that the only way we would ever get any kind of software at all would be to completely bypass the official process and write it ourselves. So I undertook to do that, in a massive development project that's gone on for three years so far. Besides assuming it would have to be completely outside official channels if was to have any chance of success, I also took it as obvious that only someone with extensive personal experience on Wikinews could possibly make correct design decisions, from the broadest functionality to the smallest details. In other words, even if I had an unlimited budget, there's no way I could have farmed it out to a team of non-Wikinewsies.
  • Key points here:
  1. If software developers don't understand the workflow of each project, intimately, the result will be a failure. I see the Foundation failing to understand the workflow even of the Wikipedias, let alone the more specialized sisters. And producing things like VisualEditor and MediaViewer as a result.
  2. Trying to get the necessary deep understanding by simply asking the project communities to provide "input" to the process isn't going to work either; it isolates the people who have the knowledge from the people making the actual design decisions. Imagine a watchmaker trying to assemble a mechanical watch, that they're unfamiliar with, by hand, while blindfolded, based on instructions given to them by someone who comes by from time to time to look over their shoulder.
  3. One of the things that allowed wikis to succeed in the first place is that they "cut out the middleman": a member of the community sees a problem, and they fix it themselves. (There are variations on this theme, on different sister projects, but that direct contact is still key.) The Foundation's current approach to software lacks this immediacy. Ordinary community members are the ones who know how things are done; so, just as they can directly set down their knowledge of the subject of an article, they should be able to directly set down their knowledge of project workflow. (This is, by the way, exactly what the software I'm developing is for: to allow wiki pages, using ordinary wiki markup, to comprise a wizard for performing some on-wiki task, so that wizards can be crowdsourced by the community at large. Fwiw, n:Help:Dialog.)
--Pi zero (talk) 16:30, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, I said it elsewhere: IMO the board has no clue what to do with the smaller projects (no matter if Wikinews, Wikisource, Wikiquote, Wiktionary or Wikiersity or even the "smaller" language versions of Wikipedia), and one of the problems might be that they never were part of those projects, haven't ever experienced the problems and the needs of those projects. How would they be able to decide but they decide, no matter. As a sysop in DE:WN on different occasions I asked and called for assistence (two examples: 1. None of the three or four active sysops was able to set up the mobile version of the main page and I went from Pontius to Pilate until I found an employee at WMDE who did it. 2. For a couple of years I am asking for a tool which helps fill in the parameters in Vorlage:Quelle – basically the same as Template:Source –, a kind of browser addin like the pitifully abandonded WPCITE.xpi. Reaction so far: zero)
But I feel that the smaller projects are neglected. If they want to reach the global south as editors for Wikipedia they should make sure that they're educated properly. For the global south IMO Wikiersity is the most important WMF project but so far World Vision and even more radical organizations are doing the job – with some problematic results. (See recent article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Online, hopefully Google Tanslate does it for you.) But I don't see that the Boad of Trustees has any ideas how to improve Wikiversity and to provide free scholar material to such countries. --Matthiasb (talk) 16:52, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
At the moment, WMF mainly responds to active project communities rather than initiating or rebalancing or recruiting or stimulating them. It's good to think about changing that, but it would be a significant change. Yes, improving Wikiversity has been difficult. Projects like Saylor and Boundless have done well with a heavily-structured-data approach, and their material is all freely licensed; so there is a lot to work with. To compete with World Vision and the like requires starting much younger as well: with primary school texts. And attracting the interest of primary and high school students, while giving them a place to contribute without frustrating other editors, is important for the future as you say. SJ talk  02:22, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
@Matthiasb: Interesting you should mention filling out source templates, or equivalent.
I came to the conclusion some years ago, that what en.wn needed — and I later concluded, what all the projects need, including the Wikipedias — is to be able to make wiki pages interactive. I'd watched Bawolff and Amgine, especially, struggle with the Foundation's official software development process for wiki extensions, and I'd concluded it was hopelessly slow and clumsy, and poltically stacked against things that don't fit with what the Foundation thinks Wikipedia needs; therefore, being (if I do say so) no slouch as a hacker, I decided the only way we would get the software we desperately needed was if we wrote it. So that's what I've been doing, for about three years now. In JavaScript, since I'd given up on wiki extension. And since I was going to have to figure out how to get around limitations of the wiki software using JavaScript, I needed a really deep feeling for what JavaScript can do. So I asked Bawolff to suggest a good autoratative book on JavaScript. He recommended to me a massive tome, of about a thousand pages, and I spent a full year just reading it from cover to cover. And then I started hacking.
Two years later, I'm almost ready to start using what I've created; there are just a few details I want to straighten out first. What I've got is, first, a set of templates for specifying dialog elements on a wiki page: buttons, text-input boxes, and a few other kinds of input elements such as menus. When you click a button, it sends the contents of the input elements from that page to somewhere else; and at the destination, that data can be transformed and used to initialize more input elements (typically, text-input boxes), used to provide values for template parameters, or used as content for a page edit. The documentation page I've set up for the whole thing is at n:en:Help:Dialog.
What I really hope is that, using these "dialog tools", a wiki community can collectively produce wizards for performing various tasks — such as writing or reviewing an article, making a nomination (permissions, deletion, whatever), closing a nomination, various kinds of archiving, etc. Those things, I think, should be products crowdsourced to the community in the same way that the project output is crowdsourced to the community; the community is the only place to find the expertise for those tasks, after all. --Pi zero (talk) 18:37, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Superprotect letter update[edit]

Hi Pi zero,

Along with more hundreds of others, you recently signed Letter to Wikimedia Foundation: Superprotect and Media Viewer, which I wrote.

Today, we have 562 signatures here on Meta, and another 61 on change.org, for a total of 623 signatures. Volunteers have fully translated it into 16 languages, and begun other translations. This far exceeds my most optimistic hopes about how many might sign the letter -- I would have been pleased to gain 200 siguatures -- but new signatures continue to come.

I believe this is a significant moment for Wikimedia and Wikipedia. Very rarely have I seen large numbers of people from multiple language and project communities speak with a unified voice. As I understand it, we are unified in a desire for the Wikimedia Foundation to respect -- in actions, in addition to words -- the will of the community who has built the Wikimedia projects for the benefit of all humanity. I strongly believe it is possible to innovate and improve our software tools, together with the Wikimedia Foundation. But substantial changes are necessary in order for us to work together smoothly and productively. I believe this letter identifies important actions that will strongly support those changes.

Have you been discussing these issues in your local community? If so, I think we would all appreciate an update (on the letter's talk page) about how those discussions have gone, and what people are saying. If not, please be bold and start a discussoin on your Village Pump, or in any other venue your project uses -- and then leave a summary of what kind of response you get on the letter's talk page.

Finally, what do you think is the right time, and the right way, to deliver this letter? We could set a date, or establish a threshold of signatures. I have some ideas, but am open to suggestions.

Thank you for your engagement on this issue, and please stay in touch. -Pete F (talk) 18:54, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

"We aren't living in the early-to-mid twentieth century"[edit]

Special:Diff/12501417 But the third world countries still exist. Thanks. Mjbmr (discussioncontribs) 15:59, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

User:Mjbmr, If! you are really, what you are trying to show us, Then..., Try to be logical, and talk and have dialogue about the points, and try to see & solve problems if any, do not talk in general & vague..., do not accuse others baseless & without any sense..., these things doesn't work... & seriously it actually makes others doubt you even more, Thank you, --KhabarNegar 05:14, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

OTRS call for help[edit]

Dear Pi zero. The volunteer response team (aka OTRS) is currently lacking colleagues to take care of questions regarding the sister projects wikibooks, wikinews, wikiquote and wiktionary. As you appear to be active on at least two of them, I'd like to invite you to volunteer at OTRS/Volunteering. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you in advance for considering. --Krd 07:23, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

vandalism on Wikinews[edit]

Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Nahuatl Wikipedia 2[edit]

Hello; In this page, is over second closure for Nahuatl Wikipedia. Regards.--Marrovi (talk) 06:44, 10 October 2017 (UTC)