User talk:Whatamidoing (WMF)

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Welcome to Meta![edit]

Hello, Whatamidoing (WMF). 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). Happy editing!

-- Meta-Wiki Welcome (talk) 00:57, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Great news! I'm so happy.[edit]

Congratulation WAID!. I just saw Philippe create this on recent changes and I can't tell you how happy I am. I was going to suggest something similar on enwp, but never got around to it. Ever since Maggie joined, I was thinking you'd be a great addition. Really happy. Can you tell I'm excited? Anyhoo, I just wanted to say congratulations and I'm very pleased to have you helping the WMF. Thanks for joining up. 01:34, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks! It still seems a bit unreal. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:55, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
I hadn't thought of that. I bet it does feel different, but you're in good company with Maggie, Oliver and more recently Marc over at WMF Labs. I remember Oliver said something like "The Foundation should give us a t-shirt with a bullseye on it when they bring us on board." shortly after he joined. I'm sure it was tongue-in-cheek, but there's also some truth to that. You know how the community is. Anyhoo, I'm really glad the Foundation is continuing to bring on board people from within the community—and you certainly top the list of helpful and knowledgeable editors. I know people keep saying there's a rift between the community and the Foundation—and they've been asking about it in the Board elections too. I never felt that was the case, but the either way, bringing people from the community on board will certainly answer those concerns. And I'm really happy you were chosen. I'm going to take a guess that you're a liaison between the community and engineering for Echo and VE. Are you allowed to confirm that at this early stage? I don't want to jump the gun if there's an announcement planned. It was just sheer luck that I happened to see Philippe create your account, so I know I'm a bit early here. I'm just really excited that you're helping the WMF. Thanks much. Woo Hoo! Go Team! 03:17, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
Just saw en:User:Whatamidoing (WMF) which answered my question. Thanks again for all the help you've provided to the community. Kind Regards. 03:31, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
There's supposed to be an announcement, but I'm not sure exactly who is making it or where. So far, all I've gotten to do is paperwork, and there's still more to do. It's possible that they're waiting until the paperwork is finished, or they might be hoping to announce several at once. (Or it may have been announced, and I just didn't see it yet!) I think there are three or four of us joining just for this project. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 14:45, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
3 or 4? WOW! That's great news. Go Team! Obviously, I went digging around to see what I could find I'm curious that way but didn't find anything. I'm sure you can't say much, but are you allowed to say if they're veterans from enwp? I don't want to spoil the surprise, but my curiosity has been piqued. Best. 02:23, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

outdent It was in this weeks Signpost and the maillist. I knew 3 of 4, so that's great. 04:00, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

+1 on the matter of happiness. Good luck in this role. Try not to let it keep you from enjoying your own wikiwork. :) SJ talk  07:40, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, and congratulations in your re-election. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 08:20, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Congratulations. I hope you enjoy your new work here. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 02:59, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. The current plan is to deploy VisualEditor as the default at the English Wikipedia next Monday afternoon (California time), so I'll probably find out next week whether or not I'll enjoy it. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 05:17, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
You're welcome. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:46, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Caught in filters[edit]

I see that you got caught by one of my anti-spambot filters. I will have a look to see what I can do to resolve that matter. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:58, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. May I also suggest that the error message provide a link to an explanatory page? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 13:12, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Category:Wikimedia Foundation staff[edit]

Hi, Whatamidoing (WMF), just to let you know on this category, it seems as if your User talk is a member of the Wikimedia Foundation staff. Should this be changed? Lotje (talk) 03:33, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. I hadn't noticed, but I've fixed it. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:06, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

VisualEditor newsletter, 23 April 2014[edit]


Did you know?

VisualEditor - Page Settings Redirects.png

You can use VisualEditor to make a redirect. First, remove any unwanted content from the page. Then go to the "Page options" menu (next to "<visualeditor-toolbar-cancel>") and choose the "Page settings" item. Click the box to "Redirect this page to". In the box, type in the name of the page that you want to redirect this page to.

You can also set or remove categories for the redirect in the "Page options" menu. Read the user guide for more information.

Since the last newsletter, the VisualEditor team has mostly worked on performance improvements, image settings, and preparation for a simplified citation template tool in its own menu.

  • In an oft-requested improvement, VisualEditor now displays red links (links to non-existent pages) in the proper color. Links to sister projects and external URLs are still the same blue as local links.
  • You can now open templates by double-clicking them or by selecting them and pressing   Return.  This also works for references, images, galleries, mathematical equations, and other "nodes".
  • VisualEditor has been disabled for pages that were created as translations of other pages using the Translate extension (common at Meta and If a page has been marked for translation, you will see a warning if you try to edit it using VisualEditor.
  • When you try to edit protected pages with VisualEditor, the full protection notice and most recent log entry are displayed. Blocked users see the standard message for blocked users.
  • The developers fixed a bug that caused links on sub-pages to point to the wrong location.
  • The size-changing controls in the advanced settings section of the media or image dialog were simplified further. VisualEditor's media dialog supports more image display styles, like borderless images.
  • If there is not enough space on your screen to display all of the tabs (for instance, if your browser window is too narrow), the second edit tab will now fold into the drop-down menu (where the "Move" item is currently housed). On the English Wikipedia, this moves the "Edit beta" tab into the menu; on most projects, it moves the "Edit source" tab. This is only enabled in the default Vector skin, not for Monobook users. See this image for an example showing the "Edit source" and "View history" tabs after they moved into the drop-down menu.
  • After community requests, VisualEditor has been deployed as an opt-in feature at Meta and on the French Wikinews.
The drop-down menu is on the right, next to the search box.

Looking ahead:  A new, locally controlled menu of citation templates will put citations immediately in front of users. You will soon be able to see the Table of Contents while editing. Support for upright image sizes (preferred for accessibility) is being developed. In-line language setting (dir="rtl") will be offered as a Beta Feature soon. Looking further out, the developers are also working on support for viewing and editing hidden HTML comments. It will be possible to upload images to Commons from inside VisualEditor.

If you have questions or suggestions for future improvements, or if you encounter problems, please let everyone know by posting a note at mw:VisualEditor/Feedback or by joining the next office hours on Monday, 19 May 2014 at 18:00 UTC.

If you'd like to get this on your own page, subscribe at m:VisualEditor/Newsletter for any project (or at w:en:Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Newsletter for English Wikipedia only).

Thank you! -- Elitre (WMF), 17:24, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

VisualEditor global newsletter—June 2014[edit]

The character formatting menu

Did you know?

The character formatting menu, or "Style text" menu lets you set bold, italic, and other text styles. "Clear formatting" removes all text styles and removes links to other pages.

Do you think that clear formatting should remove links? Are there changes you would like to see for this menu? Share your opinion at

The user guide has information about how to use VisualEditor.

The VisualEditor team is mostly working to fix bugs, improve performance, reduce technical debt, and other infrastructure needs. You can find on weekly updates detailing recent work.

  • They have moved the "Keyboard shortcuts" link out of the "Page options" menu, into the "Help" menu. Within dialog boxes, buttons are now more accessible (via the Tab key) from the keyboard.
  • You can now see the target of the link when you click on it, without having to open the inspector.
  • The team also expanded TemplateData: You can now add a parameter type  "date" for dates and times in the ISO 8601 format, and  "boolean" for values which are true or false. Also, templates that redirect to other templates (like {{citeweb}}{{cite web}}) now get the TemplateData of their target (bug 50964). You can test TemplateData by editing mw:Template:Sandbox/doc.
  • Category: and File: pages now display their contents correctly after saving an edit (bug 65349, bug 64239)
  • They have also improved reference editing: You should no longer be able to add empty citations with VisualEditor (bug 64715), as with references. When you edit a reference, you can now empty it and click the "use an existing reference" button to replace it with another reference instead. 
  • It is now possible to edit inline images with VisualEditor. Remember that inline images cannot display captions, so existing captions get removed. Many other bugs related to images were also fixed.
  • You can now add and edit {{DISPLAYTITLE}} and __DISAMBIG__ in the "Page options" menu, rounding out the full set of page options currently planned.
  • The tool to insert special characters is now wider and simpler.

Looking ahead[edit]

The VisualEditor team has posted a draft of their goals for the next fiscal year. You can read them and suggest changes on

The team posts details about planned work on VisualEditor's roadmap. You will soon be able to drag-and-drop text as well as images. If you drag an image to a new place, it won't let you place it in the middle of a paragraph. All dialog boxes and windows will be simplified based on user testing and feedback. The VisualEditor team plans to add autofill features for citations. Your ideas about making referencing quick and easy are still wanted. Support for upright image sizes is being developed. The designers are also working on support for viewing and editing hidden HTML comments and adding rows and columns to tables.

Supporting your wiki[edit]

Please read VisualEditor/Citation tool for information on configuring the new citation template menu, labeled "Cite". This menu will not appear unless it has been configured on your wiki.

If you speak a language other than English, we need your help with translating the user guide. The guide is out of date or incomplete for many languages, and what's on your wiki may not be the most recent translation. Please contact us if you need help getting started with translation work on

VisualEditor can be made available to most non-Wikipedia projects. If your community would like to test VisualEditor, please contact product manager James Forrester or file an enhancement request in Bugzilla.

Please share your questions, suggestions, or problems by posting a note at mw:VisualEditor/Feedback or by joining the office hours on Saturday, 19 July 2014 at 21:00 UTC (daytime for the Americas and Pacific Islands) or on Thursday, 14 August 2014 at 9:00 UTC (daytime for Europe, Middle East, Asia).

To change your subscription to this newsletter, please see the subscription pages on Meta or the English Wikipedia. Thank you! --Elitre (WMF) 14:57, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

VisualEditor global newsletter—July and August 2014[edit]


The VisualEditor team is currently working mostly to fix bugs, improve performance, reduce technical debt, and other infrastructure needs. You can find on weekly updates detailing recent work.

Screenshot of VisualEditor's link tool
Dialog boxes in VisualEditor have been re-designed to use action words instead of icons. This has increased the number of items that need to be translated. The user guide is also being updated.

The biggest visible change since the last newsletter was to the dialog boxes. The design for each dialog box and window was simplified. The most commonly needed buttons are now at the top. Based on user feedback, the buttons are now labeled with simple words (like "Cancel" or "Done") instead of potentially confusing icons (like "<" or "X"). Many of the buttons to edit links, images, and other items now also show the linked page, image name, or other useful information when you click on them.

  • Hidden HTML comments (notes visible to editors, but not to readers) can now be read, edited, inserted, and removed. A small icon (a white exclamation mark on a dot) marks the location of each comments. You can click on the icon to see the comment.
  • You can now drag and drop text and templates as well as images. A new placement line makes it much easier to see where you are dropping the item. Images can no longer be dropped into the middle of paragraphs.
  • All references and footnotes (<ref> tags) are now made through the "Cite" menu, including the "Basic" (manual formatting) footnotes and the ability to re-use an existing citation, both of which were previously accessible only through the "Insert" menu. The "<visualeditor-dialogbutton-referencelist-tooltip>" is still added via the "Insert" menu.
  • When you add an image or other media file, you are now prompted to add an image caption immediately. You can also replace an image whilst keeping the original caption and other settings.
  • All tablet users visiting the mobile web version of Wikipedias will be able to opt-in to a version of VisualEditor from 14 August. You can test the new tool by choosing the beta version of the mobile view in the Settings menu.
  • The link tool has a new "Open" button that will open a linked page in another tab so you can make sure a link is the right one.
  • The "Cancel" button in the toolbar has been removed based on user testing. To cancel any edit, you can leave the page by clicking the Read tab, the back button in your browser, or closing the browser window without saving your changes.

Looking ahead[edit]

The team posts details about planned work on the VisualEditor roadmap. The VisualEditor team plans to add auto-fill features for citations soon. Your ideas about making referencing quick and easy are still wanted. Support for upright image sizes is being developed. The designers are also working on support for adding rows and columns to tables; you can already provide feedback about the design workflow. Work to support Internet Explorer is ongoing.

Feedback opportunities[edit]

Please share your questions, suggestions, or problems by posting a note at the VisualEditor feedback page or by joining the office hours discussion on Thursday, 14 August 2014 at 09:00 UTC (daytime for Europe, Middle East and Asia) or on Thursday, 18 September 2014 at 16:00 UTC (daytime for the Americas; evening for Europe).

If you'd like to get this newsletter on your own page (about once a month), please subscribe at w:en:Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Newsletter for English Wikipedia only or at Meta for any project. Thank you! --Elitre (WMF), 17:53, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Selective archiving[edit]

If you're going to archive a page to make it shorter, do it in a content neutral manner. Shoving stuff you'd prefer to ignore onto a separate page is unacceptable and hostile to the community. -- 17:34, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not really "archiving", because I hope that these discussions will continue in their proper places. I do hope that we can agree that it's silly to have comments about VisualEditor in the middle of a discussion about Media Viewer. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:38, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
But that's not all you were doing. You were also moving talk about the very reasonable position that the WMF should disable Media Viewer by default as per community consensus in three RfCs. Just because the WMF has rejected this doesn't mean discussion about this is off-topic. I must insist you restore such conversations or do a topic-neutral archive. -- 17:42, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
And you keep on doing it! STOP -- 17:48, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit confliect) Yes, you're right: in order to get the talk page down to a reasonable size, I'm splitting discussions into two types: suggested technical changes for people who are actually using it, and discussions about procedural stuff (including, but not limited to, stuff that can only be changed in a technological sense through the invention of a time machine). If you had read what you kept reverting, especially the words "begin with", you'd know this, of course.
We need to have both of these discussions. There is no obvious reason why they have to happen on the same page. The main alternative is to put everything on one page and set a 24-hour timer on an archiving bot, in which case nearly everything will get lost. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:56, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Or we could leave things as they were. I don't think the page was too long to begin with. The front page of meta is 642 KB alone. If you really cared about slow load times, there are bigger fish to fry than large chunks of text. -- 18:01, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd be happy to keep you in mind the next time someone complains to me that they can't join a discussion because the page is too long; perhaps you will be willing to explain to them that it's all just fine.
I guess you didn't know this, but mobile uses a different main page to keep the size under control. At en.wp, for example, it omits DYK and a couple of other sections. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Edit wars[edit]

To my understanding, and each wiki can establish its own policies, edit warring is always a policy, with a discussion of what an edit war is and how to approach disputes. Normally a bright line is set at three reverts by the same editor in 24 hours, but that is only to take direct action and does not define what an edit war is. The word war, of course, refers to an act of war, and that is only one action, which would be not the first revert, which is more like a questioning of an edit, but the second revert, and the first revert that restores the "bold edit". How many reverts make up an edit war? Well by definition, two. By policy? Not normally specified. Normally a policy on edit warring will say that waiting 24 hours to make a revert does not make it not an edit war, and you are still in an edit war without yet making three reverts yourself. We often restrict pages or editors to 1RR - only one revert. Hope this helps. Saying that "BRD is not a policy", is to me like saying "the sky is not really blue". Not really relevant. Meta can be expected to not have a whole lot of policies, because it has relatively little use, and everyone coming here is more familiar with the policies of their own home wiki. The Golden Rule, though, always applies everywhere. Apteva (talk) 17:46, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

So let me reply as a volunteer, because as a volunteer, one of my main areas is writing policies at en.wp. Each wiki can and does establish its own policies. Meta has very few. For better or worse, a policy against edit warring is not one of them here.
On the English Wikipedia, I can tell you that there are at least two admins who believe that a single reversion can constitute an edit war, and that there is one who has stated that every single edit (after the first one to create a page) is a revert. (Yes, he actually means that if I write a stub, and you correct a typo I made, then you have "reverted" my misspelling, and that you may be an edit warrior for doing that.) I believe that this is nonsense, but efforts to more precisely define the terms were rejected. The idea that reverting every 24 hours is okay has been rejected by en.wp's policy: a slow-motion edit war is still an edit war.
BRD is not a policy because it actually shouldn't be used in every case. If you read BRD at en.wp, you'll see that it describes itself as a technique that is not apprppriate for every circumstance or every editor. In this particular case, it's a bit silly to be promoting BRD as the ideal, because if you'll check the page history, you'll find that the first action was "D", not "B". The original source of the reversions was that the logged-out editor didn't read the talk page before he jumped to conclusions and started reverting. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:05, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
The page grew way to fast to keep up with it. A lot of pent up anger, apparently. The English Wikipedia has millions of users and has relatively well developed policies, but some are clearly nothing but garbage, yet we all still have to follow them. What concerns me the most is that since 2007 we have been gaining readers but losing editors. And even though that is when I started editing regularly I certainly can not be blamed for the change. And I hope that as WMF staff no one is being fooled by the decline in readership this year - people are just getting our content from Google, instead of having to get it directly from us - and Google has no content other than what we create for them. Many enclopedia accesses do not require reading the whole article - you just want to find the author of a book, or the year someone was born or died, for example, and you can get that from the snippet that comes up when you google the subject.

Like this:

Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a 
strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later 
generations. Wikipedia
Born: July 21, 1899, Oak Park, IL
Died: July 2, 1961, Ketchum, ID
Spouse: Mary Welsh Hemingway (m. 1946–1961), More
Children: Jack Hemingway, Patrick Hemingway, Gregory Hemingway
Movies: The Killers, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man, More
Some of the policies and guidelines though, are extremely well written and well thought out, and are more like feature articles in their quality. Others are nothing but the product of constant edit wars about them, and are just the flavour de jour. That lack of editors troubles me, but I am an example of a good editor who is blocked there for no reason, and I am certain there have to be thousands of editors who have been driven away for many reasons. It would be very interesting to discover exactly what happened though, in 2006 or 2007 to see why an exponentially increasing number of editors suddenly became an exponentially decreasing number of editors, while the number of readers was continuously increasing (Who left and took all their friends with them? Did editing become pointless after all the Pokemon articles were created?). As to edit wars, though, I would agree that a relatively small number of reverts is an edit war - and by definition two reverts by different editors is an edit war - but what you do about an edit war is where policy comes in. I do prefer to follow the BRD cycle and would simply call it common sense, rather than a policy or guideline. And I would caution against even bringing up that it is not a policy because that is nothing but Wikilawyering and completely misses the point of whoever brought it up. Apteva (talk) 03:06, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, I agree with you that people are getting what they need from Google, although that isn't necessarily filled by our content. Google's infobox-style summaries on disease-related searches appear to come from the NIH, for example.
There's been some research done on the editor decline. Perhaps you've seen some of it? Anyway, it appears that one of the biggest drivers of the editor decline is automation. Consequently, "the editor decline" mostly happens at large projects like the English Wikipedia, where bots and scripts are commonly used. Projects like Hebrew, Estonian, and Catalan do not seem to have this problem.
The overall story works like this: I'm new and screw up. In 2007, when I screwed up (as a new editor, I thought that [[Category:Example]] and {{Example}} were duplicates), Arcadian just quietly cleaned it up, usually taking the opportunity to refine one or the other. Eventually, I noticed what he was doing, I learned the difference between templates and categories, and I stopped screwing up. Today, I probably would have encountered another editor, someone focused on anti-vandalism rather than wikignoming, who would have just reverted my change (producing an Echo notification to make sure that I noticed it) and given me a warning about "test edits" or "non-constructive" edits without trying to help me or to improve the article. I think I would have been discouraged by this impersonal and unpleasant response, and apparently that reaction is not unusual.
Also, since a good deal of the obvious work is done by bot now, there's actually a need for fewer edits by wikignomes and anti-vandalism patrollers. ClueBot reverts poop vandalism faster than humans; back in 2006, just months before ClueBot began anti-vandalism work, we had hundreds of editors whose main activity was reverting obvious vandalism. ClueBot effectively put many of them out of a job.
There's no easy solution for this. If we use bots and scripts to maintain quality on the large projects—the projects that are too large for a couple of people to personally review all the changes—then we have a better product now, but shaky future. If we don't use bots and scripts to maintain quality, then we have a mess now but a stronger future. What we really want is a better product now and a better future.
BTW, if you're interested in this, one approach that might help is to try w:en:WP:SNUGGLE as a more encouraging way to clean up mistakes created by promising newbies. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:51, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I would look for some "critical mass" phenomenon. Look for a similar pattern of rise and fall of editor participation at all other projects, to see if it is just related to the maturity of the projects - when there are less red links are there less editors? Define 10,000 essential articles, and compare the size of those articles in every Wiki. Do the number of editors start to decline when those articles reach a critical mass of maturity? As to my editing EN, I will have to wait until I get unblocked there. I do not even check to see if I am unblocked though, because there are hundreds of other projects to work on. I do a lot of RCP, but eschew automation of any type, and prefer to issue personalized warnings instead of canned ones. I look for more nuanced issues that cluebot is unable to identify. Some of the routine tasks that I perform that could be automated but only with a relatively high level of automation are repairing dead or broken links and formatting external links. I noticed that there was some unfortunate blowback when one of our more prolific bot writer was blocked for a year for using a spreadsheet to format some data. How that was construed to be "automation" is beyond me. Were they only supposed to edit Wikipedia with paper and pencil, and not use a keyboard? It is true that you can look at a Wiki, and think there is nothing left to do, but look more closely, and there are tons of things that need to be done. We have four million articles, and many of them are just stubs, ten years later. We could probably delete half of them with no loss of content, actually. I would say that mostly I am a content creator and copy editor, though, and spend a great deal of time updating out of date articles. I actually have a list of calendar dates throughout the year to update certain pages monthly and annually based on when certain sources tend to update their information. Unfortunately many of those are now sorely in need of updating, due to the fact that they have not been noticed by anyone else, and I can not fix them. I recently discovered one error that has been there since 2012, and who knows how long it will be there until I get unblocked and can fix it. But personally I think the editor decline is due to one major factor - the editor climate - treating editors as if they were scum, instead of welcoming them. Even the worst vandal can learn to contribute positively, and that is the approach that is necessary. Helping them learn how to contribute instead of vandalize. Apteva (talk) 18:19, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
You do seem to have accumulated a bit of a block log. I think you're right about the climate. Automation isn't inherently evil, but I think it tends to promote that climate: Don't waste your time leaving a personalized message or thinking about what the user might have been trying to accomplish; just hit the Twinkle button and move on.
There is a correlation between size and editor decline, but this seems to be (to the extent that I've heard about the studies; I'm not an expert in it) more correlation than causation. Bigger projects—bigger in people-size, not number-of-stubs-size—have more automation and worse retention of new editors. (The decline is almost entirely due to losing promising new editors; once someone has thousands of edits, s/he almost always sticks around until real life intervenes. That's why meatball:GoodBye manifestos are so often met with skepticism.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:19, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
That "block log" that you are referring to is all complete BS. I was blocked once early on for 3RR, before I knew about it, and a warning would have sufficed, and been more effective. I am only here to help the project and have done nothing but that. Most of the blocks are because I noticed that we were not following proper protocol - the MOS does not affect content, article titles is content, and can not in any way be influenced or affected by the MOS, something that I went through proper channels to point out. The correct response would have been "thank you for the suggestion, we will consider it", instead of spending half a million characters deciding whether I should be blocked (trust me if it takes over 2,000 characters you are wasting everyone's time by even asking, and the answer is no). I have a list of many necessary edits that I can not do because I have been blocked. And the allegations Sockpuppetry are totally false. Yes I use an alternative account - and have since 2007. The tagging of sockpuppetry is very recent and simply "discovered" that I have an alternative account - I do that to maintain my privacy, and can not edit certain subjects from my main account, so I created this alternative account, and have been happily making those edits for years (maybe 3,000 edits from one account and 8,000 from the other). Until some one thought I needed to be watched more carefully to see if I was changing hyphens to endashes or vice versa - which is total, sheer, nonsense. The only affect being that I was locked out of my main account on that Wikipedia and so hundreds of articles that I would have maintained got more and more out of date. Yes some people have picked up the slack on some of them, but there are many edits that are simply not getting done without me there to do them. I could make a list of all the edits that I see that need to be made but it is better for whoever sees them to just make them, unless they have a conflict of interest. So I wait patiently to be unblocked and to have all restrictions removed so that I can get on with updating them and creating more articles. I always follow all guidelines and policies. That has never been an issue. The issue was that editors were raw from yelling at each other about the MOS issue - and just wanted to silence my legitimate concerns without taking them up.
Blocking me, and putting restrictions on what I can do, just makes no sense at all, and only hurts Wikipedia. Nothing else. It is as if someone is terrified that I might bring up the fact that we have the wrong name for the Mexican-American War article, which is totally preposterous (98% of books and encyclopedias call it the Mexican War, and of the 2% that call it the Mexican-American War, 98% use a hyphen, while we use an endash, putting us in the extreme minority, so there is absolutely nothing wrong with bringing it up anyway). But I only want to be able to update pages that need updating and correct errors that everyone agrees on. If they want to call it the Sasquash***War I would not make any comment on the subject. I have long ago moved on. Someone else can pick up the torch of noticing that the MOS has absolutely nothing to do with article titles, other than it says to make the article title bold in the first sentence of the article, if convenient.
I have found hundreds of other things to do in the meantime while I am blocked on that one project, but that one project is making a huge mistake to not let me participate there as well - I find something that was copied from EN to SV, and I can fix it on SV, but not on EN???? How is that supposed to make any sense? Apteva (talk) 05:04, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
It's complicated, isn't it? We also have editors that get kicked out of one project for being rude, but fit right in with another project, where rudeness is just more common (or their skills are more needed, so people are willing to put up with more). Then there's the inconsistency: multiple editors can take the same type of action, and some get blocked, some get warned, and some get ignored. And that's just for new-ish people, not counting the people for whom there seem to be "special rules". I don't think that we'll ever be perfect, but I do hope that we'll get better. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:07, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The way we treat our editors certainly needs to change. We have rules about how blocking is used, but do not follow them. We have a rule WP:IAR, that says that if it benefits the project, you ignore all rules, which is what anyone who is blocked does if they create a sockpuppet to make a necessary edit. Yet instead of being thanked, they are blocked and chastised. Blocking is preventative, not punitive, and the fact is that we need all changes for the better no matter by who, where, or how they are made. I am not blocked for any legitimate reason, and any reasonable person would have looked at the witch trial that blocked me and immediately unblocked me, and chastised everyone who voted to block me. But now I have so much other work to do that I would have only made less than ten edits in August on En:wiki even if unblocked, but those edits would have been valuable, undeniably valuable. They were not made, so there are half a dozen or more errors, broken links or whatever that are still there simply because of - nothing but the fact that a good editor is inappropriately blocked. Apteva (talk) 22:40, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The question on my mind at the moment is why you stay at all. Most people, when they're treated very unfairly (according to their own assessment, regardless of what you or I might make of their situation), just leave. What do you think is different about you, that you haven't given up entirely in disgust? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:45, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
To me that is a pretty silly thing to ask. You might as well ask why does Wikipedia still exist and why has it not vanished into antiquity? As long as there is a body of knowledge for people to use, and as long as I am alive and able, I will always help to improve that body of knowledge. It is impossible for me to leave and say, it does not matter if a word is wrong in Wikipedia, or that there is a broken link to a reference. If I see it, I will fix it. "Leaving" is not an option. Not for me at least. Leaving would mean that someone would not find what they were looking for, or what they found might be wrong. You might not care about that but I do. And unfortunately not everyone cares as much as I do about others, and does not mind if errors exist (the only possible reason I am blocked, is not caring about that). Bear in mind that there are real life constraints to how much volunteer time anyone has available, and there are months or even years where everyone has no time at all available, but there are other months or years when some time is available. So while it is impossible to drive me away by treating me like dirt, neither is it appropriate for anyone to try to do that. There has never been anything wrong with any of my edits, or my ability to collaborate/cooperate/contribute and so on. The only issue was some editors simply did not want to hear the truth. We are spelling things wrong because we are not following our own policies. The MOS does not affect content, and article titles are content. Fix that one itsy bitsy thing and we will go back to spelling things correctly. Like a Bald Eagle is a Bald Eagle, it is not a Bald eagle or a bald eagle. Look it up if you doubt me. The references in the article say it is a Bald Eagle, and not a bald eagle. Does capitalization and punctuation matter in a name? Obviously. Do we cater to all the goofy capitalizations or punctuations that people use when they name things? Not in the title, but we always note them in the article. No where do we note that a bald eagle is actually called a "Bald Eagle". This was a recent long fought battle that went on for almost a decade, and was very poorly resolved by forcing the non-correct but more common name, bald eagle. There may only be 1,000 bird experts in the world, but they are the ones who get to choose what birds are named, we only report what that name is. And having a vote on Wikipedia to decide the name is ludicrous and violates our own naming policy. Basically, if you want anyone who knows anything about birds to help with our articles, you will let them use proper names for birds, meaning capital letters, in articles about birds, and use lower case in the rest of the encyclopedia, which is what we have done for years. As a minimum, we absolutely need to indicate the correct name in parentheses along with the species name: The bald eagle (Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, from Greek hali- = sea, aiētos = eagle, leuco- = white, cephalos = head) is found mostly in North America. It would help to use the correct name at the top of the info box too, "Bald Eagle". Apteva (talk) 08:30, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
On the contrary, it's an important thing to ask if I want to figure out how to keep editors who feel mistreated.
I spoke to someone else about some of the editor research. There were (I think) four categories of editors, and the only one I remember was the "something is wrong on the internet" category. I remembered that one because it describes me. Do you think you'd put yourself in the same category? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Without knowing what the other three choices were I would not be able to select any of the four choices. Wikipedia needs to recognize that it has an obligation to accept corrections no matter where or how they are presented. They can not block anyone from contributing. What they can do is block people from causing destruction, but if that person indicates that they are going to stop doing that, they must be unblocked - and have an opportunity to prove themselves right or wrong. We can not have any standards for who can contribute, but we can have standards for how they can contribute. For example, we often require COI contributions to be made on the talk page, where they can be made by someone who is not influenced by that COI. We simply have a responsibility to our readers to invite all contributions, or we fail to present correct and complete information.
The category that I can say that I am in, is a quality editor who was inappropriately blocked, to the detriment of the project. That must not be allowed to happen. Wikipedia can not consider itself to be a little club of 500 people who all know each other and require a secret handshake before entrance to the club is granted to anyone else. Wikipedia is an open website that is edited by millions of contributors, and everyone needs to be encouraged, not discouraged, from editing. Apteva (talk) 21:33, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

"The original source of the reversions was that the logged-out editor didn't read the talk page before he jumped to conclusions and started reverting." Don't make assumptions about what I did and didn't read. If you had bothered to read the page you were sanitizing, you'd see that the kinds of edits you made had already been made by another WMF employee and there was pushback. Despite this, you went ahead and cut out stuff you deemed off topic. And you continued after I objected to your edits without a chance for discussion. Yes, I read your stated motivations. That still doesn't justify anything beyond a topic-neutral archiving. Your selective archive, no matter your real motivations, served to segregate a class of opinions the WMF has chosen to ignore. You should not make it any easier for your bosses to ignore the very real opposition to Media Viewer. -- 23:14, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Despite the link being duplicated in the 'archive' box, Talk:Community Engagement (Product)/Media Viewer consultation/General discussion is not an archive. There are a couple of discussions happening there now. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:19, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
You retroactively declared a discussion off topic and moved it to where it can be hidden from sight. The only discussion there consists of a comment by you and someone elaborating on an earlier discussion that you apparently didn't read when you moved it about how actions similar to yours were inappropriate. You basically killed any chance of the discussions you moved continuing in any meaningful sense. Maybe the term archiving doesn't strictly fit, but you really should stop shunting things away to places where they'll be ignored. -- 04:34, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Nor did it help to link to those pages only in the "Archive" box, indicating that no edits could be made to them. That at least has been corrected, but it has long been known that if you move a discussion to a subpage you effectively kill it - not always, but often. Apteva (talk) 05:04, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, the date-based archives created by ArchiverBot are archives (the first even said so at the very top, and I confirmed that this was the plan on the talk page). The non-archive pages are the other two–the two that this logged-out editor didn't want to exist, even to avoid the necessity of rapid archiving for page size control. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 05:23, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Imputation of motives[edit]

This comment [1] is untrue and unacceptable. Please withdraw it as soon as possible. Deltahedron (talk) 19:09, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Deltahedron, did you really like with the answer you received? Are you actually happy that the WMF is leaving mathematics software entirely to volunteers? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:59, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
You know perfectly well what I meant, so don't waste my time by pretending you don't. Of course I did not like the result, but I am prefectly capable of distinguishing the process, or lack thereof, from the answer. The fact that I had to go all the way to Jimmy Wales to get a response is not a process, and I cannot believe that you seriously maintain that it is. Your comment was intended to denigrate my response, and to offend me. This is not how a responsbile member of WMF staff should treat a member of the community who has put, and is continuing to put, a lot of effort into doing things that staff members could and should be doing.
Well, you have your wish. I will not continue to put in any more effort into suggesting ways to fix the broken relationship between the WMF and the users. Congratulations. I hope you're happy. Deltahedron (talk) 21:10, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Okay: I said that you didn't like the answer you received, and you say that you didn't like the answer you received, and the problem is that telling the obvious truth offends you? That acknowledging the existence of months of previous discussions and your persistence in promoting your vision for WMF control of mathematics development offends you? Most of the people participating in that discussion have a particular motive or goal, and there's nothing discreditable about your goal. A response from you along the lines of "Of course I didn't like the answer I received, and I think the WMF is making a mistake" might be more sensible than "How dare you acknowledge the obvious fact that I didn't like the answer I received".
You didn't actually need to go to Jimmy Wales to get an answer. What Jimmy told you is what you had been told several times by other people. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:33, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not going to argue further. You know what you said, you know why you said it, you know why it was dishonest, and you know why it was offensive. You should be ashamed of yourself. Deltahedron (talk) 21:39, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm sad that you think that saying obviously and admittedly true things is dishonest. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:46, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
On your user page, you say "The major part of my job description is to support these changes by 'ensuring that our community is represented in the decision-making process and that our planned software adequately reflects user needs'". In your comment linked above, you say "I have previously told you exactly what my job entails: supporting exactly one product, and specifically supporting a product that is not mathematics rendering." I think it would help avoid misunderstanding if you harmonized the statement on your user page with what is said in your comment, because they are very different. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 19:25, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I do make sure that our community is represented–for the one product that I'm currently assigned to. (It would be more accurate to say "multiple communities", because there isn't just one.) Deltahedron's main complaint is with the other half: CLs work on "planned software", not "all software", and his complaint is that improving mathematics support is not currently planned at all by the WMF. Nothing that I write on my user page is going to resolve his actual complaint. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:54, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I do not have time to pursue this issue with you. I am willing to accept that we have different opinions on the subject if you are, and drop the issue. If you contradict me again, I shall conclude that you are deliberately harassing me, and formally complain to WMF management. On second thoughts, I don't care. I have things to do which are actually important, as opposed to trying to fix things here. Deltahedron (talk) 19:00, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
    • We both agree and disagree, depending on the question. When the question is "Did you get the results you want?", we both agree that the answer is obviously no. When the question is "Does math support need to be improved significantly?", we also fully agree that the answer is yes. We even agree that what you want is not entirely unreasonable. It is only when the question is "Did you get an answer about the WMF's role in mathematics software support when you followed the usual, de-centralized, community-based process?" that we appear to disagree. You have received answers, and the answers have been the same from every source and at every stage: The WMF does not currently have a program or a plan for mathematics editing, and does not have the capacity to take this on any time soon, but they'd be happy to fund it if you wanted to apply for a grant to hire external developers to do it. I wish you would reconsider your refusal to pursue an IEG to make this happen, but, as you say, you have other things to do, and I admit that the IEG process requires a significant commitment. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:06, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Change in renaming process[edit]

Hi! I changed the corrected message since there is a Hungarian translation for it (and it is the Hungarian speakers' noticeboard). Best regards, Samat (talk) 17:32, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Thank you! The MassMessage script unfortunately believes that everything at Commons should be in English. I really appreciate you doing that. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:38, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Community organisers![edit]

Hi! I was wondering where I might find people interested in being community organisers for this potential IEG: Grants:IdeaLab/Tools_for_using_wikidata_items_as_citations. Any ideas? Also contractors who are half-time or less are eligible ^-^ Mvolz (talk) 18:51, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

I saw a discussion on this a while back, and now I can't remember who was in it. I'll look around and let you know. Feel free to ping me again if I don't get an answer to you in the next day or two. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:05, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Marielle, here are some of the discussions on this subject during the last year or so. I think you'll be able to find the names of several supporters in them: [2][3][4][5] There's at least one more discussion that I couldn't find today, so perhaps I'll have another link for you later. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:23, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

VisualEditor News #8—2014[edit]

09:46, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Bad day?[edit]

[6] makes me think you may need a break. Take care, Nemo 15:31, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

VisualEditor News #9—2014[edit]

23:28, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

VisualEditor News #10—2014[edit]

18:56, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

New VisualEditor special character tool[edit]

Hi! I would like to help test the special character tool. I know that my language doesn't have many diacritics that need to be specially inserted, but we do have to insert a lot of em dashes and German quotation marks („“) by hand, which has always been a hassle. So if you think this is needed, please feel free to contact me. --Gnom (talk) 09:33, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, thank you! I will be sure to let you know when it is ready. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:39, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

VisualEditor News #1—2015[edit]

18:08, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Help request from Marathi Wikipedia[edit]


From Marathi language wikipedia I have filed a bug T87771 There is a request from offline Marathi Wikipedian community to expedite implementation of the said bug on priority. Please guide me to whom to contact for this purpose.

Thanks and Regards Mahitgar (He who knows ,wants to know and and loves to keep others informed) (talk) 11:09, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the note, Mahitgar. I'll ask around and let you know if I can find a way to move this along. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 07:12, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Process ideas update?[edit]

Hello, is there any update on what people are thinking about Community Engagement (Product)/Process ideas? Lots of good ideas there, and I know there was some work to sort ideas through an editor survey in at least en/es/de. Have any other communities started organizing their thoughts this way? Is there a synthesis of the public discussion & what out of that seems worth trying? I know some sister projects have organized similar feature lists in the past.

The most practical & scalable things that could be implemented may be ones that don't require new tools, and don't require staff to monitor and organize the resulting pages :) Warm regards, SJ talk  19:15, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Hi SJ,
User:Quiddity (WMF) was hoping to sort through that page, but then the strategy consultation soaked up all of his time for several weeks. I don't think that he's been able to get back to it since then.
I've not seen any good summaries. I'm not aware of any communities with an organized, unified discussion on this particular subject, although I'm mostly stuck at en.wp right now, so I'm probably the least likely to see it. The conversations I see mostly happen in dribs and drabs, in association with some other project. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:32, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

VisualEditor News #2—2015[edit]

19:45, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Questions regarding VE on German Wikipedia[edit]

Hi Whatamidoing, could you stop by at de:Wikipedia:Technik/Text/Edit/VisualEditor/Rückmeldungen some time these days? Thanks, --Gnom (talk) 07:20, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

VisualEditor News #3—2015[edit]

10:45, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

correction for your user page[edit]

Hi, We moved to phabricator ... :) just a freindly nudge! Matanya (talk) 19:12, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, Matanya. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:24, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Talk:Community Engagement (Product)/Process ideas[edit]

Please read and respond as a matter of urgency. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 12:10, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

VisualEditor News #4—2015[edit]

Elitre (WMF), 22:27, 14 August 2015 (UTC)