Wikimedia Conference 2018/Documentation/Movement Strategy track/Annexes/Technology

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of the Movement Strategy track,
 » flow of activities (and this report)
» You don't have time to read everything? Check the summary of it!
Day 1
 » The Big Picture,
» The Possibilities,
» The Challenges
Day 2
» The Way Forward,
 » Preparing to work,
 » Thematic Inputs & Conversations
Day 3
» Working groups,
 » Wrapping up
» Input documents for the working groups,
 » Micro-inputs on possibilities

Working Group Input Document: Technology[edit]

Extracted May 1st from Etherpads






(See also Picture of action items for Technology focus group)

  • how do we get actionable input on requirements to drive software development from hoped-for new users, as well as experienced editors, various projects and other stakeholders etc.? [[developer ecosystem]]
  • how do we accommodate new users without alienating old users, how many long term users can we afford to alienate [[evolution strategy]]
  • how do we improve talk pages / discussion and communication systems  [[feature/software requirements]]
    • To have WebRTC video conferences on talk pages
    • To search and track issues on archived talks
    • To make Video/Audio conferencing searchable  by the help of speech-to-text tech.
    • Help Desk for New Contributors (online Help pages)
  • Other methods of collaboration (video conference / audio conference)
    • Speech to text
  • how to update technology around what are now "talk pages", to invite new contributors into the discussion around content updates?  [[feature/software requirements]]
  • should we do it yourself or should we partner with others? [[developer ecosystem]]
  • What is the funding for envelop for technology?  
  • what is our strategy around APIs (openness) . Can we open up wikidata, commons, etc via world-class RESTful APIs to support our own efforts and enable better integration with partners? [[evolution strategy]]
  • health of the volunteer developing community also the health of the media wiki user community [[developer ecosystem]]
  • tags versus categories within Wikimedia Commons (language support)  [[feature/software requirements]]
  • What can we do to raise awareness of language versions in areas of the world were those languages are commonly spoken [[feature/software requirements]]
  • what is the role of technology in preventing censorship?
  • how to we improve sharing of technology between Wiki Projects [developer ecosystem]]
  • how can we improve security of our users [[feature/software requirements]]
  • how to use technology to improve content quality and make this quality more apparent to our readers
  • Improve the way we handle and view citations  [[feature/software requirements]]
  • How to facilitate sharing of content across projects and languages via WikiData in ways that work well with various project-specific considerations?
  • How can we made innovation easy (expand sister projects?)
  • How do we bring people to Wikipedia?
    • There should be proper procedure for Q&A for the code before it publish
    • The code optimization should be done.
    • How can tolls support equity in participation?
  • how do we compete with closed platforms?
  • Can we add live data (e.g. show the current weather in an article about a city)


  • Representation, new voices, gender, experience, expertise, etc.
    • Technology experts and people knowing the technology: developers, product managers, designers
      • Experts on the possible technologies which could be adopted for meeting the input
  • Product managers who represent the voice of the users and potential users
  • Volunteer developers and other third party users of our technologies (including enterprise users)
  • People who are experts in relevant technologies, but come from other organizations, companies, and projects
  • IT researchers
  • Representation of people from different countries and cultures is important, in particular:
    • Countries with legal and cultural frameworks that are different from U.S. and Western Europe (cost of web access, censorship, different media culture, etc.)
    • People from cultures where oral histories are prominent and currently underrepresented in the projects
  • Current users of the technology: readers.
    • QUESTION: Any details to add here? Who can represent current readers well?
    • Invite a random sample of readers who are not involved in the Wikimedia community to participate in research?
    • In any case, this will have to represent a lot of different countries and languages
  • Current users of the technology: editors. In particular:
    • Not only those who often come to Wikimanias, but those who actually edit!
    • People who are involved in developing improvements locally on their wiki project, such as gadgets, templates and Abuse Filters
    • People who are good at understanding technology across wiki projects — what is similar and what is different between wikis
    • Different kinds of wiki editors
      • People who make occasional small fixes across various articles
      • People who edit Wikidata
      • People who use Wikidata and Commons to share content across wikipedias, wictionaries etc.
      • People who love creating many big new articles
      • People who curate categories
      • People who participate in discussion about deletion, inclusion, notability, etc.
      • People who upload images and other media files
      • People who deal with vandalism - blocks, protections, oversight
      • Translators of articles
      • Translators of user interface
      • Maintainers of templates
      • Maintainers of gadgets
      • People adding sources/citations
      • Mediawiki stakeholders group
      • Policy editors
      • Tech ambassadors - people who follow the developments in MediaWiki core software, extensions, and services, report it to community, and report bugs
      • There can be more kinds of editors: add them!
  • People who are not into Wikipedia: not readers and not editors
    • (this is following what Katherine said once: "people are divided into Wikimedians and people who don't yet know they're Wikimedians")
    • Younger people, who are not using Wikipedia, but are technology enthusiasts.
    • Individuals from other large corporate environments (or past experience) that have executed sustainable solutions to organisational challenges like efficient communications/discussions, technology, security & contingency models, etc.
    • People who are not currently connected to the web
  • People who don't know English (not just people for whom English is not the native language, but people who don't know English at all)
  • In each group of people who are consulted, it is important to have as much diversity as possible for different professions, genders, and age groups.



  • Early on, review this input document in light of recently-shared documents from WMF: architecture, annual plan, etc.
  • A small (initial) group working on a draft with answers to the questions and which others will comment on
  • The group should have weekly online meeting
  • We have some models to have a look which are working similar manner with us, IETF,W3C, Linux Foundation.
  • MediaWiki has also a developer community and ecosystem, so we need to have another one which works in parallel with them or collaborate in a very innovate manner.
  • WMF tech department and Wikimedia Germany tech. group are current tech leaders at this moment.
  • The core group should include people that can make the required time commitment over the lifetime of the group
  • Use the Architectural Principles and check how it addresses the questions above.
  • It's very important to listen to users who don't have technical knowledge about programming, databases, networks, standards, etc. But it's very important to listen to their needs and not to tire them with difficult and unnecessary terminology.
  • Online meetings
  • The WMF can provide a representative from the Tech department to ensure two way communication between the department and the WG
  • How will we get input from a diversity of existing users and potential users, and achieve movement buy-in for decisions?
  • The disadvantaged people must be listened to, and the current tech people cannot decide everything by themselves. It would be great to have support from the WMF board that the humanity's knowledge needs are ultimately more important that narrow technical decisions.
  • Decisions can be done by common consensus (by majority)
  • And those decision can be vetted by the Tech experts, who knows what is feasible and practical.
  • (Of course everyone can comment on all stages of the decision-making process)


  • Would be nice to have social scientists on the working group (people who research community dynamics, people who think about unexpected bad effects of social technologies).
  • Toby N.: Can we change the title from "Technology" to something else?\
  • Dariusz Jemielniak: I think the social scientists comment is very relevant and I'll gladly join/comment.

of the Movement Strategy track,
 » flow of activities (and this report)
» You don't have time to read everything? Check the summary of it!
Day 1
 » The Big Picture,
» The Possibilities,
» The Challenges
Day 2
» The Way Forward,
 » Preparing to work,
 » Thematic Inputs & Conversations
Day 3
» Working groups,
 » Wrapping up
» Input documents for the working groups,
 » Micro-inputs on possibilities