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launched on WMF servers on November 10, 2012

Hurray! Champagne! Beer for All!

(If I got the launch date wrong above, just fix it please...) (It is correct, it was exactly 16:28 on Nov 10 when we made the DNS switch "mutante: authdns-update for wikivoyage.org - project launch! wee"[1] )

Direction regarding opening WikiVoyage


We are nearly ready to move WikiVoyage to the WMF servers. The primary issue has to do with images. We have two primary choices: start in "beta" now or launch in full down the road. This choice need to be made by Nov 5th, 2012. The option we go with will be 50% plus one.

Start in "beta"


This would mean that the text would be view-able but most of the images would still be red links. Potential benefits would be that this would bring in more editors from the WM community to help move images from "wikivoyage shared" over to "wikimedia commons". But the down side is our "beta" start will not be polished. If we chose this option we would go live in "beta" on Nov 6th, 2012. Official launch will not take place until the image issue is solved and the logo has been decided upon.

  1. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:03, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2.  Raoli  05:42, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. All in all, a little less polished, but the work will get done quicker this way, and it could wait forever and a day, and whenever it IS launched, there will still be problems. Courcelles 06:37, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Ariconte (talk) 06:49, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Belteral (talk) 07:47, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Atsirlin (talk) 08:18, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Digr (talk) 09:05, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. LtPowers (talk) 14:03, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  9. I'm fine with either, but I agree with Courcelles, the sooner we can get started, the better. And between this and Wikidata, I'm a happy Wikimedian :) SarahStierch (talk) 19:29, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  10. I see more advantages here. There is a bot, as far as I know. And the red links will head us directly to the problems we have to solve. And I am getting tired, Want to see it going forward. -- DerFussi 20:52, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Jpatokal (talk) 05:47, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  12. We need to get the ball rolling. Some things can only be resolved post-migration, and it's better if they were fixed in a "pre-launch, beta" stage. JamesA (talk) 05:59, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Mey2008 (talk) 07:48, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  14. I'm not happy about this situation, and unsure of just how much extra difficulty this will impose upon our migration task force, but I'm with DerFussi—it's been a long, difficult, tiring process, and I don't want to see the move months delayed. --Peter Talk 17:31, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Johan Jönsson (talk) 19:14, 5 November 2012 (UTC). Lets get moving ![reply]
  16. I don't see the harm in a beta period, and the benefits of moving to WMF outweigh the disadvantages of having a site with some breakage for a couple of weeks (IMHO). -- Wrh2 (talk) 19:23, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  17. New projects are not expected to be perfect, far from it, and a Wiki is meant to be edited, the whole idea that red links are unacceptable is kinda anti-wiki xD Snowolf How can I help? 19:27, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Xltel (talk) 00:34, 6 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  19. I have reservations about this, but like Peter and DerFussi, I this is a big step towards closure and I don't want to see it delayed further. I think the beta period really needs to be about cleaning up and transferring the images and not so much about new content in the guides. Between tagging images in WTS and cleaning up once they're in Commons, it'll be chaos (in my opinion) if we have to patrol a bunch of new edits, as well. -Shaundd (talk) 02:21, 6 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  20. As long as whatever beta we bring on line is editable, and those edits will stick. --Inas (talk) 02:31, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes definitely. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:30, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  21. The best option. Yann (talk) 13:21, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  22. בנימין (talk) 05:27, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Would this be editable on the WMF servers? Even if you don't want "full" editing here yet, some editing will surely be necessary; imagine that Commons has a different image under the same name as one on the Wikivoyage shared. Courcelles 06:25, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Yes the WMF version would be editable (as will the database of images in the previous spots). Images will than be moved over and as we move them over we will see the benefits within the articles. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:28, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Am I right in assuming that this differs from Erik's preferred option only in the sense that we are calling it a Beta, and that we won't make press releases and stuff? This does NOT mean that the actual physical migration of databases is delayed, correct? — Ravikiran r (talk) 08:53, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The physical database is being copied to the WMF. This option means that we will be able to edit and see the non perfect result sooner. The WV association will keep the original version running for a bit (months) until the WMF is at least as good. Agree no press release. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 09:03, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

How many images are we talking about anyway?Geni (talk) 11:57, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Between 15 and 40 thousands in total, but many of them unused.--Ymblanter (talk) 12:28, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
That is not that many. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:20, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
It's probably more like ten thousands (or 14 at most), see commons:Commons:Wikivoyage Shared transfer task force. --Nemo 20:33, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Launch in full


Wait until we can get all the images moved to commons. This would mean that the first copy up on the WMF servers will look polished. Downside is it would delay the launch for possibly a couple of months (may be until March of 2013 per Erik). Hans who is one of the people leading the move goes on vacation Nov 5th,2012.

  1. No need to hurry for an incomplete solution that will frustrate readers and the rest of the community severely. Copyright issues should be sorted out first, and we need sufficient time for that. An early migration would be bad for the project.--Aschmidt (talk) 11:12, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --RolandUnger (talk) 18:04, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. All what we need is more time. The WV Admins are working hard to transfer the most german images over to Common. Let us discuss about a timed process -- Elelicht (talk) 23:35, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Not for "full", only for more or less "managed beta", but not for "uncontrolled alfa" without migration concept -- Alan ffm (talk) 19:43, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    What do you mean Alan? The choice is do we launch in beta on Tuesday or do we launch in full a few months down the road. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:42, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. We don't need to hurry things so much. I see some technical advantages to the beta approach, but I think these are not worth the risk to community cohesion. Looking after the existing WV/WT editing community should be a higher priority. (There are other alternatives, discussed below, which I think could be better still, but these do not seem to be attracting much interest.) --Avenue (talk) 08:55, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Which alternative below are you referring to below that is not attracting much interest?Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:06, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    The alternatives suggested by you, me, and Atsirlin. So far I think only two other people have commented on these ideas, neither of whom has overtly supported them. I am now getting the impression that you think of your alternative (the various language editions having different redirection frameworks or schedules) as part of the first option above, not as an alternative, but I dont see anyone else taking that view yet. --Avenue (talk) 13:26, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Erik has confirmed on the talk page that this discussion is what will occur within the beta launch. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:27, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Launching without the WTS files and with a mess of redlinks instead of images will do more harm than good; I have no idea why WMF is proposing this. K7L (talk) 09:36, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    I guess it is a judgement call. Some feel the benefits outweigh the risks. Others feel the risks outweight the benefits. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:06, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  7. It would be very messy with lots of red links. I'm updating links to used files as fast as I can, but I will not be able to handle all links before Tuesday. Besides, there are lots of files to transfer which have not yet been transferred. It would be better to postpone the WMF version a bit. --Stefan2 (talk) 13:22, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Balou46 (talk) 15:39, 4 November 2012 (UTC) Berthold on Wikivoyage:de I have changed my mind and agree Stefan2. Why such a hurry? Why not 1-2 days longer instead of 2-3 months? I think it is not goot that people are voting who have nothing to do with that work.[reply]
    there is a note from Erik on the talk page regarding timing Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:23, 6 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  1. One disadvantage to taking this route is that it makes it virtually impossible to tell if a transferred file is in use. Once we transfer a file to Commons, Global File Usage can tell us ALL of the WMF wikis that use it -- but that will only work for Wikivoyage if we get WV transferred over to the WMF. LtPowers (talk) 20:04, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    OK, but what is the general concept for the migration of content (and files) for the all other WT language versions waiting for starting? -> http://www.wikivoyage.org/general/Interest_in_starting_a_new_language_version
    The already released language versions are only a part of the whole future problem with file transfer. -- Alan ffm (talk) 21:26, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
All language versions will have to adopt EDP and them they will by migrated with the files. I am a bit worried that I have never heard anything from French and Dutch versions, but may be I just do not recognize their users among two dozens of users currently working on wts. Russian Wikivoyage is prepared to move, and Swedish is at least aware of the imminent move.--Ymblanter (talk) 21:34, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
"They will by migrated" - 1. Where and when? 2. I guess without WTS repository. It means with thousands of red image links, it means for a small community few months technical work only to search the current file names at Commons, to restore the old WT state? -- Alan ffm (talk) 22:19, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Well, this technical work is a reasonable threshold, isn't it? We had enough moribund language versions at WT (at least 6 out of 20), so we don't want the same thing in the future. In fact, we are now doing part of their work because we transfer all reasonable images that are not yet present at Commons. I have tagged tens of images belonging to ja:, even though ja: is not about to migrate. The huge work of cleaning WTS is basically done by people from en: and 2-3 other languages. Others should only update their red links, and that's really a small problem. We have ~1600 articles at ru:, and it took us 2 people x 3 evenings to check most images (and additionally we did the job at WTS and en) Tiding up policies, translating maps, and, finally, writing travel guides is really a much, much bigger problem. --Atsirlin (talk) 23:21, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
My bot which updates file links is able to tell if a Wts file is in use somewhere on Wikivoyage. The problem is getting everything tagged, which is going to take forever. I currently only update file links on English, Russian, French, Dutch and Swedish Wikivoyage, but will begin on German and Italian Wikivoyage as soon as I can. I'm not doing anything with the other projects: I don't have the passwords, and I don't know if the projects will be imported either. I don't see why it would be urgent to see file usage on Commons. --Stefan2 (talk) 13:22, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
If there's an imported file that may be problematic (copyright-wise, mostly, but also some low-quality images that may be replaceable), it'd be nice to know if it was in use on WV; if it's not, we can just delete it without issue, but if it is, a replacement should be found. LtPowers (talk) 18:05, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

General comments

  • I am concerned that whereas there seems to be a general support for the beta start, nobody from the German community supported it. I do not think there is a good idea to start the new project from the split between the communities. Should we try to find a solution acceptable to everybody?--Ymblanter (talk) 14:06, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • (edit conflict) Okay, here's an alternative, which I think should provide the best of both worlds - although it would also involve more work. How about running a closed alpha version of Wikivoyage (excluding the shared image spaces) on the WMF servers, instead of a public beta? This would let us sort out the image redlinks more easily than in the current divided setup, while letting the existing Wikivoyage wikis serve as our public face in the meantime. It would remain business as usual there, except new image uploads to their shared spaces should be disabled. (These would be directed to Commons instead). During the alpha period, changes to images in the alpha database (e.g. local uploads, and references to altered filenames) would need to be duplicated on the existing Wikivoyage wikis. (By a closed alpha, I mean that people would have to sign up somewhere to edit it, and perhaps even to view it.)
In a couple of months, once the images are sufficiently sorted out, we would copy the latest Wikivoyage data to the WMF servers, and they would go public. There would still be some teething problems after that (e.g. with username clashes), so we might still want to call that a beta version, but at least it wouldn't have image redlinks everywhere.
Would all this be workable? I'm not familiar with the WV/WT side of things, so I could easily be missing something there. --Avenue (talk) 15:14, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I was thinking on a similar suggestion. wikivoyage.org becomes password-protected and redirects people to wikivoyage-old.org that either stays read-only or urges people to join the cleanup work at wikivoyage.org. That will be exactly the same transition period as we had with the Wikitravel-to-Wikivoayge migration. --Atsirlin (talk) 15:45, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I could see having the main page give people a prominent link to the old site (which will have images +/- be uneditable without a password). But I do not think it a good idea to password protect the new site. We want the Wikimedia community to be able to jump in and help resolve the problems. Wikis are works in progress. I am unable to figure out how I can help fix the image issue. If we had a beta site live I am sure that I could figure out how to help. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:11, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
This could be the SUL password.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:12, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
What is an SUL password?Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:15, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Single Unified Login?--Ymblanter (talk) 16:27, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Ah so IP would go to the old site and logged in users would go to the new? I would support that as long as each also had the choice to visit the other. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:49, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Would it be possible to have a discussion about why the WMF has decided to not import Shared and WTS, at least on a temporary 1-2 month-long basis, and perhaps revisit that discussion? I'm still very unclear why this rather problematic decision was made. --Peter Talk 16:35, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    They say it was because of legal issues, and consistently refused to discuss the decision. In my experience, this means that it is not going to happen.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:37, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Just because the foundation does not want to import Shared and WTS does not mean that we cannot as member of the community. We can make a bot that adds it all to Wikimedia Commons once copyright is dealt with. How hard would this be? There have been some bot writers who have even offered to help. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:41, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    We are doing this in real time for WTS files, but not all files have been yet tagged.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:44, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    How does the tagging work? Do you mean tagging for a bot to move them or tag them wrt copyright? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:47, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    We go cat by cat and tag files as (i) to move to Commons (ii) to keep locally (iii) to ignore (basically, to delete later) (iV) in some rare cases, to find the Commons version (most of these were done by bot, but some need to be done manually). Everything is happening here.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:53, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    There is a big difference between transferring Shared and WTS across wholesale, and individuals choosing whether to import specific files to Commons. WMF have apparently decided not to do the former, and the reasons for this decision haven't been explained fully to us. Could there be legal reasons why WMF can't explain their reasons publicly? --Avenue (talk) 21:34, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    We could create a bot to transfer Shared and WTS across to Wikimedia Commons wholesale. The WMF typically does not get involved in content issues. This protects them from copyright infringement allegation. Also the WMF does not have the authority to simply copy everything over to commons. We need to get the consensus of the editors at commons to do this. If the WMF was just to add all this to commons their would most likely be a backlash from the editors their. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:57, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    By "transferring Shared and WTS across wholesale", I meant copying everything there across into new WMF-run Shared and WTS servers, with a view to gradually emptying these out (as was discussed but dismissed by Erik Moeller here), i.e. not importing it all immediately into Commons. I agree that while a bot import of everything directly into Commons might be possible (with some rules to deal with filename clashes), it would produce a lot of work for Commons. --Avenue (talk) 08:47, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes I guess their are legal concerns. I personally am fine with red links. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 09:52, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • By the way the different language version do not need to do the same thing with their main pages. German can redirect there's to the old site if they wish while English partly direct to the old site and partly directs to the new site or what have you. They are independent projects and consensus can be language dependent.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:39, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • A very good point, which makes the binary choice above seem too black and white. And each language version could potentially decide when their beta version was ready to go public, which would make things even more flexible. However the extra work involved in running two versions would fall not just on the language community concerned, but also on Commons editors and those doing the site transfer. So ideally they should be involved in the decision too. Personally I think the extra work would be worth it if it keeps the language community happy, but I wish there was more time for everyone to reach a fuller consensus. --Avenue (talk) 21:43, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • With respect to this one decision their are only two options, turn on the site or not in two days. If we do turn on the site in two days each language version can create a "beta" version as they like. Some can have a redirect. Some can have two options one to go with the new site and the other to go with the old version. Not sure what you mean by "go pulblic". Who are you referring to as the public the editor community or the readership. I am happy to direct the readership to the old site until the new site looks professional. We however want the editor community to primarily work on the new site. Thus hopefully WV would turn on the majority of new editing so that we do not end up with a co tract. Editing of images of course will need to stay open to help with the transfer.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:57, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • By "go public", I mean make available to everyone, i.e. general readers. The drawback of having editors working on a wiki that isn't publicly accessible is that the public site will become stale. On the positive side, it does involve less duplication of work than my idea. --Avenue (talk) 00:05, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • "two options, turn on the site or not in two days" - but "not in two days" means only "later" - also few days or few weeks, not mandatory "launch in full" and "in couple of months", right? -- Alan ffm (talk) 01:32, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • This is the principal question: What are the possible alternatives except "Nov 6th" and "launch in full"? "Launch in full" is 100% weasel term (=anywhere in the far future). We can choice here, but nobody knows/says what are the nearest alternatives except tomorrow? Next week, next month, next year? -- Alan ffm (talk) 17:02, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'm not sure what you mean by "if most editing is off at least the site will not degrade". This material was being hosted (however problematically) by a for-profit commercial firm before it moved to Wikivoyage. That firm quite clearly wants to fork the project and split the community instead of letting go. If WV is to be the surviving, active community then it needs to be (from a technical standpoint) working properly now so that it does not lose editors to some other fork of the same project. A deliberately broken move (not 'beta', broken - as the redlinked images would be something caused wilfully as part of the transition process) risks editors who left the previous host due to its ongoing technical "issues" being alienated from the project entirely. At least where the content is now, it works properly - even if the servers are slowing down under the weight of all the 'bot attempts to sort out the shared (wts) images. Redlink all of those images instead of either allowing the process to complete or retaining the files on-wiki and we're worse off, not better. Don't make a move that shuts down wts unless those images are all accounted for and either on the local-language wiki, already in commons or actually known to be unused. This broken 'beta' will do more harm than good. K7L (talk) 04:46, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • No one is shutting down wts as far as I am aware. People do not need to go to the "beta" site, they can go to the old site and see the old content with images. The "beta" site will be primarily for those who wish to EDIT the new site not for readers. Readers will go to the old site. This is just a gradual step towards the ultimate goal. The German version can simply redirect their readers to old-vikivoyage if they wish. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:02, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • "No one is shutting down wts as far as I am aware.? " Well... yes and no. If it technically still exists but one can't actually use its images in articles (because it's not part of the same site) that does have the effect of shutting it down as anything other than a historical footnote or archive. K7L (talk) 00:55, 6 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]