Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)
Communication between the Wikimedia Foundation technical staff and the rest of the Wikimedia community (volunteer editors and developers) hasn't always been easy. Despite being one of the most transparent tech organizations, the Wikimedia Foundation technical staff has often appeared to the community as ignoring requests, lacking transparency, and thus lacking accountability. This has caused some heated discussions, especially on mailing lists.
In order to acknowledge and address this issue, the technical staff has made efforts to share information more systematically and proactively. Monthly reports of engineering activities have been published since August 2010. A new practice of having "project pages" for all engineering projects on mediawiki.org is still in its early phase, but it should become the norm in the coming months.
These efforts will continue in the future, along with others, like blogging more regularly on engineering activities.
The first part of this talk will set the context and present a few challenges and solutions, based on examples taken from real engineering projects. For example, we'll present how staff and volunteers worked together to produce the Wikimedia Commons licensing tutorial and the upload wizard, and went through several iterations to take feedback into account. We'll also explain how FAQs and Q&As help save the time of both staff and volunteers.
This presentation will be followed by a more interactive discussion with the participants. They will be invited to share their frustrations, and their ideas on how to improve further the communication between the technical staff and the rest of the world (editors, developers and others alike).
Community & Infrastructure
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