Wikinews:Water cooler/technical/archives/2012/December

Improving communication between your wiki and "tech people"

Hi. I'm posting this as part of my job for the WMF, where I currently work on technical communications.

As you'll probably agree, communication between Wikipedia contributors and "tech people" (primarily MediaWiki developers, but also designers and other engineers) hasn't always been ideal. In recent years, Wikimedia employees have made efforts to become more transparent, for example by writing monthly activity reports, by providing hubs listing current activities, and by maintaining "activity pages" for each significant activity. Furthermore, the yearly engineering goals for the WMF were developed publicly, and the more granular Roadmap is updated weekly.

Now, that's all well and such, but what I'd rather like to discuss is how we can better engage in true collaboration and 2-way discussion, not just reports and announcements. It's easy to post a link to a new feature that's already been implemented, and tell users "Please provide feedback!". It's much more difficult to truly collaborate every step of the way, from the early planning to deployment.

Some "big" tech projects sponsored by the WMF are lucky enough to have Oliver Keyes who can spend a lot of time discussing with editors, basically incarnating this 2-way communication channel between users and engineering staff. But Oliver can only do so much: he has to focus on a handful of features, and primarily discusses with the English Wikipedia community. We want to be able to do this for dozens of engineering projects with hundreds of wikis, in many languages, and truly collaborate to build new features together. Hiring hundreds of Community Liaisons isn't really a viable option.

There are probably things in the way we do tech stuff (e.g. new software features and deployments) that drive you insane. You probably have lots of ideas about what the ideal situation should be, and how to get there: What can the developer community (staff and volunteers) do to get there? (in the short term, medium term, long term?) What can users do to get there?

I certainly don't claim to have all the answers, and I can't do a proper job to improve things without your help. So please help me help make your lives easier, and speak up.

This is intended to be a very open discussion. Unapologetic complaining is fine; suggestions are also welcome. Stock of ponies is limited. guillom 14:39, 23 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Fixing sister-project specific bugs would be nice. 40501, for instance. —Tom Morris (talk) 23:13, 19 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Btw, please add me to the CC-list on any Wikinews related bugs (just put bawolff+wn in the cc field on the bug), and I'll try to at the very least look into them. Bawolff 17:37, 4 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

GNSM breakage

There was an issue with GNSM extension so the RSS feed is currently broken (Since deployment of 1.21wmf5). Issue will hopefully be resolved soon. Sorry for the inconvenience. Bawolff 18:03, 4 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The issue should now be fixed thanks to Reedy quickly deploying the fixed version of the code as well as originally reporting the issue in bugzilla:42648. Bawolff 18:28, 4 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Yellow Moxie!

I hate that crap!!!!!!! It just attacked my Texas Nationalist Movement article!! Grrrrrrrrrr!!!! --Bddpaux (talk) 03:04, 16 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

IPv6 blocks

Don't fancy trying to figure out IPv6 blocks at-all.

Not that I'm suggesting blocking this user, but as far as I'm aware, many people will have obtained large blocks of IPs. -- (talk) 14:28, 20 December 2012 (UTC)[reply] --Pi zero (talk) 14:55, 20 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Wikinews Importer Bot

There is a problem with the Wikinews Importer Bot at the English Wikipedia's Current events portal. Updates at Wikinews are not being copied to the portal. Can anyone here help out at w:Portal talk:Current events#Wikinews stories? The bot operator has not edited since October. -- John of Reading (talk) 11:00, 27 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Hi. I posted at Template talk:Lead 2.0#Border hack not working about a possible fix to the problem currently exhibited on the Main Page where the image credit link occasionally reads "border|Image credit". I'm posting here as I'm not sure many people watch that template talk page and it'll require an admin to edit the template. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:32, 28 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]