Wikipedia:Village pump (WMF)

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The WMF section of the village pump is a community-managed page. Editors or Wikimedia Foundation staff may post and discuss information, proposals, feedback requests, or other matters of significance to both the community and the foundation. It is intended to aid communication, understanding, and coordination between the community and the foundation, though Wikimedia Foundation currently does not consider this page to be a communication venue.

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IP Address Masking Confirmed As MandatoryEdit

Per a recent update on the IP Masking project, Legal has apparently decided that IP masking is no longer desirable but mandatory, with consultation now limited to implementation form.

Thus far Legal have not provided reasoning on that, but they are set to give a statement (detail level unknown), likely in the next week.

As this will have a significant effect on anti-vandalism efforts, please provide your ideas, concerns, and comments on the discussion page on how to mitigate any negative consequences and utilise any potential positives. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:19, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

This link will be useful here--Ymblanter (talk) 11:01, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
Looks like we need, and will have, an RFC on this. Alsee (talk) 09:38, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
I believe that our traditional workflow is as follows:
  1. The W?F proposes something on an obscure meta page. Nobody notices.
  2. The W?F posts it somewhere else, and literally everyone who replies hates it.
  3. The W?F reaffirms their commitment to listening to user feedback.
  4. The W?F announces that they are going to go ahead and do it anyway and you can all go and pound sand.
  5. An RfC is posted. Hundreds of people contribute. The result is overwhelmingly negative.
  6. The W?F goes ahead and does what they were always planning on doing.
  7. The shit hits the fan, admins resign, The Signpost does a feature. Wikipediocracy does a feature. The Register does a feature. The Guardian does a feature. The New York Times does a feature.
  8. The board of directors tells the W?F to knock it off. Nobody gets fired or demoted.
  9. Return to start.
I will make popcorn. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:19, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Sometimes they skip step 4 and go straight to step 6, which we then follow with step 5. Extra butter, please. – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:58, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Depiction of Wikipedia Foundation Wikimedia Foundation destroying Wikipedia with the Fram ban, IP masking, and the 2020 rebrand instead of making obvious but boring improvements to what we have. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 18:52, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
The W?F has thrown a lot of crap at us before, but basically saying "we want more vandals" is a new low. Popcorn tastes good. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 18:52, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

This might be a good next step. -- RoySmith (talk) 21:30, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

I've said this elsewhere, but didn't gain much traction. Showing IP info to logged-in users isn't a problem. Exposing it to every anon, scraper and mirror is a problem. But W?F want to hide it from all of us. Pelagicmessages ) – (20:33 Thu 05, AEST) 10:33, 5 November 2020 (UTC)

  • There should be some freedom for project communities to decide which flag should include the technical right to see IPs. Some projects may decide to allow it to patrollers, other only for admins (W?F proposal doesn't even allow admins). Ain92 (talk) 20:07, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
What is the exact legal issue? Can wikipedia just encrypt the ip address with a different id for each edit? Wakelamp d[@[email protected]]b (talk) 13:16, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
  • I think every edit should be randomized, so you never know who made what edit, on talk pages and articles. 100% mystery, even admin actions and Arb discussions. That would fix all our problems and make Wikipedia a great place to be an admin at. Maybe they will bump it up to that. Dennis Brown - 23:13, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I never thought I would wind up advocating that we suspend IP editing, but that now seems to be the sensible option, at least until the WMF has a solution in place and working reasonably well on a sizeable Wikipedia. ϢereSpielChequers 23:34, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
    • What do you mean? Which Wikipedia? Jason Quinn (talk) 15:27, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
      • If the WMF comes up with a design for IP masking that one or more of the 300 language versions of Wikipedia agrees to test then I would be interested to see the results. For EN I think we should follow Portuguese. ϢereSpielChequers 23:36, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
    • WereSpielChequers, no kidding—I have always viewed IP editing as an integral part of Wikipedia, but this project is only making me think that can't last. I typically am blasé about general WMF/project governance decisions, but this one I have some serious concerns about. Perryprog (talk) 21:58, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
I say this advisedly. You have got to be fucking kidding?--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 06:02, 24 February 2021 (UTC)

UCOC SurveyEdit

There doesn't seem to be an UCOC survey for enwiki, but you can participate in e.g. the Wikidata one, here. Most questions are not Wikidata specific anyway, and a fair number are hardly intelligible. E.g. "In the event consensus will be reached about the establishment of an "enforcement body", either on Wikidata or within the Wikimedia community, to address harassment and threats, how much do you agree with the following statements? ... Larger communities should have the possibility to opt-in the scope of action of such "enforcement body", should there be consensus about it." Do you agree or disagree with this? No idea, I don't know how a community can "opt-in the scope of action"[sic] if the enforcement body is established locally in the first place. Fram (talk) 14:35, 12 February 2021 (UTC)

I have seen that a survey has been sent to some people on Commons though the questions are different between the two surveys seemingly reflecting that the two "facilitators" are different people. Xeno (WMF) what can you tell us about enwiki? Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:07, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the questions Fram & Barkeep49: some local consultations started earlier as they required more time due to the translation workflows or multilingual nature of those projects (and while I've been following along, the individual facilitators would be better placed to discuss).
For enwiki, the upcoming consultation planned for March (entitled "Meta-wiki consultation") which I'm designing will involve global discussions as well as discussions that are tailored to individual projects. I hope to ensure that any points where the global policy is impractical in individual community contexts are identified and clearly highlighted to the drafting committee writing the application section.
Please let me know about any other ongoing local discussions, or if you have any thoughts about the upcoming consultation. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 20:40, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
@Xeno (WMF) I feel like I have less of a grasp on what will happen than before i started reading this message. Enwiki editors will be expected to participate in meta conversations if they want a voice? Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:11, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
Barkeep49: The goal is seek feedback from editors of all communities, so discussions that happen locally will be considered and are linked from meta:Universal Code of Conduct/Discussions#Community discussions. Since the formal consultation will involve many different languages and project types, we're still finalizing the exact process to ensure all the feedback is properly organized and considered. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 21:49, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
Well it seems to me that the goal is to solicit feedback from everyone but especially the Arabic, Bangla, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Malay, Nepali, Polish, and Yoruba Wikipedias plus Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata. Like the nice part of me wants to be sympathetic to the idea that there are probably some really great ideas being planned behind the scenes that just aren't finalized enough for you to reveal yet and if I'm patient there will be some comparable consultation with enwiki.
However, there's another part of me that is less charitable. That part of me is based on past experiences with foundation initiatives. Not with foundation staff, I have worked with a variety of foundation staff and on the whole have found them just absolutely delightful and competent at their jobs. However, initiatives seem to be this other thing at the foundation and so my personal affinity and respect for a number of staff doesn't translate to good results. Perhaps it's the people who I haven't worked with driving those initiatives and overruling the good staff who I do know. That part of me says that I should be alarmed that you won't commit to a discussion with enwiki. That part of me is resigned to the fact that it's only large scale anger that has a prayer of getting foundation attention and has me already beginning to think how we would go about generating that kind of attention, perhaps building on our own ability to work cross wiki without the foundation in the middle. I don't like it when I can't convince myself that the nice part of me is what should win out. Sadly, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:52, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
Barkeep49, I had the impression (I'd have to look for diffs to support that claim) that the UCoC was written to codify the existing consensus on the projects that have robust behavioural policies. It was not supposed to conflict with existing enwp policies. As far as its authors are concerned, if I understand them correctly, nothing will change for English Wikipedia. Unfortunately, they are very quiet. Not one has engaged in the discussion of their work. Vexations (talk) 23:10, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
Vexations, I mean I've heard Maggie Dennis (noping: Mdennis (WMF) ) say something similar during office hours. And I don't actually have much to quibble with in the UCoC and certainly don't see anything that brings it into conflict with enwiki policies/guidelines. I would go so far as to say I support the UCoC in principle. However, enforcement is the whole ball game and if it is decided that the UCoC is to be regularly enforced on enwiki that's going to be a problem. And that's what phase two is about: how should the UCoC be enforced. So I would expect that enwiki is consulted so they don't just hear these concerns from me, but from the community writ large. And we're here because Xeno can't or won't say that enwiki will be consulted unlike 9 specific Wikipedias plus the two largest non-wikipedia projects. Instead Xeno seems to have written a response to a nice open ended question asking about what he can tell us about enwiki with an answer that boils down to "I can tell you nothing about enwiki". The answer maybe implies enwiki will be one of the "individual project" discussions are "tailored" to. Or maybe it doesn't imply that at all. And so rather than being patient knowing that our time will come, I'm forced to be a Talmudic scholar deciphering missives from a foundation representative. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 23:28, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
@Vexations: I too have had this impression. Frankly, I am worried that communications from WMF staff on this front have been deceptive, and that enwiki will be more deeply affected by the UCoC and the Global Council than anyone would have reasonably anticipated. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 23:50, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
Sorry Barkeep49 if I wasn't clear: input from enwiki will be integral to the consultation, and my goal is to ensure the input of this community (and every community) is given due attention, and that individual users are comfortable expressing their thoughts and opinions. I welcome input on how best to achieve that goal. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 00:09, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
"input from enwiki will be integral to the consultation": I sure hope so, but that would be a first in this whole UCOC thing, where the actual UCOC is already finalized and the enforcement rules will be written before the largest communities (en, fr, de) are heard for the first time. I fear this is yet another token consultation which won't change a thing, with feeble excuses like "we are already too far in the process to change that now" or "we hear you" (without actually doing anything). All of this is yet another top-down WMF effort (like the rebranding and so many other things), with the same mistakes being made in all of them. The query I linked will probably used to justify some decisions as well, even though some of the questions are incomprehensible and thus the answers worthless (and some others are very leading in the choices given). Anyway, thanks for answering here. Fram (talk) 09:09, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
@Xeno (WMF): I'm a bit confused. Should we be waiting for someone from the WMF to organise a survey or discussion on the UCOC on enwiki? Or should we start one ourselves and then link it at meta? – Joe (talk) 11:11, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
Joe Roe: It probably makes sense to hold for the structured conversations, where the discussions will be facilitated and organized into major topic groups. The first round (planned for March) will be asking broad questions about potential application of the UCoC globally and in individual community contexts. There is also a parallel consultation ("Functionary consultations") inviting input from Arbitration Committees, CheckUsers, Oversighters, Stewards, and other functionaries. The second round (planned for mid-2021) will seek community input on the proposals created by a drafting committee using the input gathered in earlier rounds. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 14:51, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
The statement I was looking for is summarized in the answer to question 13 of the Universal Code of Conduct/FAQ I'm not sure if there ever was a statement that enwp's policies do meet or exceed the UCoC expectations
Earlier statements from the board do not give the impression that the existing enwp policies are sufficient: [1] for example, and especially the Board's Statement on Healthy Community Culture, Inclusivity, and Safe Spaces, which states rather bluntly : The Board does not believe we have made enough progress toward creating welcoming, inclusive, harassment-free spaces in which people can contribute productively and debate constructively. Vexations (talk) 21:17, 20 February 2021 (UTC)
Re. "some local consultations started earlier as they required more time ... individual facilitators" and "welcome input on how best to achieve that goal". I read the Commons and 'Data conversations last week, and ran the non-English-language discussions through Google Translate (haven't checked back this week yet). I hope they get down to the nitty gritty in time. I got the impression that the questions being asked so far are very general and bland, like 'how do you feel about the Code?' and 'how do you think you should report conduct problems?'.
It's interesting to compare the general tone of the responses across language communities. Bangla seems to be like 'this is really good we need this'. Polish is 'go away why is Foundation imposing this we already have an admin noticeboard and an arbcom and we are a lot more civil than wp:en'. In Arabic several people said they would support a Code if they could have input into its formulation, not realizing that ship had already sailed. (Apologies if I am misinterpreting or misrepresenting those discussions.)
I'm glad to see that Xeno (WMF) is involved in this. But I still fear that despite having some good facilitators, management direction will result in the consultations just asking us in vague terms what we want, then doing something else anyway. (Then W?F will claim community support for whatever the hell it is the W?F wanted in the first place, because "consultations were held and they were very thorough and successful". And when we say that we didn't ask for this, W?F will say it was directed by the Board, and the Board will say it was "requested by the community" in the Strategy 2030 process, just like how Shani is saying the community requested rebranding.)
What we really need is some concrete proposals on the table that we can hash out. Probably English Wikipedia and some of the other "ornery" Wikipedias (de, ru?) will go into depth regardless of the questions asked. But will we be listened to? Pelagicmessages ) – (11:30 Sat 20, AEDT) 00:30, 20 February 2021 (UTC)
  • @Barkeep49, Vexations, L235, and Xeno: - it clearly isn't intended to be just a formalisation for those communities with significant conduct policy already in place, because in the UCOC-formation "consultation" there were multiple comments from WMF staff, plus the ongoing surveys' questions, suggesting they want a private conduct submission process (even for just on-wiki conduct issues). That suggests the ability to know one's accuser, accused knowing all the evidence against them (in all but the most egregious cases), standard review of accuser's behaviour, etc are not going to be the case. If there is going to be a later meta discussion, there must also be an earlier en-wiki (and de-wiki, etc etc) discussion. The WMF, to me, seems to be prepping to go "some communities want this, and that outweighs what 75% of the editors want" or "we're too far into the process, we'll take your thoughts into account in the actual execution) Nosebagbear (talk) 15:44, 20 February 2021 (UTC)
    Listen I'm clearly willing to gripe at the foundation and am skeptical about their intentions. But I think it's a stretch to say they want a private conduct submission process (even for just on-wiki conduct issues). That suggests the ability to know one's accuser, accused knowing all the evidence against them (in all but the most egregious cases), standard review of accuser's behaviour, etc are not going to be the case. I think they're throwing out a lot of concepts - see the idea of "volunteers" being paid for this work mentioned in the commons survey - not knowing what will work best. I think they don't have the answers. But I also don't think they're going to have a process that will allow for comments except for answers to questions they ask and I think they're going to move at a speed incompatible with the scope of this task. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:30, 20 February 2021 (UTC)
    Since you pinged me as a volunteer, I get to reply as one: This is the way =)
    From the commons/wikidata prompts: "How do we balance privacy and safety of reporters with transparency and accountability of reports?" This is something that our community grapples with also, so it is not unexpected the Foundation is seeking advice on how to balance these needs in a manner acceptable to the communities. Enwiki already has a private conduct submission process (even for just on-wiki conduct issues), so the answer from enwiki users might be: "route it to arbcom-en". Shunting it to community members doesn't necessarily solve the problem, though as the balance still needs to be struck by someone. I've found that the private reporting system can still reduce harm without necessarily throwing transparency and accountability out the window: Private reports received at arbcom-en may result in a dialog with the reporting user to determine their level of comfort for the committee's possible responses, as even taking on-wiki action (or even privately contacting the reported user(s)) to address the reported behaviour can cause additional harm in unintended ways. A private reporting system could allow editors to seek assistance with experiences they are receiving as harassment in a non-public space and receive support from users experienced or trained in harm reduction to assist them with addressing the concern in ways the editor had not previously contemplated. –xenotalk 18:00, 20 February 2021 (UTC)
    @xeno: okay but what does Xeno (WMF) have to say about this?  MJLTalk 23:24, 20 February 2021 (UTC)

What we've got here is failure to communicate (some mobile editors you just can't reach)Edit

Over a year ago, I reported two problems to the WMF:

(1) Logged-in mobile web editors are not given a very strong indication that they have new messages. There's just a little number in a red circle. It's similar to what many other sites use for "Exciting! New! Offers!" and other garbage. There's nothing to say "A human being wants to talk to you."

(2) Mobile web IP editors are given no indication at all that they have new messages. Nothing. Every template warning, every carefully thought out personal message, and everything else just disappears into a black hole, unless the user stumbles across their talk page by accident, or switches to the desktop interface.

But I get it. Bugs happen. They can be fixed. Instead both problems were marked as a "low" priority.

This is baffling. Problem 1 is a serious issue. Problem 2 is utterly unacceptable.

We are yelling at users (or even dragging them to WP:ANI) for "ignoring" our messages that they have no idea exist. We are expecting them learn without any communication all sorts of rules from WP:V to WP:3RR to WP:MOS that don't even apply to most other sites on the web.

Until they get blocked, of course. What a terrible experience. How are we supposed to gain new users when their very first interaction with a human is being told to f--- off, for "ignoring" a message they didn't even know about?

WMF, please explain to this community why this is a "low" priority. One year is long enough. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 22:55, 16 February 2021 (UTC)

I'll just note that a majority of our users are accessing us on mobile so this isn't a niche problem either. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 23:26, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
Wow. Neglected high-priority phabricator tickets are nothing new, but this is another level. Jimbo Wales, this deserves your attention. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 08:11, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
I would like to point out that the majority of messages left to IPs will never reach the user in question anyways, ESPECIALLY on mobile connections. Due to shared ips, the chance of someone else viewing the message before the person you are trying to reach is probably about 50/50. I realise that sometimes leaving a message is effective, but there are serious questions about all the cases where it is simply leaving a very confusing and often aggressively toned message to a completely different user just randomly reading an article at the busstop a month later. What we really need is a completely new way to leave messages to anonymous users. Possibly with some sort of very short lived session or something. But as ip users are more or less stateless (the software concept) right now, that is probably hard to implement. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:26, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
@TheDJ: I would have no objection to expiring the OBOD if the talk page isn't clicked in a few days. Many messages come only a few minutes after the user makes the edit; most mobile carriers aren't that dynamic. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 17:14, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
Equally baffling is that mobile app users do not see any notifications, including no talk page notifications, logged in or out. The link to talk is buried within the settings. Official mobile apps! They don't even see block messages! See T263943 and others. This block review and also this discussion where an editor also tested block messages. The editor was blocked multiple times for something that was not their fault but that of a poorly thought out app. They are not alone. Quote from phab task: Conclusion: Using the app is like being inside a bubble, without contacts with the exterior. It's no wonder there's so much people complaining here that using the app caused their Wikipedia account to be blocked, for reasons they don't understand. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 09:33, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
I have filed T275117 and T275118. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 10:22, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
I'm always surprised that anyone manages to edit with the mobile interface. As another example, if you're not logged in, there is no way to access the talk page of an article, or even any indication that it exists. If an unregistered user makes an edit and is reverted with a common summary like "see talk", I imagine many will have no idea what's going on. – Joe (talk) 09:39, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
The mobile web, and mobile apps, appear to be designed for readers and not writers. Having used mobile web occasionally, I think it's usable for logged in editing, but I do have to switch to desktop every now and then. I've used the iOS app only for a test - it is not usable for editing imo. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 09:55, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
The number of edits I have made with the mobile web or app interface is most likely less than 50 (out of 13,000). Even for reading, the mobile interface is borderline unusable. I do frequently edit from my 4-inch cell phone screen (in fact, I'm doing that right now)... but I use the desktop version. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 14:04, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
I agree with Joe and have always found Cullen328 to be a bit of a superhero for being who he is on a mobile device. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:19, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words, Barkeep49, but I simply use the fully functional desktop site on my Android smartphone. It's easy. If I was the king of the Wikimedia Foundation, I would shut down the mobile site and apps, because they are an ongoing impediment to serious editing. RoySmith, there is no need to invest more effort (money) on a good editing interface for mobile, because that interface already exists - the desktop site. Just change its name from desktop to universal or something, and the problem will be solved.Cullen328 Let's discuss it 18:34, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
  • In some parts of the world, laptops and desktops are common, and people's phones are their second screen. In an environment like that, yes, it makes sense for mobile devices to be thought of as a read-mostly interface. On the other hand, in other parts of the world (particularly India in the context of English language users), mobile is how people access the internet.[2] There's no doubt that building a good editing interface for mobile is a hard thing, but we should be investing more effort there. Poor mobile editing tools disenfranchises a large segment of the world's population. -- RoySmith (talk) 14:41, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
  • @Suffusion of Yellow: Thank you for basically expressing exactly the same problem I wanted to. I have blocked a few editors who seem to be editing in good faith but just don't communicate, which eventually end up at ANI and after much agonising, get hit with as friendly a WP:ICANTHEARYOU block as we can muster. In the last instance, Mdd97 (talk · contribs), I specifically made a custom block template that said "CLICK HERE TO READ YOUR MESSAGES" in a way that they surely couldn't miss .... but again, following the block they've not edited again. We have to get to the bottom of this; if it's got to the stage where I've got to block people and the root cause is a software fault, it needs to be fixed. Surely the WMF can't be happy that I've needed to issue blocks on good-faith editors in this manner. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 16:10, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
  • To address a reaction some might have, yes, the vast majority of users on mobile are readers, not editors, and no, I wouldn't want the community totally in charge of redesigning the mobile interface, since we'd end up with the phenomenon we have at desktop where e.g. the tools section of the sidebar is visible to every user on every page despite it being of zero use to 99.9% of them. But this request is not just editor-centrism; it applies to users who have already edited and who badly need a notification to help them not get lost. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 18:55, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I think the mw:Talk pages project, especially now that they are beginning to work on subscribing to notifications for talk page sections, could be interested in this discussion. Pinging User:PPelberg (WMF) and User:Whatamidoing (WMF). It also touches on UCoC Enforcement, highlighting that there needs to be funding for software dev. in addition to other measures. Pinging User:SPoore (WMF) and User:BChoo (WMF) for want of knowing who to contact regarding Phase 2. Pelagicmessages ) – (09:51 Sat 20, AEDT) 22:51, 19 February 2021 (UTC) ... Adding User:Xeno (WMF) after seeing section above. Pelagicmessages ) – (09:55 Sat 20, AEDT) 22:55, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

Question - Is this something that could be cured by bringing back the "Orange Bar of Death"? Mjroots (talk) 16:31, 22 February 2021 (UTC)

@Mjroots: the orange bar of death never went away. Last I check, it's still there for non mobile IP editors. That's why they get an indication of new messages. AFAIK, it was never there for the mobile web editor, that's probably part of the problem. Nil Einne (talk) 03:06, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
What no one has ever told me is why it was left out in the first place. Was it a simple oversight? Did someone have such a little understanding of how the sites work that they thought communication was unnecessary? Some other reason, that I'm not thinking of? This is the most confusing part. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 17:14, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
I wish it could be brought back for all editors. Looks like bringing it in for IPs on mobiles could be the cure here. Mjroots (talk) 18:40, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
This is alarming but not surprising. Since I do a lot of question answering at the Teahouse, I'll point out a random IP's post from yesterday, in the same vein as some of the sentiments noted above: "Also, why don’t they get rid of the mobile view? So terrible!".--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:29, 24 February 2021 (UTC)

Broader concerns about difficulty of getting phab tickets resolvedEdit

  • Also, I hope that this specific issue gets handled here, but the larger point that I think this highlights is that it's incredibly difficult to get phab tickets resolved. I sympathize that there are limited developer resources, but Wikipedia has fallen really far behind most of the rest of the web in the basics, and the focus seems to be on building new (sometimes desired, sometimes not) products rather than patching up the core. Having a wishlist once a year where the community collects together hundreds of urgent problems that have already been reported (in some cases for years) and then a tiny team tackles the top 10 is nowhere near enough. Items 10-50 are essential, too. When a problem like this has been on phabricator for a year, we shouldn't have to come here to beg for it to get attention. I could point to plenty of other tickets in a similar situation. What steps could be taken to get significantly more phab tasks out of the backlog? {{u|Sdkb}}talk 18:55, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
    Sdkb, To be fair to the MWF, the focus seems to be on building new (sometimes desired, sometimes not) products rather than patching up the core has been true on every project I've ever worked on. New stuff is sexy. It's what everybody wants to work on. Most engineering organizations overtly encourage this attitude by putting their best people on new projects, and by rewarding shipping new stuff with raises and promotions, to a greater extent than doing maintenance. -- RoySmith (talk) 19:08, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
    RoySmith, for the foundation, the cause is slightly different. The original idea was that they would work 'on the big things' and that the MediaWiki community can pick up the smaller tasks. This concept really stems from around 2009. Unfortunately since then volunteer development hasn't really increased, while MediaWiki itself has become a lot bigger and more complex. I've indicated multiple times in multiple interviews with WMF that I think it is not wise to have so many smaller problems in existing code, with NO owner, and that it creates quality problems.
    Since 2015 there is a core team that thinks about such problems in core, but that team is rather invisible to most of the community (they deal mostly with database, caching, api and authentication issues, keeping things running rly). I have also stated multiple times that we should have at least a 1000 developers.... but this seems to be impossible/unwanted. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:58, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
    I agree that the urge to work on shiny new features persists everywhere - maintaining things is often boring and repetitive, with little 'to show' for your work, while developing new features has an obvious impact. However, maintenance is incredibly important lest a project accumulate an unworkable amount of technical debt. I'd be happy to look at contributing a pull request for this myself if I can dust off my rather rusty PHP skills, and figure out just how you actually go about submitting a PR for MediaWiki. ƒirefly ( t · c ) 10:43, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
    Firefly, please see mediawikiwiki:New_DevelopersTheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:48, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
    Aha, that looks like what I need. Thanks! ƒirefly ( t · c ) 10:51, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
    Firefly, and more specifically for MediaWiki: How to become a MediaWiki hackerTheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:07, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
    Yeah, found that - thanks! ƒirefly ( t · c ) 11:43, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
    For me, the issue I have with contributing to MediaWiki development is: (1) I really dislike Gerrit; (2) code reviews are irritating; (3) it's irritating to get WMF sign off on various things I'd want to work on. WMF don't really respond to tickets half the time (fair enough there's a limited amount of attention to go around). Some projects (like FlaggedRevs) are totally abandoned; I wanted to work on improvements to that codebase but there's nobody that will actually code review changes to it. The idea that volunteers work on all the boring/maintenance/smaller stuff and paid devs get to work on the fun stuff is icky. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 12:01, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
    ProcrastinatingReader, When you say, "code reviews are irritating", do you mean WMF does them in an irritating way, or are you objecting to the entire concept of code review? -- RoySmith (talk) 16:26, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
    I mean some patches just don't get reviewed quickly, or are in obscure parts of the codebase that few people want to review. There's an Echo patch I started (but someone else finished/did much of the work on) which allows for Echo notifications to be given for multi-rev reverts. Still awaiting code review. Of course code should be reviewed, just it's not exactly motivating to have to wait months for patches lying around till they get deployed. This isn't uncommon in many orgs, especially large enterprises, I acknowledge. But compare this to, say, editing here and getting consensus on issues in a week or a month max via RfC. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 16:30, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
    Since 2015 there is a core team that thinks about such problems in core Your timeline is a little off. Up until 2015 there was a core team. In 2015 it split into several smaller teams, and then three weeks later the "core" part was disbanded by WMF executives. A new core team was re-formed in 2017. Then in 2019 or 2020 the focus slowly started shifting to "new shiny things" again. I haven't kept track since to see to what extent they still pay attention to "core" stuff, but as with the 2015–2017 period I'm sure the devs that are left still try to pay attention to core even if management is focused on shiny things. Anomie 13:54, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
    The dates when the core team was disbanded then reassembled appear to match when Lila Treitikov was head of WMF. If there is a connection, then it would confirm something about the WMF I've long suspected: no one there understands how to properly integrate the technology side with the educational mission. If a technical person is put in charge, the wants & ideas of that side are prioritized -- often to the detriment of the community of volunteers. If a non-technical person is put in charge, that person often has no grasp of how to manage the technical side & ends up being buffaloed into allowing the technical side do whatever it wants. Unless you are interested in promoting technical solutions all of the problems with Wikipedia & the other projects (e.g. "AI will solve all of our content issues"), it is difficult if not impossible to get heard, let alone allowed to enact ideas. -- llywrch (talk) 22:07, 21 February 2021 (UTC)
    I don't think technical knowledge or lack thereof in the ED makes much of a difference. Technical managers push technical solutions to be seen as "managing", and non-technical managers do other things like push through codes of conduct and rebrandings for the same reason. A friend of mine has compared the practice of management (in general, not specifically at WMF) to James A. Garfield#Treatment and death. Anomie 23:12, 21 February 2021 (UTC)
    The difference I am pointing out is that while Treitikov emphasized to her misfortune the Knowledge Machine, it was merely a different species of the same genre of approaches: emphasizing technology without concern about the people who actually make Wikipedia, et alia, successful. The Knowledge Machine at best was unnecessary; at worst it would replace the self-organizing communities of volunteers -- as many fear Wikidata might. Individuals routinely point out shortcomings in the UI that prevent volunteers from participating, such as missing features in the mobile web editing interface or (perhaps more egregious) failure to support blind users; the PTB respond that such requests are difficult & would require more manpower to solve. Yet there is ample resources to support new features the technical side wants to work on. I would hope competent management would explain clearly their priorities should be what the communities want & need -- not another shiny new feature. -- llywrch (talk) 17:23, 22 February 2021 (UTC)
    One of the things they never find time to fix (failure to support blind users) is actually illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and exposes the W?F to potential lawsuits. See National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corp.. --Guy Macon (talk) 10:34, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
    IANAL, but according to our article Unruh Civil Rights Act#Disability litigation California disability access plaintiffs are allowed claim treble damages with a minimum of $4000 per access violation plus attorneys fees. As far as I can tell, it matters not where you are incorporated, only that you have a physical presence in California. An HQ in San Fransisco will do nicely. --Guy Macon (talk) 10:56, 24 February 2021 (UTC)
    I've always believed locating the Foundation's HQ in the Bay Area would prove to be an unprofitable expense. -- llywrch (talk) 06:43, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
    It's unlikely that it would directly apply in this case; the Unruh Act focused on commercial entities and is relevant here as the Ninth is one of the circuits which has found that an internet site has to have a digital nexus to be a place of public accommodation under the ADA (which is why Unruh was used). There's currently a circuit split on this question. CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 02:52, 27 February 2021 (UTC)
    Whenever the WMF next holds trustee elections, I'll be voting for trustees who commit to allocating a lot more of the $100+ million annual budget to software development for maintenance tasks like clearing phab tickets (not just new features, although those are important, too). I hope everyone else does the same. The way we fix this problem is to make sure we have trustees that are spending the money correctly. If we don't do that, we'll never get the phab backlog cleared (or replace MediaWiki with something better). Levivich harass/hound 20:16, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
    It is quite possible that the WMF never holds the next trustee elections.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:49, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
    I doubt you are the only one who suspects that will become the new normal. -- llywrch (talk) 07:35, 26 February 2021 (UTC)
    Their timeline says they'll pick the election process by April 15, and they're (for now) saying they want to complete that election process by the end of the year. I actually doubt that they'll just abandon this timeline altogether. It would look really bad if they had to pass another resolution this year temporarily re-appointing themselves, as they did last year. I think they'll be keen on voting on something concrete (meaning amending the bylaws with this new election process) before summer, so that their temporary term extensions don't have to be re-extended. The bigger question in my mind is what kind of election process they'll select on April 15, and specifically whether they're going to put all the Board seats up for grabs or reappoint themselves. That's going to be the proof of the pudding in terms of whether their intent is to actually continue with elections, or to retain their seats. Levivich harass/hound 18:31, 26 February 2021 (UTC)
    On that page, I only see selection, not election.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:50, 26 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Very good point and question! I'm quite confident that the solution to the problem of "limited developer resources" does not require a lot of time or a lot of money (the latter of which Levivich seems to suggest).

Instead, it's only a matter of will or decision-making.
Wikipedia is one of the largest websites in the world and has a daily audience of millions and probably something on the order of a twentieth of all trained developers in the world (daily).

I'm all for spending lots (i.e. most) of Wikipedia's financial resources on improving the software, but that's not what it needs at all. I also wouldn't oppose (spending more money for) financial rewards or financial hiring of developers but don't see any reason why volunteer development wouldn't remain to be a major part of this.
Implementing this only needs one administrator to spend something on the order of a weekend if at all (or a few days and devs more depending on the specifics of the implementation). Imo this should have been addressed years ago and get addressed first before any particular technical issue. --Prototyperspective (talk) 22:27, 28 February 2021 (UTC)
You might want to read WP:CANCER to see what the phrase "lots (i.e. most) of Wikipedia's financial resources" means in dollars. I'm just saying. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:36, 28 February 2021 (UTC)

Second office hours - Call for Feedback: Community Board seatsEdit

Hi all, I want to announce the second office hours for the Call for Feedback: Community Board seats.

The Call for Feedback about Community Board seats selection processes is happening between February 1 and March 14. With the help of a team of community facilitators, we are organizing conversations and gathering feedback. It is not too late to join the conversation! Talk to you all soon! Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 22:52, 16 February 2021 (UTC)

[Copied across from WP:VPM]

  • For ease, the second office hours are on Saturday 20th February at 4 different times. Whatever your views, please attend. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:13, 18 February 2021 (UTC)

Latest versions of browsers break Wikimedia single sign-onEdit

Recent Firefox and Safari browsers now have "total cookie protection" sandbox cookie storage to prevent cross-site tracking by third party cookies. Unfortunately, this also seems to break the Wikimedia single-sign-on mechanism. See for a description of how it works.

This clearly either needs WMF liason with Mozilla and other browser vendors to whitelist the single sign on mechanism, or to use the Storage Access API to request it be permitted on a site-by-site basis.

TheDJ has filed a bug phab:T226797 for this behavior on Safari, and I can confirm that Firefox 86.0 now shows the same behavior. Apparently Chrome will do the same on the next release.

This is a blocker for serious cross-wiki editorial work, and needs to be fixed ASAP -- how best can we get the WMF's attention on this? -- The Anome (talk) 10:08, 25 February 2021 (UTC)

The phab ticket is indeed the right way. I've added a pointer to this discussion to the phab ticket and requested that it be given high priority. -- RoySmith (talk) 14:10, 25 February 2021 (UTC)

enwiki Board consultation?Edit

Ok then, we'll try this over at AN. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:17, 26 February 2021 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Attending the office hours last weekend thanks to Nosebagbear's notification, the the WMF emphasized that they are willing to hold guided/moderated discussions about this topic with particular groups/communities. Is this something other editors of English Wikipedia would be interested in having? If so I think we can let the WMF know so a date/time could be found to do it. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:01, 25 February 2021 (UTC)

  • I'd certainly be for it, especially since I suspect we could get some good staff attendance for en-wiki's, with an easier anticipation than the full meta ones. I'd also be interested to see whether en-wiki as a whole has any particularly cohesive views different from other communities Nosebagbear (talk) 22:19, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Barkeep49: This page has very little visibility, something like only 200 watchers. Might want to signal boost your query. –xenotalk 22:57, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
    • Indeed - VPR or AN would both seem fair Nosebagbear (talk) 23:44, 25 February 2021 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Key quote:

"Of course, the simplest way to prevent bitsquatting attacks is to try and grab bitflipped variations of your own domain names as much as practically possible before a threat actor does."
"On the defensive side larger companies are easily able to identify and reserve domains that are likely to be used with phishing, bitsquatting, and IDN homoglyph attacks."

It appears that it would cost the Wikimedia foundation less than $200 per year to grab all of the bitsquatting domains, and maybe another few hundred to get all of the "finger hits the next key over" typo domains. They seem to already be doing some of this. Try going to [ ] and [ ]. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:20, 5 March 2021 (UTC)