User talk:Mdennis (WMF)/Archive 5

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You have mail. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:46, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

A cup of coffee for you!

A small cup of coffee.JPG Hello! I am a big fan of everything you write about copyright! I have a question about some stuff you did on Commons and posted about you on Meta. See meta:Talk:Wikimedia_Thematic_Organizations#Is_it_correct_that_this_is_a_community_logo.3F. Thanks for your attention! I hope that someday I can hear you speak in person. Blue Rasberry (talk) 02:02, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. :) I've replied to you there. If you want to follow up with the attorneys, please let me know. I'll keep an eye on that conversation, but it may be a few days before I rotate through my watchlist on Meta. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 11:12, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Great Walstead School

I have become peripherally involved with a problem in an article Great Walstead School where an unpleasant yet verifiable and cited item of history has been removed a couple of times by an IP editor that appears to be a member of the school's staff (reverted twice, once by me, once by another editor, both of us considering the removal simple vandalism). That IP editor has suggested an email correspondence with the school's head teacher here, where I intervened to suggest that you might be the person to talk to. I don't believe that individual Wikipedia editors should become involved in email discussions with potentially aggrieved parties, and am not sure what action should be taken and by whom.

They read this and asked the very reasonable question about how to contact you here, where I have answered to the best of my ability, explaining as best I am able the position Wikipedia takes with verifiable items in articles. I wanted to let you know in advance that this is heading your way on the basis that, if you are not the correct person then you will know who is. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 18:37, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. :) I'll come have a word. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 18:41, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I did not actually call the edit vandalism but rather an unexplained deletion.--Charles (talk) 18:49, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
My misunderstanding, for which I apologise. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 18:55, 23 January 2013 (UTC)


Maggie, I'm asking Milhist what they'd like to do in the way of an IEG. I can't tell from reading meta:Grants:IEG what the day-to-day "command structure" is likely to be, who we'll be reporting to. I'd much prefer to be reporting to someone I know. Would you be interested in playing a role? My proposal is at WT:MHC#IEGs. - Dank (push to talk) 20:15, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Dan. :) There's a structure put in place for that already, so I don't believe that I would be able to assist in that way. In terms of staff, I would imagine that you'd be reporting to Siko Bouterse, who is the head of IEG and just an all around lovely person. The former head of Community Fellowships, she is very used to working with community members and very familiar with community values and processes. (You could probably ask some of the former fellows, like User:Ocaasi and User:Steven Zhang, what it's like to work with her. I'd be surprised if you got anything but glowing responses. :D) I don't know all of the Grantmaking department, but I know most of them, and I think you're going to be in very good hands with them. It's a very new process for everybody, but if you want more clarity I can see what I can find out. I have no issues with asking Siko for specific details, if you let me know what your questions are about the process. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 16:46, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to reserve the right to ask you for help, but with a glowing recommendation like that, I have no problems asking her directly. - Dank (push to talk) 17:08, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
She deserves it. :) Any time I can assist, you are welcome! --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 17:09, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Maggie. - Dank (push to talk) 17:25, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

OTRS help?

Any chance you could take a look at Ticket:2013013010014698? I'm drawing a blank for how to proceed on this Quality ticket. VernoWhitney (talk) 18:56, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Telling new users what Wikipedia isn't

Not to clutter up your talk page, please glance at User:JohnCD/Amspam. That's a list of the spammers I found among the 70-odd entries in CAT:CSD this morning. That's only the ones I dealt with - RHaworth and other admins were working there, too. This is an entirely typical morning.

Two thoughts occur to me. The less important is: 9 out of 12 is a very high proportion of Indian companies, and that also is entirely typical. I'm sure that is partly because there are a lot of Indians, they speak English, and there are probably a lower proportion of admins to users so, their time being ahead of UK, they spam away while I sleep and when I have had my breakfast, and the indefatigable Mean as Custard has tagged them, there they all are. But it did occur to me to wonder if someone is doing an unselective outreach drive in India, just saying "Come and edit Wikipedia, it's easy and free!" If so, could they be asked to add "... but it's NOT for advertising or promoting your company!" There is also a very high proportion of Indians among the new users whose only purpose is to post a Facebook-style mini-autobiography, perhaps for the same reason.

More importantly: this is a serious waste of everybody's time. Those spammers cannot be blamed for treating Wikipedia as a free advertising platform - nobody has told them it isn't. (And it is genuine spam, by the way: "We offer luxury services blended with use of the best surgical disposable and medical materials" "a hassle free and satisfactory experience to clients" "complete customer satisfaction" "Our years of experience and experty in this domain will help you" etc.)

A large number of the unretained new users people worry about were never here to contribute to the encyclopedia, they didn't know it was an encyclopedia, they thought it was another LinkedIn or Myspace, a place to write about themselves, their companies, their garage bands, their self-published books...

Last year I proposed at VPR that at sign-on time prospective users should be told "This is a project to build an encyclopedia. If you would like to help with that, you are very welcome, but if you looking for somewhere to write about yourself, your friends, your band, etc, this is probably not the site for you." The discussion is here. I had half expected that the idea of putting any impediment in the way of new users would be instantly rejected, like ACTRIAL, but both Okeyes (further up the page) and Jorm seemed willing at least to contemplate it.

The idea didn't encounter opposition, but not much interest either, and the discussion petered out, as these things do; but I would like to return to the charge. My main reason for writing this is to ask your advice on how best to go about proposing it. Both the WMF and the en:wp community need persuading, and I'm not sure in which order to proceed. Also, I don't want to waste time butting my head against a brick wall if there is no chance; but after three years as an admin and 50,000 page deletions, many of which are of this entirely-unnecessary never-had-a-chance type, I am beginning to feel burnout approaching when I look at CAT:CSD in the morning and see again the familiar dozen or so "User:Supersoftechindia" type entries.

I have thought of one additional argument: weeding out the spammers and myspacers at sign-on-time would directly improve editor retention only in proportional terms: the ratio retained/starters would go up because starters would be fewer; but I believe it would have an important and beneficial indirect effect by reducing the pressure on New Page Patrollers and admins. When dealing with a flood of no-hope articles from people who have not understood what WP is for, it is all too easy to slip into a defensive mode where the important task seems to be to man the barricades and keep the rubbish out, and that is why the genuine newbie so often encounters a hostile reception. If we discouraged the Myspacers and the spammers from trying to contribute, there would be more time, and a less defensive environment, to welcome the genuine newbies.

Sorry, I did not intend to write so TL;DR a screed. No urgency for reply. Regards, JohnCD (talk) 22:54, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) I read it, John, and agree with you 100%. I hope you/WMF can find a way to improve things. In my lengthy experience on Wikipedia (7 years), I have yet to see a single COI/spammer edit anything but their "own" articles. This is not editor retention, and in fact drives genuine editors away. The problem isn't confined to direct creation either. Take a look at Category:Pending AfC submissions. It has a 1000+ backlog. The vast majority of articles there are basically spam. This not only consumes enormous amounts of the reviewers' time, it is terribly discouraging to the genuine newbies who have written genuine articles, and find them languishing there for weeks. You'll also see that the spammers are very persistent. If they don't get reviewed or approved, they then clog up WikiProject Articles for creation/Help desk, using up yet more volunteer time. I've also observed that the flood of spam articles there tends to make reviewers jaded, and they start rejecting articles out-of-hand that aren't perfect, but aren't spam, and are pretty obviously on suitably notable subjects. I've rescued several like that, and the new editors have gone on become productive ones here on Wikipedia. Frankly, I think it's time to stop pussy-footing around with the wording on the sign-up warnings. Harrumph. :) Voceditenore (talk) 13:04, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Oh my, John. :) Not exactly a soft ball here. :D
There are a lot of people out there who don't understand that Wikipedia is not for this kind of thing. I answered an email from a man this morning who wanted to know what it would cost for him to put his profile on Wikipedia and if we would write it for him or if he would have to write it himself. I know OTRS gets those kinds of emails all the time.
I would take great heart from what Jorm says about this being discussed around the office and see if we can come up with a concise statement and then run an RFC. I would invite all the people who responded to the first discussion, including Jorm.

Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Anyone can edit, including you, but please avoid writing about yourself, your company, or anything you are closely related to. For more explanation, including how to request such articles, click here (1)

Click here (2) to create an account.

I gave a go at trimming it to the essentials. :) If the RFC is well received, it should be much easier to push forward.
What do you (both) think?
(I'm not familiar with any such active outreach in India at the moment, but I'll ask! and Voceditenore, they clog OTRS, too!) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:08, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Yep, they clog up all over the place, AfD, the COI board, Copyright Problems, etc. etc.. They're a huge drain and demoralizing to the rest of us. And the more articles that slip by and get into Wikipedia, the more it encourages others to try. Frankly I'd add an extra sentence after the first one: "Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia, not your free advertising space." But then, I'm kind of evil. :) Best, Voceditenore (talk) 13:22, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
LOL! :D I was trying to get it down to 20 words. I failed, obviously, but I tried.

Welcome to Wikipedia, where we want to hear about almost anything except you. Click here (2) to create an account.

There you go. 19! --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:30, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Excellent, but I'd bold the you. :-) Voceditenore (talk) 13:39, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No, sorry, that won't do the job. The problem is more serious than that. I'm all for keeping the message simple, but that wouldn't stop people who want to tell the world about their companies, their bands, their worthy causes. I think the focus of the message should not be not what the new user should/shouldn't do, so much as explaining what Wikipedia is and what it isn't. If they start merrily off writing their unsuitable article, they are going to get half a page or so of explanation to read when they ask why it was deleted; better for everyone if they read the half- page first, and don't start.

There is one set of explanations I have to give so often that I have written User:JohnCD/Not a noticeboard. That's one approach, but too long; another would be:

Wikipedia is a project to build an encyclopedia.

Everyone is welcome to help with the project. You are welcome to edit Wikipedia, but that does not mean you can put in anything you like.

In order to be a useful encyclopedia, there are a lot of things that Wikipedia is not:

  • It is not a place to tell the world about yourself - see WP:AUTO
  • It is not a place to tell the world about your company, your band, or your worthy cause - see WP:COI
  • It is not for any kind of advertising or promotion - see WP:SOAP
  • It is not a place to copy material into - see WP:Copy-paste

If you try to do any of these things, your contribution will probably be deleted.

You will save yourself time and wasted effort if, before you start, you read WP:Your first article


We would probably need simplified versions of AUTO, COI YFA etc. The no-copying message is important: a high proportion of that thousand-submission AfC backlog will be copies of websites, and so are many of the company-spam articles. One source of deep confusion is the fact that on Myspace, say, one's user page is where one puts the promotional fluff, and so many newbies think the thing to do here is set up an account in the name of their organization and copy its website to the user page.

Thanks for your quick reply: I understand that the way forward is to work out a proposal and start an RfC, involving the WMF at the same time. I'll start a draft on a sub-page somewhere and invite people to comment so as to get something with reasonable support before starting the actual RfC. But I do think the message has got to be fairly blunt. It will go against everyone's deepest instincts, but the message we really need to transmit is: this is an encyclopedia, and only an encyclopedia, and if what you want is something else, GO AWAY!!!

I shall be away till Tuesday; then I will set something up and point you to where it is. Regards, JohnCD (talk) 23:37, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

The Tea Leaf - Issue Seven

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Thanks again! Ocaasi 02:24, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

WebCite about to die

It was just brought to the communities attention at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#a heads-up -- may go dark that WebCite is about to die. That is not good, since many reference links in Wikipedia articles only exist there, since the original has vanished. That is also the problem I tried to address here. Wikipedia articles are only as good as the sources supporting them. Would it be possible for the Wikimedia Foundation to get in contact with them regarding a possible takeover by the Wikimedia Foundation? It would be very interesting to hear whether they would be willing to be acquired by the WMF. Could I also propose this at the page you pointed me to? Or could you maybe propose this to the Wikimedia Foundation?

If possible, these are some questions I think would need to be answered:

  • Is the Wikimedia Foundation willing to do such a step?
  • Does the Wikimedia Foundation have the financial resources for this?
  • Would WebCite be willing to be taken over by the Wikimedia Foundation?

The loss of WebCite would mean that the article citations that have been archived there would be lost and many citation links at Wikipedia be dead. Also, the reason why I asked about starting new Wikimedia projects here was exactly because I wanted to investigate whether the WMF could start its own archiving project. A takeover of WebCite could give Wikipedia access to WebCites already existing database of cached websites. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 19:18, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Well, it seems we have time to explore it. :) I suspect there would need to be considerable community support for the Wikimedia Foundation to consider such a step, just as there was when the WMF agreed to host Wikivoyage. A takeover could be complicated, given that according to [1] it is not yet a distinct entity. Then again, they don't seem to update that page much, given that elsewhere it says "In 2008, we plan...." The first step would probably be to bring it up on Meta. The page that I pointed you to before may not be 100% perfect for this, but is really the only thing we have. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:30, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
It's now proposed here. :) I have a question about the process though. How exactly is it determined which projects are being explored further? Is it the number of people interested in the project? At which stage would the Foundation maybe consider this? Just that I know what still needs to be done with this proposal. I understand that this might be something that maybe hasn't come up before, so I guess the Foundation also has to discuss this internally before anything can be decided. If there is anything else I can/should do just let me know.
Also, it might of course be possible they meet their fundraising goals until the end of the year, but if not, this proposal might be worth for consideration and then it would be beneficial if this has some support from the Wikipedia community -- Toshio Yamaguchi 19:44, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I've asked m:User:Thehelpfulone to speak to this as his involvement in the process could be very helpful. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:07, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi there. I'm a member of the proposed Sister Projects Committee that does the reviewing of these projects proposals. We've got a draft process that was worked on in April/May last year at m:New project process, but other than that we've not really defined anything yet. Whilst a couple of days for a proposal isn't enough to gauge the community's views on the new project, I do see that there's a bit of support so far, so I'll notify the other Committee members about the proposal and ask them to comment on it. A couple of questions that you could possibly find the answers to now though whilst you wait for a review: 1) Is WebCite happy to become a sister project/be "taken over" by the Foundation? 2) Would a $50,000 donation also be considered, and if so is there a break down as to what it would be used for? Thehelpfulone 15:27, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
The founder of WebCite has now expressed his views here. -- Toshio Yamaguchi 07:18, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

WMF Noticeboard

Not sure if you had seen this, but if it succeeds the MFD it might be of ongoing interest to you: Wikipedia:WMFN Cheers, Ocaasi t | c 17:23, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

And I've been told to that I should ask for your input. Would you mind replying at the noticeboard? Thanks so much. Biosthmors (talk) 03:29, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Can you tell me what your question is? :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:21, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Sure. My most acute concern is under Wikipedia:WMFN#Real-time_collaborative_editing.3F. I started WP:VE, but I'm considering starting WP:Real-time collaborative editing. I'd really like to know how seriously this is being dealt with and if the WMF sees it as an important strategic goal like I do. Biosthmors (talk) 22:30, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
FYI, a thread where I point back here: User_talk:Jdforrester_(WMF)#Hello_again. Biosthmors (talk) 23:51, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it's in the plan; not, it's not going to get done this fiscal year. The deliverables for the rest of this fiscal year are set out in the slides from last week's update presentation which was mentioned earlier - File:VisualEditor-Parsoid - 2013-02 Metrics deck.pdf. Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 00:31, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Cool. I read it. I was confused when I first saw "do away with edit tab" but then I saw it would become "edit source". Is there a "the plan" document? ;-) Thanks. Biosthmors (talk) 00:52, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
There's no single master-plan document trying to define everything we'll do over the next few years, but mw:Wikimedia Engineering/2012-13 Goals#Visual Editor contains our goals for the rest of this fiscal year (through to 30 June 2013). Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 17:49, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. I thought there would be some sort of visionary document that said "by 2016 we plan to have a fully integrated real-time collaborative editor to do away with edit conflicts". But that's not written down anywhere? Is there any discussion about the technological challenges associated with implementing RTCE? Is there a presentation that Ashish Dubey gave that I could read? That's the last I've seen. Biosthmors (talk) 17:57, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
And FYI, I don't know if you saw this, by chance, but no one at VPT said a word in reply to my questions, FWIW. Biosthmors (talk) 18:00, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
The VisualEditor (then called "a rich-text editor" was discussed briefly in the Wikimedia movement strategic plan for 2010-2015 and in more detail in the associated MediaWiki Product Whitepaper, but these are now a little dated. Jdforrester (WMF) (talk) 19:08, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks so much for the links! And thanks again for your presentation at Wikimania. Biosthmors (talk) 19:09, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Question about WMF position

Hello again, Maggie/MRG:

At a recent RFA (in which you participated as a Wikipedia editor, rather than in your role with the foundation), another representative of the foundation, writing in that capacity, stated that the RFA was a "hijacking".[2] The nominator has expressed a concern about this on the talk page of the WMF representative, as have I.[3] I have specifically asked if that accusation is the position of the Foundation.

RFA may be somewhat of a free-fire zone, but I think I higher standard of discourse is to be expected of WMF representatives.

Best regards, Kablammo (talk) 18:04, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Kablammo. Philippe has been out of the office this week; I've only seem him online for short periods of time. Looking at the section, I see that it was previously a 'talkback' notice and that specific concerns have only been voiced this week. I expect that he will respond when he is able. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 19:09, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Content disclaimer

Hi Maggie; in relation to this thread, and a query that I left on Okeyes, please see this thread. What wording would satisfy the legal team? --Redrose64 (talk) 16:02, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi. :) Changing it read simply "nor the laws of the United States" would bring it more in line with the Terms of Use. I've checked with Philippe Beaudette, and based on the last statement of the legal team, this should satisfy. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 18:38, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Face-smile.svg Thank you, now amended. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:52, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

The Tea Leaf - Issue Seven (special Birthday recap)

A celebratory cupcake from the Teahouse Birthday Badge

It's been a full year since the Teahouse opened, and as we're reflecting on what's been accomplished, we wanted to celebrate with you.

Teahouse guests and hosts are sharing their stories in a new blog post about the project.

1 year statistics for Teahouse visitors compared to invited non-visitors from the pilot:

Metric Control group Teahouse group Contrast
Average retention (weeks with at least 1 edit) 5.02 weeks 8.57 weeks 1.7x retention
Average number of articles edited 58.7 articles 116.9 edits 2.0x articles edited
Average talk page edits 36.5 edits 85.6 edits 2.4x talk page edits
Average article space edits 129.6 edits 360.4 edits 2.8x article edits
Average total edits (all namespaces) 182.1 edits 532.4 edits 2.9x total edits

Over the past year almost 2000 questions have been asked and answered, 669 editors have introduced themselves, 1670 guests have been served, 867 experienced Wikipedians have participated in the project, and 137 have served as hosts. Read more project analysis in our CSCW 2013 paper

Last month January was our most active month so far! 78 profiles were created, 46 active hosts answered 263 questions, and 11 new hosts joined the project.

Come by the Teahouse to share a cup of tea and enjoy a Birthday Cupcake! Happy Birthday to the Teahouse and thank you for a year's worth of interest and support :-)

-- Ocaasi and the rest of the Teahouse Team 20:50, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
You are receiving The Tea Leaf after expressing interest or participating in the Teahouse! To add or remove yourself for receiving future newsletters, please update the list here

The Gibraltar Challenge

Hi, Maggie. I haven't ventured into copyright violations much lately but Ironholds suggested that I contact you about a situation I was recently alerted to via WP:COIN.

At the end of last year, GibraltarpediaA held a competition in which editors were awarded points for creating articles and more points for having them obtain GA/FA status (along with a few other ways to earn points). At the end of the competition, the winner was awarded with a trip to Gibralter, for free, from anywhere in Europe. There have been some questions about who sponsored the competition and apparently the government of Gibralter may have played some role in the sponsorship and expected favorable coverage in return. Here is a list of the articles affected by the competition (I'd say there's close to 700-1000). The list of participants and points earned by each shows that Bill william compton earned the most points but a winner was never announced, as far as I can tell. Later, Prioryman stated that he was the winner but he's never listed in the list of participants. I still can't find an announcement regarding who won but the discrepency may in part be due to Bill william compton having used copyrighted material in several articles and subsequently having his autopatroller status revoked.

Outside of the COI and WP:GAME issues, I'm concerned that such competitions might get WP or the WMF into some legal trouble. I'm not an attorney but I've participated in some very large competitions with a small group of participants and I was surprised at how complicated the whole process is. For instance, publishing the rules and regulations (publishing them on WP where they can be changed by anyone may be an issue), clearly publishing a winner, and not backing out of those rules to name a winner are legally required. I've also seen issues regarding a monetary award that's the equivalent to the prize given but that's besides the point.

My concern is that the WMF may have unwittingly hosted an entire competition on its servers and while I don't know how laws in Europe regarding holding such a competition relate to those in the US, the competition may not have completely followed the law. I'm also not sure that laws in any part of Europe would apply if the servers hosting the competition and the WMF are in the US. I have seen nothing that suggests that the WMF has condoned the competition and while a discussion was had at AN, I see no indication that the WMF was even aware of the competition, let alone condoned it. I may be completely wrong here but I'd hate to see the WMF get into legal trouble because a group of editors didn't understand what they were doing when they held a competition.

Before I start digging into the COI/GAME issues, I wanted to make sure that the WMF was aware of the situation and see what the foundation's stance is on hosting such competitions. Any thoughts? OlYeller21Talktome 21:12, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi, OlYeller. :) I will be happy to run this by the WMF legal team, but I suspect there are some complexities to this question. I think the WMF is probably not responsible for the competition any more than they would be, say, for a promised prize at the Wikipedia:Reward board. I would imagine that responsibility for such things (for good and for ill) falls to those individuals and groups who sponsor them. But I'll get back with you after consulting with the legal team. It may take a few days, a week - it depends on their workload. I'll add it to my list of open issues, but feel free to ping me for updates! --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 12:14, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Maggie, OlYeller is talking nonsense. I didn't even enter the competition, much less win it - as I would have told him had he bothered to ask me, which he didn't. This appears to be another push by Wikipediocracy members to harass contributors - it's a waste of your time, frankly. Prioryman (talk) 09:03, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
The real core of the question here seems to be the Foundation's stance on hosting competitions and whether there are potential legal ramifications to us in doing so, and I don't have any issues with asking about that. :) In any event, it's already under consideration, and I should have feedback probably around the first of the week. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 11:47, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Sooner! Thanks for your question.:) I've checked with the legal team, and they note that in general they don't have a problem with third parties running contests on-wiki, but that it is a problem if they make it seem like it's by the WMF, sponsored by the WMF, or endorsed by the WMF (which can be anything from their using WMF marks improperly to just vaguely implying an involvement beyond hosting the platform being used). They remind that everyone is liable for their own contributions, which include the people running such contests. For that reason, they don't think it out of line for editors to point out to anyone running contests on-wiki that contest law is complicated and to suggest that they should speak to an attorney before attempting to run one, on-wiki or elsewhere. They were not aware of this particular contest and do not know any details about it. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 17:06, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Interesting answer, thanks for that. It has no particular relevance to Gibraltarpedia since the contest for that project ended three months ago, but I'll bring your reply to the organisers of the Core Contest, as I can see it potentially affecting that. Prioryman (talk) 21:50, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Maggie, FYI, I've summarised your reply and added it to Wikipedia:Contests#Organizing contests. Are you happy with the wording? (I've tried to track your own wording wherever possible.) Prioryman (talk) 22:29, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Hi. I'll ask the legal team if the wording works for them and let you know if they request any changes. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 17:08, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks for looking into this Maggie. I feel better now knowing that the WMF and WP won't take any blame if a competition falls on the sour side of legal. However, I would like to point out that Prioryman apparently did not win the competition. I thought when Prioryman was responding to someone asking whom sponsored the competition and said said, ""you tell me what your previous account name was and which user you are on Wikipediocracy, and I'll tell you who's funding my trip to Gibraltar". I thought he was implying that he had won the prize which was a trip to Gibraltar. I didn't realize that he was associated with the competition. I would have never made such a thinly veiled accusation if I thought that someone who put on the competition, had won it. Also, Bill william compton's copyright violations did not take place during the competition. I mistakenly assumed that the notifications/warnings implied that the violations took place later than they did (when he was a new user and wasn't familiar with WP:COPYVIO. I still need to get over there and apologize to him. Anyway, thanks again for looking into this. OlYeller21Talktome 18:24, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

COI disclosure (and OTRS)

Hi Maggie, I wanted to point your attention to two related discussions:

They involve what happens when a COI editor or representative is led to a talk page and advised to engage there. Since this sometimes happens through OTRS with sensitive or controversial subjects, I was curious if you had any thoughts to relay about how best to make it abundantly clear that COI editors even when assisted through OTRS get no special privileges and other editors have no particular obligations to do what is requested or suggested. I'm trying to clarify guidance on this, starting in my userspace: User:Ocaasi/COIreview. Since it involves OTRS volunteers and their role and status I thought you might want to review it. I've also emailed the OTRS list to ask a similar question about clarifying our position in these situations. Cheers, and I hope you're doing awesomely as usual, Ocaasi t | c 22:16, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Ocaasi. :) OTRS is an entirely community-driven project. I work as liaison for them with the staff and, as you know, I often work with OTRS volunteers for the legal team, but the OTRS admins are actually in charge there. I might have some thoughts as Moonriddengirl, but as Maggie Dennis am only a bystander. :D --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 16:37, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I will leave a note for Moonriddengirl and hopefully she'll have a minute to share her thoughts. I hear good things about this Moonriddengirl character. Ocaasi t | c 20:08, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

RE: mail

Hello. There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. Patriot1010 (talk) 15:55, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

This will be one of those rare cases where extra oversight will be required.Patriot1010 (talk) 16:13, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Content take down

Just spotted your message, that material was originally posted by a different IP e.g.

Difference between revisions -Revision as of 11:27, 11 June 2009 -

I did revert some vandalism to the content in 2010, but haven't touched the page since, so not the source of the 2013 content your DMCA takedown request refers to:

Difference between revisions - Revision as of 16:00, 27 March 2010\ (talk) 13:09, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you, but the notice I was asked to provide users of your IP address relates to the addition of the original content related to The Times, here: [4]. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:02, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
No, you're right. All you added was the list of books. Notifying the correct IP and updating all the paperwork. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:16, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Curious, what are Wikipedia's guidelines on the reproduction of: league tables, fixture lists and other tables of facts, as I was under the impression Database rights only existed in Europe ? (talk) 15:59, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't have an official guideline, but the essay (which I primarily authored, in my volunteer capacity) on Wikipedia:Copyright in lists can be helpful. Beyond the question of creativity in structure, the primary issue is when creativity in selection is brought to bear. It isn't always easy to determine where such creativity exists. :/ --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 18:30, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, interesting essay, so assuming I haven't totally misinterpreted your work. The content of an entirely formula derived table, that solely sourced one or more public data sets in it's production, and where the formula is commonly known, probably isn't protected in US common law, however much effort was required to collect and publish the data. Then again there may have been a creative step in selecting the particular set of weights used within the formula, so the resulting order/structure may itself be novel and protected. (talk) 20:56, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
That would be my assumption, but I seldom hear the particulars of these. When I implement a takedown, I'm doing so solely because we've been told to by the Wikimedia Foundation attorneys. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 20:59, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
The removal of the league tables from this article does not seem particularly justifiable on legal grounds, nor consistent with the approach generally taken in WP. Why is News International entitled to give instructions on what should or should not be in WP articles? Do article editors have any say in the matter? Is there any forum for this to be discussed?Rangoon11 (talk) 22:01, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm afraid that the decision was made by the Wikimedia Foundation's attorneys in compliance with US DMCA processes. There is no forum for appeal, but you are welcome to challenge the takedown as is described at Wikipedia:OFFICE#DMCA compliance. The Wikimedia Foundation responds to properly filed counter-notices just as they respond to properly filed take-downs. Please do not that we are required to notify the person who filed the takedown that you have filed counter-notice, and - as mentioned there - they may choose to take action against you. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 22:07, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
This is deeply concerning because it sets a potentially very wide precedent and opens a large amount of WP content up to removal at the mere request of media companies. They just need to write a letter and content will be automatically removed, even though the legal grounds are highly dubious.Rangoon11 (talk) 22:15, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm afraid that we don't have an option around compliance, except moving to a country that doesn't have OCILLA, but the U.S. remains one of the most favorable countries in the world for internet freedom and even OCILLA is in our favor. (If it were judged as publishers instead of an online service provider, the WMF could be financially responsible for every copyright infringement published on the site. :/) Fortunately, we generally receive only a dozen or so DMCA takedowns with which we must comply in a year; this is an extremely small amount compared to most internet sites of our size. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 22:25, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
The concern is though that the number of requests could grow and significant damage could be done to WP's utility to readers. Just this one article gets around 1,500 readers per day, a lot more at certain times of the year. This article is now significantly less useful to them. And they are left unaware of the reason why extracts from the rankings by the Guardian and Complete University Guide are given, but not the Times and Sunday Times.
It is also quite likely that new editors will come along and simply re-add the content, feeling it missing and not knowing about the background (there is no mention of this on the face of the article, and the recent edit summaries will soon drop out of sight).
Part of me feels that there should be a clear mention of the omission of this information in the main body of the article, with a link to the request from NI, so that readers can see and judge for themselves whether it should have been removed. Rangoon11 (talk) 22:36, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Proposed change to Text of the GNU Free Documentation License

Hi there,

I proposed a change at Wikipedia talk:Text of the GNU Free Documentation License#Date formats. The change seemed minor, as it merely involves reformatting dates for consistency and clarity, but I have been advised to seek permission from a WMF representative, such as yourself. Please see the comments there which will hopefully be self-explanatory.

Many thanks! sroc (talk) 12:56, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi. :) I think perhaps the admin who refused your request didn't understand that you do not propose to change the content of the license, but only of the box at the top of the page. This was not created by the Wikimedia Foundation and does not require their permission to change. (Actually, neither was the license, but I definitely understand the desire to be cautious there!) That box was added User:ThaddeusB in this edit.
This is an unusual situation - as User:Moonriddengirl, I would make the change you request without hesitation. As User:Mdennis (WMF), I can't act on this request as it is not in the scope of my work. But I'll go ahead and log in as a volunteer and do it in that capacity, under my own initiative. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 12:54, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Clarify FOP

Hi again. Some of us are curious about FOP and country of origin. If a statue is created by an American in the USA and first published/unveiled in the USA and then copies are created and moved to an FOP country like the UK, do photographs taken in the UK violate USA copyright if the images are uploaded to commons servers? Basically can we upload images of the Academy Award Oscar statues that are on display in UK, Germany, and Netherlands? If so, should we should delete the fair use image we have now on en:wp and replace it?--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:42, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Canoe. I will ask the legal team if this is something they are able to provide background for and will let you know. :) Please note that they may provide information on he broader issue, but might not be able to answer the specific question. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 12:56, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Hi, Canoe. We are in between our intern batches at the moment, and it might be the week of May 6th before I can get a response to you. It's on the list as a first priority, though, for the new batch. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 17:53, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
Thank you!. I have emailed one museum in the UK to see if they can provide an image to replace our fair use one on en:wp. I may also ask the UK projects to see if they want to pop in an take some pics. I can see that it should be a concern of the WMF as the Academy may lawyer up and contact them once we host one. I won't upload any until I hear from you or them if you wish. If we know in advance that the WMF feels we can upload any then that should save the headaches of any early uploads that may cause issues. Btw admin may wish to speedy File:AnnePresslyBenefitPoster.jpg. I can put it up for deletion review but a speedy may be best if it is obvious. See also that I just noticed. I may just let ANI know at commons to go through and delete the obvious ones.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:09, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

I wonder if this is in your bailiwick?

Sometimes things get out of hand here. We have a new user whose inexperienced behaviour has mightily pissed off the great and good(!) here, but whose intent seems only to be the improvement of WIkipedia. Now, to be fair, he has been abrasive. Equally he has been treated as if he is a halfwit. The outcome is here, and there is a potentially good conversation on my own talk page. I'm hoping you may have oil to pour on troubled waters. He appears to be a substantial academic subject expert having problems in a weird and unfamiliar pond. Such editors wpuld be a loss to WIkipedia, and losing them is a poor comment on Wikipedia in the wider community. Fiddle Faddle 13:00, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Tim. I'm afraid that it's really not. :( My role is to facilitate work between staff and volunteers as well as generally aiding the Legal & Community Advocacy department. I love that you are so conscious of this - something that also concerns me (and which I've tried to help out with as Moonriddengirl when I can) - and I love that you found a way to speak to him that reached him. Honestly, I don't think I could have done it half as well (in any guise). I try to soften the blow, and I suspect based on his feedback to you that he would have found me condescending. You said what is good, and bad, about the situation, and he feels you understood him and have helped him understand. If he needs more assistance, I wonder if he would benefit from mentorship or a Teahouse referral? And I feel helpless that I have nothing more tangible to offer you. Human interactions are a huge problem we face, as we know, but I don't know the answer. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 18:34, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
We are dreadful at this aren't we? It is as if there really is a cabal and they love finding experts to pick on. Fiddle Faddle 23:49, 17 May 2013 (UTC)


[5]. Regards, Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:14, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

You've got mail!

Hello, Mdennis (WMF). Please check your email – you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{YGM}} template.

– Philosopher Let us reason together. 20:06, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Watchlist Proposal

Hello, I have left a proposal for a short message to placed on everyone's watchlist next week here. Seeing that you comment on the most recent proposal I thought it would be a good idea let you know about my request. Thanks!--Dom497 (talk) 00:04, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

WMF decision

Hi again. Did the WMF decide if we could host an image from one of the four FOP countries in List of Academy Award trophies on public display? If so we should probably delete File:Oscar statuette.jpg because it is possible to host a free licence image.--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:52, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi. :) The intern finished the research, but I'm afraid it is still waiting for final attorney review. :/ The attorneys have been extremely tied up in part with trademark issues. I've prompted and hope to have something published within a few days. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 19:11, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you and relay thanks to them as well. I just uploaded File:ACMI 14.jpg that is on permanent display in Australia that we could replace File:Oscar statuette.jpg with and any other fair use ones in other projects. We can't use File:Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for The Diary of Anne Frank in 1960.jpg and it should probably be deleted because Netherlands exempts FOP for museums.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:47, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

It's a holiday!

Hi Maggie, I've been watching your valiant and always nice replies on the feedback page and just wanted to drop you a note. I meant to stop by last night, but didn't get to it. I'm sorry to see you working today and hope you can catch a break soon. Anyway, you're doing a great job. And happy 4th (if you live where we celebrate it!). formerly Truthkeeper, now Victoria (talk) 12:53, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Thank you so very much. :D I appreciate it. I'm planning on taking a few hours off today, but this is still so new that it needs some close attention. :) Philippe, who is my supervisor, is really diligent about making sure I take breaks, and he's making sure I do some comp week, when things slow down, I'm taking my son's birthday off. :D And I've seen you in the conversations, but hadn't realized you were Truthkeeper! --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 12:59, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Visual Editor

Hi Maggie. Thanks for your reply in the Visual Editor article. I am composing this message live from my Chrome browser. I have to this point used my sandbox and wiped the same comment but have seen nothing different within the "edit source" option. Everything as it was yesterday! Are you able to provide more information here? The Big Hoof! (talk) 13:10, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

PS. I have read your comments under your other account name which means that you'll probably post a reply here so that is fine, I shall keep this on watch and there will be no need to comment at my talk page. Thanks. The Big Hoof! (talk) 13:10, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Oh, dear, @Hooooooof:. So you're using Chrome, and you still aren't seeing the "[edit | edit source]" options? If you go to a random article, do you see them? --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:13, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes I see it all now. Next comes getting to grips with the new order of things. Thanks a million Maggie! The Big Hoof! (talk) 13:19, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh, good! I recommend, WP:VE/UG, @Hooooooof:, if you run into issues. :) Good luck! --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:21, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Very pleasant surprise

to learn that the editor I've known (under your "lunar ID") as the "attribution and copyright gal" is actually a WMF employee! You have your hands full with this VE release, but I'm confident you're up to the task. Seems this version is like Windows Vista or 8 (too much change for users to digest), and it won't gain more widespread acceptance until the next, more incremental, Windows 7 or 8.1-type release comes out. But stick with it.... Happy 4th, Wbm1058 (talk) 13:40, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. :D My day job does interfere with my volunteer commitment (oh, the copyright backlog!), but VE is really important. We are doing are best to help bring attention of developers to issues and needs of the community. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:43, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
For YOU Mike Coppolano (talk) 14:30, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
How kind of you! Thank you very much. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:33, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Please see

User_talk:Jorm#FLOW_and_Athena PumpkinSky talk 20:39, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
have you noticed that there are only 7 users in the cat "user who like VE" and 3 of them are official WMF accounts who, shall we say, have to toe the company line? PumpkinSky talk 20:59, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
<blink> Given that I surrendered my 4th and worked I'd rather not count how many hours this week on VE's Feedback pages, I thought "Mdennis (WMF) supports VisualEditor" was pretty uncomplicatedly obvious. It sounds like you're suggesting people can't trust my word because I work for the WMF. :/ --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 21:14, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
(WP:FLOW and File:Wikimania - 2012 - Athena Project.pdf links for reference) I admire your dedication to your job but I think WMF as an organization could do a lot more than it does for the users and us volunteers producing content is what keeps WMF and Jimbo in the $. We lost 3-4 long term users today because it's now even more dysfunctional than before. Jimbo became totally disconnected from what's going on years ago. He doesn't even know who major contributors are. Other than you and Oliver, WMF seems totally disconnected from the community. FLOW is too much like facebook. I can't stand facebook. And WMF has a history of rolling out changes that are very poorly tested. VE was a disaster because of it. I don't like the little red notice box either. If I want to "touch" someone I'll put it where all can see it, not some hidden red box that no one else sees. All that stuff is too touchy-feely. Everyone I know was THRILLED when the turn off button in Gadgets was found for VE. All sorts of things didn't work and since you spent all that time on it you probably know specifics better than I do. Can we at least get turn off button for FLOW? PumpkinSky talk 21:37, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, first, I don't think VE is a disaster. :) I think VE needs a lot of work, but I also see a lot of work being done on it--a lot of work that wouldn't have been possible without the community's help. The people who know best what they need are the people who use the editor. I admit openly that the first time I used VE, I had a bit of an "Ack!" response. But, then, I have yet to figure out how to send an email using my cell phone after two years of using it. (I can only reply.)
I wasn't sure of the utility of the little red notice box when it was first unveiled, but I love being able to see when people "ping" me. I've come to appreciate it in both my accounts.
In what way is FLOW too much like Facebook? It would be helpful, too, if you could explain what you don't like about those similarities. :) I've used Facebook only a handful of times in my life. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 21:49, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm sure we won't stop FLOW. Can we at least get a turn of FLOW button? VE testing should have been way more thorough. PumpkinSky talk 21:52, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but there will not be a "turn off Flow" button. It will be technically impossible. There will, however, be a gradual roll-out.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 23:32, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
UGHHHHHH. PumpkinSky talk 23:48, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Going through the PDF again to be more specific, here's what I don't like about FLOW...."More Kirk, less Spock"---what's that supposed to mean?, a lot of the slides really don't tell you what it's actually doing, "kicking and screaming" proves it's being forced upon us and I don't like that attitude at all, Beatles slide is very facebooky--conversations and balloons etc, slide with the balloon jigsaw puzzle and heart = YUCK, don't want to get rid of user talk pages, slide after that -- I don't need pics of people just what they say and I am NOT putting up my pic, don't need avatars and empathy, don't need all my info thrown on my user page. What I do like: global profiles, sorta like SUL I guess. Does this help? PumpkinSky talk 22:10, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
On another note, I'd like to again thank you for all your help checking out copyvio stuff. That meant A LOT to me. PumpkinSky talk 22:12, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Re: Flow - Keep incredibly strongly (uppermost!) in mind, that the prototype and the sketch mockups, are concept ideas, they're not design/layout/aesthetic ideas. Do not pay any attention to the look&feel ("these are not the designs you are looking for"); only look at the big-ideas, the abstract thoughts, the workflows concept in particular. If this works out well, it will fix and streamline dozens of broken or ungainly processes, that we all have to struggle with (and learn the complicated nuances of the technical aspects) at the moment.
Re: Athena - I'm not sure if that's even in active development at the moment. The slideshows/presentations are over a year old. However, there are some great ideas in the mw:Athena page, which hopefully will be technically possible in the future (eg. browsing commons material directly from the article).
HTH. Sorry for jumping in. (Also, I'd strongly recommend re-starting or moving the Flow discussion to a Flow-related talkpage. Fragmented discussions are just one of the things it will try to fix, but not until it's designed and built!) –Quiddity (talk) 22:27, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
@Q, thanks for the input but I still detest FLOW and right now I'd rather just talk to Maggie than on some FLOW page. PumpkinSky talk 22:50, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
You may find this of interest too: User_talk:PumpkinSky#WMF PumpkinSky talk 01:11, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hi. I'm traveling, so my ability to respond is going to be low. I'm really sorry to see you so distressed, PumpkinSky. We've certainly worked together many a time, and I don't want you to be unhappy. :( That said, I would be really careful about being spooked too much by the slides. They were used to accompany Jorm's Wikimania presentation. Jorm is a pretty awesome speaker, and he doesn't use slides to be redundant to his speech, but to pique interest and capture attention. Unlike with some speakers (where you could pretty much be deaf and just read the thing), you can't intuit Jorm's message from his slides alone. :) In context, I have no doubt that he thoroughly explained "More Kirk, less Spock", and I bet if I had more bandwidth where I am I could find you the video of that speech somewhere so you could hear the whole thing. :)

But Quiddity's notes are important here - what I'd focus on is the concepts here. Conceptually, I find Flow pretty exciting. "Ability to stop watching individual conversations" - that's a clear win for me. One of the reasons I have come to like the red box is because I know people can call me if they need me. But it's not a failsafe, and I have come upon many an old thread (especially copyright related) where somebody has asked me a question I overlooked. That not happening is a good thing for me. :) I have become increasingly disenchanted with my own "keep all threads in one space" convention - when I was able to volunteer 24/7 that was easy and felt like a no-brainer to me (even though I knew some people preferred otherwise). Now that I may be unable to edit as a volunteer for several days in a row, I'm missing stuff. And I wonder how many people have wanted to talk to me over the years who have missed stuff, too, due to my preference for replying on my own talk page. :(

I understand that you don't like all the splashy bits like the icons. I don't know if I'll opt for that myself or not - I'm disconcerted by seeing my face everywhere, so my Google icon is a public domain magpie. And then I feel really strange that my icon is a bird. In other words, I can't win there. :D But people like to customize their appearance, no matter the medium. For instance, you've done appropriately interesting things with the coloring of your signature, enhancing your name...but it doesn't distract people from your message. It's ultimately just assimilated quickly into a thought that goes something like "Oh, it's him. :)" I suspect any avatar usage will be as well. (I also wouldn't be surprised if somebody somewhere makes some gadget to hide them, but I don't know if that will happen or not. Refer back to the bit where I can't figure out how to send emails from my cellphone. :))

I hope that when this is unveiled, you will be pleasantly surprised.

And I'm happy to continue discussing it with you, although I may have some difficulty over the weekend. But instead of the slides, though, which are not easily understood out of context, let's talk about Wikipedia:Flow. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 11:47, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Hi. It's not just the flashy touchy feely facebooky stuff, all of which I hate. It's that I'm not impressed with WMF rolling out, repeatedly, improperly tested changes. I know you like VE, but you're the only one I've talked to that does. Every else I've talked to hates it and turned it off. I scrolled through your VE edits and it's quite obvious it has many issues. There's no way this was thoroughly tested. This does not bode well for something like FLOW that's an even bigger change. Then Brandon says above that there will be no turn off button, so we have another item WMF is forcing upon us. I'm sorry, there's absolutely nothing I like about all this.PumpkinSky talk 12:11, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, if your concern is "improperly tested changes", I'm not sure why your focus is on FLOW. :) Why are you assuming that FLOW will not be properly tested?
In terms of VE, the testing is happening now - Linus's law is working amazingly well here. There is one major difference between Wikipedia editors (or the other WMF projects) and something like Facebook or, I dunno, Microsoft Word's audience: we are collaborators in the process rather than consumers. The community is involved in everything here - from helping to select the Board of Trustees through open election to helping determine where movement funds are allocated to helping design and write software. With VE, community involvement in these stages is particularly important - who knows better what the editor should do than the people who use it? I've had the opportunity to talk to designers about upcoming feature request implementation. There's stuff on that list that nobody could have thought of but a gnome who has dedicated dozens of hours to working with templates. But it's important to remember that the original editing interface is still open and is remaining open. The WMF never intended to force editors to choose VE. It is there an option, and one they very much hope the community will join in on improving. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 12:50, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I've said why I think FLOW won't be properly tested, VE wasn't so why should I think FLOW will be? I can turn VE off and I don't have to worry about, but I can't turn FLOW off and that is a big worry. As for the community being involved in the other things in your last paragraph, news to me. Since when and how can the community (ie, me) control wiki $? Now onto three major drawbacks with FLOW per the slide show:
  1. "Posts editable only by author or admin". ARGH!!! That means some scum can come by and put goatse and swear words all over my page/talk page and I can't do squat about it til I get an admin to fix it.
  2. "Defaults to most recent conversation". Sounds good but my understanding is even Facebook dropped it. Methinks this has no archiving and people can open decades long threads.
  3. Bloat. I'm unfortunately confidant this will have massive page size bloat. It's scary to think what ANI threads will be with this.
I think even you will have to see none of these three things is good. PumpkinSky talk 20:10, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I think you have a grave misunderstanding about what Flow actually is. I'll comment on your three bullet points:
  1. This is a long-held conflation that the community has. There is a difference between "editing comments" and "reverting vandalism". You will be able to revert vandalism. You will not (likely) be able to edit someone else's comment to say things they didn't say. Not editing other people's comments does not prevent you from deleting vandalism that happens on your board; the two things are not related in reality; only in wikitext.
  2. I think you misunderstand Facebook. Facebook's feed has two modes (most recent and most popular). Most popular doesn't make any sense for what we do.
  3. I think you will be surprised and in fact delighted that this will result in less bloat for highly active discussion fora, as not everything is loaded at the same time. We will be doing what is called "lazy loading" - the entire page isn't loaded at once, only what is asked for (to be viewed).
The reason why there will not be a "turn off" switch is that the transition is what we call "cataclysmic". Talk pages are "unstructured" data; Flow boards are "structured" data. Never the twain shall meet - you must interact with structured data in a structured way. During the development and testing period, it may be possible to convert existing flow boards back into wikitext (in fact, this would be fairly trivial) but that is also a cataclysmic change (it is one-way).--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 21:07, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I thinks it's interesting that on your talk page you tell me to leave you alone and go talk to Maggie and then you participate here anyway. But whatever. As for what FLOW really is and isn't, we'll see. Given new wiki software history, I'm not optimistic at all. I'll believe the hype when the proof is in the pudding. PumpkinSky talk 21:24, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
That was my personal talk page, not my work talk page.--Jorm (WMF) (talk) 21:33, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────PumpkinSky, I really do understand your concern. If I were forced to use VE and VE only in editing, I wouldn't be a happy camper at the moment - but FLOW and VE are very different products and have very different development paths accordingly. VE needs the development path its on for the reasons I explained above; the complexity of article editing is huge, and the diversity in approaches to it is likewise. I would be really happy if it had fewer bugs (and am sure the developers feel the same), but it's being rapidly improved and (particularly important) tailored to the needs of the community as they try it and say, "It would be better if it worked like this...."

In terms of FLOW, I'm not sure if you realize how hostile your initial approach here was. I know you're a reasonable guy, and I assume that you're in the first flush of finding out about it and being worried about what it might do. I would really hope you'll take time to think it through and try to be open-minded about it. Jorm has answered some of your concerns above - he's also a reasonable guy. :) And he is both competent and passionate about Wikipedia. :D

All the other stuff - yes, the community plays a big roll in steering the Wikimedia Foundation. If you're interested in hearing more about some of the backlot infrastructure, please let me know. I've learned a lot since first becoming community liaison. Of course, a lot of these conversations take place on Meta, which is where cross-project business is intended to be discussed. It would be much easier if we had some means of watching conversations across wikis. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 23:38, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for talking and listening, but since we will have no choice but to use it or leave, I have nothing else to say. Thank you for your time.PumpkinSky talk 23:46, 6 July 2013 (UTC)