Wikipedia:Media Viewer/June 2014 RfC

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There is a clear consensus that the Media Viewer should be disabled by default added 15:17, 12 July 2014‎ for both logged-in (section link) and non-logged-in users (section link). Armbrust The Homunculus 10:23, 9 July 2014 (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.

I see that a number of editors have expressed opinions, especially here on MediaWiki, and I think it would be beneficial for the English Wikipedia community to have a consensus about this issue. --Pine 08:09, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Should Media Viewer be enabled or disabled by default for logged-in users, and if disabled, under what conditions should it be re-enabled?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is a clear consensus that the Media Viewer should disabled by default for logged-in users. There was, however, no discussion about the the conditions, under which it should be re-enabled. Armbrust The Homunculus 06:46, 9 July 2014 (UTC)


  1.    FDMS  4    18:57, 8 June 2014 (UTC): If we remove or significantly change features for users after they register and login, this would cause a lot of confusion. So there is no need for two questions.
  2. I like the media viewer. It lets me focus on the image, and looks professional, as opposed to the messy backend and numerous copyright and other notices that appear when I view the image page. --LT910001 (talk) 22:23, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
    The display of copyright notices is a legal obligation on our behalf. I don't like wearing clothes (being naked is so much more comfortable), however I have the obligation (and society's expectation) that I do not wander around public places in the nude. Just because it's undesirable doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. --benlisquareTCE 12:16, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
  3. Strong enable I was very pleasantly surprised when the new Media Viewer started popping up in my browser. Bringing up the image full-screen allows users to see in in greater detail without having to find the links to higher-resolution thumbnails on the image page, and the information is presented in a compact, simplified manner. I'd like to point out that Ctrl+clicking an image thumbnail immediately brings up the image page in a new tab, a trick I've made great use of. Of course, there are improvements that can be made, but tool is a very positive development in the presentation of Wikipedia's content. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 00:04, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
    No one had to "find the links" to see an image in its highest resolution before. All we had to do is click on an image a second time if it was a very hi-res image. This at least is the way most browsers handled it, including Firefox and IE. With Firefox, all one had to do is click on the image a second time to see the image with a black background, without all the other 'messy' info that is apparently causing 'problems' for some viewers. With the Media viewer to see an image in its highest res a non logged in user now has to click on a link to commons, and click again, to see it in full res -- that is, if they know they have to go to Commons to see the image in its highest res in the first place. Most viewers don't, and will be missing out on all the beautiful and/or informative detail many quality hi-res images have to offer. What browser are you using? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:47, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
    That's a very easy fix, then: just put a link to the high-res version in Media Viewer. It's certainly not an issue to disable the whole thing over. And I almost never look at the high-res versions, and anyway you're always limited to screen resolution, which is what Media Viewer shows, but the Commons page initially does not. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 16:14, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
  4. The media viewer is a strong start. Is it complete? No. But it's good enough to launch. Powers T 01:19, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
  5. I like it, and it helps bring problems to light in our usage of structured data. This is a building block to actually make images reusable, instead of stuck in the 'understood by none blackhole that is our File database'. There have already been significant improvements and that is thanks to the many critical eyes. Critical eyes who I might note don't WANT to give their constructive feedback in beta's. In my opinion, the mediaviewer is not any more broken to editors as the file description page is broken to 'readers' without a CS degree. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:45, 1 July 2014 (UTC)


  1. Disable Most logged in users are experienced editors to one degree or another, most of whom find this viewer something of a fifth wheel. A flat tire no less. Any thing this new viewer can do (which isn't much) the previous viewing system did much better, including ability to show images in their max resolution, editing file summaries, adding/deleting and access to categories, etc. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:10, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  2. Disable, if I were a typical reader I guess it would be useful for me, however as an editor it gets in my way most of the time. 9 times out of 10, when I click on an image, I don't want to actually look at it like a typical reader, but instead want to do something with it (e.g. check for licensing, tag for deletion, etc). --benlisquareTCE 06:18, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  3. Disabled - I appreciate that a lot of effort has gone into the viewer but sometimes developers seem to be distant from the core projects. I don't think it is particularly useful that the tickbox for enabling/disabling the viewer is in the Appearance tab of Preferences rather than the Gadgets tab, because essentially this is just a gadget. Like Benlisquare says above, I don't want to just look at pretty picture and say "Gee-whiz, wudya look at that!"; rather I want to look at the background information which is just not visible in the new viewer. This is just the latest in a line of gaffes, following in the hallowed traditions of Visual Editor, with the aim of forcing us down Talking-Paper-Clip Avenue! Green Giant (talk) 13:10, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  4. Disabled - I see no benefits for editors: it complicates the workflow and hides informations. It should be, at least, on opt-in basis. A "Media Viewer" link below the image should be enough. -- Basilicofresco (msg) 13:56, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  5. Disabled. For non-logged in users, I'm neutral (see below), but I agree that the Media Viewer has no benefits for editors whatsoever. With Media Viewer enabled, working with images is more cumbersome and everything takes longer. Gestumblindi (talk) 15:20, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  6. Disabled. Allow opt-in, I suppose, but I cannot imagine a scenario in which an experienced user would prefer this. - Jmabel | Talk 16:28, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  7. Disabled – Extremely hard to work on articles with this thing around, per Green Giant and Benlisquare. RGloucester 21:33, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  8. Disabled and retooled - If this were some sort of add-on to the regular file pages, allowing navigation between images found in an article, it would be a welcome addition. But right now, it completely mucks up attribution, hides critical information, and makes it impossible for productive editors to work. VanIsaacWScont 22:03, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  9. Disabled – Please disable Media Viewer and rethink it if you must. It is an irritating intermediate stage which I bypass as quickly as I can. If you think you are solving some problem or other, please find a better solution. LynwoodF (talk) 20:53, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  10. Disabled - -jkb- (talk) 14:33, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  11. Disabled Horrible interface from a usability POV because it completely breaks the look and feel as well as workflows. Congratulations to the people responsible for this. It's perfectly in line with your former success stories AFT and VisualEditor. --Millbart (talk) 18:57, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  12. Disabled I have made a lengthy post about the disaster of this project discussion page. Media is not what an open, educational platform needs. - Evan-Amos (talk) 22:53, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  13. Disabled Large maps and panoramas become unviewable. Charts and maps that are color-coded and change/are edited over time and have a legend/key in multiple languages simply do not work with this interface. I want to see the history on how an image has changed. For example, a map of depicting the status of Legality of cannabis by country or Same-sex marriage in the United States, two very current issues: it's of interest to view that dynamic and see how the maps/images evolve. This Media Viewer was rolled out way too early, without enough testing, with too many bugs, and included too drastic of a change! How about implementing Media Viewer step-by-step, so that users get accustomed to it gradually; and the developers can get a sense of what features people find useful, and what has to go? MarkGT (talk) 01:35, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  14. Disabled ack Millbart and all others. --Nolispanmo 13:33, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  15. Disabled - It is not useful and extremly annoying for those working with images -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 19:05, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  16. Disabled - There is no obvious way to get to the image page from the lightbox, there is no obvious way to disable it (there is a small preferences link that can be unhidden, but clicking it dumps users to a general preferences page where they must find the little checkbox labled "Media Viewer"), it is confusing as it initially presents a blurry image before downloading a higher resolution one, and it makes browsing difficult on touch-screen devices that use pinch-to-zoom, many of the buttons contain cryptic icons, and their function can only be revealed by hovering over them assuming your device has a mouse. It becomes almost unusably slow on older slower machines or machines on a slow connection. It doesn't allow zooming and scrolling within the image. This feature, like Hovercards, can be useful to some users but has side effects so severe that it should ALWAYS be opt-in for everyone. The fact that less than 30% of enwiki users find it useful speaks volumes. --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 23:11, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  17. Disabled and globally disabled in all wikis. It complicates the workflow and hides information. There isn't any need for such thing. Ahsoous (talk) 20:14, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
  18. Disabled--Aschmidt (talk) 00:29, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
  19. Disabled - I absolutely abhor this feature as it makes editing and using images incredibly complicated. The viewer presents no obvious link to the file page, access to "Talk" pages on images seems to be lacking in some instances, and is just a "T" hidden in the material below images. My favorite travesty of Media Viewer so far has been the map for same-sex marriage in the United States (Samesex marriage in USA.svg). Where once there were nearly ordered keys below the image first in English, then in other languages alphabetically, Media Viewer gives this ugly soup of colored boxes and descriptions without separation between languages, smashing Korean into Dutch and Russian into Simplified Chinese. To say that this is a feature that does nothing for me is to be too kind to it - it is a detriment in every conceivable way. Please just can this "improvement." - S201676 (talk) 07:53, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
  20. Disabled. When editing, images are usually added to supplement the text. Therefore, covering up the text and making it unviewable is incredibly counterproductive and defeats the whole purpose of adding images in the first place. In fact, I would have to say that this viewer does nothing good. If an image is too small to see without this, then the image should be scaled up in the article itself. StringTheory11 (t • c) 03:29, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
  21. Disabled The 'Media Viewer' is an obstruction at best, and a major irritant at worst. If you insist on implementing this useless bloat 'feature', you should at least make it an Opt-In ONLY, *NOT* Opt-Out. I am still trying to figure out how to turn this garbage OFF, and frankly it's making me really angry that there are no clear instructions *anywhere* for doing so. GET RID OF IT! FireHorse (talk) 07:40, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
  22. Disabled When I click on an image, I want to alter its categories or copyright tag more than I want to look at the image itself. Logged in in users don't need this feature. Rcsprinter123 (speak) @ 21:49, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
  23. Disabled Media Viewer is a delightful innovation for the casual reader who has no interest in charts and maps, but a barrier for working editors sourcing for article review, or updating categories for the images themselves. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:15, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
  24. Disable Since when did Wikipedia want to become a Facebook/Flickr wannabe? The JavaScript is so poorly coded that a brand new Mac can't even handle it using Chrome, FireFox and Safari, causing all three browsers to freeze and become unresponsive, that requires a force quit. Bidgee (talk) 01:43, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
  25. Disable This is a serious roadblock when the file description at Commons needs to be accessed. This is the Wikipedia anyone should be able to edit. Thanks to the MediaViewer the original description gets hidden and it gets even harder to edit it. And not everyone is prepared to view images in such a huge resolution as not everyone has a high bandwidth. This is not Flickr but Wikipedia. --AFBorchert (talk) 21:38, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
  26. Disabled for current users and enabled for newly registered users I agree with the point that consistency is key. IP Users have it on, when they register they keep it on, but anyone who currently has an account keeps it off until they turn it on. Zell Faze (talk) 12:40, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
  27. Disable. Extraordinarily unhelpful in every respect. RomanSpa (talk) 15:55, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
  28. Disable. Perhaps enable if a user explicitly turns it on. Leebert (talk) 01:45, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  29. Disable. I can't think of anyone who really needs to see an image, its name (without any hint that it is a file name) and some copyright information at the same time (all that - and nothing more). The user interface is counterintuitive (to say the least) - it took far too much time to find out how to turn this thing off and the behaviour of the buttons is almost impossible to guess without tooltips. I'd say that normal image description pages do everything that is actually needed better. By the way, what, for example, DeviantArt is using is equivalent to those same image description pages... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:52, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  30. Disable - I was very surprised to see this pop up in my browser, The previous layout was much more easier to use and alot more helpful to everyone, Anyway In short this new feature is absolutely awful If I'm honest, Since the VE & Flow didn't work well I'd of thought lessons were perhaps learnt this time round but seems not –Davey2010(talk) 00:23, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  31. Disable, and defund whoever created this abomination. I was deleting orphaned fair use images yesterday and today and found this incredibly annoying. It does not give me an edit or delete button, and it does not tell me where the image is in use; as such it is completely useless. Also, what part of "no" does the foundation not understand? MER-C 15:37, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  32. Disabled - it reduces functionality, particularly when one is editing. The way it loads the image is eyestrain-inducing. The only argument in its favor is personal esthetic preference, so it should be an option to be enabled by those who prefer that format. Yngvadottir (talk) 15:40, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  33. Disable absolutely. I have been wondering what was wrong. When I click on an image, I want to get straight to the Commons image page, not to a Flikr type page. The priority is the encyclopedic information in context, from where the options are available to me, not chosen for me in advance with the absurd assumption that the pretty picture is my priority. We are not Flickr, we are an encyclopaedia. SilkTork ✔Tea time 15:56, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  34. Disable - Media Viewer just gets in the way of any attempt to view metadata or edit categories etc., as others have said. I don't see what was wrong going to the standard page to see the image, if indeed you need an enlarged version in an encyclopaedia. This is yet another example of the Foundation trying to facebook-ise Wikipedia. BethNaught (talk) 16:10, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  35. Disable - Sometimes this feature gives the full terms of the image license. Sometimes it doesn't. I'm tired of having to look for the full information page, but I'm willing to tolerate an opt-in option. Altamel (talk) 01:32, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  36. Disable by defauld for logged-in users. These people primarily want to edit rather than consume content.  Sandstein  10:46, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  37. Disable If the only goal was to make WP look more like facebook, congratulations, mission accomplished. If the goal was to give users an improved expereience when viewing images, sorry, but I can't imagine how this could possibly be considered an improvement. Not everything facebook does is better than the way we were already doing it. It is discouraging to see that the foundation still doesn't seem to grasp that. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:43, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
  38. Disable of course. This is a horribly inadequate software feature, which reflects a distressingly poor understanding of what various stakeholders require. I outlined my concerns here, several months before the feature was enabled: mediawikiwiki:Talk:Multimedia/About_Media_Viewer/Archive01#Towards_enabling_the_Media_Viewer_by_default -Pete (talk) 18:29, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
  39. Disabled: Working with images is frustrating enough. I do not desire an esthetic image format. VE and Flow recursives ...(How long to sing this song?) Fylbecatulous talk 14:02, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
  40. Disabled: Completely wrong idea. Makes work harder and is unnecessary. --Matrek (talk) 04:05, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
  41. Disabled: I hate it. It clashes aesthetically with every other aspect if Wikipedia. peatswift (talk) 04:27, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
  42. Disable when we have important software developments such as the ones for reducing edit conflicts stalled for lack of resource, why are we wasting everyones's time on things like this? Is it designed to boost page views because whenever someone like me winds up in media viewer I have to waste time and get to the screen I want some other way? ϢereSpielChequers 05:47, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
  43. Disable per Peteforsyth. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:35, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
  44. Disable. It doesn't fit with the rest of the project, and it's being shamelessly promoted by Foundation people with lies and shameless abuse of statistics. As noted below, WMF staff asked a non-representative group of people to rate the MediaViewer with the following wording:

    "We'd like your feedback on the 'Media Viewer' feature you are now using. This feature improves the way images are displayed on Wikipedia, to create a more immersive experience. What do you think about this new multimedia experience?"

    Here at Wikipedia, we have a term for this: votestacking, which is a form of inappropriate canvassing. Discussions affected by canvassing are not considered to result in consensus, and those engaged in votestacking are shown the door: we do not accept their ideas. Nyttend (talk) 17:25, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
  45. Disable here. On Wikimedia Commons it works well, and I found that it doesn't get in the way, but here, I found it somewhat frustrating. PhilKnight (talk) 18:00, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
  46. Disable Too confusing, and the image take too long to resolve. The button to the file view is far too small and inconspicuous. Sells Commons short by cycling through a few selected images. No one is likely to battle through to the full Commons category. Should be an option, sure.
  47. Disable I tried using this tool for several weeks. Too often I found the need to click through to get access to information that I needed. This was unexpected - I did not realize how much I used the information on the file page. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:00, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  48. Disable This is not an appreciated default medium. Better would be to have a bottom on the file to add Media viewer per file. It is annoying to have to do several clicks to start editing or get the right information, because MV even displays wrong information. The only good thing is navigation within the category from file to file. Would be nice to have this feature without media viewer--Oursana (talk) 12:02, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  49. Disable Very surprised to see this have been forced-upon "the Community" when it clearly should've been opt-in... JDanek007Talk 00:36, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  50. Disable I'm just a regular guy who sometimes reads wikipedia and occasionally finds some of the images useful for various purposes, like including some in presentations. When looking at a picture, I just need to know if I can legally use it, if similarand potentially more suited pictures exist, and then have access to a variety of sizes/formats so I can balance quality with file size. The new "Media Viewer" doesn't make any of this easier than the old way of doing things, so I strongly recommend returning to that format. (Never edited before, sorry if made any mistakes, thanks.) - (talk) 04:06, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  51. Disable. I first encountered it when I tried to fulfill a request at the Graphics Lab Map workshop, and found that the work had been made much harder. There is no need to impose such horrors on well-intentioned editors. Maproom (talk) 21:54, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  52. Disabled. Terrible feature; adds nothing, obscures plenty, creates numerous problems, is nearly impossible to understand or decipher or read; was never approved by any majority of Wikipedia users/community. Softlavender (talk) 09:49, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  53. Disabled After the debacle over the Visual editor last year, I would have thought that the WMF would have tread very carefully before introducing such changes to longstanding features. Apparently not. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the existing system. Valenciano (talk) 09:57, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  54. Disabled - If I open a file page, I don't want flickr lite. I want to be able to easily edit the file page, check its permissions, etc. My experience talking to other Wikipedians suggests most editors want the same. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 10:10, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  55. Disable I hate it. It's in my way. And it may be the proverbial straw for me so far as donating goes - I don't want my money being spent in forcing things on me. Dougweller (talk) 11:21, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  56. Disable Should only be an opt-in. Items such as this and Visual Editor could be presented for opt-in during the new-user creation process. — xaosflux Talk 13:13, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  57. Disable. This is ugly, confusing, and does nothing (for either editors or readers) that the old system didn't do better. Mogism (talk) 19:39, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  58. DISABLE Oh God, Zeus, Cthulu, and Jimmy Wales, for the sake of all that is holy and not holy, disable this horrible abomination by default! — al-Shimoni (talk) 00:28, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  59. Disable Most of the time, when I go to an image, I want to read the licensing and description, and not just look at a large version of that image (which would already be in the page I came from). Double sharp (talk) 03:44, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  60. Disable per Double Sharp above. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:13, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  61. Disable. I can't see the benefit in placing a barrier between the reader and the file page, and there are disadvantages. Wikipedia:Media Viewer says: "This multimedia browser displays images in larger size when you click on their thumbnails ..." But I've noticed with several images that I have to go to the file page to see the large sizes.

    For example, clicking on this image using media viewer does not give you the full size. The media viewer page also doesn't link to the correct file, but instead to the file from which this version was derived (the correct file can be found by clicking on the words "public domain," or "[m]ore details about this file on Wikimedia Commons," or there's a little symbol at the bottom right). But (so far as I can tell) you have to go to the file page, File:The Gaols Committee of the House of Commons by William Hogarth(2).jpg, to click to see the full size, which makes all the difference with this particular image. With media viewer, you can go to full-screen size, but that's not the largest size for this image. SlimVirgin (talk) 02:27, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

  62. Disable per all of the above. Kennethaw88talk 02:30, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
  63. Disable I'm not using a damn tablet, i don't need to be shown a dumbed-down interface! � (talk) 15:46, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
  64. Disable. It's OK for readers, I guess, but logged-in users tend to be editors who, like me, click on images to check their authorship/copyright status or to copy the file name. That task is a lot more cumbersome with this damn thing on.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); July 8, 2014; 17:45 (UTC)


  1. Consistency is key. The default setting for logged-in users should be the same as for unregistered users, so that new users have fewer surprises to deal with. That being said, logged-in users should be able to easily opt out if it's enabled by default. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 19:46, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Discuss and comment[edit]

  • This discussion needs more attention; I know is more than one person who would prefer it in its previous state. The only users likely to be looking through Wikipedia and come upon this discussion are those who dislike the interface or watch the village pump (which does not include many people). As a result, (even if the preference would still be against Media Viewer) there will be a heavy bias against it. Try to draw attention to this discussion in a more spectacular way than just leaving a link on the village pump. Also, I notice that some users are not giving any actual reasons for their opinions. The most extreme example is with jkb, who has given no reason. And to Millbart, I don't care how much you dislike this, this tool was created by real people, and just because you dislike it doesn't mean you should hate on it. Dustin (talk) 19:38, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't put hate on anyone, what makes you say that? OK, I probably should have tagged my congratulations as sarcasm. Being a long time editor I am somewhat frustrated with the never changing approach of the WMF and their project managers. For some weird reason these "real people" tend to make the same mistakes over and over again and, more importantly, the justifications for initially keeping the stuff that they force on the community, before eventually succumbing to community pressure, are always the same: An ominous usability study or survey, that interestingly enough, few long time editors or power users, the other "real people" btw., who actually create the content and structure of this phantastic project, have never seen, yet alone taken part in, is cited as the reason for keeping it around. For some strange reason, the new stuff is almost always exactly what people want and what will eventually attract new editors to the project. Yet, it almost always gets in the way of doing real work. To developers and project managers without any real editorial experience in any of the projects, this Web-2.0-Ajaxy-Yet-Another-Overlay-stuff may look really sexy. It isn't. So please forgive me that I don't shower anyone with "love". --Millbart (talk) 20:56, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I guess a better approach would be explaining how one is supposed to say that one thinks WMF is doing a very bad job... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:32, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  • The rollout is too abrupt, a) without notice how to disable broadcast to editors, b) without a toggle button to link to the file at Wikimedia Commons. — Without such a toggle button, we are required to go through this either-or RfC, when I would be happy to use Media Viewer as a casual user myself, but certainly would prefer a ready revert to direct file access as an editor. If it must be either or, I’m for disabling for editors, because most of my time at WP is as an editor. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:09, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I wonder if it's even really a possibility that the feature would be shifted to opt-in status for any sub-set of users, given that it was deployed globally (which you'd think would only happen if there was a clear benefit and need)? If that is not an option, then what's the point of even registering dissatisfaction here, when WMF seems to intend to proceed in service of their own agenda regardless? The idea that WMF project manager(s) would discount their sunk costs and now agree to make optional a feature that has assumedly consumed substantial resources at the expense of other likely more pressing development needs seems naive. They'll do what they want to do, when, how, and why, even massaging statistics collected from sloppy, self-serving surveys if necessary. Development of the MV "feature" represents the pursuit of a "solution" to a "problem" for which seemingly no credible evidence has been presented to suggest ever actually existed - except perhaps in the minds of those backing the project. It was claimed that the MV tool's purpose is to "[p]rovide a richer multimedia experience, to match user expectations", but whose expectations are we referring to, and how, exactly, has their 'multimedia experience' been made more rich? This tool doesn't align with my expectations, and my experience has been degraded, if anything, so I'm just wondering why WMF continues w/ the facade of being responsive - let alone accountable to - "the Community"? JDanek007Talk 19:50, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Should Media Viewer be enabled or disabled by default for non-logged-in users, and if disabled, under what conditions should it be re-enabled?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is a clear consensus that Media Viewer should be disabled by default for non-logged-in users too. As in the previous section, there is also no discussion under what conditions should it be re-enabled. Armbrust The Homunculus 07:43, 9 July 2014 (UTC)


  1.    FDMS  4    18:57, 8 June 2014 (UTC): Although I'm mainly a Commons contributor myself, I a) don't think users who want to get an expanded/fullscreen view of an image should have to go there and b) find the ability to get article image slideshows great. Users should be able to get to the Commons file description page (not the Wikipedia copy) directly via the thumb symbols.
  2. For the most part, when a user wants a larger version of an image, they want a larger version, rather than the largest possible version, and the media viewer works reasonably well for that. --Carnildo (talk) 01:43, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  3. Enabled I think media viewer is a lot more professional-looking than the previous system. I am not sure how users reacted when taken to the backend, with the copyright explanation, file history and so forth, but as a registered and unregistered user I found being taken there particularly jarring, ugly, and initially confusing. Also, yes I sometimes want to know metadata, but probably 95% of the time I just want to view the image. There does seem to be some opposition, but I hope that the addition of features can tone this down a bit. --LT910001 (talk) 22:29, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
  4. Enabled The simplified presentation is helpful for non-registered users, who can still access the full version of the image page by clicking through the link. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 00:04, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
  5. Enabled Most unregistered users are readers wanting to view the image closer up rather than see its cluttered information page. Why not let them see this fantastically designed interface that wouldn't be annoying for them? (But would for me.) Rcsprinter123 (tell me stuff) @ 21:51, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
    "Most unregistered users" - How do you know? Did you conduct a survey of 50,000 unregistered users with a CI of 0.95 and a p-value of less than 0.01? Why should you speak on behalf of most unregistered users? Do you have firm backing, or is this simply an assumption? --benlisquareTCE 12:11, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
    Looking at conventions in other sites and applications is a much more pragmatic way to assess user expectations. The New York Times, Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, etc. all have similar designs to Media Viewer. Having the WMF Analytics team take a look might be nice, but I don't think it's necessary to establish the notion that most unregistered users are simply looking for a bigger picture, and not, say, EXIF data, when they click on an image. Emw (talk) 14:28, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
  6. Enabled Consistency is key. IP Users have it on, when they register they keep it on, but anyone who currently has an account keeps it off until they turn it on. Zell Faze (talk) 12:41, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
  7. Enable it. I don't understand many of the points being made by those who oppose. For example, anonymous users do not generally work in file space (most anonymous edits there are tests or vandalism). — This, that and the other (talk) 12:14, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  8. Enable Media Viewer is a major improvement for what is probably the main use case for clicking on an image -- simple media consumption, especially viewing images at higher resolution. The UI is beautiful. Having Media Viewer enabled by default thus seems appropriate for non-logged-in users, i.e. readers, consumers. That said, it would be nice if Media Viewer evolved to have more curation features. It currently obscures them, making it more difficult to edit media information. Having two very different UIs for viewing and editing is not ideal. Left as is, my impression is that the Media Viewer UI will increase engagement among readers, but stunt the conversion of readers to contributors. Those improvements can come in time, though. As a Commons contributor I have learned how to maintain my familiar workflows. While I have some quibbles about Media Viewer, I think it's substantial boon to user experience overall, and should be enabled by default. Emw (talk) 13:54, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
  9. Enable I understand why experienced editors would want to go straight to the file page, but in my opinion as a reader the lack of a user-friendly media browser is one of the fundamental things missing from the MediaWiki interface. Logged-out users are more often than not going to be readers, not editors, so I like to put my interest in them. I think that is a very safe assumption... poll any group of people... everyone reads Wikipedia from time to time, but I know of few who actually edit. I also I think IPs are less likely to be working with files. I'm impressed by the media viewer implementation, it's still simple enough to get to the relevant file information without compromising aesthetic appeal. — MusikAnimal talk 15:00, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
    @MusikAnimal: --If it's the average non logged in viewer you're thinking about you might want to take in some of the feed back from some of them. For a number of reasons the images are coming through less than adequate for a number of them. The prior default system allowed for hassal free view, and with a 2nd click you had the image in full view without any of the heading, links, etc, which you feel are annoying for these people. Many images also have other information in the summary (author, date, other versions, historical info, links, etc), (1, 2, 3) which was instantly viewable/accessable for these readers. Remember, this is an encyclopedia and readers come here for information and knowledge, not just to look at pictures. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:32, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
    @Gwillhickers: Correct me if I'm wrong, but the media viewer currently shows the author, date and description if present, along with information regarding licensing. The file history I don't believe is pertinent to the readers understanding of what the image is meant to convey. — MusikAnimal talk 17:01, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
    @MusikAnimal: Media viewer, at least when you use Firefox or IE, only shows the file name and some of the things that you seem to feel the average non logged in user isn't interested in. It doesn't show you the full summary with description, links, added information, other versions, etc. With the original viewing system when you click on an image the second time, you get nothing but the image with a black background. So again, Media viewer only gives us what we already had, minus many of the things I pointed to in the three examples above. i.e.Why did they even bother? For a slide show? As I recently said, a slide show would come in handy as an option for time to time, that is, if they can fix all the bugs that people are still complaining about. Forcing it on all of Wikipedia as a default viewer while there was/are shortcomings and bugs and when there is major disapproval is not only arrogant and a slap in the face to consensus, it's becoming more and more suspicious. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:56, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
    Unrelated... remember to insert a number sign before the colons when commenting within numbered lists (such as this RfC), otherwise the numbering gets mucked up. — MusikAnimal talk 03:01, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
    @Gwillhickers: Not sure if you know about the little down arrow at the bottom, or try scrolling with your mouse wheel if you have one, or drag up from the visible white bar at the bottom. The author/description/copyright info, etc info should then become visible. This may seem unintuitive for older machines but it plays very nice with modern equipment, track pads, mobile tablets and the like. It also mimics other popular photo viewing sites. So where are these bug reports? Just curious as the fairly straightforward feature seems to work fine for me, I wonder how many bugs there could possibly be. I don't know what you mean by "suspicious" but I don't think it's fair to make assumptions when consensus hasn't even been drawn yet.MusikAnimal talk 03:01, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
    I was unaware that the media viewer had already been enabled for all users... I had it turned on in labs well ahead of time. I wouldn't call it "suspicious" and as far as software implementation goes I don't think consensus is always needed. I'm honestly surprised by the backlash from users... meanwhile I'm willing to bet many readers are relieved with the change. Same thing happened with VisualEditor, I suppose, but in that case it was quite buggy, and directly affected regular users - particularly patrollers. Such is not the case with this... regular users unhappy with it can simply turn it off. — MusikAnimal talk 03:19, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
    @MusikAnimal:: The title of this section relates to non-logged-in (anon) users. Until the last bugfix release, "regular users unhappy with it" could not "simply turn it off" at all unless they were logged-in-regular-users. Even now, the 'Disable' link for anons is not prominent or obvious; it's at the end of a string of links at the bottom of the page, and the page itself is only visible after scroll-down below an image that looks like a slideshow (and from which many people would never expect a scroll-down option). Also, your question about the term 'suspicious' might be answered by a stroll through the Talk Page (and the especially the most recent archive); even for a WP:EQ zealot like myself, AGF got more than a bit trying and I'm quite sure I failed at it several times. (talk) 14:41, 30 June 2014 (UTC)(Kevin)
    @MusikAnimal: -- My referral to 'suspicious' is directed at the idea that MV was forced on all users in all Wiki's, and without the consensus process we are going through to make it an option, in face of major disapproval it has received on English and other Wiki's -- disapproval that comes from the many bugs and faults that have been spelled out, time and again, on this page and on the MV feedback page, and apparently this is largely because there is a money commitment involved in the software development. Now there seems to be no turning back without consequences. At this late date we have received no explanation regarding this matter, so the continued silence is sort of resounding. Suspicious to say the least. Once again, most of the information in the file summary, i.e. 'Other versions', text, other links to articles, etc, are not readily available to non logged in users and to those who have had MV enabled for them. MV is a slide show that doesn't display images correctly or adequately for a number of users here -- no doubt the tip of the iceberg. It also causes problems with the browser's recent history/back-arrow function, as is explained on the MV feedback page. It offers nothing more than what the existing system did, expect a lot of bugs and an undermining of faith across Wikipedia. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 15:19, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  10. For the same reasons as my support for enabled for logged in users. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:46, 1 July 2014 (UTC)


  1. Disabled, 10 reasons given below. -- (talk) 20:57, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
  2. Disable, there are simply too may things wrong with this viewer. It's little more than a slide show feature which doesn't allow the viewer to see an image in its max resolution. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:10, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  3. Disabled, I agree with all of's comments. The only thing I would like to add is that this feature might be useful for mobile users. I don't have enough experience using mobile Wikipedia to give much of an opinion there. Some sort of RfC specifically with regards to mobile users would be good to have. Crazycasta (talk) 08:05, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  4. Disabled - I think pretty much sums it up. Beta developers seem to have different priorities to the rest of us. The recent category moving farce is an example of developers not really thinking things through. There are so many other things that need doing like the migration from toolserver and yet we are wasting resources on this, Visual Editor and Hovercards (glorified popups). Green Giant (talk) 13:10, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  5. Disabled - I agree with several remarks reported by, nevertheless I understand that it could be nice for some kind of users/uses (mobile phones?). For this reason in my opinion a button "Launch Media Viewer on this image" on the image page sounds as a simple and effective solution both for logged-in and non-logged-in users. -- Basilicofresco (msg) 14:20, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  6. Disabled - Might shift to neutral if it were easy to see how to credit for reuse. But it seems to me we could solve that just as easily on the regular file page. - Jmabel | Talk 16:30, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  7. Disabled and retooled - If this were some sort of add-on to the regular file pages, allowing navigation between images found in an article, it would be a welcome addition. But right now, it completely mucks up attribution, hides critical information, and makes it impossible for productive editors to work. VanIsaacWScont 22:03, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  8. Disabled - -jkb- (talk) 14:33, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  9. Disabled This thing shouldn't be forced on anyone. --Millbart (talk) 18:57, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  10. Disabled People use Wikipedia as a source of information. The barrier of being a logged-in user shouldn't prevent these people from accessing important metadata. - Evan-Amos (talk) 22:53, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  11. Disabled This is an absolutely horrendous feature. I often use Wikipedia to look at maps; e.g. Maps do not, in general, fit within the screen; to see them properly, you need to expand them to their native resolution. In the old system, doing this involved three clicks: one on the thumbnail in the article, one on the very easy to click on mid-res image, and finally one to zoom in. This was easy, and great. Now, getting the same requires clicking on the thumbnail, scrolling down (this isn't an obvious step), clicking on a *very not obvious* link, and then clicking on the mid-res image and zooming in. This is horrid. It's also extremely non-intuitive. My first instict was to try to click on the image in the media viewer. That did nothing. Then it was to right click -> view image; this produced a low-res (and hence unusable, in this case) image. Finding the solution required a lot of fiddling around, which I as a casual reader of Wikipedia expect not to have to do. -- (talk) 08:25, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  12. Disabled - It is not useful and extremly annoying for those working with images -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 19:05, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  13. Disabled and removed. Disabled for the multiple reasons that has so helpfully summarised which reflect the lack of proper research, design, and user testing and feedback (as can most notably be seen in that sorry survey asking, when someone tries to view an image, if an image viewer is useful). Removed because of the ongoing development and maintenance costs that this or any other tool has (remember this is funded by public contributions, it's not like the guys who wrote it are paying for it out of their own pockets. On the contrary, they're getting paid). We all fuck up sometimes. That's a good thing, as long as we admit to it before it's too late, learn from it, and subsequently spread that knowledge so others don't fall into the same traps. This "lessons learned" value is perhaps the only thing we can salvage from this feature.
    I have to agree with this assessment. It's waste like this that dissuades me from donating to wikipedia recently.Crazycasta (talk) 22:19, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
  14. Disabled - There is no obvious way to get to the image page from the lightbox, there is no obvious way to disable it (there is a small preferences link that can be unhidden, but clicking it dumps users to a general preferences page where they must find the little checkbox labled "Media Viewer"), it is confusing as it initially presents a blurry image before downloading a higher resolution one, and it makes browsing difficult on touch-screen devices that use pinch-to-zoom, many of the buttons contain cryptic icons, and their function can only be revealed by hovering over them assuming your device has a mouse. It becomes almost unusably slow on older slower machines or machines on a slow connection. It doesn't allow zooming and scrolling within the image. This feature, like Hovercards, can be useful to some users but has side effects so severe that it should ALWAYS be opt-in for everyone. Have a "view as slideshow" button to make this feature available to those that want it. The fact that less than 30% of enwiki users find it useful speaks volumes. --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 23:11, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  15. Disabled--Aschmidt (talk) 00:30, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
  16. Disabled everyhere Ahsoous (talk)
  17. Disabled - Disabled everywhere. Can the entire project. Please see my comments to question 1 above for more details. - S201676 (talk) 07:53, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
  18. Disabled; from a reader's point of view, this media viewer does two things, both bad: omits captions and completely covers all the text. While the first may (and 100% should) get fixed in a later update, there is simply no way to fix the second problem, which is so severe of a problem that I don't think this should ever be a default. Let me also say that by taking up the whole page, it is hard to figure out exactly how to close the image; the first time I accidentally clicked on one, I had to reload the page. StringTheory11 (t • c) 03:29, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
  19. Disabled as it would be even more challenging for newbies to access the file descriptions including the detailed info how the file can be reused. --AFBorchert (talk) 21:41, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
  20. Disabled. Has caused tremendous problems to a user well-known to me who prefers not to register as an editor. RomanSpa (talk) 15:57, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
  21. Disabled. Among the various very good reasons already enumerated, some of us delete cookies after a browser session. Leebert (talk) 01:47, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  22. Disabled. There are other reasons I have mentioned in the answer to the other poll question, but here it is also important not to hide anything about the functioning of Wikipedia from potential contributors. Hiding the image description page does just that. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:59, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  23. Disable - I was very surprised to see this pop up in my browser, The previous layout was much more easier to use and alot more helpful to everyone, Anyway In short this new feature is absolutely awful If I'm honest, Since the VE & Flow didn't work well I'd of thought lessons were perhaps learnt this time round but seems not –Davey2010(talk) 00:23, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  24. Disabled. Dunno if a lowly unregistered browser is allowed to vote, but that's my two cents. Media Viewer is a clumsy, confusing, and ugly barrier between me and where I want to go. If you want to send people to a bigger image, redesign the WM Commons page so it has a bigger thumbnail. Get rid of useless cruft. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:27, 23 June 2014
  25. Disabled. On reading others' comments, in particular those of, I see this is also inconveniencing unregistered readers, so I don't think it's fair to require registration for opt-out. A clearly visible switch to toggle to the media viewer for those using their phones to read Wikipedia (who appear to be the target audience) might be best, so I was initially not going to express an opinion in this section. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:01, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  26. Disabled Given the problems other users have reported, it seems silly to force a very difficult opt-out process on unregistered users, especially to opt out of a product that is still being developed. BethNaught (talk) 16:13, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  27. Disable of course. This is a horribly inadequate software feature, which reflects a distressingly poor understanding of what various stakeholders require. I outlined my concerns here, several months before the feature was enabled: mediawikiwiki:Talk:Multimedia/About_Media_Viewer/Archive01#Towards_enabling_the_Media_Viewer_by_default -Pete (talk) 18:29, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
  28. Disable I really don't like the way that it displays images out of focus and then after I suspect most viewers have closed the screen it shows the image in focus. But worse, this is part of a misconceived design philosophy of decluttering by removing important and useful links and thereby raising barriers against newbies joining us. As such it moves us in the wrong direction and should be disabled and ideally removed from Mediawiki. ϢereSpielChequers 07:01, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
  29. Disable per Pete and WereSpielChequers. Anons who want these features can create an account. It shouldn't be opt out until the impact is very low. There are still very large numbers of images which the MediaViewer does not understand properly. Moreover per WereSpielChequers, it is very sad to see engineering talent and computational resources being spent on parsing Image pages, as it is wasted & duplicated effort given that structured data for images is on the roadmap for the Wikidata team. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:44, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
  30. Disable per my comment up above in the logged-in users section. Nyttend (talk) 17:29, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
  31. Disable per my comment in the earlier section, and many good points by others. Johnbod (talk) 22:56, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
  32. Disable For all the reasons of badly re-implementing existing features of modern browsers, creeping commercialism, toy-ification, and being redundant and less usable than the existing file page. The developers of this misfeature appear to have been working in bad faith, including the existing opt-out for IPs that is implemented in a way that does not give any feedback on the number of non-logged-in users who are avoiding this already. (talk) 11:55, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  33. Disable This tool creates a barrier between users and the design of Wikimedia projects to accept edits and modification. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:01, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  34. Disable For an encyclopedic project not only an image but also description of an image is very significant. But the Media Viewer loses bulk of information about a file. Yes, you can get this information when a file is represented in the classical way, but the change of representations is not intuitive for a casual user. Even young users, who just live in the Internet, have some problems. And what about aged users? The button “See as a slide show” (we have it already) is a good way to enable the Media Viewer for non-logged-in users. Dmitry I. Ivanov (talk) 19:51, 30 June 2014 (UTC).
  35. Disabled per many of the reasons articulated above, and especially this from below: - "Media Viewer is disorienting. The interface is NOTHING like the rest of the site. I have never seen an overlay covering an article on Wikipedia before. It's bad design in general..." Cheers. JDanek007Talk 00:50, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  36. Disable There are significant issues with the Media Viewer.
    • Clicking on an image never means I want to see a slide show of all the images on the page. It means I'm interested in a specific image.
    • If I want to see an image in a larger size, I want to click a direct link to the full sized file. Reproducing my browser's perfectly adequate native viewing controls in an inferior fashion is stupid. Especially when with the loading and such, it feels far slower than the previous way of viewing the larger image, which includes two clicks and two page loads!
    • Image metadata is interesting. It's the kind of thing I want to see when I want to know more about an image. When I want to know more about an image, I want to click on it. Making this information less accessible is not cool!
    • Prior versions are important. Often the current image has been manipulated in ways that I may not like. Hiding these previous makes the site less useful!
    • Media Viewer breaks my browsers history in ways already described well by others.
    • Media Viewer is disorienting. The interface is NOTHING like the rest of the site. I have never seen an overlay covering an article on Wikipedia before. It's bad design in general, but it's especially jarring to see it on a site that had not succumbed to this UX anti-pattern.
    In short, launching Media Viewer is an inappropriate action to perform when a user clicks on an image. It might be ok to keep it in the case when a user clicks a "show slideshow" link or something along those lines. But if it is to replace the classic file information page, it needs to act more like what it's replacing. Just because I mention this doesn't mean I think it's a good idea. The idea of what the Multimedia team trying to implement with Media Viewer is a bad one, even when the implementation-specific issues are fixed. I'm firmly in the camp that all development on this feature should be stopped and the entire thing scrapped. And for the people with accounts arguing about what the average reader wants, please talk with them. The claims that the average reader supports this are ridiculous, especially in light of the absolutely dismal survey results. -- (talk) 22:11, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
    Just a reminder to preface comments with "#:" (w/ appropriate number of colons to indent the text) so they don't "reset" the numbering of the 'vote' list...JDanek007Talk 19:25, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  37. Disable (Copied from above) I'm just a regular guy who sometimes reads wikipedia and occasionally finds some of the images useful for various purposes, like including some in presentations. When looking at a picture, I just need to know if I can legally use it, if similarand potentially more suited pictures exist, and then have access to a variety of sizes/formats so I can balance quality with file size. The new "Media Viewer" doesn't make any of this easier than the old way of doing things, so I strongly recommend returning to that format. - (talk) 04:06, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  38. Disable. The best reason I have seen for enabling it for unregistered users, is to give them an incentive to register. I don't know whether this was intended as a joke, or as sadistic. Maproom (talk) 21:59, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  39. Disabled. Terrible feature; adds nothing, obscures plenty, creates numerous problems, is nearly impossible to understand or decipher or read; was never approved by any majority of Wikipedia users/community. Softlavender (talk) 09:50, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  40. Disabled. Adds nothing to what we already have and does not improve anything. Valenciano (talk) 09:57, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  41. Disable per my comments above. This does nothing for either editors or readers that the old system didn't do better, and is ugly, confusing and unintuitive. Mogism (talk) 19:41, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  42. Disable per the comments of all the unregistered users above. The fact that they are also inconveniced by it makes me think that it should not be set as default for them either. Double sharp (talk) 03:48, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  43. Disable, it looks like a tablet interface of a social networking site! � (talk) 15:48, 8 July 2014 (UTC)


  1. Neutral, leaning towards disabled. The Media Viewer does have some potential. For those who just want to quickly view a picture, just want to enlarge a thumbnail, and are not interested in re-using the picture, it looks quite nice, though still a bit half-baked - e.g. I dislike the way it tries to do "progressive" image loading with the blurry enlarged thumbnail. Those users may also very well form the majority. But amongst the users without an account, there are also many who want to re-use images or are otherwise interested in additional information. And for those, the Media Viewer is a hindrance, hiding important information, making the interface quite clunky. As the advantages of the Media Viewer aren't that big (after all, the "classical" image description page gives you an enlarged image as well, the Viewer just has a "streamlined" look), I think it might be a good idea to not enable it by default, but giving people a prominent option like a "Try our new Media Viewer!" button. Gestumblindi (talk) 15:12, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  2. Let's try to distinguish "bad feature", "half-baked feature", and "feature I dislike". I personally dislike lightboxes (Media Viewer is a lightbox system), so I've personally disabled Media Viewer. I also think that the feature as implemented is a little half-baked: the system feels awkward in places and tries to act like Wikipedia and Commons have semantic stuff attached to media that they don't actually have implemented in a nice way (as far as I know). All that being said, I don't think that Media Viewer is inherently a bad feature, and we should look for constructive approaches—e.g. identifying ways that Media Viewer can be improved—before jumping to back-burner the feature. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 19:46, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
  3. Neutral, leaning towards disabled. Like any new feature, some people will love it, some will hate it; the haters are usually those well-versed in the old interface. Perhaps a choice with a side-by-side comparison when using Wikipedia for the first time? I doubt this will "alienate" a first-time user. People love to customize applications to suit their needs. But forcing something down a user's throat after an initial evaluation is not good policy. MarkGT (talk) 01:35, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  4. Neutral, leaning towards ENABLED. As long as alt text remains a feature for the legally blind, and maps and charts can be enlarged in the next version. For the general reader, Media Viewer allows for an enlargement without disclosing file data which can be easily vandalized, potentially effecting multiple articles. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:30, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
    Has there been much "file data" vandalism, TheVirginiaHistorian, such that that would even be a valid reason to force the use of MV on unregistered users? JDanek007Talk 20:49, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  5. Undecided for one simple reason: what is the problem that Media Viewer is supposed to solve? After using it once or twice I still don't see how it's supposed to improve the end user experience, or help anyone. My honest opinion of MV is "Meh"; I don't like it, but disabling it in User Preferences allows me to avoid/ignore it (& I haven't bothered to do that yet. I don't see any further action needed about it in IMHO. (In other words, I don't care whether it is enabled or disabled by default.) Now, if I knew why the foundation spent lots of money & man hours creating it, I would be able to form & express a clear opinion about it. -- llywrch (talk) 20:36, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Discuss and comment[edit]

  • Media Viewer should be disabled by default for all users. Here is why:
    1. The standard mechanisms work just fine and have done so for many years – for causal readers, power users and editors alike. Media Viewer is a solution looking for a problem.
    2. Images with white or transparent background look horrible in Media Viewer.
    3. Relevant meta data is now hidden or not clearly labeled.
    4. The full screen viewing experience is touted as being immersive, but in fact disconnects readers from the context of the article. Wikipedia is not a slideshow.
    5. Media Viewer contains useless animations and giant fonts.
    6. The original format of the image and other sizes are now multiple clicks away.
    7. Media Viewer borrows usability concepts from tablet devices and is not suitable for regular or older PC with desktop class browsers (= majority of users worldwide).
    8. Media Viewer contains errors and inconsistencies with regards to responsiveness, variations in screen size and accessibility.
    9. The results of the surveys for Media Viewer ("70% approval rating") are questionable due to flawed survey methodology.
    10. The proponents of Media Viewer seem to lean towards commercialization (e.g. Multimedia Vision 2016 p.18, feature "Share on Twitter"), which goes against the spirit of Wikipedia. The concepts seen in Media Viewer – a modern, slick design geared towards brand new devices – seem to arise from those same tendencies. -- (talk) 20:57, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Commercialization is not against the spirit of Wikipedia, otherwise everything here would be under a NC license. Twitter is a useful tool to reach lots of people. We should embrace it (and other social media tools) rather than shun it. —Dschwen 02:57, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

We should try and stay as far away from such disgusting and damaging things as "Twitter" as is possible. This is the "free encyclopaedia". Barebones design should be preferred. RGloucester 03:34, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Agree. As an encyclopedia, we're here to teach, and not to share Saturday night pub photos. There is no reason to join the style bandwagon simply because Facebook and Twitter are doing it. --benlisquareTCE 06:22, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
What points out is an example of the creeping commercialization of Wikimedia. We have already had the debate about the change to the terms about paid-contributors. Now we are being asked to Twitterfy and Facebookize the projects. Next on the agenda will be "sponsorship deals" with Big Businesses for their articles, followed by a seat on the WMF board and in a few years we'll see a stock market floatation. Call me a pessimist if you want. As benlisquare says, there is no reason for Wikimedia to become like Twit/Face. Green Giant (talk) 13:10, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Green Giant, that's implausible. The only mention of including Twitter or other "sharing" features here is a mockup in a document that expresses a vision of making it easier and more pleasant to interact with our media. In practice, the community has consistently opposed features that added external social functionality, and commercialization of Wikipedia would be next to impossible given the freely-licensed content and nonprofit legal status of the Wikimedia Foundation. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 19:59, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Nihiltres - Yes the community opposes commercialisation but that isn't going to stop people trying. The paid contributors amendment to the terms of use was supposedly to establish a minimum standard but it is actually a quiet acknowledgement that there are paid contributors working on Wikimedia projects. It is the first step in preparing us for paid contributors to becoming accepted as a norm here. As I say, call me a pessimist if you want. Green Giant (talk) 23:24, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
such disgusting and damaging things as "Twitter" Facepalm Facepalm it's like I've wandered onto the letters page of the Daily Mail. — Scott talk 11:24, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
To be more specific, we're here to spread information and knowledge. Does it matter what medium we use? (As long as it's free as in speech, etc.) Legoktm (talk) 19:59, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • The majority of users are readers, and the majority of those will be looking for an enlarged image on clicking on it. Inasmuch as Media Viewer does that, it is a good thing. However, immediately filling the window completely is intrusive and taking liberties with user expectations. Taking the reader to the file page is not good either though. It has lots of essential information that some people will need to see, but it is confusing to an unfamiliar reader because it is not expected. The principle of least surprise should be followed here.
The behaviour I would like to see, and believe is the expected behaviour, is an enlarged image on clicking on it, but not filling the window, and without leaving the article page. The image should be free of extraneous information like copyright and author info. If the reader just wants to look at the image, all that is a distraction. A corner menu could be provided with perhaps +/- zoom, full-screen, info, and cancel. An info icon in-article on the image I believe would also be beneficial for those that do want to see the info so they can go straight to it. I also agree with Gestumblindi that the out-of-focus start-up view is horrible.
Several people have commented that this might be useful on mobile devices. As far as I can tell, Wikipedia mobile version is exactly how it was before—Media Viewer has not bee implemented on it. I therefore cannot say if it is any more useful on mobile, but I expect that it will be no more, nor no less useful when it is implemented than it is on standard Wikipedia. SpinningSpark 16:53, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
"The image should be free of extraneous information like copyright and author info." - per the terms of the Creative Commons licenses that we use, I don't think this would meet the proper attribution requirements. A non-familiar reader may click on an image, have it enlarged, and then decide to re-use the image on their own website without being able to read about who they should properly attribute. In my opinion, licensing and author information must be displayed at all costs, this is non-negotiable as long as Wikipedia purports itself to be a free-content encyclopedia ("free" as in libre, not gratis). --benlisquareTCE 04:43, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Huh?, I really don't understand your point. Users can already scrape images off a Wikipedia page without ever seeing any licensing information; that is not displayed in-article. My suggestion makes no difference to that whatsoever, so clearly it is negotiable. I am not suggesting that Wikipedia offer a download facility without first displaying the licences, but that should be on the information page (or a link from it) not available directly from the article. SpinningSpark 12:40, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
For any new feature, whether it is the Media Viewer or something else, it should not circumvent the display of information that would otherwise be displayed normally withoutthe new feature, and if the Media Viewer (or any other solution) does not display licensing information, I would be inclined to be concerned about it. We have the obligation to make file licensing clear, and if it weren't for such a solution, an end-user would end up seeing the licensing information after clicking the image for a larger version anyway (at least, that's what it would have been like on Wikipedia before any featural changes and additions, i.e. between 2003 and 2013).

What you're describing is one thing (thumbnails placed within a mainspace article), and I'm talking about another (full sized images that appear after the end-user clicks on a thumbnail). The status quo originally was that whilst thumbnails within articles weren't described in such detail (it would be rather impractical to begin with), the descriptions on file pages did fully cover licensing information for each individual image; if a new feature intends to change this status quo, full community consensus is required, in addition to consensus amongst the Wikimedia Foundation and other relevant bodies.

File licensing shouldn't be something brushed aside as something "that's there" and is mere linked to just in case someone is interested in such information; licensing information should always be there whenever possible. Ultimately, it's up to end-users whether or not they abide by the terms displayed, however from an obligation point of view we can at least say that we've placed utmost effort into making such information known if we make viewing it mandatory when the end-user clicks a thumbnail to see a larger size image; by hiding licensing information into a deep, dark corner that few people will know about, that's taking a completely different bend. There really isn't a useful purpose for "hiding" licensing information as if we want as few people seeing it as possible, because that kind of defeats the purpose of how file pages are currently designed. --benlisquareTCE 14:14, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

In a world where news organizations after looking at that page go like: © Wikipedia, I'd much rather have them looking at MMV and copying that first line of the gutter. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:14, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

jkb and Millhart and should be diregarded. The first two gave zero reasoning, and the IP gave no independent reasoning. Remember WP:NOTVOTE; give actual, quality reasoning please. Dustin (talk) 19:44, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

User (talk) should be disregarded. He hasn't even contributed a comment to this RfC. :-/
Dustin V. S. would you mind explaining what you mean by non-independent reasoning? It seems independent to me. Crazycasta (talk) 20:21, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Why should anyone give any reason for their respective comment? --Millbart (talk) 21:01, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I was referring to the way that you all were practically "voting"; Wikipedia is not a democracy, however, and the majority will not always win. Those who provide their own reasoning shall be given consideration, whereas those who do not provide reasoning shall be given no consideration. In that way, a bunch of people cannot "vote" just for personal reasons, but they must give actual reasoning. Also, in case this was confusing you, I made different comments for the logged-in users section and the non-logged in users section. "This thing shouldn't be forced on anyone." is not an actual reason; I may consider your dislike if you at least use facts that you can prove. Dustin (talk) 23:21, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I guess I was too vague. You said the IP gave no independent reasoning. It appears he gave 10 reasons, are you disputing their independence?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Crazycasta (talkcontribs)
This is a Request for Comment. All of the above are comments to specific questions. Whether you consider them relevant or not, doesn't affect their status as comments. A comment also doesn't have to be based in fact, it's perfectly valid to state an opinion or preference. --Millbart (talk) 13:45, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
@Crazycasta: I will be blunt here: you just made an absolutely invalid statement in saying the IP gave ten reasons. What is independent about an argument if all you say is "I agree with what all of those guys said"? Nothing. The IP gave zero reasons, and so its so-called reasoning ought to be disregarded. The IP obviously has shown its preference, but in terms of arguments, it loses out. Dustin (talk) 00:11, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Hi folks: Thanks for all your helpful feedback about Media Viewer in recent days. We really appreciate your candid recommendations — and survey comments confirm many of the issues you have raised on this page. The multimedia team is taking your feedback to heart, and we are sorry for any inconvenience caused by this tool. To respond quickly to the most frequent requests, we have pushed back all other projects to focus on Media Viewer for the next few weeks. We are now developing a number of new features for you, and aim to get them completed by tomorrow, so we can test them before releasing them to production. If all goes well, we expect to deploy some of them to the English Wikipedia by Thursday evening. The rest of them will be deployed the following week. Please check the new feature list and let us know what you think on this discussion page. Thanks again for your constructive suggestions. We look forward to improving Media Viewer together. Be well. Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 01:08, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
    This is a strange assertion, @Fabrice Florin (WMF): - when it seems pretty apparent that this will end with a rather strong consensus to completely disable the MV, what justifies dedicating extensive staff resources to the MV? Wouldn't it make more sense to cut your losses, disable MV, and move the entire project to the bottom of your priority list? -Pete (talk) 19:15, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Major flaws still exist[edit]

After all that's been said and done about improvements to media viewer, it still has its major flaws:

  • MV doesn't allow the user to readily see an image in its max resolution by simply clicking a second time. Instead, users have to click on an icon in the lower right, and you have to hover over it to see what its for, where the little pop-up message says "More details on a Wikimedia Commons", which doesn't even hint that there is access to an image's max resolution. This will be ignored by most viewers, so I think it's safe to assume that the quality of all the hi-res images (e.g.'Today's featured picture', 'Picture of the Day', etc) will be denied to the casual users we were told are the first priority by the few individuals who have pushed MV into its default existence.
  • There is no readily available way to disable the viewer, still, and in fact there is not even a hint of how to do so for the average reader and users with limited experience. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:12, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Contrary to the approval rating we were told about MV, that it's "a useful tool" (a "tool"?), it's rather clear that it is not wanted here at English Wikipedia. Had there been a list of features (and lack thereof) presented in the original approval survey compared to those of the standard viewing system, I think we can assume most rational adults would have said, 'don't bother'. Instead they were presented a gallery of images and told to view them with MV where the naive user was mesmerized by the slide show feature as they skipped along from one image to the next. No doubt the "approval" is based on this feature alone, simply because it was (and still is) its only feature. Disappointed. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:12, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

I am pretty well in total agreement with you on this. After our brief exchange on Wiki Commons I was spurred to find out how to disable MV and have now done so. That is fine for me, but what about the casual user? LynwoodF (talk) 17:10, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
LynwoodF: The ability for IPs to disable Media Viewer with one click, by pulling up the fold and clicking "Disable Media Viewer," deployed on Commons today. It'll be here in a couple of days after further testing on Commons. HTH. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 20:07, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Sure it works? Just like the disable checkbox, clicking the disable link doesn't disable MV! Bidgee (talk) 01:56, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Hey Bidgee, you do have to refresh the page after clicking disable. I hope that's not too much of a hassle :/ I just tried it out on Commons and all went well. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 17:07, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Negative, I've already refreshed, cleared cache, logged in, logged out, you name it. I still have MV and I don't want it, as someone who also has work uploaded, I don't want my license requirements ignored (which is what MV does) and in doing so, the default use of MV violates the license requirements. Bidgee (talk) 09:32, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
I replied to Gwillhickers over on MediaWiki. There was a misunderstanding. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 19:25, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Who is in charge?[edit]

  • I reproduce here the post I have just made on here: I have a candid (albeit not malicious) question: who is in charge on this? Who decides if, yes, or no, the new Media Viewer becomes the new standard? I'm used at Commons and English Wikipedia to reaching decisions by consensus. Doesn't seem to be the case on this matter, as this particular decison is being taken against a strong opposition of the users!. In other words, what is the point of this very RfC if the decision was already made by someone with the power to make it? Please forgive my ignorance on these basic matters. -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 19:46, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Just so you know, Alvesgaspar, I did see your post over on MediaWiki and asked Fabrice to reply. I forgot to leave you a note to that extent, sorry about that. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 19:21, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Hello Alvesgaspar, and thanks for your question. The ultimate decision-maker on whether or not to keep Media Viewer enabled by default is Lila Tretikov, Wikimedia Foundation's Executive Director. On a day-to-day basis, I am in charge of this project as its product manager, in consultation with the multimedia team, and taking into account quantitative measures and feedback from our users. Note that we strive to take all viewpoints in consideration when making these types of feature decisions: the editor community, the readers we all serve and the developers who are most familiar with these features. All those perspectives are considered regularly, through a variety of channels, such as this one. Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 15:27, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
  • This RfC clearly shows a consensus that this misfeature is unwanted and should be disabled. Your response has been to ignore the calls to disable this unfixable misfeature which solves no problems and creates many more and try to fix it instead. That is not what people here are asking for. You are ignoring community consensus every minute you leave this misfeature enabled on the English Wikipedia. It's quite infuriating, especially since I was operating under the apparently wrong assumption that Wikipedia is governed by community consensus. It's also infuriating that the justification for keeping this misfeature is that it supposedly is favored by silent majority of readers like myself who rarely if ever edit and don't create accounts. I can't speak for anyone else, but this misfeature makes my experience far worse. Does anyone seriously want some slow loading javascript monstrosity loading images in a way that makes their browser's native controls unusable? Why not just let the browser control how the image file is displayed? The opt-out for people who don't have accounts cannot come soon enough. Well, at least I have been disbused of the mistaken notion that the community has the final say.2601:9:3D00:DB:ED1D:3309:E82:81C3 (talk) 16:01, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
  • This is one of the things that I still find troubling, that the media viewer was based on a less than sincere approval rating based largely on the opinions of naive and casual viewers who were not informed about all its faults and shortcomings (e.g."did you find MV 'useful'?) and that it flies in the face of consensus here at English Wikipedia. Esp since the existing viewing system has worked fine for almost all editors and other viewers for so many years. I have never heard complaints about "messy" information below the image, esp since the 2nd click gives you the image alone and allows for max'res viewing. So why did MV even come into existence in the first place? I'm inclined to think someone is making a lot of money on the development of MV, while others who oversee this project perhaps take their role too seriously, which is why this small group of individuals continue to politely ignore consensus, ala MV feedback and this RfC. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:50, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I would add this is the right time for WMF to make a break in the development of the tool, revert the changes and re-evaluate the situation; this time taking into account more seriously the expert opinion of more than a couple of respected users and media creators. I fear that ignoring the consensus of the community will bring serious damage to the project, probably more significant than the expected benefits. Alvesgaspar (talk) 18:49, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
  • At this point I think the big question is, will the MV crew and those that gave them the green light respect consensus and the decision or recommendation of RfC and not make the media viewer a default viewer here at English Wikipedia, but offer it as an option and to be enabled as a default viewer if a user so decides. I believe that would be fair to everyone. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:37, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
@Gwillhickers: Yes, that's the question; but I think the answer is pretty clear, based on the precedent of the Visual Editor RFC. It's weird and distressing that @Fabrice Florin (WMF): would assert that the final decision rests with the WMF's Executive Director -- but perhaps he was referring to whether his team would continue adding the features to other wikis according to their schedule. Obviously, the final decision about whether it remains enabled as a default feature on English Wikipedia is a decision for the English Wikipedia community, not for the Wikimedia Foundation. I do think that Fabrice's team would do well to act quickly to disable the feature, but I doubt that will happen; but I am confident that when this RFC is closed, consensus will be respected, and those entrusted with the relevant tools will adjust the default behaviors accordingly. -Pete (talk) 19:43, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Insert : @Peteforsyth: I certainly hope you're right. As I once said, a slide show feature, from time to time, would come in handy. It's just too bad that media viewer makes it look like you've not only been ejected from the article, but that it looks like you've left Wikipedia entirely. In any case, looking at all the attempts to make it look like there is "global approval", the fact that they've written off the 1,000 (+ -) registered editors who have disabled the viewer in only two weeks (bearing in mind that many if not most didn't/don't even know about media viewer, or that it can be disabled if they do happen to know), the apparent attempts to scare average editors and others away from challenging their claims by posting computer code into the discussion, knowing virtually no one understands it, it doesn't look like they have any intention to respect consensus and this RfC. At this late date both @Fabrice Florin (WMF): and @Keegan (WMF): continue to ignore this question, submitted several times now. That by itself seems to speak volumes. Trying to maintain faith. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:54, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not answering you because you are asking me a question with which I have no authority to answer, and you know this. In the answer to the question of "Who is in charge?" you do not see my name listed. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 00:26, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm reproducing here a recent comment in the MediaWiki, who addresses the present issue in a sensible way, under the tile "Lessons Unlearned":
  • The latest version released to MediaWiki addresses many of the most critical concerns about the tool itself. I think the tool is nearing the point that it is a viable, shippable product. My question remains: How and when did you reach consensus to make the late-May version the universal default for all Wikis?
  • Did you, as Sven Manguard strongly recommended on 23 Nov 2013, consult any substantial portion of the Commons community? Why were the warnings of Vive la Rosière (22 Nov 2013) dismissed or deferred? When Pete F warned on 16 Feb that "enabling the Media Viewer by default will [likely] be rejected by the Wikimedia community," his narrow and immediate concerns were addressed but why was the larger point, that different workflow and usage patterns made MV a dangerous change that might be (and proved to be) incredibly disruptive and unpopular?
  • I don't hate the tool. I think the team did phenomenal work with the best interest of the WikiWorld at heart. I don't oppose change on first principle (far from it; I am an agile transformation specialist and change is both my life and my career). I just think that this implementation event is a massive red flag (a) that our consensus process is seriously broken, (b) that repeated, often-strident warnings from highly-respected editors were ignored and (c) that we have forgotten the lessons of history (Wikipedia Main Page Transformation, for instance) which taught us never, ever, ever to make fundamental changes to the user experience without exhaustive testing with the widest possible range of users.
  • I applaud the team and their work. It is an impressive tool for a certain type of user, showcasing first-rate code quality and a clean and highly-professional interface. I am terrified, however, that this is a sign of a sea change in our attitudes toward the user community. Editorship, collaboration and trust have eroded steadily since over the past six years. Is it inappropriate for us to request expect demand that project teams "first do not harm"? </soapbox> 01:04, 19 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin)

Comment. This has not been a happy experience for me, partly because not only do I find the MediaViewer annoying, but also because it's drawn the adverse attention of non-editors. I don't enjoy listening to complaints about something I had nothing to do with, just because I'm known to be a Wikipedia editor. However, there is a deeper problem that I've gradually become aware of as I've watched the various discussion pages over the last couple of weeks: this entire project has been astonishingly badly handled. It's clear (passim) that there were plenty of reservations about this project as soon as it became known to ordinary Wikipedians, but these seem to have been bulldozed over. Even now, the team responsible seem to prefer the idea that "things will get better with the next version", and can't seem to grasp that there is a huge difference between an encyclopedia and a multi-media slideshow. There seems to have been no attempt to build a solid consensus in favour of this project; rather, it seems to have been run by a team who only sought input from others of like mind. This is deeply worrying. RomanSpa (talk) 16:11, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Info -- Please see this (with no comments but irritation is raising steadily): [1] -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 20:46, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry to say this is what the WMF does these days: impose massive changes that impede editing and sometimes even crash browsers, then tell us they are marvelous and we should like them. At least for this one there is an opt-out. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:04, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Info -- I have left a note in Lila Tretikov‎'s talk page. We need to be reassured about the transparency of the process and WMF intention of respecting the community consensus in all WM wikis. Alvesgaspar (talk) 09:35, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Very low approval rating[edit]

According to their own survey, media viewer has received a very low approval rating on English Wikipedia, where the greater majority of editors and viewers abide, with only a 29% approval rating, which means of course that 71% disapprove. See: 4. Feedback on the Media viewer talk page. Even with the new features, (an attempt to make media viewer do some of the things that we were able to do in the first place) approval has only increased to 39% recently, which means that 61% disapprove. Then we are told that 875 registered users have disabled it (in only 2+ weeks!) since media viewer was forced on everyone, with the claim that this represents 0.34% of all registered users. Is this globally, or for English Wikipedia?? Since many registered users haven't logged on in weeks, months and even years, this 'statistic' is very deceptive and misleading. Esp since the disable feature was not available at first and continues to be obscure, tucked away at the bottom of the popup screen where it will get unnoticed by the majority of viewers who just peek at images in full view occasionally.
Media viewer should only be a default viewer where there is overwhelming approval for it, and it's perfectly clear, there is overwhelming disapproval for it on English Wikipedia. Their own statistics back this up. People who use Wikipedia as an encyclopedia don't need a default slideshow. It should be an option when one clicks on an image -- not the other way around. Why they came up with this viewer in the first place still remains a mystery. To be fair to the debate, they need to take a separate survey of experienced editors and see how it fares. Meanwhile registered and unregistered users continue to leave overwhelmingly negative feed back here at this RfC/English Wikipedia and on the media viewer talk page. We can only hope that the individuals who are promoting media viewer share the same spirit of Wikipeida and abide by the same ethics as do most of their fellow editors, and will respect consensus and the decision of this RfC. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 09:29, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

  • In my opinion the survey is not serious and serves one single purpose: to justify (albeit in a clumsy way) a decision that was already made. It is not serious because:
  • The statistics are wrong. When we count the number of users finding the tool useful (and not the number of wikis) we get 55.7%, not 60%. I wonder if this mistake was made on purpose.
  • How can WMF change the default viewing system in all wikis because 55.7% of the inquiries considered it to be useful for viewing images and learning about them? Since when being useful is a rational criterium for enforcing anything as a default?
  • What kind of survey is this that gives the same weight to all responses, knowing that more than 80% of the inquiries are not regular editors and never uploaded or used an image? Did the team try to relate the yes/no answers to the experience of the users? I couldn't do it myself because the data are not available. But tried to relate the number of articles in the various wikis with the approval numbers and found a significant inverse relation: the more numerous the articles, the less the approval percentage.
  • The comment of Fabrice Florin (WMF) that this represents about 0.34% of all registered users who touched the site since launch. We are sorry that this small minority of users doesn’t like the tool is not honest. We all know that most of the registered users are not active (many are socks, bythe way) and that turning the new viewer off is hardly obvious, as noted by Gwillhickers above.
  • This whole process is really a shame and is making me re-evaluate my future contribution as a volunteer editor and creator. I know this is not a democracy but WMF should value more the opinion of those who really keep the project rolling: the volunteer editors. Alvesgaspar (talk) 11:08, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Alvesgaspar, I'm blowing a whistle here. You don't get to call Fabrice dishonest (which is what your carefully worded phrase does). 0.34% of active users on the English Wikipedia have disabled Media Viewer. This is true. The English Wikipedia has, as of this writing, 126,977 accounts that made at least one edit in the past month. Of those, ~30,000 accounts made at least five edits in the past month- the "active editors." 875 into 30,000 gives a result of 0.34%. You may choose to disbelieve this, but the data is all readily available and public. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 19:28, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Sorry Keegan, but I have to blow another one! Neither English or Mathematics seem to be strong points of the people in charge. Let me quote again what Fabrice wrote: As of June 16, about 875 users had disabled this feature on the English Wikipedia, two weeks after launch: this represents about 0.34% of all registered users who touched the site since launch. No mention here of active or non-active users, or to any criterion defining what an active user is. Neither is it explained what site the statement refers to (the English Wikipedia?). Furthermore, 875/30,000=0.029=2.9% (not 0.34%). Forgive me if this lack of accuracy (or care) makes me even more suspicious. Especially when no serious response has yet been given to the overwhelming protests against the process, and you prefer to admonish me instead for the terms I have chosen when commenting an unfortunate phrase. To get a different perspective of what's really happening, please go trough the titles of the comments here. Revealing, is it not? Best regards, Alvesgaspar (talk) 20:28, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Indeed ! @Alvesgaspar:, You stole some of my thunder. See my comments to Keegan below: -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:47, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
To clarify, the 0.34% ratio refers to the English Wikipedia and was derived by comparing the number of people who have disabled Media Viewer to the number of people who have either edited a page or changed their preferences since the date of the rollout (this is a number that is easy to produce, as opposed to most other activity metrics). In case you are curious, to date 531 active enwiki users have disabled MediaViewer (using the standard definition of at least 5 edits in the last 30 days), that's about 1.5% of all the active users. --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 00:16, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
It should be emphasized that English Wikipedia has the most editors and articles, by far, over all other Wiki's combined and that many of the articles on other Wiki's were translated from English to an other given Wiki by English Wikipedia editors. If there is a 61% disapproval rating here at English Wikipedia, the core of Wikipedia altogether, this means that the greater bulk of editors disapprove. As was pointed out once before, surveyed users were given a gallery of pictures and told to try out the media viewer, so of course many naive and occasional users thought the "tool" was useful as they skipped along from one image to the next in slide show fashion. This is the basis of their "approval", which again, is less than sincere and seems to have been set up to justify a decision they had already made about media viewer. The fact that they made this a default viewer while it still had/has all of its faults, bugs and shortcomings is consistent with this idea. The individuals promoting media viewer need to step out of the box they enclosed themselves in and respect consensus, experienced editors and any decision made by this RfC. Again, this would be fair to everyone, so it's becoming more and more disappointing when they respond with smiley faces (veiled raspberries) and claims of "global" approval that are clearly less than honest. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:55, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't hate the Media Viewer. (Though there are various problems with it that I have mentioned elsewhere.) What bothers me is, yet again, the unexpected introduction of a major new feature in Wikipeda with no prior warning or prior opportunity for ordinary users to have any say. Every time these things happen we are told yes, there was a test program, or usability study, or whatever, but I have NO IDEA how ordinary users are supposed to know about these things. There needs to be an OBVIOUS notice somewhere, saying "We are planning a major change to .... Please click here to preview the feature and let us have your comments". (talk) 20:02, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Thank you all for your comments about Media Viewer. I have responded below to some of the key concerns you raised above. Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 08:41, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Gwillhickers, Media Viewer was developed to provide a better viewing experience for all our users, but with a focus on readers, not just editors. To get qualitative feedback from all users, we ran a short-term survey that included responses from both readers and editors in 8 languages, starting April 10, 2014. We observed that the rate of users who find the tool useful is usually lower for the first few weeks after launch, and typically increases after users become familiar with the tool and its new features: for example, Hungarian approvals started at 42% and grew to over 60% in about a month. Similarly, daily approvals from English users started at 23% right after launch and have grown to 48% two weeks later, as shown in this survey dashboard (2nd graph). We expect these numbers to keep growing, thanks to recent improvements we made based on feedback from community members like you. That said, this survey was never intended to be a long-term metric for this project -- and we planned to end it next month, now that we have enough feedback for development purposes. Going forward, we will focus on image views and disable rates as our main metrics, because they provide a more accurate indication of the tool's actual usage. In response to your comment about the 0.34% disable rate, I would like to clarify that it is based on the cumulative number of registered users who disabled Media Viewer in their preferences (875), divided by the total users who made an edit or changed their preferences since Media Viewer was launched on the English Wikipedia (260,450); it is not based on total registered users, as you suggest, which would yield a much lower percentage. We think that metric gives us a better representation of the community's overall acceptance of this feature, particularly now that we've made it much easier for both registered and unregistered users to disable the tool with a single click, right inside Media Viewer. While we appreciate that a couple dozen users have voiced concerns on this page, we think more time is needed to determine if these responses represent the majority view of the English Wikipedia community. Rather than jump to conclusions, we recommend waiting to reach a decision until more users have had a chance to get familiar with the tool and chime in -- and letting the RfC run its course in coming weeks. Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 08:41, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Alvesgaspar, I am sorry that you think the purpose of this survey is to "justify a decision that was already made": on the contrary, we started the survey months ago to learn from our users, and did not deploy the tool widely until we felt confident that it was useful to a majority of users around the world. You are correct that the average across all users is 55.7% (that number had not been verified when I filed this update, which is why I used the number across surveys instead); note that this average hovered between 60% and 70% for months, until the recent launch on the English and German Wikipedias, where post-launch negative feedback brought it back down for a few weeks. At each step of the way, we have fully disclosed these numbers, in good faith and to insure maximum transparency. So it doesn't seem fair to imply that we are being dishonest, when we have consistently strived to share our findings openly from the very start of this project. I believe that I have addressed your other points in my response to Gwillhickers above. Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 08:41, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  • If the purpose of the survey isn't to justify a decision that was already made, what kind of feedback would it take to make you disable Media Viewer by default? This RfC is pretty damning. The survey is pretty damning. I know that if my customers gave the kind of feedback I got here on a change I put into my product, I'd swiftly roll it back until I figured out what was wrong. You come off as a project manager whose goal of getting the product into production has blinded you to the possibility that it may be unwanted—or at the very least, half baked. Without the threat of people taking their business elsewhere as in industry, you're not particularly motivated to make this right. Personally, I was annoyed enough by the two weeks that passed where you didn't give non-editors like me the ability to disable this that I'm still following this discussion. If there were a decent alternative I would have left, not only because of the loss of functionality, but the apparent disinterest in listening to your customers. 2601:9:3D00:DB:C153:459B:A89:392 (talk) 03:57, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Anonymous user Your statement that "no prior warning or prior opportunity for ordinary users to have any say" does not seem accurate at all. Community members helped plan the Media Viewer project in over ten separate discussions since June 2013. The tool has been widely tested by over 15,000 beta users on the English Wikipedia since November 2013, as part of our Beta Features program. In the past two months, we have made over ten separate announcements inviting feedback on the Village Pump and other community hubs (announcement 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10). We have collected over 15,000 survey responses from a wide range of user groups. This seems like an extensive community engagement program to me. What else should we have done, in your view? Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 08:41, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
All those announcements depend on the unlikely chance of a Wikipedia user happening to look at some fairly arbitrary page on a particular day or within a particular timespan -- that's assuming they even know the page exists. Important Wikipedia-wide issues like this need to be announced to all users in an OBVIOUS way. (talk) 12:02, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
And, by the way, despite being "widely tested", the product that was released contained glaring faults. I have found four or five obvious problems and design deficiencies in just the first couple of times of using. I don't know who these testers were, but they did a lousy job. (talk) 13:01, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  • @Fabrice Florin (WMF):: Thank you for providing us the complete statistics, which confirm what many Wikipedians have been claiming (I would rather say shouting) in this thread: that the numbers do not support the claim that the new tool is preferred by a majority of users. What we can conclude from them is that a small majority of users (56%), most of them readers, find it useful. Not great, not the best or the preferred tool, just useful. And that this value drops dramatically to 28% in the wikis with most articles and users: the English and the German Wikipedias. We use to say in Portugal that the worst kind of blind is the one who doesn’t want to see. To be benign, that is precisely what seems to be happening with WMF concerning MediaViewer. It was obvious from the very beginning that a critical question failed to be asked: "should MediaViewer replace the old tool for viewing and learning from images?" Because it was not, we can only speculate on what the exact percentage of users saying "yes" should be. However, the present statistics and the choir of protests against the premature implementation leave little doubts on what the gross results would be. Significantly, Fabrice Florin is telling us that he intends to replace those statistics with the percentage of users who disable the new feature, claiming that that metric gives us a better representation of the community's overall acceptance of this feature. Says who? Someone who has demonstrated a complete ignorance on how a statistic should be calculated and interpreted? And who have used those numbers to try to fool the community? Sorry Fabrice, but the only way out now is to stop and think. And revert the MediaViewer as the default tool. Best wishes, Alvesgaspar (talk) 10:38, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Biased survey wording[edit]

The survey pre-selects by only eliciting feedback from users who remain on the image page long enough to find the small feedback link; users who are not comfortable with the image viewer will have closed the page and sought other ways to get to the Commons page, and so would be least likely to leave feedback; users who are comfortable with the image viewer because they are image focused rather than information focused, will be more inclined to find the feedback link and leave feedback. And when the feedback page is found, the question is: "Is this media viewer useful for viewing images and learning about them?" rather than: "Is this media viewer more or less useful than going direct to the Commons page?" If the survey doesn't offer an alternative, but only focuses on the current item, then the response is going to be ill-informed and limited, and will incline to what the user is looking at. It's like putting $10 on a table and asking people: "Would this £10 be useful to you?" A fairer question would be: "Which is more useful to you: £10 or the equivalent in your own currency?" Offer people appropriate alternatives, and you get more accurate feedback. SilkTork ✔Tea time 16:21, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

I also note the survey is introduced with this wording: "We'd like your feedback on the 'Media Viewer' feature you are now using. This feature improves the way images are displayed on Wikipedia, to create a more immersive experience. What do you think about this new multimedia experience?" So, even before the user takes the survey they are planted with the assertion that the image viewer "improves" the way images are displayed rather than the more neutral "changes" the way images are displayed. SilkTork ✔Tea time 16:44, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
@SilkTork: these are good points. There are many reasons to question the usefulness of the statistics provided, as discussed in other sections; but I find your comments especially insightful. Just wanted to acknowledge. -Pete (talk) 16:45, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Wholly agree the feedback option is fairly unnoticeable (took me a couple weeks). When I first encountered it, I did as you said "sought other ways to get to the Commons page". Finally frustrated beyond composure, I have been trying to find a way to eliminate this thing for the past hour (I still don't know how to disable this thing, BTW). The survey I finally discovered looked like it came from the offices of Goebbels. Talk about biasing the results in ones own favor. :( — al-Shimoni (talk) 00:42, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Less than honest approval rating[edit]

  • @Keegan (WMF): -- Excuse me, but there was no mention of "active users" when the 0.34% figure was given. It was made in reference to all registered users. You can monkey with and cherry pick the statistics all you like, but none of the assertions you've attempted to make are consistent with the overwhelming negative feedback left here at this RfC and on the media viewer talk page and the fact that close to 900 editors have disabled the feature in only a couple of weeks. Again, many haven't logged on in weeks, months and years, and again, many didn't know about the disabled feature that wasn't included until recently. Since this feature is hidden, many more users will never know about it for some time, if ever. Again, your own statistics say most of English Wikipedia editors do not approve. Since the greater bulk of wikipedia editors globally belong to English Wikipedia, it's easy to figure that most of them don't want this glorified slideshow, with all its bugs and shortcomings, as their default viewer. i.e.'10% of New York's population is five times larger than 90% of Smithville's population.' 61% of English Wikipedia editors do not approve. What approval you did mange to get is based on a slideshow feature presented to naive and occasional users who were not informed about all the faults and shortcomings inherent with media viewer. This is not very honest in my book either.
    I think the question now is, do you, Fabrice, et al, have any intentions of respecting consensus at English Wikipedia and abiding by the decision/recommendations of this RfC? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 20:47, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

In case you are curious, this is the database query that was used:

select up_value, count(*) 
from user 
  left join user_properties on user_id = up_user and up_property = 'multimediaviewer-enable' 
  left join user_groups on ug_user = user_id and ug_group = 'bot' 
where ug_user is null and user_touched > '20140604000000' 
group by up_value;

This counts users who have either edited the site or changed their preferences since 2014-06-04 midnight (the rollout date, loosely). Also, this is enwiki-specific. We will publish numbers for other wikis soon. --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 00:10, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

{Posted in error to talk page; I did not see that an RfC was active}: To repeat (ad nauseam), I don't hate this tool. I think the dev team did a great job. I object to the implementation, and especially to the misleading info used to support that implementation. I make no assumption that anyone is trying to mislead or deliberately cherry-picking data, but the end result is factually misleading.
Active users of Wikipedia within the EN (English) or DE (German) projects outnumber all other Wikipedians combined. Within the eight languages surveyed, EN and DE combined represent 76% of the active user base for Wikipedia and 80% of users across all MediaWiki projects. MediaViewer is an image tool and (of projects in those eight languages) EN and DE account for 89% of the Wikipedia images (88% across MediaWIki).
If we take the actual, raw numbers provided and we assume that they are truly a representative sample of all Wikipedians (Catalan and Hungarian? Seriously? Sigh. Never mind... AGF!), we have to accept one of the following conclusions:
  • 39.13% of active Wikipedia users find the tool useful - as pointed out by other editors, they do not necessarily like or approve of the tool
  • 37.84% of MediaWiki users find it useful
  • 33.29% of users on Wikipedia sites weighted by number of images find it useful
  • 33.67% of users on MediaWiki projects weighted by number of images find it useful
  • 73.02% of users approve of this tool because
    • ...the two languages with largest active Wikipedia user-communities, English and German, just don't matter that much and they'll come to their senses soon enough, and
    • ...finding it useful is, of course, the same as loving something (My broken-down, cushion-split, spine destroying swivel chair here at work is useful to keep me from sitting on the floor, ergo I love it), and
    • ...only .34% dug deeply enough to disable it (Only .34% of my coworkers threw their vile chairs out the window, ergo they love them), and
    • ...we're only measuring account holders because, frankly, why would anyone else matter?
Insert : Where are you getting "73.02%" if an average of only 35% approve? -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:16, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
Again, I don't hate the tool and I don't hate the team and I don't ascribe conspiratorial or malicious motives onto Media Viewer's supporters. To be more accurate, I only ascribe those motives if they pick the fifth choice above and keep trying to defend that position. Basically, I just want Keegan's request from 24 May honoured: "Personally, I'd like to make sure that the discussion is not based on 'I don't like it and I don't think anyone else does either' but actually had solid numbers and facts on how communities feel about Media Viewer…" and make that same rule applicable to supporters and detractors alike. Can we please give each other at least that much respect? 19:54, 23 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin) / reposted here (talk) 13:35, 24 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin)
Almost all of the users to see this RfC would, I suspect, be users who dislike Media Viewer, regardless of the common view, the reason being that users who like the addition (or are indifferent) would not have much motive to spend a long time looking into it. This RfC ought to be further publicized in some way, and because of the reasons I just gave, I consider Gwillhickers's view to in itself also be implementing skewed results from this RfC. Dustin (talk) 14:22, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  •  Comment: user_touched is not about "users who have either edited the site or changed their preferences", but "made a change on the site, including logins, changes to pages (any namespace), watchlistings, and preference changes". It will mostly be logins; it's ridiculous to think 300k users could make an edit or change preferences in less than one month. --Nemo 15:05, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  • @Dustin V. S.:, I don't see where I have skewed the results of this RfC, which are, btw, in plain view of any discussion that occurs here, thank you. I have maintained that the "approval" rating, such that it is, is not at all consistent with the overwhelming negative and often comprehensive feedback that occurs and continues to occur here, and on the media viewer talk page.

    Once again, the "approval rating" is based on a demonstration of the slide show feature where uninformed and naive viewers were given a galley of images to pan through. They were not informed about all the faults and shortcomings of this viewer, which was just shunted into our existence here as a default viewer regardless, which is yet another unsavory issue, btw. If you were to engineer and build an experimental airplane, would you want it reviewed by engineers and professional pilots with extensive and varied flying experience, or just anyone with a pilot's license who knew little about engineering and aerodynamics? If the plane was full of faults I suppose you would want the opinions of the least educated and experienced users, uh, pilots available, who would no doubt find the plane 'fun to fly', or "useful". On average, only 35% of users in any of the English Wiki's approve. Again, media viewer should be a default viewer only if there is overwhelming support for it, and clearly there is not, and (very) many users have articulated well as to why. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:16, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

@Nemo: yeah, I misread the documentation, thanks for correcting. Given that Media Viewer is mostly aimed at readers, I think those numbers are still relevant, but I checked the opt-out ratio for users who have edited since Media Viewer has been rolled out:

select up_value, count(*)
from user 
  left join user_properties on user_id = up_user and up_property = 'multimediaviewer-enable' 
  left join user_groups on ug_user = user_id and ug_group = 'bot' 
  left join (select user_id uid, sum(contribs) edits from user_daily_contribs where day >= '2014-06-04' group by user_id having edits > 0) x on uid = user_id
where ug_user is null and edits is not null
group by up_value;

That's about 0.75% (733 out of 98226). --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 19:02, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Insert : @Tgr (WMF): Could you keep this sort of cryptic presentation off the talk page? It fails to mesmerize me. It's absolutely meaningless to 99% of the readers. It's already been demonstrated that the numbers of users who haven't disabled are rather meaningless, given that many users haven't logged on in weeks and months while most users don't weigh in on discussions like this, which has become more tacky by the day, and I'm beginning to think that is why we're seeing computer code pop up into these discussions. The media viewer was introduced with no disable feature and now the disable feature remains hidden from view. Claims about the numbers who haven't disabled are meaningless. The question should be: how many 'informed' users have disabled media viewer? The last I checked it was close to 1000, and in only a couple of weeks. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:13, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Objection: @Gwillhickers, I don't agree with the tone or substance of that post. First, @Tgr and others have been challenged repeatedly on talk pages to show how they arrived at numbers. Providing the SQL is an honest and reasonable way to comply. I also think that you are allowing yourself to be diverted: How many people, informed or otherwise, have disabled Media Viewer is a distraction, nothing more. It is a measurement of the most extreme form of dislike, similar to, "Everyone who does not take a pickaxe to their computer loves Windows 8." No, just highlights a tiny minority enraged to the point of senselessness.

In actual fact, that whole discussion has nothing at all to do with whether Media Viewer should be the default for all Wikis which is the core of this RfC. How many despise it enough to turn it off (and even how many disapprove of the feature) might add weight to the idea that this was a very bad decision, but the core discussion should be, MUST be, whether this feature so enhances MediaWiki that it is essential to impose it on all Wikis, everywhere. THAT is the core purpose of this and all similar projects. We cannot allow this RfC to be a beauty contest or a popularity poll -- although something that fails both should be obviously suspect -- but a discussion of what is best for the Wikiverse. The rancor and outrage that exploded onto the Talk Pages is not irrelevant, but it's not the point. It supports a consensus to roll this back, but other factors -- process-oriented (lack of input across the user bases, especially from anons; lack of collaboration with Commons, the largest image-based project; ignoring warnings from respected contributors) and product-based (the absence of critical copyvio protections; the problems with certain image types and image sizes; usability and W3C accessibility concerns; etc.) -- outweigh popularity figures, and all point to a clear consensus that Media Viewer is not an appropriate default feature for MediaWiki in its current or predicted state. (talk) 18:09, 25 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin)
  • @ Kevin, the tone is the result of an ongoing attempt to politely write-off the feedback here, on the MV talk page and their own statistics that reveal that most English and German Wikipeida editors don't approve of a slide show as a default viewer. The fact remains that the disable numbers mean little, as again, MV was introduced with no disable feature to begin with and it continues to hide this feature at the bottom of a popup menu which is also mostly hidden. As soon as it was made known how to disable some 1000 registered editors disabled it in only two weeks -- but they took this number and compared it to all users, most of whom didn't and still don't know about the disable feature in a rather transparent attempt to support a bogus conclusion that this supports their "approval" rating. So again, if we're going to heed the numbers of those who have disabled, it should be done from the perspective of how many informed users have disabled the viewer. -- RfC not a "popularity poll"? I have to disagree here. Isn't that what the MV crew have done with their approval rating, such that it was? As you seem to know by now the reasons why MV is not popular overall have been articulated by numerous users, so the "popularity", or lack thereof, actually has a basis to it. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:52, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
We should not be using opt-out ratios as a definite measure of support for a feature, you cannot imply that people who do not opt-out are supporters that are in favour of Media Viewer.

When Media Viewer first came about, and there was no opt-out feature within the user preferences (or at least, before I knew of the existence of any such thing), I created a rough workaround for myself in the form of a Greasemonkey userscript that circumvents Media Viewer. Since nothing on my end is broken yet, I'm too lazy to change things around even though I now know that I can disable Media Viewer in the user settings. Within your statistics, I'm probably considered a "supporter" of Media Viewer. I'm just a lazy person, but there are probably many other reasons why other people haven't opted-out yet, and you cannot infer that it's because they all support the feature. --benlisquareTCE 04:04, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

I don't think anyone ever indicated that people who have not opted out would be supporters. I expect a large part of them simply does not click on images much and so doesn't care either way. That said, it does disprove the notion that the majority of editors are totally freaked out by Media Viewer, which is something that some people on this page have repeated so much that in the end they might start believing in it themselves :) So I think the opt-out ratios are helpful to give some perspective. --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 07:59, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

@Tgr: I have a few issues with your post. I think that several folks here and on the talk pages have absolutely implied that low disablement rate was an indicator of approval. Several folks have taken issue with that (including me), yet people continue to defend the idea. Second, while some opponents seem firmly in the Chicken Little camp, most are not trying to say that users are totally freaked out but that the consensus to make this a default feature was flawed and that the feature itself was not ready for Prime Time. Third, I fail to understand how a lack of complete freak-out is any argument whatsoever in favour of the making Media Viewer a default. As a Reductio ad Zombium, the fact that 99.25% of the people on earth are expected to recover from a Zombie Plague is a piss-poor reason to set the virus loose in Heathrow's International Departure Lounge. Lastly, the banner for this section relates to the less-than-honest use of statistics. I think the originator was incensed by the attempt to use a 0.34% (or 0.75%) "death rate" as an indicator that the tool is reaching acceptance. The same can be said of the (at best) sloppy use of approval ratings from account-holding, project-team-chosen, Hungarian and Catalan users as an indicator of worldwide acceptance. !Vote is all well and good, but it's baffling that an objection rate exceeding 60% is seen as anything other than an clear indicator that this needs to be rethought. You have been an island of sanity in this discussion, but this post is simply weird. (talk) 16:48, 25 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin)
Kevin, Hungarian and Catalan were used because those were the first wikis we deployed to. We wanted to start with small wikis, obviously, and I happen to be active on the Hungarian Wikipedia and someone in the office is active on the Catalan one, so they were convenient choices; there is really nothing sinister about this. We used them (and later the increasingly larger wikis we deployed to gradually, including French, Spanish, Dutch) as predictors of global acceptance, there were mistakes made there certainly (we should have used random sampling for example - though FWIW the surveys were not limited to users with accounts nor were the respondents chosen in any way by us), but I still think that was a reasonable approach. How inaccurate those predictors were did catch us by surprise, and we did a lot of rethinking as a result (if you followed our reports you could see that we reshuffled our schedule quite a bit), although more along the lines of fixing MediaViewer then disabling it by default - not saying that's off the table, but it should be the last choice, and most of the objections (well, apart from the 35+ kind) seemed fixable (and I think we have fixed many of them by this point).
Re: use of the opt-out numbers, I don't disagree with you, it sucks as an acceptance metric, it's just that the other metrics we have suck even more. (RfC/talk page responses tend to have a very strong selection bias, and for surveys, the response rate drops off quickly, and even if the positive replies exceed the negative ones in the recent responses --which did actually happen-- it's hard to tell whether it's a genuine increase in acceptance, or people who dislike the tool are just affected more by survey fatigue. Plus you can bikeshed on the correct wording forever.) I hope we will have something more concrete by the time we make any final decision. --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 18:52, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

A different proposal[edit]

  • @Fabrice Florin (WMF): -- In a section above, Fabrice Florin informs us that he intends to replace the present statistics with the percentage of users who disable the new feature, claiming that such metric gives us a better representation of the community's overall acceptance. Fine! Thus, let's do what he proposes, with a twist: disable the feature as the default viewer and count the users who turn it on. Fair enough? -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 20:59, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  • This was already done before it was turned on for everyone and 15,000 editors had opted-in already. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 22:26, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  • @Keegan and Alvesgaspar: Keegan, "already done before"? When was it done? If media viewer wasn't a default viewer when people clicked on an image how did they come by it to turn the feature on in the first place?? -- I agree with Alvesgaspar, given the overwhelming disapproval on this RfC and on the media viewer talk page, media viewer should be presented as an option for those with the need to have a slide show feature while they're reading an article in an encyclopedia.
  • The professed approval rating, which is getting very tacky and questionable, is not consistent with the feedback here and on the media viewer talk page, and once again, 'approval' was based on a slide show presentation to naive viewers who were not informed of all the bugs, and shortcomings, so in essence, the approval is narrow in its scope. Trying to buttress this approval with numbers from people who disabled the viewer amounts to little, because as you have been informed several times now, many users don't log in for weeks and months, and many simple do not bother with discussions like this. The viewer was presented with no disable feature to begin with, and now many still don't know about the disable feature, which remains hidden at at the bottom of a popup menu which is mostly hidden to begin with -- so trying to interpret the disable numbers as something that amounts to 'approval' is sort of ridiculous. And once again, your own statistics say the greater majority of registered users on English and German Wikipedia do not approve of media viewer.
  • Once again, we need to know if the individuals pushing media viewer into its default existence here at English Wiki have any intention of abiding by the same set of ethics the rest of us do and will respect consensus and the decision of this RfC. This will be at least the third time I have submitted this fair question. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:48, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
@Keegan (WMF): If a user turned the feature on, you can't conclude that he or she prefers it. All you can conclude is that they were curious about it. You can't conclude that they believe others should have it turned on by default. I turned it on, and left it on, because I wanted to be aware of what was coming, and how to mitigate the damage. Others may have turned it on out of curiosity. But most importantly, you can't draw any conclusions about how it impacts one of the most important stakeholder groups -- potential new contributors -- from the behavior of power users who seek out new features voluntarily. -Pete (talk) 18:36, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
@Peteforsyth: The proposal above is intended to do just what you said doesn't work: see how many people turn Media Viewer on and let that be the measure of success. This measure was not my idea. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 18:47, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
@Keegan (WMF):, OK -- I was taking it at face value that it was @Fabrice Florin (WMF):'s idea, as @Alvesgaspar: asserted, and assuming you could speak to Fabrice's assertion. But, it doesn't matter -- I think all suggestions that we ascribe a lot of meaning to the number of people who went out of their way to enable or disable the feature are misguided, and I'm happy to leave my comment at that. There are better ways to evaluate the effectiveness and the unintended consequences of the feature. -Pete (talk) 18:55, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Sure, and I do agree with your sentiments about the value of these discussions. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 19:01, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
In a response above, I stated (and continue to maintain) that disablement figures and even popularity polls are distractions [see Aristotle]. I get *ed off when numbers are misused (hence my post), but the core question remains thus: Should Media Viewer be the default for all Wikis? The core discussion should be, MUST be, whether this feature so enhances MediaWiki that it is essential to impose it on all Wikis, everywhere. We cannot allow this RfC to be a beauty contest or a popularity poll because those don't predict the actual impact on our customers (the users of MediaWiki; to wit, ourselves). The outcry on Talk Pages is just a symptom, and potentially provides reinforcing proof that this needs to be rethought. We need to come to agreement NOW, however, on whether imposing this feature as a default is the best thing for MediaWiki and all of the daughter projects. Clearly, I would answer that with a resounding "NO!" That does not mean I'm right, which is why consensus-building is so critical (and why I am so disturbed by the question of how an original consensus was achieved). (talk) 18:44, 25 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin)
^^^ Well said, Kevin. -Pete (talk) 18:48, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
@Keegan (WMF):, also, could you clarify -- were those who have selected "automatically enable new beta features" preference included in the 15,000 users you cited? If so, how many people does that include? -Pete (talk) 18:48, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
@Peteforsyth: I'll see if I can find those numbers. I do not believe that *that* many people have selected "automatically enable new beta features." Plus there's the fact that that particular checkbox didn't actually work until a couple of months ago :) Keegan (WMF) (talk) 19:01, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
@Keegan (WMF): OK, but since we've basically agreed above that these statistics aren't particularly helpful -- I'm happy to retract that request. I thought the numbers might be handy -- not worth digging them up if it takes any effort. -Pete (talk) 19:10, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Not too much effort; about half of them has auto-enable turned on right now (6700 on vs. 8100 off). There is no way to tell how many people had auto-enable turned on when MediaViewer got enabled for them. --Tgr (WMF) (talk) 19:36, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
select beta.up_value, count(*) 
from user_properties mmv left join user_properties beta on beta.up_user = mmv.up_user and beta.up_property = 'betafeatures-auto-enroll' 
where mmv.up_property = 'multimedia-viewer' and mmv.up_value = '1' 
group by beta.up_value;
This is just getting tackier by the hour. Instead of tying to breath life into disable/enable numbers, the WMF team here needs to simply read and heed the feedback, written in plain English. Since the feedback is overwhelmingly negative, with many articulations as to why, I suppose no one can blame the WMF team for turning most of their attention on and speculating about what they would like the disable/enable numbers to mean. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 22:12, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Consensus/disapproval has been established[edit]

At this point it can easily be established that the consensus is in for media viewer, which has received, and continues to receive, overall disapproval on English and other Wiki's -- disapproval which has been articulated and based on one shortcoming, fault and bug after another. (see the latest), some of which have yet to be resolved with no solutions in the near future evidently. Many are still amazed at how this viewer was allowed to become a default viewer, not to mention disappointed over how the individuals overseeing the project have conducted themselves in that regard, and by the way they've been patching media viewer together as they go along. Perhaps 'Franken-viewer' would be a more appropriate name. Hopefully common sense will prevail and media viewer will become an option after it has been further beta tested, by experienced editors, not just by casual viewers who view a slide show while they're 'passing through town'. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:05, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

  • No, consensus has not been established. An RFC for something as major as requesting that a wiki disable an essentially global feature needs to run a minimum of 30 days, and have the participation of several hundred users, before there can be any consideration of consensus. There's also the fact that so many users had already enabled the feature before it became the default that would need to be addressed. You also need to understand the principles discussed in this policy. More particularly, active participants in an RFC should never close it, but instead leave it to neutral third parties. Risker (talk) 20:40, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) @Risker: -- I have no problems with gathering more consensus, and I was not attempting to close the RfC, as if I actually could, but mainly point out that consensus is pretty much self evident at this point as are all the bugs and problems that gave rise to that consensus. When you say "several hundred" what is the minimum? 400? Who decides that? What if only 300 bother to weigh in? Will this be interpreted as an 'okay' for the MV regardless if their own statistics have revealed there is major disapproval on English and other Wiki's, and that this RfC and the feedback page is almost all negative in its assessment also? Btw, where was the RfC that ran for at least 30 days where "several hundred users" weighed in and said 'okay' for this viewer to be a default viewer for everyone on every Wiki? Seems we are being held to a standard that the MV promoters were/are not. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 21:07, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
  • No problem at all in waiting some more days until that minimum is reached. Or in callig someone not involved to interpret the results. But since you invoke those general principles, let me invoke a much more basic one: that a major change such as replacing the default viewer should not be enforced without guaranteing that the product was ready and that a solid consensus was reached among the various wikis. If that were the case, we would have been waiting right now for some hundred users to support the change... Fair enough? -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 21:05, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Well said, Alvesgaspar! (talk) 13:44, 27 June 2014 (UTC)(Kevin)
  • And I'll chip in to say: "implementation of a major change such as replacing the default viewer should not happen in the very first place unless broad consensus has been established regarding the need for it". In fact, complex projects (such as this) abhor major changes, so major changes should not happen at all: evolution should be in small, measured, incremental steps. That's project management basics, btw.
  • Note As the person who started this RfC but has not voted in it, I am watching it and am prepared to close it myself if someone else doesn't get to it first, although I think it would be best if someone who has never written on this page is the closer. We are getting close to the 30 day mark, and if no one closes this discussion shortly after the 30 day mark I will actively look for a closer, and if no one closes within a few days of those requests then I am prepared to close this discussion myself. --Pine 07:18, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Consensus on disapproval may have been established, but not on the Core Issue[edit]

Summary & New Proposal
I suggest that the issue at hand is NOT whether Media Viewer is a solid tool, nor whether people like/hate it, nor whether people enable/disable it, nor whether the original consensus was correct (or even existed), nor even whether is should have been the default viewer in the first place; the question to hand is where do we go from here? Media Viewer is currently implemented. MV is currently set as default across all wikis. MV is currently in use (welcome or unwelcome) for viewing images across MediaWiki projects. Those are simply statement of fact. Debating the merits of those facts is masturbatory and gets us nowhere.

So, "Where do we go from here?" is the central question, and the defining point has to be, "What path is best for MediaWiki?" When phrased like that, my resolve on rolling back Media Viewer is wavering. That's neither because I think it is the right tool as a default (I absolutely do not) nor because I am convinced that the original consensus was valid (I am not yet convinced that an original consensus even existed); instead, I am unsure whether a roll-back would do more harm than good to the MediaWiki cause.

Before Gwhillhickers and others succumb to apoplexy, let me explain: Humans hate change because, quite simply, humans hate change. There is a tipping point where reversing a bad decision cannot restore the previous positive state and only makes a situation worse. The initial explosion of outrage in mid-May should have triggered a swift and (relatively) painless roll-back and allowed us to adjust course. Media Viewer would clearly have benefited from a regrouping at that point.

Instead, we're now at about the same point in this journey as Noah was when he found the dove perched at his porthole; forty days and forty nights after the Media Viewer rains began, we might not have a viable roll-back option. I know that I'm flirting with the edges of AGF here, but (by accident or design) proponents of the change may have dragged this consensus discussion past the point where a reversal of course may now be the more-destructive option. If Tgr's statement is correct that they are seeing a gradual shift away from negative comments, that ebbing outrage means that either (1) MediaWiki has already forfeited users who hate this tool or (2) opponents are tired of shouting into the wind and ready to accept the inevitable. The best remaining course might be to declare fait accompli and see what flotsam and jetsam the Deluge left to us shore up the image viewing experience.

Before the project team needs a jolt from an AED, let me reiterate that their work is excellent and their product, within the narrow use for which it was designed, is superb. The roll-out of a project is not a reflection of the product's value or innovation, and it seems the team did their level best even in the implementation, with what was known at the time, to do this right. Where and why the consensus process broke is a learning opportunity for future projects and has nothing whatsoever to do with the choice at hand; the past is passed and beating each other up over it is senseless and depressing.


  • Based on the facts that exist now, let's figure out whether a roll-back is more-destructive or less-destructive to MediaWiki than leaving MV in place. Stop asking whether it should be the default, but instead, should we change the default now?"
  • Let's shift this conversation to focus those (like Pete, Gwhillhickers, Alvesgaspar and me) who have been most vocal about flaws toward helping the team directly, including input on prioritization of the Mingle backlog, to attack the weakest features.
  • Let's create a new conversation (if one does not already exist) to highlight the things that allowed the MV roll-out, which should have been a triumphant point in this project, to become a flame-fest of concern, outrage, condescension, denial and recrimination. The point of that conversation would be input on the consensus-building and implementation planning for future projects so we never have to do this again. (talk) 15:23, 27 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin)

Appreciate the input, but remember, if we are going to discuss disabling MV then people are going to ask why and why not. I agree that it has come to that as I and others have suggested several times. We still are not sure whether the decision to disable MV, at least here on English Wikipedia, will come as a result of their own statistics and feedback and/or this RfC, and unfortunately none of the WMF team overseeing the project has bothered to say, which imo suggests they have no intention of disabling MV anywhere, regardless of all the faults and bugs MV had and still has -- which doesn't do much for my faith in the Wikipedia process, btw.
My recommendation is similar to yours. They should disable MV as a default viewer (allowing those to keep it as a default if they so choose), do all the beta testing and fixings, then offer it as an option when one clicks on an image. If there is overwhelming support for it on a new feedback page, then it should go to an RfC to see whether it should be made a default viewer. None of the individuals promoting MV did this to get MV as the default viewer, yet they're expecting us to jump through all of these hoops to rollback this buggy slide show feature, and get it fixed and offered as an option.
btw, you have been a regular and an intelligent voice here at Wikipedia, which is greatly appreciated. As such I would recommend that you register, give yourself a user name and join us. Thanks for attaching your name to your IP address. At least you're not an anonymous voice in the wind out there. -- -- Gwillhickers (talk) 16:33, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
@Gwillhickers, you misunderstood me. I don't see that rollback in inevitable, here or elsewhere. In fact, I am not sure that it's even possible without making this worse. We are here because we use / like / find value in projects built atop WMF, and feel that this feature either improves or degrades that value. The problem is that there are people who genuinely like this... feature. I expect that we have already alienated contributors; actually, I have personal knowledge that some have given all Wikimedia projects up as a lost cause and are using this change as an example of how and why the concept of community-based development is flawed. Are we willing to also forfeit contributors who like it when/if we roll it back? Is that going to increase the value you and I get from Wikipedia, Commons, Wiktionary and all the rest? I think the act of making MV a default has damaged the usability and acceptance of sites I worked hard to help; I am unwilling to compound that damage just to prove that point. Historically, (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) that has never worked out very well in the end... (talk) 17:58, 27 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin)
  • I am registered as a user in several WMF projects, thought I rarely post under my accounts any more. I can't use accounts from my heavily-mangled corporate system due to browser settings (technically, I could if I were willing to log in from scratch every time I opened a browser window -- yeah, not so much). (talk) 18:06, 27 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin)
Interjection: I have created an account to collect feedback or commentary related to my anon postings (explained better on my User Page) (talk) 15:50, 30 June 2014 (UTC) User:Kevin.159.53
  • Don't see how things could get worse by rolling back a viewer filled with faults and bugs that has received major disapproval. I do see things getting worse in terms of good faith if arrogance and defiance trumps community consensus. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:24, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
The consensus I see is that people don't like MediaViewer. The reason for this section is that I do not see a consensus for (or even a discussion about the ramifications of) turning it off a month and a half after it went into production. "Don't see how things could get worse..." is what got us INTO this mess. People assumed consensus where none existed and (as far as I can tell) none was even attempted outside the preacher and choir. No one asked the question! Are you seriously suggesting that the "arrogant" method of the team (an adjective I dispute), is your preferred model for moving forward? That we should take dislike the tool as license to kill it, just as they took it's not useless to mean I loved it and lack of disapproval as license to make it a universal default? Just... wow. (talk) 19:08, 27 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin)

Kevin, thank you for taking the time today to write all that you have. It's all very thoughtful and in broad terms I agree with most of your sentiments on reflection and moving forward. I invite you to participate in future product release discussions about how everyone can do better. Fortunately there are no more major product releases this year, we can breathe easy for a bit. Enjoy your weekend. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 23:36, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Kevin, you're right to object to the validity of the IDONTLIKEIT votes, of which there are many. Anybody who found there way here is presumably sophisticated enough to disable the tool in their user preferences, so a justification that says merely "I don't like it" is pretty much self-defeating. I'm pretty confident that whoever closes this will have the presence of mind to regard those votes with appropriate skepticism.
No Peter, a "justification that says I don't like it", as you put it is not self-defeating. You make the completely unwarranted assumption that it comes down to user sophistication. At least on one case (me) it doesn't: I don't like it because a) it's an utter fuck-up, which b) has been done with my money and that of countless other well-intentioned donors, and c) the people responsible for it are burying their heads in the ground instead of facing the fact that they completely fucked up, as the very existence of this RfC demonstrates. Those people, and I say this as someone who has faced many of the same issues in my professional life, are incompetent as they failed to manage a project properly, and dishonest (yes, Keegan, dishonest. Tough if you don't like it) as they are more interested on saving their little jobs by attempting to manipulate the issue so as to ignore the problem rather than face up to it (and ideally get someone who knows what he's doing to fix it). I still have to see a post from Fabrice or whatever his name is saying that he is going to abide by the results of this public, informed discussion, instead of clutching at straws with that joke of a "survey" (where the numbers don't support the conclusions anyway). I can totally live with incompetence, people have to learn somehow, but I draw the line at trying to bullshit your customer (us in this case). That's why "I don't like it".
However, there are many "disable" votes that do not take that form; especially in the "non-logged-in" section, which presumably would not apply to most regular users. Speaking for myself, one of my chief concerns is that by complicating the process of finding the wiki page for a media file, we make it less likely that a reader will recognize that they can fix errors, add information, etc. The previous default view is not ideal, of course; but the fact that it's a wiki page makes it possible, at least, that somebody familiar with wikis would start to get involved with curating images and improving Wikimedia content. With the Media Viewer, I think we radically reduce the likelihood of that happening. -Pete (talk) 00:48, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
@Peteforsyth and Keegan (WMF): -- I think it's safe to assume that the "I don't like it" votes are based on 'reasons', even if they are not articulated by a given voter, and as we've seen, there are more than enough reasons to say "I don't like it", so it would be wrong to say such votes are "self defeating", esp since much of the "approval" is largely based on a slide show presentation where no doubt many casual viewers said 'I like it'. Everyone's vote, for or against, should be regarded equally with no assumptions that they are without any basis. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 01:34, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Kevin: I understand the thinking behind the initial posting here, but I do think it is fairly obvious that retention of MediaViewer does constitute a continuing wound to the Wiki projects. It appears that the greatest furor over the issue has come from the largest and most productive sections of Wikipedia (the EN and DE versions), collectively responsible for the largest number of articles and the vast majority of images. Specifically, anger appears to be from the editors thereof, and so unless one thinks that Wikipedia is complete, finished, and in no more need of articles or pictures, then angering the community most responsible for constructing this work seems counterproductive. Speaking personally, I have only created a small number of images for use on Wikipedia pages, but I have no further desire to work on them so long as my contributions are mangled by the chosen visualization system (the checkerboard background replacing white space being a particular peeve). Given this, I don't really see the harm in reverting to the old system while keeping MediaViewer as an opt-in option for anyone who actually desires it. A reader of Wikipedia has presumably been looking at the site since before 6 weeks ago or is adaptable to understanding the standard text under every image on every file page indicating that they are looking at a preview with options to view in different sizes via normally understood blue-text hyperlinks. Editors, at least in EN and DE, would find the reversion desirable for the most part. Since readers + editors = the wiki community, and the result of reversion is likely to be neutral or positive for both (especially if the oddball who wants it can keep MV), I'm curious who really is the constituency that requires we roll over and accept this fiat accompali for their sake?
I feel the need to say that I am not against change just because it is different. It may still exist somewhere, but once there was the VisualEditor project that attempted to make wiki code emulate WYSIWYG; it didn't quite work, but it did not seem intrusive, giving it the potential to be worked on while people figured out which editing method was effective. Maybe if MV had been handled in that way, it would have had a chance - but as is, retention seems to be able to only get people to grudgingly, angrily, accept that they have no power over the Wiki projects (and frankly, if any donors are upset about the MV response being indicative of a problem with community-edited projects, they really should be angry at this, because it indicates that the community- part is a smoke and mirror trick). Reversion with the option to keep MV will restore faith, and really doesn't seem likely to harm any users. Maybe in time, MV can be implemented where it makes sense, in galleries of moderate-sized images for instance which are sometimes included on pages, in the the collages that sometimes head large/diverse articles (rather than having a single image, ex: NYC montage). - S201676 (talk) 03:02, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Trust was broken

  • I sincerely fear that the generous proposal of Kevin is no longer feasible, at least in the short term. Trust was broken between WMF and this community when we have finally realized that the decision was already made and that they didn’t value that much the opinion of the editors. Statistics were used just to validate the decision a posteriori, and were quickly dropped as soon as they became irrelevant or detrimental to their goal. The same occurred with the explanations given by the people in charge, who have ceased some time ago. Frankly I am in no mood to help saving WMF face by accepting that what’s done is done and that we should now discuss the future. Neither did they show any kind of repentance or even acknowledged that their actions were disastrous. Recovering from a broken trust is a difficult process, as we tend to not believe in whatever the other says. It is impossible when the other does not even acknowledge that a serious problem exists. One thing I know: if there is a way out of this, it must start by recognizing that a mistake was made and reversing the change. Alvesgaspar (talk) 16:44, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Since none of the WMF team here haven't bothered to say if they will abide by consensus and their own statistics and feedback, I can't help but wonder if there is big money involved with a software developer here. Are the people who drafted and wrote MV working for nothing? Will withdrawing Media viewer amount to some sort of breach of contract? Since MV was forced on everyone when it was (and is) filled with faults and bugs and without the same consensus they expect from us, and since they have not even hinted of rolling back MV and offering it as an option, I believe this is a fair question. If they are not locked in to some sort of contract where they are forced to keep MV, no matter what, then why haven't they rolled it back on English Wikipedia and respected their own feedback and their own statistics? - Gwillhickers (talk) 17:26, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
  • @Alvesgaspar, I appreciate (and share) the sentiment, but I just don't see a way to roll back this feature that would result in any benefit whatsoever. A mea culpa from the team would be nice to hear, but it would also be humiliating and might discourage some superb technical specialists from working on MediaWiki projects again. This is especially true since I see no reason whatsoever to suspect that anyone acted in bad faith during the creation and testing of this tool. The only criticism I have is of the dubious actions of a very small set of folks after the fact (the breaking of trust you reference), and even there I find a sliver of room to AGF. I can't support a continuation of this rollback bid unless someone can show me a return (other than emotional vindication and an 'I-told-you-so' victory) to outweigh the cost and risk certain to come with dumping this feature so long after it was put in place. (talk) 18:56, 27 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin)
  • @Gwillhickers, I see nothing, anywhere, in any forum or archive, to support a suggestion of profiteering or any other bad faith on the part of the team that created this feature. "Assume Good Faith" is more than a slogan; it's a baseline requirement if community-based development hopes to succeed. Even after the fact, the worst I find seems nothing more than an unhealthy dose of "ignore the problem and it will go away" mixed with generous dollops of "we asked the choir and they all agreed with the preacher" and "we know we're right because we've always been right before." Why didn't they roll back immediately? Good question. Why didn't they heed warnings from Pete and others long before the rollout? Good question. Why didn't they think about anons and large images and multi-license? Good questions, all. But unless you've a time machine and can answer them before the MV rollout, we have to deal with what we have now and pick the best course. AFTER that, we need a serious discussion on how to avoid this outcome in future projects. For this particular project, the horse is not just out of the barn; it's been sold to the knackers and is well on it way to becoming glue. Yes, we can throw a fit at the berk what left the door open but that won't get us a horse. Is that really the best use of our time and talent? Is emotional vindication really the best possible outcome we can wish for? As for the tool itself, the most-recent version seem stable, annoying and reliable. I don't want this as a default. I don't like it. I don't find it useful. I also don't think that the fact that MV was imposed on me against my will is justification for me to remove it against the will of those who like/tolerate it. Frankly, I don't see what we get out of it other than the aforementioned (and fleeting) feeling of righteous indignation being vindicated. (talk) 18:56, 27 June 2014 (UTC) (Kevin)
  • Thanks for your input again. Please note that I didn't say to "remove it against the will of those who like/tolerate it". This is in fact what I did say, directly above: "They should disable MV as a default viewer (allowing those to keep it as a default if they so choose)", so it doesn't help matters when you misrepresent what was said, which was in full view of your response here. And I'm sorry, but I do see things that suggest that there is money involved given the manner in which MV was introduced as a default viewer with all of its bugs and faults, and the refusal to offer it as an option, not to mention the apparent refusal to abide by the same consensus they are expecting from us here at this RfC. Notice also, that I didn't say that money was, in fact, the reason for their refusal to withdraw MV, but I feel at this point we at least have the right to ask these "good questions". -- Gwillhickers (talk) 19:23, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
"I can't support a continuation of this rollback bid unless someone can show me a return (other than emotional vindication and an 'I-told-you-so' victory) to outweigh the cost and risk certain to come with dumping this feature so long after it was put in place." - OK, I'll try. First, the "normal" image description pages are simply much better than "Media Viewer" (enough advantages have already been mentioned). I'd say that even if we had "Media Viewer" from the beginning, image description pages could be considered a good update. Therefore, it is reasonable to guess that rolling back would be a good idea as well. Second, the previous interface has already been tried out. Yes, there could be costs related to change, but we already know what we would be changing to. Law of unintended consequences does not apply that much in this case. Third, for all I know, there could be some organisational improvements or something...
"This is especially true since I see no reason whatsoever to suspect that anyone acted in bad faith during the creation and testing of this tool." - yes, it is very probable that everyone on WMF side wanted something good. Even if you'll look at the part that you criticised, "Will withdrawing Media viewer amount to some sort of breach of contract?" is not an assumption of bad faith. Breaking contracts is bad, avoiding breaking the contracts is clearly good. If, let's say, WMF has accepted some donation under condition that they will implement some change (and in such case it is very likely that the ones who made the decision thought that was a good idea) and now they are trying to keep that promise they made, there is no bad faith in it. Or, perhaps, developers do not want to be paid for doing nothing (also not an evil thing, but it might still lead to the same result). The point is that, perhaps, someone should find out what incentives the workers of WMF have and change them to encourage them to be much more careful. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 02:16, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
" perhaps, someone should find out what incentives the workers of WMF have and change them" <<< this presumes that 1) WMF would reveal that information and 2) "the Community" can actually influence the activities of WMF and recalibrate - if necessary - how it incentivizes staff (something not at all readily apparent, imo...) JDanek007Talk 01:35, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I can give you a quick overview of the WMF compensation, since it appears to interest you:
WMF staff get a regular paycheck. It is delivered on time, as required by law. Those people who live in California and are non-temporary, full-time employees get some pretty good benefits, like fully paid health insurance premiums. There are zero bonuses, zero profit-sharing schemes, and zero equity programs (these last two are impossible for non-profits). You get your contractually agreed paycheck, you might get benefits (if you meet all the requirements), and you get nothing else.
For much of the staff, the pay, although not actually bad, is approximately at or below the median household income for the area they live in. As far as I can tell, for all of the lawyers and coders, it is lower than what they could get elsewhere. A number of them could double their salaries overnight by moving to another organization. Oh, and if your compensation totals more than $100,000 in one fiscal year (aka about half the total compensation that an average senior coder can expect in Silicon Valley), then the IRS might publish your name, address, and income on the internet. (So much for employee privacy.)
On the upside, you get to help spread the sum of all human knowledge to the entire planet. People who care more about money than about our mission don't work for the WMF. Speaking of which, there are several jobs open, so if you know someone who has some good web-related coding skills and is interested in the mission, please let them know that the WMF is hiring. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:20, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

I still think a roll-back would damage Wikipedia. However, @S201676: has one argument (above) that shifts me back toward disabling this feature as a default: The damage to the concept of community-based development. I post the response here because it applies directly to Alvesgaspar's 'trust' question.

I noted in another post that I have friends who already cite MV as "proof" that developing distributed, community-driven software is both impractical and doomed to failure, but we can point to a number of monumental successes to combat that statement. I am starting to hear a much more disturbing thread: That MV is proof that there actually is no community at all, and that the constant touting of the collaborative nature of Wikis is just a new way of saying, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." I had the "pleasure" of living through the TINC/TIAC riots, and recall the glee on the faces of Wiki-haters when (circa 2006) even the Wikigods admitted that not only were there cabals, they were legion; that Wikipedia and MediaWiki had (and needed) a central control mechanism and that many articles are patrolled by editors with the digital version of hobnailed boots, crushing all opposition. If you doubt the currency of that last statement, please take a stroll through Talk:Burma/Myanmar or the 123 archives that I affectionately (fnord) call the Jesus Wars -- you might feel the need for a bath afterwards, though. Every time this meme makes the rounds, Wikipedia loses editors and loses respect.

The community response to this feature is overwhelming, and overwhelmingly negative. While some in the community do post positive remarks, most comments drip with venom and outrage. The two largest communities, EN and DE, lead the pack in denunciations of the tool, its implementation and its continued existence. I didn't realize how much until I went into the survey comment details. Just... wow. If we leave MV as a default in the face of the community reaction, we provide tangible proof that "community" is no longer relevant to this project. I thank User:S201676 for reminding me of that fact, and now agree that the irreparable impact of leaving it as a default outweighs the short-term blow we'll take by reverting Media Viewer. I continue to think that the team did a superb job in creating this feature and that they truly had the best of intentions, but I think it's time to admit that forced-adoption has robbed that team of the success they deserved and that it has likely poisoned the well. (talk) 18:58, 3 July 2014 (UTC) aka User:Kevin.159.53

no the WMF team has not "poisoned the well": this is a toxic environment, where no change can occur without drama. i swear if they gave you iOS you would complain it was not the windows 3.1 you were using. i myself find it irritating, in that i always have to click through to get to the metadata: this viewer is not written for me, but the vast majority of readers not editors. do you really want to do VE drama again? if so, then you should expect that the WMF team will abandon support of desktop, and will turn all attention to mobile and tablet. that is the future and you are the past. or you could come up with a communication plan to interact with the WMF team to address your concerns. and i doubt anyone here is compentent enough to do that. Duckduckstop (talk) 22:16, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
"Poisoned well" sounds right. When I find that I am in a minority (as with my negative view of the Wikipedia:TWA/Portal), I go away and shut up. But when I find that I am in a large majority, as with Media viewer, and that I still have polls quoted at me claiming that most WP users prefer it, it destroys my trust of WP polls. Maproom (talk) 22:28, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
"Poisoned well" indeed is appropriate - this was a badly handled roll-out of an incomplete work. It may be useful eventually, but that time is not now. Every assurance from the developers that we would like it eventually, and every set of massaged statistics to justify MV made those already unhappy with a poor addition more enraged. Many felt a sense of condescension from the developers, and that opinions from important constituencies (the ENwiki and DEwiki editors responsible for most of Wikipedia content) were ignored, causing alientation with these groups. The lack of trust that leadership is responsive to these groups is very real and the loss of trust may only be reversed if the decision of using MV itself is reversed. - S201676 (talk) 17:50, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
And flipping that around, if it's mostly the english and german communities throwing a ruckus ('drip with venom and outrage') and not so much the others, what does that mean ? Do other communities care less ? Are they nicer ? Does their size make them irrelevant ? Are they better served by the software developed by the (WMF) developers ? Are they dying to catch up, or just so used to not being served that they don't bother complaining. Is that bad or good.... —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:05, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
@TheDJ and Maproom: -- TheDJ, I have to concur with Maproom. Aside from the less than sincere claims of "approval", good faith and trust have been seriously undermined. As was already pointed out several times, English Wikipedia is on average five times larger than any other Wikipedia, with German Wikipedia second, and accordingly, the number of editors and readers are proportioned. Since many, if not most, of the articles in other Wiki's are simply copied and translated from English Wikipedia, I would say the "ruckus" (implying that the complaints are unfounded and inconsequential in number) is more significant that you apparently care to admit. The slide show should only be a default where there is overwhelming approval, and not until all the bugs have been ironed out. By their own statistics, there is major disapproval on English and German Wikipedia, as is reflected here and on their own Feedback page. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:45, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Naturally, enwiki and dewiki are the communities most likely to demonstrate their opposition to the change, because they are the Wikipedia projects which can afford to do so as a result of their relatively larger size. Smaller projects often have a much smaller userbase, and don't really have as much flexibility for an uproar compared to us. By the same token, it's usually countries such as the United States which complain about human rights in North Korea, and not countries such as Zambia, Kiribati, Maldives or Guinea-Bissau.

Enwiki is usually a leading driver for many different things, and not smaller projects, with examples including the introduction of Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Accessibility as a key guideline, the Bradley/Chelsea Manning rename in 2013 (of which smaller projects later followed suit after the enwiki change), and the 2012 rename from ROC to Taiwan (of which smaller projects later followed suit). I'm saying this as a Chinese Wikipedia editor, who sees that the community there doesn't really have the time and effort to be worried about things such as MediaViewer due to community limitations. --benlisquareTCE 20:05, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Consensus on disapproval ... cont[edit]

@Benlisquare: I seriously doubt people here at English WP (and German) went ahead and voiced their disapproval simply because they thought they could "afford to do so", which more than suggests that people who actually approved on other Wiki's didn't vote that way because they thought they couldn't "afford to do so". This is rather a shallow assumption and an apparent attempt to cast aspersions on the overwhelming disapproval as an advent without any basis, as if the disapproval is not the result of all the many bugs, faults and the less than sincere approval claims they handed us when they forced MV on everyone on all Wiki's without a real consensus -- reasons that have all been articulated here and on the MV feedback page. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:16, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

From what I see in all of the above, the answer to the question of the "core issue" as Kevin has called it of whether it is wise to roll-back from MediaViewer to the file page system affirmative. This is not necessarily the decision least likely to damage Wikipedia, but given the overwhelming negative response above without any consideration of potential negative consequences for the reversion, stepping back from MV seems to be the only option to possible to maintain a content userbase. I personally think, and have iterated above, that reversion is in fact the least damaging thing that can be done at this point: ENwiki and DEwiki, where most content is developed and prepared before often being reused in the other language versions absolutely do not want MV, and keeping the feature as a default further is not going to eventually win over these constituencies. If the developers and the people they report to care about all the Wikipedias and think they are not complete (i.e.: still need volunteer editors) then they must see that retaining MV is a hindrance to the greater project, which is why I urge consideration of rolling back this update. It also appears that the persons involved in MV development and active in its defense in the past, specifically Keegan and Fabrice Florin, have been somewhat less active in their responses of late. I truly hope that this is for some other reason other than having heads in the sand and hoping that MV's PR problem will disappear. If however, this RfC and all other forums for user response to MV are being ignored, then I fear for the prospects of this and other community-generated projects. - S201676 (talk) 03:01, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for hoping it was some other reason, and in my case it was. I had a pretty severe medical problem with one of my pets on the second, the third was my birthday, the fourth is an American holiday, and the weekend was spent doing weekend-y things. Considering I'm essentially on-call 24/7, 365, it was a nice little break. Thanks for noticing, it's good to be missed. I think it also shows that the RfC's comments are not being ignored by the WMF if you noticed I finally took my first weekend off in a year :). Keegan (WMF) (talk) 05:23, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Keegan, with all due respect, you are not a decision maker in the WMF. You are just the pawn that gets sacrificed, so however much attention you give to this matter is sadly irrelevant. Also, and again I do not mean to offend, but I must be direct with you: in your user page you mention a BA in History as your academic background. I am not sure how qualified that makes you to discern the technical and managerial points that this discussion is mostly about (then again, to put an example Eric S. Raymond has a BA in Philosophy and I personally know him to be a highly competent developer and project manager). What we need here is for Fabrice and his boss to show their faces and face their bosses, i.e., the community.

Request for Comment on this feature's use on Commons[edit]

Those participating in this discussion may be interested in the related discussion about the future of the feature on Wikimedia Commons. -Pete (talk) 17:20, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Are Wikipedia contributions paying for Media Viewer software development?[edit]

See the discussion over this issue in the commons RfC for media viewer. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 15:40, 7 July 2014 (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.