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Authored by RobLa-WMF on Sep 28 2016, 10:05 PM.
21:01:10 <robla> #startmeeting ArchCom office hour about WikiDev17: Phab:E285
21:01:10 <wm-labs-meetbot> Meeting started Wed Sep 28 21:01:10 2016 UTC and is due to finish in 60 minutes. The chair is robla. Information about MeetBot at
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21:01:10 <wm-labs-meetbot> The meeting name has been set to 'archcom_office_hour_about_wikidev17__phab_e285'
21:01:15 <bd808> o/
21:01:35 <robla> #topic ArchCom office hour about WikiDev17: Phab:E285 Channel is logged and publicly posted (DO NOT REMOVE THIS NOTE) |​ Logs:
21:01:55 <bd808> I really which it was easy to fix that in the bot :/
21:02:01 <bd808> *wish
21:02:06 <robla> indeed
21:02:10 <robla> hi everyone!
21:02:40 <robla> so....WikiDev17 is the topic for this week.
21:03:07 <robla> as you might have seen, there was a lot of conversation on the talk page for it:
21:04:00 <robla> qgil: do you have any highest priority issue for us to talk about?
21:04:01 <bd808> #link
21:04:04 <Scott_WUaS> Hi Rob!
21:04:38 * robla goes to find the quick notes that he wrote while he waits for qgil's answer
21:04:42 <bd808> #link
21:04:53 <qgil> robla, answer to which question?
21:05:00 <qgil> ah
21:05:06 <tgr> I suggested a new topic at , am I entirely too late with that?
21:05:09 <qgil> Well, I can explain the immediate next steps
21:05:17 <qgil> prior to open Call for participation
21:05:47 <qgil> tgr, I don't think you are late at all. :)
21:06:20 <qgil> The main topics have been defined, and if you have questions about what this means I am happy to give the best reply I have.
21:06:47 <qgil> I am working on the form to propose activities, based on what we asked last year.
21:07:07 <qgil> I have to write a page with (bacis) instructions to submit a proposal.
21:07:10 <Scott_WUaS> Great Main topics agreed: A plan for the Community Wishlist 2016 top results Handling wiki content beyond plaintext A unified vision for editorial collaboration Building a sustainable user experience together Useful, consistent, and well documented APIs How to manage our technical debt How to grow our technical community !!!
21:07:21 <qgil> And then, ideally each main topic would have its own subpage.
21:07:41 <qgil> With this, we could technically open the Call for participation, between Thursday and Friday this week.
21:08:13 <qgil> Meanwhile, we need owners for the main topics.
21:08:27 <qgil> And to activate the Program committee (maybe they are the same thing?)
21:08:32 <qgil> That is the short update
21:08:33 <DanielK_WMDE__> "A unified vision for editorial collaboration" <--- what does that mean?
21:08:47 <qgil> Oh, I can also look at how many people has requested an invitation so far. Give me a minute.
21:09:00 <robla> cool, thanks qgil
21:09:06 <greg-g> what would the topic owners do (to be explicit)? Are we to think of these as "tracks" where the owners would fill up the timeslots with sessions?
21:09:27 <DanielK_WMDE__> "Building a sustainable user experience together" <--- that can mean anything
21:09:29 <greg-g> (I don't think there's that many rooms/etc)
21:09:31 <robla> I put a list of questions here:'
21:09:45 <qgil> greg-g, we have a direct precedent in the owners of areas last year.
21:09:57 <robla> but perhaps the first question we should address: owners for the topic areas
21:10:24 <qgil> DanielK_WMDE__, each topic has an intro and discussion today, and this will be reflected in those subpages.
21:10:36 <qgil> "Robocop" also could mean anything, and it was a total; success. ;)
21:10:36 <robla> #info question discussed: who will the owners of each topic area be?
21:11:58 <robla> #info qgil maybe [Program committee members and topic owners] are the same thing?
21:12:13 <DanielK_WMDE__> qgil: does have, or will have?
21:12:21 * qgil doesn't have permission to the list of people who has submitted the form right now, but yesterday there were about 50 already.
21:13:10 <qgil> DanielK_WMDE__, will have. Meanwhile, see
21:13:46 <robla> Program committee members are listed here:
21:14:04 <DanielK_WMDE__> topic owners = program committee sounds like a good approach
21:14:36 <qgil> Main topic owners... should assure that their areas are well covered with the right topics and the people that should be there.
21:15:10 <qgil> The Summit organizers can drive general outreach and promotion of the event, but we need help form these specialists to reach the deeper and further corners.
21:15:48 <robla> #info 14:14:37 <qgil> Main topic owners... should assure that their areas are well covered with the right topics and the people that should be there (RobLa agrees)
21:15:59 <bd808> that sounds like a lot more work than the ~1hr/wk that I sined up for ;)
21:16:02 <DanielK_WMDE__> It seems to me that some of the topics are really about defining products and features, not about engineering. What'S the intention behind this? Getting engineering input on product decisions?
21:17:04 <qgil> bd808, in the next 2 weeks more time might be needed indeed, but then I think 1h/week is quite right.
21:17:21 <DanielK_WMDE__> or to put it a different way: if a bunch of engineers decides on a shared vision, what impact does this have on product decisions?
21:17:29 <qgil> Then close to the end, when pre-scheduling, another stretch might be needed in 1-2 weeks. That's what I expect.
21:17:56 <qgil> DanielK_WMDE__, a "shared vision" would have the participation of Prodict etc in the first place :)
21:18:17 <robla> last year, ArchCom members were assigned the various areas, but in reality, qgil and I were really improvising heavily ;-)
21:19:07 <DanielK_WMDE__> qgil: what's the role of engineers in that conversation?
21:19:16 <tgr> my impression from the previous office hour was that we want topics that are less about the job titles of participants like last year, and more about the type of functionality they work on
21:19:29 <tgr> I'm not sure the suggested main topics achieve that
21:19:42 <qgil> DanielK_WMDE__, (and this might be inteesting to others) this is the goal that my team has committed to organize the Summit:
21:19:54 <qgil> Craft a Summit program that reflects key topics and areas expected to impact the Wikimedia Strategy and the Community Wishlist 2017.
21:20:01 <qgil> Curate registration of the event to reflect representative participation of Foundation's Technology and Product decision-makers (lead engineers, product managers, budget owners) as well as volunteers involved in the main topics scheduled.
21:20:02 <tgr> (fwiw I had no problem with the job-title-y topics last year, just noting)
21:20:34 <bd808> I'd really like to hear new things said by new people.
21:20:43 <robla> tgr: for what it's worth, we didn't intend last year's topics to be job title-y
21:21:30 * robla agrees with bd808...other people waiting to chime in?
21:21:54 <greg-g> bd808: did you mean now or at the summit?
21:22:10 <DanielK_WMDE__> qgil: maybe i'm stuck on my idea of what the summit should be, but i'd expect that to go like this: product owners say waht they (resp the community) want and need. We discuss if and how that can be done, and what the implications are. Product owners see to it that resources are comitted to the necessary engineering work. That would be useful.
21:22:11 <bd808> the new things can be on the same old topics, but I don't want to just have the same discussions that we have had over and over again. I hope this is what brion was thinking when he called for borader participation
21:22:20 <robla> fyi: Program committee: Quim Gil (chair), Rob Lanphier (ArchCom representative), Runa Bhattacharjee (Language), Greg Grossmeier (Release Engineering), Bryan Davis (CommunityTech, Tool Labs), Sherah Smith (User Experience), more coming soon.
21:22:33 <greg-g> bd808: at the summit, got it :)
21:23:13 <bd808> greg-g: I'd love to hear something new today too :)
21:23:23 <DanielK_WMDE__> ...but that's not "unified vision for editorial collaboration". that needs to happen before engineers get involved. not to say engineers can't participate there too, but is the summit a good venue for that?
21:23:29 <Scott_WUaS> DanielK_WMDE__ - Are these are Wikidata engineering product owners that you're referring to, or something more broad?
21:23:53 <qgil> DanielK_WMDE__, that doesn't reflect the software development process that I would like for Wikimedia -- then again I am not a product owner or an engineer.
21:23:54 * brion reads backscroll
21:23:58 <DanielK_WMDE__> Scott_WUaS: Wikimedia in general, ideally also beyond Wikimedia.
21:24:28 <qgil> DanielK_WMDE__, I don't understand why you set those barriers when actually the trick is to mix people in conversations.
21:24:48 <qgil> that is a "Summit" imho
21:24:49 <DanielK_WMDE__> qgil: oh absolutely, mix people!
21:24:59 <DanielK_WMDE__> qgil: the question is what the goal of the conversation should be.
21:25:00 <Scott_WUaS> What's a URL of a current list of Wikimedia "products" (and product owners) please? (I'm in a learning mode)
21:25:06 <robla> WikiDev16 areas from last January: Content format, Content access and APIs, Collaboration, Software engineering, User interface presentation
21:26:03 <DanielK_WMDE__> qgil: how about: "develop a unified vision of how mediawiki should function as a platform"?
21:26:08 <qgil> DanielK_WMDE__, my opinion is that the goal of the conversations should be better strategy, roadmap, goals, wishes... you name it.
21:26:08 <Scott_WUaS> (Great to make refine your visions, DanielK_WMDE__ and gqil for how such process is unfolding)
21:26:56 <qgil> DanielK_WMDE__, the deadline for main topics has passed. We need to move forward. October is here.
21:27:28 <Scott_WUaS> (Glad for the focus on multi-lingualism - and engineering-wise).
21:27:33 <bd808> So here's one way to look at what we will do in January. Instead of a "developer summit" or an "architecture summit" we could have a "tactical planning summit" where we have picked some key topics, invited the necessary stakeholders and thought leaders, and then built rough plans for implementing change
21:27:42 <robla> DanielK_WMDE__: my goal: accelerate important conversations that typically only happen online
21:27:56 <brion> So the reason I tend to bring up managers/product/pm people is that it doesn't matter what we say if nothing gets done after. What's the current plan on getting managers at WMF and elsewhere to participate and commit to providing resources for things decided at the summit?
21:28:14 <DanielK_WMDE__> bd808: i like that, though i find it a little too narrow. but not much ;)
21:28:23 <qgil> brion, see above &
21:28:50 <qgil> brion, "representative participation of Foundation's Technology and Product decision-makers (lead engineers, product managers, budget owners) as well as volunteers involved in the main topics scheduled."
21:28:55 <brion> What specifically on the task?
21:29:05 <brion> Thx
21:29:11 <robla> bd808: I think it still makes sense to have this be a contributor-focused summit (hence "Developer"), but perhaps break out of the traditional stereotype of "software developer"
21:30:00 * robla realizes we maybe should have called this the "Contributor Summit"
21:30:06 <brion> :)
21:30:23 <DanielK_WMDE__> brion: i absolutely agree that we need to have managers/product/pm folks there, for the reason you state. But I question whether we should have them there to help them develop product visions. We should have them there so they know what it will take to get the things we (all the stakeholders) want.
21:30:34 <qgil> It's ok. Software development is what brings us all here.
21:30:55 <bd808> Sure, but I think we can be contributor focused without being comp-sci nerds which is much of waht I've seen in the past. And I think also a mental stumbling block that leads to asking "but how will we implement the plans"
21:31:01 <brion> Contributors includes managers ;) but they should not be the only people saying their place s and hopes, to be sure
21:31:08 <brion> *plans and
21:31:39 <DanielK_WMDE__> robla: that's what wikimania is, no? a contributor summit?
21:31:57 <qgil> DanielK_WMDE__, you put it as if product managers were sitting somewhere apart, then they come 3 days to the Summit to listen, then they go back to their distant locations...
21:32:18 <DanielK_WMDE__> qgil: hopefully not :)
21:32:32 <bd808> don't they? I don't remember the last PM I saw in a weekly RfC chat
21:32:40 * bd808 looks for one now
21:32:58 <Scott_WUaS> (How will the online real time even in group video part of WikiDev 2017 work in these regards?)
21:33:04 <tgr> we are at half time, maybe we should refocus
21:33:19 <tgr> what do we want to get out of this office hour?
21:33:26 * DanielK_WMDE__ will shut up for a while
21:33:43 <qgil> Scott_WUaS, we are planning to improve the possibilities for remote participation, see
21:34:07 <tgr> maybe go through the questions in ?
21:34:25 <Scott_WUaS> (... and could such a process be extended generatively out past this conference, as part of the conference planning ? ... Thanks, qgil)
21:34:57 <qgil> Scott_WUaS, that's the idea. The Summit should start months before, and continue after the end of the event in San Francisco
21:35:06 <robla> tgr: I think this is a conversation accelerator of its own. I probably should have put those questions on
21:35:08 <qgil> "Does the list of areas look good enough?"
21:35:13 <bd808> If anything, I think there are too many topics on the list
21:35:22 <robla> tgr: that said your idea works for me
21:35:38 <bd808> 8 really broad areas is a lot to cover in 2 days
21:35:45 <qgil> bd808, which ones would you remove?\
21:36:01 <robla> (or consolidate)
21:36:07 <qgil> seven
21:36:10 <bd808> Wishlist as its own topic could go I think
21:36:16 <Scott_WUaS> (Re for me, - Does the list of areas look good enough? YES - Does the committee look representative enough? YES - Try to settle the Phab vs dogfooding discussion? ... not sure how)
21:36:46 <bd808> qgil: where is the "current" list? I see 8 on
21:36:56 <qgil>
21:37:10 <qgil> Transcluded from
21:37:54 <qgil> It's not like everybody has to be involved in all the topics...
21:38:11 <robla> qgil: should I delete and the discussion page?
21:38:38 <qgil> robla, yeah, I'm not sure. Delete is drastic. Archive?
21:38:59 <qgil> And we could link to it from somewhere in the /Program, so people can see where these topics came from.
21:39:24 <tgr> IMO the wishlist, content beyond plaintext, APIs and growing our technical community are good topics - they define a clear goal and it's an important one
21:39:49 <qgil> bd808, I think the question of reducing the list might be "helped" by how easy is to find owners for these topics.
21:40:15 <bd808> well, dannyh or kaldari would need to own the wishlist I think
21:40:25 <tgr> I feel more ambivalent about the others - they are important areas but are too vague for a problem statement
21:40:37 <qgil> Yes, DannyH has already volunteered for that.
21:41:23 <qgil> How to grow our technical community falls squarely in the scope of my team, and our new Developer Advocate is starting in two weeks :)
21:41:48 <bd808> cool. I was going to throw that towards you :)
21:42:28 <greg-g> qgil: yay re DevAdvocate
21:42:35 <bd808> I'm still not sure what doesn't fall under the "Useful, consistent, and well documented APIs" umbrella. All software is APIs
21:42:38 <qgil> Can't wait
21:43:58 <DanielK_WMDE__> bd808: all software should be useful, consistent, and well documented, then :)
21:44:06 <qgil> We can give to ourselves 1-2 weeks to find owners for those main topics. No owners, no main topic.
21:44:07 <robla> qgil:
21:44:07 <brion> :D
21:44:50 <bd808> DanielK_WMDE__: agreed. now what am I going to hear about that that is new in January?
21:45:06 <DanielK_WMDE__> i guess
21:45:07 <greg-g> I can't quickly gauge a mapping between program committee and the topic areas
21:45:39 <qgil> After the owners yes/no, the next Darwinian checkpoint is the call for participation itself.
21:45:56 <DanielK_WMDE__> bd808: ...we could discuss how to get there.
21:46:04 <brion> fwiw i love the new topic list :)
21:46:16 <qgil> Not many good proposals around a main topic by the end of october, no main topic (for instance). There is always the Unconference.
21:46:31 <DanielK_WMDE__> brion: "anything you could ever want to talk about" :)
21:46:43 <brion> :D
21:46:46 <qgil> bd808, with all this I mean that I don't think we need to slash any main topic by committee here and now.\
21:47:29 <qgil> DanielK_WMDE__, I think this is a valid impression for you, because whatever the topic is, you are probably familiar with it.
21:47:29 <bd808> ok, but after you fly somebody in to talk about X it seems like somebody should talk about
21:47:54 <qgil> However, I believe those main topics are very useful to the remaining 99% of potential Summit attendees
21:48:11 <brion> to clarify -- i'm a little vague on two topic owners are/will be. is this on the program committee?
21:48:12 <qgil> especially those who have no idea what the Summit is about, and yet it would be very useful to have them joining.
21:48:18 <robla> bd808: I think in many ways it's going to be up to the participants who fly there to make sure we talk about the given topic
21:48:45 <greg-g> brion: that was, I think, the rough idea outlined, right qgil (program cmmttee == topic owners)
21:48:57 <greg-g> ?
21:49:30 <qgil> robla, exactly, and this is why we organizers have been insisting on defining these main topics, because we actually handle the promotion of the event and the travel sponsorship budget, and therefore we have certain influence on who flies to the Summit
21:49:38 <DanielK_WMDE__> qgil: well, i certainly can't keep my mouth shut ;)
21:49:54 <qgil> greg-g, I think so, yes
21:49:55 * robla volunteers for "Handling wiki content beyond plaintext" and "How to manage our technical debt"
21:50:27 <DanielK_WMDE__> robla: these are my favorite of the lot. let me know if i can help.
21:50:28 <greg-g> ah, I was going to volunteer for the tech debt one
21:50:33 <brion> there may be 'beyond plaintext' up my alley as well
21:50:44 <brion> hehe those are good ones robla, you picked the best ones ;)
21:50:59 <robla> bwahahhahaah ;-D
21:51:00 <greg-g> (otherwise I'm not sure where my expertise aligns with the other topics)
21:51:22 * robla gleefully accepts co-owners :-)
21:52:23 * subbu is late to the party
21:52:31 <qgil> Just like in GSoC and Outreachy, two owners assures resilience. :)
21:52:42 <subbu> what happened to .. don't see it in
21:53:33 <qgil> Created 2h ago...
21:54:19 <brion> so i'm pretty happy with what i see coming together, and our convos here :D
21:54:53 <qgil> Colaboration and APIs seem to be still orphan.
21:55:04 <robla> EpochFail isn't (yet) on the Program committee, is he?
21:55:06 <brion> qgil: let me know if you have recommendations on the most 'impact' folks like me can have on further preparations, whether it's fleshing out the topics, getting people to plan submissions, or elsewise
21:55:06 <subbu> qgil, i see .. so, i guess that one isn't making the cut then?
21:55:12 <qgil> I had invited a person for the Collaboration area, but they are too busy.
21:55:26 <brion> i think they're VERY important topics, i'll take em if needed though they're not my specialty
21:55:41 * robla thinks EpochFail would be a great owner for the AI topic area
21:55:43 <qgil> subbu, not for a main topic, but still it can be developed in many ways.
21:55:48 <brion> for instance for more photo and multimedia submissions we'll need better editorial tools devised :)
21:55:52 <subbu> qgil, k
21:56:08 <qgil> Well, if there is big consensus we can add it.... but we were just talking about reducing.
21:56:24 <subbu> robla, s/EpochFail/halfak (for irc purposes)
21:56:49 <halfak> o/
21:56:49 <robla> subbu: good point
21:56:53 <qgil> brion, DanielK_WMDE__ if we are saying that owners == Program committee, then I guess you're in?
21:56:55 <halfak> I should make EpochFail a ping word
21:57:01 <brion> woooooo
21:57:17 <DanielK_WMDE__> qgil: hm, what do i own now?
21:57:30 <robla> of course, we're about at the end of our scheduled time. should we continue this on #wikimedia-tech? (or someplace else)?
21:57:44 <qgil> DanielK_WMDE__, you said "let me know if i can help" 8 minutes ago. :)\
21:57:45 * halfak doesn't know what's happening :)
21:57:47 <greg-g> I can't, gotta go
21:57:58 <halfak> topic is not useful
21:58:00 <qgil> Anyway, we can let this dust settle and see who is owning each main topic.
21:58:03 <DanielK_WMDE__> qgil: i can be deputy owner ;)
21:58:11 <halfak> Oh! Dev summit :)
21:58:27 <DanielK_WMDE__> qgil: srsly, i'm happy to help, but wary of over-comitting. i'll be gone for three weeks strarting tomorrow.
21:58:28 <robla> halfak: sorry, meetbot fail on my part
21:58:33 <bd808> halfak: we are talking about and who might be the shepherd for for each broad topic
21:59:09 <bd808> and you came up because the AI topic was late to the party but interesting
21:59:16 <halfak> I could probably be the line leader for AI
21:59:30 <qgil> robla, I think what I will do is to send a summary to wikitech-l about the main topics - owners - Program committee and ask for volunteers. What do you think?
21:59:38 * halfak feels so conflicted about his new-found AI expertise.
21:59:42 <robla> ok...well, I'm going to hit #endmeeting here in say.....3 minutes. Any other comments for the log?
21:59:46 <halfak> new == about a year old
21:59:51 <tgr> qgil: re AI, I think it would be a good topic if the goal is not to have the sme group of people doing the same discussions as last year, but you are right that we have too many topics already
21:59:52 <qgil> (then I will forward to whoever makes sense that might not be following wikitech-l closely)
22:00:06 <robla> qgil: sounds great, thanks!
22:00:11 <halfak> tgr, +1 for that.
22:00:25 <Scott_WUaS> Thanks for this Wikimedia process!
22:01:00 <robla> those that want to keep going on this topic can go to #wikimedia-tech for ongoing conversation
22:01:48 <robla> next week's ArchCom RFC meeting is tentatively slated as
22:02:03 <robla> meeting link:
22:02:15 <robla> thanks everyone!
22:02:20 <robla> #endmeeting