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Clarify future of discourse-mediawiki.wmflabs.org
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Description

Copying from https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2020-July/093642.html :

In January 2018, an experimental instance of the Q&A platform "Discourse" was set up for developer support at https://discourse-mediawiki.wmflabs.org . See https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T180854 .

Since its launch, the usage of this instance has declined: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T247010#6270883
On average, there are two users who are engaged daily.

Other support venues which exist in parallel are much more active, such as IRC, mailing lists, [[mw:Project:Support_desk]], [[meta:Tech]], local technical village pumps, newsletters, Zulip for outreach programs, or other third-party sites such as mwusers.org, StackExchange.com, or Reddit.

Discontinuing the least frequented venue (which unfortunately is Discourse though it seems to be a great communication platform) would keep us from further fragmenting our conversations and efforts.

Planning, implementing, establishing and running a centralized Wikimedia developer support venue on production infrastructure (puppetization, data backups, uptime, etc) would require significant technical and "social" capacity. If Discourse was to be further evaluated, https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T155678 and its subtasks list part of the remaining needed work.

I propose to make discourse-mediawiki.wmflabs.org read-only by the end of August 2020.


Random other links:

Event Timeline

Aklapper created this task.Mar 5 2020, 5:39 PM
Aklapper updated the task description. (Show Details)Mar 11 2020, 11:40 AM

I have boldly updated wiki pages about the somewhat unclear status of mediawiki-discourse.wmflabs.org and removed links from some other pages (e.g. outreachy/gsoc, TechEng team, etc)

Aklapper updated the task description. (Show Details)Apr 4 2020, 10:35 AM
Qgil added a subscriber: Qgil.Apr 14 2020, 10:02 AM

Related but not related but related indeed ;)

https://discuss-space.wmflabs.org/t/responding-to-questions-about-a-future-discuss-space-owned-by-volunteers/3367

Basically, the answer to the questions posed in these task might or might not be influenced by events in Discuss Space, if eventually a team of volunteers takes over. Other than that, my involvement in both Discourse instances was motivated by the hypothesis of having a platform supported and maintained by my team at the Foundation. Since this isn't happening, I'm transitioning out as admin in both instances.

PS: Should the future of discourse-mediawiki.wmflabs.org be clarified at discourse-mediawiki.wmflabs.org?

if eventually a team of volunteers takes over.

@Qgil: From my personal point of view (not speaking for any team), things to sort out first are how not to have production data in a non-production instance, backups, proper puppetization, technical responsibility. And if a team of volunteers could sort out all these things themselves.

PS: Should the future of discourse-mediawiki.wmflabs.org be clarified at discourse-mediawiki.wmflabs.org?

There is a banner... In addition, any admin could update https://discourse-mediawiki.wmflabs.org/t/welcome-to-wikimedia-developer-support/8

Aklapper added a subscriber: Tgr.Jun 2 2020, 8:16 AM

Heads-up to @Tgr as he seems to be the user who is most active in that instance lately.

19 users logged in in the last 30 days. 77 users within the last six months.

Community size seems small compared to activity on wikitech-l@, mediawiki.org support desk, IRC activity. Especially with regard to community fragmentation.

Aklapper claimed this task.Jun 29 2020, 8:52 PM
Aklapper triaged this task as Low priority.
Aklapper updated the task description. (Show Details)Mon, Jul 27, 5:59 AM

I have published a proposal to make this instance read-only by August 2020: https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2020-July/093642.html

Space has been canceled

I get a 404 for this link.

What's discourse.wmflabs.org, BTW? 🤔 I couldn't find any information about it on a quick search in meta.

Aklapper updated the task description. (Show Details)Mon, Jul 27, 6:04 PM

@Kaartic: Thanks for catching that. Looks like URLs broke. I've updated the link in the task description to one that seems to work.

I get a 404 for this link.

It used to be a post about the closure of discourse.wmflabs.org. Not relevant to this task.

What's discourse.wmflabs.org, BTW? 🤔 I couldn't find any information about it on a quick search in meta.

You can find it in the page history of https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Discourse if you are curious. It's the initial Discourse instance, it was set up by @AdHuikeshoven five years ago, IIRC. It was mainly used for testing.

Aklapper raised the priority of this task from Low to Medium.Mon, Jul 27, 7:44 PM
Aklapper updated the task description. (Show Details)Wed, Jul 29, 4:58 PM