There is a long-standing pattern of unreliability of sites not hosted on WMF sites like mediawiki.org. My best suggestion for solving this problem is to copy documentation to its own place here at mediawiki.org. There might be some resistance to the idea of keeping documentation at mediawiki.org, so it might be best to put the copied documentation on your user page, where you won't have to worry about it being deleted. See my user page for an example: User:Badon.
If you would like, you are welcome to put documentation on my user page. At the least, it would be helpful to put a link to it there, since people already check my user page for info when they're not able to get it at the normal places.
I like the idea of hosting widgets on MW.org. I'd also like to see their documentation added to Manual: :)
I'm all in favor of housing as much within Project:, Manual: or wherever is most appropriate and making it available to the masses. I can never tell how clear it is to folks that info on userpages is "live" and not "draft" stages.
I'd love to pass the whole project to Wikimedia team - the challenge is that wiki hosting widgets must have Widgets extension enabled and those extensions should be curated for security (all of that enabled on MWW.org).
Documentation doesn't need the extension, especially if it is supplemented by examples elsewhere. Even in that case, screenshots can fill that role, if needed. Perfect, fully interactive documentation is useless when the site is down. When there's hundreds of different sites all going down at different times, it can be frustrating to make only halting progress in study. That's probably part of the reason some people still insist on having printed documentation.
I agree - we house lots of extensions without functioning versions of them. I think screenshots and other documentation could supplement.
Guys, I think you are missing the point - widgets unlike all other extensions are not stored in a version control repository - their code is stored as wiki pages.
Moving documentation only is pointless - both docs and widgets have to move to make it worth while and if both are moving I don't see why whole approval process can't be moved too.
I might be missing something, but why do we need the widgets extension installed to display the code for the widgets? Similar to what's done with userscript libraries and such. We can display the widgets within wikicode - not ideal (I'm generally against functional code in wikicode..but..maybe we could figure out some logical subpage solution) - but neither is losing the archive of widgets. :)
Also, with the extensions switching to Git, we could probably set up branches off the extension's repo to house individual widgets approved by developers maintaining it is important.
Otherwise, a similar method of displaying extensions can be used. Templates indicating status, reviewed docs, etc. could be a possible compromise.
The point I'm trying to convey is if the widgets site is indeed in any type of trouble, it seems worth moving the content, even if it's just to sort out later - rather than lose everything or continue to cause these inconveniences for folks who may then find (or worse - reinvent the wheel by developing) alternatives anyway.
If there's no need to worry about the MWWidgets site, then I suppose we could have this conversation if the site owners would like - but I'm not sure we need throw it on them. The reality is we have our work cut out for us with the Gadgets Gallery already. However, there appear to be some recent troubles, and if they're going to be long-term, I think it's a fair question for users to ask. :) If these are short-term glitches, is there anything we can do to help in the meantime? Maybe house a working html dump of the site on another server as a temporary backup?
Sites external to the WMF are always collectively in long term trouble, because none of them that I know of have the server administration capability of the WMF. That means something is always down, at any given moment.
I shared my Twiddla widget on my user page, here:
It's always going to be available.
Who is supposed to have a look at your user page for this? As a back-up in case the site is down, it might be a solution of last resort, but not sharing it on the site appears a bit peculiar in terms of promoting its usage. However, that's your business.
Last edit: 01:09, 29 February 2012
My widget is not a backup for anything on any other site. I created it, and shared it on my user page. There are many reasons I keep things on my user page. Firstly, nobody gets an opportunity to abuse me over it, and secondly, I just can't keep track of all the scattered flaky documentation sites out there. Some of them aren't even running current versions of their own software! Besides, a small minority of the developers throw a fit if I try to update "their" documentation here at mediawiki.org, and it doesn't inconvenience me at all to avoid them completely.
Those privately hosted documentation sites are destined for failure, and I've tried to warn some of the operators, and I got snubbed. They're frequently down, they frequently lose data, and their owners were frequently finding something to be angry about when I used contribute to their projects. So, they can have their wasteland out in the boonies that no one can find, and I can have my user page that everyone can find, and has never been down, ever.
Plus, my user page actually has some useful up-to-date documentation on the latest bugs, features, and changes. I'm a lot happier when people aren't throwing a tantrum because they don't like my contributions. A lot of other people appreciate it too, and I'm not alone in not wanting to deal with the Little Hitlers with arrogant egos so big that they think it's OK to give the big FUCK YOU every time you get within a mile of them. That's never OK, ever, to do to anyone. It's worthy of the utmost contempt.
I write good documentation, I do a good job finding bugs, and I'm nobody's kick toy. I'm loving my user page - nobody can shit on me anymore. No insults, no tantrums, no snideness, no belittling, no humiliation, no money-grubbing, no playing dumb with me like I can't speak English. I want nothing to do with anybody treats me like that, if I can avoid them, and so far, every single person who has treated me like that is one of the members of the same cabal of arrogant cunts that insists I play on their playground so they can fuck with me.
No, thank you.
I'll be courteous and respectful dealing with those people, but I'm not their entertainment. I say I forget when they treat me like that, but I really don't. I remember every insult, every snide bit of attitude. They think I'm nobody that's just going come and go like so many others, and I'm fine with that. They can think whatever they want. They can treat me like shit, and watch me smile back, while thinking it'll never come back to them...
Then, they can lick my balls when people ask for help and they get it from MY user page, not their little bully fiefdom. That's how I deal with their problems. I do things right, as best I can, and I take the abuse more or less quietly. While they're wasting their brainpower thinking up some new way abuse people, I'm avoiding them as best I can, and moving forward to accomplish something helpful.
So, yes, it is my business, but I'm not promoting anything. People come to my user page because they know it might have something helpful. Anyone can copy it from my user page to whatever hole they think it should disappear into. I put it there so it might be helpful.
Most of us are volunteers here, and I'm not on any payroll. If keeping some of my contributions on my user page helps me avoid nasty, abrasive people that are going to stress me out, then that's what I'll do. It's not worth dealing with them any more than I have to. It takes some of the enjoyment out of my participation here.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying or implying that the above is directed at anyone specific, and certainly not anyone participating in this discussion now. The people I'm referring to know who they are, and nothing more need be said. In fact, its not even directed at them, either, since it changes nothing whether they're aware of this little rant or not. Hopefully it makes it clear, however, exactly why I'm avoiding writing documentation in the "official" places. There's a lot less stress that way, and I sleep better at night.
Incidentally, this whole issue is a big one for the WMF, and if I remember correctly, polling on the subject revealed the same sentiments when people were asked why they stopped contributing to Wikipedia and other WMF projects. I don't know what the "final solution" will be, but the solution for me is usually to just avoid trespassing on anybody's territory. Putting documentation away from the WMF is like a "no trespassing" sign.
I agree with some of that.. :) I certainly agree that this is a sentiment brought up by folks, and something that WMF may want to nudge WM project leaders about - maybe offer more trainings, mandatory trainings for some positions, I think there are a number of solutions that if a WMF leader say "someone should look into this" it would embolden the community to address it. Right now, I think WMF is too anxious about guiding (or..gasp..leading) the WM movement to do something like that. Maybe the SOPA action has made WMF bolder / less anxious?
However, I don't think the solution is putting extremely valuable content on User pages, I'd rather just convince the annoying folks to go away - or just be bold and do it anyway. :) The glorious thing about anything online, you can easily ignore it. I certainly think it's a fair community expectation that we respond to each other's feedback and such - but there are some people who are just so out in crazy town, I don't pay any attention.
That's how I sleep at night..well..that at poking at beehives for kicks and giggles from time to time. ;)
I don't think anyone is suggesting user pages can't house good content, or should be prevented. However, there's more barriers to casual MW.org visitors finding that valuable content, which makes some of us sad. :( Perhaps it could be addressed, in part, by better linking within existing content to those pages? Or is that stating the obvious? :)
I'm not interested in marginalizing the jerks - it's equally bad for us to do it to them as it is for them to do it to us. Part of the reason they're jerks is because they're talented and contribute a lot, which they feel gives them license to walk on people, while others bite their lip. Challenging or confronting them might take away whatever pleasure they get out of their participation here, and if that happens, we lose their valuable contributions.
Instead, I think a better strategy is figuring out what makes them tick, where they derive their power from, and then figuring out how to neutralize them without a confrontation.
One strategy they use is to delete documentation housed at mediawiki.org and insist documentation and other resources be held hostage in their own sadistic little menagerie where they are the sole gatekeepers. That's easy to thwart - just tell them it's fine if they want to keep documentation on their own sites, but deleting other people's documentation here at mediawiki.org for that reason is not permitted.
Once that is the policy, then they'll have to think up new creative ways to satisfy their jerk-urge. Hopefully we can identify those patterns and subtly neutralize them quickly without making more waves than necessary. And, you never know, they might decide it's easier to just resolve their personal issues that makes them jerks, instead of wasting their lives trying to find exploits in the WMF social structure.