Technical communications/status

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Last update on: 2014-08-monthly

2011-03-31[edit]

Guillaume Paumier revived this project and focused on summary pages and versions & phases for Wikimedia-funded engineering projects. The goal is to make it easier to find this information and keep it up-to-date, for the benefit of staff, volunteer developers and users.

2011-04-30[edit]

Guillaume Paumier set up a set of pages, templates and tools to facilitate the maintenance of project pages. The new system allows to pull project information from one central place per project, using the Labeled Section Transclusion extension, which was installed on mediawiki.org for this purpose. The Berlin meetup will be an opportunity to update the documentation of Wikimedia engineering projects using these tools.

2011-06-02[edit]

The Berlin Hackathon and Wikimedia tech days were an opportunity to start catching up on missing project pages. Stubs were created using the new, lighter format, and some existing pages were transitioned to the new format. As new projects start, we'll continue to try and be diligent in publishing project documentation publicly.

2011-07-01[edit]

Guillaume Paumier finalized the infrastructure for project pages, using templates and transclusion. Because of the tools' limits, full automation wasn't possible. He also continued to update project pages and statuses.

2011-07-25[edit]

Guillaume Paumier continued to create, update, clean up and organize the project documentation pages for most engineering activities. This report was built in part using content transcluded from the project status pages. An activity index was also drafted.

2011-08-31[edit]

Guillaume Paumier continued to update project documentation pages and to write engineering reports.

2011-09-30[edit]

Guillaume Paumier continued to update project documentation pages and to write engineering reports.

2011-10-31[edit]

Guillaume Paumier performed continuous maintenance of engineering project pages, and assembled this report.

2011-11-30[edit]

Guillaume Paumier expanded the Platform engineering hub to include the list of current projects. He also created a similar hub for Features engineering and a portal for all Wikimedia Engineering. Last, he performed continuous maintenance of engineering project pages, and assembled this report.

2011-12-31[edit]

Guillaume Paumier performed perennial maintenance on project pages and the Roadmap (updating, cleaning up and organizing the content as needed), and wrote this report.

2012-01-31[edit]

Besides the usual ongoing maintenance of project pages, and putting together this report, Guillaume Paumier also wrote a how-to guide about how to create, use and update project and status pages.

2012-02-29[edit]

Guillaume Paumier performed perennial maintenance on project pages and the Roadmap, and put together this report.

2012-03-31[edit]

Besides ongoing maintenance of project pages and the Roadmap, a new team hub was created for Wikimedia Mobile and Special Projects engineering and activity pages were created for all Mobile engineering projects.

2012-04-monthly[edit]

Guillaume Paumier modified the templates used for the Activity pages system to display more relevant information on team hubs like the Mobile team hub. He also wrote specifications for a tool to fix bugs and limitations of the current system.

2012-05-monthly[edit]

Rob Moen implemented the first version of a JavaScript Status helper tool that makes it easier to add new status udpates to activity pages. Rob Lanphier added support for existing statuses. Guillaume Paumier initiated a project to clean up the Wikitech wiki, possibly facilitated by a JavaScript tool derived from one used by WikiProjects to assess articles.

2012-06-monthly[edit]

At the Berlin Hackathon, Guillaume Paumier, Rob Lanphier and Timo Tijhof discussed how to summon the Status Helper tool from custom edit links. Guillaume modified the templates to provide hidden metadata, and Rob implemented the functionality in the JavaScript. Timo also converted the user script into a full-fledged opt-in gadget. Rob Moen created a JavaScript tool to easily assess and tag pages, as part of an effort to clean up the wikitech wiki, before merging it with labsconsole.

2012-07-monthly[edit]

Sumana Harihareswara, Guillaume Paumier and Rob Lanphier interacted with the rest of the technical and non-technical community at Wikimania to discuss how to improve transparency and collaboration around Wikimedia engineering activities. They notably discussed the concept of "Wikitech ambassadors", to be developed in the coming weeks.

2012-10-monthly[edit]

This activity was revived as its scope was expanded to include not only on-wiki engineering project documentation, but more generally the improvement of communications between Wikimedia contributors and the technical community (MediaWiki developers, Operations engineers, etc.). Guillaume Paumier prepared and started a wide and open discussion with editors on some local wikis to identify issues and discussion possible solutions. Management is currently reviewing options to determine the direction this activity will follow in future months.

2012-11-06[edit]

Management continues to review options to determine the direction this activity will follow in future months. In the meantime, Guillaume Paumier is going to consolidate a technical glossary and technical FAQs to facilitate communication between editors and the technical community.

2012-11-20[edit]

Guillaume Paumier started to clean up and expand the Wikimedia glossary on meta-wiki by adding many terms related to Wikimedia technology and engineering. He's now in the process of adding definitions (himself and with the help of others) and further expanding the terms that may need explaining. Sumana Harihareswara is looking to recruit volunteers to lead or advise on select engineering activities. Together with Guillaume, they're also looking at longer term experiments and strategies to improve dialogue between technical communities and user communities.

2012-11-27[edit]

Guillaume Paumier continued to work on the Wikimedia glossary and reached out to a few mailing lists to make it a collaborative effort. He's now following up on the consultation process initiated last month to identify how to improve dialogue between technical communities and user communities, and widening it to more wikis. Sumana Harihareswara and Guillaume published a call for volunteers to lead or advise on select engineering activities, and they're now following up on the offers that ensued.

2012-11-monthly[edit]

Management reviewed options to determine the direction this activity would follow in future months. In the meantime, Guillaume Paumier cleaned up and expanded the Wikimedia glossary with terms related to Wikimedia technology and engineering, and volunteers & engineers came to expand it further. He also followed up on the consultation process initiated in October to identify how to improve dialogue between technical communities and user communities. He's now in the process of widening this discussion to more communities. Sumana Harihareswara sent a call for volunteers to lead or advise Wikimedia engineering staff on select activities, and followed up on the offers.

2012-12-04[edit]

Guillaume Paumier consolidated and summarized the discussions started in October about how to improve 2-way communication; he also published a project plan and timeline for this consultation process. Sumana Harihareswara followed up on the call for volunteers to lead or advise on select engineering activities.

2012-12-11[edit]

After summarizing the first phase of the consultation about how to improve 2-way communication, Guillaume Paumier reached out to the wikitech-ambassadors list to widen the consultation process by proxy. He also reached out individually to a few individuals who were recommended as possibly having a particularly interesting perspective to offer on this process. Unrelatedly, he made a list of 2012 tech blog posts to map tech blog activity by month & subdepartment (with priority activities listed separately). We published the community metrics November report and a blog post introducing this new activity.

2012-12-18[edit]

On week #50, technical communications work focused on communications support for engineering staff, with several technical blog posts published, including the VisualEditor alpha announcement. Work on the Fall 2012 consultation resumed on week #51.

2012-12-27[edit]

Quim Gil worked on sorting out Social media handles: we have now @MediaWiki handles at identi.ca, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Wikimedia Social Media team acknowledges. Guillaume Paumier finished to summarize content from the Fall 2012 consultation (and other sources) and prioritized the possible solutions based on a set of criteria. The most feasible solution currently is to grow a network of volunteer technical ambassadors. As a result, he has rewritten the ambassadors page, and is now setting up the ambassadors tools and environment.

2012-12-monthly[edit]

Guillaume Paumier published a project plan and timeline for the consultation process started in October about how to improve 2-way communication between the technical and editing communities. He summarized the results of the first phase and reached out to the wikitech-ambassadors list to widen the consultation process by proxy. After consolidation and prioritization of the results, the most feasible solution appeared to be to grow a network of ambassadors, which he started to organize on meta.

Unrelatedly, Guillaume made a list of 2012 tech blog posts to map tech blog activity by month & subdepartment (with priority activities listed separately). Work on setting up a Volunteer product manager program is also underway.

Quim Gil sorted out Social media channels, and we now have @MediaWiki handles for identi.ca, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. He published the community metrics November report and a blog post introducing this new activity.

2013-01-03[edit]

Guillaume Paumier finished to rewrite m:Tech/Ambassadors and sought some initial comments and feedback, which seem positive so far. He started to create or overhaul some tools like the list of technical embassies and other related pages.

2013-01-08[edit]

Nothing newsworthy happened on this project in the 3 work days that passed since the last update, apart from regular activities (communications support for engineering staff, monthly engineering report, etc.).

2013-01-15[edit]

Apart from usual communications support for engineering staff, Guillaume Paumier assembled and published the December engineering report and its summary. He also started to organize and clean up the MediaWiki version pages (like MediaWiki 1.21/wmf7 and MediaWiki 1.21/wmf8), which are linked to from every Special:Version page on Wikimedia wikis. A major goal was to make them more useful for tech ambassadors, by highlighting the most important changes, improving translatability and adding navigation.

2013-01-18[edit]

Guillaume Paumier focused on communications support for the data center migration, by preparing and coordinating public communications, configuring and updating the Maintenance notice banner and its landing page, and reaching out for help to translators. He coordinated the feedback/bugreporting part with Andre Klapper and improved the How to report a bug how-to; he also prepared and organized translations for that page, to empower more users to report bugs even if they're not fluent in English; the page is currently available in 3 languages besides English.

2013-01-25[edit]

Guillaume Paumier supported the Operations team in announcing and communicating about the data center migration. He added and updated tasks related to the Tech ambassadors and Volunteer product management programs to the Roadmap, and concluded the team discussion on the direction and implementation of the latter. He repaired the How to contribute page for translation, while keeping the wikitext of the translatable sections simple, and also added language-specific links per discussion. Last, he started a centralized Project calendar to consolidate announcements for events, meetings, IRC office hours, etc. using content from QA/Weekly goals and Events. He set up the template-based system to make this all work, wrote the associated documentation and also set up transcludability of specific types of events. Feedback on wikitech-l has been positive so far.

2013-01-monthly[edit]

Guillaume Paumier provided communications support to the engineering team, notably around the data center migration and associated banners, notices & translations. He started to organize and clean up the MediaWiki version pages (like MediaWiki 1.21/wmf7) to make them more useful for tech ambassadors, by highlighting the most important changes, improving translatability and adding navigation. He also prepared and organized translations for the How to report a bug and How to contribute pages, to facilitate the involvement of volunteers who don't necessarily communicate in English. Last, he created a Project:Calendar to consolidate and centralize announcements for all events, to make opportunities for participation more visible. Events around a particular topic (like QA, testing and bugs) can still be selectively transcluded, using Labeled Section Transclusion.

2013-02-01[edit]

Guillaume Paumier supported the engineering team in communicating about VisualEditor testing (and landing page), GeoData and Operations. He finished to set up the Project:Calendar, replaced content on QA/Weekly goals and Meetings using selective transclusion, created an edit notice to make it easier to add and edit events, added links to icons credits, and added edit and purge links to {{event header}} (if the user isn't on the Calendar page) to make it easier to understand where to edit/add events.

2013-02-08[edit]

Guillaume Paumier assembled, published and advertised the Wikimedia engineering report for January 2013 and its summary. He also supported the engineering team in communicating about the Operations team and Echo.

2013-02-15[edit]

Guillaume Paumier supported the engineering team in communicating about bug days, the Scribunto deployment, watchlist on mobile devices and translation UX. He also set up Project:Visual identity and updated How to contribute.

2013-02-22[edit]

Guillaume Paumier updated and cleaned up Special:MyLanguage/Wikimedia Engineering/Report/How to to reflect the current process, and delegated the publication of the February engineering report due to vacation. He also met with LCA staff to discuss the similarities and differences between the tech ambassadors and community advocates programs to minimize disruption and collaborate where appropriate.

2013-02-monthly[edit]

Guillaume Paumier finished setting up the Project:Calendar, used it to replace content on pages like QA/Weekly goals and Meetings using selective transclusion, created an edit notice to make it easier to add and edit events, added a bullet list display option, and added links to icons credits as part of an effort to harmonize visual identity for MediaWiki. He updated the monthly report how-to to reflect the current process, and met with LCA staff to discuss possible collaboration between the tech ambassadors and community advocates programs. While in San Francisco, he met with many colleagues to discuss engineering project documentation, and ways to announce to and engage with the rest of the community. Last, he started to create a Product development hub to facilitate the involvement of contributors, and supported the engineering team in communicating about their accomplishments on the Wikimedia Tech blog.

2013-03-01[edit]

While in San Francisco, Guillaume Paumier met with many colleagues to discuss engineering project documentation, and ways to announce to and engage with the rest of the community. He also reviewed, published and advertised several tech blog posts, and modified Template:Event so that events from the Project:Calendar can be displayed as bullet list items on the home page. He continued to investigate SugarCRM, and expanded Product development to facilitate the involvement of contributors.

2013-03-15[edit]

Guillaume Paumier focused on communications support for the deployment of Extension:Scribunto; this included: reviewing blog posts ([1], [2]), organizing IRC office hours, announcing the deployment on wikis and lists, etc. He also met with Quim Gil to discuss his contributors plan, and followed up on the gerrit tagging proposal.

2013-03-22[edit]

Guillaume Paumier expanded the Product development hub, and redesigned, reorganized and simplified the How to contribute landing page. He added "Open tasks" sections to pages of activities in need of Product help, and linked to them from the Product hub. He researched ways to create and maintain translations of the Wikimedia Glossary, and started a discussion on the lists about the best way to move forward with glossaries scattered across wikis. Last, he started to plan for the centralization of mobile documentation, and drafted thoughts about a consolidation of technical communities.

2013-03-monthly[edit]

Guillaume Paumier reviewed, published and advertised several tech blog posts, and did communications support for the deployment of Extension:Scribunto; this included reviewing blog posts, organizing IRC office hours, and announcing the deployment on wikis and lists. He modified a template so that events from the MediaWiki calendar show as bulleted items on the home page. He continued to investigate SugarCRM, and expanded Product development to facilitate the involvement of contributors, and redesigned, reorganized and simplified the How to contribute landing page. He added "Open tasks" sections to pages of activities in need of Product help, and linked to them from the Product hub. He also met with Quim Gil to discuss his contributors plan, and followed up on the gerrit tagging proposal. He researched ways to create and maintain translations of the Wikimedia Glossary, and started a discussion on the lists about the best way to move forward with glossaries scattered across wikis. Last, he started to plan for the centralization of mobile documentation, and drafted thoughts about a consolidation of technical communities.

2013-04-19[edit]

Guillaume Paumier mostly focused on catching up (and following up on requests) after two weeks of medical leave. Following an earlier discussion, he also started to set up a Google custom search (similar to Wikimedia technical search) to make it easier to search a term across Wikimedia glossaries.

2013-04-26[edit]

Guillaume Paumier supported the engineering team's communication needs, reviewing blog posts and helping with activity project documentation. He finished to set up a Google custom search (similar to Wikimedia technical search) to make it easier to search a term across Wikimedia glossaries.

2013-04-monthly[edit]

April was a slow month in Technical communications due to Guillaume Paumier's 2-week medical leave. Upon his return, Guillaume helped the engineering team with their communication support needs (reviewing blog posts and helping with on-wiki documentation) and set up a Google custom search for glossaries (similar to Wikimedia technical search), to make it easier to search a term across Wikimedia glossaries.

2013-05-03[edit]

Guillaume Paumier focused on assembling, reviewing, editing and publishing the Wikimedia engineering report for April 2013 (and writing its plain English summary), as well as other on-wiki documentation and communications support.

2013-05-10[edit]

Guillaume Paumier reviewed technical blog posts, followed up on m:Talk:Tech/Ambassadors and wikitech-l about how to implement the collaborative monitoring and editing of noteworthy tech changes, and started a similar discussion on wikitech-ambassadors targeted at users. He also followed up on the proposal for a Developer's noticeboard on enwiki, offered alternatives and inquired on wikitech-l about their feasibility. Last, he started a discussion on wikitech-l about the (global) watchlist wishlist, to see if developers would be interested in working on watchlist-related code.

2013-05-17[edit]

Guillaume Paumier created a first version of the Tech news hub, based on original content and best practices shared by volunteers who have been doing ambassador work independently. He started a talk page as well with background information and initial discussions, and created a header to link the tech forum, tech news and tech ambassadors in a consistent and attractive manner. He streamlined, simplified, summarized and prettified m:Tech/Ambassadors and m:Tech/News, and set up some complex templates to simplify the maintenance burden of Tech News, like an automated navigation template with 1-click generation of the next issue.

2013-05-24[edit]

Guillaume Paumier reviewed blog posts and prepared the Flow portal on meta for translation. With others, he put together the first edition of tech news, advertised the first issue on the ambassadors and translators mailing lists, and sent the first issue to then-subscribers. He also sent the first issue (with a note about the one-time posting) to all village pumps on all wikis, which resulted in massive sign-up of people's talk page and community talk pages. He started to track readability indicators and followed up on the invitation sent in March to Signpost-like groups to help with tech news, and invited them again to join and help. In preparation for wider outreach, he set up m:Tech/Ambassadors for translation, did the French translation to check that everything was alright, and did the same for the Tech/News page. He followed up on the feedback received after the first edition and the global delivery, and investigated weird behavior of the Translate extension. Last, he investigated how m:Template:Translatable navigation template worked (in order to fix an issue on pages like m:Tech/News/2013/21, which showed <translate> tags) and eventually rewrote the functionality in a Lua module.

2013-05-31[edit]

Guillaume Paumier reviewed tech blog posts and executed most of the move of the Mobile documentation from meta to mediawiki.org: he finished the inventory, exported and imported the content, cleaned up and organized the imported pages, mass-fixed links, and mass-soft-redirected the legacy content on meta. He helped to prepare the next issue of the tech newsletter, reached out to translators so they could start translating before delivery, tested multilingual delivery and then launched the actual global delivery of issue #22. Last, he drafted an announcement about the upcoming deployment of VisualEditor.

2013-05-monthly[edit]

In May, Guillaume Paumier's major focus was on supporting Tech ambassadors and setting up Tech news, an initiative aiming to collaboratively monitor recent software changes likely to impact Wikimedians, and distribute a weekly summary, free of technical jargon, to subscribers on their talk page. Two issues of this weekly summary were published this month; starting with the second issue, the content is now distributed in several languages if translations are available. Guillaume also continued to review technical blog posts, and executed the move of the Mobile documentation from Meta-Wiki to mediawiki.org.

2013-06-07[edit]

Apart from the annual review process and the technical newsletter, Guillaume Paumier focused on assembling, reviewing, editing and publishing the Wikimedia engineering report for May 2013 (and writing its plain English summary), as well as other on-wiki documentation and ongoing communications support.

2013-06-monthly[edit]

In June, work on this topic mostly focused on perennial activities like Tech news and ongoing communications support to engineering staff, as Guillaume Paumier was lent to the VisualEditor deployment effort, working on communications, documentation and liaising with the French Wikipedia.

2013-07-monthly[edit]

Like in June, Guillaume Paumier was seconded to the VisualEditor deployment effort, working on communications, documentation and liaising with the French Wikipedia. Work on technical communications mostly focused on perennial activities like ongoing communications support to the engineering staff.

2013-08-monthly[edit]

Guillaume Paumier continued to focus on the VisualEditor deployment effort, working on communications, documentation and liaising with the French Wikipedia. Work on technical communications mostly focused on perennial activities like Tech news and ongoing communications support to the engineering staff.

2013-09-monthly[edit]

Guillaume Paumier wrapped up work on supporting the deployment of VisualEditor, and resumed regular activities like preparing the Tech newsletter and ongoing communications support for the engineering staff.

2013-10-monthly[edit]

Besides ongoing communications support for the engineering staff, Guillaume Paumier published three issues of the Tech newsletter in October, and started a list of open tasks related to technical communications, available for anyone to work on, primarily in preparation for Google Code-In.

2013-11-monthly[edit]

In November, Guillaume Paumier's primary focus was on preparing for the Google Code-in program, and mentoring students once the program started. In 2 weeks, 18 students worked on writing discovery reports (candid essays from the perspective of newcomers to the Wikimedia technical community); among them, seven completed their task successfully. Guillaume also assembled and published the weekly technical newsletter and provided ongoing communications support for the engineering staff.


2013-12-monthly[edit]

In December, Guillaume Paumier's primary focus was on creating and assigning tasks for the Google Code-in program, mentoring students and reviewing their work. They worked on writing discovery reports, adding TemplateData to widely-used Wikipedia templates, and converting manually-translated pages on mediawiki.org to pages using the Translate extension. Guillaume also continued to provide ongoing communications support for the engineering staff, and assemble and publish the weekly technical newsletter, which is now delivered across wikis using MassMessage. Last, he compiled readability metrics for all past issues of the newsletter, as well as translation and subscribers metrics.


2014-01-monthly[edit]

In January, Guillaume Paumier wrapped up work on mentoring Google Code-in students and continued to provide ongoing communications support for the engineering staff. He contributed to writing, simplifying, publishing and distributing the weekly technical newsletter, and published an in-depth article explaining the process by which the newsletter is put together every week.

2014-02-monthly[edit]

In February, Guillaume Paumier continued to provide ongoing communications support for the engineering staff, and contributed to writing, simplifying, publishing and distributing the weekly technical newsletter. He also edited essays from Google Code-in students for publication on the Wikimedia blog.

2014-03-monthly[edit]

In addition to ongoing communications support for the engineering staff, and contributing to the technical newsletter, Guillaume Paumier edited and published a series of essays on the Wikimedia Tech blog written by Google Code-in students, who shared their impressions, frustrations and surprises as they discovered the Wikimedia and MediaWiki technical community.

2014-04-monthly[edit]

In addition to ongoing communications support for the engineering staff, Guillaume Paumier organized and archived many team documentation pages of the Engineering Community Team, like planning pages, reports and meeting notes. He also set up subscription templates on mediawiki.org and the English Wikipedia that display the latest version of the technical newsletter for users who prefer not to get it delivered on their talk page.

2014-05-monthly[edit]

In addition to ongoing communications support for the engineering staff, Guillaume Paumier mostly focused on improvements to the system of scripts and templates used to document Wikimedia engineering activities on mediawiki.org. Active and inactive projects can now be queried separately, which means that the list of projects that appears in the drop-down of the status helper gadget is much shorter, now only listing active projects.

Guillaume also wrote a dedicated Lua module to manipulate engineering activities automatically, in particular for the Wikimedia Engineering portal. It is now possible to query activities from a given team, and display them on any page in various formats. Using the module, the ever-outdated list of "current" activities on the portal was replaced by an automatically-generated list based on projects listed on team hubs. The module also allows to feature a random engineering activity on the portal. Other additions to the portal include the latest issue of Tech News (transcluded and automatically updated every week), as well as the first paragraph of the latest monthly engineering report (manually updated for now). Future improvements of the portal are expected to be mostly aesthetic.

2014-06-monthly[edit]

In addition to ongoing communications support for the engineering staff, Guillaume Paumier focused on information architecture of Wikimedia engineering activities. This notably involved reorganizing the Wikimedia Engineering portal (now linked from mediawiki.org's sidebar) and creating a status dashboard that lists the status of all current activities hosted on mediawiki.org. The portal is now also cross-linked with the other main tech spaces (like Tech and Tech News) and team hubs.

2014-07-monthly[edit]

Chart showing historical Flesch reading ease data for Tech News, a measure of the newsletter's readability. Higher scores indicate material that is easier to read. A score of 60–70 corresponds to content easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students.

Guillaume Paumier collaborated with authors of the Education newsletter to set it up for multilingual delivery, using a script similar to the one used for Tech News. He also wrote a detailed how-to to accompany the script for people who want to send a multilingual message across wikis. In preparation for the Wikimania session about Tech News, he updated the readability and subscribers metrics. He also continued to provide ongoing communications support for the engineering staff, and to prepare and distribute Tech News every week.

2014-08-monthly[edit]

In August, Guillaume Paumier attended the Wikimania conference and the associated hackathon. He gave a talk about Tech News (video available on YouTube) and created a poster summarizing the talk. He also continued to write and distribute Tech News every week, and started to contribute to the Structured data project.