Adam Roses Wight. Software developer employed by Wikimedia Foundation, in the Scoring Platform Team.
I previously worked with WMF's Fundraising Tech, from 2012-2017. It's been an honor to work for a non-profit that thrives thanks to the huge outpouring of relatively small donations from the people who support us—the average donation is around $20 USD. This more than anything else allows us to remain independent.
tl;dr, a dependency on large donations may be harmful to your health as a non-profit, and threatens your independence. One of the strings attached is almost always present, and depending on the light conditions even invisible: the burden of restating your organizational goals in terms catering to the fiscal sponsors, taking away significant staff time and causing cognitive dissonance, where instead there could be an opportunity for deeper engagement with your programs' constituents, building a virtuous cycle of mutual education and action.
Own and Elect
This might be out of place, as it's a platform I believe in rather than a technical whimsy, but I hold a fringe opinion that the WMF would be healthier if we could convert it to a membership non-profit, in which all Wikimedians (defined broadly: editors, bot authors, media curators, staff, donors, etc.) collectively own the organization and each person holds one vote in an assembly. Related ideas about directly electing the WMF's Board of Trustees come up regularly on the mailing list, but so far they seem to be sporadic and spontaneous, there has been no sustained attempt at building momentum towards this goal. In an interesting coincidence of WMF's history it actually began as a formal membership organization, eventually converting to eliminate membership out of concerns for the complexity of their bookkeeping.
Much of my understanding has been shaped by my time spent as a staff member, seeing that our attempts at democracy are fleeting and ad-hoc due to the lack of mandate or roots to implement an overall democratic structure.
I'm fascinated by this use case, especially since solving the offline editing problem will launch forward the same technical improvements needed to get us close to both real-time collaboration and federated wikis.
TODO: link to newer funded initiatives.
- Submissions/Collaborative_drafts, a discussion I'd like to have with editors about making "Undo" more friendly.
- See a human-readable description in IdeaLab.
- Extension:Nonlinear for branching article revisioning
- Would decouple resolving any nontrivial three-way merge from making the edit itself.
- Represent revisions as a delta. Allows better asynchronous editing.
- The new visual editor will likely batch operational transformations, there's yer delta.
- Deltas would have N=||cross product|| possible combined resolutions, depending on a choice of selection. Article state at any time could be ambiguous, and multiple.
- Extension:Protection: article protection is too difficult to improve, because it is currently managed by MW core code. Once these permissions have been componentized, it will be more clear how to hook in alternative permission schemes.
- Extension:Offline is a stopgap offline editing mode for wikipedia.
- Currently, this extension can more or less efficiently read the .xml.bz2 format.
- The next big move would be to read archives in OpenZIM format, but this is modified HTML and not wiki text. Perhaps OpenZIM can be re-specified to include markup source.
- Unfortunately, this extension requires a minimal LAMP stack, which makes it a poor fit for mobile devices.
- Extension:Parsoid will produce an embeddable library that can parse, render and edit wiki markup. This will eliminate the LAMP requirement for offline interaction.
ORES revision scoring service
With luck and doggedness, my proposal for resuming work on the "Revision scoring as a service" project will be approved for 6 months in 2017. The ORES group is dramatically underfunded, however, so this will require sleight of hand.
I'd like to help implement daily incrementals of the Wikidata JSON stream. (TBD Phabricator)
And play a role in realizing this magnificent proposal led by Ariel Glenn: Wikitech:Dumps/Dumps 2.0: Redesign.
We need this right away, yesterday truth be told. The latest harassment survey shows that other gender, women, and culturally diverse community members experience disproportionate badness. Not only can we not afford to allow this to happen when we might be able to prevent it working together through social and technical interventions, but it's plainly immoral and unjust. Happily, there's a funded community health initiative that you can help support.
- Please read Peter Gallert's explanations of why Wikipedia would benefit by inviting Indigenous knowledge.
|Babel user information|
- See the official donation reports and statistics, and these graphs of the amount distribution.
- For those new to how the Wikimedia Foundation is organized, it's a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a Board that chooses its own members. There are elections held for many of the seats, and a third are recommended by a general poll of editors. This is a symbolic gesture rather than a legal membership arrangement, and the Board reserves the sole right to make final appointments.