VisualEditor/2016 Team Offsite and Retrospective


June 2016 London Team Meeting[edit]


  • James F., Trevor, Timo, Rummana, David L, Ed, David C, Joel, Thalia

The Agenda™[edit]

  • Monandæg
    • Afternoon
      • Lunch, park
      • Set agenda
      • Review the multi-year vision (1 hr)
  • Evening
    • Westminster tour of London 6ish
    • Dindins
  • Tiwesdæg
  • Tech debt hacking
  • Wodnesdæg
  • Tech debt hacking
  • Þunresdæg
    • Morning
      • Bletchley Park outing
    • Afternoon
      • (still at Bletchley)
      • Then hacking if people are so minded.
  • Frigedæg
    • Morning
      • Negotiation Exercise
      • More Vision
      • Lunch after Alex arrives
    • Afternoon
      • remaining negotiation pairs
      • Second part of Negotiation de-brief
      • Retrospective on Off-Site at 4 pm (30 min).
      • Discuss goal re: What will be in production by end of FY2017Q1 (by Sep 30, 2016)?
        • Q4
          • VisualEditor deployment on most Wikivoyage language editions
        • Q1
          • VisualEditor deployment on more Wikipedia language editions – Indic scripts (23 inc. Hindi), Arabic scripts (13 inc. Farsi)
          • Wikitext mode of VisualEditor as a Beta Feature
          • Assisted editing prototype (probably not in production)
          • jQuery IME integration improvements

Activities cut from meeting[edit]

  • Review Roles on VE team

Discussion/Hacking Topics suggested:

  • Where are we going next?
  • Feature/technology discussions
  • Hybrid / parallel wikitext editor
  • Smart diffs
  • TX serialization
  • Section editing
  • Whither mobile?
  • Syntax highlighting in the new wikitext editor
  • Multi-part content streams
  • Moving meta-data out of wikitext
  • Document annotations
  • VE block editing
  • Design for inspectors which want to contain action buttons (e.g. the select-entire-link action)
  • Take stock of VE documentation (in the wider sense of any knowledge about the code recorded outside our heads) and what remains undocumented (i.e. what knowledge about the code remains stuck in which particular heads).
  • Software overview:
  • Walk-through of the different components involved in VE
  • A "you want to use VE on your (non-mediawiki) site? here's how to set it up" document
  • How to debug/hack on ve-standalone and ve-mw
  • Describe the initialization sequence of demos/ve/desktop.html
  • Terminology reference

Retrospective on Offsite Meeting[edit]


  • Hacking time
  • Travel
  • Vision “discussion” led by Trevor
  • Green Park outing (walking tour)
  • British Museum thing
  • Bletchley Park outing
  • Negotiation Exercise
  • Food

Unanimous goes-without-saying thanks:

  • Great venue support

Keep (for future off-sites)[edit]

  • 7: Joel must always come with us. DC DL JF RY TP TC 𝔼-💰
  • 7: Hacking, especially talking about long-standing WIPs and areas that need thinking. DC  𝔼-📏  JF TC TP DL AM
  • 7: Social activities are pretty important, given we rarely see some people. DC DL JF RY TC TP AM
  • 6: Overview discussions were useful for the remotes and the SF-locals. DC DL JF RY TC TP
  • 5: current home base. (iff London) 𝔼-😧 TP AM RY DL
  • 4: Network was rarely a problem. TC RY JF AM
  • 1: Hotel and transportation was smooth 𝔈-🐶


  • 6: Sucked to not have the whole team (at least those who wish to attend) for all of it (LA, Alex, Marielle, Sherry/Erica) AM DC JF DL RY TC
    • Clash with exams for Alex
  • 5: Jetlag hindered work, on the first day (decompression) especially JF DL RY TC 巨-by-gum
    • Only five days, too short?
  • 4: Kids at the same site can be a distraction JF 𝔼-lo TC TP
    • Kids can be noisy/worrisome in this space
  • 3: Chairs/table not comfortable for full days. JF DL TC
  • 2: A little more notice about timetabling, without getting too formal (feeds into the kids issue) DC TC
  • 2: Room was a bit warm JF DL
  • 2: Boring 印iddy DL
    • Weather was a bit rainy (hard for the kids to disappear)
    • Rain storm - please seed clouds the week before
  • 0: Hard surfaces and small space meant conversations were loud

Deeper Discussion[edit]

  • Joel to attend
    • Bringing team back to topic and do tracking
  • Hacking
    • Topic list
  • Social Activities
  • Don’t piggy-back team off-site on Wikimania (at least N away)
  • Getting the whole team
    • Left it late to finalize (decided to do it in January, started planning in Feb; didn’t finalize date until April)
    • Constraints: team members had non-moveable events; fiscal year end with use-it-or-lose-it travel budget
    • Conflict between hiring for remoteness and meeting together
    • Threshold for last-minute non-attends to cancel the whole thing? TBD if necessary
    • Compensate with video?  Not practical
  • Jetlag hindered work
    • Change location; fewer extreme zone changes could be nice (e.g. it's only David C if in US Eastern Time)
    • Longer trip to allow recovery
      • Conflicts with guidance to have max-4-day offsites
      • Put social/outdoors activities on first day
  • Kids
    • Parents to arrange off-off-site care and weatherproof plans
      • Need more advanced notice/finalized plans to do this
  • Chairs
    • Current site not viable for current team size (would not have worked this year if everybody attended)