News and notes
Vibber resigns, Staff office hours, Flagged Revs, new research and more
Brion Vibber resigns
On Monday, Brion Vibber announced that he was stepping down from his longtime position as the Wikimedia Foundation's Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to join StatusNet, an open-source microblogging platform which most notably runs Identi.ca.
The announcement was made in a post on the Wikimedia Techblog and in a post by Evan Prodromou, the founder of StatusNet. According to the Techblog announcement, Vibber has no intention of leaving the MediaWiki development community, and will continue to work one day a week in the Wikimedia office until the end of the year.
Wikimedia continues its search for a new CTO, the position which Vibber held since being hired full-time four years ago, and which he had previously announced he intended to resign. In the meantime, WMF deputy director Erik Möller will be the point of contact for technical management issues.
Vibber has been a part of Wikimedia from the beginning, and has been a crucial part of Wikipedia's and MediaWiki's history. He became the lead developer for MediaWiki circa 2002, and has subsequently managed and scaled the software and Wikipedia's technical operations as the site has grown. He was the first full-time employee hired by the Foundation.
In 2004, Jimmy Wales named 1 June "Brion Vibber Day".
Office hours with Sue Gardner
- Main story: Sue Gardner answers questions from community
On Friday, 25 September, Wikimedia Foundation director Sue Gardner hosted an office hours discussion on IRC. Gardner reflected on the Wikimedia strategy planning process, thus far. She also expressed views on the Foundation's priorities for supporting growth of projects, and responded to questions about the recent departure of Chief Program Officer Jennifer Riggs. Gardner also discussed in length about grant funding and involving volunteers in grant projects.
Following on the success of the strategy planning office hours, the Foundation aims to host IRC office hours on a regular basis. The next office hours, scheduled for Thursday, 1 October, will feature Rand Montoya, the Foundation's Head of Community Giving. Log.
Update on Flagged Revisions
In the office hours chat on 25 September, chief developer Brion Vibber gave an update on the status of Flagged Revs for English Wikipedia:
"We've got the previously specced test config running now on http://flaggedrevs.labs.wikimedia.org/ for people to poke at," and we might see it live "in the next few weeks. I'd also like us to get ready to roll out the ability to apply FlaggedRevs on a page-by-page basis on en.wikipedia (e.g. as an alternative to semi-protection)... this is dependent on it actually working of course. We've also been waiting for a long time on someone to pull together a clear post-mortem of FlaggedRevs' affect on de.wikipedia community, which I'm not sure we've seen yet. Would be nice to see... Anyway we're wrapping up a bunch of other updates now which will free us up to pay more attention to the FlaggedRevs config."
Around 00:00 UTC 28 September, Brion Vibber turned on flagged protection on the test site.
Changes in editor population?
An overview of new research into Wikipedian Demographics was posted by Ed Chi, of the PARC Augmented Social Cognition group (see previous story).
New editing tool
This week in history