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Fundraiser row continues, new director of engineering

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By Resident Mario, Skomorokh and Tilman Bayer

Fundraising row continues

In the wake of heated discussions concerning a possible restructuring of the way in which the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia chapters handle the raising and spending of donor funds (see Signpost special report), staff at the Foundation released a memo in an attempt to reiterate the argument for abandoning the current role of chapters in processing payments (and pocketing some of them) during the annual fundraiser, in favour of a central committee made up of an international group of volunteers. As with previous communications from the Foundation's board of trustees, the memo ignited much criticism, with many chapter-affiliated editors critiquing its factual accuracy and impartiality at length. The discussions took centre stage at the 2012 Finance meeting, which was held in Paris over the weekend and which is expected to further spur the ongoing debate.

Director of Features engineering hired

Terry Chay has been hired by the Wikimedia Foundation to fill the position of Director of Features Engineering. Chay holds an M.S. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and is a former member of Automattic, the company behind WordPress, and in that capacity helped in "implementing an A/B testing framework, improving the blog domain name registration process...[and] creating better support mechanisms for first-time users". Before that he was an engineering manager and software architect for several start-ups and tech companies between 1999 and 2009, such as Plaxo and Tagged. He has attended the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, contributing to the PHP talks there, and given over 25 public talks about web development.

As the new Director of Features Engineering, "Terry will be responsible for helping ensure the success of some of our key feature teams: the visual editor team, the editor engagement team (including the article feedback project), and the fundraising engineering team." His hiring also means that the current occupant of the position, Alolita Sharma, will be moving into another directorial role, although what this will entail exactly remains to be seen.

Brief notes

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