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  • It's a good result, if not the best result. Superprotect was symbolic and that symbol has been symbolically removed. A clear statement of good will has been made.
We often (us humans, whether in groups or individually) fail to reap all the benefits of a compromise we agree to, or an action we take because we don't clearly enunciate why what we did was wrong, or the lessons we have learned. This might be considered to be face saving. In fact it often mean that we are not getting the benefits of the sacrifice (in some cases only of "face") we have made.
Let us take this step forward as positive and continue in dialogue with the Foundation - robust dialogue where necessary - to advance the objectives of the community in the furtherance of open knowledge.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 21:19, 15 November 2015 (UTC).Reply[reply]
  • A clear statement of good will has been made. That's it for me. It was not a painless move, but a necessary one. I am indeed hopeful about the future of this "dialogue with the Foundation". José Luiz talk 21:55, 15 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It may sound like a positive act but history has shown that this 'good faith' won't last. With Wikipedia and all its offshoots being Internet based electronic products,its management company of now over 200 employees does not even physically sit in the same building. It's time this huge and cumbersome machine the 'WMF has become stops its navel-gazing in order to come out of its bubble for a moment and realise that there are tens of thousands of dedicated, active editors out here, some even putting in a 20 - 40 hour week for free, who are providing the Foundation with its raison d'être. And then we can really say: A clear statement of good will has been made. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 22:26, 15 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Hi, as point of contact for this announcement, there are a couple of observations that I would like to share. "All parties would be better served by a single, thorough, carefully written announcement." mw:WMF product development process/2015-11-05 is the canonical location of the announcement, and it offers a central location for Discussion. The announcement and its Q&A were echoed in several channels. There was feedback in several places, I have been the single point of contact replying, and I have been updating the Q&A accordingly. The only other WMF speaker making statements about the announcement was Lila, echoing the news on the same day, at an appropriate venue such as the Metrics meeting. "The Foundation (...) declined to address the context." The context of Superprotect is the WMF product development process. This process documented and agreed with the communities is the right tool to prevent and address situations like the one that lead to the use of Superprotect. The draft is under discussion, and there you can find already now several WMF voices discussing openly from their roles as VP of Product, Director of Community Engagement (Product), Lead Software Architect, Agile Coach, Software Engineer... Owners and stakeholders addressing topics like Between "Concept" and "Plan" - Prioritize? or Community input prior to build phase is exactly what needs to happen in order to resolve "the underlying problem of disagreement and consequent delays", from which Superprotect was one manifestation. Peteforsyth and anybody else interested in this discussion, if you have questions or feedback about how the WMF should develop and deploy software, mw:Talk:WMF product development process is the best venue to discuss and agree on the best implementable solutions.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 07:44, 16 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To me, the core issue here is that the WMF is treating this as some kind of disagreement over software development practices (just look at the title of the announcement, and the fact it was made on the MediaWiki wiki, which is focused on development of the MediaWiki software), when it isn't. It's a social conflict over the role and powers of the WMF. Few people care about intricacies like how software changes are deployed. What the people who protested over superprotect want is a frank acknowledgement from the WMF (and probably from the Executive Director or someone else high-ranking, who is seen as speaking for the organization as a whole) that they screwed up and won't do it again, and maybe a discussion about when and how the WMF should be able to overrule the community. This whole imbroglio has been a specific demonstration of what I see as the problem with the WMF's mindset. The WMF sees itself primarily as a software development house, which is why its default answer to every problem seems to be trying to cook up some whiz-bang piece of software that will fix an issue. But not all problems are technical problems. The projects are communities, not just bytes sitting on hard drives, and in my view the WMF needs to shift more of its focus towards actively fostering healthy communities instead of just being "the people who run the servers". Of course, in doing so, the WMF needs to be aware of the existing bad blood between it and the projects, and needs to make an effort to patch up relations and work in collaboration with the communities instead of imposing things. I think things like the Community Tech team are a step in the right direction, though I'd like to see something not narrowly confined to the area of software development. -- (talk) 11:16, 16 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"if you have questions or feedback about how the WMF should develop and deploy software the best venue to discuss and agree"... is a FLOW talk board!! (mw:Talk:WMF product development process) Brilliant! Good god. --Atlasowa (talk) 11:51, 16 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Qgil-WMF:, I have a strong positive impression of your role in addressing Superprotect; thank you for your efforts. But there is a fundamental problem with your urging people to use what you call a central place for discussion: the letter in question identifies conditions its signatories consider necessary for having that kind of tactical discussion. The issues, in my view and (I believe) those others who signed the letter, remain at the strategic level, and involve (as stated by the IP immediately above) social dynamics that extend beyond software development. I will not be engaging in depth in evaluating the any proposed development system until I am satisfied that these conditions have been met. I suspect you will find that others who have signed the letter will also decline to engage strongly there, unless they consider the letter's requests to have been granted.
Also, you state that Lila Tretikov was the "only" other WMF person making statements about this; but Trustee Dariusz Jemielniak, and employees Dan Garry and Brion Vibber also responded substantively on the Wikimedia-L list, other staffers have commented on the MediaWiki page you link, and I believe still others have commented in other venues. If you are making some distinction between "official" comments and some other kind of comments, it is opaque to me -- partly because neither your initial announcement nor Lila Tretikov's carried any trappings of officialdom (e.g., press release, blog post, statement that it is a considered action of the WMF, etc.) Could you clarify? -Pete (talk) 13:19, 16 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You seem to be forgetting the tens of thousands of Users who did not sign the letter, a letter which appeared either petty in substance or petulant in demand - just like your 'we won't talk to you until all our demands are met' looks petty and petulant. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:55, 18 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Alanscottwalker: I can't really speak to your perceptions, except to point out a couple things that you seem to have missed:
  • Three of the five poll questions I put forward were addressed to (as you put it) the tens of thousands who didn't sign.
  • I talk to Wikimedia Foundation staff frequently, and have not refused to do so. What you identify as personal petulance is actually straightforward prioritizing. As a general rule, it doesn't make much sense in any context to delve into specifics, when there are unresolved broader issues. -Pete (talk) 20:43, 20 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


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