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Just to be somewhat fair, some of the "Discovery" staff are working on maps + geo / openstreetmap support for our projects and are getting stuff done that has been long requested by the community. (+ the Graph extension is also quite nice)

Also, some of the "discovery" staff has been involved / integral in implementing the Wikidata Query Service [1]) which has also long been needed.

The staff have been lumped together into "discovery" and makes them sound extra well-staffed, but think only some of the staff would be involved in work related to the grant. Aude (talk) 18:05, 9 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

And I can't really comment regarding the grant since i'm not informed enough etc. and want to stay somewhat out of the politics aspects. but am saddened by the entire situations and stuff going on :( Aude (talk) 18:08, 9 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Yes and to clarify, I am not directing any "fault" at the staff on the discovery team. There are some great programmers there who have been doing excellent work, much of which is definitely needed. This is more about the long term plans for that team as have been expressed to a third party. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:20, 9 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
AFAICS, the "Discovery" team has nothing to do with mw:Extension:Graph?! (Yurik announcing live graph extension on May 5, 2015: "Project history: Exactly one year ago, Dan Andreescu (milimetric) and Jon Robson demoed Vega visualization grammar <> usage in MediaWiki. The project stayed dormant for almost half a year, until Zero team decided it was a good solution to do on-wiki graphs. The project was rewritten, and gained many new features, such as template parameters. Yet, doing graphs just for Zero portal seemed silly.") --Atlasowa (talk) 19:32, 9 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Yurik is working in the "Discovery" team and continues to support + improve the Graph extension. The initial concept was indeed implemented at the Zurich hackathon in 2014 and used initally for Zero. (anyway, just saying how staff got "lumped" together in the reorganization back in May, and not sure about "extra well staffed" in relation to "knowledge engine". Maybe "well staffed"...) Aude (talk) 23:01, 9 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
@Aude: I hope this includes working on maps + geo / openstreetmap support for the Wikidata Query Service, ala GeoSPARQL. ;) int21h (talk · contribs · email) 02:15, 10 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
@Int21h: I think that does. The query service is being updated to use blazegraph 2.0 which supports + will allow more geo support. Aude (talk) 09:36, 10 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • User:Doc James concluded his tribune by let the facts speak for themselves. Indeed ! The preceding story on the mailing lists was DJ has been ousted for sympathy with the rank and file staffers, against their terrific directors. Not a great success. And now we have: the $250,000 Knight's Grant is the emerging part of a Trojan iceberg. About this new story, one can at least say that "what 10% of our engineering resources are being spent on (ie what exact the discovery team led by Wes Moran is doing)" should be replaced by what 15% of the 90 staffed Product Department lead by Wes Moran are being spent on (i.e. what exactly the 14 staffed Discovery Team led by Tomasz Finc is doing) or by what are doing 8% of the 103 Engineers across the WMF or by anything else that fits the source, i.e. wmf:Staff and contractors.
    By the way, a detailed review of wmf:Template:Staff and contractors is interesting. First of all, everything has been handwritten, day after day, leading to an horrible mess in the hierarchy of sections. This can reflect some uncertainty in the represented hierarchical structure, or the <joke>difficulty of extracting a view from a database</joke>. Perhaps wmf:User:LilaTretikov should also explain the conspiracy that resulted in ousting the TOC from that page. Pldx1 (talk) 10:16, 10 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • James Heilman: ... following pressure which included comments about potentially removing members of the Board. (7 Nov 2015). What is this? I'm sure Jimmy Wales can assure us that this did not happen at all. -DePiep (talk) 20:17, 10 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • I am struggling with the entry for Nov 7, 2015 in the timeline and wonder why in the end Doc James supported the grant. As the entry is written, it leads to the assumption that Doc James supported the Knight Foundation grant more or less because of "pressure which included comments about potentially removing members of the Board". Really? Was this indeed one of the reasons? Would have Doc James opposed the grant or abstained when there would have been no pressure? --AFBorchert (talk) 18:07, 11 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Me too. Let us connect the dots: In the Grant & Knowledge Engine discussion James Heilman received 'comments' about enforced leaving the WMF Board. He then "complied" (gave in). After this, Jimmy Wales correctly (!) can state: "The removal of James as a board member was not due to any disagreement about public discussion of our long term strategy". Indeed: because at that time he had given in to the pressure. (So what new 'discussion' happened after Nov 7?)
Then today, James Heilman felt the need to propose that Board meetings are videotaped for this reason. -DePiep (talk) 19:28, 11 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
And let us not forget: this is about expelling a Board member to decide, not about reaching a decision by discussion/voting. -DePiep (talk) 19:28, 11 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Has been proposed by others here aswell Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:38, 11 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I see. Check that reply quote, pure gold (bold added):

A poor idea. One of the great strengths of our board is that we have a culture of open, honest, challenging conversations within the board. People are able to raise controversial points privately, and explore "devil's advocate" positions freely. Live broadcast of board meetings would lead to board meetings that would be like the board panel at Wikimania - informative for the community, but not conducive to deep exploration of issues. In particular, this approach would seriously damage the community-elected board members as they would have to gauge their every word against the public perception.

— Jimmy Wales, 30 December 2015 [2]
To state the obvious: really, Jimmy Wales does not need to protect community members this way and in hindsight at that to selfserve. He should have stand for such protection when it was needed. Nov 7 for starters. -DePiep (talk) 20:43, 11 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

These are some interesting documents that will hopefully help connect a few more dots.[3] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:47, 11 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Yep. For example: "1. Software: ... With the [Knight] Foundation's prior written consent, Grantee [WMF] may use another open source software license approved by the OSI" (p. 5/13 pdf). -DePiep (talk) 21:55, 11 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Posting similar content from JWs talk page. And another few key passages include:

  • "Knowledge Engine by Wikipedia will be the Internet's first transparent search engine, and the first one originated by the Wikimedia Foundation"
  • "a system for discovering reliable and trustworthy public information on the Internet"
  • "would users go to Wikipedia if it were an open channel beyond an encyclopedia"
  • "federation of open data sources"
  • "proceed with the search engine project as deliberately as possible - which is what the Wikimedia Foundation is doing"

User:WMoran (WMF) went so far as correcting the Discovery FAQ here on November 5th to clarify that the answer to the "are you building a new search engine" question was not "no" but "we are not building Google". Of course we are not building Google. That product has already been build by someone. And than User:Peteforsyth corrected the question to match the answer on Jan 9th.[4]

It however does appear to me that we are building a search engine. Or at least the Knight Foundation appears to think so. I do not know how to reconcile these documents with Jimbo's statement "nothing at all about the Knight grant... is in any way related to or suggestive of a google-like search engine" Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:29, 11 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]


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