Small wiki toolkits/Meeting notes

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This page contains notes from a few meetings between the members of the Small wiki toolkits initiative.

March 25th, 2020[edit]

Andre, Srishti, Birgit

  • Questions to discuss:
    • How to work with the page on Meta?
    • How to build up a network?
    • How to keep the conversation flow?
    • How to connect events-onwiki work?
  • B: The network building part.
  • B: have two or three links on the meta page where it's most likely that you will find answers to questions. E.g. wikimedia-tech@, project chat on mw.org, IRC.
  • S: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Small_Wiki_Monitoring_Team is related; they have permissions; some might also be interested in Small Wiki Tool Kits.
  • S: Bringing social element to Small Wiki Toolkits page on meta-wiki:
    • Link https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech from SWT page, and all other relevant pages such as user scripts and gadgets, Lua, templates, etc.
      • We're not convinced that meta:Tech is the best place but we should watch it. https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Project:Support_desk is more active.
    • For project-specific information, we encourage folks to ask a question on the talk page.
    • Add a section “Ongoing projects”. In it, add a link to the Phabricator task on small wiki toolkits starter kit Phabricator task. Also, to meeting notes, which could live here Small_wiki_toolkits/Starter_kit/Meeting_notes.
    • Add to “Upcoming events”, information about the online workshop if/when it is ready.
    • Maybe after we execute all of these steps, we send a note to village pumps with these updates, explicitly highlighting a dedicated venue for asking questions. Do we have anything else to share with them? Also, to explore projects like https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech/Ambassadors/List and investigate how to get them involved. Any other similar lists we should look into?
    • Follow up email for the swt group

February 25th, 2020[edit]

Zack, Martin, Jayprakash, Andre, Srishti, Birgit

  • Introductions ~5 min
  • Small wiki toolkits project & starter kit overview ~5 min https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Small_wiki_toolkits
  • Imagine a scenario that a wiki has just been set up by a few folks for their language wiki. And, they now need a starter kit to help set it up, support, maintain & grow. Discussion questions:
    • Which technical areas to cover in the starter kit? (e.g., templates) ~15 min
      • M: We should talk about gadgets. Having a central place where you can subscribe to gadgets would be amazing. But leave the possibility for wikis to maintain/customize stuff.
        • New wikis don’t have anyone who can do this work. It would be way easier
      • B: Central repo is a huge project; would it help to identify gadgets that work on multiple wikis / globally, and which e.g. five gadgets are useful for every wiki?
        • M: A manual how to enable specific gadgets would  be better. "If you want HotCat on your wiki, then do this."
      • Z: M, can you explain on global vs local gadgets?
        • M: It is very complex to know how to enable a gadget when you are new to a place
        • Z: Similar experience. Not good documentation on how to localize / transfer a gadget from one to another language wiki. Especially if the Alphabet is not Latin, you have to identify the parts of the code in order to make the gadget work.
        • M: Documentation is the main issue.
        • Z: We would need some kind of structure: Gadgets get a lot of attention across wikis. We already have documentation workflows for templates, if we would have this for gadgets it would already be a good start.
        • S: Is this about clear instructions: You want to import X, so you need to change Y in the code? Or is is about debugging?
        • Z: Most people know how to copy templates over from other languages, it’s not many parameters you need to know. When it comes to javascript scripts or other software with different programming languages; a lot of users find it challenging to import any of those. First challenge is the language issue: You have to deal with English, and then with the programming languages. More efforts to understand how it works/what exactly you would need to change. On top, how can you make it work for rtl? -> do I need to flip this part, yes or no?
        • So, the most difficult part is to get started - they don’t have proper instructions in their language/or any language. They would need help from folks from other communities, or it takes more time to understand the basics.
        • J: We could create a guided tour, like: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:The_Wikipedia_Adventure ; instead of just documenting we should try to make guided tours. I.E. on the topic of how to import gadgets, this might be easier to understand through a guided tour.
        • M: Do new wiki folks know where to find tech support?
          • B: pretty much on their own; sometimes people know others who they can ask, or know where they can go to
          • A: Part of the problem is that there is no “central communication channel” - often doesn’t know where to send people to. Doesn’t feel good to send someone to English Wikipedia with some gadget questions only because there might be people; no place on mw.org
          • J: Maybe https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech used by Indic communities (before Indic-TechCom)?
          • B: What if we create a global network of people who are interested in doing technical skill share, tech support etc.?
          • B: Video tutorials with simple images, to link from different places?
          • J: I am in contact with CIS-A2K, about JS gadgets to create the guided video on how to create userscripts and toolforge tool. We are looking for a recording studio. We will create this pilot video in the coming 3 months.
          • Z: Not necessarily clear that meta:Tech is a discussion page. Not too many replies there.
          • J: Got a rather bad response from community on meta:Tech. Impression: Not much help with problems.
          • Z: Knowing tech people from other communities is really helpful, because sometimes no good docs. Coming up with a network of technical users would be really helpful.
    • Scope of the technical areas: What to include in these technical areas? ~15 min
    • Any similar resources & projects to look into and community members to reach out to, to learn more on this topic ~10 min
      • Z: In Arabic WP: we are a few technical users who are familiar with each other, so you would refer to each other when you don’t know an answer. Would say this is pretty much common across wikis/in different village pumps. We could look at village pumps in different wikis to find those people.
        • ar.wp: https://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/ويكيبيديا:الميدان/تقنية
      • Reach out to communities that have run technical workshops before? E.g. Amical, Indic-TechCom, Argentinian WikiData folks,
      • Z: Idea of network of interested people, giving it some structure, be able to point people who run into tech issue to direction, instead of pointing to individuals, VPs or Phab
    • Related Phab task: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T242545
  • Next steps ~5 min
    • Prioritize!
      • A: Tech categories: Templates, Module, Bots, Tools, Main Page. Create vs Copy / Bot/tool: "adapt it" vs writing new one?
      • A: "Create" network of people to help, in one place (instead of personal requests)
    • Thinking of follow-ups
      • B: Video tutorials?
      • Workshops, trainings
      • Stay in loop, whatever level works for you!


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