MediaWiki Usage Report 2015/What would you like to see most improved in the community around MediaWiki?

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Out of 83 answers.

Wishes are:

Development less Wikimedia-centric, visibility and impact of dev community

  • “Dedicated software team separated from wikipedia so that the nonprofit foundation unctions separately. Right now improvements to software seem highly tied to wikipedia and ideally the software should exist similarly to the wordpress setup with a .org and a .com (one maintained open source and one maintaining wikipedia). Hopefully this would allow for greater software development for the growing distributed install based of mediawiki based sites so we feel more apart of a software community even though we don't have content on wikipedia.”
  • This has been brought up on the mailing lists before, but it would be nice if the development around MediaWiki were less Wikipedia-centric and took more into consideration the needs of MW users outside WikiMedia. While we all understand that Wikipedia is the chief user and poster child for the software, by releasing it for others to use WikiMedia now has an obligation to listen to its outside users. Bug reporting and handling isn't the issue there, but adding or changing features requires better coordination and communication.
  • Less influence from WMF
  • Also, there's very much a wikipedia centric focus. That's not unsurprising or necessarily always bad, but there are cases where it's detrimental to the improvement of the community. For instance, from what I've seen the development of an Upload UI for VisualEditor has been stalled out due to copyright concerns. While this is a very valid concern for the open internet at large, but for internal wikis we'd at at least like something bare-bones we can use. In a corporate environment, lacking an editor that is "easy to use" is a big detractor.
  • I'd love to see the Wikimedia Foundation engage the MediaWiki community - specifically the enterprise group of MediaWiki users. I think that rich exchange could be mutually beneficial.

MediaWiki conference

  • It would be good to have a MediaWiki conference.
  • More collaboration and involvement in the third-party MediaWiki community from all users. More events about MediaWiki not directly tied to Wikipedia or other WMF-lead events.

Editor-in-chief on mediawiki.org

  • There should be somebody for community liaison (as well as editor in chief) on mediawiki.org too. At least I am not aware of any person doing such thing. mediawiki.org is basically an abandoned wiki.

Visually appealing community ressources

  • Better community resources that don't look like web pages from the late 1990s. One can do modern-looking web pages in MediaWiki, too. Extension and skin search could be done with SMW and friends using very nice UIs. There is support for in-wiki faceted browsers and query forms to find pages. Everything can be skinned to use more images in search results. But someone has to put in the work to build these web pages.

Documentation – for users

  • Common language for users, and tutorials for common users for installation of the more complex extensions, for example, I still cannot figure out how to install Visual Editor successfully on Shared Hosting. There is nothing out there that explains how.
  • Some of the documentation should be improved, including cleaning up the discussion pages on documentation.
  • better documentation
  • Better documentation of the minor/less common features. (ca. all the red links on MediaWiki.org)

Documentation – for developers

  • Better developer docs
  • Better documentation for both new users and extension developers, easier access to core developers for help in developing extensions, more mechanisms to foster collaborative development.

Development

  • As a volunteer, I find it hard to get code reviews in a timely fashion or at all. I've resorted to regularly +2ing my own commits to keep forward progress on the extension I maintain. I was fastidious and extremely patient for reviews of my initial rewrite but gave up shortly after. I must say i18n/l10n reviews are timely and very good.
  • Clear regulations how developers can participate and which technologies are supported in the next years.
  • "Extension champions" to counter the "extension nazis" who seem to delete every extension I find essential at some point!
  • Easier entry in points of development.
  • group of devs seem a rather closed up group. questions regarding development issues get seldom answered
  • Better process and docs - gerrit, git, etc. a real pain for beginners.
  • Technical knowledge, understanding architecture and best standards to extensions. Create developers communities in the region or countries, migth in LATAM.
  • I'm not critical but I want it to be easy to get into and use phabricator and the other developer tools which seem to be changing all the time. my attentiveness is sporadic so I am never caught up, sometimes trying to catch up. easier setup and ways to help fix.
  • People being super picky about commit message formatting in Gerrit. It is 2015. This is why word wrap exists.

A community for enterprise users

  • Creating a Company that supports Enterprise users. I'd love to see a "Genossenschaft" for this. That would be a for profit Foundation that targets Enterprises.
  • I'd like to see the enterprise community find ways to be on the same page, and the contribute together to help make MediaWiki even stronger.
  • It should start to care about the needs of 3rd party (non-WMF) users and it's own projects that are not just Wikipedia.

Sharing knowledge

  • A bit more user-orientated (compared to developers' orientation), more women, more sharing of knowledge apart from dev's

Strategy

  • Have a plan.
  • There is no strategy for all MediaWiki users. Only Wikipedia is in the focus.
  • Missing a vision on where stuff is going for normal users
  • More leadership, an actual roadmap. The recent changes in the role of the architecture committee are promising.
  • Roadmap/architecture/governance model
  • The creation of a clear strategy going forward so we know what to expect in the development roadmap

Ease of joining the community

  • It feels like there is an elite and they are unaccessible for you.
  • To actually allow new people to join the community.
  • Ease of joining

Communication tools and help

  • IRC is no help, BTW. It's alien to 99% of people, and the only times I've tried asking there, I was ignored. It's hopeless for newcomers.
  • I would like to see better participation in IRC. I have asked questions at times and received great response. Other times, no reply at all. It's also confusing to be directed to another channel (like VisualEditor), but then have no voice privilege there to ask a question.
  • Easier to know who to speak to for talking about a subject
  • Non-public ways to get help from the community
  • People backing up their words with actions.
  • Best solution, IMO, would be a mediawiki channel on StackOverflow... If this already exists, stop having discussion on mw.org.
  • It's very hard to find relevant discussion threads, because stuff goes stale so fast (wrt versions of things mainly). Often there is no input at all from the developers or other people that could probably help.

Connection between admins, 3rd party users

  • Improved connectivity between users. We are making a lot of effort to connect developers, but have never managed to empower the tens of thousands of wiki administrators. This might also boost the number of contributors.
  • 3rd party MediaWiki users unite!
  • Support for private wikis, or maybe better communication around private wikis. The impression that I get is that private wikis are a little bit of an afterthought. It's still good that we're addressed and not ignored, but I suspect there may be more out there in corporate environments than people are aware of.

Support for new admins/users

  • More support for absolute beginners like myself

Other: Extension and software handling

  • 2. Extensions should be easier to install.
  • I could see Mediawiki, in combination with query-based tools (SMW, DPL, Cargo) making serious inroads in this space, if it was easier to get a platform set up and working. It works for us, but only with heavy investment from developers in our group.
  • In particular, the Ponydocs extension holds GREAT promise to transform the whole industry - but only IF there were a lot more folks using it, contributing extensions and query-based tools samples, to solve the various content problems software orgs come up against.
  • Continuous extension development. Lot's of extensions are not up to date with the latest MediaWiki version and the risk is quite high that a current extension cannot be used in future.
  • better, more centralized extension, "app store". hard to find some extensions and hard to guess if extensions still work with the latest mw versions when they are very old.
  • Visibility of extensions. How can I know which ones are good and widely used?
  • Technical support of third party extensions
  • identification of core extensions. skins, configuration details (extensions)
  • Semantic MediaWiki and related extensions
  • Does anyone use vanilla MW? The MW download page should encourage certain standardized builds of MW+extensions.
  • Prompt alerts and advice for spam and intrusion prevention.
  • shared maintenance and updating of core extensions. easy ways to find other MW hackers or implementers near me. access to good ~free wikifarms for times when I don't have time to spin up a new wiki myself.

Other: Documentation

  • The documentation.
  • the software documentation needs a lot improvement
  • More support for easy-to-use plugins/extensions that help with data display & visualization
  • I believe mediawiki.org doesn't serve the community well enough. We need:1. a proper system for extension listing and rating.2. a major overhaul of documentation - just look at the list of orphaned pages, for example... [https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:LonelyPages]
  • More examples of how to do things

??

  • IMO, the vendor software around this industry, which is all XML-based, is out of date and not responsive to modern web-based users.
  • Asked jUan? To be jUan!
  • A focus on the software technical documentation industry.
  • Continued improvements to the organisation of developer materials, and perhaps even the possibly of offering hosted platforms to facilitate take-up for potential users.
  • github/gerrit installation and use
  • Paladox
  • I understand why it is what it is but the extensions documentation is often lacking in depth and timeliness.
  • see above
  • maybe the visibility of the ability to anybody to help. oh, bot is quite speed and rude with people try to help
  • More awareness and support on each other hosting MediaWiki sites. EnterpriseMediaWiki and the GitHub page are good starts.
  • The design is looking a little dated, but otherwise it's familiar and useful.

+++

  • Actually think the community is very healthy.
  • Community is OK, as far as I can see.
  • Nothing
  • No complaints
  • N/A
  • I don't see that the community needs to be improved.
  • Everything fine. :)
  • Well, it is impressive as it is. Can't think of improvements really.
  • I'm not sure what I have to fill in here :)
  • I'm not too involved in the community, so it's difficult to comment.
  • i don't know.... i'm not really active in the community.
  • Not enough experience to comment on that