Critical issues presentations/The future of user tools

From Wikimania 2016 • Esino Lario, Italy
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Submission no. 24
Title of the submission

The future of user tools

Author of the submission
  • Marc-André Pelletier
Country of origin



Policy, Projects, Technical

  • developers
  • tools
  • labs
  • production

What happens to volunteer-written tools when they become critical?

Much of the work around the projects is made using tools and interfaces written by, and maintained by, volunteers. From bots to presentation tools, the projects increasingly rely on those for their day-to-day operations.

The Foundation provides assistance and resources for those community developers, but there is no way forward from "hobbyist" status: tools that break entire projects when they do not work are not given the support and reliability commensurate to their importance, and there is no way to "graduate" a tool to critical or production status - no matter how many users depend on them.

There needs to be a way for community-maintained tools to receive the same amount of resources and attention the "official" foundation tools get. After all, "Mediawiki" was once a community-maintained tool!

This presentation proposes a way forward for those neglected components of the projects.


Not accepted