LQT Conspiracy Theories
The question about my role in WikEd is reasonable and I can understand the confusion. Since taking a job with WMF in January, I consider myself a "transitional hosting provider" for the wiki. I've not charged COL for any services other than for the server cost for a long time, and have tried to help out where I can as a volunteer. Wayne is transitioning to a new hosting arrangement, and I have given two volunteers from the WikEd community (Wen Chen and Jim Tittsler) full administrative access to the server.
As I've said before, if the community decides through any process to turn off LQT, that's its decision to make and implement: it has both the ability and the volunteer resources to do so. As we've made continual improvements since September 1, it continues to be my position as a volunteer and advisor that WikEd would be best served by helping to collect and resolve the key reservations regarding LQT, even if it decides to disable the technology at this point.
It seems clear to me that of all available technologies to build an easy-to-use discussion system for wiki newbies, LQT is by far the furthest along, and is the most likely to actually meet the needs of a community that is not dominated by technical users.
Thank-you for this clarification.
Could you please make the specification (requirement) documents of the improvements you have made since September 1st available to me, or point me toward the repository where they can be found. I would like to document WE needs regarding LQT in a specification format that you are familiar with. I created a user story in a related post (http://groups.google.com/group/wikieducator/msg/39b0e4c36be90f7b?hl=en), but I am uncertain if you are familiar with Agile approaches.
I honestly believe that a tabbed approach is the best compromise and a specification (user story) describing this may be a good place to start.
Peter and Leigh,
mmmm not sure that this is a productive discussion --- because not all the facts are on the table.
First, Erik has been an amazing pillar of support in getting WikiEducator to where it is today. I know of at least two occasions these past two months were Erik has stepped in to help out in mission critical reboots of the WE server (in the middle of the night). I contact Erik and he responds immediately to mission critical stuff, free of charge. That's beyond the call of duty. Our community has benefited in uncountable ways from Erik's extensive experience in open community models -- and I can assure you that his advice and support have accelerated WE's success by an order of magnitude. I confirm that the only costs COL has incurred in running WE since joining WMF have been the physical hosting costs of the server.
I also confirm that the hosting services provided by Jim and Wen Chen have been provided free of charge -- you have no idea of the levels of technical support the WE project receives from the gifting culture of many individuals. If we continue to criticise good intentions and contributions from our community -- we're a project in trouble.
Many of the refinements and work the team have been doing on LQT have not been implemented on the WikiEducator server because we are running an older version of the Mediawiki software. I take full responsibility for this, as I have instructed Jim and Wen to hold back on the updates to the server until I have clarity on a reliable hosting service for phase 2 hosting. I took this decision in the best interests of the future of WikiEducator, because I did not want to create future cost dependencies for a project which is moving into a new era. Gee I look forward to the Council because then they can take the wrap for decisions I've been forced to take on my own. The contracting processes used at international agencies are complex and there are a raft of contract related issues that need to be resolved with the migration of a project the size of WE. While these decisions take time, COL has been most supportive in finding the right solution.
So I do apologise for these teething problems in migrating to a new future. But so far, I'm the one carrying the load on top of all my other responsibilities. I ask for your understanding, support and help while we get all this detail sorted.
Thanks for all this clarification. I guess it all means that phase 2 hosting is near the top of your list?!?. Any time frame for phase 2 going live? As it would seem that may positive steps for WE are being held back by our current hosting situation...
As for productivity, it's never been so clear to me that I need to advocate for a tabbed approach once the new hosting is in place.
Hi Peter --
Believe me -- Phase 2 hosting is on the top of my list (along with 10 other things :-( ).
Next week I'm going to progress our discussions with Athabasca Uni -- who have offered to host the servers. I need to get a final decision on the actual boxes and then quotes for leasing. Not too straight forward -- because AU have offered us use of their storage systems (as opposed to RAID) and we need to figure this out. The next step is drafting contracts of the leasing, which is complicated by the fact that after 1 May these contracts need to be transferred to the new entity.
Assuming we can get contracts out within 2 weeks (optimistic), take delivery time into account plus the time Jim & Wen need to set up the servers --- depending on their availability would give you some idea of time line.