Submissions/CollaborationKit and the WikiProjects of tomorrow

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This is an Open submission for Wikimania 2017 that has not yet been reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Submission no. 3038 - T1
Title of the submission
CollaborationKit and the WikiProjects of tomorrow
Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)
Author of the submission
Language of presentation
E-mail address
Isarra, with harej and bawolff (probably)
Country of origin
USA, Canada
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
WikiProject X
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)
Ostensibly, WikiProjects are supposed to be community workspaces for coordinating and collaborating on particular topics, tracking progress, alerting members of changes, and removing the overhead required for editors to find things to edit. In practice, they are often essentially manuals - written up in the same wikitext as the rest of the site, documenting the intended workflows and resources for their subject area, and progressively getting longer as time goes on. They are very difficult to maintain. They often die. We wanted to change this.
So we got an IEG. We researched. We prototyped. We reached out to WikiProjects of all levels of success and activity. We fell massively, massively behind schedule.
IEGs changed. Project grants emerged. Suddenly writing software was within scope. So, as a pair of idiots who figured we'd already seen it all, we embarked on a new project in our renewall - to develop the prototypes into a standalone MediaWiki extension utilising ContentHandler in order to abstract away all the minutia and let the users deal only in a pile of pretty forms.
This is our story: how broken ContentHandler turned out to be (it's better now, don't worry); how one designer/dev (me) turned out to be nowhere near enough (but then we got bawolff, and harej turned himself into a dev as well, and everything worked out); how terribly, terribly wrong we were about everything we'd thought in terms of budget and schedule (but we, er, finished eventually); and everything in between. Also how nicely CollaborationKit ultimately turned out to be (and this isn't just the Stockholm syndrome talking). Look at this thing, seriously.
What will attendees take away from this session?
  • Insight into development practices and how new internal features get adopted (it's basically the same as getting editors to adopt new features: a huge mess (though perhaps caused by different things))
  • Amusement
  • Inspiration to go create their own WikiProjects because it's actually easy now (or if it's not deployed yet, will be when it is)
Theme of presentation
  • Technology, Interface & Infrastructure
  • WikiCulture & Community
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Interested attendees

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  1. Amir É. Aharoni (talk) 10:33, 11 April 2017 (UTC)