Submissions/The eternal clash between developers and community

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

After careful consideration, the programme committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2013 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
The eternal clash between developers and community
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Kim Schoonover
Country of origin
English Wikipedian and MediaWiki developer
E-mail address
Personal homepage or blog
This presentation will discuss the clash and simultaneous duality between developers and communities, between those who work to make the projects function and those who work to make the content worth reading.
Detailed proposal

Any developer will tell you that dealing with users can utterly suck - be they the ones demanding more sparkle, more sparkle! or those calling for blood at the slightest change. Especially in a very volunteer-driven setting, we have all had to deal with this from time to time from either side, even non-developers - OTRS folks having to explain to demanding readers that we don't work here and we cannot edit Wikipedia for you, same as an extension developer having to explain to a community that sorry, but I just don't have time to implement this particular feature you want.

In the end, it boils down to a lot of the same - people on whatever side who just don't understand the other, expecting things that just ain't so and contributing to the stress of what might otherwise have been a very straight-forward situation. Users don't like a change, designers expect a community wants something they don't. Community stops to get consensus before accepting a deploy, or has consensus that they want something that simply isn't feasible to implement for whatever reason.

And through it all, it's so easy to forget that it goes both ways. A community dealing with the developers reacts the way they do because they fear for their project, and it is so easy for developers to not consider all aspects of a community even when dealing with a single one, let alone several hundred such as Wikimedia hosts.

If anyone else would also like to talk on this topic, I'd appreciate the company. It's a big one.

  • WikiCulture and Community
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
I will go if I can.
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

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  1. ShenMi MeiRen (talk) 12:13, 25 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Possibly. I've got a longstanding interest in trying to redirect developers to do things that are useful, not just cool. WereSpielChequers (talk) 23:24, 28 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Blue Rasberry (talk) 08:54, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Simon Villeneuve
  5. ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 18:38, 18 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Slashme (talk) 19:00, 7 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Graham87 (talk) 13:17, 5 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]