Whatever happened to Aunt Flo?

Discussion about the most popular wiki software and other technologies enabling collaborative volunteer-written encyclopedias.
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Renée Bagslint
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Whatever happened to Aunt Flo?

Post by Renée Bagslint » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:38 am

Long-time observers of the scene may remember Flow, an all-singing all-dancing workflow management system which would impose a WMF-mandated structure on all Wikimedia projects. This wildly ambitious project, the brainchild of Brandon "Jorm" Harris survived his sacking, but even the cut-down version that the WMF coders managed to produce was unpopular with actual users: it was rather like a poorly designed 1990s bulletin board only worse. Lila Tretikov never quite brought herself to kill it off. As Wikipedia:Flow and its archives show, the English Wikipedia community reacted to it in the same way as they had to Media Viewer, Gather, Visual Editor and the other abominations: scorn derision and contempt, with some well-aimed missiles from Fram holing it below the waterline. The WMF team that spawned it, Collaboration, no Global Collaboration, no Collaboration again, no Growth -- well, anyway, whoever -- has replaced it with Structured Discussions, totally not Flow at all. They have decided to impose it on some less obstreperous projects, but the team page shows that nothing has happened since last year. The one constant in all of this is James Forrester, who presumably resists having it killed off as it might expose him to embrassing questions like what does he actually do all day.

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Auggie
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Re: Whatever happened to Aunt Flo?

Post by Auggie » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:25 pm

I think Wil Sinclair tried it on his wiki, Offwiki. It was as bad as everyone says.

I'm trying not to harp on it because some things just don't pan out. At least back then the WMF was exploring ways to make the wiki work better. Yes they were morons about it, but still they get points for trying.

Nowadays the WMF couldn't care less about the wiki. They found they get less static if they do absolutely nothing. A building full of people with bloated paychecks and no real purpose because the technical side only needs a much smaller team. They're bored out of their minds, hence the social justice nonsense.

Renée Bagslint
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Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:43 pm

Re: Whatever happened to Aunt Flo?

Post by Renée Bagslint » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:14 pm

Auggie wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:25 pm
I'm trying not to harp on it because some things just don't pan out. At least back then the WMF was exploring ways to make the wiki work better. Yes they were morons about it, but still they get points for trying.

Nowadays the WMF couldn't care less about the wiki. They found they get less static if they do absolutely nothing. A building full of people with bloated paychecks and no real purpose because the technical side only needs a much smaller team. They're bored out of their minds, hence the social justice nonsense.
No, it didn't pan out, possibly because it was misconceived from the beginning. But people are still being paid salaries out of the donors' dollars to pretend that they can make it work and indeed to pretend they are working on it. That's why it's worth continuing scrutiny.

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Auggie
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Re: Whatever happened to Aunt Flo?

Post by Auggie » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:21 pm

You're right. It is unbelievable that they haven't cut their losses by this point.

There has to be a better way to do what they're trying to do by now.

Renée Bagslint
Posts: 275
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:43 pm

Re: Whatever happened to Aunt Flo?

Post by Renée Bagslint » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:03 pm

Jörmungandr, the world serpent of Norse mythology, encircles Middle Earth, coiled on itself and devouring its own tail. At the end of the world it will rise and its vomit will poison the seas and sky. No doubt this myth inspired namesake Jorm to devise the Flow project, endlessly devouring itself, but which cannot be destroyed until the final battle at the end of time. The WMF blogs on its wonderful new site, on which comments by the unwashed masses are no longer possible(*), that Abbey Ripstra,Lead Design Researcher, and James Forrester are Understanding workflows of Wikimedia editors. So Flow rises again. Are the last days upon us? Will its vomit poison the world? Probably not the whole world, but likely that small corner of it called Wikimedia. But James has a job, so all is well.

(*) I'll modestly take some of the credit for that.

Renée Bagslint
Posts: 275
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:43 pm

Re: Whatever happened to Aunt Flo?

Post by Renée Bagslint » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:36 am

Hamlet wrote:Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.
Aunt Flow has a new piece of JADE.

JADE -- the Judgment and Dialogue Engine, is a system for wiki communities to annotate pages, revisions, and diffs. A new namespace called "Judgment" to support annotation and evaluation, using ORES, an AI service.

It all sounds very ambitious, and is clearly Flow 2.0 -- this time with AI! -- being designed and written by the same people who took years to produce a half-decent editor. Wait for the grant applications, it could be the next Knowledge Engine.

What could possibly go wrong?

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