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anthony
So who is this Danese Cooper? I see that David Gerard created her BLP in 2005. On that point alone I'm skeptical.
Zoloft
That BLP is very different today. It links to her blog and other sources. She's had a long tech career, appears to be an Open Source evangelist, coder, and advocate for women in IT.

Seems like an excellent choice, really.

I would hire her if i wanted to energize a team.
thekohser
She looks like a Napa Valley "real estate agent of the stars".

I should also add, her IQ is likely 20 points higher than mine, and she's got about 6 times more hair than me, so I'm not one to talk.
anthony
QUOTE(Zoloft @ Thu 28th January 2010, 11:44pm) *

That BLP is very different today. It links to her blog and other sources.


Yeah, the DivaBlog of the Open Source Diva, the title of which I think would have counted as a strike against her even if I hadn't associated the name with David Gerard.

QUOTE(Zoloft @ Thu 28th January 2010, 11:44pm) *

She's had a long tech career, appears to be an Open Source evangelist, coder, and advocate for women in IT.

Seems like an excellent choice, really.


A very fitting one, anyway.

I was just talking to a friend of mine two days ago about how Sun totally screwed up a successful business (and making fun of the fact that its ticker symbol is JAVA). Not sure how much of that was Cooper's fault, though.
TungstenCarbide
QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 29th January 2010, 2:17am) *

She looks like a Napa Valley "real estate agent of the stars".

I should also add, her IQ is likely 20 points higher than mine, and she's got about 6 times more hair than me, so I'm not one to talk.

She's hyperopic, too.
Milton Roe
QUOTE(TungstenCarbide @ Thu 28th January 2010, 7:50pm) *

QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 29th January 2010, 2:17am) *

She looks like a Napa Valley "real estate agent of the stars".

I should also add, her IQ is likely 20 points higher than mine, and she's got about 6 times more hair than me, so I'm not one to talk.

She's hyperopic, too.

Sure enough. That right eye is bigger than life, not smaller.

That's a rare condition in intelligent early-readers, who usually end up myopic.

Good catch, O optometrically knowlegable one. blink.gif
Somey
Seems to me they need someone whose OSS background is LAMP, not Java and OO.o...? hmmm.gif

Sorry, I just thought it would be fun to use a few buzzword acronyms.

The main thing to be concerned about now is who drives feature prioritization. If it's still going to be Jimbo and Erik Moeller, then we can probably expect more of the same, i.e., vaporware, or nothing of any value whatsoever. If it's Cooper, then it remains to be seen, but the mere fact that Cooper is female is probably a good sign. Females tend to be more compassionate and less narcissistic, though of course we've seen plenty of exceptions to that in Wikiland. Still, almost anybody is likely to be more compassionate and less narcissistic than Erik Moeller and Jimbo.

Anyway, it's always best to give people a chance to show what they're about before assuming the worst. I say we give her at least a couple of weeks before concluding that her tenure as CTO is a complete failure.
dogbiscuit
QUOTE(Somey @ Fri 29th January 2010, 7:35am) *

Seems to me they need someone whose OSS background is LAMP, not Java and OO.o...? hmmm.gif

Sorry, I just thought it would be fun to use a few buzzword acronyms.

The main thing to be concerned about now is who drives feature prioritization. If it's still going to be Jimbo and Erik Moeller, then we can probably expect more of the same, i.e., vaporware, or nothing of any value whatsoever. If it's Cooper, then it remains to be seen, but the mere fact that Cooper is female is probably a good sign. Females tend to be more compassionate and less narcissistic, though of course we've seen plenty of exceptions to that in Wikiland. Still, almost anybody is likely to be more compassionate and less narcissistic than Erik Moeller and Jimbo.

Anyway, it's always best to give people a chance to show what they're about before assuming the worst. I say we give her at least a couple of weeks before concluding that her tenure as CTO is a complete failure.

I'm confused, wasn't Erik chosen as the GodKing of technology? Presumably, at least we can conclude that HIS tenure as CTO was a complete failure? Presumably he gets to hang around on a nice salary.
Somey
QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Fri 29th January 2010, 2:41am) *
I'm confused, wasn't Erik chosen as the GodKing of technology? Presumably, at least we can conclude that HIS tenure as CTO was a complete failure? Presumably he gets to hang around on a nice salary.

Erik is the Deputy Director - Brion Vibber was the CTO. Other than that, you probably presume correctly... smile.gif

If the job mostly entails keeping the servers running, and/or keeping the back-end software up-to-date and so on, then Cooper has the wrong background - she seems to be a software development person whose expertise is in Java stuff, not LAMP, which is what I believe Wikipedia runs on. I did notice on her blog (linked directly from her BLP) that her last job was essentially with a "cap-bait" operation. In other words, someone with a million dollars hired her to provide name-recognition (i.e., credibility) in his effort to get a startup company to the point at which he could obtain 10 million dollars from someone else, and once the 10 million was obtained (I'm making wild guesses as to the numbers) he "let her go," since he now had the money in hand and no longer needed someone with a recognizable name. (That isn't quite how she described the situation, but it's fairly obvious, reading between the lines.)

An experience like that can turn a person into a cynic very easily - and it's easy to see why she'd be drawn to the WMF CTO job, since the WMF calls itself a non-profit and therefore doesn't look like a cap-bait operation, at least on the surface. However, it is still a fairly small operation, and if she's going to be working under the same terms as Brion Vibber, i.e., answerable to Erik Moeller, that could be worse than unemployment.
GlassBeadGame
QUOTE(Somey @ Fri 29th January 2010, 4:20am) *

QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Fri 29th January 2010, 2:41am) *
I'm confused, wasn't Erik chosen as the GodKing of technology? Presumably, at least we can conclude that HIS tenure as CTO was a complete failure? Presumably he gets to hang around on a nice salary.

Erik is the Deputy Director - Brion Vibber was the CTO. Other than that, you probably presume correctly... smile.gif

If the job mostly entails keeping the servers running, and/or keeping the back-end software up-to-date and so on, then Cooper has the wrong background - she seems to be a software development person whose expertise is in Java stuff, not LAMP, which is what I believe Wikipedia runs on. I did notice on her blog (linked directly from her BLP) that her last job was essentially with a "cap-bait" operation. In other words, someone with a million dollars hired her to provide name-recognition (i.e., credibility) in his effort to get a startup company to the point at which he could obtain 10 million dollars from someone else, and once the 10 million was obtained (I'm making wild guesses as to the numbers) he "let her go," since he now had the money in hand and no longer needed someone with a recognizable name. (That isn't quite how she described the situation, but it's fairly obvious, reading between the lines.)

An experience like that can turn a person into a cynic very easily - and it's easy to see why she'd be drawn to the WMF CTO job, since the WMF calls itself a non-profit and therefore doesn't look like a cap-bait operation, at least on the surface. However, it is still a fairly small operation, and if she's going to be working under the same terms as Brion Vibber, i.e., answerable to Erik Moeller, that could be worse than unemployment.


I think the CTO has quite a challenge ahead. It can't be easy to justify the expenditure of the bulk of $10,000,000 per year to accomplish exactly what had previously been achieved for $300,000. A better choice might have been the toilet seat guy at the Pentagon or the GM executive who coined the term "burn rate" to described corporate sending in the run-up to bankruptcy.
Jon Awbrey
QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Fri 29th January 2010, 9:15am) *

I think the CTO has quite a challenge ahead. It can't be easy to justify the expenditure of the bulk of $10,000,000 per year to accomplish exactly what had previously been achieved for $300,000. A better choice might have been the toilet seat guy at the Pentagon or the GM executive who coined the term "burn rate" to described corporate sending in the run-up to bankruptcy.


It might be a tough sell if you were talking about anyone but Wikipediots and Blogheads.

Jimme dat new time religion —
Jimme dat new time religion —
Any ole new time religion —
Is good enuff for me !!!


Jon dry.gif
Cock-up-over-conspiracy
Social entropy typical of big time voluntary sector operations. First the idealists burn out then a second class of individuals move in. Obviously a bit part of the game is, "we have to spend the money to attract the type of candidate commensurably to the job at all" because ... obviously ... we need someone responsible when we are dealing with these types of money.

In other words, we have to pay them so they pay be well. And we will keep squeezing it upwards. Altruism in the higher echelons goes out the windows and, gradually, the operation keep requiring more and more time, energy and money in ... and more and more to bring it in ... give less and less out ... and become less and less relevant.

The only ones that last are one that actually do some good ... it will be interesting to see if the Pornopedia can actually deliver.

I, personally, doubt it right now.

Expenditure of $10,000,000 per year ... gosh, that is easy. All those consultants and experts and reviews and meetings and new furniture and own trumpets to blow. Spending is what this second class of individuals are good at.

Hell, they could even spend a few hundred bucks on making the software better and easier for modest, ordinary, informed people ... imagine how much that will cost in consultants to review and oversee?

Are all dem gurls now even going to push for a little race and gender equality amongst contributors? It oughtn't to have been boy toys Lacriox watches in golf magazine ads ... it ought to have been handbags and women's lifestyle magazines.
TungstenCarbide
QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Fri 29th January 2010, 2:15pm) *

QUOTE(Somey @ Fri 29th January 2010, 4:20am) *

QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Fri 29th January 2010, 2:41am) *
I'm confused, wasn't Erik chosen as the GodKing of technology? Presumably, at least we can conclude that HIS tenure as CTO was a complete failure? Presumably he gets to hang around on a nice salary.

Erik is the Deputy Director - Brion Vibber was the CTO. Other than that, you probably presume correctly... smile.gif

If the job mostly entails keeping the servers running, and/or keeping the back-end software up-to-date and so on, then Cooper has the wrong background - she seems to be a software development person whose expertise is in Java stuff, not LAMP, which is what I believe Wikipedia runs on. I did notice on her blog (linked directly from her BLP) that her last job was essentially with a "cap-bait" operation. In other words, someone with a million dollars hired her to provide name-recognition (i.e., credibility) in his effort to get a startup company to the point at which he could obtain 10 million dollars from someone else, and once the 10 million was obtained (I'm making wild guesses as to the numbers) he "let her go," since he now had the money in hand and no longer needed someone with a recognizable name. (That isn't quite how she described the situation, but it's fairly obvious, reading between the lines.)

An experience like that can turn a person into a cynic very easily - and it's easy to see why she'd be drawn to the WMF CTO job, since the WMF calls itself a non-profit and therefore doesn't look like a cap-bait operation, at least on the surface. However, it is still a fairly small operation, and if she's going to be working under the same terms as Brion Vibber, i.e., answerable to Erik Moeller, that could be worse than unemployment.


I think the CTO has quite a challenge ahead. It can't be easy to justify the expenditure of the bulk of $10,000,000 per year to accomplish exactly what had previously been achieved for $300,000. A better choice might have been the toilet seat guy at the Pentagon or the GM executive who coined the term "burn rate" to described corporate sending in the run-up to bankruptcy.


Brion and Tim were legends in their own time for what they did on a shoestring, with mostly opensource software. This was after Wikipedia got popular but before the Foundation started getting lots of money and employees.
Kelly Martin
QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Fri 29th January 2010, 2:41am) *
I'm confused, wasn't Erik chosen as the GodKing of technology? Presumably, at least we can conclude that HIS tenure as CTO was a complete failure? Presumably he gets to hang around on a nice salary.
Erik was Brion's boss, which I've always assumed was done because Sue couldn't be bothered to supervise Brion (who needed supervision; Brion is a technically gifted individual but his organizational and management skills need a lot of honing). It remains to be seen, I suppose, if this individual will also report to Erik das Wunderkind.

I've always assumed Brion's decision to leave was predicated on two things: one, his job mutating from "hack on interesting things" to "prepare budget projections", and two, having to report to Erik. Wikimedia needs a CTO with management experience more than it needs technical wizardry. I honestly believe she was chosen, however, primarily because she's female. Wikimedia is very very upset at the low rate of female participation in Wikimedia projects, and I think this is part of their program to boost that. In addition, she is socially well-connected to the San Francisco open source scene, which is, of course, the playground Jimmy and Co. want to play in.

From the standpoint of her role as a CTO, I don't think she adds a whole lot to Wikimedia. However, in the social networking game that Wikimedia is playing, she probably adds quite a lot.
anthony
QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Fri 29th January 2010, 4:20pm) *

From the standpoint of her role as a CTO, I don't think she adds a whole lot to Wikimedia. However, in the social networking game that Wikimedia is playing, she probably adds quite a lot.


So, would it be fair to say she's the Mike Godwin of computer scientists?
Kelly Martin
QUOTE(anthony @ Fri 29th January 2010, 7:33pm) *

QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Fri 29th January 2010, 4:20pm) *

From the standpoint of her role as a CTO, I don't think she adds a whole lot to Wikimedia. However, in the social networking game that Wikimedia is playing, she probably adds quite a lot.


So, would it be fair to say she's the Mike Godwin of computer scientists?
No, Godwin is actively incompetent. I have no reason to believe that Ms. Cooper is incompetent; in fact, I strongly suspect that she's quite competent in a set of technologies that Wikimedia is not using, and is unlikely to use in the future. It'd be like hiring Julia Childs to run a Vietnamese restaurant.

No, Ms. Cooper's value to Wikimedia is that she is well-known in the open-source open-culture community as an activist, and so she provides name recognition, prestige, and access within that community. Unfortunately, I think she's rather on the outs with Snoracle these days, an entity with whom Wikimedia has had decently good relations in the past. If they brought her in to try to shore up that relationship, which is undoubtedly changing with Larry Ellison calling the shots now, I think that'll be a fail. In any case, none of this has anything to do with her competency as CTO qua CTO, but instead with her ability to expand Wikimedia's social (and fundraising) network.

Alison
QUOTE(Zoloft @ Thu 28th January 2010, 3:44pm) *

That BLP is very different today. It links to her blog and other sources. She's had a long tech career, appears to be an Open Source evangelist, coder, and advocate for women in IT.

Seems like an excellent choice, really.

I would hire her if i wanted to energize a team.

Sounds great to me - give her a chance, folks smile.gif

And hey - she's a Mac gal wink.gif

Full-Width Image
Krimpet
QUOTE(Alison @ Sat 30th January 2010, 12:45am) *

And hey - she's a Mac gal wink.gif

The Open Source Diva℠ uses a proprietary, closed-source platform? tongue.gif
Alison
QUOTE(Krimpet @ Fri 29th January 2010, 10:14pm) *

QUOTE(Alison @ Sat 30th January 2010, 12:45am) *

And hey - she's a Mac gal wink.gif

An Open Source Diva℠ using a proprietary, closed-source platform? tongue.gif

Smartypants!! laugh.gif

* http://opensource.apple.com/
* http://publicsource.apple.com
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach_(kernel)
* http://kernel.macosforge.org/

Lemme know when Microsoft™®© release their core OS sources, mm-kay? biggrin.gif
Krimpet
QUOTE(Alison @ Sat 30th January 2010, 1:18am) *

Smartypants!! laugh.gif

* http://publicsource.apple.com
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach_(kernel)
* http://kernel.macosforge.org/

Lemme know when Microsoft™®© release their kernel sources, mm-kay? biggrin.gif

Releasing a dozen pieces of a hundred-piece puzzle doesn't count. smile.gif (GNU has been trying to implement Cocoa for years, since when it was still "OpenStep," but Apple doesn't seem very interested in helping...)

This actually gets at the heart of the whole "Free" versus "Open Source" battle. The Free Software folks want the entire system to be free for ideological reasons, while Open Source folks just think it's a better methodology to use to build software in certain cases, and are willing to mix and match open-source components with closed-source components in their products as is convenient or profitable. Cooper seems to be strongly affiliated with the latter camp, being involved with the Open Source Initiative.

Wiki[pm]edia has always been about "free content" and "free culture"; the Open Source approach would be akin to Bomis starting Wikipedia so they could package it up as one free part of an otherwise all-rights-reserved "Bomis Encyclopedia of Boobs."

"Open source" buzzwords and posturing aside, the Diva's experience and technical chops seem perfectly acceptable for the job.
Lar
QUOTE(Alison @ Sat 30th January 2010, 12:45am) *

And hey - she's a Mac gal wink.gif

Nobody's perfect! laugh.gif biggrin.gif

KIDDING.


GlassBeadGame
QUOTE(Krimpet @ Sat 30th January 2010, 1:43am) *

QUOTE(Alison @ Sat 30th January 2010, 1:18am) *

Smartypants!! laugh.gif

* http://publicsource.apple.com
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach_(kernel)
* http://kernel.macosforge.org/

Lemme know when Microsoft™®© release their kernel sources, mm-kay? biggrin.gif

Releasing a dozen pieces of a hundred-piece puzzle doesn't count. smile.gif (GNU has been trying to implement Cocoa for years, since when it was still "OpenStep," but Apple doesn't seem very interested in helping...)

This actually gets at the heart of the whole "Free" versus "Open Source" battle. The Free Software folks want the entire system to be free for ideological reasons, while Open Source folks just think it's a better methodology to use to build software in certain cases, and are willing to mix and match open-source components with closed-source components in their products as is convenient or profitable. Cooper seems to be strongly affiliated with the latter camp, being involved with the Open Source Initiative.

Wiki[pm]edia has always been about "free content" and "free culture"; the Open Source approach would be akin to Bomis starting Wikipedia so they could package it up as one free part of an otherwise all-rights-reserved "Bomis Encyclopedia of Boobs."

"Open source" buzzwords and posturing aside, the Diva's experience and technical chops seem perfectly acceptable for the job.



Yes, I believe she can accomplish what has already been achieved with much, much less. Somebody should be asking about the positions of Program Director: BLPs; Editorial Standards; Public Safety and Accountability; etc. These are probably positions commanding salaries of $40,000 - $60,000 and require minimum additional infrastructure. Many positions on less than a Director level are also needed paying less and possibly even telecommuting. $10,000,000 could buy 150 positions on these levels and still pay the Divas, old and new.
Jon Awbrey
QUOTE(anthony @ Thu 28th January 2010, 4:27pm) *

So who is this Danese Cooper?


I think she's related to this guy.

Jon tongue.gif
CharlotteWebb
QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 30th January 2010, 5:48pm) *

I think she's related to this guy.

I don't know who that is, only that I clicked on it expecting to see D. B.
Milton Roe
QUOTE(CharlotteWebb @ Sat 30th January 2010, 12:21pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 30th January 2010, 5:48pm) *

I think she's related to this guy.

I don't know who that is, only that I clicked on it expecting to see D. B.

That D.B. actually never had a middle initial (the press gave it to him). He signed himself "Dan Cooper". But could have been "Dan(ese) Cooper" ermm.gif . fear.gif Nah, she's not old enough.
Cock-up-over-conspiracy
Just as an aside, I have to guess she is damned grateful her father did not own a Morris Mini.

Either she would have gone through life as Mini Cooper ... or perhaps even Issigonis Cooper (which, all the same does have a kind of elegant Pre-Raphaelite ring to it that would match her titian looks).
CharlotteWebb
QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Sat 30th January 2010, 7:33pm) *

That D.B. actually never had a middle initial (the press gave it to him). He signed himself "Dan Cooper". But could have been "Dan(ese) Cooper" ermm.gif . fear.gif Nah, she's not old enough.

Okay, but did the press give him an Italian sports-car? hmmm.gif
thekohser
QUOTE(Somey @ Fri 29th January 2010, 2:35am) *

Seems to me they need someone whose OSS background is LAMP, not Java and OO.o...? hmmm.gif


Wrong, Somey. For this job, you want a CTO with a background in French literature.
Somey
Whoa, thread necromancy.

QUOTE(thekohser @ Tue 22nd February 2011, 9:42pm) *
For this job, you want a CTO with a background in French literature.

Hmm... She has a degree in French Literature, but that doesn't preclude her from having some talent for managing a technology operation. However, this statement about how "learning a language helped form the neural pathways that eventually helped her learn programming" is some of the worst and most obvious bullshit we've seen from a WMF executive yet, other than Jimbo himself - and that's really saying something.

"Neural pathways," my ass. You learn programming because someone hands you a computer and a task that requires it, and you have sufficient confidence in your brain-power to give it a shot. The point is, she shouldn't feel compelled to make excuses for her degree in French Literature. Rather, she should take every possible opportunity to expound on the relative merits of Voltaire and Rabelais, and how they're more readable than the execrable Marcel Proust, whom I've never been able to tolerate in unsummarized form.

Jon Awbrey
QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 22nd February 2011, 11:26pm) *

Rather, she should take every possible opportunity to expound on the relative merits of Voltaire and Rabelais, and how they're more readable than the execrable Marcel Proust, whom I've never been able to tolerate.


Can't read any more French than I find on wine bottles, but a big part of the problem with Proust is supposedly accountable to the execr(et)able translations. There is however a recent one that actually made it possible for me to get past the first few hundred pages with some of my faculties intact.

Proust, Marcel (1913–1927), In Search of Lost Time, Christopher Prendergast (general editor), Penguin Books, London, UK, 2002, 6 volumes:
  1. The Way by Swann's (1913), Lydia Davis (trans.)
  2. In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919), James Grieve (trans.)
  3. The Guermantes Way (1920–1921), Mark Treharne (trans.)
  4. Sodom and Gomorrah (1921–1922), John Sturrock (trans.)
  5. The Prisoner (1923), Carol Clark (trans.) & The Fugitive (1925), Peter Collier (trans.)
  6. Finding Time Again (1927), Ian Patterson (trans.)
Jon wink.gif
Zoloft
Editing Madeleine_(cake) (T-H-L-K-D):
No sooner had I clicked on the 'save page' button than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An annoying humming sound had invaded my head, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the meaning of the subject I was editing had become indifferent to me, but my opinion now paramount, and others illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which indigestion has of filling me with a bloated feeling; or rather this gaseous sensation was not in me it was me.
Somey
Mmm, cake!

thekohser
I wonder if the fact that Brion Vibber is being re-hired is any indication of:
  1. Danese doesn't know enough about computers to do Brion's job
  2. Once you're a Wikimediot, you can't last long in the "outside" work world

Maybe a little bit of both?
Alison
QUOTE(thekohser @ Mon 7th March 2011, 7:57pm) *

I wonder if the fact that Brion Vibber is being re-hired is any indication of:
  1. Danese doesn't know enough about computers to do Brion's job
  2. Once you're a Wikimediot, you can't last long in the "outside" work world
Maybe a little bit of both?

... or a little bit of neither? Let's be fair ...
It's the blimp, Frank
QUOTE(Zoloft @ Wed 23rd February 2011, 4:44am) *

Editing Madeleine_(cake) (T-H-L-K-D):
No sooner had I clicked on the 'save page' button than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An annoying humming sound had invaded my head, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the meaning of the subject I was editing had become indifferent to me, but my opinion now paramount, and others illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which indigestion has of filling me with a bloated feeling; or rather this gaseous sensation was not in me it was me.
This seems very droll but I think I'm missing the point. Is this a parody of Proust's style?
Jon Awbrey
I think this is a little more up our alley …



Yeah, I know, I said “up our alley” …
Kelly Martin
I think part of it is that the two main reasons he left Wikimedia have been abated: he would no longer have to report directly to Erik, nor would he have to do the CTO's job, which he never wanted to do in the first place.
Zoloft
QUOTE(It's the blimp, Frank @ Mon 7th March 2011, 8:16pm) *

QUOTE(Zoloft @ Wed 23rd February 2011, 4:44am) *

Editing Madeleine_(cake) (T-H-L-K-D):
No sooner had I clicked on the 'save page' button than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An annoying humming sound had invaded my head, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the meaning of the subject I was editing had become indifferent to me, but my opinion now paramount, and others illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which indigestion has of filling me with a bloated feeling; or rather this gaseous sensation was not in me it was me.
This seems very droll but I think I'm missing the point. Is this a parody of Proust's style?

No, Marcel Marceau. Watch out for the land mimes.
Somey
QUOTE(Alison @ Mon 7th March 2011, 10:04pm) *
QUOTE
Maybe a little bit of both?
... or a little bit of neither? Let's be fair ...

No, let's be unfair! hrmph.gif

I actually agree with Ms. Martin about why Brion Vibber would be willing to return, given that he'll be reporting to Danese Cooper and not Erik Moeller... but Mr. Kohs has actually made an interesting point here, as he often does. Sometimes the WMF management reminds me of kids let loose in a candy store (when they're not reminding me of Lord of the Flies, at least). They have lots of money, no appreciable oversight, no definable performance metrics other than just their ability to keep the websites online... it sounds like loads of fun for an IT person, and a helluva lot better for a dev/DBA than the average corporate IT shop, consulting firm, or software VAR.

That's not to say there wouldn't be some downside - in particular, the guilty-conscience thing could cause lack of sleep, what with knowing you were participating in a corrupt, socially-irresponsible fake-charity operation. But as it turns out, some people aren't really affected by that silly "conscience" stuff at all, so maybe Brion is one of the lucky ones.
Kelly Martin
QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 8th March 2011, 1:24am) *
That's not to say there wouldn't be some downside - in particular, the guilty-conscience thing could cause lack of sleep, what with knowing you were participating in a corrupt, socially-irresponsible fake-charity operation. But as it turns out, some people aren't really affected by that silly "conscience" stuff at all, so maybe Brion is one of the lucky ones.
From Brion's point of view, he's getting paid to hack on software that he'd be hacking on anyway even if he weren't being paid. The lack of meaningful performance-based management is just bonus for him, and with Danese doing the annoying "beg for money for servers" aspect of the job he can relax and get paid to play.

There was never any chance that Danese could replace Brion; her experience is on an entirely different platform and there was no chance in hell that WMF would pony up the development dollars to recode MediaWiki for the J2EE universe that Danese is from (even though doing so would likely yield them substantial performance gains). Brion is certainly one of the world's top PHP hackers, but PHP is starting to lose its twinkle (the space PHP inhabits is very faddish, and PHP is so 2004), and the clever hacks he's developed that keep Wikimedia's data farm from exploding in a BFBVFS are simply not useful in most other environments, where either (a) the hit rate simply isn't high enough to need them (nearly everyone else) or (b) they're not remotely enough to get the job done (Facebook; Google). Brion's the king of a fairly large, but rather isolated lake, and outside of that lake he's just another peasant.
carbuncle
Perhaps the timing of this has something to do with their experiences rolling out the recent Wikimedia 1.17 release?
anthony
QUOTE(thekohser @ Tue 8th March 2011, 3:57am) *

I wonder if the fact that Brion Vibber is being re-hired is any indication of:
  1. Danese doesn't know enough about computers to do Brion's job
  2. Once you're a Wikimediot, you can't last long in the "outside" work world
Maybe a little bit of both?


The roles of CTO and Lead Architect are very very different. It is extremely rare for someone to simultaneously be the best candidate for both positions.

I think this position will be much better suited for Brion.

Of course, I couldn't help but catching this nugget: "Since I joined WMF in February 2010, I have been looking for a Lead Architect to work on the future of the platform (both for our use and for the thousands of wikis that run on our engine)." (Translation: "both for our use and for the use of Wikia")
Zoloft
Ultimately, if MediaWiki fails to move away from PHP, this by itself could be what kills Wikipedia.
Kelly Martin
QUOTE(Zoloft @ Tue 8th March 2011, 10:48am) *
Ultimately, if MediaWiki fails to move away from PHP, this by itself could be what kills Wikipedia.
Jimmy Wales, and by extension Wikimedia, is far too conservative to "gamble" on a platform change at this late stage of the game. In Wikipedia's ten years there has been almost no functional or technical change in the Wikipedia platform. Contrast Facebook, whose current platform bears absolutely no technical resemblance and fairly little functional resemblance to what it was like when it premiered.
Zoloft
QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Tue 8th March 2011, 10:10am) *

QUOTE(Zoloft @ Tue 8th March 2011, 10:48am) *
Ultimately, if MediaWiki fails to move away from PHP, this by itself could be what kills Wikipedia.
Jimmy Wales, and by extension Wikimedia, is far too conservative to "gamble" on a platform change at this late stage of the game. In Wikipedia's ten years there has been almost no functional or technical change in the Wikipedia platform. Contrast Facebook, whose current platform bears absolutely no technical resemblance and fairly little functional resemblance to what it was like when it premiered.

In agreeing with you, I will differ to this extent; the WMF has enough cash to parallel-develop MediaWiki 2.0 while maintaining the 1.x line, then bringing up servers with the newer, faster, more scalable version and importing the database and links.

Properly managed, very low risk, really high upside.

I'm lazy enough to assume without even looking that no such development is actually planned.
Somey
QUOTE(Zoloft @ Tue 8th March 2011, 12:52pm) *
Properly managed, very low risk, really high upside.

Ehh, it's that "properly managed" part that seems to be the real sticking point...

I myself am sort of a programmer... It's an interesting question, to me, anyway, what programming language/platform they'd use if they rebuilt MediaWiki from the ground up to take advantage of the "latest technology." I know J2EE isn't bad, but they could do better than that, couldn't they? And isn't it the database (MySQL) that causes the real bottlenecks, as opposed to PHP, or is it the fact that they use both, or that they use an interpreted server-side language in the first place?
Kelly Martin
QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 8th March 2011, 10:38pm) *
I know J2EE isn't bad, but they could do better than that, couldn't they? And isn't it the database (MySQL) that causes the real bottlenecks, as opposed to PHP, or is it the fact that they use both, or that they use an interpreted server-side language in the first place?
Given that MediaWiki doesn't have any real need for a fully ACID compliant database, there is no good reason not to use something like HBase (which is what Facebook uses) for the database. The other big performance win would be to rewrite the parser; right now it's a crazy mess of regular expression abuse combined with an XML parser that ends up being expensive in both time and space. Recoding it using either traditional or more modern parsing techniques would likely be a big win on multiple fronts; however, doing so would likely require making some small changes to the markup language. MediaWiki markup is definitely not in LL(n) for any n, and I think it's also not in LR(n) for any n; also, the parser currently requires database access, as the correct parsing of some constructs is dependent on database content. Making a few minor changes to the language "specification" (there really isn't one, just a reference implementation) would avoid both of these problems and make writing a proper parser much easier (that is, possible), but there is considerable reticence to making any change that would "break" Wikipedia.
Cla68
QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 8th March 2011, 7:24am) *


I actually agree with Ms. Martin about why Brion Vibber would be willing to return, given that he'll be reporting to Danese Cooper and not Erik Moeller... but Mr. Kohs has actually made an interesting point here, as he often does. Sometimes the WMF management reminds me of kids let loose in a candy store (when they're not reminding me of Lord of the Flies, at least). They have lots of money, no appreciable oversight, no definable performance metrics other than just their ability to keep the websites online... it sounds like loads of fun for an IT person, and a helluva lot better for a dev/DBA than the average corporate IT shop, consulting firm, or software VAR.


Ms Cooper will have earned her salary the day the WMF's main server farm burns down or floods and the backup plan (COOP, or whatever you want to call it) kicks in with a flawless changeover which allows all the wiki-activists to continue trying to save the world using Wikipedia to continue their efforts without pause. Does anyone know where the WMF's main server farm is located and what their COOP plan dictates will happen if it does blow up?
Zoloft
QUOTE(Cla68 @ Wed 9th March 2011, 2:57pm) *
QUOTE(Somey @ Tue 8th March 2011, 7:24am) *
I actually agree with Ms. Martin about why Brion Vibber would be willing to return, given that he'll be reporting to Danese Cooper and not Erik Moeller... but Mr. Kohs has actually made an interesting point here, as he often does. Sometimes the WMF management reminds me of kids let loose in a candy store (when they're not reminding me of Lord of the Flies, at least). They have lots of money, no appreciable oversight, no definable performance metrics other than just their ability to keep the websites online... it sounds like loads of fun for an IT person, and a helluva lot better for a dev/DBA than the average corporate IT shop, consulting firm, or software VAR.
Ms Cooper will have earned her salary the day the WMF's main server farm burns down or floods and the backup plan (COOP, or whatever you want to call it) kicks in with a flawless changeover which allows all the wiki-activists to continue trying to save the world using Wikipedia to continue their efforts without pause. Does anyone know where the WMF's main server farm is located and what their COOP plan dictates will happen if it does blow up?

Well, a lot of information about their two server clusters is at the WikiTech wiki.
One cluster is in Tampa, Florida and the other is in Amsterdam.

I don't know anything about their COOP plan, but I've seen them manually fail over from one cluster to the other recently when they had bandwidth issues.

Edit:
Here's a Wikimedia Tech Blog entry about the failure of the automatic failover a year ago:
QUOTE
Due to an overheating problem in our European data center many of our servers turned off to protect themselves. As this impacted all Wikipedia and other projects access from European users, we were forced to move all user traffic to our Florida cluster, for which we have a standard quick failover procedure in place, that changes our DNS entries.

However, shortly after we did this failover switch, it turned out that this failover mechanism was now broken, causing the DNS resolution of Wikimedia sites to stop working globally. This problem was quickly resolved, but unfortunately it may take up to an hour before access is restored for everyone, due to caching effects.

We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.


Further Edit:
They are right now provisioning a new data center in Ashburn, Virginia although I'm not sure if that's Wikimedia or Wikipedia or both.

Hey! I found their Disaster Recovery Plan! *snicker heehee chortle gasp*
thekohser
QUOTE(Zoloft @ Wed 9th March 2011, 6:20pm) *

Hey! I found their Disaster Recovery Plan! *snicker heehee chortle gasp*


Psst... the Disaster Recovery Plan was outlined in WikiVoices Episode #45. Find the audio tape of that episode, and you'll find the Plan.

fear.gif
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