Talk:Hackathon

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Phabricator is way complicated

Qgil-WMF The phabricator scheduling system is complicated and a barrier to community participation in this page.

Why do you feel that it ought to be used instead of doing things the usual way? Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:05, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Can you explain what exactly do you find complicated in Phabricator, please? "The usual way" was not efficient in previous hackathons in Wikimania, and we are trying to organize this event better. We have used this Phabricator-based model successfully this year at the MediaWiki Developer Summit and the Wikimedia Hackathon. It allows to see clearly who owns a session, which relationship it has with other tasks, which projects are associated with it, and people can subscribe and comment.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 14:39, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

The Wikimania Hackathon is a technical event indeed

Bluerasberry, the feedback from previous Wikimania Hackathons clearly indicates that developers were unhappy about the event, which basically ended up in people working on their things (technical and non-technical, Wikimedia or personal) in an unstructured way, basically like in a big Internet Café. We want to fix that -- see phab:T101946. A hackathon is a technical event indeed. If you have a problem of space to organize your non-technical activities let's talk about your problem, then. But please don't change the purpose of the event and don't skip the process we have in place (that everybody else is following) to organize this event for +200 people. Thank you for your understanding.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 14:45, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

We are discussing this by email. Points of dispute are as follows -
  • You say previous hackathons were not efficient. Obviously you got your information from developers and not the non-technical people who were the majority of participants.
  • According to you, there is no space for non-technical participants this year. This makes no sense as the usual process is to be mostly for non-technical participants.
  • Not everyone else is following the process you are dictating. We are a week before the event and the schedule is blank. If someone wanted to institute radical changes then this could have been managed long ago. The branding of this hackathon did not indicate that it would be radically different.
I am not opposed to you getting everything you want so long as it is not at the expense of other interests and we have resources to divide. I just want a little space! One compromise could be that the hackathon team could keep two of the three rooms, then turn over one of the others to the coffeehouse system for any community interests. Or maybe there is another room somewhere. Community interests need a little calendar space.
This problem would have surfaced more quickly if there had not been the barrier of phabricator placed between the community and the schedule. Let's find a compromise. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:23, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
By definition, a Hackathon needs to be a productive developer event. Even if our process last year was not based on Phabricator, it still required a focus on technical sessions. Most of the hackathon participants have technical interests. All the sessions scheduled at https://wikimania2014.wikimedia.org/wiki/Hackathon#Schedule were technical. If you organized any non-technical meetings last year, it was done off-schedule (or are they documented anywhere?). There are no radical changes this year in terms of scheduling. Most of the sessions last year were scheduled almost on the same day, which is totally fine for a hackathon.
Then again, we are trying to accommodate to your need for space. You are requesting space for three different sessions of 2 hours each (OTRS, Harassment, South Asia). Note that if we get just a few more people booking 6 hours, our scheduled will fill up pretty soon. Meanwhile, the hackathon participants are booking one hour only. We ask you to create a Phabricator task for each meeting (I provided you a link to do that, if you have specific problems, just ask me), and I have also asked you how many people you are expecting in these meetings.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 07:42, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Qgil-WMF I only expect ~10 people at these meetings. A bigger concern is that we are a week away from the conference and I am sure others have come here as I have, not seen space to propose their own meetups, and been confused. I would not have taken slots that anyone else was using - the schedule is still blank now so in wiki-spirit I took space. The request I would make is for one room designated to be the Internet cafe that developers do not like. I do not need privacy, and it would be nice if 2 groups of ten could meet at the same time. On the list there are three classrooms for 60. Why not just make one the open space? Or is the hacking hall that open space? Can the hacking hall become a community space for non-private group meetings? Can anyone post anything for meeting there, without going through phabricator and without expecting bureaucracy or approval? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:56, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Bluerasberry Hi! As the hackathon event organizer who will actually be present in Mexico City I thought I would jump in here. First I want to say that I really support your harassment meetup and really hope it takes place at Wikimania this year and might even attend if that is possible. I have a few thoughts for you though on why it might not work for you to use these specific spaces which have been designated for the hackathon during our event. First, our hackathon schedule is actually meant to be pretty blank up until the last moment. Part of hackathons and the way we run them is to be a bit more flexable using an "unconference" style. If you look at the dif of last years event (or other hackathons) for example you will see that a large number of hackathon sessions are schedule on the same day that they are held, even just an hour or two in advance. Even when there is not a specific meeting in the space we would generally be using the space anyways for other hackathon related uses. Secondly anyone in any of the hackathon rooms will be required to have registered for the hackathon and have the distinctive hackathon identification mark on their name badge. I have spoken recently with the main organizing team and it sounds like people will actually be patrolling the hackathon and removing people who don't have this. This is partially for security, partially to make sure the size of the event does not become out of control, and partially because of costs associated with the event. So if we were to allow this, every single participation would need to be registered for the hackathon - which I am guessing they probably wont be. Finally, there is actually already an official and designated way to run meetups at Wikimania, and among other things, it is by coordinating the time and space (if rooms are needed) with the main wikimanina organizing team and not with the hackathon organizing team. You can find that information here, just glancing at the page, it even sounds like they have rooms free. If I start opening this event to meetups, it will no longer be a hacking event and will instead be something completely different. Especially because there is already support in place for meetups, but for many other reasons as well I would prefer not to do this. If for whatever reason you can't or don't want to coordinate with the main wikimania organizing team I do know the that Hilton has multiple restaurants, lounges and bars that might work well for you as another option especially because it sounds like you don't mind if the event is in a but more of a public place. I am sorry for all the trouble you are going through to get this organized and I really hope you find a good solution. If you can not find anything that works and are desperate at the last moment and that coincides with our schedule not having sessions maybe we can talk in person at the event and figure out a solution for you and your meetups - but please don't count on that. I hope this explanation helps and I hope to meet you in Mexico! Rfarrand (WMF) (talk) 00:18, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Rfarrand (WMF) Thanks for your reply. There is nothing more for me to do here, but here are some thoughts.
  • I registered for the hackathon and I expect other people did also. The ~100 people with scholarships get hackathon passes too. I was not requesting charity and free passes or for compromised security. I had no idea that it was a problem that attendees failed to register in past years.
  • There seems to be no place on this Wiki to organize Wednesday and Thursday events. This hackathon advertises total control over those days.
  • I have had good meetings during the hackathon in the past three Wikimanias. Qgil-WMF asked me for my documentation of this but we did not have paid staff to document and follow community events like the hackathon has, so I am not sure of any record of this.
  • I do not want a tight schedule either but it would have been nice to have some room somewhere on this wiki where it would have been allowable to plan and post a meetup in advance. The real estate at the venue seems full and so does the space on this wiki. Maybe I should have requested Wednesday and Thursday space long ago but I never imagined that there would be a community ban in the hacking space.
  • I feel a little constricted in this whole conference. I often feel scared of WMF staff and try to avoid talking to them. It makes me feel a little shy that the hackathon is a paid contributor event managed by WMF staff, and also this year even more of the presentations on the program are WMF staff soliciting support for their work. I think like 70% of the presentations are by paid staff of the WMF, when actually staff are a fraction of the conference attendees and a small demographic of the Wikipedia community.
  • I am offline from here until next Wednesday when the conference begins. I made my own plans for meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, but then also, I am American, go to lots of conferences, have a Wikipedia job, and knew how to try to engage on this page. If anyone else tried to organize a community meetup during these days, and they were not fluent in Western conference culture, there would be no chance at all for them to navigate the system necessary to post a notice here that said "10 people meet at 1pm in this room". Maybe these people will improvise, or maybe they make personal arrangements, or who knows what happens. In previous years I had good meetings before the conference and I wish there could have been a space for that at this one. Maybe next time.
  • Thanks and I wish you success at your event, and that it brings you what you wish to achieve.
  • My problems are definitely not your problems. I am sorry for intruding. This is your event and your space. I have no ground at all for encroaching on what you are doing. I recognize that I had no business here and I am sorry for taking your time. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:40, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Hackathon showcase time differs from the official programme

The text on this page says the hackathon showcase is at 1400, but the official programme has it at 1230. I assume the programme is correct, and this page should be changed to match. But I'm not certain. --KSmith (WMF) (talk) 00:18, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

The hackathon room is closed

Hello, per this page, "Doña Adelita is available 24h until the end of Wikimania." → right now, the room is closed. -Ash Crow (talk) 04:45, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Is already open --Omar sansi (talk) 05:58, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, thanks to Romaine who saw my message ;) -Ash Crow (talk) 16:08, 19 July 2015 (UTC)