Wikimedia Developer Summit/2018/Thematic Overview

(from Victoria Coleman's August email)

This has been a year of strategy making for the Foundation and our communities. As the way forward becomes clearer, we,  the technology community entrusted with delivering the products and infrastructure for supporting the community vision, need to reflect on what the movement strategy means for us and how to best prepare, plan and execute that support. This year, the Developer Summit is dedicated to this reflection. We invite technologists, managers and users to study, reflect and propose ways to support the strategic vision we are committed to. We would like you to capture your thoughts in a short position statement and join the conversation.

Specifically, we invite you to think about ways of imagining, creating, planning, building and maintaining the technology foundation needed to enable the key tenets of our strategy:

The infrastructure for open: We will empower individuals and institutions to participate and share, through open standards, platforms, and datasets. We will host, broker, share, and exchange free knowledge across institutions and communities. We will be a leading advocate and partner for increasing the creation, curation, and dissemination in free and open knowledge.

An encyclopedia, and so much more: We will adapt to our changing world to offer knowledge in the most effective ways, across digital formats, devices, and experiences. We will adapt our communities and technology to the needs of the people we serve. As we include other forms of free knowledge, we will aim for these projects to be as successful as Wikipedia.

Reliable, relevant information: We will continue our commitment to providing useful information that it is reliable, accurate, and relevant to users. We will integrate technologies that support accuracy at scale and enable greater insight into how knowledge is produced and shared. We will embrace the effort of increasing the quality, depth, breadth, and diversity of free knowledge, in all forms.

This direction poses key questions for our technical community. Here are some example topics we would welcome ideas and discussion in:

  • How do we maintain and grow the technical community and ready it for the mission ahead?
  • What should the role of open source be in the next 15 years of the movement? How does it help or hinder? How do we promote it or adapt it? How do we leverage it?
  • What are the foundational building blocks for the language technologies we will need in order to be present everywhere where there are people?
  • Scaling. What tools do we need as the movement and the community grow?
  • What are the implications of the strategic direction for our infrastructure? Do we have any key gaps in this infrastructure? How ready is our infrastructure for what is to come?
  • How should MediaWiki evolve to support the mission?
  • What technologies are necessary for embracing mobility?
  • We operate in parts of the world where access to free knowledge is blocked, hindered or plain dangerous. What tools do we need to support these at-risk  communities?
  • How and with whom should we partner to create the technologies needed to support the mission?
  • How can we leverage machine learning and analytics to support the mission and our communities?
  • What are emerging trends in technology that will impact our mission in the next 5-10-15 years?

These conversations will be invaluable input to the next phase of the strategy process as we shift from exploration to definition to execution. We are energized, excited and hopeful for a great set of thoughtful, impactful conversations.

As we embark on this journey we want to have an open but focused dialog so we are aiming for a smaller participant cohort than previous Dev Summits. We want to encourage everyone to consider these questions and put forward ideas in the form of a short position paper or abstract.