TodayLast week I finally joined the Wikimedia Foundation, with my US visa renewed and all the bureaucratic requirements in place. I work at the Platform Engineering team, reporting to Sumana Harihareswara and having other (remote) neighbors like Guillaume Paumier, Chris McMachon and Andre Klapper (of GNOME & Maemo/MeeGo fame, what a coincidence!). I feel happy. I feel honored. I’m ready to do my best contributing to the Wikimedia (with m) movement, one of the most impressive collaborative projects nowadays.
One way to do this is to reach out to existing developer communities, promoting our APIs and technologies in areas like CMS, mobile, analytics, server infrastructure, media, localization, UX, you name it. I’m also interested in exploring ways of collaboration with companies, universities and non-profit organizations.
But Wikimedia is also the perfect initiative to engage with the unusual suspects: women becoming tech savvy despite social pressure, young and old citizens of countries far from the tech hubs and, in general, regular people with little or no technical skills but with a big motivation in certain Wikimedia aspect. Wikipedia is changing little aspects of people’s lives. How far can we go in the technical side?
Sometimes you join a revolution too soon or too late, but my timing with Wikimedia has been about right: love at the first click about ten years ago, and an increasing involvement since then. The first day I clicked the “Edit” link in a wiki I couldn’t sleep. Literally: I went late to bed only to wake up a sleepless hour later in order to keep learning how that wiki worked. It was an empty TWiki instance and I had admin permissions, so there was plenty to learn.
Since that night I have been using, administering and contributing content to various wiki engines and communities. MediaWiki had become predominant in the past years, being part of my work for Maemo, MeeGo and the Qt Project. And there is also Espiral, my social pet project and my chance to learn the very basics of MediaWiki sysadmin.
My contributions to Wikimedia have been sporadic, diverse and incomplete:
- Started translating Daodejing to Catalan at Wikisource (directly from Chinese although I don’t speak it; yes, fun).
- Published texts from Joan Salvat-Papasseit as soon as they landed in the public domain. That included some scans from original editions.
- After many minor contributions to the Catalan and Spanish Wikipedias, I finally found a page to invest time in the English one: Gaia hypothesis (and I got an Environmental Barnstar for this, yay!).
- Last year I started contributing in the technical front. First I helped bootstrapping the Mobile Projects documentation. Then I pushed Wikipedia as a good showcase for the initiative (partially funded by Nokia) of bringing Qt support for PhoneGap.
- … and just in the past weeks I went ahead with the tech community metrics, setting up a Wikimedia organization profile in Ohloh and publishing a first monthly report.
The chronology continues and ends with my current task list. Feel free suggesting new items and different priorities. Most of my work needs to be done next to somebody else i.e. you (yes, you!). Questions? Feedback? Willing to get involved? Let me know.