IT Development/Progress meetings/Minutes 22 October 2013

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Apologies and Introductions[edit | edit source]

Attending[edit | edit source]

  • Tom Morton (TM)
  • Katie Chan (KTC)
  • Richard Nevell (RN)
  • Mike Peel (MP)
  • Harry Burt (HB)
  • Emmanuel Engelhart (EE)
  • Jonathan Cardy (JC)
  • Katherine Bavage (KB)

Apologies[edit | edit source]

  • Michael Maggs (MM)
  • Charles Matthews (CM)
  • Doug Taylor (DT)

Update on Actions from previous meeting not otherwise on agenda[edit | edit source]

Item No Action Assigned to Update
February 2013
Item 5.3 - Wikimedia UK planet KB to post the suggestion and a Yes/No Doodle Poll to the Community mailing list and report feedback to the next Technology Committee meeting. KB X mark.svg Not done This has been deferred pending other tasks. To be picked up.
June 2013
Item 1. Updates on Actions from Previous meetings This item to be renamed for future agendas KB Yes check.svg Done
Item 1: Wikimedia UK Planet Refer to Wikimedia-l mailing list before end of June EE X mark.svg Not done This has been deferred pending other tasks. To be picked up.
Item 1: Review of SSL Certificate Proposals TM to liaise with KB about purchase of 12 month service package by end of June KB/TM Yes check.svg Done SSL Certificate installed

KB noted that although reaching out via the community mailing lists about Wikimedia UK planet was a relatively quick/simple task she still hadn't done it because of time pressures and prioritising other Dev liaison. HB offered to take this issue forward.

ACTION: HB to post the suggestion of a WMUK Planet to the Community mailing list and to report feedback to the next Technology Committee meeting.

Maintenance[edit | edit source]

Item No Action Assigned to Update
June 2013
Item 4. Maintenance Draw up on-wiki a proposed division of responsibilities and schedule for checking updates and security maintenance before next Tech Comm meeting. TM/EE X mark.svg Not done

TM noted that was happening in practice. EE said he had been managing software updates, and things like monitoring DNS settings, Email account settings (day-to-day) were the tasks TM is in charge of.

MP noted it would help to have a document that clearly states who is responsible for which system (and who is maintaining said systems).

ACTION: TM/EE to expand the service portfolio page to indicate who is maintaining each service

Mediawiki[edit | edit source]

Item No Action Assigned to Update
February 2013
5.4 Mediawiki extension development (e.g. calendar) KB to contact Asaf to explain (MP to forward email thread) and ask what required to assist KB X mark.svg Not done This has been deferred pending other tasks. To be picked up.
June 2013
Item 1: Mediawiki extension development (e.g. calendar) Pick up via email before end of June KB X mark.svg Not done This has been deferred pending other tasks. To be picked up.

EE noted that there had been no major changes in terms of mediawiki extensions work outside of the planned migration changes. EE has been proactively keeping Tech@ informed of changes pre/post installation or update.

KB asked about whether we should be proactively informing a wider audience of such changes. EE agreed - it is important to relay to a wider audience.

ACTION: KB to review notifications that EE sends to Tech@ and share most important ones on community mailing list/Water cooler as appropriate

Other (System, Wordpress, ...)[edit | edit source]

There were no updates or issues to report.

Service requests (EE)[edit | edit source]

Item No Action Assigned to Update
June 2013
4.2 Service Requests Work on install and complementary write-up of how to use Bugzilla pre-next Tech Committee meeting KB/TM Symbol wait.svg Doing...
4.2 Service Requests Open up the Tech@ list to all Tech Comm members (KB to skim remaining archives and circulate too all here) KB Yes check.svg Done

EE clarified - service request were basic administrative tasks e.g. change my address as a member, update my email, reset my password. They are on a different level of work to, say, installing a mediawiki extension. It would better if we could find a way of managing these types of request beyond the contractors, perhaps channeled via OTRS - we currently do it via bugzilla but we could change that.

TM noted that email addresses creation via a ticket easiest for him.

EE elaborated - there are different types of service requests; using forms to manage user details. Email management - creating, adding, redirecting, changing, archiving. If TM is OK continuing to do this then this could continue. But would it be easier to use a tool and someone else (i.e. a volunteer or staff member?) who could do this much as admins/bureaucrats on the UK wiki.

JC noted that we are a small scale operation - so we are not operating on same level as WMF. It would be useful in terms of the community if there were two methods for reporting flaws or ideas. A private method (e.g for reporting security flaws) by having an assigned email or a public method (requesting features) JC would prefer not to use Bugzilla for interfacing with the community.

TM - Bugzilla should be for reporting when change is needed, or issue is known. How we support the community a separate issue.

ACTION: KB to set up a projects request page, and corresponding email address to support confidential notifications.

QRpedia (KB/RB)[edit | edit source]

Item No Action Assigned to Update
February 2013
Item 5.1. - QRpedia KB to:
  • log the transfer of the QRpedia blog as an RT ticket
  • forward testing email to RB, TE and Andy Mabbett (AM) to look for bugs
  • work on assumption that the DNS can switch to a debugged WMUK installation on 4th March 2013
  • work with RB to identity key existing users
  • contact known existing users, and forward emails to wikimediauk-l and cultural partners mailing lists, to inform of change when date known, and before transfer
KB Symbol wait.svg Doing... We are awaiting clarification from Saad Choudry or Roger Bamkin March progress meeting.
Item 5.1.1 - QRpedia KB to create list on WMUK Wiki AND DT would mirror WMUK Wiki page onto Meta AND KC would modify page for translation. KB/DT/KTC X mark.svg Not done see above and roll over actions
Item 5.1.2 - QRpedia KB to undertake following after DNS changeover:
  • chat to Stevie Benton (SB) about ideas for promoting engagement.
  • set up a page inviting discussion about new applications or contexts for us
KB X mark.svg Not done see above and roll over actions
Item 5.1.2 - QRpedia ACTION: RB to liaise with Saad Choudry/WMUK Board as appropriate and confirm any terms that need to be taken into consideration before KB to proceed with promoting wider engagement/generation of ideas. RB Symbol wait.svg Doing... Update needed
April 2013
Item 4. QRpedia To expedite technical development, it was decided to:
  • Create a page on the WMUK wiki to collate and update what is known about current QRpedia users (KB)
KB/EE/MP X mark.svg Not done Deferred pending confirmation of donation and transfer
June 2013
5.QRpedia: DNS Migration Clarify the degree of separation of IP required with Saad Choudry - i.e is a separate registrar sufficient or would separate server hosting be necessary? KB Symbol wait.svg Doing...
5.QRpedia: DNS Migration
Log transfer or shared access of QRpedia twitter account as a task following transfer.
Log transfer or shared access of QRpedia blog account as a task following transfer.
KB X mark.svg Not done Awaiting transfer
5.QRpedia: DNS Migration
EE to ensure code shared in WMF code repository
EE to expand stub of project page on Meta:
EE X mark.svg Not done Awaiting transfer

KB noted that there was no substantive progress she was aware of, and all actions had been held over. A recent public update on the Water Cooler indicated that Terence Eden had signed the donation agreement but that Roger Bamkin had yet to do so and was still liaising with Saad Choudry. Roger was not present to ask questions about progress.

ACTION: KB to ask CEO and Saad Choudry for an update

KB noted that some of MP details against domain were still not updated. This needed to be changed asap because people kept enquiring about MP's involvement and confusing the issue.

ACTION: KB to create a UKReg account for MP to log in and clear up domain name details.

CiviCRM (EE/KB)[edit | edit source]

The migration to the new platform and up to date version took place in August and the database is now in a position to provide an improved set-up; better looking forms, better integration, performance improving extensions. EE would focus on addressing some long-standing bugs for Civi, as well as installing the next version (4.4) as soon as released.

EE, KTC and RN attended CiviCon at the beginning of October. EE noted it was useful to get insight into range of features as well as a better sense of the community and people involved as users and developers. Heard more about the CiviBanking extension could prove valuable. RN noted it had been useful for getting to grips with what Civi can do and understanding potential of new extensions. KTC was anticipating the upgrade to version 4.4 CiviVolunteer which would assist with tracking volunteers.

KB talked about the aspiration to have five key members of staff at the end of the year trained by external training providers. MP queried if staff could pass on training to minimise costs. KB said that would definitely happen for staff who would use Civi infrequently and volunteers, but that it was important those who would use it most were well grounded in it.

MP noted that the donate page has a 'forward to a friend' function that passes on data to third parties through including images from third party servers, and that default donation amounts were no longer present.

ACTION: KB to turn turn off 'forward to a friend' function and to talk to KTC about suggested two-stage notification click process.

American cloud usage (#PRISM) (EE)[edit | edit source]

Item No Action Assigned to Update
June 2013
Item 7 - American cloud usage (#PRISM) Produce a position paper for the next Tech Comm. TM/EE X mark.svg Not done

KB noted that progressing this action had been delayed by lack of capacity and work on VLE and migrations.

EE noted that to progress this it was important to go through vulnerabilities in terms of the platforms the charity uses, considering whether their data exchange or retention took place in the US. The Charity can then review whether alternative platforms data exchange is based outside the US and whether they there are cost implications. Moving to alternatives could make it potentially less likely that user data would be collected, alongside encryption.

KB noted that we need to know more about the options so we can be assured that users will have the same levels of usability and not a massive increase in costs.

KB asked about other EU chapters. EE knew other chapters concerned - not clear what steps WMDE taking. WMFR - similar but they are started without relying on Google based email account so there was less impact. WMCH - better, made a lot of effort to preserve independent hosting. KB noted that staff value email and doc sharing properties of gmail accounts.

HB noted that there were two separate considerations. First - what is good for data security and being intelligent with data use. Second - the potential issues of data being moved outside the EEA by programmes like PRISM and addressing this by moving across to different platforms, which can be difficult or awkward.

KB agreed and noted the previous and continuing work around IT Security and data protection in the office which had sought to address the first issue. In order to address or make decisions about the second issue, the Committee and staff would really need an initial report. Then propose changes based on the report.

ACTION: Item rolled over

WMUK migration (EE/TM)[edit | edit source]

Item No Action Assigned to Update
June 2013
Item 8 WMUK migration Communicate agenda of migration with KB so this can be shared across different channels. KTC will at least include a general notice in the June members newsletter. TM/EE Yes check.svg Done
Item 8 WMUK migration Write up a nice version that's not too offputting to those not familiar with watchlists/wiki's of a 'how to export'. KC/KB Yes check.svg Done

EE reported the migration took place in September as planned. Not all user accounts had been reactivated. In addition some people appeared not to have received their re-set passwords - it was unclear why but these had been picked up on notification. On the features side more or less all there - are some new extensions too.

Location of the wiki (MP)[edit | edit source]

MP noted the url for the Wiki following migration had been discussed historically but never decided. It was not currently at the address. Its was not clear in light of tentative proposals that the chapter have a separate non-wiki website whether this would affect that.

EE noted that this could be changed now, and if required a further change made in future make a change in future. MP this would also be useful in terms of backwards compatibility with previous details of the URL.

ACTION: EE to move the main WMUK wiki from to

KB asked whether this would will this help with the issue of the old read-only site links redirecting to the current site instance. RN noted that the WMF needs to run a script on their side.

ACTION: EE to chase up redirecting to the new wiki location

KTC mentioned she had also logged the issue of interwiki linking from Wikimedia project to the migrated wiki

ACTION: KTC/HB to encourage the updating of interwikis on the Wikimedia projects so that the WMUK interwiki link points to the new wiki location.

KB suggested that people update on these issues via mailing list threads

http as opposed to https access (MP)[edit | edit source]

MP noted there had been discussion about this on the migration talk page MP wanted to know the reason we are redirecting to https rather than make http versions. EE noted that the WMF had taken the decision to implement https site-wide and this reflected that decision. MP noted that this affected logged out users only.

EE noted an impacted services/users log would help understand why this was problematic. HB added it was hard to square not using https this with earlier increased discussions about user data security. MP suggested the example of exporting the event calendar malfunctioning when the site was https. KB asked if it was possible to work out who uses it the calander tool and perhaps asking people if they were impacted was the way forward.

ACTION: RN to use the mailing list and watercooler to ask if people had experienced any negative impact following the implementation of https.

MP noted it would be better if this had been discussed before migration/it was implemented. It was noted KTC had made a request to bring our wiki into line with WMF standard set up post migration which was implemented and had been thought relatively uncontroversial. Happy to discuss it in wider community now aware.

KB noted that the amount memory capacity had been increased during migration, but post migration it may be that we keep this to accommodate changes in the future.

Future work[edit | edit source]

Single User Login[edit | edit source]

JC noted that it is inconvenient for users to have to separately log into UK wiki, Office wiki, internal, and WP/WM projects wikis. People could register accounts as other users and pretend to be then and cause issues. Do we go back to WMF and ask that they look at this?

HB noted the loss of SUL was discussed pre-migration. The WMF itself is retrenching from SUL as a feature this across all their site, and developing other forms of authentication - Oauth V.2 an OpenID. We could put our names forward as a use case

TM noted that it was expected OpenID would be more ready now and it's not? HB noted an update on Wikitech-l which updated on this on the day of the Technology Committee meeting.

JC requested someone with some contact at the WMF clarify the impersonation concern as well as the concern about general usability between projects for community users. MP noted that as WMUK decided to migrate the WMF may question our decision making in doing so if we come back on this point.

We could reach out via the wikitech-l thread to raise our use case.

TM - there had been a discussion about roll out and third parties but it would not be a short-term solution.

ACTION: TM to enquire with the WMF ops team about their plans for OpenID/opening up SUL, and to feed back via the mailing list or at the next committee meeting.

Meeting guillotine[edit | edit source]

The meeting had exceeded two hours and Committee members agreed that non-urgent or key items from this point in the agenda would be pursued following the meeting by email.

OTRS (EE)[edit | edit source]

ACTION: KB to update on this by email

Voluntary agents[edit | edit source]

Virtual Learning Environment (TM)[edit | edit source]

TM noted that had attempted to focus on this work on 15/10/13 but had had to prioritise mailing list and other issues.

Moodle is slow software and resource intensive - on the latter point its not always clear why. If implement to pull in content from wiki pages it becomes slow to the point of usability.

CM is clear that he feels it needs to come to the point where plugin is functional is in place before user training can take place.

MP can we get a more powerful server? TM noted the installation is on a fairly powerful server and its still very slow.

MP queried if TM has sought support from any moodle experts? TM reported he has contacted some people by email but not yet had substantive replies. The Chapter would need to consider this worth and it it is too resource intensive, and/or too expensive

ACTION: KB to arrange an urgent phonecall on VLE, SB/TM/KB to discuss costs and use
ACTION: KB to update CM and ask for his suggestions

Hosting Hackathon (KB)[edit | edit source]

ACTION: KB to update on this by email

Virtual presence - (KB)[edit | edit source]

ACTION: KB to update on this by email

Europeana (KB)[edit | edit source]

KB noted charity had remitted the remainder of the assigned grant for current financial year. There was no plan to give additional funding support as the Chapters bid to FDC for 2014-2015 did not include this as a single line item.

Email use policy (KB)[edit | edit source]

ACTION: KB to update on this by email

Toolserver[edit | edit source]

KB reported that after seeking clarification from the Developer team at WMDE they had reported that they no longer required the potential grant money.

ACTION: Committee members with concerns about disbursing the unspent funds differently to email around Tech@; KB to pick up on any consensus about alternate approaches.

AOB.[edit | edit source]

FTP microgrant application[edit | edit source]

MP noted that Fae had proposed the hosting of FTP work supported via a microgrant, but that hosting was not eligable for grants. Would the Committee consider this as a project proposal instead?

KB asked if there would be a concern about hosting inappropriate material?

HB asked if it could present a security concern if sharing Wikimedia UKs server space. MP - could just set up another instance re the latter

HB noted it would also be possible to use a specialist provider - could get Fae to suggest if he had any in mind. It was noted that bandwidth would be the primary cost rather than hosting, so it would help if Fae could guestimate how much it would have costed to support Wiki Takes Chester and then work up from that. MP noted that Wikimedia UK's current supplier [ offered a cloud storage space solution].

EE noted that a cloud file storage solution was something the office need too, as do community members. We should think about making available anyway or not solely in connection with GLAM or other outreach.

KB reiterated the key things to think about were access control, use policy and price.

ACTION: KB to ask Fae if he was happy for the proposal to be moved to another URL and then Tech Comm members ask questions

Wiki user right[edit | edit source]

ACTION: KTC to raise issue about wiki user rights by email

Date of next meeting.[edit | edit source]

The next meeting was proposed to be in week commencing 25 November. MP noted that he will be in San Francisco for some of that week.

ACTION: KB/MP to suggest some possible dates for the meeting, and to set up a doodle poll.

The possibility of an in-person meeting was discussed, possibly at the 10th December event. MP noted that he can't easily make it down to London on a weekday. Possibility of a weekend meeting, perhaps coinciding with a meetup, to be thought about.