Template talk:Staff and contractors

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Template architecture


  • Very easy to change positioning
  • Easy to update all translations simultaneously
  • May be easier for some to translate (clearer flow than all the wikitext)


  • May be harder for some to translate
  • Wiki newbies can no longer update the staff page


See Talk:現在のスタッフ.

This translation system is not viable

We need to maintain a level of simplicity so that Wikimedia Foundation staff members without extensive template, HTML and wiki-table knowledge can make basic changes and updates. Unless we can come up with something much simpler, with the next update, I will revert this to a simple wiki page. I'm sorry if this makes translations harder and if some translators will not be willing to work on that basis, but having a page that's easy to maintain and update should be our number 1 priority.

Having frequently changing content inside templates is generally a very bad idea, IMHO. Templates are inherently complex and hard to read, and even for me, making basic content updates within a complex template mixing HTML, wiki table syntax, and template parameters (including for things like commas) is a pain. I can live with it in the case of a page like the Donate page, where the underlying code is complex HTML anyway. But as a translation mechanism for basic wiki pages, it's not viable.--Eloquence 17:17, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

It's really not that complex, you just copy&paste a basis for what you are going to have and update the information (it's pretty self-explanatory in that regard). The point of this is to make it *less* complicated. The translators and staff members who have to update the English text (not add new people), can do this much easier without all the table editing and making sure all the other info is correctly fitted. We can make sure all the pages are up to date when a new staff member is added or one leave. Your idea would make more clutter on the plain Staff page. If it's really a problem, you could just add a plain line for the new staff member and we could properly format it. I wish you had spoken up in the earlier stages... it's a lot more difficult to revert everything. Cbrown1023 talk 22:11, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's very complex either. As long as you have some basic idea of how templates work you should be able to just learn from example and fill in what you need to. :) --Az1568 00:28, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
I understand all the assumptions that went into the design of this system, and I really appreciate the effort you put into it. Let me try to explain the opposite view: I really want WMF staff members who are relatively new to wiki editing to be completely comfortable editing this page whenever they need to for whatever reason. Making sure that our own staff is "wikified" is pretty important to us. And it would be very counter to that goal if I would need Jay or anyone else to go through some sort of process to make a change, because I know that I'm not going to teach them how to edit this.
So, I'd rather make some sacrifices on the complexity of the layout, if that helps translators, than have the crucial content of this page reside inside a complex template. Sorry that I didn't see this earlier - when I saw these edits happening, I assumed only layout changes were being made. But I would generally strongly recommend against using this template-based translation system for pages on this wiki. If we need better approaches to translation, let's have a chat about that and talk through some options.
Az1568, I think your assumptions about templates are not applicable to people with no or limited wiki experience. We know from all workshops that we've done with wiki-inexperienced people that templates are one of the most fundamental barriers to entry. Even the basic syntax of calling a template is confusing to many people and scaring them away from editing; the syntax of the actual templates is an utter nightmare for anyone but the most motivated wiki user.--Eloquence 00:43, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you, that's why we normally try to stay away from template-based requests. (The reason we have no other ones like this other than Donate.) However, this is a page that changes frequently and should be kept up to date. As you can see above, I really think in this specific case the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Don't worry, I won't touch any other pages with this icky template schema. ;-) It really wasn't this bad in the beginning... then Arabic and Japanese had to have different commas in their language system... :-) Cbrown1023 talk 01:29, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Links to user pages

Could someone who can add links to user pages even if staffers are not registered on this wiki, as with Rob Lanphier? Wikis are probably the first way someone reading this page will want to use to contact them or know more about them and what they're doing, and usernames are not always easy to find at least for normal users. Moreover, everyone here should have a user (account and) page on Meta, and this is something worth checking. Nemo 19:45, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

I killed the page protection. Daniel's gone, contractors are now listed on this page, and it seems like most people have been editing through the protection anyway. No reason to keep it locked down.
Feel free to add user page links to your heart's content. The general rule is to link to the local user page (which typically includes a brief bio) unless there's no local account, in which case the primary wiki is linked to (assuming there is one). Not everyone has a public wiki account, I don't think. Staffers and contractors presumably all have office.wikimedia.org accounts. --MZMcBride 04:28, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Missing photos

I'd like to have more, ok, but isn't File:Flag of None.svg a bit too "aggressive"? Nemo 15:50, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Hey folks - we really shouldn't use these question marks as stand-ins for the people without images. It sends the wrong message. I know that everyone needs and should have a photo, and that not having an image causes the grid to look funny, but this isn't a viable solution. It implies some sort of mystery or suggests that they are lacking an image for some reason. Please revert that addition - the folks who are represented in this page really pay attention to how they're represented, and they know we're working on getting images. Also, not everyone wants an image - which we respect. Thanks for your understanding. JayWalsh 01:14, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I kind of liked it (mostly for the symmetry it provided), but gone. Maybe a clear box could be used instead? Dunno. --MZMcBride 01:24, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Please remove the links to the user job descs

Hi folks - I know the effort on this page is to help bring more information to the reader - helping them understand their job etc. I don't want to carry this out by providing links to the job descriptions. The reality is that many jobs have changed in small or significant ways - or staff have carried out several kinds of jobs. Linking to their original, posted job description is not an accurate way to describe their work. Gayle and I are working on a new userpage format (or possibly a 'what I do' type page) that will essentially be a template with staffers summarizing their work in three points, sharing some info about themselves, and linking to other info if they like. I'd rather have no link until we sort that out (about 2 weeks) - the job descriptions are just not the right option. Thanks for your help. JayWalsh 01:18, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Killed: [1] [2].
I agree that job descriptions aren't very useful. I'd like to see useful pages created in some way. Your idea about bolstering user pages seems like a good one. --MZMcBride 01:33, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks MZ - Gayle's working on a model right now. It would be much clearer - this is what I really do, these are the folks I work with, this is what I did before (if relevant). We'll share a demo shortly. Thanks! JayWalsh 01:44, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

This sentence is not entirely accurate

Everyone else involved with the Wikimedia projects is a volunteer, including members of the Board of Trustees.

I just noticed this text in the template. I totally appreciate the intent of it, but it's actually not accurate: there are lots of paid staff outside the Wikimedia Foundation -- e.g., here, as well as at the French, UK and Dutch chapters. I think it'd probably be pretty easy to rephrase the sentence to preserve its intent while respecting accuracy; could somebody please take a crack at that? Thanks Sue Gardner (talk) 04:27, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Reworded slightly. Does that sound better? PeterSymonds (talk) 18:32, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
I believe this sentence was completely removed in Heather's redesign of the page. For what it's worth, I think it was completely accurate when it was written by Michael in 2006. I guess it just lingered a bit. :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 04:28, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

August 2012 updates

The updates announced by Sue in this mailing list post need to be incorporated into this page still. In particular, it looks like Jay will need to be moved (at some point, it's unclear when his new reporting is effective) and Winifred will need her title updated. And, of course, Barry will need to be removed at the end of the month. Not sure what will go in his place until a successor is hired. --MZMcBride (talk) 04:30, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Note that these changes will take place on the date given in the post, i.e. on August 31 except for Winifred (August 5). So apart from her job title, the page is still up to date for the next two weeks. Regards, Tbayer (talk) 12:45, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I'd suggest we replace Barry's image with Anasuya's and Frank's.--Jorm (talk) 01:42, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Bumping this thread as it's now September. I guess it wouldn't be too difficult to pull Anasuya's and Frank's images out of their sections and put them in the side, though I'm still not sure that's the best option. I think it'll look weirder than just having a [placeholder] box or something (plus we apparently don't have an image for Anasuya? bleh). Anyone else care to weigh in? --MZMcBride (talk) 18:35, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Template for translations

Staff's page should be translated? If so, please create template of usage for filling translated values. --Kaganer (talk) 12:13, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

NB: Translation of the staff member names don't planned now ? --Kaganer (talk) 12:18, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
The page is translatable, as far as I know, see e.g. Dipendenti e collaboratori. Ah, I see m:Translation requests/WMF/Staff has been closed; I don't know if the new page caused regressions for translations, I've not looked into it. --Nemo 13:18, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Dipendenti e collaboratori is not used {{Staff and contractors}}, only {{staff member}} - see code. --Kaganer (talk) 14:43, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
So what? The English version is basically just a redirect to this template. The translation doesn't use the new {{department}}, that's the difference (plus some more regressions recently introduced, it seems). --Nemo 14:48, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
Maybe so, but it does not help me. Personally, I will not engage in support of Russian translation, until the process is not properly organized. --Kaganer (talk) 14:56, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
For previous version User:Cbrown1023 was support of this template and kept it up to date (up to 2011-07-24). Now if someone else serve the new version, let it do the same pattern and maintain it. If you need to translate the names of the employees, they also should be made through the parameters. --Kaganer (talk) 14:56, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree that this should be fixed, I'm not able to fix it because I don't know the new templates. I know that they are supposed to work, that you should take the English version from here and that the Italian translation worked and could be used as an example (the usage of parameters is a mess). --Nemo 15:01, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

When I implemented this, I'm fairly sure I brought up the translation issue and it was deemed relatively unimportant (low priority is perhaps a better way to say it). Do either of you have any familiarity with the Translate extension? Does that work (well enough) with pages that use templates like this? Or could it be made to work? Meta-Wiki has been using it for a few months now, I think. Would it help to have it enabled here?

If the Translate extension won't work, what level of localization would be desirable here? --MZMcBride (talk) 03:51, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

The Translate extension would work in such a case as far as I can see, but I doubt it has any meaningful use on a closed wiki. --Nemo 06:18, 4 September 2012 (UTC)


Hi. Many years ago, Tim removed the "(contractor)" label from a few entries here as he considered it offensive. Slowly over the years, this page has morphed from "Staff" to "Staff and contractors" and the number of "(contractor)" labels has dramatically increased. Now there's apparently a push to use "(international)" instead of "(contractor)" where applicable (cf. this edit).

I tend to agree with Tim: I'm not sure any labels are necessary here. What problem are these (sidenotes) attempting to solve? Could it be solved in another way (e.g., but listing in which country the person is working)? Without objection, I'm inclined to remove all of the sidenotes. I think the current page title is fine ("Staff and contractors"), however. (Or at least I'm unable to come up with a better one.) --MZMcBride (talk) 00:44, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

The issue is one of legal status with regards to various government organizations (the IRS, the California board of employment, etc.). Each of these agencies has a set of criteria by which employees are checked to determine if they are, in truth, not contractors but actually full-time employees. One of those criteria is "is the employee listed on a staff directory and not explicitly called out as a contractor." Obviously, those who are contracting with us as contractors must be called out.
The monkeywrench is for employees who are located outside of the United States. These are people who we want to call "full time employees" - because they are, there are requisition numbers for them. However, they are technically contractors because we don't have offices in those countries. Since referring to them as "contractor" is not a legal requirement, but we do need to indicate that they are not an FTE (for tax purposes, I think), we call them "International".
I hope that explains it.--Jorm (talk) 20:09, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation.
Looking at the current version of this page, it seems the labels are completely inconsistent. For example, Tim S., Mark B., Guillaume P., and Erik Z. don't have an "international" or "contractor" label. Timo T., Andrew G., Nischay N., Marc-André P., and Oliver K. all have a "contractor" label instead of an "international" label. (These lists were based on a cursory scan.)
I have difficulty believing the IRS or any other organization is relying on the information found on this page. If they are, then we're currently misleading them (and have been for several years). I think we should remove all of the sidenotes. Any agency interested in knowing an employee's legal work status surely wouldn't be daft enough to rely on a wiki page. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:57, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Well, Timo, Andrew, Oliver, Nischay, etc. - they do not have requisition numbers, and are thus "true" contractors. And I know that you think it's stupid to think that the IRS or the government would care, but they will, do, and have. Tim, Mark, Guilluame, etc. - they should probably have the "international" marker if you are concerned about consistency.--Jorm (talk) 21:56, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Well, yes, I think it's stupid. But the only thing I view as worse than stupidity is inconsistent (or sloppy) stupidity. :-) I'm not going to add a marker to anyone, as that would work against my goal. I guess we'll just need to revisit this in the future.

It used to be that contractors weren't even listed on this page (though that too was an inconsistent rule). This lead to the creation of m:Wikimedia Foundation contractors, which subsequently faded in importance when this page's scope expanded from "Staff" to "Staff and contractors". We're making progress... it's just very slow. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:13, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Missing personnel JXavier & EYoung

Could someone please add wherever are the appropriate areas

  • JXavier (WMF)
  • EYoung (WMF)

Thanks — billinghurst sDrewth 01:18, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Special:Log/newusers adds to the collection. Dunno who all these people are. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:05, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Michael Dale + Kaltura

Removed in this edit. Intentional? --MZMcBride (talk) 17:51, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure, but it's the correct thing to do; Michael still works with us on pulling Kaltura player updates into TMH as needed, but not at the level of time commitment that would justify listing him here. I'll give HR a quick pointer in case the removal was accidental.--Eloquence (talk) 20:29, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Interactive Org Chart

mw:Wikimedia tools/Org chart tool is the home of details about this tool. Just noting for future reference. NWilson (WMF) (talk) 19:14, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Carlos and Jay

I think that the template misses Carlos Monterrey and Jay Walsh, who — as far as I am aware — work in the communications department. Perhaps @Katherine might add them to the list :-) odder (talk) 19:34, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I'll talk to Carlos about being on there! Jay is a consultant for us now... as he is for many other great organizations, through his own business. We still have the pleasure of working with him, but he's not with us full time anymore, sadly! Katherine (WMF) (talk) 09:27, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Section hierarchy

Is it intentional that since [3] the sections Community Tech, Editing etc. are no longer subordinate to Engineering and Product? m:Wikimedia Foundation Engineering reorganization FAQ suggested something different. --Nemo 07:55, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

I see what you're saying Nemo. We wanted to have a stronger distinction of the subteams within teams below Engineering in Product. We didn't want to further indent, so we chose to use the larger headers for Editing, Community Tech, etc. This changes the table of contents to give the perception that subordinate teams are on equal standing with Engineering and Product (they are not). ALantz (WMF) (talk) 18:42, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Edit requests

Please remove [4] given [5]. Alternatively, unprotect the page so that its quality can stop decreasing further. Nemo 21:18, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Removed the link. Thanks for the note! ALantz (WMF) (talk) 21:30, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Incorrect username

"LAFrankenfield (WMF)" should be "LFrankenfield (WMF)". This error was introduced 9 months ago, I suggest that you unprotect the template so that mistakes are fixed more quickly. Nemo 18:09, 1 September 2016 (UTC)

Hi Nemo - Lindsey Anne has both LAFrankenfield & LFrankenfield as her email address (the former created first). I always use emails as user names (because thats often how the accounts are created) unless I'm told that they would rather go by a different user name or link to a different user page. ALantz (WMF) (talk) 17:59, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

edit request: Update job titles

Hi @ALantz (WMF):

I noticed some out-of-date information--when you have the opportunity, please entitle Elliott Eggleston "Fundraising Tech Lead", and give me (Adam Roses Wight) the title "Software Engineer".

It's a pity that this page is protected, but saves on subtle breakage I'm sure.

AWight (talk) 07:45, 12 December 2016 (UTC)