Submissions:2016/Developing community norms for critical bots and tools

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Developing community norms for critical bots and tools
(Don't let your brother-in-law's niece be the only person who keeps your community running)
Technology & Infrastructure
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
Presentation (and possible unconference follow-up meetings)
Related pages
wikitech:User:BryanDavis/Developing community norms for critical bots and tools
slides on Toolforge
m:Requests for comment/Abandoned Labs tools
wikitech:Help:Tool Labs/Abandoned tool policy
wikitech:Help:Tool Labs/Right to fork policy
Bryan Davis
E-mail address
BDavis (WMF), BryanDavis
Wikimedia Foundation, Community Tech, Tool Labs support
Present real life bot and tool failures with on-wiki impact that might have been avoided by following a few relatively simple guidelines for healthy FLOSS projects.
Bots and tools are a vital resource for many on-wiki content creation and curation activities. A typical bot/tool project begins life as a way for a motivated Wikimedia community member to make some on-wiki task easier (or possible). These individuals are "scratching their own itch" in the best tradition of open source development. Many of these projects have a short lifecycle due to factors such as loss of interest by the maintainer, insurmountable technical hurdles, or discovery of a better means to manage the original problem. Others however become popular and tightly integrated in the workflows of one or more on-wiki communities.
Popular tools and bots become de facto production software needed to keep the wikis healthy and happy. Their roots as weekend projects from motivated volunteers brought them their success, but ultimately pose a risk to their end users. Life happens and a single developer project is in perpetual danger of abandonment. Adopting basic FLOSS project practices and following some general rules of professional software and systems management can help protect the software and the wikis.
Length of presentation
30 min.
Special schedule requests
Preferred room size
10-20 (or more if there's interest!)
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