[Translators-l] Ready for early translation: Tech News summary #29

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Mon Jul 22 13:25:40 UTC 2013

2013/7/21 Tomasz W. Kozlowski <tomasz at twkozlowski.net>

> Philippe,
> thank you for your e-mail and apologies for such a belated reply.
> Your message touches on a variety of subjects, so I'm going to answer them
> very briefly, hoping that other people might also want to get involved at
> some point. I'm afraid that you might have confused some things and
> mentioned subjects that are outside of our (mine or Guillaume's) control.
> Firstly, we have never used any bots to notify translators about the issue
> being finished (and frozen); there are too many people subscribed to
> translation notifications on Meta, and Tech News isn't (yet) important
> enough to contact them all on their talk pages. Moreover, issue #29 was
> frozen on Saturday, and my last e-mail about it was sent that day; I don't
> know what notification you received on Monday but it certainly did not come
> from me or Guillaume.
> Secondly, e-mail notifications are one of the things that lie outside of
> our control. I am aware that the Wikimedia mailing system can deliver some
> notifications late, but there shouldn't be any problems with this mailing
> list; I at least receive all messages almost immediately, even though I'm
> using a private e-mail provider. Can you clarify what you have in mind? Are
> these problems about e-mails coming from <wiki at wikimedia.org> or from
> this mailing list (<translators-l at lists.**wikimedia.org<translators-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
> >)?

I am speaking about all emails that come from wikimedia.org (this includes
notifications received from edits made to pages I'm following or to my talk
page, they are NEVER sent immediately but are scheduled and will be sent
after a few hours).

I have aboslutely no problem of delays for any emails sent to my email
addresses, even this one which is sent to my old account on @wanadoo.fr and
redirected immediately to Gmail, without more delays than a few seconds.

So yes the problem is with emails supposed to be sent by wikimedia
(notifications notably). Note that the true mailing lists have no such
delay (e.g. <translators-l at lists.**wikimedia.org<translators-l at lists.wikimedia.org>>,
according to the tracking headers, note however that even this list has
some internal delays: you may have submitted sometime to the wikimedia
system, but nothing will get out before some time, and I suspect that the
bot does not send them at the same time for all wiki projects, e.g. those
like me that subscribed using their main wiki account on FR.WP will be sent
the mails long after those that subscribed whose main account is on EN.WP
or Commons; that may explain why I NEVER see any email from this list
immediately like you but it is really sent by Wikimedia several hours later
it was composed and submitted; I've seen alerts composed on Friday evening
being sent only on Sunday at late evening; the delay was NOT within the
email delivery on Internet but ONLY within Wikimedia servers).

Mails sent by the translation project bot are in fact forwarded to us using
the notification system. There are so many emails going out from Wikimedia
caused by individal edits and sent to just one person, that they are always
scheduled. You cannot expect these notifications to be sent immediately.

For this reason, emails sent to lists for projects should use another way:
they are not individualized, their content is identical. I would suggest
using another less crowded mailing system for faster delivery of these
emails that have a short lifetime, for actions to be done in just the next
few hours.

Is there another mail server you could use and to which we could subscribe
instead of the existing (very slow) one ? I could as well acept emails
coming directly from the personal email of the person writing these
notification messages to the translators, but may be an external mailing
list manager would be preferable (e.g. Google Plus, Yahoo, Bing, with a
specific "group" page...), because these services have much larger
But it could be as well a mail server hosted on Wikimedia Labs for this
small project, but that could be used as well for any other need for urgent
notifications to small groups of Wikimedia users in specific projects
(including for communicating between wiki admins, or developers, or with
beta testers for experimental features), that need urgent action (to be
done within hours or in a week maximum).

Most notifications sent to Wikimedia suers do not need any emergency
emails, users are notified for changes in pages whose reading and
correction have no limit of time, so it does not matter if these emails
take 2 or 4 days to be delivered, possibly grouped within the same message
for several notifications related to the same user account, or for
"campaigns" like fund raising or most votes, or most translations projects
(e.g. Wikipedia portal pages, extended MediaWiki documentation), or quality
pages and projects of evaluation of content quality, and most requests for
comments (for things to be decided and not implemented, including design

Some notifications require fast delivery (this includes legal emergencies,
for mails sent in fact directly to wiki admins, such as legal deletion
requests after a copyright violation or a subpoena is received, or in case
of massive abuses by hostile users/bots, for example requests to block some
rnages of IP addresses or to secure a server under attack, including DoS
attacks). And may be it will be useful to have alternate ways to
communicate that do not depend only on Wikimedia internal servers and
resources (that's why I was suggesting large scale services like Google or
Yahoo, using closed "group" pages; but please avoid the Facebook dustbin !).
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