December thoughts from the engine room

Hello there, fellow wikilonians smile.gif

Once a month I'm trying to escape from the engine room and give a little insight in what is going on "behind the scenes" of wikiloops. It's that time again, and today I'd like to talk a little bit about the ongoing rollout of the new wikiloops interface version and give some insight in the funding rally for 2017 which has been going on for about two and a half weeks now.

Four weeks after the new interface version has gone live on wikiloops, the daily amount of bug reports has calmed down a little, but it have been some quite stressful weeks to get there.
Many thanks go out to those who observed bugs and took the time to report them to me,
such user feedback really is invaluable to make sure wikiloops works for anyone and on any device.

One major "milestone" that really deserves another mention here that also happened during the last four weeks was the release of the wikiloops app for android on the google play store @ ,
which basically combines the new interface with some app-specific functions, most importantly easier download handling and instant notifications where desired.
Should you be among the users of the previously released first wikiloops app - please update, the old version will cease to work sometime soon.

Another task that is still in the works is to update the Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Russian interfaces, which requires lots of working hours and some really dedicated volunteers from all over this globe. We are slowly getting there, and chances are the Spanish and Portuguese versions of wikiloops will be updated quite soon. Thanks go out to Leonardo and Nuno, with whom I had some nice nightly sessions working on that.

I have seen 65+ members online lately and could not say that the site performed slower in any way. Those of us who have been around a little longer will recall we had quiet a lot of server issues at half that many visitors last year, so to all who have been wondering what all this updating has been about, there's one reason.
There are quite a lot of other concerns which I have to deal with to keep wikiloops in service, another one worth mentioning is the changing server architecture.
I was informed a few weeks ago that the wikiloops servers would be upgraded to a newer version of php by january 1st, which requires a careful revision of the whole project to make sure it will not cease to work - just like any software that used to work on windows XP but didn't make it on windows 7, to give a comparable situation. So, things will not get boring anytime soon it seems, and there is still a lot of work to be done before the year ends.

Now, last, let me share some thoughts on the wikiloops 2017 support campaign.
Like last year, we are presenting a quite large call for help at the top of the pages of wikiloops to raise some funds to keep the music playing. If you should not have seen that, then you must be among the people who support wikiloops already, which is why you are not being bugged by it.

wikiloops has received 174 donations since december 1st, ranging from 1 to 500 dollars,
and I'd once more like to express my gratitude towards the people who donated -
thank you for noticing where help is needed.
I have also received quite a lot of emails by people who may not be in a situation to spend money or simply have no access to western-world online payments,
but who expressed a lot of appreciation for wikiloops.
I'd also like to thank these people, it is really nice to get such reminders about what wikiloops means to people out there.

On the other hand, I have also received quite a lot of emails of people who felt the need to complain about certain functionalities not working as expected during the launch of the interface update. Among them was someone who had a good way of summarizing what a lot of people seem to have felt,
writing something along the lines of:
"It's OK if you feel you need to fiddle on the site, but if I cannot upload here for three hours, I'm really getting angry".
A second sample of user expectations was a quite short comment on the android-app-release stating:
"And now we need an iOS app".
Do not get me wrong now, I do agree with both of these statements,
but as you may imagine, being held responsible for meeting such expectations can be a little difficult.

Why would that be difficult?
Simple answer: if you do not have the resources needed to meet what people expect,
you only have two choices: Tell them you can't do it, or go and do everything you can to get what is missing to meet the demands.
I have decided to take the second approach, and if you notice the big call for help to fund this project or have been among the 37.000 people who have been contacted by email in the past two weeks, then you may have noticed I'm trying hard not to miss any chance to make it work smile.gif

Well, we will have to see how it goes, I believe I have done almost everything which I can do from my end, and now we can only sit and wait what happens (maybe record a lil something while waiting?).
Should that feel odd to you, well, so it does to me - and should you feel like commenting or asking a question, you know I'm glad to share my thoughts with you.
wikiloops is about collaboration, not only on music, but also on wikiloops as a project.

Let me end with the traditional statistics collection,
and with wishing you and your families a happy and relaxed holiday season.
All the best & of course happy jamming, too smile.gif

stats of today:
72.697 tracks online
44.951 members
2.020 music contributers
335 supporting members

"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

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