Proposal talk:Emergency Slimdown

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Agree, this information diserves to exist and be publically available. Wikipedia affects to many websites to stop functioning, without some form of action plan if funding goes down the tube. Sadads 13:04, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

I also agree that some sort of emergency protocol and war chest need to be in place (and hopefully never used). Eventually, this may need to be passed as a Board resolution.--HereToHelp 13:31, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
It's a horrible proposal to contemplate but I agree that something should be in place. My idea for possible inclusion would be - under circumstances to be determined, but I guess related to server loads - "limit edits to only registered users [an idea, in any case, that some would like to see without emergency!] and reject any new sign-ups until overload is resolved." --Bodnotbod 16:36, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree that something like this needs to be in place, however this proposal seems to be based on the assumption that it may need to be done really quickly. As long as the WMF keeps a sensible amount of reserves (I know that is a topic currently under discussion), there should be at least a few months to sort it out, hopefully longer. Therefore, I think the emergency plan should be fairly vague and designed in such a way that it can be turned into a detailed plan in a couple of months based on the details of the emergency. A one plan fits all approach is probably not worthwhile. --Tango 00:43, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

So instead of we should do this, more like, we can do this? That is, arrange the options without any pre-commitment. I think that's a good idea.--HereToHelp 23:22, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm saying. Make sure all the information we might need in such an emergency is in one place so we can make appropriate decisions. --Tango 00:48, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Agree. Rursus 13:06, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Not exactly a slimdown, but: some of the OpenStreetMap maps seem to be rendered on users’ computers using Tiles@home. Although it may make no sense when there is no emergency, and the OSM thing requires a lot of RAM (at least 2 GiB), thumbnail generation could be off-loaded to users temporarily. -- 12:44, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

A counter-proposal: Mike Snow should know who he can get along without and who is truly necessary. (If not, we've hired the wrong president.) For gosh sake, we're only talking about 25 to 30 people. In the proposal, you're talking about reducing the staff by 90%. I assume that, by the time we get to this stage, the board will have already discussed having fewer servers, less outreach, a total elimination of "stategy" (along with your plan), etc., before we gut the staff and move into somebody's basement. Businesses fail by stages, not all at once.

I assume this is not imminent. Any "plan" you come up with will be abandoned the first time they ever consider firing 10% of the staff. In my opinion, we shound not micro-manage. (If we do, we should concentrate on the first 10% to get fired, rather than the last 10% that we'll keep. Does anyone have any candidates as to who we'll let go first? How will publishing our drop dead list affect the staff's morale?) --RoyGoldsmith 18:55, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't think we need to create a cut list, since it will certainly affect morale and new hires would be "immune". Instead, we should come up with options - donation drive, stop buying servers, relocate, ask people to take pay cuts (or even leave), fire certain types of people first, and so on, listed in approximate order of severity. I certainly agree that planning for 90% is unreasonable. What we develop will stay in the war chest for at least a few years (and hopefully forever), so it needs to be flexible. HereToHelp (talk) 00:13, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Wikimedia may fail by stages but only if it actually realises and accepts that it's failing. The point of having the plan on hand is that even if doing something is put off way to long there may still be something that can be done. The other advantage is that it means that anyone who starts empire building will know that the empire can quickly and effectively removed if it starts to cost too much. Finally by getting the idea into people’s heads that wikimedia can get smaller there is a better chance of people taking corrective measures before it is too late.


Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:09, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Technical Slimdown means

Dear colleagues!

I think, we should analyze technical means as well.

Current pages design is very features rich (we use long java scripts, AJAX, etc, etc). Reducing amount of data transferred may help us to cut the costs in emergency.

This also may include turning on the flagged revisions system displaying stable versions by default for all articles, which may improve caching and reduce hardware requirements.

What costs us most in terms of hardware/bandwidth? How can we cut these costs in emergency?

What do you think? Drbug 18:43, 27 September 2009 (UTC)


There's something called static Wikipedia dump ([ here for en:, having some 14GB but w/o images). Wikipedia Foundation could sell such dumps on hard drives. 22:04, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Long or short term?

If this was a short term proposal, to work with a temporary budget defecit, then the WMF could operate with just a couple of server techs to keep everything running, and someone to manage the required income/accounts. The administration of the wikis could still be managed by the various volunteer committees, and any significant vandalism or threats would have to be dealt with using harder means, such as namespace protection or IP-range blocking (for the duration of the defecit). Server failures would have to be taken offline and just queued up for repair, sacrificing qos/speed/reliability for basic operation. With the help of volunteers being more vigilant, this could probably work fine for a couple of weeks, maybe more, with minimum impact.

However for a long term lack of budget, requiring a large-scale shutdown of WMF operations, the process would be very different. Full decommisioning of servers to sell on, termination of staff contracts, a full halt on strategic operations. Maybe a full shutdown of WMF would result in the wikis being hosted/managed by other organisations, and selling on the domain hosting rights could bring in a lot. I suspect a better procedure would be prevention - does the WMF have any emergency fundraising measures, such as enabling (non-content) advertising? Gboyers 17:22, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

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