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WME Chat and Live Users have been discontinued

Post by
About 6 weeks ago, Waze HQ told the Gobal Champs that WME Chat and Live users on the map would be discontinued. The reasons we were given were:
  • Poor capabilities of WME Chat
  • Low usage of WME Chat
  • Increased use of external services like Slack & Discord
It turned out that this was misleading (to be polite) and doesn't cover Live Users being discontinued at all. Within 2 days, HQ had to admit the true situation. The infrastructure team are upgrading the login servers; as part of this, the new service will not be compatible with either chat or live users. To quote Ruben "In this case it was somewhat not fully expected also from our side." But I don't feel that was justification to give us other reasons whilst hiding the real one.

Needless to say, there were immediate, multiple, passionate objections to the loss of WME Chat. Poor as it is, it's still an important tool for contacting new editors and the value of having something integrated into WME, with no need for additional software/logins etc is inestimable. Nevertheless, there is nothing we can do about this. The infrastructure to support chat no longer exists.

The topic then turned to the future. Even the initial post mentioned the possibility of a better, integrated replacement to chat. Unfortunately that is going to be something for the future. Right now, they are only at the stage of gathering input/suggestions - and believe me, we have provided plenty of those. But we all know that Waze have a history of taking ages to start new features, then abandoning them before completion. All we can do is keep up at them about this one and hope something happens soon.

I call on HQ to begin a public discussion of the future of chat, including a summary of the suggestions so far. I would actually have no objections if they just moved the discussion topic in the GC forum into public view.

Why am I making this announcement? Because Waze HQ have not done so. They've announced it in the Global Champs and Coordinators forums. If they expect us to make the announcements for them - well this is what happens. :lol:

I would lastly like to apologise, personally, to the entire editing community. As a Global Champ, I was privy to this upcoming change and discussion. I didn't notice at the time, but they even told us it would happen in mid-October. So we should have spread the news to the rest of you, instead of it coming as a surprise.

I had hoped my 10,000th post would be for something more pleasant. I even had something planned. :(

[UPDATE]
Staff have posted an update later on this topic. The important part is this:
HeziBez wrote:The main reason for this deprecation is a Login Server upgrade. The new server is not backwards compatible and the current WME chat service will not be able to function.

Community feedback has clarified how important the WME chat is, so it will be rebuilt.
Rebuilding it in a way that's compatible with the new server requires rewriting most of the code so we cannot currently provide an ETA.
There will be a downtime between the deprecation of the current version and the release of the new one.
So before you post your reply on this thread, please bear in mind:
  • WME Chat and Live Users will not return in their old form - the infrastructure is not there to support them.
  • The Global Champs had already made their displeasure clear, and you have certainly done so on this topic! :D
  • A replacement is being actively worked on but there will be a substantial time before it is ready.
  • We can now usefully use this topic to make suggestions about how that replacement might work.

Post by AILe85
For us, it's the end of informal mentoring, no more contact with new editors, and VERY demotivating.

No more reason to search why we get less new editors, this time we don't have any way to keep them editing and to correct their first errors.

Map quality will suffer for the lack of integrated chat !
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Post by Caart
As a French editor, chat is useful for reactivity in demands of closures or unlocking, removing it is a terrible mistake... We may be the only community to use it intensively, but we are one of the biggest, so I hope they will hear us.
But, as always, scripts' creators will find a way to bypass this trouble, and it will last forever without native chat solution.
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Post by CoolCityCat
mhh60 wrote:Just a week ago I was able to reach out to a new editor after seeing his hardhat. As much as Chat may have sucked, being able to see live users was useful especially when editing collaboratively such as during raids. The timing could not have been worse with the raid that started today in Alabama and Florida.
The timing could not have been worse with the raid that is currently in progress in Malaysia!
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Post by Ardillon42
When staff says "the cat is not used" did he use WME, did he have stats to offer and explain (real ones, not bullshit) ?
From my point of view, it sounds more like laziness than deleting an unused function.
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Post by AILe85
FYI The main French editors have decided to stop all edits to demand the chat return.
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Post by Ardillon42
Marcin_S wrote:not least - to take Selfies after the WoWs or MapRaids. Without selfie none of them will be the same.
It's also import :!:
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Post by Caart
AILe85 wrote:FYI The main French editors have decided to stop all edits to demand the chat return.
Yeah, it may seem cliché, but we're on strike :twisted:
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Post by AlanOfTheBerg
iainhouse wrote:About 6 weeks ago, Waze HQ told the Gobal Champs that WME Chat and Live users on the map would be discontinued. The reasons we were given were:
  1. Poor capabilities of WME Chat
  2. Low usage of WME Chat
  3. Increased use of external services like Slack & Discord
I understand the real reason behind the change being the login server infrastructure change, but for #2 above, what does Waze consider to be "low usage" exactly? In this thread, clearly some communities use it heavily and constantly. Was there some kind of usage target Waze wanted to hit to consider it to be well- or highly-used?

For #3, how is Waze measuring this at all? Do they have access to every person's Slack and Discord (and others) and can monitor how much chatter about Waze map editing there is across the globe? Of course not: this statement is purely anecdotal. They hear about usage of other services, and may even be part of groups in other services, but they really have no way to measure it, and therefore no way to compare it to how much WME chat is used or not.

I am in agreement with others that Waze really needs to figure out how to either make the current Chat and Live Users work with the new login system, or build something new. "If you build something (worth using), they will come [and use it]."
jm6087 wrote:Thanks Vince

If people actually read your post instead of just throwing out complaint after complaint, then maybe it will help.
Maybe ask Ian to get this included into the OP? I that would help with visibility to more of the solution side.
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Post by Caart
SunnyRaynbows wrote:For our friends in France and other areas that used WME Chat extensively, may I recommend that this serve as an opportunity to begin using something that is compatible for the area in which you live (Discord, Slack, Hangouts, etc) and utilize social media, forums, word of mouth to carry on the communication there? Should that happen, I think you'll find the communication will be more fruitful, engaging, and better for everyone.

WME Chat certainly has its place and its temporary deprecation is definitely a hit to the community, but all doesn't have to be lost. If you need help, I personally will make myself available to help you with a solution.
I'm pretty sure that there is plenty of solutions, but every solution have the very same defaults :
1. It's not embedded by default, meaning that you need to create another account on another platform
2. It won't show where the editor is on the map

So, announcement that replacement is coming is a good news, let's hope it will be sooner than Soon™ :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Post by Ardillon42
On my list of wishes for the new chat, it could be nice to have those features :
  • a simple way to post a permalink
  • a way to jump to new editor and last edit
  • a way to show if a editor has a mentor and if so who
  • a way to follow the chat outside the WME, to detect new editor coming on the chat
  • emoji - for kawaii
On the chat's development will we have a agile method (some releases and a delivery step by step) or a V cycle (one delivery only when is done) ?
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