Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Archive/Wiki skill support at Wikisource

Wiki skill support at Wikisource

  • Problem: Newbies are discouraged or get negative feedback due to lack of wikiskills.
  • Who would benefit: Newbies/people who would be excluded because of lack of wikiskills/minorities representation on WS because their present low representation is due to lack of skills + moderators etc who spend too much time on supporting individuals in this category + Wikisource as it would be a source of proofreaders to increase content
  • Proposed solution: Wikisource is developed as the training ground for newbies where, because the content is provided, there is much less that a newbie can do "wrong", avoiding a sense of harassment: With tools that make it easy to work from a limited skill set + a decent help + consensus on a standard of proofreading.
  • More comments: From discussion on Wikisource Scriptorium re the negative impact of recent changes to wikieditor:

    To be frank, the editor as it was needed a total overhaul from a proofreaders point of view. It could be a very useful support for new proofreaders, a key tool for teaching new people how to wiki. I think it would be great kudos for Wikisource to be the place where newbies can come to learn how to wiki without having to worry about content and a discussion of how these tools could support proofreading with this intent in mind would be very valuable. I think WS could get a lot more support and respect from the Wikipedia community if we pitched this as a key aim of WS: to be the community that teaches wiki skills from the most basic level. This would require a training process, like at Distributed Proofreaders: that would mean (shock, horror) standard ways to do things that support people who are low or un-skilled. I've learned an awful lot since starting here but by sheer bloodymindedness and an inclination to learn. Most people wouldn't withstand the learning process. Which is why, in my humble opinion, proofreaders are so scarce here. There is an assumed level of competence with working on a wiki as a prerequisite to contributing at WS. I have found that generally, the culture here is really good, people don't jump down your throats like at WP. There is huge potential for people to choose their level of contribution, once they are past that initial learning curve so newbies can work at their own pace and get comfortable. It could be the place to which Wikipedians retreat when they have encountered shit at WP, or they just aren't up to dealing with it. With tools that make it easy to work from a limited skill set + a decent help + consensus on a standard, perhaps fencing off certain works as beginners level or having their own standard like Popular Science (with an appointed Project Manager, as at DP), people would have clear guidelines of the expected skill level and they could choose appropriately. Then we can be really supportive of people at the level they are at. WS could feed WP with upskilled contributors and WS would be recommended to anyone on any other wiki site as the place to go to upskill so we get more proofreading done. Win, win.

  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Zoeannl (talk) 05:01, 5 November 2018 (UTC)


Zoeannl I acknowledge the problem you describe here but the solution you suggest is more of a social change and not a technical one. We cannot comvince communities to treat Wikisource as a playground for newcomers. We also don't have a way to funnel newcomers across all projects to Wikisource. This is also something that would need communities (like Wikipedia) to agree to. I would recommend you think of technical things we can do to help with the situation - make the proofreading experience better or create a tool to teach wiki-skills to beginners or such. Thank you for putting up a proposal. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 19:45, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Hi Zoeann1, it seems to me like the real technical wish is to make the proofreading tools easier to use, so that new editors will be more likely to participate on Wikisource. I think that's a worthwhile wish. But there's an extra layer in this proposal about sending new people to Wikisource in order to learn how to work on wikis, which would be a social change that the Community Tech team can't work on.
Are you interested in rewriting this proposal, to just focus on making the proofreading tools easier to use? If you do that, then I think this is a great proposal. If you leave it the way that it is, we'll have to decline it as out of scope for the Wishlist Survey. We've just got a couple days until the voting period starts, so you'd have to make the changes right away. Can you make those changes, or should we decline the proposal? -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 01:34, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
Zoeann1: We're getting close tot he voting period, so I'm going to archive the proposal. Thanks for participating in the survey! -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 00:15, 16 November 2018 (UTC)