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Questions about OTRS governance remain unansweredEdit

Six months ago I asked a set of ten question, the answers to which I thought should be both straightforward and readily available, on the OTRS Noticeboard on Commons.

Despite a very lengthy discussion there (and a thread on Wikimedia-l when I posted a pointer to that discussion), and a number of other people echoing my plea for transparency, they remain unanswered.

The questions are:

  1. what are OTRS' rules and policies?
  2. where are those rules and policies documented, and why are they not public?
  3. where are those rules and polices discussed and decided?
  4. what is the process for getting those rules and policies changed (or reworded for clarity)?
  5. how is OTRS overseen, and who by?
  6. what is the approval process for an individual to become an OTRS agent?
  7. what is the process for the community to remove an individual's OTRS permissions, if they fail to uphold or abide by policy?
  8. if an individual has been acting contrary to policy, what is the process for reviewing and if necessary overturning their past actions (including contacting and apologising to their correspondents)?
  9. which individuals can make someone an OTRS agent, or remove their permissions?
  10. how are the individuals in #9 appointed and overseen?

[the originals are in my post timestamped '11:26, 27 February 2020 (UTC)' in the discussion linked above]

I know the questions have been drawn to the attention of (apparently relevant) WMF staff, and raised on the (non-public) OTRS mailing list, but this has also not resulted in answers being given.

What do we have to do to get plain and complete answers to these questions? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:55, 28 August 2020 (UTC)

User:Pigsonthewing, could you confirm that you have read OTRS and its subpages linked in its header? --Base (talk) 20:34, 30 August 2020 (UTC)

Yes; and I said as much in the Commons discussion, linked above, on 29 February. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:17, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
I see, thanks. From my perspective the pages do answer the majority of the questions you are asking, so I wanted to have a confirmation before diving into what you aptly call a very lengthy discussion. --Base (talk) 01:10, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
They do not, as I made clear in that February comment - but if you feel they do, please feel free to point out where, specifically, any of the above questions are answered. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:00, 3 September 2020 (UTC)

@Mdaniels5757 and Nosebagbear: (or anyone else) Any progress? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:32, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

Alright, it's simple.
  1. Whatever OTRS operators and communities decide to enforce.
  2. On OTRS subpages and related pages, and the OTRS wiki.
  3. On the respective talk pages, mailing lists etc. Content and discussions which may reference private conversations are generally confined to private wikis and mailing lists.
  4. Discuss in the above-mentioned places.
  5. By OTRS admins.
  6. Approval by OTRS admins.
  7. If an agent damages a Wikimedia project, get them blocked or banned there. That will prompt reconsideration of their access or make them less harmful.
  8. Become an OTRS agent and go review their past actions with the blessing of a discussion with other agents.
  9. OTRS admins.
  10. By OTRS admins.
HTH, Nemo 09:46, 20 September 2020 (UTC)
No, those ridiculous non-answers do not help. Of course. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:33, 23 September 2020 (UTC)
Why not? It's the reality. What are you trying to achieve? (I still don't get it.) Nemo 20:03, 23 September 2020 (UTC)
Pigsonthewing, is this still an issue? The answers from Nemo_bis are completely accurate, and if you believe they're insufficient I'd be interested to hear why so I can help. Vermont (talk) 14:55, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
@Nemo bis:So have I understood you correctly that in essence this means I have to volunteer as an OTRS operator to gain insight in this part of the organization because its decisions/oversight is not made public anywhere?--So9q (talk) 11:04, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
Well, yes. The answer to question #8 is a tad surprising. Schwede66 (talk) 21:46, 4 October 2020 (UTC)
Looks like I forgot OTRS on The chain of accountability. Despite being in userspace, feel free to add useful info. And this addition also immediately shows the problem the answer from User:Nemo_bis: the question simply shifts to "Questions about OTRS admins governance". I also have some questions about OTRS sometimes. They seem to act largely on faith, if someone says they are the copyright holder they believe it. Not all of them are very good at sniffing out copyvios. (yes, some people abuse the system) — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 19:32, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

Will wikitext editing be restricted/abolished within the framework of the Desktop Improvements?Edit

Hello. I'm an editor at Russian Wikipedia. Yesterday, the 25th of September, a thread dedicated to the Desktop Improvements has been started at our village pump. An IP-user has noticed that the first animated illustration to the Diff Wikimedia blog post about the Desktop Improvements has images displaying the interface for IP users with the edit button (i. e. the button you press to edit an article) circled, ans asked if they are going to leave the Visual Editor only. In addition, all the wikis in the illustration except the Russian Wikipedia have only one edit button.

On the MediaWiki, the FAQ page for the Visual Editor says that there are no plans to remove wikitext editing, while the FAQ page for the Desktop Improvements contains no mentions of wikitext editing. Besides, both pages say nothing about restricting wikitext editing.

Sorry if this is the wrong place, but could any Wikimedia Foundation employees and other official representatives make an official comment about the future of wikitext editing, removing or restricting which could force many Wikipedians which don't use the Visual Editor to "retrain" for it, and possibly negatively impact editor retention which the Wikimedia Foundation considers to be an important issue? --Синкретик (talk) 14:49, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

I'm not a WMF employee, but this is obviously not the case. You can see exactly what the Desktop Improvements look and feel like by going to French Wikipedia which has already switched over to the new system, and still has the "Modifier le code" button exactly where you'd expect it to be. I don't like the alleged "improvements" and think they make Wikipedia virtually unreadable on larger monitors, but they don't affect editing in any way.Iridescent (talk) 20:24, 26 September 2020 (UTC)
Excuse me, but why are you so optimistic? The Desktop Improvements are currently being tested until the end of next year, so the fact that there currently are no restrictions on wikitext editing doesn't mean they cannot be introduced in the future. That is why I'm asking for an official comment about the Wikimedia Foundation's plans. --Синкретик (talk) 08:53, 27 September 2020 (UTC)
+1. As far as I understand, there is currently only one "improvement" deployed on frwiki, namely the collapsible sidebar. 𝟙𝟤𝟯𝟺𝐪𝑤𝒆𝓇𝟷𝟮𝟥𝟜𝓺𝔴𝕖𝖗𝟰 (𝗍𝗮𝘭𝙠) 13:39, 28 September 2020 (UTC)
Hi @Синкретик: - thanks for your question! To confirm - we will not be removing the wikitext editor from the default experience on any of the wikis. The images that you refer to are just some sketches that we've made to illustrate a few of the changes we're introducing. Their goal is to begin conversation on the things that are changing (rather than the ones that are staying the same). This means that we might have overlooked some of the details on common functionality. These images are in no way a complete reflection of the final product (which is yet to be created, based on feedback and iteration). In fact, we are committed to keeping all of the functionality currently on the page. While some things will be moved around, no functionality will be removed. Please check out the principles section of our project page for more details. Hope this is helpful and let us know if you have other questions! OVasileva (WMF) (talk) 07:13, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Hello. Thank you for your detailed reply! I have no further questions, and if I have others, I'll ask them at the appropriate pages. --Синкретик (talk) 15:37, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

CS1 module - GlobalEdit

Hello everyone!

I'm an admin at SqWiki. I've been collaborating for a long time with Trappist the monk on EnWiki to deal with the needed periodical updates on the CS1 module in our project. During this time I've seen that a whole lot of Wikipedia-s (and other projects - I have implemented CS1 in SqQuote where I'm also an admin) rely on that particular module to deal with their citations. From my point of view, that's the "de facto software" regarding citations and references on Wikipedia. Can something be done to make it at least technically the de jure one too? What I mean is to have a global approach regarding it. With specific pages here in Meta coordinating and tracking updates in different projects, in different languages maybe even with global bots helping to solve some of the problems that are related to it (for the moment being, I have a pywikibot that serves exactly that purpose on SqWiki which could easily be globalized) or making the needed updates to the module (even creating the needed categories?). Global notifications regarding new updates could also benefit the idea. A global "fully de jure" approach could be the ideal solution, making the module part of the MediaWiki software itself and not having to manually/bot update it periodically site per site but maybe that's a thing for a distant future.

Even though Trappist has worked hard to make the update and internationalization process as easy as he can, updating it without ruining the whole code still feels very tedious and is usually followed by work disruption for 2-3 days in the projects where the update is happening. Another problem is that small wiki-s have it really hard to keep up with the technical side of updates and their specific language-related needs because of the lack of tech-savvy users and usually end up with a one-time-copy-pasted-outdated version of it OR they end up relying in one specific user which they burden to do everything related to it (if they're lucky enough to have that user).

I've talked with Trappist about the idea of having the module metafied and globally tracked in a more "official" way and he did agree with that but he didn't want to deal with the needed bureaucracies of setting up a project like this so I thought I could help with that.

What are your thoughts on the initiative, what are some points I may be overlooking in my logic above and would anyone want to be involved in the said initiative?

Please keep in mind that in the above written text, although I do talk about the module, I mean the system as a whole: templates, categories and help pages included.

Thank you in advance! :)

PS: I am aware of the Phabricator task about supporting global modules (and more). Maybe that would solve this problem and other ones similar to this. I just think we can find a "temporarily" (?) solution about this one given that we're talking about a crucial point regarding articles (references) and that that task isn't really moving forward technically that much. - Klein Muçi (talk) 12:27, 27 September 2020 (UTC)

Not getting any reply on this for quite some days now, as a last try I'm giving below some detailed info as a brainstorming tool for the aforementioned project.
The CS1 module (and its subpages) is the module responsible for references and citations in many different Wikis around the world. It is currently mostly maintained by user Trappist the Monk in EnWiki. Given that it is used in many different Wikis and that it requires periodical updates I think it would be wise to have a table of all the Wikis that use it here and track their progress. If they have the most updated version or no. The module requires many categories to run successfully. These and their interconnections on Wikidata can also be tracked here. We could also notify users en-masse globally when a new update is available and hopefully some of all that updating process can be made by a bot in the future.
Not wanting to press hard in something there might be no interest, this will be my last notice on this subject. :) - Klein Muçi (talk) 10:39, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

Planet WikimediaEdit

As I added my blog for inclusion in June and nothing happened at all since then - may some responsible person take a look. Thanks a lot! -- southpark (talk) 17:33, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Just to keep this alive. I've seen in the meantime there was a next request. Or does anybody here happen to know who can add these blogs? Thanks! -- southpark (talk) 10:18, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

Wiki of functions naming contestEdit

20:53, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Question on project policy pages for WMF pages on hereEdit

For these pages:

should something be added to include Beta Cluster wikis (mentioned on Wikimedia wikis) such as and since they do not have the same SUL global login as on here and are, effectively, separate, sandbox wikis?

I'm checking because these pages are protected, and there may be some users who could think "It's not a Wikimedia project, more a testing sandbox, so I'm OK", when obviously, the wikis are for beta-testing.

What do you think of a paragraph to include these? --Chelston-temp-1 (talk) 09:05, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

What is the criteria?Edit

I am a professional, well-researched article writer and want to post my piece of research on this platform. Please give a permission or guide me how to get and where to get permission to post here. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Loramartin2343 (talk)

@Loramartin2343: If you are talking about creating a wikipedia article, then please take your question to the wikipedia where you are looking to edit. Also do make yourself aware of that Wikipedia's requirements regarding paid editing and/or conflict of interest editing. We cannot give that specific advice here.  — billinghurst sDrewth 04:46, 1 October 2020 (UTC)
@Loramartin2343 and Billinghurst: From that site: "DRAGON CITY MOD APK is one of the most playing game[sic] in the world. It has 100M Downloads with 4.6 star rating. It is 100% Safe and Trusted Game.[sic]"
I lolled — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 16:35, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
In cricket idiom my reply is called "playing a straight bat" and I would classify yours as "a gentle sledge from the keeper".  — billinghurst sDrewth 21:51, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

2021 Ombuds Commission nomination process now open!Edit

Hi everyone! It's coming close to time for annual appointments of community members to serve on the Ombudsman commission (OC). This commission works on all Wikimedia projects to investigate complaints about violations of the privacy policy, especially in use of CheckUser and Oversight tools, and to mediate between the complaining party and the individual whose work is being investigated. They may also assist the General Counsel, the Executive Director or the Board of Trustees in investigations of these issues. For more on their duties and roles, see Ombuds commission.

This is a call for community members interested in volunteering for appointment to this commission. Volunteers serving in this role should be experienced Wikimedians, active on any project, who have previously used the CheckUser/Oversight tools OR who have the technical ability to understand these tools and the willingness to learn them. They are expected to be able to engage neutrally in investigating these concerns and to know when to recuse when other roles and relationships may cause conflict.

Commissioners are required to identify to the Wikimedia Foundation and must be willing to comply with the appropriate Wikimedia Foundation board policies (such as the access to non-public data policy and the privacy policy). This is a position that requires a high degree of discretion and trust.

If you are interested in serving on this commission, please write me an email at kbrown to detail your experience on the projects, your thoughts on the commission and what you hope to bring to the role. The commission consists of ten members; all applications are appreciated and will be carefully considered. The deadline for applications is end of day on 31 December, 2020.

Please feel free to pass this invitation along to any users who you think may be qualified and interested. Thank you! Kbrown (WMF) (talk) 14:05, 1 October 2020 (UTC)

Copyvio image uploaded to wikimediacommons.beta.wmflabsEdit

The user on it has an inappropriate username and uploaded an image claiming public domain but is a copyvio - [see here]. Not sure what can be done, since it's a and there doesn't seem to be a page to request help there. --Chelston-temp-1 (talk) 09:21, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

Deleted. Majavah talk/contribs/sul 10:03, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

Question on Beta Cluster wikisEdit

What should we do about requests for help from sysop/bureaucrat there, if people need it? Should there be a local page there?

Currently, it seems requests are handled via Phabricator, but I'm not sure how things are dealt with for those wikis.

--Chelston-temp-1 (talk) 13:42, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

Generally, requests are done on pahbricator, but there shouldn't be much need. I can also help with anything needed on the beta cluster, where I have developer rights DannyS712 (talk) 14:34, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

Coolest Tool Award 2020: Call for nominationsEdit

The second edition of the Coolest Tool Award is looking for nominations (see announcement on wikimedia-l). Please submit your favorite tools by October 14, 2020. The awarded projects will be announced and showcased in a virtual ceremony in November. Thanks for your recommendations! -- for the 2020 Coolest Tool Academy: --JHernandez (WMF) (talk) 12:19, 5 October 2020 (UTC)

Call for feedback about Wikimedia Foundation Bylaws changes and Board candidate rubricEdit

Hello. Apologies if you are not reading this message in your native language. Please help translate to your language.

Today the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees starts two calls for feedback. One is about changes to the Bylaws mainly to increase the Board size from 10 to 16 members. The other one is about a trustee candidate rubric to introduce new, more effective ways to evaluate new Board candidates. The Board welcomes your comments through 26 October. For more details, check the full announcement.

Thank you! Qgil-WMF (talk) 17:09, 7 October 2020 (UTC)

Allowing the use of global locks for disruptive socksEdit

It seems there is some limitation in policy that sometimes results in more bureaucracy than needed.

It could be considered to allow global locks for alternative accounts (not the main account) where:

  • The main account has a community-supported block (does not have to be indefinite) on at least two projects
  • The alternative account has been used to circumvent that block
  • There is a reasonable expectation that the alternative account may also be used to circumvent community-supported blocks on other projects. (otherwise you're just making stewards waste time, this is also why the main account must be blocked on at least two projects)

The main benefit of this is probably that disruptive socks can be globally locked without going through an RfC for a global ban, which may not be desirable anyway. None of this would affect policies like w:WP:CLEANSTART. This is just a rough idea, it may be bad, just putting it out there to brainstorm. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 16:27, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Accounts are locked in line with the guidance at and interpretation of global locks, and that alone, is my understanding.  — billinghurst sDrewth 11:31, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
@Billinghurst: I know, some of the reasons on that page could probably be combined into one (there is little difference between vandalism and spam for this purpose), but the above could be an additional reason. But since nobody else has replied to this topic, I'm not so sure it would be worth creating an RfC. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 14:54, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
The issue is global locks is a bit unclear and not a policy either. In my opinion it is a fundamentally broken process. For your proposal I will not support it as 1. the criteria does not indicate that a steward action is needed (probably they may be resolved locally) and 2. Not every wiki have "community-supported block"; for example it does not exist in Chinese Wikipedia.--GZWDer (talk) 15:13, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
@GZWDer: If an alternative account already has been used to circumvent one community-supported block and there is a reasonable expectation the account will be used to circumvent more, wouldn't that be enough to warrant a steward action? As for wikis that don't discuss blocks at all, those are supposed to be excluded. Can you really not discuss blocks on Chinese Wikipedia? That sounds like dictatorship, how.. appropriate? If people are blocked by a single dubious admin and/or for violating a dubious policy, creation of alternative non-abusive accounts (my suggestion/proposal does not require active vandalism) to circumvent that shouldn't be faced with global locks without an RfC. But anyway, I'm thinking all this may be too complicated to deal with globally. Well, it was just an idea. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 15:31, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
1. Multiple account is usually permitted unless they are used abusively, so there should only be blocked in wikis that blocks are evaded (unless the edits are also disruptive in other wikis, which may be a case for global blocks). 2. Chinese Wikipedia does discuss blocks, but admins does not only follow the result of community discussion (such an action is similar to ostracism). Admins decides whether there are valid and sufficient grounds for a block. Similarly, an unblock is not decided by community either.--GZWDer (talk) 15:40, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
@GZWDer: 1. That is a description of the current policy practice, which could change if the community decides so. 2. In that case there can be community-supported blocks on Chinese Wikipedia. My suggestion/proposal doesn't require community-imposed blocks, only community-supported. If a single admin places a block, the community discusses the block and the consensus is that it is a good block, then the block is community-supported. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 17:35, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
Please do not concatenate accounts and people. Stewards are able to lock an account where it is problematic from a global perspective, just let them do their job.

Please do not conflate it with a block, community issues etc. as stewards are not dealing with community level disputes; nor bans which are the community's response and direction to stewards.

The community, as I see it, has not wished to implement partial measures against PEOPLE (please do not talk accounts). If you wish to talk about the discipline and control then take the recent discussions from a failed global ban, and look to discuss more broadly how we implement controls that are in between the current binary of globally banned or not. Talking about accounts is symptom chasing.  — billinghurst sDrewth 21:38, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

Policy regarding people won't change anytime soon I think, so I thought about accounts. By now I'm also doubting this could work well and don't expect any change in this area anytime soon either. This thread can be archived as far as I'm concerned, unless someone else wishes to discuss it, though I doubt that. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 09:08, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

Important: maintenance operation on October 27Edit

-- Trizek (WMF) (talk) 17:09, 21 October 2020 (UTC)

Not sureEdit

Iam not sure what to do here. Can I have a wiki? Garboshareem39 (talk) 08:42, 25 October 2020 (UTC)

No. Personal wikis are not available from the Wikimedia Foundation.  — billinghurst sDrewth 12:09, 25 October 2020 (UTC)



I have tried to translate farsi ( probably) text to english. How to do it? TIA --Adam majewski (talk) 18:04, 27 October 2020 (UTC)