Active discussions

The WMF wiki has traditionally been closed to public editing. This is, as far as I know, for one reason: raw HTML is allowed there, in order to enable some specialized donation pages to render smoothly. (a minor secondary reason is some people worrying that a temporary bit of vandalism on any page on the site might be mistaken as an official statement of the WMF -- but that happens already all the time with pages on other Projects; and we know how to keep publicly-editable pages looking shiny!)

Many of the donation page that were historically hosted on the WMF wiki now seem to be moving to ... so perhaps now would be a good time to make the wiki more public and collaborative. It has always suffered from being a closed-access wiki: pages with basic data about the Projects have gone stale, and pages with Q&As or discussions cropping up around them have had their information duplicated somewhere else (generally on Meta) that supported public talk pages.

I propose that we identify what needs to happen before we can give all editors in good standing access to the wiki; and do so. Starting, if necessary, with talk pages and user/user-talk pages. Then we can redirect a few WMF-specific discussions from Meta to the WMFwiki as appropriate, and ask the SMWT to add WMFwiki to their monitoring list. SJ talk  20:01, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

As far as I am aware, the two major reasons why accounts have to date been restricted on WMF wiki are: 1) because it was used for donations and 2) it is regarded as the "public face" of the WMF. As you have already said, the donations have now been moved to which means that the only remaining major issue is the "public face" of the WMF. I also think that we should be able to keep the level of vandalism and spam under relatively good control. I've gathered some information from some of the staff, and come up with a couple of potential options. In either case, if we do open the wiki up to more general editing, we would need to remove the "editinterface" right from the "User" group on WMF wiki, as at present all users can edit the MediaWiki: namespace, and we should still have specific pages, including "official documents" such as Press releases, the Strategic Plan and any contact information or banking details not open to general editing.
Option A (relatively easy) - we keep the wiki in a similar setup as to what it is in at the moment, i.e. you need to request an account be created for you. However, instead of the currently strict requirements that we have for users that request an account, we can lower these standards and encourage more users to request accounts there (publically).
Option B (a bit of work required, but should be worth it) - we allow anyone to create an account on WMF wiki, but improve the captcha in some way to help reduce the number of potential spam bot accounts that are created. To allow anyone to create an account, we would need to move the wiki to the SUL cluster, but I have been informed that this shouldn't be too difficult as migration code already exists and is working. However, from what I've been told, having $wgRawHtml and SUL together isn't recommended and so to bring SUL we might need to disable Raw HTML on WMF wiki. This shouldn't be a problem for the donation pages as all future donations will be done through One page that I know of that may have a problem with this would be wmf:Staff, which has just had a major overhaul, so I'm not sure if we could keep it in it's current state without the use of Raw HTML (I'll ask the authors).
Continuing with Option B, we allow new accounts to edit within their user space, and any talk pages - the main purpose will be to open up discussion after all. The new accounts would not, however, be able to edit within the main space or project namespace until they request this permission, perhaps from Meta-Wiki by going to WMFACCOUNT, this could a simple "ask and you shall receive" or a few basic requirements (number of edits, age of account etc). To not leave IPs out, we may also wish to allow them to contribute to talk page discussions.
So there are a couple of options that could be explored, if anyone can think of any more, feel free to add them or suggest improvements to the above two. The Helpful One 01:38, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I believe option A is a non-starter. The raw HTML issue can't simply be side-stepped, particularly as there is e-commerce going through this site still, but even generally it's an enormous (and unacceptably risky, in my opinion) attack vector.
Option B is my current thinking, mostly. I think you're confusing the Wikimedia cluster and SUL, though. is definitely within the Wikimedia cluster. I believe it does not use CentralAuth for security reasons, though.
With option B, you'd have to scrub the site of raw HTML. I'd estimate it's used on a few thousand pages, some of which are (were?) live donation pages that cannot be toyed with. Your comment seems to downplay the size and complexity of this task. It's not a matter of firing up AutoWikiBrowser and replacing some <html> tags. You have to go through each page, figure out why it's using raw HTML, figure out if it can be replaced with wikimarkup, and then if not, figure out how to write new code that will allow you to safely replicate the current behavior. Though, if they've really moved the donation pages away completely, you could knock out a decent-size chunk quickly (probably by deleting the old pages). I'm unclear how much is being used these days. Aren't there still thousands of donation-related pages on
There have been hybrid options suggested (such as allowing raw HTML only in certain namespaces), but MediaWiki (a) doesn't currently support this functionality; and (b) likely never will, due to transclusion and other lurking nastiness. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:02, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Of the three difficulties listed on the subject-page, raw html is the only big one. Assuming one keeps the "public face" aspect and only allow normal people to edit talk page, we could simply restrict editinterface to special people, and upload rights to special people (the dangerous file types are dangerous only if an evil person can upload stuff, if upload rights restricted not really an issue. Even if upload rights liberalized, just have to change the config so that in future no dangerous files can be uploaded by randoms, the old files staying there won't hurt anyone). Bawolff (talk) 14:08, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, agreed. When Sj and I had previously discussed this, the only big blocker I mentioned was raw HTML. As I wrote on the subject-space page, though, a thorough review of the configuration files needs to be undertaken to evaluate custom extensions and other hacks ($wgHtmlTidy being disabled comes to mind) that currently employs. Re-protecting the MediaWiki namespace and restricting file uploads is no big deal, of course, as you note. --MZMcBride (talk) 16:06, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure about the new name for this discussion, but I'm glad to see people talking about it :). Bawolff, I like your suggestion. Just as with blacklisted strings or url's, you could perhaps keep any non-admin from saving any page that has html in it... without scrubbing existing pages. SJ talk  06:24, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I was going to use as the page title, but someone had already taken it.
Feel free to move the page if you really hate the title. Foundation wiki feedback is generally for quick and easy requests. Splitting this discussion out to its own page makes sense. --MZMcBride (talk) 12:30, 2 August 2012 (UTC)


Someone needs to scan a recent XML database dump of for pages containing "<html>". This would allow us to get a size of the scope of the raw HTML issue. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:03, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

FlaggedRevs extensionEdit

A few people have suggested using mw:Extension:FlaggedRevs on I'm still thinking about the idea. I don't think it solves the raw HTML problem or a few of the other problems. But it might be nice as an additional feature for the article namespace in conjunction with opening the talk namespaces. --MZMcBride (talk) 07:05, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Related linksEdit

I'd forgotten about these:

--MZMcBride (talk) 20:29, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Return to "Liberating" page.