Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2014-02

How do you guys think about this project?--Gabrielchihonglee (talk) 14:07, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikibooks already exists.--GZWDer (talk) 14:10, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
What Gabrielchihonglee wants is to spilt cookbook from Wikibooks.--GZWDer (talk) 14:12, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I think we should leave the recipes on Wikibooks. No need for a separate project. PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:03, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree that there may be no need to split them but the fact is cookbook doesn't align on Wikibooks style books well. Books on Wikibooks are created in a way that their destiny and completion would be predictable, but a cookbook completion is not predictable that is why it is on English Wikibooks there is a separate namespace for cookbook. Entire Wikibooks pages are using subpage system style for managing and categorization but cookbook is using Category: system. Separate cookbook namespace is needed to be enabled on every Wikibooks language all together (we don't have on fawikibooks for example) or ... cookbook should be splitted from Wikibooks. --ebraminiotalk 22:36, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Note that Gabrielchihonglee has started a thread at Wikibooks on this subject, now located at the Wikibooks reading room. I've commented there. --Pi zero (talk) 17:20, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
    You meant, at the English Wikibooks. The cookbook is one of the nicest sections of the Italian Wikibooks and they'd surely oppose this absurd idea. --Nemo 20:49, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Ideas for Global bans policy

I'm wondering if this will be better received at requests for comment. But anyway, here goes:

The problem with consensus on and implementation of global bans has always been one of centralized versus distributed power. If we take a page from the governance structure of the United States, with all its attendant problems including federal vs state power, mob mentality, conflicts between the 'small' states and the 'large' states, and so on, we might as well go all the way with its proposed remedies as well. For example, current American governance structure to remedy these problems have a bicameral legislature with which to enact laws, the Senate which allows an equal number of votes for a particular ballot and thus gives more strength to the 'smaller' states, and the House of Representatives which tends more toward the rule of the majority based on population and power of the 'larger' states, but is counterbalanced by the Senate which prevents 'dictatorship of the majority' or mob mentality. Why not have the same remedies for these types of votes?

Currently one of the concerns has always been that one of the 'largest' states, that is the English Wikipedia, holds the most power by virtue of its sheer number of voters participating in each election, or proposal to ban. Meta suffers from issues of its own as a multilingual coordination website, as there is always the tug of war between the power of the 'global' and 'local' communities, who are always afraid of abuse of power from the other party (i.e. local communities overturning global bans, global bans overriding local unbans). My proposal to remedy that is as follows:

  1. In addition to the standard way by which normal voters rush to cast their votes in a proposal page to carry out a ban, there will be a separate supplementary process that allows for smaller wikis to have their say.
  2. This process will consist of separate consensus discussions regarding the global ban for each local community where the user in question has been a significant contributor to its content, the standard of which may be discussed later. So for example, if User:X is up for a global ban, they may appeal to each of the wiki(s) where they are contributing satisfactorily to initiate separate local community discussions on each of their local Village Pump(s) about the global ban on Meta-Wiki.
  3. Each of these projects will come to a consensus conclusion about the problematic user and will then send a trusted delegate/representative (local arbitrator/bureaucrat if there is no arbcom/admin if there are no bureaucrats; basically person with highest authority and power) to represent the wiki as a whole on Meta, who will provide the wiki's stance on the matter and a brief summarization of why they chose their stance with a link pointing to the local consensus discussion.
  4. This is called the principle of one vote per project and the summarization statement allows for multilingual issues, people who cannot read the language of the consensus discussion linked to in question, to judge the statement for themselves. The issue of no-consensus conclusions may be determined at a later date, but my suggestion is either sending instead two delegates to both support and oppose the proposal for the same wiki, or having a 'neutral' category where they may explain their local wiki's stance on the matter in detail and choose to abstain from the vote.

Tell me what you guys think. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 20:13, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

P.S. I had a related second idea in mind about creating an impartial body to judge the consensus outcome of these proposals (currently anyone on Meta could close them and ask the stewards to implement the ban) comprised of stewards and WMF staff who also hold volunteer administrative positions in certain large wikis, and I may explain my reasoning elsewhere, but since that is more of an issue with the global arbitration committee I have left it out of this proposal for now. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 20:13, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I have been unable to find a list of globally banned users. Global bans are implemented with locks, and almost all global locks are administratively defined, for cross-wiki disruption, not as an actual ban determination. In other words, if a user with a globally locked account creates a new account, it is not ipso facto blockable and lockable, whereas a globally banned user, banned per Global bans policy, is such. We need such a list in order to discuss global ban policy, because policy is one thing and actual practice may be another. I know of only one user who is currently globally banned, and the conditions of that case did not represent the conditions stated in global ban policy, or, at least, the RfC that established the ban did not establish, with evidence clearly examined, that the conditions existed, more than one of the three required. The ban policy was written after that RfC was decided, and, as is common, the policy represents a consensus on what should be that might not actually have been followed. --Abd (talk) 20:49, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Global bans/List of globally banned users. --Abd (talk) 21:24, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
    • I find this highly irrelevant to my proposal and not a criticism of it in any way. Abd, in the future if you have any concerns about how the global ban policy is defined, could you please start a thread on Talk:Global bans instead? This is a proposal addressing its implementation in the current RFC format at meta, which is highly flawed and the source of many concerns in the previous RFC about the shift in power to Meta's role as centralized discussion and centralization. If you can leave any comments pertaining to the merit of the current proposal I put forth, that'd be greatly appreciated. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 23:37, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
      • I suggest that understanding how a policy is actually being implemented is crucial to considering modifications. We are not about to create a bureaucracy or complex process to handle possibly one globally banned user per three years. Hence, as to this proposal, see below. Suggestion: don't invite people to tell you what they think and then say that what they think is irrelevant. You can easily, by doing this, convert mere discussion and consideration into actual opposition, which is what happened here. --Abd (talk) 03:12, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
        • When I said "tell me what you think" I clearly meant "in relation to my proposal", not paragraphs of navel gazing on off-topic tangents about what the purposes of global locks are or what Justin Bieber's next hit song is. Your one sentence explanation below is I think far more valuable an explanation than your paragraph extant above, and I would much appreciate it if you use that format in the future. On an unrelated note, I am beginning to find your following me around to take issue with whatever topic I come up with to bring to the community a bit uncomfortable, and I do not take this lightly. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:49, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. the proposal would create complex process that would waste endless time, without any clear necessity, and even discussing it now wastes time, it is not going to happen. --Abd (talk) 03:12, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Thank you for your opinion. My rebuttal to this is that the original proposal for global bans, which I would have probably also opposed inserting into the Terms of use had I been there to vote, already started the inherently bureaucratic process of extensive "timewasting" community discussions on user behavior and bans, using Meta-Wiki's broken RFC process to carry it out. So this does increase bureaucracy, but not to any extent that exceeds the bureaucracy of initiating the RFC itself. I also see some potential benefits to this extra layer:
      1. It discourages people from (ab/mis)using the global ban process unless absolutely necessary through its inherently bureaucratic barrier.
      2. It provides additional security and a voice to the smaller wikis should such a proposal become necessary, making it a truly global vote.
      3. The user in question has a chance to defend his/her contributions to the Wikimedia movement.
    • TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:49, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose – This would create more problems than it would solve. Since users can be members of multiple projects (e.g. enwiki + Commons), there's a chance of over-representation. What if a bunch of enwiki users !vote in the enwiki discussion and the Commons discussion? What's to stop a person from influencing the discussions at enwiki, Commons, Wikiversity, Wikiquote, and Wikisource if he or she is a member of each project? Principles such as freedom of speech means that we can't stop that individual from saying what they want on each wiki, so there isn't any acceptable way to solve the issue that I'm bringing up. Each project doesn't operate in a vacuum, so the proposal isn't viable. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:29, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
    • That's a good point, but I noted in my proposal that the current way in which Meta's discussion base is set up is already biased towards giving English Wikipedia the most influence, through sheer numbers Special:Statistics of their editor base !voting here in the discussions on Meta, overwhelming other wiki editor bases and their opinions, who probably don't know/care about the process here. That's also why there is a requirement that a representative of a particular wiki community cannot wholly decide the outcome on their own - they must provide evidence in the form of a wikilink or diff to prove that each community as a whole was responsible for making the particular decision, not just they themselves in their individual capacity, so an entire project is accorded only one !vote. And I have not even in fact called for replacing the current implementation system of individual !voters from each community (especially English Wikipedia's large editor base) !voting willy-nilly, it merely supplants it and ask the closer to take into account community votes instead of just individual votes. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 17:10, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
There is about one global ban request per year, so far. Only one request has been successful. The real issue is whether or not an individual wiki can opt out of the ban, and how. The only real ban was partially a test of that, but the matter was never actually resolved. If individual wikis can opt out, there is no need for a Senate to protect the right of individual wikis. Rather than create a cumbersome process that could easily be vulnerable to its own kinds of abuse, why not keep it simple? Determine whatever hazards are deemed to exist if an individual wiki decides to opt out and address those. Compare them with the risks of not allowing opt out.
We already know what will happen if wikis are considered unable to opt out. In the only case we had, the user then, not having socked for years, allegedly socked. In fact, we don't know that this was sock puppetry, the global lock of the new user was based on the account being declared by the WMF, on private evidence, to be "related." That can establish, on Wikipedia, enough to be treated as a sock puppet, but it's really a meat puppet, at most. Or it was simply something like knowing the other user, perhaps meeting them in a cafe, and editing from that same IP. We don't know.
Bans create a need for enforcement labor. It took a long time for that alleged sock to be identified. Now, what was the harm done by that user (it was v:User:Collingwood? What would the harm have been if v:Poetlister1 had been allowed to continue editing there, based, perhaps, on some local discussion finding consensus for that. It was not allowed, essentially, that this be considered.
If WMF users, through a meta RFC, want to ban a user, to protect unsuspecting small wikis, believing that a dangerous pattern of behavior exists, it may be done. However, if a individual wiki community may then review that ban, and decide whether or not it applies to their conditions. This would be minimally disruptive.
However, there is a problem, creating by the policy the way it was written, and incorporated into the TOS. I won't address that here, but that problem could be addressed by a small modification to the global ban policy, and this would take some attention that I'm not giving the issue now.
It was clear to me that Poetlister was a positive contributor to Wikiversity, and he had done nothing there worthy of a block or even worrisome. Collingwood had become a custodian (administrator) and was doing a great deal of work, and she was popular. See v:Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Collingwood (Bureaucrat) (I say "she" because Poetlister claims that Collingwood was not him, but a woman he knew.) It is not easy for me to tell if Collingwood was Poetlister, or not, and it's probably not worth the effort to find out. Sentiment at meta against Poetlister was very high, to the point that claims were made and accepted about Poetlister that were transparently false. Similar happened to a smaller degree in the recent effort to globally ban DanielTom.
If local wikis may opt out, which they can do technically by locally renaming the user, then there is no need for a Senate to review bans, which will only then protect small wikis who do not choose to go through that process. --Abd (talk) 01:14, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Support a little, I heard users under this discussion voted oppose on an RFC and made me sooooo sadly, but as a part of further visions , these ideas will make Steward s more and more efficiently.--Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 05:40, 8 February 2014 (UTC)


I don't know where I can ask for help so I am writing in here. I am from the Ido Wikipedia ( and I would like to know how can we create navigational boxes that can be hidden. Could anyone help us? --Chabi1 (talk) 13:10, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Have you seen what you want on another project, like the English Wikipedia? If so, it is easy to copy the template across. For example w:Template:Navbox can be hidden. QuiteUnusual (talk) 17:24, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
I've tried copying all the codes but it doesn't work at all. I think some code has to be changed in the Ido wikipedia in order to let this navbox code work. --Chabi1 (talk) 11:59, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Maybe. I've had trouble copying templates across. Usually there is some included template required that isn't present. When I found and brought over all the templates, they worked. However, the Navbox template uses "invoke," which is a reference to a Module. See [1], and see w:Module:Navbox, which is invoked. You may not have Lua installed on your wiki. So you could use the old version of the template, at [2]. It is a very complex template! --Abd (talk) 19:18, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
In addition to template you need to add an appropriate javascript code to w:io:MediaWiki:common.js as well as some definitions into w:io:MediaWiki:common.css. Ruslik (talk) 19:30, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your help. I have been trying to do this for a long time. --Chabi1 (talk) 12:55, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
You may need to translate 'show/hide' to Ido. Ruslik (talk) 16:53, 8 February 2014 (UTC)


Долийна Викимедиан фондан стюард харжар — 2014..

Hi. So it will be correctly. -- Дагиров Умар (talk) 08:51, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
  Done PiRSquared17 (talk) 12:43, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. -- Дагиров Умар (talk) 15:04, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

We were relied on ULS existance

Tracked in Phabricator:
Bug 46306
Tracked in Phabricator:
Bug 56292
Tracked in Phabricator:
Bug 60329

Seems ULS is no longer available on Wikipedia... we were relied on its existence on showing historical scripts which their characters are not available on popular system fonts and now it is BROKEN. See Inscriptional Pahlavi and anywhere this template is used. Also there was a lot users on our Wiki that was using embedded ULS fonts on our Wiki. --ebraminiotalk 10:42, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Why was ULS removed??? PiRSquared17 (talk) 14:36, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Also on Persian Wikipedia and sister projects we were used an embedded webfont as our print font as there is no cross platform standard available font, suitable for printing Persian text. fa:MediaWiki:Print.css, Nazli is ULS web font. Also we were using a ULS font as our second font (which due GDI bug on Windows couldn't not be used as default font but was very useful on Linux and Mac) --ebraminiotalk 07:24, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi ebraminio and PiRSquared17,
The mw:Universal Language Selector was temporarily disabled on Tuesday due to performance problems. They are working on fixing it. In the meantime, logged-in users can turn it on by going to Special:Preferences and choosing "Enable the Universal Language Selector" (User profile > Internationalisation section).
I haven't seen an official status report. The last unofficial report was " ". I assume from this that the problem is complicated and may take a couple of weeks to fix. If it is a really serious problem for Farsi—bad enough that you prefer having a slow website—then please let me know, and I'll ask whether it could be reenabled just for the Farsi Wikipedia. I don't know if they can do that, but I could ask if you thought it was worth the cost. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:30, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I just wanted note the broken things on Persian Wikipedia, English Wikipedia and may other Wikipedias. I know Central Kurdish Wikipedia (ckb) was also using its virtual keyboard feature (and was nice feature for Persian Wikipedia also but that much needed). Anyway performance is also important for us, so please fix ULS and enable it again for all wikis. (and just for users is not enough, the use-cases I tried to mention is not related to users but is for readers) --ebraminiotalk 22:24, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I think I should lay out what the motivations for and against ULS are and what is at the root of the problem, more central to wikis than ULS. It is the fact that you as an editorship are trying to appeal to two different, but simultaneous and highly important readerships, namely:

  1. Those who have slow internet connections and do not care about the wrong font being used
  2. Those who want to use the font and also have fast internet connections

ULS is currently the mechanism serving to split your reader-base apart on this issue, but it is as central a decision to make about which readership to cater to first when discussing wiki-wide problems such as this one. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 06:33, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

It's possible that some or all of ULS will be turned on next week. If not, then you can enable it for yourself only in Special:Preferences (User profile > Internationalisation section). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:58, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi, we have finished the initial work on getting ULS back and looking at a deployment schedule for next week (if nothing changes). We are planning to discuss more about this in our IRC meeting on Wednesday, 12 February 1700 UTC on #wikimedia-office. Its an open meeting and everyone is welcome. I will post the logs here as well, for people who can't attend. Thanks.--Runab WMF (talk) 19:42, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Central Wikipedia / Wikimedia Foundation noticeboard

  • (After posting my suggestion at Wikipedia Village pump, I was told post my message here on meta):

I think there should be a noticeboard where the editors can report problems about the Wikipedia on their language. For the sake of the argument, imagine there is a small "Romulan" Wikipedia with three administrators and 20 editors. If the administrators abuse their powers by blocking those who disagree with them without having good reasons to block them, or if they tolerate severe personal attacks or fascist propaganda, then the editors should have a place to report such things.

Why such a noticeboard is necessary:

  • An editor should feel comfortable when editing Wikipedia in good faith. They should rest assured that, if the administrators abuse their powers or if they are not doing their job, then the editor can report the problem at the central Wikipedia noticeboard and then he/she can get the problem solved.
  • The administrators will know that they can't abuse their rights since they can be reported on the central noticeboard.
  • For the regular user, it feels uncomfortable or intimidating to have to report such conflicts directly to the owner of Wikipedia - Jimmy Wales, who might be too busy or not, or they might feel like they are too small in face of the owner of the website. It's much more comfortable to report problems to a group of people who are in charge to handle such things.
  • I suspect that on small Wikipedias there are good chances that abuses can happen, and the editors who are abused don't know where to report them and don't have the courage to talk with the boss. Usually smaller Wikipedias are created by communities under-developed, where the people tend to be afraid about those who have more power.

I recently informed the administrators on English Wikipedia about a blackmail case that was not solved since two years ago on Romanian Wikipedia. The problem is, English Wikipedia has no jurisdiction over Romanian Wikipedia. I can report extremely severe attacks (death threatds, bombs etc) at but that's not the case here. Yet, the problem should be solved (the perpetrator fully retracts his threat or he gets blocked indefinitely) by someone, since the Romanian Wikipedia seems incapable or unwilling to solve it. The case is reported here: w:Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Unsolved severe personal attack on Romanian Wikipedia

I know, opening such a noticeboard can get to some flooding from people who complain about this and that. Although the noticeboard can be opened specifically for some certain type of abuses, therefore limiting the flow of complaints. On the other hand, it can spot abuses that otherwise go under the radar and can prevent administrators on smaller wikipedias to try to group and act like tyrants. Ark25 (talk) 17:24, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Hi. It's your lucky day: you just found said noticeboard. --Nemo 17:28, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
There is also an RFC process, which (from what I've seen) often just produces drama with no real results. For a result, there needs to be a suggested action. If there is a legal problem like blackmail, you can email LCA. (P.S., the Romulans haven't gotten a Wikipedia yet, but the Klingons have.  ) PiRSquared17 (talk) 17:29, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Off-topic ramblings
Romulans are coming big, just don't say you haven't been warned. You won't know what hit you! And then, we, the East-Europeans will rub our hands in joy, bliss and vindication. Ha ha! Ark25 (talk) 19:24, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Are you implying that the Romani (rmy:) and/or Romanians (ro:) are part of the Romulan Star Empire? Never knew before. PiRSquared17 (talk) 19:40, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
PiR², you should know that Romanians take their name from the former Roman Empire occupying the early Meglenian regions (before the collapse of the Eastern Roman Empire at end of Middle Age and the expansion of the Turkish Empire); Romanians are the result of a mix of Slavic, Romanian (and later Turkic) peoples, but they have kept a strong attachment to the Latin culture at time of cruisades (so Romanian is even nearer from French or Portuguese than it is from Italian today). It is effectively easy for French or Portuguese people to understand the Romanian language (and Romanians can read French or Portuguese with little efforts).
The Romany people (or Rromany: note the 2 leading R in a more traditional written form inherited from Brahmic) have a very different history, they have originated from Northern India or today's Pakistan, but have always been nomads following the variations migrations and empires disputing territories from Central Asia, and fleeing turmoils because of their religion (they were early adopters of Christianism, but most of them kept some form of early paganism, until they finally adopted catholicism and had then to be harassed again after the christian reform; just like after the advent of islam, because of conflicts with orthodox church. The language or Romany is very far from Romance languages (Romanian, Latin, Ialian, French, Spanish...), but it is still in the Indo-European family (as is Russian, Bulgarian, Ujrainian and other Slavic languages, as well as Yiddish which is a Germanic language) but not other European languages (like Finnish, or Hungarian, or Turkish; or even Hebrew and Arabic...). Because the Romanys have always been segregated in Europe where they fled in the Middle Age (the Romany are unambiguously Europeans, since longer time than Hungarians !), they have kept a language very pure, tracking some earliest forms of the Brahmic language they inherited from their origin (So the Romany language is nearer from today's Hindi or even Tamil, than it is to today's Romanian!!!). verdy_p (talk) 20:34, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I already know this, but they said "Romulan" in the original post, mentioned the Romanian Wikipedia, and then linked to posts about the Roma people. Of course I know the difference between these ethnic groups. Do I really impress as someone who doesn't already know the linguistic classification of most well-known languages? :P Also Hindi and Tamil have little in common, honestly. One is Indo-European, the other Dravidian. PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:43, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Just saw this account in RecentChanges. Shouldn't there be an opt-out/block button to stop its operations in case it gets out of control, possibly because of some bad or malformed AbuseFilter code? There should be an emergency block button of some sort just in case. Also, should there be a placeholder SUL account for this like with User:MediaWiki default so someone wouldn't be able to register it and pretend to be a legitimate account, then go on a vandalism spree? The preceding unsigned comment was added by TeleComNasSprVen (talk • contribs) at 02:13, 12 January 2014.

  • (edit conflict with below) The Abuse filter is not an actual account, it is simply the account shown in the block log, as performing automatic blocks, as set up in the Abuse filter. There is no way of turning off this filter, other than by editing the specific filter or deleting it, which can only be done by administrators. A badly written abuse filter could indeed make many problem blocks, but even reading specific filters marked private (such as this one, for obvious reasons) is not allowed except for administrators. We trust that administrators are very, very careful when writing the filters. I've seen poorly written filters cause some level of collateral damage, but one written to automatically block users could, in theory, block every active user, even possibly preventing edits to the abuse filter itself by admins. Probably, to do that much damage, the admin saving it would have to deliberately intend it. (I haven't researched the edit filter enough to know if this level of damage is possible.)
  • This would be what was seen:
01:37, 12 January 2014 Abuse filter blocked NLJDamaris Contributions with an expiry time of infinite (account creation disabled) (Automatically blocked by abuse filter. Description of matched rule: Specific user page spam)
  • Special:Abusefilter shows this as Filter 65. User talk page access was not blocked, as I'd expect.
  • AbuseLog shows that the user actually triggered five filters. It is possible to read details of certain filter-triggering edits, with the "examine" link, if the filter doesn't suppress this. Because the first filter triggered a public filter, and because it looks like all the filters were acting on the same edit, we can see what contained "specific user page spam," probably, at Special:AbuseFilter/examine/log/28411. Want to get blocked quickly? Try adding that text to your user page. On second thought, don't try that. Deliberately triggering any of the filters is disruptive. All filter actions are reported to an IRC channel, I assume. It wastes time. --Abd (talk) 03:57, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
    Here is an example of a false positive block: Special:AbuseLog/28227. Apparently this filter was supposed to target new users who add youtube/imgur/wordpress/etc. links in the User namespace. PiRSquared17 (talk) 04:04, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
You can see that, PRS, as can all local administrators, I assume. Access to the logs is restricted for private filters. The rest of us can't read them. I was able to see the details of the triggering text in the latest block because the first filter triggered is public. I looked deeper in the log and saw other blocks by the same filter, maybe one or two per day. --Abd (talk) 04:41, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't realize that. It was this user (see also block log). Although the filter is not perfect, it seems to not have too many false positives that we cannot fix them manually. PiRSquared17 (talk) 04:51, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I see nothing wrong in the filter. It's very specific and has phrases or beginnings of phrases that the spambots normally use (patterns). --Bsadowski1 (talk) 04:07, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
The blocked text, with what I've seen, shows that this was definitely a spammer. The logs certainly show that if there are problem blocks, they are not common, but PRS is right to be concerned. I have experience with the abuse filter, and one writing them may think that the triggering text would be very unlikely outside of an abusive edit, and simply doesn't see the possibilities. So what's crucial with the abuse filter, if it is blocking, is vigilance. Block messages presented to the user should be apologetic and give clear instructions, usable by a newbie, for appeal. --Abd (talk) 04:41, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I too think the filter warnings should be "nice", but I don't think it needs to be quite like this proposal. If you have suggestions, feel free to {{editprotected}} and it will probably be done (assuming the changes are reasonable). PiRSquared17 (talk) 04:51, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh, you cut me deep!  :-)   Don't listen to PiRSquared, Abd, because they have the cushy global sysop bit, so they have no worries about having any un-'nice' experiences with rogue abuseFilters. Join the campaign for kind, caring AbuseFilters Seriuz Bohts that will treat ALL spammers with love... because[citation needed] 1 out of 50 'spammers' auto-detected by a regex are good-faith false-poz folks, in reality. To quote JWZ... some people, when confronted with a problem, think, hey, I'll use regex. Now they have two problems.[3] Hope this helps. 23:37, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Hello. I'm not sure about the SUL account. It could just be added to the title blacklist instead. BTW, here is the original discussion to enable it on Meta, and further discussion. I'm not sure an emergency opt-out button would work. Can you give a more specific example? Currently just disabling the filter works. I would prefer to not have blocking filters at all, honestly. PiRSquared17 (talk) 03:19, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Before this discussion gets out of control, this situation is fully under control. It aligns with abuse filters and managed by administrators, has been well in place within Mediawiki software for an extended period of time. It is used on very few filters, and is watched. I watch it on a daily basis. Filters have been well-tested prior to implementation. Any admin can deactivate this by turning off the filter, so there is zero need for any dumb button, it is not a third party bot.  — billinghurst sDrewth 04:16, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
You accept full legal responsibility for the emotional trauma, and class-actionable wikiStress, that any false-poz person might experience, right?  :-)   — 23:37, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Not to worry, BON, w:WP:NLT, everything is fully under controeapf[nbaej;e!!! aw[ gnbqa!!! --Abd (talk) 16:21, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Personal experience with the edit filter --Abd (talk) 16:21, 13 February 2014 (UTC) Archived to history, if interested, read it here.

Blackmail / threat unsolved at Romanian Wikipedia

I exposed the situation here: w:Unsolved severe personal attack on Romanian Wikipedia. For the sake of the argument, let's imagine that X is posting fascist propaganda here on Wikipedia. You may and you should report him to Wikipedia administrators. You also may (or not) sue him or tell to his boss that he is posting fascist propaganda. But it's not ok to threat him (here on Wikipedia) that you will sue him, and it's not ok (here on Wikipedia) to threat that you will tell his boss (or school manager, in case X is a student) about it. Even extreme actions, like posting fascist propaganda do not justify such threats.

I understand, this is not a case of exposing someone to possible persecution, but it is a case of exposing someone to possible harassment. Those things are quite close. If Turbojet carries out his threat, AdiJapan might get punished or harassed by his boss. I think it's totally unacceptable to threat someone with some actions that may lead to inhibiting one's freedom to edit Wikipedia pages - w:WP:LEGALTHREAT.

The case we have here is:

  • AdiJapan was editing Wikipedia in the free time at work. He said these actions doesn't hurt his productivity at work and we have to assume he said that in good faith. There are lots of types of jobs that allow people to edit Wikipedia while at work - like for example people who have to be there and take action if/when they are told to. And we are not a court to decide here that people are guilty for editing Wikipedia while at work - this can not be a legal issue and not even a moral issue (from our point of view).
  • Turbojet threatened AdiJapan to tell to his boss that he is editing Wikipedia while at work. That can expose him to harassment and penalties.
  • AdiJapan still feels threatened and he is afraid to edit Wikipedia while at work. And that's understandable, since Turbojet keeps being hostile against AdiJapan and keeps telling what he agrees that AdiJapan should be doing and what should not be doing. - [4] - [5]

Therefore, we need Turbojet to clearly retract his threat and to promise he won't carry out his threat. It's not a big deal for him to do that. Otherwise he should be blocked indefinitely and he should be unblocked when he decides to retract his threat. That will be a piece of cake for him to get unblocked, in case he gets into that position.

This issue here is not about AdiJapan or about Turbojet. The issue is about Wikipedia. The editors can't feel comfortable and safe if they know such threats are allowed to hang above heads for so long and when the community does nothing about such things. I am not complaining here about Turbojet. I am complaining against the Romanian Wikipedia's lack of (re)action, which has a negative impact on editor's willingness to participate to the project. If Romanian Wikipedia doesn't solve it, then Wikipedia should solve it - that's how I see things. I am quite embarrased to complain about my national Wikipedia, but I feel like I have to. Thanks. —  Ark25  (talk) 10:52, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

  Closed Local issue at a local wiki. All the power and authority to resolve this lies at a roWP, nothing out here at meta.  — billinghurst sDrewth 12:07, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia AdWords


A search on the term "wikipedia" on the french version of google returns this.

If I'm not mistaken, this is not allowed by the Trademark Policy. ping @YWelinder (WMF), AKoval (WMF), and Slaporte (WMF):

Pleclown (talk) 15:18, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Such reports must go to, see wmf:Trademark_policy#trademark-violation. --Nemo 16:56, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
Why be simple, when you can make a gasworks, right ? Pleclown (talk) 16:59, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
To me, email with attachment is much simpler than Echo notifications with flickr upload, let alone efficiency of OTRS queue compared to scattered on-wiki reports. But do as you wish. :) --Nemo 17:05, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
It depends if you have access to your email during the day or not. :) Pleclown (talk) 19:45, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

A question about CU data more than three months old(stale)

Had there been any cases where CUers or others with CU access are known to retain and use CU datas more than three months old? Do retaining and using those data make any influences?

User:Hanteng has started a discussion about CU data more than three months old on Chinese wp for some time, and he might also bring that discussion to meta. But by now, I am not sure how often this issue happens, as I seldom see CUers have the need to access stale CU datas, and they usually just say "sorry, the data is stale" in case the data is stale. By the way, there are some IP informations being recorded for long-term abuse users, such as en:Wikipedia:Long-term abuse/Nipponese Dog Calvero, but I believe those IPs are determined and retained by duck test and other policies rather than CU.--朝鲜的轮子 (talk) 08:27, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

CU wiki is used to copy and archive CU data for longer than 3 months when needed. This is normal practice when long-term abuse is involved. Snowolf How can I help? 20:57, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Are there any cases where stale data is actually used to determine something? Is it sometimes not so obvious that someone used stale data because checkuser won't say what data they were using when handling CU requests?--朝鲜的轮子 (talk) 01:56, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Stale data is stale data, after 3 months it is not on the original wiki and is gone. If there has been a copy made by CUs for LTA/spambots then there will be something available for reference. Its value at that time, may or may not be useful, as can be expected with aged data.
Can you name any specific examples of copying and archiving CU data for longer than 3 months?--朝鲜的轮子 (talk) 09:35, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
CU data is retained where there is a demonstrated need to retain data, cases of long term abusers, and cases of proxies/spambots and/or ISPs that harbour spambots and their ranges, so some is people specific, some is IP address specific, some is ISP specific. Listing specific examples provides no benefit. We do it where there is a requirement from a case. The more spambots, the more LTAs, the more data that will be retained. We generally do the minimal possible as none of us wishes to create work, though we also do enough to ensure that the data can be cross-check/referenced as required by the OC. See the OC's report for their opinions on how well the CUs/Stewards have been doing.  — billinghurst sDrewth 13:10, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Technical rights

Why not make the technical rules for participants of the sections that we could edit the interface in their own language? -- Дагиров Умар (talk) 11:30, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

  1. I don't understand why you would want to translate the MediaWiki:Translations-url message. The page name is just linked in the sidebar. I understand why you would want to translate the text, however.
  2. Most messages are on translatewiki, with exception of a few like this (mostly things in the sidebar).
  3. You can request translations on RFH or on MediaWiki_talk:... with {{editprotected}}
Is this a Meta-specific question? PiRSquared17 (talk) 13:23, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much. I am here also translated. -- Дагиров Умар (talk) 19:20, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Question about data dumps vs. live mirrors

Through an odd set of circumstances I came across a handful of live mirrors en.wikipedia. The issue was that the implementation ignored the "noindex" directive and whence Google search results returned these sites with arbcom proceedings. They are tagged pages so that discussions that may be BLP sensitive or other reasons aren't returned by search engines. Is there anyone that still reviews and acts on live mirrors? --DHeyward (talk) 07:18, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Live mirrors will always exist, hundreds of them. If they keep "BLP sensitive" stuff and other legally questionable content, worse for them. What's acted upon are trademark violations: if the live mirror is confusing and tries to look "official" etc., just email the address listed at wmf:Trademark policy#trademark-violation. If they are "clean", but don't respect the license, then things are trickier, but you can send official-sounding model letters about the content you contributed to. --Nemo 08:23, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Universal Language Selector will be enabled by default again on this wiki by 21 February 2014

On January 21 2014 the MediaWiki extension Universal Language Selector (ULS) was disabled on this wiki. A new preference was added for logged-in users to turn on ULS. This was done to prevent slow loading of pages due to ULS webfonts, a behaviour that had been observed by the Wikimedia Technical Operations team on some wikis.

We are now ready to enable ULS again. The temporary preference to enable ULS will be removed. A new checkbox has been added to the Language Panel to enable/disable font delivery. This will be unchecked by default for this wiki, but can be selected at any time by the users to enable webfonts. This is an interim solution while we improve the feature of webfonts delivery.

You can read the announcement and the development plan for more information. Apologies for writing this message only in English. Thank you. Runa

This undated message posted sometime around 12:00, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Mixing language interfaces

I only understand English, but I sometimes visit other language Wikipedia. Is it possible to visit other language projects but keep an English language interface? Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 01:48, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

You won't be able to read various Wikipedia pages, but MediaWiki has inbuilt software support for internationalization, so you could switch to any language you want. There's a variety of ways to do this, like // in your browser URL will automatically set the language to English, just replace meta.wikimedia with the wiki you want to use setlang on. You can also navigate to Special:Preferences which will always contain a box with the default language code of the wiki you're on, and you can change that to English or any other language you wish to read in. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 02:34, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
That being said, the current setup is for each Wikipedia project to be independent of each other, so I'm not sure if there's a proper way to always use a consistent software state for English when landing on the Main Page of every wiki you happen to encounter. So that means for every new wiki you find, you have to repeat the process with Special:Preferences, and there's currently no easy way to do it Wikimedia wide until support for global preferences is in effect. Others can probably locate the bugzilla ticket faster than I can. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 02:38, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
bugzilla:14950. PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:46, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
You can set your language preference globally with toollabs:globalprefs. PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:44, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Amendment to the Terms of Use

revised "wikiapps" project proposal

Hi, a new project WikiApps has been proposed almost a year ago without generating much interest. I've revised the project proposal and limited it to HTML5 web apps since this is an idea that I have been thinking about for more than 3 years now. Last year I created a wikibook about programming HTML5 web apps using the canvas element, which has the main problem that I'm not able to upload executable examples to wikibooks; thus, I have to host the code on a different site where it is not editable by wikibooks users. A wikiapps project would be able to overcome this kind of issues. It might also encourage more non-programmers to look into programming – similarly to initiatives such as – and thereby spread knowledge about programming. See WikiApps for more details. --Martin Kraus (talk) 08:11, 23 February 2014 (UTC)


Hi all, there are several ideas I’d like to discuss. I thought about separating them into several projects, but since they are interconnected and are running under headlines which together form a specific picture, I’ll combine them in one proposal. Before I start, I want to say, that I don’t intend to discuss all the technical implications. For me it’s more important to ask the question, where there is potential for development and to put weight on some already existing goals and also potential future goals. There are 4 topics I’m going to discuss and that will lead to one result. I don’t want to mention the result right now, it’s a surprise. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Miriam Hondjo (talk) 13:56, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

The technical implementation is am import part. If you mention abstract goals but don't specify how they would work, or a similar tool we could borrow code from, it's really hard to implement. Specs are needed, or at least some ideas we could discuss and then design specs. PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:43, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

So PiRSquared17, what's your name? --Miriam Hondjo (talk) 13:45, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Hello Miriam, you can call me 74. My userid is a w:jersey number rather than a name. PiRSquared is especially clever, in that they have a username which *is* a number (that is probably why they are a global w:sysop for wikipedia/wikimedia. I usually call them PiRSquared (or PiR^2 for short I suppose), but if you have an appropriate keyboard you can call them πr2 which is what they usually call themselves. If you want to be silly, you can call them ~3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433. But don't worry, we are all very serious around here. :-)   And speaking seriously, nice vision-statement, I like it. Do our responses to some parts make sense? I'm particularly interested in the idea of individual wikipedia, but I'm not sure what you were proposing specifically. 20:51, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Come on, that's too complicated, I will never ever remember that. I will call you Fiona, I hope you like the name. I thought about Elisabeth too, but I think Fiona suits you much better. So, hi Fiona! --Miriam Hondjo (talk) 20:27, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

I like Fiona, thanks. Do I get a green dress?  :-) 20:20, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't know yet ... What are you wearing right now? --Miriam Hondjo (talk) 13:14, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm a sharp dresser, but on the internet nobody knows you are a dog. Enough with the chit-chat, though. This is called the "forum" but it is actually for on-topic discussion. A lot of important people pay attention to this page, and they probably don't care about my sleek vitamin-enriched coat. You can come visit with me at w:User_talk: for the silly stuff. But here on this page, we should stick to the business of your proposal, because there are a lot of w:WP:WATCHLISTs that get an automatic "beep" every time something is posted here. Make sense?
  On a couple of technical matters. First, about replying, you should use the colons. I've put some colons in front of your latest reply, see above, that is how you indent your replies.
See how this is indented?
This is *really* indented.
Add one more colon, than the perso you are replying to used. This can go as deep as you like.
Note that I edited your comment, but other people are *not* supposed to edit each other's comments. You are learning the ropes, so I made an exception.
That said, you are fighting to keep your content at the top of the page.
Stop that, you are annoying the rule-bound clerks around here.  :-)
They are trying to move your proposal to the correct chronological place in the queue, WHICH IS NEAR THE BOTTOM of the page, for newer proposals.
Your proposal should be just above the cookbook-recipe-proposal by the rules. Please let the talkpage-clerks move your proposal, and quit moving it back. Okay?
  • (cur | prev) 20:43, 3 February 2014‎ Miriam Hondjo (talk | contribs)‎ . . (126,934 bytes) (+35,545)‎ . . (undo)
  • (cur | prev) 16:28, 3 February 2014‎ Jakec (talk | contribs)‎ . . (94,137 bytes) (0)‎ . . (move) (undo)
  • (cur | prev) 16:24, 3 February 2014‎ Jakec (talk | contribs)‎ . . (94,137 bytes) (-35,388)‎ . . (Undo revision 7332832 by Jakec (talk)) (undo)
  • (cur | prev) 16:10, 3 February 2014‎ Jakec (talk | contribs)‎ . . (129,525 bytes) (+35,388)‎ . . (Undo revision 7331051 by Miriam Hondjo (talk)) (undo)
  • (cur | prev) 13:52, 3 February 2014‎ Miriam Hondjo (talk | contribs)‎ . . (94,137 bytes) (-35,388)‎ . . (→‎Proposal: NEW WIKIPEDIA VISION) (undo)
  • (cur | prev) 13:12, 3 February 2014‎ Miriam Hondjo (talk | contribs)‎ . . (128,557 bytes) (+35,388)‎ . . (undo)
Miriam, you are messing with Davidwr's and Nemo's and Jakec's minds, when you keep moving these sections around on them. I realize these talkpages are a bit confusing, but don't worry Miriam, you'll get the hang of them. Still, please, David et al have experience with managing the details of this stuff fair-n-square. Just let them handle "positioning" by the traditional conventions on metaWiki, and you focus on the content-specific answers you have been receiving from PiRSquared and myself and TeleComEtc and WSC and others, por favor, please, gesundtheit, aloha. Make sense? Alright then.
  At the bottom (ahem! :-) of your proposal, WereSpielChequers brings up a good point: because of the w:GFDL license for all wikipedia's content, if we *do* convert the WMF from a non-profit into a multinational conglomerate, and float our shares on the stock exchange(s) of our choice, can we compete with the new non-profit charity that will arise to compete with us? We'll only have more money in shares, if the trademarks are more valuable than the copyright, by which I mean, more valuable to the readership. How do you expect that WmfCorporation can keep the AntiWmfCorpNonProfit from winning over the readers, before the w:IPO even takes place? See also, w:free as in freedom and of course w:copyleft for background, if you have not heard of this GFDL stuff before. 00:20, 4 February 2014 (UTC)


The Wikipedia content is already well structured, there’s no doubt about that. What can be improved is the way you can search for content. There are different options and also an advanced search, but there should be more.

When the user searches for something the results are very specific and leave out the context. There should be options to view the results in their context and to locate the results in a 3-dimensional way. The tag cloud is a tool for that. You can zoom in and out and thereby define the direction of your search and how abstract or precise your search is, you get an overview of related topics. Often this is more interesting than a specific question and the user gets a tool to manage and develop the own knowledge, just by seeing which subjects are connected. This gives advice how and where to proceed. And since Wikipedia and its keywords are perfectly tagged it should be easy to implement a tag cloud for the visualization of a subject and its context.

The advanced search should also be modified. It would be nice to be able to define the level of information aggregation for the result. An example: I want to find out more about Freud and his theory that women envy men for their penis. So I would like to get these results: Freud and other authors connected to his penis theory. Than I would like to restrict the results to a period of ten years starting from the year when Freud first wrote down his theory. Then I would like to get information what might have influenced him and others in this period: The epoche, art, music. I would like to be able to restrict or widen all those aspects in the advanced search and also with the help of a regulator next to the tag cloud. I know this is technically possible and it would be perfect for wikipedia.

— The preceding unsigned comment was added by Miriam Hondjo (talk) 13:56, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Have you ever heard of Wikidata? I think it could be used for something similar. Could you please specify what content is in the tag cloud? Words from the article? The titles of the articles? In my opinion this would just make it harder to find information, but I suppose a tool could be created for such a purpose. PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:43, 23 January 2014 (UTC)


Of course this topic has got a lot to do with usability. I’m wondering if you realized the status quo. The Wikipedia content is definitely well structured, but as soon as the user wants to participate there are lots of barriers. In my eyes the accessibility even for an average user is low. Of course there’s enough information, but you really need time to get an overview about where you can contribute something, find out how you can contribute, read the rules, find out how to edit something, accept that it’s not very comfortable and that you should use copy and paste to insert a table and so on. I guess you know, that things like these are the reason, why users don’t participate. And we all know it’s getting worse.

There is this forum, which doesn’t look like a forum, which also can’t be used like a forum and it rather looks like a tool to suppress discussions than to support them. And I’m wondering if there’s a real interest to involve more users and give them a chance for participation.

Right from the start the user finds information about tons of separate Chats, where rather the IT people are supposed to meet, but then you go there and there’s nobody. So you think, ok there’s nothing going on, but I bet that’s not true. I guess it’s just hidden somewhere.

Then the user finds tons of mailing lists, but where to start? I just took the first one that had the title ‘general mailing list’. Did you notice that it’s not very general? So I received lots of mails with very specific IT talk, which wasn’t interesting to me at all. Is this a Drive-potential-participants-away-tactic? It was even difficult to unsubscribe, so I guess, the lesson the user was supposed to learn was: ‘Keep away or we will drive you nuts.’ I’m sure after all those years, you know what you’re doing.

And then there are discussions about elections for certain roles in the Wikipedia community and the user can’t find where those elections take place and who was elected for what. But the most crucial thing, the user has no idea, whom to contact for an overview. How is it possible that a platform that is so dedicated to give people free information repels their own users, lacks transparency and hides necessary information behind walls of unnecessary information?

One more thing: It’s not very helpful, that the participating users are so anonymous. It’s quite awkward, that there are roles in the community people can be elected for, while the new user is not able to identify those people in a discussion. Instead you get intrigued by funky user names.

Conclusion: When somebody wants to contribute something, it’s obvious to the user that everything will be reviewed and checked. So why is it necessary to have extra barriers? It would be easy to implement a real forum, standard participation tools for editing and so on and to have a little chat to help the beginners. Why didn’t that happen yet? Are you happier about those barriers than about new participants? Maybe we should also think about the design …

— The preceding unsigned comment was added by Miriam Hondjo (talk) 13:56, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
"There is this forum, which doesn’t look like a forum, which also can’t be used like a forum and it rather looks like a tool to suppress discussions than to support them."
Flow will change this, but it seems like it would make discussions harder at this point.
"And I’m wondering if there’s a real interest to involve more users and give them a chance for participation."
Are you kidding? Those are the WMF's main goals these days: editor retention and editor engagement (getting new users, they especially like to get new female editors, cf. gender gap). See Growth for research the WMF has conducted about getting new users, and retaining them. VisualEditor was supposed to help new users, so was Echo. Research results: Research:VisualEditor's effect on newly registered editors, Research:Notifications (aka Echo). Flow will completely change the way discussions happen on Wikimedia projects.
"Right from the start the user finds information about tons of separate Chats, where rather the IT people are supposed to meet, but then you go there and there’s nobody. So you think, ok there’s nothing going on, but I bet that’s not true. I guess it’s just hidden somewhere."
You can go on IRC by clicking the connect link (note that your IP address will be exposed): #wikimediaconnect, #wikimedia-eeconnect, #wikipedia-en-helpconnect, etc. I guarantee that if you try all these channels, and try to get help in any of them, someone will reply. Well, I don't guarantee it, but I highly suspect it.
"Then the user finds tons of mailing lists, but where to start? I just took the first one that had the title ‘general mailing list’. Did you notice that it’s not very general?"
I don't really use the mailing lists much, but mail:wikimedia-l is the most general and there are discussions about very different issues there. It was formerly called "foundation-l".
"And then there are discussions about elections for certain roles in the Wikipedia community and the user can’t find where those elections take place and who was elected for what."
Do you mean Board elections, stewards/Elections, local admin elections (enwiki), local ArbCom elections (for which wiki?), or what else? They're all public.
"But the most crucial thing, the user has no idea, whom to contact for an overview. How is it possible that a platform that is so dedicated to give people free information repels their own users, lacks transparency and hides necessary information behind walls of unnecessary information?"
I don't know what you're talking about. An overview of what exactly? Feel free to ask me if you have any questions.
PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:43, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I think that Miriam is specifically talking about involving more users in metaWiki stuff, and WMF stuff, particularly... which is to say, the WMF's goal is to increase the number of people using VizEd from a tablet to update w:Justin Bieber's latest top40 ranking in enWiki mainspace. That is *very* different from the WMF being interested in having wider participation in wikiGovernance procedures at the mediaWiki-level or the WMF-board-level. Miriam is suggesting some deep and broad changes, up above, to the way the software works, which is why they came here to meta... and ran into a huge learning curve.
  Tons of pages, few people around. Tons of mailing lists, often named historically. The IRC route *is* probably their best bet, but just as with the mailing-lists, finding the right place is hard. You saw my flailing around back in October, eh? Three months later, still new surprises, every week (often every day). MetaWiki slash WMF innards is *not* structured to be conducive to beginner-participation, any more than enWiki arbcom elections are structured to encourage all the hundreds of millions of readers to come bangvote (3% of active editors bangvoted and 97% did not). Everything is 'transparent' but the gold is hidden amongst the forest: camouflaged.
  There is no customer-service hotline, and no friendly receptionist to greet you at the door. I'm not sure these things are *good* to have; barriers to entry can help weed out chronophagous stuff, as User:Collect says. But I'm kinda with Miriam here; the way the WMF functions under the hood, and the way the MediaWiki devs operate (may Chuck Norris live ten thousand years), and the way metaWiki runs the steward-elections and such... it isn't *secretive* compared to other NGOs, let alone corporations, but in practice it is pretty byzantine. People that are already on the inside, generally know who to talk to, about solving problem $foo, or at least, who to *ask* about the best person to talk to for solving problem $foo, and thus, there is little effort put into handholding. There is no meta:TEAHOUSE equivalent, and maybe shouldn't be. It's a hard issue; see my discussion about hiring paid WMF employees with OKeyes at w:User_talk:Ironholds. HTH. 00:40, 24 January 2014 (UTC)


There is effort to strengthen the Wikipedia network, but I’m wondering why the usual options like ‘post on facebook/twitter’ don’t exist. The option to log in via facebook would be nice and would make sure that Wikipedia becomes less anonymous. And since I assume that most of the discussions between Wikipedia participants take place on facebook anyway, why not make it official and use the very well developed tools on facebook for group discussions, meetings and chats. That would improve the situation for new users very much.

The second idea is, to improve the connection to the top websites that display news, articles, books and so on. It’s not necessary that every part of an article is free and it’s usually not necessary to read the complete article, book whatever. A good way to connect Wikipedia to other websites is to promote the use of all the tagged keywords. The idea is to go for instance to Bloomberg, find the beginning of an article or half of it and to be able to click on certain words to see their definition in Wikipedia. Some may fear that this is not interesting for those who run the other website, because the reader might not come back, but I think that users will realize and appreciate the opportunity for knowledge improvement while staying up to date. I would say, this is a combination everybody would wish for. And now you can add the proposed new search options: you are able to see a keyword on a newspaper article, click on it and view the definition and tag cloud in wikipedia. And you are able to modify the search options. Wikipedia would become much more a website for knowledge building and individual development. And I think this is what Wikipedia should be all about. I also strongly recommend to cooperate with Kindle.

So if you just imagine what kind of network will occur around wikipedia, it gets more and more abvious, how important the availability of different search options will become and how much they will enable the user to handle all those incoming information. Hence there has to be a focus on the search techniques for the future growth.

— The preceding unsigned comment was added by Miriam Hondjo (talk) 13:56, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
"There is effort to strengthen the Wikipedia network, but I’m wondering why the usual options like ‘post on facebook/twitter’ don’t exist."
Wikipedia is not a social network, and share buttons usually send info back to the social network, violating the reader's privacy. I'm not sure how Twitter works, but can't you just copy and paste the URL? Same with other networks. There are already scripts available that will add this functionality. You can even get a bookmarklet to post any page to these networks, not just Wikimedia sites. Enwiki has this listed as a perennial proposal: w:Wikipedia:PERENNIAL#Share_pages_on_Facebook.2C_Twitter_etc..
(edited much later at 12:19, 7 February 2014 (UTC)): Some wikis like the Tamil Wikipedia have twitter/facebook links in the sidebar. PiRSquared17 (talk) 12:19, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
"The option to log in via facebook would be nice and would make sure that Wikipedia becomes less anonymous."
bugzilla:59631, especially see bugzilla:59631#c1 (quote: "Why? Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Anyway, this no doubt a dupe of requesting to be able to login using any openid provider"). See the other comments too.
"And since I assume that most of the discussions between Wikipedia participants take place on facebook anyway, why not make it official and use the very well developed tools on facebook for group discussions, meetings and chats. That would improve the situation for new users very much."
This is not true AFAIK. Most discussions between Wikipedia participants take place on Wikipedia itself. There are also quite a few discussions on IRC and the mailing lists, which I have already replied about, but I still think talk pages make up for the most discussions. I may be wrong. Facebook is a proprietary, third-party site. Why should we force all users to use it? It is also known for privacy problems. I don't think this is a good idea. See Social media, Facebook pages, Microblogging handles. Flow will turn talk pages into a different format, kind of like the old LiquidThreads extension did. (Search for it.)
"It’s not necessary that every part of an article is free and it’s usually not necessary to read the complete article, book whatever."
This is a necessity on Wikimedia projects. The founding principles and the WMF's own values clearly state that we are to support free/libre and open content, not just host other sites' content. Free price should also be a requirement, imho. The news sites are just a click away anyway.
"The idea is to go for instance to Bloomberg, find the beginning of an article or half of it and to be able to click on certain words to see their definition in Wikipedia."
Bloomberg could add JS to their site to do this, or you could use a bookmarklet/Greasemonkey userscript.
PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:43, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Why not use the chat-feature of facebook... it *is* well-developed. But it has a single purpose: to spy on the use,r, and sell their personal data to the highest bidder. w:WP:NOTFACEBOOK is policy, but staying the heck away from is philosophy. If we are to have a chat-feature, either it will be the one we already use (freenode-based IRC), or it will be on-wiki chat, designed with collaboratively building a high-quality encyclopedia firmly in mind... and protecting the privacy (reading-habits and authoring-interests and geolocation and so on) of individual wikipedians, as a *feature* not a bug.  :-)   So the answer in a nutshell is, we should not use the slick fully-developed facebook-chat, because It's a trap! Hope this helps.
  p.s. And yes, it *is* necessary for wikipedia/wikimedia to be w:free as in freedom. Every part, if I had my druthers. We make exceptions for closed-source bohts, and for fair-use images; a slippery-enough slope already! Google is monetizing infoboxen, with their w:Knowledge Graph, and thereby (see cites in the article) taking away wikipedia-pageviews, and surround wikipedia-content with google-advertising. We have enough problems, without going looking for more.  :-)   Does this make sense? It is about freedom, and the principle of the thing. Wikipedia is *different* than facebook, and different than bloomberg, not simply because it has a different domain-name and a different legal organizational-structure. It is a different kind of GOAL, entirely. — 02:05, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Individualized Wikipedia

The idea reminds me on the beginning of Wikipedia. I guess it started with a kind of vocabulary list of words you wanted to learn, dates you wanted to remember... Then it was written down and saved as a computer file, then others joined and Wikipedia started to exist… Actually, I would like to go back to this stage. It’s nice to find all the information on Wikipedia, but I would very much appreciate to have the option to drag some parts of information and drop them into my own Wikipedia content list. I would like to be able to manage my own knowledge, be able to view the progress. Only my individualized Wikipedia version can give me an overview of where I stand, what I need to improve. I would be able to see, which topics I neglected or what is related to a theme that I’m interested in.

The next step would be to have this individualized Wikipedia on my mobile device and be able to turn it into file cards for learning.

— The preceding unsigned comment was added by Miriam Hondjo (talk) 13:56, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
"The idea reminds me on the beginning of Wikipedia. I guess it started with a kind of vocabulary list of words you wanted to learn, dates you wanted to remember..."
No, Wikipedia (w:Wikipedia), one of the Wikimedia projects, started out as a wiki for developing content for an online encyclopedia called Nupedia. The idea was that Nupedia content would be checked by experts, but Wikipedia would be editable by all. Content would be moved from Wikipedia to Nupedia when checked. Quickly Wikipedia became much better than Nupedia, and the company running the sites (Bomis, the company Jimmy Wales founded and Larry Sanger worked for) was replaced by a nonprofit foundation (Wikimedia Foundation, founded by Wales). Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger founded it. It was never just a vocab list, as far as I know, but the earliest of surviving edits that is actually in the database (UuU) certainly seems like that. They used the idea of the wiki, created by Ward Cunningham, as their medium for development of content and open editing.
"It’s nice to find all the information on Wikipedia, but I would very much appreciate to have the option to drag some parts of information and drop them into my own Wikipedia content list. I would like to be able to manage my own knowledge, be able to view the progress."
Not quite sure what you mean, but you could use other websites or Wikiversity to track your learning progress.
PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:43, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
The idea seems to basically be like w:Memex. Think about the difference between a distributed w:Git versus a centralized w:SVN ... in the latter, there is one central server (enWiki), but in the distributed variant, every PC working on the kernel has their own local version-control-repo. So in a nutshell, imagine if instead of needing a master's degree in EECS to get mediawiki up and running on a heavy-duty server, it was possible to click three buttons, and have a *local* copy of mediaWiki running on your laptop (or tablet!), with you as the local admin. You want to write up some 'articles' about your family trip to the Bahamas? Simply create homePiRSquared17:Bahamas in your local db. You want to create a new memo for your box? WorkPiRSquared17:memo2014 in your local db, then email the wikimarkup to your boss, and they can install it into their local db. Or the company can have a central corporate knowledge base server, which both you and your boss sync into, with w:ACLs to keep stuff on a need-to-know basis.
  What about editing enWiki aka the mothership? You can write drafts on your *local* PC, disconnected from the internet, but with full version-control (and no edit conflicts). When you are ready, you *merge* your local copy of homePiRSquared17:Hitler with the upstream copy of w:Hitler. Or maybe... you instead merge with Conservapedia, or with C2, or with some buddy you are penpals with across the ocean. Distributed wikipedia is probably one of the coolest ideas there is. But the technical barriers are daunting. How do you sync all the changes that enWiki gets every day, out to the distributed local mediaWiki installs? Can you, living in New York, get a locally-cached copy of w:Big Dipper from a nearby local-mediaWiki in Boston, rather than from an official WMF server? If so, how do you *trust* that the Boston copy is not outdated? Maliciously tampered with? Subtly redacted aka censored? w:SHA3 maybe... but factual reliability becomes insanely more complex, even though system-reliability is infinitely higher. Imagine having in-RAM access-speed when editing, with no network round-trips. Imagine being able to use wiki-technologies for your shopping list, your health insurance paperwork, and your kid's homework... all tied into the WMF-approved infrastructure of wiki-tools, and central community. Wikipedia could become the platform on which ALL knowledge was based, not "just" centralized-online-encyclopedic knowledge. Pick the red pill. :-)   Hope this helps.   — 01:22, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I think the git vs SVN is like GNE (Gnupedia) [6] vs Wikipedia. GNE has no central control. You pick the articles in "your" GNE. PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:10, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
No, this is not Gnupedia... I'm suggesting a hybrid, and maybe Miriam is as well, I'm not sure. In my distant future, there is still a central website at[p|m] which has the master encyclopedia(s). This is the SVN model. If we were to turn of the WMF server-farm, and give all 500M readers their own copy of mediaWiki, that would be GNE, aka the pure-decentralized-git-model. That's not what I'm saying. Because in the real world, even though all the Linux hackers use git, and have local kernel-trees on their own local machines, the intent is always to someday upsync their local changes to the central master at (which *happens* to run git but *could* just as easily run SVN).
  So the proposal is like this. There is an article, stored centrally, just like today. You can edit it via your browser, just like today. However, you also have a local install of mediaWiki on your laptop. You can, if you wish, cache the upstream Hitler article as homePiRSquared17:Hitler, on your local mediaWiki... for speedier pageviews, and for offline use. Make sense so far?
  However, if you edit homePiRSquared17:Hitler, what happens? Well, it's much faster, stored in RAM, no network round-trips... and of course, no edit-conflicts, no WP:FLAGGED, no semi-prot, no full-prot. More convenient too, cause you can edit offline. But just like with Linux kernel hackers, the *default* behavior is that you intend to merge your local changes with the upstream master, at some point. The main win to having the local copy, is that you can get versioned drafts, without risking a major mess-up to the official article.
  You can also create homePiRSquared17:Personal/2014/Feb/30/shoppingList with *no* intent to ever upload it to wikipedia, right? Same power, but differing intent. Take that one step further, and you can create homePiRSquared17:Work/2014/Feb/30/memoToMyBoss which you later sync to some corporate-wiki. Take that one step further, and you can *fork* the Hitler article from enWiki, and write a w:WP:POVFORK in a way that you *know* won't be accepted back upstream into enWiki mainspace... which you then submit to wookiepedia, or conservapedia, or mywikibiz, or memory_alpha, or young_justice_wikia, or some public webhost of your own, or whatever. But this last type of thing is optional and most folks will never do it.
  Anyways, GNE was proposed in 2001 as an alternative to wikipedia's w:WP:NPOV and w:WP:AT. The idea proposed here, of a distributed-wikipedia, is to make downstream-caching, upstream-merging, and POVFORKing all straightforward technological processes. But the main focus, given the importance of mainspace enWiki, methinks would always be getting drafted changes back up into mainspace there. Most people would use a local mediaWiki copy, not for the power to POVFORK, but rather, for the speed/convenience of in-RAM editing, and the speed/convenience of local-offline-caching. HTH. 12:55, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I have linked this discussion at w:User:HaeB/Timeline of distributed Wikipedia proposals.
"GNE was proposed in 2001 as an alternative to wikipedia's w:WP:NPOV and w:WP:AT" - that's wrong, see e.g. w:GNE (encyclopedia). GNE's project lead wasn't even aware of Nupedia in the beginning [7] (and Wikipedia was just a two days old side experiment to Nupedia at that time). Regards, HaeB (talk) 16:56, 5 February 2014 (UTC)


I hope, you liked it so far. Some proposed improvements are easily realized while others are more complicated. What they have in common is that one has to invest to put all those ideas into practice. I assume that this is the biggest problem. I propose a stock market launch. I know we are dedicated to everything we can have for free, but isn’t it quite egoistic to take donations from the users and give them nothing in return but a medieval website? And I’m sure a stock market launch would improve the transparency dramatically. Let’s do it so we can put all those nice ideas into practice. And I think it’s urgent, the participating user base is shrinking so there’s a need to hurry and improve the infrastructure. I mean, if facebook and twitter can do it …— The preceding unsigned comment was added by Miriam Hondjo (talk) 13:56, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

The Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit organization and should stay that way. Generally nonprofits can't issue stock, but maybe they can if they move to Kansas. Nonprofits don't have owners. PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:43, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Is that a this-will-only-happen-in-the-land-of-Oz reference? Or do you mean, there is something special about the legal structure of 503(c) or whatever the WMF is, when incorporated in the state of Kansas? But be fair: non-profits *do* have owners, they are just called 'trustees' instead of 'board of directors'. While I disagree with Miriam that going public as a for-profit corporation is the solution to all our problems, I tend to agree that the WMF governance-structure (aka ownership-structure) is too closed-off. It *is* a bit medieval to take donations of cash from the readership, and donations of effort (w:sweat equity) from DahCommuhnity™ without sharing control. I've no problem with egotistical; the best thing for wikipedia in 2001 and 2002 was to have Jimbo as the god-king, because he was exactly the proper sort of god-king to help wikipedia achieve her destiny. Now, he's probably not supposed to be god-king anymore, though as god-king emeritus he deserves our respect / love / etc. All hail the Great Jimbo, founder and all-around awesome wikipedian. That said... what *do* we want, today? What type of control structure *will* help wikipedia continue to achieve her proper destiny, overcome her problems, and flourish for the ages?
  Do we want to have the WMF paying tens of millions of dollars for consultants? Whose money *are* them thar donation-bucks, in other words: does it 'belong' (in practice) to the WMF board of trustees, for them to apportion and control as they see fit, trusted to do as trustees ought? Should the readership and the volunteer editors (plus some not-so-volunteer editors nowadays) have some say? More say? No say? The most say? Even if non-profits cannot issues shares of stock (and even stipulating that becoming a for-profit is the wrong pathway), even a non-profit organization has to have some mechanism for ascertaining control. Who calls the shots? Who gets input? How much? Who sets the mission? Who holds the purse-strings? Who guards against corruption? Who shall guard those selfsame guardians? These are hard questions methinks. High kudos to Miriam for a thought-stimulating series of proposals. Even if some of them are w:not even wrong, I liked 'em anyways. — 01:42, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
w:Non-stock corporation: "The vast majority of not-for-profit corporations are non-stock corporations. (However Kansas state law allows some nonprofits to issue stock — the Cato Institute is set up this way.)". The same might apply in some other states, but I'm not a lawyer or a business expert or anything like that. PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:05, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I am a late arrival, via Jimmy Wales's en talk page. Someone or something needs to sustain Wikipedia, as it has become rather critical to internet resiliency, due to Wikipedia URLs being nearly ubiquitous in commercial, organizational, educational, government and yes .mil domains globally. In many cases, the associated content is important too. I can expand on that elsewhere, but I've thought about it a lot, and I do worry. Anyway, just to interject here, specifically about Jimmy Wales, there's a lot to be said for formalizing his role, paying him a decent salary, and then holding him to well-defined goals and standards. If he were paid decently and given more respect, he and Wikipedia would be better off, e.g. he wouldn't need to work side jobs for a telephone company. If he were ineffective, he could be replaced. The decision wouldn't be made by a kangaroo court of silly-named but verbally fluent inquisitors on his talk page! I do find that amusing to no end, but have never been the subject of an inquiry, nor acted as an inquisitor. It is sad to see photos of Jimmy Wales as one of the crowd of Richard Branson hangers-on, on the latter's yacht. Instead, Jimmy Wales should have the opportunity to be perceived thusly, as in this recent article in The Economist, sans Schumpeter's little "Dial J for Jimmy" poke. The (legitimate) resentful seething incited among us, the unpaid editor masses, that breaks out whenever he gets $20,000 honorariums for speaking appearances or lectures isn't good for the community either. Speaking engagements should be part of his job. The folks at Mike Masnick's TechDirt website actually think Jimmy Wales works without any compensation for the Wikimedia Foundation, yet don't question how he might support himself day-to-day. They are very big on the "sharing economy". This is just one example of how certain seemingly intractable issues could be expeditiously addressed if Wikipedia were to transition toward a more formalized organizational structure --FeralOink (talk) 05:52, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Miriam, it's very important that you understand this. Perhaps it is our fault for not explicitly specifying so in the header at the top of this page, but it is generally the custom for threads in wiki culture that the newest posts go to the bottom and the oldest posts go to the top. By moving your section to the top of this page, you are reducing visibility and participation in it. I will not change your placement of the post as User:Davidwr did, as it is completely your choice which I respect and will leave up to you, but I'm speaking to advise you that your ideas would be much better received and more "prominent" in terms of visibility if they are located at the bottom of this page. You can verify the truth of that yourself: check the timestamps for the opening paragraphs of each individual thread on this page, and observe the way that they are arranged. However if it is your intention to place it at the top of the page without regard to its prominence or participation value, then it would not be my place to demand you move the discussion elsewhere, and you retain the right to organize the thread as you see fit. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 12:43, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

  • A stock market launch would mean turning a charity into a for profit company. That isn't an easy thing to do and it would be contentious, some would be concerned about the reduced transparency that would come with a move from a charity where the community elects part of the board to a commercial organisation that was beholden to its shareholders. But there would be bigger concerns about changing the objectives from making the world's information freely available to the world, to making the highest possible profits for our shareholders. Even among those who might support the idea there would be no easy way to work out who got how many shares or how much income from shares. Then of course there would be the problem of how one retains enough editors to keep the site going when at best a minority were giving up in disgust and at worst the whole community was simply forking to a new ad free site run by another charity. WereSpielChequers (talk) 20:29, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
    • @WereSpielChequers: I think you're conflating "stock market launch" with "for-profit corporation", I in fact think that those two are not mutually incompatible, as was pointed out by PiRSquared17 et al regarding the state of Kansas as an example. And in a sense, the Wikimedia Foundation already have a pool of "shareholders" that they're accountable to, that is, the large editor base of the global Wikimedia community who choose to "invest" their time and energy in the various WikiProjects and more importantly in the elections for Board membership every other year. Sure, as a complete volunteer-run base, there is very little "income" to be derived from this activity, but in any altruistic endeavor, would you have the courage to be willing to say "it was worth it all along"? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 17:22, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  • @ WereSpielChequers Often, there is greater transparency and accountability when a company goes from charity to a more business like organization. A business is accountable to its customers, and certainly to its employees. Here's an idea: Wikipedia need not have outside shareholders. Outside shareholders are a consequence of an organization's common equity being listed on a public stock exchange. Instead, Wikipedia could be restructured as an employee-owned company! Who would be the employees? Us, the editors! Who would be the customers? The governments, educational institutions, businesses and non-profit organizations of the world. How would we charge for our services? I'm not certain. I do have some ideas about how to do it. We would NOT blight Wikipedia articles with banner advertising though!--FeralOink (talk) 08:08, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Cool. Do it. Miriam has proposed raising money for converting Wikipedia into her vision, by creating a for-profit company. What Miriam -- and perhaps others -- may not realize is that this is legally quite easy, the only thing that would be difficult would be calling this new web site "Wikipedia." So let's call it something catchy. Not being a marketing expert, I'll first thought of KnowHow. may be available, for a modest price, or an immodest one, I don't know. is taken) Maybe KnowNow. The .com is registered but there is no web site. [8]. Maybe they will sell it, cheap. Or not. KnowNow would not start with a "stock market launch." It would start with private funding from investors. If you can't accomplish the latter, the former will be a waste of time.

The key to KnowNow is that Wikipedia content is, by design, for "free re-use." Sometimes people think that this means the content should be free to access. Not necessarily. For-profit companies already resell Wikipedia content in books that are publish-on-demand. They simply must give proper credit and issue the work under the proper license. They may also need to be a bit careful about Fair Use content, a minor point. However, KnowNow can also add its own content, and the most obvious content to add is targeted advertising. There could be a lot of money in that. KnowNow can also restructure the content to make it more accessible, and even to make it more reliable. I won't detail how it would do this, but this is not the first time such proposals have been discussed!

If there is a market, those cards that Miriam wants could be provided. How much would she pay for them? Or would she tolerate some advertising on them; in that case, she could have them for free, I'm sure. Put some card stock in a printer and press the Print button. All the Kings horses -- administrators here -- and all the King's men -- the Wikipedia community -- could not stop this. What would stop it would only be impracticality. Seems practical to me, but I'm not an investor, not of cash, anyway.

Wikipedia itself depends critically on a vast user base, to improve and maintain the project. That base isn't about to tolerate massive changes to Wikipedia itself, which they already know how to use -- or, on occasion, abuse. However, KnowNow could certainly make donations or grants to the WMF, and probably would do that, if these donations or grants would help the Wikipedia community to maintain and improve quality. It's an interesting possibility.

Others made a point to consider that a nonprofit could also issue stock. Yes. There are complications I won't go into, but it's possible. However, it would not be likely to raise the funding needed for major reform of access and policies. It could be a way for contributors to funnel their funds through a board that they advise, with the advice having some teeth. I don't expect it to happen. --Abd (talk) 00:20, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

The Result of our discussion

The answers here were not very enlightening. Anyway, thank you. Looks like it's on me. First of all it's obvious that you've got everything under controll. So if the user base is shrinking, it doesn't happen by chance. You are actively reducing the user base. But why should you act against your own goals if you're not on the way to an IPO?--Miriam Hondjo (talk) 19:25, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Why should we be? "Free" is "free", "nonprofit" is "nonprofit", and there's no two ways to go about it. We don't want a commercial entity with a bunch of ads running along the sidebar, period. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:37, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
In fact, this is often a proposal listed at w:Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Advertising, emphasis perennial, which specifically discusses the reasons why Wikimedia won't become a corporation, and why keeping everything free is more important than keeping our editorbase. So this proposal is actually nothing really new. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:42, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
That was a rhetorical question. Goodbye --Miriam Hondjo (talk) 15:46, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Miriam is gone, not that she was ever really here. TCNSV, however, is saying some fairly strange things. The WMF is a corporation, merely a nonprofit one. A for-profit corporation could easily incorporate Wikipedia content, even with live update, and mix it with ads. They would simply need to filter out Fair Use material, which WMF policy makes easy. Under some conditions, they could even assert Fair Use, it simply gets trickier.
Personally, I don't give a fig about sidebar ads if they are not too intrusive, and if they provide funding to pay for site improvement. Sidebar ads can exist with a nonprofit site owner, and with a for-profit one. There is no way to stop a for-profit corporation using Wikipedia content, provided they follow the license; and they could add features, it is certainly possible, that would make it more useful to go to the for-profit site.
What would happen if they did that? Well, traffic on Wikipedia could decline. If that led to a reduction in the quality of content, this would harm the for-profit corporation. So what would they do? It's fairly obvious: they would support the WMF, and they would have the money to do it. They might reward productive editors. And the content-killers that sometimes have a field day on Wikipedia, presently, might find themselves in trouble. Yeah, I can hear the screams. But you might as well try to stop a river by screaming at it, if this actually happens.
It is naive to believe in an intrinsic conflict between for-profit and non-profit activities. I have served on nonprofit boards, and the abuses that we associate with for-profit business happen with nonprofits, but it can be concealed under a veneer of "doing good." --Abd (talk) 19:02, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Sad, and mostly true, Abd. You may have seen my thoughts about Wikipedia as an editor-as-employee owned organization.... not too likely, nor feasible. Sigh. I worry about the gap that will be left without Wikipedia. It does seem like we are approaching an inflection point, or, as I prefer to think of it in calculus-themed terms, the saddlepoint. I have enjoyed this thread with everyone (other than Miriam, who had departed before I arrived) very much.--FeralOink (talk) 13:33, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

How to track effectiveness of a link?

Hi, I'm Ricky from Indonesian Wikipedian. Recently, we interviewed some unregistered users and figured out that most don't sign-up because they didn't see the small sign up link on the right corner our site, so we decided to make a big, blue sign-up button (bergabung menjadi kontributor, en: "signing up as a contributor", you can only see it when you are logged out) on Wikipedia ID main page.

Now we want to track the effectiveness of this button, we want to track how many times it's clicked and then compare it to the number of users registered on Wikipedia ID. If the ratio of # times button clicked : registered users in a month is high (> 0.75), then it means that the button is effective. And we may replicate the method to other Wikipedias. The question is, how?

We're thinking about using some URL shortener like bit ly that has a capability to track how many times a link is clicked. But is it legit to put an external link and make it looks like a button on the front page of Wikipedia? What's your opinion? --Ricky Setiawan (talk) 16:27, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Tracking external links are generally frowned upon. Ruslik (talk) 18:56, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Talk to WMF's UX team. [9]  — billinghurst sDrewth 13:18, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. @Ruslik No, we're not tracking external links, we try to track internal link using external site. @sDrewth Thanks for the info, I'll contact them. -- 17:48, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
WMF uses mw:EventLogging and "campaigns" for such stuff, also via mw:Extension:WikimediaEvents. --Nemo 08:26, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, the most relevant page is probably Research:Account creation campaigns. @Ricky Setiawan: anyone can set up campaign tracking using the URL parameter, and a good example is the English Wikipedia's en:MediaWiki:Anoneditwarning (see the "campaign=anoneditwarning" bit). This tells us how many people actually signed up via a link, but does not track clicks. The data is not yet publicly available, so if you set up a campaign, let me know and I will have someone get you a count of how many new registrations there are from the link. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 22:15, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedia Highlights from December 2013

Highlights from the Wikimedia Foundation Report and the Wikimedia engineering report for December 2013, with a selection of other important events from the Wikimedia movement
About · Subscribe/unsubscribe, 01:58, 27 February 2014 (UTC)



I while ago I requested to be renamed from King jakob c 2 to Jakec on all wikis where I've edited. Most of these requests have been granted, but on,, and, I have not been renamed even though it has been over a month since I requested it. Is there a steward who could go over and rename me on those wikis? Thanks, --Jakob (talk) 18:24, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Please request this on SRSUL or SRUC. (FYI, I'm not a steward.) PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:30, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Call for project ideas: funding is available for community experiments

I apologize if this message is not in your language. Please help translate it.

Do you have an idea for a project that could improve your community? Individual Engagement Grants from the Wikimedia Foundation help support individuals and small teams to organize experiments for 6 months. You can get funding to try out your idea for online community organizing, outreach, tool-building, or research to help make Meta better. In March, we’re looking for new project proposals.

Examples of past Individual Engagement Grant projects:

Proposals are due by 31 March 2014. There are a number of ways to get involved!

Hope to have your participation,

--Siko Bouterse, Head of Individual Engagement Grants, Wikimedia Foundation 19:44, 28 February 2014 (UTC)