Wikivoices is a grassroots and utterly "unofficial" attempt to connect and inform editors of all foundation wikis, which started off as Not The Wikipedia Weekly on the English Wikipedia. We're running occasional Skype conference calls and skypecasts which are open to all, and we discuss various wiki issues of the moment.
Right now we are in a transitional phase as Not The Wikipedia Weekly completes its move to become Wikivoices. If you have any questions or suggestions at all, including any feedback about something you've heard, feel free to drop a note on the talk page, and someone will be happy to help you!
|How to take part in Wikivoices|
|General notes||How to join a WV discussion|
To participate, you'll need to install the latest version of Skype onto your computer, have a Skype ID you don't mind sharing with the world, and of course you'll need a microphone and speakers, or headset.
It's not very difficult to host a Skypecast on your own, and you're welcome to propose a dedicated episode with participants and topics of your choosing, which would also Not be Wikipedia Weeklys. Consensus at this page will determine whether or not they remain officially NotTheWikipediaWeekly however! Please do get involved!
Please note that Skype is not a safe environment, and it is outside WMF. If you're at all in doubt, don't use it. Some suggestions to protect yourself from hacking and outing are described here. See also NTWW Skype chat — guidelines and usage hints
The official chats are dual licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported. If you are unwilling to license your voice contributions under these licenses do not participate in an official chat.
Wikivoices is a project to support and encourage Wikimedians of all stripes to talk to each other, and about anything which tweaks their interest. Wikivoices hosts chats via Skype in text and voice, and records some of its voice chats to share with other Wikimedians.
Most of our work follows one of two formats:
Wikivoices began as Not the Wikipedia Weekly at English Wikipedia in spring 2008, doing podcasts on a roughly weekly basis about wiki-related matters. The project had always been welcoming of participants in sister wikis, and as interest expanded the participants contemplated a move to Meta in order to put all WMF sites on an equal footing.
WV also operates ongoing chats in text and voice via Skype and its members undertake collaborative content editing. Wikimedians who have questions are welcome to join (see instructions on the en:wiki pages) or contact Durova for assistance.
Our next Skypecast
November 18, 20:00 UTC
All about SignWriting...
I was brainstorming with Valerie Sutton today about possible topics. I've added each topic as a section below. I added a lot of detail to some sections to help stimulate discussion and as notes for myself. -Steve 22:19, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
An ASL Wikipedia
There is a request for an ASL Wikipedia.
Written sign language as focus
Written sign language should be the focus of any Wikipedia. Video and illustration can support and supplement, but written sign language is key. You can read (or watch) a short article by Adam Frost entitled "Why SignWriting?" (part 1 and part 2), which deals with this issue.
Brief History of SignWriting
International SignWriting Alphabet 2008 and the Open Font License
Sequential versus spatial writing systems
The major difference between SignWriting and other scripts is that SignWriting is spatial, and not sequential. Either left to right, or top to bottom, almost all other scripts put one character after another. The symbols of SignWriting are written spatially. Each sign, like a word, is written based on spelling rules. One symbol is used as the center and the other symbols relate or revolve around that center spatially. Each sign is therefore a spatial unit or cluster of ordered symbols.
The current technique to represent SignWriting data was created by Steve and uses a string of character codes and XY coordinates, informally called a build string. The character codes are finalized for the ISWA 2008 and use a double octet coded character set. The code pages are available online. The character codes were created using the character encoding model called Binary SignWriting.
When you strip away all of the terminology, the basic idea of Unicode is that each unique character is associated with a unique number. This information can be encoded in binary. This allows small storage requirements, fast processing, and program compatibility.
Unicode is written in stone. Compatibility is the top priority. Once a character set is added to Unicode, it can not be changed.
While Unicode is valuable, SignWriting may not be ready for Unicode yet. Valerie released the latest symbol set last month. It may be the last symbol set SignWriting will ever need, but maybe not.
Historically, the SignWriting symbols used a 6 part numbering system. The first symbol was named "01-01-001-01-01-01". This is a very meaningful name, but it's not a character code. With Binary SignWriting, the first symbol now has the character code of 256. Two small data files enable a bidirectional conversion between symbol name and character code.
Unicode has allocated 512 code points for SignWriting. This is insufficient. The ISWA 2008 has 639 BaseSymbols and 35,023 symbols.
Unicode has 17 planes, 11 which are unused. Each plane can support a double octet character set (16 bits). The Unicode consortium has decided that the unused planes will not be opened until Planes 0, 1, and 2 are filled. The Unicode Consortium does not see a day when all of the available planes will be filled.
Binary SignWriting uses 16 bit codes (double octet set). Once this character set has proven stable, it would be easy enough to devote Unicode Plane 3 to the sign languages of the world and rubber stamp the ISWA 2008 character codes as official.
Different character encoding models for SignWriting are possible, but standards are the main concern. Those standards are ready with the ISWA 2008. The official name of the coded character set is "x-iswa-2008". Steve will be preparing an Internet Draft so that the x-iswa-2008 is recognized as an official character set of the Internet.
None of the existing font engines can display a coordinate based script. The current font engine for SignWriting is a server side font engine: the SignWriting Image Server. The advantage of a server side font engine is that it doesn't require any special installation by the end user.
The same techniques could be used to create a client side font engine. This could be used in stand alone applications or developed as a browser plugin. Integration with existing technology will become easier as the SignWriting standards mature.
Each symbol of SignWriting is a character. Each character has a raster glyph. In time, SVG glyphs will be available as well. When glyphs are combined using coordinate based writing, the font engine returns a glyphogram: a spatial combination of glyphs.
User Interface Issues
It should be possible to localize the user interface for SignWriting. The SignWriting data can be entered into the user interface. The biggest problem would be the buttons. An input type of submit can not use an image as its value. A custom skin will need to be created to change the submit type to something that can use an image.
The page title could be represented in SignWriting data, but the associated URL and interwiki links could be a bit unwieldy. However, if the page title was SignWriting data, each page could supply it's own favorite icon for display in the browser next to the URL.
Searching in MediaWiki is based on sequential characters. SignWriting is spatial and would require a custom search page.
Sorting with SignWriting requires additional information besides the spatial spelling data. It uses something called the SignSpelling Sequence (pdf).
Current status of the SignWriting MediaWiki Plugin
Steve is looking for feedback and ideas.
Steve hopes to have a beta of the SignWriting MediaWiki Plugin ready in the first quarter of 2009.
Feel free to ask specific questions below...
Sign below to give us an estimate of how many people are going to participate.
Proposed recordings and topics
Initial notes on proposed future episodes. Feel free to add!
Candidates: Thank you for offering your time to make a recording! Some instructions and such are given below, for your convenience. If you require alternative arrangements, do let us know and we'll bend over backwards to try and fit you in!
And, of course, good luck in your candidacy.
Arbitration Election Specials
Wikivoices (formally NotTheWikipediaWeekly) will be making several pod casts with candidates running in the 2008 Arbitration Committee elections. Given the high number of candidates likely to be signing up during the nomination stage (likely to be around 45) it will be a very busy 2 weeks. It is recommended that candidates attend both formats of casts and we will try to be as flexible as possible.
There will be 2 formats being run over the next 2 weeks. The first will be general discussion with a small number candidates at a time with several experienced hosts from Wikivoices. Each candidate will be given 2-3 minutes to introduce themselves then the main body of the cast will begin. The topics discussed will vary in each recording to ensure fairness however the atmosphere will be generally free flowing. These will be running throughout the two weeks starting today.
The second format will be based on a similar style to the youtube debates (without the video obviously). Questions are to be suggested here by the community. A selection of these will then be put to a panel of larger panel candidates with short and concise 1-2 minute responses. Other than an introduction and hello from each candidate, there will be no opportunity for a lengthier introductions.
You will contacted closer to your arranged date to confirms detail of joining relevant chat and conference calls used during the recording of these programmes.
This Tuesday and Wednesday, 8am - 5pm U.S. Pacific time. Please contact to set up exact times. Durova 16:07, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Signup for times
well I'll be around quite a lot, and will likely attend a session or two. cheers, Privatemusings 01:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I am available 10 - 2 pm Eastern, and 10 - 12 Eastern. Jehochman 01:56, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I can make myself available, as a rule, between 19:00 and 23:00 EST (00:00 to 04:00 UTC) any weekday, with a bit more flexibility (with advance notice) on weekends. — Coren (talk) / (en-wiki) 02:09, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Yankee evenings are better for me except on weekend when I'm more available. Weekdays 9 - 12pm Eastern (200-500 UTC), and weekends say 8am-9pm (1300-200 UTC) with advanced notice. Cool Hand Luke 02:26, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm available most evenings after 10:30 PM eastern on weekdays, and very flexible on weekends with prior notice. SirFozzie 03:11, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
7-11 UTC, every weekday except Thursday. I could be flexible in UK daytime, especially on Saturdays, with advance notice. I would also want to know what questions would be asked in advance or at least the areas of conversation, so I can give thought-out, informed answers. Sam Korn 11:14, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Sundays work, as do wednesday afternoon/evenings (19-23 UTC). I don't know if i can currently set aside time to do this though. Wizardman 00:33, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Plan an episode
Want to do a recording? Great! Experienced WVers will be glad to answer questions and lend a hand. Remember that if you want a recorded session, you'll need at least one person with recording ability (through a service such as CallGraph) and audio editing ability (through software such as Audacity).
Several sessions may be in planning at the same time. Please give proposed sessions names rather than numbers: we'll number them in the order they come back fully edited. We'll continue our numbering from NTWW, so the first WV episode will be numbered 37.
See /Template for formatting code.
Format and topics
The participants discussed Wikinews and created an article, Grandmother of Barack Obama dies at 86. The article was accepted for publication and became the Wikinews lead story, topping the site's list of most visited articles later that evening. During the episode work started on a second article, Several businesses catch fire in Queens, New York.
2008 Election Results Special
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Episodes by topic and participants