WebCite

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This page is a proposal for a new Wikimedia Foundation Sister Project.
Status Under discussion
Prompt Response
What is the proposed name for the project? WebCite
Project description
What is the project purpose? What will be its scope? How would it benefit to be part of Wikimedia?
See Proposal below.
How many wikis?
Will there be many language versions or just on one multilingual wiki?
There will be just one version.
How many languages?
Is the project going to be in one language or in many?
No language variants.
Proposed project website address http://www.webcitation.org/
Technical requirements
If the project requires any new features that the MediaWiki software currently doesn't have, please describe in detail. Are additional MediaWiki extensions needed for the project?
See Proposal below.
Development wiki
Interested Participants:

Linkrot is a serious problem for the Wikipedia of every language. Content is supposed to be based on previously published sources. Many of these sources only exist online and not in print. When such sources die, the information in Wikipedia citing it is in question; and if no replacement source can be found, then the information is no longer easily attributable. That means our readers can no longer check the validity of cited claims, which eventually need to be removed. And the work that was spent on researching the deleted information has been wasted.

WebCite is an on-demand archiving service to permanently store webpages. (See also its own website, and w:en:Wikipedia:Using WebCite for information on how WebCite can be used with Wikipedia.) Even if the original webpage changes or disappears, the cited information is still verifiable if the contributor to Wikipedia has had the foresight to archive the webpage at WebCite.

It is claimed that EN Wikipedia currently has over 180,000 links to WebCite. If WebCite dies, all these links will break. Some of these references will become completely unverifiable, because some of the original URLs to them would be dead and the stored copy on WebCite was the only source left.

The WebCite Archiver bot on RuWiki had archived over 507,000 pages on WebCite service at the moment.

The service is currently in financial trouble. According to the WebCite homepage as of February 2013, WebCite will stop accepting new submissions by the end of 2013, "unless we reach our fundraising goals to modernize and expand this service." If their fundraising does not increase by more than double its current rate, the goal will not be reached.

The idea proposed here is that the Wikimedia Foundation take control over the WebCite service, including the physical infrastructure (such as servers) and the domain webcitation.org. In return, the WMF would finance the necessary modernization of the service.

Proposed by[edit]

User:Toshio Yamaguchi

Alternative names[edit]

Related projects/proposals[edit]

Domain names[edit]

http://www.webcitation.org/

Mailing list links[edit]

Demos[edit]

People interested[edit]

  1. I've already donated, but yes, we need this. I've used it at least 1500 times in my writing Crisco 1492 (talk)
    1. Services have gotten less stable recently. If the WMF is going to act, it needs to act soon.Crisco 1492 (talk) 04:04, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
  2. The proposal, initiated here, has my full support. I believe WMF should consider a cooperation with WebCite and support them with part of the WMF funds. In relation to this, the Spending section citing a criticism of money being spent on things that may be valid, such as photos of pop concerts at the German Chapter's wikimedia project, but should be lower on the WMF's priority list in comparison to such things as prevention of link rot, was also added by me to the English WP article on The Foundation, but was removed by editor The ed17 here altogether. --DancingPhilosopher (talk) 16:43, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
  3. I absolutely support this, and I use the service all the time. There have been various proposals in the past that WMF start up their own online citation archive service in case sites like this disappear, but they haven't really gone anywhere. As this one is already very well established, I think this would be an excellent usage of WMF funds as this site supports our efforts to create an excellent encyclopedia. It would also be very useful to have a bot which crawled all citations in all articles and archived them automatically, then added the link to the archived reference. This would make all the online citations better and easily checked even if the original source died. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:51, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
    I just wanted to note that I would also support the proposal that WMF not take over the service but instead helps to fund the service. My main concerns is being able to continue to use the service to archive references and being able to continue accessing references already archived. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:21, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
  4. I see this as a win win thing, I have seen lots and lots of links lost due to linkrot. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 19:02, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
  5. Not only is it a good idea, but EVERY external link should be converted to WebCite. Who knows when a site will go down?Little green rosetta (talk) 20:31, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
  6. I agree with the others. WebCite's fundraising goal is US$50,000. The closing date is "end of 2013", but whether that means December 31 is unknown. The fact that we are notified this early is a good sign that we have some time to work with them. Arsonal (talk) 21:07, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
  7. If the WMF has the money to spare, I could think of nothing better to do with it than to purchase a web-archiving service. Goodraise (talk) 03:24, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  8. If the WMF can actually afford to do this, it would be great. ZX95 (talk) 04:33, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  9. An excellent idea. I too use WebCite a lot. But I also make much use of WebCite for purposes utterly unrelated to Wikipedia/WMF, and so, I venture to guess, do a large percentage of the people who have added or will add their names to this list. I therefore had both Wikipedia and business/personal reasons to throw some change into WebCite's hat. This was 20 hours ago (Fundrazr tells me), and I'm disappointed to note that since then only three people (from anywhere) have done the same. Personally donating to WebCite's appeal is in no way incompatible with asking WMF to offer to take over WebCite; indeed, it helps, because the more shallowly WebCite is in the red, the less money WMF would have to spend on bringing it up to speed. So yes, what Goodraise says. But also, please cough up, you (individual) people, and quickly. -- Hoary Returns (talk) 04:52, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  10. Much needed. The foundation will greatly benefit from this. — ΛΧΣ21 06:20, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  11. Doing something, anything, to save WebCite is important for Wikipedia and the internets as a whole.--GrapedApe (talk) 16:29, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  12. Supporting, but noting that it is not necessary that WebCite is going dark after 2013, only that they won't accept links post 2013 if they don't get funded. But still, the idea of losing this service in the future is of concern givne much of our web page reliance and the difficulties with assuring archive.org backups. --Masem (talk) 18:00, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  13. Support. This would be a valuable asset. Fredlyfish4 (talk) 18:31, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  14. This is pretty much necessary if we've going to maintain the security of a number of references for articles. Not to mention that the lack of WebCite would be detrimental for quite a few places on the internet. Silver seren (talk) 20:07, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  15. Agreed with Goodraise. Archived sources is the foundation that support my contributions to Wikipedia; I have lost too many once-verifiable pieces of information when I started out editing. It only makes sense that WMF would have a hand in keeping sources verifiable, preferably for as long as WMF and Wikipedia exist. I have always wondered about what would happen if I lost WebCite, but it never occurred to me to make the project a part of WMF. Keraunoscopia (talk) 20:49, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  16. I'm not sure WMF can take over WebCitation (and does the owner really even want to be taken over); besides, it has a significant reason for existing outside our own uses. That said, the WMF fronting them money to continue operation does help all Wikimedia projects. David Fuchs (talk) 21:11, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  17. Not sure about feasibility of taking over but wholehearted support for doing whatever we can to help. WebCite archive links are not just used in many thousands of article to save information from failing verification, but I would hazard that a high percentage of that use is in high quality articles for various reasons (at w:WP:FAC, for example, it is common to ask nominators to provide archived links for all web only citations). Even if we can't take over or save WebCite, the WMF should seriously consider starting its own similar service. Sourcing and what it is used for—verification, notability, determining OR, NPOV, etc.—is the keystone of the encyclopedia projects (and some others, e.g., attestation at Wiktionary), and the projects are still young. Taking a long view, most web-only sources will go dead while we (I hope) endure. It's not how many links will go dead this year, but how many over the next thirty years. We will continue to use web-only sources and if we don't have a stable platform and one we control to ensure they remain viable, the problem of link rot can only compound, with almost all links being dead eventually.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:29, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  18. I think this would be a great idea! ·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 22:35, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  19. Being able to validate free content with reference to non-free sources is essential and will be maintained/furthered by this proposal. While the WMF is all about doing this through a free-only mindset, using a non-free feature like WebCite to support the creation of free knowledge fits comfortably within my views. MBisanz talk 01:16, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  20. Support, while still noting David's concerns. --Rschen7754 01:17, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  21. Support:Had a thought of something similar recently. -- ɑηsuмaη ʈ ᶏ ɭ Ϟ 06:00, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  22. Support:WebCite has been an invaluable resource in protecting claims made through long, hard research on a variety of topics and would be a critical loss for all Wikipedias if it were to no longer be available. Axem Titanium (talk) 23:37, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  23. Of any of the new project ideas that have come along, this is one that flat out is not just useful but downright essential to the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation. I'd agree that it shouldn't be a replacement to WebCite or Archive.org, but this has become a significant issue on the various Wikimedia projects where long term citations on many sources are desperately needed for critical pages. --Roberth (talk) 00:33, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  24. Strong support - The ability to preserve critical source material is of paramount importance for the fulfillment of our mission.   — C M B J   13:37, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  25. Strong support - I've used WebCite in my Wikipedia edits. It's also useful in academia and elsewhere. This is a critical resource that really needs to be preserved. I would be happy to help save WebCite however I can. Tucoxn (talk) 20:44, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  26. Weak support for takeover (not my first choice, but if other options don't materialise, okay); I would have thought some form of merger with en:Internet Archive would make more sense. Strong support for WMF-WebCite collaboration to ensure the continued survival and development of WebCite, including WMF providing resources to WebCite. Rd232 (talk) 23:50, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  27. Support—this is exactly the type of things that the WMF should be investing its funds in. At least, this is the kind of activity I would like to see when I donate, for what it's worth. This has a direct long-term benefit both for Wikipedia and for the free content movement as a whole. —Ynhockey (talk) 09:46, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  28. Support and what User:Fuhghettaboutit said. I'm not sure WebCite wants to be taken control over, but a collaboration is the future way to go. (I started using the WebCite servive for WP articles a year ago.) Sgeureka (talk) 14:19, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  29. Support, at least based on an initial reading. Would be worth exploring what the Internet Archive is doing with the Wayback Machine as well. -Pete F (talk) 15:00, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  30. support, internet archive better fit, but if they won't. Slowking4 (talk) 15:01, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  31. Support take over if possible. If not, is there any open-source archival tool that WMF could use to implement such a service? Automatic backup of all references is a must. Link rot is a terrible problem for verifiability. By the way, should WebCite change hands, current archived links not referenced by Wikimedia projects would probably best be exported to some other service (e.g. http://archive.is) and removed from Wikimedia-WebCite. --Waldir (talk) 15:41, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  32. Support Wikimedia supporting an open-source archival tool. Ideally WebCite would become that. Mike Linksvayer (talk) 17:51, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  33. Support Any WMF action that will keep access to this service running. I have zero preference as to how that is done as long as the WMF is willing.Ryan Vesey (talk) 19:59, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  34. Support Support It certainly makes sense to take this as an opportunity to reconsider how we approach link rot. I would be in favour of any solution that would result in all external links from Wikimedia projects being archived automatically (allowing for a day or so to clean out spam links, and accounting for policies of sites that would forbid such archiving) in a system that uses open-source software and has a viable longterm-preservation strategy. It would be nice to do that with WebCite, since this has mostly worked fine on the Wikimedia end (e.g. the Russian Wikipedia). -- Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 23:44, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  35. Comment It beats me why Wikipedia doesn't just offer its own archiving service. Surely it would be cheaper for the foundation to buy a few servers to host Wikipedia citations rather than funding a service that hosts far more web pages than Wikipedia itself uses. Betty Logan (talk) 23:19, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  36. Comment Archiving on WMF's own servers makes more sense. Harsh (talk) 13:29, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
  37. Support For usage with external links on the wiki. Ideally, the WMF should have a bot that auto-archives links as they are added. This shouldn't be a major technical hurdle.Smallman12q (talk) 03:11, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
  38. Undoubtedly yes. WPTC relies heavily on this for archived government advisories Hurricanefan24 (talk) 21:14, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
  39. Support - Anything that the WMF can do to make our projects more reliable and more easily verified should be done without hesitation. While I'm not convinced that a WMF takeover of WebCite is in the offing, anything that can be done to help ought to be done.Evanh2008 (talk) 00:53, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
  40. Support - this service is very much needed if we want to keep information freely available as source of Wikipedia articles. Romaine (talk) 11:33, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
  41. WMF should do whatever it can. WP really depends on WebCite. I donated, and created a donation-encouraging userbox at w:en:User:UBX/WebCite2. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 11:57, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
  42. Comment Webcite needs to be supported. If Webcite is unable to raise the money, then WMF should provide the support or take over the work. I have donated a small amount, and I urge Wikipedians to do the same. WVhybrid (talk) 06:07, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  43. Support Sure, why not. I am yet to figure out a probable adversarial outcome should this proposal be implemented. Michael (talk) 07:06, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  44. Support. Growing our mission is good, archival is a natural extension. Assuming, of course, it's feasible. --HectorMoffet (talk) 07:23, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  45. Support. Link rot is one of our biggest problems, and would be insurmountable without archives. Takeover is best, if possible, because it would raise the possibility of creating tools without fear that they could be undermined by interface changes. --Stfg (talk) 13:09, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  46. Support An essential tool for Wikipedia --Ita140188 (talk) 13:46, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  47. Strong Support - Yes, WebCite Seems A Worthy Service For Wikipedia - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 15:18, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  48. Support on the basis that mw:Extension:ArchiveLinks and the agreements with archive.org are reviewed to discern whether this is an appropriate and valuable usage of WMF funding. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 16:29, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  49. Support Absolutely needed. Armbrust (talk) 16:32, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  50. Support --LlamaAl (talk) 16:35, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  51. Support the WMF doing whatever is necessary to keep WebCite in business. It has become too important to lose. SpinningSpark 17:21, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  52. Oppose for the time being. This is a poor business case. What are the projected cost over the long and short term? What is the predicted revenue stream. If it is a bailout can the Foundation afford it? If funding is available, should it not be spent on existing projects? The Foundation income is mainly from fundraising and it seems unethical and possibly illegal to spend money on projects that were not named in the annual appeals. But I would not object to separate fundraising banners across the projects. GrahamColm (talk) 20:36, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  53. Support. Linkrot is a nagging problem, insufficiently covered by archive.org's Wayback Machine and Google's cache function. Wikipedia needs this service. Binksternet (talk) 20:49, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  54. Oppose I do not believe taking over the site is a good way of doing things. Surely the Foundation can marshal some support for getting WebCite's $50,000, which is paltry in terms of what a little determined promotion can generate.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:35, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  55. Support Link rot is a huge problem for Wikipedia and WebCite is so far the most efficient solution to the problem. If WebCite is having financial problems this year, they are bound to have it two years down the road. Of course, WMF can pay some money to get it out of the current squeeze, but perhaps WMF also can provide an organizational and technical framework which would secure the future development of WebCite. Arsenikk (talk) 22:19, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  56. Strong Support Support Link rot is a huge problem not only for Wikipedia. --Morten Haan (talk) 23:23, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  57. Strong Support Support I use WebCite for nearly all my links. Mtminchi08 (talk) 00:05, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  58. Support -- It's hard to have reliable references when Web Pages die. Greengreengreenred (talk) 02:15, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  59. Support the foundation providing WebCite the money it needs to continue operating. As someone who has donated to WMF, I want the foundation to spend money on things that benefit the projects. While I don't think every single link has to be archived through WebCite, the site is very useful for ensuring that pages from unstable websites can be preserved as viable sources even after going dead. This provides great value for the English Wikipedia at least, and I imagine other languages' Wikipedias have also been aided. For an organization that raised $25 million in 2012, I don't think $50,000 is asking too much for a proposal that will help us preserve our content. If we can fund a project that will save quality content from being delisted in the future, I strongly suggest that we do so. I'm sure other people who donated will understand the rationale behind this use of funds. Giants2008 (talk) 02:18, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  60. Support Obviously. unsigned comment by TBrandley (talk) 23:41, 17 February 2013‎
  61. Support Intelligentsium (talk) 03:05, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  62. Support This is an important service. I've archived hundreds of references with it. It's crucial that this be kept alive. Jesse V. (talk) 03:17, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  63. Strongest support ever. WebCite is vital for Wikipedia. I've been using it for nearly a year after I some valuable links that I had added on some pages died out over night. ComputerJA (talk) 03:44, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  64. Support Had a suspicion that a lot of those donations would be from editors. This would be a great way of spending WMF funds. Kithira (talk) 04:02, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  65. Support --Alan.lorenzo (talk) 04:06, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  66. Support This is a good way to avert linkrot. --Orlady (talk) 04:35, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  67. Support - WebCite is a brilliant service, and it is one of the best things that the Internet has to offer. Losing it would be devastating, and I believe that having the WMF as backers to the project would be the best way to go about it. This proposal would be a win-win-win for WebCite, WMF, and the Internet. X! (talk) 07:55, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  68. I oppose the proposal to take over WebCite, because I view the project as a potential legal liability. I do support the idea of the WMF funding a large portion of the project though. Not 100%, because I want the project to be able to have independent funding, but I'd have no problem with 75%. Sven Manguard (talk) 08:08, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  69. Support We do need to be able to rely on such a service, whether it is WebCite or a different one. If WMF decides to support webcite, I'd just hope that they take over a project they are able to comfortably fund in the long term. I would not want a money-losing enterprise to undermine the long term sustainability of WMF. User:al83tito (talk) 18:28, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  70. Support WebCite is an invaluable resource for anyone who has written articles with dozens of references to preserve against linkrot. I say, given them whatever funds they require from our donations. Russavia (talk) 19:27, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  71. Support My last 500 or so edits have been spent replacing dead links, so I can easily see the necessity of ensuring a service like this survives. User:Bms4880 20:29, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  72. Qualified support I think the problem of linkrot is an extremely important problem, and I've been unhappy we are mostly relying on a single service with financial questions. The WMF should treat this as a high priority problem, and investigate a number of solutions, of which this is one. I don't know for sure that this proposal is the best solution, so my support is for the broad concept of solving the link rot problem,. If WMF decides this is the best of the alternatives, then full support.--Sphilbrick (talk) 21:40, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  73. OpposeWebCite should seek a grant from WMF and donations from concerned internet citizens. WebCite itself wants ideally to remain independent from WMF--Gee totes (talk) 03:34, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  74. Support. If WebCite can't manage to raise enough donations on its own, it's best that it is taken over by the WMF. If, of course, its owners would even be willing to agree on this. --Eleassar my talk 08:51, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  75. Support Seeing that many good citations in articles has been link rotted, taking over WebCite should be a good idea. If the owners agree, of course. --Vincent Liu (talk) 11:06, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  76. Support. Sounds like a good use for the money, assuming that the WMF can work out the legal wrangles. If WMF thinks that the best way to do things would just be to donate, then I would support that as well. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 12:55, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  77. Conditional support – If the WMF takes over WebCite, the WMF should develop and use free / open source software. If not, then I can't support this. I personally prefer a grant to a take over, but I can tolerate a WMF-owned WebCite if its software were free / open source. Having free / open source software would allow anyone who dislikes how a WMF-owned WebCite is being managed is create their own alternative. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 16:47, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  78. Support. I have been pointing out that link roat is a serious problem for many years, and even though Wikipedia is barely a decade old, we already rely on the Internet Archive and Webcite to a massive degree - it's only going to get worse, people. Gwern (talk)
  79. Support: Full support! --Tito Dutta (Talk) 17:53, 19 February 2013 (UTC) Support without takeover --Tito Dutta (Talk) 23:38, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
  80. Support – If there is no other feasible alternative.Bill william compton (talk) 18:00, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  81. Support, I have an alpha script coded which does create archived links by click and there is defacto no free alternative to WebCite. By creating/overtaking an own archive system the WMF will get more independent of 3rd party systems and allowing the contributors to be on the safe side. It is only the logical step after creating WikiData! mabdul 22:58, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  82. Support the WMF helping WebCite through grants and possibly technical support. I do oppose an outright take over, but that doesn't mean the WMF can't assist WebCite. Imzadi1979 (talk) 01:49, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  83. Support sats (talk) 02:07, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  84. Support WebCite is invaluable in combating linkrot on Wikipedia and must be kept running. Kollision (talk) 02:23, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  85. Strong support A sort of "background" archive of information similar to Wikidata, Commons and Wikisource which can do nothing but support Wikipedia citations and references. Let's do this. --RayneVanDunem (talk) 03:53, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  86. Support. A useful website which helps eschew link rot. --Ghirla -трёп- 06:07, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  87. Strong Support We need this ability to preserve source material.--Wakowako (talk) 12:04, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  88. Strong Oppose There are extensive legal liabilities in assuming control of copyrighted material hosted by WebCite. Wikipedia's emphasis on citation is correct, but its privileging of web-based citations (especially when there are non-Web resources available for verification) is not. - 68.55.245.12 14:28, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  89. Strong Support Extremely useful and lacks faults of other archive sites. Also, don't want to break the thousands of links on Wikipedia archived there. Teammm (talk) 19:36, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  90. Oppose I have battled link rot on several dozen articles, and I found WebCite to be only minimally helpful for this task. Few take the time to ever archive their sources, and I don't see how that would change if the site was taken over by the WMF. I also agree with #88 that it would probably bring a heap of legal issues.--Underlying lk (talk) 21:24, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
  91. oppose taking over Webcite I think that Wikimedia hosting the "sources" that are supposed to verify content in Wikipedia articles simply ends up as a conflict of interest. 206.55.182.14 03:20, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
  92. Support subject to legal opinion (unfortunately). I don't see a COI as expressed in the comment above me -- this is purely an archive of material that should be hosted elsewhere (and usually is, but publishers keep changing their links). A question: How is this expected to handle changing versions of a news story at the same URL -- sometimes that is part of the story. ChrisHodgesUK (talk) 09:02, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
  93. Oppose - I am concerned about the potential legal liability but I support support the idea of the WMF funding a large portion (up to 75%) of the WebCite.--Antidiskriminator (talk) 09:44, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
  94. Support - Some sort of WMF - Webcite hook-up sounds like a superb idea which will aid WP in the long term. Major Bloodnok (talk) 17:40, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
  95. Strong Support As WP depends on many, potentially ephemeral, web-only sources for citations, a takeover of Webcite may be the best answer to securing them & preventing linkrot, but, that could be problematic, as mentioned by Antidiskriminator. Talks should be pursued with the Internet Archive & Webcite to secure emergency funding, via a grant of money &/or services in the short term, & to explore the best way of securing that resource for the long-term. It could be that some kind of new arms-length organisation is the best home for Webcite, but without urgent discussion we won't know. Dick (talk) 18:10, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
  96. Support concept that WMF support archiving of material cited in wikimedia projects for reasons given in proposal. Don't think funding another organization is necessarily best way to do that. NE Ent (talk) 19:43, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
  97. Oppose - WebCite's fair-use case is much weaker than ours, its legal footings less sure. They've not been sued because they're low-profile and penniless; WMF is the opposite. Absorbing WebCite is an existential hazard to WMF and Wikipedia. Fund WebCite, lend it staff and legals, but maintain a firewall: no takeover, no colo, no hosting. -- Finlay McWalter (talk) 22:05, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
  98. Strongest possible support. Linkrot is a serious problem to Wikipedia. It can make a well-written, well-researched and perfectly sourced article dubious, even to the point of qualifying for deletion, for no fault of its authors. @Finlay McWalter: WebCite [have] not been sued because they're low-profile and penniless; WMF is the opposite. That remains to be seen. Obviously Google is neither low-profile nor penniless, has been sued and has won hands down (see Field v. Google) due to the DMCA's "safe harbor" provision. If Google, an immensely rich for-profit organization, qualifies a "safe harbor", so does WMF. --79.221.32.222 12:02, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
  99. Support The opposes are concerned about legality and relation to Wikimedia's mission, which are valid concerns. But the service provided is too valuable to not find some arrangement of benefit to both WebCite and Wikimedia. Maybe we can also work out something so that urls gets archived automatically by a bot when cited in Wikipedia articles.Thelmadatter (talk) 19:02, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
  100. Qualified support I would like to help keep WebCite alive (and have contributed), but we should proceed with caution. In general, Wikipedia and it's sister projects have been careful not to push the boundaries of copyrights, and I think that is wise. Possible legal issues should be assessed by legal professionals at WMF. In the interim I would support helping WebCite with fundraising and giving them a grant and/or technical assistance.--ArnoldReinhold (talk) 22:05, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
  101. Support as long as it doesn't expose us to serious legal liability. Adjwilley (talk) 02:22, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
  102. Support. I am a repeat financial supporter to Wikipedia, and this is an ideal project to lend financial support to in return. Wikipedia NEEDS this service to survive! DeeplyInspired52 (talk) 05:04, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
  103. Sounds like a worthy goal. OhanaUnitedTalk page 08:28, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
  104. Strong Support as archiving is vital to Wikipedia. If this service were to disapeer, many issues' regarding FA and GA (on the English Wikipedia) will come up as the articles would no longer be verifiable.--Dom497 (talk) 18:51, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
  105. Support – Online sources are the only kind were you don't have to own a specific book, magazine, etc. to verify a reference. HueSatLum (talk) 20:06, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
  106. Support I think this could definitely benefit Wikipedia. Camyoung54 (talk)
  107. Quantified Support – I support WMF acquiring a major share in WebCite, but not a full purchase. I think that is enough to protect WebCite without getting in too deep with financial and other support. -Fnlayson (talk) 23:34, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
  108. Support unreservedly. It would be terrible if all those links broke. Neo Poz (talk) 07:09, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  109. Support some form of archiving in principle. If not this website than the internet archive idea. We need to look at the options and see which is best. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:27, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  110. Support I think it is perfectly reasonable for the WMF to own and control any service that it relies on to provide its service Mebored81 (talk) 09:43, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  111. Oppose Wikimedia Foundation stands to gain very little and potentially loose a lot by taking over WebCite. Argument of linkrot, while a valid one is very, very rarely seen these days, or to be more expressive and correct - in the 21st Century. Ltr,ftw (talk) 10:23, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  112. Support - WebCite is unrivaled in its utility and it would be a shame to see it go. Marcus Qwertyus (talk) 11:46, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  113. Support - Great idea! Thanks a lot. - Chandan Guha (talk) 12:12, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  114. Support (in principle). I've found WebCite to be an incredibly useful resource, and I must have used it hundreds of times when writing articles. I welcome any attempt to keep in progressing, whether that is simply donating to them the necessary funds, or taking over the service altogether. Obviously, I realise that issues regarding legal implications and any other costs need to be considered... A Thousand Doors (talk) 15:08, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  115. Support I find WebCite very useful, and support from the WMF is a win-win for Wikipedia's credibility. Miniapolis (talk) 16:14, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  116. Support --NaBUru38 (talk) 01:02, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
  117. Slight Support- I agree with the absorbing of WebCite as a Wikimedia Project, and it would certainly be very beneficial, but I believe that a service such as the Wayback Machine would be a better alternative.
  118. Qualified Support Ephemeral links are a huge problem and I'm glad there is so much interest in doing something about them. Using bots to automatically archive most links that are used for citations on Wikipedia sounds like the best solution. Making sure that the bots always work will require close co-operation between the WMF and whomever ends up hosting the links. I would like WebCite to be supported by WMF but still maintain some autonomy to make sure there is no conflict of interest. Now I must admit that I have never archived one of my links on WebCite before. With dead links that I have found, I was lucky enough to find them on the Internet Archive. If this merger fails for whatever reason there is another approach one could take to use the archive automatically. Add an extra field to the "cite web" template called "certificate". When a citation is created, "certificate" would be set equal to a fairly uncommon string that must appear on the page being referenced. Periodic checks by bots would reveal that certain URLs used in citations no longer contain their certificate strings and are in need of an archive URL. 128.189.167.114 07:37, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
  119. Oppose. While giving some sort of grant or monetary/in-kind donation to WebCite is an alternative worth discussing, absorbing WebCite as a WMF project simply exposes the Foundation (and consequently, the Projects) to too much legal liability. Titoxd(?!?) 07:48, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
  120. Oppose getting involved in *being* Webcite. Support supporting them financially. I have used the service and it is a good solution to the link rot problem. Regards, Ariconte (talk) 05:46, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
  121. Strong Support Because WebCite is not free as in freedom (The software used to host WebCite) and this would hopefully make it free. --俺はバカ (talk) 13:16, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
  122. Qualified Support Linkrot is a real problem that needs to be addressed. However, how much time is spent removing horrible, self-serving, commercial and low quality links from articles? I can foresee something like edit wars over the topic of whether some gawdawful personal website gets stored. There should be a system for filtering what goes in to the cache.Ehusman (talk) 03:44, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
  123. Support if legally feasible. If not, award WebCite a grant through the Wikimedia Foundation.--TriiipleThreat (talk) 20:02, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
  124. Support Hmlarson (talk) 00:09, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
  125. Support Seems like a good idea.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:19, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
  126. Strongest possible oppose This is nothing but copyright violations on a massive scale. Arguments that this is fair use are spurious at best. Our citations do not require live links to copies of the content, only to cite publication and date, so there is no practical, encyclopedic reason for the archives themselves. Wikipedia rules prohibit linking to copyvios, so we should not even be using WebCite in the first place, and we certainly should not *be* WebCite. This is another example of Internet activism going not only beyond but counter to Wikipedia's stated goals.68.52.151.159 03:37, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
  127. Oppose this particular proposal, but Resoundingly Massive Support for the Foundation supporting WebCite and/or furthering the ArchiveLinks extension. Archived links combating linkrot is simply too significant an issue for the projects. Huntster (t@c) 08:13, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
  128. Support any appropriate measure by the WikiMedia community, including taking over the service if that is the the best option, to ensure the continued services of WebCite. __meco (talk) 09:15, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
  129. Support whether it be a takeover or financial support. Legal issues could come up, but as others have pointed, what WebCite does should still fit into US copyright laws. As long as WMF supports and develops the service, I'm fine with a takeover. Maky (talk) 20:18, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
  130. Oppose 1) It needs 25k for it to stay up. That is a substantial amount of money.
    2) It has numerous journals as its members, who will take responsibility for the service and maintenance of WebCite, is WMF going to hire someone?
    3) It 'charges' users (in the form of 'voluntary' donations), that's not the ethos of the WMF. As a not-for-profit organisation (as it is now), collaborating with WebCite is beneficial, but WebCite, with its revenue structure (don't know how to phrase this), should not be incorporated into the WMF framework
    4) Linkrot is a major problem, but for most articles - if we lose one web citation, there'll be another one. Yes, 5 years ago news articles may be lost, but now is the age where everything is on the internet, and many people are reporting on literally anything, I am reluctant to say that WebCite, although very helpful, is worth 25k it is required, and possibly more for its upkeep. Kinkreet (talk) 01:21, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
  131. Support - Reliable sources are the lifeblood of all Wikimedia projects, and we are bleeding. From what I can gather from this discussion, archiving our references should be a core function of the foundation. We cannot allow our work to be like sandcastles with the tide coming in. It is true that many references can probably be swapped out years later, but many articles rely on sources that are unique, and once they are gone, the foundations of the article are swept away. This is serious, and should not be outsourced. Judgesurreal777 (talk) 06:19, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
  132. Strongly Support. I've only used this service a few times but think it's a highly needed service, especially for the Wiki project. I don't know the figures but presume it'd make financial sense too. ─ Matthewi (Talk) • 20:59, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
  133. Support giving them money, oppose takeover due to copyright issues. -- King of ♠ 01:01, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
  134. Strongly Support - Service provided by Webcite is extremely important.Chrishmt0423 (talk) 23:23, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
  135. Weak support - The cause is worthy; the service to Wikimedia projects is obvious; there are advantages to associating this service with Wikimedia. OTOH as the service becomes better known, the cost of maintenance may increase too rapidly, and there may be legal issues. The WebCite fundraising campaign seems to have been low-key so far. I recently discovered the service but had heard nothing about its financial woes until reading this page. Maybe they just need help with publicity — a partnership, not a takeover. — Alarob (talk) 19:49, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  136. Support, fine idea, many complexities, do what needs to be done. Jeepday (talk) 14:52, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  137. Support Excellent. We need more archiving systems like this! True Skepticism (talk) 23:39, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
  138. Support giving them money; weak support for takeover, should it be found feasible for WMF. — Ivan Shmakov (talk) 20:31, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  139. Support, this is a great cause. Dead links weakens any statement in wikipedia. For encyclopedic purpose, it is one of the most needed feature. ..... Onimesh (talk) 15:44, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
  140. Oppose, for a few reasons. I understand that link rot has become to be an expanding issue with verification for citations on the net, however, the problem of "link rot" is countered by the growing "bust" of internet expansion. A new link may "rot", or, point to a dormant server or dark domain name once a week, but countered by the fact that there is a new one created to take its place daily. I also agree with #90, in that webcite is only minimally resourceful. To expound upon this, it is because most net-authors, if they may be called that, do not have knowledge of "webcite", and if they do, are to busy or lazy to utilize it. Most have no knowledge of the site, but most b know about such resources such as The Way-back Machine. As far as the legal implications; they are unlikely as the utilization of it is totally voluntary, but a valid point was brought up in that a conflict of interests may well ensue due to the verification of Wikipedia factual resources being substantiated via a Wikipedia-funded archive. Citations do not "require" live links at any rate. Logicaltheology (talk) 22:55, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
  141. Support, per Onimesh comments. Haseo9999 (talk) 23:50, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
  142. Strong Oppose take over. I can support funding, but considering that the WMF can't come anywhere close to managing what it already has, just no. The "management" is just spread entirely way too thin as it is. There's a complete lack of any common-sense at commons, and relations between commons and en.wp are tenuous at best. And that is just two of the all too many projects already on the plate. Get your own house in order before you start taking over others. Ched (talk) 03:05, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
  143. Support This is an invalileuble tool for us to use to keep Wikimedia sites to keep their sources alive. In many ways this website is "too big to fail". Peter.C (talk) 14:46, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
  144. Support ask newbies like me how lost we feel when our citations are bad or links rot... It's a great initiative and will simplify a lot of work for all. Besides, what is being stored is not just website content but raw info in its original form... But after what I read from my good friend and mentor Ched's comment I see that a lot of people are a little (lot actually) disappointed with WMF's management.. So please clear their doubts by suggesting some good solutions to the management issue!!! The Wikimon (talk) 15:55, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
  145. Strong support if the "takeover" or "funding" of WebCite (be it made in any way deemed the best for both entities) by the WMF wouldn't imply or require any additional restrictions on the archivable content apart from the existing rules that WebCite may already have in place. (I.e. WebCite should stay open to non-WMF, fair-use archival requests, and should disregard the topical/legal/political nature of the content being archived /except for selected, highly controversial situations/, without using any censorship for any reason whatsoever. It would be desirable to disregard robots.txt too, since we should archive citation sources verbatim.) If there would be additional restrictions, my stance would be only a Weak support... Anyway, WebCite is a really nice thing to have around, for the WMF and for other projects too... -Rev-san (talk) 10:26, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  146. Weak support: I'd prefer to see WMF supporting WebCite via grants etc to a full take-over, but I'd prefer a full take-over to WebCite disappearing
  147. Support. Fully. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 13:58, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
  148. Support, strong. The electronic nature of the Wikipedias means their articles often need to include URLs in citations. Actually, as web-based encyclopaedias, they should always provide URLs whenever possible to ease the availability or referenced information for readers. An on-demand archiving service best serves our needs. While the Wayback Machine is great, it often misses webpages due to its large scope. On-demand archives means we can always have fall-back versions of any webpage cited in the Wikipedias. If WebCite is dying, WMF should save it. Also, if the WMF takes over the service, then it can be treated by the Wikimedia sites as a safe service that will never suddenly vanish or be taken over undesirable management.Sowlos (talk) 10:31, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  149. Support financially without takeover per Eysenbach below. --GRuban (talk) 14:23, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  150. Conditional support. I love the service, but money don't secure its future availability. 50% of businesses fail in the first year and 95% within 5 years. Poeticbent talk 18:53, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  151. Support Support I think the takeover is an important part of the idea: Even if the WMF donates money to WebCite, we have no guarantee that it will continue to exist. On the other hand, taking it over will virtually guarantee that WebCite continues to exist as long as Wikipedia does. I agree with Rev-san above that a takeover should be low-key and not change the nature and conditions of WebCite's service. Regards SoWhy 16:58, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  152. Support Support in concept. We ought to be involved, but I have no expertise as to what the right way to execute it would be.StevenJ81 (talk) 21:28, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  153. Strongly support. It's absolutely critical for preserving valuable references. The Wayback Machine does not save them all; I've used WebCitation very often as insurance. Hergilei (talk) 00:40, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
  154. Support I think it is important to support this, after all, without this, where would we all be? There are things that need support, and if we can help, we should help. Scientific Alan 2 (talk) 14:18, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
  155. Support significant ongoing funding by, but not management/takeover/adoption by, WMF. As an independent non-profit entity, WebCite provides a valuable service to many organizations. Since WP drives traffic to Webcite, WMF could certainly contribute to costs. So, aid, but don't adopt. Afterthought - should run the numbers to see if there would be bandwidth cost savings by moving WC's servers into WP datacenters. --Lexein (talk) 01:58, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
  156. Support – I think this is a good idea, since link rot is such a big problem and WebCite, as well as Wayback Machine (Archive.org), are both great tools to use to archive links. WebCite and Wayback Machine are used on MANY Wikipedia articles, and I don't know where we'd be without them. With WebCite's funding issues, it would make sense for WMF to takeover WebCite, at least partially, and provide it with technical support and server space and hardware. This would be a win-win situation, so I support it. —Compdude123 (talk) 04:02, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
  157. Oppose, WMF should spend money in improving MediaWiki's WYSIWYG interface firstly.--Wangxuan8331800 (talk) 02:24, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
  158. Take over the internet. Once we are the only repository of information then free speech will be safe, the world will be pure, children will laugh and the sun will shine brighter. Oh... wait... - Nabla (talk) 11:18, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
  159. Support - I can't afford to donate for it, but this service cannot be allowed to die - it's far too valuable. Lukeno94 (talk) 12:56, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
  160. Support - It must be all or nothing - just throwing money at an already ailing project makes no sense. Kiltpin (talk) 18:19, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
  161. Support – simply giving them a one-off grant now will be no use in the future should they need money for some other venture, modernizing or not. This move would allow them much greater financial security. Also, common sense from the WMF should stop any prospective Daniel Brandts trying to remove dirt on themselves. Sufur222 (talk) 08:51, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  162. Support giving them funds. I'm not in favor of a take-over but this service is important and if that's the only way, fine. Hekerui (talk) 10:41, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
  163. Strong support. One of the best proposals in the recent past. I use WebCite a lot for most of the pages I watchlist.--Jetstreamer (talk) 19:12, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  164. Support due to obvious necessity to preserve references for the reliability of our encyclopedia. Obtaining WebCite is superior to providing a grant per Sufur222, in my opinion. I think that combining the two projects could result in reduced overhead, and I outright reject the notion that Wikimedia cannot manage what it has; of course there will be problems with any organization such as this, but, all things considered, we're doing alright. Jackson Peebles (talk) 16:56, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  165. Support - This is a brilliant idea and a very defensive and necessary measure to take for us to protect Wikipedia. We should have had a system in place for this years ago. Thanks Jenova20 (talk) 17:16, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  166. Strongest possible support - this is a valuable service for WMF users, and it would be a major loss for Wikipedias in particular if WebCite were to fail. Wer900 (talk) 18:00, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
  167. Support - Linkrot is a real problem, if Wikipedia is able to acquire or persist a service like this, then that option should be considered. If Webcite is not willing, perhaps a WMF service for Wikipedia only be created. The value of news in almost all forms shows very little monetary value for the vast majority of all media, but for academic work, that early 2000's report on a flood or the designation of a new historical building is important to Wikipedia. Considering most news content doesn't last three years, Wikipedia's references begin to fall apart as soon as they enter historical relevancy. Examples include national elections, major court cases, hurricanes and even the whole 'Arab Spring'. Webcite as a company is valuable, but the service is under utilized and even if this plan doesn't work out, the need to prevent link rot through some form of archiving is important to the future of Wikipedia's web content references. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 04:31, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  168. Support. WebCite is a valuable tool to deal with linkrot and dead links and used in many citations on the Wikipedia articles. There are a lot of editors who use WebCite when they are adding or editing sources/references. So WebCite supporting by WMF will be a good way to help both Wikipedia and WebCite. Zheek (talk) 13:47, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
  169. Good idea. I support it very strongly.Ferdinandus (talk) 08:07, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
  170. Strongly Support as many good and featuread articles use it (Idot (talk) 07:16, 5 April 2013 (UTC))
  171. Support. +1. ADDvokat (talk) 11:50, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  172. Strongly Support. Wikipedia articles need to be sourced, so there should be as many sources as possible. --Синкретик (talk) 12:59, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  173. Support. This is useful idea. --SkоrP24 13:48, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  174. Support - Provided only mass decisions at Meta can alter the functioning of WebCite. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 04:12, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
  175. Support I'm very encouraged to have found this thread, I had stopped using WebCite due to lack of confidence from service outages and financial concerns. I hope the WMF can find a way to partner with the specialists at WebCite, it would be beneficial to have the funding (donations) for both WMF and WebCite go through a single interface. 96.247.57.245 23:31, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
  176. Support A great idea. Kf8 (talk)
  177. Support very good deal. --Pessimist (talk) 09:00, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
  178. Support Dulamas (talk) 21:57, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
  179. Since financial needs of WebCite service are rather small and its importance so strong I would Support Support the proposal. --Akim Dubrow (talk) 00:11, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  180. Strongly support friendly takeover, WMF subsidy, or (most appropriately) in-house archiving service: perpetuating a reliable archiving function is absolutely critical to cornerstone verifiability. And at this point WebCite is too big to fail. RCraig09 (talk) 14:27, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
  181. Support finacial assistance, less enthusiastic about takeover (unless Mr. Eyesenbach wants it). I don't see anything wrong with the way WebCite's being run at the moment. RainCity471talk 14:08, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
  182. Support this thoughtful and sophisticated idea. It will beneficial to many. Best. WorldTraveller101 (talkcontribs) 18:48, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  183. Oppose Wiki is short of money as it is, and needs to focus on core tasks. Strongly support webcite and wish it well in its vital function, but this is not something for WMF.Cpsoper (talk)
  184. Support further collaboration, perhaps funding rather than takeover. Linkrot is a serious problem and verifiability is a core principle, this makes this invaluable. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK  ▎enWiki 17:09, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  185. Strongest possible support This guarantees the long term future of most articles and enables them to be improved upon - please implement this WMF, we will forever love you. :) Acather96 (talk) 22:05, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
  186. Support further collaboration, perhaps funding rather than takeover. I hope it is not too late for me to chime in. A longer version of my 0.02 can be found here. --Mike Schwartz (talk) 17:59, 27 October 2014 (UTC)


Discussion[edit]

  • I'm concerned that it might not be possible for the Wikimedia foundation to take control of WebCite. One of the founding principles of the foundation is that there is free licensing of all content. The non-archived content of WebCite is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, so that isn't compatible with the WMF's goals; however, that aspect can be changed. The more difficult aspect is the fact that archived pages are not free content. Is the WMF able/willing to do this?Ryan Vesey (talk) 23:14, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
    • I think the archiving is perfectly justifiable under fair use. I think it fits within the gap defined by §107 of United States copyright lawand the English Wikipedia already uses content under fair use claims. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 08:12, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
      • The legal implications of having the WMF host a service like this would be something that will more than likely be discussed ad nauseum if this proposal gets any sort of community traction (which I think will certainly happen). I would suggest that for the purposes of this discussion that the legal implications be the least important thing to even remotely worry about, as some of the best legal scholars in the world will be literally helping the WMF try to sort this one out and possibly even get laws passed to make this happen. Technical and financial considerations are going to be much more complicated. --Roberth (talk) 00:38, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
      • My concerns weren't with the legal implications, but whether the WMF would be willing to do this or not.Ryan Vesey (talk) 23:16, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I'll also note a correction to the above. We won't lose the 180,000 links already to WebCite, we just won't be able to create more. This isn't saying that it's not a big problem, because it is.Ryan Vesey (talk) 23:18, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • As much as i like preserving information and publishing free, accessible information, I don't trust the management here. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 00:38, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
    • While I'm less trusting of some of the "community outreach" programs and ways that the WMF seems to be mismanaging money that doesn't seem to be promoting the essential mission of directly supporting the sister projects including Wikipedia, one thing the WMF seems to do very well is to manage server resources to support a community organized website. A project like this would hardly tax the server resources of the the WMF. Numbers like 180k links and perhaps a small multiple of that number of images associated with those articles being cited is along the lines of some of the smaller obscure language sub-projects of Wikipedia. Establishing policies for what gets archived is going to be much more of an issue. --Roberth (talk) 00:55, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
      • I don't doubt the WMF's ability to host and fund a project such as WebCite. I'm concerned about censorship. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 19:01, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • A comment, a question, then another comment. First, if WebCite is seriously underfunded, I find it hard to believe that it will continue uninterruptedly. Some altruistic organization may offer to keep running what's already there, but I'd guess that even this is unlikely. First announcing that no more submissions will be possible and later closing down completely seems a common pattern—I've seen it at the URL-shortening service tr.im, for example (though I'm happy to note that tr.im is back, after a long break).

Michaeldsuarez, which management are you referring to? WMF's, or WebCite's? If the former, how are its failings WebCite-relevant? If the latter, please elaborate.

While I'm appalled to think that WebCite might vanish, hope that it flourishes, and recognize that WMF has more money than a bunch of individuals do, I have my own qualms about a takeover. WebCite is sometimes used for material whose copyright-holder didn't merely allow to vanish but instead quite deliberately deleted. (A company may wish to say one thing, and later change its mind and hope that nobody brings up the matter.) If Wikipedia cites such material as archived at a website that's demonstrably independent, that's one thing, If it instead cites such material as archived at a website owned by the same umbrella organization, charges (however underinformed or even malicious) that Wikimedia is out to discredit organizations or people, or even that it permits the falsification of material, might look more plausible. If WMF funds WebCite, I now think that WebCite should remain separate, and be seen to remain so. -- Hoary Returns (talk) 03:07, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Simply funding them the $50,000 is an option, so long as the WMF is willing to do it. In the name of protecting the interests of Wikipedia's references, it makes sense to do so. Silver seren (talk) 09:58, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
    • I would prefer this option. - hahnchen (talk) 13:43, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
      • Is it appropriate for the WMF to donate donation money intended for Wikimedia? What about a "Save WebCitation" banner instead? --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:14, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
        • As long as it fits within their defined missions, they can use the funds however they determine is best. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 05:21, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
          • Donators should be aware of what they're funding. We shouldn't give an outside organization donation money without alerting the donors. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 18:48, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
            • In this case it's not really that different from buying domain name services. It's an essential service for WMF's major project, and whilst obviously WMF should be transparent about any resources provided, it's hardly something so radical or massive in scale that donors ought to be asked permission. Rd232 (talk) 23:56, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • @Hoary_Returns: I'm referring to the WMF. I don't trust the WMF. My concern is about Wikipedians possibly censoring WebCitation. I don't want to name names here. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:14, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I would worry about the risks of stacking Fair Use. Copyright law has no sense to it - just because Google has a thumbnail of every image doesn't mean that we can, or indeed, that anyone that doesn't have Google's lawyers can. What happens when we have an article with an inline reference and that points to another Wikimedia page with the full text of an archived article? I don't claim to know the legal lingo, transformative versus archival or whatever, but my feeling is that WebCite is something we'd want to have a high firewall around so that in case the publishers go after it with long knives one night that the fallout doesn't reach Wikipedia proper. So I'm thinking it would be better to find a way to assure its survival, assure it is not censored (agree with Michaeldsuarez on that one), assure that it remains non-profit, but not actually take it over. Wnt (talk) 05:40, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
    • WebCite is already very liberal when it comes to deleting anything copyright owners request to be deleted. Sherrod requested the deletion of all of the encyclopediadramatica.com snapshots. Daniel Brandt requested the deletion of all namebase.org snapshots when I attempted to provide accessible alternatives to hyperlinks that Brandt nullrouted. I don't believe that a WMF-managed WebCite would be more liberal than the current management when it comes to responding to copyright-related takedown requests. In fact, it would probably be more difficult to delete copyrighted material from a WMF-managed WebCite due to the amount of activists involved in Wikimedia. I was referring to people taking down archived content in order to protect their reputations, not their copyrights. There are people who want to see negative material disappear without a trace, even when that negative information is true, and I'm afraid that the WMF would comply with some of those requests. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:10, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
      • I also fear this. It almost seems to me like maybe it would be a better idea for the Internet Archive to host it... Anyone up for seeing if they can?? That option would definitely save the WMF money, and prevent any censorship/takedowns.--174.103.114.44 18:07, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
    • 1. While all content from WebCite can not be released under CC BY-NC-SA, Wikimedia sites hosting fair use content is not new. If fully taken over, WebCite could simply become the premier repository for fair use content amongst the Wikimedia projects. (Perhaps all fair use content else were could be moved there—a Wikimedia quarantine zone of sorts.)
      2. Under US law (which is where Wikimedia is located), user-content driven sites are not extremely vulnerable to litigation over non-free content as long as they promptly respond to DMCA removal requests. Actually, a Wikimedia project or affiliate receiving take-down notices helps us. We can see what pages use/link to files across all of the Wikimedia projects. For instance, it would become trivial to propagate notices to all Wikipedia pages citing URLs that are no longer available. (Wikipedia itself could become aware of linkrot in real-time.) We can not expect that from an unaffiliated external project. Sowlos (talk) 11:00, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Perspective from WebCite[edit]

WebCite - a project I initiated - is humbled by the support from the Wikimedia / Wikipedia community. We are more than willing to discuss all possible options, including a "takeover" by WMF. Personally, I would think that leaving it a stand-alone entity with funding and strong ties to the WMF would be the better solution for all parties involved (not least, legal exposure), but this is for WMF to decide, and as WebCite initiator my primary goal is to see WebCite flourish and survive, which it may be best achieved the umbrella of the WMF. In any case, WebCite does need cash (we are hoping to raise $50k by end of this year to pay a developer for a much needed overhaul, more storage space etc). The third option is a commercial one, i.e. raise Venture Capital and/or charge for "pro/premium" memberships. The latter is the avenue we may have to pursue if other fundraising efforts fail. In the meantime, please donate at http://fnd.us/c/aQMp7 (preferably with a comment) - this will go a long way to demonstrate to potential funders that there is some serious need and support for a service like this. Gunther Eysenbach, University of Toronto, WebCite initiator --Eysenbach (talk) 15:41, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Issues, and possible way forward to resolve the issues. Webcitation is an important public knowledge service and crucial in the internet era: the loss of knowledge due to page removal or rewriting has been very widely acknowledged. So I see this as falling centrally within the WMF mission, as well as something we directly benefit from and can legitimately service.
My key question is that I know the kinds of uses and pages we store on webcitation - they fit in our mission. But webcitation's mission is wider - it allows anyone to archive any pages for any use, and we have no idea what pages or uses that covers. We might take on webcitation for our purposes either as a public service or to safeguard our 180k linked sources or ability to add to them. But with those come how many millions of archived pages, and archived by whom, and for what purpose, and what validity? We don't know and we need to think about it. For example: 1/ If we took on webcitation and set no limits on archive use, at what point do we fall foul of the law on copyright? (Ask archive.org, they should have done the research) 2/ Since webcitation archives specific pages on demand rather than spidering, will we ignore robots.txt and is that construed negatively in law? 3/ Will we instigate limits of what the service can be used for, or patrol those limits? (Archive your favorite porn or "hate" site in case it goes down - does webcitation allow it, or WMF want it) 4/ If we set usage criteria - even as simple as requiring archiving users to click to confirm criteria or term of storage - then we are also removing a resource that will archive any user's needed page at will (and who knows what a random user may genuinely with good cause needs to archive!) and not replacing it with a site that will do the same public job.
So while I love the idea of webcitation as a WMF project, and the public service and synergies of that idea, the first steps must be 1/ to consider the full range of uses webcitation gets, and where those uses would stand in law if WMF operated it, and 2/ to be reassured the public would not accidentally lose a resource as much as gain one if WMF did operate webcitation.
Since these are complicated legal questions I'd rather see a 90% win than an endless stall. I'd like to suggest an initial step like this:
  1. WMF hosts webcitation.org (and could also consider the same for selected other websites relevant to our mission if they need it).
  2. Hosting service and technical support for webcitation (and any WMF developer or staff involvement if agreed upon) is offered as a grant or donation to webcitation, which continues to exist independently as at present and operates the actual service.
  3. Any WMF staff who work on webcitation are formally doing so as subcontractors, by WMF to webcitation, and their cost will be reimbursed by webcitation (at a sensible rate), or given as a grant or donation against specific projects, or a mixture of these.
  4. WMF hosting includes appropriate mirroring, ensuring the webcitation system and data is secured, exactly as the wikis are or any other hosting operator might.
  5. Webcitation operates a policy that a page archived due to Wikimedia use won't be removed without community or other policy consent.
(History pages are a crucial part of our content and often researched, we can expect this more as time goes on. So the cites backing those up are every bit as valid for future. If someone wants to write or study the history of X in 100 years including "X as at 2013", and topic X has over time had old material condensed, they will still have the old pages but will need the old cites it drew on and those still have 'prima facie' educational value)
This ensures legal separation as at present, but adds support of webcitation, assurance of data preservation, the imprimatur of WMF's name as a supporter and host to help Webcitation both operationally and with enhancement of confidence for its own fundraising, and all the other benefits discussed, including a pathway to future integration or closer collaboration if ever wanted. But since it does not involve WMF owning or creating any webcitation data, it should be much easier to agree as a first step. We can do more later if the legal side is not an issue, but this gets - without undue worry or risk - the key practical benefits to both projects envisaged by the proposal. FT2 (Talk | email) 08:20, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
I've looked into WebCite quite a bit. My $0.02: Part of my concern with simply throwing money at WebCite is that I have been unable to discover what has been causing the serious problems they're having. The site has repeatedly been down for lengthy periods of time (over a week, on multiple occasions) with no communication regarding what's been going on, or even acknowledgement that anyone there knew there was a problem, and permanently lost a significant amount (3 months?) of data. Eysenbach et. al have done a GREAT SERVICE by getting WebCite going and running for a few years, but I think leveraging the WMF's expertise at keeping something like WebCite up and running, and doing so efficiently makes cooperation a great idea. ThisFT2 proposal makes a lot of sense. Providing hosting service and technical support for webcitation, or a hosting a webcitation fork/clone would be a great idea. Finishing the work to have Archive.org be that clone (as discussed below) would be an even better idea; this is their core competency. Throwing money at WebCite MAY or MAY not be an efficient us of our funds. I suspect it isn't. We know how to keep systems up close to 100%, cost-efficiently. We don't know what their budget is, or have evidence that they have or can get the expertise to be able to to that. If we fork, Wikipedians/WMF should still give WebCite enough funds to support continued hosting of the content they already host 'for us', indefinitely.--Elvey (talk) 20:35, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
European Law[edit]
  • I oppose this proposal. WebCite is a service that is not allowed under European law and that hence may not be run by the Wikimedia Foundation. Apart from that it is not Wikipedia's business if resources disappear from the web. Wikipedia must be based upon reliable sources which means that URLs are usually not sufficient, we need printed books and databases for references anyway.--Aschmidt (talk) 02:18, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
    • The WMF is not a European organization, so if the main WMF (as opposed to other country-specific Wikimedia organizations) decides to do it, it doesn't really matter what any European law allows or disallows. And we can't rely solely on printed books and databases as they don't always contain the information needed (and online sources often contain information not even found in printed sources). There are plenty of reliable online sources, so discounting all or even most of them is not a valid argument. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:17, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
    • I don't think it would be wise to break the law, whatever law it may be.--Aschmidt (talk) 09:01, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
      • We do this all the time when uploading a copyrighted image or unable to upload an "free" image (to a "local wiki") in a country and not being able to upload it to Commons because of US law... So how is this situation then different? (for the case the WMF would overtake WebCite) mabdul 23:16, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Personally I see an ethical issue with giving WebCite the money but not taking it over. It is much more defensible from a donor's perspective to say, "We're taking the money you gave us to start a new project, which happens to entail acquiring and expanding on a pre-existing website that is critical to our aims" than "We're taking the money you gave us and giving it to a project not affiliated with us at all, and that we have no say in running." Intelligentsium (talk) 03:09, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  • To be a bit more "selfish" here, if WMF runs WebCite, how can we direct the course of the redesign/expansion to best suit the wikiprojects' needs? --LukeSurl (talk) 00:02, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Other options[edit]

I support this, but I've looked around and can't see if the folks at WebCite have agreed to this. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Just in case this does not succeed, I think it would be a good idea to have other options to look at.

  • Perhaps the WMF could donate server space and internet connectivity to WebCite. This may be a significant portion of their operating costs.
This would seem like a viable solution to at least part of the problem. Any other ideas? 64.40.54.47 16:35, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
See mine above? (08:20, 13 February 2013). FT2 (Talk | email) 09:06, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
WebCite head Eysenbach has commented, above.--Elvey (talk) 20:04, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • It is instructive to look at the history of w:User:WebCiteBOT and at Wikipedia:WikiProject External links/Webcitebot2. Despite the good efforts of several contributors, it seems efforts to make bot-based automation of WebCite submissions (and linkages to them) has been largely ineffective. The concepts don't seem terribly difficult, but there's a necessary level of cooperation and engagement that's been missing. Similar efforts have been more fruitful, (e.g. with the w:Wayback Machine) but we should not be dependent on a single archiving engine, nor a single country's whims about what should stay on line. LeadSongDog (talk) 21:18, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  • WebCiteBOT projects have been successful a pilot projects - the issue was always that WebCite needs funding to handle such a large number of archiving requests --99.231.144.202 00:58, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
    • [citation needed] That's news to me; when I tried to figure out why they were not live, I never found this answer anywhere. --Elvey (talk) 20:04, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

WebCite can apply for a grant[edit]

Philippe at the WMF was kind enough to point out that WebCite/Gunther Eysenbach can apply for a grant of up to $30,000 from the WMF at Grants:IEG. The instructions at Grants:IEG have the details of how to apply. The deadline for round 1 of grants is February 15, 2013. The second round of grants opens on August 1, 2013, but can be written up before then. This may be one possible solution. 64.40.54.22 06:26, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, this grant would be a partial solution, but it would still fall $20,000 short of Webcite's goal. How long will a single grant or the total $50,000 last? I have concerns about us relying on an external service that itself is dependent on funding sources that are not guaranteed. Fredlyfish4 (talk) 04:10, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
That's something I am concerned about as well. This is the reason why I proposed that the WMF takes control of WebCites infrastructure and domain name. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 07:40, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment The comment linked to above stated "the Wikimedia Grants process", not specifically Individual Engagement Grants. More likely, we would be talking about Grants:Index which is a rolling program without the fixed deadline that IEG have. KTC (talk) 09:07, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
  • KTC is correct, WebCite wouldn't be applying for an Individual Engagement Grant. Please see Grants:Start for the list of all the different types of grants available, the type of grant that WebCite would apply for would be the "Wikimedia Foundation Grant" for which, as KTC stated, "Proposals accepted at any time". Please see Grants:Table for a list of the previous individuals/organisations/groups that have applied through this process. The grant would be assessed by the Grant Advisory Committee who would help evaluate the grant, and one of the factors would be community support, which there clearly appears to be as per above. Thehelpfulone 13:28, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Regardless of the grant type, my concern about relying on grants, or donations for that matter, remain. Fredlyfish4 (talk) 14:04, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
User:Michaeldsuarez requested that I clarify my comment here. I was speaking of grants in general - I'm actually not an expert on the process or on what can and can not be done using the money granted by various parts of the grant making programs, but I recommend writing to Katy Love (klove at wikimedia.org), who IS an expert, or to Asaf Bartov (abartov at wikimedia.org) who knows everything about - well - everything. I will also point them here - hopefully one of them can tell us which grant program would be most effective. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 14:10, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Response from WMF Grants Program[edit]
  1. Yes, WebCite can apply for a grant, per the instructions at the Wikimedia Foundation Grants Program information page. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 20:53, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  2. I don't know enough about Webcite to be able to join the discussion at this point, but after skimming this page, I would recommend to first explore some of the other ideas raised here—in particularly, the ArchiveLinks extension already explored by WMF—and to get some input from WMF Tech. If a grant _is_ submitted, this would be made part of the discussion anyway, so I think we'd all be wiser if we do this first and discuss a grant later. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 20:53, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  3. To clarify, there are a host of issues involved with a possible grant, so the Tech input is not the only thing needed for us to consider approving such a grant. Legal and oversight concerns would need to be clarified as well. Also, we'd need the owner of Webcite to be part of the conversation. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 20:55, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
    He already is. He's posted on this page under the username "Eysenbach". --Waldir (talk) 01:17, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
    Ah, indeed! I missed that. Thanks for the pointer. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:50, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Response from Funds Dissemination Committee[edit]

Hello, and thank you, Philippe, for inviting me into the fold to comment on whether WebCite's eligibility for funding from the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC). In fact, in order to be eligible, entities must meet the eligibility criteria. As my colleague Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) has mentioned, WebCite may be eligible for grants from the WMF Grants Program if applying for project funding. While WMF Grants Program gives mission-aligned project grants, FDC grants fund annual plans of eligible WMF-associated entities. You can find out more about the FDC from the FDC framework and on the FDC portal. If there are other questions, I'm happy to answer them. KLove (WMF) (talk) 22:27, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Please donate[edit]

Currently, 41 people support some sort of relationship between the WMF and WebCite, yet only 35 people donated money so far. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:27, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

You assume all 41 have spare money to donate. Silver seren (talk) 07:53, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Children and those who don't earn enough money to donate at least $5 shouldn't be deciding the fate of a scholarly project. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:16, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
What kind of democrat are you? Do you think that sort of condition should be applied to the wider world? Perhaps only those who own serfs should vote? Dick (talk) 17:47, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Nowhere on Wikimedia is there a requirement to donate before one can participate in a discussion. Nor is there an age restriction. That is a ridiculous and insulting thing to say. Comments should be judged on their own merits, and yours have none, regardless of how much you have donated. SpinningSpark 17:13, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Oppose Oppose There is no policy that I'm aware of saying that Wikimedia contributors have to be old or rich in order to participate in discussions. --Stefan2 (talk) 17:24, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm just saying that children and those without working experience aren't as wise as those with a fuller experience of life and work. Entrusting the naive with power isn't the best thing to do. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:50, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Why limit it at $5? Call me a traditionalist, but the voting should really be limited to land-owners. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 19:23, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not normally someone to get involved in discussions like this but do you really think that an expert in a particular field, currently out of paid work for whatever reason, but with plenty of time and effort to spend, is less suited to this "deciding the fate of a scholarly project" than those of us who can afford a donation but lack time? A project like this only works by relying on the various strengths of its members. ChrisHodgesUK (talk) 08:54, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
You have a master's degree. Do you lack working experience? Are you "currently out of paid work for whatever reason"? I believe that it's more likely for those without expertise or skills to be unemployed. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:53, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Why did my PC security software block an intrusion attempt by distinguishesskillbuilding.org when I loaded the donation webpage? GrahamColm (talk) 20:07, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

I had no problem when I made a donation earlier today.WVhybrid (talk) 01:35, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
@Graham, does your spamware use Spamhaus for it's blocking rules? distinguishesskillbuilding.org is listed in the Spamhaus Domain Blacklist:

www.spamhaus.org/query/domain/distinguishesskillbuilding.org Netcraft: Hosted by: eSecureData.com 10252 City Parkway, Suite 206 Surrey BC CA V3T-4C2 71.19.255.40 Linux Apache 21-Feb-2013. Robtex: Registrant: PrivacyProtect.org PO Box 16 Note - Visit PrivacyProtect.org to contact the domain owner/operator Nobby Beach Queensland QLD 4218 AU +45.36946676 Either a poorly regulated new website by an individual, or a new spam-server. I think the first choice, as spammers don't generally shout 'It works' to the world, they just send spam. Dick (talk) 17:47, 21 February 2013 (UTC)


Rude, Michael. Really rude. Silver seren (talk) 08:48, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

"Rude" and "insulting". If I felt that the average Wikipedian cared more about free speech than about hurt feelings, especially their own hurt feelings, then I wouldn't be so concerned about the possibility of censorship. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:52, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
I would like more censorship please, where do I donate for some of that?Dainomite (talk) 08:33, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
The Peoples Republic of China? North Korea?Dick (talk) 17:47, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

No, "41 people support some sort of relationship between the WMF and WebCite, yet only 35 people donated money so far" does not imply any assumption about those who didn't pay, and certainly no assumption that "all 41 have spare money to donate". Some people here may indeed have no spare money. And if they don't have spare money, of course they should be free to comment here and indeed to help to set policy. As of a few seconds ago, 45 people had donated, and the appeal hadn't yet brought in 2% of the hoped-for funds. Perhaps I'm unusual in finding these figures surprising and dispiriting. As for the idea that something called distinguishesskillbuilding.org makes an "intrusion attempt", Ghostery tells me that the only funny stuff is from Facebook, Google Analytics, and something called AddThis, while the only page components not from fundrazr.com are the big arrow graphic from amazonaws.com (i.e. Amazon) and a little "g+" graphic from gstatic.com (i.e. Google). Incidentally, the WDG HTML validator tells us that distinguishesskillbuilding.org (or more strictly speaking the version of this that it is fed) currently reads, from start to finish:

<html><body><h1>It works!</h1></body></html>

—pretty innocuous. -- Hoary Returns (talk) 13:59, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

http://wikipediocracy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=30558#p30558 – I'm sorry for causing trouble. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:55, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

archive.is[edit]

Speaking of alternative, another common site I often use that seems useful and relevant in this context is archive.is. Just thought I'd at least mention that there are (many?) others out there providing the same service that could be considered as well. Though I assume the pressure for WebCite is to preserve their urls (we're not discussing it so much to have an archiving service in general, since WebCite clearly isn't the only one of its kind). –Krinkletalk 11:26, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

BTW, archive.is has archived almost all the external links from English, German and Russian Wikipedia. Almost, because some sites are excluded (archive.org, WebCite, YouTube, ...). Now it seems reasonable to include WebCite into the list. Rotlink (talk) 19:49, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

wikiwix.com[edit]

Another similar service by a french company, wikiwix.com. The french Wikipedia used this service regularly to preserve dead links since 2008, [1] [2] [3]. They have ~25.000 weblinks to wikiwix. There are WP articles on the service de:Wikiwix, es:Wikiwix etc. but they were deleted on frWP and enWP (see also [4][5] [6]). Just FYI and context. --Atlasowa (talk) 09:00, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

WikiNews[edit]

If the WikiMFCommunity were to change the rules and get more users editing WikiNews, WikiNews could take fill the role of WebCite. The rule change being to allow using WikiNews articles as sources for Wikipedia articles. With more users at Wikinews (WN), more articles would be created and reviewed for accuracy then kept. With the review of the original source for the WN article in effect those sources' information would be archived with the article. Granted this does help with non-current events, unless past event articles could be created specifical to be sources for future WN or WP articles.Spshu (talk) 20:34, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Verifiability issues aside, many/most of the items archived would not be news-related, and currently existing citations would be historical and not fit with Wikinews' topical remit. Furthermore, wikinews currently produces about three articles per day, whereas this is a question of thousands of citations. LukeSurl (talk) 12:32, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, I did mention that their might need to have a change in policy regarding the topical nature of the articles. Second, if Wikinews was an allowed source for WP then there might be a greater move of editors to produce more articles per day. I did edit at WN for a while but there wasn't enough reviewer level editors to approve the articles and one of them that was quick to delete the unreviewed articles. There was also a fork (OpenGlobe) from the project. Plus there is WikiSource which can contain any public domain documents that helps with more historical sources with the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica and the like. WikiBooks possibly too. Spshu (talk) 14:19, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
As a Wikinews enthusiast, I would support using 'published' Wikinews articles as sources in Wikipedia. But this does not solve the problem even for the minority of cases where rotten links could have been covered by Wikinews, i.e. were within Wikinews project scope, and news articles could have been written about them. This is because Wikinews articles themselves are to be sourced from at least two independent external reliable sources, and these are amenable to link rot like any other links. --PICAWN (talk) 10:01, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Because the Wikinews article has be to reviewed to be "published". The reviewer would have to check article to the external sources.Spshu (talk) 18:20, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't feel that it would be desirable to replace Webcite with WN. WN, like WP, is a wiki reliant on third party reliable sources. That means Wikipedia need to ensure that the chain of preservation or archive is preserved, or credibility and verifiability break down. Therefore, WN potentially have the same issues to us when it comes to archiving. And what's more, they only cover news items, and what they cover is extremely patchy. There are also many articles on WP that are not 'mainstream news' related, and so fall outside the scope of WN, so as far as I'm concerned, such a proposal doesn't address any real problems that WP faces with the disappearance of Citeweb. --Ohconfucius (talk) 02:46, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

DIY?[edit]

I may be missing something, but is there any reason why this cannot be done in-house? Wouldn't that overcome some of the concerns mentioned above in taking over an existing service (which is apparently used by non-Foundation projects) or in funding an outside service? I'm not saying it's an ideal or necessarily even a good choice, but since I haven't seen it considered on here, I'd like to bring it up. Mendaliv (talk) 18:42, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

The source code for WebCite is CC-licensed, IIRC, so this would not be very difficult. --Elvey (talk) 20:18, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

OTRS[edit]

PDF files of webpages can be archived in the OTRS system and procedures be made to release such files only when a case for fair use is given. This will discourage abuse and limit legal liability. MorganKevinJ(talk) 18:13, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Why bother?[edit]

I see little discussion of the quality and value of websites. They are often inaccurate. Books, journals, magazines and newspapers are reviewed, although they still have mistakes. But anyone can put whatever they want on a website, formatted so it looks serious and reliable. (© 2011 Ministry of Information. All rights reserved.) Serious works rarely cite websites: doing so would destroy the author's credibility. WP should consider credibility too. Even if there were no legal issue with republishing web pages that the authors may have since corrected or withdrawn, it is questionable whether we should. If a link rots and there is no evidence that it led to a credible source such as a book or journal, it seems better to quietly drop it. Aymatth2 (talk) 13:55, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Not all information can be found in print media and journals. For many cases where this is so, website references are adequate provided they meet various criteria, as described by Wikipedia's policies on reliable sources. Print media and journals are a first-tier form of reference, whilst websites are a second-tier fallback when the first-tier is not available. Obviously we would prefer the better references, but we can also settle for references that are slightly not as good, but still satisfactory. The problem with websites is that they tend to go down from time to time, and WebCite is an important tool in countering this issue.
Different websites have different levels of reliability. By saying "But anyone can put whatever they want on a website, formatted so it looks serious and reliable", you're creating an association fallacy ("Geocities pages written by 14 year olds exist, therefore all websites are unreliable"). We have policies in place which make sure that the correct websites are used. We even have blacklist filters that prevent known dodgy websites to be used, and various bots are made to look out for new editors adding URLs to known problem websites, and these edits are swiftly reverted.
I may be able to find a scientific journal article on pneumonia, but I might not be able to find one about Arch Linux. This is where website sources come in, simple as that. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs 05:28, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Internet Archive / ArchiveLinks extension[edit]

  • the internet archive offers a similar service at a larger scale and is in no danger of going away. Has anyone contacted them about this?
    • The Internet Archive is not on demand, you have to pray that it picks up the site you want. Maybe sacrifice a goat. Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:28, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
    • The Internet Archive does not index on demand, thus you can not confirm that a page has been archived until it is indexed. The URL of a newly archived page should look like http://web.archive.org/liveweb/http://example.org/. – Allen4names (talk) 04:45, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
    • The Internet Archive, while a good alternative resource, does not archive pages on demand. It's therefore not possible to assure a page is archived until its indexed, which can sometimes take months. Tucoxn (talk) 20:49, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
      • The IA does maintain a paid on-demand archive service, Archive-It, for big institutions and similar customers. I contacted their Kristine Hanna a few years ago (September 2009) to suggest something for WMF, but was brushed off; as far as I know, nothing has happened since. --Gwern (talk) 17:27, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
        For reference: the Archive-it website, and the FAQ on how it operates. --Waldir (talk) 22:20, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
  • There is also mw:Extension:ArchiveLinks. It's some WikiMedia code that automatically sends citations to an archive service. I think all you have to do is file a request at Bugzilla to get it enabled. I think the Internet Archive already agreed to archive links if the requests come from the WMF servers, but I'm not positive. Here's some basic questions.
  • Has anybody contacted the WMF?
  • Has anybody contacted WebCite?
  • Has anybody contacted the Internet Archive?
These would seem to be logical first steps. 64.40.54.40 11:39, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • We see the first reaction from WebCite above, and WMF (for instance, Maggie) is aware of the existence of this page.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:28, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I fail to see why Internet Archive needs to be contacted. Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:58, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Because maybe the Internet Archive could host it. That option would save the WMF a lot of money... --174.103.114.44 18:13, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
  • During the Google Summer of Code for 2011, the Wikimedia Foundation worked for 3 months with the Internet Archive to have the MediaWiki software automatically archive all of our citations using mw:Extension:ArchiveLinks. Both the WMF and the Internet Archive were ready to do this, but there was never any follow up to actually get it running. Now seems like the perfect time to follow through on this automated archiving of citations so we don't have to worry about linkrot anymore. 64.40.54.46 14:51, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Just to clarify, this would be on-demand archiving to the Internet Archive (for WMF projects only, not the general public) and it would work automatically without us having to manually initiate it. 64.40.54.46 15:07, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Holy Holy Grail: Internet Archive on-demand automatic archiving? Yes PLEASE. All effort and resources should be put into this. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 16:21, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Sounds amazing! ·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 20:39, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  • WHAT. Why is this not at the top of every FA and GA page on Wikipedia??? Spend the $50k on this thing please! Axem Titanium (talk) 23:25, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Is this extension still being developed? Looking at the talk page and the extension code, it looks awfully experimental and possibly abandonded. The last update looks to be February 2012. --Gee totes (talk) 03:04, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes please! Wikipedia articles in large part rely on web citations that have the ability to vanish without a trace at a moments notice- anything we can do to archive these references should be actively and thoroughly encouraged. --PresN (talk) 06:37, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Support - I would be absolutely thrilled to see this extension materialize, whether integrated with the Internet Archive, WebCite, or both.   — C M B J   13:53, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
  • To what extent does Internet Archive (IA) have infrastructure in place to support on-demand archiving? If IA already has a lot in place, it would seem a cheaper option in the long-run than acquiring WebCite. I think a partnership would be a better choice than asking WMF to handle all of Webcite's infrastructure. --Odie5533 (talk) 18:15, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
    You would need a bookmark link and keep it up to date. See the following below.
    Name: Wayback this page
    Location: javascript:location.href='http://web.archive.org/liveweb/'+document.location.href;
    This should work in Firefox but I would advise you to test it first. – Allen4names (talk) 20:20, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes if we can get it to work. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:24, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Support with User:Green Cardamom --Waldir (talk) 12:26, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
  • This doesn't solve the problem at hand. Even if this extension were already available, it wouldn't save our 100,000 WebCitation links. Kaldari (talk) 19:33, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
    • Those links are NOT in danger; WebCite is NOT threatening to shut down; it's threatening to stop accepting NEW links.--Elvey (talk) 20:21, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

ArchiveIt[edit]

  • Support Support ArchiveIt: If I read the FAQ about it correctly the person paying for the service decides what goes on it. Meaning: If some one were to link to a site that would otherwise be protected by robots.txt or something else that would deter the Alexa bot (Assuming that is what they are using.) the bot will ignore it and archive away. The most frequent update speed is once per day. Plus that tiny bit of wording, "Partners develop their own collections and have complete control over which content to archive within those collections." The literal meaning would put legality squarely on the shoulders of WMF, not unprepared WebCite and not the unwilling people at the Internet Archive. We aren't archiving pornography, we're archiving research data for an online encyclopedia. All that needs to be done is have a serious discussion, one business to another. Draw up a contract if they are that worried. Both sides win. WMF gets daily crawls of all on and/or off-site content, and the archive gets funding for their worthy causes. That having been said; if they won't have WMF as a client/partner, tell WebCite no merger and yes to a lot of funding to lawyer up fast as they may need it. Xannon (talk) 16:53, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Clarification: If it would work the same way another web crawler I have used before does. All you would need to do is make it spider Wiki-What-Have-You, make sure it won't store the Wiki's data, then use the links to cache the external pages that the wiki links to. After the first pass all it should do is check for changes in any wiki page, then go onto caching external pages that haven't been cached yet. Check for redundancy with what you already have in The Way Back Machine and maybe WebCite, and it should work well. I know I am massively mistaken somehow. Comments? Xannon (talk) 18:25, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Accessibility[edit]

Free / open source software[edit]

If the WMF is to fully absorb WebCite, then the software of a WMF-managed WebCite should be available for anyone to download, use, modify, and redistribute under the terms of a free (GPL) or open source (BSD license) license. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 16:40, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

I agree. --RayneVanDunem (talk) 04:12, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
WebCite's existing software is said to be mostly open sourced, but that's a rather imprecise term. Perhaps Gunther would clarify.LeadSongDog (talk) 06:37, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Data dumps[edit]

Should data dumps of archived webpages be made available? --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 16:40, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

I should say not: much of the rationale for fair use would crumble if you made available database dumps (since that strips the context of the use which is one of the basis for Fair Use/Fair Dealings). — Coren (talk) / (en-wiki) 14:26, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Abuse[edit]

A quick search of the page pulled no mention of abuse so I started one.

  1. Identifying abuse Is there the potential for abuse of the system and what is in place to avoid abuse.
  2. What are some abuses I see people using this for their own means and wiki would be paying for someones pron site, corporate site, personal site archiving or something. Leaching?

Geremy Hebert (talk | contribs) 18:28, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

I think that we should only delete copyright violations. We should keep the range of content to delete as narrow as possible in order to prevent too much censorship. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 18:44, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
I think there is an abuse risk if simply anything can be added. I recommend having a "What links here" type system in place so that identifying the articles that reference a particular page becomes possible. We should then have an automated process (either via client-side bot or server-side scripting) that would identify cached pages that have had no referencing articles (on any Wikimedia project) for a particular period of time, and delete them. —gorgan_almighty (talk) 20:02, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Isn't that a Wikimedia-centric point of use? WebCite is used by people outside Wikimedia as well. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 21:48, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

General comment about new WMF project polls[edit]

This comment is not meant to reflect one way or the other on the current proposal. It's just a general observation about straw polls asking the community if the WMF ought to start a new project or not. While the openness of such a process is laudable, it seems to me clear through past observation that the interpretation of the results requires some understanding of human nature. I put forward that given the option to start something new, the editorship will almost always end up supporting it. This is because people always want more but they do not fully consider the cost/benefit ratio when they are divorced from feeling the cost personally. Without personal cost to mitigate one's wants and desires, greed turns into support votes. Rare are those people who actually can consider opportunity cost of saying "yes" in a fair and reasonable manner by thoughtful consideration and perhaps even background study. This "gimme some more" attitude is quite apparent from past discussions on new projects. Any interpretation of editor feedback intended to support an outcome should weight this type of group-think bias. Again, this is not meant at all to reflect upon the merits of the current proposal. It's is just to aid in understanding the overall discussion. Jason Quinn (talk) 06:33, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

We just tossed out the feedback tools and a bunch of people opposed the WCA. Have many new projects have been started in the last 7 years? Yes two (wikidata and wikivoyage). The Wikimedia Movement is hardly one to jump on every new idea. Most proposals on meta languish and die as there is insufficient support. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:23, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
The removal of tools may be a different situation: actual experience gives people a more balanced view of the pros and the cons so the situation is asymmetric. Regardless, I think a "keep the features" bias still existed for the feedback tools but tools themselves were so strongly disliked that support from the bias wasn't enough to ultimately keep the tools. (The effect of bias can be a subtle thing to discuss.) Back to the introduction of tools.... The introduction of the feedback tools did seem to have elements consistent with my view. A lot of people seemed to be quick to view the tools as some great idea but didn't seem to have considered its flaws and drawbacks to the extent they should have. The Wikidata and Wikivoyage discussions also exhibited fairly overwhelming support with many one-sided comments that I think demonstrates the bias. Valid criticisms do not seem to get their fair shake in those discussions. Sure, arguments could be made that the large support is directly related to the merits of the proposals themselves but I think this is an over-simplification. Every statistician knows not to wonder if bias exists in polls but rather to what extent it does. What I am suggesting is that reliable interpretation of support from these straw polls may be different from other consensus-establishing situations like article content disputes. The meaning of "sufficient support" is clearly an idea worth investigating. Without studies to fall back on either way, the only thing we have to go on is intuition and conclusions drawn from personal experience. In my experience, it is clear that this bias is at work. Lastly, if there's one thing I know for sure, it's that sources of bias are not given much credence in these straw polls. A well-known source of bias is position in a list for a list of items to vote on. In the feedback tools, it's remarkable that GregJackP's position did as well as it did considering it was buried in the list. I take it as an unassailable given that straw polls have not been conducted in a scientifically rigorous manner on Wikipedia. The current discussion is just about one facet of that. Jason Quinn (talk) 08:17, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
@Jason, thank you for bringing up this issue. It is certainly a valid concern and one that we should be aware of. But as you said this is a general concern—unrelated to this (or any) specific proposal, wouldn't it be better to post it at the Wikimedia Forum rather than tacked on to the end of this proposal? 64.40.54.1 12:02, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Once upon a time and upon a small organization I belong(ed?) to there was a vote amongst some 10-20 people whether we should engage in "project X" or not. The vote was a overwhelming 80-90% yes! Then people were asked to get their hands on it. One person volunteered. And thus the project ended. (It was a fine idea, but resources are often scarce - even here) - Nabla (talk) 11:53, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

WebCite being taken over by WMF not realistic - give them money[edit]

Disclaimer: I'm not speaking for the Foundation, but as a community member who happens to work for the Foundation, so please don't take this as an official declaration.
Sorry to pour cold water on this discussion, but I don't think there is a very realistic possibility of the WMF taking over WebCite. WebCite is a completely different type of service than any existing Wikimedia projects with completely different software, completely different technical requirements, completely different legal issues, completely different goals, etc. The WMF has its plate full managing the existing projects and over the past year has been trying to address various scope-creep issues by focusing more on its core competencies. It wouldn't make sense for us to take on a project that has no similarity to our existing work. It would probably require either hiring a completely different set of staff or significantly distracting the existing staff from taking care of Wikipedia, Commons, etc. WebCite already has a home and people to care for it, it just needs money. The solution to this isn't adoption of the project by WMF, it's finding money to keep WebCite viable. The best course of action here seems to be for WebCite to apply for a WMF grant and possibly consult with the WMF on its fundraising strategy. If things are really dire (which it doesn't seem like yet), the project should talk with other organizations that are familiar with web archiving (like the Internet Archive) about possibly moving their services to a new home. I just don't think that adoption by the WMF would be ideal for either WebCite or the Foundation, and I would be surprised if the Foundation considered it a viable option. Kaldari (talk) 21:27, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for speaking out on this. I happen to agree, and am especially worried about the "completely different legal issues" component. I think that a lot of people who have commented thus far have a terribly unrealistic view of the limits to what the WMF is able or is willing to do. On the other hand, I can think of several ventures that the WMF has already funded that are (or have turned out to be) much worse ideas than supporting WebCite. Sven Manguard (talk) 05:08, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Money would work as well. e.g. we give money to Freenode 'cos we utterly rely on their IRC network. Dunno if we give money to Open Street Map, we probably should if we can (the OSM Foundation is a nonprofit, but not I think a UK charity as yet). We use this service heavily, helping it with money would be appropriate (I have edited the section header to note Kaldari's alternate suggestion) - David Gerard (talk) 08:09, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't believe we actively give money to freenode on a regular basis. I think we gave a one off donation a few years ago, but nothing recently. Thehelpfulone 13:43, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree with this. Let the WMF do what they do best: support the projects. Let WebCite do what WebCite does best: run WebCite. Giving them money is the most sensible course of action, be it in the form of a grant or any other form. In addition to that we could, if ops is not busy enough (ha!), offer in-kind donations in the form of infrastructure advice/consultancy or donate hardware if the possibility arises. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 10:58, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
@Martijn Uhm, actually WebCite was never really stable or reliable (in sense of "online") nor was there are good communication to create a good API or help bot developers. Ask Sigma... mabdul 22:46, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Automatic archiving[edit]

I can't see the value in a project that archives only the citations that someone knew how to/has bothered to add code to. I could very much see the value in a project that automatically archived every properly formatted inline citation. Could this project, without breaking Wikimedia's bank, cope with that? --Dweller (talk) 21:44, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't know the answer for WebCite. But I do know that when mw:Extension:ArchiveLinks was being developed to automatically archive all our citactions, the WMF contractors were working closely with the people from the Internet Archive and they said they could handle the traffic. Cheers. 64.40.54.79 06:13, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Back in 2009 there was a bot that was doing automated archiving: WebCiteBot, but since then it has stopped working. There is some discussion about it in its talk page. (talk) user:Al83tito 22:33, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

So what to do?[edit]

My reading of the discussion so far is that there is a broad agreement that linkrot is a problem for Wikipedia, but that taking over WebCite might not be the most practical solution. So in which direction should we proceed? Are the services offered by archive.is and the Wayback Machine a sufficient replacement for WebCite in case it goes black? Also, as someone who has mostly used WebCite for archiving sources so far, should I switch to using one of the other services (Wayback as soon as Wikipedians can do on-demand archiving on the service)? What about the links already archived via WebCite? Could we get some system in place to transfer all those links to one of the other services? And last but not least, how are the other services being funded? For example, if we decide on primarily relying on, say archive.is, how do we know that this service won't face issues similar to those WebCite is experiencing? Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 09:53, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

That's a lot of questions, so I'll offer my suggestions one by one.

So in which direction should we proceed?

We should encourage Gunther Eysenbach of WebCite to apply for a grant and to point to this discussion to show support for that grant.

Are the services offered by archive.is and the Wayback Machine a sufficient replacement for WebCite in case it goes black?

I don't know, but I would suggest that we archive citations at multiple places if it's possible.

should I switch to using one of the other services (Wayback as soon as Wikipedians can do on-demand archiving on the service)?

I would say stay with WebCite for now.

What about the links already archived via WebCite? Could we get some system in place to transfer all those links to one of the other services?

I think that Gunther Eysenbach of WebCite said he was already sending his archived links to the Intrernet Archive as a backup, but we should check and make sure.

how are the other services being funded?

I don't know, but I would say that funding problems could happen with any archive site so we should use miltiple archive services if possible.

how do we know that this service won't face issues similar to those WebCite is experiencing?

I would say that all such services could face the same problems, so we should maximize our use of every available service as a backup if that's possible. 64.40.54.69 15:49, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Crowdfunding is ongoing. The initial attempt (mentioned above) raised $803 from 35 donors. A second attempt is doing rather better, and is presently at 35% of a $25k goal with 187 donors, midway through an 11 month campaign. Still, it could still use a big shot in the arm. Gunther (User:Eysenbach, or alternatively w:User:Eysen) doesn't seem very Wiki-active, so any correspondence to him should be by email. It seems he hasn't been on-wiki since February.LeadSongDog (talk) 22:50, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Second attempt? Those both link to the same campaign, one is simply an old webcitation archive of the campaign when it hadn't been going for long. Nil Einne (talk) 18:00, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Digital Signatures[edit]

If the WMF does take over or bankroll improvements to WebCite a valuable enhancement would be a mechanism that adds a cryptographic digital signature to the archived content and metadata so that readers accessing the archives can verify their integrity and check that what's reaching them hasn't been filtered or modified. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 02:48, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Surely better for them to introduce HTTPS. If people are worried about the integrity of their root certificate authority, they can always verify the wikimedia SSL certificate in the same way they're presumably going to verify the authenticity of the digital signature. Nil Einne (talk) 06:20, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm not talking about digital signatures as related to the automated mechanisms within TLS or transport protocols or other infrastructure, I'm talking about functionality more equivalent to the real-world scenario of a notarized court deposition - along the lines of PGP signing of emails. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 14:52, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

If webcite survives, could we supply some robot support for contributors?[edit]

I'd like to see the WMF's financial support be proportional to WMF's share of the service use.

If the service meets its finacial goals I'd like to see some technical support tool that makes using it easier. The service's archive.php page has two required fields—the URL and your email address—and some optional fields, like the title, author, publisher, publication date. These fields have a one-to-one correspondence with the fields in our {{cite}} templates. What I would like to see would be something like the greasemonkey script F2COM, which helps automate transferring a flickr image to commons.

A contributor with an article, they want to (1) archive; and (2) use as a reference to an article; would use this tool to both archive the article, and populate a fully formed cite template ready to be cut and paste into their article.

Perhaps our contributor would fill out the form on the archive.php, more or less as usual—except they would enter information like, author, publisher, publication date. Then they would click on the button for the greasemonkey script, which would both archive the URL, with the supplied metadata, but would also pop up a window with a properly formed {{cite}} template—one ready to be pasted into the article, as is, complete with the fields with the metadata we supplied, and the archiveurl field from webcite.

If a tool like this was written, it might trigger even greater use of this service, which, to be fair should in turn trigger a larger grant from the WMF. Geo Swan (talk) 16:30, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

If the WMF decides not to support WebCite?[edit]

Then, before the end of the year, a bot should be written to check every link to webcite, and check to see whether the original URL was also archived at archive.org. If it was the bot should replace the link to the copy archived at webcite with the link to the copy archived at archive.org. Geo Swan (talk) 16:35, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

I would like to point out that no grant proposal has been put before WMF so far, so no decision is pending. Please see my earlier comments in this discussion about some of the concerns around this. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:42, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants), in WebCite#Response_from_WMF_Grants_Program you mentioned that for this to move forward we would need to get some input from WMF Tech on the ArchiveLinks extension already explored by WMF. I see a lot of excitement in WebCite#Internet_Archive_.2F_ArchiveLinks_extension. Can we get some feedback on this? I don't know who to contact. Biosthmors (talk) 12:05, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi, Biosthmors. It looks like the Internet Archive is already pursuing this on their own and does not need to use the ArchiveLinks extension; does that help address this? Thanks! Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 07:30, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Well that sounds fantastic if they get it to work. I hope they get the help they were looking for. Ping to User:Sj, who I know cares about the linkrot issue. Biosthmors (talk) 18:28, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Sharihareswara (WMF), I don't know how this tech stuff normally works, but it appears that there is significant community support behind fixing the linkrot issue so could you follow up with Vinay to make sure they got the support they needed? Thanks so much. Biosthmors (talk) 14:10, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
archive.org is inferior to webcite; two things I've noticed is that archive.org makes all captures unavailable as soon as the robots.txt says to, and it doesn't cope well with cookies. Josh Parris (talk) 23:17, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Stats, Numbers, and Status[edit]

In April, 2013 WebCite gave an interview to GiveWell. I pulled some random stats from this report.

  • The current size of the archive is 2 terrabytes.
  • Approximately $20,000-30,000 of needed funds would go to pay for an engineer to do t[the migration] his work. Webcite also hopes that an improved system allows it to better track usage.
  • Webcite is considering ways to build in some revenue streams to its service. If it does this, it would require approximately $10,000-20,000 in legal services to advise it on questions of copyright law.

From their Facebook page posted in September 2013: "Our primary aim at the moment is to make the system more scalable by moving it from a hosted server environment to a cloud-based service (Amazon). This needs to be done this year as we have reached certain limits on our current environment. Moving it to a cloud-based architecture will remove any such performance and storage limits. Secondly, we have to come up with a model that allows us to finance the operations in an ongoing basis. We plan to develop a few WebCite PLUS features (such as the ability to create a user account and view/download all snapshots you have taken). For these additional PLUS features we plan to charge PLUS users, to make the operations sustainable over the long-term. In this model, the basic functionality will remain free of charge....the aim is to implement a business model which guarantees SUSTAINED funding beyond 10 years."

Also from their Facebook page end of August: "...the server went down, hosting company didn't provide any explanation. We are in the process of migrating the service to Amazon. Due to the size of the archive this is neither a trivial nor an inexpensive task."

From their Fundrazr page dated Sept 2013: "The money is going towards urgently needed infrastructure changes. We have already employed a contractor who is currently migrating the huge database to a new platform. It is currently undecided if WebCite will continue as a non-profit or as a for-profit entity. Our primary goal is to ensure sustainability, and a for-profit model with user fees (users paying for what we call PLUS features) may be the way forward. We understand that data portability, transparency and openness are certainly priorities. Depending on whether or not the codebase will be made open source also depends on future funding models."

Signed: mdawn, Sept 9, 2013. not affiliated with WebCite, just gathering info.

Thanks for that update. Biosthmors (talk) 08:13, 10 September 2013 (UTC)