Grants talk:IEG/Elaborate Wikisource strategic vision

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IEG key blue.png

Congratulations! Your proposal has been selected for an Individual Engagement Grant.

The committee has recommended this proposal and WMF has approved funding for the full amount of your request, 10000 EUR.

Comments regarding this decision:
We're interested in seeing this strategy develop and look forward to supporting you in your important community-building efforts - it is great to have an opportunity to do something more for Wikisource! We encourage you to continue to consider all potential avenues for development support in the movement as you work towards your long-term vision for Wikisource improvements.

Next steps:

  1. You will be contacted to sign a grant agreement and setup a monthly check-in schedule.
  2. Review the information for grantees.
  3. Use the new buttons on your original proposal to create your project pages.
  4. Start work on your project!

Questions? Contact us.


Aggregated feedback from the committee for Elaborate Wkisource strategic vision[edit]

Scoring criteria (see the rubric for background) Score
1=weakest 5=strongest
Potential for impact
(A) The project fits with the Wikimedia movement's strategic priorities 4
(B) The project has the potential to lead to significant online impact. 4
(C) The impact of the project can be sustained after the grant ends. 3
(D) The project has potential to be scaled or adapted for other languages or projects. 3
Ability to execute
(E) The project has demonstrated interest from a community it aims to serve. 3
(F) The project can be completed as scoped within 6 months with the requested funds. 3
(G) The budget is reasonable and an efficient use of funds. 3
(H) The individual(s) proposing the project have the required skills and experience needed to complete it. 4
Fostering innovation and learning
(I) The project has innovative potential to add new strategies and knowledge for solving important issues in the movement. 4
(J) The risk involved in the project's size and approach is appropriately balanced with its potential gain in terms of impact. 4
(K) The proposed measures of success are useful for evaluating whether or not the project was successful. 4
(L) The project supports or grows the diversity of the Wikimedia movement. 4
Comments from the committee:
  • Pleased to see something that is both big, but also appears manageable, for this perennially undeserved project with great potential.
  • Having several people from different languages leading the project is a plus.
  • Bringing community attention to Wikisource would make it possible to get its work recognized and appreciated more; and of course attract new editors.
  • The hope that the WMF will make Wikisource a priority after its completion, and help implement the results of the study, is problematic.
  • Some concerns about the lacking demonstration of support of the relevant communities in the different Wikisources.
  • Videoconferencing and phone may help cut down on travel expenses.

Interface[edit]

Dear Micru, thank you very much indeed for your proposal. I would like to learn more about your reasoning how your work is intended to fit in with the deployment of the visual editor by the WMF down the road. Thanks & best regards, --Jan eissfeldt (talk) 07:52, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

That is one of the points I would like to address with the development team. I have several ideas that I would develop into specific proposals about the visual cues (buttons, icons, messages, layout), the way meta data is parsed and how to integrate it with the current structure. I don't intend to "impose" a solution, but rather rather talk with the key people about what and how can be done, exchange ideas, and try to find a consensus. In my opinion most of the technology is either already there or almost there, it is more about defining the best way of using the tools for the task and that can take some time. When I finish I expect to present a set of mockups and procedures about how to complete different tasks so everybody can participate in choosing the best one--Micru (talk) 14:52, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Micru. I think pre-mapping some sort of road map for such consultations (taking both the current time frames of the visual editor deployment and (maybe) the wikidata folks into account) would be helpful. I don't consider it likely that such a draft actually gets implemented 1:1 down the road and that's fine but pre-planning it would likely unearth some non-obvious issues in the project's timetable and make it more concrete at the same time :), best regards --Jan eissfeldt (talk) 22:12, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Hi Jan, thanks for your message! To be honest I didn't want to start making plans involving other people before knowing if this proposal would be seen as so necessary as I consider it. Since I'm getting positive feedback, maybe it is time to start working out a road map with the teams. If you have any advice about who should I contact, that would be helpful, otherwise I will use the standard method: discussion pages :) --Micru (talk) 03:40, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Micru, the reason why there is no road map to date is a fair one, of course. What I would advise is to sketch out beforehand what concrete topics you actually would like to discuss with the respective teams and then pick up the phone based on the draft. Its not only a conceptual issue but also a management-related one.
We should be mindful that you are looking for meaningful conversations with their tech teams and not the related communications/presentations people. These tech folks already have tall orders on their plate(s) and deadline hawks breathing down their respective necks (not just management-wise but in the communities, too). Thus, putting forward a sketch saying what would be on the table (subject to changes, of course) and thereby providing good reasons why they should take the trouble of investing time to look at it more closely would imo improve chances to get the time-commitments you are looking for.
Another point you might would like to consider in how to structure your discussion flow is how to approach the couple of properly functioning non-English Wikisource communities. Leaving them a note beforehand might be advantageous in a) identifying non-obvious topics to be addressed in tech conversations (like cultural barriers on how a proper citation _can't_ look like, or whatever), b) helping to figure out priorities related to a) within your per application fixed overall framework, and c) getting them on board in conversational terms early on, Best regards --Jan eissfeldt (talk) 22:53, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Working on it! Let's see if I can have a solid road map proposal for this weekend.--Micru (talk) 05:08, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Done, please look at my comments under the "New approach" section.--Micru (talk) 01:20, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Great Idea, questionable approach[edit]

While this is a great idea [1], I am not seeing why User:Micru is the best person for the job or why all this travel would be required. JeepdaySock (talk) 11:56, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree. 9000 CAD (60% of requested amount) for travel? This communication couldn't be done via chat, phone, or videoconference? cmadler (talk) 13:31, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. Particularly for this project I consider that physical presence can achieve more than just distant communication, because by using only distant communication, (a) meetings with several key people at the same time are complicated to manage, (b) the interaction is more spaced out over time, which could mean that something that can be achieved in months could take much longer, (c) online communication is more prone to byzantine debates, with many strong opinions that if dealt in person would be non-existent, (d) ensures communication with users/developers that otherwise would be unaware of this initiative.
Although I defined the 9000 CAD as "travel expenses", maybe it would be more appropriate to call it "the cost of smoothing communication and engaging key people in a timely manner". Online communication will be necessary too. And if that were enough to complete all the tasks that this project requires, I would limit my travels to only Wikimania to present the results. If online communication were not enough, I need of freedom to take action without delays. The 15k is the top amount this project could cost, I expect to do it for less, but better to err with lower costs than with over-costs.
Regarding JeepdaySock comments, I would be interested to know which abilities should I prove to be considered "the best person for the job". Having worked in international projects, I could provide the evaluation team with references that certify my ability to tackle this task.--Micru (talk) 14:35, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Communicate about what? Pretty much everything about the wiki family is public domain (CC) and freely available. What do you expect to communicate about, that is not available at a computer terminal? What are the technical and political solutions you have in mind to achieve the vision? JeepdaySock (talk) 11:37, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
As far as I know there are is no documentation, for instance, describing current and optimal work flows (i.e. upload, collaboration, and resource access work flows). Also, there is no document describing possible ways of changing the user interface to improve these from the different entry vectors (mainly Wikipedia, Commons and Wikisource itself). And there is still no concept about how to make Wikidata fit in all that. These are specific problems that if thought from the beginning will cause less headaches in the future (like how to handle book versions, and metadata from external sources like OCLC). Of course anyone could propose a way of improving all that, but without a comprehensive approach, and without talking to the people involved, it might be a failure.--Micru (talk) 04:05, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Micru that this is more a "diplomatic job" than a technical one. We need advocacy, more than other things. I know I accomplished more things for Wikisource speaking face-to-face with other wikilibrarians and developers than writing a ton of emails. I think that meetings have to be done with developers and staff and technical teams to make them understand the importance of a metadata infrastructure. You can just say: "Hey, I need this, please code it for me". It is more effective to meet them in person and speak to them about the importance of a particular workflow. And maybe speak to their boss, to have a part of his empoyee time dedicated. The technology is there, is awareness of the issue which is not. --Aubrey (talk) 16:46, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Regardless of my opinion on this proposal (which hasn't been formed yet), I strongly support the travel expense part of the request: to be able to talk directly face-to-face with the right person at the right moment is a real advantage.
JeepdaySock, what you're requesting, to spare 9000 CAD, is to jeopardize the project forcing Micru to work in a less adapted environment and to waste days to meet people remotely. Such projects can't succeed if he isn't able to socialize with the key persons and to report results. The travel expense is here really used to empower the project. --Dereckson (talk) 21:07, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I might have missed some of the latest developments but as far as I recall: "please code it for me" is not on the cards. A strong argument in favor of creating this scheme was that approved proposals aren't going to depend on WMF tech resources. Unless that has changed (if so, please be so kind to update me :), we may focus on the other option and I agree broadly with your wider point regarding the greater efficiency of face-to-face consultations, best regards --Jan eissfeldt (talk) 22:12, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more with you, Jan. The result of this project will be a detailed vision about what it can be achieved, how (visually and technically), and hopefully an estimate of the resources that would be needed to make it come true. The results will be presented to the board and to the community for them to evaluate and act upon. So, no worries, I won't be there with a whip making people code for me :) --Micru (talk) 04:16, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Much improved, looks good. JeepdaySock (talk) 11:40, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments and your endorsement, Jeepday!--Micru (talk) 13:38, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

I like this idea[edit]

Wikisource is not very well understood outside of wikisource. Having a roadmap for what we want ideal wikisource to be would be useful. In particular I think such plans would be useful to attract more volunteer devs to work on wikisource things. --Bawolff (talk) 18:56, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

May I link to you the Wikisource roadmap? We set it up at Wikimania. --Aubrey (talk) 16:07, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Wikisource notification[edit]

For some reason Wikisource wasn't notified, so I copied your notification from Commons.[2] I now see that you used the wrong village pump; please use the multilingual wikisource or wikisource-l. Thanks, Nemo 08:22, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

New approach[edit]

To address criticism about travel expenses, and also because the amount of work might be excessive for just one person, this project now includes 2 participants plus 1 associate, that way no transatlantic flights will be needed. Roadmap drafted as per Jan Eissfeldt request, with more accuracy on goals and dates. Still needs some fine-tuning, but hopefully now we can convey better what we want to accomplish.--Micru (talk) 01:18, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Micru, I consider the new road map draft a considerable improvement and look forward to go through it more detailed later this week :), best regards --Jan eissfeldt (talk) 09:37, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

OCLC Participation[edit]

I fully support this propositions. As Wikipedian in Residence at OCLC, I can say that with once OAI-PMH support is stable, it would be possible and easy for this group to allow OCLC's WorldCat to start havesting and index these sister projects. Maximilianklein (talk) 08:02, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Max for your support :-) --Aubrey (talk) 11:10, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Wikisource is not = Wikisource[edit]

De.wikisource, e. g., has a very different approach to its scope than fr or en.wikisource have. We don't want to be just another dumpster for online-texts readily available elsewhere, but are keen on getting texts that can be transliterated from the best scan sources, with meticulous care about detail. Mass-uploads from the Internet Archive etc. is not a something we want to have. Metadata from OCLC is mostly total crap, so please make sure at least this part of the poroposal gets deleted ASAP. Careful individual examination is what makes Wikisource a quality project and distinguishes it from all those other commercial and GLAM projects out there. Don't mess with that. --FA2010 (talk) 10:31, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

David is from Catalan Wikisource, Tpt from French Wikisource and I am from Italian Wikisource. We know that these projects are different in scope and perspective, but we all share the vision as wikisource as a reliable and qualitative excellent digital library. A metadata management system is needed to import and reuse in Wikisource metadata from external sources. OCLC and Open Library are just two of the countless sources that could be used. We focused on those in the first hand, but we'll work in the direction of letting every Wikisource choose its own preferred metadata sources. --Aubrey (talk) 10:58, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Making a tool available does not imply it is the best solution for every challenge and/or every environment. JeepdaySock (talk) 12:02, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Right. The whole approach sounds a lot like a "solution to everything", though, and these usually don't work in Wiki projects... --FA2010 (talk) 12:47, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi FA2010! As Aubrey has pointed each Wikisource has a different approach. As an example of this are author pages, in some WS links to external works from author pages are strictly forbidden (ca, en), in others are encouraged (de). So yes, there are different approaches, though some of the problems we face are the same. It is important to differentiate tool and policy about using the tool. Mass uploads are already possible, but we don't allow them, and that is not going to change with a possible new import tool. Again, it is a decision of each community whether to use it or not, and how to use it.
About metadata from OCLC I'm a bit surprised by your statement since that data comes from trusted sources (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek for German books), may I ask which problems in particular did you find with it? Maybe it would be a good moment to think how to address them.
As for trying to get a "solution for everything", sure that no proposal is going to solve everything, however by thinking about the advantages/disadvantages that each modification has, we will be able to assess if it is worth the effort and how to minimize the downsides. Please remember that this project is about analyzing the possibilities for improvement, there is not going to be any change yet. For that to happen a community consultation process should be opened to expose the findings and ask each community about which route to take. --Micru (talk) 14:34, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Library information is usually pretty accurate as far as books from the last 30 years goes. Before that, I have seldom encountered any library metadata set that didn't require a lot of editing/trimming to be useful in any wiki project. Another example is importing stuff to LibraryThibg: I think I never had a single dataset in thousands of cases that was correct and useful and 100% properly formatted for what I needed. I firmly believe that no mechanism will really be trustworthy enough to automate metadata import. It may work with the latest Harry Potter, but do keep in mind that Wikisource is about PD works, and mostly very old ones. --FA2010 (talk) 20:45, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I think there is a lot of room for discussion about which kind of tool would be developed. For example, we could think about a tool for semi-automatic import, a gadget that fetches metadata and waits for the user to check and save the page. A tool like this could be extremely useful, IMO, and simplifies the file of every user. Automatic scripts could be run just for wikisources willing to do that, we are not imposing anything here. Aubrey (talk) 14:16, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Completion without WMF Tech[edit]

A limitation on Individual Engagement Grant projects: WMF can provide funding, and some check-ins with grantmaking staff to support grantees. What WMF can't provide is any time from WMF engineering staff - their mandate for the foreseeable future is to focus on the projects they are already committed to (building the Visual Editor, etc), and they simply don't have enough staff to dedicate resources or consulting time to grant projects. As such, any project that requires input from the WMF Tech department is unfortunately just not going to be feasible at this point (I'll be updating the eligibility criteria later this week to clarify this a bit more). So, my question is: could an ambitious project like this be completed without consult or collaboration with WMF Tech staff? Siko (WMF) (talk) 17:30, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

It would be better to have a conversation regarding this. I've sent you an email, looking forward to talk soon! --Micru (talk) 14:04, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, gentlemen, I think your updates to this idea make sense based on the constraints - you've taken an ambitious project and bitten off the first bite-sized step, which seems like a good strategy to get started with. I'm adding a further question below, based on this updated proposal. Siko (WMF) (talk) 16:58, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Community consensus[edit]

Hi, and thanks for submitting this proposal. I am curious to know what discussions you have had with the Wikisource, Commons and Wikipedia communities about the ideas in your project. Having endorsements from community members will help us see community support for a proposal, and you will need this to make a project workable. If you could point to discussions on these wikis where this project idea has been discussed it would help my evaluation of the project greatly. Regards, Steven Zhang (talk) 13:28, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi Steven, thanks for your interest in this project! This IEG is about approaching well-known problems and defining possible ways of solving them (note the plural), analyze risks, benefits, costs and then discussing our findings with each community, collecting feedback, opinions, so in the end a consensus is found and later on can be acted upon (see this graph). Hopefully that answers your question!--Micru (talk) 14:16, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi Steven, let me add few things. IMHO, there is a lack of cross-wiki discussion and coordination. I'm from Wikisource, and I would add that there is a lack of interwiki discussion either there. This grant would like to address problems and issues that affect all the Wikisources, and Commons and even Wikipedia. I can tell you that at Wikimania 2012 we discussed a lot about these problems (following the Sister project I talk session). We even had a unconference about those (there were a dozen of us). These is no coordinator, neither a real place where we discussed this, beside Wikisource roadmap. So the idea is actually to start coordinating and discussing altogether. I hope that people will be more happy to collaborate if there is a sort of "officialization" of the project, through a grant. I hope I've been clear enough. --Aubrey (talk) 10:00, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Feedback goal 1[edit]

Hello everybody! ;) All 5 goals are a must to do, and I have no doubt that they will be implemented sooner or later. There are some paragraphs that confuse me a bit (if it's too early to make concrete feedback, please ignore me):

  • I find it too focused on the link being not so hidden, and I miss the important statements said at Wikisource_roadmap#Wikidata (avoid redundancy for Authors and Books etc.).
  • Some Wikipedias have SSPP links in the same way than interwikis (e.g. w:es:Henry David Thoreau, "otros proyectos"); did you mean this with not so hidden?
  • I also find confusing the reference to Sister template, because sometimes it links to a project in a different language (e.g. w:ca:Rudyard Kipling -> en.source), or sometimes links to Special:Search (e.g. w:en:Rudyard Kipling); I can't imagine Wikidata for those links (or so many options as a template has). Perhaps both systems will have to coexist.
  • Two additional suggestions: what about the creation of Category:Pages with broken sister project links similar to Category:Pages with broken file links?, and analysing if interwiki transclusion of content over projects could be a suitable option for avoiding redundancy.

I find it very difficult to analyse all 5 goals in a few months, so what about setting some order of priority to them, in case end time comes and results are not ready? Best regards! -Aleator (talk) 03:20, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi Aleator! Nice to see you around here :) All feedback is really appreciated, and after we finish drafting the first analysis it will be even more valuable! Regarding your points:
1) Avoiding redundancy is part of Goal 2 (upload) and Goal 3 (metadata reuse). This point is definitely a top priority and we are already devising the best way to solve it.
2) Probably you are right that both systems will have to coexist for special cases as the ones you mention. I don't think it is a good idea to link a search in Wikidata... and linking a search from that template is maybe not a good idea either, but well, each community has their ways.
3) Yes, that is one of the options that could be used more, however there are more options and all of them have to be considered. I think by doing all this research job and presenting the findings in a structured way (and hopefully with mockups), it should be easier for the community to decide which way to go.
4) The first category could be useful for SSPP links that couldn't be included into wikidata. For the second one we still need to finish the data model and see what is the best way to approach that functionality. I'll keep it in mind.
You are right about the task complexity, there is a lot of work and thinking to do. For tasks that don't depend entirely on us (communication with other projects) we cannot guarantee to be on schedule, for the others we are advancing at good pace and end of March still seems realistic to finish early drafts.--Micru (talk) 05:56, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Regarding goal 1[edit]

Regarding goal 1: If one wishes a more prominent presentation of the sister projects on Wikipedia one must get consensus from the Wikipedia community first. Has an attempt to get consensus been attempted? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:19, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi Doc James. A general attempt has not being done, still, because we would like to study the issue and propose a detailed modification. I can still tell you tha in Italian Wikipedia, for example, we managed to insert a big box which promotes the "Proofreading of the month" on Wikisource (see the box below, to the right). Every wiki is different, but we would are thinking also about the Sister templates, which seems really promising for the case. --Aubrey (talk) 08:31, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Activities and Techniques[edit]

Hi guys, There are a couple of things I would like to see clarification on for this updated proposal:

  1. Activities - I would like to see a subsection in your scope section (perhaps below where you lay out the goals), where you bulletpoint a list of activities you plan to do for this IEGrant project. What tasks will be done by the time your grant ends? I assume things like meeting with OCLC and other stakeholders would go on that list, as well as maybe a meetup with other Wikisourcers, your idea to present at Wikimania, completing drafts of workflows x, y, and z, testing at least 1 workflow out on-wiki, etc. Some of this is in your narrative, but it would be helpful for us to see a list of activities you plan to complete during the course of this grant more clearly, as they're getting a bit lost for me elsewhere. I think you're also missing the "tools & techniques" section - tell us what you'll need to accomplish your project (sounds like travel and face-to-face meetings for consensus building might be the most important, perhaps also scripts or gadgets for workflows when you get to that stage?) If you're getting a bit lost with all the changes you've made, the proposal kit may be useful for you to double check your sections too.
  2. Measures of success - We will use these to determine whether or not this project succeeded in having the impact you intended. So, it would be helpful to think about these a bit more concretely I think. At the end of your project, you'll have a more concrete strategic vision for Wikisource around a specific set of things, and maybe will also have implemented some new workflows, right? The question is, how will we know this was successful, and a worthwhile use of grant money? I'm not sure what the right answer to this question is, but one way to think of the vision piece would be in terms of x number of people/organizations signed on to the vision (indicating that your strategy is shared across the community), or x number of actionable changes to workflows that can be implemented by volunteers. And if you're planning to implement, say, 1 workflow during the grant period (I'm not sure that you are, but if), a measure for that would be something like increased use of some process, more metadata...you see where I'm going here :-)

Many thanks for all the iterations you've made on your proposal - responsiveness to feedback and evolving ideas are always nice to see! Siko (WMF) (talk) 17:17, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi Siko! I've just updated the grant with a list of activities that we'll be conducting (at least, there might be more). It is going to take a big effort to coordinate interwiki discussion and hopefully we can count on volunteers locally to be more efficient and on time. As much as we would like to, we cannot meet all stakeholders in-person because the costs would become stratosferic.
About the measures of success the main one will be to lay out the path for the next years, and kick start at least 3 projects within our reach according to it. And if we could get a commitment of the fondation for WS long term goals in the end, well, that would be the icing of the cake :-) There is a lot of enthusiasm that needs to be transformed into specific actions and coordinated, and this has to be based on consensus. Luckily we already have some groundwork on which we will be building up, otherwise half a year would be too short for such an undertaking.
Thanks to you for your feedback, it will really help to achieve success!--Micru (talk) 02:45, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
The lists you've added are helpful, thank you. I worry a little bit about 2 of your stated measures of success being gaining WMF engineering support and a second IEG (since those both depend on things outside your control, if they don't happen should we consider this project a waste of time?), but generally I really appreciate the updates you've been making to clarify your plan. Cheers! Siko (WMF) (talk) 04:43, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
Great that you pointed that out. I reworded the goals to state only what it is in our hands to do: a possible application for a new IEG and a formal support request on long-term goals to the WMF. The main goals are to generate consensus on what needs to be done, drafting a plan about how to get that done, and divide those actions between the ones that are in our reach (volunteer based) and the ones that might need external support (wmf, ieg). Even if the external support path eventually failed, we'll generate a new set of tasks that volunteers can take care of, which are not being done now because there is no common vision yet.--Micru (talk) 14:52, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Wiktionary[edit]

Hello again! Another annotation related to this IEG's concepts (not present at Wikisource Roadmap): interaction between Wikisource and Wiktionary can also benefit from these IEG's goals (not now, at [very] long term, but now taking in mind compatibility with all the projects for possible future implementation). Two examples: (1) citations at Wiktionary from Wikisource texts and authors (there's "Citation" namespace at en.wikt), and (2) transcription of dictionaries at Wikisource and reference them at Wiktionary (e.g. en:Category:Dictionaries). There's a lot of potential. Thanks again! -Aleator (talk) 02:18, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi Aleator, thanks for the suggestion! As you say this is a very long term goal, but we are definitely happy to keep in mind what you say. Of course, the more we structure things at Wikisource, the more other projects can benefit. We welcome every suggestion/feedback/critic regarding relationship with other wiki projects, it is very important to keep an eye on them and make them scale. We count on you for pt.source and wiktionaries :-) --Aubrey (talk) 09:01, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Old Wikisource[edit]

Question: What would this grant do to existing projects (or future projects) in oldwikisource:? Or, to rephrase it, how would it affect or not affect the said projects? Bennylin 15:18, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

In this grant we aim to define what all wikisources need (including the ones in oldwikisource) and what we can we do about that. It is of course a different perspective for big projects than for the ones that are starting, anyhow it is going to be very enlightning to know their needs too and hopefully we can make their life easier too.--Micru (talk) 00:31, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Some weaknesses[edit]

It's great that someone wants to improve and reform Wikisource. It's a very small amount (10,000 euro) they are asking for. We know these persons and their devotion. They have already donated lots of their own time. Let's approve this project!

However, the project does rely on producing a strategic document that should be implemented later. This is known in software development as a "Big Design Up Front" (BDUF) and associated with much bad experience in that the reality (implementation) seldom agrees with the details of the plan. For example, the plan is to reach a community consensus, but the Wikisource community (-ies) is very disperse and loosely connected. What is agreed upon can easily change before the implementation is ready. Part of the problem is that the new plan needs to be implemented, and the only alternative is to fail and keep what we have. There is no parallel co-existence between the plan and its alternative. In another example, when facsimile images (and the ProofreadPage extension) were introduced, they were an alternative that could co-exist with the previous (e-text only) methodology in Wikisource. Only in the German Wikisource was the previous method banned and the new method mandated for all new texts. Both Wikidata (for interwiki links) and LiquidThreads are also huge projects that are all-or-nothing. This is very risky. LiquidThreads did fail and this cost a lot of time and burned hopes, but hopefully Wikidata will succeed.

It would be preferrable if the improvements of Wikisource could be made in small steps that co-exist with the current methods, so they can prove their value in competition. And indeed, what we would need is a way to measure "value", for example to measure page views, edits, and external links per book, so we can know if one book turned out to be more useful than another one. That would be like inventing the compass, an indicator that can tell us if future projects are "on the right course" or not. --LA2 (talk) 16:12, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

+100 to both the encouragement and the suggeestion. Not only software teams, but many generations of wiki-teams, have fallen prey to the BDUF antipattern. SJ talk  18:51, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Lars and SJ, thanks for your comments. We are quite aware of the problems you are talking about, however I disagree about Wikidata being an "all-or-nothing" project because it should be possible to have a selector to choose between book data stored in Wikidata or local data as it is now. Doing it that way it would be possible to see the pitfalls without going to deep into the river and both systems should be able to coexist for as long as needed. Yes, what we start planning right now can change during implementation, but is it not worse not to plan nothing at all?
Your page view suggestion is quite good, I was also thinking about a way for readers to signal which book would you like to see transcribed, that could give a better insight about what is wanted.
And yes, Wikisource communities are loosely connected. Our work doesn't need as much interaction and communication as Wikipedia does because most of the time it is clear what is to be done and there is no need for discussions or agreements. Anyhow, I really hope that by starting this project we have more reasons to talk and discuss the direction of the project. Ultimately that is what this is about.--Micru (talk) 19:02, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Long term development, diversifying beyond WMF[edit]

Hi guys, So as you know, what has been nagging at me all along in this proposal is the "hope" that WMF will commit to some long-term development, because that relies on WMF product and engineering to prioritize work on Wikisource and that is just too far out of our control as grantmakers or volunteers to be assured. I very much appreciate the measures you've taken to move forward with shorter term solutions that can be accomplished by volunteers etc. For the long term piece, I wonder if you might have already begun thinking about diversifying beyond WMF as well, so that all your hopes aren't in 1 basket. Might you consider your long-term roadmap as being presented to the movement at large, including WMF as 1 player, but also considering other movement groups as audiences? Is it possible, even if not preferable, that some more of the long-term vision would be feasibly carried out by developers outside of WMF (chapters, thematic orgs, other grants, etc)? If so, why not aim for the wider ecosystem, which can include making the vision known to WMF, but does not hinge entirely on one organization for continued forward progress? Siko (WMF) (talk) 20:34, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi Siko, I changed that statement few days ago, sorry for not replying here. Do you think it's better now? --Aubrey (talk) 14:19, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Page issue[edit]

This page renders badly on my laptop, making it impossible to read. The quote box extends far below the quote, obscuring most of the text aligned to the righthand side of the page. I'm hesitant to try to fix it without knowing the issues. I'm on Firefox 30 on Lubuntu Linux 14.04, with a 12" screen. -Pete F (talk) 06:03, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Should be fixed now. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 06:19, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Wow, that was fast -- thanks! -Pete F (talk) 07:12, 28 June 2014 (UTC)