LSS/foundation-l-archives/2006 10 01-07

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This is part of LSS, a mailing list summary service. It is a summary of foundation-l. Most posts whose authors are named have links to the full e-mail in the archive. However not every post is archived and the archive itself is so unstable that the urls will periodically be reassigned breaking the links in this summary. While edits to correct inaccuracies are welcome, changes to style or focus should first be discussed on the talk page. Decisions on whether to refer to people by their Wikipedia handle or their email name is arbitrary and may not be completely internally consistent. Some genders may be accidentally incorrect.Incorrect or not, this standard is used all around the net, for business or projects.

This issue covers (roughly) 2006 October 1-7


  1. [1] Last month, Danny Wool's mention of Porchesia, an article about a place that does not exist that remained on English Wikipedia for some time, started a discussion. It continued into this month. GerardM and Birgitte questioned the relevance of problems on the English wikipedia to foundation-l, while Gregory Maxwell suggested it was an opportunity to share how other wikis deal with the issue, and noted that normally smaller wikis are at greater risk of this kind of problem. He suggested that it would be helpful to have a recentchanges page that would aggregate all the low-activity wikis. James Hare suggested running Tawkerbot (an anti-vandal bot) on the smaller wikis. David Gerard suggested using the RSS feeds MediaWiki provides to do the aggregation. [2]In another part of the thread, Danny explained why he feels that it is on-topic to discuss problems on Wikipedia here, citing both the social need to avoid creating fact as well as concerns about a phone call he recieved in the Wikipedia office about some crimes that were committed with aid of wikipedia. Discussion continued about the appropriateness of the topic with some tension coming from worries that the english wikipedia's dominance was being reflected in the foundation-l concerns. Birgette had a particularly interesting analysis of the problem that led to a lot of further discussion on how the different wikis deal with the issues as well as the difficulty in deciding rigid criteria. [3]Jimbo and Anthony responded to some ideas from Erik about cultural change to make a better encyclopedia.
  2. [4]Discussion of the new corporate vanity policy from last month also continued, again with claims that it was off-topic on foundation-l.[5] It continued with Anthony bringing up his ideas about what should be included on WMF projects.
  3. [6]Elisabeth Bauer announced the creation of a subcommittee of the communications committee: The Promotion Committee. The task of the committee would be to create promotional materials for the foundation. One of the contact addresses is here. Anthere responded to emphasise the importance of their task and to ask people to become involved.
  4. [7]I (Improv/Pat Gunn) announced LSS (this summary) on the mailing list, asking for feedback. It was suggested to keep it on meta, and that other lists might be worth summarising in a similar way.
  5. [8][9]Jimbo clarified a comment he made in last month's discussion of the Wikimania 2007 Taiwan announcement, in which his statements that he wanted the 2008 to be in Italy were misinterpreted as a done decision rather than a personal preference, noting that he did not intend to get involve in future Wikimania locale decisions.
  6. [10]GerardM noted that some recently created language Wikipedias are not going to be given language editions in WiktionaryZ, enumerating some reasons.
  7. [11]Discussion continued from last month about regional Wikimedia conferences
  8. [12][13]Danny Wool brought up the Myspace TOS, in particular the rules against commercial involvement in editing, advertising, or sending private messages with commercial intent, noting that their rules are more strict than ours. Reception was generally positive for something closer to this for Wikipedia, although implementation issues and other means to achieve the desired goal were discussed.
  9. [14]Andre Engels was upset about something, and requested to be blocked from the mailing list. After a bit of discussion, it came out that he was frustrated that some things that should not be on Wikipedia are, and that he had been treated badly for expressing his thoughts on that. The discussion inexplicably turned into a brief discussion on editing age for wikipedia.
  10. [15]Anthere noted that, due to computer problems, she would not be around much for awhile. Oscar agreed to take care of some of her duties until she got back
  11. [16]Anthere suggested a developer blog to announce new mediawiki features and project status changes. David Gerard provided a link to an existing (but highly inactive) blog on livejournal for that purpose. Angela Beesley noted that the technology reports in the wikipedia signpost have some minimal coverage of that sort.
  12. [17]David Gerard noted that a google ads keyword, visible when people search for MediaWiki, suggested people not use it, instead using a hosted wiki service some company provides.
  13. [18]James Hare branched an earlier thread on verifiability by suggesting a google/booksearch based method to ensure that sources exist. Birgitte suggested that this is a poor substitute for actually checking, and could be gamed. Eventually, this branched into discussions on the importance of fact-checking.
  14. [19]Mathias Schindler reported about an incident where AFP used a lot of text from an article about the Amish from the German Wikipedia, without attribution. He reported his efforts in dealing with them.
  15. [20]Sabine Cretella wrote about a new project under the WiktionaryZ umbrella to create a multilingual children's dictionary
  16. [21]Anthere reported about an educational/research convention held in Paris that she attended that had some relation to Wikipedia, French government policy on licensing issues, and the interaction between the two leading to pressure for change for government materials to be public domain. This eventually became a discussion on growth of Wikipedia and limits to that. A mention was made of the problem of searching the Wikimedia commons in an interlingual way (a long-term issue with commons that makes it less useful than it should be), with GerardM noting that WiktionaryZ's interlingual facilities will likely make that possible soon.
  17. [22]David Gerard noted that the checkuser-l backlog was large and that he was going to clear it.
  18. [23]Sean Whitton reported a new IRC channel, #wikimedia-ops, used to rapidly put people in contact with channel ops and respond to mass attacks
  19. [24]Yorian asked for clarification on a GFDL license issue. Alphax provided a pointer to some documentation on it.
  20. [25][26]Vernes Seferovic announced a Bosnian translation of the wikinews templates, asking for support for the project launch.