Meta talk:MetaProject to overhaul Meta/Archives/2006-06

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Warning! Please do not post any new comments on this page. This is a discussion archive first created in June 2006, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date. See current discussion or the archives index.

See also the long foundation-l thread (partly also on WikiEN-l and apparently Wmfcc-l).

Source code

EditPage.php is quite an interesting specimen. Should we delete it (and its kin), because the source there is probably outrageously out of date, and you can always use the anonymous HTTP CVS interface to view code online, or attempt to write documentation for them? Ambush Commander 04:12, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Good question. I would ask a dev about the source code first. Linuxbeak 04:13, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Nah, I don't think that's necessary (the devs are busy). I've replaced the whole thing with a quick note and links to the CVS files and logs. I see the potential for a template... Ambush Commander 04:22, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Lang cat

What makes you duplicate lang categories? e.g. Category:JA exists though, but Category:Ja (with only one article) was created. Just curious. --Aphaia 09:45, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

It's a matter of naming conventions. Do we normally refer to language codes in all caps or no caps (eqiv to cap the first letter in MediaWiki)? Ambush Commander 19:09, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
That's probably my fault. I tagged foreign language articles with lowercase language codes (cap first letter), and then created the categories when they were redlinked. It should be easily resolved by deciding which category should be used, and then moving pages into that category. Bookofjude 23:24, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for your info. As for MediaWiki, each first letter is capitalized, so we need to chose XX or Xx. I have no strong opinion, but convention is in favor of Xx - and perhaps merger of XX to Xx would be easiler due to numbers of pages, and helpful to avoid further confusion. I'm not sure if it would be preferable, keeping one as redirect to another, or just speedying. It depends on how category and its redirect work. --Aphaia 03:13, 28 March 2006 (UTC)


Ok, so what templates have been created? Suggestion seems to be for speedy (already exists as {{Delete|~~~~}}, transwiki, outdated, of historical interest, and deprecated. Sounds like a good start. I'm not savy in template fu, so hopefully someone can wip out the needed ones. Though the need for a distinction for the last three is not certain. Deprecated and outdated is about the same thing, and why should they be kept at all if they are not worthy of historical interest? We do clearly need to mark old pages that are not active anymore and remove them from the normal workflow, ie don't link to them as if they are active. What other concrete tasks can we line out so people can get started? - Taxman 20:42, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Outdated = still useful, but needs to be updated. Historical interest = describes something old that is now inactive or irrelevant, but kept because it's interesting. Deprecated = something that we purposely got rid of in favor of something new. Ambush Commander 21:17, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Ahh, that makes sense. Clarify that on the page so when the templates are ready we can get started placing them. If you make them, it shouldn't take too long to get them all placed. Hmm, now that I think about it, a template is more disruptive to the page than just adding it into a category. The category still allows organizing the work. - Taxman 21:26, 25 March 2006 (UTC)


It seems Meta at some point became a dumping ground for essays that weren't wanted on Wikipedia. I nominated one for speedy deletion, because it seemed to meet the speedy criteria of having nothing to do with any Wikimedia projects, but Amgine removed the tag. So I think we need to come to some conclusion about what to do with them. Best place is to hash it out on Meta:Babel where I started the thread. - Taxman 14:40, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

At this point, I think the best course of action would be to mark all essays as such and then go through them one by one. If the essay doesn't link up to any other pages, then discuss it here for deletion. Linuxbeak 14:47, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
I think this is terrible. Essays may be inactive and personal, but they are very often of interest (I've spent an afternoon browsing Category:Essays). Can you just hold on and actually read them? If needs be, and as I've just pointed out on one page's VfD, we can make a history section - though essays aren't always interesting for purely historical reasons. This whole project will be great if it makes Meta useful, but it will be terrible if it destroys things that we later wish we had kept. Think of the researchers/History of Wikipedia bookwriters/sociologists too, please. Cormaggio @ 08:28, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
PS: Have you thought about getting in touch with the authors of these essays? They may not be monitoring Meta on a daily basis, and be shocked to find things deleted the next time they stop by. Cormaggio @ 08:31, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Most of the essays are pretty old stuff. And of much much interest for the old editors and the sociologists. They are usually tagged essays or moved in user spaces. Not deleted. As they have been welcomed here for 4 years, please do not delete them now. Most of the time, essays are linked from wikipedias, not from other pages on meta. If you want to delete all essays, please move them all on my user subspace. I will welcome them all if necessary. Anthere

That's why I brought it up here and at Meta:Babel, to come to an understanding. The speedy deletion criteria currently says "and pages otherwise totally unrelated to Meta". That's where the confusion seems to be from. So these deletions and nominations are at least not completely out of bounds. Keep the essays somewhere separate where they are clearly marked as such and do not appear to be official in any way. User space is fine for that, so please move them all there if you like. - Taxman 17:48, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Be careful about speedy deletes

One thing you have to watch out for when doing this overhaul is not to delete too much historical content from Meta. Yes, there are some pages that have been sitting around for a couple of years now without any changes, but there are link to much of this content in other Wikimedia projects, so just because the page appears to be orphaned doesn't mean it isn't being referenced.

And some of those historical pages are important in terms of trying to understand the historical context that has developed over time for why some policies are in place right now.

I know that when you get on a roll to start deleting large amounts of content that sometimes you get very comfortable with the "delete" tab and have no problem removing stuff that perhaps should have been left behind. I've done it by mistake myself, so I understand many of the issues you are facing here with this cleanup. There are clearly pages that must be deleted, and I understand that as well. I'm just appealing to common sense and asking all of the participants in this cleanup effort to use good judgement. Regardless of what you do, there will be some people who will complain about anything being removed or even modified, like even the addition of a single space character or the removal of a single blank line. --Roberth 15:16, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Your point is definitely valid. I myself am a little too quick on the delete, so I've been trying to slow down deletions a little. Anyone with admin abilities should definitely keep that in mind. Linuxbeak 15:27, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
If we could get WP:PROD working on this project, it would be real great. We need quick deletions, but a way to review 'em to. PROD seems great for the task.
If I see any WP related image, or Meta related image, I just leave it alone, since I think with the space freed up from removing Non-Meta stuff, we can take all of the time we need to sort it out, or see if it is on the Commons. Zscout370 21:06, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Current State of Affairs

I think Sj put captured the point of this project really well:

...Take a look around, check out meta:Babel, get to know the place. One of these days the living room will be cleaned up :-) Sj 03:01, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

This was my welcome message as a new user :p GChriss 17:24, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Hundred bazillionth user

I was browsing the checkme category and noted the page Five hundred millionth user. Now... I believe this page is exceedingly important for historical context (after all, Brion VIBBER himself commented on the page). It is also linked from several other places, and is part of a set of other articles, such as Three billionth user.

I suspect that these terms were once used (back in the year 2002-2003) to refer to something concrete and specific. However, for these pages to be of any significance, it is important that we explain what they mean, cross reference them and mark them as of historical interest. I also see comments of Jimbo Wales. There is something important. For now, I'm going to remove the checkme. Ambush Commander 00:25, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Don't speedy these

I propose that we do not speedy articles (especially essays) that:

  1. Have a connection, however tenuous, to Meta or the philosophy of wikis
  2. Have been edited by someone important, like Jimbo Wales or Brion VIBBER
  3. Are ancient, page creation dating back to 2002 (and possibly 2003).

If it seems incoherent, it would be worthwhile to examine linkage and history to determine what exactly was going on, and document it on that page, while stamping it of historical interest. Ambush Commander 00:29, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes - there have been several speedied already that probably shouldn't have been that now are red links at Wikipedia_commentary. I can restore these of course, but I'd STRONGLY suggest that anything that looks like an essay be taken to RFD instead. WhiteNight T | @ | C 19:36, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
As a meta admin, I thank you and suggest to read again our deletion policy carefully. I'm afraid you are adopting a speedy policy familiar to you but not ours own; Essays haven't been speedy candidates here on meta, either historical or contemporary, either related to notable editors or not. If you find no relevancy to projects, then as above, it should go to RFD. --Aphaia 03:18, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, see above. The deletion policy calls for speedying things completely unrelated to meta. Essays on politics would easily qualify for that. I'm fine if they're not and are instead moved to userspace, but that's at least where the confusion has likely come from. So what has to happen is a common understanding sought so a good overall decision is reached. - Taxman 17:50, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I restored red links from Wikipedia commentary. While I agree that something should be done about it, the historic value is far greater. The pages should probably get som Historic/ prefix or something. Jon Harald Søby 18:16, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Although there must be a better way of cordoning off articles... Ambush Commander 20:57, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I propose they be moved to the Meta:Historical project. They would then be documented and cross-referenced, and they'd even have the historical prefix. ;) // Pathoschild (talk) 00:59, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Language selection proposal

I've drafted a proposal that allows users to hide foreign languages on multilingual pages and templates by editing their user stylesheet. This would, for example, allow an English and French reader to see only English and French text on multilingual pages; they would still see Spanish on a Spanish-only page.

See Meta:Language select for screenshot examples and explanation. Any help developing the idea is welcome. // Pathoschild (talk) 03:12, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Don't speedy again, please please please

Don't speedy before you understand meta deletion policy. You increase our meta admins' work in this point, rather help.

Here is meta, not English Wikipedia. We have our own policy. Please understand. If you are displeased, please begin to change policy, not make an action violating our current policy.

Thank you. --Aphaia 04:27, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

The images that I am tagging for deletion have been slated for deletion for a while, I am just getting around and making the task happen. Zscout370 04:32, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Also, please, do not speedy delete pages in language you do not understand. Some of these pages might be of historical importance to their language community.

Last, please, do not call "foreign" non english languages. Most editors on meta do not have english as mother language. English is foreign language to them. Qualifying non english languages "foreign" is a totally unsuitable qualifier. Thanks Anthere

Are you speaking to Zscout370 or Pathoschild (above) here? There are individuals on this page, not one undifferentiated mass - David Gerard 12:14, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it was addressed to me; I'm actively using Requests for deletion to sort historical pages from unneeded cruft for the Meta:Historical project. I don't have administrator access to speedy delete pages even if I wanted to speedy delete them. // Pathoschild (talk) 00:50, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Extension categorizing

It occurs to me that extensions can utilize these plugin facilities:

  • Special pages
  • Parser extensions
  • Patches
  • Hooks

And can be classified into:

  • Integration with other CMS (i.e. phpBB)
  • Integration with other software (i.e. Go board generators, or Blahtex)
  • HTML injection (create forms, easy stuff)
  • Full extensions (custom written applications that plug cleanly into MediaWiki)
  • Hacks (as in behavior changes)

Other classification schemes include

  • Cleanness (can you just drop and go, or do you have to patch the system)
  • Supported versions (an interesting dilemma... do we want fifty billion categories?)
  • Stability
  • Complexity
  • Type of software (Poll, RSS feeds, forum)

Please add as you see other possibilities. And comment too. Ambush Commander 21:21, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

How not to piss people off

The essential conflict appears to be between:

  1. Those who want Meta to be a good repository of historical documents
  2. Those who want Meta to be usable as an active work wiki.

The impetus for this project is that the first function is actively hampering the second.

The main thing that is pissing off the advocates of the first function (what exists of a "meta community" appear to be in the first group) is the sweeping deletions of the piles of stuff getting in the way and masquerading as currently useful documents. So we need to avoid that.

I suggest that rather than delete anything as part of this project for now, we cordon it off by putting it in an appropriate category. Category:Apparently irrelevant, Category:Possible deletia, Category:Historical (or Category:Archive - we appear to be using both), Category:Move to (most of the help pages should be on that wiki), etc. - David Gerard 12:06, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Prove it. How are the historical documents actually hampering the usability of Meta? Point me to a page, category, template, image, whatever, that is stopping people from doing work on Meta. Since some people are confused about what goes on Meta, then, of course, this project is a great opportunity to start addressing that and to bring about some system for finding current work and how it relates to past work. But just how is the old stuff really bad? This project doesn't need to piss people off at all, but, in many cases, it is doing just that. On this, I agree with Anthere that these categories describing something as various shades of useless are, themselves, potentially incendiary. Cormaggio @ 23:31, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I can't see that there is any harm in attempting to identify how current something is, at the very least. Describing things as useful versus useless assumes a 'to whom' that may be premature, but some classification seems handy. Morven 23:39, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I really don't see how archives can possibly get in the way unless they're given names that are needed by more useful documents. If that's the case, rename them to something more descriptive or else think up new names for the new documents. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:31, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Alternately, move all historical pages to the new Meta:Historical project. // Pathoschild (talk) 00:48, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Purpose: Documentation and extensions

> MediaWiki documentation and extensions (though these arguably should go to )

Mainstream MediaWiki documentation has to be housed in one clean place. It needs a fresh start, particularly because it has to be rewritten so as to become public domain in order to become something that's downloadable as a package for new mw installations.

Simple MediaWiki configuring should also go there (think longer FAQ answers)

Hacking _could_ go here, but I think it would be better off going there.

See also

Documentation pages should go here:

-- Sy / (talk) 01:58, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

The public domain help pages unfortunately need to be written from scratch, not moved from meta, because of the way they're being licensed. Also the goal is to create a compact user manual, not full documentation. So that doesn't really help with the meta mess, but it's certainly a worthy project to contribute to, for those interested in MediaWiki documentation. -- Harry Wood 00:51, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Why aren't all the extensions moved to ? Why shouldn't the site dedicated to the MediaWiki software be the place where everybody goes to find extensions for the software? If I start moving my content to, will anybody complain? --IndyGreg 20:46, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Rob Church has also expressed a desire to do this. But we don't know exactly how. And plus, ideally, when the move happens, we would clean up and update everything we moved. - User:Ambush Commander 20:07, 5 April 2006
I see this is a big issue which should definitely be tackled. If we carried out some kind of mass migration of MediaWiki documentation (lots of pages here on meta) over to, this would help massively with cleaning up this wiki. It would also result in a much more logical arrangement, serving MediaWiki users (people installing/running MediaWiki software) far better than the confusing situation we have at the moment. I had a (largely one-sided) discussion about this several months ago. Not much enthusiasm from anyone. I was put off. -- Harry Wood 00:38, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Ultimately all _MediaWiki_ content should be removed from meta. A lot of it can be moved to the appropriate place on, although some of it will need rewriting (esp. for the PD help pages). This includes extensions, technical docs (schema, etc.), how to use the software, MW roadmaps, etc. Once complete meta should contain just content relating to all the other WikiMedia projects. There is no problem with people moving content to, although it might be useful for us to create some sort of protocol for this before it just becomes a random dumping ground. I suggest a separate project to co-ordinate moving of articles from here to there, otherwise it will be chaos. --HappyDog 14:51, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I say be bold. Ambush Commander 21:17, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
One thing I was thinking... It would be good to preserve the editing history of these pages as well as moving the actual content, when they are moved to . Some of the documentation pages have had a lot of work put into them, so we should try keep the histories in order to give proper credit to the authors. I think it's possible to use the export and import features to transfer the full histories.
To do it this way I guess we'd need to flag the pages to be moved first, and then someone (a admin user) carries out the move in one shot (not so gradual). Import requires administrator privileges, and someone who knows the ins and outs of any resulting database screwiness.
Anyway I like the 'separate project' idea. -- Harry Wood 01:45, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
You are correct about preserving editing history. Many help articles refer to earlier revisions that detailed instructions for 1.5 versus the current MW version. Is there a template we can insert on pages to mark that they are related specifically to MediaWiki and should be transferred to If not, one should be created. I'm thinking that we start by generically marking all of these articles with one such template. Then, once we have an idea what we are up against, we identify the large categories and start categorizing them with different migration templates, perhaps even including a desired article name for Once all of that is done, an admin can start the transfer process. --IndyGreg 16:14, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree - this is what I meant by 'protocol'. It is important (in fact, a requirement of the GFDL) that the history is kept with the page. I have created Meta:MetaProject to transfer content to as a sub-project of this one, specifically to co-ordinate the moving of pages. I've also made Template:MoveToMediaWiki (which places the pages in category:Pages to be exported to for this purpose - please feel free to tweak it and to start placing it on pages that need to be moved. I will be updating the above pages and the project page to reflect this new information over the next half hour or so. --HappyDog 14:59, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Proposals for new projects clean-up

I am currently trying to scrub the New projects page and I was thinking a reformat might be in order. I have created an alternative way for submitting new proposals. It is based on en:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion in that each proposal would be sorted primarily by the month and year it was submitted. I would like input on other methods of reformat in order to make Proposals for new projects more appealing to the eye. I am also open to suggestions on how to more appropriately solicit discussion about this idea. Robert Harrison 03:07, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, this page definitely needs to be addressed. I like the new style (though I'd make some changes to the intro text etc), but the main point is how to get these projects to work. I'm on the Special projects committee, and one of the things we need to do is to figure out which of these proposals are workable, which need to be encouraged, and which have since been abandoned. It might be an idea for these projects to put them at the top of the page in their own section (?). We might also want to group proposals together that work in tandem, like Wikiteach and Wikiversity. There is already a proposal for a Seed wiki (also overlaps with Wikikernel), which could host fledgling proposed projects and see if they become successful - this needs to be addressed I think. I know your main point wasn't about how to make this page more useful, rather more attractive, but I think we should be trying to do both. Cormaggio @ 11:01, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
My opinion is that they should all remain and indeed grow to the point that something happens with the Wikimedia Foundation. It was August that Wikiversity was proposed as a new project (in its latest incarnation), and it still isn't a project yet. The last "new" project was Wikinews, and that took almost two years to get started. How about that for metrics on how long something should be on the new project page?
Seriously, I don't know the answer to this one. There is a proposal archive that has been used in the past to at least clean up the basic page of the New Project proposals that didn't show any activity for about 2-3 months. It hasn't been invoked for some time. Perhaps it is time to be bold and try to do
In terms of some of the project pages themselves, please don't delete them... at least from my perspective. Recurring proposals keep coming up from time to time, and it is useful to try and look up the similar proposals that happened in the past and at least bring up the previous discussions, such as the current proposal and the very similar Wikitree proposal that has since gone inactive on Meta. They should all be listed as new project proposals in terms of categorization. Perhaps they could even be grouped into proposal themes, such as Geographical proposals, music proposals, political forums, etc. There is a "significant support" and "insignificant support" (if that counts for anything) distinction, but that is also very arbitrary at the moment. If you go and delete proposals outright, the same things will eventually come back. Or if you want to be really bold just simply kill the whole page entirely as it seems nothing is really being developed that is proposed on it. --Roberth 23:32, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Just to be clear: I have absolutely no intention of deleting the project proposals. If it seems that way, then I apologize for the miscommunication. I just wanted to suggest an alternative method of submitting the proposals. I suggested a way that would use the date as the primary sorting method and upon discussion with Angela, Cormaggio and also taking in to account Roberth's comments above that sorting method would not exactly be optimal. I agree that sorting by simularity would be better. Again, sorry for the confusion. Robert Harrison 00:24, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Semantic MediaWiki affected?

Hi, I'm reworking some of the Semantic MediaWiki documents (with approval of and saw this page.

SMW is an extension to MediaWiki, but it also feels part of the "Seed wiki for new languages and projects" purpose of meta-wiki. So I assume it should stay here, but if it's to move to let me know now as there are a lot of links to it. Thanks!

-- skierpage 04:53, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Page moved to whatever

What shall I do with pages such as Messen-FAQ? I.e. tag it for deletion, categorize and so on. MaxSem 05:03, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Tag for deletion, I'd say. --Timichal 09:57, 9 June 2006 (UTC)