From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
This is a proposal for a new Wikimedia sister project.
Status of the proposal
Technical requirements
Uncompressed file was 147 Mb. This file could only be uploaded in compressed .jpg format (what about losslessly compressed PNG?), which prevents further work and improvement.

This is a proposal for a Wikimedia wiki dedicated to the restoration of old or damaged images. The suggested url is, and the project will expand on an initiative that currently runs on Commons, but which is believed to not be entirely sufficient.

It's Important because...[edit]

A picture paints a thousand words and for this reason, we are quite happy that Commons delivers pictures to all our projects. Because of Commons we have one copy and, we only need to check copyright once. Of special importance are the images that predate ubiquitous digital photography. The paintings, the etches, the gravures, the kodachromes show a world that is gone. Many of these images are damaged and need restoration.

Many people are helping[edit]

We are fortunate having a growing group of people who restore images from different times, different places created by different techniques. Restoration takes not only considerable skill and dedication it also takes a keen eye to assess the relevance of material. This project is to grow the restoration community and to provide the people who restore with the resources that they need.

Helpers In trouble[edit]

The best source material exceeds 100MB in uncompressed format. Therefore, actual working copies cannot be uploaded to Commons. The volunteers who do this work lack the basis for wiki collaboration: the ability to freely improve upon each other's efforts. Currently they are forced to non-WMF environments to trade files privately, without any independent archive. So valuable material that takes days, weeks, or months to develop may be lost if particular volunteers fall by the wayside.

There is a solution[edit]

A wiki for encyclopedic image restoration would benefit all language versions of Wikipedia. Currently, restorationists are working on material of global scope. It is easier to translate a caption than a full article. So once a high quality image becomes available it can illustrate articles in many languages.


It is proposed to have a new project by the name of "". It is to provide the following services:

  • A place where TIFF files may be uploaded and comply with the professional standards for restorations
  • A place where material can be stored prior to restoration
  • A place with an upload capacity of some 750Mb (for static pictures)
  • A place open to everyone who has demonstrated his interest in the restoration of scanned original material

With a project dedicated to the restoration of scanned original material, we aim to reach out to all the archives in the world. We want to acknowledge their important task that is the conservation of their important material. By working on the restoration of their material and giving back the restored material. By working hard to achieve the featured status for our restoration work, we not only fulfill our own objectives but also give their material a relevant platform.

The standard for any digital restoration is that it must be possible to repeat them and improve on them. This is only possible when the original material is saved in an uncompressed format. The size of these files can be really large, the great wave of Kanagawa is with its 147 Mb not among the biggest, files of over 500 Mb are not that rare. When the files are available on a dedicated project, the restrictions can be lifted for the people that restore. It is obvious that all this effort will result in properly sized images on Commons.

By providing a project that is dedicated to restorations, we will grow a community of people dedicated to quality illustrations. They already have a big impact on the quality of illustrations of our projects, but when some tender love and care, this will become even better.


Please dont just count the numbers of supporters and opposers. read the ideas too. thanks.


  • Oppose Oppose It would be better to add the proposed features to Commons. What features of TIFF do restorationists use that are not present in PNG? --Pmsyyz 06:04, 16 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    • The images that will be in the will not be the images that we want to share with projects. The end result ends up in Commons and it for dissemination. The project would benefit people who restore because it gives them a place of concentrated attention. It will also help us in reaching out to archives and museums.
    • When Commons has the same need for features that specifically benefit restorations, obviously have such features installed on Commons as well. In the mean time, the size of Commons is quite different. The restoration project is a niche project and consequently scalability is not our first concern.
    • TIFF is what is used in the archive world. Using it helps us reach out. Thanks, GerardM 09:15, 16 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
    • There are tools like djatoka that might make a difference to this community. Before it can be used on Commons, scalability issues may have to be resolved and other "nice" things. When it is only to be used for a really specific purpose, functionality may have more of a front seat. GerardM 09:54, 17 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose This is a project for Commons. after reading your proposal I can see you will need two things to be made in order to do this on commons.
  1. Create a 'bigupload' right with a big size limit (2GB for example). -> pretty easy to implement.
  2. Create a 'restricteduploads' right which gives the user the ability to upload tiff (and other needed formats) files. -> also easy to implement.

You will need to trust the uploaders (restorers) (applies in commons as it applies in a new wiki..right?)... the problems you will face is that commons doesn't allow tiff file formats but IMO making an exception for this kind of projects (it should always be not allowed for general uploaders) is better than starting a separate project when it could be accommodated in commons.--Alnokta 18:40, 12 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

    • The requirement for access to this wiki would be one restoration promoted to featured picture on any WMF site. In the long run this proposed project could merge with Commmons once the issues you articulate get resolved. Your suggested solutions are actually things I proposed last summer, but various technical issues and developer time make them impractical to implement in the near future. Bear in mind that in the six weeks since this project was proposed, I have had over 30 featured pictures promoted. Plus other people are doing similar work. Many of us purchase service from ISPs that impose monthly upload/download limits. The longer this delays, the harder it will become to adequately document this important work. Currently I have 173 featured picture credits on en:wiki alone. This proposal is an interim measure--better than nothing. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, the work behind ten percent of the largest wiki's featured pictures would be unrecoverable. Is that what you want? Durova 19:34, 12 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
      • I fail to understand your developer argument. You mention various technical issues and developer time. Why could those technical issues be resolved on restoration.wikimedia and not on commons? 21:50, 12 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
        • I think Durova's point is that if you have a separate project, you hopefully don't need to resolve some of those problems, because the contributors there are a much smaller group and more trustworthy (??). And you definitely don't have to solve any scaling problems. --pfctdayelise 00:45, 13 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]
          • I don't see any scaling problems, unless you're using that word to mean something different than scaling. The main problem here is the upload limit. The solution to that isn't a new wiki. What we want (and not just for restoration!) is a better upload system. In the interim, a bigupload is a reasonable workaround. Equally, thumbnailing large PNGs or TIFFs isn't solved by opening a new wiki (see comments on bug 17714).
          • If there are problems which are solved by opening a new wiki, then I've missed them. It'd be helpful for one of the proposers to state clearly what those problems are, and how a new wiki solves them.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 22:46, 13 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]
            • I am talking about "scaling" in the sense of "We can't give everyone on Commons a 500MB upload limit because we aren't prepared for what might happen". Currently there is no way to grant individuals a higher upload limit, it's the same for everyone in the wiki. So this could be "fixed" by either having a separate wiki or creating the ability to let individuals have a higher upload limit. Now getting feature requests like that answered is no easy task. You could be waiting forever. To keep working now, it is frankly more realistic to open a new wiki, and merge back to Commons should the "bigupload" feature ever be created and enabled. --pfctdayelise 16:09, 14 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]
              • I'm not sure if you're familiar with the usual timecourse on creating new wikis. Furthermore, it'd require additional approvals for the uploads. You may wish to re-examine your assumptions.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 17:28, 14 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]
              • I can see the possibility of "community" benefits with a wiki dedicated to restoration work, however the proposed wiki will need to carefully consider who it gives "750MB" upload privileges to, so the same technical problem remains. I am concerned that this privilege will result in a closed community of people with this privilege and those without it. Also there are other communities which need to upload >100MB to Commons. I think this proposal needs to focus a lot more on defining the "community" that they intend to build and why it should be distinct from the Commons community. John Vandenberg 02:14, 24 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]
                • FWIW, that isn't the thrust of my reasoning. The proposal should be rejected because it doesn't solve the problems it seeks to solve. For example, it doesn't solve the upper limit on uploads by HTTP. The problems it does solve are problems which don't exist. For example, I've seen no evidence that the restoration community on Commons is failing because they don't have a whole wiki to themselves. Finally, the proposal isn't actually clear about anything beyond "A new wiki will solve all our problems, even though we either cannot or will not state what those problems are or how a new wiki will actually solve them." The whole thing is a tad ridiculous.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 01:28, 17 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]