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  • Excellent idea. It is a pain having so many seperate wikis. It makes searching for stuff harder. --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:42, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Added this point to the page. [1] -Pete F (talk) 02:13, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • I think in general this is a good direction. Makes a lot of sense from movement branding and end-user experience perspectives. Would merging Wikimania also be worthwhile if we're going to consider the Events namespace? Perhaps a Wikimania namespace as well? I imagine there are, but for sake of discussion, reasons to not also consider the incubator? This would also be a nice and logical place for an additional Teahouse or (Q&A site) style concept to help house broad help for smaller WMF projects and end-users of third-party wikis running MW. --Varnent (talk) 03:03, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Can't see any major problem with the proposed merger, but multiple benefits. Would like to see a Journal namespace as well. -- Daniel Mietchen - WiR/OS (talk) 03:10, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • +1. The idea of some of these namespaces (like moving old things to the Attic) sounds extremely useful. The less needless cross-wiki work we have to do the better. The number of man hours wasted at the Foundation alone on which wiki we should use would boggle the mind. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 04:35, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • This is long overdue. Merging to meta would work - but it simplifies things, particularly for newbies or those that are used to just one project wiki, if there's an obvious central Wikimedia wiki, and calling that place 'meta' just adds to the jargon rather than making it clear. Mike Peel (talk) 23:38, 17 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • Support. This is an interesting idea.--naveenpf (talk) 02:57, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, but[edit]

In general this looks like a pretty good proposal (much as I hate to give up the design at, I just reworked it!).

But I'm worried about turf issues a bit. Meta-Wiki has always been the Wikimedia community's wiki and it's very old and established. It has a quirkiness about it and—much as people hate to admit it—even a small community within it. I worry about Meta-Wiki becoming a central hub of Wikimedia Foundation projects and initiatives.

As much as I've advocated having fewer wikis (for a lot of reasons), I worry about the consequences of Meta-Wiki being hijacked. Its quirky character and charm are at stake, I think. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:50, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I personally don't accept the distinction between the community and the Foundation that you just made: the community made the Foundation, community members work for the Foundation, and the Board that runs the Foundation is mostly from the community.
But to answer your actual concern... I don't think as long as there are volunteer admins and Stewards running amok (I mean that in a good way) that the Wikimedia Foundation is going run herd over Meta or whatever we call it. And I don't think anyone would accept taking away people's well-earned sysop bits as part of any migration to a new domain. For things that should seriously not be edited by volunteers, we have (though even there folks like yourself have accounts and edit). We put things here and on because we want volunteers to read and edit them, not because we are in need of "our own" wiki. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 04:23, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Regarding "I don't accept the distinction", well, durr. You work for the Wikimedia Foundation. They've even branded your account name with it. I think we knew where you were going to come out on this one.
I wasn't really talking about adminship and things of that nature, though of course that's an issue as well. In this post, I was talking about Meta-Wiki's quirkiness and character and how I think both are in jeopardy of being damaged by this. I have a few other points to raise regarding this proposal, but I'm still working on articulating them clearly. There are a lot of underlying issues that have to be examined that aren't readily apparent with this idea. Technical problems, social problems, organizational problems, etc.
I'm not sure what you meant by "We put things here and on because we want volunteers to read and edit them, not because we are in need of "our own" wiki." --MZMcBride (talk) 04:42, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
On the last point I made: it seems like one of your concerns is that WMF staff want to iron out the weird parts of Meta. I just wanted to point out that staff aren't necessarily here to standardize a wiki and smooth out its rough edges so that it makes sense for us. We're here because Wikimedians are here. For example: having a page like keywords actually doesn't do any of our work any harm, even if it's possibly "quirky" to have a page criticizing our language on the same wiki where a lot of those terms are used in reports. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 05:10, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think that's his concern, Steven. I also don't ever recall having an impression that WMF staff can iron out the weird parts of any wiki. I don't know what you are referring to in "a page criticizing our language" - The fact of the matter is, WMF staff are on this wiki and have been, this proposal, would not affect them in the slightest. The concern here is for everyone else, the translators, the stewards, the global flag holders, who have been using this wiki for several years. It is pretty old, a rename and move, would in no way be an easy task. There are several implications covering several other wikis, policy pages, that need to be considered first. There is also an existing community here. I don't see anyone of them commenting or supporting this proposal above. They should carry the most weight. As far as merging dead wikis go, I am all for it, just without renaming or changing Meta, if possible. Theo10011 (talk) 06:56, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I support merging strategy and outreach, but I oppose a renaming to only. Meta should remain to be called Meta because that's just what it is: A place where the members from all projects can meet in a meta environment. I couldn't tell a reason to change it.--Aschmidt (talk) 09:22, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I also support merging the old wikis to Meta, but I don't support the rename. It would require lots of resources to re-educate and re-link pages (yes it would work technically, but we would still want to re-linklots of stuff) without a clear benefit. MBisanz talk 20:22, 12 April 2012 (UTC)\[reply]

  • I think strategy and outreach should be just merged into Meta, and I do not see why renaming is necessary. Btw strategy uses liquid threads, which must go after merging, and one needs to take care of this (how to replace LT with mediawiki hypertext preserving the histories).--Ymblanter (talk) 10:56, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

How to avoid some of the headache of merging entire wikis[edit]

So I started one of "those other wikis" that everyone is so down on,, and the plan we followed through with was closing the wiki when it was not needed anymore, and then keeping it in read-only form for perpetuity as a document about the 10th anniversary. Considering that, but for a few exceptions, strategy wiki is a document of the 2009-10 strategic planning process, I would suggest that one option would be to simply make it locked and transwiki import the select few pages we really want to keep editing. Just one alt idea. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 04:31, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

That sounds like a reasonable approach for the Strategy wiki. Are there any pages worth interwiki importing from ten under this proposed model? Should these sites just be taken down, redirected and archived in the Attic namespace? --Varnent (talk) 04:52, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Re: SW, I think the Proposal: namespace ought to be moved over, as well as some other selected pages. I agree that the rest can probably just be made read-only.--Eloquence (talk) 04:58, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Varnet: we already imported World Heritage and a few other things I think. In terms of other imports, we discussed a lot of transwiki questions on the village pump already. One idea in particular was seeding an events namespace with the few hundred anniversary pages, but there were some objections to that. In any case, I think tenwiki is one that should actually not be put in the Attic, because it has a special Main Page, FAQ, Village Pump, and some other features that would seem weird being imported entirely. Or maybe I'm just attached to the little wiki still. :) Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 05:18, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
We've been discussing this on the Sister Projects Committee and brainstorming ideas. You can look at the etherpad links to see what we've been up to so far, we're working on tidying that up and moving it on to Meta soon. The Helpful One 13:42, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I see the point but...[edit]

I think it would be easier if redirects to meta main page. I would propose this. I would support the coping of less than active wikis such as strategy wiki to here. We should just create a new namespace rather than a new wiki in most cases. Consider meta an incubator for backend projects. -- とある白い猫 chi? 06:04, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with this. Ohms law (talk) 00:37, 26 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]


  • I am strongly against this restructuring. There are 2 issues here, the dead wikis and Meta. Meta, still has very much of it's own identity and community. This process can not go on without giving weight to the existing community's opinion here first. It is used primarily by stewards, translators and cross-project work, it doesn't need to be renamed or superseded. If the intention is to find a home for the dead wiki, then adding a redirect to Meta, or creating a central page for dead wikis would have been a better solution. Theo10011 (talk) 06:24, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • I agree with Theo here. Meta is a very active project and cannot be merged or renamed just if we feel like that. I remember I raised the issue once on #wikimedia about why we are using the URL in the channel topic. Because that domain does not give anything useful other than links. I proposed to use the URL instead. And per this I propose to be redirected to or make that page an interactive portal but leave Meta as is. — Tanvir | Talk ] 11:03, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • I don't support the merging of wikis into meta because Meta-Wiki is not a storage room nor the trash where you can send dead wikis to rest in peace forever here. I don't support the rename of meta per Theo above. —Marco Aurelio (audiencia) 20:28, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • I also object to, and oppose, the rename of meta - currently serves as a block selection / index of all the wikis which the WMF operate - to lose that index, unless an alternative was put in place, would possibly make things more difficult for people. Usability and all that jazz? :) BarkingFish (talk) 21:12, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • While at first I found the idea to be interesting, after much thought and reflection I've come to think that it's unwise. Metawiki is and should remain a coordination wiki for the Wikimedia movement and the Wikimedia wikis. It is not mean to serve as some sort of public homepage for the Wikimedia movement and family. Meta should stay meta and instead a better homepage should be made for, with some sort of content and not just links to all the projects, tho that should clearly be a component. But no, turning meta into a public homepage for everything and merging into it some long dead wikis is silly, destructive to the particular meta atmosphere and way of doing things and would accomplish no benefit. It would also take significant developers time away from the pressing critical or long forgotten bugs that constantly pop up on bugzilla. Simply put, this is a proposal with major disruptive impact, no clear benefits and that would take time way from more important things. Snowolf How can I help? 15:24, 15 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Fix if it's broken, don't fix if it's not[edit]

While I understand the reasoning for fixing portal and dead projects, I don't see a reason to fix Meta, as it's not broken. Meta as-is has its own dynamics and that dynamics will be broken on the new site. --Millosh (talk) 22:31, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Note, also, that Meta is not representative site of Wikimedia movement, but a place for mostly bureaucratic issues. At the other side, we need a place for program issues, but it was proved as dysfunctional to have both parts on the same site, here, on Meta. --Millosh (talk) 22:31, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Thus, my suggestion is to create a wiki on and start build it. And build it as project-centric place, unlike Meta. If it starts to take function by function of Meta, transition would be natural. If not, it will be a kind of general place for WMF-led projects, like Strategy, Outreach and Wikimania are, but new projects as well. --Millosh (talk) 22:32, 12 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Fix the bugzillas as the priority, rather than create new waves[edit]

While we can walk and chew gum, it seems that there are so many bugzillas that rate far higher than creating work for those who are already busy, and probably busier than should be required as the lack of bugzilla fixes means more attention is required to those places. When the AbuseFilter requests, the requests by Wikisources, WikiNews, etc. have been adequately sated then bring up the discussion. billinghurst sDrewth 13:25, 14 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • Support SupportMarco Aurelio (audiencia) 13:34, 14 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Endorse. Well said. Snowolf How can I help? 15:01, 15 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • I agree, but I know this request falls on deaf ears. MBisanz talk 22:20, 17 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • I agree. It can only make sense to replace the current arcane method of editing project portals by creating small wikis in place of them. Ruslik (talk) 04:28, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support, mabdul 09:01, 4 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Namespace transclusion[edit]

Instead of merging wikis, would it not be possible to collapse the distinction between wikis by transcluding content? This would be a bit like transcluding Commons files, but better. What I mean is, if I'm on Meta, I would see content in Meta's Strategy namespace (so for instant Help:WTF on would appear as Strategy:Help:WTF on Meta). This transcluded content would be includable in local searches, appear in local watchlists (marked separately, and filterable) and would be directly editable (i.e. clicking Edit would allow you to immediately edit the content). ... Obviously this would be a lot of work technically, but merging wikis is no picnic either, and the benefits in terms of cross-project integration would be much wider and longer-lasting. Rd232 (talk) 15:14, 14 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

That would be more complex, and without crosswiki watchlists it might not work well. WereSpielChequers (talk) 10:16, 15 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Transclusion of Liquid Threads pages is not supported, and is probably unsupportable. ~ Ningauble (talk) 15:23, 15 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Hm, thinking about it, wouldn't cross-wiki watchlists plus cross-wiki search get you much the same result - and be easier to do? Rd232 (talk) 12:15, 17 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Cross wiki watchlists have been wanted by the community for years, it was an ancient aspiration when it resurfaced in the strategy process in 2009. They would be absolutely essential if we wanted the current structure of many hundreds of different wikis to succeed. As the WMF hasn't delivered them I think its fair to assume they aren't easy to develop, either that or the WMF didn't want the model of "every project in every language gets its own wiki" to succeed. WereSpielChequers (talk) 22:43, 20 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I know, cross-wiki watchlists have been wanted for ages and ages... A decent email notification system would be a stopgap, besides having other advantages: bugzilla:36146 asks for a digest approach, rather than turning off the email notification spigot after 1 email until the user logs in. Rd232 (talk) 16:29, 21 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Assorted thoughts[edit]

It looks like this proposal doesn't have much chance of happening, but before I lose my notes, I'll throw them below briefly:

  • you're essentially arguing for turning Meta-Wiki from an internal Wikimedia wiki to an external (public-facing) site; this has a number of consequences, not all of which I'm sure you've considered
  • (somewhat related to the point above) this proposal would dramatically increase the visibility of the site; obscurity can be a benefit (e.g., not being the target of all kinds of people who don't understand what the purpose of this wiki is)
  • link structure already goes to (!)
  • there's no indication of a timeline of these changes; I think some of these ideas make sense to do immediately; others can wait for months or years (as others have said on this page)
  • Meta-Wiki houses Wikimedia culture; m:Don't be a dick, m:Bash, &c.; it's important that this not be compromised; I think that's a real concern
  • weren't there plans for a more general wikitech wiki somewhere?

--MZMcBride (talk) 02:44, 16 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

It seems like the third point about the link structure is kind of a blocker to easy migration. Does anyone know how many/what kind of redirects like that already exist? Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 18:21, 16 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I tried googling for "" (and variants), but the search results seem unreliable. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:53, 17 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for those reports. I wasn't aware of the existence of this redirect, which has been in place at least since March 2010, possibly earlier. That definitely would make it harder to re-purpose in any way, although we could choose to bite the bullet and fix old links we can fix, or use an alternative URL schema, both of which aren't very nice options.--Eloquence (talk) 21:00, 17 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Separating the wheat from the chaff[edit]

While there's fairly robust opposition to this plan in its entirety, I think there's quite a bit of support for individual pieces. In particular, adding namespaces to Meta-Wiki for high-level content separation and making and read-only would be two good steps in the right direction. Both of those ideas seem to have decent levels of support (or negligible levels of opposition, rather).

Meta-Wiki also needs a general namespace clean out (cf. Erik: any chance of getting a few hours of a shell user's time devoted to this? It's mostly a matter of some configuration changes and running a few maintenance scripts to clean up afterward. I don't think we're quite ready for a shell user to come in (immediately), but we could be ready in a month or so, I think. Having a concrete implementation date from the Wikimedia Foundation side would make it easier to get people on the Meta-Wiki side moving forward. --MZMcBride (talk) 21:52, 17 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah, the namespace cleanup is overdue. Can you make a BZ shell request for it? I'll see if I can find someone to poke at it soon.--Eloquence (talk)
I'm not even sure it's ready for a bug. All I have right now is a vague idea that a few namespaces need to be added and a few need to be removed. I think Thehelpfulone is working on killing off the old namespaces, so the removals list he'll have. The additions need to have some Meta-Wiki discussion for approval. I don't think anyone will object, but they may have better ideas for high-level separation (or for specific language, which can be problematic for non-native speakers). I guess you'd want Meta:Babel for that? --MZMcBride (talk) 22:55, 17 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
bugzilla:36052 — Remove localized "Help" namespaces on Meta-Wiki --MZMcBride (talk) 00:40, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I see a serious need to improve the facility for a [main-page-like] portal + namespace in MediaWiki. A common cluster of needs:

  • shared RecentChanges and talk-page notifications
  • shared login and preferences (not just SUL)
  • different sidebar while in a namespace/portal
  • different default link behavior (linking [[Daisy]] in the space for bloomclock should take you to bloomclock:daisy; [[:Daisy]] or equiv. could take you to Daisy.
  • different social norms re: whether pages are protected or not and how.
  • effective default search experience [mw search currently makes searching a many-namespace wiki hard]

I'm not sure it's high enough priority to do right now, but that would address many of the reasons that people fragment what are otherwise sensible critical-mass communities or projects into multiple beautiful-but-subcritical communities which fade over time.

When it comes to strategy, outreach, and WMF-wiki in particular, there are already significant overlaps in topics they cover and in topics Meta covers. SJ talk  00:18, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

You make some reasonable arguments for MediaWiki improvements (though I'm not quite sure you understand the implications of the proposed linking changes), however it's unclear to me how much you feel these software bugs are blockers to adding new namespaces or turning off write access to Are any of these feature requests/bugs blockers for you? --MZMcBride (talk) 00:42, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Perspective of a founding member of the Outreach wiki[edit]


  • Language translation infrastructure already implemented on Meta would be available for Outreach content.
  • Merging with Meta would mean more Wikimedians curating, and perhaps building, Outreach content.


  • We have been very liberal from the start about handing out admin rights, and have not had problems with that approach. Subjecting outreach volunteer to Meta RFA just in order to be able to step up their outreach contributions seems like a significant problem.

Overall, I would like to see User:Frank Schulenburg weigh in here before a decision is made, since he was a strong advocate of having a separate Outreach wiki. I'd be interested to know if he still feels it's important to keep it separate, and if so, why. -Pete F (talk) 01:33, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think it would be a desaster to merge the wikis – but is that something that is worth the time and effort? How does the proposed merge serve our movement's goals as outlined in the strategic plan? Shouldn't we do other things first? Other than that: the outreach wiki isn't dead. And it has – I agree strongly with Pete – a very different culture than meta. Right from the beginning, our approach on the outreach wiki has been to be liberal and open. I feel like we have proven over the years that "being admin is not a big thing" is something that can actually work. That's why we've made everybody an admin who contributed constructively. And I personally like this culture of openness a lot and wouldn't want to abandon it. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 16:59, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for this reply Frank! It sounds like we agree on the main points. -Pete F (talk) 17:16, 1 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Wikimania wiki[edit]

On the Wikimania 2012 wiki, it's important to put the sponsor logos prominently on the main page and be a little more flexible with uploads (of logos) -- with permission of the sponsor. I'm not sure it's such a good idea to merge and bury Wikimania deeper on meta / wikimedia wiki, and then the sponsors won't be as prominent. Cheers. Aude (talk) 14:31, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • This has been discussed at the etherpads of SPCom a week ago, with the conclusion (as I see it) that it is unreasonable to merge in Wikimania wikis. Another argument is that admin flags are given much easier on Wikimania wikis and are really needed there on a short notice.--Ymblanter (talk) 15:11, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • It might be worth it to have one Wikimania wiki that is simply archived to a sub-namespace of it every year after the event and re-used with the new logos. MBisanz talk 15:54, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yes, and this is more or less how I was reading Varnent's suggestion. There is a great deal of Wikimania content on Meta. It was very disorganized, I spent a lot of time categorizing pages and adjusting titles etc. -- I think it's in better shape now. But I tend to think it would make more sense to have a "Wikimania" namespace on Meta -- not to replace the separate wiki for each new Wikimania, but to better cover the content that already, properly, exists here. -Pete F (talk) 16:21, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • I am not so sure. I served on the Program Committee for Wikimania 2010, and at some point it was clear that I needed admin tools (now I do not remember for what purpose - moving the proposals around or whatever). I got them from User:Saper in ten minutes and was using them actively before the Wikimania was over. (Then in September I got a message from someone that my admin rights were revoked - no thank you, nothing, but this is a different story). This is very typical, and every new team needs admin rights. It can be decided of course that on say August 1 of every year the old team gets desysopped, and the new team takes over, but I am not sure it is more practical than having the new wiki opened and the old one locked - there is always a lot of trash on the old wiki, which may not necessarily be kept in the new wiki.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:54, 18 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • I've contemplated this a bit more and think that an Events namespace would be valuable for some of the Wikimania (some of which Pete covered) and other event specific content already residing on the Meta, Outreach or other wikis merged via this proposal. However, I agree with the points Aude, Ymblanter and others have brought up - particularly regarding necessary maintenance of the WM sites and necessity of an easier route for adminship on those wikis. Trying to manage that on a mega-Meta site would be too challenging. Plus the sponsorship logo in itself sinks the whole notion in my mind. However, I still believe it would be handy to use namespaces to better organize content on this proposed mega-Meta site - including one for Events. --Varnent (talk) 05:45, 5 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
This seems like a good idea for archived Wikimania events, not for the current year's site. SJ talk  03:28, 6 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
That seems like a reasonable compromise. Would there be a way to work around sponsor logos? I suspect it would be difficult to archive some pages without them - and I think it's an appropriate gesture to sponsors to continue to list them even after the event has ended. Perhaps adding an exception to Meta's inclusion policy? --Varnent (talk) 16:13, 6 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Global bits and pieces[edit]

[Content moved to Requests for comment/Global bits and pieces.]