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Major sister projects[edit]

Regarding Wikiversity[edit]

Hello Samuel, since there are only a few days left until end of election I personally hope I still can see your response about this question regarding Wikiversity. Thank you very much in advance, ----Erkan Yilmaz (Wikiversity:Chat, talk) 15:21, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Hello Samuel, thank you very much for your answer. We will think about all answers, e.g. here: Wikiversity:Vision/2009. About: "For future elections, how can we help more Wikiversity contributors get involved?": I guess that is a general problem also in the real world, that people are not interested much. For this election actually I also was like this. But I got involved when I got contacted with this virus: being involved by asking a question created in collaboration with User:Darklama + User:Cormaggio. And since then I watched the page and other pages and also spread the virus to other Wikiversity contributors. So, I'd say you must infect as many people as possible and hope for the chain reaction. ----Erkan Yilmaz (Wikiversity:Chat, talk) 16:57, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Thx to User:Hillgentleman ([1]) I have revoted and you have now a better place than described here, ----Erkan Yilmaz (Wikiversity:Chat, talk) 17:44, 21 June 2008 (UTC)


Hi, Sj. Any progress on this: «Wikiquote is occasionally maligned as being a legal liability; something which should be publicly recanted (assuming this is not true) or remedied (in cases where it is). This is an assessment that the Board is in a position to make»? Thanks, Nemo 07:16, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

In general, it does not seem to be a legal liability. Some countries have laws making collections of modern quotes difficult; and just as we try to be nice and follow buth US and local law where there is a clear single country that predominantly uses our Projects in that language, but collections of historical quotes are fair game everywhere. So we need to get on with the recanting and firming up of the idea that quotations are delightful and deeply educational. I think we may want to move towards having one page per quote... that makes translation easier. And great quotes have a pedigree and are often said and resaid by many people; and some great unattributed quotes are just that (despite lots of potential attributions). SJ · talk | translate 15:20, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. What I liked most of your proposal was the "publicly recanted" part. An official statement by the Board, while not urgent, would be a useful point of departure and, given what you have written here, non so difficult to write. Even better if the WMF gives some suggestions to avoid another fr.wikiquote or similar problems, but this doesn't need to be an official resolution. Then, it would be great if WMF could develop MediaWiki for Wikiquote, and I have some ideas, but this is much more difficult and may be possible only after various usability improvements in prepation (e.g. forms). --Nemo 17:56, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I will try to work that into my current work and proposals on content scope, which I will start drafting here on Meta. As for the technical changes you have in mind, my experience is that the urge to "fix" a class of technical problems comes in waves -- and it is very useful to have a list of desired features lined up in advance to accomodate the sudden desire to have work to do. [it's often not possible to draw in the depth of feedback / input from a broad community that one needs, over the course of the 4-6 weeks in which a focused project may be developing its scope]. So do please write about your ideas in detail; don't wait for usability improvements to exist first. SJ · talk | translate 12:39, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Merging wikis to Meta[edit]

Talking about private discussions, what about merging to Meta some old, closed private wikis? For instance I've found this spcomwiki where I suppose everything is so old. Even some ArbComs have a policy to publish their private discussions after they've decided, and all classified information is eventually re-classified and published by State agencies. ;-) Moreover, it would be interesting to be able to learn from previous private wikis (if they worked and why, etc); if nobody can access them, every new private wiki will probably repeat the same errors, unless it includes somebody with previous experience. --Nemo 07:33, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

That's a great idea. I'm currently working through the Board wiki identifying pages that need to be made more public -- (some are best suited for meta, and were copied and pasted for historical reasons that no longer apply; others are only mildly private and similar to pages on the internalwiki.) I will work on the spcomm wiki as well. At one point I updated the Wikimedia wikis page with a list of all private wikis that had been generated over time, which we should work our way through. SJ · talk | translate 08:50, 30 July 2010 (UTC)


This sounds quite like the Cite namespace proposal discussed at Wikiversity. If you were to liaise with the community there, this proposal could likely be implemented there without a whole new project. Other proposals for new projects may be compatible with Wikibooks and Wikiversity as well. There is a discussion at Wikibooks spurred by the foundation-l discussion of new projects and incubation that may also be of interest to you. Adrignola 12:44, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedias in underrepresented languages[edit]

Hi Samuel

We have contacted the Director of Development and The Rosetta Project of the Long Now Foundation. She answered very interested in participating in the idea of creating 10 new language projects by the 10th anniversary. We also have contacted Cosmocaixa and they are ready to provide for free the venue for the conference in Barcelona by the week of 16-20 March 2011. We have prepared a draft project to coordinate all the activities around helping small wikipedias. Here you can see it. I also mailed Aaroni updating him. Do you think it could be a good idea to move this page to meta and invite users from those Wikipedias to join? --Gomà 01:26, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Hello Gomà, that is good news. Laura Welcher is an excellent person to have involved in the project. And having a confirmed venue is the start of a solid event for March. A page on meta would be a good place to invite multilingual discussion, including from users of those Wikipedias. SJ · talk | translate 19:44, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Genealogy: WeRelate, Rodovid, WM[edit]

We'd be glad for you to help out. The last time anyone tried was three years ago now (I sent out a group email) and it didn't come to anything.

I think because of software and other issues WeRelate would not want to participate. Their trees are done completely different from everyone else's, whereas it wouldn't be extremely difficult to import WikiTree records into Rodovid; and Dallan and Baya didn't agree much in their negotiations (granted, there was a language barrier). You can contact Tomáš J. Fülöpp by mobile using the number listed here and Baya is easy to reach on Rodovid or by email. If you take the group email approach, please cc in User:Bjwebb who was formerly very involved in trying to get merger discussions together.

(This is in response to the message you sent me on WikiTree, which I don't check often. Meta, Rodovid and email are probably the best ways to reach me.) Wikiacc (§) 15:56, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Hi. You left a message about WeRelate in July. Sorry, after no one responded to my proposal, I quit checking the page. I saw your message today. WeRelate is the largest non-profit genealogy wiki in the world. We have a small dedicated group of admins and a lot of wiki pages. We would love to work with Wikimedia in some way. We talked with Rodovid years ago and combining our sites didn't look promising. However, it might be now. In answer to your comment about the ads: we are not enamored with the ads, however as a non-profit we don't sell anything. We also do not get enough donations to keep the machines turned on. Our chief problem is funding. You can contact me at solveig@quass.org Thanks for your interest. --Solveig Quass


Hi Sj,

I've seen your message to Barry Desborough about Wikikids. I would be glad to know more about this "recent recommendation to look more seriously into a project for children" and I would tell you with pleasure about Vikidia and its current situation. Vikidia in french does works quite well, with about 180 000 unique visitors a month. We nevertheless have quite more difficulties with the other version in spanish. Whenever there would be a way for it to be taken in charge by some new peoples/organization, that would be fine for me. I don't know about other working project but Wikikids in dutch. Feel free to contact me, be it by phone. Astirmays 10:34, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi Astirmays, I was referring to this recommendation to consider a wiki aimed at children. It comes somewhat out of left field, but shows that people who have not been actively thinking about Wikikids or Wikipedia before can see a definite need for such a project. I would like to know more about the problems in Spanish, and why you don't see that in French! SJ · talk | translate 11:39, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. I would like to react for two points :
  • "a project specifically targeted to children, and to the quite different needs of children in different age groups" I would warn against the idea of dividing the content for age group as restricted as each year of age, following the pattern of school class. That point could (should) be expounded.
  • "the scope of such a venture might necessitate the formation of partnerships with institutions who have experience and resources already devoted to this area." Thats quite a conservative point of view, kind of those that, if followed by Wikipedia, wouldn't have permit its developpment. I mean that in such a project, one should try to communicate with institutions, publicize what they do, share some points of view, competence and so on, but he shouldn't wait for those institutions as if they would have to approuve the project and its methods, as if just as you would think about a doctor, that only them could tell what is good for the project, since it deals with children.
About the problems in Spanish, and the difference with Vikidia in french, I guess that small wikis rely very much on particular people, and on chance. Chance that they are here, and if they quit one day that they succeed ones to other ones.
Did you know that they were another wiki for kids in dutch ? Wikiweet. It was lead by a bunch of teenagers that really amazed me in how they did well, how determinate, efficient and well organised they were. But it recently died out du to some quarrels. I still can't exactly say how they could be in the same time two wikis for children in dutch that did quite well, wheras there is no such thing in much more spoken language such as german or italian. (not to tell about english which case should be discussed in relation with simple Wikipedia) Astirmays 21:52, 20 February 2011 (UTC)


Dear Sj,

Subject: Possibilities for OmegaWiki to join WMF
Currently we're discussing at OmegaWiki (http://www.omegawiki.org) how we can merge with Wikimedia Foundation. I'm an admin there and made even an account on Twitter. I've seen your response there. Thank you very much indeed. How can we proceed? I'm sure we can be of help for each other. Don't know why nobody else tried harder before to realize it. Are there special rules we have to follow? Cheers, ZeaForUs (talk) 21:09, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Great to hear from you; welcome to Meta! Please update the OmegaWiki page, and include there a section on your interest in merging with WMF -- and what you feel this would require, technically. SJ talk  09:43, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Hi! We have updated (rewritten completely) the OmegaWiki page as you asked, with a section explaining how merging with WMF could be done.
I see that the Sister Projects Committee is still a draft. I hope it will provide something good for us :) --Kip (talk) 19:46, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Some updates on OmegaWiki. I just have to write you from time to time so that you don't forget us :-)
Openprogress, the foundation that was supposedly behind OmegaWiki but actually did nothing for us, has disappeared, so that we are officially orphans to be adopted.
The current server running OmegaWiki (nicely lent by Erik) is very slow. Mainly this is because it has only 1GB RAM, which is about the amount that we should allocate to MySql alone. So, the question is: do you know if it would be possible to get hosted by a server of the Wikimedia Foundation? Has it ever been done in the past?
Otherwise, I would be considering paying for a better server myself, but it would not be worth it if we are to be adopted soon.
This leads to the next question: I know that you are very enthusiastic about OmegaWiki and having it become an official WMF project. I wanted to know what is the main opinion (and rumors) of the others from the Board of Trustees, and our chances to get adopted soon/some day/never.
Thank you!
PS: I am not sure exactly what Gerard wanted to write you about (old e-mail from some months ago), that he did not write in the end.
PPS: We have had some more supporters on the page Adopt OmegaWiki. --Kip (talk) 13:37, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
If there was community support for taking this on I bet we could get the WMF interested. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:57, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I updated the pages as you suggested (or I hope it is as you suggested ;-) ). Does it look better now? Thank you for your valuable input!! --Kip (talk) 23:33, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

More Wikikids![edit]

Hi Samuel,

Following you message I droped this on the Wikikids page. Thanks for you attention to this project! Bye, Astirmays (talk) 21:07, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

I would love to see progress made here, similar to the development of recent new projects. SJ talk  22:55, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Re: Supporting existing sister projects[edit]


Currently, and for the next weeks, I'm a bit busy on real life. But ASAP I get a few minutes of free time to brainstorm on Wikimedia things, I will do my best to help on it.

I've already read your message few weeks ago, but I was delaying a reply because I was expecting to get time on it very soon, but I was wrong. Lugusto 02:49, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

New project proposals[edit]

Hi, I'm just wondering what the current status of the new projects proposal procedure is?

I've re-listed a proposal I made this time last year (Civipedia). I'd like to pursue it seriously (including attracting people to work on it with me). Something that was off-putting before was the lack of a clear process of proposing and developing an idea (including the potential for rejection) in tandem with the Foundation.

Regards, -- RA (talk) 22:18, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for relisting; that's what we hope people do for past projects. The process is getting clearer, as you can hopefully see from the page and the sister projects committee pages. It may be a few weeks before people from the committee give you feedback; keep your eye on your project's talk page. You will want to point to a specific demo for others to look at. SJ talk  06:29, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. The demo is currently in a very poor shape. How well advanced would people be expecting the demo to be? -- RA (talk) 11:05, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
See the talk page :). SJ talk  01:44, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
OK. That will take a few weeks to get together. -- RA (talk) 14:35, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Re: Wikidata update[edit]

Hi Sj,

Being a programmer of OW, I know its design. We are still using "Extension:Wikidata", which is different from the Wikidata project, which uses the "Extension:Wikibase" (I asked for one of those to be renamed to avoid confusion, but nobody seemed interested).

I also asked the guys at Wikidata if it would be possible to use Wikidata for OmegaWiki later on [2]. They seemed to think that it is too different to be possible [3], although I have my doubts about it. So, I'll see when the Wikidata project is ready, if it can be adapted to support OmegaWiki. I would be happy if a merge is possible, but it would take some time to rewrite the entire OW software.

For the moment, I have not heard of any plan to use the Wikidata project for translation tables in Wiktionary, only that it "should be possible in the future if maybe" [4]. --Kip (talk) 09:15, 29 October 2012 (UTC)


The proposals from Rodovid and WeRelate touch on one of the most popular ideas for a new project, and are the most easily and simply distributed collaborative knowledge task in the world. SJ talk 

I suggest the Genenaloy projects in Wikimedia be a part of the new Wikidata orientation using people data, events data and towns data. I think theses dataa are rellay common through all projects and all languages. In Wikipedia, we have many pages which relate to people or family. These persons are certainly described in Rodovid or WeRelate. May be it could be interresting to have informations shared between the projects (Wikidata, Wikipedia, and Genealogy). Same for events (date, place, type, persons involved, etc). And same again for places. Certainly, it's not possible to have directly the right global solution, but the most used gedcom fields could be the base for a new Wikidata structure ? So, the road map coul'd be
1. create wikidata structures for "people", "families", "events", "places" and links between them
2. accept a gedcom importation from existing genealogical databases
3. translate existing features from Rodovid and WeRelate (and maybe others) for manual input of datas and display graphs and trees
4. have a special care about living persons (some laws in some countries are very severe with that)
5. propose to other big genealogic databases to create permanent links between their pages and those in Wikimedia when the people exist so it's easier to detect doublons

--Pierre Frappé (talk) 09:51, 30 January 2013 (UTC)


Hello, Sj. Now that the creation of new projects is open again, can we please make Rodovid a Wikimedia project at last? They've been waiting for us for several years now, and I think they're currently struggling. In fact, some language versions have had DB errors which prevented new pages (persons) creations from August to October[5] and Since July 12 they seem to have closed registration.[6] It might soon become too late to save this wiki, by keeping it on hold without clear perspectives we're killing it. Thanks, Nemo 07:41, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Absolutely. Rodovid is a great candidate to be a new Project (looking at the last message: almost as great as OmegaWiki.). SJ talk  11:23, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
So what else is needed? Community support is already very clear. --Nemo 21:50, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
It needs a concrete proposal similar in detail to the travel guide proposal: How would existing project(s) be migrated? What technical changes would need to happen, from domain transfer to code release and adoption, to server migration? What policies might need to change? How deep is the current community and developer team, and what if anything would they not be able to do themselves? How does this project fit into the ecosystem (in areas where there is overlap of knowledge / subject matter), and would anything change there -- from centralizing image storage to sharing data? SJ talk  22:19, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't see the reply here. Community, policy and scope fitness have already been assessed and described in these years of discussion. As for migration details and actual migration plans, they require a lot of time and nobody will waste time doing them unless there's some interest on the WMF end. Wikivoyage has been created because the WMF favoured the proposal since the very beginning, otherwise it would have been a new proposed project among hundreds or thousands and nobody would have cared about wasting time in a discussion surely going to be lost in WMF quicksands like all the others. If I approached the wiki's sysadmins saying "hey, let's write a detailed proposal, my chrystal ball told me that the 15th attempt is the lucky one! We can succeed!" I doubt they'd even answer. --Nemo 09:40, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Wikivoyage happened because there was active interest from its community and an active central proponent who said "this is important, I will make it happen". Neither of those things had anything to do with the WMF - which tends to respond after such interest is evident. Rodovid is clearly not one of hundreds or thousands of proposals. I've pinged both them and WeRelate in the past to see if there was some way we could move forward on the proposal idea; it's not that there is a lack of interest all around, we just need a lead person for the proposal, a current statement of interest from the community, a revived discussion here on Meta, and a few details about how a migration could happen and what it would entail. If all of that happens then yes, my crystal ball tells me that this attempt can succeed. Can you get one of the currently active Rodovid users to come discuss this here? SJ talk  14:25, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes, he can!

  1. first of all, excuse my english.
  2. Rodovid has grown since last discussions in here. Users have created lots of things, like particular procedures, templates, rules etc. They've learned about what could be genealogical researches mixed with mediawiki software : I can guarantee you the result is an amazing thing, something going much more far than usual genealogical sites: it's becoming a local history tool based upon reading primary sources. Online scanned primary sources represent billions and billions of scanned pages nowadays : what could be an interface to all these documents?
  3. And these users have learned what is a wiki!
  4. Discussions (outside discussion pages...) are running about creating a non-profit organization, this org have to be owner of the Rodovid Database.
  5. My opinion:
    • Rodovid has the best online genealogical-tree display, until now, even compared to comercial sites.
    • editing records is not so bad
    • Rodovid is still sitting between two chairs (sorry this is a french but clear expression). It can not say : We are a strong and well established community, so you can write lots of things in here, it won't be lost, but it needs more and more users to grow. (I guess this is a classic...) A little help could be fine...
  6. About migrations and so on. I guess it won't be so difficult to give you the name of active central proponent. Let Rodovid powerusers and admin talk a few days.

Let us talk again soon. --Christophe Tesson (talk) 12:31, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Perfect. Your english is lovely, and you've made my day :-) Let us know if we can help. SJ talk  15:57, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, our developper seems to be offline these days. So the possible active central proponent don't answered to any of my call. I hope he doesn't have some problem... So, please be patient, we still watch for this discussion, and soon be able to propose actions. Best regards. --Christophe Tesson (talk) 12:11, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Hi Christophe, thank you for the update. SJ talk  21:53, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi guys, sorry for cutting in. The day when Rodovid becomes part of Wikimedia Foundation will be a giant achievement for genealogists; as an active RD participant, I fully support the idea. Recently, because of all these RD error messages and growing uncertainty about RD's future, I have started thinking about moving my tree from RD to other genealogical sites, and was astonished to see how user-unfriendly they are as compared to RD. If RD becomes a sister project of Wikipedia, it would be possible to make interwiki references to RD from WP, facilitating access to genealogy information for WP users. It was a sad day for genealogists when ru.wikipedia admins decided to cut off all references to Rodovid from WP. As I see it, now very much depends on Baya's position. Best regards, Leonid Dzhepko, --Л.П. Джепко (talk) 11:06, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Why were all refs to Rodovid cut off from ru:wp ? When did this happen? SJ talk  01:17, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Hello, I pursue on this discussion thinking it's time to give genealogy a real international free project. It exists some other "unique tree" projects but generally they are linked to profit organizations, sometimes not clearly visible. More, the idea of a unique tree, openly shared for everybody seems to be exactly what wikimedia intends to do for mankind ! I do want participate to such a projet !--Pfrappe (talk) 10:50, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Hello Leonid and Pfrappe, I agree completely that it is time for this to happen. We need to bring together all of the free projects so we can share experiences and ideas, and promote internationally a vision for a shared global family tree; some percentage of the many commercial-product users will come to join such an effort, whatever tool we start with. Have any of you tried using WeRelate recently, or communicated with their active users? SJ talk  18:27, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi again. I have not been too involved with Rodovid lately, partly because the technical updates that need to happen to make the project feasible in the long term, like gedcom imports, have not been forthcoming. Baya is extremely busy and so hasn't been able to put the time in to technical improvements for Rodovid. Christophe and a few others have been very involved, as far as I understand. I can say that technically, Rodovid is a very complex site where mediawiki is really an interface to a database system that is currently proprietary. I am sure with enough WMF attention the technical side of the migration wouldn't be too difficult, but without it the task will be near impossible. Baya will need to be closely involved and will most likely also need a contact person who will have more time to devote to the effort. I wouldn't be a good candidate for this but I would be glad to help when I can. I am not good about checking talk pages so drop a line on my en.w talk page if I'm not responding. Wikiacc (§) 20:44, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Very good, thanks Wikiacc. It is great to hear from you again. Yes, both Rodovid and WeRelate are using MW as an interface to a database system; both have expressed some willingness in the past to make that db code open and help others learn to use it. We would need to find some community devs interested in taking up the challenge - ideally from the genealogy community, which has its own networks of scriptwriters and hackers who are familiar with the standards involved. But this is the sort of project to facilitate free knowledge that could attract grants and institutional support as well [as WR already has done and demonstrated]. SJ talk  01:12, 26 November 2012 (UTC)


I've been out of town the last few days and just saw this. I'll respond in detail later today, but bottom line is we're very interested. WeRelate is based on MediaWiki with extensions for entering structured data (similar to semantic mediawiki) and two additional components: a gedcom uploader, and a search engine that includes custom features for searching similar names, dates, and places. We have an active user base and admin community. I've been working most-recently to open-source the entire code base and to make it easy for anyone to install and maintain.--Dallan (talk) 15:39, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Great to hear from you, Dallan. Thank you for the news; I would like to hear more of your thinking. WikiData looks like it will be a promising place to store and version such data in the future, from where it could be referenced or transcluded by many different projects. SJ talk  00:32, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
WikiData looks pretty interesting. Currently our structured data is stored in "XML islands" in the wiki pages, but it could be stored elsewhere. I like the general idea. It looks like it's coming out of beta in March of 2013, right?
I would be the lead person on this. I have a few questions; I hope you don't mind.
  • I plan to talk about this with the admins and then open up the discussion to the community by posting a message on the WeRelate watercooler. Both groups will want to know what the benefits are to being a WMF project. Do you have a page listing the benefits?
Not as such. A page on Becoming a Wikimedia project, summarizing the process, pros and cons, would be useful. Perhaps Wikia has one we could crib from. Technically: hosting, long-term archiving, spam control, localization support; communally: visibility and global community crossover, and being a Wikimedia project can help attract content and other partnerships.
So the primary difference would be branding? And I suppose the ads could go away since WMF would provide hosting? (Nobody's too keen on the ads, so that would be a plus.) But day-to-day administration wouldn't change? In other words, WeRelate would still be responsible for wiki administration and new features/bug fixing?
What does 'wiki administration' mean here? On the WMF projects, administrators are community members. Bug fixing related to core mediawiki, or installing well-established extensions, is part of hosting. Likewise regular MW updates. Custom features would need to be developed and maintained as they are today - by you or by other WR devs. SJ talk  07:57, 4 December 2012 (UTC)
I mean administration in the community sense, just as on a WMF project. I'm just checking to see how the community members who are currently responsible for administering WeRelate content would be affected if WeRelate were to become a WMF project. It sounds like they wouldn't. That's a good thing.--Dallan (talk) 19:10, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Wikia also has a genealogy wiki; are you thinking to merge the two projects? It would be interesting to come up with a single genealogy wiki combining the best of FamilyPedia, WeRelate, and Rodovid, but I don't know if all parties are interested.
I agree it would be most interesting. Our community tends to prefer projects where we can help a number of disparate efforts combine and work together; whether that means offering to host or providing other help. I haven't been in touch with anyone there; do you know some of the active FamilyPedia editors?
I don't unfortunately. I do keep in touch with Chris Witten of WikiTree.com. WikiTree is commercial, but I could ask to see if he has any interest in some kind of partnership. One thing that's nice about wikitree is that is allows private pages for living individuals; WeRelate doesn't allow pages for living people that don't also have pages on Wikipedia. So there might be room for a partnership there.
  • Although WeRelate has an affiliation with Allen County Public Library, we do not receive financial or administration support from them. Server costs are paid for by google ads and a donations so we're self-supporting, but I don't want to give the impression that WeRelate comes with an institutional backer. It means that we can make decisions within the community without needing the approval of an external institution, but we don't have anyone with "deep pockets" behind us.
Aha! Thanks for the correction. I'm always interested in the different ways each community finds to support its work.
  • WeRelate has roughly 43,000 registered users and gets 1,000-2,000 edits a day (not counting gedcom uploads). Most users are from English-speaking countries, though I'm told that 25% of recent edits during a one-week period recently were from people living in the Netherlands. Currently everyone contributes to a single set of pages, the interface text is only in English, and most (but not all) contributions are in English. Is it a requirement that WeRelate be internationalized from day one?
Not at all. Many Wikimedia projects started with a single language. And by using MediaWiki you already have your core messages set up in a way that translatewiki knows how to work with. As soon as a significant group from another language asks to start a new language-version of a project, we make that possible -- our translation and incubator community are set up to make that as smooth as possible.
  • What's the best way for you to gauge interest by the WeRelate community? Do you want me to give you a link to the watercooler discussion when I start it, or would you rather that I direct people here?
A thread on WeRelate is fine. If we could find a way to merge the WeRelate and Rodovid proposals to a degree, that would be a stronger shared proposal (from the WM perspective), and could be a reason to have a joint discussion here. But it's fine to just note on the proposal here what the view of the WR community is, with a link to the discussion. Once there's a proposal that your community is comfortable with, there would be a global Requests for Comments here, where your community and ours (and those of any other genealogy sites) would be welcome to weigh in. (cf. the recent Travel Guide discussion.)
The next meeting of the WeRelate overview committee is this Sunday, so I can bring up the question to them at that time. If all goes where there I'll post something to the watercooler.
  • In addition to the standard MediaWiki software, I have custom extensions (written in php), I run a gedcom upload process (written in Java), a search engine that has been customized for searching genealogical data by including people with related names, dates, and places (also written in java), and data analysis jobs such as identifying potentially-duplicate people and generating a google site-map (also written in java). Furthermore, I have a gedcom reviewer that's used to evaluate the quality of gedcoms before they are imported (written in Adobe Flex), and a family-tree-explorer (also written in Adobe Flex) that is being phased out in favor of our javascript-based family tree explorer, which you can see by going to any person's page and clicking the "Family tree" link. All of the code will be open-sourced soon. Are the additional languages: Java and Flex, a problem?
Not an intrinsic problem. It sounds as though these could be run as scripts on Wikimedia Labs. As long as you're planning on continuing to maintain the code (or find others to help), that should be fine. See below re: technical setup and load.
I hope you don't mind if I join inline. The most important thing to do would be to understand what custom code you run/need on your very old MediaWiki installation.[7] It's good that you're already working on open-sourcing your code. Even before the code is actually ready to be run anywhere, you can easily get mw:Developer access and get a space where to publish your code and let other developers see it if they wish etc. You've mentioned XML islands; Wikidata itself will probably not support such uses before a year or two, but recent MediaWiki releases have Wikidata's mw:ContentHandler which should help and you should probably aim at using it in any case. --Nemo 08:49, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely. I'm planning to open-source the code as-is, but I've been meaning to migrate to the latest MediaWiki version over time, and if there's interest by WMF for adoption, I'll make migration a top priority. There's no way that WMF is going to want to run WeRelate on an old codebase.
The WikiData initiative is pretty interesting. I've been wondering if I should migrate the code to use it at the same time that I migrate it to the latest version of MediaWiki. I don't know much about WikiData. If I were to write specifically to their api, do you think I could start using it next year? Would it give me versioning and diff'ing of structured data?
Yes, you'd get versions and diffs of structured data. If you don't need any custom support from the WD team, you'll be able to use their API next year. But you may have to figure out how to make it work for you. They'll be focused on getting it to work properly for interlanguage links and the infobox data in WP articles. SJ talk 
That's not a problem. I need to migrate the code-base to the latest version of MediaWiki, so I could migrate it to use WikiData at the same time. Next year fits into my timeframe; that allows me to clean up a few other things first.--Dallan (talk) 19:10, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
  • WeRelate runs on three machines plus a database server at Amazon Web Services. One machine runs the web server and gedcom uploader, another runs the search engine, and a third runs the data analysis jobs over a pages.xml file that is created daily. The machines are all "m1.small" machines, and they are usually run well below capacity. Are the two additional machines a problem?
There's always overhead in switching over from one tech setup to another. Internally Wikimedia has its own processes for making sure all Projects are updated, backed up, &c. We don't currently run anything on AWS, so Wikimedians would likely need to understand how this could fit into our setup. Again you can see a bit of the technical discussion about the recent migration of Wikivoyage to Wikimedia.
AWS isn't essential; that's just where I host the servers. The important question is that the gedcom upload and search engine are written java, and it would be pretty difficult to move them to php. Does Wikimedia have any other projects that run processes in java?
There are certainly MediaWiki hackers who use Java. See for instance the Java clients for using the API. SJ talk 
  • If the community approves I'll ask some of our admins to help me put together a proposal. Are the instructions at Proposals for new projects the best place to start?
Yes, that's a good start. See also the Travel Guide proposal, which is the most recent successful proposal, and its history. SJ talk  06:14, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Looks good. I'll bring this up at the next overview committee meeting on Sunday, then start a thread on the watercooler to get general community interest. Thanks.--Dallan (talk) 19:10, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
--Dallan (talk) 05:17, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
--Dallan (talk) 21:10, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Hello, folks. I noticed a reference to this thread on Dallan's talk page on WR. For those of you who don't know me, I'm one of the longest-serving admins on Familypedia. We are on the same licence as WR and Wikimedia and use Semantic MediaWiki, enabled but not supported by our host, Wikia Inc., which hosts sites free of charge and makes its money from Google and other ads. As we are currently ranked #3 in Wikia's "Lifestyle" group, and #4 in total number of articles (127,000), Wikia is unlikely to want us to migrate anywhere, although the idea of a totally free-to-use combined open-source genealogy site is very appealing to us genealogists. You're welcome to talk to us on our Watercooler. Robin Patterson (talk) 00:46, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Hi Robin, thanks for visiting -- Familypedia is an awesome site and tool. The important thing is to unify efforts to build a shared genealogy tree and sense of shared effort. Including an open-source package that covers the standard tasks, aligning data models and conventions to allow bot-driven synchronization where useful, and basic levels of support available to everyone making progress in the space, so that no project feels that basic maintenance is a pain.
A number of different visualizers and interfaces to a shared underlying dataset would be useful; I don't necessarily see migration or merging of different sites-for-readers as a good thing [different people want different things; you don't want stagnation of creative change; &c.]. But being able to form a stronger working and collaborating community among genealogists would be good. I'll try to contribute on your forum in the new year, once it's clearer how WR and Rodovid and SJ talk  15:51, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Other project ideas[edit]

Good deed (wikiliterature)[edit]

Hello Samuel,
I just wanted to let you know how much pain I've had to draft a decent letter/email in English announcing the creation of Wikipen. I don't know if I succeeded but at least, it is there : http://en.wikipen.org/wiki/User:Aurevilly/Presentation_letter Since I dont want to be ridiculous as to sent such letter announcing a literary project, full of spelling mistakes and such, could you be as nice as making some necessary copy/edits ? FYI, when that letter is done, it is expected to be sent (email or snail mail I don't know yet, to entities that I've began to list at http://en.wikipen.org/wiki/Wikipen:Let_them_know Anyhow, thanks for any help you can provide. Cheers, villy 09:13, 6 January 2006 (UTC) (PS: I've made the same request to Mindspillage and Amgine).

I still visit wikipen, verrry occasionally :) -- sj | help translate |+ 23:46, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Editor wiki[edit]

Per my comments in the global bans discussion (you may need to try to find them throughout), I sincerely would like to start a proposal for an editor wiki.

But I sincerely don't know all the ins and outs of meta. (Reading text and past comments isn't always a good indicator : )

But I really get the impression that you do : )

So with that in mind, could I ask for your help in this? For one thing, what would be the first steps you would suggest, and as well where.

Thanks for your thoughts on this. - Jc37 (talk) 02:57, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

I would start by talking to people working on unified messaging - see Platonides's comment on the same talkpage. See if theres an existing set of proposals for unified userboxes or userpages. Also, check with people who currently run bots to create identical userpages and userboxes/templates on all wikis (see Pathoschild :) They're in a good position to describe the current use of userpages across many wikis.
For the specifics of such a meta proposal... Erik might have some ideas not currently in place. You could draft a proposal similar to the original Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata proposals here on meta - much different from the polished versions of both that currently exist.
You can certainly use the proposal format at New project proposals, but since this isn't just a new project it is something all projects would draw from, you should probably engage in a lot of discussion and review before finalizing what you want to propose. SJ talk  07:22, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Sounds great : )
Never thought about how similar this would be to commons in that way. Very good advice, thank you.
When I figure out what specifically I want to ask each person, I may also point them back here as well : )
Thanks again : ) - Jc37 (talk) 18:25, 22 November 2012 (UTC)