Wikibase Community User Group/Meetings/2021-06-24/Notes

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Archived notes from Etherpad of the 2021-06-24 meeting.



  1. Georgina Burnett (WMDE)
  2. Mohammed (WMDE)
  3. Bayan Hilles (WMDE)
  4. Jeff Goeke-Smith (Matrix /
  5. Lozana Rossenova (TIB)
  6. JShieh (Smithsonian Lib & Arc)
  7. Laurence "GreenReaper" Parry (WikiFur/WBCUG)



  • 9 participants

Lozana: PS I am going to edit these because they're not accurate to what I was saying :-)

I don't want to make a formal announcement about WBstakeholder group, because this is something Rhizome want to do. We already do a bit of what Georgina mentioned with the collection of requirements. We are a group of institutional partners who already use Wikibase. This is not a group to learn more about Wikibase, but for those who are already involved with Wikibase. It is a membership based group and we don't want to grow too much, because we think it's more efficient to keep the size manageable. This community (over 200 users in Telegram), for example, is too big for the purses of WBstakholder group. We want to run our meetings with a group of core members. It also has a different focus to this group. Maybe we will grow in the future but for now we are keeping the size manageable. There is also a financial commitment. It is more action-oriented than a community that gets together to discuss projects. We want to do actual development work together. I am one of the original members of the group in my capacity being PhD student under Dragan Espenschied, who founded the group together with Andra Waagmeester.

George: there is both institutions and individuals affiliated with institutions. I would like how does that work, with the finantial engagment?

Lozana. With very large institutions there might be one person working on a single research Wikibase for instance. For big institutions it might be complicated for them to put down their name/ logo / affiliation. For practicality, we offer in these cases individual membership. Regarding WMDE affiliation – for the time being for us it does not make sens to compete with groups comprised of individual users, like this user group, who may want to apply for WMF grants or become affiliated. Most of the institutions in WBstakeholder group already have research projects + national funding, etc.

George: What is the idea with the time line for the future looking like?

Lozana: The time line is flexible, because research funding can be hard to predict, e.g. we already applied for two large grants and we have to wait six months. So far we have done some work on individual institutional level. At Rhizome we have done work, like the local media extension together with, or some customization on the query service UI and we shared it. Institutions can also share expertise between each other and maybe just one institutional partner pays for the commission.

Mohammed: Renat do you mind putting your requiremet on the institutions requirement page?

Jackie: A common struggle is trying to figure out stakeholder's direction and the solutions they come up with when they come across a need in their instance and how they resolve it. When will this knowledge be accessible for those who come across it after six or ten months later. This group from Columbia team they are struggling trying to find out where to ask the experts. We have a parking lot dropping the things we come across. We have an emperor that had citizenship but that does not apply because he comes from a dynasty. Trying to convey that this is an ancient Chinese person, we came across lots of constraints issues to convey that. What kind of mechanism or platform that we could talk about how these constrains get established. How can make sure that we have a data quality we desire and for the person contributing for the editing know where to go.

Dennis: In the discussion page of each property there are big discussion about constraints.

Jackie: I saw that. It was not clear to us who established this to have a direct communication to resolve it. I tried to approach the IFLA working group if they can call upon several groups to work on a mechanism to promote that and push forward

Lozana: This is a discussion about Wikidata

Jeff: Wikibase is not Wikidata. If you have your own Wikibase you can set your own rules. this is why enslaved set up their own instance

Jackie: We were so frustrated with constraints this is why from the get go we wanted to set up our wikibase.

Jeff: I think you are referring to Wikidata. IF you are running your wikibase you can set up your data model how you want

Jackie: What I was hopping to find out in addition to the discussion tab, would there be anything else that would get... how would in wikibase environment have tools to facilitate for this editor to say here are other things you can look at for this qualifier

Dennis: Either you agree between each other to set up a constraint, if not you can use the discussion. There is nothing else than the Wikidata tools in wikibase.

Laurence: I think the thing to consider is if you plan to interact with other groups and that is when the topic of Wikidata comes in. If you are working with other groups you need to have a wider discussion

Are you so many people in your user case working in definition of constraints?

Jackie: Each group would have 25 people and there are just librarians in archive. Potentially we will have a lot more, it will be 34 if we have everyone join in.

Lozana: There is no perfect mechanism yet. Recommending sticking to standards as much as possible and use entity schemas. Would avoid using constraints in the GLAM context unless its absolutely necessary.

Lozana: Ise entity schemas. That is my practical view of things.

Jackie: SHEX schemas came up a year ago, but never occurred to them that it would be a better option.

Lozana: They are trying it at TIB. Hoping to have more updates in September, definitely going to use entity schemas, cradle. and WESO tools

Laurence: Yes, entity schema can be useful to define common interfaces at least. Although it would be useful if it could accommodate easily a "sameAs" for local properties (maybe there is a way).

Jackie: Have any of your users have made use of the user scripts that are commonly available in Wikidata in your instance?

Lozana: Dream about reusing templates. But not currently possible. Discussed in stakeholder group.

Jackie: Beginning to identify all the things that would be nice. Have a list and waiting to see if they will work. Notice that a lot of people on Wikidata using the wrong property. Property replacements turn up a lot.. trying to work out what tool could help with this.

Lozana: Only way to overcome this is training people well, but this is difficult for a community project. Using SPARQL to find the issues and then use OpenRefine.

Dennis: For a developer, it is very quick to write a pywiki script.

Jackie: We are data modeling professionals but not programmers. Ideally we will have an API to.

Lozana: WESO tools might be good for this -- preventing wrong properties.

Jackie: Stuff the team comes across relates to data quality. Want to see how they can maximise the data quality when using the SPARQL query service.

Lozana: I think I can get a lot of people from my end to participate in Institutions user requirements page. when you are collecting the data are we starting fresh?

Georgina: The information collected about Wikidatacon is there but not sure where. As wikibsae grew we realised there is a need for permanent online space for people to speak about their requirements.

Mohammed: Maybe we can Ask Adam if he can find something.

Laurence: Heard "Vessel?" (probably WESO tools?) being discussed earlier, as a Cradle alternative - is this a tool that is available for public use or installation?

Lozana: I think it would be good to keep old discussion. There were things fundemental like how RDF is written to Wikidata

Mohammed: The last thing on the agenda is some meta issues related to Wikibase Community User Group.

Lozana: We don't have too many issues: 1) We need to update a bit the annual reports and encourage more people from the community to participate. It could be a self-documenting tool to keep vibrant with the discussions in the Telegram chat. 2) We also need to discuss the issue for voting for the next official contacts for the group from the community. We have a draft that Laurence (GreenReaper) shared in Telegram, maybe we can look at that. We might start the nomination process and see who would like to put themself forward. There are some requirements – people need to be fairly engaged with wikibase.

Laurence: To be a member of the group, they should have contributed in some way. I thought we should not have big eligibility requirements. My timeline was today: nomination is open and voting might open in a couple of weeks to give people enough time and then voting would close two weeks after that, give that another week and then we would be ready for the next meeting. We did not have a huge pressure from WMF to do it right now, they just want to see progress. If you have a comment add it in the discussion.

Mohammed: That sounds like a good plan

Lozana: Personally I'd like to help as much as I can, like with report writing, etc, but because I am already involved with WBstakeholder group, maybe it's not so appropriate to nominate myself.

Laurence: I did mention things like conflict of interest. I think it is okay if you declare it and say I am a member of X group. that would be fine and I would encourage you to nominate. At least people would know. I think you had a big part in contributing. It is not so much an authority but a functional role. I think it wold make sense for you to nominate yourself.

Lozana: Yes, indeed, I don't see it as conflict of interest, the two groups can exist in parallel. When i first joined we were less than twenty people on Telegram. Now the community is now growing and it makes sense for people to splinter into more niche interest groups. IFLA working group, WBstakeholder group, two groups in the US. I joined the meta meeting because I want to help, but don't necessarily want to be in some formal position.

Mohammed: Is it going to be a simple voting process

Lozana: I feel like we need a meeting to reach more people and talk further after we proceed with the voting. A meeting to discuss the future of the group. Maybe we run a poll in the Telegram chat to see when would people want to meet, etc.

Mohammed: I think this is a good first step. One thing the community would want to look at is the people who have access to the mailing list because we have tried to reach out to them for several years now but they did not respond.

Lozana: Yes, agreed, we need to fix the mailing list issue, it's a real problem.