Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2008-04

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki


Just like the above policy suggestion that is now approved, which I inevitably opposed, I have a suggestion too.

Since I created a WikiProject in our local Wikipedia (an inequivalent of the Welcoming Committee of the English), I have started on monitoring the Special:Listusers (To know whom I have greeted or not, who are the vandals et cetera). I have noticed that most registed "users" don't even have a single edit. It is like 75% to 90% percent!

My suggestion: Just like in Yahoo, MSN and other emailing sites. They have an expiry time for which the account will last. I suggest that all accounts that has not got any contributions, be it vandalism or not, with in 3 months of registration be deleted.


  1. To give others who wants such name a chance to have the name
  2. To clearup space in the Wikimedia servers
  3. To make monitoring the ListUsers easier (only having to view users with actual contributions)


  • on accounts that has not got a single edit within 3 months of registration

Remember I suggest that this should only be applied on users without any single edits. -- Felipe Aira 02:07, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Projects' users are not only the ones who eidt, but also the one who use the project (they read it). User registration allow, for example, use of "my watchilist". --ChemicalBit 15:23, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
I personally agree with Felipe's stance. And as for ChemicalBit's concerns, it could simply be requested that new users make one tiny little edit, such as placing a single letter on their userpage. Cheers!! Ninetywazup? 22:28, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree that they should be deleted. Inspirationnotperspiration 21:11, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
What's really annoying is that some of these people take the best usernames! Snowball 23:18, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
There is always the possibility of usurping usernames. SGGH 13:33, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Translation for fundraising message

Hi, in the Venetian Wikipedia the fundraising thanks message ("Thanks to everyone who donated in the Wikimedia Foundation fundraiser! You can still make a contribution, or buy Wikimedia merchandise.") is shown in Italian. Is it possible to replace it with the following message in Venetian: "Grazsie a tuti quei che gà donà durante la racolta fondi de Wikimedia Foundation! Podì ancora dar un contributo o cronpar i nostri gadget."? Many thanks.

SVG preview not working?

Wikibooks proposal by Husky

Hi everyone. I tried uploading my submission for the Wikibooks logo competition but for some reason Mediawiki doesn't seem to generate the usual thumbnail PNG. The file is working fine in both Firefox and Inkscape. The image is over here. Anyone got a clue what this might be? Husky 00:34, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I think it would be the best to report this bug at – probably a bug in the rendering engine...? I have had a similar problem, too. Try to upload the image several times (maybe with an other name (path)), this could work if this should be a singular phenomenon!? --- Best regards, Melancholie 02:48, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
By the way: Purging the image (?action=purge) does not seem to work here, too! --Melancholie 02:51, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
On (found in HTML source code), you can read:
Error generating thumbnail

Error creating thumbnail:
(process:24546): libgnomevfs-WARNING **: Unable to create ~/.gnome directory: No such file or directory

Melancholie 02:58, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, thanks to MichaelFrey it's working now. Apparently there were some weird XML tags in the picture. Might have to do with the fact that i used Adobe Illustrator to make the picture (instead of Inkscape). SVG supports still seems to be a bit shaky in Illustrator... Husky 17:15, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Set upload to autoconfirmed Wikimedia-wide

The following discussion is closed: bugzilla:12556#c4 requests this configuration change.  – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 18:19, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Dear all. I want to propose a Wikimedia-wide configuration change so that only accounts older than 4 days can upload files (same as for pagemoves). Commons should be opt-out for obvious reasons, and other projects should be able to opt-out per community decision. The reason, why I think that this is necessary, are the many inappropriate uploads by just created useraccounts (just look at the delete log here on Meta). I guess we would save a lot of time (and memory capacity) if those nonsense, unlicensed or off-topic images would not be uploaded. Of course, one can't be sure that those people will not upload these files after 4 days, but if the devs make a MediaWiki message that tells them that they can't upload on the wiki they tried, but they *can* on Commons, they will probably go there and upload their stuff there, where it is not off-topic at least, and where a lot of people know about licenses and so on. Please share your opinion about this. Thank you for your attention. --Thogo (talk) 21:59, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Support Support, this is also a wiki-wide vandalism-problem, --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 22:05, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support--Nick1915 - all you want 22:12, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support. Yes, this would tremendously help with the "register and spam the wiki with images" type of vandals. --FiLiP ¤ 22:14, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support we enabled it on it.wikipedia some time ago, mainly trying to reduce copyvio uploads, and it's working pretty well. --Brownout(msg) 22:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support en.wiktionary has not allowed any non-sysop uploads for some time. It seems more reasonable than trying to train sysops on how to catch copyvios (that commons: is very adept at stopping.) --Connel MacKenzie 22:26, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support. This seems a good idea. Cowardly Lion 22:52, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support Yes, we have a problem with some new users, who just send few pictures without licenses and sources, and return never again... --Slaven Kosanovic 23:00, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support — I was ready to oppose until I read the third sentence (the Commons opt-out thing) ;-) This is an excellent idea. --Agüeybaná (hábleme) 23:11, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support, quoting Brownout. KS1975 23:21, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • ... with a caveat, the way it should work for Commons (once SUL is available, and if at all possible) is that to upload, one should have to have a userid somewhere else that is at least 4 days old, even if the user is brand new to Commons. Else all the vandals will go to Commons, forever more, to upload, and then just use the uploaded image on whatever wiki it is they want to vandalise, which shifts a bit of load to Commons, to be sure. ++Lar: t/c 00:19, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
    • I disagree, what will happen to people whose only account is at Commons? There may not be many but to require them to create a dummy account somewhere else is just silly. pfctdayelise 01:48, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
      • If their only account is on commons, they can wait four days to be autoconfirmed, just as they would if they were anywhere else. This will cut down on commons vandalism. ++Lar: t/c 05:07, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support - this will also cut down on the uploading random copyvio images per Brownout and Slaven Kosanovic. Also echoing Lar's comments for the post-SUL era (though I don't know how relevant that is to a configuration request right now).  – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 01:57, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support. Hopefully this will reduce the burden to English Wikipedia with too many improper uploads daily.--Jusjih 02:33, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose I hate centralised decisions. Thus we must let communities decide for themselves. -- Felipe Aira 06:33, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support-great idea! I have seen many un-wanted and bad pictures being uploaded by new user accounts.....--Kushan I.A.K.J 10:40, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Seems like a good idea that is worth trying out. However, if it leads to people just uploading their crap at the Commons, I would want to see the Commons also adopt this. There are already enough uploaders at the Commons who upload anything without any regard to copyrights. Also, please be aware that the Commons' rules are different from those of other Wikimedia projects. The Commons accepts only images that are freely licensed in at least the source country of the work and in the U.S., or that are in the public domain in both these countries. Which kind of makes sense, but is sometimes a hassle when people upload images that are in the public domain in only one country, especially non-U.S. works that happen to be in the public domain in the U.S. but not in the non-U.S. source country. At the very least, the Commons could maybe implement something that presents commons:COM:L to any newly registered account, and that allows the newly registered account to upload only if the person acknowledges having read it (through a little form at the bottom). Lupo 12:34, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support Good idea. Lawrence Cohen 16:07, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support Stop vandalism.--Phoenix-wiki 16:29, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support. Makes sense provided there is an opt-out for projects that don't want this restriction on uploads. WjBscribe 16:36, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I very much agree with Lupo's comments. Commons should not turn into an alternative to uploaded copyvio rubbish, and if that is the case, we either need a lot more Commons admins, or add the restriction to Commons as well. Majorly (talk) 17:08, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment I'm with Majorly/Lupo. Good idea but there is enough junk on Commons now and equally all that would happen would be they would wikilink the junk having uploaded it to commons=problem not solved? --Herby talk thyme 17:14, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
    • Hi Herby, I disagree that all junk would go to commons then, because I very much doubt that most users that upload junk anywhere know where to go then. But I agree that more Commons admins are needed (imho You can never have enough there), with or without that proposal being accepted, best regards, --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 00:02, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support Would cut down on various forms of image abuse, and our attention to copyright can often scare away newbies used to less restrictive sites. Mr.Z-man 20:59, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support SPQRobin 22:30, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support Please! --Carnildo 02:06, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment I agree all uploads should be set to autoconfirmed, however, I don't think Commons should be an exception. If the purpose of this is to cut down on vandalism/copyvios, why just redirect it? Commons already has enough crap to deal with and not enough people to do it. This proposal seems really unfair to those who call Commons their home wiki (which is not many, but we do exist). Sure, Commons users are generally more knowledgeable with copyrights and can deal with certain issues more efficiently because of their experience, but that does not justify giving them all this additional work simply because other projects are tired of dealing with it themselves. And what about users coming from projects that allow fair-use (the biggest reason for uploading locally)? I can see a huge increase of copyvios as a result. The larger the project, the more vandalism/copyvios it receives, but also the more help they have to deal with it. Directing all new users and drive-by vandals to Commons would create a very unbalanced environment. Like Herby said above, this does not solve the problem. It simply relocates it to a single undeserving project. Rocket000 07:58, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
    Commons doesn't need to be excluded in this, it was just the suggestion that many people *want* to upload on Commons, since that's what Commons is for, and this would be barred if people come there who have no account yet. They will probably not come back than. Of course, Commons has a lot of upload vandalism, but that would simply not change. So it would mean no improvement for Commons but for all other wikis. If you think that Commons should not be excluded, this would be no problem, of course. But I don't know if all people working on Commons would agree. --Thogo (talk) 21:50, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
    "Commons has a lot of upload vandalism, but that would simply not change. So it would mean no improvement for Commons..." – the worry is that it might increase, which would be a definite deterioration. So, the Commons must be prepared to take technical countermeasures if this is implemented on the other projects and it turns out that is does cause problems for the Commons. For the other projects, it is an excellent suggestion, I think. "But I don't know if all people working on Commons would agree." – of course, all people will never agree on anything. But there are already several comments from Commons admins (Lar, myself, Majorly, Herby, and Rocket000) who all see this as a potential problem for the Commons. An implementation of this feature should also include support to make it easy for the Commons to implement countermeasures, should they become necessary. For instance in the way Lar has indicated. (Even without SUL. Who knows when and if at all that is coming!) Lupo 22:44, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
    The autoconfirm threshold could be lowered, or if that's not desirable for other reasons, it would be possible, using MediaWiki's autopromote system, to create an implicit "upload" group with different requirements than autoconfirm (not sure what effect, if any, SUL might have with this). Mr.Z-man 23:53, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Djordjes (talk) 15:44, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support. James F. (talk) 00:12, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support - emphatically. Will be a benefit, in almost all regards and cases. --Anonymous DissidentTalk 00:35, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support, will reduce upload vandalism (not on commons though). feydey 03:44, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Kaster 10:27, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Aphaia 19:39, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support - Definitely! Greeves (talk contribs) 23:13, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support - Any restrictions are undesirable, so is vandalism though... Adambro 23:19, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support Reasonable proposal, though I suggest allowing projects to opt out. I.e. switch all projects to this option, but allow them to change it after local voting if they wish. Another possible less-centralized option is to institute this as default for future projects, while existing projects would be strongly urged to switch and required to hold a vote. In any case novices sending images are never a good idea. --Dzordzm 04:25, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support --freeman-sr taLk 08:47, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Бране Јовановић 10:10, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support --ChemicalBit 15:40, 20 January 2008 (UTC) provided that local project are informed and they have time to discuss and opt-out. Commons should discuss localy too, to find a policy that fits their special case.
  • Support Support – Yay! This is very good, we’ve had a user who has been uploading several copyrighted images, and creating sockpuppets to continue with it when (s)he got blocked. — H92 (t · c · no) 19:36, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose, as this makes an assumption that all projects are equal and that all images that are free for a specific project also are free for Commons to store. This does not hold for english projects (fair use), and probably also a lot of other projects. I also oppose this because I do not think it will benefit the projects to increase the limitations on new users. Instead of limiting new users established users should be given tools to help the new users doing the right thing. Jeblad 00:14, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support, as it has the potential to reduce backlogs a non-insignificant amount. In addition, four days is hardly a long time to wait. Let's give it a try. Picaroon (t) 04:40, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support -- Even for those new Wikimedians who are legitimate do-gooders that would be affected by this, it isn't much to ask of them to wait four days before uploading. Cheers!! Ninetywazup? 22:36, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Support Sensible proposal. Snowolf How can I help? 12:40, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Since this was not discussed with the Commons community (the announcement was made, but by that time it concerned the proposal where Commons was excluded, hence no effects on Commons), I propose that the configuration change is made on all wikis except Commons, which seems to have pretty much consensus and discuss the issue of Commons further on Commons. (I personally don't think there should be extra measures taken). -- Bryan (talk|commons) 19:55, 10 February 2008 (UTC)


I just had a quick question about this issue since now the proposed change has actually been implemented on all wikis but Commons. Was there any effort done to involve local communities in this process? It seems to me that community decisions affecting multiple communities should be made with some sort of involvement of the communities being affected. What attempts have been made to contact them and invite their comments before this poll was started and the implementation requested as a result? sebmol ? 22:10, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Local Meta

If you ever navigated through a wiki in a language foreign for you, you perhaps know how annoying this can be. You are searching for some specific page or info, but there's no meaning in all those characters at all. All the interface is useless. After some time you may find the info you are searching for, but it's nothing you want to do every day, that's obvious.

Well, despite English de facto being the worldwide lingua franca (on Meta too), there are still large fractions of people, who are not able to speak English (actually depending on the exact number and proficiency level of non-native speakers anywhere between 75 % and 90 % of the world population). They are basically excluded from decision-making on Meta. There's not much, we can do about it. We can't serve everybody, it's not feasible. For decision- and policy-making English is the best choice.

But not all content on Meta is about inter-language coordination and policy-making. For example Meta too hosts the Danish and German manual for MediaWiki, a coordination page to create an article in German for the Open Source Yearbook, a page about membership fees for Wikimédia France, a Dutch fun page about Wikiholism etc. pp. These pages are all not multilingual. They are only relevant to the respective languages they are written in.

So my idea is, to give the different language communities the possibility to set up their own separate Meta. All content only relevant to the projects in that particular language should go there while content relevant for other projects too should stay here in the global Meta.

The MediaWiki manuals are a good example. The Slovene manual is relevant for sl.wikipedia, sl.wiktionary, sl.wikibooks, sl.wikisource, sl.wikiqoute, sl.wikinews and sl.wikiversity all the same, but it is obviously not relevant for any projects in languages other than Slovene.

Or take the page Wikipedia:Datenschutz on German Wikipedia (about the privacy policy). It has an exact duplicate in Wiktionary:Datenschutz on German Wiktionary. The page should be hosted in one place to avoid inconsistencies.

An own Meta could host the page on the privacy policy and all other pages now hosted on German Wikipedia, but which are relevant to all other German projects too. It too could host the manual which is now hosted on this wiki. That local German Meta wiki would be a place completely in German language, unlike the English dominated global Meta. A user fluent in German but not able to fluently read English would feel much more comfortable and safe in an environment in his mother tongue.

Local Metas would not substract of the usefulness of global Meta, cause all inter-project coordination would stay here. But they will help to focus on the real coordination stuff.

I should add some info on how I came to this proposal: I am mainly active on one of the smaller projects, the Low Saxon Wikipedia (and the other Low Saxon projects too). Low Saxon has a long history as a written language, but it never developed a common spelling. Everybody is free to choose his way of spelling by will. Nevertheless there are some major spelling styles. One influenced by Dutch spelling in the Netherlands and one influenced by German spelling in Germany. It's not like British and American English. Without training one is not able to read the other spelling style. So the community decided to create two Wikipedias for the two styles. There is even a third variety of Low Saxon used by Mennonites who emigrated from the main Low Saxon lands and now live scattered all around the world. They have an own distinct dialect and wish to have their own Wikipedia (proposal is open). So we will have three Wikipedias in the future. But it is commonly agreed between the different Wikipedia communities, that we don't need separated wikis for all projects. Wikisource for example should be common between all three variants, cause we anyway have to keep original spelling. There's no reason to split. But you see, this inparity "three Wikipedias - one Wikisource" produces additional need for coordination. The language subcommittee of the foundation has said us to take active means to coordinate our work before they want to approve the request for a Wikisource. So our projects have need of a coordination place of its own. Global Meta is not a good place to do this coordination, cause it is no comfortable and safe environment for users only interested in Low Saxon matters.

So I want to ask what others think about the affair. Any concerns, any other feedback or additional ideas?

--::Slomox:: >< 02:53, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Looks like no one has a concern :-) Anthere 06:20, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Actually I can not find the point.
German (and other language) version of meta page (for example Privacy policy ) may be on meta. (German language version of Privacy policy is at Privacy policy/de.
Meta is a "English dominated global Meta" you say, but it's up to us to translate page in other languages. (or crate them in our own language and then translate them in other languages).
Anyhow you talk about things that inovolve all the projects in a language ("sl.wikipedia, sl.wiktionary, sl.wikibooks, sl.wikisource, sl.wikiqoute, sl.wikinews and sl.wikiversity" in you example). I think that cooperation and collaboration among user of same lanuage project is important (users that often even are not aware that Meta exist). I tried talking about some of these matters in Metapub/Archives/2007-09#Metapub in italian language? and Metapub/Archives/2007-09#Where does we manage same-language projects cooperation and collaboration? --ChemicalBit 15:52, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Some people tend to be un-hesitant. But there are other people who are relatively unassertive. Who don't like environments in foreign languages, who don't like places where you can easily get lost. On Meta you do one click and you perhaps are on a page in Japanese (and with uselang maybe the interface changed too). For tech savys no problem, but for others it is. Or perhaps you are just discussing some community-stuff in a little round when an unrelated, but opinionated user by chance comes to the page, disagrees and embattles his like-minded peers to flash the place. For an example, I myself experinced, see oldwikisource:Wikisource:Language domain requests#Domain requests ( For a time of two month the request went on quietly until de.wikisource hit the ground and argued, they want to incorporate Low Saxon. After two days again silence. That's very annoying. Of course outside opinions are needed in a proposal for a new project, but if it is about community matters, outside opinions are rarely useful (the opinionated ones, at least). It just makes life easier to have your own place.
One other point: Of course Meta is multilingual. Any language is welcome to use. But the facts show, that English is dominant. Not only dominant, cause it is the biggest group. And not only cause it is a Lingua franca. The third cause is: In a community minorities tend to speak the dominant language in public. If two Low Saxons are in public, they often switch to German (or Dutch or some other languages depending on the place), even when they only speak to each other. Why? Cause Low Saxon is no "real" language, it has no country, is nowhere official language, it has no standing anywhere. It's improper to speak the "low" language in public. That's not a Low Saxon specific thing. It's the same with all minority languages with no full recognition and even with many fully recognized ones outisde of their main land. Well, of course from a point of view of plain rationality, this is ridiculous, but it still is a fact. There's nothing you can do about it. Communities always tend to look more homogenous if you look at them from the outside than they really are. Therefore, give them a community, a public of their own and they will more easily prosper (at least do better than without). Why do Catalans want more autonomy from Spain? Cause they don't like the Spanish? No, they want to set up a community of their own. To keep being visible. As part of Spain they are only appendix, as Catalonia they are an own entity. Why did the Jews found Israel? Cause they wanted to dominate the Palestinians and have power? No, cause they where scattered and everywhere they lived, they were a minority. They wanted to have their own place, so they can more easily prosper.
I hope this did not sound too political with all that Catalonia and Israel ;-) Of course I don't want to found my own country, I only wanted to make clear the principle that 5 in a group of 100 and 5 in a group of 5 both is 5 and the same in mathmatics, but not in community studies. --::Slomox:: >< 18:02, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Actualy the point that I can not understand is: Which is the differenct beetwen policy/de and policy ? --ChemicalBit - talk 13:06, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I am no big fan of this proposal though, I think it makes a bit different - imagine you are browsing as an anon. Currently meta interface for anons is English. But if there were an "German meta", its default interface may have been in German. It may somehow affects people who are now scared from English default setting. Also, while meta is a multilingual project, I sometimes got criticized when I didn't write in English - I was said I should have written in "the language most people could understand". Either we like or not, meta looks like English speaking project, and it may be a hazard for some people. --Aphaia 13:18, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Not exactly a hazard, but a barrier, a matter of accessibility. What you describe, is exactly, what I spoke of. Pressure towards linguistic unity, which can detract from the main goal: to most efficiently manage our projects, our actual content. Our content in the diverse languages.
@ChemicalBit: It's not about URL, it's about community. --::Slomox:: >< 20:29, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
@Aphaia . Yes, default interface is English (I think that this can be fixed, and not only at meta, but I'm going too far from the topic of this discussion. I'm going to open another one.) But an users usually come to meta becouse they are already in a project in a languge (let's say de. language), they become aware of meta and they may follow the link to meta. This link can be setted properly, so they come to the meta main page in teir own language ( de. , for example). Talking about the example that I know most, it.wikipedia's mailn page have a link pointing to
@Aphaia and Slomox : I can understand that the community is mostly english speaking, and that writing in another language is felt as unsuitable. But in some page, as policy/de and its talk page, I hope that it's not so. Just it would be be at nd policy .
So, the trouble it's not about the URL, I agree. We have to start managing the "trouble" at meta, I fear that starting project like de.meta (and other language) is more difficult and complex, and it's worthless unleass we have already get people talk in german (and other language) on meta, at least a bit, at least at some pages. --ChemicalBit - talk 22:53, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for replying me. ChemicalBit said "But in some page, as policy/de and its talk page, I hope that it's not so." It reminds me on the deletion request of It is a legitimate content and should be placed on meta as Wikimedia project related feedback page, but English (only) speaking people just listed it on Vote for Deletion and barely deleted it as "a mere chat forum". I therefore understand a desire to have a language specific coordination place, while I am not a big fan of such a proposal. On the other hand, this proposal may be pointless unless a reasonable number of de editors would like to have a such. --Aphaia 02:15, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Images uploaded to Meta before 29 December 2006 without copyright license declared

After checking the edit history of MediaWiki:Uploadtext, on 29 December 2006 a warning was added that images without information about source, authorship and licence would be deleted. As there was no such a warning before while contributions to this site have always been considered to be licensed under GFDL as stated in Meta:Copyrights and now deleted MediaWiki:Copyrightwarning, I would like ask a few questions:

  1. Should w:Template:GFDL-presumed be brought here for images uploaded to Meta before 29 December 2006?
  2. Should we add a "no license" tag to allow speedy deletion after 7 days for images uploaded since 29 December 2006 without licenses declared?--Jusjih 23:00, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
As no one has said anything, I have made Template:GFDL-presumed and Template:GFDL presumed warning copied from English Wikipedia.--Jusjih 03:31, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I think it is MaxSem's personal idea and there is no reason to consider the community decision (while it may reflect the recent trend, I am not sure). Rather I think no licensed images had been considered as released under GFDL, specially in the early days (it was so on some projects at that time specially until 2006). So I don't personally think all such "no-license" tagged images should be removed. It would be more appropriate GFDL presumed, while the best way would be to ask each uploaders to tag them separatedly. --Aphaia 04:36, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
By the way we are better to move this discussion to Meta:Babel? It seems only to concern a meta issue, not Wikimedia project wide one. --Aphaia 13:19, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
To move this discussion, we should talk at Meta:Babel#Meta_Image_Policy. I made this thought here after reviewing what the upload page would say at different time.--Jusjih 01:21, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

translation extension

I found myself at - ist überall -

I wanted to read it, but I don't speak German.

Is there any talk anywhere about a translation extension so one could click a small translate to the language set in my preferences button and it would translate the page sort of like Babel Fish at might? or something like that? --Emesee 17:03, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

ZIP files

Are ZIP files on any Wikipedia eligible for speedy deletion? -- Prince Kassad 20:03, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

It probably depends on the local policy. On the English Wikipedia, the following file types are permitted: png, gif, jpg, jpeg, xcf, pdf, mid, sxw, sxi, sxc, sxd, ogg, svg, djvu. I'm not sure if these filetypes are global. Nakon 21:09, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
I asked because the files I found contained executables, which are of course prone to viruses. -- Prince Kassad 12:57, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
(late reply) If your project has no policy regarding them, use your best judgment as an admin. Various types of executable files (including scripts, for that matter) however, should have a very good reason for hanging around, and if legitimate, should be protected to minimize the possibility of abuse. Better to just link to a reputable download site, though. ~Kylu (u|t) 19:26, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Bias on Arabic Wikipedia?

I just noticed that the en:Mohammed article on the Arabic Wikipedia (go to the interwiki) seems that the Arabic Wikipedia is not conforming to the general NPOV and "Wikipedia is not censored policy". Although, I understand very little Arabic, it seems that they are selectively removing images of the Prophet from the page - that's why it only has one image, and this image is not of the Prophet -, and every mention of the Prophet's name, there is a "peace be upon him" inscription. I have nothing against Islam, but I really think that the article is biased. And according to past discussions in the English page images of the Prophet should be included even if some frown at this since "Wikipedia is not censored", and it is encyclopedic. While, "Peace be upon him" and other honourifics should be removed like the "Holy Qur'ran" vs. "Qur'ran" since it represents bias and a very not NPOV. I don't know if this is happenning to other Islam-related articles at their Wikipedia, but it is most probable due to the large Muslim majority of Arabic speakers. Again please don't hate me for this. I am reporting this to the Meta-Wiki community for three reasons: 1) It would not be right for me to post this at the English Wikipedia; why should they care?; 2) I cannot post this at the Arabic Wikipedia since I don't know their language; 3) And also because if I do I might get a very negative reception since this report can be possibly against them. Again I have nothing against them, and Wikipedia is not censored! I wish something good will happen. All the thanks, -- Felipe Aira 12:37, 30 January 2008 (UTC).

The English article says in one of its image descriptions: The earliest surviving image of Muhammad from Rashid al-Din's Jami' al-Tawarikh, approximately 1315. So there are no images depicting Mohammed as a real person. If there are no images depicting him in real, it is indeed a good idea to not show those later images, which are products of the painters imagination.
Well, and the Qur'ran is holy. Holy means related to (a) God. Whether this god does exist or not is another question. The en:Holy See is holy in the same way. Do you want to move that article too?
Whether "peace be upon him" is a form of POV or a cultural manner that must be respected, is a philosophic question that should be answered by islamicists, but not by Meta users. I recommend to let the Arab Wikipedia community decide this.
Finally, let me say, that POV and NPOV is not culture-independent. As long as they don't screw up the facts, let them do their business. --::Slomox:: >< 20:57, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Response to your argument First the en:Holy See is a proper name, we cannot remove the "Holy". Second then why, in the Jesus Christ article of almost all Wikipedias, images of him, which are painted out of pure imagination centuries after his death, are included? -- Felipe Aira 12:15, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't know why they use those images, I did not add them. But perhaps it is bias towards illustration? Maybe, maybe not. As I said, it's all culture-dependent. The Arab culture is another than yours and mine and there are differences. What is POV and what is NPOV? What is neutral in NPOV? Is it neutral to potentially hurt religious feelings of 98 % of the readership? Neutrality is no "absolute" value. The question "what is neutral?" can only be answered subjective. Neutrality is based on common sense. If they use the phrase "Holy Qur'ran" but delete all references to "Holy Bible", that's maybe non-NPOV. But pushing them to secularize their language is no NPOV too. --::Slomox:: >< 12:36, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Ouch! Edit conflict! So I haven't incorporated Slomox's reply but let me continue as following:
This reminded me an argument on Polish Wikipedia just after the death of the former Pope of Rome, John Paul II. Some editors wanted then to express their moruning and it was disputed as the NPOV issue I heard. The resemblance came from here: then Polish people usually refers their religious leader as "the Holy Father" literary in Polish. According to some of them no other name cannot be considered a good and acceptable expression. But is it a Catholic POV or not? So there was a dispute so I heard among Polish Wikipedians.
As Slomox said, I think this should be ultimately decided by Arabic people, while I hope they considered other cultures' views deeply. As for the "Holy See" partly I think it is an apparent systematic biases of the Western Christianity, while I easily imagine that Catholic cannot consider any other name to this office. But is it similar to the inscription to the Muhammad the Prophet? As said, it is rather a matter of convention why we or English readers think today "the Holy Bible" a POV-ish expression (otoh, in Japanese and Chinese this book is literally called just "(the) Holy Book"), but accept still "Holy See" (I prefer to refer to them as "the Patriarchal/Papal Office of Rome"). Also it is a matter of convention why the vast majority in the West doesn't think that allowing the Roman Pope almost occupies the title of Pope, while still the same title is used for the Holy Patriarch(es) of Alexandria and All Africa in East Christianity? So I think it is good for us non-native speakers just to raise up the issues, not in an accusing tone (and I think you did it in a good and moerate way, Felipe), and ask our Arabic friends to consider those issues carefully. --Aphaia 12:44, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
To Slomox What's neutral is not taking bias on one point of view, and telling that something is "holy" is an opinion and definitely a point of view that is more or less not accepted by everyone else. What I want to say is, they and not only they but all Wikipedias should take also the views of all cultures. As what you said, Wikipedias should not be culture dependent. It should never be. So if that bias is actually happenning then it must be corrected. We are not saying in Wikipedia that it is the Holy Bible we say it is the Bible. We don't say that cheese is a very delicious food, we say it's food. We don't say that the Philippines is a great country, we say it's a country. And same should go with Islam. -- Felipe Aira 16:06, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


I was just on #wikimedia-ts and it looks like some work is being done on the ts...any idea when some of the tools will be available again? thanks - Her Pegship 20:42, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

There's no ETA available, as far as I know. Try to ask River/flyingparchment in #wikimedia-toolserver , she's the only one who may know it. Snowolf How can I help? 12:42, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
River said "soon", check chan topic. Snowolf How can I help? 12:54, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Where to request an extension to be deployed to Wikiversity

I'm trying to find out where to put an extension request. I've found dozens of pages on Meta for requesting all sorts of other things, but not extensions. A couple of bureaucrats vaguely suggested Bugzilla, but that seems to be only for bugs, not features ;-) Anyway, our problem is that "learning projects" (the basic particles of which WV consists) normally use subpages, and we need to improve our navigation tools for teachers creating projects. The solution is, which some non-Wikimedia wikis (including a large educational one - are already using. I've experimented with it myself (elsewhere), and it seems to be simple and just what we need. It appears to be based on a no-longer available extension written by Rob Church. Any information about how to get this extension gratefully received. --McCormack 09:31, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

On your local discussion place, gather consensus for the extension first. Then you should post a request on bugzilla, like the bureaucrats suggested, being sure to link to the place that you got consensus. Cbrown1023 talk 17:20, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

international language support via special:Gadgets

moved to Babel#international language support via special Gadgets
‫·‏לערי ריינהארט‏·‏Th‏·‏T‏·‏email me‏·‏‬ 08:45, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Visitor counter request

Please see Meta:Babel#Visitor_counter_request. --- Best regards, Melancholie 03:02, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


At the moment all of the disclaimers are housed on Wikipedia (w:Wikipedia:General_disclaimer), would it not make more sense to have them all on meta or, where they could be project-independent like the Privacy policy. Conrad.Irwin 17:52, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

If I recall correctly, not every disclaimers are housed on English Wikipedia. Some other Wikipedia(s) has/have their own in their language. I rather think it depends on the project culture and its jurisdictions the majority of readership reside, and better hosted on the project each. Privacy policy is given by the WMF but iirc those disclaimers are written by the community, and WMF isn't necessarily involved. --Aphaia 18:51, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Ok, so do these not have to conform to the same level, or legality? The ones on Wikipedia look quite formal and (dare I say it) a little over the top. On en.wiktionary we have an old clone of their general disclaimer and links back to the four sub-disclaimers; would it be better to just link back to theirs, or can we just write our own? I am assuming they need to be reasonably legally correct? Conrad.Irwin 21:16, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Good point, please note I just gave my own personal understanding so I might be wrong (disclaimers). Coordination at least between a same language would be wise, and meta would be the place of such coordination. You may be interested in inviting more people with a foundation-l post, too? --Aphaia 21:30, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, I have emailed the list and the response was that a central Disclaimer would be a good idea, . Conrad.Irwin 11:55, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps this issue can be more deeply considered with a real example of the scope of disclaimers.
Some time ago there has been a little controversy involving this at the spanish wikipedia, when I traducted the policy "Biographies of living persons" to spanish as Wikipedia:Biografías de personas vivas and tried to make it official policy here, with a raw poll (that's still the system employed there to make policy). Part of the policy included in the translation was the part that says "...and must adhere strictly to the law in Florida, United States...". An administrator pointed that detail to justify being against the policy, and many others agreed with him. The issue is that the english disclaimer has a section "Jurisdiction and legality of content", that explains that the content is maintained in reference to the protections afforded under local and federal law of Florida; but the spanish disclaimer lacks that section. A part of the community at the spanish wikipedia refused to acknowledge the authority of the law of Florida, some as a plot to prevent consensus about non-free material from happening, and others as a mistaken display of patriotism, and the policy about living people remained a simple proposal.
So the question: can this happen? Can user consensus of a local project design a disclaimer that contradicts the english one? (or to leave parts out in a deliverate plot to use such missings to contradict the english disclaimer, wich is actually the same thing) Who decided that the english wikipedia would have it's content in reference to the protections afforded under local and federal law of Florida, ther community of the Foundation? Thialfi 21:00, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Or, looking at it the other way around, do we want a Meta: disclaimer which says only what is legally necessary, so that projects can add as they feel fit - instead of being undecided as to what is nescessary. It would also be useful for having the translations of the Policy in one central place. Shall I copy the Wikipedia disclaimers here so we can start working, or should they be Transwikied? Conrad.Irwin 21:59, 20 February 2008 (UTC)


I've asked for Help on the Community Help Forums but received no response, because i don't know what to do on this site, i know it's mainly translation for other wiki sites, but is their any minor tasks which i could perform, over on wikipedia I'm known by this username and do a lot of reverting vandalism and new page patrol including fixing minor error's but would their be any similar tasks which i could do on meta, part from translating. Terra Who are you? 21:16, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Start hitting up Special:Random and look for stuff to do. That may not sound helpful, but that's what I've done on more than one occasion. :) EVula // talk // // 21:39, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Alternatively, you may start from the category:categories and browse systematically. Hillgentleman 21:58, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
What are you interested in or good at? There are a lot of different tasks you can help us with, such as translation, MediaWiki documentation, organizing the 2008 board elections, helping the language subcommittee maintain requests for new languages, working on maintenance backlogs (such as uncategorized images, unused categories, or wanted categories), and so forth.
There is unfortunately not much most users can help us with, unless they're interested in that sort of work. —{admin} Pathoschild 22:11:47, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
What about warning templates, is there a script which i can have on my monobook.js, because before i went off-line i noticed an IP had vandalized an article on meta, i would have reverted it but, i had no warning templates. Terra Who are you? 08:02, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Meta generally has a lower tolerance for vandalism than en-Wikipedia. If an edit is likely to be a good-faith test or mistake, you can leave a simple non-templated message (or use one of those in Category:User templates). If it's clearly vandalism, we can block them immediately without warning; one doesn't need repeated warnings to know that deliberately disrupting other people's work is not welcome (particularly new users who think they're permanently destroying work). —{admin} Pathoschild 08:47:52, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Is there a selection of userscripts which i could place on my monobook.js file. Terra Who are you? 09:35, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Don't rely on scripts and templates. It takes very little effort to revert manually, and to warn users manually. Free yourself from such wiki-trappings. :) EVula // talk // // 15:04, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Default language interface (Meta and other project) depending on user's browser preference

As we discussed in Metapub#Local Meta above, the Meta default interface (for unregistred or unlogged user, and for logged user who have not changed preferences) is English. This may scare pepole who are not native speaking English.

That same happends at other multi-language projects (Commons, for example).

Can not MediaWiki be setted to use language interface depending on user's browser preference (like some websites (not MediaWiki) in Internet do)?

This may be useful even at other project, which have a own project language: English Wikipedia have default language in English, Spanish Wikibook in Spanish , Italian Wikinews in Italian, Greek wikisource in Greek, and so on. For eexample some time ago I had to go to a project in Japanese to write in a bot's operator talk (I had to write just a message, so I didn't register), and managing with another laguage interface may be hard (mostly with non-latin alphabet , right to left, and so on, if you are used to a left to right latin alphabet language). --ChemicalBit - talk 13:59, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I completely disagree for language-specific projects, but for multilingual projects I agree.
For example, I am active on Low Saxon Wikipedia. Low Saxon is a minority language with almost no technical support. There's no Windows or Internet Explorer in Low Saxon and no Firefox and only very few other programs. And very, very few websites, who use the browser's preference for presenting Low Saxon content instead of some other language (actually I know none at all and I would say, I know almost the whole net if we speak about Low Saxon content). Cause of that, there are even among native Low Saxons very few who have 'nds' as their browser's preference language. This would mean, that 95 % of all natives would get the Low Saxon Wikipedia with German, Dutch or English interface.
But for multilingual projects, this would be appropiate. If I again look from the perspective of Low Saxon, this would be the first website(s) on the net which would set an incentive to set your browser to 'nds' preference. In any case browser's preference would be more appropiate than 'english first'. --::Slomox:: >< 15:42, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Uhm, this should be tuned up. Anyhow this should be tried in a multilangage project at the beginning, so we can thhik about that later.
Now my main concern are squid chace server. Are they a trouble about this idea? --ChemicalBit - talk 21:21, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

RfC — rethinking the list of the top ten wikipedias

Please comment on the discussion at Top Ten Wikipedias. Waldir 19:04, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Dues-paying membership

Has the idea of having a dues-paying membership been discussed yet? I think it could have many advantages.

First, it is useful for establishing a coherent electorate. Rather than restricting voting to editors with x many edits or who have been here since y, we can just say that anyone who has paid $25 or whatever can vote. (There could be discounts for students, seniors, etc.) Online payment services might be useful in verifying identities and thus greatly reducing sockpuppet-related problems.

Second, it could help us shift to more of a rights-based system. Currently, Wikimedia editors have no rights, other than the right to leave and the right to fork. This is in contrast to customary parliamentary procedure, which attempts to balance the rights of members with the rights of the organization (see User:Qq/Parliamentary procedure for a comparison of the two systems). The fact that we don't decide anything by vote means that certain key issues, such as notability policies, are often decided by the more vocal editors who may represent a minority segment in the community.

In fact, the Wikimedia Foundations doesn't even have members, according to Article III of the bylaws. The board is the supreme governing body of the organization. Although there is a trend toward adopting such "board-only" structures, partly due to the legal complexities involved in managing a membership-based organization, it is also a controversial practice because of the accountability issues. Nonprofit organizations are not subject to market discipline for products and shareholder discipline over their capital. Vesting certain fundamental powers, such as bylaw amendment and establishment of basic policies, in the membership would provide additional checks and balances over the board.

There is also the potential for dues payments to bring money into the organization. Undoubtedly some would give more than the basic amount. This could become a reliable source of money for the organization. Snowball 23:05, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

No. We should not be voting on everything, and people should not pay for the privilege. Wikis are about discussing the best outcome, not about running a numbers-only referendum to decide something. Werdna 09:29, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Typically, parliamentary procedure uses both, although not simultaneously. You have discussion followed by voting. Here, we discuss and vote simultaneously, with the quirky effect that opinions expressed in the beginning of the poll do not necessarily take into account arguments raised toward the end of the poll; yet they are counted anyway unless the user retracts them. It would probably be better to have discussion first, and then call users back to vote at the end of discussion. The maker of the proposal can withdraw the proposal (with the community's permission) if it appears doomed.
We already do pay for the right to participate in decisions, in the sense that opinions expressed by established users who have contributed their labor to the project are often given more weight than those who haven't. Snowball 20:09, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Creating a dues-paying membership would be undesirable - people's opinions are taken seriously based on a combination of their strength of argument and participation in the project - e.g. en.wikipedia's article for deletion discussions - they aren't a vote, merely a discussion accompanied by an indication of support, but the argument is considered to be the most important in the final decision (see w:WP:VOTE#Deletion, moving and featuring).
Additionally, as someone intimately familiar with Robert's Rules of Order, I have to say that such a parliamentary procedure, while convenient, would not be a good thing for the Wikimedia projects - the purpose of a parliamentary procedure isn't to discover a concensus, but to quickly find a majority to "get things done" rather than to "agree on how it should be done". --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:33, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Note: I would not be opposed, however, to having significant (or any?) important changes to Wiki-wide policy subject to a concensus approval of the users of the impacted project(s). --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:33, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Parliamentary procedure is not just about majority rule; it is also about protection of the rights of the minority, of individuals, of absentees, etc. Ironically, even though members of the community (often defined as editors who been here for a certain length of time) are the ones on whom the project's success depends, they are held to have no rights other than to leave and to fork. Snowball 21:07, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

There is a (somewhat) related conversation going on at en:Wikipedia talk:Governance reform. I've also written about some of these issues at Wikitopia. Snowball 19:49, 24 April 2008 (UTC)


When is it good to post essays on meta rather than Wikipedia? I have written on numerous topics (see User:Qq), a lot of which were originally posted on en.wikipedia, but I thought it would be good to move them here. Some of the ideas could be applied to other projects besides Wikipedia. Snowball 23:32, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

You said it right there... "could be applied to other projects besides Wikipedia". If they are just general essays not specific to a project, then they are suitable for Meta. Majorly (talk) 23:34, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
So really, there are all kinds of essays that could go on meta rather than Wikipedia. E.g., en:Wikipedia:Editors matter, en:Wikipedia:Advertisements, etc. Is there any reason for keeping them there rather than transwiki'ing them here? Snowball 23:56, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
They could easily be transwiki'd here. Some, such as Don't be a dick were on Wikipedia at one time before being moved here. Majorly (talk) 00:02, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be helpful to begin transwiki'ing such essays to meta in large numbers. For one thing, there could be some cross-pollenization of ideas among the different wikis. The unique circumstances and editor skill sets present on Wiktionary, for instance, might lead an editor there to come up with an idea or new perspective that has not arisen yet on Wikipedia. For instance, see . Most encyclopedia articles begin with a brief definition of some sort, and that type of essay provides food for thought on how to word it.
Also, some work is probably getting duplicated. See, for instance, . There are consensus-related discussions going on at en:Wikipedia talk:Consensus as well, and it might be useful to consolidate some of that on meta. (Not that it should be mandatory; each project can, of course, make its own rules and have its own versions of essays as it pleases; and editors can work on that stuff in userspace as well.) The consensus pages might be a bad example because those are binding policy, not essays. But anyway...
It might be good for meta as well to have those essays hosted here. The more people are coming through here to look at essays, the more they might tend to look at other parts of meta, which could lead to an increase of activity on metapub, steward elections, etc. potentially benefiting Wikimedia in general. And as meta grows and develops, it can better support the smaller Wikimedia projects that don't yet have the economies of scale that Wikipedia has.
I think I will test the waters over at Wikipedia with a few essays to see if there is any interest in transwiki'ing them. Snowball 02:04, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Transwiki'ing behavior guidelines

Could certain behavioral guidelines be transwikied from Wikipedia (or other projects) to here? For instance, en:Wikipedia:No personal attacks, en:Wikipedia:Do not bite the newcomers, en:Wikipedia:Don't disrupt to make a point, etc. could be applicable in all our wikis. The only downside I can see to doing that is that we might want to retain some degree of "home rule" in which each wiki maintains and edits its own rules, which are adapted to its particular situations. But I think our wikis and the behaviors expected of users on them are more similar than they are different, and therefore it should not be a big deal to move those guidelines here. They can be instructive for other projects (e.g. new ones) that want to adopt guidelines. Snowball 20:58, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Of course there are some quite universal ideas like "no personal attacks" or 'Do not bite the newcomers". But I still think we shouldn't have meta guidelines. First of all, our communities are different and therefore the guidelines are different. (check the different versions of "no personal attacks"!) Small and large Wikis might focus on different aspects when it comes to newcomers. The same is true for Wikipedia projects and, say, Wikiversity projects. Second of all, the Wiki communities are responsible for their guidelines and they should decide how to formulate a guildeline. We should take care to avoid the impression that we tell all projects which guidelines to use. Third of all, you can already use guidelines like en:Wikipedia:No personal attacks when you need inspiration for the guidelines in your projects. --Davidlud 19:50, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, this sounds like a good idea, at least for some of the guidelines/policies that are applicable to all projects - although some of those may be common sense, it might be useful to have them in a common location. Cirt 07:52, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Would like to donate

I would love to donate something to you, but I can't for the life of me tell what you would use the money for. What is your mission? In fact, I'm not even sure if I put this question in the right place.

Mission statement:

The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Foundation provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for the support and development of multilingual wiki projects and other endeavors which serve this mission. The Foundation will make and keep useful information from its projects available on the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity.

In short, the Foundation's goal is to freely spread knowledge throughout the world. You can also see the vision and values. If you want to see exactly what the money will be used for, have a look at the Planned Spending Distribution 2007-2008. I do hope that you consider donating. Greeves (talk contribs) 18:44, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikia as the solution to the notability issue

Wikia was hailed as being the solution to the notability issue, as people could take the stuff deemed not suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia to any of these other wikis, and continue to collaboratively edit it there. Why, then, does the inclusionist/deletionist debate continue? Does there remain something about a subject's inclusion in Wikipedia that makes inclusion in one of these other wikis a less appealing alternative? Snowball 19:00, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, as far as Wikipedia on the various projects, notability is usually assessed on a case-by-case basis in Articles for Deletion discussions. Actually I'm not that sure whether Wikia has affected the nature of those discussions. Cirt 07:50, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, Wikia wouldn't help someone who just wants to post one article on Wikipedia (about their band, for example) rather than start a whole new wiki. Secondly, there is prestige and usefulness no being on Wikipedia; it is one of the biggest sites on the web and will very often be top of a Google search. --Arctic.gnome 06:27, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Thirdly, I can imagine that a devoted inclusionist wants Wikipedia to be the repository of all human knowledge (including the article on his/her favorite garage band) and that s/he sees adding the non-notable article as a contribution to Wikipedia. S/he wants to improve Wikipedia, not Wikia; that's why s/he is a Wikipedian rather than a Wikian. S/he has ideals about Wikipedia, not about Wikia. It's not just about being able to edit collaboratively. --Smeira 22:36, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
So, is there any way to satisfy everyone? There is a rather interesting project called Omniwiki that is currently dormant. But the idea was to have a wiki for "everything else." Thus, as far as notability is concerned, we would really only need two wikis – one for the notable stuff, and another for the non-notable. Wikipedia already fulfills the former. And anytime something verifiable is to be deleted for non-notability, it could simply be transwikied to the latter. Here is the url: There is nothing there yet, I'm afraid. Snowball 19:59, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

There is now a discussion, for those who may have missed it, over there about global blocking -- input is welcome as always. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 14:04, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

WYSIWYG editing

I'm sure this must have come up before, so if someone could direct me to the old or current conversations about it I would appreciate it. I was just wondering about whether we could create a way for anonymous users to edit a page without seeing all of the code for infoboxes, wikilinks, templates, et alii. I'm sure that there must be many, many people who know nothing about computer code and would have made good edits to our projects were it not for all the wikicode in the edit pages. --Arctic.gnome 06:24, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Vükiped opens the gas with bots... yet again

I believed that some sort of consensus to limit the amount of bot-created stubs in wikipedias had been reached during the proposals referring to Volapük wikipedia. Yet, a couple of months later, SmeiraBot has been unleashed once again. During the last week, over 2,000 pseudo-articles have been created by this bot. Last time, the articles had at least some information. This time, articles consist solely of a template and three empty headers, totaling 77 bytes (not counting interwikis). See an example for yourselves at vo:395 b.K..

This is grossly unfair. Over the last few weeks, dozens of editors have been working at the Catalan wikipedia, creating decent articles, improving those which were not good enough, and finding those which should be deleted or merged. Slowly but steadily, we were approaching Vükiped and were due to overtake them in a couple of months at the very most. Yet the few editors of Vükiped brought the bots back and the difference between the two Wikipedias has rocketed to almost five thousand articles, effectively granting Vükiped a few months' worth of publicity in the top 15 wikipedias.

Very hard work has been done on the Catalan wikipedia, and this action of the Vükiped editors has taken away one of the benefits of this hard work. Thus, the Vükiped shall keep a 15th place which it does not deserve legitimally.

Climbing from the 16th to the 15th place would be an important achievement for the Catalan wikipedia; the gain in exposure would be important. We certainly wouldn't be stealing that 15th place from anybody, as we've earned it with hard, constant work. I do not see why this work, from so many editors, should be offset by someone just switching a bot on.

Moreover, during the previous proposal, Smeira defended the use of bot-stubs arguing that they could be improved, and that they would be improved. Two months on, we can now see that was an utter lie. Smeira just keeps on creating myriads of microstubs, while Paris, London or Stockholm still remain bad-quality stubs.

Therefore, given that:

  1. One of the arguments used during that proposal, that stubs can be improved, has been proved to be false on Vükiped – two months later, the stubs have not been improved, and in fact have grown in number;
  2. Despite being asked to use bots reasonably, Smeira has exclusively abused them. Is it a coincidence that the bots were switched on when Vükiped was soon to be overtaken by the Catalan wikipedia, and shortly after by the Romanian wikipedia?
  3. The quality of the bot-created stubs is ever-decreasing – they are hardly 75 bytes long, not counting interwikis;

I believe that Vükiped, and more precisely Smeira, are no longer using the bots, they are abusing them. I ask for measures to prevent Vükiped from occupying a position they do not legitimally deserve in the list of top Wikipedias. My proposal is the indefinite ban of all bot accounts on Vükiped. Please leave your opinion as well as any alternative measures you would prefer to take. Leptictidium 14:37, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry to see you so angry. I think you're an intelligent person; there's no need for this kind of reaction. Let me comment on your points below, and make a proposition. I hope it will satisfy you.
a. Consensus on limits. I'm not aware of any such decision. Yekrats' Proposal for Policy on overuse of bots in Wikipedias was not approved (9 favorable votes, 15 against). My understanding is that bot-limiting policy was left up for each individual project to decide on.
b. Is vo:395 b.K. any worse than ca:317 aC? There are hundreds of such empty year articles in ca.wp too: ca:318 aC, ca:319 aC, ca:320 aC... ca:297 aC... ca:159... ca:333... These are all also hardly 100 bytes long, excluding interwikis. Apparently, all those dozens of hard-working contributors couldn't find or improve them. Frankly, it's more than a bit hypocritical to criticize vo.wp for doing what ca.wp has also done.
c. Vo.wp bot-stubs haven't been improved. Hm, you seem to have missed what we've been doing with the stubs on French cities. Look up all the pages in the categories: vo:Klad:Zifs in Ain, vo:Klad:Zifs in Aisne, vo:Klad:Zifs in Aube, vo:Klad:Zifs in Aude, vo:Klad:Zifs in Allier, vo:Klad:Zifs in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, vo:Klad:Zifs in Hautes-Alpes, vo:Klad:Zifs in Ardèche and vo:Klad:Zifs in Ariège (vo:Klad:Zifs in Averyon is currently being worked on; not all pages there have been improved yet). About 1500 stubs have already been improved thus far. Of course it takes time to improve all of them, but the above examples show that we're clearly doing that. So the quality of bot-stubs is not 'ever-decreasing', as you claim; quite the opposite is true. Please don't make claims without checking first. (All you needed to do was ask me! Why didn't you? I would have told you!)
Leptictidium, you ask for measures. Since ca.wp is so fascinated with the wonderful number-of-articles parameter, here's a proposal that will satisfy this fetiche: if you agree, I will delete all empty year pages (I'll keep the ones that have some information, but they're less than 1% of the total), I'll wait for ca.wp to overtake vo.wp on schedule and then a few weeks more, so that you guys can have a good advantage, and then I'll put the pages back, so that vo.wp can be like all other wikipedias which have them. What do you think? Please answer soon, so that we can make sure that ca.wp will have its moment of glory as scheduled, and not a couple of weeks later. --Smeira 15:11, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
To all other Meta-Wikipedians: I think Leptictidium's outburst here is a quite good example of the tendency for putting national pride into one's Wikipedia; what someone once called 'turning Wikipedia into a version of the Olympic Games', with various projects competing against each other instead of helping and complementing each other. Does anyone still care about the total number of articles of all Wikipedias -- rather than only about the fraction that happens to be in "their" national Wikipedia? Does anyone still think of Wikipedia as a whole, with the various projects complementing each other (like the various thematic WikiProjects inside a Wikipedia) rather than competing against each other? In this spirit, let me make another proposal here: let's create another page, independent from the List of Wikipedias, where various projects are compared and praised for the amount of hard work that people have put into it -- and ca.wp certainly deserves a lot of praise on this respect. (Some discussion about this can be found in some sections of the Top Ten Wikipedias page.) --Smeira 15:48, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Smeira arguments. Leptictidium's opinion is his/hers, but not from the whole Catalan Wikipedia. -Aleator (talk) 16:58, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

(The continuation of this discussion has been moved to User:Leptictidium/Discussions to avoid too long discussions on this page. --Smeira 22:56, 20 April 2008 (UTC))

You may still propose new measures, voice your support or opposition, or leave comments on this page. Leptictidium 23:29, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

A total of 2400 articles have now been removed from the Volapük Wikipedia. We will wait for the Catalan Viquipèdia to overtake the Vükiped, and then start recreating them at a slower pace, always inferior to the Catalan Viquipèdia growth rate. In this way shall the Catalan Viquipèdia not only reach 15th position as scheduled, but also retain it during the whole reimplantation process, as well as in the foreseeable future.
It is to be hoped that, when deciding to take action in future events, the Catalan Viquipèdia will consider the possibility of initiating contact with the apparent cause of the apparent problem (in the current case, the Volapük Vükiped) prior to emitting assessments and judgments based on unchecked assumptions. They may find their apparent opponents much more willing to cooperate with them than they had previously imagined. Wikipedia is no Olympic Games.
Peace be unto all,
--Smeira 20:59, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
This makes no sense. There is not any problem between and There is not any project in to climb positions in the ranking of number of articles. It is not a goal per se. In there are only some 200 bot created articles, after having discussed it. It is not a question of competition among projects, but of coherence.--Vriullop 11:53, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikimedia Radio

A casual remark on the Wikinews Water Cooler, "I feel that a radio version would help the popularity of Wikinews grow", prompted me to give the idea some serious thought. If Wikinews doubled its number of active contributors, and all the new contributors did audio, I simply still don't think we could make a radio service for our project work. Yet, WMF has more projects than just Wikinews, so there are other sources of content. Confirming a few things, such as Commons has free music, Wikipedia has spoken articles, and Wikiquote material is often recorded, it starts to look achievable yet, it has ceased to be Wikinews Radio and morphed into Wikimedia Radio.

It seems we were not the first to look at this option either. Wikiversity started talking about Wiki Campus Radio sometime last year. I'd lobbed into the Wikinews discussion the idea that we persuade them to do spoken language courses, but they've already recorded a few pieces which might be even more useful; namely, learning how to use the tools to create quality audio. This came up from contacting them off-wiki and trying to not bring too much attention to the proposal just yet. This stems from concerns discussed in IRC that were this immediately widely publicised then Wikipedia, by virtue of sheer numbers, would simply hijack and overwhelm the whole thing. However, I'm fast approaching the point where people who are active on Wikipedia need to be brought into this. I've discussed it on the Communications Committee where it provoked questions about the use of audio within the GFDL plus suggestions that my proposal was "WikiRadio4" (look up the BBC's Radio 4 article on WP); I've fleshed out my ideas to make it a viable proposal before contacting Cormac Lawler of Wikiversity for his thoughts. Cormac's take was the same as one I also got on ComCom, and was beginning to suspect myself... This is a proposal for a completely new project. Off-the-cuff ideas for names include using mms:// or a new domain (won't name for fear of cybersquatters). Yet, I was also cautioned that getting something off the ground would not be an easy process.

What has driven me to put quite a bit of time and thought into this is the scope for cross-project collaboration. Commons is a shared media repository, which on Wikinews isn't always looked upon kindly due to a conservative approach on copyright. Meta is really the only other project that aims to be unifying, and its, well, Meta. I know I don't refer to it much, but I think we've reached the point where this needs brought to the attention of meta contributors and and an invitation extended for them to join the discussion. It certainly isn't up to a stage where I'd dare raise it as a project proposal here, but Metapub might just be the place to recruit people who could help take chaotic notes and ramblings and advise how to turn it into a serious and achievable project. I'm ambitious enough to say I want to see this running by Wikimania 2009 and us having keynotes from the conference recorded then broadcast. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:55, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

This is an excellent idea - but it would take a lot of work to maintain and a lot of volunteers. It's tough to gauge if there would be enough people interested, but I'd support the creation of this potential new project. Cirt 15:08, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

policy, rules and guidelines on a local wikipedia


I was wondering what rules, guidelines or the like are applicable at the various language wikipedias.

Today I noticed an error in an article on one such local wikipedia. At first I thought I'd just set about correcting it. After writing for a few minutes I realised the problem was too complex to fix easily and to say the least, I haven't contributed to wikipedia much in the past year (I consider myself wiki-retired). There also is the thing of language barrier (this local page is actually in my native language, but we never actually learned to write it in school, not to mention that until relatively recently it was not at all popular as a written language). So I decided not to edit the article, at least not right away. Instead I left a comment on the article's talk page trying to explain the problem. I made the mistake of starting the comment with something like well that's a rather big error. I obviously should just have explained what was wrong and propose how it could be fixed (which I did after my stupid comment). As the topic of the article is rather complex (it involves medieval inheritance rights, notions of feudalism etc.) I ended up rambling a bit about the topic, but everything was based on sources (I did not cite or reference, just cite from memory and disclaim that I was not 100% certain of all I said (note that generally references are not required on talk pages either).

A few hours later I went back to the talk page to see whether a regular editor might have replied and to see how we could fix the article. I was rather surprised to find an admin call me or my post full of wind and little air, also reminds me of my grade school teacher and how he used to say 'think and (lit.) shitting butter are two different things', then he concluded with if the people who always think "to remember" (he used quotes there, but he does not seem to be quoting me), would no longer "participate" (again his quotes, though some of the meaning is lost in translation) here, I would not go cry in the corner. Note, in my original post I said seems twice (both cases for something that's disputed in literature) and I think once. There actually was nothing constructive about this admin's post. On the english language wikipedia I might have gone and noted: 1) That contributions to an article's talk page should be to improve said article and not as casual debate. 2) Not to make any personal attacks. 3) Not to try and chase away other contributors.

Now if this were the first time this admin had behaved inappropriately I would assume s/he just had a bad day and let it rest. But his/her behaviour has always been that way and it was one of the main reasons why I left that local wikipedia (during my active days I contributed to five language wikipedias and to commons (and one visit to another project)). I recall several other local editors doing much the same (stopping contributing there but continuing their activity in other languages and projects).

Anyhow, to get back to my actual question (and sorry for the rambling). I looked up this local wikipedia's rules and found them almost non-existent and referring to English language wikipedia as the original source of the rules. So now I'm wondering which rules apply in this case.

Note, I'm not giving the admin's name and the exact wikipedia this happened on at this time as I'm hoping he will apologise or at least contribute usefully to the page I commented about. Note, I replied to him rather harshly and just edited my reply to remove my own personal attack(s). Note that my current contributions in all projects are scarce and always as an annon (because of that wiki-retirement of mine). Last disclaimer, I obviously had to translate some material, all in italics is such translation.-- 18:48, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Ok, said admin (whom it turns out is also a bureaucrat) just blocked me on the grounds of Insults or threatens other editors: writes English on talk pages. It's interesting how I cannot post on my talk page to protest the block, as an annon I don't have the option either to contact any other admin on that wikipedia. Note how the 'threatens' is related to my explaining that I was looking into how to have him removed as bureaucrat and admin. I did not explain the reason, but it should be obvious (he's insulting other editors, he's intentionally trying to drive them away (at the same time he's complaining about lack of contributors), he is violating rules generally used on other wikipedias. Oh, the funniest part of this block (my first by the way)is how he is making up rules on the fly as there definitely is no rule about language use on talk pages at that wikipedia (after the dispute with that admin I wrote my edit summaries in English which everyone at the site understands, I also wrote one comment on an article talk page in English quasi automatically, all my contributions to articles were in the local language. Oh well, I have better things to do then this.-- 10:57, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Last note for now. He just left me a note on my talk page explaining how no one will accept personal attacks of a kind... (and then he gives a time stamp that does not correspond to any post, at least not by me, no diff).-- 11:03, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Ooh and another one, now he recommends I get an account (while I'm blocked, which is funny as I'd be expressly violating the rules on sock puppeting (Edit: I'd be circumventing the block, not sure what I was thinking with the sock puppet bit.).-- 11:04, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Just thought I'd register here and sign my above posts. Henceforth I will log in here before posting and I hope I won't be bothering anyone. As I already explained, I consider myself retired from wikipedia as should be apparent from my registered (vs. annon edits which I do regularly as I use the various wikipedias for preliminary research and correct obvious errors I find) edit count on various wikis.--Caranorn 11:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I know complaining is fun, but did you want someone to do something constructive? If you've already tried to resolve this issue on the local wiki, you might be more lucky over there. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 22:44, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Well in short (and I don't usually complain, it's no fun either), I wanted to know what policies and guidelines apply to local wikis which only have skeleton guidelines and policies of their own. Obviously I cannot try to resolve this issue on the local level as long as I'm officially blocked (just a three day block, but still). Note, apparently the block system on said local wiki does not work as one would expect as under the blocked IP I could not post an appeal on my talk page. That was of course until my IP changed (which happens every time my laptop goes into sleep mode and therefore disconnects from the internet), but I'm not sure any admin saw my post as there was unusual activity on the wiki last night. But I'm veering off topic again. So again, what policies and guidelines apply to local wikis? I will take a look at the RFC procedure if I fail to clarify matters locally.--Caranorn 11:49, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to switch to ISO 639-3 codes

So far the domain names of WikiMedia are using a hotchpotch of language codes. The two letter codes like en: de: fr: nl: etc. are obsolete ISO 639-2 codes, for some of the more 'exotic' languages we are already forced to use ISO 639-3 three letter codes. Can we please be more consistent?

There are good reasons why ISO switched to three letter codes. There simply are not enough two letter combinations for all languages and some of them are terribly confusing, e.g. sw stands for Swahili but is regularly taken to mean Swedish and ch stands for Chamorro but don't tell the Swiss that! See e.g. here and on the Chamorro wiktionary itself.

When is WikiMedia going to do something about this problem? Please let us convert to strictly three letter codes! I realize that that is a big job because all names have to be changed, but the longer we wait the bigger the problem.

Jcwf 23:48, 25 April 2008 (UTC) nl:wikt:Gebruiker:Jcwf

Perhaps Wikimedia could create a rule to only allow new wikis under three letter codes. Additionally Wikimedia could create three letter code redirects to all existing two letter code projects. And we should allow all projects to switch to three letter code, if they want to. But I think it is unrealistic to force all projects to use three letter codes. This proposal will never find a majority. And actually neither ISO 639-2 nor ISO 639-1 are obsolete. I don't see any problem with using codes from different codesets. If the Chamorro community has a problem with their specific code, I propose you talk to the Language subcommittee about switching to the code cha. But there is no reason to switch all codes. --::Slomox:: >< 01:59, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Not if are oblivious to the advantages of consistency. It reminds me of satellites impacting on Mars.. Kilometers versus miles I believe.. And yes the ISO codes are the only system the wiktionaries have sort out 4000 languages or s0.
The two letter codes are not obsolete, the IANA language subtags specified in RFC 4646 and before in RFC 3066 follow a "shortest subtag wins" strategy. The successor of RFC 4646 intends to register all ISO 639-3 language subtags in a bulk update, you can already see this as draft (warning: huge), it sticks to the "shortest subtag wins" strategy with a few exceptions for sgn (signed languages) and zh (languages used in China). -- 05:59, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The ISO-639-1 codes will be part of the ISO-639-6. This standard being developed will refer to a linguistic entity by the oldest code it is known under. The ISO-639-4 will be an alpha 4 code. So there is no need to rename except where the codes are wrong or ambiguous.
  • We do not follow IANA when it comes to naming or allowing projects. We are following the ISO-639-3. GerardM 07:55, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Governance reform

Just to centralize the discussion a bit, I have create governance reform. Snowball 21:31, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Official Election Notice

The 2008 Board election committee announces the 2008 election process. Wikimedians will have the opportunity to elect one candidate from the Wikimedia community to serve as a representative on the Board of Trustees. The successful candidate will serve a one-year term, ending in July 2009.

Candidates may nominate themselves for election between May 8 and May 22, and the voting will occur between 1 June and 21 June. For more information on the voting and candidate requirements, see <>.

The voting system to be used in this election has not yet been confirmed, however voting will be by secret ballot, and confidentiality will be strictly maintained.

Votes will again be cast and counted on a server owned by an independent, neutral third party, Software in the Public Interest (SPI). SPI will hold cryptographic keys and be responsible for tallying the votes and providing final vote counts to the Election Committee. SPI provided excellent help during the 2007 elections.

Further information can be found at <>. Questions may be directed to the Election Committee at <>. If you are interested in translating official election pages into your own language, please see <>.

For the election committee,
Philippe Beaudette

Javascript designed on another Wiki

This question has gone unanswered for 3 weeks over at Help talk:User style, here's hoping someone here can answer it.

I use javascript on Wikipedia, but when I copy it here, it doesn't work properly. Can someone help? The javascript I wish to copy to meta is located here. Thanks --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:56, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Which bit doesn't work? Majorly (talk) 22:59, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm having trouble getting any of it to work. I've tried a few guesses at fixing the scripts, but none worked. I've recently reverted my meta monobook.js back to be a clone from my one. Any suggestions? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:12, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that you're using importScript() which not defined on Meta; and even if it was defined like in en.wp, it would import local scripts only. You should insert the following to the top of your User:Philosopher/monobook.js. More complex version could use a second argument to import scripts from any project. Also, next time use either Firefox or Opera and open Tools-Error_Console, it would tell you that importScript was undefined. -AlexSm 23:19, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
importedScripts = {}
function importScript(page) {
  if (importedScripts[page]) return
  importedScripts[page] = true
  var url = ''
    + encodeURIComponent(page.replace( / /g, '_' ))
    + '&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript'
  var scriptElem = document.createElement('script')
  scriptElem.setAttribute('src' , url)
  scriptElem.setAttribute('type', 'text/javascript')
Thanks a ton! It works now! --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:17, 29 April 2008 (UTC)