Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2009-07

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Warning! Please do not post any new comments on this page. This is a discussion archive first created in July 2009, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date. See current discussion or the archives index.

Missing Wikipedia philosophy ?

IMHO, Conflicting Wikipedia philosophies lacks one argument which I see more and more on Articles for deletion. There is a meta-conflict between editors who want to take into account the existence (or lack) of interwikis to assess the notoriety/potential and development of an article and others who thinks wikipedias should develop indepently and that interwikis should not be taken into account. What do you think ? How would you call such positions ? --Ofol 09:31, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Planet Wikimedia/New language#Romanian / Română

I think there are sufficient users to create a separate planet for Romanian Wiki. It's time :D Cheers. --Gikü 21:35, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

It does look that way. 6 users interested in maintaining one is a pretty good number. -- sj | help translate |+ 08:29, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

IRC troubles

Since they blocked the Mibbit tool, I have great problems to get access to any Freenode channel. gives me 'the page cannot be found' a lot. Is anyone else experiencing similar difficulties? Regards, Guido den Broeder 21:23, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Election notice: please distribute widely

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you may be aware, there is concern that the sitenotices regarding submission of candidacy for the Board of Trustees election were not seen anywhere but Meta after the 11th of this month. Because of the potentially massive consequence of this, and to encourage a full and active election, the election committee has determined that:

- Candidacies will be accepted through July 27th at 23:59 (UTC)

- The period for questioning candidates begins immediately. Candidates that are "late to the party" will, no doubt, be scrutinized by the community. The Committee hopes that the community will work to actively ensure that all candidates receive equivalent questioning.

- The dates of election will not change. The election will begin on 28 July and end on 10 August.

Please know that we recognize the radical nature of altering the schedule in the midst of the election and would not do it if we did not absolutely believe that there was a possibility that others may be interested and qualified and may not have known about the key dates.

For the committee, --Philippe 09:09, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

If candidate submissions are able to come through up until 23:59 on the 27th, and the vote begins on the 28th, how will last-minute candidacies be factored into the vote software? —Anonymous DissidentTalk 13:02, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I suspect that part could get kinda sucky. It's over my head technically, but I have full and total confidence in Tim Starling's ability to work miracles. --Philippe 14:14, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

The Vlax Romani Wikipedia and its compromised admin

The only administrator on the Vlax Romani Wikipedia ( is en:User:Desiphral. Desiphral has just been blocked from the English Wikipedia because he shared his account with people who edited Wikipedia for pay.

I quote him from the discussion before he was blocked:

"From what I discussed with them, the guys are determined to continue, but they will be more careful, this is their lifeline. You'll only end up as a police state or as an African National Park with thrilled hunters, paid editing is inevitable and, your biggest problem, it is not immoral."

This is considerably at odds with the mission of Wikimedia. If Desiphral wants to run his own Wiki where paid editing is allowed, this is fine, but he should not be running an entire Wikipedia that is supported by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Although this is not the usual process -- it's hard to start a discussion on a WP for another language about removing its only admin -- I really think we need to de-admin Desiphral. Here's my proposal:

  1. Get a steward to remove Desiphral's admin bit from rmy:.
  2. Find three trustworthy, active Wikipedians who are Vlax Romani speakers, either off of rmy: or on, and appoint them as the new admins for that project. (This is a bit hard: there is no "User rmy" category on English or Commons. I have not yet found a user besides Desiphral on rmy: who has made more than one or two edits and speaks the language.)
  3. If that is not possible -- for example, if Desiphral appears to be the only active Wikipedian who can write in Vlax Romani -- then I would unfortunately have to suggest closing the project.


Rspeer 17:09, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

An update: Ronline (rmy | en) might be a candidate. I might ask him about this later when I have more time. Rspeer 17:29, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I want to draw attention to the way I was indefinitely blocked at English Wikipedia, without any serious reasons, after a kind of a "public shaming" campaign. This coverage from this article captures well what happened there (please, no more conspiracy theories, I have no relation with them, I was just asked for an interview and I eagerly accepted, given the fact that no one bothers to see what happens to my account there):

We found the blocking reason really sarcastic, namely that "he indicated he permitted the use of his account for commercial purposes" (without showing where exactly was that indication, while we could not find anything of this kind in his replies). Even if it would have been true, this is not a punishable offense on Wikipedia... only you'll get intro trouble with those who do not like this. The accusers changed later the reason for blocking to "group account", because he permitted some years ago some people to learn how to edit, using his account. Obviously, a pretext, the same "first shoot, then ask" pattern, since the casual teaching of other people did not amount to what is understood at Wikipedia as a "group account", plus that the respective user was not active on Wikipedia for about a year and a half and at the time scale of Wikipedia such old issues are not considered when judging an user.

The suppressed user also told us that he was not announced by e-mail about the public shaming (he was not active on Wikipedia for long time and for such cases this would be the standard procedure), thus preventing him to present his position. He was not announced also about the following requests of somebody to block him in the Wikipedias in all languages and to close down the one he founded. The most ironic thing in all this affair is that those suspected editing on behalf of Tayzen are free to edit even at this moment (although they keep being hindered), while the one who was wrongly accused to associate with them was taken to the backyard and executed on the sly for sulking against the conduct of the purges. The language and the conduct of this episode suggests a combination of muting the dissent and a seizure of the opportunity by some people who have a problem with the respective user and/or with the Wikipedia he started.

Regarding the last phrase, "muting the dissent"... definitely, it is obvious I was blocked because I talked. There is a debate on English Wikipedia, where a part of the users expressed views close to mine, this must not be a reason for blocking a less visible opinion. The irony is that the real paid users do not even bother to talk about this, probably they have work to do or they already know that no one will listen to them. A normal approach would have been to reply me. "seizure of the opportunity by some people who have a problem with the respective user", yes, just check the previous issues I had with the user Psychonaut and the unjustified description of my activity on English Wikipedia. "and/or with the Wikipedia he started" - here I want to ask Rspeer what kind of judgment made him say that I am compromised (take a look at my edits, I have spent some % of my life editing on Wikipedia and I am not ashamed of what I've done, on the contrary) and that the Romani Wikipedia should be closed because of... what? (and a notice, I did not have the initiative to start Romani Wikipedia, it was Ronline, I became admin because I actually speak the language and I contributed decisively).
And finally, how comes that the users suspected doing paid editing are free to edit even at this moment, while me, because I started to talk there, I was swiftly blocked? Desiphral 08:04, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't see why Desiphral should be desysopped on, he does not seem to do anything bad there, there are several users on several wikis who are blocked on other wikis and who are admins on others... Best regards, --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 10:18, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Projects aren't deleted because contributors are blocked on the English Wikipedia. The blocking itself is pretty strange, in my opinion, and a result of the moral panic gripping some folks on en.wp at the mere thought of editors being paid to edit - as if, until now, no one had ever created articles on en.wp with a conflict of interest. Nathan T 14:16, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
And the user is questions was unblocked shortly afterwards - Peripitus 21:03, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

List Summary Service (LSS) could be multilingual

An English Summary of the foundation list is provided every fortnight. If you have translating skills and feel this can be interesting for Wikimedia users in your language you can provide a translation : see Template:LSS/foundation-l-archives. Teofilo 20:48, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

You can also help write the English summary "anyone else can do summaries" [1] . Teofilo 16:28, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Wiki table cell padding

Has anyone ever run into a situation where a table's cellpadding attribute is being ignored? All the other table attribute commands are working.

Here is my code:

Paper Form Processing
Existing Agency Business Process
Step Action
1 A State of Michigan agency presents a business user with a printable PDF form.
2 The business user prints and completes the form, then mails it to the agency.
3 The agency receives the form. A processing person enters the form data into a unique record keeping system.
4a The business user contacts the agency’s help desk with any questions or problems.
New Agency Business Process Using Quick Status
4b When the receiving agency receives a form, an agency representative opens Quick Status. Using Quick Status, the agency’s processing person and the business user both have access to status updates, eliminating the need for status inquiry calls.

A Document Number is created for reference. The agency representative writes this number on the paper form. The Document Number tracks all changes made to the form, and links it to the business. The business user can read and act upon this information in a timely manner.

Status updates and additional instructions or comments may be passed from the agency to the business user by updating the task in Quick Status. These updates are viewable by the business user in the My Workspace section of One Stop.

Correction - it looks perfect on this page. What settings in my workplace's environment could be causing the cellpadding feature to be disabled?

You are probably using a different version of browser at work, they all miss the standards by varying degrees. Terryfw 22:16, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Actividad de hoy en día en los proyectos

Saludos! No hablo inglés (I can't speak english, like a native) entonces, quisiera hablar sobre un tema en particular que pasa en la mayoría de las Wikipedia:

  • Los bloqueos que realizan los bibliotecarios; digamos, cuando pasa más de dos horas y se denuncia a un vándalo, entonces los bibliotecarios dicen: «Ya hace tiempo que ocurrió el vandalimos» entonces me gustaría que los castigos para los vándalos sean más severos o que, sin importar el tiempo que haya pasados, 3, 4, etc. de horas, se bloquee a la IP o a la cuenta registrada... por favor; e incluso, si se puede, en los demás proyectos Wikimedia. Spirit-Black-Wikipedista 16:14, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Translation: "Hi, I can't speak English at a native level. I want to talk about a very particular matter widely extended in the vast Wikimedia projects: when a vandal stopped vandalizing time ago (~2 hours), administrators say "There is no need to block because the vandal stopped long time ago". In my opinion we should put hardener sanctions and block the account or IP adress without looking if the vandal stopped or not, in all Wikimedia projects" —translated by Dferg.
Si el vandalismo lo ha producido una IP, el bloqueo tiene por objeto detener la acción vandálica: bloquear una IP en forma anacrónica puede impedir la edición por parte de personas inocentes que comparten esa dirección, teniendo en cuenta que una gran mayoría se asigna dinámicamente. No obstante para los bloqueos se tiene en consideración la "reincidencia" , y la identificación de IPs de permanente accionar vandálico lleva habitualmente a bloqueos prolongados. Los bloqueos no deben verse como un "castigo" sino como una herramienta para defender la integridad del proyecto. --User:Antur - Talk/Discusión 16:53, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Discrepo, Spirit Black, el bloqueo no es un castigo en sí, es una medida preventiva. No tiene sentido bloquear a alguien que ya no está vandalizando, lo único que se gana es impedir la edición a usuarios de buena fe. Si el usuario ha vandalizado varias veces pero ya se detuvo, nada mejor que monitorear esa IP. Alvaro qc 17:26, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Además, ¿Por qué no comentaste esto en el café de Wikipedia? Nixón 17:32, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
¿Entonces no se puede tomar un medida preventiva más considerable? Pues un día Poco a poco me dijo que si sólo usuarios registrados editaban en Wikipedia, no sería un enciclopedia libre. Spirit-Black-Wikipedista 00:14, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
¿Medidas preventivas para qué? ¿Para bloquear a una IP que ya no vandaliza? ilógico... ¿Y qué quieres decir con eso de Poco a poco? Nixón 02:31, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
"Poco a poco" es el nombre de un usuario. --Xavigivax 06:49, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Lo sé, pero él primero dice sobre tomar «medidas preventivas» para bloquear IP's que no vandalizan y luego salta a hablar de algo que le dijo Poco a poco :S... no entiendo... Nixón 14:25, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Me neither. Saloca 03:17, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Please participate.

A discussion about sending email to OTRS and users privacy is taking place in Wikipedia Village pump (miscellaneous), Please participate. Thank you. Mpics (talk) 05:57, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Opt-out global sysop

Hello. Comments are welcome on the draft policy for an opt-out version of global administrators at Global sysops/opt-out proposal. Further details are available at that page. Comments, concerns, and anything you care to mention would be appreciated at the talk page. Thank you, NuclearWarfare 03:25, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Admins to help on mt.wiktionary

Since on the Maltese Wiktionary, just like other wiktionaries, there are no admins, wWhere can one ask so as to receive assistance from an admin on deletion requests, arranging the sidebar and also adding the necessary code for Common.css? —Chrisportelli 14:35, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

If there are no other administrators on the project, you can go to m:SRP and request a renewable temporary adminship that is functionally exactly the same as regular adminship. NuclearWarfare 14:37, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks ;) —Chrisportelli 15:04, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

NPOV policy and languages

Just a question: would prohibiting Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian language headers in the English wiktionary, and allowing only Serbo-Croatian headers instead, be compatible with the Wikimedia NPOV policy? (see wikt:Wiktionary:Beer Parlour#L2 header Serbo-Croatian instead of Croatian, Bosnian, etc. in order to understand the context). Note that I don't want to participate to a discussion here, it's only a question. Lmaltier 20:28, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Nobody? Lmaltier 17:15, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
There is a vote about prohibiting these headers and keeping only Serbo-Croatian headers instead. See wikt:Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-06/Unified Serbo-Croatian and wikt:Wiktionary Talk:Votes/pl-2009-06/Unified Serbo-Croatian. An answer from people understanding Wikimedia founding principles and from the Wikimedia foundation is needed more and more urgently. Thanks in advance. Lmaltier 05:21, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

If I don't ask this question at the right place, please, tell me. Lmaltier 11:31, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm no expert, but a sensible decision is a sensible decision. If it is seen that Serbo-Croatian headers are the better/more convenient/simpler option, or whatever, exterior POV shouldn't come into it. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 06:58, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

To clarify my question: this issue is generally considered as a highly controversial, polemic, issue. Is a Wikimedia project allowed to take an official position in such very sensitive issues (which may be political, religious, linguistic... issues)? My question is about Wikimedia principles. Lmaltier 07:43, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Is a Wikimedia project allowed to take an official position in such very sensitive issues (which may be political, religious, linguistic... issues)? Yes. There are exactly two options: a) To unify those, b) not to unify those headers. It doesn't matter whether you choose a) or b), both decisions take a side. You can't help it, some decision has to be made. (I have not looked into the actual debate, so don't take that as a statement on the actual issue. My comment is only about the "Wikimedia principle" part.) --::Slomox:: >< 11:56, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, there is a third option: accepting both, in order not to take position. This is the current situation (Serbo-Croatian headers are present, but Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian headers are present too (this is the current situation not only on en.wiktionary, but on other wiktionaries too, e.g. de.wiktionary, fr.witionary, es.wiktionary...). The proposal wants to change this current situation, by prohibiting separate headers (despite international standards). Lmaltier 15:01, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
The entries I checked had all either "Serbo-Croatian" or different headers for "Croatian", "Serbian" etc.
Having both is indeed an option, but a very, very unwise option. If the word is identical in Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Montenegrin and (obviously then) Serbo-Croatian, we would have _five_ sections with all identical information. If now somebody wants to update or extend the information, there is a heavy chance, that the information is not added to all five sections. The reader would have to read all five sections with redundant information to be sure, that it really is redundant and he does not miss information, that is present in one of the sections but not present in another.
I left a comment on the voting page, how I would do it. --::Slomox:: >< 17:37, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
To clarify still more: this case is very similar to the following hypothetic case (actually, it's exactly the same case, except that it's linguistic): a Wikipedia decides through a vote (with very good historic, etc. reasons) that a country must be considered everywhere on Wikipedia as belonging to another State, for Wikipedia purposes (e.g. infoboxes), despite the fact that this country is recognized as an independent State by almost all other countries and by UNO.. Would such a vote by a Wikipedia be accepted by the Foundation? Lmaltier 21:03, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
No dear Lmaltier, it's not neither similar nor "exactly the same": having SIL/ISO codes does not mean "international recognition", as you've been deceptively trying to depict it, since according to >99% of Western Slavists these 3 (or 4, with soon-coming the so-called "Montenegrin language") standards are linguistically one language (the Neoštokavian dialect), having identical phonology, 99% identical grammar and 98% of shared base lexis. Language code assignment is merely a political business, by satisfying formal requests passed by the local governments and language institutions, and absolutely nothing else. Completely incomparable to the far-reaching real-world consequences that a sovereign country recognition brings along with it. We are not "deciding" anything by this vote other than utilizing a particular treatment approach that would reduce the multiplication of content by 3-4 times, thus making a job a lot easier for both the contributors and the end-users. In no way does the unification proposal invalidate the existence of separate national standards: it simply states that these should be treated, when deviating from the common core, by context labels instead of full-blown separate sections. --Ivan Štambuk 15:38, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Given the structure of the wiktionaries, this is false. The proposed change effectively purges the recognized languages from the Wiktionary, and adds an un-recognized language. Štambuk persists in insisting that it it a "formatting" change, and that might be his intent, but the effect is unavoidably to purge the standard languages.
Essentially he wants to reduce the duplication that is sometimes unavoidable in the Wiktionary structure; there are simple technical ways to do this, but Štambuk is intent on ramming through a very large, political POV change completely disproportionate to the supposed problem, and extremely destructive. (And he has done it with an enormous amount of personal abuse directed at anyone who disagrees, including saying that anyone who has trouble with his proposal "needs to visit a psychiatrist").
We presently have a working, standards-compliant, non-POV structure. Introducing a serious political POV—that may then be taken as the official position of the Foundation if allowed to stand—to "solve" a relatively small technical problem is not acceptable. Robert Ullmann 12:13, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
There is no such thing as "purge" or "deletion", the only thing that is being done is the change in treatment of what were 3 separate sections, now being treated as one. No content is "deleted" in the process, only the redundancy eliminated.
There is no such thing as "recognized language", SIL/ISO is not an institution that "internationally recognizes" languages. There is no criterion in linguistics by which languages can be recognized. Otherwise there wouldn't be need for groups such as the Language committee. When it comes to Serbo-Croatian, 99% of Western Slavists treat it as varieties of one language (whether you call it Serbo-Croatian, BCS or whatever is unimportant, as long as they have 99% identical grammar and lexis). Serbo-Croatian cannot be "unrecognized language" as to this day grammars and dictionaries of it are being published. All of the Western university treat B/C/S as one language.
The effect is to reduce multiplication of identical content by 75%. Not a single B/C/S is forbidden. Everything what was allowed before, per Wiktionary CFI, is still allowed. The only difference is in formatting by which deviation from the shared core in those marginal ~5% of cases is to be treated by means of context labels and/or usage notes. That change will facilitate editing for Serbo-Croatian contributors (who are the authors of the unification proposal) and most-importantly the end-users, who wouldn't have to waste time looking for the same stuff in at least 4 different places.
It is untrue that duplication is "unavoidable in the Wiktionary structure" - there is no "technical way" to solve this, and all the proposed ones (like the transclusions via labeled sections, bot-propagated syncing of changes etc.) are technically infeasible. RU proposed exactly one technical "solution": write a bot that will change all the Cyrillic-script entries to ==Serbian==, and Roman-script entries to ==Croatian==, and rely on the "good faith" of the editors to keep the duplication at minimum. Has he actually bothered to check that 99% of SC entry duplication (actually quadruplication would be more precise term) we currently have was created by one editor creating a basic separate entry, the other one simply copy/pasting it into missing B/C/S sections, he'd know better. But he didn't so he doesn't. Thus, RU is simply lying.
This change is not POV, as all language are treated equally. NPOV treatment simply requires taking no position on the languages issue altogether, which means that we can either 1) treat B/C/S in separate section each 2) treat all of the standards collectively in one section. We tried the first option for several years, realized how stupid it was, and are now trying to fix the damage that has been done (I myself created most of the ~8000 separate SC language entries, RU, Lmaltier and the opposing hive-mind clique exactly none).
Everyone: please note that RU is very indoctrinated type of individual, completely linguistically incompetent for Serbo-Croatian and Slavic languages in general (on which he knows absolutely nothing), and with whom cannot be reasoned with, hoping that real arguments from experts on the topic such as my self will change his mind. Everything he "knows" on this is based on bits and pieces he collected from who-knows-where, and his opposing for the unification proposal was for the first several weeks based on disgusting type of racist propaganda which he promulgated on Wiktionary and elsewhere [2], accusing everyone supportive of the proposal to participating in a "linguistic genocide" and "war crime" (He actually didn't even bother to check that none of the SC proposal initiators were ethnically Serbs - quite the opposite). His sole activity with the issue was to belittle the practical importance of the proposal, whine about some alleged "technical difficulties" in the community discussion board (e.g. the HTML lang= tags which upon analysis ended up affecting one out of billion surfers), and simply deceptively lie and abuse everyone who followed the proposal, them claiming to do "severe damage" [3] (note that the unification was ongoing from some 3 months, of which RU was noted from the start, before he suddenly "rediscovered" it and started his abusive propaganda.). Trying to normally discuss with him is generally a complete waste of time, as he'll soon jump to ad hominems, wannabe-cynicism, perpetual FUD utilizing every logical fallacy you can imagine of. Just please read all of his comments on the Beer Parlor, vote and various talkpages to get a grip of his mindset - when no real arguments left (i.e. when you are completely ignorant on the topic itself), the only thing you can do is to ridicule your opponent's intelligence, FUD, lie and self-victimize hoping to bring along some sympathy. Too many have succumbed to his FUD, so use your wits to filter out the nonsense please ^_^ --Ivan Štambuk 02:18, 28 July 2009 (UTC)