Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2010-01

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Warning! Please do not post any new comments on this page. This is a discussion archive first created in January 2010, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date. See current discussion or the archives index.

Recent Changes attacks on Simple Wikipedia

It has become clear that the attacks on the Main Pages and Recent Changes of Simple Wikipedia mean a connection between Willy on Wheels and Pickbothmanlol exists as per these revisions below.

I believe that a request for checkuser must be made between these two users all because of those two revisions. FinestPound 20:38, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

[1][2]. SUL 21:00, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Errm... Upon looking at your (FinestPound) contributions, you made similar vandalism too three wikis. See --The New Mikemoral 21:37, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Jimmy Thank You/de Translation issues

Hi! The German translation has a few flaws.

  • "still growing ..." should not translate to "die noch immer wächst" but ". Und sie wächst noch immer ...", since "still growing and getting better" refers to the collection, not to the numbers.
  • "Die Werbung bezahlt nicht" sounds strange. I'd prefer "Nicht Werbung bezahlt die Kosten ...".
  • "Thank you for everything you give to make Wikipedia a reality." should translate to something like "Ich danke Ihnen für alles, womit Sie Wikipedia haben wahr werden lassen."
  • "Ich wurde durch Ihre Kommentare inspiriert" should be replaced with "Ihre Kommentare haben mich angespornt"
  • "An meinen 6 Jahre alten Sohn: Wikipedia ist" must be replaced with "Für meinen 6 Jahre alten Sohn ist Wikipedia"
  • And in the last quotation, the last "Sie" must be capitalised: ", Sie unterstützen zu können"
Danke für Ihre Bemerkungen, der Text wurde ausgebessert. --WizardOfOz talk 15:47, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Prima - wobei ich den letzten Punkt zurücknehme, da habe ich nicht genau hingesehen. Allerdings sehe ich trotz geleertem Cache noch die alte Version. -- 16:49, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Es muß erst auf dem Server aktualisiert werden. Wird wahrscheinlich erst in der Nacht passieren. Die neue Version können Sie hier sehen. --WizardOfOz talk 16:57, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

An open (naive) letter to Jimmy Wales

Hello, I just had a reflexion about Wikipedia, something like a sudden understanding. I never looked behind the scenes and was just a casual reader so far. So after writing my chaotic thoughts and wondering if it would be of some use to the strategic deciders of Wikipedia, I looked for a contact mail in the Wikimedia foundation. Blessed was my ignorance! I discovered the organisational - and philosophical - depth of it, and I'm humbled and baffled. My message is obsolete before reaching any recipient. After discovering the founding principles of the Wikimedia projects and guessing the years of discussion behind the concepts about editing strategies I feel ridiculous with my two pence. The community is obviously doing a great, smart job. Future wasn't forgotten and the multicratic forms of managements seem well suited to warranty independence.

Beside being a slow thinker and a fast intuitionist I hierarchize poorly my thoughts, knowing that the structure is there in my head if I ever need to explicit it, but already reaching for new thoughts. I even more rarely take the time to organize my written words. And I'm not fluent in English. The text may look deliquescent to you but I believe the content is still there.

So what should I do with my belated ideas? I think even the fool on the hill enventually is needed. Anyway, anyone is entitled - or doomed - to have an opinion and here was mine.

Note: originally the mail was adressed to Jimmy Wales. I added some wiki format.


Hello, I just watched in real time how a fake entry was created in Wikipedia and was concerned about the future of the Public Encyclopedia. If a delirious mind made up a ficcion in the past and uploaded his lies unto Wikipedia, who would distinguish the truth? What if the fake events are so obscure that nobody can check them? What if the madman, year after year, forges proofs inside or outside Wikipedia, and then one day the ignorant reader would rather believe this net of lies rather than doubt it, because the scale is unbalanced: positive testimony, by their sheer number, would outweight refutations. Is consensual belief enough to make the right model for Wikipedia?

I'd like to pinpoint one of the problem of a too successful wiki: the belief, what makes the historic fact, is but the number of people believing it. Thus, it is easy to rewrite history if more people support a lie than people knowing the truth. As if historical reality was hereafter no more than a question of vote, of majority. As if the struggle for the truth of Past was no more than a question of mediatic rhetoric, of power of cultural influence.

What is valid for a historic truth also is for a scientific truth: the day when lie-believers have more weight than the voices of scientists, than all the scientific community, then the scientific section of wikipedia will be written by religious revisionnists and the battle of wikipedia will be lost.

I wonder thus, if Wikipedia really wants to become an encyclopedia for humanity of the times to come, how does it plan to preserve mankind to fall into some sort of devil's dictionary where any reference to distinguish and determine reality, and truth, from false and imaginary, would be written and manipulated by religious fanatics or power-thirsty men?

Epistemological analysis

I also wonder wether a solution would be to build an encyclopedia of the proof: Any argumentation allowing, for a given article, to link its premises to its conclusion, would be transparent, justified, explained, even if it means several pages of developping (it could be a separate tab) so that everyone, with his own mind, can note if there are logical jumps or contradictions, or speculative assumptions. Something deeper than the current debate tab, some kind of epistemological analysis. It would be important also to explain why alternate models attempting to cover the same topic are now considered obsolete, so that we don't forget our mistakes.

Physics would have an easier time to keep out of manipulation since it can explicit all the replicable experiments upon which it bases itself to elaborate a theory. It can also explicit why a theory was rejected and mention the proofs.

Wikipedia must be more than a "blabla" dictionary, it must be an encyclopedia of the knowledge: what we believe and WHY. Not just long definitions, but how each brick of knowledge fits and links itself to the whole.

We must develop the strategies to detect and discriminate true from false, a valid reasoning from a crazy one.

Trust dependence

Wikipedia is not at all safe from its success. If a faction edit faster the articles than they are corrected, it's a coup d'état on an admitted truth. This hypothetical power on the reality of wikipedia by a private institution for personnal interests would lead to a scandalous manipulation of truth, and since revealing the exploit would unveil the weakness, people would lose faith in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia without trust would be no reference no more, and thus would be destroyed as a living project. The very principle of its existence is the trust that it is generating. There's no need to capture Wikipedia to kill it: just showcasing that it is possible would be enough to undermine the trust.

I believe we need to protect Wikipedia because it is our patrimony. It belongs to mankind. We must defend it as we would defend a military objective: it IS a strategical ressource. It is a tool that allows to take control of what the future generations will hold as true. How do you know, right now, if and how much Wikipedia is being taken over? The dream of tyrants is to have more power on a piece of reality than the majority. What better piece of reality there is than the one which defines beliefs? I think the threat is real. What will happen if Wikipedia cease to be the property of peoples just when 99% of the people refer to it? Will the Wiki-team still have the control? Will they still be heard when they contradict the Wikipedia articles? You'll die someday, but Wikipedia may linger for centuries. It is wether the tool that will get rid of obscurantism once for all, or will anchor obscurantism until the end if it falls in the hands of an inquisition.

Should Wikipedia really aim for the monopoly of knowledge?

Wikipedia generates its own definition and the beliefs linked to it. How to fight against a universal Wikipedia that by its very principle federates the minds? If this monster is infected, from where will you prove it false? Which trustworthy source will be able to deny its "truths"?

There is some god-like power in Wikipedia which is maybe on the verge (in this 21st century) to become apodictic. People born with Wikipedia may already be destined to believe unconditionnally in it. If Wikipedia is to be merely successful, it will be trusted and will be warranted to influence greatly the social reality. This institution must limit its growth or become aware of its own danger.

Besides stocking knowledge, is it also promoting critical thinking? It's a heavy but mandatory task to develop a strategy of survival and independance, for the eternity. Wikipedia must win in all the futures, in all the possible scenarii. Never must Wikipedia lose to obscurantists, because they may keep their advantage for millenia. We're starting this war against our futures from the good side and a considerable advance: Wikipedia is currently more trusted and used than Conservapedia.

I hope that you mesure the amplitude of what you created, and that you understand that it will lead to the definition of truth for mankind: are we entering an era of universal science and critical thinking? Will we walk the lucid path? Will we build the Civilisation of Light? The next step for the Homo Sapiens Sapiens? Have we found and are we founding the successors of the decadent occidental empires? Or will private interests ride Wikipedia and lead mankind into orwellian societies? Will our minds be forever prisonners of secular powers? Will our history be stuck on the year 1984? Are we entering the Civilsation of Nightmare, a new millenium of darkness?

Ironicaly, what the religious call the end of the world would be their own hegemony. The late Humanity has never been so much in the dark than when its various churches attempted to control the definition of its reality, in a totalitary way. The spectre of religious intolerance is rising again in USA, Europe and middle-east. Let's pray (or rather, let's act) that the fanatics won't coalesce. If blind-faith-driven people would fight atheists, agnostics, skeptics and scientists, who would win? What should the 5% do regarding the 95% when a conflict is coming?

The Res Publica

We must make Wikipedia a public thing, a Res Publica. The noosphere needs a Republic, a haven and organisation warrantying safety.

A tyrant may by force control our reality, but never should he make us believe that he's right. You are the guardians of this freedom: the freedom of truth. Keep it out of reach from tyrants. Don't let these would-be sheperds mislead mankind into the hell that would be the eternal ignorance.

Getting close to truth yields an incredible power on our futur. Leading us astray has this incredible power to make us powerless.

Whoever understands himself can cure itself and avoid running into death. Are your eyes wide open, Wikipedia? Are you safe from the bad choices concerning your future?


On a more general note, I think everything is imbricated. A serie of events led to the atomic bomb in 1945. Another is leading to unreasonable, megalomaniac dictators in North Corea or Iran with the will to use it. Two independant threads participating to a destructive outcome. Will understanding and wisdom arrive in time to defuse it? Is Wikipedia indirectly promoting constructive visions, and will it be enough to defuse the explosive dead-ends of our civilisation?

We must start fighting for more that just our survival: we must secure the future of earth and mankind. Be conscious of the weapon that is Wikipedia and decide if you really want random fate to use it. Orienting the future seems a better strategy. Understand the impact of the least of your acts. Know when you are touching something that will influence the future. Wikipedia is one of those things. I hope Wikimedia is really up to the challenge. Pronoein 09:10, 6 January 2010 (UTC)Pronoein

How can i create the Template:Other languages box

I've been trying to create the Other languages box that is at the top of some pages. But i can't get it to work...

What are the correct steps to create that thing? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

Just add something like {{other languages|ca|en|fa|fr|ja|oc|pt|zh|page=Top-level page name}} on top of each translated page. Each page has to have a title like "Top-level page name/xx" whereas xx is the corresponding language code. What exactly are the problems you are experiencing? --Church of emacs talk 11:42, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your response, I managed to get it working but i still think its a bit sloppy, in the template(wich i named Other languages)i used this:

'''[[{{{1|:{{NAMESPACE}}:{{BASEPAGENAME}}}}}|English]]''' {{Languages/Lang|nl|{{{1|}}}}} And then in a article; {{Other languages|Home}}

I only need English and Dutch(nl), but now i first have to create a page Home/nl and then the option to choose Nederlands(Dutch) appears. What i really want is that it's already there but indicates if the page exist or not(red text).

Oh, okay, so you are using your own template on your own wiki ;)
What you might want to do is using #ifexists. Or you could forgo the user interface language modification (with &uselang=xx in the URL) and then you can use local links (like Home/nl) which are marked red or blue. --Church of emacs talk 21:32, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Transwiki vandal

Hi fellas of Wikimedia, i'm from Spanish Wikipedia. I want speak to you about a vandal user transwiki who had been blocked in many wikipedias, this is the user and his/her globally editions. He/She just does this editions en every userpage of every wikipedia, for example. In that edition you can see a nude chick. I want demand a globally block for this user. Can be possible?. --Ravave 12:27, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

You can request a global block here. --WizardOfOz talk 17:00, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Hiding parent category names

Hi guys, How do you 'hide' a category name in sub-category lists.

BTW, I'm not an admin. TIA. 02:19, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Sort sub-category names in list

Hi. My sub-category names carry their parent category names ie TS:ABC:DEF so the display under the 'T' index heading. I want it to go under 'D' and have added on the page but it only displays as text. It doesn't get picked up programatically.

In the Help it states tha you need to put it after the name etc but this is not in the editable text area so I have tried it next to the category declaration and under it and before it etc.

Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers, Bruce 02:27, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Question about soft redirects between languages

Recently I came upon tt:DYK, a soft redirect to a template talk page on en.wikipedia (that page has the shortcut T:TDYK, and the soft redirect was obviously created for the benefit of those typing the shortcut incorrectly, which was how I found it). Now, obviously, whatever happens on one wiki is that wiki's business, and anyone at can nominate it for deletion if they choose, according to their own processes; I could too, except that my Tatar is a little rusty. But I'm wondering: what is the general view of this sort of thing? Does anyone know of others of these? It kind of seems a little bit like a big wiki using a little wiki for its own purposes. Thoughts? Chick Bowen 05:27, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

NPOV and Wikimedia Commons

I do not know if this is the right forum for my question, but will try here.

On Commons there has been some discussion about proper categories for the cartoons of Carlos Latuff. In particular, this category [3] has resulted in some heated discussion. It is my view that if a category is created with controversial political issues involved, NPOV should apply, and since there seem to be no cartoons with commons licenses to balance the content of the category, then the category amounts to WP:SOAP. Othere editors have a different view, and think the category is good. Is it possible to get come guidance from the Foundation on if NPOV applies to Commons or not? Malcolm Schosha 20:03, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

No, Commons doesn't have NPOV.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 14:43, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Linking from a wiki to Word and ASCII files on external file servers (and uploading them)

NON-image/sound linking and uploads

Everyone seems to be focussed on images and sound, but a REAL need here is the ability to link from the wiki to files on our file servers (ie [[Media: <full path? etc>]]) and to upload .doc, .rtf and .txt files to our wiki. Has anyone nutted this out yet? Any help would be greatly appreciated. :) bja 00:05, 22 Jan 2010 (UTC)

To clarify, I want to automatically upload non-HTML files (note the plural) using some form of recursive path method. I also want to be able to simply 'click' on a wiki link and have it open a Word document located on a different server. - I don't want much! :) bja 00:55, 22 Jan 2010 (UTC)

You need to use an external link if you want to link to ... well, an external server.
I don't understand what you mean by "some form of recursive path method"
You can link directly to media files by using the media prefix instead of file.
We don't allow .doc because it is proprietary. I don't know why we don't accept .rtf or .txt.
 — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 14:38, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Wanted: WikiRef Project

Hi, I am a multilingual user, and occasionally translate articles from English into Italian. One problem I come across is quoting references. Apparently "needs citation" is the RULE :-). From a html, wiki and general computing perspective, i find it ridiculous that I can use the same photograph or image for many articles, but I cannot reference the same quotation, and have to copy and paste author, publishing house, dates etc etc. for every article.

The point is that for many articles in other languages, especially in the scientific community, English sources are the only commonly available ones, and often have the most weight (anything worth reading, eventually gets translated into English). Also references are shared between many articles in the same language. Any major work on specific subject, will probably be quoted in different closely related articles.

I propose that WikiQuotes, or WikiBooks or some similar project be extended to contain references to articles, books, films and whatever other sources that may be identified by some unequivocal reference (eg.ISBN). References should be accompanied by multilanguage description, when available, and should have backlinks to referencing pages, exactly like MediaWiki. 10:13, 25 January 2010 (UTC), Wikipedia User:ziounclesi.

Setting and changing a page title

I have searched far and wide, in the help files - nowhere can I find how to set and change a page title.

Can you advise? Thanks, David Allen

You should move the page, you want to rename. Ruslik 17:00, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! David