Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2010-09

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

Typosquatter alert

* --Mkratz 13:38, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Ah, thanks, but is there anything we can actually do about it? Kylu 11:46, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
shouldn't think so as it isn't infringing any copyright... if it was, say, "" you could usurp it, maybe. QU TalkQu 11:57, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Not to be too pedantic, but unless a site is hosting copies of our pages without attribution, copyright wouldn't be an issue anyway. You're probably thinking of trademark violations instead. Kylu 23:50, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Ah, yes, that's what I meant, thanks! QU TalkQu 09:01, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

(mis?)user pages

Of course the SUL global user accounts are a major step forward in making us all more connected in one global community, but I think there are also a number of rather negative phenomena associated with it that need to be addressed, because the success of such a community depends very much of the mutual respect we are willing to invest in it. There are global users that insist on having user pages generated on all sites, even the ones they have never visited or never intend to visit and put soft redirects on it in what is not the local language, imposing categories that do not exist locally. In fact they even have so little consideration with the local community that they do not even take the trouble to do that themselves but let e.g. Patoschild do it for them. If they do not even take the trouble to do that should they really be "entitled" to impose a foreign language on a community they don't care to contribute to at all and have no intention to either? They are not users or contributors, why should they be entitled to anything? Wikimedia should be for people who contribute in respect for other users. This is simply disrespectful and rude towards the local community and it needs to end nl:wikt:Gebruiker:Jcwf Jcwf 14:56, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree entirely. The global WMF community is, however, a reflection of our society, so I doubt that this will change. Regards, Guido den Broeder 23:14, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I understand that some people may feel it's disrespectful, but is it functionally disruptive? Wikis aren't paper after all, and they can only possibly be convenient (if the user ever edits then there will be less confusion by the local regulars in case they forget to create the redirect). In case specific wikis opt to not have the script (Pathoschild's, in most cases) running we might set up a list that excludes those domains, which I'm sure won't be a problem. From my observations most wikis don't even tend to notice the creation of the userpages, though. -- Mentifisto 17:41, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
I always felt the creation of the page was fairly pointless but I can't agree that it is rude, disrespectful or "imposing" on the particular community. It's just a user page, I suspect nobody cares very much. QU TalkQu 20:56, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
In fixing death anomalies I've wound up editing a number of wikipedia's where I don't speak the language. I usually leave a little note on my userpage explaining who I am and why I'm there. I haven't yet had any complaints and I hope most people would support what I'm doing as useful. But sooner or later I'm bound to make a mistake and when someone does want to point that out to me I hope that a softredirect will make that easier. I'm not sure why anyone would want a userpage when they have zero edits, but if the only article I've edited on a pedia is subsequently deleted then that could happen to me. WereSpielChequers 13:25, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
I would almost say that every user that edits on other projects, must have on his/her userpage a link to the page where he/she can be contacted where the user also is active and sees his/her messages. I have been searching once for botowner where he was active, and due a missing link it was a hell of a job. Greetings - Romaine 19:14, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Two interesting experiences for your information.


2) Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2010 03:49 To: * From: "Virgilio A. P. Machado" <> Subject: Disclosure of users' real data (addenda)


After being "banned forever", under the most suspicious circumstances (a mute point), from the Portuguese Wikipedia, on April 3rd, sysop Yanguas ( redirected my user page ( to my discussion page. What entitles him to take such action? Or is it vandalism? I'm puzzled by the sysop Yanguas redirect since even user pages of sock puppets banned forever are maintained at the Portuguese Wikipedia (,, and

I'm glad to be able to provide you all with real cases to discuss. You are all very welcome to comment. Maybe sometime down the line there will be a new policy that will establish that 1) all user pages in projects where the users have no other edits will be deleted; 2) all user pages in projects where the users do not make an certain number of edits per month will be deleted; 3) all user pages in projects where the users have not make any edits for a number of months will be deleted; 4) all user pages that another user doesn't like will be deleted; 5) all user pages can be subjected to community approval and will only be maintained if they get more than 2/3 of the votes in favor, all others will be deleted; 6) all user pages need to be pre-approved by a censorship board appointed for life. Sincerely, Virgilio A. P. Machado. Vapmachado 19:21, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

I suspect you aren't really suggesting these options as sensible alternatives. However, for what it's worth my view is that user pages should only be edited by the user themselves unless they violate a local policy (e.g., by containing spam). This is just a courtesy of course as the licensing allows anyone to edit the page. QU TalkQu 20:04, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Not sensible indeed, but that's what's happening out there (see my two examples) and what the user who started this topic and the next one are advocating. If that is not already a policy, who's going to do anything about what happened in those two cases? Do you see anybody? I sure don't (Yes, that includes whoever is reading this, I'm afraid). You suspected that nobody cared very much diff. No need to suspect any more. There are people who care a great deal (see my two examples) and so much so that the topic is being discussed here. Sincerely, Virgilio A. P. Machado Vapmachado 22:03, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

A related example on nl:Wikipedia is a user creating and editing an archive in someone elses user space, against their wishes, e.g. [1]. Guido den Broeder 08:56, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
A policy that limits edits on user pages to the user themselves would be difficult given the licensing, although in effect this happens already in some circumstances through page protection (where edits are limited to admins). I'd happily support a policy that restricted edits to user pages to the user except where other policies were breached by the user. QU TalkQu 11:02, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Both of you expressed opinions that I subscribe, but action speaks louder than policies. No one here dares to mess with the Wiktionary administrators or those of any other project for that matter, because that's the natural order of things on Wikimedia projects, for reasons that are self evident. On the Portuguese Wikipedia it is stated that although the user page may be edited by anybody, it is agreed that only the user edits it, being responsible by its content. There's at least an administrator from the Portuguese Wikipedia that has been sniffing and snooping around here, waiting for his chance to ask again for the old fart to be blocked here on Meta. He and one of his big buddies already did and FAILED miserably, despite begging for support from others (not much luck there also, I'm afraid.) All that is quite usual, the question is that you don't see any of them writing a word here or righting a wrongdoing, because that's the natural order of things on Wikimedia projects, for reasons that are self evident. Please don't take this personally, because I understand your reasons, but all it takes to undo the redirect of my user page is to go there and undo or revert it. It takes less time then writing nice platitudes. Now please go back to my comment above of 22:03, 4 September 2010 (UTC) Sincerely, Virgilio A. P. Machado. Vapmachado 22:06, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps you misunderstand me or think I have some kind of "power" to fix your specific problem. I agree there should be local policies per this discussion, but it's for each local community to agree and define that policy. I am not a member of any of the projects you are having problems with so it's not for me to go and try and dictate to the community there. If you want to propose a global policy (i.e., start with an RFC at Meta) then I'll happily contribute to that debate. However, I am not in a position of "authority" to somehow enforce what you are asking for (reverting the redirect on a specific Wiki). This forum is for discussions not enforcement actions, so you're in the wrong place if you are trying to get a fix - platitudes it is. QU TalkQu 23:33, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
"Please don't take this personally, because I understand your reasons," as stated above. Vapmachado 03:59, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't take anything personally, don't worry. QU TalkQu 09:01, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

The following is not addressed to the user above but to you, the reader.

On the other hand, you may want to admire the looks of my user page now (Vapmachado) compared to how it used to be (Vapmachado). It was done after my comment above (diff and diff) with the summary: "more understandable then redirecting it to the discussion." You may still compare that to examples of user pages of sock puppets, banned forever, maintained at the Portuguese Wikipedia: Bruna228, LPL, and Azulinho. That is what it means "it is agreed that only the user edits it," in the Portuguese Wikipedia. Please don't forget to compliment the sysop who did this brave and honorable deed. Do you still expect or would like me to propose a global policy? For people that display that kind of understanding of the Principles of Fairness, Integrity, Honesty, Human dignity, Service, Excellence, Potential, Growth, Patience, Nurturance, and Encouragement? These are the platitudes of my human condition, consciousness, and conscience. Sincerely, Virgilio A. P. Machado. Vapmachado 05:19, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

In the absence of a written global policy explicitly disallowing editing userpages, the general concept of the projects being wiki (in that all pages are, by system default (as opposed to policies) editable supersedes an individual's preferences on the matter. If you think that userpages should not be subject to such, you're free to propose a global policy, of course, but I suspect that there will be little in the way of support for it however. Good luck. Kylu 21:09, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that such an extreme policy is needed. A global policy describing the purpose and proper use of user pages, user talk pages and archives should suffice, and that might actually be a good idea. Regards, Guido den Broeder 22:37, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Open meeting tomorrow

There is an open meeting scheduled for tomorrow on IRC at 1600 UTC. SJ · talk | translate 00:36, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Steward rangeblock on zh-wp

Hello all,

today a steward range-blocked and on zh-wp with the reason "{{range block}}: Checkuser - Abusing multiple accounts" for six months ( ). He happens to have blocked for half a year the biggest ISP of Taiwan from zh-wp. I don't understand how can a steward issue such a range block without consulting local admins. I find this very unresponsible and upsetting.--Wing 17:59, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

My appologize, the block was requested by a zh-wp admin. Though I still think such a range block with such a long period is not proper. It can affect too much other users.--Wing 18:38, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I personally prefer giving a recommendation for a range-block instead of doing it myself, as the local community should decide such an action. Laaknor 18:43, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Wikimania Committee

Not a question but a call for participation. Talk:Wikimania/Committee could really do with active participation for the formation of a committee to assist with the oversight of Wikimania. Many Thanks Seddon 00:45, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Statement from Coolpolitealex

I want to say ,and to remind others of how difficult it can be for some people trying to get round the wiki projects and sections ,due to it rapidly turning into a language that is pure computer speak,and if like me you have a head injury and find it very difficult in the normal field of jargon and the like, then there is no need to say any more I suppose what i am saying is that ,Wikipedia and it's off-shoots is an alien concept for large portion of society and the more it becomes computeresque, the more it will put off the general reader or learner. As a child finding my first encyclopedia ,with pictures ,kept me engrossed and the pictures conveyed so much more of what i was reading,to my mind,and believe me i was in need of being taken out of my circumstances,even if it was just into a world created for me by reading loads of facts written in such a way that dragged me up a little more than i ever got in school. With so many little children in Africa and East European countries being given the chance to read and participate in the world of computers,it is imperative that we don't deter them with abbrv's scattered through our language coming from computer jargon. So what i am saying and hoping clearer ,is that my encyclopedia and what i got from it was so important and itf it was'nt for the pictures alongside,that allowed my mind to get interested and take part,as i did with the pictures aiding the process,but where is the pictures with learning computer language. I say that because i am reminded of it everytime i try and get into reading (because i have not got past reading the blurbs) before i am deterred further by so many areas i can't fathom, that is my own disability,through an accident ,but there must be a better way to learn computer ,because there must be children that are locked out,through whatever reason,and if their interest can't be tweeked another way then they will be lost. But maybe there is areas where learning computerspeak is easier,finally we must remember that peoples brains work in different ways,they process things in other ways but sadly with computer learning there only seems one way.
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Coolpolitealex (talk) 12:27, 13 September 2010

  • Minor refactoring by Kylu 16:48, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
While it's not "a kid's encyclopedia" certainly, you may be interested in Simple English Wikipedia, which seems to avoid the overuse of acronyms and technical jargon considerably more than other projects. Best. Kylu 16:48, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Question about good administration?

I sometimes use wikipedia at work. Occasionally I run on articles than need minor changes, like adding links to other articles etc. For at least 2-3 years it has been impossible to make changes in wikipedia from my workplace, because whole internet connection (for hundreds of people) have been blocked - each time for a year and nobody knows for what reason, because the administrative, who has banned them does not have to give reason??? And I cannot even comment this issue on that wiki - because my comments even have been blocked.

  1. I have worked as legal representative of public authority, and if any goverment would do this, they would be crusified immediatly. This is very bad policy indeed.
  2. I can understand it is not nice clean up after others, but no respectacle organisation can block hundreds of innosents because of one criminal, whitout even giving them right to complain somewhere against the decissions of this one administrator.
  3. A year is a long time to be blocked, especially when I don't know why I am blocked for.
  4. There should be somewhere to complain against decissions of individual administrator. Every respectable society needs one. Otherwise it will be despotism - like it now frankly seems to me.
  5. This cannot acceptable - and I question, if it is even legal.

Emppu 11:05, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

(I assume you're talking about the English Wikipedia; correct me if I'm wrong). There are actually some things you can do. Usually IP blocks are restricted to anonmyous users only, so logging into your account should enable you to edit in those cases regardless of the IP block. If this is not the case, you can request IP block exemption for editing with your own account. If you feel the block is unjustified, you can normally post on your talk page on Wikipedia and request unblocking (see guide to appealing blocks). This can also be made by emailing and explaining your situation.
Yes, it's completely legal for a private website, even a wiki-based one, to block someone's ability to edit it. Whether it's good administration is another thing, and generally the policy is that blocks should be as narrow as possible to avoid restricting constructive editors. However, there's no way to tell the exact situation without knowing the IP address(es) in question. Jafeluv 11:53, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Obeying "Local" Laws

Dear colleagues,

I remember that there is a standard approach by many Wikimedia projects in different languages to follow Florida Laws AND laws of country when most editors/reusers reside.

However, I tried to find a Board resolution on that, or something like that. But failed. Could you please advise me if the policy above really exists, or it is on discretion of each specifice project's community?

Thanks! Dr Bug (Vladimir V. Medeyko) 20:32, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

I think that's something the local communities have to decide for themselves. For example, on German Wikipedia we generally do follow German law. However, I'm quite sure Chinese Wikipedia doesn't strictly obey Chinese law (that's why they have been banned in the past). --Church of emacs talk · contrib 20:35, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Vladimir, I doubt you'll get an informed opinion here. Ask a lawyer and then get a second opinion. Sincerely, Virgilio A. P. Machado Vapmachado 21:04, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
There is no freedom of choice here, but it depends on the type of law. The location of the WMF determines that corporate issues fall under Florida law. The same is not true, however, for criminal issues. Guido den Broeder 21:10, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
@Drbug I think you are searching for the Exemption Doctrine Policy: foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy Merlissimo 00:39, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Vladimir, Look at the bottom of this page. Click on "Privacy policy". Check section on "Access to and release of personally identifiable information." That may be useful to your lawyer. Sincerely, Virgilio A. P. Machado. Vapmachado 02:28, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Basque wiktionary

Hello. I'm Ikatz from the Basque wiktionary. I’m realized that in IPAs icons are missing some ones that are necessary from the Basque pronunciation, so I want to put them. I don't know if this is the right place to speak about this but I thank you if you tell me where I can ask this question. Sorry for my bad English and thanks. EH-Ikatz answer here 19:47, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Answered at eu.wikt. -Aleator (talk) 19:59, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Splitting template parameter string

I need to split a string that is input as template parameter. The string looks like this: "CZ0523 573868" and I need it to split into "0523" and "573868" (maybe it is called truncate what I need to do, I am not a coder). I need it because I want to use the parameters in an externa link to a governmental site. Someone on IRC told me this is not possible in Wikimedia projects unfortunatelly... is that correct? If I cant split the string is there another option how to get what i need? Maybe ask a bot to edit particular pages and split that parameter into two params which I then can use? Thanks for help. -Kozuch 11:37, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

You can't do it, but here's what you can do: Call the template with the strings already separated, e.g. {{foobar|string1=0523|string2=573868}}. To fix existing uses of the template, you'll need a bot.
Before you do anything like that, make sure there's a consensus in your local community. --Church of emacs talk · contrib 00:02, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Enable import

Hopefully this isn't the entirely wrong place for this, but how does one enable Special:Import on a wiki such as the Outreach Wiki? Cheers, Arbitrarily0 (talk) 19:32, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

I asked for it at bugzilla for Wikisource and Wiktionary. E.g. [2]. -Aleator (talk) 19:59, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
editconflict Normally this tool is within the admin tools. If it is not, you need to get local consensus and after about 7 days, you can fill a bug on bugzilla, so the developers can enable it as an extra tool on the wiki, or just put it in the sysop permission. -Barras 20:00, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

IPv6 support

Government of the Republic of Korea, Korea Communications Commission, announced new assignments of IPv4 addresses will be halted after June 2011 and will switch to IPv6 address. IPv6 can provide 2128≒3.4×1038 addresses. (calculated using common logarithm) I think Wikimedia should make a plan to support IPv6 system. I think having both support for IPv4 and IPv6 can be a best option. If the foundation have the plan already, let me know about the issue. Best regards. – Kwj2772 (msg) 08:20, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Hi. MediaWiki supports IPv6 since some time. Deployment on Wikimedia wikis is a bit more difficult and it seems some issues still have to be resolved. From what is publicly available, not much has changed lately; perhaps ask on Wikitech-l? --Church of emacs talk · contrib 12:23, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Can't edit navigation

Hi. Very new new to wikis, and my first post here. I am trying to simplify my wiki before having it go live. This means in part reducing page elements that might be confusing to participants even newer than I am to wikis. I try to follow the instructions on deleting items from the navbar found here: However, while I have found and downloaded language.php (in the Languages folder), I don't find any of the elements that are supposed to be in this file, and that I'm supposed to change: "'portal','currentevents',recentchanges','randompage','help', and 'sitesupport'." Further, when I just go ahead and add the sample bit of code as per instructions to the bottom of the page (//CHANGED PARAMETER $wgAllMessagesEn['portal']='-';), the "portal" link does not disappear. I have a sense that I have misunderstood the instructions in some basic way, for example I feel as if I am working in the entirely wrong file.

What am I doing wrong? Thanks.The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 14:56, 22 September 2010 (UTC).

You can edit MediaWiki:Sidebar, see mw:Manual:Interface/Sidebar for details --Church of emacs talk · contrib 20:02, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content

Reposting for discussion. SJ · talk | translate 17:39, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Fourth-largest language edition - it wiki

Wikipedia and public domain for upcoming edits

Moved from WikiPD-Only Public Domain

Sir, I am Rishikeshan, the guy who requested to convert wikimedia projects to public domain. I know you can't convert your projects to public domain completely because gfdl is copyleft and your projects are stuck on this license. Gfdl and gpl are selfish. They are not suitable for non-profit organisations. Non-profit organizations are not usually selfish. Wikipedia users prefer attribution rather than selfish copyleft. Copyleft is only useful to software developers who want to be selfish and who want to blackmail other programmers. I have 2 useful ideas.

Idea 1 start from scratch on domain names: [lang].pd.[project name].org allow only content that do not have copyleft restrictions there. Copyleft and permissive lives at same time in this method. It is also good to force light attribution there like providing a link to project website.

Idea 2 force upcoming edits under public domain. Only distributed or downloaded content is under gfdl there. Gfdl don't make restrictions on storing data. All will be public domain within 95 years. This method is slow but useful. It is also good to force light attribution like providing the link of the page.

Idea 3 ask stallman to make the license permissive. This will most probably won't work.

User:Kirill Said: Wikipedia cannot be released into the public domain for legal reasons; even if all future edits were released into the public domain, any edited version of an article currently in existence would be a derivative work of that article, and would therefore still be released only under the CC-BY-SA license.

But Wikipedia can be public domain. ONLY saved OR downloaded content by visitors will be GFDL. GFDL does say about the redistribution, but it doesn't say about storing and no licenses can enforce laws on storage of mixed-license content. Again, I want to say copyleft is ONLY for developers who are selfish like M*SQL. People don't think of problems in GPL and GFDL.

I think Wikipedia is not selfish.

Thank you for reading this post. I think you will accept my request.

Expecting a good reply,

Yours sincerely,

L.Rishikeshan Rishikeshan 05:09, 11 September 2010 (UTC)