Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2011-06

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Welcoming committee and global accounts

I am reposting this question from w:en:Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive_83#Welcoming_committee_and_global_accounts here (as one commented suggested) because it is connected to multiple projects.

When I follow a link (from anywhere) to a Wikimedia project I haven't visited yet, I sometimes get an email in a language I don't speak. The explanation for this is the following.

  1. I use a global Wikimedia account, so if I visit a project I haven't yet visited, the software automatically creates an account on that project for me with my username.
  2. This local account will know about my email address.
  3. Someone from the welcoming committee of that project will write a welcome message in the language of that project, even if I don't do any edits with that account.
  4. The local account is default be configured in such a way that it sends me an email if my talk page changes.

Getting emails I don't understand just for following a link seems wrong to me, especially because this link can an unidentified link anywhere on the web. But which of the above components is the wrong policy? Or is the fault in something I've done?

(Sommaire de question en français.) On peut recevoir un e-mail si on ne fait que visite un projet Wikimédia par un lien d'un site extérieur. Comment est que cela est possible? Quand je visite un projet le premièr temps, mon connexion unifiée me crée un compte pour le projet. Ce compte a mon addresse email. Quelqu'un m'écrit un message de bienvenue à la page de discussion pour le compte. Par défaut, le compte m'envoie un e-mail quand la page de discussion est modifié. Le résultat (recevoir un e-mail, souvent en une langue je ne peut lire) me semble mauvais. Quelle partie de ce mécanisme est qu'il fallait changer?

B jonas 20:08, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Now I see the advantage of not having a global account. I have different names at some projects (WpEn, WpPt and WpNds) because there was yet someone called Patio so I had to choose a new name).
When I want to edit in e.g. WpAf, WpEs... I need to define a third, fourth et cetera identity? Not handy I guess. updated anonymous login Patio 14:39, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
4 is the wrong policy. Sending email when your talk page changes should not be default. One should also not welcome users that do not edit (with a bot), but I guess that's a choice the communities can make for themselves. Zanaq 07:33, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Thought I can imagine the problems some people may have with "name collisions" in other projects, I do appreciate the single-login facility. But I, too, have received such "unreadable" e-mails.
A solution I would suggest, might be the following. If someone creates a global login account, the name is checked on all projects. If there are collisions with existing names, this should be reported (preferably in English). Wherever the name does not collide, a "sleeping" account should be created automatically, thus reserving the name for this use. (However, I am aware that this may occasionally lead to unwanted behaviour: preventing someone you don't like from creating a global account.) When the user visits another project and starts editing there, (s)he should be invited to activate his sleeping account. The difference between "sleeping" and "activated" accounts may incorporate several options, one of them being that a not-yet-activvated account will never send e-mails.
HHahn 08:23, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
An option might be a bot checking userpages with a filled Babelbox to advice the visitor to send e-mails in let's say the levels 3-N.
Don't know if it is possible to write such a procedure apart from the likely consequence that every project needs to use exactly the same template for Babel. Thx, Patio 14:49, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Unblock of User:Capsot

Just to inform you that I unblocked User:Capsot because he is a Board candidate and he should be able to edit during the time of elections. I don't know exact reasons why he was blocked and I am not interested in them. If any admin thinks that he should be reblocked (including WizardOfOz, who previously blocked him, please wait until May 16th. Of course, if Capsot wouldn't make any serious breach of rules on Meta again. --Millosh 17:56, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Umm, May 16th was last week. Jafeluv 18:03, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
June 16th :) --Millosh 18:04, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Did anyone have a look at User:Capsot? Seems as if he's (ab)using his userpage to let off steam ... axpdeHello! 11:30, 9 June 2011 (UTC) ?

If I wrongly input in the URL, will display. I just made two screenshots at and,ZA . Should Wikimedia Foundation take some action? Discussion also on foundation-l --Waihorace 10:22, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

This has happen to me too. But I can´t imagine that the owner of the domain could be found. He is hiding behind and as they state: they don´t accept postal mails :D. --WizardOfOz talk 10:46, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Same story as with (other possible misstype-URLs: or ) Regards axpdeHello! 09:08, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
See en:Typosquatting. The foundation has taken action in the past en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-08-17/News and notes#Foundation secures typosquatting domains but it's a slow process and I think as with Google and others they just accept there are always going to be some Nil Einne 12:14, 10 June 2011 (UTC)


I am unlisted - Where did I go wrong? S.I. 'Patio' Oliantigna 00:48, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Which wiki did you cast a vote from? Here, nlwp, or somewhere else? Courcelles 01:30, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
    • From Meta itself. BTW, I see a strange red message
       "Citefout: De tag <ref> bestaat, maar de tag <references/> is niet aangetroffen"

as well, You too? S.I. 'Patio' Oliantigna 07:52, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
P.S. Strange because I did not use the <ref> tag at all..

The <ref>-tag was used in the section above. The warning is added by mediawiki at the end of the page, no matter at which place the tag was used. axpdeHello! 08:51, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Axpde, but the problem remains that I am not on the list of users who are entitled to vote. Is there someone who can add me to the list so I can fulfill my democratic right and moral duty, please? S.I. 'Patio' Oliantigna 16:00, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

It doesn't look like you have an SUL. You'll have to unify your accounts first, visit Special:MergeAccount. (You may also have to vote from nlwiki, and not Meta.) Courcelles 18:39, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
That's the way you treat your volunteers who are expat? Either to vote in their own country or adopt a SUL. If not one can't vote. The English are member of EU, but apparently still follow only their own rules.
Thx anyways, mr(s) Courcelles – in bocca al lupo S.I. 'Patio' Oliantigna 09:10, 9 June 2011 (UTC) who may run into trouble at e.g. WpEn, because there is yet someone by the name of 'Patio' (af & es: same story)
Well do not worry. I have been at wikimedia projects only since 2003. I have been an admin on multiple projects, a steward. Over 30,000 edits. Yet I am not allowed to vote either. Waerth 07:41, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Just vote from w:nl:Special:SecurePoll/vote/200 (both of you). Nemo 07:50, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Thks, that worked. Now having a SUL account, why didnt it work from meta or en? Just curious. Waerth 07:58, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Server power bill?

This isn't a big issue so don't waste too much time on it. But does anyone know what the annual server power bill for the WMF is? I've looked at the financial reports but they don't provide that level of detail and I'm not even sure what covers them. I guess in the 2009-2010 report it's either 'internet hosting' or 'operating'. But 'operating' would likely cover a lot of things so it's difficult to guess a value from there. But if it's 'operating' then in the 2010 mid year report this seems to have been broken down further. Originally I thought it may be covered 'Other Operating Expenses' (which could still cover a lot of things but is a lot smaller value so enables a more precise guesstimate) but since the servers are in a colocation centre (Wikimedia servers) I guess it could be at least partly covered in 'outside contract services' (which is a bigger value). The reason I say partly is I guess there could be a power bill for the servers themselves and a bill which is a percentage of the air conditioning etc for the colocation centre and these may end up under different parts of the expenses. Either way my best guesstimate is it's probably under 2 million and possibly under 1 million in the 2010 financial year although precisely how much I have very little idea. If someone could provide more info, a better guesstimate or resolve what it's covered under in the financial that would be appreciated. Perhaps some estimated costings exist for the new Virginia data centre? Nil Einne 11:14, 10 June 2011 (UTC)


I would like to propose that Wikipedia accepts bitcoins as a donation method. I am not advertising/promoting; bitcoins have no central entity and I'm in no way making money if you decide to. I just think it would be a good idea for many reasons. If your do not know what bitcoins are, they are an online, electronic, peer-to-peer crypto-currency. Here are the advantages: -it's free to start accepting them -no transfer fees because of the peer-to-peer network which processes transactions -it would cause more donations because there would be so much publicity and excitement over the announcement that you're accepting them, and the millions (?) of users would feel grateful -some donators may want to be anonymous and the bitcoin network provides complete anonymity -wikimedia can either use them to buy necessary products/services you require or exchange them for USD at a site such as -It literally takes 5 minutes to set up because all you do is download the client and post your public key. -It's at least as safe as current payment methods because you can backup and/or encrypt your bitcoin currency very easily. -there's really no reason not to, since they are donations, you literally have nothing to lose. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 00:26, 6 May 2011 (UTC).

I Also think that Bitcoins are worth investigating for viability of donations and such. Although I am not an expert or have a lot of information I do think that they are worth investigating.--Tumaru 19:52, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
So, the EFF stopped taking Bitcoins recently. It would be interesting to know their reasoning. I don't know about US tax law but there might be tax or legal issues with accepting anonymous crypto-currency. There is also a potential PR issue. Given that BitCoin will probably end up being used as a means to send money around illegally for drug deals, organised crime and so on, having the WMF take money using it might send the wrong message. The Wikimedia movement isn't here to spearhead anarchy or bring on the end of the nation state or the "evils of fiat currency!!1!OMG" or whatever the nerd-libertarian cause of the week is: we are here to build free culture reference and educational materials. We aren't Wikileaks and we aren't anarchists, we are encyclopedists! —Tom Morris (talk) 09:31, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Is this all only for describing/documentation wisdom? Where to go next with this knowledge?

I am very thankful about all the wisdom I could learn in all these projects.

But, may be, I am to blind to see, there comes a question to me:

Since I am not a consumer only, I am a producer also, my brain always works and produces ideas, theories...

I am in need of something like a speekers corner!
I wish to speek out some ideas after being tanked with all this wisdom and discuss them.

Will this be welcome on a place somewhere on the wikimedia-sites?

If so, please point me to a place where I can make them public and discuss them.

Or, if it is no space for such things on wikimedia and I have to publish them somewhere else, alongside with plans how-to implement these ideas for a better world based on a free and open community please say it clear and point me to places where I can do.

--Peter Littmann 04:18, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Start a blog. There are plenty of places to do this: Blogspot, Tumblr, Wordpress, Twitter etc. Or host your own wiki for original research. MediaWiki is free and InstantCommons means you can reuse media from Commons much like Wikipedia does. —Tom Morris (talk) 09:34, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Some forms of original research are welcome at Wikiversity. --Pi zero 13:51, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

nicknames merging

Tring to change my nick name from לאה צחור to אור שפירא (after i have married!!) in all projects. I was thinking that there is a way to do it quickly but no one know to tell me how. well I'd already change it in Hebrew wikipedia and Hebrew Wikisource and in the procedure of doing it in wikicommons here. the two nick are: old one and new one who can I merging it to be one nick, named אור שפירא ? --אור שפירא 13:12, 10 June 2011 (UTC) לאה צחור 13:13, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Mazzel, tof, Gefeliciteerd, Congratulations & Auguri
S.I. 'Patio' Oliantigna 08:35, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I guess this may not be the right place to ask this question should anyone lead me to the right place?

Why do I get the message that I can vote in the Wikimedia Board of Trustees election?

I'm not eligible to vote in the Wikimedia Board of Trustees election according to the SecurePoll page, so why do I get a message across all wikimedia wikis? Webhat 17:55, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

It's because of the CentralNotice, it can not make differences between eligible and non-eligible users and therefore it shows for all users. With a JavaScript that can be fixed, as happened with the steward elections central notice. Regards, -- Dferg ☎ talk 18:10, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Bestaat er een Nederlandstalige WikiNews?

Bestaat er een Nederlandstalige WikiNews en zo niet kan het gestart worden? Here's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Me Into 14:54, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

did exist, was closed last year Seb az86556 15:05, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Het project werd vorig jaar gesloten, zie reactie van Seb az86556 hierboven. Groet. -- Dferg ☎ talk 15:17, 12 June 2011 (UTC) (nl-0.5 - sorry for any mistakes)
Een aanvulling: Het is verplaatst naar de Incubator. HenkvD 12:39, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Researcher user right

Hi everyone, I just wanted to let people know that I am about to assign the 'researcher' user right to a few people working with the Foundation. (More about the rights and what they are exactly.) This is a temporary assignment until September 1st. You can see the full list of project participants, as well as our research questions and results so far, on Meta at Research:Wikimedia Summer of Research 2011. Thanks, Steven Walling at work 19:19, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Oppression in zh wikipedia

In zh:wikipedia. We have opened a vote to requests for de-adminship of zh:user:shizhao. However, other administors closed the vote and announced them void for couple times. Their reason is "not enough communicate with the administor who is requested for de-adminiship.fifth request for de-adminiship sixth request for de -adminiship, and regarding communication with the administor who is requested for de-adminiship. I am sorry all pages are in chinese. We are sufferring oppression by administors in Chinese Wikipedia. Therefore, I have to find assistance in Meta Wiki. Anyone could help us? please!!!!--Coekon 21:41, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Support Supportde-adminship of zh:user:shizhao.Sysywjel 01:27, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment CommentIt should be on RfC? --Waihorace 03:41, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I wonder if this place is the appropiate forum to bring this issues. As Waihorace say, try requests for comments; but be sure that you have tried to solve the problem locally. -- Dferg ☎ talk 13:09, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
    It also makes me think that if 6th requests for de-adminship have failed then maybe there's no problem with the sysop itself but with other things (...?) -- Dferg ☎ talk 13:10, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
    Before the 6th, Mr shizhao has made a statement for this matter, and has refused for any further communication due to personal reason(He claimed). We have to take 6th action. I think the 6th action is reasonable and unavoidable--Coekon 07:03, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Support de-adminship of zh:user:shizhao if still no improvement. Before, this user has never do any improvement like his promise even he destroyed a lot of contents or caused many troubles. Users who support zh:user:shizhao should consider to treat him farely with justice. Such vote should not be closed. Codename Protector 07:20, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Codename Protector was blocked for 1 month by Shizhao for trolling. The block duration was prolonged by foundation trustee/crat to 1 year but lifted within 1 week after undisclosed communication between crat and the blocked user. -- Sameboat (talk) 08:19, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment RfC is the correct place for this. Vibhijain 08:23, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

This is not the right place to post an Rf(d)A. Such requests need to be done locally. In cases where this is not possible, people can use the already above linked RFC-page. There is nothing we can or will do here. -Barras 08:23, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

  • thanks everybody. We hope we can solve it locally, but unfortunately we can't, because of oppression.--Coekon 08:28, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
  • The matter is moved to RFC. Thank you for your attention--Coekon 08:41, 15 June 2011 (UTC)


In the past few weeks I blocked an anonymous user on nl.wiktionary. This anon kept generating pages in all sorts of languages, mostly about names of countries or other toponyms with example phrases, a few of which were all right but many were bad machine translations sometimes in obscure languages we had no way of verifying. We tried to communicate with the anon but got no response and (s)he would not try to learn the local format. In short, we had more misery than contribution because everything needed correction, sometimes deletion. Even after warnings that this had to change there was not change in behavior or even a response. I still don't know what languages the anon does speak. So I blocked.

The same user seems to have descended now on the serbocroatian wiktionary where I found some hilarious example sentences in my mother tongue. (see sh:wikt:hond e.g.) The problem is that the anon seems to be the only current user. I think that if this is not stopped that this wiktionary will end up being so polluted that no serious user will ever want to touch it. Jcwf 00:20, 15 June 2011 (UTC) moderator nl:wikt:Gebruiker:Jcwf

Hond is een zachte zoogdier vleesetende trouw aan zijn meester, verwant aan een vos en wolven .
lit: Dog is a soft mammal flesheating loyalty to his master, related to one fox and wolves.
Thanks for raising it. Anyway, edits of that user are quite OK in relation to to Serbo-Croatian material. Please, fix the definition in Dutch :) (I am not so active bureaucrat there. From time to time I take a look on users' contributions.) --Millosh 08:56, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry but nocando: I have no idea what the serbocroat translation says. Besides, i would rather spend my time on nl.wikt. Jcwf 17:35, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Just to let you know... I've seen quite a lot of this user's edits; at first glance his/her edits seem fine, but when you take a closer look, the edits are full of errors. E.g.: wrong spelling, wrong capitalization, wrong gender (each word gets a neuter gender), wrong singular/plural, wrong hyphenation, (usually copied example sentences with) gibberish accompanying translation.
About the example above, the Serbo-Croatian is ok, because the anon has copied it from sh.wikipedia [1], the Dutch translation is rubbish.
If his/her Serbo-Croation example sentences are correct, than I'd predict the accompanying translations to be wrong. Usually (at nl.wikt) the example sentence is copied, and the corresponding sentence is a bad machine translation. Sometimes both sentences are nonsense.
Based on the edits at nl.wikt, I have to conclude that this user has no knowledge of the languages that (s)he is working on. A bit of copy/paste, a bit of machine translation, a bit of (wrong) guessing. 2Curious 17:29, 20 June 2011 (UTC) (= Curious at nl.wiktionary)

Would you folks like to remove nonsense tags on Wikimedia projects?

Would you like to remove those nonsense tags here? "Uncyclopedia", "Michael Jackson Vandalism", what is this supposed to mean? Here's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Me Into 13:06, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Vandalism is on all kinds of articles, not only on Michael Jackson articles. So you can also create a "George Bush Vandalism", "Elvis Presley Vandalism", "James Brown Vandalism", "Jimbo Wales Vandalism", etc. Creating one tag for one person is completely nonsense. Here's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Me Into 13:12, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
For specific concerns about a site, then please take them to the specific wiki. For your reference they are just labels for people watching for certain types of edits, and there will always be false positives in any filter. I would not sweat it. 14:34, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
But in my opinion: There is no difference between let's say "Michael Jackson Vandalism" and "Steven Spielberg Vandalism", vandalism is vandalism. Why not creating a tag for vandalism in general? Then you don't need all those Michael Jackson-tags (giving a person a tag is completely nonsense, there are millions of celebrities and if you give every celebrity a tag then there will be countless tags). Tags is for subjects not for persons. Here's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Me Into 14:51, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Try the English Wikipedia village pump for local issues. This is not the place for enwiki-specific discussion. Jafeluv 15:11, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. But I was talking about nonsense tags in general: those on the English Wikipedia are just an example of tags that are completely nonsense. Here's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Me Into 16:09, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
They're meant to be short identifiers of a specific type of vandalism so people can monitor it specifically (and catch it faster). Like the people said above, if you have individual tags you want to complain about, you should probably take the discussion to that wiki. Killiondude 02:13, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

How to add a new font to Wikimedia?

Friends, I create SVG graphics for I include Sinhala script in those graphics. And I have found out that RSVG which is used to render thumbnails and previews from SVG has failed to render these Sinhala script letters. I suspect the reason behind this is there is no font for Sinhala script in Wikimedia.

I can find several free Sinhala fonts to be used in Wikimedia. But can somebody tell me how to upload a font?

For the time being, the easiest way is to convert the SVG-fonts into objects; usually, fonts need to be installed on the user's computer. So if you need an immediate solution, convert them into objects. Seb az86556 15:26, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. For the time being I will convert them into curves. But there are few problems.
  1. advices not to convert them to objects. :(
  2. I use my text editor to translate SVG files with English text. And now I got to find an SVG Editor.

Hi I'm new here and had a few questions?


Since this is the first time I'm writing/contacting anybody here I'd like to say wiki's a good thing.

Here's what I'm writing about:

I get the feeling 'wikipedia' hasn't reached it's full potential conceptually, or it's possible my thought are out of sync with it's philosophies.

Without saying much, I find the articles desire completeness and truthfulness. I'm interested in managing various points of view on the same subject. Make wiki more inclusive but with tools to manage the chaos. Add better search facilities that filter results based on selected grades as per one's favorite certification bodies. These bodies have their own biases and requirements of articles, be it political, literary, etc. You guys are already the default, why not make this project more inclusive.

I'm sure I'm not the fist one to bring this up but I have a feeling the lawyers and the CIA, Zionists etc already have their heels dug in here?

Cheers anyways, thebytegrill

Hi, you are quite correct on all counts, and it's not going to change. Other wiki projects are more flexible. Greetings, Guido den Broeder 16:08, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh no, the Zionists! They're out to get you! TFighterPilot 07:59, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

col legno picture

Just left a pic of col legno's logo, having set the copyright to "free for use". Well, it can be used, but shouldn't be changed at all. Which copyright setting is correct then? I'm grateful for your advice. Thanks, Mike —The preceding unsigned comment was added by TimBurton123 (talk) , 09:38, 24. Jun. 2011 (UTC)

commons:Commons:Creative Commons copyright tags clearly states, that "nd" (No Derivatives) licenses are not acceptable. Don't know about GFDL ... axpdeHello! 10:33, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

User account issue

Hi all! I'm active user of Kazakh version (several years in Wikipedia, my username is Ulan), but once I switch to English version I become "alien" and Wikipedia asks me to register as a new user. How can I extent my user account from Kazakh version to English, Russian etc, on other words, how can I make my Kazakh user account global? (MukashUlan 08:38, 28 June 2011 (UTC))

You already hold the SUL account, so you can request the usurpation of the English account with no edits at en:Wikipedia:Changing username/Usurpations. Regards a×pdeHello! 13:04, 28 June 2011 (UTC)