Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2011-10

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Archive This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.

Format of the announcement heading

According to WP:MOSNUM in the English Wikipedia, "The ordinal suffix (e.g., th) is not superscripted". I think the announcement heading ("The Wikimedia Foundation's 2nd steward election in 2011 has started. Please vote.") should follow that recommendation. It currently demonstrates how an ordinal number should not be formatted. Chris the speller 03:13, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

As you point out that's the English Wikipedia's manual of style, which is not a reference for the correct usage of the English language nor the formatting of writing in general. It is just en.wp's normal usage. Meta is different, as are the other projects. Personally I see no reason to do on Meta what en.wp does and in fact I see lots of reasons to do something different as WMF projects are already over-dominated by the English Wikipedia. QU TalkQu 20:53, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
If the heading did not appear on en.wp, it could use any format. How about getting it removed from en.wp, then? If WMF doesn't need and doesn't support en.wp, why does en.wp need to show the heading? Chris the speller 21:31, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm serious. If each wikipedia gets a heading in a language that's appropriate, why can't en.wp get a heading that's appropriate? This isn't hard to fix. Chris the speller 21:35, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
OK, the translation of "second" in the headings used on the French, German and Russian wp are spelled out. Why not keep your anti-en.wp attitude to yourself, and just spell out "second" instead of using "2nd"? This still seems like a simple request to me. Chris the speller 21:48, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I am simply pointing out that your statement that the format of the banner is wrong is itself wrong. The MOS on en.wp is not, and is not intended to be, a statement on the correct use of English. Feel free to research further - for example the en.wp articles on ordinal numbers and their usage - and you will see that this is the case. Your other comments seem to imply that you think I can change things here, I can't. You would be better addressing your points (I suggest more civilly than you seem to be addressing them to me) to those with the rights to consider the changes you are suggesting QU TalkQu 21:42, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation "Answers"

Hi. :) I just wanted to let you all know that the Wikimedia Foundation is testing a potential new communication system intended to provide a central address to which community members who need assistance from the Wikimedia Foundation or who have questions about the Foundation or its activities can reach out and find answers. This system is being unrolled on a trial basis to test its efficiency and usefulness to communities.

What happens to your question will depend on what type of question it is. Many questions are general interest, and answers to these are being posted to wmf:Answers. Generally, at least to begin with, I will be writing these answers myself, although staff members have assisted with some questions already and I don't doubt will assist with more. Some issues will not be general interest, but may require attention from specific staff members or contractors. These will be forwarded to the appropriate parties. Questions that should be answered by community may be forwarded to the volunteer response team on OTRS, unless we can point you to a more appropriate point of contact.

I imagine most of you are familiar with how the Wikimedia Foundation works, but it's probably a good idea for me to note for those who are not familiar that the Wikimedia Foundation does not control content on any of its projects. They can't help with content disputes or unblock requests, and they are not the place to report general bugs or to request features (that would be Wikimedia's Bugzilla). The letters I've answered already have included primarily questions about finances and the Foundation's work. I've been asked to get feedback from staff on diverse subjects ranging from the amount of latitude permitted to a project in drafting their "Exemption Doctrine Policy" to whether or not groups seeking grants need tax exempt status first.

If you have questions for or about the Wikimedia Foundation, you can address them to answers(at) Please review wmf:Answers/Process for specific terms and more information. --Mdennis (WMF) 18:09, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Interesting idea, but please could you either move it from Foundation to here or open up Foundation wiki for anyone to all SUL accounts? At the moment account creation is restricted there, so you could be posting an answer and people wouldn't be able to post a supplementary question. Also if you host it on Meta people can post questions wiki stye rather than having to email them. WereSpielChequers 23:01, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
I was asked to prepare this specifically for the Foundation wiki, which is accessed by the public as well as by contributors. Meta, of course, is not necessarily where people go instinctively for information from the Foundation. I can pass along a suggestion that it be moved, but I think that the reasoning behind the placement there may keep it there. People are free to mail supplementary questions, certainly. :) The email format permits some privacy for those situations that require it as well as more easily enabling triage. The Wikimedia Foundation, of course, receives quite a lot of correspondence that needs to be handled by volunteers, and being able to easily pass that along to the OTRS team is a bonus. --Mdennis (WMF) 17:22, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Meta favicon

Is it just me or does metawiki lack a favicon? -- とある白い猫 chi? 09:08, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

It is the logo of meta for me --Bencmq 11:28, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Page moves

Hi guys. Because Meta has no dedicated place for requesting page moves, I hope it's all right that I request for the moves here.

Wikimedia Philippines has recently renumbered its resolutions to keep up with chronological order, so I would like to request that the following pages be moved to their appropriate numbers:

  • 14 -> 18
  • 13 -> 17
  • 12 -> 16
  • c -> 15
  • d -> 14
  • a -> 13
  • b -> 12

For some reason, even if the destination page is a redirect to the newly-renumbered resolution, the pages won't move. I hope an admin can help us out on this. Thanks. :) --Sky Harbor (talk) 10:50, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done You should check the year in this resolution and also the dates in the resolution 22 and 23 in order to keep the chronological order. I also deleted redirect 19 --> 23. I hope that everything is done properly. mickit 16:06, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I corrected the dates, but it seems that I messed up the numbering: resolution 23 is supposed to be resolution 19, and 23 is another membership approval resolution for a bunch of people after Wikimania. I hope this can be fixed. :) --Sky Harbor (talk) 16:32, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Face-smile.svg mickit 16:42, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Belatedly recognized this problem: 19 and 20 are supposed to be reversed: a membership resolution passed in June can't possibly come before a resolution convening the annual convention in May. I'm very sorry Micki if I'm inconveniencing you with all these moves, but I promise (I hope) that this is the last set of moves that need to be done to get the numbering correct. --Sky Harbor (talk) 17:50, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Don't worry about that :) mickit 18:10, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
BTW, when you need the assistance of a sysop you can post your request on Meta:Requests for help from a sysop or bureaucrat. mickit 19:11, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

GFDL v1.2

Meta:Copyrights and GNU Free Documentation License refer to version 1.2, which I think is not legally possible. ;-) Discussion at Meta talk:Copyrights#Page outdated. John Vandenberg 02:11, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Chinese Wikis

Present Chinese Wikis:

  • zh 中文,
  • zh-classical 文言;
  • zh-min-nan Bân-lâm-gú
  • zh-yue 粵語

are registered with LANGUAGE codes in Wikipedia.

But what we find on zh, zh-classical and zh-yue are scripts (i.e. hani, hant and hans)!!

On the other hand *zh-min-nan Bân-lâm-gú is Min-nan-language phonetically transcribed/romanized.

What Wikimedia should do, is to combine Chinese script AND the languages which use Chinese script in sort of Interlineary version which gives the users the script (hani, hant, hans) AND the language in question. One could program the pages with the option to show

a) both script and transcription

b) only the script

c) only the transcription

Chinese Script based Wikis (and also Chinese Wikis like Min-nan which use only transliteration and omit Chinese script) are only of use (for mankind) if there is the option to habe both information (Chinese Script AND its pronunciation/transcription). Please see an example of my idea (constructed with template:hidden) [here]--Dudy001 08:23, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

The respective Wikis should have as prefix then for example: (see Chinese written language and List of varieties of Chinese

  • hani-zh
  • hant-zh
  • hans-zh
  • hani-zh-yue
  • hant-zh-yue
  • hans-zh-yue

etc.--Dudy001 08:53, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps also - and Wikimedia could do this easily (with all its servers and computers) - with different transcription systems (i.e. the most common one's for a start: Pinyin (PY),

that means for the prefixes (see: transcription systems for Chinese languages

  • hani-zh(PY)
  • hant-zh(PY)
  • hans-zh(PY)
  • hani-zh-yue(PY)
  • hant-zh-yue(PY)
  • hans-zh-yue(PY)

etc. or

  • hani-zh(Wade-Giles)
  • hant-zh(Wade-Giles)
  • hans-zh(Wade-Giles)
  • hani-zh-yue(Wade-Giles)
  • hant-zh-yue(Wade-Giles)
  • hans-zh-yue(Wade-Giles)

etc. with hide/show option.--Dudy001 09:10, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Classical Chinese is completely diffferent from modern Chinese. In no way we can merge that with zh.wikipedia. On zh.wikipedia we already have automatic conversion between simplified and traditional Chinese, which by the way is your 'hans' and 'hant'. --Bencmq 09:17, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
My proposal is not to merge Chinese scripts, languages and transliteration system. On the contrary what I want to say is, that one has to differenciate between:
  1. Script (hani, hant, hans
  2. language (zh, zh-yue, etc.)
  3. pronunciation (Transcription systems)
and that all these (three) informations MUST be given in a Chinese Wiki to qualify as an encyclopedia for all (not only for intellectual Chinese (maybe 10% of the Chinese), who know to read and write (and pronounce) Chinese already. For all the other Chinese and learners of Chinese Chinese Wikis are - at the moment - of not much use. If this is not changed, the outreach programs will not have much effect. It's just like making an "Ancient Egyptian Wiki with only the hieroglyphs without giving their pronunciation in their respective different Old Egyptian languages/dialects!--Dudy001 07:20, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Each of them already have their own rules regarding those aspects
Mandarin allows for multiple scripts, Cantonese and Wu chose traditional, Min-Nan uses roman characters
Since they are written the reader will pronounce them as the reader would
"It's just like making an "Ancient Egyptian Wiki with only the hieroglyphs without giving their pronunciation in their respective different Old Egyptian languages/dialects" - A reader who is fluent in the language will know how to pronounce it
WhisperToMe 03:01, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Move of to

Hi, I would like to know your opinion on this: is server cluster operated by wikimedia foundation de, many of wikipedia tools are being hosted there, but if you look at many wikis which use it, you can see that many of them link to the tools like

It probably looks very strange to the people who use wikipedia that wikipedia links it own tools somewhere outside from wikipedia (since ordinary users probably don't know much about the servers wikimedia and tools run on), actually I think it would be much better if there was a dns record in dns like which was set to same ip's as is, so that the links would stay in wikimedia dns space. I know it's rather minor change but it would appear much better. It shouldn't be that complicated too. Any thoughs? Petrb 15:05, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

There are security implications that I believe (although you should check) preclude this; it might even have been discussed in the past. Essentially, the toolserver is (by definition) running code that has not been vetted by the WMF sysadmins. If the toolserver gets a * DNS address, malicious (or malformed or insecure) code running from it can do nasty things like install tracking cookies that are run on all * domains, or steal global CentralAuth cookies, etc. Compromised toolserver code could also be used as a way to bypass the same-origin policy. These are much the same reasons why sites like Facebook and Google serve insecure content from different domains to their main site ( and, respectively). In short, I think this is technically unworkable, although it's worth checking with the sysadmins. Happymelon 15:45, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
mw:Global session threat assessment. We were moved from shortly before SUL's introduction. At one point was an alias for, but I'm told this wasn't official sanctioned. Dispenser 16:18, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
But what about having a redirect from* to* (a simple script located at which would redirect you), that would not be that better but it wouldn't have such issues, true is that I couldn't find it anywhere although I was thinking that it probably was discussed in past, just wasn't sure why it already isn't. Petrb 16:31, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
In an older versions of Flash the cross-domain security check was done before resolving redirects. Its likely other venders also made the same mistake. So why increase the attack area? Additionally, WMF is spending $1.5 million on Labs to overthrow the independently operated Toolserver. Dispenser 02:53, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Actually, a mistake like that in the JAVA runtimes was patched just 2 weeks ago, so yes there are other vendors with such trouble :D TheDJ 09:13, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Wmf is spending those money how? By emloying "trustworth" coders as replacement for semi-trusted community devs? That would be like throwing money out of window... There are people willing to do this for free so what for? Petrb 10:03, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
No, they're building a virtual server stack that duplicates the entire cluster, but which is separated from the production servers so they can give semi-trusted community devs the ability to tinker with (and yes, potentially screw over) the whole architecture. Why use the toolserver's replicated database when you can write a MediaWiki extension and install it yourself on something that looks exactly like the production wikis? It's very exciting, but it probably won't completely replace the Toolserver, which is still a useful platform for hosting bots. But basically anything that usese the toolserver mainly for its replicated databases will be jumping ship to Labs eventually. Happymelon 11:03, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Requests for comment/Stewards' question: How to make your Wikimedian life easier?

This request for comment, created by Millosh more than two months ago, still need some opinions. It would be nice if people that did not give their opinion could express themselves. Thanks -- Quentinv57 (talk) 17:55, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Blacklist Bill that could affect Wikipedia

Urgent! The government is trying to pass a blacklist bill that would shut down social networking and other user-generated content sites, like Wikipedia. To sign against it, go here: The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 08:20, 26 October 2011‎ (UTC)

I suggest you inform yourself about the bill, before you buy the claim it could affect Wikipedia. Seb az86556 08:37, 26 October 2011 (UTC)


regards, -jkb- 10:10, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

How avant-garde. --MZMcBride 23:41, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Sure. Thanks for the nice comparison. -jkb- 09:27, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Global message delivery

Hi. :) I found myself in position of having to use this system after User:Geoffbrigham asked that we broadcast word of the Terms of Use and Tilman Bayer (in his contractor position) sent me there. Fortunately, Tilman was available to talk me through part of the process, before he became unavailable midway through, because I found it very intimidating. It's a great system to get out important information, but I'm concerned that there may be people who would have good reason to use it (like Geoff or, well, me) who probably shouldn't monkey with it. For example, when I was trying to run a "test" email to a single account, as Tilman advised, using the same delivery access list as I was going to use per his recommendation, the bot did not immediately work. Being on a time crunch, I set the status to "Really start" as per the directions (he was away from IRC at that point), and he told me when he returned that I might have inadvertently caused the Bot to send my test message out to everyone in earlier versions of the "access list." This seems kind of high risk. :/ (For that matter, if I had not been actively chatting with Tilman in the beginning, I wouldn't have known to test the system at all.)

I'm wondering if it's possible to set up some kind of request system where staff and/or others who have good reason to spam messages can ask those of you who know what you're doing to help out with the hands on portion--maybe a "requests" page? While I hate having to impose on people, I think it might be best for the bot and the spammees. :) This really doesn't seem like something we want to get wrong. --Mdennis (WMF) 12:41, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

About the "Really start" problem: As MZMcBride explained it to me, the risk is that the bot might be using an outdated recipients list when it is set to ignore Toolserver lag. This is not a big problem for e.g. the Signpost (where one will probably only miss one or two recent subscribers), which is why the Signpost publication instructions recommend overriding the Toolserver lag error with the "Really start" command. However, if one has recently made big changes to the recipients list, as in this case, the override should probably be avoided. The instructions at Global message delivery/Spam need to make that clearer.
I think it's a good idea to ask an experienced user to operate the bot (and not rushing it when doing it for the first time). I would have been happy to do it myself in this case if I had been notified in advance.
Your proposal makes sense. At the moment it doesn't seem that there would be too many requests, so I suggest simply using Talk:Global message delivery - I have put a note to that effect into Global message delivery. It has to be kept in mind that most users will probably not come with an already well-formed request, but will need help as well to write up and format the message, and to assemble a recipient list.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) 16:05, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for updating the instructions. I'll pass that along. :) And I'll keep in mind next time a staff member comes to me for help that you may be available to assist. --Mdennis (WMF) 16:39, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
The bot doesn't run instantly. It checks the "/Status" page every five minutes. So there will generally be a delay between when you tell the bot to start and when it will actually start. The instructions are fairly straightforward (to me, at least) and operating the bot generally only requires editing two pages ("/Spam" and "/Status"). If there are ways to make it friendlier, go for it. :-) Do be cautious of instruction creep, though.
On a personal level, I wrote the bot so that I wouldn't have to manually interfere with message deliveries. I have no intention of fulfilling outside requests to run the bot, as it runs directly contrary to the architecture I built. But others are likely much more accommodating. --MZMcBride 23:25, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Meta sysops are the first obvious users of the system, so I think that you can just put requests on WM:RFH. Nemo 20:06, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Impact of the Foundation controversial content resolution on enW image use policy

I haven't seen any reference to the Foundation's May 2011 controversial content resolution at Wikipedia until recently, when it was invoked at Pregnancy and Muhammad. I've started a discussion at the enW Image use policy talk page to explore whether the resolution has implications for image use at enW. --Anthonyhcole 09:28, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

User contribution search tool

Awhile ago, I created a toolserver tool which allows you to search through a user's contributions to a particular page, or through a range of pages (using wildcards). Until recently, this tool was only available on the English Wikipedia. I have now made a version available which works across all wikis. It is currently in testing on not live on my toolserver site yet. However, if you frequently use non-English Wikipedias, feel free to try it out and let me know if you find anything that doesn't work the way you expected it to. You can report bugs at en:User talk:Snottywong. Thanks! —SW— comment 23:59, 31 October 2011 (UTC)