Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2014-11

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Set $wgCheckUserForceSummary to true on Wikimedia wikis

This discussion affects every CU on every wiki. Please feel free to report it in the local CU village pump, where existing. Please note the issue has already been notified to the CU mailing list by Rschen7754 (with a link to the bug, not this discussion).

It has been proposed in bug 71457 by Filzstift to enable the $wgCheckUserForceSummary setting by default on every Wikimedia wiki.

This setting has been introduced in May 2009. It has already been enabled for en.wikipedia some years ago.

Filzstift describes the feature like this: “When doing a Checkuser query a "reason" can be entered. Normally for each CU query a reason _must_ be entered, but sometimes they got forgotten.”. It forbids to perform a CU without entering a reason.

This is supported by Glaisher, Rschen7754, billinghurst and a CU I can't match the mail to a wiki username according the bug report. Arguments given in support are it allows to avoid distraction omissions and to help the transparency for the Ombudsman Commission work.

Do you agree with this proposal? --Dereckson (talk) 17:03, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

That would be @NativeForeigner:. If someone could notify all the wikis with CUs, that would be helpful (except enwiki, I suppose, since it is already enabled). --Rschen7754 17:51, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Notifications done on fr. and commons. --Dereckson (talk) 18:15, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Note. The Bugzilla request is for the technical implementation of the mediawiki feature set that requires that those undertaking use of Checkuser tool to complete the Reason: field, (cf. enforcing an edit summary to undertake an edit). This discussion is not about requirements for validation for undertaking a checkuser which should occur against community norms, and prior to the technical act of a checkuser process.


  • Weak Support Support. I do not disagree. --Krd 18:19, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • @Dereckson: - FYI your link to the bug is non-functional. Anyway, strong support if it gives the option to use no summary if entered a second time (like overriding forced edit summaries); weak support if not. Magog the Ogre (talk) 20:54, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The proposal makes sense in principle but I didn't look into it enough to have a definite opinion. --Nemo 21:08, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Could someone please explain more clearly what this is about? "Force summary"? Summary by whom? Where? Is this to force the person requesting the CU to summarize why he wants it? Or to force the CU to enter a reason on Special:Check user?      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 21:22, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
The last. Summary by CU on the check user special page. --Dereckson (talk) 21:46, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Support it is a no-brainer for what is usual practice. Field should always be completed as demonstration of due diligence for why check was undertaken, and where I have not, it is an accidental omission. It will create no extra work for those undertaking the practice of documenting why they have undertaken a check.  — billinghurst sDrewth 23:42, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Weak support (not because I support it, but I don't disagree, either). Documenting a check is one thing, but properly documenting a check is another. On frwiki, we put a link to the local CU request, but I've seen many wikis where something like "vandalism" or "sockpuppet" is commonly used, which is very unhelpful if you need to remember, 6 months later, the exact reason you did that check. Forcing people to put reasons will lead to this. But this is no reason for me to oppose it. Elfix 08:28, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Watchlist with watch/ignore talk page threads and global watchlist

As an IEG proposal, I have proposed making a user script which permits you to watch or ignore threads on talk pages. With this script, for talk pages your watchlist will only show the threads you have chosen to watch. Alternately it will show all threads except those which you have indicated you desire to ignore. In addition, the script will permit you to display entries from your watchlist on other Wikipedia projects and languages. Discussion is encouraged at the IEG page. — Makyen (talk) 18:12, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

New Wikipedia Library Accounts Now Available (November 2014)

Hello Wikimedians!

The TWL OWL says sign up today :)

The Wikipedia Library is announcing signups today for, free, full-access accounts to published research as part of our Publisher Donation Program. You can sign up for:

  • DeGruyter: 1000 new accounts for English and German-language research. Sign up on one of two language Wikipedias:
  • Fold3: 100 new accounts for American history and military archives
  • Scotland's People: 100 new accounts for Scottish genealogy database
  • British Newspaper Archive: expanded by 100+ accounts for British newspapers
  • Highbeam: 100+ remaining accounts for newspaper and magazine archives
  • Questia: 100+ remaining accounts for journal and social science articles
  • JSTOR: 100+ remaining accounts for journal archives

Do better research and help expand the use of high quality references across Wikipedia projects: sign up today!
--The Wikipedia Library Team.23:19, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

You can host and coordinate signups for a Wikipedia Library branch in your own language. Please contact Ocaasi (WMF).
This message was delivered via the Global Mass Message to The Wikipedia Library Global Delivery List.

Do Wikipedians understand the license under which they publish their work?

At least, not all of them. I've opened an RfC to discuss this: Requests for comment/Wikipedians and the CC-BY-SA license. Elfix 19:20, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

The real question is Does Wikipedia understand it ? See, the text of that license gives us , the copyright holders, the right to void that method and use a different method of copyright , but Wikipedia doesn't seem to think so. They seem to think that they can use the license, but just ignore parts of it. Just my .02 Necromonger Wekeepwhatwekill 18:06, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Staff

Is the use of the word "staff" in templates like Template:User CVN staff allowed? It creates the impression, on first reading, that the user is a WMF employee. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:43, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

The link goes to the CVN website and the userbox clearly says CVN not WMF. I don't think we have (or should have) any policies forbidding people from writing possibly confusing userboxes, but feel free to suggest another wording. PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:48, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
AFAIK, WMF has not yet trademarked the word "staff". --Nemo 20:56, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
I find the idea that the WMF should have a monopoly on the word "staff" on meta ridiculous. Also, I disagree that it creates any such impressions, the template doesn't say "This user is a staff member of the WMF", it says "This user is a staff member of the CVN". Snowolf How can I help? 18:28, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

where to complain about an administrator who abused his rights?

I want to complain about an administrator of bar.wikipedia.org who abused his rights. Where can I do a request for desysopping this admin here in meta-wiki? An admin complaint on bar.wikipedia-org is useless beacuse there are only two active admins or so and they're biased (and the abuse is too heavy).-seko- (talk) 22:02, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

You could start an RfC, but have you tried discussing it locally? PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:07, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

mirroring Philippe's words elsewhere  — billinghurst sDrewth 02:45, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

On the three revert rule in the english wikipedia

"Being "right" is not an exception to the three-revert rule, and claiming that your version is the "better" version is not a reason that will get you unblocked." - WHAT

This is a huge flaw that is currently being exploited by a russian admin and several russian editors in the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Crimean_crisis article. Please see the history or just take one look at the article to see a clear lack of neutral point of view.

The russian admin there (Ymblanter) is abusing his powers by precisely using the rules to block non-russian editors, while excluding the pro-russian propoganda edits from the rules. In other words, he's cherry picking based on his own pro-russian bias.

All of that makes me mad as hell. Especially that wikipedia is made so people who follow the rules, but have no good faith or understanding of NPOV can attain admin status unsigned comment by 86.13.221.231 (talk) 19:01, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

You were blocked for edit warring. It's just like they said, being right doesn't give you the right to edit war. Grow up, grow a pair and maybe you'll be ready to edit with the big boys. Necromonger Wekeepwhatwekill 21:18, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
3RR is a bright line. It does not actually require a block, because in the case of a new editor, a warning can be much more effective. But the real place to stop an edit war is before it starts - at 1RR. The best thing to do if someone reverts your good edit, is to take it to the talk page and find out why they were opposed to the edit. Sometimes you can make your edit more clear in the edit summary - it might just have been reverted because it just looked like an uninformed edit by an IPUser, when in fact it was a good edit warranted by a change in the world that needed to be reflected in the article. Everything needs to be supported by Reliable Sources, though, so without a source it is less likely for the edit to be retained. But use the BRD cycle - Bold edit, Reverted, Discuss it before going to even 1RR revert. Or if you had already reverted someone, avoid going to 2RR. Edit wars are very counterproductive, and do not allow for the collaborative editing that is required. Apteva (talk) 20:36, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia can develop a new world language

In addition to Wikipedia's language segregated databases, we also need a single Wikipedia database that allows every language group to participate. Editors should be encouraged to create and edit articles using words from as many languages as they know. This will help to develop a new world language as editors and readers work together to includes words from various languages into a common articles.

Language is meant to evolve and change as people mix and migrate to new places, but the internet (and particularly Wikipedia) is preventing this intermeshing of languages by segregating databases by language. The solution is to create a database where languages can mix and mesh. Waters.Justin (talk) 21:32, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

I propose we call the language that develops out of this project, Wikipedia. ;) Waters.Justin (talk) 21:39, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
Maybe something like Wikidata or A proposal towards a multilingual Wikipedia which is language-neutral could work, but Wikimedia (and Wikipedia) should not try to make another Esperanto, Lojban, or Klingon. PiRSquared17 (talk) 21:46, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
What I am proposing is different than A proposal towards a multilingual Wikipedia because I am proposing for articles to not be translated into another language. The idea is that people who edit and read the page will begin to learn new words and phrases from a variety of languages. English is a mixture of French, German, and Latin. It is possible that a new online language that is a mixture of a variety of languages could develop as editors establish a preference for words in some languages over others. In the Talk pages editors could negotiate what languages to use for different words, and the language used could evolve as the Wikipedia database grows. This would not be like Esperanto, Lojban, or Kingon because it would not be a language with fixed rules and perimeters; it would be an evolving language made of all the world's languages. Learning words from all the world's languages has a greater benefit than learning Kilingon, so editors and readers will have a greater incentive to participate. The only problem I see is that not all languages use Latin characters and some languages start from the right side of the page. I think these differences are minor and can be part of this world language experiment. This would develop into a Wikipedia pidgin language Waters.Justin (talk) 03:18, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
How does creating a conlang (even if it is a 'living' or 'evolving' one) help to fulfill Wikimedia's mission: to spread knowledge? If anything, it would just make it harder, since readers would have to learn another language (if I understand you correctly). Esperanto and Lojban already tried to do what you're proposing to some extent. They use words from a mixture of other languages. Esperanto does have a fixed grammar, but it can have new words. I'm not sure what you mean by a language without fixed rules; it needs to have at least some grammar. I just don't see the point. Adding new words to existing languages makes sense, but creating a new one from talk page comments does not (to me, at least). Besides [since you keep referencing Wikipedia instead of Wikimedia] original research is forbidden. I doubt it would ever be taken seriously by non-Wikipedians. If you were to attempt something like this, you'd probably transliterate everything to one script (e.g. Latin), so the writing system and directionality of the original languages wouldn't matter. By the way, even though English is Germanic, it did not come from what we call "German" per se (it's a descendent of Old English, whereas German came from Old High German). I'm not sure if you're trying to reference the Middle English creole hypothesis though. PiRSquared17 (talk) 05:10, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
In other words: Assuming Wikipedia can develop a new world language, why should it? And creating a new world language reminds me of this comic. PiRSquared17 (talk) 05:11, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
The purpose of Wikipedia is to spread knowledge, and one of the greatest obstacles to sharing knowledge is the language barrier. If Wikipedia can find a way past the World's language barrier it will fulfill its purpose and create a new network or language of knowledge that may one day transcend past the Wikimedia experience. Does Wikimedia want its legacy to be the segregation of knowledge based on language or does Wikimedia want its legacy to be that it took every effort possible to transcend the language barrier to share knowledge? Waters.Justin (talk) 18:15, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
The problem is an important one. We can probably all agree on that. It doesn't follow that a certain strategy will help solve the problem. Inventing a new language to help with translation merely creates yet another language to try to translate into and out of. Esperanto seems to be about as successful as one can expect an international auxilliary language to be; but from what I hear, it doesn't solve the problem of translating between languages. I'm told you can translate great literature from many languages into Esperanto without much loss of nuance, Esperanto readers can read it in Esperanto with full impact, and it can be translated back into its original language and be pretty much what it started as — but if you translate it from Esperanto into some other natural language, something is lost. --Pi zero (talk) 20:22, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
My hope is that this language project will add words from other languages to the English language and other languages. This multilingual Wikipedia database can be the flower that seeds the world with words from many languages. In other words, the primary goal of this project is not to create a new world language, but to create a project that will allow the flow of new words into other languages. Translating in and out of the Wikipigin language would not be an issue because the primary goal of the project is to seed the world with new words and create a forum where language can coevolve unrestrained by language segregation and the fixed rules of grammar. People like puzzles and many people half know a language, so writing by mixing languages would be fun to a lot of people. Waters.Justin (talk) 17:38, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
I like this idea, but I feel like it is perhaps too ambitious; and a similar project is underway, otherwise known as English. English has become such an international language in large part because it is a common sewer of languages, fairly readily accepting loanwords from many sources. We've had a Simple English Wiki and novelty Wikis in everything from Volapuk to Klingon -- maybe it's time to have one where people work out a new English orthography that is vastly simplified and phonetic, while simultaneously exploring ways to simplify the language and even its grammar... though the latter is a bit difficult, since you can already verb just about anything, for example. :) Also perhaps to regularize the language and encourage the full range of logical correlates of every word (line seed and flaxen cloth; perhaps have both floors and TV ratings sweeped). Wnt (talk) 15:00, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
On the peculiar character of English, the quote that comes to mind (well known in some circles) is
We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. — James D. Nicoll
Trying to standardize English orthography is one of those things that sounds (irony there) like a good idea until you try to do it. Another occasion to cite this comic (which someone also cited above). --Pi zero (talk) 17:21, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that directly applies, so long as the new orthography is used by itself rather than for a subset of words. Really, I'd like to see it start all the way back with the alphabet - is there a way to research the most distinctive possible set of letters to accelerate reading and writing as much as possible? Wnt (talk) 18:37, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The fundamental flaw in this proposal is that Wikipedia does not create the world, Wikipedia describes the world. If someone in reading 200 languages comes up with a 201st language, and it becomes popular, Wikipedia will simply create a new wiki for it. Languages are created and evolve all the time, so there is nothing new about the process, but our responsibility is to report those changes, not create them. What I would like to propose instead, though, is to create articles on meta-wiki (here) that are translated into all languages, using the drop down box at the left, instead of clicking an interwiki link. All articles would need to have a uniform structure in every language, and could display a box saying "translation pending" for every section that has not been translated yet. I would strongly suggest avoiding a language block at the top of each page, as that is not the easiest way to get from one language to another, and I also would strongly suggest restricting the number of articles to roughly the 500,000 most important ones for every encyclopedia to have, instead of just allowing anyone to create any Pokemon article they wanted (make a list of proposed articles, similar to the manner we propose featuring an image or article on the main page). In kicking off this project, I would suggest creating an article about every country of the world. All articles in this meta wiki would have the same content and depth in every language, instead of some being stubs and some having 200,000 bytes, which is what we have today. By limiting the number of articles we can focus our work on articles one at a time instead. Apteva (talk) 21:06, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
    That's not really what Meta-Wiki is for, but you could create an example page if you wanted to show what you mean. PiRSquared17 (talk) 21:14, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
True, this is off topic for a Wikipedia, but I would like to see the WMF sponsor a broader range of small creative projects. Really, this is a special case of what I'd like to see, a "Wikidea" where people try to collectively develop free inventions. For people who aren't willing to spend thousands on a license to be sued, aka patent, there are few options for proposing ideas; it's amazing what kind of scam artists prey on the public. This would be one such item for such a hypothetical project. Wnt (talk) 04:12, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
In Lila's keynote at Wikimania she said (in flowery words) that the non-Wikipedian sisters don't matter. But, if you're willing to treat the Foundation as the obstacle-best-ignored that it aspires to be, there's Wikiversity. --Pi zero (talk) 11:37, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I really don't keep track of what any would-be leaders are up to; though it is clear that if a language project were ever to succeed it would take some leader, a committed individual willing to really put in the effort to try to get the fire kindled in the first place. Certainly I hope that WMF doesn't start eating its young though; if they contribute little they also cost little, and they provide a nebula of useful cover. I mean, if Fox News starts complaining that the Arabic wiki has an article on RDX, it wouldn't hurt if we can say our Klingon wiki has an article on photon torpedoes. Wnt (talk) 12:09, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Community Liaison job openings at WMF

Hello! There are currently 2 job openings, and I thought someone here might be interested. Specifically:

  • Community Liaison - this position will initially focus on working with the Flow team and also with the Editing (VisualEditor) team, mostly at non-English wikis; however, a lot of smaller or short-term tasks continually come up, so the WMF is particularly looking for someone who is adaptable, and with diverse interests.
  • Community Liaison (Part time contract) - this part-time position will primarily focus on working with the Mobile teams, as the link explains.

If you need further information, feel free to send an email to cep@lists.wikimedia.org (but do not use this address to apply). Please pass it along, if you know someone who might be interested or a good fit for the Community Engagement team. Thanks! Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 18:28, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

History or timeline of WikiMedia Projects

Is there a timeline of when Wikimedia projects have been started and ended? This is mainly an issue of curiosity for me. I noticed that the number of wikis listed on List_of_Wikipedias has recently changed from 287 to 288, and was wondering what got added. Obviously the same question exists for the other project types as well. Thanks. Rwessel (talk) 08:54, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

See Incubator:Incubator:Site_creation_log. Ruslik (talk) 11:38, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! Just what I was interested in. Rwessel (talk) 06:54, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Greek wikipedia duplicate articles

Anyone know how to let the Greek wikipedia know that they have duplicate articles? Νταν Μ. Κνούντσεν and Νταν Μάικλ Κνούντσεν. --Bamyers99 (talk) 20:57, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

I added a merge template. --Stryn (talk) 21:54, 25 November 2014 (UTC)