Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2016-05

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Some Wikimedia's IPs have been Blocking in Mainland China

I tested the accessibility of some Wikimedia's IPs in mainland China. Here's the result:

IP address Desktop or Mobile View Name of Datacenter Country Desktop View eqiad Untied States Desktop View ulsfo United States Desktop View esams Holland Mobile View eqiad United States Mobile View ulsfo United States Mobile View esams Holland

     IPs accessible in mainland China      IPs blocked in mainland China

My test shows that the Great Firewall, or GFW has been blocking these IPs with red background in recent days.

But that won't effect on Wikipedia users in mainland China. Chinese Wikipedia has been blocking since May 2015 by DNS poisoning. But other languages and other wikimedia projects can be accessed normally. Chinese users have two ways to access zhwiki, using proxies like VPN and switch to unpoisoned DNS or change hosts to correct poisoned DNS translations. In December 2015, GFW blocked, caused all Wikimedia projects unable to access in China, because when Chinese users lookup the IP of Wikimedia projects, DNS servers usually respond Two days later, GFW unblocked, but the DNS poisoning to Chinese Wikipedia has been continuing. Because most Chinese users still use to access Wikipedia, this blockage won't stop Chinese people from access Wikimedia projects except zhwiki. The reason why GFW did that isn't clear yet. But that shows that GFW may block all Wikimedia's IPs one day, and Wikipedia may never able to access in mainland China.--Techyan (talk) 14:14, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

I work in mainland China, from a desktop. It is actually much better than expected in the beginning. Even wikipedias in secondary Chinese languages can be accessed. Of course, also the other zh-N and meta wikiprojects can be edited. Chinese people at University use wikipedia and know what it is. I've witnessed with my own eye 3-4 years ago massive inserting from South China on different wiki editions about a cluster of similar topic, which proved to me that wiki was considered a "target" for some people in China. The bottleneck is not just that zhwikipedia is missing. With 1.2 billions Chinese ad so many projects available a community could be created in the end, even if 95% of the users enter from the main gate of the "national" wikipedia and will be missing, 5% of Chinese population is still a big number... One critical bottleneck is that the bing, baidu or yahoo do not put wiki-related results in great evidence. In the end that "5%" comes down to a probably more limited fraction of the population, such as university student and culture professionals that really need to access some main language wikipedia and specifically look for it.--Alexmar983 (talk) 15:14, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

Enable speakText for Extension:Math

Hi! I'm here for request the community consensus for enable the functionality of "speakText" for the Math extension. The extension itself generates an image (PNG or SVG) for a mathematical expression described by LateX code.

With activation of speakText, in addition to the image, the extension generates also an alternative text which describes the mathematical expression and can be use by screen readers. This is very important for accessibility of content (WAI), and to permit access at all knowledge also for blind or persons with low vision capabilities.

For technical details see phab:T120938.

Personally I think this feature is very important. Do you agree? --β16 - (talk) 09:31, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

Example equations
Equation Alt text Proposed
y = a x^2 + b x + c y equal a x squared plus b x plus c
x=\frac{-b\pm\sqrt{b^2-4a \times c\ }}{2a} x equal minus b plus or minus square root b squared minus 4 a c divided by 2 a
Is this changing the alt text for math images? Or something the title attribute? Could you post some before and after examples? With simulated screen read output from FANGS. Dispenser (talk) 20:27, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
Filled the "Proposed" column. --β16 - (talk) 08:07, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
I note that "x equal minus b plus or minus square root b squared minus 4 a c divided by 2 a" seems a bit ambiguous, would it generate the same for or or ? Anomie (talk) 13:48, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
You are right, but is difficult to find a unique description for complex equation in spoken language. Everything can be improved, how would you describe that equation using a spoken language in not ambiguous way? For a blind user, the proposal is better or worse than the current alt text? --β16 - (talk) 09:23, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm a screen reader user, and I think this could be helpful; it would benefit those who can't use the MathML system for whatever reason. The ambiguity of the alt text would need improvement. For the quadratic formula example, I'd say "all over 2A" at the end. Perhaps there should be an option to turn off the alt text in case the screen reader user wants to see the LaTeX. Graham87 (talk) 04:57, 30 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for comment. Any objection to activate this feature? --β16 - (talk) 07:20, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

IPTC/XMP entries are missing in picture file resized by Wikimedia

This means, that Wikimedia is taking away my interest as author of the picture. People may use the pic all over the world, which is a first step, that the author is forgotten. Files without IPTC/XMP entries might even be uploaded in online-shops, making money with my work - surely without letting any share to me.

This happened to me before. I gave Photo-files to an artist, to use them without having to care about fees ... I have found them later in three online stockphoto shops.

I have to request, to repair this obvious help for internet thiefs, who sell other peoples work or even load it up for contests.

MBR Johann Potakowskyj

I´ll send no more Photos as long this problem doesn´t get solved. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jatpok (talk)

What files are you talking about? Ruslik (talk) 15:02, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
IPTC/XMP is not the only way to get attribution. If someone else is using the photos without attribution you should tell them to take your photos down. Bawolff (talk) 05:37, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

Logo at ast.wp

I don't think I see the Wikipedia logo at --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 08:23, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

Same for me.--Syum90 (talk) 08:33, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Fixed now :) --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 15:41, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

A new "Welcome" dialog

Hello everyone. This is a heads-up about a change which has just been announced in Tech News: Add the "welcome" dialog (with button to switch) to the wikitext editor.

In a nutshell, later this week this will provide a one-time "Welcome" message in the wikitext editor which explains that anyone can edit, and every improvement helps. The user can then start editing in the wikitext editor right away, or switch to the visual editor. (This is the equivalent of an already existing welcome message for visual editor users, which suggests the option to switch to the wikitext editor. If you have already seen this dialog in the visual editor, you will not see the new one in the wikitext editor.)

  • I want to make sure that, although users will see this dialog only once, they can read it in their language as much as possible. Please read the instructions if you can help with that.
  • I also want to underline that the dialog does not change in any way current site-wide and personal configurations of the visual editor. Nothing changes permanently for users who chose to hide the visual editor in their Preferences or for those who don't use it anyway, or for wikis where it's still a Beta Feature, or for wikis where certain groups of users don't get the visual editor tab, etc.
    • There is a slight chance that you see a few more questions than usual about the visual editor. Please refer people to the documentation or to the feedback page, and feel free to ping me if you have questions too!
  • Finally, I want to acknowledge that, while not everyone will see that dialog, many of you will; if you're reading this you are likely not the intended recipients of that one-time dialog, so you may be confused or annoyed by it—and if this is the case, I'm truly sorry about that. This message also avoids that you have to explain the same thing over and over again—just point to this section. Please feel free to cross-post this message at other venues on this wiki if you think it will help avoid that users feel caught by surprise by this change.

If you want to learn more, please see; if you have feedback or think you need to report a bug with the dialog, you can post in that task (or at if you prefer).

Thanks for your attention and happy editing, Elitre (WMF) 16:44, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

New project proposal "WikiCache"

It is my understanding that this is the place to bring a new meta wikimedia project under the attention of a wider public. In the new project proposal list I have submitted the proposal for WikiCache. In short it is a proposal to somehow preserve (a snapshot of) external sources once they are referenced (with <ref></ref>) from any article such that these can then no longer break, disappear, grow unapplicable or obsolete to the article over time.

If my assumption above is incorrect, and this is not the place or method to bring this proposal under the attention of others, then I sincerely apologize for the clutter and would welcome a correction or proper suggestion. Thank you, Martix (talk) 11:22, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

Martix This is a great idea, and something that many people have requested. Right now there is an ongoing project at Community Tech/Migrate dead external links to archives which includes some parts of what you are saying but not others. If you wanted to join the most active conversation this topic, then I recommend starting there. This was a legacy of the 2015 Community Wishlist Survey, but even conversation around that has slowed. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:43, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Hi Blue Rasberry, thank you for your enthusiastic response. I am however unsure what do to/how to proceed now. As I have indicated in the proposal, I myself can probably do very little when it comes to actually realizing such a project or features as -despite having a through IY background- I simply am not knowledgeable enough about all the technical Wiki-internals and how they all interact and intertwine. Also, there are the foreseen potential legal/copyright issues (which I also briefly touched in the proposal), as was commented upon by NaBUru38. Although I believe that by tracking & preserving meta-data only, this maybe circumvented, this is well beyond the scope of my knowledge about law and legal issues, which are even immensely different per region (what is fair-use in the US, may not be that elsewhere). Also I am (probably because of that) not sure I fully understand the issue he or she is pointing out.
Should the way forward now be to merge or fold this proposal into the one you have referenced? I am even unsure if and how to do that - that is why, after reading your comment, I decided to let this simmer some more and let perhaps others go with it. Best regards, Martix (talk) 16:50, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Martix Other people might make other suggestions, so seek other opinions if you like. My recommendation for your project going forward is to first talk with people who have had similar ideas, see what projects already have been tested or in development, and try to build off existing labor.
I agree with NaBUru38 as that person posted at WikiCache#Copyrights_Caveat. The biggest barrier is that most of the Wikimedia community agrees that Wikimedia projects should not host fair use content. The most developed project advocating for some central hosting of nonfree content is NonFreeWiki. I think that if you read about that project, you would see the kind of discussion that would happen around your project idea if it were executed the way that I think you have it written.
I see the Community Tech/Migrate dead external links to archives project as similar to your idea, except that in that project, the Wikimedia community is not the host for archived content. An established third party, the Internet Archive, is. In that project, actions on Wikipedia trigger the Internet Archive to created archived copies of all pages, and Wikimedia projects link to those off site. In this system, the responsibility around managing copyright is held by Internet Archive, so the Wikimedia community only has to develop the processes for requesting archiving and linking to those archives.
I am not suggesting that you merge your proposal into either of these other ones. These are all complicated proposals, and I can see lots of ways in which your proposal is different from others and suggesting things that the other ones do not do. Like for example, Wikimedia projects might still want to host and sort metadata, or provide multilingual support not provided by Internet Archive, or standardize and centrally store metadata associated with citations, or any number of variations. Your WikiCache proposal is full of ideas and implications and any of those could be developed. Maybe some ideas could merge into other projects, but some could not.
I recommend going forward by whatever seems fun to you. If you or anyone else were paid full time to develop this, then the work could last for months at least, but obviously, no one is paid to sort these ideas or have conversations. I care about this, which is why I spoke up, and I would encourage you to have conversations on your own with others. Whatever you do or say has some use for deciding what should be normal. It is harder for me to guess what will actually have impact in the end. There are so many unpredictable possible outcomes. The WikiCache idea is a very good idea, and it contains dozens of smaller good ideas. There is no paid staff at hand to take up projects like this, and the foundation of these things will always be community discussion. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:09, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Hi, Martix: I think that your proposal is very similar to one made in 2014, Caching references. You can see there was some active discussion there. The big problem that people saw with this idea is that Wikimedia's Licensing policy says that "All projects are expected to host only content which is under a Free Content License, or which is otherwise free." If we store archived versions of external websites, then we're hosting non-free material, and making it available to users.
But this hosting of external links is already being done by Internet Archive -- they've already processed every external link on English WP. The hard part is automatically detecting which links are actually dead (without a human having to look at them), and then replacing the dead links with a live archive link.
There's currently a bot on English WP -- User:Cyberbot II -- that's replacing dead links with archive links. I'm on WMF's Community Tech team, and we're working with the volunteer who created Cyberbot II to make it better able to identify dead links. There's information about the project here: Community Tech/Migrate dead external links to archives.
Would you like to talk about the project, and see how your proposal connects to the work that we've been doing? -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 20:48, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Hi DannyH, thank you for your reply and insights as well; I am certainly planning on reading up on the projects mentioned above over the weekend when I have more time, and try to chime in where/if I feel I can contribute. There is -as I also pointed out in my proposal description- a problem with detecting (current) dead links, particularly if the hosting webserver catches 404/non-existing links and presents a technically sound (error free) webpage instead but with content that is utterly useless. I believe that key in my proposal is to track/store the external references at the very instance that they are added/saved in a WP article (from now on), so you'll always be ahead of any misery and disappearances that may or will occur in the future. It does, of course, not fix/address the currently broken links or links to sources of which the content has changed such that it no longer applies to the article as a valid source. Best regards, Martix (talk) 20:49, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

On the situation in the Azerbaijani part of Wikipedia

According to VP:VQSV, quote:

"Regardless of a user's status he/she can edit rules of Wikipedia that were not officially adopted, create articles related to the rules and hold elections to officially adopt rules." 

Users prepared rules regarding Arbitration Committee and held a discussion about it. Approximately 20 users took part in it. When 4 days were left before the end of the elections one of the administrators deleted, which goes against the rules.

  • Those who start discussion about administrators' actions and who express negative views about their actions are being blocked In the last few days there have been 3 blocks ([1], [2], [3],). like that.Those who organised the discussion are being blocked without time limits. In addition to that, those who participated in the discussion are being blocked without time limits as well


"Hesab edirəm ki, müddətli bloklanan qərəzçilərin blok müddətinin müddətsiz blokla dəyişdirilməsi ilə bağlı da konkret fəaliyət ortaya qoymalıyıq."; 


"Bu məsələnin təşkilatçıları da təbii ki, bloklanacaqlar, çoxu onsuz da dediyim kimi blokludurlar..

Please, restore the elections and discussion. Aydinsalis (talk) 22:00, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

hello how are you?

I think in here the steward is little? And how the steward do? Murbaut (talk) 07:58, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

What do you mean? Are you looking for a steward whose name or username is Little? --Muzammil (talk) 15:55, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
No, I think here provided little steward? Is it true? :) Murbaut (talk) 03:36, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
Murbaut you mean there aren't enough stewards? I don't know, I mean, last elections wasn't very successful, but I hard no complain about the overall amount of stewards.--Alexmar983 (talk) 07:03, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes Alexmar, oh. When the election starts?Murbaut (talk) 07:14, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
by default in febraury. A list is in Talk:Stewards is provided, some years there are two elections. It is possible.--Alexmar983 (talk) 07:17, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
See also Stewards'_noticeboard/Archives/2016-03#2016_Steward_elections_results. I cited the possibility in fact that an election could be done before 12 months, but it is a very rare occurrence, IMHO. Again, i don't think there is any critical situation, not to my knowledge. Consider that there a lot of meta flags about specific activity that can be given during the whole year (e.g. global renamers, global rollbackers). Also local projects can improve their user flags "density" (e.g. elect two bureaucrats) if they show a good level of activity.--Alexmar983 (talk) 07:41, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Globality of Wikipedia 'Notability' criteria

One of the main guidelines of Wikipedia is 'Notability' criteria which is "a test used by editors to decide whether a given topic warrants its own article." There are some cases that admins and some users of a language (Persian, Arabic and etc) claim that a specific subject is not notable in that specific language and claim that "they have their own rules!". I am aware that having a page on a Wiki does not warrant having a separate article on other languages. My objection is that whether we really have different concepts regarding 'Notability' in different languages and is it dependent on the language? Thanks Mhhossein (talk) 07:09, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Individual Wikipedias do indeed decide their own local policies on notability. --Yair rand (talk) 09:38, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Do you mean that for example a character may be encyclopedic from the viewpoint of English speakers, while he is not encyclopedic from the viewpoints of others? So how do you justify the concept of Encyclopedia? --Mhhossein (talk) 14:36, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Local communities have diverged in their interpretation of what, exactly, is notable. I wouldn't consider it very surprising – we handle all kind of things slightly differently. I'm not sure I see why this would necessarily be a problem. Given the fact that a lot of editors don't speak English and we don't have the ability to constantly translate everything that's said in a discussion to all languages, global arguments regarding notability criteria would exclude a lot of editors. /Julle (talk) 22:48, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
@Mhhossein: To highlight this aspect, let me quote one example. On Urdu Wikipedia, I created an article on Mohamed Yunus(Not the noble laureate Muhammad Yunus whose notability is undisputed across 73 Wikis), the man who saved hundreds of civilians during 2015 Chennai floods. I was told by a Bengali Admin that should any one create an article on Mohamed Yunus on their Wiki, they will delete it in no time because they don't find him notable. But we on Urdu Wikipedia firmly believe in the notability of both guys named Yunus and will not delete any one of them.--Muzammil (talk) 09:54, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
@Yair rand, Hindustanilanguage, and Julle: Thank you guys! It's now sensible to me. Mhhossein (talk) 14:25, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

"La Zarzuela" the Hispanic Musical Theater in Wikipedia

Dear Colleagues we have presented to the Wikimedia Foundation, the IEGrant proposal "ZARZUELA: The Hispanic Musical Theater in Wikipedia": Classification, Digitization and Description of Zarzuela Sound Archive and Iconographic Files in Wikipedia. Zarzuela is the hispanic genuine musical theater (XVII- XX centuries) a mass spectacle -dramatic, lyrical, musical and choreographic combination- for more than three centuries. As a result we find composers, librettists and scripts of La Zarzuela in the Iberian Peninsula, Argentina, Paraguay, Cuba, Mexico... There are also written Zarzuelas in the various languages of the Iberian Peninsula and America (castillian, basque, galician, catalan, majorcan, yopará, etc.) You can find the project linking: If you like this project we would be very grateful if you sign the "Endorsements". We are looking for your support. Thanks a lot. --Jacinta Grey (talk) 16:47, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

Unauthorized electronic trails by the fa and id Wikipedia

I have recently noticed that some language versions of Wikipedia takes the freedom to create you a userpage or talk page just because you happened visit ONCE, not edit that Wikipedia. I find that practice offensive and abusive to use the access to the global login system to create completely unnecessary electronic trail. The projects that seem practice this are "" and "" maybe others. Until they fix this, one effective solution is to cut their access to the cookies that facilitate the global login system so that users explicitly have to permit cookie persistence when visiting those projects. Ie "make global login visible for project [en] [es]" etc. Bytesock (talk) 05:43, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Sounds like you want phabricator:T21161 (or less likely: phabricator:T18864). Nemo 06:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Obviously this security issue is ignored. That bug report is from 2009.. Bytesock (talk) 08:26, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
@Bytesock: I don't know of any Wikimedia projects that create user pages when you first visit them, although several do indeed create user talk pages soon after your first visit, it's almost always a welcome message of some kind. It's happened to me a few times, for example at bar:User talk:Redrose64. Looking at id:User talk:Bytesock, it looks very much as if it is a welcome message, even though I can't read Indonesian. However, neither fa:User:Bytesock, fa:User talk:Bytesock nor id:User:Bytesock exist, so I'm unclear where your problem is. --Redrose64 (talk; at English Wikipedia) 19:18, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I think it is user talk pages that are created. In my experience some platforms use bots always or just somtimes, other platforms do not. I work on many wikis and when I find a red talk page of a user I've met in the past, if the user has some edits or I am expert in that language, I usually insert a welcome tag. With some language like Dutch I am not super expert, but it can happen if I know the username. With platforms like meta and commons I can sometimes leave a message to users with no edit if they are very active globally (also, red talks in these platforms are very rare for recent users, they are inserted by bots)
There is usually no problem, what has changed is that now there is a cross wiki notification. even if you have a very limited crosswiki activity, it has become less easy to ignore those messages. You can remove that option I guess, it is in your user preference. that's a possible solution.
Generally speaking, in my experience 99% of people are fine with it (10% thank you for the welcome message and/or write you back) whilst ca. 1% is annoyed but there is IMHO some "emotional" component in many of these reactions. I cite the one I discovered yesterday from my wikidata OS: here. This user is partially active on wikidata, (s)he is expert, and (s)he has received welcome messages during his/her whole wikimedian life, (s)he should be used to that. maybe it is annoying but skipping is very easy, (s)he should know that. Actually removing it, and writing an object for that is more a time'wasting distraction than doing nothing. So what can I do here? --Alexmar983 (talk) 03:15, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
The notification is not the problem. The reason it was generated in the first place is. Bytesock (talk) 03:07, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
I do not see any problem here. When a user visits a projects for the first time, a new account is automatically created. This event is logged in the open user creation log. So, creation of user talk pages creates no additional electronic trail. Ruslik (talk) 20:58, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
I concur with Ruslik - a footprint is left when you first visit any Wikimedia project while logged in. Personally I don't like bot generated welcome messages, but that doesn't make it a security issue. QuiteUnusual (talk) 09:44, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
The issue is not if you, me or anyone else see a problem. There might be a problem regardless if people have the insight to be aware of them. There is even a a public log of viewing activities. WMF or whoever is responsible needs to seriously rethink their approach to privacy and electronic trails or technical countermeasures with collateral may show up. It's like they are tone deaf to what has been debated very publicly for the last three years. The principle is very simple, only log alterations, everything else is off limits. Perhaps it's a good idea to revert this thing with global accounts because it's obviously abused. Bytesock (talk) 19:27, 28 May 2016 (UTC)
Isn't the creation of a new account an "alteration"? If you don't want other people to detect your future visits to unpopular wikis, the workaround is to visit all wikis, so the accounts are created and thus will leave no public trail on you subsequent visits. Platonides (talk) 19:46, 28 May 2016 (UTC)
I didn't request those account creations. And visit-all-wikipedias just seems backwards. Better fix the idiotic approach to entanglement. Bytesock (talk) 03:07, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
I am not sure that those platforms are created "visiting". I use CentralAuth Bytesock and I can tell with no doubt many new users of itwiki show very fast (few days) a link to for example meta, mediawiki, enwiki, and I don't think that they ever visited metawiki or mediawiki. In any case the sites you visit are the least critical information you can share, your edits even on a single platform can tell much more about you.--Alexmar983 (talk) 05:57, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
Global accounts have been around since 2008, they aren't going anywhere. Some accounts are also automatically created regardless of when you visit the site, such as on meta and It's how we run the user database here, and I'm very sorry if you feel that this sort of "privacy breach" is equivalent to someone holding a gun to your head. Ajraddatz (talk) 17:54, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
And I don't recall any account creation in the way it's done now back then. This behavior is simple deplorable. Facebook is a good example of how to not do. Bytesock (talk) 22:37, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
FYI: I've found tracks of blatant abuse of multiple account by this uncivil user who I, subsequently, locked. --Vituzzu (talk) 22:41, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

Do you guys know about interaction design?

I just edit my first entry —— Interaction Design, welcome you to have a look it and update it.

The site is [[4]] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Derekhhok (talk)

The page was deleted. Ruslik (talk) 17:31, 29 May 2016 (UTC)