Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2016-08

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Open Access and Wikipedia


Here are some thoughts about scientific literature.

I thought of all the published but pay-walled content. I designed an alternative protocol for scholarly writing, reviewing and publishing. But it's limited to future productions. We also need access to previous work. So I'm thinking about using wikipedian mass readership to put pressure on non-liberated articles. In a few words, it would consist in adding a script with citation templates inviting and helping wikipedian readers to mail the authors of pay-walled sources and ask these authors to send their work to open archives. I believe it may well complete the circle of past and future research.


--RP87 (talk) 07:48, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

Sure, you can support this idea: Talk:The Wikipedia Library#Poke authors via Dissemin. Nemo 05:26, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

Why do people create discussion pages for users on language sites they have never editted on?

It now happened to me for the second time. On the italian wikipdia site someone made what looks like a welcome message on the discussion page in my name. The first time was on the serbian wikipedia, a language I do not understand at all and even in a script (cyrillic) I do not understand. Why do people do this? Has there been made some kind of guideline that this is a good idea? It probably started after wikimedia made one login access all the different language sites, I have never registered on those language sites but it does seem that I am now logged in to all different wikipedia languages there are. Can someone from wikimedia please tell the community that this is not necessary at all and for some is downright condescending? I am not a newbe who needs welcoming on every wikipedia language site there is, especially if I can not read not understand what is being said. --2001:981:4845:1:F10E:F3D8:CC98:738D 13:55, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

I have no idea what is benefit of leaving welcome messages for every users, also for bots. Just getting a lot of spam emails (if email is set). --Stryn (talk) 16:03, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
It's normal to communicate with registered users on the wiki which is closest to the topic of the message. If you are not interested in a wiki, one solution is to not register there. Nemo 16:07, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
That's no option since SUL. Once you look at some article in any other language version, you are treated a a n00b, and on some wikis a bot or bot-like author spams every n00b with some messages on the user talk page. And since notifications are as well connected since SUL, there's no escape from the notification spam up on any page. It's just a bit annoying, and I wonder, why some wikis do this, as I see no real plus in it, perhaps I should just answer something in German on that page, to maker clear, they made a mistake. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 08:19, 7 August 2016 (UTC)
Like Sänger says. Maybe I have read something on the italian wikipedia, trying to make sense of a very terse page about some italian subject on another wikipedia. That does not make me a contributor to the italian wikipedia, even when this SUL (first I heard of it) makes people think I do. I have never registered there. The fact that I have an account on the dutch wikipedia does not mean I edit pages on the italian wikipedia. Apparently that is a basic flaw in the concept of SUL or how people understand it. I mean: I even use wikipedia to get translations of words. That will make me access wikipedias in languages I by definition do not understand. Why would I need a welcome page there? because I am a long time editor of some other language wikipedia? By itself that would mean such a page is unnecessary.And strangely enough, SUL does not extend to wikimedia itself? Moreover, how can I not register on the italian wikipedia now SUL has happened? Reading does not equal registering or contributing. Again: a basic flaw in the thinking behind SUL --2001:981:4845:1:4078:D71E:423A:E321 09:44, 7 August 2016 (UTC)

Wikitionary Kiswahili

Hello, am Trunzep and I do apply to be an administrator of the Swahili Wikitionary since I have high mastery of the Swahili language. Thank you Trunzep (talk) 18:41, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

@Trunzep:SRP#Administrator access. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 23:37, 12 August 2016 (UTC)


I posted on here not long ago but cannot seem to find it in the View History section. Its regarding why the page TRUPRINT has been removed.

Would like to get reinstated please - i did not create this page but edited for accuracy.



Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:02, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

Hi. I'm not sure why Quiddity is sending messages on behalf of another user. I left a note on phabricator:T131132 just now. --MZMcBride (talk) 15:59, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Enabling maps

After a long and tedious process, we feel we are ready to deploy <maplink> to all wikis, and <mapframe> to all non-Wikipedia projects. Maps have two components: <maplink> tag, and <mapframe> tag. Mapframe inserts an interactive map into the page. We feel mapframe is ready for smaller wikis, but it might not be good enough for large Wikipedias just yet. Maplink shows a text link (e.g. geo coordinates, or custom text). Clicking maplink shows a map. Maplink is similar to the geohack link in the upper right corner of many articles. We plan to enable maplink near the end of August on all of Wikipedia projects.

Maplink example: 37°48′37″N 122°23′58″W, produced by this wiki markup:

<maplink zoom="13" longitude="-122.3995" latitude="37.8103" />

See help page for more. --Yurik (talk) 17:05, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

  • +1 about time (cf. mw:Talk:Maps/KPI). --Nemo 17:06, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Might there be any problem with this? I can't think of any reasons why people would oppose that such a feature exists. --MF-W 17:38, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
  • +9,000.--Pharos (talk) 18:26, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Don't want to pile on, but this is excellent :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:28, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Hmmm, the auto-incrementing ID used in map links seems a bit shaky. I believe we've been trying to move away from page components that require maintaining state when parsing the full page. This approach also means that the IDs are volatile and can change if map links are re-ordered, removed, etc. Can map links be explicitly named instead of using auto-incrementing IDs such as /0, /1, /2, etc.? If we stick with the current approach, we could probably at least de-duplicate the links so that the same map link code generates the same link every time. --MZMcBride (talk) 15:45, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
    • MZMcBride, we have been thinking the same thing, but we don't have a good automatic solution yet. We could generate a hash based on zoom+lat+long+geojson content, but that means we would have to forever have a server-side database of all hashes ever generated with their data. We could also offload this whole task to the editors - e.g. allow <maplink id="myId" ..., and append positional index in case there is more than one identical ID on a page. In any case, these IDs are not part of parsing. They are only used to tell the router which map to show, client-side. --Yurik (talk) 17:43, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
A quick update on maps since it was enabled last week. There's not a lot of use yet here on Meta but I did want to update folks who may be experimenting with the feature. Maps using <mapframe> were shown without a frame. Maps will now appear inside a small frame with the option of a text caption. Similar to how embedded images work. A little thing, but worth mentioning. :)
  • To insert a map without a frame, add the "frameless" attribute: <mapframe frameless ....>
  • To add a caption, use the text="..." attribute.
Note: Adding the text attribute automatically enables a frame.
If you wish to keep existing templates from showing a frame, please add the frameless attribute. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 16:47, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Lack of administration in wmfwiki

In a decission without precedents, which many of the volunteers took as an act of disrespect and a slap in the face, some years ago trusted volunteers were deprived from holding administrator rights on the WMF wiki. The current situation after that decision is this: wmf:Category:Deletion requests at +1,170 pages and increasing and nobody caring about ordinary maintenance (cf. wmf:Special:Log/delete). Maybe it's time to reconsider that unfortunate decission and allow trusted volunteers to clean up the site, now that's clear and proven that they won't do it? (ping @Odder, MZMcBride, and Nemo bis). —MarcoAurelio 15:16, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Yes. I had a similar thought recently. (cc: Jalexander-WMF) --MZMcBride (talk) 15:19, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Requested I requested an account and pinged a relevant user. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:54, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Wow, @MarcoAurelio, these were good, old times. I would wholeaheartedly support granting a small group of trusted volunteers access to the Foundation wiki to allow them to help out maintaining the wiki. You are very right that three years on, Foundation staff have not been able to carry out their tasks and responsibilities in maintaining the site other than in absolute necessity, and I think it's time for them to ask and trust in outside help. (Incidentally, I'm sure you will have noticed that the staff involved in making that decision—Gayle Karen Young, Sue Gardner and Philippe Beaudette—are no longer with the Foundation and yet us volunteers are still here, with the task of cleaning up the wiki on our hands.) odder (talk) 23:28, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Just to clarify that this post is in response of the lack of reply from wmfwiki. I don't think that +1,100 pages put for deletion and nobody working on those it's a good idea: you might be offering visitors to the official site wrong or oudated information, among other issues. That's not okay IMHO. When I left some years ago and came back to see that my userpage wasn't deleted after having asked two years ago for it was shoking, specially because one of the reasons they gave for the desysops were to better manage the site. I'd not call this better management, and I'm sure WMF staff has better things to do than to do wiki maintenance. And yes, I noticed that Sue, Gayle and Philippe have departed, but that's not the reason for this post at all. I'm assuming good faith on their part and think that they thought the site would be best mantained that way, but after all this years and the current situation I am not sure that, even in good faith, this was the right decision. I'm taking the liberty to ping Schiste, as the president of the Board, since wmfwiki falls directly under their competences. Thanks. —MarcoAurelio 15:45, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
I would be supportive of volunteer being admins's their. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:50, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, nothing new here. The question is whether anyone at WMF cares about foundationwiki being useful and who would be able to take any decision on the matter. Nemo 18:56, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
I recently had occasion to mention a couple of issues with wmfwiki: [3] and [4]. The responses were perhaps not entirely surprising. One message has gone unacknowledged and unanswered and the other was answered by a member of the paid staff courteously suggesting that I ask for permission to make the changes myself. Since the Foundation wiki is described here on Meta as "Foundation public relations" and "ultimately the Foundation's web presence, not the community's web presence", and we mere volunteers are not members or staff of the Foundation, I see no reason to get involved more deeply. Indeed, if I were involved in the Foundation leadership, I would not want to have non-staff changing the website which is the public face of the Foundation. If the WMF chooses to present to the world a public face which is out of date, inconsistent and unprofessional, that is their decision. They are clearly content with the impression they give – the new Executive Director has a Communications background and so is presumably well aware of the issues involved and the messages being sent out by the WMF's action and inaction in this and other areas. As to who might be an appropriate person to take ownership of this issue, I can't be sure: perhaps the Interim Chief of Communications or the Director of Culture. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:56, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Hello everyone. Thanks! I agree that the Foundation wiki is not ideal for its target audience (donors/the public/the press). We have been discussing options with multiple groups within the Foundation, and will be sharing our thoughts and questions when we can. I appreciate your offers of support, Heather Walls (WMF) (talk) 00:55, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Peter cleaned out most of wmf:Category:Deletion requests today. Thank you!
There are many more pages that could/should probably be deleted from Assuming the three-year latency holds, if I mark additional pages for deletion soon, they can probably be gone by 2020. ;-) --MZMcBride (talk) 23:26, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I finally got pywikibot working on wmfwiki and cleared out the fundraising pages that were backlogging Deletion requests, which was the majority. Sorry for not doing this before, but given that the pages were blanked when the deletion requests were added, it's not like we have been presenting out-of-date information in these cases. I've already started on clearing up some of the many other fundraising pages, and plan to continue this week. Peter Coombe (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 11:40, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
That's good news, thank you. However I feel this is just a patch and I would encourage reconsidering giving some trusted volunteers like MZMcBride sysop tools there so regular maintenance can be done. —MarcoAurelio 10:58, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

New Wikipedia Library accounts available now (August 2016)

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 now sign up for new accounts and research materials from:

  • Nomos – Primarily German-language publisher of law and social sciences books and journals - 25 accounts
  • World Scientific – Scientific, technical, and medical journals - 50 accounts
  • Edinburgh University Press – Humanities and social sciences journals - 25 accounts
  • American Psychological Association – Psychology books and journals - 10 accounts
  • Emerald – Journals on a range of topics including business, education, health care, and engineering - 10 accounts

Many other partnerships with accounts available are listed on our partners page, including Project MUSE, EBSCO, DeGruyter, Gale and

Do better research and help expand the use of high quality references across Wikipedia projects: sign up today!
--The Wikipedia Library Team 18:38, 30 August 2016 (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 tool to The Wikipedia Library Global Delivery List.

On the situation in the Azerbaijani part of Wikipedia, - now there's a meta-fraud for us!!!

Dear Colleagues! You do not want to solve this problem? We've given you the facts. But you're not going to do anything ?! We now understand your position: fraud, - now there's a meta-fraud for us!!! - --Idin Mammadof (talk) 20:47, 3 August 2016 (UTC)

Here in English:
We received the following reply:
I’d like to thank you again for providing your insights on the recent situation on the Azerbaijani Wikipedia. This email is sent in BCC to all users responded to my questionnaire sent in early March.
After a thorough investigation by the support and safety team at the Wikimedia Foundation, we understand that the current major issues on the Azerbaijani Wikipedia are as follows :
User concerns of admin rights abuse by a few admins, most notably by User:Sefer_azeri.
Lack of local community policies that regulate admins’ work, or admins’ decision appeal process.
We understand the need for a harmonious, peaceful community in order to create a productive editing environment. However for both legal and ethical reasons the WMF strives to limit office actions to cases of obvious harm to an individual user's personal safety or where we're legally required to intervene.
As the above prescribed issues do not rise to the level that WMF can take office actions, we urge the Azerbaijani community to come together in order to resolve those issues internally and with the help of the global community on meta.
Meanwhile, we recommend the following prioritization as a guideline to what needs to be done as a resolution roadmap :
1.Desysop of rights-abusive admins, most notably User:Sefer_azeri if judged appropriate
If you believe that a user's rights need to be removed, this should probably happen first to allow for a clean slate. Requests to remove user’s rights can be made on meta. To request the removal of another user's permissions, you must gain consensus on the local wiki first. When there is community consensus that the user's access should be removed, a trusted user from that wiki should provide a link to the discussion on the steward's request page, a brief explanation of the reason for the request, and a summary of the results of discussion.
In order to create consensus, we recommend starting a specific topic on the local village square on Azerbaijani Wikipedia. The discussion should include links that demonstrate the admin rights abuse. The topic should be opened for discussion and vote for a few days before submitting the request to the steward page on meta.
2.Set-up policies to regulate admins’ work
3.Activate the ArbCom and/or draft and put major policies into effect
In order to simplify the process, we will be happy to provide ideas based on existing policies or the experiences of other communities on steps 2 & 3 once the community is done with dealing with step 1 or decides not to pursue that action. We believe that this is a complex issue, and looking at the resolution systematically as a step-by-step process is an essential element to make progress.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Best regards,
Haitham Shammaa
Senior Strategist
Wikimedia Foundation

We agreed. But they did not give us a chance.
In the end, Haitham ran and hid. Maggie Dennis advised us to do so:
You need to demonstrate issues to the community at Meta. I am not able to assist directly.
If possible, please help us:
How and where to write a complaint letter. İdin Mammadof (talk) 16:34, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
  • We have already come to the conclusion that Meta has another interest. For example, the corruption. İdin Mammadof (talk) 10:36, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
Trolling and accusing the contributors of this site of fraud and corruption surely won't help you nor anyone. Haitham's message is very clear, and dispute resolution is a local issue. Stewards cannot and will not remove rights from any user without community consensus for removal, or a policy that allows us to do so, or in an emergency situation. That's not difficult to understand, unless you misunderstand the role of the stewards completly and think we are dictators that can do whatever we want. Go and resolve the issues locally or fill an RFC here and get support from the community so we can have some basis on how to act. The RFC above is far from that actually. —MarcoAurelio 14:18, 9 August 2016 (UTC)
Marco, I read your response. But you did not read my answer, so I understand. I do not agree with you. There are 5 general principle. Our admins do not follow these rules. Engaged in vandalism. Meta does not prevent.

According to "Regardless of a user's status he/sheVP:VQSV, quote:

"...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 electionon about it. Approximately 20 users took part in it. When 4 days were left before the end of the elections one of the sysop but the vote on it was stopped before its time, as I understand and it didn't have any official result (neither positive, nor negative), which goes against the rules.
  • Those who start discussion about administrators' actions and who express negative views about their actions are being blocked. There have been 3 blocks ([5], [6], [7],). 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.. 
Haitham's message is very clear, those who say we have made. Was prevented. In the end, Haitham ran and hid. Meta did nothing. We have already come to the conclusion that Meta has another interest. Idin Mammadof (talk) 11:38, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
It is not that we have a different interest nor that we don't care about wiki problems, we do; we're continually listening to wiki problems everyday. However, on many cases we can't do more than to hear and maybe advice on what to do. —MarcoAurelio 20:41, 11 August 2016 (UTC)
There are 5 general principle. Our admins do not follow these rules. Engaged in vandalism. Meta does not prevent.
Meta can not solve our problems. Need to restore the voting (Users prepared rules regarding Arbitration Committee and held a electionon about it. Approximately 20 users took part in it. When 4 days were left before the end of the elections one of the sysop but the vote on it was stopped before its time, as I understand and it didn't have any official result (neither positive, nor negative), which goes against the rules). You can support us, we try to solve our problems ourselves. Need to restore the voting. Idin Mammadof (talk) 08:58, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Dear Meta (I will put it that way, because I really don't know who am I referring to, which is in fact, one of the problems),

I may disagree with Mr. Aydin's language, like suspecting some corruption going on here. But the problem does exist and it is not getting resolved for a very long time. And the reason why it is not getting resolved is 'cause it's unclear who should we apply to. For goodness sake, I'm writing in different Wikimedia projects for over 5 years and I found myself lost in this bureaucratic hell, applying to meta, then to Haitham, and now here again. This is just madness. All we got after explaining the situation was "yeah, that's bad, apply there 'cause it's their job" or "apply there 'cause we're not active now". I honestly hope that this is the last time I'll have to explain the situation. I'm willing to answer your questions about it.

Admins in Azerbaijani Wikipedia can block users using actual Wikipedia rules, but by making up reasoning of why certain user have violated the rules. Thus, they themselves violate Gaming the system rule. And if someone is questioning a users' block, they get blocked too. That's what's basically going on. To be honest, it's getting a bit better, as some of admins who were doing that got out of WP, but because of personal reasons, not because they violated the rules. But the problem still exists and I don't want to wait until all the incompetent once will simply get tired of Wikipedia. They should be striped of their admin status ASAP. --Мурад 97 (talk) 20:35, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

Мурад 97, Meta will not answer. Meta will not question. They have other interests. For example, the corruption. For example, LGBT... Do you understand now that I'm right. İdin Mammadof (talk) 19:05, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Basically each language and project is a self governing community. Other language communities do not have authority over each other. There is not much Meta can do other than to recommend that you have a discussion on Azerbaijani WP to resolve this. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:09, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
That's the point. Whenever a discussion is initiated, those who initiate it are said to "disturb normal work in WP" and get blocked. --Мурад 97 (talk) 21:34, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Doc James, I have to repeat that, there are 5 general principle. Our admins do not follow these rules. Engaged in vandalism. Meta does not prevent. Meta can not solve our problems. Need to restore the voting (Users prepared rules regarding Arbitration Committee and held a electionon about it. Approximately 20 users took part in it. When 4 days were left before the end of the elections one of the sysop but the vote on it was stopped before its time, as I understand and it didn't have any official result (neither positive, nor negative), which goes against the rules). You can support us, we try to solve our problems ourselves. Need to restore the voting. we want nothing from Meta, besides of this. Aydinsalis (talk) 18:31, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

You have announced that Wikipedia has 5 principles (Wikipedia:Five pillars). This principles have to be followed in each edition of Wikipedia. But when I informed Meta that in Azerbaijani edition 5 principles are not being followed, common rules are being brutally breached, administrators are involved in vandalism, meta did not take any measure and they excuse themselves by stating that Azerbaijani edition is independent?! So why then did you write that the 5 common principles are in force in all of Wikipedia’s editions? You should write instead that the 5 common principles are not in force in Azerbaijani edition, as administrators there do whatever they want!
Jimmy Wales, if you don’t consider Azerbaijani Wikipedia to be yours maybe you have sold it then? Who did you sell it to, Jimmi? It is being demanded from us to create articles about gays, otherwise they don’t let us work. We know you sold Kazakh Wikipedia to Nazarbayev. We want to know if you sold Azerbaijani Wikipedia to gays or to Azerbaijani government.
Jimmy Wales, your business abilities are not bad, you know how to make money. However if you sell Hebrew Wikipedia to Arabs, Ukrainian Wikipedia to Russians and Azerbaijani Wikipedia to Armenians (maybe you already did this), you could earn more money and give bigger salaries to your employees.
Idin Mammadof (talk), editor of DMOZ, 09:54, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
The above message shows that you've completly derailed. Meta-Wiki is not an Arbitration Commitee, Stewards are not arbitrators. We can't do anything here. —MarcoAurelio 10:55, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

Sorry for speaking so coldly, but if the Azerbajiani Wikipedia has fallen into an anarchy and everyone abandons it, the Azerbajiani Wikipedia is best to be abandoned. Wetitpig0 (talk) 10:04, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

New Wikimedia Project

As computer games are more and more common, should we set up a Project called Wikigame to discuss and explain about these games? Thanks. Wetitpig0 (talk) 09:58, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Please, see New projects, in particular Wikigames and Wikigames (2). Ruslik (talk) 10:21, 31 August 2016 (UTC)