Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2017-04

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Energy usage report

Does the Wikipedia Foundation release a report outlining which energy sources (wind, coal, etc.) power the servers which run sites such as Wikipedia?

Daylen (talk) 03:27, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

See Sustainability Initiative for some data published by WMF. I suppose there is some page(s) maintained by WMF for publishing such info, but I do not know where. --LPfi (talk) 07:27, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

The future of Wikispecies

As a long-term editor of both Wikispecies and Wikidata, I've been involved in a number of discussions about the future relationship of the two projects.

In particular, I'm keen to reduce the workload involved in maintaining two separate, parallel, sets of data, one on each project, and the confusion caused to our users when something is present on one, but not the other, or is present on both with conflicting data.

I have assumed that we would be moving to a model where the data is maintained on Wikidata, and transcluded onto Wikispecies (as it will be transcluded into, for example, Wikipedia infoboxes), with a more human-friendly presentation, and an editing interface for making changes to the underlying Wikidata data, also on Wikispecies. I have suggested this as the best solution, to Wikispecies users in various discussions.

For the first time, today, one replied by saying that "The data should be put in [Wikispecies]... Then mined by Wikidata for use in other projects. Data from WS to WD should be a one way flow chart ie WS --> WD --> all other projects." As I replied there, I see (outside of that discussion) no appetite whatsoever for that, or against adding and updating data directly in Wikidata.

What are the views of the wider Wikimedia community? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:18, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

As I understand the data model for Wikidata is flat while in Species it is a tree? Ruslik (talk) 20:36, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Wikidata is a graph, but data can be extracted as a tree. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:23, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Andy you misunderstood me. I was speaking as a programmer sorry. I do not care if the data is stored in WD, I said it should be entered at WS then stored at WD, not the reverse. In SQL of course I would be using a text editor or a front end (eg Specify) to create my data, ie data entry, then I will execute an sql query (automatic) to save that information into my database (eg mysql) ie data management, using queries other programs such as a web browser can then take data using queries from the mysql database for viewing as desired, ie data usage. That is what I am getting at. Cheers Faendalimas (talk) 20:37, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Why do you prefer to enter the data on WS instead on WD? What makes it easier to enter the data at WS? ChristianKl (talk) 07:40, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Basically because taxonomic data is highly specialised and requires access to the complete data to do it well. I personally could enter data at WD, but most taxonomists wont. The advantage WS has it is clearly specialised in what taxonomists are interested in. It is much easier to convince them to edit there. Plus the way we lay the pages out, and align them is hierarchical, which is how the linnaean code works. We include all the pertinent data for a name to be validated. Is WS perfect? no. we need more editors, need to further refine our pages, differences between codes (eg plants, animals) being a big difficulty in getting a consistent format. But we work on it, and as many of us are taxonomists, we understand the codes implicitly and work with each other. I dont tell the botanists how to list the species because I know they have to work with their code, just as I a zoologist have to work with mine. We find a middle ground. We can tell whether to follow a particular proposal or not. Because that takes experience. Cheers Faendalimas (talk) 23:13, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
As I pointed out in 2013, there was too much assuming and too little asking or discussing. Apart from me, for several years nobody bothered even checking what the Wikispecies community thought. I'm happy there is some discussion now.
Personally I've never been convinced that Wikispecies is a viable/worthwhile project, but I also never really looked into it so I don't have an opinion. In theory Wikidata can do better, mostly because imports of authoritative databases ought to be easier, but I've not seen a comprehensive plan yet.
Scraping Wikispecies to augment Wikidata sounds unlikely, but who knows, maybe it will be possible at some point as for Wiktionary as long as some researchers know about the possibility. Certainly it will never be a straightforward path. Nemo 20:47, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Just a side note @Pigsonthewing:, I have been saying this is the best model since the first discussions of WS and WD working together. Nobody has managed to create an all encompassing database of life yet. The highest is the Order level, most are incomplete, all are hand edited for data entry. Why? because it is not about the latest literature with an ISSN number and a DOI its also about some obscure piece of paper published in 1800 that probably no one alive has. You have to account for every type of every species named and tie them all together, cannot be done by database as 80% of the museum specimens in the world are not electronically catalogued, anywhere. It has to be done by hand and it is painstaking. Wikidata can not do this, for the simple reasons of 1. they do not want to, 2. they do not know how to. It is hard enough to get taxonomists interested in editing Wikispecies, and there they do it because its all Wikispecies does, they will not edit on WP or WD because they worry they will be expected to do other things. They do not have time. You have to take into account your human capacity to do what is a human data entry problem. Cheers Faendalimas (talk) 21:07, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
When your refer to Wikidata as "they", who exactly do you mean? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:21, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
By they I am meaning a generalisation of the editors that are on Wikidata. It is not a criticism, it is not their specialty. I know there are a few exceptions to this, eg Succu and Brya, but they are few. Too few to cover 7 million eucaryotes. Let alone the rest. Let Wikidata do what it can be good at, database management. Leave taxonomy to what Wikispecies is good at. Data entry is at WS, data management at WD. It is the least risk approach to the data. The data is what we should all care about. Cheers Faendalimas (talk) 22:12, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
The problem with that idea is that there will always be some data entry at WD and there might be conflicts between data entry at Wikidata and data entry at WikiSpecies. ChristianKl (talk) 08:01, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
When it comes to referencing obscure papers, Wikidata will likely get better at it through WikiFactMine. I don't see where the worry about expectations to do something else come from. Part of how a Wiki works is that everybody does more or less what he thinks important. ChristianKl (talk) 08:08, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Fwiw: On en.wn and en.wb, we don't remove local interwiki markup once the information is also on Wikidata. I see several fundamental problems with keeping such information only on Wikidata.
  • By keeping it in a centralized location one maximizes damage caused both accidentally and maliciously. When something does go wrong, it is made easy for local users to not notice, and hard for them to notice even if they're trying to; and difficult for them to fix the problem.
  • The Wikidata model is fundamentally unsuited to sole direction of interwikis. Wikidata is a rigid ontology, greatly concerned with separating items with any semantic difference, just one of which must then be selected to provide interwikis for a local page. Interwikis, by contrast, are links provided for readers to whatever is the closest analog to a page on other-language projects; these are most useful when they are based on a liberal interpretation of the analogy, and they benefit both the reader, source project, and destination project. There are plenty of cases where generating interwikis from the Wikidata ontology systematically deprives the local projects of interwikies, thus materially damaging the local projects. I've noticed this happens even on Wikipedias (though the examples I can think of are on en.wn, the project I'm most familiar with); it's common to have a page that covers several topics on one project (e.g., n:Category:Guantanamo Bay), then other projects have pages that cover a superset, subset, or just partially overlapping set of those.
  • The loss of local control is also unhealthy for the local projects, especially if they're small. The systematic removal of customized interwiki markup painstakingly created over the years gives a psychological impression that local volunteers' efforts are not valued, and the move to Wikidata likewise suggests devaluing of local contribution.
Ideally, imho, each local page would have local interwiki markup and a prioritized list of Wikidata items; by default, an interwiki would be drawn from the first-listed item, failing that from the second, and so on. If there were a disagreement between the local interwiki and Wikidata, local users would be offered a choice, either to change the local markup; to change Wikidata; to offer a possible change for Wikidatans to consider; or to make a note that there is a good reason for the discrepancy, so that local users don't just keep being pestered to change it until they do, and so that later users who do consider the discrepancy have a conveniently located record of why someone thought the discrepancy ought to stand. (I hope that sort of thing will become possible, after a while, as use of wikidialog becomes increasingly sophisticated over time. I consider such customizations fundamentally should not be provided/maintained by a central authority, but by the local communities themselves, which is the point of wikidialog.) --Pi zero (talk) 12:33, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Wikidata is the perfect candidate, not to replace Wikispecies as a project, but to provide the underlining structure to host its contents. Wikispecies is precious as it is a project centred on biology, with a higher proportion of specialised contribution from academia than in many other projects. It provides a valid platform for confrontation and to discuss taxa. However, writing Wikipedia-style pages that duplicate the information already present in the categories in Commons is not effective. As suggested, I see the future of Wikispecies as a dedicated (and very very simple) interface to Wikidata. In that way, both projects would benefit from eachother directly. However, some work has still to be done to achieve this. --Ruthven (talk) 12:56, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
I very much agree on this @Ruthven:, the problem is that, at least some members feel like it would be a threat against WS existence, if all records were submitted directly to WD. I think one way to gain confidence in this ambition, could be to create an interface on WS where the users could try out a second option, submitting records at WS, while they would get stored on WD. Dan Koehl (talk) 16:03, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with you Dan Koehl, that's why I talked about the interface, as the mandatory step to integrate the two projects. Many information in Wikipedia is already being migrated on Wikidata, which provides a structured way to keep information. I feel that users on WS will be familiar with that, as wikidata items looks very like the cards in a museum catalogue. Then, the links between cards can be easily changed, like branches in an taxonomic tree ;) --Ruthven (talk) 16:11, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
yes, and to simplify even more, see to that as many items as possible could be dropdowns, like higher taxa and such, so the "work" gets faster. If as much work which is tedious to do manually, could be more effectively rationalized, with dropdowns, Ajax pre choices etc, not only the work would be easier and faster, but the quality would also reach a higher level. I have spent hours with AWB on WS, just correcting misspellings and false attributions, which would be eliminated, if the user could choose from dropdowns made on the fly, while they are editing. I am not sure, bit I think that the system with all those templates could be omitted, once the template content would be submitted once, and ready to use in dropdowns. Dan Koehl (talk) 16:22, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
The thing is as has been acknowledged the editors at wikispecies, who do the main pages on the taxa, are largely specialists. They are motivated by the taxonomy, are scientists. When it comes to that data they know what they are doing. There is a current ICZN commissioner with 300 edits there. For myself I have twice been nominated as a commissioner. I am all for an interface that send the data on wikispecies to Wikidata. That interface needs to be designed with the input of wikispecies taxonomists. Currently the information on Wikidata is incomplete from a taxonomic and nomenclatural viewpoint. They are not specialists they do not realise what is important data and what is extra data for a species. It is also important that what appears on wikispecies is not overwritten by information from Wikidata that some editor who is not a specialist has put together. Anything Family and higher could be utilised from Wikidata via templates, the family higher taxonomy is stable and what changes are made are rare. But below family is very dynamic. At species level we are technically dealing with unstable data. Cheers Faendalimas (talk) 20:14, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I partially agree with you Faendalimas. It is clear that a page on the future Wikispecies will update Wikidata, as any other project can, with a correctly implemented interface. You can pull information from Wikidata (as it is done in several templates all around the projects, e.g. the coordinates of a monument), and also push them in certain cases. Wikispecies, as an interface, will directly update Wikidata items, as I see it. New fields can and should be added to match taxonomy needs. For what I see, what is missing (but I can be wrong) is a data structure to store bibliography items, in order to use them for a taxa. But, all these beautiful data must be editable by anyone, otherwise it would be against one of the Pillars. --Ruthven (talk) 18:58, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
@Ruthven: I appreciate the the issue with regards the Pillars of Wikimedia. This very pillar is the one that makes it difficult to get scientists to edit. Though this is not always the case and many scientists manage it. I want to see a way developed that has Wikidata be a database, and Wikispecies be the input interface. There are currently an average of 2-300 new reptile species named every year (this is just one group). Over my career the number of species has gone from 3200 to 10400 known species. This is what I mean by dynamic. Of course this does not include rearrangements of names. I have already suggested that wikidata have a species field, and that this field have the following identifiers: Name, Parent Taxon, Original Reference, Original Combination, Current Combination, Current Combination Reference, Holotype, Type Locality, Etymology, Synonymy. It should also have a similar one for higher orders, eg Genus, main difference would be type species instead of Holotype, and no need for type locality. The above are the data-points needed to justify a name. Having stated-in is irrelevant, anyone can state whatever they like it does not make it correct. For a name you need the reference for the name's declaration and the reference for its current combination. On the issue of bibliographic information, I happen to agree, Wikispecies needs to change its referencing system to make it more usable for data collection, the current one does not work. We have two issues there. First a number of editors their are not that familiar with modern data usage, making it difficult to get consensus, another of WM foundations, second what changes have been proposed have been suggested as ways for Wikispecies to assist Wikidata, not as a means for Wikispecies to help itself. In other words they have been badly worded and seen as having ulterior motives. In the end I want to see an information flow that makes sense, is in the best interests of accurate data and is highly usable. But it requires some people on both sides of this discussion to take a breath and see the bigger picture. Cheers Faendalimas (talk) 02:07, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Sorry to interrupt, Faendalimas and Ruthven; the "Five Pillars" link refers to the Five Pillars of Wikipedia (an encyclopedia), not Wikimedia. The real Five Pillars at meta-wiki is a dabpage here, which shows Founding principles and Values as links. I mean no offense; just reminding you both. BTW, does Wikispecies have its own set of principles, like "Five Pillars"? --George Ho (talk) 03:08, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Thanks @George Ho: noted, and please do not apologise, if I say something incorrect tell me. From this perspective we do follow the principal that anyone can edit. We encourage people to edit. However, we do tend to hold off on autopatrol rights until we see what they are doing. We do have some fairly hefty requirements for evidence presented for major changes to the current taxonomy. That is if a new editor tries to make nomenclatural changes without providing the evidence we are going to question this. It does not mean they are wrong, we just want to see the published work that supports the claim. We do not have our own set of principals though, we follow the general WM ones. Cheers Faendalimas (talk) 08:59, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
You're welcome, and no worries ;). --George Ho (talk) 09:11, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
(conflicted) Well, no problem at all, call it Founding principle then: The ability of almost anyone to edit (most) articles without registration. In any case, I doubt that a regular user knows about the very last species discovered, or about holotypes, so the risk of vandalism is reduced. Another thing I was thinking about, is to have a trace of synonyms (which I always find difficult to find) and maybe a period they were used. --Ruthven (talk) 09:23, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Synonyms are complicated depending on how you deal with them. Most databases have entries for all names proposed within the group the database covers, they then have a field that flags the name as valid or invalid, and will list that it is a junior synonym of "x" species. This way only one name for each species will be valid. Then if you do an sql query it will display all the junior synonyms of the valid species name. However that requires entries for all names ever used and since species can have as many as 20 junior synonyms that is a massive blowout of data space just to create a synonymy. I do not think there is value in Wikidata doing it this way. Locating all the synonyms of a species, thats a tough one. I am about to publish a new synonymy for a species with 5 names in it not previously recognised as being that species. It can take me years of research to track down all the names and it can be very difficult to figure out which species a name applies to. Cheers Faendalimas (talk) 09:36, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with most of what Faendalimas writes. But in the long term everything in Wikispecies could be included in Wikidata. Short term, comparing Wikidata with the "ideal-database-that-has-everything-taxonomical", it is apparent that Wikidata is mostly empty (missing 99% or so, of all data) and has lots of error. Everything that anybody enters into any Wikimedia project ends up in Wikidata, and quality suffers accordingly. In fact, at the moment Wikispecies is a major source of errors for Wikidata (may well cause the majority of errors in Wikidata). Also of unwanted material. - Brya (talk) 08:22, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
I would oppose importing any taxonomic data from Wikispecies into Wikidata, but other data (like bibliographic data) would probably be OK. The taxonomic data on Wikispecies is very poorly maintained (simply because there are very few eyeballs there). The taxonomic data on English Wikipedia is generally more accurate and up to date (but also not perfect). From my experience, Wikispecies is basically a giant inconsistent mess. Some areas are well maintained, but most of it is a ghost town of rotting data and inconsistent standards. The places we should be importing taxonomic data from are primary specialized databases that are actually kept up to date. Wikispecies, IMO, should probably just be closed as it doesn't serve any useful purpose and it competes with Wikipedia and Wikidata for expert editors. Kaldari (talk) 01:24, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

Long-lost page Wikimedia servers?

The page Wikimedia servers, which explains the servers holding all the project sites, including Wikipedia, is tagged as outdated. Would anyone participate in updating the page please. --George Ho (talk) 08:32, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

Read-only mode for 20 to 30 minutes on 19 April and 3 May

MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 17:33, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

Opinion needed concerning licencing in Wikiversity

Hello everyone, the last months I thought about a creativity-project. First it started out as an idea for Wikibooks, but discussions led to believe, that it might be more appropriate for Wikiversity. During Discussion on Wikiversity a problem arose concerning licencing derivative works. The Wikiversity-people directed me to meta for research about the issue.

I did this, but could not find really clear statements. For you to review, I posted a descriptive text including project-sketch, timeline, what has happened until now, the problem and a proposal for solution here: User:HirnSpuk. I kindly like to ask for opinions, other ideas or directions. Thanks for your time, best regards --HirnSpuk (talk) 18:15, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

An apology to you all! Apology to Wikimedians

An apology to everyone for w:en:Wikipedia:Long term abuse/MascotGuy. I'm not spamming Wikimedia anymore due to people like, well, you know, who I mean. Peace, Derek. --MasaiGuy23 (talk) 22:35, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

BTW.... why the hell was brookesbedroom on spam blacklist?

Divergence: Expectations v. Reality

Whatever we do, I would respectfully suggest we do it with due consideration to a realistic assessment of the world we will be doing it in. The Revolve Initiative was set up three years ago to gather "best data" across different scientific disciplines and check how they might interact. Using a novel and unorthodox approach, it has been able to build an accurate & unbiased estimate of the current state of human understanding & knowledge that affects our lives from day to day. It's not a pleasant picture. Good does not triumph over evil. Hopefully, much of the work will soon be put on the web for discussion. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nemo183 (talk • contribs) 11:42, 12 April 2017‎ (UTC) (UTC)

Semi-protection is Global policy?

I see the bottom of this page marked Category: Wikimedia policies and guidelines. And we that zhwiki community are discussing policies related to semi-protection, we are concerned that the draft policy we are discussing is in conflict with what is described on this page. Can someone explain this page?——星耀晨曦 (talk) 05:51, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

Also want to know more thing: The discussion is talking about to modify the local Protection Policy of zhwiki so that semi-protection could be applied to all the archive pages (such as Talk:XXX/Archive) at zhwiki, even though the pages have not got vandalized. Would the proposed modification conflict with Semi-protection policy? --CDIP No.150 repair meter 06:41, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

  • I do not know that there should be any issue with this. The "global policy" is something that was written in 2005 at the time that semi-protection was first instituted, and has never been updated. The English Wikipedia policy has changed over time, too. In 2005, we did not have flagged revisions or pending changes, other software that serves as a form of page protection (and which is often used to prevent edits from new or unregistered users from being immediately visible by default), which is not even mentioned in the very old global policy. Risker (talk) 14:38, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
    • So, this page does not have consensus on global? I did not find the page's global consensus.——星耀晨曦 (talk) 15:14, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Or in other words, if the global SP policy is outdated, did it mean that we could ignore the global SP policy while modifying the local one? if not, before the global SP policy were updated, and now zhwiki is about to modify the local policy to let SP be applied to non-vandalized archive pages, did the proposed modification violate the global SP policy as it said that SP "is not intended for pre-emptive protection of articles that might get vandalized"? Hope here would be very clear yes/no answers. Thanks a lot. --CDIP No.150 repair meter 23:37, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment the page is just horribly dated, and at best it should be regarded as informational. It was probably only ever guidance, if even considered in that regard, rather than ever being policy. I have culled irrelevant/dated components to hopefully reflect that 2017 reality. I would say to your community, look at the guiding principles of free editing, and sharing free knowledge and construct from there.  — billinghurst sDrewth 01:04, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
    Re "pre-emptive", I think that the whole wiki principle is not to do blocking or protecting as "pre-emptive" as the rule of thumb, as we look to allow open, good faith access. Pre-emptive is the antithesis of wiki-editing at WMF. Applying restrictions should always be reactive to known issues. Article protection is a big binary stick that has little nuance, you are better to look to utilise abuse filter if you want nuance.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Billinghurst (talk) 09:09, 13 April 2017‎
Just to clarify that the ongoing discussion on zhwiki is about whether the archival pages of past discussions should be semi-protected. Given that archival pages of discussions are not articles, and that editing archival pages are not necessary and usually considered disruptive, it seems that the zhwiki community is converging on agreeing the protection of such pages. --Wcam (talk) 03:12, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
I would think that such a decision is clearly your community's decision, and nothing to do with policies. Can I point you to what I put in place at meta Special:AbuseFilter/133 to manage a specific set of archives.  — billinghurst sDrewth 10:04, 13 April 2017 (UTC)


Hi! I am an active Tamil Wikipedian. We wish to create many articles without the help of bots. So, we need a tool which collects data and construct simple sentences according to the given data. Like, Name:-_____ Birthdate:-_______. Then it should make sentences like. _____ is an astronomer. He was born on _______. Is there are any tools like this? Or is this possible to create any tools like this. If yes, then we can create many articles about people, places, films, rivers, etc. Please reply--Shri (talk) 01:33, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

The only such tool that I can find is en:Wikipedia:CSVLoader plugin for AWB. Ruslik (talk) 08:47, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Ruslik, this creates articles with same sentences and same data. But I want a tool which constructs sentences using different data. Can anyone or who can design such a tool?--Shri (talk) 09:25, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
You can look at an old proposal but I can not find anything more. It is actually a complicated problem to solve. Ruslik (talk) 10:06, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Nowadays you should probably create such articles using templates based on Wikidata, such as w:la:Formula:Capsa Vicidata or other. Once such a template is ready, you can use any simple pywikibot command to create articles. You may also be interested in mw:Extension:ArticlePlaceholder. --Nemo 17:29, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

Occitan-wikipedia Alvar Aalto bot-generated-art oct2013

See also ru:Отто, Пауль [1]. Be warned, though. Occitan Wikipedia automatically constructed articles with Wikidata, and almost half of all their articles were red script errors after a few months, like this: --Atlasowa (talk) 19:47, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

@Shriheeran: Ruslik's suggestion isn't bad. With AWB+CSVLoader you can use different data (e.g. multiple columns of some table) to create articles. There exists also a Pywikibot script for such task, but you'll need probably to know some Python. --XXN (talk) 15:29, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for your replies, I am eager to create articles using python language. What is the first step I should do for this? Have I to create a bot account?--Shri (talk) 15:46, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Banners shown in English on smaller language wikis

Although banners are translated, they still appear in English on other language wikis. Why does translated text not appear immediately and automatically when they are translated? This is the third time for me to point out that the cy-community (and others) considers the use of English as being offensive and an insult to that community. We do NOT want English banners on the Welsh Wimedia projects. If it happens again, we will be discussing banning all banners from Meta. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 07:11, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

@Llywelyn2000: Banner translations must be approved by a Meta administrator or CN administrator before they become effective. You can ask them to do that here. Regards, Lsanabria (talk) 13:18, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
There is a proposal at phabricator:T36300 to make the process less tedious for translation admins, by the way. Nemo 13:20, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks both. Until this is sorted out, I'm requesting that all English banners are kept off the Welsh Wikipedia - and I should think that every other language wiki would agree with such a move. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 16:40, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that's definitely in order: it's been asked at phabricator:T96552 and it should be rather simple to implement, maybe some tokens of appreciation for the request would be helpful as a reminder that there is a continued need for it. --Nemo 17:02, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
My request is slightly different to the one on phabricator. We translate into Welsh, and it's not published. Phabricator is discussing not publishing the ones which haven't been translated. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 14:44, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Wikimedia Endowment

May I please have some substantive answers from the WMF to the questions asked at Talk:Wikimedia Endowment#How should we select members of the Wikimedia Endowment Advisory board?.

For background, see User:Guy Macon/Wikipedia has Cancer and Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2017-02-27/Op-ed. --Guy Macon (talk) 09:44, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

(...Sound of Crickets...) --Guy Macon (talk) 03:19, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
(...Chirp...) --Guy Macon (talk) 21:00, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
(...Chirp...) --Guy Macon (talk) 17:44, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Answered on 19 April 2017 -Guy Macon (talk) 11:51, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Backlogging in OTRS

I read c:Commons:Village pump#Backlog in permissions-commons OTRS queue (diff)), where the backlogging issue of OTRS queues is raised. This issue may affect all projects awaiting the permission queues to be verified. The projects depend on OTRS for proofs of permission, especially when the projects use images for illustration. I also see that OTRS also has management issues, according to comments there. From what I've heard, the number of volunteers declined. Pinging Pigsonthewing, Jarekt, and Multichill, so they can provide their viewpoints about this. --George Ho (talk) 17:57, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

toollabs:krdbot/otrs/permissions.png seems to be kept up to date and confirms the growth of the backlog. --Nemo 17:59, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
What can be done about the backlogging, Nemo? I see one person, who is blocked from meta-wiki, kindly responded and very dedicated to help out. --George Ho (talk) 21:00, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
Recruiting, either by invitation or by advertistement. Blocked users are often problematic to utilise, the situation that got them blocked usually is taken as an indicator of traits not wanted for the task.  — billinghurst sDrewth 02:20, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
OTRS admin, views expressed are my own however. We are always looking for new agents, however; commons and OTRS don't always work very well together. My last call for volunteers on Commons was here, please read the ensuing mayhem and make your own call. I personally have no desire to contribute to commons after that little game.
If you know of someone who would be a good fit for permissions, please feel free to have them apply. OTRS/V is thataway, and we are always willing to accept new agents.
For a bit more transparency in the application process, an explanation may be in order. When a person applies to OTRS, they do a public post on OTRS/V and an email to a dedicated email address. The public post is a place to solicit feedback from other non-OTRS admins, which is included in the final decision. The email contains a discussion between OTRS admins on the suitability of the candidate. We require three supports on the email discussion, that is; three supports from OTRS admins. Then an un-involved (fourth) OTRS admin closes the discussion and handles the signing of the confidentiality agreements (L4 and L32). Then an account is created and they are given access.
I am available to handle any more questions or ideas, feel free to contact me here, via Email, or on IRC as nick "Matthew_". ~ Matthewrbowker Drop me a note 03:15, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
@Matthewrbowker (shall I re-ping you?): To be honest, I haven't volunteered OTRS before, so I'll stay neutral about the process. Maybe we can use the "mailing list" to announce this discussion. Also, we can notify all projects about this, like Wikipedia. If OTRS has issues like Commons community said, probably OTRS needs to be reformed. I'm not confident that more recruitments and easing the backlogging would resolve whatever issues the OTRS has. I welcome more opinions about the OTRS. --George Ho (talk) 03:36, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
@George Ho: Thank you for the feedback. Again, my personal opinion: the problem OTRS is running into is the same you run into when you're dealing with administrator backlogs on the English Wikipedia. We simply have more backlog than we have agents to handle it. Agents get burned out, overwhelmed, or leave. We've had to remove a few after careful investigation (full disclosure: I wasn't part of that process, sadly. I had a personal emergency going on). Our amount of emails is increasing as well. So, acquiring more agents who help us long-term will make the backlog more manageable. ~ Matthewrbowker Drop me a note 03:53, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
@Matthewrbowker: Okay, I fully understand your responses. Besides recruitment, what are your alternatives? --George Ho (talk) 16:30, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
@Matthewrbowker: Replies to that call for volunteers included these two comments, among others: "Now I think that this is quite an interesting call, given that OTRS administrators kick people out of OTRS without bothering to justify their actions at all. Perhaps changing that particular policy could help you get more volunteers involved in OTRS." and "What user:odder said. This needs to be sorted out, before you start asking for more volunteers.", made by User:odder and me, respectively. Perhaps you can tell us what changes have been made since then, to address the issues described? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:34, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: Hi, Andy. Valid questions, though I may not be the best person to answer them. I'll give it a shot though.
Agents are removed from OTRS for one of two reasons. The first is inactivity. We give an automated email notice about 2(?) weeks beforehand, thanks to an awesome script by Krd. The second is if agent conduct becomes a concern. The standard procedure for that is via email to our email list, followed by a discussion among admins. If the consensus is strong enough, an admin makes the removal. For example, Ktr101's removal was handled about two days before his office ban, we had been approached that an office ban might be possible and made consensus-based action. It is worth noting, this system is not perfect. I understand mistakes are made, and sometimes the justification given isn't enough. On a personal note, I'm more than willing to attempt to explain removals if I'm contacted via email or PM on IRC.
Please feel free to contact me with any further questions, either publicly or via email if it's sensitive. ~ Matthewrbowker Drop me a note 18:04, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
@Matthewrbowker: I'll leave aside the inactivity scenario, which I don't think anyone has questioned. My question to you was about changes since our least exchange, and you seem to have glossed over that. But to clarify what you do describe (and please correct me if I'm wrong in any aspect): If an OTRS volunteer becomes "a concern" (not defined; no published criteria), a bunch of admins discuss the matter in private, without involving or notifying the volunteer. A decision is made, but not published, and as a result the volunteer may be dismissed from OTRS service, with no explanation, and no notification of any appeal process (none is publicly documented publicly), and no notification of what should be done to remedy the supposed "concern". As I said before, and quoted above, "This needs to be sorted out, before you start asking for more volunteers." Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:03, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
@Matthewrbowker: No response? Anyone else? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:51, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Pinging , Pajz, HJ Mitchell, Tuvalkin, Jkadavoor, FDMS4, Colin, and Multichill from the 2015 discussion for invitation. --George Ho (talk) 23:37, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Every time OTRS is mentioned on Commons I hear about the "Purge". I am not sure what happen or how many people lost they rights but I do not think we need to dig into it. We have a problem with a backlog now, and we are presently in a process of alienating people donating images. I ask many new users to send their permissions to OTRS, they dutifully comply and than their images are deleted. They might not be around to see them undeleted and I do not have time to research which pages they were removed from. So undeletion does not restore them to the article they were intended for. We need more volunteers, and at least for time being more Commons admins with OTRS rights, because in most cases we need images to get undeleted. --Jarekt (talk) 18:45, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Im willing to help. I already have OTRS rights on some projects, but not on commons permissions. I belive I shouldnt apply for commons rights here on Meta, but at I understood there was some problems regarding instructions what to do,do?I suggest you provide an easy ad how to help, 1. where to apply for the rights 2 link to instructions, in order to get more users working with this. Dan Koehl (talk) 19:56, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Dan Koehl, that is great you ask for access at OTRS/Volunteering. I am not aware of any instructions for that queue, and I am not an expert, as I only began helping there about a week ago. In the past I worked a lot with OTRS tickets, fixing files with incorrect OTRS ticket numbers and handling specific tickets when asked, but I am a newbie when it comes to handling a queue. I agree that we need instructions on how to handle a queue and I will look into starting one, although it might be better if some with more experience with permissions-commons wrote them. There are 200 people on c:Category:Commons_OTRS_volunteers list. --Jarekt (talk) 15:14, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
@Jarekt: I confess, I'm also confused about the "Purge," I've never heard that term. The only mass-removal I'm aware of is when we were required to implement an NDA (viewable here and here. I know we had some problems with the first drafts of these documents, and didn't handle questions very well at all. These documents have since been modified and updated.
@Dan Koehl: thank you for thinking about volunteering! If you already have OTRS access, go ahead and post on otrs-wiki requesting additional rights. If you don't have OTRS access, post at meta. Our training is not that good, however; there is some documentation on our agent wiki. One of my long-term goals is to improve our training, and I'm always willing to hear feedback! If you need help, we also have a mailing list just for permissions. ~ Matthewrbowker Drop me a note 18:04, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, Matthew. However, the phab links you provided are restricted to only members of the phab; I can't access them without login. Would you summarize the documented links please. Also, how "not that good" is the training? --George Ho (talk) 19:15, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Asking for more volunteers, while the problems that caused past volunteers to leave, whether willingly or otherwise, and in a singel "Purge" or otherwise, is ridiculous. The same problems will recur. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:03, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Pinging Keegan, Krd, Mailer diablo, MarcoAurelio, and Sphilbrick about this. --George Ho (talk) 20:00, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

I was pinged, sadly I don't see on what. Please advise if there is any question. --Krd 08:23, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
@Krd: Shall the OTRS service be investigated? Shall we do the RFC on Commons OTRS? If neither, besides asking for recruitments, how else do we solve the backlogging? --George Ho (talk) 09:54, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Be investigated to answer which question? RFC to achieve what? The backlog is a well understood problem, easily resolvable with the right people who do the routine work quickly, consistently and continuously over time. Sadly there are always not enough people who do, and even if they did the amount of work would magically increase and setup a new backlog at another level. A structural problem like at all other backlogged places, i.e. the most admin tasks on all wikis, which often stabilize on some level defined by a non-understood principle. (I could give you a few dozens of examples what absolutely should be done regarding permissions and OTRS as soon as all backlogs are clear. Fortunately no need to discuss them as this likely never happens.)
So I'd suggest to think solution oriented here. What can you personally offer to do to improve the situation? --Krd 10:59, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
@Krd: I read there was a mismanagement, which led to the current backlogging issue. Also, I read that the training was inadequate. That's why I asked for investigation. As for the RFC, I would like a feedback on the OTRS in general. --George Ho (talk) 19:07, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Asking for recruitment would be the last thing I want to do. Like Wikipedia, OTRS is voluntary. Therefore, I think investigating or more RFC discussions would resolve the backlogging more efficiently than asking for recruitment. --George Ho (talk) 19:12, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
You appear to have special insight and background information. Thank you for your work. --Krd 07:41, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
You're welcome. What shall we do next? --George Ho (talk) 08:29, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
you could blow up OTRS and start over. we need a functional process design with training and feedback. the volunteer powers that be are incapable of providing the leadership necessary to run a process. you should expect thrashing and repeated dysfunctional conduct until adult supervision is provided. Slowking4 (talk) 02:55, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I just want to give a small report here: I applied for permission on OTRS, and in my application mentioned I would search for a mentor, who could introduce me.I believe if I hadnt added that last sentence, my application wouldnt had been granted, because of my previously limited experience of copyright issues associated with OTRS. My application was however granted, on provision that I found some experienced user who would introduce me. An experienced OTRS admin offered me generously caching, and invested about an hour with me on IRC, with a number of selected tickets. Very considerate, step by step, we went through the different issues, and I learned a lot in this hour, and hope I have a basic understanding what to look for and checkup on permission tickets. I havnt done a lot of tickets since then, but this has other reasons, and I will soon continue to work on tickets and learn more. I even found a mail from a user who uploaded thre files in January, which had been accepted, and when reading through, discovered that those three files were not fully covered by the rules, and now they are deleted. (And may get undeleted, should the user return with complete permission records) In genera, I had a very positive experience from this mentorship, while the OTRS admin could also try me, and see to that I gave an impression of being qualified to continue going through permission tickets. I strongly recommend this concept should be developed, and maybe rationalized, so one coach at the same coach more than one user, in a semit teacher and class setup.Dan Koehl (talk) 16:03, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
@Dan Koehl: Can you offer such a coaching for new permissions agents? --Krd 09:49, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Dear @Krd:, I dont think that would be such a good idea, I have too less experinece now, maybe later. I suggest that the OTRS-admins locate suitable coachers, nd kindly ask them for support oof such a project. I just want to recomennd the system, since it will bring in more users who can help, instead fo waiting for that anyone learn by their own. For rather many Wikimedia administrative functions suffer from low number of participants, simply because interested users who request to help, are supposed not to have enough experience and competence. In my POV, it would be better to educate the users who are interested, if they dot qualify, when they request different functions. Dan Koehl (talk) 09:57, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
I appreciate your advice. This has been discussed as lot of times, but there is nobody with free capacity to do so. Also, although you have strong arguments, I'm a bit doubtful regarding the actual need when I take the fact into account that every account creation I handled since 2015, likely more than 200, contained an explicit hint to contact me at any time if there is any question. Guess how many questions in total I ever got. --Krd 11:43, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
There is a submission for the Wikimedia Conference in Montreal to address issues with OTRS. Currently, the submission is reviewed for approval. --George Ho (talk) 04:51, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Wanting to help out!

Hi, I've been on Wikipedia (English) for awhile and would now like to help out on Meta-Wiki, could someone guide me in the right direction of what I could do here on Meta? I have no idea on where to start? I think I can be of great help here on Meta if I knew what to do.... Regards StewartLittle 11:37, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Hi, Steward Little (hmm... named after the movie ;) ). You can go to Help:Help and look at things. Alternatively, go to Meta:Babel and ask how to contribute to Meta. --George Ho (talk) 14:49, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Oops, my mistake. You can go to Help Forum and ask there. Meta:Babel is just for general discussions about Meta itself. --George Ho (talk) 14:51, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Shoot, re-pinging Stewart Little. --George Ho (talk) 14:52, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
@Stewart Little: This is a coordinating wiki, rather than a content wiki. So most actions here are for Wikimedia Foundation contributions (to and fro), and administrative in nature. Most would come here with things in mind of what they want to do.  — billinghurst sDrewth 09:30, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia Signpost going stale? Any substitute or replacement for Signpost?

Signpost skipped March 2017 and is going to skip April 2017. Also, reporting on Wikipedia by Signpost has gotten... I don't know, but it's not producing any more articles. Seems that reporting on Wikipedia and Wikimedia within a project, like Wikipedia Signpost, is becoming a harder job anymore. Moreover, the staleness of Signpost is discussed at w:Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost. What to do with the situation? Also, are there suitable substitutes or replacements for Signpost? --George Ho (talk) 06:21, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Signpost has the :en: in front, not the :m:, it's not something for here but for the enWP. I wouldn't come here if the Kurier would be in shallow water. This ain't an appendix for the enWP, enWP is just one project of a few hundred, no more, no less, but with no special treatment from here (if all would go right). Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 06:57, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
It also has the w: link which in combination makes it one in many wikis, even if it is the 300lb gorilla.  — billinghurst sDrewth 09:14, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
Wikimedia Highlights is also inactive for years. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:39, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Which process for administrators tool access ?

Hi, I'm seaching and not finding the place on meta for posting administrator candidature. Is there some one to guide me ? Lionel Scheepmans Contact French native speaker, sorry for my dysorthography 14:54, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

I think you're looking for Steward_requests/Permissions. Stryn (talk) 15:01, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
@Lionel Scheepmans: hi, to request administrative access here at Meta go to Meta:Requests for adminship, to request administrative access at any other wiki with no local bureaucrats you should make your request at Steward requests/Permissions after getting community consensus at the considered wiki. Regards.--Syum90 (talk) 15:07, 30 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks ! Lionel Scheepmans Contact French native speaker, sorry for my dysorthography 16:40, 30 April 2017 (UTC)

Start of the 2017 Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees elections

Please accept our apologies for cross-posting this message. This message is available for translation on Meta-Wiki.

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On behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation Elections Committee, I am pleased to announce that self-nominations are being accepted for the 2017 Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees Elections.

The Board of Trustees (Board) is the decision-making body that is ultimately responsible for the long-term sustainability of the Wikimedia Foundation, so we value wide input into its selection. More information about this role can be found on Meta-Wiki. Please read the letter from the Board of Trustees calling for candidates.

The candidacy submission phase will last from April 7 (00:00 UTC) to April 20 (23:59 UTC).

We will also be accepting questions to ask the candidates from April 7 to April 20. You can submit your questions on Meta-Wiki.

Once the questions submission period has ended on April 20, the Elections Committee will then collate the questions for the candidates to respond to beginning on April 21.

The goal of this process is to fill the three community-selected seats on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. The election results will be used by the Board itself to select its new members.

The full schedule for the Board elections is as follows. All dates are inclusive, that is, from the beginning of the first day (UTC) to the end of the last.

  • April 7 (00:00 UTC) – April 20 (23:59 UTC) – Board nominations
  • April 7 – April 20 – Board candidates questions submission period
  • April 21 – April 30 – Board candidates answer questions
  • May 1 – May 14 – Board voting period
  • May 15–19 – Board vote checking
  • May 20 – Board result announcement goal

In addition to the Board elections, we will also soon be holding elections for the following roles:

  • Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC)
    • There are five positions being filled. More information about this election will be available on Meta-Wiki.
  • Funds Dissemination Committee Ombudsperson (Ombuds)
    • One position is being filled. More information about this election will be available on Meta-Wiki.

Please note that this year the Board of Trustees elections will be held before the FDC and Ombuds elections. Candidates who are not elected to the Board are explicitly permitted and encouraged to submit themselves as candidates to the FDC or Ombuds positions after the results of the Board elections are announced.

More information on this year's elections can be found on Meta-Wiki. Any questions related to the election can be posted on the election talk page on Meta-Wiki, or sent to the election committee's mailing list, board-elections(at)

On behalf of the Election Committee,
Katie Chan, Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Elections Committee
Joe Sutherland, Community Advocate, Wikimedia Foundation

Posted by MediaWiki message delivery on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation Elections Committee, 03:36, 7 April 2017 (UTC) • Please help translate to your languageGet help
This section was archived on a request by: --George Ho (talk) 15:12, 23 June 2017 (UTC)