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Year: 2009  Week: 29  Number: 108    


An independent internal news bulletin 
for the members of the Wikimedia community


=== Technical news ===

[LiquidThreads] - One of the few things that has not changed since the start of the projects in 2001 is how the talk pages work. Correction: the name has changed, it is now "a discussion page". Besides that, that can change. The MediaWiki extension "LiquidThreads" is again in development by order of the Wikimedia Foundation. LiquidThreads makes from a discussion page more a forum, but in a good way. It is not like a traditional php-forum, it remains very wiki. 
http://wiki.werdn.us/test/view/Talk:Main_Page -- LiquidThreads in action
http://blog.werdn.us/2009/06/discussion-threading-on-wikimedia-sites-with-liquidthreads/ -- if interested about this: read me

[Code updates] - In the past, the Wikimedia sites were updated roughly every week with the new code from Wikimedia's revision (or version) control system (SVN).  But recently, this has not been taking place due to the developers being busy elsewhere -- the last update was on March 25, months ago!  To help with this, Erik announced that the Foundation is planning to hire a full-time "QA engineer to help with code review, bug triaging and deployment". *Update*:  After the writing of this entry, a code update took place to r51904 (r51864 for extensions).  But as of publication, SVN's latest revision was r25015, so help is still needed.
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2009-June/043336.html -- mailing list post
http://svn.wikimedia.org -- SVN

[MW 1.15.0] - MediaWiki 1.15.0 was released, this is the first stable release of the 2009 Q2 branch of MediaWiki.
http://svn.wikimedia.org/svnroot/mediawiki/tags/REL1_15_0/phase3/RELEASE-NOTES -- release notes
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2009-June/043387.html -- mailing list post

=== Request for help ===

[New study] - There is a new research study about effects of a modification to the Wikipedia editing interface.  Participants will test an experimental change to one aspect of the Wikipedia interface. All that you have to do is edit Wikipedia as you would normally. After the observation is complete, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and you'll be able to continue using the interface modification if you like.
http://wikipedia.grouplens.org/NICE/consent/index.html -- consent form
http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.science.linguistics.wikipedia.english/100810 -- mailing list post about the subject

[Greenspun] - The Greenspun project, an initiative that tried to fund the creation and improvement of illustrations for Wikimedia, has been stalled and is currently looking for ideas on how to better go about the project.  Suggestions and discussion are appreciated on the mailing list!
http://brianna.modernthings.org/article/213/reflections-on-pgip-phase-1 -- blog post describing what went wrong
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Greenspun -- project page
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/greenspun-illustrations -- mailing list

=== Foundation ===

[LU] - The licensing update is in progress. The license of the WMF website and the English Wikipedia is updated.  Help is going to be needed for translations, please watch translators-l for details.

[BLP] - After the Wikimedia Board of Trustees released a statement about content on living people, a new global policy is being created that attempts to deal with those issues in the spirit of that resolution.  Comments and help is appreciated on Meta.
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/BLP -- proposed policy
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Biographies_of_living_people -- Board statement

[WMF openings] - The Wikimedia Foundation is still looking for a software developer to help with the Usability Project, as well as a Communications intern.  Both positions are based in San Francisco, but remote work is possible for the software developer position.

[OTRS Stats] - The Foundation is currently looking for a volunteer interested in evaluating and analyzing how the response system ("OTRS") has been working for the English Wikipedia.

=== Legal ===

[Privacy violation?] - There was a bit of drama on the Foundation mailing lists when a KnowPrivacy study - a research project by the School of Information from University of California in Berkeley - hit the German media.  It showed findings that Wikipedia, among many other websites, used "web bugs" like Google Analytics on its pages.  Further investigation revealed this was triggered by content on vlswiki & huwiki.  The former was added to confusion that it was a privacy violation and it turns out the Hungarian Wikipedia was just a false alarm (it was a private stats generator)
http://www.heise.de/newsticker/Studie-Google-fuehrend-bei-Web-Bug-Nutzung--/meldung/139841 -- newspaper article (German)

=== Agenda ===

[Wikimedia Canada] - There is a planning meeting for Wikimedia Canada being organized for June 18, interested users and Canadians should definitely attend.
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Canada/Meetings/2009-06-18 -- meeting sign up page

[Wiki-Conference NY] - The 1st Wiki-Conference in New York will be held over the weekend of July 25-26, 2009 at New York University, and hosted by Free Culture @ NYU and Wikimedia New York City.  Jimmy Wales will be giving a keynote, and there will also be panels, lightning talks, and open space technology.  There's also the Central Park picnic!

=== Community ===

[WMDE-5 years!] - Happy 5th birthday WMDE! Wikimedia Deutschland, the German chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation celebrated 5 years of being an organization with a party in Berlin.

[Paid editing?] - The English language Wikipedia has started a "Request for comment" on whether or not to allow paid editing, or under what circumstances to allow it.

[IRC GCs] - There are new IRC Group Contacts -- the group of people who help manage the Wikimedia Foundation IRC channels (setting cloaks, fixing access issues, etc.).  More information can be found in the actual announcement.

[Commons] - After some drama surrounding a "fight" between Wikimedia Commons community member and a Wikimedia Israel project, a large number of discussions have sprung up about the problems with Commons and whether it's a service project or a more independent one.  The discussions can be found on foundation-l, commons-l, and the Commons Village pump.

[Toolserver outreach] - The Wikimedia Toolserver is trying to increase its communications with local wiki communities by (1) creating short page describing the toolserver, with the relevant links, (2) increasing the use of the blog, and (3) encouraging people to document/explain their tools.  Feedback on this plan, as well as suggestions and offerings for help are appreciated!
http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.toolserver/1405 -- start of the thread

[AR Wikinews] - probably inspired by the English Wikinews who added social bookmarking links to the story's has the Arabic Wikinews also done that. Probably most Wikinews editions will follow.

=== Media ===

[WP as a book] - An artist puts all 5,000 of Wikipedia's featured articles in one book.
http://www.rob-matthews.com/index.php?/project/wikipedia/ -- picture of the book
http://www.businessinsider.com/what-wikipedia-would-look-like-printed-2009-6 -- newspaper article on subject

[Wikipedia in Google News] - Google News has been experimenting with links to EN Wikipedia on its homepage. The appear as a link for more information related to the news topic itself. So Wikipedia is not listed as news source, what is good because Wikipedia is not a news site. But it can provide much-needed context and up-to-date information that static news articles cannot always offer. The stories of the English language Wikinews, what indeed a news site is, does appear in Google News as news articles.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chiropractic/3601011581/ -- example
http://www.niemanlab.org/2009/06/google-news-experimenting-with-links-to-wikipedia-on-its-homepage/ -- blog post on the subject

[Sam Blacketer] - An English Wikipedia Arbitrator turned out to be a controversial politician who had been blocked before for editing his opponents' articles.  A few British newspapers picked up on this story.

[Colbert Report] - The English Wikipedia's blocking of the Church of Scientology was picked up by American "spoof" news program The Colbert Report.
http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/229645/june-04-2009/wikipedia-bans-scientologists (video)

[Testimony to Congress] - not very Wiki-related but nevertheless interesting reading (only 3 pages). Statement from Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Product and User Experience of Google, about the internet changes the way people read news.

=== Stats ===

[ko.wp] - the Korean Wikipedia has reached 100,000 articles.
http://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%EC%95%A1%EC%84%B8%EC%8A%A4%EA%B6%8C -- 100,000th article

=== Did you know ... ===

... that Google has released a very handy tool for translating a Wikipedia article?

Google offers since long a free automatic translation service. Based on that Google Toolkit is released. You have a personal overview page, "a desk", where you can upload text from files or websites. 

For text from (the English) Wikipedia is there a special interface designed for translating Wikipedia content. The source text must be English, the target language options are limited but there is a fair collection. 

The basic idea is that the toolkit will automatically translate the text for you and then you can make fixes to the text. Not only does this help you get the translations done but it also helps Google Translate to learn from your changes and become better and better. That translation in progress can be shared with other people so the can also work on it.

How good the automatic translation is will probably differ from language to language.  Translations from English to Arabic should be fair because Google used that explicitly as in example in there press release.

This tool can make it very easy to translate an article from the huge English Wikipedia to one of the many small wiki's in other languages. The toolkit may change the way Wikipedia grows in other languages. If used correctly. It can also be used to import a lot crappy new articles to a wiki.

Google Toolkit could also be useful for making translations of Wikizine, if one is interested in doing so. 

http://translate.google.com/toolkit -- google translator webkit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7W2NJFdoIg -- short video-overview of how it works, Wikipedia is used as example
http://blog.wikimedia.org/2009/06/09/google-translator-toolkit-supports-wikipedia/ -- Wikimedia Blog post about the subject

=== Quote ===

“The automobile has practically reached the limit of its development” – Scientific American, 1909

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