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Year: 2009  Week: 30  Number: 112


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


=== Technical news ===

[Media server problems] - there were some media load problems on all the sites, which caused "extreme slowness or temporary inaccessibility".  The sysadmins took advantage of this downtime to redo the way we access media files internally which will help reduce the impact on the rest of the site when load problems on the file servers occur, and also spreads out the load among multiple servers to improve things even more.  They had to shut off all uploads for a while to get this done!

[Wikipedia Weekly interviews the Usability Team] - Wikipedia Weekly, a podcast for and by Wikimedians, interviewed the Usability team.

[MediaWiki:Sharedupload change] - MediaWiki:Sharedupload became MediaWiki:Sharedupload-desc-here. Admins in other projects should rename the first one to the second in order to customize messages for images from Commons.  (That's the text shown when a Commons image is shown on another project: )

=== Request for help ===

[Translation of the week] -- the Translation of the Week needs help!  If you speak another language and would like to translate "History of pizza" into your language, TOTW is for you. ;-)

=== Foundation ===

[Board elections] - the candidate deadline for the elections to the Board of Trustees has been extended to July 27 due to some technical issues for which the CentralNotice had to be turned off.  The questioning of the candidates has also begun and translation is ongoing. -- candidates -- questions -- translation

[New "Strategic Planning" Staff] - the Foundation announced that they filled two positions for their Strategic Planning project. -- project manager -- facilitator

[National Portrait Gallery] - the English National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London (UK) has threatened to sue a U.S. citizen, Derrick Coetzee. The legal letter followed claims that he had breached the Gallery's copyright in several thousand photographs of works of art uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons, a free online media repository.  More information in the extremely detailed Wikinews article.
*Update*: The WMF and NPG have entered into good-faith negotiations, according to Erik Moeller. -- WMF blog post -- summary by the signpost

[Academy: NIH] - the Wikimedia Foundation announced and had its first Wikipedia Academy (outreach event to teach people to become contributors) in the United States this week. -- press release -- twitter coverage from the event -- project writeup

[Advisory Board changes] - Angela, chair of the Advisory Board, has updated the "Advisory Board" page to show that 8 members have left, bringing the current total to 15 advisory board members.

[Fundraising 2008: Post-Mortem] - Rand Montoya, the Foundation's Head of Community Giving, has posed a post-mortem (basically "what went wrong, what went right and what can we do better?") on the 2008 Fundraising Drive.

=== Community ===

[Board elections: Inspiration] - some Wikimedians suggested that it might be better if prospective candidates knew *why* they should run for board member; what's it really like to be one?  Stu West (appointed member, treasurer) responded and explained why serving on the Board is rewarding.

[wm2009: schedule & flu] - the Wikimania 2009 team posted two updates this week where they created a draft schedule for the conference on their wiki and posted a message about swine flu concerns to a few mailing lists. -- schedule on wiki -- mailing list post (swine flu)

[Open Source Schools] - Wikimedia UK's secretary is presenting a piece on the subject of "using Wikipedia in schools" at the Open Source Schools "un"conference in Nottingham (UK) next Monday 20th July.  If you're in the area, it sounds like it'll be interesting! (Conference admission is 55 pounds.) -- presentation -- venue

[Spotlight] - Many projects must have there projects to improve the quality if an article. The English Wikipedia has there project "Spotlight". It not a new thing, the started end of 2006.  But the news is that it has lost it {{historical}} - label. The spot is again on!

=== Media ===

[Rorschach Test Censorship] - English Wikipedians had an interesting argument about whether or not to include the Rorschach ink blot tests in the article on the subject.  No, it's not because of licensing, the files are in the public domain.  It's actually about ethics, people are worried it will ruin the validity of the tests.  The Wikipedia discussion was picked up by blogs/news outlets.

[WikiWars Conference] - the first conference to be held in Bangalore (India), called WikiWars, invites participation from users, scholars, academics, practitioners, artists and other cultural workers, to share their experiences, ideas, experiments, innovations, applications and stories about Wikipedia.

[NPG Coverage] - the user who was threatened with legal action by the National Portrait Gallery is keeping a list of media coverage.

[WLA/NL] - The Dutch Wiki loves art initiative by Wikimedia Nederland ended and gained a total of 5447 photos of art objects from 45 museums photographed by no less than 292 enthusiastic volunteers. In a few weeks the pictures will become available on Commons, but the pictures can already be viewed on flickr.

=== Stats ===

[en.wp] - Erik Zachte, Wikimedia status guru and owner of, has published new wikistats data for the English Wikipedia for the first time since October 2006.  This also allows publication of much wanted totals for all wikipedias combined, and trend forecasts. -- blog post #1 -- blog post #2 (in-depth technical post) -- new tables (click "charts" on the upper right to see pictures too)

[sv.wp biographies] - LA2 posted some research on the breakdown of articles on the Swedish Wikipedia.  The Wikipedians found out that 26.6% of articles are biographies and that the overall ratio of biographies is 1 woman to 4 men (but that ratio gets worse as you go back in time). -- mailing list post -- gender vs. age graph

=== Other news ===

[New Book] - a new freely licensed book has been launched about wikis in the workplace.

[LSS: foundation-l] - two new list summaries for the foundation-l posts have been posted, covering the second half of June and the first half of July.

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

... that there is an easy solution to Wikipedia's vandalism problems?  

According to one humorous website, "ALL WE NEED TO DO is direct our vandalism entirely to the article about chickens. Imagine a Wikipedia free of vandalism!"

Note: that is a humorous website. It does not mean you are allowed to ... with Wikipdia's chickens.

=== Quote ===

"Try to learn something about everything and everything about something." - Thomas H. Huxley

Editor(s): Casey, Alex, Walter
Thanks to: Sue, Anoop, Patricio, Galio, Effe, Brianmc, Signpost, Andrew Turvey, Angela, Sage Ross, Philippe, Phoebe, Chzz, MarkW
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