Sorry, we are a bit swamped with work. The originally planned update did
not work out and had to be postponed, and we didn't have the time to write
another one instead. So we decided to skip it for this week. See you again
The on-wiki version of this newsletter is available here:
This week we are happy to welcome Cai Blanton
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:CBlanton_(WMF)> to the Wikimedia
Foundation and to the Abstract Wikipedia team! I will let Cai introduce
herself with her own words.
“I am thrilled to be joining WMF as the Senior Engineering Manager for
Abstract Wikipedia. From my beginnings as a full-stack UX-focused software
engineer, I have focused my career on building products that make people’s
lives better, spanning from education to employment technology. At the
heart of it all lies my passion for DIBE (Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging,
and Equity) and drive to create an environment where collaboration is
personal and fun.
“Languages and the nuances of cross-cultural communication have fascinated
me since grade school when I took my first Spanish class. This interest has
only grown through my further language studies, stint as a linguistic
major, and time living and working abroad in a multinational environment in
Western Europe and Scandinavia. The Abstract Wikipedia vision is
particularly compelling to me for these reasons.
“I look forward to working together with the community to advance global
We are also happy to welcome Adesoji Temitope to our team. Adesoji joins
joined us together with Lindsay
from ThisDot. Adesoji <https://twitter.com/temitopedavid_> is on Twitter.
Here is his introduction in his own words.
“I am Adesoji Temitope, a software developer at Thisdot. I am currently
based in Lagos, Nigeria.
“I love to play football and first-person shooter games.
“Started learning to code in my last year in high school and worked on a
lot of personal projects using PHP. I luckily got into a school that had a
lab setup by one of the lecturers and I was able to really start learning
to work with people and had my first live code. I owe a lot of my early
assistance to my brother.
“Really love researching about communities and I am excited about the
opportunity to join the Wikimedia team.”
Please join us in welcoming Cai and Adesoji to the team!
On October 15, Houcemeddine Turki
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Csisc> will present Wikifunctions
<https://www.wikiarabia2021.com/en_GB/event/propose-2/agenda> at next
week’s WikiArabia conference <https://www.wikiarabia2021.com/en_GB/> organized
by the Wikimedia Algeria User Group
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Algeria>. The presentation will
be in Arabic.
We also presented Wikifunctions and Abstract Wikipedia at the Russian
Moscow, Russia, organized by Wikimedia RU
The presentation was translated live into Russian. Thanks to Gulnara for
the translation! We will link to the recordings when they are available.
We also presented Wikifunctions and Abstract Wikipedia at the German WikiCon
<https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiCon_2021> in Erfurt, Germany,
organized by the German-speaking Wikimedia community with support from
Deutschland <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Deutschland>. The
presentation was given in German. We will link to the recordings when they
Thanks to the communities and the organizations for organizing these hybrid
events. It is beautiful to see the communities come together again, but
also the effort to continue to allow people to participate online. It is a
lot of work, and thank you all for your efforts.
I thank you for your contributions to the Wikifunctions Project. As an end user of the Wikifunctions Project, I have been invited to speak at WikiArabia about Wikifunctions and Abstract Wikipedia in Arabic. That is why I developed and implemented several linguistic functions for Arabic Languages:
* Root and Pattern-Based Generator of Lexemes for Arabic Languages (Z10157)
* Pattern-Root Compatibility Verifier for Arabic Languages (Z10160)
* IPA Generator for Diacritized Arabic Script Texts in Tunisian Arabic (Z10163)
This implies the creation of Python codes for the three functions, the development of test functions and the description of the developed functions. When developing the functions, I have found several matters that can be solved in the next few months:
1. When a word assigns two Arabic Diacritics to a letter, this can cause a deficiency to the system. For example, كَرَّر has two Arabic diacritics (a shaddah and a fatha) on its second letter. The shaddah should be below the Fatha as its effect should come first. The Wikifunctions compilers do not efficiently consider that and this can harm the processing of the languages using the Arabic Script. This should be fixed.
2. The identation of the source code should be done by hand after pasting the code into the field. There is no automatic identation for pasted source codes. This can alter the user experience.
3. The mobile edition of the website does not work. Lucas Werkmeister has raised a ticket about this (T291325).
4. All these linguistic functions are taken from reference grammar books. It will be interesting to have a function that assigns a Wikidata item as a reference of a Wikifunctions function.
5. The runtime of the website is signficantly important. Several efforts should be done to make this project quicker.
6. It will be interesting to align inputs with their corresponding Wikidata items to have better semantics for the functions.
7. System messages are not absolutely user-friendly. This can be fixed.
8. The token for the connection to NotWikiLambda does not allow a long connection. It almost disconnects every fifteen minutes.
Hello. I am recently thinking about objectivity and subjectivity with respect to natural language generation, in particular in the contexts of story generation using historical data .
In the near future, digital humanities scholars – in particular historians – could modify collections of data and finetune generation-related parameters, watching as resultant multimodal historical narratives emerged and varied. In these regards, we can envision both computer-aided and automated historical narrative generation tools and technologies.
Could AI be a long-sought objective narrator for historians? Is all narration, or all language use, inherently subjective? What might the nature of “generation-related parameters” and “finetuning” be for style and subjectivity  when generating natural language and multimodal historical narratives from historical data ?
Thank you. Hopefully, these topics are interesting.
 Metilli, Daniele, Valentina Bartalesi, and Carlo Meghini. "A Wikidata-based tool for building and visualising narratives." International Journal on Digital Libraries 20, no. 4 (2019): 417-432.
 Metilli, Daniele, Valentina Bartalesi, Carlo Meghini, and Nicola Aloia. "Populating narratives using Wikidata events: An initial experiment." In Italian Research Conference on Digital Libraries, pp. 159-166. Springer, Cham, 2019.