situation today: a Wikipedian at a meetup shows me a collection of at
least 100 beautiful high-resolution photos from Ecuador. Unfortunately,
only a couple of them are on the German Wikipedia, and none are on the
Commons. He's perfectly willing to make them GFDL, though. I offered to
do the uploading for him, but it occurred to me that a more general
solution might be in order.
Hence, I've just launched an experimental file upload service for the
The idea is that people who are not comfortable using the Commons
directly (such as non-Wikimedians), or who want to upload a large number
of files, can contact a registered helper who will batch-upload them.
I can obviously only handle a limited number of such requests, so I
encourage anyone familiar with handling an upload bot to add themselves
to the list of helpers. If you can't handle large email attachments, let
me know, and I can give you an account on my FTP space.
Note that this is really a workaround for the Commons not being as
user-friendly as it should be (no single login, no easy upload form, no
batch upload support, categorization requires wiki knowledge).
Eventually, I'd like this to become obsolete.
I'm posting this announcement to foundation-l, wikipedia-l, wikinews-l,
and commons-l, since all these projects are affected. Please
forward/translate the message for other affected projects.
board(a)wikimedia.foundation doesn't work (not cool, it'everywhere on the
Foundation.org pages). So this this it again :
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jean-Christophe Chazalette" <jean-christophe.chazalette(a)laposte.net>
Cc: "Andre Engels" <andreengels(a)gmail.com>; <erik_moeller(a)gmx.de>;
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2005 10:16 PM
Subject: SXC poll
| Hello there,
| Short note to make you all aware that the poll I organized on Commons
| the validity of pictures coming from the would be free site
| http://www.sxc.hu/ is about to end up, see
| This vote was based on my legal analysis of the situation (text - in
| English - at the top of the page), from which I demanded people their
| opinion about two issues.
| 1°) Can pictures from Stock.XCHNG be uploaded on Commons as long as there
| no conflicting usage restriction explicitely decided by the copyright
| (the photographer) ?
| 2°) Should pictures from Stock.XCHNG not be categorized as such or listed
| such in a special page to avoid setting up a Stock.XCHNG « gallery » ?
| The vote is over the day after tomorrow and appears to approve my
| Out of loyalty, I nonetheless prefer to tell you about the whole thing
| because it is not impossible that this new policy makes SCX.HU very
| are the way they are.
| But please speak up now if you're thinking to veto the community decision
| to suspend it for a while in consideration of troubles that you might
| Otherwise, I'm just going to close the vote on March 13th and to enforce
| on the Commons.
| Thank you :)
| villy ~~JC
Short note to make you all aware that the poll I organized on Commons about
the validity of pictures coming from the would be free site
http://www.sxc.hu/ is about to end up, see
This vote was based on my legal analysis of the situation (text - in
English - at the top of the page), from which I demanded people their
opinion about two issues.
1°) Can pictures from Stock.XCHNG be uploaded on Commons as long as there is
no conflicting usage restriction explicitely decided by the copyright holder
(the photographer) ?
2°) Should pictures from Stock.XCHNG not be categorized as such or listed as
such in a special page to avoid setting up a Stock.XCHNG « gallery » ?
The vote is over the day after tomorrow and appears to approve my analysis.
Out of loyalty, I nonetheless prefer to tell you about the whole thing
because it is not impossible that this new policy makes SCX.HU very unhappy.
are the way they are.
But please speak up now if you're thinking to veto the community decision or
to suspend it for a while in consideration of troubles that you might fear.
Otherwise, I'm just going to close the vote on March 13th and to enforce it
on the Commons.
Thank you :)
(CC to commons-l)
> * wikimedia projects do not respect the license by not always
> displaying clearly that images uploaded on wikicommons are under gfdl
> nor by mentionning authorship on the local projects
In MediaWiki 1.5, a backlink to the Commons is automatically inserted.
In 1.4, this was not the case, and it had to be manually put into the
MediaWiki: message - some wikis therefore still lack the backlink. This
will be fixed once 1.5 goes live, but can also be fixed by any sysop on
the project in question.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki:Sharedupload is a good example to
use for this.
You are correct that image license information should be displayed
directly on the image description page. This is likely to happen soon.
> * wikicommons does not provide a link to where the images are used, so
> do not allow editors to check whether the way images are used are
> following legal requirements or not
Unfortunately, that is correct. Alongside automatic transclusion of
image information pages, an EXTLINKS table on the Wikicommons might be
used to store usage information. A quick hack using absolute URLs might
be sufficient for now.
> * uploading images unfortunately takes time, even more on wikicommons
> where issues of duplicate in names begin to appear
It is generally a good idea to make a name unique, for example, by
adding your username at the end. No matter how large a wiki is, a
filename like [[Image:Flower.jpg]] is simply not unique enough. Still,
there are ways to improve the handling of the situation, for example, by
providing an "Alternative filename" input box when a filename already
> * wikicommons is in english only, hence limiting access to those non
> english speaking
That is not a fair comment. The Main Page alone has been translated into
over 30 languages. For gallery page titles, a carefully thought out
policy is used (e.g., use native names for specialty foods, use latin
binomial for animals and plants). The interface language of the wiki can
be selected in the user preferences. Templates have been created to show
what languages a user speaks and are actively used. Filenames are
accepted in all languages. The main problem is with categories, which
are, unfortunately, not easily internationalizable due to redirects from
one cat to another not working -- a technological problem.
> * wikinews does not allow uploading images, hence preventing the easy
> use of images to non english speakers (since they can not easily
> manage wikicommons)
I do not see how limiting Wikinews to the Commons excludes non-English
speakers, see above, though certainly it is a little more difficult. As
you know, this is strictly for legal reasons until the fair use
situation has been sorted out:
This procedure has been directly approved by Jimmy.
> The more time goes by, the less motivating it is to provide images imho.
Personally, I find it more motivating to upload images now, because
thanks to the Wikimedia Commons, I know that anyone on any project can
easily use them. I agree with you that certain functionality would be
useful and fun. I've only ever pledged to implement the baseline
functionality for the Commons, which I have done. I'll try to find time
to add some of the above discussed features, but frankly, coding and
testing a new feature is not a lot of fun, and as I've said before,
until the WMF goes into the habit of handing out development contracts,
projects like Wikinews and Wikicommons will stagnate technologically.
All of the above, plus more, could be fixed with a few strategic
investments in developer resources. Single login alone would greatly
increase cross-project usability, as language preferences could be
persistent, and you could easily upload files directly from a local wiki
to the Commons.
As an elected Board member, you have the power to speed up the pace of
innovation. I have offered many times to help with that. A handful of
active developers will *NOT* be able to keep up with the needs of
thousands of users.