With all respect to those affected concerns were raised about inactive
Admins on various community pages in March & April. Discussion on the
policy started in May and was advertised on the Village pump and the
Admin board. The vote when it took place was also advertised similarly.
I guess it surprises me that people who consider themselves active do
not watch such pages. Equally be signing up to request retaining the
rights they retain the rights for six months at least. My fervent hope
would be that they again become active admins on Commons however the
only way they would not have known about the discussion is because they
rarely read community pages on Commons.
http://www.fastmail.fm - A fast, anti-spam email service.
I just love the way that 21 users can vote to make a de-adminship
policy without notifying any of the users concerned, including AFAIK
on here. Nonsense like this only makes those more active on other
projects tempted to only contribute to those projects and not Commons.
0. intro/about Wikimania
2. 1000FP book
3. Project with Wikimedia Israel
4. Goals statement
7. FLOSS Manuals
8. Joi, CC
9. Licenses, GFDL, GSFDL drafts (long)
I'm back now from Wikimania. It was a really exciting event, and just
so cool to be able to speak to so many different people about lots of
different things. I will write below a summary of some of the
Commons-related things I talked to people about.
Florence used a slide of the Wikimedia logo mosaic in her opening
speech. I felt very proud for us :) and I still think that was a great
project. I think maybe it made a good impression on the board in terms
of our relationship with them.
I gave a 'Commons HOWTO tutorial' which started with about a dozen
people attending and by the end there was another dozen or two. I
talked briefly about how Commons works, deriv works, licenses,
categories, CommonSense tool, Mayflower, Extra-tabs.js (although I
didn't call it that, and one person commented that they had never seen
them before - we DO have them installed for EVERYONE, right??). We did
a transfer of an image from en.wp to Commons. We got some tough
questions like 'I'm uploading these for my wife - what should I do
vis-a-vis permission?' (I said ask her to send you a confirmation
email. This case of genuine verbal permission is tricky to handle.) It
BTW I hope next time that a lot more Commoners are there. :) This was
more or less your Commons representation:
It was super fun, and anyone who is a 'wikiholic' should at the very
least apply for a scholarship!!
I will post separately about this. But I think we should start getting
into gear or at least thinking about things. I think we should close
submissions by the end of Nov, hold two weeks of voting, and use the
results to make calendar/s. I also think we should have 12-15
different categories of voting and more or less use those as the
I did a 5-min lightning talk mentioning the idea about the 1000FP talk
and Evan P... (Wikitravel guy) was there. He told me he knew that
Flickr had done some partnership with Blurb.com (print on demand) with
a book called something like '24 hours on Flickr'. And apparently they
are interested in this kind of 'new technology' internet stuff. So I'm
going to try and talk to Blurb and see what they think.
Blurb was something I originally thought might work because
print-on-demand saves a lot of hassle like worrying about sales
numbers, and Blurb also have a special template for photobooks. Let's
face it if you're going to make a photobook you really want decent
I think we should try to distribute books (of Wikimedian works)+CDs
(with all 1000FP). According to CatScan we are up to 913.
I now think that instead of asking/wishing for the board to promote
us, we need to force them to have to talk about us by creating the
interest ourselves. I really think this project could create some
serious interest. And maybe if enough proceeds go to the WMF, then we
can demand with a little more conviction that they should be earmarked
for Commons-specific development. :)
Reminder: if you're interested in book development, please join
==Project with Wikimedia Israel==
I spent some time talking to a lovely chap named Dror (User:Drork) who
describes himself as the "foreign minister" of the Wikimedia Israel
chapter. Their chapter is planning to start a big project with another
company in Israel to ask people to look for historically significant
images in their private collections and donate them to the public
domain. (Israel is having some anniversaries so it is timely for
them.) He basically wanted to know that such images would be welcome
in Commons. I said of course! Then we discussed about how the images
should be collected. We decided it would be better if the images were
submitted to a gateway before being added to Commons. The organisation
that he is working with is willing to write the open source SW to
collect all the structured data that they want to collect (and also
deal with hebrew, arabic etc interface stuff which we do poorly at
best). So the idea at the moment is that their partner org will write
this interface, we will install it on the toolserver, and from there
it can be appropriately formatted etc and go into Commons.
So we have quite a few toolserver users working for Commons, that
won't be a problem I think, just thought that was a pretty cool
project. They plan to run a pilot project and if it's successful (they
don't know what kind of stuff people will even submit), then a full-on
project may run for like a year.
I am even more convinced now that having a clear goals/aims statement
will help guide the growth of the wiki by providing direction. So I
plan to try and work on this. If you are interested in it then let me
know (or keep an eye on my userspace :)).
I spent a little time talking to Tim Starling about Commons' tech
priorities and even showed him the Mayflower search engine which he
was unaware of (!). I intend to write up a summary for wikitech-l
about what I consider are Commons' tech priorities. One of them will
be replacing/integrating Mayflower as our search engine. I really
consider this a major priority for us.
Apparently the Inkscape founder went to Wikimania. I only found this
out at the airport as I was leaving. :( I am thinking of trying to
contact him to make them aware of the work we are doing with SVGs,
because as far as I can see no one else anywhere is doing the kind of
things we do with them. Surely someone somewhere must care! :P
I ended up spending quite a bit of time talking to Adam from FLOSS
Manuals. http://flossmanuals.net/ He gave me a copy of their first
printed manual on Audacity. Part of their thing is really
concentrating on high-quality documentation. I suggested a chapter on
how to edit human voice recordings would be really useful for
Wikimedians. He told me they use TWiki. If you check out their site
and the section called 'Remix' you can see how it's possible to pick
and choose particular chapters to be included in a print-on-demand
book. Now this is amazingly cool. I imagine a really useful thing -
FLOSS Manuals having a 'Wikimedia Commons Media Handbook' with
chapters on Inkscape & GIMP, and Audacity & Ogg Theora (same book?
Now our Images for Cleanup people already know a lot of this stuff. If
Commons people think something like this could be useful, I will let
them know there is interest in it. If Commons people are interested in
writing for it, that's all the better I think. I think he is even
trying to get sponsorship to be able to retrospectively pay
I think there's just great power in having something in your hands to
demonstrate what you're doing and help spread the word, convince
others. Those of us who find this kind of tech second nature are a
very small minority.
Joi gave a speech about the 'sharing economy' and I managed to talk to
him briefly afterwards, about how I have this feeling that we have
this great resource that no one knows anything about. We have the
Commons know-how, he has the media contacts, maybe we can make
I think it's a very cool thing that some of the Creative Commons
people take part on this list. To me it shows that they are reaching
out and want to work with us and I think we should be reaching back
too. Wikimedia is a bit insular sometimes... We have much more in
common than we do different.
==Licenses, GFDL, GSFDL drafts==
So there was actually a surprising number of talks about licenses and
licensing. Although there are some of us who know a ton about licenses
there are still many of us who don't. So although some of us will feel
like we are repeating ourselves it still seems really important that
we keep re-iterating the basic messages about how copyright works, how
free licenses work, how to use them, etc. I mean at the same time we
still have to deal with the nitty-gritty crap like interpreting
licenses in different jurisdictions and deriv works and the like. So
it's not easy but I think it's really important we keep walking along
I went to this talk
http://wikimania2007.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proceedings:MH1 in which I
found out a new draft of the GFDL is open for comment at the moment.
The new GFDL has a clause about 'excerpts' where an excerpt can be
distributed without the full license text. see
http://gplv3.fsf.org/fdl-draft-2006-09-22.html clause 6.
Bizarrely this mentions how an excerpt of a text document should be
interpreted, and an audio and video document, but not an image. Er????
Is it that an excerpt of an image cannot exist? Is an excerpt of an
image like a crop, or a thumbnail, or like nothing at all? If
'excerpt' has no meaning the field of images then they should
explicitly say that, I think.
The other complaint I have about this new draft is that the wording is
still oriented to text documents (and even very long ones at that),
despite the fact that they acknowledge other works can and are used.
How should a 'title page' be interpreted in terms of an image? I
intend to make a comment asking them to reword such things or else
explicitly state the interpretation of the terms for various media.
It also has this important clause 8a: "If the Work has no Cover Texts
and no Invariant Sections then you may relicense the Work under the
GNU Simpler Free Documentation License."
So maybe we (Wikimedia) could have this:
(now) GFDL1.2 -> GFDL2 -> GSFDL === CC-BY-SA?
OK why is this important? Creative Commons' goals are not necessarily
ours, etc etc. I think this is a direction we should try to go forward
in because in essence we have the same goals, and keeping distinct
licenses for no good reason makes understanding the situation
unnecessarily complex, and thus harms our ability to communicate our
mission and vision to as wide an audience as possible.
Note 'no good reason'. If good reasons exist, we should keep the distinctions.
Is the 'fulltext-copy' condition of the GFDL a good reason? I don't
recall ever seeing anyone put forward a reason why it's actually
The GSFDL currently has a very stupid clause called '0a. FREE MANUALS
ARE ESSENTIAL'. When they just acknowledged that the license can be
used for even non-text works, I dislike the inclusion of this
unnecessary clause a lot.
The GSFDL also has the 'Excerpts' thing. The main difference between
the GFDL and the GSFDL is this in the GSFDL:
"You need not include a copy of this License in the Work if you have
registered the work's license with a national agency that maintains a
network server through which the general public can find out its
Hm, I don't know quite what that implies, but hopefully it leads to a
situation of not needing to copy the license fulltext with each use.
That was my impression from the talk.
They've just been waiting in a mountain for the right moment:
Those of you using Blender for 3D graphics may be interested in
Project Peach, the follow-up to the "Elephants Dream" open source
They are currently accepting DVD pre-orders. E.D. led to significant
progress in Blender development & I expect the same will be true for
Peach, so this is a great way to support open source software that is
relevant to WM projects.
Toward Peace, Love & Progress:
DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
>The CD of images for teachers is a really good idea. We have some
>fantastic SVGs that would be awesome to include.
> > I'd be more than happy to travel to conferences with a bunch of CD
> > containing works, but before doing anything, the best would be to define
> > which audience you want to reach out.
I am already using my own and Commons images for educational CD's
available to schools, in Botany, history and travel, right now. I put
a reference to Wikimedia Commons where applicable.
[[User:WayneRay]] Wayne Ray LOndon Ontario
I found this image source:
"The Geograph British Isles project aims to collect geographically
representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of
the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and you can be part of it."
The interesting part is that
a) They already have a lot of images
b) They're free :-)
(They talk about 'Creative Commons', but they seem to mean Cc-by-sa
http://www.geograph.org.uk/faq.php#opensource They clearly reject ND)
The not-so-good part is that they only are 800x600
While you are talking about the 1000th FP and lots of nice commons projects
I'd like to make some PR for fairly young project which has been going
At [[Commons:Quality Images]] useres can nominate and ''quickly'' assess
images according to a fairly well defined set of technical standards. The
process is geared towards speed with minimal administrative overhead. No
votes, just one briefly explained assessment (disputes are rare and handled
So far 1163 images  have been given the QI seal of approval, and the number
is growing constantly.
Why exactly is this template on the Commons? Obviously, it is an attempt to
make commercial use as difficult as possible. Arguably it does that, and the
image ultimately is freely licensed so there is no issue with it being on
However, this style of template is contrary to the goal of free content. Any
non-commercial user who uses an image to make a derivative is almost
certainly going to pick the non-commercial CC license instead of the GFDL
(as its easier to use); it will be rare that they will care about the free
content mission enough to choose the "nasty" GFDL. This means that any
derivatives will not be free content and furthermore due to the SA term any
further derivatives will be locked in a non-commercial state.
If people have qualms about the commercial use of their image, then they
should not be uploading it as "free" content. I think any images tagged with
this template should be moved to GFDL-only licensing, Commons should not
allow ever non-free licensing even as part of a dual license