It looks like a solution to bug 4547 is on the horizon.
See also [Wikitech-l] Reasonably efficient interwiki transclusion
This will be very useful for templates which Commons has developed,
especially language related templates, however I am concerned that
people are also planning on using Commons as a repo for Wikipedia
infoboxes, and including the *data* on Commons rather than just the
template code. e.g.
This centralisation of data makes sense on many levels, however using
Commons as the host of this data will result in many edit wars moving
to the Commons project, involving people from many languages. Even
the infobox structure can be the cause of edit wars.
I think it is undesirable to have these Wikipedia problems added to
Commons existing problems. ;-)
Tying Wikipedia and Commons closer together is also problematic when
we consider the differing audience and scope of each project,
especially in light of the recent media problems. If the core
templates and data used by Wikipedia are hosted/modified on Commons,
it will be more difficult to justify why Commons accepts content which
isn't appropriate on Wikipedia.
A centralised data wiki has been proposed previously, many times:
Non-WMF projects, such as freebase, dbpedia, etc., have been exploring
Isn't it time that we started a new project!? ;-)
A wikidata project could use semantic mediawiki from the outset, and
be seeded with data from dbpedia.
A lot of existing & proposed projects would benefit from a centralised
wikidata project. e.g. a genealogy wiki could use the relationships
stored on the wikidata project. wikisource and commons could use the
central data wiki for their Author and Creator details.
i'd like to invite you to look at the current state of the Commons
main page in a web browser with a 1024x768 resolution (according to
recent reports, that's the most common resolution for around 25% of
all internet users). Imagine you're a first-time visitor, who's never
heard of Commons. If you're lazy you can also click on this link for a
The main page is supposed to be a showcase on what a great collection
of free media we have, right? Well, let's just look at what a
first-time visitor encounters on the main page:
* A paragraph of text talking about a 'setup page' for the media of
the day, for 'ease of translation' in something called 'Template:motd'
and 'Template:potd'. Obviously, a first-time visitor won't have a clue
about what all those terms mean and if they're important to him/her.
* A link urging people to vote for the picture of the year, but that's
only for 'eligible voters' (i am an eligible voter? how do i know?)
* 'Welcome to Wikimedia Commons!'. Finally a warm word of welcome.
Hooray! Apparently i can somehow be involved in this as well.
* An enormous list of languages to choose from. Why would i want to
view this page Suomi? I've got my browser set to my language and i'm
coming from a certain country, right? And why can't this simply be in
a dropdown list?
* A picture, finally! Note that for all those 1024x768 users only the
first 100 pixels or so of this picture are displayed, the rest of the
picture disappears under the fold.
(scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll)
* Aha! A box about how i can participate. Cool! A pity i had to scroll
down all the way to the bottom to find that.
Now, i'm not trying to insult anyone, but i really think we should do
a big redesign of the current main page, focusing on presenting what
we've got and how we can invite new people to join the project. I'm
not sure if the current grant from the Ford foundation also includes a
homepage redesign, but that might be very helpful.
We did a little brainstorm during the multimedia usability meetup last
november in Paris, and this was the result of a 90 minute 'How would
you redesign Commons from scratch' session:
Maybe we can take that as a starting point.
What do you think?
I have been on wikibreak for some months, but today creating a new article.
I tried uploading a photograph from a US government source, using the
"Upload from a government source" on Commons. I totally missed the license
selector, which is hidden beneath the edit tool buttons box. Commons
wouldn't let me upload without choosing a license, so I got a warning and
then searched for ~15 seconds before I found it.
Of course I know a license needs to be selected, but I thought perhaps it
was auto-selected as public domain, being that I was on the government
source upload form and that I did specify the source in the "Original
Since the license selector is required and much of the other stuff is
optional, the license selector needs to be at the top of the form, just
beneath the Destination filename field.
For the "Original source" field, this needs to be a multiline text field by
default, if the intention is for the user to "Give as much information as
you can". No one should ever need to click the "more lines" button to the
right of the field to get additional space. The additional space should just
I know usability of Wikimedia Commons is being addressed. It would be good
to get the upload form fixed sooner than later, and hope my feedback is
useful. If someone with my level of wiki experience is failing at doing
uploads, newbies would be totally lost.
I was going to start some more discussion here following up from the
board's statement on appropriate educational content. But since the
village pump on Commons moves at a manageable pace, I thought it would
be better to launch the conversation on the wiki itself. So instead I'm
posting here just to advertise the fact of the discussion and invite
others to join in.
It seems that Facebook is not handling properly links from our image
Normally, if one would share
picture of the day) on Facebook, they would expect their post to
have a picture and hopefully some snippet from the image description.
Unfortunately, one gets a dry link without any pictures or relevant text.
Sharing Commons URLs not ending in a file extension (e.g. the main page)
results in a nice post with a picture taken from the given page.
As far as I can see Google Buzz exhibits the same problem, but given that we
have a special relationship with Facebook -- if others can replicate the
problem -- we should contact them about this: I'd like to share the picture
of the day every now and then and have my friends marvel on the picture
without having to click through the link.
Due to numerous requests we have extended the submission deadline for
Wikimania 2010 as follows:
* Abstract Registration: May 24, 11.59 p.m. (Pacific Time)
* Notification for workshops: May 29, 11.59 p.m. (Pacific Time)
* Notification for panels, tutorials, presentations: June 3, 11.59
p.m. (Pacific Time)
See the Call for Participation for more details:
Thank you for helping make Wikimania 2010 a successful event. :-)
See you in Gdansk, July 9-11!
With best regards,
Wikipedia was created in 2001 and the image bank Wikimedia Commons
a few years later. It now contains 6 million files, mostly images.
Most of them use the template:Information which has a Date= field
to indicate when the content was created. The ideal format is the
ISO date format YYYY-MM-DD, but this is not always followed. When
I tried to parse the year, I was successful for 3.5 million files.
(Maybe I didn't try very hard.)
So, when were our files created? Of course, most were created
after Wikipedia was founded, in the most recent decade.
Even for old buildings, new photos were taken and uploaded.
For older decades, we should expect more information for more
recent ones, since more cameras were in used and more books
published with each new decade. Exactly how big has that
growth rate been?
It turns out, we have roughly 2% more files for each new year.
A graph plotting each year is very bumpy, but if sum up each
decade, it becomes quite smooth. This does not mean that content
production increased with 2% annually, but the content that
survived and was copied to Wikimedia Commons has grown this fast.
But this is only true for the years between 1750 and 1900.
For years before 1750, before enlightenment, the growth rate
is only 0.5 percent annually. Also quite reasonable.
The real surprise is that after 1900, there is no growth.
We have roughly 30,000 files from each decade in the
20th century. These are the numbers I found:
1850s 8652 files
2000s 2,951,138 files
And the graph is found on
My guess is that this is an effect of copyright laws,
which locks down the use of 20th century content.
Lars Aronsson (lars(a)aronsson.se)
Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se