A friend of mine ran into a series of really
problems today which ended up greatly discouraging him from contributing.
This is meant to be constructive criticism, please make of it what you will.
He downloaded an image file from Wikipedia without realising that it was
actually hosted on Commons. This is perfectly reasonable because
Wikipedia explicitly tries to cover up the distinction for normal users.
He then tried to upload his improved version of the image.
Problem #1: He couldn't because it was hosted on Commons. The error
message suggested to use a different filename.
Short-term solution: The message should have mentioned that he can
replace the image on Commons.
Long-term solution: Replacing the image should be transparent. He
should not have to care where it is hosted, it should just be replaced
wherever it is.
Problem #2: He didn't have an account on Commons.
Solution: Fix the single sign-on for good. No more single-site
Now, that's a nice structured message. A pity i see it after the more
cryptic ones on wikitech :)
However, thetre's little to do at commons for your friend.
#1 Short-term is a message to be changed on the wikipedias or mediawiki
#1 Long-term is a feature request for the devs, but i see it unlikely,
as the shared repository might not be a wiki, you may not have
Not that images on commons showed on local projects don't show the link
"Upload a new version of this file".
Problem #3 (and this is the main reason I'm
posting this): Commons
didn't let him replace the image because his account was "too new".
This is completely unacceptable. I am not convinced that this detracts
absolutely any vandals or other malicious users, and it only serves to
prevent honest/legitimate contributions. This restriction results in a
net loss, not gain, of useful contribution to Commons.
Thanks for listening!
New users often want to *upload new files*, not modify current images.
They are also often the most clueless, so not letting them change
existing images until autoconfirmed is a good idea.
Specially because that avoids vandals creating new accounts on commons
and replacing with penis images the ones on article X.
Moreover, the configuration on all WMF sites -not just commons- is to
only allow reuploading images to autoconfirmed users (unless you were
the original uploader).