> WikiReaders are an invention of the German Wikipedians,
This is false. "Simple English Readings in SUBJECT" were being written on the Simple English Wikipedia before they appeared in German. They covered such subjects as Cosmology & Health, and were designed to be useful as staged readings for people who were learning English - proceeding from simpler to more complex articles & vocabulary. Some "Simple English User Stories" were included, a standard technique to illustrate some ways in which the articles might be used by real developing-world end users. So, what happened to all this? Vandalism, basically:
These were unilaterally deleted by "User:Angela" as part of a "clear cut" of policy issues and staging and other material that was clearly directed towards developing-world users. Bad policy decisions were made, such as failing to recognize the most common 2000 words as a desirable threshold (this is the threshold used by idiom dictionaries which are explain English culture, there is no evidence that any FEWER words suffices to overcome cultural biases - sticking to fewer words will always create interpretation errors and so is suitable only for the most basic subjects). These too were made by Angela. The deletions may or may not be visible in the log of the Simple English Wikipedia since they occurred around the time that it changed software from usemod to mediawiki.
These readings should simply be undeleted, and Angela banned from any involvement. She certainly has proven to be capable of generating unlimited hostility in any project, in large part due to this kind of behaviour. However she is not the only one abusing powers:
> to fund such a reader (on the subject "Internet"), primarily for the Wizards of OS
>conference in June
is obviously an abuse of donated funds. The people who attend this conference certainly do not have any need whatsoever for printed copies. They need no subsidies of any sort. It is a fairly transparent attempt to appeal to an already over-represented audience on an already over-covered topic and so further bias Wikipedia away from users in need. It is particularly disturbing that funds would be abused this way given the following goal:
>Jimbo has also publicly stated that he wants to use foundation money to
>bring Wikipedia into the third world:
>"The day will come when I will put out the call for funds to distribute
>paper copies of Wikipedia to every child in every third world country in
>the world. This, too, is our mission."
If this were in fact genuinely the mission, then other Simple English material regarding the demographic and linguistic profile of all potential users/readers, required vocabulary, and cultural issues would also not have been unilaterally deleted by User:Angela.
This "call for funds" is in bad faith as long as there is no practical plan or parameters for the creation of these "paper copies", no integration with NGO work in those countries, nor even an independent board to supervise the material and free it of the editors' cultural bias. Until such an independent board exists, expect strong resistance at every level to such a plan.
>It seems like good stewardship to announce our intent to use donated money
>in this fashion beforehand.
It would be better stewardship to actually study the needs of the users you claim to want to serve, to direct work towards topics that are actually relevant to their lives (not yours), and put yourselves in an editorially subservient position to those that understand those needs and work in those regions. It is unacceptable to solicit donations to replace work that has already been contributed, or print botched copies produced without any serious attempt at assessing the language and topic needs of the actual end users of the "paper wikipedia" you propose. And why should it be in English? This is just more cultural bias and imperialism, akin to the University of Nebraska's printing of textbooks for Afghanistan in the 1980s that stated math problems in terms of hand grenades and dead infidels. That at least had the merit of being obvious. While Wikipedia's articles on "Gross Domestic Product" that contain not a hint of criticism of that measure, and on "Easter Island" that have
no links to "deforestation", despite being the prime example of that phenomena, are deliberately from a neoclassical economic perspective, the same that people riot to oppose in the streets in Argentina.
The day may come when they are rioting against the distribution of an English Wikipedia. That will certainly occur if the project is governed as it is at present.
It is the worst kind of hypocrisy to promote the potential for such a developing world focused project on the one hand, but sabotage every sincere effort to move it forward. If you think that you can create and distribute something that meets only your own standards of relevance and neutrality in the developing world, you are certainly stupid. This is the only warning you are likely to get before the backlash against your practices becomes unavaoidable, and sinks your plans to send your English-culture-centric pro-neoclassical-economics high-consumption-lifestyle biased propaganda to helpless folk.
You could always change your organizational culture, but that would require you to admit that many "trolls" are absolutely right, and your working assumptions are totally wrong - and that most of you who are involved in "the foundation" are not qualified to work on this.
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On wikipedia-l, Ed Poor raised the question of PhatNav (one of the many
sites that copy us) calling itself "a Wikipedia". As Jimbo indicated,
this is something we need to guard against, otherwise we risk losing
trademark protection for the Wikipedia name.
This brings up again the issue of whether we should start registering
trademarks belonging to the Wikimedia Foundation. Without necessarily
resorting to threats of legal action, I think it would be far more
effective if we can tell people "Wikipedia is a registered trademark of
the Wikimedia Foundation" instead of just "Please do not use the name
Wikipedia on your website as if it was the name of your encyclopedia".
Trademark registration is something people will recognize and respect.
They will generally respond more quickly, and they will be more likely
to comply, even if the person notifying them is not in an "official"
The filing fee for a trademark application is US $335 (I'm assuming we
would start by registering in the US). We should at least consider
registering trademarks for Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote,
Wikisource, and Wikibooks. Granted, with our current financial resources
it may not be practical to try and register all of our trademarks in
every country we reach. But US registration is an important start, and
would facilitate international registrations later. Given the exposure
we're getting, I think registering Wikipedia as a trademark is
Peter Jaros wrote:
> On Apr 29, 2004, at 1:32 AM, Michael Snow wrote:
>> Pepsi would probably try all kinds of things to make you stop, but
>> I'm much more skeptical about whether they could win a lawsuit.
>> Trademark protection is normally denied for terms that are merely
>> descriptive of the goods or services involved. I'm not a trademark
>> examiner, but my conclusion would be that "light, crisp, and
>> refreshing" are simply descriptive terms, so they can't be a trademark.
> Sort of like "fair and balanced?"
Trademark protection is not available for merely descriptive terms, or
for deceptively misdescriptive terms. So regardless of whether you
actually believe this particular network's slogan, it shouldn't be a
As it turns out, "fair & balanced" is a registered trademark (actually a
service mark, since news broadcasts are a service and not a commodity).
One thing I neglected to discuss is that descriptive terms can become
trademarks if they acquire "secondary meaning". This pretty much means
that the term becomes so closely connected with the product or service
that the public automatically associates the two. You may note that I
have been coy about identifying the owner of this mark, but I expect
that most people reading this have already recognized that it belongs to
Fox News. I think that illustrates my point about secondary meaning, and
gives Fox a decent argument for trademark status.
Anyway, this prompted me to look up whether Pepsi has actually filed
"light, crisp, and refreshing". Well, they have, but only as part of the
Diet Pepsi logo, and in this filing they disclaimed any exclusive right
to use "light", "crisp", or "refreshing" aside from the logo. I don't
think Pepsi would have a good argument, because when I read the phrase,
I don't immediately think of Diet Pepsi. But Pepsi does have a
registered trademark for "SO LIGHT. SO CRISP. SO REFRESHING."
I've set up Wiktionaries for all 146 languages that have a Wikipedia.
There's known teething problems, however they should be good be working well
enough now for people to get started. The most important problem is that
many languages have a project namespace of "Wikipedia" (or the
transliterated equivalent), but the interface messages point to
"Wiktionary". I suggest that for the time being, people should put pages in
the real Wikipedia: namespace, and set up redirects from the Wiktionary:
pseudo-namespace where necessary. Wiktionaries with no language file, or
with language files which use $wgMetaNamespace, do not suffer this problem.
The MediaWiki namespaces have been copied from the associated Wikipedias,
with the local term for "Wikipedia" replaced by "Wiktionary".
To request adminship or bureaucratship on the new wiktionaries, go to:
I've set up a few basic kinds of interwiki links, which may be expanded or
modified in the future. The "w:" prefix should link to the Wikipedia in the
same language. Language prefixes link to other language Wiktionaries. To
link to a different language Wikipedia, use [[Wikipedia:xx:Page]].
This brings the total number of wikis to 298. There's a few technical and
administrative changes which occurred to make this happen. Stewards should
know that they can change the rights of users on the wiktionaries by
appending "wiktionary" to the language code, e.g. "Tim
Starling@frwiktionary" . Wikis such as sources and sep11 can now only be
accessed by appending "wiki", i.e. metawiki, sourceswiki, quotewiki,
sep11wiki and textbookwiki.
Another change is that the English Wiktionary has moved from wiktionary.org
to en.wiktionary.org, bringing it into line with the rest of the
wiktionaries and with Wikipedia. There are redirects of course, so links
won't be broken. The only links that were broken during the construction of
these wikis were images uploaded to the English, French or Polish
Wiktionaries. The directory layout was rearranged to minimise the overhead
-- Tim Starling
When I joined Wikipedia more than 2 years ago, I
remember much unhappiness due to lack of information
of some parts of the project. For those who may not
have this memory (omg, I feel old in saying this),
lack of information lead to a fork. Though a fork is
certainly very unlikely these days, I believe the
growing feeling that fair process is not respected, is
bad for general spirit.
I remember that situation improved a lot, partly
because mailing lists were reorganised, partly because
meta became multilingual, and mostly partly because
people made an effort to
1) give information and
2) give it at the right place
3) discuss things before deciding it (or at least gave
people the opportunity to discuss it)
Sorry to say that, but I think we are on the bad slope
again. And I think we should seriously think about it.
Typical signs which I believe show information flow is
broken again ?
-> I hear people complain on irc
-> We start mail crossing again in an attempt to
restructure mailing flow
-> Things are learned again, not by regular channel,
but by personal information network.
Couple of points
* I think that software improvement should follow
needs, not the reverse. It may be either because
there is open and pressing request from users, or
because there was a suggestion and a developer had a
great idea. But it is curious that soft improvements
are made without users knowing (ie, without the
improvement been mentionned elsewhere than on
wikitech). Could soft improvement be mentionned on
wikipedia-l then ?
* When a soft improvement is done to fit legal
requirements, please, could it be discussed on
foundation-l to check if that complies with the legal
* When a hardware update is being done, please, could
it be announced on wikitech, or on meta, so that when
users wonder what is going on, there is something else
to answer than "no idea"
* When a change is made in the purpose of donations,
could it be mentionned on foundation-l (rather than
only on en:) so that all projects could change the
initial purposes given by Jimbo ?
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I have just come across the user page of
a troll who has today challenged the right of
Wikimedia to seek charitable donations outside of
He says he has done research finding that the
foundation is breaking the law, and appears to have
groomed "potential complainants" to file lawsuits
against the Wikimedia Foundation in their respective
states. I'm no legal person, so could anyone tell me
whether what he is saying is correct, whether anything
needs to be rectified, who he really is (in terms of a
user), and how he can be dealt with?
- Gabriel Beecham / Kwekubo
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Toby Bartels wrote:
> Dan Carlson wrote:
>>Toby Bartels wrote:
>>>Have we tried telling them "Wikipedia is a trademark
>>>of the Wikimedia Foundation" yet?
>>Like so many others, IANAL, but I've seen statements to the following
>>effect: "(term one) is a trademark, and (term two) is a registered
>>trademark, of (company name)." So there's definitely a difference.
>For example, according to a bottle on my colleague's desk here,
>"diet PEPSI" is a registered trademark of PepsiCo ("®"),
>while "LIGHT · CRISP · REFRESHING" is merely a trademark ("TM").
>But try marketing /your/ soft drink as "light, crisp, and refreshing".
>If you don't respond to their inevitable order to cease and desist,
>then they'll register their original phrase, sue you, and win!
>(OK, so IANAL, but I'll still bet that they'd win.)
Pepsi would probably try all kinds of things to make you stop, but I'm
much more skeptical about whether they could win a lawsuit. Trademark
protection is normally denied for terms that are merely descriptive of
the goods or services involved. I'm not a trademark examiner, but my
conclusion would be that "light, crisp, and refreshing" are simply
descriptive terms, so they can't be a trademark.
"TM" is a symbol anybody can use to claim something is a trademark. No
registration, or even application to register the trademark, is
required. So this is a classic example of the difference between
registered and unregistered marks.
Pepsi has plenty of money, and could certainly file a trademark
application for "light, crisp, and refreshing." So why isn't it
registered, when "Diet Pepsi" is? Probably because Pepsi hasn't filed an
application, and doesn't want to, since their lawyers realize there's a
good chance the Patent and Trademark Office will refuse to register it.
First, I apology for breaking the thread. Gname is not
working for me for wikipedia-l and foundation-l, and I
know not why.
"A" == Anthere
A> So, tel me if I understand well, to comply with
the gfdl the
A> best we can (and we already know it is
problematic), what you
A> suggest is to list first the real name
A> by pseudonymes, then by ips.
OK, so, this feature is on its way with 1.3. I'm less
the GFDL than with the Creative Commons
Attribution-style licenses, by
the way, which is what Wikitravel uses.
I'm not sure if this feature will be enabled on any of
projects, or how. My main concern is to make it easy
redistributing Wikitravel content to conform to the
requirements of our license.
First thanks for the detailed answer.
I am not sure current editors are requesting to have
the names of authors in the wikipedia page, nor on a
printed page. Why could not the requirements be on a
separate page for the online edition, just by clicking
on a link located at the top of the page ? The author
page could list the last editors and all the others
ones, and that would be a neater list that current
On a printed version, is it best as well, to add 5
names and last authors at the top of articles ? Or
could we just not propose at the end of the
special-for-print page, precisely a list of authors
and the last one.
We should provide the list for legal requirements, but
our names are only important for legal issues, not for
readers. We are not so important individually, as to
be listed at the top of articles, especially since we
know that it is quite subjective to list these 5 names
as five authors.
I understand the proposition to list in order, real
names, pseudonymes and ips. It is much cleaner and
easier to read.
Now, I have another question. Why asking in the
preferences the real name of the editor ? What is that
point of it ?
*If people want to edit under their real name, they
can create an account with their real name. They do
not need two areas, one for a pseudonyme that is their
real name and another for the same real name
*If they do not want to have their name displayed
everywhere, they can have a pseudonyme and place their
real name on their user page
*If they do not want their real name to be displayed
at all, they just have a pseudonyme.
What is the sense to have a pseudonyme to hide a real
name, if the real name is displayed in the
contributors list to an article ?
Why the second field ?
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