When I was appointed Developer Liaison in July 2004, Brion was on a
wikibreak of indefinite duration, and I was the second choice. The roles
are now reversed -- I've decided to concentrate on my academic work for
a while, and Brion is as active as he ever has been. Thus, I am
resigning as Developer Liaison effective immediately. This position
should be filled by someone able to give their full attention to the job.
This should not be construed as an indication that I intend to stay away
from Wikipedia for a longer period, it's merely a reflection of the
present situation. Those who know me would be aware that I'm not
particularly power-hungry, hence I'm not calling this a "temporary
resignation". I'm happy to take my turn, and if need be I'll return to
this position later by the ordinary process.
-- Tim Starling
The "Wikinews and Blogs" chat was a big success with plenty of varied
participants from the blog and wiki worlds. Lots of interesting ideas
were exchanged, including Wikinews support for blogging tools, licensing
issues, RSS, and a potential shared space for citizen journalists from
different projects. If you missed it, you can read the log of the
I'm looking forward to more open chat events like this one. Thanks to
everyone who made it possible.
Hello Wikipedia people,
My name is Craig, and I would like to make a proposal. I did make an honest
effort to follow all the instructions correctly, but I dont feel I got it
right. If I did something wrong please let me know, so I may resubmit. I had
particular trouble posting to the Content pages in category "Proposed
projects", something did not seem right.
Well, here it is.
*Link to proposal on mailing list: [http://mail.wikipedia.org/]
*Naming suggestions: ElectroWiki Wikitronics Wikital
*Domain name: Electrowiki.org
*Scope: A place to gather international standards for electricity, electronics,
and robotics. Instead of paying large sums of money to the IEEE and ISO for
access to their standards.
*Details: Electronics and electrical Wikipedia. This project will grow as
student contribute and use it as a resource for studying electronics,
alternative energy, and robotics.
*Proposer: Craig Topham
*People interested joining:
Students of Lane Community College Electronic Technology Programs. Eugene,
http://edt.epsfh.com/electrowiki/index.php (just starting, very, very much just
starting, not even a zygote)
The following is the beginning of a discussion on Wikisource. This arose
when the contributor sought to have some pages deleted as part of a
rearrangement of the material.
> "Lista Wildsteina" is a hot subject in Poland these days - it's a list
> of people who used to collaborate with former secret service agencies
> or were their victims, that's why it provokes various unwanted
> reactions - it can't be exactly stated who was a secret agent and who
> was a victim. After it is published here, possibly by Ausir - a
> registered user - you should put a protection log on all its parts so
> that people won't modify it. Consider it, please. With regards, Selena
> von Eichendorf <http://wikisource.org/wiki/User:Selena_von_Eichendorf>
> 12:32, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
> The above description leaves me very concerned about whether we
> should have this kind of material at all. My first impression is
> that it is a list of people who are alleged to have participated
> in certain kinds of wrongdoing. In the absence of further evidence
> I would consider this material a defamatory and libellous attack
> on the people listed. It is effectively a long series of personal
> attacks, and contrary to Wikimedia policy on that basis. The
> Wikimedia should have no role in the spreading of this kind of
> thing. I cannot comment at this time about what implications the
> material might carry under United States law.
> Secondarily, there is no indication about who produced this list,
> and whether the author has released the material under GFDL.
> Eclecticology <http://wikisource.org/wiki/User:Eclecticology>
> 07:31, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The subject has already generated considerable controversy on the Polish
Wikipedia, though I do not understan Polish so I am unable to follow
that discussion. The material that has been placed on Wikisource after
a brief explanation in Polish is a list of names accompanied by what
seems to be a file number for each..
I believe that publishing this kind of material (assuming that I have
interpreted what I see correctly) is utterly wrong in every respect. If
the effect would be to make Wikimedia complicit in any kind of revenge
against these alleged collaborators, we would need to share the guilt
for whatever form such revenge might take.
Unless I am advised that I have completely misinterpreted the material I
propose to delete it all beginning tomorrow evening.
The Main Page on en: was vandalized yesterday, when a penis image
remained on the page for many minutes. It was vandalized again today
-- a goatse image remained there for almost /20 minutes/.
Today it happened during a particularly slow time of the morning,
around 14:35 UTC, perhaps in combination with other use of the site
that slowed it down. It was noticed quickly, but it took a good 17
minutes for it to be successfully deleted once the problem had been
announced on IRC, by the seemingly-omniscient Jimmy Wales.
While everyone was fretting over the site's slowness, a few problems
* There was no one-click way to remove or delete an image
* There was no packaged way to shut down all access to the site in an emergency
* There was no packaged way to quickly redirect all visitors (to en:,
say) to another site or page
* There was no way to bring the site[s] to (or restart the site in) an
'emergency mode' that only allowed limited access (say, by logged-in
** Even had there been such a way, there were few (only 1-2) people
with shell access who would have been able to run shell scripts, and
it took an extra minute or two to get someone's attention.
* There were a limited number of ways to reach the collection of devs
to let them know there was an emergency.
This was not the worst emergency in the world, so the last point in
particular was not as big a deal as it might have been.
1) Documentation: write down a standard way to quickly block all
incoming requests / take down a site in an emergency / put up in its
place a try-back-soon message or redirection to a static snapshot (see
2) Code: add an 'emergency mode' that redirects all visitors to a
static read-only snapshot of the site taken once a day
2.1) Code: add a text-only mode that only produces text
2.2) Code: add a one-click (js widget?) option [maybe 2 clicks with
some kind of pop-up confirmation that doesn't require rendering
another whole WP-page] so that even when the site is very slow, evil
images can be deleted in under 15 minutes
2.3) More Code: add a different 'emergency mode' that only allows a
limited set of users [logged-in users? users on a specific list?] to
use the site.
3) Code + Image Policy: add an IMAGE REVIEW step that imposes a time
delay (or requires user approval) before an image can be displayed
live on a page [until then the image could still be linked to via an
4) Offer pagers <s>and implantable homing devices</s> to devs who are
going to be in the vicinity of computers anyway and are willing to be
on-call for certain parts of the day; something more reliable than the
blinking of an IRC window.
1), 2), and 3) seem important to me. 2) also has useful
implications for periods of deep sloth, and for taking things down to
make changes. 3) addresses many problems we are having, not just on
the main page.
Please comment or suggest implementations.
When I go to a library, I don't ask for a book. I ask for books on a
specific subject. When I go to a university, I don't just ask to do a
degree. I get one in a specific subject. The whole basis of education is
"subject-specific works". That is how universities divide themselves up:
different schools run independently but under the broad "brand" of a single
The Wiki Foundation is your broad brand.
If Wikibooks is "a place to build just about any non-fiction reference book
with, and this is critical, a finite end size (if you want to explore a
subject area in more detail than that, start other books). The 'finite' part
excludes potentially huge or even practically infinitely-sized things such
as a general quote book, dictionary, or encyclopedia." There is immediately
an exclusion since there are, potentially, an infinite number of different
types of businesses. Take a walk down any main street in even the smallest
town and the number of different businesses present runs into the hundreds.
I'm also not too sure about "They have limited potential in terms of both
readers and participation." In developed countries business owners spend a
vast amount of time networking and studying up on how to run their
businesses. There are a large number of organisations catering to this
market (Business Network International, Entrepreneur Magazine, for
instance). In the US 80% of people work for a small business - an
individual or partnership owned concern - as compared to an institution
owned by shareholders. There are millions of business owners. Even in
South Africa there are about 10 local magazines catering to the market.
The reference section in your local bookshop seems to be swamped with
business books. And, here's the interesting part, most of them deal with
business only in the most general of terms. There are very few books on
specific businesses - mainly because most writers are consultants in general
employment. Publishers are uncomfortable producing specific books for the
general market. The information does exist. In the heads of entrepreneurs
and NGO's (such as mine).
Take a search on any of the weblog groups and see just how many are
dedicated to business owners asking each other for advice (e.g.
http://www.livejournal.com/users/entrepreneurs as a tiny sample).
If you would like it to be inside Wikibooks, that is fine - but it does need
a clearly defined entry point; a clear set of "rules" regarding presentation
of information and a definite understanding of what business is (and is
Even the simplest explanation for how to run (for instance) a farm producing
maize is going to be lengthy.
We don't go looking for food, we go looking for something specific. We
don't want to watch just sport - we want something specific. Services are
getting more specific, not less. Only a specialist can offer insight into
the specialised needs of their clients. A librarian is not a business
consultant. This doesn't mean that the techniques of libraries can't be
used to present disparate information.
Erik Moeller wrote:
> Daniel Mayer schrieb:
>> And you are not in a position to go against the will of any wiki user
> That is your opinion. In my opinion, it is the will of the Wikimedia
> community as a whole which counts. Wikimedia is a global project. It's
> not up to the French Wikimedia community to decide by majority that
> they don't want Wikinews, unless they have France-specific reasons for
> not wanting it. And I am supported in this both by policy and by
> statements of the Board to this effect, when I asked them this very
> question two months ago. Yes, I asked the Board whether we should
> treat the French Wikinews differently from the others because of the
> way the vote went, and the answer was no - I can document this with
> IRC chatlogs if necessary.
Yes, please do. Some of us would very much like to know why this was so
clear to you, based on your communications with the Board, and
apparently not clear to Anthere, given that she is part of this same Board.