On the nl:wikipedia there is a controversy about a troll. This troll has
been blocked repeatedly for a period of an increasing length. This user
is the persona of a known anonymous vandal who has a history of using
different IP-numbers. When he was banned for a week, he started with
sockpupputs. His ban was extended to a month.
In the mean time one user tried to mediate, but made the mistake to
identify to much with one party and not listening to the others. The
discussions both in IRC and on the nl:wikipedia became increasingly
acrimonious. It resulted in the discussion being moved to another
wikipedia and in the mediator being blocked and kickbanned for insulting.
For your information I am NOT involved in this quarrel.
I have however a problem with the fact that a small wikipedia, the
ia:wikipedia (Interlingua) is abused by being the host for a quarrel of
another wikipedia. I think this is unacceptable. I would appreciate some
discussion about this and as much as I hate rules, I think if there must
be a rule to prevent this, so be it.
--- Erik Moeller <erik_moeller(a)gmx.de> wrote:
> It is true that Wikinews is reaching the limits of human scaling. This is
> because we're getting so large that we will soon have to stop listing all
> stories on the Main Page, and will have to use separate index pages
Yep. Such as pages devoted to news in particular nations. We could register
wikinews.us, for example, and redirect it to the U.S. news page on the English
Wikinews. If and when other Wikinews' U.S. news pages get busy enough, then we
could have xx.wikinews.us redirects as well. But wikinews.us by itself should
still auto redirect to the English version (and wikinews.ru should always
prefer the Russian Wikinews even if other xx.wikinews.ru redirects exist, ect
for each nation/primary language spoken in that nation).
> Since I'm the person Gerard spoke about who is going to implement
> structured data functionality over the next 3-4 months, my own resources
> are limited. However, I have offered in the past to act as a development
> task coordinator for the Wikimedia Foundation, and that offer still
For what it is worth you have my support. :)
> Such a task coordinator would prioritize tasks, maintain contacts to
> potentially interested sponsors, and make recommendations on spending a
> certain part of our internal budget on development tasks. He would write
> the basic specifications, try to locate interested developers (both by
> inviting them directly, and by having public calls for tenders), watch
> over the implementation, and decide whether it meets the specs (together
> with the Board and the MediaWiki Release Manager, Brion Vibber).
Sounds more like a Chief Technical Officer to me. If we can't pay you to do
this, then you might as well have a nice title to put on your resume. :) That
would not prevent us from finding a way to pay you in the future for this (if
the board so wishes), nor should it prevent you from working on and getting
paid for development tasks approved by the board in the interim.
> I strongly believe that a combined model of full-time employment for
> people like Brion, and task-based contracts for project-specific needs, is
> the only way forward.
Nod. We certainly have enough money for a couple full time employees and a few
limited term mini contract positions without putting a significant dent in the
overall budget. Whether or not the board wants to do that is a policy matter
for them to decide.
> As for the specific needs Wikinews has, Ilya has already written a bit
> about that. I have a fairly good idea in my head how news feeds could work
> within MediaWiki in a scalable fashion. The question is, are we willing to
> spend the money to get this done?
We have $20,000 budgeted for development projects and/or extra hardware this
What we need is somebody to coordinate spending priorities and have that
approved by the board. A good deal of justification will be needed to spend
money on anything other than hardware so this is not a trivial task.
> Just because Wikipedia sort of works (even though we still don't have peer
> review functionality after more than 4 years), we shouldn't start
> slacking. We have half a dozen active developers at any given time. We
> have hundreds of thousands of users and even more readers. We've tried
> recruiting. Jimbo has given his speech at FOSDEM. There's more we can do,
> but in part due to the growing complexity of MediaWiki, this imbalance can
> ultimately only be addressed with one resource: money.
I've also noticed some fairly obvious vandalism slipping through for days
before being corrected. Our old way of RC patrol is not scaling well by not
letting different users divide the workload.
If I trust a set of users, then why would I need to check a diff they already
checked? And why would their edits show up just as prominently as people I
don't know/trust? Right now there is no way for me to know that somebody I
trust (or trust by proxy) has checked any particular diff. So I either check it
again or miss it in the flood of 20 to 30 edits a minute we get on the English
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I'm close to being out of my depth on some of this discussion, but
perhaps somebody would be able to explain for me. A few people have
raised the possibility that what is technically desirable on one project
may not be so on another.
It seems to me that in some areas, perhaps we could more explicitly
design for different options, where some projects are better suited for
one option and some for another. I'm reminded of the recent debate over
nofollow attributes, where it was suggested that some larger projects
that already fight spam effectively might choose to turn this off. Do we
have a conscious preference for having all sites on basically the same
software configuration? For example, could we get something like dynamic
listing, for which I can see the usefulness on Wikinews, without
applying the same thing to Wikipedia where it might be detrimental? Is
this sort of thing happening already more than I'm aware of? Why would
this not be possible within the MediaWiki framework?
For projects where consistent data structures are most helpful, like
Wiktionary or Wikispecies, I can understand a little why the software
needs *might* ultimately prove incompatible with Wikipedia. With respect
to Wikinews, from my experience there I have yet to grasp why anything
resembling a software fork would be necessary.
Since I'm not familiar with all the details here, maybe these are just
dumb questions. But looking at things only from a distance, the picture
I see makes me want to ask anyway.
--- David Gerard <fun(a)thingy.apana.org.au> wrote:
> > Yes, I think that having chapters in countries in the EU is worthwhile for
> > two reasons - firstly, it helps with donations by providing a tax-relieved
> > method of donating (at least, in some countries), and secondly, it helps
> > foster a sense of community and belonging in the members.
> Thirdly, tax deductions. Fourthly, tax deductions ;-)
Having robust datacenters around the world - each supported by the national
chapter in the nation it is in - also helps to ensure uninterrupted service and
longterm viability of what we are doing. That would make us practically immune
to technical *and* legal issues that would otherwise really set us back if we
had all our eggs in one basket (well, at least until a world government is
established - but the Vulcans won't be landing in Montana for at least a
hundred years :).
So while having all the live master databases in Florida makes great sense now,
I'd like to see us have the capability - if needed for whatever reason - to
turn another datacenter into the the live master. That will almost certainly
have to be done for short periods in the future for technical failures and
major upgrades but may conceivably happen due to legal issues (if the
foundation were to lose a lawsuit and had to surrender its assets, for
example). Same goes for every chapter.
Similarly protecting our trademarks and domains (which are also assets and
worth much more money than all our servers combined) is a more difficult issue
that I'd not like to go into much now (a completely separate trust may be
needed to act as an owner for that; we need to ask lawyers about this).
> > Currently just France and Germany have chapters set up, but we are looking
> > at setting one up for the UK soon-ish. Eventually we may want to form a
> > Wikimedia Europe organisation to liase and so on at a larger level, but
> > for now this will suffice.
Just leave out the word 'foundation' from the UK chapter name, and I'll be
happy (it would be needlessly confusing). 'Wikimedia UK' sounds like a great
name to me. :)
I recently registered wikimedia.us for a future Wikimedia U.S. (or Wikimedia
USA) chapter and saw that the .org.uk was available - now it is not. I hope
somebody we know and who likes us registered it...
> > One this that you may want to look out for is what exactly you can do
> > whilst retaining the special tax status - for example, a UK chapter will
> > not be able to merely blindly collect money for the main Foundation, but
> > instead have charitable aims in and of itself (which might in practice not
> > make a great deal of difference, of course - collecting money for
> > international Internet-based education and learning projects vs.
> > collecting money for the Wikimedia Foundation).
I envision four major core areas that national chapters would be well-suited to
1) Supporting a local datacenter (just a squid farm first, but later a full
datacenter with database slaves receiving updates from the live master in
Florida but fully capable of becoming their own master if needed for whatever
2) Directing social energy into improving Wikimedia projects. A club system
would be set-up under each chapter where a club would cover a metro area. Club
members and different clubs would periodically gather and have WikiJam sessions
at libraries, museums, national parks, universities, places of historical
Imagine a small army of Wikimedians with digital cameras and PDAs descending
into one of these places to extract each available bit of information.
Impromptu WikiJams to cover events in the club's metro area would be very
useful for Wikinews. I think the fun we have from collaborating online will
also manifest itself as we gather data together in the real world.
3) Distribution and popularization of Wikimedia projects within that nation.
4) Also important would be helping the Wikimedia Foundation gather the
resources and help it needs to further the goal of bringing free knowledge to
the world. National chapters would be better-suited to work with their nation's
governments and large companies to help make this happen.
This would allow the Wikimedia Foundation to concentrate on international
issues and coordination - esp getting free content in the hands of people who
do not have access to the Internet. Under this system, grants (including those
from and through chapters - see point 4) will likely one day supplant direct
donations as the major source of funding for the Wikimedia Foundation since
most donation money from readers will go to national chapters (yes, including
This bottom up approach appeals to be greatly.
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Every now and again, there is this issue that has an impact on
multiple communities. These communities can be in the same project (eg
different languages within Wikipedia), they can be communities in
different projects (wiktionary / wikiquote) and they can be
communities that do a different thing in (consumers, editors and
We try to resolve issues by consensus. Sometimes issues are dedided by
power. When a community wants a feature in the Mediawiki software and
there is noone willing to program it, it does not happen. In the
tradition of free software and free content, you can do it yourself or
find / pay someone to do it for you.
When things are to be decided by a vote we start to have another
issue: size. When two distinct communities have opposite views, the
larger community prevails as it is bigger. This leads to situations
that are "democratic". It is also something that leads to
underrepresentation of these smaller projects or is detrimental to the
evolution of the projects. Wikipedia is the biggest of the projects.
English is the biggest community in all of the projects.
Consequently issues with languages like Farsi, Arabic or Hebrew are
not resolved. Positive discrimination of projects like wikibooks or
wikispecies to give them features that serve their need are not or are
not seen to be considered.
I think that given our size as an organisation, we are in a position
to do things specifically for the smaller projects and communities.
This is not democratic but is will boost the potential of these
projects and communities.
As we are in the "business" of providing free information to all, I
think we would further our aims most when, from an organisational
point of view, a disproportional amount of resources were invested in
nurturing the smaller projects and communities.
My question is: is this something we are willing to consider. If we
agree that this is something to consider, what can we do to make this
a reality ??
Well, that was fairly productive. "Let's go down the pub and
start a charity!" JDF has the notes, the below is from memory:
JDForrester has registered wikimedia.org.uk. VampWillow has
set up any number of charitable companies, so will be starting
on the paperwork for this one.
The mission will be nicely open-ended. VW will write something
that should get rubber-stamped by the Charity Commissioner.
Once it's got charitable status, people in England and Wales will
certainly be able to make tax-deductible donations to it. People
in Scotland and Northern Ireland *probably* will.
Angela mentioned we can set up a UK Wikimedia mailing list.
What we spend the money on ... servers are a possibility. Kate
had made some noises about coming to London, but didn't. cc'd to
Kate: what would be good technically to buy in the UK?
James, anything I missed above that's in the notes?
Oh, and our London readers might want to pop down to Maplin in
Tottenham Court Road, who had WD Caviar 160GB/8MB hard disks
for £60 and might still have some.
At this moment I am researching setting up a Dutch chapter. Today I
learned that it is possible for the Foundation to be earmarked as a
registered charity in the Netherlands. There are several things that we
have to comply with BUT, we have to consider if we want to go this route.
* The Foundation has to be benefit the common good in the Netherlands
* The Foundation has to be an organisation that is truly active on a
* There may not be an organisation representing the Foundation in the
As far as I can tell we comply with these. The assesment of Kennisnet of
our importance of our projects for the Dutch educational system proves
the first one. Our aim is to have resources in all languages, we do have
projects supporting languages that can be found all over the globe, our
contributors can be found all over the globe. This proves the second
requirement. There is no Dutch legal entity at this moment associated
We can still have a local chapter. The chapter would however not
represent the Foundation.
When we go this route, we have to provide on a regular basis the yearly
financial statements of the Foundation. Its bylaws should also be shown
to the tax office.
Please give me feedback, is this something that we want. Is this
something also possible in other European countries ??
Neil Harris wrote:
> I agree: there can be many partners, and there's no reason not to be
> partners with many people and organizations. But with the Wikipedia
> brand becoming more and more valuable, and official trademark
> recognition in the offing, there needs to be an official process for
> registration of Wikipedia/Wikimedia partners. In particular, I believe
> that the Foundation will have a legal requirement to defend its
> trademarks Real Soon Now, and not doing so risks losing the rights
> over that trademark and becoming a [[genericized trademark]].
Other organizations identifying us as their partners is not that great
of a threat to trademark status, although it does create some potential
for brand confusion. The scenario in which our trademarks would become
genericized is if, for example, we allow anybody to call some wiki, or
even a non-wiki reference site, a "wikipedia". That's the kind of
situation that would really call for action.
Hi folks, I report hereby Wikiquote project, a multilingual online
open-content compendium of quotations., has currently over 10,000
articles in total with a great pleasure.
According to en:q:Wikiquote:Multilingual statistics by en:q:User:Pumpie,
Wikiquote project has 10,270 articles in its top 22 languages as of
March 25, 2005. It is uncertain what is the 10,000th article exactly.
It took 15 months from its start in December 2003. Currently four
projects (English, German, French and Polish) has more than 1,000
articles. The largest one is English with almost 2,700 articles. About
300 user accounts have been created and there are many unregistered
editors too as same as other projects.
Most of Wikiquotes focus on authors who wrote in their own language
but there are many good translation. English and Japanese Wikiquotes
show a strong inclination to the original text, and many quotes are
accompanied with original texts.
Coordination with other Wikimedia project is a vital part of Wikiqutoe
activities. Wikimedia and Wikisource are referred frequently but also
Wikimedia Commons provides Wikiquote with many images, particularly
authors' portrait. French Wikiquote sets up a good template with a
well-defined description of author and portrait image.
Thank you for your support and contributions.
Aphaea || Britomartis
email: Aphaia @ gmail (dot) com