I am a little taken aback about the eagerness with which Wikiversity is
being discussed. It seems to me that the big questions are what software we use
and what we call it.
Fortunately, Tim, Elian, and others hit the nail on the head with some of
their comments. This whole conversation would be more productive if we were to
discuss things like: who are the students, who are the teachers, levels of
education, course curricula, teacher incentives, structuring lesson plans,
structure of semesters, accreditation, meeting local educational standards (which
are delineated very rigidly), subject matter, interconnectivity between
classes, extra-wiki learning, grading, acceptance standards, why and how a wiki,
etc., etc., etc.
Sorry, but claiming that we are starting something new is little more than a
placebo for a poorly thought out project. Personally, I wish some of our more
academically oriented contributors past and present would be asked to weigh
in on this.
Hi Mav et al
I think the board should do a budget/financial meeting soon. The last one was done a trimester ago, so it is high time.
It seems to me we probably largely differed from our first trimester budget planning (but I may be wrong :-)). If so, I presume it will be due to the various hosting offers we got... In any cases, I think it would be most informative to see where we are going...
We need help from several of you to gather relevant information.
I have been wondering in the past few days if you could provide us an update on our financial situation ? Both general report (quick update on values) and later one of your nice quaterly report on the foundation website would be most welcome... I suppose you will answer me that you did not receive banking statements yet to do so... but I guess Terry could help there more than he could before.
Question for developers :
I'd like us to be informed on a non technical level of the future technical requirements to expect and possibly to be reminded how much we can expect from partners on this. Ie, how much is planned in the future to spend on servers, hosting and so on. I am sure you will answer it is tough to say, I know :-)
I also know Jimbo asked some related question not a long time ago. What did it boiled down to ? Do we have an idea of how much the tech side will cost in the coming months ?
Question for Danny and for those taking care of grants and prizes...
I think we have no grants planned right now (except for wikimania). Am I correct that we should not expect any income in the near future from that direction ?
The general idea would be to try to evaluate how long the money we have in the bank will last... and if we can envision spending some of it on more creative ways than servers :-)
Opinion on this topic ?
Also, depending on what is left, we must think of the time when the next fundraising will be reasonable to do. I suspect it is a bad idea to do it in summer... so, in short, do we need to plan something in june, or will we be able to last till september ?
Related question : if a fundraising is done before summer, will the french association be in time to be part of it ? Is it able to technically receive funds yet or not ?
PS : I must mention that we are currently stuck in a rather ridiculous situation. The french squids needs some RAM... this RAM can only be purchased in a few websites... which refuse american credit cards... so we are currently trying to have it bought by the german association... which legally is not really authorized to do this... so, either the french association quickly has cash to pay for such expenses, or the foundation should have a credit card in europe to take care of such matters... opinion ?
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--- Anthere <anthere9(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
> I think the board should do a budget/financial meeting soon. The last one was
> done a trimester ago, so it is high time.
Yep it is.
> It seems to me we probably largely differed from our first trimester budget
> planning (but I may be wrong :-)). If so, I presume it will be due to the
> various hosting offers we got... In any cases, I think it would be most
> informative to see where we are going...
I was planning on just asking the board to extend last quarter�s budget to also
cover this quarter, since that is what actually is happening. I had hoped that
we would *finally* be able to buy much more than we needed and thus get ahead
of traffic increases but that did not seem to happen. A supplemental budget
could be added along with a supplemental fund drive if needed.
> I have been wondering in the past few days if you could provide us an update
> on our financial situation ? Both general report (quick update on values) and
> later one of your nice quaterly report on the foundation website would be
> most welcome... I suppose you will answer me that you did not receive banking
> statements yet to do so... but I guess Terry could help there more than he
> could before.
You suppose right. :) The problem has been on my end (my fax machine was not
working). As of this week it should be working now, so I�ll remind Terry about
> Question for developers :
> I'd like us to be informed on a non technical level of the future technical
> requirements to expect and possibly to be reminded how much we can expect
> from partners on this. Ie, how much is planned in the future to spend on
> servers, hosting and so on. I am sure you will answer it is tough to say, I
> know :-)
Yes - this is very, very much needed. I asked for a needs/wants/wish list for
the last budget but that never materialized. Thus we brought in a whole bunch
of money with no concrete plan on how to spend it. That is not something I want
> The general idea would be to try to evaluate how long the money we have in
> the bank will last... and if we can envision spending some of it on more
> creative ways than servers :-)
> Opinion on this topic ?
We need some numbers on that first.
> PS : I must mention that we are currently stuck in a rather ridiculous
> situation. The french squids needs some RAM... this RAM can only be purchased
> in a few websites... which refuse american credit cards... so we are
> currently trying to have it bought by the german association... which legally
> is not really authorized to do this... so, either the french association
> quickly has cash to pay for such expenses, or the foundation should have a
> credit card in europe to take care of such matters... opinion ?
We could wire some money to the French chapter�s bank account.
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(Cross-posted on [[m:Talk:Wikiversity]] and briefly summarized on
During and after our visit to the free software conference in South
Africa, Angela and I talked a lot about the Wikiversity project, and the
potential Wikimedia has to develop a truly global, free institution of
learning as a new project.
As you probably know, these discussions are currently focused on
and the talk page.
Don't panic: We're still a long way from launching anything. I'm not
going to push this until we have the server situation under control and
the existing projects have stabilized a bit. Nevertheless, there's one
issue that I'd like to resolve now, which is the naming of the project.
Angela, Jimbo, Daniel Mayer and I agree that the name Wikiversity is
problematic in that it ties the project very strongly to the idea of
traditional universities. This may lead to certain expectations as to
its structure and the services it will provide (e.g. faculties,
degrees), but also limit the project in other ways, e.g., by being
perceived primarily or only as an institution of teritary learning.
I'd like us to look at ideas for primary and secondary education as
well, and I don't want to run into a wall because the established people
of the Wikiversity community will say "It's an electronic university,
this doesn't belong here."
Angela suggested the name Wikisophia.org/.com, which is currently owned
by Peter Danenberg (WikiTeX). I loved the idea immediately: the Greek
sophia means "wisdom", but also has many other meanings in the area of
learning. It is specific enough to be useful and vague enough to not
limit the project very early in its nature or scope.
Peter is willing to give us the name if we push WikiTeX a little to get
it security-reviewed and installed on our servers, which seems like a
fair deal to us.
So, after discussing this in a small circle, I'd like to announce my
intention to move the relevant pages on Meta and edit the summary to
reflect the name change. This does not affect the existing efforts under
the Wikibooks domain which use the "Wikiversity" label, but only any
potential future eLearning/eTeaching project we intend to pursue.
de.wikiversity.org could be renamed and moved to the new domain once it
is owned by Wikimedia.
Thoughts and comments are welcome. Hopefully, we can find a consensus on
this without needing a vote.
> PS : I must mention that we are currently stuck in a rather ridiculous situation. The french squids needs some RAM... this RAM can only be purchased in a few websites... which refuse american credit cards... so we are currently trying to have it bought by the german association... which legally is not really authorized to do this... so, either the french association quickly has cash to pay for such expenses, or the foundation should have a credit card in europe to take care of such matters... opinion ?
We have cash, a few people made promises of donations (what kind of figures are we talking about, btw? 50? 500? 5000? 50000?) . But we don't yet have a bank account, and we won't have credit card, I think - checks only.
So either we have the bank account fast and can pay via checks, or someone provides money and hopes to be refunded by the association...
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As local chapters tend to flourish here and there, I am thinking that
it would be a good idea that we start a new mailing list (yeah, don't
scream ;) ) something like wikichapters-l.
The idea behind this would be:
- Exchange of best practices (how to set up a local chapter, how it
works, what it does, what works and what doesn't)
- Common chapter projects (How can we work together to set up
cross-language and cross-country projects)
Why? for example, we have just been made aware of a very interesting
European programme on the French mailing list (see
for more info), and this should be pursued by all European Chapters
Sending that kind of information to separate language or chapter
mailing list is good, so that debates can go on in a preferred
language, but a "general" chapter list would allow to keep everybody
who's interested in what goes on in different areas of the world
informed at the same time.
I am thinking of an open mailing list, where anyone interested in
cross-cultural and cross-country projects can register, preferred
language English, or at least partial translations in English of
proposed projects/ideas etc.
What do you think? Does is sound necessary? Or should everything be
kept here on Foundation?
Dear Wikimedia community,
please have a look at the following proposal of
collaboration I sent to the Wikimedia board right yesterday.
The board (and myself too!) would like to hear your opinion
on that, before taking a decision.
I would like to specify that such collaboration will have
scientific- and academic-only purposes, without any
Finally, the analysis software we are developing (and
going to apply to Wikipedia data, if the proposal will be
accepted) will be distributed in the scientific community as
Of course, I will be glad to provide you any detail and
explanation you will think necessary.
Thank you for your attention. Best regards,
I am writing to you on behalf of the KDD-Lab (Laboratory
on Knowledge Discovery and Delivery:
http://www-kdd.isti.cnr.it), a branch of the ISTI institute
of the Italian National Research Centre (CNR).
Our group is working (among the others) on a project
regarding the analysis of the logs of web servers, and in
recent days we are working on analysis techniques that seem
to be best suited for "content-rich sites". Our first
thought obviously went to Wikipedia...
We would like to have the opportunity to apply our
analysis techniques to the web logs of Wikipedia. Looking to
the Wikipedia access statistics, we believe that an optimal
amount of data would be the following: (1) the (raw) weblogs
of the English section covering a few days of usage, or (2)
a few weeks for the Italian section.
Do you think it could be possible to start this kind of
Of course, we are willing to provide you all the legal
agreements you will consider necessary, especially those
regarding privacy. And, obviously, we will properly
acknowledge your contribution in any of our scientifical
publications and reports where we use it.
[Addendum: the sensible information in web logs is
essentially located in the "client IP" field ("who visited
that page"). However, for our research purposes such field
is not strictly needed as an encrypted version of it would
be enough, thus avoiding most of the privacy issues.]
Thank you for your attention.
Looking for receiving your answer and opinion, I send you
my best regards,
- Mirco Nanni
--- Anthere <anthere9(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
> I fear I must say the name wikiversity does speak much more to me, and
> wikisophia is confusing. I am not very keen on this name change.
OK - given that along with the other objections, I now withdraw my weak support
for the name change. All we need to do is say, up front, that we will not limit
Wikiversity to college level and above courses; that all levels of learning
will be allowed.
We should also invest in getting those security concerns for WikiTeX addressed.
Not to get a domain name, but because it makes sense to do so in light of the
very strong desire in users to have this functionality.
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.
I am back from my holidays in Marroco. I took less pictures than usual,
because I lost my camera... borrowed my husband one (being less used to
it, I messed a lot of pictures), then run out of batteries in a rather
Well... inch' allah.
I put two of myself on commons. I need to label the other ones. One is
taken in Agadir medina (a nice reconstitution awarded sustainable
tourism), the other in Aglou, 80 km south of Agadir (nothing but big
sand beaches, kids playing football, and women covered from head to
toe), with at best a face visible, at worse, nothing really. One
Anyway, my holidays were real nice...
I did not look at a computer, and made only one use of phone from a
telecabine (amazingly widespread in Marroco).
Two comments related to wikipedia possibly...
First, I met a journalist from l'economist.com over there. A woman. She
was actually interviewing my husband :-) So... I hope we can expand our
coverage over there in the next few weeks :-)
Second, I was invited to a congress, not directly related to wikipedia,
but to my professional background. This meeting is a bit special, since
it is the meeting of women geoscientists in Africa. Took place in South
africa once, in Uganda the second time, Marocco should be third time.
Well, I met two of the organisers, shared oriental danses with them, as
well as 4 nice evenings actually... and here it is.
This meeting is in great part a way of reminding that women can also be
involved in research, or generally in their countries development. I
could join it as my real self (and suggest a couple of good friends
working on soil fertility in Africa to join as well)... but I have been
thinking that a conference on "sharing knowledge", "giving power to
people to educate" and similar issues... might be of interest...
especially if we succeed to make a little bit of PR around that. It
would be a nice mixing of people and communities... as well as great
support of really truely amazing women.
I must say I was very saddened by the condition of women there... in
regression compared to what it was 10 years ago... most of them veiled
(which is okay), but many also quite visibly "hidden" behind the man and
in huge pieces of clothes which left little possibility to move.
I actually had a bad experience one evening as I was walking alone in
the streets, in spite of being very much covered that day, and trying
not to be noticed at all. I managed to go back to the hotel by refusing
to talk/answer, keeping eyes low, trying to pretend I was with other
groups... and navigating from one policeman to the next.
I must confess I found it delightful to eat only pastries at lunch...
but it is unfortunate that I had to stick to pastries due to the fact a
woman alone in a restaurant is just NOT an option.
Anyway... there is a lot to do there and I hope we can participate.
-- Walter van Kalken <walter(a)vankalken.net> wrote:
> I am very sorry to hear all of this happening to you Britty.
Me too. :(
> Unfortunately trolls seem to be very active and winning in a number of
This is not good. Perhaps setting up arbitration committees or something
similar in those projects will help. Jimbo would need to give that type of
thing the authority its needs to function.
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