Certain recent threads have become very deep and it's hard to find the
needles among the haystacks, so I thought I'd summarize a couple things
and ask a couple questions.
There is some concern that usernames which are difficult to read due to
using a different script from the rest of the wiki (such as a Japanese
name on an English site, or a Russian name on a Thai site) can be
difficult for administrators, and other wiki contributors, to deal with.
For instance it can be hard to talk about some other user when you can't
recognize their name.
There has been some fighting over this issue because some admins on
en.wikipedia.org have taken to outright blocking of non-Latin usernames
on that site so as not to have to deal with the issue.
There is additional concern that this will become a more frequent issue
in the future, as the introduction of a unified login system will make
it easier for people to use their existing usernames they already
registered on other wikis; thus there is more concern about solving the
issue in the near future.
Several suggestions were made in previous threads on ways to make it
easier to recognize and deal with such 'foreign' usernames. In no
particular order, these include:
* Display a user ID number alongside the name
A possible example history line:
(cur) (last) 10:09, 24 December 2006
Brion VIBBER (#51 | Talk | contribs | block) (word to the wise)
This is relatively simple, and relatively culturally neutral, if not
particularly visually attractive.
The ID number could be either the local account number (this is
displayed in Special:Preferences) or, after unified login (SUL) is
introduced, a global account number which would be the same on all wikis.
An example of a site that behaves this way is slashdot.org, which
displays the user ID number next to the username in post headings.
User IDs are possible to use in a few special-page forms that deal with
accounts in part to work around the occasional 'can't figure out how to
pass this username around to people' issue. It may be logical to extend
One thing to consider is that low or high id numbers may indicate
relative age of an account, which may affect perceived prestige or
trustworthiness. This might be considered a useful heuristic, or
alternatively it might be considered anti-egalitarian to display the
number so widely.
* Display a transliteration of the name into Latin or local script
A possible example history line:
(cur) (last) 10:43, 24 December 2006
ホイップ (Hoippu | Talk | contribs)
Transliteration is tricky at the best of times. While approximations
good enough to 'get an idea what you're looking at' might not be
entirely impossible, there is some concern that they will be perceived
as culturally biased or incorrect.
More generally, transliterations would not be unique, and so don't
necessarily serve as well for passing around in links or typing into forms.
* Use easily-changable 'nicknames' more extensively
Possibly combined with a default transliteration mode, this could allow
people using a common primary username to choose a more 'friendly' nick
to be displayed and used more widely in the user interface than the
current nickname option for talk page signatures.
In some ways the simplest implementation of this might be to provide a
way to link accounts, so the software can visibly verify that they
belong to the same person, which brings us to:
* Multiple linked usernames
This is for instance how IRC works; on Freenode my usernames "brion",
"brion_away", "brion_work" etc are linked together so that I have the
same password, and when I'm logged in as "brion_work" anyone can check
and confirm that I really am "brion", not just some random guy who says
he is the same brion.
The upcoming single user login (SUL) system is designed to provide this
linked-account guarantee for *the same name* on *different wikis*, but
there can be some benefit to also demonstrating a linkage between
One example that would be useful is when someone wants to change their
username just because they didn't like their old one very much. Right
now they either just make a new account, which doesn't demonstrate the
linkage provably, or they have to ask a "bureaucrat" to perform an
administrative account rename for them.
There would I think be some benefit to simply allowing people to create
a new name for their account, and have the system say to anyone who
needs to verify it that "yes this is the same user".
In the context of "foreign" usernames, this would make it easy for
people who are active on some other wiki to choose an additional name to
work under which is more friendly to local readers.
Possible concerns include a general unease with the idea that people
might then be _forced_ to choose another name (for instance if their
regular name gets banned on sight), or annoyance with people who might
register many linked names and switch among them at whim, for instance
to fit a mood. :)
Anyway, that's just a few thoughts based on the possible remedies I've
seen mentioned previously and a couple others I haven't.
Please try to keep the flames off this thread.
Nothing is decided for certain yet, and I hope we can all work together
and have a conversation like reasonable ladies and gentlemen.
-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)
Just for a head up (or down)
First, I wanted to announce to all that there will be no more matching
donors in that fundraiser.
This is due to a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, the
reaction of some members in the community.
Second, the fundraiser is not over. It will be over on Wikipedia day. It
may be that at some point in the coming week, we change the site notice
to put links to thank donators etc...
Third, this fundraiser has been the most successful of our history by
far, until now. When we really think about it, it is fabulous. We can do
even better in the last week.
Fourth, we'll go on with limited funds. Limited means we'll go delaying
certain issues. That's life !
I forward this mail from the french mailing list.
To thos intersted by it, it's a research from the « Department of
Psychology II, Industrial
> and Organizational Psychology » Wuerzburg University
On 12/01/07, Patrice Létourneau <patrice_letourneau(a)hotmail.com> wrote:
> Pour les personnes que ça intéresse, je fais suivre ce courriel à propos de
> la première partie de l'étude du « Department of Psychology II, Industrial
> and Organizational Psychology » de l'Université de Wuerzburg.
> Patrice Létourneau
> >From: schroer(a)psychologie.uni-wuerzburg.de
> >To: patrice_letourneau(a)hotmail.com
> >Subject: Results of Wikipedia survey
> >Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 13:25:56 +0100 (CET)
> >some time ago you asked to be notified as soon as results of our survey
> >among Wikipedia contributors are available. There is now a "working paper"
> >on the results of the first part of the study, i.e. our survey among
> >contributors to the German Wikipedia.
> >The paper is available from the following URLs:
> >The paper is now under review for publication, and your comments are very
> >Best wishes,
> >Joachim Schroer
> >Joachim Schroer, Dipl.-Psych.
> >University of Wuerzburg
> >Department of Psychology II, Industrial and Organizational Psychology
> >Roentgenring 10
> >97070 Wuerzburg
> >Phone: +49 931 31 6062
> >Fax: +49 931 31 6063
> Liste de diffusion WikiFR-L (WikiFR-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org)
> Gestion de votre abonnement sur http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikifr-l
> Accessible en destinataire principal uniquement
> > Anthony wrote:
> > 7 months ago, we had a "cash at the end of the year" of 500 000 dollars.
> Plus $78,415 in Google stock. Plus $50,000 in accounts receivable.
> Plus $400,000 in computer equipment and software.
$400.000 in HW/SW? I would not count them, because it's something you can't spend. And that value decreases every day (If you don't buy new hw/sw)
Passa a Infostrada. ADSL e Telefono senza limiti e senza canone Telecom
With all the commotion, with the departures over the sitenotice, with the
infighting on various projects (and between various projects), with the bitter
debates over image policy, I thought it may be a good idea to go back to the
very root of all the Wikimedia projects. It is a simple statement, but what
it says--and doesn't say--summarized the very essence of what we are doing.
"Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment."
Perhaps this should be the yardstick with which we make our decisions. It is
inclusive ("every single human being") and devoted to free content ("can
freely share"), and it defines the parameters of our content ("the sum of all
human knowledge."). It recognizes that this project is still in the works: we
have not finished what we set out to do ("Imagine a world ...")
That's our commitment.
As for what it doesn't say:
It does not say, "Imagine an advertising-free world."
It does not say "where every single person who speaks a English or a
European language ..."
It does not say "share freely unless the unfree content is better."
It does not say "free knowledge and links to where to find out more/buy it."
It does not say "That's what we did."
Let's try and refocus the discussions on what our goals are and how we can
best achieve them. Let's use this as our yardstick.
At present, Wikimedia operates a global spam URL blacklist, which
lives on meta: and is editable only by Meta admins, which blocks URLs
added to it from being added to any page.
en:wp is also getting an imperial arseload of spammers. The people on
the front lines, in the
#wikipedia-spam and #wikipedia-spam-t channels, are finding things
getting very difficult.
At present, getting a URL added requires finding a meta admin, or
adding it to [[m:Talk:Spam blacklist]] and hoping someone will get to
it soon. And of course meta's admin requirements are very different to
those on other wikis.
Obviously, the present blacklist works globally because if a spam URL
shouldn't be on one wiki, then it shouldn't be on the others either.
But it would be nice to have a wiki-specific list as well as the
global list. The upside of this would be being able to respond to spam
much more quickly. The downside is consolidating the lists regularly
and sensibly, which may turn out to be a damn nuisance - regularly is
easy, sensibly requires thinking about every URL added and whether a
local admin has been overenthusiastic in dealing with a spam problem
when a temporary block would have sufficed.
In the long-term, with our growing problems with spam, it's probably
not very efficient to keep
throwing the task onto a few meta admins, and to continually go
through a two-step process to get sites added to it.
wikitech-l: Does this sound workable in our present setup, per
foundation-l: How would we make the local <-> global thing workable?
There's an automatic updater for trusted shared lists ... would that
Hi, I am Yoni, sysop on the Hebrew Wikipedia. en:user:Danny turned to our
village pump last week and updated us regarding licenses that are prohibited
by the foundation (i.e. non-commercial and educational only licenses). We
have been working to comply with his request ever since.
My question is this: We have a custom-made picture license created along
time ago. It reads (I translated it to English from Hebrew):
"This image was created by user:user-name. Free use for educational
purposes, with appropriate attribution is allowed. You may use this image
for any purpose (incl. commercial use) if the usage is given for free of
charge to the wide public, with appropriate attribution."
>From the point of view of the foundation, Is this license OK for usage in
Wikipedia and her sisters?
I just edited the bit on GPL/LGPL. I took out two paragraphs about how
authors should license their works (since this is the FAQ for outside
*reusers*) and rewrote the rest as follows:
GNU GPL and LGPL
The GNU General Public License (GPL) and Lesser General Public License
(LGPL) are computer software licenses and are not usually used for
text or media. However, some content on Commons (e.g. icons or
screenshots from computer programs) is under the GPL or LGPL.
For simple redistribution of such material, including altered
versions, (a) release your version under the same license (b) supply
the source version, i.e. something as editable as what you started
with (e.g. image file, GIMP .xcf file, etc.).
Note that the GNU General Public License (GPL) and the GNU Free
Document License (GFDL) are not compatible with each other. That means
that content licensed under the GFDL as well as content licensed under
the GPL can't be used together simultaneously in the same "work" —
e.g. GPL computer program source embedded in GFDL explicatory text.
However, a GPL image in a GFDL text page is usually regarded as an
aggregation of two works rather than a single work.
Could the professionally legally querulous please comment on this?
It's grossly simplified, but is it likely to mislead?
apperently everybody forgot to mention it in here, so i'll do it anyway,
sorry that it is this late :) Coming friday, that is january 12th, the
Wikimedia Foundation Board is in the Netherlands for a Board Meeting, and
from 20.00h CET on, they will attend to an open WikiMeet. The location will
be the Golden Tulip Hotel (near the Erasmus Bridge), and the meetup will
have no formal character. Of course I hope to see a lot of you guys who are
able to attend :)
Greetings from Holland,