I sent the below included inquiry to wikitech-l regarding
Now almost a month later I still have received no response regarding
the status of
this test deployment. It is is still not active on the test site, —
has literally gone on for months.
As far as I can tell this is one of the most significant initiatives
on English Wikipedia as of lately— in that it has site wide impact and
the design and decision of the configuration was the work of hundreds
of people, including a reworking after the WMF staff refused to
implement the initial decision which only achieved almost a decent
majority support, for lack of sufficient community support. Now that
the plan has been improved and the support is overwhelming a commitment
to roll with this plan was made but no progress appears to be being made.
Inquiries have been met with silence.
I believe the community expects and deserves a greater level of
responsiveness from the staff of Wikimedia.
What I'd like to know—
What is delaying this deployment?
What is a reasonable expectation for the timeline in implement
community chosen decisions?
How can communication be improved so that the communities high
priority implementations aren't ignored for weeks and even months by
How can the people who care about this help see it through to completion?
What does this say about the enormous strategic projects initiate
when Wikimedia is already failing to meet its commitments on high
impact community initiatives?
Thank you for your time and consideration.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell(a)gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 7:21 PM
Subject: Re: [Wikitech-l] flaggedrevs.labs.wikimedia.org Status?
To: Wikimedia developers <wikitech-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 7:17 PM, K. Peachey<p858snake(a)yahoo.com.au> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 7:02 AM, Platonides<Platonides(a)gmail.com> wrote:
>> You know, when you point to a broken page, people^W wikipedians tend to
>> do absurd things like fixing them :)
> I was going to fix some up, but import is restricted and i was too
> lazy to do copy/paste imports.
Ehhh. It don't know that it makes sense to spend effort manually
fixing pages on a test project. If the import procedure is not
working right it should be improved...
In any case, I'm sorry for the tangent. The main intent of my post was
to determine the current status:
Is the import finished?
When will the configuration changes for flagged protection be turned on?
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
This Thursday, October 1, 2009 between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM PDT (UTC
16:00 and 17:00) Rand Montoya, Wikimedia's fundraiser will be joining us
for office hours. Rand will be online to answer your questions
and talk about the role of fundraising for the Wikimedia Foundation and
the upcoming Fundriaser.
The IRC channel that will be hosting Rand's conversation will be
#wikimedia-office on the Freenode network. If you do not have an IRC
client, you can always access Freenode by going to
http://webchat.freenode.net/, typing in the nickname of your choice and
choosing wikimedia-office as the channel. You may be prompted to click
through a security warning. It's fine.
Volunteer Coordinator, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
PS: I'll be sending a follow up email to start a thread to discuss the
times of the office hours.
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In a message dated 9/27/2009 5:51:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> I disagree. I think the priority is to have the full
> resolution pictures of Public Domain works.
> That seems to be a demand to have the highest resolution copies possible.>>
I was assuming what this meant was, If we find this image on website x and
it's a reproduction of a public domain picture/painting, then we could
simply copy it.
The request (or demand) if you will, is internal, not against the producer
of the image. That is, you don't need to *demand* the site owner do
anything, you can simply copy the image, without even informing them.
Checkusers in Russian Wikipedia abused the 'checkuser' rights (for
example linked to me unrelated edits from open proxy with marasmic
vandalism -- create marasmic attackpages-like topic on «Request for
Administrators» about Kalan, obviously with a view to Kalan thought
that I was a degenerat-pəderast); also mail send to Wikimedia
Such decisions are very bad name in the wiki projects.
Hello, I think this is worth a larger audience. Yann
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Commons-l] a heads-up on Wikimedia France's adventures with
the French cultural authorities
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 18:51:12 +0200
From: David Monniaux <David . Monniaux @ free . fr>
Since its foundation, the French chapter has attempted to reach out to
French cultural institutions, such as museums, and incite them to either
put their images under free licenses, either allow photographers that
contribute freely licensed pictures to take photographs in good conditions.
At first, to be frank, we got the cold shoulder. At the time, Wikipedia
was demonized by the French media, calling it a cesspool of amateurism,
plagiarism, a danger to the youth's intellect, and so on. In addition,
certain members of the cultural establishment were at the time attacking
Google and other big American sites, pushing their own solutions.
Things might be changing though. In 2008, I represented Wikimedia France
before a commission tasked with proposing new policies to the Minister
of Culture regarding the reuse of public cultural works. The Ministry of
Culture is in charge of most national museums and monuments (e.g. the
Louvre, the Versailles Castle...) and its agencies have large
collections of photographs - but these are copyrighted by the agencies
and available under unfree licenses.
Our position was as follows: unfree licenses may in the short term allow
cash-strapped government agencies to earn some money from selling
photographs to publishers, but in the long run they are
counter-productive, because media, publishers and important sites such
as Wikipedia, worldwide, prefer free and easy to obtain photographs to
photographs that they need to purchase from unfamiliar foreign
institutions, and thus French cultural institutions would lose visibility.
We gave the example of aerospace activities on Wikipedia, which are
overwhelmingly illustrated by US government pictures, which somehow
convey the impression that countries outside the US do nothing in this
field. We pointed out that museums such as the Smithsonian Institution
were putting up content on FlickR, and that it was inevitable that
publishers and other people that want an illustration from an artist
would prefer getting one from FlickR rather than ordering one from the
French museums. In contrast, if French museums would release pictures
under a free license, they would get free publicity - imagine what it
would cost them if they wanted to advertise their exhibitions on
Wikipedia (if Wikipedia accepted advertisements), whereas they can get
publicity for free simply by the attribution of the photographs!
Note that it is not out of ill will that museums and other institutions
refuse to release pictures under a free license. There are some legal
difficulties involved - sometimes they do not own the rights to the
pictures (only in 2006 it was established for sure that rights to works
done by civil servants as part of their duties belonged to their
employer; also, they sometimes employ private photographers), and
besides, there are tricky issues with so-called "moral rights" that may
render certain aspects of free content licenses illegal in France. Also,
public institutions are pressured to make some money by themselves.
I had written a memo, which I gave to the commission.
This August, I received the report from the commission, with an
associated letter from the Minister of Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand,
stating that he endorsed the findings in the report. This report
advocates many changes that we approve:
* stop trying to make insignificant sums of money - instead release as free
* cut the red tape - authorizations for reuse of content should be
centralized to competent, professional services, rather than be
decentralized to many institutions most of whom do not have the
technical, legal and financial infrastructure to deal with them
* collaborate with free content sites such as Wikipedia - more on this.
http://david.monniaux.free.fr/pdf/rapport_culture.pdf (scanned version)
http://david.monniaux.free.fr/pdf/rapport_culture_ocr.pdf (OCR version)
The cultural services are reluctant to release pictures under free
licenses. When I met them, they expected that it would be possible to
"negotiate" with Wikipedia and get an exemption from this requirement. I
explained to them that freedom was not negotiable. It was, I think, very
surprising to them that Wikipedia, an amateurish organization, would
dare say that to the Government!
I proposed a way out: release lower resolution pictures under free
license, keep high resolution pictures (those suitable for art books,
posters and so on) proprietary. The suggestion has been retained by the
commission - even though they still seem to toy with this idea of
In the meantime, the National Library of France (www.bnf.fr) announced
it was entering negotiations with Google for digitizing their content.
This would announce a sharp change in policies since when Jean-Noël
Jeanneney was head of the library - Jeanneney had written a book
denouncing Google's hold on the world.
I seized the occasion to make our point of view heard. On Wednesday
September 16, I published in op-ed column in the national daily
Libération, explaining that our cultural policies on were
counterproductive - rather than fight the "American cultural invasion"
as their proponents suggest, they actually reinforce this invasion by
making French content invisible on the Web - because it is kept proprietary.
*** This is, I think, the first time such ideas were exposed in the
mainstream media. ***
Since the report called for renewed contacts between the Ministry and
free content sites, I wrote to them thanking the Minister for sending
the report and telling them that we are at his disposal for further
discussion with his services.
We are trying to keep up the "buzz" on these issues - see the Heritage
Just to avoid misconceptions:
I do not expect that anything will change soon in the policies of French
cultural institutions. It is extremely difficult to change the policies
of large, traditional organizations unless there is a strong political
will to do so - and I do not think that putting up free content online
is a national priority.
My foremost goal is to get the ideas of free content and free access
across, to the common public and to the people in charge.
This is not so easy, because there are many misconceptions about what
Wikipedia is about. For instance, contrary to what is often implied by
the media, Wikipedia is not a free-for-all where anybody can do anything
anytime - but many people believe it and thus are horrified by such a
pandemonium, and because of this, they simply won't listen to what we
say. Simply overcoming such misinformation is already considerable work.
It took us years to be considered respectable enough to be heard by
officials, and to get a short op-ed printed in the press. This means
that in the meantime, myself and others (Florence Devouard, Pierre
Beaudouin, and so on) had to go to many meetings, whose outcome many
often just have been that people that did not know us would then see
that we are not dangerous anarchist teenagers or raving idealists, but
sensible, responsible folks.
http://www.non-violence.org/ | Site collaboratif sur la non-violence
http://www.forget-me.net/ | Alternatives sur le Net
http://fr.wikisource.org/ | Bibliothèque libre
http://wikilivres.info | Documents libres
Also, checkusers in Russian Wikipedia abused the 'checkuser' rights
(for example linked to me unrelated edits from open proxy with
marasmic vandalism -- create marasmic attackpages-like topic on
«Request for Administrators» about Kalan, obviously with a view to
Kalan thought that I was a degenerat-pederast); also mail send to
Such decisions are very bad name in the wiki projects.
This is more of an issue for foundation-l than wikitech-l.
On Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 12:40 PM, Ferrer <admin(a)some-day.org> wrote:
> Also, checkusers in Russian Wikipedia abused the 'checkuser' rights
> (for example linked to me unrelated edits from open proxy with
> marasmic vandalism -- create marasmic attackpages-like topic on
> «Request for Administrators» about Kalan, obviously with a view to
> Kalan thought that I was a degenerat-pederast); who can I write about
> this? Ombudsmans on Meta?
> Such decisions are very bad name in the wikiprojects.
should be addressed to the Ombudsman commission. Information on how
to contact them is available on Meta-Wiki: