(this is an announcement in my capacity as a volunteer.)
Inspired by a lightning talk at the recent CEE Meeting by our colleague
Lars Aronsson, I made a little command-line tool to automate batch
recording of pronunciations of words by native speakers, for uploading to
Commons and integration into Wiktionary etc. It is called *pronuncify*, is
written in Ruby and uses the sox(1) tool, and should work on any modern
Linux (and possibly OS X) machine. It is available here, with
I was then asked about a Windows version, and agreed to attempt one. This
version is called *pronuncify.net <http://pronuncify.net>*, and is a .NET
gooey GUI version of the same tool, with slightly different functions. It
is available here, with instructions.
Both tools require word-list files in plaintext, with one word (or phrase)
per line. Both tools name the files according to the standard established
in [[commons:Category:Pronunciation]], and convert them to Ogg Vorbis for
you, so they are ready to upload.
In the future, I may add OAuth-based direct uploading to Commons. If you
run into difficulties, please file issues on GitHub, for the appropriate
tool. Feedback is welcome.
For a few months now, 15 French-speaking Wikipedia editors, supported by
Wikimédia France, have been working to design a Massive Online Open Course,
to learn how to contribute to Wikipedia and discover more about the way it
The WikiMOOC lasts for 5 weeks (with 2,5h of work/ week, including the
duration of the courses). You can check out the project page on Wikipedia
The registration for this WikiMOOC opens today, on the FUN  platform
(powered by the Ministry of Education and Research, in France) !
The courses will start on February 22nd, 2016.
Do not hesitate to share this information to all French-speaking
communities you might know of. Please, note that it is possible to stay
tuned via WikiMOOC's Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Here is a short trailer about the WikiMOOC in French :) Enjoy ! 
Please, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions,
Jules Xénard jules.xenard(a)wikimedia.fr
in case you don't know, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeCell is a
single-player card game, that became popular after being included in
some versions of Microsoft Windows. Now, the English Wikipedia entry about it
used to contain during at least two times in the past, some relatively short
sections about several automated solvers that have been written for it.
However, they were removed due to being considered "non-notable" or
Right now there's only this section -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeCell#Solver_complexity which talks about the
fact that FreeCell was proved to be NP-complete.
I talked about it with a friend, and he told me I should try to get a
"reliable source" news outlet/newspaper to write about such solvers (including
I should add my own over at http://fc-solve.shlomifish.org/ , though the
sections on the FreeCell Wikipedia entry did not exclusively cover it.).
Recently I stumbled upon this paper written by three computer scientists, then
at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev:
* There's some analysis of this paper in this thread in the fc-solve-discuss
The solver mentioned in the paper can solve 98% of the first 32,000 Microsoft
FreeCell deals. However, several hobbyist solvers (= solvers that were written
outside the Academia and may incorporate techniques that are less fashionable
there, and that were not submitted for Academic peer review) that were written
by the time the article published, have been able to solve all deals in the
first MS 32,000 deals except one (#11,982), which is widely believed to be
impossible, and which they fully traverse without a solution.
Finally, I should note that I've written a Perl 5/CPAN distribution to verify
that the FreeCell solutions generated by my solver (and with some potential
future work - other solvers) are correct, and I can run it on the output of
my solver on the MS 32,000 deals on my Core i3 machine in between 3 and 4
Now my questions are:
1. Can this paper be considered a reliable, notable, and/or Encyclopaedic source
that can hopefully deter and prevent future Deletionism?
2. Can I cite the fc-solve-discuss’s thread mentioning the fact that there are
hobbyist solvers in question that perform better in this respect - just for
"Encyclopaedic" completeness sake, because the scientific paper in question
does not mention them at all.
Sorry this E-mail was quite long, but I wanted to present all the facts. As you
can tell, I've become quite frustrated at Wikipedia deletionism and the hoops
one has to overcome in order to cope with them.
[Verification] - one note is that all these programs were not verified/proved
as correct by a proof verifier such as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coq , so
there is a small possibility that they have insurmountable bugs. Note that I
did write some automated tests for them.
Shlomi Fish http://www.shlomifish.org/
What Makes Software Apps High Quality - http://shlom.in/sw-quality
The three principal virtues of a programmer are Laziness, Impatience, and
Please reply to list if it's a mailing list post - http://shlom.in/reply .
Today the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees voted to remove one of the
Trustees, Dr. James Heilman, from the Board. His term ended effective
This was not a decision the Board took lightly. The Board has a
responsibility to the Wikimedia movement and the Wikimedia Foundation to
ensure that the Board functions with mutual confidence to ensure effective
governance. Following serious consideration, the Board felt this removal
decision was a necessary step at this time. The resolution will be
This decision creates an open seat for a community-selected Trustee. The
Board is committed to filling this open community seat as quickly as
possible. We will reach out to the 2015 election committee
to discuss our options, and will keep you informed as we determine next
Chair, Board of Trustees
After reading an interesting related discussion on GenderGap, I have
queried the top 10 users of the thanks feature last month, on both the
English Wikipedia and Commons. Snapshot image attached and report link
Perhaps someone might think of a suitable barnstar and award these
folks for "being nice"? :-)
P.S. This is a long query to run, taking 20 to 30 minutes due to the
nature of the logging tables. However if someone wanted to make a
monthly summary on-wiki somewhere, part of an active "be nice"
campaign, I would be happy to set up an automated monthly report (if
someone discovers this is already reported somewhere, that's cool we
can use that).
The 30-post soft limit for this email is not being applied. I recall
in the past that individuals were warned and even put on moderation;
ensuring that no individual overwhelms this list with their one
viewpoint. I raised this with the list moderators on 4th December, but
have yet to receive a reply.
Anyone interested can check the figures for the last two months:
* November - one person posted 39 emails to the list
* December - the same person has posted 33 times so far
Can the list administrators please make a New Year resolution to start
warning all users exceeding the 30 post limit, and to apply long term
moderation if they persist in pushing their viewpoint aggressively
If anyone thinks the 30-post limit is an unreasonable expectation,
then they are free to test the waters with a proposal to make it 40...
Hey folks :)
I'll be doing another office hour to talk about all things Wikidata.
As usual I'll give an overview of the past 3 months and what's ahead.
It'll be in #wikimedia-office on Freenode. It'll be on January 21st at
17:00 UTC. For your timezone please see
Lydia Pintscher - http://about.me/lydia.pintscher
Product Manager for Wikidata
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24
Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg
unter der Nummer 23855 Nz. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das
Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.
Dear Wikimedia colleagues:
In response to feedback about the grants process
that identified a gap in support for organizations and groups with annual
plans that are not part of the FDC process
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG>, we on the WMF's Community
Resources Team created a new pilot process for Simple Annual Plan Grants
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Simple>. These grants are for
groups and organizations that need funds for operating and program expenses
up to US$100K (or its equivalent in another currency).
This process has been developed in partnership with a committee of eight
who make recommendations about each grant application, which are then
approved by WMF staff. I would like to recognize the outstanding work of
our inaugural committee: Addis Wang, Anders Wennersten, Kiril Simeonovski,
Kirill Lokshin, Ido Ivri, Nataliia Tymkiv, Pete Ekman, and Sydney Poore.
Besides producing four quality recommendations this month (found on the
discussion pages of the four applications
they've done invaluable work to define how this new funding option will
work, and offered constructive and supportive feedback to the applicants.
I also want to recognize and congratulate our first four grantees:
Wikimedia Czech Republic, Wikimedia Eesti, Wikimedia Espana, and Shared
Knowledge (user group in Macedonia). Each grantee did an outstanding job
engaging during every phase of the grants process, and we are confident
that each is preparing for an amazing year in 2016. Many thanks to all of
the dedicated volunteers and staff at each organization that made these
quality applications happen, including Bojan Jankuloski, Jan Loužek, Kiril
Simeonevski, Kaarel Vaidla, Luis Ulzurrun, Santiago Navarro, Vojtěch Dostál
and the volunteer boards and supportive community members at each of these
Finally, thank you to our colleagues Janice Tud, Siko Bouterse, Stephen
LaPorte, and the WMF finance team, for supporting these grantees behind the
scenes. Thanks to Katy Love, Kacie Harold, and the entire Community
Resources Team, past and current Funds Dissemination Committee members,
current and past APG applicants, and particularly Ravishankar
Ayyakkannu, for sharing their ideas and experiences leading up to this
idea. Special thanks also to Tony Souter and Bence Damokos for their
substantial feedback during the early phases of the pilot's development.
Are you interested in learning more about how the new funding option could
work for your group or organization? Please Email me to start a discussion
about your organization's application, and read more about how to apply
Applications will be accepted throughout 2016.
Best wishes and congratulations to all our colleagues who received grants
in 2015, or helped to improve the grants process!
Helpful links for Simple Annual Plan Grants:
*Apply here: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Simple/Eligibility
*About the program: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Simple/About
this is my first post to this list. I think Wikipedia is a great project
and am impressed by how well it works. It seems the (lack of) funding of
the project is one of the more severe threats to its continued success.
Since (I assume) the biggest cost is the maintenance of servers, I wonder
if there are there any plans of making Wikipedia decentralised.
Let me elaborate. I'm thinking of a system where many users each would
store a small part of the encyclopedia. A user wanting to look up or edit
an article connects to another user who has a copy of that article. When an
article is updated the update is sent to all other users (that are online)
responsible for storing that article.
Are there any efforts to accomplish this? Would it be feasible?