This story from China's official Xinhua news agency was found by ChrisO
and posted to en:'s Village Pump:
The first two paragraphs read:
"When Yan Bincheng wearing a heavy glass mask, a shield to cover his
surgical clothe and two sets of gloves, the Chinese volunteer looked
more like a bio-chemical expert than a doctor from Chinese medical team
In Maputo Central Hospital, the largest public hospital in Mozambique,
Yan with his colleagues must wear these "uniforms" in everyday operation
to avoid unexpected dangers from patients for some of them might be HIV
carrier or even the deadly Wikipedia virus carrier."
That's right, we're worse than HIV folks! Don your masks.
All wikis will be locked for a while tonight to make an up to date
clone of the database so we can get it set up on the new server.
8 February 05:00 UTC == 9pm PST, midnight EST, 5am GMT, 6am CET
Please announce this wherever it seems appropriate!
I'm sorry, I don't know exactly how long this will take, but perhaps
roughly a couple of hours. Maybe less, maybe not. We'll actually switch
over to running the site on the new servers later this weekend if
nothing goes wrong; updates on the old server until then will be
replicated so there shouldn't be any data loss.
(Tech note: we'll just copy the files on the local hard disk since
there's room, then ship the copies across the continent at our leisure
once the main db's running again. This should minimize the downtime,
but they're still really big files.)
-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)
In response to the burden placed on developers in administering sysop access
on the various wikis, and the dangerous nature of manual SQL queries, a new
feature has been implemented, as proposed by Brion and implemented by E23
(Snok). This feature creates a new level of access called "bureaucrat".
Bureacrats are able to create sysops on any wiki, even if they do not have
an account at the target wiki. Thus, the approximately 150 wikis we now host
can be effectively administered. The word "bureaucrat" was chosen because,
according to Brion, "it sounded unattractive, no one will want to fight over
To attempt to get this feature off the ground, I have created a meta page on
the subject, at:
I have also moved the central location for interwiki requests for adminship
from Brion's todo list to
-- Tim Starling
On Fri, 6 Feb 2004, Timwi wrote:
> Ralesk Ne'vennoyx wrote:
> > Menchi wrote:
> >> In case anyone's wondering, the TLD .ws is (Western) Samoa in the
> >> Pacific.
> > It's also as much used by Western Samoans as .to used by Togo people
> > or .vu by... errr, whatever that is.
> My first thought was - the Vulcans? ;-)
> It's Vanatu, though.
And .to is a country code for Tonga (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonga)
not Togo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Togo).
>Mav has been around this Wiki World a little longer than I,
>and has gone to the expense of protecting the wikisource.org
Thanks Ec. And wikisource.org is currently forwarded to Wikisource's temp url.
>His willingness to be a Wikisource sysop should
>be all that is required there.
Same for Ec. The fact that both Ec and I are admins on other wikis is all the
justification needed for immediate promotion upon asking on a new, small wiki.
But I think a major bottleneck is developing at the developer level in this
area. Phase II had an interface for Admin's to promote/demote any user - I
liked that. If this were reimplemented it would save the developers a lot of
time doing this themselves and save the wikis time waiting for approved
candidates to be sysoped.
BTW, both Ec and I have been seconded now.
--Daniel Mayer (aka mav)
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Yahoo! Finance: Get your refund fast by filing online.
Ray Saintonge wrote:
>I have been asking for admin status at Wikisource for some time, and have
>received no meaningful response - either positive or negative. The sink
>there is getting full of dirty dishes, and nobody seems able or willing to
>I would appreciate it if someone would act upon this.
Angela asked me yesterday to make ArnoLagrange, Samuel, Menchi and Yann
sysops on Wikisource, which I did immediately. She also said:
<Angela> Eclecticology also nominated himself, but it hasn't been
seconded. And strangely no one seconded mav
Are you telling me she was mistaken in her understanding of Wikisource
sysopping policy? Should I make Ec and Mav sysops despite the lack of a
-- Tim Starling
Hot chart ringtones and polyphonics. Go to
We're in the process of switching the mailing lists over to the new
servers. The offsite backup mail server was supposed to pick up the
slack while the DNS changes propagate, but apparently there've been
some troubles with it. Sorry for any inconvenience; hopefully
it'll all be working within a couple days at most for those having
-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)
Summary: Current RfA ineffective. Proposed
automated software evaluation of Wikipedia
contributors. only users with high score will be
able to get lised in RfA. Please comment &
The current RfA (Requests for adminship) process
cannot serve Wikipedia anymore. Wikipedia is now
a very popular big site and I am afraid the RfA
process we are using can only support small
Currently 1 user who had less than 100 edits is
nominated. Another user with about 200 edits
In the past, a user who acted in the
"politician's way" requested to become an admin
numerous times: make me admin and I will do this
and that... Of course the request was ridiculous
and nobody was taking him seriously.
Also, on January 12, 2004, a user was nominated
for adminship. A developer promoted the user to
administrator just 21 minutes after the
nomination, even before the response of the
nominated user (a nominated user has to respond
in order to accept or reject the adminship).
Although everyone, including me, supported the
nomination (after he was made an admin!), and the
admin is now good and valuable to the project, I
think the quick developer's action was
unnecessary. I say this, not in order to rise an
issue with the developer (who is useful and
valuable to the project) but only to show that
the RfA process has "holes".
The current RfA ineffectivity has been
demonstrated many times.
One of the main problems of the current RfA
system is that everyone can nominate any person,
many times not for Wikipedia's good but only for
personal reasons etc. Uneducated
nominations/requests are also common and waste
To put it in one sentence: It is very easy for
someone to nominate a user for adminship, or even
I think RfA should be more difficult, so that
whenever someone is listed on it, it will be more
or less sure that he/she is already wanted or
trusted by the community up to some degree.
Requests could be go away. Personally, I prefer
nominations. Or, the policy and the system could
be formulated in such a way that it would be more
difficult for someone to request adminship, than
to be nominated for it.
A semi-automated software system for user
evaluation may be needed, IMO. Just like most
auction sites (eBay etc): Other users will
evaluate a user's edits.
The system will work like this: In Page history,
or in the version differences page, we could have
three option boxes, one textbox and one button,
all under the caption "Evaluate this user's
edit". The option boxes will read: 1. Positive,
2. Neutral, 3. Negative. It will be required for
the evaluator to write a summary in the textbox
and justify his/her evaluation. When the user
presses the button, the system will record the
evaluation in the user's evaluation log. These
logs will be public (accessible via the user's
page), and updated/maintained by the software.
Because abuse is possible, we can have evaluation
moderators. When a new evaluation is submitted,
it will not be written in the user's log until a
moderator aproves it. The log will refer to the
particular edit and article an evaluation was
about, and it will keep some statistics, such as
how many different users made a positive or
negative evaluation. Evaluations which were not
approved by the moderators will be kept in a
separate log but not counted in the "official"
The user's score will be calculated by software
from data gathered from the evaluation log. I
suggest the score's algorithm to pay more
"attention" on recent evaluations. For example,
evaluations one year old can be multiplied by
0.5, evaluations 6 months old by 0.75, while the
evaluations from the past 2-3 weeks will be
multiplied by 1.5. Also, evaluations from
evaluators with a high score will count more in
the final user's score (for example, multiplied
by 1.33). The number of user's edits will be
taken into account, too: The higher edits, the
higher the score. So the score is not simply the
number of positive evaluations, but it is based
on more complex analysis and considerations.
***the algorithm which calculates the score
should be published in wikipedia, written in
simple pseudocode so that non-developers will be
able to understand it***
I suggest that the moderators should be appointed
directly by Jimbo.
There will be a page called "Great contributors"
maintained by software. In this page only users
with a high score will be listed.
In RfA, a user may be nominated for adminship
*only* and *only* iff:
a) he or she is listed in the "Great
contributors" page, AND
b) the user has made at least 500 edits.
Otherwise, the nomination will be automatically
I do not think users with less than 500 edits
should be even considered in RfA.
I ask for comments and criticism on these ideas.
Also, please, suggest your own ideas and propose
the changes you would like to see in RfA. I hope
we can built a better and more efficient RfA
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