So, it seems (if I interpret Jimbo's mail on wikitech and the discussion
here correctly) that most of us would like *some kind* of category
scheme in wikipedia. I do, too! But, we seem to differ on the details
So far, I saw three concepts:
1. Simple categories like "Person", "Event", etc.; about a dozen total.
2. Categories and subcategories, like
"Science/Biology/Biochemistry/Proteomics", which can be "scaled down" to
#1 as well ("Humankind/Person" or something)
3. Complex object structures with machine-readable meta-knowledge
encoded into the articles, which would allow for quite complex
queries/summaries, like "biologists born after 1860".
1. Easy to edit (the wiki way!)
2. Still easy to edit, but making wikipedia browseable by category,
fine-tune Recent Changes, etc.
3. Strong improvement in search functions, meta-knowledge available for
1. Not much of a help...
2. We'd need to agree on a category scheme, and maintenance might get a
3. Quite complex to edit (e.g., "<category type='person'
occupation='biologist' birth_month='5' birth_day='24' birth_year='1874'
For a wikipedia I'd have to write myself, I'd choose #3, but with
respect to the wiki way, #2 seems more likely to achieve consensus (if
there is such a thing;-)
I have been amazed at the passions that were stirred up when I proposed that we distribute free fonts.
There have been two types of reaction: Point to a source that has a partial solution, sometimes for money and bickering about the level of handholding that a user may need.
As there is not one golden solution, it is not simple to say spend $$ and you are ready.
It can also become part of the installation of software that goes with a DVD for of-line use. When having enough fonts is needed for the best wikipedia experience, why wouldn't we give a helping hand to our current users and help them in this way ??
<Farnsworth>Good news, everyone!</Farnsworth>
I contacted Michael Connors from www.morguefile.com, a free image
repository, about use of the images on wikipedia. Short answer: Go
ahead! Long answer: below...
-------- Original Message --------
Hey mangus, first off for a site like Wikipedia, you can certainly use any
image photographed by mconnors free and clear of all terms or by-lines and
you have my written permission. The problem is that I don't own these
images, I only have permission to redistribute them. Or at least all of the
images that I haven't photographed. And I wrote the disclaimer myself, which
is why it's so shoddy. (even more so then the coding) You are correct, what
I plan to do is have a lawyer provide us with proper terms. My only real
concern was preventing someone from downloading the entire collection and
finding a morgeufile CD for sale at wal-mart. And I have gotten request from
people who want to just rip off as many prints as they can and sell them at
every street vendor in NYC, in which case I tell them they should at least
stick a calendar on it. If your using the images on a webpage, that's really
not the same- they would be really bad prints. The intent of the site was
definitely to serve sites not unlike wikipedia, so I think you should run
with using the images, I honestly believe the contributors would be tickled
to know there work is being used by your site. Give me another 6 months to
hire the lawyers and we'll have a solid license. For now you can contact the
contributor of a specific photo- I'm sure you won't have any problems
getting permission. Thanks a lot for the advice, it is greatly appreciated.
On 8/25/04 3:43 AM, "Magnus Manske" <magnus.manske(a)web.de> wrote:
> I am writing you on behalf of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
> (http://www.wikipedia.org ).
> I recently found your great site at http://www.morguefile.com and
> thought it would be a wonderful source for images on Wikipedia. However,
> we are a little uncertain about the copyright policy.
> You *do* state that the images on your site are free to use, even for
> commercial projects. The Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free
> Documentation License, the equivalent of the GPL (think Linux) for
> written text. The GFDL allows for commercial use as well, no problem so far.
> But, you also state on your About page "Although selling prints, selling
> the images directly or claiming the photo is yours is prohibited." Of
> course we will appropriately credit the image source, but by "just"
> using an image of yours on our site, someone might produce single prints
> A solution would be for you to co-license all your images under GFDL,
> which would ensure that the information stays free (as in "free speech",
> not "free beer":-) but this is of course entirely your decision. IMHO,
> it would seem to fit the spirit of your site, though.
> Anyhow, if you allow us to use some of your images on Wikipedia, please
> supply us with a short note we can put on the image description below
> the source citing, similar to
> "This image is *not* under GFDL. You are free to use it in any way
> except for selling high-quality versions of it digitally or in print,
> and as long as you cite the source."
> Thank you in advance for your time, and for a great image resource.
> Magnus Manske
The extremaduran language which I refer to is the "high extremaduran"
(probably spoken by some tens of thousands), the one considered to be
the language, derived from the historical asturleonese dialect of latin
(just as the portuguese derive from the galician-portuguese historical
latin dialect, or the spanish from the castilian historical latin
dialect). The ethnologue mixes this high extremaduran, the language,
with the "middle" and "low" extremaduran, already (and since centuries)
What I said is that the castilian dialect of Extremadura is similar
-logically- to the extremaduran language, as the english from Cornwall
is similar to the cornish language - both share vocabulary and some
verbal and phonological features; much more in this case where
extremaduran and the language which absorved it in those territories
(spanish) are from the same linguistic family.
The fala (or galaico-extremaduran) is a galician-portuguese language,
like the galician and portuguese (and by no means a portuguese or
galician dialect such as brazilian), so similar to spanish as the
portuguese or the galician (both with its own wikipedia). The
extremaduran language is so intelligible with spanish as the asturian
language or the aragonese (both with its own wikipedia too).
Every romanic linguistic variety is more or less intelligible to each
other, but there are degrees of comprehension, and one old high
extremaduran without having learned spanish at school has no more
comprehension of spanish than a norwegian understands swedish, or more
than a mother-tongue galician understands spanish (of course they can
understand the languages of the same family, and they usually do, but
they always loose information).
The reason why I said that more than 1.500.000 could use the
extremaduran language is to show the number of people who could be
interested in using it, the people who -like me- speak the
castilian-extremaduran dialect in the provinces of Salamanca, Cáceres,
Badajoz and Huelva (counting with the emigrated probably near 2.500.000
people).Just as one basque would be interested in using the basque
wikipedia, even if he doesn't really speak the basque language, only
because in the castilian that he speaks remains features of the old
regional language, and because of 'regional love', so to say, to defend
the "own" historical language.
But of course I am talking about languages, which by definition are not
mutually intelligible (at least to a good degree). I would never propose
to make a wikipedia in dialectal spanish from Extremadura, or dialectal
spanish from Andalusia or from Murcia, or from the american spanish
(argentinian, mexican,...). That would be an aberration, I have always
struggled with people not to propose such kind of desintegration of the
spanish domain: I speak spanish. Extremaduran spanish. But not
extremaduran. Extremaduran is a language derived from latin (through the
old astur-leonese dialect). I wouldn't accept ever something like
creating the "argentinian language" only because the argentinians may
feel they speak a different spanish, to present an example. And so
wouldn't I with extremaduran spanish. You have in me a defender of the
integration of dialects into standardized languages (so with the
extremaduran language). But of course not of absortion of the minority
languages by the official and important ones.
Anyway, apart from this, I also believe that languages should be used to
communicate with the more people possible, that is why I learned
english. But the fact that the Wikipedia is written in a lot of regional
minority languages of western Europe (where almost everyone learn at
school their country's official language, and many also english) reveals
that Wikimedia also defends the regional languages, because of its
intrinsecal cultural value and because of the attraction that causes in
its speakers (and the groups who spoke it in the past, like in the case
of the cornish or basques), speakers who other way would maybe never
read the wikipedia (if it were only in english or spanish, for example).
You have the example of the catalan wikipedia, which as far as I know
receives lots of articles - and only a few catalan-speakers cannot
communicate in spanish, and I don't think theese ones use the wikipedia
or even the internet...-. So there are a lot of people who understands
spanish and catalan more willing to use their regional language than the
spanish, that is obvious.
So: castilian/spanish of Extremadura (dialectal spanish, or dialectal
english,...) NO. But extremaduran, why not? No doubt there is a line to
be drawn between wikipedia factible languages and not factible ones - we
could say: "we will not start any wikipedias in artificial languages",
or "we will not start wikipedias in death languages", or even "neither
of them, but for the ones actually used" (like the artificial esperanto
or the death cornish, both widely accepted today as present languages).
But who could so easily say that the last two languages of Spain without
wikipedia (the others have it already) don't deserve having it? And,
most important, why? Who could say: this tongue is too similar to
spanish, while portuguese, asturian or spanish aren't?
Sorry for the big mail. Be what it be the final decision, I needed to
explain to all those who have interest about the spanish language domain
the difference between the spanish of Extremadura and the extremaduran
language, almost everywhere in the net confused and mixed altogether
(probably because they share the same name: "extremaduran").
By the way, the region of Extremadura is following a programme of
massive computer acquisition for public institutions (as a consequence
of the money saved in software, due to the use of Linex, a kind of
'Linux from Extremadura'), what makes more and more accessible the
internet to those old high extremadurans from little towns who speak the
language and have a lot of time to use the www.
[For more information on the extremaduran language actual domain you can
visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain#Languages ; for still more
information on the extremaduran language and the extremaduran spanish
dialect you can visit http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme%C3%B1o ,
where it is clearly distinguished between both - the high extremaduran
and the rest. The Spanish Linguistic Organization Proel.org also has a
good map and some information at http://www.proel.org/lenguas.html . The
ethnologue information obviously mixes information about the
extremaduran language and the extremaduran spanish dialects, with a map
of the administrative region of Extremadura, and not actually its
>A year later, ''the apple is a fruit'' had become a
>real article. The pirannah affect was born.
I must admit, something called the "piranha effect" prompted a rather
different image in my mind. Instead of an effect produced by editors
swarming to a new article and improving it, my first thought was of the
current discussions on en: about the problems with Votes for deletion.
The concern there is that perhaps the swarm devours and destroys, and
not just destroying articles (some of the articles warrant destruction),
but also sometimes damaging people's self-esteem and the community
I suppose most swarms that I can think of in nature tend to be pretty
destructive (locusts, sharks, wasps, crickets, etc.). Perhaps we should
consider that we've accomplished a lot just in being able to generate
positive results from swarming behavior at all. We may not be perfect at
harnessing the swarm yet - sometimes the "smart mob" reverts to being a
plain old mob - but it's pretty impressive nonetheless.
The french wikipedia just made it to 50 000 articles
I must say... I cheated, so as to ensure I would do
the 50 000 article :-)
I prepared a collection of stubs and saved them in a
row at the right moment :-) The trick was to save the
right article for the 50 000...
When I first edited the french wikipedia, it was
mostly a collection of stubs, perhaps 5 serious
articles and 100 stubs. Then months after months,
articles got better, more complete. And while they
grew, more and more contributors started complaining
against stubs, which they judge dishonest toward the
readers and not worth for the project.
In summer 2002 (the wikipedia was still in the first
version of the software then, so there was no notion
of namespaces, and about 700 pages all included), a
new editor joigned, Tim (Athymik). Tim has now left
Tim often wrote stubs; he wrote many in human biology.
One day, he wrote a stub, which could even be called
substubs, the most famous of which was the article on
The '''apple''' is a [[fruit]].
This one, and with it, several other articles on
fruits (the pear is a fruit etc...) was really
After Tim wrote several of those, some people
protested (definitly, me included).
A reference of this discussion is here
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discuter%3APoire (this is
the discussion page of the pear).
The article on the apple is now here :
A year later, ''the apple is a fruit'' had become a
real article. The pirannah affect was born.
Tim throw a few bits on a page, and the other editors
ate them. I think that "the apple is a fruit" became a
Later, Tim grew tired of Wikipedia, and after he
dropped his sysop status, he left. I regretted him,
because we both played a lot having anonymous funny
exchanges on Wikipedia.
Today, I made as the 50 000 article, la n�fle, the
The medlar is a fruit.
The expression "Des n�fles" also means in french
"something of little value"
Just as a stub is in itself of little value.
In doing this, the stub-n�fle, I wished to remind
editors that if a stub has nothing very exciting, it
is a start. Our collective additions give our common
project its value.
I also wished to remind that even if Wikipedia is
quite young, Wikipedia also has an history. And I
wanted to thank all those who brought quite a lot and
who are now gone, such as Athymik and so many others,
who left some memories, who left content and who are
Thanks to all of them for what their participation.
I'll see what the n�fle article is in one year from
now. Hopefully in 10 years :-) Hehe.
Les plus anciens se souviendront de cette histoire que
je vais vous relater. Il existait dans les temps
anciens un contributeur nomm� Tim. Tim est parti
depuis de long mois maintenant, mais il fut un
contributeur important � une �poque.
Dans ces d�buts, la majeure partie de l'encyclop�die
�tait constitu� de stubs (je pourrais probablement
dire que le projet comptait environ 100 stubs quand je
l'�ditait - anonymement - la premi�re fois. Au cours
des mois, les articles se sont am�lior�s enrichis. Et
de nouveaux contributeurs se sont mis � ronchonner
contre les stubs, jug�s peu dignes du projet.
Un jour, Tim �crivit une s�rie de stubs, � la limite
de l'indignit�. Un de ces stubs fut celui de la
[[pomme]]. Je vous invite � voir l'article de l'�poque
Apr�s que Tim eu �crit plusieurs articles du m�me
genre, plusieurs personnes protest�rent (dont moi, car
en effet, ce genre de stub ne m'enchante pas). Vous
trouverez une petite r�f�rence ici :
poire ayant subi le m�me outrage que la pomme).
L'effet pirannah �tait n�. Tim jeta en pature quelques
miettes, et les autres �diteurs firent le reste.
Presque deux ans plus tard, vous pouvez lire ce qu'il
deveint de la [[poire]] (certes moins belle que la
pomme). Voir ainsi [[Wikip�dia:Effet piranha]].
Puis Tim s'est lass�, et, apr�s avoir quitt� son
statut d'admin, il est parti. Je l'ai regrett�, car
j'aimais jouer � l'�diteur anonyme avec lui (jeu
En recr�ant comme 50 000 article la [[n�fle]], j'ai
voulu � la fois rappeler aux m�moires que, m�me si un
stub n'a rien d'excitant, c'est un point de d�part, et
que nos ajouts collectifs donnent sa valeur � notre
projet commun. J'ai voulu aussi rappeler que m�me si
jeune, Wikip�dia a d�j� une histoire, et remercier
ceux qui ont d�j� beaucoup apport�s, et sont partis,
comme [[Utilisateur:Athymik]] ou [[Utilisateur:Curry]]
(suspendu en plein vol), ou [[Utilisateur:Tibo]] ou
tellement d'autres, qui sont pass�s, qui ont laiss�
leur trace, et qui sont repartis. Merci � eux et �
vous tous :-)
Do you Yahoo!?
Win 1 of 4,000 free domain names from Yahoo! Enter now.
-------- Original-Nachricht --------
Mathias Schindler <neubau(a)presroi.de> writes:
>Dear Ms. Stagnitta,
>thank you for your reponse. There were lenghly discussions on several
>places in the Internet. May I quote you
I just re-read what I originally sent to Al Fasoldt in the recent
Post-Standard column. I'm afraid I do have egg all over my face.
Another great illustration for my students about reviewing what they
have written in an email before they hit send.
I'll probably regret saying this... this is what got me in trouble in
the first place, but... you may quote me. I thank you for forwarding
this to the ongoing discussion.
While I was not happy with the way the column was worded (especially the
title), I take responsibility for the way it was interpreted by Mr.
Fasoldt. I did say in a direct quote to him...it appears that "the
Wikipedia is not an authoritative source. It even states this in their
disclaimer on their website." What I was discussing was the difficulty
we all face in determining the authority of information found on a web
source. In particular... what steps can the average student use to
determine the authority of a website for research, if at every turn,
there is no author, no sponsor, or very long disclaimers that state the
content may or may not be valid. I commented that I thought if he was
going to recommend Wikipedia to his readers, that he should comment on
how the site was created. Specifically, that the Wikipedia was different
from the old fashioned print encyclopedia that his casual web surfing
readers may be used to.
The message was NOT... do not use Wikipedia as a source.... or that
Wikipedia is not an authoritative source. The message was that the
best thing about the web (the sharing of information and ideas) can also
make it harder for the average high school student to make a judgement
call when checking the authority of a source used for research.
I'm sorry if this generated controversy over the authority of the site,
this is NOT what was intended. It just illustrates the problem. It
has generated some wonderful discussions though. Another great thing
about the web!
Susan E. Stagnitta
> No it is not since the Commons is a common place to host data and files
> are used by more than one wiki. It therefore helps to bind us together,
> divide us.
It was my understanding that Wikispecies is to be a common place to host
species data that is used by more than one wiki. So why doesn't Wikispecies
help to bind us together?
> Les plus anciens se souviendront de cette histoire que
> je vais vous relater. [...]
J'espère que cela ne te gêne pas que je l'ai traduit en allemand et l'ai
envoyé à la liste de diffusion allemande. :-)
Merci de cet histoire, Anthère; je le trouvais très intéressant. Dommage
que je ne peux pas vérifier si mes stubs allemands auraient été
améliorés; ils étaient tous éffacés.