brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com) wrote:
> Tomasz Wegrzanowski wrote:
>> So, while dictionary-checking sysops' passwords make a lot of sense,
>> there's very little point in limiting passwords of the
> At the moment we don't have a separate switch for sysops, nor any control which
> would prevent blank-password accounts from being made into sysops. I'd rather
> risk disabling a few accounts temporarily than keep the incredibly dangerous
> sysop accounts open (which could be used potenially to great destructive effect).
Could you elaborate on the "temporarily" part ?
I've disabled the ability to use blank passwords on wiki accounts.
For a long time we treated accounts very laxly in this regard; there generally
wasn't _that_ much reason to secure a casual account unless you were one of the
tiny number of sysops.
In recent years though the number of sysops has exploded, and we've added
really annoying if someone gets into your account and messes with them. As a
small concession to security and accountability, it's time for blank passwords
While running some password security checks, I found that a handful of sysop
accounts had blank passwords. Probably some non-sysop accounts also had blanks.
Affected accounts can reset the password by the automated e-mail password gadget
on the login form, unless of course they didn't put in an e-mail.
-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)
Is it a standard Wikipedia procedure to move pages from the Wikipedia
namespace to meta? If so, who has decided this? And is it allowed for
other languages to decide differently?
Andre Engels, andreengels(a)gmail.com
ICQ: 6260644 -- Skype: a_engels
Jovana Milicevic and Goran Obradovic talked in tv show Mozaik(3rd channel of
IT magazine COM&GSM published an article about Wikipedia and Wikimedia
Serbia and Montenegro.
Weekly newspaper Vreme published article about serbian Wikipedia.
Jovana Milicevic speaked in the programe at radio B92 about Wikipedia.
In Youth center Dom omladine Belgrade Wikimedia Serbia and Montenegro, FSN
(Free Softver Network), LUG (Linux User Group) organized projection of the
movie Revolution OS (J.T.S. Moore), and there were almost 200 visitors.
Directmedia, the company who brought us the German Wikipedia on CD and
DVD, has expanded to print publishing, as can already be seen in form of
"WikiPress", a topic-specific series of books.
They just announced that they will publish the German Wikipedia *in full
print*, 100 volumes with 800 pages each, starting with the letter A in
October 2006, to end with Z in 2010.
For this, they hired a few people. The plan is for these "editors" to go
over *the stable version* of each article.
Some of you might have notices a slight problem with this - there is no
stable version feature in Wikipedia. As usual, we have discussed a lot
about the stable version (which is good), and AFAIK most people agreed
that it won't do much harm, depending which version is presented (I'd
consider that consensus, provided we still show the current version
first), and then, in good tradition, did - nothing.
As I said time and again, I don't care if it's my stable version
extension, or Tim Starling's, or one donated by a merciful god, but we
should *use* one, on every wikipedia that wants it. And /soon/. Like
now. Or next week. There's nothing left to discuss, except repeating old
arguments over again.
Millosh, you make an excellent point.
I was looking at the Swahili Wikipedia last night (< 200 articles). Their
featured article is Eritrea, a country in Africa, and someone made the effort
to translate most of the country table.While they do not even have articles
about most of the other countries in Africa, I was thinking about how easy it
would be to add that table to the existing articles like Togo or Ghana, or
even to countries that do not yet have articles, since the table can be a great
source of initial information. I was wondering if I could do it myself, but
obviously, your idea of a bot doing that would be much more effective and less
prone to any clumsy mistakes I might make. As for non-existent articles, I
am sure some of our linguists could come up with the names of those countries
in Swahili as well.
Of course, Swahili is only an example. This can be implemented in almost all
other languages. Thanks for raising this.
User:WonYong, who insisted that the contents of Wikipedia should be
restricted by National Security Law weeks ago (
), claims that copyrighted images can be uploaded to Korean Wikipedia
and Wikimedia Commons, through "quotation policy."
Some months ago, WonYong wanted to upload image files from South
Korean government, but found that they are copyrighted and not allowed
to be uploaded. Now he came up with a new (proposed) policy that
allows uploading almost any image files. His point is that even
copyrighted images can be _quoted_ in Wikipedia articles, just like
citations in academic articles. He says that he won't no longer need
fair use, which he had proposed in Korean Wikipedia before.
South Korean copyright law states that publicized materials may be
quoted for report, research, or educational purposes, within a
reasonable scope. A bulletin board in the Copyright Discussion and
Arbitration Committee website (http://copyright.or.kr/) answered that
this "quotation" article of the bill is not suitable for writing
The problem is that he pushes his policy in not only Korean Wikipedia
but Wikimedia Commons. He says he distrusts copyright.or.kr, and
doubts that other Wikipedians and those in Commons do have "legal
Ongoing discussion in Wikimedia Commons is here:
And the diff is here:
crossposting to wikipedia-l as this is an international issue
as a totally non-en person, admin on other wikis and actually working
"behind the scenes", I would like to give my view on what I believe is
needed, and why an en-admin-only channel and list won't help to the
extent that is needed. This is long, but please bear with me.
Let me try to make this more concrete.
OTRS (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/OTRS) receives a lot (and here I
mean "A LOT") of complaints.
Those range from:
"there's a mistake in this article, please fix it", to:
"You're defaming me, delete this article/those revisions, or I will
sue you!" through
"this page is an enormous copyvio from my site!"
with as Sam Korn already pointed out, various degrees of civility.
The problem is the following:
Only a few people have agreed to help on OTRS. It's one thing to spend
hours editing wikipedia, it's another to want to spend hours alone on
a boring screen answering (most of the time) crazy emails. We have
appealed to the en population several times (why en? because it is the
one most attacked, but actually, other wikipedias are suffering from
the same problem, and as we grow, these will get bigger and more
numerous) and have gotten only very few answers. Fine, I can
The people who *are* working on OTRS are for some "good editors", for
others "better e-mail answerers" than "editors" (me, for example). In
the end, I think anyway that we *will* have to pay someone to answer
those emails. As I speak, there are 280 unanswered emails in the
info-en queue. Probably most of these are spam, but even sorting spam
takes an awful lot of time.
What happens is this: you get an email with a complaint, you go see
the page, realize there's about 2 hours of work on the page, and get
discouraged. Because on one hand, you can't really go "public" with
the complaint (it's, after all, an email, gives personal information
etc.) and on the other, you *know* that something needs to be done.
Here you have two options:
-either you take the two hours to fix the article, but then, there are
still 279 emails to be answered in OTRS.
-or you go to a person you know, who you think could be good at fixing
Here two options again:
-the person you chose to tell does have two hours and can fix the article
-they don't and it gets forgotten
and maybe a third one:
-They don't have the time, go to other people, the "issue" is somehow
broadcasted, makes the front page of USA Today... and you know the
So what's the solution?
I don't think that the solution is en-admin-only anything. I think the
solution is something that would be more like:
- The wikipedia community at large realizes that there *are* problems
with some articles
- The wikipedia community at large *knows* who is: "good at NPOV",
good at "speedy deleting", good at "cleaning histories", good in
"Famous people stuff", good at "sourcing an article".
-The wikipedia community at large *does* agree that something needs to
be done to clean up Wikipedia in a (sorry, but it's true) hidden kind
-The wikipedia community at large decides to "appoint", "elect",
"designate" (whatever suits the wikipedia community at large) a few
trusted users who are reknown for the things listed above and agrees
that they should all get together on one list where the people working
behind the scenes (in OTRS) can just forward the email and are *sure*
that it is going to be taken care of in a timely and discreet fashion.
NB. This list should not be of 800, it should not either be of 20, I
am thinking something along the lines of 50-70 people from all across
the wikipedias (because there are problems that may be repercuted from
one language to the other- see tron for example), admins and
non-admins (I can cite at least 5 people on fr who are not admins whom
I would trust to do that kind of stuff better than many admins).
I am not sure how we can do that without ever falling in the "clique"
type thing. But how different is it from all the "associations" of
every kind that I have come across on en? Not sure.
What I am sure of is this: either the wikipedia community at large
acknowledges the problem and tries to find a solution *together*, or
we'll end up (not tomorrow, but soon enough) by having to "pay" some
"NPOVers", or "history-cleaners", or choose them in a cabal-fashion,
to do the work. Because the work to be done is there and most of it
has to stay a little private.
The idea is to have people who know how to do this stuff (NPOV,
sourcing), who are recognized for doing it well, who can get together
on an article and work together on it when the complaint comes in, who
are ok with doing it as part of their "normal" participation on
wikipedia. The only thing is that their "work" will be a little
directed. ie. "Please look at these 20 articles, that are a copyvio of
this site". They can be tasked with asking people outside the list to
help them etc.
This is what it's all about.
Hope this long email helped a little, and that it will spark ideas...
I am for my part, short on ideas about how to deal with this stuff,
and afraid that some day it will backfire in a much nastier way than
just the front page of USA Today.