Given the recent recovery of the database, and the work to fix the performance
problems experienced earlier this year, it may be time to think again about the
issue of rewarding WikiMedia developers for their oustanding efforts on our
behalf. Their achievements are considerable. I don't believe that anyone has
ever before run such a popular website on so small a budget. They have been able
to scale a rough-and-ready technology to accommodate phenomenal growth.
I have read the ongoing discussions about the subject. The idea of bounties for
specific projects has been mooted, but has not taken off. Part of the problem is
that there appears to be considerable confusion as to what it is the developers
actually do. Their most critical work is not actually development at all; it is
keeping the system running smoothly.
Software development is quite a creative and rewarding activity. The MediaWiki
codebase is reasonably well documented, and it is actually quite accessible. It
would not be hard to find new people to fix bugs and develop new features. But
given the maturity of the software, there is not much that really needs to be
System operations, on the other hand, is an exhausting, frustrating and largely
thankless activity. It relies on a few key individuals who have deep familiarity
and expertise with the current setup. When things go wrong, the pressure on
these people becomes enormous.
I propose paying a bonus to those developers who make substantial contributions
towards the running the of system. Someone who works 40 or more hours over the
course of a week would receive $400 (US) for their efforts. Someone who works at
least 20 hours would receive $200.
Is this a fair recompense? No. It is way below market rate. But it might help
out a student who would otherwise have to wait tables to make ends meet. And it
would be a nice "thank you" to anyone else: it could pay for a mini-break, or a
night on the town.
What do you think?
Hi everyone, recently, in various forums throughout Wikimedia, there
has been much discussion about the appropriateness of certain content
on Wikipedia, particularly sexually and medically explicit photos.
There has been some agreement that, rather than participate in
self-censorship, this problem could be dealt with at a technical level
by allowing downstream users of Wikimedia projects to control for
themselves if such content is removed, hidden (linked) or shown by
Your technical expertise on how this might be implemented is more than
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
I keep getting "Error 400" for the German wikipedia. One of about five
attempts goes through, though. Example at
which doesn't seem to work at all.
What's going on?
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (MingW32)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Thunderbird - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Jakob has asked me to write a tiny script, which can be called from the
commandline to add (or to prepend) an arbitrary text to a wiki page. The
script is for mediawiki 1.3.11 (which uses wpEditToken instead of
wpEdittime to detect edit collisions)
php editpage.php "Pagename" "A new text, created by ~~~~" "edit summary,
Code on request
I thought this would be a good forum to bring up some interaction
design problems with Wikipedia.
These are some of the problems I found as an active contributor who
also happens to be an interaction designer.
1. Wikipedia shows only the last edit of an article in the watch list.
This leaves the writer no clue of the edits that took place from
his/her base lined version. (Base lined version will generally be the
user's last edit on the article.). Some kind of visualization
technique on all the edits only can give the writer a sense of the
course taken by the article.
2. Too many entries in watch list make it very difficult to clear them
on a day. Some kind of prioritization needs to be done...like ignoring
the minor edits...or flagging
a. the articles which are more prone to vandalism or
b. an article where some real interesting edits are happening or
c. articles on which some of your trusted buddies are working on...
3. When you work on more than a few articles, it is very natural that
you might find a same set of people working on those or similar
articles. Wikipedia could encourage collaboration by allowing me to
watch any articles edited by my buddies. (Of course, only if my buddy
agrees to it, which I would think he would, for it is a chance for
both of us to write a quality article.)
4. When you start with an article, it is very probable that you would
be interested in editing related articles. e.g.: If you start with
Satyajit Ray, you might be interested in editing/reviewing the
articles for Bengali cinema, or Mrinal Sen or Italian Neo-realist
Cinema or the Apu Trilogy. One simple heuristic that could help meet
the similar goals would be to allow the user to watch all the articles
that link to a particular article or watch all the articles that have
been manually grouped as categories. The feature "Related Changes"
tries to do something similar, but lists the changes to the articles
listed only on your watch list.
I believe that encouraging people to collaborate better and giving
users better idea of how articles are changing over time would help
Wikipedia improve the quality of articles tremendously. Guess what?
Interaction Design can bring a real difference again.
"The real topic in astronomy is cosmos. Not Telescopes."
Hi, attempting to access it.wiktionary.org where I am admin I receive
the note: The connection was refused when attempting to contact
Trying to access other wikimedia sites including en.wiktionary. org,
scn, nl etc. I don't have problems - so what could be the problem?
Thanks for any hint!
In the HEAD (1.5) version of updater.inc, function
do_logging_encoding(), it is looking for the file
'maintenance/archives/patch-logging-title.sql', which does not seem to
CVS shows that Brion checked in the patch. Anyone know where I can get
the missing file?
Hi, I am new to using MedaWiki, and when I try to make a sysop from this
I get the following text:
"Error: could not submit form
This form is used by bureaucrats to turn ordinary users into
administrators. Type the name of the user in the box and press the
button to make the user an administrator
*User "Bob" could not be made into a sysop. (Did you enter the name
I am using MySQL and phpMyAdmin if that helps any. Runs fine for me
except for this problem. Thanks.