Wikiversity:Colloquium

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Contents

UploadWizard[edit]

UploadWizard is a MediaWiki extension that greatly simplifies the process for uploading files to a MediaWiki wiki. To see the UploadWizard in operation, visit Commons:Special:UploadWizard. In order to activate the extension here at Wikiversity, we need community consensus to do so. Please discuss as needed and then reply to this thread and indicate Symbol support vote.svg Support or Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose the addition of this extension. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:28, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support - I've used upload wizard on commons and found it easy and efficient. As I recall it also allows us to specify fair use images and provide appropriate licensing information before the upload can occur. This may help us to obtain proper licensing per image at the time of upload or prevent upload without licensing info. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 02:13, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Some administrators should be responsible for the local importations in fair use as it needs some licensing skills (did you know that we can publish the Eiffel Tower photos unless it has been taken during the night because of the light system copyright?) and Commons:Special:UploadWizard is forbidding the fair use.

Apart from that every other media should be hosted on Commons to allow our courses to be translated and benefit to the Commons licenses templates, huge categories and licensing specialists. Moreover when we copy some images from one wiki to another the image can change behind our back, as its local name can be identical as the Commons one.

That's why I propose my bot to migrate at least our 3,773 Category:Public domain images as I did for the French Wikiversity (please see Commons:Commons:Bots/Requests/JackBot).

Sorry for my late answer Dave Braunschweig and Marshallsumter. JackPotte (discusscontribs) 08:42, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

If JackPotte is correct and the Upload Wizard cannot be locally modified to allow Fair Use images then I agree; however, migrating our Public Domain images to Commons may not be a good idea. Deletionists on commons may cause the loss of some of our images which creates more work here to re-upload them as Fair Use. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 12:04, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
To me they are separate issues. The current process and the UploadWizard are two different approaches to *how* content is uploaded. Neither one controls *what* is uploaded. Either one can ultimately be controlled by filters and/or a bot to manage the content.
Regarding the proposal that we should be Fair Use only, in theory I agree. In practice, however, it presents problems. Content is often deleted from Commons without adequate notice here. It's happened to me, and it frequently happens to Marshall.
Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:08, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support As long as non-free use files are not locked out. As to migrating all our free use files to Commons, this is an idea with no benefit and much harm, as we have seen. Commons files have been used here, they stand for years, and then they are deleted on some obscure technicality, which may have been necessary or not (Commons uses the Precautionary principle, but may take years to apply it, and then it's applied quirkily, and who has time to engage in these discussions?), and our pages are then damaged, even if we could claim non-free use with a rationale; to obtain the file is extra work, i.e. we'd need to get a Commons admin to undelete it and supply it. There is no benefit to Commons; if any user thinks a file should be on Commons, they may easily copy it there. However, our files should not be deleted just because they have been copied to Commons. A bot, however, could clean up names. I'd think that ideally, our public domain files should have the same name as an identical Commons file; and be linked that way. In that way, if the Commons file is deleted, there is no work to do here. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:46, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

As far as I know Commons, if an image is considered of poor quality it's not deleted if it's used in a course. And letting a duplicate here will make the image on Commons unused in the paragraph at the bottom. JackPotte (discusscontribs) 15:19, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
That is correct, usually. However, if an image is of general utility, it should remain on Commons even if it is not used here, but that's not really our problem. (If a file is hosted in both places, that it does not display as used on Commons is a bug, my opinion. However, I can see that there could be a version problem.)
Commons is a repository of free content. We are for the creation of educational resources, and we can use images that are not free, with a non-free rationale. An image may be used here with the belief that it is properly licensed. If that changes, it is then possible to still use it with a fair use claim.
Our policy on non-free usage may change over time, it's within our prerogative per WMF policy. The problems that have arisen have been over a decision on Commons that a license, for content standing for years, was somehow defective. The *main* thing that we need to do is to make sure that any non-free content is machine-readably tagged. That creates a warning for any content re-user, the concern of the WMF. Jack, the content is protected if it is here, and we are responsible for determining what we protect. Commons is fantastic. And not our mission. Basically, leaving images here is the most efficient practice for our mission.
Jack, your opposition is over an Upload Wizard that allows users to upload content here. Do you really intend to make it more difficult than it need be for users to upload images for usage here?
By the way, we specifically do not want to confine fair use claims to custodians. That's backwards. Fair use, under WMF policy, requires a content judgment. It does not require usage of custodial tools (unless a deletion is required, but, even then, deletion decisions are still a matter of community consensus, outside of uncontroversial deletions.) --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:06, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
In spite of your pleading I choose to maintain my vote because we can already provide the UploadWizard for all by redirecting toward Commons. When you say that fulling it is not our mission I understand, but it seems to don't take into account that every Wikiversity course can easily be translated in several languages sooner or later. JackPotte (discusscontribs) 18:25, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Strong oppose - Simply because I cannot use commons. --Goldenburg111 21:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

What does not using Commons have to do with whether or not we use an updated user interface here? -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 00:26, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Goldenburg, I think you have misunderstood. JackPotte seems to be arguing that we only allow uploads to Commons (which conflicts with our allowance of Fair Use), that is not the proposal here. The proposal here is to enable the Upload Wizard for Wikiversity as part of our MediaWiki setup. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:21, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

My apologies for being an idiot. I Symbol support vote.svg Support this discussion. Thanks. --Goldenburg111 01:48, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Goldenburg, you are far from an idiot, and the reason you are far from it is that, early on, here and in your life, you developed the capacity to recognize and acknowledge your mistakes without being attached to being right. That, combined with your developed ability to express yourself -- so that you reveal those mistakes! --, makes you a fast learner. You will go far, it's predictable from your trajectory now, because you have already gone far. You are an inspiration to us. --Abd (discusscontribs) 12:14, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Non-existent page text needs change from admin[edit]

Wikivoyage If you check for a page that does not exist (e.g. asdlfkjo348fj0349jf), there are suggestions to search other WMF projects but Wikivoyage is absent. Can someone please add this? Thanks. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:05, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

YesY Done - If anyone needs to find this in the future, it's in MediaWiki:Newarticletext. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:52, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Alternative paid contribution disclosure policy[edit]

See also: b:Wikibooks:Reading room/Proposals#Alternative paid contribution disclosure policy.

I believe that the paid contributions disclosure policy effected by the Foundation is broad enough to potentially affect anyone who happens to use Wikiversity for off-Wikiversity education, including, for instance, participating in a Wikiversity collaborative project with the intent of getting a course credit at the institution, or making course materials available to the students as part of one’s job as an instructor. (As part of these obligations, you must disclose your employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which you receive, or expect to receive, compensation.)

The policy, however, allows any individual Wikimedia wiki to adopt its own, alternative policy, by the means of the community consensus. One such policy has recently been implemented at the Wikimedia Commons, and reads: The Wikimedia Commons community does not require any disclosure of paid contributions from its contributor.

I hereby propose that a similarly relaxed, or perhaps identical, alternative paid contributions policy is adopted for the English Wikiversity just as well.

So far, Commons seem to be the only project to adopt an alternative paid contribution disclosure policy.

Ivan Shmakov (dc) 07:42, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Over at en.wn, we've talked about adopting an alternative policy; our concern is that accusations of paid editing may be a weapon of choice for those seeking to expel someone from the wikimedian community, and en.wn as the recipient of much flak from some unscrupulous quarters should protect itself against specious attacks. Since I gather en.wv also takes a lot of flak, I'd encourage you to adopt an alternative policy. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 11:55, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
See Wikiversity:Research guidelines#Disclosures, which has existed long before the global Wikimedia community decided to do something. -- darklama  12:47, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Did you note that the WMF policy now in effect covers each and every contribution, – not just ones related to research?
For instance, I’ve just started writing (rather, mostly translating) the AVR programming introduction course here. If I’ve done that as part of my job (as in: part of my job is to make my course’s materials available to my students), while not disclosing it (and surely I didn’t) – I’ve just breached the new policy, and thus ToU, and may be subject to a legal action!
Think of Comparative law and justice, for instance, which is a student-written collaborative resource comparing the law and justice systems of countries around the world. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from the prior discussions I’ve got that the students have participated in this project with the intent of getting a course credit. Under the new policy, if such a student has somehow failed to disclose its affiliation (school), – it will be a violation of the new ToU.
To me, it’s quite a harsh treatment of what’s otherwise a harmless activity.
Ivan Shmakov (dc) 21:25, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

… Well, I don’t seem to see much answers to the questions I’ve raised in the above back some two weeks ago, so I guess these were not the right questions to ask in the first place. So, I’ll try to put it another way.

First of all, there was some confusion over the policy, but that’s the way I understand it:

  1. no, this amendment does not prohibit “compensated” edits;
  2. neither does it encourage them;
  3. neither does this amendment require that one’s biases be declared, – only the fact of receiving “compensation” and the “payer”; (one’s biases may – and often do – stem from things other than “receiving payment”);
  4. it’s not all that hard to violate this policy and such violations do not necessarily constitute harm to either a specific project, its community, or the Foundation; (see commons:Commons talk:Requests for comment/Alternative paid contribution disclosure policy#Test case for an example of such violation.)

Now, given the now-effective requirement to disclose [one’s] employer, client, and affiliation with respect to any contribution for which [one] receive[s], or expect[s] to receive, compensation, how exactly the Wikiversity community – and the custodians – will use the knowledge of one’s affiliation, etc. when judging one’s contributions?

Consider, for instance, the following edits.

  1. Special:Diff/1105485. Suppose it somehow transpires that this edit was “paid” by some J. Smith. Technically, the failure of the user to disclose his or her client is not a violation of the policy, as the policy was not effected until some seven months after this edit took place. Will, however, this edit become any worse (or better) in the eyes of the community because of the newly-found information of the party it was made on behalf of? Will this edit be reverted, and (or) the user blocked because of that?
  2. Special:Diff/1208608. Somehow, I came to think that the party behind the SusannaBasser account may be compensated for this edit, even though not disclosing that, and thus violating the ToU. Is, however, there any reason for this particular edit to be deemed more (or less) appropriate should the party’s employer, client, and affiliation be publicly disclosed in full accordance with the policy?

Are there other specific examples when the contribution’s value is to be decided (in whole or in part) based on the contributor’s affiliation, and (or) the fact it was publicly disclosed, as required by the newly-effected policy?

Thanks in advance.

Ivan Shmakov (dc) 20:11, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

learn software of computer[edit]

--117.239.47.178 (discuss) 09:06, 17 July 2014 (UTC) how to learn computer software?

It depends on whether by computer software you mean to learn computer applications or to learn computer programming. If you are looking for computer applications, try Computer Skills followed by Key Applications. If you are looking for computer programming, see Programming. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:55, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Sciences category[edit]

Just today a bot, specifically JackBot, changed 19 resources from being in the Category:Sciences to Category:Science. I've used both categories but do not consider them equivalent. It's a bit like the differences between languages and linguistics. Perhaps I have not been clearly differentiating between the two, but why has a bot decided to eliminate the former in preference for the latter? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 02:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Comment left for User:JackBot to reach consensus before continuing. According to bot rules, the bot must stop with a comment on its talk page. If it continues, post at Wikiversity:RCA so someone can block the bot until consensus is reached. I'll be offline most of the day today. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 12:39, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I was treating Special:UncategorizedPages when I noticed these two categories, not linked between themselves (the former one was linked to nothing actually). If it had been Category:Sciences names I wouldn't have touched it, but in this case it seemed too much confusing and stubby to me. Moreover I based my judgment on the interwiki architecture and the former category content (eg: Relational biology in Category:Sciences vs Biology in Category:Science), which you can see here. JackPotte (discusscontribs) 12:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I have looked at the Category:Science and noticed it has been placed immediately below the top Wikiversity category of Category:Contents. This top category contains only Category:Constructs‎, Category:Humanities‎, Category:Science, and Category:Engineering. The Category:Sciences would be better in this top category than Category:Science. The latter category also contains entities, sources, and objects of interest to science, as well as the sciences. May I suggest that the category within the top category be changed to Category:Sciences rather than Category:Science. I also have a resource Sciences which may be helpful in distinguishing between science and sciences. At present there is no science resource but I would like to create one to example the entities and things that are a focus for science as well as the scientific method. There is the resource What is science? that science redirects to. Engineering is often considered its own plural. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 16:45, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

There is some duplicate effort going on here. See Category:Categories which is described as the root category for Wikiversity, Category:Schools which is like a main category for all topics that are further organized into Category:Departments which are further organized into <subject> department categories, and there are also some School of <subject> categories as well. I would favor some simplification there, but am also inclined to create a Resources by topic category to go in Category:Resources to act as the main category for all resources organized by topic as well. -- darklama  13:18, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

There doesn't seem to be a one or two step process to go from Category:Categories to Category:Contents. From a student's, teacher's, contributor's point of view what would be the best way to resolve this? Or, would a more diverse or all-encompassing structure that touches each be more helpful to newcomers and current contributors and participants alike? For example, Category:Categories could be in Category:Contents and vice versa, or would this create some kind of boom-loop? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 20:22, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Participants can click Wikiversity:Browse from the sidebar to start browsing Wikiversity. Category:Resources has been the main category for all main namespace contents up to this point, and its subcategories fill some of the lists for Wikiversity:Browse. I think Category:Contents should be renamed to describe its intended use more clearly, like resources by topic. I think topics could be connected through Category:CategoriesCategory:ResourcesCategory:Resources by topic → Category:<Topic>. Wikiversity:Browse could then list all resource topics as well while using a consistent category structure. -- darklama  22:46, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps Category:Contents could be renamed (moved) to Category:Resources by contents under Category:Resources. Category:Resources by topic may connote Category:Resources by department (or topic), which is also a good idea. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 01:37, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

{{BookCat}}?[edit]

BTW, speaking of uncategorized pages, the edits such as 1187784 should use {{BookCat}} (or {{BookCat|filing = deep}}, if necessary) instead of hard-coding the category name, if only to facilitate possible future renaming.

Similarly, I’d ask that the explicit categories of the Lua course subpages be replaced with the {{BookCat}} template invocations. (FWIW, I’d volunteer to perform this task myself, via my ISbot robot; see luxo:ISbot, for instance.) For one thing, this will make the members listed on the eponymous category page dispersed across different letters (‘B’ for Background, ‘S’ for Scribunto/Lua, etc.), instead of all being grouped together under ‘L’.

Ivan Shmakov (dc) 13:13, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I like using this template on Wikibooks, but here I would rather deploy {{CourseCat}} instead. JackPotte (discusscontribs) 16:01, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I’ve checked {{CourseCat}}, and it’s still a redirect to {{BookCat}}, – just as it was when I’ve created it a week ago. Personally, I have no strong preference for either name. — Ivan Shmakov (dc) 17:55, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Lua is done. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 00:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
All right, that's much better like that. I'll adopt it for the remaining Special:UncategorizedPages. JackPotte (discusscontribs) 11:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Fiction, popular culture[edit]

Are there any classes about fiction here? I mean fiction is not typical for a classroom, but Wikipedia outlandishly has articles about popular culture, so why don't we have lessons about Caillou or Teletubbies or Duckman or Mona the Vampire or etc.?

I mean it would be quite silly to see:

"Are you ready for the test on Teletubbies?"

But since Wikipedia has articles on everything don't you think we should have lessons on everything as well?LalalalaSta (discusscontribs) 04:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Notability Wikipedia operates on guidelines of notability so not everything is supposed to have an article. Have you checked Wikiversity:FAQ? —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:43, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I know about Wikipedia's notability. What I'm talking about here is Wikiversity's inclusion of popular culture. Why do we not have articles on many important subjects of popular culture, such as Teletubbies? LalalalaSta (discusscontribs) 04:57, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is a real request or just a troll. If it's a real request, be bold! Start a course on television and film studies or children's television. But be careful to contextualize your lessons on the educational aspects of the topic. Previous efforts on this type of content have not had educational objectives and were either speedy deleted or proposed for slow deletion. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:01, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Tech writing community still active?[edit]

Hello everybody,

My name is Andrew Pfeiffer and I'm still one of those "emerging academics". I have many passions and I am very impressed by all the good work going on here, but I'm not quite sure how to get started. . . My immediate interest is technical writing (also, basic computer science and English writing). Your tech writing course looks serious and helpful, and also decently well-viewed, but it seems that no one has modified any pages in quite some time. If there are still people involved in teaching or taking that course, where would I find them and get in touch with them?

Thank you for your suggestions! —Andrew Pfeiffer (discusscontribs) 16:12, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Welcome Andrew! You can try posting something on the talk page of pages you are interested in, or here in the Colloquium for a wider call. But you are correct that the technical writing course does not appear to have anyone currently maintaining it. That gives you the opportunity to be bold and contribute wherever you'd like. My personal recommendation would be to find a page or course that you know a little bit about, and when you look at the content already here you say to yourself, 'Someone should fix that.' You're that someone. Jump in and make it better. And ask questions whenever you have them. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:43, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks, Dave! Looking forward to talking with you all soon. Andrew Pfeiffer (discusscontribs) 21:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Promote wikiversity[edit]

I would like to get some feedback on an experiment we started on the Dutch wikiversity. The Dutch wikiversity is still in beta. To promote the wikiversity we contact researchers and other people with the question if they want to help writing an article about their research, etc. on the wikiversity. On the Dutch wikiversity we get very good response on this approach. A lot of people we contact only know wikipedia and they are very happy when somebody is interested in their work. We now have a list of people that we can contact every 2 (?) years and ask them what's keeping them busy. See the following link (Dutch) for more info: https://beta.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wie_is/overzicht_personen. Is it possible to start a similar initiative on the English wikiversitity? Did somebody already try something like this. I would like to hear their experiences. Regards, Tim Ruijters, Timboliu (discusscontribs) 23:35, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Vision on wikiversity[edit]

On the Dutch wikiversity a lot of content will be deleted. Some few months ago some wikipedians joined the wikiversity and started to 'clean up' the pages. On the one hand I'm happy that after all those years (I started with the Dutch wikiversity in 2011) people are going to help me improve the wikiversity. On the other hand I'm afraid that with the clean up they will destroy a lot of content. In my vision the wikiversity should be a place with less rules. The learning groups should have a lot of freedom to decide how they want to learn. But in the current situation the custodian disagrees with me. What can I do? I contacted Wikimedia Nederland to help me with this and today I also contacted ArbCom. Can I also get some international support? Who should I contact? Timboliu (discusscontribs) 09:31, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Did you make this already public in the specific wiki itself? (E.g. at your colloquium), ----Erkan Yilmaz 03:42, 2 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes I did. I also tried to asked the Dutch Arbcom for help. They didn't acccept my request because they only arbitrate about issues concerning Wikipedia. I now contacted the Wikipedia helpdesk. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 08:33, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
This wouldn't be the first time a mob from a Wikipedia has decided to gang up on a smaller sister project and trash it. Afaik it hasn't happened on the English projects yet. (Fortunately en.wn established very early that outsiders can express their opinions non-disruptively but don't get a "vote", to the extent there is such a thing as voting, on matters of project policy; and we've long been the only non-Wikipedian sister project that has its own ArbCom.) --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 17:06, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is irrelevant to Wikiversity, you will not be likely to find help there. (But maybe!) However, en.wikiversity has developed traditions that only rarely result in deletion.
  • First of all, site mission is not just "educational resources," which then raises issues about neutrality, etc., but also about "learning by doing." So there is a place for what might be called "student exercises." We had a 7-year old editing for a time. He was Learning to write, and to write wikitext, learning to cooperate with a larger community. I moved his work (the writing of a 7-year old! actually precocious) into his user space, and that is a generic solution that will almost always avoid deletion. Someone has some fringe point of view, say. There is almost zero problem with expressing that in their user space.
  • In mainspace, subpages are allowed, so there can be a top-level resource that is *rigorously neutral,* it should be possible to find complete consensus regarding it, and under that there can be subpages with essays, original research, and it is possible for there to be, as with a brick-and-mortar university, "sections," i.e., classes on the same topic, taught by different individuals, who may have their own points of view.
  • The key is to find ways to avoid conflict, while still maintaining neutrality and organization.
  • This is very different from the Wikipedias, which have one page per topic, and where editors with different points of view may end up battling for domination of the single page. Wikiversity is neutral through inclusion, whereas the Wikipedias tend to seek neutrality through exclusion.
  • Often, here on en.wv, scholars have been undisciplined as to how resources are presented. There are pages that are strangely titled, disconnected with other resources, etc.
  • Wikipedians often take a look at Wikiversity and think it is a mess. I prefer to say that Wikiversity is an opportunity to organize study, discussion, and knowledge. In that process, all points of view are welcome, as long as readers are not misled, i.e., a controversial idea should not be presented as if it were mainstream. Sometimes if I find a top-level page that is not neutral, I will move it to subspace, creating a neutral top-level page that links to it as an attributed essay or "editorial," i.e., opinion piece. I can't recall when this ever created conflict.
  • Discussion of topics is discouraged on the Wikipedias. It can be encouraged here, and sister wiki templates can be placed on Wikipedia articles or article talk pages specifically to invite participation in learning about the subject. I have only seen this opposed when there was a dominant faction on Wikipedia that didn't want anyone learning about other points of view. Ultimately, though, these sister wiki links are encouraged by guidelines and the exclusion will not prevail if users stand for it.
  • If a page has been deleted without due process, if there is any doubt about it, you should be able to request undeletion for review, and then move the page to user space, either the user space of the author, or your own -- unless, of course, when seeing it, you recognize it as completely useless, with an author who hasn't edited for years, etc. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:35, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Abd, thank you very much for this information. In made a link to this discussion on our forum. I will also send a mail to 'Wikimedia Nederland' if they can facilitate a discussion about the next steps for the Dutch wikiversity. I think we need something like a ArbCom or commission to re-evaluate the current guidelines. Do you agree this is a good idea? Do you have other suggestions? Timboliu (discusscontribs) 19:17, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
You forgot to tell that your field of work on Wikiversity is nearly identical to your field of work described on your Linkedin-page. In fact, you use Wikiversity for selfpromo, networking and notebook. For a long time the Dutch Wikiversity was identical to Timboliu. The Banner (discusscontribs) 21:17, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
This "you forgot to tell" is uncivil, accusatory. Yes, Timoliu has been active on Beta Wikiversity. There is no Dutch Wikiversity, as such, yet. Wikiversity is not Wikipedia. If Timboliu has a conflict of interest, or potential conflict, he should, of course, disclose it. We do not, however, on en.wikiversity, reject expert content, for example, because a person is employed in a field. Pointing to a Linked-in page could be a violation of privacy policy. "Self-promo" is not prohibited, per se, here, we do want COI disclosed, it's a WMF-wide policy that we have not opted out of. I'm seeing a high level of activity as being claimed to be some sort of problem.
Bottom line, Timboliu is welcome here, as are all. We will watch his work; the Companies project he set up could have led to certain problems, but we have addressed those, at least largely, and, in particular, the individual company files, the few created, have been moved to subpages of a learning project; our goal is to welcome participation, to find ways that users can do what they want to do, within what works for Wikiversity overall.
It is a pity Timboliu here tells only half the story, the part that fits him. He is playing Calimero, but doesn't tell what problems he causes. The "content" he mostly added has nothing to do with Wikiversity, but is in some way nothing more than a personal sandbox on a large scale with notes and other personal stuff. Wikiversity needs a very liberal attitude towards contributors, I fully agree with the things Abd above here says. But in the past years Timboliu has had multiple comments from experienced users that how he is acting is not the way what Wikiversity is for, but he choose, multiple times, to ignore that and keeps on adding crap to the wiki. It doesn't even look like the English Wikiversity, or any Wikversity, at all. There are hundreds of pages without any content, without any goal/meaning. There are a lot of pages with copyright issues as texts have been copied from other websites. There are a lot of pages which try imitate Wikipedia articles, Wikisource pages, recipes, news articles, using pages to blame innocent people from crimes, a list of films he thinks are good, pages without context in the middle of nowhere of what the title says such as "Plant on the corner of the streets Fonteinlaan, Helenalaan" with only a picture on the page, pages that describe how businesses can become a sponsor of a page on Wikiversity, advertisements, pages with "Wikiversity can do paid activities for you", this goes on and on and on.
The most basic guidelines we have now are set up together with him!
In the mean while we (Wikimedia Netherlands) are trying to set up an education programme. With the current pages, it is in no way possible to set up a trustful Wikiversity in Dutch with the current situation. Also pages about people who do not want to have a page about them have been created by Timboliu. And that is why currently users are working on solving the problems, as complaints from external people have been filed, copyright issues have been reported to us, etc. All these things he doesn't tell you, why he doesn't? Romaine (discusscontribs) 21:59, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
Romaine, anyone who is active will run into certain problems. However, what I'm seeing claimed above amounts to undisciplined page creation. My guess is that, as with en.wikiversity, there have been few guidelines as to how to create pages and where to create them. Certain material is only appropriate for user space in a Wikiversity project. Many other pages are created as mainspace pages that really are clutter, created in that way, but as subpages, can be fine. Stubs can be useful in some contexts, but, at the same time, there is little work invested in them.
Wikiversity is conceptually very different from Wikipedia. We have no notability requirements of universal application. We are moving toward a concept that to be a mainspace top-level page, the topic must be at least somewhat notable, but that is not rigid. We are moving toward classification of pages by topic, pages that used to exist as free-standing mainspace pages are now subpages of an overall learning resource.
We do not want, on en.wikiversity, the severe problems that can be associated with biographies of living persons. There may be restricted exceptions. Basically, to become a Dutch Wikiversity, and not just a language section on the Beta incubator, you will need to develop some guidelines and policies that will encourage Wikiversity growth. Wikiversity can be, in general, a place where people discuss topics that are covered on Wikipedia. There are many possible problems to be resolved.
Again, the accusatory tone is offensive. He asked about deletion, and it was explained to him how we manage to mostly avoid deletion here, except for blatant spam and vandalism and obviously problematic pages, which can usually be speedy-deleted. If Timboliu wants to keep a page that someone else wants deleted, why not move it to his user space, until and unless there is more support for it in mainspace? If there are pages being created about living individuals, that are being objected to by the individual, that's definitely a problem, wherever they are, and, absent community-approved guidelines or some necessity, should stop. For behavior like that, Timboliu should be politely warned. However, Beta has rather weak governance. I'm going to encourage Timboliu to cooperate, it will be better for everyone. So, toward that end, please stop accusing him of bad behavior, and start inviting him to collaborate toward creating a Wikiversity that all can be proud of. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:40, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Romaine and Abd, thank you for your reactions. The concerns of Romaine are partly true. In 2011 I joined the Dutch wikiversity project. For three years the contributors could be counted on one hand. Occasionally I received some feedback but after a discussion no consequences were taken. I thought they agreed on my opinion or accepted my way of working. What I also like about the wikiversity is the lack of rules. The reason I stopped contributing to Wikipedia is because every contribution I made was deleted. On the wikiversity I had a lot of freedom. I understand that in this process I made some pages that are lacking content or don't meet the high quality standards of Wikipedia. Regarding the pages of people. In my opinion in a learning process it can be very important to know what the background is of the people you are learning with. Not all people have a user page, so with the approval of the person involved I have created a page of that person. In 90% of the cases people like it when somebody is interested in what they are doing. Anyway... I understand that wikimedia is a community project and that I don't have the freedom anymore that I had the last three years. I hope the Dutch community grows so that we hear more opinions when making decisions. I also hope the Dutch wikiversity can get some help with setting up some guidelines and best practices. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 05:48, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Companies and markets[edit]

On the Dutch wikiversity we're discussing about the question whether learning project companies and markets has educational value. As a business consultant I see the value, but are there any guidelines regarding educational value on the English wikiversity? Timboliu (discusscontribs) 16:41, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Almost any topic can have educational value. There can be problems with "promotion," but those are soluble if there are users willing to cooperate. It's difficult to discuss this in the abstract. Any more specific examples? --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:40, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
A specific example is Business/Companies/Agora. I think this is a very interesting company because the crowd decides where the company is heading. On the Dutch wikiversity I created a similar page https://beta.wikiversity.org/wiki/Agora. This page is nominated for deletion because it has no educational value. I tried to explain that on the wikiversity you should not evaluate one page but the learning project, but this argument didn't convince the person who nominated the page. We have a custodian who will decide which pages will actually be deleted, but maybe someone of the English wikiversity can help me with good arguments? Timboliu (discusscontribs) 19:02, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
We do on discuss wether or not educational material related to companies has value, but the subject what is discussed is how Timboliu is doing that. Romaine (discusscontribs) 22:03, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
We changed the setup he had created here to avoid problems. He seems happy with that. What he had created here was like what is on Beta. And that's not going to fly. I could comment on Beta, but prefer to stay out of conflicts involving languages I don't know, and a local culture I don't know. To Timboliu, I recommend he keep personal copies, off-wiki, of anything important to him, and do accept some level of cleanup. Stubs that are nothing more than a link to a Wikipedia page can be deleted with little cost, they can always be quickly recreated, it is not worth arguing over! Timboliu, please learn to work with the community. At least some of the concerns they are raising are legitimate.
So as to one issue mentioned, a company page is sitting in mainspace, with a little text, and an unclear purpose. Sitting isolated, it is not obvious what the purpose of the page is. Even if it is linked to or categorized with a learning project. If it is a subpage, it's obvious, it is part and parcel of what is above it in the structure. It is like Wikibooks, where book chapters are subpages. Rarely would someone nominate a chapter out of a book for deletion, if it was consistent with the rest of the book. If it was vandalism or offensive, sure! My opinion, though, is that it is better to leave undeveloped pages as redlinks in a supervisory page, rather than turning the link blue with a stub. The red calls attention to an opportunity to improve. The blue makes it appear that there is valuable content there, which is not the case with a stub. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:50, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Abd, thanks for the tip. I understand that working with the community is the key to success. I also believe that on the short term I have to accept some level of cleanup. For the long term I would like to initiate an local discussion about the next steps for the wikiversities. In my opinion in most countries wikipedia is growing up. It doesn't need that much effort to stay up-to-date. I think that we, as a community, could involve more people if we focus on some of the sisterprojects. I think the wikiversity can be a platform that can attract many new people to the active wikimedia community. I think we (especially) in the Netherlands need a clear vision and examples, like you give above. One of the members of Wikimedia Nederland asked me what should be talked about in London. I think a discussion about the vision (of sisterprojects) can be helpful. Abd, do you also think a discussion, with help from more experienced wikiversities, is needed? Do you think it's possible? And can you/ the English wikiversity help me to start an initiative? Timboliu (discusscontribs) 05:48, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Develop a vision of Wikiversity that will work for all (or nearly all) users. We tend to look only at our own goals. Broaden your perspective.
  • Then work to create the vision as a shared goal, shared by many users.
  • Do not merely "accept" cleanup, create it. Start by cleaning up your own contributions. Move pages to better locations, if you want to keep them, and drop a speedy deletion template on the redirects, if they won't be needed. Request speedy deletion of your own pages if there isn't content there worth keeping in other's faces. Move anything likely to be controversial, but that is educational *for you,* into your user space, or create neutral structure in mainspace to contain it. We do all of this on en.wikiversity.
  • Having cleaned up your own act, assist others in the same way.
  • Listen to and respect warnings. Understand how they may be "right." Then seek consensus before proceeding contrary to a warning. That can be difficult on a small wiki, but you can clearly stand for it.
  • You experienced a freedom on Beta Wikiversity that was missing from Wikipedia. That's a good thing, in itself, but when freedom becomes license, it can go too far. A wiki is the Commons, and if we create a mess there, it affects everyone. Hence the focus I'm suggesting on organization of content. A goal: when someone goes to Random Page, they will see, at the top level in mainspace, a recognizable learning resource, or at least the core of one and an invitation to participate, neutrally presented, not some fringe idea or promotion.
  • That's a goal. It may never be perfectly realized, but it is possible to approach it.
  • Here is an example: See Wikiversity:Organization/Examples/Arduino, I just created.
  • If you look around any Wikiversity, you will find many opportunities to organize. First of all, seek to develop some consensus about how to organize content. You can Be Bold and go ahead, but page moves, the basic organizational tool, can create some level of mess for a custodian to clean up, so do take some care in advance. Announce what you plan to do on a resource talk page or on the user talk page of an author, until you are sure that your general plan enjoys reasonable consensus. You may, however, always organize your own contributed content better! --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:59, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion: Plasmons and polaritons[edit]

In discussions I've been having at the Science Refdesk about the quantum vacuum fluctuation drive, and the energy and momentum of refracted light, and which metals have a silvery color; also in matters of reflection and photonic computing and I see here even cold fusion ... over and over the topic of plasmons and polaritons is central to an understanding of physics. I feel like it should have been something taught as a basic concept even in high school, but really, I had no introduction to it even in college. So I think it would be a really good thing if people working on physics here could work out a curriculum that recommends the best order and scope of material to learn to understand these things well, and ideally, full course materials on the topic with concomitant improvement of the Wikipedia articles. Wnt (discusscontribs) 16:52, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

As with anyone, you are welcome to create a learning resource or project here. Yes, we have material on many topics, "even Cold fusion" -- which is a legitimate topic in scientific journals now, as it has always been, just not all journals! Plasmons are an important topic in contemporary physics, and Wikipedia is not good at covering what is relatively new, or even what is older but still controversial, such as cold fusion. However, Wikiversity allows original research, and has no notability requirement. There is still a neutrality policy, but that can be handled here through inclusion rather than exclusion. There are not many "people working on physics here," but some with some interest in and knowledge of physics, and we can and will cooperate with new projects, especially supporting them in remaining neutral as WMF policy requires, without deleting them! --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:50, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I am willing to prepare at least a lecture/article on either plasmons or polaritons, perhaps both, but Wnt may not wish such in my usual style. Let me know. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 20:45, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Question[edit]

Is it possible to import a deleted Wikipedia article? Does it need to be undeleted over there first? The article that I have in mind is w:The Benefits and Detriments of an Australian Bill of Rights, which was said at AfD to be original research and an essay, something that we may accept. James500 (discusscontribs) 19:12, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

see Wikiversity:Wikimedia Garbage Detail
as I see, the article is deleted, so you'd need to ask a WP admin to undelete it (or perhaps you are lucky and a cached version exists in a search engine already), ----Erkan Yilmaz 19:40, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
It is best if the article is undeleted; anyone may then download an export, which may then be imported here. If there is only one author, this isn't necessary, the wikitext can be copied with attribution, but if there are multiple authors, import will preserve the edit history here. Import is a custodian right here. We may decide to change that, to allow any autoconfirmed editor to import, but that hasn't been done yet. (There is a separated user group, Importers, but it is empty and I don't see the right to create membership as existing here for any user group. It might take a steward.)
There are Wikipedia administrators who will generally undelete and userfy an article on request. In some cases, if an article was speedy deleted, undeletion may be routine, but undeletion into a Wikipedia user space is not controversial, normally. If an article was deleted from a deletion discussion (AfD), then ordinary undeletion is not advisable without a request at w:WP:DRV, and if you can't read the article, even knowing if this is a good idea can be difficult! So request userfication, get the article here, and you and anyone else may work on it. Once here, the Wikipedia copy can be speedy deleted with reference to the import here. Wikipedia articles are not necessarily designed for WV mainspace, so having an article imported to user space here is a simple way to start. It can then be moved to mainspace when ready. --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:12, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
See w:Category:Wikipedia administrators willing to provide copies of deleted articles and w:Category:Copy to Wikiversity The undeletion policy, as is common with many Wikipedia policies, does not list the exceptions, but undeletion to user space for some legitimate purpose is the norm, not the exception. In addition, an admin may agree to email the exported file, if there is no reason to not do this (such as copyright violation, perhaps.) Looking at the AfD, this is a prime candidate to be transwikied to WV. Wikipedians, in general, simply are unaware of the Wikiversity possibility. --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:30, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
AIUI, both plain and transwiki imports open the possibility of accident “history merges”, – which seems like a thing that’s very hard to get undone. That’s the very reason these tools are only available to a limited set of users. — Ivan Shmakov (dc) 19:05, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course. This would be the most common problem: A page is imported that already exists, i.e., same page name on the source and target wiki. The import command is not designed for safety; properly, it would warn that a page merge is about to be done, but, in fact, it goes ahead and imports with no warning, and this cannot be easily undone, it takes some possibly tedious sysop work to fix a problem, if the result is a problem. (Usually it would not be a major problem, it's only difficult to fix if the source and target pages both have many revisions.)
This is easily avoided if the importer always imports to an empty subspace instead of attempting to import to the ultimate target space, which may be complex (like mainspace). The import command allows specifying a root target space (the default is no root space, so the pages will simply be named on the target wiki as they were on the source). So, yes, a rogue importer could do a lot of damage, like any rogue sysop can do with move/delete vandalism (really the same problem.) But if an importer has clear guidelines to follow, and follows them, not a big risk. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:55, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
A variant on the problem (that may be more difficult to address) may arise if templates are included in the export. Those templates, on import, might be history-merged, and, again, the source information is lost. It's really a major MediaWiki bug, lack of full revision tracking. *There is no record of source for the revisions in the database.* It is effectively assumed that all edits were made to the page they are assigned to. There is a Bugzilla report on this, I couldn't find it right now, but there is very little interest, so far, in fixing the problem. --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:10, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
There was mediazilla:57490. This wouldn't be all that hard to implement, I think. The exported XML files already include siteinfo, just not on a per-revision basis. I'm thinking, since most revisions in the database aren't imported, it might be more efficient to store that data in, say, log_search than to add another field to revision. It might be possible to get support for merging the patch by saying it will help wikis comply with licenses. I know that sometimes I've just imported the most recent revision of templates to my wikis, which is probably a license violation. Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 21:13, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Technical writing Robs Screengrab[edit]

I came across the resource page Technical writing Robs Screengrab while having some fun fixing up resources using Random. It only contains a file which has been deleted per the resource's creator's request and two categories. Unless someone knows what this file is about perhaps it should be put up for deletion, or speedy deleted. The creator was last active in 2012 and contributed copiously to technical writing. Suggestions? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 20:54, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Okay, educational opportunity. This is an obviously useless page. It has no incoming links, and no history of any content other than being a link to a deleted photo. The photo was deleted on author request, but then undeleted immediately because of a link or links to it. That undeletion was an error, my opinion, but that was five years ago. Basically, this page has no raison d'etre for Wikiversity. Nobody will ever miss it. Hence the obvious thing to do: pop a speedy deletion template on it.
{{delete|orphaned page, photo deleted, no apparent purpose}}
Folks, when you see a page that is clearly useless, don't be shy to request speedy deletion. This is how we all participate in cleaning up Wikiversity. If there is some speculative purpose, you might try Template:Proposed deletion which provides more time. Don't worry, if you request deletion improperly, it takes custodian confirmation, and if it ever turns out that a page is improperly deleted, that, too, can be fixed. We don't want people to return after being away and finding that something important to them is mysteriously missing, but that's not going to happen here, at all.
I checked and a deleting custodian will check to see that there are no incoming links. In this case, there is one. This report! The custodian will look at page history, as I did, to verify that there wasn't something useful in history.
We all can do this work, and we should not just leave it to custodians. This is our wiki. Thanks, Marshall. --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:32, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Request for importation[edit]

Further to the discussion above, could a custodian please import the page now at w:User:James500/The Benefits and Detriments of an Australian Bill of Rights. James500 (discusscontribs) 01:53, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

YesY Done - Imported to Australian Bill of Rights. In the future, you can post import requests at Wikiversity:Import. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 12:40, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

A lot of pages are removed from the Dutch wikiversity[edit]

For me today was a sad day. A lot of pages, I made, were removed from the Dutch wikiversity. The only comment was 'no educational value'. I think this practice is not in line with the vision of wikiversity. Can I do something to get the content back? Or do I have to accept the removal? I asked the custodian if it is possible to move the content to my name space. The custodion is considering this request. Timboliu (discusscontribs) 18:35, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

  • First of all, be clear that this is not from the "Dutch Wikiversity." There is no Dutch Wikiversity. There is a Dutch project on Beta.wikiversity, Dutch main page.
  • You knew that some pages were proposed for deletion, because you asked about it here. I did discuss the general situation with deletion, but this discussion would not necessarily have been seen on Beta. Did these pages have speedy deletion tags on them? If not, standard practice was violated. So, looking at beta.wikiversity.
  • I see that Romaine did, indeed, delete a boatload of pages, 1551 of them. That started on July 30, with author request pages. It got intense yesterday and today, with "no educational content" deletions, or, as an example,
  • 00:35, 13 August 2014 Romaine deleted page Wat is Agile? (not suitable, too little educational content)
  • Without seeing the pages, it's difficult to judge. That much deletion, was there discussion? For there to be so many pages to be legitimately speedy deleted at one time would be very unusual. I see some discussion on User talk:Romaine.
  • I see that you requested content be moved to your own user space. However, Timboliu, you could have done that yourself. It was easier for that sysop to delete. The principle that Romaine enunciated, in my opinion, was improper: he made himself the judge of whether or not content "complied with the principles and guidelines of Wikiversity." It's not terribly surprising, custodians sometimes do that.
  • If you wanted to move content to your own web site, you could have done that at any time while the pages were visible, using Special:Export, without any controversy and, in fact, nobody would have known you were doing it. You can do long lists of pages at once with that command. Now, at this point, to grab the pages requires a custodian undelete a huge number of pages, a lot of work. And what I saw of many of your pages was that they were hardly more than stubs.
  • So, your question: can the pages be recovered? Yes. But what pages? Any custodian can undelete pages, and they could be moved to your user space, but it is now much more work, because you didn't handle it yourself when you could. You will have to convince a custodian to do that work. Do you have any idea how much work it is to undelete 1500 pages?
  • So who is Romaine? I was not familiar with the name. So, I found [1]. Romaine is a Wikipedian. I see who voted for the user. Aside from you, Timboliu, Romaine had votes from prominent Dutch Wikipedians. Wikipedians, as a general rule, have little understanding of Wikiversity. Romaine wanted the tools to clean up Beta. This was trouble, coming, it was totally visible.
  • I am *not* saying that Romaine was wrong. However, I regret that I did not advise you to export those files. I had no idea that the scale was that large. Nowhere did I see any discussion that specified how much was involved.
  • I see that Romaine created a deletion process that has the deletion decision be made by a custodian. Romaine. The user bypassed and did not use the standard Beta speedy deletion template, which may be removed by any user, and then specific discussion is required. I see there was discussion of deletion at the Forum page -- that Romaine created last month, bypassing the Babel Beta community discussion page -- and you clearly realized deletion was about to occur. You were advised to move materials to your own computer. Did you do that? If not, why not? Did you ask anyone for help rescuing the content? Given a list of pages, anyone could have exported the lot in a few minutes. Yes, over a thousand pages in a few minutes.
  • Procedurally, Romaine's process is defective in that it gives custodians superior powers of assessment, very much not what wikis normally do. Speedy deletion is designed for uncontested deletions. There are procedures for mass deletion of content, where the community discusses it. There was, indeed, some discussion of deletion on the [2], a page also started by Romaine. I would not call it a formal deletion discussion, there was no specification of pages to be deleted.
  • If there were a conflict like this here, with substantial numbers of Wikipedians coming here to influence and control Wikiversity policy, we'd have some difficulties! I think existing custodians would hold the line, but it could be very tough.
  • Romaine had some semblance of consensus to do what was done. You did not actually object. Instead you asked for Romaine to do what you could have done yourself.
  • However, Romaine does not understand the complete mission of Wikiversity, and has a narrow view, similar to that of many Wikipedians with little experience of Wikiversity. Romaine thinks of educational materials as "books, readers, and the like" used in schools, given to students. That is part of what can be here (though books belong on Wikibooks). Romaine has missed "learning by doing," which was part of the original mission, and has missed what happens in university seminars and the like, where discussion takes place, and has missed original research, which was explicitly allowed here, from the beginning.
  • What you created, Timboliu, however, pushed way beyond some reasonable compromise. Had you done this in your user space, it probably would not have been a problem. You could have moved it there immediately, once you realized there was an issue. Wikipedians, however, think very differently about user space. Everything on Wikipedia is intended for ultimate usage in the encyclopedia, or as an essay about the encyclopedia. User space material is deleted all the time on Wikipedia, especially if the material is considered not useful for the encyclopedic project.
  • We allow broader usage of user space here. We allow user space to be used for almost anything with some educational purpose, even as writing practice for a student. So this was a setup for what happened. Wikipedians plus a user who was undisciplined about where and what he put in mainspace.
  • I've been pro-active here. When I see users place possibly inappropriate content in mainspace, I move it to user space immediately. (If it's spam or other clearly inappropriate material, I tag it for speedy deletion.) Rarely does a user get upset.
  • I see that a Dutch user looked at en.wikiversity and did not understand how it was organized. That's because it is, as it is, the product of a whole series of opinions about how it can be organized, plus many individual actions that have never been reviewed. We are gradually finding consensus on organization, and as we do this and document it, Wikiversity will become, quite naturally, more organized. It's improving, and, in the meantime, it's very usable. There are now some topics where Wikiversity shows up at the top of google searches. I have one in mind, and it's a very controversial topic, and controversy did show up here, and we handled it. Nobody was blocked or banned, there was no revert warring, and the result has been deeper content. I'm proud of that.
  • So I'm sorry about what happened on Beta. But it was coming. I am a Beta user, but Romaine bypassed the normal Beta central pages, such as Babel. I got no watchlist notifications, as a result.
  • Here, if something like that happened, you could go to WV:RFD and request undeletion. Normally, speedy-deleted pages are undeleted on request unless there is solid reason otherwise; they may then be discussed.
  • But deletion on this level without a clear deletion discussion, we would very much avoid! Romaine is certainly not an experienced Wikiversity custodian! I have seen inexperienced custodians here start to delete material on their own initiative. It's strongly discouraged. Custodians follow the same process as anyone else. They may place a speedy deletion template, and wait for *another custodian* to delete. Sometimes custodians here place a proposed deletion template, wait for so many months, and then delete. If anyone removes the templates, our policy requires a deletion discussion before a page may be deleted. For efficiency, a user may place a deletion template and then a custodian may delete if deletion is considered uncontroversial. Custodians also delete spam and vandalism without any fuss. We had a case recently where alleged spam was deleted, and undeletion was requested and it was promptly granted for discussion.
  • So content decisions are not made by custodians, but by the community.
  • On the other hand, Dutch users are now organizing their own project there, and it's quite possible that the end result will be an improvement, and a move to an nl.wikiversity. Other-language wikiversities do not necessarily follow our model here. But we are a demonstration of what a highly inclusive project can be, and we are proud of it. --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:39, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Abd, thanks for the info. It is a lot :-) I have made an export of the pages before the deletion. Maybe it is possible to import these pages in my namespace? I will read through the rest of the info at some later point. What I would like to do is to start a discussion about copy some of the best practices of the English wikiversity to the Dutch wikiversity (beta). Is it possible to decide on some international best practices? What could be my next steps? 80.65.122.82 (discuss) 07:16, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
My opinion is that you could import those pages to your user space. Special:Import allows you to specify the base page. Before importing 1500 pages, though, obtain community consensus or at least consent, (i.e., absence of consensus against). I would suggest you create a user space resource with the pages being underneath it. That is, all those pages, that were strewn about Beta mainspace, would be subpages of some organizing project page, a little like what we have done here on en.wv. My question, though, is: "Why do you need all those pages as separate pages?" That makes it all cumbersome to maintain. If I'm correct, most of those pages were simply stubs. Stubs frequently add little more than eliminating a redlink somewhere, and redlinks are not harmful. In fact, eliminating the redlink can be harmful, people will assume there is useful content there, and waste time looking for it.
Back up. Before acting, think about what it is you want to do, and describe it, and seek comment and consent before going ahead. That is not a requirement for creating resources, but you already have seen what lack of caution about community impact can do. Creating one possibly problematic resource, no big deal. Creating over a thousand of them, very big deal.
As to "international best practices," we cannot decide, we can study and create advice, that's all. It is indeed something that I'd agree we should do, as "wiki studies." --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:36, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Romaine has now deleted over 5000 pages.[3]. Romaine did create a deletion process page, I don't know how many of the deletions were handled through that page. On the face, it looks like Romaine has consensus for what is being done. This was the basic problem on Dutch Beta: nobody minding the store. It's a general problem on Beta. So Timboliu was very active and was not guided and restrained. Since Wikiversity is for learning by doing, as part of the mission, Timboliu is not to be blamed. The neglect was a community shortcoming. The Dutch community is now deliberately engaged, and creating a Dutch Wikiversity may now proceed. I'll see if I can lend a hand, I already see something to do, just a detail, wikignoming.
  • Total contributions globally (includes deleted) for Timboliu would be 34,075. beta wikiversity contributions in X!s tool shows 32,449 deleted edits, 1,227 remaining live. I can easily see why Timboliu would be upset!
  • Looking at current contributions display for Timboliu, I see this page: [4]. It is nominated for deletion. If it were me, I'd move the page to my user space and remove the deletion tag. This page should never have been in mainspace, as-is. This is Beta, and this is a specific plan for a specific project. I consider Romaine's process improper, for reasons given above (basically, it requires a custodian determination, very much un-wiki), but something close to it would be proper. My guess is that there are a lot of pages like this.
  • This is what happens when we don't have a clear structure and guidelines for users. A huge amount of work can be wasted. That is common on wikis, but is it necessary? What actually happens is that we wait for User:Somebody else to create guidelines. Or Somebody else tries, gets it "wrong," and there is nothing but complaint, no consensus, and so nothing happens. Or Somebody else tries to register, and the SUL process locks her out. Too similar to someone else. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:29, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
"Now, at this point, to grab the pages requires a custodian undelete a huge number of pages, a lot of work."
Not necessarily, see "Restore pages:" here. I have the flags at beta.WV and can anytime restore. ----Erkan Yilmaz 16:34, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Beta issues[edit]

The massive deletions went well over 5000. The deletion process that was set up was improper, as I stated above. But it was also not implemented neutrally. A special Dutch deletion page was set up, in Dutch. Not a bad idea, but .... it meant that only the very new custodian, Romaine, was aware of the proposed deletions. Many pages were deleted without that discussion (using speedy deletion tags and unknown standards; Romaine's discussion of content standards was far from what we'd expect for a Wikiversity, he did not understand how it was possible to have "original research" in "educational materials." For example. He may have something in mind like handouts in grade-school classes, and even there, students write essays, etc, may state their opinions.

As to the discussion, many pages were summarily nominated, a user would make a list of pages, all in one paragraph, no way to even comment on them individually. Most deletions consisted of a single nomination and no response, not even covering all the nominations of that user. At first, the user Timboliu questioned the nominations. It never made any difference at all, and he gave up. Some of his questions were legitimate. In one case I recall, there was actually consensus for a merge, not a delete. The custodian paid no attention to that. I think he just looked at what pages had the template on them and deleted them. No exceptions, so far. (There are now only a handful of pages left in the "Dutch Wikiversity.") There were other pages, recently deleted after I asked the custodian to recuse, which were clearly allowable content: a set of recipes, for example, that could have become subpages of a Cooking resource. It was actually proposed to transwiki them to Wikibooks. That indicated recognition of value! Transwiki can't be done by an ordinary user without the file being visible! They were deleted *early*, probably because I'd suggested to the user that he work with them to make them acceptable, or move them to his user space.

The custodian reached outside the "Dutch Wikiversity," threatened me with a block, because I'd described what happened. Civilly, I hope! He revert warred with me on my Talk page. He revert warred with me in my Talk archive, and threatened to protect it, and when I reverted him, he reverted and protected, classic "preferred version" protection. He not only deleted the only page that I'd moved out of the "Dutch" category, but also deleted a copy I'd made in my own user space, claiming that I'd hijacked the content and was frustrating the Dutch Wikiversity consensus.

And he filled page after page of repetitive screeds, evidence-free, claiming personal attack, trolling, etc. An ru.wikibooks sysop (who may have become aware of the situation from following up on this page) was attacked as a "hand puppet" of mine, the disruption is spinning out to the meta proposal to close beta, etc.

So ... if you care about the Wikiversity concept, if you understand how it differs from Wikipedia concept, how content policies need to be different on a Wikiversity than on a Wikipedia, or, in fact, if you differ with me on this, please take a look at what is going on on Beta. The problems arose on beta with some poor content because nobody was paying attention and guiding a user, *for three years*. And then Wikipedians -- that's what the global contributions histories show, generally *no Wikiversity experience* -- drop in with a meat cleaver.

Please start watching Beta. If you love Wikiversity, please make it available for other languages, and Beta is how that is done. Please participate in the development of Beta policy; we have already seen how the management of another wikiversity by a "non-Wikiversitan," causes severe conflict; and one of those moving to close beta, on meta, is an admin on another wikiversity where there has been some disruption, involved block, etc.

What do I mean by a "Wikiversitan"? I mean someone who understands and supports the concept of "learning-by-doing," coupled with academic freedom. Freedom is not license, there are limits, but Wikiversities set those limits in a very different place than encyclopedia or other purely document-oriented projects. Those projects delete or hide content, we organize it.

Some links:

  • Babel, several sections starting with the linked on, have material on this. (Romaine revert warred with me there and I stopped, so some of my response has been, for now deleted.)
  • Request Custodian Action

--Abd (discusscontribs) 19:02, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

JFTR, – from what I saw, I believe that Abd was “rough” at times in that discussion himself, and slipped a few unwarranted comments just as well. (I’ve got a personal communication from him, and hope to clarify my points privately somewhat later.) However, the claims of his opponent that what I see as merely an attempt to investigate the situation are, e. g. (and sorry for a bit out-of-context) “solely to disturb the wiki”, and that my own comments are “similar[ly] blockable behaviour” are disturbing by themselves. Disturbing enough to ask for someone of the Dutch MediaWiki community to check if such behavior is something that does indeed happen at the Dutch WMF projects.
Unfortunately, I could hardly contribute substantially to Beta myself, as the only two (human) languages I’m more or less fluent in already have Wikiversities of their own.
Ivan Shmakov (dc) 19:26, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I have a private communication with an official of WM Nederland who was "not interested." It is likely that the "New Dutch Wikiversity Project" was started with discussions involving WM Nederland, that's been hinted at. I've seen some pretty iffy behavior from Dutch Wikimedians, globally, but I definitely don't want to stereotype the Dutch. However, a wiki culture can develop. I've discussed the matter of my "roughness" with Ivan, a bit, and there can be language and cultural issues over how "criticism" is handled. Where I am discussing semi-privately, i.e., on a user page, I may be more free with comments, but I was still pretty careful. What can easily happen is that intention is read into what I write that is not there. One of the Dutch users is recently blocked on nl.wikipedia and also recently came off a block on en.wikipedia. That's a fact I mentioned. I did not make it mean that this was a bad user, only a user who might get into trouble. The user was horribly offended, and this is the user that filed the Request for Custodian Action. But it was just the truth. And I might get into trouble, also, but the events on en.wikipedia with me -- which those users had already brought up, with detailed quotes, was about four years ago or so.
That kind of projection of meaning, obviously, what happened on Beta, in fact. It should also be realized that the problematic Dutch user behavior on Beta was really only from three users, all of whom have voted to close Beta in the meta RfC over Beta. They have no Wikiversity experience and no familiarity with the Wikiversity concept, but are dead set on creating their own idea, by destroying everything else. Above, I wrote "a handful of pages." The Dutch Wikiversity organizing category now links to 10 pages. Seven of them are in the deletion category. One is the main page, one is the Forum just created for discussion in Dutch, and one is a page that I moved back into mainspace. There are a couple of pages being worked on in user space by the new users, and at least one page in mainspace without the Dutch category.
I have created a resource in my user space from a set of pages that are facing deletion, it is at [5]. The top level page (linked to) wasn't ever finished up, but there is very substantial content underneath it. Some pieces of this resource were deleted. The guideline they are running with is that mainspace resources should be "finished." That, then, requires approval process, etc., or a big, controversial mess. They have no idea what they are getting into.
Before working more on Dutch issues on Beta, I'm waiting for the smoke to clear. I have XML for much of the deleted work, and intend to study it. If there is much like the single page that I've rescued, this was truly a travesty. However, more likely, most of the content was of low quality. The problem then is simply how that user was treated. Wikiversities are intended for education, so, hey, take the student out back and whip him. Bad student! Instead of taking responsibility for failure to supervise, for failure to engage in the Dutch Wikiversity years ago. No problem with an intention to clean it up, but how that is done is crucial to the mission! --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:31, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, did you notice that this by destroying everything else part in the above almost literally doubles the complaints made against you there at Beta? My best guess is still that this somewhat poor choice of words – of all the parties involved – is one of the things which have spun the issue out of control.
Otherwise, I do appreciate your intent to help with organizing their work. However, my feeling is that it’s first and foremost between them and the Foundation on what would be allowed – and what not – on the Dutch Wikiversity. I could very well accept that they may specify that “unapproved” works are indeed only allowed in specific namespaces, although to me, that would seem somewhat of a “backwards move.” (But so does a certain amendment to the Terms of Use made this June.)
Ivan Shmakov (dc) 22:59, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks, Ivan; however, unless I count you as a 'complainer against me' -- which I don't -- there are three users who complained, the same ones who have voted to close Beta, and I don't know how to ascribe their complaints to that specific comment. At the time that I started to review the situation, I did not know the extent of the deletion. Nor did anyone, apparently, they didn't say what they were about. (And maybe they didn't know.) They did destroy (delete) so close to "everything else" that we might as well say "everything."
  • Yes, they could decide to only allow finished resources in mainspace. They could decide any foolish thing -- or wise thing -- they choose. It's Beta, though, where global cooperation is encouraged, and expected, in fact. (They did not need a Dutch custodian for legitimate deletions, that was a fantasy. They thought the custodian's job was to judge content, which would indeed require Dutch for facility, but that's, properly, not the job on a WMF wiki. The job is to assess community consensus and serve it. Crochet.david regularly runs a bot on Beta, and could easily have run it to delete even 5000 pages, providing consensus were shown by the maintenance of a category.) Part of Beta's purpose is to consider global Wikiversity policy or guidelines; it's simply not been used for that, for years.
  • (This could easily be done by creating a Draft namespace. For now, we use User space for drafts, but a Draft workspace would be like mainspace, i.e., the inclusion requirements, as to topic, and shared nature of the pages would be the same, but stubs would be allowed. I think it's unnecessarily complex, though, there are better organizational tools available, and it's quite useful to have brief stubs as subpages -- or sometimes as superpages --, which would break with a Draft workspace.)
  • The issue is not out of control. Some Dutch users went ballistic, from much milder comment than that, and I'm not seeing that any suggestions for restraint from less reactive users appeared within the Dutch community. It certainly appeared from the global community, such as from you, and you know how they responded to that!
  • Wikiversity sysops responded sanely. So those users voted to shut down Wikiversity. We see this kind of complaint all the time on meta: restart project because Bad Sysops. Sysops are Bad because they did not agree with us. But nobody was stopping the Dutch users from doing whatever they chose. All that happened was that there was some comment. There was, for example, no disruptive editing (in my opinion, the Dutch sysop, alone, disagreed about one page). A community should be so lucky as to see one "bad edit," if it was bad.
  • What I'm seeing so far is that their approach is generating content, if any, at a glacial pace, as would be expected. Instead of taking a measured approach, as experienced Wikiversitans would follow, they went for the meat-axe first. Actually burning down the building entirely to start it from the ground up would be a better analogy. I've seen one Dutch page created, so far, not categorized in the Dutch Wikiversity, but categorized within a Dutch category. Brief, incomplete. And that is how Wikiversity resources get started. Sometimes someone just wants to learn about something and starts a resource and requests participation. That's often what Timboliu did. He described this as creating "learning circles." Or trying to! Very Wikiversitan, in fact, just with low skill, and part of our purpose is to train users in developing skills.
  • So ultimately, my plan is to develop better guidelines for how to create a Wikiversity, on Beta, out of this experience. We have How to be a Wikimedia sysop/Wikiversity which is vague as to whether it's for here only, or is intended as global ("Wikimedia") . This should be developed on Beta. The "Dutch misunderstanding" about Wikiversity is widespread, not only "Dutch."
  • Someone looks at Special:RandomPage here and freaks out! Yet if that's a piece of junk, that freaked-out user could easily tag the page for speedy deletion. It takes seconds, and then we would promptly review the page. The cleanup is ongoing, and we have some people who know what they are doing, but the task is enormous, because there were years of undisciplined pag allowed almost anything. We have the opportunity now to stand for the academic and educational freedom that they wanted, and stand for clear and useful organization as well. We can have both. It does take a community which actually cares about the overall educational goals of Wikiversity.
  • As long as people only look at their own projects, it doesn't happen. That's just a fact, not a judgment of those people; the people working on their own projects create our content, for the most part. But we also need, collectively, something else.
  • From the random page link above, I found UTPA STEM/CBI Courses/Intermediate Algebra/Application of Quadratic Equations. It's a stub, an outline of a course, created in 2010. See UTPA STEM. So we have a large family of pages, organized under a specific school project instead of by topic. Not good, long-term, my opinion, but this is what we have! There is no way that this community would support the deletion of the page, as radically incomplete as it is. Rather, someone will eventually organize this material, moving it where it is more useful for an educational goal, and inviting participants to fill out or even radically revise the content -- or to request deletion.
  • At this point, there is a possible problem. There may be a blue link for that page, presumably, when it really is useless for reading. So at the next level up in the structure, the page should be listed in a section as proposed, undeveloped content, inviting participation. Otherwise it will waste user (student) time.
  • So I fixed the problem with the page supra: UTPA STEM/CBI Courses/Intermediate Algebra.
  • Once again, the development task is not generally furthered through deletion, per se, except where a resource serves no educational function at all (including the function of inviting participation). It is furthered through organization. We have broadly settled on this as a defacto community guideline. As an additional benefit, it avoids a major cause of wiki conflict: arguments over deletion. Then there are arguments over content, which we also address by neutral forking. --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:03, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Letter petitioning WMF to reverse recent decisions[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation recently created a new feature, "superprotect" status. The purpose is to prevent pages from being edited by elected administrators -- but permitting WMF staff to edit them. It has been put to use in only one case: to protect the deployment of the Media Viewer software on German Wikipedia, in defiance of a clear decision of that community to disable the feature by default, unless users decide to enable it.

If you oppose these actions, please add your name to this letter. If you know non-Wikimedians who support our vision for the free sharing of knowledge, and would like to add their names to the list, please ask them to sign an identical version of the letter on change.org.

-- JurgenNL (talk) 17:35, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Process ideas for software development[edit]


Hello,

I am notifying you that a brainstorming session has been started on Meta to help the Wikimedia Foundation increase and better affect community participation in software development across all wiki projects. Basically, how can you be more involved in helping to create features on Wikimedia projects? We are inviting all interested users to voice their ideas on how communities can be more involved and informed in the product development process at the Wikimedia Foundation.

I and the rest of my team welcome you to participate. We hope to see you on Meta.

Kind regards, -- Rdicerb (WMF) talk 22:15, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

--This message was sent using MassMessage. Was there an error? Report it!

Wiki ViewStats[edit]

I was checking statistics on Wikipedia today and came across Wiki ViewStats. For those who are looking to improve the quality of Wikiversity resources, I recommend starting with the most popular articles. To see the list of popular articles, visit Wiki ViewStats, select Wikiversity at the top, and then select Overall on the left. Select different timeframes to see current and recently popular articles lists. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 04:22, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

This is amazing! We could recommend it in a special page (in addition to Wikiversity:Statistics), not MediaWiki:Sidebar, but something like the obsolete history banner, which I couldn't find here, or in Translatewiki.
Crochet.david do you copy? JackPotte (discusscontribs) 11:49, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
MediaWiki:Histlegend, perhaps? — Ivan Shmakov (dc) 17:03, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
It also provides a hit counter for specific Wikiversity pages or resources. Thanks, Dave --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 02:33, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

I found the API at wikipedia:de:Wikipedia:Wiki ViewStats/API. I added ViewStats to the History page. I added it rather than putting it in place of Readers. Let me know if you'd rather have it replace Readers or be named differently. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:20, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

i enjoy too much wikiversity it helps us the student to improve our knowledge in our study[edit]

--41.73.114.229 (discuss) 00:07, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Very true. I always use Wikiversity for my studies, and I am successful in school. I hope you have a great time here! --Goldenburg111 21:31, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Interactive labs[edit]

The resource Interactive labs has been untouched since 22 November 2007. I was about to put a deletion request on this resource but thought I might start here first. I've created some sixteen "labs" for the course principles of radiation astronomy that ask the student to obtain their own learning example from the web. Using an example, I then ask them to scientifically analyze it, record their results, and then compose a report. I use the resource Astronomy/Laboratories as a guide to constructing these "labs". But, the Interactive labs resource intends "to use Java applets as a framework." I probably or currently lack sufficient programming background to apply this. Comments, criticisms, suggestions, or questions welcome. Otherwise, I guess I'll put a deletion tag on the resource and see what happens. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 18:11, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Rotlink Bot and Archive.is[edit]

Recently I have become concerned by the edits of User:Rotlink, which appears to be primarily bot-driven. Short explanation is that Rotlink searches pages, seemingly at random, and replaces dead links with links to various Internet archives. However, the user behind the Rotlink account runs archive.is, which now redirects to archive.today. Wikipedia has discussed this issue extensively at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Archive.is_RFC. User:Rotlink is now blocked at Wikipedia for bot use, archive.is links are blocked from addition to Wikipedia, and all links to archive.is are being rolled back or replaced with links to other archives.

How does Wikiversity want to address this situation? -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:06, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

  • The Wikipedia response was particular to en.Wikipedia. The Wikipedia RfC was run and closed in a way that many considered a problem. There was no actual consensus. What is clear, in fact, is that Rotlink is doing good work, and if you review the Wikipedia RfC, it was not shown that Rotlink was damaging content. I have suggested to Rotlink, on the Talk page here, that COI be formally disclosed, but it is well-known that Rotlink is affiliated with archive.is.
  • Is Rotlink a bot? Meta policy allows unapproved bots if they do not edit at a rate higher than 1 edit per minute. However, humans can easily edit at 6 edits per minute, I've demonstrated 10, even for extended periods. Rotlink has 171,352 edits globally, which is huge, but there are ordinary editors, not bots, with more than 500,000 edits.
  • Looking at recent global contributions, I see 50 edits from 12:32 to 13:14. That's 42 minutes. Very slightly over 1 per minute. There is no way for us to know if Rotlink is a bot or a human, perhaps using an automated editor. (The difference is that an automated editor presents a human with an Accept button, one approval per button push, a bot just goes ahead.) Bots, though, usually hit much higher edit rates unless throttled back.
  • How many of the Rotlink edits created an actual content problem? Rotlink is now almost entirely adding links to archive.org. Archive.is or archive.today links are relatively rare, hard to find.
  • In none of the extensive discussion of Rotlink has a bad edit been shown. Negative opinion about archive.is was often of the nature of "they might do something bad in the future."
  • There is also RotlinkBot which has bot status on 6 wikis, is blocked on more than that.
  • Rotlink demonstrated that you can follow w:WP:IAR Wikipedia Rule Number One, causing no harm at all, and be blocked or banned. That RfC failed to implement what it demanded: a blacklisting of archive.is, and a global blacklisting request also failed. Essentially, the active core wants one thing ("obey our authority"), the real community actually wants better content.
  • AFAIK, Rotlink has violated no Wikversity policy. If we think that Rotlink is harming Wikiversity, policy or not, we may request Rotlink stop, and warn if it continues, and block if the warning is ignored. But it would be entirely contrary to our traditions to request that beneficial behavior stop.
  • We don't want unapproved bots running, for good reason. However, this user, bot or not, has, for a long time, only done good work. If the account is a bot or we think it is, we might consider approving it. Is.wikipedia apparently did. Pl.wiki actually gave it the flood right.
  • The issue with unapproved bots is flooding, overwhelming the capacity of the community to review edits. Rotlink is not doing that here. However, after checking a lot of Rotlink edits, I'm not doing it any more. Rotlink has been assigned Trusted status on some wikis, and it's no wonder.
  • I welcomed Rotlink's work on the user talk page. I suggested specifying possible conflict of interest, per WMF policy. However, there is no COI with the vast majority of edits, in recent edits, some time ago, I think I found only one archive.is link. This is trivial and actually harmless. Anyone may communicate with Rotlink, and the user has email enabled. Rotlink was not notified of this question, and I'm not doing it, because I consider it a waste of time. A formal warning would be necessary before taking action. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:49, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Archive.is is still being used. One or more links were added today, and many were added this month. You can do a full text search for "archive.is" (quotes required) to verify. Separately, while meta policy may allow bots at a low rate, Wikiversity does not. According to Wikiversity:Bots, 'The operation of a bot requires approval.' This is official Wikiversity policy. If we don't like the policy, we can change the policy, but we shouldn't allow users to ignore the policy. As to whether or not this is a bot, the editing occurs often enough that it should be approved and designated as a bot to put the proper edit tag on it if we want this activity, and it should be blocked if we don't. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:43, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Archive.is is still being used. One or more links were added today, and many were added this month. You can do a full text search for "archive.is" (quotes required) to verify. Separately, while meta policy may allow bots at a low rate, Wikiversity does not. According to Wikiversity:Bots, 'The operation of a bot requires approval.' This is official Wikiversity policy. If we don't like the policy, we can change the policy, but we shouldn't allow users to ignore the policy. As to whether or not this is a bot, the editing occurs often enough that it should be approved and designated as a bot to put the proper edit tag on it if we want this activity, and it should be blocked if we don't. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:43, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Dave, first of all, policy exists to serve the project and users, not the other way around.
  • We have the same policy here as meta, look at the fine print, my emphasis:
Bots running without a bot flag should edit at intervals of over 1 minute. Once they have been authorised and appropriately flagged, they should operate at an absolute minimum interval of 5 seconds.
  • Our policy governs local editing. The 1 edit per minute approximate rate of Rotlink, when active, is global, not local. Rotlink is not close to the margin here, but far from it.
  • This discussion is not a warning of the user. This is a request for Wikiversity comment. My opinion is that no user should ever be blocked if their editing is not harming the project, and particularly if it is benefiting the project. This is an application of a rule that we have not formally implemented here, but it was made Rule Number One on Wikipedia, and that, in fact, was merely common law.
  • I did do more research on this, including looking at links to archive.is, but I did not report it, since my response was already long. Since Dave brought it up, here is what I found:
  • Rotlink, from CA, has 293 edits to this wiki.
  • There are 37 links to archive.is on en.wikiversity.[6] One was added by Marshallsumter.
  • 22:23, 26 August 2014 added three links to archive.is
  • 14:54, 4 January 2014 added one link to archive.is.
  • 17:18, 22 August 2014 added one link to archive.is
  • that leaves 31 links, and unless I missed something, all were added in October, 2013.
  • Archive.today has 4 links on en.wikiversity, none were added by Rotlink.
There is no problem. It appears that almost all of the activity of Rotlink is adding archive.org links. Dave, I would guess that you saw two edits, listed above.
  • What I have not researched: were there archive.org links available for those four pages linked to archive.is? My guess is not, but that's just a guess. And is it worth the effort to find out? How will this benefit Wikiversity? I've put two hours into this because Rotlink is benefiting this project and I don't want it to stop. I don't really care if links are to archive.is. There are still 16,292 (just now) links on en.wikipedia to archive.is, almost a year after the RfC was closed. The RfC had it that there were 10,000 links when it was filed. Now, I know that the number of links went far higher than that, it went to over 30,000. Links stopped being added because an Edit Filter was written to prevent ordinary editors from adding links. That was not consensus, it appears it was unilateral.
  • So the question for the community. Rotlink may not speak English, and the user may not have time to bother with separate wikis, he's working on hundreds of them. Do we want to put the user through some bureaucratic process to get an approval that isn't needed by our policy, for the edit rate here? I've looked at a lot of Rotlink edits, maybe hundreds of them, and every one has been good. That was the strong report on the en.wiki RfC. Where Rotlink is blocked, it is not for bad edits!
  • There is no harm in allowing Rotlink do what Rotlink does, as long as the edit rate here is below 1 per minute, which, the way that Rotlink operates, it will always be.
  • If we don't want Rotlink to edit, we can block the user. Here is what happens when Rotlink is questioned. Nothing. The question raised was an esoteric one. Rotlink fixes dead links. Wiktionary quotes sources, that may include dead links. The user complaining thinks they should be left as-is, but when those materials were created, the links were live. Insisting on maintaining the literal link when it is dead is ... strange, very literalist, it will waste user time. However, a compromise would be to add a note, using the Rotlink link in addition to the original. We are very, very unlikely to see a problem like this. I think I know what happened with https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/beigist. That was an archive.org page, and it was taken down after the link was added. That's all. The restored link is behind a pay wall (if it still exists). Any link can break.
  • We have lots of users who do not respond to warnings and requests. We do not therefore block them. We make an assessment, overall, if the harm outweighs the benefit of allowing the user to edit, and we don't punish for "failure to respond," as some wikis do. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:16, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
We're obviously looking at different data, because I find 19 archive.is links from August 2014 alone. And unfortunately, I am unable to vouch for the safety of this resource. I can only tell you that if I wanted to create a botnet, I would do it by having unsuspecting users click on links that would bring them to my server before directing them to their requested content. If the information at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Archive.is_RFC is correct, such a botnet already exists, and the links here would serve to expand that network. Because there is this potential for abuse, already identified on a sister project, I bring it to the community's attention. If the community finds archive.is links to be a valuable service, so be it. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:47, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
At what data are you looking, Dave? I linked what I used. I did not, however, compile an analysis, imagining that this would be unnecessary and wasted work. Since this has been questioned, I now have, User:Abd/Archive.is. That page shows the four additions in August that I mentioned above, no more. Is there a bug in the special page for external links? Or have I made some other error? Diff or diffs, please! --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC) Daven's comment below split my comment, so I'm adding this sig to it, copied from below. --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:08, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
As indicated initially, I am doing a full text search using "archive.is". I can't give a link, because the link doesn't interpret correctly with quotes in the URL. It also doesn't interpret correctly using ASCII values for the quotes. That's why I instead noted 'You can do a full text search for "archive.is" (quotes required) to verify.' -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 19:35, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Awesome. Thanks, Dave. Now, why are some of these links not showing up on the normal special page used to study external links? For example, Molecular Biology contains a link to archive.is. The search shows a date of 03:20, 22 July 2014, which was the date of last edit (by Dave). That is not the date the text was added, . I am, by the way, fixing the reference to show what was archived. This was not properly created in the first place.
When I edited the link, which hid the "archive.is" text, it disappeared from the search. The search does not show hidden text (this is a bug in the search engine, in my opinion.) But we also are seeing a problem with Special:External links.
If we want to know Rotlink activity in August, neither of these approaches is clearly accurate at this point. Both are tedious and may be incomplete. Instead, this is Rotlink contributions for August (to 21:09, 29 August 2014), examining which, while tedious, will also give us other useful data. I'm compiling this on User:Abd/Archive.is and will come back with a report. --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:52, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
See [[7]] for an analysis of Rotlink August contributions. Summary: Rotlink made 162 edits in the study period. About 184 links were added to archive.org and about 43 links to archive.is. Peak day had 25 edits, peak hour had four edits. In only one case did two edits show up with the same minute. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:04, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
There are two issues here, Rotlink, a user, probably an unauthorized bot, but operating below non-authorized limits, and links to archive.is. The large majority of Rotlink edits add links to archive.org (the ancient Wayback Machine, or Internet Archive). It appears that where an archive.org page is not available, Rotlink uses archive.is, and Rotlink is apparently being run by the same people who run archive.is.
When the archive.is flap arose on enwiki, Rotlink did not respond as "the community" expected. Rotlink's attitude seems to be, this is purely helpful, so what's the problem, I don't want to hassle this, so if you try to stop me, I will follow w:WP:IAR and do it anyway. And so Rotlink edited anonymously. We do not know to what extent the ensuing IP editing was affiliated with Rotlink or was some general support, but that activity is not known to have continued. Rotlink is not editing anonymously here, but openly. So, rather than run a formal Community Review, which would be needed to ban Rotlink, some questions for the community follow below. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC)


The historic alternative before any automatic URL modification, was {{Dead link}}. On the French Wikipedia this template provides in addition four archive site URLs, including archive.is. So this solution is quite better than Rotlink, and that's why it engendered a development request of a similar bot in 2010, which I took, and modified thousands of French pages since then. Fortunately now my bot is open source and anyone can submit a modification I could run after. So I propose to:

  1. Modify {{Dead link}} in order to offer a few URLs to get the initial sources.
  2. Create Category:All articles with dead external links as a HIDDENCAT.
  3. See if we replace all the Rotlink URLs by the new template version.
  4. Vote if we periodically launch a bot like that, eventually in parallel of Rotlink.

JackPotte (discusscontribs) 20:52, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Great. First of all, if Rotlink can operate an unapproved bot making good edits automatically at low rate, so can anyone, without approval, and we don't need to vote on whether or not dead links should be fixed. I.e. we want them fixed, we don't just want to notify users that they are dead. If anyone thinks that having a dead link template (even with suggestions) on a link is superior to having an linked archive of the page, the user is welcome to revert the archive.org or archive.is link and place the template, Rotlink having served to automatically identify the dead link. And then someone else could review the situation, etc.
Or one can get bot approval. It's obvious why Rotlink hasn't done this. The process is a pain in the rump; he's running Rotlink globally, and there are something on the order of 600 wikis. So he has apparently elected to go for low rate, tolerating a few wikis blocking him. If they don't want the fixes, that's up to them!
So there is already another bot, great! Demonstrate it, please! We will not block you for operating an unapproved bot without warning you first! Just keep the rate as low as Rotlink's and you will be fine. If you want approval, again, go for it! Then you can easily make Rotlink editing here unnecessary, because you can run the bot once a day and stay way ahead of the game, with up to about 10 edits per minute, I think. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:31, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
JackBot is already approved. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:31, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Great. However, I just reviewed JackBot operation with broken links, below. I'd not be happy to see that here. However, if the rate were low, we could supervise it. This is, in no way, a substitute for what Rotlink does. Take a look at my experience below. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:43, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Allow Rotlink to operate?[edit]

Rotlink is running an unauthorized bot. However, the rate is low, and authorization is required for bots out of fear that they will flood a wiki. If a flood of edits appear from Rotlink, I would see no problem with any custodian temporarily blocking Rotlink pending investigation. Given this, the bot is performing two valuable services: identifying dead links and fixing them with links to archives (mostly archive.org). Some wikis have authorized Rotlink and/or Rotlinkbot to operate as a bot. We could do that as well. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

  • While Wikiversity:Bots says that bots must be approved, there is then a section, added much later after discussion at [8] that has:
Bots running without a bot flag should edit at intervals of over 1 minute. Once they have been authorised and appropriately flagged, they should operate at an absolute minimum interval of 5 seconds (12 edits per minute).
  • This clearly allows bots to operate at low rate without approval. (The intention may be just for testing, though). That was taken from meta policy. Rotlink operates globally, and global edit rate is below one edit per minute. (i.e, you can occasionally find minutes with 2 edits, but that does not mean that the bot actually operated at an interval of less than a minute, in terms of submitting edit requests, because there can be delay in those.) And that is why, in spite of all the flap over Rotlink, there has been no global lock request. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:49, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Rotlink operation discussion[edit]

From a custodial point of view I would prefer that bots be declared and approved. It ensures that the community is aware of the actions planned, it gives everyone an opportunity to inquire and verify what the bot will do (with documentation), and it allows the bot edits to be tagged as bot, removing them from the default recent changes list. Unlike Abd, I interpret the requirement at Wikiversity:Bots literally, that 'The operation of a bot requires approval.' I have my own bot, and I followed these guidelines and waited for approval before using it. We also have a page for bot operation discussion at Wikiversity:Bots/Status. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 19:35, 29 August 2014 (UTC

I read the policy in both ways: literally and as to intention.
As to literal reading, one needs to read the whole policy. It is obvious that "bot" is referring to high-rate automated editing, that is what is being regulated. This is clear from the exception noted in our policy, that a bot may operate below 1 edit per minute without approval. (Personally, I think that's too fast. I would not want to look at recent changes and see 1200 edits for the last day. But the origins of these policies were in high-watchfulness environments. Rotlink is a global editor, and global sysops watch for stuff like that!
As to intention, bot policy has a purpose. Rotlink is not violating the purpose, AFAIK.
Dave, you have a bot for doing high-volume editing here. That's a very different situation from that of Rotlink. Rotlink has already demonstrated high reliability, with over 173,000 edits globally. If this were a real problem, Rotlink would be globally locked. It's not. However, if I saw Rotlink flooding this or any wiki, I'd be at m:SRG in a flash with a global lock request, and it would be granted pronto.
Bots are written and tested at low rate, already, before approval.
As I mentioned, one of our options is to approve the bot. Would that make you happy, Dave? --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:31, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
But there's more to it than that. This discussion, and the alternatives being discussed are why there should be approval before a bot makes 173,000 edits, or even just 309. As you point out, a 'low volume' bot could still have a very high impact in a relatively short amount of time. If this functionality is something we want, then yes, one approach would be to approve Rotlink as a bot. Although, that, too, would violate policy, because 'Bot operators must: create a separate account for bot operation'.
Based on the discussion so far, I would much rather have the functionality suggested by JackPotte than the functionality currently provided by Rotlink. In addition, if this is something we want, then it should be done at a higher volume so that it has an effective impact. JackPotte has offered to set up his bot to do this. I would be happy to do the same with mine. But first we should all agree on (or at least come to consensus on) what it is the bots should do. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:28, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
That is really a separate discussion from this. Rotlink is operating, now, doing useful work. We don't have an alternative, yet. But as to what the bots should do, how about starting with exactly what Rotlink does? After all, maybe Rotlink will stop operating. That's a problem with depending on any private bot. Our page archive bot, here, stopped working eventually when the user apparently stopped running it. If we have something that does the same job, why should we prevent Rotlink from running? Only if we have something better and we want to stop the Rotlink changes, then, it's simple. One button push. When needed. Not now.
Dave, are you really proposing that we block Rotlink because, someday, Rotlink might start eating our pages? Running amok? But any user could run amok, any time, and any user could set up a bot at any time. Remember, as well, in the User:Abd/Augusto De Luca study, I tested manual editing at in excess of 6 edits per minute, sustained. Simple to automate that, if I wanted to run amok and get myself blocked and banned. Rotlink is not going to do this.
We don't issue preventative blocks absent harmful behavior. Some wikis apparently have decided to do that. I hope we don't start to imitate them. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:55, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I haven't proposed blocking Rotlink. I have asked the community what it wants to do. My personal concerns are already described here. I believe it is a bot functioning without community notice or approval, and it directs users to a (potentially self-serving) third-party website not related to the link the user is seeking, and without any visual cue or warning. From a computer security perspective, it is something I would instruct my students never to do. This approach is how most current malware is distributed. If a better solution can be found, I would be in favor of that better solution. JackPotte's proposal would provide a clear indication to the user what site they are actually visiting. Then, anyone who trusts archive.is is free to click on the link, knowing what they are requesting, and from whom. From a design perspective, it also centralizes the management of archive options in the dead link template, allowing for easy additions and removals as archive sites come and go. If I'm the only one who has concerns, then it's my problem. If others are also concerned, then we can implement a better solution. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:36, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Is there an action you do propose, Dave? This is an example where general concerns, which you have well expressed, may not apply to the particular situation in front of us.
  • Less than a quarter of the links are to archive.is. If we want to stop Rotlink from adding links to archive.is, that is an action that could be taken, except there seems to be no necessity for it, and the one opinion that is global consensus (with a few exceptions) is that archive.is links are okay, so there is only the technical concern.
  • Rotlink is not going to distribute malware. He'd be shooting himself in the foot. We'd lock the account, take all the links down, lickety-split, I don't care how many there are, there are many bots that could go into gear quickly, and we'd blacklist the site. It would be an emergency and would be handled as such.
  • I'm not concerned about archive.is. I would be concerned about a bot operating like Rotlink operates, if it had not demonstrated a track record of good edits. This is the point: RandomEditorDoingYouAFavor placing links to some unknown site, absolutely, stop it now. But Rotlink automated something that was already happening, with many editors adding links. One of the problems in the Wikipedia RfC and in the meta blacklist discussion is that no analysis was done of how many edits were added by regular editors, first, before Rotlink pushed the issue.
  • Meta blacklisters care much more about "conflict of interest editing," per se, regardless of whether or not an editor is doing good work, I studied this extensively with an editor adding links to lyrikline.org, which was blacklisted for years for no good reason, all the links were good. The editor was blocked to boot, and antispam volunteers vandalized many projects, it's reasonable to call it that. (One nearly was blocked on de.wikipedia.) If he could have gotten away with it, there is a meta admin who was itching to blacklist archive.is. But there was no community support. Basically, to blacklist, you have to remove those links first. There was talk of using a bot to remove them on en.wiki, that went nowhere. Then an admin used the edit filter to disallow any new archive.is links, and few editors understand the edit filter, much less know how to challenge an action like that. I was one. That's why I'm no longer editing Wikipedia! (Successful challenges of administrators don't make one popular with the administrative community.)
  • In any case, thanks, Dave, for being concerned about security. This is not, however, a security issue, just because in some alternate universe it might be. I think we should edit the bot policy to more accurately reflect what we need. Rotlink isn't a problem. An unapproved bot editing at 1 edit per minute for more than short bursts, could be a problem. Actually, though, any busy editor can make a huge mess if nobody is paying attention. An eye-opener for me was looking at all those Rotlink edits. We have a lot of work to do to organize Wikiversity! The time we spend hassling dead links is time we don't spend on the organizational task. --Abd (discusscontribs) 04:27, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm in the universe where Russian hackers recently amassed 1.2 billion usernames and passwords using a botnet. One way botnets are built is using a combination of browser vulnerabilities and URL redirection. Through Rotlink's activities, we're providing the URL redirection. I would propose a 'truth in advertising' type of approach where the redirection is clearly labeled. The link could be displayed as 'archive.is: title'. I already do the same thing in other external links I create, so that users know the site they are visiting before they click. JackPotte's proposal would also work, as users would see the name of the archive they are visiting before they click. I particularly prefer JackPotte's suggestion that it be done through a template, so that any future updates can be performed on a single template rather than what will become thousands of pages and external links. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 14:03, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
That's an alternate universe, i.e., part of the complete universe that does not apply here. The Evil Plan described requires this: archive.is is a massive undertaking to provide archiving-on-demand-or-need of many, many web pages. That undertaking operates for a long time (it's been at least a year) and many incoming links are created. Then archive.is switches to a malware site. How the Russian hackers collected 1.2 billion usernames and passwords using a botnet has anything to do with Rotlink, I don't know, there appears to be no "botnet" involved. How a malware site that is loaded by following an archive.is link here ends up collecting usernames and passwords is entirely unclear. Perhaps they pretend to be Wikiversity requesting log-in? How one would fool a billion users this way is, again, obscure.
So there is a huge investment of time and energy, as represented by archive.is, all to create something that would be shut down within hours of starting to implement the Evil Plan. It makes no sense at all.
As to improved process, yes, I agree that links to archive sites should be identified. Many of the archive links do identify, because the original link was bare or visible, so the replaced link is. Hidden links, though, are not identified, but, then again, they were not identified before, necessarily. We have no policy that requires external links to be identified. It also looks like we may have a bug in Special:ExternalLinks, which is a serious problem.
We do not create content with policy. One of the major wiki problems is policy formation or central decision-making that is an "unfunded mandate." That's what the archive.is flap on en.wiki showed.
Bots can be used for maintenance, if there is something very clear that a bot can do, and if it is possible to review bot operation and stop a malfunctioning bot. Bots can be low-rate, allowing this review. (There is no particular need for a bot to be fast, unless there is a huge and very clear task to be undertaken.) In any case: until we have practical alternatives, Rotlink is performing a needed service. "Unauthorized Bot" is a red herring here. The real issue is content, how we want links and broken links to be handled, and, then, review of Recent Changes by those of us who watch it. I don't mind Rotlink because the rate is low enough here (averages on peak days, which are rare, one edit per hour) to allow monitoring of Rotlink activity and, in fact, to look at those links and pages and make links work better, I've already done some of that.
As I've said, if I see some drastic alteration in Rotlink behavior, I expect to look at it immediately, review global behavior, and possibly be at meta requesting global lock within minutes.
Of course, we could not stop a mal-intentioned bot in the hands of a sophisticated user, because the user would simply register new accounts. Most locked spambots are not sophisticated. They might as well wave a big red flag, "spambot." In this case, the behavior would not be distinguishable to ordinary users as spam or malicious linking. We'd whack archive.is quickly, though, with the global blacklist, if we found malware hosted there (i.e., directly by the site itself, there could be something problematic on an archived page, as there could with archive.org).
See [9] where the page was a mess. I left the links as raw, which is common in print publications (where the whole link must be visible!), and we'd want that for a book compilation. Ugly, but useful and clear. Instead of focusing on Rotlink, who is helping, we may much more profitably focus on what we actually want for Wikiversity, and how to get from here to there. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:21, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I've considered requesting the bot flag for Rotlink, but given that Rotlink is not particularly communicative, I'd rather not. I'd rather have those edits be reviewed, even though they are boringly good. It creates a kind of "random page" review, so there are other benefits as well. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:24, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I have created a notice on User:Rotlink that Rotlink should be treated as a bot, and immediately blocked if operation moves out of established limits. No warning is needed (nor would warning be useful). I report there that consensus is, at present, to allow Rotlink to operate, based on the usefulness of Rotlink's work. Users should feel free to revert any Rotlink edits if they are harmful, and to Request custodian action if the bot begins to operate outside of safe limits. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:19, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Rotlink operation conclusions[edit]

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support as proposer. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support I've checked the last ten link repairs by Rotlink, nine are between 8/25-8/29/2014 and the tenth is from 9/9/13. Each link was dead, either from the web accessible literature (8) or from Wikipedia (2), each was replaced with a link to archive.org, and each repair was correct. If Rotlink begins to operate outside this norm creating vandalism or unusable links then I believe a custodian should halt the bot or human pending investigation. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 00:30, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Allow links to archive.is?[edit]

The general consensus on this has been yes, everywhere. Archive.is and archive.today are not globally blacklisted, are not blacklisted on en.wiki (where the close of the RfC mentioned above indicated a "weak support" for blacklisting), and AFAIK, are not blacklisted anywhere. Shall we allow links to archive.is and archive.today? (The alternative is blacklisting.)

Archive.is discussion[edit]

Archive.is conclusions[edit]

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support as proposer. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support it might help the readers. JackPotte (discusscontribs) 21:01, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support if the only links I can find for a dead link happen to be on archive.is or archive.today, I will use them. If Rotlink systematically shifts from archive.org to archive.is and this archive starts charging for downloads, then I believe solicitation has occurred and the bot or human should be halted, pending investigation. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 00:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Allow Rotlink to add links to archive.is or archive.today?[edit]

Rotlink apparently has a Conflict of Interest with respect to those two domains. We have no policy prohibiting COI users from linking to their domain, if the domain is useful and otherwise allowable. Given that the Rotlink edits only flag dead links and provide a suggested solution, which any user may improve or revert, should we allow Rotlink to add such links? --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

COI discussion[edit]

Noting that User:JackPotte's proposal above would resolve the conflict of interest issue. Users would be free to choose which archive they would like to view, and the visual clues make it clear that they are not visiting the original source. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 21:25, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

JackPotte is free to implement his proposal, our approval is not needed, it would only be needed if that bot operates at high rate. I am not was not judging which is better, not having seen any example of what it does. Taking a hint from myself, I look at the French template and what links there and find permanent link, the template is used in Note 4. While that looks decent, the archive.org page that opens up is the URL page, not a specific link, and both snapshots are broken. The only link that seems to work at all is [10] from wikiwix.
I don't see this as superior to what Rotlink is doing, but Rotlink probably doesn't check wikiwix. The problem here is that work is being set up for editors to do, and what happens on Wikiversity is that, too often, nobody gets around to it. Most readers would see that link and not know how to fix it. So, to see what is involved, I look at the wikitext. To start out, I click on the references section and, of course, don't see the code. I have to click on the ref number to find where the code is. I know already where this is heading! So I click on the number and I don't find the ref. That's because it's hidden by the donation request. (These ref jumps put the ref at the very top of the page, where they will be nicely hidden by the site message.)
Plus I need to know what to look for. It's a tiny highlighted ref number in the template on the top right. How the hell do I edit that? Okay, I have to edit the whole page. I was going to need to do that anyway, because it's the only way to see a prevue of references, and I don't want to blow my one chance to make a good edit to fr.wikipedia. Of course, the note numbers don't show in the wikitext, so, having been through this crap before, I first copy the date referenced, then edit the page, and search for it with my browser Find function, which didn't work. It's a template, so Find doesn't see the date, it's spread out in fields. Still, it wasn't a lot of text to search through.
About to substitute the wikiwix link for the broken link template, I realize I haven't checked to see if it supports the information. It does not. That link was to a googlebooks page that allowed searching a book by page, and the page was given. No wonder archive.is didn't have it! Total waste of time.
Summary: not so good. Better than a broken link and "dead link." Maybe. Not better than what Rotlink does, but maybe this was unfair as a test. (Rotlink would not have edited this.) Perhaps someone else can find a better example, I just looked at the first I found.
And then I found the original edit.[11] No wonder nobody had fixed it since JackBot placed it January 1, 2013. Yes, JackBot=JackPotte. The bot appears to have mangled the note information, losing the actual book citation and I had to look way back to find it. I haven't seen Rotlink do anything like that, but nobody's perfect. I fixed it.[12] --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:29, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
And then, armed with the full book information from the original, and even though the page is now missing from the Googlebooks preview, I found a way to display the needed information, and added a link.[13]. Old trick from an old dog. I did not put this link into the citation template, because, then, a bot might break the thing again if Google changes something, which they often do. Rotlink looks for dead links and replaces them, without changing anything else. In fact, I found one place where this wasn't optimal, but it was harmless, just didn't look good, the real problem was the original was an external link with the entire URL then placed again for display, so Rotlink replaced both. Rotlink really should not replace display-only text. But this is so rare that it's probably not worth pinging him. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:44, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

COI conclusions[edit]

Tagging a wiki book as as a research project[edit]

Should I have {{Research}} or {{original research}} or both on the titlepage of a research project? Should I also have these templates at subpages of the project?

--VictorPorton (discusscontribs) 18:47, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

  • My opinion is that it is only needed at the top level, subpages are automatically considered a part of the same project. They can be like chapters or pages in a book, the general disclaimers don't have to be on every page. Thanks for asking. --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:33, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
  • By the way, it is possible that a resource doesn't have the research project at the top level. A lot of work I've done only gets into what can be called original research in subpages. So a disclosure would be at the highest level of the actual research project. --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:35, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Nomination of Dave Braunschweig for Permanent Custodianship[edit]

Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Dave Braunschweig. All users are invited to comment there.

In the past, we have often site-messaged PC nominations. Dave, as a probationary custodian, should not edit the site message to show that the process is happening, my opinion, because of conflict of interest. However, another custodian, seeing this, may decide to site-message it, or, if there is community approval here for a site message, Dave could then go ahead and action it. So if you approve or disapprove of this being site-messaged, please comment! --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:16, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Shall the approval process be site-messaged?[edit]

It is commonly done. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:50, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Site-message discussion[edit]

Site-message conclusions[edit]

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support as proposer, --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:16, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support, this is usually done, but does this require a permanent custodian or bureaucrat? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 03:02, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
No, any custodian may edit the site-message. Ideally, the custodian is neutral. However, with a consensus here, or at least this proposal and no reasonable opposition in a decent period (I'd say three days), Dave could also site-message this. That message would be neutral and could actually attract negative votes, though I doubt that will happen. I'm just suggesting caution about recusal. In my view, it's better if this is in the site-message, but I don't want to start pinging all the custodians. Some might be on IRC. I don't do IRC, I'm allergic to it, I break out in hives. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:07, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support--guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 02:56, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
  • YesY Done - Thanks, Abd for getting this happening and discussing. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 02:47, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Automatic transformation of XML namespaces (new research project)[edit]

I've started a new research project Automatic transformation of XML namespaces (mainly about automatic transformation between XML namespaces, based on RDF resources which may be located at namespace URLs).

Everyone with good knowledge of XML is welcome to contribute. Any comments are welcome.

--VictorPorton (discusscontribs) 17:52, 29 August 2014 (UTC)


Grants to improve your project[edit]

Greetings! The Individual Engagement Grants program is accepting proposals for funding new experiments from September 1st to 30th. Your idea could improve Wikimedia projects with a new tool or gadget, a better process to support community-building on your wiki, research on an important issue, or something else we haven't thought of yet. Whether you need $200 or $30,000 USD, Individual Engagement Grants can cover your own project development time in addition to hiring others to help you.

Echo and watchlist[edit]

Special:Notifications & Special:Watchlist substantially overlap in functionality, except the former also contains extra (some non-public) events and doesn't provide with passive usage options (means to turn off web-nagging or email-nagging and to just keep visiting the page whenever I'm free), while the latter doesn't provide with options of active web-nagging notifications (but already provides email interface). Partly, in my personal view, the Echo/Notifications project was driven by low usability of watchlist; [14] comes to mind. It's also perhaps worth noting that Echo users aren't exposed to Special:Notifications unless thy have JavaScript disabled — in which case it's their only means of reading the notifications.

I'd like to get this done:

  1. Merge these two pages into one.
  2. To remedy large inflow of information, introduce multiple levels of importance of the web-nagging notifications (red for mentions, orange for thanks, blue for new watchlist items, etc and configurable in your settings).

Thoughts on both, please?

--Gryllida 02:23, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

By experience I'm sure that even if you post it on MW:Talk:Echo (Notifications) it will be complicated, unless you develop it yourself. JackPotte (discusscontribs) 11:17, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
This is a "would we like it to be done?" discussion; means to get it done are a different beast. -Gryllida 22:07, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Change in renaming process[edit]

Part or all of this message may be in English. Please help translate if possible.

-- User:Keegan (WMF) (talk) 9 September 2014 16.22 (UTC)

Is this a good naming policy?[edit]

I have been adding quizzes to Wikipedia and am wondering how to name them in Wikiversity namespace. One idea I had was to name it as a subpage to the article's name in Wikipedia. For example, Wikipedia has the article w:Saros (astronomy), so I put the quiz under [[Saros (astronomy)/Quizzes]], even though Saros does not yet exist on Wikiversity. Is this strategy good/proper/permissible? --guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 16:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, it's not complete. Here are my thoughts. First of all, we probably don't need the disambiguated name, with "(astronomy)," here, but it's fine as a redirect to Saros, which should have a special note below the redirect link that it exists to match the Wikipedia name (otherwise it may be deleted with no local incoming links). On Saros create a stub, if nothing else, it would have a link to the Wikipedia article and then a link to the Quizzes subpage.
I don't think Saros is a big enough topic for a top-level resource here, I'd be happier if this were a subpage under a larger resource. This is an astronomy topic, a detail. I'd place this underneath a more general astronomy topic, if not Astronomy itself. Marshall may have some ideas. Right now, there is Astronomy#Orbit and a link there could go to Astronomy/Saros which completely handles disambiguation.
We also have a stub on Orbital mechanics, which is a large enough topic for a stand-alone course in a university, hence, my thinking, fine for a top-level resource here.
So, based on the above thinking, create Orbital mechanics/Saros and move other similar resources to the same subspace. Then you'll have Orbital mechanics/Saros/Quizzes and the like. A link should then go to Orbital mechanics from the Astronomy resource. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:21, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Once there are educational resources here, on a topic covered on Wikipedia, there should be sister wiki links placed there. Place w:Template:Wikiversity on the page, following the instructions in the Template documentation. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:29, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm glad I asked. In a few hours I will build from the stub Orbital mechanics exactly as you suggest. It's always good to turn a stub into something that is not a stub.--guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 23:29, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I moved all [[Saros (astronomy)]] pages into Orbital mechanics and its subpages. It's still chaotic and I will organize it better in a few days. I also need to deal with the antikythera and ecliptic pages. --guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 04:06, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Closing the custodianship vote for Dave Braunschweig[edit]

Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Dave Braunschweig

Wikiversity Custodianship "proposed policy" stood as policy for most of the history of Wikiversity, the status as standing policy was removed in 2011, the argument being that there had never been a vote. Yet as a description of actual practice, the page has been accurate since as far back as I know. The core of it was in the original draft, by Sebmol, in August 2006.[15]. The page was marked policy by JWSchmidt in February 2007 after extensive discussion. It is obvious that this designation was accepted by the community. In any case, it's what we have, and what we have been following since 2007 or before.

The page also provides for a one-month probationary period, which can be extended if necessary.

As there was no mentor recommendation forthcoming, after repeated requests and a year passing, I informed the mentor, Jtneil, that I would go ahead and make a recommendation. He thanked me for that, and the voting was opened 29 August 2014

The "policy" page provides for one week of evaluation of the vote for permanent status. It provides that a bureaucrat make the final decision. (The original draft policy had five days as did the version first marked as policy. I changed it to one week when it was still policy, and that change stuck.)

The vote was site-messaged on 5 September 2014‎.

On 12 September, I messaged all bureaucrats requesting a close, it having been two weeks since the voting began. There has been no response.

Community consensus is clear in the voting. 10/1, stable for 10 days after the last vote, is more than enough on every wiki to gain administrative status. Consensus, in fact, trumps policy, and we don't have policy except as, effectively, a proposal and a tradition, and the absence of bureaucrats was not contemplated. I am, accordingly, closing that discussion, even though I'm involved and am not a bureaucrat. I am claiming no special authority, only acting to implement community consensus. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:36, 19 September 2014 (UTC)