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Permitted usage vs. Fair Use[edit]

As expected from previous discussions, this issue is raising its head.

This talk page comment appeared in my watchlist. I am concerned about two issues.

  • The template used (as invited by Template:copyrighted, is called Template:No thanks, and the user of this template is then shown as using "we". The user states, on his user talk page, "My purpose is to enforce the Resolution:Licensing policy Wikimedia-wide."[1] He is not an authorized representative of the Wikimedia Foundation, any more than any of us are.
  • Foundation policy does appear, at first glance, to require that all material be available for free use, which, paradoxically, can mean usage for sale or profit. This situation is interesting because the material is clearly available for noncommercial usage, that is, our usage qualifies, but it is alleged that the license under which the material was released does not permit commercial usage.

From a first look at a page where these images are used, the educational resource would be damaged if the files are removed. Thus removal of the files would harm Wikiversity. Yes, someone could possibly draw new schematic diagrams, but this could take days of labor. What would a commercial user want?

Clearly, they'd prefer a volunteer to do this work. But suppose that volunteer is not available? Would they prefer the files to be deleted, the resource damaged, possibly links removed, or the files be tagged as what they are, with the license they have, and the re-user may decide what to do, to fix them, to remove them, or to negotiate a license (the file deleted, the license and source information would also be gone)?

So neither Wikiversity nor the commercial re-user benefit from the files being deleted. Who benefits?

It is clear to me that we may claim Fair Use, but do we have a license tag that specifically covers this situation (I.e, permitted use here, possibly restricted use elsewhere)? The largest and most urgent concern of the Foundation policy is that files restricted in re-use have machine readable tags so that a re-user may quickly find all these files.

(The user who raised this issue on that Talk page claims that the "burden is on the uploader," but, in my opinion, any one of us, with access to this file and source, may claim Fair Use on behalf of Wikiversity. It would be silly to claim that we must re-upload the file to do this.)

If necessary, we may amend our WV:EDP to more specifically cover these situations. To be clear, there is absolutely no risk to the Wikimedia Foundation from our usage of these files, there is only the possibility that a file might need to be removed by a commercial re-user, at their discretion, or some other action might need to be taken before re-use. Noncommercial re-users will have no difficulty with these files. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:08, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

  • More. The first file in question is File:6K6 pentode power amplifier.JPG. The file as uploaded by the user ([2]) has Template:cc-by-2.0, which was correct as to licensing, but that template, which is protected, misrepresents the license, which restricts or prohibits commercial usage. Thus the notifying user here edited the file to use Template:copyrighted, which then misrepresents our policy. (I.e, it does not contemplate fair use or other non-free use). It is impractical to renegotiate the license to become CC-BY-SA 3.0. That is possible for the copyright owner, so if the uploader is the user and the uploader is active here and will see a Talk page notice, this can work. By the Resolution, this is a preferred outcome. It's not the case here.
  • The "copyrighted" template points to Template:No thanks which is, essentially, rude, and, again, neglects the possibility of Fair Use.
  • And now, the dimensions of the problem start to appear. Wikiversity:License tags invites categorization of uploaded files into one of a series of possibilities. There are a series of templates, and for a user who is not a copyright expert to pick the correct one can easily fail. "cc-by-nc-sa 2.0" is not one of the options. This is a mess, and this mess is not going to go away by ad hoc editing of random users with random opinions. We need clear organization, documented, accessible, easily understandable, and with an easily maintained procedure. We need to handle licensing issues promptly. If we wait several years, the original user is often not available. Commons itself has this problem. It has no system that makes the categorization of files documented and verified. Uploaders commonly err, and, then, it can take years until someone notices a license problem, the result being that Commons is not a reliable source for free content, and to be safe, a re-user would need to verify the licenses, until and unless Commons has a process in place to do that. W, being far smaller, can much more easily handle this for our content. Let's do it. --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:24, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
It seems to me that the {{Fairuse}} template would work here. It indicates a valid educational use, and I believe consistent with what the original creator intended with the CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0. Tagging it as fair use would then indicate and require that anyone reusing the image or the resource verify that their use is consistent with the original license. The {{No thanks}} tag is not appropriate in this situation. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 20:57, 23 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree. I think, though, that we might want a more specific template. The page should be tagged with an accurate license declaration and fair use. There are two separate issues here: what is the license, and is this file usable in spite of not meeting the "free re-use" standard. I will start to address some of the issues coming up on Wikiversity talk:Uploading files, our relevant policy page (that page holds the EDP).
I have placed some new comments on Wikiversity talk:Uploading files and created a page with the WMF resolution and extensive comments on it, at Wikiversity:Uploading files/Resolution:Licensing policy. It's becoming clear to me what we can do, that will powerfully implement the policy while, at the same time, protecting our content and our users. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:12, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Dave Braunschweig: Apologies for the mistagging, but I could find no other generic "This file is problematic and I have diagnosed the problem but do not know how to fix" media template. From Wikipedia experience with fair use, I have had to supply a fair use rationale for each page the image I uploaded appeared in, leading to multiple fair use templates on a single image documenting its intended educational value on each page. And in addition to having to infer the intended educational uses of an uploaded image from the uploader, this was not a burden I was prepared to shoulder. But perhaps I have misunderstood the policy, and there is greater latitude for fair use here so long as someone justifies one single {{fairuse}} template. Indeed, this is as much a learning experience for me as it is for the people I've contacted. TeleComNasSprVen (discusscontribs) 06:38, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
And I see Abd has already begun "monitoring" my edits... TeleComNasSprVen (discusscontribs) 06:38, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Those pages are on my watchlist, I edited them before. However, when a user has this on a user page, I definitely want to watch, but I don't recall if I checked contributions. This is irrelevant to our issue, and it appears that this user is being positively helpful, this time, and I'd like to encourage that. --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:22, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
I've done a bit of writeup of what I think a good fair use rationale might be for images (here). It's not perfect though, because as I've said before I have no idea what "HiFi" is, or how best to connect the image to it, so I gave a generic explanation like "To teach others by diagram the terminology used for HiFi, in the HiFi/Glossary educational learning resource." I hope it satisfies the fair use requirements. But I don't think it'll work for the other images which also need review. TeleComNasSprVen (discusscontribs) 08:43, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
w:HiFi. I built Heathkit HiFi equipment in the early 1960s, using vacuum tubes.
As Dave indicates below, we may create a generic fair use template, it may simply refer to the page where the material is used, letting the page speak for itself. Should the matter come to discussion, yes, more may be needed, and a user may supply more if they wish.
However, we may also create a generic "permitted use" template that satisfies our own EDP. An EDP is a document that establishes exemptions to the otherwise strict requirement for "free use." To a commercial re-user, the distinction between fair use and nc-permitted use might be important; how they would handle the material could be different. Some commercial re-users may claim fair use, for example. The Resolution policy seems to have only looked at fair use as exemption, and so we need a fair use rationale, but we may be much more relaxed about permitted use, and, I'm going to be suggesting, we may have different EDP standards and procedures for fair use and permitted use. All this will become obvious as we develop documentation and procedures to make it simple for users to upload files without creating a maintenance nightmare.
Fair use may be claimed for material of unknown copyright status. That's something that has also been overlooked. We cannot claim permitted use for such material. If the source and owner are known, we may claim permitted use, if appropriate. Further, the owner may be asked for permission to release under CC 3.0. In the case of this image, by the way, I'd expect the owner to decline. But we do not actually know that the owner is the source. Maybe. Maybe not. It's quite possible that those images were copyvio. This can become a deep tunnel with no cheese at the end. That's what we need to avoid. Let's go for the obvious purpose of both Resolution:Licensing policy and our educational purpose. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:16, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks TeleComNasSprVen! The fairuse rationale tag you added looks perfect. I personally might make it more generic. Our upload page pulldown selection for fair use indicates 'For use on a page about the person, place, or thing.' If the original source is referenced, it may not be necessary here at Wikiversity to be more specific on the usage, as long as the use is consistent with the Exemption Doctrine Policy. Regarding your original dilemma, there is a {{No fairuse}} template that can be added to indicate the fair use rationale is missing. Tagging everything hasn't been a burden anyone has been prepared to shoulder. But, current consensus is that we would rather have the educational value of the content than remove it because the rationale tags are missing. Therefore, there are many images right now with only a {{Fairuse}} tag, and no corresponding rationale. If you're willing to work on finding the original sources for some of the images, I'd be happy to write a bot that would identify the fairuse images with missing rationales. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:42, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
The selection is over-specific, as stated. The "a page about the person, place, or thing" has been interpreted to require that the whole page be such. This is an attempt to restrict usage, but it can be educational to have an image that illustrates some person, place or thing that is relevant to the page but not the primary topic of it.
So, procedure: all images should be established as for free use, if they are. Being hosted on Commons, while unreliable, is a prima facie showing of this, because of Commons' strict standards. We need only consider for EDP or local free content, images hosted here. Images here which are duplicated on Commons should not be deleted, but they should be tagged. No license rationale is needed, but a fair use rationale may also be added on a local copy, if the image is used in a resource. Thus we need a fair use rationale tag that does not establish the page as "non-free." This is simple classification, and it could be done by bot, or much of it can.
Where the image source is known, it should be indicated. The user uploading generally has this information. Source is not ownership. The site license does not establish that the image is so licensed. If the owner is known, it is very important that this also be indicated. We will have, because of sloppy history, many images where information is confused on this point. So does Commons, in fact.
We want to make it very easy for uploaders to tell us what they know. Our upload process may include a template to be substituted, with explicit instructions. Then the questions are those that uploaders will know how to fill out. There will be a response that generates a "needs help" category if they need help. (This will generate a category that will be classified as a "possibly non-free content" category)
This will eliminate the ongoing problem. Volunteers like TelComNasSprVen can help us to clean up the older files, until we have validated free use content and tagged non-free content, only. (Commons hosting validates, temporarily at least.) We may also wish to have local copies of Commons content, in case Commons makes a removal decision. A removal decision on Commons does not necessarily establish the content as non-free, commons is very conservative on this, when a file comes under examination.
Whenever we have a discussion of a file that establishes fair use, the file should be tagged to distinguish it from files where a fair use claim has not been validated. This can be as little as one other user validating the usage, especially if we establish a process where users known to be reliable validate, or it can be more formal and broader discussion if needed.
(In some cases, one may tell this status from history; however, that's not enough, it takes too much work to check history for a discussion, say at WV:RFD. For starters, I'm trying to avoid the use of that forum, except when really necessary.) Tags should be "machine-readable." That means documented, clear, and accurate categories.
Instead of having major discussions over every file, the first task is to categorize content as to its actual status. This process can immediately satisfy the most important part of Foundation Resolution:Licensing policy, the tagging of non-free or possibly non-free content. As we come to know, from this tagging, the exact nature of our content, we can then assess the issue of "limited exceptions." We may handle this, as one suggestion, with time limits. ::::::Time limits for certain kinds of non-free hosting can easily satisfy the purpose and actual expression of the policy, while avoiding much unnecessary complications, and without undue restriction and burden on our users and administrators.
Parts of the process can be done by bot. Dave, I know you know this, but I'll ask it anyway: please don't go with bot editing until we have consensus on what the bot will do. A little work now on finding full agreement can avoid a lot of work later. Finding full agreement takes some time. When we have a proposal, we may site-message it for comment. Ideally, this can be done fairly quickly. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:16, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
While my comment may not be applicable to this discussion, if no one minds too greatly, I'd like to add it here. When I began using Fair Use tags for images I also included a rationale for that fair use per readings on Wikipedia of such. Later, I realized that these rationales are not needed, including for educational use of the images. Wikipedia sort of requires them because of the book publishers who use their entries, but I see no reason for them here. US copyright law does not require them nor imply any need. If we decide to publish books based on courses, such as textbooks, we will need to get permission to include fair use images, I believe, so that any money we make from sales can go to Wikiversity-only projects or some portion to the authors. I hope this helps. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 03:32, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
That may prove yet to be insightful, and if we do not need fair use rationales as justification for hosting the files here, it would greatly reduce our workload. Have you checked the relevant United States fair use exemption laws to make sure? I'd like some links to them, see if I can pull anything out of the legislation. TeleComNasSprVen (discusscontribs) 03:36, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
The US law as I recall is on Wikiquotes or Wikibooks and can be found on the web. Section 107 is the most relevant. I have read it in its entirety and nothing about rationales is mentioned. Here's a resource on Wikiversity that may be helpful: Attribution and copyright. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 06:01, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • We need a "non-free use rationale" per WMF policy, not for copyright reasons. I am suggesting we create a generic educational use "non-free use rationale" for nc licenses, and allow such usage where educational purpose is reasonably served and no equivalent free file is available. At any point, any user may substitute a free file for the nc file, and it is an ordinary editorial decision whether or not this file is "equivalent" or better. We may then readily tag all nc licensed files with this rationale. The question that remains is whether or not we will allow the nc files to be locally hosted even if they are not used in mainspace. I'm claiming that there is an educational purpose to this, at least for temporary hosting. We may decide to template:Proposed deletion all such unused files, giving them a lifetime of less than a year (I'm suggesting a semester's worth of time), and if a file is used in a draft resource, in user space, we may decide to allow indefinite life. (Someone may improve that resource and move it to mainspace.)
  • The point is to support the free use policy while at the same time supporting educational purpose and efficiency. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:29, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

From Wikiversity:Uploading files#Fair use considerations: "Fair use content is only allowed in learning resources in the main Namespace and on media file description pages in the image namespace. If a media file containing copyrighted content is used, the image description page must contain a description of the intended educational use of the media file." Unfortunately that means that even if media content was used in userspace, it would still be subject to deletion under the fair use policy, unless someone would be willing to perform the obvious solution and move it out to mainspace. Or you could try to opt to change the current policy, but as it stands, it is currently in effect and we must follow it to the letter. TeleComNasSprVen (discusscontribs) 11:10, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

We know what the Wikiversity EDP says. That EDP was adopted without discussion, I've been over this many times. We are not limited to it. We may amend it. Yes, while it stands, and because the WMF does not allow fair use content here without an EDP, we follow it. However, how we follow it is still subject to some discretion. It is totally obvious that we do not arrange for immediate deletion of content, aside from illegal or otherwise obviously unsuitable content. We are only discussing cases where a fair use claim might be sustained. Perhaps the usage of the file needs to be in mainspace (as the EDP says), but we might also amend the EDP, we can do that at any time. There are some conflicts here where the purpose of the Foundation license resolution has been implemented with language in our EDP that does not consider the special needs of Wikiversity, yet that language is not clearly required by the apparent purpose. Part of our educational purpose takes place in user space, projects are developed there, etc.; this is due to our purpose being education, not merely "educational materials." In addition, we are also considering nc licenses, where issues may be different as well; discussion of "fair use" is tangential to the issue of nc license. --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:50, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Then do it. If you don't like the current wording of the EDP, submit a Community Review asking that it be changed. The Resolution:Licensing policy is quite clear that we would only allow media under Wikiversity's specific scope, that such policy "may not be circumvented, eroded, or ignored by local policies" and that we are thus left with the only two options summarized by Dave below. Are you going to start doing the manual review of the media uploaded here, or are you going to complain more about how "interpretations of the language of the EDP are unclear with regards to Wikiversity, blah blah wikilawyering" then continually respond to the objections made here and getting nothing done about the EDP? I, for one, am going to stick to and stand by the policy, unless it changes. TeleComNasSprVen (discusscontribs) 02:12, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
TCNSV is not the Overseer of Wikiversity. I have not "complained" about the EDP. I have described it. There is work to do, uncontroversially, and I've worked on the project, as are others. TCNSV is welcome to help, but not to demand. As to "Community Review," we are here discussing the issues, first. When we have a shared sense of what to do, we will do it. Wikiversity is a collaborative project, it's been remarkably quiet and peaceful. Let's keep it that way. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:48, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
I personally prefer this approach. We generally tell users that content in user space is their own. We don't access it, and as currently (and correctly) configured, we can't search it by default. It certainly can be educational to the user to have this content, but it isn't educational to others. I'm okay with the the requirement that fair use content needs to be in the main namespace, and to move content into the main space to preserve it if it is educational. The one place where this presents a problem is with the engineering class projects we currently have going on in user space. But they are currently going on, so we could delete their images and force them to license correctly.
So, what would the community prefer? Delete the unlicensed content, or tag it as fair use and move it to main space? -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 14:05, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
We need a license on content, and there should be no delay in this. If we found content in a garbage bin, and if we find it useful, we may, under some conditions, claim fair use for it even if we know nothing about the source. That is, the source was "a garbage bin." Or the source was an upload by a user who, by uploading, was representing that he or she had the right to do so, but who failed to provide other information.
That content is not guaranteed to be "freely usable." So we must, to respect the purpose of Foundation policy, tag it as non-free, and by Foundation policy, again, it must have a non=free use rationale. I am claiming that we can supply a generic rationale, for a time and for a purpose.
Basically, in the name of perfection, we are damaging practicality. What is truly urgent is that all content be categorized as to license, and that non-free content, or potentially non-free content, if any, be machine-readably tagged as such. There should be no delay in this, it should be done immediately. What to do with the files is a separate issue. Yes, non-free content not meeting the requirements of our EDP is "subject to deletion." But do we want this to be some random event, that happens or doesn't happen for months or years? Or to we want to make it predictable? If our structure is clear and simple, it can be predictable.
At the same time, it can serve our educational purpose.
We do have an issue to face: do we want to allow indefinite usage of non-free files in user space? Remember, there are two kinds. Fair use (copyright owned, permission not obtained) and permitted use (permission obtained, but not extending to re-users of content from Wikiversity -- this includes Creative Commons NC licenses.)
What I find strange indeed is that re-users will likely not be re-using what is in user space. So why would we prohibit, say, permitted use in user space? In a university, students may certainly copy any permitted material. They often copy much more than that! In user space, we understand that the materials are for the student's usage.
But, regardless of this, we should all agree that files should be accurately tagged as to license. If we mix up the tagging with the issue of keep/delete, we will vastly increase the complexity of the process. One step at a time. What content do we have?
So what I prefer, Dave, is that all content be tagged ASAP. We may tag content with a generic fair use template, and we may, at the same time, discuss how long to permit a generic template to serve in the absence of established mainspace usage.
Moving the content to mainspace just to satisfy the EDP seems backwards. Yes, we could do this, but let's instead, look at what will build Wikiversity for the long run. We may consider a small modification to the EDP that allows a limited time, as an example, for a non-free file to be hosted pending usage, and a longer time if it is used in a draft resource in user space, pending a move to mainspace. Meanwhile, all files that are non-free, wherever they are must be machine-readably tagged, and if we want users to share the work of this, we cannot then have a tag that says "This file will be speedy deleted" or that obviously means or requires that. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:12, 3 March 2014 (UTC)


@Dave Braunschweig: This is a highly disturbing template. Wikiversity (and the greater Wikimedia movement) explicitly only allow the greatest amount of freedom for files as a CC-BY-SA license, and I've been recently tagging files with CC-BY-NC-SA licenses for fair use. Yet this template contains both, a mutual contradiction which it seems was apparently discussed here for which there was consensus to "delete" - but there's been no progress to improve the current wording of the template to remove the NC clause. TeleComNasSprVen (discusscontribs) 00:26, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for your concern. I can only tell you that the end of that discussion has a bureaucrat saying keep, and another custodian saying the consensus is for better guidance. I do not see the consensus to delete that you refer to. The entire discussion is before my time as custodian, but those who had the power to delete didn't. Therefore, it seems to me that delete was not the consensus at the time.
So, instead, it's time to look at the issue anew. There are currently 1,543 resources using that template. I'm willing to do whatever it is the community agrees to, but I don't think it is appropriate to delete that template until an alternative plan is put forth that would provide licensing for the 1,543 resources impacted by the proposal to delete.
Feel free provide a proposal that resolves the concerns you have identified, and addresses how these 1,543 items will be managed. Then get the community to support your proposal. Thanks! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:03, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • There seems to be some confusion about dual licensing. This came up in the RfD for this template. It was totally inappropriate to attempt to delete the template. Commons, which does not allow fair use, is fine with multi-licensing. The dual license has the following effects:
  • It allows free use. That is, unlike the pure nc licenses, a commercial re-user may re-use the material.
  • It allows, however, a creator of a derivative work to choose the nc license, and thus restrict the derivative work to nc use.
  • See commons:Commons:Multi-licensing, multilicensing, as a creator/owner choice, satisfies WMF free use policy. It is not for us to invent unnecessary restrictions. I copied commons:Template:Multi-license to Template:Multi-license, and this might avoid some confusion.
  • That discussion was interesting as to wiki process. Indeed, nearly all supported Delete, including a 'crat, but ... Jtneill had actually researched it, and no commentator other than Jtneill and Rd232 showed signs of understanding multilicensing. The RfD remained open from January 1, 2012 until Jtneill, in September, 2013, moved the page to the archive, and added an archive template to the discussion, thus effectively closing it as no consensus or keep. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:06, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • I added Template:Multi-license to the subject template. Files tagged with multiple licenses do not require a fair use rationale, unless none of the licenses satisfy free use policy. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:13, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

A course on literature research, i.e. finding out anything about anything[edit]

I was reading a discussion on Wikipedia[3] about telling people how to find and recognize reliable sources. So I looked up "literature research" here[4] and found several useful items on particular topics, but no top-down comprehensive coverage aspiring to describe how to find anything on anything. To be sure, such a thing would involve figuring out how to advise people to look up things on very specialized topics.[5] Is it remotely feasible to make this a topic to cover in a course? Wnt (discusscontribs) 00:01, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

We might have something already, but, if not, a resource on finding reliable sources (and other sources) could certainly be created here. That resource could have subpages dealing with specific topics or kinds of sources. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:16, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

It sounds quite feasible. Be bold! Start by creating a page that outlines what you envision, and link to the resources you've already discovered. Let us know what assistance you need. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 00:24, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Call for project ideas: funding is available for community experiments[edit]

IEG key blue.png

I apologize if this message is not in your language. Please help translate it.

Do you have an idea for a project that could improve your community? Individual Engagement Grants from the Wikimedia Foundation help support individuals and small teams to organize experiments for 6 months. You can get funding to try out your idea for online community organizing, outreach, tool-building, or research to help make Wikiversity better. In March, we’re looking for new project proposals.

Examples of past Individual Engagement Grant projects:

Proposals are due by 31 March 2014. There are a number of ways to get involved!

Hope to have your participation,

--Siko Bouterse, Head of Individual Engagement Grants, Wikimedia Foundation 19:44, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Requested change to sidebar[edit]

Wikimedia projects The link to Strategy should be removed: the project was discontinued and collapsed into Meta years ago. (Also, it may be worth linking to Wikimania...) —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:13, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

YesY Done -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 18:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Duplicate pages?[edit]

Wiki Workshop - An Introduction to the Wikiworld and Wikiworld - Commons and Education/Wiki Workshop - An Introduction to the Wikiworld seem to be more or less the same page. Should one be merged into the other? — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 22:59, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Okay, what happened. A user who was the last to work on the first page decided to make it a subpage, and apparently didn't know to simply move it. The last version of the first page is the first version of the second page, the content was copied exactly. They should indeed be history-merged, so that the full history is there. Nice catch. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:07, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
YesY Done -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 04:03, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the speedy response! :-) — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 11:11, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Templates on User Pages[edit]


User mate2code has created the category: Category:Pages where template include size is exceeded in May 2012 which has some number of templates on user pages which I have no access to. As I am the only Wikiversity user in this category, and I use the templates I've created as part of my efforts here, can someone give me some information on this, specifically,

  1. is this category necessary or required at Wikiversity?
  2. if it is required, how many templates are user pages limited to?
  3. is it the number of templates included or the size?
  4. if the category is not required, are there other reasons for having this category to consider?

Thanks! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 14:14, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Looking at the page detail in the generated HTML for the page Marshallsumter indicates that the category name doesn't really reflect what the issue is. It's not a limit on the number of templates being reached, but the size of the generated content. The 'Post‐expand include size' is at the limit (2041342/2048000 bytes). You can see this if you view the source for your HTML user page. What I would recommend is a user interface design technique known as progressive disclosure. The idea is to only show the level of detail required, and then allow the user to drill down on any particular item that interests them. In other words, as Abd notes, you could have subpages with the details, and include links to those subpages on your main page.
You might also consider this just from a resource standpoint. I compared your page and mine in terms of server resources. It takes almost 15 seconds of CPU time to generate your user page. Just for comparison, my very short page takes 0.12 seconds. Perhaps you can find a design somewhere in the middle, but still functional for you.
Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 17:53, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

See w:Wikipedia:Template limits. Pages are placed in the category by the MediaWiki software. You will notice that nobody added that category to your user page, it is not in the wikitext. Your user page takes a long time to load; it's possible that it is not rendering properly, either. While the page itself appears to be only about 86 KB (which is still a largish page), the pages that are transcluded take it up to something on the order of 2 MB, if my simple check was correct. I suggest you split up the page and use subpages. --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:34, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Looking at this led me to some weird places. mate2code placed the category in the Templates category, which is not correct. However, there is a Template namespace. We don't have a Resource category or User category. But we do have a Template category. Okay, We do have a Resource category, and we have a "Users" category. We also have a Category category. It is used to categorize categories, only subpages should be on that page. It's correctly done, but stuff has crept into the others. Time for some wikignoming. --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:48, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

The category was created automatically, and this is how it looked back then: File:Template include size is exceeded.png
The pages are meanwhile deleted. mate2code 15:51, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Wikiversity page names, content, and organization[edit]

Don't beat a dead horse. If you want to change the categorization of my pages, I don't object - but at the moment I have no time for Wikiversity. mate2code 13:00, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Where should I put equation templates?[edit]

I have two questions:

First question[edit]

As I understand it, templates can be placed in Template space or in my own user space. Is it OK if I put these equation templates in my user space? The following template represents the idea, except that I will make them a bit longer:

(What follows is a template situated in my userspace)

Newton published this in 1687, his knowledge of the numerical value of the gravitational constant was a crude estimate. It states: [1]:

 \mathbf{F}_{12} =
- G {m_1 m_2 \over {\vert \mathbf{r}_{12} \vert}^2}
\, \mathbf{\hat{r}}_{12} \mbox{ where }G \approx 6.674 \times 10^{-11} \ \mbox{m}^3 \ \mbox{kg}^{-1} \ \mbox{s}^{-2}

The reason I ask for permission to use my userspace in this way is that Wikipedia seemed to object to something I did with my Wikipedia user space. (I think I made a userspace category, which somehow bothered them,).

Templates can technically come from any namespace. The most common would be Templates:. User space works. So does main space. I can't think of any obvious reason why having templates in user space would be a problem in and of itself. I'm more concerned about usage.
There is a general acceptance that user space is personal. Creating templates in user space for your own use is fine. But as soon as you include user space templates in main space content, it gets complicated. If another user wants to improve the content, they're stuck between accepting what you have and forking the project, or at least the templates to another location. That results in duplicate content, and could lead to edit warring.
I don't know that there's any consensus on this, but my preference would be for you to use either the Template: namespace or main space for things that will be included in main space resources, and user space for things that would only be included in user space resources.
Would it be possible/desirable to create a learning project specifically for equations, with each subpage containing a separate equation that can be included elsewhere? We could then easily write a template that could be used to pull the named subpage into an article for usage.
Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 12:53, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't know how to create (or use?) what you call the Template: namespace or main space for things that will be included in main space resources. But I like the idea! --guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 16:36, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
To include (transclude) content from a main space article, just put a colon in front of the title, as in {{:title}}. For an example, see Lua. I prefer using main space pages under the learning project for navigation, etc. I only use the actual Template: space for things that will appear in multiple projects or that use replaceable parameters. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:44, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
One other idea that just occurred to me is that it is possible to only include (transclude) sections of a page as well. You could have a page of equations, each with it's own heading. Then you can include the equation with {{:page#heading}} syntax. Just another option. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:47, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
I can deal with each equation having its own subpage. There might be 100 of them, but they can be indexed, e.g. in a single page. I tried to transclude sections only and used Energy of simple harmonic motion as an example. The first gave me a redlink, and the other two trancluded the entire page:
  1. {{Physics_equations/Oscillations,_waves,_and_interference|transcludesection=Energy_of_simple_harmonic_motion}}
  2. {{:Physics_equations/Oscillations,_waves,_and_interference#Energy_of_simple_harmonic_motion}}
  3. {{:Physics_equations/Oscillations,_waves,_and_interference|transcludesection=Energy_of_simple_harmonic_motion}}

--guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 15:48, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Eureka! I have to mark the section in the source using <section begin=chapter1 />foo<section end=chapter1 />, and then us this {{#lst:Physics_equations/Oscillations,_waves,_and_interference|sho_energy}}

The kinetic energy K of the system at time t is

 K(t) = \frac{1}{2} mv^2(t) = \frac{1}{2}m\omega^2A^2\sin^2(\omega t - \varphi) = \frac{1}{2}kA^2 \sin^2(\omega t - \varphi),

and the potential energy is

U(t) = \frac{1}{2} k x^2(t) = \frac{1}{2} k A^2 \cos^2(\omega t - \varphi).

The total mechanical energy of the system therefore has the constant value

E = K + U = \frac{1}{2} k A^2.
--guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 16:58, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
That seems like more grief than it's worth. It might be easier to have the separate pages, and then transclude them wherever you need them. But try a couple of options and figure out what will work best for what you want to do, and what might be an effective model for others with similar needs. If you need help creating a template, so you could just specify something like {{somename|Energy of simple harmonic motion}} to include the equation, let me know.

Second question[edit]

I am more than halfway through my first semester of using Wikiversity in my courses and am delighted. My second question is a request for verification that I am not violating Wikiversity policy. I am pretty sure that I am OK here, but just wanted to double check.

  • In the Astronomy course I am creating my own textbook by heavily editing wikipedia articles, using a permalink at the top to give credit. See for example, Jupiter
See also the wikiquiz: Test 3 practice questions
  • In the two physics courses, I found open source textbooks and made them available to the students. Wikiversity is for summary equations and wikiquizes. The students especially like the Wikiquizes, which I hope will grow into a test bank that is useful to other instructors.
A sample physics wikiquiz is Relative motion on a train

My second question is this: Is any of this a serious violation of Wikiversity policy?--guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 02:08, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

This is a licensing issue. Under CC-BY-SA, you are free to reuse the content for any purpose as long as you provide attribution and the same licensing. Wikipedia and Wikiversity have the same licensing, so that's done. Attribution, according to Creative Commons, must include the title and URI. I think your usage also meets the reasonableness requirement for attribution in this case.
However, when your intent is to start with an entire Wikipedia or Wikibooks article and then create your own text from it, a better option would be for one of the custodians to import the wiki article for you. The import would automatically include all of the edit history with the article.
Where this makes a difference is if you (or one of your students) decide to make a book out of this content. If the edit history from Wikipedia has been imported, the previous editors are automatically attributed in the printed copy of this content. With link attribution, the original authors are not credited, and the usage starts to lose its reasonableness.
Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:16, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
I hunted around for the best way to do this and found It looks like I can just copy/paste the article and use this method to import the edit history. Am I right? --guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 15:59, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, just list the Wikipedia article title (link) there on the left and the Wikiversity page name you'd like it imported into on the right. That page is on my watch list, and Sidelight12's as well, so you should see the page imported within 24 hours, typically sooner. If you need an urgent response in order to be productive, drop a note on my talk page so I get an email notice as well. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:37, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Face-smile.svg Thank you Both questions are now answered.--guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 18:00, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Proposed optional changes to Terms of Use amendment[edit]

Hello all, in response to some community comments in the discussion on the amendment to the Terms of Use on undisclosed paid editing, we have prepared two optional changes. Please read about these optional changes on Meta wiki and share your comments. If you can (and this is a non english project), please translate this announcement. Thanks! Slaporte (WMF) 21:56, 13 March 2014 (UTC)


I think that a page presently in the Wikipedia user space, w:User:Physchim62/Crown Copyright Bill should be copied to Wikiversity and located at Draft Crown Copyright Bill. It looks like the sort of original research that we allow here. What would be the best way to do this? Should it be copied to Wikiversity using the import process? If, on the other hand, it is copypasted, should the template at the bottom, which says the author has released it into the public domain, subject to Wikipedia's general disclaimer be reproduced. James500 (discusscontribs) 01:22, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Importing is preferred as it retains the history. I've put it at Crown Copyright Bill - Draft. Feel free to move it as you wish, however, Draft isn't the key part of the name. In fact, I'd like to see you create a learning project for all of these and move them under that project. British Law makes the most sense to me, but it's not my area of expertise. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:48, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I am under the impression that a draft Bill does not technically become a Bill until it is actually introduced into Parliament. I am also under the impression that the names of these things normally include the word "draft" and that it is normally put first. That seems to be the approach adopted by government draftsmen at any rate. Draft Bills and clauses are presently within the scope of Topic:Law reform. James500 (discusscontribs) 02:27, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
So, under Law reform, it could be Law reform/Draft Crown Copyright Bill. Note that Topics are for discussion of content but shouldn't be containers of content. If for no other reason than the content doesn't show up in default searches. If you need help with mass moves, let me know. I have both custodian tools and a bot available. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:03, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
What do we gain by moving draft Bills to subpages? Does it matter that the seven "draft Bills" that we have were created by different users, adopt very different approaches and are of variable quality (some of them look more like proposals to draft a Bill than an actual draft)? Does it matter that Draft Crown Copyright Bill could just as easily be made a subpage of Copyright as Law reform? James500 (discusscontribs) 03:30, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
What we gain by organizing content in general is the recognition that users don't come to Wikiversity to learn about a single resource out of context. They use Wikipedia for that. The content here should be organized to help them learn about the resource within its overall context, whatever that might be. I have no experience with Crown bills, so I don't know how that can best be organized. I do, however, recognize that draft is only one phase of Crown bills, and there are other phases that would also be relevant here. So, perhaps the overall organization is Crown bills? Again, I don't know. You're the subject matter expert and would know best how to organize the content.
As to whether or not the seven bills belong together, if that's the only thing they have in common with any other content here, then, yes, they belong together. If, instead, the goal is to build content on copyright law specifically rather than law reform, then the article could go there. But since I already know from edit history that your focus is much wider than copyright law, law in general or law reform would be a better organization for this content.
By placing the content together, we also help contributing editors recognize that they aren't working in isolation. Our goal should be to work collaboratively to improve open educational resources for everyone.
Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:46, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
For the time being, this material should generally be organised using conventional lists and categories, because it is generally not sufficiently clear into what single wider context, if any, it should be placed. James500 (discusscontribs) 23:01, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Not satisfactory. James, you have been creating a farrago of pages that are not coherently organized in what is becoming the Wikiversity mainspace structure: top level pages that could be what one might find in a University catalog -- for a very eclectic university, with subpages that go into even very fine detail. If subpage links are used, instead of full explicit links, an entire page structure can be renamed with a single command. This is the Wikibooks structure. You have pages like Miscellaneous draft clauses. Think how that page will look to a reader who is browsing Wikiversity.
Trying to figure out what that page is, I look at the categories on it. It gives me no clue. Now, I've been watching the Great Reform Bill resource for years, so I have some idea what is going on. The resource does not explain it.
Is there a page that explains your overall project here? Is there a single project, or are there many disconnected projects?
I have long had a concern about your work and Wikiversity neutrality policy. That is, resources here should be neutral, not taking some controversial position. We may study controversial positions. We may also create essays that contain advocacy, but these must be clearly set off as opinion, and, my opinion, attributed. They are not presented as some kind of "fact." One of the ways of maintaining neutrality is to have a hierarchical page structure that places neutral material at the top, and then links to subpages that are explicitly opinion or original research. --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:51, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I consider your entire approach to be unsatisfactory, and I am inclined to blame Wikiversity's lack of content and low traffic on it. And I do not think the way you describe my work is accurate. James500 (discusscontribs) 00:19, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Please move the entire contents of Category:Draft Bills into subpages of Law reform/Draft Bills except for Miscellaneous draft clauses which should be at Law reform/Draft clauses/Miscellaneous. I think this is absolutely pointless and that subpages are a terrible way to organise content, but I am sick of hearing about it. James500 (discusscontribs) 06:44, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi, criticism of your work was unwarranted. I think its good to use subpages to keep related pages together, but you have a point about resources being insufficiently clear for wider contexts. The whole project is not organized either way, and the community still needs to figure it out. Organize it how you want for now, you can adjust it later.
I think it can be made simpler by moving it all directly under UK Law reform without further sub-directories or whichever name. then move them all under it, separating it by header and naming. You do have a point about categories doing a similar function, and it may need to be discussed by the community at the drawing board. I want to encourage your project, and don't want to interfere much. For now, no rush to organize it a certain way, and take it easy. I see you've already used subpages for parts of draft bills. You've been here a while, so you can figure out how you want your project worked out. I think we should leave you alone for now. - Sidelight12 Talk 08:13, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Subpage organization[edit]

Imagine a library where each book has been cut up into chapters, and this is a school library, and it includes all the student work. It includes every speech made to a class. And all these are separate documents. They all have a tag on them that allows them to be categorized, but there is no sequence, except maybe on some page there is a list of some items.

I imagine my office, and there are many papers. Each paper has information on it that allows it to be categorized. But they are all laid out on tables. I can see hundreds of papers at once. What's the effect? Let me say that I know the effect, because I live with it. This "organization" doesn't work. It can work when one is young, when a youthful brain can know where everything is. It starts to fail and fails very badly later.

Now, take that library, and bind the chapters into books. They are still the same chapters, but there is some "glue" that sticks them together. The book has a title. Now, imagine that there is a filing cabinet. You can pick the thing up with a hand truck and move it. It contains all the books on a subject, and all the class materials and all the student work, that which the students didn't keep at home. It contains the records of discussions and debates.

That file cabinet could still be a mess, inside, but it's not a mess that will interfere with everything else in the room.

Often, in creating resources here, users decide to have a Quiz, say. So they create a page called Quiz and there it sits in mainspace, this kind of thing has happened many times. (There is a learning resource on Quizzes, really a quiz project, which prevents this from happening now.) Someone else has intended to create a quiz, making what was, at the time, a redlink. But the link now turns blue, and another user wants to take the quiz. But it has nothing to do with the resource the user was reading. No, with subpages, the user simply enters [[/Quiz/]], instead of [[Quiz]]. That link now refers to subspace of the page where it appears. It is an "attached page."

That's a very simple example. A top level page can be like a filing cabinet for some topic. Now, we also have the Topic namespace, which was designed, apparently, as holding links to resources organized by topic, and the School namespace, designed to cover entire learning fields, as a University may have many Schools, each with their own catalog. There can be courses that are part of different schools.

Exactly what structure is adopted depends on the purpose of the educational activity. Sometimes it is apparent, sometimes it is not. That's why we discuss these things. If a set of resources seems disorganized, with no distinction, for example, between factual collection and the expression of opinion, and one of us says so, that's not condemnation, it merely indicates there is some work to be done. We do not condemn people for incomplete work, here. Normally, the most we do is to move incomplete work to user space, which is equivalent to asking a student to please not leave their work lying about in the school library, take it home, finish it, and if it is to be submitted to a class, then submit it. The professors are asked the same, please don't leave their unfinished class notes in the library or shared classroom. A custodian might throw it in the trash, literally. If it has the student or professor's name on it, though, a helpful custodian will take it to the owner.

And any user can do this work. One does not have to be a custodian, and because it doesn't involve deletion -- except a harmless kind -- nothing is lost. If someone moves a quite decent resource, ready for prime time, into user space, it can be disconcerting, but ... nothing is lost, any of us can still read it, and it takes a custodian to delete the redirect. It's so easy to recreate a deleted redirect and, in fact, deletion is necessary to move the resource back. It's easy to discuss.

Compare this to what happens on other wikis, with "nonsense" pages or "out of scope." If an administrator deletes them, what was deleted? Only administrators can tell. Most such deletions are probably appropriate. But if you are a student who accidentally leaves your work in the classroom, your notes, with doodles, and a custodian throws it in the trash, even though it has your name on it, you'd certainly have reason to be upset!

User space pages are also subpages, simply organized by user. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:37, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I think this whole discussion of the best organisation for Wikiversity is very interesting. I've never been quite sure of how things are 'meant' to happen here, so have often preceeded with just whatever I've felt to be okay. Lately, this has been with preference for top-level pages that pretty well stand alone and explain themselves. I used to do more subpages, but there's no realy guidance about it, and often it's easier to just work on a single page rather than try to set up a whole framework for things. Wikiversity:Subpages doesn't really offer much help as to best practice — perhaps this discussion should happen there, with a goal to making that into a policy? — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 00:30, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Samwilson. Nothing wrong with working on one page. Suppose you create a stand-alone top level page. Someone else might later place it into a page structure, it depends on the topic.
My rough standard has been, would this page be a course or seminar listed in a school catalog? If so, stand-alone. And it might have subpages, as the content suggests. I.e., if one works to make a resource deep, lots of reasons can appear for subpages to be used.
Users may write essays on a topic, and essays may express some point of view. If the essay is stand-alone, this can then violate neutrality policy. I do not at all mind users writing essays and putting them in mainspace, stand-alone. But if I see one that looks like it could violate neutrality policy, or present original research as if it were something broadly accepted as science, say, I may act to create a top-level page that is neutral and then move the essay under that as attributed opinion or research.
When there are strongly variant points of view on a topic, subpages become a method of avoiding the Wikipedia dilemma of trying to agree on a single page. Here, we can fork pages, creating a top-level page that is *rigorously neutral* -- by consensus! -- and then linked subpages which express points of view. These subpages can even be, to a degree, "owned." I.e, they have an attributed author. Criticism of these pages can be done on the attached talk pages, etc.
Subpages allow Wikiversity great flexibility, while moving toward their use also allows us to clean up mainspace, creating overall structure that is coherent and attractive. Any user can work on this.
Wikiversity never created clear guidelines for page creation, and, as a result, Wikiversity grew like Topsy. There are often multiple pages on a similar subject that apparently were not recognized as such by the authors.
There is a tension here between creating unified, community-validated educational resources, accepted by consensus, and creating individual works without interference. Subpage organization generally allows us the best of both worlds. In a page hierarchy, what is accepted by consensus is moved toward the top level of a mainspace resource, and what is individual opinion or essay is moved down. Some work may even be in user space, linked by a lower-level mainspace page. (I have questions about linking to user space from mainspace, questions that I don't consider have clear answers yet.)
As to creating policy, wiki policy is usually formed based on actual practice. But policy writers often want to work in the abstract, making up rules. For some years, few users paid much attention to overall structure. That's shifting, we now have a community effort, with broadening understanding of what works. We used to have frequent RFDs over pages that now we routinely handle without deletion. That is very substantial progress, and makes Wikiversity a safe place to create content, at least usually. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:50, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Subpages are inferior to conventional categories, lists and disambiguation. You can include a page in more than one category or list. You can't do that with subpages. If a resource is capable of fitting into more than one frame of reference, it might be a bad idea to shoehorn it into a particular frame of reference by turning it into a subpage. Subpages can result in needlessly long page names. The argument about neutrality is a red herring. If an essay in what the user above calls the "mainspace" has POV, all you have to do is throw up a counterblast. Overall neutrality is restored. Problem solved. If an essay is hogging a title that other people want to use, you can disambiguate by moving the page. James500 (discusscontribs) 08:33, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Your comment suggests that subpages and categories are mutually exclusive. They aren't. Subpages provide an organization and navigation framework. Categories help users find related content in other learning projects. Both approaches provide benefits to users, and I believe both approaches should be applied to content when clear relationships can be established.
As the content expert for your content, you need to decide what works best for your learning objectives. How would categories help users visiting the pages you've created? How would subpages help them?
Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:05, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Possible bug on Wikiversity[edit]

There might be a problem with plus signs on Wikiversiy.

+ is what I get when I copy and paste from another Wikiversity page.

̟ is what I get if I try to type from a keyboard. On my screen the first symbol of this line looks like a subscript plus sign; it looks this way in both "edit" mode and "show preview" mode.

I tried this with two different computers, both probably affiliated with the same server. Wikipedia seems OK.--guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 15:20, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I may have fixed the problem. In the upper right hand corner in "Edit" mode is a small keyboard icon with a pulldown arrow. All I have to do is change the icon to "use native keyboard". Now I get all the + signs I want with a stroke of a key! ++++++ --guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 15:31, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Should I delete this entire post?--guyvan52 (discusscontribs) 15:32, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
We have had users in the past identify the need for the native keyboard setting, so this serves as a good reminder. But it's your thread. Delete it if you wish. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:56, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Commons upcoming deletion of File:Lunokhod2.jpg[edit]

Well, they are at it again. Commons is preparing to delete the image File:Lunokhod2.jpg. I have a copy but would like to fix this now rather than after they delete the image. I tried to upload the same image with a different name and the system (Wikimedia) shut down. How can I move, edit, or create a new file with this or my renamed copy now rather than having to come back and repair my three lectures that use this image later? I want to fair use either this image or my renamed copy. Help? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 02:21, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Travel to Russia and photograph that spacecraft, so that you can release it as fully free. Photos of living spacecraft can easily be obtained, so non-free usage is not allowed.
Seriously, since you know the link from which it was obtained -- which does not actually state ownership, and the Commons nomination assumes it's Russian ownership, which may or may not be true, and Commons gets into a tizzy over their own speculations -- you can just upload it here, with whatever license information you can supply, and then add a non-free use rationale for your pages. If you use a new filename and change the filename in your pages, the Commons deletion will have zero affect on you.
We should have a category for "possibly defective permissions." These images would require a non-fair use rationale, but ... a re-user might well decide to go ahead and use it, where they might decide differently for a clearly copyright covered image that truly needs a fair use claim. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:01, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
What is the purpose of changing the image name? Why not just import the existing resource here as is? -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:30, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
That could be done, but Commons Delinker might not be programmed to recognize the existence of the local resource. It could be tried. I think we might de-authorize that bot here. I'd rather see redlinks. But we could also routinely revert those removals. That might be superior, because it would flag the loss of the file. Really, we ought to notice planned deletions on Commons for all files in use here, and import them routinely, before they are deleted. After all, Commons is for re-usable content. That is, we can do this if there is any possible basis for a non-free use claim, which could then be determined here with no rush. Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to quickly identify all locally-used files.....
Okay, we can compile a list of all file links to commons, I don't think that's terribly difficult. Then we can use a Commons account to watchlist all those files, getting an email for any deletion requests. I could use my Commons account for that. Or maybe someone else will volunteer. This job would simply be to update a page here with deletion notices. It could be a public mailing list (no need to be secretive about this). --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:41, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Wikiversity Law Review[edit]

This resource is located at American J.D. Program/Wikiversity Law Review. There are similar redlinks in California Legal Apprenticeship Program and Guide for first year law students. I am not sure why this resource is buried in a program for undergraduates, but I suspect it might be because law reviews published by American universities are normally edited by students.

I have three questions: (1) Should this be a separate resource located at Wikiversity Law Review or Wikiversity Journal of Law? (2) Should it be confined to peer reviewed material? (Cf. Wikiversity Journal). (3) Was this edit, which removed content without explanation, correct? (For the avoidance of doubt, the .pdf file on meta is marked as compatibly licensed, despite what the removed link said about its copyright status). James500 (discusscontribs) 13:50, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

1) If your vision for Wikiversity Law Review is larger than an American J.D. Program, yes, it should be moved to its own learning project. 2) Whether it should be peer-review only would be up to the participants of the learning project. If it is peer-only, you should also designate where non-peer content should go. Or leave the current project where it is as a non-peer resource and set up the Wikiversity Law Review separately. 3) I don't know about 'correct' or 'incorrect', but I don't put much faith in an IP-based edit without comment. The edit seems intentional, and with a little bit of research you can figure out who the author likely was. But since both the IP and that author are no longer active, you should be free to redesign and enhance the project as you see fit. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 14:15, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
We can start a new project based on wikiversity and it may be placed on the homepage. --~~Goldenburg111 18:58, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

On writing a technical article[edit]

I am writing a short article about writing technical wikiversity articles, as funny as this sounds. Right now it is just in my userspace: (oops)
User:RandyRostie/Writing a technical article mainly because I am not sure if it's necessary or useful to anyone but me.

It is meant as a one stop resource for writing technical wikipedia or wikiversity pages, but especially wikiversity pages from research and citing research, writing styles and avoiding common grammar errors. Then wiki coding, skipping over the bare basics unless necessary to explain something; general use of templates, IE. cite web and cite journal; formatting tips and style guides, like a subject covering one big page, or using sub-sections. Then links to related wikiversity pages and external links.
RandyRostie (discusscontribs) 01:07, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

One thing I am not clear on, is how or when to cite wikipedia pages or wikiversity pages.
RandyRostie (discusscontribs) 01:14, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Looking at your wikitext, we can start with one thing. Generally, you won't just place a URL there, raw, even though the software will indeed detect and display it as a link. "Citing" is a more complex issue, but we can start with linking. Look at the wikitext by editing this section to see what I do for links.
To link to a Wikiversity page, generally, do this:
To link to wikipedia, put "w:" in front of the Wikipedia page name. I.e., for my fave topic, w:Cold fusion. Terrible article last I looked, about twenty years out of date. Ah, well. We will eventually do better at Cold fusion. Not yet. Too much work!
Sometimes it's simply more convenient to just use the URL, pulled out of the browser address field. So:
  • [6] is what you had, and I only added the single brackets, which, as you can see, reduces the display to a link symbol. But perhaps you don't want it to be that simple, or you don't want to display all that http stuff, etc., so
  • Writing a technical article. The single space separates the URL from the display text, instead of a pipe as used in a wikilink. Later spaces are displayed as spaces.... --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:00, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Oops, I usually don't make that mistake. I guess my question should be IF I should cite other wikipedia or wikiversity articles, or just say "see also:" directly underneath the txt, like I have been doing.
RandyRostie (discusscontribs) 02:11, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
When to cite: Everything here and at Wikipedia is Creative Commons CC-BY-SA licensing. Whenever you borrow something from another page, you need to cite the source somehow. There is a {{Cite web}} template. You can also use <ref> tags. I personally find the <ref> tags easier to work with, but others prefer the Cite templates. If you don't borrow from another page and just want to mention the other page, then use See Also, or See also, depending on your preference for Title Case or Sentence case. See Computer Hardware for an example that includes both examples of <ref> tags and See Also. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:50, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I've gotten the page to what I feel is an acceptable level for public use, and moved it to
Help:Writing_a_technical_article with a link to it from Help:Contents(Basic Tutorial of writing a technical article)
I'm not sure if tutorial is the right description of the page, but that was the basic idea. RandyRostie (discusscontribs) 04:22, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Changes to the default site typography coming soon[edit]

This week, the typography on Wikimedia sites will be updated for all readers and editors who use the default "Vector" skin. This change will involve new serif fonts for some headings, small tweaks to body content fonts, text size, text color, and spacing between elements. The schedule is:

  • April 1st: non-Wikipedia projects will see this change live
  • April 3rd: Wikipedias will see this change live

This change is very similar to the "Typography Update" Beta Feature that has been available on Wikimedia projects since November 2013. After several rounds of testing and with feedback from the community, this Beta Feature will be disabled and successful aspects enabled in the default site appearance. Users who are logged in may still choose to use another skin, or alter their personal CSS, if they prefer a different appearance. Local common CSS styles will also apply as normal, for issues with local styles and scripts that impact all users.

For more information:

-- Steven Walling (Product Manager) on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation's User Experience Design team

Archiving request for custodianship[edit]

Hello. I have recently archived more than 10 requests for custodianship that was started and last commented more than a year ago. Any problems, please state here. Thanks! --Goldenburg111 21:01, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Font Change[edit]

It appears that someone made a change to the cascading style sheets supporting Wikiversity yesterday, changing the heading fonts from sans-serif to serif. I haven't identified where the change was made yet, but I have found a work-around. If you prefer sans-serif heading fonts, you can go to Preferences / Appearance and add Custom CSS. See User:Dave_Braunschweig/common.css for settings that return the headings to sans-serif. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:09, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Okay, not sure how I missed the announcement two sections above this. But the information is helpful for anyone wanting to go back to the old view. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 18:26, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Some more possible duplicate pages[edit]

Further to the comments above, the following might be duplicate pages:

I have not detected any differences (apart from categories etc that I've added), but I don't have time to read them carefully or from start to finish. James500 (discusscontribs) 18:07, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

You can use Special:ComparePages to compare pages and identify differences. There were some minor differences, but nothing that appeared to be significant. I've merged the page histories together and left your most recent edit on the given page as it's current version. You can compare histories yourself to see if any content should be restored or removed. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 18:57, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. James500 (discusscontribs) 18:59, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Proposal to create NonFreeWiki[edit]


This proposal would centralize non-free content (i.e., Fair Use and other nonfree files), in a wiki like Commons, but designed specially for non-free content.


  • It assumes that the English Wikipedia has the most generous Exemption Doctrine Policy. That may not be true, in practice. Not clear is how and where the decisions would be made as to what is allowed. The proposal may become clarified in ways that would make it unobjectionable and a positive help to us.
  • It is unstated how it will come to pass that local uploads are disabled. Presumably, developer action. Can we opt out? The devil is in the details. A properly configured and administered NonFreeWiki could be extremely useful. Administered oppressively, a nightmare.
  • A simpler solution would be to use Commons for non-free content as well, clearly tagged as such. Why is a whole new wiki needed to do what could be done locally on Commons by a fairly simple system of tagging files, simply by expanding Commons' mission? All that would be involved would be a removal of a standard Commons deletion reason. Common's mission to provide free files would not be harmed. --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:03, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
    Why don't you comment on the proposal on Meta? PiRSquared17 (discusscontribs) 02:33, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
YesY Done --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:28, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree this could be good to have, but I must ask that we be free to opt out. Otherwise, once again someone with less expertise will be deleting files that we are using. Another possibility is to have that NonFreeWiki as Wikiversity. While we can use free content and may label it as such, we are also free to use NonFree content. Just some thoughts and a suggestion. Hope this helps! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 21:24, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
This is not a proposal in contradiction to the wikimedia:Resolution:Licensing policy. That is, we are not totally free to use NonFree content (and would not be free under the NonFree Wiki proposal. We may only, by WMF policy, use nonfree content with an appropriate nonfree rationale, typically a Fair Use rationale, per our Exemption Doctrine Policy. We are generally free to interpret our own EDP, and we may amend it as needed. The WMF resolution requires that non-free usage be limited, which can then conflict, to a degree, with our educational purpose. We attempt to compromise, in our actual practice, such that neither goal is seriously damaged and both are fostered. If you are interested in this proposal, I suggest looking at the meta document and discussion. I'm not getting the sense this is going to take off, but I could be wrong. --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:55, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Deletion of categories[edit]


I have a question. According to the deletion log each of these categories has been emptied of there one or more resources each, these were listed in the Category:Articles containing non-English-language text by Thenub314: Category:Articles containing Spanish language text, Category:Articles containing Latin language text, Category:Articles containing Japanese language text, Category:Articles containing French language text, and Category:Articles containing Danish language text, then each of these categories deleted. Why were these deleted? Each contained at least one resource, usually more than one, and were causing no harm. Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 15:41, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Hello. I was attempting to be useful and do some cleanup. I visited Special:UnusedCategories and deleted some empty categories. I did (try to) check that each category was empty before I deleted it. These happened to be near the top of the alphabetical list. If I deleted any containing resources, it was a mistake and I apologize. As I look at these categories, they still appear empty, which resources were contained in them? Thenub314 (discusscontribs) 15:51, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for responding. I went to Category:Articles containing non-English-language text and began by checking the first resource that may be mine: Art - there is one for French, the second Astrohistory - there is one for French, 3rd Astronomy/Laboratories - three for French. It's going to take quite a while to check the 57 pages in the general category and not all are mine. Perhaps the fastest way is to restore each category. There are many resources here at Wikiversity that use these languages. I can add some to each as soon as I complete the resources for the astronomy course that I am completing. This will be finished by Friday. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 16:37, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
If a category is reasonably likely to be used in the future, and if it does no harm, it should normally not be deleted. This can be handled by placing a request to keep the category on the category page (a template that effectively says "please do not delete if empty" can handle this, do we have one?). As with any speedy deletion, the deletion can and should be reversed on request, without fuss. The whole point of "speedy" is to make it simple and quick to do noncontroversial deletions, not to create an enforced decision that prevents ordinary users from developing and organizing content. Thenub, one procedure that we have developed, it's not policy, but probably should be, is for custodians not to speedy delete solely on their own initiative, absent immediate harm from a page. Rather, the custodian tags the page as would any other user, with a speedy deletion tag. It takes very little time, and any other custodian, verifying the deletion reason, can delete, and we handle speedy deletion requests, usually, quite rapidly. --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:12, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
{{empty category}} can be added to a category to inform custodians that a category is expected to be empty sometimes. -- darklama  18:16, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
@Mashallsumter, I have restored the category and I will also chip in with the 57 pages as my time permits. Thenub314 (discusscontribs) 18:22, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
First of all, there is a face-palm glitch in the name of these categories: they should be "pages" not "articles." We could say "resources," but "pages" is a bit more general.
Thanks, Darklama, and Thenub. We have had the practice of deleting non-English pages, but there is actually a better practice, which is to set up translating them as projects. The original language page then would still be kept as a subpage, or as "archived to history," for reference. University libraries do contain works in languages other than the language used in classes! And, of course, there are language and language projects.
The individual page language categories should be subcategories of the "non-English" page category. I just made one so (French), they should all be that way. --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:09, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Okay, what's really going on here: Template:Lang adds pages to the relevant language category. The template documentation was not imported, that should be fixed, if we are going to use this template at all. The template has a "nocat" option that does not categorize the page. Since by this time I realized that the non-English category here was appearing with only a few words being displayed with the Lang template, and thought that utterly silly, I looked at Wikipedia, and, sure enough, the language categories were not displayed. They are hidden categories on en.wikipedia. (I am not sure why the categories are even created. What's the use of that category?) I would think these should also not be displayed here. I assumed, incorrectly, that "articles containing French text" would be articles with actual French text, not just individual words or a few words! Because some people are working on this, I'm not going to hide the categories yet. Alternatively, we could remove the categorization from the template, or make noncategorization the default. In that case, the template would be used simply for a few words, and then with a "cat" option for major text in the non-English language. --Abd (discusscontribs) 00:19, 21 April 2014 (UTC)