Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/April 2013

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medieval genealogy

-- (discuss) 02:58, 5 April 2013 (UTC) Dear Wikiversity representative: Wikipedia does not accept "original research" and directs us to you. I have appatently solved a complicated problem in the genealogy of the Carolingian nobility and want to find out if you have a forum where this material can be presented. Please advise.

S. Green (discuss) 02:58, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I did a quick search for Carolingian, and it looks like there are five articles that mention the Carolingian nobility. Your options would be to investigate those resources and see if they have similar content as a starting point, or if your content would be new. Then either use the article's Discuss page to work with the existing page authors, or create a new page specific to your content. But the short answer is, yes, you can add your content here. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 17:05, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Wiki education newsletter

Hello! I run the wiki version of the Wikipedia Education newsletter, which is "published" once a month.[ Newsletter] Im here to welcome you to contribute news about what you are doing here and any other of Wikimedia's projects (dont let the "Wikipedia" fool you). You can contribute at the Newsroom here Newsroom We have one story from this project on tap already!Thelmadatter (discusscontribs) 21:22, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Let's see if we can create more Wikiversity entries - it can just be one paragraph about interesting/useful educational resources or projects on Wikiversity. Here is the one about Survey research and design in Psychology -- Jtneill - Talk - c 14:18, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
I would like to put a story (albeit a short one) about the new course Principles of radiation astronomy in preparation. What do you think? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 00:02, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Adding metadata to Wikiversity

Hi all -

We’d like for Wikiversity to start supporting a metadata standard called LRMI. Supporting this standard would be involve installing a Mediawiki extension named HTML Tags, which would make it possible for interested editors to add metadata information (such as LRMI) to Wikiversity pages. LRMI is a way to label web-pages with information about Open Educational Resources using standards intelligible to search engines. LRMI was developed through an open and collaborative process headed by Creative Commons with significant community participation, including by most major educational publishers and even some Wikimedians. We believe the process through which LRMI was developed through falls in line thoroughly with the ideals of the Wikimedia movement.

Using LRMI on Wikiversity would make it easier for people to find educational resources on Wikiversity that are of interest to them. It would improve the accessibility of Wikiversity’s pages through all search engines, and would also importantly allow for smaller search engines like OER Commons to index Wikiversity’s content in a way they currently cannot. Smaller (or niche) search engines like OER Commons have a hard time competing with more well established search engines since they can’t levy the developer resources larger engines can - adopting LRMI here would in a small way help to level the playing field between smaller search engines and we think that this fits in strongly with our values - especially since engines like OER Commons might share our commitment to openness unlike some of their bigger competitors.

Wikiversitians who want to use LRMI would do so by adding the {{LRMI}} to each page that they wanted to tag. They could do this either by directly adding the template to a page, or by clicking the LRMI button that we have develoepd and could add to the editing window. Wikiversitians who don’t want to use LRMI wouldn’t have to; they could simply not add the template. Installing HTML Tags and the LRMI template would have absolutely no effect on anyone uninterested in them, except for the addition of a small LRMI button to the editing window.

Here’s an example of what the template could look like:

|educationalAlignment=Independent study
|author=Wikiversity contributors
|publisher=Wikimedia Foundation
|mediaType=Wiki article

Many of the parameters in this template are self-explanatory; explanations can be found for the rest here. Some of these parameters would be the same on most pages (and would be auto-filled in when using the LRMI button,) some parameters not relevant to a page could just be left blank, and some (especially those like typicalAgeRange) would change between most pages.

In the future, it would be possible to expand {{LRMI}} to support other metadata languages, like This would require no additional tech support or WMF assistance- everything needed to do this is already present in HTML Tags. LRMI,, and other structured metadata markup languages are expectedto be a big part of the web moving forward, as shown by Google, Yahoo, and Bing’s backing of them, and represent important improvements to accessibility - installing HTML Tags and initially trialling LRMI now would ensure that Wikiversity could be part of that movement

Installing HTML Tags will increase the accessibility of Wikiversity’s information, it’ll draw in a wider audience. It’ll allow niche search engines like OER Commons to better index WIkiversity, and will help level the search engine playing field, and it’ll allow Wikiversity to adapt to changes in the future of the internet. If we get consensus here that this is a good idea, we will handle all the back-end installation aspects, and port over documentation. We think this could be an excellent idea, and hope you’ll agree. Maximilian.Klein.LRMI (discusscontribs) 16:18, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

@Maximilian.Klein: Could you install this mediawiki extension to add metadata information to pages. --Wvk (discusscontribs) 17:52, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Hi Wvk. There's no reason why it couldn't be installed there, and we'd love to help out with the installation details. Installing an extension like this requires the consensus of the local community. Unfortunately, none of us speak German, so we are currently unable to start a discussion aimed at generating such a consensus. If you start a discussion about it and the community of DE.WV agrees it's a good idea, we could help you all move forward from there (and could participate in the discussion there as well if it'd be helpful, though only in English.) Maximilian.Klein.LRMI (discusscontribs) 04:07, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Hi Maximilian. There has been a discussion about this subject Wikiversity-Metadaten with a positive result: 5 pro, 0 against. You may go ahead with the installation of the extension. Thank you for your help. --Wvk (discusscontribs) 10:49, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

A change to mediawiki's core between when we started and now makes it look like this would be significantly easier to add metadata to Wikiversity without the need for installing a special extension - all the tags needed to support LRMI (which has now been incorporated in to as creativeworks) are now supported by default with $wgAllowMicrodataAttribute enabled in localsettings.php. I'll update the main proposal here later today or early tomorrow to reflect this change. Maximilian.Klein.LRMI (discusscontribs) 23:08, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi all, Dan Mills from Creative Commons here (we're partly behind the LRMI work in general and Max's plugin as well). I just wanted to quickly note that CC is interested in making it easier to make educational content on the web more discoverable and remixable, and that's the reason underlying our interest in this proposal. There's a ton of great content out there (and in this wiki!) which can sometimes be a little hard to find in the educational context--that's what LRMI helps solve, by making it possible to add a few metadata tags particularly relevant for education (like: what age range is the content most appropriate for? does it meet/align with a particular educational standard, such as the US' "Common Core"?). Whether it's via Max's plugin or something else, we at CC are very interested in enabling these use cases across the web! Dan Mills (Creative Commons) (discusscontribs) 23:01, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Hey guys this seems really groovy, but it's a sham that you don't actually say that LRMI stands for Learning Resource Metadata Initiative. However until it is notable enough to have its own Wikipedia page i am not sure how valuable it is.Leutha (discusscontribs) 21:08, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi all - thankyou very much for posting about this. Wikiversity content is definitely harder to find via external search than it should/can be e.g., via Google search and via advanced searches for openly licensed material results for Wikiversity content are poor. So, there is real need for such functionality and sounds like we have a great offer here.

My questions are:

  1. What are the other Wikimedia Foundationsister projects doing - which ones have already installed and why/why not etc.
  2. Is this the recommended/common way of providing this functionality - are there any other alternatives or plans to build this into core code etc.?
  3. Would be good to hear from User:Darklama and any other folks knowledgeable about technical aspects of Wikiversity - what are your views?
  4. Are there any risks? The up-sides look fabulous - what are the risks or potential downsides?

-- Jtneill - Talk - c 12:29, 24 April 2013 (UTC) Hi all - I'll be trying to answer most of the questions you've brought up to the best of my ability. @Leutha - LRMI is notable enough that it could have a Wikipedia article. It's a pretty significant initiative; it's been backed by Creative Commons, the Association of Educational Publishers, and most notable players in the field of open educatioanl resources. I would write the Wikipedia article myself - it has more than enough coverage to meet the GNG - except I prefer not to engage in COI editing. There's one big (and really recent) change though - LRMI has been accepted by as part of their creativeworks schema. This will mean some minor changes to our previous templates, but is a project that has been backed by every major search engine (accounting for more than 96% of total web searches) and is thus likely to be significantly influential.

@JtNeil - Currently, we've only talked to a couple other WMF projects about this idea. The German Wikiversity has decided to adopt our extension using our templates - they have a Bugzilla request for implementation up currently. We approached the English Wikibooks about the idea, but partly due to an initially poorly written RfC they declined to accept the idea at this time. We've started conversations at the English Wikisource as well as a few other projects in different languages about adopting LRMI, but these discussions are still in relatively early stages.

When we started this project, this was the only way to provide this functionality. It is now probably possible to provide the same functionality via Mediawiki's core functionality with some changes to localsetttings.php - we're still investigating it - but since we have this plugin and templates written already, we think it would be a good idea to try out this implementation on at least one project. It definitely wasn't possible when we started working on HTMLTags. If another implementation comes proves superior, it'll be easy to convert WV's implementation to that implementation. If this ends up being the case, we'll help ENWV migrate to the new alternative.

There are a couple risks. One risk is that ENWV users put effort in to the project and then the tags are not picked up by search engines in a meaningful way. We believe that this is unlikely, especially now that LRMI has been formally adopted in to, a project supported by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex. Another risk is that the templates we use create unnecessary complexity that confuses ENWV's users. Since they're completely optional templates and relatively simple to use, we believe that this risk is minimal. The last risk we forsee would be an unexpected security problem: since the extension will be code-reviewed by WMF before it is installed here and because we've reviewed the extension ourselves, we don't believe this is more than a purely theoretical risk. Maximilian.Klein.LRMI (discusscontribs) 01:20, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

I vocally opposed inclusion of this extension at English Wikibooks. I think the downsides are people have yet another thing to learn, understand, use, and agree on. The difficulty of jumping right in, the complexity of participating and collaborating on learning resources, and the minimal skill set required to get involved in writing learning resources increases. The potential pool of people willing to even try to join Wikiversity, whether due to real or perceived problems, is likely to decrease all for the sake of a theoretically higher search ranking. Search engines, like Google, also rely on how often pages are linked to in calculating how to rank pages in search results. Quality resources are likely to be at the top of results, even without this extension, simply because many websites refer people to learning resources available at Wikiversity.

What website designers have learned from website design is that maintenance is a nightmare when style attributes have to be maintained on every HTML tag, and scripts have to be embedded in every page. Website designers have learned to benefit from the use of external stylesheets and scripts to make maintenance of websites easier because there is a clear separation of presentation from structure. I could maybe support a system where meta data is maintained separately from the content creation process, if it were a lot easier for most people to use, and easy to use it in a way that actually results in people being able to find relevant information at Wikimedia projects through web searches. Otherwise like website design from long ago, this extension is just going to introduce (another) maintenance nightmare.

That brings me to the last downside. I think using it in a way that will actually help people find relevant information might be difficult for most people to do, and is more likely to be used by spammers looking to increase their own website rankings. If not used properly, I think it could harm people's ability to find relevant information and decrease how often Wikiversity appears in search results.

One person pointed out at Wikibooks that this type of metadata could be added to existing meta data templates in use. For Wikiversity, templates like the ones at Help:Resources by type might gain added value by having this sort of information attached to them. I think that could reduce how often people are directly exposed to this extension, but I think there are no guarantees this wouldn't turn into a problem that is difficult to undo later. -- darklama  20:59, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

CourseSites by Blackboard

I just discovered that Blackboard has made their LMS available to instructors and students free of charge at CourseSites. It has a five course limit to prevent institutional use, but otherwise does not appear to have any limitations. Those looking for a free LMS to support your Wikiversity content might be interested. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:17, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Script errors


I was modifying the resource Human DNA and many new and old references and all three templates at the bottom came back with script error. One template is Dead link. Anyone know what's going on? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 23:10, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

As a follow-up I created the category, Category:Pages with script errors within the Category:Pages of unknown use. Currently, there are 862 pages in the Category:Pages with script errors. I will try to determine when this script error began to occur. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 23:52, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
It appears to be in the {{Cite web}} template. I tried following that down and found that the {{Citation}} template indicates Template loop detected. I can keep digging, but if someone is already familiar with these templates, it might be easier for them to look first. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 00:50, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
I do not know enough about these templates to try that, but I am wondering if an undo of the recent "(240 revisions from w:Template:Cite web)" would reverse it. I'm willing to test it, but I would like an okay first. Any thoughts? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 01:24, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
This is another update. The other templates that are being affected appear to be those modified between 03:02, 23 April 2013, and 22:52, 23 April 2013. These templates include Template:Cite web - Template:Cite web, Template:Cite news - Template:Cite news, Template:Dead link - Template:Dead link, Template:Dead link/doc - Template:Dead link/doc, Template:Inline tags - Template:Inline tags, and Template:Navbox - Template:Navbox. These were modified using Wikipedia software presumably to improve the templates, between 08:25 and 08:29, 23 April 2013. My guess is that there is some kind of bug in this Wikipedia software causing the problem, but I'm no expert in this. I would still like to try an undo but I do not want to lose the upgrade if it turns out not to be the problem. Comments appreciated. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 22:34, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
It looks like it's either the switch to Lua or the change that Jtneill made. It would be best to have James investigate since he made the last change. I tried chasing down the Lua code, but I don't know enough about it yet. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:28, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
I tried a hopefully nondamaging experiment to see if you are right. I copied the navbox template prior to the switch to Lua as Template:Navbox1, saved it then changed the statement "{{Navbox" in the Template:Astronomy resources to "{{Navbox1" and it works. The only horizontal list related problem perhaps is the "vde" is not at the left. Unless you believe I should not I will create temporary templates for some of the most common purposes like Template:Cite web and the field templates. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 22:53, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
At this point it would seem better to roll back the actual scripts than to create temporary workarounds. We just need to keep track of whatever gets rolled back and then try to fix it. I don't mind looking into this in mid to late May. Right now I've got two and a half weeks left in the semester, and I'm also trying to finish up a graduate course I'm taking. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 01:00, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
No problem. I'm only using the workaround so that I can use the field templates in my resource editing. I'll hold off on Template:Cite web, for example, and try an undue/roll back on this one only, though not today. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 01:10, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Tested current Template:Cite web and older version. Both show script errors, suggesting that some resource other than Lua and the cite web template has been modified apparently between 01:44, 19 April 2013 and 22:52, 23 April 2013 to produce the script errors. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 22:31, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Now apparently resolved. Here's what I learned. When we switch a template over to using Lua, there are two parts to the template instead of just one. The template itself will have a #invoke. That pulls in the Lua code. But the Lua code itself must also be created / imported. That's what was missing in this case. Cite web invokes Module:Citation and uses Citation/CS1 and three additional modules below /CS1. None of those modules were added when the Cite web template was switched to invoke Lua. I created the corresponding modules by copying the code from Wikipedia. This appears to have corrected the issue. Note that I only looked at Cite web. There may be other Cite templates that need similar correction. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 17:21, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Well, something has happened. The Category:Pages with script errors is now empty but the call to cite web, for example, "Alexander Kramida, Yuri Ralchenko, and Joseph Reader (September 24, 2012). "NIST Atomic Spectra Database, Version 5". 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland USA: National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST). Retrieved 2013-01-20. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |pdf= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: location (link)" still produces a script error on the page green astronomy, but not here. Puzzling?? --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 23:49, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Found out what to do. All I have to do is modify the page and script errors disappear. Thanks for the smart effort. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 23:54, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Request for comment on inactive administrators

(Please consider translating this message for the benefit of your fellow Wikimedians. Please also consider translating the proposal.)

Read this message in English / Lleer esti mensaxe n'asturianu / বাংলায় এই বার্তাটি পড়ুন / Llegiu aquest missatge en català / Læs denne besked på dansk / Lies diese Nachricht auf Deutsch / Leś cal mesag' chè in Emiliàn / Leer este mensaje en español / Lue tämä viesti suomeksi / Lire ce message en français / Ler esta mensaxe en galego / हिन्दी / Pročitajte ovu poruku na hrvatskom / Baca pesan ini dalam Bahasa Indonesia / Leggi questo messaggio in italiano / ಈ ಸಂದೇಶವನ್ನು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಓದಿ / Aqra dan il-messaġġ bil-Malti / norsk (bokmål) / Lees dit bericht in het Nederlands / Przeczytaj tę wiadomość po polsku / Citiți acest mesaj în română / Прочитать это сообщение на русском / Farriintaan ku aqri Af-Soomaali / Pročitaj ovu poruku na srpskom (Прочитај ову поруку на српском) / อ่านข้อความนี้ในภาษาไทย / Прочитати це повідомлення українською мовою / Đọc thông báo bằng tiếng Việt / 使用中文阅读本信息。


There is a new request for comment on Meta-Wiki concerning the removal of administrative rights from long-term inactive Wikimedians. Generally, this proposal from stewards would apply to wikis without an administrators' review process.

We are also compiling a list of projects with procedures for removing inactive administrators on the talk page of the request for comment. Feel free to add your project(s) to the list if you have a policy on administrator inactivity.

All input is appreciated. The discussion may close as soon as 21 May 2013 (2013-05-21), but this will be extended if needed.

Thanks, Billinghurst (thanks to all the translators!) 04:33, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Distributed via Global message delivery (Wrong page? You can fix it.)
en.wikiversity has no inactivity policy. Therefore if this proposal is supported (which it currently is), stewards would regularly review custodian and bureaucrat accounts that had been inactive for 2 or more years and notify the user's talk page. The local community would then discuss and inform the stewards whether it wishes to maintain or remove the inactive users' custodian and bureaucrat rights. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 14:09, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Help test the new account creation and login

Hi all,

After many weeks of testing, We (the editor engagement experiments team) are is getting close to enabling redesigns of the account creation and login pages. (There's more background about how we got here and why ‎our blog post.)

Right now are trying to identify any final bugs before we enable new defaults. This is where we really need your help: for now, we don't want to disrupt these critical functions if there are outstanding bugs or mistranslated interface messages. So for about a week, the new designs are opt-in only for testing purposes, and it would be wonderful if you could give them a try. Here's how:

If you have questions about how to test this or why something might be the way it is, I'd definitely check out our step-by-step testing guide and the general documentation.

Many thanks, Steven (WMF) (discusscontribs) 19:46, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Heads up: this is being enabled today. Steven (WMF) (discusscontribs) 22:55, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

[en] Change to wiki account system and account renaming

Some accounts will soon be renamed due to a technical change that the developer team at Wikimedia are making. More details on Meta.

(Distributed via global message delivery 03:31, 30 April 2013 (UTC). Wrong page? Correct it here.)

[en] Change to section edit links

The default position of the "edit" link in page section headers is going to change soon. The "edit" link will be positioned adjacent to the page header text rather than floating opposite it.

Section edit links will be to the immediate right of section titles, instead of on the far right. If you're an editor of one of the wikis which already implemented this change, nothing will substantially change for you; however, scripts and gadgets depending on the previous implementation of section edit links will have to be adjusted to continue working; however, nothing else should break even if they are not updated in time.

Detailed information and a timeline is available on meta.

Ideas to do this all the way to 2009 at least. It is often difficult to track which of several potential section edit links on the far right is associated with the correct section, and many readers and anonymous or new editors may even be failing to notice section edit links at all, since they read section titles, which are far away from the links.

(Distributed via global message delivery 18:21, 30 April 2013 (UTC). Wrong page? Correct it here.)