Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/August 2010

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m:Requests for comment/Global banners

^ --MZMcBride 22:37, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

WV:Custodian feedback#Ottava Rima

I have opened a custodian feedback section regarding some recent actions of custodian Ottava Rima. Elsewhere on this page, there are links to Community Reviews. When a person has a problem with a specific custodian, Custodianship/Problems with Custodians suggests first filing a report on Custodian feedback, hoping to find community advice regarding the problem, which might possibly resolve it. That step has been skipped with some of the CRs that are open.

Accordingly, I'm asking that as many members of the community as possible look at this review and comment, or watch it for a time. The feedback report cannot result in desysopping, but it's an opportunity to provide advice that may avert it (or avert problems with the filing user!). I would think that if someone comments in the Feedback, and if a Community Review is filed because we cannot resolve the dispute at this lower level, those who have commented will be notified on their Talk pages, and prior comment would be referenced in the Community Review, so this is efficient. Thanks. --Abd 22:23, 2 August 2010 (UTC)


I've had a bit more spare time than usual over the past week or so, and have spent some of it reading a lot of things here that are frankly pretty depressing. Here's a snippet from WV:AGF, one of our core policies:

When you disagree with someone, remember that they probably believe that they are helping the project.

That's an important tip, and I think everyone needs to take that more seriously. --SB_Johnny talk 00:39, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

The alleged discretionary "rights" of wikiversity custodians

Adambro said here [1],

I absolutely retain the right to use my custodian rights in accordance with what I judge to be in the interests of the project and in accordance with the views of the community.

. Adambro certainly have mixed "rights" with "priviledges". But that is not my main point. In essense he believes he can competently act as police, judge and jury at the same time, and at every instance that he interests himself in, just based on what he thinks wikiversity should be, and even in the face of community opposition.

I do not know if that has ever been the consensus or custom of wikiversity. However, from what I know from the very early days wikiversity custodians has never been explicitly endowed with any "rights" and they only act as functionaries who would act on behalf of the community, and hence the title "custodian", in clear distinction from wikipedia "administrator". [So please don't say we are wikimedia blablabla and it has always been like that blablabla.] The use of the custodial tools by custodians may have changed through practice, and I would like the wikiversity community to establish consensus on what discretions, in particular blocking others from participations, we allow our functionaries to make.

Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 12:32, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

You might be better raising any concerns you have about the general use of blocks at Wikiversity talk:Blocking policy where the development of a policy regarding this can be discussed. I'm not quite sure how you conclude that I believe I can act "based on what he thinks wikiversity should be, and even in the face of community opposition" when in the quote you highlight I specifically said that I would use my custodian rights in accordance with both "what I judge to be in the interests of the project and in accordance with the views of the community". On the issue of my "custodian rights", I refer to the ability to block as a custodian right because that is what it is widely referred to as. You can find a list of the rights that members of the Custodians group have at Special:ListGroupRights. Adambro 12:46, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
These problems are not here because of missing policies. Policies may help to solve actually problems, but on the other hands, they will build up barriers around custodians, who will no longer be possible to use their brains and fantasy, to fix problems.--Juan de Vojníkov 12:49, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree that would be nice to know. I'd also like to know in general what discretion anyone has to make any independent decisions. Is the impact that a decision has part of what discretion people are willing to give anyone? I believe that is usually true on other wikimedia projects. A decision to rename a resource usually only impacts the people working on the resource and the people reading the resource for example. If most people do the things that Custodians block for that would have more of a direct impact on the Wikiversity community, than if only a few people do the things that Custodians block for. Is having a direct impact a consideration as well? I think where people stand on issues that have no direct impact on them seems to vary. -- darklama  13:05, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
I retain the right to say hi, Hillgentleman, how have you been? Ottava Rima (talk) 13:49, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Ottava! Been busy. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 20:44, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Are you going to be sticking around? Say yes. I'd like to see you involved in the community again (and I don't mean the drama stuff). It would be nice to drag some people back. Ottava Rima (talk) 20:53, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Hillgentleman wrote, "I would like the wikiversity community to establish consensus on what discretions, in particular blocking others from participations, we allow our functionaries to make". According to Wikiversity policy, Custodians "can protect, delete and restore pages as well as block users from editing as prescribed by policy and community consensus." There are four policies that prescribe how the block tool can be used. As is being documented at the community review, a few rogue sysops have claimed the right to misuse the block tool. One of the proposals arising from the community review is for an official policy on blocking, a policy that will protect the Wikiversity community from further misuse of the block tool by sysops who ignore the existing policy. Such a policy on blocking was developed over the past four years. Darklama has attempted to hijack the proposed policy on blocking. Darklama, as one of the sysops who has misused the block tool, has a conflict of interest and should not be altering the proposed policy on blocking. The Wikiversity community needs to protect itself from further misuse of custodial tools by rogue sysops. --JWSchmidt 18:49, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
You've said similar to the above, that "There are four policies that prescribe how the block tool can be used", a few times recently. Could you just confirm which four policies you are referring to? Adambro 18:52, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Adambro asked, "which four policies you are referring to?" The policy on custodianship, the policy on bots, the civility policy and the Research policy. --JWSchmidt 19:02, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Slightly confused. You link to betawikiversity:Wikiversity:Review board/En but referred to it as "Research policy". Did you mean to link to betawikiversity:Wikiversity:Research guidelines/En? In which case, that doesn't seem to be a policy or mention blocking. I note Wikiversity:Bots only mention of blocking is "Bots running anonymously may be blocked". Would you not agree therefore that we don't really have much policy on how blocks should be used? Is it not the case that the only mention of blocking in our policies of any real substance is the small section of Wikiversity:Custodianship? Adambro 19:19, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Adambro, an actual Custodian would have become familiar with Wikiversity policy while being mentored. I see no evidence that Adambro was mentored as a probationary custodian. Adambro was never listed at Wikiversity:Probationary custodians. During the community discussion of his candidacy for full custodianship, Adambro refused to answer important questions about his participation at Wikiversity, including his policy violations, which continue. Adambro says, "we don't really have much policy on how blocks should be used", but how blocks can be used is explicitly and clearly described in Wikiversity policy. The only problem is a few rogue sysops who ignore Wikiversity policy. The Wikiversity research policy exists on three related pages. --JWSchmidt 21:14, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
You again suggest that how blocks can be used is "explicitly and clearly described in Wikiversity policy" despite me showing that simply isn't the case. Of the four policies you've suggested define how blocks can be used, the Research guidelines on beta doesn't seem to even discuss blocks, the bots policy has one sentence and the civility policy also says little about how blocks should be used. All we have of any substance is the section of the custodianship policy but even that is only one paragraph which provides little guidance as to how blocks can and can't be used on Wikiversity. The first sentence simply says that custodians can block users, IP address or ranges. The second again just states a fact, that block can be temporary or permanent. The third section just describes how blocks are most commonly used, "in response to obvious and repeated vandalism". The fourth just requires a reason to be given in the block log. The fifth sentence again just states a fact about the blocking feature and the final sentence just provides a link to the proposed policy.
What I conclude from all of that is that it isn't accurate to say that "how blocks can be used is explicitly and clearly described in Wikiversity policy", which seems to be supported by your enthusiasm for Wikiversity:Blocking policy to be developed. I note that rather than responding to my points in my previous comment about this you just restated your concerns about how I was made a custodian. What you say may or may not be true but it doesn't help answer the question as to whether ow blocks can be used is actually "explicitly and clearly described in Wikiversity policy". Here's another opportunity for you. You can respond to the points I've raised and demonstrate that I am incorrect to conclude that Wikiversity doesn't have much which says how blocks should be used. Alternatively you could not bother and just restate your opinion that I've abused my custodian rights or whatever. Adambro 22:11, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Adambro says, You again suggest that how blocks can be used is "explicitly and clearly described in Wikiversity policy" despite me showing that simply isn't the case, but I'm not "suggesting" anything. How blocks can be used is explicitly and clearly described in Wikiversity policy, as anyone can verify by reading the policies, starting with: "A Wikiversity custodian is an experienced and trusted user who can protect, delete and restore pages as well as block users from editing as prescribed by policy and community consensus." "the Research guidelines on beta doesn't seem to even discuss blocks" <-- The research policy says, "...Custodians take action to delete pages or block editors who refuse to follow the research guidelines". "responding to my points" <-- Adambro, I have responded, but you you don't seem to want to follow policy that clearly says how the block tool can be used at Wikiversity. The failure of a few people to follow existing Wikiversity policy is a matter under community review and the reason why Wikiversity needs an official policy on blocking that will protect the community from people who misuse the block tool. Adambro, if there are remaining "points" please make a numbered list so that we can discuss them. --JWSchmidt 06:27, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps I should keep things simple and only ask one thing at a time. You've said 'The research policy says, "...Custodians take action to delete pages or block editors who refuse to follow the research guidelines"'. Where in betawikiversity:Wikiversity:Research guidelines/En does it say that? You seem to be referring to Wikiversity:Review board/En (or betawikiversity:Wikiversity:Review board/En) again. Is Wikiversity:Review board an official policy? Adambro 09:12, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
As I said before, the research policy exists on three related pages. --JWSchmidt 21:33, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Adambro has succinctly stated the common-law rule for administrators. In the absence of specific and clear policy to the contrary, this is the most that we can expect from any custodian, it is actually a lesser standard that the custodian would, for example, agree to only act within the clear confines of explicit policy. Wikiversity could establish this latter standard, but I'd highly recommend against it. "Police" are not "judges," they exercise executive power, which only allows temporary, ad-hoc "judgment," pending a deeper process where the community (or government, or university administrator, for, say, campus police, up to and including courts) reviews the actions. If Adambro regularly abuses discretion, that should be specifically addressed, not the principle of discretion, which is essential. Until this community gives much clearer guidance to Adambro, he cannot be deeply faulted for his actions as long as they are not clearly contrary to policy. If someone believes that a specific action is problematic, or a set of specific actions, and this cannot be resolved by direct discussion, that should be taken to a report on Wikiversity:Custodian feedback for the community to advise the custodian and the person(s) with a complaint. Instead, we have a habit of ineffective complaint through useless discussion, here and there, which just wastes everyone's time while accomplishing nothing. --Abd 18:30, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

"the common-law rule for administrators" <-- Abd, what does "the common-law rule for administrators" mean and how is it relevant to Wikiversity? "agree to only act within the clear confines of explicit policy" <-- Wikiversity policy says, Custodians "can protect, delete and restore pages as well as block users from editing as prescribed by policy and community consensus." That means, in particular, that any block not prescribed by policy must be made by community consensus. "campus police" <-- Abd, why are police relevant to Wikiversity? Custodians clean up vandalism. "the principle of discretion" <-- Abd, what "principle" are you talking about and how is it relevant to Wikiversity? "he cannot be deeply faulted for his actions" <-- Policy violations by sysops and misuse of IRC chat channel operator tools are among the problematic actions that are under community review. a report on "Wikiversity:Custodian feedback" <-- Such a "report" already exists. --JWSchmidt 19:23, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
what does "the common-law rule for administrators" mean and how is it relevant to Wikiversity? Good question, thanks. "Common law" refers to what is known and accepted by precedent and shared understanding, in the absence of specific law, statutory law in legal terms. Here it refers to what someone who has administrative experience, and users with general wiki experience, will expect as a norm, quite aside from explicit policies. Legally, policy would trump common law, except that wikis in general also follow some form or other of what is called on Wikipedia Ignore All Rules, which in public common law is called Public Policy. Means the same thing. So, unless you give custodians here guidance through establishing consensus on contrary policy, they will generally follow, providing they have sufficient experience to understand it, "common law." Inexperienced custodians may not, and even experienced custodians, I found, on Wikipedia, sometimes didn't have a clue about what makes wikis really work, the large body of shared experience. Violations of common law will often outrage people, who won't then have a policy to point to prohibiting the action. They just "know" it's wrong. How do they know that? Good policy and guidelines will stay close to common law, or they will confuse people. Deviations from common law should be very well justified by the specific conditions of a wiki. --Abd 20:11, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Common law?? Custodians do a lot of things, some of which I don't like, big and small. Sometimes I say so and sometimes I don't. So what? It hardly makes any difference since the custodians can always get their way, since most contentious issues have, by defintion, supporters and detractors. If THAT is how wikiversity establishes its precedents, it gives far too much leeway for the custodians. They can easily get away with whatever they want. I have seen custodians allowing themselves more and more discretions through the years. And now I want to say enough is enough. A Wikiversity "Admin" who has a habit of equating what he thinks is the community consensus to the actual consensus can simply cite "my right and my discretion!" to stuff whatever he likes down the throat on the community. Wikiversity isn't supposed to be a place where a caste of admins have an advantage. You are supposed to use persuation, not your drawn tools. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 00:03, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
So, unless you give custodians here guidance through establishing consensus on contrary policy, they will generally follow, providing they have sufficient experience to understand it, "common law." <-- Abd, I don't understand what you are trying to say. Destructive practices from other websites are not relevant to Wikiversity and its Mission. I agree that some sysops were never mentored and they seem not to understand/respect Wikiversity policy. Any sysop who does not understand and respect Wikiversity policy cannot be trusted and should not be a Custodian. Hillgentleman is correct. Custodians are empowered to do what is described in policy. A few sysops who ignore Wikiversity policy and try to give themselves additional powers are disrupting the Wikiversity community. --JWSchmidt 06:41, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
See also: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness" -- KYPark [T] 03:35, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

EDP updates need approval


I've proposed two EDP updates here. Please comment and approve. Geoff Plourde 21:49, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Friendly treat v hostile threat

A statistics, for your reference, shows the number of edits, made by editors and custodians, counting more than a hundred in the last 30 days as of 8 August 2010. The number includes a more or less portion of Talks, which in turn includes more or less portions of friendly treats and hostile threats, perhaps depending on the user's temperament, civility, or the respect and love of the community.
-- KYPark [T] 02:28, 9 August 2010 (UTC)


Hi could you proofread this text and optionally place comments, please.--Juan de Vojníkov 11:13, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Looks good, are we going to add this to the no thanks template? Geoff Plourde 19:57, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, it should be there.--Juan de Vojníkov 21:26, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

It can go also to db-copyvio but the previous possition is much important.--Juan de Vojníkov 21:28, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Wikiversitans in London

I would be interested to hear whether there are any other wikiversitans in London. I regularly go to the London wikipedia meetups, and perhaps we could meet up there too! Harrypotter 09:05, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Call for bureaucrats

Who would you like to see as a bureaucrat?. See also: Current bureaucrats. Current custodians. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 02:11, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

is it just me, or is the custodian list really weird / wrong? Privatemusings 06:25, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
I am a technical guru, and have fixed it. (I think) :-) Privatemusings 06:27, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Community input needed

A Wikiversity community member is being prevented from participating at Wikiversity. See Wikiversity:Request custodian action#Ethical Accountability.2C aka Thekohser.2C request unblock.
--JWSchmidt 17:19, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

What is your definition of "community member"? I ask because Thekohser has 61 edits whereas KillerChihuahua and Salmon of Doubt had over 100, two people you have stated were not really part of the community and therefore had no right to express opinions about Moulton's ban. Ottava Rima (talk) 18:17, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Ottava Rima, please provide a link to where I said they "had no right to express opinions about Moulton's ban". If I was forced to define "community member", my definition would involve the idea that a person is editing in support of the Wikiversity Mission. --JWSchmidt 18:24, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
I have yet to see any of that. And JWS, you challenged KillerChihuahua's statements and Salmon of Doubt's statements as being from outsiders quite often. Or are you going to say that they were part of our community and therefore their votes on Moulton's ban were correct? Ottava Rima (talk) 19:47, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
When Wikipedians make decisions in secret, off-wiki, decisions that disrupt the Wikiversity community and deflect Wikiversity from its mission, and when they edit at Wikiversity so as to impose those decisions on the Wikiversity community then it is fair to characterize them as acting as outsiders. "votes on Moulton's ban were correct?" <-- The decision to ban Moulton was made in secret, off-wiki. I don't know of any votes on Moulton's ban that were "correct", certainly there were none that were announced to the community as being a vote to community ban Moulton. There have been quite a few calls for bans at Wikiversity and none of them were justified, thus they were all serious violations of Wikiversity policy. There were some show trials that do not constitute a fair and just treatment of Moulton. "you challenged KillerChihuahua's statements and Salmon of Doubt's statements" <-- I have challenged some of their statements. Can you link to an edit by me where I challenged one of their statements on the basis of them being outsiders? --JWSchmidt 20:07, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
In the document that I keep citing that was used to verify why you needed to be desysopped, he section on IRC abuse included you being unkind to Salmon of Doubt and KC in IRC. Perhaps they did things in secret because you were using anything public to cause them discomfort? Ever think that perhaps you drove people to such? Ottava Rima (talk) 01:04, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Ottava Rima, the show trial document that you keep linking could not be the basis for a policy-violating emergency desysop when no emergency existed. "unkind to Salmon of Doubt and KC in IRC" <-- Exactly what does "unkind" mean? When they made unsubstantiated claims about Moulton I asked for evidence to support those claims? I objected to a disruptive sockpuppet from Wikipedia coming to Wikiversity on a self-declared mission to get a Wikiversity community member banned? I objected to the unauthorized use of a bot at Wikiversity? If my questioning of their actions caused them "discomfort" the source of their discomfort was their own actions and their inability to explain how their actions supported the Mission of Wikiversity. "drove people to such" <-- A group of bullies decided to violate Wikipedia's BLP policy and use Wikipedia biographical articles in an inept and misguided effort to paint some scientists as being unscientific. When they were caught violating Wikipedia policy, they blocked Moulton from editing. Not satisfied with that, they resorted to vile online harassment which resulted in it being revealed that one of the policy violating Wikipedians was using corporate computing resources to violate Wikiversity policies and carry out online harassment. In an attempt to cover all that up, there was an orchestrated effort to ban Moulton from participation at Wikiversity. It is a truly sad saga, and a huge embarrassment for the Wikimedia Foundation, made even sadder by a few misguided Wikimedia Functionaries who continue to defend the policy-violating Wikipedians who harassed Moulton. --JWSchmidt 05:02, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Gad this spins out quickly. Looks to me like, far from preventing the member from editing, a possible or even probable result is that the impediments to editing will be lifted, in short order. I didn't notify the community here of that Request Custodian Action because, really, I was just looking for a single neutral custodian to look at this and make an ad hoc decision, trying to keep it simple, avoiding Community Review -- maybe -- unless someone wanted to push it. But there is now a poll going on there, it's true. And various fireworks. For example, SB_Johnny's back! As a custodian and bureaucrat again.... --Abd 01:32, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Importation proposal

Hello, I find {{Tabbed portal}} a little bit obsolete comparatively to this template, which I've just adapted on the Wikiversité in French today. It would necessitate a Mediawiki:Common.js + Mediawiki:Common.css modification. JackPotte 04:59, 13 August 2010 (UTC) vote for my bot

Redirect upload to Commons

I would like to propose that Wikiversity will redirect file upload to Wikimedia Commons. There are some pros and contras of course, but I think pros have majority:

  • Advantages:
    • Wikimedia Commons is a server for all media used on WMF projects, than files can be used everywhere. There are many useful files on wv, which may be useful also on other projects, but there is now personnel to move them to Commons (Economicaly: why we should do the work of someone else?)
    • We will have less work, less controlling, less work with moving files to Commons (the true is no one actually do this).
    • en.wv doesn't have different license policies, so what can be here can be also at Commons.
    • en.wv doesn't have extended upload, it means file types which differ from file types of Commons.
  • Disadvantages:
    • there might be problems with categorizing of some works to Commons, but why not set there special categories such as "Wikiversity works".
    • Users may have problems moving to different environment.

Finally we can prohibit the upload to en.wv at all and redirect everybody directly to Commons. Than in the future if license policy or file types will be extended, we may allow to upload just these specific file types, which doesn't fit to Commons.--Juan de Vojníkov 20:33, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree that we should be working towards directing uploaders to Commons for all media files and licensees which are accepted there. I think we still need to allow local uploads for things like screenshots. I have been doing a bit of work on and off for a while now with the idea of at some point proposing change the upload form. Wikiversity:Upload is part of this work. It is the development of a upload page to direct uploaders to the most appropriate form. Adambro 20:40, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, as we just talked on IRC. Fair use works can go to Commons, so they probably should stay here. Than just the redirection.--Juan de Vojníkov 20:56, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I was initially against this on wikibooks, but I am glad to say that I think I was wrong and it seems to be working out quite well. I say redirect! Thenub314 21:52, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
"Fair use works can go to Commons" <-- What? I'm opposed to forcing Wikiversity participants to follow the rules of another website. Wikiversity participants already have the option to use Commons and that is all that is needed. --JWSchmidt 22:29, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Thats what we are talking John, that Fair use works will stay here, but other will go to Commons. It can be done like Adrignola say or there could still exist local upload but kind of hidden. On the end, Fair use may look like open for contributers, but it is not open for other people, who would like to share. Is it possible to use fair use works in Australia, UK, SA or Germany?--Juan de Vojníkov 06:01, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Wikibooks uses a special group called "uploaders" that administrators can add/remove to allow people to upload fair use files locally. The "upload file" link has been changed to direct to Commons, but people can still visit Special:Upload if they are a member of the uploaders group (admins don't have to add themselves to that group). Keep in mind that fair use files are not permitted at Commons. The system used at Wikibooks directs uploads to Commons while not disabling uploads entirely. Finally, if you look at the fine-grained permissions at Special:ListGroupRights, you'll see that even under that system, people who aren't members of the uploaders group can still overwrite files they've uploaded. It will be a long process to push all the existing files to Commons, but that system takes the burden of file upload license checking off administrators and keeps files from being limited to Wikiversity's use only (which makes cross-project cooperation difficult). Adrignola 00:44, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the other option is not to allow Fair use, because our mission is not to collect the higher number of files at all costs but offer the free content. So how many English speaking countries recognize Fair use? All?--Juan de Vojníkov 06:01, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
From Fair dealing, it would appear that there are at least seven: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, and United States. I also replied to your other question on my talk page. Adrignola 17:15, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

I want to inject support for JWSchmidt here; I have had recent dealings with the WP where I extended myself as a "fisherman" for images. I cannot possibly tell you how much grief I went through. WP seems to be the opposite of free when it comes to sharing information; if you read all the copyright documentation there is now way to describe WP except as a supporter of copyright law. They seem to create their own, needlessly. WP is so opposed to fair use that pictures of buildings are illegal. Fair use is the most important tool for education there is, because all information is built on existing information--all work is derivative of other work! Here is writing on the topic from the WP that attempts to loosen things there. As an educational entity and a genuine wiki, we need to head the opposite direction with respect to uploads. Also, see WP as an educational entity.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 13:01, 14 August 2010 (UTC)


-- 12:58, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Yeah?--Juan de Vojníkov 09:36, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

Annotated Bibliography

I am reading IF Stone's Trial of Socrates to understand the open-education environment of Athens (look in the upper left corner), and the nature of the Socratic circle especially with respect to Aristotle, inventor of the Scientific Method. I will create an annotated bibliography that includes my reactions creating what will be the first of what I call "mediated citations." I hope to attract opinions' of others, within the rules of MCs, that will very likely say I am all wrong! (pervious text)--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 15:35, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

I read, or re-read, the descriptive sections about Athens, the Socratics, and Greece that are important to me (I find trials boring) and annotated them on post-its. As you may have seen below, I am starting my counseling masters, so I have to ration my time between requirements and interest.
As an aside, the mediation concept is becoming very useful; I developed the term "mediated glandular responses" to describe, for instance, the feeling a gambler is looking for when winning.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 12:53, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Getting closer. I have these two examples of conversations that I hope will be typical of discussions: [2], [3]. Since I will have to also start reading psych texts now, I will want to create the same types of bibliographies for the texts. I think that writing per text is somehow more "open," as the text book industry is notorious for "price fixing."--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 14:19, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

I have source material for a new course. What do I do with it?

I have translated some of Maimonides' work and I think it would make great source material for a survey course in Judaica. Is it something the Wikiversity could use? Is this the right place for it? --Rebele 14:19, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Is Miamonides' original untranslated work in the public domain or released under the CC-BY-SA license? -- darklama  14:27, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
Maimonides died over 800 years ago. His works are PD. tends to have PD collections of works. If they don't want a translation, then you can post here and we can figure out how to accomodate you. Ottava Rima (talk) 15:15, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

sound shapes - phonograms

-- 14:47, 17 August 2010 (UTC)Have a list US language sounds and their graphic representation like ough_ow - oo - uf - off - all - bough dough through rough caugh bought. A set of cards with the symbol on one side and the sound words on the other side. Munson short hand is similar but with shapes. There are 26 letters and 76 phonograms, very confusing but very flexiable, US language is not like NORWAY. NORWAY HAS GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF SPELLING.14:47, 17 August 2010 (UTC)14:47, 17 August 2010 (UTC)~~

feedback if you're interested :-)

any and all feedback on this, a recent post of mine, is most welcome. cheers, Privatemusings 04:13, 19 August 2010 (UTC)


It would be elegant to import this gadget, especially for those who have never installed any additional fonts. It just translates the interwiki links into English, you can test it by ticking it here. JackPotte 09:11, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Done. -- darklama  14:08, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

--Justin carlo masangya 12:21, 20 August 2010 (UTC) White blood cells (WBCs), or leukocytes (also spelled "leucocytes"), are cells of the immune system involved in defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials. Five[1] different and diverse types of leukocytes exist, but they are all produced and derived from a multipotent cell in the bone marrow known as a hematopoietic stem cell. Leukocytes are found throughout the body, including the blood and lymphatic system.[2]

The number of WBCs in the blood is often an indicator of disease. There are normally between 4×109 and 1.1×1010 white blood cells in a litre of blood, making up approximately 1% of blood in a healthy adult.[3] An increase in the number of leukocytes over the upper limits is called leukocytosis, and a decrease below the lower limit is called leukopenia. The physical properties of leukocytes, such as volume, conductivity, and granularity, may change due to activation, the presence of immature cells, or the presence of malignant leukocytes in leukemia

--Justin carlo masangya 12:45, 20 August 2010 (UTC)justin carlo masangya


deforestation-is the clearance of forest by logging[popularity known as slash and burn.]


the effects are:

1.erosion of soil 2.disruption of the water cycle 3.loss of biodiversity 4.flooding 5.drought 6.climate change

Vector is coming!

Guys, Wikimedia Usability has set August 25th as the date when Vector will become the default skin for all other projects, including Wikiversity. Geoff Plourde 07:05, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Geoff. Ill be prepared that day, to switch back everywhere.--Juan de Vojníkov 08:31, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Just a note -- it's the target date, and may move. Just clarifying. Historybuff 14:40, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, Vector is being rolled out on September 1. --Yair rand 19:24, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

"Wikimedia Studies": perhaps we should have a policy or CR?

Original research projects related to Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, and so on have proven to be rather problematic for Wikiversity in the past. Should we simply set these studies outside of our scope?

There are problems with doing so, of course, since this would in fact be censorship. However, a blanket ban on the subject would be easier to digest than a ban on only those projects that are critical, or bans that only apply to certain people.

Thoughts? Comments? Angry rants at the very thought? --SB_Johnny talk 16:33, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo himself when asked said research about Wikimedia projects are fine. I see no need to put a blanket ban on the subject. I'm not aware of any current problems, are you? -- darklama  16:47, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether Jimbo is OK with projects that are critical. Otherwise, see my reply to JWSchmidt, below. --SB_Johnny talk 17:14, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
How have research projects related to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation been problematic? What has been problematic are people who disrupt such projects. Rather than ban useful research, I favor putting in place at Wikiversity some protections for scholarly research projects and researchers. --JWSchmidt 16:54, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree, John: the projects weren't the issue, but the reaction to them did a lot of damage. The point is that any such effort is going to attract the same reaction. Projects that are critical will attract the attention of those who want to defend Wikimedia from criticism, and likewise projects that are not critical will attract the attention of those who feel Wikimedia deserves some criticism.
I don't, of course, think this approach would in any way be good for the sort of academic freedom that WV should ideally stand for and encourage. It might be the only way to survive. --SB_Johnny talk 17:14, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
Moulton commented here, it was properly reverted as being by a blocked user, and I restored it with redaction and a note. This was removed. To respond, I agree with Moulton that the study of wiki ethics could do much to avoid future problems, by delineating existing problems, which may lead to suggestions for improvement. We need be particularly careful, here, to avoid the assignment of blame. In my view, most problems on the wikis are due to defective structure; this is at variance with what seems to be a popular, easily-assumed view that ascribes problems to problem users. --Abd 19:18, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
extended response to Moulton, by Abd
Defective structure will turn possible positive contributions into problem users of various kinds; on the one side they may turn into vandals or "trolls" or stubborn critics who won't respect a block (tell me, folks, would you? Really? If you cared about the site vision?), on the other side they may turn into abusive sysops who bully users and impose their own POV on the wikis (whether about a topic or about the wiki itself). The "problem user" view then leads, on the one side, to calls for blocks and bans, and on the other, to calls for desysop, to endless and time-wasting complaints and conflicts without resolution in real consensus, and to a serious image problem for WMF projects, sometimes. I have commonly met, mentioning Wikipedia to academics, a sense of disgust and rejection. Where did that come from? Defective structure, you can be sure. Hence my interest in bringing together the entire community -- all those interested and willing to cooperatively participate, including the Rejects, who understand from experience half of what we need to know -- in studying, first, what has happened. Not "who caused it," not "who is to blame," not even "how we can fix it," not yet. Just the facts, ma'am. From there we may set up fora to discover existing solutions or research new ones. We might even do some experimental research with consenting subjects. I'm excited. What about everyone else?
Someone might easily misunderstand, so I'll clarify that "including the Rejects," i.e., blocked users, doesn't mean unblocking or even allowing direct block-evading edits to stand. That is an entirely separate issue, which each wiki properly decides for itself, based on the overall needs of the community. Many people participate here, indirectly, through users, who bring in the content on their own responsibility; for academic purposes the content counts, and while the identity of the author should be known, generally, so we might understand possible bias and for other reasons, the editing status here is irrelevant to the academic value. I do not see blocked users as being allowed to directly contribute without review; my restoration of the above edit demonstrates review in action. If that edit causes a problem, anyone may take it out, strike it, replace it with a reference to history, or whatever they consider best, this is a wiki, and if we cannot directly agree on an edit, then we can discuss it and find consensus. I will not consider a reversion of the restoring edit to be revert warring, it is as if my restoration is an original edit, but I would intend to discuss it. I urge, however, that any editor consider the content, now, as distinct from the editor.
Other editors may, of course, comment on this comment. If you comment within the collapse, you may add your user name to the collapse title, or I will. --Abd 19:18, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

I think Wikiversity needs to recognize that any research can attract all kinds of people, and some may seek to have their views dominate discussion and research. I think Wikiversity needs people that know how to quickly bring about a cease fire when strong views clash. If Wikiversity needs a policy it might be that dominating discussion and research and seeking "victory" harms Wikiversity, and those are acceptable reasons to block when people don't stop after being asked to cease fire and come to a truce. -- darklama  17:38, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
It might seem contradictory, but the solution may be (at first) more blocks rather than fewer. And even more than more blocks, more warnings for incivility or revert warring or other disruption, followed by short blocks upon disregard. A short block is like a sergeant-at-arms at a meeting asking a disruptive member to leave a meeting. It is not a ban, and the member can come back when there is no more immediate risk of disruption. It is purely procedural, and it's understood that some people can be hot-headed and that the community can and should restrain this. But members aren't punished for being hot-headed, rather the disruption is directly addressed. Temporary exclusion is not punishment and should never be presented as such. A failure to understand this is behind a great deal of tenacious disruption on Wikipedia and here. Basically, if anyone thinks a person is causing disruption, they can and should warn the person. If the person disregards this, any custodian can look and short-block, if warranted. Ideally, the one warning should not be from someone involved in a dispute, and the reason is that people will tend to discount warnings from others who are involved,nor should the custodian be involved, except in an emergency as I've elsewhere described. But it's still okay for someone involved to warn; a reviewing custodian can decide whether or not to proceed with a block or confirm the warning -- and then block for continued disregard beyond that. The point is to gain voluntary compliance, and not to allow the user to believe that they are being excluded.
Generally, a user who has violated agreements many times should be unblocked promptly upon assurances that the user will not continue the blockworthy behavior. The blocking custodian should always consider this, and can even set conditions for prompt unblock, but should not coerce; humiliating conditions and unclear conditions should be avoided, they cause trouble. If the blocking custodian does not wish to unblock, that custodian should never decline an unblock request. If there is no other custodian available, the blocking custodian should simply leave it in place. Blocks should always be applied with utmost civility and with support for acceptable behavior. Wikipedia deprecated "cool-down blocks." I suppose the reason is that, as a block reason, it represents mind-reading and, indeed, that could be offensive. But, in fact, a properly applied block will accomplish cool-down. "Okay, I was out of line there, thanks for considering unblocking me, I'll try not to repeat that." Most adults are capable of that kind of admission, and they will do so sincerely. It's not even any kind of moral offense to be "out of line." We get angry for good reasons, often. But we, if we are sane, also understand that if we start shouting at a judge in a court, for example, we'll be restrained. Only the truly crazy will take this as a personal insult.
A better understanding of block policy would go a long way. We need better documentation, to guide custodians, and also to assure users that they will get fair treatment, if the policy is followed. We should never allow the appearance to arise that a single custodian is "in charge" of an editor's behavior, unless the editor has accepted that arrangement. Even my young children know, instinctively, to resist this kind of control! I'm in charge of what I will permit and what I will prevent, as the parent, but they are always in charge of their own behavior, and if I don't respect that, I'm failing as a parent.
There are deeper solutions that are possible, using bots, allowing for the flexibility of temporary narrow or broad "topic bans" that would be bot-enforced (by automatic reversion), but that's down the road. For now, seeking and encouraging voluntary compliance, with stronger response as needed, with judicious use of the block tool, should be adequate. --Abd 20:24, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
A ban is not needed. What is needed are guidelines accepted by consensus that handle how to avoid unnecessary disruption when individual users or the WMF are criticized or appear to be so. It is easy for such study projects to become wheels on which to grind axes. Now, need these guidelines be developed in advance? No, except for one, which we should write. When WV content becomes controversial because of "cross-wiki issues" -- or even local issues -- we need to have procedures in place to address this and prevent disruption. In the current project started by Privatemusings, I called for work to "come to a screeching halt" when objections appeared, until the objections themselves are addressed and consensus found. Not "cancelled." Not "deleted," except that ordinary content deletion, still in history, should be fine if needed temporarily, while it's under discussion. We should not allow any user to barge ahead with insisting on controversial content. If there is "outing" perhaps revision deletion may be needed, and even short blocks if revision deletion is needed. Otherwise, we need what Moulton calls a social contract, an agreement that provides for means to resolve disputes, and the default situation is blank, i.e., no content. When someone objects to content that has not been established by consensus, it should be blanked or deleted, by default. Then it can be discussed, whether or not to allow it, with the community assisting to keep the discussions civil and to the point. The legitimate needs of "outsiders" must be respected, but also the academic freedom of this community. We need to do both. And it takes time.
The key is to establish process that seeks consensus, not "victory" for one side or another. --Abd 17:09, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
What about a temporary ban. To wait until Wikiversity has grown in learning communities on other issues than Wikimedia? If there is a very large community of users, mostly occupied with topics that have nothing to do with studying Wikimedia, than fights on these kind projects for studying Wikimedia will have far less influence on the whole Wikiversity community.Daanschr 17:27, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
We have a current project which is not causing any disruption. And more are being opened, with no sign of disruption. Why fix it if it isn't broken? See Response_testing/WMF_Projects. Note that if someone objects to some work there, there will indeed be a kind of "temporary ban." I.e., an informal ban will arise upon complaint, enforced by users who have both academic freedom and avoidance of unnecessary disruption as goals, and who will seek consensus before barging ahead. It's really like just about any wiki decision. --Abd 20:30, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

< I think CR is 'community review', right? - I suppose that's actually what's happening here - I hope to be able to carry on real slow with the Response testing project (which, following a suggestion from sj, has a 'wmf' section) - I don't think it's really creating any trouble at the mo - and I have a feeling that the root causes of the broo ha ha's are both interesting and important as subjects to discuss, learn about, analyse etc.

There's a hint of an intimation in sbj's post that perhaps the closure of wv remains on the table somewhere - personally I'd raise an eyebrow were wmf to shut the project down on the basis that it became critical - but sure, things like sue's blog (she's the executive director of the wmf - so the boss on the staff side) could be read as warnings to pull some heads in. Is wikiversity really seen as harbouring people who have;

"aimed to covertly undermine the movements that they found threatening. By investigating and harassing participants, and discrediting leaders. Fomenting internal conflict: encouraging jealousy, suspicion, factionalism and personal animosity. Spreading damaging misinformation. Undermining morale and thwarting recruitment efforts. Undermining activities that generate revenue. Encouraging hostility between the movement and its potential allies and partners" (Sue's paraphrase of Gary Marx's description of how people attack social / political movements here)

The idea that the above could in any way be aimed at, well, me I suppose, I find both amusing and troubling - were it shown to be the case that those in ultimate control of this project are forming that view, I think shutting down wv would probably be a good thing - there probably wouldn't be much point in it, I guess? Privatemusings 00:35, 17 August 2010 (UTC

PM, that comment of Sue Gardner was not at all aimed at you. Sue was writing much more generally. However, a shallow understanding of Marx could lead her to think of Wikipedia vs. The Enemies, which would be a serious mistake. --Abd 15:24, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
extended comment, I intend to edit this. Anyone may summarize below. --Abd 15:24, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
The hazards to Wikipedia are internal. The cogent criticism of Wikipedia is from people who are, or were, insiders. It is, in fact, essential that the Wikipedia community move toward its original ideals, clarifying them, and understanding, as well, how normal (they could have been expected and were expected by a few) social forces have corrupted the original vision. Wikipedia is not dead, but it is far less vibrant and efficient than it could be. Wikipedia began with a huge reservoir of volunteer labor, enthusiastically given. Because of the vast nature of this reservoir, labor was not valued. Oh, yes, "valuable editors" were recognized, and, too often, given inappropriately excessive power. But the labor of ordinary editors, such as a casual editor who writes an article on his or her favorite subject, spending days on it, was not valued. If it didn't meet the standards of some other editor, it could be speedily deleted, and only if the writer knew the arcane processes of recovery could that labor be recovered. So that editor goes away, almost always. And this story is repeated over and over. Experts arrived and tried to edit articles according to their expertise and, again, unless they learned the increasingly complex policies and guidelines and the even more complex wiki politics, they would find themselves outmaneuvered, and often blocked. Their labor and their expertise was not valued.
Wikipedia is considered extraordinarily successful, it is often held up as a model project. But "success at the beginning" can be very misleading. Wikipedia stepped into an open opportunity, ripe for "exploitation."
However, the wiki vision required neutrality. There is only one practical measure of neutrality. Many editors think that neutrality is objective, that it can be described by rules that could be applied by a disinterested judge. So efforts were made to create guidelines and policies to describe and define neutrality. Those policies and guidelines can be quite useful, but they are widely ignored, and, ultimately, they must always be considered incomplete. Some critics think that neutrality is a mirage, that it does not exist, but that is a shallow view. It's correct in that there is no individual objective measure of neutrality. But consensus, if it's real consensus, is a measure of neutrality. It is not that if we all agree that the sky is red, that's neutral in some objective sense. Rather, people will not agree that the sky is red. If everyone agrees that the sky is red, "The sky is red" must be taken as a neutral statement. Denying the existence of neutrality is mistaking an absolute principle for an operating principle. The success of a process at finding neutrality can be estimated by measuring the degree of consensus. If we have 100% agreement, without excluding any participants, we can have -- for practical purposes -- absolute confidence that text is neutral.
100% consensus, in large groups, may not be attainable. However, if the goal is neutrality, the process by which neutrality is determined must always seek maximized consensus, and never be fully content with less than that. However, as the agreement approaches 100%, efficiency requires that the process of extending consensus be reduced to a smaller and smaller number of participants.
When there is high consensus, but not complete consensus, this implies the existence of dissent. How to channel dissent so that it is not disruptive, but still functions to improve neutrality, is a basic structural problem. It can be done. Democratic societies, of all kinds, have frequently solved this problem to one degree or other. Wikipedia, largely, has not, or, rather, it does have processes, but they can be so fantastically inefficient that using them is inaccessible for most.
Hence we very much need Wiki Studies. We need to understand how and why Wikipedia works, and how and why it does not work. Much of the motivation for this work arises with people who have been trampled by the "mob," or abused by "leaders." Thus it can tend to take on the nature of complaint and perhaps revenge.
My strong opinion is that the problems of Wikipedia are structural; that is, they are written in the defacto structure that developed. They are not the result of "bad people," though the structure may preferentially cause people with certain personality types to rise in influence and effect. And the solutions are not exclusion of "bad people." They are structural as well, and "structure" includes the culture, the unwritten rules.
There is an effect that I've written about for years, so often that in some circles it has been called the "Lomax effect," which is related to the w:Iron law of oligarchy. When an organizational structure assigns increased power to some members over others, creating an effective oligarchy, any move to more equitable distribution will be seen as a reduction in the power of the oligarchy (whether it actually is or is not), and the oligarchy will resist it. And, by the defined condition, they are more likely to have the power to successfully resist it. The oligarchies become self-preserving. This is not about "greed" or "power hunger." The oligarchy will typically believe, and it is frequently true, that they know better what is best for the organization, and they fear turning power over to the relatively ignorant ordinary members.
If the reform simply turns over power without considering the legitimate concerns of the oligarchy, the result can be disastrous. Democracy has long been feared by elites, but the fear is not exactly of democracy. Rather, it is of chaotic or despotic influence by demagogues who can move masses through rhetorical or other skill, or other phenomena of unorganized masses.
The Lomax effect and the Iron Law are only obstacles if we consider them incompatible with all possible reforms. They are not.
There are solutions. Describing them here would be beyond the scope of what can be done in even a long comment. My short solution, a heuristic, not the solution itself: study wiki theory and process here, as a general topic. Use specific examples as illustration with caution and respect. Wiki history is public. What we have all done on wikis is public information, we have no right to privacy, generally, with regard to that (Where we do, and where we insist, contributions will be oversighted, actually removed.) Absent specific reason to the contrary, there is a vast reservoir of material to be studied. Hazards remain. For example, it is possible, for a massive contributor, some having more than 100,000 edits, to cherry-pick the worst and make it look as if such an editor has been wrecking the place. But this is standard BLP stuff on Wikipedia, and, there, the problem is much more difficult because of sourcing and original research requirements. Here, we can do primary research, and, if there is cherry-picking, it can be balanced with ... balance! So if it's pointed out that an administrator made 20 blocks that satisfied some criterion of "improper," it could also be pointed out that the administrator made 2000 blocks that were unquestionably proper according to the standards in effect at the time. Or, at least, that were not found to be improper. Thus we could look at the problem blocks themselves without implying that the individual administrator was, in any overall sense, an "abuser."
This process is not merely some off-in-the-corner academic exercise. It's crucial to the future of all WMF projects. If it is properly done, it will attract participation, here, by a wide range of people, almost all of whom will have substantial experience, and some of whom will have, in addition, academic knowledge. For example, Wikipedia User:Piotrus is a sociologist who has been published under peer review, writing about Wikipedia, both before and after he was pushed under the bus.
This will, however, expand the scale of Wikiversity beyond the small collegial core that some want to return to. Some of those new participants will be disruptive in various ways. You can count on it. We need to get ready for this, while it is still possible. And it is still possible, I believe, the small present size of Wikiversity (reduced from previous activity by damage from prior disuption) may make it possible. Some have objected to my focus on process over the generation of more content. I can understand. However, if there is not serious attention paid to our process, Wikiversity will fail this challenge and the opportunity will be lost. --Abd 15:24, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

  • w:Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2010-08-16/Spam_attacks describes a recent "research" aka vandalism project on Wikipedia. Any research which harms or otherwise disrupts other WMF projects shouldn't be permitted here. More generally, we shouldn't have to ban all research of other WMF projects, we just shouldn't pretend that there aren't certain limitations and issues to consider due to Wikiversity being a WMF project. As far as I can tell, the WMF research projects here that have been controversial, such as trying to research into past conflicts on Wikipedia, have failed to recognise some of these issues. Adambro 15:58, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
  • There is a possible misunderstanding here, based on there being two kinds of "research." There is experimental research, which is something done by someone who undertakes "response testing," for example, and there is research as in the study of evidence already available. The research Adambro mentions (thanks for the link, by the way, fascinating story) was, however, not organized on-wiki, nor was prior response testing research, to my knowledge. In other words, these were not "research projects here." (But they may have been headed in that direction, hence were properly interrupted, given the lack of guidelines and supervision.)
  • I'll note that the researcher involved in the Signpost report was unblocked per an agreement with ArbComm that did not prohibit further research; rather, it contained it and set up private review processes to precede future projects. My own opinion is that research like that which was done is actually very important, even though it involved "vandalizing" Wikipedia for a very short time. (With fake spam designed to test real user response.) The intention underlying the research was to reduce vandalism and spam and to reduce its persistence. Actions should be judged by intention, as well as by immediate effect, sometimes a negative immediate effect can have a benefit, long-term, that far outweighs the immediate effect. There are ways to address the problem of consent to participation in research involving human beings, and I hope that the WMF obtains some real expert advice in this area.
  • I do agree with Adambro's conclusion, however. First of all, experimental research involving human beings requires fairly complex ethical guidelines, just as response testing in business is best done under ethical restraints. Study of particular past conflicts, however, is normally research of the second kind, without the same ethical considerations. However, because such research can create what are effectively partial biographies of human beings, there are still serious requirements to respect, and these are guidelines that we need to develop. These should be developed and applied wherever such study takes place, whether here at a WMF project, or on, say, the alternative netknowledge wiki, independently controlled. If undue interference develops here, I assume that the project would move elsewhere. But I don't expect that outcome, except for minor subprojects, perhaps. I expect cooperation between the "academic institutions," which is the norm. --Abd 17:21, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

  • @

    The Arbitration Committee has reviewed your block and the information you have submitted privately, and is prepared to unblock you conditionally.

    The signpost Adam pointed reminds us of the reality, loud and clear: You can get away with doing the same harmful things or worse more easily if you are powerful enough, like being a developer or a researcher working on a project in a computer science department in a major university. Guys, if you want to make a splash, make a big one, and don't talk about your plan if it isn't mature. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 22:58, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
  • I think the moral of the story is if you've contributed things of great worth in the past, you are more likely to be forgiven and allowed to get away with doing something harmful. I think waiting until plans are mature to discuss them discourages early collaboration. I think people just need to be absolutely clear that plans aren't final yet and need to indicate when a plan is final when discussing plans. I think people should avoid acting on plans before plans are clearly finalized though. -- darklama  23:26, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
  • I think HG's point is valid, though. The research project in question was not planned with the approval of ArbComm or the Foundation. It was outside. It did minor harm, short-term. The breaching experiment with a set of unwatched BLPs, done by Greg, was by the cooperation of a WP administrator and the blocked Greg Kohs. The experiment did much less harm, probably, than the university experiment. Yet the admin was desysopped, and that experiment might have been a factor in the global lock, as I recall (what was the timing? I forget). The conclusion and resolution of ArbComm in the university case was one that I agree with. But there is, in fact, a double standard being applied here, and it probably has to do with Greg being a prominent critic. And that sucks, in short. Nevertheless, this is really moot here. As far as I can see we are not going to allow Wikiversity to be a base for organizing "breaching experiments." Period. We might study those, however, sometimes, afterwards. Carefully. --Abd 23:45, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
    For simplicity what I'm saying is: Do get permission before acting. Don't wait until a proposal is mature to discuss a proposed experiment. To use the specific experiment being discussed as an example, the researcher should of been able to use Wikiversity to develop there plan and to discuss the plan with other people, and than once people at Wikiversity felt the proposal was mature, the researcher should of sought permission from the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia's ArbCom, or Wikimedia Research Committee, pointed to the development here, and answered any questions that WMF, ArbCom, or the Research Committee had, and ensured any actions or experiment carried out was within the limits that WMF, ArbCom, or the Research Committee permitted or not done it at all if they opposed the proposed research experiment entirely. -- darklama  14:25, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
  • "Experiment" is a loaded term here. I agree with Darklama, generally, but I wrote the response before carefully reading all of it! So this is an independent take: We can say that experiments involving testing the responses of human beings raise ethical questions that must be addressed before proceeding with actual experiment. If someone proposes such an experiment here, discussion is necessary before action, and, in fact, that discussion should eventually be brought to the attention of those that might be affected. If, for example, some response testing on en.WP were proposed, users here should be discouraged from acting to run the experiment before there is consensus for it; users who disregard that might be sanctioned, if there was activity here that was improper (such as active and specific planning of an experiment, with operational details, etc.) If an experiment is to be run on another wiki, such as en.WP, the proposal should be cleared, first, with either the community of the wiki involved, or, on WP, if confidentiality and some level of secrecy were required, with ArbComm there, or with some WMF body. WP ArbComm has an established procedure, it looks like, for such testing.
  • However, we do not have to wait for wide consensus to develop resources studying wiki history. There are still issues, but anticipating them all could be difficult, so normal wiki process suggests proceeding with caution, being sensitive to criticism and warnings. Normal process (such as deletion of contributions considered too hot to stand at the surface), avoidance of revert warring, and ordinary discussion should handle this well enough. An Ethics Committee might be formed to consider ethical issues, with, possibly, some special process, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. --Abd 17:44, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Templates could be used to indicate the progress of a research project like:

This proposed research project or experiment may still be in development, under discussion, or in the process of gathering approval. You may be sanctioned if you follow suggestions in this draft proposal without approval.

Yes check.svg

This research project or experiment is mature and has gained approval. Please check the edit history to ensure no significant divergences from the approved proposal has happened before following suggestions to avoid any sanctions.

Crystal 128 error.svg

This research project or experiment sought approval and was rejected. This resource is kept for historical interest and for people to learn what not to do.

-- darklama  13:35, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes. This would be clearly appropriate for proposals involving response testing planned as part of the study. A somewhat different template would be used for simple documentation research, pointing to guidelines for such. (Suppose I put up a link to all contributions of Editor X. No problem. Suppose I put up a link to selected contributions in a way that make the editor look like a complete bozo. Problem. Maybe! A proper research project would be designed to avoid cherry-picking, would use stated, objective criteria, if selection is to be done.) A goal of stating or inferring blame should be carefully avoided, even the appearance of such a goal should be avoided. It's impossible to anonymize the necessary evidence, on-wiki, but certain pieces of a project could be developed off-wiki, or on-wiki under certain conditions, that would, top-level, draw anonymized conclusions, with raw evidence being buried, not available in current pages, so not searchable under the person's name. For the studies, the identity of the person is, ultimately, not relevant. It's tricky, and no specific rule is likely to apply well under all conditions, sometimes identity is important, which is why the Privacy Policy allows breaking privacy rules when it's needed. And when one does that, a review process is needed, which is, I think, OTRS, though there is also Ombudsman if checkuser is involved. --Abd 14:06, 20 August 2010 (UTC)


Pardon my French, but It seems to be requiered. JackPotte 02:21, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Not quite. Nobody was watching or using Wikibooks:English Embassy and there were no complaints when I delinked it from the above page and removed it. Adrignola 12:35, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, I was sad. The Embassy is important, if not required -- useful on occasions, especially for people not familiar with the local language (so sometimes a bit less needed in english). Still, it would be great to have one here. SJ+> 02:16, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Subtitled movies

Hello, the en.w, fr.w, fr.v et fr.b have installed this gadget, it can be useful as we can use a video in any language by pasting some customized subtitles above, with eventually some hyperlinks. JackPotte 13:48, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree, this would be very useful if someone wants to use videos on their educative posts. Some admin please import it. Diego Grez 17:40, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Bugzilla advises to put it directly in Mediawiki:Common.js in order to be able to give them enough feedback about the tool. JackPotte 19:48, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Difficult navigation

-- 12:23, 21 August 2010 (UTC) As a studdent, I find the navigation trough Wikiversity really confused. For example, I was interested in learning Biology, but first I reached the primary school and then a link to "university" level, and from there just a boring list in alphabetic order... I understand the lak of content, but why do I get different places form the same link and viceversa? The spanish wikiversity is oftenly easier to navigate, may be you could get some ideas from there, or what is better, to colaborate together! :)

I agree, wikiversity as a whole is kind of all over the place. Perhaps it might be useful to develop some pages for those who would like to make things easier. That is what led me to this page, but there appears to be a series of disparate discussions here!Harrypotter 19:41, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

There also needs to be worthwhile contents. If there are to be links, the best thing would be to link to finished products, or to mention from the start where finished products are not to be found.
The disparate discussions deal with the issue whether conflicts on Wikipedia should be studied here. And these conflicts are not only studied... The rest of Wikiversity didn't cause much trouble as far as i know.--Daanschr 20:53, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

I think there is a lot of useful and worthwhile contents, but content is too deeply nested in navigation to find. I think most people give up after 1 or 2 pages, and with the current navigation you could end up having to goto 6 or more pages before finding the course contents:

Math portal > Math school > Math department > Math topic > Math category > Math list > Calculus topic > Calculus category > Calculus list > Introduction to calculus.

when it should be just 1 or 2 pages away:

Math > Calculus course > Introduction to calculus

-- darklama  22:28, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

An inventory could be made of all worthwhile contents, and than a good navigation system to get these contents. I got little to do now, so i can work on it, but i don't want to do everything on my own.Daanschr 08:16, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
I think everyone will consider their own work worthwhile. I think navigation needs to start small and grow as more contents becomes available. I think part of the problem is people at the beginning were too ambitious and didn't put enough thought into how to organize contents so it could be easily navigated. I think if we are to avoid repeating that, we need to have a organized plan that most people can agree with, even if only a few people are willing to volunteer their time to implement it. In the past I suggested that the portal, school, and topic namespaces be replaced with a single course namespace. We could always attempt to implement a course pseudo-namespace with the intent to replace those 3 namespaces once all/most works have been organized into it. What do you think? -- darklama  12:35, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Well i have come across a vast undergrowth of incomplete pages which have been abandoned often a year or two ago. In working on the British Empire, I parked this as an archive, and proceeded developing a much smaller element of this enormous topic (those interested can see Tudor Origins of the British Empire). In a rather chaotic fashion I have stumbled across wonderful navigation aids, quizzes and other useful tools, but largely through trial and error.

What I feel would be useful is:

Student Navigation, which would lead potential students to peer-reviewed educational resources - perhaps some thing like wikipedia Good and Featured articles
Teacher Navigation, which would include partially completed material and various resources like quizzes, navigational bars etc. as well as active working groups. It seems to me that there was a lot of enthusiasm a year or two ago, but that activity has declined and that now quite a few people check the site, but after a little while give up. Before being active here, I was active on wikieducator, which has quite different problems. I am currently trying to find a practical way of using both sites to get the benefit of each.Harrypotter 14:11, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
We could make a split in the categorization between featured contents and all contents. And put a warning on the last categorization, that lots of the contents aren't finished learning materials. Determining the difference between featured and non-featured contents will require a lot of politics. How can that be managed in a decent manner?
It would be best to make a categorization of active courses and learning communities, to ensure that new users don't enter a desert, but can become part of a community. One way to stimulate this would be to organize fairs. In the Middle Ages, merchants organized fairs to ensure that they could buy and sell products and wouldn't be alone on a market. If we set time periods, like a week, in which certain topics could be studied as a group activity than that could stimulate new users to stay. I fear that lots of people will turn away when they can choose between 30 featured contents, all developed by a single user of Wikiversity.Daanschr 09:00, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Under Construction
I would be interested to discuss how thus idea of fairs might work. Is this for teachers or students, or both? Perhaps we could start with a week when people are encouraged to work on a certain topic or area. Perhaps we could experiment through that in developing pieces of learning resources which are in some way marked as being presentable. Also we can put the under construction graphic on pages which aren't "complete" - whatever we mean by that!Harrypotter 09:12, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
By accident I came across this page: Category:Featured resources! Harrypotter 09:19, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
I think Cormac made it. But, i wasn't part of the people who made this category. My main focus here on Wikiversity was to come to some kind of learning communities. The reading groups have been operational, one was aired for a couple of months with weekly activities. Two others had problems with upstarts.
The idea of the fair can be used in several ways. Suppose there will be a fair on history in the first week of February 2011. Than a couple of people can prepare something for this week with the aim to attract more users for Wikiversity who are interested in history. There can be discussions on the chat, there can be the development of a game on history, or we can discuss certain writers or sources. The same can be done with topics like climate change or Einstein's Theory of relativity, or major political philosophers.
I have tried to organize congresses, focused on editing a group of articles on Wikipedia. But, that looks a lot like WikiProjects. It could also be simply about discussing a subject and collectively writing an essay on it. A date can be set when the congress will start. In preparation of this congress, literature can be discussed and read, people can be invited. An organization can be set up in order to manage the congress in such a way that the participants felt comfortable with it.
A fair is more broad and less determined from a congress. In the Middle Ages fairs were attended by merchants and some customers, who traded their products with each other in order to sell them in different areas. On Wikiversity a fair could be a gathering of people, all with different ideas, who want to find some like-minded people in order to get their ideas worked out, with whatever they want to do regarding learning and Wikiversity. I guess it is best not to use the word fair, because it is distracting. What can better be done is to just put a meeting on an agenda to of a field of study (like history, or physics), to talk about this on the Wikiversity chat. But, maybe there are too little people at the moment to man these kind of meetings.
We are both interested in history, i graduated at the university in history. So, we could try this out with history.
The problem with the under construction tag is that most contents on Wikiversity are under construction. If you add the tag, it should also be removed when nothing is done with the article anymore. On Wikipedia there was a campaign to remove tags from articles, otherwise half of the encyclopedia appeared to be under construction. But, in some cases it might be a good idea to use those tags. Suppose we have a busy well-organized community, that cleans up all the mess it leaves behind online, than an under construction tag would work very well.Daanschr 14:55, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
What you say is very interesting and brings to mind the Champagne fairs, which I always link with the development of the narrative form, i.e. through Chrétien de Troyes. Perhaps we should use the term Fair and encourage existing participants to prepare material to showcase during the period, have a number of people who will agree to respond to queries during the week and try to raise the profile of wikiversity outside the existing community, particularly as regards other wikimedia projects and wikieducator - who I feel we could work more with. How does that sound?Harrypotter 18:58, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
I derived the idea from the Champagne fairs. Never heard of Chrétien though.
One way to organize such a fair would be to make an article on the subject and to have people join by stating their own learning projects on it and tell what they are doing now with them. Added to it could be chat sessions, to make the communication quicker.
It won't help with the problem of difficult navigation on wikiversity ;-).Daanschr 20:59, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
I think we should go ahead and see what comes of it. Actually I think we could do an article on the Champagne Fairs. Chrétien was a medieval writer of romances, and the fairs became an important culture focus as well as just trade. I think the navigation issue is vast and somewhat daunting, and the solutions will come about through creating islands of collaboration which can then be linked up. If the Signpost idea comes off as well, and we work together, this could help.Harrypotter 09:41, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
So, what kind of fair do you want to organize? I know it is my own idea, but i still doubt the usefulness and my own satisfaction of it. I would also be happy to do something with history!Daanschr 17:18, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
The Marie Celeste: They found her empty and abandoned!
Well let's start with history. I've been mucking about a bit with Portal:Social Sciences, Portal:History and School:History. Actually it's a bit like stepping on board the Marie Celeste - I keep on expecting to find someone's half eaten sandwich - stale after having been left for 18 months - whenever I follow a link. Perhaps if we do some work together there, we can see how the idea of a fair works out a little bit later?Harrypotter 00:09, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Okay, i will continue the discussion on the School:History article and talk page.Daanschr 08:58, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Quiz options

Making a quiz with single submit options --Rahul08 09:56, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

What I am talking about is the ability to submit the answer to one question at a time.For e.g., in english basics 101,[basics 101 numbers] numbers section, you can see a series of questions where the user has to enter an answer.Now if he clicks the submit button for the first question, the present format tends to check all the questions, including the ones he hasn't answered.I was wondering if there was something which would allow only one question to be corrected each time rather than the whole quiz.

There is a (rather experimental) way to do it with recursive conversions. The idea is to write a substituted template and you put the answers in as parameters; if your answer is right then the template will give you the next question; if you answer is wrong then you will be told so and the question repeated. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 14:36, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Countervandalism channel IRC

Hello dear Wikiversitarians,

It's been a while since the last check, but I noticed the #cvn-wv-en on channel is abandoned. The recentchanges-bot from the m:CVN (named MartinBot) has been offline for about a year, but not request has been found so far for a replacement.

Please note that at any time the CVN could just start a feed in there, no problem at all.

Although I would like to point out though that (concluding from the inactivity) perhaps the channel is not wanted anymore. Therefor this message.

Note that there is also Special:RecentChanges and #en.wikiversiy on which monitors any and all activity.

The advantage of a CVN-channel over the regular feed from is that it filters down to suspicious edits (anonymous edits and otherwise notable edits for vandal fighters) and filters these based on a globally shared database of blacklisted and whitelisted usernames and other patterns (these are shared amongst all cvn-channels.). But if the amount of edits isn't up to a point where one can't follow the edits via Special:RecentChanges such a channel may be overkill.

Right now when I look at Special:RecentChanges I can look back 2-3 days in the last 100 edits so if there are enough people watching that one could check 'everything' without having to filter them down to a lower number.

Either way, setting up the channel is no hassle at all. So state below what you think about it and whether or not you would like such a channel again. Krinkle 14:21, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Wikiversity is very much more of an experiment on using wiki for education than a development reference resource; I doubt the counter-vandalism heuristics of other sites would work here. There are many new/ip users which are students and they may not be very familiar with wiki editing. Experimentations are actually encouraged. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 14:28, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Wikiversity Signpost

I'm trying to start up a Wikiversity equivalent of the Wikipedia Signpost. Does anyone have any article ideas? Would you liekt o write an article yourself? Thanks, Rock drum (talkcontribs) 19:54, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

If me and Harrypotter will succeed, than we might be writing some articles. At the moment though, i don't have any material.Daanschr 21:02, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Hey, great idea! Try checking in with some of the profs and active editors. User:MrABlair23, for instance, who just created and then blanked a fascinating course. Or Prof. Loc Vu-Quoc who has all of his students post all of their assignments here on WV. SJ+> 02:20, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, maybe we should post the fair idea there. Do you know what it's going to be called?Harrypotter 09:36, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
SJ, the reason I blanked the course is that I had a bit of a problem going on and that was the only possible solution. It is no big deal and plus, I have thought of quite a better way to deliver that fascinating course. So, if anyone is interested in doing it, please sign up to it now! --MrABlair23 14:32, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, MrABlair -- I didn't mean to focus on the blanking, just that you're working on a cool course and making lots of updates to it. A story about the course itself and your ideas for running it would be quite interesting. As an aside, I was just at the NYC Wikiconference this past weekend, and there were dozens of WP editors there interested in Wikiversity once they heard about it. Most of them had only edited Wikipedia, and some didn't even know WV existed... so a signpost, or a regular story in the en:wp signpost, and other ways to share what's happening here, will make a real difference. SJ+> 06:42, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
This edit, a response to MrABlair23, was made to this section by a blocked editor, and was reverted as such by me, and listed for review (with other edits made the same day), with a comment that it looked "good." Taking responsibility for the content of this edit, today I restored it. However, my restoration was reverted, so I'm making this comment for transparency. --Abd 19:48, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
What problem did the course have where blanking it was the only possible solution? -- darklama  16:01, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

New encyclopedism

Just in case you may be interested in any of:

BTW, please anyone advise me why v: User:KYPark/Encyclopaedism/Timeline doesn't work here, which works at w: Talk:New encyclopedism. --  KYPark [T] 09:44, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

  • (edit conflict wtih below) Looks like one of the templates you created here, as you had created at Wikipedia, had an error in it (that wasn't on Wikipedia). I think I fixed it. The wikipedia page isn't the one you cited. Rather, it's w:User:KYPark/Encyclopaedism/Timeline. --Abd 15:54, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Huh! That WP page doesn't exist. I must have been confused. The template w:Template:show-head2 is only used at w:User:KYPark/Sandbox, permanent link, I have no idea now what KYPark means by his comment that the Timeline page doesn't work here, and that page content is not where he referenced it to be. w:Template:show-tail is used on his private Sandbox and on a series of year pages in his user space. The Talk page he references refers to the Timeline page here. --Abd 18:01, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Quite confusing, Abd, isn't it? I'm just sorry for all this fuss. --  KYPark [T] 09:35, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
The development of the British Museum Library Catalogue was very important in what you are describing.Harrypotter 15:50, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Your link is an edit box, Harrypotter, for which I have no idea! But I'd talk something else to you sooner or later. --  KYPark [T] 09:35, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
FYI, for templates you can request Import which has the advantage of copying the template exactly and also preserves the edit history to give credit to those who contributed to the work. Another advantage is that the import can also copy subpages (like the /doc documentation for a template) in one easy click. --mikeu talk 15:59, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Sure. In this case, though, KYPark is the author of the WP templates.... Yes, import is better, for the reason of giving credit, but it also requires a custodian to act, which delays the process; if I just want to experiment with templates to make a page work here, that delay and extra hassle will probably mean that it won't get done. But it would be pretty simple to fix this later. I'll review templates I've brought from WP and make a list to be imported. The process should be done in such a way as to merge the present content, which has often been altered from Wikipedia to make it work here, with the old content underneath in History. That should be simple. Hey, quite a bit of what I do would be simpler with the tools .... but I'll need a mentor. One step at a time, I suppose. --Abd 17:42, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks FYI, mikeu, but the case is roughly as Abd suggested. The WV version is improved, whereas the WP version was improvised (original), as it were. To be honest, I'm giving WP up for one reason or another. One more reason has been added; the w:Category:New encyclopedism was after all deleted on August 30 unjustly without any deleting guy responding to my w: Talk:New encyclopedism, though individually invited. May Wikipedia pay for this obvious injustice! --  KYPark [T] 09:35, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Again, why v: User:KYPark/Encyclopaedism/Timeline doesn't work here?
which is just User:KYPark/Encyclopaedism/Timeline.
It is on WP and WV that the very link w: Talk:New encyclopedism works. So I expect v: User:KYPark/Encyclopaedism/Timeline to work on WP and WV as well. As you see, however, this link is red on WV, while the same code works on WP as you experience at w: Talk:New encyclopedism.

Solution against the broken external links: back up the Internet

For two years, allows the French Wikipedia to read the external sites, which URL are in its article, even if they're stopped, thanks to a link [Archive] after each URL. Today they're proposing to extend their backups to us, and it's working on the French Wiktionary. Could we please get a consensus to install it here? JackPotte 21:29, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Here is an example: do you see the reference at the bottom of wikt:fr:welcome? I've just added it and the archive link is already available. JackPotte 12:23, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Category casing.

I have been thinking about putting some hard work cleaning up categories and uncategorized pages. It was suggested that I standardize the casing of category names. But the suggester and I immediately disagreed about which was best. So I thought I would get a quick straw pole about a sense of how the communtiy feels. Let me know what you think. Thenub314 12:49, 3 August 2010 (UTC) strstract Algebraact Algebra

Wikiversity once had a policy page where these kinds of issues were discussed by the community, but User:Darklama made the unilateral decision to disrupt the development of that policy. --JWSchmidt 13:16, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Ok, but here is our chance to decide what we would like to do regardless of Darklama's edit. Express your opinion one way or the other about the issue on the table, and when enough people have, or I get bored of waiting then I will get to work. Thenub314 17:05, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
"Not very relevant." <-- Wrong. The page that Darklama hid away is the page where Wikiversity community members should decide such matters. --JWSchmidt 17:30, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
While that may be true, until we are ready to enforce page discipline (easily done, it's not censorship), here we are. The man wants an answer, and if that answer, perhaps based on shallow discussion here, conflicts with general practice, we'll have to look at it some more. --Abd 20:39, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Let me be very clear about why it is not (in my opinion) very relevant. First regardless of that edit, or what the policy said, I would have asked again. Why? Because I have a preference, and for all I know someone who wrote that page many years ago made a choice by eeny-meeny-miny-moe. Before I steel my nerves to make several hundred edits it would take to clean things up, I am going to ask questions to make sure my work reflects the current feelings of the community. I would have always started the discussion at this page instead of the page you point to because it is more visible. Now you can continue to complain about Darklama's edit, that is fine, but I have nothing more to say on the matter. Might I suggest though that it would be more productive to give your opinion below. Because I am not interested in any of this politics, I just want to get stuff done. Thenub314 20:45, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Production, Politics, Prediction. My prediction is that you will change a bunch of category names and then a year from now someone else who "wants to get stuff done" will change them all back to the way they are are now. I admit that politics often works in futile cycles of needless activity, but I don't think that recording hard-earned cultural wisdom in guidelines and policies is "politics" is good community practice. --JWSchmidt 22:47, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Categories should be title cased (as in Category:Abstract Algebra)

  1. Thenub314 12:49, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
  2. For courses, Geoff Plourde 17:42, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

#Being an educational entity, I think that title casing is necessary down to second headings.

With some more thought, I think that title casing is necessary for the top few levels of articles/lessons, but not necessarily everything else.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 12:18, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Beyond that I think we should be as familiar as possible, and hence capitalize as little as possible.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 18:09, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
With some experience, casing needs to be in context. When doing more social work (in counseling), casing is more common because of the ego-centric nature of "theories." But with neuroanatomy, casing seems entirely unnecessary as everything is objective, and (easily allows itself to be object-oriented, or OO--or perhaps, functionally-oriented).
Further, ego-centricism in anatomy that has resulted in upper-cased parts should be de-ego-centralized with lower casing.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 16:01, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Categories should be sentence cased (as in Category:Abnormal psychology)

  1. Abd 20:39, 3 August 2010 (UTC) There are strong convenience reasons to use sentence case. It allows someone to neglect case in citing the page or adding a category from memory, and case is always a little bit harder to type. Because most of us have strong Wikipedia experience, as well, which uses sentence case except for proper nouns, it's more in line with our habits. Wikiversity's somewhat common usage of "title case" -- which is ambiguous in fact, just clear in the example, has often delayed me completing an edit until I figured out what the used form is. Example of ambiguity: Category:Category:Solutions to problems in Abstract Algebra. Abstract Algebra can be taken as a proper noun, but it's easier if we use "title case," i.e, all lower case except for obvious and clear proper nouns, i.e., Category:Solutions from Isaac Newton on integral calculus. And if anyone thinks that a capitalization error will be common, a redirect can be put in. I think that sentence case will require fewer redirects. First letter is by convention capitalized in page names: first letter case is ignored by the software, I believe. Sentence case thus allows someone to type all lower case letters, usually, which can help with, say, an iPhone. I have some vague memory that there may be an exception. --Abd 20:39, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
  2. Categories for courses should be title-cased, but general subject categories like those seen at Wikiversity:Browse should be sentence case. As a side effect, this makes it easier for interwiki adders to match up categories. Adrignola 22:43, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
  3. For general subjects, Geoff Plourde 22:46, 3 August 2010 (UTC)


Well I am relatively happy with the compromise suggested by Adrignola, a similar scheme is used at wikibooks. There are just a few things that should be kept in mind:

  • It is often the case that a resourse may be neither a course nor a subject, but rather some other learning resource. I it may be better to think of things in terms of learning resources and subjects.
  • Resources (and hence courses) are sentenced cased. So for example, Philosophy of mathematics would have a corresponding category would be Category:Philosophy of Mathematics to hold the subpages for the course. The casing would not match, this is no big deal in my opinion, but thought I would point it out. There is also a small potential for confusion. If someone later creates a category for the subject of the philosophy of mathematics it would be Category:Philosophy of mathematics, which now matches the case of the course. Maybe we should consider the reverse? That is, sentence case categories corresponding to learning resources and title case categories that exist to collect similar resources together. We used this type of scheme at wikibooks to avoid this type of name collision but it took the opposite form since our resources are usually title cased. Of course the other obvious choice is to make one of the names explicit by appending something like a (subject), but this could get a little messy. Thenub314 09:11, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

I generally use and encourage sentence casing unless there is a particularly good reason e.g., proper nouns/names. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 11:18, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

WV as an educational entity

It makes sense for WV to be distinct from WP as WP is an encyclopedia built from wikis, and WP is an educational wiki. Wikis are only a reasonably new concept, being about the same age as the Web, but they continually growing into complex collaborative knowledge construction entities, a concept that be-devils WP because it is only an encyclopedia. The exact opposite is true here; when we finally get this community site harmonized and are able to attract those who are truly wrapped in the wikis' construction potentials, then the WP will be a widely-respected as a source for new and revolutionary information. Wikis are educational by nature, so we can embrace the wiki potential in ways the WP cannot.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 12:43, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

To prepare for my courses, I have been familiarizing myself with the topics by deconstructing over-view material. It seems to make most sense to title-case, or fully capitalize pages, be they articles or lessons, and also first heading topics (=Topic=), but then sentence case second headings (==Second topic==), and then use as much lower case as possible from then on, so as to poise wiki-structured "byte code" writing to be converted into prose.--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 16:57, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

The Sandbox Server II -- The Sandbox strikes back

Hi all,

We're getting another shot with a sandbox server -- but we need some projects!!

Is there a course, learning experiment, interaction or other bit that could utilize a server? Please let us know! We're putting together projects that will be going on to the server when it gets set up, hopefully in the next few weeks. We're hoping to start with 3 strong projects, but once we've got those we'll be rolling out more in the future. So let us know what you've got. --Historybuff 05:55, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Do you want responses here or somewhere else? -- darklama  06:06, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Here is fine -- if things get busy, we can move it to another page. Historybuff 14:39, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Moodle!!! Geoff Plourde 05:14, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Geoff, you are a man of few words. I think you've nominated yourself to help out with the Moodle project -- I like that idea. Any other contributors there, and any other ideas? Historybuff 23:22, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

MediaWiki? WordPress? -- darklama  00:34, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Darklama -- I think Wikimedia (and WM software development) would be a _fantastic_ project, but it could be a large one, and one (at present) which I won't have time to manage or lead. If we can find a tech lead and a learning project manager, I think it would work well. Wordpress is a great idea. I like the idea of just a blog, and I'll fiddle around with this. There are other good ideas (other CMS, LMS, etc) which could be explored. Keep the ideas coming! Historybuff 14:28, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

I can run a Moodle installation, and I',m sure JWS could assist. other LMSs are iffy, I'd say. Geoff Plourde 05:55, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Hi Geoff. Do you have a Learning Project on WV about Moodle, or somewhere to talk on-wiki about it? I think you've got the Moodle thing if you want it, just let me know what's needed to get started. I think we'll be "going live" in a couple weeks. Historybuff 18:50, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I am on moodle myself for my masters program -- it's OK, not great. I think a wiki implementation would be better with a side-site for social gathering. Where moodle rules is in teacher evaluation of participation over tested grades -- "teach" can monitor all activity and see who is really doing the work. But, as we all know, you can really drill down on activity with mediawiki!--JohnBessa66.pngBessatalk 13:18, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Adding a maps extension

Could somebody please take a look at Geographic touchpoints, and note in the table that maps are not rendering in the way we had gotten them to render at the equivalent page on Could someone guide me as to how to either adopt that same extension here at Wikiversity, or to modify the touchpoints table so that it will comply with another existing maps extension that is in use here at Wikiversity? -- Thekohser 16:07, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Hi there! --  KYPark [T] 09:44, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Hello, KYPark. While your friendly greeting is nice, it's not exactly the response I was hoping to receive here. Does anybody have mad wiki skills with mapping extensions or templates? -- Thekohser 14:24, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

I think the maps extension is unlikely to be enabled here, even if the community demonstrated support for it, because the extension relies on querying servers outside of WMF's control which they would likely be consider a privacy issue, since 3rd parties would have access to "private" information. -- darklama  15:36, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

mmm... DL, I think you meant "querying." Has this been discussed somewhere? --Abd 16:00, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
If we are indeed prohibited by privacy policy from acquiring an external map extension within a Wikimedia Foundation project, then I suppose just text coordinates with an external link to a community-decided "safe enough" external map site, plus perhaps a freely-licensed bitmap image (though static) of the city location (something like this) would be sufficient. I'd like to leave this discussion open, though, for another week or two, just to make sure that Darklama's (helpful) opinion is not mistaken. Certainly, some work has been done to attempt solutions for mapping:
So, some people are clearly working on the problem as we speak. It just may be months or years away from acceptable implementation. Frankly, I find it discouraging that the Wikimedia Foundation hasn't taken a more active role in either launching or acquiring a free, open-source mapping project, but I'll leave that comment where it is. -- Thekohser 16:14, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes there has been work done to try to address the issue as you found. I didn't mention any of them because like you said they may be years away from an acceptable implementation. You could use an imagemap with some image to link to other pages on Wikiversity, if that would work for you. External links are fine because the person acknowledges/accepts the risk by clicking the link. If a person doesn't click the external link than supposedly there is no risk to their privacy. Presumably if an extension required people to opt-in through there preferences to see maps by a 3rd party (like Google Maps) that would be fine too. -- darklama  18:22, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
This kind of sucks. It's a shame for a "university" type of forum to lack anything more technically useful than the old "pull down" maps of the world, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and North America that I remember from ninth grade. Now I need to simply decide if the interactive mapping found at NetKnowledge outweighs or not the apparently larger and more active community here at Wikiversity. Of course, I am also open to the suggestion that Geographic touchpoints are simply not worth compiling at all. -- Thekohser 16:01, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Semantic Mediawiki extension

Is the Semantic Mediawiki extension installed on English Wikiversity? If not, could it be, or has that been deprecated? If so, I'm thinking that it would be a better framework for the Geographic touchpoints project here. -- Thekohser 16:31, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

No it is not installed. That would be good to have, but I wonder if the developers position would be the same as using the latest DynamicPageList? Bug requests to use the latest DPL have long been quickly closed as WONTFIX. -- darklama  18:25, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Some of the core devs are looking to have semantic mediawiki intsalle don all WM projects at some point. They might consider wikiversity a fine testing grounds... esp if you ask nicely :) SJ+> 18:16, 7 September 2010 (UTC)


Support per SJ's comment above in that case. Wikiversity would be a good test ground for that extension, just like with the Quiz extension. -- darklama  22:25, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Sounds good to me. --Abd 00:38, 8 September 2010 (UTC)


Personal attacks

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A soldier hides his yawn from his lady companion in this detail from a painting by Oscar Bluhm titled Ermüdende Konversation, or "Tedious conversation".
I think this discussion has produced Yet Another World-shattering NuanceHarrypotter 22:25, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
  • If we did embrace and even made a custodian of such a user as user:Salmon of Doubt who came here to contribute nothing but to edit war with other wikiversiters, you guys are really making a storm out of very little. Hillgentleman | //\\ |Talk 16:33, 11 September 2010 (UTC)