Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/August 2014

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Alternative paid contribution disclosure policy[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider, for instance, the following edits.

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

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

Thanks in advance.

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

Vision on wikiversity[edit]

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

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

Companies and markets[edit]

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

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

Suggestion: Plasmons and polaritons[edit]

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

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


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

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

Technical writing Robs Screengrab[edit]

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

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

Request for importation[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

Beta issues[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some links:

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

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

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

Letter petitioning WMF to reverse recent decisions[edit]

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

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

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

Process ideas for software development[edit]


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

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

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

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

Wiki ViewStats[edit]

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

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

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

Interactive labs[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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