Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/October 2016

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Wikiversity as Virtual University[edit]

Hi Guys, I am a beginning programmer and to be honest I find the Wikiversity format quite hard to begin with and I believe it is the reason why there are less wikiversity users. I would like to contribute on the engine and how things are done around, if I am allowed to. Where should I begin with? Thank you, Ronit.ramdam

--Ronit.ramdam (discusscontribs) 11:30, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Contribute wherever you like. Since you are interested in programming, you might start with one of the computer or programming courses. By the way, which courses / formats have you tried so far? There are multiple course styles here, some more effective than others. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 11:49, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
@Ronit.ramdam:, @Dave Braunschweig:, agreed. Wikitext is a bit challenging for people who are not familiar with using wikis. This is the main reason we developed VisualEditor for the Wikipedias. (Also see topic above Wikiversity:Colloquium#Software.2Fextension_to_increase_functionality_of_courses which might be relevant.)
One thing that might really help is if we enabled visual editor on wikiversity... is there any interest in that? If so I can create a phabricator task for it to be done. One thing is that it will complicate MOOC extension a bit, because it wouldn't natively be supported, but then we could develop support in VE for it as well eventually and cross that bridge when we come to it. @Renepick:, @Sebschlicht:, @Guy vandegrift:, @Atcovi:, thoughts? Mvolz (discusscontribs) 13:39, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
I'd also think the Visual Editor will help us out on this front. It's mature enough for us to adopt IMO. --Michael Billington (talkcontribs) 10:47, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
At the moment, we are transforming the MOOC extension into a real extension, using its own content model aso. We consider to use the VE for in-place edits but we haven't researched too deep on how such an integration would work. If someone knows how one can use the VE in an extension, please drop me a note! --Sebschlicht (discusscontribs) 14:54, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
@Sebschlicht: There are several extensions that are integrated with VE, such as math, graph, and citoid, for instance. Perhaps the most similar are math and graph, here are the libraries within them that handle the ve components: and If you have questions you can also ask in #mediawiki-visualeditor although it's not always the most active, so feel free to ping me as I'm voiced there (same name). Mvolz (discusscontribs) 04:46, 6 October 2016 (UTC)


Hi all! I'm trying to start a project called Wikidialectics to build debates collaboratively and use the dialectic algorithm on them (an algorithm that is able to calculate the result of any debate out of its logical structure). I implemented the algorithm as a gadget that can be found at my common.js and my common.css. If you add the following lines to your own common.js you should be able to see the gadget in action at the sample debate I created.

mw.loader.load( '/w/index.php?title=User:Felipe_Schenone/common.js&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript' );
mw.loader.load( '/w/index.php?title=User:Felipe_Schenone/common.css&action=raw&ctype=text/css', 'text/css' );

I'd like to add this gadget to the gadget list so that users can enable it or run the algorithm on a specific debate page by simply clicking the link in the notice at the top of every debate. I'm an experienced user and have the necessary rights to enable the gadget myself, but of course I need community consensus first. Please take a look at the project and let me know your thoughts. I've been developing this project for many years and I have other interesting debates that I can bring to Wikiversity if I get a green light. Looking forward to your replies! --Felipe (discusscontribs) 01:34, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with adding optional gadgets that users can enable if they choose. In fact, I'm more comfortable with that than I am having them edit their own common.js files. But I would recommend that you do a screen shot of your gadget in action, upload it, and add the image here on the right as a thumb so that we can see what you are recommending without having to add code ourselves. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:39, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
File:Wikidialectics demo.png
The gadget appends the status to every argument.
@Dave Braunschweig: I'm adding a screenshot as recommended. The gadget calculates the current status of each argument in the debate and ultimately the status of the debate itself, as explained in the Wikidialectics page. As to your request to disclose my permissions, I was granted a global editinterface permission due to being involved in several cross-wiki projects that require regular edits to the MediaWiki namespace. More details on the request page, cheers! --Felipe (discusscontribs) 03:16, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Well, after waiting some time, receiving at least some support and no opposition, I have added the gadget. I renamed the project to Wikidebate though, and did some styling improvements. You can try it out by visiting this page, any feedback is welcome. I'll be adding more debates soon, cheers! --Felipe (discusscontribs) 18:35, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Grants to improve your project[edit]

Greetings! The Project Grants program is currently accepting proposals for funding. There is just over a week left to submit before the October 11 deadline. If you have ideas for software, offline outreach, research, online community organizing, or other projects that enhance the work of Wikimedia volunteers, start your proposal today! Please encourage others who have great ideas to apply as well. Support is available if you want help turning your idea into a grant request.

I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 19:52, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

What sort of grants are offered? For what sort of projects? Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 23:47, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
@Michael Ten: Grant proposals are all handled on Meta since they apply to all of the various Wikimedia Foundation projects. Asking here probably won't help you much. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:47, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
@Michael Ten: Any proposal for any effort that can be interpreted in any way as "paid editing" will not be funded. Ditto for any effort the committee believes could be "done for free" by volunteers will not be funded. I hope this helps. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 16:57, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Self Promotion on user Pages?[edit]

Is self promotion on user pages allowed on Wikiversity? Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 23:46, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

@Michael Ten: Generally, userpages are left to users themselves to have as they see fit with a few bare-minimum rules (abusive language, copyright violations, links to malware). If you have educational content that you can offer, then go ahead and link it. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:48, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
I would qualify this response slightly. If you have *free* educational content that you can offer, then go ahead and link it. Anything which appears to focus more on solicitation or promotion rather than education would likely be removed. @User:Koavf See [1] for background on this question. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:04, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Should I be allowed to link to a crowdfunding/Patreon page on the userspace? @User:Koavf Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 02:21, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
This was already addressed by a bureaucrat in January. See Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/January_2016#Connection_between_business_and_learning.3F. No, you may not link to a crowdfunding site intended to promote yourself. That does not set learning free. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:50, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

Creative Commons 4.0[edit]

Hello! I'm writing from the Wikimedia Foundation to invite you to give your feedback on a proposed move from CC BY-SA 3.0 to a CC BY-SA 4.0 license across all Wikimedia projects. The consultation will run from October 5 to November 8, and we hope to receive a wide range of viewpoints and opinions. Please, if you are interested, take part in the discussion on Meta-Wiki.

Apologies that this message is only in English. This message can be read and translated in more languages here. Joe Sutherland (talk) 01:34, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Confusion between Help and Wikiversity namespaces[edit]

I would like to ask how "help" information is divided/sorted between the Help and Wikiversity namespaces? Because it confused me when searching for info about deleting pages. I went to Help and wrote "delete" in the search box, hit Enter and got no relevant search results. After using Google I found the correct page Deletions and later on I found out that it was because it was in the Wikiversity namespace, and not the Help namespace, which is the default checked box when searching from the main help page.

There is also pages about Namespaces in both the Wikiversity and Help namespaces. In the latter it says the purpose of the Help namespace is "pages that help learners and mentors understand how to use Wikiversity". Therefore I think something like information about how to delete pages should be located there, but the former also notes that "There are also some similar pages in the 'Wikiversity:' namespace". There might be some logic, but at first I think it's a bit confusing.

Another, mayby smaller, thing that might solve part of the problem, is that the default namespaces that are checked on the Help page is just Help. On Wikipedia it is both Help and Wikipedia.

/Patrik Näsfors (discusscontribs) 23:37, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

I don't think anyone has looked into this issue in the four years I've been active here. It's fine with me if the Help: pages are more how to, and the Wikiversity: pages are more what / why / policy. If you're up to the challenge of looking into this with fresh eyes, be bold! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 23:48, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick response Dave. I also thought it might be a good separation with how in Help: and other things in Wikiversity:. It might be a good idea to look at how Wikipedia and other projects have dealt with this, but at the first look at Wikipedia, it seems to be a bit random too. I won't do much about it right now, because I'm here to try to create a new course (with some real content), I just felt I needed to learn some more about Wikiversity and wiki-editing beyond just editing simple pages.
One quick thing to do (for someone with permissions and knowledge), as I suggested, would be to add Wikiversity as a default option/namespace for searching on the Help page. Is there somewhere I should suggest that, other than here? /Patrik Näsfors (discusscontribs) 00:09, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
YesY Done -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 00:10, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks!!! I can see Wikiversity is also marked as default now :-) /Patrik Näsfors (discusscontribs) 00:33, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Userfy Request[edit]

This page was deleted... Topic:Topics Can someone please userify it for me? User:Michael_Ten/Topics I think it may help in my learning. Thank you. Topic_talk:Topics#Userfying Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 04:31, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

If you are seeking to learn about the Topic namespace, see Wikiversity:Topic Review and the extensive history behind that page. It is much more informative and inclusive than the Topic:Topics page content was. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 12:36, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Purpose or value of categories for Wikiversity's support staff[edit]

I have found that there is some categories for Wikiversity's support staff, like Category:Wikiversity bureaucrats. These are based on what support staff add on their user pages, and everyone haven't done so and therefore these are incomplete. All group members can instead be found by searching for special lists.

Based on a talk with Dave Braunschweig, I would like to ask if these categories shall be made mandatory (eventually by using an extension that does it automatically) or if they shall just be deleted? Arguments for keeping them can be made by answering/telling what the purpose or value of these categories are. /Patrik Näsfors (discusscontribs) 23:25, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Header on all talk pages[edit]

I think it's a good idea to have a header on talk pages, like {{Talk header}}, since it shows some basic and relevant information everybody should follow. (Experienced editors should know them of course, but it's good for newcomers). It also looks much better instead of empty pages/headers I think. I have also seen some header/template at Wikipedia, where there also is some good information about discussion archives and the option to search archives, so it can be of practical use also.

So do you other 'talkers' like or dislike this idea? And should it be automated in some way? /Patrik Näsfors (discusscontribs) 23:44, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

@PatrikN: I am definitely in favor of something like that for less-watched talk spaces like Category talk. Virtually no one watches those pages, so it's really wise to discourage discussion there. I'd be fine with a pre-loaded template for every talk page in the main content namespaces (Resource, Template, Category, School, Portal, Collection). —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:38, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
I also like the idea (but am too busy to do it myself). If the talk page header designer(s) come up with more than one idea for a header, create make mutliple variations of it.Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 14:26, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

10 years anniversary[edit]

Anyone noticed it has gone 10 years since the birth of Wikiversity? According to this talk it must have been in the middle of August 2006 it was created (the History page just says August 2006). Anyway Wikiversity have passed the 10 years anniversary with a few months, but I still think it would be worth mentioning somewhere (on the main page for example), that this wiki/project is now 10 years old. I don't know if it can be marked in a more practical way.

Lastly, congratulations to all of you who have used and contributed to Wikiversity! :-) /Patrik Näsfors (discusscontribs) 23:00, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

It's a bit shameful how we didn't even know imo. But it's great someone was watching out, thanks for the post! ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 22:29, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for letting us know. I added it to the News section. Regarding news, I was wondering what everyone thought of adding new lectures to the News section. In the past we have highlighted new courses rather than new lectures. There are perhaps five to ten new lectures a week here. This could get overwhelming quickly unless we find a different way to highlight new resources. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 22:52, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

Congratulations to all on 10 years of success!

It would be great to have five to six things to put in the news each week instead of five to six for three to four months! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 03:21, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

This would require growth and increased participation. Is growth and increased participation not desirable? Why has this site been so slow to grow when its potential is so vast? Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 04:05, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

Based on User:Marshallsumter's suggestion that recently completed resources be included in the news, I have added a DynamicPageList of Category:Completed resources to the news section. This will automate the update for this type of news. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 14:29, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

The five additional things are great for the News subpage! We usually include things on the subpage by chronology. I checked the "View history" for each. These appear to be the completion dates:

  1. Motivation and emotion/Book/2016/Emotional hijacking - 15 October 2016, book chapter
  2. Python Programming/Modules - 12 October 2016, lesson.
  3. Python Programming/Classes - 9 October 2016, lesson.
  4. Assessing Human Rights - 15 October 2016, course. I added the category to the resource.
  5. IT Fundamentals - 3 March 2016, course.

First, let me add these are not written in stone. If the resource creators would like to use different dates, it's up to them. Part of the reason I'm mentioning this is that IT Fundamentals has been evaluated and should be rated as Featured but this has not as yet happened. Second, while we should have posted it earlier in March, if it's okay with the resource creator we can use 15 October 2016.

So, if I follow current custom, Main Page/News would appear something like:


What do you think? We usually drop off older posts when the list gets too long! Or, we have additional posts say between 15 August and 12 October. Comments, editing suggestions, criticisms, questions, and concerns are welcome! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 01:57, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

The chronology is controlled automatically by DynamicPageList. It's not a matter of completion dates set by the user, but when the resource is added to the Category:Completed resources. IT Fundamentals was unusual in that it was recently vandalized, which removed it from the category, and adding it back into the category gave it a more recent add date. The intention is to not have to maintain this list. It will maintain itself based on users adding the category to completed resources. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 04:20, 16 October 2016 (UTC)


Please someone userify Open interviews/I want to see aging defeated. Interview me! for a week so I can move it to a different wiki online. You can delete it again after I move it to a more welcoming wiki. It was deleted unilaterally because it was considered self promotional and not potentially educational despite not linking to any outside sites. Maybe this site has grown so little over the last ten years because of unwelcoming actions by those with wiki admin powers here. Just a thought. Cheers. Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 18:12, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

The content from the deleted page has been forwarded to your email account. Best of luck to you. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 19:50, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

New User[edit]

--Ricky Di Don (discusscontribs) 03:25, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Welcome! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 03:36, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

If there are twenty-five people in a room and everyone shakes hands with everyone else once, how many handshakes are there? (I got three hundred but my textbook says three hundred and twenty-five which I think is wrong. If you also got any of these two answers please tell me and explain how.)

@Ricky Di Don: Think of an easier example and you can figure out how to arrive at the correct answer. Imagine there are just three of us: Dave, Justin, and Ricky. If we all shake one another's hands, that's three: Dave->Justin, Dave->Ricky, and Justin->Ricky. If we add Allison, then we have six: Allison->Dave, Allison->Justin, Allison->Ricky, Dave->Justin, Dave->Ricky, Justin->Ricky. These are questions of finite math, with combinations and permutations. Is that what you are studying currently? —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:46, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Thanks Justin I worked the problem as you stated and I got three hundred. Does this mean that the textbook is wrong? And I am studying investigations and problem solving which relates to finite math.

@Ricky Di Don: And how did you get your answer? What steps did you use? —Justin (koavf)TCM 14:12, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

I started as you suggested with three and for each additional person I added the previous amount of persons present in the room.

See for a detailed explanation and solution to this problem. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 17:59, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Are you here to help out with math or something like that? :) ---Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 22:18, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Yes, feel free to ask any questions that puzzle you and I'll assist as best as possible.


Materials were deleted without discussion. Perhaps the consensus would be that the materials should be deleted, but that seems difficult to tell since there was no chance for discussion or evaluation. I have created a record of the deletion here. I will try to help spread valuable ideas related to learning elsewhere if they are not welcome here. If they are not welcome here, I will respect that. I at least wanted to give individuals here a chance for discussion in case that would appreciated. That's all. Thank you for reading this. Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 02:16, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

@Michael Ten: I'm sorry that you are having a hard time with posting here. I sincerely want everyone to be able to contribute. I think part of the problem in the past was that you were using space here to advertise for-pay services off-wiki. Is that what was on those pages? —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:27, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
That was not on there at all. You can see for yourself. On my user page I linked to a Patreon account. That link was removed and I have not added it again. Patreon is like Kickstarter but it can be used for monthly or per creation donations. My Patreon was setup to effectively give people a chance to offer a donation to support endeavors (related to education) that I am doing going to be doing regardless of whether or not I am being paid. That may not be welcome here and if that is the case, I will accept that. Thank you reading this. Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 02:33, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
@Michael Ten: I'm familiar with Patreon and I don't think it's an inappropriate thing to link to it on your userpage. I'd like to work with you to help you post educational material here. @Dave Braunschweig:, do you have any pointers to add here? I'd hate to see someone leave the project if he has something to add. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:39, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. I would agree with you, but again, it was removed without discussion. Those with wiki power seem to think it's not appropriate. I will respect the consensus here. In colleges and universities, some professors have books they have written as required reading material. But that is not the original reason I posted this thread. Michael Ten (discusscontribs) 02:46, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
I've looked at the two items that Dave has deleted. One directs potential readers to, a commercial site. The other invites readers, or someone, to interview another. Dave is correct to delete both as solicitation. If user Michael Ten wishes to create a learning resource based on an interview he's conducted, the user can do this, if the interviewee permits it here, and the content is educational, teaching, or research. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 06:19, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

In general, yes, I would agree that discussion is desirable. However, when previous attempts at discussion have been ignored or immediately appealed to the wider community, there is no benefit to repeating the pattern. Discussion isn't necessary for content that qualifies for speedy deletion. Discussion on these deletions is still an option, but that discussion should take place at Wikiversity:Requests_for_Deletion#Undeletion_requests rather than in the Colloquium.

Regarding linking to Patreon, that link was removed by a custodian and reviewed and supported by a bureaucrat, but if User:Michael Ten and User:Koavf want to begin a community review of the types of "Go Fund Me" links the community is willing to accept and where the links may be placed, they are welcome to do so. However, I would recommend checking with WMF Legal first, as there is no point to having a discussion if it might be overruled later. There are at least three instances I can think of where this has happened in the past (different subjects, but it does happen).

If User:Michael Ten wishes to develop content on Aging, he is welcome and encouraged to do so. But my "pointer" would be to focus on the Wikiversity:Mission of creating free learning materials and resources here at Wikiversity, rather than perceived promotion of a specific user, author, or other website. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:50, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

I am inclined to agree with Dave Braunschweig on both points: (1) requests for donations need to be carefully controlled (if they are allowed at all), and (2) a community review might be a good idea, but only after WMF Legal gives us some clear guidelines. Personally, I would tend to oppose virtually all solicitations from Wikiversity, unless they are almost "invisible" (an example of an "invisible" solicitation would be to link to a quality resourse that does contain solicitations). Keep in mind that there are plenty of places where those who wish to solicit may post materials. Wikiversity should be almost as careful as Wikipedia in this regard. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 23:13, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Add the Extension:WikipediaExtracts[edit]

WikipediaExtracts is an extension that would allow us to easily extract content from Wikipedia into Wikiversity. I noticed that many pages contain an introduction copied from Wikipedia (when not the whole article, see for example Theory) before moving on to the content that is specific to Wikiversity. Using WikipediaExtracts would allow us to create a Template:WikipediaExtract so that in the end we would be able to do {{WikipediaExtract|Article title}} to extract the introduction (or first sentences, or the whole article) of the Wikipedia article of choice. This would allow us to save the work of copy-pasting, but more importantly it would keep Wikiversity content updated with Wikipedia, and if we detect any errors, it would push us to edit Wikipedia to fix them, improving thus both Wikipedia and Wikiversity. Last but not least, it would greatly simplify, if not eliminate, the process of attributing proper credit to the authors of the content. I think it would be very very useful here on Wikiversity. What do you think? --Felipe (discusscontribs) 12:34, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 12:46, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support I used "Starspot, In: Wikipedia" in the manner described. This could be helpful! --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 15:42, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support instead of duplicating content manually. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:43, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support I strongly support this. Copying and then editing Wikipedia articles is an effecient strategy that I have used myself to create learning resources. And, I think having students do the editing might serve as a useful teaching activity. Wikipedia articles are better written than most student essays, so they learn by "improving".--Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 22:53, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support --Thierry613 (discusscontribs) 18:59, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support -- lbeaumont Sounds great. We need to be able to easily delimit the start and end of the extraction from the Wikipedia article. --Lbeaumont (discusscontribs) 14:55, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

I have requested the extension at Phabricator but there are several steps to follow before it can be enabled, so it may take a few days. Any help is appreciated, cheers! --Felipe (discusscontribs) 01:25, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

Numerical Sorting in Categories[edit]

Mediawiki software now supports the option for numerical sorting in categories. We may request that this feature be enabled on Wikiversity. Does the community support numerical sorting for numbers? Please {{comment}}, {{support}}, or {{oppose}}. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 17:57, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

User template for ORCID iDs[edit]

I've just made a template, {{User ORCID}}, so that colleagues can add their ORCID iD to their user page - you can see it in use on mine. I am the Wikimedian in Residence at ORCID, and am happy to answer any questions related to ORCID. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:41, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Technical Collaboration Guideline[edit]

There is a draft mw:Technical Collaboration Guideline. Review and comment there as needed. In particular, you may wish to review the page on community decisions. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 21:40, 31 October 2016 (UTC)