Wikiversity:Colloquium/archives/September 2007

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Wikiversity: For all ages?

I don't know whether or not I would be at all able to contribute to Wikiversity on a college level, except for what I've already been doing- editing for grammar and spelling, taking part in the Bloom Clock, ect. But I know I could create good-quality learning resources for younger kids- maybe ages 8-14, especially in the areas of American history and basic Natural Sciences. In particular I think I could provide class guides that would be useful to homeschoolers. Is this something Wikiversity would welcome, or is this resource only open to older people? --Luai lashire 17:00, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Hello Luai lashire, definitely this is welcome. Why not ? What is good for kids can't be (that) bad for others :-) No, really, why shouldn't any content be allowed here ? What makes you think so ?
BTW in Germany (and I am sure also in other countries) there are initiatives like this: there are made courses/presentations for kids in universities, e.g. search for "Tübinger Kinder-Uni 2007" here and you will see some videos and here from Karlsruhe a list of courses.
I would recommend just add them and then people could use them to extend them and/or create other content. What do the other Wikiversity members think on this ? ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 17:14, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Luai lashire: you might want to participate at Wikiversity:Pre-tertiary portal and Main Page/Draft version 0.2. --JWSchmidt 17:20, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, both of you. I was fairly certain that Wikiversity would accept these learning resources, but I hadn't seen anything aimed at younger students while I was here and thought it best to ask. I think I'll be hanging around the Wikiversity:Pre-tertiary portal page a lot more. --Luai lashire 18:08, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

is crime a social product?

-- 18:10, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Hello unknown user,
How about asking on the talk page of School:Law ? They might help you faster in searching an answer.
Some suggestions how you get even faster a response:
Could you give more details on the context and/or background of your question and also your definitions of the words itself which you use? Otherwise we might talk about different things because terms could have different meanings for every individual or perhaps we tell you already something which you know. So this could be a waste of time, which you probably also do not want.
E.g. what would you define as "crime" ? What is your definition of "society" or "social product" ?
What do you think to ask in a way that people can not just answer: yes or no ? Otherwise others could give already two answers, which probably would not help that much. ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 20:05, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

How the internet will change how we live and work - "Wikinomic"....

An extremely interesing article from the Guardian Unlimited at,,2162394,00.html Enjoy! Shir-El too 22:41, 5 September 2007 (UTC) PS Mentions Wikipedia by name.

Modest beginning...

The Aptitude Test page has made a modest beginning. Please visit and help us get it going. Thank you, Shir-El too 10:38, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

What is [isn't] going on with Community Portal?

Since joining 2 weeks ago nothing has changed on this page - except what I added/deleted. Is it because the 'academic year' hasn't started yet, or is it not used? Shir-El too 13:36, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

We have a community portal? </sarcasm> Wikiversity is very slow in updating things since it doesn't have that many users. This page is probably the busiest of them.--Rayc 20:29, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
I think Wikipedia was about 2 years old before it started a "community portal". --JWSchmidt 22:40, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Wikiversity is a much smaller community the Wikipedia, so different pages get different amounts of attention at different times. If you like a page, though, feel free to add to it, or edit it. BE BOLD. And never feel shy to ask questions. Historybuff 04:56, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
I think there's real potential for the Community Portal, but yeah, it's a case of who can find the time for it. I agree that what's there is woeful, and should be addressed. Maybe that can be my current Wikiversity project (linked in with Main page redesign). ;-) Cormaggio talk 11:02, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Maybe I should have asked: What is the Portal's purpose? See ya'all next week, (G-d willing!), Shir-El too 14:52, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Fair question. For me, the community portal should be a place to orientate newcomers to the activity of the community. On Wikipedia's, it gives lists of collaborations and tasks (and taskforces around these activities). So this would be one of its uses. But also, I envisage Wikiversity's community portal as a place where people could see what kinds of groups of people are using Wikiversity - for example primary school teachers. We have the seeds of a Wikiversity:Pre-tertiary portal - and we could have more along these lines, all linked from the community portal. Cormaggio talk 08:24, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Links between Wikipedia Reference Desk and Wikiversity Help Desk

I created this section about it. I'm advertising it here so more people see it. Is this OK? a.z. 03:20, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

<sarcasm> Wikiversity (and Wikipedia) have a help desk??? </sarcasm> Well done for informing me. WikiMedia, clean up your act! The Help Desk should be in toolbox. Networked.Frog (The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 01:49, 9 September 2007)

I stuck a link to in the help desk in the "navigation" box in the sidebar. Why did you suggest the "toolbox"? --JWSchmidt 02:20, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
There is now "Help" followed by "Help desk" in the navbar - I think "Help" is enough, if we design Help:Contents in a way that is clear (as well as being comprehensive). Cormaggio talk 08:17, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikibooks deletions, again

I made a category and template for marking up old wv pages before they lose patience with us entirely, here's the discussion. --SB_Johnny | talk 08:17, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia's Reference Desk and Wikiversity

Someone left messages on several Custodians' talk pages about this discussion, which probably belongs here instead: see w:Wikipedia_talk:Reference_desk#Linking_out for details. --SB_Johnny | talk 09:55, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

You might also want to know that an editor who edits both the wikipedia reference desks and the wikiversity help desk has been strongly implying that if people ask for legal or medical advice (as in things which specifically apply to their current situation; asking for a diagnosis, treatment, course of action) they will receive a full answer on the wikiversity help desks, which is something which is not allowed on the wikipedia reference desks for various quite important reasons. It might be that the wikiversity community is perfectly fine with this, or maybe you just haven't noticed yet. Just a heads-up. 11:55, 5 September 2007 (UTC), can you provide some links to backup the rumors about rumors about legal or medical advice being offered at Wikiversity. Thanks. --JWSchmidt 14:04, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Although for the full effect, you need to see the section to which it was added.
With both these, I would advise viewing them in context to see what you think. I had hoped to avoid singling someone out, as really I just wanted to bring the general idea up and check whether this was the community's view. 19:58, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  • In the second link, I can only find an objective question about the law ("Is it against the law to..."), to which there are only three possible answers: "yes", "no" or "it depends on the circumstances". It is conceivable that a search through wikipedia would reveal the answer. No one has asked for any "legal advice". Nor has anyone offered any. Hillgentleman|Talk 21:44, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Similarly, I do not see how saying that cold hands could be a sign of poor circulation is medical advice. Maybe we can sort through some of these issues at Medical practice and the law. --JWSchmidt 22:09, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
I posted a similar question on the help desk talk page, not knowing of this discussion. I would strongly advise against having users without proper qualifications provide specific legal or medical advice at the Wikiersity help desk. There are serious liabilty and personal responsibility issues involved with such advice. On a more formal level, I don't think dispensing such advice really falls within the scope of Wikiversity. sebmol ? 13:08, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Sebmol. I'll just reiterate what I said in the Wikipedia discussion in that there are better places to direct people to finding specific medical help, as well as advising to "see a doctor". With these provisos, initial friendly advice is fine - and we needn't hard-ban as has been done on Wikipedia, but neither should we act as a place where people asking there should be redirected to. Cormaggio talk 11:09, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
"against having users without proper qualifications provide specific legal or medical advice" <-- I'm also against having users with proper qualifications provide legal or medical advice at Wikiversity. "neither should we act as a place where people asking there should be redirected to" <-- An idea that is as old as Wikiversity itself is that Wikiversity might grow to become a "training center" that provides opportunities for participants in Wikimedia wiki projects to learn how to participate in the sister projects. We now have a significant number of pages at Wikiversity that are growing towards that goal (example). It is easy for me to imagine a very useful service at Wikiversity that would involve Wikiversity participants taking on the task of welcoming people who do not know how to participate at Wikipedia and directing them towards learning resources that allow them to explore how to constructively use wiki technology. Why not direct Wikipedia reference desk participants to come to Wikiversity? They could come here to learn why it does not make sense to ask for medical advice online. They could come to Wikiversity to learn the difference between seeking medical advice online and how to constructively search for health-related information online. Wikipedia has a culture that is not very concerned with helping new participants. Wikipedia culture often turns its back on those who have the most to learn. Can't we have a different culture here at Wikiversity? "there are better places to direct people to" <-- I suspect for almost everything there are better places to direct people to. If "there are better places" is our guiding principle then why should we ever suggest that people come to Wikiversity? I know that many Wikipedians have little or no interest in the Wikimedia Foundation and its of them got a significant number of votes in the recent election by running on a platform calling for the elimination of Wikiversity and other sister projects. I find it disheartening when people who should be defending the idea of Wikimedia and sister projects like Wikiversity instead cave-in to the people at Wikipedia who do not even want to allow links from Wikipedia to Wikiversity. I know that for people who do not have time to participate at Wikiversity the "easy" solution to the "medical advice problem" is to adopt a simple "don't ask, don't tell" approach. However, I think we can be more sophisticated in our approach than Wikipedia. --JWSchmidt 14:18, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
When I said people shouldn't be redirected to Wikiversity, I meant in the strict context of how/where this issue was raised - namely, the complaint of getting around Wikipedia's rules for not giving medical advice by directing people to Wikiversity and then giving advice there. (And yes, I know that Stu Rat didn't give much, if any in the way of medical advice - I was simply addressing the concern raised.) Of course I agree with the general practice of directing people to Wikiversity to deepen learning that they cannot achieve on Wikipedia - figuring out effective strategies for this strikes me as one of the ways Wikiversity could significantly widen its userbase and invigorate its activity. Cormaggio talk 08:06, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
I fail to see how exchanging information at Wikiversity about specific medical problems or issues can be construed as practicing medicine. When a first world professionally licensed engineer objects to Wikiversity performing "engineering" should we delete the engineering college and any stray math classes applicable to bridge building and/or design? If the American Medical Association wishes to restrict access to medical information worldwide by deleting it from Wikiversity let them come propose their own censorship or lawsuits. Why should we self censor to protect the first world medical industry from the power of loose excercise of the the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution (right to speak freely in constructive ways)? Mirwin 02:23, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Take the simple example of short-sightedness. Telling someone who is shortsighted that he should wear glasses is medical advice. Discussing the various issues around short-sightedness, such as its causes, its effects, its cultural significances, and yes, its remedies, is not giving medical advice.Hillgentleman|Talk
... and in the ensuing discussion someone gushes over recent corrective laser surgury while an additional party chimes in the new disposable soft contact lenses are really comfortable and neato in different colors. Finally someone notes that Wikiversity does not certify optometrists and the individual should consider consulting a licensed optometrist. Effective gossip is not "medical advice" but certainly influences who will seek what medical advice where and when. Free markets work best with plenty of information exchanges. Mirwin 07:13, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Mirwin, "but certainly influences who will seek what medical advice where and when." <-- People seek information. Wikimedia provides information, together with the source that the seeker may verify. What is information if it does not influence? Hillgentleman|Talk 08:49, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Anyone who is interested in making sure that Wikiversity has a reasonable way to deal with medical advice can participate at Medical advice tutorial and Medical practice and the law. --JWSchmidt 17:23, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

A matter of formality

I propose the following suggestions:

  • Add a spell checker. It looks extremely unprofessional when there are several mispellings per page. That wouldn't get through at Oxford, why should it here? It also frees up contributers to make more lessons, rather than correcting shoddy work.

If you feel like cleaning up sub-standard spelling, visit Intellectual Property Rights (under Engineering).

  • Provide letters to place after name on completion of course. Some examples include FLaero for Aeronautical Engineering, and FLcp for computer programming.

It is easy to come up with abbreviations. Just do FL (for Free Learning and an abbreviation.

  • Have a diploma contest to create a standard printable diploma (just change name and dept.), also for completion of course.
  • Have a reminder e-mail system (which could be intergrated with suggested lesson bookmark system) to notify completers of courses when a major change is done to the course.

I apologise for any (unintentional) arrogance.

Networked.Frog (The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 01:46, 9 September 2007)

As someone who has trouble seeing mis-spelled words, I find the Firefox browser's spelling checker to be useful. It even catches things like "intergrated". --JWSchmidt 02:28, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
You are assuming I'm ever over 18 or don't have parents bent on a "No-pen source mentality.
(plus, what about those naive IE users)
Networked.Frog (The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 08:07, 12 September 2007)
Maybe the "Browser tune-up" at Wikiversity computer skills could link to a short tutorial on how to download and install FireFox. --JWSchmidt 16:42, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
I know HOW to install Firefox. I'm not ALLOWED to install Firefox.
Networked.Frog (The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 07:07, 6 October 2007)
Thanks for the suggestions, Networked.Frog. (By the way, did you know you can create an account, and then sign your posts, once logged in, with a link to your user page? If not, see here)
  • Spell-check - Browsers aside, this could be a useful addition to the wiki editing toolbox. I have no idea if it is proposed or being worked on - is the site for proposing improvements to Mediawiki, eg see WYSIWYG editor page. However, we can also discuss and work on improving Mediawiki right here on Wikiversity - see Topic:MediaWiki.
  • Obtaining diplomas - this is not something currently planned at Wikiversity (see here, though you are free to continue discussions, for example, here.
  • Email alerts - this is supported by the MediaWiki software, but it is 'turned off' on Wikimedia projects (including Wikiversity) - as I believe it takes up too much bandwidth.
Hope this helps. Cormaggio talk 17:31, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
I wonder if we could do course completion certificates, though -- if the material is actually "completable". Comments? Historybuff 20:19, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Untagged Images

Borrowing an idea used on Commons, an extra link called "untagged" will show up when viewing a user's page now. Just like on commons, it will show a list of uploads to Wikiversity by that user which have not been tagged with a copyright license. JWSchmidt suggested I should mention it here to let everyone know about it. --darkYin yang.svglama 22:20, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

This might be a good time to update Wikiversity:Uploading files and MediaWiki:Licenses. --JWSchmidt 22:23, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Lord ShreeJee Bawa

-- 10:00, 16 September 2007 (UTC)I would like to know anout Shreejee Bawa. He is a Lord of the vaishnavs just like Lord Krishna.Please need info.

Hello, could you please tell us also what kind of info you need ?
I mean we would otherwise waste our time in providing you info, which you probably already know. Better it would be to tell us what you already found out by using different search strategies (e.g. searching in Wikipedia, using different search engines, also the ones available for Indian language/content, asking in Hinduism forums, finding religious texts and extracting the wished info, ...). Please help us, helping you (faster). ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 11:41, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Templates for courses and lessons

I am looking for a normalized way to start editing a lesson. Is there any on wikiversity? I like very much the templates on the french wikiversity. I started to translate and adapt it in my user space but because of multiple templates, this is pretty much work. Is there any reflection going on to harmonize best of breed templates between the wikiversities? Arjen Dijksman 14:20, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Not that I know of (see also: Wikiversity talk:School and university projects/Boilerplate). Anybody knows more ? ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 14:51, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Sometimes I have used Template:Original Learning project boilerplate when starting pages in the main namespace. I'm not familiar with templates from the French Wikiversity. We have several pages (such as Wikiversity:Templates and Intermediate Wikiversity) that might be reasonable starting places for providing information about useful templates from other wikis. --JWSchmidt 15:00, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, for an example I just used Template:Navigation for a lesson box on Making sense of quantum mechanics. Arjen Dijksman 18:23, 16 September 2007 (UTC)


Given the importance of having good communications channels to support participants in a collaborative learning environment, some Wikiversity participants have had a standing interest in the idea of incorporating a threaded discussion system into Wikiversity. There is now a testing site for the "LiquidThreads" system. Would this software extension be useful to Wikiversity? --JWSchmidt 00:19, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I dunno. I did not care for the demo much but then I kind of like what we have. I know some people are adamant that better/different/automatic threading would be much more effective. 03:38, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

What license is "Homework assignments".

Every day, I upload my student's homework to Wikiversity. Today, someone changed this upload license options for Wikiversity. What license should I use for homework assignments submitted to Wikiversity? ~~~~ Robert Elliott 23:39, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Is the license option you previously used no longer in the list? --JWSchmidt 00:20, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Yesterday, the list of licenses changed completely. Now it looks like the list at WikiMedia. For now, I am using the GNU license but it might be nice if someone decided what exactly are student assignments (students original works) submitted to Wikiversity. My feeling, it should be public domain. It would also be nice to have an entry for student's assignments in the list. This list is supposed to useful for teachers as well as students so our list of licenses should reflect this. Robert Elliott 13:07, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
The license(s) is/are agreed to by clicking the submit button. It would seem to me that having learners upload their own work would avoid a lot of potential trouble. By uploading their work for them you are essentially agreeing that you know they are aware of and have agreed to the license selected. Still, easy enough to delete the work from Wikiversity in the event of any misunderstanding arising. 03:32, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Please show me examples of how your students do this and please show me the instructions you have given them to submit assignments. Robert Elliott 13:07, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Well at I implicitly invite anyone to do anything and upload it. Likewise at: I have assumed sufficient familarity with Wikiversity that the students have or will find this: or ask for help on the discussion pages. I notice some people have started signing up and at least one script has threatened to grow into a different game project so I guess I should put some more graphics up and do a few other production tasks to encourage further interest. One early participant created most of this on IRC and uploaded it with some tweaking assistance from me. Some participants have started editing at so their work is automatically licensed when they submit it. I guess I also owe them some improved draft business models, plans, applicable information, etc to generate some further interest and activity. Good thing summer is almost gone. Mirwin 13:55, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
It is interesting what you have done. But you have the advantage that your students are software developers. My students are 12 year old kids who are art majors. Their assignments take from 5 minutes to 15 minutes. Most of the course can be completed in the time it takes to learn the information in
But soon, you will also face the same problem that I have. The GNU Free Document license does not cover any of the artwork for your project. We still need to find a better way to handle this than the current list of license which are offered. Robert Elliott 11:07, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Congratulation on attracting such young learners! You are correct my approach is aimed at older participants .... many of whom will have their own interpretations of the license requirements and preferences for specific licenses. Part of the learning experience will be agreeing on how licensed materials can be mixed and matched or coordinating relicensing of the materials appropriately so people reissuing conglomerations of materials feel comfortable. Fortunately, as several people point out, we have the option to use several licenses if necessary. I do not think it will be necessary to resort to writing a special "Wikiversity Free Game License" in emulation of several large and many small free software projects (Apache, ...). An advantage my learning trail has is that after people have put in extensive effort to master complex free tools and completed individual production tasks for a specific project they really, really want the data used. Provides an incentive to work together to resolve any perceived problems with license conflicts. Probably there will be much interaction with this page. The GFDL and you Thanks to the tireless JWSurf in responding to this issue. Mirwin 16:26, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Reminder: GNU Free Document License is for software, software manuals and "any textual work". It does not cover artwork such as storyboards, music or movies. Robert Elliott 11:07, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

My 2 cents worth: Software manuals often have illustrations and pictures of the interface and the GFDL can be used for other forms of manuals besides printed. For this reason I disagree that the GFDL excludes use of any artwork, music and movies used inside the work. Also its possible to upload other things besides storyboards, music or movies, which may be considered textual work. Even uploads of storyboards, music and movies are intended to be used for textual works created on Wikiversity. --darkYin yang.svglama 13:35, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Saying that the GFDL can be used for "any textual work" does not mean that it can be used only for licensing text. Many people have long interpreted the GFDL to apply to any work in any medium. However, if you do not like the GFDL you can use the accepted Creative Commons licenses. The Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License has the same intent as the GFDL. --JWS 14:09, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Color Problems

(this thread was originally at User talk:JWSchmidt#Color Problems)

I discovered that some of the (numerical, not named) colors that I use do not show up correctly on Windows XP with Explorer 7. The very light colored backgrounds appear as solid black. Therefore, the table on the main Wikiversity page cannot be viewed correctly on some computers. Almost the entire table appears as solid black. Since this is currently protected, how do I change this table? I have created a new table but I am still testing it (namely, I have to go to the Library next week and try their computers to see if the colors show up.) ~~~~ Robert Elliott 07:52, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

IE 7.0.6001.16510 on windows Server 2008.jpg
I could reproduce this also on my system (Microsoft® Windows® Server™ 2008 (Code Name "Longhorn") Datacenter, 64 bit, 6.0.6001 Service Pack 1, v.126 Build 6001) with IE 7.0.6001.16510 and Opera 9.21. With firefox and safari 3.0.3 (522.15.5) this did NOT happen. The new table looks good on IE7 and opera. I can unprotect the table and we can test it then for these 4 browsers. Also some other browser testing would be nice. What do you think ? ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 08:07, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
So, I replaced it with your new table. Looks ok now in all 4 browsers, please inform us about possible side effects. And ... thank you for informing. ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 08:14, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

New table with IE 7.0.6001.16510 on windows Server 2008.jpg
Since Robert asked, I also upload the new view. Could be that the view differs and let's find this out now. ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 08:25, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Recommendation about changing the arrow - view from 4 browsers.jpg

Hello, I have some recommendations: click the picture please. Perhaps the arrow which leads to a link could be changed ? In some browsers it is not complete seen and also it is not so good viewable (blue color on blue background). What do you think ? (btw: the color of the links is different, because I clicked the links in firefox - the main browser I use). ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 08:51, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

How about also aligning the icons ? Making the icons appear in one line instead of such a disorder :-) Perhaps could be put at the begin of each row or at the end. Someone would have to experiment how it looks like. What is your view ? ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 09:13, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
So, have edited myself - nobody wants to talk with me :-) How does it look like ? If not wished, just revert. ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 09:59, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Aligning of icons with firefox on windows Server 2008.jpg

Well the following aligning approach for the icons did not look that good :-( Also some icons seem not to fit the link content from a laymen view, and this disturbed me a little since the icons are seen before the reading of the link titles, so I reverted it. ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 10:23, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Alt course template.png

Here is a screen shot of the current version of Template:Courses in Filmmaking - Table2 - Float Right

I do all my coding my hand and I have no manual for coding. I am flying blind!

First, I do not know how to create a link which has reversed letters. The name "Course in Filmmaking" is supposed to be a link to Filmmaking.

I also wanted a dark background for the top box (which, in graphic arts, would be the way it would look best). But that conflicts with the arrow which I used as a link pointer.

Please tell me what other changes I should make. ~~~~ Robert Elliott 15:40, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Robert, you observed a problem, which probably influenced many (new) user's view about Wikiversity, because the ugly anomaly appeared on the main page. Thanks to you it was noticed. I think John put this here so others also can report similar anomalies.
About the new pic: I like the aligning :-) But the orange background color seems to me like a hard contrast to the general blue color in WV. But this could also be a way of getting the attention. Or we use the blue background with the white color (as it is at the moment, see here). I have talked a lot for today, what do the others think ? ----Erkan Yilmaz (my talk page, wiki blog) 15:46, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Courses in Filmmaking →
Course #1:
Basic filmmaking (pre-production) Mplayer.svg
Course #2:
Film editing introduction Crystal Clear mimetype video.png
Course #3:
Film scoring for filmmakers Crystal Clear app knotify.png
Course #4:
Film scoring for musicians Crystal Clear app mp3.png
Script writing for high school dramas Oxygen480-categories-applications-office.svg
The storyboard artwork project Baby Tux crop mask.png
Poser / DAZ Studio animation EmotiBase-smile down 000.png

Ah, my mistake! I did not know how to code a link in reverse white.

I see from your example how you did it for the arrow. So I have changed it back so the background is SteelBlue and the text is white. Now all the text at the top is the link. I think this will work. (This is Template:Courses in Filmmaking - Table2 - Float Right. If you like it, you can copy it to the original.)

  • Note: I am the instructor for the course.

~~~~ Robert Elliott 16:06, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Hello Robert, your template was copied now. Seems ok on the four browsers ? ----Erkan Yilmaz (my talk page, wiki blog) 16:29, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Each day I learn a little more. ~~~~ Robert Elliott 18:02, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Naming Conventions?

Just wondering if we have them. See this search for LMCC for a project that is using an odd naming schema. On Wikibooks, most of these would all be moved to [[LMCC/Subpage]] (see b:Template:Cleanup-nc), in order to take advantage of the auto-navigation of the subpage protocol. Should we be insisting on that here as well? --SB_Johnny | talk 12:54, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

We have Wikiversity:Naming conventions, Wikiversity:Course titles and numbers and Wikiversity:Subpages. --JWS 13:52, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm... all just proposals, but also no mention of subpages in WV:NC, almost discussed in course numbers (that has a bad redirect note, btw), and not much there at all on the subpages page. If I were to work on one of these policies a bit, perhaps it should be on the naming convention rather than the subpage page? Wikiversity:Subpages as is is now probably should just be moved or merged into the Help namespace... a subpage policy would only be about one sentence on WV:NC.
BTW: why do we need course numbers? I thought being a wiki we could just use descriptive titles :). --SB_Johnny | talk 14:43, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I think page names should be descriptive and should avoid abbreviations and course numbers. Many Wikiversity participants are not aware that they can use subpages. Some day we might be able to ditch our current Main Page and have a new one that links to the information needed by Wikiversity participants. --JWS 15:13, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Course numbers are like cockroaches, they will be here long after the internet is dead and buried. Archaeologists and anthropologists, if cockroaches or nonhominid aliens ever have any, will argue about whether course numbers were from splintered religious sects or arcane encoding of natural laws decipherable only by select system administrators. For further speculation regarding the long term historical significance of alphanumeric codes in hominid social organizations see w:illuminatus or w:Free masonry Mirwin 15:20, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
You're one strange fellah Mirwin :). I'll have a look-see on Wikibooks to see if anything is importable vis-a-vis subpages. --SB_Johnny | talk 16:05, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Topic namespace as the search namespace

Not going to go on a long post about this (need to run out for a tractor part), but I'm wondering what people think about using the Topic: namespace for our default search namespace. The way it would work is to have every term/topic (like "foo" or "bar") have a topic page, and on that topic page have a list of all pages relevant to the terms/topics "foor" or "bar". This would mean that when somone hit the "go" button for, say, "foo", they would be sent to "Topic:Foo", which would have a list of all the pages about "foo", and only get the "search results" page if there was no page called "Topic:Foo". Any thoughts? --SB_Johnny | talk 17:01, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I suspect that when many new visitors use the Wikiversity "search results" page, they do not notice that the default search settings only provide a search of the main namespace. Maybe there should be a warning at the top of the search results saying, "these search results only include results for the main namespace". The Wikiversity "search results" page links to Wikiversity:Searching. We could change the sentence containing that link from, "For more information about searching Wikiversity," to something like, "Did you know you can change how/where you search? For details, see Wikiversity:Searching." The Wikiversity:Searching page could then explain how to widen or narrow searches. My preference would be to make the default search broader, not maybe the way it is now is a good compromise and we should just assist individuals to change the default as they see best. There has been previous discussion of adding a special "topic search" link to the sidebar. An alternative would be to put something like "Too many pages in this search result? Try our Topic Search." at the top of the "search results" page. --JWS 18:08, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikiversity screen saver

Hello, taken from the intro:

The idea is quite simple: people use their PC to come to Wikiversity. Why don't we give them the possibility to make more with their pc while the pc is not used ? With this screen saver they can also make advertisement for us. Imagine ... the screen saver running in schools, universities, or anywhere else. This increases awareness.

There is now available version 0.02en as prototype for Windows systems. How about a try ? ----Erkan Yilmaz (my talk page, wiki blog) 21:43, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea to me, we should provide a link to get the screen saver on the home page. StuRat 00:23, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Hello StuRat, I hope more people will join the project and we can have different input.
About the home page: I guess not everybody knows that there are ideas to refactor this ? If anyone has the wish to also help there, click here: Main Page/Draft version 0.2 ----Erkan Yilmaz (my talk page, wiki blog) 05:42, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

How fast do people get a response in the colloquium ?

How fast does a user get a response in the English Wikiversity forum (7 Aug. 2007 - 15 Sep. 2007)
response time in the different Wikiversity forums

I was interested in how fast people get a response (I mean response, not a 100% fully satisfying answer) in the forums of each Wikiversity. Since I know that people can misinterpret graphics easily, one important comment before: this is NOT about who is better or not.

It was decided for this heuristic to gather fast + easy data from all wikiversities. It is sure that there is missing info about the context - so inferring things from the pictures is not useful without knowing the context. And I bet few of us have the insight to all the info needed.

I just wanted to know about one aspect of the situation, but perhaps this also might help others ? More info you can find here. ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 11:59, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Hmmm. I read the colloquium a lot, but I don't always comment -- not every posting requires comments or will stimulate interest. It might be better to look at the Help Desk or some other purpose-designed page for feedback. I think it would be more interesting to know how wiki-based discussions proceed -- do most occur in short order, or are they drawn out over longer times? There is lots of interesting wikitrivia to tackle for sure. Historybuff 21:16, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
The idea with the Wikiversity:Help desk is good - I will have a look if the other Wikiversities also have one.
The described things will be used for the "next round". Probably many things can be done and have been done already. I am at the moment busy with another thing and will continue in the future. Your feedback was and is appreciated very much, ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 22:19, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I think it is not a good methodology you used. The methodology should be based on fact if respondends recived correct and valuable answer in shor time.--Juan 16:34, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

True, but this would have cost me more time. As said it is a heuristic to quickly get some info, which was relevant for me at that time. ----Erkan Yilmaz (my talk page, wiki blog) 17:08, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Okay.--Juan 17:10, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Help Desk and the WP Reference Desk: possibilities for both communities

The "WV:HD vs. WP:RD" case is definitely not something that going to go away any time soon, but as I've been thinking about it over the past few weeks, a few things have come to mind, so I wanted to run this idea by both communities.

The idea is simply this: if Wikipedia archives each thread as a separate subpage, we could then import them after they go inactive, categorize them, modify them to become (or become part of) teaching-learning resources, and link them into our project namespace (see soon-to-come thread below).

This seems to me to have at least 3 major advantages.

  1. It will provide wikipedia with an "annotated archive", so that their RD doesn't fall into the web-forum trap of answering "the same old noob question" every time. When a question comes up again, a member of the RD "staff" can just run a quick DPL search here on wikiversity to see if the question has come up before, and then use some modified version of w:Template:Wikiversity to link to those threads (of course we'd hope the thread would also remain open for more and different answers as well, which we could then import and merge into the Wikiversity resource page).
  2. It will help provide Wikiversity with content that is (forgive me, Wikipedians) a bit more appropriate to Wikiversity's scope, mission, and "manual of style". I actually think these "new, active" threads will be a much better addition to the future of the Wikiversity project than the "early experiments" that we had imported from Wikibooks in the early days.
  3. Finally, it will help the "third partner", Wikibooks, because the Wikiversitans tend to be more aware of appropriate textbooks on Wikibooks, as well as eventually providing importable book-stubs as the resources inevitably develop into a textbook's narrative style.

The only sticking point might be the GFDL (it's already come up in the "WV:HD vs. WP:RD" debate, so it's probably good to try and handle it). I think we might be able to solve that by asking someone to create something similar to b:User:Uncle G's 'bot (a pre-import transwiki bot), which could perhaps comment the original subpage creation on WP by attributing to all users whose signatures appear on the thread (in fact, I'll try to hunt down Uncle_G and see if he has any ideas). --SB_Johnny | talk 16:55, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

SB_Johnny, I think your suggestion is definitely worth experimenting with, assuming we can get a luke warm reception from Wikipedians. Another thing to consider might encouraging Wikipedia mediators/admins to suggest edit/wheel wars move to Wikiversity topic/discussion pages or research/scholastic areas/projects at Wikiversity. Discussion and debate regarding topics rather than how to improve Wikipedia articles seem unwelcome at Wikipedia while they would seem to fit into an active learning environment. We might want to create a separate namespace or title the topic pages appropriate so people know they are entering debate space. We might want to develop some formal mechanisms/procedures and suggestions for debate so we do not get infinite infantile back and forth and name calling. OTOH Something will no doubt evolve with adequate participation. 8) Mirwin 17:10, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I think those threads could be altered into main namespace teaching-learning resources. Even the much-maligned "medical questions" could be reinterpreted to be something more like a "dichotomous key", which can help people understand the signals their bodies are sending to their minds (with big loud disclosure/indemnity templates, of course). --SB_Johnny | talk 18:00, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh, as for the edit/wheel war thing: that's a bit more ambitious, though it certainly has potential. My only concern is that we don't have enough custodians with dispute resolution experience (actually I think I'm the only one with experience actually blocking people for disruptively pursuing a dispute (not here)), and it might easily get out of hand. --SB_Johnny | talk 18:09, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
This sounds like a huge amount of work, in that there are dozens of questions archived every day at the Wikipedia Reference Desk. Do you really think people would be willing to spend that amount of time on this project ? StuRat 18:34, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
It depends on how interested the Wikipedians are in part, but with good robots, simple-to-use templates, and smart people the content can be assembly-lined fairly easily. --SB_Johnny | talk 19:13, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I think a key will encouraging people at Wikiversity to socialize and explore the topic with each other, perhaps even resorting occasionally to (equivalent of allout nuclear attack) finding verifiable data and citable sources. I have been browsing Wikipedia a bit again and there seems to be quite a few editor's and admins citing policy that discussion of topic is discouraged ... only discussion of how to improve the article is desirable on the talk page. This seems a bit counterproductive to me as I think it discourages casual readers from asking content questions and becoming future editors. In my view, this fundamental disagreement regarding what kind of discussions are allowed or desirable was one of the factors leading to the Wikiversity proposal. Wikipedia can be just an encyclopedia and the rest of us can do other educational and fun things at Wikiversity (or Wikibooks or Wiktionary etc.). Obviously we should award some barnstars to anyone audacious enough to clean up the lengthy resulting dialogues into useful summaries, quizzes, etc. Nothing says much or most of the dialogues cannot be simply deleted if nobody tackles cleanup within a year or two. Ideally (in my view) we will attract some scholarly discussion from Nobel Laureates and other experts too lazy to edit/wheel war with established cliques at Wikipedia and Wikipedians and/or Wikiprojects will find it useful to resort to transwikiing the data from here to there. 8) Mirwin 23:32, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the goal, but feel that moving Q's here from Wikipedia which are appropriate here but not there is the way to go. This includes those based on experience, requiring original research, speculation, opinion, debate, medical and legal info (not advice), homework, and a few other categories. While some RD regulars allow this type of thing, others are apt to delete such questions or responses on sight, or insult those who ask such questions or provide such answers. StuRat 00:18, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. An excellent start. I was trying to point out that similar opportunities exist on various active article discussion pages and perhaps within the Wikiprojects. I will hang out at some space related pages for a while and see if anyone invites me to curtail socializing or idle chit chat. 8) Mirwin 00:55, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
WP regular here (User:Froth). Take into consideration that there are surpisingly few repeat "noob" questions that get asked over and over, at least on the Miscellaneous and Computing desks. While some questions do tend to come up every once in awhile, we enjoy revisiting them from new angles and anyway for the most part questions are quite unique -- 23:12, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Hi Froth, why not set up a user account here ? StuRat 00:18, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I completely agree with Froth. a.z. 20:49, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Image license - Human likeness

I need to illustrate a lesson with pictures which contain a human likeness. I need to know which license to use.

Background info
For the lesson, I ask students to watch a movie at YouTube which was created at Community College of Southern Nevada (CCSN) called The Spy Story. Then my students are required to answer questions about the different characters in the motion picture. The problem is there are three women in the scene and all are spies. This makes things a bit confusing.
I can use just verbal descriptions but pictures will make the lesson so much clearer.
The problem is at least two of the student actors will probably become famous people some day.
The teacher will give me permission to use still shots of the four characters of the motion picture (frames from the movie showing the student actors) only if the photos are used for educational purposes and never for profit.
Therefore, I cannot use the GNU Open Source License for the photos since then the photos can be used legally for any purpose by anyone - which is NOT what the instructor wants.
There are major differences between the goals of Wikipedia and Wikiversity. Yet we still use the same licenses as Wikipedia. We need something which will protect the human likeness in a photo and still use the photos in Wikiversity pages and for educational purposes but not commercial purposes. ~~~~ Robert Elliott 11:38, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
"for educational purposes but not commercial purposes" <-- This sounds like fair use. Try reading Fair use considerations and Exemption Doctrine Policy. We should start developing Fair use. --JWSchmidt 15:31, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
I think the Wikimedia Foundation doesn't allow use of media that can only be used for educational use only nor accept claims of educational fair use as a rational for using a particular media file. However it could still be possible to use it as fair use if it meets the requirements outlined in the links provided by JWSchmidt. --darkYin yang.svglama 02:17, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks to Robert for outlining a clear case of how our licensing policies can constrain us in what we can use. I think that, provided Wikimedia is devoted to developing and hosting free content, then we are going to have to either find or create content that is free. Fair use is only good to a point (and only in certain jurisdictions), so the ideal is always to focus on how to make the content on Wikiversity free, while making use of (ie linking to) content elsewhere that is not free (yet). By the way, specifying that content can only be used for educational purposes is even more restrictive than a non-commercial licence - and so I think we have to fight to make content as free as possible, and making the content creators aware of the implications of how they release their work, and how we can help in spreading their work. Cormaggio talk 15:32, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

video play in wiki pages

If the video player is working, you should see (on the left side of the page) something like what is shown in this still image. The video should play when you click on the blue button with white triangle in the player.

We can now use the Fluendo player to show video on Wikiversity pages. Please let me know if you have trouble getting this to work on your computer. --JWSchmidt 04:53, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Well done JWS. :) Historybuff 21:11, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Works for me also as you know. Now I just have to find a video to share with you :-) ----Erkan Yilmaz (evaluate me!, discussion) 20:26, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
The player works on the Macintosh but the buffering system does not work with dial up access. With dial up, YouTube very slowly loads the movie, one buffer full at a time. However, when the movie is fully loaded, the movie player gives the option to see the movie again. This time, the entire movie plays from the computer's memory without any glitches. Unfortunately, with this application (Fluendo player), the buffered movie is not stored and so it can never be seen playing normal from a dial up connection. Not recommended. ~~~~ Robert Elliott 18:29, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
For me, after I click on the blue button with white triangle, I see a link at the bottom of the player's window that says, "More..." and if I click on that there is a "Download file" link. If you are using dialup, what happens when you use that "Download file" link? --JWSchmidt 19:10, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Really ugly things happen when you download the file to a Macintosh. The file downloads fine and saves to the hard drive fine. But after that, it is a mess. Because it is a OGG file, the Macintosh first tries to play the file with Audacity which thinks it is an infinitely short audio file. If you try to open the file in QuickTime Player Pro, it crashes QuickTime Player. (QuickTime Player is normally stable so this is an extremely rare thing to crash a program on the Mac.) And the Cortado (Java) applet ignores the downloaded file. Therefore, so far, I still have not seen the movie. ~~~~ Robert Elliott 19:45, 23 September 2007 (UTC) (Note: I am not using the absolutely newest version of QuickTime but it is close.) Robert Elliott
What browser are you using? Wikipedia:Media help (Ogg) has information about how to work with ogg format files. If you are familiar with QuickTime, you can go to [1], take a look at the "FAQ" and then use the "downloads" link. I've been using the Xiph QuickTime Components on both Macintosh OS and Windows OS. --JWSchmidt 22:11, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah! I see that they list that bug on their website and there is now a newer version of XiphQT than I have. I will update tonight and report. (I use Foxfire 2.) ~~~~~ Robert Elliott 00:17, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I downloaded the newest version of XiphQT and eventually got it loaded correctly. The new version has no loader. The instructions are not completely correct both for installing the new version and removing the old version (which was more of a problem since it was in five parts in two locations and the new version is in one part.) But now it works great when I download a OGG movie and play it with QuickTime 7 Pro. Encodes great too. ~~~~~ Robert Elliott 09:06, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Video problems for dial-up

REMOVE IT, REMOVE IT, REMOVE IT!!!!!!!!! You risk making Wikiversity inaccessible to those on dial-up!!! I DON'T want to wait 20 minutes for a video to load when all I want is the text! DON'T USE VIDEO!!! networked.frog

Yes, it can take a while to download large files if you have a slow connection. However, I don't think it is reasonable to expect people to not create and use video when they find it a useful educational medium. We could certainly have a Wikiversity "accessibility" project that develops alternative media for people with slow connections or vision problems. --JWSchmidt 16:38, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not very computer savvy, but couldn't we just make it Wikiversity policy to have videos on a seperate page from the rest of the learning resource so that people on dial-up can load the learning resource without having to deal with the videos? Then people who want to see the video just follow a link to it. Or would this create too many excess pages floating around? --Luai lashire 23:11, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Good idea, Luai lashire Networked.Frog (The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 09:56, 16 October 2007)

Ah, I definitely Symbol support vote.svg Support that. I had the displeasure of trying to load this page on a dialup connection a couple weeks ago, and it's made me rethink a few things. Loading a page with an unexpected video component on dialup would be a nightmare.--SB_Johnny | talk 16:32, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Does the back or cancel button not work in this situation for most browsers? Mirwin 01:07, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Converting YouTube videos?

This video explores Web 2.0 and copyleft licensing of media files. (Help with Ogg video file play).

I don't know a lot about the mechanics of video or the wiki or any of it, but I'm curious: If I got permission from the video's maker, would it be possible to play a youtube video on a Wikiversity page? Would I have to convert the video to a different format somehow? Is this at all possible? --Luai lashire 18:28, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

The YouTube video would have to be converted into ogg file format. In general, it is easier to just make a link to any educational videos from Wikiversity. --JWSchmidt 19:04, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
On the other hand, there's no telling how long the video would be up. If WMF servers hosted the video then it'd be more stable, and we'd have more control over it. This would also have the effect of not subjecting users to ads. Mike.lifeguard | talk 12:09, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
I think it would be great if YouTube included a project for converting videos to OGG format and licensing them for use at Wikiversity. I've also started exploring ways to encourage youtubers to think about using a free license on their videos: see Web 2.0 and copyleft video. --JWS 14:00, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually there are plenty of MediaWiki extensions that do this, I run such an extension on my personal wiki and it works fine (albeit violating copyright if published). If we made something like that available we'd have too many copyright infringements --Pumpmeup 03:32, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Editing of "Wikiversity: Consensus" page to make a "Wikiversity: Consensus" Policy underway

The "Wikiversity: Consensus" page seems to be the natural place for the development of a Wikiversity Consensus Policy; and it has come to be clear at least to this participant that Wikiversity needs to develop such a policy; so, let us proceed to do so. This participant is of the view that the Wikipedia Article on Consensus Decision Making could provide us with some guidance; so he has already added an etymology section to the page from there and made some other edits based on the Wikipedia Consensus Policy; and other edits to the page have been made. In the absence of strong contrary opinion being hereinafter expressed, eventually, when the page begins to look like a policy, the "Proposed policy" template can be added to the page. Perhaps those interested will work together to develop a Wikiversity Consensus policy reflecting our shared understanding of Consensus. -- Dionysios (talk), a Participant in the Wikiversity School of Advanced General Studies, Date: 2007-09-16 (September 16, 2007) Time: 1900 UTC