Year: 2007 Week: 05 Number: 59

Technical news
  • [Contact form] – Thanks to JeLuf there is now a contact form. This form makes it easier for visitors of the various projects to send a message to the email team of the Wikimedia Projects. Currently there is a live form for the Dutch and English language email team. Other teams can also get the form for their language. Contact JeLuF for that at #wikimedia-tech
Request for help
  • [Open question] – What would the ideal wiki software be like? Discuss at [[meta:MediaWiki Ideal]].
  • [Pic of the Year] – Commons is holding a “Best picture of the year 2006” election. Every day the Wikimedia Commons showcases a “Picture of the Day” on their main page, the best from over one million files. In round one users can choose from all the pictures of the day over the last year. And in round two the community will vote for the best of them all. If you would like to vote but you are not active on commons you can use your seniority on your home-wiki as well. And if you do not vote, bookmark that page and view the photos later.
  • [hu.wikibooks] – The Hungarian Wikibooks has reached over 2000 book modules.
  • [Lurkers] – Wikia has done some research on their wikis concerning what % of the traffic is coming from logged in users and people who were not logged in. For the Wikia wikis, 90% of all visitors are people who visit the wiki but rarely participate… (in other words, people who are lurking). For Wikia, there are great differences between the wikis. Some have almost no logged in users active, on others almost all users are logged in. Read Angela’s post about it and discover some of very special wikis the have at Wikia.
  • [Influential] – Brandchannel published its annual list of the most influential brands. Of the global top 5, Wikipedia takes 4th place in the category, “Which brand had the most impact on our lives in 2006?” This is according the 3,625 people that answered that question. And while Wikipedia may be 4th place globally, it is only in the USA and Canada that Wikipedia seems to rank high. Everywhere else Wikipedia ranks below the 10th place.
Other news
Did you know …
… that what you see is not always what the visitor sees?

When you are working on the wikis, you are most likely doing that as a registered user. And there is a good chance you have selected the option in you preferences “Disable page caching”. But when a normal visitor views a wiki, they normally see a cached version of that page. A cache is a copy of the page, and this is done because it is much less stressful for the servers then creating a new page from the wiki-text every single time. The result is that it is quite likely when viewing a recently updated page that an anonymous visitor will not see the updated version of that page immediately. By default, cached versions of a page expire after one week.

When a topic is popular in the media and you are working on that article’s topic, what often happens is that visitors will not be able to see your changes. This is a shame.

Another problem involves the number of articles tally. Due to page caching, this number is also often out of date. So for example, news of a Wiki’s 10,000th post may be going around and people may be celebrating and visiting that Wiki, but the number of posts they see will be less than the actual number, making it appear to be below the mark that they’re celebrating.

To fix this you can manually flush the cache. To do this, click on “edit”. This url should end with “action=edit”. Change that to “action=purge” and reload. This will clear the cache and the new version will be shown to visitors.

Fund drive quotes


“I don’t know anything anymore, but that’s all right. Wikipedia knows and remembers everything for me!” — David Stattler
“As a university student, wikipedia has been an invaluable tool in furthering my education. I can’t tell you how many times I used wiki for help or clarification with difficult concepts. Thank you Wiki”  — Anonymous
“College life is a bitch, Wikipedia makes it a bitch worth putting up with” — Dyne Li
“I am a Google Employee, and on behalf of everyone here we are all proud of what the Internet has become, and needless to say Wikipedia has played a very large role. Long live Wikipedia, and its users!” —  Anonymous
“I have no comment at this time.” — Anonymous
“I’ve probably learned more from Wikipedia that from Columbia University (Which I attend)” — Haralampos Psaradellis
“In a world of increasingly sealed off knowledge, Wikipedia provides charitable enlightenment.” —  Anonymous
“Eine der besten Ideen in der Geschichte der Menschheit!” —  Stephan Lindner
“This is for my girls who play on Wikipedia alllll day at work!”  — Elizabeth McClellan

Number of subscribers: 600 ,Unique Visitors website last week: 368,  Editor(s): Walter, Corrector(s): Lantoka


Year: 2007 Week: 04 Number: 58

Technical news
  • [Auto unproteced] – When protecting a page, it is now possible to specify an expiration date for the protection. So for example, with the new feature, you can semi-protect a page for 5 days, and after those 5 days the protection will be automatically lifted.  The box to fill in the expiring time is a simple text box, so you can use the same notations that are used when blocking a user. For example, all of the following should work fine: 10 min, 10 hours, 10 days, or a specific date and or time like 2007-01-25 22:45. For the last option, you may need to convert your local time to the local Wiki’s time. To localize: MediaWiki:Protectexpiry.
  • [protect all] – Sysops can now select the option “Cascading protection” when protecting a page. The result is that everything on that page is protected, including templates, templates used inside those templates, and images. The only thing that is not protected are images not hosted locally, but on the Wikimedia Commons.
    To localize:  MediaWiki:Protect-cascade, MediaWiki:Protect-cascadeon, MediaWiki:Cascadeprotected, MediaWiki:Cascadeprotectedwarning
  • [Special:Protectedpages] – There is a new special page, “Special:Protectedpages”. This page, which is only periodically updated, shows all protected pages on your wiki. This page also indicates if the page is fullly protected or semi-protected. You can find it in the normal list of special pages. At the time of this writing, those lists are still empty.
  • [rel=”nofollow”] – At Jimbo Wales’ directive, all external links in the main (article) namespace of the English language Wikipedia are now coded “nofollow”.  This should help cut spamming of EN Wikipedia. External links on this wiki will no longer help to boost the Google PageRank or perceived importance of those sites in other search engines.
  • [perma link?] – Due to changes to the mailing list system and the archive, it is possible that a link to a specific posting in a list archive may be pointing to a different posting. So just like a page on the wiki, a link to a mailing list archive can change. This change does not effect the archive of gmane.org. If you wish to refer to a specific posting you should also include the Message-ID of the post. You can find that in the headers of every email and give a unique reference tag for that message.
  • [Wikidown] – Most non-English wikis recently went down for two and a half hours due to a full hard drive on the master database server. A few edits were lost, but the problem appears to be fixed now.
Request for help
  • [Sitenotice update] – Request from Erik Möller to all wikis: “the “Thank you” notice can be removed now from
    all wikis. Where any donation messages have been in place before the fundraiser, they should be restored.” To do this, update the following: MediaWiki:Sitenotice (registered users and anonymous if “anonnotice” is empty) MediaWiki:Anonnotice (anonymous users)
    Some wikis are using the anonnotice to run a permanent discreet notice for anonymous users, like EN Wikipedia.
Other news
Corrections Wikizine 57
  • [Fundraising]  – Corporations matching donations is only over for the current fundraiser, not for this year.
  • [Romanian Wikipedia] – They reached 50,000 on the 5th of January 2007. The number of articles did not fall back below the 50,000 articles after that date. Because of a cache problem it appeared to be a lower number of articles. 
Did you know …
… that it is not always easy for others to understand your name on Wiki?

Most if not all human cultures use identifiers to distinguish the different members of their community. The most common identifier is the name of the person. There exists many incompatible naming systems. This can result in errors and miscommunication when converting foreign names names to your own naming system. It is important to be aware of the existence of those differences.

The most basic setup is the first name. Most people have also a family name. People can also have more than one “first name”; middle names. Also the family name can consist of several parts. How these are all used is what can be confusing.

Because it can be “first-name family-name” or “family-name first-name” it can be difficult to tell which is the first name and which is the family name. The best way to make this clear is write the family name in capital letters to indicate the difference.

Because names can appear strange for you, or unisexsual or it in some cultures it is custom to write only the first letter of your first name(s), so you can have a name like “J.H.Janssens”, it can be that it is not clear what your sex is based on your name. To solve this problem, it is best to include a clue as to your sex in your username, or on your user page, so that people know how to address you. 

Fund drive quotes 


“Danke Wikipedia, hast mir schon viel geholfen.” — Gunther Hebein
“Vielen Dank für all eure Projekte.” — Alexander Forst-Rakoczy
“Danke für den Fisch :)” — Anonym
“I wish you all good luck. You are the future” — Shams Khassenov
“Thank you all for all your hard work, it’s very much appreciated!” — Patrik Adolfsson
“Wikimedia projects are true examples of Humanity and Civilization at its best. May it continue to change lives as it has changed mine.” — Claudio Martins
“Open access to knowledge is a fundamental human right.” — Kyoko Oka
“Um mundo feito por todos para todos – Paz, amor e liberdade” — Mauro Costa Couceiro

Number of subscribers: 580, Unique Visitors website last week: 344, Editor(s): Walter, Gary Kirk, Corrector(s): Gary Kirk, Lantoka, Thanks to: Anthere


Year: 2007 Week: 03 Cancelled

Wikizine of the year 2007 , week 03, is cancelled. This because of illness of core staff member. Read the Signpost for now.http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost&oldid=101040559


Year: 2007 Week: 02 Number: 57

Technical news
  • [Mailing lists] – The Wikimedia mailing lists were moved to a server in the Kennisnet cluster in Amsterdam. For users, this means that all the posting email addresses have changed to the format “<name_of_list>@ lists.wikimedia.org“. The old posting address formats “@ wikipedia.org“, “@wikimedia.org” or “@ mail.wikimedia.org” should still work as a redirect.

    Using the new posting address is recommended. If you are using messages rules to organize your email, they will need to be updated. A benefit of the move is that a system failure in the Florida cluster will not disable the mailing lists (if you send the posting to the new posting address). Another benefit is that mailing lists can be created without system administrator intervention, which will make it much quicker to create them from now on.

  • [Backup] – Wikimedia Deutschland bought a RAID system with a capacity of 12 terabytes. It arrived in Amsterdam this week, and will be used to make a back-up of the project’s data. [source: Arne
  • [OTRS] – The software used for answering the emails send to the Wikimedia foundation and projects is updated. This is important because the like everybody the received a lot of spam and now it is mush easier and faster to remove spams. Now can the volunteers working on the emails spend more time working on the emails instead of sorting out the real question between the spam. If you like to help with answering emails contact the queue contact person or for starting a new queue contact a OTRS-admin.
Request for help
  • [Fundraising] – Anthere announced good and bad news about the fundraising this year. The good news is that the current fundraiser is the most successful ever in our young history. Unfortunately, it was not successful enough to do everything that was planned; certain things will have to wait. This fundraiser also had Wikimedia’s first matching donations over, but there will be no more matching donations this year. The protest of certain members of the community played a role in that decision, but the Chair writes that it was only a factor. The fundraiser will end next week on Wikipedia day, the 6th anniversary of the founding of the very first Wikipedia.
  • [Big donors] – The bulk of the money comes from small donations from many people. In the past the average donation was around 22$US, But there is also small group of big donors. The largest donor this year was the ‘anonymous friend’ matching donation that raised the counter by 286,800$US. The big donations are done by private persons, a few companies, and other foundations.
  • [EN Wikinews RSS] – The English-language Wikinews provides a RSS-feed of their news articles. According to statistics from Feedburner, the service used for the feed, it is very popular. At the start of December it had just over 5,000 daily subscribers. That increased to 20,000 by December 12 and reached 36,000 on December 20. It has dropped slightly since then, with now just over 30,000 subscribers reading the latest news from Wikinews every day—At least according to the statistics. In any case, many people seem to read the news from the English-language Wikinews.
  • [YO!] – The Yoruba Wikipedia has reached 500 articles. That may not look very impressive, but it is. This wiki is one of many that was created a long time ago, in 2002, but for many years there was very little activity. Yoruba is a language of Nigeria; although they do have Internet access in Nigera, working on their wiki is not popular. The increased activity on this wiki is mostly the work of one user, [[w:yo:User:Loadewole]], who has written most of the articles in a few weeks. They are a native from Nigeria working at a local university. One person can make the difference between the failure or success of a wiki.
  • [Catalan Wikipedia] – They reached 50,000 articles on the 4th of January 2007. The Catalan Wikipedia is a very old Wikipedia, being the 3th Wikipedia created after the English and German wikis.
  • [Romanian Wikipedia] – They reached 50,000 on the 5th of January 2007. The milestone article was about “w:ro:Peştera Urşilor “, a cave in Romania, written by w:ro:Utilizator:Roamata. Unfortunately, on the 7th they fell back to 49978 articles. Something wikis should remember when announcing a milestone: do not delete so many articles that you drop under the milestone, because that looks very strange when you send out a press release and the media looks at your wiki.
Other news
  • [Clarification] – Regarding the last weeks item about Esperanza and the sentence “The English Wikipedia’s infamous Esperanza organisation has been restructured …”. Despite the clearly negative meaning given by the dictionary, it was not intended in that meaning. The use of ‘infamous’ was intended in the sense that it had a lot of impact and was well-known, not that it caused any trouble. The word “infamous” will no longer used in Wikizine. My apologies on behalf of Wikizine. Walter, Editor-In-Chief. 

Fund drive quotes

“Thank you for expanding our knowledge.” — naoyuki takayanagi
“I like watching Wikipedia.” — KAZUHIRO MIMURA
“No wikipedia, No life” — Takuya Fujino
“Macht weiter so” — David Völker
“May the Wikipedia be with you!” — Anonymous
“Let’s keep wikipedia advertising-free” — Zauder Castro
“Merci Wikipedia. Continuons a se partager les informations!” — Anonymous (‘Thank you Wikipedia. Let’s continue sharing information!’)

Number of subscribers: 580 , Unique Visitors website last week: 326 , Editor(s): Walter, Pathoschild , Corrector(s): Pathoschild , Thanks to: Romihaitza, CE, Dan100


Anno Domini MMVII Week I Number LVI

Technical news

  • [For bureaucrats] – When you rename a user, you now have the option to directly move all the pages in their user space to the new name. For localization, translate MediaWiki:Renameusermove.


The fundraiser has been active for two and a half weeks, and the counter is now around 850 000 US$. That is 644 232.227 Euro, 433 850.551 British pound,   101.184 million Japanese yen, and 6.637 million Chinese yuan. Although this is an absolute success compared to earlier fundraisers, the immense popularity of the Wikimedia Foundation’s projects and the poor revenue from other sources mean that even more is still needed.

The amount donated has been boosted by matching donations by an anonymous donor and Virgin Unite (a corporate charity branch). The Virgin Unite matching donation was controversial because a Virgin Unite logo was temporarily placed at the top of every page on all wikis. Some users in the community regarded the logo as the first step to allowing advertisement on Foundation projects.

A long and ongoing discussion was started about this on the Foundation mailing list. Some Wikimedians were very critical about the board’s decision to make the arrangement with Virgin, but there was also strong support for the decision. Many people argued that something needs to be done to get enough money, and that matching donation is a good way to do it so that the Foundation’s primary mission can continue.

Despite the opposition, the instruction to add the Virgin Unite logo to the site notices was generally carried out. The Dutch language Wikipedia was the most controversial of the top ten Wikipedias, where there was an edit war about the site notice involving several sysops; eventually the logo stayed up. On the Italian language Wikipedia, a sysop removed the notice because of disagreement, but there was no edit war. The Norwegian Wikipedia has been very active in editing there site notice but somehow the never came at the idea to include the Virgin matching notice on there wikipedia. All the other top ten Wikipedias used the Virgin logo without conflict.

At least one other matching donation action will follow some time in the near future, but will not include a logo. The name of sponsor is still not released; however, users who had a problem with the Virgin Unite notice will probably not be amused by this one either.

Request for help


  • [Year in review] – It is customary at the end of the year to look back at the past year, and also to give prizes to deserving people. This happened on the Romanian Wikipedia, where some sysops formed a jury and gave honorary prizes to the users who were present for the whole year in the project and were the best in their field of work. This was the second time they did that.
  • [Esperanza] – The English Wikipedia’s infamous Esperanza organisation has been restructured after a controversial request for deletion. It has now been made historical, but many of its programs remain active as separate projects.
  • [Wiki-New-Year] – Every Wikipedia has its own particularity. The English love templates, the German love quality, the Dutch love to discuss. The Romanians find excuses to give prizes. A new year also means that changes come into effect, like political, legal or monetary changes. The Romanian Wikipedia has made a to-do list and volunteers to make a change for the new year. The first user to make one of the updates in 2007 and the first new registered user gets a prize.
If your project does not have such an initiative make sure that Bulgaria and Romania are now EU member states, Slovenia is using the Euro, and that the Secretary General of the United nations is Ban Ki-moon.


  • [nl.wp] – The Dutch language Wikipedia reached 250,000 recently and the local press was interested. Most newspapers have included an article about it. And so far as know all positive. There was also coverage about it in the national television news journal of the Netherlands and the Flemish community of Belgium.
  • [Qatar] – A oil emirate where the citizens need to think hard to grasp the concept of “taxes” made the news thanks to Wikipedia. And this with titles like “Wikipedia Bans Qatar Net Users”. What happened was the on EN Wikipedia after again getting some vandalism from a specific ip address that ip was blocked for one month for anonymous users, account creation not allowed. The problem was that this one ip address was the external ip of *all* internet users of Qatar. After about 20 hours some realized that this was not a normal ip address and account creation was again allowed. Later the block was totally lifted. So the people of Qatar have again total editing freedom on Wikipedia. At least so long the state censor of Qatar does not block Wikipedia them self.


Other news

  • [Wikizine down] – currently the website of Wikizine is down. The reason is very simple; the host wikizine is using is down. No news how long it will take. The email distribution system of Wikizine and the website are totally separated. So one of both should always be available.

Was ist das?

GCF: the great chinese firewall
NP:  No Problem
NOP: Not Our Problem
SUL: Single User Login
BTW: By The Way (*not* near the road)
AFAIK: As Far As I Know


“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.”– Jimmy Wales, July 2004

“As for what it doesn’t say:
It does not say, “Imagine an advertising-free world.”
It does not say “where every single person who speaks a English or a  
European language …”
It does not say “share freely unless the unfree content is better.”
It does not say “free knowledge and links to where to find out  more/buy it.”
It does not say “That’s what we did.””
— Dannyisme

“It doesnt say “let’s thank our sponsers with more ads” either” — Teun Spaans


Number of subscribers: 573 , Unique Visitors website this week: 334, Editor(s): Walter, Xyrael
Corrector(s): Gary Kirk, Pathoschild , Thanks to: Romihaitza, Daveydweeb, Annabel