Year: 2007 Week: 08 Number: 62

Technical news

  • [Captcha] – The system that means you need to enter a word displayed as an image as a anti-spam protection measure is now active on all wikis. It used to be active only on the smaller projects. This can cause problems for users from communities who are not used to Latin characters. The words displayed are two English words which together form one non-existing word. This makes it difficult for people who do not know English to read the words. If the word is unclear refresh the page then you get a new word.
  • [Special page] –  The page [[Special:Protectedpages]] does now works. It is updated live.
  • [Image swap bot] –  Commons, the wiki that more and more WMF-wikis are using for their images and other media, is working on expanding their service. This with a bot that comes to your local wiki and replaces the image used on a page by another image (or video). This is so that when on Commons a media file is renamed or changed to another version, the projects using the older version will be updated automatically. The people operating this bot are requesting feedback about it. The bot is not operating yet.                                      Commons already provides the “CommonsTicker” service that informs local wikis about changes to files in use on that wiki on commons. And also the “CommonsDelinker” which removes the broken links to deleted files on the wikis that were using that file.

Request for help

  • [Offline Wiki] – Everybody can freely download a dump of the database and run there own local copy of there favorite Wikimedia project. But if only want to have your own local copy for reading Wikipedia (or Wikiboosk, etc) then setting up a complete local installation of MediaWiki is not very easy, fast and computer resource friendly solution.
Stian Haklev has written a fairly easy to use offline wikiserver for locally running a copy of a wiki. It makes use of the html-download dump of the projects. The advantage compared with just extracting the html-dump and browse the files is that you do not need to extract the dump to read them. That makes a big difference. For example; when a html-dump of a small wiki is 3,1 mb. Then when you extract that you have 46,8mb. That is a lot more but what is 50mb in the world of today? But when you download the dump of the German language Wikipedia of 1,5gb then I makes a big difference. The current version is 0.2 , it works but slow on large dumps. Windows, Mac, Linux. The developer is asking for people who would like to test it and provide feedback and would welcome developers to join his project to make it better and faster.
Contact; <shaklev AT gmail DOT com>



  • [No, Wikipedia wil not get banded] – A other story currently floating around is that Wikipedia will be banded from many schools and libraries in America because of a proposal of law by USA senator Ted Stevens. The proposal would ban “commercial social networking websites and chat rooms”. Besides the fact this is only a proposal the current version does not affect Wikipedia because Wikipedia is not commercial but a non-profit. 
  • Stats

  • [Yo! (again)] – In Wikizine 57 was announced that the Yoruba Wikipedia had 500 articles. Now the are proud to announce the have 1000 articles. Yoruba is a language of Nigeria. The are now at the 127th place of largest Wikipedia’s.
  • Other news

     Did you know …

    … what the difference is between {{foobar}} and {{:foobar}}?

    No? Good. The explanation will follow. But first the basics. There is the “template” namespace. That can be a page like [[Template:Welcome]]. On your home wiki “template” can be localized and be something else. If you wish to put a template on a page you would use {{Welcome}}. But you can do the same also for non-templates. We take the article [[Zeus]] as an example. If you put on some page {{Zeus}} then the article Zeus will be displayed on that page like a template.

    Now the difference between {{Zeus}} and {{:Zeus}} is:
    If you use {{Zeus}} and the page [[Template:Zeus]] exists then the content of that page will be used. But if it does not exist then the page in the main namespace will be used.
    If you use {{:Zeus}} then always the content of the article [[Zeus]] will be used, even if a page [[Template:Zeus]] exists.
    Instead of pointing to an article you can also use any other namespace like {{:Wikipedia:Foobar}}


    “It’s easy to characterize Stevens as little more than a buffoon. He’s certainly a buffoon, but he’s a dangerous one.” — Preston Gralla about Ted “tubes” Stevens and “Son of DOPA”


    Number of subscribers: 614, Unique Visitors website last week: 352 , Editor(s): Walter, Corrector(s): Gary Kirk ,Thanks to: Brianna Laugher

    2007-02-21: spelling update – no updates will be done anymore


    Year: 2007 Week: 07 Number: 61



    Suggestion for help

    • [de.wikizine] – Several people have started with a translation of Wikizine in there language but stopped after a couple of weeks. The latest attempt is a German language translation. The user who is trying to get that started will be offline for a couple of weeks.  If there is a German speaker who wants to give it a try you are free to do so.



    • [%] – Have you ever wondered what uses the most bandwidth on Wikipedia? Well, 44.50% of bandwidth is uploads (images, video), 18.51% articles, 10.67% non-article pages, 8.66% skins-css, 5.73% skins-js, 7.59% skins-image, and 4.36% other.
    • [es.wp] – The Spanish-language edition of Wikipedia has passed the 200,000 article mark. This is quite an impressive achievement. The Spanish Wikipedia is also one of the oldest Wikipedias. Back in February 2002, they encountered some difficulty when many of the editors left the Wikipedia family and created a fork, La Enciclopedia Libre. After the fork, the Spanish Wikipedia slowed down quite a bit, having very few editors and very little activity. The community was almost completely gone, and the fork became the largest free Spanish encyclopedia. But, over time, the ES Wikipedia again came to life and overtook the fork. Now the ES Wikipedia has 200,000 articles and the fork, Enciclopedia Libre, a mere +/- 35,000 articles. Luckily in this case forking only slowed down the Spanish Wikipedia.
    • [hu.wp] – The Hungarian Wikipedia is now one of the biggest wikis, having reached the 50,000 article mark. Like many wikis do, they are in the process of choosing a special logo to commemorate the event. At first, however, there was some confusion about what the 50,000th article was. Eventually it was determined that [[ w:hu:Kettős kockázat (Csillagkapu)]] was the 50,000th article, a page about a Stargate episode. The hu.wp has received some limited but positive press attention due to this accomplishment.

    Other news

    • [Google] – has added a new feature. If you include “info” or “information” in the search box, the first result should be the English language Wikipedia article, if it exists. This works only on the English Google. Do not put to much trust in it. It works but not always. Some articles can not be found this way like when you look for ” info United States
    • [WikiXRay] – A project to develop a robust and expandable software tool for quantitative analysis of Wikipedia is under development. This tool would make it easier to create graphics and statistical results of vital statistics from any language wikipedia automatically. It is being developed by José Felipe Ortega, of the Libresoft Group (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain). A Python software tool has already been released. Anyone interested in contributing in any form (developers, graphic interfaces builders, beta-testers, bug-hunters, people with additional proposals…) is welcome to contact [[ meta:User:GlimmerPhoenix]] <glimmer_phoenix AT yahoo DOT es>

    Did you know …

    … you can include a “recent revisions” menu to the your Monobook skin?

    The result is that when you view a page you can get clean list of who has edited that page and when. Just try it. If you do not like it you can revert. To install this extension:

    Go to your monobook.js file. If you can not find it, paste [[Special:Mypage/monobook.js]] on your userpage and use the link. Paste the code below onto the page;

    document.write(‘<scr’+’ipt type=”text/javascript”‘
      + ‘src=”http://nl.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gebruiker:JePe/recentrevisionsbox.js
      + ‘&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript&dontcountme=s”></scr’+’ipt>’);

    Most likely you will not see anything at first. To get around this problem, you need to clear your browser’s cache. For IE6.0; extra -> Internet options -> General -> Temporary Internet files -> Delete files -> select option and  “ok”. For other browsers, you should be able to figure it out for yourself.

    Refresh, see left upper menu. The section is in Dutch or English, works on all wikis. Credit for this extension goes to [[w:nl:gebruiker:JePe ]]

    Donation comments

    “Wiki is helping this poor medical student through Medical School” — Robert Paull
    “Because any group run by a guy named “Jimbo” deserves my cash.” — Anonymous
    “Keep wikipedia ad-free and international!” —  Anonymous
    “wikipedia must not disappear!” — Anonymous
    “I am overwhelmed by the diversity and incredible depth of the knowledge here. I am grateful on behalf of mankind for a wonderful creation.” — Oren Menache
    “Free knowledge is not free without our donation” — Ying Hung Gan

    Number of subscribers: 608 , Unique Visitors website last week: 319 , Editor(s): Walter , Corrector(s): Gary Kirk, Lantoka


    Year: 2007 Week: 06 Number: 60

    Request for help
    • [Wikizine] – needs a core staff member to be able to produce a new edition on a weekly basis and with an acceptable quality. Looking for news, writing items for Wikizine, finalizing and sending it out. If interested contact [[meta:user:Walter]] for more information.
    • [Organizational changes] – interim Executive Director Brad Patrick is not longer executive director. He is now only General Counsel (lawyer)  Because there is now no executive director anymore the responsibilities are temporary dived between some board members and WMF-staff members. The search for a new executive director continues. The WMF has hired the firm “Phillips Oppenheim” to find an executive director for the WMF.
    • [New hire] – The Wikimedia Foundation has hired Notafish (Delphine Ménard) as Chapters Coordinator. This function is “fostering of relationships between Chapters and Foundation as well as with the developing
      of Chapters and related activities.” Notafish has done this function until now as a volunteer.
    Other news
    Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

    “A deal is a deal… until a better one comes along.” Rule 16
    “Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack.”  – Rule 109
    “The justification for profit is profit.” – Rule 202

    Number of subscribers: 608 , Unique Visitors website last week: 326 , Editor(s): Walter