Year: 2007 Week: 48 Number: 85

Technical news
  • [MediaWiki Parser] – There will be (another) attempt on rewriting the parser which handles the wikitext. A new mailing list has been created for discussion of what can be done.
  • [New Preprocessor] – Mediawiki’s preprocessor (which expands templates and does parserfunctions) has been rewritten by Tim Starling. The changes include creating a DOM document, caching template expansion and skipping unused cases. The pre-expand include size limit has been changed into a “preprocessor node count”. This changes the rules for uncovered
    syntax, so having “<ta” on one template and “ble>” on another will create a table. However, such uses are discouraged. It’s not live on wikimedia project yet.
Request for help
  • [Wikibooks technical] – For a quick grant related to the production of Wikibooks in Agriculture Florence Devouard (Anthere) is asking for input regarding wished for technical improvements for Wikibooks.
  • [Asterisk] – German Wikipedia OTRS helpdesk and press relations group are still looking for someone who can support the development and implementation of an asterisk software solution featuring LRU call management, forced log-off and a web frontend to display status information. Queue size dimensioning would be nice, as well as a web/sms front end for the press people to configure call diversions. Anyone able to help please contact w:de:User:-jha- or, if you can read German, go to
  • [Logo] – Wikibooks and Wikijunior are considering a new logo.
  • [GFDL re-licensing] – On Foundation-l there is a big discussion going on about the GNU Free Documentation License that most projects are using and the possible migration to a new license for those projects. Mike Godwin, the WMF legal counsel, is involved in the discussion.
  • [ED] – The Wikimedia Foundation has appointed Sue Gardner as Executive Director. She was the Management Consultant of the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • [Ombuds(wo)men)] – Anthere announced that a new ombuds(wo)man committee has been appointed. It consists of the enwiki users Mackensen and Rebecca and dewiki user Hei_ber .
  • [Fundraiser blog] – A blog has been started by Cary Bass (Bastique) to mobilize potential donators. It is all about answers to the question “Why give to Wikimedia”. The posts on the blog are not official Wikimedia Foundation statements. Users are encouraged to add their own reasons, moderators are choosing the best contributions and post them on the blog. This is a test run for now. Should the blog help in increasing donations, it will be started in languages other than English, too.
  • [Stewards] – The stewards nominations (elections) have started. There are currently 20 candidates. Users active on all Wikimedia projects can vote.
  • [Stewards II] – Also the current stewards are going through confirmation. You can make remarks on their functioning, and afterwards all stewards together will decide which stewards will be confirmed. 27 stewards are up for confirmation.  
  • [EWW] – December 3 – 8, there will be the first ”Edit Wikipedia Week”. People are extra encouraged to edit Wikipedia in this week.
Other news
  • [Main stream] – A (English) Wikipedia search tool by default included in the webbrowser FireFox for some time now. Recently several new computer products are launched the give prominent attention for Wikipedia in there default setup.

    Amazon presented there own e-book reader. In there description of there readers Amazon explicitly writes; “Includes free wireless access to the planet’s most exhaustive and up-to-date encyclopedia—” Viewing other websites on the device in not free of charge. Wikipedia is here used as a sales argument because when you get this reader you have free wireless access to Wikipedia  (inside the USA).

    A large supermarket in the USA is selling a budget computer. On the taskbar of the desktop there is large  Wikipedia-globe icon to query Wikipedia.

    Also a new micro laptop of Asus, the  Eee PC, includes a prominent icon for Wikipedia.

  • [Fundraising totals] – After roughly a month of fundraising, USD 835,334 has been raised by the Wikimedia Foundation on November 24.
  • [FR Wiktionary] – On November 26th, the French language Wiktionary reached 593,000 pages and was therefore larger than the English language version (592,000). This is as far as we know the first time that an EN project has been passed by a non-English version in terms of size.
  • [HTTP Requests] – Also November 26th the Wikimedia servers for the first time counted a total of 50,000 (fifty thousand!) HTTP requests *per second* on all WMF projects during peak time. This a five times higher peak of page requests per second than in May 2006.
Was ist das?
  • [Free] – There are many definitions of free. Because language is not a perfect tool, people often confuse different meanings of the word. There is a difference between “for free” as in beer and “free” as in Wikipedia and Linux. The latter also means you can re-use the content, change it and spread the improved version even further, even commercially. 
Did you know …
  • [Not for profit] – That the Wikimedia Foundation is a not for profit organization? And that the WMF is dependent on mainly small donations from individuals like you? This results in a shoestring budget, especially if the targets are not being reached. 

Fundraising quotes

“Harnessing a universe of brainpower to make knowledge accessible” — Anonymous
“Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax …” — William Sherman
“Stone by stone we can build the house, says an arabic proverb. I hope that my humble donation will help to build a free Wikipedia.” — Hicham ben Hassine
“Who would have thought this would work?” — Anonymous

Number of subscribers: 700 , Unique Visitors website last week: 106 , Editor(s): Effeietsanders, Wikifitz, Londenp, Platonides, Walter
Thanks to: Bastique , Contact: reply or , Website: , makes no guarantee of accuracy,  validity and especially but not limited to,  correct grammar and spelling. is published by [[meta:user:Walter]], and is not a publication of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikizine is a weekly publication as long as there is noteworthy news (and time) Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.


Year: 2007 Week: 46 Number: 84

Technical news


  • [$$$] – The fundraiser is going well in the sense that the money is rolling in. At present around 660,000 US$ is donated. The fundraiser is intended to run until the 22nd of December. At the current rate of donations it does not look like the 4.6 million US$, the WMF budget for 2008, will be collected. The counter that shows how many people have donated, has dropped a bit because the deduction of numerous donations of 1$ or less.
  • [Legal] – French lawsuit against WMF won in court. An article on the FR Wikipedia contained personal information of 3 persons who where no pleased with that. They sued for compensations and the identity of the anonymous editor. The court ruled that Wikimedia is a hosting provider and as such does not need to follow up on what the users are writing. The WMF does need to remove illegal content when they are informed about it. Because the disputed information was removed after proper notification the case was dismissed, including the request for damages and information about the anonymous editor.
Florence Devouard, WMF chair, writes about this case:

“This is very good news for the Foundation. We maintain that WMF is not the publisher, owner or monitor on any of the Wikipedia projects (and obviously not the WP FR). We are pleased to have our position upheld and supported in a court of law.”


  • [DE wp DVD] – A new edition of German language Wikipedia on DVD is coming out. It will be available either as a basic edition that contains thumbnail images only (10 €) or a premium edition that will include higher quality pictures as well as a bonus disc with 1900s encyclopedia ”Meyers” (25 €, total 4 DVDs). An image of the DVD will be available for downloading.
  • [EN wp] – Founder Jimmy Wales has personally de-sysoped a user of the English Wikipedia. This caused very large community responds.

Reports of Wikinews


  • [Wikimedia IT] – The Italian edition of Wikipedia and Wikimedia Italia have been awarded the “Premio Aretê 2007 – forum per la Comunicazione Responsabile” (Aretê prize – forum for the responsible communication) for the “internet” section with the following motivation;
“for the commitment in favour of the diffusion of the universal knowledge, in a free, collaborative and constructive way, in the real spirit of the original ideals of the Net.”

The prize has been presented by [[w:en:Paolo Gentiloni]], the minister of the Communications and president of the jury, in Rome on the 5th of November.



  • [Erratum] – Commons has now 1000 featured pictures, not 10,000 as was reported in Wikizine 83.

Other news

  • [£ BBC] – The website of the British public broadcaster, who is funded by taxes, has started to display a limited number of advertisements to users who visited there website from outside the United Kingdom. Concerns where raised about impartiality of the BBC when carrying advertisement. The BBC explicitly stated that the advertisement will be clearly separated from editorial content. The BBC hopes to raise around 100 million euro yearly with the advertisements.
  • [Comic] – “…articles on Wikipedia are written [..] by one extremely dedicated squirrel.”
  • [Bye-bye Wiki-Wiki] – A classic part of any interview with the press is to explain that the name “wiki” comes from a bus service in Hawaii. The WikiWiki bus system in Hawaii, after which the software concept Wiki is named, will be soon no more. It will replaced by a “air-conditioned walkway”, a sort of bridge.
  • [Wikizine: less short] – A core idea of Wikizine was to keep the items very short so you can read it very quickly. For more information there are the external links where you can read the whole story. The problem is that when you translate Wikizine into non-English editions, those short items alone contain sometimes too little information to be really informative. Most external links are in English. For non-English readers it is then difficult to get the story. Because of this it will be attempted to include more information in the Wikizine items. Being brief maybe good but if you end up by (almost) saying nothing, we are not achieving our goals.

Did you know …

… that donating small amounts by PayPal is not a good idea?

  •  donation 0,01 AUD – 0,01 AUD paypal fee = 0 AUD for WMF
  •  donation 0,25 USD – 0,25 USD Paypal fee = 0 USD for WMF
  •  donation 1,20 CAD – 0,59 CAD PayPal fee = 0,61 CAD for WMF (50% fee!)
  •  donation 1 EUR – 0,38 EUR PayPal fee = 0,62 EUR for WMF (38% fee)
  • donation 5 USD – 0,41 USD PayPal fee = 4,59 USD for WMF (8,2% fee)
  •  donation 25 USD – 0,85 USD PayPal fee = 24,15 USD for WMF (3,4% fee)
  •  donation 100 USD – 2,50 USD PayPal fee = 97,50 USD for the WMF (2,5% fee)
Be aware that a very small donation means you are making a donation to Paypal and not to the Wikimedia Foundation. Best you give one higher donation then several smaller donations.

Verify of one of the other donation channels, like bank transfer (free inside Europa), is not a better solution for making a donation from you country.


“Hail Wikipedia” — Anonymous
“Wikipedia, , Ubuntu – three things that makes me feel good.” — Gergely Máté
“to get wikipedia is like to have the Alexandria’s library at home! thanks to the Wikipedia Team.” — eric malbos (editorial note: next Wikimania will be at the library of Alexandria)
“Wikipedia, une cathédralle informatique” — roland moreno
“Please do not go commercial.” — Anonymous
“Danke!” — Anonym

Number of subscribers: 700 , Unique Visitors website last week: 140 , Editor(s): Walter, Effeietsanders, Londenp  , Thanks to: Paginazero, bawolff, Andre Engels,  Wikifitz Contact: reply or  , Website: , makes no guarantee of accuracy,  validity and especially but not limited to,  correct grammar and spelling. is published by [[meta:user:Walter]],  and is not a publication of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikizine is a weekly publication as long as there is noteworthy news (and time) Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.


Year: 2007 Week: 44 Number: 83

Technical news

  • [Upload limit] – The upload limit is 20 MB. Now that the recent changes have resulted in good support for video, it was suggested to increase this limit. There are concerns for a dramatic growth in bandwidth and storage need.

Request for help

New project proposals

  • [Chain of reasons] – This proposed new project aims to be a reference for people who simply want to learn about the reasoning behind particular beliefs — moral, political, scientific, religious, or whatever.



  • [Priorities] – Florence Devouard, chair of the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees, has stated priorities for her next term as a chair. She also summarizes the major developments of last year.
  • [Fundraising] – The 2007 fall fund raising has started on October 22 and will run until December 22. People are encouraged to place web buttons on their private websites. At present around US$130,000 has been donated. The live stream of donations from Paypal can be seen in the IRC channel #wikimedia-donations on freenode.
  • [Budget] – Together with its fundraising, the Wikimedia Foundation has also published its budget for 2007-2008. The Foundation plans to spend US$4.6M in total, of which 57% is reserved for technical services. The rest is going to overhead, staff and other activities such as Wikimania. 
  • [New chapter] – Wikimedia Sweden was founded in Stockholm, Sweden. Lennart Guldbrandsson was elected Chair. For the board several members of community were elected as well as persons from the free knowledge movement of Sweden. One of them is Lars Aronsson, founder of, which was the second largest wiki in the world before it was closed.
  • [Treasurer] – The foundation is looking for a treasurer who will succeed Miles Davis on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • [Job openings] – As a result of the relocation of the Wikimedia Foundation’s headquarters from St. Petersburg, Florida, to San Francisco, several positions are to be filled.


  • [Dutch Conference] – On October 27, Wikimedia Nederland held a conference in Amsterdam about Wikimedia, Wikis and Education. Most of the program was in Dutch; however, a few presentations were in English. Florence Devouard was one of the keynote speakers.
  • [Russian Conference] – The Wiki-Conference 2007 was held on October 27 and 28 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • [Wikijunior] – It is proposed that stable versions of the Wikijunior books hosted on the English Wikibooks will be published on Also there are discussions on a new logo.


  • [Wikicomics] – “Wikimedia fundraiser highlights webcomic community’s frustration with Wikipedia guidelines” reports Wikinews
  • [Edit for grades] – Some schools may ban Wikipedia, but the story about a teacher of the University of Washington-Bothell who makes her students write Wikipedia articles for grades was in the news this week.
  • [Anons best?] – “Anonymous Wikipedia entries the most accurate” writes



Dear readers,

Today, Wikizine has existed for three years.  A couple of weeks ago, I was seriously considering to stop contributing to Wikizine. My reason was that it became too difficult to continue creating weekly a new and good edition of Wikizine virtually alone.

At this time, the start of the third year of Wikizine, I want to inform you, my readers, that Wikizine will continue. This is possible because of the recent assistance in creating Wikizine that has been provided to me by users londenp and effeietsanders and a slightly less pessimistic state of mind.

It will not longer be a goal of Wikizine to have a weekly issue. The new publication frequency will be “You will get a new Wikizine whenever one is ready”.

The Spanish and Indonesian language edition of Wikizine will mostly be terminated soon because of lack of activity of the people who started them. For the German edition there is just a new volunteer so there is hope that this one can stay.

Thanks for reading Wikizine. That is the reason for existence of a newsletter. This newsletter is “for the members of the Wikimedia community”. The main purpose of Wikizine is to inform you, the Wikimedia community, what is going on in the community. That is across all projects and languages.

Only what is known by the (small) staff of Wikizine can be reported. Currently Wikizine fails in reporting what is going on in the global community due to lack of information.  Please take a minute to send notice to Wikizine if there is something of interest to report from your home-wiki.


Did you know …

… that the income of the Wikimedia Foundation is mainly based on small donations from individuals who appreciate the Wikimedia projects? The Wikimedia projects are hence mainly supported by the large public, not by major organisations.

Fundraising quotes

“For tripling the number of Elephants in Africa!” US$500 –Anonymous.
“Instead of a banner asking for donations, why don’t you just have a banner with an ad, and skip the middle step.” –Anonymous.
“Wikipédia est d’une utilité publique colossale.” — Lionel Bolnet
“Who’s that guy? The guy on the banner looks like Osama bin Laden.” –Anonymous
“Your efforts to educate the world are highly admirable. Keep up the good work.” — Alison Dwyer
“Symbolisch bedrag en mijn hartelijke dank voor jullie geweldige site.” — Tejo Hoekman  — more quotes

Number of subscribers: 695 , Unique Visitors website last week: 167 , Editor(s): Walter, Effeietsanders, Londenp , Corrector(s): Oliphaunt , Thanks to: Tgr, Joakim Larsson, Borgx  , Contact: reply or , Website: makes no guarantees of accuracy,  validity and especially correct grammar and spelling. is published by [[meta:user:Walter]], and is not a publication of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikizine is a weekly publication as long as there is noteworthy news (and time) Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.