Dec
24
2007

Year: 2007 Week: 52 Number: 88

Technical news

  • [No pictures?] - If users complain that the can not see any pictures on the wiki the it can be the ” upload.wikimedia.org” it being blocked by adblock software. Possibly in an attempt to hide the fundraiser banner.

Foundation

  • [Board resignations] - Michael Davis, Board member since the founding of the WMF, has resigned as announced per December 1, 2007. Erik Möller, elected Community representative since summer 2006 and re-elected in July, also resigned in december. Anthere, Board Chair, announced an appointment for Erik’s seat soon, awaiting elections, and in time also an appointment for Michaels seat.
  • [Board expansion] - A lot of Board-related news nowadays, as Anthere also announced that the Board will be expanded to 11 members. The time schedule is not totally clear yet. Anthere also announced that she is considering to reduce her work for the Wikimedia Foundation, after four years of Board membership, of which 1,5 years as chair and if elected join the board of Wikimedia France instead of chair of the WMF. 
  • [Deputy Director] – Erik Moeller will become WMF’s Deputy Director, which was announced after Erik’s resignation from the Board. On Foundation-l the point was raised that for this newly created function no public announcement was made for people to submit there candidacy for this function. Also the move from the unpaid position as board member to a new, paid, function raised questions. Sue Gardner,  Executive Director WMF and new boss of Erik, clarified the choice and procedure. Key aspects were that Erik – because of his professional background, community background and technical knowledge of the technical side of WMF operations – is a very useful addition to the WMF staff who have no WMF community background. The WMF is still looking for people for some functions for the San Francisco office.
  • [Fundraiser] - The fundraiser of the Wikimedia Foundation has been extended until January 3, 2008. It was scheduled to end on december 22, 2007, but extended to be able to cover the holidays as well. This is to benefited from the people in the USA who look at the last days of the year for a good cause to donated to get a tax deduction. The fundraiser started October 22, and is now already the longest fundraiser ever. The current balance is around 1.25 million US dollar.

Community

  • [Wikinews in Israel] - Wikinews’ David Shankbone wrote his first report to his sponsored trip to Israel.
  • [Stewards] – New stewards have been appointed by the Board after the 2007 elections. The new stewards are: .anaconda, Andre Engels, Dungodung, Jusjih, Lar, Millosh, Spacebirdy, Thogo, Wpedzich, Zirland, DerHexer, Nick1915. Now that the new stewards have been appointed, the Steward reconfirmations discussions can start. All stated objections during the elections are being taken into account by all the stewards, which will decide which of the stewards will be reconfirmed. Datrio and Fantasy are already destewarded, as they did not want to stand for reconfirmation. 

Awards

Media

Stats

  • [New projects] – The Language subcommittee has conditionally approved 37 new language projects. Among them three new Wikiquotes, five Wikinewses, one Wikisource, seven Wikiversities, eleven Wiktionaries and ten Wikipedia’s. This means that these projects can move on to the Wikimedia Incubator project, and can get their own environment if they succeed to establish the community and project.
  • [Lombard Wikipedia] – The Lombard Wikipedia has currently only just over 23000 articles, although that were over 117000 a few weeks ago. This is the result of a massive cleanup of robot generated articles. 
  • [DE Wikibooks] – The German Wikibooks has now its 10,000th page in the main article namespace and reached so far a major milestone. We have now 569 Books, 40 of them are ready and numerous have their own printversion.

Other news

  • [Citizendium license] – Larry Sanger announced that Citizendium will use CC-BY-SA as a license. This means that Citizendium is freely licensed as well, and if the GFDL and CC-BY-SA licenses become exchangable in the future, Citizendium content could be used within the Wikimedia projects.
  • [Amazon Kindle & wp] – As reported in Wikizine 85 Amazon (webshop) is selling an ebook reader (kindle) that also provides access to Wikipedia. Cali Lewis of Geekbrief.Tv explains more about how this actually works. The device has a key “search” that can be used to search a dictionary, the English language Wikipedia and the internet. By means of a web browser function also the other languages editions, Wikibooks, Wikinews and Wikisource can be read. Wireless access is free of charge but it only works in the USA.
  • [Wikizine review] – In 2007 EN Wikizine presented 33 editions (extra editions excluded) to our readers. The readership by means of email increased by 18% this year. The number of unique visitors to the website is going steadily downhill since the the seconded quarter of 2007. New language editions of Wikizine where launched this year. There is now a Wikizine in the German, Spanish and Indonesian language. The continuing publication of these new editions has been troublesome and there readership, with the strong exception of the Indonesian edition, highly disappointing despite the effort put in those editions. EN Wikizine suffered also troubles and it came close to termination of this project. The last months the effort of only a few people sufficiently supported this project and provided the necessary energy to continue Wikizine in to 2008 and hopeful well beyond. Thanks for reading Wikizine people, and that is all for 2007.

Did you know …

 … that you can expand your knowledge by subscribing to an email list?

You can subscribe to the Wikipedia-Daily-Article-List, and receive every day an extract of the enwikipedia article of the day in your maibox!
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/daily-article-l – subscribe


Quote


“Taking the risk of offending some people; Marry Christmas everyone and a not to bad new year!” — user:Walter in the “Quote” section of Wikizine 88

Number of subscribers: 703 , Unique Visitors website last week: 173 , Editor(s): Effeietsanders, Walter , Special thanks to: Cali Lewis of Geekbrief.tv  
Contact: reply or http://report.wikizine.org , Website: http://www.wikizine.org , Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of accuracy, validity and especially but not limited to, correct grammar and spelling. Wikizine.org 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.
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html

0
Dec
17
2007

Year: 2007 Week: 51 Number: 87

Technical news

  • [Printing] - As we all probably know, the layout for printing Wiki pages is not the best. The Wikimedia Foundation announced a cooperation with the Open Society Institute and the Commonwealth of Learning to make an extension that will enable nice printing options.
  • [AMS-IX] – The Wikimedia Foundation received a Gigabit internet connection at no cost from Amsterdam Internet Exchange (one of the largest internet hubs world wide), for the “good of the internet”.

Request for help

Foundation

  • [Wikinews] – Wikimedia Serbia has made a formal agreement with the Serbian news agency “Beta news” for using there news articles in Serbian and English on Wikinews.
  • [Wikimania 2009] - The formal start for the submissions for candidate cities to host Wikimania 2009 is open now until 15th of February. Reminder; for 2008 Wikimania is in Alexandria, Egypt.
  • [Wikimania 2008] - The first public planning meeting was held on IRC with many topics being discussed for 2 hours on Thurs Dec 13.  Next meeting was planned for Saturday 22nd Dec, 1500 (UTC).  
  • [Staff] – The Wikimedia Foundation hired it’s first new staff for the relocation to San Francisco. Sue Gardner announced that Erica Ortega will be the new Office Manager and Cheryl Steffen will be the Personal Assistant for the Executive Directive.
  • [SR Wikimedia] – A translation and adaptation to local law of the  Creative Commons license in Serbian is presented. This is done with the collaboration of Wikimedia Serbia.
  • [Felon?] - According to the blog “The Register” the former Chief Operating Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation was a multiple convicted felon. Concerns have been raised that the story told in the “The Register” is inaccurate.  Mike Godwin, the WMF legal consul, posted on Foundation-l that the WMF can not give comments about this because of legal restrictions. Mike Godwin did say that “the Foundation has retained an independent firm that conducts criminal background checks, consistent with state and federal law in the USA.” Jimmy Wales also promised that if it would turned out that money has been stolen he will compensated it from personal funds. Jimmy promised that so that people could feel comfortable about it, not that he expects there will be a problem. 
  • [Chapters] – The Wikimedia Foundation has officially approved two new chapters: Wikimedia Sweden and Wikimedia Argentina.

Media

  • [Abuse] – Since the WikiScanner came up, the media are all the time stunned by the fact that people, but also companies and governments are actually editing Wikipedia, also on spots where they maybe should not. However, the media are *still* reporting on numerous new found governments and companies, such as recently the BBC and the US Military. Although the bare facts might be boring to Wikimedians, it is funny to see how media are still reporting this.
  • [Signpost] – Wales’ comments on citing Wikipedia produce BBC correction
  • [Extra! Extra!] - News paper headline reads “U.S. military command hacks Wikipedia” . Translation; kindergarten level normal vandalisme on article.
  • [Family reads also] – Articles about living people are also read by direct family of these famous people. Jeff Tweedy, musician, says in an interview that his son founded out things about the past of his father by means of Wikipedia.

Stats

Other news

  • [Knol] - Google announced a new project, Knols. It will contain pages with encyclopedic-like information, written by individuals, which will appear at the top rank of Google. The writers will receive a share in the advertisements. The big question is not: What license will Google require? It is likely that this will raise a conflict of interest, now Google is both publisher of information and search engine. Currently content from the WMF projects is very highly listed in most search requests. As a result very large amounts of traffic comes from Google to the WMF projects.
  • [US senate] – Jimmy Wales has testified in the US senate about the positive use wikis for the government can have. This is in relation of an effort to make US government websites and databases more searchable.

Did you know …

… that Wikinews has a weekly quiz about the current events of last week?

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/WN:QUIZ

Wikinews is using the MediaWiki extension “Quiz” for this function.
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Quiz

Quote

“It’s not the size of your tools that matter, but how you use them.” — Cary Bass on IRC

“Then I asked if he was surprised that Google did it; “I am surprised it took them so long. :)” — Responds of Jimmy Wales in regard of the Google Knol project.
http://battellemedia.com/archives/004152.php

Number of subscribers: 703 , Unique Visitors website last week: 195 , Editor(s): Walter, Effeietsanders , Corrector(s): Londenp , Thanks to: Connel Contact: reply or http://report.wikizine.org Website: http://www.wikizine.org  , Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of accuracy,  validity and especially but not limited to,  correct grammar and spelling.  Wikizine.org 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.
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html

0
Dec
10
2007

Year: 2007 Week: 50 Number: 86

Technical news

  • [Inspector Gadget] – Our wikis support the function that you can put in a subpage of your useraccount your own javascript. That is usually /monobook.js This way you can change the behavior of the wiki or include specific functionality. In the years several users have written there own javascript modification. But to use them you need to tinker a bit, create that subpage, copy the code and so. Not exactly userfriendly for the no so technical Wikimadians. Now there is the “Gadget” function. When this function is active on your wiki you have a nice menu in the “Preferences” section to enable or disable the extra javascript functionality. And that is all you need to do.
This function is active on the English and French Wikipedia and commons. Go there and see how it works.  To get this function also active on you wiki; 1) discus it on your wiki and get censuses 2) make a bugzilla ticket about it and wait 3) after a couple of weeks start annoying people about it in #wikimedia-tech
  • [Move page] – The function to move a page (to change the title)  is one that all logged in users have. On some wikis the restriction is active that user who have a newly created account are not permitted to move a page similar to semi-protection restrictions. There is now a proposal, that seems to have clear support, to restrict page movement by default on all wikis to non-new user accounts. Wikis can opt-out.

Foundation

  • [World Economic Forum] — The Wikimedia Foundation is invited to the World Economic Forum 2008 as Technology Pioneer out of a record number of applications and nominees. The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Geneva-based foundation whose annual meeting is attended by top business leaders, national political leaders and selected intellectuals and journalists. As such is this a valuable opportunity for the WMF to make contacts.
  • [Stewards] – the nomination election for stewards is nearing the end. Your opinion can be given up to 16th December. At present there are 18 candidates for steward.
  • [Fundraiser update] – the end of the current fundraiser, 22 December, is coming near. At present about $ 1.1 million is donated. That is more compared with the previous fundraiser of end 2006. But far below the budget of 2008. In an interview with the Wikipedia Signpost the Executive Director of the WMF Sue Gardner says; “Yes, the online fundraiser will not cover our operating costs – nor did we expect it to. And that’s okay. We have a couple of major donations coming in within the next few weeks: they’ve been committed to, and will arrive in the bank before the new year.”  The bot posting the live donations feed in #wikimedia-donations is down does not seem to come back anymore.

Community

  • [I did not do it] - The main page of the English Wikipedia was briefly deleted, 2 minutes or less, by an admin account. The user involved was blocked after one minute and desysoped 5 minutes after the deletion of the main page. After explanation by the user that it was his sister who used his account the block was lifted. Moral of the story; logout when you leave your computer alone, especially when you are a sysop or higher.
  • [How Wikipedia works] – Phoebe Ayers, Charles Matthews, Ben Yates and Samuel Klein are writing a book on how Wikipedia works, and hope to publish it (GFDL) early 2008. 
  • [Arbcom DE] — The German Wikipedia voted to keep the arbitration committee (Schiedsgericht) and elected three new members.

Awards

  • [Puerto Rico] – The Puerto Rica Senate has honoured Wikipedian Marine 69-71 (Antonio Santiago) in an official resolution for “his dedication to the cause of helping spread information about distinguished Puerto Ricans through new media, and in particular, those who have served with distinction in the military”. Santiago is not only active on Wikipedia, but also in other media.

Media

Stats

  • [7th] – The online research institute Muliscope announced its yearly list of the top 20 most popular websites in the Netherlands. The Dutch language Wikipedia is up from the 10th place in 2006 to the 7th in 2007.
  • [Growth] – In 1.5 years Wikimedia went from 10,000 to 50,000 HTTP requests per second (peak)! Also Wikimedia handles a 30Tb of data volume per day. 

Other news

  • [Cape Town Declaration] – Advisory Board member Melissa Hagemann reported that a preview of the Cape Town Declaration is now available. The Cape Town Declaration is about Open Education.
  • [Wiki too free?] — Katina Schubert, vice chair of Germany’s radical left-wing party “Die Linke”, claims “to have reported Wikipedia to the police for the use of Nazi insignia”. Display of such is generally forbidden by law, but perfectly legal for documentation or educational purposes. The party website declares the charge aims to “introduce political and ethical standards” in order to get rid of what they consider extreme right-wing viewpoints. The issue has caused a lot of press, almost exclusively in support of Wikipedia, and even Schubert’s own party criticises her for the action. She has now openly admitted that this was not a stroke of genius
  • [Paper, now in full-colour] – electronic paper is the technology that currently gives the best hope to give truly everybody cheap access to the content of the projects. The currently still expensive devices that support black and withe displaying are in production. Fuji Xerox presented a prototype of full-colour electronic paper.
  • [Theora Support] – Our projects use for video the format Ogg Theora. But besides the WMF-projects use of Ogg Theora is not used by main stream websites. And so are most computers not able to play it. The Mozilla foundation and Opera are planning to  include playback support of Ogg Theora build in their browsers. This can result in increased use of Ogg Theora and make the use of video content of our projects easier for the readers.

Did you know …

… that Wikinews does not show up on Google News? Wikinews does not fit one of Google’s criteria, that it can’t that easily be edited? :)

EN Wikinews has because of that a blog where the news is posted and that is included by Google News. Unfortunately that blog is updated infrequently.
http://wikinewsreports.blogspot.com/


Quote

“When you start accusing everyone of being in on a conspiracy, you shouldn’t be surprised if they decide to confirm your paranoia by banding together against you.” — w:en:user:khaosworks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:CABAL

Number of subscribers: 695 , Unique Visitors website last week: 208 , Editor(s): Effeietsanders, Walter, Wikifitz , Corrector(s): Londenp , Contact: reply or http://report.wikizine.org , Website: http://www.wikizine.org ,
Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of accuracy, validity and especially but not limited to, correct grammar and spelling.
Wikizine.org 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.
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html

NOTE: due to an editorial overside Wikizine 86 contains two independent items about the German politician and the complaint about the Nazi symbols in Wikipedia. Because this was noticed after publication of the email edition of Wikizine the blog version is kept the same.

0
Dec
01
2007

Year: 2007 Week: 48 Number: 85 Extra

Policy

Most projects of the Wikimedia family, like Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wiktionary, Wikispecies and Wikiversity, are using the GNU Free Documentation License.

The GNU Free Documentation License was originally chosen because that was the available license when the first project, Wikipedia, started. The GNU FDL is not the most practical licence to use mainly because it is not designed for what the WMF projects are using it for.

An alternative for the GNU Free Documentation License are the Creative Commons licenses. Currently the GNU FDL is not compatible with the the Creative Commons licenses.

The WMF published a resolution declaring that to make them compatible the Wikimedia Foundation has been working with the Free Software Foundation and Creative Commons on a solution. The have come to proposal that would make it possible for the WMF project to migrate to the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike (CC-BY-SA) licence.

The resolution states;

“The Foundation requests that the GNU Free Documentation License be modified in the fashion proposed by the FSF to allow migration by mass collaborative projects to the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license;

Upon the announcement of that re-licensing, the Foundation will initiate a process of community discussion and voting before making a final decision on re-licensing.”

So the WMF is asking formally to change the GNU FDL to make a migration possible and after that there will be a discussion and a vote about it.

If the projects would migrate to the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license then that means that you are free to share it and to change the work but you need to give credit to the makers of the work and share the work under the same or compatible license.

The reason to change to license is that a main objective of the projects is to create content that can be reused freely by others. The Creative Commons license would make that more easy to do then the current GNU Free Documentation License

Jimmy Wales made the announcement of the (possible) move to the Creative Commons license on a iCommons party in San Francisco. In his speech Jimmy said;

“What I’m happy to announce tonight is that just yesterday the Wikimedia Foundation board voted to approve a deal between the FSF and CC and Wikimedia. We’re going to change the GFDL in such a way that Wikipedia will be able to become licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

So this is not as some people speculated on facebook my 58 birthday party … this is the party to celebrate the liberation of Wikipedia.”

This transcript comes from a blogposting with the title “Breaking news: Wikipedia switches to Creative Commons!”.

This not exactly correct. The WMF is on the track of switching but first the GNU FDL needs to changed officially and the by the board announced discussions and community vote needs to be taking place.

So the actual move can still be a wile, like single user login or flagged revisions, if it ever comes.

Discussion about this has started on Foundation-l.


Editor(s): Walter , Contact: reply or http://report.wikizine.org , Website: http://www.wikizine.org ,
Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of accuracy, validity and especially but not limited to, correct grammar and spelling. Wikizine.org is published by [[meta:user:Walter]], and is not a publication of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikizine is a irregular publication as long as there is noteworthy news (and time) Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License. http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html

0