[Wikimedia-l] calculating autoconfirmed age and edit count

2021-10-04 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
I've been involved in this lengthy circular debate: What should be the
autoconfirmed age and article count in the Hebrew Wikipedia? See
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T243076 if you curious about this
particular one, but I'd love to ask a more global question:

How were these numbers calculated originally?

For the account age, the default is four days, or five or seven days for a
few wikis.

For the edit count, the default is zero, but several wikis have 5, 10, 25,
or 50.

(See
https://noc.wikimedia.org/conf/highlight.php?file=InitialiseSettings.php
and search for "wgAutoConfirmAge" and "wgAutoConfirmCount".)

Some wikis have groups, usually called "extended confirmed", and with
higher counts; for example, 500 edits in English and some other languages
(search for wmgAutopromoteOnceonEdit on the same page).

So, how did the people arrive at these numbers? Why is it four days by
default? Is it all just intuition and guesses, or was there any research
behind it?

Is it *good* that four days is the default for everyone, until someone
bothers to update it (most wikis don't)? Or is it just a coincidence that
was defined for a certain wiki and applied elsewhere? And when it's
updated, why is it updated to one number and not some other?

While I am an ardent supporter of the "anyone can edit" principle, it makes
general sense to have some restrictions based on edit count, account age,
and perhaps other parameters. But HOW are they calculated? Would it make
sense to anyone to start making some calculations around it and optimize
the number for wikis of different sizes?

I'd imagine that there could be a calculation that says "in a given wiki,
the chance of being reverted or blocked goes down after X days and X
edits", and this number is probably different for every wiki (maybe there
already is such a calculation somewhere). This could possibly be a starting
point for a good calculation of a threshold; it wouldn't be perfect,
because in some wikis it can perpetuate community practices which may be
biased against new editors, but at least it's based on data and not on
guesses.

In the English Wikipedia 2016 discussion[1] about adding the "extended
confirmed" group, I found one comment, by User:Opabinia regalis, which
corresponds to my thinking on the topic: "The thresholds being used for
these restrictions are essentially arbitrary, and we don't have a strong
evidence base yet that they are well-chosen."

Perhaps after twenty years we could start actually calculating these
thresholds, and not just come up with arbitrary numbers? Or is there really
no demand for smart and research-based decisions about these thresholds?

[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Archive_129#New_usergroup_with_autopromotion_to_implement_arbitration_%2230-500%22_bans_as_a_page_protection

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[Wikimedia-l] more Planet RSS maintainers wanted

2021-04-16 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hi!

I'm not sure how it happened, but for a while I've been the main maintainer
of the Wikimedia Planet: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Planet_Wikimedia

The Wikimedia Planet is a bunch of RSS feeds that aggregate posts from
various blogs in several languages that are related to Wikimedia in one way
or another. Some people think that RSS is an outdated technology, but there
are also quite a lot of people, including myself, who beg to disagree, and
find RSS readers more convenient and nicely organized for getting news
updates than social networks or algorithmic aggregators. (I used Google
Reader and then I switched to Feedly; there are many other RSS readers.)

It's not so *bad* that I'm the main maintainer because there's very little
work to do and it's actually quite fun. Nevertheless, it's not very good
that I'm practically the only one, because sometimes maintenance requests
can get stuck for months, and there's also that whole notion of [[Bus
factor]].

So, if anyone is interested in joining me in this *very easy and fun*
effort, please just take a look at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Planet_Wikimedia and try addressing the
current requests (there are very few of them). And then check the same page
once a month or so. If you know how to use Git, then you have all the
necessary skills to do it. If you don't know Git, I'll be happy to teach
you the necessary basics—it's not as difficult and scary in 2021 as it was
in 2011. Just contact me off-list.

Thanks :)

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Recognition of the Indic MediaWiki Developers User Group

2020-10-14 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Very cool! Congratulations!

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‫בתאריך יום ד׳, 14 באוק׳ 2020 ב-19:39 מאת ‪Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight‬‏ <‪
rosiestep.w...@gmail.com‬‏>:‬

> Hi everyone!
>
> I'm very happy to announce that the Affiliations Committee has recognized
> [1] Indic MediaWiki Developers User Group [2] as a Wikimedia User Group.
> The group aims to provide technical support to Indic Wikimedia projects and
> community members"; technical support is provided in the areas of
> user-scripts, gadgets, tools, extensions, Lua modules, templates, MediaWiki
> core etc. On-Wiki support is the predominant focus of the group, however,
> outreach activities are also taken up from time to time, such as MediaWiki
> training, mentoring Google Summer of Code students etc.
>
> Please join me in congratulating the members of this new user group!
>
> Regards,
>
> Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight
>
> Chair, Affiliations Committee
>
> [1]  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Indic_MediaWiki_Developers_User_Group
> 
> [2]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliations_Committee/Resolutions/Recognition_of_Indic_MediaWiki_Developers_User_Group
> 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-ambassadors] Translatable modules

2020-09-22 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום ג׳, 22 בספט׳ 2020 ב-19:08 מאת ‪Gerard Meijssen‬‏ <‪
gerard.meijs...@gmail.com‬‏>:‬

> Hoi,
> Would it be considered for projects that are not the initial target to opt
> in.. I expect that particular in the smaller projects this will be really
> welcome and beneficial.
>

The short answer is "yes".

The longer answer is that even though it will be possible, with the current
scope of this project it probably just won't be very useful on sites other
than the multilingual ones, which I mentioned in the first email.

Once this phase is implemented and deployed, it's quite possible that at a
later stage it will be enhanced and become useful for other sites, but
there will be a separate discussion about that.

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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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[Wikimedia-l] Translatable modules

2020-09-22 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hi,

*Crossposting to Wikimedia-L, Wikitech-L, MediaWiki-L, and
Wikitech-Ambassadors. You can reply to the mailing list, but the ideal
place for further discussion is the talk pages of the wiki pages to which I
link below.*

There's a new proposal to localize Lua modules in a more modern, safe, and
convenient manner: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Translatable_modules .

In the foreseeable future it will only affect multilingual sites, such as
Wikidata, Commons, Meta, and mediawiki.org, but at a later time it may also
be deployed on Wikipedias and other projects.

It will be great if experienced module developers could take a look at the
project page, https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Translatable_modules , and its
subpages, especially https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Translatable
modules/Proposed solutions . Your feedback will be very helpful in
implementing this project in a way that really benefits all the editors.

Thanks!

--
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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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[Wikimedia-l] Language showcase, September 2, 2020

2020-08-26 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hello,

This is an announcement about a new installment of the Language Showcase, a
series of presentations about various aspects of language diversity and its
connection to Wikimedia Projects.

This next installment will deal with the Translatable modules project—a
proposal to make a framework that will make the localization of Scribunto
Lua modules as convenient as the localization of MediaWiki and extensions.

Everyone is welcome, especially developers of modules and templates in all
wikis!

This session is going to be broadcast over Zoom, and a recording will be
published for later viewing.

Please read below for the event details, including local time, joining
links and do let us know if you have any questions.

Past Language showcases:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Language_engineering/Showcase

Thank you!

Amir

== Details ==

# Event: Language Showcase #7

# When: September 2, 2020 (Wednesday) at 02:00 PM UTC
check local time:
https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20200902T1400


# Where:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/95167235390


Meeting ID: 951 6723 5390

# Agenda:

Translatable modules project—a proposal to make a framework that will make
the localization of Scribunto Lua modules as convenient as the localization
of MediaWiki and extensions.

--
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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Language showcase, August 2020

2020-08-26 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Sorry, I am feeling very unwell today, and since I am the main presenter
and host of this meeting, I have to reschedule for next week. My apologies
for the late notice. I'll send another email with new details in a minute.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
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‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬


‫בתאריך יום ב׳, 24 באוג׳ 2020 ב-15:55 מאת ‪Amir E. Aharoni‬‏ <‪
amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il‬‏>:‬

> Hello,
>
> This is an announcement about a new installment of the Language Showcase,
> a series of presentations about various aspects of language diversity and
> its connection to Wikimedia Projects.
>
> This next installment will deal with the Translatable modules project—a
> proposal to make a framework that will make the localization of Scribunto
> Lua modules as convenient as the localization of MediaWiki and extensions.
>
> Everyone is welcome, especially developers of modules and templates in all
> wikis!
>
> This session is going to be broadcast over Zoom, and a recording will be
> published for later viewing.
>
> Please read below for the event details, including local time, joining
> links and do let us know if you have any questions.
>
> Past Language showcases:
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Language_engineering/Showcase
>
> Thank you!
>
> Amir
>
> == Details ==
>
> # Event: Language Showcase #7
>
> # When: August 26, 2020 (Wednesday) at 12:00 UTC
> check local time:
> https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20200826T1200
>
> # Where:
>
> Join Zoom Meeting
> https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/96185098382
>
> Meeting ID: 961 8509 8382
>
> # Agenda:
>
> Translatable modules project—a proposal to make a framework that will make
> the localization of Scribunto Lua modules as convenient as the localization
> of MediaWiki and extensions.
>
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[Wikimedia-l] Language showcase, August 2020

2020-08-24 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hello,

This is an announcement about a new installment of the Language Showcase, a
series of presentations about various aspects of language diversity and its
connection to Wikimedia Projects.

This next installment will deal with the Translatable modules project—a
proposal to make a framework that will make the localization of Scribunto
Lua modules as convenient as the localization of MediaWiki and extensions.

Everyone is welcome, especially developers of modules and templates in all
wikis!

This session is going to be broadcast over Zoom, and a recording will be
published for later viewing.

Please read below for the event details, including local time, joining
links and do let us know if you have any questions.

Past Language showcases:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Language_engineering/Showcase

Thank you!

Amir

== Details ==

# Event: Language Showcase #7

# When: August 26, 2020 (Wednesday) at 12:00 UTC
check local time:
https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20200826T1200

# Where:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/96185098382

Meeting ID: 961 8509 8382

# Agenda:

Translatable modules project—a proposal to make a framework that will make
the localization of Scribunto Lua modules as convenient as the localization
of MediaWiki and extensions.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Language Showcase, July 2020

2020-07-22 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום א׳, 19 ביולי 2020 ב-18:47 מאת ‪Jan Ainali‬‏ <‪
ainali@gmail.com‬‏>:‬

> Has this also been announced anywhere on-wiki?
>

Sorry, no, and I guess that it's a bit too late for it now for this edition.

However, I'm happy to publish it on a wiki for the next time. Where would
be a good place?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Mediawiki-i18n] Language Showcase, July 2020

2020-07-22 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
בתאריך יום א׳, 19 ביולי 2020, 15:50, מאת Asaf Bartov ‏:

> Will there be a written summary (of the technical updates, in particular)
> for those who would miss or won't make time for the presentation?
>

I didn't plan to do it, but now that you're asking for it, yeah, I'll
publish it.

The Language team also publishes a monthly report, for example
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Language_engineering/Reports/2020/June
. It usually includes updates about translatewiki and the Translate
extensions, as well as updates about Content Translation and other features
that we maintain.

Finally, as I mentioned, there will also be a recording.
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[Wikimedia-l] Language Showcase, July 2020

2020-07-19 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hello,

This is an announcement about a new installment of the Language Showcase, a
series of presentations about various aspects of language diversity and its
connection to Wikimedia Projects.

This next installment will deal with the translatewiki website, the
Translate extension in general, the latest technical updates in both of
them, and some upcoming projects.

This session is going to be broadcast over Zoom, and a recording will be
published for later viewing.

Please read below for the event details, including local time, joining
links and do let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you!

Amir

== Details ==

# Event: Language Showcase #6

# When: July 22, 2020 (Wednesday) at 13:00 UTC (check local time
https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20200722T1300 )

# Where:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/99585961221

Meeting ID: 995 8596 1221

# Agenda:

The translatewiki website, the Translate extension in general, the latest
technical updates in both of them, and some upcoming projects.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An encyclopedia must be conservative (?)

2020-05-29 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Most people in the world (or at least in the U.S.) use the terms
"conservative" and "progressive" when talking about politics, and associate
them with bundles of viewpoints on society, economics, religion, and so on.
The political aspect is partly relevant to Wikipedia, too, but if we just
take them as words with literal meanings, we'll have to talk about some
other aspects, too. Here are the ones I can think of, in a mostly-random
order:

Aspect1: Fact-checking, trust, and reliability

Fact-checking, trust, and reliability on Wikpiedia should be conservative,
but in a way that is thoughtful and open to challenging itself. It's a
difficult and often overlooked point. In non-wiki encyclopedias the writers
are selected by the publisher: the publisher trusts the writers, and the
readers trust the publisher's brand. I'm intentionally not saying "printed"
or "old" encyclopedias, but "non-wiki" encyclopedias. They are still being
produced, in print and digitally—see my Wikimania 2014 talk[1] for just one
example.

Our wiki model wants to let everyone write, and writers are not pre-vetted,
so our solution for trust is demanding reliable sources, which is why
Wikipedia articles in many languages have a lot of footnotes. Other
encyclopedias usually don't have footnotes, although some do have a
"further reading" or "bibliography" at the end of some articles, but they
are provided for further research and not for proof. The Wikpiedia attitude
to sources, known as "Verifiability" in the English Wikipedia, solidified
around 2005. It makes a lot of sense for a wiki encyclopedia, and it is one
of our cornerstones, at least in the larger languages. (The details of the
policy in each language may be different, but the general idea is the same.
If it's significantly different in your language, please tell me.)

The problem with this attitude is that it outsources trust to other
publishers: non-wiki encyclopedias, academic journals, newspapers and news
sites, and occasionally other sources. The better-known issue with it is
deciding which external sources are reliable. The less-known, but perhaps
even trickier issue is what to do about topics that should be covered in an
encyclopedia, but about which there is no coverage in what Wikipedia
editors would call "reliable sources" because of systemic bias, that is
because the people who are involved with the topic had historically less or
no access to academic publishing? Some people propose relaxing the demand
for external reliable source for such topics, and while I'm totally on
board with the social justice aspect of this attitude, it doesn't suggest a
solution to the trust problem: some people will use it to enrich Wikipedia
with information that can't be found elsewhere, but some people may abuse
it to add made up stuff.

I have a proposed solution for this problem, and although some people would
disagree, I call it conservative: Keep the demand for verifiability, and
help people who have been historically disadvantaged get access to trusted
academic institutions and conduct and publish their research outside of
Wikipedia first. The WMF and its partners can do it. It's not easy, but I
just don't see any other solution to the trust issue. I call this attitude
"conservative" because I want to preserve the trust in external knowledge
institutions, and keep the "outsourcing". It's not exactly what the current
strategy recommendation[2] says, and I respectfully doubt that that
recommendation is going to work.

Aspect 2: Technology

Should be reasonably progressive, of course, in the sense of using
reasonably modern design principles and implementations. We are outdated in
some ways: talk pages are a disaster, the jQuery JavaScript framework is
quite old (and is being gradually replaced), many templates are too
difficult to maintain, code review and feature deployment are not as robust
as they should be, and there are many other issues.

We shouldn't be *too* progressive, though: we should not jump on every
buzzword bandwagon and not to change design concepts and development
frameworks every year, as some sites do. It's probably good that we are not
jumping on the blockchain bandwagon at all, and that we are jumping on the
artificial "intelligence" bandwagon in a careful and measured way (ORES is
helpful, but keeps the human decision in the loop).

Talk pages are a particularly curious kind of disaster. Many Wikipedians
tend to be very conservative about them and don't want any technology
changes in them, but talk pages are not a continuation of any previous
tradition of encyclopedic writing or of Internet culture—they are
Wikipedia's own invention. Is it good that the community, or at least some
parts of it, is so conservative about it? Not really, and it causes serious
damage as time goes by, but arguing with these passionate people is
challenging.

Aspect 3: Presentation style

Should be conservative in the sense of continuing a centuries-old tradition
of writing 

[Wikimedia-l] Language Showcase, May 2020

2020-05-25 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hello,

This is an announcement about a new installment of the Language Showcase, a
series of presentations about various aspects of language diversity and its
connection to Wikimedia Projects.

This new installment will deal with the latest design research about the
upcoming section translation feature for Content Translation.

This session is going to be broadcast over Zoom, and a recording will be
published for later viewing. You can also participate in the conversation
on IRC or with us on the Zoom meeting.

Please read below for the event details, including local time, joining
links and do let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you!

Amir

== Details ==

# Event: Language Showcase #5

# When: May 27, 2020 (Wednesday) at 13:00 UTC (check local time
https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20200527T1300 )

# Where:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/9708103

Meeting ID: 970 8103 

IRC - #wikimedia-office (on Freenode)

# Agenda:

The latest design research about the upcoming section translation feature
for Content Translation.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Що робить вас щасливими цього тижня? / What's making you happy this week? (Week of 5 April 2020)

2020-04-15 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Two things!

1. Each of the last three weeks were the best ever for the Content
Translation extension. The usual number is between 2000 and 4000 per week,
and before March 2020, there was only one week with more than 5000 articles
published. In each of the last three weeks more than 5000 articles were
published, and this, of course, is awesome. I'm not sure what is the reason
for the surge—the pandemic, or some article writing contest, or something
else. As far as I can tell, the rise in the number of translations does not
cause more spam, vandalism, or bad translations, but I cannot check
thousands of translated articles in dozens of languages, so if anyone can
check whether the quality of the published articles is good, too, I'll be
happy to know more. You can see more numbers here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:ContentTranslationStats

2. Denny's Wikilambda proposal. It will be challenging to implement, but it
makes a lot of sense. Denny has been pitching it for some time, and the
latest paper published at http://wikilambda.org/ is the most detailed yet.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬


‫בתאריך יום ד׳, 15 באפר׳ 2020 ב-9:38 מאת ‪Pine W‬‏ <‪wiki.p...@gmail.com
‬‏>:‬

> * Preface *
>
> Hello,
>
> I regret that I need to start this email by communicating that
> Clovermoss is on an unplanned absence. [1] I hoped that she would
> return by now and that she would send this email.
>
> I think that one WMYHTW thread is enough for one week, so I will not
> start a thread for the week of 12 April.
>
> The main content for this email is adapted from Clovermoss, and the
> text is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0
> Unported License. [2]
>
>
> * Main content *
>
> I realize that this week has been difficult for many around the world.
> I have mentioned this in previous weeks, but I think it's vital to
> express my sympathies each and every time. A pandemic like this has
> global ramifications, and I think it's important to recognize that for
> a lot of people, this week could have been one filled with hardship.
> There are people who have been laid off from their jobs, parents who
> are doing their best to take care of their children, students who have
> had to start taking classes online, and an endless amount of other
> unique situations.
>
> This week, some important milestones have been reached across the
> Wikimedia Movement. The Ukrainian Wikipedia [3] has reached the 1
> million article milestone. That's a huge milestone to reach, so I wish
> to congratulate everyone who contributes there! I asked Ата, an active
> contributor to the Ukrainian Wikipedia, about how this milestone
> affects the project. [4] I found her response insightful, and I am
> thankful for it.
>
> In addition, the The Wikimedia Community of the Kazakh language User
> Group has officially been recognized by the Affiliations Commitee. For
> more information, see [5] and [6].
>
> I have also discovered inspiring off-wiki initiatives, such as the
> Mozilla Open Source Support Team (abbreviated as MOSS) launching a
> COVID-19 Solutions Fund. Awards of up to $50,000 are being offered to
> open source technology projects. [7]
>
>
> * Closing comments *
>
> Translations of the subject line of this email would be appreciated on
> Meta. [8] Thanks to User:Ата [9] for the Ukranian translation.
>
> What’s making you happy this week? You are welcome to write in any
> language. You are also welcome to start a WMYHTW thread next week.
>
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
>
> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Clovermoss
> [2]
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_License
> [3] https://uk.wikipedia.org/
> [4]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:%D0%90%D1%82%D0%B0=prev=19952931
> [5]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliations_Committee/Resolutions/Recognition_of_Wikimedia_Community_of_Kazakh_language_User_Group
> [6]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Community_of_Kazakh_language_User_Group
> [7]
> https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2020/03/31/moss-launches-covid-19-solutions-fund/
> [8] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine/WMYHTW_translations
> [9] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:%D0%90%D1%82%D0%B0
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message to readers from the Wikimedia Foundation regarding COVID-19

2020-03-19 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Perfect, thanks! The plural was indeed part of the confusion :)

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬


‫בתאריך יום ה׳, 19 במרץ 2020 ב-23:26 מאת ‪Joseph Seddon‬‏ <‪
jsed...@wikimedia.org‬‏>:‬

> The latter I believe to be the most applicable, I have dropped the "plural"
> which does more imply the former in english.
>
> Thanks
> Seddon
>
> On Thu, Mar 19, 2020 at 9:13 PM Amir E. Aharoni <
> amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
>
> > Hi!
> >
> > Thanks for the invitation.
> >
> > In the part that says "We are proving that, even in a time of social
> > distancing, we can celebrate our human bond by coming together online to
> > share our knowledge and experiences.", the word "experiences" - is it
> more
> > like "life experiences, such as travel, raising kids, etc.", or more like
> > "knowledge acquired from practical work"? The translation would be
> > different in the languages I know.
> >
> > --
> > Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> > http://aharoni.wordpress.com
> > ‪“We're living in pieces,
> > I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
> >
> >
> > ‫בתאריך יום ה׳, 19 במרץ 2020 ב-22:27 מאת ‪Joseph Seddon‬‏ <‪
> > jsed...@wikimedia.org‬‏>:‬
> >
> > > Dear list,
> > >
> > > Given the unfolding global events, the Wikimedia Foundations feels it
> is
> > > important to reassure readers across the globe.
> > >
> > > We'll be displaying a short message at the top of the projects
> > reaffirming
> > > our commitment to keep Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects online,
> open
> > > and free for all. Readers often turn to Wikipedia for neutral
> information
> > > in times of stress. This is a critical moment for students who can't go
> > to
> > > school, people who have to stay home with their families, and anyone
> who
> > > needs a trusted source of unbiased information.
> > >
> > > We also want to take a moment to acknowledge the invaluable work of all
> > the
> > > medical contributors on Wikipedia. Thank you for keeping a close watch
> > and
> > > keeping misinformation at bay. Coronavirus topics have received tens of
> > > thousands of edits by thousands of editors since the start of the
> > pandemic.
> > > The article has been read more than 30 million times, in English alone.
> > >
> > > The message will be displayed just once to readers, and you can preview
> > the
> > > banner [1]. The draft is in English but we want this message to be
> > > multilingual. If you have a moment, please help translate this banner
> > into
> > > your language [2]. Thank you all, for your work and efforts.
> > >
> > > Stay safe, and wash your hands!
> > >
> > > --
> > > Seddon
> > >
> > > [1] - Banner Preview:
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA?banner=programmatic_mlWW_rsp_covid19=1=US
> > >
> > >
> > > [2] - Translate link:
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Translate=Centralnotice-tgroup-Programmatic_translations_2020=view=%21translated=translate
> > > ___
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> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> > ___
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> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
> --
> Seddon
>
> *Community and Audience Engagement Associate*
> *Advancement (Fundraising), Wikimedia Foundation*
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Message to readers from the Wikimedia Foundation regarding COVID-19

2020-03-19 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hi!

Thanks for the invitation.

In the part that says "We are proving that, even in a time of social
distancing, we can celebrate our human bond by coming together online to
share our knowledge and experiences.", the word "experiences" - is it more
like "life experiences, such as travel, raising kids, etc.", or more like
"knowledge acquired from practical work"? The translation would be
different in the languages I know.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬


‫בתאריך יום ה׳, 19 במרץ 2020 ב-22:27 מאת ‪Joseph Seddon‬‏ <‪
jsed...@wikimedia.org‬‏>:‬

> Dear list,
>
> Given the unfolding global events, the Wikimedia Foundations feels it is
> important to reassure readers across the globe.
>
> We'll be displaying a short message at the top of the projects reaffirming
> our commitment to keep Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects online, open
> and free for all. Readers often turn to Wikipedia for neutral information
> in times of stress. This is a critical moment for students who can't go to
> school, people who have to stay home with their families, and anyone who
> needs a trusted source of unbiased information.
>
> We also want to take a moment to acknowledge the invaluable work of all the
> medical contributors on Wikipedia. Thank you for keeping a close watch and
> keeping misinformation at bay. Coronavirus topics have received tens of
> thousands of edits by thousands of editors since the start of the pandemic.
> The article has been read more than 30 million times, in English alone.
>
> The message will be displayed just once to readers, and you can preview the
> banner [1]. The draft is in English but we want this message to be
> multilingual. If you have a moment, please help translate this banner into
> your language [2]. Thank you all, for your work and efforts.
>
> Stay safe, and wash your hands!
>
> --
> Seddon
>
> [1] - Banner Preview:
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA?banner=programmatic_mlWW_rsp_covid19=1=US
>
>
> [2] - Translate link:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Translate=Centralnotice-tgroup-Programmatic_translations_2020=view=%21translated=translate
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Was macht dich diese Woche glücklich? / What's making you happy this week? (Week of 29 Dec 2019)

2020-01-02 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬


‫בתאריך יום ד׳, 1 בינו׳ 2020 ב-18:10 מאת ‪Aron Manning‬‏ <‪
aronmanni...@gmail.com‬‏>:‬

> On Wed, 1 Jan 2020 at 12:23, Amir E. Aharoni  >
> wrote:
>
> > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Global_templates/Proposed_specification
> >
>
> That's very serious work, Amir, thank you for investing all the effort!
>

Thank you! :)

There are great points in the rest of your email. Can you please bring them
up at
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Global_templates/Proposed_specification
? I don't want to go too off-topic here :)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Was macht dich diese Woche glücklich? / What's making you happy this week? (Week of 29 Dec 2019)

2020-01-01 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
בתאריך יום ד׳, 1 בינו׳ 2020, 03:46, מאת RhinosF1 - ‏:

> Hi Amir,
>
> Two points to make to you:
>
> A) Infoboxes can be standardized but the extension for it hasn’t yet been
> deployed [
> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T176793]
>

If it gets deployed, I'll be very happy!


> B) Global templates is a great idea. It’s done by Miraheze in a sketchy way
> but I’ll explain it.
> - create a template wiki
> - setup an interwiki with transclude set to on
> - set $wgEnableScaryTranscluding to true
> - place {{raw:Interwiki:Template Name}} where you want to use it.
>

Thanks! Can you please bring this up at
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Global_templates/Proposed_specification
?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Was macht dich diese Woche glücklich? / What's making you happy this week? (Week of 29 Dec 2019)

2019-12-31 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
I wrote a proposal to make it possible for templates on Wikimedia sites to
be global. It's not a new idea; in fact, it has been requested since 2004,
which, if I'm not mistaken, is also the year that templates became
available in the first place. But I do think that my proposal to make the
global is the most detailed ever.

Now, what makes me happy this week is that the short version of this
proposal is now available in 12 languages, including the six official
languages of the United Nations, which is nicely symbolic:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Global_templates/Proposed_specification,_short_version

Even though I wrote most of the original text, I really, really want this
idea to be "owned" by the whole Wikimedia community and just by myself, so
I'm glad that people are helping with translations, corrections, and
comments, including negative comments. It is an important thing, and the
more people participate in it, the better.

Happy new year! Let's make 2020 the year in which the first global modules
will finally start appearing, and make the development of various community
tools easier and more efficient for everyone. Cheers!

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬


‫בתאריך יום ג׳, 31 בדצמ׳ 2019 ב-8:04 מאת ‪Pine W‬‏ <‪wiki.p...@gmail.com
‬‏>:‬

>  Hello colleagues,
>
> Please allow me to introduce User:Clovermoss
> . She volunteered to
> collaborate with me on writing this and future issues of *What's Making You
> Happy this Week?* and *The Signpost*'s "On the bright side".
>
> Clovermoss is from Canada. She registered on English Wikipedia in September
> 2018, and she is a graduate of User:Nick Moyes
> ' adoption program
> . She recently made
> her 4,000th contribution.
>
> Please treat Clovermoss as you would like to have been treated when you
> were new here.
>
>
> *From Clovermoss*:
>
> This week, I'm thankful that I am going to start collaborating with Pine
>  for *On The Bright Side*. I have
> been a fan of this *Signpost* feature for a long time and I'm excited to
> help make it happen. I'm also thankful for this photo
> <
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fall%C3%A4tsche_South_Moss_in_Autumn.jpg
> >.
> I find that photographs of nature have a tendency to appeal to me, and I
> think that this one is stunning. I like moss for its unique texture and
> just for being something that exists. I adore the leaves that can be seen
> every autumn where I live, and I miss seeing them everywhere I go. However,
> I'm also thankful for the comforting aspects of winter: hot chocolate,
> candy canes, and the warmth at home.
>
>
> *From Pine*:
>
> I am grateful to Clovermoss for agreeing to collaborate. I think that
> readers will appreciate seeing a new perspective and a new writing style.
> Also, because I will spend less time writing *WMYHTW*, I think that I will
> be able to spend a little more time on the pilot phase of NavWiki
> . NavWiki is progressing
> slowly but well.
>
> The topic of writing reminds me of a video clip from *Star Trek: The Next
> Generation  >*.
> In this scene, Captain Jean-Luc Picard
>  receives a visit from the
> alien "Q". Q is powerful and unpredictable. Here, he offers to help Picard
> with drafting a speech (Youtube link)
> .
>
> Finally, some thoughts about listening
> . Listening can be done casually,
> aggressively, carefully, poorly, well, and any number of other ways.
> Clovermoss appears to invest a lot of time and effort in listening. Captain
> Picard did too. The actor who portrayed Picard, Patrick Stewart
> , stated:
> <
> https://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2019/07/everything-you-need-to-know-about-sir-patrick-stewarts-jean-luc-picard
> >
>
> "One of the things that I’ve come to understand is that as I talk a lot
> about Picard, what I find is I’m talking about myself. There was a sort of
> double action that occurred. In one sense Picard was expanding like this
> and at the same time he was also growing closer and closer to me as well
> and in some respect I suppose even had some influence on me. I became a
> better listener than I ever had been as a result of playing Jean-Luc Picard
> because it was one of the things that he does terrifically well."
>
>
> *Closing comments*
>
> What’s making you happy this week? You are welcome to write in any
> language. You are also welcome to start a WMYHTW thread next week.
>
> Additional translations of the subject line of this email would be
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] default import sources

2019-12-22 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום א׳, 22 בדצמ׳ 2019 ב-13:31 מאת ‪Andy Mabbett‬‏ <‪
a...@pigsonthewing.org.uk‬‏>:‬

> On Sun, 22 Dec 2019 at 06:19, effe iets anders 
> wrote:
>
> > I remember bringing this up several years ago at Dutch Wikipedia, and
> from
> > what I recall, there were people that don't want the import function to
> be
> > active on their wiki for more fundamental reasons (they don't want old
> > versions to exist that were not created on their own wiki).
>
> Does that mean that they don't want to give proper attribution when
> they use others' work?
>
>
Some people in several Wikimedia wikis think that importing versions is
necessary for attribution for legal reasons. As far as I know, it isn't. I
don't know what is the origin of this idea. I never saw a legal text that
require this. The Wikimedia Terms of Use say that a hyperlink to the
original in the edit summary is sufficient.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] default import sources

2019-12-21 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום א׳, 22 בדצמ׳ 2019 ב-8:20 מאת ‪effe iets anders‬‏ <‪
effeietsand...@gmail.com‬‏>:‬

> I remember bringing this up several years ago at Dutch Wikipedia, and from
> what I recall, there were people that don't want the import function to be
> active on their wiki for more fundamental reasons (they don't want old
> versions to exist that were not created on their own wiki).
>

Not a problem. If a community wants to disable the import function, it will
be possible to do this when a default is defined.


> It sounds like you want to do this as a workaround for poor access to
> documentation (it's hard for people to figure out how the function works
> and how to request stuff) - is that correct?


Not quite. I don't want to make the search for documentation easier. The
best software features are not those for which documentation is good, but
those for which documentation is unnecessary. So I want to make the search
for documentation as unnecessary as possible by making a default that will
provide most wikis' needs without even having to ask.

This feature is not only a matter of reading and applying documentation,
but also the need to write code and waiting for it to be deployed, being
dependent on far-away system administrators. This also should be as
unnecessary as possible.

The import function is mostly needed these days by smaller wikis that want
to import templates and documentation pages, and not for importing old
versions of pages. Every new small wiki that discovers this has to go
through this step of searching for documentation, and asking for
configuration changes. If there were some defaults, it wouldn't be
necessary.

(And when templates will be global, there will be even less need for
importing, but there's some time until that happens...)
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[Wikimedia-l] default import sources

2019-12-21 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hi,

One of these oddly-working features of MediaWiki is import sources: from
which wikis can you import content into your wiki.

The default is none. Nevertheless, a lot of wikis in all kinds of languages
do want to import from other wikis, which makes a lot of sense. You can see
the full list here:
https://noc.wikimedia.org/conf/highlight.php?file=InitialiseSettings.php

(This page is huge; search for wgImportSources.)

Since there is no default, every new wiki has to create its own entry
there. It's not a part of the usual wiki creation process (
https://wikitech.wikimedia.org/wiki/Add_a_wiki ), so people only notice
this when they try to import something and nothing works, at which point
they often aren't sure who should they ask to fix this.

Does anyone object to having some sensible default for this, so that at
least something will work when people try to import?

Taking the most common sources listed in the file above looks like a good
starting point.

I proposed this almost a year ago (
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T214139 ), but the commetns there suggest
that a wider consensus is needed, so here I am.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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[Wikimedia-l] Language Showcase, December 2019

2019-12-17 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hello,

This is an announcement about a new installment of the Language Showcase, a
series of presentations about various aspects of language diversity and its
connection to Wikimedia Projects.

This new installment will deal with the research about section translation
and upcoming improvements in mobile devices support for Content Translation.

This session is going to be broadcast over Zoom, and a recording will be
published for later viewing. You can also participate in the conversation
on IRC or with us on the Zoom meeting.

Please read below for the event details, including local time, joining
links and do let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you!

Amir

== Details ==

# Event: Language Showcase #4

# When: December 18, 2019 (Wednesday) at 13:00 UTC (check local time
https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20191218T1300)

# Where:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/736193097

Meeting ID: 736 193 097

IRC - #wikimedia-office (on Freenode)

# Agenda:

Research about section translation and upcoming improvements in mobile
devices support for Content Translation.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The wikisites looks like 1996

2019-12-14 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Yes, and that's why I really, really, really want to hear more feedback on
it from various communities of editors, including criticism. That's also
why in my proposal I write that it's a requirement that communities must be
able to override any central functionality, and I only speak about the
generic principle of making templates global, mentioning particular
templates only as examples. I leave everything else to the communities.

The parts about which I wrote that they will have to be done mostly by
staff are the parts that require heavy PHP coding, code review, and
testing, and as far as I know, most of the people who know the relevant
areas of code well are on staff. (I might be wrong. Also, everything I'm saying
here are my own assessments, and they don't represent the WMF in any way.)

However, the more volunteer developers and editors participate in it, the
better—not because it saves money, but because it makes the project more
"owned" by the community.


בתאריך שבת, 14 בדצמ׳ 2019, 09:12, מאת John Erling Blad ‏:

> I get a little scared when I read “probably, but not necessarily,
> mostly by staff” because all kind of central standardization creates a
> whole lot of arguing in the individual subprojects. If that
> standardization means changing a whole lot of templates I'm afraid it
> will create much more fighting than real solutions. I'm a little
> “Marvin” here…
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 10:14 AM Amir E. Aharoni
>  wrote:
> >
> > ‫בתאריך יום ה׳, 12 בדצמ׳ 2019 ב-23:37 מאת ‪Pine W‬‏ <‪
> wiki.p...@gmail.com
> > ‬‏>:‬
> >
> > > I'm thinking out loud here. Are there any estimates of would be
> required in
> > > terms of time (both staff time and community time) and money to make
> > > templates and other tools be much easier to globalize across wikis and
> > > across skins? I'm looking for an answer that is more specific than "a
> lot",
> > > but isn't a promise or a detailed estimate.
> > >
> >
> > Difficult to say.
> >
> > I won't make an actual time estimation, because I'm very bad at doing it,
> > and because I have too many conflicts of interest ;)
> >
> > However, I do hope to give you something more specific than "a lot". I
> > envision the following feasible plan for "global modules and templates,
> > phase 1":
> > * Make a localization framework for modules. (
> > https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T238417 ; probably, but not
> necessarily,
> > mostly by staff)
> > * Develop a documentation page and a framework for making robust modules
> (
> > https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T238532 ; probably, but not
> necessarily,
> > mostly by staff).
> > * Make modules storable and loadable from a global repository, and
> > *actually enable it on all Wikimedia projects* (
> > https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T41610 ; probably, but not
> necessarily,
> > mostly by staff).
> > * Migrate most local modules from all the wikis to using global modules,
> > and deleting all the migrated local modules. This will have to be done by
> > the editors communities in many wikis, and it will only be feasible if
> all
> > the points above are planned and executed well. The challenges I expect
> at
> > this step are:
> > ** Making sure that just the right amount of things are global and
> > everything that communities want to override locally can be conveniently
> > overridden.
> > ** Making tough choices about which modules to use when several
> communities
> > developed modules with similar functionality. For example: English,
> French,
> > Russian, Spanish, and Hebrew Wikipedias have modules for loading Wikidata
> > values. They aren't the same, but they probably should be. Merging them
> > into a global module will require a lot of good-faith collaboration.
> >
> > Note that I only mentioned modules. Templates have some extra challenges.
> > But once modules are done well, a "phase 2" of this project, that would
> > tackle templates, will become possible. Also, global gadgets will have to
> > be a separate project. Maybe the same localization framework can be used
> > for both modules and gadgets, but I cannot think of anything else that
> they
> > really have in common.
> >
> > All of the above is my interpretation of discussions in the recent Tech
> > Conf in Atlanta (other people may have a significantly different
> > interpretation). See these Phab tasks, and the web of other tasks linked
> to
> > them:
> > https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T234661
> > https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T52329
> > _

Re: [Wikimedia-l] The wikisites looks like 1996

2019-12-13 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום ה׳, 12 בדצמ׳ 2019 ב-23:37 מאת ‪Pine W‬‏ <‪wiki.p...@gmail.com
‬‏>:‬

> I'm thinking out loud here. Are there any estimates of would be required in
> terms of time (both staff time and community time) and money to make
> templates and other tools be much easier to globalize across wikis and
> across skins? I'm looking for an answer that is more specific than "a lot",
> but isn't a promise or a detailed estimate.
>

Difficult to say.

I won't make an actual time estimation, because I'm very bad at doing it,
and because I have too many conflicts of interest ;)

However, I do hope to give you something more specific than "a lot". I
envision the following feasible plan for "global modules and templates,
phase 1":
* Make a localization framework for modules. (
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T238417 ; probably, but not necessarily,
mostly by staff)
* Develop a documentation page and a framework for making robust modules (
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T238532 ; probably, but not necessarily,
mostly by staff).
* Make modules storable and loadable from a global repository, and
*actually enable it on all Wikimedia projects* (
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T41610 ; probably, but not necessarily,
mostly by staff).
* Migrate most local modules from all the wikis to using global modules,
and deleting all the migrated local modules. This will have to be done by
the editors communities in many wikis, and it will only be feasible if all
the points above are planned and executed well. The challenges I expect at
this step are:
** Making sure that just the right amount of things are global and
everything that communities want to override locally can be conveniently
overridden.
** Making tough choices about which modules to use when several communities
developed modules with similar functionality. For example: English, French,
Russian, Spanish, and Hebrew Wikipedias have modules for loading Wikidata
values. They aren't the same, but they probably should be. Merging them
into a global module will require a lot of good-faith collaboration.

Note that I only mentioned modules. Templates have some extra challenges.
But once modules are done well, a "phase 2" of this project, that would
tackle templates, will become possible. Also, global gadgets will have to
be a separate project. Maybe the same localization framework can be used
for both modules and gadgets, but I cannot think of anything else that they
really have in common.

All of the above is my interpretation of discussions in the recent Tech
Conf in Atlanta (other people may have a significantly different
interpretation). See these Phab tasks, and the web of other tasks linked to
them:
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T234661
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T52329
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The wikisites looks like 1996

2019-12-13 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום ו׳, 13 בדצמ׳ 2019 ב-2:13 מאת ‪Nick Wilson (Quiddity)‬‏ <‪
nwil...@wikimedia.org‬‏>:‬

> On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 5:26 PM Strainu  wrote:
>
> > The main problem I see with that is that is changing all the on-wiki
> > templates and scripts that work with the current skin. There is also a
> > question of opportunity: with less and less desktop users, it just
> > makes more sense to invest in the mobile experience (and the beta mode
> > there is super cool, but still breaks some templates).
>
>
> Templates that still have problems on mobile at some wikis, can usually be
> fixed with the assistance of this page (especially section #12)
>
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Recommendations_for_mobile_friendly_articles_on_Wikimedia_wikis
> -- I'll be sending a reminder to a few VillagePumps about this in the next
> few weeks.
>

The instructions on this page are probably correct, but the practical
problem with this attitude is that to actually get it to work, it has to be
discovered, read, understood, and acted upon by people from 900 wikis, and
much less than half of these wikis have people who have the necessary
programming skills to do all of this. And, as you say, you need to say
reminders.

This is different from extensions, which are developed once and used
everywhere. The only thing that needs to be done to make them fully usable
is translating them, which is a reasonable thing to request. Some
extensions, such as Citoid and Wikilove, do need local adaptations to
actually be useful, but these are exceptions that prove the rule: it would
be better if these local adaptations weren't needed.

That's why templates need to be global, so that there will be a repository
of templates that are written once and usable everywhere. (Some templates
should be converted to extensions, but it's far from feasible to do it with
all templates.)

One crucial thing that makes templates (and gadgets) relevant to any major
redesign project is that the designers and the developers who will work on
it should themselves be accustomed to seeing them in the content or next to
it, or at least to have a way to experience them easily in a language they
know. This is possible to do in a scalable way only if they are global.
(Some people assume that all templates are available in English, but it's
very, very far from being true. The innovation in templates in Russian,
French, Hebrew, Persian, and many other languages is amazing and mostly
unknown to English-only Wikipedians. But that's a topic for a different
thread. Maybe I'll start a series of blog posts titled "non-English
Wikipedia template of the week"?)

Gadgets/scripts sometimes work as expected across different skins, and
> sometimes not. That's a very different and distinct problem from templates.
>

Indeed. It's tempting to think that global templates and global gadgets are
the same project, but they aren't.

I focus my efforts on promoting the idea of the necessity of global
templates and modules, which are also distinct from each other, but much
more closely related. Gadgets should be global, too, however.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The wikisites looks like 1996

2019-12-12 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום ה׳, 12 בדצמ׳ 2019 ב-16:54 מאת ‪Samuel Klein‬‏ <‪
meta...@gmail.com‬‏>:‬

> Nice find, thanks for sharing!
>
> Amir: yes, we need global templates -- a framework for them and incremental
> way editors and tools can migrate to that.  What's the latest overview of
> where that work sits?   What can we all do to help?
>

... Oh, and as for the "overview of where that work sits"—this work doesn't
exist as an official project of any kind, as the pages to which I linked
explain. It needs a commitment from a lot of community members and
Foundation teams and managers. At a recent Wikimedia Tech Conference in
Atlanta there were some very good discussions about this topic, and the
Phabricator links that appear throughout
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Global_templates/Proposed_specification are
the result of these discussions, but that's just a high-level plan. It's
better than what we had two months ago because it's a more modular plan
now, but it's still just a theoretical plan. What is to be done is quite
well-understood, but who will do it and when—not so much.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The wikisites looks like 1996

2019-12-12 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום ה׳, 12 בדצמ׳ 2019 ב-16:54 מאת ‪Samuel Klein‬‏ <‪
meta...@gmail.com‬‏>:‬

> Nice find, thanks for sharing!
>
> Amir: yes, we need global templates -- a framework for them and incremental
> way editors and tools can migrate to that.  What's the latest overview of
> where that work sits?   What can we all do to help?
>

Thanks :)

If you have time, read
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Global_templates/Proposed_specification and
feel very free to *disagree* with it. I wrote most of it, but I don't want
to own it. Poke holes in it. Challenge its assumptions. Tell me where is it
wrong, why it cannot be implemented, or what problems will it cause if it
is implemented.
If you have less time, read
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Global_templates/Proposed_specification,_short_version
.
Add your comments on https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Global_templates/Discuss
.
Tell your friends from all wikis and languages about it.

No, this is obviously not the only thing that will make our sites' design
modern. But of all the blockers, this one is the most important elephant in
the room. Without addressing this problem, there will be no revolution in
our design. At least not for all wikis and all users. I can explain why,
but I don't want to hijack the thread too much.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The wikisites looks like 1996

2019-12-11 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום ה׳, 12 בדצמ׳ 2019 ב-3:27 מאת ‪Strainu‬‏ <‪strain...@gmail.com
‬‏>:‬

> În joi, 12 dec. 2019 la 00:21, Amir Sarabadani  a
> scris:
> >
> > Do you know about
> > https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Reading/Web/Desktop_Improvements ?
>
> Those are all evolutions, I think the question here was about a revolution.
>
> The main problem I see with that is that is changing all the on-wiki
> templates and scripts that work with the current skin.


Indeed, this is the biggest reason.

And it would be about 900 times more manageable if they weren't different
in every wiki as they are now. If any big rewrite is done in the design,
the templates and the gadgets will have to be massively updated in any
case. This design will be designed and implemented once, in core MediaWiki
or in an extension. The question is—will the templates and the gadgets have
to be updated 900 times, on every wiki, or just once.

It must become possible to store templates, modules, and gadgets in a
global wiki. Not all of them have to be global, because some are unique to
a certain wiki. But most can be shared. The work on this can start already
now, so that when a big redesign comes—and surely it will come one fine
day—most templates and gadgets will have to be only once.

A good place to agree or to disagree with this is
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Global_templates


> There is also a
> question of opportunity: with less and less desktop users, it just
> makes more sense to invest in the mobile experience (and the beta mode
> there is super cool, but still breaks some templates).


The tragic thing here is that reading is increasingly done on mobile
devices, and in some countries it's already the majority of pageviews. But
editing is mostly done on the desktop, which looks completely differently.
So editors don't even see a preview of how what they write will look for
*most* readers.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Brief request for advice about "What's making you happy this week?"

2019-11-25 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
I have similar thoughts.

I find the "What makes you happy" emails generally nice and useful and
occasionally I reply. But the opening emails are often too long, and have
too many sections and links, which make it hard to read.

The title "What makes you happy" implies something that is unique for every
week, so it should have fewer repetitive sections.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬


‫בתאריך יום ב׳, 25 בנוב׳ 2019 ב-10:33 מאת ‪Diane Ranville‬‏ <‪
dranville-...@wikimedia.org‬‏>:‬

> Hi Pine,
>
> Personally, the reason I don't answer to WMYHTW? is that - to be honest - I
> actually find it too long and visually unappealing (too many links, looks
> very technical) so I read the first few lines, then I skip and go to the
> next email. I really like the idea though, and when I have time, I click a
> few links, but indeed it doesn't prompts me to answer because, well... it
> looks more like a newsletter than an actual call for conversation.
>
> Maybe this would have more success with a shorter format, maybe including
> images directly inside text. You could also try cross-posting it to
> Wikimedia Space, where engagement is less intimidating because it looks
> more like social media (you can "like", comment, etc). It makes me think
> about this post
> <
> https://discuss-space.wmflabs.org/t/what-was-your-first-commons-contribution/2021
> >,
> which triggered quite a few answers.
>
> Hope this helps!
> Best,
> Diane
>
>
> On Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 9:36 AM Pine W  wrote:
>
> > Hello colleagues,
> >
> > I would like to ask for your advice about one issue with the "What's
> making
> > you happy this week?" emails.
> >
> > I was hoping that people would frequently comment in the email threads
> > and/or on the talk pages of WMYHTW publications in *The Signpost* to
> share
> > what is making them happy, in the Wikiverse or elsewhere. However,
> comments
> > are somewhat rare.
> >
> > I am concerned that some people may feel too intimidated to comment.
> >
> > I understand that communicating in public requires courage, but I believe
> > that people who try to be respectful will have their comments received
> well
> > by the community if they comment in these threads. Perfection is not a
> > requirement for WMYHTW.
> >
> > Also, I think that public communication becomes easier with practice, and
> > these threads would be good places for people who want to become more
> > experienced with public communication on Wikimedia-l to practice.
> >
> > Is there something else that you think could be done to facilitate
> > participation in WMYHTW? I would appreciate your advice and input.
> >
> > Thank you,
> >
> > Pine
> > ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> > ___
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> > 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What's making you happy this week? (Week of 10 November 2019) / ߡߎ߲߬ ߞߵߌ ߟߊ߫ ߛߍߥߊ߫ ߞߎ߲߬ߢߐ߮ ߣߌ߲߬ ߞߘߐ߫؟

2019-11-11 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
No need to apologize: I speak a right-to-left language myself, and I fixed
a few RTL bugs in MediaWiki, and I confirm that the original subject line
is OK :)

I'll use the opportunity to also thank the excellent N'Ko Wikipedians, who
are doing exceptional work to develop their language online!

בתאריך יום ב׳, 11 בנוב׳ 2019, 13:04, מאת Pine W ‏:

> I thought that I had checked everything enough times, but my attempt to
> copy the N'Ko language translation didn't work as intended. N'Ko appears to
> be a right-to-left language, and Google Mail has problems when I try to
> write both RTL and LTR languages in the same email subject line or same
> email paragraph. (See
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writing_system#Directionality.) Sorry about
> that. Let's see if this comes across correctly: "ߡߎ߲߬ ߞߵߌ ߟߊ߫ ߛߍߥߊ߫ ߞߎ߲߬ߢߐ߮
> ߣߌ߲߬ ߞߘߐ߫؟".
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
>
>
> On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 3:52 PM Pine W  wrote:
>
> > *New Wikimedia affiliates*
> >
> > * Wikipedians of North Caucasus User Group
> > <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedians_of_North_Caucasus_User_Group>
> > * Wikimedians of Mali User Group
> > 
> >
> >
> > *Wiki Loves Monuments national winners*
> >
> > Some of the national winners of the annual Wiki Loves Monuments
> > competition that have been added to this page
> > .
> > More will be coming.
> >
> > 1. Albania:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kalaja_e_Gjirokastr%C3%AB_s.jpg
> > 2. Armenia: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IMG_-Areni2.jpg
> > 3. Australia:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Heavy_Machine_Shop.jpg
> > 4. Azerbaijan:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KalahanaMausoleums_004_2801.jpg
> > 5. Bangladesh:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paharpur_Buddhist_Bihar.jpg
> > 6. Bolivia:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cerro_Rico_con_un_nevado.jpg
> > 7. Brazil:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beautiful_Sunset_in_Lapa_1.jpg
> > 8. Canada:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cape_Tryon_Lighthouse.jpg
> > 9. Croatia:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dvor_Veliki_Tabor_full.jpg
> > 10. Denmark:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Langdyssen_ved_Toftebjerg.jpg
> > 11. France:
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anciennes_Glaci%C3%A8res_de_Strasbourg_5712.jpg
> > 12. Germany:
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wendeltreppe_im_Deutschordensschloss_Bad_Mergentheim.jpg
> > 13. Greece:
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%CE%91%CE%BA%CE%B1%CE%B4%CE%B7%CE%BC%CE%AF%CE%B1_%CE%91%CE%B8%CE%B7%CE%BD%CF%8E%CE%BD,%CF%80%CF%81%CF%8C%CF%80%CF%85%CE%BB%CE%BF.jpg
> > 14. India:
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aguada_Fort_Top_View,_North_Goa.jpg
> > 15. Ireland:
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:County_Meath_-_Tower_of_Lloyd_-_20190805034141.jpg
> > 16. Kosovo:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Katedrala_Arben_Llapashtica.jpg
> > 17. Malta:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Panorama_of_Valletta.jpg
> > 18. Morocco:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bahia_Palace_large_court.jpg
> > 19. Nepal:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Patan_Durbar_Suqare_Scene.jpg
> > 20. Nigeria:
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Night-view-of-lekki-link-bridge.jpg
> > 21. Peru: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ayacucho54719.jpg
> > 22. The Philippines:
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Allan_Jay_Quesada_-_Intramuros_001.jpg
> > 23. Portugal:
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Padr%C3%A3o_dos_Descobrimentos_por_Rodrigo_Tetsuo_Argenton.jpg
> > 24. Romania:
> >
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Palatul_Vulturul_Negru,_iarna.jpg
> > 25. Slovakia:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cintor%C3%ADnJel%C5%A1ava1.jpg
> > 26. Slovenia:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_impressive_Bled_Island.jpg
> > 27. Spain:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MONASTERIO_DE_PIEDRA_2.jpg
> > 28. Sweden:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Norsholmen_July_2019_05.jpg
> > 29. Thailand:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:DemocracyMonument.jpg
> > 30. United Kingdom:
> > https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kilchurn_Castle_at_sunrise.jpg
> >
> >
> > *Humor*
> >
> > Even those of us who often make public communications worry about making
> > big mistakes. This video (YouTube link)
> > , from the British
> political
> > satire "Yes, Prime Minister
> > ", shows
> > what happened when the Prime Minister learned that Sir Humphrey
> > , who is the head of the
> > British Home Civil Service
> > <
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Kva gjer deg glad denne veka? / What's making you happy this week? (Week of 3 November 2019)

2019-11-06 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
1. Lots of new sites created in the last few weeks:

Neapolitan Wikisource - nap.wikisource.org
Hindi Wikisource - hi.wikisource.org
N'Ko Wikipedia - nqo.wikipedia.org
Balinese Wikipedia - ban.wikipedia.org
Mon Wikipedia - mnw.wikipedia.org

Very soon:
Minangkabau Wiktionary
Sakizaya Wikipedia (This would be a good topic for a separate "What's
making you happy this week" email)

The creation of new wikis was broken for some time for technical reasons,
but now it works. Thanks to everyone who helped fix it. See
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T212881 and related tasks.

2. Foundation staff (including myself) are sincerely interested in treating
developers of onwiki tools such as templates, modules, and gadgets as
actual developers, and improving their experience. A place was created for
collecting feedback about this in Phabricator:
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T237490 . Some constructive replies
arrived there already, and it makes me happy. We'd love to see more! The
sooner you send it, the better—this will be one of the topics discussed at
the Tech Conference next week!

If you aren't a developer of templates and gadgets yourself, please forward
this request to the people in your wiki who do it.

On what is perhaps a more personal note, I just want to express my
appreciation to all the developers, maintainers, importers, and translators
of templates, modules, and gadgets on all wikis: you are doing much-needed
innovative work, you are doing it quietly, and you are doing it
brilliantly. Feel free to be louder—you deserve praise and better tools.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬


‫בתאריך יום ה׳, 7 בנוב׳ 2019 ב-0:01 מאת ‪Pine W‬‏ <‪wiki.p...@gmail.com‬‏>:‬

> Hello colleagues,
>
> Welcome to a new "lightweight" version of WMYHTW. I hope that this version
> is nearly as enjoyable as the "heavyweight" versions from previous months.
>
> *Job openings*
> * Shared by Lydia Pintscher (WMDE): Product Manager for Wikibase
> <
> https://wikimedia-deutschland.softgarden.io/job/5246357?jobDbPVId=14376022=de
> >
> .
> * Shared by Nemo: Biodiversity Heritage Library Program Manager for the
> Smithsonian Libraries
> <
> https://blog.biodiversitylibrary.org/2019/11/now-hiring-program-manager.html
> >
> .
>
> *For your listening enjoyment*
> * Performed by *User:La Pianista
> *:
>  *Albéniz - Rondeña from
> Iberia, Book II
> <
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Alb%C3%A9niz_-_Ronde%C3%B1a_from_Iberia.ogg
> >
> *
>
>
> *Images from Norway*
> * From the main page of Norsk
>  Wikipedia: a house
> martin (*Delichon urbicum*).
> 
>
> 
> * From the main page of Nynorsk 
> Wikipedia: the rural area of Folkestad, Volda, Norway
> 
>
> *Wikipedia for public good*
> * Today's English Wikipedia Article of the Day: "Digital media use and
> mental health
> "
>
>
> *Approaching a milestone*
> * English Wikipedia is approaching a total of 6 million articles
> .
>
> Closing comments
> * Additional translations of the subject line of this email would be
> appreciated on Meta
> .
> Thanks to  Harald Søby>User:Jon Harald Søby
>  for the
> Nynorsk
>  translation.
>
> * What’s making you happy this week? You are welcome to write in any
> language. You are also welcome to start a WMYHTW thread next week.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Language Showcase, November 2019

2019-11-06 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Reminder: This is happening in 5 minutes :)

The meeting will be recorded, and later archived on Commons.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬


‫בתאריך יום ב׳, 4 בנוב׳ 2019 ב-15:28 מאת ‪Amir E. Aharoni‬‏ <‪
amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il‬‏>:‬

> Hello,
>
> This is an announcement about a new installment of the Language Showcase,
> a series of presentations about various aspects of language diversity and
> its connection to Wikimedia Projects.
>
> This new installment will deal with the Boost project, the purpose of
> which is to improve the Content Translation extension for editions of
> Wikipedia of medium size.
>
> This session is going to be broadcast over Zoom, and a recording will be
> published for later viewing. You can also participate in the conversation
> on IRC or with us on the Zoom meeting.
>
> Please read below for the event details, including local time, joining
> links and do let us know if you have any questions.
>
> Thank you!
>
> Amir
>
> == Details ==
>
> # Event: Language Showcase #3
>
> # When: November 6, 2019 (Wednesday) at 13:00 UTC (check local time
> https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20191106T1300)
>
> # Where:
>
> https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/395329557
> Meeting ID: 395 329 557
> IRC - #wikimedia-office (on Freenode)
>
> # Agenda:
>
> The Boost project, expanding the use of translation to help more
> communities to grow:
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation/Boost
>
> --
> Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> http://aharoni.wordpress.com
> ‪“We're living in pieces,
> I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
>
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[Wikimedia-l] Language Showcase, November 2019

2019-11-04 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hello,

This is an announcement about a new installment of the Language Showcase, a
series of presentations about various aspects of language diversity and its
connection to Wikimedia Projects.

This new installment will deal with the Boost project, the purpose of which
is to improve the Content Translation extension for editions of Wikipedia
of medium size.

This session is going to be broadcast over Zoom, and a recording will be
published for later viewing. You can also participate in the conversation
on IRC or with us on the Zoom meeting.

Please read below for the event details, including local time, joining
links and do let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you!

Amir

== Details ==

# Event: Language Showcase #3

# When: November 6, 2019 (Wednesday) at 13:00 UTC (check local time
https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20191106T1300)

# Where:

https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/395329557
Meeting ID: 395 329 557
IRC - #wikimedia-office (on Freenode)

# Agenda:

The Boost project, expanding the use of translation to help more
communities to grow:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation/Boost

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] อะไรที่ทำให้คุณมีความสุขในสัปดาห์นี้ / What's making you happy this week? (Week of 23 June 2019)

2019-06-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
What's making me happy this week? - The surprising growth in the weekly
number of translations into the Vietnamese language.

To see numbers, go to
https://vi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:CXStats?uselang=en , scroll to the
second chart ("Translations to Tiếng Việt"), and click the "Per week" tab.

I'm kind of curious why did it happen in Vietnamese, of all languages, and
not, say, Slovak or Thai. As far as I can tell, there is no particular
magic there: just several editors who are very productive at translating
article. And maybe, just maybe, the Content Translation extension, in the
development of which I am involved, is getting better and helps people be
more efficient ;)

(And yes, I checked, and even though I don't know Vietnamese, as far as I
can see, the created translated articles are good, they are not too
repetitive, and they don't use too much machine translation.)

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬


‫בתאריך יום ב׳, 24 ביוני 2019 ב-6:36 מאת ‪Pine W‬‏ <‪wiki.p...@gmail.com
‬‏>:‬

>  These "What's making you happy this week?" threads often mention a
> smorgasbord of subjects. The English Wiktionary Word of the day
> <
> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Word_of_the_day/Archive/2019/June
> >
> for June 22 was "smorgasbord". Wiktionary's definitions of that word are:
> "1. A Swedish-style buffet comprising a variety of cold sandwiches and
> other dishes; (by extension) any buffet with a wide selection of dishes.
> "2. (figuratively) An abundant and diverse collection of things."
>
> On a related point, Commons has a smorgasbord of featured images of food
> and drink
> <
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Featured_pictures/Food_and_drink
> >
> .
>
> Also on Commons, I enjoy this
> <
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Linden_trees_and_the_sky_in_Planina,_Postojna,_Slovenia.jpg
> >
> recent Picture of the day. The caption for the image is, "Linden trees and
> the sky with clouds in Planina, Postojna, Slovenia". When I look at this
> photo, I imagine myself laying on the ground and looking up at the sky.
>
> While this incident 
> was
> not in the Wikiverse, as someone who has spent time in server rooms I can
> sympathize with the engineer who was sent to do a chore when almost
> everything
> that can go wrong, did go wrong
> . Perhaps other Wikimedians
> will appreciate the story too, especially those who support Wikimedia
> technical products or services.
>
> I am grateful for some recent civil and collegial discussions among
> Wikipedia/Wikimedia administrators regarding certain problems that we are
> collectively interested in addressing, such as vandalism and spambots.
>
> Also, I am grateful to people who do maintenance or administrative tasks
> with little expectation for rewards or thanks. My experience with these
> people is that frequently they have humble attitudes, are idealistic, and
> are interested in public service.
>
> The Wikimania Steering Committee recently recommended
> 
> that Wikimania 2020 take place in Bangkok, Thailand. This Wikimania will be
> supported by multiple Wikimedia affiliates in the East, Southeast Asia, and
> Pacific region .
>
> What's making you happy this week? You are welcome to comment in any
> language.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Language showcase June 2019

2019-06-20 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hello,

This is an announcement about a new installment of the Language Showcase, a
series of presentations about various aspects of language diversity and its
connection to Wikimedia Projects.

This new installment will deal with Machine Translation and how we are
seeing their use in Wikimedia projects.

This session is going to be broadcast over YouTube, and a recording will be
kept for later viewing. You can also participate in the conversation on IRC
or with us on the hangout. However, please do let us know earlier so that
we can send you a hangout invite.

Please read below for the event details, including local time, YouTube
links and do let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you!

Amir

== Details ==

# Event: Language Showcase #2

# When: June 26, 2019 (Wednesday) at 13:00 UTC (check local time
https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20190626T1300)

# Where:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG3eU1tohok
IRC - #wikimedia-office (on Freenode)

# Agenda:

The usage of Machine Translation in Wikimedia projects.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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[Wikimedia-l] Happy Africa Day: keyboards for all the languages of Africa

2019-05-25 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hello, and happy Africa day!

[ crossposted to African Wikimedians list, general Wikimedia list, and
mediawiki-i18n ]

To celebrate this, I am announcing the completion of a little pet project
that I started a year ago: it is now easy to type in all the languages of
Africa in which there is a Wikipedia or an active Incubator.

This is available in all Wikimedia projects and in translatewiki.net. This
release is intended for desktop and laptop computers. For mobile phones and
tablets, I strongly recommend trying apps such as Gboard, SwiftKey, or
African Keyboard.

For full details and project description see this blog post:
https://aharoni.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/happy-africa-day-keyboards-for-all-african-wikipedia-languages/

Or jump straight into the (easy!!!) technical documentation here:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Extension:UniversalLanguageSelector/Input_methods/Africa

These keyboards were tested by myself, and some of them were also tested by
a few other people who speak these languages, and as far as I know they are
easy to enable and disable and the work correctly. However, it's possible
that some things are missing: I could have missed some letters, I could
have made mistakes in documentation, I could have missed some languages.
Please contact me if you find any problems.

Thanks!

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How diverse are your readers?

2019-03-11 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום א׳, 10 במרץ 2019 ב-23:27 מאת ‪Gerard Meijssen‬‏ <‪
gerard.meijs...@gmail.com‬‏>:‬

> Hoi,
> I have been thinking about it.. There is a place for research but really
> why can we not have the data that allows us to seek out what people are
> actually looking for and do not find.. Why can we not promote what proves
> to be of interest [1] ?
>

Actually, there was some work done around it. Here are some examples:

1. The Discovery (Search) team in the Foundation researched searches in
Wikimedia sites' search box that yielded zero results. This was done in
2016 or so, led by Dan Garry as the product manager, and this lead to some
improvements in the functionality of Wikimedia sites' internal search
engine, although I don't remember what they were exactly.

2. Google's Project Tiger provided lists of articles for which people often
search in the Google search engine in India, and about which there are no
articles in Wikipedias in languages of India. See
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Supporting_Indian_Language_Wikipedias_Program

3. Last year I made a list of articles that people search for in their
language using the interlanguage links search box and cannot find. You can
see a sample here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Amire80/WEIRD/2018-04-09%E2%80%932018-04-15
. I plan to make this list nicer-looking and auto-updating some time soon.

4. The GapFinder project is another tool that helps people find articles
that are missing in some wikis: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/GapFinder

5. This is just an idea, but it's written down, which is a bit better than
nothing: Show the most popular articles by country in the PageViews tool,
rather than just by language. It's documented at
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T207171 . The rationale for this is that
the most popular English Wikipedia articles in the U.S., Nigeria, India,
the Philippines, and South Africa are significantly different. The English
Wikipedia is the most popular one in all these countries, but whereas it is
sensible that it's popular in the U.S., it's a bit depressing that it's
also the most popular in the other four countries, even though languages
other than English are spoken there. The reason for this situation is, of
course, that there is little content in the Wikipedias in the languages of
these countries, and knowing what the most popular articles are can help
people who write in these languages choose how to write that will be
useful, and will hopefully raise the popularity of Wikipedias in these
languages. The same is true for the most popular Russian Wikipedia articles
in Kyrgyzstan and Moldova, the most popular French Wikipedia articles in
Benin and Mali, etc. This is only an idea, but maybe it will be implemented
some day.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] How diverse are your readers?

2019-03-11 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‬

> The idea of a popularity-driven encyclopaedia scares 
>
>
I agree, although I'd make it a bit more focused: an encyclopedia that is
*only* popularity-driven is indeed scary. It's good to mention this, and
not once, but repeatedly.

However, providing Wikipedia editors with information about what *is* in
demand is useful, as long as the editors clearly know that they have the
choice to write what is *important* and that "important" is not equal to
"popular".

While I haven't ran a proper survey about this, conversations that with
Wikipedia editors from various "big" and "small" languages tell me that
most of them already understand it, and this is good. Nevertheless,
reminding people that Wikipedia is not supposed to be just about covering
popular topics won't hurt.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Inisghts from a meeting with NGO representatives

2019-02-22 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום ו׳, 22 בפבר׳ 2019 ב-10:30 מאת ‪David Cuenca Tudela‬‏ <‪
dacu...@gmail.com‬‏>:‬

> On Fri, 22 Feb 2019, 08:27 Amir E. Aharoni, 
> wrote:
>
> > What is our definition of knowledge?
> >
>
> In my opinion, the informal definition would be: all the information that
> the Wikimedia community allows into their projects.
>

OK, that makes sense. It can even be formal :)

Do the people to whom you speak have the same understanding of what our
definition of knowledge is?

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Inisghts from a meeting with NGO representatives

2019-02-21 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
בתאריך יום ב׳, 18 בפבר׳ 2019, 13:04, מאת David Cuenca Tudela ‏<
dacu...@gmail.com>:

> Hi Amir,
>
>
> *How can the Wikimedia movement be more truly international *
> Participants reported that the current definition of knowledge by Wikimedia
> projects is narrow-minded and does not fit the relationship with knowledge
> that exists in other parts of the world.


What is our definition of knowledge?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Inisghts from a meeting with NGO representatives

2019-02-17 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
I'm interested.

I'm especially interested in any recommendation that is even remotely
related to how can the Wikimedia movement be more truly international, and
it sounds like there could be something about it there, but even if there
isn't, is love to hear the rest.

Thanks!

בתאריך יום ב׳, 18 בפבר׳ 2019, 01:36, מאת David Cuenca Tudela <
dacu...@gmail.com>:

> Hello,
>
> Last Friday I participated in a workshop in Brussels where people from
> different NGOs met to learn from each other to foster flat,
> democratic, and diverse organisations. I was one of four speakers in a
> "world cafe" format (basically a circle where participants can
> interact with the speaker). I represented the Wikimedia movement in
> general, with the intention that participants would learn from our
> movement, and so that I would learn from them. There were also Open
> Space sessions.
>
> If there is interest, I can share with you my insights on any of these
> topics:
> - External perception of the movement
> - Recommendations to the WMF
> - Governance recommendations for the movement
> - Community model for affiliates
> - How to increase diversity
>
> There is a lot to say about each topic, so please ask only about the
> topic you have genuine interest in. If there is no interest, I'm ok
> keeping it to myself.
>
> Regards,
> Micru
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Is the death of Wikipedia imminent?

2018-12-31 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
בתאריך יום ג׳, 1 בינו׳ 2019, 07:37, מאת Paulo Santos Perneta <
paulospern...@gmail.com>:

> Ahh, it would really be a fantastic improvement if we could get rid of all
> that template & category clutter from the articles.

[...]

Let me tell a little
> story: Some months ago I was in a workshop with a group of librarians, and
> they were creating articles using VE. At some point all of them came under
> a barrage of fire from resident wikipedians, bombing them with warnings
> saying "you MUST add categories"


I spent my first year or so on Wikipedia, editing and creating quite a lot
without understanding how categories work. Those were the days... Other
people, to who I'm deeply thankful, quietly fixed them after me. I later
learned how to work with them myself. If my edits were deleted because I
did not add categories, I'd possibly be away from this project.


and pointing them to the oldfashioned
> instructions on how to add them on wikicode, totally useless for newbies
> using VE.


This is another symptom: many of the help pages are hopelessly out of date.
And the main reason for this is that they are too localized: they were
initially created before we had better (but still not perfect) tools for
global pages and translation. Now the veterans think they're good even
though they rarely need them, and the newbies are just puzzled by them, and
for the developers of new features it's too hard to manage help pages that
are so dispersed across wikis and languages.

It was the first time I was using VE myself in a more intensive
> way, and while all of we were hastily trying to find where the heck
> categories were hidden in VE,


So here are a couple of things that you can do, and please tell everyone
else to do them: use the VE more! It will very frequently save you time,
and it will help you understand newbies better.

If it's not good enough for you to use more, report bugs! The only ways to
find bugs are to use it more yourself and to carefully observe other people
using it (see
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2017-02-06/Op-ed
and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6sS0M9TpYQ=27m28s ; note that the
relevant part of the video begins at 27:28).

And every time a newbie asks you how to do something, check whether the
relevant help page in your wiki documents how to do it in VE, and if it
doesn't, take a few minutes to add the info.

None of these things will by themselves make a big strategic difference,
but it will make the work smoother for a lot of people, at least in the
short term.

the librarians kept asking, puzzled - what
> are those categories that seem to be of such a crucial importance to
> wikipedians?


Well, categories should actually be fairly easy for librarians to
understand. If these librarians had a hard time with them, it doesn't mean
that they are stupid, but that our categories system is badly broken.


The sad fact is that 99% of those people that send those
> useless warnings have not the least idea what categories are for, they
> simply notice they are missing in a newly created article, and as they know
> they are not supposed to be missing because they have been warned
> themselves, they mimic the behavior perpetually


Yes! Don't tolerate the perpetual mimicking of very old practices. Speak up
and change stuff.

Wikipedia should be a big club of people who like sharing knowledge, and
not a small club of people who managed to learn wiki syntax.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Is the death of Wikipedia imminent?

2018-12-31 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
בתאריך יום א׳, 30 בדצמ׳ 2018, 15:55, מאת Yaroslav Blanter :

>
>
> Re main point: People, let us be serious. We missed mobile editing (well,
> at least this has been identified as a problem, and something is being done
> about it). We missed voice interfaces. We are now missing neural networks.
> We should have been discussing by now what neural networks are allowed to
> do in the projects and what they are not allowed to do. And instead we are
> discussing (and edit-warring) whether the Crimean bridge is the longest in
> Europe or not because different sources place the border between Europe and
> Asia differently, and, according to some sources, the bridge is not in
> Europe. Why do you think that if we keep missing all technological
> development relevant in the field we are still going to survive?
>

False dichotomy.

Wide participation in big strategic discussion is a Good Thing, but it
doesn't mean that it's the only thing all the Wikimedians should be talking
about. There are people who are less interested in strategic discussions
and more interested in on-wiki fact-checking. Wikipedia editors' obsession
for fact-checking is its strength—our strength. It's sometimes frustrating
because it can go into silly technicalities or political ax-grinding, but
for the most part it's the main thing that keeps Wikipedia relevant,
trustworthy, and popular.

How can these fact-checking practices be harmonized with current technology
and media culture is the right question to ask. If the people who often do
this can *also* occasionally participate in strategic development
discussions, there's a chance it will be answered. Invite them.

Happy public domain day and happy new year! :)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Is the death of Wikipedia imminent?

2018-12-31 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
‫בתאריך יום ב׳, 31 בדצמ׳ 2018 ב-10:14 מאת ‪Peter Southwood‬‏ <‪
peter.southw...@telkomsa.net‬‏>:‬

Does the technology exist? Is it available?
How does this splitting make maintenance easier?
Cheers,
Peter


Not exactly, but it's doable and it's desirable.

There are two relatively recently developed components in MediaWiki that
are important for developers: Content Model and Multi-Content Revisions.
They are not discussed very much among the less technical editors because
they are pretty internal, and I'm really not an expert on what they do
myself, but as far as I understand them, they can serve as steps to
implementing Jane's suggestion.

This suggestion is not even very new. In a way, the extremely old bug
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T2167 , originally filed in 2004 (!)
suggests pretty much the same thing: separate interlanguage links and other
metadata from the page content. Interlanguage links were mostly separated
from pages thanks to Wikidata, but categories still aren't, and a lot of
other kinds of metadata appeared since then: DEFAULTSORT, newsectionlink,
notoc, and many others. Authority control, navbox, and infobox templates,
as well as links to disambiguation pages, can probably be converted to
separately-stored metadata as well.

Wikidata can probably play a major role in getting this done, but it's not
the only factor, and a lot of development is needed to better integrate
Wikidata with other projects.

But yes—I generally agree with Jane that better modularization of wiki
pages' content components can go a long to making them easier to edit,
easier to search, easier to query, etc. It's not the only major change that
our technical infrastructure needs, but it's among the more important ones.

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Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬


>
> -Original Message-
> From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> Behalf Of Jane Darnell
> Sent: 30 December 2018 15:42
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Is the death of Wikipedia imminent?
>
> Well it is not difficult to imagine when you consider for example line
> items in the case of list articles. Many lists could be split into such
> line items and kept in a static assembled form by some sort of "assembly
> template". Many of these line items are either articles or parts of
> articles. Such "line items" may or may not have Wikidata items, may or may
> not be suitable for Wikidata items, and may or may not be able to be
> structured in any way, shape or form than the one they currently have. I
> would like to be able to address these "line items" as "findable editing
> snippets" in the wikiverse, possibly curatable by voice activation,
> reversing the way we can sometimes get them read to us by Siri/Lexa.
>
> On Sun, Dec 30, 2018 at 1:48 PM Peter Southwood <
> peter.southw...@telkomsa.net> wrote:
>
> > Jane,
> > I do not understand what parts you would split these things into, or how
> > they would make Wikipedia easier to curate and edit. Could you link to an
> > explanation or clarify the concept?
> > Cheers,
> > Peter
> >
> >
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[Wikimedia-l] Language showcase #1: 6th December 2018 (Thursday) at 13:00 UTC

2018-11-29 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hello,

This is an announcement about the first installment of the Language
Showcase—a series of presentations about various aspects of language
diversity and its connection to Wikimedia Projects.

This first installment will deal with the challenges of the languages of
sub-Saharan Africa and the Wikimedia projects in them.

This session is going to be broadcast over YouTube, and a recording will be
kept for later viewing.

Please read below for the event details, including local time, youtube
links and do let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you!

Amir

== Details ==

# Event: Language Showcase #1

# When: December 6, 2018 (Thursday) at 13:00 UTC (check local time
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20181206T1300)

# Where:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoRrKnG2z2Y

# Agenda:

The challenges of the languages of sub-Saharan Africa and the Wikimedia
projects in them

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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimania-l] Sensory overloads

2018-08-15 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Thank you for sharing this, Romaine.

Our experiences are so different, and we should acknowledge it and cherish
it, and we need to respect all people and accommodate all people.

My experience is related and opposite at the same time. I sometimes tell
people that Wikimania is my social life. It's an exaggeration; it's
Wikimania and other Wikimedia-related events: hackathons, workshops, local
meetups. But that's really about it. The Wikimedia community is my social
life. Events other than Wikimedia events —weddings, holidays, parties, you
name it— can easily cause me to feel out of place and to experience
feelings described in this thread.

Wikimania is where I feel completely at home. But if it's not a place where
others can feel at home, it's a problem.

I remember one Wikimedia event that had an "introversion room". I remember
how some people cheered when the event organizer mentioned it in her
welcome speech. We need more of that: not only "introversion rooms" (even
though they are welcome), but anything that makes people feel welcome.

We need more of this consideration and inclusion not just because it's the
right and decent human thing to do. We need it because it's our expressed
goal to include every single human being. Who if not us?

בתאריך יום ד׳, 15 באוג׳ 2018, 18:42, מאת Romaine Wiki ‏<
romaine.w...@gmail.com>:

> Hi everyone,
>
> In our movement we have a lot of different people, including people with a
> different neurodiversity.
>
> Then it can happen that with events organised by the Wikimedia movement,
> there are people that get sensory overloads. it basically means that the
> input through the senses gets too much at some point. This can result in an
> emotional outburst, an instant heavy headache/migraine attack, or in my
> case I go (almost) completely blank.
>
> It is really hard to complain how it is like to people who have no
> experiences with it.
> I think however that we need as inclusive movement to be more aware of the
> huge amount of varieties of people and there needs. For that reason I like
> to share a thread on Twitter with you how a user I know well has
> experienced it herself.
>
> Read at: https://twitter.com/dodocurieux/status/1029743772584865792
>
>
> Thank you!
>
> Romaine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcing launch of Santali Language Wikipedia

2018-08-08 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
This is a wonderful achievement. Shows that dedication and organization can
take you far. Good luck in continuing and developing it further!

בתאריך יום ד׳, 8 באוג׳ 2018, 17:49, מאת Ali Haidar Khan ‏<
tonmoy...@gmail.com>:

> Dear All,
>
> We are very pleased to announce the launch of Santali Language Wikipedia (
> https://sat.wikipedia.org). The site has been launched on August 2, 2018
> and, after the import of pages from Wikimedia Incubator and some
> maintenance work, it’s now open for all. Santali Language’s own alphabet,
> Ol Chiki, has been used as the alphabet of this Wikipedia. Santali is
> a language in the Munda subfamily of Austroasiatic languages, spoken by
> around 7.4 million people in South Asia (Bangladesh, India and Nepal).
>
> This is a very special moment for us and has been made possible because of
> the joint effort by Santali Language Wikipedian’s from Bangladesh, India
> and Nepal. Wikimedia Bangladesh and Bangla Wikimedia Community
> congratulates the Santali Language Community for their accomplishment and
> are honored to be a part of this tremendous achievement. Manik Soren, a
> dedicated Santali Wikipedian from Bangladesh, along with some very active
> Santali Language Wikipedians from Bangladesh and India has been
> instrumental in this effort. We would also like to thank Shabab Mustafa,
> President of Wikimedia Bangladesh and Nahid Sultan, a very active steward
> and Secretary of Wikimedia Bangladesh, for coordinating the effort in
> Bangladesh and Odia Wikimedians User Group for coordinating the effort in
> India.
>
> It is worth mentioning that the process of creating a Santali Language
> Wikipedia began in 2012 and, later on, got momentum in February, 2017. Back
> in 2012, Wikimedia Bangladesh organized a Wikipedia meetup and workshop
> with the Santali Language Community in Dinajpur District of Bangladesh with
> the goal of launching a Santali Language Wikipedia. However, that process
> slowed down after some time. Then in September 2017, Wikimedia Bangladesh
> organized another meeting with Santali Language Community in a Dhaka
> Wikipedia meetup where a decision was made to expedite the launch of the
> Wikipedia. Following that discussion, a workshop was organized by Wikimedia
> Bangladesh for Santali Language Wikipedians on December 30, 2017. Santali
> Language Wikipedians from India also participated in that program through
> online discussion. Subsequently, another workshop was organized for Santali
> Language Community in India on March 11, 2018 in collaboration with Odia
> Wikimedians User Group.
>
> After months of work, Santali Language Wikipedia got the approval of
> Language Committee on June 28, 2018 and finally, the Santali Wikipedia site
> was launched on August 2, 2018.
>
> Let us congratulate and welcome the Santali Language Community.
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Ali Haidar Khan
>
> Executive Committee Member, Wikimedia Bangladesh
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[Wikimedia-l] Official disclaimers

2018-06-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hi,

All WMF wikis have a "Disclaimers" link at the bottom.

The target page often includes language that sounds legal, but they can be
edited by people who don't have any official legal role or certification.

Is there a general, global policy about how the name of this link is
translated, and about what is written on the page where it leads?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Most wanted articles across languages

2018-05-31 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
This is indeed comparable, though from a slightly different aspect, and we
are doing it completely ourselves.

Hopefully it will be directly useful to editors, and also for improving the
software. For example, we already used it to improve the functionality of
the search box itself, so that it would be able to find languages with
alternate names, such as "castellano" and "español" for Spanish, and a few
more.

בתאריך יום ה׳, 31 במאי 2018, 10:41, מאת James Heilman ‏:

> Excellent. Google also provided a list of some of the most missing items in
> 13 languages of India as part of Project Tiger.
>
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Supporting_Indian_Language_Wikipedias_Program/Contest/Topics
>
> James
>
> On Thu, May 31, 2018 at 10:58 AM, Amir E. Aharoni <
> amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
>
> > Hi!
> >
> > There's a little research project I've been working on in the last few
> > weeks: What are the articles that people are most often looking for in
> > their language, and *cannot* find?
> >
> > I was doing this by looking at the logs of searches in the language
> search
> > box in the interlanguage links panel and counting the articles on which
> > searching for a language didn't yield any result.
> >
> > This can be useful to the editors in different languages for
> understanding
> > which articles are in demand and should be created. This may also be
> useful
> > for considering how to reorganize existing articles. Of course, actually
> > doing this is up to the editing communities in each language; I'm just
> > trying to show where exactly does this happen.
> >
> > My first attempt at producing a report about it can be found here:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Most_wanted_articles_across_languages
> >
> > This is my first attempt to make a public version of this report, so you
> > may find some issues there, for example contradicting or missing data.
> > Also, the tables could probably be more nicely designed. Bug reports,
> > suggestions for improvement, and all other feedback is obviously welcome.
> > However, I believe this is good enough for taking a first look and
> reaching
> > some conclusions.
> >
> > The two immediate findings that I can see are that the most notable
> > articles that people cannot find fall into the following categories:
> > * Topics that are popular in the news: "Avengers: Infinity War", "General
> > Data Protection Regulation", "Avicii". In particular, I should note that
> > topics that are featured in Google Doodles [1] come up often: "Georges
> > Méliès", "Mahadevi Varma", etc.
> > * Topics that are covered in another language, but cannot be found
> because
> > of different organization of information. This often happens with
> articles
> > where there are cultural differences between languages, for example
> > "Football" in the English Wikipedia refers to several different games
> (I'd
> > guess that many people around the world are interested in "Association
> > Football"). This also often happens with articles about Biology and
> > species: "Homo Sapiens", "Blueberry", etc.; these are organized
> differently
> > in different Wikipedias.
> >
> > [1] https://www.google.com/doodles/
> >
> >
> > --
> > Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> > http://aharoni.wordpress.com
> > ‪“We're living in pieces,
> > I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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>
>
>
> --
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> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
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[Wikimedia-l] Most wanted articles across languages

2018-05-31 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hi!

There's a little research project I've been working on in the last few
weeks: What are the articles that people are most often looking for in
their language, and *cannot* find?

I was doing this by looking at the logs of searches in the language search
box in the interlanguage links panel and counting the articles on which
searching for a language didn't yield any result.

This can be useful to the editors in different languages for understanding
which articles are in demand and should be created. This may also be useful
for considering how to reorganize existing articles. Of course, actually
doing this is up to the editing communities in each language; I'm just
trying to show where exactly does this happen.

My first attempt at producing a report about it can be found here:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Most_wanted_articles_across_languages

This is my first attempt to make a public version of this report, so you
may find some issues there, for example contradicting or missing data.
Also, the tables could probably be more nicely designed. Bug reports,
suggestions for improvement, and all other feedback is obviously welcome.
However, I believe this is good enough for taking a first look and reaching
some conclusions.

The two immediate findings that I can see are that the most notable
articles that people cannot find fall into the following categories:
* Topics that are popular in the news: "Avengers: Infinity War", "General
Data Protection Regulation", "Avicii". In particular, I should note that
topics that are featured in Google Doodles [1] come up often: "Georges
Méliès", "Mahadevi Varma", etc.
* Topics that are covered in another language, but cannot be found because
of different organization of information. This often happens with articles
where there are cultural differences between languages, for example
"Football" in the English Wikipedia refers to several different games (I'd
guess that many people around the world are interested in "Association
Football"). This also often happens with articles about Biology and
species: "Homo Sapiens", "Blueberry", etc.; these are organized differently
in different Wikipedias.

[1] https://www.google.com/doodles/


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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Recognition of the Igbo Wikimedians User Group

2018-05-11 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Excellent news!

It was a pleasure to meet Blossom at the Wikimedia Conference a year ago,
and the activities that Blossom, Tochi, and Uzoma advertise on Twitter look
very promising and inspiring, too.

If any of you are coming to Wikimania, I'd love to meet you!

בתאריך יום ו׳, 11 במאי 2018, 19:39, מאת Kirill Lokshin ‏<
kirill.loks...@gmail.com>:

> Hi everyone!
>
> I'm very happy to announce that the Affiliations Committee has recognized
> [1] the Igbo Wikimedians User Group [2] as a Wikimedia User Group. The
> group aims to support the Igbo Wikimedia community and to encourage people
> that are literate in Igbo language at any level to become involved in the
> Wikimedia movement.
>
> Please join me in congratulating the members of this new user group!
>
> Regards,
> Kirill Lokshin
> Chair, Affiliations Committee
>
> [1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliations_Committee/
> Resolutions/Recognition_Igbo_Wikimedians_User_Group
> [2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Igbo_Wikimedians_User_Group
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Gendergap approach causing problems

2018-05-11 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
What are the non-Western methods?

בתאריך יום ו׳, 11 במאי 2018, 15:49, מאת Gnangarra ‏:

> thats the bias we dont accept knowledge as genuine or authorative until its
> been established by a westerner using western techniques.  The whole point
> of this discussion is that such a process invariably leads to bias, to
> solve bias we need to shift our acceptance to alternative cultural methods
> of establishing notability and verifiability.
>
> The point is those non western methods are able to provide the same level
> of authority as the currently accepted methods, that the to make the change
> isnt as disastrous as is being said because we adopt the method appropriate
> for the knowledge source rather than ignoring the knowledge until its
> adapted to our way
>
> On 11 May 2018 at 20:32, Peter Southwood 
> wrote:
>
> > Yes, and we use those books and journal articles as sources. If they are
> > written by an acknowledged expert or are peer reviewed, we may consider
> > them reliable sources. I don’t think this is what this discussion is
> about.
> > Cheers,
> > Peter
> >
> > -Original Message-
> > From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> > Behalf Of FRED BAUDER
> > Sent: 11 May 2018 07:19
> > To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Gendergap approach causing problems
> >
> > People write books and journal articles which incorporate oral
> traditions.
> > The Bible is one example. That doesn't mean we are going to remove the
> > material about Native Americans migrating through Beringia but that, if a
> > tribe's tradition is that it was always in the Americas, that should be
> > included in its article. Probably not enough to satisfy everyone...
> >
> >
> > Fred
> >
> >
> > - Original Message -
> > From: Peter Southwood 
> > To: 'Wikimedia Mailing List' 
> > Sent: Fri, 11 May 2018 00:34:15 -0400 (EDT)
> > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Gendergap approach causing problems
> >
> > If not written, how would they be referenced and verified?
> > Cheers,
> > Peter
> >
> > -Original Message-
> > From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> > Behalf Of Jean-Philippe Béland
> > Sent: Friday, May 11, 2018 6:28 AM
> > To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Gendergap approach causing problems
> >
> > You are missing the whole point. I'm not talking about second guessing
> > sources but rather changing our narrow point of views of what we consider
> > sources of knowledge. A lot of cultures are of oral tradition and not
> > written.
> >
> > JP
> >
> > On Thu, May 10, 2018, 16:42 Todd Allen,  wrote:
> >
> > > Abandoning notability and verifiability is a wide open sign for
> spammers
> > > and hoaxers. We have enough of that without giving them an engraved
> > > invitation.
> > >
> > > If published sources are biased, the efforts to correct that should be
> > made
> > > at the source (literally) level. Just like rather than "disputing" a
> > > reliable source, if we found evidence that contradicts them, we'd ask
> > them
> > > to correct, and then once they do we'll update the article accordingly
> > > based on their correction. Wikipedia is not there to second-guess what
> > > sources choose to publish or find "alternative" or "non-western" or
> > > whatever else have you types of information. If our references are
> > flawed,
> > > the solution lies in getting them to correct what they're doing, not
> > > "correcting" for any perceived bias by editors. We reflect sources, we
> do
> > > not second-guess, dispute, or correct them.
> > >
> > > Todd
> > >
> > > On Thu, May 10, 2018 at 10:46 AM, Peter Southwood <
> > > peter.southw...@telkomsa.net> wrote:
> > >
> > > > When Wikipedia was new and unknown there were not so many people
> > wanting
> > > > to use it for purposes that conflict with our purposes. Times change.
> > > > Cheers,
> > > > Peter
> > > >
> > > > -Original Message-
> > > > From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org]
> On
> > > > Behalf Of Jean-Philippe Béland
> > > > Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2018 5:30 PM
> > > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> > > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Gendergap approach causing problems
> > > >
> > > > If we where that septic at the beginning, we will never have started
> > > > Wikipedia to begin with. Really, an encyclopedia written by anyone
> > > without
> > > > any authority to double check before it is published? It is doomed to
> > > fail.
> > > > Yes, in theory, but practice showed us otherwise. The question is not
> > to
> > > > remove notability and verifiability requirements, but to change those
> > > > requirements to be more inclusive of different ways of sharing
> > > knowledge. I
> > > > think practice can show us otherwise in that case too if we are ready
> > to
> > > do
> > > > that leap of 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Gendergap approach causing problems

2018-05-07 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2018-05-07 9:55 GMT+03:00 Jane Darnell :

> Amir,
> It's funny - after reading your mail I wondered if I had read Romaine's
> mail correctly.


You had probably read it correctly.

Generally, I'm wondering whether direct invitations to women or people of
color (or women of color, etc.) work as they should. Many people say that
they work. They may be right, at least in part. If I understand correctly,
Romaine says that he has doubts about it, and he's probably right, too, at
least for some people.

I'm just trying to say that diversity is important. How do we reach it? I
don't have very good answers. Probably not "one size fits all".

I mean, I want that woman about whom Romaine was speaking to contribute her
knowledge. I want everybody to contribute their knowledge. Unless I missed
it, Romaine didn't write what is her expertise, but just for the sake of
the example, let's make something up and say that it's Astronomy.

Do I want her to contribute her knowledge about Astronomy? Of course I do.
Should I tell her that I hope that she contributes her knowledge about
Astronomy? I probably should. (Do correct me if I'm wrong.)

Do I think that she has something to say about Astronomy that men don't?
Yes, it's quite possible. Should I tell her that? Hmm, I don't know. Maybe,
maybe not. I think that this is the question that Romaine is trying to
raise. And again, please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Gendergap approach causing problems

2018-05-07 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
This is a sensitive topic, and I'm a white man myself, so please slap me if
I say something dumb.

2018-05-07 7:10 GMT+03:00 Romaine Wiki :

>
> What has happened?
>
> She was invited to participate in a Wikimedia activity, because:
> 1. she is a woman
> 2. she is from a minority
> 3. she is from an area in the world with much less editors (compared to
> Europe/US)
>
> and perhaps also because her colour of her skin is a bit different then
> mine (Caucasian).
>
> At the same time she has the impression that the work she does on the
> Wikimedia wiki('s) is not valued, nor taken into account.
>

By whom?

By the people who invited her?

By other participants in the event?

By other editors in the same wiki site?

By the readers?



> She does not want to be invited because she is a woman, nor because she is
> from a minority, nor ... etc. This is offensive.
> She only wants to be invited because of the work she contributes on
> Wikipedia/etc.
>

This makes a lot of sense to me, but that's just me and attitudes are
different for each person.


> Besides the many good initiatives and intentions, this kind of approaches
> to our contributors is demotivating them, please be aware of this.


Again, it's probably demotivating to some. Maybe to 98%, maybe to 30%,
maybe to 5%. I honestly don't know.

I believe demotivation/frustration is the largest problem we face as
> movement.
>

I don't know if its the biggest problem. On this mailing list we are a
small group of meta-active Wikimedians, and we are the minority among
editors. We don't actually represent all the editors. And of course the
editors are a tiny minority compared to the readers.

I'd argue that the hard time that some editors are giving newcomers is a
bigger problem. Gender is certainly a part of that, and there are many
other parts.

We meta-wikimedians can find a better way to invite people to events, and
we can change ourselves. That doesn't sound too hard. Changing the wider
editor culture is harder.

I heard from people that the problem described is called tokenism
> .
>

Yes, that's when representation is given to a weakened group, but that
representation is too weak to be meaningful, and may do more harm than good.


> I believe the only way to close the gaps related to gender, minorities,
> etc, is to create an atmosphere in what everyone is appreciated for what
> she/he is doing, completely unrelated to the gender someone appears to
> have, the ethnicity, race, area of the world, etc etc etc etc.
>

So that's where it gets really complicated, because it's always related, in
ways that are sometimes visible and sometimes invisible.

Let's take school education as a hopefully easy example. People from
different areas of the world will have very different things to write about
it. In some areas of the world everybody gets school education—boys and
girls, rich and poor, rural and urban. In other areas it may be only boys;
or only people in cities; or only people who know a certain language; or
only people who belong to a certain religion; or only people who have a
certain amount of money; or only people who have a certain skin color. I
want articles about education to have contributions from as many people as
possible, from different genders, from different skin colors, and from
different areas, and so on.

An American white woman has different things to say about education from an
American black man. These differences are important and frequently
discussed in American media. But the American white woman and the American
black man *don't even imagine* what people from The Philippines have to say
about education. What people from the Philippines have to say about
education probably has little to do with the internal American debates on
this topic. And of course it breaks down further, because a person who
lives in the capital of Philippines and knows English has different things
to say about education from a person who lives in a village in Philippines
and doesn't know English.

On articles about education I want to hear from all of them. And about
every other topic. (And yes, I want contributions from people who don't
know English in the English Wikipedia. By definition they cannot contribute
directly, but we must do everything we can to make at least an indirect
contribution possible.)

How do we do it right?

How do we get more different people to even try to contribute to articles?
How do we get everybody's contributions to be accepted? (Guess whose
contributions are more likely to be challenged as "non-notable",
"unencyclopedic", or "unreferenced".)

I don't know. Am I even asking the right questions?

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fake news

2018-04-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Try looking at the story of the "Daily Mail ban" in the English Wikipedia.
Daily Mail is not really fake news (it's just sensationalist, biased, and
not that useful), and the ban is not hermetic, but that is much closer to
the topic of fake news than hoaxes. The discussions around the "ban", and
how it is actually enacted (or not) may say something interesting about
Wikipedia's relationship with media.

Try to find other examples of such bans of bad sources. Some of them will
probably be true fake news sources. It will be especially cool if you can
find examples from different languages and not only English and French.

Looking at spam black lists and the talk pages associated with them may
also be very revealing. Despite the title, it's not just for spam in the
sense of repetitive digital advertising, but for all unwanted URLs. The
lists definitely have sites for pornography and white supremacy, and
although I can't recall an example (and I'm now writing from my phone and
can't check conveniently), they probably have a lot of fake news sites.

If you find anything interesting, please share it with us! :)

בתאריך יום ו׳, 27 באפר׳ 2018, 17:27, מאת Devouard (gmail) ‏<
fdevou...@gmail.com>:

> Hi
>
> I have been proposed to give a conference about wikipedia and fake news
> and to focus on very specific examples rather than general concepts. I
> already have a few ideas but any pointers to particularly interesting
> cases or discussions will be welcome.
>
> Thanks for your help.
>
> Florence
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The fact-checked encyclopedia

2018-04-15 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
I'd just stick to "The Free Encyclopedia". It's a thing we can really agree
upon. (We can, right? Please tell me we can.)

But I am curious - who made this ad?

בתאריך יום א׳, 15 באפר׳ 2018, 15:54, מאת Anthony Cole ‏:

> I just googled “wikipedia” and the first result was a Google ad linking to
> wikipedia.org.[1] It calls Wikipedia the fact-checked encyclopedia. We used
> to call it the encyclopedia anyone can edit. The latter seems more honest
> than this new formulation which to me implies a degree of reliability and
> oversight I'm not sure we can ethically assert. I missed the discussion
> about this new self-description. Did it happen on meta? Is anyone else
> uncomfortabe with this?
> --
> Anthony Cole
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] ¿Qué te hace feliz esta semana? / What's making you happy this week? (Week of 11 March 2018)

2018-03-15 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
What's making me happy this week:

The old Wikipedia puzzle globe logo is not used on any Wikipedia any longer.

A bit of history, in case you aren't familiar with it:

The old logo was retired in 2010. Here's the image:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wikipedia_Logo_1.0.png . It had
incorrectly drawn letters in some languages, and it was not rendered in
modern vector graphics. The new logo,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg , corrects these
mistakes.

For various technical, community, and linguistic reasons it was not
actually immediately replaced in all the projects in 2010. User:Odder and
User:Nemo_bis, who care about language diversity, took it upon themselves
to replace the logos in all the languages. It took some time, and last week
this was finally accomplished.

The most prominent of the last languages that still had the old logo was
the Urdu Wikipedia.

There are still some logos to update because they have untranslated "The
Free Encyclopedia" text or issues with graphics rendering, but the old logo
is completely gone from the sites' headers.


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2018-03-11 7:08 GMT+02:00 Pine W :

> What's making me happy this week:
>
> 1. A recent entry in the Mozilla Blog discussed the possible value of
> anonymity in decreasing bias in code review processes:
> https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2018/03/08/gender-bias-code-reviews/
>
> 2. The opt-in "pingback" telemetry from MediaWiki installations, which is
> available since March 2017, suggests that there are more than 40,000 unique
> installations. See:
> https://pingback.wmflabs.org,
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:$wgPingback and
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/MediaWiki_Pingback_Privacy_Statement.
>
> There is also some news which is a little older and I am now getting around
> to sharing here:
>
> 3. A research project has been started which aims to test whether vandal
> activity can be detected in (near) real time, which may open opportunities
> for interventions earlier in the process of publishing edits. See
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/ai/2018-January/000221.html.
>
> What's making you happy this week? You are welcome to write in any
> language.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-03-05 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Yes, it makes sense.

This is yet another thing that is a challenge, not a blocker.

English speakers have a useful result from Wikipedia coming up in almost
every Google search. *Suspected* copyvio issues are an acceptable price to
pay for this privilege. (Particularly bad copyvio issues are handled
through OTRS.)

People who speak many other languages don't have the privilege of such high
availability of useful knowledge. So first, let's not imagine problems that
will prevent them from getting this. People who currently don't have this
wealth of information in their language wish that they had such a problem
(even if not consciously).

Besides, when people start getting useful search results in their language,
they will read the articles, and some of them will become editors and the
community will grow. It happened in English in 2002, and it can happen in
other languages.


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2018-02-27 19:49 GMT+02:00 Renée Bagslint <reneebagsl...@gmail.com>:

> Does it make sense to have more articles in a language than can be curated
> by the volunteers who speak that language?  This has already happened on
> the Englisg-language Wikipedia where the five million articles have simply
> overwhelmed the capability of the few thousand active contributors to
> self-organise and curate -- for example, there are about one million
> articles without adequate sources, and thousands of unsourced BLP; there
> are copyvio cleanups that will not complete, if ever, before 2030.  An army
> of hand-coded bots is just about keeping on top of vandalism.  How does
> that scale to projects where the number of native speaker contributors is
> in the dozens rather than the thousands?
>
> On Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 4:17 PM, Vi to <vituzzu.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > (This thread is getting terribly interesting)
> >
> > I generally think Wikipedia should be a strictly non interfering observer
> > for various aspects, language included. I fear if a wiki tries to set a
> > model for a language it may be a model which doesn't represent the
> reality
> > of that language: small wikis are often monopolized by a few users.
> That's
> > not a fault per se but it may introduce a significant bias in linguistic
> > models used.
> >
> > About one of Amir's emails I think a "small" Wikipedia edition is sign
> of a
> > series of situations, one of the most common of is an endangered
> language.
> > While planning should differentiate between endangered and non endangered
> > language I think most of problems we have to face are related to
> languages
> > endangered at various levels.
> >
> > On a more practical and less ideological note, I should note that even
> > though I didn't run the numbers, I strongly suspect that translating
> 10,000
> > articles to 100 languages is considerably cheaper than teaching 7 billion
> > people English.
> >
> > I don't why but I tend to second your suspects :p
> >
> >
> > Vito
> >
> > 2018-02-27 16:53 GMT+01:00 Peter Southwood <peter.southw...@telkomsa.net
> >:
> >
> > > If the people creating the basic encyclopaedic terminology and style in
> > > the language are native speakers, then it would not be a thing imposed
> > from
> > > outside. It would be a development within the language, just like it
> was
> > > with the languages that already have encyclopaedias. The basic
> > > encyclopaedic terminology and style in languages that have then also
> had
> > to
> > > be created before it existed, it just happened earlier. Living
> languages
> > > evolve to deal with the realities of the present. Those which don’t,
> tend
> > > to die out as they become less useful. Cheers, Peter
> > >
> > > -Original Message-
> > > From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> > > Behalf Of Vi to
> > > Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 1:43 PM
> > > To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> > > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation
> > >
> > > I see Amir's points, which are pretty reasonable, but I fear this would
> > > suit languages with a significant presence on the web.
> > >
> > > Among them I agree with points 1, 3 and 4 while I'm not sure about #2
> > > "creating basic encyclopedic terminology and style in that language",
> if
> > we
> > > want to preserve a language we shouldn't create a thing.
> > >
> > > By the way I was wondering my concerns about cultural c

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-03-04 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Yes, I mentioned something like this in one of my emails in this thread.

Every language goes through a period of creating terminology. Some
languages successfully create native words (Icelandic is a famous example),
some languages are fine with taking foreign words (um, English took a lot
from Latin, Greek and other languages), some are a mix (Russian). You can
never say "it's *impossible* to write about science in this language"; you
can, at most, say "it's *difficult* to write about science in this language
*today".

People who speak a language that had already overcome this problem must
remember that their language didn't always have this terminology. That's
one of the reasons why the resolution "just learn our language instead of
investing in your own" may be practical, but isn't very fair.

People who speak a language that hadn't yet overcome this must remember
that it's a challenge, but not a blocker. A translator who cares about
their language can overcome this with some ingenuity and resourcefulness.
(Teaser: I'm about to publish a blog post soon that talks about one
language that is doing it now with considerable success.)


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2018-03-04 15:22 GMT+02:00 Peter Southwood :

> Part of the problem may be that the vocabulary is lacking. It is very
> difficult to explain a concept in one language when you know the words only
> in another language, and it would be considered original research by some
> Wikipedias to make up words for the job. I have struggled with translations
> into Afrikaans, which has a reasonably extensive technical vocabulary, and
> good electronic dictionary systems,, but many concepts familiar to me in my
> fields of interest just do not have Afrikaans words (yet).
> Cheers,
> Peter
>
> -Original Message-
> From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On
> Behalf Of WereSpielChequers
> Sent: 04 March 2018 11:54
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation
>
> Pine, there is one possible way to fund such translation in the future;
> The Foundation is building up an endowment. When that endowment has grown
> to the point where the annual return is sufficient to fund the Foundation,
> then you could re-purpose the annual fundraiser from collecting money to
> host Wikipedia, to collecting money to make Wikipedia available in other
> languages.
>
> If I'm correct in thinking that part of the problem for many of our widely
> spoken languages with weak wikipedias is that the more educated people who
> speak those languages are more likely to contribute edits in what is to
> them a  higher status or more language or one more useful to their career,
> then maybe we should test using fundraiser  type advertising to ask our
> English readers in places like India to translate articles from English to
> Indic languages.
>
> In some parts of the world where incomes are generally very low and
> financial donations reflect that perhaps we have little to lose by shifting
> now from asking for funds to asking for content donations, especially in
> the language of that area.
>
> WereSpielChequers
>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> > Message: 2
> > Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2018 18:13:38 -0800
> > From: Pine W 
> > To: Wikimedia Mailing List 
> > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation
> > Message-ID:
> > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-03-01 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2018-02-28 16:03 GMT+02:00 Jean-Philippe Béland :
>
> The Wikimedia movement is more than encyclopedias... We already have
> Wikiversity for teaching, no? Are efforts to contribute to Wikiversity and
> other sister projects making us lose focus? I'm not sure to understand
what
> you are saying.

Paid translation of Wikipedia articles to underresourced languages is a
project that I can easily imagine. What needs to be done is quite clear;
the questions are how to get the resources for this, and how to make it not
too biased for undesirable interests, neither Western nor local.

Improving Wikiversity (or Wikibooks) is possibly a valid thing, but I just
don't know how to do it. Of course, I'm not the only person in this
movement; I'm just one of thousands of editors, and I also happen to be an
analyst in the Foundation staff, and my decision-making capacities are
very, very limited. If anybody has a *good* idea on how to improve them, it
would be awesome.

When I compare a project with a pretty easy-to-draft path, and an
understandable goal (paid translation, growing a language's online
presence), to a project the goal of which is finding ideas for how to
improve Wikiversity, I'd bet my resources on paid translation (if it even
was my decision to make). And I have to remind again, that I, in
particular, am very biased about the topic of translation, so really, you
don't have to agree with me ;)

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-03-01 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
That would be a very good project! Exactly the kind of thing that would be
a good implementation of John Erling's suggestion in his opening email. I'd
support it.


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2018-03-01 12:39 GMT+02:00 Harald Haugland <harha...@gmail.com>:

> This thread brought me to think of an article I wrote on Norwegian
> Wikipedia about a year ago. It was about the Allex Project   (African
> Languages Lexical Project), a project where universities in Oslo,
> Gothenburg and Harare cooperated in developing monolingual text corpus
> based dictionaries for shona and ndebele languages in Zimbabwe.
>
> The project resulted in a dictionary in shona, establishing a lexicographic
> institute at the university of Zimbabwe, African Languages Research
> Institute, 10 doctor degrees for zimbabwians and much more. Shona and
> ndbele were lifted from spoken language to university level and
> acknowledged as education language.
>
> There is a wikipedia in shona language. It has 3106 articles. If one could
> engage some of the people that worked in the Allex Project to do a paid
> translation job, it would benefit about 14 million speakers, shona is the
> most spoken Bantu language, Zulu is next to shona, spoken by 10 million,
> according to our articles.
>
> https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALLEX-prosjektet
>
> Greetings from frozen, sunny Norway
>
> Harald Haugland
>
>
>
>
> 2018-02-28 15:03 GMT+01:00 Jean-Philippe Béland <jpbel...@wikimedia.ca>:
>
> > The Wikimedia movement is more than encyclopedias... We already have
> > Wikiversity for teaching, no? Are efforts to contribute to Wikiversity
> and
> > other sister projects making us lose focus? I'm not sure to understand
> what
> > you are saying.
> >
> > JP
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 2:32 AM Amir E. Aharoni <
> > amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
> >
> > > 2018-02-28 1:25 GMT+02:00 James Salsman <jsals...@gmail.com>:
> > >
> > > > > I was not trying to say that everybody
> > > > > should learn English. The point I was
> > > > > trying to make there is that knowing
> > > > > English is a privilege and that it is easy
> > > > > to not notice it.
> > > >
> > > > I agree with that, too. How is teaching language different relative
> to
> > > > the Foundation Mission than teaching subjects of encyclopedia
> > > > articles?
> > > >
> > > >
> > > We are not *teaching* encyclopedia articles. We are making it possible
> to
> > > write them and to read them. It is not the same thing as teaching
> > subjects.
> > >
> > > Should we do teaching? Maybe, but since it's different from making it
> > > possible to write and read, I'm afraid it would be losing focus.
> > >
> > > Is there anything bad about teaching languages? Of course not. It's
> > great.
> > > I'm just not sure that it's the right thing for Wikimedia to do, when
> > > Wikimedia should be busy getting even better at its main thing: wiki
> > > articles.
> > >
> > > --
> > > Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> > > http://aharoni.wordpress.com
> > > ‪“We're living in pieces,
> > > I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] knowing English is a privilege (was Re: Paid translation)

2018-03-01 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2018-02-28 23:09 GMT+02:00 James Salsman :
>
> > building an authoritative dictionary is considerably
> > harder than building a (de facto) authoritative encyclopedia.
>
> What reason is there to think that? My any measure of editor hours, or
> the amount of money it would take to replicate the effort, or the
> maintenance load going forward, I'm sure that even a three shelf foot
> encyclopedia is harder than a 100,000 word dictionary.

A couple of reasons:
* For the particular case of Wikimedia, we are using the same software for
Wiktionary as we do for Wikipedia. It's insane. MediaWiki wasn't made for
that. It was made for Wikipedia.
* An *authoritative* dictionary needs authority. It must be built by a team
of trained and certified linguists. It needs a large and systematized
collection of citations. It's just harder to do this for a dictionary than
for an encyclopedia. Citations for an encyclopedia these days are often
easily googlable, and the form of an encyclopedia article is freer than the
form of a dictionary entry, which must be super-strict.

The English Wiktionary community is overcoming both of these problem
valiantly.

It is overcoming the first problem by using lots of templates and gadgets,
which kinda work in practice, but which are hard to learn and to replicate
for other languages, and hard for software to process.

It is overcoming the second problem by being more practically useful than
authoritative, similarly to Wikipedia. Lexicographic citations in English
are particularly easy to google up, given that:
* English is the #1 language on the web
* Google is a company based in an English-speaking country and (probably)
getting most of its revenue from English-speaking customers
* English has a simple morphology, for which it is particularly easy to
build a well-working search engine for

However, while it's easy to google up examples for English word usage, I
strongly suspect that googling won't produce results that will be as
systematized as a citation database of Merriam-Webster is.

Wikipedia had proved long ago that it can compete—even if not necessarily
win—with the authority of Britannica, but Wiktionary hasn't yet proven that
it can compete with the authority of Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Houaiss,
Duden, etc.

(The English Wiktionary is not necessarily special; I also got to use the
French, German, and Dutch Wiktionaries a bit, and they all do it at a level
of quality that is comparable to the English one.)

Is it desirable for Wiktionary to get better? Of course it is. Can
Wiktionary get better? Yes, and path is quite clear. Wikidata's Lexeme
project is progressing slowly, but its direction is right. It will finally
build a technical platform that is actually good for a dictionary.

At https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T186421 I've been writing my ideas
about how Lexical Wikidata can actually be used by editors and readers. So
I'm very much on board with the idea of better Wiktionary. (Before you jump
to conclusions: These ideas were not solicited by Wikidata developers. They
are totally mine, and they are not in any way "official". I'm just writing
them down as a brain dump, in my personal volunteering capacity, hoping
that they will be useful to Wikidata developers.)

> > We are not *teaching* encyclopedia articles.
>
> What is the difference between delivering the text of an encyclopedia
> article and teaching it? Encyclopedias are not written to be
> accompanied by a lecturer, tutor, or teacher. We even teach how to
> write them, to students, in schools, and the students often if not
> almost always get academic credit for their work:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Education_program/Educators

Exactly: As Wikimedians, we are actively teaching people to write in
Wikipedia (and in other Wikimedia projects), but we are not teaching the
*subjects* of the articles. Not as Wikimedians. Some Wikimedians are also
teachers, and they use Wikipedia articles as handouts, but this is not
really a Wikimedia activity.

As Wikimedians we just make materials available, and we teach others *to
make them available*.

> > Wikimedia should be busy getting even better at its main thing: wiki
articles.
>
> Why? We are already the best at that.

We may be the best, and we are definitely the most popular, but we could be
so, so much better. And we should be.

As a simple high-level example, it's still not NEARLY as easy to become a
Wikipedia editor as it should be.

I often wish that Wikipedia had more substantial competitors, so it would
drive us to be faster at improving ourselves. Medium.com, Quora.com,
Genius.com, and some other web properties are occasionally mentioned as
Wikimedia's competitors, but none of them is doing quite the same thing as
Wikimedia does, and though each of them is quite popular, none is as
popular as Wikipedia is.

(I will readily admit, however, that Google is a competitor for providing
quick facts, and Facebook and Instagram are 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-02-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2018-02-28 1:03 GMT+02:00 Tim Landscheidt :

> Then of course there is the more fundamental problem: If
> those 100,000 monolingual speakers do not speak other lan-
> guages, have no access to encyclopedias, etc., how do they
> interact with a computer now, which web sites do they visit,
> etc.?
>

Quite possibly, they don't visit any websites.

Can Wikipedia be a first website in a given language? Of course.

Who if not Wikipedia? In a lot of languages, the first, and sometimes the
only written work is a translation of the Bible or of the UDHR. (Reminder:
The Bible was the first work that was published in a lot of European
languages, too.) These are usually made by some kind of a funded initiative
that comes from religious or human rights organizations. Why shouldn't it
be a translation of 10,000 Wikipedia articles? Why shouldn't it be an
initiative from Wikimedia or another educational organization?


> I just have a very hard time to imagine a community of
> 100,000 people under those circumstances who are only held
> back by not having access to a Wikipedia.  On the contrary,
> this reminds me very much of traditional development prac-
> tices where third world countries always seem to urgently
> need to buy what first world countries have to sell.  IMHO,
> there is a considerable risk that this creates unhealthy de-
> pendencies.
>

Hey, if people don't want it, they don't have to read it, but I suspect
that if you *let* people read useful information about geography, medicine,
public policy, economics, etc., they will use it.

But in very simplified terms, I see it as a competition between UN, JW,
Facebook, and Wikimedia, and Wikimedia is hardly even participating. UN is
a fine organization, but not very useful in people's daily life. Religious
materials' contribution to development of publishing and literacy
throughout history can't be denied, but the usefulness of their content can
be questioned. Facebook is useful to a lot of people, and it can be
localized easily, but it would be kind of depressing if that's the only
thing that people do in their language. And Facebook is very actively
trying to reach to the farthest corners of the world and get people
connected.

And this leaves Wikimedia, which is hardly doing anything proactive to get
its materials *actually* written in more languages. We are making
*technologies* for translation—Wikidata, Content Translation, and more—and
they are used by thousands of translators to write in dozens of languages,
but we are not doing anything proactive to expand the coverage of languages
beyond the usual suspects: the 70 or so languages that John Erling
mentioned in the email that started this thread. The ~70 big languages take
care of themselves. We've been saying that the rest of the languages can
take care of themselves, but that is naïve.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-02-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2018-02-28 1:25 GMT+02:00 James Salsman :

> > I was not trying to say that everybody
> > should learn English. The point I was
> > trying to make there is that knowing
> > English is a privilege and that it is easy
> > to not notice it.
>
> I agree with that, too. How is teaching language different relative to
> the Foundation Mission than teaching subjects of encyclopedia
> articles?
>
>
We are not *teaching* encyclopedia articles. We are making it possible to
write them and to read them. It is not the same thing as teaching subjects.

Should we do teaching? Maybe, but since it's different from making it
possible to write and read, I'm afraid it would be losing focus.

Is there anything bad about teaching languages? Of course not. It's great.
I'm just not sure that it's the right thing for Wikimedia to do, when
Wikimedia should be busy getting even better at its main thing: wiki
articles.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-02-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2018-02-27 21:23 GMT+02:00 James Salsman :

> Languages are taught by authoritative dictionaries (after people, and
> ahead of almost all other similar reference books.)
>

... Yeah, and building an authoritative dictionary is considerably harder
than building a (de facto) authoritative encyclopedia. Despite, I have
enormous respect for Wiktionary, and great (great!) hopes about Lexical
Wikidata.


> Wiktionary has multiple teaching functions whether we want it to or
> not: https://curve.coventry.ac.uk/open/items/efe362e1-fe80-4c90-
> bc1e-4ab2d9bbae20/1/
>

Why not :)


> Amir, you know it would not be losing focus because of what you said
> in your talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_xJaqQV71s
>

Um... thanks for the publicity :)

But no, that's not what I said. I was not trying to say that everybody
should learn English. The point I was trying to make there is that knowing
English is a privilege and that it is easy to not notice it. Of course, if
that point didn't come through, it's my fault.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-02-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Well... Not that teaching languages—big or small—is bad, but wouldn't we be
losing focus if we got into it?

Wikibooks and Wikiversity can theoretically be places for teaching. Are
they good at it? Probably not. Should they be made better? Maybe.

בתאריך 27 בפבר׳ 2018 19:52,‏ "Jean-Philippe Béland" 
כתב:

Amir,

I agree with everything you said, especially that languages are knowledge
in themselves, but I must say that Wikimedia is not doing much in an effort
to teach languages to people. Why isn't there more effort at the WMF or as
a movement to try to develop a platform to teach languages?

Jean-Philippe Béland
Vice President and Programs Coordinator, Wikimedia Canada
Coordinator, Wikimedians of North American Indigenous Languages User Group
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-02-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
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2018-02-27 18:04 GMT+02:00 Tim Landscheidt <t...@tim-landscheidt.de>:

> "Amir E. Aharoni" <amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
>
> > […]
>
> > Sometimes it is, but there is something much bigger: There are many
> > languages that
> > 1. are alive in speech (and possibly in writing)
> > 2. are not in danger of extinction
> > 3. have a large number of monolingual speakers (let's say 100,000+)
>
> > If there is no substantial Wikipedia in such a language, these people
> can't
> > read Wikipedia in *any language* because they are monolingual. Most
> likely
> > they cannot read any any encyclopedia in any language. They need a
> > Wikipedia not in order to preserve the language, but to have access to
> > *any* encyclopedic knowledge.
>
> > I speak a revitalized language, and I'm very well aware of its history.
> > Language preservation and revitalization are lovely things. But it's not
> > the main point of what Wikimedia does.
>
> "Need a Wikipedia" sounds like a great idea when you are
> selling Wikipedias, but for progress, betterment of humani-
> ty, sustainable development, etc. I think teaching those
> monolingual speakers a second language (for example English)
> is far preferable as it not only enables them to access to a
> few hundred or thousand articles someone paid to have trans-
> lated, but all articles of the English Wikipedia, plus every
> English article, every English book, every English blog, ev-
> ery English video on the InterNet.
>
> It also grows them not only intellectually, but also removes
> economical barriers for trading with other groups.
>
> Tim
>
>
> ... Yeah, it's a tempting thought. Without English we wouldn't be able to
have this conversation, and do thousands of other things.

And yet, that's exactly what we as Wikimedia are not supposed to do, for
reasons that mathieu stumpf guntz suggests: not only what is written in a
language is knowledge; language itself is also knowledge.

On a more practical and less ideological note, I should note that even
though I didn't run the numbers, I strongly suspect that translating 10,000
articles to 100 languages is considerably cheaper than teaching 7 billion
people English.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-02-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2018-02-27 13:42 GMT+02:00 Vi to :

> I see Amir's points, which are pretty reasonable, but I fear this would
> suit languages with a significant presence on the web.
>
> Among them I agree with points 1, 3 and 4 while I'm not sure about #2
> "creating
> basic encyclopedic terminology and style in that language", if we want to
> preserve a language we shouldn't create a thing.
>
> By the way I was wondering my concerns about cultural colonization may be
> addressed -for wikis which has some contents (let's say at least 1000
> articles)- by starting expanding existing articles instead of translating
> new ones. This would solve the problem of choosing what to translate though
> would leave problems about the perspective contents are created.
>
> Vito
>

It's a very common mistake to think that the purpose of Wikipedias in
"small" languages is language preservation or revitalization.

Sometimes it is, but there is something much bigger: There are many
languages that
1. are alive in speech (and possibly in writing)
2. are not in danger of extinction
3. have a large number of monolingual speakers (let's say 100,000+)

If there is no substantial Wikipedia in such a language, these people can't
read Wikipedia in *any language* because they are monolingual. Most likely
they cannot read any any encyclopedia in any language. They need a
Wikipedia not in order to preserve the language, but to have access to
*any* encyclopedic knowledge.

I speak a revitalized language, and I'm very well aware of its history.
Language preservation and revitalization are lovely things. But it's not
the main point of what Wikimedia does.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-02-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2018-02-27 13:00 GMT+02:00 mathieu stumpf guntz <
psychosl...@culture-libre.org>:

>
>
> Le 24/02/2018 à 18:08, Vi to a écrit :
>
>> *finally I think paid translators would hardly turn into stable
>> Wikipedians.
>>
>> I think this misses an important point that is, we don't need the initial
> translator to turn into a sustaining editor, we need the article to evolve
> with call to action incentives. And articles which don't exist at all –
> even as a stub – or don't meet an audience of potential contributors will
> never catch such an evolving cycle.


This is one of the issues with what I alluded to in my earlier email in
this thread: the privilege that the "big" languages have. It's the
privilege of already having other encyclopedias, textbooks, public
education, etc., in this language. A lot of languages don't have these
things. When you speak a language that has had these things before
Wikipedia came along, it's hard to perceive the world like a person who
speaks a language that doesn't perceives it.

If you define the purpose of paying somebody to translate as "turning the
paid translator" into a sustaining editor, then this is indeed likely to
fail.

But if you define the purpose differently, it may succeed. For example, you
may define the purpose as one or more of the following:
* Demonstrating that it's possible to write an encyclopedia in that language
* Creating basic encyclopedic terminology and style in that language
* Creating a bunch of basic articles that would appear in interlanguage
links in Wikipedias from bigger languages (English, French, etc.)
* Creating a bunch of basic articles that would appear in search results
from internet search engines

The existence of these things may bring in people who will become volunteer
sustaining editors.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-02-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Indeed. We can all agree that it's OK for a lot of reason to have
differences in content between projects. What these differences are is a
separate discussion.

These differences often come up when discussing translation projects in
Wikipedia, and it's important to recognize them, but it's also important
not to treat them as a blocker or to let them be too much of a distraction.


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2018-02-27 11:40 GMT+02:00 John Erling Blad :

> WWII is not an universal truth. If some small country claim the Nazis was
> the good guys, then they are simply wrong.
>
> Yes there are a lot of projects where information diverge, but usually that
> is because someone added material that somehow seems more appropriate for
> readers in that specific language. Although sometimes the content is really
> wrong, and that happen on all projects.
>
>
> On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 12:51 PM, Gerard Meijssen <
> gerard.meijs...@gmail.com
> > wrote:
>
> > Hoi,
> > I have been involved in a translation project with professional
> translators
> > translating featured articles of the English Wikipedia. The choice for
> > featured articles was done because we expected that the content would not
> > be in dispute. We found different. Several of the translated articles
> were
> > not accepted.. one of them was about World War II.
> >
> > I have also toyed with the idea of content that is not available in the
> > language of a Wikipedia (including English). Translation is one solution
> an
> > other solution is generating basic information from the data available at
> > Wikidata. The benefit is not only to our readers; they will at least be
> > informed up to a point and another benefit will be the quality of the
> > Wikipedia involved. One problem that will be fixed is the one of false
> > friends, when red links are linked to Wikidata, the information provided
> > will always be implicitly correct. Another possibility is to provide the
> > text of a sister Wikipedia.
> >
> > We can do a better job by providing the sum of all knowledge that is
> > available to us.
> > Thanks,
> >   GerardM
> >
> > On 25 February 2018 at 15:16, John Erling Blad  wrote:
> >
> > > Sorry, but this does not make sense. The core articles apply globally.
> > > There will although be articles in additions to a list of core
> articles,
> > > but I don't try to advocate any of those lists as the one and only
> list.
> > > Actually I have toyed with an idea of automatically create a list of
> core
> > > articles, and that would identify important articles no matter if they
> > are
> > > from a big western language or a minority language.
> > >
> > > The main problem is NOT that minority languages should have articles
> > about
> > > the major cities and important philosophers, *the main problem is that
> > > minor languages can't get started because they lack content*!
> > >
> > > On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 2:41 AM, Vi to  wrote:
> > >
> > > > Cultural appropriation is something different, by "forcing" the
> > contents
> > > in
> > > > a minority language we would actually be at risk of implementing a
> form
> > > of
> > > > "cultural colonialism" which is the opposite of a cultural
> > appropriation.
> > > >
> > > > NOTE: I refer to "the Western" in both cultural and "Wikipedian"
> > sense: I
> > > > mean cultures with a strong presence on the web plus developed and
> > > > flourishing Wikipedia communities.
> > > >
> > > > Helping minority languages with funds/workforce is not bad in my
> > opinion,
> > > > but I think a bottom-up process must be followed, with the "bottom"
> > being
> > > > as closer as possible to relevant linguistic/cultural communities. A
> > > > Wikipedia full of "what the Westerns think is important" in a
> minority
> > > > non-Western language would definitely fail project scopes.
> > > >
> > > > This kind of problem almost does not arise with minority language
> > > > associated to Western cultures since they share the same cultural
> > > > backgrounds: back to my previous example the cultural background of
> > > > Sicilian is substantially equal to Italian one. Still, as I already
> > > wrote,
> > > > wikis in minority languages should focus on a certain aspect of wiki
> > > scope:
> > > > Wiki has roughly two main scopes: 1) sharing knowledge in a certain
> > > > language 2) also preserving the cultural heritage associated with
> > > different
> > > > languages. For languages mainly spoken as first language the "sharing
> > > > knowledge" aspect is predominant, while the second should take
> > precedence
> > > > in languages whose speakers are native speakers of a "bigger"
> language.
> > > >
> > > > Vito
> > > >
> > > > 2018-02-24 22:58 GMT+01:00 John Erling Blad :
> > > >
> > > > > Seems like this is mostly about cultural 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Paid translation

2018-02-25 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
I'll start by saying that I'm one of the developers of Content Translation,
so I'm obviously biased about this topic.

A lot of good points were raised here, but there's one that is not really
mentioned. If it sounds obvious to you, it's great, but it's not obvious to
everyone. Here it is:

More successful Wikipedia projects tend to be in languages in which there
is an established history and tradition of:
* elementary and higher education where teachers and professors speak to
students in that language, and in which students write papers in that
language
* publishing textbooks
* publishing encyclopedias
* publishing dictionaries
* translating works from (any) other languages, both fiction and reference

People who can read in these developed languages should remember this
privilege that they have: English, French, Russian, Spanish, German,
Polish, Italian, Dutch, Czech, Japanese, Norwegian, Hebrew and a few other
well-developed Wikipedias are written in languages in which good
encyclopedias had already existed before Wikipedia came along. A Wikipedia
in these languages didn't make encyclopedic knowledge available in these
languages; it made encyclopedic knowledge *more easily* available in them.

There are many other things that (probably) affect the development of a
Wikipedia, such as web connectivity; speakers' population; speakers'
attitude to the language; work week length (and the remaining free time);
volunteering culture (or lack thereof); support of common operating systems
for the language; economic indicators like GDP and HDI in the countries
where the language is spoken; etc. I'm not aware of research that checks
the correlation between these aspects and the development of a Wikipedia
project in a language, but I strongly suspect that it exists for at least
some of the above. (If anybody reading this is aware of such research, I'll
be very happy to read it.)

But it's important to go back to the first point here: The existence of
previous encyclopedias makes it easier for writers in these languages to
simply start writing. "An encyclopedia" is not a new concept for them. The
culture around these languages already had well-developed scientific
terminology and a language style.

When I speak to people who write in Wikipedia in languages of India,
Philippines, and other developing countries, they complain about different
things from people that write in European languages. For example, they very
often complain about the difficulty of writing in an encyclopedic style and
bridging the colloquial language that common people can read and the
standardized versions of the respective languages. This makes me think that
they were standardized in a way that is problematic for *actually* writing
an encyclopedia that would be useful to the general public.

A *massive* project for writing in a language, would create a critical mass
of people who would either make the general public accustomed to reading in
this standard language, or create a new de facto standard. But I guess that
none of the current Wikipedia projects in these languages have this
critical mass of writers.

A translation project, such as what Jon Erling Blad and Lane Rasberry are
suggesting in this thread *may* create such a critical mass. It also needs
bold leaders, who will take it upon themselves Languages that are developed
today went through periods of directed development in the past; Lomonosov
did it for Russian, Diderot did it for French, and so on. This can happen
today as well. (English went through this, too, although I'm not sure which
person should be tied to it: Isaac Newton? Samuel Johnson? John Harris
(Q562265)? Alfred the Great? Probably all of them to some degree.)

I'd even go further and say that I don't agree with Lane when he says that
the WMF cannot and will never pay for content. It sounds like a given thing
to some people, but it isn't. Quite the contrary; it's imaginable that a
careful and thoughtful project of this nature can be carried out by the WMF
itself. "WMF never does this" is not a rule, and it must not be a mental
blocker. I increasingly feel that the WMF is gradually, increasingly
understanding that different languages need different kinds of resources
and support, and this may include paid content creation. (Before you jump
to conclusions: I'm a WMF staff member, but please don't understand from
this that I know about some internal project to do such a thing, or that I
am suggesting to do this. Neither thing is true. I'm just writing a sincere
stream of consciousness about my opinions and feelings, and I might be
wrong about it all.)

That said, it does make more sense to me that organizations other than the
WMF should lead such work, perhaps with some WMF funding, for the sake of
thought diversity if for nothing else. But whether it's paid for by the WMF
directly, by Wikimedia chapters, by thematic interest groups, or by
somebody else is not the main issue. What is important, is that *local*
people and 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Welcome messages at arwiki

2017-12-31 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
It may or may not be a coincidence, but today I heard a similar complaint
from somebody who occasionally edits in Hebrew, and was freaked out by a
welcome message that was sent after he simply read a page in the French
Wikipedia.

As Jonathan says, even if it is a privacy issue, it's not really a new one,
because user creation logs have been public for a long time; it may just be
more visible because of the bots.

And again, at a more appropriate time: very happy new year to all!

בתאריך 29 בדצמ׳ 2017 11:21,‏ "John Erling Blad"  כתב:

> Users on other projects are complaining about the welcome messages at
> arwiki. A bot at that project are welcoming people that has no activity at
> that project at all. The bot operator claims the activity is valid, but I
> can't see that this is a well-behaving bot at all.[1]
>
> I suspect the bot is welcoming every user it can find, but using user
> accounts from central login and not users that has local contributions at
> arwiki.
>
> Can someone shut down the bot until the user fix the spam problem.
>
> [1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Meno25#Welcome_messages
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Welcome messages at arwiki

2017-12-30 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Oh, I absolutely agree that there is an important cultural aspect here.
That's why towards the end of the email I acknowledged that this has been
done for many years.

Nevertheless, it's worth occasionally stopping and thinking about the
usefulness. These messages are supposed to be sent to new users, but the
culture we're talking about is the culture of new users; and at the same
time, we're often saying that many new users have a hard time getting into
Wikipedia. So the welcome templates may—or may not—be part of this problem.
This is just one example of a question worth asking.

בתאריך 30 בדצמ׳ 2017 11:38,‏ "Ting Chen" <wing.phil...@gmx.de> כתב:

> Hello Amir,
>
>
> I think what you are questioning is right. And it is necessary to ask such
> questions. In my day job it is my duty to ask and discuss such questions
> with my customers.
>
>
> But, with the time I sort of see that these pure utilitarian questions are
> not the only questions that we need to consider. I start to ask questions
> that are beyond or below (according to the perspective) these pure
> utilitarian questions. I find the answer Meno25 gave on Meta a very
> interesting one in this respect. In his answer he was not arguing about if
> the welcome-bot is useful or meaningful. He said it is their custom to do
> so. What he is pointing to is culture. See, why do we hug, shake hands,
> nod, or rub noses, or kiss? From a pure utilitarian point of view these
> behaviors are not only meaningless, they are even potentially dangerous for
> our health. If we just want to meet other people and talk to them why do we
> not just directly talk about what we want to talk about and make it behind
> us?
>
>
> And this is why in my opinion it is good that every project has its own
> way to handle welcome message: Because the welcome message is not only a
> utilitarian thing, there is culture beyond or below it. There is culture
> encompassed from the societies where the project community is embedded in
> and there is culture that was created and developed by the project
> community.
>
>
> This is why in my opinion as long as the message is not malicious how
> every community handles this is their own thing.
>
>
> Greetings
>
> Ting
>
>
>
> Am 30.12.2017 um 09:29 schrieb Amir E. Aharoni:
>
>> It's a good opportunity to step back and discuss a little something.
>>
>> The existence of pretty much every bot is a reason to think of a missing
>> feature in the site's software. The same goes for templates and gadgets.
>>
>> Why do many wikis have custom welcome templates and bots that send them?
>> The intuitive answer is "to send a personal message to a new user", but if
>> it's done by a bot, it's already not personal. What does the bot actually
>> automate? The placement of a template? But what is the actual purpose of
>> the template?
>>
>> Is it to say "hello and welcome"? The notifications feature already does
>> it
>> nicely.
>>
>> To send people a list of useful links? I heard many times that new users
>> actually do find them useful, and it's a good thing. But it's nevertheless
>> an anecdotal claim, and smarter questions should be asked:
>> * How many people actually read these messages?
>> * Are all the links useful? Do people actually click them?
>> * Could some be removed? Could some be added?
>> * Why is it different in every project? Could at least some parts be
>> reused
>> across languages in a robust and properly localizable manner?
>> * Is the talk page really a good place to do this?
>> * How useful is it for people for people who come from another language
>> and
>> have an account auto-created?
>>
>> And so on.
>>
>> Welcome templates have been a part of our sites for well over a decade,
>> but
>> it's never too late to ask fundamental question about what purpose do they
>> serve, and how could this purpose be served better.
>>
>> Happy New Year :)
>>
>> בתאריך 29 בדצמ׳ 2017 11:21,‏ "John Erling Blad" <jeb...@gmail.com> כתב:
>>
>> Users on other projects are complaining about the welcome messages at
>>> arwiki. A bot at that project are welcoming people that has no activity
>>> at
>>> that project at all. The bot operator claims the activity is valid, but I
>>> can't see that this is a well-behaving bot at all.[1]
>>>
>>> I suspect the bot is welcoming every user it can find, but using user
>>> accounts from central login and not users that has local contributions at
>>> arwiki.
>>>
>>> Can someone shut down the bot until the us

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Welcome messages at arwiki

2017-12-30 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
It's a good opportunity to step back and discuss a little something.

The existence of pretty much every bot is a reason to think of a missing
feature in the site's software. The same goes for templates and gadgets.

Why do many wikis have custom welcome templates and bots that send them?
The intuitive answer is "to send a personal message to a new user", but if
it's done by a bot, it's already not personal. What does the bot actually
automate? The placement of a template? But what is the actual purpose of
the template?

Is it to say "hello and welcome"? The notifications feature already does it
nicely.

To send people a list of useful links? I heard many times that new users
actually do find them useful, and it's a good thing. But it's nevertheless
an anecdotal claim, and smarter questions should be asked:
* How many people actually read these messages?
* Are all the links useful? Do people actually click them?
* Could some be removed? Could some be added?
* Why is it different in every project? Could at least some parts be reused
across languages in a robust and properly localizable manner?
* Is the talk page really a good place to do this?
* How useful is it for people for people who come from another language and
have an account auto-created?

And so on.

Welcome templates have been a part of our sites for well over a decade, but
it's never too late to ask fundamental question about what purpose do they
serve, and how could this purpose be served better.

Happy New Year :)

בתאריך 29 בדצמ׳ 2017 11:21,‏ "John Erling Blad"  כתב:

> Users on other projects are complaining about the welcome messages at
> arwiki. A bot at that project are welcoming people that has no activity at
> that project at all. The bot operator claims the activity is valid, but I
> can't see that this is a well-behaving bot at all.[1]
>
> I suspect the bot is welcoming every user it can find, but using user
> accounts from central login and not users that has local contributions at
> arwiki.
>
> Can someone shut down the bot until the user fix the spam problem.
>
> [1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Meno25#Welcome_messages
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikidata] An answer to Lydia Pintscher regarding its considerations on Wikidata and CC-0

2017-11-30 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2017-11-30 11:46 GMT+02:00 mathieu stumpf guntz <
psychosl...@culture-libre.org>:
>> Nobody suggest in no way to do license laundering nor to violates
Wiktionaries licence,
>
> It's not suggestion, it's what Wikidata is already doing with Wikipedia,
despite the initial statement of Wikidata team[1] that it wouldn't do that
because it's illegal :
>
>/"Alexrk2, it is true that Wikidata under CC0 would not be allowed
>to import content from a Share-Alike data source. Wikidata does not
>plan to extract content out of Wikipedia at all. Wikidata will
>provide data that can be reused in the Wikipedias./"
>– Denny Vrandečić
>
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikidata#Is_CC_the_right_license_for_data.3F
>
> I think that the extent to which massive import without respecting
license of the source  should be investigated properly by the Wikimedia
legal team, or some qualified consultants.
>
> In the mid time, based on its previous practises, it's clear that
promises of Wikidata team regarding respect of licenses can not be trusted.
So even if they suggested that that kind of massive import won't be done,
it wouldn't be enough.

This is another personal attack, and it's unnecessary and incorrect.

The imports from Wikipedia were done by the Wikidata community, not by
Wikidata team.

It's too easy to speak in retrospect, but there were these plausible
scenarios:

1. Editors who strongly care about reliable sourcing, in the style of
English Wikipedia verifiability policies, are strongly opposed to importing
data from Wikipedia, because by itself it's a self-reference and not a
reliable source. If it would succeed, data would not be imported from
Wikipedia, not because of licensing, but because of content quality. I
remember attempts to do this, but evidently this is not what happened.

2. Editors who strongly care about the prevention of license whitewashing
object to importing data from Wikipedia and prevent it. This also could
happen, but it didn't.

3. Editors who are good at writing bots or making a lot of manual edits and
love seeing Wikidata getting filled with data, import a lot of data. Like
it or not, this happened.

Could anybody know in 2012 what would actually happen? I don't know. If you
would have asked me then, I'd possibly guess that scenarios 1 and 2 are
likelier, but now we know that that would be very naïve.

Judging by what happened in the past, I can suspect that data from
Wiktionary will be imported anyway. Public domain or not, the bots people
will find a way around licenses. It's a certain eventuality. The bigger
questions are under what license will it be eventually stored, under what
licenses will it be reused, and will this contribute to the growth of Free
Knowledge. My intuition tells me that using more CC-BY-SA and less CC-0
will contribute more to Free Knowledge, but what do I know.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An answer to Lydia Pintscher regarding its considerations on Wikidata and CC-0

2017-11-30 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2017-11-29 23:45 GMT+02:00 Mathieu Stumpf Guntz <
psychosl...@culture-libre.org>:
> Now, what would be the additional cost of storing sources in
> Wikidata? Well, zero cost. Actually, it's already here as the
> "reference" attribute is part of the Wikibase item structure. So
> attribution is not a problem, you don't have to put it in front of
> your derived work, just look at a Wikipedia article: until you go to
> history, you have zero attribution visible, and it's ok.

It's not the central point of this discussion, but I have to chime in here
a bit: It's OK for me, and I guess that it's OK for you given that you're
writing this, and I guess that it's OK for a lot of current Wikipedia
editors because otherwise they probably wouldn't be editing. But it's not
necessary OK for people who could be writing on Wikipedia and aren't
writing.

I specifically heard from several people who live in different countries
and speak different languages that the absence of easily visilbe
attribution is one reason why they don't want to contribute. Should this be
changed?—that's a big and completely separate question. I just wanted to
point out that it's not something that should be easily dismissed with
"it's OK". It's not OK for everybody.

I will also note, like some other people in this thread, that it's far
better to discuss ideas than discuss people. In particular, there are no
reasons to assume any bad intentions on Denny's part; Denny's involvement
with Wikimedia began long before his move to Google, and his current Google
affiliation is not a problem either.

Other than that, I kind of agree with Mathieu's general point: CC-0 may be
good for some things, but it's legitimate to question whether it should be
forced as the ONLY license for all of Wikidata. The whole point of licenses
is that they are enforceable and don't rely on the good will of any person,
organization, or company. It's comparable to the current discussion about
net neutrality in the U.S. (it is about U.S. law, but it's an issue that
will likely affect the rest of the web): U.S. telecom companies commit to
not use the lack of net neutrality to censor or throttle content, but
sometimes it's better to have an enforceable law than a commitment that can
be broken.

CC-0 can be abused by other entities to hurt Wikimedia's goals—by omitting
credit, by re-licensing to something restrictive and non-free, by copying
to a more accessible medium (e.g. Google search results page) and
censoring, etc. Copyleft can help prevent abuse, and it shouldn't actually
make information considerably less accessible to anybody.

(And the very necessary disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and I am a bit of a
Free Software and Copyleft fanboy.)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] September 28: Strategy update - Final draft of movement direction and endorsement process (#25)

2017-10-02 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
I don't read Ziko's concern as one that suggests to exclude developers or
teachers.

I read it as a suggestion that "... and beyond" is too inclusive, and thus
it doesn't mean much. This is a concern that I share myself. I'm all for
being inclusive, but the whole point of defining something is that it
should have _some_ limits.

If Ziko have meant something else, I'll be happy to know.

I'm assuming good faith on everybody's behalf. We come from different
cultures, we have different ideas, and we have different native languages.
That's precisely why we need clearer definitions, not fuzzier ones.


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2017-10-02 17:12 GMT+03:00 Joseph Seddon :

> Based on your definition of community does that mean that mediawiki
> developers are not part of the Wikimedia community?
>
> Are people who volunteer in the real world or teachers who incorporate
> Wikipedia into their classes not part of the Wikimedia community?
>
> Members of staff of GLAM institutions who we partner with and who
> evangelise on our behalf? Are they not part of the Wikimedia community?
>
> This more inclusive definition has long been used by some affiliates.
>
> To exclude these individuals would be against the very values of openness
> that we claim to represent and to be blunt, simply alienating.
>
> Seddon
>
> On Mon, Oct 2, 2017 at 3:10 PM, Fæ  wrote:
>
> > Ziko's point may not fit the rigid Americanocentric ideal of everything
> > must be positive, fantastic, yeehaw-we-are-number-one, but he's spot on
> > with how the foundations remain flawed.
> >
> > Only ever hearing congratulations and thanks can get you to a win, but
> will
> > never keep you there.
> >
> > Return to the talk page and use the criticism to help meaningful
> > improvements, please.
> >
> > Fae
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/LGBT+
> > http://telegram.me/wmlgbt
> >
> > On 2 Oct 2017 14:56, "Ziko van Dijk"  wrote:
> >
> > Hello Katherine,
> >
> > This is actually sad news. In my opinion, the draft is far away from
> being
> > a useful and appropriate document for our future.
> >
> > The serious issues from the talk page are only partially addressed in the
> > rewrite. So I contest your claim: "The version on Meta-Wiki is based on
> the
> > feedback you offered."
> >
> > You have announced that organizations and individuals are invited to
> > endorse the draft. Will there also be a possibility to reject the draft?
> I
> > remember the 2011 image filter referendum, when the WMF asked the
> community
> > how important it finds the filter, but not giving the option to be
> against
> > it.
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Image_filter_referendum/en;
> > uselang=en
> >
> > The drafts tries to enforce a new definition of the "community": "from
> > editors to donors, to organizers, and beyond". I thought that "community"
> > were people who are contributing to the wiki Wikipedia on a regular basis
> > as volunteers.
> >
> > I am very positive of having an open Wikimedia *movement*. But if in
> future
> > more or less everybody will be *community*: that is in fact abolishing
> the
> > community.
> >
> > Kind regards,
> > Ziko van Dijk
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > 2017-09-30 22:28 GMT+02:00 Katherine Maher :
> >
> > > Hi all,
> > >
> > > Since my update last month, we have been collecting, processing, and
> > > including your most recent input into the lastest version of the
> movement
> > > strategic direction. This version is available on Meta-Wiki.[1]
> > >
> > > We're so close! The direction will be finalized tomorrow, October 1.
> > > Starting tomorrow, we will begin to invite individuals and groups to
> > > endorse our movement's strategic direction. I want to share my greatest
> > > thanks and appreciation for the work and contributions so many of you
> > have
> > > made throughout this first phase (Phase 1) of developing a shared
> > strategic
> > > direction.
> > >
> > > In the coming weeks we will be preparing for Phase 2, which will
> involve
> > > developing specific plans for how we achieve the direction we have
> built
> > > together. I do not have many more details to share right now, but will
> of
> > > course offer an update as they become available.
> > >
> > > *Strategic direction*. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on
> the
> > > draft introduced at Wikimania. The version on Meta-Wiki is based on the
> > > feedback you offered.
> > >
> > > *Endorsements*. Once the strategic direction closes tomorrow,
> > > organizations, groups, and individuals within the movement will be
> > invited
> > > to endorse the direction, in a show of support for the future we are
> > > building together. We'll be sending an update next week on the process
> > and
> > > timeline.
> > >
> > > *Concluding Phase 1*. Please join me in 

[Wikimedia-l] language guides in your wiki?

2017-09-10 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hi,

(Cross-posting, because this can interest subscribers of several focused
mailing lists. This doesn't need much discussion on the mailing lists, and
the linked talk page can be used if any discussion is needed.)

Many wikis in the Wikimedia world give editors suggestions about the
correct usage of each respective language: orthography, register,
punctuation, and so on.

I started a page to list of such language guides:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_guides

I added a bunch of links to Hebrew there because that's my home wiki. I
also added a few pages that I could find for Catalan, Indonesian, Russian,
and Bosnian.

Please add your languages there! Surely there are dozens and dozens of
missing links there.

Before you ask: The linked page explains why Wikidata is not very
convenient for maintaining such a list, but if you think that you can put
this nicely in Wikidata, be bold.

Thank you!

Also thanks to whoever maintains the Wikipedia Indonesia Twitter account
(@idwiki) for giving me the idea for starting this page!



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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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[Wikimedia-l] Which templates should be global?

2017-06-28 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Hallo,

TLDR: If you are an experienced editor on any Wikimedia project in any
language, please add your ideas here:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Which_templates_should_be_global

In more detail:

Continuing some recent discussions from Phabricator[1], Wikimedia
Hackathon, and Wikimedia Developers Summit, I'd like to ask the wider
community of editors in all projects:

Which templates could be useful for all Wikimedia projects, or at least for
_many_ projects?

A lot of templates are replicated manually, and it's a problem that is
well-known to all experienced editors. If there was a technology that
allows templates to be more conveniently globally managed, which templates
would you adapt to this technology first?

I started a list at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Which_templates_should_be_global . Please
continue it! I'm very interested to hear from all projects and languages,
not only the big Wikipedias, so spread the word.

Thanks!

[1] For example https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T159334

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Affiliates] June 23: Update on Wikimedia movement strategy process (#19)

2017-06-25 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
> When you look at the
> team of Amir, they are doing splendid work and I do salute their latest
> effort where they now support collation for a language ahead of its
support
> in standards.
>

I agree. I think their work is splendid too. I’m glad to hear you share
that view.


Thank you both, but... The devil is in the details. Some details that are
really, really relevant to this discussion.

First, credit: This particular Collation work was almost completely done by
Brian Wolff and not by the Language team (brilliant work; thank you,
Brian). I only helped a little bit with code review and deployment.

Even more importantly, this work was not on the roadmap for either of us as
WMF staffers. We did as a pet project.

So while I'm happy that people have noticed this work and found it useful,
it must be remembered that it was executed despite the Foundation's
planning, not thanks to it. In all the planning discussions I am repeating
that that much more resources need to go to to our software
internationalization infrastructure, but it's not really happening. It's
quite wrong that much of the Web's most multilingual site's
internationalization infrastructure is done so slowly and in pet projects.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Naive questions: what could do the movement with 1B dollars/euros?

2017-05-17 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
I love it, although I suspect that 1B wouldn't be enough. The industry of
for-profit academic publishing is probably worth much more than that, and
it won't give up easily.

Not that I don't support the general idea, but the resistance will be hard.


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
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‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2017-05-17 21:02 GMT+03:00 Andrea Zanni <zanni.andre...@gmail.com>:

> With that amount of money,
> we could probably put an end on closed science in less than a decade, and
> make open access and open science the new standard.
> There's already a lot of efforts going on, but incumbent publishers are
> much more rich and resourceful.
> Lobbying, advocacy, outreach could do a lot, from our part.
> We are probably better equipped to coordinate bottom-up efforts
> (hackathons, tools and whatnot), and we would be better suited for the
> whole diplomatic/political/top-down side of it.
>
> Making open science the new standard would be a goal to itself and leverage
> for other results.
> We'd end up with a lot more free content for Wikimedia projects, probably
> better advocacy and outreach for us in Universities and research centers.
> We would spread and promote the Mertonian norms of science¹, which are
> already our values.
> Also, there's a fair chance for this new open science standard to sustain
> itself, as in the current system scientists and researchers *already* do
> research, publish and review for free.²
> A new paradigm for science and research could also be very important for
> developing countries, in which
> scientists are often required to adequate to mainstream science (eg. they
> are not able to research areas which would benefit their local community,
> like local diseases).
>
> Aubrey
>
>
> ¹ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mertonian_norms
> ² of course they are paid by their institutions, but the "act of
> publishing" and the whole scholarship workflow is "embedded" and already
> paid for.
>
> On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 7:38 PM, Amir E. Aharoni <
> amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
>
> > Heh, I remember Mr Wales asking what could the movement do with a million
> > dollars some time around 2006. Is anything on the horizon?
> >
> > What could we do? Many things; one of them would be to get our act
> together
> > and become a true leader in software and content localization. Currently
> we
> > are proud about maintaining MediaWiki, a piece of software that is
> probably
> > translated to more languages than any other, and that is great, but:
> >
> > 1. Our software localization tooling, excellent as it is, didn't become
> the
> > industry standard, even though it could with better packaging. Why is it
> > important? Because a Wikipedia in a given language doesn't exist in
> > isolation—it exists in an environment of other programs, sites,
> platforms,
> > and media. There was a (relatively) thriving software localization
> > community in the Catalan language already in the 1990s (!), so it's not
> > surprising that Catalan Wikipedia was the first to start after English,
> and
> > is among the most successful Wikimedia projects now. Making software
> > localization better for everybody will bring computer usage to the whole
> > world, and we can be the leaders in it, rather than leaving it to the
> > corporations.
> > 2. We have the theoretical ability to write articles in any language of
> the
> > world, but not everybody actually does it. Some language communities need
> > stronger nudges than others to get going: Training about translation and
> > scientific writing, developing terminology, developing spelling
> > dictionaries, developing keyboards that allow convenient typing, literacy
> > programs, etc. In a lot of languages the Bible is the only published
> book;
> > this happened thanks to donations from people who want to spread their
> > religion around the world. If it can be done with the Bible, it can be
> done
> > with an encyclopedia.
> > 3. We are influencing public policy in the area of copyright law, but we
> > should be influencing public policy around the whole world to make
> > localized computing and content more accessible. Lobbying needs
> resources.
> > See
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia_
> > movement/2017/Cycle_2/A_Truly_Global_Movement#Governments_
> > and_computer_vendors:_Accessibility_to_localization_technology
> >
> >
> > --
> > Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> > http://aharoni.wordpress.com
> > ‪“We're living in

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Naive questions: what could do the movement with 1B dollars/euros?

2017-05-17 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
(I'm not sure I was understood correctly... I didn't mean translating the
Bible to yet more languages, but translating an encyclopedia to more
languages.)


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2017-05-17 21:11 GMT+03:00 Jane Darnell <jane...@gmail.com>:

> That is an interesting idea! Maybe we should be working on modelling the
> Bible better on Wikidata and cross-referencing it to dictionaries and all
> other religious texts. If it is so important for literacy, it may help
> unite efforts on labelling in Wikidata. I have no idea how many words are
> used in the Bible, but hopefully it will cover a lot of basic ground in any
> language.
> If the 2bn falls through I bet we could ask the Vatican for a grant to
> Wikidatafy the entire Catholic encyclopedia.
>
> On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 7:38 PM, Amir E. Aharoni <
> amir.ahar...@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
>
> > Heh, I remember Mr Wales asking what could the movement do with a million
> > dollars some time around 2006. Is anything on the horizon?
> >
> > What could we do? Many things; one of them would be to get our act
> together
> > and become a true leader in software and content localization. Currently
> we
> > are proud about maintaining MediaWiki, a piece of software that is
> probably
> > translated to more languages than any other, and that is great, but:
> >
> > 1. Our software localization tooling, excellent as it is, didn't become
> the
> > industry standard, even though it could with better packaging. Why is it
> > important? Because a Wikipedia in a given language doesn't exist in
> > isolation—it exists in an environment of other programs, sites,
> platforms,
> > and media. There was a (relatively) thriving software localization
> > community in the Catalan language already in the 1990s (!), so it's not
> > surprising that Catalan Wikipedia was the first to start after English,
> and
> > is among the most successful Wikimedia projects now. Making software
> > localization better for everybody will bring computer usage to the whole
> > world, and we can be the leaders in it, rather than leaving it to the
> > corporations.
> > 2. We have the theoretical ability to write articles in any language of
> the
> > world, but not everybody actually does it. Some language communities need
> > stronger nudges than others to get going: Training about translation and
> > scientific writing, developing terminology, developing spelling
> > dictionaries, developing keyboards that allow convenient typing, literacy
> > programs, etc. In a lot of languages the Bible is the only published
> book;
> > this happened thanks to donations from people who want to spread their
> > religion around the world. If it can be done with the Bible, it can be
> done
> > with an encyclopedia.
> > 3. We are influencing public policy in the area of copyright law, but we
> > should be influencing public policy around the whole world to make
> > localized computing and content more accessible. Lobbying needs
> resources.
> > See
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia_
> > movement/2017/Cycle_2/A_Truly_Global_Movement#Governments_
> > and_computer_vendors:_Accessibility_to_localization_technology
> >
> >
> > --
> > Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> > http://aharoni.wordpress.com
> > ‪“We're living in pieces,
> > I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
> >
> > 2017-05-17 20:08 GMT+03:00 David Cuenca Tudela <dacu...@gmail.com>:
> >
> > > Are there any activities that could have a meaningful impact if we ask
> > > donors for such amount of seed money? Are there reasons to do so?
> > >
> > > Do we have the guts to do so?
> > >
> > > Do we have the organizational capital to handle it? Or can we get there
> > > soon?
> > >
> > > Do we have the moral right to take a lead in the world and ask for as
> > much
> > > resources as needed?
> > >
> > > Is our leader and our members willing to take big undertakings?
> > >
> > > Are most of us ready to live in fear while the values that we cherry
> most
> > > would crumble under our own eyes?
> > >
> > > Would it matter much if we as a movement would disappear? Or is it a
> > > struggle always a positive answer against the shadows in the world?
> > >
> > > Can we offer anything else in this world than truth, free knowledge,
> and
> >

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Naive questions: what could do the movement with 1B dollars/euros?

2017-05-17 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Heh, I remember Mr Wales asking what could the movement do with a million
dollars some time around 2006. Is anything on the horizon?

What could we do? Many things; one of them would be to get our act together
and become a true leader in software and content localization. Currently we
are proud about maintaining MediaWiki, a piece of software that is probably
translated to more languages than any other, and that is great, but:

1. Our software localization tooling, excellent as it is, didn't become the
industry standard, even though it could with better packaging. Why is it
important? Because a Wikipedia in a given language doesn't exist in
isolation—it exists in an environment of other programs, sites, platforms,
and media. There was a (relatively) thriving software localization
community in the Catalan language already in the 1990s (!), so it's not
surprising that Catalan Wikipedia was the first to start after English, and
is among the most successful Wikimedia projects now. Making software
localization better for everybody will bring computer usage to the whole
world, and we can be the leaders in it, rather than leaving it to the
corporations.
2. We have the theoretical ability to write articles in any language of the
world, but not everybody actually does it. Some language communities need
stronger nudges than others to get going: Training about translation and
scientific writing, developing terminology, developing spelling
dictionaries, developing keyboards that allow convenient typing, literacy
programs, etc. In a lot of languages the Bible is the only published book;
this happened thanks to donations from people who want to spread their
religion around the world. If it can be done with the Bible, it can be done
with an encyclopedia.
3. We are influencing public policy in the area of copyright law, but we
should be influencing public policy around the whole world to make
localized computing and content more accessible. Lobbying needs resources.
See
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Cycle_2/A_Truly_Global_Movement#Governments_and_computer_vendors:_Accessibility_to_localization_technology


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2017-05-17 20:08 GMT+03:00 David Cuenca Tudela :

> Are there any activities that could have a meaningful impact if we ask
> donors for such amount of seed money? Are there reasons to do so?
>
> Do we have the guts to do so?
>
> Do we have the organizational capital to handle it? Or can we get there
> soon?
>
> Do we have the moral right to take a lead in the world and ask for as much
> resources as needed?
>
> Is our leader and our members willing to take big undertakings?
>
> Are most of us ready to live in fear while the values that we cherry most
> would crumble under our own eyes?
>
> Would it matter much if we as a movement would disappear? Or is it a
> struggle always a positive answer against the shadows in the world?
>
> Can we offer anything else in this world than truth, free knowledge, and an
> open inclusive environment?
>
> Would you take best wishes from a stranger like me?
>
>
> Micru
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Closure of Beta Wikiversity

2017-05-16 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2017-05-16 14:28 GMT+03:00 Milos Rancic :

> There are other reasons listed here [1], most of which could be
> applied for Multilingual Wikisource, as well, but I see no reason why
> to the same with it, as the community of Multilingual Wikisource is
> doing a good job.
>
>
>
Pretty please, let's not even mention Multilngual Wikisource here. There is
no plan to close it and it's not related to this discussion at all.

This discussion is only about Beta Wikiversity.

--
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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What's making you happy this week? (Week of 7 May 2017)

2017-05-11 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
OK, so something amazing just happened: A Hebrew Wikipedia editor told me
that he uses the translated API Sandbox.

This probably sounds cryptic, so let me explain why is this significant.

The "API Sandbox" is a technical part of the MediaWiki software that shows
all the actions that are available for developers of extensions, bots,
scripts, etc. There are hundreds of such actions, and there are thousands
of English strings that document each action. You can see the API Sandbox
in English here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:ApiSandbox

In the past these documentation strings could only be written in English,
but in 2014 it became possible to translate them. So now it's possible to
see the API Sandbox in French, for example:
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:ApiSandbox

I do my best to keep the translation of MediaWiki into Hebrew at 100%, so I
translated them all for the sake of completeness, but I was sure that
nobody will ever use it, because programmers usually know English.

So now I have proof that it's _usually_, but not _always_. A developer of
gadgets in the Hebrew Wikipedia found it more comfortable to use the API
Sandbox in Hebrew than in English. And he's probably not alone. There are
probably a lot of people who would be good programmers if they had more
documentation in their language.

And this makes me happy because:
1. This translation actually enables more people to develop more useful
technical tools for Wikimedia projects.
2. More philosophically, this makes the gap between people who know English
and people who don't a little bit smaller. This gap is huge, but hard to
notice for people who know English (even for me).
3. More personally, now I know that the time I invested in translating
these strings was not wasted :)

Moral of the story: Localization is awesome, nobody should assume that
everyone knows English, and everything should be translatable.

Thanks to Brad Jorsch (User:Anomie) for making the API documentation
translatable!

--
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http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2017-05-08 9:06 GMT+03:00 Pine W :

> I was happy to see the final WMF list of GSoC 2017 and Outreachy Round 14
> projects.
>
> What's making you happy this week?
>
> Pine
>
> -- Forwarded message --
>
> Hello,
>
> Please join me in welcoming Wikimedia's accepted candidates for Google
> Summer of Code 2017 and Outreachy Round 14!
>
> Google Summer of Code 2017
>
>1.
>
>Alexander Jones, Texas, United States, Implement Thanks support in
>Pywikibot  - John Mark
>Vandenberg
>2.
>
>Amrit Sreekumar, Kerela, India, Improvements to ProofreadPage Extension
>and Wikisource  - Yann
>Forget, Tpt
>3.
>
>Feroz Ahmad, New Delhi, India, Add a "hierarchy" type to the Cargo
>extension  - Yaron Koren,
>Nischayn22
>4.
>
>Harjot Singh Bhatia, New Delhi, India, Adding Data storage feature and
>upgrading Quiz extension  -
>Marielle Volz, Sam Reed
>5.
>
>Harsh Shah, India, Build a similar to @NYPLEmoji bot for Commons images
>- Dereckson, Ariel
>6.
>
>Keerthana S, India, Automatic editing suggestions and feedbacks for
>articles in Wiki Ed Dashboard  wikimedia.org/T160840>
>- Sage Ross, Jonathan Morgan
>7.
>
>Sejal Khatri, India, Provide enhanced usability for Wikimedia Programs &
>Events Dashboard managed by Wiki Education foundation <
>https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T161929> - Sage Ross, Jonathan Morgan
>8.
>
>Siddhartha Sarkar, India, Single Image Batch Upload <
>https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T161670> - Basvb
>
> Outreachy Round 14
>
>1.
>
>Ela Opper, Tel Aviv, Israel, "Remind me of this article in X days"
>MediaWiki notification  -
>Matthew Flaschen and Moriel Schottlender
>2.
>
>Medha Bansal, New Delhi, India, WikiEduDashboard: Allow Programs &
>Events Dashboard to make automatic edits on connected wikis <
>https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T161568>- Jonathan Morgan, Sage Ross
>3.
>
>Sonali Gupta, Rajasthan, India, Document process for creating new Zotero
>translator and getting it live in production <
>https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T161191> - Marielle Volz
>
>
> We would like to encourage accepted candidates to introduce themselves on
> this thread, share with us where they are coming from and give a brief
> overview of the project they will be working on.
>
> We’re so proud of the contributions they have made so far to our community,
> and we look forward to having a wonderful time working with them over the
> summer! Also, a huge shout-out to the project mentors for 

[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia hubs in Nigeria

2017-05-04 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Do these Hubs have anything to do with writing in languages other than
English?

בתאריך 4 במאי 2017 17:55,‏ "Isaac Olatunde"  כתב:

Greetings,

What made me happy this week was the establishment of Wikimedia Hub in two
academic institutions in Nigeria, University of Ibadan and Nigeria
Institute of Journalism. I want to thank members of my community (Wikimedia
User Group Nigeria) who made this happened.

Regards,

Isaac


https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/05/02/digest-women-in-red/

On Wed, May 3, 2017 at 11:28 AM, James Heilman  wrote:

> Marielle there are a lot of great medical images in that textbook, Fae is
> there an ability to upload the images to commons by bot?
>
> James
>
> On Wed, May 3, 2017 at 1:06 AM, Marielle Volz 
> wrote:
>
> > What made me happy this week was the discovery of some good scientific
> > imagery that was openly licensed!
> >
> > The USDA has created a bunch of identification sites for species of
> > agricultural interest and released the images into the public domain.
> > I was looking for images of a particular mite and discovered the Bee
> > Mite site has released most of their images and all of their text to
> > the PD [1]. (I have uploaded to commons although done a bit of a hack
> > job on it). There are other sites which would also be a candidate for
> > batch upload, which are listed here: http://idtools.org/identify.php
> > (anyone interested in molluscs?)
> >
> > I have also discovered this Clinical Skills textbook licensed under CC
> > by 4 attribution.[2] I am in the process of adding some high quality
> > medical diagrams to articles on wiki. This same website hosts a bunch
> > of other open text books which may be a similarly good source of
> > content: https://opentextbc.ca/
> >
> > [1] http://idtools.org/id/mites/beemites/
> > [2] https://opentextbc.ca/clinicalskills/
> >
> > On Wed, May 3, 2017 at 7:08 AM, Kalliope Tsouroupidou
> >  wrote:
> > > +1 on this.
> > > News of the newly recognised User Group put a smile on my face :)
> > >
> > > K.
> > >
> > > On Wed, May 3, 2017 at 4:25 AM, Pine W  wrote:
> > >
> > >> I'm happy to see the development of the Commons Photographers User
> Group
> > >> .
> > >>
> > >> Personal background story (feel free to skip reading this):
> > >>
> > >> The first DSLR I touched was easy to use with the automatic settings
> for
> > >> indoor photography in good lighting. Based on this limited
> experience, I
> > >> concluded that photography with a DSLR was easy. Some time later I
> > bought
> > >> my own first DSLR, and quickly got lost. The menus were not intuitive
> > to me
> > >> as a DSLR newbie, there were new terms like "aperture" and "f-stop",
> the
> > >> manual was written for someone who already had good technical
> knowledge
> > of
> > >> how cameras work, and my lens wouldn't focus like I wanted. Wikipedia
> > has
> > >> some helpful articles about photography concepts, but what would have
> > >> helped me a lot is spending time with an experienced photographer.
> > After a
> > >> few years of trial and error, and asking questions of more
> knowledgeable
> > >> people, I'm happy with my skill level as a photography hobbyist in a
> > >> variety of situations. I hope that the new user Commons Photographers
> > group
> > >> will facilitate knowledge exchange, improve camaraderie, and consider
> > ways
> > >> to improve access to equipment -- especially for photographers in
> > >> situations where resources are scarce and potential for valuable
> > >> open-source contributions are very high.
> > >>
> > >> What's making you happy this week?
> > >>
> > >> Pine
> > >> ___
> > >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > >> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> > >> 
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Kalliope Tsouroupidou
> > > Community Advocate
> > > Wikimedia Foundation
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
> > ___
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> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] machine translation

2017-05-03 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2017-05-03 14:06 GMT+03:00 David Cuenca Tudela :

> Perhaps it would be a good idea to compare the translated text to the text
> that the user wants to save.
>
> If they are more than 95% the same, that means that the user didn't take
> the effort to correct the text.
>
> Cheers,
> Micru
>
>
As I noted, this already exists. Set at 75%. Can be changed.


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] machine translation

2017-05-03 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
[ Meta-comment: We usually call it "CX" and not "CT".[1] ]

2017-05-03 13:37 GMT+03:00 John Erling Blad :

> >
> > More seriously, it's quite possible that they already used some of the
> > translations made by the Norwegian Wikipedia community. In addition to
> > being published as an article, each translated paragraph is saved into
> > parallel corpora, and machine translation developers read the edited text
> > and use it to improve their software. This is completely open and usable
> by
> > all machine translation developers, not only for Yandex.
>
>
> It is quite possible the Yandex people has done something as the
> translations are a lot better now than previously. It also imply that it is
> really important to correct the text inside CT.
>

Absolutely.

All CX users must be encouraged to do this. Translation is done by humans.
That's the whole point. Content Translation is not a machine translation
tool. It's an article creation tool, which includes optional machine
translation for some language pairs. The Content Translation user interface
has three warning messages that discourage publishing unedited machine
translation,[2][3][4] and several of CX FAQs address this as well.[1]

If a user publishes an unedited machine translation, it should be handled
just like any other problematic page: it must be edited, moved to a draft,
or deleted, and the creating user should be warned.

[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Content_translation/Documentation/FAQ
[2]
https://translatewiki.net/w/i.php?title=Special:Translations=MediaWiki%3ACx-tools-instructions-text4%2Fhe
[3]
https://translatewiki.net/w/i.php?title=Special:Translations=MediaWiki%3ACx-mt-abuse-warning-title%2Fhe
[4]
https://translatewiki.net/w/i.php?title=Special:Translations=MediaWiki%3ACx-mt-abuse-warning-text%2Fhe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] machine translation

2017-05-02 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2017-05-02 21:47 GMT+03:00 John Erling Blad :

> Yandex as a general translation engine to be able to read some alien
> language is quite good, but as an engine to produce written text it is not
> very good at all.


... Nor is it supposed to be.

A translator is a person. Machine translation software is not a person,
it's software. It's a tool that is supposed to help a human translator
produce a good written text more quickly. If it doesn't make this work
faster, it can and should be disabled. If no translator


> In fact it often creates quite horrible Norwegian, even
> for closely related languages. One quite common problem is reordering of
> words into meaningless constructs, an other problem is reordering lexical
> gender in weird ways. The English preposition "a" is often translated as
> "en" in a propositional phrase, and then the gender is added to the
> following phrase. That gives a translation of  "Oppland is a county in…"
>  into something like "Oppland er en fylket i…" This should be "Oppland er
> et fylke i…".
>

I suggest making a page with a list of such examples, so that the machine
translation developers could read it.


> (I just checked and it seems like Yandex messes up a lot less now than
> previously, but it is still pretty bad.)
>

I guess that this is something that Yandex developers will be happy to hear
:)

More seriously, it's quite possible that they already used some of the
translations made by the Norwegian Wikipedia community. In addition to
being published as an article, each translated paragraph is saved into
parallel corpora, and machine translation developers read the edited text
and use it to improve their software. This is completely open and usable by
all machine translation developers, not only for Yandex.



> The numerical threshold does not work. The reason is simple, the number of
> fixes depends on language constructs that fails, and that is simply not a
> constant for small text fragments. Perhaps if we could flag specific
> language constructs that is known to give a high percentage of failures,
> and if the translator must check those sentences. One such language
> construct is disappearances between the preposition and the gender of the
> following term in a prepositional phrase.
>

The question is how would we do it with our software. I simply cannot
imagine doing it with the current MediaWiki platform, unless we develop a
sophisticated NLP engine, although it's possible I'm exaggerating or
forgetting something.


> A language model could be a statistical model for the language itself, not
> for the translation into that language. We don't want a perfect language
> model, but a sufficient language model to mark weird constructs. A very
> simple solution could simply be to mark tri-grams that does not  already
> exist in the text base for the destination as possible errors. It is not
> necessary to do a live check, but  at least do it before the page can be
> saved.
>

See above—we don't have support for plugging something like that into our
workflow.

Perhaps one day some AI/machine-learning system like ORES would be able to
do it. Maybe it could be an extension to ORES itself.


> Note the difference in what Yandex do and what we want to achieve; Yandex
> translates a text between two different languages, without any clear reason
> why. It is not to important if there are weird constructs in the text, as
> long as it is usable in "some" context. We translate a text for the purpose
> of republishing it. The text should be usable and easily readable in that
> language.
>

This is a well-known problem in machine translation: domain.

Professional industrial translation powerhouses use internally-customized
machine translation engines that specialize on particular domains, such as
medicine, law, or news. In theory, it would make a lot of sense to have a
customized machine translation engine for encyclopedic articles, or maybe
even for several different styles of encyclopedic articles (biography,
science, history, etc.). For now what we have is a very general-purpose
consumer-oriented engine. I hope it changes in the future.
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[Wikimedia-l] machine translation

2017-05-02 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2017-05-02 18:20 GMT+03:00 John Erling Blad :

> Brute force solution; turn the ContentTranslation off. Really stupid
> solution.


... Then I guess you don't mind that I'm changing the thread name :)


> The next solution; turn the Yandex engine off. That would solve a
> part of the problem. Kind of lousy solution though.
>

> What about adding a language model that warns when the language constructs
> gets to weird? It is like a "test" for the translation. The CT is used for
> creating a translation, but the language model is used for verifying if the
> translation is good enough. If it does not validate against the language
> model it should simply not be published to the main name space. It will
> still be possible to create a draft, but then the user is completely aware
> that the translation isn't good enough.
>
> Such a language model should be available as a test for any article, as it
> can be used as a quality measure for the article. It is really a quantity
> measure for the well-spokenness of the article, but that isn't quite so
> intuitive.
>

So, I'll allow myself to guess that you are talking about one particular
language, probably Norwegian.

Several technical facts:

1. In the past there were several cases in which translators to different
languages who reported common translation mistakes to me. I passed them on
to Yandex developers, with whom I communicate quite regularly. They
acknowledged receiving all of them. I am aware of at least one such common
mistake that was fixed; possibly there were more. If you can give me a list
of such mistakes for Norwegian, I'll be very happy to pass them on. I
absolutely cannot promise that they will be fixed upstream, but it's
possible.

2. In Norwegian, Apertium is used for translating between the two varieties
of Norwegian itself (Bokmål and Nynorsk), and from other Scandinavian
languages. That's probably why it works so well—they are similar in
grammar, vocabulary, and narrative style (I'll pass it on to Apertium
developers—I'm sure they'll be happy to hear it). Unfortunately, machine
translation from English is not available in Apertium. Apertium works best
with very similar languages, and English has two characteristics, which are
unfortunate when combined: it is both the most popular source for
translation into almost all other languages (including Norwegian), and it
is not _very_ similar to any other languages (except maybe Scots). Machine
translation from English into Norwegian is only possible with Yandex at the
moment. More engines may be added in the future, but at the moment that's
all we have. That's why disabling Yandex completely would indeed be a lousy
solution: A lot of people say that without machine translation integration
Content Translation is useless. Not all users think like that, but many do.

3. We can define a numerical threshold of acceptable percentage of machine
translation post-editing. Currently it's 75%. It's a tad embarrassing, but
it's hard-coded at the moment, but it can be very easily be made into a
variable per language. If the translator tries to publish a page in which
less than that is modified, a warning will be shown.

4. I'm not sure what do you mean by "language model". If it's any kind of a
linguistic engine, then it's definitely not within the resources that the
Language team itself can currently dedicate. However, if somebody who knows
Norwegian and some programming will write a script that analyzes common bad
constructs in a Wikipedia dump, this will be very useful. This would
basically be an upgraded version of suggestion #1 above. (In my spare time
as a volunteer I'm doing something comparable for Hebrew, although not for
translation, but for improving how MediaWiki link trails work.)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why We Read Wikipedia in your language

2017-04-22 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2017-04-21 19:45 GMT+03:00 Leila Zia :

> ==What do we want to do now?==
> There are quite a few directions this research can continue on, and
> the most immediate one is to understand whether the results that we
> observe (in English Wikipeida) is robust across languages/cultures.
> For this, we are going to repeat the study, but this time in more
> languages. Here are the languages on our list: Arabic, Dutch, English,
> Hindi, Japanese, Spanish (thanks to all the volunteers who have been
> helping us translating all survey related documents to these
> languages.:)
>
>
Is there anything that interested volunteers can start translating now?

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Why We Read Wikipedia in your language

2017-04-21 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
If I want this done for Hebrew and Russian, do I just reply to this thread?
Or did I miss the instructions in the first email? :)

בתאריך 21 באפר׳ 2017 19:46,‏ "Leila Zia"  כתב:

> Hi all,
>
> ==Background==
> In November 2016, I presented the result of a joint research that
> helped us understand English Wikipedia readers better. (Presentation
> at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIaMuWA84bY ). I talked about how
> we used English, Persian, and Spanish Wikipedia readers' inputs to
> build a taxonomy of Wikipedia use-cases along several dimensions,
> capturing users’ motivations to visit Wikipedia, the depth of
> knowledge they are seeking, and their knowledge of the topic of
> interest prior to visiting Wikipedia. I also talked about the results
> of the study we did to quantify the prevalence of these use-cases via
> a large-scale user survey conducted on English Wikipedia. In that
> study, we also matched survey responses to the respondents’ digital
> traces in Wikipedia’s server logs which enabled us in discovering
> behavioral patterns associated with specific use-cases. You can read
> the full study at https://arxiv.org/abs/1702.05379 .
>
> ==What do we want to do now?==
> There are quite a few directions this research can continue on, and
> the most immediate one is to understand whether the results that we
> observe (in English Wikipeida) is robust across languages/cultures.
> For this, we are going to repeat the study, but this time in more
> languages. Here are the languages on our list: Arabic, Dutch, English,
> Hindi, Japanese, Spanish (thanks to all the volunteers who have been
> helping us translating all survey related documents to these
> languages.:)
>
> ==What about your language?==
> If your language is not one of the six languages above and you'd like
> to learn about the readers of Wikipedia in it (in the specific ways
> described above), please get back to me by Monday, April 24, AoE. I
> cannot guarantee that we can run the study in your language, however,
> I guarantee that we will give it a good try if you're interested. The
> decision to include more languages will depend on: our capacity to do
> the analysis, the speed at which your community can help us translate
> the material to the language, the traffic to that language, a couple
> of sentences on how you'd think the result can help your community,
> and your willingness to help us document the results for your language
> at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Characterizing_
> Wikipedia_Reader_Behaviour
> (Quite some work will need to go to have readable/usable
> documentations available and we are too small to be able to guarantee
> that on our own for many languages.)
>
> Best,
> Leila
>
> --
> Leila Zia
> Senior Research Scientist
> Wikimedia Foundation
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

2017-04-12 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Mmmm, the Hebrew Wikipedia has been gender-neutral for at least eight years
:)

So Commons is not exactly the first project to do this.


בתאריך 12 באפר׳ 2017 10:14 AM,‏ "Fæ"  כתב:

I am delighted to say that Wikimedia Commons is today the /first/
project to have an official Gender-neutral language policy for its
policies and help pages, so that the project is a welcoming
environment for all. Thanks to everyone that took part in the
discussions and vote!

* https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Use_of_gender_neutral_language
*

The proposal was an unplanned outcome from the WM-LGBT+ user group
taking part in this year's Wikimedia Conference in Berlin, part of all
the creative discussions that go on when so many international
Wikimedians get together.

If you missed it, the English Wikipedia has an ongoing 'lively'
Request for Comment for its own Gender-neutral policy for policies,
see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Fae/RFC_GNL

Thanks
Fae
Wikmedia LGBT+ https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_LGBT+
https://telegram.me/wmlgbt

On 8 April 2017 at 14:04, Gnangarra  wrote:
> I beg to differ with Anders final comment;
>
>>
>> And our standpoint is that we as Wikipedians should not be first in
>> introducing new use of language but wait until it has become mainstream
(if
>> it ever will be)
>
>
> I have no issue within our policies and projects being a leader the use of
> neutral language that encompasses all equally because neutrality is one of
> the key pillars of the community.  We can and must do better to ensure
that
> everyone has the ability to contribute on an equal basis.
>
> If a language doesnt have a gender neutral way to express an individual
> then we should be encouraging speakers to find alternative ways which can
> best express our neutral position
>
> On 8 April 2017 at 20:32, Fæ  wrote:
>
>> Thanks for the French experience. :-) You may not have picked up on
>> the specific comment about the French Wikipedia a few days ago in the
>> general Wikimedia Commons Village Pump discussion:[1]
>>
>> "* Total Support. This is not only useful to the trans community, but
>> in the case of French, it is more inclusive for women also, as the
>> French (I'm writing French and this does not mean francophone) have
>> the disastrous tendency to masculinize everything pretending this is
>> the way the french grammar addresses "gender neutrality in French". I
>> would really like us to reflect on writing a best practice manual for
>> all those who want to have an inclusive language (coupled with a non
>> violent communication guide for online practices). Actually on the
>> French wikipedia, most pronouns are in the masculine form even on talk
>> / user / help pages, and when one raises the issue, one gets insults
>> and very silly remarks. --Nattes à chat"
>>
>> It is sad to see that the local community has difficulty staying
>> respectful or even civil when these gender related discussions arise,
>> and should be a welcoming and open debate about the facts for modern
>> language usage. There are no easy solutions, apart from persisting,
>> keeping the topic on our agenda, and gradually educating where we can,
>> even though this gets very tiring for our best volunteers!
>>
>> The French Wikipedia is not alone, and I have been told over the last
>> week of exactly the same problem of "silly comments" on the German
>> Wikipedia, and my experience with raising a Request for Comment
>> yesterday on the English Wikipedia[2] is that discussions on this do
>> include critical views being expressed, which is okay, in a
>> disrespectful way, which is definitely not okay! It's a shame that
>> even some administrators will defend intentionally disrespectful
>> comments as so-called "free speech", rather than a breach of our
>> civility policies or the basic WMF terms of use for our websites.[3]
>>
>> P.S. Florence, your email gets automatically put in spam when using
>> Google's email system. I'm not even sure how to stop that happening
>> for yahoo addresses to this list.
>>
>> Links
>> 1. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#
>> Defaulting_to_gender_neutral_language_in_policies_and_help_pages
>> 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Fae/RFC_GNL
>> 3. https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Fae
>>
>> On 7 April 2017 at 20:58, Florence Devouard  wrote:
>> > A couple of weeks ago, I was asked - in my capacity of meta admin - to
>> > change the phrasing of a site notice on meta, meant to call for
>> > participation to the month of Francophonie.
>> >
>> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=MediaWiki:
>> Centralnotice-template-WikiFranca_MC17=prev=16482259
>> >
>> > The sentence of the call in the site notice was in language neutral
>> > terminology.
>> >
>> > "les Wikimédien.nes" instead of the more traditionnal but non neutral
>> "les
>> > Wikimédiens".
>> >
>> > That phrasing 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Let's go gender neutral

2017-04-05 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Writing should, indeed, be gender-neutral when the gender is not known. But
when the gender is known, it is possible in MediaWiki software to write
messaging according to the indicated gender.

Note that in the English grammar it is needed relatively rarely in the
first place. It is relevant for few things other than "he" and "she".
Latina/Latino has a gender, but it is the exception rather than the norm.
In many, many other languages, it is needed far more frequently: for "you"
("Are you sure?"), for imperative verbs ("Upload a media file"), for all
past tense verbs ("Jenny thanked you for your edit"), and in other cases.
MediaWiki and Facebook are the only pieces of software I know (there may be
others) that support adding masculine, feminine, and unknown-gender forms.
(In case you wondered, the default is "unknown".)

There are some cases when this software feature cannot be used, but very
frequently it can, and should be used.


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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2017-04-05 13:52 GMT+03:00 Fæ :

> * https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#
> Defaulting_to_gender_neutral_language_in_the_Commons_namespace
>
> Hi,
>
> One of the unplanned outcomes from the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin,
> was that the various discussions over /feeling/ more welcoming in our
> language presumptions for non-male contributors made me think about
> taking some practical steps on my home project. Commons is lucky that
> having a standard policy language of English makes it easier to use
> neutral gender in policy statements. I'm taking that further by
> proposing that we stick to a neutral gender for all our policies and
> help pages. In practice this means that policies avoid using "he or
> she" and stick to "they" or avoid using a pronoun at all. I'm hoping
> that the outcome will feel like a much more natural space for people
> like me that prefer to stay gender neutral, possibly give a slightly
> safer feeling to the project by the very act of making the effort, as
> well as avoiding an over-emphasis on binary gender when it's pretty
> easy to simply avoid it.
>
> Comments are welcome on the specific proposal above, or you may have
> ideas for other local projects to do something similar. I'm aware that
> this is much more difficult to make progress on in languages such as
> German or Spanish that have a presumption of male/female gender within
> their vocabulary, so any cases of on-project initiatives in
> non-English would be especially interesting. Solving these challenges
> is an opportunity to make our projects a leader on gender neutrality,
> for example getting a Wikimedia based consensus to adopt terms like
> "Latinx".[1]
>
> Links:
> 1. "Latinx" is a reaction against using gendered forms Latino and
> Latina, in a language that has no neutral gender. This is becoming an
> accepted practice in related forums and academic publications.
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-people-are-using-
> the-term-latinx_us_57753328e4b0cc0fa136a159
>
> Thanks,
> Fae
> Wikimedia LGBT+ https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_LGBT/Portal
> --
> fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] What's making you happy this week? (Week of 19 March 2017)

2017-03-22 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
Here's what making me happy this week:

The Hebrew Wikipedia community completed initial training of ORES, so ORES
can be enabled in this language soon.

48 Wikipedians manually examined 5000 random diffs and marked them as
damaging or not, and whether they appear to have been done in good faith or
not.

If you keep hearing about ORES and you have not idea what it actually is,
then you'll be able to see it very soon in Recent Changes in the English
Wikipedia. I tried it briefly, and I was amazed: it guessed pretty well
which recent changes are likely to be vandalism. This technology is likely
to revolutionize how Wikimedians patrol their wikis for bad edits, and make
unintentionally bad edits less damaging.

If you'd like to add ORES support for your wiki, look at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_labels

Kudos to users EpochFail, Ladsgroup, Mooeypoo and everybody else involved
for making this possible.


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2017-03-22 22:37 GMT+02:00 Pine W :

> Borrowing an idea from Wikipedia Weekly, I think it would be nice to have a
> thread about the good things that are happening around the Wikimedia
> universe. If people enjoy this then it can be started (by anyone) on a
> weekly basis.
>
> My comment for this week: I enjoyed reading a post from the Wikimedia blog:
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/03/21/why-i-elements/: "Why I periodically
> write about the elements on Wikipedia", by Mikhail Boldyrev.
>
> Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] March 2: Update on Wikimedia movement strategy process (#9)

2017-03-06 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2017-03-06 15:12 GMT+02:00 Katherine Maher :

> Rogol,
>
> They are a vendor we have used in the past to conduct focus groups and run
> surveys for the annual fundraiser in the five largest English speaking
> countries. We were satisfied with the quality of their work in the past, so
> we contacted them again to discuss whether they had appropriate expertise
> for this instance.
>

This makes me want to ask the following: Do we have any professional
advisors who are experienced with working with places outside of the five
largest English-speaking countries?

(It's quite possible that this was already answered in other emails, and I
apologize if I missed it.)

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
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I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Help! Can't save on any Wikipedia

2017-02-21 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
This happened lately to a lot of Wikipedians, including myself. See
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T151770 for the technical details.

Briefly, if you delete all your cookies and log back in to Wikipedia, then
this should work. (Deleting your cookies will cause you to get logged out
of all your websites where you have accountes, so be sure that you remember
all your passwords or get ready to processing a lot of password reminder
emails :)


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Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2017-02-21 21:16 GMT+02:00 Enock Seth Nyamador :

> Hello Wikimedians,
>
> Saw the message in this image [1] one week ago but didn't take it serious.
> Now it seems to be real. I can't Save. The screenshot [1] show messages
> from frwp and enwp when I tried to save my changes.
>
> Yes, I've tried logging in and out several times.
>
> Best,
>
> 1. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B99n1pG7IHtJdy1VeFZXX19HYTQ/view
>
> - Enock
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Thoughts about Wikimedia-l communications

2016-07-27 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
A couple of other points:

1. This list is practically English-only. It's not officially defined, and
occasionally people say that posting in other languages is allowed. In
practice it doesn't work, and it cannot work—mixing different languages in
one list is just wrong. And it's not even a problem as long as people
remember point #2:

2. Most people in Wikimedia projects write in other languages, and a lot of
them—probably the majority—don't even know English. Most of them don't know
this list exist, and if they knew it exists, almost none of them would
participate in it. Even the biggest discussions that happen here, like the
early 2016 WMF management storm, are complete mystery to most people who
actually write on the projects. The information is not intentionally hidden
by anybody, but in actuality it reaches very few of the projects'
contributors, so the result is the same. Even if it reaches several
hundreds of people, it is still a minority.

This list has developed its own culture long ago. It is related to the
wider Wikimedia culture, but it does not represent all of it. I am not even
saying that it should be changed—that's a separate question. It must,
however, be acknowledged and understood.


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2016-07-28 7:14 GMT+03:00 Pine W :

> There has been recent discussion about Wikimedia-l communications. I think
> that there are varying understandings that would benefit from discussion in
> a distinct thread.
>
> The information page for Wikimedia-l says:
>
>
> *"Discussion list for the Wikimedia community and the larger network of
> organizations (Wikimedia Foundation ,
> chapter organizations
> , affiliates,
> partners) supporting its work. *
>
>
>
> *This mailing list can, for example, be used for: *
>
>-
> *The initial planning phase of potential new Wikimedia projects and
>initiatives *
>-
> *Organizational issues of the Wikimedia Foundation, chapter organizations,
>others *
>-
> *Discussing the setup of local Wikimedia chapters *
>-
> *Developing and evaluating grant-making programs *
>-
> *Planning elections, polls and votes *
>-
> *Discussion of projects that don't already have a mailing list *
>-
> *Finding ways to raise funds *
>-
> *Other Wikimedia-related issues *
>
>
> * This is a high traffic mailing list. The list is moderated, and is
> publicly archived. Participants are asked to remain civil and stay on
> topic. There is a soft post limit of 30 posts per individual/month."*
>
> I think some of the mixed expectations are coming from a few places, which
> I'd like to try to address. I want to emphasize that this is my perspective
> only, and others may wish to share varying perspectives.
>
> 1. I'm happy to hear that Board members want to be responsive to community
> questions and comments. However, my impression is that a few Board members
> are feeling obligated to check the list constantly. I feel that that's
> unnecessary. Checking the list twice a week is probably fine, and I'm
> grateful for the responsiveness of Board members to community input.
>
> 2. Likewise, WMF staff don't need to feel obligated to check the list on a
> daily basis, let alone be constantly reading every email that comes across
> the list. Many staff don't need to subscribe to the list at all. For most
> comments or questions that are directed to staff, I think that a response
> within 7 days should be the expectation.
>
> 3. I encouraged Lila, and would still encourage WMF, to appoint an employee
> to be responsible for ensuring that questions and comments from the many
> community channels are referred to appropriate places in WMF. This would
> reduce the burden on WMF staff to monitor multiple channels. Multiple
> channels are inevitable; Wikimedia-l happens to be one of the higher
> traffic channels. My impression is that the community product liaisons
> already do this kind of work for technical questions and comments, and I
> think that a similar arrangement should be made for questions and comments
> about other subjects.
>
> 4. I share the concern that low-volume individuals may feel too intimidated
> to post on the mailing list, and I would welcome ideas about how to
> encourage them to speak up more often with well-intentioned questions and
> comments.
>
> 5. I would encourage us to experiment with Discourse (
> https://www.discourse.org/faq/) to see if it will provide a platform that
> is easier to use than our current mailing list setup. Perhaps we could set
> up a test instance and move a small number of lists there, and evaluate how
> those go. If the tests go well then we could consider moving progressively
> higher traffic mailing lists to Discourse.
>
> I'd welcome hearing from other people about 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Our problem with India

2016-06-28 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
I am quite amused; it doesn't happen to me much that people take so much
care to protect my privacy. I do appreciate it, though.

In case nobody guessed it, I am (probably) "Mr. Western Wikipedian". The
language gap in Wikipedias has always concerned me since the very first day
I tried editing Wikipedia in 2004—as a volunteer, and later as a WMF staff
member. I exchanged a few words about this with Mr. Rancic at Wikimania
because I know he cares about it. (In case you're wondering, I don't know
who are the other people that Mr. Rancic is mentioning.)

The problem is fairly easy to

It is a problem that some of the most spoken languages of the world have
very little information online. In Wikipedia and on other websites. I'm
talking about Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Indonesian, Tagalog, and a few
others. India is just the biggest of the countries in question, but
certainly not the only one. There's even less information online in smaller
languages, which is just as bad, even though they are smaller. It's a deep
social problem that bothers me more and more as the years go by, and as I
learn about these languages, about the countries in which they are spoken
and about the people who speak them—especially those of them who don't
speak any other language.

The WMF could solve _some of it_. I am not entirely sure how. It's a
vicious circle of sociolinguistics making dominant languages even more
dominant, and less demanded languages even less demanded. It has a lot to
do with culture and politics, a bit of which I understand, and a lot of
which I don't.

As a developer of the Content Translation tool and other related things, I
very naïvely hope that I (not alone, of course!) am helping to resolving a
tiny bit of it. But I cannot resolve all of it, and WMF alone cannot
resolve all of it. Even though Wikimedia's famous "every single human
being" motto definitely puts this problem in Wikimedia's declared scope,
it's way too big and complex to be resolved with the resources the WMF
currently has. It's better to acknowledge that we cannot solve all of it
quickly, even though we'd love to, then to pretend that we'll save the
world the next week. (Bringing other people to Wikimania will also not save
it, certainly not by itself. That said, variety is a good thing.)

On an optimistic note, I have to reiterate that the recently started
research project that Anne Gomez mentioned is probably the best step that
the WMF ever made in this direction. I've been waiting for something like
this to happen since 2012 or so. It's an important acknowledgement that
there are a lot of things that we don't know, and that we want to try to
learn them. It's only a small first step, but a truly good one, and I'm
eager to see how it develops.



--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2016-06-28 21:43 GMT+03:00 Milos Rancic :

> My last mail for today, so Anne, just to say that I really appreciate
> what you've done, but I'll comment in a bit more detail tomorrow.
>
> On Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 8:01 PM, Pete Forsyth 
> wrote:
> > I'll leave the "defensive" bit aside, and just reiterate that I *still*
> do
> > not understand exactly what problem you're trying to focus discussion on.
> > In the piece of text Asaf quoted, you used the words "it" and "reports."
> I
> > don't know what you intend by those words. Maybe for some reason you feel
> > it's Asaf's job to clarify that for the rest of the list's readers; maybe
> > so. I don't have more to contribute on this point.
>
> The background goes this way...
>
> I've been approached privately two years ago about the issues that
> bother significant part of Indian Wikimedian community. As I think
> that's in the range of quite solvable issues, my instinct was to talk
> with the relevant people inside of the Wikimedia movement (not just
> WMF). I thought it's been solved and I forgot for that. However, two
> years later I am listening about the same problems. So, I am pissed
> off enough to start talking about that on this list.
>
> However, if I say everything I know, I would for sure harm a number of
> people. And I am not willing to do that no matter how pissed off or
> drunk I am. The situation is not good, but far from being any kind of
> catastrophe.
>
> But I want to see the problem solved. So, I am giving quite enough of
> information about the problems (cf. my first email, then my response
> to Risker) and expect the beginning of communication. The responses
> are telling me what's safe to talk about and what's not. I also expect
> to be convinced that the most of Indian Wikimedians will be content at
> the end of this process.
>
> So, the research is very good thing and I am again positively
> surprised by the attitude of WMF. However, that's not enough.
>
> I also want to say that what I said in my first email and in my
> response to Risker is 

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