Wikibooks:Reading room/General

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Welcome to the General reading room. On this page, Wikibookians are free to talk about the Wikibooks project in general. For proposals for improving Wikibooks, see the Proposals reading room.

Hi all[edit]

I was surfing the web and came across wikibooks, I kinda looked at my field of expertise in Geology, Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering. The books were started but nobody has made an edit in over 3 years and looking at the edits more like that nobody has made a sincere effort in the fields since the inception of wikibooks. Since I'm studying for Masters in Engineering Geology at the University of New South Wales, I might contribute to Wikibooks while studying for the subjects. It might help me achieve my postgrad degree in the end. I kinda want to make two books. An Introduction to Engineering Geology and the other into An Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering. The two fields are related, one leans more towards Geology the other to Civil Engineering. I'll start with Engineering Geology that focuses on geology and geological hazards such as landslides, earthquakes etc. Geotechnical Engineering is all about quantifying rocks, soils and groundwater, to build structures on. If you want to check out my resume click here to find out my qualifications.

It might take a few years to finish the books as its a complex topic, that most people might find alien, but its foundational to our way of life. Excuses the pun.

I'll give it my best shot.

Cheers --IliyaJ (discusscontribs) 02:56, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Welcome Iliya. If you have any questions feel free to ask.--ЗAНИA Flag of Estonia.svgtalk 08:18, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Hello, hello? Is this mic on?[edit]

In response to the message asking me to introduce myself: Elizabeth Penrose. I've had a few of my [SF/Fantasy/Genre] poems published, and you can find some of them on the web. Although I've made factual edits to Wikipedia (I like poetry & Pittsburgh history), most of my marks revise article grammar. Pittsburgh Poet (discusscontribs) 22:54, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm Phil Torrance, 1990 BA Math with software engineering. I google as "americium dream" . Wikipaddn (discusscontribs) 03:37, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Hi. this computer science graduate student's M.O. seems to be to proofread while studying, so we also have a motive as to why I so smack SPSS around :-) With hopes to give Java EE its turn. I'm Gherson on wikipedia proper, but it's ok because notice I smile when I say that :-))) Regards, Gherson2 (discusscontribs) 17:03, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Automatic PDF/ePUB download links (or collection shortcut)[edit]

At the moment, generating an ePUB ebook can only be done by manually adding each page of the book to a collection (which can be an error-prone process if you miss subpages) and downloading the resulting ePUB file from the collection manager.

For PDF files, some books seem to have had their PDF generated and uploaded as a static file (I gather this from the URL of said files). Which would mean that the PDF file becomes obsolete after the first edition of the book.

What would be the technical difficulty of having at least a link that gets the user to the collection manager pre-filled with the pages? Also, a few links for the most obvious choices in options would be great, at least 1-column PDF and ePUB.

--Nowhere man (discusscontribs) 13:15, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm a little confused by your question. When I look at, for example, the German Wikibook, all the way at the bottom on the right side it says "This book has a collection" that already has "a link that gets the user to the collection pre-filled with the pages". --DavidCary (discusscontribs) 14:06, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

I agree with DavidCary, that if I see, it shows both the printable version and the collection link. You can also render a pdf version. Also, I am unsure of just one thing. I have myself downloaded a pdf book, however, what I cannot understand is that, the way the book is written, is not complete, neither comprehensive. Please understand I mean no harm, or mean any bad thing for the person who gave tremendous efforts behind this project. I am currently trying to modify and rectify as much as I can, and add as much as I know. I am myself learning the language, but I have got the complete resource from start of the course to the end of it, so it should cause me no trouble. I wish all my friends a hearty congratulations, and my full support for all the things that go towards doing such a great thing. Danke. Vishal Bakhai - Works 17:42, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

BTW, can anyone suggest me how to get the earlier PDF version deleted, and how to generate a new one, since the old one is quite redundant and is also obsolete with me making quite a number of changes to the chapters. I am trying via "book creator", but there seems to be some trouble with that and it is not generating any PDF.

Danke Schôn. Vishal Bakhai - WorksFlag of India.svg 18:47, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

A new PDF can be uploaded by any administrator or someone with the uploader right. Re. your comment (" what I cannot understand is that, the way the book is written, is not complete, neither comprehensive") is simply that the book isn't finished. QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 12:30, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Hello Quite. Thanks for this. However, when I stated that comment, I meant it myself that it was unfinished, but still there was a PDF version released for it, with lots of grammatical errors, and in an unfinished stage that too, which was literally left out by the editors. Currently, I am trying to get it back in a proper manner as much as I can, and that I why I wished to know of the way to get a PDF file for it. Although I will say that I am not too sure of how to amend the print version to show it properly, but I believe that it will be at a later stage that I will look at it, since, first I need to complete the actual book and also the BLL one. Hope, someone can assist me, but not by editing the book, as I have kind of adopted the book, and am taking the ownership of it till the time it is complete. Contributors can contact me on my talk page or can contact me via email, with the contribution. I am stating this just to make sure that there are no differences with others, and also that I have taken the ownership for this complete book, including that of BLL German.

Danke Schôn. Vishal Bakhai - WorksFlag of India.svg 13:23, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Changes to the default site typography coming soon[edit]

This week, the typography on Wikimedia sites will be updated for all readers and editors who use the default "Vector" skin. This change will involve new serif fonts for some headings, small tweaks to body content fonts, text size, text color, and spacing between elements. The schedule is:

  • April 1st: non-Wikipedia projects will see this change live
  • April 3rd: Wikipedias will see this change live

This change is very similar to the "Typography Update" Beta Feature that has been available on Wikimedia projects since November 2013. After several rounds of testing and with feedback from the community, this Beta Feature will be disabled and successful aspects enabled in the default site appearance. Users who are logged in may still choose to use another skin, or alter their personal CSS, if they prefer a different appearance. Local common CSS styles will also apply as normal, for issues with local styles and scripts that impact all users.

For more information:

-- Steven Walling (Product Manager) on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation's User Experience Design team

Tagging Other Pages[edit]

Sorry I'm quite new to Wikibooks and I apologise if this is a stupid question.

Basically we are doing a page for Technological Determinism. We are the only group doing this and thus we have been asked to engage with other groups.

I was wondering if there was a way in which we can hyperlink our page from pages that can be attributed to Technological Determinism.

Does anyone know if this can be done?

I'd be grateful of any help.

(TallNorthernIrishEthan (discusscontribs) 14:51, 3 April 2014 (UTC))

Er. Wikibooks is for books, rather than individual pages on a given topic. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 15:28, 3 April 2014 (UTC)


I am writing a book on North Carolina and I want some suggestions on how I could separate the parts of the history section. StudiesWorld (discusscontribs) 21:47, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Looking at what you've just written on North Carolina/History seems like the way to go. One extra thing might be to put the years in brackets, e.g. Civil War (1860-1865). I know nothing about American history, not even sure if my date guess was close. Hopefully other editors may share their views here soon.--ЗAНИA Flag of Estonia.svgtalk 22:54, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't know the dates exactly but I agree with that. I will work on getting those dates. StudiesWorld (discusscontribs) 23:30, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Check User self-nomination[edit]

Over at Requests for permissions I've nominated myself for Check User. Share your views or ask questions as you see fit.--ЗAНИA Flag of Estonia.svgtalk 17:10, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Introduction for GQ Freeman[edit]

I am a semi-retired engineer. I recently gave up the idea of becoming a high school science teacher in favor of trying to start a tiny, indie 3D graphics studio with a new friend. I'm endeavoring to add corrections/clarifications to "Blender 3D: Noob to Pro" as I slog my way through it.

Thank you for introducing yourself here. Good luck with the corrections and clarifications. If you have any questions feel free to post a message in here and someone, hopefully, will reply.--ЗAНИA Flag of Estonia.svgtalk 01:20, 16 April 2014 (UTC)


I come from the English Wikipedia, though I am also active on Commons. I've been adding a few things to the Bartending guide. I probably won't be around too much, but I'm definitely going to be keeping Wikibook in mind for future projects. There is a lot of cool stuff on here. Zellfaze (discusscontribs) 18:58, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Welcome! It is always nice to see a new face. Thenub314 (talk) 19:56, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Halo, Guten Tag Alles[edit]

Hallo. Mein name ist Vishal Bakhai. Although I am fairly new to the project books, but I have started amending and upgrading the German books section, as the German books have not had a revision in near past. I am not too much active, as I am on Wikipedia, however, I will try and add and make myself as useful as a I can. Danke. Vishal Bakhai - Works 17:49, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Welcome Vishal Bakhai. I have noticed the work you've been doing. Good job. --ЗAНИA Flag of Estonia.svgtalk 19:17, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Xania.
I am currently revamping the German book, and would request if people with knowledge base both in terms of language and editing might assist me by letting me know of the inputs. I would also request if people can leave message on my talk page, or can mail me, anything, as I have my mail ID up as well. I am trying my level best to get the book up in a better way and hope it works well. Danke Schôn. Vishal Bakhai - WorksFlag of India.svg 18:29, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

A public book watchlist hack[edit]

A few months ago, we discussed alternatives to deal with the problem of watching whole books and, in particular, book talk pages. I have been using the workaround suggested at w:Help:Public watchlist (i.e. place all links in a page and then use Related Changes) for a while, but only now I had a shot at making updates to the watchlist automatic. I took m:Module:Subpages (apparently an experiment by darklama), which gets the output of Special:PrefixIndex and strips the HTML around the page titles, made a few adjustments to it and used its output to fill in Template:La2 entries. The result is Module:PublicSubpageWatchlist, and here is a demonstration of it. Before I wrap it in a template and use it at the Haskell book, I would like to put it up for discussion, so that any possible issues are identified. In particular, I have no real idea whether widespread usage might be problematic performance-wise (I suppose the text processing is nothing out of ordinary, and what might matter are the calls to Special:PrefixIndex).

Duplode (discusscontribs) 19:04, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

A few versions are floating about with various changes to reflect issues I missed from my initial quick "proof of concept" hack, like that redirects are included when they might not want to be, when there are a sufficient number of subpages not every subpage got listed, or when used in a namespace without the subpage featured enabled it should abort unless explicitly overridden. Those changes also come at a price, requires more time which can lead to exceeding the allocated time limit that Lua scripts can run on a page, and more complexity which can lead to exceeding the allocated complexity limit. See Commons:Module:Page for example. It might be possible improve the speed and reduce the complexity, but there should probably be a warning that it may fail in some cases. --darklama 14:21, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Indeed; with Structural Biochemistry the list stops at "Deaminase". I will do some tests with the version at Commons; thank you for the pointers.--Duplode (discusscontribs) 16:49, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I am sorry I missed the original discussion. For a long time I have used separte programs (such as Thunderbird) to take the RSS Atom feed, preform some keyword matching, and spit the output into a feed I would watch. This is a nice alternative. Thenub314 (talk) 19:29, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Hopefully my little book is adequate for WikiBooks[edit]

Today I've uploaded my book Environmental_theory_and_collection_of_ideas, and I have only the seen Wikibooks:WIW page afterwards. Is it okay to remain here? Fekarp

I have updated the description in the hopes of being clearer about the purpose of the book. I believe the book may be within scope, if I have understood the intentions correctly. --darklama 13:22, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Importing BSD licenced material?[edit]

Hello, I'm just wondering if it's acceptable to import a BSD (3-clause) licenced software manual to Wikibooks? Would I just need to retain the licence (perhaps with something like "this book was based on material licenced under the BSD" etc.) on a subpage? Thanks, — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 23:34, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

The BSD license only protects source code and its binary form, it is not suitable for literary works, so you should contact the copyright owner for re-licensing if possible as the freedoms of the BSD license indicate that the intention was to make it free and only preserving the rights of acknowledgement something that our license does. --Panic (discusscontribs) 02:48, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, yes good point about it not really being a non-code licence. I'll see what I can do. Might just start writing the book here without importing stuff. :-) — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 04:34, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Seems to be a site script problem[edit]

Previewing page changes this evening, I keep getting the below notice as if I was just starting a new page. To wit (sans links):

Wikibooks has a book or page by this name:
New to Wikibooks? Read our help pages, ask questions in the reading room, or try experimenting in the sandbox.
Starting a new book? Read Using Wikibooks, Class projects, our Naming policy, and our Neutral point of view policy.
Want to use work from our sister projects? Let us know what you want imported.
Coming from Wikipedia? Read our Wikimedian Primer.
  • Which is patently WRONG, the page I'm working over was created several months ago. I suspect this is a scripting error somewhere. // FrankB 01:30, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
Second clue

Clicking the 'hide this message' box navigates one to Template:Editnotices which may be where the faulty code has been changed (affecting the logic flow/nesting).

  • Scratch THAT thought... template is new. Suggest any admin blank the thing [encapsulating it with {{void|Template file wikimarkup}} will do fine] until Darklama can take a look, I've left a Talk notice, but recent activity suggests she is gone for the day! // FrankB 01:46, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

I have made it so it doesn't show for existing pages since it has been objected to. Maybe more of the message should be different for existing pages after all. People may be intending to start a new book/page rather then editing a existing one and those links would still be relevant. --darklama 01:50, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Media Viewer[edit]

Greetings, my apologies for writing in English.

I wanted to let you know that Media Viewer will be released to this wiki in the coming weeks. Media Viewer allows readers of Wikimedia projects to have an enhanced view of files without having to visit the file page, but with more detail than a thumbnail. You can try Media Viewer out now by turning it on in your Beta Features. If you do not enjoy Media Viewer or if it interferes with your work after it is turned on you will be able to disable Media Viewer as well in your preferences. I invite you to share what you think about Media Viewer and how it can be made better in the future.

Thank you for your time. - Keegan (WMF) 21:29, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

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Lidepla wikibook[edit]

Hi all! I'm from Russia and I would like to make a translation of Russian wikibook on Lingwa de planeta. Hope you will edit my English, when necessary. Thank you! --Sunnynai (discusscontribs) 16:02, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Hello Sunnynai. I am Vishal. A warm welcome to the world of the books (though not physical, but still a vast one). It is really appreciative to know that you are contributing for the good. Please feel free to ask any time, anything. All the very best. :)

Danke Schôn. Vishal Bakhai - WorksFlag of India.svg 18:42, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Twitter: WeAreWikipedia[edit]

The @WeAreWikipedia account on Twitter is run by a different Wikipedian each week. This week it's me, and I'm trying to include something about each sister project. Do drop by, and follow it if that's your thing. Pigsonthewing (discusscontribs) 19:57, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Authority control[edit]

I have imported the template {{Authority control}} and several sub-templates from simple.Wikipedia - you can see an example on my user page. The same template (or variants) is in use on several Wikipedias, Wikidata, Commons Wikiquote and Wikisource. See w:WP:Authority control for background.

The template links to several library-catalogue authority databases, such as w:VIAF and w:ISNI.

Of particular note is the w:ORCID parameter. As explained at W:WP:ORCID, individual contributors may register for an ORCID identifier, and then use it on their contributions/ user page here.

I am the Wikipedian- [sic: Wikimedian-] in-Residence at ORCID, and happy to answer any questions about that system and its use in Wikimedia projects.

Please consider this an invitation to register for an ORCID identifier, and to use it on your own user page. Pigsonthewing (discusscontribs) 20:29, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Media Viewer is now live on this wiki[edit]

Media Viewer lets you see images in larger size


The Wikimedia Foundation's Multimedia team is happy to announce that Media Viewer was just released on this site today.

Media Viewer displays images in larger size when you click on their thumbnails, to provide a better viewing experience. Users can now view images faster and more clearly, without having to jump to separate pages — and its user interface is more intuitive, offering easy access to full-resolution images and information, with links to the file repository for editing. The tool has been tested extensively across all Wikimedia wikis over the past six months as a Beta Feature and has been released to the largest Wikipedias, all language Wikisources, and the English Wikivoyage already.

If you do not like this feature, you can easily turn it off by clicking on "Disable Media Viewer" at the bottom of the screen, pulling up the information panel (or in your preferences) whether you have an account or not. Learn more in this Media Viewer Help page.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about Media Viewer. You are invited to share your feedback in this discussion on in any language, to help improve this feature. You are also welcome to take this quick survey in English, en français, o español.

We hope you enjoy Media Viewer. Many thanks to all the community members who helped make it possible. - Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 21:54, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

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laptop maintenance[edit]

Does there already exist a wikibook -- or a section of a wikibook -- that lists typical periodic laptop maintenance tasks?

How To Assemble A Desktop PC/Choosing the parts briefly mentions cleaning the screen.

Minimizing Hard Disk Drive Failure and Data Loss/Data Reduction mentions "routine cleanup".

Minimizing Hard Disk Drive Failure and Data Loss/Data Redundancy mentions backups, but I am surprised at its insistence that "having a backup of all their data can be entirely impractical", and its implication that backups must be done manually (rather than, say, scheduling automated backups every night at 1 am).

Where can I find a listing of all the typical periodic laptop maintenance tasks together on one page? If one does not exist, which wikibook would be the most appropriate for starting a rough draft of such a list? --DavidCary (discusscontribs) 06:06, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

I don't think there is one... I will see what I can find. QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 14:09, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

I introduce myself[edit]

Lafcadio, my username, is from Lafcadio Hearn, who was a famous New Orleanian who edited a cookbook of creole cookery. Subsequently he went to Japan, where he is more famous than here.

I am from a creole family in the country, along river road. I have lived my entire adult life in New Orleans, however, and greatly admire its authentic cuisine, which is often confused with cajun cuisine. Creole cuisine is based on the haute cuisine of France, with the addition of ingredients from the new world and Africa.

I am putting my family recipes in the Wikipedia cookbook, in the hope of preserving them for posterity. Most of these are my mother's recipes, but some are recipes that I have obtained from friends or adapted from cook books, and used for years.

I hope the recipes are not subject to editing, since I am trying to preserve their authenticity. ```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lafcadio (discusscontribs) 13:52, 16 July 2014

Another introduction[edit]

Hi! I just edited the 8th grade science book, and I was hoping someone could take a look. I generally work on Wikipedia, but I thought to give Wikibooks a try. Nice to meet everyone! JonathanHopeThisIsUnique (discusscontribs) 19:52, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Looks good to me; and welcome! QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 13:44, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Introducing myself[edit]

Hello to everyone, I am posting this as I saw a message on profile page to introduce myself. I am medical graduate from India ,currently pursuing PG in Radiology and also preparing for some more exams. I like to untangle the anything that i feel is too complicated to my liking and i good at it (at least that is what my colleagues have told me). Ever I started my med school preps , their were just way too many things to cram in my brain (which shrinks a little every day) , so i started to make jingles out the first alphabets. I will most likely be contributing a lot of my mnemonics to this site and messing with others , and if i ever manage to write a book , it will happen here at Wikibooks. —Preceding unsigned comment by Randjo (discusscontribs) added before 18:59, 15 August 2014 (UTC)