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.

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 7:58, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

How do you make a test book?[edit]

Hi everyone! I'm Jonathan. :) I usually make pretty minor edits. I wanted to do something pretty big now (making a new book/reorganizing an old one [Vegan Cuisine]), but I wanted to make sure that I won't be messing up anything, so I thought making a test first, and showing the results if they aren't obviously awful, would be a good idea. Right now it's basically a bunch of links (it's a cookbook, and they seem to normally be like this, although I'm not sure). I want to turn it into a proper book, with each heading a chapter and each recipe a page, and possibly adding reason as to why people eat vegan food, and a history of veganism, plus any other stuff I (and other people who might be interested :)) can think of. Thanks for reading! JonathanHopeThisIsUnique (discusscontribs) 19:41, 3 September 2014 (UTC) Edit: I feel so silly. I noticed the sandbox button right after submitting this! :)

This is a little bit tricky because of the way the Cookbook works. However, if you are extending it beyond cooking then it might be reasonable to put the content in the main space instead. The book Using Wikibooks is a good introduction to everything you need to know to structure a new book so I'd start by reading that then ask for any further clarification here. QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 17:21, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Hello Jonathan, I believe, you would be able to complete this book. In case you require any assistance, you can contact Xania, or other editors out here. Please feel free to ask anytime. Jai Jinendra. Vishal Bakhai - WorksFlag of India.svg 10:40, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for replying to me, everyone! I'll go look at Using Wikibooks and ask for help when I need it. I've kind of decided to get more comfortable here before doing this, and am editing some other books right now to become more comfortable, but this is really appreciated! :) JonathanHopeThisIsUnique (discusscontribs) 18:22, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
The Sandbox is always a great place to experiment and you can always create your own sandbox and other pages like this: User:JonathanHopeThisIsUnique/Page 1, User:JonathanHopeThisIsUnique/Page 2. Create any pages you like within your own user space. Later you can move or copy them to a more appropriate location or ask someone to move them for you. You could also create a fresh book all about Veganism (Veganism) with fresh pages as well as links to Cookbook articles. Lastly remember that even if you decide to edit existing Cookbook pages and make some kind of mistake we can easily undo mistakes and change it back to how it appeared before.--ЗAНИA Flag of the Isle of Mann.svgtalk 19:14, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Questions before starting the project of the Law of the Republic of China to review from article to article[edit]

As English Wikisource cannot easily maintain s:Portal:Law of the Republic of China whenever any article of any law is amended while Taiwan does not officially speak English, I would like to start a project of the Law of the Republic of China to review from article to article of any law, including current and historical versions. Wikibooks:Naming policy would ask all relevant pages to prefix something like "Republic of China Law/", such as "Republic of China Law/Criminal Code of the Republic of China/Article 1", "Republic of China Law/Administrative Procedure Act/Article 1", and so on, right? Please historically note that some laws of the Republic of China were enacted in Mainland Era through 1949, but others were enacted in Taiwan after 1949, so if prefixing is needed, I prefer "Republic of China Law/" for uniformity as "ROC Law/" is not readily clear. Thanks.--Jusjih (discusscontribs) 02:53, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

For what I understood, first you are considering the title. At Wikibooks we try very hard to avoid, for a few years now, direct descriptive references in titles, so in place of "Republic of China Law" could be something like "Evolution of Sino-Jurisprudence" (for what you state it would be a more exact description of what you intend). It even avoids a direct reference to Republic of China since you seem to intend to cover the historical evolution and some special administrative regions (besides all the other political nuances that it may help avoid). You can use subsections to be more clear of the subject matter.
You can also request for the importation of content from Wikisource, while not initial in volume, until you commit to differentiate from the source as not to duplicate it can probably help. --Panic (discusscontribs) 03:33, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
China is divided since 1949 into the People's Republic of China based in Mainland China and the Republic of China based in Taiwan, so "Evolution of Sino-Jurisprudence" would cover both of them and even ancient China, which is much more than what I intend. What I intend to review the "Republic of China Law" from article to article is limited to national laws passed by the Legislature and promulgated by the President. For example, the Civil Code with 1225 articles was promulgated in 1929 and 1930 with five parts when the Republic of China was in Mainland China while Taiwan was a Japanese external territory, then after Taiwan Retrocession in 1945, the Republic of China lost Mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War in 1949 and retreated with its laws to Taiwan.
I am creating a page titled Republic of China Law/Civil Code/Article 8 for initial demonstration, inspired by Japanese Wikibooks with some law reviews from article to article like ja:消防法第13条 (Firefighting Act Article 13) at Japanese Wikibooks. Then I plan to import more amended Republic of China Laws here, break them up by articles, and delete the unmaintained pages at English Wikisource that cannot maintain evolving works. Please advise before I go any further. Thanks again.--Jusjih (discusscontribs) 01:27, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
It was just a suggestion as to comply with the new way of naming projects, the issue is that by naming it Republic of China Law you block that subject/category namespace for any other related works (Books by subject). As for the imports I see no problem.
What about adding "Annotated Republic of China Laws" at least that would reduce the issue and reflect what you intend... --Panic (discusscontribs) 04:48, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks so much for your suggested prefix, so I just moved my demonstrating page "Republic of China Law/Civil Code/Article 8" to Annotated Republic of China Laws/Civil Code/Article 8. Meanwhile, I am waiting for any response at s:Wikisource:Proposed deletions regarding amended Laws of the Republic of China before requesting importing flag.--Jusjih (discusscontribs) 05:36, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Take the time to look into the structure of other works for ideas on how to build it. I personally dislike navigational aids and think the content (ease of use and portability) is king. See Annotations to James Joyce's Ulysses (the navigational aid is superfluous if you structure the book around the slash convention, this of course increases the depth of the tree created by content, on the other hand it forces a move away from a monolithic structure that readers in low speed connections dislike but is often preferred for continue care and oversight of the work's progress). Annotations of The Complete Peanuts is a more simplistic approach it works since the subject matter is not very complex but makes its use a bit dry. One of my favorites is the The Devonshire Manuscript but it goes well beyond a simple annotation work... --Panic (discusscontribs) 09:12, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks again for the examples. Now I would like to be sure whether to keep the title Annotated Republic of China Laws or drop the last "s".--Jusjih (discusscontribs) 06:37, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
It depends. Since you are covering also special regions and then there is also the notion on how the legal system is structured in some nations there is a separation of the legal rules, for example family law, civil law, military law, criminal law etc... there is also the concept that there isn't a single law (that in its singular form is simply an abstraction for simplification of discourse) but a set of laws when we address the particulars of the diverse but specific legal legislation. --Panic (discusscontribs) 21:28, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Suggestions for advertising it.Wikibooks[edit]

Hello! I'm a user from the Italian Wikibooks.
As a request of the community I asked to Wikimedia-CH to advertise it.Wb with a banner. Soon the community will prepare it and a page which should prompt readers to contribute to our project.
We wanted know if You could kindly point us activities of peer learning and e-learning in which Wikibooks could be a helpfool tool, and anything needed to advertise the project. Ours has 100 times less active users per month compared to this site, is not known by most people and e-learning is an innovation in Italian schools.
Thank you very much for your advice! --Riccardo Rovinetti (discusscontribs) 16:12, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Featured books advertisement 2[edit]

Please remove the featured books advertisememt as per my post from #Featured books advertisement. On some computers I cannot hide it; the "dismiss" button is not visible. I consider the presence of this advertisemsen to be an inappropriate use of prime advertising space. Please remove it. --Dan Polansky (discusscontribs) 06:33, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Template:W[edit]

Why are we not supposed to use Template:W (see meta:Template:W)? I thought we weren't supposed to worry about performance. Leucosticte (discusscontribs) 19:00, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Interesting question. I've wondered the reverse: why would one use {{w}} as it exists here? I honestly don't understand what benefit is perceived to come from it. (In contrast, en.wn has a different template with the same name, n:Template:W, that plays a subtle and important role in the en.wn infrastructure. It looks for a local page with the target name and links to that if found, otherwise (barring specialized options) links to the target page on en.wp, and uses various hidden machinery to aid categorization maintenance by tracking local and non-local links.) --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 15:54, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Request comment regarding cookbook and baking recipes[edit]

Hi, this morning or last night I updated one Basic bread dough recipe with baker's percentages and the weights of the original recipe, determined via lookup at the USDA Nutrient Database. Many of the newest artisan baking books always include baker's percentages and/or weights in addition to volumetric measure. I'm at the point in my own baking that if an author doesn't have those already printed, I usually skip it for another that does, unless I have reason to believe it's an unusually good recipe. I thought I'd go through the baking-related recipes, slowly as my time allows, and try to get more of the recipes similarly notated. I was wondering if anyone could offer suggestions for improving the general look, or formatting. Thanks. I want to add that there's some redundancy which I don't care for, the ingredients are listed twice. It seemed necessary due to an inability to get the table's ingredients lined up with the bulleted list. An alternate might be a table without borders including all values including the volumetric text, but then the bulleting function doesn't work. Suggestions? I have updated the table to a different format which eliminates redundancy. MOS does not seem to say bullets are required, though they are used on every recipe I've seen. This table style looks cleaner to me. Gzuufy (discusscontribs) 17:23, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Update. This is a copy of a message I put on the talk page of cookbook_talk:Cinnamon Bun,

How is 2 cups of all purpose flour = 480 g? ... I can't make sense of this recipe. 2 cups of all purpose flour, per the USDA National Nutrient database (NND), should weigh 250 g, or 125 g per cup. But this recipe says 480 g of all purpose flour = 2 cups. There are other inconsistencies, but the flour is the biggest one. The shortening, USDA NND says composite vegetable shortening weighs 205 g per cup. But this recipe says 1/2 cup weighs 120 g, which is 240 g per cup. The brown sugar is not specified as packed or unpacked, leading to three possible values, because the same error seems repeated. Too many inconsistencies.... I've done a little more investigation, and it appears that "metrication" was added in this diff. In a different recipe, I found the same user making a similar mistake, 1.75 x 125 g = 218.75 g, but the same user converted it to 300 g.

It's kind of interesting, because if a user was following gram weights, instead of cup measure, and presumed the values were correct, they'd get a completely different result from the results someone else following the cup measure would get. I say "interesting", because weighing ingredients is considered a more accurate method, particularly for "flour" based recipes, but these kinds of errors in the conversions appear to undermine that accuracy. I find myself wondering how many other "metrications" the same user has performed, and if the same kinds of major errors were made in them. We all make typos, but two repetitions of the same error, particularly on the flour weight, the "core" of the "baker's percentage" method? Gzuufy (discusscontribs) 00:33, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Introducing myself[edit]

Hi , I'm Leaderboard and I currently edit on some computing books , such as http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How_To_Assemble_A_Desktop_PC and Basic Computing Using Windows

Meta RfCs on two new global groups[edit]

Hello all,

There are currently requests for comment open on meta to create two new global groups. The first is a group for members of the OTRS permissions queue, which would grant them autopatrolled rights on all wikis except those who opt-out. That proposal can be found at m:Requests for comment/Creation of a global OTRS-permissions user group. The second is a group for Wikimedia Commons admins and OTRS agents to view deleted file pages through the 'viewdeletedfile' right on all wikis except those who opt-out. The second proposal can be found at m:Requests for comment/Global file deletion review.

We would like to hear what you think on both proposals. Both are in English; if you wanted to translate them into your native language that would also be appreciated.

It is possible for individual projects to opt-out, so that users in those groups do not have any additional rights on those projects. To do this please start a local discussion, and if there is consensus you can request to opt-out of either or both at m:Stewards' noticeboard.

Thanks and regards, Ajraddatz (talk) 18:04, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Where can I request blocks of vandals?[edit]

Such as this vandal: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/209.112.140.130 - I would like this vandal to be blocked for problematic edits after his/her first and final warning. Thanks! --goldenburg111 (talk) 23:56, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

You can request an administrator to look into blocking a vandal here or at Wikibooks:Reading_room/Administrative_Assistance. I have further warned this IP user but I haven't blocked him/her as the vandalism appeared to be minor rather than extreme or offensive. Additionally I have protected the High School Science page so that any future edits (indefinite) by an IP user or a new user need to be reviewed before being visible (as is the case with other kid's books like all of the Wikijunior books). The Japanese History page has been protected for 2 weeks. Thanks.--ЗAНИA Flag of the Isle of Mann.svgtalk 00:17, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Alright, thanks. --goldenburg111 (talk) 13:37, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Global AbuseFilter[edit]

Hello,

AbuseFilter is a MediaWiki extension used to detect likely abusive behavior patterns, like pattern vandalism and spam. In 2013, Global AbuseFilters were enabled on a limited set of wikis including Meta-Wiki, MediaWiki.org, Wikispecies and (in early 2014) all the "small wikis". Recently, global abuse filters were enabled on "medium sized wikis" as well. These filters are currently managed by stewards on Meta-Wiki and have shown to be very effective in preventing mass spam attacks across Wikimedia projects. However, there is currently no policy on how the global AbuseFilters will be managed although there are proposals. There is an ongoing request for comment on policy governing the use of the global AbuseFilters. In the meantime, specific wikis can opt out of using the global AbuseFilter. These wikis can simply add a request to this list on Meta-Wiki. More details can be found on this page at Meta-Wiki. If you have any questions, feel free to ask on m:Talk:Global AbuseFilter.

Thanks,

PiRSquared17, Glaisher

— 17:34, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

VisualEditor coming to this wiki as a Beta Feature[edit]

VE as BetaFeature.png

Hello. Please excuse the English. I would be grateful if you translated this message!

VisualEditor, a rich-text editor for MediaWiki, will soon be available on this wiki as a Beta Feature. The estimated date of activation is Wednesday, 26 November.

To access it, you will need to visit the Beta features page after the deployment and tick the box next to "VisualEditor". (If you have enabled the "Automatically enable all new beta features" option, VisualEditor will be automatically available for you.) There will also be a "VisualEditor language tool" that you can enable if you need it.

Then, you just have to click on "Edit" to start VisualEditor, or on "Edit source" to edit using wikitext markup. You can even begin to edit pages with VisualEditor and then switch to the wikitext editor simply by clicking on its tab at any point, and you can keep your changes when doing so.

A guide was just published at mediawiki.org so that you can learn how to support your community with this transition: please read and translate it if you can! You will find all the information about the next steps there. Please report any suggestions or issues at the main feedback page. You will also receive the next issues of the multilingual monthly newsletter here on this page: if you want it delivered elsewhere, for example at your personal talk page, please add the relevant page here.

Thanks for your attention and happy editing, Elitre (WMF) 18:12, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear it's coming here in any form at all. The Foundation has made clear they don't care what users think, though. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 18:17, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm interested to hear what your reasons for opposing it are. I don't know that much about this but I reckon that anything which encourages more non-technical people to contribute to Wikimedia projects is a good thing. Wikipedia and sister projects are so fiddly to edit and very little has changed in 10 years. It's stilll just as much of a pain in the arse to find pages, to add templates and to remember what code does what as it was at the very beginning.--ЗAНИA Flag of the Isle of Mann.svgtalk 19:47, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Having taken a few days to mentally prepare, I'll take a shot at articulating this. Though, there could well be deep considerations that contribute to my intuition without my having explicitly identified them. (I've said for many years now, I take my ituition very seriously because I've found from experience that my intuition is way smarter than I am.)
I've got two ways of describing this, very different from each other though seemingly somehow intertwined — one in terms of the way markup languages evolve, and one in terms of the way wiki users learn.
  • Having watched as data formats rise and fall, I've observed that the ones that enjoy real long-term success are text; not some binary format, just plain text. This is closely related, of course, to the open-source concept, since text is by nature broadly readable and maniuplable with no need for specialized software to access it. UNIX is founded on text as a common data form. Programming languages (successful ones) are too. TeX, and its highly successful library extension LaTeX. Text is the medium of the web, and of (for all its flaws) javascript. Html. And wikis. This is why something like Flow (yes, I know we're not primarily talking about Flow here) is just a stupifyingly bad idea; if you deliberately set out to bring about the destruction of the wikimedian movement, you couldn't do much better than Flow.
However, there is a qualitative difference between text that can be manipulated by hand, and text that can only be handled by machine. In the early days of html, we wrote our web pages in html. And it was tolerably easy to do. The markup language was, however, oriented in its design more toward software than toward human authors, and continued to evolve in that direction — and wiki markup came along, the dominant characteristic of which was that it is incredibly easy for a human being to write and edit. There's been a lot of revisionism about this, but despite efforts to portray wiki markup as difficult, the whole reason it was ever successful in the first place is that it's a miracle of convenience. And the one thing guaranteed to turn any text-based language, no matter how easy to use, into a humanly intractable mire — as demonstrated consistently by history— is to have a program "help" to write it. The computer will "help" you right into being unable to deal with the text directly, losing a great chunk out of the marvelous benefits of text. Programing language source code written by software is unreadable, even if (as rarely happens) the software is made to enforce some ostensibly human-friendly style discipline. Html, that reasonably tractable markup I remember hand-coding in the first few years of the web, can still be written to be sort-of legible if it's written entirely by hand, but the moment any of it is generated by software you've lost it, and since it's been ceded to the software a lot of what you'd want to do is beyond reasonable reach of hand-composition anyway. If you want to hang on to the lion's share of the benefits of text —and, as I say, those benefits are requisite to large-scale, long-term success— you have to avoid ceding its composition to software.
  • My other view of this thing is based on personal experience with learning wiki markup, and watching others do so. If you want to write something on a wiki, how do you do it? You want to correct a spelling error, perhaps; my first several wiki edits were correcting spelling errors. You click where it says "edit", and you're presented with an edit buffer full of stuff. Most of it is just plain text; there's a little markup, much of it very light-weight, which you don't have to bother with right now — but you see it there, and at least with the lightest-weight parts of it, you can see immediately how it's done. Later on, when you have occasion to want to do some of that yourself, you've already seen it done — and if you have any doubts, you just go and find where somebody else has done something similar, and there's your example to follow. Pretty much all of wiki markup —and there really isn't much to it— is like that, you don't need much very often, and by the time you do need something you've probably already seen it done, and you can find examples of how it's done.
The whole thrust of VE is to try to prevent you from ever seeing the raw wiki markup — in other words, its whole purpose is to prevent you from learning how to do anything, to deprive you of the very benefits that have made wikis a huge success. My first eperience with VE went like this: I was looking at a section of a Wikipedia article, and there was something missing from a bulleted list. Oh, I thought, I'll just add that. And it occurred to me to try to use VE for it, since VE had been much touted, and this was a very simple edit. I tried. And tried. I couldn't figure out how. I finally gave up and just edited the wiki markup directly. And in doing so, I reflected that a complete novice could trivially easily have made that edit, because the moment they edited the wiki markup for that section, it would have been immediately obvious how to add another bullet item to the list, because you're looking right at nothing but a block of examples of how to do it. Even if you figure out how to do something with VE, it doesn't help you do something else with VE; even if you see an example where somebody else has done something on a wiki page, with VE you can't imitate it because you don't know how they did it; and you also don't get to incidentally see examples of how things are done that you haven't needed to do yet but may in the future. So you've taken a markup language that's incredibly easy to learn, and actively interceded to prevent users from learning it. As with Flow, this is a profoundly bad idea.
--Pi zero (discusscontribs) 17:40, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I understand your reasons and I see how useful it is for editors to learn the markup. But Wikimedia needs to look at how many people start editing and then never edit again. So many editors are tech-savy which might suggest that ordinary people find it too cumbersome to edit pages. I believe that anything which makes this process easier is a good thing.--ЗAНИA Flag of the Isle of Mann.svgtalk 07:58, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

VisualEditor coming to this wiki as a Beta Feature (errata)[edit]