Wikibooks:Reading room/General

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to: navigation, search
Replacement filing cabinet.svgArchivesWikibooks Discussion Rooms
Discussions Assistance Requests
General | Proposals | Projects | Featured books General | Technical | Administrative Deletion | Undeletion | Import | Permissions

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.

VisualEditor News #4—2015[edit]

Elitre (WMF), 22:28, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Why not stop developing these white elephants toys like VE, Flow, and MV? Let's go back to basic editing, old-style talk pages, and file pages that didn't impose themselves. (discuss) 00:42, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

How can we improve Wikimedia grants to support you better?[edit]


The Wikimedia Foundation would like your feedback about how we can reimagine Wikimedia Foundation grants, to better support people and ideas in your Wikimedia project. Ways to participate:

Feedback is welcome in any language.

With thanks,

I JethroBT (WMF), Community Resources, Wikimedia Foundation. 05:17, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

Introducing the Wikimedia public policy site[edit]

Hi all,

We are excited to introduce a new Wikimedia Public Policy site. The site includes resources and position statements on access, copyright, censorship, intermediary liability, and privacy. The site explains how good public policy supports the Wikimedia projects, editors, and mission.

Visit the public policy portal:

Please help translate the statements on Meta Wiki. You can read more on the Wikimedia blog.


Yana and Stephen (Talk) 18:12, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

(Sent with the Global message delivery system)

Open call for Individual Engagement Grants[edit]

Greetings! The Individual Engagement Grants program is accepting proposals from August 31st to September 29th to fund new tools, community-building processes, and other experimental ideas that enhance the work of Wikimedia volunteers. Whether you need a small or large amount of funds (up to $30,000 USD), Individual Engagement Grants can support you and your team’s project development time in addition to project expenses such as materials, travel, and rental space.

I JethroBT (WMF), 09:34, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

There is less than one week left to submit Individual Engagement Grant (IEG) proposals before the September 29th deadline. If you have ideas for new tools, community-building processes, and other experimental projects that enhance the work of Wikimedia volunteers, start your proposal today! Please encourage others who have great ideas to apply as well. Support is available if you want help turning your idea into a grant request. I JethroBT (WMF) (discusscontribs) 15:23, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Can FlaggedRevs encourage contributions?[edit]

A few days ago I took part in an interesting discussion about wikis and software documentation. It was triggered by this post. In essence, it argues that the freedom of action granted by wikis scares away contributors, as they would perceive too large a risk of their contributions breaking something, angering someone, or simply being ignored. The solution would be receiving contributions as pull requests (i.e. submitting them to a review process before they go live), which would feel safer and assure contributors that there is a human on the other end of the line. I feel it is an interesting idea, and it rings true from my experiences with project documentation wikis.

What really intrigues me, however, is that our FlaggedRevs is very much like a pull request system with extra granularity (e.g. there are different degrees of approval, and depending on the settings changes may go live even if they weren't reviewed yet). Could FlaggedRevs actually encourage readers to contribute then? That hypothesis runs counter to the conventional wisdom about FlaggedRevs, which sees it as a necessary evil to fight vandalism at the cost of approachability, or at best as a quality assurance tool. Questions that unfold from this tension include:

  • Does the possibility of FlaggedRevs encouraging participation seem plausible according to your experiences here or at other Wikimedia projects?
  • To which extent occasional or first-time contributors are aware of FlaggedRevs? (At the Haskell Wikibook, over the last year we put most of the finished and near-finished pages under FlaggedRevs. As far as I can tell, it did not affect the amount of contributions either way, but I don't know if that is just because people do not notice FlaggedRevs at all.)
  • Is there any study by Wikimedia or anyone else on how FlaggedRevs affects the number of contributions? (So far I have only found this page, which unfortunately appears abandoned.

Duplode (discusscontribs) 00:24, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

@Duplode: This seems a fascinating possibility for flaggedrevs. I would think such a positive impact of flaggedrevs would depend on both how it is used and how it is presented to the user. People who have been taught that flaggedrevs is evil (and they may well get that indoctrination at en.wp) are likely to perceive it that way. I remember when I first arrived at en.wn, already conditioned by en.wp (and thus already comfortable with editing a wiki page), I felt nervous about editing a published Wikinews article; they had some sort of thing in place that required edits to be approved, didn't they? Did that mean my edit wouldn't be allowed? (In regard to indoctrination, I somewhat recall hearing last year of a study meant to test the reactions to VisualEditor of users who had no prior wiki experience, but they were using librarians, and once these no-wiki-experience librarians got a taste of raw wiki markup it was hard to get them to use VisualEditor because they found wiki markup so easy — which surprised them because they'd been told wiki markup was really difficult.)
So a key question here seems to be, what manner of using and presenting flaggedrevs would most effectively tap in to this (conjectured) potential.
Regarding studies of flaggedrevs' effect on contributions, there's likely to be difficulty with control, in that there would always be other factors that also differ along with flaggedrevs. That said, I believe the largest-scale use of flaggedrevs is on de.wp; you might do well to inquire of someone there. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 01:49, 6 September 2015 (UTC)
I think the current system is too invisible to have any effect on contributors. It would certainly have an effect, one way or the other, if it was clearer that edits were going to be reviewed before the "save" button was hit. It might reduce bad edits, it might reduce good edits or it might encourage more edits. QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 10:44, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
@Pi zero: @QuiteUnusual: I was just shown some charts and an incomplete study about edit trends in the German Wikipedia. They seem to show that FlaggedRevs didn't affect on its own the amount of edits there, though as Pi zero points out there are many questions we might ask about control (or the lack thereof). In any case, I share QuiteUnusual's feeling that FlaggedRevs is, possibly by design, too quiet to have a psychological effect on most contributors (out of curiosity: do individual projects have any autonomy in adjusting the visibility/obnoxiousness of FlaggedRevs?). --Duplode (discusscontribs) 04:09, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
@Duplode: Afaik the only means for us to change appearance of such things is .css and .js.

I do observe one effect of flaggedrevs on contributors: our main source of requests for the review bit comes from users who conclude, because they see messages about things they've created/edited not having been reviewed, that in order to be able to contribute properly they have to have the review bit. Which, when it happens, typically makes me muse wistfully on how we could make flaggedrevs in mainspace even less visible to non-reviewers. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 11:48, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

@Pi zero: Following your suggestion, and with help from DerHexer, I have started a topic at de.wikipedia. Duplode (discusscontribs) 18:07, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
Summary of the (now archived) de.wikipedia discussion:
  • A number of comments both from editors reminiscing their early days as Wikipedians and from reviewers lending support to the idea that the review process can motivate new editors. While such anecdotal evidence at least confirms the conjecture is plausible, one should be wary of reading too much into them − there is probably a fair amount of self-selection bias involved.
  • One experienced editor, opposed to FlaggedRevs out of principle, aggressively condemned the conjecture.
  • As we might have predicted, no other studies about the issue have surfaced.
Duplode (discusscontribs) 21:45, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

Phrasebooks for refugees on wikibooks[edit]

We started a book project for refugees, . On wikibooks, we continuously create new versions based on the master list in a google docs sheet (via a converter):

What is especially important is a fast way to create printable version. Is there any way to adjust printing size or fit more than 6 columns into a page when printing?

Most importantly, I need a reviewer status. Since the project is getting quite a following, we want to brace for trolling. Thanks! --MNeuschaefer (discusscontribs) 19:52, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

@MNeuschaefer: I can't change your user rights but I am a little confused about why you would want in excess of six columns on a page--that seems really cramped to me. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:33, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
@Koavf: Landscape format maybe? Also, is there an option to set a smaller font size for the prints? An economic way to print the sheets is a priority (spacious design much less so).--MNeuschaefer (discusscontribs) 06:38, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

Wikidata data access is coming[edit]

I require a small help[edit]

I need to know about <timeline> element. What is it and how to use it? Do we have a documentation for it? And, can we have those graphs for side by side comparison (as in graphs we see in football statistics).
acagastya  ✉ Dicere Aliquid :) 01:52, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

@Acagastya: You can read more about it from MediaWiki: mw:Extension:EasyTimeline. Let me know if you have more questions. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:54, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

Wikidata data access is here[edit]

New proposal for MediaWiki:Common.js[edit]

I have put a new proposal for MediaWiki:Common.js in MediaWiki talk:Common.js#Possibility to hide content from beginning in CollapseElements.js. -- David23x (discusscontribs) 11:42, 23 September 2015 (UTC)


As the announcement above said Wikidata properties can be used in Wikibooks. How should I use parser function (#property) in Wikibooks pages? Doostdar (discusscontribs) 08:10, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

It's now technically possible to use Wikidata properties in Wikibooks (so we're told). It doesn't follow that one should. I don't see off hand any situation where it would be a good idea to set up content on a sister project so that it'd instantly reflect changes to content on another sister (with the obvious exception of meta-data about the other sister). It would be very useful to have a facility where a contributor could run a comparison of content on two different projects, and if a discrepancy is found, offer the contributor a range of choices for what to do about it (the obvious choices would be, change it here, change it there, or somehow make a note here explaining why they should be different from each other). --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 13:19, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
I agree with you that Wikidata content is not yet authentic enough to rely on but for using its content we need to have the least knowledge of Lua programming. As an example of getting help from Wikidata content, I want to use some information from this item in this Wikibooks page.
In this Wikibooks page you see mass values are mentioned for the three subatomic particles (Table 1-1). The value written for proton is 1.00728 amu. On the other hand, proton item has a mass property (P2067) with a more precise value which equals to 1.0072764668±0.0000000001 amu. How can I replace the current value used in this page with a more precise value from Wikidata? --Doostdar (discusscontribs) 11:21, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Just to be clear, my position isn't merely that Wikidata is not yet ready to rely on, but that it's inherently a bad idea ever to set things up to make other projects automatically dependent on a central locus; the centralization maximizes damage-potential from the central location while diminishing both human control and human scope of the dependent locations (I'm an advocate of semi-automation and opponent of automation; cf. n:User:Pi zero/essays/vision/sisters).

As for technically how to do it, looks like the page you want is Meta:Wikidata/Notes/Inclusion syntax v0.4. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 19:08, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

To illustrate Pi zero's point: do we really want to display the proton mass with ten significant digits and the error specification in that page? (My question is, arguably, nitpicking in this specific case, but it is easy to see how centralised off-project control of data can be problematic.) --Duplode (discusscontribs) 19:53, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
I concur. For example, say the book is an A-level text on physics. Automatically changing, say, the mass of a proton when science adjusts it minutely is actually wrong - until the A-level syllabus is updated, the book should reflect the old value. QuiteUnusual (discusscontribs) 21:20, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Based on the consensus held two years ago Wikibooks like its other sister projects ought to have items with interwiki links in Wikidata to make Wikidata more comprehensive. The fact is that you cant't see lots of interwiki links even between two versions of Wikibooks (eg. Persian Wikibooks and English Wikibooks) and the statistics shows this situation explicitly. I personally don't insist on accessing data from Wikidata but that's an option ahead. --Doostdar (discusscontribs) 17:42, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
A couple of peripheral remarks:
  • En.wb has discussed whether to remove local interwiki markup as such things get covered by Wikidata, and has not reached a consensus to do so (I myself strongly favor keeping local interwiki markup; I think all projects should keep local interwiki markup, and, in the long run, deploy some means for checking local interwiki markup against Wikidata and thereby getting the strengths of centralized and distributes systems rather than the weaknesses of both.)
  • By my reading of the meta page I linked to, currently it's not possible for a sister page to access properties of any wikidata item other than the one it's linked from for interwikis. (I think that's what they're saying.)
--Pi zero (discusscontribs) 20:15, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Reimagining WMF grants report[edit]

IdeaLab beaker and flask.svg

Last month, we asked for community feedback on a proposal to change the structure of WMF grant programs. Thanks to the 200+ people who participated! A report on what we learned and changed based on this consultation is now available.

Come read about the findings and next steps as WMF’s Community Resources team begins to implement changes based on your feedback. Your questions and comments are welcome on the outcomes discussion page.

Take care, I JethroBT (WMF) 17:02, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Wikibooks recipes and Wikipedia dishes[edit]

Should Category:Lentil recipes here on Wikibooks be connected to w:Category:Lentil dishes on Wikipedia through Wikidata? They're currently separated (d:Q21067454 and d:Q8587302). What are the policies? --Superchilum (discusscontribs) 12:42, 6 October 2015 (UTC)