Difference between revisions of "Wikibooks:Reading room"

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(I love video game books)
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:I thought they had such a project at [[wikispecies:|Wikispecies]]. --[[User:Whiteknight|Whiteknight]]<small>([[User talk:Whiteknight|talk]]) ([[User:Whiteknight/Proposed Books|projects]])</small> 15:49, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
 
:I thought they had such a project at [[wikispecies:|Wikispecies]]. --[[User:Whiteknight|Whiteknight]]<small>([[User talk:Whiteknight|talk]]) ([[User:Whiteknight/Proposed Books|projects]])</small> 15:49, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
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== I love video game books ==
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I am afraid that I have not been so clear in my past statements in this area and this is causing people consternation where I think there should be friendly dialogue.
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I am an advocate of free culture. I love video game books. I think that people should be passionately writing books about video games in a collaborative manner. These can be walkthroughs, these can be textbooks about the sociological phenomena of games, these can be textbooks for game programming, these can be user manuals, these can be joke books, these can be fan fiction, these can be all kinds of cool and interesting things that I have not imagined, and that none of us have yet imagined, because we are at the beginning of the grand experiment of internet collaboration using free licenses.
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The issue here is not about me not liking them, the issue is that the Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization which was approved as such by application to the US Government based on a particular charter of operations, and we have NO CHOICE but to follow that charter. If we expanded the mission of Wikibooks to include things which are outside the scope of our charter, we would lose our tax exempt status and place the entire project in peril, including Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and everything else.
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There is a simple dividing line to use. Is there a course taught at an accredited institution of learning, which requires as a textbook, the sort of book in question? That's the rule. It is easy to apply, it keeps us from having to fight about whether various things are 'important enough' or 'serious enough' for Wikibooks. (A silly question, I think, because all kinds of things are important, and demeaning someones work as not being serious enough is not kind.)
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I think of game walkthroughs and manuals in the same way that I think about Hamlet. Hamlet is a great book, but it is not a textbook. It belongs in Wikisource. Game walkthroughs and manuals may be great books, but they are not textbooks either. They belong at Wikia, or a generic wiki host.
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We do not allow original fiction here. We do not allow things that go in wikisource. I have too much love and pride about the important mission of Wikibooks to let it become a dumping ground for things that the Wikipedians are kicking out.
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The mission of Wikibooks is to provide a complete curriculum that will allow every single person on the planet, in their own language, to get the education that they need to survive and prosper in the world. This is a noble mission, it is an important mission, but it is not a mission that can be achieved without serious focus on what we are doing here and why. We are a charity. We have a mission. Let's stick to it.--[[User:Jimbo Wales|Jimbo Wales]] 22:06, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Revision as of 22:06, 25 May 2006

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Haldeman and Ehrlichman discuss policy, 1973.png

/General help
/Discussions moved to other pages
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Ideas

Welcome, newcomers and baffled oldtimers! This is where Wikibookians raise and answer Wikibooks-related questions and concerns regarding technical issues, policies or other aspects of our community. New issues are entered here, with the most recent at the bottom of the page. Please review the Table of Contents to see if your issue has already been raised; also check the archives (see below) in case it was discussed some time ago.

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Archive
Archives
  1. August 2003 – June 2005
  2. June 2005 – August 2005
  3. July 2005 – October 2005
  4. October 2005
  5. November 2005
  6. November 2005
  7. November 2005
  8. November 2005 – December 2005
  9. December 2005
  10. December 2005 – January 2006
  11. January 2006 – February 2006
  12. February 2006
  13. February 2006
  14. February 2006 – March 2006
  15. March 2006
  16. March 2006 – April 2006
  17. April 2006

Contents

Card Catalog Office and other sidebar issues

I'm not sure this is consistent with the best way of searching for things and the discussions regarding categorisations above (although I do appreciate that a lot of effort, particularly Rob's, has gone into it). I do wonder though whether it has a future, and even if it does, whether it is really worthy of being linked to in the sidebar. Indeed, to my mind, the sidebar needs a bit more reorganisation, putting the links to community pages down a bit, and perhaps renaming the "all bookshelves" and "all books" bits as "search by subject" and "search alphabetically" instead, Jguk 18:29, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, unless categorization in the card catalog office is forced (via a {{cleanup-link}}-esque template) and {{Catalog}} is used, I think the card catalog office should be scrapped altogether. (Imagine if a library only had a random half of its books catalogued.) As for the sidebar, I think that having both a "tools" and a "toolbox" section is redundant. --Hagindaz 23:05, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
The whole point of the Card Catalog Office was to bring up the issues of organizing the content of Wikibook, and have a central discussion area that was seperate from the Staff Lounge where people who are interested in organizing the ontology of Wikibooks could occur. In that regard, I think it is still a valid project, but the problem here has always been trying to recruit people to be involved with the issue. If the CCO is a failed experiment, so be it. I still think major discussion about this issue needs to take place, and it will be an ongoing issue as well. And if the CCO is being scrapped, there should be something to take its place. If you don't think finding content on Wikibooks is a problem, and that Special:Allpages is the best solution, go ahead and scrap the CCO and the idea.
I am opposed to a monolithic ontology for Wikibook, and the category system of MediaWiki software is also inadequate for cataloging Wikibooks as well. Much of the problem I've been facing is to simply identify what is a Wikibook, which is precisely why I started Wikibooks:Alphabetical Classification. If you are complaining about how slow I've personally been in trying to catalog Wikibooks, you are operating on far too short of a timespan here. This is something that is going to take time, and I've been deliberately moving slow to make sure that I've covered the major issues, as well as to identify the tools necessary to deal with the task. It is a huge task to try and catalog anything, and with almost 15,000 pages of content and no real organization at the moment, the task for the current Wikibooks content alone is in reality something more than one person can deal with on their own. --Rob Horning 09:33, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Help!

This section has temporarily been suppressed. I have started moving some info from WP and modifying it - but it needs quite a bit of improving. Also, many pages currently in the Wikibooks namespace, more properly belong in the Help namespace and should be moved there. If people have ideas on how to improve it, please just go ahead, or note the ideas here for discussion, Jguk 18:29, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

It looks good, definitely the right direction. RobinH 19:24, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Any help, Robin? :) Jguk 19:44, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

request help

I am begining to see the challenges of working here at wikibooks. I have to confess that I'm a POV warrior, but I am trying to reform. I keep finding myself with serious writers block. I think my biggest problem is that subliminally, I'm still an info warrior in a solitary crusade against an army of trolls. I keep trying to solve this problem by imagining Jimbo Wales as the guy I am writing to. This works some, but Jimbo Wales is pretty absent from my process, and haunting his discussion page doesn't really put me in touch with his head as much as it makes me realize that lame people are everywhere. I had a big brain storm yesterday. I was happy and proud of myself for writing a few pages in as many hours for the first time. Until i went and looked at it this morning. Its a big phat POV nightmare. Honestly, as such things go, its more factual and truthful than almost any other POV nightmare, but its still not even something I'd normally want anybody to see here. My original idea was to vanish it and start over, but theres a lot of good points, and, I think that even the pov pionts could be considered as good starting points. What I guess i am looking for is a compassionate NPOV coach, somebody to help me draw those lines, and to help me frame my reference point in my head for who and how i should be writing.

If anybody has the spare time and energy, I'd appreciate some feedback. Please know that I have no intention of leaving the big mess up any longer than it takes to fix it. Prometheuspan 18:46, 19 April 2006 (UTC) http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/THINKSTARSHIP/Think_Tank_Theory

Wikiversity status change?

I noticed Wikiversity has been removed from Wikibooks main menu. Has the Board finally moved to approve/disapprove Wikiversity or is this unilateral action by some Wikibookean at large? Lazyquasar 09:35, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I think this is a (hopefully temporary) cock-up by the developers, who are tested out something new with the sidebar. Somehow our sidebar, which remains unchanged on MediaWiki:Sidebar, has been replaced by that of the English Wikipedia! I hope normal service will be resumed shortly. I also hope that Wikiversity makes a proper go of it at Wikibooks and the proposed schism gets put to rest, Jguk 10:09, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
There is nothing on the part of Wikibooks administrators to formally remove Wikiversity from Wikibooks in any significant manner, and I would fight that until http://en.wikiversity.org/ was live, or some significant alternative was presented. There was a substantial server crash that happened yesterday with the english-language server farm and I think the developers are trying to recover from that incident, together with a huge crushing load of page requests. I suspect that the sidebar issues are a result of that issue as well, where they had to recreate some of the content from backups. If you made any substantial edits in the past couple of days, I would strongly suggest that you review your recent contributions to see if they made it into the current database. --Rob Horning 10:19, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Categories Within Pages

Is there any way to include part of a page on another page, but not the whole page (possibly with using categories). For example, imagine a language book had 4 pages: Dialoges, Grammar, Vocabulary and Exercises- each with content organized by lesson and section. Could you create each section's page by including the grammar, dialoges, vocabulary and exercises from the 4 pages(dialoges grammar vocab and exercises)? Kind of like how US History/Print version was created, except taking only sections of pages instead of entire pages. DettoAltrimenti 11:03, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Use <noinclude>text to not include in transcluded page</noinclude> around text you only want to appear on the page itself, but not on the transluded page. To only include text on another page but not on the page itself, use <includeonly>text to include only on the transcluded page</includeonly>. That may be useful for titles or categories.
If you want to include different sections of a page on different pages, you can use
<div class="{{switch|{{SUBPAGENAME}}|case: Dialogues=|case: Lesson 1=|default=hiddenStructure}}">
text to only appear on pages titled "Language/Dialogues" and "Language/Lesson 1," but not on any other page
</div>

--Hagindaz 13:47, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

weird glitch

don't know where to go to report this. Its happening on wikibooks and wikipedia. When i go to log in, the entire user options bar jumps sideways. In fact it tends to do this whenver i put my cursor over the general area??????? -perplexing- Prometheuspan 02:39, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Prometheuspan My talk Preferences My watchlist My contributions Log 
out 

keeps hopping to the left side of the screen.

Wikibooks is not a depository for video game manuals

This is an instruction that Jimbo has added to Wikibooks:What is Wikibooks [1]. He has also noted this on Wikibooks talk:Computer and video games bookshelf, where he has made it clear that, although time would be allowed for the video game manuals we have to be moved elsewhere, that they really do not belong on Wikibooks. It also seems that his thinking is that Wikibooks's scope really should be textbooks for educational reasons.

Because of the terms of WMF's educational mission charter, it seems that we have no choice on this. Personally, I must say that (even ignoring WMF's educational mission charter) I would agree with Jimmy - Wikibooks should be for textbooks, which to my mind means books that encourage or aid learning (for school, university, profesionals or for the kind of subjects you see in adult learning courses, such as cookery or flower arranging, or what have you). Video games walkthroughs quite simply do not belong.

I think we should agree a cut-off date after which video games walkthroughs will be deleted - a generous one, perhaps the end of July, say. This would give plenty of time to allow them to find a new home, whilst also making it clear that they will be removed. In isolated cases, for exceptional reasons, any deadline chosen could be extended - but the message would be that we are serious about removing them, please move your work elsewhere (could wikicities help?), you have plenty of time to do this, but do move them or your work will be lost.

In the meantime, I propose that any new video game walkthroughs that are started are speedy deletion candidates, with a requirement that a note be placed on the author's page explaining our new approach. Discussion of this proposal can be on Wikibooks:Deletion policy, Jguk 06:03, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Finally! That's good news. While I'm impressed by the depth and quality of the guides we've amassed, as textbooks they all fall flat. But this is going to be a big effort. There are many things to do now. I wonder though, what's the best way to transwiki? I assume a database dump could be downloaded and then installed on the new host server, or is cut-'n'-paste with a history list still the best way? If a database import isn't viable I can get onto contacting authors and transwikiing content right away. I suggest that rather than expect the authors to find their own hosts that they all be moved to StrategyWiki. From there the authors can contribute or fork off to their own server as they please, and it would mean Wikibooks could be emptied by the due-date without worrying over books that didn't get dealt with in time. In closing, yay! :) GarrettTalk 08:42, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

A number of points regarding your suggestion (which on the whole seems like a great solution):

  1. Is the licensing of submissions to StrategyWiki compatible with the licensing used for submissions to Wikibooks?
  2. Assuming the answer is yes, would StrategyWiki accept the material? (we could easily ask them that)
  3. We'd then need to agree with StrategyWiki how to transfer material (assuming we've dealt with 1 and 2 this should be possible, but I wouldn't want to introduce lots of material to StrategyWiki en masse in a way that disrupts what they're doing).
  4. Presumably once transwiki'ed (however that is achieved) we can delete each book here straightaway - though we probably ought to offer a link from the title page of each book to the StrategyWiki page for a period (a year say) so that anyone looking for it here can find it on StrategyWiki.

Finally, I have never seen StrategyWiki before. Visually it looks excellent, much better than what we've got here at Wikibooks. And it all seems to be on MediaWiki. I'm jealous. How do we get the appearance of Wikibooks to look equally excellent? Jguk 09:18, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

  1. Both are GFDL, so it's all go in that respect. :)
  2. In the past they've expressed an interest in receiving WB content (and also began copying over the ever-popular Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas guide). I've mentioned this policy change over there so they can reaffirm their opinions.
  3. As long as each book conforms to the subpage structure it shouldn't be too hard to manage.
  4. Sounds like a good plan, as there are bound to be some incoming links for a while yet (especially from fansites and outdated WP mirrors)
As for the visual theme, you just need time and artistic talent. :) MediaWiki skins are merely CSS stylesheets, and adding new ones is basically drag-'n'-drop. Another good example of an unrecognisable MediaWiki install is the Elder Scrolls Construction Set Wiki. GarrettTalk 10:54, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Where do you drop them into? Also, what do you need to design them? Jguk 17:30, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Anyone with access to the server can dump them into the skins folder (and also have to add a line or two to a PHP file, I think). If you were to replace an existing skin however this can all be done from the MediaWiki: namspace. All you need to design them is CSS knowledge, no special tools really. GarrettTalk 21:50, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

So what about the other game manuals?

What about the Go, Chess and other game manuals on this site? Aka the Wikibooks:Games_bookshelf? Video Games may have a "bad rep" in the press, for I dunno whatever reason. :-/ But if this is going to be done, we need total consistancy. Nonetheless, it will be difficult for me to hang around this site if the game manuals are gone. It is no offense to Jimbo's decision, nor should this be taken as an act of resistance. His decision is his decision. At this point, no amount of disagreement can change the fate of these books.

Well, anyway. If normal games are to stay but if video games are removed... then this motion may have a little resistance. Convincing everyone that video games are not allowed while normal games are allowed is too difficult.

Other issues I see is convincing the Wikipedia community that Video Games are no longer allowed on this site. Somehow, that must be arranged (as far as why video games are allowed on wikipedia, but not wikibooks... but thats another story). --Dragontamer 17:56, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Thus I removed the new policy.
We need to have "wide acceptance among editors" (perhaps excluding editors of things that belong not at Wikibooks) before we can change WB:WIW, especially because the current version of WB:WIW does allow game manuals such as Go, Football (Soccer), and MapleStory, because they are "instructional resources". We might still be able to remove B:CVG guides (and maybe some others), but we need to discuss it first. --Kernigh 21:31, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Video game guides are to be removed (Jimbo capitalized "must" afterall). That's been decided on and no amount of discussion by us will change the foundation's decision, so I don't see why you have removed the policy. Now the difficult question to answer is how far do we go from there. Is the Wikibooks Pokédex, whose sole justification for keeping being that if game guides were accepted, it should be too, to be deleted? But regardless, video game guides are gone. --Hagindaz 23:31, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Jimbo's expressed his thoughts in more detail in this textbook-l posting. GarrettTalk 21:50, 22 April 2006 (UTC)


In reply to Hagindaz, even if we are sure that we will remove video game guides, that does not mean that we are sure about the policy. Instead of banning all video game guides immediately, maybe we should take transitional steps. --Kernigh 02:09, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Well of course. That's obvious and exactly what Jimbo recommended. But, a policy against the creation of new guides should in place if indeed "we are sure that we will remove video game guides," though the existing guides should be kept as long as needed. --Hagindaz 02:37, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Hey, say, what happened to my earlier comments? They just up and went vanished and i can't even find them in the history?

My points were pretty good ones i thought.

Lets see. RE-construct.

Yes, I agree it is a bog change seemingly. However, the definition of the place is "textbooks." Reading below i get more information, which is nice. Apparently that wasn't the initial total intention of the conceptual inventor of Wikibooks.

However, my point earlier is that how to play video games doesn't really match the mission statement here is still true for really the same reasons. If, at long term expansion, 20 years from now the library was well founded and big and large and complete, the operational functional umbrella would expand that large. The problem is that Wikibooks is barely meeting the mission statement, and that bookshelf is getting crowded. Wheres the textbook on how to write a video game? Or on how to think in three dimensional coding? Or how to program a 3 dimensional model? Those are the kinds of books we need, and without them, the problem is that Wikibooks ends up being a kiddie zone.

(This isn't a recontruction, i have new information..drat.)

But still, the same point is essentially true. People come here in good faith and see an opportunity to write something. But maybe over the long term they fail to make it neutral or its too pov, or its fiction, etc. If it meets some realistic criteria, we ought to keep it but shelve it on a shelf that is useful. There are dozens of books probably on Wikipedia that wouldn't cut "TextBook." We don't need to delete them, and, it might even be true that we don't need to move them. But they do need to exist in a place that is organized for them, and to fit into a macro which implies a library, not a game museum.

There are several Books we should keep that are POV encumbered. I can think of two examples off the top of my head. The "Asperger Survival Guide" and the "Universal Religion" Texts. The first is POV as its written by a magickal thinking asperger syndrom person. The funny thing is, it is exactly the kind of reference material a pro would die for in order to both help Asperger Syndrome folks and to generate an annotated study of Asperger type thinking. POV in this case means GOLD MINE. "Universal Religion" was a good faith attempt but a half lucid follow through. Its POV biases are train wreck accidents and the Author isn't really a POV pusher by a long shot. I'd devote a week to showing how the starting premise is a good one and show how it could be a valuable NPOV text if it went up for deletion, because its a "half way there" sort of book that really just needs a fresh batch of neutrality-ification authors. Prometheuspan 21:04, 24 April 2006 (UTC)




Fiat decisions and the scope of Wikibooks

There are two very different visions that I see regarding Wikibooks, from two very different people as well. One is from the "founder" of Wikibooks, Karl Wick. I can't speak for him directly, but in many various places he has expressed a much more inclusive attitude toward what can appear in Wikibooks. For myself, I feel that if you have a subject that is in Wikipedia, but it can be covered in much more depth and detail than a typical 32K article, it can become a Wikibook. That removes the original research problems and would largly fit with what is currently in the WB:WIN list except for specific changes that Jimbo has added in the past six months or so. In summation, Wikibooks is for books and major content that takes quite a bit of work to organize.


That is a great idea, and the broadness of the scope is a better umbrella. I think that "Fiction" and "Pov" booksehlves are really the best solution overall, but think of this in a social systems theory perspective like Jimbo. Its not that we don't love a bunch of games, but we need to narrow the focus of our filter in order to generate the minimum bare bones product. Most of the books on Wikibooks are not only unfinished, they sort of look like maybe a batch of teenagers started the project and then promptly abandoned it. This is a systemic problem, and limitation of scope is one way of resolving that systemic problem as a information systems engineer. Prometheuspan 21:04, 24 April 2006 (UTC)


The other school of thought is that Wikibooks is only for strictly textbooks alone and nothing else. That would mean that even books like Serial Programming, which might be taught as a college subject but isn't very well cited or organized along a formal textbook lines with sample problems and student exercises would not qualify. In short just about everything here on Wikibooks. Or even more strict, if I can interpret what Jimbo seems to be saying about the content here, if it can't be found at a college bookstore then it shouldn't be here.

Serial Programming is at least a topic proper for a textbook, and the fact that it is not yet a very good textbook is of course no grounds for deletion, but rather grounds for radical improvement. I am certainly not saying "if it can't fe bound at a college bookstore then it shouldn't be here". We are interested in creating a complete curriculum for Kindergarten through the University level. The proper question is: is this a textbook for a course taught in some accredited institution? --Jimbo Wales 13:34, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Prometheuspan 21:04, 24 April 2006 (UTC) I really don't like that as a school of thought, and, I hope that isn't what Jimbo is actually saying. I think that it might be a sort of accidental hyperbole of the other school of thought; this is my interpretation of the other school of thought. Wikibooks needs to focus on making it as a library in order to attract cyclically the kind of people who will improve it as a library. If wikibooks becomes by means of content something other than a library, it will fail in the end as a useful information resource. The idea here isn't to absoluetely exclude what isn't a textbook, it is to focus all current efforts on what wikibooks has to do in order to insure its viability as an information service.


I believe this to be way overly restrictive, and I can't really be used to judge any content that would fall under even some moderation between these two schools of thought.


Prometheuspan 21:04, 24 April 2006 (UTC) If that were the actual other side, I would agree, it does seem overly restrictive. If it were even as much as a permenent rule, rather than an information service engineering tactic, I'd see it as a self debilitating limitation for a any information service labeling itself a library. I hope that my interpretation of the other point of view is closer to it than your interpretation of it, because i think therein lies the compromises we are looking for.


More to the point, if this is something that Jimbo has been gnawing at his mind for some time (as apparently it has), I wish he would come out and say it. If he were still paying for these servers completely out of his own pocket, I might be willing to say that he has the authority to do this huge policy shift, but he isn't and IMHO doesn't. I guess we can't overcome a forced Wikimedia Foundation Board policy decision on this matter, but then again I think such a heavy handed approach is going to be something that will be highly detrimental to this project. And some of the current board members, notably Anthere, feel we are being way too restrictive on the content already with Wikibooks. If we were restrictive before, you have only just seen this get started.

As far as I am aware, Anthere and I are in complete agreement about what should be in Wikibooks.--Jimbo Wales 13:34, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
If you and Anthere were in agreement, there wouldn't have been a fight over the Wikimania proceedings being placed on Wikibooks, nor would it have even been put on Wikibooks in the first place. Generally speaking the attitude in the past by many users, including both Anthere and Angela, was to be inclusive for the most part as long as it was kept within GFDL guidelines and was generally speaking book content. --Rob Horning 23:42, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Mind you, as I've pointed out numerous times and in numerous places, less than 1/2 of all Wikibooks content is even in English. If such a fiat decision is going to be made, it will also have to be enforced not only on en.wikibooks but on all Wikibooks projects. IMHO such a major policy change (and there are video game guides for the other language Wikibooks) should involve more than even this one project as well. I'll admit that the other language Wikibooks usually use en.wikibooks as a "template" to see what some general policies ought to be, but there already are some interesting differences in general policies between the various languages already. I'm sure Derbeth could give some examples between pl.wikibooks and en.wikibooks, and pt.wikibooks (a language I speak) has a policy that excludes controvercial religious books that we allow on en.wikibooks.

There have been no fiat decisions here! I have merely pointed out that we have always had policy, and the policy has not been well-enforced in the past. Wikibooks has been the victim of some well-meaning wikipedians sending junk over here. Do not allow yourselves to become a dumping ground.--Jimbo Wales 13:34, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
You had better believe this is a fiat decision. You went to WB:WIW and deliberately made a specific policy change to exclude over 100 different Wikibooks. Some of these have been started here on Wikibooks during this time when we have had a full bookshelf (a Wikibooks organizational division) created just for this content. It wasn't as though this was something that was added without Wikibooks users knowing about it unlike the Wikimania proceedings. While I have been one who has complained about Wikipedia dumping content on Wikibooks, this was not it, and this has not been widespread policy until now. The debate over removing these books has been a lingering debate here, and it is my perception that one of those anti-video game guides proponents finally got you to side with them effectively ending the debate and giving rationale to act on a massive scale. Wikibooks has been diminished as a result of this effort, and will IMHO be permanently damaged due to this action. I still fail to see any rationale on your part Jimmy as to why this policy change was made other than you simply felt like making the change. Thousands of hours of honest work have been destroyed and a significant group of Wikibooks users alienated and have been told to leave because of this action. Vandals couldn't have been any worse in this regard. --Rob Horning 23:42, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I welcome the debate over keeping or removing video game guides on Wikibooks, but this should be done through a legislative process and not through some executive order. And it should be a policy that gets input from all Wikibooks projects, not just en.wikibooks as well. I'm using the term legislative process as a way to say we need community concensus on this issue, but it should be way more than a couple of people saying "Yeah, let's do it" with perhaps one lone person saying "er... it might not be so good of an idea".

My personal "political" stand on this issue is that video game guides should remain. I've added some key points in Wikibooks talk:Game manual guidelines#For (Wikibooks should include game guides) including specific university-level curriculum that is currently being taught about this topic, and classes that indeed do study Doom as a classroom topic. That is a seminal video game and is going to be studied 100 years from now because of how groundbreaking of a video game it was. Just as Birth of a Nation is studied in university classes as a seminal motion picture today. In addition, and policy that "makes sense" is going to have to be more inclusive or exclusive over content than simply video games, and is going to have to hit the core of What is Wikibooks to see if this really is just textbooks or if it is for other non-fiction works as well. And how we define the term textbook. --Rob Horning 01:22, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Rob, I think you misunderstand what Jimbo is doing. He is responsible, as head of the Wikimedia Foundation, for making sure that WMF resources are used in line with its charter, ie its educational mission. If he did not do that he would be neglecting his role and, ultimately, putting WMF's non-profit status in jeopardy. From time to time, this does need executive order. I also think he appreciates that in practice wikibooks has allowed video games walkthroughs for some time and therefore we should give them plenty of time to arrange their departure from wikibooks to what I hope is a welcome home that will allow them to continue to develop.
I also think that what Jimbo is asking for is that we really do enforce the bit in WB:WIW that says "As a general rule, most books you might expect to find in the non-fiction section of your local library or bookshop are not acceptable because of the list of exclusions in this policy. This is for textbooks. A textbook is a book which is actually usable in an existing class." Do, however, give "existing class" a wide meaning as being in any accredited institution (ie don't restrict it to school). I'm sure that if you can show that a subject is studied in an existing class, and does have/need textbooks similar to a wikibook, that wikibook will remain, Jguk 06:25, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I am not misunderstanding this... or a huge misunderstanding perhaps. I do understand his role as "head of the Wikimedia Foundation", but its charter was written after the fact... and well after Wikibooks was established as a project and these video game guides were already on Wikibooks. This is not going to put the WMF's non-profit status in jeapordy in the least. This is a pure political move on the part of Jimbo to try and narrow the focus of Wikibooks, and he is using his position as chair of the WMF as justification to change policies here without even so much as having a discussion about this before the policy has been changed. That is just plain wrong to do with a project like this... even if he were even contimplating such a policy change.
I also fail to see where the motivation is to remove an entire bookshelf of almost 100 different Wikibooks is coming from. If this is to remove one specific Wikibook that is perhaps a bit too much, such as he did with the Jokebook, perhaps I could agree or disagree but it could also be dealt with through the VfD pages. And was. In this case he is making a huge policy shift in the project without consultation of any of the rest of the Wikibooks community and expecting us to try and divine his thoughts on why it was done... without any comment occuring that is of any substantial depth or justification and instead relying on apologists to deal with the consequences.
BTW, as far as video game development and study, I can give not only existing university classes that not only give instruction on these topics, but go into depth and even grant degrees in video game design. And these are not two-bit psuedo colleges either but otherwise widely respected major universities. The video game industry is now larger than the movie industry in terms of economic impact in the USA alone (it passed sales of movie tickets & video sales some time in 2004). It is certainly going to be having over time some colleges that will be doing things like the USC Film School is doing for the motion picture industry. The point here is that I fail to see why an entire bookshelf needs to be abandoned and all of the contents of all of the books deleted... especially on a decision that was not debated previously. --Rob Horning 12:29, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Rob here. Jimbo Wales needs to at least point out why this decision came out of the blue like this. Should we just sit still and silently get rid of 100+ books on this site without a discussion? Again, I point to Jimbo's edits. I have been watching this page in hope that he will give some sort of explanation to the issue. But just looking at his edit page, it makes me feel as if Jimbo isn't a participant in this community at all, a quality that should exist in an executive don't you think?
Heck, I thought as a community, we went over this already and settled that game guides *were* allowed on Wikibooks. And as such, we developed Wikibooks:Game_manual_guidelines. That page existed since early November, and the issue was discussed and I felt at least the issue was closed.
If Jimbo had an issue with the game guides, why didn't he talk about it when that guideline was being made? Why is it now, when the issue has been closed for 5+ months, that Jimbo says no, and the community has already moved on? --Dragontamer 16:25, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

There's a difference between a strategy guide/walkthrough and a book that examines the aspects of game design in a game. Because video games are unique in that they combine several art forms, the latter can easily be done, and without having any elements of a how-to book/strategy guide. Studies on novels, for example, have been written that are longer than the book they are about, aren't simply plot summaries, and are used in literature and writing classes. I see this as being similar to the difference between Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter and a Wikibook on a classic or revolutionary book. "Muggles' Guide" simply lists characters and summarizes chapters. And, like most video games, Harry Potter isn't anything special in its language or themes, so you wouldn't be able to write a book for classroom use.

Unless I'm forgetting a huge chunk of books, the books currently being hosted on Wikibooks fall into three divisions:

  1. Books that are, by any sense of the word, textbooks
    1. About topics taught in classrooms
    2. Structured in a way that wouldn't make sense for an encyclopaedia on the subject
    3. No question on what to do with these, obviously
  2. Guides/how-to books
    1. Would for the most part never be part of a school curriculum (though there is a small grey area)
    2. Video game strategy guides/walkthroughs and a book of recipes fall into this category
    3. May be popular enough to form their own project. See m:Talk:Proposals_for_new_projects#Proposal:_WikiHowTo
  3. Related encyclopaedic content
    1. Books like Wikibooks Pokédex and Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter (and possibly Serial Programming in its current form)
    2. Only purpose would be to serve as appendices (which has been argued in the case of the Pokédex)

I think most of the disagreement is over how-to books, which are instructional resources, yet are not used in classrooms. Whether Jimbo Wales has the right to limit Wikibook's scope to simply textbooks, despite significant support for the inclusion of all instructional resources, is something that I am very interested in knowing. Perhaps dividing Wikibooks into separate textbooks and how-to books projects would be the best course? --Hagindaz 04:24, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I think Jimbo's response to my queries on the mailing list (see [2]) is quite useful in this regard. Please read the email in full for the details.

I know i am a newbie aspie, but i do wish the humans would listen. I have said repeatedly that Wikibooks needs a "fiction" and "pov" Bookshelf. Honestly, this is the solution to most of this problem. Just let the users know they are getting into swampy stuff by putting it out in the backyard somewhere instead of featuring it. Prometheuspan 21:04, 24 April 2006 (UTC)


The comments that you make regarding the school curriculum are too narrow. Jimbo notes "The key point is that there have to be some kind of courses offered by some kind of serious institution of learning." That does not mean it has to be on the school curriculum. Books supporting adult learning courses or professional courses are, of course, welcome. For instance, serious cookery classes for adults (or children) (and I mean for amateurs not professional chefs) use cookbooks in classes, and the cookbook is most welcome. This is significantly different from a video game walkthrough, where Jimbo says "My question would be whether or not there exist classes at accredited institutions on the subject which use something similar _as a textbook_." There are lots of types of "accredited institutions", and this is meant to be given a very wide meaning.
In respect of the Pokédex, I have no idea whether Pokémon are now so big as to mean accredited institutions study it - in which case a serious study guide in line with an example syllabus would be within the allowed limits. If not, then we shouldn't have it. To my mind "How-tos" are largely micro-books and would be merging into a single how-to textbook on "life" (and I'm sure some sort of "general studies" or "citizenship" type classes cover much of this material anyway), Jguk 06:17, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
So what about video games like W:America's Army and W:Marine Doom? And then W:Brain Age that *really* blur the line of this new policy?--Dragontamer 16:26, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
That's wikipedia, not wikibooks. Wikipedia meets the educational mission of WMF by being an encyclopaedia, and it's reasonable to have articles on those games in an encyclopaedia. Wikibooks is for textbooks, the same or similar to textbooks used by learning institutions, Jguk 19:05, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
As per my reccomendation, I've copied this (thread of) discussion to the WB:WIW talk page. Go there for my responce. --Dragontamer 15:42, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

hey, like, you could in theory write an educational style textbook using a game as a hyper reference. The book would have to be about how to program etc. Not the game as its primary subject tho. See the difference? Prometheuspan 21:04, 24 April 2006 (UTC)


Lets centralize this discussion in WB:WIW talk page

It is getting confusing. It feels as if I'm saying the same thing here and on that page. This issue really hits the core of WB:WIW anyway, so we can leave the Staff Lounge for any other developments. Also, it helps if we all are on the same page on this discussion. (no pun intended)--Dragontamer 16:26, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

To aid discussion (and no more) I have created the page Wikibooks:Books possibly in contravention with WIW as a first shot at what books may have to be moved (although I note straight off that I imagine some of these will remain). I have also consolidated Jimbo's comments on the matter at Wikibooks:Comments from the President of the Wikimedia Foundation, Jguk 21:31, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikibooks: No personal attacks policy changed from "enforced" to "proposed" again!

Jguk archived the discussion of this item on the 24th then changed the policy from enforced to proposed again! See Archived discussion where for about 2 weeks no one demurred from the policy being enforced. Perhaps it was only after archiving the discussion that he spotted the change to "enforced" status. RobinH 08:23, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to restore "enforced" status to Wikibooks: No personal attacks - why we need a limited constitution and enforcement apparatus

A vote was taken at Wikibooks: No personal attacks and 10 users voted. This is a high number by Wikibooks standards. 8 of the 10 voted for the policy to be enforced. Surely reopening the issue after a vote (and several months) cannot be reasonable. I propose that the policy should be restored to enforced status.

The fact that a vote has been overturned unilaterally in the manner described is a graphic demonstration of the need for a limited constitution in the form of enforced policies and an enforcement apparatus.

At Wikibooks:Policies and guidelines there are several proposed policies that require review. The most important of these is probably Wikibooks:Ad hoc administration committee so that enforced policies can be enforced. RobinH 10:38, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Somethings happened to my account

I've not been on wikibooks for a while and I think that possibly my account has been disabled. I can't log in, and emailing for a new password doesn't seem to work either. I've had this new account (note the capitalisation). The problem is however my admin privaledges. I run a computer club here at my school and starting on wednesday intend to get the kids to edit a new wikijuniour book of science experiments that can be done at home. The problem is that this school is on a huge shared network that regulaly gets blocked from Wikipedia because of vandals from other schools. I need to be able to unblock the network so that my (lovely, well behaved) pupils can edit (and reblock when we have finished if necessary). I also need to be able to delete pages created in error (my pupils are only 11, I expect a lot of errors). Are there any stewards here? Can someone give me admin powers on this account or reactivate the password on my other account? Theresa Knott 10:03, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Hm. A while back it was decided to de-admin inactive sysops, but you don't seem to be on that list. Anyway it could be that removing your powers somehow glitched your whole account. I'm not sure about stewards, but I'm pretty sure beaureucrats can give sysop status too. In which case try Dysprosia or Derbeth. Hopefully they can fix whatever's wrong. GarrettTalk 12:18, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks it is all sorted out now. It was the email confirmation thing that was causing the problem. Theresa knott 14:29, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikibooks:Bulletin board updated

I am planning to add more longer texts, vaguely similar to Wikisource:News, to Wikibooks:Bulletin board. I have started with:

  • Local CheckUser status in doubt
  • Potential consensus to remove computer and video game guides

--Kernigh 02:52, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Great! Definitely a way for people to keep up to date at a glance without having to read the actual discussions themselves (which in thes two cases are especially confusing). GarrettTalk 05:12, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Cookbooks categorisation system

Hello,

Is there a staff lounge specifically for Cookbooks? I couldn't find one. (Like maybe, hmm, Cookbook:Kitchen? :))

I wanted to ask what the story is with cookbooks categorisation. I've spent a fair bit of time at Commons and they're (necessarily) pretty strict about categorisation norms. I started 'fixing' a bunch of pages then realised it might not be appropriate. Is there guidelines anywhere?

How is Cookbook:Recipes (the index) kept up to date? Is there a way to see all the recipes, or is the best bet Special:Allpages?

Thanks, pfctdayelise 12:32, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

...Anyone? pfctdayelise 01:30, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Try Talk:Cookbook. --Kernigh 04:13, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Talk:Cookbook is the main cookbook discussion page. From there you can find a link to pages in the cookbook namespace or you could browse to Category:Recipes to see the recipes that have been tagged with {{recipe}} Kellen T 11:49, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Requesting 'bot status to accounts

This is an FYI to all Wikibooks users, that a recent change in MediaWiki software on the latest round up updates has included a feature for marking accounts with the 'bot (for robot or automated) flag on accounts can now be set locally without having to deal with stewards on meta. This is now an "additional" responsibility that can be performed by bureaucrats.

As usual, you should still use the Wikibooks:Requests for adminship#Requests for bot status to let everybody know that you want to have the bot flag added to an account, but you no longer have to make the request on meta after the decision has been made unless there aren't any active bureaucrats that are paying attention. --Rob Horning 12:43, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

School project

I'm just letting everyone know that some of my pupils will be working on some wikijunior pages with me over the next 5 weeks. You will recognise them because they all have (knott) in brackets after a nickname. If you have any problems with them please let me know. It would be nice if someone welcomed them, and edited some of their pages. Their spelling and grammar is likely to be in need of a little help, and thier formatting will be terrible at first.

Also we only managed to create 3 accounts. We are using a proxy and we got a message saying that there have already been 6 accounts created. Is there a time limit on this? Cdan we create more accounts next week? Theresa knott 15:37, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

It's possible, and probable, that your connection is going through one of the many proxies used in the UK for educational Internet providers, which might appear to Wikibooks et al. as having the same IP address, depending upon a number of factors. If this is the case, then it's quite plausible that the account creation limit from that apparent IP address has been hit. This should be reset within 24 hours or so. 86.133.210.53 20:09, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Normally I wouldn't suggest this, but an IP spoofer might be the way around this. GarrettTalk 20:38, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Need more books

Excellent wiki you have here. I love the language section. The only thing this wikibook website needs is: books! I anticipated finding lots of public domain literature here. But alas, not a Shakespeare sonnet to be found. Perhaps that's in the works? 129.174.63.163 11:11, 27 April 2006 (UTC) Jess

Ah, you're looking in the wrong place. Wikibooks is for textbooks. For public domain literature, you'll need to look at our sister site, http://www.wikisource.org Jguk 11:51, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Votes for adoption?

Erik Moeller wrote on textbook-l:

For projects which are deemed outside the scope, as an alternative to deletion, it might be a good idea to have "Votes for adoption" - books tagged in this form could continue to be developed for the time being, but people would be encouraged to find a different, free content wiki to host them. Once there is consensus about a new home, the Wikibooks version would be redirected there.

I now forward the idea. --Kernigh 05:17, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

I have no problem for using wikibooks in that way for books which have previously in practice been allowed here, but which are now considered outside our scope, provided (1) there has been no final determination that they are now outside the scope; or (2) if, as with computer and video walkthroughs, there is general acceptance that they are now outside the scope, as long as an alternative location is actively being looked for (which is the case for the walkthroughs). I would not be in favour of Erik's proposal for new books, Jguk 06:18, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Creating account does not work

When trying to create an account the picture wouldn't show up blocking me from creating the account. In other wikis this is no problem. I use Firefox 1501, several extensions which work perfectly well with other wikis. Java/script are on.

-- Hvezd 09:12, 2006-04-29 (UTC)

Can you try again at Special:Userlogin? From my copy of (outdated) Firefox 1.0.6, I was able to see image.
Of course, check that you did not tell Firefox to block images from en.wikibooks.org. (Most of the images on this site are from upload.wikimedia.org, so you would still be able to see them.) Right-click the words-image and make sure "Block images from en.wikibooks.org" is not checked. --Kernigh 08:12, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I never blocked any file of any wiki-site. I created accounts in other wikis before without any problem. I could create an account in wikibooks via IE. Firefox showed the missing picture file in other wikis, just not in wikibooks. Now, 3 days later, it works again. No idea why. -- Hvezd 12:45, 2006-05-02 (UTC)

Sidebar

I've been bold and tried to improve the sidebar. Unfortunately, for some reason I can't fathom, the two items under "search" appear out of kilter. The page that feeds into the sidebar is MediaWiki:Sidebar. If anyone can see what's wrong please let me know (the page is protected so only admins can edit it). Of course, if you have ideas for improvements yourself, let us know too:) Jguk 07:12, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

This shows that m:Be bold should apply to "MediaWiki:" pages even though only administrators can edit those.
The problem with "search" was that the text was centered. This is because both the "search" (By subject, Alphabetically) and "search" (text field, Go button, Search button) sections are <div class="portlet" id="p-search"> in the HTML. The stylesheet centers the second "search" section, and thus also the first. I believe that I fixed the problem by changing "search" to "books". --Kernigh 08:02, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
... maybe I should have set it to "textbooks" instead of "books" ... --Kernigh 02:49, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

BDSM on Wikibooks:Votes for undeletion

Since the Wikibooks:Votes for undeletion page is rarely used, this is to notify everyone that I have listed a module there. --Kernigh 06:30, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Preparing for an Employment Interview

I would like to rename this book to something that is more concise, and would be easier to find. I'm looking for suggestions now, because I would like to start doing some major work on this book, such as breaking it down into sub pages, and working on the formatting etc. I don't want to make a bunch of subpages now, and then have to go back and rename all of them when we think of a better name. I would certainly appreciate any suggestions that anybody has on this matter. --Whiteknight (talk) (current) 19:10, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that it's a bit of an awkward title, but I couldn't think of something nicer unless you want to roll it into a general-purpose "Interviewing" book. Kellen T 20:44, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
True, but even then, it covers resume building and cover-letter writing. I was thinking something like "Get a Job", but i feel like that's too base. --Whiteknight (talk) (current) 21:23, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Preparing for a job interview? Jguk 06:40, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

That still seems too long a title. Maybe i'm just being unnecessarily picky, however. I just want something that will be easy to find in the "search box" by newcomers, although maybe this subject doesn't lend itself easily to that. Since this is on the "How-to bookshelf", I'm thinking we can go with the general scheme of things over there and imply the title with How-To: "Get a Job". --Whiteknight(talk)(projects) 16:05, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Most titles on Wikibooks are actually short. We have many one-word titles like Calculus? Feminism? I suggest longer titles. With very long titles, one can attempt shorthand, as in Guide to Unix for "Wikibooks Guide to Unix Computing". --Kernigh 00:31, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I generally prefer shorter titles, just because it is easier to do an effective search for a short title then for a long one. For instance, it would be much quicker to search for Unix then for Guide to Unix. That's just me though. I'm leaning towards (how to)Find a Job. because it's on the how-to bookshelf, and many of the titles there imply the "how to". --Whiteknight(talk)(projects) 13:27, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Interview preparation is another and shorter option. GarrettTalk 21:55, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

I think i'm going to just name this one "Find Employment" for now, because I would like to start working on this project more, and i'm impatient. If anybody has a better title for it, feel free to move it. --Whiteknight(talk)(projects) 21:14, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

what do i need to do to be able to hear the sound files here at wikibook?

im havin troubles, since its in .ogg format :(

Jane kiedis 21:09, 6 May 2006 (UTC) Jane kiedis

Winamp can play .ogg quite well. Grue 21:34, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
http://www.vorbis.com/setup/ --Kernigh 03:06, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Why Talk:Ada Programming/Contributing was deleted?

As you can see, this page was deleted [3] with the unique comment of "There is no module". I think this page does not qualify as a speedy deletion. This one was a page with metainformation about the Ada Programming book targeted to the contributors. I guess it was deleted because there was not a corresponding module page, but a deletion of useful content without warning is a bit aggressive behaivour. Please, could some administrator undelete it? On the other hand, is there an appropiate space for metainformation about a book? We discussed that topic in Talk:Ada_Programming/Contributors_lounge and then we moved the page, that previously was in the main namespace Ada Programming/Contributing, to the talk namespace. I didn't feel totally satisfied, but never thought a useful talk page would be deleted only because there was not a correspondent content page. ManuelGR 12:12, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

The book contributors should be able to choose whatever forum they like to discuss the project as a whole. The cookbook uses Talk:Cookbook as a sort of staff lounge, but we also have Cookbook:Policy for defining contributing guidelines. An admin should undelete the page. Kellen T 13:45, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Restored. GarrettTalk 21:49, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

RFC Jimbo

I have requested Jimbo explain wikimedia's policy with respect to howtos on his WP talk page. Kellen T 23:50, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Jimbo has responded. His position is that most of the howtos should go. Kellen T 18:39, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Recruiting Contributors

I have been working on a very ambitious Wikibook project since October, and have so far attracted two contributors. One of them has disappeared, and I expect the second one to disappear soon because the module for which he has expertise is nearly complete.

I have been trying to attract more contributors from the community at which this work is directed, but so far, I have had little success. So now I have an idea that I'd like to get some feedback on.

I would like to have custom lapel pins made for Wikibook contributors. Contribute to "my" book, and I'll send a free pin. Unfortunately, it looks like the minimum order is 50 or 100, depending on who you go to, and then the price for the whole lot runs from between $170 to $250 (US). First, I surely am not going to need anywhere near 50 pins - 5 or 10 is probably more like it. Also, I am unwilling to devote my financial resources to something that has a risky return (pins might not attract contributors).

However, if the pin design were a generic Wikibooks design, then I can imagine that the risk (and cost) could be shared by many Wikibookians. The most promising supplier looks to me like it might be these guys (no minimum order, but the difference between 20 pins and 50 pins is very small). I have no affiliation with them, and found them via Google.

Is anyone interested in something like that? Maybe the Foundation could have a couple hundred of them made and sell them in onesies and twosies for a small profit. Thoughts?

Jim Thomas 00:27, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

I doubt wikimedia would be up for this, and I don't know that it'd actually encourage people to stick around or even to contribute in the first place, but it might be fun. You're looking at lapel pins, which are quite expensive as they are produced from custom-made diess. If you looked instead at 1-inch buttons (think punk kids), you would find the price to be way more reasonable and maybe even something you might feel comfortable bankrolling for your book in particular. Kellen T 00:32, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
My target audience is into pin trading, which is why I suggested that. Since we're a scouting-type of an organization, we have uniforms, and the pins go nicely there.
Ah yes, good point. Kellen T 01:08, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Wikimedia already has a CafePress store. There's a general Wikimedia button pack, but no Wikibooks one. It wouldn't be particularly difficult to sell a Wikibooks logo-stamped button through CafePress, so I suggest you e-mail wikipedia@cafepress.com if that's what you would like. Don't count on selling quality pins through the foundation however. Hope you find something, haginძazt\c 01:45, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Hagindaz. I sent cafepress an email asking if they'd consider offering lapel pins. We'll see what happens. Jim Thomas 02:08, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

please help

I have been blocked by inshanee on charges that are wholly trumped up and false.

in fact, i am working on the very issue myself; i was blocked for alleged "attacks".

Everything i have said is cogently factual, and thus, not an attack, with a single possible exception being a vote i made.

Even there, i could provide logic to show that in fact, i am just making a cogent observation.

The truth is that this is a pov warrior event and inshanee is abusing his admin priveledge.

I am working on the problem of personal attacks, in fact, and this is one reason why i am being targeted. Inshanee and strotha both like to use sly attacks, and then pounce on you when you defend yourself. My version of reality being the cogent analysis and recognition of this tactic puts them in a hard spot where they would not be able to use the method if i can get the problem resolved.

what follows is what blocking me kept me from posting in response to the "personal attacks" topic posted on Jimbos talk page.


Prometheuspan 19:37, 10 May 2006 (UTC) Actually, thats a slippery slope, a hyperbole, and, its untrue. Using logic, we can discern between attacks and useful conversation about people. More importantly, right now Wikipedia has become an ad hominem fest. In fact, wikipedia has become extremely abusive, thanks to no clear means to deal with the abusiveness. This is a circular problem in that people with expertise won't participate if they can tell just by browsing the talk pages that its psychological mob warfare defending VS the ignorant to bother to try. For example; I'm not adding any material regarding Psychonautics. I might just be one of the worlds foremost experts on the topic, having managed to obtain waking Theta states in both myself and others. The topic is allready controversial amongst the well educated. Add to this the inevitable problem of facing down an ignorant mob as soon as you say something the thought police finds dangerous to maintaining ignorance, and you have a formulae for abuse. IF logic and cogency were the dominant paradigm on Wikipedia, then experts might feel safe to come here and contribute. All of the sciences at advanced levels become politically inconvenient for the dominant religious and political paradigms. Those paradigms can only continue to exist via the vaccum created by intentional ignorance. Ignorance is maintained via anti intellectual pack psychology. And right now, Wikipedia as a form of government falls easilly into the category "pack psychology driven MOB".

THE ONLY way to fix this is to make real changes in policy and methods of enforcement regarding personal attacks. (And other considerations of logic, including straw man arguments and false dillemmas.) Prometheuspan 19:37, 10 May 2006 (UTC)


Now, I am getting really sick of being gamed and played by abusive people here, and my next step is to start taking my complaints to people who will listen. Wikiwatch has allready featured me. For instance.

I am trying to resolve these problems, and these people are being patently abusive.

If these problems can't be resolved, then it seems that i will be forced to leave wikibooks and wikipedia, and to make certain that the world knows that wikipedia is an extremely abusive place.

Prometheuspan 19:37, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

(Trying to be helpful) I have no idea what you're talking about here. You have given insufficient context. Your formatting is also a serious problem that is inhibiting communication; try to write in paragraphs containing one or more sentences, try not using breaks (instead, use indentation or quoting). Finally, write focused sentences that state the facts, with appropriate references (links) to where these things occured; leave your emotional appeals out of it since they only distract from your point. Kellen T 19:45, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm trying to figure out exactly what the problem is. you are clearly able to leave a message here, which indicates to me that you are probably not blocked from wikibooks. maybe you should be more specific as to how you are blocked, and how we can help. --Whiteknight(talk) (projects) 19:47, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
He is apparently talking about being blocked at WP: w:User_talk:Prometheuspan, where he has made a bunch of disruptive edits, especially in AFD. Kellen T 20:02, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Disruptive edits. the characterization begins. sorry if i am badly formatted, i loose some amount of my dyslexia compensation when i am po'ed. Those VFDs were mockeries of consensus process. What good is WP:No attacks when the rule is only selectively applied to people rogue admins want to fast track or intimidate into silence? I made cogent and rational additions to 3 vfds which were all of them started by an ad hominem. And all of which were patently pov warrior gaming of the system. In most cases, i just pointed out factual ad hominems. As votes. Maybe i should have invoked WP: remove attacks, and deleted said votes. Hard to tell what the right move is in such a corrupted double standard system.

In any case, thats not why i am being blocked. I am being blocked for defending myself against attacks, using cogent and factual logic. The double standard here is apalling. Nevermind in any case, apparently the only way to deal with the abusiveness of this system is to go outside of the system and unleash the fury of a Sociologist with depth knowledge of Logic.

obviously, if after a week and a half of abuse has gone unpunished, and nobody cares about it on admin noticeboards, and theres no method to get abuse dealt with, esp by abusive admins, this is a futile effort also. By all means, just ignore me and dismiss me, its all anybodies done so far, i have come to expect it. Prometheuspan 21:39, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Prometheuspan 21:39, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Hey man, listen up, your ego is astounding. First off, your not going to get anywhere in this place by getting angry, thats not how wiki works. Secondly, its not a great idea to threaten to leave because nobody cares, there are a thousand people here any of which could take your place. Thirdly, stop ranting about the abusive system because the system owns you, your account, everything you have written here, and they know your IP address. Fourthly i think you just threatened all of us with, and I quote: "Nevermind in any case, apparently the only way to deal with the abusiveness of this system is to go outside of the system and unleash the fury of a Sociologist with depth knowledge of Logic."That is highly abusive of your privilige to write here, so in future please save a couple bytes of hard disk space and submit any complaints like a good wikibookian. Hope you haven't already vandalized the system and your wikibookian soul can still be salvaged! Basejumper123 23:59, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Wikibooks is not Wikipedia. Whatever it is you have or haven't done over there it doesn't involve Wikibooks. Please feel free to take your case to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents if you haven't already. Thank you. GarrettTalk 04:44, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Text Wrap

In Wikijunior: Solar System, we're having some trouble with pictures moving text too much, what is the wiki-code for text-wrap? Basejumper123 23:49, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Not quite sure what you mean; if you use the right/left/center modifiers on Image, you get text wrap automagically. See w:Wikipedia:Extended_image_syntax. If you're trying to prevent images from descending into other sections you can use <br style="clear:both"/> Kellen T 03:08, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

MSRI video lectures

This might be of interest to people who maintain the mathematics section of wikiversity.

MSRI has a large collection of videolectures here. Download is free, and although I am not sure that they have the right license, the fact that they keep most of their videos on archive.org indicates that the license is free enough.

Please, answer me on my talk page.

Using Wikibooks logo in a link?

I'm trying to set up a link from my website to a wikibook (Stuttering) that doesn't have its own graphic or image. Can I use the Wikibooks logo that appears in the upper left corner of the Main Page? Where can I get this image (or a link to it)? This is for a list of recommended books, and the other books have the cover on the left, and my recommendation on the right. It looks bad to not have some image for the wikibook.--Thomas David Kehoe 17:17, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

The Wikimedia Foundation has established guidelines for use of their logos. They can be found at foundation:Wikimedia visual identity guidelines. Hope this helps. Gentgeen 19:02, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I noticed I didn't answer your question about where the file can be found. It is located on the Wikimedia Commons at Commons:Wikimedia. Gentgeen

How To Build A Pykrete Bong

I would like to suggest that How To Build A Pykrete Bong be deleted as it is innapropriate material for wikibooks the preceding unsigned comment is by Basejumper123 (talk • contribs)

Erm. It was deleted until you made the page again? Kellen T 00:51, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
no, it was still on the bookshelf the preceding unsigned comment is by Basejumper123 (talk • contribs)
The page was already deleted. This was evidenced by the fact that you were the only contributor to the book when you posted the above comment. If it was still on the bookshelf, you could have removed it and that would have been end of story. Also, please sign your comments using four tildes, like so: ~~~~ Kellen T 20:58, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Introduction to Physical Science

Hi everyone, Im trying to write a simple, 8th grade science text that is an "introduction to physical science". It will try to stick to the following syllabus

  • laboratory procedure
  • measurement
  • calculation
  • properties
  • basic experimentation

I have already written the first chapter, please help out if you have time, the link is here Introduction_to_Physical_Science thanks,

Basejumper123 00:50, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Policy review - vote now!

There are a lot of policies that have not been resolved. How about focussing on Wikibooks:No personal attacks this month? Can we wrap-up the vote on this? I would also move for Wikibooks:Ad hoc administration committee to be deleted because it looks like it will never go to a clear majority vote. RobinH 16:05, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

There is no policy governing voting

Perhaps before reviewing any other policies the following proposed policy might be reviewed(!): Wikibooks:General voting rules RobinH 10:18, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Positive language policies

I've just read a bunch of the policy pages and I find myself agreeing with User:Jguk and User:Zephram Stark that we should be attempting to form policies that are in positive terms and not so legalistic and punitive in nature. Jguk proposed something along the lines of Wikibooks:Always act civilly. Zephram has also pointed to this posting by Jimbo for some other context. Kellen T 17:30, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, Zephram is an odd case since he was banned multiple times from Wikipedia for disruption, etc. You may want to take this into account as you deal with him in the future. --LV (Dark Mark) 21:25, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Point taken, but I still agree with his position. Kellen T 21:29, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
That's fine. Just letting you know where he's coming from. --LV (Dark Mark) 23:30, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I support Jguk's intention but am doubtful about his means of achieving it. For instance, suppose a user reverted a policy page that had been moved, after a vote, from "proposed" to "enforced" back to "proposed" without any warning at the staff lounge or elsewhere. Suppose I reverted this reversion of the "Enforced" status to "Proposed". Suppose the user reverted that reversion and I reverted that... How would "be nice" solve the resulting fracas?

I support a minimum of rules, perhaps 3 major rules such as:

  1. Wikibooks:General voting rules
  2. Wikibooks:No personal attacks
  3. Wikibooks:Editing disputes policy

These would contain most problems that could arise here when "being nice" has broken down. For instance the reversion problem above would be forestalled by Wikibooks:General voting rules and would fall under Wikibooks:Editing disputes policy if a vote had not been taken. RobinH 10:43, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

For your revert scenario, common sense prevails, an admin temporarily blocks the provoking user and instructs them to act civily or leave. The net effect is the same, I think. Having a policy doesn't really make people act more or less sensibly. Kellen T 15:21, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
But which user is in the wrong? Would you back me if I reverted a change in the fashion described above? RobinH 15:46, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I misread your scenario. If both people engaged in a revert war rather than discussing the change, they should both be temporarily blocked from editing the page and forced to discuss the matter. Kellen T 19:02, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Firstly, what basis would you use to determine if a "revert war" was indeed taking place? One mans's revert war is another man's innocent correction.
Secondly your suggestion that they be "blocked from editing the page and forced to discuss the matter" is none other than the Wikibooks:Editing disputes policy.
Your point also places admins at the top of the control hierarchy, like tribal leaders. But suppose an admin reverted the policy page without any warning and another admin reverted the text to its original form. Who should block the admins when there is no policy? If we go for 100% consensus one or other of the admins can just refuse to agree. At the minimum we would need Wikibooks:General voting rules to resolve the situation. RobinH 09:27, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
  1. It becomes a revert war when the two people who are reverting do it to the same page multiple times. At that point they can't claim that it's just an "innocent correction" because they're actively engaging each other.
  2. I think Wikibooks:Editing disputes policy is common sense and if not then it's dictated by the idea of "acting civily"
  3. Admins are at the top of the control hierarchy. It's a fact of life. If they step out of line, though, then they're stripped of their powers. Admins can block other admins as they see fit.
  4. You're misunderstanding what consensus means. Consensus decision making is predicated upon several things; that all users are working towards the same mission (to build textbook-ish instructional materials), that all users are acting in good faith, and that all users will work towards compromises when disputes arise. If a user is not working towards our goal, not acting in good faith, or not attempting to find compromises, the community can and should ignore or ban them depending upon the severity. Consensus is about evaluating the positions of users on issues, not counting their votes. If only 1 person in a straw poll is saying no, but they provide no acceptable reason, they get ignored. If they are disruptive, engage in revert wars, employ sockpuppets, etc they get banned. If after all of this, you still have reasonable people acting in good faith who can't agree, then either (a) the issue is dropped since it doesn't have sufficient support (b) (if one group is very large) the motion is passed despite the complaints. In the case of (b) the opposition can learn to live with the decision or decide that due to the decision, WB is not the place for them, or a particular book/article isn't worth the effort for them; that's their decision, and that's okay. This isn't as "easy" as just strict voting, but you end up with more broadly acceptable policies. Kellen T 10:07, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

(Reset indent) Kellen, there are some good points here. Perhaps I should let someone else contribute on the side of voting - is there anyone else out there interested in how Wikibooks operates ???!! I'll come back to this in a week or so - even though this is fascinating and very important I should also be adding to some books! RobinH 10:34, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

I couldn't keep away. Kellen, is your point 4b basically a statement that you agree with some kind of vote? In the example above, suppose a vote had demonstrated consensus according to 4b, would you ban the dissenting user if they reverted the change from "enforced" back to "proposed"? RobinH 12:07, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Much of collaborative work is not so much about the changes as the context and social interactions. If the user appears to be acting in good faith in reverting the policy (say, maybe, if there is some serious harm that they claim will come from it) then no, it probably doesn't warrant a ban. If they are just being stubborn and refusing to accept the community's decision, and then they engage in a revert war, they are acting in bad faith and could be banned for being disruptive and not acting civily. Kellen T 14:27, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
And no, 4b does not mean I agree with some kind of vote. Here is an flowchart I made for consensus decision making. The reality on WB is a bit different (and a bit muddled) due to asynchronous communication.
Consensus2.png
People who vote no on something on wikibooks are of two types; stand-asides and blocks. Those who learn to live with the decision, despite the fact that they don't totally agree are implict 'stand asides' in the consensus process. The decision hasn't made them question their fundamental commitment to working on the goal of WB. (Other types of stand asides would be people who abstain or people who just leave a comment) The people who block are those for whom the decision on the proposal is make-or-break. If the community decides to pass the proposal over their objections, they leave. We see this in contributors who just disappear and in contributors who flame out.
A block in a "real life" organization means you're much more serious about your objection to the point where you are willing to leave the organization if the proposal is passed. Since in these organizations you also have a much more highly developed social environment, this is quite extreme. It obviously doesn't work as well on WB/WP since we have a large and anonymous community with a very low barrier to entry. Kellen T 14:45, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Nice flowchart. Voting is introduced in organisations because it is realised that your flowchart is iterative. For example, if a blocker fails to stand aside the decision "shall we override the blocker?" becomes a new proposal, then the decision "shall we override the blocker of the decision to override the blocker" becomes a new proposal. This continues until there are no blockers. However, if blockers at the top level block every other level of the iteration then the only solution is for a gang to form that secretly mounts an attack on the blocker.
The iterative process is probably a natural way of handling events in an organisation that has no constitution. It is the method used in tribes and gangs. The down-side is that each iteration takes months or years on Wikibooks and this places immense blocking power in the hands of individuals. This blocking may have nothing to do with the decision under consideration - for instance Zephram has voted "no" to several policy proposals in Wikibooks using the same text.
Organisations short circuit the iteration by simply using a majority vote according to some constitution. This allows them to respond to events in a timely fashion. RobinH 11:07, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
It is a good flowchart. I disagree with what happens where a member still blocks after his concerns have all been addressed (albeit not to his satisfaction). At that time, we need to decide whether to override the blocker, and it is here that voting becomes useful. Informal voting can be useful to gauge feelings before this time, but the emphasis should be on looking to avoid a formal vote to override a blocker if at all possible, Jguk 17:29, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
Uh, that's not what it implies at all. Yes, there is a feedback loop, but it's not mechanical. If the person blocks, and the community decides to override their block, the community tries to come to consensus then and there. The blocker isn't able to affect that decision making process by blocking again.
I agree with you that voting is easier in general and makes it easier to essentially shout down people who disagree with the majority, but I don't think it's the best way to come up with broadly accepted and useful policies. Keep in mind that wikibooks is not a business and time is not of the essence. We don't have to meet quarterly deadlines or make profit margins, and we can take the time to discuss issues rather than counting votes out of convenience. Kellen T 20:35, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Page Hits

Hey, is there anyway to find out how much traffic a certain wikipage is getting? Thanks in advance. Daniel.Stevens 07:17, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, no. --Derbeth talk 09:00, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
You might be interested in the discussion at [Hit counting]. Apparently the Wiki hit counters cannot be used either in Wikimedia projects because the "Squibs" serve most pages. RobinH 15:55, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
The "squids" cache the pages so that they don't have to be regenerated from the database every time. Kellen T 18:47, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Ooops, I should claim that I suffer from dyslexia or maybe my subconscious felt that squids sounded a bit fishy. RobinH 10:38, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Well here's why it's called that. Kellen T 10:48, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Rip a karaoke cd on Wikibooks:Votes for undeletion

Please comment there, and not here. --Kernigh 01:43, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Bookshelf reorganization

Please see Wikibooks_talk:All_bookshelves#Reorganization. This is as important as deciding policies and is key to the future growth of Wikibooks. --haginძaz 00:04, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Academics, Wikibooks, and Authorship

I am new to Wikibooks but one thing I am curious about: is there a strong incentive besides altruism to submit material? Since advanced textbooks are written almost exclusively by academics it seems like the open model for textbooks could be hampered by the incentive that drives academia: authorship. Most professors write books based on classes that they teach but even if your book gets wide distribution the publisher takes basically all of the profit. Academics are paid in recognition which does not seem to be exceptionally prevelant on wikibooks and probably limits the ultimate usefulness of the site. What are the general thoughts that people have here on incentive for academic submissions? It seems to me that altruism can only go so far but "primary authorship" or "textbook coordinator" status or something like it could significantly boost incentive to turn a lot of these stubs into high quality books.Mpickett 02:39, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Besides altruism and it being fun, I don't think there is much of a strong incentive to submit material. That hasn't hampered WP from gaining submissions from highly educated people, though. Kellen T 09:05, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Many of the books here have a list of principal contributors on the front page. For instance: Ada Programming#Authors and contributors, Programming:Visual Basic Classic#Authors and Contributors. As long as it doesn't turn into blatant self promotion I don't think anyone here has a problem with works and authors being associated. In fact I think it is quite the opposite, reputation counts here, I want to know who the principal authors and maintainers of a book are. Does anyone have a friend or relative who has a real reputation in the real world who could be persuaded to donate some words? Could someone persuade Richard Dawkins or Donald Knuth to contribute? On second thoughts we'd better leave Knuth alone or he'll never get The Art of Computer Programming finished and that would be a much greater loss. --kwhitefoot 09:22, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Implementing consensus on Wikibooks:No personal attacks

I have just re-read the Talk page on Wikibooks:No personal attacks. There really is a consensus on this policy. Those who have voted "No" (two qualifying users) have voted "No" because they disagree with the idea of a vote, or of policies in general, not because they oppose Wikibooks:No personal attacks so there is indeed consensus. I propose that Wikibooks:No personal attacks should be moved to enforced status. RobinH 09:29, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

I think we're still at the stage of "synthesise concerns" per the above flowchart (which looks good to me). The discussion on my concerns has not really moved forward since 27 April. If you'd like to respond to them, then I would be happy to re-engage in the debate. In this regard, I note that others have said that they would only like one behaviour policy, a sentiment that I would agree with. The question then comes down to whether this is it - whether this one needs to be amended before it becomes policy - or whether a different approach entirely is sensible. I have drafted my own discussion draft of what I believe a good approach for a single behaviour policy would look like on Wikibooks:Be nice. Hopefully that can help us (directly or indirectly) proceed towards getting us a single final behaviour policy that we are all happy with, Jguk 17:08, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
As I pointed out above, the flow chart above would lead to iterations and the possibility of endless blockings by one user. According to the flowchart and discussion, a user who was dedicated to the well-being of the project would stand aside.
The "No personal attacks" policy has only one real dissenter, yourself, and you are dissenting on grounds other than opposition to the specific policy. "Be nice" seems to be a carte-blanche for administrators to do as they wish. It does not define "nice". For instance, would it be "nice" for an administrator to archive a warning that a policy was about to be made enforced, then changing it unilaterally from enforced to proposed despite a large majority in favour of enforcement and then blocking it endlessly? Is that "nice"? RobinH 17:57, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I have no objection to your production of a meta-policy that includes the other policies but until then we should have something in place. You and Zephram are blocking specific policies on the basis of objections either to multiple policies or any policies. These issues should be discussed separately from whether a specific policy should be adopted. The problem with the model of primitive consensus building in the flow chart is that it does not allow timely decision making, one user can derail all decisions endlessly unless the others gang up on them and override them. I hate gangs. RobinH 18:10, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

With respect, I disagree with you here. First, the flowchart suggests all concerns are discussed. It is only once all concerns have been discussed and there remains a blocking member that we need to decide whether to override that block or not. I note above that here, and only here, do I believe that a binding vote is necessary. At present, none of my concerns have been addressed at all. Maybe they can be, perhaps by improving the language of the proposed policy so that we are all happy with it. If that is not possible, then and only then do you need to decide to override me. Since none of us are arguing that personal attacks are acceptable, there is no reason to believe that it should come to this. This is not my view alone, another user has specifically requested that you address my concerns first before trying again to make this policy.

I would also note that other users have expressed support only on the grounds that they would like a behaviour policy set out, and that the wording can be improved later. In terms of whether this is the right behaviour policy for us to have, it is not too different from my view that the current proposal has some flaws, and these should be ironed out before the policy goes live.

Stepping back further, my Wikibooks:Be nice proposal is meant to be a principle-based policy. That is, it sets out the general principle to be applied. This may be where we differ as you seem to prefer a rules-based policy. That is, a policy that sets out precise rules that you either comply with or you don't. Full stop. Black and white. Personally I believe principle-based policies are more flexible and deal with controversial situations better. Plus they are less susceptible to wikilawyering (for instance, in a rules-based policy either you have followed the letter of the law or you haven't, and if you haven't the wikilawyer claims whatever you now do is unreasonable, even though you followed the spirit of the law). The rules-based policy allows for technical offences, and may create loopholes for the abusive editor to exploit. A principle-based policy is not so precise, but generally allows for greater flexibility and for shorter policy (you do not have to list everything that is to be banned). It also can be as strong as a rules-based policy. For example, would you not agree that swearing, excessive and persistent reverting and making legal threats would unambiguously be considered contrary to a general "be nice" principle-based policy, even when "nice" is not defined? Jguk 18:18, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

You say that "all concerns" should be discussed but the concern you are raising is the general issue of whether or not policies of the current type should be enforced. Your concern is not directed at the specific policy.
Your "be nice" proposal needs renaming because it sounds sickly. Apart from that it is an approach that will need a lot of discussion and has little chance of being adopted for months or even years. Please allow specific policies to be adopted and then start a debate about "be nice" - or "Wikibooks standards of behaviour" or whatever it becomes called. RobinH 12:18, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
If you have a phrase that is pretty much synonymous with "be nice", but which is less vomit-inducing, I'd be grateful for your help. I still haven't thought of a good way of putting it, Jguk 16:18, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Implementing consensus on Wikibooks:Deletion policy

Wikibooks:Deletion policy has had a Vote that shows complete consensus. I propose that this is moved to an enforced policy. RobinH 09:38, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

This is merely one of the ways that you need to be bold and simply do it. Mark it as enforced, and if it is questioned, you can point to the vote for confirmation that some significant concensus has gone into the proposed policy. If half this effort went into the policies on gaming guide removal or the "textbook" definition that seems to taken hold by the deletionists here on Wikibooks, I would have been considerably more supportive of their actions. --Rob Horning 11:45, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Rejection of Wikibooks:Ad hoc administration committee

The number of votes against Wikibooks:Ad hoc administration committee is such that it will never become an enforced policy. I am demoting it to "rejected" (even though I proposed it). RobinH 09:29, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Rejection of Wikibooks:No legal threats

Again, too many votes against for a consensus to ever be achieved for Wikibooks:No legal threats.

This will reduce the number of proposed policies to 5 if the status of the policies mentioned is changed. RobinH 10:17, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Fair enough - but anyone reading this comment without looking at the background to this rejection should bear in mind that none of the objections was saying that we in any way condone the making of legal threats. We don't, and it won't be long before a user is blocked if that user persists in making such threats, Jguk 17:10, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Wikibooks:Policies and guidelines/Proposed reform

I have a detailed page setting out a number of discussion drafts that, if adopted, would constitute a significant simplification of Wikibooks' policies. All constructive comments would be welcome, Jguk 18:51, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Lets clear up the policies that exist before embarking upon a year long reform of policies. You, and another user, have been blocking the enforcement of policies on the basis of the possibility of this reform. You want this reform and the other user wants no policies whatsoever. This reform is no reason for blocking the enforcement of specific policies, it is unrelated to the policies themselves and can be run as a separate issue. Please allow specific policies to be moved to enforced. RobinH 12:12, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
The sky is not falling. Most of the policies ("general voting rules" excluded) are accepted broadly as common sense and enforced whether or not the module says so. There is no need to railroad policies just to change the color of the little box at the top of each page. Kellen T 08:36, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Enforced policies represent the view of the community. Proposed policies represent the view of the proposer. There is a difference. Without clear policies we are operating withing a primitive parallel of a gang land or school playground where anyone who can muster up a couple of supporters can bully the community. Wikibooks is a serious venture that deserves better than this. RobinH 09:14, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Kellen's right. We already have policies covering the areas you are interested in - they just aren't in a formal written form at present. It may well be desirable to formalise some of the unwritten parts of our constitution (particularly as it allows new contributors to quickly find out what behaviour is generally accepted and not accepted in this community), but there's no need to hurry - we can take time to get things right. For example, at present you are actively working towards writing a "no personal attacks" policy. Let me be clear on this - if someone makes persistent personal attacks on Wikibooks and refuses to desist I and/or other administrators will have no difficulty in chucking them off the site until and unless they agree to abide by the rules. This will happen whether there is a written policy on the point or not. Yes, it might be a good idea to spell this out somewhere, but even if it is not spelt out, if necessary (and I hope it never is), that course of action would be taken, Jguk 16:17, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

The objective of policies that have been approved by the community is to show both users AND administrators the boundaries. Administrators should welcome clear descriptions of what is expected on Wikibooks and enforced policies provide these descriptions. RobinH 08:26, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Gaming manual as a textbook

I'm throwing down the gauntlet here on this issue again. I am sick an tired of a bunch of content being removed simply because it is of a particular theme. In particular, the removal of the gaming guides was IMHO totally out of line, but in this case I would like to prove both Jimbo and the rest of the anti-gaming guide people that they are not only wrong, but flat out wrong about the removal of content simply because of the topic, not because of the content.

I'm willing to consider a number of options, but what I'd like to do is write a real honest-to-goodness textbook that would be of the quality that it could be used for a university class, but that the topic of the textbook is a video game. Specifically I'd like to do Doom if for no reason other than Jimbo has specifically marked it for deletion and claimed that it could never be made into a textbook. I'd love to prove him wrong on this point in particular.

You can easily prove me wrong. Show me a University course where the objective is to learn to play Doom, and where the students work from a textbook. If not, then what is the point?--Jimbo Wales 21:55, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

This is not intended to be a video game walkthrough (which should have been the point of the debate well before the removal of the gaming guides), but rather an in depth scholarly review of this game, and to point out the historical significance that this game has within the computer gaming industry. The historical roots of this game, including Castle Wolfenstein, Commander Keen, and other earlier ID software games, as well as other computer games would be included in this book as well. How Doom has affected the development of other first-person shoot 'em up games would also be a significant point in this book as well.

All other Wikibooks and in general Wikimedia policies should be followed when developing this textbook, which the end goal is to reach a standard that if this is deleted, that wikibooks itself should be simply shut down as a failed project.

I don't know if there are any video game textbook supporters left on Wikibooks, but if there is anybody interested in taking on this project, please let me know. I think a real textbook can be written on this topic. Others may disagree, but this is also to see if there is any room left on Wikibooks to even permit the writing of such a real textbook. My opinion is that just because of the subject matter that it shouldn't be deleted out of hand. --Rob Horning 12:19, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Video games are going to be an extremely disturbing phenomenon in the next decade or two as they become enmeshed with real life. When online cash can be withdrawn from ATMs as real cash we are talking about something serious occurring. Wikibooks may well be the "cutting edge" publishing medium that gets out of video games just as they start to take over the world.
I do not play these games myself but it is obvious that they are the test bench for the future virtual reality working and trading worlds. There are currently 6 million on-line gamers involved in games that have real world cash interfaces and this type of cash represents over $800,000,000 dollars of real world money (See current edition of New Scientist).
Don't get me wrong, I really hate the idea of people going to work by sticking on a VR goggle-set but sadly it looks like the future. It is probably already a reasonable business idea to set up as a shop-keeper or interior designer in an on-line game. RobinH 13:10, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
But not all games deal with internet cash. In fact, most of the games that deal with internet cash are strictly casino games like Texas Hold' Em or BlackJack, except online. Thats like using Porn movies to say that the movie industry is poor, and Hentai and Porn Books to say that the book industry is also unsuitable for textbook materials. --Dragontamer 19:02, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
What I was saying is that games that involve cash but which are not casino games or pure porn are a new development that is likely to take off in a big way - see Business week story. These games are a test bed for VR commerce and a VR economy. We should not ditch games just when games are about to "happen". RobinH 19:41, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Lol. I misread your post :-/ Agreed. --Dragontamer 19:56, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Don't worry Robert, I'm still here kicking for Video Games on Wikibooks. My first question is what stance should we take on Doom? The real obvious one is to take the Doom Source code and then do an analysis from there. The primary advantage is that yes, this fits the classical definition of textbook, but it probably wouldn't save the video game bookshelf.
Another perspective I see we can do is to see Doom as an art of itself. Using Game Design textbooks like Chris Crawford on Game Design, we could use his vocabulary of what a game is, and then analyse the game akin to a book or movie. Perhaps the level design and how mazes are as they are in Doom, the pros and the cons. Etc. Etc. From this perspective, it would be like the Muggles'_Guide_to_Harry_Potter but for doom instead. --Dragontamer 19:02, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Robert, as long as it's not just a walkthrough, I'd be fine with it. I have been a big supporter of the Textbook Rule, but if the topic of a textbook is a video game, I'd be more than willing to help. Let's get cracking. --LV (Dark Mark) 14:31, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I'd have no problem at all with a textbook on Doom along the lines that Robert suggests. Wikibooks is for textbooks. I believe we all agree that books similar to those used in existing classes in a number of learning institutions are within our scope. Additionally, I believe we all think that Wikibooks' scope is wider than that - although we do disagree on how much wider it is than that and how to define accurately what we mean by a textbook that can't be used for a current class in a learning instition.

To my mind a lot of what a textbook is is in the aim and style and the use to which a textbook can be put. It would be foolish to say that there can be a textbook on every conceivable topic, yet at the same time it is possible to write interesting and informative textbooks that do not correspond to classes in schools, universities or adult education centres. Robert's proposed book on Doom, for me, appears to meet the right criteria. I would stress though that our current book on Doom does not.

I would, however, ask Robert, for his own sake, to think whether he really wishes to pursue his idea - as I'm sure we are all aware, writing a book takes up a surprisingly large amount of time. However, if Robert will put in this effort in essence just to prove a point (and at the risk of Jimbo ordering the book off Wikibooks anyway) then I will not in any way seek to hinder him, Jguk 16:29, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I'm not following your logic, Robert. How is a "scholarly review" a game manual? The book Doom can't be turned into a textbook without rewriting all of the content, which is what you intend to do. Correct me if I'm wrong but Jimbo has never said that a textbook can't be written on this topic. In his WB:WIW revision, he said quite the opposite. I think what you have to ask yourself is whether a book would be usable in a classroom on any aspect of game design, like an annotated text would be in a literature classroom. I also don't know what to popularity of video games has to do with this. There are even colleges devoted to video game design, but not one has a "How to finish Doom" or "Doom Manual" class. --haginძaz 16:59, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

So make it a rewrite... even if it has to be from scratch. Monopoly had this happen and has become a much better book as a result. The opinion of Jimbo was that Doom could never be used as a textbook because of the subject matter. Yes, he did say a textbook could never be written about this topic. This was mentioned specifically as an example. My proposal here is to rewrite, perhaps even from a clean sweep of the current Doom Wikibook being thrown out, to turn this into a textbook that could be usable in a classroom. Major sections would include game play, economy (weapons and ammo), algorithms, and historical impact of the game both in terms of roots and what games have been developed from this one game.
Based on what I am percieving from the people trying to remove video games, they are trying to delete content because of subject matter alone, and not content. The discussion has become so heated that the issue of wheither any university-level courses were taught on the subject, with incredulity occuring when some actual courses were pointed out.
In addition to all of this discussion, until Jimbo came in here and really pushed for textbooks, Wikibooks was about books, not textbooks. Essentially, this was for content that would normally be considered acceptable on Wikipedia, but for its length and the need to break it up into multiple sections. Some additional flexability was granted for Wikibooks to do non-encyclopedia type works. I will admit that the first Wikibook is the Organic Chemistry, and that was a textbook. Other content is on Wikibooks however, including content added by WMF board members that is clearly not a textbook in nature.
I have been approached now by two different people who are openly trying to encourage me to fork Wikibooks with actual server space to do so. I think this is an unfortunate situation, and I would rather that forking doesn't occur. I still havn't decided if my effort is going to be used to work on those forks and abandoning this project altogether or if there is something worth saving here. I do believe that far too much content has been removed from Wikibooks, especially when much of that content was added on good faith that it belonged here.... even surviving VfDs earlier. While there was and is still cruft on Wikibooks, taking out two major bookshelves (Video Games and How-tos) is not a way to win friends and grow this project. Especially when there is no place to move it within the context of Wikimedia projects. Had this been done with Wikiversity (I guess they are next with the axe now) another fairly significant community would have been destroyed as well, with some potentially outstanding ideas lost permanently. --Rob Horning 19:30, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Wouldn't you agree that the content you will be using to create a Doom book would work better as part of larger textbooks, such as as examples? In my opinion, yes, it would be a textbook teaching concepts taught in classrooms, but just not a very good one. I don't think it occurred to Jimbo that someone would bother teaching game design using only Doom, as better examples exist.
Has any attempt been made to ask the board or Jimbo himself whether he has the right to dicate policy? I would like to hear someone outside of Wikibooks say that this community has the right to decide upon Wikibooks' scope. If that happens, an active discussion should ensue and I'll give my opinion on the matter. --haginძaz 20:34, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Well said Robert. As for critical study of Doom; I cannot think of a more revolutionary game than Doom. In fact, the word "Doom Clone" described First Person Shooter genre for *years* after Doom was released. It would be great as a case study. --Dragontamer 03:51, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

I cannot speak for the others, but my input in this matter has always been from the perspective of a gamer. I originally came to Wikibooks because of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas guide, where a large portion of my contributions were and likely still are. And once it was suggested that they be moved I was fine with that, as to me it makes sense to move to a more focussed, gamer-friendly wiki. Indeed I've talked to many outside of the wiki environment who were surprised that a site called "Wikibooks" had videogame strategy at all!

I bear gaming topics no ill will. If someone starts "A Tempest in a Coffee Pot? Jack Thompson Vs. the Gaming World" I'll be right in there expanding it and linking to interviews and the like. But if someone starts "The Definitive Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories Solutions Manual" I'll take it to Vfd soon after. Serious Wikibooks can and will one day be written regarding videogames, but the current game guides simply don't fit that category. And is moving them off Wikibooks all that dissimilar from your tabula rasa propsal? GarrettTalk 04:53, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Again and again, this argument comes up. And again and again, people fail to come up with a good reason for why Video Games should be removed. Unless I'm missing something here, but I don't see any good reason for video game guides to go away, aside from stir up trouble in the community.
My strongest protest to this move is that it of all things, slaps long time editors in the face, and kicks them out of the wikibooks community. Whether or not this is for the "better" of wikibooks, we will have to live with the fact that we got a bunch of now former editors of wikibooks, who are very disgruntled.
As Robert said, this move has made some people to go as far as make forks of Wikibooks. Isn't this a tiny little tipoff that just maybe something is off here? 2 people asking for forks means there are a *whole* lot more than just 2 people pissed. The only reason there is to this nonsense is that "Jimbo Says". If it isn't obvious to anyone yet, Jimbo seems to be more busy at Wikipedia than here, to put it mildly. As I've said before, there have been admin requests that were denyed for having fewer than 270 edits, and having 6 month breaks. As much as I don't wanna downplay Jimbo here... I just wanna point out that "Jimbo Says" is not a good enough reason for all this. --Dragontamer 06:03, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm wasn't making any point, merely refreshing what I've said in previous debates before jumping into this one in an attempt to avoid any further confusion in an already complex debate. Bah.
I'm not one to go too much against the flow of what the Foundation says, which is why I've largely accepted what Jimbo said. In the end the Foundation owns the servers, however we collectively have supplied both funding and content, thus making users by and large feel that we have some say in how we run things. Jimbo has always encouraged us to make our own policy decisions, however he has stepped in occasionally when those decisions didn't go the way he felt the Foundation stood (e.g. Getting a Girl and other such modules).
But recently he's become more and more vocal, and less and less present to clarify his rationale. The videogame policy change is the climax; even to those supporting the move it's a stunning change of events. Is this the Foundation speaking, or is it only Jimbo? And to what extent do the Foundation board members back Jimbo's statements as being ex cathedra, so to speak? And, also, to what extent do we the community (who are arguably responsible for Wikibooks' content and in turn its success) get a say in matters?
I'm all for continuing a happy medium, but things are getting out of hand. This is why I have put my transwikiing efforts on hold. I need to know where we stand. If we're to allow game guides, sure, I can use the log to undelete what I've moved and everybody will live happily ever after. If we're not, fine, I can continue work. But I really feel it's time we heard from the board itself, and not just Jimbo. I want to see closure to this issue. I really don't care which decision is reached, as long as it's both official and final. GarrettTalk 07:20, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
I put a note on Jimbo's WP page.
Also, just to be clear, I am not asking people to fork WikiBooks content to my wiki. My wiki in the public domain, and so is not a suitable place to move the content to unless you are the copyright holder. Except for the Pokédex, which as a collection of facts is not covered by the GFDL, I have just finished copying them all. All I did was to letRob Horning (who supported my admin request for simple.wikibooks before) that there are other options. The choices as I see them are to help out one (or more) of these other wiki's, or to use your energy to try and fight Jimbo with no guarantee of success and little to no progress on these books while doing so. Gerard Foley 23:54, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Why don't we just all petition the Wikimedia Foundation for an entirely brand new domain where video game guides and other how-to books could reside (Wikigames or Wikiguides, or some other creative name), leaving Wikibooks for just textbooks (and perhaps while we're at it move Wikiversity too?). Or keep them here and form a Wikitext for only textbooks. We already have a lot of content that could populate both, and it would all be contained under the Wikimedia umbrella. Anyone wanna take this to meta with me? --LV (Dark Mark) 01:32, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I'll help out with that. I have the same user-name at Meta, so send me a message there, and I will help petition. --Whiteknight(talk) (projects) 01:38, 22 May 2006 (UTC)


The only thing I see that is an issue, is why split a community already so small and fragmented? We aren't even at the "critical point". So much work is needed to start up a new book; editors rarely search outside their pet projects. Newcommers are fustrated as they stumble upon stubs and stubs. The newbies who do find a project they are willing to work for quickly find their contents deleted, sometimes with no explanation, or any clue to where it has gone.
Frankly speaking; I think a forking of wikibooks in any way would cause this project to crumble, unless it is a "fresh start" and everyone is actually willing to "do it right" this time (if you know what I mean).
And after the fiasco with wikiversity, I'm not... encouraged... to take anything to meta anymore. Though if enough people join the cause, I may change my mind :-/. How many months have those wikiversity people been trying?
In closing, I'd like to ask; why not change the Wikibooks policy to include video games, howtos, guides, and other instructional resources? A new domain name would be a difficult goal to aim for, and it seems that changing policy to include what already is on Wikibooks is a *much* easier idea than:
  1. Petitioning for a new Domain Name
  2. Winning that petition
  3. Writing a proposal to Wikimedia board
  4. Correcting that proposal over a period of several months
  5. Transwiki everything over
  6. Restart policy from scratch
Chaning the policy only involves telling Jimbo Wales and/or the board that we've changed our mission to what we actually do.--Dragontamer 01:52, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
We only need a new domain if we want video games guides at a WikiMedia project. Why is this so important? There are already plenty of places willing to accept this content:
If Jimbo doesn't want this content, let's take it elsewhere! Gerard Foley 02:27, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
But if we can, why not try and keep this under the Wikimedia umbrella? I know forming a new domain under WM can be tough, but I think if enough users still want to work on them, we should at least try to find a WM place for them. If the proposal is rejected, then go to outside sources. My opinion. --LV (Dark Mark) 03:17, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Hm. As interesting as the idea of a separate project is it would have some growing problems. Most importantly Wikibooks has been the videogaming recipient for several years now; no matter how loudly any policy changes are stated on Wikipedia there will still be content dumped here due to habit. And so a good portion of transwikiing work will be spent moving such stuff off Wikibooks and into "Wikiguides", and then the userbase there will in turn have to move it around within their own system or else just plain delete it. If the Foundation are going to keep videogame guides in the family why not just leave them here? And as for the likelihood of the Foundation accepting the proposal, I really can't say how videogame content on its own, even if bolstered by non-gaming howtos, can fit the Foundation's "educational mission". GarrettTalk 04:57, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

The problem is Jimbo was very clear about this, normally he just [4] likes to wonder], but on this issue he was black and white. Video game guides do not belong here. Period. Gerard Foley 13:52, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
As much as wikitruth has some valid points... I wouldn't go as far as to say I believe it 100%. Opinions on people are wide spread, and I'd rather not judge Jimbo on something other sites say about him. But anyway; please, explain why Video game guides don't belong here, and second, why we can't change policy to include them. --Dragontamer 12:17, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
Rob, FYI, the game w:Final Fantasy X was the subject of a quite thorough post-grad Phylosophy thesis recently. You should read the Abstract and Introduction, the thesis author mentions a lot of reasons why games can be considered the Shakespeare of our times. It is a pity games are beeing evicted from here. Thank heavens we found a home for the Final Fantasy stuff! Renmiri 07:13, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
Dragontamer, if you want to know why Video game guides don't belong here? Because Jimbo says so! Why can't we change policy to include them? Because Jimbo wants them gone. I have a list of books I was going to keep an eye on my user page, a quick look and you can see I was a supporter of video game books. I started some of them myself. IMO it just isn't worth fighting for them here when other wiki's will welcome them with open arms! Gerard Foley 19:19, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
You could also read this post I made [5] Gerard Foley 19:23, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Page break for editing purposes

So then we convince Jimbo/Wikimedia board to say it is better for guides to stay here. Lord Voldemort wants to create a new wiki for it. You want to create a new wiki for it. I want them to stay; or to move them to a new wiki for it. Renmiri thinks they deserve to stay. All in all; I see so much support for this stuff, not only from typical editors, but from at least 2 Wikibooks admins. If Jimbo really doesn't want them here, well then, he'll have to live with his decision of (IMO) killing off the wikibooks project. Too many contributors are leaving because of this decision (video game contributors or not), and maybe we all can reverse this decision. And the advantage is now on our side to say why things belong. Damage is already being done to the Wikibooks reputation because of this decision, and instead of me hypothesising about it, I can actually point it out. Your fork is a near perfect example. The activity levels of admins is another one; it may be too soon for me to point this out, but coincidence or not; Special:Contributions/Robert_Horning and Special:Contributions/Kernigh activity level dropped a *lot* right after his little announcement (from 10+ contributions a day to 2+ days a contribution). I'm sure they're still here, reading, waiting to see what will happen soon on wikibooks before offering their time and energy on this project again. I know other people have gone "missing", but I can't name them off the top of my head.
It is much easier to keep things here than to make a new wiki; on wikimedia or not. Though, if Jimbo says goodbye one more time, I guess we'll have no choice but to leave. But we aren't losing any "time" here on this issue, and I argue that there is no "wasted effort". Making a wiki is too large an undertaking for me to just say "Alright, I'm leaving". We got policy to make, and early policy to make as well. We'll have to come up and lay down the lines precisely, with no "gray" areas. The community will have to grow, we'll have to fight vandals, set up a hierarchy, etc. etc.
Thats all done here in Wikibooks now. The only thing to do is convince people (more or less, Jimbo) that we want this kind of content somewhere, and that Wikibooks is better off overall if we stay.
I suggest to Lord Voldemort: instead of that proposal for a new wiki; why not propose we change policy to stay here? I'm willing to support that 100%.
Crazy Idea, i know, but thats why I'm here :-p To offer crazy ideas.--Dragontamer 19:43, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't say, "Hey let's create a whole new wiki" if that wasn't where Jimbo/Board were leading us (and always have been, for that matter). The Wikimedia Foundation has in its bylaws, that WB is "a collection of e-book resources aimed specifically toward students (such as textbooks and annotated public domain books) named Wikibooks".[6] So somehow I don't think changing our Wikibooks policy is good enough. I simply see everything (Jimbo's statements, the bylaws, the educational goal, etc.) and think it's obvious that game-guides are not to be included. That's why I suggested an alternate domain. I just don't know anymore. Instead of asking, "What's so wrong about having video game guides here", ask yourself "How great would it be if there was a website dedicated to the distribution of free textbooks to every person in the world?" --LV (Dark Mark) 20:34, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't see where video game guides conflicts with that at all. Maybe I'm oblivious, but from what I'm seeing (that is, major users who have stopped contributing, people moving out of Wikibooks and into forks, other pissed off users who probably aren't going to come back), removal of these guides has essentially killed that goal, or at least caused a major setback to Wikibooks in general. --Dragontamer 21:00, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
If you are going to try to fight for them to stay at Wikibooks, then go ahead and good luck with it! Just don't expect me to help, I'm too busy writing these guides, and my CSS guide also is coming on nicely also IMO :)! I 100% won’t be coming back to Wikibooks either way. I have invested too much time & money into by wiki to abandon it now. I mean the $10 offer for 200 words will cost me $200 alone, which comes out of my own pocket! Plus there’s hosting costs, back-ups, getting advertising, trying to get a new host so I can fix the ugly url's etc.. No, I'm gone for good. The only thing I'll be doing is helping to move anything which is free of copyright over to my wiki (such as the 24 hours I spent copying the Pokédex). Yes, this decision will probably only help kill Wikibooks, but perhaps the damage has already been done? Gerard Foley 20:51, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I understand 100%. Good luck on your wiki project! No hard feelings from me (you deserve none at all) --Dragontamer 21:00, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
If wikibooks were my project, I would have set it up differently, but at the same time there is a certain amount of value in having an open-textbook resource aimed directly at students. I don't think that this will kill wikibooks, but it will slow us down a little bit. Good luck on your projects, and I know that we here at wikibooks are going to need alot of luck as well. --Whiteknight(talk) (projects) 23:25, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, Renmiri - me - is just a n00b at Wikibooks and pretty new at Wikipedia too, so my lamenting that game guides are being evicted doesn't have the benefit of all the knowledge of WikiMedia history, bylaws, etc... But precisely because I am a newbie is that I wanted to give you my perspective: Game guides are, IMHO, where the Wikibook administrators of 2015 will cut their teeth in. From what I have seen in game sites and in Wikipedia / Wikibooks, this is where 13-16 year old - or even younger - will start thinking about cooperation and content management. I'm willing to bet that the first textbook a high school kid reads voluntarily will be a game walktrough. Even for the older newbies like me and others, the game guides provide a less stresful way to get into Wikimedia editing. A Wikipedia page about heart surgery, ancient history or all the others I have browsed those past few years looked pretty intimidating. Yet a page about a game made me confortable enough to click on that scary edit tab and I fixed a couple of things. Three months later me and other n00bs had injected so much life into that particular game series of pages that 10 pages were cited as Good Article and one got confirmed as Featured Article. And our newly found boldness for editing started spreading around to other topics and to Wikibooks. In my view, it may be necessary to evict game guides for the many reasons cited above, but Wikibooks is losing an excellent opportunty for training and nurturing new book editors and book readers. Get them while they are young, and on a hobby like games and those readers and editors might be yours forever ;-) Renmiri 01:24, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
I come exactly from your background Renmiri. My first major edits were on Maple Story, a video game. --Dragontamer 01:26, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
My first wiki-edits were on the Chrono-Trigger artical at wikipedia. I strongly believe that there should be a place for game manuals for precisely the reasons that have been mentioned. I even voted back in the day to keep the game manuals here. However, it seems that the focus of wikibooks has changed (or at least re-focused on it's original goals), and I don't think that there is a big reason to fight that. Wikibooks will be hurt the most by a lack of focus. If we want to put everything and anything here, we should just rename it "wikieverything". Unfortunately, the line has been drawn at game guides. But look at what we have now: dedicated editors who are going to take their game guides to a new, more appropriate venue, and a highly-focused instructional resource in wikibooks. Our situation is certainly bittersweet, but if it has to happen, we might as well see the silver lining. --Whiteknight(talk) (projects) 02:12, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
Wikibooks has always accepted manuals, howtos, gameguides, and so forth. We knew where the line was drawn, and we know exactly why Wikibooks isn't a "Wikieverything". Even before the Jokebook incident, we were already pushing Wikiversity to leave, deleting other non"wikibook" material, and everyone knew exactly why it didn't fit policy. The line was already drawn, and now it is redrawn again. Now, even very instructional material like Wikibooks:Votes_for_undeletion#FAQ_for_alt.internet.wireless and arguably textbooks like that *very* informative MJ book are at risk.
And with a line drawn somewhere inbetween Chess and Video Games... I see nothing but confusion ahead for wikibooks if it continues down this path. No metric, aside from "Jimbo Says" decides the line between Chess and Video Games. And I doubt there would be any defined line between them.
And without defined lines; there will be no justification for really any action at wikibooks. Policy right now is shot; the "Accredited institution" metric is probably the only one that is being used at any rate, and even then, that metric is shot. The only thing left here is for us to argue opinion vs opinion; with no solid policy to say why something could survive a VfD now.
That is what is causing the fustration right now. And with the line now drawn at such a blurry place (Chess/Go vs other games), I dunno what to say. What about Omok/Gomoku? 6 in a row? Connect 4? There is no policy to say what lies exactly inbetween the lines here.
The problem is far deeper than just Video Games on wikibooks. But I feel allowing Video Games on Wikibooks will cure nearly all of this policy debate up. Unless you have a policy that cleanly cuts Video Games away from Puzzles and Chess, or include them all (or none), Wikibooks will stagnate. --Dragontamer 02:32, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Game guides on Wikibooks

Given the harmless nature of such guides are you sure that they should be banned from Wikibooks? They are contained in their own section, the distinction between games such as Doom and Chess is debatable and, in the last couple of years it has become possible to actually trade inside games see Business week story. The users at Wikibooks are definitely uneasy about the ban. My userid is RobinH at Wikibooks.

Drawing the line seems very easy to me. There is a simple question: can you point to a course at an accredited institution which uses this sort of thing as a textbook? I think there are college courses on chess. I think there are not college courses on Doom. Simple. Some people may not like that Wikibookians do not want Wikibooks to be a dumping ground for whatever doesn't fit in Wikipedia. But we have a charitable mission, and we need to respect that. --Jimbo Wales 21:46, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales"

Idea for policy

Biographies have been a major isue over at Wikipedia, especially biographies of current people. The idea of a biography on a wiki is usually appauling to most people. And while wikitruth may not be true on this issue, it does list some pretty poor possibilities when it comes to biographies. Essentially; if someone disagree's with their biography, they simply can't just edit it; else the vandal patrol will catch the major revision they probably made and revert it. And then it becomes pretty difficult for someone to prove that they are that person, and etc. etc.

My idea for a solution is simple. No biographies on Wikibooks. To my knowledge, there are no biographies on wikibooks right now, so we aren't cutting anything, and more importantly, anyone out. By initiating this policy now, we can catch the problem early, before it becomes a problem here on Wikibooks, as it is in Wikipedia. (indeed, all the major press problems on Wikipedia deals with Biographies). --Dragontamer 06:30, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

As we host textbooks, not biographical books, the issue is not a great one on Wikibooks. We do, though, have some (very brief) biographies of key figures that feature in the development of the science or humanity in question. For instance, General Biology has General Biology/Gallery of Biologists, which mostly links to wikipedia, although General Biology/Gallery of Biologists/Charles Darwin is hosted on Wikibooks. I don't see any problem at all in this, as I expect the number of biographies we host to stay low. One thing we could do to head any potential problems off at the pass is to have a separate category into which to place the few biographies we have so that they can be closely monitored, Jguk 07:24, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
Thats the issue. Closely monitored means that the person who the biography is about may have a very difficult time editing his own page, especially if he is a newbie to wikibooks (as is the issue in Wikipedia. How the heck is a newbie supposed to know any policy?). Loosely monitored == vandals on all biographies. It is a lose-lose situation I see here. Finally; a biography on a key figure in history would technically fall under textbook. Martin Luther King for example is a unit alone in some history books. I don't see how an indepth biography on say, Saddam wouldn't be a textbook at all. Useable in a (modern) history class so on, so forth. --Dragontamer 07:44, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't agree with that. Wikibooks doesn't have the bloat and the red-tape that wikipedia has. We don't have many people here who are prepared to revert a gigantic revision like the kind that you are talking about. General policy here is an "ask first shoot later" kind of mentality. We are more likely to post a {{cleanup}} notice or a {{warning}} note on questionable content, and wait for a reply. I think that Biographies could be considerably useful, although we would probably do well to stay away from current-event people, and stick instead to historical figures who are already dead, and whose lives are set in stone. I would probably vote to allow biographies here, given the opportunity. --Whiteknight(talk) (projects) 23:32, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
I guess as long as current-event people are stayed away from, we should be good. --Dragontamer 05:47, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

abilties of "mediawiki"

hello, im from the hebrew wikibooks.

i would like to know if you know any way to show all pages under specific page.
for ex. if there are the pages:

  • abc
  • abc/1
  • abc/2

is there a way to show on the page: "abc" list that will include: "abc/1" and "abc/2"?

thanks

Click on "Special pages" on the toolbox, and then "Prefix index". Type in "abc". The English wikibooks version is here. The Hebrew wikibooks version is here, Jguk 08:11, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
you misunderstood me, i want to put in every book the same template that automaticly will show all the pages under the page she is included in, is there any way to do it?
There is not a way to do this, to my knowledge. Kellen T 22:16, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Wow! I have been looking for a page like that for ages but it didn't come in my standard 1.5 MediaWiki installation package. Is that an extention available as open source code ? I'd like to get it for my Fan Fiction Wiki Renmiri 07:27, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
    • There is not a way to do this so far as I know. You should write the extension maybe =) Kellen T 11:42, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
      • I did write one extension already :) [7] But in this case I was just referring to the one Jguk mentioned above: Special:Prefixindex. It is not on the MediaWiki 1.5 or 1.6 distribution, so I wonder if it is something you guys did or something I could get at Wikimedia. BTW, I have installed the Spell Checking extension on my Wiki and it works great! Wouldn't that be neat to have it here too ? Renmiri 14:24, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
        • Hrm, I thought it was a part of the core MW distribution. Have you tried the latest beta versions? We usually get things as they happen. Alternatively, you could ask about it in #mediawiki on irc.freenode.net Kellen T 15:23, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
        • I looked at your site, and it looks like you have the prefixindex available to you: here. Kellen T 15:28, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
          • Oh that is the site for the Spell Checking extension, not my site. But thanks for the tips, I will look into it. I'm positive it didn't came with 1.5 but I have not installed 1.6 so it may be there. Thanks !!! Renmiri 15:47, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Try to transclude the Specialprefix page:

{{Special:Prefixindex/{{FULLPAGENAMEE}}/}}

We use this trick in the Spanish Wikibooks, so it should work here. --ManuelGR 19:29, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Woah, that's pretty good. Nice hack! Kellen T 19:44, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Creating Text book Modules for Wikibooks with Google Notebook

Creating Text book Modules for Wikibooks with Google Notebook I've put together some short instructions for banging together module content with references on the web by using Google Noteboook... I think it could be leveraged into quite a publishing tool if used correctly.

  • install notebook
  • right click add note
  • print document
  • copy and paste into page
  • text clean up (time consuming as Garrett Points out)

benefits

  • easy to use
  • includes URL for references
  • wikipedia and Creative Commons materials available

Video of the process coming soon.

Anyone tried same/similar? You can see some rough content here: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/FHSST_Computer_Literacy/Contents/Computers_in_all_walks_of_life and here http://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php?title=User:DennisDaniels&action=submit

best --dgd 06:42, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it's definitely a useful tool. Unfortunately for ideal results you need to format everything twice (e.g. '''bold''') in readiness for importing. GarrettTalk 11:20, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Maybe a plugin specifically for Wikimedia? I know that Google is very much pro Wikipedia and etc? --213.42.2.23 11:30, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Fix

Might want to change this page: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikiversity

Thanks

publihed books

why not put books in that dont have copyright shakespeare authors tht hav been dead 100 yrs are copyright free put some on!!!!!!!!!!

Wikibooks is for books being made/corrected, etc. etc.
Already finished books go on Wikisource --Dragontamer 19:26, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Blocked User?

One of my contributors has told me that he can no longer edit pages on wikibooks. He says none of the edit links show up. He's on the opposite coast as I am, so I can't exactly go over and see what he's doing. He had been making a lot of great contributions until this happened, and I'm trying to figure out what may have gone wrong.

Is this what it looks like when someone gets blocked? I know that sometimes he logs in with his username, and other times he contributes from 71.103.178.xx. Can anyone shed some light on this? Jim Thomas 03:26, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't see any IP addresses in the block log, although I only looked as far back as mid-april. There aren't many usernames in that list, although if you tell me your friend's user name, i can look it up for you. I've never been blocked, so unfortunately i dont know what it looks like. If there is some kind of an error though, I might be able to help. --Whiteknight(talk) (projects) 03:33, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
His username is Westsarchery. Jim Thomas 03:53, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
That username doesnt appear anywhere in the block logs either. See if your friend can send you a screenshot or something of what he is seeing when he tries to edit. --Whiteknight(talk) (projects) 14:40, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

If you are blocked and you try to edit, then you will see the MediaWiki:Blockedtext page. This should allow your friend to see if it is an inadvertent blocking problem, or something else, Jguk 12:24, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

It sounds like he must be having some other problem then. I'll try to work with him to see if I can get to the bottom of it. Thanks for the help. Jim Thomas 13:11, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
I know that I was having a specific problem with my ISP, that my edits would never get saved, and when i clicked "Save Page", the page would never load. When I moved home, I was using Comcast instead of Verison, and now I can edit freely again. Maybe your friend is having a similar problem. --Whiteknight(talk) (projects) 14:39, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Video game guides issue

Unfortunately, I think it's time that we put the issue of videogames to rest. Wikibooks:Game manual guidelines needs to be altered (removed or rejected), and WB:WIW needs to be altered to demonstrate that game manuals do not belong here. I would be highly in favor of writing an expiry time into this policy, so that we can review it at a later date, once we know what the long-term effect of losing these manuals actually costs us. --Whiteknight(talk) (projects) 18:35, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

It's not looking good foe the people who want to keep the guides. The Pokédex was just deleted today. Even though some users want to keep the guides, actions show that they are leaving. Gerard Foley 01:13, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Inevitably those who were here just to write the guides will leave, and those here to write a mixture of textbooks and video game guides will reduce their time here. Hopefully they will go to the sites where the guides are being moved to and those books will continue to grow. Meanwhile, with a true focus on textbooks, Wikibooks should be in a fine position to expand and attract in those who wish to boost up our textbooks.

Ideally I'd like to be able to go to Wikipedia and invite in, say, those who would be willing to write a complete study guide for Maths GCSE - and then expand that for all GCSE syllabuses and then similar courses in other countries. Similarly for A-level maths - and for other subjects. The cost of published copyrighted texts is enormous - Wikibooks should set itself the aim of providing free texts, thereby benefiting the cause of education greatly, Jguk 06:15, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Going back to Whiteknight's suggestion, I think that he is right. As a temporary measure, let's reinstitute Jimbo's addition to WB:WIW [8], which was to add under a heading of "Wikibooks is not a repository for video game manuals" the following text:
Some content about video games could be appropriate, such as a textbook for an existing course on the impact of video games in our culture. But in general, game guides are not appropriate for Wikibooks.
Jguk 06:28, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Can someone please explain to me what I'm missing here? I know I'm obvlivious at times... so maybe it is just something obvious ... but. How are video game guides contradicting that goal? How would video game guides slow down progress at Wikibooks at all? --Dragontamer 06:30, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

By removing books that are not textbooks from Wikibooks, Wikibooks will be in a position to become truly focused. Focus is important - it tells people clearly what we are about. It should enable us to attract more writers and readers in so that we can become a leading resource for free textbooks, which is, after all, Wikibooks' aim, Jguk 07:26, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

An electronic encyclopedia of life?

Edward O. Wilson was quoted as saying the following in The Discover Interview in the June 2006 issue of Discover:

"What we need is an electronic encyclopedia of life, with one page for each species." (To allow scientists, and others, build a world-wide resource.)

Is this a Wiki possibility? David Hockey 15:39, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I thought they had such a project at Wikispecies. --Whiteknight(talk) (projects) 15:49, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I love video game books

I am afraid that I have not been so clear in my past statements in this area and this is causing people consternation where I think there should be friendly dialogue.

I am an advocate of free culture. I love video game books. I think that people should be passionately writing books about video games in a collaborative manner. These can be walkthroughs, these can be textbooks about the sociological phenomena of games, these can be textbooks for game programming, these can be user manuals, these can be joke books, these can be fan fiction, these can be all kinds of cool and interesting things that I have not imagined, and that none of us have yet imagined, because we are at the beginning of the grand experiment of internet collaboration using free licenses.

The issue here is not about me not liking them, the issue is that the Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization which was approved as such by application to the US Government based on a particular charter of operations, and we have NO CHOICE but to follow that charter. If we expanded the mission of Wikibooks to include things which are outside the scope of our charter, we would lose our tax exempt status and place the entire project in peril, including Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and everything else.

There is a simple dividing line to use. Is there a course taught at an accredited institution of learning, which requires as a textbook, the sort of book in question? That's the rule. It is easy to apply, it keeps us from having to fight about whether various things are 'important enough' or 'serious enough' for Wikibooks. (A silly question, I think, because all kinds of things are important, and demeaning someones work as not being serious enough is not kind.)

I think of game walkthroughs and manuals in the same way that I think about Hamlet. Hamlet is a great book, but it is not a textbook. It belongs in Wikisource. Game walkthroughs and manuals may be great books, but they are not textbooks either. They belong at Wikia, or a generic wiki host.

We do not allow original fiction here. We do not allow things that go in wikisource. I have too much love and pride about the important mission of Wikibooks to let it become a dumping ground for things that the Wikipedians are kicking out.

The mission of Wikibooks is to provide a complete curriculum that will allow every single person on the planet, in their own language, to get the education that they need to survive and prosper in the world. This is a noble mission, it is an important mission, but it is not a mission that can be achieved without serious focus on what we are doing here and why. We are a charity. We have a mission. Let's stick to it.--Jimbo Wales 22:06, 25 May 2006 (UTC)