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Year: 2008 Week: 3 Number: 90
An independent internal news bulletin
for the members of the Wikimedia community
=== Technical news ===
[User rights] - it is now possible for the developers to selectively
assign groups permissions to grant/revoke other groups, either to
themselves or to all other users. An implementation is don on some
wikis, including English language Wikipedia, by creating the new group
'rollbacks' with right 'rollback', and giving sysops the ability to
grant/revoke this group to any user.
Wikis who also wish to have that option need to get consensus about it
and make a bugzilla ticket for it.
The page Special:Userrights is now also listed in the special pages
overview. Eventually the pages like MakeSysop will be removed and all
changes to status will need be done by use of the page
[Page move restricted] - Since the 2nd of January 2008 it is no longer
possible to move/rename pages if a user is not autoconfirmed (Users
are autoconfirmed after a specified time and after specified amount of
edits). There is a opt-out policy, which means that individual
projects can decide to make page moves possible for new users as well.
[Title blacklist] - the new function "Title blacklist" announced in
the previous edition of Wikizine is again disabled. The comment in the
log about the disabling was "domas: removing titleblacklist. there's
certain level of crap beyond which I won't fix stuff. "
=== New project proposals ===
[Wikibooks multilingual] - A new wikibook-project is proposed aimed at
writing multilingual books, which means the usage of several languages
within one book; at languages without a own wikibooks, i.e. incubator
function; and to courage translations and cooperation between the
=== Policy ===
[Bot generated articles] - A proposal for a policy regarding (heavy)
bot-generated articles in certain Wikipedias is discussed on Meta.
=== Foundation ===
[Business development] - Executive Director Sue Gardner announced that
a new head of Business Development has been hired. Vishal Patel will
not join the Wikimedia Foundation in there move to the Westcoast, and
Kul Wadhwa will join the staff in his position as head of business
[Head of communications] - Jay Walsh from Canada is the new head of
communications and takes over this job from Sandy Ordonez, who will
not relocate to San Francisco with the WMF. The job includes press
relations, written and oral communications.
[Fundraiser result] - The fundraiser has resulted in the biggest
amount of money donated during a fundraiser ever: over 2 million
dollars. The biggest donation of half a million dollars was made by an
anonymous donor and almost 45,000 donors have donated about $33 on
[Concerns on transparency] - Following a leakage of information from a
private list used within the Foundation, which resulted in articles on
the en.wikinews it is being discussed if the foundation is
communicating transparent. There are opposing views on the subject,
saying that the WMF is the most transparent organisation and opposing
views, which state that it becomes less transparent. The discussion is
going-on, but everyone values transparency up to a certain point. Some
opinions are telling that the WMF is too far away from the local
communities and so that representatives of those communities have no
feeling to issues on WMF-level. A Wiki-council as a council made up of
representatives of all communities might be a solution to channel
issues from local communities to the WMF board and the WMF office.
[Meta-arbcom?] - A meta-arbcom is being discussed. There are projects
which have an arbcom, but many projects don't. Arbcom is short for
arbitration committee: if there are problems or disagreements in a
certain community with an arbcom, and the people involved in the
arguments don't find a solution themselves, these people can asked the
appointed or chosen arbcom to mediate and even rule (including
corrective actions) over the dispute. For communities without an
arbcom sometimes stewards are asked to decide for certain actions.
Steward rules prevent them from taking decisions: a steward serves the
different communities. Fur such cases and also for cases which exceed
the specific community a meta-arbcom is being discussed.
[Wikimania 2009] - 6 bids have been submitted for consideration for
the Wikimania 2009 venue, which are listed below.
* Bogotá (Colombia, South America)
* Toronto (Ontario, Canada)
* Kathmandu (Kathmandu, Nepal)
* Buenos Aires (Argentina, South America)
* Brisbane (Queensland, Australia)
* Karlsruhe (Germany, Europe)
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2009/Bids#Bids for more details
=== Community ===
[Looking back and forward] - Florence Devouard, chair of WMF, has
evaluated her wishes made for Wikimedia beginning of 2007 and has
specified 10 wishes for 2008.
[One administrator projects] - Following an incident on Russian
Wikibooks, where the only administrator removed the banners referring
to Wikimedia and MediaWiki, it is being discussed if a policy should
be created which states what every Wikimedia project can or cannot
change to the appearance of the site, and what to do when projects
have only one administrator, with the risk of hijacking the project.
[Moratorium on deletion of smaller projects] - A moratorium on the
deletion of language projects was proposed. This is mainly about
smaller, almost inactive, projects.
[Picture of the Year] - On Commons is there are again the election of
the picture of the year. The first round of nominations will close
soon on the 17th. Voting takes place this year by means of special
software hosted on the toolserver. To use it you need to enable the
email function of your user account. The second round of the election
will be the 20th and 24th of january.
[New projects approved] - The langcom has approved requests to start a
Wikipedia in Saterland Frisian, a micro language spoken in the
Saterland commune in Germany, and a Wikiversity in greek language.
Both have already been created.
=== Stats ===
[Traffic] - Domas Mituzas has made an excellent review of operations.
Amongst others he mentions that traffic and requests doubled in 2007.
The WMF spend $279k on hardware; hardware was also expanded at
Amsterdam facility with 15 squid servers bought by the German chapter.
The software was upgraded so that performance is faster.
=== Other news ===
[The Economist] - In "The World in 2008" published by "The Economist"
the Wikimania 2008 is mentioned in the "Diary for 2008" <quote>
Scholars, journalists, geeks and other fans of Wikipedia, an
open-access encyclopedia meet in Taipei for Wikimania 2008 <unquote>.
Too bad that they mentioned the wrong place: Taipei was in 2007;
Wikimania 2008 will be held in Alexandria. Also they failed to mention
that it is not only about Wikipedia.
[Correction] - Wikipedia is not 8 years old this year but only 7.
=== Was ist das? ===
[patrol] - A lesser known feature of MediaWiki is the patrol-function.
Every change on any article can be patrolled, which means there on the
difference page there is a button, with which the controller can mark
the change as patrolled. In the recent-changes list there is an option
to show only non-patrolled changes. This function is only available
for logged-in users and is active on the Dutch
Wikipedia/Wikibooks/Wikiquote. Already many years now it works with a
high success rate to counteract on vandalism if this is missed during
== Quote ===
<boem! - boem! - ship shakes>
Computer; what was that? -- Constable Odo
"A temporary loss of stability resulting of the impact of a
concentrated plasma charge."
We are being attacked???? -- Constable Odo
"Affirmative." -- computer
From Star Trek DS9
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