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Year: 2008 Week: 45 Number: 101
An independent internal news bulletin
for the members of the Wikimedia community
=== Technical news ===
[Image: => File:] - Brion announced that he will be fulfilling a
long-time wish: renaming the "Image:" namespace to "File:" due to the
fact that it contains much more than just images. He will be making
this change soon, so please update any scripts that rely on it *when*
it is live. "Image" will remain as an alias.
[Ubuntu] - The Wikimedia Foundation tech team decided to simplify
things by moving all of their servers to a GNU/Linux distribution:
[New Search] - Another long-awaited tech improvement: the search
feature! Thanks to some work by Robert Stojnic, we are currently
migrating to lucene-search 2 which includes new features like much
better searching and interwiki matches. When a search matches a title
from another project in the same language, a box on right appears
which holds the link to the sister project page.
http://brianna.modernthings.org/article/152/new-mediawiki-search-features-on-wikipedia (blog post with
[RenameUser] - There are now additional options when renaming an
account: automatically recreate and block the old account.
Previously, all this had to be done by the bureaucrats themselves --
this process is now simplified.
[CodeReview] - Brion enabled the CodeReview extension on
MediaWiki.org. This is an extension that greatly helps with the
review of coding and will hopefully allow the sites to be updated with
newer code more quickly.
[Textbook-l] - Wiki-to-print and ODT are now live in all Wikibooks editions.
[EN wp search] - a new search engine is live for the English language
Wikipedia. One of the new features is the question "Did you mean ...?"
like the one asked by google. Unfortunately, because of hardware
problems, migration of the other projects will have to wait.
=== Proposals ===
[Essentialpedia] - A more concise Wikipedia, containing only the most
=== Policy ===
[GFDL 1.3 released] - A new version of the GNU Free Documentation
License, which is used by most of the WMF projects, has been released.
The new version makes it possible to migrate to the Creative Commons
=== Foundation ===
[Fundraising 2008] - This year, the fundraiser has started discretely.
By the time you read this, or soon after it, the classic site notice
will be live. The donation pages have been redesigned, the Jimbo video
is back, and a new feature is a form to give your answer to the
question "How has Wikipedia made your life easier?". Like in previous
years, the listing of the donations and their comments remains.
[Annual Report] - The first annual report of the WMF has been
released. This is like a PR publication that contains financial
information about the WMF. It may be useful to explain what the WMF
[New Chapters] - Two new chapters were approved in the October and
November 2008 board meeting. Let's all welcome Wikimedia Brasil,
Wikimedia Indonesia, Wikimedia Hungary, and Wikimedia Norway to the
group of chapters!
[Chapter news list] - A new mailing list has been launched. It is
meant to be an announce-only mailing list, for those who wish to keep
in touch with what the chapters around the world are doing. It will
receive regular updates from various chapters about their activities.
[Meeting Report] - Michael gave an unofficial recap of the recent
October Board of Trustees Meeting. In it, he discussed updates to two
policies, update on board calendar, discussions about open standards,
file formats, and some changes to the Advisory Board. He also said
that the minutes will be posted soon after they are approved.
[Sub-national Chapters] Another topic of discussion at the board
meeting was sub-national chapters. The board supports the development
of sub-national chapters where appropriate and is starting a workgroup
to figure out how the sub-national chapters will be handled.
[Wikimedia Argentina] - is going to give the "Wikipedia Academy"
conferences and workshops next November 6th.
=== Community ===
[General Survey] - A multilingual Wikipedia survey has been launched
by the Wikimedia Foundation and UNU-Merit. Currently, there are
versions available in Dutch, Tamil, and Vietnamese with many other
languages (including English) going live in the next few days to
weeks. Please complete the survey so that the Foundation can more
accurately get a picture of who contributes to the projects! Don't
worry, no personally identifiable information will be released by
UNU-Merit or the Wikimedia Foundation without permission of the
[Wikipedia Logo Updates] - A project spearheaded by the Foundation and
Wikipedia community members to fix the errors on the globe of
Wikipedia's logo and to fill in the blanks on the "other side" has
begun. This project was started in response to many concerns over the
years that there were many errors in the globe. Community and staff
members both agreed that it would also be nice to have a full globe
for memorabilia and for a 3D prop at events. It is requested that all
community members join in on the discussion at Meta-Wiki!
[Wikis Take Manhattan] - A scavenger hunt and free content photography
contest aimed at illustrating Wikipedia and the
transportation-oriented Streetswiki (covering sites in Manhattan and
New York City) was held. It was coordinated by New York City
Wikimedians, Free Culture Columbia, Free Culture NYU, and The Open
Planning Project with 23 teams and over 50 participants (the great
majority non-Wikimedians). The grand prize winners will be having a
free dinner with Jimmy Wales.
[Wikinews Meets Google News] - After a long series of discussions with
Google, Wikinews is finally listed in the search results of Google
News site: http://news.google.com/. The problem was that Google did
not think it was reliable enough to be included (since anyone could
edit), but after Wikinews had FlaggedRevs enabled it was finally
=== Awards ===
[DE wp] - The German Wikipedia won the audience award "OnlineStar" in
the category "knowledge, news & information".
=== Other news ===
[Probably off-topic] - nevertheless - A 6-year old, heavily
brain-damaged girl is now able to talk to hear parents with a computer
that tracks her eye movements. She's also able to browse the internet,
and maybe to read Wikipedia one day?
=== Quote ===
"Wiki is 2/3 of planning, the rest is a loop in the dark" (Napoleon
Bonaparte, according to Eric Johnson at Wikimania 2008)
Number of subscribers: 720
Editor(s): Cbrown1023, Walter
Thanks to: Effeietsanders, Pharos, bawolff, Sabata, Gizmo
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