User talk:Gaurav

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Again, welcome! Beeswaxcandle (talk) 07:14, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

From Wikisource talk:Annotations[edit]

Hi everybody!

My colleagues and I were looking for ways to distribute and annotate the Field Notes of Junius Henderson; I convinced them to use WikiSource, which has been a huge success. Side-by-side transcription is the perfect way to make field notebooks available, easy to edit, easy to transcribe, and easy to work with.

We've started playing around with annotating our content - if we can index which species Henderson observed, and when and where he observed them, it would let biologists today use historical data to look for patterns of species movement in the last century. So far, I've created three very rough, very experimental templates to play around with: {{Taxon}}, {{Place}} and {{Dated}}. All three create a box outside the flow of the document, with links to relevant resources (all three link to the Commons; Place additionally links to OpenStreetMap and Taxon additionally links to WikiSpecies). You can see what I mean in Henderson's Notebook 1. We'd love your feedback on these templates, and any ideas on how we could make these templates even more useful!

My next step will be to create a program which uses the Mediawiki API to pull book-wide information out of the index pages: tracking contributors on all pages, checking for pages without any annotations, suggesting annotations (but not automatically annotating text, i.e. this isn't supposed to be a bot), and extracting these annotations into an XML file, so that the transcribed content from WikiSource can be reused by other biodiversity data providers (for example, w:GBIF might be interested in historical species occurrence data). My plan is to have this completely outside of WikiSource for now, but any successful ideas could be merged into the Proofread Page extension or the Toolserver, if there is interest in doing this.

If you have any comments, suggestions, feedback or complaints on any of this, please let me know! My colleagues and I will be blogging regularly about this project, so if you'd like to track our progress, that's the easiest way to do it.


I have a number of opinions, and thought that it may be better to move it here. If some of these comments contain jargon or wiki-attitudes, then let me know and I will add links to some of the underlying components.

  1. Annotations. Our prime aim is to reproduce works, with annotations coming as secondary, and something that we want to be able to hide if someone wants to prepare a clean copy. With how you have those few templates in use on the work, it would be good if we can look to how we might situate links so they are separate. One of the means that we have looked to is to things like {{user annotation}} and also the use of a separate set of grouped references if there are normal footnotes already existing in a work. The other thing that also worth considering is if someone produces a PDF version, how./what we want to "noprint" in the work. You might find it useful to also look at either {{sidenotes begin}} or {{outside}} as means that maybe useful if you think aligned annotations is relevant.
  2. Portals. I would encourage you to consider looking to build some work into a Portal where we look to build some of the extra components that surround a work, or similar works where we add research, +++. Basically it separates our reproduction work from our research and compilation work. It is nascent, though there are amounts of botanical works listed.
  3. EPub. We have been just been getting into tools to output EPub variations, and are working upon a tool at tools:~tpt/wsexport/book.php though the ultimate solution is to have a tool that generates it onsite (wishlist)
Also to note the book reader that is loaded on the Index: pages.
I will try to look more, though no promises can be made at this moment. — billinghurst sDrewth 09:36, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
oh and a general comment. We do most of our communications through Wikisource:Scriptorium, not much is off-bounds and there are many watchers and contributors. — billinghurst sDrewth 09:40, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
oh oh … and if you may have numbers of people involving themselves, or looking to do more work, then we would also encourage you to develop a project for your work, which is basically a space where you can set your rules, and all sorts of information about what is going on. Wikisource:WikiProjects. If you do develop such a project, and you are looking for participants, then we can even add it to the rotation of {{active projects}}. — billinghurst sDrewth 09:46, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Hi billinghurst! Thanks so much for your comments! I'm currently working on polishing up my arguments for these annotations; my plan is then to "present" them to the Scriptorium and see what the community at large thinks about them. If I feel that I have community approval, I'll make them into "proper" templates (with a separate /doc, /examples, /sandbox and /testcases). So my post to the Annotations talk page (and these responses below) are really an exploratory thinking-through-the-issues before I feel I have something that Wikisource would really embrace.
I agree that it is important to ensure that readers can access a clean, unannotated source text if they wish. I tried playing around with {{sidenotes begin}}, but that template seemed to me to be specialized for adding sidenotes where these were already present in the original text (such as on Page:The Solar System - Six Lectures - Lowell.djvu/21). Another worry I have with {{outside}} is that I don't fully understand how display options work: it seems odds to tell everybody who views the page, "You'll need to find the 'Display options' link on the left column, and click on it until you see the annotations".
I didn't want to use footnotes, since the annotations useful to us are really short: "Sayornis saya", "Boulder, Colorado", etc. Not only would the footnotes not make much sense read in isolation, but it'd be really hard to detect an error. In the current scheme, the annotations are right next to the relevant text, so it's much easier to spot a date, location or taxon out of place.
I wanted something which screamed, "This is in no way related to the original text", and I'm reasonably pleased with {{dated}}, {{place}} and {{taxon}} in that regard: I think the Wikimedia logos and the artificial box really makes them look distinct from the text. Ideally, I would want a button on the top of the page which uses CSS classes to 'display: none' all the annotation boxes. I couldn't figure out a way of incorporating Javascript into Wikisource, but I just found {{option}}; I wonder if I can use it to 'display: none' all the annotation boxes to get a pristine, text-only view? I'll try that tomorrow. Another possibility would be developing a bookmarklet to 'display: none' the annotation boxes. Do you think any of these ideas would meet your requirements for display unannotated text?
One final possibility (that I have no idea how to implement) would be a pop-up box with the annotation text in it, so the actual text is unannotated except for a slight formatting change to show the annotations (underlining or a different colour, say).
Portals and WikiProjects
I've set up Portal:Taxonomy to discuss the linking of taxonomic terms across Wikisource with Wikispecies. I think there might be a lot of scope for linking original taxonomic documents with their corresponding Wikispecies pages. I haven't gotten much interest from Wikispecies, but I shall persist! I don't think there's enough field notes in Wikisource for an entire portal, but (as per your suggestion below) I've set up Wikisource:WikiProject Field Notes to collect all our field notes/annotations stuff in one place.
As far as I understand it, EPub would convert the Wikisource pages into HTML, but it's much easier for me to extract the annotations directly from the Wikisource pages. I've thrown together a Perl script using the MediaWiki API which, given an Index page title, can download the Mediawiki code for all the Wikisource pages which are part of that Index file. If there's interest in this, I could move this to the Toolserver at some point.
I hope that answers your questions! My colleagues and I are really pleased with our little experiment in using Wikisource for transcription and annotation, and we're in the process of writing a blog post outlining all that we've managed to achieve (from Wikisource editors double-checking the transcription we have to complete annotation of the entire notebook). It should go up on my colleagues' blog in a day or two.
Thanks again for your suggestions and comments! I'm hoping to hear more from you on this subject. -- Gaurav (talk) 11:10, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
P.S. Congratulations on organizing the SOPA/PIPA protest on enwiki! That was a really awesome thing. -- Gaurav (talk) 11:10, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Fly past comments. Have a look at {{tooltip}}s as a possibility for some annotation where it is clarification, and the other thing to consider is simply a good wikilink (within WS, or to WP, Commons, Species, ..) if it is important to disambiguate, or highly relevant part of the article and some one would want more information. For instance, we always would link authors, through to the author namespace, and we would link to a book title for a work in the public domain, whether it gives a redlink or blue. — billinghurst sDrewth 03:09, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Oooh, tooltips would be *perfect* for us! Unfortunately, it doesn't look like mw:Extension:Tooltips is installed on enwikisource ... or is there another way of getting tooltips to work? Wikilinks wouldn't be great -- the ability to link from place names to OpenStreetMap right now is working really well for us -- but if the current boxes are completely unacceptable to Wikisource, it's a compromise I can live with. I will be looking further into making those boxes "vanish" (i.e. display: none) at the push of a button -- I think that would be the best compromise in terms of having both annotation-rich, useful text as well as clean, untouched source text. -- Gaurav (talk) 23:23, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Can I ask you guys to bear in mind accessibility issues please? You might find Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Accessibility to be useful reading. e.g. "Do not use techniques that require interaction to provide information, such as tooltips or any other 'hover' text." Hesperian 00:07, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Excellent point, Hesperian. Hmm, not sure what the best way of reconciling that with the need for a clean transcription. What are your thoughts on the current "box" display? If there's enough displeasure with them on Wikisource, we could go to straight Wikilinks instead. -- Gaurav (talk) 00:52, 25 January 2012 (UTC)