Wikisource:News

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikisource news
April 2014
This is a newsletter project about the English Wikisource. You are welcome to write a new post, to edit an existing one, or to discuss on the talk page. To have a summary appear on your user page, add the template {{news}} where you wish it to appear.

Winners of the Picture of the Year 2013 contest on Wikimedia Commons[edit]

Winner: The tungsten filament burning with a flame in the light bulb.
Second place: National park "Sviati Hory" (Holy Mountains), Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine
Third place: A swallow drinking while flying over a swimming pool

Wikidata fully deployed[edit]

Logo of Wikidata's Books task force

Phase 2 of Wikidata's Wikisource deployment was launched on 25 February 2014. While phase 1, launched 14 January 2014, involved Wikidata taking over the interwiki linking functions of the project (and all the other Wikisources), the second phase allows data access. With this in place, Wikisource can elect to pull information from the Wikidata knowledge base.

This ability is now in use with the {{plain sister}} and {{authority control}} templates. The former controls sister links across the project. Manually entered sister links are still primary but, where they are not entered and Wikidata holds a sitelink to another project, the Wikidata link will be displayed automatically without the need for a Wikisourcer to add anything to the page. The latter template can mostly be seen in the Author namespace underneath the licence, listing entries for the author in question on a range of databases, many of which are maintained by national libraries. Again, manually entering data on this project is still possible and overrides any ID numbers on Wikidata. However, where no entry is made here the Wikidata IDs are inserted and, in the future, we can expect most or all such controls to be held centrally.

With both inter-project links, to other Wikisources, and sister links, to other English projects, both working through Wikidata, the knowledge base now manages English Wikisource's integration with the rest of Wikimedia. Further, by placing all of this information centrally for all of the Foundation's projects, indirect connections can be seen on one page. Where previously an author, for example, may have been linked laterally to the English Wikipedia or the French Wikisource, now a look at the connected data item will also show a "diagonal" link French Wikipedia. This is especially useful where content on lateral sister projects (eg. the English Wikipedia or the French Wikisource) does not exist, so linking is impossible.

The main thrust of integrating English Wikisource into Wikidata is occurring in the Author namespace at the moment, although some pages in most namespaces are now connected as well (apart from those in the workspace which are not currently supported by Wikidata, and that is expected to change as soon as Wikidata decides how to handle Index pages). In the initial deployment, about two-thirds of Wikisource's roughly 15,000 author pages were connected by bot, usually in cases where links were already in place and needed to be replicated on that project. Since then, over a thousand author pages have been manually connected by Wikisource volunteers. By 21st March there where approximately 5,300 unconnected author pages. Ten days later on the 31st, there were only 4,341 connected pages, meaning 73.6% of the authorspace has been connected. Some connections have been easier, just adding a site link to an existing item, and others harder, requiring the creation of a brand new item for the author, but the rate of connection has been mostly constant. To support further connection, within the authorspace only, the sister links in the header now offer a Wikidata search link for all unconnected pages.

How to integrate the mainspace with Wikidata is still not entirely agreed and will probably wait until after other namespaces are connected. Wikidata's Books Task Force have already established a scheme whereby every mainspace work will generally have a minimum of two separate data items on Wikidata. One, the "work item", will represent the work in general. The other, the "edition item", will represent the specific edition held on Wikisource (or in general for any edition described by Wikidata). The two will be linked together by specific properties on Wikidata. There are still some outstanding problems with this approach, notably that it means no Wikisource text is likely to ever link to another Wikisource text in a different language because those are different editions with different data and different data items, but these bugs should be resolved in time.

Wikisdata's next deployment will be on 8th April when Wikiquote will be connected. We can expect Wikiquote to automatically appear more often in our sister links as pages from both projects get connected to the same data items on Wikidata.

IEG not extended[edit]

Light blue icon of a conical flask.
Individual Engagement Grant icon

The team working on the Wikisource community IEG (the elaborate Wikisource strategic vision), Aubrey and Micru, have decided not to apply for an extension. Both are busy and Aubrey has recently become president of Wikimedia Italia. The projects launched out of the IEG continue and the Wikisource Community User Group in particular may support the ongoing work started by this project.

The King in Yellow and the impact of television[edit]

It has been reported elsewhere that the popularity of the television series True Detective has led to a surge in popularity for the short story collection The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers (see, for example, Who or what is The King in Yellow? Ask the True Detectives in the British newspaper The Guardian).

Our own page views also show this effect. In January of this year, the main page of this collection on Wikisource was viewed at most 43 times in one day (the 15th) and on average had about 16 views a day. This changed in mid February. On the 14th of February, the page had a fairly standard 24 views, over the next two days it had an increase to 74 and 66 views before a surge to 202 and 191 views on the 17th and 18th. That was the peak but following that page views rarely dropped below the previous maximum until the middle of March. Daily page views are in the low 20s as at the end of the month. March page views in 2014 totalled 1252 while those in March 2013 only totalled 407. Wikisource's edition of The King in Yellow is a second-hand copy of the text at Project Gutenberg and not proofread from an original scan.

Interest in public domain works caused by current popular media is one driver of readership on Wikisource. Other known factors include tweets on the Wikipedia twitter channel, which can cause spikes in page views for that day.

Featured text for April 2014[edit]

Sketch of Henry James
Daisy Miller: A Study was Henry James' breakthrough story

"Daisy Miller: A Study", the featured text for April, was Henry James' breakthrough story. It is a psychological study of a beautiful American girl, living in Europe, who engages in flirtatious behaviours that shock and scandalize her fellow expatriates. Though she is condemned as corrupt by her peers, the story ultimately leaves open the question whether Daisy is truly corrupt, or in fact naïvely innocent to the point of social oblivion.

At the little town of Vevay, in Switzerland, there is a particularly comfortable hotel. There are, indeed, many hotels; for the entertainment of tourists is the business of the place, which, as many travellers will remember, is seated upon the edge of a remarkably blue lake—a lake that it behooves every tourist to visit. The shore of the lake presents an unbroken array of establishments of this order, of every category, from the "grand hotel" of the newest fashion, with a chalk-white front, a hundred balconies, and a dozen flags flying from its roof, to the little Swiss pension of an elder day, with its name inscribed in German-looking lettering upon a pink or yellow wall, and an awkward summer-house in the angle of the garden. One of the hotels at Vevay, however, is famous, even classical, being distinguished from many of its upstart neighbors by an air both of luxury and of maturity. In this region, in the month of June, American travellers are extremely numerous; it may be said, indeed, that Vevay assumes at this period some of the characteristics of an American watering-place. There are sights and sounds which evoke a vision, an echo, of Newport and Saratoga. There is a flitting hither and thither of "stylish" young girls, a rustling of muslin flounces, a rattle of dance-music in the morning hours, a sound of high-pitched voices at all times. You receive an impression of these things at the excellent inn of the "Trois Couronnes," and are transported in fancy to the Ocean House or to Congress Hall. But at the "Trois Couronnes," it must be added, there are other features that are much at variance with these suggestions: neat German waiters, who look like secretaries of legation; Russian princesses sitting in the garden; little Polish boys walking about, held by the hand, with their governors; a view of the sunny crest of the Dent du Midi and the picturesque towers of the Castle of Chillon.

Collaborations for April 2014[edit]

In March we completed Embroidery and Fancy Work as the Proofread of the Month and also brought The Character of Renaissance Architecture to approximately 60% complete. In April we turn our attention to poetry. The first work chosen is The Spirit of the Nation, a collection of poetry first published in The Nation from its earliest days. The Nation was a newspaper published by James Duffy in Dublin in the 1840s. The poems touch on the feelings of nationalism that were rising in the Ireland of that period.

The Maintenance of the Month project is focusing on the Author page connection with Wikidata items. Author pages could use Wikidata to obtain the author's given name, surname, birth and death years, description, alias(es), and image, as well as sister-project links and several authority control identifiers.

Administrator confirmations[edit]

Four administrators were confirmed in March 2014:

Four administrators are having their confirmation discussions in April 2014:

Milestones[edit]

In the past two months several Wikisources hit content milestones in terms of text units (page of content, which can include whole works as well as title pages and individual chapters). Two Wikisources reached 1,000 text units, the Assamese Wikisource on 6th March and the Azerbaijani Wikisource on 8th February. The Malayalam Wikisource reached 15,000 text units on 4th March and the Arabic Wikisource reached 20,000 text units on the 27th February.

As of the 27th March, just shy of the project's second year, the Gujarati Wikisource proofread 50 books. While computer-generated Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is important to Wikisources in general, this is not possible for Gujarati (Indic script tends to be very unsupported by software)) and these works were transcribed entirely manually. Meanwhile, the Min Nan Wikisource reached 1,000 total pages on 5th March, as a bot-assisted user created several hundred new pages in the mainspace, and the Estonian Wikisource reached 10,000 total pages on 2nd February.

In other milestones, the Hebrew Wikisource, the oldest language subdomain of Wikisource, reached 20 administrators as of 20th March 2014.