Wikisource talk:Annotations

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Annotated texts (moved from Scriptorium)[edit]

The main problem is documentation/annotation. Sometimes, I think that Wikisource is meant to be much more than just a reference library of texts: we should all be creating and working together on annotated versions of the text, something that the wiki can help. Otherwise, using a wiki system has very few benefits. We need to reconsider our mission.[…]Ambush Commander 01:42, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Ambush's comment in the section just above caught my interest. I am deeply interested in annotated texts (wikis style), and I just finished writing a policy page about where to draw the line (if there should be a line...) between Wikisource and Wikibooks for annotated texts:

I tried to write very conservatively on that page, and still hope to get feedback so that we can make necessary changes. However, my own personal opinion is it would be much better if we kept our collective attitude towards this whole topic very open and very liberal.

What I mean is this: We should recognize that, on the one hand, it is OK if some source texts with planned annotation are held on Wikibooks, even though their annotation hasn't happened yet. But on the other hand, there are texts at Wikisource whose natural development can and should eventually lead to their annotation, in order to make them more useful and reader-friendly. Many translations (which we include here at Wikisource) will eventually lead to annotations as well. If and when this happens, it shouldn't mean that the text must be moved from one project to another!

Instead of enforcing rigid policies for which texts should be on which project, I think it would be better if both projects acknowledged that there is legitimate overlap in the realm of annotated texts, and that texts with annotations may in principle be included on either project. The decision should mostly be left up to the contributor(s) at work on the text in question.

Wikibooks has had an inclusive policy for annotated texts for a very long time. I recently "cleaned up" the material there on annotated texts. A summary of the current situation and links can be found at:

One final thought: There are different kinds of annotated texts. Some are meant for students preparing for tests on literature (that is very much up Wikibook's alley). Others are more scholarly in nature, or meant for individual study, but are mostly unconnected to classrooms and examinations. Here, too, it may not always be possible to draw a clear line between the two, and I once again suggest we be liberal about this whole thing.

All that is really needed for the liberal policy I suggest (i.e. that texts may in principle be included in either project) is for people on both projects to agree to it! Do people here agree with it? Shall we ask at Wikibooks? Dovi 08:21, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

It's a great job you have done there, it is clear that you have thought a lot about the subjekt. I generally support that we should accept annotated versions here, but I think that wikisource should still supply an edition without annotations. That is, if annotations are to be made, they should be made in a separate "annotated version" like text name (annotated), especially for texts with "in text"-annotations. I often prefer to read a text as it was written, and we should continue to provide such "clean" text versions. --Christian S 14:12, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
I too support the idea of providing a "clean" version. the mission of wikisource is to provide primary "sources".
It remains unclear to me if "annotated" versions should go here or on wikibooks. Since they already provide annotated versions, I think the matter should be discussed with them first. we do not want to duplicate their efforts, it would be counter-productive. in other words, I do not support the idea that wikibooks and wikisource should overlap.
ThomasV 07:57, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Hmm... Then I ask this question: what exactly is the point of having Wikisource as a Wiki? Ambush Commander 20:08, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Hi everybody. The text I wrote at Wikisource:Wikisource and Wikibooks more or less reflects ThomasV's attitude. What I mean by "conservative" is that it reflects the status-quo at Wikisource/Wikibooks. Even that status quo has some undeniable (and legitimate) ambiguity, and the page tries to give guidelines for dealing with borderline cases. I think even Thomas would agree that there are some borderline cases that have to be dealt with. So even if we stick with the conservative status-quo, I think we should still honor any reasonable decision by the contributor(s) of a borderline text.

There are also some places where the need for annotations is obvious even on Wikisource: Many translations will require at least some annotation, textual variants in source texts will require it. Maybe the best thing to do, then, is to stick with the status-quo, allow (and even encourage) any appropriate and limited annotation activity that remains within reason (i.e. without clearly crossing the line into Wikibooks by creating resources good for classroom use).

Is there any objection to my moving this whole discussion to the talk page of Wikisource:Wikisource and Wikibooks? Dovi 20:44, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

I wouldn't have a problem with that. In fact, I'll be bold. Ambush Commander 00:46, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
Would it be possible to create an extension to MediaWiki that allows for one page to overlay another or be displayed next to another? That way, Source could maintain the clean text and Books could maintain just the annotation. A user could view the text and overlay it with various annotations. If there were some way of marking line numbers on wiki pages, I think this could be done with a greasemonkey script which iterated through the page and inserted annotated content on the fly. Another possibility would be to narrow the article window and stick an iframe on the right side that contained the text annotation pulled in from Books. Again, this is all dependant on some method of marking the position in the source text. CSN 23:46, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Annotated translations[edit]

Should translations always be annotated? (This was asked on the "about" page.)

Reply: of course not. Certain kinds of translations of certain kinds of texts require annotation by their very nature, but not all translations! The great majority of translations at Wikisource will probably be "straight" translations without any notes. Dovi 08:49, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

my pov[edit]

First of all, let me make one thing clear: I suppose what you guys are talking about are FOOTnotes, not notes inserted in the body of a text. I absolutely oppose to people inserting notes in the body of texts on wikisource. And I believe everybody here agrees on that. So, what follows is about footnotes, or notes gathered in a different page, and accessed through hypertext links.

I agree that there are limit cases to be dealt with, such as translations performed on the wiki. However, before we discuss the limit cases, let me talk about the general case. The mission of wikisource is to provide original texts, in a reliable and accurate way. (somebody mentioned that wikisource should redefine its mission... great idea, but let me remind you that such a decision would not belong to us, but to the wikimedia foundation. just as we have no right to decide that wikisource will now sell pizzas).

This "mission" is not incompatible with adding footnotes to the texts we provide. However, I want to avoid people adding random notes of variable quality to texts written by great authors (not to mention npov issues). Because readers have a right to a clean version.

I would like to make the following point: footnotes, or hypertext links, added to a text, are not neutral. The break the reading rythm of the reader. They have a disturbing effect. Instead of giving its full attention to the ideas exposed by the author, the reader has to perform a choice: to follow or not the link that is provided. The footnote steals a part of the reader's attentional resources. This disturbance was not wanted by the writer. The addition of a footnote is always unfaithful to the author. (and please, don't tell me that adding hypertext links in a text from the XIXth century is "creative")

Because of that, and because a text on wikisource should be faithful to the author, I believe footnotes should not be added randomly by contributors. I see three distinct types of footnotes:

  • footnotes that were added by the author: we always want them.
  • footnotes that were added later, by some editor, and published: we want them, if they are in the public domain. the fact that they have beed published is a guarantee of quality. however, we may also want to provide a footnote-free version to the reader. (when I added Les Femmes savantes to wikisource, I did not include the notes, because I did not know if they were public domain; the empty links remain).
  • footnotes added by wiki contributors: I think they belong in wikibooks. but that is not really the issue, we could as well have them here, if the people at wikibooks do not want to have them. For me, the problem is the point I made above: if we add links to these notes the texts that are here, whatever the quality of these notes, these links will disturb the reader. (so too will notes added by an editor, but the fact that they have been published makes them eligible for wikisource). For that reason, I think that we should at least provide a footnote-free version of all texts. Another possibility would be to find a technical way to hide these notes (and that would be the default).

ThomasV 09:34, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

Yes. I think all of us agree that annotations would mean notes appended to the text, plus other notations "surrounding" it (introductions, summaries, indexing...)
I think the decision does belong to us, i.e. to people at both Wikisource and Wikibooks. I don't think the foundation or anyone else would have a problem with us agreeing on a way to handle borderline cases between the two projects, or even on the exact scope of the projects, as long as the basic idea remains.
Thomas wrote:
This "mission" is not incompatible with adding footnotes to the texts we provide. However, I want to avoid people adding random notes of variable quality to texts written by great authors (not to mention npov issues). Because readers have a right to a clean version.
In this I (and I think all of us) agree 200%. We would have to be very careful: For any text project that might get some annotation, it should be decided in advance what kind of annotation, what standards, etc., especially if there is going to be any marking within a source text (even just a footnote number). And anyone who makes such a mark should explain clearly what s/he is doing on the talk page, otherwise it should be reverted.
Furthermore, as Christian S suggested earlier, there should be a parallel unmarked text. Because footnotes are disturbing (especially if we have added them, rather than a previously published edition).
In general, for texts (especially pre-modern ones) which can be published in a number of different editorial formats, I think we should have parallel versions when we can. Annotations are really just a subset of this more general problem. The only think making annotations a unique issue is that it is also shared by another project (Wikibooks).
A technical solution to hide notations would be an ideal tool to have in many cases. Though I would guess that even if we had it, I think we would still want to provide a "clean" text separately.
Note that many of the above concerns are not a problem for wiki translations. I.e. when you do your own translation, if you add a footnote you are not interfering the great work of an original author. On the contrary, the footnote will usually provide the basis for the chosen translation and/or offer an alternative translation. These are attempts to properly present the author's own text, and so much less of an interference! (Notes such as these, or any other kind, also be represented without any footnote numbers at all, but rather by quoting the snippet of text discussed in bold, and then adding the note on it.) Dovi 13:59, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

Use of templates: "Clean" text and options for presentation[edit]

Hi everyone. I want to let people know about an ongoing process that is being discussed and experimented with at Hebrew Wikisource. It may have a lot of relevance to the annotation discussion.

Above we discussed the need for a "clean" text. I.e. even allowing a certain amount of annotation, there must be a way to view the plain text without those annotations interfering. The user must always have the option of a clean source text.

At Hebrew Wikisource, this was compounded by a further problem: There we are working on a literature that is composed of source texts that include numerous commentaries (source texts, not our own annotations) on each and every passage. The problem was: How is it possible to present different selections of commentaries according to the preferences of the user? And how is it possible to present the "clean" text of one commentary in running form on all the passages, without the primary text or the other commentaries?

This could be done, of course, by duplicating the source text numerous times, but that opens a Pandora's box filled with lots of other problems. And then we realized what the solution is: The use of templates! Each commentary on each passage is its own template. This makes it easy to present the various commentaries on a single passage on one page, a "clean" running commentary on another page, and any other combination of texts that users may find useful.

Furthermore, the templates provide a way to completely isolate the source text from any organizational or presentation features, or annotations, that may be useful within a page.

Plus, by isolating each passage as a template, it is easier to keep track of the edit history. The use of templates also helps counter random vandalism by denying the user direct access to "edit" on the original source text.

There is, of course, a disadvantage to this system: It involves more work! And it is more complicated for new users. But where and when it can be usefully implemented, it provides a tool that can solve a number of problems. Like any tool, it is best used only when it can help get the job done well. Dovi 19:23, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

New Discussion[edit]

Reply to last comment above 8 months later:

Interesting idea. Has anyone done this? -- Stbalbach 06:51, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
It has already been done on Hebrew Wikisource for literally thousands of individual text passages. There is unfortunately only one example of it on English Wikisource, and although it is admittedly not a terribly impressive one, it still manages to get the basic point across. Take a look at Mishnah_Tractate_Berakhot and see how in chapter one, each single passage is presented both individually with annotations and as part of an entire chapter of plain text. (Also note, by the way, that chapter one is already a trilingual Wikisource text in Hebrew, English, and French.) Dovi 07:59, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
This is cool, and makes sense for that type of source. I wonder if it makes sense for classic literature. Unlike the Mishnah_Tractate_Berakhot, where one chapter can be broken into 5 parts and commented on in 5 parts, classic literature has to be broken into sentence by sentence, or even word for word, since commentary takes place at that micro level. It might make more sense that the annotations be simple wikilinks which go to a separate page for each commentary. For entire sections, the annotation may be a super-script number (like a footnote number). That way you have annotations on specific words or passages (wikilinks), plus annotations for entire sections, lines or paragraphs (footnoted numbers) -- with both leading to separate commentary pages. -- Stbalbach 22:20, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Frankly, I strongly think templates should not be used for annotations or any presentation of text. I'm sure earlier I was in favor of templates, and I realize I am changing my mind, but I think I know of a better way to get a "clean" text. Besides, templates will clutter up the template namespace and completely make it impossible to find real templates from text-containing templates. After much effort was/is still being spent to organize all the templates and remove redundant ones, this is not very appealing. If the purpose of templates is to provide for "clean" texts, let me throw something else up: div classes. We can easily make a div class, put the annotations in "<div>" tags and provide a new tab on the top of the screen which will hide all annotations when it is clicked. It will also show all hidden annotations when clicked again.
To me, and for the sake of maintenance, this seems to be a much better approach than templates. We've got something similar to this for hiding external wikilinks to WP. A few of Kipling's poems are heavily wikified, so users who want a clean version (and who have the appropriate JavaScript--my monobook for example--can do this) click a tab to hide all the light blue links. It's pretty nice.
Another alternative is to bother the developers who need to actually get around to helping out the WS projects--and not save us till they're bored and have got nothing else to do--and create a way of hovering the mouse pointer over text and getting a bubble to pop up with the annotation. Again, this gives us a clean text rich with annotations.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 22:40, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree templates are messy, it offloads a burden on others to maintain, its not what templates are designed for. Plus the more technical the solution, the less portable it is to other media, such as print copy. BTW there is also the new </ref> feature which would work well, but my concern is it would so clutter the source text it would be hard to edit, perhaps not. Is this essentially the same as the "div" class method? Also clean copies makes no sense, the annotated version is an entirely new work, separate from the original, if the reader wants a clean copy its available as a separate document. It's a given that an annotated version will be annotated. -- Stbalbach 02:11, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
From what I've been able to piece together, the <ref> method is only useful for making footnotes--probably not what your looking for in terms of annotations. The div class is simply a CSS class where you can format any text within your div tags however you feel like, with the added benefit of entirely removing that text with a bit of JavaScript.
I don't think I understand what you mean that "clean" copies make no sense. Yes, an annotated version will, by definition, be annotated, but the annotated version (which is done by contributors) cannot be a standalone work and fit under WS's purview--it will have to be exported to Wikibooks--unless it's been previously published and there is a non-electronic hard copy floating around. Any user annotations should be "hideable" so as not to detract from being able to read the actual source. And having duplicate copies of one work--one annotated, one "clean"--seems like a bad idea. It's cluttering, just in the main article namespace.
Personally, I think any annotations above linking to Wiktionary or Wikipedia should be beyond WS's scope. But that's another discussion (well, maybe not).—Zhaladshar (Talk) 02:36, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Can you show me the Wikisource guidelines behind this statement: the annotated version (which is done by contributors) cannot be a standalone work and fit under WS's purview--it will have to be exported to Wikibooks . I'd like to learn more about that. Thanks. -- Stbalbach 04:12, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
We currently have a "prior publication" and a "no self-publication" rule at Wikisource. Wikisource:What Wikisource includes is the closest thing I can think of that mentions it, although the section in question (the annotations section) is still in the process of being revised (actually, the entire document is still in-works, and the exceptions to such rules still need to be figured out). Also, see Wikisource:Scriptorium/Archives/2005/12#Wikification? for a discussion on wikification of poetry. Again, also note that Wikisource collects source texts—always been the case—and annotations are more along the lines of taking a person point by point through a text and teaching/explaining things that the reader might not have observed. I'm not that familiar with Wikibooks, but this seems something that more goes with a Wikiversity than here. This isn't to say that annotations will be nixed here; our policy on this topic just has to be formulated.
Also, we've consistently deleted user collaborations/compilations and most things which can't be tied to a true source.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 05:12, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Wow, there is a lot to reply to here and I don't have much time today. Briefly: On the policy issue, Zhaladshar, have you read the recent discussion on Wikibooks? The points you make about "sources" are correct, but they are just part of a larger set of issues that is made clear there. All of these points have been tossed around for a long time, with no clear resolution. I think Stbalbach's most basic point is that they should finally be resolved, and I agree with him.

On Zhaladshar's point of "messing up" template space - I think you are right (I never thought of that), and probably the answer for texts that do require this sort of thing (such as multiple commentaries that are per-passage) is to use simple page transclusion without making the text in question a template. That should solve the problem.

On using div class to hide notes - that is fantastic, but I don't really understand how it works. Could you point out an example?

Finally, on actual Wikilinks within the text: Has anyone else noticed that there is already a simple, build in solution to this problem? Namely: Simply click "Printable version" and you get a "clean text" without Wikilinks. Dovi 07:28, 23 February 2006 (UTC)


Dovi, have you read Wikisource:What Wikisource includes? I'll highlight some key passages with my comments in {{{ }}}.

  • What Wikisource excludes
    • Original contributions
      • New collaborative creations .. do not belong at Wikisource. {{{a community annotation project is a collaborative creation}}}. The idea here is not to publish your new novel on Wikisource. Annotations are to add value to a previously published text, as are translations. Dovi 04:28, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Annotations
    • Previously published versions of texts with annotations are the first priority... {{{ So in the case of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, annotated by Franklin Baker in 1909, it would be approrpiate on Wikisource since it was previously published. But it would not be appropriate for collaborative expansion of the annotations on Wikisource.}}} Which just goes to show why it is silly to divide two closely related versions of the same literature between two projects. For translations, both published translations and revisions of them belong here; same for annotations. Once again, all versions of all literature in all languages belong on the same wiki, annotated or not, for many reasons. Dovi 04:25, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
    • Annotations may include critical data about the source text itself, references, sectioning and section titles, introductions, summaries, indices. In all cases, annotations by contributors must be added in such a way that an undisturbed, "clean" source text remains. {{{a collaborative annotation project would not be a "clean" source text, without technical problems to overcome, such as the template hack mentioned above. }}}. There are a number of different tools to deal with this, and it actually quite easy to provide a "clean" text. There is an extremely simple solution to "template hack" as was already mentioned. Dovi 04:25, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Wikisource or Wikibooks? {{{ from Wikisource:What is Wikisource? }}}
    • The distinction between these two projects is relatively easy:
      • Wikisource focuses on material published elsewhere. Wikisource can be viewed as a library of public domain works. {{{collaborative annotations are not published elsewhere }}} Annotations also focus on material published elsewhere, like translations.
      • Wikibooks are instructional materials written by the contributors themselves (e.g. study guides, classroom textbooks, and annotated texts for classroom use). {{{annotated texts could be for classroom use}}} Yes, I agree that those are welcome at Wikibooks. But what about the majority that are not like Norton?

These rules and concepts about what Wikisource is, and is not, seem pretty straight forward. Actually, it now seems I was not nearly clear enough when I wrote them, since we are both able to read them in opposite ways... :-) The truth is that how I phrased things reflects the continuuing ambiguity of the whole matter. If only it were straightforward. The solution is: Let's clarify this, vote on it, and make it straightforward! Dovi 04:33, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

-- Stbalbach 18:13, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi. Not only have I seen most of that, I wrote most of it myself. Specifically: "Annotations may include critical data about the source text itself, references, sectioning and section titles, introductions, summaries, indices. In all cases, annotations by contributors must be added in such a way that an undisturbed, "clean" source text remains." - this is a positive not a negative. There are various ways of keeping the "clean" text, as we have been discussing.

New collaborative creations is meant to prevent people from writing their own new novels. The whole point of critical editions (which cannot possibly be at Wikibooks) and annotations is that they are added value to source texts. Like translations. They aren't new books.

Annotations are no more original than translations, both of which have been proposed since the beginnings of Wikisource and even before. I suggest, so that this whole thing will be clearer, that we add the whole recent discussion from Wikibooks here. Dovi 18:21, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

New Discussion from Wikibooks[edit]

Moved from b:Wikibooks:Annotated Texts.

It's been almost a year since there was any substantial discussion and I would like to add some new energy for discussion:

Problems

  1. As far as I can tell, there are zero fully annotated texts on Wikibooks or Wikisource. This is incredible after 2-4 years. The only explanation I can conclude is not because of lack of desire (see this thread at Metafilter in which people are dieing for a "Wikipedia-like" annotation project of classic books, and the successful examples done outside of Wikipedia listed below), but simply because no one has properly put the pieces together and presented a ready-made solution for editors to comfortably step in and start working together.
  2. The current proposed annotation policies are ambiguous and confusing, with Wikibooks pointing to Wikisource and vice versa.
  3. There is confusion on what exactly an annotated book is, with some calling annotated texts "study guides (essentially "cliff notes", which is not what an annotated text is). Unlike Wikipedia, where everyone knows what an encyclopedia is, no one seems to know what exactly an annotated text is, there is no general agreement.
  4. There are no guidelines on how to do the annotations, technically. Are they at the end of the work, in-lined, per-page, one per page. Also what about user discussions connected with each annotation (see The Diary of Samuel Pepys example below).

Examples

Here are some examples of what fully annotated texts can look like online:

  1. Gulliver's Travels. Annotations are on separate pages, sorted alphabetically. No feature for outside contributions.
  2. The Diary of Samuel Pepys - an impressive community annotation project of a classic work. Every annotation has its own page with a thread-discussion. It's almost three years old and the amount of data built up makes this more authoritative than anything published.
  3. The Waste Land - very detailed with two types of annotations: generic "wikilinks" to definitions and such, or specific line by line numbers with didactic annotations in a left-hand framed window. Does not allow for community additions.

Here are some examples of fully annotated texts in printed form:

  1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, annotated by Franklin Baker in 1909. Online version of a 1909 annotated text.
  2. Dracula (Norton Critical Edition), by Bram Stoker, annotated by Nina Auerbach 1997 (see "Look Inside" for examples of what annotations look like).

Suggestions

  1. Clearly define what an annotated text is. For anyone who has read or used the Norton Annotated series, this is an example of what "fully annotated" means in the academic world. When you combine a fully annotated text with "study guides", and other elements, the combined work is known as a "Critical Edition" (again, in Norton parlance, but generally used).
  2. Clearly define where annotated works reside. I suggest Wikibooks, since Wikisource is just that, a source, like a library. Annotations add new and original material which belongs in Wikibooks.
  3. Create a fully annotated text as a alpha project and then use that as a base to refine and improve the proposed annotation policy. Ideas are good, action is better.

Hope to hear others thoughts and ideas.

-- Stbalbach 21:52, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi. First of all, thanks for re-starting the discussion. I was beginning to feel kind of lonely as seemingly the only person interested in this.

I very much agree with your analysis of the problems.

The examples you cite are of course excellent ones, though I would hesitate to say that they are the only way annotated books may look. There are other models too. Remember that most of the books you list are English literature from modern times. Other kinds of literature (classical, medieval, or translations from other languages to which annotations are to be added) may need to follow different models.

The only example of even the start of an attempt to annotatate any text using wiki is s:Mishnah at Wikisource (see Berakhot for initial examples). This allows for translating the text wiki-style, adding introductions to each unit, and supplying a commentary which is really an anthology of source texts of classic commentaries found at Hebrew Wikisource. The translations of the text itself are kept in templates (a "clean" version without annotations) and links to the original source-texts in Hebrew Wikisource using interwiki links. This would not be possible in Wikibooks.

As for where such works should reside, I understand your point that since it is original wiki work it fits in with Wikibooks; in fact, that was my initial opinion when I started. However, I later discovered that there are other issues too: Not all annotated texts are instructional materials. I agree that annotations are not always "Cliff notes" type stuff; but when they are not are they appropriate for Wikibooks? The key criterion at Wikibooks has always been "instructional material." Another issue is for texts that need constant close attention in the notes to parallel texts from similar literature, which may be found in Wikisource, not Wikibooks (Mishnah is an example of this). Hebrew Wikibooks and Wikisource had a long discussion of this about a year ago - remember that this a problem not just for English, because these are multilingual projects.

Annotations are no more original than translations, which belong at Wikisource. In fact, sometimes they are much less original if they are updates or improvements of previously published annotations. There is no reason that such improvements should have to be on separate projects.

About "Critical Editions" - in my academic experience, such editions have nothing whatsoever to do with including "study guides". Rather, they organize textual, editorial, literary and historical data for scholars. They may also include useful introductions, indices, etc. Perhaps a distinction could be made that critical editions are more closely related to Wikisource than are annotated texts, many of which certainly belong at Wikibooks.

The only problem is when several elements are combined, and this artificially forces a separate project: What if someone produces a critical edition on Wikisource, but then wants to add section summaries based upon that edition - must the elements be separated between the two projects?

For all of the above reasons, I personally lean towards leaving all things closely related to source texts (such as critical editions) at Wikisource, except things that are clearly instructional materials, such as study guides (Cliff notes style). Though I certainly agree that the latter are not the best example of "annotated texts." You are certainly right that we a great deal more clarity about the terms. Dovi 15:25, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for the reply. Well, regarding books v. source, the thing I can't get past is, annotations are instructional. Perhaps it depends on the interpretation of the word "instructional". But it is an instructional element. Annotations are like having an expert guide you through the text. If instead of in-line notes, the notes were unbound from the source, and written out in essay form, as a separate document, would they be no less instructional? For example "On page one, Stevenson says 'I incline to Cains heresy', a reference to Genesis 4:5 where Cain murders his brother Abel, a foreshadowing of events. etc..". It's certainly instructional in nature.
I included "study guides" in a "critical edition" because it would seem like a logical thing to do - combine all the elements we have at our disposal, create a whole "book". Call it a "Wikibook Critical Edition" or something. I think that is the goal, to create a combination of elements all in one location: annotations, study guide, criticisms, background, introduction, etc.. but that is open for discussion.
My first reaction was it belongs in books, it was your first reaction, and I think its the natural reaction most people would have. But, is there a practical reason it should be in source? The parallel texts is interesting, but then, any annotation project is going to require a lot of inter-wikilinks (encyclopedia and dictionary being even more common than wikisource).
-- Stbalbach 16:59, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi! "The thing I can't get past is, annotations are instructional" - you are absolutely right of course, though they may not be instructional materials in the sense normally thought of at Wikibooks. Remember that the kinds of texts you have in mind are commonly used in high-school or college literature courses, and so they clearly meet the expectation of of classroom use or even private study in preparation for exams. (That is where the very fine works produced by Norton earn nice profits.) But there are thousands of other texts for which calling their annotations instructional materials is less clear.

It is equally impossible to get past that source texts are at the heart of annotated texts. Annotated texts are combinations of two different elements that happen to fall across the given definitions of two separate Wikimedia projects, and that is what creates the lack of clarity here. As source texts they belong with other source texts - a lot of wikilinks is true, but preventing marginal language links ("Other languages") would be a major disadvantage for certain types of literature. Perhaps an example is in order. It is true that something like Gulliver's Travels can easily be annotated as a stand-alone kind of thing. But something like Aristotle's Physics should be kept in the same project as the rest of a huge corpus of literature, with which it can and should share templates (including text templates) and language-link through texts in dozens of Wikisource languages that include the Greek, Latin, and Arabic rescensions of Aristotle's works. Moving the annotated Physics to Wikibooks could be very detrimental to a much larger project.

Critical editions are not study guides. They are source texts, arguably even more so than non-critical standard editions. But you are totally right, of course, that combining those two disparate elements (critical apparatus and study guides) would seem to be the natural thing to do on a wiki - why make things harder by dividing them across two separate projects? The only reason this question even comes up is because the mutual definitions of Wikibooks and Wikisource overlap in exactly this example. You just can't get around the fact that the elements seem to be divided between the two projects.

Since there is no way around this, the only practical answer I was able to come up with is that all literature in all languages belongs on the same project, namely Wikisource. It would be hard to justify moving an annotated English edition of Thomas Aquinas' commentaries on Aristotle to Wikibooks, where it would find itself on a separate project from the non-annotated works of Aristotle, as well making it impossible to easily link to the parallel works of Aquinas in Latin, French and German (which are on Wikisource). The exception would be for works that are truly stand-alone and often used in classroom situations, like the ones you listed. So yes, there is a practical reason, and this is it. Parallel texts are more than just interesting, they are the heart of a multilingual wiki system.

The thing I feel mostly strongly about, however, is that the bottom line should be common sense and tolerance. If the contributor of an annotated text or critical edition or a study guide has a reasonable justification for putting it one project or the other, there is no reason to make an issue of it, since any work of this sort has a clear connection to either project. Dovi 14:13, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

PS The following text was noted above as a " fully annotated text in printed form":

  1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, annotated by Franklin Baker in 1909. Online version of a 1909 annotated text.

Since that is a previously-published, public domain source-text, there is not the slightest doubt that it belongs on Wikisource, despite its similarities to the other books listed. Which just goes to show once again that all literature really belongs on the same wiki, whether annotated or not. Dovi 04:44, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I tend to agree with Dovi, despite my intial comments at WS. Especially when we start dealing with transaltions and Wikisource can compare them side by side. I think we must at least start these projects on Wikisource and if gets to point of being too instructional it can always be moved. If anyone is interested in doing a trial to see how it comes out. I suggest we start with s:The Waste Land as it has plenty of material, but is not so long as a novel. I have never dealt much with annoted texts so I am not sure how organiztion should procede. (forgot to sign I am s:User:BirgitteSB--69.153.101.153 17:52, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I think s:The Waste Land is an excellent example, also because it can easily take annotations with no marks in the source text by virtue of its static line numbers (as a poem). If I understand correctly, it already seems to be annotated. Dovi 07:54, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

OK - I'm starting to come around to the Wikisource. The annotated version is a source, even if its a community/group annotation with multiple anonymous authors. I'll pick up camp and move over to s:Wikisource:Annotations. -- Stbalbach 05:39, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Great. (Although like I wrote above this certainly doens't mean disallowing the use of Wikibooks when someone has a reason to do so.) I'll follow the discussion back to the talk page there. In any case, the policy page needs major rewriting. Want to help do it? Dovi 07:54, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Dovi, based on the recent comments by Zhaladshar over at s:Wikisource talk:Annotations I'm concerned there are some people who are "purists" about what's allowed on Wikisource, and that if I were to start a project I might run into a problem, perhaps a vote for deletion (not by Zhaladshar but someone else with similar views). I suspect Wikibooks might be more flexible and inclusive in its mandate and thus a safer place. One could easily make a case that annotations are instructive, but I could see running into problems on Wikisource, since its not a published work with a single author, rather a community effort, it doesn't belong on source. This is really my main concern. I've had stuff deleted from wikisource before that was much less debatable (I still don't know why!). -- Stbalbach 04:22, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Hi! Actually, the same thing can and has happened at Wikibooks: "Let's get rid of this stuff, it has very little annotation and sources belong at Wikisource." I doubt it would ever be possible to permanently keep a critical edition (without normal annotations) at Wikibooks. The problem is that the stuff overlaps, as both of us fully understand, so if things stay as they are these texts will always run into problems at both websites. I personally never found any dogmatic purists at Wikisource, though some are less keen on annotations than others.
My main problem is that I always found myself completely alone at both projects - simply put, nobody else was ever much interested in this on either one. I think the only way to change the status quo is to discuss the issues fully and openly and make a clear, final decision on the matter that will be codified as accepted procedure. In my opinion it should be Wikisource for reasons previously discussed: All literature, annotated or not, should and must be on the same wiki for very practical reasons. To divide them is artificial. If you are OK with that - let's give it a try! If not, then for the kinds of texts you are working on Wikisource remains valid anyways, so no harm done.
I will be away for a long weekend, by the way. Next week (after Monday) I would like to start a rewrite of Wikisource "Annotations" page with full rationale and details: explaining what kinds of texts there are, etc. Then let's see what kind of reaction we get. Dovi 18:15, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Call for discussion and a decision[edit]

Hi. All the major discussion of this issue, both old and recent, appears above. Please take the time to read through it, despite the length! I would like to summarize the issues and pose some specific questions here. I will be leaving home tomorrow for a long weekend, and probably won't be able to respond to replies until Monday evening.

Glossary[edit]

  • Critical edition - This is a version of a text accompanied by a technical "apparatus" that provides textual variants from manuscripts and other technical data of use to scholars. Such editions often include technical introductions, indices, etc (which are tightly related to the text and not appropriate for an encyclopedia article either). A critical edition is of clear importance to the source text, but has absolutely no place on Wikibooks. It would provide exceptional "added value" to texts at Wikisource.
  • Annotated text - references and explanations that can be on a variety of levels, whether meant for academic scholars or for high school/college students preparing for literature exams. If the former, they have no place at Wikibooks (even a critical apparatus is a form of annotation). If the latter, Wikibooks also makes very good sense. But all of these include the source text itself, which must be duplicated from Wikisource if placed on a separate project. An annotated text can also be based upon a critical edition. A single work can combine both elements harmoniously, being a critical edition and an annotated text at once. But if annotated texts are confined to Wikibooks, then the two elements will have to be divided across two projects, and the texts duplicated. In some cases this may not matter, in others it may be a major disadvantage.
  • Study guides - like How to Read Shakespeare's Sonnets, which do not include the whole source text itself. I don't think anyone disagrees that this belongs on Wikibooks, not here.

The main point of the above definitions is that there are grey areas, possible combinations of all of them, and what exactly is appropriate for any given text varies. Not all annotations are "instructional" in the Wikibooks sense. There is not - and cannot be - a clear line between an annotated text and a critical edition.

This fact has caused a great deal of lack of clarity, and hurt the development of annotated/critical editions at both projects for the simple reason that this kind of text overlaps both projects in its two elements. There is no getting around this fact, and it calls for a decision one way or the other.

Translations: These are kept on Wikisource despite being original work, because the point is not original writing but rather adding value to the source text. Critical editions and annotations fit into the same exact category as translations for the precisely same reason, and both have been suggested as natural options for Wikisource from the very beginning.

Concise proposal[edit]

  • 1. All matter, whether professional or didactic or both, which includes a source text within it and whose whose sole purpose is to add value to that text, is encouraged at Wikisource.
    • 1a. Clarification: This does not include matter that can stand alone as a study guide (at Wikibooks) or as an encyclopedia article (at Wikipedia).
    • 1b. Exception: Annotated works designed for classroom use or test preparation are welcome at Wikibooks. In fact, this is the only kind of "annotated text" that Wikibooks ever expected or wanted, as discussion there makes clear.
  • 2. It is the responsibility of the contributor to provide a "clean" text unincumbered by additional matter. Annotations are welcome only if they add value without causing detrimental side effects. There are various ways of accomplishing this, with different methods appropriate to different texts.

Concise rationale[edit]

  • All literature - whether plain, annotated, or critical - benefits from being together on the same project in all languages:
    • Texts should not have to be duplicated on a separate project for annotations.
    • Language links should work for annotated and non-annotated texts alike. This is especially true of large literary areas in multiple languages, where some texts may have annotation, others not (for more details, see above.)
    • Templates should be shared across literature in the same language, whether annotated or not.
  • It is impossible to draw a clear line for all texts between "sources" and various other elements. I.e. what is the "true" source text: The plain text that was copied to Wikisource or the data in the critical apparatus?
  • It is impossible to draw a clear line between scholarly, professional, and didactic annotations.

The "concise proposal" above is really not much different from the current proposals at b:Wikibooks:Annotated texts and Wikisource:Annotations. (It is actually a bit closer to the first link than to the second, which reflects changes in my own thought on this matter, since I wrote them both...:) What really needs to be done is a firm decision about whether these can be policy or not. Is the "concise proposal" something people can agree to?

Discussion of proposal[edit]

Look forward to getting your reactions on Monday. I will try to take a quick peek tomorrow before I leave. Dovi 19:56, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for adding the glossary, Dovi! We need to be able to have a common ground for discussion as to what certain texts are (how we will be using them in policy formulation). I can agree with the concise proposal, although I'd like to stress my desire to try our utmost to keep the number of sources to a minimum. I mean, if WS users are to make annotations, I would much rather there be one source text which has been annotated (whose annotations can be hidden - see de:ADB:Adelbert (Erzbischof von Hamburg-Bremen) and click the link that says "Seitenzahlen ausblenden" and you'll see the gray page numbers (such as "[57]") disappear) than two separate versions. If the community would like otherwise, that will be fine, too, but I'd just like to throw this out for everybody. After all, if anyone's been tracking the slight fiasco with the Croatian Wikisource, that is the reason I'd like to keep this number down (and it just seems a waste of space to create multiple annotated pages of a source when one will do).
I also just thought of something. We've had a lot of talk about having "completed" texts. Since, potentially, annotations will continuously be added and will evolve, what implications will this have for any of the methods of page protection we've been discussing?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 04:46, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Correct. Protection is not always the most appropriate tool for text integrity. Here is where transclusion of separate units might come into play, or stable versions. Simplest of all, of course, is just to protect the page when the contributor is done, and then unfreeze it when someone wants to add more (the same as for texts without annotations). We've discussed a lot of this stuff. Dovi 04:50, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
The German example is cool, I'll try o figure it out for myself after the weekend. Really got to go now... Dovi 04:53, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
That plan might work. I honestly can't see annotations ever being a very large project here (partly because of the high level of knowledge/research required for the annotations to be any added value), that a simple request to unprotect it would work. But we can iron that point out later. Let's keep to the proposal for now.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 04:58, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, one concern I have is that we allow and encourage users to experiment and have the flexibility to adapt works to annotations as needed. As noted in online annotation project examples above, there is no single best way to do annotations online, there are all sorts of interesting and creative ideas being used that are fairly extensive in how they mark-up the original source. The Hebrew wikisource example Dovi mentioned is another example. Users should have the freedom to use the method they think is best: templates, inline footnotes, a combo, whatever creative ideas the editors have. This however is at odds with the "one source, clean text" rule which limits what you can do, and would not make Wikisource a great choice for an annotation project (remember we are competing with other platforms). At the same time it is true, we can't have multiple "forks" of the same annotated text. So therefore I propose that annotated texts be separate from non-annotated texts (up to 2 versions of a source: original and annotated) - but there is no "forking" of an annotated text, there can be only one annotated version. This is similar to Wikipedia's rule on forking articles. Once an annotated version is created, editors must work out any differences on discussion pages on how to best annotate it, but no forking off a new annotated version if one already exists. Exceptions to this would be like the 1909 annotated Treasure Island example, which is an original source in its own right, and would not be a community editable source, although since its in the PD, it could be used as a base for creating a community annotated version.

So for example for Treasure Island there is 1)the original clear source text by Stevenson, 2) the 1909 annotated version by Franklin T Baker, and 3) a community-editable annotated version, which could be based on the 1909 version, or not, as decided on the "annotated treasure island" talk page. (note that most of the time, there would only be 2 versions, since there are few annotated sources in the public domain, the 1909 version of treasure island is an exceptional case, but illustrative as an example). -- Stbalbach 18:45, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

I feel the guidleines in the Concise section are admirable. My only quibble on the idea of annotation is just what gets annotated in a text. It depends on the target audience, I know, but I feel that over-annotation should be discouraged. By this I mean defining terms that an educated reader might be expected to know, or if he/she does not, is able to use an ofline reference source to find out. Terms such as common weights and measures and currency. In the UK it is common to find £.s.d money sums converted into decimal currency in reproductions of historic texts. This is fine for a school text book, but not for anything else.

I also think is is vital that before annotation is done the essential stage of making an accurate clear text is done first. Annotaton should never be done on a text which has not been properly proof read and certified as such.

As to making annotations, there was a discussion a few months back on the procedures for differentiating between a reference and note in the original document and a referencre and note made by a WS editor. It involved preceding the reference and note figure with the a letter such as W, thus [W1]. Apwoolrich 20:37, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

It's interesting, the first issues you raise are content issues, which would normally be hashed out by editors in the discussion page or through editing, like on wikipedia where editors decided what content is included and what's not, and if there is disgreement, there are rules for handling disagreements. Of course, this makes Wikisource look like Wikipedia in terms of the rules it will requires: "reliable sources", no "original research" and "NPOV". Which suggests annotations are really a combination of all three projects: Wikimedia, Wikisource and Wikibooks. Is Wikisource capable of handling original content and the "user constitution" rules like Wikipedia has? (a somewhat rhetorical question not expecting a definitive answer but something to consider) -- Stbalbach 02:23, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi, thanks to everybody for your patience and ideas. From reading the above, it looks like I made a mistake in the "Concise proposal" - apparently it was so concise that it didn't address things that needed to be spelled out. Stbalbach wrote above that he is concerned about:

"that we allow and encourage users to experiment and have the flexibility to adapt works to annotations as needed. As noted in online annotation project examples above, there is no single best way to do annotations online, there are all sorts of interesting and creative ideas being used that are fairly extensive in how they mark-up the original source... This however is at odds with the "one source, clean text" rule which limits what you can do, and would not make Wikisource a great choice for an annotation project (remember we are competing with other platforms). At the same time it is true, we can't have multiple "forks" of the same annotated text...

The truth is that the proposal says nothing about "one source." All it says is that a "clean text" must be kept/provided by the contributor. But that doesn't mean you can't have both Gulliver's Travels and Gulliver's Travel's (annotated) at the same time. In fact, you can, if that is the best way of dealing with the text at hand.

Can you have more than one annotated version? Why not, if the contributors can explain how each one serves a different purpose for a different audience. Perhaps an edition of the medical works attributes to Hippocrates with explanatory notes for laymen, and another with critical notes for scholars. These can link to each other in useful ways. In general, I kind of assumed that this whole area would be the same as described in Wikisource translations (take a look there): In general, one translation of a text is enough for the vast majority of texts. But for certain kinds of texts, different translations are truly different works that serve different purposes for different audiences. If the contributors to a text agree that they want to provide two different types of translations, and they collectively have the time and expertise to do so, then why not? The same for annotations.

The only disadvantage with having both Gulliver's Travels and Gulliver's Travel's (annotated) at the same time - and perhaps this is I confused people about in the past - is that if people proofread Gulliver's Travels and make corrections to it over time, those corrections will not automatically appear in Gulliver's Travel's (annotated). Same thing if the annotated version is at Wikibooks. This is a problem that can be overcome in different ways:

  1. Text transclusion (formerly "Text templates, but without messing up template namespace)
  2. Hiding annotations
  3. Manually updating the parallel text

Just because this problem exists doesn't mean that it has to stop progress. The idea is to make the different technical options known, and then let contributors figure out what works best for the text at hand.

Finally, two brief points about practicality and ideology:

Practicality: I agree with Zhaladshar (above) that because of the level of expertise needed to do these kinds of things, annotations will probably be a very small part of Wikisource for a very long time. Nevertheless, we might well be surprised: A couple of years ago, no one could have imagined the number and level of experts who would volunteer to contribute to Wikipedia. Here too, I think the important thing is to establish that this sort of thing is welcome, and that people who are capable and willing to do it may in fact do so. They will almost certainly be few in the near future, but we might be surprised in the long run. We may also find, as at Wikipedia, that even non-experts can often do very fine, professional work.

Ideology: We seem to have both "liberals" and "purists" (as Stbalbach called them earlier) here at Wikisource. This proposal is an attempt to meet the needs of both.

  • The "liberals" get the opportunity to add value to the literature and source texts kept here by contributing translations and annotations, additional materials that The Free Library should appreciate if built to order by contributors, especially since they are not usually available in the public domain (not even for very old source-texts).
  • The "purists" get objective, exactly-sourced versions of texts (e.g. "Text X according to the London, 1917 edition") without any interference caused by the "wiki-matter" added contributors, which cannot be absolutely objective. (In fact, no pedagogical or academic work is ever absolutely objective.)

I'd like to add that I'm thinking of doing really "new" stuff in the future: Imagine loading pdf images of old editions and manuscripts of texts, linked to digital transcriptions of them, comparisons of the different versions of the "source text"... Annotations regarding the textual evidence... Links to parallel literature... Believe it or not, the technology and setup in Wikisource allow for all of this to be done, if we choose to make it welcome here. Dovi 08:16, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Ok great sounds like we are on the same page in terms of freedom for editors to create multiple copies of the same source (one clean, one annotated, another annotated, etc..). Although we do need a mechanism to prevent bad-faith forking, but that as a minor problem now that can be addressed as it comes up.
The other problem that came up in Apwoolrich's comment (and my reply to it) is, since this is original content, does Wikisource have the rules in place to deal with that like Wikipedia does? If two editors have a dispute over content, are there any rules? I mean, can I replace someones academic annotation with an annotation from my religion or sect? Wikipedia has some base rules such as "no original research" and "npov". It also has conflict resolution mechanisms. I dont think anything like that exists at Wikisource, it's just not set up for it. Wikibooks at least has a "for education" guideline, wikisource has no guidelines for original content. -- Stbalbach 17:02, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Wikisource does have a NPOV policy, however we have never needed to develop the conflict resolution policies that Wikipedia has. I can certainly imagine an ugly downside to hosting annotations here in that respect. I really sometimes am having trouble picturing how annotations would work. The most I've ever read of annoted works were rather short poems. I think I am one the people that want to give a great deal of information, but at the same time I want to be able to easily read a "clean text" first and then read with annotations. I would like to see what we are caple of doing with "hiding" the annotations and only having one text. Also I would encourage you to see how much can be done with wikilinks. Especially if you are willing to work on the Wikipedia article. Many broader themes could easily have sub-section for "In literature" or something similar. A quick example is this, which certainly could be even better. I think it would be interesting to see how well we can adapt wikilinks to giving us the right information and then see what is left that needs to dealt with more specifically. If we put all that on the talk page for now we could run some trials of different ways to handle it.--BirgitteSB 19:52, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

BirgitteSB,

Glad to hear WS has a NPOV policy. Assuming this project will be a success, Wikisource will need to be prepared to handle the same issues that Wikipedia has with user contributed original content. I wonder how that will go over with the rest of the Wikisource community once they understand the full implications of annotations.

Here are some examples of what fully annotated texts can look like online:

  1. Gulliver's Travels. Annotations are on separate pages, sorted alphabetically. No feature for outside contributions.
  2. The Diary of Samuel Pepys - an impressive community annotation project of a classic work. Every annotation has its own page with a thread-discussion. It's almost three years old and the amount of data built up makes this more authoritative than anything published.
  3. The Waste Land - very detailed with two types of annotations: generic "wikilinks" to definitions and such, or specific line by line numbers with didactic annotations in a left-hand framed window. Does not allow for community additions.

Here are some examples of fully annotated texts in print form:

  1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, annotated by Franklin Baker in 1909. Online version of a 1909 annotated text.
  2. Dracula (Norton Critical Edition), by Bram Stoker, annotated by Nina Auerbach 1997 (see "Look Inside" for examples of what annotations look like).

At a bare minimum, annotations on Wikisource could just be footnotes and wikilinks.

A clean text version in parallel would always be available, as a separate source, per discussions above. Creating a clean text version with annotations in the same source is technically awkward, certainly a goal and one option, but not a requirement right now (I hope). -- Stbalbach 20:54, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

To be quite frank, I'm not sure why NPOV mechanisms are really such a difficult issue. We are committed to NPOV, period. Multiple contributors would have to agree to it on two levels: On the type of annotated work being built overall, and on the details within it. But that is no different than in any other wiki project. Since we are talking about material that is tied-in closely to an "objective" source text, in most cases it will probably be even easier to maintain NPOV here than in Wikipedia. Dovi 21:11, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Ok if there's a NPOV policy than the rest can work its self out. Your proposal above is good, we all seem to agree with it basically, how about we go ahead and replace the old policy with this one and make any changes as needed? -- Stbalbach 16:21, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Re original research and problems stemming from the WP rules, raised by Stbalbachabove. Annotations will be original writings by the editors and will inevitably include an element of original research. We already have rules about WS accepting original translations, and also writings by editors published elsewhere, and I see no problems about annotations being treated in the same way. The problem I foresee is if we get new editors who are only used to the WP ways attempting to impose them here. I can't recall how far forward we are in formulating our final rules on this, but once its agreed, maybe there is a case for tweaking the welcome template to specifically mention this point.
I may be wrong, but annotation is highly specialised and only likely to interest an editor with detailed knowledge of the text of the subject area. It seems improbable to me that we will get major edit wars. Apwoolrich 19:18, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
I think if you look at other annotation projects, such as The Diary of Samuel Pepys, it's not limited to specialists and has a fairly large number of contributors. Just as Wikipedia has been a surprising success (who would have guessed a million users for something as arcane as an encyclopedia), annotations could also attract anyone who wants to contribute to their favorite book, adding their own personal thoughts and ideas. It really could be big. The cool thing about annotations is there is no single "right" answer (beyond the basic factual one), so for any single annotation, there may be as many comments as there are people commenting on it. Which brings up the question, just like in Samuel Pepys Diary above, do we want contributors to sign their comments, since it is original research? -- Stbalbach 19:43, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi. You yourself are very aware of what goes into annotated volumes that meet academic standards. There is normally very little that cannot (and should not) be sourced in detail.

I think the idea of expressing personal thoughts and ideas about a text, — in essence using Wikisource as a vehicle not just to dissemate texts but also to actually study them — is a great one! There is an appropriate place for that, however, namely in talk pages and on personal user pages. Dovi 22:46, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Policy page changes[edit]

Ok I've edited boldly and changed the proposal page for a first draft based on Dovi's and our comments. I removed a lot of language I thought was appropriate to a talk page discussion than a policy page, it was a lengthy rational about wbooks vs wsource that I think we can just say "we are using wsource" in the policy page, with the highlited points why, and defend it in detail on the talk pages if it comes up. If there are any points missing or concerns of current please add/discuss. -- Stbalbach 17:05, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for all the rewriting! The best thing about it is that I didn't have to do it myself — now there is someone who is equally interested in the whole topic. I'll also go over it myself in detail in the near future. Dovi 22:51, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Naming[edit]

Well, it looks like we're going to go ahead and allow WS-annotated works. Do we currently have a naming convention for WS-annotations?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 02:09, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Jekyll and Hyde[edit]

I've been working like a mad scientist the past few days and just finished The Annotated Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde. It's using the new MediaWiki footnote feature. I wanted to test what it's like creating an annotated work; it's only a 60 page "book" (novella), but it took about 15-20 hours of work (basically have to re-read the entire book very thoughtfully word for word, research, and text markup). I approached it like a project, specifying the goals and conventions for that particular work, although with time I could see creating project boilerplates for specific genres (19th century English literature). This is just one way to do it. Any suggestions or contributions welcome. -- Stbalbach 05:14, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I personally think your work is outstanding, and hope you will add more. Sorry I've been very distracted by other things recently, and have not yet gone over the rewrite of "annotations" fully. Hopefully soon. Dovi 07:46, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Dovi. Many congratulations. An interesting feature of the new Mediawiki footnote feature is that it will stop a major hassle one has with PG texts with footnotes. PG texts run footnotes inline with the text, and two texts I have been working on for the Samuel Smiles Project have meant I have had to manually place the note texts (using a split-screen text editor on my PC)at the ends of the chapters and then code then with incremental numbers. I still have some chapters to do on Industrial Biography and I will use this new system on them, and see if any snags arise. I take it that if I wish to annotate the Smiles texts I can do this and somehow interpolate my work with the original notes. - Or not!! Apwoolrich 20:32, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Thank you Dovi and Apwoolrich. Hope it provides some framework for others to annotate their favorite works. Apwoolrich, yeah you can add your own original annotations; so long as there is an original parallel copy, and the new annotated version (with your original annotations) is called somthing else like "The Annotated Smiles.." -- Stbalbach 01:14, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Annotating copyright works[edit]

Somthing else to consider, I have seen websites for annotating copyrighted works. The original source is not online (which would be illegal), but it is possible to note the page number and passage in question. Not sure if this falls under the mission of Wikisource, but it's an interesting way to bring communities of people together who are interested in a new or popular book. Would this be Wikisource-allowed? -- Stbalbach 01:14, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

This really seems like it's going the way of SparkNotes. I would have to say it's not WS-allowed, as there won't be a "clean" version for a person to read. I believe earlier on the page, we've said that there should always be the option for a reader to access a non-annotated text. For copyrighted works this will never be the case, so we should forego annotating such works until they've been released into the PD.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 03:47, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
It would be strange to keep annotations of public domain sources on one project, and annotations of commercial works on another project, when they are otherwise exactly the same thing. The "clean" rule was so people could read it without the markups, not to exclude annotating commercial works, which was never brought up till now. -- Stbalbach 05:27, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't believe we should include such annotations. Wikisource:What Wikisource includes explains our mission of collecting source texts. We accept annotations because they add value to the source texts we have. Annotations alone our outside our mission.--BirgitteSB 03:00, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Do you think the idea has merit on one of the sister projects? -- Stbalbach 03:05, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
For annotations of copyright works, I think Wikibooks would be grand. Since you could not include the entire source text, the best way to approach this, in my opinion, would be to do a Cliffs Notes or a Sparknotes type of annotation. This seems to be more of an instructional type of endeavor than anything else (if you feel otherwise, please tell me), so Wikibooks would be ideal.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 17:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I also think if it isn't worked-in with the source text itself it doesn't belong here. Projects like these may also be limited in what they can do (even without reproducing the source text) for copyright reasons. Dovi 18:35, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Annotations have, in every way a place on wikibooks, although on copyrighted works I would agree it could be hard. However, for classics and books that are public domain it's a great idea for wikibooks. These annotations are not full texts, yet not enclopedia articles, so they belong at neither wikisource or wikipedia. The intermediate wiki is, of course, wikibooks. Basejumper123 01:44, 13 May 2006 (UTC) 01:43, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Copyright works are being annotated on Wikibooks. See for example Wikibooks: Fiction annotations. Green Cardamom (talk) 15:50, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Question about minor annotations to a poem[edit]

Apologies if I have missed the answer to this somewhere along the line, or if this isn't the right place to ask, but I have a question. If I want to add translation annotations to a poem, how do I do it? I see that an clean version must remain, but am unsure as to the precise meaning of this. I want to add a few individual word translations at the end of the appropriate lines in a Robert Burns poem that will then be included (transcluded) in a wikipedia page. Is the fact that the translations will be at the end of the line rather than within the line sufficient for it to be regarded as 'clean'? It is quite common to see this in poetry books. If not, what method should I choose to add the annotations? You mention 'hiding annotations', which sounds attractive, but I haven't managed to find any mention of how. Would hover text be an option? To clarify, these translations were not provided by the author and were not part of the original publication of the poems. Ewan carmichael 15:13, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello. I think annotations in hover texte would still count as a clean edition. If you want to translate individual words, it is often preferable to link them to a Wikipedia or Wiktionary page instead; for example, see the last two lines of Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est. However, annotations or translations that are visible by default represent a new edition, so they should be placed on a new page with the title "Foo (Wikisource)" (see the style guide for page title guidelines). —{admin} Pathoschild 20:51:52, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
You can also use the similar {{comment}} as in Pictogram voting comment.svg Alyosha. --Bequw 22:04, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Not any more - {{comment}} has been repurposed. You can use {{popup note}} instead. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 23:16, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Could this be used...[edit]

...to clarify ("revise") works in nonstandard or prestandard English, EG [[The Ballad of Gresham College? 68.39.174.238 20:25, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

not wikipedia, not wikibooks[edit]

I changed the draft, little good has come of this and it seems to give justification for 'repurposing' the text. If the content is about the text, and is notable, it goes to wikipedia with a proper citation. If it is intended to be a gaily coloured, hand-holding, now-link-here, junior study-guide to the primary source, it goes to wikibooks and is published when complete. We are beautifully positioned to provide verifiable and authoritative content to both those sites, presupposing the purpose of the reader is well beyond the scope of a library, in fact it brings it into disrepute by allowing it. Consider how problematic it is when wikipedia cites a document here, annotated to support a position presented there!

I feel pretty strongly that this highly problematic, I've barely sketched out the problems that are incumbent with giving this anything like tacit endorsement. I have elsewhere, those concerns have gone unanswered. The insistence is on having this policy, little is done about doing it properly, if the appeal based 'I can do what I want here' it is probably derived from being asked not to do it elsewhere. Can't we take advantage of the well defined scope of the sisters, and their editing and authoring communities. Can't we just keep it simple, for goodness sake. Cygnis insignis (talk) 15:26, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Source document annotations don't fit squarely into any of the sister projects, but if you had to pick one, Wikisource makes the most sense. It's a round peg in a square hole no matter what project you pick, but least so at Wikisource. Arguing for "keeping it simple" is ideological clean sounding, but pragmatically messy because not everyone has the same visions for Wikisource (BTW annotations have been on Wikisource a long time, so "keeping it simple" doesn't make sense, as if suggesting annotations are somehow a new thing, they are not). The policy isn't proper I agree, on the other hand there are very few people who have created annotations, they represent such a minor scope of the project. I would like to see the policy better defined in order to encourage more users to undertake the huge amount of work it requires to create annotated documents. As it is now, I would not feel comfortable doing any serious annotation work at Wikisource. Which is a shame, and something I think Jimmy Wales and co should know how stunted it is by inter-Wiki hot potato, someone needs to lay down the law on where annotations belong so we can move past that argument and do it right. Green Cardamom (talk) 07:16, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
You are referring to it as "policy", it is not. My views have been well aired across the site. Wikisouce doesn't host new content, with the historical exception of annotations; anyone can still do this, by making a separate version. It is quite apart from what this site does, and very close to what wikibooks does; if the annotations are notable, and from an authoritative source, it belongs at wikipedia. Anyone can currently create a annotated version, and anyone else - aged 9 to 90 - can change that. This means any of these are potentially unstable, and subject to dispute; the same situation at wikipedia, but without recourse to outside sources. The rest of comment is irrelevant, I've done nothing to stunt the practice; there has been more enthusiasm for having the right than exercising it. I struck a statement that was incorrect. cygnis insignis 08:34, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Wikisource:Annotations is a proposed policy page, it's a shared working document, content added to it should reflect the form of a policy page in the sense it's not a debate page or a vote page or a discussion page. This page, Wikisource talk:Annotations, is where we do things like strike-outs and Comments and votes and other stuff like that. Trying to help further interest in the topic I've kept your comments on the page but clarified what they are (comments) and who wrote them and directing readers to this talk page for further discussion. Green Cardamom (talk) 07:28, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
That it was referred to as a policy is the problem. I don't own the idea of opposing. If someone want to extend the scope to include creative content mixed with source documents, they need to carefully outline how that could possibly work. This sort of research and novel creation would be beyond the scope of wikipedia, the creation of 'facts', which has the apparatus to manage the creation of reliable and verifiable content. There are million of books to provide access to, that is the primary purpose of this sister, acting as a web-host for would be authors and editors in not within scope. Just saying 'go ahead' dilutes the integrity of the site, affecting those who invest purely in making author's works available. cygnis insignis 07:54, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

I saw these edits on my watchlist, and I for one am fine with "Cygnis's" version, even though I don't fully agree with his position on annotations. There is disagreement over this issue, and this page should not suggest otherwise. —Spangineer (háblame) 12:58, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

I call attention to the fact that Wikisource's inclusion policy clearly supports the text that has been struck out at this page. That page is policy. Therefore the strikeouts and probably the comments as well should not be in the text of this page, but rather part of a discussion going on here at the talk page. Dovi (talk) 15:24, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I wonder how many people noticed you add that, and if they have also retired from contributing to the site.
  • This and translations, so called 'adding value' by anyone 9–90, are legacy projects. The criticism of Source at that time was that it was pointless duplication of Gutenberg, and I think there was desperate scrabbling for any novelty that would make the site different. The legacy of mixed edition metatexts is longer here, annotation had an application in reolving the mess it made. The results are often horrible, pov, or just plain wrong. Text was copy pasted or typed by hand, that constraint not longer exists.
  • There is no guidance, no review, no outstanding examples, only a string of abandoned attempts to make a text one's own. The argument that something might be "useful", though not instructional or educational, is the only effort and time that has been put into advancing this hobby-horse.
  • Everybody reckons what they want to add is an improvement. In every case I saw the effort would be better spent at the other sisters.
  • This is not the land of do as you please, libraries and their users take a dim view of people adding their notes to the pages. Users cannot add anything what they think to wikipedia, why should they here?
  • The one-sided exploration of this seems to suggest that new and better critical edition would emerge, and arrogantly supposed that anyone with a login or two can improve on the author. The only thing it has successfully introduced is noise, and there will be more others start to disagree. This is like the notion the wikipedia content emerged by anyone adding what they thought was right, that it somehow magically works, rather than the product of editing with proper sources (like those found in libraries).

cygnis insignis 16:52, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

cygnis insignis, I don't like to engage in edit wars. Policy pages can be disputed, and argumentation can be made, which is why we have a Discussion page. The main policy page itself is not the place to engage in argumentation. It's just not done, in over 8 years at Wikipedia I've never seen anyone do that before. I don't mind adding a tag to certain passages saying "Disputed: see talk page", but we shouldn't use strike-out's and un-signed commentary argumentation in the policy page itself. Green Cardamom (talk) 16:14, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
cygnis insignis, are you there? Like I said, I don't want to edit war, you need to respond and discuss this issue, or we will need to bring in additional people to resolve the dispute over what type of content is allowed in a proposed policy page. Green Cardamom (talk) 15:16, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
You want to vote on this? Go ahead and start a vote. Don't just start deleting sections of a proposed policy page because you don't agree with it, though.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:13, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I'll assume you are addressing me, not the substance of the discussion. I didn't delete anything [1] CYGNIS INSIGNIS 17:28, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

FYI: New templates and categories for annotations[edit]

Having found out that wikilinks count as annotation (not sure how I missed it before, but there you go), I have implemented a new template and updated others in order to keep both a clean and annotated (wikilinked) version. Starting with Narrative of a Voyage Round the World (volume 1), and following the naming convention of Strivings of the Negro People/Annotated, I've created Narrative of a Voyage Round the World (volume 1)/Annotated. Both use the same Index: and Page: with {{annotation}} and my new {{annotation switch}} swapping out the required text based on the subpage (they all assume the naming convention that an annotated version exists in the subpage "Annotated" immediately beneath the main mainspace page, although I've tried to make them as futureproof and flexible as possible.) This naming convention keeps the clean version as the main one in the mainspace and sets the annotated version as a subordinate copy. Using the same Index/Pages is only way to reconcile proofread DjVus with wikilinks and annotations, not to mention being quite efficient. Along with this, I've created Category:Wikisource annotations to contain the annotated versions and Category:Annotation templates for the templates. (I've experimented a bit with different annotations now I have a separate copy but I mainly intend this to cover wikilinks.) - AdamBMorgan (talk) 21:46, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Looks good. My only comment would that using the subordinate page technique gives the impression of the singular/authoritative Wikisource annotation. Should someone else create a second annotated version in the future. Of course, probably won't happen, but you can imagine it being the case in something more popular, like Alice in Wonderland. Subordinate pages are also antithetical to the Wiki idea of 1 page = 1 document = 1 link. I think if your trying to emphasis it is an annotation of a clean text elsewhere on Wikisource, use a project cover page, like in Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde, which has a "Source text" link on the bottom. Green Cardamom (talk) 15:28, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
In the talk page of {{annotation switch}} Inductiveload was talking about using javascript to enable a show/hide annotation toggle. That would enable the annotations to sit in the same page as the source text but remain invisible if not desired. Javascript is a little over my head so I'm going to wait and see what happens. However, it should be easy to amend the templates (and move pages) if necessary later. I've already added the function to allow mutiple parallel annotations but it could get confusing as a branching tree of subpages. Again, I'm going to wait and see about the Javascript for the moment. An agreed policy would help too, of course (a somewhat extreme compromise could be a new namespace for all original derivative works; keeping a "wall" between the clean and altered texts). - AdamBMorgan (talk) 16:30, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Still not a separate version, Users can add what they think to Validated Pages; they should use those to make the new work. The only consensus across the wikisources is that the derivative should be separate. A better idea is to use the transcript here in from a new Index page at Wikibooks, that is the ideal 'technical solution' as those who are uninterested in User created content are not affected. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 17:13, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Annotations on Wikibooks are slightly different. They are intended specifically for classroom teaching or test preparation and usually contain extra sections on characters, themes etc. On Wikibooks, The Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter is counted as an annotation (and a featured text) Annotations here amount to additional footnotes to explain points to the reader. It's a small but important difference (which may result in deletion at Wikibooks). Derivative works are part of the stated scope of Wikisource, especially translations and annotations. I think Hebrew Wikisource has several grangerisations (added pictures) as well. Simplified texts are also technically permissible (combining translation and annotation with the coverage of all forms of English, in this case Simple English). It's one of the strengths of Wikisource over similar sites. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 21:42, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank for you for a succinct explanation of the charter and scope of Wikisource, and the subtle but real difference between Wikibooks and Wikisource. I'd like incorporate this into the policy in some way. Green Cardamom (talk) 15:03, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Vote on point of procedure[edit]

This is a vote on the procedure for editing this proposed policy page.

The text of the page should contain only proposed policy. The page should not contain debate, opinions, strikeouts, or disagreements. Such material is allowed and encouraged in the Discussion page, but not in the proposed policy page, itself, which is supposed to be a draft of the policy.

That's it. If you agree or disagree with this point of procedure, please comment below. Green Cardamom (talk) 14:52, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Agree. As nominator. I believe edits like this cross the line in how proposed policy pages are supposed to work on Wiki. I've never seen it done in my 8 years here. Discussion pages are for working out the policy, while the policy page itself reflects a draft of what it will look like - the two should not mix for numerous reasons. Green Cardamom (talk) 14:52, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Agree the debate should be kept on the talk page. - Theornamentalist (talk) 16:08, 14 June 2011 (UTC)


"The text of the page should contain only proposed policy." No, the text of the page should state the community's position. If there is a consensus position within the community, the text of the page should state that consensus. If there is no such consensus, the text of the page should either make it clear that no consensus exists, or it should say nothing at all. Hesperian 01:32, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

I think Green Cardomom is suggesting that we not treat the policy page as a draft with strikeouts and responses, and, as far as they can tell or even I, the single opinion of one user who has not engaged the community with discussion on the changes. Whether or not I agree with Cygnis' edit is not the point, nor is it whether it reflects the communities opinion on some matter. Without the discussion, how can Cygnis, or anyone, know how others feel on the matter? Sure, there may be some discussion somewhere, but its not here. Quite simply, talk before policy change, even if it is very trivial. In my opinion, Green Cardomom is making a fair request for collaboration. - Theornamentalist (talk) 02:14, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Um, Cygnis put that strikeout in there back in June, and started a discussion above. Green Cardomom removed it in November, and participated in the discussion. Cygnis restored it, and continued the discussion. Green Cardomom removed it again, and continued the discussion. I am struggling to see how this can be fairly characterised as one side making, the other rejecting, a fair request for collaboration. Hesperian 02:29, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
I think they mean discussion->consensus->changes, not change->discussion->no consensus->edit warring. Also, that our guideline page not feature such unprofessional items such as strikeouts, opinions and responses. Anyway, good idea blanking the page for now. - Theornamentalist (talk) 02:41, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
"Green Cardomom removed it again" - this is incorrect. I did not remove it "again", I modified it leaving it mostly intact, it was a suggested compromise in how it was formatted. If you look at just straight-out reverts, the record shows I made 1 revert, the first time in November, while Cygnis has made three reverts with no compromise suggestions. Green Cardamom (talk) 16:50, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Policy vs Debate[edit]

I wrote the below over at Scriptorium but copied here for comment:

Part of the problem is the proposed "policy" page is not a policy at all, but an argument for why annotations should exist at Wikisource. It shouldn't do that, that's a separate discussion. As a proposed policy, it should provide rules and guidelines, under the assumption that Annotations are allowed. So maybe the thing to do is remove the rationales and leave a core set of rules/guidelines. Then the debate over the existence of Annotations can proceed in a more appropriate forum elsewhere. Green Cardamom (talk) 23:13, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Blanked[edit]

Blanked for now. I'm off to the Scriptorium to start a discussion. Hesperian 02:31, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Translation from a French discussion about this subject[edit]

About the French decision to offer an untouched text without addition of annotations. Source:here. (It was an IP talk page).

Hello,

The work of wikisourciens is to reproduce the texts, not to comment them. Where do the notes you have added come from, can you indicate their source? If there is no source we will have to delete them .--- Zyephyrus January 18, 2009 at 18:35 (UTC)

These notes are mine, but it is useful to have translations of Latin! Nothing too subversive I think, and translation of the Latin is entirely consistent with the spirit of the Encyclopedia. If you want to demolish the useful work, feel free to do it! — ****, professor of French literature of the eighteenth century at the University of ****.
Here is a link to the page "What is Wikisource? "I’ve had to delete a lot of the work that I had provided myself as well, if it's any consolation. (They werent notes but I wanted to modernize Montaigne, I had to give up and I restored the original). Neither my attempt nor yours dishonor us, on the contrary!. But I have come to understand that the ambition to offer the text, the whole text and nothing else, is even a higher ambition, and I have agreed it to be given priority. --- Zyephyrus January 19, 2009 at 18:09 (UTC)
I have placed links to the work you had provided, you will find them in the talk pages where you had annotated the text, it remains to find where to publish this work because I think it is unfortunate that these annotations will be lost even if they are incompatible with the vocation of the Page mode and validation rules of Wikisource. Sincerely, --- Zyephyrus February 3, 2009 at 10:18 (UTC)

Annotation types[edit]

See Wikisource:Annotations/types. Help needed in filling in. I've given each type a shorthand name which might be useful in discussion or policy page (if it comes to that). Green Cardamom (talk) 02:37, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Roadmap[edit]

Here's a general road map for deciding the annotation question.

  1. Discover all possible annotation types. Since there is no general agreement on how to define an annotation, or even what an annotation is, every possible idea should be considered in the list. Not a debate, not an opinion, just fact finding. Timeline: 2-3 weeks. See Wikisource:Annotations/types
  2. Design a RFC page. Create a RFC page that is acceptable to everyone. Notify in standard places about RFC page design.
  3. RFC. Notify widely, including other projects, and key people such as editors who have worked on Annotations. RFC should remain open 3-4 weeks. The RFC will be be simply "yes or no" for each annotation type, the details of how the annotation is used would be worked out in a later guideline. In effect, you would vote yes if you saw a conceivable use for the annotation type, and no if you saw zero possibility of it ever being used under any circumstance.
  4. Guideline creation. Those annotations that pass the RFC have guidelines for usage created in a proposed policy page.
  5. Legacy documents. Those documents containing legacy annotation types that didn't survive the vote - grandfathered, transwiki, deleted, etc? decided in a separate process.

-- Green Cardamom (talk) 16:56, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Annotation switch[edit]

I know it has been discussed before, but I would love to see an on/off switch for annotations. I believe this meets both camps (and those between) desires, in that one form can simply be the plain text, just as it was as close as possible to the original, and in the other form, it can be rich with wikilinks, noted mispellings and definitions. Briefly, I think that the works at default (annotation off) should appear completely plain text, no notes field, no wikilinks, no audio, etc. After switching (annotation on), all of these conveniences can appear. Doing so would allow for us to keep everything we have which is an annotation, instead of mass bot-ing deletions. I would like to see it in the "Display options" row in the side bar, around our Layout options. In placement there, I think it could help give that area more visibility and functionality, as right now one can only toggle between (IMO) two useful layouts (being the first and second) and showing the page links (minorly useful). - Theornamentalist (talk) 04:33, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Strong support for a technical solution. Trying to create two separate versions of a work is never going to be the answer because very, very few people are ever going to have time to create a second version and we'll still have to figure out the best way to connect the two, yet keep them in sync if someone finds an error in transcription or decides to tweak the format. It also requires a lot of unnecessary work if you are using page scans. A technical solution would allow editors to create the work once, in a single location, and yet have the annotations easily hidden or shown. We already do a similar thing with the on/off capability of {{long s}} (normally seen in markup as {{ls}}), etc. (these are currently set to default on in pagespace off in mainspace but that's the just template code). Another solution that is sometimes mentioned is to have a separate namespace, one which always shows the markup and one which never does, the only problem there being, without even more complex coding, it would always be either on or off; not allowing for any exceptions to the general rule. But it would be far better than what we have.--Doug.(talk contribs) 07:38, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Another important piece to this puzzle, is that some works come to us in annotated form; generally using footnotes. Frequently, we don't host the unannotated text and it may not be readily available in a reliable form. The scans are then supporting documents for both the published annotated version and the basic text. Take Essays (Francis Bacon) for example, we have scans of only one annotated version - actually others reside at commons but we also have text of large chunks of the annotated version. It would be very nice to be able to strip the annotations off easily and display the the "clean" text at an appropriate location for the basic text; however, having a wikilink version of either or both would also be valuable.--Doug.(talk contribs) 13:11, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
      • (putting this up here but it's a response the Cyg's third paragraph) My read of present discussions is that they are including discussion of whether internal links are OK, but certainly the focus is on wikilinks to sister projects, namely wiktionary and wikipedia. I don't see why the former would be any more controversial than links to other works here, but maybe I'm missing something. Certainly links to Wikipedia could be used to insert POV but they could also be used to link to a valuable reference with respect to ancient or technical terms not defined in the work. My mention above of the author's own notes was not meant to suggest that anyone is saying they shouldn't be included but was entirely because those same works can support the basic text and I merely wished to point out that there might be a related solution to that issue; since two pages of pagespace can't reference the same page of a djvu scan, at least not easily, that I'm aware of. Also, please explain what you mean by linking works to other works (references), or other authors (corpus) - do you mean that if a work references the Essays of Bacon you would not object to a wikilink to Essays (Francis Bacon) (a versions dab) and if a work references "the works of Bacon" you would be OK with a link to Author:Francis Bacon. But that you would object to linking w:Francis Bacon within a text (obviously piped in actual usage). --Doug.(talk contribs) 15:06, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm opposed. Duplicating an otherwise complete or validated text is easy, or at least easier than applying this template. The time spent checking potentially thousands of casual edits for errors in coding, 'overlinking', and proper targeting would be significant. The Page namespace is designed to support what is unquestionably the primary functions of this site, of any library. There are editors at the other place who are willing to debate ad nausem for the 'right' to link dates, London, and other highly questionable practices, with little if any regard for the desirable content created by others. This opens the gate to fugitive practices, once they have quashed at en.wp or elsewhere, and require all the apparatus for guidelines, unstable policies, and ultimately dispute resolution for what may be trivial or puerile mass edits. This is a much smaller community, and it is unreasonable to encumber it with noisiness of 'editing'. I've said it before, duplicating what is produced here, a clean text, could be used as the basis for annotated texts and other editing at wikibooks or wikiversity. There should, for example, be no need for a policy on NPOV here, the other sites do need and have such a thing, with all that entails. The situation arises that a separate text doesn't reflect corrections to the original, I don't see that a problem, it is an incentive to do annotation properly, with constant review and new editions. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 10:38, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Addendum: Whether it is done by a template, or by a javascript, it amounts to the same thing: changes to potentially thousands of Pages. Making 'clean text' completely separate is the long-standing compromise, it is expected that these will become stable. My investment here has been producing these, for anyone to use, in anyway they see fit, anywhere else! Perhaps I'm a rare beast, that I don't want to put myself into the dead author's works, and that I value those texts just as they are. Those who want wrangle with others over who gets to put whatever into these texts can use the annotated version as a sandbox, a perpetually unstable work in progress. As pointed out above, several years before I started contributing here, this is properly within the scope of wikibooks. The couple of users who insisted on having it here instead are absent. There are a couple of users at wikibooks who insist on that too, as with translations, I'm not surprised that they want to make it someone else's problem. While they define the faux-policy here, over there, without advising WS users of it, their own vague policy there does not preclude it. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 14:24, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
  • And while it seems ridiculous to me to have to point this out, AFAIK nobody has ever disputed the inclusion of the author's own notes (annotation), linking works to other works (references), or other authors (corpus). This is not, and never was, what was meant by annotations, and I believe the good faith intentions of those who suggest otherwise is in serious doubt. This is what makes Wikisource unique and is one of the most important aspects of the site. Many other sites provide the type of 'annotations' being discussed here, if they are authoritatively sourced then they are somewhat useful. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 14:43, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
    I'm not sure how the time would be significant, nor what you mean by casual edits. The coding is generally either: [[something here on ws]] or [[w:some wikipedia article]] or [[wikt:some wiktionary entry]]. I don't think there's really much of a movement to add much more than that. "Targets" - sure though generally for wiktionary the bare word should be the link. I really don't think Cyg that anyone has ever suggested that we allow real editorial annotations where you footnote and external link to your heart's content. See my comments at /types#View by Doug, especially my comments at the end, this is about making texts more accessible, so the user doesn't have to read them with a dictionary in hand when they could simply click and open the wiktionary entry or wikipedia article (or maybe even see it via a pop-up script). "overlinking"? come on that's a style thing, you can vote it down at FT.--Doug.(talk contribs) 12:15, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
From Template talk:Annotation switch: "I can't find the policy page now but either WS:Wikilinks (Style guide) or Wikisource:Annotations describe wikilinks to sister sites as annotations." (AdamBMorgan, 27 May 2011) (bold text added by me, LJB)
Wording changed on 24 July 2011 at Wikisource:Style guide from: "Placing external links in the source text is a form of annotation, a proposed guideline, adding these may be queried. Development of annotated texts is unobjectionable when separated from the source document, leaving a 'clean text'. Any guidance remains subjective..." to: "Placing external links in the source text is a form of annotation, a proposed guideline, adding these may be queried [and there is no consensus on whether this is proper]. Development of annotated texts is unobjectionable when separated from the source document, leaving a 'clean text'. Any guidance remains subjective..." (strikeout added by me, LJB, as was bracketing to show added wording).  "No consensus" (as opposed to proposed guideline)—along with the removal of a heads-up on possible querying by other users certainly makes it "easier" for external linking (i.e., anything outside of WS) to occur and become more widespread... Is this the goal <I ask hesitatingly, yet sincerely>? Londonjackbooks (talk) 18:30, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Maybe "goal" is the wrong word to use... But the absence of a policy shouldn't leave a thing unchecked, at any rate... Londonjackbooks (talk) 19:00, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
I am responsible for the change. It was changed because it referenced a non-existent proposed guideline.--Doug.(talk contribs) 19:35, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
I understand that. The Wikisource:Annotations page was "blanked pending resolution" on 15 June 2011 due to the current discussions. My only thought was that it was perhaps unnecessary to remove the comment, "adding these [annotations] may be queried [by other users]" in the process. It may be an apparently intuitive statement, but (without being able myself to effectively explain why I think so) I think it may still be a useful warning to users to not "go crazy" just yet with a liberal use of external wikilinking—which the lack of a proposed policy or guideline might lend itself to... Another question: By blanking the page, are we then starting over from scratch? Some of the information on the once-proposed policy page was useful. Has it been transferred somewhere else? Thanks, Londonjackbooks (talk) 22:32, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
"anyone has ever suggested that we allow real editorial annotations where you footnote and external link to your heart's content." That happens about once a month, I move it to a separate version when I see it. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 14:51, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
See {{Annotation switch}}. I would hope, Doug, that you endeavour to familiarise yourself with ongoing discussion, and give it weeks, if not months, of consideration before posting rejoinders to my comments. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 12:35, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
I think they are refering to a new process, rather than my template, and the heading is a coincidence. From this and other discussions, I believe the idea is to use javascript to toggle annotations on and off. (The template inserts annotations based on a subpage name, while the javascript would allow both to co-exist). - AdamBMorgan (talk) 12:43, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't know about Theornamentalist, he didn't link to a template, but I certainly was, as AdamBMorgan says, referring to a new (as in future or prospective) - though often referenced - process. Cyg, I have been following this conversation for a long while and I will not wait months nor even days to respond to your comments; especially if they don't appear to make sense. But thanks for the link to the template in any case.--Doug.(talk contribs) 12:50, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Cyg, to further clarify for you, this concept is discussed in more detail by Inductiveload at Template talk:Annotation switch, where he specifically mentions controlling this from the sidebar as Theornamentalist does above. Also, I still can't see how any of the items you have raised are evident from that Template or it's talk page; the only criticism of the template is Inductiveload's saying that creating a subpage is too clunky and annotations should frequently default on; I agree with that criticism.--Doug.(talk contribs) 12:59, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I too am talking about a new process using some type of javascript. - Theornamentalist (talk) 13:10, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I think most editors here support using some form of the wikisource annotations in text; this is evident by the majority using templates like {{SIC}}, descriptions in the notes field, linking to wiktionary. It is done not uniformly, but in unison by new editors and old editors alike. It is commonplace on a majority of works. I do not think anyone is moving towards only supporting clean text. As said by Doug, the cleanest text available is right on commons, in the form of an image. That is where people will go if they want the untouched original. I mean, we supplement works with templates like {{hws}} because we are not bounded by the page, but they were. We separate larger works into sections as subpages, assuming that they would have done so too. These are vast leaps from the original. A true digitization would be a page by page recreation of what appears exactly in the physical book. I don't think anyone supports that. All of that being said, these dead authors likely did not imagine the kind of environment we are working in. Using this on the bahalf of clean text is not sufficient; I bet Joseph Jacobs would have loved wikilinking.

    Removing all wikilinks and templates that we've listed in the annotation list is changing 1000's of pages; having a feature to toggle back and forth between them is not. And the reality is, POV concerns could arise, but they are not here from what I've seen. Yes, we are deciding what the reader could find important enough to bring them to another site for the definition or location of something listed in the book they're reading. No, they don't have to click it, they don't even have to have them on! It's not like we're linking w:dog or something, from what I've seen, links are simply something like a link to a specific place or thing that may not be known by the reader. An example I can give is a book I worked on, which is written for children which contains: "Fennec, a native of Algiers." I believe that to a child, it may be more helpful, as within our capacity, to have it read "Fennec, a native of w:Algiers." Regardless of arguing with Doug and I about whether or not that is what we should be doing, lets work out a way to steer consensus towards something with annotations, and how to achieve it.

    I truly think that an on/off switch is what is best for the wikisource to meet the needs of staying true to the original (as moot as that is, with this being a completely different environment for the texts to live) and to be modernized with all the bells and whistles we have available. Like Doug said, it's also about accessability. - Theornamentalist (talk) 16:27, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

The moral majority? Hottentots and Australians? Joseph Jacobs? {{SIC}} or {{sic}}? NPOV or 'highlighting'?. Who says "we" can't link dog, the article, gallery, wiktionary entry or quotes; WE can also link the sciptorium, where I linked a dog at wikiversity. If some dog chases a few cats around, or vandalises main then logs back in to revert it, we can even nominate it for admin.

It feels like I stepped into something that emerged from a dog's portal, it smells like it too, should I also taste it, just to be certain ... CYGNIS INSIGNIS 17:06, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, what? - AdamBMorgan (talk) 17:24, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Magic decoder ring ON:He's referring to conflicting uses of annotations, whats "useful," how we don't even have consensus on which SIC to use, that our site is full of POV material (I guess because one of our FT is a transcript of Flight 93), and how Poetlister almost became an admin. I don't doubt that he will be genuinely offended by this analysis of mine, but that's what happens when you are not clear in what you are saying, you leave it to us to try and figure out what you mean. Oh, and also that either I, Doug, this discussion, or en.ws in general is dog shit. Real nice Cygnis. - Theornamentalist (talk) 20:13, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Potential for POV. An example of the mentalist's scholarship. An author I am fixated on, and carefully transcribed. A very old template that was POV forked with a case change (WP edit warring 101). A document that repeatedly links the same religious sentiment to insane terrorists.

Poetlister/Cato/Longfellow and so on is green with envy at theOrnamentalists ability to play users off against each other, for its own sake. User's should be able to fill in the rest, a regrettable example of my succumbing to an ad hominem strategem. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 20:42, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

I gave my opinion and picked the first book that came up on random (this), you made it personal. And I could only conceive you getting upset by that because it is something you edited, but why? It did not warrant your comparison to shit. I really hope people read your approach at discussion. It astounds me that someone can get away with such blatant slander. If you hate so much about this site, why bother? Additionally, would any other wiki tolerate the way you act? - Theornamentalist (talk) 21:13, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Addressing only the "why bother" question (although it wasn't posed to me, it still "spoke" to me): Speaking for myself, it is possible to hate aspects about a THING, and yet love the THING itself (what it represents, its potential, ideal, etc.)—which would make it worth the "bother." Londonjackbooks (talk) 23:30, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
It is ridiculous that Cygnis would make, out of what was a civil proposal, into something personal. All of us have ideas of what is preferable for the site, and we have to respect eachother. I cannot believe that he conducts himself this way, and it's becoming apparent that no one is willing to step in. It is awful that I must continuously deal with this. - Theornamentalist (talk) 03:30, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
RE: "willing to step in": A good example of why I could never be an administrator here... I am non-confrontational and avoid conflict whenever possible; I am a poor judge of character and much too sympathetic. I would like to wave my magic wand and make it all better—would that I had one... Human nature is a very curious thing. Londonjackbooks (talk) 06:17, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Technical solution to the mess[edit]

I am starting a new topic because I don't want to mix this up with the above drama. I have completed a draft of the JS that I mentioned before that can dynamically hide or show the annotations.

To use the script, add the following to your Javascript (User:You/monobook.js or vector.js):

importScript('User:Inductiveload/Visibility.js');

Do a hard refresh after that, and visit any page with thar {{ls}} template on it, for example The Periplus of the Euxine Sea. You should see an item in the left hand sidebar "toolbox" saying "Show arch. typo.". This will change all any "s" marked with the ls template to a long-s "ſ".

This exact same technique can be used for hiding and showing annotations, and you can have as many separate categories of hide/show options as you please. For example, "archaic typography", "annotations" and "sic". Hopefully we can get annotations on Wikisource to be consistent and governable under this system, then those who don't like it can not have it, and those who do can.

Any hints, tips, bug reports, etc are welcome. There is a lot of work still to be done, for example making the preference persistent using, perhaps, cookies. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 03:06, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

It works wonderfully; I would love to see more templates and links included in this. Since it is just testing, I don't think it is a problem in nailing each decided "annotation" down, but rather just for capacity. Although technically limited, if I can be of any help let me know. - Theornamentalist (talk) 03:33, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I'd prefer to gather thoughts and issues before I entangle myself in an expanding web of templates. But yes, eventually, pending acceptance, there can be a range if categories of annotations switched with this system. Help-wise as long as it's working for you, that is excellent for the time being. In future, I'll need robust testing. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 06:36, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Is this an option for anyone (User or non-User)—or only for Users with a subpage containing script? Londonjackbooks (talk) 04:56, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Currently just users with that script. If this script is deemed "acceptable", it could become part of the full system, useable by anyone. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 06:36, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
  • This is awesome and should be implemented as soon as possible (as soon as it's fully functional and tested as a user script) for exactly what it currently does. Allowing archaic type to be displayed in the mainspace alternatively is very important. Currently we can either user a "hard" long-s, a short-s, or {{ls}} which will display it as a long-s in the pagespace (not really very useful) and as a short-s in the mainspace. It's only value is for meta-data on the usage of long-s and, maybe, for someone who wants to compare the page to the scan without being in edit mode. It's current usage should be expanded to allow ae, oe, and u <-> v, transistions as well (that last one needs a template - I'm working that issue as it's more complex). In this context it should be non-controversial. As a user-script it is obviously not even a question since it merely changes the display of already used templates per user preference. Ideally, it would function such that 1) a user could set a preference (override the default), 2) any work using archaic type could have a css line added to the index page to turn the switch on (as I understand it now, it will only appear if one of the pages being transcluded actually has such characters, which could be confusing), and 3) maybe even that a work could be set to default on or default off (but subordinate to a user preference). Maybe that's asking too much - I like it just as it is (after the other characters are added and I'll work with Inductiveload on that.
  • It is also a great model/prototype for solving the wikilink issue. A separate but analogous problem from a technical point of view. But the functionality should be split so that on an wikilinked work with archaic type one could select any of four possible states. I think it's best that we talk in terms of wikilinks (or interwikilinks/sisterwikilinks) to clarify what we're not talking about.
  • BTW, I find that it doesn't work (doesn't even show up) if you have the altindex turned on. --Doug.(talk contribs) 08:13, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
    • OK, not so with respect to {{long s}}, the script was based in part on {{custom substitution}} which was breaking google searches for pages containing {{longs}}/{{ls}}. This has been repaired within the template by removing {{custom substitution}} thus removing the script's functionality. Still, it's progress and may work fine for ordinary wikimarkup.--Doug.(talk contribs) 11:19, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

the blanking of the page[edit]

While I would agree that we are not in agreement in how or the level of annotation, I had felt that there was a gentle agreement of some level of annotation, with our one requirement being that there was always to be a clean version available. Did I miss something that caused the whole blanking? — billinghurst sDrewth 10:33, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

I blanked it because there was an edit war, and no evidence of a consensus version to protect on. Then I started the Scriptorium discussion. Now that discussion has petered out, I'd be delighted to see someone attempt to infer a consensus from it, and restore/create some text that reflects that. Hesperian 11:28, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
There was still some parallel discussion going on about it here (as of 7 Aug), but since my two cents were involved, I don't really count it :) wink Londonjackbooks (talk) 13:38, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
While I don't agree with the blanking as there should be something said about annotations, at least to say that we aren't in agreement on them (new editors can't be expected to know the history or to read it), I'm not sure that there is even consensus about a clean version or what a clean version is. For example, Inductiveload has created a new script that will make interwikilinks invisible (by turning them black), is that a clean version? They don't show unless you mouse over them and if you copy/paste the text they won't be there; it could be turned on by default such that the links would only show if the option were selected (though it will also do the same to interwiki links in the header and notes at the top of the first page). Furthermore, I believe that some of the comments here and elsewhere specifically object to the idea of having two copies of the same work simply to make one annotated and one clean. I think if you are talking about adding footnotes then there is probably broad agreement, but there are certainly several editors, I among them, who support regular linking of unusual terms to wiktionary or wikipedia - most of us refrain from doing so only because we don't want to spend hours on the work only to have others undo it or a decision be made that the works aren't within scope - and I for one am not likely to copy edit a work two times so that one can be "clean" and one linked. I also think that we have a conflicted concept of annotations. We seem to consider links to ws:author: as being fine, this makes no sense to me since it is just as much an annotation (and a much less useful one in most instances) than linking to wikipedia (I fail to see how a reader benefits more - or the work is corrupted less - from a link to Author:Plato than a link to w:Plato and why we should create a page Author:Socrates, with no entries, rather than linking to w:Socrates; and I'm not at all convinced that readers clicking the link would expect or even want to see a list of works by the person named rather than a biography). Again, I agree that we do need a page that says something and at least mentions the different kinds of annotations and the options that exist.--Doug.(talk contribs) 11:24, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Stuff is all over the map on talk about annotations... One talk page would be good, so that we do not have a "here and elsewhere"—left to guess where 'elsewhere' might be, and what may/might(?) be written there :) Londonjackbooks (talk) 13:48, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, how about some little steps. Let us work out what we do agree upon, or at least where we have the collective majority, and sort that out, before we move onto the rest. So my thoughts are
0) Base agreement on what is an annotation, and I would propose that anything that we add to the body of a text be it a link or anything is an annotation. I would like to try and keep it simple.
1) Identify the agreement on the undisagreeable annotation, ie. little or no disagreement, eg. I believe that author links, and book links are in that patch
2) Identify those annotations or types of annotations that are disagreeable on a per text level, ie. lead contributor sets the style (general principle that has been basically accepted as a way to allow some differences in approach). There may be some talk about how we mark the index file to indicate such an approach.
3) Identify those things that significantly alter/adapt an original work; clear and utter dispute, and we need to get back to pick apart the discussion.
4) Separate discussion about the technology used for hiding links, and does it apply to all categories 1, 2, & 3.
5) Where annotations have been used, does this basically effect their ability to be featured on site, at what point are we fundamentally "changing" a work. This discussion may be be more relevant in the feature text space.
It may be worthwhile to create a fresh page (a subpage to this page) that steps through the processes and thinking. If we can get clarity to the linear thinking, then we should present it to the larger community for comment. — billinghurst sDrewth 14:50, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
We tried to do that (create a fresh page) but few people showed up; however, there is some really good discussion on this at Wikisource_talk:Annotations/types, particularly between BirgitteSB and Londonjackbooks.
The problem with "0" above is that formatting text, removing ligatures, removing line breaks, all add (or subtract) something to the body of the text. Yet, I believe there is a consensus that those changes are generally OK (generally because changing line breaks in poetry could be seen as interpretative formatting) and including them in the definition makes the definition overbroad and relatively useless. Although the terminology is problematic, here's a thought: anything which makes an interpretative change to the text is an annotation. That is to say, replacing ct-ligature with "ct", replacing ſ with "s" or {{Long s}}, replacing r-rotunda with "r" (which very few fonts have any way to show), changing line breaks and pagination for prose, adding a navigational header, etc. are not interpretative and are not annotations. At Wikisource:Style guide/Orthography, I tried to make reference to this line to let people know when they are crossing it. Adding footnotes, end notes, side notes, wikilinks - whether internal to wikisource or interwiki, external links, modernizing spellings (to include making u and v distinct in works where they were not or changing an ß into "ss") may be considered interpretative (ß is sometimes a separate character, not a mere ligature). This is not to say that all of those are not allowed or not even desirable. I hesitate to say "adds or removes meaning" because that arguably anything other than the original printed page adds or removes some meaning and something may be a "change" that does neither or both and may or may not be interpretative.
I recently noted users commenting on annotations (more precisely, "interwikilinks") in WS:FTC#The_Art_of_Nijinsky. I think it's entirely fair for us to consider texts with annotations acceptable but not qualified for FTC by simply having Annotations as an optional style guide (see Featured texts criterion 1). --Doug.(talk contribs) 09:24, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Some great comments at the subpage by several editors including lessons learned from the he.ws by User:Dovi that bear reading.--Doug.(talk contribs) 08:52, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Doug. I just fixed up my comments there and also added a new point regarding the "Proofread Page" extension plus some examples.

Regarding "The Blanking of the Page," it seems unbalanced to have blanked the page, and left a comment that "there is no consensus" about annotations, when at the very same time the official policy clearly supports them and the page basically said the same thing as the policy. The point of a page like this is for people to change it, offer alternatives on the same page when there is disagreement (but not by erasing others' positions!) and to keep working together collaboratively and discussing things until there is agreement or if necessary a vote. Blanking is a high-handed method that seems inappropriate to the issue at hand.

Good luck to all with the discussion here! Dovi (talk) 20:17, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Neatly done, 'it is already policy so it can only be fine tuned, never challenged outright'; optional, experimental, proposal becomes compulsory. This was, and is, disputed. "However, in light of the fact ..." it reads as cant posing as policy, an unjustified deviation from core policy, some disclosure on why you read that as 'policy' would be enlightening to those coming to this discussion: your part in shuffling discussions from wikibooks, leaving circular links between the sisters, not to mention policy here being defined in discussions there and the WB community's willingness to make this somebody else's problem. How about the unqualified distinction between 'classroom texts' and 'crowd-sourced scholarship'? This distinction appears to have been a vague fancy of Users being teachers of the young (classroom, obvious, puerile = wikibooks), or value-adding of 'knowingness' or the benefit-of-hindsight (erudition = wikisource), all done by anyone 9-90 with a pseudonymous login.

When these proposals cum 'policy'—without guidelines—were installed, one of the premises was that en.ws would run out of PG texts to copy paste; it supposedly needed something to be 'a point of difference'. I will unashamedly hammer this point again: we have a minuscule amount of the 1.5 million scans with OCR, this wasn't available when these proposals were put forward. The adequacy or utility of these is subject to opinion, it is not a "fact" that they need improving here. One example: a DNB article can be improved in a myriad of ways by creating a wikipedia article with it, the subjects are notable, doing the same sorts of things here can be problematic and is pointless, it will interfere with a source for any derivative, including the en.wp article.

The scope of this site ought to be simple: proofread a published text, link the author's references, REPEAT.

It's not very glamorous, and perhaps some users will have no interest unless they are free to "add value" in any way they see fit ... What use is a poem if it doesn't provide the ability to surf to wikipedia. Users shouldn't mess about with things that are properly within the scope of the other sisters. They can already create derivatives of the sources provided here in many ways, editing, researching, annotating, and do that under the review of peers, using the guidelines, and adhering to the policies of those sites. The few people who touted this proposal, way back when, have not proffered even the slightest of guidance in the years since, have no investment in its development, only popping up to defend this creeping away from scope, and reiterate unworkable notions of their invention, their retroactive rules for their "favourite sandbox": "light linking" to biographical, theological, philosophical, conceptual, or geographical articles at an unreliable source, adding "only one" image not found in the edition, or editing the texts here so that it accords with something in a wikipedia article. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 08:04, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Cyg, I don't think that was Dovi's point at all and they certainly don't bear a scornful response. They merely point out that we have blanked a style guide/guideline page but the long standing policy remains so we are being quite inconsistent. Changing the guideline while maintaining the policy would be even more inconsistent. The section of policy referenced has been with us since at least 2007 and has had very little discussion over there on the policy page. While you may not be alone, your position that "The scope of this site ought to be simple: proofread a published text, link the author's references, REPEAT." is very much not unanimously held; as can be seen by the discussions here and on /types which largely support some form of annotations and seek a reasonable way to accommodate them and still meet the policy requirement of maintaining a "clean text". There are many works on here that contain annotations (by which I mean the so called "user annotations" both in the form of wikilinks and in the form of footnotes). I believe that I have seen you, Cyg, place numerous internal wikilinks on works; these are no different from interwiki links qua annotations and almost all of the comments I've seen in favor of favoring local links are based on the ability to ensure they don't become redlinks, as well as a sort of self-preference by some. Dovi's comments are very helpful to this discussion as they present lessons learned from he.ws.--Doug.(talk contribs) 10:34, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
You're a tyre-kicker Doug, tapping out pronouncements and tendentiously reverting instead of thinking things through, on matters in which you have little investment or practical experience. And yes, it is obvious there are others who have no interest in what is clearly within the scope of this site, there are similar examples of Users who haunt talk-pages, forums, and AN/I. Or harassing en.wp users who are using en.ws texts as legitimate sources for articles. Go and dig through the archives groaning with Dovi's long-term, single-focus goal of shaping this site to accomodate what he or she never intended to do, or document how that could be workable, or unarguable examples of texts that shouldn't be at WB or WP. I alerted the user to where a supposedly translated Hebrew text was actually unspeakable bigotry and their interest was zero.

Make some unobjectionable and substantive contribs, instead of scouting around for discord and fanning the flames by making unverifiable assertions. Linking author's references—local links—are not annotations in the context of these discussions, despite the efforts of illuminated wikimedians, who seem to have transcended contributing, to cloud this discussion by blending the unobjectionable with the ludicrous. CYGNIS INSIGNIS 18:15, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

In the preface to the laws of cricket, the MCC outlines the conditions under which it is prepared to provide guidance on the laws and their application in unusual situations, including "(b) The incident on which a ruling is required must not be merely invented for disputation but must have actually occurred in play." Hesperian 23:43, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Regarding the above response, all I can think is "Wow...". I will address some specific points and that is all.

  • The way to change a long-standing policy is not to blank a policy page, but to change it and get community support for the changes. If for some reason it must be blanked, then the message should at least state briefly what the current policy is.
  • CYGNIS INSIGNIS wrote: The few people who touted this proposal, way back when, have not proffered even the slightest of guidance in the years since, have no investment in its development, only popping up to defend this creeping away from scope, and reiterate unworkable notions of their invention. Since I suppose this was at least in part aimed at me, allow me to clarify: I have been working for years, along with others, to produce annotated texts and critical editions that involve a vast amount of labor and are (I hope) a quality contribution to the public. I provided descriptions of them and links to them, in order to give people here an idea of what can be done using different models than what exists among annotated texts here currently. The fact that I do this in Hebrew is a function of the fact that those are the texts that interest me the most, and additionally because there is a greater need for manpower in Hebrew than English. Nevertheless, I see it as a valid and important contribution to English Wikisource to let people know the kinds of things that can be done and are being done elsewhere.
  • "The scope of this site ought to be simple: proofread a published text, link the author's references, REPEAT." I want to emphasize that I respect this definition of scope. It makes sense, and it has the additional advantage of being extremely clear: If it were adopted, there will probably never be any gray areas. However, it is not the only reasonable definition of scope for Wikisource, nor do I think it is the definition that will best allow Wikisource to serve the public. It seems to me that the very basis of discussion should begin with the premise that there are indeed different definitions of scope, all of which are legitimate. And that should in turn allow debate about them to remain respectful.
  • Regarding the mockery of Wikimedians providing the public with collaborative texts of scholarly quality, I recall those a decade ago who mocked "a bunch of nobodies" who wanted to create the world's greatest encyclopedia... :-)
  • As for deciding the scope of Wikisource in English, that is up to the active participants here. I don't know if I still have a vote here given minimal contributions over the past several years, but even if I do I still wouldn't vote. But lending the benefit of experience from useful positive work that has been done elsewhere is completely legitimate, and I fail to see why anyone (including CYGNIS INSIGNIS) would oppose it.
  • And finally regarding laws of cricket: There is a chicken-and-egg problem regarding "incidents" that actually occur. Case in point: One of my paid side-jobs in real life is to write lessons for school workbooks. Doing so often involved translating texts into English (which I often do on my own even when another translation exists), and my employer has no objections about my uploading the translations. In past years, I used to upload such texts here on occasion, but more recently I've stopped doing so because of the vocal objections. Why bother, when there is a loud, standing threat to delete all of them en masse? That is the reason I want this issue to get decided by the community here once in for all, and why it interests me as both a user and a potential contributor.

I have no intention of being deeply involved in this debate, since (as above) I not so active on the English wiki any longer. But I believe that my write-up of our experience at he.wikisource was a more-than-legitimate contribution to English Wikisource by an interested and concerned visitor. I fail to see any reasonable cause for condemning it. On the contrary, I would therefore like to move it to this main talk page, where it belongs right along with the discussion of this issue from its very beginnings. If anyone wants more information or insight concerning our annotation projects at he.wikisource I'd still be glad to help. But as for the local debate here I've said what I needed to say, and that's all I plan to do. Dovi (talk) 17:48, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

There is a difference between providing a resource (which annotated texts do) and that of connecting with an original source. I thought Wikisource was designed to do the latter—else it should be called Wikiresource,—or perhaps Wikibooks (or another one too, I think, that I can't remember the name of)? I thought the point was to provide the reader with untampered-with texts (with the exception of the "unobjectionable" practice of "linking the author's references to other works, and their authors") in a medium that can allow original works to be preserved and available for a few more generations at least! Londonjackbooks (talk) 18:10, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Wikisource is a library of source-texts. In a library you expect to find high-quality editions of source-texts, including translations and annotations. If these editions are copyrighted, then you can either give up and deny your library the ability to provide them, or you can allow people to work on creating them.
Furthermore, what is a "source text"? If you are talking about Mark Twain, you may be right about what a source-text is. But for classical literature the question is far more difficult: What is the "source text" for Aristotle's Physics? Only the original Greek? According to which manuscripts? Or is an English translation of the Physics only a "source text" if the translation is a century old? Don't you want to have an up-to-date edition of the Physics in your library, if wiki-contributors are willing to create it?
I hope you will read the examples from he.wikisource. I've replied since your query was immediate. But I'm going to leave the continuing discussion to the people here. Good luck to all, Dovi (talk) 18:31, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
What exactly is a "library of source texts" then?:
What is Wikisource? "WikisourceThe Free Library – is a Wikimedia Foundation project to create a growing free content library of source texts, as well as translations of source texts in any language."
What is a source text? "A source text is a text (sometimes oral) from which information or ideas are derived. In translation, a source text is the original text that is to be translated into another language." Londonjackbooks (talk) 18:43, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I suppose, then, that a text that is derived from a source text would in its own right then become its own "source text"—but is that what we host here? If so, then perhaps the above definition should become: "WikisourceThe Free Library – is a Wikimedia Foundation project to create a growing free content library of source texts, derivatives of source texts, as well as translations of source texts in any language." But then there would still need to be further distinction made... Obviously, much public domain material we post here is in fact "derivative" of other works... But even actual physical libraries make decisions as to what sorts of material they agree to "house." That is what needs to be made clear, I think (added thought: although, physical libraries are, of course, primarily limited by space and funding; whereas Wikisource, apparently, has no such limitations—other than what it decides to impose upon itself. But that, too, must be made clear.)... Londonjackbooks (talk) 18:53, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
"What exactly is a "library of source texts" then?" Thanks! Because that is the true question that needs to be decided by people here. And there is no single, preexisting definition, since before Wikisource nobody ever tried to create such a thing before. I hope that the emerging definition will be a liberal one that allows people to contribute to such a library in a variety of ways according to their divergent talents and interests, instead of including only those who build the library according to one specific method. But even more, I truly hope that people here will be able to discuss the matter in a civil way that can respect the nuances of different possible definitions. Dovi (talk) 18:54, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Notes on Annotations from the experience at Hebrew Wikisource by Dovi[edit]

Moved to the main talk page from here.

First of all, let me say that I am very pleased that so much thought is going into this. While I haven't examined it in detail, the classification of types of annotations is extremely detailed and seems to have a lot of careful definitions.

I won't be deeply involved in the current discussion since I am no longer very active here at the English Wikisource. But there is a lot of annotation work going on at the Hebrew Wikisource, and I would like to offer some of the lessons we have learned in the hope that the discussion here will benefit from it. Here are a few ideas:

  • Namespace: First and foremost, discussion about the pros and cons of annotated texts at the most basic level would benefit from thinking about a dedicated namespace, something which I don't think has come up in the most recent discussion here. At Hebrew Wikisource there is a namespace dedicated to annotated texts, so the problem of someone mistaking them for the original text never comes up in the first place. People here might want to consider that option. It might be a clean, simple solution to an exasperating problem.
  • Technical solutions: I saw a bit of discussion here about technical tools that might be able to "hide" certain kinds of annotations, thus automatically providing a "clean" text. While I wouldn't rule out any useful tool, I think the namespace also makes contributors less dependent on technical solutions like that. At Hebrew Wikisource we only have one such tool: Two contributors created an "annotation pop-up" template for difficult words and phrases in texts, which causes a contextual explanation to pop up when you pass the mouse over the word. It is only used in the annotations namespace.
  • Formatted text: At Hebrew Wikisource we have put a lot of effort into formatting many classical texts. This means pre-modern texts that lacked paragraphing, punctuation, references, etc. These are all features that would be expected in any modern edition of those same classical texts, but the modern editions are often copyrighted. So we are working towards providing our own high-quality modern editions of these kinds of works under the free Wikimedia license. In general, we do not consider such formatting to be "annotations," and these appear as the main version of the text (if there is more than one) in the main namespace. This obviously raises theoretical questions about NPOV, but we have actually found that it isn't much of a problem. The reason is that every such text has a special "About this Edition" page attached to it (in the "Wikisource" namespace) explaining the agreed-upon methodology for used to format that particular text. In other words, the rules for formatting and editing each text are agreed upon by the consensus of the community, and each and every point in the text can be improved upon by contributors as long as the follow the agree-upon guidelines for editing that book. The bottom line is that there has rarely if ever been any controversy about this. In fact, it is a great way to apply wiki-type collaboration to the editing and preservation of texts, and towards providing high-quality modern editions of classical texts in our Wikisource Library, just as we would expect to find them in any good library.
  • Critical editions: One crucial type of formatting that I think doesn't appear on this page has to do with the text itself: When a work has been published many times (sometimes complemented by versions in handwritten manuscripts) there may be slight variants (and sometimes even major ones). If there is no one edition that is the "best" one, it may be necessary to base the version in the main namespace on a variety of evidence, and not just on one scan of a single edition. Here too, the special "About this Edition" page devoted to the work in the "Wikisource" namespace explains the criterion for choosing the text that actually appears. However, and this needs to be emphasized, the data that has been evaluated is also included on the edit page within a simple template, whose sole purpose is to document such data. We often illustrate such texts with images of scans of the various editions that have been used.
  • Flagged Versions: Hebrew Wikisource has installed the "Flagged Versions" extension, both in the main namespace and in the "Annotations" namespace. This is very valuable in a lot of ways when dealing with texts that are basically fixed, prevents intentional or accidental well-meant vandalism, and also bring with it a lot of reassurance in terms of quality, especially including the quality of annotations. While some people would like to add this function or something like it to Wikipedia, I think it makes even more sense for Wikisource in all langauges.
  • Proofread Page: We do not actually use this extension very much. In the beginning it was because of RTL bugs (some of which still exist) and also because unlike in English, there were very few public domain scanned Hebrew texts available in DjVu format (though there are tens of thousands in PDF format). Since then the major reason has been that since we often format a single book while taking multiple editions into account (most of these texts have been published numerous times), it made less sense to follow the page-by-page format. Another reason is that the texts are divided and often transcluded by methods of sectioning other than page-number (such as chapter, paragraph number, etc.) and basing the editing on a page-by-page format can make this extremely difficult and confusing. Instead what we often do is illustrate the title page with images of the various editions that have been used, or at least provide direct links to the scans of them (which we try to upload at Commons), so that users can check our work and even make improvements. As a matter of principle, "Proofread Page" is an extraordinary tool and has been put to use wonderfully at the English Wikisource for thousands of texts that correctly use it as the most appropriate tool. However, people should remember that it is only a tool and not the entire purpose of Wikisource. It would be a terrible shame if widespread use of this wonderful tool caused people to limit Wikisource to the transcription of scanned pages, and ruled out other ways that the wiki collaborative technology could be used here towards providing the public with high-quality texts. This is especially true for modern wiki-editions of classical texts, which should be a priority and a source of pride to Wikisource.

Examples:

  • Critical edition with formatting: The 14th century ethical tract by an anonymous author called Sefer ha-Middot (literally: The Book of Dispositions). This book appears with two parallel title pages, the first with the table of contents as it appears in the standard printed editions, and the second with a reconstruction of the original table of contents based on manuscripts. The edition is based upon three manuscripts and several printed editions (which can be viewed at the first title page). The detailed "About this Edition" page, which defines the guidelines for how the book is to be edited (and why), is here. The documentation for textual variants can be viewed on the underlying edit pages for each chapter such as this one.
  • An example of an annotated and illustrated and formatted edition of a classical text with "pop-up" contextual annotations in the "Annotations" namespace is here (the example is Mishnah Tractate Sukkah). Note that the Mishnah in general has been undergoing ongoing annotation by two university professors e.g. here (where the annotation can be viewed by expanding the collapsed windows).
  • An example of a modern wiki-translation of works from a literary canon are translations of Russian literature to modern Hebrew by User:Amire80, who here at the English Wikisource made the superb contribution of Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar. (Amir was also one of the organizers of the recent Wikimania in Haifa.) At Hebrew Wikisource he has contributed wiki-translations of Chekhov and Tolstoy, e.g. here and here. I have no doubt that the English Wikisource and its readers would benefit tremendously from contemporary English translations of Tolstoy and Chekhov, rather than relying solely on scanned translations that are a century old.

That is all I can think of right now. I wish people here the best of luck in coming up with guidelines and policies that will serve the English Wikisource well, and help it become a library with an ever more valuable collection of resources for its readers. If anyone has any further questions on the type of work that has been done at Hebrew Wikisource, please let me know and I'd be glad to help. You might want to give me a "heads up" here. Dovi (talk) 20:06, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

P.S. I believe these comments (as well as the previous ones) should be at the main talk page rather than at a subpage. I'm going on vacation for the next two days, but if anyone wants to move it in the meantime that would be fine. Dovi (talk) 21:25, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Discussion links[edit]

Some days back I consolidated all the Talk on to one of my sandbox pages. For reference:

Official policy[edit]

Proposed or blanked proposed policy[edit]

Discussion[edit]

Application[edit]

Consensus[edit]

Wikipedia:Consensus Londonjackbooks (talk) 13:56, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Clean text vs. Annotations[edit]

It occurs to me that even if the future reader must always be given the option to view a "clean" version of a published text, the existence of annotations in the form of Wikilinks should not affect reader if they were disable colour coding convention for hyperlinks, and/or copy/paste text only to view or download "clean text".

Would it not be possible to reinstate this guideline from this perspective, as it seems to me we are missing a trick here: Wikisource is not a paper based medium, such that Wikilinks are not amendments to the texts, merely overlays.

I think blanking the guideline is a mistake, and some sort of compromise along the lines of Wikilinks lite ("less is more") is policy, otherwise we end up throwing out the potential of Wikilinks to enhance the educational mission of Wikisource.

I have been adding Wikilinks to the text of Problems of Empire in order to provide context to the reader, as many of the political figures mentioned and some of the terminology use in the book have become obscure due to the passage of time. I think it enhances the original text Wikilinks can be made to articles about topics whose historical or cultural context may be unfamiliar to the reader. I think this makes the reading more interesting, and in so doing, enourages the general reader to study works that would be otherwise unappealing. ----Gavin Collins (talk|contribs) 11:50, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

A new annotation project[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 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.

cheers, Gaurav (talk) 00:13, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Replying on user's talk page as numbers of comments that are a bit larger than here. — billinghurst sDrewth 09:16, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Acceptance[edit]

Hello everybody, i've seen that in en:WS annotated works are allowed if they are explicitly labeled and a category is added to it. Looking into this category i find only 18 annotated text which is very few compared to unannotated texts. What is the reason for that? Is it due to the retention of many of the writer which mainly focus on the raw text? Is it unattractive and time-intensive to work on a text twice? Do more anotated texts exists but they are not categorized? I would really appriciate to get any comment on this issue since in de:WS a discussion about annotating texts came up now and we want use the experience of other WSs. Thanks in advance, --Aschroet (talk) 10:02, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

This is a new policy, and not fully in place yet. You are seeing the transition period here. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:08, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Interestingly, the last discussion on this page are older than one year but the project page is currently changing. Could you tell me how/where the related discussion went on? --Aschroet (talk) 06:53, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
See Wikisource:Requests for comment/Annotations and derivative works for the discussion. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 07:37, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Template for original author's margin notes, found in manuscript[edit]

Hello, I'm preparing to upload a manuscript of an 18th-century work, specifically the original first edition of the work of which there is no other copy. These annotations were made by the author as a supplement to the body text, and are written in the margins of the manuscript. Is there a template for this? In the German Wikisource, the template NotizRechts ("Right note"; see its talk page for an example) exists, which serves this purpose. Is there such a template on the English Wikisource?

Once again, this isn't a user-generated or even a translation-generated margin note, it is a note made by the author in the original and only surviving copy of the work. Ithinkicahn (talk) 08:59, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

We have sidenotes if you think that it fits within that scheme. We have {{right sidenote}} though often right sidenotes are problematic with floating right margins. Ugly to read, especially when onto tablets, etc. Alternatively, you could convert them to footnotes. There are other means as well, depending what suits the work. — billinghurst sDrewth 15:01, 7 March 2014 (UTC)