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One thousandth validated index[edit]

On 19 April, English Wikisource reached its 1000th fully validated index page. Coincidentally, this 1000th work was Address on the opening of the Free Public Library of Ballarat East, a speech about a free public library made by Sir Redmond Barry in 1869. The index page itself was uploaded Billinghurst in March and the final validation, of both pages and the index, was by MODCHK.

Sir Redmond Barry (7 June 1813 – 23 November 1880), was an Irish colonial judge in Victoria, Australia. He may perhaps be most famous as the judge in the Eureka Stockade and Ned Kelly trials but he was heavily involved with libraries in Australia. Several were established thanks to Sir Redmond, including the State Library of Victoria and the Melbourne Public Library. He planned libraries, wrote their procedures, bought their stock and even helped to shelve books. The Australian Library and Information Association issues the Redmond Barry Award in his honour for "outstanding service to or promotion of a library and information service or libraries and information services, or to the theory or practice of library and information science, or an associated field".

The first fully validated work recorded on this project is Frontiers (index), a 1907 lecture by George Curzon. That page was validated on 18th December 2009. Since then, the rate of validation has been more-or-less even. Some months have many more validations than others but the overall behaviour is approximately linear.

Line graph showing the validation on index pages over time on the English Wikisource, from the first validation to the one thousandth. (Simplified graph is: validations = 23.9 x months from start + 20)

In related news, Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders completed its 25,000th text earlier in the month. It was The Art and Practice of Silver Printing (1881) by Henry Peach Robinson and Captain William de Wiveleslie Abney.

One quarter proofread[edit]

Area chart showing proportions of naked pages (in red) against scan-backed pages (in blue) over time. One quarter scan-backed (blue) at April 2013 on the far right of the chart.
Transclusion statistics as at the end of April 2013

In a similar milestone for English Wikisource, on 22nd April the proportion of proofread texts passed 25% of the total. At the end of April 2013, the project had 286,582 pages ("text units") of content. Of these, 71,065 pages were backed by scans (with a further 4,215 disambiguation pages that will never be supported in this way). This means that 25.17% of the mainspace is now a result of proofreading rather than "naked" cut-and-paste works from other digital libraries or off-line transcriptions.

The total on 21st April was 69,748 scan-backed pages of 28,1727 total (24.76%). The total on 22nd April was 70,704 scan-backed pages of 281,841 total (25.09%).

Of all Wikisources, only French Wikisource, the original home of the Proofread Page extension, has more scan-backed pages at 99,687 pages (78.76% of their total). Some other projects have a greater proportion—for example, Polish is 63.68%, Italian is 38.68% and German is slightly higher at 26.31%—but none of them match English for quantity. (The closest is German Wikisource with 24,458 scan-backed pages.)

Score extension[edit]

The Score extension has been deployed on Wikisource and some of its sister project. This extension allows musical notation to be written in Wikisource works, where previously the only solution was to use images of the scanned source material.

This function was originally requested in bug report #189, "Add a music wikimodule", 22nd August 2004. The original candidate was the LilyPond extension written by Johannes E. Schindelin. However, there were potential security concerns with this version. Another candidate was the secure and simpler ABC extension by River Tarnell, which was also first suggested in 2004. This was pushed for some time but some rewrites were requested, affecting the way it stored files, before it could be deployed and these did not happen. The long delay in implementation was resolved when GrafZahl announced the LilyPond-based Score extension on 16th December 2011. The remaining delay was due to additional code reviews before deployment.

\relative c'' {\clef treble
\key c \major
\time 6/8
\override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbol = #'time-signature
\mark \markup { \small \italic "Con moto" }
\partial 8*2 b8 c |
d4^\markup{\bold –} c8 b4^\markup{–} a8 | 
gis4^\markup{\bold –} a8 b4^\markup{–} e,8 | 
c'8.^\markup{\bold –} b16 a8 b4^\markup{–} e,8 | 
a2.^\markup{\bold –}}

Pagenlied, by Mendelssohn. From: A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, volume 1, page 12 (1900).

Musical score transcription project[edit]

Shall we host scores as part of the Wikisource project or shall we start another project for them? At the time of writing, most support in the discussion is for hosting scores at the multilingual Wikisource.

Wikisource vision development[edit]

Mockup of a Wikisource form, with many data fields.
Mockup of a form that could be used to organize a book in the proposed BookManager extension.

Following on from their successful Individual Engagement Grant reported last month Micru and Aubrey have started a central set of pages on Multilingual Wikisource to discuss and coordinate the future vision for Wikisource. In addition to the requests for comment mentioned elsewhere in this issue, the development team are also working on some other projects.

The Books task force was started on Wikidata on 27 February with the aim of collecting metadata for books that can be used on Wikisource (for example, in index pages and header templates) as well as sister projects like Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. This could unify all the information, instead of the current situation of each project maintaining it's own versions, which, besides the redundancy involved, can quickly go out of sync as some are edited and others are not.

They are promoting two Google Summer of Code projects. The first is GorillaWarfare's mw:User:GorillaWarfare/Proposal to "work on Extension:BookManager to allow these wikis [Wikisource and Wikibooks] to collect pages of a book into a single unit, which can then be easily navigated, exported/printed, and acted upon as a single unit." This would potentially use a JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) structure to collect all of the metadata for a book in an editable form (see image). This could allow a user to use one page to interact with a whole book, over several subpages, as a single object; simplifying export, watchlisting and other functions. The second is Micru's own Book uploader, a customisation of the Wikimedia Commons upload wizard optimised for Wikisource. This project is related to the Wikidata task force.

The team report that they have also begun to make contact with the Open Library, the Internet Archive and the Open Knowledge Foundation with the intention of possible future partnerships.

Finally, they are also proposing a Wikisource Association, an international user group to support their project.

Interproject links interface[edit]

Example screenshot of Wikipedia with interproject tabs replacing the talk page tab
Option 1: Tabs
Example screenshot of Wikipedia with the "from Wikipedia" byline altered to become a drop-down list
Option 5: Drop-down list next to title

Micru and Aubrey have started a request for comment on meta-wiki with the aim of changing the way interproject links are displayed. The result of this may be a standardised system of displaying the links across all projects,, with the link data stored on Wikidata rather than locally. It may also serve to give more attention to the smaller wikiprojects, like Wikisource, as click-throughs from Wikipedia (as well as offering a standardised return link) by making the interproject links more prominent. This will override and replace English Wikisource's current {{plain sister}} linking template in the header templates.

The favoured approaches at time of writing appear to be either putting the links in the sidebar with the interlanguage links or creating some form of drop-down list next to the page title. The initial option was to create tabs for the interproject links at the top of the page, alongside the Page tab and displacing the talk page tab, which has attracted a lot of both support and oppose votes. A lot of the opposition is due to the fact that these links may confuse casual users as they take them between different projects rather than staying in one place. There is a least one option for retaining the existing ad hoc systems but feeding the link data from Wikidata in some fashion, probably in the same way property values can currently be transcluded, although comments suggest that Wikidata will function best, and automatically, with a standard system.

Annotations and derivative works[edit]

The request for comment on annotations is almost complete and the results should soon be summarised in new policies. At time of writing there are just a few things left to be resolved. The primary issue left outstanding is one implied by the title, the actual implementation of annotation. Other potential problems include the case where another Wikisource does not permit the proofreading of the original for internal policy reasons and whether illustrations can be used as annotations.

Featured text for May 2013[edit]

Top two-thirds filled with a yellow sky and a large red and white coloured image of the planet Saturn, with rings at a 45 degree angle to the page. The bottom third shows a blue-grey ground with many running figures, two of which are closest to the viewer. On the horizon are two grey piles of stones or mesas; on top of each is a nineteenth century sailing ship
Amazing Stories, number 1.

This month's featured text is Amazing Stories (volume 1, number 1), a 1926 pulp magazine edited by Hugo Gernsback.

Amazing Stories was the first magazine devoted solely to science fiction, or "scientifiction" as Gernsback called the genre. It helped define the field, launched an entirely new brand of pulp fiction, and led to the formation of science fiction fandom as a semi-formal association of people. This, the first issue of the magazine (published April 1926), collected reprints of fiction Gernsback deemed fit into his new category of fiction. This includes three reprints of nineteenth century scientific romances: Jules Verne's "Off on a Comet" (the first part of a serialisation), H. G. Wells' "The New Accelerator" and Edgar Allan Poe's "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" (both complete). Newer material was reprinted from other magazines. Austin Hall's "The Man Who Saved the Earth" had been published in All-Story Weekly, while G. Peyton Wertenbaker's "The Man from the Atom" and George Allan England's "The Thing from—'Outside'" had both previously appeared in Science and Invention, one of Gernsback's existing magazines.

The 2013 Nebula Awards are also presented in May. The awards are given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to recognise the best works of science fiction or fantasy published in the United States in the last year. This year's awards will be presented on 18 May in San Jose, California.

Another fiction magazine!

At first thought it does seem impossible that there could be room for another fiction magazine in this country. The reader may well wonder, "Aren't there enough already, with the several hundreds now being published?" True. But this is not "another fiction magazine," Amazing Stories is a new kind of fiction magazine! It is entirely new—entirely different—something that has never been done before in this country. Therefore, Amazing Stories deserves your attention and interest.

There is the usual fiction magazine, the love story and the sex-appeal type of magazine, the adventure type, and so on, but a magazine of "Scientifiction" is a pioneer in its field in America.

Collaborations for May 2013[edit]

With the Proofread of the Month project, it's Natural History Month. The subject of this month's proofreading will be Natural History, Birds (1849) by Philip Henry Gosse, the second in a series of volumes on Natural History. The fifth volume, Natural History, Mollusca (1854), is already held in the Wikisource collection.

The Maintenance of the Month task for May 2013 is Categorization. This task was already selected for August 2012, but it is far from completion. It aims to categorize all Wikisource works by type, genre/subject, date, and license.

New guidelines[edit]

The Maintenance of the Month task for April 2013 ("Proposed policies and guidelines – Giving an agreed status to proposed rules") resulted in the promotion of three new Wikisource guidelines.

periodicals A periodical is a work whose editions are published on a regular schedule. A periodical may include articles, essays, fiction, and poetry.

A periodical hosted on Wikisource should use a subpage for each volume, issue, and article. There should be a redirect at the name of each article.

Be sure to consider the copyright of each article as well as the copyright of the whole issue.

portals Portals have existed on the English Wikisource since 2005, but they are hosted in a namespace of their own only since 2010.

Portals aim to provide information, promote content and encourage contribution.

There are portals about subjects, groups of works linked by a common feature, non-author people, corporate authors, and publishers. They are classified within an adapted version of the Library of Congress Classification system.

red links A red link means a link to a page that does not exist on Wikisource.

You can use red links to subpages or author pages you are going to create, or to texts that may be added in the future.

Do not insert links to pages that are not ready for creation, including pages that do not respect the naming conventions or works that are still under copyright. Portals should not be walls of red links.

Account standardisation[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation will soon be implementing a change that may alter some Wikisource users' usernames. The Single User Login (SUL) has been available since 27 May 2008, which allows Wikimedians to use the same username and personal details across all Wikimedia projects. While this has been optional in the past, it will soon be mandatory. However, some duplicate usernames exist on Wikimedia. Where in the past as user called, for example, "User:Example" on Wikisource could be separate from a different user called "User:Example" on Russian Wikipedia, they will now both be automatically renamed as part of the SUL process. The Wikisource user would become "User:Example~enwikisource" and the Wikipedia user would become "User:Example~ruwikipedia". There will be a process for further renaming of the SUL account on Meta-Wiki (this will no longer be possible for local bureaucrats).

Administrator confirmations[edit]

An administrator was confirmed in April 2013:

Three administrators will have their confirmation discussions in May 2013:


2013-04-21 Swedish Wikisource 60,000 text units
2013-04-18 Telugu Wikisource 10,000 total pages
2013-04-17 Icelandic Wikisource 10,000 page edits
2013-04-12 Esperanto Wikisource 1,000 registered users


  • The position of the [edit] links will soon be changing. Instead of the right-hand side of the screen they will soon be found immediately following the section title.