Heartbleed and Wikimedia
Heartbleed is a security fault in the widespread cryptographic library OpenSSL, which made about 17% of the world's secure web servers vulnerable. The bug is part of the Heartbeat Extension, which was implemented in 2011 and went into general use on 14 March 2012. It was not discovered until 1 April 2014 and not announced until 7 April. A simple explanation of the way the bug works can be found in the xkcd web comic.
The Wikimedia Foundation began updating their system on 8 April and by the end of the day (in Coordinated Universal Time) user logins began to be reset, forcing users to log in again using the improved system. Further updates, including to Bugzilla, carried on until 10 April.
There is no evidence that the Heartbleed bug was ever used maliciously against Wikimedia or its projects. Nevertheless, the Wikimedia Foundation recommends that all users reset their passwords just to be safe. They will not be enforcing any changes, however.
Adding Wikisource's authors to Wikidata continues although the rate of connection has decreased. Until 6 April connection to Wikidata occurred at a pace of about 50 author pages per day, which would have connected the entire namespace in just under three months. On 7 April, however, the trend actually reversed and the number of unconnected pages increased. Since that point, the average has gone down to five author connections per day.
The reversals are probably due to new author pages being created. The change in the rate of connection could have many causes, from other matters taking up time or lack of interest, to the lack of any more pages with matching already-connected Wikipedia articles.
Featured texts for May 2014
In a departure from the normal featured text system, a set of texts are being featured this month rather than a single instance. The featured texts for May 2014 are the Romanes Lectures, a series of free public lectures given annually at the University of Oxford, beginning in 1892 and continuing to this day. Wikisource's coverage of the lectures reaches up until 1922, the last year for which all works are now definitely in the public domain according to United States law.
The lectures are named after their founder, Canadian-born British biologist and physiologist George Romanes (1848–1894). They are quite prestigious and can be on any subject in science, art or literature that has been approved by Oxford's Vice-Chancellor. Many significant figures in an eclectic range of fields have been invited to give the lectures, beginning with former Prime Minister William Gladstone.
Collaborations for May 2014
After validating two poetry books—The Spirit of the Nation and Pieces People Ask For—in April, the Proofread of the Month for May 2014 is focusing on books about little known areas of Earth. The first selected book is Lake Ngami (1861), which details the explorations and discoveries of Charles John Andersson after wandering in the wilds of Southwestern Africa for four years in the late 1850s.
The Maintenance of the Month task for May 2014 is still about Author page connection with Wikidata items. Wikisource author pages could use much data from Wikidata, but they need to be connected to Wikidata items first. Soon after Wikisource was deployed on Wikidata, a bot connected the majority of the author pages that had a link to the Wikipedia article about the author in their header. Yet about 5,000 author pages, which is roughly one third, were left to be connected manually. As of April 30, 76.6% of author pages are connected to Wikidata, leaving 3,880 pages unconnected.
Four administrators were confirmed in April 2014:
- John Vandenberg (talk | contributions)
- Jusjih (talk | contributions)
- Yann (talk | contributions)
- Zhaladshar (talk | contributions)
One administrator is having their confirmation discussion in May 2014:
One new administrator was appointed in April 2014:
Ineuw, who is perhaps best known on Wikisource for the Popular Science Monthly project, self-nominated themselves for the position on the grounds of now having more understanding, experience and confidence in carrying out the responsibilities of adminship; because the number of active admins is diminishing due to demands of life; Ineuw's status as one of several "retired" Wikisourcians with more time to help with essential maintenance tasks; and, as the number of older editors is slowly increasing, Ineuw would like to provide more detailed support to those who have less experience. Ineuw has knowledge of Hungarian, Hebrew, English, and French.
On 29 April the Spanish Wikisource reached 90,000 text units (pages of content).