Wikisource:News/2019-09/Wikisource at Wikimania

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Wikisource News
Wikisource at Wikimania
by MJL, 31 August 2019

Wikisource track at Wikimania 2019[edit]

Wikimania was in full swing last August, and Wikisource was given an active presence this year with the Wikisource track. Special thanks goes out to Slowking4 (talkcontribs) for helping both keep English Wikisource in the conversation and for compiling resources about the track. Slowking and VIGNERON (talkcontribs) were the official co-leaders of the track.[1]

2019 in review[edit]

Punjabi Wikisource
This issue...

The Wikisource Year in Review 2019 session was given by the co-leaders, Satdeep Gill (talkcontribs), and Balaji J. Panelists gave community highlights and explained the amazing progress that has been made throughout the year.

Satdeep Gill explained that for Punjabi speakers, users have started switching from translating Wikipedia articles to transcribing texts in Wikisource using the native text. Rather than detracting from Punjabi Wikipedia's success, these texts were used to support the development of Wikipedia articles. Additionally, Gill shared the success the local Wikisource had in partnering with local institutions. A private school in Punjab made the decision to hire a local Wikimedian in Residence in order to engage students with transcribing texts. While most students use the Latin script, transcribing texts for gives students experience using the native Gurmukhi script. The partnership is the likely the first of its kind in the Wikimedia movement and came about through the hard work of the local Wikisource contributors.[2][3]

Also mentioned are the two newest approved additions to the lingual Wikisources; Hindi Wikisource and Neapolitan Wikisource. The latter wiki was only just created on 14 August having received langcom approval last November. Hindi Wikisource was approved March this year, and its deployment is being tracked at phab:T218155. This brings the total amount of Wikisources to about seventy in theory.

Best practices discussion[edit]

The different language communities also got together and shared best practices. According to the notes taken by VIGNERON and Björg, the two main speakers were Bodhisattwa (talkcontribs) for Bengali Wikisource and Ankry (talkcontribs) for Polish Wikisource. Participants and speakers shared user scripts, tools, and anything else found to be helpful for contributing to Wikisource. Readers can view full the session summary on Wikimania's wiki.

Wikisource: Challenges and Opportunities[edit]

The panel discussion was live-streamed and available online.

By far and away one of the most unexpected takeaways came out of the shared panel titled Wiktionary & Wikisource in EduWiki Initiatives: Challenges and Opportunities which was part of the Education track. Member of the WMF Board of Trustees Esh77 (talkcontribs) asked the panel what they most needed to help build their communities. Both of the panelists representing Wikisource communities, safi-iren (talkcontribs) and Satdeep Gill; cited the lack of a VisualEditor as detrimental to their communities growth.

While this was a concern shared by the Wiktionary communities, Gill and Irina articulated much higher levels of frustration. According to Gill, "We need a complete overhaul of Wikisource; but if you talk about any one thing, I think it is VisualEditor for Wikisource... It's supposed to work better than the Source Editor, but it works [expletive]..." when compared to the standard wikitext editor. Irena also strongly stated her own support for a VisualEditor, "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes... it's incredibly difficult to work with only one tool."

VisualEditor was first made available to English-language Wikipedia in 2012 as a way to promote editing without needing to learn complex syntax. By the April 2013, it was added to fourteen more wikis and soon all versions of Wikipedia. It currently a beta feature available to all Wikimedia projects; the only exceptions being Wiktionary and Wikisource.[4]

In his exchange with Esh77, Satdeep Gill surmised, "We can do it, but as a movement do we want to invest in Wikisource? That's the question. I don't see that commitment yet."

Other conversations[edit]

Some of the discussions that should be mentioned include:


  1. Readers may remember VIGNERON as the representative for the Wikisource Community User Group during the 2019 affiliate-selected Board seats process.
  2. From the Session summary notes taken by Bruno, VIGNERON, and Peter Isotalo.
  3. Details also taken from File:Wiktionary & Wikisource in EduWiki Initiatives- Challenges and Opportunities.webm recorded by Wikimedia Sverige.
  4. Source: w:WP:VisualEditor