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Warning Please do not post any new comments on this page. This is a discussion archive first created in August 2005, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date.
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Note:' This archive was originally copied from the multilingual Wikisource.

Name of the project

Hey - I thought that the name of this project was going to be Wikisource. I own and and in the meantime will redirect those domain names here. --Maveric149 06:08, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I agree. I'd been calling it Wikisource too and I'm not keen on "Project Sourceberg", but that can be fixed either through the languages.php or with the new MediaWiki namespace when it is introduced. I imagine that moving it to wouldn't be too difficult either. I'll lave a message for Brion about it. Angela 07:45, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I thought that there would be something like {languagecode} Yann 20:41, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)
You mean, this isn't the Wikiberg project? <smiles> But still: If the other parts are anything to go by, it should be should be Wiki-something. I'm not sure "source" is right, though. Apart from the software associations the word has on the net, the implication is that one has drawn information from it. That is, an older work is only a source for a work it is used for. All other documents appear in the bibliography. Is this the intented use? (We may need a "What Wikiberg is page.) Aliter 00:19, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)ccc

Wait, *wait!* This project's name should be SourceWiki, to collate automatically with every other source-related reference in people's bookmarks, favorites and lists. This is done naturally alphabetically by the first word, so that should be "source." "Source" is the topic--people are thinking of seeing available Source text in various books, etc. Other wiki's, e.g. WardWiki, are like this. The name should not align with Wikipedia, possibly chosen to resonate with "Encyclopedia." "Wiki" suits the water people swim in (the medium they use reflexively) better than the water they drink ("I think I'll have a "wiki!").

The site can stay at if desired. Georgesawyer 22:49, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I'm glad that you are not going to insist that we change direction, and that we don't need to change 36,000 articles. I can now relax with a good stiff Scotch and Wiki. Eclecticology 04:55, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Aim of the project

Perhaps we already need a oldwikisource:What Wikisource is not page. It's very new, and all discussion that I have seen about it envision it as a place for original sources. This does not qualify it as a dumping ground for lists that some people don't want on Wikipedia. If the lists of ZIP codes and saints are to have any value they need to stay on Wikipedia where they can be linked to the items in that list. Eclecticology 08:18, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I definitely miss the article of oldwikisource:What Wikisource is and any other pages which tell what kind of texts are to be included here (and what not), what is a source; and give a definitive and obvious place to talk about it and shape its definitions if necessary.
For example I still have an idio^H^H^H^Hguy who is annoying us on HU that he wants to create articles about fictional things (like Webcone or the definition of Unarticulable future, among other proprietary nonsense). Is wikisource is the media for him to publish his fictional ecyclopaedic material? (GFDL) (We definitely do not welcome these on the "real" wikipedia.) --grin 12:19, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)
You make a very good point. Describing what something is not does depend a lot on what it is. I'll pay some attention to starting a page of that sort. (I've removed the sp? from your comments; the word is correct.)
The idiot that you describe is not uniquely Hungarian. They exist for all languages. I don't see Wikisource as the place for the kind of material you describe any more than Wikipedia. I mostly see Wikisource as a series of reference texts which have usually been published somewhere else. These texts can also include tabular material or other statistical data. It is not a place for Wikipedians to publish books that no sane publisher would accept. All of us would be happy to have thes fools go to somebody else's project. In some senses Meta was devised to divert thes people, but perhaps they need their own project as a sort of asylum where they can be safely ignored. ;-) Eclecticology 18:37, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Although this is somewhat different, I've long thought it would be nice for there to be a "dream wiki" where people could create wishlists for inventions, software (both those which compare features on existing products as well as what an idealized product would be able to do), as well as an arts clearinghouse for artistic ideas (e.g., film or literature concepts) which could be shared for others to develop further, or even proposed solutions to political and social problems. The reason I think these would be ideal for wiki format is that people could have a centralized place to find out what has been envisioned on a given topic, and even give opportunities for innovation and possibly collaboration. Although things might get unclear where opinions could seem inherently conflicting, the primary aim would not be to delete ideas, but to organize them by topic. This would in my view also ideally be subtly linked from Wikipedia for those wishing to find the corresponding innovation/ideas page for a given topic under research as it could be of interest to the researcher. Brettz9 04:20, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Have you guys heard of project Gutenberg? How do your aims differ from theirs? There seems to be alot of overlap. Maybe you could integrate your efforts? - Steve

This has been discussed earlier, see oldwikisource:Wikisource:Wikisource and Project Gutenberg. You are welcome to comment further on that page, if you feel that you have something to add to the discussion :) --Christian S 17:29, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

What about music texts? I'd like a repository of scores (pdf perhaps). Is there a category for this, or another wiki, or can we make one? -- Geoff


Is this like Meta, one Wiki but offical many languages. Or like Wiktionary; only English for now. For other languages there must be setup new wiki's? Walter 08:54, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I think it's too new to tell. Personally, I have no problem with source texts in multiple languages, but I would wait to see how the discussions go. Eclecticology 09:44, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)
It would be dumb not to have it like meta. All languages should be welcome, just use naming conventions to disambiguate. Language category tags can later be used to set the language of an anon user's interface. Preferences can also be set to change the language of logged-in users. Of course this will take time to code. I still don't think there is a enough meat to this project for it to be an interesting and viable place. Why is it necessary to edit public domain texts from projects like Distributed Proofreaders? And since such editing is necessary (and in fact harmful), then what is the point? Much better just to concentrate on educationally important public domain texts and put them in Wikibooks. --Maveric149 19:47, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I would like to put some French texts here. Do we make special Home page for each languages likeçais ? Yann 20:45, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)
"It would be very dumb" to have it like meta. All languages should be welcome, but like in Wikipedia it does not make much sense to intersperse Malayan en Gaelic documents. As you can see from the French example, the first thing to do for a new language is creating a non-general part. What sense is there in keeping these combined then? It will just cause a need for cross-translation of every project page, without adding anything. Aliter 00:19, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Sources are sources are sources. Do you intend to create your own translations? That would not be a source! What about Old or even Middle English? Should those have their own wikis as well? Where do we put the original Chaucer? Have you read the original Chaucer? It isn't what I would call English - looks more like a cross between Latin and Low German. The reason why Wikipedia is so segmented is because of naming conflicts. Articles on Albert Einstein will require that exact same title is a great many languages. Sources will be given their original title names; whatever that language is. If there happens to be a public domain translation, then that translated title would be the page name. Simple, clean and inclusive. --Maveric149 03:15, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Ok but how to have a localised menu? Yann 15:44, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I think localised menus are a great idea. Perhaps the current main page should be moved to oldwikisource:Main page:English and oldwikisource:Main page be made more of an international portal linking to the localised versions. Angela 23:05, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. --Maveric149 23:06, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
That is going to require 1) a good category system (in the works - just some bugs to fix) 2) the creation of language category tags, 3) the ability of MediaWiki to have multiple language.php files for one wiki, 4) a user preference to set the interface language. Then anons visiting a page with a language category tag set to "French" will have his or her interface language change to French. A logged-in user could override that and have everything in whatever language we have language.php files for. Now we need a developer to code that. But it seems like it wouldn't be too much work once we have a functioning category system. --Maveric149 23:06, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)~
I'm sorry to disagree, but no, sources, in the sense of that what we take data from, aren't really that different from the Wikipedia. Like Wikipedia texts, sources about Albert Einstein tend to be called "Albert Einstein". And the language wikipedias have the effect of not offering Chinese pages to the Danes, which is a feature most people would want for sources as well. (Not to say no Danes read Chinese, but those that do will look for Chinese pages/sources themselves.) And yes, in the sense mentioned above, the translated version of an original can indeed be the source for articles in the language of the translation.
(We really do need that "What is"-page.) Aliter 04:32, 26 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Everything moved from ps.

I probably should have clarified this yesterday, but all that happened last night is that all the articles from ps.wikipedia were moved here. This was done to clean up what ought to be Pashto Wikipedia. The movement of them here did not involve any editorial decisions and it does not reflect a view that those articles should stay here. It was just easier to get them moved in one go. Later, when we have some policies here, we can decide what needs to be done with them. Most of them have not been edited since their move here, so they all need work, if not deletion.

Right! It wouldn't do to have the Afghans angry with us.
There are a number of things which need to be decided - Project Sourceberg:What Wikisource is not is probably a good place to start. We also need to decide whether to stick with the name Project Sourceberg, or to go with Wikisource (or WikiSource) or something else entirely. I was assuming it was international and we already have articles in Latin, Polish, French and German, but that decision is another one which will need to be made. Angela 19:24, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)
The Project Sourceberg/Wikisource naming issue should be at the top of the list, before the project gets so big that a change will imply moving a lot more articles. I very much favour the latter name as consistent with the naming conventions used on other projects. That consistent approach will help the public to associate any "wiki-xxx" with the wikimedia. Perhaps even the 9/11 project could be changed to "wikimorial" to leave it room to evolve into something that also honours victims of other tragedies. Eclecticology 21:28, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)----
Agreed on priority and on the wikimorial idea, though I'm not sure about the "morial" bit. Alternatives? And who will have to be persuaded?) As mentioned before, I'm not sure about "source". Since the open bit is already implied in "wiki", can we simply be "wikitext(s)"? Unless we take pictures too, in which case we'd be "wikimedia". Oops! Aliter 00:19, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Ditto Ec. I kinda like the "Wikimorial" name - at least as a working title. However beware of Working titles! "Wikibooks" was a working title that stuck. I would have liked "Wikiveristy" better (I also don't think that "Wikibooks" is a trademarkable name - there are many uses of that term prior to the project's founding). So it is best to have unique names. Wikisource and Wikimorial fit that bill. --Maveric149

Links ?

How to make a link to here from another Wikipedia projects? And the {{NUMBEROFARTICLES}} doesn't seem to work. I added 4 articles and the cound didn't change. Yann 21:22, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Domain names and forward here now. Your ISP's DNS server may not be updated yet, however. --Maveric149 06:41, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Another thing that should be decided is whether this project is wanted at all. People may well have been bugging Brion for it, but on the other hand, there are still a lot of people arguing that this stuff should be on Wikipedia. The Polish Wikipedia have created a new namespace for source texts. If people are going to oppose the movement of source texts from Wikipedia to here (which they are doing at en), how is it going to work? Or should the Wikipedia is not a repository for source texts rule just be more strictly imposed? Angela 10:49, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Does that mean such a discussion should be put on meta's current issues list? (Actually, more a discussion about all of "What goes where?", judging by the remarks on this page.) Aliter 04:32, 26 Nov 2003 (UTC)


Now that it exists, I think that this project is a more appropriate place for full speeches than Wikiquote, and that they should be moved here rather than the other way around, as suggested in a comment on the main page. Kalki 17:13, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I moved the comment off the main page. They would be better here than WikiQuote I think. Angela 03:35, 26 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Multi language front page

Though this page has become the general (English) discussion page, this is also where I land when trying to comment explicitely on the main page: Should the main page be single-language until we know what this Wiki will be? This would give meta-wiki the time to sort out the Wikipedia front page issue. Aliter 04:42, 26 Nov 2003 (UTC)

maybe we can add an option in preferences and let user decide which language wikisource s/he would like to see? --Samuel 10:08, 26 Nov 2003 (UTC)


I think it's necessary to make the main page an index as Wikipedia does, i can hardly image when the current main page growing longer and longer! --Samuel 10:08, 26 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I agree. There has been talk at Wikipedia for some time now about introducing a category scheme which can hopefully also be adapted to this project. A table of contents is another thing, and is probably what you meant. The entire project will indeed become unworkable if links to every entry are on the Main Page. The primary link will be the one created by the contributor when he begins his contribution. This needs to be an idiot-proof system that virtually guarantees that the entry will be linked from the right place. In some ways this is made easier by the fact that there for the immediately forseeable future, each individual contribution will have fewer links though that too will change when interwiki links are more functional. It is made more complicated and challenging by the decision (which I accept) that there should be a single multi-language wikisource project. Eclecticology 19:22, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Page Titles

The naming of pages is an issue that must be addressed soon. I added 3 essays with the authors name followed by a dash and then the essay title, but now think that perhaps just the title should be used until actual conflicts arise, and then have the title followed by the authors name, or have the title followed by the author on all compositions. I am refraining from further additions for now, and await others ideas on the matter. Kalki 13:12, 26 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I see someone else has added essays with title followed by author, and I do believe this probably is the best format for all literary works and speeches. Kalki 13:22, 26 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Isn't that what's doing in English Wikipedia? Unless there are some texts having the same names, we have no need to use title like NAME:TITLE IMHO. Using TITLE (NAME) would be a good idea to disambiguate the two texts with the same names. And, disambiguation pages are needed sometimes. --Samuel 02:40, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I agree to the principal entry being under the title with the author being used in the title in cases where it is necessary for disambiguation or to expand generic titles such as Poetry of ..., Essays of ..., etc. which tend to be inherently ambiguous. A further language indicator may be needed when we have the work in several languages. The absence of a language indicator woould tell us that the work is in its original language.

The main English page, and those for other languages, now have links to articles in that language based on a prima facie division of categories. I think that we can easily agree that this will very soon outgrow the main page. The Main Page should then have links to broad entry reference pages. Ultimately every substantive contribution must link through or be traceable to one of these pages. The first that I would want to establish is oldwikisource:Wikisource:Authors for all works attributable to a personal author. A primary division of this first level listing by genres is not helpful. Some authors used several genres, and it is most helpful to put an authors works together in one place. Sometimes a user may simply not be aware that a famous work is in a genre other than what he might expect. The Iliad and Odyssey" were written in verse, but many may only be familiar with prose translations of these works. Other top level categories will soon be evident. I hope to say more as my ideas develop. Eclecticology 02:58, 30 Nov 2003 (UTC)


It would perhaps be best to create pages for each Author and only afterwards, if necessary, create seperate pages for longer works. Kalki ]

I agree, and sometimes maybe we need to create separate pages for each chapter! (using slash) :) --Samuel 02:33, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Classical Texts

I'm very new at this whole thing, and I hope I haven't misunderstood the whole purpose of this project. But still, I was surprised that on the Main Page here there was no category for "Classical Texts." This is what I initially thought the whole project was about: allowing people to write introductions and commentaries to texts, to provide study aids, etc. And perhaps most important of all, for primary texts that are English translations from classical languages such as Greek, Hebrew, Latin - to allow for the free update of what are largely outdated public domain translations.

Examples: Homer; classical philosophy (e.g. Aristotle), etc.

If people agree with what I've written here, then perhaps we can add a "classical texts" category.Zabek 07:20, 30 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Yes, definitely - add it. The project only started a few days ago which is why they aren't there yet. Angela 08:21, 30 Nov 2003 (UTC)

OK, then I'll add it. Maybe actually in three categories: Ancient and Classical Texts Medieval Texts Early Modern Texts

Would people agree to this?Zabek 13:41, 30 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Wikibooks is where study aids and annotations go. --Maveric149 19:16, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Wikibooks, if I understand correctly, is for schoolbooks, i.e. for textbooks and for the kinds of literary texts that everybody has to buy and read in high school or college. So Shakespeare belongs there too, because it is required reading. And maybe other things that are often on teachers' reading lists, or for which there are Cliff notes. But most other texts don't belong there, they belong here (again, if I have understood correctly).

How have other people understood this issue?Zabek 11:29, 4 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Yep. Although Wikibooks aims to add value to Shakespeare by adding annotation. In the future it would be real nice to be able to export the content of Wikisource's version of Shakespeare's works to Wikibooks. We already do something similar for the Wikimedia Foundation website (the source file for is at meta:Wikimedia_Fundraising_page). That way Wikisource can concentrate on providing authoritative sources and Wikibooks can concentrate on annotating educationally significant sources (along with creating study guides and textbooks). --Maveric149 18:20, 4 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I think I got it. Yann 12:46, 4 Dec 2003 (UTC)

If I would change something in the PD-editions of Latin texts (e.g. M. (Marcus) in stead of M'. (Manius), which is now generally accepted as correction of the Annals of Tacitus) would this violate the copyright of the authors who proposed this correction (in this case R. Syme)? Because I have mentioned in my dutch translation of the Annales references to some works that helped me with my translation(1). It would be handy if the PD-texts can be "updated" to the modern interpretation of the text.--Evil berry

Top level category for treaties etc.

I suggest a general category of "Special Documents" for what is now: Treaties, Pacts, Legal Texts, and Declarations. Also: I think "Essays" is too general, already covered in other categories.Zabek 14:48, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I will follow what you suggest, I am not an expert in this domain. Yann 15:03, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I've been puzzling over this one myself. "Special" seems too general, since there are many ways to be special. My current thinking tends toward "Historic documents", but I don't feel completely firm about this. The one thing now there which I feel does not belong is the Eurovision song material which has dubious importance beside all the others. Eclecticology 18:27, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I've done a bit more restructuring for the approach to linkage on the Main English Page. The left half gives primary categories, and in theory every source document in Wikisource should be able to link back to the main page through one of these categories. They have also been put into a logical order based on a series of questions in the form "Does it belong here? If not go to the next question." The final category is "none of the above", which is also a default category. Other categories may be added later when the need arises. I still need to break off pages for some of the categories.

The right half I've called "secondary indexes". Inclusion in any of these is optional. I don't expect to work on the remaining items here until I've finished with the left side. Eclecticology 00:04, 4 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I agree, Treaties needs to be a major category. There are a rather lot of them, and they are quite large. I would then propose that the rest be called something like Documents of Governance being laws, constitutions and court rulings. (Humm, maybe Court Rulings would need to be a major heading someday too.) [[PaulinSaudi 17:14, 1 May 2004 (UTC)]]

One of the things that I'm trying to avoid is too many top level primary categories; several that are already there should probably be moved away from there. The reasonable argument about "Treaties" could be made about a lot of other things with the result that the Main Page would soon become unwieldy. Historical documents (though a different comprehensive name could possibly be found) covers a broad range of texts, and "Treaties" is best treated as a sub-heading from there. Eclecticology 17:44, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

Link to Wikipedia Main Page

Does anyone know why this English Main Page for WikiSource is not linked to the English Wikipedia Main Page? (Under "Sister Projects"). Is it possible to put it there? (I know the Main Page is only supposed to be touched very carefully...)Zabek 04:31, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I did suggest it at en:talk:Main Page and got no reply. I shall take no reply to be agreement and try adding it. :) Angela 22:17, 5 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Please Note Translations

There's currently quite a few documents here not in the language they were written in. These don't count in their own right as primary source document, but are instead translations of primary source documents. Thus, they should be labeled as such, and the translator should preferably be noted (and whether the translation is an official one or not). The French version of the US Constitution and the English version of the Japanese Constitution are two good examples. This has two purposes: it lets people know whether a translation is the translation, or just a translation, and it lets people know that the document isn't really a primary source text in its own right. --Delirium 03:08, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

There's a question or whether texts translated by 'us' belong here, even with a note. Perhaps they belong on Wikibooks in some form. Personally, I think they should belong here, appropriately noted as you say. This definitely needs to be clarified in Project Sourceberg:What Wikisource is not or Project Sourceberg:What Wikisource is once it's been decided. --Spikey 13:50, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I have no problem with having translations of works in this project, though equally strong cases could be made for having these at Wikibooks. My primary delineation between the two projects is that this one is for the works themselves, while Wikibooks is about the works.

We will probably have a lot of cases where the work that appears at Wikisource is not here in the original language. As long as the fact is clearly stated that should be fine; the original can be added later. Having the Gandhi works appear in the original Gujarati alone wouldn't help many people. My own work on a master index has been with the distinction between originals firmly in mind. I agree that the names of who translated something should be recorded, and if a translation is an original one by a Wikimedian that two should be recorded. An original translation by default would be subject to GFDL. Translations are derivative works for copyright purposes, and there are many instances where the original is in the public domain, but the translation is not.

The reference to the American and Japanese constitutions is interesting. These are only official in the languages of those countries. No translation of them has official status; there is no such thing as the translation. Eclecticology 18:20, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Hi, I believe that this translation comes from, so I would see it as an offical translation. Yann 10:37, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It may be an excellent translation from a reliable source, but that still does not make it "official" for legal purposes. You could not go into an American court and make a legal argument about a constitutional issue based on any translation into any other language. Eclecticology 11:23, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I mean "official" not from a lawyer pov, but a linguist pov. Yann

Why are the "primary category" pages in the "Wikisource:" namespace and the "secondary indexes" not? —Ashley Y 02:53, 4 Jan 2004 (UTC)

User names

Why dont we have one username works on all wikimedia sites? (maybe you guys have already discussed that - but I could not find it) 03:03, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

There has already been much discussion of this on the mailing list and elsewhere, and the proposal has broad support. The matter is in the hands of the technical gurus. .... which I am not. Eclecticology 17:31, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

Moved from my talk page

Changes to the English Main Page

I would really appreciate it if you discussed your plans before you went ahead and started rearranging things on the English main page to suit yourself. -Ec

Well, it is not a protected page and this is a wiki after all, meaning that there is no need to discuss changes before performing them. By the way, I don't know why do you think I'm doing it to suit myself, after all, I'm giving it a more user-friendly, easy-to-access and live environment similar to Wikipedia's Main Page. Peace out, --Maio 22:06, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

If you want we could place a vote for the different styles, I think that's the best approach. :) --Maio 22:25, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Of course it's not a protected page, and I certainly would not support that it become a protected page in the near future. The Wikipedia main page has been protected because it was attracting a lot of common vandals; this was making life difficult for everybody. The simple fact that a page is not protected is not alone a valid excuse for doing something to the page that would totally change its character. So yes you can edit it the way you want, but then so can anybody else. That's what edit wars are made of.

There may be no adopted rule that requires discussing a change before performing it, but doing so can be a breach of Wikiquette, especially when the page in question is fundamental to the overall operation to a major part of the project. Whether your changes made the page more user-friendly and easier to access is debatable, and I don't know what you mean by "live environment".

As for votes, no thanks! Votes stifle consensus when the entire debate is reduced to two opposing positions. It prevents alternative third solutions. If you were more willing to express what is important to you in those changes, a compromise might more easily be reached. Not all aspects of that page are equally important to me. Eclecticology 09:24, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

As you have stated yourself, "the entire debate is reduced to two opposing positions". I beleive that it is completely unnecessary to move the discussion here. Because of that, I have replied on your talk page instead. --Maio 19:20, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Maio's comments on my talk page

To tell you the truth, I don't understand why _you_ don't like the changes. I'm kinda tired of this childish feeling that I have by playing Sherlock Holmes with you; trying to guess out what you don't like. Right now it looks like you are circumvilating the debate, instead of attacking it already. Maybe you could be more specific and to the point? please pretty sir? :)
You see, if you don't like a change, you should at least provide a reason of why you don't like it. Stating that you are reverting it because it is an "undiscussed change" or because you are "restoring primary categories" (when they were never removed) is kinda vague. Which, btw, makes it hard to adjust it in order to be gratifying.
Let me try to guess what you may be looking for... *sigh* *deep breath*
  • Index: obvious & easy-to-access menu that should be at the very top of the page, right after the introduction.
  • New texts: providing a living environment to the page.
    • By living I mean something with a constant internal change, but with an external layout that remains the same — think of the human body or the Wikipedia Main Page (especifically the "Selected Articles" section).
  • Quick Reference Help: just a layout change, the text pretty much remains the same.
    • I don't know why it is titled "Primary Categories" when it is indeed a "Quick Reference Help" (similar to Windows's Help).
  • Community: providing quick reference help pages just like in the Wikipedia Main Page.
I don't understand why you moved this to oldwikisource:Talk:Main Page:English, especially after you have expressed that this is a debate between 2 users only. I'm here to work on a consensus, not on a conflict between us. If find it completely unnecessary to justify the changes, but just so you know, the reason why I changed it again was because of oldwikisource:User:Ashley Y and your comment on oldwikisource:Talk:Main Page.
Peace out,
--Maio 19:20, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Reply I did not express that this was a debate between two users. I said, "Votes stifle consensus when the entire debate is reduced to two opposing positions." Perhaps I should rephrase it to "Votes stifle consensus by reducing the entire debate to two opposing position." This is not just a matter affecting two users, but one affecting everybody's relation to the project (or at least to its English part). Putting it on personal talk pages means that fewer people will see it. I have nothing to hide in my views.

Yes Ashley did express preference to your version as it was at the time. My comments at the time referred only to the "coloured bullets", which I was happy to see all black.

My main concern on this page is the "primary categories" which I view as the top end of a site map. I don't at all see how it can be analogous to a "Windows Help" page. I would say the same thing about it as you do about the Index: "obvious & easy-to-access menu that should be at the very top of the page, right after the introduction."

I mostly do not touch what is now called the "Index". Its maintenance is irregular, and its divisions are subjective. Neverthess I avoid interfering with what people put there.

There is very little dispute about the contents of "New Texts" and "Quick Reference Help / Community", although we may differ about their relative placements on the page. Eclecticology 20:42, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

PS: You are evidently more comfortable with the use of HTML than I. If some agreement can be reached, implementing it may be easier for you. Eclecticology 21:07, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Ahhh.. so that's it. Ok, how about this: we can set the index and the quick reference help at the top. For example, check out oldwikisource:Main Page:Espanol. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the case of oldwikisource:Main Page:Espanol you would like the "Primary Categories" where "Textos Nuevos" is located? Give me some time, I'm on Linux right now and don't have my tools here. --Maio 00:34, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Not exactly, but close. I would switch the positions of "Indice" and "Primary Categories. "Textos Nuevos" y "Communidad" would be fine where you have them. Eclecticology 02:07, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

New format

Part of the original discussion was moved to oldwikisource:Wikisource:Scriptorium.

Please check out the new format of the main page in English. Btw, if we set the table width to "100%", that's would be too wide; 80% is appropriate. --Samuel 02:51, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I've switched places between "Primary Categories" and "Other Indexes". Read the "Top Level Category..." section above for the rationale of what I'm trying to do. I think that the headings in what has been called "Index" are not designed to be comprehensive. I think that the index section can be useful for creating a lot of different specialized indexes. I also found that reducing the overall width to 80% made the half-width sections too narrow. Eclecticology 07:49, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)
In terms of "different specialized indexes" I just moved stuff up one level. (This is much more useful than just "Texts" and it can help new viewers get a sense of the broad, vast potential of a great site like this.) In general, I think the new Mainpage is really nice, both visually and in terms of usefulness. Those who worked on it did a great job.--Zabek 07:52, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Tables are usually set to a full width (100%) because there are users who browse in low screen resolutions. For example, it may seem huge for someone running under 1600x1200, but for those running on 800x600, setting the width to 80% takes away a considerable amount of screen space.
Just FYI, so that you understand the reasoning behind it: college students that use computers that are property of the campus, browse at a 800x600 resolution usually. 1600x1200 is rare (I think the last stadistic was 5%). A few years ago, the common resolution was 640x480, now it is 800x600; with 1024x768 as the next "standard" (at its pace, it will be the most common in less than 2 years probably).
--Maio 02:46, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Consensus format of oldwikisource:Main Page:English

Well, I think we finally got it all resolved. HOORJ! ^_^ --Maio 02:46, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Great! I hope Samuel will agree. Eclecticology 03:34, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)
it looks nice. :) --Samuel 01:48, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)


A while back it was agreed that we should have "New texts" links as part of the main page. It would be nice if the proponents of that feature made an effort to maintain it. Eclecticology 05:18, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)


I have an idea for a new category: "Licenses". This category could contain the GFDL, GPL, Lesser GPL, FreeBSD License, and Microsoft's EULA, etc. Good idea? Bad idea? Am I completely insane? Supadawg 00:56, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

That actually seems like a good idea, but I'm not sure if licenses themselves are copyrighted. Off course, the GPL isn't, but I'm not to sure on the MS EULA. If licenses allow it, great idea. It could be used for all sorts of comparison and research. -- 10:42, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Primary Categories Section

This should not be in question/answer form with a section for each question, it just ends up repeating the same phrase over and over, and overcompicating the view of the front page. Probably would look nicer delimited by "--" like in wikipedia, or just as a bulleted list.

As a side note, it might be nice to add a "Featured text" or something to make good use of the front page, while still linking to the categories.

Siroxo 02:13, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Mathematical Vs. Numerical

I think it is misleading that the question asks whether is mathematical when really it is referring to being numerical. I think the page should be changed to numerical rather than mathematical. For example, I don't think Euclid's elements would fall under that category even though it may be purely mathematical. --Cronian 06:23, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I understand your point. What I like about "mathematical" is that it is a broader term, despite the fact that the subject has been dominated by numerical charts and tables. Tables of integrals are a conceivable inclusion. Euclid's elements would likely have been included under the author. Eclecticology 08:01, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Public Patents?

I wouldn't myself be inclined to develop these pages (as I'd have no idea what to do about it), but I noticed that the category of public patents (if such things exist, as I have heard they do), would be a nice, logical addition to this site and set of sites. Brettz9 04:09, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Including the material available should be a fine afternoon's work. The USPTO has all this on line, and it's only 4 terabytes long. It is still missing the material that was lost in the fire of 1836-12-15. See Eclecticology 00:13, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I wasn't sure if you understand that by public patents I was referring to patents which were kind of anti-patents or GPL-type of things for inventions. By the way, Eclecticology, did you see my response to your older posting in section 2 above? Brettz9 06:38, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out your earlier comments; I had not noticed them before. Your idea is certainly interesting and with tremendous possibilities. Admittedly life on the Wiki has made me far more familiar with copyright law than with patent law. Perhaps too the fact that I recently acquired the book, the smoking gun may have put me in an unfair mood. It mentions such things as U.S. Patent 5,472,399, "An apparatus for exercising the penis", and Patent 5,934,226, "A diaper for pet birds".
I have no problem supporting the principle that you express; it is certainly visionary. I still don't know what the right wiki project would be for it, but ultimately, once it gets off the ground, it would deserve a project of its own. I have always maintained that the public domain signifies not an absence of ownership, but an ownership by the public. Patents have a much shorter lifespan than copyritghts. Henson's 1842 patent of the airfoil was well into the public domain but the time the Wright Brothers were ready for their first flight. I guess my point with that is that a free patent regime depends far more on what has gone before than is the case with open copyrights. Patents need to be reviewed before being granted, and, at least in theory, that includes checking to see if the idea duplicates a previously patented idea. I think that there is a lot of room for challenging some patents, but unless the challenger personally has a vested interest it just won't happen. Would the previous invention of a poop bag for dogs have prevented the patent of the bird diaper that I mentioned. Also, the fact that something is patented does not prevent you from using the description to make a model for your own use; it only prevents you from marketting the product and using it to derive profit.
To be successful this idea must emphasize what people can do for themselves. I am curious about what message they are trying to communicate in a TV ad when they describe their product as "patented". How is that possibly going to make that product work better, or be better suited for its purpose? What con game are they playing? What are the ingredients in a can of commercial paint thinner that you get at a hardware store? Leaving aside questions of poisons and carcinogens, is there something that I could mix myself for a lot cheaper that could do the job more easily? I hope you get my point. :-) I seem to be ranting on in the gospel of self-reliance. Consumerism relies on personal incompetance, including the inability of the average man-of-the-house to perform the most elementary of household repairs. Public patents that provide a practical guide to overcoming this defect could be very welcome. Eclecticology 19:56, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Changes to layout

AaronSw's changes were rightly reverted since they were quite radical and not discussed beforehand at all. I think the oldwikisource:Main Page is great the way it is and I wasn't a fan of what he did to the Author template either, but I did like his way of organizing the English Main Page. Therefore I would like to discuss if we could organize the categories the way he did: i.e. more succinctly and structured. Personally I think it gives the reader more options to find what they want faster. Obviously he didn't go about it the right way but anyone else agree that the English Main page looked better the new way? - Biggins 11:01, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The intent in structuring the English Main Page the way that it is was based on a decision tree that would allow the placement of any article. At least the left half has been that way. It allows any and all articles to be traced back to the Main Page. (I've taken very little interest in the right half, even though I've noticed that some of the new articles remain new for a very long time.) The thinking behind it has you begin at the top of the list, ask the question, and if the answer is yes put the article under that heading; if no go on to the next question. At the end of the series of questions you reach "none of the above". I admit that I have been remiss in properly documenting that process. The word "categories" at the head of that box was there long before the current category system was devised, and may now be misleading. Eclecticology 20:13, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)
This kind of decision tree would be more appropriate on a "how to add an article" page. People want to find articles in all sorts of ways, and the front page should be geared to them.
OK now I know what the questions were for, I never understood :) But as Aaronsw says, a decision tree would probably be more appropriate on something like the How to submit a text page, while a more index-like layout would be better for the main page in my opinion. And really, the substance doesnt really change much: the proposed version contains all the links that are on the current version, only organized differently and adding links to category-like pages (Letters, Poetry etc). All pages could still be traced back to the Main Page, in fact more of them (the category-like pages) could.
As for the misleading categories header, I agree its a bit outdated. I for one completely forgot about the poetry page when I added oldwikisource:The Hunting of the Snark, I just listed it from Lewis Carroll's author page and thought I was done. Linking to a document from multiple places like that seems annoying and unnecessary: shouldn't we make those true categories so we can just put a [[Category:Poetry]] link on a page? - Biggins 00:13, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Ooh boy, just went back and read through the whole discussion about categories at the scriptorium. So are we officially using the Library of Congress system or what? I'm kinda confused about the whole issue. - Biggins 00:29, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Relegating something to a "How to add an article" page would be a ticket to oblivion. There is plenty of room for both approches on the English Main Page; that has always been the case. The most important feature about the "Primary categories" (and I'm now considering changing that title to "Primary links") is that it is comprehensive, i.e. absolutely every article can be linked through it. No-one is obliged to link from multiple places; linking from an author page is quite sufficient. If someone wants to make an additional link from the poetry page they are welcome to do it, though eventually any good category system should make such pages based on genre redundant. My suggestion at this point would be for those who want change to develop the right side of the page to their satisfaction. I'm not likely to take a significant role in that exercise. When that is done, perhaps we can better co-ordinate our different efforts.
There is nothing obligatory or even "official" about using the Library of Congress Classification System (LC). Nor is there anything to prevent or forbid multiple category systems. Nevertheless, if someone wants to start another coded system they would do well to insure that all their categories are clearly identified as being from that system. To the extent that the LC system is used here, it has already been much modified, and has thus only served as a general guideline for a coded structure. To make a long story short, a significant part of the rationale for a coded system was to enable "categories" or "subjects" in multiple languages that would redirect to a common code. Thus "poetry", "poésie", "poesia", etc. could all redirect to Class "PNE". Eclecticology 08:42, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'm a believer in trying things out myself to get other people interested in them. If I make mistakes, people are inspired by learning from them. If I happen to possibly have a good idea, people are inspired to take that into account and improve upon it with their own ideas. It was for that reason that I've spent a couple of fun hours working on my attempt at a main page while I surfed around the place. Hopefully, both the strengths and more likely the weaknesses of my design will inspire some further discussion and possibly even some action.

I do strongly feel, however, that categories need to be used more. Just like I add uncategorized articles to categories at Wikipedia, I also do the same here. And I also agree with another comment I read on this talk page that the Main Page needs to become more of a general internet resource rather than a contributor's resource. Icurite

External linking ?

I have a question about linking out to outside pages where sources are stored. Can we put links to the sites with these sources or do we only allow for WikiSource stored content? I understand that we would like to make the texts available on WikiSource site. This way anybody can access them right here. But then there are thousands of texts which are available to read and download but have restrictions as far as publishing is concerned.

One example is the University of Virginia electronic resources. There are great many etexts there but the publisher does not allow for them to be re-published without permision (see ).

But instead of taking their etexts and publishing them on WikiSource, we could of course create links to good sources where the etexts are kept.

To give you one example: I added a book for WikiSource author Horatio Alger, oldwikisource:Ragged Dick, or, Street Life in New York. This link, instead of leading to the text on WikiSource, directs to Virginia University collection. You might say that it is better to have the text on Wiki. But then some texts are not available because of copywright reasons. Directing to external sources allows us to have authors' collection more complete.

What do you think? (Aiks 18:55, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC))

When dealing with issues of this sort one needs to distinguish between what is not allowed, and what is merely not recommended. Clear violations of copyright without adequate justification should clearly not be allowed. Duplicating material that is easily found elsewhere is not recommended. In general I have no problem with linking, but I would find it useless and disappointing if the only work that we mentioned by an author linked to an outside source.
Alger was a prolific author, and you are obviously interested in his work. Your point about having a more complete collection is absolutely valid. Developing a good bibliography of his works on the author page certainly fits well with my own vision of this project. Researching the availability of material is a part of bibliographic work, and UVa texts do tend to be in a format that is consistent with the way we would like to present things to our readers. Contrast this with those sites that have pdf files, or images, or are non-searchable, or filled with ads. Of course, if we want to do more than carry a bare text, adding such features as links to Wiktionary, having the text in our databse would be essential... but were not there ... yet.
As to UVa's Terms of Use, I find much of what they say to be ultra vires. They have no way of legally preventing you from using that part of their texts which is already in the public domain. Their scanning and proofreading work is not copyrightable. Some of their added material may be, but we're not interested in that anyway. Eclecticology 01:30, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Logo suggestion

See: oldwikisource:Wikisource:Revising the "Sourceberg" logo

Index should be given top priority

As this is supposed to be a resource for everyone, not just for contributors, I think the index should be the first thing you see on the main page. 14:42, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Original works

It says in oldwikisource:Wikisource:What is Wikisource? that original writings are excluded from wikisource. Since Wikibooks is for textbooks, does that mean that if I want to release an essay under the GFDL, it wouldn't be welcomed here? -Frazzydee 17:43, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hi, If it is some work written in University (thesis, etc.), it is accepted as we consider that is published work. Otherwise what is the subject of your essay ? Yann 18:55, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. I wasn't talking about a specific essay, I just have a few essays on my computer that I would be willing to GFDL; but it wasn't a university paper, just an old highschool assignment. I'm not very familiar with how things work on wikisource...would it be beneficial to submit it? Would others be able to edit my work? I do a lot of stuff on Wikipedia, but I'm not too familiar with wikisource, so please excuse my ignorance! -[[User:Frazzydee|Frazzydee|]] 19:27, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
When it comes to what should be posted here on Wikisource, we really only want things that have been published in the past. For example, books, speeches, journal articles, are good things to start with--we want things that have been made widely available to the public. In your case, it would not be advised to submit those essays here. We've had Wikisource users submit their own writings before, and each entry has been deleted. The same would happen in your case, too. If you would like to publish your essays, I advise another place, such as That site is more designed for what you want, and there are ways for you to attract people to read the essays you post there, also. Zhaladshar 22:57, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Papal encyclicals

were should those go?

There is already a page dedicated to those at oldwikisource:Catholic Church Encyclicals. These are located at oldwikisource:Wikisource:Religious texts#Christian Theological and Ecclesiastical Documents. Zhaladshar 12:23, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Legendary sagas

I had intended to include some legendary sagas from Norse mythology, but I am not sure of in which category they belong. Most of them have some historic basis, but they are mixed with fiction.--Wiglaf 08:29, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think the sagas are a wonderful idea. I've added a couple myself. If they have an author, then they go on the author's page. Otherwise, the best place to put them is at oldwikisource:Wikisource:Anonymous texts. Zhaladshar 12:23, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

World Wide School

A link to this site could be made, as it has a number of useful texts:

Moving "Community" section to the "Community portal" page?

Thought I'd check if there was a good reason why this hasn't be done. The community portal section A) is below the fold B) has content more appropriate for the under-developed "Community portal" page. I think the community portal page is very undeveloped considering the continued growth of Wikisource. I know the community page does not the need quite the scale and size of the Wikipedia version (and to be honest I don't think the WP page it's very usable unless you're used to it), but does anyone object to some general improvements of the CP page, perhaps containing some of the main page community links? GregRobson 8 July 2005 17:50 (UTC)

Yes, the community portal is definitely underdeveloped. I don't think anybody would mind if you start to work on it, just go ahead. --Christian S 8 July 2005 19:30 (UTC)
Please, go right ahead! It keeps me from having to track it all down and do it myself :). I do think we need to make a lot more use of the Community Portal (although it wasn't until recently that we revamped what it currently is). But by all means, go ahead and work on it! —Zhaladshar (Talk) 8 July 2005 19:32 (UTC)

The changes have been made, and therefore the Community Portal talk page should be used for discussion on that. The respective (yellow) section has been amended and the language information moved to the bottom like the 'pedia version. I still think this page could be improved, but it's almost midnight here and it would probably be better if I slept on my ideas! GregRobson 8 July 2005 22:54 (UTC)

I think there ought to be at least some very small section on the front page that links to fundimental and frequently used areas, like the Community Portal page and perhaps the Scriptorium. This is common on most Wikimedia project front pages, but is currently missing here. Still, I like the idea of using the Community portal more strongly than it typical is done. Otherwise it is totally confusing for a new user just trying to figure things out (even though "Community Portal" is listed as a part of the "navigation" bar for most skin types.) Robert Horning 9 July 2005 18:12 (UTC)

Translations of Opera Libretti

I propose a project called Wikisource Opera, where the original libretti of the operas can be accompanied by translations into a number of other languages. This will be useful, because no project of this sort is available on the internet, and because a number of record companies release recordings without the original translations and/or libretti. 17:17, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

  • Sounds good, you might want to start a WikiProject here for it, and see you can get others involved. It certainly sounds like this sort of resource is needed. Greg Robson 14:21, 24 July 2005 (UTC)


there are now 25,00 article wikisource, this great and shouldn't fall by the wayside without comment.

I'm not sure what to do about it, but Other-langs2.png on the main page seems awfully chunky today... Could someone far more powerful than I handle this? Lusanaherandraton 13:01, 2 August 2005 (UTC)