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Warning Please do not post any new comments on this page. This is a discussion archive first created in December 2007, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date.
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OCR Bot[edit]

The OCR bot is now active on It uses Tesseract and it runs on the toolserver. To call it, click on the OCR button that is displayed in any non-existing page of the 'page' namespace. ThomasV 16:34, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

In case anyone else is having problems finding the button, it is near the "Save" button, and I needed to Shift-Reload for the button to appear the first time. The button only appears when a page is non-existant; is it OK if we manually tag pages, as I have done with Page:A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism Volume 1 227.jpg ?
I have requested some more difficult pages, Page:US Patent 246X color page1.jpg and Page:US Patent 306X color page1.jpg, to see how well it handles the task. John Vandenberg 00:28, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
The "OCR" button appears to be the default for a new Page, instead of the usual "Save". The OCR button removes any text in the box, so this could result in lost of work. John Vandenberg 00:51, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I think the bot should set the page quality to 25%, not 50%. As you can see on Page:A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism Volume 1 227.jpg, the formatting may not come out right, and the OCR result is in large parts unintelligible.--GrafZahl (talk) 17:16, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


Gadgets extension[edit]

There is a new extension that allows a list of trusted javascript tools in mediawiki namesapce, so users can enable them from their preferences. It's recently been enabled on commons and wikipedia, although they haven't set up the lists yet. Since we already have a system to keep some trusted javascript in mediawiki namespace, this would be a nice addition. -Steve Sanbeg 21:13, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

What do those extensions and gadgets do? Eclecticology 21:54, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
The gadgets are just arbitrary javascript code, copied into MediaWiki: namespace by a sysop. Currently, Pathoschild's script allows running them by adding a parameter like "&usejs=scriptname" to each URL, which is primarily useful for testing. The extension allows making a list of those that people can enable from preferences. WS:TOOLS has a few more examples of scripts in use here. -Steve Sanbeg 22:07, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good. Any objections? John Vandenberg 20:43, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

bugzilla:12426 raised to enable gadgets. John Vandenberg 09:22, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Gadgets is already enabled on all Wikimedia projects. John Vandenberg 16:13, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I love gadgets. Very useful thing, an it gets everyone out of the business of maintaining their own special versions of common things. I am not seeing the Gadgets tab in preferences though. Perhaps someone has to add at least one gadget to the special MediaWiki page??? ++Lar: t/c 18:08, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Automatically search author namespace[edit]

I think the author namespace is slightly confusing to new users and should be searched automatically. I'm not entirely sure if this is possible or not, but if it is, I think it should be done. It would certainly help more people find the page they're looking for. Psychless 23:01, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Patrolling by non-admins[edit]

Currently the English Wikisource has patrolling enabled, and restricted to only be performed by admins. More information about this feature can be seen at mw:Help:Patrolled edits, m:Help:Patrolled edit and our local patrol log can be seen at Special:Log/patrol.

In short, it allows each revision to be approved by another user. Obviously there is little need to closely monitor other established users, but most of us keep an eye on Special:Recentchanges, so it isn't much extra effort to tick off the changes of other established users. Once all those are ticked off, what is left is the 20 or so "strange" edits that occur each day. Each of those edits needs to be verified if we are to avoid degradation of our etexts, and a loss of confidence in our ability to protect these deposits.

I personally believe that patrolling is a crucial task to be performed, as it ensures that we catch problems early, look at pages we haven't seen before to see if they need to be improved, and engage new users either by either thanking them or by considering the text that they are working on and making suggestions.

The problem is that patrolling isnt being performed adequately. Many minor defects are being introduced by fly by night contributors, and the our texts are degrading.

It is possible to change our Wiki setup, so that other classes of users are trusted with this feature. For example, we can set it so that any "autoconfirmed" or "emailconfirmed" user can "patrol" the changes of other users. I propose that we give this capability to any user who is both "autoconfirmed" and "emailconfirmed". John Vandenberg 06:18, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Support. This is an area where more hands make light work, and we can obviously go back to the old policy if it looks like an excessive number of spurious edits are being wrongly marked as patrolled. Tarmstro99 13:23, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Question. What is "autoconfirmed"? FloNight 16:48, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Support for autoconfirmed; that is accounts which are old enough, usually 4 days, and have enough edit count (50, I think). Requiring autoconfirmed and emailconfirmed would require software changes, and probably not add too much. -Steve Sanbeg 18:07, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
A developer has offered to do the necessary coding if we decide that we want to use a threshold that the current software doesnt support. John Vandenberg 23:21, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
I didn't mean to imply that I wouldn't help out if needed. The change would be fairly simple, although in my opinion not very useful. Since email confirmed is primarily intended for using the email system, I'd support giving patrol rights to autoconfirmed, and even adjusting the criteria for autoconfirmation as necessary, since I don't think we're currently using autoconfirmed here. -Steve Sanbeg 00:49, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Support This feature has been traditionally underutilized. This change may help change that.--BirgitteSB 18:29, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Support. Some senior users prefer not to become admins. Giving them this function should not harm.--Jusjih 03:31, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Support Some editors, like myself, are admins on other projects so I hope can be trusted. Poetlister 17:46, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

bugzilla:12355 opened to request this change. John Vandenberg 17:27, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

bugzilla:12355 has been completed, but I can't see any non-admins in the Special:Log/patrol. Is it working? John Vandenberg 21:35, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Okay, so that's what those little red marks are for. Eclecticology 03:32, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
yes, it seems to be working, so we can make sure people know about it and give it some time to catch on. We may also want to consider whether opening autopatrol to more users would be helpful; we'd probably have a better idea after patrolling has been available to autoconfirmed users for awhile. -Steve Sanbeg 17:44, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I noticed the red marks, too. :) Likely won't have much time to patrol until the middle of next week. I'll try and help out if I have time. FloNight 17:52, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I've just been directed to this page, and have looked at the linked pages at media-wiki and meta. I have two questions. Is it frowned upon for an established user to mark his own edit as patrolled? And in the case of an editor (or several editors) making several consecutive edits to a page in a short amount of time, if you look at the diff to show changes since two hours ago, or since last time you looked (with several intermediate edits) do you then have to mark each individual edit as patrolled, or do you mark just the last one? Cowardly Lion 19:32, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I was under the impression that non-admins are not able to patrol their own edits. Each intermediate edit must be marked. bugzilla:8697, bugzilla:5502 and bugzilla:9768 are all related to simplifying the patrolling of revisions. John Vandenberg 21:30, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I see you're right that non-admins can't patrol their own edits - I just tried it as an experiment, on a page I had just copyedited, and got a message saying it wasn't allowed. Like FloNight above, I don't expect to have much time to patrol in the next week or so, but I hope to start helping out in that area after that. Cowardly Lion 00:07, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

By the way, it doesn't seem possible to patrol the first version of a page. If someone creates a page and then modifies if three times, so that there are four versions, I can only mark as patrolled versions 2, 3, and 4. Is that intentional? Cowardly Lion 13:44, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Bizarre! I'm getting the opposite. I can mark new articles as patrolled, but not additional edits. I'll need to see if this is another of these skin dependent features. Eclecticology 09:40, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
As far as I know, when using the default skin (monobook) the only way to patrol the first revision is on "Special:Newpages". John Vandenberg 10:52, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm! I can link the new pages from Recent Changes, and this still allows them to be patrolled, but this does not allow patrolling of amended pages. The Newpages function doesn't do anything for this either. Eclecticology 18:57, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I've found that if Recent Changes shows the first version of a new page, and I click on the page itself from Recent Changes, not the diff (there doesn't seem to be a diff for a first version, though I can get one from user contributions, and from going to "previous diff" from the second diff), there is the option of marking the page as patrolled - near the bottom of the page. When I've done that, I'm given a link to click on to return me to new pages, even though I came from recent changes. If the new page has several versions, I can do that, and then click on the history, and get the second, third, fourth diffs, etc., and mark each of them as patrolled. Each of those patrollings will offer to return me to recent changes. Cowardly Lion 23:00, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I've patrolled a few changes and can confirm that I can't patrol my own!--Poetlister 15:56, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

A draft help page has been created: Help:Patrolling. John Vandenberg 07:22, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Abatement of the 'Author' Code[edit]

To state this in a concise manner, the 'Author:' code is simply a burthen. The French Wikisource as well as other 'wikisources' tend to boast the more practical method of simply inserting the author's name into the search-box. This is simply more practical. Moreover, despite being a native anglophone, I cannot deny the fact the general arrangement of the French wikisource greatly surpasses that of the English wikisource. -- Grammaticus

Author's are different types of pages to Works. Having them in a different namespace has many advantages. For example, Special:Random/Author is one advantage. Many of our templates take advantage of it. From a quick look through the bugs database, there are many sub-domains which are using an Author namespace.
Sadly the search is one disadvantage, and it comes up regularly as a discussion topic. This search problem can be fixed either by software improvements, or by creating our own Author search page, which adds the namespace "Author" to the search. see bugzilla:11753. John Vandenberg 21:43, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Would it be appropriate for us to reduce the search problem with cross-namespace redirects e.g. William Shakespeare -> Author:William Shakespeare (in cases like this where the author name is not itself the title of a work)? Hesperian 22:30, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
We have in the past deleted these when they appear; if we went down that path, we would also need to create Shakespeare. I would prefer that we look for solutions that accept that the main namespace is solely for Works. Note that the problem isnt only works. Topical searches, such as Special:Search/United States and Special:Search/Botany also turn up garbage, instead of going to Wikisource:United States and Wikisource:Botany. Removing the search box from the sidebar is my solution :-) John Vandenberg 23:14, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Entering "William Shakespeare" in the search box still puts our author page at the top, so I don't see the search problem as a particularly big one. We may not yet have a main namespace article William Shakespeare, but it is reasonable that one could be anticipated to appear some day. I have no problem with provisional redirects as long as it's understood that such a page could some day be replaced by real text.
Furthermore, the author pages do not include content in the usual sense; they are completely the creation of Wikisourcerors based on their own research. As such they are important as bibliographic resources, or as a digest of copyright data generally applicable to the works of that author. Apart from the already mentioned search function, I fail to see how the alternative would be more practical. Eclecticology 02:00, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

oldwikisource:Wikisource:Subdomains coordination lists a few different sub-domains, indicating a few which are using the "Author" prefix. Another reason to keep the authors out of the main namespace has just been pointed out: to "eliminate them from the text-count," i.e. Special:Statistics. John Vandenberg 04:35, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

These are all very good points, but the fact remains that when the end-user types in "William Shakespeare" and hits the "Go" button, they should be taken straight to Author:William Shakespeare. That is so basic it ought to be a non-negotiable use case. Perhaps we could ask a developer to configure Go so that it matches the Author: namespace too. Unfortunately, the "United States" version of the problem will be harder to solve, because we have unwisely reused our Wikisource: namespace, which is supposed to be for project meta-discussions, as a topic namespace. Hesperian 10:32, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Or, better still, support separate "Go"/"Search" fields for Works, Titles and Subjects. This would bring us in line with what every other text archive/database in the world is doing. Hesperian 10:38, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
[Vandenberg], I thoroughly comprehend your motive for defending this matter -- for I am certain that the reärrangement of the code, &c. would be an even greater burthen for the administrators. Nevertheless, you simply cannot deny the fact that the insertion of an author's name is a 'neater' manner of arrangement. For, it is, indeed, true that the author's name appears (in the most popular cases) as the first title that is displayed under the search in question -- although, this is a sloven manner of arrangement.
For example, if one wishes to search , 'On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough' by John Milton -- is it not more convenient for one to simply enter 'John Milton' rather than assaying to recollect the lengthy title of such a poem? As stated, I believe that the French Wikisource can serve as a consummate schematic for the future of the English wikisource (which is wanting in neatness). -- Grammaticus 10:47, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I prefer our use of namespaces. This has nothing to do with being an administrator - I have qualified my personal preference with reasons why an Author namespace is desirable, and pointed out that many other sub-domains also have chosen this approach. So far, the only reason that you have provided to put Author pages in the main namespace is to suit the MediaWiki lucene search engine that is installed, which is limited by bugs I have indicated further down, and other bugs that havent be raised yet.
For example, a Google search on William Shakespeare does the right thing. It knows that Author:William Shakespeare is at the center of the web of pages that mention William Shakespeare, so it is most probably the page the user wants to go to. Our lucene search engine also knows this, but only when it is told to search across all namespaces; see Special:Search/all:Shakespeare (all is a magic word).
I appreciate that the search box on the left is not helpful for searching authors and topics, and I appreciate that searching on authors is important, and that this problem could be solved by moving authors into the main namespace. That said, I would prefer to keep namespaces, and fix any user interface problems that we have, or use another search engine if that is required (more options here). John Vandenberg 17:05, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Um, I think we pretty much agree with each other. We both think that entering "John Milton" and hitting "Go" should, nay must, take us straight to a page on the author. We only disagree on the best way of implementing this, which is a matter of minor importance.
The more I think about it, the more I think we should have a sidebar that provides search fields for author, title and subject.
Hesperian 11:28, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I apologise, I was responding to the preceding comment from Vandenberg -- I should have clarified this. If you notice, there is only a 9 minute interval between our comments. -- Grammaticus 13:46, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I tried to set up a search page that would do what we want. Sadly, there are two problems:

  • the "Go" button disappears when I specify a namespace - this looks like bugzilla:11742.
  • when there is only one namespace specified, it shows that namespace as a checkbox, which I think is unnecessary.

While looking, I found bugzilla:8149 and bugzilla:1953; I think both of these would also be handy for us, as they are confusing bugs to do with handling searching in namespaces other than the main namespace. John Vandenberg 15:24, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

This is a little confusing, but if I'm reading it correctly, this discussion is about the "GO" feature, but lists bugs about vaguely related search functionality. Disregarding the bugs for a moment, the go button does have a well defined behavior which seems to be working fine, but may be confusing to some.
Currently, it goes directly to the requested page, whether or not it exists, making it easy to create a page. Any change would make it harder to create pages, so we need to consider that. I.e. say specifying a namespace, like "author:x" or ":x" goes to that page, but if no namespace is specified will search a list namespaces in order, and return the first page found, or the main namespace if none is found. -Steve Sanbeg 17:18, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I went through all of the search related bugs that have something to do with namespaces.
When I use "GO" and it fails to find a page, it acts like a fulltext search. John Vandenberg 18:11, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

You have to distinguish between authors and books. If you search for Robert Browning, you don't get the author.--Poetlister 15:59, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Default search to include Authors[edit]

In light of the above discussion, I have raised bugzilla:12354 to have the search engine include the "Author" namespace by default. We need on-wiki approval of this proposal for the setting to be adjusted. John Vandenberg 17:05, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

support seems obvious that default user options should include searching this content Steve Sanbeg 17:56, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
support Yes, obvious to me. While we are at it maybe also add the other major namespaces like Works ????? - Also, will a few of us supporting this idea be sufficient or do we need something more formal? ++Lar: t/c 21:53, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Support, as expounded above. -- Grammaticus 21:57, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Support, step one. Hesperian 22:53, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Support. I had already set this in my preferences. —Benn Newman (AMDG) 23:54, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Support. This should bring actual practice into line with what users reasonably expect will occur when they type a name into the search box. Tarmstro99 17:24, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Support User friendly change. FloNight 20:04, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Support. This seems a good idea. Cowardly Lion 21:23, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Support. Yes, good idea! Yann 22:14, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Support. For all reasons listed above. Psychless 23:00, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Support. But then I just have everything checked in my preferences so I won't notice any change. Eclecticology 07:22, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Support ThomasV 09:30, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Support How can anyone object? And see my comment just above.--Poetlister 16:00, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

bugzilla:12354 has been fixed, and I have tested this now works for anon users. John Vandenberg 00:03, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Are you constructing the tower of Babel, Vandenberg?—or remedying several Boolean functions? I beg you, sir—please—glean your code from the French wikisource so that you may render the Author search primary (as it very well should be) and the titles, secondary. Moreover, the said solution would, indeed, remedy Poetlister's discernment (whose scarf I must compliment) as well—G.K. Chesteron should be sought in order to access the work entitled 'Robert Browning', not vice versa. Hesperian uttered it in simpler terms, ' These are all very good points, but the fact remains that when the end-user types in "William Shakespeare" and hits the "Go" button, they should be taken straight to Author:William Shakespeare ' --- Grammaticus 05:57, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
The bug was to implement a specific configuration adjustment. That has been done.
Sadly typing in "Shakespeare" and pressing the "Go" button doesn't take the user to Author:William Shakespeare; it is the top result, and the user still needs to see the search results. I guess someone will need to investigate why and raise a new bug. Anyone can do that; hopefully someone does.
That is very different from adopting the fr.WS solution that was advocated in the above section, to which I have noted my objections. John Vandenberg 06:53, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Vandenberg, I can guarantee that you will be required to rectify this in the future if you do not do so now—the English wikisource is an oddity. For you may persevere with your indolence as long as wish, but, mark my words, Vandenberg—the time will come!
Nevertheless, for the time being, I shall fix upon reading French titles until you repair this—this being an official boycott. Moreover, the Christmas tree icons are rather trite—kitsch, kitsch. — Grammaticus
Please, there is no need for a personal attack just because of your idiosyncratic view of author pages. Your contributions here have been minimal, and I don't even find your name as a user on fr:wikisource, so how can anybody take you seriously when you seek to overthrow a feature that has been a part of Wikisource from the very beginning. Eclecticology 07:23, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
My idiosyncratic view? Hahahahahahaha. The French, the Latin, the Italian, the German, and virtually every other wikisource, for that matter, boasts this most practical feature. If anything, the English wikisource is, indeed, idiosyncratic in its navigation -- not I.
We've also had monarchs from the very beginning, yet they, too, were also overthrown. -- Grammaticus
There was some discussion about that in the previous thread. The "go" and "search" buttons are separate issues, and (I think) it was decided that the previous thread was about "search", which is configurable, and was reconfigured. go has a simple, well-defined functionality. Maybe that can be misleading here, and something else would be preferable, but there hasn't been much specific discussion about what that would be. -Steve Sanbeg 21:05, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Other discussions[edit]

Template:no header[edit]

I've created a new template {{no header}} which puts works/subpages that have no header into different categories. The main reason for the template is expand the "missing header" automation beyond EB1911 (see User:Psychless/Temp), but it may also be useful to slap on new pages to alert new contributors that we have quality controls -- it is less aggressive than {{no license}} and more demanding than {{new text}}. I've applied it to any applicable page in the last 500 recent changes as a silly sample. John Vandenberg 11:23, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

We now have 1,855 articles tagged with {{no header}}. These pages dont appear on our Statistics because they are considered "dead end" pages. We are currently at 71,103 pages, so fixing these pages will take us up to 72,958 pages. More importantly, it will mean we have an extra set of eyes on the pages that could also be garbage, copyvios, or just no pretty. The easiest to deal with is Category:Subpages with no header template, as usually a clump of subpages can be readily fixed all at once. John Vandenberg 16:19, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Heh, 92 subpages without headers at The Awakening: The Resurrection :\ Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Pulitzer-winning writings 17:03, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
fixed -Steve Sanbeg 21:31, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Special:Statistics now says we have 68,543 pages. Have we lost 2,500 pages in 9 days? Image pages don't count; could soft dated redirects account for that? John Vandenberg 23:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Project Gutenberg "small print"[edit]

I just did a Wikisource search for "Project Gutenberg", and found a depressingly large number of sources that have been copy-pasted here from over there, preamble and all, without any attempt to fix broken formatting etc. Of some concern is the fact that the Project Gutenberg "small print" disclaimer and license is intact in a number of these. Of even more concern is the fact that in some cases, such as 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica:Gutenberg Disclaimer, the licence has been included as if a legitimate part of the work. I would like to put on the record that Project Gutenberg licences should not be included in Wikisource transcriptions, because

  1. Works sourced from Project Gutenberg are in the public domain, so there is no obligation, legal or moral, for us to include their small print material. If you want to acknowledge their hard work, you can do so on the discussion page;
  2. By including their "small print", we incur an obligation to ensure that both the work and the "small print" be maintained in a state identical to the Project Gutenberg version, even if their version of the work contains errors;
  3. The Project Gutenberg preamble and "small print" is non-free, and we have no right to release it under the GFDL.

Hesperian 23:51, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

My google search turns up only 17 results. John Vandenberg 00:46, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right. The Wikisource search turns up a lot of false hits, especially from pages still using the old school practice of stating the provenance in the header notes. Still, 17 is 17 more than there should be. Thanks for looking into it. Hesperian 01:52, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I think we have fixed them all. John Vandenberg 03:17, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, you made short work of that; thankyou. I had intended to sort it out myself, when I had time to do so. But it was an unrewarding chore, so you are very welcome to it! Hesperian 04:08, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Spelling of Elizabethan poetry[edit]

Hi, I hope this is the right place to ask this question. If not, please direct me to the right page. I'm interested in Elizabethan poetry, and I'd like to add some to Wikisource. I'll be copying from printed poetry volumes, not from online sources; I'm not even sure all the poetry I have in mind is available online. Some printed volumes use modern spelling; some use very archaic, presumably original, spelling. See these two examples:

As I in hoary winter's night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat, which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear.

As I in hoary Winter's night stood shiveringe in the snowe,
Surpris'd I was with sodayne heat, which made my hart to glowe;
And liftinge upp a fearefull eye to vewe what fire was nere,
A prety Babe all burninge bright, did in the ayre appeare.

I'd find it easier to transcribe the original spelling because the volume I'm using has all the poems (Complete Poems of Robert Southwell, edited Alexander B. Grosart, reprint of 1872 edition, Fuller Worthies' Library) with that spelling, and I'm not aware of any complete edition that uses modern spelling. While I could certainly use my own editorial judgment to change "upp" to "up" and "sodayne" to "sudden", I might find myself running into difficulties with some of Southwell's archaic English (he was executed in 1595). And I'd personally prefer to use the ancient spelling. On the other hand, it's probably easier for the reader if I use modern spelling. I'm not thinking just of Southwell: I have a lot of other Elizabethan poems which don't seem to be on Wikisource at the moment. Please tell me which is considered more appropriate here. Thanks. Cowardly Lion 13:05, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

We have the same issue on French WS. I think it better to have both if possible. If the poems are not too long, it is easy to have both version of the same page, first with the old spelling, then with the modern one. Anyway it is important to mention if the spelling was modernized or not. If two pages or more are needed, there is the issue of disambiguation. Yann 15:32, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
The original spelling is clearly the more important. A two-column arrangement with a modern translation would be fine. Having the modern version alone should be strongly discouraged unless it is the only thing available. The other point that can come up in modern translations is whether to use the American or British spelling, a can of worms that most of us would prefer to avoid. Eclecticology 07:36, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Balade to Rosemounde is an example of a work where we've tried to display both versions. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Arthur Schopenhauer 09:27, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the replies. I may just transcribe the Fuller Worthies Library edition for Southwell, which dates from the nineteenth century, but uses pretty archaic spelling (not sure exactly how authentic it is). Where I have access to a modern edition, I'll include the modern spelling as well, but won't try to modernize it myself. I'll leave the side-by-side formatting to someone more experienced. I have a lot of other Renaissance poets in mind as well, and I think I'll just use whatever I have access to. Cowardly Lion 23:25, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I've created the page The Burning Babe. I used the printed edition for the archaic spelling. I don't know how authentic it is; it's from an edition published in 1872, nearly 300 years after Southwell's death, but it certainly looks like original spelling. There are lots of editions with modern spelling and they're pretty much identical. The one I used was this one from an anthology published in 1919 by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, who died in 1944. I presume there aren't any copyright concerns when all Quiller-Couch really did was change "sodayne" to "sudden" and "hart" to "heart", etc. (I could have done that myself, but I wanted an authoritative source to refer to.) Someone correct me if I'm wrong, please. There's also a modern American edition, published in 1941, and available online here.

What I'd like is that someone would see if the page could be formatted so that the two versions appear side by side. At the moment there's a slight problem in that the original edition has sixteen lines and the modern edition has thirty-two half lines, but the modern edition could be changed, if necessary, to make it fit.

Also, the original edition has commas and full stops immediately after the last letter of the word, with no space in between, but has a space before a colon or a semicolon. Was I correct to follow that? Thanks. Cowardly Lion 02:44, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

On the authenticity of the edition, all you can do is identify the edition that you used for a source. If you are fortunate enough to have the original 16th century publication that's great, but I wouldn't expect miracles. Similarly, identifying the source of the modern translation would also help. Q's version should be safe enough. Apart from being published before 1923, these modernizations would probably not pass the originality test. Any copyrights that he may have had in relation to the anthology may be more in terms of the selection and organization.
Given the line-lengths of the original heptameters, this may not be a good candidate for side-by-side treatment. I would still add a section heading to identify the modern translation.
The space before punctuation strikes me more as a matter of typographical convention instead of orthography. In general I don't see much difference between the two. The French fashion favours adding the space, but the English omits it. Having the space can be odd in long lines when it forces a line break between the last word and the punctuation. Thus I avoid putting these spaces unless there is a good reason to have them. Eclecticology 18:03, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I've removed the spaces before the punctuation, have separated the two versions clearly into archaic and modern, and have added clearer notes giving the sources. Cowardly Lion 18:17, 24 December 2007 (UTC)


I've just been doing some patrolling, and I marked as patrolled Page:History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/104 and Page:History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/105. Then I had second thoughts, but it doesn't seem to be possible to unpatrol something when you change your mind. The reason I marked it as patrolled was because it certainly wasn't vandalism or nonsense. I'm not sure how strict patrollers are meant to be. I'm sure they're not expected to be experts on the subject of the poem, novel, etc. that they're patrolling.

On looking closer, I find it strange that the title of the page includes "Page", rather than starting with "History". Is that a valid name for a page? Secondly, there's no header at the top, and no links at the top that take us from a subpage to the main work and to the author. I've been working on Middlemarch, and I followed instructions given in some links at the top of the edit box when I was creating new pages, and found information about headers. So each individual chapter links back to the actual work, and to the author.

I tried using the search box to find what the parent pages were. Page:History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century does not seem to exist; nor does Page:History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century. I tried History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century, and found a page, and also one for History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century. There is a History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Table of Contents, which shows that some of the pages have been created (blue links). However, there are red links for 104 and 105 (the pages I've just patrolled), and I think that's because the links in the TOC page assume that the title of the subpages begin with "History", whereas for the ones I patrolled, they begin with "Page:History". I won't patrol any more pages until I'm a bit more sure of what I'm doing. In the meantime, could someone experienced have a look, please? Sorry for the confusion. Cowardly Lion 20:54, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I'm the one who's been adding this work. I originally was just adding this as a normal work, but I was advised to move it to the Page: namespace. I'm still transitioning the work over to that namespace. The main page for Volume 4 of the work can be found at Index:History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4. I know the organization is still a little crazy right now, but I assure you that it will be fine when everything gets worked out. If you have questions about any more of my edits feel free to drop a note on my talk page. This page might help explain the Page namespace. Psychless 22:20, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I've replied at your talk page. Cowardly Lion 23:22, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
These pages in the "Page" namespace seem to add one more level of work without much benefit if we don't have the scanned pages for comparison. The way you were adding this material initially makes much more sense. The lack of navigation tools on them to go from one page to the next makes them more difficult to use. Although I understand that these navigation aids are available on some skins, if it is desired that an innovation be generally applicable it should be made available on all skins. Eclecticology 09:32, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


The message for editing a page that does not exist says, "You are viewing an inexistent page". Inexistent is not a word, this should be corrected to say, "You are viewing a nonexistent page." Kakofonous 18:16, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I spoke too soon, it's merely a lesser used variant of "nonexistent". Sorry for the preemptive complaint. Kakofonous 18:27, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

January's Featured Text[edit]

Greetings. There was no featured text for December. For January I'd like to nominate Life of Jesus by the French historian and political theorist Author:Ernest Renan. It was written in 1863, and in many ways ushered in modern Biblical criticism. (It treated the Gospels as it would any other fallible biographies, and enraged the Catholic Church -- but seen from today's standards it is quite pious.) I added it here recently, and I added the original French version as well to the French Wikisource: fr:La Vie de Jésus. Is there anywhere in particular I should nominate this, or is this good? Quadell 03:58, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm still finding my way around here, but I did come across Wikisource:Featured text candidates recently, and added it to my watchlist. Cowardly Lion 04:06, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the link! Quadell 23:15, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
There basically does not seem to be enough support for a monthly featured text for it to sustain itself. Eclecticology 10:30, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
We seem to have a new burst of enthusiastic users so perhaps now is a good time to work on this and other areas of collaboration. FloNight 22:24, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Man-eaters of Kumaon eligible for posting here?[edit]

Jim Corbett wrote the Man-eaters of Kumaon and it was printed in 1944 in Bombay, India. I was curious if this was able to be posted here? Jim died in 1955.

Hello, No, it will only be in the public domain on 1st January 2016. Regards, Yann 22:18, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree, Corbett was a citizen of India - his books were published under the 1911 Copyright Act - which held that "fifty years from the year following the death of the author" was the standard for copyright
In addition, Osmania University in India agreed that the text was Public Domain, and granted it to the Internet Archive in 2006, exactly fifty years from the year following the death of the author. I'd say it merits inclusion on Wikisource. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Haile Selassie 23:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
If it was public domain in India from the beginning of 2006, then I think it is not PD in the US due to the URAA, because it wasn't PD in India as of 1 January 1996. If that is the case, I think it will become PD in the US in 2040 (1944 + 95). John Vandenberg 01:20, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Was it ever published in the United States? Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Haile Selassie 01:48, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, many times, but I could not find one in 1944, and OCLC:1988931all editions says the first American edition was 1946. The second edition in 1945 is the earliest I can find: OCLC:51741032all editions. John Vandenberg 02:25, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
The Library of Congress lists a 1944 edition, but the Rutgers renewals database shows a renewal for a 1954 edition and nothing earlier. It then seems that this work is PD in the US. I don't know how Osmania derived the authority to put the work in public domain, but I assume that such an organisation would not act foolishly. Eclecticology 03:00, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I see the 1944 edition (LCCN 46000790) : [London, New York, Bombay, etc.] H. Milford, Oxford university press [1944], and a 1946 Renewal R512975.
If that renewal does not cover the 1944 edition, we need to establish whether the 1944 US edition was published within 30 days of the Bombay release.
A draft template license "{{PD-URAA-same-year}}", which suggests that we ignore this 30 day criteria as being unworkable, is slowly being discussed here. John Vandenberg 12:20, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
It would seem that the OUP would know the rules are and in an edition shown to be published in multiple places would have made efforts to be compliant with the 30-day rule. I am more curious about the reference to "British Proclamation of 10Mar44" in the renewal data.
I don't think that the new template helps us much, and perhaps just adds to the confusion. It is a reasonable presumption in law that persons comply with the law, a variation on the presumption of innocence. Eclecticology 20:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I am curious to know when the 1911 Copyright Act applies (50 years instead of 60 years pma). Yann 10:53, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Well I'm simply working off the fact that his books were published before India passed its first copyright laws in 1957, prior to which they simply used the 1911 Copyright Act of the British Empire. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Haile Selassie 11:02, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
But it seems that the 1957 Copyright Act was retroactive (A law may have an ex post facto effect without being technically ex post facto. For example, when a law repeals a previous law.): Yann 11:53, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
79. Repeals, savings and transitional provisions. - (1) The Indian Copyright Act, 1914, and the Copyright Act of 1911 passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom as modified in its application to India by the Indian Copyright Act, 1914, are hereby repealed.

79 (3) Copyright shall not subsist by virtue of this Act in any work in which copyright did not subsist immediately before the commencement of this Act under any Act repealed by sub-section (1).

As far as I can see from scanning Indian Copyright Law, the 1957 law wasn't retroactive, but it does cover the works of Jim Corbett because they were still protected by copyright when the law was passed. John Vandenberg 12:20, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
It would continue to protect these older works, but would it extend the term from 50 to 60 years? When other countries went from 50 to 70, not all applied the longer term retroactively. Eclecticology 20:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)