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This is a discussion archive first created in , although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date.
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Web-based Photoshop[edit]

Here is a web-based version of photshop that is now up and running (beta). I know I personally don't have any specialized image software, so I thought others might want to know about this. It should be able to work with extracting images from scans.--BirgitteSB 18:47, 28 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've also had good results using the GIMP. It has a pretty good tool for selecting contiguous regions of similar color. --Mike O'D 00:06, 30 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I noticed in the Wikipedia Signpost a new feature which might very useful in some of our templates (maybe even {{header}}). There are two new magic words {{ROOTPAGENAME}} which will give top-level parent page of the current page. There is also {{ROOTPAGENAMEE}} which I am a little unlclear on. The more technically inclined people may know better than me how useful this can really be.--BirgitteSB 19:03, 5 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

{{ROOTPAGENAMEE}} converts spaces to underbars and things like that, so that you can put the page name into a URL, like [{{ROOTPAGENAMEE}}&action=edit this]. That magic word doesn't seem to enabled here yet though.
See? —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 19:34, 5 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's been reverted, so I don't know whether it will be implemented. It's already possible using ParserFunctions, although the syntax is a little confusing: {{#titleparts:United States Code/Title 1/Chapter 1|1|1}} = "United States Code". —{admin} Pathoschild 01:37:24, 06 February 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. Perhaps we should have header2's title parameter default to [[{{#titleparts:{{FULLPAGENAME}}|1}}]]. That would save quite a bit of typing and make it easier to move incorrectly named pages to the correct titles, since the title would be updated automatically. Plus, the title parameter could still be used as an override. —Remember the dot (talk) 03:51, 9 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have just put together some new templates that may be useful to you fine people: {{annotation}}, {{annotations}}, and {{annotation header}}. Here's how they work.

Let's say you have a text like Strivings of the Negro People, and you have lots of useful annotations made my the Wikisource community. You want to keep an annotated and an unannotated version, but you don't want to keep up with both (making changes in both places.) Here's what you do.

  1. All of your annotations go in an annotation tag {{annotation|like this}}. If they are footnotes, put the ref tags in the annotation template {{annotation|<ref>like this</ref>}}. These will not be displayed in the page.
  2. If you have annotated footnotes, place {{annotations}} (plural) at the bottom of the page, where you would like the footnotes to display. (But they will not display in the non-annotated page.)
  3. At the top of the page, preferably in the "notes" section of header2, include {{annotation header}}. This will put a message that there is an annotated version of this page available.
  4. Create a subpage at Strivings of the Negro People/annotated. The text of the page should simply be {{:Strivings of the Negro People}}.

That's it! Now your non-annotated version will not show the comments, but will link to the annotated version, which does. (The annotated version will link back to the non-annotated version as well.) Compare Strivings of the Negro People and Strivings of the Negro People/annotated to see a real-live example.


  1. If the original document uses <ref> tags, and your annotations also contain <ref> tags, it will not work correctly. Either use <ref> tags in the original or the annotations, not both.
  2. The annotated version must be a subpage named "annotated", as in the example. No other name will work.
  3. Only works in the main namespace will work correctly. (These templates weren't designed for userspace or authorspace.)

Comments? —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 18:36, 4 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like separate pages. 03:24, 16 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that this is a great idea. Why would you want two pages with almost the same text? 09:02, 22 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One example I can think of is constitutional texts, where ammendments are made over time. With such a setup, you could make it easy to show the original and the current (or last) versions without needing to maintain 2 separate documents. Nice idea. 52 Pickup 11:13, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I haven't tried this, but it might be possible to avoid your limitation No. 1 if you do not put {{annotations}} on the main work page and use
{{:Strivings of the Negro People}}
== Annotations ==
on the annotated subpage instead. I believe this has something to do with the order in which the parser expands templates.--GrafZahl (talk) 09:28, 22 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

enhancements to footnote system[edit]

I've made a few enhancements to the footnote system, similar to some discussions here awhile ago.

  • There is a new group option, so i.e. <ref group=note> would put that reference in another group, which can be listed with <references group=note/>
  • Now, <references/> clears the list of references that was printed (either default or specified group) to allow the group to be reused in the same page, for more notes.

I have a short sample at w:user:sanbeg/ref test

I may try to add a <note> tag which would use letters, or some such, when I get time. -Steve Sanbeg 23:10, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Email notifications[edit]

Email notifications has been enabled. bugzilla:13386. I think we should advertise this widely, so everyone knows to update their preferences. It might also be good to mention this in Template:welcome (and friends) because new users from other Wiki's may not know about this functionality. John Vandenberg (chat) 06:20, 17 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The archived proposal is here. --John Vandenberg (chat) 07:03, 18 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Global blocking[edit]

There's a current discussion on Meta for enabling a new feature for all wikis: m:Global blocking. This is a new user right which allows the blocking of one IP address for potentially all Wikimedia projects. All users and editors are invited to join the discussions. - Mtmelendez 17:48, 21 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The power hungry control freaks are at it again! The idea that some group should arrogate upon themselves a form of control that affects all projects before each project has indicated interest or had its own discussion is in my view an improper imposition. Eclecticology 03:43, 22 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Eclectiology: Please participate in the discussion, but refrain for caricatures and personal attacks. As you well know, all projects may opt-out; moreover, most people participating in the discussion at Meta will not likely get the ability to use global blocking. – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 22:02, 24 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New Typography templates[edit]

Introducing some new typography templates: Sam Wilson's {{Long s}} template, based upon which I have added {{Ligature Latin AE uppercase}}, {{Ligature Latin OE uppercase}}, {{Ligature Latin ae lowercase}}, {{Ligature Latin ct lowercase}}, {{Ligature Latin ff lowercase}}, {{Ligature Latin ffi lowercase}}, {{Ligature Latin ffi lowercase}}, {{Ligature Latin fi lowercase}}, {{Ligature Latin fl lowercase}}, {{Ligature Latin oe lowercase}}.

I agree with Sam as he says in Template_talk:Long_s that this sort of approach is the way to go for editors who wish to include these characters in content. In the short term, it makes it easy to decide site-wide whether to use archaic or modern typography. In the long term, we really need something like this in-place and in content if we were ever going to create functionality that would allow someone to switch the archaic typography on and off on a per-document basis or in the user preferences to change their view of the site.

See the Long s and ligature templates in action in (unfinished) The Periplus of the Euxine Sea.

And now, my magum opus typography template: {{dropinitial}}!

Used with parameters {{dropinitial|L|2.4em|0em|.05em}} within a block of Times New Roman text.

Lorem ipsum suas propriae ne nam. Duo etiam omittam ea, ex mei nostrud interesset. Sea no idque aliquyam, cu utamur impedit usu. Has te falli explicari disputationi, in ius decore denique torquatos, id usu harum similique cotidieque. Splendide consequuntur ex quo. Ut qui primis alienum. At ignota consetetur moderatius qui. Et eam habeo mediocritatem, iisque neglegentur sed ut. Tempor apeirian moderatius ad sit. Everti iriure an nam, duo aliquip tamquam et, ne tollit graeco his. Et eum vidisse maiestatis.

The text immediately above is with the default settings, just {{dropinitial|L}}. But you can vary the font size and margins with other parameters.

I cross-browser tested the default values a bunch, but I need individuals who are looking at this with Macs and in Windows Vista (not XP, I already tested that) if in the default settings example above, do you see two lines wrapped around the initial (like in the image) or three? --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 11:36, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One other note: some systems (Windows XP for one) out-of-the-box do not have one of the characters used in the ct ligature. If you're missing it - if you see little white squares everywhere a character should be - you can download a font that supplies that character here:

--❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 11:45, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For completeness and consistency I just created another template {{largeinitial}} with the same parameters, which just enlarges the font without dropping it below the baseline:

Lorem ipsum sit amet...

--❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 12:16, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One of the problems with including these pretty typographical flourishes is that it makes a search in the text for occurrences of certain words impossible. Thus if I am looking for occurrences of the word "ship" and "erect" in the Periplus text noted above I cannot find them by simply using "Find in this page". I presume too that a Google search will fare no better. Textual studies are more likely to be interested in an author's use of specific expressions than in typographical frills reflecting aesthetic sensitivities of another time. Eclecticology 01:13, 20 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The problem is in the search engine or browser you're using, not the content. For example, Google will return results for "æ" if you search for a word containing "ae" just fine, the same as it will return results containing "à" for a search involving "a". Voilà.

Of course, without these "pretty typographical flourishes" there's no way to find occurences of ligatures at all. The preferences of people doing textual studies is no reason to remove the aesthetics which most of the people who read and used the text in history actually experienced. And of course, there's no reason to kick the people doing typographical studies in the teeth either.

Heck, if the Wikisource project is about "correcting" the aesthetics and typography of the texts being digitized I ought to go into the Periplus and "correct" all of the instances of "shew" to be spelled "show" - I mean, it's the same word, after all. And we can go over to French Wikisource and remove all of the circumflex accents from the old documents - even the French know they don't need it now! They'll love that.

Most of the point of using templates for this is because at some point we ought to be able to provide the option to automatically replace ligatures with modern type conventions, as a matter of personalization or as a switch in the document page, to address the needs of those who get all puckered up when they see ligatures. Or we could provide separate search content to search engines that can't handle ligatures.--❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 10:37, 22 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Special:Search/æ finds all occurrences of "æ". I dont see the point of providing a template for a single unicode character. Why not also have a template for every non-ascii character? John Vandenberg (chat) 10:46, 22 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Using that search, I came across A Dialect of Donegal/Introductory, which uses {{Unicode}}. That template tells the HTML renderer that a few fonts are going to be necessary to view the text. John Vandenberg (chat) 10:59, 22 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But the only reason why that search can find occurances of æ is because that character is actually in the text. I was responding to Eclecticology saying that ligatures, etc. - "pretty typographical flourishes", as he says - shouldn't be included in texts because some search tools don't do the translation back and forth. If, as he suggests, a Wikisource author "corrects" all of the ligatures in the text to modern typography then Special:Search/æ won't find anything.

Didn't we already have the discussion of why to have these templates, John? By doing it this way it will be possible to some day have javascript code or something that allows a user browsing the text to choose between seeing the ligatures and original text or the modern non-ligatures typography. Eclecticology's textual studies people and people interested in fidelity to the original text could both have their way.

So, the reason not to have a template for every non-ascii character is that you wouldn't want to have an auto-replace feature for every non-ascii character. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 14:48, 22 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please don't assume that the the discussion has been had and completed, when you are just starting the discussion now.
It's not just old texts that use some of these ligatures. Modern texts continue to use them, but nobody pays much attention. Thus a very high proportion of modern works using the word "software" will include the "ft" ligature, but why would anyone insist on maintaining that ligature in our copies of such texts. Also let's not confuse the role of accented letters, or the "æ" digraph with structures whose purpose is purely typographical.
It's not about the "shew/show" distinction, which is orthographical rather than typographical. That distinction, furthermore, does not present any search difficulties. It's not about one's browsers or search engine either; searching for "æ" is one thing, but searching for a long "s" is quite another. In response to my first comments in this thread you did not show how to search for "ship" in the Periplus text so as that it will reveal both uses of the long "s" and the capital "S".
If people want the æsthetic feel of the historical original, they are just as well off with a pdf file. There is no need for pedantic tinkering with the typography. For me the important thing about Wikisource is the presentation of information and old texts that are not easily available to most people. There is no shortage of such material. When I add extracts from my copy of the 1701 Collier I have absolutely no intention of preserving the long "s"'s that I find there. Eclecticology 17:19, 22 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You point out that Google searches work irrespective of the ligatures on the page; I pointed out that internal search work on the actual text. We already have the best of both worlds. If we need better search engines, then eventually someone will build them.
Yes, we did have this discussion, but I am now noting my objection to these templates here as part of the general discussion. If Wikisource is to ever introduce display ligatures as anything except for the actual intended character, I would expect that it would be done in the software itself rather than using templates. If we did need to implement it using templates, it would be far simpler to run a bot to do this, as that would be required in any case — it is extremely unlikely that simply having these templates will mean that they are uniformly used.
If the community is divided on whether or not to use ligatures, the default outcome is that the person who contributes a text makes the choice. John Vandenberg (chat) 16:33, 22 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, definitely. Please don't either of you take this as anything other than the announcement of the availability of these templates and their purpose, so that the people contributing texts can choose to use them and understand the reason for doing so. I'm not trying to dictate policy or anything, I'm simply advocating for what I think is the best solution among several. If these templates never do anything more than give me control of typography display within the documents I put on Wikisource myself, that's still great from my point of view.

Eclecticology, it's great that you're totally uninterested in aesthetic aspects of old works, but the Wiki projects aren't single-purpose outfits. You can have your corrected-typography documents and I can have my typography-faithful documents. It seems to me that there's greater value in having a document that can either be viewed in a typography-faithful mode or a corrected-typography mode, but I'd still by far rather have the corrected-typography versions of the works you add be available! The work being done here is waaaay more important than this minor issue.

You two each have your own approaches to this, Sam Wilson and I have this one, so any given Wikisource user has a variety of options. As John points out, it's a fairly simple technical issue anyways, even if in the end fancier features were implemented with a search-and-replace (hmmm... that would actually be a nifty feature to implement in the browser itself... maybe something to mention to my contacts at the Mozilla Foundation.) The sort of approach he's talking about would work with these templates just as well as it would work on documents that have a specific representation hard-coded into the content.

Personally, I like this solution just for the fact that if the Unicode consortium or some other standards body ever gets around to coming up with a standardized representation of the ct ligature, I can implement it in all my documents simply by changing the associated template, no regex or PHP coding and testing needed.

One other little thing... are either of you guys on a Macintosh or on Windows Vista? If so, does the dropinitial example above look basically okay? --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 09:00, 23 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The computer that I am now editing on is equipped with Windows 98, first edition.
At least we can agree that it's up to the contributor to decide, and that that person's choice should generally be respected. I also take due note that this set of templates is presented on an availability basis only. Perhaps we should have an "Available options" page where this, and a number of other proposals that have been made by various people can be listed for interested people to try. The real proof of the value of any of these proposals is the number of editors that actually use it. Presenting something as an "Announcement" on this page can have the effect of giving that subject more weight than appropriate; it too easily appears as a dictation of policy even if that is not the proponent's intent.
One technical question: Why can't these ligatures simply be added to the special characters menu at the bottom of the page?
The term "corrected-typography" is yours, not mine. I would prefer something like "modern typography", as something more readable. Frequently, in these old texts it is difficult to distinguish between the long "s" and the "f", the distinction often only being a matter of a full or partial crossbar. It is not unusual to find that typesetters have simply used the wrong one. This is problematical where both words can be meaningful in the context. Eclecticology 17:24, 23 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, "modern typography" is a better term.

I apologize if it was forward of me to put the above notes here in announcements; I originally put them at the very bottom of this page but then I realized that meant I'd put them in the "Questions" section, or so it appeared to me. Anyone who wants to move the notes and discussion elsewhere in the page is welcome by me to do so. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 07:39, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sam Wilson here. I think I've changed my mind about using templates to solve this issue: I am certainly resolved to use the correct characters (ſ, æ, or whatever), but I think that they should just be included in the text. They can still be globally replaced (per-page, per-view) if the user wishes — but this should be something the browser does (through Javascipt?) much in the same way it does with lj/lj and other ligatures (at least, FF on a mac does). The main reason I don't want to use templates for typography is the editing process: the text gets all cluttered up with template code and it's much harder to proofread (or course, this can be solved with other editing tools, but that's another discussion…).

The following comes from the Unicode FAQ:

Q: What about the "ct" ligature? Is there a character for that in Unicode?

No, the "ct" ligature is another example of a ligature of Latin letters commonly seen in older type styles. As for the case of the "hr" ligature, display of a ligature is a matter for font design, and does not require separate encoding of a character for the ligature. One simply represents the character sequence <c, t> in Unicode and depends on font design and font attribute controls to determine whether the result is ligated in display (or in printing).

The same situation applies for ligatures involving long s and many others found in Latin typefaces.


So I vote for (and I know this isn't a formal voting process, of course):

  1. maintaining fidelity to the source typography;
  2. including the long s (etc.) in the 'special character' menu;
  3. not using templates for typography;
  4. if a character exists in Unicode then we take it that it is a distinct character, and not just a certain way of displaying some font. If you see what I mean?

Sam Wilson contrib's | talk 23:13, 24 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah, I came across that note on it seems weird and inconsistent to me that they created separate codes for so many of the ligatures in English except ct, the note makes no attempt to explain why. The one point I disagree with you on, Sam, is that I don't think we ought to let the Unicode consortium dictate things, especially since they're basically a ginormous super-committee and there may actually be no rhyme or reason whatsoever behind which ligatures or typography effects get represented and which do not.

I can understand that some people might want to avoid templates for code-readability reasons. I don't add the templates until the end of my editing process when the text is otherwise perfect.

My preference for the template solution probably stems from the fact that I've done a fair bit of programmatic text processing, where I've learned to be careful; it's easy to do a replace on a large amount of text or across many files or a database, and realize whoops what you did is one-way and can't be reversed. With the templates the typography effect can be represented any way at all, as non-ligatured characters with a font tag wrapped around them for example, or the non-ligatured characters with a graphic overlay that creates the appearance of the ligature, or a block of CSS code that adjusts the web typography like the {{dropinitial}} above, etc. and there's no worry about ever having to write code to remove or undo the representation code as there would be in a bot replace solution.

I agree with you that the view-switching ought to be a browser feature, in fact I've tinkered around with a user script to do so, though I haven't put the time in to really get anywhere. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 07:39, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The ct ligature definitely exists. Look at The Discovery of New Brittaine and go down to the heading that begins with "October." (In IE, this ligature won't show up—at least it doesn't for me—but it appears in FireFox.)—Zhaladshar (Talk) 15:12, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'm using Firefox and it gives me a question mark; the same happens on the edit page. Eclecticology 18:58, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, if you read the whole note on, they're quite clear that the existing ligatures are there for "backwards compatibility" only (i.e. round-tripping to other fonts), and that no new ligitures will be created.--T. Mazzei 17:30, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here, it renders as a Chinese glyph. What was used was Unicode character U+E707, which belongs to a Unicode private use area. Hence, there will be no uniform rendering of this character.--GrafZahl (talk) 19:41, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unicode is not a font, it's a superset of the character encodings UTF-8, UTF-16, UTF-32, etc.

But Zhaladshar, I think the reason you're seeing a ligature has something to do with the fonts on your computer. If you edit that page the "c" and the "t" are two separate characters, not one. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 16:54, 26 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've already replaced the faulty U+E707 glyph with ct[1].--GrafZahl (talk) 09:39, 29 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
By using the same concept as is used in {{annotations}} above, it is possible right now to create templates that would allow users to switch between an original typography and a modern typogaphy view. I have been contemplating attempting such a project, but I haven't gotten around to it.--T. Mazzei 16:54, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not clear what the annotations template does; it has no documentation. I would personally be disinclined to use any template unless I know what it does.
I very much believe that it's important to be able to search for all instances of a word on a page. If we want to find all occurrences of "October" or "August" on a page, the search results should not depend on the typography. We could still have a template like {{type|p1|p2|...}} where the parameters are for the different desired typographical features. It would allow for text otherwise entered in a modern canonical typography to be optionally viewed in whatever antique way is desired. For the long "s" it would then replace every non-terminal instance of an "s" with the long form whenever the reader wants. Eclecticology 18:58, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, I meant {{annotation}}. The concept behind the annotation template is simple: the template displays one version of the text on the page where it is entered, but when that entire page is transcluded to a specifically named subpage, the template displays different text. The {{annotation}} template displays no text on the original page, but when that page is transcluded to a subpage named "annotated", it displays the text's notes. This could be easily adapted to a template, say {{s}}, which would display a "s" on the original page, but when the page is transcluded to a subpage named "modernized", would display a modern "s".
There are varying stages of modernizing a document: modernizing typography (s for s), modernizing spelling (show for shew), or replacing archaic/obsolete words with modern equivalents (alchemist for spagyrist), etc. Using templates with the method above would allow us to do none, one, or all of the above, as well as keeping a document as close as possible to the original, without having to maintain the multiple separate files.
Having two (or more) separate files, at least one of which does not have any of the troublesome ligatures, would eliminate your issues with modern textural textual analysis. However, regarding textural textual analysis, I recall seeing one done regarding where within words long s appeared (the only hard rule was never at the end). This type of analysis cannot be done if we convert all of our texts to modern typography, or have a program simply "replace every non-terminal instans of an "s" with the long form whenever the reader wants".--T. Mazzei 21:44, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Eclecticology, I think that search tools should return accurate results too, but it definitely is not the responsibility of Wikisource people to fix things that Google, Microsoft, or the Mozilla Foundation have dropped the ball on. As I demonstrated with the Google search for æ above it's by all means technically possible for a search tool to handle ligatures properly.

That's the great thing about a template solution... even though it's not our responsibility to work out issues in the web browser or in Google, we actually could, via something like the graphical overlay or CSS typography approach I suggested above. In a document where templates are used for the ligatures we can easily adjust the HTML code that renders the ligature so that it compensates for flaws in any search engine or browser - or in new versions of an existing browser.

And one little nitpick T. Mazzei before anyone else jumps on it: textural analysis is the analysis of textures, it's textual analysis which Eclecticology mentioned. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 16:54, 26 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oops, my bad. My brain was saying textual...--T. Mazzei 17:00, 26 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did of course mean "textual", but variant typography nevertheless gives a different "texture" to the material. :-) Eclecticology 00:23, 27 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you think I'm argumentative about typography, I would likely be far more vocal about attempts to dumb down by treating "alchemical" and "spagyrical" as exact synonyms.
The test for the "annotation" templates will be whether people use them. So far it's only there in relation to a single work. Let me know a year from now how many people have used it.
I'm always happy to blame Microsoft for what's wrong with software, but what ball did they drop here? Template based solutions need to be kept to a minimum if you want to maintain the involvement of the less geeky among us. Keeping things looking as much like the original could just as easily be used to argue for maintaining the original text justification and hyphenation. Is all that additional complexity really worth the effort? Eclecticology 00:23, 27 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, the ball I'm assuming that Microsoft, the Mozilla foundation, et al. dropped is that, from what you say, I assume they didn't work out ligature-matching in the browser search function that comes up when you press Ctrl-F. Just like with Google, you should be able to go to the Periplus page in the browser, press Ctrl-F and type "Athenae" and it should match instances of "Athenæ". (And there probably ought to be a checkbox that turns ligature matching on and off.) That ought to work at least for the standard Unicode characters; the "ct" ligature will definitely have to be a custom solution in any case, thanks to the namby-pambies at the Unicode Consortium. (I wish I new more about ligatures in other languages, I wonder if this has been solved in general.)

I think whether the effort is worth it will probably depend entirely on the user who's executing the project. When I began working on the Periplus I was frustrated that I couldn't find a solution like these templates (except for Sam's long s template) which caters to my engineering mentality and web software skill set. Now the templates are there and I think your objections have appropriately created a good paper trail of community analysis, so it's all here for the next person like me to find.

Funny you should mention original text hyphenation. The first work I worked on here, A Concise History of the U.S. Air Force actually does maintain the original text hyphenation of words broken across pages in the individual transcripted .djvu pages in Index:A Concise History of the U.S. Air Force.djvu. I also put the correct HTML code in to properly indent every paragraph. Or in Carter Presidential Directive 59, Nuclear Weapons Employment Policy I matched the fonts and font sizes from the original document, included struck-out text, properly indented the blocks of redacted text, maintained most of the head and page footers... of course, it helps that I know exactly what HTML code is necessary to do those things.

I actually wouldn't mind hearing what the distinction between "alchemical" and "spagyrical" is; I checked out the wikt entry for "spagyrical" but I wasn't able to figure out what the precise difference was. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 18:56, 27 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

a spagyrist is a particular flavour of alchemist, a follower of Paracelsus, more interested in the medicine then in transmutation. It was a poor example, but the only archaic word I could think of off the top of my head.--T. Mazzei 00:43, 10 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems that people are going to do whatever they think best for each project. Some will maintain linebreaks, while some will fix spelling — most will do something in between. Is that a fair thing to say?
I prefer using the unicode characters in the text, and not templates, just because it's so much easier to write (and read whilst editing). But I take back what I said before about trusting the Unicode Consortium to determine what characters we can and cannot use — I am currently transcribing Terræ-filius, and I want the ſt (that's a long s joined to the top of the t) ligature! Anyone got a solution to that?
Which makes me think: say we decide to use archaic typography in some project, what do we do if some character is unavailable?
Finally, should we put something in the Style Guide about ligature use?
Sam Wilson contrib's | talk 20:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have created template redirects to save on typing for people who want to use the ligature templates and would be entering them manually:

{{ls}} for the long s, {{AE}}, {{ae}}, {{ct}}, {{ff}}, {{ffi}}, {{fi}}, {{fl}}, {{OE}}, {{oe}}

As far as the st ligature, I of course would advocate that you create a template for it, and put the two separate, non-ligatured characters in there for now. As long as you get the template into the text, anyone at any future point can come up with a "real" (i.e. fancier) solution and apply it easily.

It seems like talking about the different options we've discussed here and perhaps the arguments in favor of each might be appropriate in the style guide but I certainly see no need to mandate or even recommend a particular solution. People who are particular enough that they're even trying to reproduce the ligatures from the original text will probably have their own preference. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 21:36, 27 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Election Notice[edit]

The 2008 Board election committee announces the 2008 election process. Wikimedians will have the opportunity to elect one candidate from the Wikimedia community to serve as a representative on the Board of Trustees. The successful candidate will serve a one-year term, ending in July 2009.

Candidates may nominate themselves for election between May 8 and May 22, and the voting will occur between 1 June and 21 June. For more information on the voting and candidate requirements, see <>.

The voting system to be used in this election has not yet been confirmed, however voting will be by secret ballot, and confidentiality will be strictly maintained.

Votes will again be cast and counted on a server owned by an independent, neutral third party, Software in the Public Interest (SPI). SPI will hold cryptographic keys and be responsible for tallying the votes and providing final vote counts to the Election Committee. SPI provided excellent help during the 2007 elections.

Further information can be found at <>. Questions may be directed to the Election Committee at <>. If you are interested in translating official election pages into your own language, please see <>.

For the election committee,
Philippe Beaudette

Petition on Meta[edit]


I would like to notify you of a petition against the recent decision by the board to reduce community representation. Please find it here. I am sending this message to most English Wikimedia projects as I think it is important the community is informed. If you have any questions please ask me at my Wikinews talk page.


Anon101 (on Wikinews) 20:27, 28 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Note- I did not create the petition)

Goodbye header2: transition complete![edit]

The {{header}}→{{header2}} transition is finally complete after nearly 2 years (see overall changes, changes between modern templates, and the first divergent edit). This finally standardizes two years of development in automating formatting and categories, caching styling, and validating parameters. For example, it's no longer necessary to provide the arrows or parentheses, as has always been necessary with {{header}}; other improvements like the greatly reduced source size with the styling moved to the Common.css were duplicated to {{header}}.

A glance through discussions over the years:

{admin} Pathoschild 08:36:52, 08 May 2008 (UTC)


Tweak header template to look nicer, be more readable[edit]

I would like to change Template:Header2 to look nicer and be more readable. Currently we have:

The Prince (Chapter I: Of the Various Kinds of Princedom, and of the Ways in Which They Are Acquired)
by Niccolò Machiavelli (translated by Ninian Hill Thomson)

I would like it to appear as:

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli, translated by Ninian Hill Thomson
Chapter I: Of the Various Kinds of Princedom, and of the Ways in Which They Are Acquired

If the section variable is empty, then the author's name will appear on a separate line as before. For example:

A Modest Proposal
by Jonathan Swift

This revised format is more flexible, handles long chapter/section names better, and uses more easily readable prose instead of parenthesis. This change would not break anything. I'm keeping the new template code at User:Remember the dot/Sandbox 2 for the time being, so you can post examples of how it handles other pages as well. —Remember the dot (talk) 02:56, 17 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I really like that. Support. —Quadell (talk/swapmeet) 20:44, 17 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I like the last way, as well. However, would it be possible to add some kind of break so that the text is not crammed right up under the "section" portion of the header2. It would be nice to have one line of white space.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 17:12, 21 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • It's pretty easy to fix the spacing with CSS tags (e.g. style="margin-bottom: 10px") —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 20:13, 21 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So when can this go live? —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 23:44, 29 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As soon as an administrator copies-and-pastes the code from User:Remember the dot/Sandbox 2 to Template:Header2. But your question was probably when will an administrator get around to doing that (I don't know). —Remember the dot (talk) 05:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, I was bold. (I also added documentation.) If this breaks stuff, please revert me. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 14:00, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Show all subpages in print view[edit]

I've written preliminary JavaScript that displays all pages of a work in the "printable version" view. The script determines the list of subpages by parsing links to subpages on the index page, so a full index (example) is required. Partial indexes (example) won't work correctly, but it's probably a bad idea to load the entire United States Code on one page anyway.

This is a preliminary script, so more validation and features need to be implemented before it's ready for actual use. Please leave any comments or suggestions below.

  • Live demonstration: click on "Show all subpages" just under the top header. You can ignore the black box warning, which only appears when the script is loaded dynamically.
  • Source code.
  • Request.

{admin} Pathoschild 02:42:57, 01 February 2008 (UTC)

This is great! I have a few suggestions for the script, though.
  1. Making this work in IE.
  2. Suppressing all headers from the subpages would be a nice feature (since the chapters are already labeled, transcluding the headers is a bit redundant).
  3. And if the categories at the bottom of the page could be done away with.
I think the first one is integral, since so many use IE. And I think the second two would make this more asthetically appealing for print versions.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 03:05, 1 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
IE compatibility should be looked into. But unfortunately, IE contains many, many bugs and deficiencies that may make it difficult or impossible to get certain scripts to work with it. —Remember the dot (talk) 04:35, 1 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The script will definitely support Internet Explorer by the time it's ready for use. The other options can probably be done more easily with CSS. —{admin} Pathoschild 12:41:24, 01 February 2008 (UTC)
What do you mean by "partial indexes won't work correctly"? If I ran it on Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V, am I correct that it would print all the pages listed (but not, for instance, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/On the Merits and Forgiveness of Sins, and on the Baptism of Infants/Book I/Chapter 1)? —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 17:44, 1 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And am I correct that Cornhuskers (and other similar collections of independent works) would not print correctly? —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 17:46, 1 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. The script needs a complete list of pages to display (which is a problem on Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers), and these need to be clearly distinguished from unrelated links like author and help pages (which is a problem on Cornhuskers). Neither of these works can be correctly parsed automatically, but this is not a problem if we explicitly provide a list of pages to the script in some way (which would override the automatic parsing). —{admin} Pathoschild 03:54:12, 02 February 2008 (UTC)
Would it work for Cornhuskers if I had a bunch of redirect pages like Cornhuskers/Prairie redirecting to Prairie? —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 19:43, 2 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yep. —{admin} Pathoschild 23:25:07, 02 February 2008 (UTC)

Very cool. I'm a fan. Let us know when it's 1.0. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 23:28, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Add gadget for template preloader script[edit]

I would like to have my template preloader script added as a gadget. I think I have all the major bugs worked out and it does a decent, in-the-ballpark job of predicting how to fill out Template:header2. Having this as a gadget would make it easier for others to use the script, and with more users it would be easier to identify any remaining bugs.

To do this, please create MediaWiki:Gadgets-definition with:


MediaWiki:Gadget-Template preloader with:

Preload useful templates such as [[Template:header2|header2]] and [[Template:textinfo|textinfo]] ([[:wikipedia:Firefox|Firefox]] only)

and MediaWiki:Gadget-Template preloader.js with the current contents of User:Remember the dot/Sandbox. —Remember the dot (talk) 07:11, 1 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support, I use it and it works well for me. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 17:32, 1 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, if this goes live, please use
Preload useful templates such as [[Template:header2|header2]] and [[Template:textinfo|textinfo]] ([[:wikipedia:Firefox|Firefox]] only, report bugs to [[User talk:Remember the dot|Remember the dot]])
on MediaWiki:Gadget-Template preloader. That way, people will know where to report bugs. Unfortunately, since the MediaWiki namespace is protected, I won't be able to fix the bugs without admin help, so we might want to just import the script from my userspace (or make me an admin ;-)). —Remember the dot (talk) 18:46, 1 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since there have been no objections, I went ahead and added these. If there are problems, please revert me. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 00:34, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I can't figure out how to use this. I tried to create an empty page, but it didn't preload the template (and I'm using FireFox).—Zhaladshar (Talk) 01:30, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nevermind, I got it to work.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 21:14, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Add a couple default values to Template:Header2[edit]

I know of a way to make it faster and easier to use Template:Header2. It works on all browsers and does not require JavaScript.

I propose that the title parameter default to the title of the work, and the section parameter default to the subpage name. For example, if the following were used on The Time Machine/Chapter I

 | title    = 
 | author   = H. G. Wells
 | section  = 
 | previous = 
 | next     = [[../Chapter II|Chapter II]]
 | notes    =

then it would display as:

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
Chapter I

Not only will this make it easier to add new works, but if a work was put up with the wrong numbering system, say, "Chapter 1" instead of "Chapter One", then "Some Book/Chapter 1" can be moved to "Some Book/Chapter One" and the header template will reflect this automatically.

For the technically minded, title would default to [[{{#titleparts:{{FULLPAGENAME}}|1}}]] and section would default to {{#titleparts:{{FULLPAGENAME}}|0|2}}. —Remember the dot (talk) 23:30, 9 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That sounds good. —{admin} Pathoschild 23:53:22, 09 February 2008 (UTC)
OK, I've done some testing, and I'm not comfortable with giving section a default value at this point. There's undoubtedly some unusual case where a subpage shouldn't have a section name. However, giving title a default value works excellently. I've got the code at User:Remember the dot/Sandbox 2, so an admin can be bold and copy the source of that page into the source of Template:Header2 whenever they feel that there is sufficient support for the change. —Remember the dot (talk) 05:52, 10 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have been playing around with a similar concept at {{subpage-header}}.
I am uncomfortable with making changes to {{header2}} until all use of {{header}} has been migrated to {{header2}}. The beauty of the current header2 logic is that it requires all fields are filled in, which means we know it has been used properly (roughly). John Vandenberg (chat) 22:17, 15 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your new template does look very nice. When will the header → header2 transition be complete so that we can make the title parameter optional? If this change were implemented, then the title parameter would not have to be filled in on nearly all texts, pages and subpages alike. So, it would take less time to add new texts, and new users wouldn't be scratching their heads over the rather cryptic [[../]], which would encourage more users to contribute. —Remember the dot (talk) 22:59, 15 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How long is a piece of string. :-) See Template talk:Header.
Category:Pages with parentheses in section param and Category:Pages with arrow in previous param are basically finished; but there are still a lot of strange cases.
We probably need more gnomes and bots help out. John Vandenberg (chat) 23:46, 15 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've cleaned out as much of Category:Pages with parentheses in section param and Category:Pages with arrow in previous param as I can. Also, from looking at Template:Subpage-header I got the idea to use #ifexist to intelligently autodetect the base page name. For example, on 9/11 Commission Report, title defaults to "9/11 Commission Report" instead of "9".
I really want this to go live as soon as possible, because it would make it much easier to contribute to Wikisource. It would also allow me to make my template preloader gadget work much faster, since all the check-if-page-exists database queries would happen locally instead of through AJAX. What else do we need to do before this can go live? —Remember the dot (talk) 04:09, 16 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are still many, many pages that use {{header}}. We have been trying to "fix" any use of "{{header}}" where HTML/arrows/parentheses/etc have been placed in the values. There are a number of cases that will still result in undesirable output if "header" used the logic in "header2", such as

If we can work out how to fix all of these issues, or reduce it down to a small percentage of problems, we can flick the switch. Otherwise, we need bots to intelligently process the remaining ~20-30,000 pages. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:49, 16 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What are the names of the current bots, and what is preventing them from eliminating the remaining 20-30,000 uses of Template:Header? —Remember the dot (talk) 06:35, 18 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Update: Category:Pages with lt in section param has been cleaned out. We have to remove the remaining uses of → though... —Dark (talk) 06:32, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Open Publication License[edit]

The Open Publication License, which is the license of newly contributed work "What Is Lojban?" appears to meet our copyright policy requirements. Can anyone see a problem with this license? John Vandenberg (chat) 01:48, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I could quibble with the restrictions on printed works under Section I. . . but these are so minor, and so unlikely to come up, that I don't think they are important for compatibility reasons. So all in all, I'd say that OPL documents can be used under the terms of the GFDL without violating the terms of the OPL. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:37, 22 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Index" namespace[edit]

As far as I can see, "Index" is not a registered namespace, which means that our index pages are in the main namespace, and means the namespace component of the pagename cant be manipulated by template logic. As an example of the latter problem, {{DJVU page link}} works correctly on Page:College Songs (Waite, 1887).djvu/8, but when that page is transcluded onto Index:College Songs (Waite, 1887).djvu, the page numbers link to "Index:Page:College Songs (Waite, 1887).djvu/x". I propose that "Index" become a proper namespace. John Vandenberg (chat) 23:38, 7 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, if we're going to have an Index namespace then it should be a proper namespace. For one thing, changing it to a proper namespace would resolve conflicts between the index namespace edit form script and the template preloader gadget. —Remember the dot (talk) 07:14, 9 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So make a request at bugzilla? – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 01:30, 16 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

bugzilla:13385 created. John Vandenberg (chat) 01:49, 16 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Email on page changes[edit]

On Wikimedia Commons, the system emails users when pages are modified. As most users dont come back to Wikisource and regularly check their watchlist, I propose that this feature is also enabled on Wikisource. It will spread the anti-vandalism load as many people will be instantly notified of a vandal on a spree, initial contributors will usually take responsibility for verifying any fixes, and it will also allow "initial translators" to sanity check any subsequent improvements which may encourage translators like Terry0051 to entrust their work to our keeping. John Vandenberg (chat) 23:38, 7 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That sounds like a great feature for us. I trust it is opt-in.--BirgitteSB 17:53, 9 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The feature I described above is mw:Manual:$wgEnotifWatchlist, and it is opt in. We may also want to enable mw:Manual:$wgEnotifMinorEdits. There are many other knobs we can discuss before we file a change request; see mw:Manual:Configuration settings#Email notification (Enotif) settings. For example, in bugzilla:5220 de.WP requested to enable "email on user talk events" (mw:Manual:$wgEnotifUserTalk) and found they didnt like it. John Vandenberg (chat) 22:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I vote for email notification. I use it on Wikis for classes that I teach, and find it very helpful.--Mike O'D 02:58, 10 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems useful to me. Yann 13:24, 10 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, it's already active on several other wikis, and would be useful here as well. -Steve Sanbeg 20:13, 10 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, this is helpful. Dmitrismirnov 12:53, 21 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

bugzilla:13386 created. John Vandenberg (chat) 01:52, 16 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bot flag request for User:Computer[edit]

  • Bot operator: User:White Cat (Commons:User:White Cat) - En-N, Tr-4, Ja-1
  • List of botflags on other projects: Bot has a flag on wikimedia (meta,commons) wikipedia (ar, az, de, en, es, et, fr, is, ja, ku, nn, no, ru, sr, tr, uz, simple...) (See: m:User:White Cat#Bots)
  • Purpose: Interwiki linking, double redirect fixing, commons delinking (for cases where commonsdelinker fails)

-- Cat chi? 23:58, 16 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Moved from Wikisource:Bot policy.)
The policy requires that the bot name clearly include the word "bot"; maybe you could name it "Computer (bot)" with a redirect from "Computer"? —{admin} Pathoschild 00:44:28, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I would like to keep the bot name as is. I name my bot "computer" in the local language. In English the word for computer is "Computer" (just pointing the obvious) so hence the name of the bot. A "Computer" is an automated unit so it sounds automated enough. -- Cat chi? 15:37, 17 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I noted my objection at User talk:BirgitteSB#Bot_flag_request_for_User:Computer and oldwikisource:User talk:Eclecticology#Bot_flag_request_for_User:Computer.
I would like to see Computer (talkcontribs) or Cool Cat (talkcontribs)/White Cat (talkcontribs) do some semi-automated contribs before we discuss whether those contribs could safely be allowed to run without being seen or patrolled. John Vandenberg (chat) 01:43, 17 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also I need someone technical (either of gentleman responding above me would be fine) to sanity check the code that will be running.--BirgitteSB 03:18, 17 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The code I intend to run is and along with
Jayvdb raised the following objection "I would prefer interwiki linkages to be visible on recentchanges, we dont have major problems with Special:DoubleRedirects (and most of those a best fixed by the person who was working on those pages), and I flat out definitely do not want to see another bot doing commons delinking here."
  • Double redirects are a navigational hazard to the reader and is a mindless task to fix these. Say if pages of wikisource material were to be moved all redirects leading to them would now point to a redirect. All those god knows how many redirects would need to be updated so they point at the new location of the moved page. This requires no human intervention. It is a task bots can handle this way humans can focus on other tasks. As of this post Special:DoubleRedirects registered 42 double redirects for en.wikisorce. If this isn't fixed, the number will grow. In contrast Wikipedia registers about 1000 double redirects. As wikis grow this problem becomes more noticeable. The intention behind this request is to tackle the problem before it ever gets in the way. is probably among the safest pywikipedia script.
  • Interwiki links are not something of critical importance to projects like wikibooks or wikisource as such projects are marginal in size - say in when compared to projects like wikipedia. With oldwikisource there are only 55 wikis of which aside from the largest wiki (fr.wikisource) has 37,000ish articles. Interwiki links are an aid to the reader. It helps me find the traslaated version of wikisource material - say if I want to find the translated version of US proclamation of independence and want to read it in Malaylam or French. Wikisource is growing and communication between all language editions via interwiki links has many benefits and no harm.
  • I am a commons admin. Occasionally I rename or delete files on commons for various reasons. Reasons may include issues like copyright violations and duplicates or something as trivial as uniqueifying a filename. An "Image:Tower.jpg" is unhelpful and I may need to rename such an image to "Image:Eiffel Tower (2007-12-14).jpg". After that I would need to update every wiki using the image "Image:Tower.jpg" which may very well be hundereds of wikis. This is where CommonsDelinker helps. I'd like to note that I merely act as a backup to CommonsDelinker if it is down (when toolserv goes down so does CommonsDelinker). The alternative to CommonsDelinker is an unhelpful redlink.
-- Cat chi? 15:37, 17 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I see no reason to grant this request, which seems to be an exercise in seeing how many wikis the same bot can be activated in. White Cat has no apparent experience in Wikisource, so it would seem that his allegiance is elsewhere. The bot does not have "bot" in its name; that makes it impossible for someone reviewing the history of an article to know that a particular action was taken by a bot. I would even question the validity of "Computer" as a user name, because in generic nature could cause confusion. The proposed bot purports to combine the work of three existing bots; what would be the problem with running each of these separately? The delinker is also a problem, because the image inclusion policy here allows for some images that might not be allowable in Commons. How can a bot possibly distinguish these differences? An image that is acceptable here but not in Commons should be transferred rather than simply deleted and delinked. Eclecticology 20:38, 17 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Botname
      Oh realy? Consider this. Which one is the bot edit?
      a) The one clearly marked as "robot"
      b) The one that is not marked with "robot"
      The name of the bot to date has not caused confusion on wikis like English wikipedia.
    • Multi tasking
      Running multiple tasks from a single account prompts no technical difficulties. I do not understand the concern.
    • Commons Delinker
      1. I will not pay attention to the image inclusion policy of some 900 wikis when making a decision on commons. If the image is on heavy use, we delay on image deletion giving people time to move the image to their local wikis under a fair use license. In no way are commons admins required or expected to upload images locally. If a commons user is doing such a thing perhaps you should be thanking him or her for the hard work. Please do not ask me or anyone such a thing. Be reasonable.
      2. Commons admins juggle over two million images. With thousands of new images a day this is a very demanding and tiring task. You are welcome to run CommonsTicker, a bot that posts relevant commons activity. If you are really concerned, you are more than welcome to help out on commons processing every image used on Wikisource. That way you would not only help commons tackle problematic images but also move anything incompatible with commons yet compatible with wikisource
      3. Not complying with CommonsDeinker process is a valid option. You would have plenty of redlinks which I believe are unhelpful to the reader.
      4. CommonsDelinker isn't exclusively used for 'delinking'. In many cases it is used for 'relinking' as discussed above.
      -- Cat chi? 01:38, 18 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This seems to have several issues that would need to be addressed. I don't see a problem with running things together, but they should all be addressed.
    • If the name can be translated for different languages, why not for different projects? Maybe also worth noting that in the time from many of our texts were written, "computer" was a job title, not a device. I don't see a need to make an exception to the policy here, but it should be OK to use the name as long as it doesn't need a flag.
    • There doesn't seem to be a huge problem with double redirects, and a significant portion of those are cross-namespace, so there may be other issues there.
    • Interwiki links should be useful, but it doesn't seem like they'd overwhelm the recent changes.
    • Images linked here should be historically correct; replacing them (i.e. to fix duplicates or modernize them) can cause more problems than it solves. -Steve Sanbeg 21:38, 17 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • A lack of a bot flag causes problems to the bot operator. Lack of a bot flag really restricts how many edits I can make per minute. For example if I am interwiki linking an article A to 20 wikis the bot would fail and abort. That is 1 edit each to the 20 wikis but still 20 total edits in a very short period of time. -- Cat chi? 01:38, 18 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • If you are not willing to change the bots name, we have a deal-breaker and there is no need to debate the other points.--BirgitteSB 01:51, 18 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • Why is that? -- Cat chi? 10:00, 18 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
            • Maybe my statement above is a bit strong. As long as our bot policy requires "bot" in the name, at least I will not be giving flags out to those without it. Maybe Z will decide otherwise. Or maybe the policy will be changed. Frankly I find your unwillingness to conform to local policy (however arbitrary you may believe it to be) a bit of red flag in a bot operator.--BirgitteSB 14:31, 18 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
              • Could you link the relevant documentation or bug report about that rate limitation? This is the first I've heard of that, and these discussions are generally limited to the documented behavior of the flag. But Birgitte has a point; the name does seem to be a sticking point, since 4 people have already brought it up. -Steve Sanbeg 17:57, 18 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As I said, those double redirects are not a problem that needs an automated fix. My guess is those 42 have accumulated over a period of six months, so there was no doom if they were not fixed immediately. A number of them were created by Polbot's creation of redirects, which is less than ideal, but automated and unmonitored "fixing" of these double redirects would have meant that we couldnt inform Quadell that his bot needs to be tweaked before it runs again.[2]

Interwiki links on Wikisource are a different kettle of fish to Wikipedia - a translated name may be a completely different work by a different author. The "same name" means nothing on Wikisource. Maybe this task can be automated completely, but it will require someone who has a good knowledge of Wikisource to expand the codebase to support this flawlessly running unmonitored. Even then, it is better that these changes appear on Recentchanges, as it did when AndreasJ (talkcontribs) recently linked the Greek and English editions of Aesop's Fables. If someone becomes good at this, and starts to overload the patrolling, then it would be suitable to hide those edits from patrollers.

In regards to "fixing" images that have been deleted from Commons, even CommonsDelinker (talkcontribs) does not run with a bot flag, because we do want to see these unlinkings, so that we can investigate. The reason why each image is investigated on Wikisource is that we only permit PD images, so images used on Wikisource are predominately PD, and if an image is removed from Commons, there is a high chance that something has gone wrong. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:15, 18 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Never the less there is no reason not to fix them in an automated manner
  • Interwikilinking is a process where interwiki linked pages are synched. "Same name" is not a criteria at all as far as the mindless bot is concerned. A trial process is fine.
  • The bot would only operate if CommonsDelinker fails to operate. It is possible this function of the bot will never be used so long as toolserver does not die. Seeing the bot's activity on recent changes is unhelpful as it would not tell you much about why the image was deleted. Wikisource:CommonsTicker is for that function. Why would you even need to pay attention to delinking edits of this bot when CommonsTicker operates.
-- Cat chi? 09:59, 18 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

fwiw, I dont mind the bot being named "Computer" as it has the {{Bot}} tag on it, and prefixes all edit summaries with "Robot: ". John Vandenberg (chat) 21:45, 18 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't particularly care what syntax we use so long as it is consistent. If all the existing bot operators agree to change their code to use the edit summary syntax instead of the name syntax, I would support changing the policy. But I do have a problem with letting it be a grab bag and the policy needs to be changed (with or without my support) before I would personally grant a flag.--BirgitteSB 23:17, 18 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do not seek a red flag, I seek a bot flag. :) -- Cat chi? 16:08, 19 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mandatory "bot" in bot usernames[edit]

This seperate section is intended to start a discussion seperate from the above request. While two issues are related these are independent requests.

While seeking a bot flag or editing a wiki rarely I asked people to review their existing policies whenever I think I have a good suggestion. For example...

  • Until very recently polish wikipedia required all new bot operators to know a level of polish to operate there. This was eventually changed. I acted as a catalysis for this change. Polish wikipedia obviously did not make such an alteration just to satisfy me.
  • I also help drafted new policies on a number of wikis such as wikis like de.wikipedia where I kinda prodded the community in discussing usurpation. There probably had been discussions and thoughts about usurpation on the wiki before I made my request but I'd like to think that my prodding had a positive effect on the way de.wikipedia runs.
  • I was the person that proposed the alteration of the username policy on English wikipedia. That discussion started on IRC. En.wikipedia used to ban all non-latin character usernames on the basis that most people would see such characters as mere question marks. I proposed that it should be recommended and not required that people who edit English wikipedia to have latin-charactered usernames. I further proposed that it should be recommended that non-latin charactered usernames sign with latinified way of their username on English wikipedia. This made English wikipedia more compatible with Single User Login (SUL). It also made the project more open and more free.
  • I was the first person (I think) proposing the concept of semi-protection. Most/all wikis adopted "semi protection" of which none had done so just to satisfy me but because it helps how things run on the wiki. While my initial proposal was denied back then a few months later it was picked up by someone else and polished. Later it became a standard on all wikis (I think). I proposed this due to the difficulties I faced in RC patrolling.

Above were a few examples of the kind of changes I got involved with. The community should review the bot policy over the mandatory restriction of the inclusion of "bot" in bot usernames. The community should do so not to simply satisfy me but because that such a discussion and change may benefit the community. The real question is does the mandatory "bot" in bot usernames really benefit wikisource? Would a lack of "bot" in bot usernames harm the project? Should it be a recommendation rather than requirement? Mind you, a bot operator may still choose to name their bot username to contain a "bot" even if manditory "bot" in bot username thing is loosened.

Change happens over needs of people. I feel such a change would benefit Wikisource as a Free Library.

-- Cat chi? 16:08, 19 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Having a single standard allows users to easily distinguish automated scripts from human editors. This may allow patrollers to ignore bots or pay special attention to them (bots can make stupid mistakes), distinguishes automated edits in edit histories, and is also useful for organizational purposes. Administrators are also likely to treat a rapidly-editing bot differently from a user.
Most bots on Wikisource run without a bot flag, and there is no other standard way to distinguish them from normal editors. Using a naming standard is the simplest and most effective way to do so, and distinguishes them in all contexts (links, recent changes feeds, edit histories, user pages, et cetera).
Other possible standards (such as a user page template or standard edit summary) are more difficult to implement and have more limited applicability. For example, the Python Wikipediabot framework your bot uses allows you to change the name on this wiki simply by adding " (bot)" to one line. However, using a standard edit summary on Wikisource would require using it on all wikis the bot operates on, or adding an entire new subroutine to change the edit summary on Wikisource.
While there are a number of benefits for Wikisource's naming standard, you have not explained how this in any way inconveniences you. You can set the name on Wikisource without changing it elsewhere simply by editing one line in the bot configuration, and you can redirect user:Computer so that you can link to it from your bot account lists without change. —{admin} Pathoschild 20:07:40, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Human usernames can contain the 'bot' string. Some real person names have "bot" string in them. I have seen many examples of this before. In other words there may be non-bot related reasons to have "bot" in ones username particularly in some foreign languages. I cannot think of a single valid reason for a person to put "bot edit" in edit summaries when they are not a bot.
Everything you suggested can be achieved via edit summaries. Edit summaries on pywikipedia by default contains a string "robot" or "bot edit" infront. Rule could be that a bot account either has "bot" in their username or point out that it is a bot on every edit summary. Either way distinguishing which edits are from a bot and which ones aren't is not affected.
If the intention is to ignore or pay close attention to the bots, doing so via the overly polluted raw RC feed is probably the worst way to do so.
  • If the intention is to ignore the bots, such bots should be marked with a botflag. Patrollers should pay attention to human edits for vandalism and etc. If a bot breaks it is the responsibility of the bot operator not of patrollers. While bots like CommonsDelinker may need its edits reviewed, doing so through the entire RC feed may make such a task very difficult. Special:Contributions link of the bot account is probably a better way to check a bots activity than Special:Recentchanges. Please think this in terms of how wikisource will be in 5 years from now. Consider how many edits wikipedia gets. Wikisource may be no different in the near future.
  • If the intention is to pay close attention to the bots, them being marked with a bot flag only eases their identification as bots - more so than their usernames or edit summaries. After all both usernames and edit summaries can be faked. A vandal may choose to vandalize using a fake bot account. Marking known good bots with a bot flag has lots of benefits and no real harm. Not everybody needs to review every bot edit which almost always are non-problematic.
This request isn't just about my bot. It has a general rationale. It would be trivially easy for me to alter my bots username ( rather than making a single post about it. I am trying to focus on the big picture.
-- Cat chi? 20:54, 19 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Beginning with the ad hominem arguments about all the good things that you have done (Ad hominem arguments are not just about bad things.) I see a lot said about why this project should change its policy, and nothing about why defending the name User:Computer is personally so important to you. The fact is that people who regularly participate in this project are happy with the existing policy; I see no reason to change this policy when the only person advocating for it has not otherwise shown any interest in Wikisource. Eclecticology 08:10, 20 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indefinitely ban me and my bot and yet change the policy. Thats fine by me. This request for a policy change has nothing to do with my bot account. In other words your opposition is strictly personal. It is because an "outsider" is proposing it. Is this wiki that close-minded? I hope not. -- Cat chi? 03:30, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nobody has said anything about banning you. I'm sure that if you wanted to contribute rather than just change policy you would have a more friendly welcome. 20:20, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Eclecticology

Text quality in Edit this page[edit]

Can we add a link to the phrase "Text advancement" when editing a page (right next to "This is a minor edit" and "Watch this page") to Wikisource:Text quality? New users might wonder what this is, I know I did when I saw it the first time. - Mtmelendez 20:36, 2 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes check.svg Done -Steve Sanbeg 20:57, 14 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Restricted access policy[edit]

I propose the Restricted access policy to address some of the recent questions about bureaucrat confirmation, the need for a checkuser policy (discussion), and scalability with future access like oversight. It's a generalized and expanded version of the current Administrator policy (see comparison). —{admin} Pathoschild 08:00:40, 05 April 2008 (UTC)

I liked having a general policy that covers all types of access. I would prefer to see separate short policy documents that cover usage of each tool, but can support this policy also including documentation of rollback and checkuser as there isnt much to explain about either of them, at present. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:19, 5 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd prefer your initial suggestion John. Have a general policy on how to obtain, manage, and lose any and all special user rights, since the processes are mostly similar, but have a separate policy for each particular right's use. - Mtmelendez 13:20, 5 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd prefer to see explicit parameters for checkuser requests that are kept private. In other words define "for privacy". One obvious reason, is that if the request itself would tie an pseudonomynous person to their identity. That is a good reason to post the request on on checkuser-l rather than publicly. With the caveat that the above reasoning be posted with the request and if discusion at checkuser-l agrees that reason does not apply it should become a publis request. There may be other reasons to keep a request private, the tool has been around long enough to figure such things out. Let's have the acceptable reasons to keep even the fact a request was made non-public explicitly stated.--BirgitteSB 18:35, 7 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's more difficult than you suggest to compile a precise list of situations where privacy is affected, since most other wikis do not enforce transparency at all. Is something like this what you have in mind? —{admin} Pathoschild 16:54:21, 08 April 2008 (UTC)
That is exactly what I meant. My main issue with the "ensure privacy" alone is that it possibly could be read many ways as to who's privacy is being guarded and what sort of information fits under the umbrella of "privacy". You might want to tweak it a little to say information they have not made public. As someone might argue something that has been revealed unethically by third parties is technically public. But hopefully these are all situations we will never have to deal with.--BirgitteSB 01:11, 9 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we should leave this to the checkusers' discretion. If we make the policy too specific on this issue, then we're open to gaming like "Well, I never meant to make my sockpuppets' names public, so the policy says you can't reveal anything!". —{admin} Pathoschild 22:46:53, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
We need to include private requests based on identifying people that are known real life stalkers/harassers. Three reasons, 1) Many of these people feed off public discussion of their harassment and stalking. 2) The victims can not be expected to repeatedly face their stalkers in public. 3) Being falsely accused of being a stalker/harasser might be EXTREMELY hurtful and cause unintended harm. FloNight 21:26, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"The vote will he held for at least one week. Although any user is welcome to discuss the nomination, only established editors may cast a vote with weight." I don't think that an RfA should be a vote. A bureaucrat assesses the remarks and the arguments and determines whether there is consensus. Besides anything else, it's up to the bureaucrat to determine who is an established editor. Votes for Checkuser are different; under WMF policy, they are vote counts.--Poetlister 12:38, 10 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is taken directly from the established Administrator policy; could we discuss implementing the changes before debating established policy? :) —{admin} Pathoschild 15:42:49, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

See also User_talk:Pathoschild/Restricted_access_policy, there may be some overlap in discussions, anyone who wants to refactor my comments here is welcome to do so. ++Lar: t/c 00:46, 15 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are there any remaining objections to implementing this? —{admin} Pathoschild 22:46:53, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Implemented as Wikisource:Restricted access policy. —{admin} Pathoschild 00:33:01, 02 May 2008 (UTC)

Other discussions[edit]

OCR software[edit]

I know that there is a great dirth of decent free OCR software for people to use. However, I just came across a program called FreeOCR which is a Windows-compatible freeware OCR program using the Tesseract engine. For those people who have texts to be OCR'd and have a Windows machine, I suggest trying it out and seeing if it works well. The only real requirement is that your computer have the .NET Framework, version 2.0 or higher.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 20:32, 20 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Doesn't work for me. I downloaded and installed the latest .NET framework from Microsoft, then downloaded the latest FreeOCR, and whenever I try to scan a document (including the samples included with the install), I get an unhandled exception: file not found. (I'm using a Dell Inspiron E1405 laptop.) If anyone has better luck, let me know. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 15:27, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Odd. I just downloaded and installed it and it worked great for me. I've got a Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop and have Microsoft .NET framework version 1, 2, and 3 on my system. But this is just for the OCR portion. I didn't try out the scan option, since I don't do any scanning myself. Does it not work for you when you just try to OCR?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 18:20, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, I don't have a scanner. I was just trying the OCR function. Glad it works for you. . . I'll fiddle around with it some more when I get a chance. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 01:07, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On the other hand, this website will OCR images for you using the Tesseract engine, and it's pretty nifty. (It won't do PDFs, though; just high-quality GIFs and JPGs.) —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 15:27, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also to note, the website won't do TIFFs. :( —Zhaladshar (Talk) 22:00, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bot patrolling[edit]

JVbot (talkcontribs) can now patrol new pages, and will soon be able to patrol recent changes. The code is currently not available, as this could be very detrimental to w:Wikipedia:New Page Patrol in the wrong hands. An example semi-automated run is here. Currently the algorithm accepts contributors creating pages which match a particular pattern. e.g. new pages by Bochica (talkcontribs) under Journal of Discourses are A.OK. I'm curious if anyone has any reservations about this, as I would prefer to run this automated on the bot account rather than manually on my account. In order to be useful, it needs to be run regularly. If it helps, this list of automatically patrolled user/page tuples could be stored on a wiki page to allow it to be updated by any admin. John Vandenberg (chat) 07:31, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm confused. What would this bot do? Revert? Make a list of suspect edits? What? —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:50, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does the pattern have to be approved by a real live person once or twice before the bot accepts as valid? Or does the bot present a pattern to a real live person who approves it in general before the bot patrols the fifty pages matching the pattern?--BirgitteSB 15:31, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I, likewise, am a bit confused as to what the bot would do. Are certain non-admin users whitelisted by the bot? (That's sort of what the example with Bochica seems to me.)—Zhaladshar (Talk) 18:22, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, I was a little terse last night.

The bot marks revisions as patrolled (i.e. removes the red exclamation mark next to it) according to a whitelist which a list of "(user, pattern)" pairs.

The whitelist is currently stored on disk, but it could be managed onwiki (as a protected page?). I have dumped the current list at User:JVbot/patrol whitelist and wikified it a bit. The patterns that are in use permit subpages and talk changes on the mentioned page. Any one can edit the onwiki list at the moment as it is not being used by the bot.

Also, it can mark user space modifications made by the user as patrolled; i.e. User:Psychless is allowed to make changes under their own user/user talk space. This could be a problem as it allows copyvios to be developed unmonitored in userspace.

Currently it prints out the user/title/length/comment for each revision that it has whitelisted, and asks the operator to hit yes or no. John Vandenberg (chat) 20:14, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, let me see if I understand this. What the bot will do is automatically mark as patrolled certain edits by certain users who we know for a fact are competent in adding those types of pages and can pretty much guarantee will be standard according to our style guide?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 21:31, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Correct. John Vandenberg (chat) 21:42, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 21:59, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support this task and I encourage you to have someone trusted to this community review the code-- 00:21, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that the code can be checked in if Wikipedia adopts my proposal to have newpages patrolled by two users rather than one. w:Wikipedia talk:New pages patrol/patrolled pages#Autoconfirmed (by two users). I am happy to share the code with admins on other sub-domains. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:02, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply] DJVU files with Microsoft watermark and restriction[edit]

Over on commons, I have started a discussion about DJVU files which come with Microsoft watermark and a non-commercial restriction.

commons:Commons talk:Licensing#Microsoft_restrictions_on_archive.org_DJVU_files

This is relevant to Wikisource, especially as the non-commercial aspect means that the DJVU files cant be hosted here either. John Vandenberg (chat) 12:18, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Poems that flow across multiple pages[edit]

On The Bell-Buoy and The Ballad of Reading Gaol, where the text is stored on pages in Index:Rudyard Kipling's verse - Inclusive Edition 1885-1918.djvu and Index:The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1904).djvu respectively, there is a slight visual problem with poems that cross the "Page" boundary. What is occurring is that the <poem> block has a visual gap at the top and bottom, so when a two <poem> blocks are consecutive, there is a distinct gap between the last line of the first block and the first line of the second block. On Bell-Buoy, it can be seen between lines "And moored me over the shoal." and "I rock, I reel, and I roll--".

Ideally I would like for the text to be in a SINGLE block; i.e. the two blocks need to be merged into one semantic passage. To do this, I tried the following and it didnt work:

== main page ==
== page1 ==
== page2 ==

If that isnt possible, and another solution isnt found, I have a makeshift solution that reduces the top and/or bottom margin of the two concurrent blocks so that they appear to be a single block. See User:Jayvdb/monobook.css and User:Jayvdb/sandbox (which uses User:Jayvdb/poem1 and User:Jayvdb/poem2). John Vandenberg (chat) 17:55, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It looks like the parser always renders each poem as a paragraph, which is probably correct in most cases. It looks like if the extension was changed, then consecutive poems would run together even if there was a blank line between them. So we may need to add an option to the poem tag if we want to allow these to render more compactly. -Steve Sanbeg 20:10, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Two concepts conflated in <poem>[edit]

Working out this problem in isolation (a dangerous thing to do), it appears to me that the <poem> markup has been used for two slightly different things:

  1. contiguous segments of text that are parts of poems,
  2. poems as literary units.

I think that number 1 could be marked <poetry>, and number 2 could be marked <poem>. There could be a default that <poem> implies an implicit <poetry>, to help those who don't notice that there are two such things.

The key to getting these sorts of things right in the long run is to focus on giving a clear meaning to each marker as an assertion about the nature of the text that it marks, rather than to focus on formatting. The paragraphing of things within <poem> brackets implies thinking of them as number 2, but the problem of incompatible groupings, such as pagination vs. poem boundaries, calls for something more like number 1.

--Mike O'D 02:20, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Personally, I think of poem as a misnomer; nofill may have been more appropriate, since it's useful for many things that aren't related to poetry. So for the sake of keeping the software easier to maintain and more flexible, it's probably better to focus on the formatting.
So I think the issue you're seeing is that each poem is rendered in a p tag, so simply introducing the notion of a compatc poem, i.e. <poem compact>... to ensure no extra whitespace is added would resolve that. -Steve Sanbeg 18:00, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
text structure or layout is cool: should be clear which[edit]

I think it's cool to have markup for a poem, and/or to have markup for spacing and filling. It's just important to be clear which is which. If <poem> is accidentally misnamed and really just means no fill, there's still a conflation—of nofill and paragraph.--Mike O'D 21:46, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Order of evaluation problem with extensions[edit]

But, aside from the meaning problem addressed above, there is just the problem that <poem>, in its implementation as an extension, cannot be emitted by a template or variable evaluation with its meaning intact—it either affects the interpretation of the transclusion/variable-evaluation itself, or it comes out as a literal text, instead of markup.

--Mike O'D 02:24, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

At some point there probably will be a general fix for that, which will help several extensions. There have been various discussions about something like that, and even a temporary workaround, although that seems to be not well documented, and only enabled on English wikipedia. Currently, with the new proceprocessor still being tested, it's probably not the best time to work on that. -Steve Sanbeg 20:15, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah. I know a whole lot about language design (decades of research, starting under BASIC and FORTRAN), but nothing about the logistics of the Wiki project. But, I do know that deployment and incremental improvement usually have to dominate operational decisions.

So, I'm just intending to comment on the desiderata for the best possible design, because it's good to have that in mind, understanding that operational decisions may have to go at it very indirectly.

Cheers--Mike O'D 21:45, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The div workaround[edit]

For now, you can get around the problem by enclosing subsequent poem blocks in <div style="margin-top:-0.5em;"><poem> ... </poem></div>. It's a hack, but it works. See User:Quadell/sandbox for an example. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:51, 22 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I see my compact poem feature just when live (unfortunately I can't predict these in advance), so now you use <poem compact>. You can see the difference it makes at user:sanbeg/poem. -Steve Sanbeg 16:53, 22 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Checkuser request on en:wp which included en:ws[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Requests_for_checkuser/Case/AdilBaguirov (7th request) on en:wp ... as part of fulfilling this investigative request, I ran some checks here on Wikisource, done via my steward power. I have subsequently turned off the CU permission again as I completed them. Any other steward can review what I have done, of course, and as always I am willing to make my findings available to other CUs. Please advise of any questions or concerns.

Note that the English Wikisource does not have any local checkusers, except for BRION. I looked in the log to see how many checks were run here and there were very few. Nevertheless if the community decides it needs CUs I would be happy to discuss what's entailed with interested candidates, although I myself don't have time. ++Lar: t/c 15:43, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have started a request for local CU rights at Wikisource:Administrators#Requests_for_CheckUser_rights John Vandenberg (chat) 04:19, 17 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Google weighting of Wikisource[edit]

It has seemed clear to me from various searches I've done that Wikisource definitely isn't as heavily weighted by Google as Wikipedia is, which captures the top result for many words. But Wikisource isn't doing too badly: in the course of wikifying The Periplus of the Euxine Sea which I put up only a few days ago I did a related search and bam found myself looking at a link to the very document I was working on! Cool. --❨Ṩtruthious ℬandersnatch❩ 04:37, 16 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is encouraging!
A search that I have been tracking is
Sadly it seems we dont rank to well on keywords in common usage (thousands of blogs are given more google juice). I dont recall whether the current results are a improvement since last time; perhaps someone who logs IRC could remind me what I said last time. John Vandenberg (chat) 06:59, 16 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Where to go if not here?[edit]

I have some tables that would consume undue space in a Wikipedia article I need to park somewhere. The data is published. Am I to understand that WS only accepts text? --Adoniscik 08:07, 22 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's true Wikisource does not accept pure reference data. However, tables which are part of a larger publication are acceptable. Please read what Wikisource includes for more information.--GrafZahl (talk) 09:11, 22 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In that case I am covered in this particle instance, however I still wonder where is the appropriate place to publish non-text, say sheet music from a famous old tune, or a long mathematical proof? --Adoniscik 20:10, 22 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sheet music and mathematical proofs are published. They are acceptable here on Wikisource provided you can trace down the publication history, and attempt to present the work in a manner that is true to the original. See Wikisource:Sheet music and Category:Research articles. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:20, 23 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just to qualify what John said, yes, mathematical proofs are accepted here, but it would be best not just to upload some proof (such as a proof of the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic) from a math textbook and claim it's okay because it was published (or similarly, just uploading the reference appendices of a math book). That will likely get it deleted or transwiki'd to Wikibooks. However, things like mathematical papers would be great. (I honestly don't know what you mean by "long mathematical proofs" so if what I said doesn't apply, ignore it :) ).—Zhaladshar (Talk) 05:42, 23 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A request to those with high-speed connections[edit]

If you have a very, very fast broadband connection, please consider uploading LibriVox spoken text recordings to the Commons for use on Wikisource. I've already started in on The Secret Garden and Peter and Wendy, but there's no way I can do every text on Wikisource. —Remember the dot (talk) 01:29, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've been transferring a lot of these to Commons, and they're great! Perhaps we could coordinate with the fine LibriVox people to have them upload their new material to Commons? —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:52, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That would be great. I suggest starting a topic on their forums about that. Maybe we can also get them to add links to our (wikified) texts as well as Gutenberg's.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 02:18, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(It would also be nice if they could keep their oggs below 20K, since Commons won't allow uploads >20K. I've been having to split up many of the files manually.) —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 21:04, 29 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You mean 20 MB isn't? Yann
Oops, yeah, 20 meg. Face-blush.svgQuadell (talk / swapmeet) 23:43, 29 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If worse comes to worst, you can re-encode the files to be smaller. Audacity does this very easily. I've done that many times when I've needed to cut some of their works down to fit Commons' limit.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 02:18, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the tip about Audacity! Really though, if we could just get the devs to up the limit to 30 or 40 MB it would resolve the problem quite nicely. So, go make a fuss at bugzilla:12595! If we all band together, the developers will probably at least look into it. —Remember the dot (talk) 05:15, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Will do. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 05:18, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I use Audacity, but I'm a beginner with it. How do you re-encode the files to be smaller? When I pull in the ogg, I don't see an obvious way to do this. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 05:18, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure. Import whatever sound file you want to re-encode (this can be WAV, MP3, or OGG). Now, go to "Edit > Preferences" and click on the "File Formats" tab. Under the section labeled "OGG Export Setup" you can adjust the quality of the OGG file you want to export. I usually use "0" or "1" as it doesn't really decrease the overall quality too much, although you might want to expirement yourself to see how much is a justifiable loss in quality and how much isn't. Hit "OK" and go to "File > Export As Ogg Vorbis," choose where to save the new file, and Audacity will do the rest. Depending on the size of the file, this could be anywhere from a few to about twenty minutes (the larger the file, the longer the time it will take).—Zhaladshar (Talk) 06:26, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, Zhal! I'll try it. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just FYI, there is the free speex codec made especially for encoding speech. File sizes are significantly smaller than OGG/Vorbis files at quality level 0, even when encoding ultra-wide band files. Speex files can be put into an OGG container and should therefore be uploadable to the commons (I haven't tried, though). Resample your input file to an 8000Hz (narrow band), 16000Hz (wide band) or 32000Hz (ultra-wide band) WAV file and then do
speexenc input.wav output.ogg
to create an OGG/Speex file. There are also options to speexenc that control the quality/bitrate of the resulting file. I'm aware this is a more advanced procedure than encoding to OGG but maybe you're interested nevertheless.--GrafZahl (talk) 09:38, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(unindent) I didn't know you could put speex in an ogg container. I'll have to play around with that. Also, from the LibriVox FAQ:

Why aren't you recording in speex?
We are looking at speex and may try to add speex to our catalogs. If you want to help, please let us know. offer your services.

Just FYI. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ah, I found that Image:The Hunting of the Snark.ogg on Commons has a Speex file (wrapped in ogg) in the history. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 15:09, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I couldn't get Speex to work (it just crashed), but the Audacity file quality method worked well for Image:LibriVox - Jane Eyre 17 - Kirsten Ferreri.ogg. —Remember the dot (talk) 20:25, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe speex just isn't mature enough yet. I'm using Linux only, so I don't know how well it works for Windows users. Was it playing the file that didn't work, or just encoding? We shouldn't upload files which are unusable for a significant part of the user base. Furthermore, when I first tried speex one or two years back, it did not produce OGG files. The resulting files could be played back with speexdec only. Now (I'm using version 1.1.12) speexenc creates OGG files regardless of the specified file extension. This behaviour is unacknowledged in the manual page. So, old versions of speex produce mostly unplayable files, and the word that you might fare much better with newer versions probably hasn't spread.--GrafZahl (talk) 09:10, 31 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It created a zero-byte output file and then crashed. —Remember the dot (talk) 22:02, 2 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copyright clarifications from Mike Godwin[edit]

Two clarifications on copyright concerns have come down from the WMF counsel

  1. Copyright regarding public speeches
  2. Status of the "rule of the shorter term" in the US

Please spread this information to any subdomains which are confused on these issues.--BirgitteSB 19:09, 14 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anthere has made a clarification on it, see here 555 19:36, 17 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The first "public speeches" clarification is fantastic news! It means that the text of an off-the-cuff speech (including non-prepared interview questions and non-prepared answers to those questions) are in the public domain. There are tons of notable, important speeches and interviews that can be imported, so long as it can be shown that the words were not "fixed" (written down before-hand). Take, for instance, this CNN interview with Patty Hearst, or this InfoWorld interview will Bill Gates. Frequently, pages that host transcripts of interviews put a copyright notice and restrictions on the content, but that notice is meaningless if the copyright didn't exist in the first place.
One caveat: If an interviewer's questions were written down beforehand, those questions could be copyrighted (but not the answers). So you may have to replace the question with a simple "Q:", or a paraphrase like "Q: [concerning your feelings about the movie]". This interview with Osama Bin Ladin, for instance, had the questions written down in advance. (It's also not clear who the translator was, so we can't use it for that reason.) Anyway, great stuff. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 15:04, 20 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not so sure that we can take for granted that interviews are not copyrighted. It is not so uncommon to send questions to a personality before the interview takes place. So it is also possible that the personality has prepared his/her answers. Also there is the issue of recorders (radio or TV broadcasters) which has to be taken into account. Yann 19:22, 21 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Certainly the audio recordings themselves are copyrighted, but not the words themselves. These would only be copyrighted if they were "fixed" (written down) beforehand. If I interview, and I tell you the questions beforehand, and you think it over, your answers still aren't eligible for copyright since they were never "fixed". But if you write down your answers and then read them aloud, those would be copyrighted. It's usually pretty easy to determine which sort of interview it is, but. . . when in doubt, don't upload. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 20:08, 21 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This seems to ascertain the legitimacy of the (poorly deleted) 9/11 Dispatcher transcript, September 11th FDNY Radio Transcripts, Flight 93 Transcript with CARTC and Flight 93 Cockpit Transcript. There was no expectation of privacy on these works, and the spoken words themselves hold no inherent copyright as they were not afixed by the speakers. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Ovid 21:11, 21 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikisource:Proposed deletions#Undeletion request on various transcripts--BirgitteSB 21:47, 21 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • The audio itself is copyrighted (it the case of a recording of an off-the-cuff speech), because presumably the audio recorder is able to pre-define "creative content" such as microphone placement (analogous to copyright on a photograph). But the words are not copyrighted. If I record myself (audio or video) making an off-the-cuff speech, the specific recording is copyrighted but the words themselves are not. Think of it like photographing a person talking: the photograph is copyrighted but the talk is not. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:11, 31 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


It's used in a few music articles, Messiah being a fine example. However the play in browser doesn't seem to work anymore. There's been a "play sound" button for a few months now on Wikipedia. Should I just copy the equivalent template over from En.wp, or do adaptations need to be made for Wikisource? Graham87 09:05, 24 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I use {{audio file}}, myself. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 20:01, 24 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmmm ... that template doesn't allow listening online either. Since the extension to do that is installed here, should it be added? I find listening to music and texts online convenient ... but the link will only work with a relatively fast Internet connection. Graham87 03:40, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I updated the template to use the media player on the same line; I think Wikipedia's template (comparison below) is unnecessarily big, and doesn't work well with our pages that might have multiple media files associated. I also switched to Commons' help page, which I think is nicer. Compare:
Click to listen to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Chapter 1 (7.5MB, help | view file info or download)
Audio Wikisource
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Chapter 1 (7.5MB, help | download or online player | file info)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Chapter 1


Problems listening to the file? See media help.

{admin} Pathoschild 04:35:10, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Cool - works for me. On Wikipedia we have Template:Multi-listen start, Template:Multi-listen item and Template:Multi-listen end for multiple media files like W:Gallery of works by Johann Sebastian Bach. Graham87 10:36, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That could be particularly useful for pages like This Side of Paradise/Book One, Chapter 1. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 19:56, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We don't really need two templates that do the same thing. Can we remove all instances of {{audio file}} with {{listen}} and redirect the former to the latter?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 20:16, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. User:Polbot can certainly do that, if there's consensus. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 22:52, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I say go for it.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 23:31, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No objections from me. Graham87 04:33, 26 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay it's done, except for Jesus Christ Is Risen Today, which uses a MIDI file. (The {{listen}} doesn't seem to like MIDI.) Also, note the {{Audio}} template redirect. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 06:07, 26 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

SCEhardt (talkcontribs) changed it to 300px wide. I've rolled back to the discussed version; I'll asked the user to comment here. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:12, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi folks - Sorry; didn't intend to bypass an active discussion. I suggest that the width of the player be expanded significantly to allow for the scroll bar to be used and to make the time display legible. See a comparison here -SCEhardT 02:32, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree the width makes a huge difference when playing these files. If you are not certain of what the issue is press "play"--BirgitteSB 04:10, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like the idea of using less vertical space, but also agree that the button benefits from more horizontal so that the in play stuff appears more usefully. So some compromise might be possible?? ++Lar: t/c 04:32, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How about if we bug the developers into letting us put text next to the play icon? Here's a mock-up of how that might work:
[[Image:Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, chapter 1.ogg|noicon|150px|Listen to this text]]
Audio button text mockup.png
Remember the dot (talk) 04:48, 31 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the 300px version is more useful, and usefulness is most important to me. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 04:47, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Layout of The Mahabharata[edit]


I have some questions regarding the layout of The Mahabharata/Book 1: Adi Parva:

  1. Should the section use roman or arabic numbers? The original seems to have roman numbers, but section numbering goes to 236, so it gets complicated with roman numbers.
  2. Is this structure ok? The Mahabharata / Book 1: Adi Parva / Paushya Parva / Section 3 : the third level (Paushya Parva) is not actually used, as the section numbering goes on from one subsection to the next.

Thanks, Yann 00:03, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would be inclined to avoid roman numerals altogether in our page names, no matter what the original uses. The naming in these circumstances has less to do with the original, than with our own system for organising knowledge. Conformity to the original style can be noted on the page itself.
In the interests of being compact I would even go so far as to say that we could even have simply "Mahabharata/Book 1/Section 3". The part and section names can still be shown on the pages with the links as well as the individual pages. This will make it easier if at some later time we want to co-ordinate with another version.
One more thing we should consider is the name itself. Is there any reason why the final "a" should or should not be a part of the name? Similarly for "The" at the beginning. With this being such a large work it would be good to sort this out while we only have a small amount of material. Eclecticology 10:25, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like "Mahabharata/Book 1/Section 3" as the naming convention. John Vandenberg (chat) 11:00, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would personally favour using the original roman numerals in the page titles, as with The Time Machine. This is also what the style guide recommends, based on previous discussions: "The section name should reflect those in the original work (Chapter II, Chapter 2, Act 2, et cetera)". I don't think roman numerals have any impact on the way we organize knowledge (using indexes on the top page). —{admin} Pathoschild 15:52:40, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the talk page for the Style Guide does not show much of a discussion, and there is nothing there about Roman vs. Arabic numerals. It comes down to how we best coördinate what could possible be multiple versions, and where we transition between Wikisource's systematics and the literary licence of the various sources. Eclecticology 21:12, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not every discussion about what style we adopted happened on that page. Much of it happened on the Scriptorium.
I'd opt for the use of Roman numerals, as that is the style used in the version in question. However, I realize the original Mahabharata did not have Roman/Arabic numerals to differentiate sections, so I won't fight either way for it, especially when Roman numerals can become quite cumbersome after a while.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 23:36, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Worst, volumes 1 to 7 use roman numerals, volumes 8 to 18 uses arabic numerals here [3] , but roman numerals here [4]. Another issue is: should it be called "Mahabharat" or "Mahabharata"? The last vowel is mute. Yann 11:07, 26 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In order to move forward with this, the numbering scheme in the DJVU file at should be used. The numbering scheme is probably no different to ours: it reflects the choices of whoever does the work. John Vandenberg (chat) 13:19, 31 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, fine. So I will use roman numbers, "The Mahabharata", as in the DJVU file. Yann 14:23, 31 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]



Maccabees are considered historically reliable. See 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Books of Maccabees, Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/The Books of Machabees, and wikipedia:Maccabees for details. John Vandenberg (chat) 09:21, 27 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Works of Louis Bromfield[edit]


Does anyone has an idea about the copyright status of these works which are hosted at IA: Author talk:Louis Bromfield. Thanks, Yann 10:15, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Most books first published in the U.S. after 1922 are going to still be under copyright, so long as they were published by a major author through a reputable publisher. Both The Rains Came (1937) and Mr. Smith (1951) are still under copyright, and will be protected until 2051. Oddly enough, The Work of Robert Nathan (1927) is not under copyright (since the copyright was never renewed, possibly because the original publisher had failed to properly copyright the work.) —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 12:14, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that the two works in question are currently protected in the United States, but only until 2032 and 2046 respectively. Eclecticology 18:30, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oops, you're right. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 05:37, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New main page design[edit]

To get to the point, I feel the current main page scheme of wikisource to be a little too dull in comparison to the rest of the Wikimedia projects; such as Wikipedia, Wikinews etc. I've recently created a new main page scheme which seems to exemplify freshness and adds credibility to the project. It uses a color scheme close to the one present on the logo, and the scheme of it, featured pictures, dyk's etcetera invites contributors. I feel it reflects the quality of the project more than the current main page, which does not seem to reveal the true spirit of the project. — DarkFalls talk 08:56, 2 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like it (800x600 here), though the "Main Categories" box seems a bit out of place, perhaps we should consider moving it to a horizontal box at the top? Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Portal:Branch Davidians 18:43, 2 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have to admit, I'm not taken by the new design. I don't see how the new one does what the current one does any better.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 18:49, 2 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It uses the colours, as previously mentioned, to give us less of a "1996 in cyberspace" feel - and removes the large ugly blurb with a man on a ladder that seems so amateur compared to the other WMF projects, replacing it with more "interactive" features for the casual viewer to actually take an interest in - to start. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Portal:Branch Davidians 19:48, 2 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like how the featured text is shown at the top of the page in your proposed version. However, I prefer the current color scheme. The new one looks rather bland. —Remember the dot (talk) 19:56, 2 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Colors can easily be changed. All the new design does is remove one portion of the current main page and rearrange everything else on it. The only thing it adds is a featured image (which I don't think is ever going to work on WS, because we don't have that many important images). Other than that, it doesn't add anything, and the proposed layout looks jumbled. I really don't think it would make WS look any more "professional" than the current one does.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 19:58, 2 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can't feel much enthusiasm about the proposal, though it's nice to dump the picture of the guy on the ladder. That description of what Wikisource is should perhaps stay as a landscape rectangle near the top once that picture is gone. I agree that the featured image is not a realistic idea, since it still remains to be seen whether the featured text will receive the regular maintenance that it deserves. That said, a two column approach where one column is based on specials and/or features, and the other aids general navigation would be my preference. Eclecticology 22:14, 2 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I could easily update the "featured pictures" section so to make sure it doesn't get neglected. (I could easily find 10 images a day). Actually I think people will be surprised at how many images of important texts Commons holds :) — DarkFalls talk 22:26, 2 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed, images shouldn't really be a problem - I wouldn't suggest daily, but certainly weekly shouldn't be a problem. And if the DYK or FI isn't wanted, we could always squeeze {{CotW}} onto there somewhere ;) Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Portal:Branch Davidians 22:36, 2 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I designed the previous main page, so I may be biased in comparing the new design with it. That said:
  • I don't like the colour theme, which has nothing to do with Wikisource. The logo's colour scheme is not really something we should be using elsewhere, since it has no relevance except as a play on a common expression (further, some users have pointed out that water is actually anathema to paper literature). The current main page's scheme was selected after discussion based on the colour of papyrus and old paper, which is very symbolic for a project to archive literature.
  • I don't think the "Did you know..." and "Featured images" sections are very relevant. I think we should minimize community processes, and focus on those which focus on adding or editing texts (like Collaboration of the Week). For example, images are only used on Wikisource to supplement texts. This section includes an excerpt from the text version and links to it, so that the text version should meet all our quality standards. This would lead to our having redundant featured text processes, one exclusively for those with images and with lower quality standards.
If we remove these from the proposed design, we essentially have minor tweaks to the current design (some of which have merit). We could discuss and implement those individually, but I don't like this design as a whole. —{admin} Pathoschild 23:01:52, 02 February 2008 (UTC)
Permission to throw (sub) tags around the Sister Projects and Other Languages at the bottom like a proper footer? Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Portal:Branch Davidians 04:27, 3 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do whatever you like to it. It's a wiki after all :) — DarkFalls talk 05:31, 3 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also made two other main page designs, the first one keeping in mind Pathoschild's comments and the second being my original ideas. — DarkFalls talk 05:49, 3 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like the dude on the ladder... 04:12, 3 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like all three: User:DarkFalls/Main Page, User:DarkFalls/Main Page 2 and User:DarkFalls/Main Page 3.

The "Wikisource is an online library..." block sucks the readers attention away from the rest of the main page. While there is some important information in that block, I would prefer that our readers first take a look at our content - they can learn about the project as they go.

I dont particularly like the current colour scheme, as it clashes with the logo (which is not going to change any time soon), and it feels dull. My main objection to the current colour scheme is passified if the "Wikisource is an online library..." block is removed. Many of the other sub-domains have integrated more blue into their page design.

Our project is not about simply transcribing and proof-reading; it is also about reading, annotating, translating, and collating. I would rather see new texts arrive at a slower pace, if we recorded more about the texts. Sometimes it feels like the most interesting part of our project is WS:COPYVIO, as there we actually discuss interesting details about the works we host.

My interest in adding a DYK is a way to encourage everyone to take note of the interesting parts of our texts and share them with others. We have lots of new texts appearing these days, so I would rather see our "new texts" area of the front page filled with the most recently found titbits that have caught peoples attention. Contributors can then list new works by writing a DYK.

Featuring an image does not need to complete with our featured texts. They would only need to be good quality images of PD texts, with a blurb to explain them. The text would not need to be transcribed for the image to be appreciated. In this way we can encourage Commons contributors to notify us of good page scans which dont have much chance of being a Commons featured image. For a featured image to get off the ground, Darkfalls would need to be willing and able to commit to keeping it moving for a month or two. John Vandenberg (chat) 12:46, 3 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Personally, I'm not crazy about any of these color schemes. The blue & brown scheme clashes too much, but using the same blue that's most of the logo, and close to the links, it a bit too monotone. I think it would be better to use something that goes with the logo better, such as one of the minor colors, an average, or a nice greenish shade. -Steve Sanbeg 17:24, 4 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I got some colours in User:DarkFalls/Main page colours. — DarkFalls talk 05:31, 5 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, then maybe something like this. -Steve Sanbeg 17:29, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Done the change on User:DarkFalls/Main Page. Seems to be pretty good :) — DarkFalls talk 05:49, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I personally do not like the blue-green color scheme. If you take a look at User:Psychless/MPage, you can see how I think it should look. I removed "the" from the collaboration block, changed the color scheme to a calming blue instead of a clashing blue-green, and put the new texts block in the middle. To me, the new texts block seems to belong in the center. Psychless 17:44, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm OK with either. The only thing I really didn't like about some of the blue schemes is that they matched both the logo background and the links. Yours seems to go together pretty well without matching either. -Steve Sanbeg 18:37, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Indian authors[edit]


After the copyright debate of the last weeks and months, I wonder what is the status of Indian authors' works. I started copying the dairy of Mahadev Desai, Day to Day with Gandhi, which is PD in India since 1st January 2003, and therefore in all countries which apply the rule of shorter term. However what is the status in USA is not clear to me. I am already preparing the publication of many of Gandhi's works which will be PD in India next year. Same issue for Subhash Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, Paramahansa Yogananda. AFAIK, most of these works are not published in USA, except for Tagore. Any input welcome. Thanks, Yann 22:25, 30 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If a work was first published outside the U.S. before 1923, it's in the public domain in the U.S. If a work was first published outside the U.S. between 1923 and 1977, and the work was not protected by copyright in its home country as of January 1, 1996, then it is in the public domain in the U.S. So it depends on when the work entered the public domain in India. For Day to Day with Gandhi, for instance, we would need to know when the English translation was first published, and where it was first published. If the English translation was first published in the U.S. (or if it was published in the U.S. within 30 days of its first publication anywhere), then U.S. rules apply. But if it was first published in India, and wasn't published in the U.S. until later, was it still under copyright in 1996? If it was, then the U.S. considers it copyrighted until 95 years after its publication, even if India considers it PD. It sucks, but it's true. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 01:43, 3 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I worry that some of these texts may still be copyrighted in USA, although there are PD in India. The first English versions were always published in India, usually shortly after the original publication. Day to Day with Gandhi is dated from January 1968 [5], and Indian works are copyrighted by default. The Story of Bardoli from the same author is dated 1929. AFAIK both are not published in USA, and are out of print since years, not available on the Internet, except on my web site (the original Indian web site is down for at least 2 years). Yann 10:22, 3 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sure that Yann has heard these rules parroted on numerous occasions, so this is not an issue of stating rules. This entire nonsense of the United States not recognizing the principle of the shorter term, and their restoration of certain copyrights behind the back of foreign authors leads to absurdist interpretations of law. This sort of thing happens too easily in the long tail of legal provisions. The situation is all the more absurd in a common-law country where copyright is primarily an economic property right; this is in contrast to the view in civil-law countries that it is a personal right. In common-law countries there is a greater tendency to interpret copyright law as a balancing of rights between the rights owner and the general public.
Following the strict blind letter of the law in all cases is bound to be a losing strategy. Although, I believe that there are still strong legal arguments that could be raised to defeat the idea of non-acceptance, (e.g. A US law giving a greater protection to foreign nationals than to its own citizens could be seen as contrary to public policy.) my current argument is not based on a detailed analysis of the underlying law. I also make no argument at this time for national terms that are shorter than the Berne standard of life plus 50 years.
Of course any departure from apparent law needs to be carefully considered and defined. We are not interested in recent pictures that really have current marketability, or works authored by individuals who are still very much alive. We interpret, and should continue to interpret laws in a way that considers the interests of all concerned. We don't thumb are noses at the owners, daring them to come and sue us. Indeed, we would all be pleased if they identified themselves so that we could reach an accommodation, and be prepared to accede to their wishes if they did not want the material published. Although "fair use" might still be a fall-back argument in a legal proceeding, we are not even arguing for fair use. We still don't need to use that as a justification for our actions.
Remember that we are talking about authors who have been dead for at least 50 years, even longer for the citizens of many other countries. The works in question were never published in the United States after 1922, and maybe even not anywhere else after the original publication. Many of the owners would probably be delighted to know that someone wanted to republish the work at all, if only they knew they owned any rights at all.
Assuming that there even was one person out there who would be so bloody minded as to want to take the legal road in the US courts on this sort of thing, unless the work was properly registered they would not be able to collect statutory damages or attorney's fees, only actual damages. It would be very difficult to establish that their economic interests were harmed if they could not show any plans to republish the work themselves. To register the work more than five years after the original publication, they may first need to prove to the registrar that they are indeed the owners. Fifty years after the person's death the most likely descendants will be great-grandchildren who must then trace the ownership from the author's estate, the children's estates and the grandchildren's estates. If the copyrights were not mentioned in the wills it's quite likely the rights are shared by all the great-grandchildren, any one of whom can grant a free licence without regard to the wishes of his second cousins. Seventy years after the author's death we could be dealing with great-great-grandchildren. Should the author not have had any children it gets even more complicated. Remember too that any legal action must be taken by the owners themselves; governments do not start civil actions to enforce private rights.
In summary laws that create absurdities can and should to that extent be ignored. Honesty requires that we still openly state what legal provisions we are ignoring, but there's no difficulty in doing that. I would have no problem accepting personal responsibility for material that meets my criteria, whether put up by me or someone else. This is less because I'm looking for a law suit, and more because I don't believe there will ever be any kind of action rooted in the rule of the shorter term. The risk is that low, much lower than the peril to our lives when we don't wear seatbelts, or we cross the street in the middle of the block through heavy traffic, or we eat junk foods. The risk to WMF is non-existent as long as it complies forthwith with any legal takedown orders. The more of us have the courage to accept the risks involved as personal risks, the sooner the whole issue can be put behind us. This is clearly one of those areas where it would be much easier to get forgiveness than to get permission. Eclecticology 06:01, 5 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the case of Mahadev Desai, I know personally his son, Narayan Desai, and his grand-daughter, so I could get a permission, but that doesn't really solve the issue. 1. They don't really care about the copyright of Mahadev Desai's works in India, as they are all out of print, even much less in USA where they were never published. 2. There is still the issue of other authors in the same case. Yann 11:25, 5 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that it could solve the problems for the Desai works. (This assumes that you would be able to stop them from laughing long enough to grant the needed permissions. :-)) It does nothing to solve the absurd situation of rights protected in the United States when the owners never viewed them as rights. How would Gandhi view civil disobedience in such a context? Eclecticology 10:29, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, the situation is really grotesque for Gandhi's works, as he never got any money for his writings (quite the contrary), and certainly did not want to keep any copyright. I made some research about the copyright on Gandhi's works, and I found this: (Answering to Satish Kalelkar advising Gandhi to keep the copyright of his works, to control that the meaning of his writing are well transmitted. Published in Harijan, 15 June 1940 [6], pp.317-318)
... This matter of copyright has been often brought before me. But I have not the heart to copyright my articles. I know that there is a financial loss. But Harijan is not published for profit. I am content so long as there is no deficit. I must believe that in the end my self-denial must serve the cause of truth.
(Answering to a comment about mistranslations of his works, published in Harijan, 28 July 1940. [7], p.36)
... Experience had taught me that English translations of my articles written in any Indian languages were faulty, but it would not have been proper to confine the copyright to translations into English. All important Gujarati articles would be translated simultaneously into English and Hindustani and published almost at the same time. There is, therefore, no hardship involved, for there is no copyright in the translated articles which can be and are being reproduced.
Is this sufficient to determine that Gandhi did not want to retain the copyright of his works? Yann 11:04, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • (@ EC) I can't agree that we should ignore these issues when Mike Godwin advises otherwise. US law does produce strange results, but all the advice we recieved has been that we need to follow the law. --BirgitteSB 14:52, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    As a member of the US bar he has no choice but to respond on the basis of his interpretation of US law. He is duty bound not suggest any step that might be in violation of that law, however remote the risk. On that basis legal advice should not be viewed in isolation. It is up to the people affected by the decision to evaluate the level of risk. Eclecticology 20:31, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • (@ Yann) I am not sure how that statement can release copyright entirely unless it had been seen as releasing the original copyrights in India for all these years. Even if we stretch this to say it is a verbal contract only giving permission to translate these works if the translator will release the translation copyright, there is still the original copyright that he owns. There are two copyrights on an English translation: a) the work itself and b) the translation to English. Removing the latter copyright does not necessarily remove the former. It is hard to argue that his works have been copyrighted all these years in India, yet the English versions have been free of all copyrights since 1940. However if there is a chance these were published in the US within 30 days of being published elsewhere that would clear them of the URAA mess.--BirgitteSB 14:52, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indian law does not give a copyright to the translator in the 1957 law. I suppose that English law applied before the independence, at the time Gandhi made his statement. Yann 14:58, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Saying "I have not the heart to copyright my articles," would seem to summarize things well. I find it hard to believe that Gandhi would expect a different law to apply depending on whether an article was in English or Gujarati, or on whether those seeking to reproduce his works were in a distant land that he never(?) visited. The translator's rights are not a factor in this discussion, though I recognize that even an unauthorized translation can in some countries give rise to its own copyrights. If we are to be consistent in the view that copyright is a property right, then we recognize the right of the owner of such rights to dispose of them as he will. There may very well be modern day requirements that would serve as evidence of an intention to put work into the public domain, but requiring those affected to rise from the grave to fulfill bureaucratic requirements does not seem realistic. Gandhi was trained in law, bu he still appears to have been very little worried about his own personal rights in this regard. Eclecticology 20:31, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is a bigger issue than just Indian authors. After a discussion with Lupo, I learned that any work first published outside of the U.S. between 1923 and 1977 (inclusive) is considered copyrighted in the U.S. if it was considered copyrighted in its home country in 1996 — even if its home country considers it PD now. (Small-print: this doesn't include works published in the U.S. within 30 days of their first publications abroad, as these are considered U.S. works in the U.S. This also only applies to works first published in countries which are WTO members or signatories to the Berne Convention.) This means that some works that are PD in their home countries may be considered copyrighted in the U.S., if those works were first published in 1923 or later. My previous arguments to the contrary (for British works, for instance) were incorrect. I'll expand this in a separate section below. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 16:15, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Of course, it doesn't apply to Indian authors alone, but since Indian copyright rule is 60 years pma, Indian authors are affected earlier. European authors are also affected, and will be more as time passes. Yann 16:55, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The persistent problem with all this is the imperialistic extraterritorial application of US law. The 30-day rule mentioned above was founded in commercial protectionism to insure that any significant quantities of a work had to be actually printed in the United States if they were going to be protected at all. It is hard to believe that there was anything altruistic about protecting the rights of foreign authors in any failure to accept the rule of the shorter term. Eclecticology 20:31, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Getting a word to the right of the page[edit]

I've just added Poetry for Poetry's Sake to Wikisource. There's a note from Bradley after the title but before the actual text of the lecture begins, where he says that this printed version is almost the same as the lecture. He signs as A.C.B. I'd like to get the A.C.B. to the right of the page, as can be seen in Project Gutenberg, which was the source I used. I tried <right>A.C.B.</right> but it didn't work, even though the same idea works with "center". Can anyone help, please? Cowardly Lion 23:09, 4 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You can use HTML to do this:

<div style="text-align: right"> Like this. </div>

displays as

Like this.

John Vandenberg (chat) 23:16, 4 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's exactly what I want. Thank you. Cowardly Lion 23:19, 4 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Typography queries[edit]

When resetting an 18th century text:

  1. Is it acceptable to typeset a long 's' (ſ) as a short 's'?
  2. If the original has multiple forms of emphasis (i.e. italics and smallcaps), should these be retained exactly as written (even though used far for often than presently, and so quite distracting for a modern reader) and, if so, is it correct to mark them up with <em> and <em style="font-variant:smallcaps; font-style:normal"> respectively?
  3. Should abbreviations (e.g. in footnotes, etc.) that exist in the original in order to fit the text to a (small) page be expanded, given that the space considerations do not exist on Wikisource?
  4. Is it appropriate to produce a re-set (LaTeX) edition, and to make use of LaTeX features like figures, references, indicies, tables of contents, etc., or should any new edition conform to the original (layout, etc.) as closely as possible?

I appologise if I am repeating questions that have been asked elsewhere, but I searched and could find little. Thanks. —Sam Wilson (Australia) samwilson | talk 03:08, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'll try to answer as best I can.
  1. Yes. From what I have seen the conversion is perfectly reversible, so there is no harm in making it.
  2. I would try to retain the original emphases wherever possible, but I don't see the point of your more complicated technique. Why not just use the usual double apostrophes technique for italics, and the existing template for the small caps? Thus ''italic text'' and {{sc|Small Cap Text}} . These changes are not reversible unless you know what rules the original author was using. I agree that it can be distracting for the modern reader, but most modern readers who would be reading this kind of thing would already be familiar with the peculiarities of old typography.
  3. I would normally retain the abbreviated forms rather than expanding them. If expanding them there would need to be a way of showing that you have expanded them as in "ab[breviation]", but that can lead to a lot of awkward typing. Starting a new series of footnotes to explain them would make sense.
  4. Wiki markup is to be preferred, including the Wiki table format, but this is not always possible. Tables especially can be awkward to work with, and compromises are often necessary.
I hope this helps. Eclecticology 10:16, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually, regarding the long 's' vs. short 's,' this falls into Wikisource's desire to faithfully reproduce texts, so a long 's' should be copied as a long 's' and not transcribed as a short 's.' Likewise, all abbreviations should be kept the way they are printed in the book.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 19:26, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Note: Distributed Proofreaders changes ſ to s — they consider it a "font" issue, not a content issue. I don't think Wikisource has a firm guideline on the matter. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 21:20, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Exactly. The difference is typographical, not orthographical. This is not the case with the emphases and the abbreviations. Modern readers too easily misread the long "s" as an "f". It's easy to go too far in the faithful reproduction of texts. We already let the software wrap lines to suit circumstances, and suppress the original author's word-breaking hyphens there. Eclecticology 00:45, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So does that mean all the medial S's I've used here will be supprest in favor of "s" ? 03:30, 16 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think we should be accurate to the original presentation where-ever possible. The use of the "ſ" is a choice of the author, often intentional, especially in more recent times. John Vandenberg (chat) 00:10, 19 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Don't you mean choice of the user/editor/contributor? While the usage in recent times might very well be the choice of the author, it's quite rare after about 1800; before that it was effectively the choice of the publisher. Eclecticology 04:57, 19 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe that it is acceptable — if I daresay, preferable — to maintain the long-s. For many contemporary editions of both Spenser and Chaucer (even by the most notable of printing houses) still maintain the long-s and, in some cases, the 'v' for the 'u' and vice versa. Of course, it may be argued that the most notable of works (i.e., the ouvre of Shakespeare, Marlowe, etc.) should maintain their modernisation for reasons apparent. Nevertheless, I believe, for the older and more obscure; the long-s should certainly be maintained. — Grammaticus 05:00, 23 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Newbie opinion here (lots of experience with text, but new to Wikisource): A good principle to apply is to avoid throwing away information, except with good reason. I assume that the purpose of transcription is to go from image to "text", which is partly objective concept, so throwing away purely geometric information has a good reason, but we should avoid throwing away textual information.
  1. If you preserve the distinction between long/short "s", it's easy for a display to automatically conflate them. If you fail to distinguish, someone has to re-inspect the printed page (image) to discover the distinction.
  2. Try to preserve all font distinctions in the printed text. First priority: consistent markup within your document. Second priority: consistency with other documents (but this gets fuzzy). Third priority: immediate readability of a typical display with current Web browsers.
  3. Preserve abbreviations, and annotate the expansions if it's sufficiently easy and not too distracting. E.g., there can be an editor's glossary, with links to it from the abbreviations in the text.
  4. I take this question to refer to work after the initial transcription, so the principle that determined my first 3 opinions doesn't apply. It's good to make whatever sort of edition anyone finds useful or pleasing for any purpose or in any way. Good textual citizenship just calls for the best feasible pointer to earlier sources, and explanation of the changes made.

--Mike O'D 05:21, 23 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Spam protection filter?[edit]

I just tried to add more info for Niger on Help:Public domain (see Help talk:Public domain#Niger: Copyright legislation) and got the following error message:

The page you wanted to save was blocked by the spam filter. This is probably caused by a link to an external site.
The following text is what triggered our spam filter: http ://
Return to Help:Public domain.

There is, indeed, a link to this site on the help page, but it was not added by me, and furthermore it appears to be legit. This is ridiculous. Is there some way to override this filter I have missed? The docs only yield mw:Spam Filter which appears to be something different.--GrafZahl (talk) 10:58, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That site is specifically listed on meta:spam filter. Maybe they have legit content, but push it too aggressively? I see there is a section of the talk page to request removal, so I guess you can try that. For now, I've unlinked that reference, which seems to allow the URL to stay on the page with no link, so it can be edited. -Steve Sanbeg 22:39, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, we can override the spam filter by editing MediaWiki:Spam-whitelist. —{admin} Pathoschild 22:56:41, 06 February 2008 (UTC)
@Steve: the page appears to be gone.
@Pathoschild: thanks for pointing this out, and for adding the link to the whitelist. I've enhanced the description at MediaWiki:Spamprotectiontext so people know what to do in the future.--GrafZahl (talk) 13:25, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, maybe I got the wrong page. I found the content I was referring to still at meta:Spam blacklist -Steve Sanbeg 18:26, 25 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to determine if a work is PD in the U.S.[edit]

There have been many misunderstanding (some from myself) about what is PD and what is not. Let's go through this systematically, so that we're all equally informed about this.


  1. If a work is PD in the U.S. we can use it on the English Wikisource, even if it's considered copyrighted in other countries. (There's no policy saying so specifically, but this seems to be our longstanding tradition.)
  2. If a work is considered copyrighted in the U.S. (and is not available under a free license), then we can not use the work on the English Wikisource (or any other Wikimedia project), even if it is considered PD in its country of origin. (This is per Mike Godwin's commentsMike Godwin is the legal council for the Wikimedia Foundation.)
  3. U.S. copyright law may be complex, counter-intuitive, or even absurd, but the Wikimedia Foundation is still bound to adhere to it.

General cases for the public domain[edit]

  1. If a work contains no "creative content", then it is not eligible for copyright. Lists of facts, transcriptions, etc., are not copyrightable and are PD. (See w:Feist v. Rural for reasons.) But note that the amount of creative content may be minimal: word choices, formatting choices, translations, and organizational decisions are all copyrightable. (See, for example, w:Bridgeman v. Corel.)
  2. If a work was created by the United States Federal Government (by a U.S. federal employee acting in his or her official capacity), the work is not eligible for copyright. (See Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.) Other countries' governments may have similar policies on some types of works. (See w:template:PD-CAGov, w:template:PD-PolishGov, etc.)
  3. If a work has been explicitly released into the public domain by its (former) copyright holder, then (at least in the U.S.) the work is PD.
  4. If a work was created in a way that was never "fixed", or written down — such as an extemporaneous speech — that work is not eligible for copyright. (See Mike Godwin's comments.)
  5. If a work was once copyrighted, but that copyright has expired, then the work is in the public domain. For instance, if a work was published before 1923 anywhere in the world, it's PD in the U.S.

Copyright expiration: U.S. works[edit]

  1. If a work was published in the U.S. within 30 days of its first publication anywhere in the world, it is considered a U.S. work under U.S. law. (See "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States", footnote 9.)
  2. If a U.S. work (or any work) was first published before 1923 then it's PD, as stated above.
  3. If a U.S. work was first published before 1978 without a visible copyright notice, it was never copyrighted and it is in the public domain. (See w:Template:PD-Pre1978.) But you have to make sure it was missing a © note on the very first publication.
  4. Rare case: If a U.S. work was first published without a visible copyright notice between 1978 and March 1, 1989, but that copyright was not registered with the U.S. copyright office within 5 years, then the work is PD. (This can be determined by searching the U.S. Copyright Office Online Search.)
  5. If a U.S. work was first published before 1964, then its copyright will have expired 28 years later unless they renewed the copyright with the U.S. copyright office within 28 years of its first publication. To determine if a renewal was filed in 1978 or later (for material first published between 1950 and 1963), you can search the comprehensive U.S. Copyright Office Online Search. To determine if a renewal was filed before 1978 (for material first published before 1950), you can search the Stanford's Copyright Renewal Database, which lists only books, or the longer and less user-friendly Project Gutenberg listing for all materials. If the copyright was not renewed, the work is PD. (See w:Template:PD-US-not renewed.)

Copyright expiration: non-U.S. works[edit]

This one is tricky, counter-intuitive, and disappointing. (Remember that works published before 1923 are PD in the U.S., and that works published in the U.S. within 30 days are considered U.S. works.)

  1. If a non-U.S. work was published in compliance with all U.S. policies, such as being published with a © notice and registered and renewed with the U.S. Copyright Office, then you can treat it as a U.S. work (even if it was never published in the U.S.)
  2. If a non-U.S. work was not published in compliance with U.S. policies, and if it was first published in 1923 or later, then the magic year is 1996. If the work was in the public domain in its country of origin on January 1, 1996, then it's considered public domain in the United States. But if that work was considered copyrighted in its home country on January 1, 1996, then the U.S. still considers that work to be under copyright, even if the copyright expired in the work's home country. (See Mike Godwin's comments here and here.) (Exceptions: If a country didn't sign the URAA, its works aren't covered — but all WTO and Berne Convention countries signed the URAA, and that nearly all countries. Also, if a country became a WTO member after 1996, like Tongo or Vietnam, its "magic year" is the year it became a member.)
  3. It's tricky to determine whether a work was copyrighted in its country of origin in 1996. There is some good information at w:List of countries' copyright length, w:Wikipedia:Copyright situations by country, Commons:Commons:Licensing, and Commons:User:Lupo/Hairy copyright.


  1. This doesn't cover sound recordings, which are much more complicated.
  2. This doesn't cover unpublished works. (Unpublished works usually aren't acceptable on Wikisource anyway.)
  3. I'm not your lawyer, and this isn't legal advice.

Comments, questions, and clarifications[edit]

Anyone? —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 17:40, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I make particular note of your last comment. This is not about citing statutory provisions; we're all familiar with them. It's about having the courage to take a stand. Eclecticology 21:12, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re: "But if that work was considered copyrighted in its home country on January 1, 1996, then the U.S. still considers that work to be under copyright, even if the copyright expired in the work's home country." Presumably such works won't remain under copyright in the U.S. for all eternity. What is the trigger for these works to fall into the public domain in the U.S.? Hesperian 22:49, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

95 years after the date of first publication. (This is the same copyright term given to U.S. works.) —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 23:34, 6 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Quadell, so according to this, in the U.K., on January 1, 1996, authors who had died before January 1, 1926 lost their copyrights, and in the U.S. are copyright free, even if their works were published after 1922? ResScholar 08:56, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I think that's right. Yann 10:36, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yep, that's right. Other countries have shorter terms, so works by Canadian or New Zealand authors (for instance) who died before 1946 are also not protected, either in the U.S. or in their country of origin. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 17:11, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh wait! One caveat: if they complied with U.S. formalities (registering the copyright in the U.S., including a © mark, and renewing the copyright in the U.S.), then the work is treated as a U.S. work and is still copyrighted. So be sure to check the renewal databases listed above to make sure it doesn't count as a U.S. work. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:29, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See also Wikisource:Licensing form. Corrections and additions would be welcome. —{admin} Pathoschild 22:53:51, 06 February 2008 (UTC)

Classified information or documents made by the US government can be copyright so "if a work was created by the United States Federal Government (by a U.S. federal employee acting in his or her official capacity), the work is not eligible for copyright." isn't entirely correct. ("However, there is a small number of U.S. government publications which have been copyrighted, and a notice will appear in them ... Examples of restricted government documents include classified information and trademarks (ex. Smokey the Bear)." from — DarkFalls talk 06:15, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That statement by Piedmont Technical College is incorrect. Government documents may have restrictions on reproductions—such as trademark restrictions or laws against reproducing classified material—but these are not copyright restrictions, and the works are still in the public domain. There are all kinds of non-copyright-related restrictions on copying PD materials, from anti-counterfeiting laws to anti-obscenity laws, but they don't affect the copyright status of the material. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 17:11, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd like to see this followed through with a revision or explication of the various licence templates. e.g. over the next few weeks I'll upload a work published in Australia in 1899, by an author who died in 1936. So what template should I use: {{PD-Australia}}, {{PD-old-70}}, {{PD-1923}}, or all three? Why? Hesperian 04:42, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually I think I've answered this for myself. I will roll something out shortly. Hesperian 05:30, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, all three would be best. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:31, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In response to the American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term, I would like to invite everyone to comment on my proposed shortened petition (under "Proposed petition change" and "Proposed shortened petition" there) by striking out the the Public Domain Enhancement Act while there have been only very few signatures. As I administer six types of Wiki sites, I consider American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term affecting Wikisource the most, followed by Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia, Wikiquote, Wiktionary, and Meta. The nature of Wikisource and Commons make fair use impractical, but some Wikipedia language subdomains may still claim US fair use. Since any US law change will take time, "adaptation to American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term" is also included in that Meta page. It is not the end of the world for Wiki site users.--Jusjih 04:38, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Users' rights and obligations[edit]

Hi. I've been trying to find some guidelines or explanations for those users who want to copy, modify and redistribute works from Wikisource. What are the users' rights and obligations? Apparently Wikisource:Copyright policy doesn't have an answer. The question actually came through the Wikimedia OTRS, from someone who would like to copy books from Wikisource, put them in PDF format, and redistribute them (freely, if that matters).

What I don't understand is the application of GNU license to works that are in the public domain. The GNU license requires that a user releases the copied work under the same license (GNU) and also acknowledges Wikisource as the source of the work (!). I don't see the logic of this in the vast majority of cases where the works are in the public domain and, as such, free for anyone to use as they see fit, without worrying about GNU.

How does this work? How does GNU apply for public domain works? Thanks. --AdiJapan 08:31, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As I understand it, the GFDL applies only to the "original" work hosted on our servers, essentially things like what's on the Scriptorium, talk pages and the like. To simply copy the stories and redistribute them does not require any form of attribution or GNU compliance since, as you said, they are Public-Domain texts. Theoretically you could run into a bit of trouble if you included the "notes" section of the header, since "Written in 1855, this novel is about the illicit love between two adulterers" is my original writing (and thus automatically GFDL-ed when I post it on here), but that's really the only concern (and frankly, I imagine we're willing to turn a blind eye.)
But I'm giving this advice as a user, not an admin, so don't sue me :) Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Sabine Baring-Gould 08:41, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For the purposes of answering the OTRS query, Wikisource:Copyright policy states that all Wikisource content "is released under the GNU Free Documentation License", so if they intend to redistribute it freely, they can do so with absolute confidence if they use the GFDL for their compilation (e.g. PDF).

A simple analogy is Wikimedia Commons - the images on commons are under a variety of licenses, and many are in the public domain, but the remaining components of the site are all GFDL.

In the same way, the GFDL license covers the entire Wikisource collection. i.e. in order to produce a DVD of "Wikisource", the DVD would need to be licensed as GFDL. Taking a screenshot of Wikisource is also only permitted under the GFDL. If someone clones the Wikisource wiki-text, it would also need to comply with be GFDL, because technically the headers, categories, formatting and license templates, etc., are all technically GFDL content. In some cases the wiki-syntax has considerable creativity involved.

Where texts or images are tagged as being in the public domain, the text and images are unable to be copyrighted. Attempts to claim copyright on works in the public domain are called Copyfraud. It is possible that a Wikisource contributor could claim that their presentation of a PD text is creative, but if this was ever to occur, I think the appropriate response from the Wikisource project would be to remove the creative presentation and replace it with the presentation in the original so that is nothing more than the sweat of the brow.

Also keep in mind that we have a considerable number of pages that are not PD texts. e.g. The New York Times. John Vandenberg (chat) 11:38, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

John is correct. If they use any Wikisource-original material (including headers, author pages, etc.), then they will need to comply with the GFDL, which (unfortunately) requires appending a multi-page license to the end of the document and listing all contributors in the history. But if they only use the same PD material that we used, then they don't have to worry with that. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:26, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, guys. Now I understand how it works and I can reply the OTRS query. I suggest writing up a project page or a section on this. Also a FAQ page wouldn't be bad either. Cheers! AdiJapan 13:49, 8 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Organization of Curious Myths of the Middle Ages[edit]

I am working on proofreading and adding this work. This work contains 24 stories and comments on them. The comments make up the bulk of the pages for each story. As of now, each story has its own page. However, the "stories" include a lot of the author's comments. Doesn't this mean that each story should be on a subpage of Curious Myths of the Middle Ages? Psychless 00:08, 9 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I personally think subpages are a better way for doing this work, as it doesn't seem to be so much of just a general collection of myths as it does to be a lot of commentary on them. This way, we can keep straight who the author who supplied such comments is.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 00:17, 9 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sounds good. I'll begin moving them to subpages now. Psychless 05:18, 9 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tao Te Ching Translations[edit]

At present I am working on Tao Te Ching. I think Tao Te Ching (Wikisource translation) and Tao Te Ching (Wikisource User ETTan's Translation) should be merged beacuse two different translations may confuse people. But the reason why that these two are different is unknown. I need to seek advice from everyone. Thank you. 百家姓之四 09:08, 9 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am not keen on having a translation using a contributors name unless it has been published in a peer review journal. I created a table on Talk:Tao Te Ching (Wikisource User ETTan's Translation) to try and work out who had contributed to the translation. It looks like 219.95.*.* and ETTan did most of the work, and I presume they are the same person. There are other minor improvements.
A merge seems appropriate, unless these two translations have different purposes; e.g. literal vs literary translation. John Vandenberg (chat) 10:01, 9 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know if we have a Wikisource policy for this or not. Here is what I believe should be the policy:
  1. When possible, the title of the work should follow the precedent set by Wikipedia (in this case, Tao Te Ching = Tao Te Ching).
  2. If the work is a translation by a Wikisource contributor(s), it should not list the translator in parenthesis. At the top of the first page, it should say Wikisource translation.
    In this case, Tao Te Ching (Wikisource translation) and Tao Te Ching (Wikisource User ETTan's Translation) should be merged into one page, called Tao Te Ching.
  3. If the work is a public domain translation, the translator's name should be in parenthesis in the title: Tao Te Ching (James Legge)
  4. If more than one translation exists on Wikisource, the Wikisource translation should be reserved for the main space, and a line at the top should direct readers to the other translations.
    For example: see also: Tao Te Ching (James Legge) would be at the top of Tao Te Ching.
The above would be my initial proposed wording for a Wikisource policy. Opinions? — A-cai 22:52, 9 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seems Nice. 百家姓之四 06:23, 10 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seems good to me too. Yann 19:49, 10 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm going to start my merging. It is seemed that ETTan's translation is better than the translation here, I'll merge this into ETTan's translation. I moved Tao Te Ching (Wikisource User ETTan's Translation) as Tao Te Ching/Consolidation Result. Once the merging is finished, I hope there'll be someone help me to move it to Tao Te Ching(to replace the disambiguation page). 百家姓之四 02:35, 11 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like the idea of a merge, especially if we can have a few native speakers approve the translation. I am not convinced that we should name the Wikisource translation "Tao Te Ching" - I think we should have a "disambiguation" page there, but with a better header than {{disambig}}. In time, we will have many more of the translations at w:Tao Te Ching#Translations.

Tao Te Ching (James Legge) is slightly different than the words at Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 39.djvu/71 - Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 39.djvu/147. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:32, 11 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, I think Wikisource should encourage multiplicity rather than totalitarian consolidation. Therefore, I declare withdrawing my translation from this site. Those anonymous changes were made by me. Do whatever u like to ur translation only, PLEASE!


Maybe I started merging too early? 百家姓之四 06:24, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe. Please pause your merge, and ask others to provide their opinions. John Vandenberg (chat) 06:40, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ettan, I think you misunderstand certain key aspects of wikimedia sites, of which Wikisource is a member:
  1. Your translation is not yours to withdraw. Once you post it on Wikisource, it becomes the property of the Wikisource community (unless it is copyrighted). Copyright lawyers can chime in at any time.
  2. If you want to have your translation included as an authoritative separate translation, it should first be published. Following that, you would need to give Wikisource permission to use your translation, since it would then become a copyrighted work (presumably).
  3. Any edit by a contributor (including translations) may be modified by any other contributor (provided that the edit does not constitute vandalism etc). If you disagree with the modification, you must make the case for why you believe your version is correct (usually done on a talk page or here).
To the other regular contributors, if I have misrepresented wikisource or wikimedia policy, please feel free to make additional comments. — A-cai 12:09, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Text of Rudyard Kipling's poetry[edit]

Please see the discussion at Talk:The Bell-Buoy. The issue is that I uploaded this poem using the text in my edition of Kipling. This is copied from The Definitive Edition of Rudyard Kipling's Verse (published by Kipling's usual publishers, Hodder and Stoughton, in 1940) which is in turn based on the Collected Verse of 1929 so presumably represents Kipling's approved final version. User:Eclecticology amended it to agree with the first American (1897) printing. The article now has both versions side by side. The differences are small apart from the replacement of "pimping" by "godly". However, in general is it better to use Kipling's final version (footnoting any interesting variants) or to give priority to an early version, in this case not the first printing and possibly not proofread by Kipling himself? There is of course always a special interest in the first published version, but if it contains (for the sake of argument) mistakes or things that Kipling in retrospect did not want, would it not be better to give primacy to his preferred version?--Poetlister 21:03, 11 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's an important issue with significant implications beyond one poem by Kipling. I also looked at the first few paragraphs of Captains Courageous, where I have most of the McClure's version, and already I found several differences. It seems that Kipling liked to tinker with his work after it was first published, as was his right. I would not call his original version "mistakes", but would rather state that his views about a particular work changed over time. Side-by-side, with the earlier version on the left is a good solution, though it may not work when there are more than two versions. I don't think that giving either version primacy is important, and I would be delighted if someone with access to the issue of the Saturday Review that first published the poem could be found and that version compared compared.
We also need to be judicious in our selection of which versions of a multiply published text we are to include. Adding a separate, school edition of Macbeth just to show that the porter's speech was omitted would indeed be wasteful. Project Gutenberg's failure to acknowledge specific editions of a work has made our work harder. As long as we have only one edition of something available we put up what we can, but we need to be ever mindful of these multiple versions. Eclecticology 09:46, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd think having more versions is preferably, to allow easier comparisons, proofreading, etc. Labeled section tranclusion could be used to help generate similar versions. So if we were to have a school edition with one section excluded, it would only require a one line parser function call (with appropriate markup on the main edition) and would help editors with acess to that edition to proofread. -Steve Sanbeg 20:34, 25 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I am a bit late here but I have looked closely into Kipling in the past. Kipling did constantly revise his work; sometime big changes some things not. Most significant are the version of his early professional work published in India vs later British publications. Much of the Anglo-Indian dialect was changed to something more understandable by those readers in England proper. Those contrasting editions are definitely desirable. Also much of his work was published in the US in unauthorized editions. Due to US copyright law at the time those works published outside of the US more than a month before being published within the US became public domain and he lost all US copyrights to these works. Obviously he had no contact with the editors of such editions and any changes made by these editors are probably not worth having (and I believe there are minor changes). If you have an old edition of a Kipling book published in a America, he always wrote a specail introduction or an extra poem and had a printed "signature" on his authorized editions to let people know that it was published with his approval. This copyright situation was debated in the newspapers of the time and Kipling was vocal about the issue and actually had what would be today considered rock-star status in popular culture prior to WWI. Since he made this authorized/unauthorized issue such a cause of his and he was such a celebrity that people would spend more money on the premiums he included in authorized editions is it quite easy to tell if a book was authorized or not (contact me if you want the specific details they vary a bit by date). Besides these issues, Kipling made an effort at the end of his life to ensure a definitive edition of his works were published with his final revisions of his constant tinkering. This is published as the Sussex edition in England and the Burwash edition in the US. These two editions should contain the same revisions and have no substantial differences between them. However these multi-volume collections were published 1938-41 and are going to be copyrighted in the US. So I think the goal should be to carefully document what edition you are using and allow multiple revisions as long as we avoid unauthorized US editions and copyrighted revisions. A great place for more information on the significant editions we should be looking for is [8].--BirgitteSB 00:06, 11 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks for adding your insight and experience. It makes it easier to deal with unauthorized collections of poems. The fracas in this instance, however, started with the magazine version of a poem. A tremendous amount of 19th century material was first published in magazines, and it would be terribly difficult to determine whether the magazine version was authorized. An unscrupulous or careless American publisher could easily sit on the manuscript for a month, and deny copyrights because of that. Add to that the common practice then as now to publish issues, nominally for one month, well before that month starts. We can't ignore the unauthorized editions completely, because people will continue to find them in second-hand bookstores. All we can do is carefully document them. So called "definitive" versions only add a further dimension to the problem. Definitive editions are best published posthumously, when the poet is no longer available to help. When they change an author's view of things it should not mean the the past has changed. On the positive side, we should be trying to change these problems into opportunities, and finding ways to best deal with shifting texts. It is one of those places where we could bring added value to our texts. Eclecticology 00:51, 17 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Multiple versions, literary geek's perspective[edit]

I'm new to Wikisource, but very old in geeky interest in literary texts.

I've been comparing copies of Shakesepeare folios and quartos, running through transcripts of multiple Mark Twain manuscripts for The Mysterious Stranger, ...

There is a whole lot of interest in all versions of important works that reflect the author's (possibly changing) intentions, and even her work habits.

So, I encourage Wikisourcers to enter serious early editions of interesting works independently, then cater to comparative views (side by side, diffs, ...). If they are highly similar, entry of differences can save time, but some level of independence in verification is useful, since differences that are easily overlooked can be very interesting.

Highly derivative editions, such as school editions of Shakespeare, are not very interesting to those following Shakespeare, and should be avoided unless someone is specifically interested in the editing as opposed to the Shakespeare (e.g., a study of the cultural causes and effects of Bowdlerization).

--Mike O'D 23:15, 25 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


We're fast approaching 100,000 works on the English Wikisource (including subpages, but not including author pages, redirects, userpages, etc.) As I type, we're just 1605 away. I think the main page should mention the milestone, and perhaps give a shout-out to the 100,000th work (if it can be determined). Get ready with your champaign! —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 03:02, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about if we make Template:Header2 easier to use to celebrate? *wink* —Remember the dot (talk) 03:46, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hopefully it is a human that creates the 100,000th page. Note that we have 104 in Category:Soft redirects/December 2007, 59 in Category:Soft redirects/January 2008 and 51 in Category:Soft redirects/February 2008. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:48, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you'd like, I could give Polbot a break until after we hit the milestone. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 14:50, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unfortunately, 100000 pages is not the same as 100000 works, because large works may be spread over subpages. TalBot just gathered all page titles from the main namespace, then I stripped everything following a slash in each title. In the end, 24367 unique page titles remain. This is probably a much better estimate to the actual number of works than what Special:Statistics suggests.--GrafZahl (talk) 12:41, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're right. But I think it's still an important milestone. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 14:50, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
sitepagecountitis is a good thing! :-) Polbot can still create ~1,500 pages without taking line honours, and we probably need the bots help if we are going to avoid busting. John Vandenberg (chat) 15:38, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We could write something like "On February 30th, the 100000th text unit was added to Wikisource. These text units constitute roughly 24000 separate works, freely available for anyone to read and use", or similar, so both pieces of information are included.--GrafZahl (talk) 09:03, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sounds good to me. Fewer than 500 pages to go! —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 03:35, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fewer than 250. I'm going to bed. Think about what you want #100K to be. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 04:38, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, at this instant there are 99,991 pages on Wikisource, and Polbot is taking a nap. Go to it, kids. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 15:51, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And the winner is. . . Chapter LXXIV of Six Months at the White House, a memoir by painter Francis Bicknell Carpenter. It was added by User:Cetacei. Congrats! —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 21:07, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I added a tip about it for the Wikipedia Signpost, and notified the user. If anyone thinks this should be mentioned on the front page of Wikisource, feel free. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 21:27, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)[edit]

Two questions. How come there is no category for it? Can I create a sub category in category:Armenia to deal with many articles related to Armenia. VartanM 05:25, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All pages in that work can be found at Special:Prefixindex/Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), so there is no need for a category.

Yes, you can include it in category:Armenia, but it is more important to mention it on Wikisource:Armenia. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:41, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As you can see, I started working on it already. It would be easier for me to work if I have all the articles in the category. I'm trying to avoid flooding the category with the many articles of the the Catholic Encyclopedia. So the size of the wikisource:x doesn't matter? VartanM 06:02, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Wikisource:x" is a topical index, portal and wikiproject, all rolled into one page. Size doesnt matter, and it can have sub pages if you think that is useful. You can fill it with red links, and links to sources on other websites. John Vandenberg (chat) 06:11, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Formatting problem[edit]

I'm new on Wikisource but I know when there's a formatting error, I'm just not skilled enough to fix it. Please veiw Vincent van Gogh letters to Theo and please fix. Thanks! --Penubag 05:34, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fixed. Thank you. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:38, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Polish Maritime Museum[edit]

I am trying to find information on the Polish Maritime Museum and more specifically the ship called Stephan Batory. Unsigned comment 12:50, 12 February 2008 by user:Gerriren

This is not really the right place to look. Have you tried Wikipedia?--Poetlister 13:19, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Family Happiness and Katia[edit]

Hello. I would like to signal that these two books are two translations of the same work bt Tolstoy (Семейное счастье), and they should be presented that way... There is a strange error in the translation of Family Happiness : the names are different. "Katya was an old friend of the family, our governess", but Katia supposed to be the name of the main character ! 13:35, 12 February 2008 (UTC) - After a little search, it appears that the name of the main character (who says "I") is MACHA and not KATIA (see this page) ; the exchange of names was made by the french translator Hauterive, and William S. Gottsberger followed. Very very curious... 14:29, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On a related note, Wikipedia has a joint article for translators w:Aylmer and Louise Maude; do we want a single Author page or separate pages ? John Vandenberg (chat) 14:54, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I vote for separate author pages, as they are separate people.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 15:03, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with this, but I wonder whether a scheme would be possible to have some kind of joint author pages that could be transcluded into the pages for the separate authors. If the authors only worked together on one or two works it would be pointless, but where they collaborated over an extended time it would help to keep identical lists on the separate author pages co-ordinated. Eclecticology 09:02, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would prefer to see the Maudes share an author page since that's obviously how they credited themselves (much like the early Paul/John discography, where they agreed that whoever wrote the work, both would be credited as the writer). Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Augustus John Cuthbert Hare 20:03, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi guys, a multiple choice question for you:

Willem Siebenhaar wrote a translation of Max Havelaar which is now in the public domain. We don't have that translation, but we have a version of the work "translated by Wikisource". When I wrote the author page, I was surprised to find Max Havelaar come up as a blue link. Since, in the context, it is intended to link to Siebenhaar's translation, it probably shouldn't be a blue link to a different translation.

Should I:

  1. Leave Max Havelaar where it is, and bluelink to it?
  2. Leave Max Havelaar where it is, and redlink to Max Havelaar/Siebenhaar translation?
  3. Move Max Havelaar to Max Havelaar/Wikisource translation, turn Max Havelaar into a disambiguation page, and bluelink to it?
  4. Move Max Havelaar to Max Havelaar/Wikisource translation, turn Max Havelaar into a disambiguation page, and redlink to Max Havelaar/Siebenhaar translation?

(You don't really have to pick one of these if you can think of another, better option.) ;-) Hesperian 11:19, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is my suggestion. Move Max Havelaar to the page Max Havelaar (Siebenhaar) and then turn Max Havelaar into a disambiguation page, change the link on Siebenhaar's page to Max Havelaar (Siebenhaar).—Zhaladshar (Talk) 15:15, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. There seems to be an implicit assumption in Hesperian's question that a Wikisource translation is necessarily inferior to one that has already been published, and that it only exists to plug a hole while we are waiting for a published one that we can use. Wiki translations should be more generally encouraged, as should annotations. They are a lot of work, so I don't anticipate too many, but they are still valuable. Eclecticology 18:39, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, will do, assuming Zhaladshar meant "Move Max Havelaar to the page Max Havelaar (Wikisource).
Re: implicit assumption: Not at all. I'm can't see how you got that idea, as I think the above message is quite explicit about retaining both versions alongside each other. I asked this question because I was concerned about "demoting" a version that exists, merely to make space for a version that doesn't. Hesperian 00:53, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that's what I meant.  :) My reading comprehension didn't kick in, so I didn't read that it was a Wikisource translation.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 00:58, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bot capabilities?[edit]

Would a bot be able to grab all the titles from Category:Spoken works that do not have a / (to avoid subpages), and list them in a Wikisource:Audio recordings index? Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Augustus John Cuthbert Hare 04:19, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sure thing. Actually, I think it should grab the top level of all pages, removing duplicates, so that e.g. Daniel Deronda shows up. But only shows up once. I'll do that once the VD 100K hoo-ha is done tomorrow. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 04:37, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Done. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 16:55, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Brittannica after 1922[edit]

Out of curiosity I looked to see if any post 1922 versions of the Britannica had been renewed. I could find no renewal for anything published before 1946! Can anybody double check that situation? Eclecticology 02:40, 15 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

EB has been meticulously renewed. User:Quadell/copyright check. Volumes and editions have been renewed in 1922, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1974, etc. Each renewal was for the publication 27 years earlier. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 14:15, 16 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No. Read your own material. the 1922 12th edition's copyright is of course expired. The other years that you show for 1946-1948 are all original publication dates, not renewal dates. Nothing published in the years 1923-1945 appears to have been renewed, and 1946 is only partially renewed. For the "revised" 14th edition only the revised material would be protected, not the whole thing; however, it would be difficult to know what is revised without having an earlier version to compare. Eclecticology 19:24, 16 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It isn't helpful to be rude. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 20:22, 16 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
???? Eclecticology 21:15, 16 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why dont we convert the redirect "Encyclopedia Britannica" into a page that lists all of the editions, and records the renewal IDs for any that might be still covered by copyright. We could also start to collate notes about what revisions were made in each edition. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:42, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good idea. I'll put it on my to do list. Eclecticology 18:20, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Scriptorium archives[edit]

Where is this page archived? I asked a question months ago and forgot to check for the answer, and my post is no longer here. SMcCandlish 21:24, 15 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here. Cowardly Lion 21:27, 15 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question about ProofreadPage and Labeled Section Tranclusion[edit]


I've been trying out ProofreadPage for the first time. The document I'm transcluding, The Abrolhos Tragedy, appeared in a newspaper which divided its pages into five columns, with figures sometimes spanning multiple columns. I did a few pages without attempting to capture the layout, then got ambitious and tried to capture the layout of the first page, Page:The Western Mail - Christmas 1897 - Page 3.jpg, using table syntax. This worked very well - it doesn't look very good on the Page: page, because the side-by-side image cramps it up a bit, but it transcludes really nicely.

However, having successfully captured the layout in the page view, I then decided that for the text view, the text would be best reflowed into a single column. I tried to do this using Labelled Section Transclusion, but can't make it work.

Have a look at User:Hesperian/Stack. A series of LST's are listed, but only the first transclusion succeeds. Any ideas?

Hesperian 11:43, 17 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It looks like a simple syntax error; some of the sections use start=name rather than begin=name, so the extension won't find the section. -Steve Sanbeg 19:11, 17 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well how do you like that. For the life of me I couldn't figure it out. Thanks. :-) Hesperian 22:36, 17 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal: Author Page for the United Kingdom Parliament[edit]

I would like to create an author page for the Parliament of the United Kingdom. There are more than 60 Acts of the UK Parliament on Wikisource Category:Acts of the United Kingdom Parliament.

Similarly for the Parliament of England (over 80 Acts).

I recall a disagreement in the past on whether author pages for organisations should be set up but I would to have the discussion on this proposal and see where opinion lies.

I would support creating pages for any organisation that has 'authored' ten or more texts that appear on Wikisource. These qualifying texts would have to be complete or very close to completion.

Thanks for taking the time to read my proposal,

John Cross 12:09, 17 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have no problem with corporations or governments as authors, though I think we should give some thought to the name formats, and prefer something consistent with library catalogues. Thus United Kingdom, Parliament should be preferred over Parliament of the United Kingdom. Eclecticology 17:33, 17 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Why would we use United Kingdom, Parliament when we don't use Shakespeare, William? Hesperian 11:08, 18 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      Personal names are much easier to sort out and remember where to look than government departments and agencies. If only "Parliament" were involved I wouldn't be too concerned, but government publications are built on the shifting sands of name change. Eclecticology 20:44, 18 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • If we go down that route it should be either United Kingdom, Parliament of the or United Kingdom Parliament.--Poetlister 15:30, 18 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I prefer to use index pages for this sort of information. There is already a page setup for prior to 1707 at Wikisource:Legislative documents/England. I suppose the page you would be concerned with would be Wikisource:Legislative documents/United Kingdom.--BirgitteSB 21:42, 18 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FourthWorld Citizens[edit]

I,m doing a resaerch about the marginalised poor in third world countries.These are the people with no source of livilehood even in Africa were the church accept all they are left out for the have no attire. These people live in slums,no water,no education,no future.Many die before they were even born.International aid agencies are doing their best but i believe individuals and local governments have to lend a hand. FourthWorld Citizens are crying for a reason to be alive.My work with some of them in Ghana shows they can be productive if only they get to see the part they were born to play in this world. What is this FourthWorld and how did it come about? unsigned comment by Saintgrace (talk) 23:25, 18 February 2008.

I think you are asking at the wrong place. This web site is not a forum for general question. Best regards, Yann 15:09, 18 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A good place to start looking would be at Wikipedia:Fourth World. It has several good external links and sources. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 01:12, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Backlog At Deletion requests/Unknown translators[edit]

Currently, there are 65 pages in Category:Deletion requests/Unknown translators. A couple months ago, I posted on the Scriptorium about this, but nothing happened and there's still a significant backlog. Many of the articles haven't been edited in months, and the original contributor is no longer active. I'm not sure what action to take - would a sweeping deletion be the right way to go? It's going to be difficult to try to identify the translators for all of the works. - Politicaljunkie 16:15, 18 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sweeping deletions are never the way to go. Best-case scenario, create a list somewhere (not PD/CV) and get people discussing them. Hell, offer to proofread a poem for every work they save - that'll get them on it. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Augustus John Cuthbert Hare 17:10, 18 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're on, kiddo. I think Only as Life and King Gesser would be good.[9] ;-) —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 01:09, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I found the translators for Against the Grain and A Lost Opportunity, and both are PD. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 01:26, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As penance, since the Tolstoy one was my own addition, I went and hunted down the details for Kant's Idea For A Universal History With A Cosmopolitan Purpose. Not sure if it's PD, or even if the 1963 excerpt was the first printing, but I put the details in a header. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Augustus John Cuthbert Hare 01:59, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bucolics only has a list, with nothing translated, even though the translator appears on the author page. Eclecticology 18:15, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. Simply putting a category tag without starting a discussion about the page is going to get nothing done unless people are watching the category. Seeing 65 pages there is not going to encourage anybody. Deal with them one at a time. Eclecticology 20:31, 18 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This has come up regularly, and I feel strongly that this should be a maintenance queue rather than a deletion queue. Depending on how hard it is to identify the translator, there is a diminishing risk of it being a copyright violation. We want these tracked down, not deleted. We want to keep these pages available so that random strangers help us find the translator. If the translator is hard to identify, that is all the more reason to spend the time figuring it out, in order that Wikisource has unique information not readily found elsewhere. We also want author pages for translators for the same reason.

Some old discussions: 2007-04#Works without translator information and 2007-08#Works without translator information. There is a long list of deleted works at 2007-08#Works without translator information 2.

John Vandenberg (chat) 02:26, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree that it's a maintenance issue. The absence of a translator alone does not imply a copyvio. At one time it was quite common for translators not to be credited. One can only assume that these translations were done for hire, and were the property of the publisher. Eclecticology 18:15, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are also some (rare) cases where we don't know the translator, but the work is acceptable anyway. For instance, I ran into a book of Tolstoy with the words "official translation" on the cover, published in 1915 (and therefore unquestionably PD in the U.S.), but without the translator ever named in the text itself. I'm not sure what to do for cases like these. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 02:36, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do you accept thesis/disertations?[edit]

Please let me know. Personally I think it would be good.Adrian Comollo 19:12, 18 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Traditionally, we do, as they are a peer reviewed work. However, you might not be so keen to upload your thesis (I assume you would like to upload yours—if I am mistaken, I apologize, although that doesn't affect what I say next). For one, a work can only be uploaded if it is in the public domain, licensed under the GFDL, or licensed under a compatible license. This, however, means that anyone can come and take your work, use it for commercial purposes, or modify it. As a lot of work has gone into writing the thesis, you might not appreciate these things happening to it.
So, yes, we accept them, but only under the given provisions.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 05:02, 19 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is that, but there is still a need to maintain the integrity of the original "published" work. For theses, I would consider "published" to mean "accepted by the appropriate university authorities as part of the requirements for a particular degree." This is at least verifiable by reference to that university's archives, and sufficient information should be provided to allow this to be checked. What we want to avoid here is so-called theses that are original work which was never a part of a degree programme. Eclecticology 05:25, 19 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Obituary standards[edit]

Hi. I'm brand new to WikiSource but very experienced at other WMF projects. What are the standards for 19th century obituaries? I was considering transcribing The New York Times obituary of Hamilton Disston from 1896. Seem appropriate? That link is a PDF file - should that be uploaded as well? Thank you. William I of Schenectady (talk) 04:27, 19 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, since it's a published obituary whose copyright has expired, it is perfect for Wikisource. Be sure to list it at Wikisource:Obituaries as well, so that people can find it! Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Augustus John Cuthbert Hare 04:30, 19 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would question the practicality of having everybody add each obituary to the list. I don't oppose the actions of those who do it, but it's unrealistic to expect that everyone will. Eclecticology 05:14, 19 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To echo Sherucij, yes, obituaties of notable individuals are just great to add here, so long as they were published before 1923. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 01:02, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, you dont need to upload the PDF. I have transcribed many NYT articles (inc. many of our Obituaries), and I just add a link to the NYT page to the talk page. See The New York Times/Obituary; the Rev. Andrew P. Peabody for an example.
They dont have to be "notable" - having an obit in the NYT is good enough. See The New York Times/John J. Gorman for an obit of a Newyorker who isnt really notable in the grand scheme of things.
See Wikisource talk:Obituaries for notes I have kept on some interesting obits to be transcribed, and how to find more. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:11, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

States and city sources in the public domain - which are and which aren't?[edit]

Is there a list anywhere of what states and cities in the US and around the world put government works/published documents in the public domain? Thank you. --Remi 10:47, 19 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have heard frequent allegations that works created by the State of California are in the public domain, but I've seen no documentation supporting this. I don't think anyone claims that any other state, county, or city exempts its creations from copyright protection. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 01:00, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Like Quadell, I've seen people asserting that the State of Cali does this, but I've not been able to confirm it, not for lack of trying. {{PD-GovEdict}} is sufficient for an US law, regardless of whether it is federal, state or county.
w:Official text copyright explains the more general principle of governmental works being PD, but sadly, the devil is in the detail, as each country was left the right to enact their own laws to cover this. See also w:Crown copyright. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:36, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
South Africa and Poland, are two countries that have broad Public Domain status for government works. I believe Poland is for federal works, while SA is for all branches of government. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Augustus John Cuthbert Hare 02:47, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh yeah. For Poland, check out article 4 at Polish Copyright Law. But I think South African government documents are copyrighted for 50 years after publication. (Still, that's darned liberal compared to Crown Copyright restrictions.) Wikimedia doesn't seem to have a compilation of "government works" information for various countries. An odd omission. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 05:07, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I spoke too soon. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 05:10, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For South Africa, you're going to want to look at S.12 (8a), "No copyright shall subsist in official texts of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, or in official translations of such texts, or in speeches of a political nature or in speeches delivered in the course of legal proceedings". Cheers :) Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Augustus John Cuthbert Hare 18:45, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wow, that's great! S.5 in the same act says that a government work "which is eligible for copyright" is copyrighted for 50 years. But S.12, which you quote, indicates that most government works would not be eligible for copyright. I updated Wikipedia:List of countries' copyright length and Wikipedia:Official text copyright to reflect this. Good find! —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:51, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your forgot Floridia. 20:01, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, I learn something every day. (I forgot Poland too. Emblem-cool.svg) —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 13:51, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Organizational issues with Idylls of the King[edit]

I was working on a section of Curious Myths of the Middle Ages when I came across a reference to "Tennyson's Elaine". The author must have meant the poem Lancelot and Elaine. I found it on a subpage of Idylls of the King. To me Idylls of the King looks like a collection of related poems that can stand on their own. Am I correct? If I am, I will move the individual poems to their own pages (and fix the headers). Psychless 19:51, 19 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

According to the comprehensive Wikipedia article, the poems were first published in small batches in different publications between 1859 and 1873. So I'd definitely classify them as independent (though interrelated) works. —Quadell (talk / swapmeet) 00:47, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sounds good. Thank you for the clarification. Psychless 02:29, 21 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gutenberg Australia notice[edit]

Please be very careful when uploading a work from Project Gutenberg Australia. Works such as Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Great Gatsby, and Gone With The Wind are not in public domain although they are on Gutenberg Australia. {{PD-Australia}} only covers work published originally in Australia before 1955, and not those published elsewhere, such as the UK. Please check the publishing date and place when uploading works from Thanks. —Dark (talk) 06:51, 23 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Uploading diagrams[edit]

I am working on this book: On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason which contains mathematical diagrams that illustrate specific points made in the text. Since these are relevant only to readers of the book, I need to ask: Do I upload them here or in Wikimedia Commons? ~ Alcmaeonid 18:21, 23 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Uploading to Commons is preferred. There is a category for all WS-related images over there you can tag it as when you upload it.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 19:32, 23 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mil gracias. ~ Alcmaeonid 17:01, 24 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PD-UKGov Template[edit]

This template says: "This work is in the public domain worldwide because: It is a photograph created by the United Kingdom Government and taken prior to 1 June 1957; or..."

Crown Copyright covers UK Courts and the Privy Council Office which I would not necessarily consider to be part of the "United Kingdom Government" but (surprisingly) does not cover National Audit Office, Environment Agency, or Financial Services Authority (which I would consider to be part of the Government).

Please visit the following site for a list of UK Crown Bodies and a list of non-Crown bodies. UK Crown Bodies

I am going to be bold and edit the template accordingly, I trust that you will be bold too if you disagree with my changes.

John Cross 17:34, 24 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just to explain: the Government means the prime Minister and ministers, what in America is the Executive part of Government. The National Audit Office is anwerable to Parliament, not to ministers. The Environment Agency and Financial Services Authority are quangos.--Poetlister 21:20, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In any case Government does not = Crown Bodies. Thanks for the explanation.

John Cross 18:29, 27 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Would this cover UK courts? Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Honoré de Balzac 21:29, 27 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Probably not - the courts are independent of the Government.--Poetlister 22:03, 27 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Late reply: Yes the list includes the Court Service (under Ministry of Justice), Court Decisions are Crown Copyright.

John Cross 21:30, 10 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi, I’m new here. I just wanted to make sure I’m not missing anything. Would Keats’ letters be considered public domain, and therefore uploadable? I’ve read though Help:Public domain but it’s a lot to take in at one go! Thanks, --S.dedalus 06:46, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Definitely! They'd make a great addition as well. They've been published as early as 1859 - and would meet the PMA+70/100/120/125 standards regardless :) Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Honoré de Balzac 08:12, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They will certainly be a worthwhile addition.--Poetlister 21:21, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Great! I’ve started work on them. --S.dedalus 01:48, 27 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copyright issues: what do we do next?[edit]


Following the recent debates about copyright issues (see above), we have seen that US law does not uses the rule of the shorter term (according to Mike Godwin, legal counsel to WMF), and that the 1996 copyright restoration and the 95 years term prevent us from editing a lot of foreign works, whose copyright has long expired in their country of origin. I feel that we should find solutions to this. I see a few possibilities:

  1. Include foreign works even if there are not PD in USA (this would need the approval of M. Godwin, so it seems unlikely to me);
  2. More integration of Wikilivres. I am open to a lot of propositions here, including renaming Wikilivres, transfering it to a future Wikimedia chapter of Canada, etc.
  3. Moving Wiskisource out of USA, for example in Canada. This seems pratically quite difficult, and would make problems on the short term with pre-1923 works which would not be PD in Canada now. However it would be beneficial on the long term.

Any other ideas? Yann 15:19, 28 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As you point out, Option 1 isnt really an option, and I dont think it is feasible to move Wikisource out of USA, however an auxiliary "Wikisource CA" or "Wikisource AU" run by the local chapter (when it is established) would be an excellent addition. John Vandenberg (chat) 15:58, 28 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Option 1 would certainly be preferable, and I perceive serious legal challenges as extremely unlikely as long as we use common sense in approaching the matter, but convincing the more doctrinaire free licence devotees promises to be an uphill struggle. It is likely to be a recurring fight over every relevant contribution until the United States repairs its laws.
Option 3 has exactly the problems that Yann points out, not to mention the backlash from some Wikimedia people who might view this as a hostile fork.
This leaves option 2 as the most workable. Although I have no problem with the name "Wikilivres" there is a conflict to the extent that the fr:wikibooks people also appear to be using the name. I did a whois search and came to realize that the project Wikilivres is using a ".info" domain, and is being hosted by, a French ISP, not a Canadian one. remained freely available until today when I read this thread. I have held the domain registration since June 2005 in anticipation of something like this. :-) (Yann, if I have my facts wrong about wikilivres, please let me know, I may have had the misapprehension that you were working with someone in Québec on this. I apologize for not having paid enough attention.)
As long as is not officially part of Wikimedia, it mainly depends on the actual risk of confusing our users whether we should change the name (BTW, WikiŒuvres has also been taken, see [10], but there is next to nothing on it). Concerning the ISP, the host machine is still located in Canada, so in all cases, Canadian law would apply, right?--GrafZahl (talk) 10:21, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Jurisdiction is not always clear since some countries would have it that the ability for its residents to download is enough to grant jurisdiction. Wikimedia has dummy servers in The Netherlands and South Korea, but nobody is seriously suggesting that this would imply jurisdiction there. If anyone is going to go after the ISP, it's more likely that they will strike where it has actual offices; for wikilivres that appears to be France. The other question is where is the registry for .info domains? That would give a further avenue of attack. I think we need to be aware of vulnerabilities in every link in the chain. We can't clear them all up, but we can minimize them. Eclecticology 20:50, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that's also another issue. Upto now WL has a rather low profile, so legal risks are minimum, but they would increase if the project grows. Hosting cost is not an issue now, but transfering the domain to a person or an organisation in Canada would be a priority. What do you suggest? Yann 23:18, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The big disadvantage for Australia is its move to the life + 70 term. Canada has not yet changed away from life + 50. There is uncertainty in my mind about whether it will. The changes that were proposed two years ago were mostly aimed at DRMs and using movie cameras to copy in theatres, but there was nothing in there about extending the term. The in-theatre copying has since been legislated but not the DRMs. It may very well be that by waiting too long to extend copyright terms the government has allowed an opposition to build that would not have been there in earlier years. Canada has specific recognition of the rule of the shorter term, but with an explicit statement that it does not apply to NAFTA countries, United States and Mexico. This may mean that there are a few works that can be hosted in Australia that cannot be hosted in Canada or the U.S., but I don't expect that there will be that many works that fit into that category. The other Canadian advantage is that our fair dealing rules are comparable to those in the U.S.
(edit conflict) Your first proposal seems unlikely to me as well. Personally, I'd favour your second proposal because it's the simplest one, and because it enables us to offer the best of both worlds to our users. I don't think Wikilivres should be renamed, so users will always know which site they are currently using. For that matter, I think the site layout should remain sufficiently different. As for transferring Wikilivres to a prospective Canadian chapter, I think that's mostly up to you. If you leave it as is, I'd still trust you enough to upload works there. If, on the other hand, you transfer the project, you'll be able to bankroll your operating costs and hosting charges through Wikimedia donations, but you'd probably have to kick out CC-BY-NC works. (Thanks, by the way, for running Wikilivres.)
Now, how would we implement your second proposal? Things that come to mind…
  1. Policy unification (except the copyright/licence policy, of course). To the very least, everything that would allowed on Wikisource, were it not for copyright, should be allowed on Wikilivres. Policy unification makes it easier for editors to adhere to community standards.
    That's already the case: everything which is allowed on WS is also allowed on WL, but not the opposite. There are a few works without prior paper publication, and a lot of translations under *-NC. Yann 18:20, 28 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That's not completely correct. A Canadian whose work was properly published in the US, but not renewed, and who has not yet been dead for 50 years would be allowable in the US, but not in Canada. While we should strive for as much co-ordination as is reasonably possible, we need to remember that these are autonomous entities. Wikisourcerors do not like Wikipedians trying to assume the same rules here as there. Why should the Wikilivres people see it any differently. Eclecticology 08:50, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I believe Yann meant inclusion criteria apart from copyright. I'm not actually involved with, so I didn't know WL inclusion policy is strictly more liberal than WS's one. Thanks for the info, and sorry for not researching properly.--GrafZahl (talk) 10:21, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. Wikisource prevalence. If a work could be uploaded to both sites, it should be uploaded to Wikisource.
    That's already what's happening, and it is clearly said so on the Main Page. Yann 18:20, 28 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think you mean "precedence" rather than prevalence. Otherwise I have no problems with an idea that would exercise controls on Wikilivres' hosting costs. Eclecticology 08:50, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, precedence it is. Sorry.--GrafZahl (talk) 10:21, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. Flow control. As more and more works enter the US public domain, they need to be moved from Wikilivres to Wikisource. Likewise, whenever a work is deleted from Wikisource for copyright reasons, its inclusion in Wikilivres should be considered. We'd need a policy (or amend the deletion policy) and a bunch of user information templates, so users find the work. We also should have a combined list of users with import permission on at least one of the sites. These users would be "official" contact persons for cross-site page moves.
    Yes, it could be worked out like that. What's worry me is that the transfer of works breaks referencement. So we would need to maintain back links. Yann 18:20, 28 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. Having works move into the US public domain is not an immediate concern since the US extension of copyright has this effectively frozen until the end of 2018. I don't think that the suggested bureaucratic policy initiatives are all that necessary, but cross links and references between the projects would be desirable. Eclecticology 08:50, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The bureaucratic initiatives would be rather small amendments of a more informative than normative nature. For example, we could add a sentence to the deletion policy reading "A work about to be deleted for copyright violation should be considered for inclusion in"--GrafZahl (talk) 10:21, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With sister project prefixes, it's easy to create the backlinks. Maintaining them sounds like bot work (removing prefixes once a work has been moved, updating links pointing to soft redirects across sites, etc.). The one thing a bot cannot do is to automatically fix genuine link-rot. But on a project such as Wikisource, I'd expect very few link-rot.--GrafZahl (talk) 10:21, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. User education/vocabulary check. Wikisource speaks of "free content", Wikilivres of "free licences". An unwitting user might believe that's the same thing. If we move together, we should at least have some big fat warning about possible legal implications for users.
    Yes. Any help to write a warning welcome. Yann 18:20, 28 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I can see the potential difficulty of different terminology on these sensitive points, but apart from that one it can be developed over time.
Anything else?--GrafZahl (talk) 16:39, 28 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are 2 other issues I see:
  1. Languages and subdomains: Up to now there are not enough users to split WL in subdomains. That would change if WL becomes more integrated with WS.
  2. Server load and hosting cost: WL is hosted on a small server (Celeron with 1 GB RAM). That would become quickly insufficient if load increases. Yann 18:34, 28 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I don't want to re-open the subdomains debate of a few years ago, but I see that as an issue that can wait until after the hosting issues are sorted out.
  1. I appreciate that Yann has been paying for Wikilivres out of his own pocket. Perhaps he could provide us with an outline of his costs, and historical usage statistics about the site. This could encourage community participation is sharing the costs. Eclecticology 08:50, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Finances could become a major problem. And I totally forgot that works are not likely to flow over to Wikisource massively before 2018, so might get pretty big. A Canadian Wikimedia chapter as potential money source does not exist yet, and even if it would, founding would probably be on the condition that works hosted are not *-NC.
BTW, I just had a look at the Wikisource database dump page. If I read that correctly, the entire Wikisource database is only 1.2GiB, zipped? Sorry if I'm talking nonsense here, but even if it unpacks to 120GiB, the limiting factor would rather be bandwidth than CPU speed, wouldn't it?--GrafZahl (talk) 10:21, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With the current hosting scheme, server resources (CPU & RAM) will be issues much before bandwith. Yann 23:21, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
de.wikisource have enough users to make a contest and Germany have a local chapter... what about moving wikilivres to a server maintaned by Wikimedia DE (but more stable than the servers)? Lugusto 00:02, 1 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The point is just that it should be hosted in Canada by a Canadian person or a Canadian organisation. Yann 00:16, 1 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure, because the PD-old-50 issue. But hosting on .de may solve the PD-old-70 issue.... 30 years of works to one fork, 20 years for another fork, making it less expensive (I think). Lugusto 01:28, 2 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding hosting a second server in a country with different copyright laws, Anthère had this to say on January 17, 2008: ResScholar 10:08, 2 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, first, there is no urgency to delete stuff. So, no one goes into a deletion frenzy. Now, the big question is "where do we host that stuff" ? I wonder if an answer might not be "one of the chapters, the one which will be in the most favorable country".unsigned comment by ResidentScholar (talk) 10:08, 2 March 2008.

Hello, I create a page on Wikilivres for donation, see [11]. Feel free to help. ;o)

Biblioteca Wikimedia[edit]

FYI, Wikimedia IT is apparently drafting a fork to Wikisource. [12], [13]. Lugusto 19:26, 23 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Charles Lamb? Mary Lamb? Charles and Mary Lamb?[edit]

Hi, everyone. We have a page: Author:Charles Lamb. We don't have a page Author:Mary Lamb. And we don't and probably shouldn't have a page called Author:Charles and Mary Lamb. Charles was by far the more prolific writer, but Mary, whom he saved from being locked up after she killed their mother, also wrote some pieces. They collaborated for their famous Tales from Shakespeare, which I hope to start on today. The Wikipedia article, which I also want to work on, rather vaguely tells us that Mary "was responsible for most of the comedies, perhaps 14 of the 20." But I have a printed edition which says that Mary wrote fifteen and Charles wrote five. I have been wanting to add the Tales to Wikisource for several months now, but was held back by not knowing exactly which stories were written by which sibling; most printed editions don't say. The Lambs do not seem to have collaborated in the writing of any particular story; each story was written entirely by Charles or entirely by Mary.

I have now found a two-volume edition of the Works of Charles and Mary Lamb published by Oxford University Press in 1908. This gives the name of the writer after the name of each story in the table of contents, and also states clearly at the beginning of each chapter whether it's by Charles or Mary. Going by that, I'm inclined to accept that Wikipedia is right, and my other printed edition is wrong. So, I'm ready to start!

I'd like suggestions as to how to proceed. I think I ought to create the following:

and so on.

I think that the header of each individual story should attribute the story either to Charles or to Mary, but not to both; but the header of each story would have


which would lead back to Tales from Shakespeare; and the header of Tales from Shakespeare would attribute the book to

[[Author:Charles Lamb|Charles Lamb]] and [[Author:Mary Lamb|Mary Lamb]].

The Preface would also be attributed to both. (In the Oxford edition there's a footnote in the middle of a sentence in the Preface telling us that it was written up to that point by Mary, and the remainder was written by Charles.)

Does that sound right? Cowardly Lion 11:01, 2 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's how I did Olney Hymns by Author:John Newton and Author:William Cowper ResScholar 20:49, 2 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for that. I've done it now, though I still need to proofread and check formatting. Cowardly Lion 12:30, 4 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Style concerns[edit]

There are two things the style guide isn't clear on: quotation marks and <div class="prose">.

The guide says nothing about quotation marks, and I think we should have a preference to either typographic (“ ‘ and ’ ”) or typewriter (" ') quotation marks. Typographic quotation marks were used in the original edition of most of our works. They also can make the text more readable when many quotation marks are used. However, they are somewhat difficult to enter, and many of our texts do not have them. I am in favor of typographic style quotation marks since we aim to reproduce the text as accurately as possible.

The Style guide is very wishy-washy about the use of <div class="prose">. It should either be used or not be used. I think it makes the text difficult to read. It also doesn't set the margins the same way they were in the original text. I think we should not use <div class="prose">; to be consistent, we should be remove it from all of our texts.

Psychless 23:26, 4 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I concur with you in that we should preserve text integrity wherever possible. However, striving for layout integrity at all costs is too laborious, in my opinion. I tried that once, and it was just one bottomless time sink. (There are, of course, exceptions where a special layout was intended by the author, such as certain E. E. Cummings poems, for example.) So I agree with preserving the quotation mark style (define a hotkey if you need them often). But as for setting margins for accurate reproduction of line breaks, that's a very difficult thing to do, maybe it's even practically impossible. Some people might use fonts different from yours, a little wider or narrower than yours, say, and the margin doesn't come out accurately any more. This may happen even with font-dependent sizes. In general, I don't think we should overregulate style standards that pertain to layout only. If someone wants to implement a tightly crafted layout, why not, but please don't make it mandatory. As for the prose class, I typically use it as something to start from (it certainly makes the text more readable than using nothing at all) and alter it wherever such alterations are easy. For example, I might use <div class="prose" style="text-indent:1em"> to roughly emulate an original paragraph indenting layout without going to great pains designing a custom CSS.--GrafZahl (talk) 09:37, 5 March 2008 (UTC)