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Warning Please do not post any new comments on this page. This is a discussion archive first created in April 2009, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date.
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gifs broken[edit]

mw:Extension:Proofread Page is not loading w:gif files as a result of a workaround to bugzilla:16451. A bug to fix Proofread Page has been filed: bugzilla:17791, however another option is to convert all gif files to png. John Vandenberg (chat) 01:38, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

great that you made this list. I would love not to have to fix it, so I vote for convert :-) ThomasV (talk) 10:27, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Someone has fixed this? I raised this issue in December at Help talk:Side by side image view for proofreading#GIF files, but it now appears to be working with the gif files.--T. Mazzei (talk) 19:41, 29 March 2009 (UTC). Nevermind, still doesn't quite work (gif image only appears when editing page)--T. Mazzei (talk) 21:07, 29 March 2009 (UTC)


Statically mirroring some Wikipedia articles[edit]

I did a quick search of the archives but didn't see anything on this subject, so here I go proposing something rather crazy: Wikisource should include dated, protected versions of Wikipedia articles. Here's my rationale:

  1. Wikipedia articles, while not public domain, are copyleft and copying them here (with attribution) shouldn't be a copyright issue (for the most part—see below).
  2. We already host old encyclopedias and reference works, such as Britannica 1911, and NSRW, and so on.
  3. Wikipedia articles can change dramatically day-to-day; hosting a dated, protected version of an article could have a number of benefits:
    1. Better for internal links from Wikisource works (no need to worry about vandalism or page moves on Wikipedia and us not knowing about it)
    2. A good way to preserve high-quality articles from the effects of neglect.
    3. A matter of historical record (saving key versions of articles at different points, for easy comparison—a minor benefit, since this is already fairly easy within Wikipedia itself).

Now, to be clear, I'm not proposing that we mirror all of Wikipedia. I'm not even proposing that we mirror all of the Featured Articles, for example. It could be as unstructured as any of us cutting and pasting a Wikipedia article into Wikisource when we want to link to a static version of a Wikipedia article. No need for some structured project that doesn't get completed; just a "as-needed" compilation. Personally, I would see myself adding articles like w:Charles I of England and w:Glorious Revolution so that links in A Short History of Standing Armies in England could be internal and not external.

A few potential pitfalls that I can see—first, not all Wikipedia images are truly copyleft, at least to the degree that Commons will accept them (and therefore, that we will accept them). Thus, an exact copy of Wikipedia articles here may sometimes not be possible. However, I don't see this as a major issue, since most articles that get hosted here would be related to "old" subjects. I.e., there's usually no reason for one of our pre-1923 works to need to link to a Wikipedia article that has screenshots or company logos in it.

Another potential argument against this idea is that it would increase our maintenance load. Personally, I don't think so. As long as the original copier carefully looks at the recent edit history of the article being transferred here, and doesn't copy a vandalized (or otherwise suboptimal) version, there's no reason to make further edits to the article. Stick it in a consistent naming structure (Wikipedia/2009/1/James II of England, for example, where 2009 is the year and 1 is the first edition of that article saved that year), protect it, and leave it for posterity. If someone a year later comes along and thinks that the 2010 version of the article is in better shape, let him upload a separate version and change the internal links.

A third argument might be that we would have to create all sorts of crazy templates and infoboxes and such in order to host a complete Wikipedia article. I'd counter that that is not necessary in the least—infoboxes, esoteric templates, and even internal linking are all unnecessary. The Wikisource versions of Wikipedia articles need only have the text, free images, and the citations, in my opinion. Internal navigational aids would often be superfluous, for our purposes.

If we wanted to go into hosting full-fledged "stable versions" of large subsets of Wikipedia, that's a possibility, but not something I'm advocating. I'm more thinking along the lines of increasing our opportunities to link internally, and thereby making it easier to control content. And along with that, I think there is value (from a historical perspective) of hosting easy to access "old" versions of Wikipedia articles, just like we do for EB1911 and NSRW.

Thoughts? --Spangineerwp (háblame) 02:28, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

  • A different idea, but I would not support it for a couple of reasons.
  1. WS and WP are like two different rooms in the same house, you only need one copy of a book.
  2. As long as there is the continued expectation of history on WP, all the old stuff is still there
  3. w:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-01-24/Flagged Revisions

Jeepday (talk) 01:34, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm similarly against the idea, although I admit it is intriguing. But WP has projects like Veropedia, Wikipedia 1.0 CD-Roms and Page histories -- we don't need yet another "spin-off" of our own. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Charles Sheldon. 04:37, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia already has page history, and their Flagged Revisions extension should someday mark the important ones. So I'm also against the project, because it would create a large, unnecessary amount of work for Wikisource. Psychless 15:57, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Oh flagged revisions... toying with me again, getting my hopes up. We'll see what happens with that. Anyway, Jeepday's first point is probably the biggest reason not to do this, and it makes sense. I don't like the idea of linking to old revisions of Wikipedia articles (since images disappear and templates get renamed and what have you), and I don't like the idea of linking to the actual articles, since I'm not convinced that the quality of those articles is going to be maintained long-term, but the latter is probably the best solution for now, at least until flagged revisions comes along... which, if you judge by the amount of time it took for universal login to be implemented, should be in a year or two. =) --Spangineerwp (háblame) 05:32, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Also WP maintains a full set of historical versions of each article. The proposal would open a whole new range of POV arguments about which version is most authoritative and up-to-date. Such arguments are best kept on WP. Eclecticology (talk) 08:12, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
A fantastic crazy idea! I had the same idea when the published book of Wikipedia was last released (maybe German?), as we have a requirement that Wikisource material is published and free. Wikipedia content doesnt meet our criteria until someone publishes it. But that has happened a few times now, and those versions would be great snapshots to have. I dont think I was bold enough to suggest it at the time ;-) John Vandenberg (chat) 13:41, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Nominate Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany for deletion or replacement[edit]

The Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany (Wikisource) is a topic intended to translate the Grundgesetz of Germany (their Consitution, or "Basic Law") into English.

Please see my comments on the article Talk page about why I think it should be deleted, or perhaps wiped and replaced wholesale with a public domain English copy.

(Thanks to User:Closedmouth and User:Billinghurst who responded to my help requests with various options on how to move forward with this.) Mathglot (talk) 05:05, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

WS:PD is where you would request a deletion discussion. John Vandenberg (chat) 13:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Add new Wikisource policy concerning Translation requests[edit]

Given the snafu (unresolved at this writing) concerning the attempted translation of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany (Wikisource), I'd like to recommend that Wikisource consider creating a policy which would address requests for Translation of articles into English for Wikisource.

That policy could touch on a number of things, among which should be a pre-translation procedure which should be completed before translation begins, and which should include an attempt to determine if an official, public domain translation already exists for the document in question.

It seems to me it's a huge imposition on Wiki translators' time and good will to ask them to embark on a project as large as translating the 146 articles of the German Basic Law into English, only to find out that one already exists that could be linked to, or copied.

Whether or not this turns out to be the solution in this particular case, a policy should be put into place to cover the general case in the future. Mathglot (talk) 05:55, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

A quick note that often, even where public domain translations do exist, such as with Bible (Free), Laozi (Wikisource translation) or J'accuse, Wikisource users still prefer to make their own translations. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Joseph McCabe. 06:07, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback, and I should clarify: I have nothing against Wikipedians who prefer to make their own translations where others already exist. I'm fully aware of many bad translations, or even good ones that could benefit by an alternate viewpoint. The only thing I'm objecting to, really, is that a translation project be started and a call put out for translators, who begin work unware that a full translation might already exist. I was considering contributing to the translation of the German Basic Law article, and I would've been mightily pissed off to find that a good translation was already available. So really, it's more about "informed consent" on the part of the wiki translator-editors than anything else--if they're aware that a translation exists and wish to contribute anyway, I have no objection whatever. I only wish that a procedure be put in place to ensure informed consent, that is all Do you agree that that is a reasonable goal? Mathglot (talk)
I agree that we should catalogue existing free translations before attempting a new one. Those translations can then help translators build a better one if they decide to proceed with a Wikisource translations. John Vandenberg (chat) 13:33, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
While it would be nice to prefer existing "free" translations, that should not be a precondition to starting a new one. The problem with basing a new translation on an old one is that it perpetuates what might have been wrong in the old one. New Wiki-translations should be encouraged at all times for any work whose original language version would otherwise be acceptable but for the fact that it is in another language. Thus far, they remain very few because translating a whole book is hard, time-consuming work. Using non-copyrightable machine translations (ugly as they may be) for a first draft will forestall arguments that our version is a derivative of someone else's copyrighted translation. Eclecticology (talk) 17:58, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
To be honest, I don't think WS should try to dictate terms upon which a translation project can be started. At the very most, I think it should be a guideline (or, even better, a suggestion) that people try to find existing free translations rather than reduplicate work. But again, it's entirely up to the person starting the translation to decide whether or not work should be reduplicated. Also, I think it should be the responsibility of the individuals joining the translation project to determine whether or not a free one exists and whether or not they want to be a part of that reduplication. I think the free text world only gains by having extra free translations and it would be against WS's mission to place limits on when or whether or how such translation projects happen.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 18:26, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

What to do about the author index?[edit]

Question: is it worthwhile to maintain the author index? Category:Authors provides pretty much the same information, and is automatically updated--no extra work required. —Remember the dot (talk) 23:54, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

I perfectly agree with you! Eclecticology (talk) 00:32, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I will admit to not having put one author in place. I would prefer that the author index be used for highlights and notables, then as an avenue into the remainder of the Wikisource iceberg. -- billinghurst (talk) 03:46, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Pathoschild was working on a tool to automatically list missing authors on these pages. John Vandenberg (chat) 13:31, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
What would be the point of such a tool if all it does is update a series of redundant pages? The underlying question is one of when to use lists, and when to use categories. I did support author lists in the earliest days of old Wikisource, but Wikisource is much bigger now, and the concept has outlived its usefulness. Perhaps a tool that gathers and lists authors linked from mainspace pages, but who have no author pages would be more useful. Eclecticology (talk) 17:41, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Search box position[edit]

Could we move the search box to the top of the sidebar like Wiktionary does? It's the most-used part of the sidebar, yet it's buried beneath all the "navigation" and "create a book" links. —Remember the dot (talk) 19:22, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

At the very least it should be above "create a book"; putting it at the top would be nice too. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 21:07, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
This is a skin-specific feature. I don't get a search box in the side bar at Wiktionary. I don't see "create a book" in this project either. Eclecticology (talk) 00:35, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I'd imagine that most readers use the default skin, and for them, the search bar is at least more important than "create a book" and probably more important than many of the links in navigation. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 18:14, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
True enough, though I started when the Classic skin was the default. As long as I can still use the search box at the top of the page, I'm not going to be too worried. Eclecticology (talk) 02:22, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I've moved the search box to the top and the "create a book" box to the bottom. Don't panic; if it's not liked, it's easy to undo the change. —Remember the dot (talk) 20:52, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Bot request: TarmstroBot[edit]

The following discussion is closed: complete
User:TarmstroBot will be used to wikify, to the extent feasible, the pages collected in Category:United States case law (and subcategories), first by creating redirects to the volumes in F.2d and F.3d, then by wikifying the links to those volumes in the existing federal court decisions now posted here.

This is my first bot attempt and I'll proceed slowly at first, with a throttled test run in a few days if there are no objections. Tarmstro99 (talk) 21:10, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

sounds like a good idea. -- billinghurst (talk) 03:44, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes indeed; no objections here. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 18:20, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Bot flag request

The first test run completed without incident, creating shortcuts 1 F.3d through 10 F.3d. I’ll set up a longer test job to run later on, most likely at night in the U.S. when traffic levels are lower. I also request that the bot flag be set for User:TarmstroBot. Tarmstro99 (talk) 20:21, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

As per the bot policy, the account will be granted a flag after about a week of operation with no incident.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 20:41, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I patrolled a few earlier today, and they were good. John Vandenberg (chat) 13:29, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Bot flag has been granted.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 21:41, 19 March 2009 (UTC)


The mw:Extension:AbuseFilter has been in testing for a long time, and it would be helpful to have it move into production on one of the Wikimedia projects. Wikisource does not have many vandals, but the occasional one can be left unblocked for quite a while until someone notices. By adding simple abuse rules, the vandals will trigger one of them soon enough and end the rampage. Also, we have a high number of stewards and en.wp admins, making our project a nice training camp / test bed. John Vandenberg (chat) 13:54, 1 March 2009 (UTC) And as a bonus, w:User:Werdna might pop in occasionally.

I support the AbuseFilter. I think it is critical we have as many tools as possible, especially when it comes to protecting the wiki. Are there any bugs we might have to contend with though? On another note, it would always be nice to have another person hanging out on Wikisource! :) --Mattwj2002 (talk) 00:29, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Support though feel that individuals should have a basic competency test and community approval before undertaking use. -- billinghurst (talk) 11:19, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Shrug. I don't see that Wikisource gets that much abuse that it needs it, but it's another tool to help stop vandalism, and if it proves useful in the long run -- so be it. Jude (talk) 13:20, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Support this excellent suggestion. Cirt (talk) 11:56, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm happy to activate it soon, although I'd prefer to do it after the next code update (to iron out some bugs). Do you want a separate abuse filter group (which sysops can add/remove) for modifying filters? Werdna (talk) 11:25, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Deployed. Please report any problems to bugzilla or IRC. Werdna (talk) 00:22, 6 March 2009 (UTC)


Does anyone maintain [MediaWiki:Robots.txt], and if so, should we start doing so now? As a webmaster myself, regular maintenance of these pages is a tedious, but necessary task, so I would do it if I was an admin here, but since I'm new, I can't edit the page, and I'm not an admin (nor do I want to be, for now anyway!). I hope I can be of help. This might require a lot of {{editprotected}} requests though! --Sunwell5 (talk) 21:52, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

I have no idea what it does. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 01:20, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
It instructs search engines' bots on which pages to index or not index. This is taken care of by Wikimedia's system administrators; [MediaWiki:Robots.txt] only exists so we can add our own rules, which is almost never necessary. —Pathoschild 04:52:11, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Other discussions[edit]


"Author:Anonymous" has been created once more by an anon. This was probably due to one of the many redlink to this page[1]. We should fix all these redlinks, and maybe we should salt/protect the author page to prevent recreation/redeletion. John Vandenberg (chat) 10:50, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

A lot of the anonymous links are coming from the translator param. Maybe we might want to add an "anonymous" value to the parameter. Right now we can mark a translator as "?" which puts in it a deletion category. But, look at Claudius Bombarnac. We have an unknown translator of a without a doubt public domain translation of Jules Verne's novel. If we mark them all as "?" translators, we'll always have them in a deletion category. Of course, some of these works with anonymous translators might be copyvios, but how do we work with the ones which aren't?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 13:49, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Some alteration of the appropriate template is required. I'll look into the "anonymous" parameter; sounds like a better idea than salting, because when we salt we still cause the confusion of clicking on the redlink for readers. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 14:19, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
  • That newbies will keep re-creating this page is completely predictable. The simple intuitive solution would be to just allow it. Unknown translators were even more a fact of life in many old publications where this was a staff function. Using "override author" is completely counter-intuitive. It would be easier all around to have a single character to indicate an override of any expected treatment of a value other than plain text in all templates and parameters. Eclecticology (talk) 08:32, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Is a possible solution to create the field | override_translator = akin to override_author, so that where it is an unknown translator, then it becomes hard text rather than a wikilink. -- billinghurst (talk) 00:01, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Then we end up with two counter-intuitive parameters, with the strong chance that there may be other parameters that could be overridden in the future, or in other templates. Thus if we choose ^ as the override character (assuming that it's available) then ^Anonymous in both of those situations will have the effect of inserting "Anonymous" in plain text instead of the links to author pages. The principle is to make it easier for an ordinary non-geek contributor, without his needing to seek out the special password that will bring about the effect that he desires. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 01:01, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


The Iliad vs. The Iliad of Homer rendered into English prose for the use of those who cannot read the original vs. The Iliad (Butler)[edit]

A recent title move have caused me to question our protocol when it comes to the naming of translations. What do we think the appropriate page title is? The original title, or the name of the actual work with the translator's surname in parenthesis? —Anonymous DissidentTalk 03:48, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

I had a look at Gulliver's Travels, as I thought this might prove informative, seeing as its real name is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. Rather embarrassingly, the page makes no mention of the true title, nor is there a redirect from it. What does that tell you?
I suggest that "The Iliad" is simply not an option for any particular translation, because there have been so many. The question, then, is how best to disambiguate this particular translation: with the full title, or with a disambiguation term in parentheses? Personally I prefer the full title, but that is not a strong preference.
Hesperian 05:45, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. Personally, I was tilting towards the parenthetic road, simply because of the unwieldy nature of the full title. Hopefully this matter can be solved by some form of precedent or guideline that we're not seeing, rather than personal preference. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 07:34, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
I prefer the italics, since that's easier to remember and clearer; when I first saw this title, I wondered if the riEpftuoftwcrto version was a Wikisource translation.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:44, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
This question is similar to #Duplicate works of Dryden above. The long descriptive sub-titles were common in the 17th and 18th centuries, but not particularly memorable. Sub-titles, or a shortened version thereof, are sometimes usable to distinguish different works by different authors if they are regularly used as a part of the title. However, using them to distinguish between different editions and translations of the same work will only cause confusion. Disambiguating parentheses should be usable in both cases with liberal provision for alternative methods. Eclecticology (talk) 17:35, 24 February 2009 (UTC)


After reading discussions like #The Iliad vs.... and #Duplicate works of Dryden, and based on what I've found in my own research on documents such as the Federalist Papers (see User_talk:Zhaladshar#The_Federalist_Papers), I think it's clear that there's often good reason to keep multiple versions of the same work. I don't think, however, that Template:Disambiguation is the best template for pages like The Iliad, since its wording clearly refers to different works with the same name. I've created {{versions}} for such cases as an attempt to solve the problem. Any thoughts or suggestions? --Spangineerwp (háblame) 19:27, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Great idea; smart thinking. Unfortunately, importation may take a while. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 06:12, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Rather than to create yet another sort of page, I would prefer that we kept to a disambiguation page, and then had something like {{versions}} which grouped and subdivided a disambiguation page. If the wording is not quite right, them make a suggestion of a modification that suits. More pages and variations means more complexity and more help pages. -- billinghurst (talk) 03:43, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
That might work as well, though I doubt there are many works where both disambiguation of titles and versions would be necessary, at least at this point. As for the wording, I don't have a problem with the disambiguation wording; I just felt that simplifying the wording to the point where it could apply to both multiple works with the same name and multiple versions of the same work would make it unhelpful. Two sets of wording seemed like the best answer, thus two templates. FWIW, I don't have a problem treating these "version" pages just like disambiguation pages (in terms of name and category and all that); the template just employs different wording. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 17:50, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
It's quite the contrary about the necessity. The more one digs into this, the more one sees how vast the problem really is. It's even worse when one must deal with multiple translations of multiples in the original language. The version template is fine as a stopgap measure, but a global approach with a high degree of flexibility would be better. The problem with a wide range of similar templates is that nobody can remember them all, and a newbie will not even know that they exist. From the other side a more limited range of templates tends to a rigidity of processes, and an inability to adapt when circumstances warrant. Eclecticology (talk) 02:09, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

constuction of the greek parthenon[edit]

any one know HOW the stones were moved to the greek parthenon during the first construction?

With Willy on Wheels, of course! Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Romain Rolland. 05:39, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Such a sarcastic response to a presumed newbie is not warranted. Eclecticology (talk) 07:56, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

To the person who asked the question: This is about discussing Wikisource, which is about adding free-content texts. Wikipedia's Humanities reference desk would probably be able to answer your question. Psychless 22:52, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Maybe instead of Feel free to ask questions on the community discussion page the main page would be better with something like Feel free to discuss this project.... It's nice to sound open & friendly, but not if it goes so far to encourage asking questions that will only get ignored. -Steve Sanbeg (talk) 22:51, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Nazi speeches[edit]

What is the copyright on Nazi speeches? I understand the translations have to be PD, but what about the originals? Mtsmallwood (talk) 01:57, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

The easiest rule of thumb on non-American works is that any such work published after 1922 is still under copyright. There may be some hairy German rules that come into play, and Wikisource sometimes skirts the edges of the law with respect to speeches, but I'd say that as a general rule, they're still under copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:46, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
With regard to the specific speeches, then probably not copyright. If you look at German copyright] specifically article 48 Public Speeches, it would seem that it is allowable, though also note the exception within that article.
Prosfilaes. Can I reverse your thumb and say for non-American anything before 1923 is effectively out of copyright. Most countries fall within either Life + 50 or Life + 70 as per w:List of countries' copyright length. Better rule of thumb for non-US is 70 years post death of author -- 04:28, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
No; for copyright law in the US, like Wikisource uses, life+n is mostly irrelevant, no matter where it's published.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:37, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm ... Article 48 seems to refer to newspapers and magazines reporting on current events. That wouldn't appear to take in Wikisource. The specific speech I refer to is Himmler's infamous Posen speech, made on October 4, 1943. The whole speech is at least 120 pages long. Substantial portions were translated and presented at the Nuremburg IMT trials as Exhibit 501-PS, and published in 1946 by the USGPO. This translation (made by the US government) is PD. The translation has been posted at various points around the web, never with a copyright so far as I can tell. Curiously, the speech was made in Poland, perhaps the Polish copyright law applies? In any case, someone posted it to Wikisource about 3 years ago, was deleted later for "copyright vio" without much further detail (can't find the deletion log). It's an important speech which continues to generate controversy. Mtsmallwood (talk) 06:06, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
That is point 1 only, point 2 is more general and without the time limitation
2. to reproduce, distribute and communicate to the public speeches made at public proceedings in State, local government or religious bodies.
-- billinghurst (talk) 07:23, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
For the most part the originals are in the public domain because of their having come under the Alien Property Custodian. To the extent that these speeches were made by them as agents of the Nazi government, with the copyrights owned by that government they were exempted from the Sonny Bono extension. The rights to the translations depends on who published the translations, and one cannot make the general assumption that they are in the public domain. Eclecticology (talk) 08:06, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Here, translations are by U.S. war crimes prosecuting office, and published by USGPO. Do you think okay to post  ? Mtsmallwood (talk) 02:57, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes. That source avoids any problem with copyrights on translations. Eclecticology (talk) 05:09, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not a lawyer, yadda, yadda, but I have some comments about that §48 [2] which may be of general interest, even if it doesn't apply in this specific case. §48 (1) 1 applies only to reproduction of speeches made mainly for recording a current event (…die im Wesentlichen den Tagesinteressen Rechnung tragen…), so it cannot be used for Wikisource. §48 (1) 2 applies to speeches made during public proceedings before state, communal or church "organs" (…staatlichen, kommunalen oder kirchlichen Organen…). An organ is e.g. a city council or the Federal Diet, but not a party congress or a rally in a football stadium. §48 (2) further restricts §48 (1) 2 by disallowing collections of speeches most of which are by the same author. I'm not sure whether this restriction would apply to Wikisource.
Also note that some of the Nazi copyrights were inherited by certain official entities in Germany, e.g. by the Free State of Bavaria. Understandably, these entities want to inhibit the proliferation of Nazi propaganda. Paradoxically, while German law provides measures specifically crafted for this purpose, copyright law has been used instead on more than one occasion, the most recent example being the Zeitungszeugen controversy. The upshot is that there is valid German case law actively enforcing certain Nazi copyrights, if only for the purpose of withholding the material.
--GrafZahl (talk) 10:32, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Uploading with a script[edit]

Is uploading using a script permitted?

Are there any guidelines?

I have some public domain texts that are composed of many chapters, and would be tedious to upload manually.

there are some guidelines in WS:BOT. Basically, whether you use a script or a browser shouldn't matter too much, you need to manually supervise all of your edits regardless of how you make them. -Steve Sanbeg (talk) 22:33, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Two spaces after sentences?[edit]

Hello, I'm new to Wikisource, so sorry if this is a frequent question: is it common practice to add an extra space after each sentence, as in this story? Thanks, Shreevatsa (talk) 15:21, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

No. It's downright silly to try and enforce a typographical choice like that. Let the web browser do the typesetting.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:41, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
And pages using MediaWiki ignore extra spaces between sentences anyway. This sentence has one space before it. This sentence has two spaces before it. This sentence has three spaces before it. See? No difference in the display. If we really wanted to force a wider space between sentences, we'd have to use the en-space or em-space. Like this. Or this. But it's not worth it, as Prosfilaes said. Angr 19:06, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
For the few who find the distinction important, they are free to make the "corrections" themselves. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 21:08, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
If you follow the link, the person who did that in that story actually used nbsps, which will also add additional space. I'm tempted to rip them out of the text.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:25, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Useth thou not the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch ?! Mtsmallwood (talk) 00:17, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Not practice (as stated). Should we do anything with pages like that? Unnecessary would be my call. For that work, someone has done it stylistically, or maybe their representation of the book had it. So be it. I know that I always put two spaces between sentences, as that was in the style manual at the time, and now it is habit, in html presentations it doesn't show so it doesn't matter. -- billinghurst (talk) 01:12, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Book tools and proofread works: what I'm mistaking?[edit]

I saved PDF from some chapters of a proofrear work: Equitation, here: User:Alex brollo/Books/Equitation, but the result is very far from being acceptable. Is there some discussion about this specific issue? Where? Thanks!--Alex brollo (talk) 16:59, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

There is a central feedback page at meta:Book tool/Feedback where issues can be reported. Its an exciting extension however, in my experience, it is not good at displaying {{Page}}. I don't think there are any other discussions about it on English Wikisource, apart from this one now! Suicidalhamster (talk) 17:29, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
For general information about the extension, this Signpost article is a good starting point: w:Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-03-02/Books_extension. Suicidalhamster (talk) 17:31, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I posted a question on meta. --Alex brollo (talk) 19:04, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
We need to set-up our local templates for this extension. I fixed the {{header}} from showing up since that was simple. But I am afraid to touch the page templates. Some need to get the part of the template that makes the little [page] notation inside a local version of w:Template:Hide in print.--BirgitteSB 20:54, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
On it.s we solved the [ page ] bug including it into Template:Hide in print. Have you a running Template:Hide in print? It's so simple!
In the meantime, I met heiko into #booktool irc channel. While creating a "simple book" to document the proofread bug for him (here: User:Alex brollo/Books/Equitation_test, from Equitation/Chapter 1), suddendly I saw one "bug rule", then a second one:
  1. book tool renders only the last paragraph of a transcluded Page:
  2. book tool doesn't know the page= parameter of image tags
Heikoo said me too that "they usually ignore <section> tags :-(
Now, perhaps I've bee TOO bold, but:
  1. I created Template:Hide in print
  2. I applied it into a test copy of Template:Page, posted into Template:Page/Sandbox. Try it into a couple of pages...--Alex brollo (talk) 22:43, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

If you use the |num= argument to {{page}}, these will appear as "[56]", "[57]", etc in the PDF, rather than "[page]". I understand the desire to suppress these, but as someone who works on reference material that is cited by other works, I would like them retained; or at least, I would like to have the option of retaining them, rather than having them universally suppressed. From my perspective, the ideal solution would be for the printed version to give them a much smaller typeface; and to flow them in the text, rather than pushing them to the left, so that they accurately mark the page boundaries. Hesperian 00:29, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Hesperian. I'll follow with much interest your work here; and I'll report any it.s solution. In the meantime, I'm goin to post the "proofread bug" into meta. --Alex brollo (talk) 09:41, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Trouble with small caps template[edit]

There seems to be something wrong with the {{sc}} template. It isn't accepting multiple arguments as described in the Wikipedia documentation. For example:

{{sc|wrap=no|4004 |BC}} should yield "4004 bc", but instead is 4004

In Wikipedia, the template works well. The advantages are that there is a built-in non-breaking space when using the wrap=no parameter, and if someone copies and pastes this text, the uppercase "BC" is preserved. In other words, in order to generate a small "BC" otherwise, it must be typed in lowercase. --Bwpach (talk) 17:22, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Is there a difference between your code and 4004&nbsp;{{sc|bc}} ? I've never bothered with additional arguments with that template, so I'm not sure I understand the advantages. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 17:41, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
The difference is, when copied from Wikisource into a simple text editor, {{sc|wrap=no|4004 |BC}} renders as "4004 BC", while 4004&nbsp;{{sc|bc}} renders as "4004 bc"--T. Mazzei (talk) 16:23, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
That's factually incorrect thus: "4004&nbsp;bc" Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 19:45, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Try again. I never said it didn't appear correctly on Wikisource. Copy that text to Microsoft Notepad (or the equivalent). While 4004&nbsp;{{sc|bc}} renders properly in Wikisource (4004 bc), when copied to Notepad it appears as "4004 bc", not "4004 BC" as it should. That is the difference between the two approaches.--T. Mazzei (talk) 20:10, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I tried it in Notepad, and at least now I see what you mean. But why should Wiki markup render properly in Microsoft Notepad? Your proposal appears to require that to obtain a Word we would need to break up that word with a pipe symbol. That would likely make it invisible to a search function. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 22:45, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Not just Notepad, but any simple text editor. It bears on the reusability of the text. {{sc|wrap=no|4004 |BC}} is obviously the "more correct" method in retaining proper capitalization. See also documentation in w:Template:Sc. The template only changes the formatting of the characters and so should not affect search funcions.--T. Mazzei 02:23, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't know how the template renders the code, but the documentation for the {{Sc}} template refers to the Wikipedia template, which is not how this works. If the functionality just isn't there, I will remove the link. But, if the Wikipedia template can be copied here, I would recommend it. It's more convenient, and uppercase letters can be used, instead of tricking the template with lowercase letters. --Bwpach (talk) 19:03, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't see the advantages either. It would be a false premise to suggest that templates with the same name in Wikipedia and here would function identically. {{sc}} is used here with great frequency. Almost every article from the Dictionary of National Biography uses it at least once. Whether the "BC" in a date here is in small or full size caps is usually a function of what is in the original text. When frequently used templates are complicated with obscure parameters their utility diminishes. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 22:25, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
The WS and WP {{sc}} templates differ, and I would presume that the Wikipedia equivalent has been updated at some point. For this point in time I have removed the WP link, and we can look to see if we can update the template from Wikipedia without breaking existing uses on WikiSource. At first glance it would seem okay as we generally only render SC with one pipe -- billinghurst (talk) 02:02, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • As a notice, I have redirected {{sc}} to small-caps. The two were identical, so a redirect was in order. {{sc}} still works the same, but now we can have a single documentation. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 09:12, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    There's nothing wrong with their being identical. This creates not just one redirect, but a redirect every time the shorter template is used. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 20:07, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    So what? This is fine. Identical templates should be merged. It's redundant. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 22:16, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    Further to that, {{smallcaps}} is also a redirect, yet we haven't had a problem with that. The pages with sc and smallcaps aren't redirects, they're just listed beneath them in the what links here for small-caps. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 22:20, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    Redundancy's not much of an excuse. There's nothing wrong with a little redundancy. With two (or more) competing ways of doing the same thing, one or the other wins out over time in a natural process without the need for a forced resolution. Sure, the text pages themselves don't redirect, but we end up with unnecessary transclusions. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 00:22, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
    The only change is in the formatting of the whatlinkshere page. It makes no appreciable difference and now we have a singular documentation, and we have consistency between smallcaps and sc. I am incredulous to the fact that this is still being discussed. Why is it such a big deal? —Anonymous DissidentTalk 00:41, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
    It is still being discussed because there are at least two people with differing views, either of whom could be queried about the "big deal". I do not treat consistency as axiomatic; preferring instead to side with Oscar Wilde. We simply have different philosophical approaches. The documentation in question is functional, but that is not enough to elevate it to the status of "singular". Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 02:09, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
    Who is the second? —Anonymous DissidentTalk 06:02, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
    I, too, think it is ridiculous to argue against template redirects when the templates are exactly the same. If someone wants to update the template (small-caps), they only have to edit one page. Under Eclecticology's method, they would also have to edit the two redirects. It would be really easy to forgot to do that. I would much rather have one extra line at the bottom of the edit page. Psychless 13:35, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

U.S. Constitution: which version?[edit]

This is already looking somewhat silly. The relevant discussion is at Talk:Constitution of the United States of America#What's with the capitalization? - in effect, the original handwritten Constitution has what may be an apostrophe or may be a stray mark; if the former it's an obvious its/it's grammatical error. Many sources, including the one used for Wikisource, treat it as an apostrophe, but many others follow an early printed version that not only gets the its/it's correct but also uses much less capitalization of words. In cases like this, what should be done? Is it appropriate to look to the Supreme Court's practice and see which one they use? --NE2 (talk) 03:51, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

What was said was what was said. If the issue is an unresolvable one between an apostrophe and a stray mark, we can only use our best judgement and annotate the problem. The capitalization reflects an 18th century practice of capitalizing all nouns. The practice continues in German. I don't see that the Supreme Court can help very much since their role is to interpret the constitution, not to make findings of fact. As long as the capitalized and non-capitalized versions do not give rise to contrary interpretations I'm sure that they would be happy not to touch this. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 08:31, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think the supreme court's position is relevant here—what matters is faithfully copying a published version of the constitution. There's nothing wrong with hosting multiple versions of document, either—find an early printed version that comes from an authoritative source, add it, and link to it from the handwritten version. Personally, I've found all sorts of errors in works from that time period, so an it's/its error doesn't surprise me in the least. I think we should do our best to preserve the original (both punctuation and capitalization) and if for some reason that's not satisfactory, add another version. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 14:10, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
For what it’s worth, we have pagescans of at least two published versions of the Constitution that may be regarded as reasonably authoritative for the purpose of verification: Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 1 - p1-22.djvu/10 (published 1845) and Page:The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 Volume 2.djvu/657 (published 1911, but transcribed from the four-page original parchment), neither of which has been fully proofread as of yet. Not that there would be anything wrong with relying on other (or older) published versions, just that we already have a few alternatives available here for those looking for a published referent. Tarmstro99 (talk) 14:31, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
This may end up as a matter of what the contributor is trying to accomplish. Typos abound in these old texts; they mostly arose at the typesetting stage. The more popular or significant or reprinted the work, the more these can be expected. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 17:28, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
I Think the "handwritten text" would be call The Primary source any other "(re-)type copy" (even the Wikisource page) would be call a Secondary source We should keep the "handwritten text", However I have setup both the Index:Constitution of the United States of America AKA "handwritten text" and Index:United States Constitution Broadsid Printed by John Carter Rhode Island Providence AKA "The Print Text" I They Just need to be Poof Hope this Helps--Lookatthis (talk) 02:33, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Arabic ligature[edit]

I have been proofreading The Tale of Attaf#p.174. The first footnote there, #21, which was completely omitted by Gutenberg, I have rendered as: "In text ضاﲜح which I read ضايع ", but I have not been able to accurately reproduce the ligature in the first of the two Arabic segments. Does anyone have any familiarity with this kind of thing? Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 17:39, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Maybe the w:Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language would attract more people able to help than here.--BirgitteSB 17:09, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't entirely understand your quandry; you want the two words to use the same letters? Right now they're just one letter apart (well, one uses a mixed letter similar to Æ instead of just A) -- is that how they're meant to be? What do you want changed exactly? Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Romain Rolland. 17:24, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Colon in Works name problematic for title[edit]

Patrolling the work Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots and went to amend the title of the subpage to be [[../]] and on doing so it throws up Untitled which I can only relate to the name of the work thinking that it is another namespace. Have we come across the issue before, and if so, what was the preferred solution then. -- billinghurst (talk) 06:02, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I just added the [[../]] to one of the subpages and it worked fine. Do you have an example of this on one of the pages? This is an odd occurrence that I, for one, have never even heard of before.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 14:04, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
"Untitled" is output by the {{header}} template if no title is provided (along with a warning that a required parameter is missing). Looking at your edit, you accidentally removed the '=' operator. Otherwise, [[../]] will work fine. —Pathoschild 14:36:51, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Good (though bad) that it was my own stooooopity. <eyeroll> -- billinghurst (talk) 21:54, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Eclecticology "pissed off" on foundation-l about their deadminship[edit] 20:07, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure this is apposite. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 09:26, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Certainly not apposite. In addition, I suspect that random IP users aren't interested in internal Wikisource business. If the person who posted this has a username, it would be proper for them to put it by their comment. Psychless 21:34, 13 March 2009 (UTC)


I think our guidelines prescribe that, for newspapers or magazines, articles featured within specific issues are to be subpages. See, for example, this. This text was featured in that issue of the Atlantic monthly; but we already have the same text in the mainspace proper as The Gift of Tritemius. my question is: what is protocol? Should I delete the subpage and link to the mainspace text, or should I follow the guideline to the letter and retain the derivative, for the sake of consistency in regards to the other articles featured in the same issue? —Anonymous DissidentTalk 09:29, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Nevermind; I just remembered that this is a poem anyway, and we don't have subpages for poems in magazines or newspapers. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 09:32, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
As both are relevant, couldn't it be transcluded into place, or at least have a redirect with appropriate annotation.

What is he referencing?[edit]

I have a quick question about a page I was working on. The page is Page:The Martyrdom of Ferrer.djvu/73. I linked the word "Soledad" to wikt:soledad. I'm not sure if that's what he was talking about though. Can someone confirm that he was using the Spanish word for solitude, or provide a different meaning? Thanks. Psychless 21:49, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Soledad Villafranca was his mistress. Note too that in Wiktionary "soledad" and "Soledad" are treated as different words. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 08:54, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I completely missed her name. And yes, I did notice that they were different. That's part of what prompted me to bring this up. I'll remove the link. Psychless 21:31, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

What Will He Do With It? by George Lytton[edit]

Within copyright rules, would it be OK to post the full text of it here - source:

I'm assuming due to Gutenberg as a source it would be OK; especially as it takes six volumes to answer the question!!

Ta, -- 23:39, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, OK for Wikisource, the author's page is here: Author:Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton. Yann (talk) 11:24, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
I hope this becomes more than just another dump of raw Gutenberg text. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 01:25, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Allowing cross-namespace redirects[edit]

I would like to propose to allow cross-namespace redirects between the names of authors and the authors pages, such as the redirect from Locke to Author:John Locke or from Mill to Author:John Stuart Mill.

Alternatively, the page Locke could become a disambiguation page of sorts, linking to (a) author pages whose name contain "Locke", and (b) book titles containing "Locke".

Currently, accessing author's pages is tedious; instead of typing the 4-lettered "Mill", I have to type the 23-lettered "Author:John Stuart Mill", and do it without a typo.

There is a minute chance that a work titled "Mill" will appear. If so, the entry Mill can be used by the book, also directing the reader to Mill (disambiguation), which will then contain the disambiguation page previously located at Mill.

This would require to change the Wikisource:Deletion policy, which currently reads under the head of "Speedy deletion": "Cross-namespace redirects from the article namespace to any other namespace."

Links to previously held discussion on this topic are welcome.

--Dan Polansky (talk) 12:50, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

There were some discussions in Wikisource:Scriptorium/Archives/2007-12#Proposals, although it seems the search function still needs some improvement. However. Author:Mill would bring up the page you're looking for in the search results, and could have a disambiguation page. If a namespace alias was added, this could be shortened further, i.e. A:Mill. -Steve Sanbeg (talk) 15:42, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Author:Mill or A:Mill would be an improvement, although it currently is not there. But I do not see the benefit of forbidding cross-namespace redirects, as it is currently implemented in the policy. Plainly typing Mill is so much more convenient and straightforward than thinking about namespaces, for a casual reader at least. I see clear benefits and no drawbacks of allowing disambiguation or redirection pages such as Mill and Locke.
I have now adjusted my user preferences to include the Author: namespace in the searches, after being advised to do so, so my searches now also find authors. Still, a disambiguation page, created by humans for humans, would be more convenient IMHO, increasing the navigability of Wikisource. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:21, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I would strongly support considering some of these ideas by Dan Polansky (talkcontribs), especially the idea of some sort of disambiguation. The current search function is not that user friendly. Cirt (talk) 16:08, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I too. But disambiguation differentiating texts from authors must be done., if this is to pass. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 20:45, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I would not agree with the idea of abandoning the Author namespace in favour of a traditional disambiguation. (We already have two authors each with the names "Mill" and "Locke") The author list is an expanding one which we already use more broadly to identify translators, illustrators and other contributors to works. Works themselves are not limited to whole books, but can also include independent articles. I have no preliminary problem with the namespace abbreviation "A:", but I do have a concern that it could at some future time conflict with some other use for that. Changing to the inverted form for author names could be helpful; that way entering "Author:Mill," in the search box would lead us more quickly to what we want than entering "Author:John". When it comes to finding things there is also some value to moving articles away from the beginning of titles. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 23:36, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I neither. But that's not what I thought this proposal was for; I thought we were contemplating the allowing of mainspace to author: namespace redirects. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 11:28, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
It has been clarified that there is no intention to abandon author namespaces, I have no intention to take that point further. If it is only about giving up a no cross-namespace-redirect rule, I agree with that change. If it is also about the way we use disambiguation pages in these circumstances, that is a more complex issue that should probably be dealt with separately. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 19:11, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
The software already supports that without renaming pages. The search feature understands "Author:Mill" as searching "Mill" in the author namespace, and correctly returns as its first results Author:James Mill and Author:John Stuart Mill. Maybe we could add a new search box with JavaScript labeled "search authors", which adds the "Author:" prefix automatically? —Pathoschild 01:05:58, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Is the Author: namespace something that we can have searched as part of the default for enWS? -- billinghurst (talk) 01:55, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes. That's just a matter of changing the "Search" area of your user preferences.
I would agree with the separate search box for authors. I also agree that the search box works as stated; what I was really thinking about is the drop-down suggestions when something is being typed in the search box. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 03:20, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

So far, I have seen no specific concerns over my proposal, only unspecific opposition. Anyway, let me show you how what I am proposing could look like:

Mill is the surname of the following authors:

  • John Stuart Mill — an English philosopher and political economist
  • James Mill — a Scottish historian, economist, political theorist, and philosopher

Mill appears in the titles of the following works:

Also, search Wikibooks for "mill".

Notice the three elements in the page: (a) list of authors, (b) list of works, (c) link to Wikisource's fulltext search on the given term. The disambiguation entry can be seen as a result of a report created by humans for humans, still linking to the mechanically created search results that would be there otherwise. Because the report is created manually, it can contain information that is currently not extracted by the search engine, such as the author names, and the date of publishing. Compare this suggested page with the results of automatic search function.

Notice that this proposal does not "abandon author namespace"; it forwards the reader to the authors namespace.

--Dan Polansky (talk) 08:20, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I understand Dan Polansky's concern-- many times I have had trouble locating something and I have to fall back to a google search of wikisource to find it. One possible additional solution would be to create a Redirect namespace that can contain the information he suggests which is searched by the default search function. --Mkoyle (talk) 19:45, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
In theory, I don't have opposition to the idea of having mainspace pages redirect to the author space, or at least a type of disambiguation page not unlike the ones we currently have for different versions and translations. However, removing the author namespace altogether, as Eclecticology seems to think this idea proposes or requires, would be a bad idea and is not necessary. I also think Pathoschild's suggestion of improving the search feature would be worth looking into. Ultimately, the only problem with having one namespace redirect to another is one of rhetoric; it's been something frowned upon on other projects before. However, I think the way we organise our content would make the move quite sound. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 11:33, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
The rule to prevent cross-namespace redirects was added by Pathoschild in February 2006, and I can find no discussion of why he did this. Improving the search feature is fine, but that too is a separate issue. Maybe it would help to focus on one point at a time. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 19:11, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I've fired a message off to Pathoschild; hopefully he can clear things up a bit. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 13:22, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
That point was part of the rewritten deletion policy, which was approved after discussion on the Scriptorium. (The previous policy had been copied almost verbatim from en-Wikipedia.)
We can address the searching issues by improving the interface, so I don't see a need to blur the separation of content and structure here. A separate index/disambiguation namespace, as Dan suggested, would essentially be an extension or reworking of Wikisource:Index; I think this is worth exploring. We can also enhance the default search feature with JavaScript, particularly adding a separate author search box and possibly displaying metadata from author pages in search results using AJAX. —Pathoschild 13:39:33, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
I've always thought a separate author search would be useful and would love to see it added. I'm not repugnant to the disambiguation idea, but I think regardless of what we do with that, we need to have capabilities to search for only authors.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 14:12, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
I saw the deletion policy revision discussion cited above, which lasted all of four days, quite short for a massive revision. There are also a red link there to a "policy proposal", and a link to an IRC discussion which is not available. The short discussion makes no mention of cross-namespace redirects, and why that provision was suddenly added.
I agree that a reworking of Wikisource:Index is worth considering in preference to introducing a whole new namespace. The one question that I would have about that page: How much traffic does it really get? It would be good to know if users are really using it. There are some ambiguities that have been raised before about how we use the Index namespace, but that discussion should be separate. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 17:32, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
That discussion occurred in 2006; the users who agreed were a significant portion of the active community, we were less bureaucratic at the time, and there has been no objection to that point for three years. There's nothing wrong with discussing it now, but it was hardly rushed through under questionable circumstances.
The "policy proposal" link is to this revision (it's just a red link because the redirect at User:Pathoschild/Projects/Deletion policy was deleted). I added a note in the archives for historical interest.
I have no objection if someone wants to work on index/disambiguation pages, be it in the Wikisource namespace or a new one. —Pathoschild 20:10:11, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
For the present thread it suffices to limit ourselves to that one clause. If the point hasn't come up in three years it's probably because few people noticed it or it was not relevant to what most contributors were trying to do. A more general discussion (elsewhere) about what exactly constitutes policy making would be worth the effort, and in the long term that would be far less bureaucratic than having to regularly ask, "Where does this come from?"
On reworking the indexes, it would still be worthwhile to know how much traffic the page gets. A lot of work is a waste of everybody's time if users aren't looking at it. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 08:14, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

There seems to be a few separate ideas floating through the discussion.

  1. Cross namespace redirects.
  2. Search engine
  3. Disambiguation
  4. Namespaces and Portals
Cross namespace redirects

Conversation started as cross namespace redirects from Mill to Author:John Stuart Mill, &c. were deleted. While the original policy reasoning has not been expressed, to me it does sound to be reasonable as without that guidance it would be a hotchpotch and multiplying efforts. Creating cross namespace redirects for every author doesn't seem realistic, and doing it for some is no better. Most people will come in and undertake a search, for the author, so that sounds about finding a proper solution to searches, not manufacturing work or false economies of it will work for this notable person.

Searches and the engine

Nothing is particularly evident about how it works, how it can be fine-tuned, how best to use it from a user's perspective. I would rather that someone spent two hours creating usable instructions, rather then creating redirects. I would like to see the defaults for all users, especially those not logged in to be the Main and Author namespace as a bare minimum.


There is so much for us to discuss and work through about disambiguation. We have no clarity nor reasonable guidance about the best means to disambiguate authors from each other (occupation, senior/junior, dates of life, ...) let along across namespaces. I would much prefer that we had this managed through metadata from headers than a manual system. Manual repeatedly demonstrates shortcomings, and our preference for adding works emphasises this pointedly.

Namespaces and Portals

We have not done a good job on explaining our available namespaces, or how to utilise Portals, and that is even to ourselves, and how we even direct people into them. It is un-sexy against the opportunity of adding works, especially those of each personal's interests. Rather than people nitpick and complain about it, there is an opportunity to improve it and provide solutions. A visual image would help.

With the frameworks not known, not clear and not evident, then we can only expect these issues to continue. -- billinghurst (talk) 01:00, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

This is a good summary of the problems involved; each merits its own separate discussion. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 08:14, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Specific proposal[edit]

In light of all the above, I would make the very specific proposal that Wikisource:Deletion policy be amended by removing the reference to cross-namespace redirects. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 17:32, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't see any benefit to doing so. The author search box I suggested better addresses the issues this is supposed to address, and has no drawbacks. (That improvement is already partially coded.)
Furthermore, I think removing the distinction between our content (works) and structure (metadata, user pages, project pages, etc) would actually be negative.
  • The namespaces were created specifically to enable this distinction, and provide relevant search results. Allowing cross-namespace redirects would pollute search results with irrelevant results, like redirects to author or project pages when we're searching for works.
  • Redirecting to other namespaces harms reusability of our content, because reusers will find their copy of the library full of broken redirects to irrelevant non-existent pages that begin with "Wikisource:" or "User:".
This distinction is consistent and intuitive, and I think ensures quality and self-containment in our content (why would we want to redirect to a user page from a work, for example?). Allowing cross-namespace redirects would break the very search functionality you are trying to improve.
Pathoschild 19:48:49, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Evidence? These theories are speculative. It's not logical to conclude that the removal of this piece of hard policy will immediately open floodgates of abuse.
I think that the deletion policy should be amended; the current policy, where cross-namespace redirects from article space are covered, but other content spaces are not, is inconsistent; I think treating all content spaces equally; in the sense that a redirect from a content space to any other space is treated the same, would be more clear. I think the bigger question here is what to do about disambiguation pages that are mostly intended for search results, which could be useful but don't really fit the current scheme of reserving the main namespace for works. Should we make an exception for disambig pages, or create a new content namespace for search results, or what? -Steve Sanbeg (talk) 20:07, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
The policy was simply not updated when the author namespace was created (it was originally a pseudo-namespace in the article namespace). I'd favour the same rules about redirects there. I think we should try extending the search functionality before we resort to these manual index/disambiguation pages, which will tend to be incomplete (as shown by previous index attempts).
(Also, the criteria for speedy deletion of redirects does not apply to links.) —Pathoschild 20:24:55, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
All it says is "Cross-namespace redirects from the article namespace to any other namespace." How do links enter into the discussion?
Improving search functionality is a different issue, as are manual indexes. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 07:40, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Disagree. Personally I would want to see a better rationale than the one line proposed to undertake a policy change. -- billinghurst (talk) 00:25, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
    The current policy is a one-liner authorizing speedy deletion. This larger thread has shown that there is more to the issue than can be handled by one speedy-deletion criterion. I am not at all suggesting that redirects from all namespaces to all other namespaces would be a good thing, but that the ideas should develop without the threat that useful efforts would be speedily deleted. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 07:40, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I am guilty of starting the confusion. Originally, I started the discussion about allowing cross-namespace redirects, while proceeding to propose disambiguation pages.
I have now created Mill based on my previous proposal. It is not a redirect, so it does not violate the current policy point that no cross-namespace redirects are allowed.
I have taken over the idea of disambiguation from Wikipedia, where it seems to work well. So much for evidence at hand about how well this can work.
Notice that the manual disambiguation still links to the automatic search.
Index does not solve the problem of ensuring that terms lead the readers to the items that they have associated with the terms in their minds. For many people I think, the term "Locke" means above all Author:John Locke, which is a motivation for getting them from "Locke" to "John Locke" as fast as possible, and with as litter confusion about namespaces as possible.
At some point, a policy for disambiguation pages may evolve, but it is not critical to get things started as long as there is a model or pattern to follow, which the Mill may can be.
--Dan Polansky (talk) 09:52, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't want to rush to judgement on this, but this has maintenance implications similar to what has already been mentioned about the Index pages. The author segment would be relatively easy to maintain if someone does it, and works about J. S. Mill would presumably have their links maintained on Mill's author page. What to include in the Works section for a common word is a lot more thorny. We already have re Kingston Cotton Mill Company (No.2) (1896), Yawcob Strauss and Other Poems/Der Vater-Mill, The New Student's Reference Work/Gaines Mill, Battle of, The San Francisco Call/Telephone Resulted in Mill Purchase, and The Blue Flower/The Mill. I can forsee all kinds of arguments about which should be referenced on the Mill page.
You probably used to be right about John Locke, but we are going through a period when the first thing in people's mind would be the character in Lost. :-) Fortunately, copyright may save us from going too far into that. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 19:26, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I think Pathoschild does have a point when he says that having disambiguation pages in the same space as the content could be confusing. So I'll abstain for now, pending an evaluation of this new template he has created. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 22:43, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

<div class="lefttext">[edit]

I was transcluding a text which has poems placed in the text. I was using the lefttext class and it tooke me a while to figure out why the first line of the poem was indenting further than it did in the page namespace. Specifically, I was working on Biography and family record of Lorenzo Snow/Chapter XI... to see what I was seeing, you would have to go remove the first line with the non-breaking space from the page namespace at Page:Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow monochrome.djvu/90.

Could someone with a bit more know-how than myself make it so that the lefftext class doesn't indent things that are inside <poem> markers? --Mkoyle (talk) 19:38, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

OK, it should be fixed now; i.e. user:sanbeg/left. -Steve Sanbeg (talk) 23:35, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
It is fixed; thank you very much. --Mkoyle (talk) 00:39, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Pages deleted in Children's version of Swiss Family Robinson[edit]

Index:The Swiss Family Robinson, In Words of One Syllable.djvu has several missing pages that all seem to have been deleted by a bot. Can an admin check those deleted pages and see if they had the content... it doesn't make sense to recreate these pages if they can be restored. Thanks, --Mkoyle (talk) 19:22, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

The Idiot missing a chapter[edit]

The Idiot steps from Part 2, chapter 1 to Part 2, chapter 3. Everything is all aligned, just that chapter 2 has been skipped. I have just left a note on the Talk page, however, the user is not active, and it is a Gutenberg text. What is the recommended process for omissions like this? -- billinghurst (talk) 02:23, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

The only thought that springs to mind that I forgot to mention: It may be that chapters 1 and 2 are merged, however, I don't know the book to make a determination. -- billinghurst (talk) 02:31, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't expect that such a thing will be as rare as we would hope. I just today ran into missing pages from the available scan of The Story of Life Insurance. My guess is that this can happen too easily when someone is trying to scan a book too quickly. All you can do is add the missing chapter. Unless the Gutenberg material gives critical details about where they got it from, I only regard it as good but not definitive. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 07:00, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Part 2, chapter 2 is hiding in Part 2, chapter 1. Part 2, Chapter 2 begins: "IT was the beginning of June, and for a whole week the weather in St. Petersburg..."Ingram (talk) 23:16, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

We are just validating this book in French, so you can compare if the chapters match. Yann (talk) 16:04, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Here is a link to chapter 2 in French. -Zyephyrus (talk) 23:24, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Split concatenated chapter. My scarcely rudimentary French concurs with my rudimentary English. -- billinghurst (talk) 11:15, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Confusing language with country[edit]

I started poking around Category:Works by original language, and immediately ran into a fairly pervasive problem. Category:Works originally in Czech had the supercategories of Category:Czech Republic and Category:Czechoslovakia. So what, you may say; most of the Czech speakers live inside the current bounds of the Czech Republic. (Arguably true, though I might quibble about historical movement of people.) But Category:French poetry (which has Category:Works originally in French as a supercategory) had Category:Poems by country as a a supercategory. No; a significant amount of French literature has been written in other Francophone countries. It's either a category for literature originally in the French language, or literature of France (which includes quite a few works written in Latin, plus pretty much the entire body of Breton literature, half of Basque literature, etc.).--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:30, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps we should rename some categories to address your concern?--Jusjih (talk) 01:49, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
For some of these, it wouldn't help, like Works originally in Czech. French poetry could become Poetry originally in French or Poetry of France, I guess.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:37, 28 March 2009 (UTC)


Has any periodical been digitized in full in Wikisource, spanning several complete years, with scanned page images and proofreading and markup? Does anybody have any idea or vision what such a project would look like? How would you organize indexes of articles, article authors, and dates? Could you limit searches to just one periodical? I looked around Category:Periodicals and mostly found long lists of red links, such as the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London. Where should I look? Other than periodicals, what is the largest or most advanced project on Wikisource? The Dictionary of National Biography? This is similar to a periodical, in that it has volumes, articles, authors of articles, and publishing dates for each volume. Does the work with DNB provide useful experience for further work on periodicals? --LA2 (talk) 02:33, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

I think that most people here fail to grasp what a big project for even one of these magazines this really is. I have done a fair amount work on McClure's Magazine. In the thirty-six years that it lasted it produced about 40,000 pages (not counting the ads). Something like the Gentleman's Magazine, which survived for 176 years would be considerably bigger. In McClure's I have been building the table of contents, but with each volume that I enter I try to make sure that I also add real content.
Encyclopedic works, like 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica or Dictionary of National Biography are considerably smaller and relatively easier to work with, but we only have a fraction of the material ready. We have almost all of the original Catholic Encyclopedia from 1913 in rough Wikitext, but most remains to be proofread. It is easy enough for a technically adept person to import page scans from other sites in huge quantities, but the real work that puts added value into this site only comes later. The careful proofreading of OCR text is slow tedious work, and I don't think that the system of individually proofread pages which are subsequently transcluded is necessarily the best way of dealing with the problem. It is not easily amenable to post-processing editing that provides indexes and annotations.
My vision is that each periodical article is an entity in its own right. The authors of these articles are treated like any other author with the usual author pages. Indexing of articles only works as long as people are diligent in their efforts about adding articles to indexes. Even if those familiar with the existing indexes show that diligence, newcomers are in no position to know what is available. Categories may work better because they do not require the contributor to add material to another page, but these need to be organized in such a way that even a rank newbie cannot get it wrong, even when there are large numbers of categories. The immediately preceding thread is evidence that our category system is in serious need of repair. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 09:18, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it is a huge task, even for one periodical. Maybe I should start by asking who has done any huge task already? I don't think Google has done this yet, because it is a huge task even before you multiply it with their ambition to scan everything in the library. The Internet Archive apparently scans a lot, but doesn't spend much effort on proofreading or markup. Maybe both Google and the Internet Archive reason like this: We know how to scan, so let's use this decade for scanning. Maybe we have figured out how to do markup (hopefully with a high degree of automation) in the next decade. Maybe that is how we reasoned in Project Runeberg, when we scanned some periodicals (Svenska Familj-Journalen is one, Arkiv för nordisk filologi is another) but postponed (I wouldn't say ignored) to fully index, proofread and markup them. Maybe that's why I'm looking here for experience and ideas. What I did learn is that it only takes one person (and a few years) to fully proofread all 19 volumes (12,000 pages) of the Danish biographical dictionary. Great work, well done! But so much for "collaboration"... Maybe we should expect hundreds or thousands of individual huge tasks instead of any collective effort. --LA2 (talk) 02:34, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Distributed Proofreaders have posted quite a few magazines to Project Gutenberg: Notes and Queries, Punches, American Missionary, As Farpas (Portuguese), Atlantic Monthly, Blackwood, Buchanan's Journal of Man, Bulletin de Lille (French newspaper published by the Germans in WWI), Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, Continental Monthly, Lippincott's Magazine, The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, McClure's Magazine, etc. The complete run of Punchinello is available.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:51, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
These are proofread, but do they have any markup or linking of authors, dates, and topics? Has anybody tried to decipher the author signatures used in Notes and Queries or cross-reference all articles written by the same signature? --LA2 (talk) 04:11, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Since I am most familiar with McClure's, I looked at what PG has of this, and so far it is only all of volume 6, and half of volume 31, out of a total 62 volumes. At one of them (31-3) I saw these notes: "Hyphenation standardized within articles. Quotation marks added to standardize usage. Updated spelling on possible typos: ninteenth, beafsteak, and embarassed. Preserved other original punctuation and spelling." This is contrary to accepted practice here, so the proofreading would need to be redone.
Google, Internet Archive and some others are much better equipped to do the mindless scanning than we can ever be, and I'm sure that the former isn't doing it out of dedication to altruism. If Wikisource is to have a future it needs to carve out a niche where it is providing value-added of the kind that you describe. For this, we need a much bigger army than we have now. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 07:26, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
As far as I can see, accepted practice here is to dump the raw Gutenberg text and maybe add some Wikisource markup. I hardly find reversing minor changes in hyphenation and quotation marks, plus spelling corrections on three words, amount to a new proofreading, much less redoing the proofreading, but if you'd rather type in the texts, that is indeed your prerogative. Distributed Proofreaders has scans of all the texts uploaded to PG free for the asking, scans that have been checked to be complete unlike those of Google and the Internet Archive.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:49, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Three words were mentioned in that notice as examples. We don't know what other words (if any) were changed. We don't know what they mean by "standardized" hyphenation or quotations. In proofreading The Story of Life Insurance (also from McClure's) I've had to contend with the an apparently inconsistent use of "life insurance" vs. "life-insurance". I could surmise that the hyphen is added when the term is used adjectivally, but I'm not prepared to jump to that as a conclusion. Such notices simply put into question the reliability of Gutenberg material. I'm not about to retype the whole thing (thereby introducing a whole new range of errors), I will copy it over, but I will not treat it as having been proofread. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 17:57, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
No, those words weren't mentioned in that notice as examples, as indicated by the following statement "Preserved other original punctuation and spelling." That's a higher standard of reliability than virtually any publication ever, as few editors will bother noting that they changed a misspelled word or even changed the orthography of the whole document from British to American, but never pass up the chance to take a cheap shot at a rival group, eh?--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:12, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Where did I accuse you of taking cheap shots? Yours was an uncivil comment.
While it's true that very few will notice when there's been a change in the orthography, that gives us all the more reason to be consistent with what was in the original. The point is that they should not be changing misspelled words, or updating punctuation. See below at #To correct or not to correct?.... Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 19:01, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
The point is, every editor will fix misspelled words to improve the reading experience. The fact that a few misspelled words have been fixed in a Project Gutenberg document, unlike the Oxford University Press and other major presses in that the changes were noted, does not put into question the reliability of Gutenberg material, and it's stupid or insulting to imply that it does. Many of the issues of #To correct or not to correct?... are moot for PG, as instead of a wiki they have a final editor who decides what is and isn't a typo.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:57, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
These types of editorial decisions don't call into question the "reliability" of their texts, but they guarantee that many Gutenberg texts don't conform to Wikisource standard practice and thus should be proofed, at least eventually. I recently did exactly this to a Gutenberg text and found over a dozen errors (a few blatant, and others just "editorial") as I read and linked the work. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 00:26, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
here is an example of such a project, at : de:Die_Gartenlaube ThomasV (talk) 19:27, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Good. What is being done there with the tables of contents for the individual volumes of Die Gartenlaube is consistent with what I am trying to do here with McClure's. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 18:32, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Hard-coded font faces[edit]

I propose that pages at Wikisource are free from hard-coded font faces such as the one given below, even if the book is originally typeset using a serif face.

<div style="font-family:serif;">

Instead, books should ideally be formatted using CSS classes.

A chapter of a book currently hard-formatted: Live_to_be_Useful/Chapter_I.

The CSS stylesheet of Wikisource has currently (a) a sans serif face for display, and (b) a serif face for printing. This default seems reasonable, as sans serif faces are easier to read on computer screens. I see no point in chosing the font face on a per book basis: most English books are typeset using a serif face. The user can still customize his reading experience in his stylesheets, by chosing a serif face even for display, not only for printing. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:51, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Hello. I think CSS styles are important for emulating the feel of the original texts, and it's not realistic to have global classes to format individual texts. They are used in many different texts, ranging from serif font in Live to be Useful, to table formatting in List of Pensions, Gratuities, and Amounts for Medical Services, June 1st, 1868. This does not prevent individual readers from customizing their experience, as I mentioned on Talk:Live to be Useful. —Pathoschild 14:26:29, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Whether serif or sans-serif is easier to read is a matter of personal comfort. I use the classic skin which defaults to a serif typeface, and I personally find that easier to read. Thus, choosing the typeface could be as simple a matter as choosing a skin. I don't attach much importance to the "feel of the original texts"; accurate content representation is far more important. Substance has greater value than style. While those who attach importance to such secondary issues as the feel of the text should be free to experiment with them, they should not be broadly imposed on all readers, and individuals should not be required to manipulate abstruse CSS pages just to avoid embellishments. Perhaps then, it would be more appropriate to have a user preference to choose between serif, sans-serif, and page-specific font styles. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 17:18, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Whatever is decided, keep in mind the need for some flexibility. I have hard-coded Lucida Sans Unicode and other Unicode-friendly fonts at A Dialect of Donegal and its subpages not for aesthetic reasons but because the text uses a large number of special characters most ordinary fonts don't have. In a case like that (which I realize of course is the minority case) it makes sense to dictate to the reader what fonts he's going to see the text in rather than letting him pick his own via CSSs. Angr 19:58, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
This is a valid point (not that I'm about to stick my editing nose in that kind of material). What confuses me about this (where I randomly looked at p.56) is that the original scanned text used a seriffed typeface, the proofed seriffed "Page:" seems consistent with this, but when it is transcluded into a chapter I get a larger than normal sans-serif face in a narrow column. Except for the inverted "Y", all the special characters seem properly represented, with or without the special fonts. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 22:00, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
If the Page: is seriffed for you, you must have your browser preferences set that way. For me, the Page: appears in whatever font I have set as default on my browser. The font hard-coding I've done at the chapter level in Mainspace, likewise the large margins. Angr 12:35, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
There's no problem with the Page: view; short of removing the hard-coding from the Mainspace, it's hard to see how to overcome the problem of text that is only about a quarter of normal text width. Perhaps it's these introduced peculiarities that should be a part of one's personal style sheets. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 18:39, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I hard-coded the margins because I wanted the text to be wider than class=prose achieves, but not as wide a whole browser window. Thus for me, the text column at A Dialect of Donegal/The Vowel System is wider than it is at, say, The Aran Islands/Part I (which uses class=prose), but not as wide as it is on this page. If the text column at A Dialect of Donegal/The Vowel System is narrower than, or even as narrow as, The Aran Islands/Part I for you, then I've gone about it in a way that is too "Angr-specific", and I'll remove the margin hard codings. Angr 09:13, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. On my 19" screen, the full text width is 32cm., the text width for The Aran Islands/Part I is 22.5cm., and the text width for A Dialect of Donegal/The Vowel System is 9cm. The actual widths will change for other monitors, but the proportions should stay the same. I hope this clarifies my problem. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 18:28, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
How does A Dialect of Donegal/The Vowel System look now? I kept a small margin on the left so the text doesn't overlap with the links to the Page:s, but that's all. It should be almost full text width now. Angr 19:56, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Much better!! If I may proffer a theory about what happened: It struck me that while I was talking about text width, you were talking about margin width. Where a larger than normal type size is used would this not have the effect of causing margins to be calculated on the basis of that larger type size, thereby squeezing the text into a narrower space? Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 21:16, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Very likely, as I defined the margins in terms of ems, which are proportional to font size. If I knew how to hard-code the text width as being a certain percentage of the available space, I would do it that way, but I don't. How is class=prose defined? Angr 15:21, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
a certain percentage of the available space -- I blundered ahead and did that on page A Dialect of Donegal/The Vowel System. Details at W3: CSS. Please revert if I've messed things up. --DavidCary (talk) 14:21, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
To make myself clearer and possibly to correct myself: I am not proposing an unconditional ban on hard-coded font faces at Wikisource. I propose that to have a hard-coded font face, there has to be a specific reason. The fact that the original typesetting was done in serif is not a specific but rather a generic reason, as most original typesetting in printed books is done in serif. So if this reason should apply, most pages in Wikisource would get hard-coded font faces. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:41, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that we disagree. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 18:39, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

To correct or not to correct?...[edit]

Hello, Billinghurst and I have a discussion whether this correction by an anonymous editor is valid or not. [3] See User_talk:Billinghurst#Revert. I think the issue would fruitfully gain input from more people. Yann (talk) 09:59, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

This is exactly why you need scanned images, and not just the text. It might also be helpful to add <!-- sic! --> comments in the text. --LA2 (talk) 10:10, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I can't really speak to the "Atchievements" correction, but I do know that "freinds" is not an uncommon spelling for books during that time period. I've seen other works from that era (and a bit later) that have used the "freind" spelling, so I would guess that correcting that one is not valid. But like was just said, we really need page scans to know completely.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 15:09, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Much of English spelling did not begin to stabilize until Johnson's dictionary was published in the latter half of the 18th century, and "erroneous" spellings continued well after that. When we try to correct an author's spelling we open up such questions as whether we use British or American spellings. How do we reconcile the well-known practice by American publishers of changing the spelling for an American edition of a British work? We need to start from the principle that what we see is what we get, and spelling corrections by contributors are inherently unstable because we all differ in what we consider correct spelling. The task of reconciling different editions of the same work is difficult enough.
Having page scans is nice, but making that a mill-stone is a problem too if it gives too much canonicity to the scanned version, or if it attaches undue importance to a version when it is only there because that version was convenient to the person doing the scanning. Scanned versions are no substitute for good scholarship. For example, someone has already scanned the pages of the Burton Club's The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night; when I spot-check compared this to my own paper copy of the work (also from the Burton Club) the pages didn't match at all. It's more important to have properly described sources than scans, and it is to be hoped that our edited versions will someday be accompanied by scans, but in either case it's still important to adhere to the original spelling. There are, nevertheless, some changes that I consider acceptable, but these should be clearly pre-defined, and reversible. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 17:38, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Providing scans should be mandatory. Even if we want to allow some minor corrections of the original text, a scanned version is needed. If we do not have one, there is no way to know which corrections we are introducing.
In addition, participation in a Wikisource project should not be based on good scholarship, or on any questionnable level of expertise. It should be open to as many people as possible. This is possible only if we provide scans.
ThomasV (talk) 19:04, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
The only substantive disagreement here is on whether the scans should be mandatory. However optimal it is to host the scans, mandatory is simply an impractical demand. Limiting participation has nothing to do with this. Good scholarship is about the materials, not about the people. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 23:47, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I think having scans should be strongly recommended, but not mandatory - certainly not mandatory to the extent that new pages that lack scans could be deleted for that reason alone, which is the current (IMO highly unsatisfactory) state of affairs at de-ws. Angr 09:16, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
It's not so much a matter of being mandatory, as being able to answer questions like the one about "friend or freind". Having an e-text without images wastes a lot of time in trying to find such answers. --LA2 (talk) 11:22, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that if scans are available, it is just better if there are provided with the text. But this brings further issues about reliability: are scans useful for texts which have already been proofread elsewhere (i.e. Gutenberg / Distributed Proofreaders,, etc.)? To me it seems redondant to require scans in those cases. I don't see why our proofreading should be better than their. What value/notation do we give to their texts? Yann (talk) 13:50, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I prefer to rate Gutenberg texts at 50%: they are presumably complete, but because of their editorial policies may not be consistent with the original. To be fair, they have improved since I first became aware of their project. Fixing spelling errors requires an editorial decision, and an implementation of someone's point of view about correct spelling. In this regard a scan clears up the problem, and lets us know where those corrections have been made. Still I balk at the notion of mandatory scans, because it pushes us into the position of putting some particular edition onto a definitive pedestal just because it was the convenient one. It's facile to say that we can host every edition of a work; the practical reality is far different. The Living Age was an American publication that primarily reprinted articles from contemporary British magazines. Unlike some of its competitors it at least gave credit for its sources. In my hard copy of volume CCXIII for 1897 I see two articles taken from Gentleman's Magazine, for which I also have the hard copy. Ultimately, we should have scans of both so that we can compare the two versions, but I don't think we can expect that of anyone in the near future. I personally find it easier to proofread something from a hard copy instead of constantly side-scrolling in page edits. We need to assume that most editors will do so in good faith, and that for average reader the results, like the project Gutenberg material, will be good enough. We just have to avoid pretending that it is more definitive than it really is; scans are not necessary at this level. Beyond that, as our editions become more scholarly the importance of scans increases, but the scanners and the proofreaders are rarely the same people. They often work independently of each other, and we would do better to have them work toward some convergence point where neither demands conformity from the other. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 19:44, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Arrows in Page: space[edit]

Where did the arrows in Page: namespace go? There used to be arrows linking to the previous Page:, the next Page:, and the Index:, but now they're gone. Is this a temporary bug someone is working on fixing, or did I miss something? Angr 20:01, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

yes, I am to blame for it. I fixed the bug in svn, but the fix has not been activated yet. ThomasV (talk) 20:32, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Google Books, and translation one word at a time.[edit]

I have an out-of-copyright book in parallel columns of Hebrew and Latin I would like to translate/get translated. I started doing it myself, put it on the side for a couple of years, then discovered the book is now scanned as part of Google Books. Google's version is nice and neat, whereas mine is messy and poor quality, because I was photographing the pages without flash rather than scanning them, as bright light hastens old books' degradation.

Having stumbled across this text with transcription and scanned images alongside each other, I was thinking of doing something similar here with my text. What is the policy regarding using the images from Google Books rather than my own? A quick look across both this site and Google Books did not make clear whether Google's images of out-of-copyright works can be used on this site.

Secondly, rather than transcribing the Hebrew and Latin of the original (or wrestling with OCR failing to handle ct ligatures and the like, I was thinking of putting in just the translation... but the work is not translated yet. I shall be translating it one laborious page at a time, so for some while to come the majority of the text would only be available as a scanned/photographed image. Does this sound a reasonable use of this site, or am I pushing the envelope a little too far?

Thanks! --Michael Grant (talk) 21:47, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Rote scans of public domain material are in the public domain, because copyright protects creativity, not mere hard work. So you are at liberty to use the Google scans.
You've found a page from one of our transcription projects; see Help:Side by side image view for proofreading for more information.
We don't accept image uploads, but if you upload the scans to Commons, they will be visible here.
You are welcome to post an English translation here, so long as you license it appropriately. If you eventually decide to transcribe the original, you would need to do it on the multi-language Wikisource (
Hesperian 22:43, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
As an additional note to Hesperian's ... Best format to upload to Commons for use here is the DjVu. If you can only get in PDF format, there are a number of people who may be able to assist to convert it if you are unable to do so yourself. -- billinghurst (talk) 00:42, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: first chapter in romanized Sanskrit with diacritics[edit]

Please refer: Mūlamadhyamakakārikā: first chapter in romanized Sanskrit with diacritics
I just entered the abovementioned information into Wikisource but I would appreciate assistance in categorization and placement (I couldn't find the Multilanguage Wikisource *feels foolish*). I would also appreciate if somebody could put the Wikisource box on the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā article in Wikipedia. I would also appreciate the code for making an interwiki between Wikisource and Wikipedia and vice versa.
As you can clearly read I am superdoubleplus appreciative...
B9 hummingbird hovering (talk) 04:15, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Go to , and from there follow the link at संस्कृत. In principal, this material should be acceptable there whether in Romanized or Devanagari script. Keep it here only if you have very near term plans to provide an English translation. If so please state something to that effect on the page. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 07:19, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
At Wikipedia on the page from where you want to link, add the code {{wikisource|pagename}} where pagename is the page at WikiSource, so to reach this page, the codes would read {{wikisource|Wikisource:Scriptorium}}. -- billinghurst (talk) 09:07, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Problem with standard line number template[edit]

I copied this from Daedalus and Icarus, as I thought it needed more attention. Ovid is fairly rife with this problem.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:39, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

These line numberings sunt terribiles. I have no idea how to fix them, but if someone wants too, it'll be appreciated greatly. 23:31, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

I will fix them if you could tell me how they need to be fixed. John Vandenberg (chat) 07:21, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
The lines are too long to fit side-by-side, but the line numbers aren't attached to the lines nor the lines to each other, so the word wrapping is breaking everything up; for example if:
Literal English Translation Original Esperanto Line

Hi, there
this is a poem
Really, really, really

Saluton, tie
ĉi tio estas poemo
Vere, vere, vere


were coming out wordwrapped as:
Literal English Translation Original Esperanto Line

Hi, there
this is a

ĉi tio
estas poemo
Vere, vere,


--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:46, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Page template[edit]

I was attempting to do section transclusion on a page that begins in the middle of a paragraph and noticed that on the transcluded page it displays a newline before the transcluded text. This page happens to begin with the Hyphenated word start template... I don't really know what is causing the newline. Source page. Target page. --Mkoyle (talk) 22:52, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Some additional information: if I add a single carriage return in the middle of this paragraph, the beginning of the transcluded text looks correct but has a newline at the point where the carriage return was added. --Mkoyle (talk) 22:56, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Second update: this actually seems to occur on all of the pages. I am currently using <div class="lefttext">. Moving the </div> marker down another line (it was right at the end of the closing brackets of the final page template call) got rid of the problem... so it is not a problem with section transclusion. I simply do not have the skill to find the problem but it seems it could be the page template or the lefttext class... My problem is fixed, but this is the sort of little bug we had best track down so it doesn't have to be figured out all the time. Thanks in advance. --Mkoyle (talk) 23:13, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
I am no CSS expert but from what I see for the code Lefttext has an additional {p} characteristic of an indent (see [MediaWiki:Common.css]), so by adding a HRt it considers it to be a new paragraph, hence adds that characteristic. So adding the closing </div> on a new line forces the indent, abutting it to the end of the paragraph doesn't force the indent.
I notice it when trying to use it and {{hanging indent}}. I find that adding a style to the div marker like this
<div class=lefttext style="padding-left: 2em; text-indent: -2em">
enables me to manipulate around some issues.-- billinghurst (talk) 00:32, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Portal: and WikiSource: namespaces[edit]

I am having trouble understanding the difference between our use of Wikisource: namespace and the Portal: namespace and how or when we recommend them to our users. That said, we still don't do a brilliant job at notating all of our namespaces and I cannot find an obvious page that explains what we have and how we utilise them. -- billinghurst (talk) 05:22, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

We use Portal at all? Haven't seen it in years, I thought it was thoroughly deprecated on WS. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Romain Rolland. 05:29, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
There are things in Portal: and it still exists as an option. Whether it has deprecated, I do not know, and pretty much is the basis of my asking. -- billinghurst (talk) 06:03, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I guess it might be a holdover from Wikipedia. Project namespace is generally dedicated to the project itself--meta pages, process, etc--while Portal pages are more generally catering for specific types of works, topics, locales, etc. Jude (talk) 11:42, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Portal:Australia is a redirect to Wikisource:Australia, and Portal:Speeches tells users to visit Portal:Speeches for a list of speeches. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Romain Rolland. 14:09, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm inclined to think that these two pages and others like them ought to be in the portal namespace, rather than the Wikisource namespace. They're not internal project pages, they're organizational tools. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 14:23, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
That anyone would make a distinction between "internal project pages" and "organizational tools" is symptomatic of the bigger problem. I would be hard put to try distinguishing these two. The problem involves more than the difference between the uses of the Portal: and Wikisource: namespaces. It also relates to this project's eccentric use of the Index: namespace, as applying primarily to the organization of material in the Page: namespace. There has been a suggestion before of a way to merge these uses of the Index: namespace into the Page: namespace. See Wikisource:Scriptorium/Archives/2008-12#Unify transcription namespaces. This would free the Index: namespace for other uses. The Wikisource: namespace could then could then be reserved for general discussions about Wikisource. Anything now there relating to the organization of content could then be moved to the Index: namespace.
There is no clear indication that the Portal: namespace has been deprecated. Nevertheless, it is a namespace which requires a broad overview of content to be useful. One Portal which seems to be heading in the right direction is Portal:French literature, but even there one might ask if it should be contained in a larger Portal:Literature. The Portal: namespace should be used to tie together and co-ordinate various navigational techniques currently scattered in Wikisource:, Index:, Category:, Project:, [Article:] and other spaces. Admittedly, though I have often considered work to move us in that direction, I have done very little. In addition to being a lot of work (a discouraging factor by itself), good faith reorganizing efforts are often thwarted by the bureaucratic resistance of those unable to rise above deletion debates of individual pages. A distinction thus needs to be made between operations involving organizational factors, and those involving real content; the former need considerably more operational freedom than the latter.
Optimally, this discussion needs to begin in positive terms about how the Portal: namespace can best be used, responding to such questions about what topics are large enough to have a portal. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 18:08, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
When I said "organizational", perhaps I should have said "navigational"—I meant something along the lines of what Wikipedia portals look like now, which I don't think is too far off from your description. Lists of speeches could be made much more accessible if split and organized through portals by topic or era. Categories already fill the role of holding everything; portals should act as a user interface for digging into the Wikisource collection. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 20:06, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we have a substantive disagreement here. Categories, in theory, do what you say, but only to the extent that those categories are developed and used. We can't assume that content contributors will know what categories are applicable to their material. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 21:07, 30 March 2009 (UTC)