Wikisource talk:WikiProject Proofreading

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List smallest works 1st[edit]

Is there a way to create a list of unfinished books with the least # of edits & proofreads needed first? Can the list be separated from needed edits and proofreads? It should "increase the rate of completed works". Does anyone else have any ideas? In haste, William Maury Morris II (talk) 21:20, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

I've done that as a one-off starting with Hesperion's lists and you'll find a link in top rh corner of my essay: Chris55/Essay2/Short works needing proofreading.
Note that I've started myself and have got as far as "A Book of Nursery Rhymes.djvu", so start after that. But I haven't done those which are not proofread at all. Maybe you'd like to sign up to the project! Good luck! Chris55 (talk) 09:08, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Begging for Validation of Books[edit]

What is the reason for "signing up"? Every day and/or night I proofread other people's work, and validate other people's work, as well as bring in new books I like and proofread those that I bring in. However, when it comes to having my works validated I have to beg on people's talk pages to get a portion of my work validated. Thus I find myself running hither and yon begging to several people to get a completely validated work on mine. At this point in time I feel hurt and to ward that feeling away, I feel some anger which I must not let grow within me. Sign up for more of that? I cannot do any more than I have been doing. I am doing exceedingly well without signing up for it. The people who start new books should make a very strong attempt to finish what they start! William Maury Morris II (talk) 23:23, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
William, I don't think yours is an isolated experience. The main difference with others is that you are more determined to get the job finished and that's precisely why I'd like you to sign up! What I'd like us to do is to change the whole atmosphere on Wikisource so that getting works proofread becomes an important issue. So far there hasn't yet even been a collective yawn! It's not that many of the plans will not need to be agreed in the community as a whole, but that there are a lot of different things that need doing: tools, presentations on the Community portal, policies for deciding whether books are 'done', encouraging newcomers to stay and continue proofreading etc. Chris55 (talk) 08:15, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
No, Chris, I don't think my situation is an isolated experience either. Well, I know it isn't. That is why for the past 3 or 4 months I have been working on other people's projects. There are always some validations needed and sometimes some proof-reading is needed as well as some corrections needed. I would like to state that any person starting a book should finish that book before being allowed to bring in another book to WS. This is not something I have thought over but rather something that just now came to mind. I just finished working on several books and two more are declared "done". I had other a couple of days ago that I completed. Take a look at the watchlist and you will see how much I work on other's unfinished pages. I don't think you will get a collective yawn and never did think that would happen because most people are very busy doing their projects plus assisting others. I think the situation is more like we don't have enough workers for the beehive. The workers in the hive are always busy as that is their instinctive nature. If any are around that are lazy then that is their own nature and it won't be changed. I don't know what "tools" you refer to. That is something an administrator gets to do more work than possible which is part of the reason I bowed out of possible administrator-ship and applauded your work. wink I have the Southern Historical Society Papers "portal" and a lot of major work there, That was intended to be a collective effort but it did not happen. Others had different interests. I have many pages there that are proofread now and they have been there a long time but I can get no validations. I don't see the difficulties of deciding if a book is done. When it looks like the one brought in, has been proofread and *validated* then it is ready to be declared "done". I do not believe any book not completely validated by that second reader should be allowed to be declared as "done". However, I watch the pros here and amongst them I watch Billinghurst and it seems to me that an issue he sees is that we cannot force people to do what they should do and again, -- we don't have enough workers. Many, if not most of the best workers, like yourself, are administrators with a volunteered program of work by "signing up" -- kind of like volunteering for the military (Vietnam) as I recall the process. I will work as I always have been since 2006 on WP & WS without signing for anything. I really don't see how I could do more than what I have been doing which got me "nominated" for administrator. So, I will ask, what else is there you would suggest I do while I would have to stop some of what I already have been doing? Hey, I am with you, or I wouldn't be conversing with you now. I think you are good at what you do and smart which is why I voted for you and promoted you as much as I could under that nomination situation. I love your ideas and skills but as always, when a situation calls for volunteers we at WS can go but so far and I personally don't know hw far that is but I will say I promote also from FaceBook and that is all I am on FaceBook for -- to promote only WS. Today, or I suppose it was yesterday by now, I finished up a work that needed editing and proofreading and validations, went directly to the persons home talk page and congratulated him/or her. That was another work I completed as "done", complete with all pages validated. I am going to have to crash for awhile now. I put in a lot of good work today and *that* is what I like to do. I get pride from working hard and was raised that way by my combat-military WW2 father. Do not be disheartened. Use your imagination and keep moving forward. Let me know if there is something different that you specifically need for me to do. P.S. I just remembered, your images of those squirrels are terrible. Yes, I covered your work too. wink Most Respectfully, William Maury Morris II (talk) 09:13, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
William, you seem to regard signing up as the equivalent of responding to a call-up! It isn't - it's simply a sign of interest and support. It doesn't work that well generally on Wikis but has its point.
Yes, but only in the context of me giving my word (which I value) to something and that something or somethings are unknowns to me. Exactly what is it that you would like for me to do?--William

I'm certainly with Billinghurst that we can't force people to do anything - but we can make it easier by providing a framework.

I seriously believe that if you could get some backing for any of your ideas from Billinghurst then people may well follow. He is the number 1 leader and is very smart. He also is kind and helps others. I learned this long ago when I first came to WS and knew nobody here.--William

Many of the "tools" I'm talking about are to keep the lists of proofreading tasks up to date. For an example of how they could be used I could point you to the distributed proofreaders' page that Gutenberg uses for an equivalent purpose.

One has to have a password to get into that area and it is case sensitive as I have read after reading your statement. I suppose it is easy enough to get one.--William

Unfortunately for that you have to sign up smiley and that may be too much! (But you did it for WS so maybe you will.)

I am not shy. I am signed up to Facebook with my real name and my photo showing before one even logs in to Facebook. I also got my B.S. and Psychology and understand reverse psychology ((smiley)). I have my PhD in cultural anthropology.--William

Their system is a lot more organised than I suspect WS will ever be, but WS uses a lot of their effort without the slightest acknowledgement (something I'd like to change).

THAT I agree with 100 percent! It is a motivator just as is the awards we get for proofreading the book of the month. I made a similar statement a few times about Napoleon's reply to a staff officer giving out so many medals and that each was worth "10,000 men".--William

If you were to look you'll see they have a list of around 30 works to choose from at any one time - and there are similar lists for the other proofreading stages (they have rather more than WS). That seems a good tradeoff, allowing people to choose something that interests them but keeping the focus on sufficiently that those works see real progress. It's surprising that no one has done anything simple like that at WS. Chris55 (talk) 11:17, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

I knew Project Gutenberg when it started. I remember the "coming of" ads on CNN later. I was on Internet and participated but with my own books one of which is still on Internet showing my full name and it has been there now for 19 years. However, I have not followed the modern Project Gutenberg. I feel a loyalty to Wikisource because I have been treated very nice here for several years. I do not want to copy any of Gutenberg's texts to Wikisource. Sure they have more texts than Wikisource but PG started many years before Wikisource was dreamed up and came into reality. I posted many books on web pages including an illustrated version of Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice found there, and Hunting of the Snark -- and many other webpages on Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury, Major General Dabney Maury -- and still other works and I also computer-colored all illustrations of the Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass! These colored images exist nowhere else. I have also published books and sold them via internet before existed and one copy went to England while another went to Australia. That particular work was on Matthew Fontaine Maury and is housed in their respective observatories. I had the University of Puget Sound (Washington) print them up for me at cost and a copy. I have produced oh, I suppose 25 books on internet via webpages which some of I transferred here to WS in WS format when I first came here. Webpages do not last so I transferred much of them, but not all, into information in Wikipedia articles under Brother Officer and Maury, and William Maury Morris, and also here on the older part of Wikisource. (Search on WS for two of the volumes of "Exploration of the Amazon". Vol. 1 was done by Wm Lewis Herndon and vol.2 was done by Lardner Gibbon. I transcribed both of from original books I own on webpages before I broughjt them here circa 2006 or 2009 as Brother Officer and as my real name. I competed with myself as one plays a chess game alone using the two names. There was no other reason than that for the use of two names. BTW! IA only has one version combined into 2 works! They are not exactly the same as my 2 *illustrated* books here on WS. I will now go log in to Project Gutenberg and look around. I still would like to know what *specifically* would you like for me to do. You have to know that it would subtract time away from what I have been doing here on WS and I will not betray (leave) WS unless I am kicked out. I consider most people here as good friends over many years who have helped me learn. I have not proofread all of this Jabber-Wockey. Respectfully, William Maury Morris II (talk) 21:11, 14 August 2012 (UTC)


Chris, I tried to register on the link you posted four times times and the following is what I got from the url:

Unable to connect

Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at

Domain temporarily rejected. Too many compromised accounts. Humans please read this article.

I registered the same hotmail account that I have had listed here on Wikisource and Wikipedia for a long while now. So, you are not registered there with a hotmail account? I'll try again later. William Maury Morris II (talk) 22:08, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

William, I didn't send you to but to . I don't have a hotmail account so I'm not sure what might have been going on there. I thought about doing a fake registration but there's not much point. All I can say is please make sure you went to the right address. Chris55 (talk) 23:45, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I know you did not send me to I clicked on the link you provided and I suspect that because I had been using my hotmail account I was diverted to the page I showed above. I copied that url to show you where I had ended up.
I will try again with my hotmail e-mail account which is listed here on Wikisource. You can send e-mail me to that account. If the process to Gutenberg rejects me again I may register for yet another account such as Yahoo (which I dislike) or perhaps AOL if that still exists. Kindest regards, William Maury Morris II (talk) 07:10, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I am in. You need to know that if anyone else you send to that area uses a hotmail account as their address for registration, as I did, that all hotmail accounts are rejected at registration. The rest is shown above where I was diverted to that security url which provided me with that feedback information I posted. I did not use a hotmail account to register this time and it was easy registering and logging in. So, what "Team" am I supposed to join? That place is so fine in organization I think I will leave Wikisource as soon as I learn my way around there. William Maury Morris II (talk) 14:06, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Don't leave me in the lurch!! That wasn't why I sent you there! I suggest you start looking at the Proofreading Guidelines which you can get to by clicking on the Help tab, and then go for the Proofreading Quiz. It's quite challenging! But in fact you're only allowed to start on P1 the first round of proofreading before graduating to formatting after a minimum 21 days - I still have half of that to go.
What I'd like you to do is to create a list similar to their P1 list using the Intermediate works list. ie. pick a suitable set of around 30 varied texts and insert the proper titles and authors with suitable selection of other information. You could add one or two from the other longer lists, but not too many. Chris55 (talk) 10:42, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Chris, if you feel that you are in a "lurch" it isn't because of me. You yourself stated in the text above that, "So far there hasn't yet even been a collective yawn!". But I have been communicating with you on this. I started by asking why "sign up" and continued to follow your suggestions where I learned that no "hotmail" address can register and told you of that so you can pass it on to any of the other people you many encounter. There must be a reason why there was, "So far there hasn't yet even been a collective yawn!" and all others here on WS have not even tried communicating on these ideas you have to better WS. I myself do not want to do as you finally suggested and thus a reason for one not to "sign up" while not knowing what the task/s may be. At least I went this far while all others (how many people are active on WS?) refused to produce that "collective yawn!" I came to WS long ago to work with books. Next came editing books beside images and codes to be used so that the text will look as much like an original book. I dislike that but I do it because of the books. I have no interest in working with where it was suggested I went nor working with boring lists which is why, in part, I withdrew from nomination as an administrator. Don't dislike me for trying to assist and learning what tasks you had lined up as I have been asking about that from the very beginning of our conversation here. Sections of what you suggest should, I believe, be posted to Scriptorium in a question format but a piece-by-piece form of questions. Kind regards, William Maury Morris II (talk) 04:06, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
ok, your answer to my request is "no". I am using the scriptorium, sometimes more successfully than others. Is your conclusion that we have nothing to learn from pgdp or did you not get through the barriers? Chris55 (talk) 16:48, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I had no problems there, did not use my real name, and did not conclude anything other than it was impressively organized. I am still convinced that nobody is going to "sign up" and take on that task that you suggested because it is boring. People come to WS to work on books although some like charts and lists as do I once someone else has made them. Why don't you make what you are suggesting since you know the pgdp area? I mean no offense in asking that but I am curious about it as well as your other suggestions. Meanwhile, I have been working on the books on that list you pointed out to me and have finished, I believe, 3 or 4. I don't know the exact count because that is not the only areas where I proofread and validate. Kind regards, William Maury Morris II (talk) 05:14, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Introductory proofreading[edit]

This is the first draft of a possible new policy, which I'd like comments on.

One of the biggest problems with the current setup is that people are thrown in the deep end and have to take on board all the complications of the proofread system, including page headers and footers, tables, intricate formatting, etc. Without this they can't properly mark any page as "proofread".

One can sensibly distinguish two stages of proofreading: the first in making sure all the words are on the page correctly and the second in making sure that all the accompanying formats are adhered to. This has not been made a feature of the Wikisource proofreading system though it is consistently enforced in similar projects such as Distributed Proofreaders.

I'd like to propose a different approach on Wikisource, that it is 'enough' to do the first stage--of checking the words on the page--in order to mark a page as 'proofread'. People should be encouraged to do as much formatting as they can manage, but shouldn't be forced to mark a page as 'problematic' if they cannot complete the formatting.

This needs a separate list of instructions of what to do in different circumstances. e.g. it is not acceptable to avoid adding accents or foreign characters, but it is ok not to mark italics. A draft list is at Plain text proofreading.

It may be objected that this will lead to a situation in which you can't depend on the result of the first stage: but what I'm really proposing is that the second stage--of validation--may have more 'meat' in it and should therefore have higher profile. At present the only purpose of the validation stage is to check that the proofreader hasn't made any mistakes. Whilst this is an important check, it can be rather tedious if the first stage has been done well. (And once something is tedious there is a danger it will be done inadequately.) Also there is nothing to stop a beginner from doing the validation stage simply as a second proofreader; whereas the second stage ought to be done by someone more experienced who can catch any of the many errors that can be made.

Ideally, the software should prevent a beginner from doing the validation stage, but it's probably not an option to consider this until we can establish an accepted range of activities for beginners.

It does mean that the criteria for transclusion and moving a project to the "to be validated" state will need to be modified.

Comments? Chris55 (talk) 19:09, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

I have to think about it carefully. Today the proofreading stage and the formatting stage are together; your proposal is to split them doing the proofreading before and the formatting after. So the name of the 4th quality level should be probably renamed ("Formatted" instead of "Validated"). Maybe this would be useful. I support for now, but I might change my mind after reflection.--Erasmo Barresi (talk) 10:24, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not saying that both can't be done in the first stage - merely that it's not required. (What I'd like to do is to provide more buttons on the editor so that people could do a lot more without having to learn all the codes. But either working out how to do that or getting someone more into javascript to do it is problematic.) But what has hit me is how much we require of people to even start proofreading. People will come across many of the issues in my list even without learning codes. I'd certainly expect people to do the simpler things (e.g. italics) from the word go, but no guidelines are laid down either for declaring a text proofread or even for when transclusion takes place. The person doing either of these has to take responsibility for checking the text (e.g. missing images), not just checking the index page. e.g. with the Darien expedition text, although it was all marked 'validated' nobody had put in the <references /> entry at the end--it's not something you find out till you do the transclusion.
One important thing is that it's generally pretty obvious when the extra formatting has not been done, so someone doesn't have to read every word to be able to tell. e.g. page headings, footnotes, tables. But they do almost certainly need to look at each page. Chris55 (talk) 16:34, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I have a question. When do we add references/ since I see them on each page as long as the Index has it. I have another question. What purpose does Dhr (w/braces} have over br. It seems to me the both just add a blank line. I have another question, when do we use [smallrefs], is it when we have 1 to x# of footnotes? I have another question, is (nop) used on every page as long as it is a not continued paragraph? I have some more questions later regarding edit conflicts for editing text and multiple "reverts" in battles over "the best images". I just came home from shopping for groceries. Is anyone out there hungry? I can always order a pizza of your choice if you don't like spicy hot Mexican food. <Smile, it's a beautiful day> smileyWilliam Maury Morris IITalk 20:48, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Wm, we're discussing not doing any formatting at the first stage, so that none of the items you talk about are relevant at this point. Chris55 (talk) 21:35, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
"I'm not saying that both can't be done in the first stage - merely that it's not required." Chris, I can't see the difference from now if we do both in the first stage. Splitting them would be the challenge. And if they are split, different toolboxes might be displayed: a toolbox for proofreading, with special characters, and another for formatting, with templates, table codes, etc.
Now the quality pathway is Not proofread (1) > Problematic (2) > Proofread (3) > Validated (4). If the two stages are split, it should become Not proofread (1) > Proofread (2) > Problematic (3) > Validated and formatted (4). There are two changes: the position of "Proofread" and "Problematic" is inverted, and "Validated" becomes "Validated and formatted" as the last contributor to the page should both format and check against errors. Everything is feasible, but this may require a discussion on OldWikisource.
Yes, Maury, order a pizza! It was a beautiful day in Italy, too!--Erasmo Barresi (talk) 10:12, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Erasmo, If you look at Plain text proofreading you'll see that I include problematic images at step 16, so I'm not quite sure if the order needs inverting. I don't think there's any implied ordering at present: I've certainly caught quite a few pages that have been marked proofread and turned them into problematic. Do you think that marking is there mainly to help people who can't do the formatting? It may have been the original intention, but it's rather depressing to expect someone to use it on nearly every page.
Sorry for the delay in answering - I've been in the south of France for the last week well away from internet connections!
I think the problematic mark is for pages which are really difficult to format correctly (for example, tables), not for missed images.
Then do you agree about the new pathway? If so, the discussion can begin at the central place.--Erasmo Barresi (talk) 18:50, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
It's probably designed for any problems (but I do wish for a wysiwyg table editor: not hard to do). I finally see your point: there wouldn't be a need for 2 edits after the 'problematic'. But can we assume that someone has proofread a page that's been marked as 'problematic'? It might just be a 'yuk' response, without attempting anything. Chris55 (talk) 10:28, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, we can (not just for a slogan). What kind of problems may occur when doing a plain text proofreading? The real problems are with formatting, I think. However, I'd like to be contradicted because all would be easier this way! And I'm not crazy...
Along with the subpage you have written, there should be another one which explains what the second contributor has to do: check for errors, words in bold and italic... It may be created at a later time anyway.--Erasmo Barresi (talk) 17:06, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Text itself can be problematic when there are special characters, sections of a foreign language quoted in a work, or obsolete characters like the long-S. Some editors won't know how to deal with these issues, and may mark the page as "problematic" for those purely textual reasons. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:25, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
And someone has just used it to indicate copyright problems on lots of pages... Actually I don't think these blue pages are a big problem. Normally, there are less than half a dozen in a work and someone can clean them up in a short time (assuming it's possible). But I do agree we need much more documentation for the validation process. I'm thinking about it... Chris55 (talk) 06:54, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

<< So everything is easier because this decision concerns en.source only. Will you open the proposal at the Scriptorium? The change is: moving the formatting process from the 3rd to the 4th level of the proofreading pathway; the 4th level may need to be renamed ("Validated and formatted").--Erasmo Barresi (talk) 15:53, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

As a beginner two quick comments. 1. It is not clear what formatting details are necessary to be declared 'proofread' now, for example, the spacing of headings in a new chapter, the indents on first line of a paragraph or the formatting of footnotes. Should I mark a page as problematic because the signature is on the left rather than the right? 2. Joining a book in progress might be intimidating as one does not want to do different formatting from other pages in the book, which might use unfamiliar templates. In both cases, formatting is more likely to lead to "mistakes" and allowing a beginner to feel comfortable making them, while still feeling that they are making a significant contribution, is important. MarkLSteadman (talk) 16:48, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your contribution. Actually, joining a book in progress is difficult because one has to look at the already formatted pages for a lot of things. Doing the formatting in the last stage will help everyone.
Some tips about the issues you cited: in wiki-code each heading should have a blank line above and one below (not more than one because they would create empty paragraphs); the indentation of the first line of a paragraph should not be copied; footnotes should be surrounded by <ref></ref> tags and placed at the position of the markers.--Erasmo Barresi (talk) 15:16, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Comparison to PGDP[edit]

This project hasn't gone anywhere for over three years, but I wanted to put my two cents in. I agree that Wikisource needs to address this. I think that we need to make it easy for complete novices to proofread texts here.

I've proofread pages at PGDP in the past, and I've been an editor at WP and at Commons for many years, and now here for quite a while, and I still find some of the workflow stuff here baffling. I remember when templates were very scary. I now see transclusion as scary and something for me to figure out later. Match & split might as well be astrophysics. And then there are wiki-tables! When I started here at Wikisource, I remember being almost completely lost, despite my years of experience in wiki-land (and with PGDP). I aggressively sought help in the Scriptorium (and got it—the people here are wonderful!) but I think that is a really high bar to expect from Wikisource beginners, especially from someone with even less experience at related sites. You shouldn't have to know anything about wiki-land to proofread here.

(Caveat: it's been a while since I was over at PGDP so I may be misremembering some things, but these are my lasting impressions.)

PGDP is highly structured, and has evolved over the decades to address a lot of the same problems we have at Wikisource. Our problems are a little different in that the end product is expected to be formatted with wiki-markup rather than as plain text or HTML; but our ultimate goal of making PD texts accessible via crowdsourcing is the same, and we can learn from their experience instead of having to re-invent the wheel.

The most important thing PGDP does better than we do is:

  1. Make it really easy for beginners to dive in and successfully contribute something meaningful.

They have a variety of tools and workflow processes set up to help beginners do this:

  1. Provide a comparatively short list of projects available for proofreading, rated Beginners Only, Easy, Medium, and Hard
  2. Provide an interface with a special proofreading font that makes it much easier to spot and correct "scannos"
  3. Provide feedback mechanisms to beginners, both via required automated tutorials and with real people (where a more-experienced proofreader follows up with corrections)
  4. Not allow proofreaders to "progress" to "higher levels" of editing, such as formatting and project (book) creation and management, until they have achieved a certain number of proofread pages.

The last is probably inconsistent with Wikisource (and I think that's a good thing). But others could be implemented.

  1. Make it easy for beginners (and everyone else) to find projects that need basic proofreading. As a beginner this was definitely my first frustration. I found it really, really hard just to find a project to work on! The "Explore Wikisource" section turned out to have only finished works! We could do this several ways.
    1. Re-organize the Main Page to emphasize proofreading. We want to draw people in not only to browse and read, but to edit. (This is a problem across all wiki projects IMO, but especially here.) Not only should POTM be at the top, but there should be something in the very top banner that says, "want to proofread a page? click here" (or something similar).
    2. Ditto the Community Portal. (Talk about a vague page name—again, not a Wikisource-specific problem.)
    3. Include proofreading in "Explore Wikisource."
    4. Provide more accessible lists of projects to make it easy for anyone to find a project they find interesting.
      1. New categories for project/index pages based on difficulty ratings like Beginners, Easy, Medium, and Hard. Right now if you click on one of those maintenance categories (assuming you can find them) you get thousands of pages. That's intimidating. People looking for a project to work on generally don't want to see a list of pages; a list of projects is more digestible.
      2. New categories by subject (like for completed texts).
      3. Lists sortable by various criteria, such as easy/hard, total number of pages, number of pages needing to be proofread/validated. I've noticed over at PGDP that some people really enjoy knocking out projects with only a few pages left, while others gravitate to more meaty texts.
    5. Redevelop Proofread of the Month, possibly under a new name (Featured? Portal?).
      1. To be fair, I haven't looked at this in a long time, so some of it may have changed, but there is no good reason to have a project finished in a few days and then there is no more project for 25 days.
      2. At all times provide not just one title, but a list of several projects/books rated at each level, including at least one serial/multivolume, with more easy ones than hard ones.
      3. Is there a way to queue up projects for it that is then automatically "released" by bot like at PGDP?
      4. Anyone can rate a project and/or submit it to the queue.
      5. Promote this heavily as the go-to place for beginners.
      6. Encourage long-time users to come and validate beginner pages, and offer mentoring/advice.
      7. Develop a similar workflow/process/collaboration project for books needing validation (& eventually for other stages if they develop bottlenecks).
  2. Make the editing interface more beginner-friendly.
    1. Use the PGDP proofreading font. I use it myself here. But when I asked for help how to do this (not easy to do if you're a beginner), the people who helped me were completely unfamiliar with it (and with PGDP itself) (and the response was more along the lines of, "that's odd, but here's how to do it" rather than "wow, cool! I'm going to use that too!). I think that's a shame because it is such a helpful tool. We should strongly encourage its use it here, and default beginners to it.
    2. I think it would also be helpful to beginners if the Help box that shows at the top while editing (with links to Help and instructions) could be modified by the project manager (i.e., the person who uploaded the djvu and has taken on general management of a particular book) to include project-specific reminders and emphasis (such as "pay special attention to punctuation" or "handle long Ss this way" or "use small caps for page headers")——I think they do something similar at PGDP.
    3. Does everyone get the wikimarkup stuff below the editing box? It seems to me I had to modify my css or something to get it. Perhaps it could be updated to include more Wikisource-specific proofreading codes and segregate out others to another choice from the drop-down menu. Beginners should have this as the default.
    4. Expand the number of Page statuses. (There is some discussion of this above, though I admit I haven't read every word on this talk page.)
      1. I would suggest something like this:
        1. No text
        2. Text proofread; requires formatting
        3. Text proofread; missing images
        4. Text proofread; needs experienced formatter (for tables, ad columns, etc.)
        5. Text proofread; other problems
        6. Text proofread; all formatting done; requires Validation
        7. Validated
      2. The Problematic status could be separated from the proofreading/formatting/validation. Right now the templates "missing images" and "missing table" flag some of these pages, but I think they are too specific and not always used (since beginners don't really know about them). Aside from beginners, we need some improvements in helping to identify problematic pages by type so that experts can find them and help fix them.
      3. I think it is reasonable to allow, or even expect, beginners to learn about headers, footers, hyphenation, and basic formatting like bold and italics and even nop (though I still forget that last one myself). But I also think it's important that beginners should be allowed to do text-only proofreading if that's all they're comfortable with. Any, some, or all formatting can be left undone, and we need a page status that reflects this. Even as an experienced proofreader and formatter, I've wished for this, when I don't want to take the trouble right now to look up how to do some bit of formatting I've forgotten, but still want to be able to save my work as something other than "Not Proofread."
  3. Improve feedback to beginners.
    1. Encourage long-time users to come and validate beginner pages, and offer mentoring/advice via the expanded POTM.
    2. Consider implementing tutorials.
  4. To my way of thinking, the fact that anyone can work on anything here, and can create their own projects, is a bonus. I'm often frustrated, when I occasionally work over there at PGDP, that I'm not allowed to do even simple formatting like bold and italics until I've proofread an unfathomable number of pages.
However, there is no doubt that the funneled and gated approach used at PGDP gets proofreading of the texts done orders of magnitude faster than we do, both by providing focus through their short lists of available texts, and most importantly by very effectively harnessing casual users who want to do a few pages every now and then. They recognize that the vast majority of users only want to proofread and are never going to progress up the ladder to structural formatting and project management. They recognize that you don't need to know how to do markup in order to proofread text, so they get the markup out of the way and let people proofread. And ultimately, all those people who don't care about markup or project management get most of the work done.
I think we could do a lot more here to address these issues without resorting to gating or excessive restrictions.

In comparison to PGDP, Wikisource is missing the crowd in crowdsourcing. We're top-heavy with project managers. We need to invert the pyramid.

There were fewer than 350 Active users here the month before I wrote this, between 10 December 2015 and 10 January 2016 (perhaps that's low because of Christmas).

Imagine if instead of 350 project managers and 35 (or 350) proofreaders per month, we had 350 project managers and 3500 proofreaders. Really there's no upper limit to the number of proofreaders if we make it easy for them to proofread. No one on Wikisource should have to beg for proofreaders. We should instead have the luxury they have over at PGDP of proofreaders racing each other to finish a text.

If we make it easier for beginners to dive in and do something useful, then we can recruit. People from Wikipedia who really dig table formatting. People from Commons who really love editing images. People from outside wiki-land who don't know anything about wiki-markup and don't care but like the idea of casual proofreading without as many rigid rules as are over at PGDP (or who have never heard of PGDP either). This latter group should be our biggest resource rather than those we exclude. No one should have to learn about wiki-land, its structures, or its markup language in order to proofread texts here.[1] All you need is a web browser to proofread.[2] Until we acknowledge that, we'll never have enough proofreaders.

Thinking far down the road: if we ever get as many proofreaders here as over at PGDP, we'll need to implement a mechanism like they have there to prevent simultaneous edits. The current system would be insufficient for lots of proofreaders working at the same time: it's very frustrating and wasteful to proofread a page and then discover that someone else did it while you were working on it.

These are my preliminary ideas to work up and then perhaps submit for discussion at the Scriptorium.

  1. Generally speaking, people within wiki-land think wiki markup is simple and that the rules and structures are straight-forward. They have no idea how complicated and byzantine it all appears to outsiders, especially to people with no experience in computerized data mangement.
  2. It's arguable whether you need a keyboard, eyes (the disabled have work-arounds, after all), or even a functional knowledge of the language you're proofreading (before computers, English publishers used non-English-speaking workers to re-key texts for new editions because they actually made fewer mistakes than English speakers, who tended to copyedit, even if they were unaware they were doing it).

Laura1822 (talk) 20:41, 10 January 2016 (UTC)