Wikinews:Water cooler/technical

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Open call for Project Grants[edit]

IEG barnstar 2.png

Greetings! The Project Grants program is accepting proposals from July 1st to August 2nd to fund new tools, research, offline outreach (including editathon series, workshops, etc), online organizing (including contests), and other experiments that enhance the work of Wikimedia volunteers. Whether you need a small or large amount of funds, Project Grants can support you and your team’s project development time in addition to project expenses such as materials, travel, and rental space.

Also accepting candidates to join the Project Grants Committee through July 15.

With thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) 15:21, 5 July 2016 (UTC)


Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:03, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

Hello, Wikinews contributors.
User:Pi zero and I have been talking about this change, and we'd like to try something different. It might be confusing to start with a "Publish page" button, since the first edit to an article is not the end of the Wikinews publishing process as outlined in Wikinews:Reviewing articles. So we are going to try this instead: The "Save page" button will stay the same, but MediaWiki:Copyrightwarning will have a statement added to warn inexperienced people that their contributions will immediately be shared with the general public.
We are assuming that every Wikinews is using a similar structure for reviewing, and therefore we are going to try this at all Wikinewses. To do this, I need the statement translated for the copyright warning file right away! If you speak a Wikinews language (other than English), please check m:User:Whatamidoing (WMF)/Wikinews. It's just two sentences and should (I hope) be easy for anyone who is bilingual or multilingual. I need these translations this week, if at all possible.
If you have any questions or need to reach me, then please {{ping}} me. Thanks, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:11, 24 August 2016 (UTC)


Birgit Müller (WMDE) 14:56, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Open call for Project Grants[edit]

IEG barnstar 2.png

Greetings! The Project Grants program is accepting proposals from September 12 to October 11 to fund new tools, research, offline outreach (including editathon series, workshops, etc), online organizing (including contests), and other experiments that enhance the work of Wikimedia volunteers. Project Grants can support you and your team’s project development time in addition to project expenses such as materials, travel, and rental space.

Also accepting candidates to join the Project Grants Committee through October 1.

With thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 14:49, 13 September 2016 (UTC)

Wikinewsie upgrade?[edit]

Please update It appears that has been in the process of being upgraded for a month now. Is there an ETA on it? Also, I think the site should get a certificate from for SSL/TLS. —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:37, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

submit button[edit]

My dialog tools — coded recently and defensively — are so far continuing to work while older javascript gets less reliable day by day. So I've deployed the new submit button on the {{develop}} and {{tasks}} templates. I plan to wait a bit and then remove the old javascript code from Common.js. --Pi zero (talk) 23:35, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Old code removed. --Pi zero (talk) 13:54, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
And, new button recreated under a different naming scheme, as {{assistant/submit}}. --Pi zero (talk) 01:55, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Grants to improve your project[edit]

Greetings! The Project Grants program is currently accepting proposals for funding. There is just over a week left to submit before the October 11 deadline. If you have ideas for software, offline outreach, research, online community organizing, or other projects that enhance the work of Wikimedia volunteers, start your proposal today! Please encourage others who have great ideas to apply as well. Support is available if you want help turning your idea into a grant request.

I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 19:52, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Creative Commons 4.0[edit]

Hello! I'm writing from the Wikimedia Foundation to invite you to give your feedback on a proposed move from CC BY-SA 3.0 to a CC BY-SA 4.0 license across all Wikimedia projects. The consultation will run from October 5 to November 8, and we hope to receive a wide range of viewpoints and opinions. Please, if you are interested, take part in the discussion on Meta-Wiki.

Apologies that this message is only in English. This message can be read and translated in more languages here. Joe Sutherland (talk) 01:34, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

The Wikimedia Developer Summit wants you[edit]

The Wikimedia Developer Summit is the annual meeting to push the evolution of MediaWiki and other technologies supporting the Wikimedia movement. The next edition will be held in San Francisco on January 9–11, 2017.

We welcome all Wikimedia technical contributors, third party developers, and users of MediaWiki and the Wikimedia APIs. We specifically want to increase the participation of volunteer developers and other contributors dealing with extensions, apps, tools, bots, gadgets, and templates.

Important deadlines:

  • Monday, October 24: last day to request travel sponsorship. Applying takes less than five minutes.
  • Monday, October 31: last day to propose an activity. Bring the topics you care about!

More information:

Subscribe to weekly updates:

MKramer (WMF) (talk) 19:07, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

Editing News #3—2016[edit]

17:49, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

Password reset[edit]

I apologise that this message is in English. ⧼Centralnotice-shared-help-translate⧽

We are having a problem with attackers taking over wiki accounts with privileged user rights (for example, admins, bureaucrats, oversighters, checkusers). It appears that this may be because of weak or reused passwords.

Community members are working along with members of multiple teams at the Wikimedia Foundation to address this issue.

In the meantime, we ask that everyone takes a look at the passwords they have chosen for their wiki accounts. If you know that you've chosen a weak password, or if you've chosen a password that you are using somewhere else, please change those passwords.

Select strong passwords – eight or more characters long, and containing letters, numbers, and punctuation. Joe Sutherland (talk) / MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 23:59, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Adding to the above section (Password reset)[edit]

Please accept my apologies - that first line should read "Help with translations!". Joe Sutherland (WMF) (talk) / MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 00:11, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Article creation wizard discussion[edit]

Hi all,

This proposal suggests WMF to fund the writing of an article creation wizard at Wikipedia, but with enough interest it may -- or may it not? -- be expanded to write an article creation wizards framework or library for use at non-Wikipedia wikis, such as here. If desired, please join the discussion before December 12. (I've sent this message to English wikis; I ask you to deliver it to non-English wikis, if you can. Even delivering it in English there may be better than nothing.)

  • What tools do we use here, now, to make article creation easier for newbies?
  • What requirements do we have for a potential implementation?
  • How would you like to inform the people of the article creation perks and difficulties on this wiki?
  • What else needs to be considered?

Thanks. --Gryllida 03:54, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Article creation is one of the several major things on my list that I hope eventually to support using my dialog tools. The further into that development I get, the more I'm convinced it's impossible for a centralized organization such as the WMF to do properly what I'm doing. I don't think it's even possible to lay out a plan for this and then do it; every step along my path has been improvised, it's rarely been possible to see more than one or two steps ahead. What the Foundation end up doing instead is actively counter-productive, stuff that continuously curtails what ordinary users can do, restricting infrastructure development to an elite and especially to an elite employed by the WMF. The Foundation can't help operating like that, it follows from a potent synergy of their corporate culture with their corporate structure. --Pi zero (talk) 04:21, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
@Pi zero: I know we've talked here and at b:en: a little bit about development. Do you have a roadmap that you've posted anywhere to discuss? —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:16, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
@Koavf: I'll say a bit, below, about that next step or two ahead that I can see atm.
  • Regarding what has been written down — although I've largely chosen to devote my volunteer time and effort to actually developing tools, rather than talking about developing tools (or, even worse, trying to convince someone else to give me permission to develop tools). Besides the documentation for the tools, which I've tried to do well because I, myself, hate having to try to use software that's not well-documented.
  • I have in mind that a user can go to any page and have dialog-based context-sensitive help for things they might want to do there. I'm now crafting basic elements toward that goal: I'm well along in designing a mechanism to supply context-sensitive information to assistants so they can offer advice, and I'm marshaling my thoughts toward a mechanism for keeping track of situations where users disagree with advice (which is needed both so that the advice given doesn't just keep offering itself until somebody takes the advice, not realizing there was a reason it wasn't taken in a particular situation, and so that in the long run the community can take such exceptions into account when considering how to modify or expand advice). A basic principle in all of this is, of course, that the goal is to empower ordinary wiki users, and that it's impossible to do that with a rigidly structured system, or with a system that isn't thoroughly grounded in ordinary wiki markup.
--Pi zero (talk) 14:49, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
@Koavf: I didn't like my above account of where things are going, because it's really low-level. I haven't done enough to explain the big picture; that's always been a problem with explaining the dialog tools. It's a special art, to choose primitive tools that look rather innocent themselves but make it possible to do great things; it may be easy look at the low-level tools and not see the potential in them, and then how can you convince other people of their worth? My grand vision for these things is rather breathtaking, if only I could communicate it. As a small step, I'll try to explain a little more of why I want to help tools get context-sensitive information and track exceptions to rules.
  • A key principle of wikis is that when you're reading a wiki, if you see something that could be better, you can just fix it, without going through some big rigamarole with a bureaucracy and without having to have lots of special technical skills. (Yes, wiki markup is really amazingly easy — compared to every alternative. Making wiki markup better is productive, whereas anything that moves away from it is counter-productive.) My core idea is that, with just a few simple additions to the capabilities of wiki markup — mainly, text boxes and buttons for sending their content somewhere — it should become possible for a community of ordinary wiki users to grow semi-automated assistants ("wizards") in the same way that the community grows the wiki content itself. But, for that to become real, it has to be possible for an ordinary user, who is using a semi-automated assistant, to see that the assistant could be doing something better, and just fix it — without going through some big rigamarole with a bureaucracy and without having to have lots of special technical skills. And this is where things get really interesting, because those primitives I've added to wiki markup address the first half of that goal but not the second. That is, the primitives make it possible to just-fix-it without going through some big rigamarole with a bureaucracy, but I know from experience that it's logistically difficult to keep track of what you're doing when you're trying to built or maintain one of these semi-automated assistants. And the obvious solution to that problem is to provide semi-automated assistance for building and maintaining semi-automated assistants. That is, meta-assistants. How does one design a meta-assistant? By designing and building assistants, and thinking deeply about what one is doing during the process. I've chosen certain particular devices, that I believe can be built using the primitives, and that I believe are necessary for a wide class of assistants including meta-assistants, and now as I start to plan out the details of these devices I'm also thinking deeply about what I can learn from the process about how a meta-assistant has to work.
--Pi zero (talk) 20:03, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
@Pi zero: I agree that many features of the experiences between wikis here are not that user-friendly nor are they new-user-friendly. And some processes which should more-or-less be the same across wikis are different due to bureaucratic rules or because the same gadget/userscript/module/template isn't available cross-wiki (e.g. renaming a category at w:en: versus at c: or proposing an image for deletion, which is confusing at c: to me). I'm not sure how I can help you but I'd like to if I can. I think you do a lot of good work—particularly on this wiki and b:en:. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:27, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

New way to edit wikitext[edit]

James Forrester (Product Manager, Editing department, Wikimedia Foundation) --19:31, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Just curious.......[edit]

Who is this person, who's been modifying loads of templates here? --Bddpaux (talk) 21:46, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

I did!—The preceding unsigned comment was added by MIKEL S. SARWONO (talkcontribs)
That account is now globally locked. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 20:33, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

New template to replace magic words[edit]

Template:ISBN I have ported over w:Template:ISBN and w:Module:Check isxn from en.wp. Magic words as links are being phased out and although we don't have to replace all instances of them now, they will all be removed from MediaWiki in 2017. See mw:Requests_for_comment/Future_of_magic_links. We have about a dozen entries in Category:Pages using ISBN magic links which will need an admin to replace. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:30, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

This looks like a cut-and-paste copying rather than a porting, and we don't support Special:Import from en.wp for the good reason that it'd violate the copyright of stuff on en.wp. So I'm unclear on the legal status of this stuff. (I'm surprised, actually, that we have a dozen instances. But I wouldn't put it past the Foundation to discontinue some feature and not care whether or not it's even legal for us to fix the damage.) --Pi zero (talk) 02:57, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
@Pi zero: If you are suggesting that there is a potential legal issue from this code being copied from en.wp which uses CC BY-SA to here (using CC BY), then I suppose it's not strictly speaking impossible but I find it unlikely that there would be any lawsuits. If you have a better solution or if you think the template should be deleted, then I'm all ears. Either way, it looks like hard-coding of ISBN (and RFC and PMID) links will be disappearing in a matter of months so we should figure out something prior to then to keep the pages from breaking. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:00, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Spoiler warning: A long time ago, a bunch of templates were copypasta'd from WP. So we've been doing this since like '06 or something. Looking at the code for this one I have serious doubts it meets the threshold of originality; in plain English, I don't think that little snippet of code is necessarily even eligible for copyright protection. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 14:16, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

What would it take to import Wikipedia's in-line citation mechanism?[edit]

Our limiting reagent on Wikinews appears to be how fast an article can get through review. Providing in-line citation saying which source supports which facts (preferably with room to add a comment like "hit CTRL-f '[keyword]'") would make the job faster and easier for the reviewers. It would also make writing follow-up stories easier. Just today I was writing a story and wanted to include some of the same background facts from another one that I wrote a week and a half ago. I didn't remember which of the sources had provided the facts I wanted and had to click on several of them, using up part of my free NYTimes allotment for the month. Darkfrog24 (talk) 04:19, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

If the background facts you want to use are in a previously published Wikinews article, it doesn't matter what sources they came from. Cite the previously published Wikinews article, by listing it in a Related news section. Going back to the original sources instead would be more work for the writer and more work for the reviewer.

As for in-line citations, it can be very helpful to put an embedded html comment after a fact in the article saying which of the sources (or related news) the fact can be found in. That technique has been used to very good effect in William S. Saturn's On the campaign trail articles. --Pi zero (talk) 04:40, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

Btw: if you cite a previous Wikinews article as Related news, you can then use the text from it verbatim (if that makes sense in context); there's no copyright issue, since Wikinews's license is, in fact, compatible with Wikinews's license. Which makes it even easier to use a previous Wikinews article as a source, compared to the difficulty of going back to external sources. --Pi zero (talk) 04:42, 7 January 2017 (UTC)