Wikinews:Water cooler/technical/archives/2017/January

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New template to replace magic words

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?

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)