GCS Step 1

Monday, November 13, 2006

Wikizine - number: 50

Headline news
  • [GCF] - The Great Chinese Firewall does not block the Chinese language Wikipedia anymore. Recently the block was partially lifted so that there was again access to the English language Wikipedia. But now there are strong signs that the block of the zh.wikipedia is (totally?) lifted.
According to a blog posting it was written in "Fortune magazine" that Shi Zao had stated that the block is lifted because "a well-connected friend wrote a letter to the Propaganda Department a week before Wikipedia became unblocked" and that "The Government is now convinced that Wikipedia is neutral".

Whatever the reason of the lift the number of newly created user accounts on the Chinese Wikipedia has tripled and the number of new articles has increased with 75%.
Technical news
  • [Backdoor closed] - Blocking a user now blocks the last IP address they used immediately if you check the default option (which was renamed in this patch) to "Automatically block the last IP address used by this user, and any subsequent addresses they try to edit from". Previously the IP address was only blocked when they attempted to edit a page. The patch also makes CheckUser run much faster.
  • [Search wiki] - Newly created articles can now be found a lot faster when using the wiki search function. A new server now works full-time updating the search index, so all wikis should be re-indexed every 30 hours. Updating the index was previously problematic; it could take many weeks before new articles could be found.
Administrators might want to add a notice to [[MediaWiki:Searchresulttext]] to inform users that it can take 30-48 hours before new pages can be found with the search function.
  • [BCC] - When you send an email using the "Email this user" function, you now have the option of sending a copy of that message to yourself. The privacy is guaranteed; you and the target user will not see each other's email addresses. If you respond to an email you receive from the wiki though, your email address will be visible as normal since the email was not sent through the wiki. The option is a checkbox at the bottom of the Special:Emailuser page, not a new option in your Preferences. If you send an email to yourself to test it you only get one email. To localize, translate [[MediaWiki:Emailccme]] and [[MediaWiki:Emailccsubject]].
  • [More email] - The email notification feature is now enabled on Commons. This optional feature sends an email to users to notify them of edits to their talk page or to pages on their watchlist.
  • [Search-l] - There is now an internal search function for the mailing list archives on the index pages. The search index should be updated every 24 hours. Indexing of the archives by external search engines is now forbidden, but since several lists are mirrored elsewhere (such as gmane.org or nabble.com) that will not make much difference for people who do not like their name to show up when "Googling" for their name.
  • [#wikimedia-admin] - A new IRC channel for Wikimedia sysops to discuss and coordinate administration. Access to the sysops-only channel is by invitation only. See the posting by [[meta:User:Pathoschild]]. This channel can now be accessed through Wikizine's IRC service.
New project proposals
  • [Board] - Anthere (Foundation chair) has provided more information in a long post to the Foundation mailing list about the proposed Board reorganisation, the board retreat outcome, and the Foundation and chapters.
  • [Stewards] - a new steward election will be held soon. The most likely date for the election to start is 25th of November. This date can still change. Like it is now all existing stewards will need to reapply if they wish to remain steward. The rules of this procedure are still under discussion. All existing and interested users for the function of steward can best apply as soon as possible.
  • [WMF-Resolutions] - Several new resolutions including; creation of a workgroup to take beter care of the WMF internet domains and a summary of actions and outcomes the Board has committed itself to after the 2006 Board retreat in Frankfurt am Main.
  • [$] - reported in the previous edition of Wikizine "The WMF received by means of PayPal $42,025 US dollars in the month of October. That is the highest amount ever when there is no fundraiser." $10,000 of that amount came from the W. Glen Boyd Charitable Foundation. Sadly, $220,30 were lost in PayPal fees. People from the European Union who want to donate can use the Belgian Foundation account instead of PayPal. When this way is used the Foundation will receive 100% of the donated money.
Wikizine made it to number 50! Exactly one year ago number 0 was sent out, the last experimental edition before the official launch of Wikizine. Wikizine has grown slowly but steadily since then, though the format has not changed significantly. Since the end of June, this ezine is also been available in the form of a blog and as an RSS/Atom feed. These new ways to read Wikizine have helped increase the readership. Where edition 0 was sent out to 55 readers, the ezine today has a total weekly reach of at least 900 people.

A new small improvement; on the blog there is now a working search box, so you can quickly find something that previously appeared in Wikizine.

For the next year there are no plans to change anything important on Wikizine. The ezine and the blog will remain ad-free, but we are looking for other ways to pay for Wikizine's expenses. Several people have very recently joined the volunteer staff, especially for proofreading, so improvement in that regard is to be expected.

Unfortunately, news submissions by readers about the different projects and languages remain very rare. This is in most cases the only way for Wikizine to know what is going on in most of the hundreds of wikis in the Foundation community. The result is an over-representation of news from English-language projects. As Wikizine reaches more people and becomes better-known, a slight improvement is to expected for the next year.

Thanks for reading Wikizine,
Walter Vermeir (Editor-in-chief)
Other news
  • [ValueWiki] - People who love the stock exchange might be interested in the ValueWiki project. This wiki, which is not run by the Wikimedia Foundation, attempts to centralize all stock-related information for United States companies. Currently the wiki has very little content, but it is good content. Extra functions are being added like a web-based chat system and user voting for every single article.
Did you know ...

... that you can override the AntiSpoof-function for username creation?

On the wikis is there a check when you want to created a new account of the proposed username is not to similar to an existing account. For example if there is already a user "Juul" and try to make a user "Juu1" (use of the number one) it will not be allowed by the software. But if you are a sysop you do can make such an account. Make sure you are logged in and make the new account (link on special pages). If you use the button beside the button create new account labeled "by email" and you have provided an emailadres you can cleanly created an account for someone else.

"Information is freedom"

Number of subscribers: 545 , Unique Visitors website this week: 338 , Editor(s): Walter, Gary Kirk,  Corrector(s): Gary Kirk, Pathoschild - Thanks to: Andrew Lih


  1. Congratulations on reaching issue number 50. :)

  2. Thanks,I really appreciate this. Greetings, Walter


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