GCS Step 1

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Year: 2008 Week: 3 Number: 90

Technical news
  • [User rights] - it is now possible for the developers to selectively assign groups permissions to grant/revoke other groups, either to themselves or to all other users. An implementation is don on some wikis, including English language Wikipedia, by creating the new group 'rollbacks' with right 'rollback', and giving sysops the ability to grant/revoke this group to any user. Wikis who also wish to have that option need to get consensus about it and make a bugzilla ticket for it.  The page Special:Userrights is now also listed in the special pages overview. Eventually the pages like MakeSysop will be removed and all changes to status will need be done by use of the page Special:Userrights.
  • [Page move restricted] - Since the 2nd of January 2008 it is no longer possible to move/rename pages if a user is not autoconfirmed (Users are autoconfirmed after a specified time and after specified amount of edits). There is a opt-out policy, which means that individual projects can decide to make page moves possible for new users as well.
  • [Title blacklist]  - the new function "Title blacklist" announced in the previous edition of Wikizine is again disabled. The comment in the log about the disabling was "domas: removing titleblacklist. there's certain level of crap beyond which I won't fix stuff. "
New project proposals
  • [Business development] - Executive Director Sue Gardner announced that a new head of Business Development has been hired. Vishal Patel will not join the Wikimedia Foundation in there move to the Westcoast, and Kul Wadhwa will join the staff in his position as head of business development.
  • [Head of communications] - Jay Walsh from Canada is the new head of communications and takes over this job from Sandy Ordonez, who will not relocate to San Francisco with the WMF. The job includes press relations, written and oral communications.
  • [Fundraiser result] - The fundraiser has resulted in the biggest amount of money donated during a fundraiser ever: over 2 million dollars. The biggest donation of half a million dollars was made by an anonymous donor and almost 45,000 donors have donated about $33 on average.
  • [Concerns on transparency] - Following a leakage of information from a private list used within the Foundation, which resulted in articles on the en.wikinews it is being discussed if the foundation is communicating transparent. There are opposing views on the subject, saying that the WMF is the most transparent organisation and opposing views, which state that it becomes less transparent. The discussion is going-on, but everyone values transparency up to a certain point. Some opinions are telling that the WMF is too far away from the local communities and so that representatives of those communities have no feeling to issues on WMF-level. A Wiki-council as a council made up of representatives of all communities might be a solution to channel issues from local communities to the WMF board and the WMF office.
  • [Meta-arbcom?] - A meta-arbcom is being discussed. There are projects which have an arbcom, but many projects don't. Arbcom is short for arbitration committee: if there are problems or disagreements in a certain community with an arbcom, and the people involved in the arguments don't find a solution themselves, these people can asked the appointed or chosen arbcom to mediate and even rule (including corrective actions) over the dispute. For communities without an arbcom sometimes stewards are asked to decide for certain actions. Steward rules prevent them from taking decisions: a steward serves the different communities. Fur such cases and also for cases which exceed the specific community a meta-arbcom is being discussed.
  • [Wikimania 2009] - 6 bids have been submitted for consideration for the Wikimania 2009 venue, which are listed below.
  • [Traffic] - Domas Mituzas has made an excellent review of operations. Amongst others he mentions that traffic and requests doubled in 2007. The WMF spend $279k on hardware; hardware was also expanded at Amsterdam facility with 15 squid servers bought by the German chapter. The software was upgraded so that performance is faster.
Other news
  • [The Economist] - In "The World in 2008" published by "The Economist" the Wikimania 2008 is mentioned in the "Diary for 2008" <quote> Scholars, journalists, geeks and other fans of Wikipedia, an open-access encyclopedia meet in Taipei for Wikimania 2008 <unquote>. Too bad that they mentioned the wrong place: Taipei was in 2007; Wikimania 2008 will be held in Alexandria. Also they failed to mention that it is not only about Wikipedia.
  • [Correction] - Wikipedia is not 8 years old this year but only 7.
 Was ist das?
  • [patrol] - A lesser known feature of MediaWiki is the patrol-function. Every change on any article can be patrolled, which means there on the difference page there is a button, with which the controller can mark the change as patrolled. In the recent-changes list there is an option to show only non-patrolled changes. This function is only available for logged-in users and is active on the Dutch Wikipedia/Wikibooks/Wikiquote. Already many years now it works with a high success rate to counteract on vandalism if this is missed during live patrolling.

<boem! - boem! - ship shakes>
Computer; what was that?  -- Constable Odo
"A temporary loss of stability resulting of the impact of a concentrated plasma charge."
We are being attacked???? -- Constable Odo
"Affirmative." -- computer

From Star Trek DS9
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