GCS Step 1

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Year: 2008 Week: 40 Number: 100

Technical news
  • [Global blocking] - Stewards are now able to block an IP address or range from editing on all Wikimedia projects (except Meta). This option is intended to be used with restraint and for a short time frame.
  • [Robots.txt] - this is file that exists to control what pages are allowed to be indexed by a search engine. Basically you can use it to keep stuff out of Google. A recent added magic word __NOINDEX__ gives the same result on a specific page. Until now only the developers could edit the robots.txt for all WMF-projects. But now it there a new MediaWiki-page to control that. There is a central part of the Robots.txt that is not in local control. But on the page [[MediaWiki:Robots.txt]] you specify wiki-specific instructions for the spiders of the search engines.
  • [Global bot] - it is now possible for bots to get a global bot status.
  • [New tools] - Several users have created external tools for analyzing the history of articles. Statistics, a history search function, page view diagrams.
  • [Flood flag] - only at Meta, but it can be requested for other wikis also, is the now the flag "flood". It is actually exactly the same as the "bot flag" only is it named "Flood". The idea is that when a sysop wishes to do many  similar, repetitive and non-controversial changes then that user can ask for the "flood"-flag on a bureaucrat. The result is like with a bot that the edits are hidden by default.
  • [Books] - It was announced this week that three books were published relating to Wikipedia.  Lennart Guldbrandsson from Wikimedia Sverige wrote a book in Swedish titled "Så fungerar Wikipedia", which translates to "How Wikipedia works".  Wikimedia Sweden also has its first WikiReader available (about Swedish Birds). 

    Also, a few English Wikipedians wrote their own book  "How Wikipedia Works" (same title, different book then the Swedish) and they were published around the same time.  This book was written by Phoebe Ayers, Charles Matthews, and Ben Yates. Wikizine is mentioned in it on page 345 in chapter 12.
    Earlier in 2008 was also published the book the book "Wikipedia: The Missing Manual". (ISBN 0596515162)
  • [EO Wikipedia] - the Esperanto Wikipedia is proud of there new main page design. From a text only layout in 2001 has it grown in several steps to the current modern look that was elected out of 7 proposals.
  • [source:"Wikinews"] - Wikinews is now partially listed on google news (due to flagged revs). The are still working on meeting google's requirement of unique numbers in URLs, so so far only lead articles have been listed. Before this only mirrors of Wikinews where listed.
  • [RU wiki] - On October 18 and 19 Moscow will play host to the second international Russian-language Wiki-conference related to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, as well as other Wikimedia projects. Registrations are open.
  • [Sweden] - Recently the former national telephone company of Sweden (and still the biggest telephone company in Sweden) ran a commercial for their mobile internet. The commercial ran like this: three men sit in a outside oak hot tub. One of them tell the others about how a former king planted oaks in Sweden. The others say: "Well, you know a lot." Another goes out of the water, is gone for a few moments, comes back and gives a comprehensive description of oaks, including their Latin name, while the others are more and more impressed. Then we cut to a sign that says: "Wikipedia in your mobile phone."
  • [Report about wp &win prize] - Wired.com won a $10,000 award for their reporting about Wikipedia and the Wikipedia-scanner
  • [Jimmy] - A classic item once more; interview of Jimmy Wales on TV, Canadian this time.
Other news
Was ist das?
Well, if you not know it you look it up .. and there is a very handy FF extension to do so in Wiktionary.
Users of FireFox can install the WikiLook exstension. When installed you just press shift and point to a word in a text. And you get in a small overlay screen the dictionary description of it and a link to look it up in Wikipedia. English language editions only. But due the multi-language nature of Wiktionary the extension remains useful also for non-English language users.

"If a man speaks in a forest and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"


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