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Commons:Village pump/Proposals/Archive/2013/08

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Current event needs photography

I have had some thought on this. We currently lack for a good way to reach people to cover various current events. This is particularly problematic for sudden/unscheduled events such as plane crashes, (spontaneous) protests as well as countless other events I needn't list here.

We often have people willing to go and photograph such incidents but often are unaware that they are happening in a timely manner. It is also not viable to mass message everyone that happens to live near an event. So much noise would quickly tire people away.

I'd like to have more brainstorming on how to deal with this problem. Perhaps a twitter-like system is needed.

-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 02:47, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

  • It is a good idea. Possibly a bot could alert people according to their continent/country. People could write their usename to the bots list for different regions or an all-regions page for anonymity. The bot could write a note on the persons talkpage if something comes up for their area. The bot can be told about alerts just by writing them on the bots talkpage, and the bot can check that the user has a few contributions to make sure it's not misused, then broadcast the message to everyone on the list. Penyulap 03:01, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  •   Support. This would be very useful. -- King of ♠ 04:16, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • With the watchlist notice, it is already possible to geo-target to people (see step 3 of the Wizard) and there once was Commons:Geocode Users (see Template:User location) but this was shut down. -- Rillke(q?) 15:09, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
    • So how would we implement this? -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 15:23, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
      • Either by creating a watchlist notice with proper coordinates and topic for each event. (If this becomes more popular one could still improve the system with database-assisted fetching of "nearby-events".)
      • Or by writing a script that goes through Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:User location and notifies the right people (or a toolserver interface that does this). However, there are less than 100 users who have provided their location so far. -- Rillke(q?) 16:25, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Keep your radio on, tuned to a station with frequent local news bulletins. Subscribe to local news feeds on your smartphone. These things will be quicker and more reliable than anything Wikimedia's volunteers can do. For even more speed, get a radio scanner that listens in on police, fire and other emergency services, which is how the news professionals learn about events. Jim.henderson (talk) 12:11, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
    • I believe emergency channels are scrambled in the UK, even prior to this there were legal restrictions on taking action based on listening to them. Rich Farmbrough, 13:25 18 July 2013 (GMT).
W:Police radio has no references and doesn't say much about legalities around the world.
Sites such as this may be useful to a few people. You can get iphone apps as well.
Commons has 20 files of 10-91's in progress already. Penyulap 14:06, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
  • (ec) Some emergency service channels (police, fire, rescue ect) are encrypted in Australia (though they have been illegally hacked and accessed in the past in NSW), but some regional and rural areas aren't encrypted and some are still VHF/UHF. You then have to worry about the laws governing emergency service channels (depends on the country/territory/state). Twitter is always a good tool to use for breaking events but care also needs to be taken using it. Bidgee (talk) 14:18, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
All right then; a further objection to my proposal to eavesdrop on emergency radio is that it requires unusual hardware or software; very few will obtain the former and probably few will want the latter either. So, a notification system could be worked out by Wikimedian news people (see en:Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/2013-07-10/Op-ed). News editors who learned of breaking news, by whatever means, would send an alert. Who knows, Wikipedia has so many contributors worldwide, we might score a scoop or two against the professional photojournalists. Alert methods could include:
  1. notices on localized talk pages of editors who have indicated interest and their usual haunts
  2. E-mail, similarly limited to relevant regions
  3. Facebook pages, similarly localized
  4. Twitter, also on a localized feed
  5. a Wikimedia smartphone app (perhaps best as merely a feature of the Wikipedia app or Commons app) that would report our actual location rather than a predetermined one, receive an alert according to whether we are among the nearest three or twenty users, and include a feature for direct photo upload to the appropriate news article
Certainly we wouldn't want to limit it to just one or two methods, since at different times we may be available by different methods. Jim.henderson (talk) 17:36, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Emergency radio may also be too detailed. I doubt there are many incidents per month notable enough for us to scramble Wikimedians. The method of gathering the data is one thing, but I am more worried about the delivery of it. If there is an incident, how do we notify the parties that may be interested? -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 18:56, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

  Support Yes, an excellent idea. How best to progress it? Maybe an initial discussion to spec out the functions needed, then pass over to a (very kind) bot writer?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by MichaelMaggs (talk • contribs) 15:16, 22 July 2013‎ (UTC)
Perhaps templates to inform people somehow? Based on the parameters passed to it, it would spit out the relevant entry. We would need to establish regions though keeping in mind the borders which could be non-trivial. Example: many European borders aren't enforced while elsewhere in the world passing borders is kind of a challenge.
Also people may wish not to reveal their exact location so perhaps a WM labs project then which the URL would take coordinates/city and radius (and perhaps topic(s)) to spit out the desired topics of interest.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 11:54, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Actually that's a good idea which can be immediately implemented without delay. No further discussion would be required really as it is just a few templates, used as an opt-in. The templates could be basically invisible when there is nothing for the area, and appear across the top of the editors talkpage, userpage, or whereever when there is something. They wouldn't get a 'new message' though.
You'd need enough people to be aware of it though, and interested enough to populate the template on a regular basis. The people from the wikinews might help, and you'd need to advertise it in the watchlist notifications too. Penyulap 15:17, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Or people can edit their common.css/.js etc to have it display on every page like a personalized second site notice. A bot can help maintain the templates on top of the people. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 16:31, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Please have a look at de:Vorlage Diskussion:Bilderangebot. There is something specific in progress. If you would like me to assist with the translation, let me know. Thank you. -- Rillke(q?) 13:17, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Translation would be great! It seems like the linked is an external script. Perhaps the bot can update templates (mentioned above) as an extra task. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 16:31, 4 August 2013 (UTC)


I have started writing up a policy on courtesy deletions, but now I have to go to work and I'm running out of ideas, so please go and help! -mattbuck (Talk) 07:29, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I think we'd better change the misleading title to "courtesy removal( of images)". I support that proposal in whole context, but we need to discuss whether the courtesy removal provess should be public (via normal DR process) or private (via OTRS request). – Kwj2772 (msg) 09:28, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
To answer why I raised public/private request issue, because it is correlated to Commons talk:Photographs of identifiable people/Update 2013/Removal requests. – Kwj2772 (msg) 09:35, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Should misuse of tools be required for removal of tools

For de-adminship / de-bureaucratship should misuse of tools be a requisite for the de-adminship / de-bureaucratship discussion to take place ? Penyulap 18:28, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

I think there are two sides to the above idea, in my opinion:
1. If you screw up once with the tools, you are unpromoted, no questions asked.
2. If you mess up without the tools a few times, people discuss sanctions against you. What is coming to mind right now is the discussion regarding Ironholds, where he's going to probably be stripped of his rights due to his incivility after he was elected to his administrator position. You could also apply Russavia's actions here, although that is more of a gray area in my opinion.
In light of that, I don't think someone should get their rights stripped unless they have engaged in more than one instance of the same offense. In Ironholds' case, it was multiple occurrences, and he has pledged to correct his behavior. I have no reason to assume he won't, because I have met him before, and he is a very good person. In the case of Russavia, he showed multiple instances of bad judgment, although I am not aware of either of them using their tools for their behavior.
In terms of what we should do to people who mess up, I think we should follow this approach: "You mess up, you admit it and pledge to fix the problem, you are forgiven, everyone hugs and we all get on with our lives." Personally, I am more for this view, unless there is a pattern of abuse that occurs or something egregious happens. This would fall more in line with a three strikes idea, and it would allow for people to learn from their mistakes and keep the drama down. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 22:47, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
  • The problem with this proposal is it confines the criteria to consider to that of just using tools while ignoring the more important aspects of these appointments, not the least of which is leadership. Saffron Blaze (talk) 03:50, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant to add that I am in no way serious, but am just throwing out an idea. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 05:03, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

well the serious problem is that a de-bureaucratship discussion is being run strictly as a popularity contest, rather than as a response to alledged misbehaviour tool-wise. It proports to be following the de-adminship process, however that process clearly states that the tools have to be mis-used, and people have to agree that the tools were misused. That has to occur prior to the discussion taking place, or, generally, said discussion is closed on procedural grounds. In this instance, one single person is inventing their own process which none of us have discussed. They're picking out the voting threshold of the de-adminship discussion, applying it to their invented discussion, and ignoring the fact that mis-use of tools is required. They're ignoring that because it hasn't happened. It is important to discuss whether or not we all want to take away tools from people who obviously shouldn't have them in cases where they haven't actually mis-used them. That is the discussion we should have, otherwise there is no process and there is just chaos. Should mis-use of tools be a pre-requisite, or shall we dispense with it in general and evaluate admins and or bureaucrats on the whole. Penyulap 10:24, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree. We shouldn't be removing stuff from people just because they messed up in another area that doesn't involve their rights. That being said, they have engaged in harassment of a person, and it is inexcusable. Personally, I feel as though people are subtly bringing in ideas from the English Wikipedia and using those as subtle cues in their decisions, but that's just my idea. That being said, he is probably going to have his rights removed based on a faulty argument, but it could bring up a situation where he eventually gains back the rights due to the aforementioned technicality. The reason I voted the way I did is that I believe that there is enough evidence to support the possibility of rights being abused in the future, but of course, that is hypothetical and has its own issues. If we throw out the case (which honestly wouldn't be a bad idea at this point, seeing what it has turned into), someone would surely try again, or try to apply any new rules retroactively. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 21:19, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
What policy do you think we should have in future ? Penyulap 21:41, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
It is not a popularity-contest as much as it is a re-gauging of trust. The election is just that, an expression of trust by the community. Once you've got the tools they should not be taken granted. If the trust is gone, a de-admin or de-crat vote should be the same thing as the initial election, a reaffirmation of the trust in the user (or the lack thereof). Tool abuse plays one role. It has the advantage that there often are fairly clear and verbose guideline on how to deem a use of a tool an abuse. Concrete examples of abuse can be used in a discussion to sway people's opinions on whether they still trust a user. But IMO it goes beyond just that. If a behavior is observed that is not strictly a tool abuse, but may be perceived as damaging to the community, it can lead to a loss of trust in the user. This scenario (which is what currently is happening in the russavia case) should be allowed to play out in a tool-removal request. Otherwise we'd artificially preserving bits for users that are not backed by the trust of the community. --Dschwen (talk) 21:51, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Exactly, it's all about the community's trust. Abusing the tools is one way you can lose that trust, but not the only way. --Avenue (talk) 02:05, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Dschwen and Avenue. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 07:45, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I think we should define what does and does not warrant this kind of discussion, because we are operating in a gray area right now, and it is showing in the rationales in the discussion. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 03:11, 14 August 2013 (UTC)


I can not see MediaWiki:Linkshere on non-English interface. Compare [1] and [2] (Transclusion count link is not available on de interface). What must be done about it? Using translation extension for it? −ebraminiotalk 22:09, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

On German interface, MediaWiki:Linkshere/de is used. Not sure about a/the "solution". -- Rillke(q?) 23:05, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Hmm so only would be using translation extension. MediaWiki:Linkshere/de is MediaWiki default message but it can be overrided if we mark the page parts for translation via <translate>. I tested it on Wikidata and it seems fine. −ebraminiotalk 23:58, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Now this must be translated, interesting −ebraminiotalk 11:36, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Interesting, indeed :-) -- Rillke(q?) 12:01, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
I still don't see where this message is used and why this use Translate-extension even this is a system message. – Kwj2772 (msg) 18:04, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Second question: Because this way you don't have to mess with markup (as translator) and the link can be easily updated. -- Rillke(q?) 18:42, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Rillke. I hope someone write/port it for Wikimedia Labs. A JSON web service would be nice, we can make a simple JS gadget for it and show transclusion count inside the wiki −ebraminiotalk 21:13, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Do you have experience running a server? I am always frightened that someone hacks it and makes abuse of it (seeing the number of infected sites (these are just JS-infections …)). -- Rillke(q?) 21:43, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
I? Never! :) Just have fear we will lose this tool with toolserver shutdown. −ebraminiotalk 22:29, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Huh? Which tool? --Dschwen (talk) 19:12, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Are you just kidding or looking for tools:~jarry/templatecount/ which is linked from MediaWiki:Linkshere? -- Rillke(q?) 19:28, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

POTD descriptions

Could the image descriptions be automatically extracted via Lua, instead of being duplicated/rewritten in {{Potd description}}? --Ricordisamoa 13:35, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

That is extremely difficult because all kind of templates are in use for the description. One would have to expand the templates and then do HTML DOM parsing which requires a LUA HTML-DOM parser. When we have WikiBase to store this kind of information and everything is migrated to it, then it would be easy. But WikiBase will not even allow Wikilinks.... -- Rillke(q?) 14:07, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Original uploads

We have:

with many repeated parameters. Woudn't it be better to use a single one?


{{original upload
|user = Jimbo Wales
|date = 2012-12-21
|site = en.wikipedia
|page = Example.jpg
|transferred by = File Upload Bot
|transferred with = CommonsHelper

instead of

{{transferred from|en.wikipedia|File Upload Bot|CommonsHelper}}
{{original upload date|2012-12-21}}
{{original uploader|Jimbo Wales|wikipedia|en}}
{{original description page|en.wikipedia|Example.jpg}}

Any thoughts? --Ricordisamoa 00:16, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Great idea. Penyulap 06:23, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

  •   Support --MehdiTalk 10:04, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
  •   Support. I can run a bot to convert the variants into a single template. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 16:33, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
  •   Support --Steinsplitter (talk) 20:31, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
  •   and it would be great if someone at least notifies our upload-bot maintainers. -- Rillke(q?) 05:12, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
  •   Support (Late for the party!) -- Tuválkin 16:41, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Could such system be integrated into {{Information}}? --Ricordisamoa 16:06, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Any thoughts? --Ricordisamoa 01:42, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
The information that {{Original upload}} is concerned with really only pertains to the source field of {{Information}}. {{Information}} also needs other parameters, such as a description and authorship information. So the proposed {{Original upload}} should be used to populate {{Information}}'s source field (possibly in combination with other information), but as described above, it could not be used to populate a full {{Information}} instance. LX (talk, contribs) 11:51, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Change in Template:Transferred from

Template talk:Transferred from#CommonsHelper lists a proposal that could affect thousands of images. --Ricordisamoa 04:00, 31 August 2013 (UTC)