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First steps

In order to get this off the ground, the very first thing we need is to have a challenge or a couple of challenges for December. Once that's sorted, we can work on the framework.

  • How are challenges chosen. Will we structure themes them into strands such as "Subject", "Concept" and "Technique"?
  • How many challenges at a time? How about 2 from different strands e.g. one concrete subject and one abstract concept?
  • Establish the entry criteria for the competitions.
  • How do we vote or otherwise pick a winner or winners.
  • What qualities are we looking for. Is it just a popularity contest, or will there be some marking scheme?
  • How are new challenge pages created.
  • How do participants add their images.
  • How and when do reviewers perform their task?
  • What deadlines do we have for entry and review?

More? I think it is important to keep this lightweight (especially to begin with) and fun. So a huge page of guidelines or a strict 6-point checklist of assessment criteria are not desirable. Colin (talk) 13:27, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

  Comment Is the intent to draw in external talents (se WLM) or is this directed at Commoners? There might be merit in inviting/enticing professional photographers with the incentive of exposure on a main page. 19:40, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

I had thought we wouldn't be able to have a prize, so it would just be for your own satisfaction and honour among friends. But I guess appearance on the main page could be a prize, if the community thinks the winning entries are good enough. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a physical prize if this is really successful. WMF has a few pennies to spare. Though the downside to that is that it might spoil the fun and some real pros could walk all over the amateurs. The main purpose is to create great content while having fun and trying new things. That's my aim anyway. The WLM has been great at attracting new contributors, less good at attracting regulars and not very good at all at retaining new contributors. So that balance there is wrong for this. If this is successful, then it may attract new photographers to join. Even with WLM, you need to get an account to enter. Colin (talk) 21:05, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't have too much time for this atm, but to keep things running here are some random thoughts: When setting up the rules, we might want to keep them flexible. For instance, the maximum amount of post-production (photoshopping etc.) to be accepted might depend on the theme of the challenge. Some themes might call for a longer period (let's say one month), others could be quicker (let's say one week). Also, the criteria for judging might vary depending on the intention of the individual challenge (a challenge might be about a photographic technique, best illustration of some kind of object, general mood/beauty/awesomeness, …). So, as stated earlier, I would prefer to create a set of different types of challenges with a special set of rules for each of them (Doesn't necessarily be complete befor we start, we should probably just develop them as we go). Also: if this is not intended to be for photos only, why not call it "Media challengee(s)" instead? Cheers, --El Grafo (talk) 11:13, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

This was always intended for photos in my mind. Photo challenges are an existing feature of online photo communities (search for the term and you'll find dozens). So we know this can work if we have enough participants. There are plenty photographers on Commons, so hopefully many of them may be interested. I have no idea about other media but suspect there isn't a history of group challenges for other creative forms and the Commons community of creators of such material is tiny. Colin (talk) 11:36, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I think the frequency of challenges and number of simultaneous ones might depend on how big a response this gets. I thought a month might be a good start, but if really popular then a fortnight might work. Yes, some themes might take longer than others. I'm not sure a week is sufficient as that only leaves one weekend where lots of people have sufficient free time. One possibility is that new challenges are started every week/fortnight but each one runs for a month. We need to make sure there are sufficient responses to each challenge to be worth judging. Colin (talk) 11:36, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I was of course just brainstorming. Maybe we should just pick a couple of themes, start a trial run and see what happens … --El Grafo (talk) 12:39, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Indeed -- Colin (talk) 13:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

First themes

Here are some suggestions for first themes. There are lots of possibilities. Any strong objections to these three? Got another suggestion for January? Colin (talk) 13:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

I like those ideas. Made another quick indoor-proposal for January (or whenever) below. --El Grafo (talk) 14:29, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Great idea. -- Colin (talk) 14:39, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Good for a start. Yann (talk) 16:43, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, very good ideas.--MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:19, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, this all sounds very good. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 04:19, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm ok with some of this type, but they seem a bit artsy rather than educational if you know what I mean. Perhaps we can try to fill educational gaps. I'll suggest a few in the upcoming possibilities list. --99of9 (talk) 04:55, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
If this succeeds, then there is certainly room for some of the themes to be explicitly designed to fill the gaps in our repository, and I would strongly support that. I'm a bit nervous about a month competition for "undocumented personalities" as it is quite hard to just go out and snap a celebrity. And some of our categories are poorly illustrated rather than completely empty -- so it would be good to phrase the challenge so that taking a good quality image, where no good image previously existed, was sufficient. Colin (talk) 08:36, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Real celebrities are almost certain to have pictures already. You'd probably be looking for your local political representative, academic, sports team, etc. I agree it would be a little bit of a scavenger hunt, so maybe best not in the first couple of months, but sometimes a challenge makes it more fun. I don't move in the circles of the famous, but I personally know about five people with WP articles that don't have a picture. --99of9 (talk) 09:51, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Very good --Martin Falbisoner (talk) 05:36, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • December
    • Coloured light. This should be a good one for December with plenty subjects towards Christmas and New Year celebrations. Subject should either be or have a source of coloured light or be lit by coloured light (rather than being a coloured object). Be careful with copyright on toys (COM:TOYS). See Category:Colorful lighting for ideas. Colin (talk) 13:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Silhouette. A technique rather than a subject. See Category:Silhouettes for ideas. Colin (talk) 13:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • January
    • Frost. For those where January is a cold month, this may tempt you outdoors with your gloves and woolly hat. Alternatively, the Fridge/Freezer may help. Or choose the other theme... Colin (talk) 13:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
    • A bunch of stuff. Have a look at the following examples and you'll get it: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Let's fill Category:Assorted objects/Category:Textures. --El Grafo (talk) 14:29, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
      Brillant. Love that idea :) Jean-Fred (talk) 10:34, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
    • The four elements in Winter: air (sky, clouds); water (rain and sea); fire (storms, lightening); earth (frozen land, snow, ice) -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 12:37, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
  • February
    the first two themes were already suggested (see #Monthly theme), Anna reg (talk) 13:53, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
    • February 2014 as possible continuation of the January theme
    • Love, inspired by Valentine's day
  • More ideas
    • Undocumented species Biological species of which Commons has no other media. --99of9 (talk) 05:11, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
      This could be great, with enough people involved. Junkyardsparkle (talk) 23:26, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
      I'd like something like that for spring, but I wouldn't be as strict about the undocumented clause, as long as the species/cultivar/breed is identified. Perhaps we could say that the challenge is meant to illustrate the species/subspecies/variety better in order to prevent lots of pictures of cats and unidentified tulip culivars... Anna reg (talk) 13:53, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Undocumented personalities Portraits of notable people of which Commons has no other media. --99of9 (talk) 05:11, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Newsworthy Events that made the news during this month. (Please provide a link to a related news article.) --99of9 (talk) 05:11, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
      Very interesting idea, imho. If this turns out to work well, I could imagine this to become some kind of "permanent" challenge, which is re-started every month or so. --El Grafo (talk) 08:43, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Leaf venation Veins of accurately identified plants. --99of9 (talk) 05:11, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Local food Notable dishes or ingredients from your area/culture. --99of9 (talk) 05:11, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
      Local food is a brilliant theme. -- Colin (talk) 08:37, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
      I agree. --Myrabella (talk) 09:56, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
    • People love their work!
      "People at work" can be an interesting topic indeed, with encyclopedic potential. Maybe a norrower theme would be challenging, for instance "People in manufacturing activities". --Myrabella (talk) 13:38, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
      Interesting idea, but we need to keep Commons:Personality rights in mind. I'd suggest to use {{Consent}}.--El Grafo (talk) 09:18, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
      Yeah, good idea. When I see nice shots like this or that I think we definitely could use more of such images of people working. Jean-Fred (talk) 10:34, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
      Thanks; Social documentary photography is an important part of educational photography, and documenting how we earn our bread is interesting part of it. Commons:Personality rights is a challenge and is the main reason why we strive in the area of good people photographs. But I think we can encourage such works, as far as such works are taken with care so that any person depicted there may not feel inferior if public see it. I don't want to see more butterflies and landscapes here too. :) JKadavoor Jee 14:13, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
    • People love their life! My favorite themes in Flickr. :) JKadavoor Jee 08:56, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Light and Shadows (eg Category:Light and shadow) (I have more photos on this theme than on "silhouettes" ;) --Myrabella (talk) 09:56, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Action verbs This was one of the theme of a photo scavenger hunt I took part in last year − we had to illustrate stuff like “mopping”, “straightening” or “trashing” (and other quite not successful, like “sneezing”, “measuring”, “stealing”). This was lots of fun, not so easy, and quite a definite gap in our coverage I think. Jean-Fred (talk) 10:34, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
      Yes, I like this a lot. --99of9 (talk) 06:24, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Emotions important pages, but few images. We could almost have a separate challenge on each emotion! --99of9 (talk) 06:24, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Concert photography -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Sports photography - possible to concentarte on sports topics like water sports, ball sports, team playing, racings ... -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Bridges -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Streaming water -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Sunset, Fog, ... -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Fire -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Bird watching -- Achim Raschka (talk) 07:47, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Change scope to Media challenge?

Can I suggest widening the scope to include all media types that Commons supports? In particular I'd like to see some challenges related to valuable diagrams. Or at least diagrams being eligible to enter these broad-scoped challenges. --99of9 (talk) 04:41, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

I don't think this will work, but if half a dozen illustrators turn up here with ideas for themes they could compete on and would regard as a useful challenge.... I don't see any significant mix on Commons between the photographers and illustrators and think the two groups would have difficulty picking subjects they could both do (and doing so would place huge restrictions), or for us to find any way of judging between the two. For example, none of the suggested categories so far would suit illustrators. And video and sound? Do we even get much self-produced material in those categories, let alone material produced for a competition. I suggest we get the photo challenge off the ground first for a few months. We don't really know if this will take off yet. Then if someone can start and succeed at running an illustration theme then the name could change. -- Colin (talk) 08:20, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Limit number of entries?

I suggest a limit on the number of submissions each photographer can make to each challenge (e.g. N=1). It will help the judges and result in highest quality candidates if everyone does some pre-selection amongst their own work. --99of9 (talk) 04:47, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

  •   Support That sounds reasonable --Martin Falbisoner (talk) 05:34, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes; one from each photographer to each challenge is enough. JKadavoor Jee 06:32, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong   Oppose I'm not keen on this at all. The point is to encourage creativity and fun and produce new material. The judging and winner aspect is only there as a carrot, not to limit contributions. WLM has no limit on entries. If we get 30 "coloured lights" images and 10 are from one person, then that's 9 more coloured lights they might not have uploaded. Perhaps #8 wins but they personally would have chosen #2. The more arty, experimental and varied nature of this material will mean it will be hard for someone to be sure which of their images will attract votes. Why should I have the stress of picking one from 10 possibles, when I can let my peers vote? Perhaps if there is concern that people may dump lots of low quality images or many nearly identical images, then how about some wording like "Please choose from among the best and varied material you have taken for the challenge. Do not submit lots near-identical images or the duds in your collection.". If it turns out the challenges are being overloaded then we can rethink -- it is a wiki after all. -- Colin (talk) 08:32, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  •   Oppose This is supposed to encourage production of a lot of files, not just one per user. WLM is so useful exactly because we end up with a lot of files. If we artificially limit the number of files a user can upload, we'll simply get fewer files and no real advantages. darkweasel94 10:15, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Leave it now. We desperately need some nominations to start with. Let us discuss such things, later. Unfortunately, I've no Coloured light or Silhouette in hand. :) JKadavoor Jee 10:39, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Well you've got the whole of December to take some :-) -- Colin (talk) 12:02, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong   Support I find it ridiculous that some users flood a competition with their photos.One should submit only their best work as far as a competition goes. --Catlemur
  • I think a limit is a good idea, but I feel like N=2 or 3 would be completely fine and encourage people to try a few more things. — Julian H.✈ (talk/files) 20:47, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  •   Info see also: #Number of nominations per user --El Grafo (talk) 21:27, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Pictures eligible for submission

Just to be clear, currently the rules are Submissions must be […] not previously uploaded to Commons, but the next sentence includes images you took for the challenge. This might cause some confusion: Am I allowed to enter any picture from my personal archive, provided that it isn't at Commons already? Or are pictures accepted only if they were taken after the beginning of the challenge? Personally I'd tend to leave this up to the initiator of the specific challenge (or discuss it for every challenge, or do something else, but at least keep it flexible), but we should clarify this for the current challenges. Cheers, --El Grafo (talk) 08:57, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

As dates can be easily manipulated, I think we can accept images taken earlier, but not uploaded earlier. Anyway we have to upload it prior to make a nomination. So I don't know the logic behind Submissions must be […] not previously uploaded to Commons. May be Colin meant not uploaded to Commons prior to the start date of the challenge. :) JKadavoor Jee 09:10, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I've tried to simplify and clarify the text. The intention of a challenge is to encourage us to go out and take new pictures, not to just browse through our archive. But as far as Commons is concerned, the benefit is to host new material, no matter how old the images are. I think we should treat all submissions equally: old (but newly uploaded) and newly taken. It is not our concern if someone is inspired to take something new or is inspired to upload something old. That's up to them. So this is a balance that is similar to the WLM rules. And perhaps some challenges involve processing images in a special way, so old photos would be suitable for that. The upload date should be during the "Open for submissions" period only. I'm relaxed about people making minor tweaks after that date (say someone sees a dust spot, or CA, or a stitching error). Does this seem reasonable? -- Colin (talk) 09:44, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Enough, I think. JKadavoor Jee 09:50, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Yep, looks good. --El Grafo (talk) 12:13, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Upload campaign

Hi. I'm playing with the idea to add an upload campaign for the photo challenge. This would allow better tracking op pictures contributed for the PC, automatic adding of categories, and branding of the upload page for Photo challenge uploads. The campaign data is here Campaign:Photo_challenge. --Dschwen (talk) 17:52, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

We seem to have a problem with people's nominations lacking the signature (just the ~~~~). Is that the gallery tag breaking it? Can you advise?
The campaign upload form needs to collect people's title for their image to display on the nomination, as well as the image itself. Would it have the option to choose which theme the upload is for?
I think categories for PC would be good. One category for the PC itself and then subcategories for each challenge theme. But we also need to make sure people know what to set manually in case they don't use the campaign form or change which image they nominate.
Is Commons moving to default to CC 4 licence any time? Or even having it as an option on the wizard? -- Colin (talk) 15:33, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Commons:Bugs#Galleries mentions two (rather old) bugs concerning signatures in galleries. Commons:QI has the same problem, but there appears to be some kind of workaround using JavaScript (see Commons:QIC#Nominations). --El Grafo (talk) 12:14, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
An alternative solution might be to just disallow signing the entries. You get the image and a title but no (obvious) clue as to who created the picture. Even clicking on the full-size link, you can probably avert your eyes from the uploader details. That might result in fairer judging. And since you must nominate your own image, it is easy to work out who won when the winner is chosen. -- Colin (talk) 15:52, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
I have rewritten the gallery signature fix. We could activate it on the topic galleries if signatures are needed. --Dschwen 16:38, 11 December 2013 (UTC)


Signatures are proving a problem due to the images being in a gallery. Dschwen has a fix, but I'm wondering if the contest is fairer if we don't advertise who created the image so prominently. Of course it is possible to see who created an image, but if we just have the image and its title, it should be possible to review an image (even clicking on the full size page) without looking to see who made it. This won't work for those show-offs who include their name as part of the filename :-). Another benefit is it also makes the gallery less cluttered as signatures are sometimes rather fancy and long. What do we think? Let's have a poll

No signatures
  •   Support -- Colin (talk) 17:01, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  •   Support No big reason to have them.
  •   Support Lotje (talk) 21:39, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  •   Support Agree, all the more since signatures in the gallery still don't work. --Myrabella (talk) 23:09, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  •   Support --El Grafo (talk) 10:40, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
  •   Support Late, I know. — Julian H.✈ (talk/files) 09:45, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Looks like a consensus to me, should we apply it to all entries then? — Julian H.✈ (talk/files) 09:45, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

I've removed them. -- Colin (talk) 10:36, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Date of upload...

Hi all.

If I understand well : "Photographs entered into a competition must be new to Commons" means that we may upload picture during the month of the current challenge and pictures wich were uploaded one or more month before can't be in the current month challenge ?

Some of december challenge were uploaded a long time before december. Are they able to enter the competition ?

Can some one clarify that in the challenge rules ? Thanks. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 00:43, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Oops, thanks for that, I hadn't noticed that it had to be own work. I've removed Lt David Blackburn. I suggest just directly removing anything that is not eligible. --99of9 (talk) 06:12, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Pinging Colin to look on every nominations. Jee 10:44, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
This is a shame. If we include 99of9's entry that's 10 that had to go. Mostly uploaded previously but one other image was a diagram from a scientific paper, rather than a photo or original work. It would help if others can vet new entries as they arrive and post something to the nominator. Ultimately Dschwen's idea of a Campaign wizard for uploading will help here. And some automation for vetting entries could be achieved. There is a fair bit that will need automating in future if this is to scale and run smoothly, but we can cope with doing it manually for now. -- Colin (talk) 13:18, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, I understood well. Couldn't it be writen in bold ? In each page to be clearly legible ? --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 17:11, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
@ Llann .\m/ , you are right, I made it bold to make it clearer. Lotje (talk) 17:15, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you  . --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 18:32, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
I think "Photographs entered into a competition must be newly uploaded to Commons during the month of the current challenge and taken by a Commons user." (or something like that -English is not my native language) could be better than "Photographs entered into a competition must be new to Commons and taken by a Commons user.". --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 18:40, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Agree. It is a wiki, you know :-). Also the "Formal things" section is pretty stubby at present. I don't want it to become some epic set of rules, but if they can be clarified and improved then please try. Perhaps each photo challenge should repeat that "Photographs for this challenge must be uploaded to Commons in December" or something like that. -- Colin (talk) 18:57, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
@ Colin : I don't think it is or can be "some epic set of rules" as you said. They are basic but they need IMAO to be clearful. If the rules are as clear as you say, the 2 or 3 users haven't posted pictures that were already on Commons before challenge and then deleted of the page.
"Photographs entered into a competition must be uploaded to Commons during the month of the current challenge and taken by a Commons user" just ads a few words and not a big block of explanations. Thank you to invite me as " then please try" but I decline because of my English level : this is only a simple user's review/suggestion.
"Perhaps each photo challenge should repeat [...]", I agree too and suggested that above (with my clumsy words eve n if Googlz is my friend). Have a nice week. --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 22:33, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Submission too complicated?

At Commons talk:Photo challenge/de Andreas Schwarzkopf asked how to actually submit an image (technically), so it seems that this is not completely obvious. Currently, there are two options to reach the subpage containing the gallery with the submissions for one theme:

How can we sort this out? Should we maybe even consider creating a big green button for submissions? --El Grafo (talk) 10:23, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Pinging Colin. Jee 10:30, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
For the beginning, we could simply add a link=Commons:Photo Challenge/2013 - December - Coloured light to the "insert image here"-file, so you'll at least end up at the right page. Is there some way to automatically open the page in edit mode? link=Commons:Photo Challenge/2013 - December - Coloured light&action=edit doesn't seem to work … --El Grafo (talk) 10:48, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
This one seems to work: File:-Insert image here-.svg|link={{fullurl:{{FULLPAGENAME}}|action=edit}}|Sample Title 2. --El Grafo (talk) 11:12, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Nope, works fine if you are already at the subpage, but not from the main page … --El Grafo (talk) 11:58, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

I only created some thing quick-and-dirty to get this off the ground. I hope others more wiki-savvy than me can create an infrastructure that makes nominating/reviewing easy. User:Dschwen? Anyone else? It would be great to have a WLM-style upload page like proposed above, which automatically inserted the image with title. -- Colin (talk) 14:11, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

UploadWizzard Campaigns cannot insert images into galleries, but they can add custom categories to the images. I'm not sure this is much help though. Or do we have a way of including a category as a gallery? (could be written in JavaScript...) --Dschwen (talk) 00:37, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I have an idea

Bear with me... --Dschwen (talk) 00:57, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

The list below is dynamically created using the category tree extension. A little bit of JavaScript could easily turn this into a picture gallery. --Dschwen (talk) 01:01, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Click here to view the list as an embedded gallery instead. --Dschwen (talk) 18
14, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
This script turns the image list into a makeshift gallery. I'll need to postprocess the scaling because I can only request thumbnails with a given width. But that should be easy. --Dschwen (talk) 03:25, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
And done, too. Maybe a square box around the image... But enough for tonight. --Dschwen (talk) 03:31, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Did I get this right: The only thing one would have to do to nominate a picture would be to drop it into a category and your magic script-fu would just grab the whole category and return a gallery? Sounds great for nominators, but what about users who still refuse to use JavaScript? They wouldn't be able to see the gallery, right? --El Grafo (talk) 13:17, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
People who refuse to use JavaScript are right down there with the people who refuse to use computers or refuse to vaccinate their kids. I don't see why we should cater to superstitions. --Dschwen (talk) 15:46, 18 December 2013 (UTC) P.S.: The whole thing would degrade the experience, albeit gracefully. Instead of thumbnails the noscript people would just see a list of text links. In that respect it is a very barrier free solution, ideal for screen readers etc. --Dschwen (talk) 18:18, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
My bad, I misunderstood the concept. I think a list of links would be sufficient as a fallback. --El Grafo (talk) 21:55, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

With this script we would not need subpages for each month anymore. The gadget could be added as default, to run either everywhere on commons, or just on the challenge page. --Dschwen (talk) 18:18, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I have changed the script to generate a new style of gallery, that presents centered square crops of the images (500px style). This has the advantage of giving each image equal area and an overall more harmonious presentation. Of course it has the disadvantage of being something new <;-). --Dschwen (talk) 18:21, 18 December 2013 (UTC) P.S.: I hope such a presentation, where the thumbnail is effectively a teaser for the image could discourage review at thumb size and increase click through. --Dschwen (talk) 18:22, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Working on an improved submission page

Check This draft. --Dschwen (talk) 22:08, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I have created two Photo challenge upload campaign (for the two concurrent topics, more can be added) here:

Furthermore I have created two subpages (banners) corresponding to the upload campaigns above:

The way this is set up, the cryptic campaign definitions won't have to be edited. The banners are displayed on the upload form and they show the current topic. The banners are also substituted automatically onto the uploaded files.

When a new challenge is started edits have to be performed in two places:

  1. The banner pages. Add the title of the challenge and the new category name (for each topic)
  2. The PC main page. Change the headings and the descriptions for the themes. Change the category listed between the <categorytree></categorytree> tags.

That's it. Now new uploads through the buttons on the contest page will automatically appear on the contest page in the correct subsection. Yay!

Now we haven't talked about voting so far. How to implement that is another story. --Dschwen (talk) 23:05, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

We also need an idea for easy browsing of the archives. A bot could create archive pages from the categories and the votes. --Dschwen (talk) 23:22, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Wow! That looks really clean and simple. I kind of like the squares, though you might be right with the "disadvantage of being something new" ;-) Voting might be more difficult indeed, but sticking to the idea of allowing   Supports only (which I would prefer anyway) might at least simplify this a bit. Isn't there a possibility to use (a simplified version of) the mechanism used for the Picture of the year (Help:EnhancedPOTY.js/MediaWiki:EnhancedPOTY.js/MediaWiki:EnhancedPOTY.css)? --El Grafo (talk) 14:19, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Category:Photo challenges...

Hello. I've created this category and subs.

--Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 03:09, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi LLann, I would suggest removing the subject from the category name. Because this would allow us to auto generate category names. Category:Photo challenge/2013 - December - 1, Category:Photo challenge/2013 - December - 2 (for the two topics). --Dschwen (talk) 16:19, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi Dschwen.   Done. I hope I understood what you suggested and I did it right because I'm not very used with that thing. Can you see and tell me please ?
Hmm, I don't think "1" and "2" are very useful category names. Please include the challenge name. In future, people may discover an image, see it is part of a challenge and want to see the other images in the challenge. If the challenge is just called "December 2" then they have absolutely no idea what the challenge was. -- Colin (talk) 18:50, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Colin, we can add a template on the description page with the challenge name. That way we only have to modify the upload campaigns when we change the theme of the challenge. We could then include the current month category automatically on the challenge main page (using month and year parser functions). The challenge name would make the categories much less useful because it adds another unguessable piece of information and requires more manual maintenance. After all computers are here to help us, right? --Dschwen (talk) 19:29, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Then again I don't really care as long as I'm not the one doing the extra maintenance :-) --Dschwen (talk) 19:30, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't assume too much about the periodicity of the challenges. It might make sense to run some challenges over a longer period or keep some open-ended till a certain number of contributions are added. We may run more some month and less another, as the photographic activity on Commons varies with the seasons. We might not run them on exact month boundaries. Early days yet. -- Colin (talk) 19:36, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Ok, you are right. We'd lose this flexibility with a fixed naming scheme. Any comment on the gallery thingie? --Dschwen (talk) 21:10, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, OK... Dschwen, you forget the deletion of Category:Photo challenge/2013 - December - 2  . --Llann .\m/ (Lie 2 me ...) 23:54, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, done. --Dschwen (talk) 00:06, 19 December 2013 (UTC)


I'd like to keep the challenge lightweight and positive. We are going to be experimenting with photography here more than at QI/FP/VI, so not every image will work well or be to pro standards. Here's my suggestions for voting. After the challenge closes for new entries, there is a period where it is open for voting (meanwhile other challenges are running). During this time, entries are placed into sections and people can add their names in   Support of them. No limit on the number of images you can support. No   Oppose or   Neutral votes allowed. Each image's section could have a place where people may give constructive comments. And possibly have a discussion section for the theme as a whole, for people to comment. At the end of the voting period, the image with the most votes wins. There are other things we could additionally celebrate other than popularity (e.g., most educationally useful image, most unusual image, most megapixels image [joking]) but perhaps they can wait till we see how things go. Thoughts? -- Colin (talk) 08:48, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Celbrate wow, EV and technical excellence as seperate qualities in addition to overall best? 15:58, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Update: I liked how you could vote for POTY without seeing all the other votes (though you could see them if you wanted to). But that contest had thousands of votes. With this challenge, it isn't easy to pick an absolute winner. We could have separate qualities to vote for in addition to overall winner. For example, most original entry, or most educationally useful entry. Also we could have some way of having 2nd and 3rd votes counted, or of awarding points to images (e.g. you award 3 to your best, 2 to the 2nd best and 1 to the 3rd -- image with the most points wins). Can we brainstorm some ideas for voting? The system needs to work with a relatively small number of votes for a relatively small number of images but result in a clear winner. If, for example, we just got the nominators voting for their own images, then we'd have no clear winner. Should one be able to vote for one's own? Not sure on that one and I can see arguments both ways. -- Colin (talk) 11:25, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

I think the nominator should not be able to vote for his/her own, so that people who don't vote for their own works are not put at a disadvantage against people who vote for everything they nominate. (A technicality: Only the original photographer should be prohibited from voting for their own work, not people who make minor edits to improve an image another user created. Otherwise, photos edited by someone other than the creator are put at a disadvantage, especially if the voter pool is small.) I support a system where a person ranks his/her top 3 choices, and awards 3 points to 1st, 2 points to 2nd, and 1 point to 3rd. The picture with the most points wins, with tiebreaks being the number of 1st-place votes, and then the number of 2nd-place votes. If everything is still tied, a tie will be declared. -- King of ♠ 06:33, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
I like the point system for the overall winner (and perhaps the possibility to mark one candidate as original or useful for the other categories), even though I know that it's horrible to decide how many points you want to award to a picture (at least for me that's always a tough decision). I'm not sure about the '(not) voting for your own images' - I'd hope that people are trying to be objective enough to vote for their own picture only if they think that it is the best - not because it's theirs, thus making a ban on your own pictures unnecessary - but perhaps that's too optimistic...
About pictures with the same amount of points - I'd say they are tied... (without counting first votes etc to try to define a clear winner). It's not that important to have only one clear winner, is it? Anna reg (talk) 16:04, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
No system is perfect. Possibly 1/2/3 points is too crude and one could spend all day rating all the images from 1 to 100 or use a logarithmic scale, but some 1st/2nd/3rd system seems fairer than having just one vote (especially if there aren't a huge number of voters). Having one winner will be handy if perhaps we can get them onto the main page but I don't know how often any tie break is likely to happen. There are all sorts of reasons to like a picture (technical quality, originality, artistic qualities, colourful, happy, etc) and it would be hard to be truly objective with one's own pictures. If we get lots of voters, then it won't matter either way about one's own vote. Personally, since choosing between my own work and someone else's quite different picture will be hard, I'd rather not have that problem to deal with. -- Colin (talk) 16:37, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
I forgot the smiley... ;-> (I believe you took my problem with choosing favourites way too seriously...) three points should be fine. But something more is needed for additional categories (and I really like that idea), as they have to be decided before the voting begins...
Which brings me to my question: Does the first voting period start in January? (You wrote somewhere here that you are still unsure if the submission period should be one month or longer...) Anna reg (talk) 21:50, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
When we finalize the voting scheme, I think the voting period should be a period of time (7 days? 14 days? a whole months?) immediately following the conclusion of submissions. Of course for this month, we can't do that, but this is what I think we should do in the future. -- King of ♠ 01:29, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
There's not been a whole lot of participation on the voting-discussion front, so I'm tempted to do like I did with setting this up and just pick something for the sake of getting things going. Perhaps we'll go with the suggested three point system and get voting started to see how it works. It's a wiki, so if it doesn't work out brilliantly then we can pick something else next month. Although categories for awards sound good, I don't think that idea is matured yet and it might be fairer to announce categories prior to the submission period -- that way people who feel they may not be able to take an overall-winning image might feel tempted to take something that wins a minor category. Also someone who submitted a picture might suggest a category they think they would win (best keyboard :-), which wouldn't be fair. My comments on length of submission period were that perhaps some of the challenge theme choices might require a long time for people to take and submit entries so some themes could be longer than others. I just want to leave things flexible at present rather than force us into a monthly cycle just because that's how it started. As for voting length, yes I don't think we need a whole month but perhaps a week is too short. If we did 14 days, then that gives us enough time afterwards to tally the votes and announce and discuss any changes/ideas for next month. So... shout now if you want a different voting system or I may just set something up today. -- Colin (talk) 09:00, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Does that mean that the challenges are closed? (I took some pictures during the Christmas holidays I haven't found the time to upload so far...)
Concerning the categories - I think everybody participating noticed that a lot of things aren't fixed yet (e.g. how we decide on our overall winner) and therefore can't imagine that anybody would find it unfair if something is added now. But as it seems to be difficult enough to find an overall winner, you are probably right that it's better not to immediately complicate the voting... ;-> (even though I missed something similar too 'most original entry', 'really useful', 'great idea' or 'funniest picture' at the POTY - I can't say as much about the technical aspects, as I feel too unsure to evaluate them...).
Another question is if the topics for January are fixed? At the moment there seem to be three suggestions... I'd prefer the topics bunch of stuff and four elements in Winter (frost can be included into the four elements and makes the challenge less climate/weather dependent - at the moment the weather in eastern Austria is more springlike than what you'd expect in winter...). Anna reg (talk) 15:53, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

I've been setting up the voting pages. Have a look at Commons:Photo Challenge/2013 - December - Silhouette/Voting. Here is the suggested wording:

Voting is open to all Commons users however users cannot vote for their own photographs. You may select up to three photographs to award points. For example:
Give the 1st ★★★ with *{{3/3*}} -- ~~~~
Give the 2nd ★★ with *{{2/3*}} -- ~~~~
Give the 3rd ★★ with *{{1/3*}} -- ~~~~

Thoughts -- Colin (talk) 18:29, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Could you randomize the order in which the entries are displayed? -- King of ♠ 05:39, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
yes, that's easy we have site JavaScript for that. I'll do it tomorrow. --Dschwen (talk) 06:31, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Does that work with the section-per-candidate layout? -- Colin (talk) 13:54, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, done on the Colored lights page here. --Dschwen (talk) 15:52, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Restricting voters

The featured picture forum restricts voting to "Only registered contributors whose Commons accounts have at least 10 days and 50 edits", with an exception for voting on your own picture. I guess this is to avoid trolls and recruited friends, etc. Should we do something similar but allow those who have entered the challenge but are newbies the chance to vote on others. I think that would be a balance between preventing biased/spoiler votes and discouraging new users from taking part. Something like:

"Voting is open to all registered contributors who have held accounts for at least 10 days and made 50 edits, and also to new Commons contributors who have entered the challenge with a picture. Users cannot vote for their own picture."

-- Colin (talk) 13:54, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Sounds good. -- King of ♠ 23:39, 5 January 2014 (UTC)


There have been some issues with voting where votes didn't show up if placed outside the "div" HTML sections that are used to randomise the entries. I've added some HTML comments to guide people. Perhaps Dschwen has a better solution? Can everyone help to keep an eye on the voting entries and help out if people's votes get lost or the formatting gets screwed up. The technology looks a little fragile at present. Some kind of automated POTY system would be best in future I think. -- Colin (talk) 09:44, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Sometimes some entries are not showing up. For example, your own plasma globe never shows up on the colored light voting page, and one time when I loaded the silhouette page only four entries showed up. Do we know what's wrong with this? If we can't figure this out soon maybe let's just get rid of randomization. It might not be the fairest but even more unfair would be for some entries to be randomly excluded completely. -- King of ♠ 09:58, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry. I hurried to fix it and broke it with the first few goes. I think it is ok now. I agree if we continue to get problems with this "div" trick then going back to non-random would be fine -- it would be the order people submit entries, so if there is any advantage to being first in the list, then people just have to submit early! -- Colin (talk) 10:05, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Hope OK, now. I too see no benefit in randomization. In fact I took time to find the picture I voted after saving. Jee 10:50, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, I still think randomization is better if we can have it without bugs. What I do is pick my three and open all of them in separate tabs, avoiding your issue. -- King of ♠ 01:15, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
It isn't just the bugs or extreme slowness, it is rather fragile. In fact the page is still a bit fragile if someone doesn't close a bracket or brace properly. I think it would be better to restore randomisation once we've got some automatic voting system. My ideal would be a system where
  • Go through the pictures marking those you think are contenders.
  • Filter to just this shortlist.
  • Assign 1st/2nd/3rd place.
  • Add comments to winners and runners-up.
  • Submit your vote.
And the vote would be semi-hidden similar to now. -- Colin (talk) 08:21, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

I've decided that there's a bigger problem than the order of entries. Once some supports start piling on, human nature makes it very hard to ignore them. We all like to pick a winner and not be seen to back a loser. So I think it more important that we try to hide the votes a bit so people can judge fairly. I tried to use the collapse top/bottom templates but the performance with the randomisation stuff was awful (with Firefox - often it only showed part of the page and sometimes crashed). I've removed the randomisation and added the hidden votes. I think another problem with randomisation (as Jkadavoor notes) is you lose your place. There is a danger that someone starts reviewing images, remembers they got as far as the donkey silhouette and then returns to the page later only to be at a different place and thus skip a whole lot of images. It also makes it jolly hard to find stuff when it keeps moving about. It is perhaps an idea to use when we have a more automated voting method.

Are we happy with the collapsed votes? Is it working ok for everyone? -- Colin (talk) 19:12, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

It's working for me and I think it's fine - but I noticed that Araujojoan96 awarded three points to several pictures (no, I did not look through all votes, but two of them were mine) and therefore tried to clarify the rules a bit more by emphasising the three pictures. Anna reg (talk) 23:28, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
It was my mistake, I already fixed. Thanks.--Araujojoan96 (talk) 23:30, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
That was fast! ;->
Nevertheless, I still think that the rules would be easier to capture if the paragraph is separated into who can vote and how you vote... perhaps even with headings? Anna reg (talk) 23:42, 6 January 2014 (UTC)


I think it would be a good idea to define a deadline for the voting - in order to tell everybody that they should vote now instead of perhaps waiting another few days. I'd suggest this Sunday, as that would mark the end of a three week voting period and give potential voters another three days. Additionally, we would have at least a week left to check the votes (eligibility, double/multi votes, counting) before the next two challenges enter the voting period.
For the next voting period: could we invent something to award when commenting? Perhaps a silver star, a smiley or something similar?
Anna reg (talk) 13:28, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

I was thinking of suggesting a deadline before the end of the month, so this Sunday would be fine. That gives is a short while to review the voting system before February voting starts. Last night I started writing a small program to check/count the voting. I'll get it to check voters meet the eligibility wrt nbr edits, and vote the correct numbers, but wasn't planning on checking people didn't vote for their own image, other than doing it by eye for the winning entries. I'll also output results if the system wasn't 3/2/1 but also 4/2/1, 1/1/1, 1/1/0 and 1/0/0. The latter three correspond to "pick your favourite x" where x is a number from one to three. The second option gives more weight to the first place. We can then see if it makes a difference and whether we should change/simplify the system. -- Colin (talk) 13:49, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Sounds good. And it would be interesting to see if there are differences, even though the idea of giving more weight to the first place doesn't really appeal to me... I find it too difficult to select my personal winners to want that decision to have more weight than it already has... ;->
About the deadline - if we decide on Sunday, we should make that known quite soon - after all, Sunday isn't that far away... Anna reg (talk) 14:45, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I've set the end date as midnight Saturday. The votes are just dribbling in now on average one a day and are unlikely to change any outcome. Anyone who was keen to vote has had plenty time. This will give me Sunday to count and publish the results along with some statistics. -- Colin (talk) 18:35, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Too difficult

While I am sure that most current contributors here have no difficulty opening the editing page, navigating to the right point, adding the appropriate wiki template, and finally saving, it would be more friendly for newcomers if we could implement a simpler voting system that does not require Wiki-editing knowledge. A very nice tool already exists to accept votes for the annual POTY competition, and I wonder if we could adapt the code from that? I am not sure who wrote that tool, but according to the table on this page it may have been User:Kalan. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 03:48, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I fully agree. We need automation to ensure each vote is done in a regular way that can then be counted automatically too. And automation would help set up the voting page too. And automation for uploading to the contest would be great (like WLM wizard -- perhaps inserts into category and a script creates the gallery from the category). The POTY pages are rather complex (with sub-pages for the votes and the comments for each picture) and seems overkill for us. Surely we can get by with something simpler. I think we should run manually for a month or two (unless some Javascript guru wants to leap in now) to settle on our nomination/voting rules before spending effort on tools. -- Colin (talk) 08:23, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Sounds a good plan. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:52, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
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