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-- Wikinews Welcome (talk) 06:17, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Life on MarsEdit

You heard about the Curiosity paper? Writeup could use your specialist touch. Darkfrog24 (talk) 23:08, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Hi Robertinventor.
Thanks a lot for your attention to the detail and fact checking. I really appreciate it. I am glad to see this ... ability .. find its place here at Wikinews in the context of rapidly changing news world. Again thank you so much for this.
Seeing that you are a programmer at the English Wikipedia user page -- what languages do you program in? The program names are not familiar to me. Also, I am not sure whether you volunteer with writing codes and if yes then where they can be seen. (The reason why I ask is because I occasionally need help with programming and it is nice to know whom to ask about what.)
--Gryllida (chat) 03:06, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
Hi @Gryllida: - glad to help - yes that's my strong point, when it's appreciated :). They are rather specialist programs that are of interest to a few microtonalists and to musicians who work with unusual rhythms. Tune Smithy used to be the main program that was used for the more advanced forms of microtonal retuning on Windows at one point, for a few years, especially in the first decade of this century. My program for Windows, L'ill Miss Scale Oven for the Mac and SCALA for Linux / Unix. Nowadays there are maybe a dozen or more such programs but I still have a few users. My best seller now is Bounce Metronome. It's not a big earner, a few sales a week, also with discounts, up to 90% off, and low price to start with - I just tick by as a sole trader, but it's enough to keep me self employed :).
I write mainly in Windows C but I dabble in other languages. Originally learnt Fortran back in the 1970s, then Algol, ended up in C for Linux and then in Windows. My coding is rather eccentric though in that language because of my background, don't use C++ or classes unless I have to because it's someone else's code, and don't really "get" them, the reason why - it's a new way of working and I've never needed to change. With my background I write my code just as fast and accurately as others seem to do with classes, through long experience of working at a lower level since before classes were invented. I have some open source code that I shared on the web. [1][2][3][4][5]
I can do Wikipedia templates using things like #ifeq like this [6] though I haven't learnt the Lua programming language for Wikipedia modules. Is any of this relevant? What projects are you working on? Robertinventor (talk) 04:24, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
Hello again Robertinventor. Such a thorough answer. I am glad to see your technical expertise in such a variety of areas. I write Fortran too but currently F77 only, not F90 or F2008, been working on an old code.
Currently my biggest struggle is the lack of a space to privately take notes of people with whom I worked previously and when to follow-up. Are you familiar with software that could do this? Like a w:contact book or a w:personal information manager, something in-between. (I have relatively poor memory.)
I'm working on experiment 1 linked at my user page, currently the '5 exercises' thing, which I am attempting to suggest to people (without showing them the big picture, only the first step) at their talk pages. I am not sure what would come out of it. Maybe there are better implementations of it. A program written in JavaScript -- an add-on for Firefox -- is a part of it, which could also perhaps benefit from testing and ideas for improvement. (Since you haven't created new articles yet, perhaps this process may be interesting for you to try out, if not for news writing, then for assessing its efficiency or drawbacks - whichever you are more interested in.) --Gryllidamsg/chat 22:38, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Hi @Gryllida: - sorry don't know of anything particularly but my sister is very keen on Trello which may be worth looking at - soemwhat like that, online https://trello.com/
I haven't had time to look at your user page exercises thing properly, sorry. Just a first look. I have just made my first WikiNews article and it seemed a straigthforward matter, of filling in a template. It might help to work the other way and have a look and see what users here struggle with and ask frequent questions about. With my own software, it is tailored to problems that my users ask me about - "Can you do x", together with things that I want to do myself and see myself as a representative of a larger group of people. E.g. to make microtonal music or polyrhythms. Because I want to be able to do that myself then I can do a software program that's useful for me, combine it with paying a lot of attention to questions my users ask, and also the user design, and you can get a good program. And - it may help to start with some simple straightforward thing people want help with that is quite repetitive, to make a program that gets used a fair bit, and then build up from that and from experience of what works with it and what doesn't to a more large scale solution. Again most of my programs start with some small seed idea, rather than having a plan in advance of everything I want to do. Just a few thoughts in case it helps. Sorrhy I haven't had a lot of time recently. Robertinventor (talk) 00:58, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

You have a new messageEdit

--Gryllida (chat) 18:59, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

Cold salty water on MarsEdit

I haven't been following the edits at that article in detail over the past few days, but I'm concerned by what I think I see there. Although the subject is certainly intensely interesting, the article kind of looks like a major all-around frustration in progress. Unless I'm missing something about the situation (which does happen sometimes). Our freshness policy basically says (to a first approximation) that a synthesis article has to complete the whole of the writing and review processes in time to be published no more that two or three days after the focal event. The lede of that article says the focal event took place on "22nd October" (which should be called "Monday"), and it's now Friday on Wikinews, four calendar days later. :-S  --Pi zero (talk) 00:26, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

I've remarked about this at the article talk page also, Pi zero. I guess one way to restore freshness is by interviewing the researchers, but it may be a good idea to finish that within today (best) and tomorrow (maybe) but not any later, to allow time for the review and revisions before the event is over a week old. --Gryllida (chat) 00:29, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
@Pi zero: @Gryllida: @Darkfrog24: Okay, sorry I was aware of the freshness policy but didn't realize there was a specific timescale or it was so short. Though I can understand the reason. For my own blog posts I also try to do them as soon as possible after a breaking news story. Sadly when the story broke I didn't have time to work on it right away. I have prepared a set of interview questions to send to the researcher and have a contact address and plan to send them right away. I think our article will stand out as being more thorough than anything else out there as far as description of the research itself. And adding answers to those interview questions would make it unique if he answers as I think there is a good chance he does. I've found the contact form on his own personal page here [7]: Robertinventor (talk) 01:25, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Original reporting is the most advanced, difficult, and highly esteemed sort of reporting we do on Wikinews. Imho the most spectacular example in my experience to date (I reviewed it) was this piece. --Pi zero (talk) 02:04, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

Oh okay - so from that page it seems like if I ask him if it is okay to include an email transcript in the collaboration page - and to forward the emails to scoop - would that be fine? I'm all ready to send the email, I'll upload a draft to my user space here and then link to it, so you can look and see if it is okay. Robertinventor (talk) 02:17, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

--Pi zero (talk) 03:33, 9 January 2019 (UTC)

See review comments, edits during review, of course. --Pi zero (talk) 03:33, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
I fell off the web in early January, and didn't notice this was published until now. Big thanks to Robertinventor and Pi zero for this piece!!! Gryllida (talk) 23:41, 21 March 2019 (UTC)


The license on Wikipedia doens't allow reuse on Wikinews. --Pi zero (talk) 04:18, 9 January 2019 (UTC)

Oh I see, that explains it, I was going to ask about that. Oh that's awkward.
Anyway I've just done it myself from scratch, just transcluded the page using
(It's one of the special pages that can be transcluded). Could make that into a new template if it was useful for anyone else, without all the sophistication of the Wikipedia one. Anyway that will do me fine, just wanted a way to list them, thanks. Robertinventor (talk) 04:48, 9 January 2019 (UTC)