Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/Archive/8

Watercooler overflowing


Two problems:

  • towards the end of the month the Watercooler becomes impossible to follow, or even to download on some machines
  • useful discussions are sent away to the archive, never to be seen again.

My suggestion is that when a discussion is becoming long, particularly if it relates to another page, the discussion gets moved off to that discussion page with a note saying that it's gone there for it to continue? Would that be OK or should it stay on the watercooler for more people to see it? Also is it worth (or will it fall flat as too much work) to have a proper index of proposals/results, technical questions, assistance questions etc so newcomers don't have to plough through increasing numbers of archives? ClareWhite 09:15, 5 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Thing about archive indexes (they've been tried on 'pedia) is that people often don't update them. It would, undeniably, be of great use... if you are willing to do it, fantastic! Dan100 (Talk) 10:22, 12 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Mind you, I think Google site search searches the archives. I found that a useful way of finding old conversations in the past. Dan100 (Talk) 10:31, 13 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

  • Add a real forum with editing and versioning

I think that wikipedia needs to adopt some form of open source forum software for wikinews and worry about adding on versioning later on. News moves far too quickly to use wikis to discuss it and the chatroom would be almost impossible to use in a high volume story like a terrorist attack.--Rakista 19:02, 17 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

But this isn't Wikipedia. ;-) -- Davodd | Talk 19:46, 17 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]
On July 7 the IRC wasn't impossible to use - but actually proved invaluable. Dan100 (Talk) 17:38, August 18, 2005 (UTC)

Frontpage Wikification Proposal


This is a feature proposal to allow close to real-time frontpage minor edits(e.g. typos or double words) while still maintaining vandalism protection.

Proposal is to allow general user frontpage edits and then time delay them on a pending page awaiting the consensus approval of a large enough number of users of CDVF or the centralized single admin editor authority responsible for protecting the page.

Thus increasing the amount of "From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!" and "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." :-) --Fooscope 02:52, 7 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I am not exacly sure what you are asking for everything except layout is editable by anyone on the front page using templates. I have added a list of these templates to the Main page talk page --Cspurrier 03:21, 7 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for the info Cspurrier (c: .I had thought the Wikinews frontpage protected when I couldn't locate any [edit this page] tabs or other indication that it is editable. --Fooscope 03:51, 7 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Just so you know it is protected :), but we use templates to keep it editable. --Cspurrier 03:52, 7 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Editable and protected. A contradiction, no? The protection I can see is "security through obscurity" which historically has the habit of tending towards no security (e.g. the large black and white male genetalia POTD edit I saw added to the Wikipedia frontpage 40 minutes ago :-)
I propose that having a brief time delay would allow the frontpage to carry an [Edit this page] tab while keeping vandalism to a level such that would be vandals come to realise they are wasting their time by contributing negatively to the wikis. The greater visibilty of frontpage editing ability is also raised here Invite_users_to_edit --Fooscope 05:00, 7 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

That's hardly possible as we need to be able to update lead stories, etc. so the page has to stay modular and at this point fully editable. --Dčabrilo 05:05, 7 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, I agree with the front page being modular and editable. It is the flagship of the wikis and the first point of call for many new eyes. I consider that having an [Edit this page] on each page makes the entire wiki understandable to new users, it's omission is confusing on the front page.
An update time delay of say 5-20 seconds would allow a window of opportunity for vandalism to be reversed at a pending page before it hit the "live" main page - while also allowing every page to carry an [edit this page] tab.
What I am not sure about such a proposal is, are there any reasons against a delay like this for vetting pages and is it possible using the current media wiki? --Fooscope 09:23, 7 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]
We don't have a good technical solution for something like this, nor do we have enough editors to do it. It would end up being something that only admins can do, and would at this point lay too much power in their hands and possibly create a new kind of edit war among them. --Dčabrilo 09:28, 7 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Foo, if you want to code such a time-delay feature, cool, but no-one will do it for you. Dan100 (Talk) 10:24, 12 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I only recall making a proposal on the proposals page(orders are so 20th century :-) Who can I contact about coding this myself and setting up a test page? --Fooscope 09:53, 13 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Your best bet is to install a MediaWiki installation on your own computer, then use that for development work. Dan100 (Talk) 10:32, 13 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks Dan100. I found the latest version of MediaWiki here --Fooscope 03:12, 17 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

International Wikinews Writing Contest



I've written a draft page for the first International Wikinews Writing Contest. Please comment on or edit the rules and instructions, register as a contestant, and translate the page into other languages. I suggest that the contest will start on September 1, 2005. The contest is among individuals, so it doesn't matter how small or large an edition is.

We need judges from all language editions. We need prizes. We need contestants. Most importantly, I think, is that we get the word out about the contest. So please tell other people on IRC about it. I also think that it might be a good idea to promote it in MediaWiki:Sitenotice.--Eloquence 01:58, 18 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I added it to the Sitenotice. Great write-up of the rules, Erik! Interesting contest, too — maybe I'll even participate ;) -- IlyaHaykinson 02:43, August 18, 2005 (UTC)



I've created a suggestion for a flag here. It would go onto a template and could then be put onto discussions which could be used on pages where an important discussion is taking place on a random page in Wikinews which someone wants to draw attention to at a particular time. It might be a dispute, decision or proposal discussion. A DPL could then highlight these pages on the Watercooler, Community page and on people's userpages if they wish. Since I have a habit of messing these things up when i try them, I hope it can be adopted, improved and then go live if people like the idea. A flag icon might be nice too :) ClareWhite 11:09, 18 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

That's one of the most original and useful ideas I've seen in a very long time. Dan100 (Talk) 17:21, August 18, 2005 (UTC)

How kind :) I've made the DPL & template now and gosh it seems to be working. Look:

You are also invited to be involved in the following flagged conversations happening elsewhere on the Wiki:

Here's the flag:

This conversation has been marked for the community's attention.

Please remove the {{flag}} when the discussion is complete or no longer important

If used this can be put in more prominent places and the Flag tag should be put in the particular part of the conversation you are referring to if it has many sections, people will scroll down to find the flag. If anyone could fix the template so it doesn't display Template:Flag that would be good. I still suggest that apart fro the purposes of this demonstration it shouldn't be used on the Watercooler as the important issues are meant to be there anyway. ClareWhite 11:31, 19 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

'Evergreen' tag?


I'm a little confused about this, and would be great if whoever made it could explain it a little bit.

The tag says "When it is ready to be developed by the community..." - which implies that, as it stands, the article is not to be developed by the community. That's not good.

I'm also slightly confused by the basic purpose. According the Workspace blurb, "Unlike most Wikinews stories which are started and published within a few hours, evergreen stories may take days to develop enough to be ready for publishing." So how does that work then? According to our content guide, we report on events. We also tend to reject articles that are written too long after the event (ie more than a few days). Can you see the problem here?

Finally, I'm not sure what this extra bit provides over developing and preparing stories. If there is need for it, surely the simplest option is just to re-word preparing a little to include this kind of story, rather than create a whole new section. Dan100 (Talk) 17:26, August 18, 2005 (UTC)

I agree that denying an article development by the community is very un-wiki and should not be done. I do however think that articles should be given a few days to develop and that submitting and completing stories even a couple days after they occur is not necessarily bad. --Deprifry 17:53, August 18, 2005 (UTC)
That's already how Developing stories is used though. Dan100 (Talk) 16:58, August 22, 2005 (UTC)
Then there is the {{prepared}} tag. I think it could used in most instances where the evergreen tag will be used. --Chiacomo (talk) 18:19, 18 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

My impression was that this related to the conversation between Kevin Baas and Davodd, who had deleted stories which had not been developed. It is a compromise allowing stories which may rumble on quietly for weeks without being reported much to be developed and published when there is enough information, the tag is so it doesn't get deleted. Perhaps it's not a tag that needs to be in the main workspace, but can be available to writers to alert others to such a story. Perhaps (ahem) these sort of stories should really be worked on by those interested in, I don't know, a 'portal' rather than the main space ClareWhite 09:49, 19 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

We have clear policy that, being a news site, stories have to be published in a timely fashion. There's no way round that. Dan100 (Talk) 16:58, August 22, 2005 (UTC)

Proposal to Start Obituaries Project


This is a proposal that we start prewriting obituaries for important figures. While for the most part Wikinews depends on other news sources for its reports (hopefully as membership increases this will not be the case), information on important public figures is one area where we might have an upper hand. If we prewrote obituaries and released and only made them accessible from the front page after the article's subject died, we would be among the first to report the death, and might end up as sources for stories by other news organizations. Obviously we would be able to well utilize the treasury of information contained in Wikipedia for this purpose. In my opinion, it's just a logical step. I'm planning to begin writing articles on people who will likely die in the near future, and it would be well if others joined me in this effort so that we are best prepared for the inevitable. Theshibboleth 14:58, 19 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

What would be the difference between an obituary and an Wikipedia entry? It's a good idea to prepare - most news organisations do this, although they normally keep the obituaries in a filing cabinet, I'm a *little* concerned about what the subjects might feel if they find themselves in a 'soon to go' section on Wikinews...
Just out of interest though, if we as Wikinewsies wrote large amounts of information for Wikipedia that could potentially form material for the Wikinews death report, would we be allowed to directly lift it? ClareWhite 15:35, 19 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]
The idea would be to be best prepared when notable people die. We wouldn't want to come out with the story that could be prepared well in advance a day late, and possibly have competing articles for the same story. The obituaries would likely not be as in-depth as most wikipedia articles. I think it would be acceptable to lift content directly from wikipedia--isn't all wikipedia content in the public domain (except some images, etc., of course)? Besides, the content would likely be rewritten to some extent so it has more of a "newsy" feel. Theshibboleth 17:41, 19 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]
I'm afraid that won't be possible. Wikipedia's content falls under the GFDL licence while Wikinews articles are in the Public Domain. So lifting Wikipedia content is not allowed. --Deprifry 18:05, August 19, 2005 (UTC)
Hmm... what are the actual terms of the license? Isn't it just that anything produced using the content can't be copyrighted? In any event, I'm sure we could at least use Wikipedia as a source like other sources. Theshibboleth 04:30, 20 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]
This sounds like a good idea. We have an Obituaries section at Obituaries. -- NGerda 21:56, August 19, 2005 (UTC)

Moving to GFDL, at least temporarily


I wonder if Wikinews and Wikipedia might be able to work together better if Wikinews moved to a GFDL license, which would make it easier to directly incorporate Wikipedia content, but of course used as a resource in a newswriting context. Currently there isn't any regular syndication of Wikinews, so I don't think the PD policy is that valuable.

On the other hand, being able to easily use the content of possibly the world's most comprehensive reference work as background for stories could be a real asset to Wikinews. Wikinews could easily choose to move back to a PD system when it gets more dedicated members and becomes less dependent on Wikipedia, because unlike encyclopedia articles, news stories are written new every day.--Pharos 04:51, 20 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Portals: the final proposal!


I keep spotting activity around categories and portals and it would be nice if we could move forward because it's getting very confusing. It's obvious that people are keen to be involved in local sections and while we're not doing it in the same ways it's not very effective and we can't really get more people doing it.

Can I propose (once more but so there's a clear indication of the will of the community) that:

1. We start to use the portal namespace
2. We follow the guidelines in Category Portals to create portals and develop the details at that proposal
3. Category and pages (as in Africa) do not display as pages on their own but redirect to portals as they are created.

? ClareWhite 10:15, 22 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Can't we just drop this now? Those "Catergory Portals" are awful, and I think it's quite clear that there's no consensus to use the Portal: namespace. Dan100 (Talk) 17:00, August 22, 2005 (UTC)
Dan, there are 9 Supports and only you and Vask oppose, because it's a "mess to clean up after". -- NGerda 16:34, August 23, 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Clare: we need to move forward if we are going to encourage local reporting. -- NGerda 16:33, August 23, 2005 (UTC)

  • The problem I see with #3 listed above is that you lose the functionality of the category, which is to provide a complete listing of any subcategories or articles contained within that category. You would be much better off leaving them separate but including a link in the category page to the main portal page. —Moverton 18:29, 4 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]

This is true: and most people seem to prefer the idea of categories as DPLs listing all the stories in date order. ClareWhite 11:09, 5 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Family news


Just seeing the story 'Estella has a baby boy' was deleted made me think: why not have a page for family news/announcements? They could be archived/deleted and asked to stick to a particular style, which we could decide on, but it would bring people onto Wikinews to edit and actually a birth, marriage or even death, is news of a very, very local sort. They would need to be quite tightly policed (but i would imagine it unlikely that we'd exactly be flooded with them) and links not allowed (as that would often be spam) but people could print out their announcement to the world and it would be rather good, i think. ClareWhite 15:10, 23 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Oh well, because it was quicker than writing about the Point of Wikinews, or indeed an article, i made a little draft here, I think it might need columns or boxes and maybe a submissionbox to look as good as it does in the papers. Still quite keen on the idea though, most of the subscribers to the magazine I work for in real life buy it for the notices. They're quite old you see... ClareWhite 15:56, 23 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]