User talk:Jkatz (WMF)

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Dear Jkatz (WMF), Welcome to MediaWiki.org!

Yes, welcome! This site is dedicated to documenting the MediaWiki software, the software behind many wikis, including that of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation projects.
Please, take a look at the following pages. They might prove useful to you as a newcomer here:

If you have any questions, please ask me on my talk page. Once again, welcome, and I hope you quickly feel comfortable here, and find this site useful documentation of the MediaWiki software.

Thanks, and regards, Nemo 20:38, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Previous discussion was archived at User talk:Jkatz (WMF)/Archive 1 on 2016-01-05.

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

Hi Jon, you state:

  • If we move away from the printing of books, we will no longer legally need to do attribution in the current manner:
    • attribution of images used in the article (the link would be embedded)
    • enumeration of all editors that contributed to the individual wiki pages (link to history would be embedded)

While technically/legally true, I question if it is true 'in spirit'. In my opinion it is way too hard to attribute our material appropriately, and we should make efforts to improve that, no matter what medium, but for books in my opinion we have actually solved it pretty awesomely. If anything I want to see more of this, not less, not because it is a requirement, but because it matches the values of the meritocracy that we are.

I think it would be a good candidate of logic that should be moved into the core, and make it possible to retrieve this information both with api and in an alternative view for the PDF renderer.

Jkatz (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@TheDJ thanks for this input. As someone whose primary client is the reader, it is too easy for me to prioritize other things over attribution. My understanding was that pulling this information did represent a real investment in effort. With that in mind, do you see this as a blocker? I'm just trying to gauge the "wouldn't it be nices" from the "I'd rather not have tables in my pdfs than not have this".

Redaktor (talkcontribs)

How does one get the renderer to respect rtl languages? It works for hewiki but not for yiwiki.

Reply to "PDF rendering"
Ceever (talkcontribs)

Ciao Jkatz

If the following topics are not in your jurisdiction, could you point me to someone that can help me?

Getting to the point, I see the following shortcoming that should maybe resolved (noticed this on WikiVoyage):

  1. Rendering a PDF creates something weird like ?'"`UNIQ--maplink-00000000-QINU`"'? (see https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_error.png) where before there was a embedded map in the wiki, e.g. see Amman#See.
  2. Furthermore, within a WikiVoyage article, for all listings that have a GPS entry, there appears a "1" in front of the entry when producing a PDF from this article (see https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Listing_error.png).
  3. On an advanced level, maybe also to deal with the former problems, the current PDFs ("Download as PDF") lack any map and thus the time-consuming maintenance of the GPS locations of sees, do, sleeps, etc. of a travel article are lost when downloading the PDF or creating a book from it. So why not also include a generic overview map (produced from OSM) for each article containing all GPS points with number, like Lonely Planet does (e.g. see http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2194/2055215075_3d17498971_b.jpg)? This could for example be produced as a whole page at the end of each (PDF) article and it only needs to contain the numbers/points (as reference to the previous listings).
  4. For WikiVoyage articles the "Download as PDF" link is quite hard to find on the left side, and I know from some people they basically just printed (directly or into a PDF) the wiki page instead of properly creating the PDF. Couldn't there be created an icon with link in the upper right corner of the article for a direct download of this PDF, right next to the GPX icon where the GPX entries of the article can be directly downloaded, and the icon for the map view (see https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Quick_icons.png)?
  5. As mentioned before, each WikiVoyage article has a GPX file download icon (link) in the upper right corner to download all GPS points mentioned in this article. But for a book such a combined GPX file is not available, even though it would make sense to have all GPS points of all the books articles combined for the book to load them into a smartphone app like OSMand for travelling.

Many thanks

AKlapper (WMF) (talkcontribs)

As I received a very similar list of bullet points, I replied on User talk:AKlapper (WMF)#WikiVoyage PDFs.2C book creator and embedded maps .

Jkatz (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks, @AKlapper (WMF)! @Ceever if you're interested in taking additional steps, I think AKlapper's answers are complete, but I can offer some additional color as well. By comment #.

  1. We have created a new pdf rendering service that should solve this issue. You can see this, by clicking on "download as pdf" on mediawiki.org or de.wikipedia.org and selecting "1 column" option. The current styling isn't as attractive as the previous one, but improving the styles is fairly straightforward and something we are working on here: Reading/Web/PDF Rendering. Your feedback is very welcome.
  2. Same as ^
  3. Right now the focus at the foundation is on things that are shown on the actual page, just because we are covering so many projects and have to at least cover this basic rule which isn't currently followed, but perhaps a volunteer would be interested in tackling this.As Andre said, I would file this as a "task" in phabricator -
  4. As Andre said, I would file this as a "task" in phabricator. I also would prefer to replace the link with an icon.
  5. As Andre said, I would file this as a "task" in phabricator...but as with above, it will be hard to prioritize this as its such a rarified use case.

Thank you for reaching out!

Reply to "WikiVoyage PDF, books and maps"

Offensive Related pages

2
Summary by VIGNERON

Solution applied and working

VIGNERON (talkcontribs)

Hi,

I left a message two weeks ago on Topic on Talk:Reading/Web/Projects/Related pages since on there is a seemingly unrelated and offensive suggestion. Is there something we can do?

Jkatz (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@VIGNERON Yes, apologies for the delayed response. On the page in question, please use the following instructions taken from the related pages FAQ:

Though this feature is not considered part of the article, editors can change the suggested articles given by adding up to 3 manually curated examples to this part of the page navigation.

{{#related:new page title1}}
{{#related:new page title2}}
{{#related:new page title3}}

For example, on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korur_language the related pages have been over-ridden to:

{{#related:Western Oceanic languages}}
{{#related: New Guinea}}
{{#related: Mbula language}}


I'll post the same on your post a few weeks ago for completeness. Let me know if you continue to have trouble.

Ruud Koot (talkcontribs)

Some things to think about:

  • Editors and readers are not two distinct groups of people. Editors are a subset of the readers, and very possibly the most active group of readers. They have a good intuition about what is good for all readers. I'm not getting the impression that the current generation of developers are avid readers of Wikipedia...
  • Even if the editors aren't the most important group of readers: Wikipedia was built by the editors and the readers came en masse. Clearly the editors did and are doing something right.
  • There are some very obvious things we could do on Wikipedia that would clearly benefit the readers: license copyrighted images for exclusive use on Wikipedia, employ paid staff to write part of the content, ... Why don't we do this? Because they don't align with Wikipedia's values. But if talk about "Wikipedia's values" really mean the values of Wikipedia's editors.
  • Many editors don't volunteer "for the greater good", but contribute because they enjoy writing and debating about their interests. That we created this great public good, is just a very, very happy accident.
  • The biggest existential threat to Wikipedia is lack of editor retention, not lack of reader retention. If we lose 90% or our readers nothing bad will happen. If we lose 10% of our editors, we are in deep trouble. The previous ED seems to have understood this better than the current one, although even she did not act on this knowledge sufficiently.

There's still plenty of stuff that can be done by the developers that would benefit both readers and editors, or would benefit readers without offending editors. I don't think many people would object to a proper bookmarking tool, for example. If you tie it in with the much requested multiple watchlists feature or a citation management tool, you could really make some friends. Or propose some interface and layout changes that improve readability on the Village Pump and have people vote on it (a different font, perhaps, or larger thumbnails by default, or some Mediawiki enhancements that make it easier to do image and infobox layout properly, ..?) And I think nearly everyone hates the mess that is the table of contents, although fixing that is probably easier said than done.

Jkatz (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Thanks, @Ruud Koot This is a great start to the discussion. For anyone else who happens to be reading, I would like to quote from our discussion that prompted it:

"The underlying thought is wrong as well: Wikipedia is what its editors want it to be, not what its readers want it to be." - this is an interesting standpoint. It certainly is what its editors want it to be by definition. Given it's tremendous success and global impact, it has become a utility for many people - like water or electricity. My initial bias is that Wikipedia's success has made it the property of the world that relies on it, not just the people who dedicate their lives to building it. That being said, I am curious to hear your reasoning (but not on this thread :)), perhaps we can move it to my talkpage? (me)

I appreciate the thought you have put into this and really want to respond thoughtfully to your points above, but also have a lot of internal-oriented work to do today. I will respond to your points sometime during the weekend.

Jkatz (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Ruud Koot

Hi Rood,

I responded to your thoughts on a point-by-point basis. I hope it doesn’t feel to argumentative. My intention continues to be to understand your way of thinking better so that we can build better things for the movement/mission (are they the same?). I italicized your text.

Some things to think about:

  • Editors and readers are not two distinct groups of people. Editors are a subset of the readers, and very possibly the most active group of readers. They have a good intuition about what is good for all readers.
    • I agree that there is overlap and power users have good intuition about reader needs. However, the needs of a power reader tend to be very different from the larger user base (in this case the rest of the world). Wikimedians are a unique bunch! Examples abound on Wikipedia where a link takes you somewhere mysterious—a shortcut for expert users, but highly disorienting to new visitors.
I'm not getting the impression that the current generation of developers are avid readers of Wikipedia...
    • I am not sure what you mean by this. I am not a developer, so I can’t speak for WMF developers, but I am a frequent reader of Wikipedia. Does that mean I read entire articles at a time? Not, usually—but I don’t think that should matter, unless someone has decided that the only people who matter are the people who read Wikipedia a certain way.
  • Even if the editors aren't the most important group of readers: Wikipedia was built by the editors and the readers came en masse. Clearly the editors did and are doing something right.
    • I agree 100% that the editors did something right and continue to do something right. However, the extent to which it is right is arguably decreasing. The amount of content viewed on site is not quite decreasing, but it is definitely flat, while internet access continues to spread rapidly, most notably in the developing world. We are losing mindshare. If we lose it to other educational initiatives like Khan Academy, that is fine. If we lose it to Candy Crush games and Facebook, then we should be striving to be more engaging. Regardless, I do not think we (wmf or editors) have adapted well to new market and world dynamics.
  • There are some very obvious things we could do on Wikipedia that would clearly benefit the readers: license copyrighted images for exclusive use on Wikipedia, employ paid staff to write part of the content, ... Why don't we do this? Because they don't align with Wikipedia's values. But if talk about "Wikipedia's values" really mean the values of Wikipedia's editors.
    • Yes. As someone who deeply believes in the vision of the WMF, I think movement principles like “freely” come into conflict with the “Sum of all knowledge”. Another similar issue seems to be whether or not our mission is to allow humans to share in the sum of all human knowledge OR to do the above via an encyclopedia. I am personally interested in exploring expansions to what an encyclopedia can do and how learning/contribution can be promoted, but obviously these tests/explorations need more community consultation or buy-in than they have in the past? Why mess with success at all? Well, I really do think that Wikipedia’s impact is being threatened (pageviews are a bad proxy for learning, but they + market dynamics suggest we are facing a decline that will worsen)
  • Many editors don't volunteer "for the greater good", but contribute because they enjoy writing and debating about their interests. That we created this great public good, is just a very, very happy accident.
  • I totally appreciate that from a motivation perspective. However, surely even the most self-oriented editor can recognize that this is now a public good and is bigger than any of our personal needs. Obviously, if editors aren’t happy we have a real problem, but it seems to go against the nature of the movement to ignore the vision. A hypothetical example: if I created an energy machine that turned thoughts into energy and the world was saved, but then I held the technology rights and I leased them to the world. If my motivation all along was entertainment value and I decided that it would be more entertaining to remove the technology and destroy it forever, wouldn’t that be vastly immoral? Doesn’t such an important invention belong to humanity?
  • The biggest existential threat to Wikipedia is lack of editor retention, not lack of reader retention. If we lose 90% or our readers nothing bad will happen. If we lose 10% of our editors, we are in deep trouble. The previous ED seems to have understood this better than the current one, although even she did not act on this knowledge sufficiently.
  • I agree that we are in deep trouble if we lose 90% of our editors. If we lose 90% of our readers, I don’t think it is safe to say that nothing bad will happen. Per my note above, if they decide to go to another educational source that values their privacy and does not engage in censorship or systemic bias, then ‘no problem’, but if not, then the mission suffers.
There's still plenty of stuff that can be done by the developers that would benefit both readers and editors, or would benefit readers without offending editors. I don't think many people would object to a proper bookmarking tool, for example.
  • Yes—let’s identify the mutual wins, but we have editing and collaboration teams and I don’t want to get caught in the trap of only building features for readers if they also help editors. I think a good first step would be to help readers without creating additional burden for editors! Re bookmarking: I think private gather collections + desktop suppor + some UX fixes = a bookmarking tool, but maybe the project is too tainted.
If you tie it in with the much requested multiple watchlists feature or a citation management tool, you could really make some friends.
  • We are currently debating what the cost of this would be and if this is something the reading team should undertake (related to note above)
Or propose some interface and layout changes that improve readability on the Village Pump and have people vote on it (a different font, perhaps, or larger thumbnails by default, or some Mediawiki enhancements that make it easier to do image and infobox layout properly, ..?) And I think nearly everyone hates the mess that is the table of contents, although fixing that is probably easier said than done.
  • Yes!—as part of our evolution we are trying to come to you earlier and earlier in the process. Some new such proposals are being drafted right now! (the current work is on langauge switching for mobile, as we have many many >1 language speakers and the mobile language switching is at the bottom of the article.

That’s it! I hope I didn’t cause any heart palpitations—it is really helpful for me to identify where principles don’t align and where I need to adjust my own thinking, address your concerns, or provide better evidence for my viewpoints. We have a lot going on right now on many fronts, so I can’t promise to respond quickly, but I do hope we can continue what is, for me, at least, a productive dialogue.

Reply to "Editors vs. readers"
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