Appropedia:Village pump

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[edit] Topics that have been spun off to other pages

Contents

[edit] Archives

Older discussions can be found at Archive1, (older) Archive2, Archive3 & Archive4 (more recent discussions). If you wish to continue those discussions, please start a new section on this page - do not add new comments to the archive page.

Here are direct links to the conversations in the archives:

[edit] Getting past the spam filter

I keep getting the "OOPS! Our anti-spam system identified your edit as suspicious.[...]"-message so I followed the included 'what to do'-list:

  1. Does not apply (I am logged in).
  2. Does not apply (not a student).
  3. Tried making another edit and re-saving, to no avail.
  4. So here I am at the Village Pump.

Article in question: How_To:_Beekeeping; Purpose of my edit: some basic formatting (mainly lists).

Sorry about that. You should be able to get through now. --Chriswaterguy (talk) 19:19, 19 January 2014 (PST)
It works, thank you. Hrhr (talk) 09:21, 20 January 2014 (PST)

[edit] Changing another person's project page

One thing we haven't worked out is what limits we have to editing another person's project or organization page. A trivial example is this line from Usui Rice cooker:

This cooker is relevant for any place where rice is a grown and is a staple of the diet (all of Asia, as well as parts of Africa and South America).

I've changed "all of Asia" to "most of Asia," to be more accurate. I don't think the author will mind, though they might think I'm pedantic. My concern is that there will be cases where more controversial changes might be made. Does the project's author have the final say, is it a question of consensus in the same way as any other wiki page, or do we need a different approach. There's a problem if the author has the final say, as the claims may be misled (cars that run on water) or even deliberately misleading (I can sell you a kit to make your car run on water). Perhaps we should go with the "same way as any other wiki page" but be open to letting the policy develop as we go? --Chriswaterguy 05:52, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

I think the need for Appropedia to be based on facts should override any ownership objection to minor factual corrections. I'd hesitate to make wholesale edits to someone else's article. As a courtesy, one should leave a note about the change on the "owning" user's talk page, just in case he or she wasn't watching the page in question. Because it would seem the page owner takes credit for the page and would want to be aware of what he or she appears to be saying on it. Think of it like editing a book. Editors assist authors all the time, but never without the author's active awareness. The author has to approve whatever the editor changes, because the author's name goes on the book. --Teratornis 21:00, 8 January 2011 (PST)
Belated comment: do we have a policy or guideline on user space essays? I'd like to keep article space as factual as possible, where a "fact" is something that all sane people can agree on, and confine assertions of opinion to user space essays. Users can have more freedom to express their personal opinions on user subpages, but I'd still like every opinion to be labeled as an opinion rather than implied to be a fact by asserting it with no qualification. Readers should be made aware of whether they are reading facts generally accepted as true, or just one particular side of some raging controversy. I.e., assertions should not float around independently of their context. Unfortunately, too many people tend to hold their beliefs independently of such context. That is, they just believe whatever they believe, without being mindful of the existence of other opinions about some of their beliefs. --Teratornis 12:58, 1 November 2011 (PDT)
Interesting. To what extent do we see userspace as a free speech zone? There are limits (I think we'd all agree on no hate speech) but this is setting a much higher standard that many people just won't get, especially to start with. I prefer the kind of self-aware writing/advocacy that you're advocating, but I'm not sure if we should be enforcing it. (That's not a euphemism for "I don't think we should..." I just mean I'm not sure.) --Chriswaterguy 18:50, 1 November 2011 (PDT)
I'm thinking about examples we have discussed on this very page of articles that contain prescriptive rather than descriptive content, or religious claims. As long as content is not actionable, libelous, illegal, etc. I see little harm in letting it live in user space as long as it is clearly labeled as opinion (see wikipedia:Template:Essay which I would like to port to Appropedia). Anything on Appropedia is subject to the approval of the Appropedia community and that should be an appropriate check on user space essays. The idea is not to unleash some new type of content on Appropedia but merely to relocate some of the personal opinion content that has been finding its way into article space.
My personal interest in this is because I would like to write some synthetic essays about topics such as:
  • What would actually have to happen for the Keystone XL pipeline extension to not be built
  • The efficacy of personal action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - does it matter if we take the jet flight for example?
  • Speculation about the future prospects for eco-robotics
  • (11:53, 2 November 2011 (PDT): adding another topic:) What I have done to cut my personal carbon footprint, and what I have learned from the exercise about what it would actually take to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration at some level that might minimize the risk of dangerous climate change
(By "synthetic" I mean essays that cite reliable sources for all their factual claims, but combine them to produce conclusions not present in any particular source.)
I could edit what I want to say about the Keystone XL pipeline into the existing article, but my contribution would not be particularly encyclopedic, as I would be advocating for a particular course of action (namely, action to reduce the demand for liquid fuels which I believe is driving the exploitation of Canada's tar sands). Then again, the existing article is not particularly encyclopedic. But I would find it easier to say what I want to say in a user space essay, keeping my exposition coherent, and then if the community approved of working some of it into the article proper we could do that. I'm not so much interested in shaping Appropedia's "official" stance on particular topics as to have a platform where I can work out my current positions on them. I find when I engage in online discussions, there are points I want to make which are complex, unobvious, and require a lot of background, and I can't always find an existing page on the Web somewhere that I can cite to explain what I'm talking about.
Alternatively I could set up a blog site and write essays on it, but I'd just as soon use my user space on Appropedia because I like editing on MediaWiki. --Teratornis 19:59, 1 November 2011 (PDT)
Ok, this is now getting very interesting. I see no problem at all in what you propose under existing A:policies and A:guidelines. (We only have proposed guidelines actually, and mainly have proposed policies.) And as you can see, you're being a lot more cautious and deliberate about it than much of what happens on Appropedia - which is good, because:
(A) it helps us decide what we want to do
(B) there's some flaky stuff on Appropedia - though a fair bit less now, after recent deletions and moving-to-userspace. (I've seen Lonny doing some much-needed deletion, and I've made a habit of clicking random repeatedly, tweeting/FB-sharing/"Liking" good pages and dealing with problematic pages. But I digress.)
In fact, the content you're proposing is the kind of thing I'd like to see a lot more of. Distinguishing between "sourced" and "synthetic" is very valuable in thinking about this. One thing we haven't had a lot of is multiple editors working on analytical/synthetic content, but I'm keen to see how it goes. There's also a place for individual perspectives that aren't directly edited by others, but I'd imagine those remaining in userspace.
What would make you comfortable in starting to write on Appropedia about the topics you mention - e.g. re liquid fuel and the Keystone XL pipeline? Do you want to make a proposed policy or guideline, based on what you've said above? --Chriswaterguy 22:08, 1 November 2011 (PDT)
  • Comfort: I'm comfortable now. (You plus me equals consensus, it seems. Just kidding - I think.) I have some notes and references on my personal (offline) wiki that I can transcribe to Appropedia. My main concern is to maximize the comfort of the rest of the community. That is, to make sure everyone who might have an interest in what I would write, whether positive or negative, understands the structure in which we can express our ideas and debate them. I think it is less than optimally productive for debate to play out in the form of edit summaries to articles in article space. It would be better, I think, to let each person have their user space as a kind of refuge where they elaborate their ideas, and then we discuss on talk pages somewhere (perhaps on this page, unless it gets overloaded) what the "official" Appropedia article about a topic should say. As I mentioned, I am not too concerned about whether I agree with what the article on a topic says - I will happily defer to the community - as long as I have a place to write what I think about it. On Wikipedia, controversial articles may come to resemble steel cage matches, I suspect in part because people with uncompromising opinions lack a separate platform where they can write what they think. Wikipedia has a policy against advocating for particular positions anywhere on the site, including user pages. I don't think we need that restriction on Appropedia, primarily because the diversity of opinion is less here. Just about everyone who edits on Appropedia probably agrees we face large environmental and humanitarian crises; any disagreements are more likely to be over the details of how we might solve them. We probably don't have too many people who, for example, explicitly deny the existence of man-made global warming. If necessary we might have something like a "Lonny test" - you can advocate for anything you want in your user space as long as Lonny is cool with it. That might sound kind of facetious but in fact on every wiki what is allowable must ultimately come down to one person who has the final say, as necessary to break deadlocks when the community cannot reach consensus. (On Wikipedia, Jimbo has the final say, but he exercises it rarely.)
  • Guideline: I can work on a draft. My notes are in U:TT#ESSAY.
    • A side note: it seems we have some "proposed" policies and guidelines that seem to remain "proposed" forever. Perhaps this is because we have primarily one user (you) who seems to propose them, and then nobody else weighs in. It would be nice to somehow tie up these loose ends. For example, if a guideline has been in the "proposed" state for more than a year, perhaps we could be bold and automatically promote it to a real guideline. If someone objects later, we can always debate the guideline then. On a wiki, everything is subject to revision in perpetuity.
--Teratornis 11:53, 2 November 2011 (PDT)
I agree with all your comments above. I look forward to seeing your articles - I won't look at drafts right now as I need to escape the internet vortex.
I'm happy with the Lonny test as a last resort - good to decide that in advance. In practice Lonny is big on consensus and not big on enforcing his opinion, but will look for a solution when someone is putting garbage on the site, so I don't foresee a problem there.
"We probably don't have too many people who, for example, explicitly deny the existence of man-made global warming." Indeed. I do know one who is doubtful and suspicious of the IPCC etc, but not a hardcore "It's all a lie!" type, and not someone who'll cause problems in edit wars or major arguments on site.
"For example, if a guideline has been in the "proposed" state for more than a year, perhaps we could be bold and automatically promote it to a real guideline." First thoughts: Sounds good. My suggestion for "best practice" is: If possible, flag the particular policies and guidelines that are planned for upgrade a week or two in advance, on Village Pump; the person who promotes it to policy/guideline status should not be the major contributor to the drafting of it; and the upgrading is announced on the Village Pump, along with a brief and accurate summary of the new policy/guideline and a note that it remains open to reversion and revision. Second thoughts: If people don't actively object, there's a bias towards instruction creepW here (and note the Wikipedia essay wikipedia:Wikipedia:Avoid instruction creep. At the very least, we need to ask ourselves before promoting a policy or guideline: Is this really necessary? Can it be simplified I'm ok with not everything I wrote getting approved - I'm sure I've changed my mind on some of it anyway. --Chriswaterguy 02:08, 3 November 2011 (PDT)
I consider wikipedia:WP:CREEP to be unfortunately ignorant of what actually makes Wikipedia work, which is having extremely complete written instructions. See there is no common sense. WP:CREEP reminds me too much of those programmers with borderline wikipedia:Asperger syndrome and minimal verbal skills, who seem to believe if something is obvious to them then it is obvious to everyone. The world has many people like that who churn out confusion and horizontal fragmentation every day. (By "horizontal fragmentation" I mean making things different in ways which provide no net improvement, such as having 50 different functionally equivalent word processing programs that all have different commands to do the same tasks. Thus the urge to "simplify" by not writing detailed instructions actually ends up making things more complex, as you end up with excessive variation providing no benefit, which people must then deal with.) I'd say if WP:CREEP has a point, it would be to avoid writing bad instructions, that is instructions which do not reflect the actual practice of the editing community. But the claim that "nobody reads the instructions" is just dumbfounding - people who don't read instructions on Wikipedia simply create problems that have to be fixed by people who do read the instructions. Over time, the people who refuse to read instructions find themselves embroiled in various controversies, and they tend to get discouraged and leave. They become what Fred Brooks called "negatively productive people". In a dispute on Wikipedia, odds are one or both sides do not understand the relevant instructions, because most disputes on Wikipedia are repeats of past disputes, whose resolutions were encoded into guidelines or policies. Instructions (and shortcuts that point to them) are also vital for leaving understandable edit summaries, especially for formal edits (edits that change the article format rather than the content).
Appropedia has far less written instruction than Wikipedia, and we suffer for it. For example, look at the inconsistency of article titles, which is what to expect when everybody relies on their (wildly diverse) common sense. See my notes about this problem in U:TT#Naming convention. One might think this sort of inconsistency does not matter, but I believe it does, since it discourages collaboration. When an article's style reflects the idiosyncrasies of some particular person, another person may feel inhibited about contributing, since that runs the risk of confronting the original author over a style issue instead of the content. When a site enforces a consistent style site-wide, then it is much easier for additional users to contribute, since they have fewer questions about what they should do, and therefore fewer things to argue about. Ultimately, if there are enough rules and instructions, editing could (almost) be reduced to an algorithm. --Teratornis 12:32, 1 August 2012 (PDT)

(undent) I agree in part - certainly there are matters such as page titles where we do need to have a convention and stick to it, or else we continue to not look professional. (Technically we're not meant to be professional, being a volunteer collaboration, but you get my drift.)
Maybe there are ways we could make instructions & policies easier to follow - e.g. have a "human-readable version" at the top of the page, a la CC licenses. Something could be done with documentation on templates, as well - I don't know if it's the format, but Wikipedia-style documentation is hard to read for me. Makes my eyes glaze over - I can only guess how a non-wikiholic would feel looking at such documentation. (I value the porting efforts - we do need those instructions. I'm just wondering if simple things like spacing and changing the background color would improve readability over the Wikipedia-style layout.) --Chriswaterguy 10:16, 4 August 2012 (PDT)

On the difference between "looking professional" and "being professional":
  • To "be professional" we would have to get paid to contribute. We don't, so we aren't, in the technical sense.
  • However, we can still "look professional" in the sense that the work we do for free is of high enough quality to be worth paying for. The Open Source movement is based on this premise - free stuff would not be as compelling if it was always guaranteed to be of lower quality than proprietary stuff. Proprietary vendors would have little to fear from open source in that case. Obviously, if open source material is to be credible, it must be of the same standard as copyrighted stuff. And one thing all competent publishers have is a consistent style, either across all their material, or at a minimum within each publication. When you see a publication that looks like a rebus, it's harder to take seriously. A volunteer collaboration that is harder to take seriously will tend to put off serious collaborators. That is, the people who are capable of producing professional-quality content and might do it for free.
On the difficulty of reading documentation:
  • Wikipedia's instructions are difficult for many people to read, in a start to finish sense like one reads a novel. They are probably difficult even for most Wikipedia editors to read that way. And yet Wikipedia's pages show remarkable conformance to its rules, such as wikipedia:WP:LAYOUT and the rest of the style and naming conventions. How can this be? Quite easily: Wikipedia obviously does not rely on everybody reading all the rules start to finish like a novel before they get started. New editors will unwittingly violate many rules. More experienced editors will correct their violations, and leave edit summaries that refer to the rules (or better which link to the rules being applied via shortcuts e.g. wikipedia:WP:LOWERCASE). A new editor who notices that something he or she edited has changed can look at the history of a page, read the relevant edit summary, and browse directly to the rule that was applied. As long as the link destination is a reasonably self-contained description of that rule, the new editor should be able to comprehend it, and then go on to apply it to other non-conforming edits while leaving the same quality of breadcrumb documentation in edit summaries. In this way the rules get woven into the structure of the edit histories of many pages, making each page self-documenting in terms of its rule violations and corrections. Thus each new editor can be efficiently apprenticed by experienced editors, and can possibly avoid ever having to read all the rules straight through like a novel (although there is value to doing so at some point, to get a global view of the individual rules he or she had internalized from experience).
  • A person's eyes "glaze over" when they read voluminous material that is irrelevant to what they are thinking about at the moment. Wikipedia's rules are extremely detailed, to cover every possible case. A given editor probably doesn't run into every possible case. Thus the wikipedia:Pareto rule applies - a small percentage of the rules will be relevant to a given editor most of the time. The beauty of accessing the rule documentation via edit summaries is that the editor is then highly likely to be looking at rules which are personally relevant, namely rules that answer the question the editor has framed at that time: why did this other editor change my stuff? Getting the answer to your question is highly relevant and allows your brain to bring its full concentration to bear. Hence, no eyes glazing over.
--Teratornis 11:59, 5 November 2012 (PST)

[edit] Interesting small wikis

Prompted by a comment by Teratornis above, I've been thinking about good small wikis. I agree it's hard to find good small wikis as they don't have the resources of the Wikimedia wikis, but here are some that I found interesting in various ways:

  • http://www.grassrootswiki.org - nice skin & front page. (Not active, though about half a year ago they organized a worthwhile meetup of development wikis, which I joined by phone.)
  • Greenlivingpedia - smaller than Appropedia, but with a high average quality of articles. Largely the work of one guy, Peter Campbell who I've met a few times as he's a fellow Australian. Not at the bleeding edge, but he keeps on top of the tech side.
  • http://www.richmondwiki.org/wiki - I came across their blog - looks like they keep up to date & understand the tech side well
  • Wikia - the leading wiki farm/community of communities, have developed some social features & have clearly put thought into what gets people engaged. I have mixed feelings on the features - some I like, but mostly I need to look more closely at how they're used.

Fan wikis - there are a bunch of them, many on Wikia. One that impresses me is:

The fact that many of the successful smaller wikis revolve around tv shows or movies tells us something crucial - humans tend to engage based on fun, stories and shared passions. The brutal truth seems to be that we evolved to gossip more than we evolved to care for or environment, or for people outside our immediate group. But I don't want to focus on something I can't change, so I'm interested in how we can harness fun & stories, & channel our passions. But that another set of topics :). --Chriswaterguy 11:03, 16 July 2011 (PDT)

Yes, humans remain intensely interested in redecorating the Titanic even as they begin sliding down the listing deck. One sees the same thing on Wikipedia, with the detailed articles about every known footballer, anime character, and anything else that is useless to know. The vast majority of humans are oblivious to the fact that our fossil fuel habit is increasing the carbon dioxide content of the Earth's atmosphere at an even faster rate than it increased leading to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum - the most catastrophic known period of natural climate change to hit the Earth during the Age of Mammals. If humans had any idea of how dire our situation is, we'd have all hands on deck working toward the needed solution, which is to figure how we are going to drive everyone's carbon footprint below two tonnes per year (or maybe less) as quickly as possible. It is abundantly clear that our evolutionary psychology is still optimized for advancing our social prospects in the Pleistocene, not for coping with the consequences of our advanced technology. --Teratornis 21:59, 16 July 2011 (PDT)
There are a good number people who gather online to share ideas about tackling climate change. This tends to happen most on sites that cater to people's social wiring. The challenge for us to find ways to work with that, but make connections with knowledge resources to help make change. --Chriswaterguy 21:51, 20 July 2011 (PDT)
The Cancer Council Australia Wiki is an interesting wiki. It uses Semantic forms, and clinicians have managed to fill out pages by themselves. It also has specific places within articles to invite comments - using extensions/tweaks developed by wikipedia:User:Werdna (who also develops the coming LiquidThreads 3.0 for the Wikimedia Foundation, among other things). The current policy is to have a comment section for each section of an article. Not that we'd want to copy that. --Chriswaterguy 18:33, 19 January 2012 (PST) edited description of Cancer Council Wiki. Chriswaterguy 19:12, 30 January 2012 (PST)

Meatball Wiki and Portland Pattern Repository are pioneer wikis using the UseModWiki engine, about programming and online communities - they're still maintained, and run on . --Chriswaterguy 20:43, 9 June 2012 (PDT)

[edit] An "Attic" for dubious articles

Speaking of deleting pages... Where there's any ambiguity about deleting a page, but the page is not suitable in its current form, one option is the Russian Wikipedia solution. That is, all unsuitable pages, e.g. about someone's cat, get moved to a namespace meant for that purpose. The pages can be recovered later - e.g. if the cat becomes famous, in Wikipedia's case ;-). For our case, we could move such pages to Appropedia:Attic/PAGENAME. Just an idea.

Another way is to move the article to someone's userspace. But the advantage of the "Attic" is that anyone can browse all such articles if they want.

Either way, best practice would be to uncheck the box to create a redirect when moving. If the page isn't very good, we don't want to direct people there from mainspace.

Maybe I'm thinking too much... anyway, please comment if you have preferences either way. And... happy new year! --Chriswaterguy 20:58, 7 January 2012 (PST)

To me, the "Attic" sounds a lot like the Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Article Incubator - a place for nonindexed pages deemed worthy of further work before returning them to article space. All this raises three basic questions for me. What are the criteria for userfying a page? What are the criteria for throwing a page into the Attic/Incubator? Most importantly, what are the criteria for a page to remain in article space? The more I play Surprise me! the more I think there very easily could be (put your number here) of articles that wouldn't meet even basic criteria for inclusion in article space, and iffy in Attic/Incubator space. What this says to me is Appropedia article space absolutely could use some cleaning up, one way or another. --RichardF 17:17, 8 January 2012 (PST)
Thanks RichardF... and for anyone reading this old discussion, please see A:Incubator. --Chriswaterguy 20:18, 2 April 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Speculative and potentially dangerous content

How should we deal with speculative content? What if it's for potentially dangerous applications, such as designing microlights and other aircraft?

I've moved some content of this type to userspace, and deleted some content that I was particularly concerned about. See the discussion at User talk:KVDP #Your autogyro and User talk:Chriswaterguy #Aircraft images for some of my reasoning.

But I'd like to know what you, fellow Appropedians, think about this. (Be bold is a great policy, but I try to be less bold with admin actions.). --Chriswaterguy 21:03, 23 February 2012 (PST)

My first question would be about the legal implications. Aviation is heavily regulated in most civilized countries, so we'd have to avoid steering anyone in an illegal direction. My second question would be about whether the technology in question makes any attempt to be sustainable. Powered flight in its current form is (probably) the branch of transport technology most dependent on fossil fuels, in particular liquid fuels from petroleum. Powered flight places severe demands on the energy storage to weight ratio of an energy carrier. Flying is one of the most unsustainable activities an ordinary person might engage in. If Appropedia is going to promote any kind of flying, it should not rely on burning fossil fuels. Unless someone has figured out a way to do that, I think we have an endless number of more appropriate and sustainable things to write about. --Teratornis 20:53, 28 August 2012 (PDT)
Great points. If someone has designs for a solar and/or human powered aircraft that has actually flown, I'd be happy to see this on Appropedia (with a big safety disclaimer, of course, plus something about regulatory issues). Then we're talking demonstration technology rather than practical transport solutions, but these things have value in technological development. --Chriswaterguy 02:31, 11 September 2012 (PDT)
I don't know anything about manned aircraft based on appropriate tech, though it seems to me that there is some potential for lighter-than-air craft, some sort of dirigible.
Quite a bit has been done on solar-powered unmanned drones, though. Google recently bought a company; the goal is to use them for Internet service in isolated areas. There have been other stories about using them for surveillance and/or to replace cell phone towers. Pashley (talk) 16:39, 22 April 2014 (PDT)

[edit] URL to black list

There has been a lot of spam pointing to www DOT bigfreddy DOT com/nl/foto/aluminium/foto . Perhaps a domain we could blacklist? --Tahnok 07:19, 12 March 2012 (PDT)

Thanks. I hadn't noticed that, or your comment, till now. I can't see any reason for anyone to post links to that site, on Appropedia, so I added the whole domain to MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist. I think the best approach is to use your judgement (since you have edit permissions for the blacklist) - we can always revert if there's a problem. --Chriswaterguy 04:11, 15 August 2012 (PDT)

[edit] Approforce! (Really?)

A question from our Facebook page - answer either here or there: What should we call a collaboration by a group of editors to improve a certain area of Appropedia, or to do a certain kind of task? This would help people know what needs work and what other people are up to, and provide a place to discuss strategy.

Not many answers yet, but the most popular suggestions so far are Approcolab and Approforce. Not sure if I can make the question visible to non-FB users, so here's the full list:

  • ApproCoLab
  • Approjam
  • Approclean
  • Collabropedia
  • DiaT
  • Approforce
  • Approject
  • Approlab
  • Approteam
  • Collaboration
  • ApproProject
  • MetaProject
  • WikiProject

I added Approforce, thinking that if I added something deliberately bad, others would come up with something better. Maybe it's not that bad... or maybe it really is. (Reminds me of the cry of "G-Force" from Battle of the Planets - showing my age...) Please vote & comment. --Chriswaterguy 06:18, 8 May 2012 (PDT)

I do like the concept ... as I've been thinking about this sort of thing in urban planning and transport pages. I think ApproCollab or ApproProject get my votes (though could still call ourselves Approforce with tongue-in-cheek ;) ). --PatSunter 04:06, 21 May 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Recent changes IRC channel

I have set up an IRC channel with recent changes, similar to those which Wikimedia Foundation runs for its wikis. So you can hang your bots or yourself there now and follow happenings on Appropedia in real time.

Similarly to Wikimedia channels, only Recent changes bot ([appropedia-rc]) can post on channel.

If you encounter any weirdness, feel free to contact me either via email or directly on IRC.

Enjoy the new way to follow Appropedia!

Danny B. 07:58, 23 May 2012 (PDT)

Thanks Danny!
A general notice: The #appropedia channel is also active. A:IRC gives instructions on joining (using your browser at http://webchat.freenode.net/ or using a client such as Pidgin, Chatzilla or xchat. Danny B., Amgine, Tahnok & I are often there. --Chriswaterguy 20:52, 9 June 2012 (PDT)

[edit] Online schools

Here's a site many of us here might find interesting.

Online Schools - Who We Are
"Online Schools aims to be the premier portal for online education on the web. Our goal is not to revolutionize the concept of education, but rather to help bring people into the 21st century in terms of the way they perceive learning. Education is no longer simply about teachers and textbooks. In today's Internet age, education is now about infographics, blogs, e-books, web articles, YouTube, Wikipedia, and so much more. Thus, we at Online Schools do not propose to revolutionize education itself, but rather, we strive to revolutionize the way people think about and approach education.

"That said, first and foremost, we do believe that all individuals should have a strong foundation in traditional learning, evidenced by our emphasis on providing honest, up-to-date and readily available information on accredited online schools."

United States Schools Directory
"Our Schools Directory is, in our opinion, the best online [United States] colleges and universities resource available anywhere on the web. Hundreds of Online Schools staff members have put in thousands of hours to compile the scores of information needed to create this unparalleled database.

"Our unique and fully comprehensive database provides you with valuable information about every online program that is offered at every school in every state across the nation in the following categories: Online Certificate Programs, Online Certification, Online Training Programs, Online Associates Degree Programs, Online Bachelors Degree Programs, Online Masters Degree Programs, Online MBA Programs and Online PhD Programs.

"You no longer need to waste your time trying to figure out how best to search for the most accurate or relevant information on the subject you are interested in studying. Simply use our directory, choosing your state and start browsing through the list of schools that offer pertinent online educational options. If your course of study exists in an online format, you will find it here, guaranteed."

--RichardF 06:13, 13 July 2012 (PDT)

[edit] TOCbox template

Here's a new template - {{TOCbox}} - that can come in handy for pages, like this one, with long tables of contents. Among other things, you can set the width and height of this TOC-right-in-a-box. The default size is auto width and 500px high, about 25 lines. The optional parameters are listed below.

Simple version
{{TOCbox}}
Optional paramaters
{{TOCbox
  |width=
  |height=
  |font-size=
  |border-width=
  |border-color=
}}
Defaults
 |width=auto - can be % or px
 |height=auto - can be px, 500px = about 25 lines
 |font-size=96% - can be px
 |border-width=0px
 |border-color=#A3BFA3 - can be name

Let me know if this template needs tweaking. --RichardF 13:12, 20 July 2012 (PDT)

I added the scrolling box feature to {{TOC right}}, making the new template unnecessary. This way, the new box capabilities already are added to existing {{TOC right}} pages. --RichardF 09:33, 21 July 2012 (PDT)

After looking at some pages using {{TOC right}}, I changed the box default height to auto, so that short TOCs don't have lots of white space below them. The height still can be set for long TOCs to keep their display within the viewing window. --RichardF 13:01, 21 July 2012 (PDT)

Accessibility note: This approach creates various accessibility issues. TOC is one of the most important parts of pages used for people with disabilities to navigate on page comfortably and this lowers down the comfort or in certain cases almost disables this navigation. Furthermore, on keyboard-less devices, such as tablets, scrollbar of scrolling area is not being displayed, so one may think that the TOC has say 25 items, while it has 50, but those are hidden and no indication of it. If I may suggest, I would strongly discourage you from using this approach.
Kind regards
Danny B. 13:10, 21 July 2012 (PDT)
Okay. I already changed to default height back to auto. Having over 25 TOC items causes it's own problems. --RichardF 13:49, 21 July 2012 (PDT)
Time to do some archiving. Wiki talk pages are messy - I want us to get some funding to put in either a forum that integrates well with MediaWiki, or a native wiki forum like DPLforum LiquidThreads. (User:JRWR insists he's ironed the bugs out of LiquidThreads on his wiki.) --Chriswaterguy 00:13, 5 August 2012 (PDT)

[edit] News for editors

Here's a nice idea: Wiktionary:News for editors. "This page keeps editors abreast of recent clarifications of or changes to policy or best current practice, major changes to templates, and the like."

It could also give news on new or lesser-known features and tools. For us, the news could include:

  • Special:ReplaceText - tell an admin if there's a correction to be made on many wiki pages
  • Semantic MediaWiki. (It would be great to have a simple example of "how you can use Semantic MediaWiki on Appropedia. I haven't learnt to use it yet, other than in the Medical devices area where it's already been set up.)
  • Widgets).
  • {{notice}} and {{slim notice}} allowing you to create a notice with any text and a choice of colors and widths.
  • {{attrib}}
  • {{TOC right}}

First draft at Appropedia:News for editors. I need to attend to other things... I might do something in a few weeks if no one beats me to it. I'd be very happy if someone takes it on :-). --Chriswaterguy 00:29, 5 August 2012 (PDT)

[edit] Let's have a monthly meeting - 2nd Sunday of the month?

See Appropedia:IRC #Regular meetings.

2nd Sunday of the month, 10pm UTC. I think that's 3pm PDT (US Pacific Coast), and 8am Mon AEST (Australia).

Who's interested? --Chriswaterguy 04:24, 5 August 2012 (PDT)

Sounds good to me! (5pm EST) --Tahnok 13:16, 5 August 2012 (PDT)
Great! Let's start this month - Sunday 12 August (Monday morning in Asia/Australia/NZ). --Chriswaterguy 10:16, 6 August 2012 (PDT)

[edit] Some article Renaming

Although I allready did a lot of work on it, there are still significant issues with vegetable oil as fuel and, Waste vegetable oil, Pure plant oil as fuel. I would propose to rename vegetable oil as fuel to Plant oil as fuel, Waste vegetable oil to Waste plant oil as fuel. The vegetable oil as fuel/Plant oil as fuel can then mention both (PPO and WPO), giving a reason of existance to this article. Another thing I'd like to see renamed is Vegetable oils and fats, can we rename this to Plant oils and fat I saw the term allready being used at http://www.cyberlipid.org/glycer/glyc0005.htm , and I feel that besides being more logical (as the oils aren't derived from vegetables), it will also increase traffick to the articles since it's immediatelly clear it isn't a copy of the -similarly named- wikipedia article. Let me know whether someone else or I can change the names, after that I can clean it up and add additional info

Can btw a Green tuning category be created at Portal:Green_living ? I'm especially thinking of placing http://www.appropedia.org/PPO_single_tank_system and http://www.appropedia.org/PPO_two_tank_system in this category after we added a list of commercial companies distributing conversion kits for both. 91.182.156.99 01:28, 6 August 2012 (PDT) aka User:KVDP

Hello 91.182.156.99 yeah nice work :) I largely agree with your proposals - possibly 'used cooking oils' rather than 'waste plant oils' (in my mind a better description + helps to make it not be thought of as waste)

Hmm, used cooking oils sounds good, but then perhaps not only cooking oils may be reused ? Also, the short for it would be UCO, which sounds weird, and far-off from WVO, WPO (waste plant oils) is closer to this more commonly used term.

I think there can be problems with listing kit vendors - I'll put something on the appropriate talk pages about this. Think you may have kicked me back into doing some more work on the biofuels portal :) --Darren 04:51, 13 August 2012 (PDT)

Hi Darren, you can contact me further via my user page (user:KVDP). I see that you worked on something called the Open Biofuel Engine. Perhaps we can work on this further, I allready have a 3D design of a line engine (gasoline) which can run on several fuels. I think that by just integrating compression ignition rather than using spark plugs we can make it a "diesel engine" for running on biofuels.

91.182.31.72 08:33, 14 August 2012 (PDT)

[edit] Projects

I recently became more and more aware that the development of projects does not happen with a same pace as the development of articles. In addition, we often have several similar projects (for example several designs of chicken coops, ...). I am thinking that projects are being worked out more rapidly as the wiki itself as students at Humboldt probably get points for their project design (and for them, it thus helps to keep the project simple), but not really for articles not do they get extra credits for making their project really useful. I think it may be beneficial that other people would suggest projects (and perhaps articles) that are more meaningful/useful in the intrest of our mission. For example:

  • LV/HV transformer construction manual; see http://www.isf-iai.be/index.php?id=69
  • ISF rice huller 3D model (I still have 3D components from ISF, but the full thing still needs to be made
  • manual oil presses (for extracting vegetable oil), ie the Journeytoforever presses, see http://www.appropedia.org/Decentralised_pure_plant_oil_fuel_production
  • a open-design hot plate (cooker) design
  • a open-design diesel engine capable of running on vegetable oil (see http://www.appropedia.org/PPO_single_tank_system ). The engine should have push rods, carburetter (no direct injection), perhaps base the PPO-system on the lovecraft biofuels system (simple, few parts)
  • a open-design airoponics or air-dynaponics system (see http://www.appropedia.org/X_ponics ). This system should be replicatable in any nation (so using parts that can be ordered/attained in any country)
  • a open-design (micro)turbine
  • a 2-door design (doors with mosquito netting, hence screens) to keep out mosquitoes. It's similar in operation as a cleanroom
  • A page on practical oxyhydrogen production for energy purposes, and perhaps production of the other zero-emission fuels aswell (ie biohydrogen, methane, ...)
  • a design for a AT pulse jet (+turbine), for incinerating fuels more efficiently in combination with a fuel-based (preferably) or steam-based turbine
  • ...

91.182.198.222 10:47, 12 August 2012 (PDT), aka User:KVDP

Re "the development of projects does not happen with a same pace as the development of articles." True.
"In addition, we often have several similar projects (for example several designs of chicken coops, ...)." Also true - eventually I think we'd have categories for them - or else we'd manage this somehow with A:Semantic MediaWiki.
"I am thinking that projects are being worked out more rapidly as the wiki itself as students at Humboldt probably get points for their project design" - yes. Also at MTU and sometimes other universities - see Category:Service learning.

Also sometimes for articles - see Category:JMC330 International Mass Communication.

"I think it may be beneficial that other people would suggest projects (and perhaps articles) that are more meaningful/useful in the intrest of our mission." I agree - it's a matter of how to do it. I've used the {{sp}} tag to add ideas to Category:Suggested projects (not very elegant, but it's the best I've managed to do within the wiki.) I don't think any of them have been taken up, but if we have a lot of students involved, looking for projects, more might happen. If we have a kind of advisory board making their suggestions for key areas to develop, that might get some more attention (in addition to community suggestions, of course).
My conclusion is that we'd benefit from having a lot more classes involved. This is one of my goals, but I get sidetracked with doing day-to-day things on the wiki. I'm narrowing my focus, though, and I'll see what I can do in the next couple of months, together with anyone else interested in this. --Chriswaterguy 05:34, 20 August 2012 (PDT)

[edit] Practical Plants

Hello Appropedia community! I'd like to share with you the launch of a new semantic wiki for the permaculture community: Practical Plants.

It's an open (creative commons licensed) collaboratively edited plant encyclopedia and database, with a strong emphasis on practical horticulture. It currently covers: design functions, edible, material and medicinal uses, plant interactions (beneficial or detrimental), guilds/polycultures, ecosystem layer, cultivars and subspecies, problems & pests, crop harvest and storage, environmental tolerances & preferences, and of course propagation and cultivation information. We currently have over 7000 plant articles with full data from an import of the CC licensed PFAF database.

While I'm a keep permaculture practitioner, we chose to keep the scope to general organic agriculture to make it as accessible as possible to all interested in growing their own food with organic methods, but much of the data (eg. design functions, plant interactions, ecosystem layer) is of particular interest to practitioners of permaculture and agroforestry.

I'm the web developer behind the project, so here's a bit of technical information for those of you interested (skip to the next paragraph otherwise!). It's built on Semantic MediaWiki just like Appropedia, making heavy use of Semantic Forms to make all articles edible without having to know a jot of wiki markup. All plant data is stored as semantic properties and so all plants are searchable by their properties (eg. filter for all plants which tolerate very acid soil and permanent shade). Furthermore, plants are interlinked to form an intricate web of relationships using semantic sub-objects and intermediary pages, allowing data and descriptive text to be stored about the link (eg. Plant A has a positive impact on Plant B because it is a pest confuser). Polycultures/guilds are stored as articles in their own right, with property links to the plant articles.

I'm a big fan of the Appropedia mission - I'm a huge proponent of the freedom of information, which is the reason we set off on the mission to create Practical Plants earlier this year.

I'm interested in ways our projects can work together. Practical Plants has a very specific focus and as such there are times that plant data raises questions which are outside of the scope of Practical Plants to answer. Eg. We define terms like Nitrogen fixer, Mineral accumulator etc, but we think it is outside of the scope of Practical Plants to discuss why these things are so important, what role they fulfil within an integrated permaculture system, etc. Likewise, the extremely specific functionality required to maintain a thorough plant database is hard to fit within a wiki with a much larger scope like Appropedia. I'd be very interested in exploring inter-wiki links and any forms of mutual co-operation you might have to propose.

Andru Vallance Practical Plants and Cernunnos

Thanks Andru.
To update others - Andru & I have been emailing, and chatting on IRC, about how we can work together. The Practical Plants wiki is a great effort - very nice looking, with Semantic MediaWiki. We know from experience that making a successful new wiki is very hard, but Andru is placed better than most because he's obviously very technically competent, and passionate.
As for working together, we discussed jointly approaching PFAF about using the more open CC-by-sa license, and I think we discussed interlinking. Both those make sense.
"the extremely specific functionality required to maintain a thorough plant database is hard to fit within a wiki with a much larger scope like Appropedia" - could you explain what you mean, Andru? I see some cool technical features on your wiki, but I don't see anything that would cause a problem if implemented with our content.
As we discussed, my own preference is to share skills and create a single wiki. Linking articles within a wiki is elegant - it's what wikis are meant to do, and a big wiki enables a wonderful ability to click from one interesting article to another, to another... Linking between wikis is not the same; also, there will inevitably be replication. I'm also not sure if it's realistic to have two wikis with a single community - I've never heard of such a thing. So I've laid my cards on the table, and it's something we can revisit down the track if appropriate, but we can start collaborating in other ways in the meantime.
And it's after midnight here, so thank you again, and goodnight. --Chriswaterguy 07:46, 14 August 2012 (PDT)
Hi Chris & The Appropedia Community,
Technically, there aren't any huge problems integrating something like Practical Plants into another wiki. I've developed a number of custom extensions to enable some of the functionality there, and it uses a huge number of semantic properties and templates to render articles, but these would only provide an inconvenience to maintain within a larger wiki, not a barrier.
When I refer to the difficulties of maintaining a plants wiki-base within a larger wiki I'm referring to what I envision would be an organisacional difficulty and a lack of clarity over what something like Practical Plants is within a larger wiki. Practical Plants, for example, encourages through it's heavy use of forms a rigid article format. In many ways it is a wiki pretending to be a database. While users are able to use wikitext in form sections, they can only really append free-style wiki text to the end of the article. I think there could be a great deal of confusion in embedding a rigid database within a free-format wiki.
Another important point for me is the branding. To attract the audience Practical Plants will require to build it, a separate and clearly defined identity is essential. It must be broad enough to attract gardeners of all types. I think this would be lost when embedded in another wiki. While there may be some cross over, I think there will be distinct contributors to broader sustainability/permaculture subjects and to plant articles. I believe we can attract an audience of contributors with the brand we have. I think it would be more difficult as a section of a more general wiki.
I agree that the points you raised are potential benefits - a united community, easier inter-article linking, and so on. I believe, if we wanted to, there are ways those issues can be solved. For example, Practical Plants does not use the mediawiki userbase. I have created a Single-Sign-On (SSO) solution to share user accounts between our community forum, our wiki, and our blog. One account gives you access to all three pieces of software. I'm currently working on the ability for users to build points and achieve "roles" based on their contributions. Furthermore you can login via OpenID, Facebook, Google, etc... This could easily be extended to work with other wiki's, allowing a single community of users to edit multiple wikis and access a shared forum with a single account. It's certainly technologically feasible.
I'm interested in exploring the idea of a future united sustainability/permaculture brand, providing a single-sign-on throughout a number of websites, and allowing navigation between them (eg. through a mast-head which resides above all sites).
For now though, there are ways we could improve inter-wiki linking if desired. I could pen an extension, for example, which could provide a link with context on the receiving site (eg. a link from Appropedia > Practical Plants produces a bar which stays at the top or bottom of the browser pane with the message "You came here from Appropedia. Click here to return to ARTICLE NAME" and visa-versa. Furthermore, you could embed a subset of data from Practical Plants within a plant article on Appropedia with a "View more details on Practical Plants" link. At the moment, the license Practical Plants has for data doesn't allow this, but there are ways we can work on that as Chris stated.
We don't want to push PFAF yet on license data. Practical Plants is very new and we'd like our initial relations with PFAF to be open and free of pressure. We'll leave that subject open for now to revisit in the near future.
I'm interested in being involved in the ongoing development of the permaculture section of this wiki and finding ways which the two wiki's can co-operate and integrate both now and in the future. At present, I think it is in the best interests of Practical Plants to retain it's brand and separation of content.
Thanks
Andru

[edit] "No ads" template - {{subst:no ads}}

There have been some advertising links on wastewater related pages occasionally e.g. Septic tanks and Wastewater treatment effluent. They're on topic, but they don't add anything useful to the page. I've gone through and check, and removed the ones without value, and on those two pages I've now added a hidden notice in the links section, visible when someone edits the page or section:

<!-- NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT ADD LINKS UNLESS THEY CONTAIN USEFUL INFORMATION. Commercial links will be promptly deleted *UNLESS* they contain useful information about the subject. -->

To make it easier to add this, I've made a template, {{no ads}}, which has the above message. But, IMPORTANT NOTE: it must be "substituted" in like so:

{{subst:no ads}}

That will permanently change it from a template to the text itself. Otherwise the message won't be visible.

I hope that's useful. --Chriswaterguy 01:28, 15 August 2012 (PDT)

[edit] Recent changes patrol - call for patrollers

I've just posted Tools for wiki spam warriors on the Appropedia Blog. Highlighted tools:

For admins: A great and easy way to help is to keep an eye on the NewestPages. The spam articles are easy to spot by their titles. User pages need to be eyeballed.

For everyone: Keep an eye on changes by new and anonymous users. This is also good for spotting comments by visitors, difficulties faced by newbies, and good edits by newbies that we can say thanks for.

For IRC-using super-geeks: Danny B. set up a real time recent changes channel on IRC (that link might work if you have an IRC client installed - see A:IRC for help), and he's been deleting spam that he spots this way.

For me: There's a spam filter which I maintain, checking and tweaking to ensure we keep blocking most of the spam before it hits the wiki, but avoid blocking good edits. If you notice any new patterns in the spam that's getting through, please let me know the details. I'm also happy to collaborate if someone else knows regex and wants to help write the filters.

I'm cutting back my spam patrol hours to do meta-Appropedia work like the internship program and fundraiser that I've been wanting to work on - I'll only do the spam filter from now on, and trust that the community can mop up the spam that sneaks by the filter. Thanks! --Chriswaterguy 05:16, 15 August 2012 (PDT)

[edit] Appropedia manual of style

I'd like to see a consistent way of formatting Appropedia, and it would be great if we could decide on a few issues. None of them are huge issues, but we need to decide one way or another.

I know one source of inconsistency is that some of us are following Wikipedia standards based on their Manual of style, and others of us are following academic journal style guides. We won't resolve this in one discussion, but maybe we can start by discussing these few issues:

  • Titles - plural or singular?: I pushed for plurals in the beginning, and that's become the default for some of us. But sometimes I think my original idea was daft. There are some words where the plural isn't obvious (E.g. is it technology, as an uncountable noun, or technologies?)
  • Template names: I use all lower case and don't run words together, which makes sense to me. If we do them all in one reasonably logical way, it'll be easier to remember when we go to use a template.
  • Headers at the beginning of articles, e.g. Introduction, Background, Definition, Abstract, or a header that's identical to the page title. I think the pages will be clearer if we remove these, and that would bring the first sentences closer to the top of the page (by dropping the table of contents lower down as well as by losing the header). But journal papers are required to have a header for the intro, I think. Thoughts? One idea: Avoid the headers and have an exception for journal articles (& drafts & submissions).
  • Category tag placement: Categories are usually placed at the end and I find that best and least distracting. Sometimes I see them at the top - am I going to offend anyone if I run a bot to move them all to the bottom?

Thoughts, suggestions? Even if you think "fine" or "don't care", leave a comment so I know you don't have objections. Thanks! --Chriswaterguy 02:53, 11 September 2012 (PDT)

I've expanded on these at Appropedia:Manual of style‎. Please indulge my pedantry briefly, and comment there or on its talk page as appropriate. Consistency will make Appropedia more usable and more pleasant to use. --Chriswaterguy 01:39, 30 January 2013 (PST)

[edit] Portals and taskbar

We need to make the wikipedia more simple to navigate. see User_talk:Chriswaterguy#Portals_and_taskbar for some ideas Let's discuss which things we can change, and against what there are objections. KVDP 00:34, 10 October 2012 (PDT)

[edit] Appropedia Jam

A bunch of us are getting together online in a few hours (and in real life, if you're in Arcata) for an Appropedia Jam. I'm really looking forward to it.

See the Appropedia Jam page for details, and check the time in your timezone (e.g. 11 pm Sunday Oct 14 in London, 3pm US Pacific coast, 9am Mon 15th in Sydney).

Two things we're still working on:

  • There's a countdown timer on that page, which hopefully will work properly - it seems to not update if you revisit the page, until you click the "refresh" link next to the countdown.
  • We could do this regularly, but how about we have two times, and alternate between them? One month we do a time that's ideal for the US and Western Europe, the next month do one that's need to find a better time for other parts of the world. This time, 1am will be hard for Kili in Tanzania, and Monday morning isn't great for most of us in Australia and Asia! --Chriswaterguy 20:28, 13 October 2012 (PDT)

[edit] Talk page discussions

It's currently hard to know when someone's left a question or comment on a talk page (or, more rarely, on a Category talk/Original talk/Portal talk page). Let's make a section here for any discussions or questions that we find. Just add to the list, with or without a description of the question/discussion. (This is a stop-gap measure - I'm looking forward to getting an better solution.)

Please respond to these discussions at the relevant page, and not here. --Chriswaterguy 05:21, 23 October 2012 (PDT)

[edit] porting wikipedia templates

I have been porting a bunch of wikipedia templates over to get the nice table in the Arduino article. Tried to get the in to mm conversion working but getting errors -- if anyone that is more familiar with templates could have a look - it would be most appreciated. --Joshua 19:18, 2 January 2013 (PST)

The conversions appear to be working now. It just needed a few more templates. :-) --RichardF 17:56, 12 March 2013 (PDT)

[edit] suggestion for appropedia collaboration effort for 2013

I have been talking to Chris about an idea I've had for a direction we might consider for 2013. I thought it might be useful for me to try to explain it here.

I think it might be useful to collaborate to assess low-tech sanitation systems, particularly with regard to their effectiveness and safety. There is a lot of technical information around the internet, but this is often hard to find and rarely subject to intense criticism. If we could collate the information - particularly if we can encourage different experts to edit and discuss - I think his would be the start of an evidence-based toolkit for practitioners to understand interventions. Joeturner 06:57, 14 January 2013 (PST)

Thanks for the initiative, Joe.
This fits with work that HSU is doing with Appropedia, under Lonny's direction. I'm sure they'll continue to contribute good info.
From my experience, the way to really get Appropedia growing in a particular area is to recruit an academic to using Appropedia with their class. A focus on critical thinking and assessment will certainly appeal to some instructors - as well as being the right direction for Appropedia, IMO. --Chriswaterguy 02:57, 6 February 2013 (PST)
I really like this idea and love the work that Joeturner has been doing already. I will be on the look out for a teacher/class or business that would be into this and would love to hear ideas from Joe. thanks, --Lonny 18:47, 12 February 2013 (PST)

[edit] Requsting main page redesign

Hi I have created Appropedia:User experience/MainPageRedesign5 to test out a new look for the main page I would like to include it in the main page please it has a new disgn and some more information added to it and I would like to also ask could this website have a minor disgn change by adding the serve bar to the top of the website and suggest coming down from when your typing please and would like you to make this website other available languages and could you allow people by putting for example in an article en: or fr: to link it to the languages available to that article just like Wikipedia does please User555 16:17, 12 February 2013 (PST)

Hi User555
Thank you for all your work on templates and the main page update. There a few easy items left to change there, e.g. the links to recent deaths and news shouldn't be there, the portals should link to actual portals, and a section for announcements is probably still needed.
Regarding a serve bar... i am not sure what you are referring to
Regarding separate languages the way wikipedia does it... we hope to have that complete in less than one month
Thanks again, --Lonny 18:43, 12 February 2013 (PST)
hi I have done a minor change to it I have added announcements I have also created in the news User555 01:07, 13 February 2013 (PST)
Hi. I am sorry, I think we have a misunderstanding. I will try to be more clear:
  • There should not be a section for news.
  • The section for announcements looks great.
  • The portals in the header should lead to actual portals.
Does that make more sense?
Thank you, --Lonny 21:15, 13 February 2013 (PST)
yes I have removed in the news now I am just creating the portals and then the page will be finish thanks for telling me User555 08:16, 14 February 2013 (PST)
hi do you mean for announcements to create it side bar like what I did in the new should I put announcements where in the new use to be before I removed User555 08:18, 14 February 2013 (PST)
I have created the portals User555 06:29, 15 February 2013 (PST)
it is now ready User555 03:15, 16 February 2013 (PST)

(undent) Thanks User555. I love the idea of having these new sections - "did you know", featured pictures - and when we have content ready for these sections, I'd like to roll them out. Now, this will take some work... how do we take the first steps? (I even like the idea of a news section, and once we get a few communications classes working on Appropedia, we'll be ready to look at that, I think.)-Chriswaterguy 17:46, 20 February 2013 (PST)

ok User555 13:20, 23 February 2013 (PST)

[edit] Site redesign

Hi I would like to suggest several new features and disgn changes I would like to sea please 1. I would like more languages for example website address change to www.en.appropedia.org - for English or www.fr.appropedia.org for the French version of here simpler to Wikipedia address but in stead of saying Wikipedia it would say appropedia

2. I would like it to be easer to search this website for example please out the search bar at the top with suggestion popping down please and I would like this website to support
 <div></div> 
tags please

3. I would like to see support for link the article to other pages in different languages please for example I would like to do en:example or fr:example so it links to that page but in different languages please

4. I would like to sea in version history the option to revert the edits please and I would like to sea a new updated screen in show changes so it show a white back and show what words you change and what words you've added and I would like to see in history is how many letter you've added simpler to Wikipedia like if you added more it would show + how many you've or if you taken away it would says - how many

User555 13:06, 13 February 2013 (PST)

We are currently updating the version of mediawiki and adding language support. I hope you will like the changes which will take place this month. Thanks, --Lonny 21:36, 13 February 2013 (PST)
ok thank you User555 02:09, 14 February 2013 (PST)
could you also change the design and make the design moder simler to Wikipedias but different please User555 06:17, 15 February 2013 (PST)
We have a version of the Vector skin, adapted from Wikipedia (thanks User:RichardF) but we need help to get the Facebook and Google Plus buttons to work. Do you know someone who can help with the CSS? --Chriswaterguy 18:03, 20 February 2013 (PST)
no not really I will look online and find on how to use codes to input Facebook and google bottom 86.173.149.162 11:06, 23 February 2013 (PST)
I have created facebook twitter and other buttons User555 14:51, 23 February 2013 (PST)


hi I have change the portals I created and replaced them with the ones created on here User555 08:50, 9 March 2013 (PST)

[edit] Suggestion for creating projects

I have a suggestion how about we create a project on here for each things sillier to wikipedia called WikiProject. We could create one for improving the main page. Another one could be for creating or improving a page or many more User555 13:25, 15 February 2013 (PST)

I agree in principle. The challenge here is the smaller (so far) community. From my experience in trying such things, I suggest:
  • Keep it simple
  • Choose a logical discussion "hub" page for a given project. E.g. I suggest Appropedia:User experience for working on the main page and its talk page for discussion.
  • Let us know here. Assuming we're on the same wavelength, we can work together and make sure it's linked from the right places, and that the right people know about it (i.e. keen Appropedians working in that area).
What do you think? --Chriswaterguy 19:16, 20 February 2013 (PST)
yep User555 11:07, 23 February 2013 (PST)

[edit] Google+

Could you create an account on google+ please User555 12:33, 23 February 2013 (PST)

We have a page there - Appropedia on G+ - is that what you mean? --Chriswaterguy 20:25, 23 February 2013 (PST)
ok thanks 90.222.250.124 11:10, 8 March 2013 (PST)

[edit] Joeturner for admin

I nominate User:Joeturner -- lots of good edits and spam fighting - would be more efficient to have him go at the spammers directly. -- Joshua 03:56, 26 February 2013 (PST)

Happy to help in any way I can with the spam. Is it always this bad? Joeturner 07:02, 28 February 2013 (PST)
I second that nomination. It is not always bad. It is a consistent battle and we slowly adapt. So the spam gets worse for a while until we figure out how to stop that method and it quiets for a while... then the cycle starts again. Thanks! --Lonny 16:48, 1 March 2013 (PST)
Supported. See more at Appropedia:Administrators/Nominations#Joe_Turner. --Lonny 15:12, 8 March 2013 (PST)
Excellent - welcome to adminship, Joe! --Chriswaterguy 19:12, 8 March 2013 (PST)

[edit] Anti-spam measures

It looks like this wiki has spam trouble. Perhaps one of the admins should try this: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Asirra

(ConfirmEdit is more "official" but it looks like most spam bots can now bypass it.)

Lonny and User:Sam Rose are currently doing a big upgrade - after that I reckon it's time to look at Asirra and its super spam-fighting kittens. --Chriswaterguy 19:21, 8 March 2013 (PST)

[edit] Editing Wikipedia entry on the open source movement

I'm just getting into it but I think the open source movement is so much more than software. Examples abound on this site!?! I may get around to editing the Wikipedia entry but I thought I'd put it out there in case anyone else wants to do it.

Incidentally, studying openness, technology and media through the #ETMOOC right now. Check it out! Natalie

[edit] Bot

Hi could someone create a bot to copy from en wikipedia and put the content in to here please Appropedia:Selected anniversaries so the bot will copy from each date on en wikipedia and put it on to Appropedia:Selected anniversaries day it is today it is for the new main pag eo am creating in Appropedia:User experience/MainPageRedesign5 86.173.149.162 13:01, 6 March 2013 (PST)

Currently Appropedia:Selected anniversaries seems to be a mess of stuff. In addition, I am fairly concerned about the changing of templates which has been causing problems. I would like to caution care in changing existing template. What is the purpose of Appropedia:Selected anniversaries and will the page be fixed? Thank you! --Lonny 15:03, 8 March 2013 (PST)
the page is for the new main page redisgn Appropedia:User experience/MainPageRedesign5 User555 03:59, 9 March 2013 (PST)
OK, so are you going to fix it? Joeturner 01:43, 13 March 2013 (PDT)

[edit] User555 for admin

I nominate User:User555 he has made lot of good edit as seen at Appropedia:User experience/MainPageRedesign5 he has made lot of templates which are needed on here for example he changed the design of template:documentation check [User555 contribution] to see his contribution here User555 16:25, 23 February 2013 (PST)

[edit] A new Main Page section – Selected categories

I added a new section to the Main Page, called Selected categories. It’s near the bottom of the page. It includes categories for all of the Areas shown in the Navigation panel on the left side of every page plus the top-level content category, Topics.

Because this section uses category trees, you can click on the [+] character next to any category and see all of its subcategories, as far down as they go. This makes it possible to browse the wide variety of content areas available on Appropedia without having to leave the Main Page.

Please let me know if you have any feedback about this new section. --RichardF 08:07, 9 March 2013 (PST)

[edit] Appropedia theme

Hi could you change the theme to vector please and could you change the default skin to vector please &useskin=vector User555 08:43, 9 March 2013 (PST)

We haven't got a solution for the social media buttons yet. You posted something about this, but I couldn't understand what you meant. Do you have a way to make the the FB "Like" & G+ "+1" buttons work? --Chriswaterguy 19:32, 9 March 2013 (PST)

Well I can hyperlink Facebook button like I did in the redisgn main page User555 00:52, 10 March 2013 (PST)

Hi could you change the theme to vector please and could you change the default skin to vector please &useskin=vector User555 00:52, 10 March 2013 (PST)

Howdy,
We plan on updating the skin as soon as the sitewide mediawiki upgrade is done, hopefully in the next few days. Thank you, --Lonny 18:39, 13 March 2013 (PDT)
thanks User555 09:22, 19 March 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Forums

Hi I am in the middle of creating a template which allows you to create a form for example

Forum
First Name user
Last Name 555

I am in the middle of adding more but I have added first name and last name I am adding more

If you go here Template:Forum you can help I am using inforbox User555 11:31, 9 March 2013 (PST)

I'm sorry, I don't understand the rationale behind the changes you are making. Why do you think we need a form? I can't think of any good reason why we need that template on Appropedia. Joeturner 06:15, 10 March 2013 (PDT)
Further to the above, I have temporarily blocked User555 for 24 hours due to excessive importing of templates and other structural elements. I have asked that User555 explains on a new page why additional changes are necessary and an improvement on the existing structure before making further changes. These changes are too many and too fast and User555 has not been checking the effects of the changes, leading to considerable extra work to fix broken elements of Appropedia. Joeturner 06:46, 10 March 2013 (PDT)
I expect the edits from 90.222.250.124, 86.173.149.162 and 46.45.182.142 are by this user as well.

--RichardF 09:41, 10 March 2013 (PDT)

The edits from 46.45.182.142 occurred after the user was blocked. --RichardF 10:45, 10 March 2013 (PDT)
OK User555, how about you discuss with RichardF any other changes you are planning to make, otherwise I'll just go behind you reverting everything you do? Joeturner 12:13, 10 March 2013 (PDT)
Someone requested someone to create it in one of the archive in village pump User555 15:01, 11 March 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Daily Appropedia News

Hi could I create a page called Daily Appropedia News please it will have news from Appropedia and also news around the world please User555 13:05, 13 March 2013 (PDT)

The Main Page already has a section called, "Hot topics / In the news." Based on the very low turnover in this section, I see no evidence for the need to create a daily version of noteworthy Appropedia-related news items. --RichardF 16:07, 13 March 2013 (PDT)
could I create a seprate section for in the news on Appropedia:User experience/MainPageRedesign5 please User555 00:36, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
Trying out things on a test page like that is fine with me. --RichardF 04:49, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
ok thankyou User555 09:21, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
Can you explain to me how your daily news page will work? where is the content going to come from? Joeturner 09:36, 15 March 2013 (PDT)
well first I will copy it from wiki news then I will change some things around and how the content is shown User555 12:43, 15 March 2013 (PDT)
so you will be doing that every day from now until... whenever..? I really do not think we need this. Joeturner 13:17, 15 March 2013 (PDT)
well I am not copy every page from Wikinews only the main page User555 09:28, 16 March 2013 (PDT)
why? what value is it? who is going to copy the wikinews pages when you are not here? Joeturner 09:40, 17 March 2013 (PDT)
I doint know but I will change a few things on it User555 09:23, 19 March 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Youtube vids

KVDP and I disagree on the value of video embeds. I think videos are a useful addition to pages, and sometimes explain subjects in a much better way than the text. KVDP thinks they slow down the loading of pages. Anyone else have any thoughts? Joeturner 13:22, 13 March 2013 (PDT)

The mere existence of Widget:YouTube indicates Apporpedia's support for the use of videos on the site. A while back, Chriswaterguy and I were working on a yet-to-be implemented feature to show testimonials and videos on the Main Page. As part of that activity, I created Appropedia:List of videos. Based on the size of this list, Appropedia and its users clearly support the inclusion of videos here. --RichardF 16:24, 13 March 2013 (PDT)
I think videos can be very helpful and in fact require some projects to have them. If they are slowing down page loading (which should not be the case) we could probably delay their loading. So far, KVDP has a lot of great energy, but has been in error on almost every technical issue. KVDP, if you know more about web than appropriate technology, please let me know how the embedded videos are slowing down the pages and I will work with you to ameliorate that. Thank you all and please excuse my candor, --Lonny 18:34, 13 March 2013 (PDT)
I just updated Category:Videos and Appropedia:List of videos. As of today, I found 165 pages that contain videos. That's starting to look like a trend to me!  ;-) --RichardF 10:26, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
Playing DA, I guess that doesn't prove that the embeds don't slow the loading of the page, but it does at least indicate that I'm correct in thinking that video embeds are a fairly common feature of Appropedia pages. I'm not sure how we'd know whether the pages are really slowing down for people on slow connections. This can't be a unique question with regard to wikis, so I'm thinking KVDP needs to provide some evidence that this is a real issue. Joeturner 10:53, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
Clearly, having a slow connection makes any high-data page difficult to access. Personally, I have a dial-up connection at home, so I don't watch videos. However, that does not stop me from being able to view a page with an embedded video. What causes me more problems is Long pages. That's why I recently archived a zillion topics on this discussion page! ;-) --RichardF 11:11, 14 March 2013 (PDT)
Thanks for the archiving! Indeed, according to the measurements, long pages are much slower to render than pages with embedded videos. --Lonny 14:49, 28 March 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Extension dynamicpagelist

Hi could you add extension dynamicpagelist And #tag please User555 08:32, 15 March 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Poor quality images

KVDP is in the habit of uploading images onto Appropedia. Some of them are good. However, a good number of them are poor quality hand-drawn images that he has copied from a book. I'd like to suggest that this serves nobody any good. For example: File:Hydroponics_NFT_setup.JPG and File:Agriculture_manual_1_2_6_image_8.JPG

The problem is not just that they are hand-drawn. The problem is that the text is hard to read and the content is of dubious value. I cannot see any justification for keeping either of these examples. Content should be accurate, images also need to be accurate, clear and useful. These are none of those things. Joeturner 06:49, 21 March 2013 (PDT)

I appreciate the tremendous dedication that KVDP shows, but I do find these images very hard to understand. Besides which, if we don't know the source for the knowledge or the thinking behind the image, we don't know how to assess it. --Chriswaterguy 19:23, 26 March 2013 (PDT)
I have started a Category:low quality images cat. Some of these are actually better than others, but I think that they all either need to be drastically improved or removed. As I said previously, KVDP has uploaded some really clear images, even on complex subjects, which he appears to have used CAT to produce - which is absolutely fair enough, I don't have that skill. But these hand-drawn images are not good enough. Joeturner 01:55, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
Many of the images uploaded by KVDP are wrong. He has been open to change it, but the updated images are usually wrong as well. I wish that KVDP's energy and desire to draw/CAD could be partnered with people and projects that actually know what they are doing. --Lonny 14:44, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
I would venture to add that the majority of KVDP's edits are completely wrong, judging on the edits of subjects I know something about. I *really* don't understand what he thinks he is doing - why would you write things about subjects you clearly do not know anything about, and then argue about it (I take that back, he doesn't argue. He just reverts for no good reason and tells me to go and work on a different page outside of my expertise) with someone who does? None of us can possibly be any kind of expert in all of the subjects that KVDP seems to want to edit. Most of his edits seem to be lifted from basic texts, I cannot speak to the engineering aspects as that is not my area of expertise. At best his images in the natural sciences are so over-simplified as to be essentially useless, they usually have no scale or proper indication of what they are actually about and the text rarely explains them. At worst, they are impossible to make head-nor-tail of. But I feel fairly strongly that there are areas here that KVDP should not be editing.
I don't know what to suggest - but my perception is that KVDP is attempting to create his own version of wikipedia, to hell with any notion of rigour and accuracy and science. At the very least, I think his hand-drawn images should be removed. I'm also open to seeing many of his others being removed as well, particularly where they do not seem to serve any AT purpose and are not even linked to any page. Joeturner 15:25, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
Further to the above, I have collected more than 50 hand-drawn images by KVDP in Category:Low_quality_images. It seems likely that there are more than 100 of these scattered across Appropedia. I think KVDP can be notified that these will all be deleted after 7 days. Other CAT images of his are more difficult for me to assess, but I notice that very few of them have scales or sufficient explanations to be useful. Also I suspect there is not much truth in the idea that hand drawn images based substantially on images from elsewhere (say copyrighted books) are somehow not breaking copyright - or that they can therefore be licensed under the standard SA license. Most of the time these images are too general to be a problem, but I do sometimes wonder. Joeturner 04:08, 29 March 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Organizational point of view

From the early days of Appropedia, we've talked about an "Organizational point of view" applying to pages about an organization - and we've assumed that the same applies to a project page by an organization or individual, assuming the page isn't promoting something wrong or dangerous.

We're going to have to get much clearer about:

(a) whether that's a good approach that should be adopted as policy, and if so,
(b) how we apply the policy. (What about alternative points of view? Who decides if something is "wrong or dangerous," given that the organization has a special status in such a policy?)

E.g. User:Volunteeringsolutions was originally a mainspace article, but was moved to userspace because it looked like advertising. I agree with the move, but we need clearer guidelines. --Chriswaterguy 22:02, 26 March 2013 (PDT)

I continue to support the principle that, until proven otherwise, Appropedia uses the same editorial principles as Wikipedia. In this case, I believe the most concise reference is related to the assertion and section quoted below, Wikipedia is not a soapbox or means of promotion. The topical specifics include advocacy, propaganda, recruitment, opinion pieces, scandal mongering, self-promotion, and advertising. From my observations here, I would say Appropedia does actively serve as a vehicle for mission-related advocacy, recruitment, opinion pieces, and self-promotion. Granted, there’s often a fine line to cross into the realm of advertising, but that line gets impenetrably thicker for me when the object of the page has no explicit connection to any form of interaction on Appropedia.
If Appropedia were to get more explicit in terms of policy or guidelines in this area, I would support taking language like that shown below, modify what is acceptable to describe how that could be implemented, link to examples, and keep language related to what remains unacceptable. I also would start using header templates to designate approved pages in these areas, such as like Wikipedia:Template:Essay.

Wikipedia is not a soapbox or means of promotion

Wikipedia is not a soapbox, a battleground, or a vehicle for propaganda, advertising and showcasing. This applies to articles, categories, templates, talk page discussions, and user pages. Therefore, content hosted in Wikipedia is not for:

  1. Advocacy, propaganda, or recruitment of any kind: commercial, political, religious, national, sports-related, or otherwise. An article can report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to describe the topic from a neutral point of view. You might wish to start a blog or visit a forum if you want to convince people of the merits of your favorite views.[1]
  2. Opinion pieces. Although some topics, particularly those concerning current affairs and politics, may stir passions and tempt people to "climb soapboxes" (for example, passionately advocate their pet point of view), Wikipedia is not the medium for this. Articles must be balanced to put entries, especially for current events, in a reasonable perspective, and represent a neutral point of view. Furthermore, Wikipedia authors should strive to write articles that will not quickly become obsolete. However, Wikipedia's sister project Wikinews allows commentaries on its articles.
  3. Scandal mongering, promoting things "heard through the grapevine" or gossiping. Articles and content about living people are required to meet an especially high standard, as they may otherwise be libellous or infringe the subjects' right to privacy. Articles should not be written purely to attack the reputation of another person.
  4. Self-promotion. It can be tempting to write about yourself or projects in which you have a strong personal involvement. However, do remember that the standards for encyclopedic articles apply to such pages just like any other. This includes the requirement to maintain a neutral point of view, which can be difficult when writing about yourself or about projects close to you. Creating overly abundant links and references to autobiographical sources is unacceptable. See Wikipedia:Autobiography, Wikipedia:Notability and Wikipedia:Conflict of interest.
  5. Advertising. All information about companies and products are written in an objective and unbiased style. All article topics must be verifiable with independent, third-party sources, so articles about very small "garage" or local companies are typically unacceptable. External links to commercial organizations are acceptable if they identify notable organizations which are the topic of the article. Wikipedia neither endorses organizations nor runs affiliate programs. See also Wikipedia:Notability for guidelines on corporate notability. Those promoting causes or events, or issuing public service announcements, even if noncommercial, should use a forum other than Wikipedia to do so.

Non-disruptive statements of opinion on internal Wikipedia policies and guidelines may be made on user pages and within the Wikipedia: namespace, as they are relevant to the current and future operation of the project.

  1. Wikipedia pages may not be used for advocacy unrelated to Wikipedia, but pages in the Wikipedia namespace (also known as "project namespace") may be used to advocate for specific viewpoints regarding the improvement or organization of Wikipedia itself. So essays, portals, project pages, etc. are part of what Wikipedia is.

--RichardF 09:03, 27 March 2013 (PDT)

Hmm. Dunno - I'm not sure we are doing the same thing as Wikipedia, so I'm not sure how helpful that is. I'd say many articles here are opinion or gossip, hence my efforts to try to bring some level of scientific underpinning to the things I know about. Ideally nobody would ever say anything on an Appropedia page that was not scientifically proven - or at the very least inject some notes of caution into ideas which are in dispute. The reality is that nobody has time to be arguing with people who insist they have the right to edit and insert wrong information. In fact, you know, I probably would have time to argue with people, because if they argued and discussed, I'd have less of a problem. What makes me really mad is uncited unproven hearsay, particularly when the end result is actually dangerous. Is that a soapbox? Possibly. But I think we have far more of a responsibility to ensure that our information is correct than wikipedia. Because at the end of the day, we're actually expecting people to use this stuff. I therefore think we need a scientific board. None of us are infallible, of course, but I think the first priority should be on accurate and safe advice. I don't think it is really too much to ask people who are making wild claims to provide sources and to discuss the points. Joeturner 10:23, 27 March 2013 (PDT)
Oops, rereading Chris' point, I think maybe he is referring to the point-of-view of the organisation which is inserting the page. My point above was addressing whether Appropedia itself should have a point-of-view. Sorry for the tangent! Joeturner 10:28, 27 March 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Things that should not be on appropedia

  • 1. A schematic on how to make an air-rifle: File:Indiginous_hunter_air_rifle.jpg. Is anyone seriously thinking that someone will be able to use this to make a gun? Even if we wanted to tell people how to do it, the process is high precision engineering. The idea is absurd. Joeturner 02:20, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
  • 2. A compound bow, File:Improved_compound_bow.JPG for similar reasons. I think you've got a good chance of cutting yourself in half if you attempted to use this diagram to make a bow. Joeturner 02:24, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
  • 3. Maps that are hard to read and/or do not really add anything. For example: File:Native_honey_producing_stingless_bees.png Joeturner 09:28, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
  • 4. Religious diagrams that infer certain religions can be considered to be at the centre and others at the periphery. File:Religion_pendant.PNG Joeturner 09:33, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
Icons such as this typically are used on Wikipedia to visually represent a topical theme. For example, Wikipedia:Portal:Contents/Types TOC shows a collection of icons used in the table of contents for Wikipedia:Portal:Contents/Portals, among other contents pages. Since Appropedia doesn't have such a structure or style, I'm not sure how such an icon would be used here. --RichardF 12:52, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
Richard, if you look at the image description, KVDP is clearly making a statement about the relative worth of different religions. If find it hard to believe that there is anyone from any religion (except perhaps unitarianism) who would not find this diagram offensive at worst and laughable at best. I don't think KVDP is attempting to create icons for portals, but heavens, I have no idea what he is doing other than filling pages with worthless piffle. Joeturner 15:14, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
Okay, my original comment wasn't about the description on the page, just the image. When I searched for it on tineye, I came up empty. That suggests the image is original work. I'll comment on the broader issue of this topic below. --RichardF 17:01, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
  • 5. Projectile Weapons: for example this pipe bomb File:AT_mortar.JPG Joeturner 09:36, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
  • 6. Chainmail. Words fail. File:AT_haubergeon.JPG Joeturner 09:40, 28 March 2013 (PDT). Actually, y'know I quite like that one. But under what circumstances would someone coming to Appropedia find it useful to know about medieval protective clothing?
  • 7. Marvin, the slightly scary looking Android File:Android_design.JPG
  • 8 The airship project. Not-at-all my area of expertise, but I really doubt that this has any merit on a AT wiki, and I'd suspect is mostly wrong. Seriously, who is going to read this stuff? AT_CAD_Team/AT_airship Joeturner 15:34, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
  • 9 Pages which do not seem to relate to their titles - for example Original_environment_rehabilitation_manual_2.11 appears to be a ridiculously oversimplified page about afforestation. Joeturner 04:21, 3 April 2013 (PDT)
  • 10 Electrical shock weapon. File:Doble_baston_design.png Really. What.The.Hell.Is.This.Here.For? Joeturner 00:54, 4 April 2013 (PDT)

KVDP, maybe you can enlighten me what any of these things have to do with the focus of Appropedia. Most of them are not even linked to any pages, so why on earth are they here? Joeturner 09:49, 28 March 2013 (PDT)

The broader issue I see here is the need for clearer criteria about files and pages that are candidates for deletion, such as at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Files for deletion. The basic reasons for deleting a file there are:
  • Obsolete – The file has been replaced by a better version.
  • Orphan – The file is not used on any pages in Wikipedia.
  • Unencyclopedic – The file doesn't seem likely to be useful in any Wikimedia project.
  • Low quality – The file is of an extremely low resolution, distorted, or has other physical image quality concerns.
  • Copyright violation – The file might be used in violation of copyright.
  • NFCC violation – The file is used under a claim of fair use but does not meet the requirements.
If we had clearer criteria here, it would be much more straightforward on how to proceed. --RichardF 17:01, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
I strongly support the idea of strong, clear criteria. We could combine and change the ones above into something like:
  • Not used – The file has been replaced by a better version or is otherwise not being used on any page of Appropedia.
  • Very low quality – The file is of an extremely low resolution, distorted, or has other physical image quality concerns.
  • Copyright violation – The file might be used in violation of copyright.
  • Dangerous – The file represents something very wrong or something dangerous without clear warnings.
On a side note: I think we should have a separate namespace for speculative pages. Something like appropedia.org/Speculative:Some_page.
Thoughts? --Lonny 17:26, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
I like the prospects of moving forward with a clearer mechanism for deleting questionable content, whether files or pages. The revised examples above for files are fine with me. The notion of a "Speculation" (counterproposal :-) namespace sounds worth pursuing too. Wikipedia's Wikipedia:WP:SPECULATION no-nos include at least a couple of page types probably worth supporting here.
3. Articles that present original research in the form of extrapolation, speculation, and "future history" are inappropriate. While scientific and cultural norms continually evolve, we must wait for this evolution to happen, rather than try to predict it. Of course, we do and should have articles about notable artistic works, essays, or credible research that embody predictions. An article on Weapons of Star Trek is appropriate; an article on "Weapons to be used in World War III" is not.
4. While currently accepted scientific paradigms may later be rejected, and hypotheses previously held to be controversial or incorrect sometimes become accepted by the scientific community, it is not the place of Wikipedia to venture such projections.
The Speculation namespace also could relate to parts of the discussion at Appropedia:Village pump#Organizational point of view, particularly in terms of essays. Here's a repeat comment I made there. If Appropedia were to get more explicit in terms of policy or guidelines in this area [promotions & opinions], I would support taking language like that shown below, modify what is acceptable to describe how that could be implemented, link to examples, and keep language related to what remains unacceptable. I also would start using header templates to designate approved pages in these areas, such as like Wikipedia:Template:Essay. What come to mind here for me is the collection of essays, The future we deserve (Book). To me, those pages meet the criterion of "worthy speculation." The question then becomes, is such speculation worthy of its own namespace. My answer: Sure. Why not?!
At the same time, we also will need to keep in mind the role of Appropedia:Incubator. Criteria for distinguishing whether a page should go to Speculation or the incubator will need to be clear enough to make that call. I assume speculation pages should be well written and supported but unproven. Incubator pages need work and/or are of questionable value even if well written. --RichardF 18:56, 28 March 2013 (PDT)
Lonny and Richard - my thoughts are that I don't like the idea of the speculation namespace. In my view, if material is dangerous, low quality etc it should be removed, not just moved to userspace or a speculation namespace. Having this (the speculation) namespace suggests something might be dangerous or low quality etc but is kept on the basis that it might at some point in the future get to be useful on Appropedia. To take the airship example, I am not qualified to assess the aeronautical design, but even if I was, it requires a massive leap of the imagination to see that as relevant to Appropedia. Unless we actually have someone who is skilled in that area - and unless they can give a reasoned argument about how this could be used today in an Appropriate Technology context, this is nonsense/dangerous. Simply moving it to another namespace does not hide or change the nature of the piece nor (I think) does it hide it from external search engine view or make it unviewable by visitors.
The only possible reason for keeping space for things that are 'speculative' as defined above is for ideas that groups are working on. I think theFWD project can properly be described as worthy speculative, although the pieces individually stray into areas which are not AT, in my opinion. The vision was to create something collaboratively, the process was one of learning, and the idea was that the authors and others read and engage with what the others have said. I think that is a useful model to keep, encourage and repeat. I'd therefore agree that future books and projects of this kind can be put into their own namespace. These and student projects are always labelled as works-in-progress and I have faith that instructors watch and remove questionable content in these spaces. KVDP's pages that I have highlighted above are not, as far as I can see, in any way collaborative work-in-progress projects and they are not about AT either.
I'd therefore propose that the incubator be kept for projects that individuals are developing that meet a basic standard for inclusion - in the vast majority of cases are about AT. Group projects whilst in progress might be in their own namespace, clearly labelled, but individuals should not be able to use group namespace as cover for their own ideas - because if all pages can be viewed, we all have some level of responsibility for the way that it reflects onto Appropedia and everything else here. If it is simply an individual's personal speculation with no conceivable way to ever get back to the point of Appropedia, it should be removed altogether. Joeturner 02:13, 29 March 2013 (PDT)
Joe, all your points are well taken. If an individual piece does not meet Appropedia's criteria of relevance and quality, then it should be removed. What would help the community better make those case-by-case decisions is to clarify those criteria by which content should be judged. Moving forward, not only would that help making decisions about what should stay or go, but authors also would have a better idea about what should or shouldn't be added in the first place. --RichardF 04:51, 29 March 2013 (PDT)

(undent) Re chainmail: "under what circumstances would someone coming to Appropedia find it useful to know about medieval protective clothing?" The best positive answer I can think of is in preparation for a zombie apocalypse - which is often used as a metaphor for a major disaster, and even used in disaster preparedness efforts by the CDC (US Center for Disease Control). It does seem to be a useful and engaging metaphor. Seriously, though, I'm not convinced that information is chain mail is useful here, but I don't think it's very harmful.

Re airship: I didn't realize that was in mainspace - thanks. I've now userfied it, deselecting the option to create a redirect so it doesn't have exposure in mainspace. (Admins can suppress redirects). For now it's at User:KVDP/AT CAD Team/AT airship - see User talk:KVDP #Userfied some pages for others. Ultimately we need agreement about how to handle such pages, and this will presumably be deleted.

Re speculative content: There is value and danger in speculation - the challenge is to keep content which is "well written and supported but unproven" (RichardF) but remove that which is dangerous, low quality etc. I support removing content entirely from all Appropedia namespaces if it's dangerous or promotes something very counter-productive, such as so-called free energy devices or unproven aircraft designs.

Note that we have a {{status-design}} tag: "This OSAT has been designed but not yet tested - use at own risk." This is in a similar spirit to speculative content.

Note also the page Appropedia:Speculative content from 2010.

My ideas re both speculative content and incubators:

  • Speculative content that seems reasonable (by whatever standards we agree on for mainspace) stays on Appropedia, either:
    1. In a speculation namespace, or
    2. In mainspace, clearly flagged. I've suggested a {{status-speculative}} tag to A:Status. Given the seriousness of someone overlooking such a tag, I suggest we also have some variety of unmissable {{speculative}} notice at the top.
  • Dangerous content, content which could seriously mislead readers, and content which could lead Appropedia into disrepute is deleted. (We'll want to carefully define "could lead Appropedia into disrepute" so it's not open to misuse or perceptions of misuse.)
  • Seriously problematic content that's not dangerous or spammy gets moved to some kind of incubator. I worry about the incubator getting cluttered though, so I'm thinking about splitting the incubator - e.g.
    1. An incubator for each university class. This (A) reduces the cleanup needed after each class (which generally falls on the volunteer community); (B) reduces the exposure of articles which don't yet have anything that makes sense; and (C) enables an academic to easily see which of their students' work is still in the incubation phase.
    2. One for serious works in progress ("for projects that individuals are developing that meet a basic standard for inclusion" in Joeturner's words).
    3. One for off-topic and "what the heck is this?" pages. That's more of a storage space than an actual incubator, as most of the pages would never re-enter mainspace. This one serves several purposes for Appropedia: (A) It enables us to be more friendly and maintain goodwill - not causing unneeded grief to people who've made honest mistakes, so we're more likely to make friends through the process, than enemies. The person who gets an article on crystal healing deleted may easily become a friend who tells people about Appropedia, or a contributor in a different area. (Note that Wikipedia has a few annoying enemies, and I think a lot of them started out by having an article deleted and having unfriendly notices left on their Wikipedia talk page.); (B) It minimizes the damage done by honest mistakes, if an admin thinks something is complete crap when it's not; (C) It softens the immediate reaction by people who've had their content removed from mainspace, which in turn reduces the stress and time demands on admins.
    4. A:Userfication where one editor creates a significant number of pages that need to be removed from mainspace. This is especially useful if they don't have strong prospects for going back to mainspace. They're out of the way, but accessible, and the ball is in the editor's court, to improve the page and prove it worth putting in mainspace.

--Chriswaterguy 21:01, 2 April 2013 (PDT)

Chris - even in a circumstance of zombie attack, you need high level blacksmithing skills to produce chainmail. Even if you had/were interested in getting those skills, I do not believe KVDP's diagram is useful because I see no evidence that he has any technical skills in blacksmithing. Hence the page is superfluous at best, and I believe brings Appropedia into disrepute.
I was thinking about this over the weekend, I believe KVDP regularly suffers from a form of false precision. Take for example his recent page Making_jam,_jelly_and_marmalade. Making jam (or any other kind of recipe) is a subject which fills enormous bookshelves, so the idea that you could write anything sensible on a single page is largely moot to start with. And I think we have to ask ourselves whether we serve any function in providing information that has the appearance of precision (in a fairly complex subject such as this). In each case we have to imagine a person arriving here at Appropedia without a basic understanding of the subject. In this case, he would have to at least know the word 'jam' to find it. Would the page then give him enough accurate information to use and get reliable results? I don't think so. In fact, I think we are far better in a large number of situations in having a single paragraph of explanation and links to better sources where the breadth is too great for us to explain and which we would inevitably confuse by summarising. If we attempt to reinvent the wheel, but in the process miss out several of the spokes and make the thing sound far more simple than it actually is, how are we helping and who are we imagining would find this information useful? I think we should focus on signposting, collating and discussing information (in particular when it is hard to find) in AT in almost all situations where we do not have personal experience. I can't see that there is a need for jam or other recipes here at all. Joeturner 00:50, 3 April 2013 (PDT)
Regarding Chris' 'making enemies' point, which I think is a good one: we have to balance the potential for offence with the seriousness of the error and the length that the editor has been working on Appropedia pages. There is a certain level of offence implicit in removing any amount of material, particularly large amounts that I am advocating of KVDP's images above. For me, the need for standards is more important than avoiding all possible offence to editors. I'd suggest that material which does not meet standards is quarantined (with a clear template) for a set amount of time with the editor responsible notified of imminent deletion and the reasons why. I agree with Richard that this process is much easier if there are clearer standards, but I do not even think it is so difficult with the policies and standards that we have. The alternative is that we get editors who add large amounts of material without any form of peer review or discussion and the worst they can expect is for some of it to be userified. In my view that isn't good enough. If the user consistently refuses to engage with the (and let's be honest, it is a pretty mild form of) peer review process and refuses to improve the pages they have started, they should just be removed in short order. In my view the difference is between taking time to work with a new user to discover what it is that they know and helping them to present it in a reliable/readable way and allowing long time users to fill pages with rubbish. If everyone is agreed that these (kinds of) years-old pages are not good enough, why are we keeping them? At present it seems a little unfair that we're talking specifically about KVDP, but it seems to me that he has been adding more pages and images than anyone else recently. Delving deeper may well uncover other questionable content, but my impression is that there are a very large number of largely worthless pages on Appropedia, which dilutes the effect of the really good ones. Joeturner 03:23, 3 April 2013 (PDT)
30 days of edits
User Edits
RichardF 1,127
Joeturner 997
KVDP 396
User555 338
J.M.Pearce 146
Chriswaterguy 141
Chris – I support your suggestions on how to address speculative, dangerous and seriously problematic content. What do you suggest as next steps?
Joe – I agree many of the pages on Appropedia diminish its overall quality and usability. I expect Chris’ suggestions can address the page quality issue as time goes by. What we also appear to need in this area is a few more appropriately sustainable collaborative process solutions for separating the wheat from the chaff. ;-)
Taking a look at the group of users who made more than 100 edits in the past 30 days, four of them are admins and two are users who have been the subjects of several quality control issues of late. This says to me that our overall quality control administrative processes lack sufficient rigor. If admins take appropriate steps to address user editing process issues, then page quality issues can be more systematically addressed and improved over time. My suggestion on this front is for consistently high-volume, questionable quality users to be contacted by site leadership (Lonny and/or his explicit designates) to point out the applicable issues and establish a set of expectations for improvement within a given timetable. If those expectations are not met within the allotted time, then editing privileges will be curtailed.
By addressing recurring high-volume process issues, admins and other users will have more time to address sorting out existing and future page quality issues. --RichardF 08:47, 3 April 2013 (PDT)

As a general observation, it appears that the majority of projects in the AT_CAD_Team are largely, or entirely, KVDP's work. I think all those pages need to be looked at by qualified admin, but given what has been said about aeroplane projects above, I'd particularly point to File:SP_airplane_2.png and Watervehicle_conversion and AT_CAD_Team/AT_Stirling_motors and AT_CAD_Team/AT_freight_aircraft as being at least potentially dangerous. One project even has an anon comment on the talkpage that suggests the idea is impossible: Talk:AT_CAD_Team/AT_catamaranJoeturner 00:34, 4 April 2013 (PDT)

I am going to make an executive decision to immediately remove weapons and torture devices I find on Appropedia pages. I'm sorry, but this stuff should not be here. At all. I thought I'd seen some stuff, but that just about takes the plate of biscuits. Joeturner 00:58, 4 April 2013 (PDT)

  • Appropedia members: List of members with contact columns and no contact information, which would be inappropriate if present. --RichardF 19:53, 24 April 2013 (PDT)

[edit] A progress bar template

Here’s a template I like to use to help me see how far behind schedule I am. {{Progression}} displays a bar 100% wide that is colored some percent complete. It can display the percent complete from a single number or from one number divided by another. It also can display a custom label on the bar. Here are a few examples.

given percent

{{Progression|36.7}} :

36.7% complete
calculated percent

{{Progression|200|300}} :

66.7% complete
calculated percent + label

{{Progression|{{NUMBEROFARTICLES:R}}|6000|task=Go from {{NUMBEROFARTICLES}} to 6,000 articles}} :

Go from 6,144 to 6,000 articles: 102.4% complete

{{Progression|{{#expr:({{CURRENTWEEK}}-1)*7+{{CURRENTDOW}}}}|365|task=This year is}} :

This year is: 67.9% complete

Try it out!  :-) --RichardF 12:05, 9 April 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Appropedia site stats

I added some Appropedia site stats to the top of this page. I also added a simple graph to show how page views change over a little slice of time. I didn't bother to show the total number of users (69,390) because the vast majority probably aren't real people. Too bad we can't tell how many of the edits and views are by real people. ;-) --RichardF 07:41, 11 April 2013 (PDT)

Are redlink userpages classed as 'real' pages? Is there some kind of database where we can remove them? Joeturner 08:11, 11 April 2013 (PDT)
A red link isn't a page, so those aren't counted as pages. However, they are counted as users. I expect there is some way to delete them from the database, but that's beyond my pay grade. --RichardF 09:52, 11 April 2013 (PDT)

After watching the edits and page views for a day, the Edits are at 158 and the Views are at 35,807, for 227 Views/Edit! Until I looked at the numbers like this, it really didn't sink in how popular this site is...with the bots. Overall, the Views/Edit are at 173, suggesting the site is getting even more popular with somethings as time goes by. --RichardF 12:24, 12 April 2013 (PDT)

That is depressing. I wonder how many of those edits were content rather than admin - not many I'd guess. Sometimes I look at pages and wonder if the content makes a visit here more useful than wikipedia. Mostly, I doubt it. We could lose 99% of pages and be no worse off I think. We are drowning in repeated and/or poor content and we really need to work on providing more directly relevant AT material otherwise we are fighting a losing battle. Joeturner 01:48, 13 April 2013 (PDT)
Buckminster Fuller
All of humanity now has the option to "make it" successfully and sustainably, by virtue of our having minds, discovering principles and being able to employ these principles to do more with less.

Yes, sometimes less is more. --RichardF
I agree that we could do way better at getting people to great content fast. Eventually it would be great if a visitor could answer a few questions (e.g. location, context, desired outcomes, resources) and get suggested content. I agree that we would benefit from merging the best parts of information based pages into less pages. I also think that the project based pages, which bring something very unique, are great to have in large numbers. Learning how different groups addressed similar problems in various contexts, seeing their successes and failures, and learning from the various methods allows for much greater understanding. I think that divergent project pages followed by convergent analysis will allow us to not only provide those varied examples but also be able to cull more general rules for our non-project based pages. Does that make sense?
PS - That stats bar is so cool!
--Lonny 17:29, 13 April 2013 (PDT)
I agree, the student pages and reports of in-field experiences are the best and most useful parts of appropedia.
other pages mostly only repeat what is better said elsewhere, and could be replaced with relevant links.
to get the unique-to-us pages into a find-able and readable format and to remove or change the rest would be a major task. And a serious chànge of direction. Joeturner 23:39, 13 April 2013 (PDT)
Lonny - can the Semantic search features help with finding the most relevant pages? If so, a project that focused on the "search-worthy" pages could pull out those topics that highlight Appropedia's strengths while ignoring the "extra" pages. This search feature could be highlighted on the Main Page. That way, it's not so much about cleaning the entire house, it's more about putting the good stuff in the parlor. ;-) --RichardF 06:06, 14 April 2013 (PDT)

(undent)I have no idea of the way that the Appropedia Foundation finances work, but I assume that large numbers of bots and lots of pages must have an impact on bandwidth and storage costs. I still think that bad pages have an impact on everything else - so am not really sure there is an alternative to a root-and-branch cull. It might actually be easier to identify good pages, then improve them and delete everything else, but I could be totally off beam on my understanding of this. I don't know how the semantic search works - could it give results from wikipedia (or other sources) for subjects where we do not have content?

I interpret Lonny as saying that pages should either be:

  • Project pages by students & others - involving direct experimentation (or other forms of information collection) on a subject directly related to AT
  • Descriptive pages by practitioners about how different tech has been used in the field
  • Curated general pages linking together these in a format which is readable by someone coming to Appropedia looking for information on that subject

I'd also add

  • Curated pages on other subjects, which are not prescriptive, and which signpost to good sources of much more detailed information elsewhere.

It seems to me that the best pages are already arranged like this. Maybe we just need to get out of the mindset that we are in any way trying to replicate a version of wikipedia and play to our strengths - which are either writing about things we directly know about or providing useful links on subjects where we do not. Joeturner 07:53, 14 April 2013 (PDT)

The stats now show the recent Edits/Day, currently at 213. When are project assignments due? ;-) --RichardF 19:29, 10 May 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Editing the main page´s <title> tag to be more descriptive

Hey folks,

Just went to bookmark appropedia at my hostel's public use computer, and realized the default title was just Appropedia. I'd like to propose something like what Slashdot.org has, maybe "Appropedia - A Sustainability wiki" or something similarly informative. I decided I didn't even realize the site's quick descriptor/tag at all, and a search on the front page didn't see it. A second skim produces a line that doesn't stand out (in terms of font size especially) from the rest of the page "Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.". I would suggest something replace, or combine with, 'welcome to appropedia.'

hope this first entry finds all well! :) --Ajay (aka @) 17:16, 13 April 2013 (PDT)

Hi Ajay,
Thanks for the bookmark and the sound SEO advice!
--Lonny 17:31, 13 April 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Removal of weapons pages

I am just recording a discussion we've just had about the removal of Black powder

do we need a page on making gunpowder? seems unlikely to me. Joeturner 01:59, 17 April 2013 (PDT)

Useful when the zombie apocalypse comes? Seriously though, the zombie thing is sometimes used as a useful metaphor for collapse....but I'm not comfortable with actively supporting the idea of making and using weapons. A survivalist might say that weapons are essential for self-defence, in some contexts, and they'd be right - but I'm still uneasy about it. --Chriswaterguy 05:29, 17 April 2013 (PDT)
Apart from anything else, I'm not sure if we have anyone with the skills to tell whether these recipes would work - and I'm not offering to test it. If we don't know for sure, I think we have to treat this as untested and dangerous. And I really don't think we need to tell anyone how to make explosives, if they really want to know they can find the information someplace else. Joeturner 05:32, 17 April 2013 (PDT)
Very good points. I say delete, but preserve this conversation somewhere (village pump?) --Chriswaterguy 05:49, 17 April 2013 (PDT)

The page is now removed. Suggest all other weapons etc pages are removed for similar reasons. Joeturner 06:05, 17 April 2013 (PDT)

Support. --RichardF 13:46, 21 April 2013 (PDT)
How about we list such pages here on the village pump, and then propose deletion of them? I think I'll support deletion, but I'd like us to know which pages we're deciding about. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 10:01, 24 April 2013 (PDT)
They're in the list of 'pages which should not be on Appropedia' above, Chris. I deleted two pages with gun designs, one which specifically relates to an electric baton and blackpowder. There are still several others in that list which we need to decide about. Joeturner 10:14, 24 April 2013 (PDT)
I haven't looked at the village pump page for a while now (reading it is time consuming and I rather spend my time on other more pressing things). Anyway, Joe seems to be spending all his time focusing on trying to criticise and even delete my writings and images, undoubtably triggered by the fact that I wasn't entirely in agreement with some edits he made on such articles as Composting, Composting toilets]], ... I can only conclude that he never did nor does any editing at Wikipedia, as accomplishing changes to articles there often brings much more conflicts with other users than what is the case here. Anyway, as everything I wrote is now under scrutiny, here are some arguments against the first batch of easy targets (ie the so-called "weapons" he describes, ...):
  • Black powder: regardless of what professor cum laude Joe says, I made this page to discuss the production of gun powder, primarily for demolition tasks (for example clearing stone for dams, railways, destroying broken foundations, ...) I also discussed it for hunting tools (not defensive weapons)
  • File:Indiginous_hunter_air_rifle.jpg, File:Improved_compound_bow.JPG, File:AT_mortar.JPG: again unlike what our educated friend tells us, the first two were intented as hunting tools and are not that complicated to make. If he had for example studied the compressed air rifle better, he would have noticed that there are no grooves in the barrel, and so it's not all that hard to make. The design of the projectile instead keeps the projectile of flying straight (similar to an arrow). The bow designs I had included a compound and recurve bow. The designs shown in the original sketches were severely altered/updated as the 3D model was made (no longer the same). I thought I allready removed these by now (I tag them with a deletion tag as I progressed on these models). Perhaps some may have not yet been removed or perhaps I forgot to tag some of them. Then the mortar, conveniently dubbed by Joe as a flying "pipe bomb". I actually originally made this to fire off a rope, ie from a boat, for mooring purposes. It's similar to the Hale rocket which too was used for this purpose. Another task I thought might be useful was for riot control (spreading of ie tear gas, ...) the File:Doble_baston_design.png was also made for riot control purposes (so intented for police) instead of some type of event directed by George A. Romero Finally, Joe closes off his effort with "I am going to make an executive decision to immediately remove weapons and torture devices I find on Appropedia pages" :~ ...

KVDP 06:21, 28 May 2013 (PDT)

[edit] mediawiki 1.20.4

hi could you upgrade your mediawiki from 1.17.0 to 1.20.4 please 86.139.246.76 13:25, 21 April 2013 (PDT)

[edit] php MySQL update

hi could you please update php from 5.3.13 to 5.4.14 and MySQL from 5.1.53 to 5.6.11 please 86.139.246.76 13:30, 21 April 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Appropedia:User experience/MainPageRedesign5 ready

I think Appropedia:User experience/MainPageRedesign5 is ready to be put into the main page because the improvement is that there are more colour to make it look nice it include a social bar and improves the desgn 86.139.246.76 13:55, 21 April 2013 (PDT)

[edit] NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Higher Education Edition

"The New Media Consortium (NMC) is a community of hundreds of leading universities, colleges, museums, and research centers. The NMC stimulates and furthers the exploration and use of new media and technologies for learning and creative expression. All content Creative Commons.

"The NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program.

"The tenth edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, a decade-long research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education. Six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, as well as key trends and challenges expected to continue over the same period, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning."

The six emerging technologies to watch include:

  • Near-term horizon
    • Massively open online courses (MOOCs)
    • Tablet computing
  • Mid-term horizon
    • Games and gamification
    • Learning analytics
  • Far-term horizon
    • 3D printing
    • Wearable technology

--RichardF 10:02, 24 April 2013 (PDT)

[edit] morgueFile License: okay to use altered images, not originals

License nitpicking follows...

Something to watch for with file uploads - the morgueFile License (as used on File:Wind Energy.jpg). This only has these restrictions:

Stand alone basis - You can not sell, license, sublicense, rent, transfer or distribute this image exactly as it is without alteration.
Ownership - You may not claim ownership of this image in its original state.

The second condition is no problem, I think. To meet the first condition, I've uploaded a slightly modified version of File:Wind Energy.jpg.

Excuse the pedantry - I just want to avoid us using content, including images, in any ways that we haven't been permitted to do. --Chriswaterguy 14:25, 25 April 2013 (PDT)

How bizarre. The whole of their license seems pretty odd - the text in the summary does not appear on the main license page. I'm wondering if what they mean is that the image can be used commercially (say printing on a mug or using on a poster) but cannot be put onto another page which would compete with Morguefile's (paid-for) service. The relevant section seems to be:
1.2 Without limiting the generality of Section 1.1, Licensor acknowledges that morgueFile may sublicense Subscribers to use and publish the Photos in magazines, greeting cards, advertisements, brochures, on the Internet and in all other media, both in print and electronically. The only limitation on morgueFile's right to sublicense shall be that morgueFile shall include in its agreements with Subscribers a limitation prohibiting Subscribers from publishing any Photos on a standalone basis.
I guess the question is what a 'standalone' basis is. I wonder if this just means having the images available for free when they'd otherwise need to be paid for. Slightly changing the images appears to meet the criteria in the 'human-readable summary' but I'm not sure how much it would need to be altered to fit the 'standalone' criteria in the full licensing text. I Am Not a Lawyer etc, just observing. Joeturner 01:35, 1 May 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Bibliographies and glossaries as contents navigation tools

Starting with a conversation at the 4Rs category, we (the usual suspects) have been developing new Appropedia navigation designs for bibliographies and glossaries based on how portal subpages and other portal features, such as id tags, work.

The two most developed examples of this approach right now are the AT Sourcebook and Glossary of sustainability terms. If you have ideas for other pages that would benefit from using this design approach, please let us know. --RichardF 08:22, 26 April 2013 (PDT)

[edit] CBS Sunday Morning - 3-D printing: The next dimension - Bioprinting

CBS Sunday Morning - 3-D printing: The next dimension

April 28, 2013 7:34 AM

"Instead of just two dimensions we can now print in three. A new way of manufacturing is being used to make everything from toy tractors to electric cars. Now, researchers are using 3D printing to engineer human tissue."

--Serena Altschul reports.

Wow! When can I print my next dog! ;-) --RichardF 14:55, 28 April 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Translation widget

What do you think about adding a translation widget to appropedia -- [1] ? --Joshua 05:34, 2 May 2013 (PDT)

Looks good to me. --Chriswaterguy 08:41, 8 May 2013 (PDT)

[edit] How do glossaries fit in a wiki?

Re the new usage of glossaries (announced above) I've been having second thoughts.

  • Stub pages, even tiny stubs, invite the addition of content.
  • Most of our traffic comes from search engines. A separate page with its own title is much more prominent than an entry in a glossary, and better for search engine optimization.
  • Intuitive linking doesn't work with glossary entries (unless each term has a redirect to that point in the glossary).
  • If I search for a term and I get the search results page, with the glossary somewhere in the results, I'm less motivated to check further than if I come to an actual page.

A glossary is tidier, arguable... but I'm okay with some untidiness if it's conducive to visibility and growth. Thoughts? --Chriswaterguy 09:08, 8 May 2013 (PDT)

Well, actually most of our traffic comes from bots (Richard did not specify the type of bots above, presumably a lot of search engines plus A.N.Other). I don't think the main issue is tidyness, but being honest with ourselves about the value of the content that we have. If we have hundreds of pages with single lines of content - which is itself mostly only copied content from another wiki - then we have only created a glossary. I don't really think that this has any value, but if we really want to keep content that is that low quality, I think it might as well be in a glossary, and if we really want to create new pages with defined and linked terms, we can still do that with the terms in a glossary page. I'd be interested to see evidence that suggests single line stubs get turned into pages, my perception is that these have generally sat around unchanged for many years. Ultimately having an entry in a glossary page does not prevent someone adding a more substantive page either. Again, I think this comes back to the point discussed above - the purpose of Appropedia and whether we really want to fill it up with very low quality content. 09:20, 8 May 2013 (PDT)
Also, I'd be surprised if there was any difference in the SEO of a glossary vs individual pages - providing the content is still there. Joeturner 09:28, 8 May 2013 (PDT)
Using a very famous wiki as a model, literally, glossaries can be a very effective type of navigation tool, not to mention a content production management tool. Obviously, there's nothing to stop a glossary item from linking to its corresponding article. One advantage of a glossary over not having a glossary I see is that people like me (hey!;-) who look at one term will tend to also look at related terms and then tend to browse the wiki more than otherwise would have happened. The more browsing here, the more likely other forms of participation here. Isolated, stub pages are more likely to discourage further browsing, an untended consequence of propagating high volumes of low quality pages. --RichardF 16:47, 8 May 2013 (PDT)

[edit] A simple list of Main space pages

For your browsing pleasure, I made a simple list of about 10,350 Main space pages copied from Special:AllPages. Roughly 5,400 of these pages are articles, while the remaining 4,950 are redirect pages. I wonder how long it will take Joe to start culling the list! ;-) --RichardF 13:08, 24 May 2013 (PDT)

[edit] KVDP's work

I've been lurking around Appropedia for a while, and I recently spotted Joeturner's concern about not being able to properly evaluate the engineering aspects of KVDP's work. I had some spare time this weekend, so I've gone over KVDP's uploads and designs, with an eye towards safety, and to a lesser extent, basic functionality. I don't have a formal engineering background, but you can't hang around engineers for thirty years without learning a bit about the field.

  • File:Self-erectable wind turbine.png - A ducted wind turbine cannot be turned to minimize drag in high-wind conditions, which can result in it being blown over or otherwise damaged.
  • AT CAD Team/AT mobile shelter and File:AT mobile shelter.png - Not enough detail is present to tell if there are any hazards, but the water supply and the heating system are both possible problem areas.
  • File:Heat pump system on rainwater pit.png - The system depicted is overcomplicated and probably non-functional, but the only safety hazard I can see is possible biological contamination of the water tank.
  • AT CAD Team/Modular train and related images - When used for passengers, this sacrifices the safety provided by a well-designed single-piece train car to deal with the uncommon situation of passengers crossing a break-of-gage. When used for freight, this is a poorly-done re-invention of containerized shipping. Additionally, decoupling the wheels on an axle by the use of a differential prevents the wheel shape from steering the train, leading to increased wheel-flange wear, increased rail wear, rail spreading, and increased risk of derailment, in addition to providing a point of failure that traditional designs don't have.
  • File:ICE powered locomotive.png - There's no inherent danger in using a mechanical transmission in a diesel locomotive, but anyone who builds one will discover why they're not used: the gearbox simply can't take the stresses, and will break down frequently. The bottom-mounted fuel tank is a different matter: in a derailment, it's in one of the areas most likely to be damaged. Fortunately, diesel fuel doesn't usually catch fire. File:ICE EE powered locomotive.png shares the problem with the location of the fuel tank.
  • File:Tram and train undercarriage.png - No suspension system is depicted. Without the ability to adjust to variations in loading and relative rail height, these bogies are at high risk of derailing through flange climb. Additionally, the "Tram rail bogey (regular vehicle)" appears to be supporting the train on the bogey frame rather than on the wheels, while the "Tram rail bogey (light rail vehicle)", by supporting the weight on the wheel flange, is going to derail the first time it tries to take a corner.
  • File:Tram and train rail in trench.png - I don't know enough about the details of rail track design to say exactly why these designs would be a problem, but my gut instinct is that they'd be a maintenence nightmare, and inadequate track maintenence is one of the leading causes of train derailment.
  • File:Wood fueled space heating system.png - I don't believe this system would be functional, but I don't think it presents any unusual dangers, either.
  • AT CAD Team/Modular kiln, File:Modular kiln.JPG, and File:Modular kiln.png - This design is completely unworkable, and probably dangerous to anyone who tries to make it work. Induction furnaces only work with conductive materials, so they can't be used for things like lime burning or pottery firing. Burying the system is counterproductive for working with metal: for casting, you want good control over the cooling of the cast, which the high thermal mass of the earth prevents; a smelting furnace needs good access to extract the resulting metal, because you don't want to move multi-ton pots of liquid metal any further than you need to. There are other problems (eg. the automation envisioned doesn't work very well at multi-thousand-degree temperatures), but these are the big ones I see.
  • AT CAD Team/AT IC motor 1 (gasoline) and File:IC motor 1.png - The motor depicted will be completely non-functional for a variety of reasons. Additionally, attempting to use high-pressure nitrous oxide as a fuel may present an explosion hazard, depending on the construction quality of the motor.
  • AT CAD Team/Portable wood gas stove, File:Wood gas stove schematic.png, and File:Portable wood gasifier stove explaination.png - The "improvements" to the airflow appear to make the stove completely non-functional, but not dangerous.
  • File:Smokeless Strawbridge Stove.png - Wet scrubbing of exhaust fumes is difficult to get working properly, while attempting to inject them into the ground is likely to instead cause them to back up into the living space.
  • File:Open design electricity system.png - Without a mains isolation switch, this design risks killing anyone working on the public utility wiring. On a lesser note, the positioning of the surge protector limits the protection it can provide.
  • AT CAD Team/AT dish washer and File:AT dishwasher.png - Rinse water, especially with a low enough soap concentration to effectively rinse further loads of dishes, provides fertile ground for microbial growth. A lesser concern is that a clamped door is harder to align properly than a hinged door, leading to water leaks.
  • AT CAD Team/AT electric skateboard, File:AT rollerskates and mountainboard.png, and File:AT electric skateboard.JPG - I'm not sure why KVDP is so concerned about aerodynamics in a vehicle that's unlikely to ever go faster than 20km/h or so.
  • AT CAD Team/PCBU, File:AT underwater vehicle.JPG, File:PCBU.png - Without a check valve on the air tube, anyone using this will be killed (either drowned or crushed) when the compressor fails. There are probably other problems I'm missing because I'm not familiar with the hazards of working underwater.
  • AT CAD Team/AT crane and File:AT crane.JPG - This appears to be a hybrid of a truck-mounted crane and a gantry crane that has neither the gantry crane's load capacity nor the truck-mounted crane's mobility. It doesn't appear to have any hazards beyond those typical of cranes.
  • File:Crockpot still.JPG - This will work as a still. The vapor recovery won't be as high as for better designs, but the key design criteria for a moonshining still is that it can be easily hidden from the authorities, which this design meets quite well.
  • File:Worm still.JPG - Unlike the above still, this one has no provisions for releasing pressure if the cooling tube becomes blocked, and so presents an explosion risk.
  • File:Fractionating column.png - I've got no idea if this will work or not, because I can't make heads or tails of it.
  • File:AT dicycle.png - By putting all the heavy equipment at the top of this vehicle, it becomes likely to overturn.
  • File:AT monoxylon.png, File:AT monoxylon.JPG - At its core, this is a dugout canoe -- a type of boat that is only one step more effective floating around on a log. The various attachments (hydrofoils, windscreen, keel with propellor) don't provide any benefit (a canoe going 5km/h can't generate enough lift to rise up on the foils, and doesn't generate enough drag to need aerodynamic streamlining), but do present an entanglement hazard in the event of capsizing or collision, while the deep keel negates a canoe's advantage of having a very shallow draft (using a dugout canoe rather than a skin-over-frame canoe also partially negates it).
  • Oxyhydrogen as fuel, Oxyhydrogen booster, File:Oxyhydrogen booster.JPG, File:AT HHO generators.JPG, File:Maritime ICE systems.png, File:Oxyhydrogen fed AT IC motor 1.png, File:Rotorsail (oxy)hydrogen hybrid ship.JPG - The "oxyhydrogen" being discussed here is not the hydrogen/oxygen mixture used in some welding systems, but part of an "increase your fuel economy"/"run your car on water" scam that KVDP appears to have fallen for. The systems depicted here are, at best, a low-efficiency way of running a combustion motor on electricity.
  • AT CAD Team/AT cable car and related images - Cable cars are inherently unsafe, with numerous single points of failure. Safety is achieved by keeping the system as simple as possible, by rigorous inspections, and by very high safety margins on critical parts, none of which is mentioned in the images or the article.
  • File:Coach.png - Like the Amish, this design ignores the past century or so of improvements in vehicle suspension systems.
  • File:SP airplane 2.png, File:SP airplane 1.png - There is just barely enough detail in these pictures for a determined person to try to build it. As designed, this airplane is safe: it has two critical flaws that will prevent it from getting off the ground. If those two flaws are corrected, a third critical flaw will become quickly apparent: the airplane is uncontrollable in pitch and will quickly crash-land -- hopefully quickly enough that the pilot is uninjured. The airplane probably has additional flaws (for example, the lack of cross-bracing between the wings may or may not be an issue, and I don't think the ailerons will provide the desired degree of roll control).
  • AT CAD Team/UAS, File:AT UAS.png - There isn't much visible detail in the image, but this aircraft appears to be uncontrollable in pitch and yaw, and is probably too heavy and underpowered to get off the ground. The use of a Stirling engine also contributes to the uncontrollability, as it cannot provide the range of power output an airplane needs. Fortunately, this airplane is supposed to be unmanned and used away from population centers, and the design isn't detailed enough to actually build.
  • AT CAD Team/AT freight aircraft, File:AT freight aircraft 1.png, File:AT freight aircraft 2.png, File:AT freight aircraft overhead view.png - The Waco CG-4 isn't a horrible starting point for designing a freight aircraft, but it isn't a good one, either. Adding a second wing, changing the airfoil cross-section, and reducing the number of frame members all have the potential to render the aircraft uncontrollable or structurally unsound. Using a Stirling engine with its constant power output rather than a variable-output gasoline engine will greatly reduce the controllability of the aircraft, and unfortunately a CG-4-based design is probably large enough to fly even with such a heavy engine. The "it's like a CG-4, but with these changes" directions are potentially problematic, but since there are no CG-4s outside of museums, I doubt anyone's likely to try to follow them.
  • File:AT autogyro.png - This appears to have the same stability and control issues I brought up a year ago. Fortunately, it's less detailed than what was deleted last time, so it's unlikely that someone will actually try to make this. "Part 103" aircraft such as this are not a good starting point for design in general, as the weight (254 pounds or less) and speed (24 knots max stall speed, 55 knots max level airspeed) restrictions involved often make for questionable designs.
  • User:KVDP/AT CAD Team/AT airship and related images - All three proposed lifting gasses are flammable, and one is toxic and reactive. No provision is made for dealing with this. Running an airship at positive buoyancy and using thrust to maintain altitude is risky, as an engine failure will result in an uncontrollable ascent (and potential envelope rupture followed by uncontrollable descent). No pressure relief valve is provided to deal with envelope heating or excess altitude. Since this is a non-rigid airship, a means is needed to maintain envelope pressure; none is provided. The inability to land the airship means that departing the airship is dangerous: with the specifications given, the airship will jump several hundred meters in the air when a passenger gets off. The airship does not appear to have any means of pitch control: since the envelope acts as a huge low-efficiency wing, this makes altitude control difficulty. The gondola suspension doesn't have any provision for preventing sway, which makes the control issues even worse. Filling the envelope to only 85% capacity means you've got a floppy, unaerodynamic gas bag holding you up, and probably increases the risk of envelope rupture. With only two or four engines of 1-2HP, the airship is grossly underpowered and will have trouble holding position in any but the lightest winds, much less flying against the wind. There are probably other issues as well, especially with the "refueling station".
  • AT CAD Team/AT catamaran and related images - I applaud KVDP for his efforts at economizing on signal flags, but I expect that the only flag this will need is "D". Most of the "improvements" to the basic catamaran design appear to make for a boat that is slow and unmaneuverable; fortunately, none of them appear to compromise a catamaran's basic stability.
  • AT CAD Team/AT Stirling motors and related images - I don't see any provision for circulating the heat-transfer oil beyond "hope convection is sufficient", and I don't see any sort of active temperature-control system on the heater. The long, skinny transfer rods are likely to fail as soon as the motor is used with any load. Using nitrous oxide as an oxidizer is likely to cause an overly-hot flame; trying to use it as a fuel the way I think KVDP intends is likely to result in a stopped motor and a room full of nitrous.
  • File:AT mortar.JPG - I can't tell if this is safe or not. The diagram focuses on an overly complex motorized alt-azimuth aiming system, and almost completely omits the parts that matter (the mortar itself). The most likely failure points are the air hose connections, and recoil forces acting on the mortar mount.
  • File:AT haubergeon.JPG - Chainmail body armor? Seriously? A page on making chainmail might be a good idea, as chainmail gauntlets are used as protective gear when butchering animals, but body armor?
  • File:Areas suitable for AT villages.png - KVDP forgot one criteria when picking these areas: access to a water supply. Four of his five areas are among the driest deserts in the world. There's a reason these areas have low populations...
  • File:Windmill (oxy)hydrogen hybrid ship.jpg - A windmill ship is just barely capable of powering itself -- the few in existence are radio-controlled models built to prove it could be done.
  • File:CPR1.JPG, File:CPR2.JPG, File:CPR3.JPG, File:CPR4.JPG, File:CPR5.JPG - these images do not actually depict CPR.
  • File:Stationary pneumatic systems.JPG - Designs #2 and #3 appear to be perpetual-motion machines.
  • File:Steam powered locomotive with steam turbine.png, File:Steam powered locomotive.png - The big safety issue with these two images is that the water level is below the top of the firebox: this will cause the firebox to overheat, weaken, and rupture, causing a boiler explosion. A lesser safety issue is the lack of leading wheels on the locomotives, which makes them likely to derail at any but the lowest speeds. There are also a host of technical problems that will prevent the locomotives from actually working, such as the "superheater tubes" that work to cool the steam, or the closed-cycle steam system without a condenser to turn the steam back into water.
  • File:Smokestackless firebox.png - Airflow doesn't work that way. Try to build this thing, and the best-case scenario is a mix of steam and exhaust gases forcing their way out the water intake pipe. Worst-case scenario, you'll get a full-on boiler explosion killing everyone in the area.
  • File:Steam engine valve gear plate.png - The valves of a steam engine need to operate 90 degrees out of phase with the piston, and usually have a complex linkage to make switching happen as fast as possible. The valve is usually a piston-based design rather than a plate-based design to prevent the steam loss and other issues noted in the image.
  • File:Light tube daylighting system.png - A parabolic concentrator can generate extreme heat levels. No provision is made to ensure the concentrated beam can never strike a non-reflective surface.
  • File:Brushed electric engine.PNG - This motor is mis-wired and can't work.
  • File:Emissionless biochar production.JPG - I can't figure out how this is supposed to work, but the phrase "The schematic makes it clear that the co2 cannot escape" leaves me worried about an explosion hazard.
  • Low cost water filtering, Chujio la maji la gharama nafuu and File:Homemade waterfilter.jpg - I don't know what purposes the sand and grass layers are supposed to serve (I don't have access to the book this is supposedly from), but I know the explanation of the charcoal layer is wrong (it acts as a chemical filter through adsorption). Because of this, I'm fairly sure the maintenance instructions are wrong, and there are probably some critical construction details that have been omitted.
  • Home canning - If followed exactly as written, I think these canning directions are safe. Even minor variations (eg. canning something other than fruit) can result in botulism-contaminated food.
  • File:3 stage communal water filter.png - Because this is derived from the above misunderstanding of the filter, I doubt this will work as a way to purify water.
  • File:EC battery electric wiring.png - A lead-acid battery built using this wiring diagram will explode due to multiple short-circuits within the battery.
  • File:Ship compartmentalization.png - You know what helped the Titanic sink as fast as it did? The watertight bulkheads didn't extend more than a few decks above the waterline.
  • User:KVDP/Nitrogen peroxide and File:Nitrogen peroxide production.png - I don't think the reaction depicted here works (dinitrogen tetroxide reacts with metallic copper to produce copper nitrate), but if it does, no mention is made of the fact that dinitrogen tetroxide is a highly toxic gas.
  • File:Nitric oxide production.png - Nitric oxide is a toxic gas. No mention is made of this. Further, the diagram appears to confuse nitric oxide, nitrous oxide, and nitrogen peroxide (dinitrogen tetroxide) -- the reaction depicted produces nitric oxide.
  • Nitrous oxide and File:Nitrous oxide production.png - Ammonium nitrate (the feedstock used to produce nitrous oxide) will detonate when sufficiently heated, and is a powerful oxidizer. No mention is made of either of these hazards. I don't know if nitrous oxide will work as a monopropellant the way that KVDP envisions, but I doubt it.
  • KVDP's heat engines in general: KVDP does not appear to understand that heat engine efficiency is usually quoted as "percent of Carnot efficiency". Carnot efficiency depends on the temperature of the heat source and heat sink; sticking a 70% efficient Stirling engine between a 100C heat source and a 30C heat sink extracts less heat energy as work than sticking a 40% efficient steam turbine between a 500C heat source and a 30C heat sink. Attaching a Stirling engine to another engine's cooling system provides very little additional power.

These are not all the images and designs with problems. In particular, I don't feel qualified to evaluate things like sewage handling for hazards, and I've skipped over images that appear to have simply been copied from somewhere else. --William W 23:16, 2 June 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Semantic data for permaculture

Hello all, I stumbled upon the Chicken example containing a permaculture infobox, and had a quick browse around the wiki for information on where you guys are at with semantic-izing things. I couldn't find much, so I thought I'd knock up a quick prototype of this using Semantic Mediawiki. It focuses on the creation of a Permaculture element page type, which stores a needs (inputs), products (outputs) and functions as semantic data.

I've touched upon the idea of also creating a Permaculture system page type in the last infobox item (which would use a dynamic query to list all systems which use that element), but for the sake of this prototype I've not done that. If this idea is well received, I'll be happy to complete it.


Pages


Chicken example
A demonstration page to show the infobox and semantic data working in context. If you click edit you can edit the data and article text using the appropriate form.
Grain example
Another demonstration page. This one demonstrates the query functionality in the lower half of the infobox - in this case the Need of field shows Chicken, based on the data entered on the Chicken example page.


Template:Permaculture element
This template renders the infobox and stores the semantic data using the property values passed to it. It also assigns the page to the Permaculture element category.
Form:Permaculture element
This is the default form for all pages in the Permaculture element category. It allows the editing of the semantic data as well as editing of the article text.
Form:Permaculture element data
This form can be used to edit just the data of a permaculture element page. It will leave all content and other templates untouched.
Template:Permaculture element fields
This template is used to store the semantic form template definition for the Permaculture element template. This allows the same form fields to be shared between the above two forms.
Category:Permaculture element
All articles edited or created using the Permaculture element form will be assigned to this category. In turn, all articles assigned to this category will use the Permaculture element as their default edit method.



Semantic properties


I haven't actually created these as pages, but they exist as properties without page definitions:

Property:Has need
The needs (inputs) of a permaculture element.
Property:Creates product
Stores the products (outputs) of a permaculture element.
Property:Performs function
Stores the functions a permaculture element performs.


I hope this is useful in some way even if you've no direct need for it. If you're interested in developing it further, let me know and I'd be happy to help, although the amount of hours I can commit are pretty limited. This took me about an hour or so altogether.

Andru

[edit] Letterpress Printing

Perhaps letterpress printing with vegetable oil and carbon black ink with wood or metal type made using old or simple machinery and printed using old (work for over 100 years) or simple manual or mechanised presses onto hand made paper suggests a sustainable information distribution system.

Using chipped ink jet cartridges in a plastic consumer printer (13 month expected lifespan) than has to use machine made paper makes me feel all vulnerable if I wanted to publish a newsletter after the zombie apocalypse.

Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa - - - KalleP 04:12, 6 June 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Mosquito trap

This may be of some value to some people.

Not sure if there is a pest prevention section here. It might fit in with mosquito nets and such.

http://www.kaleva.fi/uutiset/oulu/saaskikesan-pelastus-sukkahousut-ja-tuuletin/632213/

The site is in Finnish but the pictures are self explanatory.

Johannesburg, South Africa - - - KalleP 03:53, 7 June 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Collaboration with Opersourceecology

I wonder if there would be mutual benefit in collaborating with Open Source Ecology. There seems to be a lot of common goals.

http://opensourceecology.org/wiki

I recently saw a DIY tool design, pan bender that is used to make all sorts of metal box like things. It might fit there or here but I am not sure where it should go.

http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/f13/homebuilt-panbrake-21195/

KalleP 09:42, 24 June 2013 (PDT)

Yes - what would be good first steps? It will have to be led by those who are inspired to do so... I'm happy to bat ideas around, though.
How about making sure all their projects are referenced on Appropedia - even if it's just a page with a brief, one-paragraph description and a link. Likewise, any Appropedia projects of relevance to their work could be linked on their wiki.
How does that fit with what you're thinking? --Chriswaterguy 07:14, 13 August 2013 (PDT)
Wikivoyage is a travel guide, so there is not that much overlap. They do have pages on " Cooperating with ...", like [2], and someone could make one for Appropedia.
They also have articles like Retiring abroad that do overlap some. The last section of that has links to some sites that might be linked here. Pashley (talk) 16:21, 22 April 2014 (PDT)

[edit] wikify button

Currently the [w] button works great except for links that have a doi it replaces the text and the link with a template for DOI that doesn't contain the text...and isn't here -- is there any easy fix for that? --Joshua 05:00, 3 July 2013 (PDT)

Sorry Joshua, just saw this... try it again now. I copied the {{doi}} template from Wikipedia. --Chriswaterguy 07:14, 13 August 2013 (PDT)

[edit] mediawiki 1.21.1 and extensions

hi could you upgrade your mediawiki from 1.17.0 to 1.21.1 please and could you please update extension and add extension vector and extension wikieditor please 109.155.45.204 03:39, 6 August 2013 (PDT)

Hi - Lonny's currently arranging an upgrade with a developer. Hopefully we'll be upgraded in coming weeks! Thanks --Chriswaterguy 07:14, 13 August 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Appropedia Connector(?) - newsletter for the serious Appropedian

I'm starting a newsletter just for keen Appropedians. It will be very short, very simple and frequent - between once a week and once daily.

Working title: The Appropedia Connector - because it will serve to keep us informed and connected. Any other name suggestions?

Sign up at http://tinyletter.com/Appropedia - --Chriswaterguy 07:21, 13 August 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Portal needs deletion?

Just a heads up, I'm not sure what others think of Portal:Politics_and_conflicts. I think that at the very least, as this stands it is a page rather than a portal. I'm also not convinced about the content, which either seems to be not suitable for Appropedia or so over-simplified as to be essentially useless. I also note that it has been entirely written by an anonymous editor.

I'd vote that it shouldn't be a portal, and very likely doesn't even need to be a page. I haven't tackled it for deletion as I'm not sure whether deleting a portal will glue up all the software. As an aside, I think there might be an argument for a politics and/or politics and conflict portal, but this is going to be difficult to police. Joeturner 01:34, 27 August 2013 (PDT)

I'm pretty sure deleting portals is safe. I've deleted it and left a message. Thanks for the heads up. --Chriswaterguy 01:51, 27 August 2013 (PDT)

[edit] A plan for Appropedia to go places in 2013/14

Here's a stab at a strategic plan - what do you think? --Chriswaterguy 00:28, 19 September 2013 (PDT)

I think its a good start. I added some comments on the Talk page there. --PatSunter (talk) 19:08, 12 March 2014 (PDT)

[edit] Thanks and good luck

I'm outa here, folks. Good luck with everything. Joe

We've chatted by email, but again, many thanks for your great work, Joe. I wish you all the best with your next adventures. --Chriswaterguy 17:53, 14 October 2013 (PDT)

[edit] Pages that advertise green businesses

I removed the {{delete|advertising}} from Beyond Building Energy. We have been allowing sustainable businesses to have pages about themselves. I like having such pages, especially where they have information that might be valuable to a reader, but we need to work out clearer limits. E.g. is Beyond Building Energy the sort of page we want to have on Appropedia? --Chriswaterguy (talk) 21:35, 19 November 2013 (PST)

  • Maybe there is a need for a template for sustainability-oriented businesses or organisations? I.E. not a delete template, but something to the effect that it is a business, Appropedia does not endorse businesses or their products, but allows relevant ones a page, so the reader should do their own research etc. I also think its ok, as long as they don't try to start inserting lots of "advertorial" style content in more Encyclopaedic pages (an issue we had a while back on Public transport). --PatSunter (talk) 21:06, 14 March 2014 (PDT)
Thanks Pat, good approach, I think. --Chriswaterguy (talk) 04:58, 17 April 2014 (PDT)
Yes, good approach. Here's another wiki's page on the topic: [3]? Pashley (talk) 10:57, 17 April 2014 (PDT)

[edit] spammness

Hey I am sorry but I face the spam problem too. I've tried change the content of the page Cshr25, and I was sure I got logged in. No idea why it treated me as a spammer.
I couldn't even leave a message on the supporter's page. comment by Cshr25 , 21 January 2014.

(For the record, this was resolved. --Chriswaterguy (talk) 04:46, 17 April 2014 (PDT))

[edit] Exemplar city?

An article [4] on work in Huntsville, Alabama on tornado resistance, "micro-grid" energy sources, sustainable tech, ... Pashley (talk) 11:18, 15 April 2014 (PDT)

That's very cool! I wonder what it would take to find students interested in developing pages on this. This touches on a bunch of important topics. --Chriswaterguy (talk) 04:36, 17 April 2014 (PDT)

[edit] Solar at Canadian latitudes?

An Indian reservation with a solar project. This is a fairly isolated community; I do not think it is on the electric grid or that it is reachable by road. It is not in the far North, only Northern Ontario so laititude below 60. Pashley (talk) 19:59, 17 April 2014 (PDT)

[edit] New type of axe for splitting wood

Where does this fit in? Inventor & press make some rather strong claims for it. Pashley (talk) 16:03, 22 April 2014 (PDT)

[edit] Content types

I can tell there's been a lot of effort to organize Appropedia by topics/ subject matter. But I'm wondering if there's been much in the way of organizing by content type? Appropedia's content is much broader than traditional wikis. From what I can see there's: 1) articles, 2) manuals/ how-tos, 3) specific project/ experiment write-ups, and 4) raw data. Maybe we could have a convo about if this kind of organization would be helpful for users and if so how to do it. --Ethan (talk) 19:06, 22 April 2014 (PDT)

Agreed - a good start would be clarifying the exact classifications for pages we have. "Designs" seems like another type of content, but perhaps these will fit into projects or how-tos. --Chriswaterguy (talk) 02:00, 23 April 2014 (PDT)
Another kind of content is essays. These may be high in narrative or experience, e.g. Reversing Soil Degradation of Agricultural Lands. These are about the topic, but probably should stand alone, separate from a topic page. I'd like to have a naming convention, so they can be easily recognised. Should they start with "Essay:"? Should they be capitalised? --Chriswaterguy (talk) 05:28, 21 August 2014 (PDT)