Difference between revisions of "User talk:Chriswaterguy"

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:::[[Three stone fires]] is unchanged - I guess you mean you moved [[Solid biofuels‎]] content to [[Biofuel]] and [[Miscanthus‎]], which looks fine. Thanks for your work on this. Two things would be appreciated when making changes like this:
:::[[Three stone fires]] is unchanged - I guess you mean you moved [[Solid biofuels‎]] content to [[Biofuel]] and [[Miscanthus‎]], which looks fine. Thanks for your work on this. Two things would be appreciated when making changes like this:
:::: I meant [[Solid_biofuel_stoves|this 3-stone fire article]], appearantly we have yet another double article. So, perhaps we can move the info from this first article to the second, and make a disambiguation page for the first ?
[[Special:Contributions/|]] 04:58, 20 August 2012 (PDT)
:::* When mentioning it and asking for feedback (as you have here), link the articles referred to, so we don't need to hunt for what you're referring to.
:::* When mentioning it and asking for feedback (as you have here), link the articles referred to, so we don't need to hunt for what you're referring to.
:::* In the edit comment field, it's important to say where you moved any content that is removed. On the page where it's moved to, it's important to mention where it has come from. In this case it didn't matter as much because it was your own contributions that you moved (otherwise it's technically a license problem - not giving attribution). But it's still good practice. (I actually reverted the change to [[Solid biofuels‎]] and redid it with the edit comment.
:::* In the edit comment field, it's important to say where you moved any content that is removed. On the page where it's moved to, it's important to mention where it has come from. In this case it didn't matter as much because it was your own contributions that you moved (otherwise it's technically a license problem - not giving attribution). But it's still good practice. (I actually reverted the change to [[Solid biofuels‎]] and redid it with the edit comment.
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[[Special:Contributions/|]] 04:09, 20 August 2012 (PDT)
[[Special:Contributions/|]] 04:09, 20 August 2012 (PDT)
::Videos here are embedded, not actually stored - I'm not sure how we'd do that. But if we're talking about content which is open-licensed, there should be some way to do it. Good idea.
:::Videos here are embedded, not actually stored - I'm not sure how we'd do that. But if we're talking about content which is open-licensed, there should be some way to do it. Good idea.
::I'll check the [[Appropedia:Village_pump#Projects]] discussion. --[[User:Chriswaterguy|Chriswaterguy]] 04:25, 20 August 2012 (PDT)
::I'll check the [[Appropedia:Village_pump#Projects]] discussion. --[[User:Chriswaterguy|Chriswaterguy]] 04:25, 20 August 2012 (PDT)
:: I added some things to http://www.appropedia.org/Appropedia's_offline_content_bundle#Sitemap , I kept it rather basic for now, but I was thinking that those manuals I made (which you didn't like as they were -manuals-) could be used as books here: ie see [[Appropedia:Books]]. They could also be included to the Offline bundle. Btw notice that I added a link to other devices (other than OLPC). In my view this isn't a device people can actually learn on (too small a screen). Nettops are easier and when used in combination with a (laser) keyboard and DIY projector offer rich viewing experience and easy control, for an affordable price. A backpack and battery could be used in combination with it if it needs to be usable on the road.
[[Special:Contributions/|]] 04:58, 20 August 2012 (PDT)
== Hello :) ==
== Hello :) ==

Revision as of 03:58, 20 August 2012



Feel free to leave a comment, question or greeting.

Edits to Appropedia by myself are as a regular member of the community, and sometimes as an administrator.
Unless otherwise stated, they are not legal or official actions as a director of the Appropedia Foundation.

Discussion tracking

Changes to community discussions & key policy pages
Contributions by Chriswaterguy to:
User talk pages
Article talk pages
Category talk pages
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Gnome links
Edits by new & anon users

Pages needing attention



Hi, chriswaterguy. I'm new to both wikipedia and appropedia. can u help me by being an mentor? Have a nice day comment by Ingeniour, 15 April 2012.

Scientific method on Appropedia?

Hi Chriswaterguy. I'm new here.
A question: I've been editing Wikipedia for a while, and there's a continuing discussion (aka war) there on the extent to which content needs to be governed by the scientific method and mainstream science, vs accepting "alternative science", "traditional wisdom", etc.
I'm especially concerned about this because of the likelihood of people furnishing harmful misinformation - it's bad enough when people say that you can build a 5 mw cold fusion generator out of paper clips and twine, but when people start posting that chicken soup cures AIDS or the like, I worry about the possibility of serious harm.
I'd like to know what the policy/guideline/"stance" of Appropedia is on this issue.
(I see that you wrote at Appropedia:Neutral point of view: "Appropedia also places a strong emphasis on scientific fact and Rigor.")
- I've also posted this question to Lonny's Talk page.
Thanks -- Writtenonsand 06:35, 15 February 2008 (PST)

Hi - thanks for your reply on my Talk page. On Wikipedia many of my edits are of the "WikiGnome" variety - "WikiGnomes work behind the scenes of a wiki, tying up little loose ends and making things run more smoothly."
I see a lot of redlinks and unlinked vocabulary pages here on Appropedia, and my instinct is to make stub pages for them or link them to WikipediaW as appropriate. I assume that that would be okay? -- Writtenonsand 16:03, 17 February 2008 (PST)

Glad to have a WikiGnome on board! I've thought at times about our need for this. Some of us have been trying to juggle gnome work with other things, with difficulty, so your contributions will be very welcome.
Stubs would be great; linking to Wikipedia is also good (it's a judgment call - don't spend too long thinking about each one as they can be changed). I've stopped using {{WP}} now and use {{wp sup}} instead, as it allows an Appropedia redlink together with a WP link. (Perhaps we should even replace WP with the wp sup code, to make it simpler.)
In making stubs, I think you'll find APDS useful. Don't hesitate to contact me (or anyone else here) - email or IM (Skype, same username) also possible if you prefer. Thanks again! --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:35, 17 February 2008 (PST)

Thanks -- Writtenonsand 15:19, 18 February 2008 (PST)

Drought Myth: copyleft?

Hi - I just went through and wikified Drought Myth, but now looking at it I'm not 100% sure that we were formally given copyleft to it.

It says "Source: Reprinted and shared freely by the copyright holder at http://selfmadefarmer.wordpress.com/", and was apparently originally posted to Appropedia by User:Krystle, who is "apparently" the owner of selfmadefarmer.wordpress.com . We're sure that this was intended to be placed under the GFDL by the owner? selfmadefarmer.wordpress.com doesn't seem to have any copyright/licensing info.

I'm probably being a little paranoid about this, but my experience with copyright, attribution, and editing articles on wikis suggests that that's often a good idea.

-- Writtenonsand 07:29, 19 February 2008 (PST)

Here's another: Methane: "Portions (cc) S.E.E.D.S. under Creative Commons".
What's "cc"? I can't find any relevant definition. "Creative Commons"? If "copyright" or some non-GFDL license, then this content can't appear on Appropedia, right? Is Creative Commons 100% compatible with GFDL? (Again, only asking because of the blood I've seen these issues shed in the past.) -- Writtenonsand 07:50, 19 February 2008 (PST)
Thanks for your diligence - I agree it's better to be a little paranoid, and make sure we get it right.
User:Krystle is indeed the Selfmadefarmer - she has a newsletter and we've exchanged emails. A user has the right to add anything they own the copyright to, and in doing so releases it under Appropedia's license. If there's still any ambiguity at all, please ask Krystle on her talk page, or let me know and I'll email her.
(cc) is indeed Creative Commons, and is a play on (c) or ©. Unfortunately CC-by-sa (the closest equivalent to GFDL, I believe) is not fully compatible, but that's expected to change soon - the people in charge of the licenses have agreed to make them interoperable. However, if a site uses CC-by or CC-by-sa, I expect they'd be happy to approve by email for it to be also released under GFDL.
I can't see a license statement or CC mark on S.E.E.D.S., so I'll email Ericblazek, who added this and the content now at Category:Biofuel. Then, if needed, one of us can contact the S.E.E.D.S. folks. Thanks again! --Chriswaterguy · talk 15:00, 19 February 2008 (PST)
Thanks again for all your help. -- Writtenonsand 18:33, 19 February 2008 (PST)

Cider Cool Off the Press
(From BITTERSWEET, Volume I, No. 4, Summer 1974)
Story and photographs by Rick Bishop
- I see that this is Category:Bittersweet, and that there are 29 articles in this category. We just have blanket permission for all articles in Category:Bittersweet? -- Writtenonsand 17:43, 20 February 2008 (PST)

"Skills" :-)

You wrote: "so that a WikiGnome such as yourself can work more efficiently and make better use of your skills."
Heh, "skills". I wouldn't actually claim any, but I can lift heavy things. Or actually, light and medium things.
Thanks again for the tips. (I'm certainly interested in developing my skills.)
Also, I see that User:Smallaxe's page says: "ENGR 305 Project: Directed Internship to overhaul the current Appropedia design, to add a more appealing and user friendly environment to this implementation of "MediaWiki"," along with some details. Sounds interesting. -- Writtenonsand 16:26, 21 February 2008 (PST)

I've certainly seen you show patience, persistence, good judgment and knowledge, for a start... whether we call them skills is incidental :).
I hadn't noticed that on Smallaxe's page - it seems this is one of Lonny's students, taking on a very valuable project. --Chriswaterguy · talk 16:43, 21 February 2008 (PST)


Not sure what the policies are on adding or editing stuff, so I thought I'd ask here before I sign up. I'm part of a new eco-village that's growing just outside of Ithaca, NY (near but not the same as EcoVillage at Ithaca). We have a very strong focus on sustainability and emergency preparedness, and I've been promoting appropedia to our members as a great resource. Is it appropriate to ask for, or to add myself, a link on the Ecovillages page that you edit?

Also, just to point out, Ithaca is misspelled in one or two places on the existing page.


Please add a link, and (even better) add a page describing your project. We'd love to hear more about what you're doing - and please let us know if you need any help!
I trust our gnomes will fix the spellings in time, but aways feel free to make corrections. --Chriswaterguy · talk 18:13, 8 March 2008 (PST)

Personal message

Sorry, Chris! Could not figure out where to put a personal message to you, so I try here.

I react to your input on my talk page at Demotech. I appreciate to talk to you about the contribution Demotech may have to Appropedia as I am aware that you are one of the drivers of Appropedia. My Skype name is reindervt You can reach me best at midnight my time. Evenually you can make sure by sending a mail to info@demotech.org .

I look forward to speak to you!

Greetings, Reinder

Cool - talk to you soon! --Chriswaterguy 05:28, 8 May 2008 (PDT)

Ekopedia and others...

I arrive and actually I do like most of the people create a new subject without being sure that there are none already talking about this... I am part of Ekopedia. It is a participative encyclopedie about alternative technique... It start in French but now it develops in many others languages...

Check Ekopedia

We earlier tryed to have a collaboration with Tiptheplanet... It did not work out... Pity so much dubble information...

Check TipThePlanet

On their Website I now discover Appropedia seems to be the same also...

Check Appropedia

I have to had this student initiative...

Check Demotech

So I feel a little bit sad to see so much person motivated but not working together... If you feel like talking about and trying to create synergie... mail me at olivier(a)kaospilots(dot)nl

Thank you

Very exciting! Answered by email. --Chriswaterguy 22:30, 25 May 2008 (PDT)

Hi Chris, I am trying to contact you, but I can't find your email on the site, so I'll try like this... I would like to discuss with you the idea of putting a book I have written online so it can be collaboratively revised.... hope you can help, I think it will be a rather exciting project (for me anyway!). I am new to the ins and outs, the perils and pitfalls of such a thing, and also the support you are able to offer... my email is robjhopkins (at) gmail.com. Many thanks, Rob.

Answered by email. --Chriswaterguy 18:02, 4 July 2008 (PDT)

Water ways as a natural highway

I thought you might like this.


Thanks! Will have a closer look when I have a faster connection. --Chriswaterguy -13:34, 15 July 2008 (PDT)


Chris - not sure where to respond to you. So I'll put it here. Thx for the twitter help for Beginners_permaculture_garden. Our Chicago project is to build a Chicago MyFarm organization like MyFarm. See Chicago MyFarm. We want the whole thing to be open source, creative commons, etc. So, we'll be pushing how-to's to Appropedia, etc. - user:bmorrisett (morrisett at midwestcyber.com - my spam software works pretty well)

Thanks for the note! I only just noticed it, and moved it from my user page to here on the talk page. (Sorry, it's still a bit confusing for people new to wikis.)
Great project. Keep taking the lead, and keep me updated - actually, keep the Appropedia community updated (which includes me of course). --Chriswaterguy 04:37, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Some questions about translating pages

I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this but here goes. I was wondering how exactly to format translated pages when it's not always obvious? For example, the "Tepache" stub I recently put up -- the word tepache already is in Spanish, but it's also the title of the English article, so what title do I give the Spanish translation? is there a standard? (I tentatively did a translation of Kvass and titled it Kvass_(es). Seems simple enough, but maybe there should be a es.appropedia.org subdomain like Wikipedia has?) + is there a template tag to add to the top of pages to direct users to translated versions? (there was mention of this in the translation help article, but couldn't tell if it exists) Oorxax 17:25, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

You handled it very well.
I added the interlanguage template to the Kvass pages,and yes, yes, yes, we need subdomains like Wikimedia projects (or subwikis like Wikitravel, but I think subdomains look tidier). We have been extremely short of tech help - Lonny's the master of tech things and doing a good job of keeping things afloat, not by choice but because there's noone doing it. We're working on recruiting volunteers - do you have any green geek friends? :-) - and have recently set up a dev wiki. We're also discussing a merger with Ekopedia, which is mainly French and already has the subdomains. Thanks! --Chriswaterguy 03:39, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

E-waste Installing Linux on old PCs

Hey there Chris, I came across an opportunity to reduce the e-waste in Humboldt County. Basically, I was approached by a classmate wanting to know how to install a Linux distro on old PCs in order to reuse, recycle, and educate. It's the same project outline as Free Geek. As far as I was told most of the e-waste in Humboldt gets shipped out once a year and only one person in the county is taking advantage of it in a business fashion. Anyhow, I hear you are the resident guru with Linux and was wondering how I would go about installing Linux on these PCs. I found out that Vector Linux or Slackware might be good distros to use but I have several questions on where to start i.e hardware specs, software, etc. Any direction would be greatly appreciated.

Also, in the near future I will be going over the GNU and CC agreements in order to get permission for the database provided by agroinnavations . I'm not quite sure how to approach this. Lonny suggested that I make a spreadsheet listing all the relative copyrights. I don't have a exact question pertaining to this for you yet, but look for some soon.

Thanks, --Steven M. 00:40, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Aloha CWG...

thanks for the tip on how to make my <references /> thingy work better ==

....and thanks for rolling out the welcome mat to me too. Hope to talk more soon. For the life, Stele Ely http://XOEarth.org http://ecofx.org

Hi Chris

Thank you very much for the instantaneous reply. Can I expect a mail when the site is up?


green communities

Hello ! thanks again for having pointed out people who could give me some answers yesterday ! Here are our questions if you feel like giving your opinion : Age : Occupation: Country : When did you join the community ? How did you get to know it ? Why did you join it ? How many times a day/week/month do you go on the website ? Did you ever take a part in concrete actions following online discussions ? If you did, how often and what kind of actions were they ? How committed are you ? (in your community, and more generally, in the whole green « revolution » ?) In online discussions, what do you see the most  : friendly and general discussions or talks about specific green topics ? How would you qualify your relation with the community (expectations and mutual benefits ? ) ? In your opinion, to what extent online green communities can be useful ? thanks ! sarah

Images ISF-IAI documents

Hi Chris, Just finished up on the latest articles I made, some bugs remain here and there (a few tables aren't completely correct, ...) but overall the documents seem good enough for now. Have you already contacted the person intrested in porting the images using Adobe Acrobat ? For the moment, I'm now going to be off the grid for 1,5 week because of an upcoming exam (boating licence) , so I won't be on-line this week and a half (I'll do the first part of the Agriculture manual later-on). What should I do with the ISF-pdf's; I could sent them to the person you mentioned, but perhaps I could also simply upload it to Appropedia (temporarily) ? I btw also sent the mail to ISF-IAI for the required permissions. KVDP 13:34, 20 November 2009 (UTC)


Hello Chris,

I knew OBED was being spammed. Gave up deleting spam as it was very time consuming and was waiting for my brother, who set it up and hosts it, to add Captcha security. He finally did this about a week ago. I just checked and there is a huge amount of new SPambot users and no easy/quick way for me to delete them all. DO you know of way to do this?

As for the community there, sadly its a community of one, me. I'd be happy for you to mirror the content here.




Made some primary drafts from http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/ah810e/AH810E06.htm#6.1.1 Not sure dough whether when I finish them, they are modified enough to be published as public domain. How much exactly does this need to be (eg beyond recognition, or simply modified so that it's "different") ? Also, I haven't finished them as I'm not sure about the specific differences between a piston and a plunger pump (I'm guessing you may know a little more in this matter, I did some research such as on http://www.wot.utwente.nl/information/tour/handpump.html, but this wasn't very helpful). On the water lifting devices page, in some images it seems like a plunger pump is a pump where the water is pushed so that it rises on the sides of the plunger towards a pipe (see Fig. 28), not sure about the piston pump(eg perhaps with the latter it could be the combination of pushing + pulling the water up, but then the difference between a bucketpump or direct lift would be little, so not sure). On an other image I made, it merely looks like a piston pump is simply a pump with a smaller pusher, and a plunger a pump with a larger pusher. The images would be useful to document a future manual on the construction of borehole pumps (for potable water harvesting, not irrigation) KVDP 14:58, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm not a pump expert :-) but I found this:
Piston Pump – the high-pressure seal reciprocates with the piston and slides though a smooth-bore cylinder
Plunger Pump – the high-pressure seal is stationary and a smooth cylindrical plunger slides though the seal
- more details here.
Indeed useful, but not sure whether all piston pumps have a "uniflow" and all plunger pumps have a "direct flow design" (http://www.catpumps.com/pumps-how-they-work-piston-plunger-sf-flushed.html). For example do piston pumps exist that also have a seperate inlet and outlet (and vice versa). I'm thus no sure how I need to alter my Piston_VS_Plunger_Pump.png
Regarding th Piston_pump.png, I'm not quite sure whether the water flows trough the valve or around it (nor exactly how it works). I thus need a little help figuring out how I need to color the image (and or add any parts to it).
The basic point confirmed here (PDF). Hope that helps.
Re public domain: I think it needs to be simply modified so that it's "different". How to define that is hard. The same idea rearranged a bit and some different wording is okay, I believe. And in the case of the FAO, I don't expect them to cause big problems - at worst we'd have to do some more rewording.

--Chriswaterguy 17:06, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Update --> http://www.appropedia.org/File:Plunger_pump_with_AT_valve.png needs to be removed
Update --> finished up on everything, also ported images to wikipedia


Hey Chris, I implemented my main recategorisation as noted earlier (see http://www.appropedia.org/Appropedia:CategoryTree). I however still need to move all the articles under the "Water" and "Food and agriculture" category to respecively the "Water harvesting" and the "Food production, processing and storage" category (Healthcare already finished). These new categories are needed as the water category is still used/mistaken to include sanitation (moved to healthcare) and "Food and agriculture" doesn't make it clear that several actions are included in this category (production, processing, storage; subsections can be made later-on) and the "Agriculture" part is redundant and again also refers to activities that are unsustainable (eg cattle breeding, ...)

Is it possible to program the Chriswaterguy's bot to change the category links of the articles automatically for these new categories ?


Answered at User talk:KVDP#Emergency management and healthcare.
Btw --~~~~ creates a signature. There's a button on the edit bar (left of the horizontal line button) that does it too. --Chriswaterguy 16:22, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Added some replies at the same article. Also take a look at the Village Pump regarding the categorisation for the Wind Power/Energy category. (at the bottom)

KVDP 12:39, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Hi Chris, this is George

Sorry to pester you again. In order to maintain the neatness of this page, I have placed the material for your kind attention in my talk page. Please read it and as usual extend a helping hand to clarify things. Georgedappilly.talk Shooter 07:37, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Just responded

Just responded to your comment on my user pageJoe Raftery 16:08, 19 December 2009 (UTC)


yes sir; plus more i suppose. :) Emesee

compromise in advance?

perhaps if I create something and you would like it to be "deleted" you could move it to my userspace until it is developed furthur? ... :) Emesee

Cool, will do. --Chriswaterguy 01:31, 22 December 2009 (UTC)


Responded on my user page. Btw: also see the page talk at the Climate news page. KVDP 08:51, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Google SketchUp course

Hey Chris, a few weeks ago I attended a Google sketchUp course (to learn all the remaining program-specifics). A coursebook of this is available at http://www.skup.be/syntra/sketchup/ (password:syntrup). It is in Dutch, so translation needs to be done, but as the course is given by a Dutch person (for a Dutch class), I think he will agree to give the permission for using it. As google itself (http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/training/atc.html) doesn't provide any good courses (only some demo's, interactive video's, ...), it may be valuable (especially to distribute the AT-technologies better eg via a single, freely usable CAD-program). If there's intrest, we could have it included here. I already contacted ingenieurs zonder grenzen about it, perhaps they could lend us a hand. KVDP 14:48, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Early messages regarding AT

Hey Chris, not sure whether Appropedia can use/integrate it at the moment, but I sent some messages (a long while ago) to some people working on AT. The messages can be found at [1]. Perhaps you know some people which are intrested in it. KVDP 10:24, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Google Wave

Hi Chris, received your message regarding Google wave. It seems however that Google wave allows chatting even when not online in real-time. It's thus a bit hard to know when we can talk (it doesn't indicate when you are on-line, meaning I cant use it to predict when I would need to tune in for a real-time conversation. I placed a schedule for this on Members. KVDP 10:51, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

It's definitely best for the asynchronous stuff, I think. I'm just experimenting for now, but I thought it could be useful for keeping track of projects and tasks.

Hmm; I think the Appropedia user page is better used for this, I proposed to integrate a more persionalised user page (immediatelly imbeddding eg To do, AT organisation affiliation, ... ) As for simple contacting if you're stuck on a project, I think a regular instant messenger (thus not Google Wave) would be best. I would like to set this one up soon, but I'm not sure what members are still active, and there is very little cooperation on the Members page. Also, some additional site make-up would be needed; eg a the Members page would need to be easier available, ...

I wanted to ask if you'd been in touch with the copyright holders of the work you're translating, re releasing under our CC-BY-SA license?

Not sure what work you're referring to; in any case I don't have anything I'm working on at the moment at Appropedia, now mostly finishing up some new images at Wikipedia.

Finally, regarding the anonymous page viewing, I remembered you stated that this can not be easily done in a wiki. However, do you then mean that it can be done, but that it's not easy to set up, or can't it be done at all. Regarding some other pages I'd like to make, ... I think switching off page viewing is pretty much the only solution, so we'll need it. Otherwise, we can set up a ftp-site in which a section is closed off by a password (the ftp can then also be used for swapping files that still need processing; eg pdf-files that need to be translated, or where images need to be extracted from). KVDP 09:10, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Chris, George here

Thank you very much for the clarification.

My pleasure! --Chriswaterguy 21:08, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Practicalities... Ekopedia - Appropedia

I found back this... Is it still possible and is it the strategy we will use to import Ekopedia En on Appropedia?

Is it possible to create robots to transfer the content from Ekopedia to Appropedia and vise-versa?

What about the possible similar pages?

I am quite busy preparing a 3 month project in Israel Palestine but I am also really wishing to help so if you see anything I can do.

And I want also let you know that I am really happy that you are building so great on my small initiative to connect you.

Olivier C 11:22, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Transferring content is actually easy between MediaWiki sites (using Special:Export and Special:Import). I think it prompts when there are pages with the same name, but we can check that.
An approach I'm taking with the Appropedia:Stubs from Wikipedia articles project is to edit the exported XML file, to add (from Wikipedia) to each title. Then after importing, we can do a mass move (by bot) to remove the suffixes - the pages that fail to move because of an existing page will still have that suffix in the pagename, and need to be merged. That looks to me like a good process to use for the Ekopedia/Appropedia wiki merges - it makes it easy to keep track of groups of pages that need merging.
Your initiative to connect us was wonderful, and it has come so far! --Chriswaterguy 15:28, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

So exited to see the collaboration evolving and going on. Olivier C 12:25, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Olivier. Yes, the export-import is still what I plan to use. Actually the challenge now is the images - I've asked for help, and am not sure when I can solve it, but should be all complete late this month, at the latest.
I found a simpler way to avoid pagename clashes for this case - I make a list of links to all the pagenames, on Appropedia. Any that is not a redlink is a clash - I'll edit the pagename in the XML file I get from Special:Export, to avoid that.
Thanks for your encouragement! --Chriswaterguy 13:10, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

copy right vios

C -- the lithium ion battery page is ok -- I believe all the images and the graphs in Hot-Melt Extrusion are violations -- I leave it up to your discretion if it is better to delete images and leave the page or pull the entire article....Thanks--Joshua 18:58, 14 January 2010 (UTC)


Finished up on a image at wikimedia commons, uploaded here too. See [[2]]. Has some guidelines for improving sewerage systems KVDP 15:40, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Hands image

I finished up on the image modification for the new hands image. I overwrote the old image, so it bears the same name. KVDP 13:42, 4 February 2010 (UTC)


Hey Chris, Updated the Members page, aldough it will still probably miss some users (I compiled list manually), it's probably already good enough to publish a link directly from the navbar, could you do this ? To complete the list, perhaps you know an automatic way (I still have the txt I used if this is helpful; used Another notepad for automatic listing).

In addition, I integrated the Category:Members; this category can be used to list all the members (perhaps the Chriswaterguybot can add the templates to all the User: pages


I just realise that something extra is missing: there is no differentiation between active and inactive members. I'm guessing that many (most?) members from the list have already stopped contributing and are no longer active. I'm not sure how to solve this, but it's annoying as the list gets hard to browse easily with so many inactive names. I'm not that up to date with wiki-software, but perhaps we can integrate something to fix this ? I was thinking about letting the Chriswaterguybot take out all the names that have been inactive for say, 2 months and place it on another article (thus building another list here with inactive members). This allows us to keep the data in case the member comes back after a while.

Also, we'll need to notify the older members to add their contact data to the list. Perhaps with the village pump ?

KVDP 09:32, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

I do believe that this has to be done using semantic functions in some way, which we hope to install soon. That way the list can be automatically kept up to date. The alternative (asking people to add themselves by editing a table in wiki markup) just won't work IMO.
I don't know how to easily distinguish between active and inactive... Special:Statistics gives a number, but not a list. I just looked and found mw:Extension:CurrentUsers- but installing a new extension is a big task, esp if there are conflicts, and we need to decide first, as a team, if this how we want to improve our ability to communicate.
If you know anyone who is good with PHP or Mediawiki, please point them in our direction! --Chriswaterguy 01:06, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Here's an example of a MediaWiki site that can list active users: http://yomi.mobi/egate/Special:ActiveUsers - but I can't see on the version page which extension makes that possible. --Chriswaterguy 01:11, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Not sure whether it's helpful (I'm quite oblivious on this matter), but searching a little I found the "SocialRewarding-extension"; see http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:SocialRewarding It also seems the extension is integrated in the "Mediawiki" wiki-website (see http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Developers ) Also, perhaps you can manually connect with some wiki-wizards on IRC (see http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Developers), http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:List_of_custodians and perhaps via the mailing list (https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/mediawiki-l)

KVDP 10:33, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Automatic welcome message


We'll also need to start on the automatic welcome message and Automated user page. For the welcome message, I already prodded User_talk:Steven_M.

For the automated user page (which would be automatically made when a new account is made; I would like to include the suggestions I made at Village_pump#AAI_projects. In practice, this means that we have this text generated at the page automatically:

==Current Appropedia projects== # ...

The tags can't be automatically added (different for any member); this is thus simply mentioned in the greeting (see Steven M.'s talk page). The tags themselves still need to be made however. Regarding the text in the greeting, you'll also notice the "Appropedia meeting place" entry; details on this at village pump#Site_reorganisation

KVDP 09:14, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

What about the user profiles at http://www.gardenology.org/wiki/User:Chriswaterguy ? I think it's a good start.
Hmmm, personally I think too little info is given. Good thought dough on adding the personal information, indeed this was still missing on the user page. However perhaps that again this problem is best handled with the wiki-software ? We already need to implement our own name at Special:Preferences, so perhaps that if we place some extra personal information (ie adress, telephone number, ...) at user:Preferences we can simply have the software show the info at the other pages aswell ? Again however, the issue of the anynomous user page viewing is lurking around the corner. This info should not be visisble for any anonymous user viewing the site. Some of the info (ie adress) is even best only shown specifically to other users that are within a AT-organisation. Requesting the adress could nonetheless be useful to facilitate eg projects of AT-organisations. Finally, I'm also guessing that the instant messenger info could be requested on the Special:Preferences-page, this info could then be automatically written into the Members table using the Chriswaterguybot (and in turn, the info can then be relayed to the inactive page when the user becomes inactive). It's becoming quite complex that way, and things will need to be set up well, but perhaps it's an option.
KVDP 10:46, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Indeed I think the wiki software is the best way to implement it, using extensions. We must get a more active tech team to work on this. --Chriswaterguy 11:06, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
UPDATE-->I noticed that Appropedia/wikis already have a user list(Special:ListUsers&limit=500). Perhaps that we can use this page as the members list by having the extra info from the User:Preferences shown here. Reason for this is that I'm not sure whether a seperate page that has a table implemeted can indeed be used for our purposes (might not be compatible)

KVDP 09:58, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

That could be a really cool extension - perhaps you can describe it in detail as a new entry at Appropedia:Site_development/Desired_features. But first have a search on the web (esp mediawiki.org) to see if anyone has tried doing it already. --Chriswaterguy 14:53, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
We could add welcome messages for new users by running a bot periodically. I'd be interested if we could learn how to do it automatically.
I'm not sure about "Current Appropedia projects" - many users would find it hard to specify particular projects. More (including myself, from experience) might list some pages, then forget about it for many months, so it ends up out of date. --Chriswaterguy 01:22, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I myself am about the same. However, simply the fact that you still have the list of things you still like to do makes it worthwhile. After some time, you'll notice them again and perhaps that as such, you'll still commence on them at some point. Also, having the text is useful fo others (If people leave we'll have a list what we still need to do/implement). Otherwise, if they leave the information/ideas they had leave with them.

KVDP 10:46, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

UPDATE: Perhaps it is useful to also make a Template:Appropedia CAD team tag. We'll probably need a CAD team too in the future to draw out our ideas.
I don't know much about CAD, but certainly I'd like to support any tool that helps with design. I'm sure the Open Manufacturing people would know something about these things. --Chriswaterguy 13:26, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Probably, but this seems to be more about c&c, rapid prototyping etc. I would like to keep it simple at first; ie simply making regular CAD or SKP files using Google SketchUp. I also have the (Dutch) manual we can use as (basic) support for new members to this group. The CAD-models are useful for posting on blogs, wikipedia, ... aswell as when we wish to sent mails to companies that would actually be intrested in the designs/ideas. The c&c stuff is something we don't really need to get into, this can be handled by the companies.

KVDP 15:38, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

copy right

Thanks Chris -- I should have had that in the project description -- it will be there next time -- Thanks --Joshua 15:19, 11 February 2010 (UTC)


Hey Chris, The mysterious Guyonthesubway (which has been a driving force in removing allot of my articles) again posted another of my articles for deletion. See [3] . Could you place your vote on the page ? Perhaps there are any other people at appropedia too that could add their vote ? Thanks. KVDP 15:33, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

I left a comment - agree it should be kept. To avoid problems, be very careful to avoid neologisms. That invites the wrong kind of attention! --Chriswaterguy 06:22, 14 February 2010 (UTC)


Hey Chris, I sent a blog writing request to your google emailadress (singkong). Did the same to Curt, please accept the invitation. The idea is not to have you write my blog (since you stated you didn't have time), but only to set up things to move the blog to another account and to have several writers that can edit the blog when finished. See http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=41448 The new co-writers will then also have permission to invite new authors, ... so we can have other Appropedia members added later-on too. KVDP 09:39, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks - have accepted the request.
Hope it's a fruitful exercise - certainly it's good to organize your ideas and invite feedback.
My own immediate plans for aid related info are to get more content for [[Category:Principles of development]] and [[Category:International development]]. --Chriswaterguy 13:26, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Casting & file hosting

Hey Chris, I was wondering whether you already read my email regarding the ISF-images and the set-up of the file-hosting (the latter would btw also be useful for the CAD team, ...). If you decided on how we may proceed (or not; ie we could wait untill we have a better solution aswell), please sent me a reply.

Regarding the aluminum recovery manual, I was thinking that we might perhaps implement some improvements. This, as trough a documentary I saw named "Mega-carrier: The construction of the USS George H.W. Bush" (showing the steelmaking at Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyards ) I noticed that they are able to speed up the process. I dropped the "Apprentice School" a line, perhaps something might come out of this.

Finally, I noticed that there is already a oxyhydrogen generator design (from Dangerous laboratories) that we "might" use. See Alternative_ICE_fuel_generator (updated the page with some other info too). Offcourse the design will need to be improved a little (to make it safer, ...) but I'm guessing that if we do, and perhaps make a CAD model, we'll already have somewhat of a (extra) solution to the transport problem. We'll still need to fetch some data first dough on whether the production of oxyhydrogen is technically/economically viable using simple devices such as these. Perhaps we could sent a mail to the commercial company that has a oxyhydrogen generator (ie the Punch HHO generator, see http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Home_Generation:Hydrogen/oxyhydrogen_generator#Commercial_oxyhydrogen_generators)

KVDP 09:04, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm behind in my email - give me a day or two more to respond. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 10:59, 1 March 2010 (UTC)


nic... good to know.. seems pretty standard, thankfully. :) User:Emesee

File extensions

Hey Chris, It seems that there are a few file extensions that should be supported, this to allow some files to be uploaded for use with the SketchUp Beginner Manual (see appendix 1). KVDP 10:33, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Came across another problem: we currently do not have the Multiple images-template. This causes some problems at page 1 and 2 of the SketchUp Beginner Manual KVDP 11:32, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

I checked Wikipedia:Template:Multiple image, and it relies on parser functions (note the "#if"). We're getting help with the dev wiki - still waiting on news but really hoping to have this soon. --Chriswaterguy

funding notes

are we capturing behavioral change?

are we tracking use patterns?

stats and stories

classes and change-makers

surveymonkey - front page

show a live active community

philanthropy aust - dir of foundations and trusts. - pay directory. maybe $100 for good half-day workshop on proposal writing

ASIX's trust plan; ATA funding partnership

US foundation center - http://foundationcenter.org/ - pay directory, free guides

Curt: what do you need when talking to funders?

AT netorks, agencies, CERES? google AT foundation...

contact, who knows: CAT? wto toilet.

2 hrs/d for phone calls.

donortech.com.au & adobe site



Hey Chris, I tried out ZumoDrive, its pretty similar to Box.net, but easier to use and it provides us some extra disk space (1,2 GB, upto 1,5-1,7 upon attaining my "black belt" from the ZumoDrive dojo ,-) Anyhow, I placed the images I downloaded using Adobe Acrobat from the ISF-pdf's in this ZumoDrive. The files are downloadable using links, similar to Box.net; the links are placed on my user talk page. It will allow Appropedia members to work together on files, ... atleast to some degree (we'll still need to mail the files to 1 person which uploads the files to his Zumodrive-account; as users even within a group can't upload files themselves, they can download dough). I btw also sent you a permission mail for 1 file, but it seems that this permission mail only provides extra features to Zumodrive-users; as such its probably best to simply use/share the links. KVDP 14:53, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Cool, that looks handy. Also see what you think of http://openpario.net/ --Chriswaterguy 18:49, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Checked it out, but to me it looks more of a site for testing new pages, ... I don't think its particularly handy for quick sharing of files. The best solution would be a true FTP-server, as this allows anyone to upload files, and also provides a first connection to the root document, rather than having a link that needs to be shared for each map. These are the main flaws for the ZumoDrive-system.

KVDP 17:17, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

UPDATE I'm already uploading the ISF-images to the Appropedia articles myself, so these ZumoDrive maps will go offline soon. However, some images don't seem to be downloaded with my (older) Adobe Acrobat version, even dough it apparently worked without problems at first. So someone else will need to do the rest of the images from the pdf's. Nonetheless, much work will be finished when done (within a couple of days)~.

KVDP 16:08, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

User image

I took notice of the statement in the Welcome message to "share a picture of yourself". Aldough I didn't notice it before, it seems you can't simply upload this to your Appropedia account (at My preferences). Not sure how we best fix this, but I'm thinking that when you integrate the template for the user page of every new user (thus at the User:... page), you may integrate a image link, ie File:IDimage.jpg; I'm thinking that the images I made, knowingly File:John Doe avatar.jpg and File:Jane Doe avatar.jpg can be used as the standard image links (perhaps the image link can be switched automatically when selecting ie Male or Female at the user preferences-tab. KVDP 17:22, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

This is all beyond my technical ability - I think we need to find more tech help, and launch a project to try out social networking options. Until we know what larger solution we adopt, it's probably too early to tweak preferences for avatar upload.
I'm interested to see what we can do with WordPress plug-ins or Wordpress compatible forums, which we can connect to the wiki through a single login (OpenID backend). I met a WordPress developer - I'll look for his email... --Chriswaterguy 03:13, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Intresting, indeed I thought about using a central database for the member information too. OpenID may be a good way, aldough I guess it's mostly used to avoid the need of making a new user for each new site, rather than the best way to share your information (for example the sharing of information is optional). Generally I thus prefer using simply Facebook, but this method offcourse doesn't allow the not needing of making a new user at new sites/wikis, ...

KVDP 08:00, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Category tree image

Hey Chris,

Having thought a bit on what you said about the logo on the right
Appropedia logo 2009 11 2.png
, (ie that it could be used "in some other way"), I came up with a new idea. Perhaps that we can use the image to mark the categories; ie by adding clickable areas ("hotspots") (I've seen this being done in wiki commons charts too). The images that are now used would not be lost; instead they can simply be moved to the portal-page of the category.
Hmmm... I think in a page for the very technically minded, this could be interesting. Do you know the idea of different learning/communication styles, that some are more visual, some more "kinesthetic"... see the VARK model. Maybe this is good for one style of learning/communicating than others, e.g. the auditory/verbal approach. I personally still like a colorful and basically simple image where any user can tell in an instant what topic the image represents. --Chriswaterguy 10:21, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

As for the hands-image, I was thinking that perhaps this could be used as the main Appropedia-logo (offcourse some visual improvements can first be added first). Perhaps I could mail Tressie for the brush-up (and not just "User talk" her like before) ?

KVDP 09:42, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I think a similar issue applies here... but the best place to ask this is at the Village Pump, to see if others have similar views. My feeling though is that it will be difficult to sway the community on this one, so it may be better to put your positive energy elsewhere. --Chriswaterguy 10:21, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Having been thinking about making an image for the "nitrogen oxide IC-engine" idea, I thought (a variant of) the Red-John-Smiley-Face.png (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red-John-Smiley-Face.png ) might be useful. The idea here was too make the idea even a bit more appealing/trendy, which could be very useful as the idea is already on the line of the more "popular technology" (ie Tesla Motors roadster, electric vehicle conversions, Fast and the Furious-like car improvements, ...). Also, if the idea could be executed, it would be likely that the first modifications would be performed in ie car tuning businesses, ... publics which are mostly easy to inspire even with a simple logo, ... Hence the idea of making a logo.

However reflecting on matters even a bit more (despite that my initial idea is already a bit far-fetched ;) ), I was thinking that rather than making only a logo for this idea, we could perhaps make a logo for all AT technology, as a way of providing a "certification". This seems useful as, as more and more appropriate technology will be coming out (which are usually very eficient and fair in pricing), traditional companies (that pursue profits) could in the future try to make profits from things we've come up with (ie designs like the Hammer mill, ...). Aldough this is not necessairily a bad thing (they can make some money if the product still provides benefit in pulling people out of poverty, ...) some companies may bend things too much, and having an ace up our sleeve to combat this (even if we don't implement it right away) might be useful.

For the certification, I find the current Red John-smiley pretty good, as the smiley holds the middle between crying of joy or of misfortune (you can't really tell, i'll explain the deeper meaning depending on whether you like the basic idea or not). I would however modify the current image or make a new one (from a video; episode "His Red Right Hand"); this as the current version is a bit off. An alternative of the image might be something like a samurai, bapu/guru (to reflect to the Bushido, ahimsa, ... this being somewhat in line with the ethics underlying the AT-concept), or something similar. In addition to the image, we would however also need to make a database with designs that are fairly AT-specific (a bit similar to "patents"). We can then put companies next to the name that are still in line with our vision (ie that they sell it at not too great prices, make durable devices, ...) and also allow the use of our designs for non-commercial purposes (ie DIY construction, ...).

KVDP 13:19, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Certification is an interesting idea... I've had an idea about certifying products as being made according to the principles of industrial ecology. It would not be suitable for Appropedia to approve or reject certain designs, IMO, but I'd like to see some "certification" done by objective criteria. Though, objective criteria will be easier for industrial ecology than for AT, since context and values are critical to AT.
Not sure what steps to take, but will think on it. --Chriswaterguy 07:29, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
Update; made the image for zero-emissions fuels:

Recharging batteries

done. PS: Please take notice of Alkaline versus rechargeable batteries. I added a move template (which doesn't work appearantly) containing some info. Appearantly a great deal of the article needs to be updated/rewritten (incorrect). KVDP 01:01, 19 July 2012 (PDT)

I moved the comment to the talk page, seeing as we don't have a working {{move}} template. Perhaps it's necessary to contact the contributor to that article - I don't know much about batteries. --Chriswaterguy 04:32, 19 July 2012 (PDT)

Water harvesting

Trough the text at the Optimized Water Catchment System article (left a comment), I noticed that some of my images were not available here, knowingly:

  • File:CatchingHillRunoffwater.jpg
  • File:PressurizedRooftopRainwaterHarvester.jpg
  • File:Rainwater harvesting system.jpg

Uploaded them for now, but I'm not sure whether they actually fit into the current Appropedia articles. They're also rather low-quality, but I recently left a image improvement request at our friends from the Wikipedia:Graphic lab. Perhaps that if new versions are made of the images, the images can be overwritten, and we can put up some links between the wikipedia Rainwater harvesting article and our articles.


Fred the Oyster at Wikipedia's Graphic Lab made some new versions of the images:

  • File:CatchingHillRunoffwater.svg
  • File:PressurizedRooftopRainwaterHarvester.svg
  • File:Rainwater harvesting system.svg

Note that as a thumb, the images are displayed very poorly (at least with me). The texts looks like graphiti/arabic text.

KVDP 08:34, 22 March 2010 (UTC)


Hi Chris, Just a small issue: Appropedia appearantly doesn't support SVG files; I noticed something like this a while ago when I posted an SVG about water harvesting (see post above), and it seems that with other SVG's, the file isn't shown at all, see http://www.appropedia.org/Category:Renewable_energy

In addition, it seems that there isn't a "move" button with categories (ie articles beginning with the name "Category:" I tried changing "Category:Muscle_power" to Category:Power from muscles (more suitable name, first one is strictly seen incorrect) but as I didn't see a button, I couldn't move it. KVDP 11:59, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

SVGs: File:Hand.svg seems to work. I did a search for svg. If you can't work out where the problem is, try asking Lonny.
Categories: Categories can't be moved - this is to prevent problems if someone fails to edit all the pages in a category to change the category tag; also because it means a lot of changes, so it's best to get consensus first. Actually, [:Category:Muscle_power]] seems ok to me, and a bit simpler. Are you sure it's incorrect? --Chriswaterguy 18:28, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Have a nice day

Why the fuck did you delete my article? Happy Hitch 00:58, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

This is not a site for bands - as I explained on your talk page. Please be civil and respect this site. --Chriswaterguy 01:23, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

AT factories

Hey Chris, I made the article AT_factories. The idea here is to have the AT factories of the different AT-organisations work together (refer to the village pump). This might speed up building projects allot. I would however need some cooperation from the other "AT organisation liaisons" (see http://www.appropedia.org/User_talk:Steven_M.#Welcome_message_update ). I'm not sure whether some members have already been selected as liaisons however; perhaps we could make a page with a table in which the members are named for each AT-organisation.

We've had a few interns from Humboldt State University... these people aren't permanent though, usually just as long as their course lasts.

Re factories... I love the idea of indexing and mapping such sites. How people use that, and how they work together, is hard to predict, but creating the opportunity, plus people's creativity, could lead to good things. --~~

In addition, I also made a suggestion for a small new page which might be useful: see Talk:AT_CAD_Team

BTW: Did Appropedia already receive any response from the Grand Idea Studio and/or MIT's CADlab ? If not, I was thinking of sending the first one a letter but I didn't seem to find any actual postal adress for them. If we could get them cooperating with us, even by a little, we could perhaps get somewhere with the AT CAD Team.

KVDP 09:09, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

No news from Grand Idea Studio or MIT's CADlab yet. We do have contacts at MIT which we've been meaning to chase up... thinking about seeing if we can get a communications intern to take a lead on these things. Hmmm... (sorry, trying to juggle many things, but I'll ask around about this...) --Chriswaterguy 10:21, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Hydrogen production + energy production

Hey Chris, finished up on 2 images for the wikipedia, uploaded them here aswell. File:Plant Microbial Fuel Cell.png File:Microbial electrolysis cell.png Take a look, its very useful technology, the first generates instant hydrogen, the second one generates electricity. Especially nr 2 is very useful for AT as the setup is very simple and requires very little material? Nr 1 remains to be seen, its the best method to make hydrogen but we still need to compare this gas to the other gases (ie nitrous oxide, oxyhydrogen, liquid nitrogen and so on) KVDP 13:38, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

PS: The changes I noted in my e-mail have been done, so that's already out of the wayKVDP 13:38, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

NOX Steam engines

Hey Chris, I placed a new idea regarding NOX steam engines at the village talk page (see Appropedia_talk:Village_pump#Nitrous_oxide_steam_engine . However, I'm still not sure how to proceed on this; we would actually need to look into the useability of NOX as an AT fuel aswell. However, I'm still unaware of whom we could talk to to have this sorted out.

In addition, I also had some 2 extra mails; 1 with ideas regarding solar stills, and another regarding taking over some loom designs (to Suzuki USA). I'll make these into google docs and link them to the articles; that way the template letter can be used by other appropedians to sent requests to other companies/branches (ie Suzuki Japan branch ?, ...)

KVDP 07:26, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

I wonder if we could engage with academics and their students, so students could do a Life cycle analysis of an idea or design such as this, as well as an assessment of whether the technology is appropriate. This can be a project for their course - HSU and Queens University, Kingston students already do these things, I believe, but we need many more. Perhaps there are educators at your university who would be interested in doing this? If you could point them to Portal:Service learning, they will see the kind of work that students do, and some of the advantages of being involved.
Let us know what responses you get to the letters.
Thanks ---Chriswaterguy 11:08, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Updated my images, now includes entire working of steam engine, ... I also made my personal variants of the images, ie which include modifications on the firebox, a very simple "valve gear" (actually simply a piece of metal with holes), ... Modified images are linked in description at wiki commons image. Also updated the main firebox image at wikipedia (original one was incorrect).

BTW: I'm not engaged in any university, my personal educational background is also very modest at best. I'll now continue back on the electrical locomotive (usable for the AT Interstate traveller design) and finish up on some other ideas. KVDP 11:30, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Hey Chris,

Finished on the electrical locomotive. Also updated the valve gear, and put down some extra info at village talk section. Regarding the letters, I'll upload the suzuki-letter, and for the other letter regarding solar stills, I just put usable info from it at Talk:Solar_Still#Usable_commercial_solar_stills_.3F .Perhaps that my last idea may be useful for a AT design ? Otherwise, we could already use the product from the company mentioned, or Zonnewater and/or improve it. Also, I'm wondering whether Hatenboer-Water (Drinking with the wind) would be mentionnable at the solar destillation page ("seawater destillation section") (it's not really AT, but perhaps the product is still comparitively quite cheap).

Now going to work on biofuel/biodiesel page KVDP 09:58, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Finished up on this one, my text at the image description will still need to be poured into the article; image at Biodiesel

KVDP 07:49, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I'll get started on perhaps a variation of the steam locomotive; a steam engine powered by a firebox running on solar power (concentrating solar plant). Perhaps I'll be able to make it more AT; I'll look on the plastic lenses I mentioned a while ago. --> finished up on this design, called "Solar pyramid in pit"

KVDP 09:01, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Appropedia animations

Hey Chris, Having worked on the steam engine stuff, I noticed that there were allot of simple steam engine animations worked out by wikigraphists. I was thinking that we could do something similar for the Appropedia logo in the top left corner. A simple animation wouldn't require much bandwith to load, and it plays in a loop, so there's just 1 download. Also, we could recover the hands image, and update it. I was thinking of having a merging a pinion gear with the hands-image (having them spin and blurring and swapping the images as they pick up speed. This reflects the diversity of our members, aswell as the focus on simpel technology. If you like this (or if you have another suggestion), we can post a request at the wiki graphics lab (for the Appropedia page; and use image here aswell).

I was also thinking that, once we've done the more important stuff for Appropedia (ie member interaction, ...) we could possibly also make a Appropedia "intro" (ie using flash, ...) Again, I was thinking of again something with gears, ... , a bit like Celine Dion's One Heart movieclip.

Appropedia tune

Finally, an additional idea is to have a Appropedia theme song; I was thinking of something like K'naan's Waving Flag, with heavily modified lyrics. In addition, perhaps we could have the lyric "polyphonised"; ie music reverted to a special "ringtone" scheme; like they use on cellphones. This allows use of the song on low(er)-tech imbedded electronics (cellphones, DIY electronics, ...)

KVDP 07:53, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Small update: seems the "polyphonising idea" is doable, see http://www.sofotex.com/download/Multimedia/Ringtone/ However, after reconsideration, K'naan's waving flag is probably already too popular (its also used by Coca Cola in their commercials). I've been thinking about a mechanical/engine-like tune instead; perhaps the melody of Alvin & The Chipmunks (http://music.aol.com/video/witch-doctor/alvin-and-the-chipmunks/2045440 ) ? Also, aldough it's useful that the melody can be repeated in a loop (for other purposes), when used on the website, it should only play once (ie when entering the site or logging on, ...)

KVDP 08:36, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Interesting, new idea to me - a kind of audio branding. Something simple and pleasing to the ear, of course. It would need to be something unique and owned by Appropedia, or which we have permission to use. --Chriswaterguy 08:43, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
yes, and that will be the result in case we morph the Chipmunks-tune. I dug a little deeper and found that the polyphone music formats will probably be too good to allow the morphing I had in mind (I did a test with a conversion to .AMR). Instead, we'll probably need to use monophone or older file formats. Possibilities are the Harmonium file format (still unsure what this is), RTTTL, RTX, and some others such as eMelody, ... (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringtone#Ring_tone_encoding_formats ). Take a look on how the encoding is done at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_Tone_Transfer_Language .

I also recombinated the chipmunks-song (the part that repeats) to an own version, which is I believe better for use here (shorter, powerful, easy to remember). The tune goes:

  • tu-wee tabadam dam (exclemation on "dam dam", a bit conceived after the vandenborre tune, www.vandenborre.be/ ) )
  • the longer version goes: tuu-wee tuu ta taa (first part original tune), inmediatelly followed by "bing bang (silence) wa-la bing bang"

I think the second part can be composed by recombinating sections using Audacity. I already have the original music, so I'll get started on this. Once finished we can convert it using a music convertor as http://convert.viloader.net/ . (depending on what filetype we use, ie RTTTL, ... it may also be possible to look at the code, so as to check whether the verses are completely the same, and to use this method for other music projects aswell, also, in case the Audacity is too difficult to worl with without experience, we can use this method to skip the cutting and pasting) After conversion, the end result would sound allot different (engine-like) and it would also be legal for use by Appropedia (own work). KVDP 10:56, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Children of Shuang Shi tune (another usable tune : dabedabedabedabedabtabtaa dabedabedabedabedabtabtaa + chipmunks them makes: too-pop-e-di-ta-bedab-tab-taa, too-pop-e-di-ta-bedab-tab-taa

Usable software --> http://www.widisoft.com (WIDI recognition software + able MIDI editor)


Hey Chris,

I recently contacted someone for one of our projects. However, on the question on where we are located I replied the following:

Like Wikipedia, ... Appropedia is an open organisation, having members around the world. That said, 2 of the main member "hubs" are located in the USA (Humboldt State University) and Canada (Queens University), the actual departments can be found trough http://me.queensu.ca/ and http://www.humboldt.edu/engineering/

I guess that this is fairly accurate, but I noticed that we actually don't have actual adresses on our Appropedia:About page. Perhaps you could add this information ? It adds some extra credibility to Appropedia.

KVDP 11:15, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks - that's a great response, but I've also asked Curt & Lonny what address we should use on the About & Contact pages. --Chriswaterguy 11:28, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Locomotive image voting

Hey Chris, could you put down a vk vote here --> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/Inaccurate_railway_locomotive_diagrams Losing the images at wiki commons (aldough we also have duplicates) would be quite harmful for the workout of some projects at the AT CAD section. 11:56, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't know anything about the subject, but it seems agreed that the pictures don't represent actual locomotives... I think it's best to put effort into making suitable images based on actual existing designs, then there shouldn't be any issue with deletion. --Chriswaterguy 08:07, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, well the locomotives weren't authentic (ie the setup won't be completely true to how they are generally built). However, the system as how I drew it out will nonetheless work. We can perhaps improve the system later-on (ie with steam injectors, ...) Anyway, it seems like I'm getting some support, and I put down additional arguments, so perhaps that they won't be removed after all.

KVDP 08:58, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

If it's not authentic but (by reasoning) you believe it should actually work... that sounds unsuitable for Wikipedia actually. I think it's good to listen to the concerns of the Wikipedia editors on this issue.
From a learning perspective as well, it's really valuable to delve deeply into things which have been built and used successfully, and fully understand them first, so doing diagrams based on authentic locomotives would be a really valuable exercise. --Chriswaterguy 21:20, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Image renaming

Hey Chris, perhaps a newbie question, but how exactly do I rename images at Appropedia ? I want to rename File:Plunger pump with AT valve.png , but appearantly neither the rename media, nor the db-f8 template seem to work here. KVDP 16:00, 25 May 2010 (UTC)


made a new image, this older image can be removed (valve I designed seemed unuseful with same diameter pipes, ...)


Hey Chris, commented on your post at my user page. Tell me if you need any more info KVDP 14:21, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

BTW: I had another question: is Appropedia already registered as a non-profit ? If we would do so (ie via http://ihcenter.org/, ...) we could perhaps request funding (which we could use to implement the discussed wiki-software upgrades, ...) from ie organisations as http://www.clintonfoundation.org/what-we-do/, ... That way things could go faster. KVDP 14:29, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes we are... 501c3 (tax exempt) charity, registered in California. Curt and I are looking at funding possibilities, actually.
Perhaps you can mention this at the About page.

KVDP 18:30, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Done. Thanks, didn't realize that was missing. --Chriswaterguy 04:19, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the clintonfoundation.org link - any relevant leads like this are valuable. --Chriswaterguy 01:16, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Hey Chris;

a new idea: I just heared of the 2010 Cancún conference, and it seems that they are going to start a fund to provide money for developing countries in order to reduce their emissions. Personally, I'm since long not a fan anymore of the whole "climate change"-debacle and the organisations designated to "fix the problem", mostly because they talk allot and provide almost no practical changes (ie "advocated" reduction of 20% where almost 100% is required). Nonetheless, as they are finally providing a seperate fund for new initiatives (there allready were some funds' ie regarding reforestation, ... but these were very well-defined) and I think that Appropedia is one of their best bets cost-effectiveness wise. This as it's centralised and many of our projects (including the 3D models of the "AT CAD Team", and general Appropedia projects/information) offer allot of environmental advantage for a very limited cost. Perhaps we can write them a mail once they got their fund set up and once a website, ... is available. See

KVDP 13:35, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Kristof. This gives me an idea - if you're interested in working with me (and anyone else interested in finding funding for Appropedia), your work in finding specific links and funders would be really helpful. You're very persistent when you work on a task, and that's very valuable with this.
We could share a spreadsheet for keeping track all the information. Let's talk by email - will be in touch soon. --Chriswaterguy 12:11, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Design philosophy

Chris, Having noticed that the KISS design philosophy has been mentioned by some at Appropedia, I was thinking of adding a replacement for this along with an article. This, especially as it doesn't really give a good representation, and I also don't like the "stupid" at the end. The alternative would be Durable, efficient, stoïc. It is however again an own creation, so I'm not sure whether I could mention it as a "general philosophy" for the AT CAD Team. However, it is already gives more info than just "appropriate technology". KVDP 18:30, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I also don't really like the "stupid" at the end, but there are other versions of KISS or KIS - see Wikipedia:KISS principle. "Durable, efficient, stoïc" is different, though these are also positive attributes. --Chriswaterguy 04:24, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
well, not completely different, stoic simply replaces "simple", so it simply adds 2 other charisteristics. We can add it into the proposed Appropriate technology design principles article, see http://www.appropedia.org/Talk:AT_CAD_Team

KVDP 08:35, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

I've redirected Appropriate technology design principles to the existing Principles of appropriate technology - I don't know if they could be separate articles, but one can do for now.
Yes its the same, so one article suffices. However, I used Appropriate technology design principles as the main name, so that in case we implement the Appropriate technology page, this can be easily added, and the distinction between the articles remains clear.

KVDP 17:56, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

--Chriswaterguy 08:39, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Implemented the info from the talk page. Additionally, I noticed the articles you made "Appropriate technology for refugees" and "Appropriate technology for Indonesia". I think that both need rewording here. The first one describes how to respond in an emergency (when things need to be placed and get operational on the spot), so it best to call this something like "Emergency response appropriate technology" and the second one is best perhaps moved to something like "appropriate technology around the world", so that it can be mentioned with other countries. Also, it's best to give more specific info, ie exactly what technology to use, ... At this point the articles make it sound like AT is different depending on the situation, or is country-specific, which is offcourse not the case. Finally, I think it's best to have the links removed from the AT design principles page, and moved to the main "Appropriate technology" page (we don't seem to have one, only a portal with a AT projects list. We can perhaps take over the AT-page from wikipedia, I updated this for a while and it's pretty good at the moment). This would add allot of info (page still needs a little work dough to be perfect).

KVDP 17:46, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

the second one is best perhaps moved to something like "appropriate technology around the world" - actually I think both are needed. The Appropriate technology for Indonesia can mention very specific facts and contacts for Indonesia.
At this point the articles make it sound like AT is different depending on the situation, or is country-specific, which is offcourse not the case.
well, yes and no. It is different depending on context, though this is less about which country than about the specific situation. The article appropriate is a very basic start on this idea. So, (to be completely hypothetical), a village in Eastern Indonesia may have important similarities with a part of Ethiopia, in terms of its rainfall etc. But it may be completely different from another village only 1000 km away in Indonesia. Chriswaterguy 03:01, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I was referring to the country and not the situation. However, I do think that appropriate technology also pretty much remains the same even regardless of the location. This is because we actually do keep reusing a "library" of technology, but we will pick specific technology out depending on the situation. For example, AT (aldough agreeably opinions vary on this, see the wikipedia AT-page) will never include things like gasoline-internal combustion engines, windmills and water mills keep being a prominent tool to supply in the energy needs for many projects, ... A logical consequence could be the appearance of general-purpose AT designs which are then eg modified depending on the situation, and/or AT-technology that becomes "globalised"; ie by having a good global distribution network and well-positioned factories (see AT-factory page), some AT can be made all the time, thus regardless on which material is present at a certain location (this being possible as the material is in plentiful supply at the factory anyhow)

KVDP 14:08, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

We can perhaps take over the AT-page from wikipedia, - Good, I've been thinking of this... I'll do this as I can import it with history (need to be an admin). Many good edits by Appropedia's criteria have been deleted, so the history could be valuable. --Chriswaterguy 03:01, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Costeffectiveaid-blog/Appropedia mailadress

Some time ago, I removed my admin-rights and removed my old emailadress from the costeffectiveaid-blog. Reason is that I didn't use the old one anymore and wanted to ditch it, however I already have blogs on my other mailadresses, so I can't use these anymore. I was wondering whether I could get an appropedia mail adress (ie kvdp@appropedia.org) and put the admin-ship on this one (you'll need to do this via blogger.com, since I'm no longer an admin).

Getting an appropedia mail address would be a bit complex... is it possible to create a new address somewhere? --Chriswaterguy 05:44, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Uhm, well I suppose I could but I don't like creating emailadresses I'm then not going to use anymore. The mailadress isn't vital for the moment, could you simply copy-paste the info at the mentioned page (log in via blogger.com).

KVDP 12:51, 10 June 2010 (UTC) --> UPDATE how about I use your costeffectiveaid-blog "emailadress" (actually just a login name) and pass. If you change your pass to a combination you don't use for other things, this is safe, hassle-free (you already have the required permission for altering the site), and quick. Just sent me a mail with the new pass (or the current one if you already selected a unique one), and I can upload the data. (like to get this finished quick) KVDP 08:00, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Actually that's probably the most secret password I have, since it's my main account for many things. Sorry - can't really think of a solution other than making a new webmail address. Since this isn't a high security account you need, you could always make a hotmail account and save the password in your browser. --Chriswaterguy 08:08, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
OK, plan B, use (email removed for spam reasons - no longer needed here --Chriswaterguy 05:36, 23 June 2010 (UTC)) and give it minimum priviliges, We'll delete it when done. We'll solve the issue next time with JM Pearce, when the site begins to become useful, he can appoint a member to maintain it, and then we sent future info directly to the maintenance person via mail.

KVDP 06:52, 17 June 2010 (UTC) Is it thus possible to sent the invite for the blog to this e-mailadres ? (log in to blogger.com)

Done - sorry for the delay. --Chriswaterguy 05:36, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Chris, just got back from vacation. It seems though that the text which is in "extra pages" requires that I also have administrator clearance, so I'll need to ask you to again log in and give me higher clearance; I'm sorry for the hassle.

KVDP 18:49, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Done - no problem! --Chriswaterguy 19:07, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Some info I want to add to http://costeffectiveaid.blogspot.com/p/environment-rehabilitation.html


The connection were proposed based on maps by WN Atlas productions. I'll look further whether I can add some hydrography maps to wikimedia, perhaps by HydroSHEDS, ... The suggestions would fit together with the new boat design (Low-cost catamaran, replaces the Canot du Maitre). We'll still need to check what the maximum depth & width of the boats can be in the rivers, and whether locks need to be placed to avoid mixing seawater & freshwater rivers.

Organizational chart + Appropedia main office adress

Hey Chris, Having had some time thinking about some issues, here are some new ideas:

  • Firstly, I was thinking that we aren't approaching the AT village concept from the bottom-up. Rather, at present, we're looking at the most promosing villages globally to make an AT-village, and this is actually approaching the concept top-down. Perhaps that it is best that we change tactic (especially as the first tactic isn't working; ie I also sent some initial mails for information, ... and even these haven't been responded to). Rather than picking out villages, it is probably best that we look at the AT organisations we currently cooperate with (we need to compile a list of these first) and see which villages/regions they are active in; these villages can then be build out as an AT-village instead. Offcourse, progress on building the city will be slower, but then again we'll be able to construct it more efficiently (and more modular), and we can keep everything very basic (we don't really need all that much to transform a regular village to a AT-village, offcourse it also depends somewhat on the village we select (smaller cities require less improvements).

To determine the best regions, ... perhaps it would be best to use the chart I made at the AT factorys article.

This is well away from my own focus, which is on providing general information resources, designs etc, which can be used by people around the world in their own context. Happy to encourage you to do this, though - keep me in the loop, if you get responses.
Could you send me a copy of the mails you've been sending out? --Chriswaterguy 11:29, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Next, I was thinking on the Appropedia's main adress; as Appropedia is already a non-profit, do we have a legal adress ? Depending on this, perhaps we could choose one of the AT-villages to base our main office in. This could give us some more credibility, and could also add speed to set up a first AT-village. The "main office" could be an adress only in name, the main research is still maintained at the universities, ...

Also, after this is done, I'll first focus on my images as requested (and I also need to do some extra updates on the stirling engines, ...) and after this, perhaps we can look again into the communication/messenger stuff. BTW have you also read my UMPC, ... suggestions (at wikiversity website). The communication would also need to be worked out not only for better collaboration between members at present, but also for possible on-site communication (ie within the village/country). I'm not quite sure whether this was clear in my original posts at the discussion page.

Finally, I'll look into the tune, and I also think it would be suitable to change the logo (ie from the hands-logo, perhaps animated). Perhaps that we can put up a discussion between the members on how we can improve it.

I'll also get started on some new articles, more soon. KVDP 19:23, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

UPDATE 2 --> Checking my images at wikimedia commons, it seems that 2 images of designs I made are completely incorrect (current designs can not possibly attain their objective ; these are currently posted at the article Watervehicle_conversion (2 top images). I gave them the Template:Status-Model-Failed template for now. However, this template doesn't yet exist, is it possible to request the creation of this template to the person who made the templates ? An alternative template would be Template:Status-Design-Failed; see the Category_talk:Status page for more info. Comments why it won't work are added at talk page; with these we can update the image, or if the entire concept can't possibly work, delete the images. KVDP 08:25, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

To recover a deleted page, including a template, you need a helpful admin. On Wikipedia, there's Wikipedia:Category:Wikipedia administrators who will provide copies of deleted articles - maybe Wikiversity has something similar, or just a friendly admin... are you able to try those approaches?
Well, the images are already deleted on wikimedia commons, not only because they are incorrect, but also because many admins don't want any own ideas/schematics being posted there (this is btw the reason why I have so much "proposals for deletion" on my wiki commons user page; note dough that policy-wise it is not strictly forbidden at wikimedia commons, they've said to look into changing the policy rules ;) ). As such, fixing the image wouldn't help much to keep it there, but I still feel that the 2 images would be very valuable designs to have if we can improve them so that atleast there won't be much efficiency loss (since it protects the fish).
It sounds like a really useful idea for a template. --Chriswaterguy 15:26, 2 July 2010 (UTC):

UPDATE 3 --> See Appropedia_talk:Village_pump#Fuel-based_energy_storage_system

I'll see if someone else answers this - you really need someone who understands the specific technical aspects. --Chriswaterguy 15:26, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

The schematics of these were totally correct; there were again other objections though why they were removed; ie mostly because I showed a "domestic" system and economically-wise, hydrogen-based energy storage isn't that good and only few domestic systems exist (and they aren't used much neither). However, if you read trough my counterarguments, you'll see that the schematic was made for other another reason, and use of the system would be quite thought-trough, there would be much load-levelling. I finished up on the new schematics (they look much better than old ones, some modest changes are also made)

KVDP 09:50, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

AT village nutrition centre & making advantage of local hierarchy

Something I forgot to mention yesterday is whether or not it's suitable to mention the concept of a AT village nutrition centre at Appropedia's Appropriate nutrition manual (via a new article) ? The idea would facilitate the modifying of the cities' agricultural system, and would be quite modular (since the centre could help out in the planning). In addition, the centre could calculate the energy requirements per person, yielding a more accurate prediction (as mentioned before, this is useful especially if the person is larger/smaller than average, ...) Given some objections of the dietary reference values schematic at wikimedia commons (see http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jameslwoodward#Dietary_reference_values_image_and_waterwheel ), I'll also look whether its suitable to change the graph for Appropedia. Aldough most objections at wiki commons were hypocritical (main objection was the fact that I averaged out male/female graph despite that its only a guideline (PAL's change per person as their activity levels differ), and there always is some variation anyway, simply because people don't grow uniform, ...), I'm still not sure about how we best arrange the centre. Ie we could let them calculate the requirements per person using a formula, or alternatively, we could make a set of graphs so that the people in the centre simply read off the requirements from a graph. The latter however would require us to make a series of graphs (with varying PAL's and person heights).

The second idea is for a new another new article involving the taking advantage of local social hierarchies. Aldough again this may be a bit controversial, I do think that the technique may be useful to us in setting up projects (they could provide support, ...), ... and I believe that preserving the power structure may be the best option in certain cases, since the structure is already stabilised, and eliminating stability is never a good option. We should offcourse never support structures that are ethically incorrect (ie castes, ...) but certain local ethnic structures may be supported. In particular, there are eg still "kingdoms" in many parts of the world, aswell as local leaders and believes that may be used to our advantage, and which we could thus use in the intrest of our projects (which benefit the/an entire region). For example, I remember the example of Arthur Paes which demonstrated the concept (see http://www.somey.nl/pagina/king_somey/index.html ) There are also other means of tapping into the structure, ie in some countries such as Micronesia there still is matrilinear progression of power, ... and finally there are also cargo cults, ... (ie Vanuatu, ...). It's just an idea, but perhaps its useful to make an article about it.

KVDP 10:19, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Solar pyramid in pit

Hey Chris, it seems that you deleted File:Solar_pyramid_in_pit_concentrating_solar_plant_2.jpg . I only requested the deletion of the png-file though (see User_talk:KVDP#Appropriate_living_manual. Is it possible to undelete the file ? I'll still need to do a small image update, which I'll get started on once the file has been reinstated.

Thanks, KVDP 07:38, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry - done. --Chriswaterguy 08:33, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

No problem, thanks.
Cleaning up some more images and bringing them line with the prepositions from the admins over at commons, the File:Ship compartment purposes.jpg also needs removal; I swapped this with another image I recently uploaded.

PS: Is there a way to delete the images myself, rather than simply marking them for deletion with the db-self tag ? That way I don't need to bother you with this and things can go a bit quicker.

KVDP 09:51, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately no - don't worry, just add {{delete}} or any deletion tag, as long as it's a tag that includes the Category:Pages marked for deletion. Every few weeks at least, one of us will do a sweep and delete everything in the category. --Chriswaterguy 11:34, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Categorytree images

I added a new image for the energy category (looks a bit empty at the moment dough, perhaps I'll need to add a green arrow next to the yellow one?), in addition I also have following images which could be imbedded to (new?) categories:

KVDP 12:51, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

TTT diagram

Hey chris, just noticed that there isn't a TTT-diagram mentioned at steelmaking and the tempering of steel/iron isn't discussed, see http://www.appropedia.org/Talk:Production_of_iron_and_steel

KVDP 11:57, 9 July 2010 (UTC)


Another wiki with whom we may merge: OS Ecology: http://www.openfarmtech.org/index.php/Main_Page They seem to have more info on farming and automating farm vehicles. KVDP 06:54, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes - actually we've made this suggestion, and our friend Vinay Gupta has urged Marcin from openfarmtech in this direction. They are thinking about it, and maybe it will happen one day, but for now they are at least making their information available as public domain, IIRC, so we can reuse as we like. --Chriswaterguy 08:26, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Heaving read a recent intresting article in Time about the Gülen movement, I was wondering whether perhaps its wouldn't be intresting to contact them (especially as our main hubs are already schools and this seems to be working) ? Given that religion (Islam) is still a prominent feature in the schools, we could perhaps cooperate as ecology is important in Islam (aswell as in any other religion). IFEES, ... also shares this viewpoint. Also, the fact that they're one of the largest school networks around (aldough the schools aren't that connected, see time article) , and given that they operate in allof of developing countries also make them more valuable to Appropedia. Perhaps the only downside is that they do not (thoroughly) teach multiple religions, but then again for our purposes this isn't vital, and they probably already provide a liberal method of teaching Islam.

See http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1969290,00.html See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%BClen_movement See http://www.guleninstitute.org/

KVDP 07:10, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Methods of transport

--> moved this to Appropriate methods of transport

CCAT Website & Appropedia

Hey Chris,

I just finished the basic layout of the new CCAT website and I'm going to be working on getting actual content onto it over the next few weeks. As part of that process, I'm going to be moving a lot of old CCAT project pages to Appropedia and then linking to Category:CCAT from our site -- as opposed to the old way, where projects were haphazardly spread across some combination of Appropedia, the CCAT site, and external student websites. This should be a lot neater.

I'm also thinking of embedding certain project descriptions (for the most current and/or most popular projects, for example) on our site if I can figure out how to scrape Mediawiki text. The content will be attributed to AP, naturally, and the CCAT site itself is CC-BY licensed (but the AP content will additionally retain ShareAlike obligations since those are AP's terms). I assume this would be all right given the license, but let me know if I'm mistaken :)

One other thing I'm considering is having blog entries cross-/re-posted between the AP blog and the CCAT one whenever it makes sense, but I wanted to run that by both you and the CCAT Codirectors first.

Do you have any additional ideas of how we could make the two sites work together better for everyone?

Thank you! -Roger 18:30, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Sounds excellent, Roger.
I'll be interested to know if you find a way to scrape the text. Google has become smarter at finding the body of the text to use as snippets, and ignoring things like the site notice at the top of the page. Only one idea occurs to me, if you don't have a better way - using Special:Export you could download one or more categories, then do some search & replace with regular expressions to give you the first n characters or words from each article. A bit clunky perhaps.
Re the blog, we could agree on tags to use that would be cross-posted, so it could be automated or semi-automated.
I wonder about some navigation templates for CCAT on Appropedia - e.g. at the bottom of each CCAT article. A bit like how Wikipedia:United States Environmental Protection Agency there's a template (Wikipedia:Template:ES Government) which lays out the various departments, services and offices. In this case it could describe areas of focus, with highlighted projects for each.
Will let you know if I have more ideas - anyway, it's great work. --Chriswaterguy 00:50, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I'll let you know what I manage to accomplish :)
As for the navigation templates, I think certain articles and/or categories do have them on AP already. I'll include them when appropriate.
Thank you!
-Roger 00:57, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
We have the dependencies on Appropedia now to make Wikipedia-style {{Navbox}}W templates. The first example is {{Appropedia searches}}. We can have a navigation template corresponding to every significant category, or whatever groupings of articles make sense. See Categories, lists, and navigation boxes for a comparison of basic navigation methods on Wikipedia, which we can duplicate here. --Teratornis 22:46, 12 February 2011 (PST)

template stub

Someone moved the template stub to a http://www.appropedia.org/Summary_of_Malawi%27s_appropriate_technology -- and then edited it to death -- I am not sure how to put it back easily? Any ideas?--Fixer 18:35, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Hi Fixer,
Thanks for always being so true to your name. The best way would probably be to copy the content of the Malawi page, revert it back to the template content and then move (rename) the page back to where it belongs... then create a new Malawi page and paste the Malawi content in. I didn't do that. I just found the Template content from the history and copied that over the Template page which works fine, but doesn't preserve the history of the template page.
Thank you for your awesome help! --Lonny 20:35, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, both of you, for getting on top of this.
I think since the content of the template is very basic, we don't need to worry too much about the history. (Another more obsessive solution is to export, edit title in the xml, import, delete page and do a partial restoration of revisions... But we can save that for pages with more content and much more complex histories.) --Chriswaterguy 03:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
While I was there, I prettied it up a little. --Lonny 09:20, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Nice work! --Chriswaterguy 09:54, 9 September 2010 (UTC)



Finally, is there any progress on the logo ? I sent a message to Tressie a while ago, but I'm guessing she's no longer active. I had btw also had an idea about a mascotte (such as eg Tux with Linux), hereby opting for either the birdman (Tangata-Manu; http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangata_Manu; see http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/oceanic-mythology.php?deity=TANGATA-MANU&ds=N) or an equivalent I've seen in the Dresdener Codex (http://www.famsi.org/research/graz/dresdensis/img_page08.html third one at the top or http://www.famsi.org/research/graz/dresdensis/img_page02.html entirely at the bottom). Dough I had this idea for while now (a few years), I was reminded on it due to a NGC-documentary in the run-up to the 2012 movie. However, this idea is probably not usable for Appropedia, and also doesn't give a "positive" message. Perhaps I could use it for something else in the future.

I see what you're doing with the logo, and yours is certainly much clearer. I haven't heard from Tressie or anyone else, but I think many people like a design which is more for aesthetics, and less clear, rather than a diagram. The diagram can be used in another way.
Indeed, it could be used for some other purpose as well, maybe to accompany the text in the CategoryTree.
UPDATE found another useful logo, namely the image from the cover of the book "Deadly companions by Dorothy H. Crawford". Note that a Dresdener codec image seems less and less appealing; it appears that 2012 isn't the right date of the end of the world according to the Mayans, its 2200 (see wikipedia, edited text) UPDATE 2 --> I was thinking about whether we coudn't immediatelly make and image based on a 3D caracter; I was thinking about perhaps using a 3D image of Sony Pictures Animation as a basis (ie the Chicken Joe-coconut image; from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surf%27s_Up_(film) )
I'm not sure where we would use a chicken logo...? Relieved that the earth will not end in 2012 (just kidding). --Chriswaterguy 12:48, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Finally started and finished up on that birdman image, see http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Harbinger.png We (well I) can use it in regards to categorising the 3D models (don't ask, ... its complicated)

KVDP 12:20, 23 September 2010 (UTC)


Interesting thought about a mascot - I wonder what a suitable one might be?
I think I came upto something useful regarding the mascotte-idea; I was thinking about making a visual representation for "pollutors", "regular people" and non-pollutors". My first idea was to use something of a rabbits to represent non-pollutors, and S.W.I.N.E-like-pigs as pollutors (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.W.I.N.E. ). The rabbits can be based on the Duracell bunnies or the Rayman raving Rabbits bunnies (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVTo4y5e08k&feature=related and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayman_Raving_Rabbids). Duracell rabbits are thus made by PLEIX (http://www.vizworld.com/2009/09/duracell-ultra-bunnies-pleix/ )The pigs can also be based on the Certus-pigs (http://www.certus.be/filmpjes.php?clipje=3) and/or on BG&E Pey'J The pig should wear a high hat, probably of a (light) carmine red color, and with a black band (see http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:D69KlivolQD60M:http://www.chin.gc.ca/Parks/db_images/03-00079.jpg ,but higher and more sloped). For the "regular people" I was thinking about using an image a bit of a crossover between Oddworld's Abe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oddworld) and the Simpson's Moleman. The label can be "Muggles" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muggles). Image is best composed of all 3 mascottes next to each other, with the center one (muggle) having the arms stretched next to the body.

UPDATE: A alternative could be the use of a monkey (chimpansee) as the muggle image, and a monkey with a wrench (gibbon-like appearance) as the non-pollutor. For the pollutor, perhaps some monkey-features could also be added. This would present a form of evolution in the image (ie exterior images being an evolution of the center one), rather than forming a homogeneous group of caracters. KVDP 17:27, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Finished up on the monkey/persons images. See

The only thing that now needs to be done is to actually use them in projects (ie on children's education, ...) To determine the children to find to what group they belong, the eco footprint method can be used. I think to remember that a carbon footprint of 0 to 2 tons of CO²-equivalent = enlightened person, some 4 tons = oblivious person, and 6+ tons = destroying person. BTW: we could also mail the groups behind the eco footprints-stuff and ask them whether they are intrested in using the images.

Interesting... I feel that this could be a project for a children's education or activist oriented site. What do you think? --Chriswaterguy 03:16, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Presumably that is tons (or tonnes) of CO2eW per year. According to TerraPass, one round-trip flight from Sydney, Australia to Cincinnati, Ohio, US spews 7,749 lbs CO2, which gets a person more than halfway to being a "destroying person" by itself. That's before we add in emissions for food, housing, other transport, and everything else a person consumes. Since we aren't likely to stop eating, it's hard to squeeze in much flying under the 2 tons annual limit for an enlightened person. Not without a convincing carbon offset strategy. --Teratornis 16:05, 3 March 2011 (PST)
Great - numbers! All the fluffy, shallow green talk in the media, schools and elsewhere is pointless until start to look at numbers. --Chriswaterguy 16:59, 3 March 2011 (PST)

(undent) Without numbers it is impossible to know whether we are doing net good. For example, if someone flies from the US to Africa to set up a rural biochar project - how much biochar do they need to sequester just to offset their flight? Of course TerraPass should not report this number with four significant figures, when it's really a range of values spanning at least a factor of two or possibly more. Variables include:

  • Type of aircraft (newer models are more efficient than older ones; the year-to-year improvement is slow, but commercial aircraft can stay in service for four decades or more, so there can be considerable difference between the latest most efficient aircraft and old aircraft nearing the end of service. This also means that a downturn in air travel cuts emissions faster than passengers, since airlines will retire older less efficient aircraft first as they downsize their fleets. Similarly, a person's decision to stop flying will incrementally increase the retirement of old aircraft.)
  • Weather (wind direction and speed vary a lot at high altitude, e.g. the jet streamW).
  • Passenger load (lower load means more fuel per passenger, to move the fixed weight of the aircraft itself). However, if most passengers stay home, the lightly loaded aircraft will burn less fuel in total than it would burn with a full passenger load. Thus it's hard to know whether to count the load factor for or against the individual passenger.
  • Whether one agrees with the IPCC that "aviation’s total climate impact is some 2-4 times that of its direct CO2 emissions alone".W If that is true, then ground travel with the same fuel efficiency per passenger mile would have less climate impact.
  • Fuel source (oil from tar sands has about triple the carbon footprint for refining compared to the highest grades of sweet crude). However, since the refining emissions occur at ground level, the aviation multiplier does not apply to them, so they are additive rather than multiplicative.
  • Passenger class (first class passengers occupy a greater fraction of the airplane than coach class passengers, thus accounting for a higher share of overall emissions).
  • Passenger weight (heavier passengers and luggage cause the airplane to burn more fuel than light passengers).

The worst case would be something like a morbidly obese passenger flying first class on an old lightly loaded aircraft, against the jet stream, burning fuel from tar sands. If we throw in the IPCC's worst case estimate of aviation's total climate impact, the effective carbon footprint could be several times higher than the best case for the same flight. --Teratornis 23:54, 3 March 2011 (PST)

hey Chris, added some new suggestions for replacement images for some images at the category tree. See Appropedia_talk:Village_pump#Logo_change .Also, I added another new suggestion as a replacement of the Appropedia logo. If you like any of the suggestions, we can work on them. KVDP 11:49, 16 October 2010 (UTC)


Hello Chris, Had a quick look but couldn't easily figure out how categories and subs work. Was going to scrap vegetable oil fuel and replace with pure plant oil fuel. Vegetable suggests part of the plant is edible and pure to distinguish from biodiesel which is a plant oil based fuel. --Darren 00:23, 15 October 2010 (UTC)


Hey Chris, I was wondering whether you could make a quick template for use here and also on wikipedia (upload it there too). The explaination is found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requested_templates#Template:Google_Warehouse

I intially requested the template there, but since they don't seem to be working on it, I like to request it to you (or alternatively someone else at Appropedia). The template should include the direct link to the model, thus not just a link to the main google warehouse site. I think it will be quite useful to get some more audience to not only my project site, but also Appropedia itself, since it links from both wikipedia, and Google warehouse. KVDP 09:04, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Guide for arrivals in the developing world

Hi Chris, Just noticed your Guide for arrivals in the developing world article. Although an article could be useful for some general advice on how to start a development project, I think that the way on how you look at it seems a bit narrow; ie you state:

"You've just arrived in a less developed country or community. The language is different and the culture is different - not to mention the food. You came because you want to help, but where do you start?"

To travel to most developing countries, one can not simply "pack up and leave", and extensive planning actually needs to be done beforehand to allow any development project of having any chance to succeed. Offcourse some things can't be foreseen and one will need to assess the situation and needs locally, but things like vaccinations, learning the language, assessments on durability (ie how long can you stay with a visum, for how long do you have antimalaria pills, ...) definitly needs to be done in advance (atleast up to several months before departure). Regarding the malaria problem (other diseases ie yellow fever, ... can be resolved permanently by vaccination), one would also need to foresee a permanent solution (ie growing of Artemisia annua) given that it would be too costly (even for westerners) to continue taking pharmaceuticals.

I thought about making an article myself on this a while ago, but having found wikitravel back then (Travel Topics, the rest isn't that useful (mostly Lonely Planet-style "info")), I think that rather then spending time on writing everything out, it's best to simply refer to this and some wikipedia articles on etiquette, table manners, ...

Another last thing that isn't present is "when to fold" (when to cease trying to create a local development project). Some countries are simply way easier than others when trying to do a development project, and I think than rather than trying to force things and spend way more energy and money to get something started, and finally ending up with something you can't be satisfied with even if it does succeed (ie due to local social circumstances). Thus, it is then best to call it a day and try somewhere else, at another time, to avoid ending up like the frog of the story "The scorpion and the frog". For example, and this will be controversial, in some/most African countries, it's pretty hard to do any project for people of another skin tone, simply because people travelling from other countries are perceived as cash cows/Santa Claus', and are thus major targets (robbings, beatings, ... are frequent methods to obtain the "cash"). Thus, due to corruption it's hard to erect any project, and even if it succeeds, one can never truly be happy living and working there. I think that Ian Hislop said it best in "Ian Hislop's Age of Do-Gooders, when he spoke of Mary Honor Crowley, and concluded her misfortunes with "in the end, you can't help anyone that doesn't want to be helped".

Besides a single voyage to one African country, I can't really speak for other countries, but I suspect that this kind of situation would not occur in most Asian countries, not only due to the social indoctrination, but probably also because the financial situation isn't as severe as in African countries. Hence, perhaps that it's useful to add a "development index map" to the new article, or in a new article (ie there still isn't a Developing countries article. Perhaps other data maps that can assess this could be the "Gini coefficient " (devision of wealth in a country), and another map that could be useful is the "Corruption map" (see wikipedia on the issue).

KVDP 10:03, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

UPDATE --> I might have come on a bit strong in same paragraphs, the point I tried to make though was that there is a danger in painting an overoptimistic image of things. Often, development work is more like an uphill struggle than a walk in the park, and the article should reflect that idea.
In addition, I also wanted to express that durable development is a 2-way transfer. This goes, not only for the general working conditions/atmosphere (which need to be suitable for both parties), but also in regards to help from the people for any project, and adaption from the people towards the development worker (regarding customs) aswell as vice versa. The latter, especially in regards to only adhering to customs that are acceptable to both parties (ie some local customs, ie towards women, minority groups, ... are unacceptable to Western standards).

KVDP 12:03, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Hi KVDP, thanks for your comments.
Regarding the parts that are missing, certainly, it's just a start. I wanted to start, and hop that others would also contribute. I'm not clear that a Gini map is helpful on this page, but other ideas here are worth adding.
I think there's a place for something specific for aid & development workers, and the kinds of issues they face. Referring them to Wikitravel and other sites is appropriate, for certain types of info.
I agree the article must represent the struggles and the hard realities, as well as the joys and benefits when and if a project is successful; and should also give some very initial tips on what makes that difference, and point elsewhere for more learning (which it already does, to an extent). The fact that someone may just not be able to help in some places is part of the reality and deserves a mention; though an emphasis on "how to choose a location" will help to keep it positive.
Indeed, a section "how to choose a location" could keep things positive while still informing someone that helping is not always possible on each location. However, the name for the article you chose is "Guide for arrivals in the developing world", and it talks about (as mentioned above)
"You've just arrived in a less developed country or community. The language is different and the culture is different - not to mention the food. You came because you want to help, but where do you start?"
The idea here is that the article assumes there hasn't been any preperation done beforehand, nor any planning whatsoever. Thus, it's best to either change the article name to ie Executing a development project, and add sections regarding planning and preperation (at home, before arriving at a specific destination country). If the article is intented on how to make the best of backpacking trip, which ends up in some kind of attempt to do a development project, the article is best fitted with the earlier proposed section (which is more negative).

KVDP 12:55, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

2-way transfer - certainly. But as this is a guide for arrivals, I'm not sure about putting much emphasis on this, here. I'd be more keen to see ways to bring out the best in relationships with locals. --Chriswaterguy 15:50, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Again, I'm not sure how you would like to make the article; personally though, I would assume that there is more extensive planning beforehand (anything else usually winds up in failure, unless the backpacker is extremely capable and everything falls into place). In the latter case, we can and should assume that there is adaption by and for both parties, which facilitates things, and which, in my view is the only way a durable development can blossom.

KVDP 12:55, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Agreed that planning needs to be emphasized. The article needs work.
Can I change the name, or do you prefer another one ? The current name is too confusing tough (not really clear on what exactly the article is about)

KVDP 09:26, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Adaption by and for both parties - no harm in mentioning that. It's possible to go too far and adapt to things that should be stopped (including local versions of corruption, abuses and unhygenic practices) - it's a matter of having the judgement and knowledge to know when to go with the flow and when to take a stand.
UPDATE 3 -->

I just remembered that I allready made a similar article, in specific Appropriate_living_manual_TOC .In my view, there isn't any difference in arriving in a "less-developed country" as opposed to arriving in a "developed" country (in essence, I think people aren't really better equipped ie on regards to self-suffiency, skill, ... when you compare the 2). I can't get rid of the idea that this article is nonetheless somwhat different and appears to focus on the travel difficulties itself (ie language, vaccinations, visum, ...) rather than the development project. Once you rename and refocus the article, we could probably align the article and the manual better together (ie linking).

I think the challenges of going to a country which is both less developed and culturally "exotic", esp for the first time, is quite different. And it seems more exotic to us, since someone coming from Asia or Africa has usually been exposed to our culture and physical environment (in an admittedly distorted form) from childhood, through TV).

Chriswaterguy 10:33, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Offcourse there are challenges when embarking on a development project, or simply by going to a different country (ie for a trip). What I mean however, is that perception of both parties/cultural differences, ... do not play any role whatsoever. The main problems with starting a development project are structurally/technical in nature, and these are the same regardless on where you start the project. If you simply intent to visit a different country however, cultural differences (ie local language, history of the country, ...) will play a bigger role.

KVDP 09:26, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Hi Chris I just saw that one of my articles at wikiversity is up for deletion, given that it's somewhere on the line of the issues above, I was thinking we could move the article here ? It's not yet a good article, but I guess we can make better and integrate it suitably. See http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Cheap_independent_travel

KVDP 03:40, 1 March 2011 (PST)

I also added the Category:How tos; appearantly this is a pretty large category, falling right under "Fundamental". I'm wondering whether perhaps I can get started on a category rearrangement proposal, perhaps aided by wikisoftware allowing me to print out the current categories in a tree. That way, I could do most of the work by hand (pen & paper), and perhaps I can use wikisoftware to implement the changes, without typing everything over. I find the current categories very confusing and a hindrence to the making of new article/the expansion of Appropedia. Once we have the proposal, we can discuss it, and perhaps we can use bots to automatically change a one category name to another (so we don't need to go over everything one by one). User:KVDP 16:35, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

What do you mean by wikisoftware?
I don't really know what's possible under mediawiki software, but there should probably atleast be something that allows to automate most of the work of the categorising; ie I assume a bot can change the articles by swapping a Category:CategoryName1 by eg Category:CategoryName2, ... I don't mind studying a printed categorytree with all the categories in appropedia and simplifying it down to a more suitable, understandble/usable categorytree. However, I'm not really looking forward to changing all of the articles (Categorynames) by hand.

KVDP 09:26, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Agreed that categories need more work - there are some tools to make finding and adding categories easier, e.g. HotCat, but it will take work to apply them on Appropedia. --Chriswaterguy 10:33, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Business category

Hi Chris, Having been working on a few articles regarding manufacturing, I made the category:Manufacturing ,and placed that under Category:Business of the CategoryTree (although I'm not sure whether "Employment" wouldn't of been a more logical division). Nonetheless, there also seems to be a category:DIY (placed this too under Business for now), that contains allot of articles and that appearantly hasn't been taken appart yet, I think it's probably best to place each article under category:Manufacturing ,and remove the DIY category/article, ...

Finally, there seems to be an article that contains useful info, yet isn't exactly available: see http://www.appropedia.org/index.php?title=Special:Search&search=glass+making+%26+coloring&go=Go It redirects to "Making", but from the search, it appearantly contained other information. Not sure whether the original article (made in 2006) is retrievable.

I'm also wondering about glassmaking, I'm recently reading up on it, but given that the production requires allot of energy, specialised equipment, ... I'm not sure whether it is possible in a appropriate context. I'm thinking it's better to advocate only plastic production, and use this ie for windows, greenhouses, ... KVDP 14:30, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

DIY is a popular term, and refers to the household level... I think "manufacturing" usually indicates business level production, even if only small scale.
Yes, but DIY can mean allot of things, including repair (ie of plumbing, ...), and making small things (ie furniture) that is unsuitable to automated/small scale or large scale production. In the Do-it-yourself article there are allot of articles that can be auomated/set up in small-scale production plants, so I would nonetheless pull these apart and reorganise them in the Category:manufacturing. We could preserve a DIY category for the more artistic projects (ie plumbing repair, furniture, ... as described above)

KVDP 12:24, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm really not sure... you could try the Village Pump. I'd want to see some support before making such a significant category change. --Chriswaterguy 11:34, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm reluctant to post small article sections at village pump, since you told me that others get a notification mail everytime I add something. I think though that the organising of the CategoryTree is something that would actually need to be undertaken face to face on a table. That way, we can evaluate which categories are allready made, and how the reorganisation should happen (via CategoryTree and Category:Stubs) To a certain extent, I stick to what I stated at the village pump (#Site reorganisation), but offcourse there would also need to be allot subsections made, ... Also, we should look on how we can alter the current main categories; ie I allready discussed that some are best pulled apart, ie "Health and Safety", ... but as you stated, this offcourse winds up in more categories and showing these on a single screen can be difficult. Hence it would be best that such issues are discussed face to face (using printed pages and old-skool pen and paper; too my weapon of choice ;) ). I think though that the best possible categorisation is probably better handled sooner than later, since more articles are added everyday and this issue will be exponentially more difficult later-on.

KVDP 13:13, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

The article had a forbidden character in the title, so I exported, edited the title, and reimported as Making and coloring glass. Thanks for finding that so I could fix it. I think I've found and fixed all but one now, and I'll fix that soon.
I think plastic and glass both benefit from economies of scale, and local manufacturing might involve doing things with those materials... though I think similar to what you say, that plastic is often more appropriate. It will be even more appropriate as hardy bioplastics become available and affordable, so they can last for years in use, but not centuries as rubbish. In the meantime, long-life plastics might be more appropriate - they last longer, but on the other hand, they use much more mass of plastic. Perhaps studies have been done comparing them, and I'm sure it depends on context, care taken, and which kind of plastic. --Chriswaterguy 17:03, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the appropriateness of using of both plastic and glass: Yes and no. I think that for ie windows, plastics are best always used, for other uses (ie bottles, wecking jars, ...) glass may be useful too. In the latter case though, I wonder whether ie ceramics aren't a better alternative, the only disadvantage of these being that they are not transparent. But on the other hand, transparency here can simply be a gimmick; a good bottle/jar design (ie one that can be cleaned totally on the inside) might be more important here.
Regarding the types of plastics; I think I allready described these in the Plastics recovery manual, and basically, the more durable ones do not require more "mass of plastic"; rather they are just different types (other molecular structure). Similar to how malleable metal and hard metal are different, the atoms are simply arranged better, and are able to withstand more, it does not require more material. However, in a appropriate context, we would actually make plastics from plastic waste material, so we don't get to choose which type we want; hence if it is a softer plastic, we'll probably need to increase the thickness.
-->UPDATE checked the types of plastic, allot of commont types have indeed been mentioned allready in the manual. However, there do seem to be still other types, of which most if not all are mentioned at this wikipedia entry
Finally, regarding bioplastics and the environmental friendliness of regular plastics: bioplastics do degrade but then again also last allot less long, so actually with good use, non-bioplastics may be more appropriate (but not more sustainable since the plastics need to be burned if completely worn down). Although it thus still generates emissions, burning them still doesn't create that much emissions (atleast not compared to other materials; ie life cycle analysis), and in most cases, we just remelt them (which doesn't generate any emissions if I'm correct). So the basic thing we should focus on is reuse of waste plastics, an then optimal use of the regular plastics, and no littering.

KVDP 12:25, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Hmmm... a few assumptions here - some of which may be correct, but they need analysis, and a weighing of different options and viewpoints. In general a wiki page shouldn't advocate, but inform. When the information (balanced, NPOV, scientific) leads someone in a certain direction, then hopefully it's the facts themselves doing the "advocating." Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 11:34, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Re burning plastics: undesirable as it releases toxins. People burn trash regularly in Jakarta due to lack of effective garbage collection, and the smell of burning plastic is terrible. Even more problematic, perhaps, is the unburnt plastic that enters waterways, causes floods and harms water ecosystems. Re "no littering" - this is an enormous task, and as a species we're not doing well at it. My opinion of human psychology is that it's unnatural for most people to take a lot of care with details like this. Look at very traditional practices and other creatures and you'll see that "waste" is not actively collected, but falls and is processed by the ecosystem; and in practice, we're not getting closer to this "no litter" ideal, at least nowhere near fast enough. Far more promising to use materials which are fundamentally harmless. --Chriswaterguy 11:44, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Your edit to a spammed page

I was looking through Special:UncategorizedPages which led me to Acid Value which was informative in its first revision, but then User: spammed it. The latest edit appears to be a null edit by you, but you seem to have left the spam. I can understand your edit comment, but I don't understand leaving the spam. Special:Contributions/ shows some more spammed pages. --Teratornis 08:31, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for spotting that - replying on your talk page. --Chriswaterguy 11:06, 4 January 2011 (UTC)



I was wondering if there's anything technical I can help out with. I'm a CS major and I've done some tinkering with mediawiki before, though not specifically with bots. Is there a list of technical things that need to be done somewhere?

Tahnok 17:35, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Appropedia:Site development/priorities looks like a place to start, while you're waiting for definitive answers from Chris. --Teratornis 04:16, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I've replied on Tahnok's talk page, but that is indeed a good place to start - thanks for the reminder. (One thing we need to do is organize our to-dos... which we'll be much more motivated to do with help from good tech people including Tahnok.) . --Chriswaterguy 22:00, 6 January 2011 (PST)
Appropedia might have enough project and help pages to justify an Editor's index to Appropedia, separate from an index of Appropedia's article content. I'm mulling that over in my notes. From what I've seen, it seems the Appropedia inner circle wants to have a stand-alone set of project and help pages, to minimize referrals to Wikipedia's internal documentation. Vibrant non-Wikimedia wikis like Wowpedia maintain their own fairly comprehensive help systems (but check out Wowpedia's to-do list - sound familiar?). It's kind of alarming to see all the brainpower being squandered on game wikis. In the meantime, the Keeling Curve keeps ticking up. We may render the biosphere inhospitable to humans, but at least we'll know all about computer games. Imagine if everyone who had a technical interest would apply it to figuring out how to stop burning fossil fuels. --Teratornis 21:39, 17 January 2011 (PST)
Editor's index sounds good. Re our project pages, I've done a lot of the work there, partly as a way of thinking things through and putting forward a suggested way forward. I feel uneasy with adopting a policy and running with it without an open discussion about it, but if I've made a project page, I feel that it's then a negotiable thing - anyone who doesn't like it can see the reasoning, and edit or comment there as they wish. I don't know if people actually read that stuff though. (There have been a few page views, so I guess some have.)
I'd love to see people get engaged and stay engaged. The reality is about getting and keeping people's attention, and giving people some kind of good feeling... television is great at doing that, but doesn't achieve much for the planet. Developing the community and conversations might help, so I'm keen for us to get our forum set up (very soon now), and a newsletter at some point.
Of course I could get into human nature, but I'll be happy just to engage with the kinds of people who are interested in these things. Even there we need to do something to keep them engaged, I think. --Chriswaterguy 06:36, 18 January 2011 (PST)

Soft redirects

I added some supporting pages for the {{Soft redirect}} template you created:

The guideline page is stubby at the moment. Feel free to expand it. I hope this wasn't too aggressive. I've been going through Special:UncategorizedPages and trying to categorize everything. That led me to the soft redirect page you created, so I thought it would be appropriate to duplicate the machinery from Wikipedia for soft redirects. This might seem like overkill, but going forward it will keep track of the soft redirects, and avoid creating new ones as uncategorized pages. --Teratornis 23:27, 16 January 2011 (PST)

Thanks - I knew it could do with more work, but wasn't sure about how far might be overkill, and it would have taken a while to figure out what all the code did. I knew you were working on this, so I'm happy to let you take the lead. Looks good, thanks! --Chriswaterguy 20:15, 17 January 2011 (PST)
The working principle on Wikipedia seems to be "There's no such thing as overkill." I think the incredibly elaborate infrastructure there has played a key role in enabling Wikipedia to grow to enormous size without breaking down. But it raises the difficult issue of deciding how much of the infrastructure to duplicate when setting up another wiki. My thinking is to duplicate as much as I might personally use, and then some. Making a wiki comfortable for editors who have a lot of experience on Wikipedia would be a good strategy in light of the Pareto principle.W Not only do readers outnumber editors on a wiki by two or more orders of magnitude, but casual or occasional editors outnumber the handful of nerdcore editors who understand and maintain a wiki's coherency. If there are even a few experienced Wikipedia editors looking for alternative outletsW (to circumvent Wikipedia's self-imposed content limitationsW), you want to attract them to your wiki. They will arrive already knowing a lot about how the world's most successful wiki works. If they see that another wiki is missing most of the features they took for granted on Wikipedia, they might continue searching until they find a wiki more conducive to productive editing as they have learned it. This is one reason I would be cautious about departing from Wikipedia's norms in other ways, such as by using the talk pages of project pages as discussion pages. Someone who has gotten used to the idea of, for example, Wikipedia's Village pumpW being a set of project pages that work like talk pages, while also having their own talk pagesW where editors can have meta-discussions about the Village pump itself, might be somewhat perplexed to see that on Appropedia, the corresponding project pages are redirects to their talk pages. Not that I'm suggesting any change to the custom here, just pointing out that I don't understand it. (The other reason to be cautious about departing from Wikipedia norms is that almost everything on Wikipedia resulted from long, intense debate. Before assuming I had a better idea about how to organize something, I would first want to make sure I was fully aware of why Wikipedia wasn't doing it my way.) --Teratornis 21:05, 17 January 2011 (PST)
If I'm getting too preachy just let me know. --Teratornis 21:07, 17 January 2011 (PST)

Red links

While roaming around Appropedia I saw Red links, which looks like it should be in the Appropedia: namespace rather than in article space. By analogy with Wikipedia:Project:Red link, I think it would be more comfortable at Appropedia:Red link (or the plural if you prefer). Since you created the page, I'd guess you had a reason to create it as an article. I was thinking about shortcutting it as A:RED but I'd only do that if it was in the project namespace (since the A: shortcut prefix should aim at the Appropedia: namespace). Let me know if you are OK with me moving the page and re-targeting all the redirects to it. --Teratornis 10:30, 18 January 2011 (PST)

I remember thinking about it and weighing it up, but can't remember my reasoning. Feel free to move it.
Re the shortcuts, I've got an outstanding request to make "A:" into an alias for "Appropedia:" (which requires editing the LocalSettings file, i.e. server access). Hoping that will be applied very soon. You can make shortcuts, but later I can move them all to "Appropedia:" with my bot.
I can fix all double redirects on the wiki, too (extremely easy with bot). Just ping me any time and I'll run it. --Chriswaterguy 01:41, 19 January 2011 (PST)
I found some other pages in article space that might also need to be project pages. I'll look at that later. I might play around with $wgNamespaceAliases on my offline wiki to see how that works. I wasn't aware of exactly what would happen to pre-existing pages whose names begin with a pseudo-namespace prefix after that prefix becomes an alias to a namespace. (Thinking about that kind of makes my head hurt.) For now I will port some templates because Lonny enabled subpages in the Template: namespace, which should let Wikipedia's complex templates work. --Teratornis 01:16, 20 January 2011 (PST)
I'm cool with all those pages being moved.
Don't worry too much about what'll happen with the "A:" pages :-). I think it'll be easy-ish to move them all by bot, which of course will create redirects in the same spot, which I can delete by bot. Deletion just makes Special:Allpages a little tidier - not really a big deal.
Glad to hear about subpages - and thanks for taking a lead with this! --Chriswaterguy 00:35, 21 January 2011 (PST)
LocalSettings should be updated, thanks to Lonny - possibly by the time you read this. Check. --Chriswaterguy 01:01, 21 January 2011 (PST)
Do the red links that many of the A:-prefix shortcuts have become mean you ran into a problem? --Teratornis 16:46, 21 January 2011 (PST)
Yes. I have all the commands set up to fix things, but I need to get Lonny online at the same time. I need to turn off the alias for about 10 min while I run the bot commands. Could be a few days, sorry - I'll be traveling. Catchya. --Chriswaterguy 17:49, 21 January 2011 (PST)
Thanks for the update. Given that the environmental crisis will probably take at least a century to solve, a few days shouldn't matter.W Have a safe trip. --Teratornis 19:11, 21 January 2011 (PST)

(undent) The A:-prefix shortcuts are still broken. Do you have any schedule for fixing them? --Teratornis 00:45, 19 February 2011 (PST)

If you don't have time to do this, it's no problem. I can assign the interns to fix the shortcuts manually, as part of a larger maintenance task (e.g. adding shortcuts to all project and help pages that lack them, as well as adding shortcuts to key sections that we allude to frequently in edit summaries.W) The interns will learn from the repetitive nature of the exercise - repairing several dozen broken shortcuts will teach them the structure of a shortcut. --Teratornis 12:45, 20 February 2011 (PST)
I am pretty sure Chris is on this. He had us temporarily remove the alias about 6 hours ago... I think it will be back on today. Thanks, --Lonny 13:01, 20 February 2011 (PST)
Thanks Lonny.
Teratornis, the troublesome pages have been moved/deleted (changes) and the "A:" alias should be turned on shortly. Sorry for the delay, and thanks for the reminder. --Chriswaterguy 15:42, 20 February 2011 (PST)
Thanks. --Teratornis 16:10, 20 February 2011 (PST)
The alias is back on - everything should be working, so if anything's not right, let me know. --Chriswaterguy 17:03, 20 February 2011 (PST)

I'm gnoming

While tidying up shortcuts, I came across Appropedia:Gnome tasks#Shortcuts for Appropedia namespace pages which had earlier suggested some of the tasks I was just then doing. Great minds think alike, which helps when one great mind doesn't read what the other great mind wrote earlier. The Index of Appropedia is going to help with that, I think. --Teratornis 23:51, 18 January 2011 (PST)

 :-) Indeed! I'm sure I've created a lot of duplication, and I lose track of pages and notes I've made, & your work is really helpful. I'd forgotten about that particular task - I think the alias (mentioned above) will help, so, say for page Appropedia:Foo, there only needs to be a redirect at "Appropedia:F", not "A:F". But yes, will be nice to have a well-organized project space! --Chriswaterguy 07:01, 19 January 2011 (PST)

re: Black Soldier Fly

Yes, these are truly amazing. You must listen to the Agroinnovations podcasts where the BSFblog guy was a guest. BSFs are much more versatile than worms, but have a more complicated life cycle. This is the main impediment to implementation. The yuck factor is easily overcome once people realize all the benefits of BSFs. I have had contact with Paul Olivier who has done a lot of academic work on BSFs. He is now in Vietnam, I have linked to his company on the BSF page I made here. —The preceding comment was added by Rasmus (talkcontribs) 14:17, 21 January 2011

Recent Changes Camp Canberra 2011

Great to meet you, Chris. Hope I can learn more about Appropedia. Sincerely, James. Jtneill 01:08, 28 January 2011 (PST)

RCCx in Sydney

Chris, let's get in touch to organise the Sydney RCC!!! I'll contact you via skype! Jutta

Hey Chris, Not sure if you have my email. It would be good to communicate via email re RCCx. If you don't have my email, can you send me yours via skype? I am online most days. Quick update: I got in touch with previous Sydney WikiWednesday people and I am now looking for a suitable venue. I am also going to get in touch with the rest of the RCC people that are located in Sydney and see if they have any ideas for a good location.

Water purification and BodyDim

Hi Chris, I recently decided to give some articles at Appropedia an update after receiving a mail about the DIY water purifier schematic from someone. New articles made: Charcoal making,Low_cost_water_filtering, and Heating water. The last article is useful as it allows to eliminate SODIS in certain situations (SODIS is often used to reduce costs, however when using wooden containers, this problem is also solved).

I also updated Solar_Still; note though that http://www.appropedia.org/File:Still1.gif is still present, and I'm not sure whether the image should be kept as how it is now (I can colour it up a bit at first), however even then I'm not sure whether a box like that won't leak. Usually, batch heaters (cilinder-like) are used; I have a 3D model we could take an image from.

Something more pressing is regarding body dimensions (see my article at Appropriate_textile_production_manual_5 ). I think the numbers are a bit off (men/women's height is the same), and I was wondering whether you could open a program called BodyDim (see http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/download/bodydim.pdf )? Given that I don't work with Linux, I can't use it and we could use the values in the program to correct the values for the body dimensions. KVDP 07:51, 15 February 2011 (PST)

Finished up on this, see article. Will get started on the 3D model, after that we can use the model in our 3D models of other designs.

KVDP 05:19, 14 March 2011 (PDT)


It seems like I'm allready getting some help on improving my body dimension tables. I'll let you know if I still need the values from the program or not.

Also, I replied at Talk:Appropriate food preparation, storage, consumption utensils

KVDP 02:24, 17 February 2011 (PST)

UPDATE --> Reformulated text at article based on your recommendations, also made a new article (Industrialisation_of_local_food), removed Delete-template.
Re Media:Still1.gif - "however even then I'm not sure whether a box like that won't leak." Are you saying that this is your own design, which you have not built? If so, this must be clearly stated wherever it is used. If it's a speculative design, then it could be on a page marked as speculative.
No, look at the uploader, it's from Jaran Ellermeyer. As I understand it though, the box would probably be made DIY, hence probably from wood. However, at the seams it could probably leak easily, and if wood is used, the wood will probably soak up allot of water itself. I guess that if the box is made from plastic (using a mold), or if a plastic sheet is placed in, it will work OK.
KVDP 04:55, 24 February 2011 (PST)
Okay, thanks for explaining that ... we really need to get our forums up and running to discuss things like this. --Chriswaterguy 04:01, 25 February 2011 (PST)
I'd like us to be very careful that for topic pages we only show designs which very carefully replicate real-world, proven designs.
Thanks for your work - I'll look at those pages. --Chriswaterguy 17:33, 20 February 2011 (PST)

mauve links

Hi Chris:

At the top of the page, it says red links are invitations for people to contribute. But the words are in blue!

Red Links are red.

DOwenWilliams 19:43, 9 March 2011 (PST) David Williams

Yes, because the page about red links already exists... I was wondering if that would confuse people.
Is there a nice, brief way to make it clearer? I'll think about it more, and I'll ask people In Real Life if they find it confusing. --Chriswaterguy 19:47, 9 March 2011 (PST)

Air filtration

Hi Chris, I recall you asked for an article on Gas filtration ? (http://www.appropedia.org/User_talk:KVDP#Air_filtration ) Finished up on it. I didn't find any reference to the absorption however, I am assuming that there is a difference between gas and liquid filters, absorption may be present with the latter.

Cool - that's a good start!
Note that the Wikipedia article on adsorption starts with Not to be confused with absorption. It's another example of how confusing and crazy the English language is, that "absorption" and "adsorption" are one letter apart but have an important difference in meaning.
Adsorption in filters doesn't seem to be covered in Wikipedia - but there are some hits "filters+work" here

BTW, It seems that the current chain of events in NE-Japan have resparked the nuclear energy debate once more. I'm pleased to see that things are being looked at very objectively at Appropedia, by observing the causes in detail (Fukushima_I_nuclear_accidents#Causes). However, there is one thing you haven't mentioned: inheritly safe reactor types.

Ie in one of my previous [Appropedia_talk:Village_pump#Micro_nuclear_reactors posts], I mentioned the micro nuclear reactor idea. These made use of inheritly safe designs, some even didn't use water for cooling at all, so they also wouldn't need to be build near sea neither. Perhaps the only thing they do need is a system that prevents against earthquakes; this too can be solved, I mentioned one system that can protect against any earthquake, even upto strength 10.

KVDP 03:21, 17 March 2011 (PDT)

I followed the links - interesting! I'd never heard of the Toshiba 4S micro nuclear reactor, or anything else like that. These deserve a mention in the Appropedia article. I'd want to study them much further before commenting on their safety, though.
Whether something is "inherently safe" requires judgement and assumptions - assumptions that nothing has been forgotten in the design, and that nothing stupid or irresponsible will be done in the future. These judgements and assumptions can be wrong.
Something that is often taken too lightly: A series of safeguards can be put in place, but it's possible (though rare) for one failure to occur after the other, all the way to disaster - see this and this. So I'd want all that to be kept in mind when making assessments about the safety of nuclear power. The Beyond Zero Emissions approach seems much more positive and more risk-averse to me.
But as you note - Appropedia is a place for looking at it objectively. The risks (and the real potential for disastrous chains of events) must be noted, but there is no bias or foregone conclusion that a particular form of energy or technology is always good or bad. --Chriswaterguy 05:35, 17 March 2011 (PDT)
One issue with nuclear power is that the great mass of the general public is in no position to know whether a given nuclear power plant (for example the nearest plant to them) is safe. The public is generally not allowed into the premises to inspect the plant, the staff, and operations. Most people lack the necessary expertise anyway. So the general public simply has to trust the plant operators, and the government regulators, to maintain the highest standards without fail for the entire life cycle of the plant, from construction to decommissioning (a period of 60 or more years). During that time, the plant owners will be under constant pressure to cut corners to reduce costs. The regulators must resist all temptations to be corrupted by bribes, and must be shielded from any budget cuts or political interference that would reduce their ability to do their jobs, despite any administration changes or political shifts. Given the long life of nuclear reactors, some of the people responsible for maintaining constant adherence to the highest standards may not even be born yet. There is also the question of terrorism: we don't know whether future technological progress will favor the terrorist. There are already man-portable demolition devices capable of breaching a reactor containment (M150 Penetration Augmented Munition), and that is a reason why nuclear power plants require many heavily armed guards.
Beyond Zero Emissions' work sounds similar to that of Mark Z. Jacobson. See for example:
--Teratornis 23:30, 27 March 2011 (PDT)
Very, very, very important points (to be remembered during public discussion about the safety of nuclear power). I hope they find their way into an article here :-). --Chriswaterguy 06:40, 28 March 2011 (PDT)
See wikipedia:Nuclear power debate. It's hard to write similar articles on Appropedia since we are missing so much of the infrastructure, such as articles to define all the topic-specific jargon terms. We can't write just one article about nuclear power and expect it to make much sense, unless:
  • we link all the jargon terms to Wikipedia articles (which is ugly), or:
  • we also write articles for all the jargon terms, i.e. we gradually duplicate the entire subset of Wikipedia which relates in any way to any topic that Appropedia covers.
A problem with introducing this material on Wikipedia is that it often violates wikipedia:WP:SYNTH since it is hard to find a reliable source that supports every point one wants to make, no matter how seemingly obvious. For example, the M150 device can defeat reinforced concrete bunkers similar in construction to nuclear reactor containment buildings, but unless you can find a source that specifically discusses the use of that device on nuclear reactor containment buildings, someone could challenge that on Wikipedia as a synthesis to advance a position. On Appropedia we might be less strict about requiring sources, but as Appropedia gets bigger we could start to experience more disputes over content. Wikipedia makes disputes less common by requiring sources for every statement that someone challenges, which has the effect of sharply reducing what you can write on Wikipedia. --Teratornis 00:23, 29 March 2011 (PDT)
Regarding the nuclear reactors; another thing I recently read (and which after some searching on internet, seems capable of being used in small nuclear reactors ie SSTAR, see ) is thorium. I'm not sure whether it's better in regards to nuclear waste (using reprocessing the nuclear waste of plutonium/uranium can be pretty much completely cleaned up). However, certainly in regards to the weaponisation it seems allot better as it can't be used for making nuclear bombs (although I'm not sure whether perhaps dirty bombs could be still made of it). Then again, dirty bombs (not nuclear bombs) can also be made from any nuclear material and some waste material can simply be picked off from the road in allot of remote locations (ie floating under/on the sea in barrels after being dumped in the sea, waste material that simply fell off during transport to reactors, ...). I once saw some documentaries on the issue and things on this allready aren't pretty, not to mention allot of other (even much simpler) approaches terrorists could take on making allot of casualties (you really don't need an M150 or a small army and rob a working reactor). Regardless, I do think that with thorium, the issue on satefy regarding terrorism could be reduced (again as far as that's possible, since I don't think anyone would actually rob a working reactor at all). Also, since I'm mostly seeing the small reactors as for use in appropriate villages, and since the villages themselves would eliminate any breeding ground for terrorism at all (due to fair/good governance, increased wealth, ...) there shouldn't be an issue of insecurity/terrorism anywhere near the reactors' location.

The SSTAR reactor on thorium: http://www.thorium.tv/en/thorium_reactor/thorium_reactor_1.php The liquid fluoride molten salt reactor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor and http://energyfromthorium.com/

KVDP 07:28, 28 April 2011 (PDT)

Water purification and article changing

Hi Chris,

I don't have much time anymore before logging off today, but I wanted to inform you of some water purification methods using activated carbon. I placed links at the "external links" section of A simple water filter design and most important is the fact that the methods allow even portable low-cost systems and small-scale stationary systems. Note btw that the systems include more than just activated carbon, they include nano-technology; simple activated carbon wouldn't be sufficient. Finally, also note Electric cotton, another process (didn't include this at article)

Another thing I noticed, by searching my older articles for things I wrote about water purification in the past is that some of my original articles gotten "corrupted" by rewrites by others. I don't mind that others add info, ... but it seems that some of my articles get so changed, that the initial meaning of the articles and how I see things get changed/distorted.

For example: at Appropriate_living_for_one_person, rejoicingapathy (see http://www.appropedia.org/index.php?title=Appropriate_living_for_one_person&action=history ) has added ie the section "Animal_husbandry", whereas, I never advocated and even acted against the use of any animals in local food systems. See also a recent article I made: Growing_of_microorganisms (btw still need to add a word on incubators) I don't know what to do with the articles since some edits may have improved the article, yet others have definitly made it worse. I also don't know what we can do against this/monitor it.

User:KVDP 09:23, 21 March 2011 (PDT)

Re others editing articles, this is in the nature of wikis... if they've made it definitely less accurate and less helpful, that's a problem and needs to be addressed, but engaging with those different points of view is a positive thing. That includes finding the good points and removing the bad, & asking for input from other editors.
Re animal husbandry, I can understand your reaction, but what I'd really like is to see analysis (probably on a different topic page) of the use of animals in food systems (generally, and specific systems).
It's the issue of ownership - if it's a general topic page, then no one person owns it. It what makes a wiki both challenging and powerful.
Sorry I haven't had more time - I'm trying to focus on some intern/volunteer and funding work, and also doing my own personal cleanout (big giveaway of my stuff from a garage last night). --Chriswaterguy 19:24, 2 April 2011 (PDT)

Smart windows, etc.

Hi Chris:

I know you've already seen the little page I started yesterday called Smart windows. I hope people will find it useful.

I also made a stub for a page about Kim Øyhus, the inventor of the "SunValve" smart window. He has invented several things that would be useful in the developing world. I don't know many details, but I am hoping to persuade him to post them on that page.

He is Norwegian, and his name includes the "Ø" character that is on Norwegian and Danish keyboards, but not many others. For the benefit of people who can't type that letter, please arrange for "Kim Oyhus" to redirect to his page. Thanks.

DOwenWilliams 07:12, 26 March 2011 (PDT) David Williams

No problem - thanks for your contributions! I don't get to spend as much time reading and editing as I'd like, but I like to help with some quick categorizing & other small things where I can.
I'll make the Kim Oyhus redirect now - for future reference, I'll make a page at Appropedia:Redirects to explain how it's done :-). --Chriswaterguy 02:01, 27 March 2011 (PDT)
I had connection problems starting just after I wrote the message above - but it's done now. Thanks again. --Chriswaterguy 06:10, 28 March 2011 (PDT)
Thanks Chris. DOwenWilliams 07:21, 28 March 2011 (PDT) David Williams

Language fluency box templates for user pages

Hi Chris,

I've seen boxes on user pages on other wikis that describe the user's language fluency. I wanted to add one of those to User:Kili's page, and came to your page to grab the template. Surprise! Not there. How do you feel about these templates? I'm biased toward all multilingual folks jumping in with that, partly as a means to help build out our non-English connections, perhaps make us more welcoming? CurtB 09:19, 16 February 2011 (PST)

Sorry for the delay - this message somehow ended up on my user page instead of here and I didn't notice it. (MediaWiki usability issue - I'm sure the Wikimedia tech team are thinking about this.)
I like the templates - I've got them on my WP profile: wikipedia:User:Chriswaterguy.
I'm sure Teratornis has an opinion on this, and he's more handy with templates than I am. --Chriswaterguy 17:23, 30 March 2011 (PDT)
My opinion is that these templates frighten me, at first glance anyway. The implementations on the English Wikipedia and on Wikimedia Commons are complex, with deep stacks of dependencies, categories, etc., with the added complication that the templates for various languages display text in those languages. That might make it hard for any one person to port a comprehensive set of them. (So far, I have not attempted to port templates with multi-lingual features from Wikipedia or Commons, although I am aware that Appropedia intends to be multi-lingual and will probably back its way unintentionally into the need to deal with the resulting complexity.) As with any template porting challenge, the first decision is whether to do something quick and dirty (which generally dumps cleanup work onto future editors, much like dumping carbon dioxide into the air now creates problems for future generations), or bite the bullet and port Wikipedia's comprehensive solution which can scale smoothly to handle arbitrarily many languages. I'm not a big fan of quick and dirty (i.e. minimally abstracted), unless the intent is to keep Appropedia always small and dirty. If the intent is for Appropedia to grow in size and participation, it needs the structure to handle and facilitate such growth, which Wikipedia and Commons have already built and we may copy (with considerable effort, but probably less than the effort to stumble our way incrementally toward it as Wikipedia did the first time). "There's never time to do it right, but always time to do it over." I've added a note about these templates to my tasks page (U:TTASKS#Babel) and may look at them eventually. --Teratornis 13:01, 31 March 2011 (PDT)
I should clarify that fear alone does not deter me. I've done a lot of things on wikis that frightened me initially. But if I'm afraid at first, that usually means a particular problem will involve a lot of work. --Teratornis 15:25, 31 March 2011 (PDT)
I might add that Wikimedia Commons is multilingual on a single wiki. The various language Wikipedias focus (obviously) on their respective languages, whereas Commons tries to support every language on one wiki (although in practice it mostly English, with parallel copies of some pages in the major languages). On Commons there is some tricky template code for localizing the display of some things to the user's language preference. That might be a good model to study for making Appropedia multilingual. --Teratornis 22:00, 31 March 2011 (PDT)
Thanks for the comments. Based on past conversations with Curt & Lonny, I think we've assumed that we'd go to language subdomains (as Ekopedia has). So the single wiki is currently being used as an incubator for other languages, as well as an English language wiki.
My preference would be (1) to aim long term for separate subdomains, and (2) set a separate incubator soon, on its own subdomain for all non-English content.
The Wikimedia Commons model is interesting, though I suspect that works better when the emphasis is on media that is of interest to people of any language. I'm open to being convinced, though. --Chriswaterguy 02:39, 1 April 2011 (PDT)
I'd prefer subdomains (the Wikipedia model) for encyclopedic (i.e. article) content. We could have our own media file repository that would work like Commons - i.e., enable all the language Appropedias to share a common set of media files. Otherwise people would have to upload media files to every language subdomain they wanted to use them on. The model for our growth could be the same one Wikipedia used. Of course that would depend entirely on attracting a user community with the same depth of technical ability to set everything up. Note that even Wikipedia hasn't really gotten far beyond the handful of major languages. They have a long tail of small language Wikipedias that aren't very good yet. The Wikipedia community as a whole cannot help much with the small languages most participants don't know. I think that will change in the future as machine translation improves. --Teratornis 16:13, 1 April 2011 (PDT)
Agreed to all of that.
One reason I'm hoping to find someone (volunteer or modestly paid) to do a nice new skin for us is that I want a machine translation option on the page - e.g. see Wikiprogress.org, bottom right.--Chriswaterguy 16:24, 1 April 2011 (PDT)
Google Chrome has a machine translation option that works for every site in 52 languages. It is more efficient to put the option into the browser one time, than for millions of individual Web sites to redundantly invent that wheel. --Teratornis 09:29, 2 April 2011 (PDT)
Sure, for those who actually do it. I don't use Chrome (FF4 FTW!) but even assuming there's a Firefox extension, most people are going to remain unaware of it. Sometimes the inefficient way is more effective, for better or worse... --Chriswaterguy 17:35, 2 April 2011 (PDT)
Which of the following two things will happen first:
  • All major Web browsers copy Google Chrome's machine translation feature.
  • Appropedia displays its own machine translation link.
It could be nice to have our own link but if we procrastinate for a while we might not need it. I can think of some other problems on Appropedia that won't solve themselves. For example, persuading/educating everyone to follow the naming convention (in particular, the lowercase rule of wikipedia:WP:LOWERCASE, wikipedia:WP:CAPS, and wikipedia:WP:MOSHEAD, which a lot of pages on Appropedia violate). --Teratornis 22:19, 2 April 2011 (PDT)

Rocket box stove

Hi Chris thanks for being in contact and your input into the Rocket Box Stove page I created last week.

In answer to your question I worked for AIDG in Guatemala in 2009/ 2010 as a technical documentation intern. I produced Design Manuals and Fabrication Guides for several technologies. These resources have been published on AIDG.net but little has been done to publicise the existence. Therefore, Pete Hass of AIDG has suggested crating summary information on Appropedia with links to these docs on the AIDG.net site.

The Rocket Box Stove page is the first of these.

I would like to add photos to this page, but am waiting for AIDG to get back to me with the image files so this can be done.

Another issue I am trying to persuade Pete Hass to resolve is that some of the documents in question that appear to be downloadable on (aidg.net --> technical documents) do not actually download (often the Spanish versions.) If ultimately it is impossible to get AIDG to resolve this, would it be possible to upload the design manuals/ fabrication guides directly to an appropriate page on appropedia (the technologies are: the Rocket Box Stove, the Serpentine Solar Water Heater, and the ARTI Bio-Digester)?

I would be grateful for any tips/ info on how to tag/ categorise the Rocket Box Stove Page so that it comes up for Appropedia users looking for related info.

Thanks Ben Dana —The preceding comment was added by Ben Dana (talkcontribs) 11:38, 11 April 2011

Approtable class


Because the wikitable class is so blah!, one thing I did at Kivapedia was create a kivatable class that matched the site's color palette.

/* kivatable class for skinning normal tables */
table.kivatable {
 margin: 1em 1em 1em 0;
 background: #FCFFF5;
 border: 1px #A6BF73 solid;
 border-collapse: collapse;
table.kivatable th, table.kivatable td {
 border: 1px #A6BF73 solid;
 padding: 0.2em;
table.kivatable th {
 background: #D9ECB0;
 text-align: center;
table.kivatable caption {
 margin-left: inherit;
 margin-right: inherit;
 font-weight: bold;

It seems a stylized table palette would be a nice touch here too. I'm sure you have the details worked out somewhere, but if you want to see some other wikioptions, I made some samples and tool links at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:RichardF/Palettes

Regards, RichardF 19:10, 4 May 2011 (PDT)

I added some sample palettes at User:RichardF/Palettes. --RichardF 21:34, 7 May 2011 (PDT)
Thanks Richard - I'll look more closely when I'm back on a laptop (just have my phone for the next 3 days). Sounds good, tho. --Chriswaterguy 21:40, 7 May 2011 (PDT)

Okay, now the best view of all the stylized palettes and table layouts is on my main user page. --RichardF 18:11, 8 May 2011 (PDT)


Hi Chris, I made a schematic to aid in reforestation efforts (there's also some info in the image description), see File:World forest cover then and now.png I found that there's not yet any good info on the issue; I think that some articles at wikipedia on this could be taken over/modified (see Flexible Mechanisms, REDD, ...). Just wanted to let you know. Perhaps also useful is to mention use of wood as fuel (ie can be used in the steam motor model I'm working on, ...) Due to the rules in my own writings (juridical measures on climate change, ...) it can only be used in stationary applications, and preferably in ie converted fossil fuel power plants. The schematic is probably also of intrest in regards to urban planning (as allot of forest need to be made, and this will affect where housing can be created/need to be removed, also probably of intrest in regards to agriculture (ie combination planting/agroforestry, ...), changing of environment (supplying more water to locations, change in humidity, ...)

KVDP 01:31, 10 May 2011 (PDT)


Appropedia wordle constructed from the 5,000 most popular content page names

Hi Chris,

I've been trying to make sense of the content on Appropedia, and to be perfectly honest, it's been a challenge. I've been adding various things to my user page to help organize my thoughts, and I occasionally add something to the project. When I made a wordle of content page names, "solar" jumped out, so that gave me a clue about a major emphasis.

I also thought I would try to make a navbox or two to see how they worked around here. I made one simple and one fancy example to test the template. As it turned out, the template here couldn't handle child navboxes with multiple show/hide headers or subgroups. That really limits what can be made here, so I copied over the full-blown template from Wikipedia. That fixed the rendering problem. What I don't know is if I caused any new problems, for permissions or technically, because of that.

So, I'm fessing up and turning myself in. Take a look at the navboxes and let me know what you think. If the navbox template has to be reverted, I can simplify the solar one, but that also would limit future design options quite a bit. The solar navbox style of organizing articles also could be used as launching point for fancier contents navigation stuff, like at Wikipedia - Contents.

{{Appropriate living manual navbox}}

{{Solar navbox}}

{{Water navbox}}

Regards, RichardF 13:27, 13 May 2011 (PDT)

This navbox work is great! Clear, compact & useful. I wonder if the "topics" part of the first link should be delinked, (Solar topics) but that's minor.
I like the wordle - I tried to play with it, but Java isn't working on my borrowed computer. Will try again soon. --Chriswaterguy 08:22, 16 May 2011 (PDT)
Thanks. I changed the title links. I checked a big one on WP, and that's how they did it there too. I just took a first stab at what goes where. Now, some content experts can fix them up. --RichardF 10:02, 16 May 2011 (PDT)

Here's a handy navbox for collecting handy navboxes!  ;-)


--RichardF 12:11, 16 May 2011 (PDT)

Heh - nice one :) --Chriswaterguy 01:25, 17 May 2011 (PDT)


Check this out! ;-) --RichardF 19:55, 19 May 2011 (PDT)

Haha - I am a wikiholic, and it has been 30 minutes since my last edit...
Seriously though, that's a great idea for seeing who's active, who's new, as long as we remember not to put too much weight just on number of edits :).
Re the data, did you get that from Special:ActiveUsers? & the 5000 pagenames used in the original Wordle came from a url-hacked Special:PopularPages? Good way of using the data, anyway.
For active editors, I wonder if we could compare by amount of text added? RecentChanges entries include the number of bytes (I think) added or removed... e.g. your last edit to the Village Pump includes the text "Appropedia talk:Village pump‎; 08:47 . . (+374) . . RichardF " (emphasis added). Extracting that would be doable, but would need some data manipulation foo to add people's numbers together... I could do that on a spreadsheet, and someone with better spreadsheet skills could do it far more easily (i.e. by automatically separating out and adding the figures for each editor - I don't know how to do that). The Appropedia database holds 90 days of recentchanges... and that would let us look specifically at mainspace edits, too.
Sounds like I've given you a job to do, so I'll emphasize that this is just an idea if you're interested. --Chriswaterguy 01:35, 20 May 2011 (PDT)
Yes, yes you are. And no, I won't be your sponsor!!! ;-) You're right about where I got the data. As it turns out, I'm a highly skilled user of the copy and paste functions available on most modern computers these days. Throw in a "replace all" button on a word processing program and you basically know all my secrets to how I process sources information for other applications - wikis, spreadsheets and wordles included. I'll take a stab at a short and sweet wordle. Oh, here it is! ;-) The data is in the box. I picked the 500 most recent article space edits, plus or minus bytes, to make it. I will confess, however, I used Excel to format the numbers without the +/- signs, and a pivot table to add bytes up by editor.  :-)

--RichardF 06:38, 20 May 2011 (PDT)

If you know anyone who could be a sponsor, let me know. I'm going to start looking (after one more edit...)
Thanks, very cool... I wonder if we could automate or semi-automate that, to create new outputs (of data or even images) every n edits. I guess a macro in Excel could do all the fiddly stuff.
I've never learnt to use pivot tables, but I know they're handy. I won't ask for an explanation right now, as I already have too many distractions on my plate :).
That particular list might be a little trickier than some to automate with a macro because I'm not sure every line has the same layout. New pages might be slightly different. I used the " . . " parts to convert to tabs in word processing and then used them as delimeters to form columns in the spreadsheet. A little more word processing replace all cleanup and deleting unwanted columns got me to the basic columns. From there the final pivot table was literally just a few clicks away. --RichardF 08:45, 20 May 2011 (PDT)

Green living article

Hi, I thought I would try to port over the substance of the Wikipedia:Sustainable living article to the Green living article here. I have a draft at User:RichardF/Green living. Can you give me some tips I should keep in mind to minimize whatever kinds of trouble I'm likely to get into for doing this? ;-) --RichardF 20:36, 28 May 2011 (PDT)

Hehe. This is fantastic. For a non-content person, you're doing great content work here, and doing the rewrite in userspace is good. Very little needing comment, but:
  • Images: Of course it's also ok to use files from Wikipedia (i.e. from Commons), though changing the images in the article as you've done helps create a distinction, which is good. If you upload a new file (e.g. this one) be sure to include the source (you made that one I assume) and license.
  • I think that a lot of the more detailed info could be spun off into individual articles leaving just the very comprehensive structure and basic ideas for each area. That means a bit less duplication and easier maintenance. (Wikipedia can get away with more duplication than we can, with more editors.) That's a big job, but doesn't have to be done all at once. That's just my thought - I'm open to other ideas, and don't let that stop you.
Good stuff! --Chriswaterguy 00:11, 29 May 2011 (PDT)
Messing with other people's content is like taking notes. ;-) On images, I don't know how that works here with Commons. Do I have to copy files over or do they just show up from there?
My emerging view on here vs. Wikipedia is like the "General vs. Tools" sections on navboxes. For the most part, I'm thinking these articles should be WikipediaPlus - the original article plus projects and tools shown here. From that perspective I don't see cutting much content. I do like the idea of splitting content. To help with that, I upgraded {{Main}} to the big version that can handle up to 10 articles.
I'll probably also add {{W}} to all of the links and then decide which red ones here to keep as well. --RichardF 07:04, 29 May 2011 (PDT)
Commons images (or any other images) would have to be uploaded here. (On Wikipedia they can access Commons images directly... we don't have that option turned on, but may do in future.) But if you're uploading, hey, there's a world of choice... not to worry for now, but if you want to get into this down the track, try an advanced image search, choosing the bottom option for licensing. Double-check that it's open licensed, since Google often gets the license wrong.
Everything else sounds great! --Chriswaterguy 07:51, 29 May 2011 (PDT)

The Forum on Science and Innovation for Sustainable Development

Hi, are you familiar with The Forum on Science and Innovation for Sustainable Development? http://sustainabilityscience.org/

It seems to have a framework very much in line with Appropedia. http://sustainabilityscience.org/category.html

--RichardF 20:37, 6 June 2011 (PDT)

Hey, very interesting. This is giving me ideas - some of which would need serious coding work (separating out projects and how-tos within a topic category). But it's definitely a good reference point for our categorization. --Chriswaterguy 21:17, 6 June 2011 (PDT)

Their framework is an example of a faceted classification system I've been looking for in Appropedia. Their facets are Critical Sectors, Development Goals, Geographic Regions, Research Themes, and Geographic Scale. Any article could be coded by each of those facets. In Appropedia lingo, I would call those Fundamental categories.

If Appropedia reconsidered its fundamental categories to represent a framework similar to the Forum's, this wiki's overall contents navigation system could be updated and fleshed out.

  • The main facet and navigation bar still could be based on "Critical Sectors" (with addressing "Fundamental Human Needs" focused by "Development Goals").
  • The second facet, "Research (and Social) Themes" could be represented by "Appropriate Technology and Green Living, Plus.." These facets represent the "Tools" I highlighted in the sample navboxes.
  • The "Geographic Regions" and "Geographic Scale" facets help focus the context of particular needs and the tools to address them.

If you're interested in updating Appropedia's encyclopedic classifications system, I'm all for it and would be happy to help. --RichardF 06:21, 7 June 2011 (PDT)

I'm very interested... are you interested in explaining in some more detail, at A:VP, about how our categories would change? Thanks! --Chriswaterguy 20:14, 7 June 2011 (PDT)
Okay, I'll do some work in my own area first to see if I really have a clue what I'm talking about. If I find something worth sharing, I'll post it to A:VP.  ;-) --RichardF 05:27, 8 June 2011 (PDT)
GreenCheck.pngDoneDone : Fundamental category - faceted subcategories proposal :-) --RichardF 11:33, 10 June 2011 (PDT)


You may wish to see this sunnyBag project

Heliostats image

Hi Chris:

Someone put an image onto the Heliostats page a few days ago. Unfortunately, he did not include any explanation, and the image was far from self-explanatory. So I moved it to the discussion page, with a comment that if anyone wants to explain it, it should be put back onto the main page. So far, nobody has responded.

The poster did have a point, though. The Heliostats article would be much better with some good pictures. The Heliostat page on Wikipedia (much of which I also wrote) has a few images. Since they're in Wikipedia, they must be public domain. Maybe you could look into this, and if possible copy the first two images, at least, into the Heliostats page here.

How's it going?

DOwenWilliams 09:57, 12 June 2011 (PDT) David

Yes - if you click through the images on Wikipedia, you'll come to their description pages. They're all stored on Wikimedia Commons, and you can follow the link through to there. They can be saved from there and upload at Appropedia (link near bottom of left navbar). Always include the license and attribution (link is the most important thing, preferably to where the image is on Wikimedia Commons.
I'd be happy to help, but I'm behind in some work I need to do on our internships, and the hunt for funding. Are you ok to try the uploads, and let me know if you have any questions? Thanks.
Going well here - trying to grab a hold of the many opportunities out there. Keeping busy. Good to see you here - all well for you I hope? --Chriswaterguy 11:20, 12 June 2011 (PDT)

Appropriate technology Portal


Any interest in trying out some version of the Appropriate technology test Portal over here? -- RichardF 10:30, 27 June 2011 (PDT)

You have a message ...

at User_talk:GeoBard#Request_for_comment-_Water_resource_policyGeoBard 17:06, 3 July 2011 (PDT)

Appropedia Outline of water

I'm curious. Are you interested in working with your water buddies to develop an Outline of water? I keep trying to find a way to help readers and editors make sense of what's here.

Article ratings, indexes, lists, outlines, navboxes and trees

Ratings: Agriculture · Biology · Ecology · Energy · Egineering · Environment · Forestry · Health and fitness · International development · Medicine · Technology · Transport · Urban studies and planning · Water supply and sanitation

Indexes: Climate change · Conservation · Energy · Environmental · Forestry · Gardening · Health · Mechanical engineering · Soil-related · Solar energy · Structural engineering · Sustainability · Urban planning · Urban studies · Waste management

Lists: Environmental organisations · Environmental studies · Low-energy building techniques · Organic gardening and farming · Sustainable agriculture

Outlines: Agriculture · Design · Ecology · Energy · Energy development · Energy storage · Engineering · Environmental journalism · Forestry · Health · Nutrition · Sustainability · Technology · Transport · Water

Navboxes: Bioenergy · Electricity generation · Global warming · Solar energy · Sustainability · Wind power

Trees: Agriculture · Design · Energy · Energy storage · Engineering · Environment · Forestry · Health and safety · Nutrition · Sustainability · Technology · Appropriate technology · Transport · Water

This table might be useful for outline developers, and you seem to be as good as any other guinea pig.  ;-) --RichardF 14:51, 9 July 2011 (PDT)

Hi - sorry for the delay, just proving my point about people being easily distracted ;-). I did look at this, and browsed your userspace, but I'm wondering if you have an example of what you've got in mind by an outline? Basically just a list of key topics that we really need to cover in the water area? --Chriswaterguy 10:44, 14 July 2011 (PDT)
Ok, read the table more carefully... so you'd like me (& water friends) to develop something starting at User:RichardF/Outline of water - as in, deleting stuff that's less relevant here, and adding/expanding others? --Chriswaterguy 10:48, 14 July 2011 (PDT)
What I'm doing is making a suggestion by analogy. The outline at User:RichardF/Outline of water is what Wikipedia contributors consider to be the most important, high-level conceptual structure of articles related to water. So, if Appropedia does not equal Wikipedia, then what would an Appropedia outline of the most important, high-level conceptual structure of articles related to water look like? Whatever that is then can be used to better structure categories, portals, stub drives, etc., etc... --RichardF 11:03, 14 July 2011 (PDT)

Porting articles from Wikipedia

I saw some comments you made about Google penalizing sites for copying content from other sites. Does that have any bearing on whether or not I should port over articles, like Wikipedia:A Guide for the Perplexed? --RichardF 09:19, 13 July 2011 (PDT)

My suggestion would be, if copying something from Wikipedia improves Appropedia, then copy it and don't worry about what Google does (but see my comments about wrapper pages below - for generic background content not directly within Appropedia's remit, making a wrapper page that points to the Wikipedia article might be better than copying the article verbatim). The quality of Appropedia will determine, in the long run, how many views we get. We copy all sorts of templates from Wikipedia, sometimes without much modification. How much do we need Google's blessing anyway? I have to think that anyone who is seriously interested in appropriate technology and sustainability would be able to find Appropedia sooner or later, if we make ourselves a large enough target. (Someone who would only stumble across Appropedia from a random Google search probably isn't interested enough to make the level of personal commitment necessary to do something relevant to sustainability.) Wikipedia has thousands of articles on topics within Appropedia's remit, and often Wikipedia's content is better than ours. I think it is better to copy an article from Wikipedia than to leave a bunch of red links on Appropedia to the topic. I think active promotion via social filtering and recommending would beat casting a broad net via Google. For example, today on Facebook someone asked me to recommend some books on global warming. It would be nice if I could answer all such questions by linking to articles on Appropedia. But Appropedia is currently a long way from being the comprehensive knowledge base on all sustainability-related topics. --Teratornis 10:46, 13 July 2011 (PDT)
Okay, I'll see how "red" it looks over here, then decide what I want to do about it. As it turns out, Wikipedia:A Guide for the Perplexed, is a more comprehensive article than Wikipedia:Small Is Beautiful.  ;-) --RichardF 11:52, 13 July 2011 (PDT)
It's virtually all red. What's the rule-of-thumb on using {{w}} again? >;-o) --RichardF 11:58, 13 July 2011 (PDT)
Thanks Richard...My personal rule of thumb is that if it's relevant to Appropedia but there isn't likely to be an article here any time soon, then {{w}} is ideal (e.g. a not-so-big environmental lobby group, climate agreement or important thinker); if it's a bigger topic and there really should be an article on the topic here, link it (even if it's a redlink) and optionally add a {{w}}; if it's a minor point, something mentioned in passing and not particularly relevant to Appropedia in its own right, it probably doesn't need a link or a {{w}} (the reader is capable of doing their own Wikipedia or web search if they really want to know). --Chriswaterguy 12:11, 13 July 2011 (PDT)
Teratornis: "if copying something from Wikipedia improves Appropedia, then copy it" - agreed, that's the main benchmark.
"How much do we need Google's blessing anyway?" - most of our traffic comes from Google, by a long way. By the figures I've seen on Google Analytics lately, our traffic is down from its highs, and hasn't increased for a long time (over a year?) - but I don't want to focus on number so much. It's hard to say what proportion of contributors comes from Google, or what proportion of journalists or people who actually do something with what they find, but I'm thinking that some must come from there, so our search ranking deserves at least some attention, especially where it coincides with making quality content. A part of what we're offering is that people find something different here to what they'd find at Wikipedia.
My thoughts so far:
  • Pages containing Wikipedia content should be culled and expanded as appropriate, focusing on what's important re sustainability and development.
  • Related topics/content on Appropedia provide extra content ideas for those pages - this will often be the most interesting, and it's also good for search engines as it's unique content. A look at the relevant categories should give some ideas - e.g. a sentence or so about each of the articles in the categories (at least, any that seem
  • The beginning of the article is most important for readers, and I think it's most important for search engines too. So if any part of an article deserves attention, it's the first sentence, then the first paragraph, then the first two paragraphs. Adding to this part of the article, putting a different slant on it while not compromising on factual quality (even improving it) is the ideal place to start with such articles.
  • The rest of the article deserves attention too (including external links - these should probably be reduced in most cases, to just a few excellent quality links). This takes time, but a section at a time, on the bits where we feel inspired, goes a long way.
As an example, Urban agriculture - I've worked on this in the past, and culled and adapted it a lot, but I see that I left the beginning very close to the Wikipedia article, and not very inspiring: "Urban agriculture is the cultivation (and sometimes the processing and distribution) of food in or near villages, towns and cities.<ref>Bailkey, M., and J. Nasr. 2000. "From Brownfields to Greenfields: Producing food in North American cities," ''Community Food Security News'' 6.</ref> It can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agro-forestry and horticulture."
So just now I rewrote the intro, simplified some language to make it more readable, and added more info up-front about the benefits. It's not great, but I feel like it's a step closer to being an interesting and informative article.
Anyway, to the immediate question... I'd prefer to see at least some rewriting and additional research go into pages based on Wikipedia articles. E.g. mixing in content from other green wikis or more broadly from the web. Not copying the whole Wikipedia article in most cases - especially removing detailed history or biography sections that don't directly impact on sustainability. Not that biography or history are a problem - just that if we're going to copy content, I think it's best to stick to essentials.
Another thing that's going to help usability as well as search ranking is having lots of good wikilinks within Appropedia. I've been tuning up the A:Wikilink bot - it's a good feeling when I get it going and get so much wikilinking done, but I haven't made the time for it that I'd like, lately. Might manage to get some more geeky or semi-geeky wikignomes to help with that. --Chriswaterguy 12:11, 13 July 2011 (PDT)
We should be different from Wikipedia but even all the different stuff will still be loaded with jargon terms that refer to thousands of encyclopedic topics that Wikipedia has already covered (quite well in some cases). We would need tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of editor-hours to re-invent that very large wheel. The part of Appropedia that is different than Wikipedia would be far easier to write if we could just transparently build off what is already on Wikipedia. It would be nice if Google understood that. One workaround that I have used on a company wiki is to write what I call "wrapper pages" which are local pages with the same names as pages on Wikipedia. Sort of like a soft redirect, but also a place to expand on the local content. The idea is not to duplicate an entire Wikipedia article, or even necessarily to write a local article that stands on its own, but merely to define the term sufficiently for someone who is just looking for the definition. The wrapper page links to the Wikipedia article for anyone who wants complete coverage, and also acts like a local stub that users can expand in the future if they like. The benefits of wrapper pages:
  • They eliminate red links.
  • They are easy to create quickly.
  • They give enough information to satisfy users who just want a definition for a jargon term.
  • They link to Wikipedia for users who need more.
  • They are a handy place for people to summarize the Appropedia-specific uses of the term.
  • They can have their own category (Category:Wrapper pages if we decide to go that route).
  • Since they don't duplicate slabs of Wikipedia text, they might not damage our Google PageRank.
Re: Google Analytics - how do I see whatever you are alluding to? I don't know what to conclude from "most of our traffic comes from Google, by a long way." Does that mean if we duplicate more Wikipedia content, those people will not find us? I know in my own case, I use Google to get to Appropedia not become I need to, but because I'm lazy and it's often the easiest way since the Google search box is available in my browser at all times. If that method got PageRanked out of existence, I would get to Appropedia by some other way. Presumably the people we care about in the traffic from Google are people who are not aware of Appropedia already, and who would only find out about Appropedia by stumbling here from Google. I can't imagine a way to estimate their numbers with anything like accuracy. As far as who is going to build Appropedia, those would be people who are far beyond needing to find Appropedia accidentally on Google, I think. They already know about Appropedia and have spent enough time reading it to have bookmarked it or otherwise made it a regular stop, and our PageRank probably doesn't much affect them. --Teratornis 22:50, 13 July 2011 (PDT)
Wrapper pages would also be handy for filling out our help system. Currently there are lots of rules from Wikipedia that we tend to follow implicitly, but we don't have local copies of the Wikipedia manual pages (and their shortcuts) here for all of them yet. That makes writing descriptive edit summaries harder than necessary, since we don't have handy local shortcuts to link in the edit summaries to document the rules we applied in an edit. Instead we have to type something irritatingly long like wikipedia:WP:REFPUNCT to explain why we moved a reference to go after a comma or period (full stop) character, or wikipedia:WP:FOOTERS to explain why we rearranged the order of standard footer sections, or wikipedia:WP:MOSHEAD to explain why we changed the capitalization of a section heading, etc. On Wikipedia an experienced editor makes many purely formal edits and for each one there is an explanatory help page we should link from the wikipedia:WP:EDITSUMMARY to educate the newbies. Linking to shortcuts on Wikipedia is also harder to verify since interwiki links never show up as red links even if the destination page does not exist. It would be nicer to have a reasonably complete set of local shortcuts that coherently define a workable subset of the Wikipedia rules that our Wikipedia-indoctrinated editors tend to follow. (Maybe I am only talking about myself here.) --Teratornis 23:03, 13 July 2011 (PDT)
Can you show us an example of a wrapper page? What come to mind for me is the Iframe widget or what Microsoft SharePoint calls webparts. I use lots of those at work, including live views of trusted external sites. --RichardF 05:54, 14 July 2011 (PDT)
RichardF, I can see where "Wrapper" gives that impression, but if I understand Teratornis correctly, it's more like a stub page, but with a certain intention, reflected in (a) the wikipedia link for anyone who wants more info, and (b) being satisfied with a super-brief page that just provides a definition, at least to start with.
Quick response to Teratornis (it's late here): I really like the idea of wrapper pages.
I do find many WP help pages irritatingly long, but I understand why they're long. Briefer definitions or "wrapper" page here would help avoid the wall-of-text, "tl;dr" ("too long; didn't read") problem, keep people on Appropedia (never underestimate the ability of people to get distracted - and I include myself in that) and still link to the War and Peace version at Wikipedia for any remaining questions.
Re wrapper pages in mainspace - I love stubs , and this approach to creating short, helpful pages is a good one. Sometimes I set myself a goal of making a new page (using this wikimarkup template: Help:Creating a page#Topic page). I rarely manage it in less than 10 minutes, because it's so tempting to keep going beyond just a definition and essential points, but I think that could be a good exercise to go back to. Another example, from my time on Wikipedia - I helped save Wikipedia:UASB, a hard-to-read stub, from being merged to wastewater, simply by clarifying a sentence, adding a second sentence, and finding an excellent external link. Later, other users (in particular one very competent editor who is a water engineer) turned that stub into an excellent, detailed article. I'm as proud of that good stub as I am of anything else I've done on Wikipedia.
Maybe we could even do a jam session, getting online at the same time and creating as many wrapper pages as possible in a certain period. To go a step further, we could do this for an hour, have 10 minutes break, then have a second hour where we each pick an article and add references to other relevant Appropedia articles, maybe spending 10 minutes each for that phase. Events can be great for keeping interest and enthusiasm up, and this is an online, low-carbon event. What do you think?
Back to the topic... ah yes, Google Analytics. If you're interested in seeing the details, Lonny could give you access - or maybe he's got a recent Analytics report to look at. Lonny understands Analytics much more than I do. It actually tells you what search terms brought people to Appropedia, and from memory of the times I've looked, there was no significant proportion of searches using "Appropedia". (I'm sure you're not the only one who does that though. I do sometimes, though usually I use an address bar shortcut in Firefox - also possible in Opera - which I create by right-clicking the search box... so I just have to type "a foo" to look up foo in Appropedia.)
Whether or not those people are the ones who will edit Appropedia... maybe it's just 0.1% who do, but by having a greater profile, it's more likely that the keen contributors and doers will find us, directly or through someone else telling them. But this is semi-educated speculating - maybe you're right, and that's not a channel where contributors find us. I think it was Curt who mentioned the idea of a survey of contributors (e.g. on surveymonkey) & I think that would be useful. ::::::--Chriswaterguy 09:52, 14 July 2011 (PDT)
Chris, I'm going to keep bugging you about first, do the right things; then, do the right things well... ;-) It's seems to me like all the volume building activities would be more useful if they were somehow part of a grand plan. My current thinking is that if stub drives were based on Appropedia topical outlines, then at least they more likely would be "appropriate" stubs for Appropedia. Maybe it also would then be easier to decide what other pages would best be stored in wrappers. :-) --RichardF 10:30, 14 July 2011 (PDT)

[undent]: I've answered on my talk page re the water outline, and will get to work on that. Agreed that a big picture plan is important, and I appreciate other people pushing on this, as it's not my forte. Still keen on the volume-building activities, of course :-) - and yes, a context and structure for them will help a lot. --Chriswaterguy 11:43, 14 July 2011 (PDT)

"Wrapper" is unfortunately a word with multiple meanings in computer science. (There is for example a wikipedia:Template:Wrapper that is unrelated to what I mentioned above.) My use of the word "wrapper" may be somewhat misleading, because to many computer people it might imply wrapping some code around something so you can push it through something else without letting that something else "see" and act on that something. I'm talking about ordinary pages that just sit there and don't get processed by anything. What I'm calling a "wrapper" page might more properly be a "vicar" page (or perhaps a vicarious page), since the wrapper page is merely a local stand-in for a page on Wikipedia that is more complete, but the word "vicar" with its links to organized religion would probably be even more confusing. Basically a wrapper page is just a stub page that corresponds to an existing (and unlikely to be deleted) page on Wikipedia with the same title and subject. A wrapper page is distinct from stubs that do not correspond to Wikipedia articles (the latter kinds of stubs we create to request their expansion on Appropedia with fresh content). A wrapper page might stay small indefinitely, if there is nothing we particularly need to add beyond the lead summary and link to the Wikipedia article. I will make some notes in User:Teratornis/Tasks#Wrapper pages (U:TT#WRAP) to summarize this discussion. We could discuss further if necessary on Help talk:Wrapper page once I create that page (I have a Help:Wrapper page on a company wiki I can adapt for Appropedia, which answers at least some of the Five Ws (and one H)).
With regard to a wrapper page editing jam session, it might be an interesting idea for later, once we have a substantial number of people who understand wrapper pages. Initially, if I think of any wrapper pages I need to make, I'd rather make them when I think about them, rather than wait for some scheduled later time. It might be best to work asynchronously anyway (which is what wikis are fundamentally about), because that would reduce our chances of edit conflicts if two jammers try to make or expand the same wrapper page at the same time. Once we have reached a working consensus on how to make wrapper pages, we can start cutting down the backlog of red links in Special:WantedPages (we sure have a lot; &limit=5000 shows 5000 entries with no hint of where the bottom is). If a jam session motivates someone to help out, that's great. --Teratornis 12:41, 14 July 2011 (PDT)

Whether and how to distinguish wrapper pages from soft redirects

I started some notes in User:Teratornis/Tasks#Wrapper pages (U:TT#WRAP). On researching what's already here, I remembered that you (Chris) were already thinking similarly with soft redirects. A wrapper page basically combines the features of a dictionary entry, a soft redirect, and a stub, although unlike a real stub there is no suggestion that a wrapper page necessarily will ever expand into a real article. Some wrapper pages might remain wrapper pages indefinitely, unless perhaps the Appropedia community should someday grow to such enormous size that we have enough contributors who want to write thousands of background encyclopedic articles to support the articles that are primarily within Appropedia's remit.

I suppose the next challenge is to decide whether and how to distinguish wrapper pages from soft redirects. I'm thinking if there is a difference, it's that a soft redirect might be intentionally less informative. I.e., we wouldn't envision a soft redirect page accumulating local notes about how Appropedia uses a term. A wrapper page, in contrast, provides a direct path to grow into a quasi-article, although I wouldn't expect that to be common, at least not while Appropedia remains fairly small. In other words, I don't see wrapper pages conflicting with the pre-existing idea of soft redirects, because maybe the ideas are different enough. The primary function of a wrapper page is to eliminate a red link while still hopefully keeping most readers on Appropedia. I guess a soft redirect might be more of a suggestion to the reader to go look at the external page. What do you think? --Teratornis 08:34, 17 July 2011 (PDT)

In most cases the wrapper would be better - but the soft direct is good for cases where the topic is clearly outside Appropedia's scope.
I'm still thinking about the name, but otherwise I like everything about the "wrapper" approach. Do you want to propose a guideline & float it on A:VP?
As for the name, we can ask for input, and if wrapper's still the best, just make sure the explanation is prominent & clear. One option is a symbolic name like porthole or window - probably no more likely that someone will guess the right meaning, but less likely they'll guess the wrong one. Or crib? Both a form of concise notes & refs, & a place for a newborn article :). --Chriswaterguy 10:34, 17 July 2011 (PDT)
Chiming in, the closest analogies that comes to mind for me are "abstract," "synapsis" or "summary." I'm thinking something with literary connotations would help readers more than something with MIS or obscure connotatons. --RichardF 12:48, 17 July 2011 (PDT)
I agree with the distinction that a soft redirect is appropriate for topics clearly outside our scope. That should make sense to everybody.
I will make User:Teratornis/Wrapper page as a subpage rather than as Help:Wrapper page at first. When we decide the name we can move my subpage to the Help: or Project: namespace. I don't think we need to worry much about the particular name for the topic causing confusion, because all mentions of it (on the category page, and in the template to put on wrapper pages) will link to the help page. The name is only confusing if people refer to it without linking it, and then other users might see "naked" references to "wrapper page" (or whatever else we call it) and not understand it. I don't see how any name could avoid that problem, since people will not magically understand the concept from just one word. People will either read the help page, or they won't know what the word means in the way we are using it. --Teratornis 17:36, 18 July 2011 (PDT)
A name can go a long way to explaining something if it triggers existing memes. Note Alanna Shaikh's comment: "I suspect that an awful lot of our success is due to the fact that the name Change.org is easy to understand and sticks in your head with the tenacity of a Britney Spears song." :-). I like the idea of calling it a "something stub," as in most ways it functions as a stub, just with some different expectations. Even "wrapper stub" would be a bit clearer, or "porthole stub" to evoke the idea of getting a limited view of a different site.
Is there anything structurally different about these, compared to standard stubs? I'm guessing that rather than just a Wikipedia interwiki link among the links, there'd be a notice, (called, say, {{wrapper stub}}) pointing to Wikipedia and briefly explaining the purpose of wrapper stubs.
Btw, we could semi-automate the creation of these pages, by doing a Special:Import of a list of pages, but doing editing the xml file to (using regex) to leave only the first x sentences, add templates ({{wrapper stub}} and {{copyedit|Semi-automated stub creation - please tidy,fix the categories and check that it makes sense.}}) and make any other changes we want. That would make for very rough stubs, but it would be a quick way of creating a lot of these pages. --Chriswaterguy 11:54, 26 July 2011 (PDT)

Only too much is enough!

Can you find all the links to Portal:Green living in the MediaWiki:Sitenotice navbar?  ;-) --RichardF 08:03, 19 July 2011 (PDT)

D'oh, added the wrong link... fixed now. Thanks for picking it up! --Chriswaterguy 08:25, 19 July 2011 (PDT)
Oh, just one more thing... Would you mind changing Category:Water to Portal:Water?  :-) --RichardF 09:53, 19 July 2011 (PDT)
NP :-) --Chriswaterguy 10:44, 19 July 2011 (PDT)

How about changing MediaWiki:Sitenotice from Category:Construction and materials to Portal:Construction and materials? :-) --RichardF 09:55, 21 July 2011 (PDT)

Done, thank you. --Chriswaterguy 11:07, 21 July 2011 (PDT)
Thanks. In case you haven't noticed my recent 500 edits or so, I also finally figured out the double-parameters for Appropedia:Highlighted Projects/Selected/Layout. ;-) --RichardF 12:33, 21 July 2011 (PDT)
I'm a bit lost, I confess - Teratornis probably understands it better than me. But I'm glad it's working! --Chriswaterguy 00:56, 22 July 2011 (PDT)
Me too!!!  ;-) The basic idea is that any portal can use a related project from the Appropedia Highlighted Projects archive list - Appropedia:Highlighted Projects/Selected or, if necessary include projects not highlighted site-wide, e.g., #12 at Portal:Food and agriculture/Selected project. The double-parameter (with double layout, e.g., Portal:Food and agriculture/Selected project/Layout, lets the ...Archive/Nominations link always go to the correct archive page, not just the original archive. Or at least, that's the idea!  :-) --RichardF 06:11, 22 July 2011 (PDT)
Ok, getting a bit clearer, & it's interesting. By double parameter, I take it you're referring to the "sub-sub-page" format with two slashes in the title? --Chriswaterguy 06:20, 22 July 2011 (PDT)
Not quite. It's like with all the fancy Wikipedia infobox templates that use arcane text parser functions to figure out when someone died!, e.g., {{Infobox person}}  ;-)
The double parameters are like when you add the archive link to a selected project sub-sub page,
{{Appropedia:Highlighted Projects/Selected/3|archive=Portal:Food and agriculture/Selected project}}
and that page sends it along
{{Appropedia:Highlighted Projects/Selected/Layout
|image  = Kivagreenhouse1 (45).jpg
|size   = 
|caption= Year round veggies in a homemade, just under the permitting limit, strawbale greenhouse.
|link   = Kiva's straw bale greenhouse
|title  = 
|archive={{{archive|Appropedia:Highlighted Projects/Selected}}}
to the layout page.
| width="33%"| <div style="text-align:left;">'''[[{{{archive|Appropedia:Highlighted Projects/Selected}}}|...Archive/Nominations]]'''</div>
--RichardF 06:58, 22 July 2011 (PDT)
Ah... well, I won't say "that's clear now" but at least it's a getting clearer :-). It'll sink in, given time.
If this isn't already documented somewhere (is this how Wikipedia portals work?) then your explanation above could be copied to a help page, as a start. --Chriswaterguy 07:59, 22 July 2011 (PDT)
Layout pages are quite common in Wikipedia portals. What's unique here is adding the extra "archive" parameter. I'll add some documentation "real soon now."  :-) --RichardF 09:12, 22 July 2011 (PDT)

Healthcare vs. Health and Safety

Should Portal:Healthcare be renamed back to Portal:Health and Safety? I'd rather not make lots of subpages under the "wrong" name. It seems to me the portal should follow the broader topic. --RichardF 17:00, 19 July 2011 (PDT)

Agreed, and done. --Chriswaterguy 21:39, 19 July 2011 (PDT)
Thanks! That should just about take care of any further changes needed anywhere on Appropedia (don't forget the sidebar redirect), at least until the U.S. raises its debt ceiling!!!  ;-) --RichardF 05:24, 20 July 2011 (PDT)

Food and agriculture

Could you change Category:Food and agriculture to Portal:Food and agriculture up top? Thanks! --RichardF 19:13, 23 July 2011 (PDT)

Energy portal

The Energy portal is recharged! Could you change out Category:Energy on the top line? --RichardF 10:57, 26 July 2011 (PDT)

Done - great stuff having all these new portals! --Chriswaterguy 11:01, 26 July 2011 (PDT)
Cool.  ;-) --RichardF 11:23, 26 July 2011 (PDT)

Transport Portal

Portal:Transport is redesigned. Could you change the links at the sidebar and across the top? I've now made all the redesigns I intended to do for a proof of concept. Do you have any other portal you would like to see redesigned? --RichardF 17:32, 31 July 2011 (PDT)

Thanks - links changed. I think that's a great proof of concept already. But a portal for Projects would be interesting. That would offer some different challenges. --Chriswaterguy 02:12, 1 August 2011 (PDT)
I thought you might say that.  ;-) I'll try something out in the next week or so. --RichardF 05:27, 1 August 2011 (PDT)
If you want to update the sidebar and sitenotice, Portal:Projects is live. --RichardF



hallo chris

Hallo Chris, how are you? I'm Edy Siswoyo,

Great - good to meet you! --Chriswaterguy 22:44, 10 August 2011 (PDT)

Hi Chris

Hi Chris, saya Ida dari Sosiologi UI. Terimakasih atas pembelajarannya ttg appropedia. saya masih perlu belajar.

Hi Chris

Hi Chris, saya Ida dari Sosiologi UI. Terimakasih atas pembelajarannya ttg appropedia. saya masih perlu belajar.

Hi Christ thanks for sharing information with us. Ganda


On Bible quotes there

Hi Chris, Lonny,.....

Thank you very much for pointing out the difference of opinion on appropriateness of Bible quotes here. I have no intentions to use the Appropedia space for religious propaganda.

I didn't know about the objections raised through the talk page because there were no email alerts from there for quite some time now. Having known, I am modifying the section.

It is true that I wanted to express my gratitude in public for having made me think differently & leave the beaten track. That is why that section title was chosen. The sentences of the body of that section were to be seen as quotations from a book that has the maximum number of copies printed ever in human history. More over it was felt that those are the sentences that could be framed in the most precise form to express the ideas in my mind. I could not make sentences crispier than these to convey those ideas. The links are given to ascertain the genuineness of the source and text.

It is felt that as much as I am happy, you also might be happy about the popularity of the page. Now a Google search of the words LONG WHEAT brings title of this page as the FIRST of the 85,400,000 results. It literally surprised me. I had never even dreamt about things going to this proportion.

Noticing this popularity I was thinking of seeking your valuable opinion on launching a pilot project to cure persons who are in very advanced stages of the disease - viz. Diabetes. I have no idea about what all are to be done and how to go about.

The findings of Dr. Roy Taylor of the Newcastle University, UK have added trustworthiness to the contents of the page.

Thank you Chris, Lonny, Munimortal, Teratornis & Yeahvle.

Shooter 23:42, 20 August 2011 (PDT)

Thank you George - glad to hear your response. I replied on the article's talk page. --Chriswaterguy 11:18, 5 September 2011 (PDT)

My experience on Appropedia

It is almost a year now since I joined Appropedia and what I would say is I am really enjoying myself here and learning a lot. The good thing here is-you get texts on various projects in the most original form(and how to's) making adoption and implementation very easy. Appropedia has also been a wonderful place to share ideas and receive views from all over the world. At Appropedia I have been able to also learn a lot on Appropriate Technology to the point of bettering some of the projects I had been running before joining Appropedia and come up with new projects that I believe will one day have the impact that I intend for them. And I am particulary very happy with the success we are scoring on our Kiswahili project. Views are consistently rising and this mean we are delivering Appropriate information in a language best understood by our readers.

Other benefits

    1. Mediawiki formating, somehow.
    2. Friends
    3. Tech help
    4. Practical experience on Appropriate Technology

My strategy

I had planned to reach 100 Kiswahili pages by start of this month(September 2011) but that didn't work! After I reach this target number of pages, I will open a Kiswahili-Appropedia Facebook account with the aim of soliciting more translations from others. User:kili

Cool! Will reply on your talk page. --Chriswaterguy 10:34, 16 September 2011 (PDT)


Hi, I am Jonas. I found interesting your internship program and the project.

I study computer science, and use PHP/Python/C++/MySQL. I work with projects involving Wikipedia and MediaWiki. I am doing research using machine learning, and statistics.

This is my user page: Jonas_agx

Regards, Agx 21:11, 2 September 2011 (PDT)

Thinks - great to hear from you. I'm sending you an email. --Chriswaterguy 12:00, 16 September 2011 (PDT)

Appropedia Internship


My name is Ashley and I am a very interested in your internship for the new year. I have over a year experience as an employed writer and am currently employed as a writer at Humboldt State University's Marketing and Communications Department. The position is only valid for students and I will be graduating this December from HSU with a degree in Journalism, Public Relations emphasis and Creative Writing minor. Therefore, I would be interested in joining the Appropedia team starting January, the new year.

I have a strong passion for environmental and social change as well as writing and would like to incorporate the two fields in my career. I understand that there is a lot of positive change happening around the world, but because there is a lack of stories and articles written about the changes, people are uninformed.

Also, I know and am currently writing an article with Lonny Grafman, President of Appropedia about his last visit to the Dominica Republic with HSU students. I have done freelancing for the Eureka Times-Standard as well. I traveled to Japan and reported on the tsunami and earthquake disaster in May.

I would be honored to help assist in breaking this barrier. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance. If you would like to see examples of my work please visit my website, www.ashley-ward.com.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you, Chris.

-- Enjoy the day,

Ashley Ward

(760)855-2978 wardashley90Atsymbol.pnggmailDot.pngcom www.ashley-ward.com

Great! Replied by email. --Chriswaterguy 12:00, 16 September 2011 (PDT)

Technology Internship

My name is Brylie Oxley. I am interested in helping as a technology apprentice. I am an apprentice, currently, at the Woolman Semester in Nevada City, California. (http://woolman.org)

I have experience with Drupal, WordPress, Joomla!, MySQL, Apache, Bash/SSH, and am learning Python, HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. I am also interested in mass communications technologies such as mesh networking, distributed social networks, low power FM, encryption, etc..

I am currently enrolled at the Peer to Peer University and am taking several courses relating to webcraft.

What may I do to help out with this project? --Brylie 09:51, 15 September 2011 (PDT)

There are definitely some ways you could help. Let me think on it and respond soon. --Chriswaterguy 12:00, 16 September 2011 (PDT)

Approtable class plans?

Hi Chris,

Any plans to add an Approtable class and/or modify the wikitable class? --RichardF 09:36, 22 September 2011 (PDT)

Thanks for the reminder! Rather than try to figure this out, I'll refer it to those more competent.
Do you want to make the proposal on the Village Pump? Or alternatively point the relevant people here - that is, Lonny, Wesley and our two new tech interns, User:Agx and User:Brylie. (Very happy to have our new interns!). Wesley and Brylie are both interested in CSS, so maybe this is their field, but Lonny needs to sign off on it. Not sure who I've missed, but all welcome :-).
My own reaction: yes, let's make a default table class that's nicer to look at. I'd prefer modifying the wikitable class, rather than having a different class to learn/remember. Doesn't have to be near perfect, just an improvement. At some point we'll want a new skin, so we can do more tweaking then. --Chriswaterguy 00:41, 25 September 2011 (PDT)
I'll post something at the pump. --RichardF 05:55, 25 September 2011 (PDT)


Hi Chris, I was wondering whether you received my latest emails (4 and 7 october). Let me know whether you passed it on to the appropriate person within Appropedia on the issue.

Thanks in advance, KVDP 01:11, 7 October 2011 (PDT)

Yes - we've discussed it, and I'll email you shortly. --Chriswaterguy 01:24, 7 October 2011 (PDT)

Google translation widget on main page

Hey Chris the google translate widget looks great! The translation quality is not ideal but for a start is good enough I think. As the machine translation and contributions from users take place it will only improve. Thanks for that :) comment by Kostas, 14 October 2011.

Regarding where I found out about Appropedia, I can't remember to be honest. It could be the Open Manufacturing Google Group or The Zeitgeist Movement forum.


Thanks for the compliments Chris --Kili

Pv project

Wouldn't it be better to put a navigation template in Template space?  ;-) --RichardF 08:41, 5 December 2011 (PST)

I did a search in template space (using a search shortcut I set up in Firefox, then hit the redlink... when the template didn't work in Sandbox, I realized there was no Template prefix :-). --Chriswaterguy 09:02, 5 December 2011 (PST)
I figured as much!  ;-) RE: my talk - It could take less space up top without the Solar bar. Also, I was thinking "yellowish" for solar topics and "bluish" for water topics as a color theme. I'll make a "suggestion" in the template and then you can decide how you like it.  :-) --RichardF 09:43, 5 December 2011 (PST)
Ah... I can go with that color scheme. Feel free to change that if you like - I'll focus on the other aspects though, as I get frustrated when choosing colors for web stuff, and I'm sure others can do better than me :-).
Re "It could take less space up top without the Solar bar" - I assume this is based on an earlier revision - the bit I think you're referring to has been removed. But feel free to hack away. --Chriswaterguy 20:35, 5 December 2011 (PST)
Yes, by the time I got here, you already made lots of updates. I did some copyediting to make it render and edit correctly. I also picked a deeper (but not too dark blue from my Appropedia blue palettes. These are based on my Wikipedia portal palette samples, that are used as the Wikipedia:Template:Box-header samples. If you prefer yellow, I recommend the suggested (H60/S40/V100) change. Either is fine with me. --RichardF 06:07, 6 December 2011 (PST)
I think "yellowish" for solar topics and "bluish" for water topics makes good sense, but I'll focus on the rollout - I'll apply it with my bot to the project pages listed in the template, next time I get a block of time, maybe tonight. Glad that someone's putting thought into colors.
Actually, with a reworded heading, this could go on the how-to pages as well... that would be done using an argument. Anyway, need to do a few hours paid work first... Thanks - this will be a good development for the site, I think. --Chriswaterguy 16:42, 6 December 2011 (PST)
Sounds good. I updated the yellowish color palettes for Portal:Energy, Portal:Solar and {{Solar navbox}}. I'll also get around to adding a selection of complementary box palettes at Template:Box-header-watch real soon now... --RichardF 19:10, 6 December 2011 (PST)

Arcata marsh

Hi Chris,

Just wanted to let you know some new useful articles and an idea for the Arcata Marsh (which is close to the Humboldt university I understand).

First of all, I finished up on the organic buildings concept (See Organic_buildings )

Then, I also described some ideas on regards to sustainable fish farming/aquaculture. Generally, it revolves around the use of worms (red wigglers/earthworms and sandsworms, the latter being worms that are grown in salt water ponds) as a food to feed the fish and close the biological cycle. See Sustainable_fish_farming

Finally a small thought on a possibility for the Arcata Marsh: I was thinking that some small-scale agriculture could be practiced, ie by making use of chinampas, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinampa

KVDP 10:11, 6 December 2011 (PDT)

Thanks - I hadn't heard of chinampas - interesting. In Arcata Marsh, I imagine the very strict health regulations in the US would prevent agriculture for human consumption, since it is actually a waste treatment area. (That's even though the water is relatively clean by then, and when I visited in 2008 I ate blackberries in the marsh, that were growing out of the water, but well above the water surface. It isn't like the old Asian practice of using night soil.) If crops were grown that need to be cooked before eating, that would be safer, but even then, I think the health regulations would be an issue.
Interesting idea though - Lonny or any other Arcata people, if you're reading this, I'm interested in your thoughts. --Chriswaterguy 04:37, 6 December 2011 (PST)

New Sitenotice & Main Page redesign suggestion

How about?...

Browse Selected portal introductions

 :-) --RichardF 11:43, 7 December 2011 (PST)

Just thinking out loud, Appropedia:Portals/Intros even could be placed on the Main Page, like in this sandbox test. :-) --RichardF 12:43, 7 December 2011 (PST)
Here's the latest test. --RichardF 14:19, 7 December 2011 (PST)
Here's a complete Main Page redesign first draft!  :-) --RichardF 17:23, 7 December 2011 (PST)
Interesting - there are a bunch of things I like about it. It looks much more organized and professional than our current page.
I like having an intro to some of the portals - another variant is to have 1 or 2 or 3 of the portals, and rotate them every week.
I also wonder if browsing would be better by having them in partial width boxes, more like the current "highlighted project" box in shape.
But I'm also getting an itch for a shift from the culture/aesthetic that we've adopted since we began. I'm a fan of a very clean look, hence the Appropedia skin, which Lonny was less keen on, though... The current skin on the blog is a compromise, too, as I originally chose different link colors which I thought looked nice, but there were concerns about readability). But I digress.
I came across some ideas closer to the "clean" look that I'm inclined to, and did some very rough proof of concepts at Appropedia talk:User experience. I can see a place for either dropdowns, or more extensive use of "more" links to expand sections. Be sure to check the Wikieducator page it draws from, too. Interested in your thoughts.
Oh, and feel free to get other feedback on the main page redesign - I may be the outlier :-). I'll ask a friend or 3 today, as well... --Chriswaterguy 18:35, 7 December 2011 (PST)
Without looking at your links, here's another version I just tried. This is a bit long. An obvious option, like you mentioned, is rotate portal intros on the Main Page, but the complete list still can be linked from the Sitenotice to Appropedia:Portals. What do you think about updating Sitenotice? --RichardF 19:03, 7 December 2011 (PST)
As far as rotation goes, a Selected page, project and portal could be rotated randomly within a purge box, eliminating the need for manual maintenance. The announcements, popular pages, hot topics & news could get more of the deliberate changes that way. The remaining boxes are fairly static. The blog skin looks too stark to me - too much white space. Personally, I find colors & photos more engaging. The current Wikipedia skin is more nowish. I don't know what it would take to adopt something along that vein. As far as the collapsible boxes go, I like them as navigation tools. That's why I made all the navboxes. However, I prefer to see them at the bottom of articles for the most part, like at Wikipedia, or how I used them in some of the portal as topics boxes. Personally, I basically ignore the current Main Page. I really don't know who would want to go there more than once. Just about any organized presentation would be an improvement, but as usual, such things move way too slowly around here for my tastes.  ;-) --RichardF 19:47, 7 December 2011 (PST)

Here's a "Selected portal intro" version. --RichardF 20:39, 7 December 2011 (PST)

If you don't like the blog, you wouldn't like http://zenhabits.net/ :-). I agree that pictures are engaging - any lack of pictures on the blog is because finding and adding pictures takes time. (Even the Zen Habits blog is like that - it's a minimalist blog, but the minimalism there is his own choice not to spend a lot of time on illustrations, rather than a preference for no images.)
This is a part of the challenge - such different preferences. Different brain wiring, I think - how much we're bothered by "distractions" as opposed to starkness. (Or indeed, how easily distracted we are - I rate highly on that scale.) It'll be worth finding something that appeals to a range of people, and I think getting feedback will help with that.
I see there's a thread on village pump - will check there. Thanks for the work and initiative! --Chriswaterguy 16:57, 9 December 2011 (PST)
Check out The Chriswaterguy candidate!  ;-)
Also, How about that Sitenotice suggestion?

Browse Selected portal introductions

--RichardF 17:14, 9 December 2011 (PST)
I like that candidate :-). The colored lines create a nice sense of space, visually separating the chunks of text but in a low impact way. Will comment on Village Pump, tonight...
Have been a bit preoccupied so far today, as I've stayed over at an old friend's place... who, interestingly, is a web designer (recently sold his firm but still works in the field). He made some helpful comments, particularly relevant to our CSS. He also mentioned the idea of using small 3D effects around the edge of the text area, like at http://energypedia.info.
I missed the earlier question about sitenotice, sorry. I'm not sure - I do like having it more compact, but I'd lean towards naming a small number of portals and then having a "more" link. The smallest number of key portal topics I can come up with is 4 (energy, agriculture, water and construction). But projects are important, which makes 5... still better than the 10 we have now, I think.
My thinking is that if someone is specifically looking for navigation links, they're likely to look on the left navbar. The sitenotice is more likely to catch their attention if it mentions something specific. That's my feeling, which could be wrong. More soon... editing on a suburban train now... I love modern technology :-). --Chriswaterguy 22:42, 9 December 2011 (PST)

Changing the displayed title

As it turns out, you can't change the name of a page's displayed title anywhere.

It is possible to change the way a page title is displayed at the top of its page. This should only be done if the article meets the criteria for a non-standard title format, as detailed in the Article titles policy. The displayed title format is changed using the magic word DISPLAYTITLE. Under the present software configuration, only limited modifications can be made: the displayed title must still resolve to the true name of the page (i.e. if the displayed title is copied and pasted into a wikilink, the link should point to the original page). This means that DISPLAYTITLE can be used only for such modifications as changing an initial letter to lower case, adding initial colons, changing spaces to underscores, adding a space after a namespace prefix, and adding formatting (italics and bolding). The forbidden characters are not supported by DISPLAYTITLE.

--RichardF 05:37, 12 December 2011 (PST)

Ah - thanks for explaining that. --Chriswaterguy 17:46, 12 December 2011 (PST)

Western, eastern, and other cultures

Hi Chris, I recently read an article about the Ian Morris' book (see the section I wrote: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_world#Western_vs_eastern_world ). This however got me thinking, ie at Appropedia, wikipedia, ... people ofthen talk about Western, Eastern cultures, East and West, ... but actually what do we mean by that and would it not be better to just talk of the continental union in question instead ? Ie if we refer the "The east", do we also refer to ie India, ... and if we refer to the "West", do we refer to all New World countries (ie including USA, Australia, New Zealand, ...). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_world and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_world

I think this is of particular importance, mostly since Appropedia seeks to preserve cultures (and I know since if allready been found being a bit too practical in the past, not taking too much notice to "cultural diversity"). Part of this however was also due to the fact that I (and many others I guess) don't really know how we need to distinguish the different cultures (if we take all differences into account it becomes too cumbersome/complicated, if we don't take enough of them into account we're labelled as "culturally indifferent").

Hence, I was thinking we could differentiate the cultures by making a new article about the division of The world in the different cultures, and also integrate the differences (ie languages, ...) This too should allow people to prepare themselves much better for development work, in any country.

I placed another useful image at Guide_for_arrivals_in_the_developing_world. We could also update Majority_world, Culture and development, ...

KVDP 06:46, 15 December 2011 (PST)

I agree this is important, but it takes a lot of knowledge to tackle this subject well. Your fellow countryman, Geert Hofstede, did some excellent research on culture, and I'd recommend reading one of his books.
The issue of Western, Eastern etc is just scratching the surface. My suggestion is to read, and read, and learn in any way possible, and much, much later to think about whether it's possible to contribute to a useful guide. There are many excellent books about such issues... I'm mainly familiar with those who wrote about Indonesian culture, especially Clifford Geertz and Franz Magnis Suseno, and also Benedict Anderson who not only wrote about Indonesia, but is also well known for his broader works on culture and sociology.
Perhaps that doesn't seem relevant to do such a lot of reading, but it's actually highly relevant. It can be a case of "unknown unknowns," where the value is not obvious because we can't see critical gaps in our knowledge. I found reading Anderson and Hofstede helped to open up new areas of thought and raise questions that I never would have thought of.
Hope that helps. --Chriswaterguy 07:22, 15 December 2011 (PST)
I was actually thinking of just implementing some updates to pages to make things a bit more accurate, yet also not that complicated.

For example in stead of texts that speak of "Indonesian culture", we just say "culture of the Pacific union", where people speak of "for the advantage of the South", we just replace it with the continental union in question (the South referring mostly to all developing nations rather than say Africa which is located in the South), where people speak of "arab culture", we just say "culture of the African Union" (that even works to divide some mixed cultures arabic/european, ie Iran, then labelled culture of the Asian Union)

Another advantage of the approach is that with the division I made, there are only 6 cultures, so it's simple enough that people will use this division and not stick to their old confusing method of naming regions.
Also, for example, to make an object (like a pot, ...) look like belonging to a specific region, it can be decorated with 1 of the six patterns for each culture. If we start divisioning the regions further, we'll end up with multitudes of 6 or even far more, making it unworkable to decorate an object any more.

KVDP 02:12, 17 December 2011 (PST)

The big problem is that the "confusing method" is more accurate. The best choice is not always a simple one.
Also we must acknowledge the classification which is more familiar. I've never heard of the "Pacific union" and I don't know what it would describe. It sounds like a political entity, but none such entity exists. Also, Indonesian culture, Papuan culture and Maori culture are all very different. (Even cultures within Indonesia are quite different.) And an "Asian Union" is incredibly broad, considering Asia has more than 50% of humanity, so this term cannot be very meaningful. So I would go back to my suggestion to read, and read, and read, particularly those authors I mentioned. --Chriswaterguy 03:05, 17 December 2011 (PST)
The schematic I made and most "Unions" I listed don't exist at present (hence the -concept). Instead, I composed them of existing supranational organisations and continental unions in construction (see the legend). Also notice the shades of each particular color ("problem countries"); these indicate which countries are not yet part of the supranational organisations.

KVDP 06:56, 17 December 2011 (PST)

That's still very confusing, and very hypothetical, in terms of "unions" - interesting exercise, but the article needs something that better reflects existing reality. I removed the picture, Media:Continental Unions concept.png, from Guide_for_arrivals_in_the_developing_world#Culture, but left the map of languages there.
I don't mean to be discouraging - keep exploring, as it's a fascinating and endlessly complex area. --Chriswaterguy 05:14, 18 December 2011 (PST)

Help on AT loom

Hi Chris, I've had the idea of the AT loom (http://www.appropedia.org/AT_loom ) since quite a while yet hadn't really never had the time to make a design of it. I recently started researching the loom idea some some and looked at various designs for the loom. However, I still have some fundamental questions and do not appear to be able to finish this design at present. I was wondering whether perhaps anyone at Appropedia has more knowledge on this and/or whether we could perhaps create a design using several Appropedia members, and or with people from Queens University/Humboldt State University. We may also contact some other organisations as http://www.sitra.org.in/plscservices.html, ...

First the idea: The idea is to make an automated or semi-automated loom so that textile production goes much faster (and cheaper) in comparison to a regular hand loom.

Look at http://www.cd3wd.com/cd3wd_40/vita/handloom/en/handloom.htm, 2 designs seem useful as baseline designs from which we can work on to make the loom automated. These designs are: the Free-standing loom and the Pit loom. I prefer the latter, which has been modified a bit (adding of 4 beams, redesign of beater; ie using rail or with a pivot point) We can look at some loom designs such as the AVL USA looms (http://www.avlusa.com/resources/library/ ), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberts_Loom , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancashire_Loom , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Loom to complete the loom with the missing parts.


  • First and foremost: look how the weaving process happens (by means of 2 bars with textile wires which are continuously moved up/down in relation to one another, the latter by means of pulleys/treadles). Now the weaving is done by insterting wire (on a bobbin) trough a space (obtained by pulling the bars up/down. However, what I don't understand is how the wires don't collide with the box that guides this bobbin (bobbin if fixed to a "flying shuttle"). This is my main problem at present.
  • Second question: I understand that we need to implement a primary axle (motor driven) of which the power is then divided over other axles (these latter axles performing the task of moving the bars noted above up/down, and moving the flying shuttle left/right (in sync with each other), and moving the beater forward and back (again in sync) and correcting the beater a bit every time (since the textile creeps up, meaning that the beater needs to move forward and back a little less every time), and winding up the textile roll. Additional tasks (for a fully automatic system) also include attaching the wire of the bobbin of the shuttle to the wire of the previous bobbin and replacing the bobbin (when empty) with another one, see the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Loom , http://www.hope1842.com/drapernorthroploom.html , http://lisahistory.net/hist104/pw/lectures/indust/3.htm I'm not sure however how exactly this division of power over the axles is done, and how the system as a whole needs to be designed.

KVDP 06:52, 17 December 2011 (PST)

I guess that students studying design or (appropriate) technology would be best for this - you could ask directly to the instructors, and see what they think. I've looked at hand-operated looms (fairly complex but non-electrical machines) and didn't completely work them out. Thanks --Chriswaterguy 05:33, 18 December 2011 (PST)

Your user page

Hi, here's what I get (several times) when I try to view your user page.

Internal error.html     
If you are seeing this page, it probably means we are having server problems. Please click "Back" in your browser and try again.
If the same problem keeps recurring, we apologize and ask you that you let us know (info at appropedia dot org) and try again later.
If you were trying to get to the homepage you may want to try purging the cache by using this link - 
Thank you, -- the Appropedia tech team

--RichardF 16:08, 17 December 2011 (PST)

Were you able to view other pages while you were having trouble with my user page? If so, not sure what would cause that.
Lonny's the one that keeps track of these problems... I think we're getting less of these problems, these days, but Semantic MediaWiki might be putting a strain on the servers. --Chriswaterguy 20:19, 17 December 2011 (PST)
The server did have a very short (<5 min) hiccup this evening, but everything should be running smoothly again now. --Lonny 02:46, 18 December 2011 (PST)
I still get the same error message for User:Chriswaterguy. I don't get it for any other page. I'm using dial-up. How am I supposed to check for postworthy quotes if I can't get to the page?!!! ;-) --RichardF 06:57, 18 December 2011 (PST)
I can also confirm this error when I try to access User:Chriswaterguy. In fact it seems to cause the rest of appropedia to slow down for me as well. --Tahnok 10:17, 18 December 2011 (PST)
This could be because of the size of the page, but it is much more likely that it is an issue with the images, especially the pngs on this talk page. Appropedia has been having some problems with imagemagick and some pngs. --Lonny 13:40, 18 December 2011 (PST)

(Undent.) Found the problem, I think - it's this bit of code:

<rss number=10>http://chriswaterguy.livejournal.com/data/rss</rss>

I removed it and the page is working; then when I try to view the previous version that gave the trouble, that had the rss tags, I get the internal error again.

I found it by removing bits from my user page then previewing. --Chriswaterguy 06:15, 19 December 2011 (PST)

Vector style sheet and 3-D effects


As you know, I've been trying out some color palette and 3-D effects at User:RichardF/vector.css. I also added a shadow to the wikitable. I updated the content shadow a bit to "box-shadow: 1px 4px 2px 0px #888888;". That gets the shadow off the green line between the content and sidebar. I've commented at Appropedia:Village pump#Proposal to update the wikitable class palette and establish site-wide palette guidelines. A nice tool, CSS3 Generator, is an easy way to try out the fancy new CSS3 properties, like box-shadow. But you probably already know all this. ;-) --RichardF 05:12, 5 January 2012 (PST)

You greatly overestimate my knowledge of CSS :-). I'll check out the latest changes to the skin. Vector is definitely a good basis for a new skin, and I'm really happy to see you working on that, and working on colors and 3-D effects. Will look for more feedback... --Chriswaterguy 18:41, 5 January 2012 (PST)

Contentless pages

While playing with "Surprise me!," I've come across quite a few contentless pages. Using Special:ShortPages, it's easy enough to find lots of blanked, botted-only and otherwise zombie pages. Is there any good reason they shouldn't just be deleted? --RichardF 19:38, 6 January 2012 (PST)

Thanks for picking that up - cleaning that up would be a big improvement! I wasn't aware of the ShortPages page either - I just deleted a few, of which my favorite was Pants. (Content: "appropriate?")
Some of those pages are leftover from moves that were done with copy-paste (users not aware of the "move" function). At first I thought they should be properly redirected... but that's a big job to maybe save someone some Googling, so I guess deleting is good. I'd like to check the history before deleting. I find the Opera browser good for this kind of thing, as I can open stuff in the background with a single click... so I'll open a bunch more of these pages in Opera and do some more deleting... --Chriswaterguy 04:53, 7 January 2012 (PST)
Some of the blanking histories look to me like someone saying the project was "done" so we don't need this anymore. I didn't check to see if it was a cut-and-past move somewhere. I would just delete stuff like this, but I think I'm less tolerant than most in this regard. --RichardF 09:41, 7 January 2012 (PST)
I've given an update at the pump. Thanks again! --Chriswaterguy 21:00, 7 January 2012 (PST)
And all those "Introduction" headings...are they on purpose as an Appropedia style thing, or could the bot zap them? ;-) --RichardF 04:41, 7 January 2012 (PST)
Zap 'em! I do :-). I suppose you'd approve if I spent a half hour and did a big zap of Introduction headers with my bot? --Chriswaterguy 04:53, 7 January 2012 (PST)
A simple search on "= Introduction" at Page text matches finds lots of them. I'll remove the headings as I find them too. ;-) --RichardF 09:41, 7 January 2012 (PST)
Also, lots of pages have inputboxes that preload pages with the built-in Introduction section. I just deleted it from Category:Projects --> {{Projectsinputbox}} --> {{NewProjectspage}}. Obviously, that's a big reason why it's around so much... and why I asked. Do you know how prevalent these preloads are? --RichardF 09:56, 7 January 2012 (PST)
Ahhh. They get used a lot in Lonny's classes, & maybe by others as well. I'll leave a note for him... here. If Lonny's cool with it, I'll zap them with my bot sometime. --Chriswaterguy 21:00, 7 January 2012 (PST)
Okay, as I play more rousing rounds of "Surprise me! I'll check whether any intros make sense and remove them if they don't. I've also noticed several "empty" sections, like "See also" with nothing in it. I think the preloads can make new editors think a section should be there, even when they have nothing to say. --RichardF 09:26, 8 January 2012 (PST)
I think there's also a big element of "I'll fill that in later" - which rarely follows through. I confess I've been known to leave a header like that in myself, as a hint, but I realize now it doesn't work well... having an {{add links}} notice makes more sense, but I'm not sure that works either... so now I'm inclined to removing the section if no "See also" links spring to mind.
We could add an instruction to the preloads asking editors to delete blank sections... but there are already more instructions than 99% of people are likely to read, so I'm not sure of the best approach, other than working on very concisely written instructions in the preloads. --Chriswaterguy 06:38, 9 January 2012 (PST)
If the preloads are used mostly by students of Appropedia instructors, then I think the results mostly depend on what the instructors say to the students and the good examples they show them anyway. ;-) --RichardF 07:32, 9 January 2012 (PST)

Semiprotecting Welcome Talk page

Talk:Welcome to Appropedia has been spammed dozens of times by anons just since I've been an admin. What do you think of semiprotecting it? --RichardF 08:50, 9 January 2012 (PST)

In theory it's a place where some people will go to leave a comment. I think Ill make a page on the blog for inviting comments, then put that link prominently at the top of Talk:Welcome to Appropedia. Then I'll be comfortable with semi-protecting it.
Tomorrow perhaps... time to sleep now. Thanks for the suggestion! --Chriswaterguy 07:01, 10 January 2012 (PST)

No, you couldn't possibly Know...

This is one of those times where the term Co-incidence is 'lacking': I signed on as Betaclamp just and only after my request for "Patman" was turned down. Pat. Mystery solved - Patman re-directs to User Betaclamp! I saw something that made me think that you were 'Patman'!

Hmm - glad it worked out, Patman/Betaclamp! --Chriswaterguy 03:56, 11 January 2012 (PST)
Hmm - my same response - When I saw underneath "CO2" that a contributor was Patman is when I thought that it had to be you.

I linked to openCCS - thanks for that - As far as I could see you have the engineering in hand if not well in hand, What I did not see, doesn't mean not there, was the equally problem and challenge filled Area Of Biological Carbon Capture and Storage - I'd volunteer for that - keeping within what I know. Cheers ~ Betaclamp 22:03, 11 January 2012 (PST)

Are you referring to "bio-energy with carbon capture and storage"W? That's within the scope of openCCS, as well as Appropedia. Or biological capture of carbon in the form of wood, or algal oil, or other biomass? That's definitely within the scope here - not part of the core scope at openCCS.
In any case, all these things are important, and very welcome at Appropedia... of course Wikipedia already covers the subjects, but we can go into more depth and analysis here. --Chriswaterguy 06:26, 12 January 2012 (PST)

Hello cont'd: How's everything? I looked up Wiki:"bio-energy with CCS" - so much Reference material supporting a small substance? It Certainly does not mention those items that you did, such as Algae [photosynthesis] and Biomass [fermentation]. Pax ~ Betaclamp 00:11, 14 January 2012 (PST)

Sustainable supermarket

Hi Chris, replied at Talk:Sustainable supermarket, look into it, the subject I actually wanted to tackle with this article actually runs allot deeper than what one expects, and also relates to appropriate waste disposal and appropriate food production systems. KVDP 04:38, 16 February 2012 (PST)

Open Carbon Capture and Storage

How about the Northern Hemisphere's Prairies taking the brunt of Global Warming because the majority of the ability of the Earth to absorb Heat is within Her Oceans, and most of Her Oceans are in the Southern Hemisphere.

Carbon dioxide ready for inspection: if you remove the Stub I'll move on. Take care ~ Betaclamp 22:41, 17 January 2012 (PST)

Interesting point about northern hemisphere prairies. Definitely relevant - if you wanted to find at least one good source for that, and use that for the info and reference, that would be great. (Not saying you have to - just that that would be cool.)
I've removed the stub tag. Actually, anyone could remove that, including you, but I did it and took the opportunity to add some sections and rearrange & tweak a bit. Thanks!
There's much more to say about CO2, of course, but that's a good start. --Chriswaterguy 23:26, 17 January 2012 (PST)


Thanks for the tips re category mark-up––I'll do my best. :) Felicity Tepper 20:17, 17 February 2012 (PST)


Thank you for the kind welcome, Oh Liquid One. ;) Let me know if you have any suggestions re: the I/O boxes. --Plotthickens 20:24, 19 February 2012 (PST)

Aircraft images

Hi Chris,

I recently noticed that you removed some images of my designs ( File:Single person airplane.JPG , File:Single person airplane 2.JPG, ). I was wondering whether you could either temporarily or undefinitly restore them, since although I did make a copy of my first design, I did not backup all of the intermediate updates I did since then. I spend allot of time on these aswell, and so I don't wish to lose the work I did so far.

I do understand your point though, and I myself was a bit concerned about safety aswell, this is btw why I added the "http://www.appropedia.org/index.php?title=AT_CAD_Team/Aircraft&oldid=200234#Safety " -subsection (I did keep in mind that if an aircraft fails during launch or in flight, that would be a very dangerous matter). Hence, I wish to point out that some improvements regarding safety were done

  • First, most designs are based on existing aircraft, and were simply modified, hence we actually reuse the experience of real-life, proven designs, and experienced organisations
  • For the freighter aircraft is was thinking of making it remote-controlled, so the "pilot" would never be in danger, even if the whole thing plummets. The DIY UAS is btw also remote-controlled.
  • The AT autogiro has been altered since then (weight issue solved with image update 2), and autogyro's are actually very safe anyway (they allow immediate autorotation when the motor fails, meaning that they can never plummet to the ground if the motor fails, unlike helicopters). There are DIY builders of autogyro's btw that make their autogyro's even without making or following any plans beforehand (ie Gyro Jake of Silverwings forum, and many others). The microlight also won't plummet to the ground when the motor fails but simply glide slowly towards the ground.

Please either restore the images temporarily so I can back up the latest version of them, and take over the text. I was actually planning on making a 3D version of them soon (and probably improve the designs further as I go about this). If you would agree on restoring the images indefinitly, I would remove the links alltogether in the article so that the images can not be picked up accidentally be anyone. In addition, I'll check again whether the speculative and status-design tages are added (I frequently forget this, being at that moment only focused on getting the image right).

Finally, on regards of the not thinking that study and experience important for this kind of work, that's not exactly accurate. I do think that's important, but I can not school/teach myself the entire theory of flight, ... just to make a design. I allready use proven designs as a basis (itself the result of decades of knowledge) and in any case, designs need to be tested in the field (which I can not do). The only thing I can do is try to make it as good and as accurate as I can, and leave field-testing to others.

KVDP 00:43, 23 February 2012 (PST)

Thanks for your reply. I've emailed you the text and files - for now I personally prefer that these be hosted somewhere else, but I will seek comments from the community.
Re "I can not school/teach myself the entire theory of flight, ... just to make a design." - I actually think that this is necessary to make a good design. Aeronautical engineers must study hard for 4 years or more to be qualified, and after that they are not yet considered experienced. A degree is not always necessary to be able to contribute to design work, but equivalent competence is not possible without much experience and/or study. I suspect Gyro Jake of Silverwings forum had a few years experience and learning before building autogyros in this way, and is aware of what to look for. I also don't know enough about the safety record of such an approach, even with experienced autogyro builders - Gyro Jake may not have had a serious accident, but a sample size of 1 is not enough to base safety standards on.
Some past autogyro designs have been "fatally flawed with an offset between the centre of gravity and thrust line, risking a Power Push-Over (PPO or bunt-over) causing death to the pilot and giving gyroplanes in general a poor reputation - in contrast to Cierva's original intention and early statistics. Most new autogyros are now safe from PPO."W - i.e. if a mistake is made in design, the aircraft is no longer safe. That's just an example, and why one must be very careful about making assumptions in issues of safety. This crash, just one of those on Youtube, had a good outcome for the pilot, but I wouldn't call it completely safe, with blades disintegrating and flying apart.
It's the same in many fields. I would not go to a yoga class taught by someone who has been learning yoga for only 5 years. I would be horrified if a nuclear power plant was operated by someone with a 6 month diploma and no experience.
That's all for now - work to do. --Chriswaterguy 21:02, 23 February 2012 (PST)
Thanks for mailing the images and text, I moved it to a Google text document and linked it from my blog. You can thus remove the images if you wish. It would be perhaps better in the future to use an automated system so as when you tag an image for deletion, there's a 1 week delay before the system actually deletes it (at wikimedia commons there's also a 1 week span between tagging and actual deletion. That way, if the owner of the file still needs to secure it, it can be easily done.

Re the potential dangerous nature of images such as on aircraft; actually I think that any schematic showing the construction of something is potentially dangerous. For example the ISF rice huller was a dangerous thing aswell, if improperly used, and so are allot of other devices (ie workshop equipment, disc saws, ...) Even detailing on how to built a cake can be dangerous, if the person you're giving the cake recipe to has never learnt to use his cooking fire. I think we just need to put up a warning and disclaimer on the site stating that we are not responsible for any injury resulting from replicating desgns, ... Also, some designs can be userfied/images can be un-linked from articles.

Re Gyro Jake; actually no, he didn't have any schooling on the matter, he was a electrical engineer I believe, so having little to do with aeronautics. He btw allready had several engine failures during flight, but since the autogyro has autorotation, he never really "crashed". (See Mad Scientists show at NGC ). Besides this guy, there btw are many other that built autogyro's (again without much experience I believe, autogyro's can btw be operated without any (pilot) license at all (atleast in the USA, in other countries it may be different or alike -autogyro's and other very lightweight aircraft don't need any license at all).

KVDP 10:43, 24 February 2012 (PST)

Guidance for Beginner

Hi Chris: Hopefully this will work. When I first signed on, there was a link to guidance on what to put on our profile page. I neglected to click it when I first spotted it, and could never find it again. Could you help? Thanks, Diane Emerson http://www.appropedia.org/User_talk:Diane_Emerson

Answered on your talk page - thanks for asking. --Chriswaterguy 22:02, 21 March 2012 (PDT)

Sketchup Beginner Manual

Hi Chris, just wanted to inform you that I sent a mail to your old adress (singkong at gmail). I assume you don't check this mail anymore, but I sent it to this due to the size of the attachments.

Then, I was thinking about something else: although I very much oppose animal husbandry (a form of agriculture), I was thinking on the issue that some areas naturally have/had open grasslands and are also incapable of being used for making other (plant-based) protein-foods (ie tofu, ...) As such, in this specific situation, it may be suitable of keeping cattle. I still dislike non-native animals though, but since ie cows, ... are used around the world (ie Holstein cows are used in Europe aswell as in African countries), I think this can be improved. I'm looking into the native meat animals that can consume grass and perhaps make a global map of it , see

I'll perhaps improve the cattle article aswell, ie negative effects of animal husbandry haven't been mentioned:

  • creates huge methane emissions (90 millon tons worldwide, appearantly 510 million tons is sufficient to kill everyone on the planet, ie due to climate change)
  • can transfer disease, unappealing practice of slaughtering
  • wasteful method (energy is lost in conversion of grass to meat)
  • very labour-intensive and (depending on what it's compared against, low-yield) method of protein production
  • can disrupt the local ecosystem by taking up allot of space and prventing the housing of other animal and plant species
  • ethical considerations by certain individuals 00:06, 14 May 2012 (PDT)

Hi KVDP (I assume it's you, though you weren't logged in). Those are important issues, and it would be great to have them on the cattle page. Some points:
  • Re "very labour-intensive" - I'm sure this is not true for some cattle farms, e.g. those in the US or Australia, where labor costs are high.
  • Re protein production - to make a fair comparison, meat should be compared with producing the various vegetarian options. E.g. if chickpeas or soybeans are grown, the yield (in weight per unit area) is lower than for grain; so it's not really the whole picture when some people talk about how many kg of grain it takes to produce a kg of meat.
  • I'm still a fan of a healthy and balanced vegetarian or mostly vegetarian diet - but I'm interested in making accurate arguments for and against.
I got your email - I wasn't quite sure how to respond, and I'm very short of time at the moment. (I'd like to be one of those super-efficient people, sometimes, but not sure how they manage it.) Looking at it again...
  • I'm still very wary of airplane designs, especially without working prototypes (but as long as it's marked as speculative, I wouldn't rule them out).
  • Re the .skp files, I don't know what I can do with them... Does Box.com have an option for sharing files openly? :Cheers --Chriswaterguy 07:12, 14 May 2012 (PDT)
Hi Chris,

finished up on it, see Animal husbandry some ideas that may still be done:

  • new article List of appropriate draft animals, which have lists the species that have the male animal used as a draft animal, and the female as dairy animal, perhaps that selected species can be allowed here, ie I made a list of draft horses once, they may be considered (so next to the wild horse)
  • new article List of appropriate animals for transport, same thing: ie wild horse, wild ass (ancestor of donkey ;)), camel, reindeer


  • re cattle farms are always very labour intensive, as they generally feed with grain, ... (not grass), read article. That is however if you include the work for the growing the feed.
  • re protein production: you only focus on the calories then, however calories can be attained from other sources aswell (carbohydrates, ie grain), read article
  • I'm actually also mostly a fan of vegetarian food, however it's not always possible (not all crops are native in specific regions) perhaps we can cooperate with ie ARKive, and other orgs if we focus immediatelly on growing wild animal species, that would be a win-win situation, and the animals could be released into the wild once we no longer need them (once suitable crops are found for the region)

KVDP 07:45, 15 May 2012 (PDT)

Grain isn't labor intensive in Western countries - look how the proportion of people working in agriculture plummeted during the 20th C.
Re draft animals & animals for transport, a full comparison with non-animal alternatives would be valuable, including calculations of total cost and resource use.
re labour intensity --> I know that due to the increased use of machinery (ie harvesters), allot less people are required to grow grain. However, grain still requires allot of processing (cutting, beating/dehusking, may require pesticide use, water, ... ) So it is nevertheless very energy intensive, labour intensive (though not human labour intensive) Regardless, what I mostly mean is that a additional crop is often grown to feed the animal at all, and this should be prevented. If the animal is only fed with grass (which is a crop humans can't digest), the issue is completely eliminated.
re draft animals --> It will always be more of a hassle to use animals for agricultural work, and may even be more costly than when you would use a efficient traction engine (ie the AT traction engine design I made, see article here ate Appropedia). The total cost and resource use thus not need to be calculated out, it will probably be negative compared to the At traction engine. However, the advantage of draft animals is that in many remote locations in the developed world, there simply aren't any workshops nor any skill to make and/or repair such agricultural tools. Animals that have multiple uses (ie dairy animal, draft animal, sometimes even personal transportation) can thus be a suitable option.
Can I upload the images of the single person airplane (image 1 and 2) as noted in the mail ?
re the skp-files: yes a Box-account would allow the sharing via FTP (a personal link needs to be placed on the article). I once used it for some other projects, I (or you) would then need to make a new account though, I'll look into it and also look at how much megabyte can be shared for free.

KVDP 11:45, 16 May 2012 (PDT)

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_online_backup_services
Agreed, in specific contexts, draft animals make sense - certainly a more minor use on a global scale, though, and the context should always be noted when discussing it in an article.
Re the airplane images, if they're only to be used in your userspace or in pages marked {{speculative}}, that would be allowable. My personal preference would be for them to be uploaded to a separate site, such as a blog, dedicated to such ideas. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 16:18, 17 May 2012 (PDT)

Re: Welcome

Thanks for the welcome. I responded on my talk page. Mike Dillon 12:34, 16 April 2012 (PDT)

Service learning category cleanup

Hi, are you willing to do some cleanup on this category? Capitalization, duplication, and empty cats posing as articles all could use some work. :-) --RichardF 11:54, 24 June 2012 (PDT)

Cool - I'm planning to get my bot going again within the next two weeks, and category moving is the first task. Is your work waiting on this being done? (If so I'll aim to be quicker about it.) --Chriswaterguy 16:57, 24 June 2012 (PDT)

Thanks. I'm not waiting on anything for this cleanup. I just thought it would look nicer for whatever recruiting you have in mind, now that I finally got something out there for you to use!  :-) --RichardF 17:08, 24 June 2012 (PDT)
And the timing is excellent - thank you! --Chriswaterguy 17:11, 24 June 2012 (PDT)

Rotating service learning images on Welcome to Appropedia intro

Hi, for the fun of it, I added rotating service learning images on the Welcome to Appropedia intro at Welcome to Appropedia/Intro. Feel free to revert if you can't take it. :-) --RichardF 09:46, 27 June 2012 (PDT)

I like it! --Chriswaterguy 10:27, 27 June 2012 (PDT)
Cool.  :-) --RichardF 11:03, 27 June 2012 (PDT)

Living walls

Hi Chris, can you move Living walls to either Green walls or Green wall ? I updated the article so it's now finally correct (it was very inaccurate before). KVDP

perhaps it's useful to write a little bit of the ease of use/installation. I think the DIY pallets are most useful for living walls as they don't need to be built unto the wall, rather simply placed next to it (sloped against the wall). For most of the walls, a green façade seems most useful, if it isn't intended to grow vegetables, ... but simply for the ecologic effect (co² absorption, cooling, ...).
Done - thank you.
Just FYI, the standard English word is facade, with the regular English c - accents are very rare in English. But apparently façade is also sometimes used in English, so I learned something also. --Chriswaterguy 08:12, 1 July 2012 (PDT)

Re Mosquito_control See #Applications_of_organic_or_chemical_pesticides Appearantly there are some organic pesticides that are completely effective, whereas DDT is (in certain areas) 100% ineffective (ref: Quest magazine April 2011) So we could possibly rewrite the Use_of_DDT_in_fighting_malaria article (as it is no longer of much value, ie surpassed by these organic alternatives)

I btw also came across the photo's by Daniel Lainé (http://creativeroots.org/2009/05/the-kings-of-africa-photographed-by-daniel-laine/ ) It seems to me that it may be useful for Appropedia to contact these people. Most of them are no longer as important as they were before, and are now quite willing to be contacted and willing to listen to new techniques (ie on farming, ...) They still have allot of local influence and probably all have access to internet (see btw this docu: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11500370 on a low-level official (Oluomo)). So, if Appropedia contacts them, it could pass on allot of useful offline content (ie manuals on agriculture, ...) That way, we could have allot more influence in real-life society. Note btw that similar kings/officials also exist in other regions (ie Oceania, ...).

I noticed we have no article on the Green Revolution nor on Plant breeding/selective breeding or "domestication of fauna and flora". I think that an article especially on the latter would be useful here, to be able to explain in articles that selective breeding can have benefits aswell as disadvantages (see [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution Wikipedia on the Green Revolution). The most notable problems are decreased resistance to pests/diseases (due to the hastened and more intensive growth) and requirement of additional fertilisers (the latter isn't a huge problem and natural fertilisation can be used, yet needs to be timed better -earlier- than chemical fertilisation). Note btw that due to this, cultivars of crops often exist for both organic farming and "traditional" farming. The first type are often better (more disease-resistant), yet still feature intense fruiting.

I btw also got reminded of another idea: the use of (non-standard) fonts at wikis. Perhaps that's possible ? It would allow us to give a more authentic/archaic feel to Appropedia (I for example like the fonts that look like they're "written by hand", see www.ffonts.net/ , www.dafont.com/ , www.1001freefonts.com/ , www.urbanfonts.com/ , www.fontspace.com/ , www.abstractfonts.com/

User:KVDP 08:08, 3 July 2012 (PDT)

Hi Chris, I read a rather important new production method of syngas and I actually now find the fuel so important that I think we would need a page on it. I would also like to mention the fuel at Comparison_of_alternative_ICE_fuels. Before that can happen though, we need more info on the storability of the fuel (ie does it require cold, or pressurization, and how long can it be stored ?) Please read the method (I posted it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syngas#Using_carbon_dioxide_and_hydrogen ) I knew of syngas for a while, but due to the new production method, it's now very ecologic (uses waste CO²) Syngas is btw also used to make a variety of things (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biobased_economy )

Another thing I read is that methane can appearantly be produced for running machinery/vehicles on. Indeed methane is CH4 and looking into it, it seems that something called the Sabatier process exists, which basically combines CO² and hydrogen (H). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabatier_process I'm not too sure whether we want to use this though since it's a very potent GHG-gas (breaks down when burned, so that's generally not a problem; yet it can be ie in case of leaks). Hydrogen can be made at home using electricity and is even in its current state a useful fuel, yet has many problems regarding the storage. Methanogenesis also exist (doesn't use electricity at all), but then this doesn't allow to store the electricity ie generated using PV-panels, ...

Next revolves around the 2-way transfer which I mentioned could/should be the basis for durable development (see User_talk:Chriswaterguy#Guide_for_arrivals_in_the_developing_world ). Appearantly, I share this view with Patricia Z.R. Davis of Community Centred Conservation. She calls it "environmental mortgage" (a form of microfinancing in which villagers attain a fund -for schooling, community services and basic health care- after abiding a set of rules protecting the local nature See also http://www.c-3.org.uk Perhaps it can be mentioned at an article somewhere. KVDP 02:38, 16 July 2012 (PDT)

I'll leave the syngas with you for now - have some other articles and tasks I need to work on. Aren't the only practical sources of syngas to date from fossil fuel, though? In which case there is still a GHG impact, and mining impact.
One advantage of reforming fossil fuels is that H2 can be produced and the CO2 can be separated and captured - which is good if there's a CO2 reservoir available to put it in. But I don't know if that counts as "syngas". --Chriswaterguy 04:46, 16 July 2012 (PDT)
Nope, syngas isn't synfuel (confusing I know). I knew of synfuel for a while too, after having seen a documentary about Ebensee (it was used historically as an aviation fuel, in German WW2 airplanes, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_fuel#History ) In general, fossil fuel reforming makes synfuel from fossil fuel (or natural gas) + hydrogen ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_fuel_reforming ) What I'm describing though, syngas, is made from hydrogen and CO (or CO after having treated CO² with microwaves). CO² can be attained from fossil fuel power plants, or perhaps even simply attained from the air. Hydrogen can be made from water (using electricity). This in effect makes a completely emissionless fuel.

I've updated Comparison_of_alternative_ICE_fuels, I'll see whether I'll make some stubs on the other suggested subjects. KVDP 02:33, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

Iv' done allot of extra editing, can you move Alcohol fuels (see the page for the new name it needs to be given) and Algae fuel. Cookies don't work anymore, so I can't log in to do it myself. 06:25, 19 July 2012 (PDT)

Can you make a stronger case for the move? Vegetable oil as fuel is a special case, and even then, it could easily have the "as" removed. Are there other cases? I wouldn't worry about it - the existing page names make perfect sense.
Don't use the {{move}} as it doesn't exist and we have to click edit to see the comment. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 07:10, 19 July 2012 (PDT)
In regards to the renamings: "algae as fuel" seems to be more in line with ie other articles ie "Vegetable oil as fuel". Making this latter article into "vegetable oil fuel" wouldn't be very good as it needs to be split up into ie waste vegetable oil, straight vegetable oil (SVO), ... in addition the first also sounds like the refined fuels (ie biodiesel, ...) are incorporated, which can be done but that would make the article very confusing and long.
Alcohol fuels too is more in line with the other articles.
Now for some more important changes. Editing some more pages tody, I found that we don't yet have an article on Solar_thermal_collectors. perhaps we can redirect it to a category containg several solar thermal collector projects ?
I did some updates to the comparison of motors article. Appearantly, gas turbines /biofuel turbines are allot more efficient than using internal combustion engines for the purpose of stationary power production (could be 30-40% more efficient, so that's huge, the only downside is higher price/difficulty of manufacturing). I was wondering whether we could make a page on it. I'm focusing mostly on DIY turbines using a pulse jet, we should create a list on these (different designs) and also include a list of commercial manufacturers (ie http://www.bladonjets.com/ ?, ...). see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_turbine#Amateur_gas_turbines and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_turbine#Microturbines These aswell as converted car engines make up a huge part in creating local electricity production/distribution systems, so an article would be very beneficial.
Charcoal has been moved to Biochar. Although I do see that splitting up the articles allows for more info per page, I think it's quite confusing, people generally don't understand the difference between biochar and charcoal, and will start to look for the differences in production (I too did this before I edited the articles, and even found some bogus info, see http://www.energeticforum.com/agriculture/6041-biochar-vs-charcoal-vs-ash.html ). Also, I think we don't need a page on every subject, for example pyrolysis can be made into a simple redirect to http://www.appropedia.org/Biomass#Combustion_theory , ... I hence propose to simply clean up the article so that it reads nicer and so that it contains less text (condensing the info)
I made seperate pages for biochar and charcoal now, just wanted to let you know. I think I made the changes in such a way that you will now be pleased with it.

KVDP 07:16, 3 August 2012 (PDT)

Cool - that looks like a decent start. Thanks - --Chriswaterguy 07:25, 3 August 2012 (PDT)
I'm wondering whether we can't mention fertilisation using charcoal in ie the desertification page (which btw can use some extra info from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertification aswell). It should probably also be mentioned in permaculture-related pages. I've also been thinking on the idea of moving substances in the over-fertilised soil in developed countries (ie house lawns, ...) using biochar, ... to poor soils in developing countries. Perhaps it can be mentioned somewhere. I have heard by many people that (most) lawns in developed countries are indeed overfertilised and overfertilisation also provides problems (ie it allows too much weeds to grow). Making the soil only suitable to specific plants reduces the need of weeding and creates a more diverse (micro-)biomes. As we would use lawns, it's a bit different from simply exporting manure (which is allready being done, see ie http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/kaliningrad-rejects-pig-dung-angers-belgium/240121.html )

As a last thing, perhaps someone could take a look at the sidebar. The sidebar seems to jump to below the article text in Appropedia (it's difficult to navigate Appropedia with this flaw).

KVDP 01:43, 26 July 2012 (PDT)

Uncategorized categories

Are you interested in mopping up the Uncategorized categories?  :-) --RichardF 11:52, 10 July 2012 (PDT)

--RichardF 21:07, 10 July 2012 (PDT)

Thanks - have added to my list of categories to merge.
Re Category:Developers toolkit, Category:Demotech About & Category:Making made easier, I've added them to my list of categories to move, with history, to mainspace/userspace. I could maybe make a couple of hours to do moving work on categories (bot commands and export-edit-import) on the weekend.
I'm amazed to see Special:UncategorizedCategories almost empty, though - this is awesome! --Chriswaterguy 21:13, 10 July 2012 (PDT)
I've left a friendly note at User talk:Sam Rose re Category:Michigan Foraging. Don't want to create a foraging category for an empty subcategory. If no response, we can move the content to his talk page with a helpful note. So Special:UncategorizedCategories has only 3 items, and they're all likely to be resolved within a week. Wow. --Chriswaterguy 21:18, 10 July 2012 (PDT)
And with only some 750 wanted cats left, you might as well get that Vector skin playing in prime time! (I'm ignoring the infinite looping of our faceted classification system too. :-) --RichardF 21:31, 10 July 2012 (PDT)
I'm not sure whether to be concerned about infinite looping in this context :-). As long as categorization is logical in other respects and useful for navigation, my main concerns are met.
Lonny's the one to ask about Vector skin. What we really need is the tech resources to implement this and 100 other things. To do that we need to run a fundraiser. For the fundraiser we want Appropedia to look good. For Appropedia to look good, we want to have the Vector skin. D'oh, infinite loop! Let's see if we can prioritize it. The mobile skin would be good, too. --Chriswaterguy 21:40, 10 July 2012 (PDT)
Btw, I'm really looking forward to getting a good tool for suggesting categories. Sztakipedia looks good, and we're talking with them; HotCat on Wikipedia is another good tool, and there are more. AppropediaFox has a category function too, but it only works for those that install it, and you have to browse alphabetically. Another priority for tech development. --Chriswaterguy 22:03, 10 July 2012 (PDT)

Horticulture and gardening categories

split from previous section --Chriswaterguy 21:49, 10 July 2012 (PDT)

Blue question mark?

--RichardF 20:51, 10 July 2012 (PDT)  :-)

Yikes! Will look. --Chriswaterguy 21:13, 10 July 2012 (PDT)
Ok, how should we do this? For starters, I'd like to put sets of pages such as El Jardín Mágico de las Niñas into their own subcategories. Then Category:Horticulture and gardening will only have ~10 pages, and Category:Gardening has 31. Those are small enough that a merge is appropriate. And is there a neat way we could separate the topics? I don't see one - e.g. Herbs and Lazy gardening can be applicable in horticulture, and herbs and seedlings are relevant to both.
So, I suggest we merge all this into Category:Horticulture and gardening. I can do that with my bot. Sound good?
Personally, I think all "double-cats" (e.g., Category:Horticulture and gardening --> Category:Horticulture & Category:Gardening; Category:Culture and community --> Category:Culture <-- (missed one! ;) & Category:Community; Category:Food and agriculture --> Category:Food & Category:Agriculture) are bad design. The truth function of the category is operationally ambiguous. It's written like a conjunction (and), treated like a disjunction (or), and leads to redundancies, omissions and basic confusion, even for a faceted classification system.
My preference would be to eliminate all double cats, and then classify each effected subcat and article as we see fit. Have them split time with their previous TomCat parents, go to one or the other, or find a new home(s) altogether. :-) --RichardF 05:38, 11 July 2012 (PDT)
I can see that... the biggest issues are where to draw the boundaries (but that can be overcome, not least by getting ideas from Wikipedia's categories) and the small number of articles in some categories. If you want to split such categories, that's okay with me - but if you're uncertain or think they'll be controversial, just run your ideas past me first (or on A:VP, ideally)
How would you deal with food and agriculture - agriculture as a subset of food? But there's also non-food crops like cotton. Or food as a subset of agriculture? But many aspects (subcategories) of food are not topics of agriculture, e.g. cooking or food storage. Interested in your thoughts. --Chriswaterguy 08:46, 11 July 2012 (PDT)
As usual, inertia rules. I just think in the long run, mixing terms causes more problems than it avoids, although not always. I often go to Wikipedia for misguidance, e.g., (single paths)
  • Food --> Food and drink --> Nutrition --> Determinants of health --> Health --> Main topic classifications
  • Agriculture --> Main topic classifications
Everything is related to everything else, and everything goes in a circle. The classifications systems aren't hierarchical, they're multidimensional. I would just let the strands lead where they may. I find that easier when the cats don't, by definition, have dual constructs in their names. Here...
  • Cotton (no article ;-) --> Nonfood crops --> Crops --> Agriculture
  • Food --> Food and agriculture
Maybe if we did it like this...
  • Food --> Nutrition --> Health --> Topics
We could start discussing why we have the Health and safety category!  :-) --RichardF 10:20, 11 July 2012 (PDT)

Selected testimonials

Hi, I started a trial "Selected testimonials" page in my main sandbox. Until I get subpages set up, you can add new content to User:RichardF/Sandbox1. As much as possible, here's a "template" for what I would like to have for each entry:

  • First or Second Group (Left/Top or Right/Bottom display) membership:
  • Usable image link (with caption):
  • Short quote:
  • Long quote:
  • Name:
  • Appropedia or Wikipedia link:
  • Detail after Name (with link):

How's that for a start?!  ;-) --RichardF 09:47, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

Here's an example with a video. --RichardF 10:45, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

Here's a two video layout. I think something like this probable would be the best use of the space - two videos above, two quotes below. --RichardF 13:10, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

With a layout like this, we could have "Selected videos," endorsements and otherwise. One side could be reserved for endorsements, if you like. Plus, the "Selected quotes" could be endorsements and otherwise. If you want three levels - Big Shot endorsements, Little Shot endorsements, and words of wisdom, we could do that. Just come up with the material and let me know how much you want to see at once.  :-) --RichardF 13:48, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

Here are some proposed specs. Feel free to fix them up.

Main Page video & quotes layout specs
  • Videos about Appropedia, including testimonials
  • Videos about content on Appropedia
  • Long quotes
    • Short quote on Main Paige, link to longer quote on subpage
    • Mostly testimonials about Appropedia
  • Short quotes
    • Short quote on Main Page, no longer quote on subpage
    • Mostly inspirational quotes related to Appropedia's mission

--RichardF 17:45, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

The "long quotes" feature is working.  :-)

Flag of UNESCO
Appropedia is a stunning achievement! Well done... I like the clean design, presentation and accessibility of Appropedia... I think there is a need for constructive comment/critique of many appropriate technologies, pointing out quality, climatic and cultural constraints, etc. (e.g., solar cookers and biogas converters)...

Read more from — Tony MarjoramW, editor of the UNESCO Engineering Report

--RichardF 11:32, 18 July 2012 (PDT)

That's looking great! Now I need to get those quotes for you... (sorry, juggling a few things - be with you soon.) --Chriswaterguy 04:53, 19 July 2012 (PDT)

Besides running a bot, is there any way to find all of the #widget:YouTubes out there? --RichardF 20:16, 19 July 2012 (PDT)

To find everywhere it's used on Appropedia? Since you're an admin, Special:ReplaceText should work nicely. Just don't press "replace" on the second screen :-). --Chriswaterguy 21:23, 19 July 2012 (PDT)
Thanks, I'll give it a try. --RichardF 03:47, 20 July 2012 (PDT)
Okay, here's a list of videos. Some of them can be used for Main Page "Videos about content on Appropedia". Do you think any of them are "Videos about Appropedia, including testimonials"? Now, I wonder where that Category:Videos went? ;-) --RichardF 04:35, 20 July 2012 (PDT)
I made an "official" list at Appropedia:List of videos. --RichardF 05:34, 20 July 2012 (PDT)
Raw student feedback at User:Chriswaterguy/Comms/Student feedback. I'll see if I have any more (don't think so) - and I'll ask Lonny and Joshua for more. Having some of the quotes up there will be a great motivation - and a bit of extra visibility for the classes and their instructors. Thanks again - I really like this direction. --Chriswaterguy 01:28, 21 July 2012 (PDT)
There are also a few pictures related to service learning at User:Chriswaterguy/Comms/Service learning images. I plan to add more, with some uploading and searching. Just maybe some of them will be suitable to go with the quotes, if you decide to use images. Or we could contact the students and ask permission to use their photos. (Probably a job for me, plus something to ask in advance, next time.) --Chriswaterguy 06:11, 21 July 2012 (PDT)
Are you okay with mixing student and expert quotes in one section, or do you want to keep them separate? My thoughts are to mix them, so that only one testimonial shows at a time. An inspirational quote would show with it. If you want them separate, that would make three quotes showing at once. I prefer to show pics of the people making each quote. Please let me know which student quotes have their picture permissions with them. When available, I want to link to student user pages as well. I believe a user page pic already has consent for this use. --RichardF 20:15, 21 July 2012 (PDT)
I'm ok with mixing them. We'll probably end up with way more student quotes than "expert" quotes, but we can deal with that... one day, if needed.
Legally we have permissions, but I'd like to make sure the people concerned are happy to have their pictures and words of endorsement on our front page. Will work on that. Thanks again! --Chriswaterguy 20:51, 21 July 2012 (PDT)

Appropedia:List of videos shows all the videos currently displayed here. Would you like like to suggest any of these or other videos to add to the Main Page Selections? If so, I'll add them to the selections. --RichardF 09:50, 22 July 2012 (PDT)

I'm afraid to look at videos at the moment, as I'm trying not to get distracted :-). So I'll rely on your judgement to get that going, as you see fit. I'll just suggest checking https://www.youtube.com/appropedia if you haven't already (not a lot there, but have a look). I'm also hoping that Lonny will be doing some more video this semester. Thanks --Chriswaterguy 23:47, 23 July 2012 (PDT)
I haven't looked on YouTube but I did ask Lonny and Josh for suggestions. I don't want to be a movie critic either, so I'll wait to see if there's any real interest from the producers. --RichardF 06:19, 24 July 2012 (PDT)
I'd crack a joke about movie critics, but I don't know any American critics, and you wouldn't know Margaret & David. Context strikes again. I'll prompt the producers. --Chriswaterguy 06:36, 24 July 2012 (PDT)
For some reason, visions of the U.S. Congress keep popping into my head... --RichardF 07:22, 24 July 2012 (PDT)

Left-right intro suggestion

Hi - I messed with your talk intro section because longgggggggggg TOCs drive me crazy! I tried the same idea at The Pump. --RichardF 21:13, 19 July 2012 (PDT) :-)

Nice! That's probably worth turning into a template. (I'm wary of promising to do extra things at the moment, but if you get inspired, I won't stop you :-). --Chriswaterguy 21:23, 19 July 2012 (PDT)
I knew you were going to say that, but I did it anyway! I'll probably have some time to test a few things out this weekend. --RichardF 03:51, 20 July 2012 (PDT)
GreenCheck.pngDoneDone It's here and at the Pump. :-) --RichardF 13:14, 20 July 2012 (PDT)
Fantastic! I love things like this that improve the UX and also make editing less scary for newbies. --Chriswaterguy 01:28, 21 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)

Nevermind. See Appropedia:Village pump#TOCbox template --RichardF 13:59, 21 July 2012 (PDT)

Moving agriculture to farming

Hi Chris, could you rename Agriculture to Farming ? The last mentions the activity so this is the name we actually need to use, the term agriculture is useful to categorise the many pages surrounding this subject. I'm doing some major rewriting of several articles, and a renaming of this page would be rather important. KVDP 07:56, 4 August 2012 (PDT)

I can see that they're synonyms, but I'm not quite clear that farming is the better name... but maybe you're right, and I see no harm (and there's no merging involved). I've moved it. --Chriswaterguy 08:11, 4 August 2012 (PDT)
Moved back for now. See Talk:Agriculture. --Chriswaterguy 03:18, 5 August 2012 (PDT)


Can you revert the edits noted at User_talk:KVDP#Reverted Thanks, 08:23, 4 August 2012 (PDT)

Hi Chris, just wanted to let you know I made the Population_size article. I think this probably will be another controversial article (although I just stated the facts here, and tried to keep it as objectively as possible). I made it due to the text I read on many articles that "population growth rates were falling", hereby giving the impression that the population growth is no longer an issue, which couldn't be further from the truth. It's however a bit complex, so I made a full article with some simple calculations and thoughts.

Meanwhile, I read up on biogas, ... and will be tackling that soon. There appear to be some rather important issue that are not covered here (for example the heating issue, making it less profitable in colder countries than in hotter ones, and the source materials) KVDP 06:44, 5 August 2012 (PDT)

Thanks. I added a "See also" section to the population size article - there are several on this theme. It's true that this remains very important and that the population is growing (though the rate is falling). --Chriswaterguy 07:28, 5 August 2012 (PDT)

For the Multi-purpose plants article: I've reintroduced my updated text to this article. However, from what you mentioned to me, it seems like you actually mean plants of which several plant parts can be eaten. As such, perhaps it's best to rename it to Plants with multiple edible plant parts ? I moved the same text I reintroduced at the article at plants (as on second thought, many of the mentioned uses -except the multiple edible plant parts- actually work for ornamental plants too, so I placed it at Plants rather than the crops article. If I was correct, besides the renaming, you can eliminate the other mentioned uses at the multi-purpose plants article as we allready have it at Plants now. 07:08, 5 August 2012 (PDT)

Those edits seem ok. Re the name, Plants with multiple edible plant parts seems very awkward to me. Plants with multiple edible parts is a bit better. Multi-purpose plants actually seems ok to me, and allows for a plant having non-food uses (which are nonetheless not the extremely general purposes of "ground cover" and "shade").
Note "as well" is always 2 words - have you been able to activate a spell-checker in your browser? --Chriswaterguy 07:28, 5 August 2012 (PDT)
Then perhaps rename it to Plants with multiple edible parts, it's better to be more specific so that the same info isn't on several articles. Add ground cover as a use to plants.
For the spelling checker: no I haven't included that yet, I find the fact that I need to type in the recaptcha 30 times or more a day a larger problem. They call it a challenge, but that's really a cruel joke ;)
We've worked on debugging that - I'm not sure why it's not fixed. Lonny will be doing a lot of work soon, with a developer, to upgrade the site. Hopefully the CAPTCHA will be fixed then.
I just spent some more time correcting your spelling. There is more to be fixed. Please add the spellchecker ASAP - I would really appreciate it. --Chriswaterguy 02:29, 7 August 2012 (PDT)

I found that there is a category "Category:Horticulture and gardening" and I found that gardening is regarded as as a form of agriculture here (gardening is listed as agriculture see http://www.appropedia.org/Category:Agriculture and horticulture is labeled as "food production". The last is completely incorrect and needs to be changed and gardening may be completely horticulture (if there are only ornamental plants in the garden) but is best seperated completely from both (as usually, gardens include a vegetable garden, ... aswell) 07:45, 5 August 2012 (PDT)

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 vegetable oil as fuel. The vegetable oil as fuel/Plant oil as fuel can then mention both (PPO and WVO), 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 you or I can change the names, after that I can clean it up and add additional info (we need lists of commercial companies distributing conversion kits for both single tank and bi-tank systems. 01:28, 6 August 2012 (PDT)

Ack... I'm not really comfortable with such changes, without understanding it much better. I suggest (a) working to improve the articles before worrying about the titles, and (b) making the proposal on A:VP. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 01:50, 6 August 2012 (PDT)
Ok, posted at A:VP, finished up on biogas article, and moved the multi-purpose plants article. Made the farming equipment page.

KVDP 05:37, 6 August 2012 (PDT)

Cleaned up the biomass and related pages aswell. I don't seem to get much reply on my renaming proposals, though I do seem to get support from it from atleast 1 member: Darren Hill. Can I rename the pages myself ?
Something else: I moved the 3-stone fire to the solid biofuels stoves article (to distinguish the Improved solid biofuels stoves from the regular ones. Appearantly though, regular solid biofuels seem to be used nonetheless in developing countries (ie daruma, pot-bellied stove, ... see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood-burning_stove#Types ). I didn't think they were used there at first, so I thought the move was suitable, but I now think we better have a seperate Three-stone fire and A solid biofuels stoves article, the latter mentioning atleast the different types of regular solid biofuels stoves and making changes in this article and the Improved solid biofuels stoves on how they differ. 02:17, 20 August 2012 (PDT)

Three stone fires is unchanged - I guess you mean you moved Solid biofuels‎ content to Biofuel and Miscanthus‎, which looks fine. Thanks for your work on this. Two things would be appreciated when making changes like this:
I meant this 3-stone fire article, appearantly we have yet another double article. So, perhaps we can move the info from this first article to the second, and make a disambiguation page for the first ? 04:58, 20 August 2012 (PDT)

  • When mentioning it and asking for feedback (as you have here), link the articles referred to, so we don't need to hunt for what you're referring to.
  • In the edit comment field, it's important to say where you moved any content that is removed. On the page where it's moved to, it's important to mention where it has come from. In this case it didn't matter as much because it was your own contributions that you moved (otherwise it's technically a license problem - not giving attribution). But it's still good practice. (I actually reverted the change to Solid biofuels‎ and redid it with the edit comment.
Re moving the articles, I'll check the Village Pump. I wasn't so keen on the move, so I was hoping for more other people to comment there. --Chriswaterguy 04:25, 20 August 2012 (PDT)
In regards to the projects (see Appropedia:Village_pump#Projects ). Is there some page we can make to place the suggestions on ? I also forgot to mention one idea: of an Uninterruptable Power Supply + circuit breakers between the system and the mains electricity grid (to avoid damaging the system in case of solar storms). The UPS helps to overcome local power outtages + serves as a buffer to store home-made energy on (ie made by a gen-set). So that should be a very valuable project too. Perhaps that the Khan Academy may be a useful site to cooperate with in regards to projects, besides Instructables, ... Perhaps some video's are useful for integration to the Appropedia's_offline_content_bundle 04:09, 20 August 2012 (PDT)

Videos here are embedded, not actually stored - I'm not sure how we'd do that. But if we're talking about content which is open-licensed, there should be some way to do it. Good idea.
I'll check the Appropedia:Village_pump#Projects discussion. --Chriswaterguy 04:25, 20 August 2012 (PDT)
I added some things to http://www.appropedia.org/Appropedia's_offline_content_bundle#Sitemap , I kept it rather basic for now, but I was thinking that those manuals I made (which you didn't like as they were -manuals-) could be used as books here: ie see Appropedia:Books. They could also be included to the Offline bundle. Btw notice that I added a link to other devices (other than OLPC). In my view this isn't a device people can actually learn on (too small a screen). Nettops are easier and when used in combination with a (laser) keyboard and DIY projector offer rich viewing experience and easy control, for an affordable price. A backpack and battery could be used in combination with it if it needs to be usable on the road. 04:58, 20 August 2012 (PDT)

Hello :)

Hi Chris, Thanks for the warm welcome. I've just made a post on the Village pump about Practical Plants, to let the community here know we exist! We only launched this week, so I'm doing the rounds trying to drum up some support and interest in what I hope will become a really invaluable resource for the community :) —The preceding comment was added by Andru (talkcontribs) 17:03, 9 August 2012

Goldemberg corner

Eventually this subject might deserve a real article on Appropedia. I don't know enough yet to write a good one, but I mentioned some preliminary information and links in Appropedia talk:Vision and mission#Pushing everybody into the Goldemberg corner. As I mentioned there, I should transcribe my notes onto a user subpage for this topic, from which a real article might someday emerge. I initially began looking into this while debating with climate change deniers online. In the denial community one commonly repeated bit of folklore is that burning fossil fuels is great because the alternative is to return to Stone Age poverty. Of course we know that isn't necessarily the only option, although it would work to cut emissions, but knowing something is different that being able to explain it convincingly to a denier. So I looked for some research into the minimum fossil fuel burn necessary to provide one human with a decent life. And lo, there is quite a bit on that. In fact the concept is valuable for a lot more than arguing with explicit climate change deniers, it's also the way to define the whole target for green living and sustainable development in general, and to explore the relationship between getting what we want (a high level of human development) while trying to minimize what we don't want (our ecological footprints, which threaten to wipe out the hard-won benefits of development). --Teratornis 14:53, 11 August 2012 (PDT)

This is important, and I'd like to help this happen. I'm trying to work mainly on meta-Appropedia stuff more than specific pages, but that's a page I'd definitely pay attention to.
I've replied at Appropedia talk:Vision and mission#Pushing everybody into the Goldemberg corner. --Chriswaterguy 23:34, 11 August 2012 (PDT)