There is a huge amount of material that we have permission to use on Appropedia. (See #Finding other open content information, below.) Can you help us bring it onto the wiki and make this a part of our growing, living library of knowledge for a better world?

Porting material to Appropedia has the benefit that more people can have access to it, and the material can also be combined with other information in this wikiW, and continually improved.

This page is for:

  • content owners who are looking for some help in getting their content ported to Appropedia.
  • those who wish to help in porting material here.

Helpers[edit | edit source]

The sources below, listed under #Permission granted: Requests for porting help, need porting. Before starting, please see Help:How to port pages for further instructions. Note that these pages are in development - please edit and improve them, when you find something lacking, and contact a porting helper if you have questions.

Also it would be wise to check what porting is already in progress before you start... again, ask a helper.

Copyright Owners: How to license us to reuse your content[edit | edit source]

Appropedia is interested in any content which could be useful to people trying to use technology in ways which empower humans to manage and take control of the technology. This includes technical designs, photographs, guides, operating instructions, case studies, illustrations.

If you or your organisation own the copyright to material which you think could be useful to our site then here are some suggestions as to how you can contribute your content.

If it is already on the internet[edit | edit source]

If the materials are already available on the internet then check

  • Is the website where they are available for download clearly controlled by you (the copyright owner)?
  • Are the materials clearly labelled as being usable under the Creative Commons - Attribution CC-BY or the Creative Commons - Attribution - Share Alike [CC-BY-SA]] licenses? (Please note that content licensed under the Creative Commons - NonCommercial CC-NC license is not acceptable on Appropedia. See the CC-NC page for details.

If the answer to the questions above is yes then that tells us that we have permission from the copyright owner to use the content and to make it available for everyone to reuse under the CC-BY-SA license used for all of Appropedia's content and you can go to the next stage.

If the content is not on the internet[edit | edit source]

or you answered no to either of the questions above then we need to find another way to document that we have permission from you - the copyright owner.

For personal photographs or videos consider creating an account on a photo or video sharing site in your own name. Many of these sites have an option of marking content with Creative content licenses. Otherwise contact us with details and we will see what we can do.

Next step[edit | edit source]

Once we have confirmation that content is available under a compatible license you can proceed to Help:How to port pages.

Alternatively you can add a link to the content to one of the sections below or see the list of volunteers willing to help port your content

Permission granted: Requests for porting help[edit | edit source]

Finding public domain information[edit | edit source]

Public domain content can also be used. There are no restrictions on public domain content. We don't legally have to show attribution. If a page says that the content is public domain as long as it is attributed then they are confused. It is however good practice and Appropedia policy to attribute the content in order to identify where we got the content from. That way when the content is republished under copyright we can show our version is derived from the original, public domain, version and not from the new copyright version.

  • "USA Web Alert" - from the US embassy in Canberra (search hits). These Web Alerts include links to US federal government resources, and some of the topics are relevant to Appropedia.
  • Appropedia's Public Domain Search (it just needs more work to make it give better results usable). The results are usually public domain, but please check the permissions of the particular page or site before using. (If it's ambiguous see US federal government websites and public domain for some guidance.) But you can also look up the US federal departments for whatever subject you're trying to find info on.

Finding other open content information[edit | edit source]

CC-BY and CC-BY-SA works can be ported to Appropedia, with attribution, now that the Appropedia Foundation has decided to change the license to CC-BY-SA. Ways of finding works under these open licenses include:

We'll get more sophisticated over time as we look for diversity of input, and search more widely. One list/categorization of free content (and there's a lot) is being developed at #Governments and intergovernmental organizations, below.

Good relevant open content to port, on sites which give clear permission (add link to permission page):

Good relevant content, on sites which should be open content (e.g. US federal government sites) but where the statement is not clear. These should be researched, and the sites contacted if necessary:

Priorities[edit | edit source]

Start with these quick, easy pages, i.e. basic HTML. These are easily converted. This list is transcluded from Appropedia:Porting/Websites - see that page for porting instructions and other info.

Tech development[edit | edit source]

If there's a way to download & turn whole sites into MediaWiki markup in one go, that would be even better - i.e. scr*ping as the first step. (That word triggers certain filters, hence the censorship.) Once they're in MediaWiki format, they can then be sifted and moved manually to suitable pages. - It's probably just as easy (and safer) to do it page by page, as we have an easy conversion tool in the Wikedbox.

Blogs - start here[edit | edit source]

Non-blog sites[edit | edit source]

These are not in a simple chronological order, so they will need a plan for copying the pages.

  • Paste directly into pages with descriptive names - based on name of original page, but according to Appropedia naming conventions, i.e. lower case except for proper names. Modify page name when needed to avoid clashes or ambiguity.
  • For pages that are a series, add a table of contents, like {{TTH chapter links}}, at the top of each page. Make a list of all pages as you create them, in order, for this table of contents.
  • Add attrib notice at bottom.


Check these[edit | edit source]

These might have good relevant content, or which have good relevant content that you need to dig for. Note that just because it's a great site, doesn't mean it's suitable for porting to Appropedia. Scan through quickly and pick what's suitable. (Upcoming events may be good; past events only interesting if they have interesting info, e.g. about practices, designs, or networks.)

  • Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence - Publications (Aust govt think tank - Chriswaterguy knows their social media person) - all new publications should be under CC-BY, but double-check.
  • (e.g. the critique of superblocks). Images may not be open licensed.
  • NetSquared - activism and change - will probably include some suitable content. (Anything suitable on the main site, ?)
  • - many posts, occasionally one suitable for the wiki. Scroll through as far as October 27, 2009 Impression Sessions: New Zealand - these have been done, so skip to October 18, 2009 (Millennium Seed Bank Hits 10% Target: These Seeds are Bananas! on page 4 or later) - Millennium Seed Bank is good, then look for later posts.
  • (haven't looked closely yet. suitable?)
  • Mana Mushrooms - First we must clarify the license (request clear CC license) then create a note that the original author would appreciate feedback (Mana Mushrooms#Porting pages).
  • - libertarian think tank; thoughtful arguments from a very different perspective than most of our sources, i.e. very valuable for balance. (Most importantly, some of the arguments are sound.) Need to search the site, as only a small selection of the topics is suitable for Appropedia. (Note the pages on Appropedia which already cite or include content from Mises Institute.
  • Otago Polytechnic, NZ: All work created by the university and its members are automatically available via CC BY. Look around the site to see what is of value, and double-check that this license applies for that particular content.
  • CD3WD - as open access. This is low priority: Note that this is already available online, we aren't really importing it to be used as wiki content (as most or all is not open licensed), and we don't have our own records of open access permissions.

Places to look for more[edit | edit source]

  • Public domain info mentioned on Appropedia:Porting. Finding well-organized online manuals/guides is perfect, though these are often in PDF. (The Public Domain Search will be useful, but it needs to be restarted. Ping me if I haven't done this by mid-March 2010. --Chriswaterguy 14:56, 20 February 2010 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Already converted, now needing more processing, breaking up and editing into suitable pages. Occasionally these will need updating with new posts:

MediaWiki pages (or similar)[edit | edit source]

Of course the easiest of all is content in MediaWiki markup, or maybe other wiki markup that only requires a little tweaking. Attribution applies, as always - use {{attrib wiki}}.

Single Pages[edit | edit source]

Mechanical Mathematician for Paraboloids
Offered by Brian White -- Ported to Mechanical mathematician for paraboloids (is that the correct title?) Oorxax 03:37, 13 March 2009 (UTC) (page needs some editing and formatting)Reply[reply]

PDF docs[edit | edit source]

See Porting PDF files to wiki for advice on how to do this.

Many amazing, low cost, local materials based, how tos
Invitation from Reinder van Tijen of Demotech
If you port a page from Demotech, please include the following near the top of the page:
{{Attrib Demotech}}
To see what Appropedia pages have been ported from Demotech (using the Attrib Demotech template above) see the articles in Demotech.
CD3WD - wait for license clarification
1 gigabyte offline library of Appropriate Technology for the third world
Invitation from Alex Weir Harare founder of CD3WD
If you port information from CD3WD, please include the following near the top of the page:
Experiments in Sustainable Urban Living
A remarkable site documenting numerous real world applications of sustainable technology in an urban environment by the Erssons. Ole Ersson has given permission for us to port any and all content from their site.
If you port a page from the Ersson's site, please include the following near the top of the page:
{{Attrib Ersson}}
Practical Action Technical Briefs
Practical Action offers over 150 briefs, in PDF form, on "how to" do various things from generating power to food preparation.
Appropedia has received permission to republish all the content that Practical Action has copyrights for. Most of the technical briefs fall into that category, though some photographs are from other sources that would require separate permission that has not yet been received. We've done many, many still to do. Can we identify and exclude the non-free images?
Note: make a list of the pages ported by Howtopedia. Do them last. (We may be able to use theirs - just as they can use our converted PA pages, since it's the same content, from the same source under the same understanding.
(Note: when secondary source permissions have been received, please make specific notes here.)
Since there are so many documents to port, please see this page where we will be tracking the pages ported.
PDF port requests
see the pages linked at to Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:Pdf port request.

Open access pages[edit | edit source]

See Open access. While open licensed content is preferred, open access is still good, especially when it covers content that we don't have under an open license.

Suitable sources include:

The following are probably suitable, but need to be checked:

Images under suitable licenses[edit | edit source]

Note: based on Commons:Licensing#Acceptable licenses and noting that our license situation is similar to Wikimedia's, we cannot we use images on non-commercial licenses, and cannot use no-derivs licenses. (Also stated at Wikipedia:Special:Upload and Wikipedia:Project:Image copyright tags.


Images sources specifically related to Appropedia's areas of interest:

  • Images of water and sanitation available from the WEDC Image Library - from photographs and computer graphics to technical drawings and artists' illustrations related to various aspects of sustainable development, especially water and sanitation. Includes search facility. Images will not be used for commercial ends, by re-sale or otherwise Images will be credited with the correct acknowledgement (supplied when you download the image).
  • Public Health Image Library (PHIL) on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It seems that the content is public domain unless stated otherwise - the wording leaves a little ambiguity[7][8] but I'm inclined to go with that interpretation. (It's a US govt site, and any content created by a US govt employee is automatically PD - if there's content which isn't PD, they really should have it clearly marked as such, as describe on a page about course materials - "Almost all the graphics and animations contained in this course are in the public domain unless otherwise specified."[9]).

Aside from suggesting that we contributors take photos and upload them, we can also ask for permission to use:

  • images from Flickr. Note that some, such as AIDG's, are under a CC license... but we have to be sure they're not non-commercial versions. Lobby them to change?
  • Wikimedia commons - these can be transcluded directly into Wikimedia projects. Is there any chance this can be done with non-Wikimedia projects? (Presumably not, but worth checking.)

Old Books with relevant information[edit | edit source]

The duration of copyright protection is dependent on a number of factors, including the nature of the work, the time when it was made and whether it has been published. The duration of protection for copyright works that have been published (or otherwise made available to the public) generally lasts for 70 years after the death of the creator. There are some exceptions to this general rule.[10]

Copyright subsists indefinitely in a literary, dramatic or musical work that has not been published, performed in public, broadcast or sold as a recording during the life of the author. If the work is posthumously made public in any of those ways, the copyright will terminate at the end of 70 years after that event.[11]

Many people view this as absurd - see for example Question Copyright

That said - if you have old AT books you can digitize them.

Questions[edit | edit source]

  • Any way of mass uploading images in MediaWiki?
  • Do we require a free license, or is permission specifically for us sufficient? (Requiring a free license could prevent potential problems down the track, since the photos are published within GFDL pages?)

Suggestions for content to request[edit | edit source]

Let's focus on documents in HTML and Word format first, as they're much quicker (at the same time work on Porting PDF files to wiki to develop a an efficient way of porting all those excellent PDFs).

PDF documents that we would like[edit | edit source]

  • AIDG Technology Network :: File Repository (PDF), and AIDG - Appropriate Technologies (HTML). Agreed in principle. What's the status - license is the hurdle? If insurmountable (or until resolved) can we make a copyright notice for these pages?
  • Eldis OnDisc - note that they refer to "months spent in pursuit of copyright permission" so we'd have to check whether the material is copyright and used with permission (meaning we can't copy it) or released under copyleftW.
  • Ken from Nabuur - can give suggestions on other DVD or CD based resources to request.
  • Humanure Handbook, I'll look into it--Vacuum1313 13:04, 30 November 2006 (PST)
  • Centre for Appropriate Technology (Australia)W - I'll contact them. I met someone from here, in late 2005, who said they had a lot of info that at that stage was not on their website. --Chriswaterguy · talk 21:34, 2 May 2007 (PDT)
  • Kamal Kar's material on CLTS. (PDF) - I'll contact. --Chriswaterguy · talk 21:34, 2 May 2007 (PDT)
  • Climate change reports & studies, especially those focusing on necessary measures, targets, solutions, and especially those focused on peer-reviewed science:

Non-commercial Creative Commens material[edit | edit source]

These can be ported when either we get permission for them to be released under our license, or (more likely) we start using a separate NC namespace for such material, or a template similar to {{open access}}. Is there a substantial amount of material to outweigh the likely confusion that will result? (Probably not, IMO. For non-open-licensed content, we're better off sticking to a single type, i.e. open access content, which is available in far greater amounts. --Chriswaterguy 06:39, 23 March 2009 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Governments and intergovernmental organizations[edit | edit source]

Any not PD/open content... to be highlighted and lobbied as part of the OSN's program, or just Appropedia's?

How to port[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

Discussion[View | Edit]

cd3wd[edit source]

dear all

as the originator and master of cd3wd, please feel free to take advantage of the great quantity and quality of material already in cd3wd (850 mega zipped, 1.2 giga unzipped). and note

that in order to be of some use to the 3rd world, cd3wd is very much designed for OFFLINE useage as well as online useage...

best regards

alex weir harare zimbabwe africa

cd3wd[edit source]

Hello Alex,

Thank you so much for you excellent offer. Cd3wd is a fantastic resource and so important, expecially for those areas with limited internet access, but with a cd drive. I think appropedia would love to take you up on your offer, especially for those resources most useful and adaptable to the online wiki community. We will work on developing some type of byline or box, to be included on ported pages, that states:

This information is from cd3wd, the offline wiki for the 3rd world, please visit cd3wd for more information.

What do you think?

--Lonny 10:46, 14 August 2006 (PDT)

Tracking progress[edit source]

Should we maintain lists somewhere (perhaps on Organization pages) of what content has been ported? That is, supposed you're a newcomer volunteer willing to port some pages. How do you know what's been ported? You can find the template and then click "what links here", which will give you a list of Appropedia pages (can we place a link to such a special page? I'll try it), but it's not always clear (as in "Beyond Dams") which Appropedia pages map to what source content... In the absence of that guiding information, I would expect a willing porter to hesitate (I know I haven't bothered to port any Demotech content in part because of that), in which case, we've missed an opportunity. --CurtB 10:52, 12 November 2006 (PST)

Here is my suggestion, and example action, for those organizations with over some number (3 or 4 maybe) of users and ported pages:
  1. Promote their organization page to a category
    • Articles can not be moved into the category namespace, so the contents must be just copy and pasted into the new category page
    • Redirect the article to the category
  2. Add the following to the template:Organizationpage (the one included on ported pages), such as Template:Attrib Demotech:
  3. Make additional actions such as:
    • Editting the organization page to mention the new features, such as the ability of users to add themselves as members of the category, or the need for porting pages).
    • Commenting on the talk pages of organization members about the new features.
    • Emailing or commenting on the organizations website about the new category page.
What do you think. --Lonny 14:12, 12 November 2006 (PST)

Where to invoke the template?[edit source]

I notice on this page (Porting pages) that it is recommended to include the source template (like "Attrib Ersson") at or near the bottom of the article. But I think we ourselves (certainly I) have been placing it at the top, and I would prefer it that way, because it provides context as the reader begins to absorb the article. Ah, heck, I'm gonna be bold and change "bottom" to "top", but at least you know why :-) --CurtB 15:05, 19 November 2006 (PST)

Agreed! I considered doing the same. --Singkong2005 · talk 19:57, 20 November 2006 (PST)

Titles of original documents[edit source]

A thought regarding the name of Solar thermal energy PATB - if we're using the original owner of the material in the page name (which I think is good), then should we change other pages to be consistent? E.g. move Reducing runoff (original) to Reducing runoff (IRN and AR).

My first thought was to replace "PATB" with "(Practical Action)" or "(Practical Action Technical Brief)" in the relevant page titles, but the full version of IRN and AR gets unwieldy. So I guess abbreviations are better - or we could use abbreviations for long names, and in full if it's a short name. Singkong2005

The Solar thermal energy PATB has not been protected, and is not an "original" yet in my process. I had added the PATB to the names more for uniqueness than for information. That was also why Lonny added Ersson to the rainwater capture page name. My preference is to be consistent about using "(original)" because it's easy to say "don't put original on other page names", but seems trickier to say "don't put names that might be original sources at the end of page names". So I'm going to stick with the practice of "(original)" at the end. This all implies that there will be a Solar thermal energy PATB (original) shortly. That's my plan, but...
I would prefer Solar thermal energy (original) (as discussed below - I think we're in agreement). Except for that point, I'm cool with your approach. --Singkong2005 · talk 02:59, 8 December 2006 (PST)
Where I am a little puzzled is how best to get derivative editable pages up and going. I mean, it's easy to create an editable page, by any name, (heck, we already have them), but I think there are various discouragements from editing. Here are some examples:
  • Project pages do not encourage editing, because they are most often a document describing an actual activity, not some recommended or proposed or planned activity. As such, how can some unrelated individual alter that? On the other hand, a how-to seems, by its nature, to invite contribution.
If a "project" page is ported into Appropedia, perhaps we should treat it like any other project page. Most of the time, people won't contribute, for the reason you stated, and that's as it should be. But if someone wants to add a category, improve formatting, or add a link, they are welcome to.
  • Custom pages, such as the PATB's, can seem (to me, anyway) to be so packaged and self-contained that it almost seems to be a violation to modify them. That could easily be my own lack of experience, but I have a concern that others lack of experience will lead to similar reluctance
I wouldn't have thought it would be a problem... being a relatively complete and well-structured page, they don't scream "edit me!" but that's okay. They'll still be modified and expanded over time, and if they are merged, for example, then there'll be obvious work for editors to do. --Singkong2005 · talk 02:49, 8 December 2006 (PST)
  • In some cases, the page names (like "PATB") might be a discouragement to editing, because it seems as though there is an implied "ownership" of the article or page.
What to do? I'm thinking that source documents that are discouraging can be used for content, but that perhaps we don't fully copy/paste into the editable docs. Especially when creating an editable page from an original project, I would suggest that we morph the project page into a how-to page. Here again, we could possibly use multiple sources. We have (I think) 2 rainwater capture projects that could be leveraged to develop a rainwater capture how-to.
I would suggest that we do fully copy & paste into the editable docs, as a matter of policy... This makes it possible to track exactly what has changed from the original doc. It also makes the porting process easier and less open to disagreement. Of course, we may then immediately make any necessary changes (giving the same end result as your suggestion).
I'm inclined to look at these things on a case-by-case basis, splitting, merging and recategorizing (how-to/project...) as appropriate. --Singkong2005 · talk 02:49, 8 December 2006 (PST)
Similarly, editable page names can have the PATB removed.
I strongly agree that editable pages shouldn't include terms such as PATB. --Singkong2005 · talk 02:49, 8 December 2006 (PST)
Interrupted in the midst of this comment by my 3 year old. Unfinished, but that's the gist of it! --CurtB 07:08, 7 December 2006 (PST)

Revisiting original doc names[edit source]

In the light of our original content policies, which have changed since the above conversations, I'd suggested that the protected original documents can mention the name (or abbreviation) of the author or contributing organization. I think that helps when people are browsing category pages or search results. --Chriswaterguy · talk 21:27, 25 April 2007 (PDT)

Porting speed[edit source]

We have an enormous amount of material we can port, but it takes time. Suggestions welcome on making it faster...

See esp - documents to wiki via HTML. Doesn't mention PDFs though.

Porting from PDF[edit source]

Let's see if we can smooth the path for PDF porting... What takes the most time and effort?

  • tables are the biggest pain.
  • images (uploading)
  • references? Probably these are just in footnote form, with no way of automatic conversion. They can be left in this form - it's not ideal but they can be tidied up later. In the meantime, the content is available, which is the main thing. (Wait a year or two for a bot...?)

Note: m:PDF Export - we can export easily enough. If only we could import so easily. --Chriswaterguy · talk 21:41, 25 April 2007 (PDT)

Possible tools/techniques:

Here's how a similar problem was tackled (not sure of source format): RoboHelp2Wiki.

There's a few hits on google:PDF-to-wiki - I might look later, gotta go now. --Chriswaterguy · talk 22:14, 25 April 2007 (PDT)

Porting from HTML[edit source]

Most of the work is in:

  • references
  • images (uploading)

--Chriswaterguy · talk 21:41, 25 April 2007 (PDT)

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.