(Archive started: CurtB 10:25, 19 January 2007 (PST))

Interwiki[edit source]

Hi Curt. Good to see you getting active here.

Handy tip: interwiki linking makes it easier to link to other wikis, e.g. use Wikipedia: at the front of the link to link to a Wikipedia article, such as [[Wikipedia:Appropriate technology]] which gives Wikipedia:Appropriate technology. For a wikia site, use wikia: then the wikia's name, such as permaculture: or scratchpad:, e.g. wikia:scratchpad:WinWinNewIdeas.

More examples at Meta's Interwiki map (though it seems Appropedia isn't automatically updated, so some of them don't work... I haven't looked into the details, but I know Lonny can add to Appropedia's interwiki map.) --Singkong2005 talk 20:46, 13 September 2006 (PDT)

You wrote:

===Thanks for the interwiki link tips!=== I assume that was prompted by all the external links I added to the ruleset page. I looked at the interwiki help for some guidance as to how to use an interwiki link with an explanatory text, but could not find it. Maybe it doesn't work? In the Ruleset, there may be a couple cases where "Wikipedia:xxxx" would be acceptable, but several others where it doesn't work.

Perhaps these were Wikipedia project pages, which already have a Wikipedia:...? Once you add Wikipedia:, it should ends up as, e.g., Wikipedia:Wikipedia:NPOV.
By explanatory text, do you mean piping? e.g. [[Wikipedia:Wikipedia:NPOV|NPOV]], which looks like this: NPOV.

I didn't like the external links when I was done. It occurred to me at that point that the better result would be to revert back to the original with deadend links, then go create those pages, stealing (with pride) from the content on Wikipedia. (If that's allowed, in which case I guess it ain't stealing.) Opinions? ["Steal with pride" was a commonly used phrase within Intel about 8 years back, for some reason.]

It's certainly okay to use Wikipedia material - haven't read enough of the license to be sure about if and how to credit it (e.g. is it enough to give credit in the edit summary? possibly not...)

FYI, I plan to speak live on the phone (what'll they think of next?) with Lonny this Friday morning. Maybe you and I could talk later on my Friday / your Saturday morning? I can imagine a weekly or biweekly call being pretty productive. After all, you've got a greenhorn here.

Sounds good - Saturday morning could be okay... evening I'm often more free, and I tend to be a night owl. Try me, anyway - send a gmail chat message (though I may not see it till I'm in the gmail window) or an SMS. I turn off my phone at night, so don't be afraid of SMSing at the wrong time. --Singkong2005 talk 22:14, 14 September 2006 (PDT)

Blogging[edit source]

Hi Curt,

I've been a bit preoccupied - various personal things happening, helping out a friend in crisis... anyway, I'm just doing the occasional contribution here for now. I've just signed up to Blogger Beta and will get that happening soon... My username is Singkong2005 talk and the address for my personal blog will be http://singkong2005.blogspot.com. Are you still keen to have a joint blog for AT/sustainability/justice/hunger/peace type issues?

Got your note about my outdated AT page on my Wikipedia userspace, and will fix that soon.

Btw, I think I like the idea of putting photos on profiles... it's good to be able to put a face to a name. I had my photo taken floating in a tea-tree lake last new year (water the color of tea)... unfortunately there was a technical problem and so I'll have to find a camera & do something else. --Singkong2005 talk 08:25, 7 October 2006 (PDT)

I love photos on profiles. This site, just as with appropriate technology and sustainable development, is about the people more than the technology. Nice photo. --Lonny 16:51, 11 October 2006 (PDT)
Aw, shucks. :-) You expressed a great thought, this site being about people. I'd like to find a way to say that on the Main Page, as well as the Mission. Look forward to seeing your photos soon (no pressure). --Curtbeckmann 17:15, 11 October 2006 (PDT)

Adminship[edit source]

Hi Curt,

First, I would like to thank you for all of your excellent work, feedback and energy. Second, I would like to offer you adminship at Appropedia.

Adminship will allow you:

  • to officiate on any requests for being a topic expert
  • to officiate and mediate on conflict
  • to edit pages in the MediaWiki category, such as MediaWiki:Newpageintro
  • to move and revert pages
  • other special features

What do you say?

Again thank you for all that you do. --Lonny 01:22, 16 October 2006 (PDT)

I'm honored and flattered by your offer, Lonny! And I accept, but I'll be honest and say that, except for a couple of MediaWiki details, I haven't felt any urge to do the functions you've listed. What that means in practical terms is, I probably won't take advantage of adminship without some additional nudging or coaching. So, please feel free to nudge/prompt/coach as appropriate, and I'll step up. --Curtbeckmann 15:04, 16 October 2006 (PDT)
Welcome. The work you are currently doing, on promotion for instance, is great, please do not feel the need to utilize the admin functions until it comes up. But when it does, I know that you will be up to the task, especially on mediating conflict. --ATSysop 11:59, 17 October 2006 (PDT)
Perfect! Those are exactly the terms that I would prefer! -- 12:57, 17 October 2006 (PDT)

Archiving[edit source]

Re your comment at Appropedia talk:Policy discussion:

Maybe Chris can help archive, or I'll have to grok the archive template/policy/process :-)

I think you're on track - were you unsure of the technical process? Just create the archive the way you create any page. I just edit the url, adding a "/Archive" to the end. Or create a redlink, e.g. Appropedia talk:Policy discussion/Archive, and click it.

Sometimes wiki editors create archives by topic, or number the archives, but I avoid this unless the archive starts to get huge. Hope that helps! --Singkong2005 · talk 18:04, 22 October 2006 (PDT)

What Extension[edit source]

What Extension did you use for the RSS, digg etc. syndication? Thanks User talk:Trav

Recent Ports[edit source]

Hi Curt,

Great work on the recent ports. They look very good. --Lonny 23:50, 7 November 2006 (PST)

Yes, excellent work.
Related to porting, see this post: Appropedia talk:Policy discussion#Permission for copying information. Could be an important issue, but at the same time I don't want to make it difficult for our hardworking porting helper. --Singkong2005 · talk 02:46, 9 November 2006 (PST)
Hi Chris,
Thanks for the pointer. Having just followed your link to the Wikipedia "copyright permissions" guide, I was happy to discover that I basically asked the right question. I asked the author if it was okay to publish under GNU-FDL, but did not clarify the "anyone can edit" part of it. I'll check back on that. I would prefer if we have resolved the CC attribution versus GNUFDL or GNU SFDL question, but I'm confident they will be supportive, and so I don't mind investing the porting effort.
On a related note, I think it's time to create the policy page. I can think of 3 or 4 policies, depending on what's called a policy.
  • Encyclopedic content (listed in Ruleset)
  • Copyright request policy
  • Deletion policy (reference whenever we delete pages)
And see the related page, Appropedia:Transwikiing. --Singkong2005 · talk 16:27, 12 November 2006 (PST)
  • Page naming policy (listed somewhere else?)
Discussed elsewhere... the page Help:Page naming and section Help:Contents#Naming conventions. --Singkong2005 · talk 16:27, 12 November 2006 (PST)
  • Categorization policy (still shaping up...I think the topics issue is very relevant, and would like to see a separate page to assist in navigation rather than burdening the category page with that)
Going well I see... though I'm unsure what you mean by "burdening the category page with that" - I think the category pages are the ideal ones to use for navigation. --Singkong2005 · talk 16:27, 12 November 2006 (PST)
If we create a policy page (and I would probably do that myself after finishing the porting effort, which I'm about 30% through), then I would think that "policy discussion" would belong on the talk:policy page. Strong opinions? Let me know... --CurtB 10:06, 9 November 2006 (PST)
That's all good. I agree re moving Appropedia talk:Policy discussion.
btw I think that ideally we should resolve the questions at Appropedia:Policy discussion#singularizing categories and Category talk:Topic#Topic & Fundamental categories before we do too much categorization of pages. I know I wasn't going to do much for a few days, but I'll give a quick answer or two... your input also appreciated if you have any thoughts. --Singkong2005 · talk 16:27, 12 November 2006 (PST)

Porting, historical link templates, “Beyond Dams” stuff[edit source]

Again, I must say that the porting work you're doing is great - it's adding such a lot to the site. I notice you're becoming quite adept with wiki markup as well.

It seems we've basically resolved the original documents issue (with the historical link/permalink method... see User:Singkong2005/busy for my test. The link continued to link to the historical version even when the page was moved.) So, once that is worked out, I can see how this material can be incorporated and expanded (as long as the authors are cool with it.)

I must say the “Beyond Dams” material is quite impressive and very valuable... the idea of going beyond dams is itself an important one.

I was looking at the Desalination plants (original) page - it's quite a good summary of the issue - I was following the issue in the media in Sydney (along with academic assessments) and they seem to have the basic facts well covered. Considering the very significant environmental impact, I'd like to have a section pointing to alternatives, like greater efficiency (i.e. lower usage), stormwater recycling, sewage recycling, and rainwater harvesting - I'll look at that once the historical link template thing is finalized (will help on that tomorrow, time permitting), and I'll also point the page out to Greens people in this state. --Singkong2005 · talk 07:21, 13 November 2006 (PST)

Thanks, Chris. I'd like to point the author of the "Beyond Dams" at the collection of ported articles for review when I'm done porting, probably in another week. I guess we can point to historical docs if we edit some, but that would mean we might need to edit a historical doc, which seems a tad problematic. Or would you mind waiting (of course, anyone else can edit, so perhaps the historical approach is better?). Alternatively, we can save the changes (hopefully fairly localized), "revert", make the edits, create a new historical link, then apply the edits again. --CurtB 07:26, 13 November 2006 (PST)
Ah, so the individual pages might still change between now and when you finish porting? In that case, best that we wait a week - probably no one will edit them much. If they do get edited, it should be fairly easy to deal with:
  1. revert the changes,
  2. finalize the historical version,
  3. save and get the url of the current version in history.
  4. revert to the edit before step 1
  5. change the template to {{Contains beyonddams}} or equivalent, using the url as the argument.
Oh dear, getting carried away with solutions to problems that haven't happened yet...
See {{Contains beyonddams}} for my first attempt on the historical link template. Needs work, and a better and/or simpler name. Still it can be used, and improved at any stage. As I think you're aware, it also needs to made as general as possible, to ease adaptation for other sources.
Btw, a small issue with the historical url (to the original document page): if the page is moved, then clicking the historical url will show the original page, as intended... except that if the page has been moved, the title will be the new title, not the original title. --Singkong2005 · talk 07:54, 13 November 2006 (PST)
Another approach is to give the page a more specific name (e.g. Water conservation (Beyond Dams)) and then protect it from editing, and mention that in the notice, as well as giving a link to the editable version Water conservation. The editable versions would have a template similar to {{Contains beyonddams}}, linking to the original document.
Anyway, we have a week to consider the options, before we need to decide. --Singkong2005 · talk 08:06, 13 November 2006 (PST)
I like this last approach quite a bit. Create an "invariant" version, plus an evolving version, which should be the "main" version. Put the evolving version in the category tree. The invariant version can be categorized as "invariant" or something, but otherwise wouldn't show up in navigation. We can put a link (and attribution) in the evolving page, as well as links from the organization page, as appropriate. Does that all make sense? As you say, we've got a week (if I'm fast, more if I'm slow). CurtB 16:20, 13 November 2006 (PST)
By the way, I just was looking at Wikipedia:Aung_San_Suu_Kyi and noticed that it was "part of a series" on Burma Governance or something. This is interesting because all the separate Beyond Dams pages are "part of a series" in a sense. Perhaps the beyonddams template should reference that somehow. I can expand the "Beyond Dams" category, to provide more info, etc. But think about this a little. It's a tad different than the stuff from Demotech, or Ole Ersson, which does not (I think) have the same unifying theme. --CurtB 16:20, 13 November 2006 (PST)

I think the "part of a series" boxes are a great idea, where applicable, though I'd be more inclined to put them on current pages than historical ones (putting more emphasis on the editable, improve-able pages, which is what this is about.
For the same reason, I'm coming to think that it's better to use the link to the history rather than than creating a separate "invariant" version... we should move this to the policy discussion page and seek consensus on this. --Singkong2005 · talk 18:59, 21 November 2006 (PST)
Yeah, I guess it's time to take the next step. Those pages are, by default, blessed. I'm totally fine with the historical approach, as long as we are not likely to see any edits (and to be honest, I think I was pretty faithful, so in my mind it's partly a matter of choosing what the right policy is). If editing isn't an issue, then historical versions are great. Then I guess there is a question of where the links are. Makes sense to put them on the category page, so the BeyondDams category page will have hand-entered links to the historical pages, then the auto-links to the latest-greatest pages. At some point, if/when the derived page has become unrecognizable, then we remove the attribution template, and the categorization goes away, and the current (unrecognizable) version drops off the category page. That's perfect.
I've just thought of a problem with the historical approach - we can't protect or soft protect a historical page without protecting the editable page. So if someone in their confusion attempts to edit a historical page and saves it (in spite of the warning) then it will be a mess - we either have to wipe their contributions, or go to some trouble to extract the useful stuff, revert and then re-add... requiring a lot of work, and a judgement call on what's "useful". I don't see a way around that, so we might have to take the other approach.
And if someone tries to edit the page and gets put off by the warning, that's also bad - we could lose contributors.
My assumption is that the original documents are not for editing - I think they should be protected, with a very brief explanation of why (with a link to a fuller explanation, e.g. This is an original document and is protected from editing.) Also it should have a prominent list of links to relevant editable pages (and/or a link to those using the relevant notice template). --Singkong2005 · talk 20:16, 22 November 2006 (PST)
Perhaps these pages should be just soft protected Wikipedia:Soft protectionW), so that regular contributors can edit the categories, "See also" etc. Another way would be to put the original document in a separate, protected page, which is then transcluded into the final page where cats, "See also," "External links" etc are added. -- Singkong2005 · talk 03:59, 25 November 2006 (PST)
Wikipedia:Semi-protection_policyW seems to be the link that you meant. That looks like the right way to go about protecting the (largely) invariant page. I don't agree with transclusion of the invariant page, because I think edits should be available within the body of the original text, but transclusion would only allow before or after... Or maybe I misunderstand something. Either way, it would seem that there will need to be two page names. I suggest that the page names be essentially the same, with a tag, or maybe two, like (orig) and/or (live)... Actually, after just a moment's consideration, I think that only the original should have the tag, since I think the tag would be confusing on a "normal" page... Also makes me think that the PATB tag that I've been appending to the Practical Action Technical Brief ports may "want" to be dropped from editable pages... --CurtB 09:38, 26 November 2006 (PST)
I have just initiated an example of the dual page approach: See Alternatives to hydroelectric energy and Alternatives to hydroelectric energy (original). Chris, if you think this is reasonable, it seems there are a few "next steps" (warning indentation shift!):
  1. Clarify and close on template creation and usage (currently have Template:Originalported for original pages...do we need a template for the editable pages? Seems clumsy, but I'm concerned that the "this is ported content" message will be intimidating to others unless we soften it with something like "the core content of this editable page was originally ported from another source. The original version of the content can be viewed at ((provide link to original version of Appropedia page here))"
  2. Clarify and close on any kind of name tagging scheme for original pages. I thought about the copyright character, which would be nice and distinct, but which is tricky to type (I don't know how to do it...I've inserted it by using copy/paste in the past...)
  3. Document the answers as part of the porting policy
  4. Take action on all the ported content pages that have not yet been handled...
What do you think?
I think that's good progress - well done!
Re point 2: It's not copyright in the usual sense (and the original version is not protected for copyright reasons), but rather it's "copyleft", so the copyright character isn't really suitable. I like putting (original) at the end of the title.
I haven't had as much time to think about Appropedia lately (as you've no doubt noticed), but still around... I would love to find a really effective speech recognition program that I could also use on whatever computer I happen to be on, as it would improve my productivity enormously, and give my hands & wrists a break... Maybe I just need to save up and get a decent laptop with something like Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9, but it's a pity that the major speech recognition program is on Windows and not Linux... --Singkong2005 · talk 06:44, 3 December 2006 (PST)
One question, which I think might have been raised before, is what happens if the page is moved... I guess it would move the historical page also? That might not be obvious...but I guess we could figure it out. It would be harder to figure out if the current page had lost it's attribution... I guess that's the (small) issue with using history; the fact that it may not be truly invariant? --CurtB 21:30, 21 November 2006 (PST)

I experimented with that - the old link to the historical page should work even after it's moved. But as I said above, there's other problems with the historical link approach. --Singkong2005 · talk 20:16, 22 November 2006 (PST)

Content duplicated - one of them needs deleting?[edit source]

Just checking: when you moved Appropedia:Categorization to Help:Categories, did you mean to delete some/all of Appropedia:Categorization? (I've made those mistakes...) --Singkong2005 · talk 05:02, 26 November 2006 (PST)

I did mean to delete Appropedia:Categorization... Though thinking back maybe my thought was to see what other people thought prior to doing the delete.... I agree that we don't need it twice. I'll delete the Appro:Cat version, since I think it belongs in Help. --CurtB 09:12, 26 November 2006 (PST)

Hello Curt[edit source]

Thanks for the Welcome. I'm a Canadian teacher (english, math and science) with a background in environmental toxicology and industrial waste management coupled with interests in self sufficiency. Have helped out a couple of sections with spelling/grammar already and am generally getting to know the site. Although not a computer expert I am comfortable with them and know how to follow destructions;-). I'll be working on developing my projects here, backyard wood gasification, energy self sufficiency (probably a stirling cogenerator) and the building of my dream retirement home using timber frame and straw bale techniques. I also plan to help out and as you seem to have been here a bit longer than I a few pointers as to where I can be of most use would be appreciated.


Thanks for the Tome[edit source]

Nope, Not scared off. Found the site quite by accident, a link in one of the yahoo groups I'm in I think, and said AHAH. The compilation of fragmented data is exactly what I see happening here. Thanks for the tips on the preview screen, sorry if I inadvertantly added to the workload for a bit but that's part of learning. I'll look at the porting and if I can't do it now I will learn. As an aside the bold button doesn't seem to work.--

Just looked at it and am a bit confused regarding the creation of an original uneditable copy and an editable copy. I understand the difference but not the "how to" of creating one or the other. Also is there an easier way to talk back and forth that doesn't take up memory space permanently or does the community just use email? Vacuum1313 12:49, 30 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.

Keep up the good work. It's great to see the active editing community starting to grow as well. :) --Singkong2005 · talk 17:35, 6 December 2006 (PST)

Moving this conversation to Appropedia talk:Porting pages#Titles of original documents
Curt, in case you missed it (working hard on other things) I've responded to your latest comments at the above page. --Singkong2005 · talk 03:06, 13 December 2006 (PST)

Worldchanging[edit source]

We have already received 8 hits from your recent Worldchanging.com comment. Nice work. Not to mention the fantastic work on porting. --Lonny 22:26, 10 December 2006 (PST)

Spelling/Grammar Notification[edit source]

Curt, is there a proces to remove/notify someone for removal when an artical that was in the Help, spelling & Grammar section has been updated. I looked and do not find one. Though it may be early in the site's history I can see that list forever growing if there isn't a way of removing articles from it. Also a little frustrating eventually if someone wants to help and they find many of the articles already done. I'd also suggest a way of putting a flag on the file if someone takes on the gramatical editing so someone else doesn't end up duplicating the effort.--Vacuum1313 09:23, 12 December 2006 (PST)

Got it. Just performed on the "Bathroom Toilet Unit". Hadn't seen that little sucker but also hadn't edited the title section which is where it was. Still some editing comments however the spelling/grammar was done. Hope that's OK.--Vacuum1313 15:32, 12 December 2006 (PST)

Absolutely okay. Make sure you leave some good comments when you do your save. --CurtB 17:51, 12 December 2006 (PST)

Sparsely populated parent categories & empty sub-categories[edit source]

Curt, I like the newly revised table of topics at Category:Topics. I noticed many of the sub-topics are empty right now. At least one project I was part of, the Backpack frame bike trailer would go under Category:Cycling. Currently, the project is categorized under the parent Category:Transportation. In order to begin fleshing out these proposed categories, should I categorize the bike trailer project under Category:Bicycle? Then, would you suggest I remove it from Category:Transportation? My fear is that Category:Transportation is already an underpopulated category.

This has been a lot of thinking out loud — now that I have written this, I am convinced that the best thing to do will be to recategorize the trailer under Category:Bicycle and remove the old categorization, but still, what's your recommendation? By the way, I am interested in becoming a topic moderator for the transportation category. --Aaron 11:29, 17 December 2006 (PST)

Hi Aaron, thanks for the feedback on the Category:Topics!
As a side note, I notice a fairly consistent typo (maybe a cut/paste thing?) where "Category" is coming out "Categoty", and so most of the links above are broken. Just something to be aware of.
I think you're on the right track for categorization. I would move the article from Category:Transportation to Category:Cycling. I just set up Category:Cycling as a stub (very easy) so that people that look in Category:Topics will be aware that there is something to see in that category. It would be great if you could add more to Bicycling over time.
Lonny "moderates" appointment of the topic moderators; I would expect him to be very interested in your offer. I'll drop a note about it on his talk page. --CurtB 14:22, 17 December 2006 (PST)
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