## Hello

Hello Teratornis,

It is great to have you here. Your work on Wikipedia is impressive. We are really excited to see which ¨bits you move¨ on Appropedia!

Thanks, --Lonny 17:51, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the welcome. I will study the site and learn my way around. There is quite a bit of interesting content. User:The Ent came here at my suggestion, so I thought I should see what I'm recommending. I'll put some notes on my user page about things I might do. --Teratornis 07:13, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

## Index to Appropedia

I really like your idea of an index. I think that it would help a lot of people, and it would be great to see what you learn/suggest along the way. Let us know what we can do to help. Also wanted to let you know that we will hopefully be switching the editing interface on Sunday (if I have power and internet) to the rich editor that is on our devsite. Thanks, --Lonny 23:33, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I took pretty complete notes in Wikipedia:User:Teratornis/Notes#Editor's index to Commons about how I ported components from the Editor's index to Wikipedia. Presumably the process of creating an index here would be similar, with the exception that fewer of the templates I would like to use would already be here, so I would have to port them over from Wikipedia or Commons. I've ported templates on several wikis, so I wouldn't expect a problem. I might need help from an admin if I need another style class in MediaWiki:Common.css. An index page isn't rocket science - the hardest part was getting the shortcut boxes to right-align when they appear under a list sub-item. I never really figured out what was going on there, despite getting some help from some template experts. But it manages to work well enough. I'll let you know if I run into any brick walls. I would probably like to port Wikipedia:Template:Google custom because I like the way it lets me search namespaces and subpage trees, and (most importantly) I can save links to searches that I run. Searching is a big part of writing an index, and it's useful to record one's searches so one doesn't re-plow the same ground too much.
I hope the rich editor will be optional. I'm a plain text markup kind of guy. But who knows, maybe I will like the rich editor. --Teratornis 23:46, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Great, just let us know if you hit a wall. The rich editor will be optional for sure, and is much better than what we are currently using. I am a plain text person as well. Hopefully, we can make the system remember your settings, so that you don´t have to click each time to select plain text editing. Thanks, --Lonny 00:01, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

OK. Indexing is a big job, so this will take a while even if nothing goes wrong. (And when does nothing go wrong?) --Teratornis 07:18, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Just spotted this conversation - interesting idea. Something that might help with the duplication is some work I sometimes do with a bot, adding wikilinks and categories. It's actually a lot of work, and not my main focus, so I haven't done any for a while. But when I've run it, it's really helped with the categorization and wikilinking for specific topic areas, which should help those cases of duplication get fixed.
Another good exercise is building portals, like at Portal:Green living. It's not as comprehensive as the index you're talking about, but it's something I've enjoyed doing (especially seeing some of those getting a lot of pageviews over time). --Chriswaterguy 11:14, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I got sidetracked on other things, but lately I've been porting the indexing machinery (templates, etc.) between a couple of other wikis that I administer, so I thought I would try to get serious about indexing Appropedia. Portals are one of the first things I'm looking at to grasp the structure here. Along with categories, which is how I ran across the spam in Acid Value. Anyway, I'm editing a first draft of an index in my personal wiki (offline, running under XAMPP), where I have all the necessary templates etc. When I have something worth looking at I'll put it somewhere that you can see. As you surely know, one problem with moving from a well-developed wiki like Wikipedia to a smaller wiki is leaving a kazillion templates behind. The index pages on Wikipedia do not themselves use that many templates, but the templates they use have dependencies. I slogged through the export import battle on my personal wiki, and before I replicate it here I'd like to discuss whether you would want me to bring in all the dependencies, or chop the index down to not need them. The dependencies include things like message boxes, which are useful for a lot more than index pages. Don't feel like you have to make that decision from my vague description here. I'll make a user subpage that lists everything I would like to import from Wikipedia so you can decide whether you want all that stuff here. I'll need to edit the list anyway just to see what you already have. --Teratornis 23:58, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Great, I look forward to seeing that. We've imported a fair few templates, but on an ad hoc basis. The main issue I've come up against is that we don't have parser functions fully enabled - not sure why. It's on our list of requests, but we're short of tech resources on such things. I see you're used to actually running wikis, so perhaps we could ask your assistance on one or two things? --Chriswaterguy 00:20, 7 January 2011 (PST)

## ParserFunctions

(continuing from the above in a new topic)

Yes, it's hard to make much headway with template porting without the ParserFunctions extension. Fortunately it's easy to install.

It appears that Appropedia needs this one:

The procedure is just to download the file, un-tar it, and add a line to LocalSettings.php. I'd be happy to do it, it would take about five minutes assuming no weird problems, but that would require giving me shell access to your server(s), something you wouldn't want to do without some vetting first. Let me know how you go about vetting people.

Incidentally, I haven't finished looking through all the to-do pages yet, but have you thought about making a portable (offline) version of Appropedia? I imagine there are Appropedians who venture far from Internet access, who might like having this material on a mobile device. See for example the portable WoWWiki. --Teratornis 15:14, 7 January 2011 (PST)

After I wrote the above, I saw Appropedia:Offline browsing. I should probably not ask questions until I first read the entire site. --Teratornis 21:03, 8 January 2011 (PST)
:-D Feel free to ask away - I was going to point you there but got distracted yesterday. Glad you found it.
And the good news is that User:Jason Michael Smithson has installed ParserFunctions - the quick test above no longer shows the bare code. That gives us a fair bit more functionality, I think, which I'll eventually play around with...
Some of the Wikipedia templates with parser code are scarily complicated - hoping we don't need to go too far down that track. But of course, it all depends what they can do, and regular users don't have to look at the code.
Thanks for the prompt re ParserFunctions. --Chriswaterguy 09:36, 9 January 2011 (PST)
Yay! Now the porting fun begins. Yes, some templates are internally complicated, but as long as they work when we port them, it doesn't matter much what's inside them. Most template users on Wikipedia don't understand what's inside some templates either (waves hand). The templates I've edited are "locally robust" in the sense that if you want to make a small change, add another field, etc., usually you only have to find where to make the change, and you don't have to understand all the rest of it. Templates are built from wikitext which is a markup language rather than a true programming language with complex flow-control constructs, which means template code can look ugly but it usually is not too spaghetti-fied. The main complication to worry about is figuring out a template's dependencies. Sometimes these are subtle, for instance wikipedia:Template:Navbox relies on HTML TidyW changing how the MediaWiki parser works, and does not work right on wikis that don't have it installed. But fortunately someone wrote a portable version of the templateW that I had no problem porting to other wikis. I'll start a user subpage to list the templates I want to import, and why. Ideally, I shouldn't break anything that's already here. Adding new templates is generally less dangerous than fiddling with existing templates. --Teratornis 11:14, 9 January 2011 (PST)
Actually the porting fun needs a little more administrator help to get rolling. I'll run into a series of things that I need an administrator to do, such as add style classes to MediaWiki:Common.css. These things are generally not difficult to do, but only a handful of people have the access permission to do them. --Teratornis 00:20, 11 January 2011 (PST)

## Spammed pages

I was looking through Special:UncategorizedPages which led me to Acid Value which was informative in its first revision, but then User:83.233.30.34 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/83.233.30.34 shows some more spammed pages. --Teratornis 08:31, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that. The page for imported via Special:Import so I didn't actually look at that page, and didn't get around to doing a spam cleanup after the merge.
Btw, just found your comment (thanks to Lonny) on File talk:Wikipedia.png, and replace the image as suggested - thanks.
Great to have you here. Have you joined our mailing list? It's been quiet, but I'm planning to start posting some updates there. --Chriswaterguy 10:57, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
• Thanks for the explanation about Acid Value. If I see blatant spam on Appropedia, should I just revert it, and put a {{delete}} template on it if article's entire existence was spammy? (Like you did here.)
• I had not seen the Appropedia community Google Group yet, or if I did I had forgotten about it. Thanks for the link. I will probably read the group online unless I need to post something. I prefer to discuss things on-wiki since I like the ease of markup to make links etc., but if the group is where to discuss certain things I'll use the group.
--Teratornis 00:09, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
"If I see blatant spam on Appropedia, should I just revert it, and put a {{delete}} template on it if article's entire existence was spammy?" - yes, that's the best strategy.
Google Group: The wiki is good for discussion too, but the Google Group is helpful for announcements, and reaching people who might otherwise not notice. I like wiki markup for discussion too, but we need something more friendly to non-tech people, so I'll be trying my hand at setting up Simple:Press on our dev blog in the next few days. Cheers --Chriswaterguy 00:26, 7 January 2011 (PST)

## Great thoughts on appropriateness!

Just FYI, I adapted comments by you, to add to the appropriateness article. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 03:34, 10 January 2011 (PST)

You're welcome. This talk about definitions has me also reconsidering my habitual use of the term "developed country", which seems to imply that the industrialized countries have arrived, and everybody else should strive to be like us. In fact no nation on the planet has yet achieved anything like sustainability. Most of our wealth is based on burning fossil fuels, and thus will not last appreciably longer than fossil fuels themselves, unless we figure out how to create wealth without fossil fuels. A country whose present economic model cannot persist more than another century or two, and might collapse in as little as a few decades (depending on what happens to petroleum supply) is hard to describe as "developed" while suppressing laughter. We are also exporting enormous costs to future generations by piling up billions of tonnes of fossil carbon in the atmosphere. --Teratornis 00:16, 11 January 2011 (PST)
The actual meaning of these terms currently:
• "Developed country" - a country that burns lots of fossil fuels.
• "Developing country" - a country that is trying to burn lots of fossil fuels.
--Teratornis 10:24, 11 January 2011 (PST)

## Global warming pages

Re wikifying a "Global warming denial FAQ" as mentioned on your tasks page, that's a great idea. In the long term, Appropedia's probably not the place for it, but until there's a strong & active climate science wiki to share it on (hopefully soon) then you're welcome to build it here. The general philosophy is to support related work, but then transwiki when there's a better home for it.

We do try to keep things civil and NPOV of course - I'm sure that's not a problem for you, but we'll just need to watch those pages carefully if more people come to edit them.

And of course there's the practical response to climate change, which definitely belongs here. --Chriswaterguy 08:34, 10 January 2011 (PST)

My preference would be to just ignore the debate and get on with mitigation, both institutionallyW and personally.W Unfortunately, the flood of climate science disinformation makes personal action more difficult, both by delaying policy changes that can give more opportunities for personal action, and by eroding cultural support for institutional and personal action. Most of my local real world friends, for example, seem utterly baffled when they become aware of my low-carbon lifestyle choices (such as living car-free, jet-free, almost heat-free). They ask me why I don't behave according to their received cultural norm, as if they cannot even imagine a reason. It seems pretty clear to me that if we don't correct the ocean of ignorance and disinformation pertaining to climate change and the unsustainability of fossil fuels, interest in these topics will remain a fringe issue, probably locking humanity into the worst-case emissions and climate change scenarios. --Teratornis 11:38, 10 January 2011 (PST)

## Hello. Thoughts regarding discourse

Hi. I totally agree with you. Somehow all the sceptics are focusing on irrelevant details or facts that are extremely shady or coming straight from lobbyists. (global warming, climate change, peak oil, nuclear power or socially irresponsible business) ( I am in no means a conspiracy theorist, but i can see where most normal people get their arguments from )

I also agree with your concerns and thoughts regarding "developed/undeveloped". But somehow it is little easier to continue to use established titles instead of inventing new ones that noone will understand. It is common to still use the I-countries (for industrialized) and U-countries (for Undeveloped/developing) simply because most will know what you are talking about. (but of course there are huge nations that are both at the same time, for instance Brazil and India ) It is the same with "green" and other topics. "Natural Gas" is proposed by some to change into "Fossil gas" but it will be very difficult to change that habit now.

Now we have had very cold and snowy winter so far, here in Sweden. Many people joke about the lack of global warming or ridicules the climate change reports. They just don't realize that most other places is getting far much worse conditions, and it is worsening (on the global scale) (For instance Brisbane, Australia are getting evacuated, many island nations in south asia are dangerously close to sinking under ocean level)

So I try to focus my arguments and projects on saving money on the utility bills. Or the health benefit with walking and bicycling instead of using motorised vehicles. The money that I save on all the hidden tax, costs and depreciation involved with owning a personal car are huge. I could afford taxi any time when it is too crappy weather (but i don't really do it)

I have noticed that it is slightly more accepted in society to be extremely cheap or obese than to be an openly extreme energy-activist and anti-consumerist. Almost all that I talk to are thinking that I am attacking or critisizing their personal behavior and lifestyle, when I simply say what I have done to improve my life. Some get aggravated because of my own choices I make that does not harm them. (i simply have goals to live far below all global and national averages in costs, emissions and footprint)

Who would think that any person would feel attacked when their overweight friend says he is going to loose some weight? No, they would be supportive and help with this ambition!

Would a poor or rich person feel attacked when their friend says he is going to save or earn some more money? No, their personal economy have got nothing to do with anyone elses!

Sorry for ranting on. I have some thoughts regarding wiki-technicalities too, i will think about it first for a bit and check if it already exists somewhere. --Yeahvle 02:41, 11 January 2011 (PST)

Your perspective and experiences generally mirror mine. That is somewhat frightening, as I would hope Sweden would be more progressive than the state of Ohio in the US on environmental and sustainability issues. I guess the main functional difference is that Sweden has historically had higher motor fuel taxes than the US, which has forced Sweden's economy to evolve in a somewhat more energy efficient direction. But the average citizen in either country might be happy to drive a large 4x4 and fly around the world on jets and generally enjoy a high-consumption lifestyle without regard to the global and future consequences. Unfortunately I don't think there is any way to dodge the real issues. If we merely focus on the money-saving benefits of a less environmentally destructive lifestyle, that has two drawbacks:
• People who are wealthy enough don't care as much about saving money, so as incomes rise due to economic growth, everyone is back to wasting energy.
• The Jevons paradoxW - an increase in energy efficiency effectively makes energy cheaper, which encourages people to consume more energy. For example, I had an online discussion with a gentleman who wrote that he saves so much money by living car-free that he can afford to fly to Europe more often. He seemed to say this without any sense of irony.
I don't think there is any way to move society in the direction it needs to go (i.e. to stop burning fossil fuels) unless we somehow manage to persuade the vast majority of people to feel the same degree of revulsion for burning fossil fuels that they would feel about kicking puppies. Burning fossil fuels is in fact a shockingly horrible activity, and we need people to react to it with the shock and horror it warrants. The mere fact that such persuasion is difficult at the moment does not make it unnecessary. The most important element in persuasion is repetition. If people hear a message enough times from enough sources they regard as credible, they tend to start believing it. That is how almost everybody came to believe burning fossil fuels is desirable and harmless. We cannot shy away from telling people the truth. They will only believe the truth if they hear it enough times and from all directions. Consider that everyone raised in a "developed" country has watched tens of thousands of commercial advertisements since earliest childhood exhorting them to fly, drive, consume, etc. and convincing them that this is what the beautiful desirable people do. Even if people are consciously cynical about advertisements, and imagine they are not fooled by them, corporate interests continue to spend vast sums on adverts because their sales figures prove the adverts work. --Teratornis 10:23, 11 January 2011 (PST)
And I too need to go outside and shovel a few more centimeters of "global warming" off my walks. Too many people see some snow and think global warming is a hoax, hence their jokes about it. One response is to confront the misconception directly, for example by mentioning the steadily increasing ratio of daily record high temperatures to daily record lows. Across the US as a whole this ratio has increased every decade since the 1970s, with the increase faster in the western half than the eastern half. Warming in the western US is more of a problem because that is the drier half, and warming is associated with decreased precipitation, longer droughts and heatwaves, reduced mountain snowpack, and larger and more frequent wildfires. In the meantime, the eastern US keeps getting impressive winter snowfalls to excite the climate change disinformers. --Teratornis 11:01, 11 January 2011 (PST)
Yes, yes... And the U.S. have had very high subsidies on liquid fossil fuels. Sweden were also early to develop bigscale hydro-power-plants in all major rivers during first half of 1900's. Actually it is lucky that we had no oil or coal to exploit. And our solidarity-political system was also really great: all workers shared some of their income tax to make hospitals and schools free. Car and fuel taxes went to constructing very safe and free roads.
I do not really agree fully with the Jevons paradox, I guess it is only true if you imagine electricity supply is a constant and much higher than the demand. In Europe we are approaching retirement for many nuclear power plants, and governments seem to not being able to invest any money (thank you very much, Icelandic and U.S. banks for that bubble/crisis) to retrofit these with the newer, safer equipment needed. We really need to make huge efficiency cuts to keep prices flat. And thankfully the really rich peoples emissions and waste are a very small amount per capita. I think that most people would want to save a few pennies on unneccessary boring costs, so that they can spend it on other "fun" stuff.
Regarding snowy weather, it must also be mentioned that a local mass of air of a certain temperature can only contain certain percentage of humidity. If the temperature in near-earth-atmosphere is colder than 18 below zero (°Centigrade not °F) it is not enough humidity for snowflakes to form. So if average winter temperature was colder than that in your area, and it now have gotten some degrees warmer : it will snow much more now!
And when I "lecture" people about it they seem to understand it. You should also try to "inform" them, but gently!
When it comes to commercials: we do not fall for the products. We get the idea subconsiously that : "everyone else" seems to be using this item, and see how happy and gorgeous they seem to be. I want what they have. --Yeahvle 14:01, 11 January 2011 (PST)

## Soft redirects

Thanks for improving these. Replied on my talk page. --Chriswaterguy 20:19, 17 January 2011 (PST)

## quirky stubs

Re Chairs - you asked "Is this a test edit?"

Actually, Emesee likes to create stubs, and does it in good faith... we've talked about this in the past, and Emesee was fine about such pages being moved to userspace, so this one is now at User:Emesee/Chairs.

Thanks for the deletion tagging and other good work. --Chriswaterguy 05:50, 18 January 2011 (PST)

But the one that was just "appropriate...." I simply deleted :-D. I see the value in flagging a topic as needing an article, but better if we encourage the writing of an intelligent & intelligible sentence somewhere containing the redlink. --Chriswaterguy 05:59, 18 January 2011 (PST)

The irony is that on Wikipedia I lean strongly toward inclusionism. Pulling the {{Delete}} trigger feels almost like betrayal. But on Wikipedia, even the dubious articles usually have enough substance to show where they might be going. I'm surprised I didn't think of userfyingW Emesee's odd musings. My brain must have been glazing over from the other vandalized pages I was marking for deletion. Thanks for reminding me of what I should have remembered. In any case, I wouldn't actually delete a page myself if I had that power, until I had checked with someone else. Not after all the bad things I've said about deletionists. --Teratornis 09:45, 18 January 2011 (PST)

## Thanks and Image Rights

Howdy,

Thanks for all your amazing work here.

The new version of mediawiki finally has a select box for selecting a license for a file that you are uploading. It links to templates, e.g. Wikipedia:Template:CC-by-sa-3.0. Do you have time to make these work on Appropedia?

Thanks again, --Lonny 01:09, 19 January 2011 (PST)

I will try porting them to my offline wiki, where I have the necessary privileges to install the dependencies. I may already have the dependencies installed there. At first glance, I see the license templates require subpages in the Template: namespace, the mbox family of base templates, and template documentation templates, which I already enabled on my offline wiki when I was porting other templates there, such as navbox templates. I had already planned to port/enable those things on Appropedia, except that as an unprivileged user I cannot do everything myself. On Appropedia, I have to wait for someone to respond to my requests for administrator assistance. There are only a few administrators and all must be busy. It is possible to rewrite simpler versions of Wikipedia's templates with fewer dependencies, but that is a lot more work than setting up the target wiki to handle Wikipedia's templates in their present form. I think it is also inexpedient in the long run - falling behind Wikipedia's template style is similar to falling behind in the version of MediaWiki. Sooner or later, the need will arise to do something that requires being caught up, and then catching up will be hard. It seems the MediaWiki developers are building in dependencies on having certain templates installed on the wiki now, which kind of forces the issue. --Teratornis 13:43, 19 January 2011 (PST)
I was hoping to assist on Appropedia without having to ask for administrator privileges, in the early going anyway. There are many things I can do as an ordinary user, such as cleaning up the shortcuts which I have been doing recently. But template porting is hard to do as an ordinary user, since many Wikipedia templates depend on things the ordinary user cannot do. An interim step might be to grant me access to the test wiki. I could MySQL dump it to an offline wiki that I could use locally for safe testing. Then I would be able to minimize my burden on Appropedia's administrators by documenting the exact steps to implement the things I need. At present I can only provide somewhat general instructions with my administrator requests because I cannot see Appropedia's internal setup. --Teratornis 13:50, 19 January 2011 (PST)
Hi Teratornis,
Sorry for the slowness on those requests. They are now complete.
The interim step seems very doable. Are you at the point of needing it now?
Thank you, --Lonny 00:02, 20 January 2011 (PST)
Thank you! Please ping me if we are taking too long on an admin request and let me know if we get to the point that that method isn't working. --Lonny 00:59, 20 January 2011 (PST)
I got the first license template to work:
Getting the rest to work should be straightforward, albeit tedious. --Teratornis 23:21, 1 February 2011 (PST)

## Technical work and introduction

Hi Teratornis,

I would like to introduce James Gourlay (check out his awesome background - User:James.Gourlay). I have met with him a couple of times during his U.S. travels. He is ready to start working with Appropedia on technical issues. Can you maybe get him started on indexing or something more straight-forward at first?

Thanks, --Lonny 22:53, 25 January 2011 (PST)

Outstanding, I'll see what he wants to do. --Teratornis 23:01, 25 January 2011 (PST)

## Thank you

Teratornis,

Thank you for the heads up on the citation template and all the other fantastic work you are doing here to get Appropedia up to speed with Wikipedia. It is making a huge difference. --Joshua 04:21, 28 January 2011 (PST)

You're welcome, and thank you for your excellent contributions to the project. Feel free to suggest any needed bits I overlooked. --Teratornis 10:29, 28 January 2011 (PST)

## Bot vandalism

Appropedia has changed back to anonymous users needing to do math to post. This is how we had it set before the update. Returning to this setting should abate much of the nonsense vandalism... and hopefully not reduce the low rate of useful anonymous edits we have had. Thank you for your vigilant help.

--Lonny 19:10, 5 February 2011 (PST)

That sounds like the right approach. --Teratornis 20:55, 5 February 2011 (PST)
I might add that when speculating about the unknowable number of anonymous constructive editors who might be put off by the CAPTCHA step, we should speculate conversely about the unknowable number of constructive editors who might have been put off by the nonsense vandalism. I've never seen anything like a rigorous justification for the belief that modest security measures will lead to a net loss of constructive contributors (it's a common argument on Wikipedia from proponents of openness, who don't seem to imagine that too much openness might also drive away some people you want). If Appropedia grinds to a halt now, I suppose we'll know. --Teratornis 23:52, 5 February 2011 (PST)
The mw:Extension:ConfirmEdit#URL and IP whitelists section says you can set up an IP whitelist in LocalSettings.php. That would allow some constructive anonymous editors to skip the CAPTCHA step. Unfortunately this is not a convenient way to maintain an IP whitelist. An on-wiki special page, accessible to administrators, would be more convenient. --Teratornis 09:56, 7 February 2011 (PST)
I worry about IP blacklists, whitelists and blocks, because IP addresses can change.IP address#Sticky_dynamic_IP_addressW A couple of years ago I was blocked from editing the Malaysian Wikipedia because of an IP block - not sure whether it was a case of dynamic IPs (I've heard they're used in Australia) and found it extremely frustrating. I'm certain that no one else in that house had looked at the Malaysian Wikipedia, let alone vandalized it.
I'm very interested in seeing if we can apply what works so well on WordPress, even when CAPTCHA is turned off: "Bad Behavior" and, if possible, some equivalent of Akismet. --Chriswaterguy 04:26, 16 February 2011 (PST)
It seems that even the simple CAPTCHA has eliminated the flood of vandalism we were having. I did not realize it would work so well. In the case of IP blocks, Wikipedia has some exemptionW mechanism for allowing humans on a blocked IP to create an account and edit after logging in. I have no experience with it. In theory that should have let you edit on the Malaysian Wikipedia, but I don't know whether the smaller Wikipedias are as well-managed as the big ones. Maybe few or no users there knew how to administer the exemption feature. --Teratornis 09:18, 16 February 2011 (PST)

## A late welcome from Curt

Hi Teratornis,

Wow, what a bunch of great work in the last few weeks! I recognized your name from way back but wasn't paying much attention recently when you cranked it back up. Fantastic! I'm particularly excited by the Parser funcs (I think ages back that we had some funky incompatibility between extensions). So cool to be able to import templates and implement good ones. Thanks for the re-engagement! I'm inspired to follow suit! CurtB 09:26, 16 February 2011 (PST)

What do you have in mind to do? --Teratornis 10:32, 16 February 2011 (PST)

## template for file copyvio?

For now I'm just using {{copyvio|no source or license info for this image}} but I figure you'll have ideas of how to do it more clearly.

I just made MediaWiki:Uploadtext more emphatic. --Chriswaterguy 19:12, 26 February 2011 (PST)

• You might like {{Tlx}} to show template use with parameters, e.g.: {{copyvio|no source or license info for this image}}. I ported that one here recently. A lot of template documentation pages on Wikipedia use it, so I ported it primarily to simplify porting other templates.
• Commons:Template:Copyvio is an example of a copyright violation notice template specifically for media files. Since it uses the same name as Appropedia's existing {{Copyvio}} template for article content, that raises a question of how to make suitable templates to handle the various cases here. I'll look on Wikipedia to see how they do it, since Wikipedia gets every imaginable type of copyright violation.
From the subset of photographs I have seen on Appropedia, we probably have a lot of media files with unclear licensing. Until very recently, we didn't even have the basic set of license templates. It would take a lot of work to put properly filled-out {{Information}} templates on all 12,000+ media files here, even if all the necessary information was available. Just another one of those laborious gnome tasks essential to having a well-run wiki. --Teratornis 00:18, 27 February 2011 (PST)
Hi Chris and Teratornis,
Related to this conversation - Do we have a simple page that describes how to find and label image rights... especially focusing on those people about to upload an image?
I added some wording to Help:Images (based on another updated version of MediaWiki:Uploadtext), but it seems like we need a better page to link to from there than open-source license. Thanks, --Lonny 23:14, 28 February 2011 (PST)
Thanks, that all makes sense. I think one of the reasons we have gone so long without problems, is that most of our content is for a greater good that many of the content creators are directly working towards as well (as opposed to a greater good that the content creator may not be working directly towards). --Lonny 00:11, 1 March 2011 (PST)
Yes - that said, we have a lot of almost certain copyvio images, and if the owners knew they were here they might still be unhappy... and if they were happy it would likely be because they didn't understand the open license... (based on conversations I've had with sustainability people about open licensing their work). --Chriswaterguy 07:57, 1 March 2011 (PST)
It's the problem of essential complexityW as articulated by Fred BrooksW in his No Silver BulletW essay. When an underlying problem is inherently (essentially) complex (such as image licensing), the software system that solves it cannot hide the complexity from the user. The choice of a (valid) software license requires a user to satisfy some complex legal constraints (which software cannot yet adequately determine) as well as to make some arbitrary choices about what to value. The arbitrary choices require the user to understand the philosophy of the open source/free content movement. The very slow uptake of these ideas in the general population greatly retards what we want to do. As a corollary, I don't think anyone who writes a book about a collective action problem like climate change, and copyrights it with all rights reserved, is really serious about solving the problem of climate change. I don't have a problem with people trying to make some money, but that's like trying to nickel and dime your way off the sinking Titanic when it comes to huge problems with a time limit like climate change. Imposing the requirement to make money by hoarding information, when we don't even know if the problem is solvable in time to avoid catastrophe, risks over-constraining the problem. --Teratornis 14:52, 1 March 2011 (PST)

## WP project space pages

Very small suggestion: sometimes a Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Foo link confuses people, so I like to use Wikipedia:Project:Foo. --Chriswaterguy 19:35, 3 March 2011 (PST)

## Help on 3D model electricity generator

Hi Teratornis, I just noticed that you uploaded several images on electricity generators at wikimedia commons/wikipedia.

I was wondering whether you could help me (give general advice, and perhaps advice on the wiring) on selecting and modelling out a electricity generator. See here

Thanks in advance, KVDP 23:49, 3 March 2011 (PST)

I uploaded some images of wind farms from Flickr to Wikimedia Commons, and I moved a fair number of images uploaded by other people from the English Wikipedia to Wikimedia Commons, mostly relating to energy topics. But I don't have the detailed knowledge of electric motors that Commons:User:Andy Dingley appears to have. Have you read any textbooks on electric motors? This is probably mostly old technology, so there should be plenty of standard texts. --Teratornis 00:05, 4 March 2011 (PST)

## Inviting rough starts

Hi Teratornis,

I was thinking about some conversations we've had in talk space, where you put down some key facts that could be used to start an article. Then I was thinking about all the conversations that happen on wiki talkspaces, Facebook and elsewhere, and realizing that for most people, it's much less daunting to leave a comment than to start (or add to) an article.

Then I wondered - what if we had a way of inviting people to "dump" worthwhile info onto a page, without any expectations? Maybe a template called {{refactor}} which could say "This content has been taken from another source and needs to be rewritten to form a useful article." I don't know if it'll actually make a difference, but I'm trying to think of ways to make the whole process clearer - and make it clear that starting a really rough or brief article can actually be a valuable thing to do, because others can build on it.

Do you know of anything - template, process or other - that tries to do this on other wikis? Or have any other ideas? Hope that makes some sense. --Chriswaterguy 04:26, 23 March 2011 (PDT)

There is a wikipedia:Template:Wikify. I think we should encourage people to write freely on user subpages. In particular, opinion pieces, POVW-essays, and first-person accounts belong in user space (I would like to write few). Using article space as a dumping ground sounds undesirable to me. There will probably always be more dumpers than cleaners, since a person would have to read a lot of help pages to learn enough about wiki editing to become a cleaner. While we're on the subject, I think we over-use the article space on Appropedia a bit, with pages that should be in the Project: namespace, or possibly in a secondary project namespace of some sort for projects that aren't internal to Appropedia itself (such as university course projects - maybe a separate namespace to handle all their internal work, from which they might draw article-worthy content). There are pages in article space that say they aren't to be edited by outsiders, which to me cuts against the definition of article space - those should be in project namespaces. I'm kind of diverging here from your original question. We might also have a separate namespace for content dumping as you describe above, something that is a collaborative step up from user subpages, which by convention only the "owning" user would edit. --Teratornis 23:04, 24 March 2011 (PDT)
An example of an "article" that should be in project space is Wikedbox. That should probably move to Appropedia:WikEd/WikEdbox. See my comments in:
--Teratornis 23:42, 24 March 2011 (PDT)

Hi Teratornis. Are you interested in becoming an admin? I pinged Curt & Lonny and they support this.

We don't have an active, open process for this, but I've placed the nomination at Appropedia:Administrators/Nominations. I figure we also propose your adminship on the mailing list and A:VP & ask for feedback on the Nominations page. (I don't foresee any issues - it's just a matter of being inclusive, which I'm sure you'll support.) --Chriswaterguy 20:00, 24 March 2011 (PDT)

If nominated, I will run. If elected, I will serve. Thanks. --Teratornis 23:05, 24 March 2011 (PDT)
Thank you. We are honored to have you serve in this role. Please let us know if you have any questions. --Lonny 20:24, 4 April 2011 (PDT)
Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'll do my best to justify it. --Teratornis 21:38, 4 April 2011 (PDT)

## Language user boxes

Thoughts on this? User_talk:Chriswaterguy#Language fluency box templates for user pages. --Chriswaterguy 17:25, 30 March 2011 (PDT)

## optional argument for template?

I added an optional argument to {{open access}}, except I wasn't sure how to make it optional and not display the {{{1}}} (and I want to finish this & get working on our internship programs today). No rush, but thought it may be much easier for you. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 01:17, 28 April 2011 (PDT)

I haven't analyzed the problem in detail but at first glance it looks like you are having the problem with conditional tables that I documented in User:Teratornis/Template porting: theory and practice#Other external software. If the problem is what I think it might be, I know of two possible solutions:
• Install HTML Tidy on Appropedia's server. I've never done this on any wiki where I have server access, (13:06, 21 May 2011 (PDT): actually I did install it on one of my test wikis running on a Ubuntu server, but I forgot about that.) so I assume it is hard and probably not an option.
• Rewrite the template to use HTML table code instead of wikitext table code. See my notes for examples. Sometimes this can cause other problems, though. Whether it works depends on the intricacy of your template.
I can look at the template if you don't have time to try either of the above potential solutions. If you're going to code a lot of templates on Appropedia, which you clearly are, I recommend trying to understand the HTML Tidy problem, because it comes up repeatedly when we port intricate templates from Wikipedia, and is vexing when you don't understand the cause. --Teratornis 11:35, 29 April 2011 (PDT)
This particular problem comes up with the {{Navbox}} template, and also with Wikipedia's infobox templates (many of which have conditional table rows). I have copied a portable version of Navbox but I have not gotten to porting infoboxes here yet. I might have enough tools and understanding in place to tackle that now. --Teratornis 11:38, 29 April 2011 (PDT)
Thanks. Sounds like HTML Tidy is going to be useful - I'll propose that we add that. These things happen slowly, but hopefully they'll speed up. I'm ok living with the dangling {{{1}}} in the meantime. --Chriswaterguy 01:20, 2 May 2011 (PDT)
While looking through my notes I found that I did install HTML Tidy on 18 February 2008 on a test wiki on a computer I have that is running Ubuntu Linux. It wasn't too difficult but HTML Tidy already happened to be on that computer, so I only had to tell MediaWiki to use it. The main complication is that every different server has its own peculiarities for installing software packages, which would make a wiki harder to port to other platforms (for example to offline instances). Installing HTML Tidy has the drawback that only a few people who have shell access to the server could potentially do it, whereas any wiki user can potentially code a template so it does not require HTML Tidy (although some templates from Wikipedia have extremely complex dependencies on HTML Tidy that are hard to code around). --Teratornis 13:06, 21 May 2011 (PDT)

## Content interns

I've made Appropedia:Content intern homepage - I'll invite the interns to watch that page. Since the content interns' work is more individual than the tech interns' I think it won't be very active to start with, but if you could add the page to your watchlist, that would be great. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 11:52, 27 May 2011 (PDT)

Update: We haven't had a lot of activity from content interns yet (but some great tech intern work happening). Stay tuned though - I'm slowly expanding my promotion of our academic programs, including internships. --Chriswaterguy 12:00, 25 June 2011 (PDT)

## "Manuals"

Would appreciate your input here: A:VP #We need a policy on manuals & guides - also on the thread above it, on religious content. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 12:00, 25 June 2011 (PDT)

## optional template argument

I wonder if you could add an optional argument for alternative display text, on {{new section}}? Then I'll see if I can figure out how you've done it - I haven't had time to learn how the parser and logical stuff works in templates, yet. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 03:34, 7 August 2011 (PDT)

I guess it worked. A parser function is not necessary to add an optional argument that merely displays some plain text. Coding gets more complicated when you want to do something like make a row of a table optional, as in many infoboxes and navigation boxes. --Teratornis 12:20, 14 August 2011 (PDT)
Great, thank you! --Chriswaterguy 03:42, 1 September 2011 (PDT)

I just realized that {{Mergeto}} assumes that the target page is in the same namespace as the current page, when creating a link to the target's talk page - see it currently at Appropedia:Sandbox#Mergeto bug. Any idea how to get a template to turn [[Foospace:bar]] (i.e. the parameter) into [[Foospace talk:Bar]]? Looking at the source of the Wikipedia equivalent, there may be template porting needed.

I'd be ok with a simpler version of the template... but having that talk page link there does make sense. --Chriswaterguy 05:08, 1 September 2011 (PDT)

Some of the templates I ported from Wikipedia have some namespace detection and manipulation code. See for example: {{Namespace detect}} and Category:Namespace manipulation templates. I don't think I did any actual coding (from scratch) with these templates; I only ported them as part of the "ball of yarn" dependencies necessary for other templates I actually wanted. However, I'm at least vaguely aware that a lot of templates on Wikipedia detect the namespace of the page they're transcluded on, and then do different things depending on the namespace. Anyway, I'll look at {{Mergeto}} and see if I can make sense of what you need it to do, i.e. whether it is better to try to write only the code we are aware of needing at this moment, or port the whole Wikipedia template. In general I lean toward copying whole Wikipedia templates where possible, just to minimize annoyances later when someone sees a template with a familiar name and expects it to work like the original on Wikipedia. --Teratornis 15:12, 2 September 2011 (PDT)
The difference between {{Mergeto}} and wikipedia:Template:Merge to that is relevant to your question is that the Wikipedia version of the template takes a discuss named parameter that tells the template what talk page to link to. When discuss has no value, the template constructs the talk page link to be in the talk namespace of the same namespace of the page where the template appears. It would be simple to add that feature to our template. I'm not sure how much of the rest of the Wikipedia version to port. The Wikipedia version allows up to 20 pages to be in the merged-to list. I'm not sure I understand that. I'll look for examples on Wikipedia and see if it makes sense for us. --Teratornis 17:00, 13 September 2011 (PDT)
Thanks. I think it would occasionally be useful to allow for multiple pages in these templates, but maybe 3 or 4 would be enough, rather than 20? --Chriswaterguy 09:07, 14 September 2011 (PDT)
I didn't find any current example of wikipedia:Template:Merge to that uses the multiple page feature. So I am not sure I understand what it is for. But it is no more work to allow for 20 pages since I can more easily copy and paste the Wikipedia code without trying to edit it down. --Teratornis 22:23, 16 September 2011 (PDT)

## On Bible quotes

Hi Teratornis,.....

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 23:46, 20 August 2011 (PDT)

Hi Teratornis,

I've noticed that a few recent files have tags that say "This file is in the public domain, because (no reason given!)" - e.g. File:CIS Wurth.png. I've noticed that when I upload an image, the only way to enter the reason is to go back and edit the page, entering the reason as a parameter in the template.

Do you know of a way to allow the reason to be entered at the time of uploading? --Chriswaterguy 01:24, 7 October 2011 (PDT)

## AbuseFilter shutdown method - just in case

Hi Teratornis,

I want to make sure that admins know how to shut down a problematic AbuseFilter, in case someone contacts you:

All activity by the AbuseFilter is logged at Special:AbuseLog. That will show (for example) that User:JohnDoe triggered filter 3, and you can view the attempted edit. An admin can also click through to the filter and change the settings so it doesn't "Block". It can be left on "Log," though, so we can analyze what's going wrong.

Hopefully that won't be needed though.

Thanks, and I hope you have a good break! --Chriswaterguy 20:34, 22 December 2011 (PST)

## Sidebar

I just added {{sidebar}} from Wikipedia - the previous work you've done made that very straightforward.

I was thinking that it wouldn't hurt to have some stylistic difference from Wikipedia. E.g. rounded corners, different color (to match the new skin which really will arrive in the not-too-distant future).

My previous sidebars didn't use a metatemplate, and I found them a bit lacking in layout and aesthetics, and awkward for most people to create new ones... so I went looking and found sidebar. (Haven't implemented it yet - planning to do {{service learning navigation}} first.) --Chriswaterguy 10:44, 26 March 2012 (PDT)

Than you for using the {{Documentation}} template. An undocumented tip: I've found that for some reason I don't understand, when I add a template category to the /doc subpage (which the template page will transclude), the template page does not actually appear in the category until I do a null edit on the template page. I.e., click the edit tab on {{Sidebar}} and immediately click Save page without making any changes. I will let you test this:
--Teratornis 08:00, 1 April 2012 (PDT)
Actually I did document this tip in Template:Documentation#Bug. It is unlikely that a person who copies a template from Wikipedia that has a documentation subpage would spot that documentation. I will add a mention to User:Teratornis/Template porting: theory and practice. I've noticed this same problem on other non-Wikipedia MediaWiki wikis I have edited. I cannot recall whether I've seen it on Wikipedia; I suppose I could look. --Teratornis 08:07, 1 April 2012 (PDT)
It worked exactly as you've said. I've seen that or something similar in the past - forget the context.
Forrest is working on getting us from MW 1.17 to 1.19, same as Wikipedia. That may make a difference. --Chriswaterguy 13:55, 3 April 2012 (PDT)

## IRC

We've got a few people online on #appropedia these days - and I'm now starting to keep the channel open myself, prompted by User:JRWR. Your presence and wisdom would be most welcome! --Chriswaterguy 10:45, 26 March 2012 (PDT)

## Template import

I looked at wikipedia:Template:Last edited by, thinking of adding it to {{delete}} - it would be useful, but to show how long ago the page was edited, recursive layers of templates are needed. Have you got an efficient way to do this?

Special:Import perhaps? Attribution could be added to the XML file, or by using a bot. (My bot is inactive for a few more weeks, so editing the XML seems good.) --Chriswaterguy 18:04, 6 June 2012 (PDT)

I know of no efficient way to port a template along with a stack of dependencies. See User:Teratornis/Template porting: theory and practice for what I know. Trying to automate the process tends to break because there can be "gotchas" at every step. Sometimes you have to modify a template to make it work on the destination wiki, monkey with CSS classes, etc. My method is to list all the template dependencies of the template I want (for example on my U:TT page of notes), and start by porting the bottom-most templates first (the ones that don't need any other templates). Starting with the bottom templates and working upward allows you to check the results of porting at every step, whereas if you try to go top-down, you might not know if it's going to work until you have ported everything. There are other associated chores such as creating categories for the templates you port - the category structure on the source wiki may not correspond exactly to the destination wiki, either by accident or design. Also we like to add {{From Wikipedia}} to the documentation subpages of templates we port from Wikipedia (Wikipedia's license requires attribution), so that forces some manual editing. Some templates contain incidental graphics so you might want to port the image files too, or come up with your own alternatives. Template porting is a big job. I don't think using a bot would provide a net advantage, unless it was a really smart bot. A dumb bot could make a mess that takes more time to clean up manually than doing the job manually in the first place. --Teratornis 14:18, 8 June 2012 (PDT)
Thanks for the explanation.
Bots are great on clearly defined tasks - e.g. adding something consistent to a bunch of pages.
"Also we like to add {{From Wikipedia}} to the documentation subpages of templates we port from Wikipedia (Wikipedia's license requires attribution), so that forces some manual editing. " - that's where the bot could save some editing - if I had a list of the pages (Template:Foo, Template:Foo/doc...) each imported from the corresponding pagename on Wikipedia, adding an attribution notice to each would be easy. Only really worth it if there's a dozen or more such pages to do. --Chriswaterguy 09:54, 4 August 2012 (PDT)

## Cite news

Minor problem - {{cite news}} is displaying a url out of place on Tiny houses - any idea why? --Chriswaterguy 09:54, 4 August 2012 (PDT)

I don't see anything that looks obviously like a problem in my browser on the Tiny houses page. Explain what you mean by "out of place", or upload a screen shot so I can see what you're seeing. --Teratornis 11:10, 4 August 2012 (PDT)
Not sure how to do a screenshot on this machine. This is what I see under "Footnotes":
↑ Spak, Kara (29 August 2011). "NU students design complex four-room tiny house". Chicago Sun-Times. http://web.archive.org/web/20140214184515/http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/7084023-418/nu-students-design-complex-four-room-tiny-house.html. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
I.e. the title is linked, then the same url appears in raw form. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 02:41, 5 August 2012 (PDT)
I think that is coming from code in Template:Citation/core that all the various citation templates use, i.e. all the citation templates are broken in the same way on Appropedia (and also on my offline personal wiki). I need to study my notes from my original porting of these templates. I had some problems with the url field originally. My fix to those problems may have caused another problem, or it may be unrelated. It would be nice to have a template debugger for MediaWiki. Tracking down the source of a problem in a huge stack of template dependencies is not simple when you have no tools. --Teratornis 15:23, 5 August 2012 (PDT)
I haven't forgotten about this problem, I'm just having trouble getting motivated to debug it. But while poking around I noticed that all the citation templates that derive from {{Citation/core}} have a handy quote parameter whose usefulness I only recently became aware of. wikipedia:WP:LINKROT#Alternate methods explains that quoting the relevant small chunk of text from a source protects against link rot - if the original source page goes offline, our reference will still contain the relevant source text, and the verbatim string makes an efficient search target to find other instances of the source online. I find that to be forehead-smackingly brilliant and I'm mildly embarrassed not to have thought of it myself. --Teratornis 10:54, 27 August 2012 (PDT)
That is brilliant.
No great urgency with the {{cite news}} bug - I think we've both got more pressing things to work on. --Chriswaterguy 06:52, 28 August 2012 (PDT)
Well, I do want to fix it because it is both systemic and annoying. To fix it, I have to get elbow-deep in understanding the code that was breaking on Appropedia and my personal wiki for the other case in which the url field is missing, for example if you cite a personal communication or a paper book for which there is no online source. I was getting some nasty red text error message which does not display on Wikipedia, where the templates work of course (maybe due to Wikipedia using HTML Tidy - see U:TTPORTING#Other external software). I think my fix for that bug caused the URL to display even when the title field is present, so I need to go back and figure out the right way to fix it. I have to search and maybe ask for transwiki advice on Wikipedia - we can't be the first people on Earth to port Wikipedia's citation templates, although we might become the first to explain how to do it. As you know, most of the world just does things, and doesn't bother to document their discoveries. --Teratornis 10:36, 28 August 2012 (PDT)

(undent) Re: the quote parameter - given that I've been editing on Wikipedia since 2006, I'm wondering how I could have failed to become aware of this feature's usefulness. I suppose it's because only a vanishingly small fraction of references on Wikipedia quote from the source text, and those few which do, do not link to explanation of the feature's value, so having this option wasn't at the forefront of my awareness. But now that I've had a sort of Damascene conversion I want to go back and add source quotes to every not-yet-linkrotted reference I've ever made, which would of course take forever. There might not be another feature on Wikipedia having a higher product of value times under-utilization. --Teratornis 10:47, 28 August 2012 (PDT)

I wonder if there's a bot that could speed that process up. (Checking each edit before confirming, of course. The problem is that the best it could do would be to grab a sentence almost at random. Alternatively, if it opened each web page and let you select the text and click "yes"... I think that would be a very sophisticated bot, way beyond Pywikipediabot (which does ask for approval of each edit, by default... but I don't know if it can open web links). I'd be inclined to leave such a big task to a smart bot person - and your time is definitely more valuable elsewhere - IMO. --Chriswaterguy 11:51, 31 August 2012 (PDT)
You're describing a bot that could find the passage in any randomly-formatted source document most relevant to the passage on a wiki page that cites the source. (Anything less than that, and the bot would mostly just be getting in the way.) If a bot could do that, which would require the ability to read prose and exercise editorial judgment, as well as correctly infer the original wiki editor's intent, we'd be living in a world unlike the world we now inhabit. The singularity is not here yet. In the meantime I'll try to use the quote parameter going forward, much as I use WebCite whenever it agrees to work, when making citations. I set up a bookmarklet in my browser, so I can archive a page with WebCite in one click. Thus preserving the page for as long as the grass shall grow, the rivers shall run, and WebCite stays online. --Teratornis 13:48, 31 August 2012 (PDT)
No, describing a bot that does everything except select the text, and just requires a select-and-click for each page. (But then you've still got to eyeball the content of the wiki page.) That seems useful to me, if it's possible (though I can see why you mightn't be convinced).But although it's pre-singularity technology, that doesn't mean it's easy to find or make such a bot. --Chriswaterguy 09:49, 1 September 2012 (PDT)

## Importing templates with dependencies.

mw:Help:Templates #Copying from one wiki to another - would that make it easier? I've never played with the "include templates" option while importing, but it sounds like it should work. --Chriswaterguy 12:38, 16 August 2012 (PDT)

I just tried it, with {{Awaiting}} - and it seemed to work... more or less. It doesn't take care of images, but it takes care of the doc subpage... and a lot more. Output:

Importing pages...

Import finished!

Three issues:

• If one of those templates pages already existed here, I think it would have been replaced. From memory, I think that turns the old version into "deleted revisions". Would that show up in the deletion log? If so, I guess none of those pages existed.
• Some cleanup is needed, which I'm not able to take on now. But I've made {{cleanup wikipedia template}}, for use as needed. If there are a whole bunch of pages that need repetitive cleanup tasks, I can fire up my bot. So, if you end up using this technique, please save the import output text (like that above) each time, so I've got a list of pages to run the bot on.
• There are a bunch of images that need to be imported. I don't know an easy way to do that - except by changing LocalSettings.php to allow the transcluding of images from Wikimedia Commons. That's one of our many pending tech tasks.

--Chriswaterguy 06:16, 19 August 2012 (PDT)

I was wrong: At least one template was overwritten, {{Done}}, and the old version is there in history (not as deleted revisions). In that case, it doesn't seem to have changed anything. --Chriswaterguy 06:49, 19 August 2012 (PDT)
I looked at a couple of templates that were previously here ({{Done}}, {{Documentation}}) and the automatic import apparently does just a null edit to leave an edit summary noting the import step. If the import automatically overwrote previously existing templates with new revisions, it would break any customizations we had done to make those templates work here. One example is the template document page for each template, which we (had better) always edit to fix the (nearly always present) red links, and add {{From Wikipedia}} which is necessary to comply with Wikipedia's licensing requirements (wikipedia:WP:REUSING). Note that there are many ways for this automatic process to break, for example if we already have a template with the same name as one of the dependency chain templates but which does not function the same way. One way to reduce that problem would be to have a separate namespace for templates copied directly from Wikipedia, which we could keep "pure" from our own original templates having name collisions.
I'll look at the tool you mentioned because it looks interesting. Here is how I would like such a tool to work (I have no idea yet whether it works this way):
1. Generate a list of template dependencies, and everything else such as categories, CSS classes, etc. which I described in User:Teratornis/Template porting: theory and practice#Dependencies.
2. For each dependency, determine whether importing the entity will conflict with anything already on the destination wiki.
3. Generate a formatted report in wikitext which I can paste into my notes. See for example U:TT#Messagebox templates. It's important to leave a breadcrumb trail of notes documenting everything a person did to import a template and its pile of dependencies. Otherwise someone else could blunder in and break something, or reinvent wheels, etc.
It would be nice to break the template porting task into steps which the tool can do automatically and steps that require human attention. If there is no "Undo" capability then you'd really like to test any large-scale import on a test wiki before blasting into the real wiki. --Teratornis 10:52, 25 August 2012 (PDT)
"Some cleanup is needed, which I'm not able to take on now." It's easy to start things and hard to finish them. The result of taking such a wiktionary:desultory approach to wiki editing is an infinitely increasing backlog. Since template porting typically involves a large number of subsidiary tasks, generating lots of pages that need cleanup, I urge anyone who attempts a template import not to start it unless they have time to clean up the entire resulting mess. Otherwise there are loads of slightly garbaged pages floating around out there, and other people will have to waste more time figuring out why those pages are there. That is, nobody can fix such a page more efficiently than the person who is doing the template import. Leaving them floating around for someone else to trip over and then have to wastefully investigate to figure out what the instigator was trying to do will increase the overall labor requirements of the import. --Teratornis 11:07, 25 August 2012 (PDT)
If I had hours to burn I might set up a sacrificial test wiki and see what happens if I try to automatically import the horrifically complex wikipedia:Template:Convert (automatic units conversion) with its roughly three thousand subpages. That's a very handy template for articles that state quantities in units such as miles, kilometers, pounds, kilograms, watts, joules, kilowatt-hours, BTU, barrels of oil equivalent, etc. Incidentally I see a feature on that template's documentation page that I had not seen before: an instance of wikipedia:Template:Transwiki guide which links to wikipedia:Template:Convert/Transwiki guide. --Teratornis 11:30, 25 August 2012 (PDT)

(undent)Sorry about this mess - it had a much bigger impact than expected (and even than I realized afterwards). Should have done thorough examination and preferably testing first.

Re your question about mysterious edits, I hadn't realized that importing without the full history would insert the last editor of the page into the page history. That was just the last edit to the Wikipedia template, so the edit comment no doubt made sense in context, there.

Re your steps, above, for future efforts at importing we would need to determine the list of pages to be imported. I see two ways:

• Turn all the page titles in the xml file into wikilinks - i.e. extract all the "<title>PREFIX:PAGENAME</title>" lines in the xml file turn them into "[[PREFIX:PAGENAME]]".
• Import into a blank test wiki and get the output, as above - and turn into wikilinks.

Then paste this list into a Appropedia somewhere (sandbox or userspace) and check for blue links. Deleting the relevant sections from the xml file (from <page> to </page>) should avoid the problem.

Re wikipedia:WP:REUSING - I'll work on getting all of those attributed.

My understanding is that Wikipedia's policy on crediting other compatible sources (CC-by & CC-by-sa) is to attribute them in the edit comment when adding the content. (I can't find confirmation of this on Wikipedia - I just see wikipedia:WP:Reusing and wikipedia:WP:Copying within Wikipedia.) To me, that seems inadequate, but it makes me worry a little less if we've only credited them in an edit comment. So I'm all for using {{attrib wikipedia}}. But if this is their actual policy, I'd suggest that our guideline be: attribute in the edit comment, with a link, when adding the content, and then also use an attribution notice. Thinking about mainspace articles, if the attribution notice gets lost with subsequent page edits or splits, or if becomes questionable whether there's enough of the original content to require the attribution notice, then at least the edit comment is there and we don't need to stress about it.

Re cleanup, I'll start going through the list and reverting any overwrites (unless there are subsequent edits, in which case I'll look more closely. --Chriswaterguy 00:53, 26 August 2012 (PDT)

Cleanup progress: It seems that the current wiki version will be the most recent version from either the existing Appropedia page or the imported page. So, some pages didn't need to be reverted as the Appropedia page was more recent - including {{Tlx}}, {{X mark big}}, {{Transclude}}. Where the Wikipedia version was more recent, I deleted the pages, and selectively restored the original Appropedia versions. Let me know if you find that I've missed anything.
Enough for today, will revisit the attributions soon. --Chriswaterguy 05:39, 26 August 2012 (PDT)
For the record, the templates where I deleted the imported revision are: {{Check mark}}, {{Check mark templates}}, {{Documentation}}, {{Aye}}, {{Tl}}, {{Check mark}}, {{Check mark templates}}, {{Documentation}}, {{Aye}}, {{Cross}}, {{Cross}}, {{Navbar}}, {{Navbar}}, {{Documentation subpage}}, {{Done}}, {{Documentation subpage}}, {{Done}}, {{Tl}}, {{Ombox}}, {{Ombox}}, {{Ombox/core}} and {{Ombox/core}}. --Chriswaterguy 05:59, 26 August 2012 (PDT)
I guess in retrospect it might have been better to start with importing a template having fewer dependencies. However, it seems many of Wikipedia's useful templates have large dependency stacks. In part this is because many of them share common features such as {{Documentation}} subpages, and so do many of our templates, so there's a lot that can break. It would be nice if we could tag templates with something analogous to a "robot exclude" so they don't get overwritten automatically. In any case the lesson seems to be that when running any tool that changes pages automatically, a human has to examine every single change it makes. That's almost as much work as making the changes manually, hence my general dislike for automatic import methods. --Teratornis 10:39, 26 August 2012 (PDT)
We have to edit most templates that we import from Wikipedia, if only to fix red links in the documentation and so on. And also because we have a few name collisions with subsidiary templates, I think. In some cases you have to rename one of the included templates to get around an existing template here with the name you want that doesn't work the same way. And how about the impact on our wikipedia:PageRank? It's probably better that we do not have too many templates that look like verbatim copies from Wikipedia, in their rendered XHTML. --Teratornis 10:39, 26 August 2012 (PDT)
In retrospect, yes... I was going to say that there isn't an easy way to see how many dependencies a template has, but I think that clicking edit on the source wiki and looking below the edit box would work.
Good question about PageRank. Perhaps if our robots.txt file gives "Template:" pages a very low weighting (like 1% - i.e. index them but don't consider them important), then there won't be a notable negative impact. I'm looking for an answer on that... --Chriswaterguy 05:39, 27 August 2012 (PDT)
I asked about the PageRank implications mostly out of curiosity. I suspect an equally (if not more) important way to promote Appropedia is by the use of social recommendation. That is, if we build up a large collection of useful reference material, people will link to our content in posts on social media, blogs, reader comments below the line, etc. If our stuff is worth linking to, then awareness of it will spread organically. --Teratornis 10:58, 27 August 2012 (PDT)
Yes - both SEO and social recommendations are important, but nothing beats being valuable and interesting. The question is how to get more interesting content - there are several ways, but engaging universities in service learning programs (I'm working on that page today...) seems to be an especially good way of getting good amounts of decent quality content.
We have around 5000 content pages - once we get to 50,000 I figure we'll be on the way to being a comprehensive resource. For now, important milestones will be getting to 6000, 8000, 10,000 pages through service learning and other forms of partnership. (Then there are quality issues... that's partly a funding issue, having the resources to roll out tools, manage an advisory board, maybe get some paid interns to work on strategic areas, and even a community manager, as of course it's the community that matters above every other resource we have.) --Chriswaterguy 00:44, 28 August 2012 (PDT)

(undent) Yes, there are quality issues. For example: User:Cureforsure and 30 meters square , human birth right. --Teratornis 20:55, 28 August 2012 (PDT)

First was definite spam. I mentioned on the community discussion list that I'm leaving the NewestPages patrol to others. But if you notice patterns in the spam that's slipping by the spam filters, let me know and I'll write another filter. I haven't mentioned yet that I've stopped monitoring the Special:AbuseLog - I haven't seen significant false positives for a long time, but I'm available if there are any problems with the AbuseFilter.
I'm narrowing my focus, so I actually get done the meta tasks I've been talking about for so long - especially getting the intern/volunteer program running properly, and running a fundraiser.
Re 30 meters square , human birth right - it's brand new, and looking at the boilerplate, I suspect it's a service learning page, so hopefully there's an academic watching how that develops. I'm thinking that userspace drafts would be a better way for new students to start their first Appropedia page. But that's another thing I'm not going to take the lead on - at least until we have interns &/or volunteers, and a successful fundraiser. I've been doing good things here for years - lots of good things to do - but it's about time I did the really important things, that are within my ability to do. --Chriswaterguy 12:04, 31 August 2012 (PDT)
Re 30 meters square , human birth right - new or not, the article is a mess. It illustrates the principle of negative productivity - the time that the original author took to "write" it would have to be exceeded by a competent editor to evaluate its unsourced claims, and source those claims which aren't nonsense. It would be more efficient for the competent editor to write about something he or she already knows about, doing a decent-enough job on the first pass to inspire others to contribute, rather than discourage them with a wall of garbage. --Teratornis 15:00, 31 August 2012 (PDT)
If an educator has students creating such content, then any work that creates for them is their own issue (and would be even if it weren't public). But I want to avoid such things being in mainspace.
I'll ask Lonny if it's one of his students - if not I'll move it straight to the Appropedia:Incubator. Either way, I'll also raise the idea of userspace drafts for new students. --Chriswaterguy 10:01, 1 September 2012 (PDT)
Done! - In future I think we should just move any articles directly to the Incubator, if they're as unready for article space as this one. It's much softer than deleting, as the editor has the prospect of having the page moved back - I just wanted to make sure Lonny was aware of this approach. --Chriswaterguy 23:01, 5 September 2012 (PDT)
Alternatives to {{moved to incubator}} are moving to either the incubator or userspace, suppressing the redirect and leaving a note on their talk page. I like the incubator idea though, and it works for anons as well. Old {{moved to incubator}} can be deleted - perhaps after 6 months? (that's the rule of thumb I use for {{category redirect}} pages. --Chriswaterguy 23:04, 5 September 2012 (PDT)

### Revisiting template importing

For future efforts at importing, touched on above, I'm thinking that it's a good labor-saving approach but obviously needs to be done more carefully:

1. Determine the list of pages to be imported. (Turn all the page titles in the xml file into wikilinks - i.e. extract all the "<title>PREFIX:PAGENAME</title>" lines in the xml file turn them into "[[PREFIX:PAGENAME]]" - past them into a sandbox or userspace page here, and the blue links are conflicts). Strip out the redlinks and we have the list of potential problems.
2. For each blue link, add a "2" at the end, and see if they're still blue - change again if necessary, until all are red. Save the page - the list will be useful at the end.
3. Edit the original xml export file from Wikipedia: For each of the problem templates, edit the name (between the <title> tags) to the non-conflicting name worked out in the previous step.
4. Edit the original xml export file again: Add " (at en.wikipedia.org)" to every username.
5. Import here.
6. Review each of the renamed templates and their local equivalent (Template:Foo2 and Template:Foo). See if the imported version if preferable - if there are no differences in usage and the new one could wouldn't cause problems, move Foo2 and its subpages to Foo. (Probably best to move "Foo" to e.g. "Foo old" first, if there's something worth saving or any likelihood that someone will want to see the old one.)
7. Delete all the "Foo 2" pages - redirects and templates that weren't used to replace the local equivalent - unless there's a good reason to keep them.

RegexW skills needed for the xml editing. We could also use regex to strip out interlanguage links.

Still a lot of work, but much less than the alternative, and it looks safe to me. I wouldn't take on the whole job by myself, but I'd be happy to do the regex work if we did a coordinated effort. --Chriswaterguy 19:09, 6 September 2012 (PDT)

I don't see how this saves work. The alternative requires doing all the same steps, except that you manually copy and paste each page as you create it. That step is trivial compared to the much harder job of understanding, checking, and (as is often necessary) modifying a template to make it work here, along with cleaning up red links in the template documentation page. I always keep track of the remaining templates to import by editing a list of them on a user subpage of notes. So basically you are automating what was already the simplest step. The only thing that makes template importing somewhat bearable is the fact that many templates from Wikipedia use a common set of base templates. Thus the more templates you import, the easier it tends to get, as you accumulate more of the base templates.
Ideally it would be nice if Wikipedia would standardize a set of base templates and make them easily importable in one shot. But you would still have a sea of red links on their documentation pages, referring to the large set of Wikipedia's internal documentation pages. There is no simple way to make that whole structure abstractly portable. Maybe you would have to create several separate namespaces in which you could quarantine a bunch of content directly from Wikipedia. But at some point you still have to edit all those pages to make their internal references work on the new wiki.
Template importing is hard and nobody knows how to make it easy yet. That's why the vast majority of MediaWiki wikis are vastly inferior to Wikipedia. It takes an incredible amount of work to import and customize all those templates, documentation pages, etc. that make up the infrastructure of Wikipedia. --Teratornis 11:58, 9 September 2012 (PDT)
I think it is inadvisable to import multiple templates at one time. With one button press and a few seconds of computer activity, the importing user creates a bunch of pages requiring potentially hours of careful checking and cleanup work. It is tempting to press the button and then leave the cleanup work for later. In the meantime, other problems distract the user and the backlog accumulates. The desultory approach to wiki editing is unwise. I think the minimally disciplined approach is to only start a task that one can, if not finish, at least leave in a non-dangerous condition at the end of one editing session. Importing a bunch of templates and then leaving them in an incomplete state for days, or weeks, or forever creates a mess for someone else to stumble over. For example, if someone else is trying to import a template that needs one of the same base templates, that person will have to figure why that template is seemingly already here but not in a working condition. I think user space is the best place for pages that are in a tentative or broken condition and might stay that way for an extended time. Anything we put in template space, where it can be shared by many other pages, we should try to put in a working condition as soon as possible. Thus I would advise against ever importing more templates at one time than you are sure you can repair in one session. Since there is no way to predict all the glitches and gotchas that a template might cause, nor how much research it might take to solve some template problem one has never seen before, the only safe increment of importing is one template at a time. --Teratornis 12:06, 9 September 2012 (PDT)
Incidentally, if you're looking to find or build tools to simplify template importing, it would help to have a template debugger and syntax checker. See wikipedia:Wikipedia:Advanced template coding, which describes some manual methods to do what should ideally be done by tool programs. Also it should be possible to import a template from Wikipedia, and automatically verify its performance with a set of test cases. That's part of why I like to import the template documentation page for every template, because it often contains illustrative examples of the template to act as test cases. If someone breaks a template or it doesn't work on your wiki, that will (hopefully) show up immediately in garbaged examples on the doc page. --Teratornis 12:13, 9 September 2012 (PDT)
In the absence of a team of template experts, I'd like to apply some Taylorism to this process. When I do it myself, it may not make it quicker the first time, but having a process with the wrinkles ironed out means there's less of a barrier to working out what to do each time. For now I just want to get some importing done with minimal risk of conflicts - in particular because I want a countdown template for the Appropedia edit jam in less than 3 days. I'm taking a few hours to do this and document my process - it's turning into quite a long process, of course, but at least I can take a 30 min break and not worry that I'll forget where I'm up to. I'm eyeballing each template and checking for documentation and for conflicts. Not as meticulous as your approach, but seems safe enough, and reasonable given our resource constraints.
There shouldn't be problems anything like the last time, but let me know if you do find glitches.
I really like the idea of the debugging tools. What would be involved in making that happen? --Chriswaterguy 20:50, 11 October 2012 (PDT)
I'd imagine it would require finding someone who knows how to write such tools (for example, someone who has written them for a different programming language and development environment) and getting them interested in the MediaWiki platform. The first question I'd try to answer is why nobody has done this yet, given the obvious need for such tools. My guess would be that MediaWiki template coding is a very small niche activity, thus not justifying much tool development. It might be worth asking on wikipedia:Wikipedia talk:Advanced template coding if anyone knows of any attempt to develop standard programming tools for MediaWiki templates such as syntax checkers and debuggers. --Teratornis 12:24, 13 October 2012 (PDT)

(undent) I've finished this porting job. Next step, sometime soon, will be using my bot to add {{attrib wikipedia template}} to each of these. --Chriswaterguy 20:15, 19 October 2012 (PDT)

## SlideShare

FYI - I used a slideshare widget and made a very rough start on Dangerous climate change. --Chriswaterguy 03:31, 29 October 2012 (PDT)

That's cool. We can always use more information from Professor Kevin Anderson. Some other links that relate to the subject of dangerous climate change:
--Teratornis 21:02, 2 November 2012 (PDT)

## Measures_to_stop_global_warming

Hi Teratornis, would you agree on userfying the page Measures_to_stop_global_warming ? I think it still needs some more work first. KVDP 05:50, 8 November 2012 (PST)

The work could start with the title, which should follow wikipedia:Climate change mitigation I believe. (When Appropedia has an article that covers the same topic as a Wikipedia article, we create less confusion by using the same title when possible.)
You did not state:
• What you mean by "some more work".
• Into whose space you intend to userfy the article (I'd assume your userspace).
I couldn't argue with the "needs some more work" part, as Appropedia has an ocean full of things that need more work. I am not sure why the work needs to occur in userspace instead of just leaving it in article space and putting an {{Under construction}} template on it. The article history goes back to 2006 and the article has over 33,000 views - thus there is an argument to maintain continuity by leaving it in article space as you work on it. However, if you feel you can work more efficiently in userspace I have no strong opinion either way. --Teratornis 11:28, 8 November 2012 (PST)
Regarding the needed work; it mentions a huge amount of low-efficient methods and mentions them as being as important as more sensible/efficient methods. The lineup/makeup of the page is bad and the measures are not mentioned in degree of efficiency.
It would be userfied to Chriswaterguy's userspace.
The fact that is has so much views doesn't mean it can be kept at article space, actually this is more of a reason for the opposite. It's better to give no information at all than bad information (we're not the only source of this kind of information after all).

KVDP 00:00, 10 November 2012 (PST)

My main concern would be to avoid breaking any links or bookmarks people have made that point to that page. Even bad information is better than a broken link when someone expects the page to be there like it was before. Thus if you're going to blank the article it would be good to leave a note there explaining what is going on.
I agree that all measures to address climate change should include some attempt to quantify their potential effectiveness. The relevant unit would be tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent kept out of the atmosphere in the first place, or removed from the atmosphere later and by what date. There is far too much greenwashing on all levels from the individual to global. Some people think anything that looks green is as good as anything else, when we know that some things have trivial impact compared to others. Life cycle analysis quantifies how green (or not) things are. Even if the numbers are not exact we should at least try to estimate a range. Climate change will not be solved by good intentions alone. A real plan to mitigate climate change would have to be as long and complex as what we're doing to cause climate change, i.e. the actions of billions of consumers consuming thousands of distinct goods and services. And merely listing steps we could take is useless without some explanation of how we can convince the relevant people to take them (consumers, politicians, industrialists, voters, etc.). "Sprout wings and fly" is not helpful advice unless it comes with instructions on how to do that. --Teratornis 14:22, 10 November 2012 (PST)

## Template question

Prof Pearce is looking for help with conversion templates - see Talk:Arduino (and his edits in template space). --Chriswaterguy 04:50, 3 January 2013 (PST)

## Your 2021 impact stats are right here!

Hi ! We thought you may want know that your top performing pages so far are:

1. Refrigerators and freezers (4 163 page views) Update!
2. Help:Categories (3 625 page views) Update!
3. User:Teratornis/Tasks (2 172 page views) Update!
4. Life cycle analysis (2 132 page views) Update!
5. Help:Signatures (1 907 page views) Update!

Overall, your impact has been of 13,173 page views, woozaa!

Also, your user page has received 1159 visits! People are interested in knowing more about you, edit your user page to tell the world what you've been up to.

Thanks for your contributions and for making Appropedia great, have a merry green Christmas!!

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