Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.

Appropedia:Village pump

From Appropedia
Revision as of 13:08, 10 August 2007 by Curtbeckmann (talk | Contributions) (Reverted edits by (Talk); changed back to last version by Naught101)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Help and discussion:Community portal ] - [ Editing help ] - [ Village pump (discussion) ] - [ Policy discussion ] - [ Technical questions ]
Things to do:Appropedia maintenance ] - [ Monitor Recent Changes ] - [ Spreading the word ] - [ Random Todos ] - [ Requested content ] - [ Appropedia:Scratchpad ]

To keep track of recent changes to all the pages linked above, check Recent changes to community discussion pages. You may also place a {{Discussion tracker}} on your user talk page.

Feel free to ask a general question or make a comment about Appropedia. For policy questions, see the Policy discussion page. For questions and comments on more specific issues, it may be best to find the relevant article (if it exists) and ask on the talk page.

Topics that have been spun off to other pages

To keep this page manageable, some bulky topics have been moved to their own pages

Solar hot water

I added this to Solar hot water on Wikipedia:

Simpler designs suitable for hot climates can be much simpler and cheaper, and can be considered an appropriate technology; however they will not work very well in temperate climates.[citation needed]

If anyone knows a good source for this, please add it. Our own Solar hot water page could be used as an additional reference, if it is expanded to include an explanation of how to make a very simple solar hot water system. (For someone with very few resources, it shouldn't take much more than a black hose in the sun, I'd imagine.) --Singkong2005 talk 21:45, 10 September 2006 (PDT)

Sustainable Energy booklet

An Australian group is developing a booklet, so I invited them to do it here. It's at Sustainable Energy booklet, and any input would of course be appreciated.

I think this is a good thing for Appropedia to do, and also a way to help people find out about Appropedia. --Singkong2005 talk 19:18, 11 September 2006 (PDT)

some test

How to monitor changes

I've started a page, Help:Monitoring changes, which might be useful to people here. I've set my preferences so I'm notified by email when pages on my watchlist are edited.

H:MC will work as a redirect, (though I'm still figuring out {{shortcut}} template, for displaying the shortcut on help/project pages - something went funny when I copied from Wikipedia). --Singkong2005 talk 20:22, 11 September 2006 (PDT)

Google Grants give free advertising... but must be a registered non-profit

Something that could be relevant to promoting Appropedia...

While we were exchanging emails, Curt mentioned, the philanthropic arm of Google. One interesting thing on that site is:

...the Google Grants program, which gives free advertising to selected non-profits. To date, Google Grants has donated $33M in advertising to more than 850 non-profit organizations in 10 countries. Current Google Grants participants include the Grameen Foundation USA, Doctors Without Borders, Room to Read, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. For information about the Google Grants program, please visit:

One requirement (for U.S. organizations) is having 501(c)(3) status - I don't know whether that's difficult. --Singkong2005 talk 18:46, 12 September 2006 (PDT)

I bought some books on creating a 501c3 corporation with the purpose of enable grant applications to folks like the Gates Foundation. It's a little bit involved, but obviously people do it all the time. I'll be meeting with someone in the morning who has either done it or is in the process, and I'll ask. Previously when we discussed this, she proposed that her non-profit could get grants on my behalf to save me the trouble of doing the 501c3. I'll ask my daughter (who works at Google) to see if she can get more info on their guidelines. For example, would it work for another 501c3 to talk about Appropedia?
This leads to additional questions about where to host if we choose to go the route of a 501c3. I love this discussion, since to me it suggests that we're thinking big and long term. Thank you! Curtbeckmann 20:31, 12 September 2006 (PDT)
Let's continue this talk about the 501c3 route. I am very interested, and we just received an small donation offer, but the donor assumed and needs us to be a 501c3. --Lonny 23:38, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
WOW WOW were you busy last night! And got a ton done in 2 hours! I went to the EWB-SFP and I almost feel like I should write a "trip report" or something. One thing I took away was a similar thought about 501c3, in our case it was relevant to the free google advertising, which would be extremely cool. Also learned why they want the private wiki; a previous public wiki accidently (as wiki's go) posted $100,000 instead of $10,000 and the target village in Africa got a seriously wrong impression, much to everyone's upset. Seems a reasonable incentive to privatize. Nevertheless, I will soon begin working on their wiki (which is unfortunately Twiki-based), and will do what I can do to clone some of their stuff and move it to Appropedia, with their blessings only, of course. But since I (accidentally) attended a fundraising committee meeting and will likely be a member of that, I will highlight the advantages of public. They acknowledged the value of public wikis, and the need for a unified one, so it's an easy sell. Here we go! --Curtbeckmann 06:23, 11 October 2006 (PDT)
Yeah, last night/this morning has seen a build up of tasks addressed.
Thanks for the update on EWB-SFP. One big pitch for public wikis for EWB: Partner connections. A public wiki would allow for questions, comments and updates from partners afar. Please keep me up to date on any 501c3 progress. Thank you. --Lonny 07:10, 11 October 2006 (PDT)

Let's let people know about Appropedia, through

We can write something for - see Submission guidelines. Let's edit it here, at Worldchanging submissions, and then submit it. --Singkong2005 talk 03:35, 15 September 2006 (PDT)

It was partly thinking about these promotional efforts that got me started on the "building a cathedral" mission statement stuff, which I added further down in this page. A sentence or two about our mission could fit pretty well into the promotion. --Curtbeckmann 16:23, 30 September 2006 (PDT)
Just asked AIDG to add a link to Appropedia (which is why I invested in adding them to the Orgs list) and they very kindly came through! See: --Curtbeckmann 11:52, 12 October 2006 (PDT)
Hi Curt, Great work. We should keep up these types of linking requests and we should really start working on the article for Worldchanging submissions as Singkong suggested. --Lonny 12:19, 12 October 2006 (PDT)

Appropedia:About or Appropedia:About_Appropedia?

Both of these pages have interesting content, but seems like there should only be one page. You can get to the "About" page by following the link in the footer of every page (misleadingly labeled "About Appropedia"), and you can get to the "About Appropedia" page via the navigation bar on the left.

For a check on convention, I went to Wikipedia, and found Wikipedia:About. There is no "About Wikipedia" page. Based on that, I'll start to migrate the distinct content on Appropedia:About_Appropedia to Appropedia:About when I have a good chunk of time. Presumably I can figure out how to redirect after that, or may need some help there, or perhaps the old page can go away and the nav link can go directly to About...

Appropedia:About is definitely the page we should keep as far as the title, as well as content, is concerned. The content on Appropedia:About_Appropedia is now outdated. It was more of my original thoughts/words, but needs to be updated. I am still working on some technical aspects, such as citations, interwiki links, google sitemapping and rank, statistic analyzing and such... but I will start working on new content to replace the stuff at Appropedia:About_Appropedia that needs to move to Appropedia:About. Some of this information is spread throughout other conversations, especially those between Singkong2005 and me --Lonny 02:31, 1 October 2006 (PDT)
So is the best short term action a simple (what the heck, seems simple to me) change of the nav bar to point to Appropedia:About, so it is in sync with the link in the footer? --Curtbeckmann 18:27, 1 October 2006 (PDT)
Done. I will keep working on more updated content. --Lonny 18:34, 1 October 2006 (PDT)
Thanks! I guess this topic is not quite closed, so I won't delete it for a while, despite my aggressiveness in scrubbing various pages :-) --Curtbeckmann 12:53, 2 October 2006 (PDT)

News? Wind? Transportation?

Just saw this amazing claim, and if it's legit it is a great example of Appropriate Technology, and aimed at an unexpected place:

Wind aided container ship propulsion. Massive sail, nearly a hectare, provides 10,000 horsepower. Hope it's real. I went to stick it under Topics, which seemed appropriate. Maybe transportation, but didn't find anything associated with Wind (is wind considered a form of solar?). Mostly I put it here because it seems like news. I'm thinking that some kind of news section (maybe "recent events" or something) might bring people back to the site. It would be a good page for occasional visitors to "watch". It would also be a good page for a content-weak contributor (like me) to add to :-) All this reminds me of the interesting new fan patents that I heard about in Mill Valley or Sausalito or wherever (which I can't quite recall, but may have sent out). --Curtbeckmann 11:56, 10 October 2006 (PDT)

I think that we can make a page named News Review and/or Link Review. We could archive older threads and encourage comments. This could look a lot like book reviews. I use something like this on my Moodle (private) site, and would rather have it here. In addition we could run a pligg, but hugg already has something like that.
I like the News review idea. Perhaps with a separate commentary section (e.g. on same page, with commentary after the news item). This would enable us to point out, for example, whether something is proven, unproven or wildly speculative. But we need to think more about this - I'd like to ensure we don't replicate something that hugg is already doing well. --Singkong2005 · talk 19:01, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
BTW Check out this kite/wind technology.
We do need a Category:Wind Power topic category.--Lonny 15:53, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
We have Category:Wind power (different capitalization) but it's only got one article.
Curt: I remember reading about cargo ships with sails to reduce fuel consumption in Popular Science mag in the 1980's - Popular Science is probably not the most reliable resource, in hindsight (more sensationalism than hard science), but the idea's been around for a while. I'm not sure how high fuel costs would have to go before this becomes more cost effective than conventional fuel, as well as biodiesel. If there are differences in speed, that would affect the trade-off as well (time is money). Love the idea though.
I couldn't play the video (even when I looked the video up on other sites) - my version of Linux probably doesn't have the codecs for that video. But I read the summary, and it does sound like quite a different version from what I read about all those years ago. --Singkong2005 · talk 19:01, 10 October 2006 (PDT)

Refining Newpageresource template & others

As we're now using certain templates on every page, we need to work on them to make them as helpful yet unobtrusive as possible.

{{Newpageresource}} could be made briefer and easier to create new pages if we had the "inputbox" code working here, as at wikia. Any chance we could do that? (Lonny, Goodsignal?) --Singkong2005 · talk 22:56, 15 October 2006 (PDT)

Brilliant. I think I remember you suggesting this before... but here it is - Appropedia:Temporary_wikitests#Input_box. I am very excited about this addition. I think that this will make the process clearer, less intimidating and it allows us to have different text automatically show up in the edit box. --Lonny 01:04, 16 October 2006 (PDT)
The {{Newpageresource}} is only being used on topic categories.
The {{Createnewpage}} is for the area categories.
I am working on answering your other questions clearly as well. Will get back to you soon on those. --Lonny 01:04, 16 October 2006 (PDT)
Good work at Appropedia:Temporary wikitests#Input box, Lonny. Re the Input box array, though, I'd be strongly inclined to just have the one box, and a link for further information on editing. Some pages will miss out on the automatic categorization, but we will generally pick those up in the usual ways, and fix them. --Singkong2005 · talk 00:59, 16 October 2006 (PDT)
I agree with your sentiments in most ways about the input box array. But the array would allow for more than just automatic categorization, it would allow for the empty edit box to be filled with a specialized template to start out editors. I was thinking about the array on just one or two help or call-to-action pages about creating pages. --Lonny 01:09, 16 October 2006 (PDT)
Ah, fair enough. If it's only used a few times it could be useful (and help new users learn about categorization and whatever else is in the template. Sounds good. --Singkong2005 · talk 01:20, 16 October 2006 (PDT)
I'm still getting caught up from my break, and BOY do I like this! Like Chris, I'm happy if the array doesn't appear too often. Sounds like the plan (when we all love the strategy?) is to add these input boxes on the various key category (i.e. "area") pages? And those pages could intelligently prepopulate the page with categorization and maybe some hints about content etc? Like "<!-- If you've got some timelines, you might want to put them here -->" or whatever. That would enable us to remove the "suggestions" box on the main page and replace it with a one-line "Useful Tip". --Curtbeckmann 18:44, 17 October 2006 (PDT)

New page templates - slim down?

More good work happening at good speed, with the default pages such as {{NewOrganizationpage}} and {{NewProjectpage}}. I would suggest, though, that we keep those pages as simple as possible. Wiki newbies could easily look at all the comments and explanations and feel very daunted. I think as long as we've already explained (in {{Newparampageresource}}) that people should "not worry about formatting or completeness, others will help and changes are easily made" we should give them as blank a slate as possible to work on.

Perhaps this info could be moved to Help:Contents where needed, and the default page could just have the suggestion "<!-- For help, click "Editing help" below this edit box. -->" --Singkong2005 · talk 18:46, 18 October 2006

I did shrink the preload text somewhat, and am open to additional shrinkage... Actually, feedback generally about the current "create new page" arrangement is welcome. --CurtB 22:48, 21 October 2006 (PDT)
Hmm... actually I'm still inclined to keep it as simple as possible, only adding one to three lines, e.g. a predetermined category and little if anything else. We have ways of keeping an eye on uncategorized pages, so I'd be inclined to rely on that for pages that miss out on cats when created.
But it occurs to me that we each have ideas on what is most user-friendly, but I can't say for sure that I'm right. What we really need is some real-world testing with people who don't know wikis. I'll try and get Michelle to sit at the computer and try to create a page. (Michelle is the gender and development person I've mentioned by email.) --Singkong2005 · talk 16:11, 12 November 2006 (PST)
Be bold :-) Shrink them more if you prefer... Be great if we can get some feedback! We ask, but... --CurtB 14:59, 21 November 2006 (PST)

Server performance took a dive?

Most of Sunday (Pacific time) Appropedia's server seemed to be extremely sluggish. I can imagine a couple of possible explanations.

  1. We're getting so much traffic that the server is struggling. Solution: upgrade server (that would be great!)
  2. I noticed a bunch of image uploads. Have we exceeded some threshold for storage or other resource that's causing a problem?
  3. It has nothing to do with Appropedia, but instead the issue is some other application that we are sharing the server with is becoming a resource hog, in which case, the other application needs to get it's own server.

Anyway, if this persists I would say it's definitely not acceptable. What metrics / diagnostic tools are available? What options are there? --CurtB 21:30, 22 October 2006 (PDT)

Categorization change

I notice that both "Photovoltaic" and "Renewable Energy" are listed as fundamental categories.

First, I think that "Photovoltaic" is a "Renewable Energy" source...and then I think that Renewable Energy should be categorized as a "Topic", like most other technology categories are. There, I've given notice, so now I'll be bold and go make the changes. But now you know where my head was :-) --CurtB 14:58, 21 November 2006 (PST)

Two suggestions for navigation bar

First suggestion: I've noticed the development of a variety of fairly cool stuff for users. I'm thinking of both the "Employment opportunity" stuff, as well as User Templates. It occurs to me to promote these resources by adding a "Resources" (or possibly "User resources") bullet to the "community" section of the nav bar. This suggests creating a high level category:resources, which does not yet exist, but this is, of course, a minor thing. What say y'all?

Sounds great - Category:Internet resources would fit there as well. --Singkong2005 · talk 15:32, 13 December 2006 (PST)

Second suggestion: I've been pondering the idea of separating out the Topics bullet and expanding it to a Topics section in the nav bar, where the prominent topics would appear as bullets. I'm thinking of Water, Solar, Wind, Construction (or whatever). What I notice is that Projects, Programs, How-Tos, Theses are all types of content, that could all be about different topics, so that most articles will have a particular type, and a particular topic. Another way to think of it is that the Topic category tree seems a lot "taller" (many topic layers) versus Project or Program, etc. Again, what say?

Both of these suggestions are mean to encourage visitors to probe around within Appropedia... --CurtB 14:21, 7 December 2006 (PST)

I like the idea of topics in the toolbar - I'd guess people are more likely to be drawn to topics than to page types, though maybe that's just me. It might be good to have an additional link such as "more" or "browse" (all categories), to make it clear that Appropedia is not restricted to those topics. Though hopefully the topics would be quite all-encompassing. --Singkong2005 · talk 15:32, 13 December 2006 (PST)

Server performance?

I've noticed pages loading slowly recently, especially about 30 minutes ago, or less. Now it seems very fast again, though. (Other sites I checked seemed fast when Appropedia was slow,so I don't think it was a problem at my end.) --Singkong2005 · talk 15:34, 13 December 2006 (PST)


I'm unclear on how attribution works. E.g. if GFDL material on one of our ported pages is copied to Wikipedia, how exactly is that attributed? Is an edit comment for the edit history sufficient, or is more needed? --Singkong2005 · talk 17:55, 13 December 2006 (PST)

I got the following response from Angela at wikia:howto:Talk:Main Page --Singkong2005 · talk 00:45, 25 December 2006 (PST):
The template at Wikia:Template:Wikipedia can be adapted to give attribution. See Wikipedia:Project:Copyrights for more information. Angela talk 21:25, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Washing and drying clothes category

I would like to move Category:Washing to Category:Washing and drying clothes, putting the material from Washing and drying clothes on that page. Any objections? --Singkong2005 · talk 02:23, 5 January 2007 (PST)

Two thoughts... 1) Be bold. 2) Isn't "laundry" the common English word for "washing and drying clothes"? The tentative category naming policy would argue for the simpler and more inclusive term. --CurtB 12:12, 23 January 2007 (PST)

Discussion tracker

I've had a first go at a {{Discussion tracker}} - see my talk page to see how it looks on a user or talk page.

I hope people find it helpful. --Singkong2005 · talk 19:43, 11 January 2007 (PST)

Unsigned Complement

Nor can Mehtap! I want to say that your site better throughout the World Wide Web :) Thank you. Keep it. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) 13:57, 8 May 2007 (PST)

Thank you, glad you think so. --Lonny 23:50, 8 May 2007 (PDT)

Community portal & Village pump removed from sidebar?

I've never paid much attention to the sidebar, but I've just realized that neither the the Community portal & Village pump are linked from there. On the text of the main page, the community portal is linked once, through a piped link. Is this deliberate, or an oversight? --Singkong2005 · talk 19:43, 11 January 2007 (PST)

Actually, both of those are in the side bar, they're just disguised. Maybe that was a bad idea? Anyway, "Help Out" is a link to the Community portal, and "Ask Questions" is a link to Village pump. --CurtB 12:08, 23 January 2007 (PST)
Ah, okay. I don't like disguising links too much, as it's less obvious for someone who has an idea of what they're looking for, and it's harder to remember a pagename if it's called something different where it's linked from. I've changed them to display as "Community portal" and "Village pump" - what do you think? It would be good to have a more specific "help out" page to link to as well (I suspect we have one, but don't have time to look right now...) --Singkong2005 · talk 22:20, 29 January 2007 (PST)


What to think? Why no integrated action with the people from the ITDG? Do they plan to do things different? Should stuff from Appropedia also immediately be ported to Howtopedia? Is it going to help to have two platforms for the same purpose?

Reinder Demotech Januari 23

Hello Reinder, I already asked the same question at lonny's talkpage and got an answer... see See you on friday. greetings, --Demotech (anna) 05:59, 23 January 2007 (PST)

I didn't see a response from Lonny, but Appropedia is definitely working with ITDG (except that they now use "Practical Action" for their name). They have given permission to us for porting all their technical briefs. They told me about Howtopedia as well, so I asked Howtopedia if they would like to work together, but they were not interested at the time (perhaps 8 weeks ago?). Unfortunately. --CurtB 23:51, 25 January 2007 (PST)

Main Page tests

In preparation for some advertising, I've created a new, cleaner version of the main page at Main Page tests. Not quite ready for prime time, since I have links to our Appropedia:Mission page which could use a refresh, and to Help:Contributing content which doesn't exist as I type this but which I expect to hold some of the "contributor" stuff on the current main page.

I've also created a page on "Appropedia growth", which is currently in my namespace at User talk:Curtbeckmann/Appropedia growth coordination. I created a new mission and vision statement, plus listed several other things around growth. I'd like to get aggressive on certain initiatives to prepare for the Google Ad Blitz (okay, the cautious, $5 ad campaign). Next step after that will be defining the NGO partnership program. After speaking with the AIDG chairman, the question is not "if", but "what does it look like"!

Oh... And I sent the non-profit bylaws to Lonny for his entertainment. --CurtB 23:51, 25 January 2007 (PST)

Should we group countries by region?

I created Category:Latin America as a subcat of Category:Countries, to start grouping countries. Now I see that this suggests we have regional groupings for all countries. And regions are fuzzy sometimes, for border countries, so that will create more work...

Another idea that occurs to me know is to continue to put every country into the "Countries" cat, but also have a "Countries by region" category, for those that have been grouped. These regions could also be linked under "See also" on the Category:Countries page. That's my favored approach, but just thought I'd flag it before I do it. --Singkong2005 · talk 22:27, 29 January 2007 (PST)

Confused by sections/subsections in agriculture

I think the agriculture section needs a bit of a rejig. There is too much content at the top level and also some overlap between articles in the category and subcategory level. I've put my suggestion here Category talk:Agriculture for improving. Cgfoz 15:35, 31 January 2007 (PST)

Thank you so much for your comments. I am glad to see that they are being addressed at Category talk:Agriculture. --Lonny 09:23, 6 February 2007 (PST)

Suggest restoring "Public health" category

Public health is a widely used term (e.g. international public health; public health engineering; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and makes a natural category - I believe Category:Public health should be restored/reverted, either replacing Category:Health and safety (sort of, with a couple of articles falling out) or made a subcategory of it. Any objections? --Singkong2005 · talk 21:44, 10 February 2007 (PST)

I'm a fan of making Public Health a subcategory. I considered that, but wasn't sure if it might be better to elevate every member of "Public health" to the higher category. Anyway, I certainly have no objections to creating a public health subcategory. I prefer the largest category at the top, and I think "Health and safety" is a fair bit larger than "Public health". Public health is, after all, a slightly narrrower topic than "Health" generally, and does not clearly include Public safety concepts. --CurtB 07:59, 11 February 2007 (PST)

Who works with Afro-Latino communities?

Query from nokturnalplay at the int_development community on LJ - can someone give advice?

Do anyone know of organizations that work with developing Afro-Latino communities? I'm interested in going into international development and my region of choice is the Afro-Latino community, especially Colombia.

--Chriswaterguy · talk 18:25, 13 February 2007 (PST)

Majority world

I always feel uncomfortable using phrases like "developing world" or "less developed countries" (LDC), or "third world." The first is a euphemism (they are not necessarily developing); they second is more accurate but more awkward, and feels quite dry or clinical; and using third worldDEPRECATED TEMPLATE - PLEASE USE {{W}} INSTEAD. is likely to get one in trouble with those who point out that the historical meaning of the term, during the cold war, referred to the first world (the West) or the second world (communist countries). Should we encourage the use of a particular term? If so, which one?

How about "majority world"? I came across it in the New Internationalist magazine - while I find NI is not to my taste (advocating lefty positions rather than starting with intelligent questioning and analysis) I do like the way majority world reminds us of how the world is constituted.

Wikipedia:Third World states Terms such as Global South, developing countries, less economically developed countries (LEDC), least developed countries and the Majority World have become more popular in circles where the term "third world" is regarded to have derogatory or out-of-date connotations.

Of these, the only other term which rolls off the tongue easily is "Global SouthDEPRECATED TEMPLATE - PLEASE USE {{W}} INSTEAD." (which redirects to Third World). However, I find the North-South thing also euphemistic and not very accurate - especially speaking as an Australian.

Notes on common usage:

  • Lots of redirects wherever a title includes one of the above phrases?
  • An explanatory template placed on the bottom of relevant pages (which is to say, on a very large number of pages), saying that we use "Majority World" in preference to "Third World" and "Global South" (while also trying not to make a big deal of it)?

Whatever we choose to do, an article on the issue is certainly warranted, perhaps at Majority World. --Chriswaterguy · talk 18:11, 25 February 2007 (PST)

State makes big fuss over local couple's vegetable oil car fuel

This is insane.

Could someone please make an article about the situation in the story? I'm too pissed off by the story to do it myself.

Baron 12:33, 8 March 2007 (PST)

I've heard of such things happening in the UK (probably the case mentioned in the first link) and maybe Spain, when quite a few people started using new veg oil from a supermarket - it was said you could only spot the "offending" cars because they smelt pleasantly like a fish and chip shop. People had to fill out heaps of paperwork and pay tax for
An article is a great idea - where to publish? Submit it everywhere perhaps? WikiNews is another option, but I think that's news rather than commentary, so that would have to be fairly straight reporting.
I've got a lot on my plate but would gladly lend a hand. What about you make a start on an article on Appropedia, e.g. at Biofuel Wetzels deserve medals, not threats and red tape. (We can always change the name later).
Also ask at wikia:sca21. --Chriswaterguy · talk 20:21, 8 March 2007 (PST)

Plural/singular titles in main space

Our topic pages are now mostly categories, but there are a few pages that for whatever reason seem best in main space. I don't know if I'm thinking wrongly here. For example Developing country which seems problematic as a category, as it would lead to trying to decide which country is in which category... which would distract from important matters.

If we do have topic-related pages in main space, I'm now thinking that plural feels more natural, as it's consistent with most of the topics; also the nature of the articles are different from Wikipedia (with its singular title policy) and my gut feeling is that plural works better. Sorry if that's vague and contradicts my original position... --Chriswaterguy · talk 03:11, 18 March 2007 (PDT)

Category tool

Hi all. I just learned that one of the pywikipedia python scripts,, is able to generate a nice category tree, using the "tree" option. (You can add, remove, move also.) This may be useful for various maintenance tasks. Example wikitext output was inserted below:

(begin insert)

Food and drink (69) (also in Fundamental)

  1. Agriculture (119) (also in Stubs)
    1. Agricultural subsidies (0) (also in Subsidies and grants)
    2. Animal husbandry (5)
      1. Fish farming (2)
      2. Livestock (25)
    3. Composting (8) (also in Construction and materials, Waste management)
      1. Composting toilets (6) (also in Sanitation, Water conservation)
    4. Food crops (58)
    5. Greenhouses (5) (also in Alternative building, Stubs)
    6. Nonfood crops (1)
    7. Organic farming (4)
    8. Uncommon Tropical Crops (3)
    9. Urban agriculture (0) (also in Cities, Stubs)
    10. Vermiculture (4) (also in Pages needing a topic expert, Stubs, Waste management)
  2. Food preparation (2) (also in Stubs)
    1. Cookers (1) (also in Pages needing attention, Stubs, Suggested projects)
      1. Improved cook stoves (3) (also in Pages needing attention, Public health, Suggested projects)
      2. Solar cooking (1) (also in Pages needing a topic expert, Solar, Stubs)
  3. Food preserving (4) (also in Stubs)
    1. Refrigeration (2) (also in Health infrastructure, Heat)
      1. Sun Frost (1) (also in Energy efficiency, Organizations)
    2. Solar dehydrating (2) (also in Pages needing a topic expert, Solar, Stubs)
  4. Vegetarianism and veganism (0)
(end of inserted text)

The above output was generated by/on: --CurtB 21:03, 19 March 2007 (PDT)

Promote feed-back from user to designer


Please help me out! The original, self-made/designed/originated material I contribute to society through the website of my foundation Demotech ( is also ported by Appropedia. This I highly value for two reasons:

  • Outgoing:

To be among the mind stuff of people with a similar mindset, to have an opportunity to be inspired, to learn in general

  • Incoming:

To create the opportunity for feed back from users. This world needs rapid development of any item of Appropriate Technology. Without a mechanism of DIRECT and EFFECTIVE feedback from users on content such as what Demotech offers, further development of this content may stagnate. However, when feedback opportunities are provided this development may soar!

For this reason the sole condition for use of Demotech designs is to provide a link back to its origin attached to the information from Demotech. And please, let this link not only contain name and (web)-address of the author, but also a few lines that the author expects explicit and detailed feedback as a rightful reward for its otherwise freely to be used contribution.
As I looked at Creative Commons Licenses, I found the license 'Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0' that seemed somehow to answer what I look for. However not with the specific request condition as named.
I fully realize this condition can not be enforced in practice. Similar as the condition to pay for 'share ware'. But non the less it should be a condition that remains attached to the content as it spreads.

Three questions:

  • Is the 'Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0' -license endorsed by Appropedia?
  • Where can I find earlier discussions on the topic of feed back on behalf of continuous development?
  • Where is info to be found on how design-communities may best originate and function on Internet?

Thanks for a rapid response!

Hi Reinder,
Thank you for your comments. I have addressed some of your feedback request comments. I have updated the Template:Tl:Demotechpage template and the Demotech page to more directly attribute content and request explicit feedback. I have also tried to make sure that this template shows up on all Demotech pages, and have posted instructions on the Demotech page itself. Please let me know what you think.
As I noted on my talk page, here is some information regarding licensing on Appropedia-
Appropedia uses the GNU-FDL license. Here are our conversations on the topic of license - Appropedia_talk:Copyrights. Please feel free to add your comments there, where a more focused group can respond.
We have been working on ways to increase the quantity and critical thought behind feedback at Appropedia. to address the quantity of feedback, we have been actively promoting Appropedia to good success. We have been growing quite quickly and can feel critical mass building, especially with the fairly recent additions of wikigreen and VillageEarth. On the quality of feedback issues, we have been having some energized discussions with a larger team. This discussion will be made public as soon as we decide upon a forum software (Drupal vs phpBB). I really look forward to your input on this matter, as you clearly have experience with the need for feedback on your projects.
Hopefully I have addressed some of your questions. Anyone else have thoughts on this? --Lonny

Articles on people

Sarah Brunner has been created. Should we suggest moving it to user space? (It appears to have been created by a business partner, so maybe that doesn't work). Or, how should we categorize it...? --Chriswaterguy · talk 00:56, 17 April 2007 (PDT)

I think that the Sarah Brunner page would better fit as a heading on the Wild Chick Farm page. I have left comments at Talk:Wild Chick Farm to that effect. I will monitor the progress as this was a Engr305 project. Thank you, --Lonny 10:11, 17 April 2007 (PDT)

17 April 2007 (PDT)

I did this, sort of fumbling along trying to move a page. Any suggestions? Thanks--careysmith

Porting help?

I dont even know if im asking in the right area. Please excuse my ignorance. -Carey

See Talk:Wild_Chick_Farm#Some_Changes for some help. --Lonny 14:00, 17 April 2007 (PDT)

"Reducing oil dependency" category name?

What should the category name be for articles about oil dependency and reducing oil dependency, e.g. Transition towns?

Peak oil is a bit controversial so I'd rather avoid it. Also, we can believe in reducing oil dependency even if we don't accept that peak oil is imminent. (This is George Monbiot's position, and I'm inclined to agree.)

Category:Reducing oil dependency is more accurate but awkward. --Chriswaterguy · talk 17:41, 20 April 2007 (PDT)

"Sub-sub categories for the sub-category Demotech

I would like to copy the category structure of my site as it to found at
In fact I consider to port the whole of the structure of the Demotech site to Appropedia to invite the cooperation that is up to now too limited. In this category structure I like to port an abstract of the content as it is to be found at the Demotech website. This regards an abstract of all of the design initiatives and all of the publications. I want to link all of these abstracts to the full original content at the Demotech site.

Next to that I want to link each of these design initiatives to a discussion page, thus creating a space that acts much like a forum, where each post is allocated next to the general info it is about.

In the Demotech web site there is, next to the main HTML part of each design initiative also a Wiki part. This Wiki part is meant for reporting on research done on this design initiative. I set it up to facilitate intern students and students doing their thesis. It is tested only with a few intern students. It worked fairly well: the general setup of the research fitted the work of the students well enough. See an example at:
I hope to get comments on the idea to port this section to Appropedia and not to have it anymore in the Demotech site. Maybe not only for the Demotech design topics, but added to any topic in Appropedia that is suitable for it and needs to be researched on. Specially it is meant to assist teachers and students in the hope to involve world wide education in the research for appropriate solutions.

I look forward to get from the village pump inspiration and guidance. Reinder, Demotech, design for self-reliance, 25 May, 2007

[--Demotech 26 May 2007 (PDT)--]

Hi Reinder,
We are very excited by this proposal. I am currently on my way to New York, and have very limited computer access for the next couple of days. I greatly look forward to continuing this exciting conversation towards promoting wider cooperation. --Lonny 23:24, 25 May 2007 (PDT)
Sounds good! I'm a little unclear on the details, but it seems we're agreed on the general direction and can start work on it. --Chriswaterguy · talk 02:20, 26 May 2007 (PDT)
Hi Reinder,
See my response and questions at User talk:Demotech, design#Sub-sub categories for the sub-category Demotech.
Thank you, --Lonny 00:51, 1 June 2007 (PDT)

Developments in networking

A couple of interesting developments in networking:

To help with inter-wiki networking, Society Gardens has been created on Wikia: This is a summary of active, established Wikia sites on serious topics (ie not entertainment or gaming).

To help with networking within a wiki, the CAN system (community and networking card), has been discussed at WikiSocial, and is being tried out at Sustainable Community Action. See Sustainable Community Action's community and networking card page. When I get a chance I'll look into this further. --Chriswaterguy · talk 09:00, 13 July 2007 (PDT)

AT Theory and environmentalism

Hey y'all. I haven't added much here, but I've been trawling for a while. I run another wiki - - on environmentalism and social justice (intended as a much more theory based wiki than this, I think).

I've been thinking, especially since doing a great course on technology and systems design last semester at Newcastle Uni, that appropedia could benefit from a theory category or portal, leading to pages about things like thermodynamics, systematic design theory, ecology, basic machines, and how they relate to technology. This could be helpful in showing people how to create new AT, along side all the examples of existing AT.

Let me know what you think, in the mean time, I might start a few pages with the little I know about these fields. cheers. --Naught101 01:59, 4 August 2007 (PDT)

Hi Naught101,
Great work at We definitely want to help people create new AT. I say go for your additions and we will try to help along the way. I am excited to see your pages. Thank you, --Lonny 10:05, 4 August 2007 (PDT)
Started a page at Systematic design, though like I said, I don't know that much about it really. It'd be good to get some more info. Added it to the category:theory, which doesn't exist yet, but there might be other pages already that could be added that that. I was thinking, why isn't there a page on appropriate technology? (that page redirects to here). It would be a good idea to have an introduction to theory page on it somewhere (maybe there already is?), could remove the redirect (my favourite), or have it at appropriate technology theory, or introduction to appropriate technology, what's best? Added a few links to my previous post. --Naught101 04:30, 5 August 2007 (PDT)