User talk:Lonny

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If you are logged in, click the + sign next to the edit tab above to leave me a message. Or just click edit if you are not logged in. --Lonny (see also User_talk:Lonny/Archive for many past discussions)

Lonny: Podcast Update

We've just published an interview with professor Anil Gupta of the Honeybee Network. Very interesting, I think you would enjoy it.,com_jd-wp/Itemid,173/p,30/

I would be more than happy to do a similar one on one with you, or a more open format with other members at appropedia. Just let me know. Looking forward to it...frank [at]

Your thoughts requested...

at User_talk:Chriswaterguy#Greenlivingpedia interwiki. Thanks.

I was going to request input from the moderator of Category:Alternative building, but then I realized we don't have one yet...

Perhaps we should invite Peter to be moderator for Category:Sustainable buildings, which could have Category:Alternative building as a subcat. --Chriswaterguy · talk 16:02, 16 March 2007 (PDT)

Photovoltaics how-to?

What do you think about moving much of Category:Photovoltaics to a how-to? --Chriswaterguy · talk 02:53, 4 April 2007 (PDT)

Hi Chris, Great question. I have thinking about what to do with these types of pages. I do not think moving it to a how to is the best idea, as I feel that how tos should be followable step-by-step methods. I do think that the amount of content on Photovoltaics hides the category links below. Here are a two possible solutions:
  1. Create a standard _______ basics, for each category page. In this case, Category:Photovoltaics would have a prominent link to Photovoltaic basics.
  2. Move the subcategories and pages above the content. There is a mediawiki extension that does just that.
I would like to develop a standard. I think that #1 sounds best so far. Do you have any ideas?
When we do come up with a standard, we need to think about what is appropriate on a category page. If we have no text on category pages (as is the standard on some wikis) then we have users needing to click again to find any real information. If we do have text, how much and what type?
Thank you, --Lonny 19:21, 4 April 2007 (PDT)
Yep... #1 is a variation on the Wikipedia approach, and I can see the reason for it. I also see why it makes sense to take a different approach, and keep the topic and categories both high profile, since we have multiple content types.
I need to think more about this. --Chriswaterguy · talk 02:04, 24 April 2007 (PDT)
The top of any topic page would have a template notice something like "For more pages on this topic, see the Sanitation category. That works well.
I'm not sure whether to use "XYZ basics" or just have the page name = topic name. This is Wikipedia's approach, albeit in a context of only one content type to deal with. It also makes the abovementioned template workable using {{PAGENAME}}. And I'm not sure yet whether the info will necessarily be basic and would rather let that question be answered organically. --Chriswaterguy · talk 05:48, 24 April 2007 (PDT)
I like this discussion of moving the hefty content to a separate page. Low-content category pages are fine (essentially, a few sentences describing the nature of the category), and don't need a separate page. As for naming, I have a slight bias toward using the same name, as WP does, but to me this is a detail. Of course, it's a detail that needs to be worked out :-). But as long as the naming is algorithmic (standardized), it shouldn't be too hard to alter the algorithm. I think there ought to be a way to write some template that points to the page if it exists, but I could be mistaken about that. Also, since if there is no page, then the category name wants to be a redirect (I think), and that could spoil the "if exists" test... Anyway, I'm getting lost in implementation details. --CurtB 10:07, 24 April 2007 (PDT)
I'm now leaning strongly towards this change, after thinking about how we deal with topics with multiple aspects - whether the topic deserves subcategories and whether it deserves multiple pages on different aspects, are not quite the same question. It's also easier to create topic pages if we don't have to think so hard about how it fits with the category system.
Shall we make this our new policy, at Appropedia:Topic content? We'll also need to adjust pages and sections such as Appropedia:Categories#Topic_categories Run it past major topic contributors, and Appropedia team members including User:Vinay Gupta and User:On2Leggs before making the changes? --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:03, 29 April 2007 (PDT)
What about the option of topic pages in mainspace, with the category tree (perhaps in a standard template) at the bottom of every such page? The drawback I can see is that I don't know if the category tree can list actual pages - only subcategories. Actually, is that a drawback, as long as we have clear links to the subcategories, with an explanatory note?
Looking at mw:Extension:CategoryTree, maybe we can use {{#categorytree:{{PAGENAME}}}}, if the pagename is consistent with the cat name. Note: I'm not wedded to the idea - just exploring it. --Chriswaterguy · talk 03:11, 27 November 2007 (PST)

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!
--Demotech, design 14:03, 16 April 2007 (PDT) Reinder/Demotech

Hi Reinder,
Great to hear from you. I hope you received the email from my students. Your comments and questions are excellent and extremely pertinent. As requested, I am reposting your comments to the Village Pump for group discussion to follow. We are also considering starting a forum, so that it is easier for even more people to be involved.
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.
Thank you, --Lonny 18:51, 11 April 2007 (PDT)
To sign your comments use the following code: --~~~~
Lonny, hello!
Thanks for help and hope more clearity will come. And yes, I received the mail conserning the [=NightReader=]. I'll come back to it soon.
--Demotech, design 14:03, 16 April 2007 (PDT) Reinder

main page counter?

Lonny -- it looks like the main page counter has been stuck on ~58k for awhile -- is this correct? Is it counting? I tried reloading it and nothing changed - only one hit per ip? Cheers - Joshua ps - love the new chicken highlight

Hi Joshua,
If you mean 56k, it may look stuck because the counter stays in the cache during a normal refresh, but it will reload on a hard refresh. Use Shift-Refresh in Firefox and see if that works. If you mean 58k our numbers are different and we should discuss it further.
Glad you like the new chicken highlight.
PS you can sign your posts using 4 tildes (~~~~) --Lonny 22:23, 19 May 2007 (PDT)

Demotech contribution

Lonny, hi!
Thanks for your feed back. I have to study it thoroughly. Specially as I am not yet fully used to the Appropedia set up.
Whatever choice is made, it will be a tremendous lot of work to do all the porting to the right places. There seems to be a MediaWiki template that would well go together with the Research template. A friend of mine tries to find it.
All together it seems best to follow fate: go slow, make mistakes and hopefully then find a better way!

Great plan. I look forward to feedback. It will be a lot of work, but we have some techniques that make it easier. Here is a link to the entire topic category structure of Appropedia. -Lonny 02:25, 1 June 2007 (PDT)


I know very little how these kinds of sites work, and can't figure out how to make this suggestion otherwise: I'd like to see Gender as one of the categories under Culture and Community, if not its own listing under the main topics-areas listing.

Hi Jayne,
Thank you for your great suggestion. I responded on your talk page. Thank you, --Lonny 22:10, 13 July 2007 (PDT)

stats for GEM_mosquito_control

Hi Lonny,

Georgedappilly had a question about stats for GEM_mosquito_control:

By the way is it possible to get any details about those who visit the page. So far 714 visits are there!

Cheers --Chriswaterguy · talk 03:10, 22 July 2007 (PDT)

Actually I'd like to know how to access this for pages in general. Just noticed that Washing and drying clothes has had 1256 page views, which isn't bad, and I'd be interested to know where people have come from, so we can learn from it.

I also just noticed that my user page is 10th most viewed on the stats page, no doubt because I use it in my signature on blogs and other sites. I'll have to put more effort into giving people links when they arrive there. --Chriswaterguy · talk 05:50, 22 July 2007 (PDT)

Mandatos y Preguntas

¿Porqué no tienes un foto nuevo en tu pagina? Mas importante, ¿¡¿Porqué no hay un spell check en Appropedia?!? —The preceding comment was added by Waterfaery72 (talkcontribs) 12:04, 29 July 2007

Gracias para tus dudas. Voy a hacer un nuevo foto para mi pagina muy pronto. Y para spell check, I suggest using the excellent web-browser Firefox. Here is a portable version (will work on a thumb drive) and here is a install version, both will spell check inside of Appropedia. --Lonny 12:29, 29 July 2007 (PDT)

Muy pronto, mis nalgas!

Kiva, Kivapedia and microfinance

Hey Lonny,

I've been looking around trying to get a feel for how I could best contribute to Appropedia. I'm not an expert in any of the fields covered here, just a fan who likes to edit wikis. :-) In terms of Kiva, etc., I made a few simple edits to test out the connections. They work great.

As far as articles go, there doesn't seem to be much here related to microfinance. You also seem to uses categories like that one as main articles. :-) So I was wondering, do you approve of "importing" Wikipedia articles with trans-wiki links? If that's okay, I would be willing to add "Kiva" and "microfinance" articles. Also, do you add articles about related wikis? If it's a yes on that, I also could start a little something about Kivapedia.

As another "connections" idea, people in the Kiva Friends community often send Kiva gift certificates to folks, e.g., Gift Certificate to Celebrities to get the microlending ball rolling in a new area. If you know of a sizable group of folks here or elsewhere, and they would be willing to form a "lender group," I would be willing to bankroll the "first" loan (a whopping $25! ;-) if the group finds a way to match it. Then we could add "Appropedians for Kiva" (or whatever) to the List of Kiva Group Lenders! ;-) Regards, RichardF 14:25, 1 August 2007 (PDT)

Hi Richard - haven't responded to your comment on my talk page yet and I'm busy at Wikimania, so I'll take the liberty of make some quick comments here on Lonny's talk page.
  • We use the {{Wikipedia}} template to link to encyclopedic content, rather than duplicating it here.
  • We would love more content on microfinance, and Kiva. My friend from the Grameen Foundation (Australia) has told me good things about Kiva.
  • We did have a policy of using categories as topic articles - I think we agreed to change the policy a while ago but haven't carried it out yet.
  • I see no problem adding stuff about Kivapedia - we like to interlink where appropriate, and in some cases have merged (e.g. with where we were covering the same ground. It may be that the WikiNode is the best place to add that info, but that's not a hard and fast rule.
  • Welcome to Appropedia! --Chriswaterguy · talk 21:12, 1 August 2007 (PDT)

Okay, I really don't have any new content to add and I already added the basics to WikiNode. Let me know if you're interested in loaning as a group. RichardF 05:01, 2 August 2007 (PDT)

Think I erased a photo of yours on accident

I was uploading a photo and called it Batchsolar.jpg

Accidentally clicked ok when it asked me if I wanted to replace one with the same name. Don't know where the picture is linked to. Thought I'd let you know.


Hi Matt,
Thanks for the heads up. You saved over a photo that you had uploaded, so no problem. If you click the image and go the image page (Batchsolar.jpg) you can see the past versions and see what pages use the photo.
--Lonny 19:09, 6 August 2007 (PDT)
PS You can sign your name using 4 tildes (~~~~).

Adobe Schmadobe

So I think I got the page to be a little more PC like you asked. Also put up the new floorplan. If that all looks good it's just about done, though we do have a couple building pictures to put up it's really difficult since Jaqui's gone and Hannah and I don't have a flash drive or a cord...anyway it's hard to get that stuff together and tomorrow's my last day in Parras, so let me know what you think so that I can fix things up before I take off. Thanks Lonny, hope you're feeling better...and I heard you ran into Richard in DF! La changa 14:48, 7 August 2007 (PDT)

Thanks for the template fix

...and the welcome! I wasn't sure if you had a welcome template yet so I reckoned I'd make one - moved it to Template:Welcome and made it a bit more generic (see demo below). Mchua 20:11, 18 August 2007 (PDT)

Actually, it's probably better to look at Template:Welcome - or pop {{subst:Welcome|yourusername}} into a new user's page to see it at work. But it should work for everyone now, so hopefully we'll see a welcome-wagon phenomenon. On a somewhat related note, Chriswaterguy and I was talking about the entry barrier for new contributors to wikis (especially folks working on appropriate technology) so I'm trying to delve into the code that WikiHow uses to make its interface more user-friendly in the hopes of generalizing it to an extension (it's currently custom hacks embedded into their php, so they tell me). Mchua 20:15, 18 August 2007 (PDT)
Great template! And there has been a resulting ramped up welcome wagon phenomenon. Thank you for the help on lowering the wiki-tech bar for new users. I look forward to making Appropedia easier to use for the many people that balk at our archaic code. Thank you, --Lonny 11:04, 26 August 2007 (PDT)



Welcome to the Appropedia wiki. Please make yourself at home! If you need a general wiki-tutorial, Wikieducator has some excellent ones.

Check your preferences and be sure you verify your email address and turn on email notification if you'd like it -- you can find out when your talk page, or any page on your watchlist, is modified. You may want to upload a photo or information about yourself to your userpage (which is at

If you have a particular interest or project in mind, go ahead and start it! Feel free to leave me a note on my talk page if you have further questions, need help finding your way around, have a cool idea for a project, or just want to chat. You can also call, text, or email me anytime; more contact information is on my user page.

Glad to have you here!


Thank you...

Hey Lonnie... thanks for the formatting tips- was definately needed and certainly appreciated. Thanks and have a beautiful day... -a.

Glad to help. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you --Lonny 16:25, 16 September 2007 (PDT)

News from Demotech, at last...

Lonny, hello!
I found new web master who has a pretty good idea how to approach the transfer of info from Demotech to Appropedia. As ideas are now, this guy Robert, will make a script to transfer of the Demotech content just and only the 'Why" and "How" of the first page of each design page also with the pictures that belong to this info. So this is just to give visitors at Appropedia a taste of what is could be, then to click through to the Demotech site.
The big idea is that I want to be able to steer and animate further development of the design ideas presented by Demotech. I can't have that at Appropedia, so I want to have a place that I can manage myself. I do not yet know how I can work this out with my webmaster Robert, it should be some content managment system close to that of Appropedia. Anyway I want to make sure further linking up to Appropedia remains easy at the very moment that's Appropriate!
Soon you will hear more!
Greetings, Reinder

Hi Reinder,
Great to hear from you. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help the movement. Keep up your great work. Look forward to hearing from you soon. --Lonny 18:10, 16 September 2007 (PDT)

Hi Lonny - the banner at the bottom of GEM mosquito control gives me more credit than I deserve or want, just because I created the page (with a few lines). Can we do anything about this? --Chriswaterguy · talk 06:17, 28 September 2007 (PDT)

Contributor notice

Hi Lonny - the banner at the bottom of GEM mosquito control ("This page was last modified 21:34, 21 July 2007 by E.M.George. Based on work by Chris Watkins and Anonymous user(s) of Appropedia.") gives me more credit than I deserve or want, just because I created the page (with a few lines). Can we do anything about this? --Chriswaterguy · talk 06:19, 28 September 2007 (PDT)

I am sure that there is someway to do this in the database, but I think the best fix right now is probably a work around:
We have E.M.George create a new page, maybe GEM mosquito control system, then copy the content there and make the old page forward to this new page.
Alternatively, we copy the content, delete the page, have E.M.George create the page again and the paste the content back into the page. I think that this will hide the history even further, but both ways should return the banner to its correct crediting state.
What do you think?
--Lonny 07:50, 28 September 2007 (PDT)
Good plan. I would normally be concerned to preserve history, but in this case it's basically George, with very little by me. A couple of minor edits by an anon or two, who may be the same as George.
We can keep the same name for the new page, simply by having George move the old page, and create the new page on top of the redirect. We can then delete the moved old page (noting that the history is accessible to admins through the deletion log, if desired). Does that make sense? --Chriswaterguy · talk 10:10, 1 October 2007 (PDT)
Sounds good, when should we do this? --Lonny 11:07, 13 October 2007 (PDT)
I haven't been watching changes very well lately - with the wiki being so active, I think it's best to reply on my talk page from now on.
After checking Appropedia submission for BFI prize, I realized that my analysis of the problem was wrong - who created the page has no impact. Each person is mentioned only once, even if they are both the creator and the most recent editor. I made a small edit on the GEM page, and now the names are reversed - "This page was last modified... by Appropedia user Chriswaterguy. Based on work by E.M.George and Anonymous user(s) of Appropedia." Perhaps the "last modified by" is not a desirable feature of the notice - this is just one bit of information without context, and more complete info is readily available anyway, by clicking history. If a simpler banner is available, I'd support using that (but no rush). --Chriswaterguy · talk 10:32, 28 October 2007 (PDT)

Glad to be here.


Appropedia is great. I've wanted to do this project since 1987 when I was a graduate student in anthropology studying economic development. Appropriate technology was all the buzz then, but ideas didn't move much. I hope that is all changing now. I've registered with appropedia and hope I can contribute.

Back then I wanted a central facility in which people could create and disseminate interactive records of development ideas: projects, appropriate technologies, managerial techniques, etc. The facility would have the ideas, how they worked on the ground immediately and over time, observations by planners and locals, spin offs, lessons learned, etc. Then the whole lot would be available to anyone. Of course, back then this was impossible. Now you have it.

A colleague of mine and I are particularly interested in dispersal of small scale development ideas into areas of low computer concentration: PNG for example. I've spoken with one of the old development professors there and worked up some ideas.

Since 1987, I have spent 5 years in social work, earned a Ph.D. in economics, and advanced as an academic in Australia concentrating on other fields. But I am eager now to return to my old love of economic development.

How can my ideas fit in to appropedia? Do you know of people currently working on getting appropedia information into areas with few computers?

Cheers, Chris Geller

Hi Chris,
Thank you for your encouraging feedback. Your ideas fit perfectly into Appropedia. The administrator most connected with getting Appropedia information into areas with few computers is Chriswaterguy.
I think that we may be served by having this conversation over email. Although it does lack the transparency of the wiki, we have a few other colleagues, with interest in this area, that reply more via email. Please email me at to further this exciting conversation. You may be interested in the following pages: Low cost computer guide, User:Chriswaterguy/OLPC_frontpage, Collaboration to produce offline content. These pages are different from but related to what you are discussing.
Welcome to Appropedia and welcome back to economic development, we look forward to talking and hopefully working with you, --Lonny 11:04, 13 October 2007 (PDT)

Slashes in page names?

Hi Lonny,

Was just leaving a note for Steve about Lemon douches for HIV prevention, when I came up with this issue: I thought about a rename to "Lemon and lime douches..." but that sounds like a mixture of the two is required; "Lemon or lime douches..." sounds like a comparison is being made. "Lemon/lime douches..." is probably best, but it looks like a subpage. Looking like a subpage is possibly not a problem, but I wanted to get your views. --Chriswaterguy · talk 00:23, 24 October 2007 (PDT)

Hi Chris,
My take is that we should reserve slashes for subpages. How about a dash, e.g. Lemon-lime douches?
Thank you, --Lonny 00:49, 24 October 2007 (PDT)
Lemon-lime still sounds like a cocktail to me :). Will think on it. --Chriswaterguy · talk 13:18, 25 October 2007 (PDT)
One issue with the title "Lemon/lime douches" is that (I think) there will be a breadcrumb trail back to the page "Lemon" linked at the top of the page. I think that "Lemon and lime douches", while ambiguous, is okay. If lemon and lime didn't go together so well, in cocktails :), I do not think it would be as misleading. Think "Orange and apple flavored beverages" this allows for mixed or separate beverages, whereas "Orange and apple flavored beverage" must be mixed (and gross). --Lonny 23:47, 25 October 2007 (PDT)


Re your sig at Talk:Lemon douches for HIV prevention... i think there was a typo - fives tildes (~~~~~) make a date with no username (13:18, 25 October 2007 (PDT)). -Chriswaterguy · talk 13:18, 25 October 2007 (PDT)

Thanks. I fixed it. --Lonny 11:13, 28 October 2007 (PDT)


Thanks for your words in my talk page. I'd like to help you translating the information you have about photovoltaic systems. I want to learn building my own small PV system and i think that is a very good way to learn the theory. I see you are also interested on PV. In case that I don't understand something, may I ask you questions about PV design and calculations?, :)--Javier Carro 05:17, 18 November 2007 (PST)

Hi Javier,
Please feel free to ask me questions. I have supervised, designed and built quite a few solar applications (plus I teach it at University). One of the questions I will probably not be able to help much with, is rules and rebates in your area. Where are you located? I have had a hand (sometimes very small) in the majority of the photovoltaic projects (including these Spanish translations) here on Appropedia, and Joshua did the quite excellent Solar Photovoltaic Open Lectures - he may be amenable to questions.
I look forward to watching the photovoltaic page be translated. The content on that page is too much for a category page, so we were planning on renaming it something like Photovoltaic basics (we are still working on the policy). Please feel free to name your page how ever you would like, and we will make sure it fits.
Thank you for your fantastic work, --Lonny 09:57, 18 November 2007 (PST)
:) Sorry, I didn't notice you answered me back here. Thanks a lot. As soon as I have time I will be looking to all this material. You also can ask me for translating something you consider of high relevance. By the way, at the moment I live in Zürich. I was thinking of using this website to calculate the inclination and orientation of the modules.
I will ask you my first question: do you know some schematics to make your own DC-DC 12 to 19 volts converter? I want to build one but until now I didn't find anyone in internet. --Javier Carro 04:44, 24 November 2007 (PST)
Yo respondí en tu página. --Lonny 19:24, 24 November 2007 (PST)


Hey Lonny!

Thanks for the nice note. I appreciate the additions you made to the article, as well as the kind words about my story. I'm hoping to make more contributions soon, since I've been reading a whole damn lot about soil health...


--Krystle 20:58, 23 November 2007 (PST)


I am responding to the message you left me.

I have been to Arcata a couple of times traveling with my sweetie who was a student at HSU and in GreenWheels. She and I met at Lost Valley Educational Center about a year and a half ago.. I dont believe we have met IRL. I appreciate you reading my LiveJournal. Maybe we will meet in the future. I look forward to that day. My sweetie has a sister and her dad that live still in Arcata so we will be there again, Im sure. Peace, Rkmlai 13:31, 5 December 2007 (PST)


Dear Lonny: Would you please take a look at It's about an idea for a global data base of MODELS that could help us transform the world in record time. There is an obvious relationship to Appropedia, which I mention in the article. I'd love to have someone pick up my idea for implementation. It's being called "world changing," a very worthwhile idea that deserves implementing (Global Mind-Shift) and something that MUST be implemented(by and blog) Do you think there is any chance that this idea could be an expansion for your organization? Thanks for your attention. Alice Holstein Mack, Ed.D.

Hello Alice,
Thank you for your note. I love your idea, and after reading your idea at WFS I feel like Appropedia is a great fit. Appropedia does seek to house models and best practices. I think that you will find many of them listed under Organizations, such as Potawot. Your proposals definitely brings awareness to how we present ourselves, it seems that we appear to be only physical artifact focused, which is not the case. In addition, it makes me realize that we should probably start a category for Models. We had discussed having some kind of expert ranking of models, but we have not implemented any tool or process like that yet. Let's continue discussions about how we could better serve models that make the world a better place? Please feel free to email me at I will post this response at wfs as well.
Thank you,--Lonny 13:58, 23 January 2008 (PST)


Thanks Lonny. I'll just finish up the pdf files I'm already working on and then I'll move on to other documents as Chris suggested. --Fatima 12:40, 29 January 2008 (PST)

Thank you. Keep up the great work. --Lonny 12:58, 29 January 2008 (PST)

Thanks Lonny! It looks good. --Fatima 20:46, 29 January 2008 (PST)

Scientific method on Appropedia?

Hi Lonny. I'm new here. First of all, thanks for this great project!
A question: I've been editing Wikipedia for a while, and there's a continuing discussion (aka war) there on the extent to which content needs to be governed by the scientific method and mainstream science, vs accepting "alternative science", "traditional wisdom", etc.
I'm especially concerned about this because of the likelihood of people furnishing harmful misinformation - it's bad enough when people say that you can build a 5 mw cold fusion generator out of paper clips and twine, but when people start posting that chicken soup cures AIDS or the like, I worry about the possibility of serious harm.
Can you please give me some idea what the policy/guideline/"stance" of Appropedia is on this issue?
- I see that Chriswaterguy wrote at Appropedia:Neutral point of view: "Appropedia also places a strong emphasis on scientific fact and Rigor," so I'm also going to ask him about this. Thanks -- Writtenonsand 06:27, 15 February 2008 (PST)

Drought Myth: We definitely have copyleft?

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

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

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

-- Writtenonsand 07:27, 19 February 2008 (PST)

Here's another: Methane: "Portions (cc) S.E.E.D.S. under Creative Commons".
What's "cc"? I can't find any relevant definition. "Creative Commons"? If "copyright" or some non-GFDL license, then this content can't appear on Appropedia, right? Is Creative Commons 100% compatible with GFDL? (Again, only asking because of the blood I've seen these issues shed in the past.) -- Writtenonsand 07:48, 19 February 2008 (PST)
Hi Writtenonsand,
Krystle is the creator of Drought Myth and intended to release it GFDL (by my understanding). Methane is another story. There is a strong chance (again, by my understanding) that GFDL and CC will merge enough that Wikipedia can switch to CC. If that does not happen soon, we will probably start dual licensing content (images can already be CC). Until then, we should probably remove/rewrite the content under Methane. Thank you for your vigilance, it is probably a good idea. And thank you even more for your great impact here at Appropedia so far. --Lonny 12:03, 19 February 2008 (PST)
Thanks again to you for all your help. -- Writtenonsand 18:53, 19 February 2008 (PST)

editing umbrella solar cooking page

hi lonny
i just worked on my page for a little while, editing some of your suggestions. thank you for those! i was wondering if you want me to try to imput a table for the budget, or if there is a way to copy the one i turned in to you via a word document. also wanted to let you know that a better timeline is coming soon. and i wanted to send you a message via appropedia to try it out. thanks!
Meganhelms 11:43, 10 March 2008 (PDT)

Community discussion template

We are the [ Appropedia ] community and we are [ Working in Public ] [ add your entry ]

This was worth a try, but time to declare the experiment over. No one else used it, and it's time to try something else. See conversation at User talk:Lonny#Forum.

I believe we need to try plain old, simple, user-friendly forum software, as we've been discussing internally (options at Appropedia:Forum), plus our Bettermeans workstream for task management, and possibly have a Contributors' homepage as more of a jumping off point for "how to contribute and where to discuss". --Chriswaterguy 21:51, 7 April 2011 (PDT)

  • There has been a dramatic improvement in the guinea worm situation in Sudan. Since the end of the war there has been "a revamped government-led project distributing vital barriers against the disease. These include more than one million pipe filters and nearly half a million cloth filters."Fighting the 'fiery serpent' in Sudan,, Jun 6, 2008 --Chriswaterguy 16:43, 9 June 2008 (PDT)
  • We want a channel somewhere for people to add tidbits of content they don't have time to explore in a full article. ideally with an RSS feed, that people could watch, and that could be sent via twitterfeed to a community account. The Appropedia forum could be best for that once it's going. I'll do it here for now, starting with a good news story from Sudan. --Chriswaterguy 16:43, 9 June 2008 (PDT)
  • I see that AboutUs doesn't use this "WikiBox" on their user talk page, and I think that's wise - otherwise people may go to their task page, read the box, and not notice the personal messages below it. Best for community pages, and optionally for user pages. --Chriswaterguy · talk 18:53, 13 March 2008 (PDT)
    • I like "Community discussion box" - WikBoxsounds more generic. --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:05, 13 March 2008 (PDT)
  • Hi Chris, glad you find this idea interesting. I came up with it with a few people 4 months ago and am pretty excited by it. If you haven't seen - check out some of the thought. Would love to talk more about how I see it being used. Best, MarkDilley
    • Looks like a major boost to communication among the whole community, which has been a weakness of wikis till now. --Chriswaterguy · talk 18:53, 13 March 2008 (PDT)
  • One of the ideas we've had for this at is that there would be many WikiBoxes for different communities on the site, and that people could transclude them on their personal pages, whichever ones they wanted, so each person would have their own personal dashboard, and not have to remember to go check different places. Kind of like an RSS reader for blogs, except more wiki. :-) -- TedErnst 06:18, 13 March 2008 (PDT)
  • Newer threads start on top. (This could get confusing - a good reason to try a now talk page format, perhaps.) --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:47, 12 March 2008 (PDT)
    • As always, comments need headers or something else to give structure. At AboutUs they use bullets (like I've done here - that makes line spacing more regular as well). Another possibility is a new Talk page format.--Chriswaterguy · talk 19:47, 12 March 2008 (PDT)

Community discussion template

Trying out a new template, {{working in public}} - looks nifty. --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:00, 12 March 2008 (PDT)

It's working... do we want to use it on Appropedia, on our talk pages and relevant community pages? --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:20, 12 March 2008 (PDT)
I should add: I think it could use a lot of adapting for Appropedia, but I wanted to get feedback on the concept.
Probably the page transcluded here should be the Village pump. --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:47, 12 March 2008 (PDT)
Something similar could be done for any of the community discussion pages. --Chriswaterguy · talk 19:47, 12 March 2008 (PDT)


Hi Lonnie, Bob Metcalf started teaching part time last year in the microbiology dept at Sac State in order to have more time to work on his solar water testing and pasteurization projects in Kenya. You can reach him at He is in Sacramento for the moment due to the troubles in Kenya.

Regards, Pat McArdle Arlington, Va

Hi Pat,
Thank you. I think I will buy a couple prefab ones (sounds much easier) and also look into getting some of the wax, as we may want to build it straight into a solar pasteurizer. Thank you, Lonny 00:47, 18 March 2008 (PDT)

fixing article sections

Hi Lonny,

I was wondering if you could help with a problem that one of my students is having. She started translating an article on a waterless toilet, but instead of clicking on the "edit" tab at the top of the page, she clicked on "edit" for each section. Thus, each section of the English article appears on the "Artikel auf deutsch" page as a separate article. If you could help us figure out how to merge all the sections into one article, that would be great. The student's username is Veritas19.

Thanks! Nell ter Horst

Hi Nell,
It is all fixed now. See Weniger Wasser Toilette for the compiled version and Waterless Toilet for the cleaned up English version. I just copied each section that the student created and pasted it into the full Weniger Wasser Toilette document. We should talk about how appropedia could help prevent this from happening in the future... maybe screencast tutorials are in order. We have really enjoyed watching the Deutsch content grow. Please feel free to contact me via email to discuss any of this ( Thank you, --Lonny 03:14, 20 March 2008 (PDT)

Extensions to Watch

thanks for your work on the front page

I just wanted to say good job, I like the additions. david.Reber (too lazy to log in :-)

I should also mention that at at 11:30 california time, Appropedia is quite slow

Hi David,
Thanks for the kudos on the front page. I am glad you like the changes. We have many more to come, but the live content is a good start. The site is randomly slow... we are currently working on that. I really appreciate the update, --Lonny 00:44, 3 April 2008 (PDT)
I love it, and blogged on it: Keeping the team informed. (The blog is now on Planet Wikimedia.)
What do you think of an announcements box for the front page - a smaller slimmer version of Community discussion template? --Chriswaterguy (talk) 02:29, 10 April 2008 (PDT)
Good idea. Here are some questions:
  • Are you thinking that it would replace the Announcements spot currently on the front page?
  • Would readers be able to scroll through past announcements?
  • Would only admins be able to edit the page the announcements feed from?
  • Are there any potential problems with the code that implements the scroll box, e.g. for visitors on old/slow connections?
Yes, yes, yes (but we'll have a clear place for suggestions), and no idea (I'll do a box up and get some testing done - incl asking my friends in Indo to try it out on their connection.). --Chriswaterguy 18:00, 11 April 2008 (PDT)
Thank you, --Lonny 13:24, 10 April 2008 (PDT)

With a little help from my friends ...

Lonny, hello!

Back from field work in Guatemala with the wish to report progress and experiences I encounter a few problems. Problem 1 is access to my account. It does not listen to what I remember to be its user name and password. Can you help me out?

The other problem is that of interest at Appropedia to upload or port the first four fields of Demotech's mySQL database, being title, short summary (2 lines), the 'Why' of the item (6 lines), the 'How' of the item (6 lines), 2 images, both in size 250 x 250 px and 500 x 500 px. plus the link to the corresponding 80 pages of .

If Appropedia likes the idea, I hope it can be done automated. Soon Demotech's website will be restructured in a MediaWiki compatible format. My webmaster tells me such a transfer is then possible. Is it? And who should do it? Demotech (no expertise, little capacity) or people from Appropedia?

In July I expect to be back at Demotech's project location in Guatemala, lake Atitlan. That is not too far from your site in Mexico. Could there anything be coordinated? Students working with us in Guatemala? Demotech research done at the Mexico site? Taking part in Demotech's campaign for hyping the Hy2U hand washing device ?

Kind regards, Reinder van Tijen, Demotech, design for self-reliance

Hi Reinder,
Great to hear from you. I am glad to hear Guatemala went well. One of our board members, Cat is there now.
I think that we can find some Appropedia people to work on the porting, once it is in a mediawiki compatible format. As far as deeper collaboration, quite a few sites/organizations have moved their project pages off their own site and onto Appropedia. This allows for more continuity in project feedback/changes, less dilution of the pool of editors, less search engine demotion for duplicate content, more exposure for Demotech and Appropedia, and allows you to focus more on the projects themselves then on combating spam, technical issues, etc. Demotech would host the descriptions and maybe the rankings, and then link to Appropedia for editable details. Appropedia would link back to Demotech from each of the pages. Let me know what you think? We are very open to lots of ideas and look forward to our continued partnership.
I love the idea of us doing something together in July. Unfortunately my site is in Northern Mexico, quite far from Guatemala... but maybe there is some way to arrange it. I also think that many of my students, including here in the US, would love working on the Hy2U hand washing device. Let's talk more about this.
Your username is Demotech, design. I asked Appropedia to email you a password (from the login page). Let me know if it does not work.
Welcome back! I look forward to hearing more about Guatemala. --Lonny 19:25, 10 April 2008 (PDT)


This page is a link from another page. Can I change the page tittle without having to change anything from the main page( the one codes is a link from it). How can I change the name? I uploaded images in codes, how can I arrange the images and put them next to in what products they are used. Thanks--Doaa 12:06, 11 April 2008 (PDT)

Hi Doaa,
To move the page click the move tab at the top of the page and enter the new name. I.e. click the move tab at the top of Codes, then enter Plastic codes (or something like that) in the To new title: box. For Reason: enter "more specific name". Then everything should work. To make it even cleaner, replace the link to Codes at How is plastic recycled, with a link to the new page name.
I can think of two good ways to do what you want. One is with a gallery tag, the other is with tables. I made examples of these on the Codes page.
Please let me know if you have more questions. Keep up the great work. --Lonny 17:44, 11 April 2008 (PDT)

Hi, Thank you. It worked well.

Draft front page?

Do we still have this? I searched for / welcome] but found nothing - not even Welcome to Appropedia! Puzzled... --Chriswaterguy 18:03, 11 April 2008 (PDT)

Hi Chris,
See Main Page tests. Blanked for search engine optimization reasons, but feel free to use to develop new additions to the front page. --Lonny 18:10, 11 April 2008 (PDT)

Appropedia Action Groups

Hello Lonny!

Some time ago, you left a comment on my talk page saying that you had connections to potential development projects. I am trying to compile a list of potential projects now as part of Appropedia Action Groups and was wondering if any of your connections would make good potential projects to add. --David.reber 17:45, 12 April 2008 (PDT)

Hi David,
I think that AIDG and Full Belly Project might be a good ones to start with. Thank you for your exciting work on the AAGs. --Lonny 13:01, 20 April 2008 (PDT)

Never ends

No problem. It seems this stuff never ends. —The preceding comment was added by Jthiller (talkcontribs) 00:17, 18 April 2008

Images Question

Lonny, I'm curious whether you want to keep higher res images or the lower res ones.

Low Res or High Res

Multiple pages use the lower resolution image, but I could switch them over.

-- Joey 13:33, 19 April 2008 (PDT)

Hi Joey,
I would rather keep the lower res image, as that resolution captures all the important details. Thank you for your awesome work. BTW you can use 4 tildes (~~~~) to automatically sign your messages... maybe you already figured that out. Thanks, --Lonny 12:26, 20 April 2008 (PDT)

re-rights and permission for conent

Dear Lonny,

The reason I put the bird descriptions in quotes is because I didn’t know if I needed to cite something that is altered in my own words. All of the descriptions are in my own words to the best of my ability, but it is very hard to rewrite a scientific description. So what do you think I should do, should I keep the quotes because I got the descriptions from a book and reworded it , or remove the quotes because it is in my own words?

Thanks for you help,



I wanted to say thanks for the help wikifying the projects at one point you told me that you had connections to available, and I encourage you to add them if it is appropriate. --David.reber 05:57, 23 April 2008 (PDT)

Looking for SEO help

Hello Lonny,

You were referred to me by my high school classmate Al Funk as an incredible resource for SEO strategy and implementation. If you have time to take on a new project, please contact me.

310.399.2601 415.871.5747 (cell)



Postgraduate ponderings

Hello Lonny,

I will be finishing my BS in Environmental Engineering in 12 months and I am wondering what I should be doing after that.

I want to gain knowledge in water and sanitation as is appropriate for applications in developing countries.

Are there any postgraduate programs that you recommend? Are there companies that I should be applying to (either specific firms or categories of firms)? NGO's? Governmental agencies?

Thanks for your advice, --David.reber 12:28, 8 May 2008 (PDT)

Hi David, Responded on your talk page. --Lonny 09:25, 9 May 2008 (PDT)

le système Jean Pain

Hi Lonny, thx for your message, and congratulations for this site. It's just what I was dreaming of. Alas, my skills in computers are quite limited. I'd like someone to "wikify" a few things in SJP : linking words like "méthane" to the related article in wikipedia, add a pic of a mound... I don't know neither how to link the french article to the english one I'll write one of these days (like in wp, the language bar on the left). If you know bilingual french/english persons, they could help me in correcting my english. Is there a space I could upload (dxf) files for people to use in their own designs or as-is ? I'm working on the plans of a yurt-wagon you can trail, that unfolds like a book to form the floor, with felt-and-cloth roof. I'd like to share this idea with people involved in "lightweight living" and get some engineering advice. Have a nice day. Ascanio 07:31, 20 May 2008 (PDT)

Hi Ascanio,
I made some changes to Le système Jean Pain and Jean Pain system. Currently our way of working with various languages is the use of the Template:Tl:Lang bar I added to those pages. I look forward to seeing images and data describing how the system works. As for uploading dxf - try If that does not work for you, let's have a wider conversation here about hosting that filetype on Appropedia.
Thank you, --Lonny 05:26, 21 May 2008 (PDT)

Ekopedia and others...

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

Check Ekopedia

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

Check TipThePlanet

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

Check Appropedia

I have to had this student initiative...

Check Demotech

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

Thank you

Hello Olivier,
We are very excited about possible partnerships and agree we should be consolidating efforts instead of duplicating. I have responded via email. Thank you, --Lonny 18:22, 25 May 2008 (PDT)

Summit Green

Lonny, My name is Anne Marie Treger. Our friend Doug Cohen suggested I contact you. I am developing something for everyday consumers of the supermarkets. I am a homespun climate change activist (inspired by my kids) who believes all jobs should be green collar jobs! I am working on creating large scale social change through mom's shopping the supermarket with choices that have a positive impact on the planet. Long story short... Doug thinks we should talk. Please reach out. or 908 577 7352

Thanks and be well,

Anne Marie

Hi Anne,
I just emailed you and am looking forward to our conversation. --Lonny 05:51, 18 June 2008 (PDT)

wanna dance?

Hey Lonny I study sociology in Germany and i´m currently writing my thesis about the potentiality of internet use, especially collaborative networks like this, in international development. I was thinking about analyzing appropedia to find out if it´s appropriate for modern "development aid". What do you think? Unfortunately the mission page is currently (or let´s say since weeks) in progress so I don´t know if you are just collecting technology which could also be used in international development or if appropedia really feels like being a top address for people actually working in d.a. Looking forward zirewi[at]rocketmail[dot]com

Potential Projects at CCAT

Hey Lonny, you are on top of it! We're pretty excited about what we can accomplish this next semester, especially with the grey water marsh. If you are in Humboldt County, we'd like to talk to you about it! Hope you're enjoying summer time Jess

Thanks. See my response here. --Lonny 21:29, 14 July 2008 (PDT)

Headsup on Portal: Sustainability

Hey, Lonny:

I am not sure if this is the best way, and I am aware all changes are visible under "Recent Changes", but I wanted to give you a direct headsup on the above. I added a paragraph on the definition of sustainability, but I also am aware I push the 'tone' envelope, so please give it a read and provide any comments. Thanks!

SustainableDavid 10:25, 10 August 2008 (PDT)

P.S. How do I adjust the Time Zone for the auto closing? I am in CDT and I see PDT. I did adjust the offset from UTC, but the Time Zone remains.

Hi David,
Great work. I think that you did a very good job with the tone at Portal:Sustainability and an excellent job on the edits at Solar hot water. It is great to have you as a part of Appropedia.
As you are getting a hang of the ropes, you may notice that we are focused on practical solutions and try to defer most of our purely encyclopedic content to wikipedia. We also defer most of our proselytizing on why change is needed to other sites and focus here on how to actually change the world. Therefore I am really excited to start learning about your house. Maybe sometime you could start South Texas sustainable home PV system, South Texas sustainable home greywater system, etc. or the such. If you are interested, don't fret about the style or formatting people will come along and help.
Either way, thank you for your great input so far. Your vision has definitely already started helping.
Thank you, --Lonny 15:41, 10 August 2008 (PDT)
Hi David - Thanks again. Prompted by your work, I did some fairly heavy editing on Portal:Sustainability, trimming both my words and yours to keep it succinct and keep the navigation stuff in view, close to the top. I tried to keep the key ideas in, and I put some into a footnote. But feel free to reedit if you feel I lost any important points. If we want much more detail, that could go into a mainspace page instead (i.e. a normal page, not "Portal:XYZ").
(I did write a reply last night but I seem to have lost it). --Chriswaterguy 12:56, 11 August 2008 (PDT)

Another Heads Up, this time on Solar Hot Water

Hey, Lonny:

First, thanks for the comment and advice on the previous edit. I added text on System Types in Solar Hot Water which may be too 'encyclopedic' or just plain wordy, but maybe valid explanatory detail. The last paragraph could easily be placed in the "Appropriate Technology" section above it, but I did not see that until I was finished. Soon I will add some photos that will illustrate the open-loop system (the one I installed 10 years ago on my own water heater and roof).

Now I gotta go out and squash some caterpillars getting on my spaghetti squash! Is that why they call it 'squash'?

SustainableDavid 16:45, 10 August 2008 (PDT)

Hey David,
Great work again. We are still getting the hang of where the line of encyclopedic content is... of course some is needed to support the solutions proposed. "Mentions in movies" is definitely for wikipedia and not appropedia, "history" is often for wikipedia and not appropedia, the content you added seemed very appropriate for appropedia. In addition, you may want to see Solar hot water - system types. I wouldn't be surprised if it had many errors and I look forward to seeing your touch on it. You may want to link it from the Solar hot water page as well (it is already under the category).
Squash in the sense of crush is from French, where as Squash in terms of the gourd is from Algonquian[1], but I bet there is some ancient connection we don't know about yet... although where I live it is much more slug hunting as opposed to caterpillar squashing. ;)
Thank you, --Lonny 03:12, 11 August 2008 (PDT)

detail on the rocket stove

Hi Lonny,

RE: the rocket stove Did you build it? Can you pass on my question if not?

I can not tell from the pictures and dialog exactly how the exhaust gets from the block chamber to the external exhaust pipe. The hole in the top appears to be the same diameter as the skirt. I assume it is the same diameter as the pot (no smoke out the top). I do not see any holes through the skirt. Maybe I am looking at this wrong and the skirt is larger in diameter allowing the heat to rise around the pot and spill into the outer chamber. A few dimensions would help greatly here.

Is there any thought that the exhaust pipe being on one side causes the stove to operate in an "out of balance" fashion?

I look forward to reading more of your site. Building some of the items and participating. I am also very interested in human powered devices, motorized bicycles, human powered pumps, etc.


Hi Jeff,
Check out the history tab (and the footer of the main article) for information on the creators of the article. In addition, one of the creators, Dan, has posted his contact information on the talk page - Talk:CCAT rocket stove. I hope that helps. Please feel free to post your question on that talk page, especially if you can not get a hold of Dan. Please also let us know how your work goes. We are excited to have you hear and look forward to being a part of your participation.
Enjoy, --Lonny 16:57, 8 September 2008 (PDT)
PS you can sign your comments with 4 ~s (i.e. ~~~~)



I just sent you a bunch of huge files to help fund appropedia - please let me know if you got them. Thanks --Joshua 09:50, 13 September 2008 (PDT)

Got them. Exciting stuff. Will get back with it by tomorrow. --Lonny 14:28, 13 September 2008 (PDT)

MediaWiki dumps

Would it be possible for you to automate some form of complete dump from the wiki? This would help greatly in distributing this great resource offline - including CD's, personal readers (everything from PDA's to Nintendo DS), and community installations.

Even an annual release would be greatly appreciated!

See the dumps from wikimedia's projects —The preceding comment was added by Infamouse (talkcontribs) 22:10, 8 October 2008

Hi Infamouse,
Currently we have, but it seems to have problems being downloaded via http. Please let us know if you have any ideas. In addition, you may be interested in Offline content collaboration. Thank you, --Lonny 08:08, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Downloading problems for currentdump.xml.gz

The webserver is not describing the content as the correct type. The following line should be a part of your Apache configuration:

AddType application/x-gzip .gz .tgz

--Infamouse 17:25, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi Infamouse,
Thank you so much. I just added that to our htaccess, and it seems to be working great. --Lonny 02:59, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

editing issue!

Hey Lonny I am a Humboldt student taking Engineering 115 and I was having trouble with displaying what my editing page onto my actual webpage.

Can you please help me The address is title=User_talk:Lonny&action=edit&section=new

This is the address to my editing page and a couple of my sections are not shown. I've tried many things but everytime I try to change it I end losing another section for some odd reason.

Thank you Salvador Gonzalez 650-703-9249 Please contact me soon

webpage issue

sorry the address is sorry

Hi Salvador,
The problem was with a reference missing a final quotation mark. You can see the changes here. I also added the automatic references section at the bottom by adding the <reference /> tag. Thanks, and keep up the great work, --Lonny 20:49, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Model welcom

Hi Lonny,

I was trying to welcom some new users. In Ekopedia we use {{subst:welcome}} ~~~~. But here it seems that you have another one... Cause the few welcoming I did were not correct for the name...

Could you update me about the way to do. And also the guidelines... Do you welcome everybody, special welcome for IP. Is there a page which describe that?

Thank you

Olivier C 15:14, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Hi Olivier,
Thanks for your great contributions! To welcome new users we use the following code: {{subst:Welcome|yourusername}}. Thanks, --Lonny 19:57, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Dear Lonny,

Hello my name is Kyle Muther and I am currently working for a sustainable development NGO in Quito, Ecuador. I came across apropedia while looking back at some old experiences and friends at the AIDG organization in Guatemala, which also places a similar importance on knowledge exchange and mutual learning. Apropedia is an impressive and extremely welcomed tool for practitioners in the sustainable development field. Along the lines of the mission of Apropedia, I am currently seeking out interested parties in the creation of a social networking site/ Wiki here in Ecuador which would improve communication, manage knowledge and streamline best practices of like minded small scale, high impact organizations.

Currently, I am in the process of developing this infrastructure and a network of NGOs who would like to take part. Although there are many examples of international NGO 'portals' there are very few examples of national portals which incorporate new media and hands on tools, which would facilitate partnerships and knowledge sharing in real time. I would be very interested in your thoughts as well as a possible partnership for the implementation of such a project. I hope to hear back from you soon and share more of what I hope will be an exciting new venture.


Kyle Muther Coordinator of Project Development Yanapuma Foundation

Hi Kyle,
This sounds very exciting. I will email you now. --Lonny 05:36, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Title change

Hey Lonny I was hoping if you could change the title of my page to Arcata's Marsh Oxidation Ponds thank you

You can change the name of your page using the move tag at the top of the window. If you don't see it let me know. In addition, there is already a page named Arcata Marsh Oxidation Ponds.
Thank you, --Lonny 07:11, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

how do i download this booklet

i will like to know if i can download these booklets to read on my lap top without signing on to the internet. —The preceding comment was added by WUJANNI (talkcontribs) 03:08, 5 December 2008

Hello Wujanni,
Thank you for your question. Here are three possibilities in different states of development.
  1. We are currently on a weekly site dump that would allow you to install a version of the wiki.
  2. We could install an extension like, which would allow you to select and create your own booklets for offline reading.
  3. You can use the printable version link on the lefthand sidebar and a program like to create pdf versions of the pages you want to read online.
Please let us know which idea sounds the best to you, or if you have other ideas, and we will work on it.
Thank you for your interest, --Lonny 08:33, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Generic Edit Page

Hi ! I contact you because I saw that you manage to install Uniwiki extension : Generic Edit Page, without any bug. When i add this Extension without the Layouts extension it ad a tag : <layout name="" /> at the end of each article i edit or creat and when i add the Layouts exetension, the Edit bouton simply don't work ! So my questions are : Did you have the same problem ? How did you manage to solve it ? here is my test wiki

Hope you could answere me Best. E.

We definitely had problems installing the Uniwiki extension, but none of our problems were the same as yours. I strongly suggest disabling all other extensions while you trouble shoot this one.
There is now a new wiki to help develop the uniwiki extension at I wish you a lot of luck, --Lonny 10:46, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Thx Lonny !
PS : I have problem to see your wiki with Google Chrome (for exemple, your menu is at the wrong place) i think there is a problem with your <div> —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20:01, 21 December 2008

No problem,
Thanks for the note about chrome. We are currently working on that. --Lonny 18:12, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

request for internship

I would like to apply for an internship with Appropedia and Ekopedia. I am interested in translating French into English and English into French. My username is S_abenhariz. —The preceding comment was added by S abenhariz (talkcontribs) 22:53, 10 February 2009

Thank you for your interest. We will be contacting you today. --Lonny 22:10, 10 February 2009 (UTC)


Hi Lonny,

Pleased to meet you. I see a fine translating structure here with templates and all. I share the opinion that these subjects on Appropedia will be very much needed if not crucial in the near future, not to say right now. Very nice website! So I will consider if I can do pieces of translation in Dutch. I have to add a maybe to that, but I will definitely stay around and read along on Appropedia.

I am not one of the translators of the Transition Handbook (these were 40 other people from Netherlands and Belgium, every one doing their part!), I am just the proofreader of this mighty book.

I will get back to you in a short while, stay well,

Lucas Flabbergast 18:34, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

changing title of student article

Hi Lonny,

I transferred everything that my student had mistakenly written under "Titel auf Deutsch" to the actual title, "Behandlung von Abwasser." Thanks for your help with this!


How can I keep up to date about your peer review module?

Dear Lonny

I saw (through twitter search) your tweet "Almost done with a peer review module that allows anonymous reviewing of teammates, with direction/intervention from a supervisor."

Well, I am a supervisor making students (1000+) practice peer review since 1997 ( Your module sounds like a great thing.

(I confess I'm a blindman in this wiki-twitter-webworld (and sort of old too); I might have missed something in your pages).

Thank you, Vini, Brazil

Hi Vini,
The peer review module is for peers to review one another's work on a team, as opposed to reviewing a peer's document (although it could be adapted to that). The first in field deployment to 42 students will be complete by Tuesday. At that time, I can give you access to trying it out, or I can give you the code now if you would like. My plan is to open source the code, so that it can be used and adapted by all. The way it is meant to work is to:
  • allow supervisors to set up teams, questions and instructions
  • system emails the team members that the module is ready
  • team members enter a review of each member, themselves and the team
    • pull down menu for each member and the team
    • separate box for each question
  • team member saves their work
  • supervisor reviews each team members comments and has the ability to edit of necessary.
  • supervisor clicks a button that collates and emails out that the results are ready
  • the system collates the responses so that each team mate receives anonymous feedback from their team mates.
I use this system in conjunction with follow up live meetings. Up till now, I was hand collating the responses. That took a lot of time. Please let me know if you are interested in the module.
Thank you, --Lonny 23:53, 22 March 2009 (UTC)


Lonny, I am interested in an internship with Appropedia. I would like to work as a Language Intern as I have already been working to translate articles into German. My user page is linked below, and gives a bit of information about myself and interests. User:E.terHorst has already contacted you about an internship for me. I look forward to hearing from you so we can further discuss specifics.

Thank you, User:dj_giallomb

Thanks for your interest. We are excited to talk with you. Please email me at I tried emailing you, but you don't have an email registered with Appropedia.

Thanks,--Lonny 23:34, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

your tutorial on adding images --Mrf25 01:49, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the math formatting tip

Just wanted to say thanks for the math wiki tip, looks much better now!



S.Keating 00:23, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

No problem. Thanks for the contributions! --Lonny 17:10, 25 May 2009 (UTC)


So it seems that this new fifteen hour work day schedule of mine is finally, and oh so ironically, allotting me the desired time to spend on this miraculous co-creation of yours. I am heading up quite a few branches of community service base work here in Baan Chieng Yeun, Thailand... and though I am mostly working with little ones, I intend to (so long as I don't send back this camera I borrowed from a friend of mine ;) ) document the journey and post it here. Much love hey hey. I miss you like crazy. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nampeung (talkcontribs) 05:40, 25 June 2009

Nampueng, mi hermanita!
So great to hear about your new jobs (and workload ;) ). If you end up needing a camera, just let me know. Let me know how else I can help you contribute.
-Lonny 01:25, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

removing duplicate article

Hi Lonny, I'm trying to clean up the German article section and I noticed one incomplete article that should probably be deleted: The student seems to have changed her mind about the title and then, instead of moving the original article, started a new article:, which is now complete. If you could delete the first one, that would be great. Thanks! Nell

Hi Nell,
It is done. Thanks for the notice!
--Lonny 17:02, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Hi Lonny

Hi Lonny, it's Caroline from San Juan del Sur. I just returned to the US this morning. I'm going to send you my email address via "" and I'd love to hear from you and discuss promoting your website on my library page. Hope all is well and to hear from you soon! ~Caroline

Green Communities

Hi there , We’re a group of students from France, doing our first year of master in management, in a french business school and we are doing a case study on green communities. I was looking for someone who could answer a few questions (a kind of online interview), and I was told that you could be interested ?if you're not to busy and are indeed interested, it's just some questions about green communities and you're commitment really. Thank you very much ! S.G

Hi S.G.,
I'd love to talk with your team about green communities. Please feel free to email me at to set up a time.
Until soon, --Lonny 01:58, 11 November 2009 (UTC)


Hi Lonny

There are some electrical pages I would like to rename. How long do I have to be here to get authorised to do move or rename pages? Joe Raftery 15:23, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Sorry to butt in, but you should be able to do that now. Do you see a move tab between "history" and "(un)watch"? As long as it fits with Help:Page naming it'll usually be fine I think, but ask if you're unsure. (There's also Help:Moving a page.) --Chriswaterguy 00:43, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi Joe (and Chris),
Appropedia follows a simple trust algorithm for providing move privileges. It should kick in for you in about 4 days. I am sorry for the delay... I am not sure how to fast track your account. We have three options: 1) You can list the pages you want moved moved (name of page -> new name of page), and I (or someone already authorized) can move them for you quickly) 2) You can wait four or five more days until you are authorized 3) I can put in more time figuring out how to manually authorize you (which would probably mean editing the database... gee we really need some technical volunteers :) ). Please let me know if you would like me to do #3. Thank you for your engagement! -Lonny 01:17, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
No problem. I'll wait another couple of days or if I get impatient I'll ask someone. Now I think I'll go and edit Help:Moving a page to add this info. Joe Raftery 09:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
What exactly is the algorithm? Is it just 4 days wait or is there a min number of edits too? I want to get the right info on the Help page. Joe Raftery
Doh! I see the info is right there already!Joe Raftery 10:03, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I only added it yesterday - thanks to your question prompting us. Sorry for the restrictions! --Chriswaterguy 17:09, 13 December 2009 (UTC)


... Whatever is best, and most appropriate, I will be OK with. : ). I added a bit... I also put a copy in the user name-space. Thanks. Emesee

And thank you for helping to found this wiki, btw. I think it is so great, and so appropriate.. but you know that. ; ) Emesee
Thank you. I really appreciate your input and support. Keep up the great work! --Lonny 05:21, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Greenwheels/Appropriate CAD team

Hey Lonny, I took notice that you are a board member for Greenwheels. I was thinking it may be useful to have a Template:AT CAD team assembled here at Appropedia, so that we can start making some simple CAD-designs of green transportation vehicles (which can then be promoted at Greenwheels) ? These include:

Along with the last idea, perhaps that we could set up the seperate blog as proposed in the section. The AT freight tram design then stays at appropedia, but any combination tram/trainrail proposals for implementation into particular countries can then be placed at the blog.

Regarding the tram idea however, I still need to gather some info first regarding the size of the conventional tram and train rails, see [2] before we can get started on this. When completed, we can mail [3]

Note: regarding the Template:AT CAD team tag: this would be part of a series of tags, and member organisation, as proposed at User_talk:Chriswaterguy#Members (members + welcome message section)

Thanks, KVDP 12:31, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

I like the idea of an Appropedia CAD team. Is there an existing resource like that already? I also like the idea of having a category for untested concepts, where people can get ideas. Thanks, --Lonny 06:10, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
No, to my knowledge there are not yet any organisations, ... that design their technologies in 3D nor do they do so in order to visualise a new concept in order to work it out better/improve it. I'm guessing that this method wasn't well executable in the past (before Google SketchUp, 3D programs were hard to use and expensive). Note tat i'm changing the name to AT CAD Team, this may provide a bit more expansion in the future, and it's a more accurate description.

User:KVDP 12:10, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Google Map copyright

Hey Lonny,

Are Google Map inclusions compatible with Appropedia's free license? The imagery and map data are copyrighted by Google and its partners. -Roger 13:17, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

(And does it matter if it's a userpage versus a regular article? I'm asking because some of the Arcata Ed Farm pages use one) -Roger 13:19, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
I was wondering about embedded videos, which I think have the same issue I'd like to modify the license page to clarify that it covers content hosted by Appropedia, and not embedded content such as maps, videos or RSS feeds.
Thinking in some detail about RSS feeds, we could have a guideline where the blog should not show more than x characters per feed item, equivalent to about 2 sentences - I think that's safe if someone blindly copies it as if it's Appropedia content, but much more and it's not respecting copyright. Maybe it's different if the blog is open licensed, but there's still the risk of misattribution.)
Roger, it wouldn't matter if it's a user page, as the same license applies. --Chriswaterguy 06:14, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Hmm. Yeah, good question. How do copyrights apply to embedded objects on the rest of the web? I would assume that since sites like Youtube and Google Maps deliberately allow embedding on third-party sites, they've thought of (and answered) this question already... but, ugh, I just don't feel like trudging through legalese right now. I'll check some other time.
On the other hand:
  • From a philosophical perspective, do we really want an Appropedia with mixed licenses, making it the end-user's responsibility to individually examine every section of every article before using and redistributing content? How does Wikipedia handle this?
  • From a technical perspective, would embedded content make it more difficult to archive and/or redistribute Appropedia -- say, on physical media to internet-limited areas?
-Roger 07:47, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
In a perfect world we would have everything under open licenses, agreed... if it's optional extra, something to make a page a bit more useful or interesting, and it's ok from a license perspective, then I don't have a problem with it. If it content that plays a critical role in making a page useful, then I'd want to see our open content on that topic expanded, so we're not depending heavily on embedded content. How does that sound?
Thanks for making me think about this.
If we archive or redistribute the content of the site, then depending how it's done, most or all of the embedded content won't be there. For example in an xml site dump, it's the wiki markup which is recorded, so there won't be a license issue with that content, but any embedded content will not work if it's being viewed offline. --Chriswaterguy 14:30, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Sounds sensible :) -Roger 16:49, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Nice conversation. I am sure others are having it as well... I look forward to hearing from them. For some of our content we should probably try to figure out how to integrate with an open map project like (which, incidentally, I think has better street maps of Haiti than Google)[4]. PS The site dump is at Appropedia:Offline_browsing. Thanks! --Lonny 18:33, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

License wording

I got the interesting response: the code that loads them is open, they are not: "except where otherwise noted, all code is free under a creative..."

That would require a separate line to deal with files (e.g. images) which are not "code".

What if we say "hosted by"? Not sure if it's the exact word we need, since it's Dreamhost that hosts the content, in one sense. But to show what i'm getting at, the intro to Appropedia:Copyrights would be changed to:

Unless otherwise specified, all material hosted by Appropedia is under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (CC-BY-SA-3.0). In other words, you can redistribute and modify if you respect the terms of the license.
Note that embedded content (including but not limited to embedded videos and blog feeds) are not hosted by Appropedia and are not covered by Appropedia's license.

What say you? --Chriswaterguy 05:22, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion for a wiki extension installation

I have a wiki that I set up at at and had some spam type vandalism, which I noticed was a bit of a problem here (my user page was vandalized, but someone fixed it). Though reverted back to normal, the bad user name is still cited. Also you have some obviously bad user names at the start of the User List, starting with numbers.

What I did to fix these issues on my wiki was to install the extension called User Merge and Delete (Version 1.6.1) - . I have it on 3 different wiki's and have deleted that type of user name from my sites.

--Steve Gallagher 03:01, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Hi Steve,
Thank you, thank you, thank you! We had been trying to use, but were having problems. We have now installed the Merge and Delete extension and it seems to be working great. We use a few spam abatement tools that help. Feel free to ask about them, if you are looking for ideas. Thanks again! --Lonny 07:22, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Two versions of translated article

Hi Lonny,

I have some students starting their translations for a course, and one of them made two versions of an article. I moved the more recent version (Fahrrad-Auflieger) to "Fahrrad-Anhänger." I am wondering if you could delete the older version, "Fahrrad Auflieger."

Thanks! Nell

Hi Nell,
Fahrrad-Auflieger is now deleted, and Fahrrad-Anhänger is untouched. I am really excited to see what your students do this semester. Thanks, --Lonny 06:03, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Lonny. I think there's still one older version that needs to be deleted: Fahrrad_Auflieger. Sorry this got confusing with three different versions of the same article! Thanks again for your help! Nell

Got it. It is done. Thanks! --Lonny 01:17, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

File extensions

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

Is it just .skp that we need to support? If so, I will add it this week. If not, let me know.
Thank you, --Lonny 22:27, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
No, its .skp and .dwg, there is also a .rb (update package for sketchup) but this latter can probably not be supported anyhow. Perhaps I can give a file link for this. BTW: is there any consensus on the file hosting service ? I would like to have a system in place for sharing files between the Appropedia members (ie for documents that are still in construction, ...) See the village pump.

KVDP 12:02, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Re-appropriated Photo Gallery

LQ ~ I am wondering if an "Oh how appropro..." Photo Gallery, where folks could upload playful re-appropriated images from all over the world, could or would be a welcome addition to the site. I am turning my skin see-through with such a question... yes, it is true, I am a newbie to this magnificent world of Wiki-editing/adding... and so I must ask. Would such a vague album name find itself un-categorizable and thus un-found? While you ponder that over... here is some re-appropriated tire lovin' for them eyes to feast upon. ;) --—The preceding comment was added by Nampeung (talkcontribs) 09:23, 9 March 2010

Garbage 2.jpg
That is a great idea. I added Upcycling. You can see instructions there on how to add images to that gallery. In addition, we could add a manual image gallery to that page, that would allow for captions. Let me know if you want help with that, or have any other questions. Thanks, --Lonny 18:16, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

YouTube Full Screen

Hey Lonny,

I noticed in class that the YouTube Widget here does not allow full screening.

Would you mind adding that to its code?

The parameter is:


Thanks! -Roger 03:48, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Roger,
Thank you for the suggestion. As per the widget talk page, I don't think that this widget supports full screen. If you find out something different, please let me know.
Thanks, --Lonny 10:06, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
This is not a perfect answer but... for a specific video you want to watch, if you double-click on the video, it will open the video in Youtube, in a new window. Then you can select full screen. This works on any site where Youtube is embedded. --Chriswaterguy 11:05, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Greek version of Appropedia

FYI: User_talk:Aaron#Greek version of Appropedia. --Chriswaterguy 11:59, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Oops, ignore that. That was Aaron who edited anonymously, not the Greek Appropedia person - I'll move my comments to User talk:Ioakar. --Chriswaterguy 08:34, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

internship and more orgs

Hi Lonny

I think the internship idea is really great. I have been doing some work in Europe with a program called Youth in Action. Simply it allows people to be funded for up to 1 year if aged 15-30. There are a fair few countries involved (like 150). BUT There is a bureaucracy to go thru, but I think its worth looking at for the intern program:

Also I often have people ask me if they can volunteer.

They have 2 big issues:

1. VSO type orgs want high technical skills and training, which is a big barrier for people being involved.

"We have a range of roles from six months to two years for qualified professionals with at least two-three years’ post-qualification experience."

2. There are a lot of NGO businesses, that instead of helping people, charge really lots of money for insurance and to "help" on the program.

Not all are like this, but if we can get more programs like: SCI - Service Civil International

and WOOF - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms

that allow people to volunteer without having to be rich and very experienced (and if they get costs, food and accommodation and insurance) so much the better.

I have been collecting a list of orgs in my delicious bookmarks - some need sorting, but these may be suitable for such co-operations:

As a point of note WiserEarth was started as a contacts database of suitable orgs.

So the question is - Can we develop things in this way of ethical volunteering?? And put ethical orgs into appropedia.

I write this way rather than an article to avoid arguments about if an NGO is an NGO business or charging too much or if its a good deal, way of operating etc.


Hi Markus,
Thanks for the interest and the great list of orgs. Currently we have the page International volunteer opportunities... I am not sure if that is the type of page you are talking about, but it might be a good place to add to.
I am not sure if I understand your question exactly... but Appropedia would love to work with some of the organizations you mention in the way of developing more ethical volunteering options. The idea behind the Appropedia internship is to provide a way for volunteers to bring value to an organization/project and share knowledge with the world while not taking away local jobs or requiring heavy labor/highly specialized skills from the volunteers. This is not meant to replace other types of ethical volunteering, but to augment the field.
Let me know what you think and if I answered your question.
Thank you (from San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas), --Lonny 21:55, 10 July 2010 (UTC) 10:30, 11 July 2010 (UTC)markus80.229.30.103 10:30, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

yep it answers it. BUT for EVS Appropedia would have to actually register. Then they can get the EU money. But you need to be careful as a bad volunteer experience is of course possible and can be costly. If all goes well it does not cost you really. I agree with the not taking away, but for example in some countries you can claim unemployment benefit by email, so you are able to travel and work voluntarily on projects. So you have money to support yourself, but not expensive fees. helping those people do something useful with their time is good.

Request for internship review

Hello Lonny,

I'm interested in the various internship opportunities at Appropedia, especially the travel internship program.

Please leave a note indicating if you'd like to receive an email containing further details and more tangible plans.

Thanks, Nils
--Reichnil 21:40, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Hi Nils,
Yes, please email me with more details at or using Special:EmailUser/Lonny.
Thanks, --Lonny 22:12, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Include WiserEarth?

Hi! What about continuing to gather other similar projects (you know why), like At least its "Add a Solution" form. I would recommend to have all solutions at one place. Great work by the way. You stole my dream.. :) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:15, 14 September 2010

We have been exploring with WiserEarth ways to more strongly connect. I think using their "Add a Solution" idea is a great one! Thanks. Your dream isn't stolen, it is right here waiting for you to help make it happen! :)
Thank you, --Lonny 22:08, 14 September 2010 (UTC)


Hi Lonny, I made my self sit down and contact you. I'm so poor at this, sitting that is. Let me know how thursday looks for you or whenever. thanks Lea

Hi Lea,
I am responding to you via email. Thanks! --Lonny 22:08, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Different Lea


While researching for an exam in a course on Natural Resource Economics, I ran across a link to internship opportunities with Appropedia. I'm generally interested in content, research or a language internship for Spring 2011.

Regards, Lea Johnson

Category Question

Hi Lonny, thanks for the welcome. I BARELY know my way around this wiki ;)

I'd like to know how to add categories to my project page. So people can find it easier in all the related categories.

I guess I need to do this? Or not?


Hi Tom,
Sorry for the tardy response. It looks like you figured out how to add categories. Please let us know if you have any questions (or still have category questions). Thanks, --Lonny 22:06, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Internship application


I am very interested in applying for a content internship for the summer of 2011. I would also be available for a technical internship. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Tahnok 17:03, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi Tahnok,
Thank you for your interest. It looks like you are talking with Chris Watkins now, which is perfect. --Lonny 01:39, 6 January 2011 (UTC)


ok --will do --thanks Fixer 15:49, 15 January 2011 (PST)

Travel Internship

Hi! I am interested in applying for a travel internship for this upcoming summer semester. My school has us do an internship semester were we work at a job in an office and traveling and working is much more appealing to me! Here is the link to my page. Thank you! User:Angelwelp

Angel Welp

Hi Angel,
Your degree program sounds very exciting. Please email Curt at to start the process. --Lonny 23:53, 23 January 2011 (PST)

Style classes

I listed some more style classes necessary to make some imported templates to work. Please see: User:Teratornis/Tasks#Style classes. I haven't tried to figure out the minimal set of style classes that will work. The easiest way to port templates from Wikipedia is to grab the whole set of style classes from Wikipedia:MediaWiki:Common.css containing the ones you know you need, rather than to tediously add them one at a time until your templates finally work. Having extra style classes doesn't seem to hurt anything, in my experience on other wikis. I'm making some headway on templates now. I might get to the license templates in a week or two. I'm starting by porting the templates I have already ported to my offline wiki, since I know they can work on a small wiki. With the license templates I will be breaking new ground, so I am leaving them until after I port the "known" templates. That way I will also build up supporting gizmos like categories, style classes, formatting templates, etc., possibly making the license templates easier to port when I get to them. Thanks for your help. You'll know it's working when {{Appropedia searches}} looks nice. Right now, without the navbox style classes, it does not look nice. But the search links in it do work, they open up Google custom search pages on various namespaces of Appropedia. I find Google custom search tends to work better than the built-in MediaWiki search. --Teratornis 02:01, 21 January 2011 (PST)

Hi Teratornis,
I will work on bringing over the style classes.
The biggest problem we have had with Google custom search, is that there is a lag for a new page to show up. It is very common for a non web savvy person to lose the page they just created (often after uploading an image), then to search for it. Do you know if this is no longer true for Google custom search?
Thanks, --Lonny 02:08, 21 January 2011 (PST)
Hi Teratornis,
The style classes are now added. Let me know if they seem to be working. I looked, but can't quite tell.
Thanks, --Lonny 02:21, 21 January 2011 (PST)
Google search always has a time lag with new pages, as far as I know. The Wikipedia Help desk gets this complaint routinely. New users just have to learn to check Special:Contributions to see what they have created. Either that or wait a few days for Google to update its index. Nobody on the Wikipedia Help desk knows how to force Google to update its index faster. Google's indexing lag can be useful on the other hand, because it keeps cached copies of deleted pages for a few days. That wouldn't be as useful on Appropedia where most of the deletions are spam, but Wikipedia deletes a lot of legitimately useful content, which can be irritating when you are looking for something you know you saw before. --Teratornis 21:27, 23 January 2011 (PST)
We are not talking about replacing our standard search right now are we? --Lonny 22:28, 23 January 2011 (PST)
No, and my apologies if I gave that impression. Search templates are in addition to the built-in search, for people who want more options. Various search tools behave differently, so it is useful to have more tools to try when the first tool does not work. For example, Google search is robust against misspellings and letter case variations, possibly more robust than the built-in search depending on what version Appropedia is running. (The MediaWiki search has improved in recent years, almost catching up to Google's quality on Wikipedia.) Search templates have some additional uses for documenting. For example, just now I am having an error with {{Reflist w}} (a test copy of Wikipedia:Template:Reflist that I made to avoid overwriting the existing {{Reflist}} here until I test the Wikipedia version), and in my notes I can document the exact Web searches I am using to look for clues to the problems. One way to do this is to paste in bare URLs from Google searches, but that is inelegant. It's much easier to have a compact syntax I can type to create a search link inline, as I build up my narrative of how I investigate a problem. Search has become a fundamental part of how people get things done, so to document how we do things, we need a nice way to write searches as we would write the other things we do. That's what search templates provide. This is more useful on user pages (of notes), on talk pages, and project pages, but not intended for articles because (raw) search results do not constitute reliable sources for the reader. --Teratornis 14:25, 25 January 2011 (PST)
That makes sense. Thanks. --14:40, 25 January 2011 (PST)

I discovered that I need some more style classes, and now some JavaScript, to make the show/hide (collapsible table) links work on {{Navbox}}. I tested it in my offline wiki so hopefully it should work here. See User:Teratornis/Tasks#Pending requests. The style classes you added earlier seem to be working fine. They enabled the colored frame and table cells to appear on {{Appropedia searches}} - initially it was just bare text on a white background, with no border or anything. --Teratornis 21:27, 23 January 2011 (PST)

If that was not clear, compare {{Appropedia searches}} to wikipedia:Template:Help desk searches. The upper right corner of the template on Wikipedia has a "hide" link that you can click to collapse the navbox. When you add the CSS and JavaScript in my latest request, the "hide" link should appear in the upper right corner of {{Appropedia searches}} and work the same way. The show/hide feature will then automatically be part of any new navigation templates we make from {{Navbox}}, unless the person editing the new template disables the feature. --Teratornis 21:34, 23 January 2011 (PST)
I made the changes and it looks like it works! Nice job. --Lonny 22:28, 23 January 2011 (PST)
Thanks. The fate of the world probably does not hinge on this feature, but it's a nice sanity check to see collapsible navigation boxes working here. Collapsible navigation boxes can actually be useful when navigation boxes get big. See a nontrivial example at wikipedia:Template:Global warming. It would be nice to create navigation boxes for all the topic areas on Appropedia for which there are several related articles. --Teratornis 22:34, 23 January 2011 (PST)

I could help mentor an intern

Lonny, if you have an intern who would be interested in doing some or all of the to-do items on User:Teratornis/Tasks, I'd be happy to delegate and mentor. Tasks like indexing are laborious and educational - whoever indexes Appropedia will end up knowing an awful lot about sustainability. I could easily show someone else how to do everything I'm doing. --Teratornis 21:41, 23 January 2011 (PST)

This is a good idea. I will look into the possibilities. Thanks, --Lonny 22:55, 23 January 2011 (PST)
I'm finding it's a lot easier to add more items to my task list than to complete them. I could easily spin off a lot of meaningful work to someone interested in meta-type tasks of wiki organization, and still have plenty for me to do. --Teratornis 00:18, 24 January 2011 (PST)

More style classes

Hello Lonny, I found we need some more style classes in MediaWiki:Common.css, to allow reference highlighting to work, and to display the hatnote-like text at the top of a template documentation subpage in italics. After this existing chunk:

/* Make the list of references in [[Template:Reflist]] smaller */
.references-small { 
    font-size: 90%;

please add:

/* Highlight clicked reference in blue to help navigation */
ol.references > li:target,
span.citation:target { 
    background-color: #DEF;
/* Ensure refs in table headers and the like aren't bold or italic */
sup.reference {
    font-weight: normal;
    font-style: normal;
/* Styling for citations */
span.citation, cite {
    font-style: normal;
    word-wrap: break-word;

The position in the file does not matter to the functioning, but keeping the reference CSS code together would simplify maintenance. Then anywhere in the file we need:

/* Hatnotes and disambiguation notices */
.dablink {
    font-style: italic;
    padding-left: 2em;
    margin-bottom: 0.5em;
.rellink i,
.dablink i {
    font-style: normal;

Thanks. --Teratornis 21:06, 31 January 2011 (PST)

For handy comparison:
The same wikitext on Appropedia is not working yet, see User:Teratornis/Sandbox. Adding the above CSS code to MediaWiki:Common.css and refreshing my sandbox page should let the reference highlighting work there. And everywhere else on Appropedia after pages with reference tags or {{reflist}} templates get rebuilt. --Teratornis 21:20, 31 January 2011 (PST)
I added the code (as seen here), but it does not seem to be working. I cleared my cache and tried another browser... maybe it needs a second or maybe I am missing something.
Thanks, --Lonny 17:59, 5 February 2011 (PST)
Thanks, it worked for me after I reloaded my page:
I'm using Firefox 3.6.13. Do you see the reference highlighting on Wikipedia? It should work the same way here now as it does there. --Teratornis 20:14, 5 February 2011 (PST)

License templates

I got the first (and most used, so far) license template to work:

Getting the rest to work should be straightforward, albeit tedious. --Teratornis 23:43, 1 February 2011 (PST)

Great news! I am confident that this will increase our rate of images being correctly license tagged. Maybe the rest of the porting can be done my some interns. Can I send them your way for instructions?
Thanks, --Lonny 18:01, 5 February 2011 (PST)
Yes. I made some more license templates ({{GPL}}, {{GFDL}}, {{LGPL}}, {{PD}}, {{Unknown}}), and there are potentially many more we could create (see for example wikipedia:Category:Public domain copyright templates and commons:Category:PD license tags). I documented what I know about template porting, in hopes of training more contributors to do this work. A bigger but technically simpler job will be to plow through Appropedia's 12,000+ images and try to put the correct licenses on them. That would keep a platoon of interns occupied for a while. I want to port the {{Information}} template from Wikipedia, since it cleanly formats the image page, and guides the user to add the standard information. Maybe when Appropedia has grown ten times larger (with corresponding growth in the technically inclined nerdcore subset of users) someone will port the multi-language template machinery from Commons. I looked at that and it's a few notches harder than what I've been doing (porting the English-only templates from Wikipedia). Commons is more like Appropedia than Wikipedia is, in the sense that Commons is one site trying to accommodate speakers of many languages. Wikipedia, as you know, has separate sites for separate languages. If Appropedia wants to be seriously multi-lingual, sooner or later we might want to study the approach that Commons is taking. They have some way to detect the user's language preference, and each template that displays some text has subpage templates in various languages which get selected in accordingly. It's kind of neat, but I haven't studied it enough to port it yet. --Teratornis 20:07, 5 February 2011 (PST)

Travel Internship

User:Whitetrash Hi Lonny, I've just stumbled across this amazing creation and am fast becoming aware of the wonderous potential that sustainable technologies could well offer us and the future of our planet. Originally I'm from England but at the moment I'm living in Southern Colombia and was interested if I might qualify to be a travel intern. I wouldn't really require any funding as I am self employed here but would love to help out in whatever way I can. To be honest I found the whole page creation process slightly overwhelming but I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Cheers, Neil.

ENGR 370 assgnment "find the error"

I think I found a source that has an error, but I want to confirm that the context is not the problem rather than my understanding of the problem.

"Electricity consumption is measured in kilowatts per hour and is defined as electricity purchased plus electricity generated minus the quantity sold to others."

I would rather be correct in my suggestion of a correction than suggest erroneously.

Michelle Dudley

Hi Michelle,
You are correct that that quote is in error. That article is from a 1993, so it may be inappropriate to contact the authors, although it may be appropriate to contact the journal editors and suggest that they have reviewers with energy expertise review energy related manuscripts.
Nice work, --Lonny 17:01, 5 February 2011 (PST)

TOC limit

In this diff you tried to limit the TOC depth in an article. The documentation for wikipedia:Template:TOC right#Parameters (optional) mentions the need for some CSS code in MediaWiki:Common.css but does not specify the code. Inspection of wikipedia:MediaWiki:Common.css suggests this might work:

/* Allow limiting of which header levels are shown in a TOC;
   <div class="toclimit-3">, for instance, will limit to
   showing ==headings== and ===headings=== but no further
   (as long as there are no =headings= on the page, which
   there shouldn't be according to the MoS).
.toclimit-2 .toclevel-1 ul,
.toclimit-3 .toclevel-2 ul,
.toclimit-4 .toclevel-3 ul,
.toclimit-5 .toclevel-4 ul,
.toclimit-6 .toclevel-5 ul,
.toclimit-7 .toclevel-6 ul {
    display: none;

I have not tested this in my offline wiki. It looks simple enough. --Teratornis 21:33, 5 February 2011 (PST)

You added the CSS code to MediaWiki:Common.css but it does not work with the existing {{Tocright}} template yet, because that is a copy of the Wikipedia version from 2006 which lacks the TOC limit code. I will update it. --Teratornis 13:17, 6 February 2011 (PST)
Humboldt County organizations working on energy issues now shows a reduced TOC depth. --Teratornis 13:36, 6 February 2011 (PST)
Hi Teratornis,
Thank you for your help and for being so incredibly on top of it!
--Lonny 13:45, 6 February 2011 (PST)
Wouldn't it be great if every problem could get fixed that quickly? Maybe someday computers will be smart enough to do that for us. It was just luck that I happened to be looking at Special:RecentChanges at the right time. Also, the new template code was easy to import because I had all the necessary dependencies in place due to my other template porting. I could almost begin to imagine we're getting on top of this template situation. In other news, I have almost got Template:Information working on my offline wiki. It turns out to be one of the perverse templates that requires the host wiki to be running HTML Tidy, but I think I know how to fix that type of problem now. If I can get that working, I will celebrate by going outside and flipping my compost pile. It seems to have thawed enough today. --Teratornis 14:05, 6 February 2011 (PST)
I got {{Information}} to work (mildly empowering because that was the first non-portable Wikipedia template I fixed myself and donated to the transwiki community), and I applied it to the several images I have uploaded so far. I think it cleans them up nicely. See for example File:USSeal.png. Now we need a battalion of interns to get their gnome on and apply it to the other twelve thousand image pages. --Teratornis 20:54, 8 February 2011 (PST)

need help with video embedding in a new page

Non-Youtube video. The page is a mess: I transwikified it from Open Source Ecology, where it displays just fine. Perhaps you can help ? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rasmus (talkcontribs) 12:27, 6 February 2011

...-- never mind, I found the same video on Youtube and inserted it via widget.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rasmus (talkcontribs) 12:46, 6 February 2011
Hi Rasmus,
Glad you figured it out.
Thanks, --Lonny 13:51, 6 February 2011 (PST)

Was I too obtrusive here?

See: Talk:ENGR 305 Interns Spring 2011#Why will discussion be off-wiki?. --Teratornis 17:10, 7 February 2011 (PST)

Hi Teratornis,
Not at all. You brought up great points that I am sure the team will address. I also hope to have this team working directly with you for part of their work. Thank you, --Lonny 18:36, 8 February 2011 (PST)
That sounds like fun. --Teratornis 20:41, 8 February 2011 (PST)
Question: what's your view on having the interns spend some of their time editing on Wikipedia, in addition to editing on Appropedia? I think they should, because:
  • Big wikis are different than small wikis, with different sets of advantages and disadvantages. Someone learning to edit on wikis should experience both, to get needed perspective. Spending all one's time on only one wiki makes it harder to distinguish between what is "inherently wiki" vs. what is merely part of a particular wiki's implementation and culture. (The Aristotelian essenceW vs. accident.W)
    • If Appropedia's goal is to become a big wiki, I think it will get big faster if it has lots of contributors with big-wiki experience.
  • Encyclopedic editing is inherently more collaborative than non-encyclopedic editing. Anybody can look up published secondary sources and edit them into an encyclopedia, whereas fewer people are likely to have knowledge of particular non-encyclopedic topics. (For example, only those people who have firsthand knowledge of an unpublished AT project can write about it, whereas anybody who can search the Web is able to write about Wind power in Ohio.W) Because more people can edit an encyclopedia, more people usually do. Thus encyclopedic editing requires learning to work productively with potentially large numbers of distant strangers. In turn that requires following the detailed rules and justifying everything one does with reference to the rules.
  • Despite the huge number of existing articles on Wikipedia in the areas of sustainability and AT, quite a few more still need to be written (for example, there are many subject-by-country or subject-by-state articles that do not yet exist, such as Wind power in OklahomaW to go with existing articles like Wind power in Indiana.W Coverage of solar energy is even thinner, and outside the US and Europe the coverage tends to get thinner still). Wikipedia can have articles about every sizable renewable energy plant (sizable enough to have made the news) or other sustainability project that has received nontrivial media coverage. And many of the existing articles need work.
  • Wikipedia's help system is (much) more extensive than any small wiki's help system. If we assign interns the task of porting help files from Wikipedia and editing Appropedia versions of them, they will do a better job if they have read and applied the help files on their native wiki, so they understand the reasons for the rules.
  • Wikipedia has perhaps the most comprehensively worked-out style guidelines (WP:LAYOUT, WP:MOS, etc.) of any wiki. Because editing on Wikipedia is so highly structured, it is straightforward to learn and teach wiki editing there. The large number of similar existing articles one can use as examples makes it easy to write the next article in a series, relieving the novice of having to make difficult decisions. On Wikipedia, the decisions have mostly all been made, and it is only a matter of looking up the decisions and following them.
  • As interns virtually meet and collaborate with the AT/sustainability-minded editors on Wikipedia, they might recruit some of them to Appropedia. Wikipedia's neutrality and notability requirements can be constraining for anyone who wants to get their POVW on. I had edited for about three years on Wikipedia before I stumbled across Appropedia.
--Teratornis 20:49, 12 February 2011 (PST)

Can outside people join an ENGR305 intern project?

Specifically, can User:James.Gourlay join ENGR 305 Interns Spring 2011? I don't know how this would interact/interfere with the way you administer or grade these projects. If it's not possible let me know. The benefits would include:

  • Giving the interns experience with remote collaboration. Since I would be giving advice and task suggestions to all of them anyway, it would be good for them to figure out how to allocate the work themselves. Wikis are supposed to be about minimal hierarchy.
  • I don't think it is "cheating" for a student group to get outside help - learning how to get outside help on the Web is one of the most valuable life skills any more.
  • More work could potentially get done with more people working, producing more stigmergy.W
  • James expressed an interest when I suggested the possibility.

--Teratornis 20:52, 14 February 2011 (PST)

I met with the two Engr305 interns tonight (one of them had to drop). Here is what we were thinking. Please, let me know what you think.
  1. For the next five weeks, you direct them.
  2. They will keep me up to date, and I will make sure their work fits academically.
  3. They will dedicate at least five hours of recorded time per week. I will be in charge of checking their time and assessing their development.
  4. After five weeks, we will regroup to see if there is one large deliverable work they would like to do.
  5. Including James seems like a great idea, that they are open to.
  6. Up to 1/5 of their time could be spent on Wikipedia (as per your suggest).
  7. Hopefully their work will be diverse, giving them a larger view.
So... thoughts?
--Lonny 23:49, 14 February 2011 (PST)
Sounds good to me. --Teratornis 12:30, 15 February 2011 (PST)

Appropriate food preparation, storage, consumption utensils

Hi Lonny, I saw your deletion request, but I think you're misinterpreting what I wrote. I clarified some things (hopefully) at Talk:Appropriate food preparation, storage, consumption utensils Sincerely, KVDP 08:14, 15 February 2011 (PST)

north pacific subtropical gyre

hi, Lonny great site -am a student here at HSU have some thoughts on your garbage patch article (section: why doesn't it spread to the whole ocean?...Ebbesmeyer wrote a great book entitled: Flotsametrics...i believe this would help with your understanding of the phenomenon and with the idea that the debris remains in the gyres) have been collaborating with a group called Ocean Voyages Institute on a project to address pervasive plastic pollution: project kaisei co-founder, Mary Crowley will be here @ HSU as a Sustainable Futures Speaker-May 10, i believe)-she would be a great resource for your page. prosper, nicole caputo

Pico Hydro contact?

Dear Lonny,

First of all, I apologize for this email, which I wish could have been avoided. I have spent the last couple hours combing the internet in an attempt to find any contact email address for someone who worked on this project:

The contact email address listed bounced. On the off chance that you have any additional contact details, I would very much appreciate being able to contact a member of this team. Here is the email I wished to send:

Dear PicoHydro team,

I am volunteering at Huascarán Nation Park in Peru. I have been assigned a project that involves the design, construction, and implementation of pico hydro electric generators at the park's 10 or so outposts. Each of these outposts has access to a river with flow rates of approximately 2000-3000 liters/second.

Regarding the design aspects, I believe the solutions outlined in your PicoHydro generator documentation are very well suited to being implemented here in Peru.

I was wondering if someone could answer a few questions I have. In particular, I am wondering if there have been any further developments in the alternator -> generator conversion process. Do you buy the alternators locally, or from online vendors? Also, are you able to share the Solidworks models?

I have a Ph.D. in experimental (ultracold atomic) physics, but I am not terribly familiar with the practical aspects of hydro power generation, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks, Brian Kasch --- P.s. If you have any contact information, please send it to me at

Hi Brian,
I am sending an email to their project mentors to see if they have any contact information for the project team. In the mean time, check out the pages at Microhydro and especially the awesome organization with microhydro in Peru - Practical Action. Good luck, --Lonny 22:00, 24 February 2011 (PST)
Hey Lonny,
Thank you so much for the reply, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I will definitely look into the page you suggested. Cheers, Brian
Hi Brian,
I am sending you an email with their new contact info as well.
Enjoy and keep up the great work. --Lonny 09:26, 28 February 2011 (PST)

JMC 330 HSU Question

Hi Lonny, Thanks for clearing up the confusion and frustration I was having with setting up my page. I didn't realize "&" was the problem, should've known to avoid special characters. Then in all my confusion I accidently made two pages (you'll see them listed under the JMC 330 page). If you could assist me with making a new name for my page that would be most helpful. Would this work: "Proyecto Tití-Cotton-top Tamarin Conservation Program" Thank you for your time Cheers, David Percival

Hi David,
Okay it is done. Your new page name is Proyecto Tití Cotton-top Tamarin conservation program, which better matches our naming convention. I made a minor change to the page by adding == signs for headings. See Help for more. --Lonny 21:53, 24 February 2011 (PST)


hi i am just dissevering this amazing website, and hoping that i can join in the great work that is done here to help our world, i am a firm believer of cheap and renewable energy. and would be interested in working on hydraulic or wind systems in an engineering capacity.

sincerely yours,

Jonathan Pariser


hi i am just dissevering this amazing website, and hoping that i can join in the great work that is done here to help our world, i am a firm believer of cheap and renewable energy. and would be interested in working on hydraulic or wind systems in an engineering capacity.

sincerely yours, -Jonathan Pariser

Hi Jonathan,
Great to have you here. Your background looks quite impressive. Currently Appropedia only has internships in information gathering and sharing. That said, there are wind system projects, like ENGR 305 Windbelt, that you could get involved with. We look forward to seeing your contributions and are glad to have you here. --Lonny 16:32, 27 February 2011 (PST)

Photo Captions

Hello Lonny. I am having trouble having my photo captions displaying on the New Chums - Save our beach page. They are showing when I roll over the image but are otherwise not visible. I'm sure it's really easy. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou.

Simon Neate
Hi Simon,
I added a Frame to one of your images as seen at See Help:Images for more. In addition, please make sure that your images are licensed correctly. If you took them, and are comfortable with them being public domain, than all is as it should be. If someone else owns the pictures, than you will need to check with them which license they use. Thanks, --Lonny 16:25, 28 February 2011 (PST)


Gotcha Lonny, I'll customize greetings for users that already have a user page. I'll try to go back through the logs and fix the ones I've already hit. Maccabee 00:10, 8 March 2011 (PST)

Why don't cob ovens have chimneys?

Lonny, in working with the CCAT Cob Oven and looking at the Appropedia page for Blue Ox's, I noticed that smoke is a common problem.

Would drilling a hole or making a chimney significantly lower thermal retention? Or is there another reason why they don't generally have chimneys?

Thanks, -Roger 20:44, 12 March 2011 (PST)

Hi Roger,
The theory is that a chimney would become a large heat sink and escape thereby reducing the efficiency of, and amount of time you can cook in, a cobb oven. Also, theoretically, building the oven with a dome and a door of specific ratios should ameliorate many of the smoke problems.
I have seen some cobb ovens with chimneys, mostly in the states. The vast majority of cobb ovens I have seen (as opposed to improved cookstoves) have not had chimneys. I suspect that this is, indeed, to take advantage of the high thermal mass and trying to retain heat... but, it is possible that the real reason is more due to the higher relative cost of a chimney (especial a metal one). I have not seen any tests comparing the performance of a cobb ovens with chimney to ones without.
Thanks, --Lonny 16:15, 15 March 2011 (PDT)

documentation internship - local food/australia

Hi Lonny i met with Chris Watkins last week, and I am interested in working on some of the sites local food and community engagement pages. I am spending a few months in Australia and thought it would be useful to document some of the good work happening here. I would also be interested to write up some of the work I have done over the years where relevant. thanks Camilla

Hi Camilla,
It is great to meet you here. I look forward to reading your write-ups, please let us know if you have any questions.
Thanks, --Lonny 19:48, 28 March 2011 (PDT)


Hi Lonny, I am interested in the research, travel, and documentation internship.

Request for Internship Review


I am a second year Engineering Science student from University of Toronto, and I am want to apply to one of your internship positions.

Knowing three languages: Mandarin, English and Malay, as well as moderate abilities on both high and low level programming, I am interested in applying for Language Internships, or other programming-related internship positions.

See for details of my education and skills.

Thank you.

Appropedia at Next Steps

Hi Lonny,

I recently started a discussion forum called Next Steps: "Next Steps encourages collaboration among purpose-driven social networks. The only step we ever can take is the next one."

Why Next Steps?: “Next Steps aspires to be an online community of all leaders, that we build ourselves, for purposes important to us. Our guiding principles include autonomy, mastery and purpose.”

Please feel free to drop by and check it out. Any discussions you would like to have about topics important to you are welcome at Next Steps.

I also added Appropedia to the Sustainability Resources Poll with a brief description and link back to here. If you want to start a topic or two about Appropedia, that would be great too! You even can be a moderator if you like, most member are.

Regards, RichardF 20:06, 5 April 2011 (PDT)

p.s. Of course, Appropedia members are welcome at Next Steps too! :-) RichardF 20:15, 5 April 2011 (PDT)


Hi Lonny,

We've discussed having a forum on and off for ages now, and we've wanted to "get it right". But I'm now thinking that this is one of those cases where worse is better really holds.

I know you and Jason like the idea of a Stack Overflow style forum, but my own strong leaning is for something very simple, using "social technology" - practices and culture - to keep things focused and useful. I'd also class as useful anything that helps people feel part of the community, so I have a fairly broad definition of what's relevant (though certainly I'd want us to be continually thinking about what's relevant, and encouraging off-topic discussions to eventually find a suitable home).

I'll do up a quick comparison at Appropedia:Forum - please comment/edit there. --Chriswaterguy 21:47, 7 April 2011 (PDT)

Hi, guys. I added a link to Forum Software Reviews as a handy way to learn more about and compare forum software. An additional option not reviewed but discussed is SMFNEW. I would have used that for Next Steps, except the chat room is busted and our charter members are a bit chatty. That group came mostly from Kiva Friends that uses the server version of Small Machines forum software. Regards, RichardF 08:00, 8 April 2011 (PDT)
What do we need to discuss about Appropedia that we cannot discuss on Appropedia? --Teratornis 12:58, 8 April 2011 (PDT)
You always could pilot some possibilities at Next Steps to help you answer that question. :-) RichardF 08:23, 9 April 2011 (PDT)
Teratornis, By Appropedia do you mean the wiki? --Lonny 22:05, 8 April 2011 (PDT)
Yes. wikipedia:Appropedia defines "Appropedia" as the wiki. That's what I've always thought of as "Appropedia". If that usage is ambiguous, someone should update the Wikipedia article. I see there is also an Appropedia blog. I'm not familiar with it; I don't see that it has a separate discussion feature. Is there something else called (just) "Appropedia" that is distinct from the wiki? --Teratornis 22:55, 8 April 2011 (PDT)
Oops - forgot I asked this question here. "Appropedia" is the wiki in my thinking too, though there may be an "Appropedia blog," "Appropedia mailing list" etc.
I'll move this topic to Appropedia talk:Village pump#Appropedia Forum. --Chriswaterguy 03:56, 27 April 2011 (PDT)
An oops for me as well... I missed this response here. I define Appropedia as the Foundation, but I am cool with whatever definition we want to use. I look forward to the broader conversation on the Village Pump. But one quick answer here is that many people will not edit a wiki. Especially many of the people that make up a large percentage of our stakeholders (e.g. village appropriate technologists). Thanks and my apologies for the slow response, --Lonny 01:38, 29 April 2011 (PDT)

Edit permission in Widgetspace

Per a discussion with Chris at Appropedia talk:Forum#Improved discussions within the wiki, would it be possible for me to have the edit permission in Widgetspace? --RichardF 12:39, 18 May 2011 (PDT) ~

Conflict resolution

Hi Lonny, I replied on the matter on my talk page, you can delete the article at Appropedia. KVDP 00:57, 13 June 2011 (PDT)

merge the two project pages for the straw-slip wall for CCAT greenshed

Hey Lonny, I noticed that there are two project pages for the above project. The pages are and can you have an intern work on merging these? Is there another appropedia administrator I can bug about these kinds of things in the future? Adam

George's message

George left a message on your profile page by mistake - I removed it, but the same or similar message is at Talk:Diabetes mellitus cured - George's experience #On Bible quotes there. Good progress - fairly much resolved, I think. --Chriswaterguy 04:25, 1 September 2011 (PDT)

"How to" template

Hi Lonny - Here's a first cut at a template layout. Like the gallery template, it uses numbered parameters. You tell me if it's "easy." It uses three parameters per automatically-numbered step. It also expects all three parts per step.

  1. File name
  2. File caption
  3. Step description
 |Image:barreloffunstep1.png |Figure 1: The 55 gallon barrel cut in half. (Photo by Paul Sereno)
 |The first step, after obtaining a food-grade 55-gallon drum, is to cut it in half lengthwise, as shown on the left.

 |Image:barreloffunstep2.png  |The removal of the end will create a "nest" barrel. (Photo by Paul Sereno)
 |Cut 3” off of one end of one half, seen as the line marked for cutting. This will make the “nest” barrel.

 |Image:barreloffunstep3.png  |Figure 1b: The barrels are connected and overlap by 5". (Photo by Paul Sereno)
 |Then lay the intact half inside the nest barrel. Adjust the barrels until they overlap by 5”.

How to do stuff via a template

--RichardF 19:42, 11 September 2011 (PDT)

GreenCheck.pngDoneDone --RichardF 12:48, 17 September 2011 (PDT)

list subpages

Re User:Lonny/ - you might like this template that User:Tahnok ported from Wikipedia:

{{list subpages|Lonny|User}} ->

Pages with the prefix 'Lonny' in the 'User' and 'User talk' namespaces:

--Chriswaterguy 09:46, 16 September 2011 (PDT)

list subpages

You might like this template that User:Tahnok ported from Wikipedia:

{{list subpages|Lonny|User}} ->

Pages with the prefix 'Lonny' in the 'User' and 'User talk' namespaces:

--Chriswaterguy 09:46, 16 September 2011 (PDT)

Thanks Chris and Tahnok! I just added it to User:Lonny/. --Lonny 02:10, 18 December 2011 (PST)

Regarding Appropedia Content Internship


I am a third semester electrical engineering student(National University of Science & Technology ) from Pakistan interested in a content internship. If I can help in any way with the work you do here, please let me know.

Raza Khan

Rating articles

Hi Lonny - It was fun chatting with you yesterday! :-) Here are some of the links related to our discussion about rating articles and Wikimedia tools.

The important topics discussion covers several examples of the technical resources available related to Appropedia topics. Here's a repeat of the environment topic.

The "technical" question I can't figure out is how to get Wikimedia tools like the following to work here.

That's probably a job for Chris! ;-)

The table below shows article ratings, etc., at Wikipedia and (on the linked tables, e.g., User:RichardF/Environment top 100) whether those articles exist here.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This table is an example of a resource the "ApproProjects" I suggested at Appropedia:Village pump#The Topicadmin notice could use to help organize their article selection, development and improvement activities. --RichardF 06:16, 18 October 2011 (PDT)

Main Page redesign discussion

Hi, I'm rattling your cage to see if I can get a comment or two out of you at the Appropedia:Village pump‎#Main Page redesign discussion. :-) --RichardF 07:01, 8 December 2011 (PST)

Hi Richard!
Thanks for rattling my cage. I will respond at Appropedia:Village_pump#Main_Page_redesign. --Lonny 20:11, 8 December 2011 (PST)

Appropedia:User experience/MainPageRedesign4 is ready for a test drive. Just copy it to Welcome to Appropedia and give it a spin! ;-) --RichardF 12:15, 13 December 2011 (PST)


Hi Lonny, replied to the questions at Talk:Alternating_current KVDP 05:23, 16 December 2011 (PST)

Making Special Books

Hi, I noticed the book collection, like Locially Delicious and The future we deserve is picking up steam lately. :-) When I (finally figured out how to run and) tried out Special:Book to see how it "works" here, I noticed you can't actually save a book you create. Is it getting close to the time when we would want to get that running right, add a Books section to the sidebar and a Book namespace to help find them? :-) --RichardF 13:38, 16 December 2011 (PST)

Did you have problems downloading it as a pdf?
If not, by save do you mean saving the collection in some other way than a pdf? If so, in what way do you envision and is there any functionality at that looks like that? Thanks for being proactive on this, --Lonny 17:12, 16 December 2011 (PST)
Here, you have two choices, order or download a PDF. On Wikipedia, you also have a third choice, Wikipedia:Help:Books#Saving and sharing your book with others. Here's a screenshot. That option lets you save the book to your userspace or the Books namespace - Wikipedia:Book:Books. I don't know why the save options don't show here. Perhaps the setup is incomplete. --RichardF 17:56, 16 December 2011 (PST)
Great, thanks for that very helpful response! I will start looking into how to make that happen on Appropedia. Please feel free to ping me in a week on this. --Lonny 18:16, 16 December 2011 (PST)
Okay, I started several of the early Wikipedia books. I found them to be a very useful way to organize collections of articles online. For here, when the original intention is to produce a book, I think the tool can be a great way to create them and put them in their own "Book" namespace! :-) --RichardF 18:50, 16 December 2011 (PST)
Alright... I finally got that working (with a couple of minor kinks to still work out). I love this tool! It is going to be very helpful for our existing books, and content that is ready to be packaged like a book. I can imagine making books for many of my different teaching modules. The biggest thing left to do is making the book template header at Template:Saved_book (here is wikipedia's very complicated version - RichardF, can you take a stab at that template? In addition, we should probably have some words at Category:Appropedia_books describing that category. Plus, I am sure we will find some other things that need tweaking. Thanks again for the prompt, --Lonny 18:43, 17 December 2011 (PST)
Great job! :-) Sure, I'll help with some of the high-level organizing. I started a few cats to get rid of the red cat link and connected it to the fundamental and admin cats. I'll do some template and help stuff too. --RichardF 20:08, 17 December 2011 (PST)
Thanks! That Template:Saved book is a doozy... I look forward to seeing what you can do with it. :) Let me know if you want me to swing at it first. --Lonny 02:06, 18 December 2011 (PST)
I'll take a go at it. I did a lot of the early Book work at Wikipedia too. I'll count on you for fixing what I goof up! :-) --RichardF 07:03, 18 December 2011 (PST)
Guess what? I ran into some goofy issue right off the bat! ;-) First, I did a straight copy from Wikipedia over to my sandbox - Wikipedia:Template:Saved book. Here's a simple conversion of most of the "Wikipedia"s to "Appropedia"s - Appropedia Template:Saved book. For whatever reason(s) I can't figure out yet, the table tags are mismatching. I've been trying to pin down what's causing it, but so far, no luck. I'll work on it as I can, but feel free to wave your magic wand and get 'er done! :-) --RichardF 06:23, 19 December 2011 (PST)
Okay, after I closed a paragraph and a row, at least I got the table to show up right! >;-o) I'l make a few more conversion edits before I move it to the template area and take it from there. :-) --RichardF 07:15, 19 December 2011 (PST)

Bingo!!! There! There's a start! ;-) --RichardF

This is great! I can't wait to play more with it. Thank you! --Lonny 09:53, 19 December 2011 (PST)
Thanks. By the way, here's a Wikipedia Sustainability book I made a while back. :-) --RichardF 09:56, 19 December 2011 (PST)
Nice book. I am liking Template:Saved book. Is there any way to get the title and subtitle to populate from the make book feature? Is there a way to select an image for the book as well? If not, how about just having the Template load with blank syntax in place, such as cover-image=? Thanks! --Lonny 12:40, 19 December 2011 (PST)
I don't have access to/don't know how to edit Special:Book, so I don't know what can be changed on it. The default image can be removed. The original default image was yucky, so I changed it. Otherwise it will just be blank.
Also, I see another issue I can't get to. In the Special:Book "Save and share your book" box, it says, "All saved books are added to the category Category:Appropedia books." The {{Saved book}} template already saves books to either Category: Appropedia books (community books) or Category: Appropedia books (user books). Wikipedia does not show this sentence and redirects out of the category (Wikipedia:Category:Wikipedia Books). Can we get that comment off the Special:Book page and disable the automatic category addition? --RichardF 12:52, 19 December 2011 (PST)
p.s. The {{Saved book}} template needs some sort of image to render correctly. --RichardF 12:55, 19 December 2011 (PST)
I got rid of the default cover image and changed the default cover color to white. --RichardF 13:47, 19 December 2011 (PST)
Okay, that got rid of all the images! I undid it. ;-) --RichardF 13:59, 19 December 2011 (PST)
I got rid of "All saved books are added to the category Category:Appropedia books" by editing MediaWiki:Coll-bookscategory as per
I think having a default image is a good idea as it lets people know that there can be an image, but it would be great if the template showed up on the book page with that parameter setting. (or even better if you could choose a book cover image from the book creator... but that is something for the pediapress people to do)
On wikipedia, when you create a book, does it title the book based upon the Wikipedia article name?
Thanks, --Lonny 14:05, 19 December 2011 (PST)
Thanks for cleaning up the automatic Book creator category link. I'll take a look at the code there for ways to coordinate that with the {{Saved book}} template. When you look at the code for a created book, it's quite simple:
  • title = 2nd-level header
  • subtitle = 3rd-level header
  • chapter = ";" lead
  • page = ":" lead
The Appropedia saved page/subpage can be different than the book title. However, I could set the default to be PAGENAME/SUBPAGENAME in {{Saved book}}, so I'll try that out. The image from there only applies to the Appropedia page, as far as I know.
"it would be great if the template showed up on the book page with that [cover-image] parameter setting" - I don't know what that means. Do you mean a "usage" example or somehow changing it directly from the page (which I don't know how to do)?
"On wikipedia, when you create a book, does it title the book based upon the Wikipedia article name?" - No, it's set to "Title" --RichardF 17:31, 19 December 2011 (PST)

Issue: The Appropedia:Books Bookshelf inputbox doesn't work correctly. The "prefix=Book:" attribute doesn't show and the Book namespace box isn't checked on the Search results page. Do you know how to fix that? I don't. --RichardF 05:29, 20 December 2011 (PST)

I fixed the book search thing in Appropedia:Books by using namespaces=Book as an inputbox parameter instead of prefix=Book: and site-wide search default by adding the Book and Book talk namespaces to the default in LocalSettings. --Lonny 12:03, 20 December 2011 (PST)
I removed The basic '''Saved book cover options''' are shown below. {{saved book|cover-image=|title=|subtitle=|description=}} from Template:Saved book. I hope you don't mind. I think it looked scary and a little broken to the average reader in that template. Maybe we can just add those instructions at Help:Books or something. I see that you are editing the template as well... so I will stop messing with it. --Lonny 12:07, 20 December 2011 (PST)
Thanks for adding the pagename to the title. What I meant by my obtuse question about cover-image is the following - Is there a way for each Book to be made with {{Saved book}} autoincluded with its default parameters showing, e.g. {{Saved_book|cover-image=|cover-color=white|title={{PAGETITLE}}|subtitle=|description=}}'' at the top of each new Book? Either way, I am very happy with how the Book functionality is working and ready to move on to encouraging the making of great books! --Lonny 12:15, 20 December 2011 (PST)
Thanks for the inputbox fix! Okay, now {{saved book|cover-image=|title=|subtitle=|description=}} shows up on each new book page - as the template! ;-) I don't know how to show those parameters without putting them in the box. At least I think they all actually work now. Do you want to try out what you have in mind? :-) --RichardF 13:25, 20 December 2011 (PST)
Excellent! I tried it. I love it. I think it is ready to fly now! Thanks, --Lonny 13:40, 20 December 2011 (PST)
Cool. Looking at your new test, I had two thoughts. If you want to make the default values explicit, you could add them to MediaWiki:Coll-savedbook_template. Also, if you want to try multiple "save" tests, you can pick the same name and it will ask you if you want to overwrite the current version. Then it just adds any changes to the history. :-) --RichardF 13:57, 20 December 2011 (PST)

Okay, that should about do it for the basic support stuff. Now, all we need are a few more books! ;-) --RichardF 10:10, 21 December 2011 (PST)

Awesome! I will be suggesting that teachers compile books for their class (among other book ideas). --Lonny 10:27, 21 December 2011 (PST)

Now...try out this {{Book}} template. It's an alternative to the Appropedia book creator, and it will substitute the {{Saved book}} parameter explanation comments, which the book creator won't. ;-) --RichardF 13:47, 22 December 2011 (PST)

Here's a new book that could use an expert editor or two - Appropedia! ;-) --RichardF 12:32, 23 December 2011 (PST)

Wikilinking in galleries - bot now on a leash

I recall there was an issue with my bot adding wikilinks inside gallery tags, because it caused problems with the gallery. I've just discovered there's an easy way to stop changes being suggested inside gallery tags, so I'll use that from now on. I've also got it set to not suggest changes within templates such as {{gallery}}.

AFAICT, it's not actually an issue with breaking the galleries any more - wikilinks seem to work fine in galleries (either tag or template galleries). But I'll play it conservatively and focus on the main text, and leave gallery captions for .

Let me know if any other tweaks are needed, any time - I've learnt enough by now that I should be able to customize it as needed. --Chriswaterguy 06:17, 22 December 2011 (PST)

An Appropedia green Vector skin

Here's a post I recently made to Appropedia:Village pump#Proposal to update the wikitable class palette and establish site-wide palette guidelines.

Welcome to Appropedia/box-header I tried a few Appropedia green Vector skin test samples at my sandbox. They use the same hue of green as the wikitable and Main Page box header lines. The test samples use the same brightness as the standard Vector skin. They differ in four levels of saturation. The standard Vector skin uses zero saturation, so any changes to hue alone would all just turn out to be the same shades of grey.

I think it would be interesting to test out an Appropedia green Vector skin. According to mw:Manual:Skinning/Vector, it seems to take only a few changes to the standard settings, such as changing a background color in ./skins/vector/screen.css and replacing three color images at ./skins/vector/images/. The Vector skin also would look a little cleaner, regardless of the shade, if the Appropedia logo's background color were changed from white to transparent. That should work regardless of the skin anyone uses as well.

If the Appropedia green Vector skin turns out to be a worthy improvement, I believe it would give a more contemporary and Appropedic feel to the site, similar to adding gradient 3-D effects. At that point, maybe it even could become the default skin. ;-) --RichardF 05:02, 24 December 2011 (PST)}} Welcome to Appropedia/box-footer

When you get the chance, perhaps you can weigh in on this idea too. ;-) --RichardF 05:12, 24 December 2011 (PST)

Thanks for the rattle, I replied at Appropedia:Village pump#Proposal to update the wikitable class palette and establish site-wide palette guidelines. --Lonny 17:30, 25 December 2011 (PST)

I've made a few more test examples for an Appropedia green site style. I made the comments below at the Village pump. Welcome to Appropedia/box-header

Complete set of Vector skin background and images

Here's a complete makeover at User:RichardF/vector.css for the Vector skin using the Option 2 color background and gradient images. --RichardF 08:10, 1 January 2012 (PST)

Green line page and section headings

For the fun of it, I also changed the Vector.css code for the page and section lines to match those on the Main page (border-bottom: 5px solid #A3BFA3;)

/* Structural Elements */
h6 {
	color: black;
	background: none;
	font-weight: normal;
	margin: 0;
	overflow: hidden;
	padding-top: .5em;
	padding-bottom: .17em;
	border-bottom: 5px solid #A3BFA3;
	width: auto;

As it turns out, I think they make a very nice thematic tie-in across pages. Check it out. ;-)

Level 1 (page) heading

Stuff goes here.

Level 2 (main section) heading

More stuff goes here.

--RichardF 14:22, 1 January 2012 (PST)


I added "box-shadow: 2px 2px 1px #888888;" to Mediawiki:Common.css at the wikitable style to test it out for the shadow effect on tables. Another 3-D effect for review. :-) --RichardF 21:10, 1 January 2012 (PST) Welcome to Appropedia/box-footer

You could start with User:RichardF/vector.css and try your own styles off of that. Of course, the box-shadow Mediawiki:Common.css already is live. Let me know what you think. --RichardF 14:58, 2 January 2012 (PST)

Here's a change to the catlinks border & background (I made to your page before I noticed!) to make it green.

/* Categories */
.catlinks {
	border: 1px solid #A3BFA3;
	background-color: #F5FFF5; (or same as sidebar - #EDF2ED;)
        box-shadow: 2px 2px 1px #888888;
	padding: 5px;
	margin-top: 1em;
	clear: both;

--RichardF 17:49, 4 January 2012 (PST)

/* Content */
box-shadow: 1px 4px 2px 0px #888888;

I added a shadow to the category box and the bottom of the content box. You can test the fancy new CSS3 properties at CSS3 Generator. --RichardF 22:04, 4 January 2012 (PST)

"Introduction" headers

RichardF & I were discussing == Introduction == headers - we're both inclined to remove them when we see them, and the header has been removed from the {{NewProjectspage}} boilerplate which students use. Does that work for you?

The boilerplate still needs to offer clear guidance to the new editor, of course - I think it still does that. --Chriswaterguy 17:37, 7 January 2012 (PST)

I think we should ask for Joshua's opinion. Here are my two critiques and one mitigation: 1) most academic papers start with an introduction and/or background section, 2) in the case of a long introduction, the TOC would up being below the page fold. Issue #2 could be addressed by putting in a manual TOC header (that would leave more code in the boiler plate, which I hope to avoid). Thanks, --Lonny 15:08, 10 January 2012 (PST)
Hi, I brought up the stylistic question of whether it was necessary to use == Introduction == as a section heading for an article's introduction, not whether an article should have an introduction section. Wikipedia doesn't use that section heading, and the manuscript style I'm used to, APA (e.g., The Basics of APA Style Slide 3, Intro link), doesn't. When I look a page with a title and then an "Introduction" heading directly under it, that just looks weird to me too. ;-) --RichardF 19:38, 10 January 2012 (PST)


Thanks for the kind words Lonny. This site is inspiring. :) I look forward to participating more over time. Felicity Tepper 00:09, 11 January 2012 (PST)

Input/Output Permaculture charts

Brilliant idea! Mocked up a possibility at for your tinkering; when you have perfected (!) the template I'll run with it.

Switching to Vector skin?

See skin discussion at User talk:RichardF#Blanking & deleting - thanks --Chriswaterguy 23:06, 1 February 2012 (PST)

Non-free image deletion

Hi Lonny,

Could you please delete this for me?

I can't figure out how to delete or report it on my own.

It was modified from non-free source imagery and I don't believe it falls under fair use limitations, so it should be removed.

Thanks, -Roger 21:41, 22 February 2012 (PST)

Hi Roger,
Done. To do this in the future, you can just add {{Delete}}. In the far future, we will just have a little tag this image for deletion button. ;)
Thanks, --Lonny 21:43, 22 February 2012 (PST)

New Intern!

Ok, here is the deal, I offer the following,

ionice -c3 -p$$
renice 19 $$
NOW=$(date +"%F")

php5 /home/apropos/ --full --output=bzip2:/home/apropos/$NOW.bz2

find /home/apropos/*.bz2 -mtime +10 -exec chmod 777 {} \;
find /home/apropos/*.bz2 -mtime +10 -exec rm -vf {} \;

that will do a full (and niced) XML dump of the site, with the date, also it can be ran daily, and it auto deletes anything older then 10 days

My Subpages, I'm starting to get a lot going :)

These look great. I commented on most of them just now. Thanks, --Lonny 14:48, 28 March 2012 (PDT)


I just commented on User talk:Danny B. that it's really nice to check the edits by new & anon users and Special:AbuseLog and find that Danny has rolled back spammy edits, and you have deleted the new spam pages, and there's nothing much for me to do.

Thanks for all your great work. --Chriswaterguy 04:49, 27 May 2012 (PDT)

Multilingual support

(UPDATE: the email i posted on aaron´ s talk was wrong. instead of risuep the good domain is like the mail at the end of this post. im sorry! i wait for your mail)

Hi Lonny, i writed to Aaron explained the projects of Calafou and Cooperativa Integral catalana, and our needs of mutilingual support for appropedia. You said you will email me but i didnt get any. we are very interesed in developing catalan and spanish version of appropedia. We can translate the interface and progressively translate contents to these languages. we were asking us, if its possible to implement the multilingual feature that has wikipedia, ("interlanguage links" i think)

we stay in touch!



Hi Ariel,
Great to hear from you again. I sent the email to the other address. I will resend it to the correct one now.
Thanks, --Lonny 13:01, 4 June 2012 (PDT)

Service learning project galleries

Hi Lonny,

I borrowed lots of your service learning project galleries for the Service learning portal by transcluding them from newly created subpages. You can see all the portal galleries at Portal:Service learning/Selected gallery. Would it be okay for me to transclude those subpages for your courses to the main pages? That way, your updates would show up at the portal too with no extra work!

p.s. I also borrowed a nifty picture and useful talk page! :-) --RichardF 13:01, 22 June 2012 (PDT)

Hi Richard,
Thanks for your great work. I really appreciate your vision, knowledge and input. I love the new service learning portal. I would also love to see it to reflect other teachers more than me. Is there any way you could find some more content from awesome teachers like Joshua Pearce. Thanks again, --Lonny 21:17, 23 June 2012 (PDT)
Thanks. When I select content for a portal, the suck-up factor really doesn't enter in. I look for a combination of well-presented content and images for selections. It just turns out HSU has a lot of the selections that meet those combined criteria. I'm open to adding more from Michigan Tech, Queens, or anywhere else. I can't say I'm an expert on what is considered to clearly be service learning content here, so if I didn't see a portal-worthy page's connection to the service learning courses or projects, I didn't add it. I'll ask Joshua, and anyone else you recommend, for suggestions.
Also, do you have any objections to me transcluding the gallery subpages to E215 Introduction to Design projects and Engr305 Appropriate Technology Projects? --RichardF 09:26, 24 June 2012 (PDT)
p.s. I just added a section on courses and programs by college, based on those listed in Category:Service learning courses. I'll update the lists based on whatever feedback I get. --RichardF 19:52, 24 June 2012 (PDT)
By the way, can you direct my to some good icons here for the Portal:Service learning/Selected courses page? :-)
--RichardF 08:32, 25 June 2012 (PDT)

Rotating service learning images on Welcome to Appropedia intro

Hi, for the fun of it, I added rotating service learning images on the Welcome to Appropedia intro at Welcome to Appropedia/Intro. Feel free to revert if you can't take it. :-) --RichardF 09:45, 27 June 2012 (PDT)

Crowdfunding for Appropedia on new permaculture crowdfunding site

Hi Lonny and the Appropedia team. First of all thanks for all the hundreds of hours that must have gone into Appropedia. Much appreciated.

I wanted to let you know that [5], a permaculture crowdfunding website is just launching. right now the site is accepting campaigns and soon to do a full publicity blitz to the permaculture world. I helped build WeTheTrees, and feel very confident that if Appropedia posted a campaign on the site that funds and publicity could be generated there from the permaculture community.

As we move into our public launch (expected within the next two weeks), we expect there to be a large amount of traffic driven to our site, and permaculture people are excited to be able to contribute to their community. WeTheTrees gives them that opportunity, and I would love the Appropedia project to be one of the campaigns that benefits from that blast.

Of course I am sure you are busy, and the site will be around for a long time, but just wanted to let you know about this opportunity.

Thanks again for what you do. Christian Shearer WeTheTrees[6]

Hi Christian (and Lonny ;-) - I just left a message for the Kiva Lending Team: Green Partnerships about the upcoming public launch. That team has nearly 700 members and has made almost 6,000 loans totaling over $150,000! I'm sure many of these folks will be interested in supporting WeTheTrees campaigns as well. Best wishes. --RichardF 19:37, 11 July 2012 (PDT)

Selected videos

Hi, I'm going to be adding a new section to the Main Page - "Selected videos." This section will display rotating videos of two types:

  • Videos about Appropedia, including testimonials; and
  • Videos about content on Appropedia.

Appropedia:List of videos shows all the videos currently displayed here. Would you like like to suggest any of these or other videos to add to the Main Page Selections? If so, I'll add them to the list.

Regads, RichardF 11:41, 20 July 2012 (PDT)


Hi. I added {{TOCbox}} to see how you like it. You can change the size and other attributes. --RichardF 06:55, 21 July 2012 (PDT)

I added the scrolling box feature to {{TOC right}}, making the new template unnecessary. This way, the new box capabilities already are added to existing {{TOC right}} pages. --RichardF 09:25, 21 July 2012 (PDT)

Nevermind. See Appropedia:Village pump#TOCbox template --RichardF 13:57, 21 July 2012 (PDT)


Just wanted to note some things we'd like to have, in one place so we don't overlook it. In the coming upgrade if we could (though some of this probably isn't possible yet, so I'm just flagging it):

  • Vector skin - but the social media buttons aren't working.
  • Mobile skin - but needs testing.
  • Update the recentchanges bot in localsettings (See email from Danny.)

--Chriswaterguy 02:01, 5 August 2012 (PDT)

Dev wiki?

Teratornis asks: Is there a test or dev version of Appropedia for testing...?

Not sure what resources we have for the upgrades you're working on, but let Teratornis & I know if we have a live dev wiki again. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 05:00, 27 August 2012 (PDT)

Water power

I have a flowing artisian well as well as several other sources of hydro power(fast flowing creek, and runoff from pond)and would love to be off the grid. Would love some ideas and or help,if needed will send video of my situation for review and comment or feedback and referral if possible, I think I am sitting on a cash cow but I do not possess the know how to pull it off. I have contacted dozens of companies and they are all to far away or won't respond to the challenge of the well. Any help would be welcome.Thank you for your time.

Have you checked out the pages at Microhydro? Also, where are you located? --Lonny 19:29, 12 November 2012 (PST)

Earth oven

RE: earth oven: I appreciate the article and info. I have built many of these, and by far the greatest improvement in their ability to hold heat comes from insulating the base -- The best and most appropriate solution for that involves making a layer of glass bottles encased in insulative material: a sawdust/clay mix; ash; perlite; vermiculite; or pumice. I think you would do your readers a great favor by including a section on insulating the base. If I can be of any help, please let me know. -- Kiko Denzer (reach me through

Kiko Denzer! Wow. What a delight to be contacted by you regarding earth ovens. Your book is fantastic, and, of course, your advice is very appreciated. I am emailing you now. Thanks, --Lonny 18:11, 30 November 2012 (PST)

Portal display errors

RichardF noticed these display errors, and is having trouble saving changes to Selected page and Highlighted project boxes: User talk:Chriswaterguy#Portal display errors - thanks. --Chriswaterguy 11:55, 6 March 2013 (PST)

Tweaked headers in project boilerplate

I changed header capitalization, and adde spacing after headers for readability while editing. I hope that's okay. --Chriswaterguy 18:36, 7 March 2013 (PST)

toilet prize

Dear Lonny,

I think there is a need for a app-tech alternative to the Gates Foundation reinvent the toilet prize. I've been looking into the Gates funded projects, and they are very hi-tech, very speculative and highly unlikely to ever be used on a wide scale. When I asked someone who was working on one of the projects why they were not using recycled/readily available materials, she said that the project was not supposed to be app-tech. And I'm thinking that that is silly, and that it ought to be possible to have new high tech innovations using app-tech.

I think we need to give some engineers some parameters and a scrapheap and see what they come up with.

So far, I'm concluding that co-composting is the only reliable system we know for app-tech that actually destroys pathogens. The problem there is that the major risks are in handling the sludge (assuming that the toilet itself is clean and the composting site is safe). The compost needs to be as aerated as possible, IMO. I think it ought to be possible to design a system using scrap that limits the users handling of the sludge. I can imagine bikes powering augers to turn compost and so on. I'm sorry if that sounds Heath Robinson, but I'm not an engineer, so I don't know how to do it in practice.

Other things which might be considered - an enclosed 'latrine' attachment below a urine diversion toilet which can be taken out and immediately turned into a rocket stove, so that the sludge is charcoaled without anyone needing to handle the feces.

Some other people have also been experimenting with a lactofermentation method using a milk innoculation. I think this has some mileage for further investigation.

I might well be able to fund a prize and/or kickstarting funds - providing there were really good protocols for microbial analysis of finished sludge. Of course, this would not be at the scale that Gates could afford.. but could perhaps be done (somehow) using the public laboratory model of their spectral challange.

Thoughts? Joeturner 01:53, 8 March 2013 (PST)

Hi Joe,
I think something like that is a great idea. I also remember one existing, I think out of Italy, but I can't seem to find it. If we wanted to pursue that, we should look to partner with a like minded organization for coordinating that... especially the evaluation component. --Lonny 17:41, 12 March 2013 (PDT)
Good points, not sure where to go for that. Joeturner 10:04, 15 March 2013 (PDT)

Talking of such things, the IFRC has begun a student project on emergency sanitation, I've added some of the details here: Emergency_Sanitation_Project_competition, possibly of some interest to your students and/or people in your circles? Joeturner 02:04, 15 April 2013 (PDT)

This is awesome. I just contacted them about more ways to be involved. I will definitely be promoting this with my students as well. Thanks for the great find! --Lonny 12:27, 15 April 2013 (PDT)
Hi Joe,
Thank you for pursuing this. We have partnered with the Emergency Sanitation Project to help spread the word and to eventually host the top ten solutions. We would love your help on that. Maybe we could arrange a call. One idea is to arrange a short series of Google Hangouts in October or November. One with emergency relief experts, one with sanitation experts, etc. I think you would be great at spearheading the ESP - Appropedia partnership. Thoughts? --Lonny 12:01, 1 May 2013 (PDT)
Oh Lonny, I can't think of anything I'd rather do. That'd be awesome. Joeturner 13:23, 1 May 2013 (PDT)
Excellent. We should talk via voice to work out more details. --Lonny 20:30, 1 May 2013 (PDT)
I have to say that their prize is a bit puny though. Any chance we can influence them (possibly finding ways to find funds) to fund something better? Joeturner 13:25, 1 May 2013 (PDT)
We might be able find funds ourselves, but I spoke with the project director about the award and there are multiple well thought out reasons that the prize is what it is. Another avenue would be to look for other, non-monetary, prizes. That said, I think promotion and adoption should be our main focus. --Lonny 20:30, 1 May 2013 (PDT)
fair enough, I was thinking that a bigger prize might get more entries. We should definitely work on getting the word out as widely as possible. I wonder if we could record a podcast with the organisers to send to student groups and that sort of thing.. Joeturner 22:13, 1 May 2013 (PDT)
I like this idea. We also talked about a series of Google Hangouts. --Lonny 17:50, 2 May 2013 (PDT)

This is fantastic - excellent work guys! --Chriswaterguy 00:39, 2 May 2013 (PDT)

Thanks Chris! --Lonny 17:50, 2 May 2013 (PDT)

css and fixing the footer

Richard and I have been trying to fix the lack of a creative commons license image in the footer. I think this should be fixed by adding the image to the css div called div id="f-copyrightico" which should be in /skins/monobook/main.css - without looking, it is hard to be entirely sure, but am fairly sure that adding the image to that div should not break anything.. Joeturner 13:41, 11 March 2013 (PDT) PS see Richard's talk space for the discussion

Fixed. Thanks, --Lonny 10:45, 14 March 2013 (PDT)

Daily news?

Not sure if we need this function, currently under development by User555. As far as I see, it is only going to be generating lots of pages of irrelevant material. Appropedia:Village_pump#Daily_Appropedia_News Joeturner 10:03, 15 March 2013 (PDT)


And the new name for 3dprinterworkshop is... :-) --RichardF 11:55, 30 April 2013 (PDT)

... Humboldt 3D printer workshop. Thanks for the ping! --Lonny 15:52, 30 April 2013 (PDT)
Nice. Now, it could use some cats. ;-) --RichardF 08:26, 3 May 2013 (PDT)

Problem uploading & displaying new version of an image

This problem I had encountered last year also. Then I uploaded the new version of the image in another unique name & displayed. Now same problem repeated. What happens is that when I upload a new version, the previous version appear in the place where the "CURRENT" one is to appear in the file history.

Please have a look at and HELP.

Shooter 09:33, 4 May 2013 (PDT)

Yes the second & third ones are correct images

Hi Chris,

Thank you for the fast response. At File:BloodSugarResultsOfUserGeorgedappilly.jpg out of the four images the second & third are the new and first & last are the old (and those are one & the same!) The old one appearing as the CURRENT is the problem.

The bottom one was uploaded last year. The other day uploaded a new version. Then the one that appeared as CURRENT was the same old one. Anticipating some delay I waited for a day. There was no change. Then I uploaded once again the NEW VERSION. Then the NEW ONE appeared at the middle, ie in between the two OLD ONES - EVEN THOUGH I HAVE UPLOADED THE OLD ONE ONLY ONCE! Then in the first column below the word CURRENT there were two REVERTs. I clicked the REVERT in the mid row ie on the left of the NEW VERSION. Then the old image moved up & one more copy of the new one appeared as the second from the top.

Then I modified the main page and tried to display as THUMB. That worked & SURPRISINGLY the NEW version appeared. When I increased size to full AGAIN THE OLD APPEARED! Then I tried different sizes from thumb. All except the full size displayed the new image. Then I finalized on the largest size that displayed the NEW VERSION. That is the one seen now in the main page.


Incidentally I see a dotted line around the picture. What can it be?


Talk · Shooter 10:08, 6 May 2013 (PDT)

Lonny, are we having cache issues? --Chriswaterguy 14:38, 6 May 2013 (PDT)
Did you try again later? Often a computer will cache an image and act the way you are describing. You can try doing a hard refresh on your browser (e.g. Ctrl-Shift-R with Firefox). --Lonny 15:22, 6 May 2013 (PDT)

Sustainability Stories Documentary Project

Greetings, Lonny & Appropredia community members!

I stumbled upon this wonderful wiki yesterday, and am very inspired by what you all are doing! And until I read about it here, I'd never heard of the term Service Learning. Yet as a service designer, I'm realizing that it is core to the success of any sustainable community effort. I believe that without a fair exchange (learning experience for volunteer effort, for example), reliance on altruism alone is not enough to keep people motivated to do the hard work of changing habits, minds, and lives.

I'm in the midst of creating a short documentary film called "Sustainability Stories" to share the things I'm learning -- and what I've been most inspired by -- as the sharing economy unfolds around us.

I will be visiting Arcata on Wednesday-Saturday Sept 25-28, and would love to interview you, your students, and sustainable business owners around town. This documentary is part of my preparations to co-host the Oakland Sustainability Jam in late November. It would be such a treat to meet some of you and learn more about your projects.

Thanks! Marise Phillips Alameda, CA

Hi Marise
So sorry I missed this. I would love to chat. I am contacting you via Appropedia email. --Lonny 17:57, 1 October 2013 (PDT)

User page redirects

Hi Lonny,

Should we have a policy of user pages being on the page for the actual account?

The only real issues I can think of are about taking contributions - the contributions link won't work from the non-account page, and it will be harder to get to recognize users by their usernames.

I mention it because 2 of your students have redirected their userpages - I don't want to single anyone out, though. --Chriswaterguy (talk) 20:11, 8 December 2013 (PST)

Hi Chris,
Yes. The policy should be to have userpages on their username account. We can rename people if they need that. I will remind my students of that policy. :)
Thanks, --Lonny (talk) 08:25, 11 August 2015 (PDT)

Team maker tool

Hello Professor,

I am wondering when are we going to be emailed the assignment for the team making tool? Also, I can't figure out where to post on thingiverse.

Walden Ecovillage


Thanks for your feedback and offer of support.

I apologize for the unavailability of our site. Perhaps we were updating pages. It should be up now, and I'd appreciate you seeing the content- especially if you were assist with templates.

The other venue we are considering, for our collaborative editing is: [7]. Do you have an opinion about it?

Thanks again. Michael

Hi Michael,
The ajaxworkspace is a project management suite. Appropedia is not a suite like that. Appropedia is used by projects, but most of those projects also use emails, calendars, etc. to keep things moving. Short answer: If you want an open spot to share and develop your ecovillage, than Appropedia is a great spot. If you want a single tool to coordinate your project(s) and team-members, than you will want a project management suite. It is possible you will want both.
--Lonny (talk) 18:01, 3 January 2015 (PST)
PS Your website has a popup add for hostinger.


Thanks for taking the time to check out our site and respond to my questions. btw... I've been trying to deal with the hostinger issue for weeks now, but am having no luck- and 000webhost is not being helpful. Any ideas?

We will take your advice and use both Appropedia and Ajax. I'd like to get started right away.

As I am a novice at using this wiki, any input or direction you can offer, especially with regard to setting up the project pages would be great. I've read the projects page and, beyond creating the project page, I'm still in the dark about where to go from there. You mentioned templates before, perhaps you could point me in the right direction.

Should the project wiki reflect the website's organization and structure (each menu item is a separate page etc)? The Community page is really long should each section be a page?

I'd also like to provide a space & functionality for contributors to collaborate on academic and scientific articles related to our assumptions and propositions.

Thanks again. --Skeptic (talk) 19:33, 3 January 2015 (PST)Michael (talk)

Hi Michael,
The best way to get started is to describe your ecovillage at Walden Ecovillage. Then to make subpages like Walden Ecovillage/workshops. Once you have a few of those pages, we can make a template that you put at the top of each page using {{Walden ecovillage header}}. Once you have some pages, let us know which you would like in the header, and we can help make that. As you develop pages, remember that things are easy to move around on the wiki. Also remember that Appropedia is dedicated to sharing success and failures of engagements in improving living conditions. Therefore, using Appropedia for describing and developing your projects makes more sense than posting essays. That said, your own userpage is a great place for that, e.g. User:Skeptic/why we all need to be more skeptical :). Enjoy, --Lonny (talk) 15:18, 5 January 2015 (PST)

Lonnie, I'm struggling with structuring the Project wiki. I've read what I can find about creating subpages, and am uncertain about whether to create a front end Index page or just create subpages "Walden Ecovillage/the Community", "Walden Ecovillage/the Ecoversity" etc. with no Index- you didn't mention using an Index (above). The reason I'm asking is, I created a subpage Walden_Ecovillage/the_Community and it's unclear to me how visitors know the page exists; perhaps I'm missing something. I've also been reading about Template:Navbox. I don't want to go any further until I figure this out; I don't want to move in the wrong direction and have to redo work. Thanks. --Skeptic (talk) 14:28, 7 January 2015 (PST)

Hi Michael,
A couple of things:
  1. I added Category:Walden Ecovillage to categorize your pages, which can help navigation for people that like tags or categorization.
  2. I added an example header {{Walden Ecovillage header}} that you can add to all your pages. Then when you change the header, all the pages change automatically. You can see the example at Walden_Ecovillage/the_Farm and Walden_Ecovillage/the_Ecoversity.
Please let me know if you would like help developing the header. You can add a small picture, change the formatting, or use the navbox style you are trying out. Doing it in template form means you only need to make changes in one location. Does that make sense?
Thanks, --Lonny (talk) 20:24, 8 January 2015 (PST)

Lonny, Thanks for everything. I'm spreading the word that the wiki is ready. Michael

Lonny, I've been unsuccessful at figuring out how to make navbox changes effect all pages. I looked at the Walden Ecovillage header template and saw that you created a unique Walden Ecovillage header; is this what I need to do with navbox? I considered attempting to change the navbox template to make a unique Walden navbox, but was unwilling to mess with the template without guidance. Thanks in advance. Michael

Hi Michael,
I just placed the navbox into the header at {{Walden Ecovillage header}} so you can see how that works. That said, it might look better without the navbox. If you choose to use the navbox, editing the one in the header will change it on every page, and you can delete the nav box from each specific page since the header is also already on those pages. Does that make sense?
Thanks, --Lonny (talk) 16:30, 15 January 2015 (PST)
PS you can sign your comments using --~~~~

Hi Lonny, Thanks for the quick response. I agree the navbox looks bad in the header; and I am planning to use it for additional off-site links and info later- so I want to keep it. Since there are only 6 pages, I'll just change each page individually. Thaks again. --Skeptic (talk) 17:25, 15 January 2015 (PST)

Hi Michael,
I made this {{Walden Ecovillage nav box}}. You can add that template wherever you like, and then just edit it once at the template page. Make sure to leave the stuff below the navbox in the template such as the noinclude and categories.
Enjoy, --Lonny (talk) 18:19, 15 January 2015 (PST)

Wow! perfect. Thanks. --Skeptic (talk) 18:31, 15 January 2015 (PST)

Ethan is go for admin

Awesomeness confirmed. See A:VP#Nominating Ethan for admin, + Joshua's endorsement on my talk page. --Chriswaterguy (talk) 18:41, 17 July 2015 (PDT)

Great. It is done. --Lonny (talk) 17:53, 19 July 2015 (PDT)

Travel Internship

Hi Lonny,

I'm interested in pursuing your travel internship. Here is my userpage user:APenny6. Let me know what else you need from me!

Hope all's well, Annette

Open House

I was referred here by user Ethan who suggested you were the right contact to ask about a project page I'd like to create. I thought it best to ask around first to see if others felt this would be an appropriate home for this project. I'm looking to develop a video documentary series called Open House which would seek to demonstrate a Post-Industrial lifestyle by crafting it--as much as possible--from currently available open source designs found on-line. House, its furnishings, workshop, microfarm, energy, transportation, even domestic robots all open source. I like to refer to it as a 21st century take on Alone in the Wilderness. I think a wiki site would be a good format to organize the project and its design catalog and it would be helpful to have it in a place that already has some gravitas. Lone sites tend to be like throwing a note in a bottle into the ocean these days. I have previous experience with wikia sites ( ) and have been around in the Maker/P2P/Open Tech community for a while. Your guidance would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Eric Hunting erichunting @

Brief hiatus

I just wanted to give you a heads-up that the spam sweepers will be missing a member for a few weeks. I'm going to be relocating and starting a new job. Enjoy the new school year! --Ethan (talk) 15:13, 2 September 2015 (PDT)

Thanks for the headsup! I just sent you an email about China. :) --Lonny (talk) 17:16, 11 September 2015 (PDT)


That's great, thanks Lonny. Looking forward to continuing to help out. Felicity (talk) 22:59, 1 December 2015 (PST)

Thank you! --Lonny (talk) 12:18, 2 December 2015 (PST)

Organic spam

Thanks for the heads up Lonny. I didn't manage to be here yesterday so missed that article and looks like Ethan got to it. If it recurs, I'll see what's worth salvaging. Sometimes I do salvage the spam, other times out it goes! Thanks for the kind words too. Felicity (talk) 20:58, 12 April 2016 (PDT)


Hi Lonny, Thanks for your message about Swaleny#Plants. It looks like an exciting and really useful project. I like what is there already but will see if there is anything I can add. I've been a bit busy lately, so I'm not about as much as I'd like but hopefully that'll change soon. Cheers, Felicity (talk) 00:20, 19 June 2016 (PDT)

Yay for less spam!

Thanks Lonny for the note about spam. Looking forward to its lessening. Felicity (talk) 00:02, 22 September 2016 (PDT)

Thank you!

Hi Lonny, thank you very much for your nice welcome message! User talk:Migranto I really do appreciate it! :) —The preceding comment was added by Migranto (talkcontribs) 22:34, 24 November 2016‎

My pleasure! --Lonny (talk) 17:40, 25 November 2016 (PST)


Thanks Lonny -- I did a redirect -- and sent over the two pages directly from bicycling - let me know if there is a more efficient way-- Joshua Pearce (talk) 04:45, 18 December 2016 (PST)

Project contribution

Hi! Is this page still active? I am curious if our project, a completely open-source active RFID system is one that would be acceptable for contribution. If so, I was hoping to get some help to select an appropriate Area to include it. Omid Ghaffari-Tabrizi (talk) 11:35, 18 February 2017 (EST)

Hello Omid,
Great to meet you and learn about your excellent project (and your father's legacy). Appropedia is definitely very active. You can see Special:RecentChanges on any wiki to get a sense of the activity. On here you will see about a hundred excellent edits every day. Here are two of the categories you should add to your page:Category:Open source hardware and Category:Information technology. Eventually we will probably have an Category:RFID for your page and pages like Free-Libre Hardware RFID handheld device and Viability of 3-D printing pentacene semiconductors for use in RFID tags on helmets.
Enjoy, --Lonny (talk) 14:39, 19 February 2017 (PST)
Thanks so much, Lonny, I appreciate it! I will get to work on creating the TigeRFID page after spending a little more time to familiarize myself with Appropedia. I really appreciate your response and thank you for putting something like this together!
--Omid Ghaffari-Tabrizi (talk) 22:13, 22 February 2017 (EST)
Hello Omid,
We look forward to your contributions. Thank you for your engagement, and your thanks. That said, there are so many responsible for putting this together! --Lonny (talk) 14:01, 24 February 2017 (PST)

Template:Ping, user is commenting on CityOfSilver's talk page, can you remove it ?? --CityOfSilver (talk) 11:49, 19 May 2017 (PDT)