Appropedia:Village pump/Archive1

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(archived by --CurtB 16:07, 31 October 2006 (PST))

I haven't worked out if these organisations are notable enough for inclusion in Wikipedia. If not, they might at least deserve a mention here. E.g. we could have a table of organizations, with category, place of origin & operation, brief comments/description, & links to Wikipedia where appropriate. (Have link to the Wikipedia article in name - but only if there is actually a Wikipedia article, as a dead link doesn't show as a redlink for interwiki link).

--Singkong2005 t - c 05:44, 30 June 2006 (PDT)

I think a table of organizations is necessary. In addition the the items you mention, we should include a link to the organizations webpage and the organization name should be a link to their appropedia page (if they have one). Inappropriate additions to wikipedia such as Wikipedia:Appropriate Technology Africa are a great example of a purpose that appropedia should serve. Maybe would should have a template on wikipedia along the lines of "This page is not in accordance with (some link to what wikipedia is not in reference to promoting your organization), please consider moving this page to another wikimedia project such as Appropedia where it is more appropriate." --Lonny 13:00, 30 June 2006 (PDT)
I'm finally getting around to this topic, and I think it's a good one, in part because I know of several organizations that I am tempted to make note of. I'll look into what you've already done with orgs, but also want to ask if this is effectively a policy question? That is, shall I move to the policy page? I already moved what I was pretty sure about... --Curtbeckmann 12:58, 2 October 2006 (PDT)

Server performance took a dive?

(archived by --CurtB 16:16, 31 October 2006 (PST), since problem was fixed by server move at same hosting service) Most of Sunday (Pacific time) Appropedia's server seemed to be extremely sluggish. I can imagine a couple of possible explanations.

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

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

approx Sep-Oct 2007

Agroinnovations: Call for Collaborators

At Agricultural Innovations, we are trying to find ways to leverage communities like Appropedia to do real time development and deployment of appropriate technologies for development projects in the Third World. Our focus is Bolivia, South America, a fantastic place but the poorest country on the continent. We believe that through decentralized, network-based technology development we can provide better services and products more cheaply and efficiently than would be possible through a traditional top-down approach. Help us make this dream a reality.

The Project

Our project has multiple components, but the central thrust has three primary objectives:

  1. To develop a model for community-based technology centers, with a focus on tech transfer using appropriate technologies that can be prototyped, validated, and commercialized for future business and community development
  2. To focus on the rehabiliation of degraded and eroded lands, with a special focus on soil and water resource management
  3. To develop a North-South axis of interaction, where Northern professionals can provide technical and financial resources to Southern tinkers and innovators

Technological Possibilities

We do not want to limit potential collaborators to a specific area of intervention. The needs are so vast, and the model open enough, that good ideas will find traction and move forward. Here are some areas of interest that we have worked on in the past:

  • Hydraulic Ram Pumps
  • Ferrocement Tanks
  • Beekeeping Technologies (Improved Hive and Implement Development)
  • CINVA Ram Block Press
  • Aquaculture
  • Microlivestock
  • Animal traction implements
  • Play Pump
  • Windmills
  • Water Catchments
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Grey Water Systems
  • Biogas
  • Mushroom Production
  • Geographic Information Systems and CAD for permaculture design

This list is far from exhaustive. If you feel you have an idea that could have an impact, let us know. This call for collaborators is preeliminary. We WILL build and document a model for eroded land rehabiliation, and we will document it online. Please see,com_zoom/Itemid,131/catid,8/lang,en/ for some examples of how CAD and GIS can integrate appropriate technology into a geospatial land rehabiliation scheme. If you are interested, get in touch with me. frank [at] agroinnovations dot com. The revolution is now.

Solar hot water

I added this to Solar hot water on Wikipedia:

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

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

Sustainable Energy booklet

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

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

some test

How to monitor changes

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

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

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

Something that could be relevant to promoting Appropedia...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appropedia:About or Appropedia:About_Appropedia?

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

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

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

News? Wind? Transportation?

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

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

I think that we can make a page named News Review and/or Link Review. We could archive older threads and encourage comments. This could look a lot like book reviews. I use something like this on my Moodle (private) site, and would rather have it here. In addition we could run a pligg, but hugg already has something like that.
I like the News review idea. Perhaps with a separate commentary section (e.g. on same page, with commentary after the news item). This would enable us to point out, for example, whether something is proven, unproven or wildly speculative. But we need to think more about this - I'd like to ensure we don't replicate something that hugg is already doing well. --Singkong2005 · talk 19:01, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
BTW Check out this kite/wind technology.
We do need a Category:Wind Power topic category.--Lonny 15:53, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
We have Category:Wind power (different capitalization) but it's only got one article.
Curt: I remember reading about cargo ships with sails to reduce fuel consumption in Popular Science mag in the 1980's - Popular Science is probably not the most reliable resource, in hindsight (more sensationalism than hard science), but the idea's been around for a while. I'm not sure how high fuel costs would have to go before this becomes more cost effective than conventional fuel, as well as biodiesel. If there are differences in speed, that would affect the trade-off as well (time is money). Love the idea though.
I couldn't play the video (even when I looked the video up on other sites) - my version of Linux probably doesn't have the codecs for that video. But I read the summary, and it does sound like quite a different version from what I read about all those years ago. --Singkong2005 · talk 19:01, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
The german firm SkySails ( will build something similar. The site is in german, but they have a video ( ) also in german, where a small version of the system is seen in action. You have to wait until 1:30 minutes to see the actual kite. They will build systems up to 5000KW. First system are scheduled for beginning of 2008. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) 17:52, 22 August 2007

Refining Newpageresource template & others

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

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

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

New page templates - slim down?

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

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

I did shrink the preload text somewhat, and am open to additional shrinkage... Actually, feedback generally about the current "create new page" arrangement is welcome. --CurtB 22:48, 21 October 2006 (PDT)
Hmm... actually I'm still inclined to keep it as simple as possible, only adding one to three lines, e.g. a predetermined category and little if anything else. We have ways of keeping an eye on uncategorized pages, so I'd be inclined to rely on that for pages that miss out on cats when created.
But it occurs to me that we each have ideas on what is most user-friendly, but I can't say for sure that I'm right. What we really need is some real-world testing with people who don't know wikis. I'll try and get Michelle to sit at the computer and try to create a page. (Michelle is the gender and development person I've mentioned by email.) --Singkong2005 · talk 16:11, 12 November 2006 (PST)
Be bold :-) Shrink them more if you prefer... Be great if we can get some feedback! We ask, but... --CurtB 14:59, 21 November 2006 (PST)
Haven't had time to address this yet... Joshua has mentioned this, so perhaps we can work on it together, do some slimming down, but just as importantly create appropriate structure (Do we do this in the page, or on a separate guidelines page?)
Do we want to aim for something like wikiHow's multiple text entry boxes, to create structure? They would have to vary according to page type (and, like wikiHow, have an opt-out to allow editing without the imposed structure.) --Chriswaterguy · talk 23:02, 30 October 2007 (PDT)
I like the idea of different templates based upon category and/or user choice (think how to mostly words vs how to mostly photos templates). --Lonny 23:20, 30 October 2007 (PDT)

Nov 06 to Feb 07

Categorization change

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

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

Two suggestions for navigation bar

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

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

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

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

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

Server performance?

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


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

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

Washing and drying clothes category

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

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

Discussion tracker

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

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

Hi, I have very recently made something that I call the mechanical mathematician which is a fairly simple tool for making a parabolic dish. I am convinced that it will greatly help people making solar cookers because it is so simple, can be quickly adjusted and it takes the math (and mystery) away from making the parabola. It can be used to make a parabolic dish from cob, concrete, or cardboard panels. It could be adjusted too to make a parabolic dome either (as a mold for many dishes!) how about looking it up on google and putting an entry on here. I currently do not have the time or expertize on wiki to do it but I have put the info online and it is easily searchable. Brian White Canada

Thank you for the offer. I posted the porting request at Pages to Port. --Lonny 19:20, 24 September 2007 (PDT)

Login problem

Hello! Help solve the problem. Very often try to enter the forum, but says that the password is not correct. Regrettably use of remembering. Give like to be? Thank you! --comment by, {{{2}}}.

If you registered and gave your email address, you can ask for a new password; otherwise you'll have to create a new account (and I'd recommend giving your email address, so that you don't have this problem again). Good luck, and hope to see you here, logged in.
Please be careful not to delete other people's comments when you add your questions - thanks. --Chriswaterguy · talk 09:24, 23 August 2007 (PDT)

Unsigned Complement

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

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

Community portal & Village pump removed from sidebar?

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

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


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

Reinder Demotech Januari 23

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

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

Main Page tests

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

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

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

Should we group countries by region?

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

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

Confused by sections/subsections in agriculture

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

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

Suggest restoring "Public health" category

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

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

Who works with Afro-Latino communities?

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

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

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

Majority world

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

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

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

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

Notes on common usage:

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

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

March 07 to April 08

State makes big fuss over local couple

This is insane.

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

Baron 12:33, 8 March 2007 (PST)

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

Plural/singular titles in main space

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

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

Category tool

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

(begin insert)

Food and drink (69) (also in Fundamental)

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

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

Promote feed-back from user to designer


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

  • Outgoing:

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

  • Incoming:

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

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

Three questions:

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

Thanks for a rapid response!

Hi Reinder,
Thank you for your comments. I have addressed some of your feedback request comments. I have updated the Template:Tl:Demotechpage template and the Demotech page to more directly attribute content and request explicit feedback. I have also tried to make sure that this template shows up on all Demotech pages, and have posted instructions on the Demotech page itself. Please let me know what you think.
As I noted on my talk page, here is some information regarding licensing on Appropedia-
Appropedia uses the GNU-FDL license. Here are our conversations on the topic of license - Appropedia_talk:Copyrights. Please feel free to add your comments there, where a more focused group can respond.
We have been working on ways to increase the quantity and critical thought behind feedback at Appropedia. to address the quantity of feedback, we have been actively promoting Appropedia to good success. We have been growing quite quickly and can feel critical mass building, especially with the fairly recent additions of wikigreen and VillageEarth. On the quality of feedback issues, we have been having some energized discussions with a larger team. This discussion will be made public as soon as we decide upon a forum software (Drupal vs phpBB). I really look forward to your input on this matter, as you clearly have experience with the need for feedback on your projects.
Hopefully I have addressed some of your questions. Anyone else have thoughts on this? --Lonny
The GNU-FDL license is also used by Wikipedia and they are at present in negotiations with Gnu and with Creative Commons to jointly develop a new version of the GFDL license which is compatible with the CC-BY-SA license (the Creative Commons-Attribution-Sharealike license which is used by many other wikis) so that content can be freely shared between projects using these two licenses. I expect this will then become the most popular free culture/copyleft license. Information published under the CC-BY (Creative Commons Attribution license) can also be republished under the CC-BY-SA license but not the other way round - you can't take CC-BY-SA info and put it into a CC-BY document. 17:25, 9 April 2008 (PDT)
We're eagerly awaiting the outcome - CC-by-sa would suit us much better. --Chriswaterguy (talk) 21:22, 9 April 2008 (PDT)

Articles on people

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

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

17 April 2007 (PDT)

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

Porting help?

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

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

"Reducing oil dependency" category name?

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

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

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

Hey, all: Peak Oil has only been made controversial by the actions of naysayers in the popular press, and in turn sensationalized by that press. To illustrate, 3 well-known scientific phenomena deeply grounded, vetted, researched, and finally accepted by the very sober somber conservative scientific community are: evolution by natural selection ("Darwinism"), anthropogenic global warming (AGW), and Peak Oil. All 3 have been subjected to the same hysterical fallacious opposition by the same type of talking points specialists regardless of the moment in time. I wrote in the discussion on Peak Oil some facts to correct its perception and I will (judiciously) edit the page soon. I do not recommend avoiding it. There is just not sufficient reason to avoid it, just as we should not avoid any facts. The only relief globally there might be would be major discoveries of petroleum reserves, but this is highly unlikely. The search is essentially over. Sliding the date of Peak Oil will only be a minor adjustment. And finally whether it is imminent is academic for several reasons: one--we will only know 1-2 years after it actually happens--like so many statistical phenomena, the data is just not real-time, and it has to be processed; two--the consequences/impacts will not be drastic in the short-term (like a door slamming shut); three--the global society and the environment cannot and should not wait until that time to act.

"Reducing oil dependency" has great value regardless of Peak Oil, namely AGW. If petroleum was a brand new energy source with no perceptible "peak", it would be quickly dismissed for its horrendous environmental impact.

I have not seen any resolution of the title question, but "Global Alternatives to Carbon" is more comprehensive, and more descriptive. Below is my first attempt at an automatic signoff.

SustainableDavid 09:23, 10 August 2008 (PDT)

"Sub-sub categories for the sub-category Demotech

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

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

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

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

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

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

Developments in networking

A couple of interesting developments in networking:

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

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

AT Theory and environmentalism

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

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

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

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

Page substitution policy

Is there a policy about page substitutions? I have seen that there is a page "3rd world arm lamp (old model)" and "3rd world arm lamp". When the user wants to replace his newer one with a better version, should than the old one be replaced or would it be better that from now on there exists three pages like "3rd world arm lamp (1. model)", "3rd world arm lamp (2. model)" and "3rd world arm lamp". I would prefer the latter since the first page may contain information that is useful to somebody. LeissKG 13:19, 25 August 2007 (PDT)

Agreed. We should also make a template to tag pages as referring to old models, to be placed on those pages. Also the current page should link to the old pages, probably in the "See also" section near the bottom. --Chriswaterguy · talk 20:46, 25 August 2007 (PDT)

Porting graphical PDF Pages

I think I have found a way to make porting PDFs easier. I use an OCR program ( older versions are often quite cheap ) to capture the document and much of its formatting. I ported Refrigeration for developing countries‎ this way and have some remarks to the process.

  • Select the correct language for the OCR process before you import pages.
  • Go through all pages and correct the detection frames. Picture frames are usually to small ( there should be a small border around the picture). Delete spurious text frames in graphics. If there are to much dividers in tables remove the superfluous one.
  • Do the OCR and afterwards the spelling correction.
  • Export the OCRed document. Use a format that exports the images as individual files ( like HTML ).
  • Give the exported images meaningful names afterwards.

Now how do we get the text in wikipedia format? Since this week you can use the wikipedia export mode from OpenOffice 2.30. I have also some remarks about this. I did not all of this in my first try and did have some work to change the formatting afterwards.

  • Export the OCRed document again, this time use WORD or STARWRITER as format.
  • Do as much formatting in OpenOffice. Marks Headers as such using the formatting tools.
  • Add the captions to the Pictures

If you are satisfied with the formatting export to wikipedia format.

Changes that you should do now:

  • Put the image names in the placeholders in the created document.
  • Blocks of short text lines are formatted as paragraphs this creates to much space between lines. Delete this space and replace it with a < br >

If you are satisfied upload your document and the images to appropedia. Do a last check of the formatting of the finished page. --LeissKG 10:42, 19 September 2007 (PDT)

Porting CD3WD Pages

A lot of the content on CD3WD carries a copyright other than CD3WD ( e.g. VITA ). I assume the site owner has authorization to carry this content on the CD's and his web site. I'm not sure if this allows for porting to Appropedia. If this could be clarified I would like to port some energy related pages. --LeissKG 07:44, 22 September 2007 (PDT)

I have had email discussions with the guy from CD3WD and am concerned about whether there's clear written permissions to use the material. I'm not sure how much of a concern this is to other people, but I'm not keen on putting material on Appropedia with dubious copyright. If it's hosted somewhere else and linked from here, that's less of a concern for me (though it's still not strictly acceptable to link to something if there's a copyright breach, and this is not allowed on Wikipedia).
I should clarify - he has received permission for all his content, but often verbally I think, to use it in CD3WD. This does not mean it's released under an open license, and thus we don't have permission. - Chriswaterguy · talk 19:58, 6 November 2007 (PST)
A possible solution (which involves much more work) is extracting the key points and a few quotes from the relevant documents. Another approach (which will also involve a lot of work) will be getting written or emailed permission, preferably to release under GFDL.
(If they release it under a different license, or retain copyright but allow us to publish it, that's also possible, but we'll just need to mark it clearly as having a different copyright.) --Chriswaterguy · talk 02:24, 28 September 2007 (PDT)

Proposed medical disclaimer and science disclaimer

Hi. I see that we have a General disclaimer at Appropedia:General disclaimer.
I'd like to offer two tentative suggestions for other more specific disclaimers to be made as templates to be placed at the top of articles.

1) A medical disclaimer: (roughly along the lines of) "Appropedia cannot offer medical advice or information. Always seek the guidance of a competent medical professional who is familiar with your specific situation."

2) A science disclaimer: - Although Appropedia theoretically espouses the scientific method and scientific rigor (Appropedia:Rigor), it is my sense that we permit articles on traditional techniques and alternative techniques that may not fit the tightest standards of scientific rigor. Therefore it might be handy to have a disclaimer along the lines of
"This Appropedia article discusses a traditional or alternative idea or technique which may not be fully accepted by the scientific or medical communities. No one from Appropedia is responsible for anything you do with the contained information, except yourself."

I am new to Appropedia -- more experienced editors should rewrite these as appropriate. -- Writtenonsand 07:17, 20 February 2008 (PST)

In principle it sounds good. I've often thought that a more prominent disclaimer at Wikipedia would be good, basically telling people to think critically no matter what they read. There are more critical issues here, when we have how-tos, including for medical equipment like asthma inhalers.
You're right that there's plenty of stuff on here that isn't explicitly scientific, but it's a broad wiki, and my initial thought is that our main concerns are about things we know to be unscientific (i.e. where there's evidence against it, rather than just lack of evidence for it). That will be hard sometimes, and I realize that some will say that there is no evidence against crystal healing, and we can't prove beyond all possibilities that a car can't run on water.
I obviously need to think about this further. I wouldn't want to support the inclusion of some material just because I'm comfortable with it (because I've spent a lot of time with hippies) while rejecting other material which is no worse. --Chriswaterguy · talk 07:27, 20 February 2008 (PST)
Well, that was my point in suggesting that this be handled with a disclaimer template (as opposed to outright exclusion). We would still be including the scientifically funkier items, but applying a disclaimer to them where appropriate. Something along the lines of
"This article -- we're not saying that it's definitely wrong, but it's off the beaten track. Just so you know." -- Writtenonsand 08:26, 20 February 2008 (PST)

Mark pages for rapid deletion?

I've been Wikifying articles from Dead-end pages and Orphaned pages and I see a number of pages that have no useful content (for example, some that were apparently created for bygone class projects but currently contain nothing, some that look like somebody's idiosyncratic notes for something that may never be expanded into an article, etc). We might want a way of quickly adding these pages to a list of "Suggested for rapid deletion" so that an admin could check and make the call keep/delete. A template to be added to pages might be a good way of handling this - something like {{rdelete}}. -- Writtenonsand 17:55, 23 February 2008 (PST)

{{Rdelete}} works for me. Alternatively maybe we can just use {{Delete}}, but immediately blank the content of pages that need rapid deletion. Thoughts? --Lonny 18:09, 23 February 2008 (PST)
Sounds good - but minimal use of blanking, as this makes it slightly harder for the admin to review what's being deleted. In most cases an admin will see the delete notice it in a matter of hours, anyway, if there's note put in the edit summary. --Chriswaterguy · talk 18:16, 23 February 2008 (PST)
Just discovered the {{Delete}}! That works okay for me - I don't know if we do need a separate "rapid delete". Up to the admins. -- Writtenonsand 18:20, 23 February 2008 (PST)

Copyvios? Hygiene Standard Institute and Hygiene Standard Institute (HSI)

Hygiene Standard Institute and Hygiene Standard Institute (HSI) seem to be copyvios from material at site -- Writtenonsand 00:06, 24 February 2008 (PST)

Hi Writtenonsand,
Often organizations post their mission and about information directly. This usually works well for them as it spreads the word about their organization. It appears that the author Sreejiagriman is from the organization and has been lambasted for posting it on Wikipedia ( But their content is okay on Appropedia because of our different criteria. So it is probably not a copyvios issue. We should probably post a note on the user's page, asking the user to state their affiliation and rights to post the info. We could also email and ask them, if we get no response on the user page. In addition, we should probably merge the two pages and delete some of the google backlinks that are listed on the page. Thoughts? --Lonny 11:14, 24 February 2008 (PST)
I wrote this response yesterday but didn't realize it didn't save properly: "I emailed the article's creator (using "Email this user"), so if there's no response, I think we remove the copyvio material and turn one article into a stub, and the other into a redirect." But you're right about contacting the organization before taking drastic measures.
I was thinking about whether it's okay to accept info about an organization - as you say, it probably benefits the organization, but they still need to be aware of the license it's posted under and give approval. The person posting it may have had the authority to post, thereby releasing it. Anyway, it amounts to what you said - it's probably okay, but we'll work on contacting the user (steps taken) and I think notify the organization as well, just as a matter of course. Then if we get no satisfactory response from either, we remove enough of the content that it's no longer copyvio.
I think we need an additional template to {{copyvio}}, for pages which are potentially copyvio but can probably be resolved with a little effort. --Chriswaterguy · talk 15:16, 24 February 2008 (PST)

Rambling thoughts on organizational POV

An organization recently gave permission to use text from their website, as long as it's not used in a way that reflects badly on the organization. Obviously we can't make that promise, if it's released under an open license.

Then I notice we have this template notice ({{OrgPOV}}):

Organisational point of view
This page is written from the point of view of the subject of this article.
Words like "we", "us" and "our" must be read in that context.

Technically, using this wouldn't change anything in terms of ability for people to reuse the content, but it could help an organization feel better, knowing that they can have a page where they can give their POV. That raises all kinds of policy/guideline questions, e.g. can someone else add a link to the See also section, debunking the organization's work, if the organization doesn't approve.

So... now I'm thinking that the place for content from a single POV is in userspace. Mainspace articles (such as Foundation for Sustainable Development) should always allow for other points of view. However, we can note that userspace in Appropedia is higher profile than in Wikipedia (it is included by default in site searches, networking is encouraged, and many editors feature in mainspace, through their projects). --Chriswaterguy · talk 04:45, 13 March 2008 (PDT)

Appropedia Action Groups

When I first came to Appropedia, I thought of it as another Wikipedia except with a focus on AT. I saw that there was potential for greater collaboration and thought I would encourage this on Appropedia via what we eventually decided to call "Appropedia Action Groups"

Appropedia Action Groups is an umbrella organization of autonomous groups which collaborate with one another via this wiki to exchange technologies, opportunities, support, and ideas to improve the world.

However, the more time I spend here, the more I realize that you guys have been trying to utilize Appropedia as a forum for user and group collaboration all along. I think that along the way I might have come up with two things you haven't tried to my knowledge (have you?)

Firstly I don't know if you guys have tried to encourage local groups to tackle development projects. If you took the Engineers Without Borders model and blended it with a wikiproject model, I think you would have something slightly new and potentially powerful.

Another Idea that I don't know has been tried is turning Appropedia into and idea clearinghouse. By indexing ideas for research projects, international development projects, social businesses, etcetera, I think we can fuel the aforementioned wikiprojects.

I think that together we can create a new type of volunteering by blending existing models and creating new ones which:

  • is marketable such that users will take interest - we have to show how groups working through Appropedia are different from other organizations and point out their advantages
  • presents a low barrier to entry so that it is easy to get involved
  • has massive diversity of opportunities to suit anyone's passion
  • will give an outlet to all of the people who want to do something for the world but don't know what that something is
  • can self maintain - if our model effectively replicates the psychological rewards of current volunteer organizations, we can maintain a consistent volunteer base
  • scalable worldwide

Practically, I had originally envisioned carving out a niche within Appropedia for the hoped for users and groups. For instance a sub category in the users category for the "AAG users" and a sub category in the Organizations category for "AAGroups" However I'm not sure how appropriate that would be. (would that be appropriate?) --David.reber 01:00, 12 April 2008 (PDT)

Great thinking - keep it up! We want to fully support you in this effort.
As for how the niche will work best, I think creating categories is usually helpful, as long as it remains clear how someone can get involved. --Chriswaterguy 18:10, 17 April 2008 (PDT)

Show/Hide function on the referenced page, at the bottom of the page there is a to do list that can be expanded by clicking "show" or hidden by clicking "hide"

how did they do that? --David.reber 14:44, 12 April 2008 (PDT)

The easiest way is by using a template like Appropedia could add something like this. So far we have decided against it because of the reduced accessibility caused by using the show/hide feature. Do you think it is a necessary component? Thank you, --Lonny 01:00, 2 May 2008 (PDT)
Would it make a difference if we could make it accessible to everyone by:
  1. having it expanded by default, so people without javascript can see it, and/or
  2. only using it in a template that displays a link at the top to the full to-do list, and make sure that everyone can access the link easily. --Chriswaterguy 01:26, 2 May 2008 (PDT)

A "License taskforce" and "Appropedia contact team"?

If there are tasks where we'd like a limited group of people to take responsibility, but we want to involve more people than just the admins, we can think about establishing sets of "trusted users" like at Commons:Project:Flickr images/reviewers & Commons:Project:OTRS ("Open-source Ticket Request System," for volunteers to respond to emails, in several languages, including permission emails).

Like Commons, a high priority for this group(s) would be want this group to handle permission & license issues. It's appropriate that we don't leave this to the broader community, but restrict it to those who have shown a solid understanding of the issues.

The downside is potentially a bit more elitism and more bureaucracy, even though it actually means giving up control to people beyond the admins and the BoD. I suggest we choose a different name for the group(s) - e.g. "License taskforce" and/or "Appropedia contact team" - and keep the process simple.

I see this as a medium priority - other things are more pressing right now, but permissions and responding to queries will become more important as we do more publicity. How does that sound? --Chriswaterguy 18:00, 17 April 2008 (PDT)


I just wanted to leave my thanks here to the founders of Appropedia. This space is amazing and you are changing the world. --David.reber 17:45, 22 April 2008 (PDT)

Thank you - we believe in what we're doing, and are glad that the potential of this work is starting to be seen. It's great to have you as part of the Appropedia community. --Chriswaterguy 09:37, 24 April 2008 (PDT)

Event details

Since a wiki page is unstructured, it's easy for people to not event details out properly things out , do we need to add structure for when people add event details? The options are:

  • Template: this means the user has to learn the format. Too hard for a newbie.
  • Some kind of wizard add-on, using a form. Good idea, if and when it works.
  • Promote the idea of sharing event details in the wiki, always mentioning the need for time, date (day, date, month & year) and place (including state and country). This seems most suitable for now.
  • Maybe Semantic MediaWiki has a solution - not as easy as forms & wizards, but more flexible & intuitive than a template. However this may require each event to go on a separate page, for effective searching. (Maybe it will be possible to have a list of upcoming events in a page, based on Semantic parameters...?)

--Chriswaterguy 09:31, 24 April 2008 (PDT)

I agree - If we combined the tagging provided by semantic mediawiki with forms that people could fill out, we could create a consistant user experience that was queryable like a database.
For instance our form should have boxes for time, date, title and tags. A script will convert the user entries into a standard format and apply media wiki tags. That way you could search for all events within a particular area, on a particular topic, within a particular time.
I have been startd a wiki wish list--David.reber 10:29, 24 April 2008 (PDT)
Great thoughts.
Have you seen Appropedia:Desired_features? What we need is an expanded tech team. We need more eco geeks! -Chriswaterguy 10:43, 24 April 2008 (PDT)