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Difference between revisions of "Wikitravel talk:How to re-use Wikitravel guides"

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(Keeping an up to date mirror)
(Keeping an up to date mirror)
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::::-- [[User:Hansm|Hansm]] 14:53, 14 July 2006 (EDT)
 
::::-- [[User:Hansm|Hansm]] 14:53, 14 July 2006 (EDT)
 +
 +
:::::"No strong leader" is a good rallying cry, but what you need to avoid anti-wiki behaviour is strong ''leadership''.  It has to come from somewhere.  Anyhow, somebody will generally rise to the occasion.  The important thing is that they understand what they are doing, hence my reliance on Meatball.
 +
 +
:::::As for the question of commercialism:  it really does seem to me that several paragraphs above you said that commercialism has nothing to do with the desire to fork, but that it was about a problem that you were having with Evan's management style.  I dunno, that's just what I read.
 +
 +
:::::Meanwhile I have to ask myself, and you, why does it matter if some company is paying for the servers right now?  I mean after all the content is still Free (libre), so it really doesn't matter.  If they mess up somehow we can just take our content and go elsewhere.  There's no reason to do so until they mess up though.  Sorry, but so far you just haven't convinced me. -- [[User:Mark|Mark]] 15:09, 14 July 2006 (EDT)

Revision as of 19:13, 14 July 2006

Contents

dict version

I'd like to provide a dict version of Wikitravel, but then I first need an SQL dump :) Guaka 14:29, 2 Aug 2004 (EDT)

I think that's a great idea. Georg Muntingh 16:38, 2 Aug 2004 (EDT)

too many to authors to fit in that block

I have idea that could simplify attribution authors by thirdparties (mirrors, printed versions, etc.).

We could include all contributors to the article in a footer, but hide them in normal page view using appropriate style.

Entity that re-use the article would have to disable this one particular style, so all authors show up.

It would look like:

<li id="f-credits">This page was last modified 18:09, 6 Feb 2005 by Wikitravel user Wojsyl. 
Based on work by Jan Słupski and Mark Jaroski, Wikitravel user(s) Dimitris, 
Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others<span id="f-authorshid"> (Alan, Miche, Wojtek, Adam)</span>.</li>

And style:

#f-authorshid { display: none; }

-- JanSlupski 10:14, 9 Feb 2005 (EST)

That's a real good idea. Frankly, if we can get the credits block to wrap properly, I'm happy to get rid of the "others" link altogether and just list all contributors. The main reason it's limited right now is that the GFDL only requires that 5 contributors be listed, and some Wikipedians thought there'd be too much credits content if we used > 5. This is kind of moot at this point, as Wikipedia doesn't use the credits block and I don't think the foundation has any plans to. --Evan 10:57, 9 Feb 2005 (EST)
...if we can get the credits block to wrap properly.... We can! ;) But indeed displaying all spammers that have contributed to Main Page could be too much... (ok, ok, I know spammers are mostly anonymous) -- JanSlupski 11:09, 9 Feb 2005 (EST)

Requirement to specifically credit Wikitravel

I think that it is more than fair that we should ask people who re-use articles to credit Wikitravel as well as the actual authors - after all it is usually Wikitravel that has at least facilitated the creation and improvement of the articles. At least then people have more of a clue of where the articles originated from. It needn't be a requirement, but certainly a strong preference. DanielC 19:38, 9 April 2005 (BST)

Wikitravel book

Swept in from the Wikitravel:Travellers' pub:

I made a PDF for all of Italy (I think). See more on my user page --elgaard 18:28, 15 Jul 2005 (EDT)

That's great! I think I'd like to put together some mechanisms for making print books using print-on-demand technologies so you could assemble a bunch of Wikitravel Web pages and then send them off to a service to be printed, bound, and shipped to you. --Evan 20:03, 15 Jul 2005 (EDT)
I posted som thoughts made while travelling on User:Elgaard/bookproject --Elgaard (cant find tilde on it keyboard)

Printable TravelGuides and Levels of Information in Contributions

Swept in from the Wikitravel:Travellers' pub:

On wikipedia there are now many readers on different topics. Would that be possible for wikitravel, too? I have in mind a complete pdf-guide for e.g. a country, a region, or also a big city (similar to traditional Lonely Planet guides, e.g.). For those to be compiled automatically, there should be different levels of information in the single contributions (e.g. if there would be a Travel Guide to London it should contain much more detailed info on London - possibly also from wikipedia itself - than in a guidebook on the UK). E.g. putting tags on different sections of articles on cities that would go into a (e.g.) Europe, Western Europe, France, Burgundy or City-Guide (e.g.). Did I make clear what I mean? E.g. in a Europe Guidebook you would probably only include like 5 pubs in Munich, but in a Guidebook on Bavaria, you would include 20. So it would be nice to be able to (internally) mark this on the respective Munich page, in order to be able to automatically create Travel Guides. Are there any plans regarding such issues.

I've been thinking about this too, and I think Wikitravel will need to adopt the Mediawiki Category system at some point to make this possible. Further discussion here please: [1] Jpatokal 09:35, 5 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Footer with attribution

Swept in from Talk:Main Page:

Where can I find out how to produce a list of contributors such as are presented in the footer of this page? Thanks! :)

I found that is an option in the DefaultSettings.php file. :)


printable version

Quoted from Practice: "The printable version of a guide is probably the easiest to convert, print, and redistribute." Am I completely blind? Is there actually a printable version link on Wikitravel? I have searched everywhere in the help file and can not find a thing about it, only a few users' comments about it. -- Brendio 18:47, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)

You're right; that was a feature in very old versions of Mediawiki. --Evan 18:50, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)
Also related to what I have seen talked about. Are there any tools to help with the printing out of Wikitravel guides (say to print a state, plus all the cities within that states) without having to manually click through each link? And does handing a printout of a Wikitravel page meet the licencing requirements. I take it that it does if the block at the bottom is there. Cheers, Brendio 18:58, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)

Hey cool. I wish I'd spotted this text...

back when the excuse for the data dumps was that it was something new. Note in the article history the date the text about data dumps was added here, and who added it. -- Mark 03:37, 8 June 2006 (EDT)

I'm not sure I get your point. Could you break this down, please? --Evan 08:50, 8 June 2006 (EDT)
You had said at one point that it was taking a while for IB to come to grips with data dumps because it was something new. But this page shows that it's been on the to-do list for quite some time, so they should have picked it up in their due-diligence. -- Mark 08:58, 8 June 2006 (EDT)
Oh. No, it just wasn't something that was on our radar at announcement time. It's been something that was requested from time to time on the site for quite a while, and it's been on my perpetual todo list for a while. --Evan 09:15, 8 June 2006 (EDT)

Keeping an up to date mirror

(Moved from User talk:Mark)

If I remember well, somewhere in the long discussion about database dumps you have told that you track wikitravel's recent changes in order to keep an always up to date mirror of wikitravel on your own server. Do you still do so? What do you mirror, only en: or also other language versions? Would you leave me a copy of your tracking script?

Something else: Simply to copy and paste parts of other by-sa licensed articles is actualy a license violation since you do not give proper attribution to the contributors of the copied article. You are some of those who want to bring ahead a clean way of copying. Do you already have some more detailed plans on how this might be realized technicaly?

-- Hansm 05:39, 9 July 2006 (EDT)

I don't have a script written right now to do it. I sort of lost interest after the XML dumps were announced. It shouldn't be too hard to do though, and I'm willing to help. I do have a copy of Wikitravel en: but it's several months old now.
Special:Export provides all of the attribution info you need to comply with the license, so it shouldn't be a problem. Really all you need to do is track recent changes through the rss or atom feed, grab the Special:Export of any page mentioned in the feed and pipe it into Special:Import on your mirror. Hopefully you'll do it in the other direction as well. -- Mark 08:10, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
Thanks, Mark. I already have requested for XML dumps of de:. Evan has explained me in a mail that "IB considers whether to make an XML feed available to you. This will typically involve deciding how much work you're asking for versus how much benefit it will be for Wikitravel." This sounds somewhat different from his anouncements on Wikitravel_talk:Internet_Brands#XML_versions_of_Wikitravel_content. Now, the availability of dumps seem to depend on the benefit for Wikitravel, which has to be decided by noone else than IB. If IB states that a project fork would not be a benefit, they maybe would deny my request for dumps. But there is not yet any decision made about it. However, this topic is still interesting enough.
Now about the technical aspects: OK, this way you always can keep the current version of each article up to date, but you may loss some of its history. Doing so, you cannot keep track of all contributors to that article. There may raise problems from that fact. Or did I oversee something? Is there a way to request the Mediawiki software for an XML-export of the last N revisions? This would be necessary if there had been more than one contribution to the article between your recent changes requests. --- How do you mean "the other direction as well"? -- Hansm 09:36, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
I don't understand why you have to wait for IB. Getting them to send you a full XML dump would only be a convienience (in addition to being a badly needed show of good faith). You can just do it yourself with a script like this one? (that's what I did):
 #!/bin/sh
 
 URL=http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Special:Export&action=submit&pages=
 
 for a in `cat ../wikitravel.pages.list `
 do
         curl "$URL$a" > $a.xml
         sleep 20
 done
Do look at the resulting files. They have all of the contributor information. I you want you can import them into your Mediawiki installation using Special:Import.
There is a bug preventing the export from fetching the full history for articles which are long and have been edited a lot. Aside from that this works fine. It took about three days to run over all of Wikitravel en:.
All this said, I don't really see the point of forking, rather I see the db dumps as being a sort of insurance policy. I want them solely to preserve the content of Wikitravel in case something goes wrong with the IB deal which causes them to pull down the site. Meanwhile the content is still Free content, in that it really is under the license it's under. -- Mark 10:59, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
Thanks again. In Wikitravel_talk:Internet_Brands#XML_versions_of_Wikitravel_content, Evan says: "There's a point between getting one or two articles from Special:Export and getting all 9000 (well, almost) en: guides ..." I understood him in the way that downloading full dumps via Special:Export would not be appreciated because this would require a lot of resources and bandwidth. But sure, if I'm forced to do so, I will.
If you want to know about my reasons for forking, see my contributions to Wikitravel_talk:Internet_Brands and my discussion with Evan, originally on his talk page, but later moved incidently onto an orphaned sub-page. You also can try to understand my statement in German on de:Benutzer:Hansm/Zur Kommerzialisierung von Wikitravel.
-- Hansm 11:34, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
I've read all of that several times over again, and I still just can't see how you've made the argument that forking now is worthwhile. Frankly I think maybe you're having a bit of an emotional reaction. The fact that a commercial organization now controls the servers and the trademark for the project have impacted your personal feeling of ownership over it. I've felt that way too.
Still, I think that forking is an awfully big undertaking, and remains completely unnecessary until IB were to do something dumb like sueing sombody using the content correctly under the licence, or of course if they were to shut the project down. It wouldn't be a complete waste of time to fork now, becuase you'll learn some important stuff about running a wiki but still it probably wouldn't be the best use of your time.
Would you contribute to a free software project which is hosted on SourceForge? If not then why not? That's a commercial enterprise.
All of this aside, I think it's very important that IB provide full dumps, as a demonstration that they understand the license. I've been quietly (and occasionally loudly) encouraging this.
As for there being something wrong with taking an entire dump of the site from Special:Export, well I don't feel too bad about it, and I don't think you should either. It's your right under the terms of the license. Now, if they decide to prevent you (or me) from doing so, then and only then would it be time to fork. -- Mark 12:05, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
It's some kind of funny that many here on en: try to reduce the arguments on the fact that IB has commercial interests. That's only one point. As I have stated somewhere in the discussions (maybe it was in the German one), my biggest concern is the loss of confindence in Evan (and Maj). Disgarding his own policies as he likes, his way of leading the wiki, claiming to make decissions in consesus, but basicaly deciding by his own. This are the points that have been putting me off even before they have sold wikitravel.org. -- Hansm 12:31, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
OK. I hadn't really gotten that before. This makes more sense to me than forking because of IB. I think my inability to read German is partly to blame for this mis-understanding.
Still, I think you are underestimating the amount of power you have to get Evan to do the right thing in most circumstances. I'm pretty sure that the recent spat over the TOC was a bit of a Zen Slap for him in regards to his tendency to plan and sometimes do things without involving Wikitravellers. I don't think he's completely learned his lesson but I think that he's really sincerely trying to do better.
I also think that you're underestimating how much work you are committing yourself to by undertaking a fork. I worry that without as many eyes on the project that you are more likely to have to resort to hard security measures (as opposed to relying on Soft Security). For instance will you be as stead-fast as Evan is in his commitment to avoiding user bans?
Evan has proven that he can listen. This is good. We also know that he can be kindof lazy, and a bit short-sited in the application of policies and guidelines to his own behaviour. Oh well. Who among us is perfect? In the long run do we care so much so long as we have a platform to acheive our shared goal? I certainly am not worried enough about those details to appoint myself the maintainer of a forked Wikitravel.
Of course I'll still help you with scripting if you need me to, but I'm still going to try to talk you out of it. The other thing I'm going to do is to ask you before you start to read every single word on MeatBall Wiki. -- Mark 12:49, 9 July 2006 (EDT)
Oh, I didn't expect that you do understand some German at all. If I were flowently enough, I had translated my German statements into English, but I often feel too clumsy to point out exactly what I mean in English.
I think there's a big difference between working on en: as native speaker at one hand and trying to take part on discussions and decissions (that all have come into effect on en:) as a de: contributor who's English is not that well, at the other hand. For you, it's rather easy to tolerate Evan's long winded way of discussing. I often have made the experience that I did try to discuss some very precise points, but Evan started to talk about everthing and nothing. Trying to come to consensus this way is pretty uneffective and enoying.
I do not plan to do the fork by my own. I'm not interested in becoming an Evan II. It's a group of important de: contributors and admins that work on founding a non-profit association according to german law. The new site should be run by this association, not by myself. This way, we can be quite sure that there will be enough eyes to watch the wiki and to intervent if vandalism occures. The new wiki's daily life wouldn't be too different from that de: used to be (its in a crisis now, guess why). The big goal would be independece from IB's interests and Evan's self-importance.
No doubt, there also is a price to pay. IB has money, we haven't. We hope on sponsores. If we shouldn't find enough, a hard discussion about advertising would come up, for sure. It's unpredictable how it would come out. But there is one thing to be sure: that's we, i.e. the association, who keep control over the server, not some company. And even organizing the foundation has turned out to be much harder than estimated before. All that legal and organisatorical stuff is enoying and many are put off from this matter. You do not tell me new things: Organizing a fork is much harder than simply starting a new language version of wikitrvel. So what. We will do so anyway. (Hopefuly.)
-- Hansm 15:02, 9 July 2006 (EDT)

Hi Hans, In my understanding sponsers and advertising would mean that your Wiki would be commercial too. Regardless of its articles of incorporation.

I also have to suspect that regardless of intentions the fork is likely to wind up more authoritarian, and less free than the original. I worry that unless the beaurocrats on the new site are totally versed in the Wiki Way that there will be a tendancy to clamp down on vandals, spammers, and eventually folks who don't agree with policy.

You've attacked Evan several times during this conversation. I don't however see the point of that. You are forgetting some of the cardinal rules of Wiki: Assume Good Faith and Forgive and Forget.

Forking over a personal differences with somebody you've never met, and for that matter somebody who's clearly been making an effort to work with you is even worse than forking because Wikitravel is running on commercial servers. It is clearly an emotional response, even if you can't bring yourself to admit it. I'd like you to please take the time now to seriously study up on Wikis, and to do some soul-searching. Perhaps an assignment is in order: Please translate this and its sub-pages into German. I have a number of allamanephone freinds who can help me check it for accuracy, so don't worry about that.

I just want to be certain that a Wikitravel fork will function as advertised. I also want to be sure that the reasons for your doing this are indeed genuine. -- Mark 04:22, 10 July 2006 (EDT)

Sorry to jump in on someone else's talk page, but many of the issues now being raised are relevant to the wider Wiki community - perhaps this conversation could be copied to Wikitravel talk:Internet Brands or some more appropriate location? In any case, I share some of Hans's concerns, especially after reading that XML dumps may only be provided "if there is benefit to Wikitravel". However, while I think that there may be cause to try to create a mirror of Wikitravel in order to make sure that a copy of the data is available elsewhere, I don't think there are yet any issues so serious as to merit dividing the Wikitravel community. I honestly believe that Even, Maj and IB understand that without contributors there is no Wikitravel, and that they are therefore willing to work to resolve any issues that people have. Yes, there have been times when the rule seems to be "consensus unless Evan wants to do something", but I think that's something that he is working on, and the rest of us are trying to develop policies to make it clearer what the expected behaviors here are. Anyhow, this is more than I wanted to write on Mark's talk page, but I think that we'd all be better off as one community, and that just about any issue can be resolved given some time. -- Ryan 04:53, 10 July 2006 (EDT)
@Mark: Whether you call the planed project commercial or not is a question of definition. German law provides a way to register associations as beeing a non-profit organisation. That means that the association is obliged to work on aims for public benefit defined in their statutes and must not make profit. It is allowed to work commercialy as long as all earnings are used for the association's beneficial aims. That's how the Wikimedia Foundation Deutschland works and that's also what we want. There is a big difference to IB, which works for maximum profit and never would get such a non-profit registration.
I don't see the point at all why you believe that we would have to be more authoritarian than wikitravel is. Did you forget that we have coordinated de: for more than one year and a half? Have you seen any incidence or discussion on de: that let you think we tend to be authoritarian? I wouldn't know which it could have been. IMHO, claiming consensus but in fact doing one's own things is a kind of less obvious authoritarism and I'm sure that in this point we would be even less authoritarian than the wikitravel leadership. So, I realy don't see no need to translate some meatball articles. For the moment, there are much more important things to do.
It's true, I have attaced Evan's way of discussing, the way he ignores majorities and the way he uses his privileges on the server. But I didn't attac him as a person and I never would do so since I never have met him personaly and do not know much more about him than that I have seen on wikitravel. I never have accused him not to have good faith. There are only different ideas about whether something is good or not. I find it is some kind of unfair when you tell me I had forgotten those basic pricipals of wiki communities as cited above. I am a wikitraveller for almost 3 years, and Evan for sure has given me enough occasions to forgive him. And I did. I hoped to make clear what my reasons for forking are and I'm pretty astonished to read in your last posting that it would be simply for personal differences or emational issues. Maybe it's my clumsyness when writing in English that let you missunderstand my points, but be sure, it's not because I wouldn't appreciate Evan as a person. Besides those points I have critisized, Evan has done huge personal efforts and benfits to Wikitravel. I never have said that everything Evan has done were bad.
@Ryan: Everybody who's interested in the organisation and hierarchical structures of wikitravel is welcome to drop into this discussion. No reason to be sorry about that.
@both: Don't forget that some wikitravellers have left wikitravel after 20th April. Some have loudly anounced it, others simply have disappeared. What we want to do is giving them an alternative for working on the same goal, but under different circumstances. Why should that be bad? I already have told Evan that we would like to cooperate with wikitravel.
-- Hansm 15:18, 10 July 2006 (EDT)


Hi Hans, First I'd like to say that my goal is to help you understand what you are getting into, and to try to bring up some of the questions that you are going to face with your fork, should you go ahead. I do this to satisfy the superior goal of serving Wikitravellers by continuing to build a complete Free world travel guide. I hope you take what I write in the spirit of open collaboration.
I'm not sure that the exact legal terms under which a non-profit is organized really prevents it from being commercial. Personally I think that if you have sponsors and you acknowledge that they are sponsors then it's pretty much a commercial undertaking becuase that's essentially a form of advertising. The function is the same: money comes in, staff gets paid.
The organization I work for is very careful to avoid naming donors for exactly that reason. I don't think it matters what the legal terms are under which the organization is organized. It matters what the organization does. Compare WHO, UNICEF, and FIFA. All three are organized officially as non-profit organizations, but one of them looks pretty commercial when you come right down to it. The one in the middle has a big press release section called "corporate sponsorship", but is it commercial? So you see, this comes down to something other than the way you're organized.
Anyhow, you've said that commercialism and IB is not why you are considering a fork, so I guess that's all a bit of a red herring (besides the point, off-topic).
On the question of the possibility that a new Travel Wiki could wind up being more authoritarian than the existing Wikitravel, I'm just trying to point out that it's something that you Hans, and your collaborators have to take very seriously. The possibility exists that a community will go that way, and the only way that it can be prevented is if a very cool, collected, but strong voice consistently reminds users and especially admins about how Wiki works. I've found Meatball to be an invaluable source for thinking about, and making workable arguments about how Wiki works. I think it's a mandatory read for somebody who's thinking about setting up a Wiki. That's why I wanted the translation, so that I know you've read it.
Do you really have to satisfy me on these questions? No, not really. Only if you want my help. There may (or may not) be others who feel as I do. So far you seem to value my input enough to have continued this conversation. I'm honored, and hope to continue to provide insight where I can into this very difficult question. -- Mark 09:02, 11 July 2006 (EDT)
Sorry Mark, I'm pretty busy at the moment. I'll anwer you in the next days. -- Hansm 12:47, 12 July 2006 (EDT)
Mark, be sure there have been and will be a steady discussion about the pros and cons of sponsorship and advertising among those intending to fork, not only on the wiki but even via mail. We know the problems you have lined out above. If the member contributions to the association or private donations will be high enough, there won't be no need for any kind of advertising at all. At the other hand, a project can only work enduringly if the financial budget is reliable, so all alternatives have to be at least discussed. I feel, idealistic ideas are fine as long as they can be payed. But wait how advertising will develop here on Wikitravel.
Where did you read that commercialism and IB is not why I am considering a fork? That's wrong. But maybe you want to read my Commercialisation FAQ for a better understanding of my objections.
If I understand you well, you are still asking for the strong leader in order to guarantee a soft security as on Wikitravel. Let me tell you that I really appreciate Wikitravel's soft way of dealing with vandalism and other security issues, but I definitly don't want such a strong leader as Evan is on Wikitravel. Yes, you're right, there will be the risk that a wiki community comes to a point where it requires a harder security policy. And you're also right that we will provide enough democracy that those ideas might come into effect. I would not like that, but in fact, it would be possible. But if the price to prevent that would be the strong voice, my preference is clear: No strong leader.
-- Hansm 14:53, 14 July 2006 (EDT)
"No strong leader" is a good rallying cry, but what you need to avoid anti-wiki behaviour is strong leadership. It has to come from somewhere. Anyhow, somebody will generally rise to the occasion. The important thing is that they understand what they are doing, hence my reliance on Meatball.
As for the question of commercialism: it really does seem to me that several paragraphs above you said that commercialism has nothing to do with the desire to fork, but that it was about a problem that you were having with Evan's management style. I dunno, that's just what I read.
Meanwhile I have to ask myself, and you, why does it matter if some company is paying for the servers right now? I mean after all the content is still Free (libre), so it really doesn't matter. If they mess up somehow we can just take our content and go elsewhere. There's no reason to do so until they mess up though. Sorry, but so far you just haven't convinced me. -- Mark 15:09, 14 July 2006 (EDT)

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