Request for permissions page

In light of the Akifumii/Xermano issue, I have gone ahead and created a Requests for permissions page so that we can centralize any requests for anyone who wants to get rights on this site. Part of this is because as Xeno hinted at on the Meta page when I asked for the global rename request, our lack of any standards will make it harder for us to request rights, and also vet persons who aren't really familiar with the site and want rights. The overall goal is still to make it easier than other Wikimedia sites, but I think it would be a good idea to have a centralized page so that we can start directing people there and increasing our standards at a time when we are starting to reactivate the activity on this site. I am open to discussion on this, but I just figured I'd create the page so that we could have something to work off of in the discussion process. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 02:49, 6 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I support this Kevin. Thank you for creating this page. FuzzyDice (talk) 05:33, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Looks OK to me. --Steinsplitter (talk) 12:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Hm, 3 days might be too much for e.g. TA where you just need to make sure that a nominee-guy knows what the flag is for at all and have read 2 pages of the documentation (e.g. by showing diff with tagging done). But it's OK for sysop and 'crat flags for me. --Base ([[User talk:Base|talk]) 19:10, 10 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
It might be, but I am also writing that as a rule that can be broken if need be. If anything, I am more concerned that we would have someone show up and break whole translation pages or completely falsify their credentials, per the above. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 01:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
@Ktr101: WMF staff should be excepted imho. --Steinsplitter (talk) 06:35, 12 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
This is imho too bureaucratic for a small wiki like this. --Steinsplitter (talk) 06:39, 11 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
See the discussion below, but I added it so that we can have some sort of consistent criteria for granting users rights. Otherwise, it could be open to abuse if people start righting their friends and start denying others. There is nothing wrong with having general guidelines, as calling that too bureaucratic might as well apply to the entire page while we're at it. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 00:17, 13 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Inactivity policy

I created Wikimedia:Inactivity policy (be bold) because not a lot of inactive users has requested his rights back afters Kevin Rutherford's mass desysop (see VP archive). Comments and improvements welcome. --Steinsplitter (talk) 12:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I think some trial terms should be defined when deflagged-to-be admins or 'crats will have to do some considerable number of useful actions/edits to hold their rights. Just saying "I still need the flag" shouldn't be the way to keep the flags. --Base (talk) 17:24, 10 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
It is based at Ktr's last deflagging (status quo?). If someone like to add Bases suggestion feel free. --Steinsplitter (talk) 17:35, 10 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I have completely reworded the page so that it makes a bit more sense and mirrors English Wikipedia's policies. Those can be changed of course, as my main issue was with the fact that we never defined who exempted staff were, and made everyone reapply, which seems a bit ludicrous in my opinion. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 01:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Imho this is too bureaucratic for a small wiki like this... Copying policy from enwiki is suboptimal, you should at least import them from other small wikis. --Steinsplitter (talk) 06:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
It may be, but I am not a supporter of making everyone have to reapply if they haven't been here awhile. Also, I don't see a reason that we shouldn't notify users in two ways, just in case they aren't able to see their talk page message. I have no problem with fixing what is there as that is a starter, but it's not a bad idea to model what we do here after the bigger sites as an idea. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 16:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Perhaps another possibility would be allowing for the global inactivity policy to be used here. --Rschen7754 03:30, 16 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
That works for me, or at least have an adaptation of it here. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 22:13, 16 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]

VisualEditor available on Internet Explorer 11


VisualEditor will become available to users of Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 during today's regular software update. Support for some earlier versions of Internet Explorer is being worked on. If you encounter problems with VisualEditor on Internet Explorer, please contact the Editing team by leaving a message at VisualEditor/Feedback on Happy editing, Elitre (WMF) 07:29, 11 September 2014 (UTC).[reply]

PS. Please subscribe to the global monthly newsletter to receive further news about VisualEditor.


I've just removed my bureaucrat rights on this project. Unfortunately, my availability has decreased during the last few months, and I doubt that it will be improving anytime soon; I'm struggling to maintain activity in my other Wikimedia roles. My primary task as a bureaucrat was granting rights to people on request, but since we have moved to a rights request page, my usefulness in that area is decreased. I will still drop by occasionally, and will remain as an admin for cleanup and countervandalism purposes. --Rschen7754 02:53, 7 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Dear RS, We appreciate very much all you've done here and hope to see you around. All the best, Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 15:18, 7 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for your help, as you have been quite an asset on this project. I hope to see you around in the future, as you will be missed! Kevin Rutherford (talk) 19:24, 8 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Request for Permissions voting length and percentage to pass

The other day, I realized that I have yet to define a voting length and a percentage to pass on that page, since it would help give us a definition of the support level for giving people a right. Would people object to having the process run at least three days and have at least 70% of users supporting the right requestee? Kevin Rutherford (talk) 00:04, 13 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

@Ktr101: I don't mind but this is such a small wiki with so little activity that it would be easy for there to be no votes in three days or just one person who would functionally have a monopoly on the process. Honestly, just having users message bureaucrats directly or post to the Pump here would probably do. I understand the point of processes and institutions but they also seem needless in situations like this. Koavf (talk) 03:00, 13 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I mainly added it because I know that legitimizing the process so that it looks less of a cabal where we admin people we know. Of course, this is more transparent, so that is the plus of having it. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 22:28, 17 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Reaching out to other online communities

Best practices and precedent I'm surprised that Outreach and Meta don't seem to have any guidelines on working with other online communities. The best I see is m:OpenStreetMap but that's a little moribund and it seems like there isn't much precedent in connecting with other online communities. Am I missing something? Koavf (talk) 05:56, 13 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I haven't seen anything on this site that would indicate that we have worked with online communities in the past, although that is something that should be looked into now that the project is "restarting" in that sense. What groups would you be looking into, as I would be happy to draft up a page that would encompass doing that sort of thing. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 22:28, 17 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Online communities I cross-posted this to Meta and got some leads there but nothing that is structured or which has data, best practices, etc. I'm specifically thinking of DMOZ, OpenStreetMap, and Distributed Proofreaders/Project Gutenberg as they are all large open-content projects. Other natural fits are free software communities (BSD, Linux, and ReactOS; the EFF and FSF), other wikis (specifically those using MediaWiki), and ones with overlapping missions to ours (other quote repositories with Wikiquote, other free media listings with Commons). Does any of that make sense? Koavf (talk) 05:08, 18 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]


I was recently looking for page information on an Outreach wiki page where I am used to seeing it on other projects: on a view history page right above the diff links.

I asked about this on the engineering mailing list and was told that is magic is made by a sysop or admin editing or customizing MediaWiki:Histlegend.

Yes, I know that action=info is already in our toolbox (in the sidebar, above languages as 'Page information'). But if I've missed it, it's possible that other people have missed it, too.

I'd like to add the MediaWiki:Histlegend links that are common on some of the larger wikis, but not present by default on others. I propose editing MediaWiki:Histlegend. Would anybody object to that?

Specifically, I would submit an edit request here and suggest this bit of code crafted by my colleague User:Whatamidoing (WMF):

Diff selection: Mark the radio boxes of the revisions to compare and hit enter or the button at the bottom.
Legend: (cur) = difference with latest revision, (prev) = difference with preceding revision, m = minor edit.
· Page views · Number of watchers · Revision history search · Edits by user

It seems harmless enough to me. Hope it does to you, too. Thanks for your consideration. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 22:31, 13 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Done. :) Quiddity (talk) 22:52, 13 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Wow, Quiddity, thanks! :) Our little wiki's growing up. I'm so proud. :) Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 23:18, 13 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
The link on "Edits by user" ignores server=outreachwiki and defaults to enwiki so the user has to manually change the Database field. I have contacted one of the tool authors at w:User talk:Σ#usersearch server parameter. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:01, 14 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Uh oh. That's not good. Thanks for catching that, PrimeHunter, and thanks for reaching out about this on our behalf. That was thoughtful of you and I appreciate it. Please keep us posted. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 03:55, 14 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for finding this and adding to it, as I really enjoy how these pages are under the most obscure and creative of names on the software. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 22:28, 17 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
In case you don't know, adding ?uselang=qqx or &uselang=qqx (if there already is a ?) to the url will give you names of used MediaWiki namespace messages. For example, displays "(histlegend)" near the top. That means MediaWiki:histlegend is used there. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:56, 19 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Global AbuseFilter


AbuseFilter is a MediaWiki extension used to detect likely abusive behavior patterns, like pattern vandalism and spam. In 2013, Global AbuseFilters were enabled on a limited set of wikis including Meta-Wiki,, Wikispecies and (in early 2014) all the "small wikis". Recently, global abuse filters were enabled on "medium sized wikis" as well. These filters are currently managed by stewards on Meta-Wiki and have shown to be very effective in preventing mass spam attacks across Wikimedia projects. However, there is currently no policy on how the global AbuseFilters will be managed although there are proposals. There is an ongoing request for comment on policy governing the use of the global AbuseFilters. In the meantime, specific wikis can opt out of using the global AbuseFilter. These wikis can simply add a request to this list on Meta-Wiki. More details can be found on this page at Meta-Wiki. If you have any questions, feel free to ask on m:Talk:Global AbuseFilter.


PiRSquared17, Glaisher

— 17:34, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Blocking of users

Barring rampant abuse of the site by an IP or a user, does anyone else see the need to block drive-by vandalism by users where their only edit is a page creation? I have been leery of blocking these users before because very rarely do they come back to edit again, to the point where I don't see a benefit in blocking them since we have so little vandalism that it can easily be caught. Thoughts? Kevin Rutherford (talk) 00:54, 17 November 2014 (UTC)[reply]

@Ktr101: In my experience, you are correct. The exception would be range-blockinging IPs for spambots but I think WMF wikis generally have good protection against that anyway. Koavf (talk) 04:16, 17 November 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia Regional Ambassadors

Where is the most updated list of Wikipedia Regional Ambassadors for the WikiEd Foundation? OR drohowa (talk) 19:00, 15 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I think it's been quite some time since we've had an accurate list on this site, but Jami (Wiki Ed) might be able to help you with that question. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 19:37, 15 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Will it work in Outreach Wiki, if I write Dosiero (File in eo) or Файл (File in ru) instead of [[File:....]]? It will make my translations much more easy. --Ochilov (talk) 16:24, 19 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

No idea, but you could always try to see what happens in the text. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 02:10, 21 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

GLAM-WIKI 2015 conference, April 9-12 2015, The Netherlands

Wikimedia Nederland welcomes interested Wikimedians and GLAM enthusiasts to join us at the GLAM-WIKI 2015 conference, from 9 - 12 April 2015 in The Hague, The Netherlands. The call for proposals and application for scholarships are now open!
Ter-burg (talk) 15:00, 30 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal: merge the Outreach wiki into the Meta wiki

I believe that the intent of the Outreach wiki, when it was started, was for this wiki to be easier to navigate than Meta for potential outreach contacts like libraries and universities. I think the time is now ripe for us to consider moving the content of this wiki over to Meta. We could create an "Outreach:" namespace on Meta that is similar to the "Grants:" namespace. Additionally, we could copy some content from Outreach into the recently upgraded Learning Patterns Library (which was the focus of my work as a WMF intern). I believe that this would make the good content that is presently on Outreach be easier to find for Wikimedians who do not know about the Outreach wiki but are active on Meta, and provide better integration with the content in the "Grants:" namespace.

I propose that the rights-holders on this wiki such as admins, like myself, *not* automatically get the same rights on Meta but instead go through Meta's requests for permissions process if they wish to have similar roles on Meta after the merge.

The actual merging of the contents from the Outreach wiki into "Outreach:" namespace on Meta could be done by WMF. Much of the Grants namespace is created and maintained by WMF, and it makes sense to me that WMF staff could similarly be responsible for moving over the content of the Outreach wiki into Outreach namespace on Meta.

I would leave the domain online, and ask WMF to set up appropriate redirects to the new locations on Meta.

Pinging Anna (WMF), Jami (Wiki Ed) and Kevin Rutherford for comment. --Pine 23:09, 5 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]

  • Comment I note the concerns of those below who feel that an eventual merger would be ok but a gradual approach would be best, particularly given some concerns being expressed about civility on Meta. I have only occasionally encountered civility problems on Meta, and the level of concern being expressed in this discussion surprises me. However, I am happy to work with others about developing a gradual plan that would look at milestones months or years into the future and/or is conditioned on certain measurable changes on Meta that would make it a more welcoming environment for outreach activity. --Pine 08:08, 7 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Agreeing that Outreach rights shouldn't transfer to Meta without reapproval/re-election. STRONGLY agree that Outreach should merge with Meta. A wiki without a community is lifeless and Outreach--sadly--has no community. Ocaasi (talk) 23:54, 5 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
This wiki has a lot of live and a active community... --Steinsplitter (talk) 21:16, 7 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Disagree The lack of a community as such is actually a boon for this project. Things happen here but they generally aren't a magnet for spam or off-topic rants or what-have-you. Generally, what happens on this wiki is on-topic and clean and useful. Directing outsiders to Meta might lead them to finding discussion about the Klingon Wikipedia from 2003 or user essays about April Fool's jokes, etc. On Outreach, the discussion is generally on-topic and straight-forward. Koavf (talk) 01:31, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Disagree I agree with Koavf, and would add that the lack of a civility policy on Meta seems to me in itself a good enough reason to avoid merging Outreach back onto it. The fact we cannot guarantee our partners (and prospective partners) a reasonably civil environment in which to hold discussions, and cannot guarantee enforcement or protection even in egregious cases of bad conduct, is sufficient to prefer the (admittedly very artificial and low-signal (but even lower noise)) wiki environment here. Ijon (talk) 03:00, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Noting for the record that only Education Program people were pinged in this proposal. There are two other vital movement groups -- GLAM and Libraries -- that coordinate their work here on Outreach wiki. Active contributors from those groups should be invited to share their thoughts on this matter too. The same holds true for infrequent but occasional contributors from all 3 of the Outreach programs. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 15:07, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Dear Pine, it is troubling to me that someone who is not an active contributor to this project is proposing to close it.
Dear Ocaasi, it makes me sad that you think that there is no community here on Outreach wiki.
Outreach wiki had almost exactly the same number of edits (~50) and more than twice the number of editors (18:8) as Wikimania wiki did in the past 1 day, as of this posting.
Outreach wiki, on any given week, has exponentially more activity than many of our smaller Wikipedias.
And I'm not even sure that Outreach wiki meets the criteria of the global closing projects policy, as it is not insignificant, lacking content, controversial, questionable, "or in another way uncommon". It is, as Koavf said, focused, friendly, and useful.
Outreach wiki serves an important role. It is the repository of training and learning materials which pertain to all of the projects -- Bookshelf and Education/Brochures. It is the publishing house of two newsletters -- the GLAM newsletter and the Education newsletter. It is the gateway through which many new people come to our movement.
It is my understanding that the primary reason why Outreach wiki was started was because it could be assured to be a civil and decent place. I have observed Meta to be a hostile and stressful space. We have seen, very recently even, that trying to enforce civility on Meta is difficult. Unlike on English Wikipedia other Wikimedia projects, there is no civility policy on Meta, as Ijon noted, and generally Meta admins do not seem to enforce civility. That worries me gravely. Civility really matters in our work with educators and others unaccustomed to some of our (high-conflict) wiki ways. As a teacher, I would never subject my students to such conditions. As a person, I would never permit my family to live in such an environment.
I have serious reservations about merging Outreach with Meta. As I said on the mailing list, I think that functionary status would have to be transferrable if such a move were to occur. And numerous redirects would need to be maintained, since printed documents refer to specific pages within Outreach -- and we would have to make sure to maintain those redirects if pages on Meta were moved.
Moving anything anywhere is a lot of extra work, and it can be messy. Things break. Things are lost. I would not look forward to that process, I have to tell you.
That said, I am, first and foremost, here to help the education community. Many education program volunteers use Meta to apply for grants and write reports. I can see why they might find it cumbersome to have 'one more wiki' to work on. I can understand why some may wish to move to Meta. I'm not saying I would agree with that, but I would understand.
I love Outreach wiki. I am proud of Outreach wiki. It is my home wiki. And I will continue to work hard to help it thrive.
Therefore, I respectfully disagree. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 15:07, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  •  Y Support proposal as written - as one of the founders of the "GLAM" side of this wiki, and as a Bureaucrat here (because of that fact). I began working on this wiki in my role as a Wikimedia Foundation "fellow" back in 2011. Myself, and some others, built the GLAM project pages as part of that project. It was a requirement of my contract with the WMF that I work primarily on the Outreach wiki and not on Meta - where I had wanted the home of the cross-wiki GLAM documentation to live. This was partly because of the 'civility' issues of Meta (see Ijon and AKoval's points, above) and also because at the time the "bookshelf" project was underway at the WMF. This is the only reason the GLAM section is on this wiki, and not on Meta from the beginning. However, then as now, I have always found it irritating how we often prefer to "start a new wiki" for documenting/managing our movement rather than to keep things together. Other than "avoiding the community on Meta" I never believed there was a good enough reason to start this as a separate wiki. Having this wiki separate also means we need to maintain/duplicate many things unnecessarily - templates for example. The primary arguments against merging based on the effort involved in doing it but I would argue that this is an "inertia" argument, not a argument against the proposal per-se. With regards to the point raised above about this proposal not meeting the criteria listed in the "closing projects policy", I believe that policy is only referring to "public facing" wikis (wikipedia, wikiquote...) and not "organisational" wikis (like this one, "strategy wiki" etc.).
As a tangential point, I would like to see the WMF build privacy features on a per-namespace basis for MediaWiki, which would mean that the proliferation of different "official" wiki instances could be merged while still retaining the necessary levels of privacy. Look how many "foundation" and "committee" wikis exist - only because they contain content that different people should have the right to access/see. With per-namespace privacy features they could [nearly] all be merged! See: m:Wikimedia coordination and other projects. (This feature would also greatly increase the interest of third-party organisations like governments and business in using MediaWiki for their own operations - thereby growing the developer pool). Wittylama (talk) 17:26, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support merge of Outreach Wiki into Meta-Wiki. I am indifferent about the outreach name space and some of the other details of the proposal, but I've never thought the Outreach Wiki is necessary; no reason its content and purpose cannot be part of Meta-Wiki. -Another Believer (talk) 17:43, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  •  Y Support to merge pages to Meta. Regarding rights I have no real opinion, either way are fine by me. Ainali (talk) 18:59, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  •  Y Support for same reasons explained by others previously here.--Kippelboy (talk) 20:38, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  •  N Strong oppose / disagree Useful wiki. A lot of users has spend a lot of time to build this wiki. --Steinsplitter (talk) 19:48, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Disagree. I don't think now is a good time to merge this wiki. I would like to see it done eventually (because mergism often helps small things to grow), but currently meta itself is a bit of a mess, both technically and socially, and I wouldn't want to see the good-but-quiet work that is ongoing here, be negatively affected by a merge. I'd prefer to spend some months (6-12) improving meta, and making it more navigable and welcoming, before re-investigating this possibility. HTH. Quiddity (talk) 21:05, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • +1 @Quiddity:'s position: I have never really used Meta in the ~7 years that I have been active, but every time I touch it, it seems to bite back, for instance. I would hate to see a bunch of relative newcomers to our community, get lost or bitten in the backchannels, especially if Quiddity's and others temperature of meta is correct. However, at the same time, I have not found Outreach to be useful, in the sense of getting curators of our communities knowledge to actively curate and maintain it (for instance, the GLAM and Library materials have been in serious decline for a few years, and are better served in other spaces, like the individual Wikipedias (where most everyone is going to find information anyway, because of Google), for the reason @Wittylama: mentions). BUT those advantages of merging for curation, DO NOT, outweigh the need for us to carefully invite new community members through spaces that are inviting, and ready to handle them. For now, Outreach is good for that, in the ways @AKoval (WMF):: but Outreach is not a good enough longterm solution it tends to marginalize the outreach efforts from the larger community functions, just like how the Wikimania wikis marginalize a lot of knowledge that could be retained more centrally. Sadads (talk) 00:46, 10 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Note I don't see anything at m:Proposals for closing projects. Is this only being discussed here? Koavf (talk) 21:35, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Disagree. I appreciate the discussion so far, especially thankful to Anna for giving some good context and linking important documentation. Since a merger would be quite disruptive to my day-to-day work (as most of my wiki work takes place here, and resources I reference each day live here), I disagree with the proposal so far. I also appreciate Quiddity's comment and framing, since I'm not opposed to exploring this possibility in a gradual way, weighing appropriate considerations, and thinking through what actual workload that would come out of such a move (not just redirects and other fixes, but establishing a productive and friendly space on a larger wiki). Happy to hear more considerations from the community here. TFlanagan-WMF (talk) 23:51, 6 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Djembayz: I support maintaining a professional tone. I prefer to avoid encouraging a Citizendium-like split between selected people and the masses, because it is part of Wikipedia philosophy that we all work together and experience the culture clash, conflicts, and tension which comes from increasing diversity. I do outreach in the field and I have to engage the challenging communities on Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and elsewhere, and I would rather have resources here tested in real life applications instead of being a part of an isolated walled garden just for limited theoretical use. The intent of Wikimedia projects is to be a community meeting ground and not a privileged hidden place only for certain people, and outreach wiki is hidden in that way. If a professional hidden place is desired only for a certain audience, then perhaps that could be maintained outside of Wikimedia projects. For as long as outreach is a Wikimedia project, it is confusing to watch it and send people here, and even if they come here it is a little fake and forced as compared to an experience on meta would be. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:16, 18 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Just noting here that I have responded to some of the concerns here in a new paragraph below my original comment. I wasn't sure if it would be best to put a new comment here or keep my thoughts all in one place, and I opted for the latter. --Pine 08:11, 7 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  •  Y Support We are talking about making GLAM, Education and Libraries as a sub-entity in meta. I dont see how that substantially changes the character and organization of them. I dont think anyone supporting this measure is stating that a professional tone is not needed, but it does seem to me that having outreach isolates these communities outside of the general Foundation wiki. So much so that GLAM and Ed have alternate urls to make it easier to get to them. I find the meta/outreach split confusing.Thelmadatter (talk) 00:43, 8 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  •  N Oppose I totally respect this conversation and happy that it takes place, but I think first, this will be unnecessary work and no one will be happy to see many volunteers/staff wasting time in a non-productive work at the same time I share Tighe and Anna's concerns about links of everyday work that will be broken and moving mistakes that would result.
I agree with Ocaasi that this wiki does not have a large online community, but this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a community. The Outreach community, as it is clear from the name ‘outreach’ is mostly offline, in universities, libraries, etc. I would appreciate seeing more efforts to bring those volunteers leading offline work to join the online community but if they don’t, that doesn’t necessarily mean closing this wiki.
I may not totally agree with Thelmadatter that merging it to meta will bring more attention to Glam and Education projects. On the contrary, some people would think that it is a strategy taken because Outreach activity is no more importantl!! Nobody could predict how exactly people would interpret it, but I think it wouldn’t be in favor of these projects. On the other hand, I don’t think lacking activity on a wiki would be an appropriate reason for closing or merging it. e.g. I don’t think there is much activity on wikimania2008 website or wikimania websites in general but no one has called for closing or merging them. They work properly for their purpose every year then turn into an archive wiki/reference. -- Sesame (talk to me) 01:54, 8 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment - to me it does not really matter what the location is of the pages on Outreachwiki, however it will mean that there will be less space available for direct links to Outreach pages, which are currently in the Sidebar. Thinking about the navigational structure is essential.
    Second: the materials on Outreachwiki are linked from various places. The newsletters This Month in GLAM and Education newsletter have thousands of links to the various pages from many places. Also the documentation and other resources should remain reachable without broken links. If such can't be arranged, moving the pages from this wiki to Meta should not be done. It is for all activities on this wiki essential to avoid link rot. Romaine (talk) 18:20, 8 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Dear Djembayz, if I understand your question correctly, the reason for the need of a separate wiki that maintains a professional tone with academic institutions is because academics are accustomed to more formal means of communication. Universities and educational NGOs, for example, typically maintain websites, not wikis. And Outreach wiki was intended primarily for such groups as an audience. In that way, Outreach wiki seems very similar in purpose to Foundation wiki. It is the way we communicate our work to the wider, non-wiki world.
Interestingly, data from webstatscollector (available at wmflabs) shows that Outreach wiki has a much more active community than Foundation wiki does.
Outreach wiki has on average:
-- 3 times the number of namespace edits,
-- 4 times the number of active editors,
-- 5 times the number of accounts created, and
-- +1000% more pages created.
Additionally, there is another aspect of community that cannot be underscored enough. And that is the community of readers!
--For the past 1 year, Outreach wiki has averaged around 8,000 daily pageviews. (webstatscollector)
--For the past 6 months, Outreach wiki has averaged around 10,000 daily pageviews. (webstatscollector)
If we were to direct those readers to Meta wiki, many would undoubtedly become lost in the weeds. That is a risk we cannot afford to take. We have a responsibility to protect new people and to gently ease them into our (often wild) wiki world. After all, one does not learn to swim in the ocean, but rather develops skill and confidence in a pond or a pool first. :)
I'm still not convinced that the reasons proposed to merge Outreach with Meta outweigh the concerns against doing so. That said, like Tighe, I am open to exploring this possibility, but only in a gradual way and at some later date. Our team simply does not have capacity to begin to plan for such a move at this time. And there is absolutely no urgency that I can see to suggest that we should do so now. It would be a regrettable distraction from and interruption to our day-to-day support of programs and people.
In conclusion, I just want to say that I'm grateful to everyone here for your thoughtful and kindly-worded contributions to this conversation. I know how busy you all are, tirelessly contributing to our movement day in and day out. It means a lot that you took the time to talk about this together. Thank you, Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 18:45, 8 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I think I need to unwrap my pretty brief and strongly worded comment. Here are several points I want to emphasize about why I propose the merge to meta.
  • First off, I appreciate the work of the people who have built, written, developed, and curated Outreach over the years. I do not want to 'close' anything: I want the useful content on Outreach to be discovered and improved. I think the best place that will happen in the medium and long term is on Meta.
  • Community is about scale, density, proximity and interconnection. I should not have said Outreach is 'lifeless' or 'has no community' because that inevitably insults the incredibly dedicated folks who keep it going. What I meant to say is that Outreach does not have a critical mass of contributors, regular influx of helpful eyeballs, ability to be easily located by other meta/wiki pedians, strong ties to the other wikis, high visibility among superusers, or a focus of attention from many people who do a lot of the Outreach in our movement.
  • Meta is increasingly where WMF-supported programs live (Individual Grants, Project and Event Grants, Travel and Participation grants, Annual Plan Grants, Learning Patterns, Program Evaluation, IdeaLab). It is increasingly where our active folks who focus on working across wikis and doing 'real-life' outreach find their hub.
  • I used to fear or dismiss Meta as a place where rogue admins harassed the few folks who wandered by. That was about 2 years ago, and since I actually dove in to working on Meta, I have seen it improve or contradict my fears greatly. Meta doesn't have a civility policy--but English Wikipedia does. A policy is just words but words and are only as meaningful as the community that enforces them. Meta is consistently getting better at this, and as more engaged and thoughtful people join its ranks it will continue to do so.
  • Outreach seems to be targeted most as a 'safe-space', a 'reading room', a 'welcome portal' for folks outside our movement to not get bitten as newcomers. I understand the concern and care for these folks, but if they are primarily just consuming content and not contributing to it, I don't think it matters what the url is as long as they can easily find it. What matters to me is the influx of already active outreachers from other wikis finding and working on this content.
  • I do a lot of outreach. I have been in this community for many years. I barely ever come to Outreach wiki because it has little to no integration with the projects where I live and do my work. I'm on my home wiki and meta daily. I don't think I'm alone in that. For the few people who consider Outreach their home wiki, again, I don't want to CLOSE it, I want to OPEN its contents to more of our active participants.
  • The !vote to merge to meta is only a first step. It's a vision. It does not solve the messy technical problems of who does it, how, and when. I don't think this task would fall to any one person and it would require careful planning and collaboration. There could (and would still have to be) an Outreach portal on meta, but GLAM and Education could have their own namespaces. That's pretty cool to me and would still impart a healthy lineage between the content and contributors from Outreach to meta.
  • While I think Outreach admins should be reviewed/renewed on Meta, I think they should be given the benefit-of-the-doubt and grandfathered in unless there are clear behavioral problems. Being an admin on Meta is more complicated and powerful, so I think a little bit of review is appropriate. That might sounds like a raw deal to the Outreach core editors; I think strategically it is still best for the content hosted on this wiki.
I hope this clarifies a bit of my thinking. Again, the folks who work on Outreach rock. What a waste to me if your work isn't more recognized, integrated, even more improved, constantly updated, widely used and discovered--not only by the external audience but by the people from our community who a lot of outreach. Cheers, Jake Ocaasi (talk) 12:11, 10 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I could not agree with Jake more. I have nothing against Outreach, but I think it would benefit the Wikimedia movement at large if Meta and Outreach were combined. -Another Believer (talk) 17:57, 11 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  •  N Oppose After weighing both sides, I really don't see the benefits of merging this. Yes, Outreach is a small Wiki, but as Anna, Tighe, and others wrote above, merging this wiki with Meta would not only massively disrupt materials that are specifically designed to use Outreach. Outreach is a niche project, and I think we can all agree with that, but closing it would mean directing people towards Meta, which would mean much of what was done here would be lost in the greater picture of what Meta does. This would also mean that we would be merging two different cultures together and would probably spend years reconciling the different projects' belief systems in order to find unity. I respect the idea, but at this point, I think the project is too active and big to adequarely merge into a separate project. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 14:25, 13 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support per above arguments. Pinging users with more than 1000 contributions who didn't comment yet: @Ragesoss: (Sage Ross (WMF)) @Grind24: @Frank Schulenburg: @Rock drum: @Ochilov: @LiAnna (Wiki Ed): (Ldavis (WMF)) @Daniel Mietchen: @Dvdgmz:@Aradhanar:. Multichill (talk) 12:58, 14 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  •  N Oppose I do not see the need to merge. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 14:48, 14 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    I think what Anna said sums up perfectly and clearly why Outreach should not be merged to Meta. I find Meta a stressful, fast paced and bureaucratic wiki. Unlike Meta, Outreach is a drama-free and peaceful platform for people to interact with one another. It is also a refreshing area for editors too. I do not like the idea of merging Outreach to Meta. The content of Outreach might not fit in Meta's project scope. Outreach has its own content while Meta also has its own content. They are two different wikis with different content and scope. Meta is more of a central space for stewards, global rollbackers and global sysops, while Outreach is more of a resource area for editors, GLAM workers and etc. As what Steinsplitter said, it is a very useful and resourceful wiki and many users have put in a lot of effort to keep this wiki going. There is a reason why Outreach is created, and I don't see an explicit reason to close it. With that being said, I fully disagree/oppose this merge. Sorry. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 07:29, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  •  N Oppose see reasons above, --Brackenheim (talk) 18:35, 14 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  •  Y Support I personally do a huge amount of Wikimedia outreach and I use the resources on this outreach wiki often and continually. I support the merge because the information here is so like the kind of information which is usually kept on meta, and because the community here is neither as engaged nor as international as the one on meta. It was nice to try to develop a community here but this wiki has never been viable and will not be viable anytime in the foreseeable future. I think that all the pages here should be moved to meta and this wiki made into redirects to meta. The primary value of this would be to make this content available to people who are on meta but not here. It is a significant barrier to ask people who regularly visit meta to also visit this wiki.
If the community here does not support a merge with meta, then I would still support the forking and copying of all content here to meta. Forking the content would make a make a mess for some people but the value to the community of people at meta would be great and the costs of making a forked mess would be relatively small, plus it might be less objectionable to make a forked mess than to shut down this project. If all of this information were on meta then I think that would make the community here stronger for what it is, because right now a lot of the value of this project is that it accumulates resources which other projects need but have to come here to find. Copying the file curation from here would allow the community here to rally around its own resources rather than just being a waypoint for people to pass when they want to grab something and leave.
I am not persuaded by the arguments of Koavf, Ijon, and Steinsplitter, Quiddity, and Sadads, who say that this project should persist because it is unpopular and therefore a safe place. They are correct that an unpopular forum is a safe one, but if this forum is to persist, I still think the content should be copied onto meta just so that the existing community can access it more easily. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:07, 18 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I want to emphasize that my entire comment above (imperfectly expressed), was in support of an eventual merge (as was Sadads' +1) - Just not this week/month/quarter.
However, I think it would be a good idea, to start documenting and researching and solving all the to-do list items that would need to be completed, before such a merge could successfully happen: Everything from creating-namespaces, listing and solving template-name-clashes, resolving the issue of user-permissions, planning updates to meta's site-sidebar and frontpage, documenting how people need to update their raw watchlist items at meta (or even assisting with that automatically?), investigating the possibility of hard-redirects, etc. (That's just off the top of my head)
With an emphasis on the successfully. Just Merging is fairly easy; but merging smoothly will take a lot more time/work (which most people here don't have to spare in large bursts). The highest priority throughout should be: causing the least interruption to ongoing work.
(I strongly object to a fork, as that will make everything harder to merge in the future.)
Hope that helps clarify my position. (Eventualism! It got us to where we are, and will get us to where we want to be, with the least amount of panic/worry. Slow and steady wins the race. :-) Quiddity (talk) 23:10, 18 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Quiddity: I support eventualism and a steady planned pace also. Could we try to come to an agreement on a schedule? How about this:
  1. Starting now, February 2015, everyone is discouraged from starting new projects on outreach, and everyone over the next year should wind down everything that is happening here. Conversations can still happen here about ongoing projects.
  2. In Feburary 2016, the copying of the entirety of outreach wiki to meta is supported. Everyone is discouraged from adding anything to outreach. For projects which are still active here, someone may keep a local copy here with local conversation if they must, but starting at this time, it is considered best that the primary copy be on meta.
  3. By February 2017 this project should consist to the extent possible only of redirects to meta. Site wide on outreach there should be a banner saying to access information on meta, but if some contributor here really insists, then they can have a local copy of content here. Local copies here should be assumed to be problematic forks at this point.
  4. By February 2018, everything here should redirect to meta for the latest versions of everything
Under what circumstances would you support a moving plan like this? Under what circumstances would you support a schedule like this?
You list a lot of things which could make the transition go better, but from my perspective, a copy from here to there now would be a viable solution to the problem of overcoming the access barriers to this content. When the time comes to move, it would be nice if the preparations you listed were in place to minimize interruption to the community here. My highest priority is making this content available to the meta community because we deserve it there regardless of whether someone wants to have copies here. If someone is ready to schedule preparations for move, though, then I think it would be right for everyone to yield to a schedule for coordinating all actions together. To what extent is this your idea of eventualism? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:53, 19 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I would love to support the moving of content progressively across so that, eventually, the activity and content would be already over on meta anyway. There's be no one left on "outreach" to argue for its continued existence anyway. I'd be happy to help try to move the GLAM community and our content across. Wittylama (talk) 19:44, 23 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment. The communities of both wikis are very different. I always enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere here on Outreach, whereas Meta feels very bureaucratic to me. Just as an example: Outreach has been one of the few wikis where people trusted each other and being an admin wasn't a big deal. Now, just close your eyes for a moment and think about how things are getting handled on Meta. – Now, personally, I don't have really strong feelings about where the content will be hosted. I just like to understand why Meta's broken culture is so much more attractive to people. And I don't mean it in an ironic way at all… --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 21:33, 24 February 2015 (UTC) P.S. Moving content to Meta without community consensus would feel selfish and somewhat aggressive to me. However, I could also live with that if people feel like that's how we should treat each other.[reply]
Many of us share your concerns about culture. It's one thing to be a volunteer hobbyist cutting loose, and another thing to be a full time professional employee. Somehow we need to accommodate both populations, but it isn't yet clear how this might be accomplished. --Djembayz (talk) 13:24, 23 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • No, please don't, there are some Outreach page are not fit with Meta wiki scope, so in fear of merge then deletion I refuse this merging.-Aldnonymous (talk) 13:51, 25 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment: I don't mind hopping between wikis – that happens all the time anyway. I came here for GLAM, and I'm fine with how things are in this regard. I'm also fine with the Research namespace on Meta and can well imagine outreach:GLAM being forked into a GLAM namespace on Meta, as long as existing content here remains accessible. --Daniel Mietchen (talk) 10:33, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Disagree - how can we remove such a big wiki? --Ochilov (talk) 03:05, 11 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  •  N Strong oppose. The needs of full time permanent employees for a civilized atmosphere should be respected. If content from this wiki is needed at Meta, it is possible to copy it over. Under US law, students in federally funded institutions are well within their rights to refuse to participate in an environment with no enforcement on harassment (civility) such as Meta, especially if it is part of their class assignments. If this wiki is closed, and WM Education has to establish its own wiki, you would lose the synergy with the GLAM efforts. I'd also like to state that even as an experienced person, it is very difficult for me to find my way around at Meta, without investing time in categorization to enable me to find my way back to the page I read. Outreach is a much more workable collection of materials for event preparation because it is curated.
Although I'm on the other side in this instance, I am an enthusiastic supporter of Bluerasberry's insights on organizational matters overall. His point about creating a mess by copying content over to Meta is well taken. We might get more clarity here by making a more explicit distinction between Meta and Outreach. Meta is serving the function of an Intranet for movement participants to have free-wheeling discussions, while Outreach is serving as a curated, outward facing site. If we start giving a little more thought as to what material is ready for presentation in an outward-facing venue, the distinction between the two wikis could actually prove to be useful. --Djembayz (talk)

Note: Hi everyone, this proposal has been open for a while so I've pinged a bureaucrat to ask for closure. Really appreciate the good conversation here. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 16:03, 14 April 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Hi all, Anna asked me to look through this request in my capacity as a crat. For full disclosure, I'm an admin and bureaucrat both here and on Meta-Wiki, and am also one of the founding members of the Sister Projects Committee (SPCom), which was proposed in April 2012 to discuss some of these issues, including merging what were regarded as "meta wikis': Outreach, Strategy and Meta. For full information about the proposal and related discussion, please see and There Erik, and Peteforsyth fleshed out some of the suggested ways that a wiki which combined the aforementioned wikis would work. Whilst I cannot see any particular viewpoint that I expressed on those pages, from what I recall I was working on helping clean up some namespaces to help facilitate potential mergers so for the purpose of full disclosure, it could be deemed that I was leaning slightly towards merging of wikis in general.

That being said, I reviewed the discussion above with a neutral outlook as a bureaucrat should and have made the following observations:

  • Back in April 2012, there was some opposition from those working on the coordination aspect of Meta. Many of these users, including Snowolf have been trusted on Meta with positions of steward, bureaucrat, admin etc and Theo10011's argument sums it up: Meta "is used primarily by stewards, translators and cross-project work". Back in 2012, there was less of the Grants related work done on Meta that is done today, but the point is somewhat still valid - Meta still has a large cross-project coordination component and just looking at m:Main Page you can see it's not as simple and easy to understand for prospective community members as this wiki's current home page.
  • Frank, as a founding member of Outreach Wiki commented on the discussion back in 2012, noting a recurring theme in discussions above that Meta-Wiki, whilst great for translations (even more so now than 3 years ago with considerable improvements in the Translate extension) can sometimes appear hostile to newbies and is less liberal than Outreach. As Meta-Wiki adminship has historically given users considerably more privileges than Outreach Wiki, including CentralNotice and now MassMessage, I do not believe that there would be support from the existing Meta community for simply transferring the adminship of 122 admins to Meta (even if some may already be admins on Meta). This highlights something that is missing in this discussion: as far as I can tell the Meta-Wiki community has not been consulted on or notified of this new proposal.
  • As you all likely know, we do not close discussions based on votes but rather based on the consensus. However, this is the first discussion I've closed where people seem to have expressed their opinion multiple times - in some cases twice in support, other cases twice in opposition and in some cases both for and against. Therefore my interpretation of the users who expressed their opinion here is as follows:
    • Support: Pine, Ocaasi, Themladatter (6 February and 8 February), Another Believer, Ainali, Kippelboy, Multichill, Bluerasberry
    • Support overall notion of merge but more progressively: Wittylama, Sadads, Quiddity
    • Neutral: Frank Schulenburg, Daniel Mietchen, Romaine (leaning towards oppose)
    • Oppose: Koavf, Ijon, Steinsplitter (6 Feb and 7 Feb), Anna Koval (WMF), TFlanagan-WMF, Samir I. Sharbaty, Kevin Rutherford, Jianhui67, Brackenheim, Aldnonymous, Ochilov, Djembayz, Grind24
I believe I have covered all of the users who commented on this discussion, if I missed someone my apologies.
  • Summary of the benefits of a merger: easier collaboration between a larger (and thus more active) community on Meta, everything would be in one place making it easier for people who work cross-wiki, access to a wide base of translators, no longer need for duplication of templates etc, it would make Outreach content easier to discover and improve in the medium to long term, Meta is becoming a consolidated place where most WMF staff work (largely everything to do with Grants which are also a part of Outreach)
  • Summary of the drawbacks of a merger: Outreach is less of a target for spammers and off-topic discussion because it is less used for coordination across projects as in the case of Meta, the Outreach community is more liberal and potentially more welcoming to newcomers (which could be important to make a good first impression) than Meta, Outreach can be customised such that the Main Page and Sidebar are tailored for ease of access, there is a possibility of considerable link rot and/or broken links (I know this from personal experience when I was cleaning pages on Meta relating to OTRS recruitment), would require considerable amount of time (on the part of staff and volunteers) that to some would be looked at as being wasted, outreach does have a relatively active community - with page views and edits to support this, Outreach is a global sysop wiki so there is extra support now to deal with vandalism etc

Overall I believe there is currently insufficient support for a merger in the short-term, but an agreement that there could be an eventual move to Meta, when there is a sufficiently large team on the side of the WMF and volunteers to support this, which is something I believe the strongest supporters of the merger User:Pine, User:Ocaasi, User:Bluerasberry, User:Quiddity and User:Wittylama also agree upon. As such, if those (and others) would be able to collaborate on figuring out all that would need to be done to successfully move content to Meta with a longer-term outlook, this would be the best way forward. Thehelpfulone 17:36, 22 April 2015 (UTC) Template:Archivebottom[reply]

@Thehelpfulone: As I pointed out earlier, it didn't seem like Meta as a community were even informed of this proposal. I don't know why and User:Pine never responded. We shouldn't even assume that Meta wants to have this content rolled into it. Koavf (talk) 20:04, 22 April 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Thehelpfulone: Thank you very much for your careful review, conscientious disclosure, precise summary, historical knowledge, and thoughtful insights. It's easy to see why you're called Thehelpfulone. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 23:26, 22 April 2015 (UTC)[reply]

@AKoval (WMF): yes, THO is very good, when you can actually get in touch with him (:. I am ok with his decision about this matter. Due to the lack of consensus, the concerns about civility on Meta, and the concerns about WMF staff availability to merge content into Meta and set up appropriate redirects, it makes sense to me to put this project on hold for now. There is some progress being made on the civility issue on Meta with the "friendly space" discussions, although procedurally I think what has been done to date is improper from a wikilegal perspective, but some form of a friendly space policy, or an enhancement to the TOU, is likely to get ratification eventually. When there is more clarity around that issue, then I think we can reconsider merging Outreach content into Meta and reopen this discussion. Regarding the issue of staff time, I would suggest simply hiring an intern to do the necessary work; if there was consensus on this wiki for a merger then I'm sure we could find a way to address the resourcing issue. In the long run I think that the improvements in efficiency and convenience would be worth the up-front investment. --Pine 06:02, 24 April 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for that suggestion, Pine. Stuff like that isn't up to me. Take care. See you around the wikis. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 17:35, 29 April 2015 (UTC)[reply]