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Archive to history[edit]

This page is long and I'm blocked. So I'm archiving the pre-block material to history. --Abd 13:45, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Duplicating wikisource work[edit]

Wikisource actively supports multiple separate translations. An additional translation on wikisource would be welcome. Starting a primary source translation here (or on any other project) is poor form; Wikimedia projects should avoid such overlaps in scope. SJ+ 11:51, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

A university will host courses on a topic covered by an encyclopedia. A course or seminar might even begin by looking at published material hosted elsewhere. Wikiversity is a place where material may be created, dissected, discussed, and in all this discussion and work there may be some duplication, but nobody would think of cancelling a university seminar because the material was covered in an encyclopedia!
Starting a primary source translation here (or on any other project) is poor form. Uh, why? I'm not seeing, Sj, an understanding of Wikiversity in this comment. I'm seeing, instead, a reductionist attitude far more typical of Wikipedia, i.e., the idea that there is one correct and proper coverage of a subject, and that, by extension, everything else is improper. Wikiversity allows and encourages original research, which is what a primary source translation is. The kind of work that Wikiversity welcomes is rejected on Wikipedia, and for good reason. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Wikiversity is not.
It seems to me, here, that Wikisource is being used outside of its scope, for collective original research is still original research, but that's up to the Wikisource community to determine. My take on it would be that Wikiversity would be a more appropriate place to do this collective work, with a completed document, signed by responsible authors, then being hosted by Wikibooks or Wikisource. --Abd 12:19, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

You write:

There is a further issue. The author here is blocked there, for reasons unrelated to content abuse. Working on translation here creates separate value, but also might eventually be ported there, or be the basis for further revisions there, all according to consensus there.
This argument is bogus. Work should never be accepted on one project because of a contributor's block status on another. If the work is not meant to be collaborative with others, it can be published elsewhere. If it is meant to be collaborative, that collaboration should be done in the community and workspace where primary sources are already organized and discussed -- if not by this user than by another. SJ+
All wiki work is collaborative, generally, but Wikiversity does allow some level of page ownership (similarly to wikipedia allowing a level of ownership in user space pages). Please see [1] for an example of Wikisource used to host a working draft for the Wikipedia Optics article, prepared by an editor who was at the time site-banned from Wikipedia. That draft was later ported to Wikipedia w:Optics. The original author was one highly adverse to my own views of neutrality, but I strongly supported this work, long before I, myself, needed a "refuge."
Work is accepted here regardless of block status elsewhere; the block status was raised only because an argument was given that the editor could work on this at Wikisource. No, he can't, not without block evasion.
To me, the only question here is whether the work should be in mainspace or not. It can clearly be in user space. However, the work seems intended to be ultimately collaborative, hence my preference for mainspace. You have implied that it was duplicating material on Wikisource, but that duplication is only of subject, not of content, as far as I noticed. Wherever content truly duplicates, it should be replaced by a link, unless the main site for hosting it should really be here.
Your request for deletion was proper, in that the prior RfD was closed as "no consensus," but that "no consensus" close was based only on the presence of a substantial number of irrelevant comments, i.e., comments based on the status of the user elsewhere, and I do think that irrelevant, as you have stated. The argument you raise anew was generally rejected in that RfD. However, the new RfD may provide additional clarification, if sufficient interest can be generated in commenting. Because the RfD raises fundamental issues regarding the purpose and function of Wikiversity, I'm considering taking this to the Colloquium. (Last minute note: I added reference to the RfD to your notice re the meta RfC in the Colloquium.] --Abd 12:59, 8 July 2011 (UTC)



You told me to come here, so I put a link here also. I placed a request on my talkpage I hope you can take a look at it.

Futhermore you told me to talk to someone I trust and don't play the victem... Please note that the people i do trust and that would be Wikimedia Staff is also telling me lies.. Yes phillipe told a nice statement. Two days for that statement he send me a e-mail. The e-mail told me that he had a e-mail that would link me to Delay, and if I told on wiki that I used Delay that he wouldn't make it public.

I posted it on my talkpage the same day, 5 minutes after the e-mail and he made it public anyways. You see how its getting harder and harder to trust people? If even the staff isn't keeping its word? Abigor 17:17, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

A fact in my defence, After my block somebody claims the ownership of "one of my socks" (http://nl.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gebruiker%3AWikiLinkBot&action=historysubmit&diff=26388611&oldid=26261209) Maybe it isn't time to close the RFC yet. Abigor 18:06, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
You may use this page for message you are willing to be public. You may email me privately, you have permission and it will not be considered abusive (unless I ask you to stop and you keep on).
Bottom line: Phillips told the truth in what he wrote in the RfC. If it were not true, that would be a lie. Saying "I will do such and such" is not necessarily a lie if someone does something different later, because people forget or change their minds. Knowing that he warned you makes me think better of him, actually, thanks for that information. In this case he may simply not have seen your response, it was easy to overlook buried in other stuff.
Phillipe's original post in the RfC was completed 23:04, 10 July 2011. You had denied being Delay 19:56, 3 July 2011. I see that you acknowledged Delay as a "shared account" -- which is admitting that it was yours -- 23:17, 7 July 2011. Now, Abigor, I want you to start to strongly assume good faith, whenever possible. I'd seen that admission, even thought it was important, and then forgot about it. Phillipe may simply not have seen it. Did you notify him of it in some way? In any case, I intend to annotate the RfC and to notify him of your acknowledgement. I'll say it was obvious from my response to him, shortly before I closed the RfC, that I'd forgotten about this Delay admission. In the end, that information belonged in the RfC, and it was an oversight for me not to put it there, so you have my personal apology for that! I'll fix this, for starters. We'll see what happens. --Abd 19:56, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

User:Abd/Wikipedia/List of self-reverted edits[edit]

FYI the RfD has been closed as keep. --Draicone (talk) 16:25, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. These things open can attract flies. I'm not sure I'd have closed as Keep, myself, because of the existence of delete sentiment. But I do think that precedent is clear, in fact. Use of Wikiversity to attack other wikis, or users, no, not allowed. But neutral or at least reasonably neutral documentation that just describes what happened, that is research and analysis. The page is not yet presented as an educational resource, it's not there yet, which is why it's in user space. It may instead become evidence for certain proposals on Wikiversity, so it could also end up in WV space.
I noticed that you also closed the "Might Fine Ditch" RfD with delete, but then made sure that the content was available to JWS in the history of his sandbox, meaning that this was definitely not censorship. (JWS is at present blocked, not being willing, apparently, to negotiate unblock terms, which is the only real obstacle as far as I can see.) Congratulations! Where content is not specifically harmful (as with outing), making it available like that can improve transparency. A simpler option, not requiring admin tools, might be page blanking with a standard template. Protected if it becomes a problem. We can explore that in the future. Wikiversity is a very special place, requiring special solutions for maximized function. --Abd 17:19, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Probationary custodianship[edit]

Congrats - you are now a probationary custodian, with Draicone as mentor. Let me know if I can do anything to help out. Sincerely, James. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 12:41, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your trust, I will not betray it. I don't expect the previous problems to repeat. Biggest problem then: lack of custodial presence, I was for some days the only custodian "present" and willing to address the issues. I did what I thought best, much the same as others did later, asking for review both before and after the fact. Now, I believe, there will be others present. We can move on. An important principle has also been demonstrated. Bureaucrats are not obligated to act, if they have personal reservations, and they don't have to explain unless they want to. That's a safeguard. --Abd 13:38, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Account impersonation[edit]

Hi there,

Not mine. It took me a few seconds to realize, but he's Popo Le Chien (uppercase "L"), whereas I'm just a lower case. Thanks for the note, Popo le Chien 07:34, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, thanks. That's what I noticed and that's why I acted. I expected that the impersonation might fool a user, that's why I went immediately for a global lock, whereas normally I'd want to see more disruption before asking for global lock. I saw it coming. And at least one user was, in fact, fooled, see [2][3]. You want to see "fooled," consider "User talk:Popo le Chien" vs "User talk:Popo Ie Chien." There is no end to human ingenuity. --Abd 16:36, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Removing E-mail[edit]

Hi, you contacted me yesterday or last night at some point about my e-mail being on the page. I recognize your point and agree that it would be best to remove it from my history. If you're still willing to do that, I would appreciate that greatly. Mikriffown 14:41, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Template:Done. No problem. You may, by the way, add links to Wikipedia articles, for example, w:Ayn Rand or you could display the same link as Ayn Rand. (That was wikitext in my edit, [[w:Ayn Rand|]], the pipe (|) substitutes the specific page name for what is displayed.) Enjoy Wikiversity. --Abd 16:26, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Reusing references[edit]

Sorry, a silly question,i try to recall a reference multiple times, on the same article, specifically , servetus one. And there is no way. I add a identically new reference any time i paste (ref)....(/ref) ( but with <>) and if i type another reference with the same in the (...) i get another new identical one . How do i do it? sorry.--Edward Hyde 06:20, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Let's start with something else. When you post a new message to a user's Talk page, use "Add topic." Then, in the space for that, give your message a brief subject header. I just manually added a header above. This will also give your message an automatic edit summary, and edits of that section will have an edit summary that starts with this, and the section can then be directly seen from history by clicking on the arrow next to it. I'm also manually adding the same summary to my edit now, changing it from the automatic "Removing E-mail" summary that was obtained from editing the section (above) in which you placed your message.
Get into the habit of *always* creating an edit summary. Even if it is very brief, such as "ce" for "copy edit," meaning minor improvements to the wording, etc. Set your preferences, My preferences/Editing/Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary, so that you won't forget. Consider this as a kind of index to your contributions. Always using edit summaries is a mark of an experienced editor, and, having done a lot of research into user contributions, it's invaluable.
Now as to your question. You want to re-use a reference. Okay, I don't know the exact details off the top of my head. So here is how I find them. In my left-hand panel (default skin) there is a Help link. that takes me to a page with General Information, with a topic MediaWiki User's Guide, with a link to the guide itself, on meta. The section I want is m:Help:Contents#For editors. The Referencing section has a link to m:Help:Footnotes. You want m:Help:Footnotes#Notes gathered at a single position because you are going to have one section at the end of your page, or just before the end.
Basic summary: You may create a reference with the simple form:
<ref>reference text</ref>
You then create your references section with this:
== References==
If you want to re-use a reference, the first time you use it, you add a name to it.
<ref name="the name you choose">reference text</ref>
The manual explains that the quotes are optional, necessary only if the name contains spaces or other special characters.
Then you may re-use the same reference by simply using
<ref name="the name you choose"/>
It's the same as the original naming of the reference, except that a slash is added and there is no reference name or closing tag used.
There are lots of ways to get this wrong, and if you are just editing a section you can't Preview the references generated. So when you are going to add or fix references, my hint is to edit the whole page. That way you'll Preview the whole page! This may not be necessary just for simple changes, but when you get a reference error, fix it that way, I suggest, otherwise you can end up with many edits.
And do try to always Preview your edits, and fix errors before saving. Many edits flood Recent Changes and the History of the page, making it harder to understand what's going on, not with just your page, but also with the whole wiki.
Thanks for asking. I'd never gotten this completely clear in my mind. --Abd 13:11, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Using this, I went through Servetus and replaced your repeated citations of the same work with the ref name= tag. You have, I think, other repeated citations you can fix in the same way. I used the Find function in my browser to find all of the citations and replace the later ones with a copy of the ref name= tag. I was editing the whole page, and I made lots of mistakes, like forgetting to put in the closing slash, but once I had the re-use tag right, I could just copy and paste it over your old references. As you can see, I only made one edit,[4] because I could see the errors in my Preview. I also made a few minor corrections here and there as I notice them. The page still needs quite a bit of copy editing, it has extra space in places, etc.
The reference name is totally arbitrary, and it is not displayed anywhere on the page, so make it simple and easy to remember.
Congratulations on setting up the Controversy seminar. That's exactly the way to reference a subpage. If your main page and all subpages are moved, later, to some other name or to a subpage, any subpage references you have created that way will move with it. I must say, I'm finding Servetus fascinating, I look forward to learning more about this amazing person. --Abd 13:46, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your help, I will try to apply this techniques. Sadly I do not have much time for editing it right now( or I do and I cannot administrate it, :)) Im glad to hear you find Servetus fascinating,it does fascinate me too.Soon I will do all I can for sharing what I know about him with anyone willing to. Thanks again.--Edward Hyde 05:29, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikiversity welcome[edit]


Thank you for the warm wikiversity welcome!

I have been looking around and found two areas of interest so far: original research (OR) and writing an educational resource. One thing caught my eye regarding paper journal publications; i.e., nothing under the subject heading, although I haven't found the specific page again. I may be able to help there. Found it - Wikiversity:Publishing original research, Publishing in traditional journals.

Since I'm still squeaky new here, it'll probably take some bumbling to figure out how things work. I have two possible OR topics so feel free to point me in the right direction. My gut tells me to just start a page with the Research project label on it and see who shoots at me. Suggestions? Marshallsumter 17:39, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Marshall, again, welcome. Nobody is going to shoot you for putting up original research here. Most resources do in some way incorporate OR, in the technical Wikipedia sense (w:WP:OR. That is, you can just write a page according to what you know, or you can explore a topic, ask questions, etc. The core value here is education, and examining a Bad Idea can be educational! Overall presentation should be neutral, that's WMF policy. However, we can attain neutrality by how we frame what we do.
My advice: if you believe that what you are writing is "common knowledge" in a field, you can just write it. You don't have to provide references, but, of course, if you can it is useful. If what you are writing is controversial, then disclose this. If it's your own original idea, not validated by others, disclose that! Just don't present your own original research as if it is "common knowledge." Unless it is!
And it's a wiki. If something is wrong, it can be fixed. You will find that the most common response here to some error, such as, say, presenting original research as if it was established fact, is that people will help you fix it. You can truly relax and enjoy the process here. That's what so special about Wikiversity. --Abd 18:28, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Hi Abd![edit]

Au sujet de votre commentaire:

Les Wikipédias ont des règles très strictes pour l'inclusion, et ce sujet ne peut se qualifier là-bas.
je suis intéressée par une brève discussion avec vous, si vous voulez bien m'adresser un message même vide à mon adresse christine.illahnou@yahoo.fr

Merci, je vous attend. Bien sûr si vous ne voulez pas, ne me laisses pas accrochée à mon pupitre; en attente infinie.

--White Fennec 20:41, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Dear Abd,

I am not linked to that subject. Just the buzz about them attracted me via my ex-husband who was from a 'cultural connotation ' that was insulted in that buzz. I would ask you two questions

Is it forbidden to record something in the user personal page??
can you please link to me via email, the subject is really out of the scope of WV.

Please give me pleasant answers, as you did.--White Fennec 23:23, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

  • I have emailed you. If you don't get it, ask me again.
  • No, it is not forbidden to simply record things on your user pages, and Wikiversity is very flexible as to what you can do in user space. However, two cautions apply here:
    • That page contained a user name and information that was effectively outing a user, displaying his real name. It was revision-deleted on fr.wikiversity, possibly for that reason. By saving it here, you were bypassing that. I have redacted the name, leaving the rest of the file for the record, for the time being. I revision-deleted the original revision that you had created, so that the name is hidden to all but administrators. It was just a copy of what was stated on fr.wikiversity, I think, and if someone has a problem with what is in it, they may approach me. You "own" that page because it is in your user space, but please do try to find cooperation and agreement with anyone who wants to change it. I'll mediate this if necessary, or so could any other custodian here.
    • Please don't use your right to record things in your user space to bring conflicts from other wikis here. I have a page where I documented my own record of block and ban evasion on Wikipedia. See User:Abd/Wikipedia and the page linked from it. I was careful not to accuse anyone of wrong-doing, it is pure documentation, so that my actions there may be reviewed in a way that is not otherwise possible, because there is nothing to tie all the IP edits together but that page, and I have other purposes, all of which are aimed at improvement of the wikis. It does show certain responses by administrators on en.wikipedia that might be considered excessive, but that's not my point and I don't emphasize that, it's up to en.wikipedia if it wants to make changes. One policy was changed there as a result of my activity, I'll note. It's actually unusual that a user who understands the community, and the value of cooperation, engages in block evasion, and puppet masters would never reveal their identity like this, normally, so certain things were learned that would have been hard to notice otherwise.
    • My point: avoid accusing anyone of wrong-doing, assume good faith, even when it's difficult. I found your page useful, it pointed me to the fr.wikiversity discussion and showed me much more of what was going on. Except for carrying the problem username, it was acceptable, in my opinion.
  • Please feel free to work on Boubaker Polynomials here, or anything else that interests you. You are not accused of wrongdoing. One person who attacked the Polynomials page and its author has actually been blocked, for impersonation. If there is a problem that you see, please feel free to inform me; it's best if it is public, or you could use the WV:RCA page for a general request, but I'd get email notification of Talk page comments faster. But please don't create problems, and please be patient and tolerant. Okay?
  • Again, welcome to Wikiversity. This is a place where, I hope, people who have fought with each other over tight space and requirements on the wikipedias may instead cooperate to create deep educational resources. Some will, some will prefer to continue to fight, it's just how some people are. Wikiversity will continue to offer the opportunity. It has been called the Island of Banned Users, because people who ran into trouble on the 'pedias often come here and become useful contributors. Some eventually burn out, returning to habits of fighting, but others stay cooperative and useful, and enjoy this place. --Abd 01:24, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Dear Abd,[edit]

I am ashamed and confused I have wasted all this time of yours!
But as I told you I am neither accusing nor accused and I accept all your recommendations. I need just some help, and I thought you can provide it.
Your welcome is very kind, but your other recommendations concerning tolerance !? and ideas about behaviours are not clear for me. So let it to the email:
all my gratefulness!

--White Fennec 02:58, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't believe that you have wasted my time. You are truly welcome here, and I want you to know that. You asked about creating pages, I presumed like the one you created, and what might be a problem, so I told you. Whatever is unclear to you about what I wrote would be my fault in my poor or too-complicated expression. Don't worry about it. --Abd 05:20, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Rename on frwikiversity[edit]

Reply to this message on this page for a confirmation of your request and made ​​a request to rename a user account this page that can perform the procedure. Thank you. Crochet.david 06:31, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

  • confirming request fr.wv user (Abd - en.wv) -> Abd, on fr.wv. Thanks. --Abd 07:04, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Ok, Make a resquest here, and i'll do it. Crochet.david 15:43, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, most excellently done. --Abd 18:38, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Putting Howard Community College in front of project name[edit]

Hi, you moved two of what will be many projects out of the root page position into "howard community college/project/howard community college" ... instead of the original "project/howard community college". Most pages I can find start projects at the root. These projects are not necessarily associated with howard community college. I hope to recruit more colleges to working on the same projects. Your renaming brands all the projects with howard community college. From my reading of wikiversity objectives, it seemed that there was an effort to move away from individual colleges and towards capturing a larger context. Is this there an appeal process? 1sfoerster 18:17, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Of course. It starts with this discussion. I'm not an authority, I'm just a custodian, trying to help clean the place up. Setting up Howard Community College as a root is just one possibility. But Cat Toilet is, I think, not a suitable root.
I made a mistake in a page renaming, which moved a huge number of pages, and I couldn't figure out how to undo it with one action, and I'm short on time. Before I make the many moves that it will take to fix what I did, we should decide upon how to proceed. There were, I'm pretty sure, inappropriate root pages. But maybe I'm not right about that. The question is what to do? It seemed to me that what is really going on is that HCC is creating engineering projects, and that there is organization taking place by courses. I'm concerned with overall, long-term organization of Wikiversity mainspace. As it is, there are lots of isolated pages that are more like articles, there are courses that have been started and abandoned, etc.
I can see your point. General Engineering Projects?
Using Howard Community College was simple, it would establish a kind of ownership of everything under that. The HCC projects could then be linked from resources on the topic. --Abd 18:44, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Is the page/subpage structure owned by colleges? Or is the root some content context? It looks to me that context other than content is established by categories .. which is what I originally set up. Is what triggered this Cat Toilet? The goal is to design a Cat Toilet. Perhaps you can suggest a better name? .. maybe No kitty litter? 1sfoerster 19:27, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
General Engineering Projects would be ok as a root. Is that what you were suggesting? 1sfoerster 19:32, 31 August 2011 (UTC)a
It's a possibility. Technically, nobody owns pages, but, routinely, if there is someone teaching a class, administrators will give them considerable latitude. We have to have some idea what's going on, who is involved, etc., in order to do this. On reflection, I think organization by school is not a good idea. But before I fix those moved pages, I want to have considered what is best with some care. Cat Toilet is fine for the name of that particular project. My point is only that such specific projects probably don't belong at resource top level. Wikiversity never nailed this stuff down, and things have been done sixty-six ways till Sunday. Then nobody knows how to do things and even more ways are used, creating chaos in page names.
Cat Toilet seems to specific to me, would there be a class in a University catalog called Cat Toilet? I don't think so. There might be a class in General Engineering, though. Then there are Engineering Projects. There are also specific classes, with specific professors, and class projects.
How about this? A class is started. This is a specific class with a specific teacher, and signed-up students. Others are generally allowed to participate, presumably with the permission of the teacher, but the core of this is a brick-and-mortar institution and a specific working group. At this point, it's organized by the institution, and, under that, the specific teacher or class, and year. It might be fairly far down a hierarchy. Say Howard Community College/Engineering/2011/So-And-So/Cat Toilet. In the final days of So-and-So's class, the class materials (Everything under Cat Toilet) are cleaned up and organized to become a general resource, and would be moved to General Engineering Projects/Cat Toilet. (All the subpages can be moved at once to a new location like that. I.e., everything under that original Cat Toilet page can be moved at once. A custodian just needs to be really careful! I'd never done a mass move of a page and all subpages before!).
What do you think? In the first stage, General Engineering Projects or a subpage would have a link to active classes. Then the class leaves behind, in a general resource location, a relatively complete resource for others to use for study.
Users often develop projects in user subpages. Users are generally considered to own these pages, and others will normally edit them only with permission -- or at least lack of objection. What I'm proposing now is just an extension of that into a mainspace page dedicated to an institution.
An alternative, a fairly simple one, would be a user subpage structure for the teacher. That's quite straightforward. Mainspace pages can point to such pages, and a mainspace page for HCC could point to all "teacher user pages." The advantage of this approach would be establishment of teacher rights (i.e., some kind of preference) over "class" structure and process. It's implicit in the naming structure. --Abd 21:20, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

Hello Abd. I recently started collaborating with some arachnologists to write an article about Recently discovered exotic jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) from Massachusetts. In the middle of our work, however, you moved the page to the User space of one of the collaborators. Could you explain the purpose of this move and why the article is not acceptable in Main space? Isn't collaborating on original research within the scope of Wikiversity? Also, the person you left the comment for isn't going to understand a word of it, as he didn't create the article and has never used Wikiversity before today. I would appreciate it if you would discuss such moves either on the article talk page or with the article creator (me) before unilaterally taking action. Kaldari 21:13, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

I went ahead and moved the article back since regardless of whether it belongs in Main space or not, it certainly doesn't belong in Gristwik's User space. Kaldari 21:14, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I re-moved it to my own User space for the time being. Kaldari 21:32, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Edit conflict with 21:32 edit:
First of all, my apologies. I'd have moved the page to your user space, not Gristwik's, but the large number of edits from him moved your contributions off-screen; I should have checked.
Secondly, there was no harm in my move, and I left a redirect. I requested discussion of the ultimate location. I'm quite sure that "Recently discovered ..." is not the name of a proper educational resource. This is not Wikinews. "Exotic" is peacock, etc. No university would have a course with this title, not by any stretch. There might be a course on the species name, or "Jumping spiders," with a section on "2010 Massachusetts discovery" or the like, with a link to your page as a subpage, with a permanent and suitable name, as "Jumping spiders/(species name)." Or this might be under Spiders/Jumping spiders.
Very much, the page itself is welcome. My concern was only about page name, because how the page is named and how it is placed in the mainspace hierarchy is important. Education is not merely a pile of articles!
So I'm not [wasn't] thrilled that you moved the page back to mainspace without discussion first. It simply complicates the history. Not a big deal, though, and I'm not about to move it back! Rather, we will discuss where to put the page! --Abd 21:41, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
  • And I'm glad to see that you essentially agreed to it being in your user space. If you'd asked, I'd have probably said, no, don't move it again! One more complication in history! But it is certainly okay that you moved it as you did, you were the original author, and I presume your co-worker won't complain. I just wanted to get the ball rolling. Wikiversity frequently uses page position to resolve disputes. Just about anything that isn't contrary to policy is okay in user space here. In your user space, you can essentially own the page, until you believe it's ready for mainspace. The problem was not that the page wasn't ready, to be clear, it's a cut above our common resources, my only concern was the name. --Abd 21:41, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
    • This article is not intended as an educational resource (per the specific Wikiversity meaning). It is an original research project which will be published in an open access entomology journal upon completion (with CC licensing intact). The article title will probably make more sense to you in this context, i.e. it is intended to be completed and published by a certain date outside of Wikiversity. "Exotic" isn't a peacock term in the context of entomology. It is a technical term which means non-endemic, foreign, or introduced. If you think that Wikiversity isn't the right place for such a project, please let me know, as I have begun a similar project at Notes on Jumping Spiders of the Genus Zygoballus in North America. Kaldari 22:01, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
      • Original research is allowed at Wikiversity. Yes, in that context "exotic" makes sense, I'd forgotten about that meaning. Here, though, it doesn't, as part of the pagename for a specific spider. I'm thinking in terms of Wikiversity organization. If we had a resource, say, Spiders/Massachusetts/Exotic, sure, this page could be under that. You may create pages in your user space here, really no problem at all, practically no restrictions, but be nice. You may create resources in mainspace, and simply by naming the page something that fits into a collection of educational resources, you may work on the page in mainspace. ***Let me be clear that this is just my opinion, but I'm trying to fix some long-term problems having to do with organization -- or disorganization -- at Wikiversity.
      • So, from my point of view, it's up to you. You can call pages in your user space whatever you like, except for User:Kaldari/Abd is Late for Dinner. Pretty much. You may work on original research and writing in mainspace. If it's in mainspace, I'd like the naming to fit some reasonable overall structure for Wikiversity. You can have whatever title you want in the page itself. For example, suppose the page Spiders/Jumping spiders exists. You could create a section on that page with your species name, and text that has what you have as text in the pagename now, but please don't make such a long pagename for the subpage. I suggested the Species name. Then you could have your present page name as a title on the page itself. It's fine there! Except, please, don't say "Recent." That's appropriate for a journal that is dated. Just give the date or approximate date. (But I won't touch this without your permission.) Thanks for your patience. I made the renaming request on the renaming page. Please ask your friend to be patient, we have a 'crat shortage at the moment. I'm working on it. Meanwhile he may use the account with lower case, of course. It will be fixed, you can assure him. --Abd 22:20, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
      • I'll leave your other new page in place at the moment, but please think about how to place both of these pages into an educational resource structure. You might think, for example, about your friend. Perhaps s/he has a specialty: what classes might s/he teach at a university? Think in terms of setting up such a class, and if the spider work might be some resource used as part of it. You've already got two jumping spider pages, so Jumping spiders seems like it might fit the bill. I can imagine a course in something like that at a university. Specialized, yes. I've been thinking in terms of structure like Spiders/Jumping spiders. So someone who wants to learn about spiders can go to Spiders and will see, besides a general resource about spiders, links to many related subpages of different kinds. --Abd 22:26, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
        • I'll see if I can come up with an organizational structure that makes sense. So far, I've just been setting them up as the equivalent of journal article titles since that's a context familiar to the researchers I'm collaborating with. (I'm trying to keep them from getting completely lost at the outset since they've never worked in a wiki environment before.) Thanks for the suggestions and thanks for the assistance with the username change! Kaldari 22:39, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
          • You're welcome. I think Wikiversity is Really Cool. Because there is no scarce space to fight over (a single "article page," and notability requirements), we can almost always find some collaborative, cooperative solution to any problem. As to the renaming, I'll wait maybe another day, then go to meta for assistance. I've done this before when no 'crats were available. The Changing username page makes the situation really obvious. --Abd 22:54, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
            • Well, if it comes down to soliciting help from Meta, I could just temporarily make myself a bureaucrat on Wikiversity and perform the name change (using my staff developer rights). Of course, since I don't always get along with all the admins here (due to their reluctance to reign in trouble-makers), that might be a bad idea. So on second thought, nevermind. Better to avoid the drama :) Kaldari 00:41, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
              • I would support that only if a 'crat asked you to go ahead. Uh, Kaldari, I'm an admin here now..... In any case, stewards are tasked with handling renaming requests for wikis without 'crats, and, from my experience, that would include wikis where 'crats are, for whatever reason, not available. I've requested 'crat attention to the renaming page, more than once now, so I believe there is a basis for going there. It's waited for months, it can wait a few days longer.
              • As to "trouble-makers," if you have any in mind, that are still "making trouble," I'd be happy to discuss this with you, on-wiki or by email. We have had problems, but I don't identify problems with people, as such. "Trouble-maker," like "troll," is a non-solution to community problems, it represents, generally, a personal or community failure to seek consensus. Sure, some people get locked into those roles, either personally or as perceived by communities. The solution is not to throw away the key. Absolutely, the community should be protected, and we have had some problems with users where many custodians believed that they were involved, hence they were reluctant to act. There are solutions to this problem. --Abd 01:00, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
                • Ha, well, present company excluded! :) The main problems I've known about are users using Wikiversity as a way to work around restrictions on other projects, i.e. to continue campaigns of stalking, harassment, or disruption "outside the reach of the law" so to speak. Some of the admins on Wikiversity have taken a defensive stance rather than a proactive stance in many of these cases, which only makes the problem worse, as a perception has developed that Wikiversity is a "safe-haven" for users exiled from other projects. As to the view that there are only problematic behaviors, and not problematic users, as a long-time OTRS volunteer and someone who works half the year under the WMF community department, I have to say that isn't always true. Although the vast majority of "problem users" are just editors with an axe to grind or a chip on their shoulder, we do have a few people that seem likely to be actually mentally ill and unlikely to be reformable. Luckily, these are rare exceptions to the rule. Anyway, sorry for the rant. Back to work. Kaldari 02:19, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

(unindent) The Island of Banned Users. It's actually a good thing. Here, we can sort out who is banned because they absolutely cannot edit or write cooperatively, or refrain from attacking others, from those who may have been unable to understand restrictions on the 'pedias, or who were harassed there. There can be administrative abuse on the 'pedias, Kaldari. Shocking, I know! I don't blame the people, it's the structure, and many long-term Wikipedians have left in frustration over it. Most recently, I have not seen users coming here to abuse WV as a place from which to lob mortar shells at the 'pedias (perhaps carrying out vendettas against this or that admin) -- which won't be tolerated, quite the reverse. A user here (and a page created by the user) was attacked by what appears to have been a user from fr.wikipedia. It was a sock, but the true identity was mysterious. The page creator was technically a sock, with an abusive name. Mess. However, the page itself was good. The page creator was encouraged to create a proper account, and the user did, and I have email correspondence with the user, who has a 'pedia tale of woe. Typical of experts who misunderstand 'pedia policies and think that being "right" is the best basis for behavior. There were revision deletions to eliminate the outing in the abusive sock name. But on fr.wikiversity, the attack against the topic itself was more open, and it was coming from highly experienced fr.wikipedia users, administrators there, attempting to apply 'pedia standards to the 'versity. The pages were fine for a 'versity. Cross-wiki pursuit of "disruptive users" and "fringe topics" is not okay. Assistance at identifying disruption here, that's appreciated!

By sympathizing with these banned users, whom I sometimes scrape off the floor on meta, so to speak, I've been able, sometimes, to bring them to an understanding of the mistakes that they made. And show them how they can recover. They merely need to be patient. And patience is its own reward. --Abd 12:05, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Wow, this whole time I had no idea you were also banned from English Wikipedia. Is there a single active editor on Wikiversity that isn't banned from English Wikipedia? No wonder you don't care about moving articles without discussion. Looking at your block history it seems you have little patience for discussion and compromise, and prefer to act unilaterally. For the sake of Wikiversity, however, I hope my assessment turns out to be wrong. Kaldari 23:57, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
That's a bit quick, Kaldari. I've been doing a lot of moving and the problem with your article was the first (there was another problem, the other day, but it's definitely not a dispute between me and the user, a teacher, we are still working out how to handle it.). I don't prefer to act unilaterally, but I'm willing to, with tentative actions that people may protest -- and undo! -- as you did, right? Big difference. Did I threaten to block you?
You are definitely incorrect about discussion and compromise, I'm famous for too much discussion, not too little. Indeed, that's why I'm banned on Wikipedia, if you were to look at the record. I even anticipated consensus, many times. I seek maximized consensus. That can take a lot of discussion. Too much for too many people.
If you are referring to my block log here, I acted with discussion when there was an urgent need and nobody else was willing and available to act. Those events may come up in review for my permanent custodianship process. It was claimed that I was acting contrary to consensus, but if you look at who was involved in that alleged consensus, it was, shall we say, iffy. The users are gone, almost totally.
It's a wiki, and things can be undone. How about the issue here? Do you want the other page in your user space for now, or do we want to create appropriate names -- and positions -- for mainspace? Wikiversity is famous for being a disorganized mess, and I'm trying to do my bit to clean it up. The goal here is inclusion and full consensus. This isn't Wikipedia and I'm not a Wikipedia administrator, but I'm a long-time wiki user and am highly experienced with on-line communities, I go back to the w:W.E.L.L. in the 1980s. --Abd 01:21, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, like I said, I hope I'm wrong. On the issue of page organization, I've created a new research page called Salticid Studies, which links to the two papers currently being developed. Do these need to be moved to subpages of Salticid Studies? Other research projects seem to not use subpages, but I couldn't find any guidance on what the proper procedure is. Kaldari 19:44, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
I've learned just to start by assuming that I'm wrong. I usually am, in at least some way or other!
Anyway, that seems fine to me. Yes, I think the pages should be subpages. Are you familiar with Wikibooks usage? Salticid studies (we use sentence case, normally, I'll fix that if it's okay by you) would be the "book," and your studies are "chapters" in it. Ultimately, this could be placed under some other hierarchy. But this is a nice tidy place to start. Would you like me to handle the moves? I'll be glad to. I'll fix the redirects to point to the ultimate destination. Okay?
I think with this idea, the page names can stay as they are, except they become subpage.
Yes, there is little or no guidance. One of the things to be fixed. --Abd 19:53, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
I moved Salticid studies and Salticid studies/Notes on jumping spiders of the genus Zygoballus in North America. I have to say, though, that I don't really like the subpage titling, but if you think that's the proper thing to do, I'll go along with it. Kaldari 20:24, 4 September 2011 (UTC)


[5] This was tagged one minute after being created. Looks like an unlogged edit followed by logging in and tagging. I think that you should just go ahead and delete it instead of coming up with reasons for keeping it. -- 09:57, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Your concern is? The page may have been created with the initials of a student in the course. The tagging was by a global sysop doing vandalism patrol (which is appreciated). I'll ping Jtneill, though. I've half a mind to delete it. --Abd 13:24, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
The user involved is RMB. Definitely this page shouldn't be deleted except by the teacher, unless Jt asks me to handle it. This appears to be a user attempting to sign up to participate. --Abd 16:17, 6 September 2011 (UTC)


Dedicated to You with best wishes. Thanks for You're help and you're activity in wikiversity. Sincerely:Mehdi 04:39, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. --Abd 14:08, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Don't mention it ;) --Mehdi 19:32, 7 September 2011 (UTC)


Thanks. Would you tell me how to change the name of a proyect? I´m new at this! Thxs! Bellfano 22:37, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

You change the name of any page with Move. In my default skin, it's under a down-arrow in a tab at the top of the page. Move will open up a Move screen. It's pretty straightforward, but some aspects can be subtle. Moves can make a mess, as I recently found with one. As a sysop, I can move subpages with a page, and I moved a page with 37 subpages, and got it wrong. As an ordinary user, you only have to worry about whether or not to move the Talk page with the page itself. Usually you will want to, if there is a Talk page attached.
Some things to know. Wikiversity prefers for page names, sentence case, except for proper nouns in a title. But I think we discourage changing pagenames just to make this uniform. Page moves complicate histories.
Before you change a page name, check "What links here." The move will leave a redirect in place, but if there are any redirects already there, a page mover is considered responsible for correcting them to avoid double redirects (which don't work). If there are lots of links, there may be more work than you care to take on immediately.... Ask for help if there is any doubt. --Abd 19:46, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Abd, sorry for editing your user page...all this isn´t very intuitive for me. 22:04, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
You'll get used to it. Be sure you are logged in when you post a message, otherwise it will put in your IP address, as this did. That can be deleted, so that only administrators can see it, if you ever want to hide it. --Abd 22:09, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Sorry to bother you again but i can´t find any down-arrow at the top of the page... Let´s hope i won´t have to move a page in the future! jaja CheersBellfano 22:18, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
What "skin" are you using? The default skin is "vector." This is set under Preferences (link at the top of the screen in Vector!)/Appearance). In that skin, there are, above a page, on the right, just to the left of the search box, a row of tabs, which vary a bit with the kind of page, for this page, they are Read/Edit/Add topic/View history/(star)/(down arrow). The "down arrow" is just a triangle with the point down. Click on that, you should see a move option. I see a few more options as a custodian. The star adds or removes a page from your Watchlist. --Abd 22:29, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, I have the --Read/Edit/Add topic/View history/(star)/ search box tabs. No "down arrow" between the star and the search box!!! that kinda sucks... I actually tried with mozilla and IE (i use chrome) and it was the same...no down arrow...any clues? ps: i have the vector skin. Bellfano 22:45, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Sorry! (Rattles head, loose objects fall out.) See Wikiversity:Autoconfirmed users. Accounts under 4 days old can't move pages. Precaution against vandals, basically. You'll get your down arrow. But be careful when you do! --Abd 22:50, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
I see! I already had a user in spanish wikiuniversity...i actually have 3 user is that ok? one for spanish, another for english and one for french...Bellfano 23:00, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Classifying 'dominant group' research project[edit]

moved to Talk:Dominant_group. --Abd 01:24, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Usurper Edit count[edit]

If you wish, you can enable the "Usurper Count" gadget in your preferences. -- darklama  01:33, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Aw, you just made that up!
Seriously, how do you use it? --Abd 01:42, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
If you goto Wikiversity:Changing username, you will see an edit count next to the target/current username of any registered user with any edits. Right now that is just Clifsportland, Mayurbot, and Joy-temporary. -- darklama  01:46, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
Cool. Thanks. --Abd 01:55, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Category for custodians[edit]

Dear Abd, thanks for the block. Could you please consider placing your user page in the category Wikiversity custodians? Kind regards, Mathonius 19:43, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Template:Done. We're on a roll, Mathonius. Thanks. --Abd 19:46, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for edit[edit]

Dear Abd, thanks for moving my comments from wikitwit's user page to their talk page. Helpful to know when just starting out. Regards Jeanette 23:57, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

You're welcome Jeanette. Wiki supposedly means "quick" in Hawaiian, but .... how to do things isn't necessarily obvious. I remember I was a few months on Wikipedia before I figured out how to create a signature with a timestamp. Sure, it's explained. But you have to see the explanation first! I was creating signatures manually, adding the personal link to my user name, and adding a time of edit. All instead of just adding --~~~~. If there is a simple way to do something wrong, I've probably "experimented" with it. And I've experimented with some complicated ways as well! Good luck, enjoy Wikiversity, and don't hesitate to ask if something seems obscure or difficult or you just need help with something that custodians can do. --Abd 00:04, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Not Forgotten[edit]


I have not forgotten the mail yet, there is just a busy period now.

Will look arround here today, maybe I will do some edits ;-) Best,

Abigor 06:26, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

A little busy, I am, now dealing with my permanent custodianship vote.... Stuff is coming out of the woodwork. Thanks for thinking of Wikiversity, we can use all the help we can get. --Abd 03:30, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Blocking BPS2011 Students[edit]

Hi Abd, thanks for spotting the less that admirable edits by a BPS2011 student, of another BPS student's user page. I'm their teacher, if you spot anything else like this, please let me know, and proceed with normal WV policy of course. I know they're just joking around, but they also need to realise the consequences, so thanks for your vigilance. From time to time though, I will be encouraging them to make constructive edits to each other's essays, sub paged to their user pages. Outstanding essays will eventually move into main space, in The Journal of Sport and Exercise Studies. Regards Leighblackall 03:04, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

I just wanted it to be clear that this wasn't inappropriate behavior here. Of the three things noted as problems, the least problematic would be the edit to another's user page. That happens fairly frequently, and it's usually harmless, though I'm not sure we should encourage it, it complicates the work of global Recent Changes Patrollers. Yes, I know he was joking around. That's why it was a short block, lifted early. Frankly, were I on the receiving end, I'd prefer that to a lecture. These are young people. I felt that a swift and clear and measured consequence was the best way to address this, a consequence that would do little or no harm.
Unless he were to keep doing stuff like that! Which I don't expect. --Abd 03:28, 13 September 2011 (UTC)[edit]

Hello Abd, could you please consider blocking He or she keeps vandalizing, despite my warning on the talk page. Regards, Mathonius 13:27, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Dungodung has already blocked him. :) Mathonius 14:05, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
For 24 hours. Thanks for the heads-up. Unfortunately, I was sleeping.... or fortunately, actually. I'll watch that. --Abd 15:01, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for you reply[edit]

I'm afraid I don't have time to read such a large wall of text. In any case, you can't make an article purely out of quotes and claim it as "fair use", especially if there is no comment or criticism of the sources cited. The use of copyrighted material in research is limited by §107 ([6]). I find it hard to believe that anything Marshallsumter is doing has any "educational use"...it's mostly mindless nonsense about the meaning of the string "dominant group". I think I know what "dominant group" refers to without all this pseudolinguistics. As you have been banned for disrupting Wikipedia, I do not see why you should have any authority in this community. I've moved my research project, which meets all civility guidelines, back into mainspace. --S Larctia 19:29, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Well, reading that response would be far less work than would be involved in the research project you propose, and might allow you to avoid some useless and wasted effort. Projects like this often stray into incivility. The page as it is does not cross the line, or I'd have done something else.
But your arguments here demonstrate that this page may have been created as an attack on Marshall's work, without following proper process. (If "Dominant group" is not an educational resource, as you seem to be claiming, the process would be to nominate it for deletion, not to confuse it with a separate issue, copyright violation, and with a third issue, the participation at Wikiversity of "banned editors." My Wikipedia status has nothing to do with my work here, except that Wikipedia was sometimes a distraction from my work here. I arranged for that distraction to end, in ways that produced value for Wikipedia as well.
My comment to you was not based on any authority, however, other than the natural one of understanding local consensus and advising you regarding it.
I moved the page to your user space as a suggestion that would avoid controversy. You moved it back, which you have the right to do, though it would have been better to ask a custodian to move it back, and there would certainly be no problem. (I'd have moved it back on your request, immediately.) Copying the content, as you did, creates a fork, two copies of the page, it also disconnected the new mainspace page from the attached Talk page. SBJ moved that back. I'm going to tag the page in your user space for deletion, another custodian will make that decision, because it seems you are a bit "touchy." Good luck. If you keep that page in mainspace, as it is, you may get an RfD notice from someone. It was safe in user space. --Abd 15:36, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Windows 7[edit]

Hello Abd, while looking at the new pages today to check for more spam (see this request), I saw "Windows 7" and I think it's very different from all the other pages on this project... However, I don't understand this project's scope well enough to tag something like this for deletion. What do you think? Kind regards, Mathonius 06:22, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

The page seems okay to me. It's not spam. Our scope is "educational resources," and education can be, and usually is, broadly construed. I'm working on developing organization for resources, where a page like this would probably be created or moved to a subpage in an educational structure. Think of this as some kind of "student report." At worst, it's harmless, or would cause very, very little harm.
If you are in doubt, asking me or other custodians is fine. If you think a page might not belong here, you may also tag it for speedy deletion. We don't stand on ceremony, you could tag a page with "delete|is this page okay?"
and a custodian would review it and either delete the page or remove the tag. That's pretty efficient. Probably even more efficient than asking here! The advantage of asking here is that you got a hopefully useful explanation of our scope. It can be disconcerting to Wikipedians. Wikiversity is, in fact, a place where material that would be completely inappropriate for Wikipedia can be acceptable or even useful. I've been trying to let people who have gotten into trouble elsewhere, because of a collision of their good-faith (but often misguided) efforts to improve the 'pedias, to look at Wikiversity, and the result has been a demonstration of reduction of disruption elsewhere. We convert "disruption," sometimes, into educationally useful content. Education is a process, not merely some text. Thanks for all your greatly appreciated work. --Abd 15:50, 16 September 2011 (UTC)


Your recent disruptive behavior has been brought up on the Colloquium for community analysis. This is not an excuse for you to edit my user talk page without permission. This is merely your notification. Ottava Rima (talk) 03:20, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

I only edited your Talk page, Ottava, believing that you might be interested in cooperation. Apparently I was mistaken. Thanks for the notice. --Abd 17:38, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Dear Abd[edit]

I tried to conribute there. is the outcome OK?, can I help?

Regards --White Fennec 13:31, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
That was fine, it's your right to comment. And thanks for the support, it encourages me. --Abd 17:23, 20 September 2011 (UTC)


Hello Abd. I would appreciate your comments at User talk:SB Johnny#User:Marshallsumter. Thanks. Kaldari 18:45, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Rather than creating a bunch of drama on the Colloquium, I've decided to just nominate the Dominant group pages for deletion. There only purpose for existing is to continue his conflict with editors on English Wikipedia (regarding the deletion of articles related to this topic). I would appreciate it if you didn't encourage this type of behavior. Wikiversity is not a remote battleground for en.wiki conflicts. His work here (which consists entirely of this project) has no legitimate educational value. Kaldari 23:22, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Kaldari, I don't see him as "continuing his conflict with editors" on en.wiki. He's working on his research, it's that simple. I disagree about the educational value. If nothing else, he's learning something. Please understand that Wikiversity is, partly, learning-by-doing. However, I found his work to be of interest to me personally. That you don't find it so is simply a reflection of the fact that people have differing interests. No, his work here is not "entirely of this project" (i.e., Dominant group). He has other pages in his user space that he blanked pending review of copyright. Those pages contain legitimate educational content by any measure. Quality? The user seems primarily interested in linguistics, in definitions and explanations of terms, which explains some of what has been called empty content. The pages I've seen were not appropriate for Wikipedia, but should be fine here, placed properly, and he seems to have background in astronomy. Give him some time.
Fair enough. Although I disagree about the educational value of his content, I'll agree to disagree and move on. The rest of my thoughts on this matter are on my talk page in reply to your comments there. Kaldari 05:45, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I'll look at the other page you mention and get back to you on it. --Abd 00:33, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Cold fusion[edit]

I've clarified the text some to better convey the information you added, but more information should still be added so I've marked up the text with more queries. -- darklama  13:15, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

I'll get to what you tagged, but that is actually well-known information, I think. I'll also review your edits. As I wrote at the top, the page might be a bit imbalanced. I am, after all, heavily involved in the field. I've been inviting skeptics, but ... they mostly are not interested. Moulton was about the only one to actually take an interest and to do some research, and some value did appear from that (a paper was written by an expert as a result of his questions -- a skeptical expert, by the way, but who dismissed Moulton's proposed explanation for experimental results.) --Abd 00:24, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Copyright violations.[edit]

I'm pretty sure that it's fair to delete any Mr. Burmese contribution which has been a) repeatedly created b) is a copyright violation immediately. --S Larctia 19:58, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Copyvio is a red herring here, except for the fact that the user is incommunicative. If you'd like, warn the user that a page will be deleted if he does not establish authorship (that would follow deletion policy). But, to be sure, the authorship is nearly certain. who else but that person would be putting these pages up? It's possible we could accept a simple assurance, given the very high probability of it being him.
The real reason for deletion is that the user keeps putting files in inappropriate places and will probably be blocked indef for it in reasonably short order. (I've already blocked at least one registered account, and some IP, and I think you blocked IP as well.
How about this for a suggestion: delete the pages and notify the user that if the user wants the wikitext, they can get it. That's an offer of service. I'd surely do it on request. One of the pages, I've edited to improve the wikitext. Not that the user seemed to notice! This was an unusual case, I've not seen a user here who is both very active and completely incommunicative like this. A 7-year-old kid was more communicative. I'd seen this total ignoring of communication on Wikipedia, such users are usually history fairly quickly there.
It's a shame. The user might actually be able to make some positive contributions, my guess. And then could keep those pages in user space, the way I interpret our policies. But I would not guarantee user space files will be kept for someone, long-term, who makes no effort to actually contribute to Wikiversity, in mainspace. It's a courtesy we extend to users who are here for our purpose.
To be explicit, pages repeatedly created after being deleted or moved to user space should be deleted. I'd started doing that myself. I'd probably tag all the pages for speedy deletion now, with maybe one -- the one I edited, hah! -- tagged with Category:Slow deletion to give him a bit more time to figure out that if he doesn't respond, it's all toast.
Thanks for asking or notifying me. --Abd 00:21, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia, Wikiversity and disruptive editing[edit]

I've undeleted and userfied the main resource per your request - I've left a redirect in mainspace, but if you don't like that you can always delete it and pipe all the links. As for the talk page, I didn't contribute to the content on it, but you're obviously free as a custodian to userfy that if you feel the need. I don't intend to do the research any more now I'm busy with sysop tasks, which was the reason for deletion. --S Larctia 18:06, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I'll look at it later. I'm sure it will all be fine. --Abd 18:11, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Draft of a Working Paper for Education at Brown University[edit]

Hi there! I think that your move of Draft of a Working Paper for Education at Brown University to my userspace was based on two misimpressions. The first was the "Draft" in the name. In fact, the word "Draft" is in the title of the work that the article is about. This is not a draft of an article. Second, the article is not mine, in any sense. The only thing I did on that article was add (and then change) a link.

I've moved the article back into the main namespace -- hopefully that's okay. - Mgcsinc 13:20, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

You are correct, I don't know how I missed the page history. My apologies. My move to user space was based on the misimpression that you had created it. The page title and its placement in Wikiversity structure remains an issue. --Abd 15:59, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Not sure about its place in the structure, since I don't know Wikiversity very well (or much at all) -- I imagine that you're right about that. I continue to be confused about what the problem is with the name; the word "Draft" is in the name of the thing being discussed. -- Mgcsinc 19:37, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Can you imagine a course in a brick and mortar university called "Draft of a Working Paper...."? Sure, the page is discussing that paper, which has draft in its name. But this is not an encyclopedia, and our structure isn't necessarily flat. Yes, many resources have been created with many names for very specific things, and it has created what is often a chaotic mess. In real universities, courses are on "topics," and something like that paper might be discussed in a course on a relevant topic.
If I'm correct, this paper was seminal or important, but to what? Let me try, being largely ignorant.
Educational reform/Magaziner-Maxwell Report (1968) would discuss the paper. There isn't much material there, so what is on the page might simply be a section on Educational reform --Abd 19:51, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Apologies to Simone Larctia and to you[edit]

I've been using the 'net too long—and I'm way too old—to have behaved quite so stupidly. Some years ago I was making frequent, almost daily attempts to add content to one section of wikipedia and one user there seemed to take joy in undoing them if they did not meet his personal standards. In the end I gave up. Unfortunately I think I came here with the wrong frame of mind.

Based on what you've given me I'll make another attempt to meet the copyright requirements (and hope that no sysops notice what's there now in the interim).

Thanks for your patience.

Yes, this is not Wikipedia, though occasionally some try to make it so. S Larctia came here with something that might resemble that intention, but quickly got that we did have a kinder, gentler way, and that it seemed it was working. I.e., less disruption, not more. You might notice on S Larctia talk a representation of that "wikipedia-like" attitude from another user. It's not "dead," but, mostly, sanity and widely-inclusive cooperation are winning out.
And thank you for your positive response. It means a great deal to me. If you look at User talk:S Larctia, you'll see that Larctia has apparently accepted the templates I placed on that one page. If you have time to place the same template -- you could just copy and past the template text for the two templates, you'll pick up from looking at an edit to the file I templated -- on the other files that you have used, it should be okay for now. If someone wants to challenge this, we can deal with it then. I'd do it myself, but I'm fighting fires in RL today. Or, more accurately, in what I imagine is "real." --Abd 15:08, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

"Fair use" file[edit]

Hi Abd. Thanks for helping me with the BillBell incident. I was just wondering if you could take a look at File:786643809490c8f831c6c3 medium.jpg. It's an image of a living person claimed as fair use. I've tagged it for speedy deletion (as generally images of living people are replaceable, and thus can't be fair use), but I'd like a second opinion on whether there's a better option than deletion. I can't find a free image of him myself. There's another "fair use" file (homeschooling) in the candidates for speedy deletion which should probably be uncontroversially deleted.

Also, do we have a policy on whether fair use images are allowed in userspace ? I've found some fair use images which have no mainspace uses: I'm inclined to deletion in most cases, but as so much more of the project here happens in userspace, I feel cautious about potentially disrupting useful projects. Thanks. --Simone 20:11, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm just going to give my thoughts, not claiming any authority.
  • "Replacing" this image might be possible, but is not necessarily practical.
  • The image is found here, on Prof. Graedel's university page.
  • If I were giving a slide show at a university, on the topic of the resource (DFE2009 Worldwide Package Cushioning), I'd likely include, briefly, an image of Graedel. It adds human character to the material. There is definitely an educational value, my opinion.
  • The problem is that the work involved to secure permission is high, with the value obtained being low (by comparison). Our resource was a class project, and such materials might routinely be included in a class project in a real university, and nobody would say "boo!" Do we now remove the images based on copyright technicalities? The likelihood of the copyright owner objecting is about zero. But we could ask. I've never shepherded something like this through permissions.
  • Generally, much "copyvio" presents no legal risk for the WMF, the only real practical issue is that, if a takedown notice is filed with the WMF, it must act (and thus if a takedown notice is at all a reasonable possibility, we should remove the item to avoid creating the clerical overhead). However, a "hedge around the law" has been built, and that hedge does interfere with the purpose and operation of the projects, sometimes.
  • My opinion is that if you want to delete an image with a *good usage* like that here, go through RfD. I'm seeing a real need for clear guidance from the WMF. There is no reason for Wikiversity, for its own goals, to delete that image.
  • As to "free use" images, example? --Abd 23:54, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant fair use images used only in userspace, not "free use".
Are you really sure about File:ISTE in SL.png ? Unlike the other images in this resource, I don't see any particular educational value. There's no commentary on the image within the resource, it's at a funny angle, and the text on the image is unreadable. It's important to limit the number of fair use images in each resource. I'm not going to redelete it, but I don't think we should keep it. You might want to add specific fair use rationales to the other images. It would be better to specifically justify the use of each image rather than to just claim that is educational. Meanwhile, I'll list File:786643809490c8f831c6c3 medium.jpg for deletion. Thanks. --Simone 07:06, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
"Educational value" can be in the eye of the beholder. It's obvious that the file uploader, who placed it in the resource, considered it useful. There are educational issues here; utility is actually a complex question, relating to skill as an educator. By the way, the copyright status of an image which is created on-line in this way is unclear to me. The "work" is a creation of more than one person.
I decided to look at Second Life with respect to copyright issues.
Take-down procedure. more Linden Labs copyright information. Notice that Linden Labs does not allow users to submit notices of copyright violation. It must be the owner of the copyright or an authorized agent. In the other direction, as to copying material from Second Life, there is this discussion from 2009, and this related comment.
However, from the Second Life TOS, which covers a license issued to all Second Life users re usage of IP within Second Life, I found the snapshot policy which applies to our images. Essentially, snapshots may be used under conditions. Unfortunately, we don't know the conditions under which the image was obtained. We can ask, however, and the user may be able to provide the information. Lack of this information, though, would not prevent fair use. It would merely mean that a license had not been obtained.
User space is often where a user will work on material prior to moving it to mainspace. That is, a user might intend it for mainspace. Thus "fair use" should also apply to material apparently intended for mainspace, that is merely hosted in user space temporarily. "Educational purpose," an element in fair use, can apply to user space as well as to mainspace. Further, in the other direction, whether an image is hosted in mainspace or user space has no impact on possible damage to the copyright owner. If it's harmless in mainspace, it would be harmless in user space.
Copyright issues are a nightmare, unless we accept some simple operating principles as to what's important and what's not. Trying to determine if a particular usage is fair use or not is, often, entering territory where even lawyers fear to tread, because nobody knows. They merely have opinions, often. What opinion a lawyer gives may depend on the question. "Is this usage clearly permitted" is one question, and "Does this usage create a risk for the WikiMedia Foundation?" may be quite another. There are some usages where the answers would be clear, but, in fact, we don't even ask about them. It's stuff in the middle, where the answer to both questions, from a knowledgeable attorney, would be "No," that can create endless argument with no benefit to the wiki, and often harm. I haven't seen, in reviewing policy pages and discussions, that the questions asked have been deep, considering all issues from all points of view. --Abd 21:52, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
What I really want to know is : what does the image show which is of educational value, which is not shown by the other images in the article ? As for the LindenLabs snapshot policy, you'd have to ask JWSchmidt about whether the image complies with that.
Concerning copyright, you seem to suggest "when in doubt, keep it". This is not a legally acceptable copyright policy: if something doesn't obviously meet the EDP, it's unlikely to be fair use and should go. It's not about risk. Even if you judge the risk to be small for each individual image, this sentiment would result in thousands of copyright violations hosted on Wikiversity, which could cause the WMF some grief. Simone 23:06, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
  • What the image shows which is of educational value is the human being who developed the analysis that is being presented. It creates relatedness. Do you see such a presentation as being of any educational value? If not, know that many professional educators would disagree with you.
Sorry, I was referring to the file uploaded by JWSchmidt. Could you clarify why you think that image is of educational value ? --Simone 11:22, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Legally acceptable copyright policy. Leaving all material as-is without attention to copyright is "legally acceptable." The user who uploads an image is legally responsible. I'm not, you are not, and the WMF is not. If I restore a deleted image, I might be held accountable, to be sure, I am then like the uploader.
This may indeed be the case, but there are legal issues with tolerating violations of copyright policy despite this. --Simone 11:22, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
  • It seems to me that there is a confusion here between what the WMF is legally required to do, vs. what it has decided to do (which is in excess of legal requirements, and, note, it does allow each project to develop its own fair use policy, then it weakens that somewhat, it's a mess.)
  • See Wikimedia Foundation Licensing policy. There is a contradiction there. Notice that the purpose of the policy is not prevention of legal risk. It is a policy designed to "empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free content license." The resolution then goes on to note that exceptions exist. In other words, some of the content is not under a free content license, it may be hosted under fair use.
  • The goal of "free content license" for the entire corpus is apparently seen as unattainable without damage to the quality of the content. The policy makes sense if Wikipedia is considered. It doesn't make sense if educational process is considered. Education, in general, relies more heavily on fair use than other fields. Original research and academic and other debate rely heavily on fair use: it's common for a critique, on the internet, to quote an entire original paper, but not as one piece, rather, it will be interspersed, and informed opinion seems to be that this is legally acceptable, for the purpose of criticism (which is educational). I haven't done it, but I've considered writing certain critiques of scientific papers here, where much of the paper is quoted with interspersed analysis. It can be done by reference to the paper, but the result would be far less readable. It's a similar issue.
  • My point here is not "anything goes." My point is that to actually decide these issues, as it is, would require legal expertise that most users and most administrators don't have. We need clear guidelines that have been legally vetted and accepted by the WMF. We should design our own EDP, to meet our needs. Connected with that EDP will be an operational guideline that makes the matter as clear as possible for users and for administrators, how to ensure that uploads are compliant and how to respond to uploads and alleged educational usage. It has to be practical, or it will damage the project.
  • One of the problems with that WMF Resolution was that it directed something to be done, but it provided no implementation. Obviously, such files as it proclaimed would be deleted were often not deleted, the labor wasn't made available. And why not? Because this labor does not improve the project, except for the goal of "free license," which is different from what most users want. Most users want the content to be free, which means that they can read it for free, not that they could reproduce it for profit (which is what the "free content license" allows with attribution). Most users don't give a fig about the license, as long as they can read it. The WMF knows that the encyclopedia needs some level of "fair use" content, hence they make the "limited exception." The needs of Wikiversity are not on their radar. That's our job to supply.
  • The WMF has not apparently decided how much responsibility to leave to the individual projects, as to what they state, but, in practice, it leaves it entirely to the projects, and only intervenes when there is a take-down notice, and that is perfectly legal and safe. When was the last time that a WMF agent deleted something on Wikiversity? (A legal agent, not a volunteer doing something on their own initiative, such as yourself. OTRS takedown is an official action, even if done by a volunteer, the authority having been delegated.) Only if the WMF actually encouraged blatant copyvio would there be a legal risk for the WMF.
  • I know of a newsletter in a particular field which, on their web site, posts copies of entire scientific papers in their field, without permission, claiming fair use. I'm pretty sure that the editor of the newsletter got a legal opinion that, as a nonprofit, he was legally safe as long as he complies with take-down notices. That newsletter is very visible, and the foundation that publishes it has money, they would not be judgment-proof. That's an extreme, far more serious than anything we are discussing here, and it appears it's legal. The result? They host these papers, and only occasionally do the papers "disappear," whereas others who ask for permission either get denials (sometimes) or no response (more often). As a reader, I'm grateful to be able to read the papers, otherwise I'd have to go to a library. I could still read them for free!
  • The WMF has legal authority, but it has no power to compel local action. It can request it, and employees could take the action and could prevent opposition, but the WMF is not about to create a confrontation over this unless it's important. If we develop a reasonable EDP policy that fully addresses our needs, as well as remaining within a reasonable understanding of fair use, I think it highly likely that the WMF will accept it.
  • If we don't have a policy and matching guidelines which recognize the real needs of those who are creating our content, we will continue to see disruption; a mess, on the one hand, or disgruntled users who go away mad, on the other. We need this debate and discussion, and, again, Simone, I thank you for raising these issues. --Abd 01:21, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
I think there is generally a consensus among Wikiversity contributors that our current EDP represents the community's views on the matter. If you want to amend the policy, you need to discuss it at the colloquium or on the talk page of the policy. --Simone 11:22, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps, perhaps not. Where do you get your idea about consensus? I'd venture that most "Wikiversity contributors" are unaware of the policy. What became the policy section (that's unusual, a policy that is not its own page) was added in 2007 by JWS, the same user who uploaded the Second Life image you are talking about. There was later discussion on the Talk page, between Geoff Plourde and JWS. I see no clear consensus there, and the policy seems to have been written by JWS, without the participation of others, with only sporadic changes elsewhere. I will initiate process to fully consider a policy, anew. By the way, I do consider that EDP our current policy, by default. But we can change it at any time, we are not bound to keep it that way. --Abd 15:49, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Our upload guideline refers to m:Avoid copyright paranoia. On that page, I find a telling argument at Copyright paranoia does not exist at Wikimedia projects. That argument, and who applauded it immediately, shows the source of the weak fair use policy (i.e., weak in terms of what fair use it supports): the "free content movement." I find that thoroughly ironic, and contradictory to a different movement: the desire of WMF users to create resources of maximum utility to readers, Wikiversity has, in addition, a "learn by doing" purpose, i.e., our goal is not merely content, but educational value to participants. --Abd 15:49, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Abd, you do realize that as there is little support for the assembly, and disagreement about whether or how delegable proxy should be instituted, whatever result you get from the discussion at Wikiversity:Assembly#Fair_use_policy will be unlikely to be upheld by the community ? I'd really rather that we discussed this at the colloquium - I myself will not join in the assembly discussion, because I don't agree with the concept of the assembly. --Simone 00:51, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
You are assuming, it seems, that I'll do my job poorly. Why? Delegable proxy, as it has been instituted (it has been instituted, and this can exist on or off-wiki), does not require acceptance. It simply is what it is. You have not seen how it will be used. I think you assume that some sort of unwarranted authority will be claimed.
You are welcome not to participate, but I wanted you to know that you were invited. Thanks. --Abd 01:00, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm really not assuming that you'll do your job poorly. I'm reiterating what SBJ said during your nomination for permanent custodianship. You have a lot of good ideas but you rush into them without giving the community the time to consider and change them. Sometimes that's not really a problem: the "standard" stop agreement is certainly a sensible and practical idea despite the fact that it was created "just like that". However, much of the Wikiversity community doesn't understand how the assembly works or are unwilling to get involved with it.
Here are some of the opinions voiced at the colloquium:
  • "this process currently doesn't have community approval"
  • "I'm opposed to this process"
  • "I am also opposed to the assembly"
  • "I'm opposed to this too."
There was no other user apart from yourself who could be broadly construed to support the institution of the assembly. That's not saying that the assembly is a bad idea: I personally feel it has potential. But hosting discussions about important community issues on a prototype forum with very limited community support seems a very strange decision to make. A consensus system with "facilitation" may work. But the assembly as it is gives a false sense of legitimacy when there will almost certainly be inadequate participation. You'd be better proposing your changes to policy in a more conventional way. Simone 01:23, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Okay, Simone, you have quoted some opinions expressed. Those come from
    • Bilby. Ended with Give it a shot, I guess, and see if there is support
    • Leutha. Opposed.
    • Darklama. Opposed.
    • S Larctia. Opposed.
  • Gee, from this it would seem there is no support. However, there is support, and it's obvious. See Wikiversity:Delegable proxy/Table which was designated as the place to register as an Assembly member. Six users are signed up, and you will see more. Many more. One of those users is a bureaucrat from Wikibooks, and one is a Wikiversity custodian who has been inactive. We have a lot of inactive custodians, and part of that has been the difficulty of making decisions. Indeed, your commentary above is a demonstration of the problems of assuming consensus from a Colloquium discussion! From that discussion, it would seem that we have 3:1 against the assembly, 4:1 if we include Bilby and 5:1 if we include SB_Johnny, but he didn't actually state opposition. From the Assembly sign-up, we have 6 users who are sufficiently interested to register. None of this is enough to demonstrate consensus, Simone. That's part of the point. One step at a time.
  • There is nothing to stop you from creating another discussion, say on the Colloquium if you want. The Assembly committee, if it is formed -- there hasn't been a second yet, but I assume there will be one -- will consider all the discussions that have taken place. --Abd 01:45, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Abd, most of the six users who have signed up to the assembly are not terribly active, and it's much more important to gain support for a proposal from active members of the community. Can you explain what the role (and "powers") of the Assembly committee is ? I saw it simply as an (surplus) advisory body.
  • How do you measure activity? What if we look at total contributions from the two groups? Delegable proxy analysis is up to the one who wishes to be advised, it is not a rigid thing. You are correct about activity for all but me, though, but what you don't realize is what is behind that. Adrignola, for example, was asked to consider being a custodian at Wikiversity. (He'd probably be approved for 'crat, immediately, if he were inclined to accept the nomination.) He's declined, because of the mess here, and that mess involves some of those opposed to the Assembly, or, at least, those opposed haven't been part of the solution. Basically, he's inactive because of the community paralysis. (Wikibooks is a sister wiki to Wikiversity, Wikiversity began there.)
  • Besides, my point was only that there is no consensus against the Assembly.
  • I agree that it is important to gain support from active members of the community, but that's a process that can take time, and the wiki reality is that such support is not going to appear until there is something to support. Chicken and egg problem. What it will take is demonstration. You seem to think that approval should come first. That's probably impossible. Suppose that, instead of actually starting the Assembly, I'd merely argued for it. What do you think would have happened? Simone, it's predictable. Nothing would happen.
  • The role of the Assembly is to negotiate what I call "deep consensus." It is not limited, in this, to considering the views of its own members, and it can actively seek opinions, it can do research, it can dig. Its powers are only over its own process. If it is a "surplus" advisory body, to what is it surplus? Can you shown me reports that cover all aspects of issues that have been raised? We have a number of processes that are used to demonstrate consensus, but they frequently fail in this. We have open Community Reviews from years ago. We have policies that were never thoroughly considered and discussed, such as WV:EDP. We have what I might simply call "half-assed" attempts at finding consensus. Frequently, what passes as consensus, with a closed discussion, isn't. Real consensus is self-enforcing, it ends disruption.
  • Existing WM process could do this, iff there is clerking. The concept of clerking is mostly unused on WV, I've been introducing it. The community has, in fact, accepted this, at least in some contexts. Originally, when I started clerking RfD, there was opposition. Yet every decision I made as a clerk was upheld. The opposition disappeared, almost entirely. However, the community has never ratified the clerking process that I described. It simply allowed it to take place. What does that mean? I don't know! And unless some kind of process takes place, I won't know, and what I know about existing processes is that they are highly vulnerable to various kinds of disruption that, at the least, prevent a consensus from becoming apparent, often.
  • Here is the bottom line: worst case, what harm will the Assembly do? What I'm telling you is that, with about thirty years of experience in organizational structure, the benefit is unlimited, and it's designed to be fail-safe, i.e., to do no harm. To explain that, well, I've been told, many times, I should write a book. I can do it in person, in a few minutes, because the bandwidth is far higher. Perhaps we need a Wikiversity wikiconference.... I've been able to explain the purpose of this project to people who have no connection with Wikiversity, and they get excited, because the possible benefits extend way beyond Wikiversity, way beyond the WMF itself.
  • Wikiversity is an open academic environment. That's where we'd expect experiments with democratic process to take place. w:Lewis Carroll used advanced voting systems, in the nineteenth century, with the making of university decisions. There is a long tradition for this. Carroll, by the way, also invented, and published in 1993, what is now called Asset Voting, which is a secret ballot form of delegable proxy. I've been inviting voting systems experts to become involved in Wikiversity. There is a wiki already, electorama.com, which was originally a collaboration with Wikipedia editors. Most of those editors have abandoned Wikipedia, it's simply too difficult, and most knowledge in the field is present in a community, not formally published.
  • I've proposed rules for the Assembly. To be accurate, those rules only bind me as default clerk. They essentially tell others what to expect from me. They are a model which others may use, or not use. The Assembly doesn't bind you, for example, in any way. You may participate or not, and you will not lose any rights if you don't participate, other than what is natural, that is, you'll lose what naturally will follow from participation. But there is more: you can participate, in a way, without having to put any more effort into it than is involved in deciding whom you most trust, among Wikiversity users. You can simple set this and, if you choose wisely, forget it. You simply name a proxy, and ask that proxy to accept. The proxy does not vote for you, but you will wisely choose a proxy with whom you can communicate. The proxy will then let you know if some action is needed.
  • There has been a small demonstration of this already. I proposed a rules committee, to propose Assembly rules. No second appeared, my guess is that few are watching the page. So I notified my "clients." And one seconded the proposal within a few minutes. If I were able to actually act for my clients, I'd not need to do that. But the way that this is set up, proxies are not "full proxies," they cannot pretend to be more than one person. When I vote on something, it's my vote, period. And I don't control my clients, at all. If they didn't agree with what I asked, they simply would not do it.
  • Prohibition on canvassing is one of the paradoxical rules that results in oligarchical control. There were attempts to set up "consensual canvassing" on Wikipedia. There was inadequate understanding and participation for it to happen. Canvassing is harmful within the context of "standard wiki process," but the paradox is that if, as is claimed, it is only arguments that count, canvassing is surely ineffectual, unless it results in improved arguments. But it can multiply the numbers of !votes on a topic, confusing the issue. One of the functions of delegable proxy is to suppress that effect. If a person is considered to represent a large number of users, then there is no need for all those users to pile in with "me, too" votes. Discussions would become less profuse, not more, except as "profusion" actually represents depth of argument and evidence.
  • So, if the Assembly works, it will present a coherent report on an issue. That report is not binding. However, it may be presented as part of a standard wiki decision-making process. If new arguments are then presented, the Assembly committee involved can modify the report to incorporate them. An Assembly report may be, through standard wiki process, incorporated in policy document, but that will require actual consensus, right? If the Assembly report is biased, warped away from actual consensus, if significant points of view are excluded, it simply won't work. The goal of the Assembly, I'll repeat, is deep consensus. An Assembly committee has failed if it represents only the view of a biased subset of users.
  • On Wikipedia, ArbComm made noises about the desirability of refactored Talk page justifications for article text. In some articles, FAQs have been written about this, but those FAQs were often controlled by a faction, they were one set of users (a dominant faction, often including some involved administrators) telling another why they can't do what they want. Attempts to make these FAQs neutral were torpedoed. Assembly process is designed to create documents that are, in fact, fully neutral, that incorporate and address, clearly, all significant points of view. Full consensus on a report is the goal. Jimbo wrote quite a bit about this idea, in fact, believing in the possibility of full consensus. It's never been realized, for lack of process to create it, and because of certain limitations on Wikipedia that don't apply here. --Abd 14:38, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Ok. I feel I have a better idea of what you're doing now, and I'm not really opposed to the principal of the assembly, just to participating in it myself. Thanks for the effort you've put into explaining it to me. --Simone 15:01, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks. You're welcome. By its nature, Assembly participation is not for everyone. As Wikiversity grows, if everyone participates, we have a huge mess. The idea is to move toward a system where everyone is represented, in at least some way. (At least everyone who cares enough to lift a finger to register.) Not that they necessarily follow all the discussions, which can become tedious. But someone must do it, or we won't have deep consensus, we'll have something short of that, and "short" can even mean that minority opinion prevails (sometimes). Thanks for your patience with this, it's appreciated. --Abd 16:18, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

User talk:S. Larctia/Wikipedia, Wikiversity and disruptive editing[edit]

I'd rather that this be in your userspace or a subpage of my talk rather than in the userspace of S. Larctia. I didn't contribute to it. Simone 00:55, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Cool. I'll make it so, but also address the concern I raised. --Abd 01:00, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I see that I mispelled S Larctia. No harm, since I've moved the page to my own user space, User talk:Abd/Wikipedia, Wikiversity and disruptive editing --Abd 01:14, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Use of copyrighted images[edit]

Hi Abd. I'm afraid I have to ask that you refrain from adding non-free media to user pages, as you did here. In this case the uploader clearly tagged it as a copyrighted file - presumably either she did not have the right to release it under a free license, or she chose not to do so. As the WV:EDP is clear that we cannot use non-free images in userspace, this one is not a grey area. - Bilby 17:05, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Slow down, Bilby. You revert warred on that removal, which is not a removal of an image, but of a link to an image. Users may have as many links on their user page as they desire; it's up to the user to remove redlinks if they want. This uploader was a totally new user and easily may have misunderstood the instructions, which can be less than clear. The EDP is actually about uploaded files, not links to files. The link is permitted. Indeed, to be clear, here it is: File:Jibby.jpg. You also linked to the file on her user talk page. The policy you are interpreting is an upload policy, not a policy governing user pages, which may generally contain links to about anything.
Please get it clear, Bilby. You properly notified the user, but you did not properly remove the link.
As to the file itself, If the deletion tag is removed, even if the one who placed it is a custodian, process is clear: RfD. You do not unilaterally decide the application of our EDP, which was never properly considered as a policy. Fair use removals, if there is any reasonable claim at all, is never an emergency, and the purpose of the WMF fair use policy is not defeated by exercising caution about this. Note that I placed a Slow deletion tag on the file, this is to ensure that the problem doesn't fall through the cracks. Thanks for raising the issue. But please do also look at this from the point of view of assisting users to do what they want within policy. --Abd 17:31, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
To be honest, I have no idea what you are talking about with this link vs file thing. The user's user page had a photo on it. That photo was uploaded by the user under a fair use license. According to policy, fair use images cannot be used in userspace. While there is room for some flexibility, especially where the file might be needed for assessment purposes or content development, this doesn't fit those circumstances. Thus I removed the image as it wasn't in a grey area. If the user wishes to change the license or upload a new image that would be great, but as it stands the file can't be used outside of mainspace, and has no current potential role within mainspace. - Bilby 17:41, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
(Edit conflict with below) Bilby, perhaps you should try to understand what I'm talking about. You did not "remove the image," because the image was not on the user's page. What was on the user's page was a link to the page. The image is on our server, not on the user's page. The user added the image to the server, not to her user page. Then she linked to it. There is no policy against linking to any file on the server. Don't confuse the issue over the file itself with the issue over your revert warring over the link.
I have to admit that this is a very worrying statement, as it seems that you don;t understand basic policy. The EDP is policy, and its states, unambiguously, "Fair use content is only allowed in learning resources in the main Namespace and on media file description pages in the image namespace." There's not a lot of room to move there. If you add a non-free image to a user page, you are acting against policy. - Bilby 18:10, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
S Larctia deleted the page in spite of the removal of a speedy deletion tag, which normally then requires RfD for removal (but I set up slow deletion to honor the license problem). I've undeleted, pending review. I'll discuss this with Simone.
Do I gather that you are refusing to revert your second link removal? Please be explicit, I don't want to delay this. --Abd 17:57, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I've speedily deleted the file as an unused non-free image. --Simone 17:44, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
And I restored it, pending discussion, per common practice. It was not "unused." The usage had just been removed by Bilby, which was disruptive. You should, seeing the file, at least look to see where it was used, and Bilby's action concealed that, though perhaps you knew it anyway. There is an educational purpose served by users having their photos on their user pages, so there is a basis for fair use, even if that is actually the situation. It's more likely that the user misunderstood the licensing procedure. We'll find out, meanwhile, what's the hurry here? --Abd 17:57, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
From your talk page comments, I thought that the userpage only had a link to the file, and thus that the file was genuinely unused. I didn't see your removal of the speedy tag. Bilby's removal was not disruptive. It was absolutely in accordance with policy. Fair use images cannot be used for non-educational purposes in userspace. --Simone 18:01, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
  • (above in edit conflict with below)
I'll put the image on RFD, but I see absolutely no justification for Abd's undeletion of the file after I speedily deleted it. It's a very clear copyright violation, being a non-free file with no mainspace uses or even potential educational applications.--Simone 17:44, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Great, Simone. That's proper process, it's appreciated. What I see is a possible copyright violation, it actually seems unlikely. Who owns the copyright? It's apparently a photo of the user. See [7] for another image of her. How about we ask before deleting stuff? --Abd 18:09, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
  • You're right. It's perhaps not a copyright violation, if we assume that the user, although reserving the copyright of the file, allows the specific use of the image on that particular page. The user stated that it was copyrighted, by using the template {{fairuse}}. However, the image breaches points 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 of our exemption doctrine policy. Fair use images can only be used on Wikimedia projects in mainspace (or in exceptional cases, active educational projects in user-space), with a fair use rationale, with a statement as to who owns the copyright, when the file is not replaceable (she's living presumably) and when the file is educational. Simone 18:20, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
  • There is a message for you at User_talk:Bilby#Revert_warring. --Simone 18:21, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
  • One of the problems with revert warring is that it invites and tempts users to do more revert warring. "I'm right." "No, I'm right." "Really, I'm right" "No, prove it, file a CR" "No, *you* file a CR." If those are edit summaries, reflecting ping-ponging of content, there is a problem. --Abd 18:49, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

File:Pearlek 2372.jpg[edit]

The licensing of these images is not contentious. The user wanted to release them onto Wikiversity with all rights reserved to them, and claim fair use on the userspace only. It's understandable why you wouldn't want to license a personal photograph under a license which would allow anyone to use it for commercial purposes, such as the GFDL or CC-BY-SA. However, it's not in compliance with our policy. I've listed the page on RFD. --Simone 10:59, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

I have proposed a modification to our EDP which would explicitly allow this file and others like it, i.e., content owned by or permitted to the user, on the user page, with rights remaining reserved. Yes, it's understandable why a user might not want to release their personal photo for anyone and everyone to republish. You are correct that the policy, as it stands, does not allow this kind of restriction. And we are explicitly permitted by the WMF to set up limited exceptions to the goal of free re-use.
What is happening here, Simone, is a conflict between the language of policies and actual usage and community practice. Such conflicts must not be allowed to remain, because they will continue to cause conflict and misunderstandings. We either change the policy or we change the community practice. Or both. --Abd 16:18, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Gestalt split[edit]

Just to say, from what I have learned, you have a Gestalt split, which I mean as an internal contradiction; they hurt you (which you write about endlessly), but you help them hurt me. As to why, that is why I put the poem there; despite being 2500 years old, the why is eroding fast in this post-modern age.--John12pxBessatalk 16:13, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Ah, John, quite a story you have there! Who has "hurt me," and who has "hurt you" and how? And how have I "helped them hurt" you?
If a file has been deleted that you need, there is process for that, it starts with asking the deleting custodian to undelete. If it was speedy deleted, and for ordinary issues, common practice is that undeletion would be routine, upon request, speedy deletion is normally only for uncontested deletions, bottom line. Everything else would normally go to WV:RFD. There is some opinion that licensing issues are different, and that isn't clear. But I can certainly assist you with deletion issues, I've undeleted a number of files with controversial deletion reasons, and even licensing issues, and some are at RFD right now, where the community will decide.
I saw the notice on your page about one of your files. You removed that notice without comment, which you certainly have the right to do, but that probationary custodian is simply trying to follow policy. Looks like you did respond and made the licensing clear, and if problems remain, I'm sure we can work them out. It takes all kinds, John. I want you to know that you are welcome to work on educational resources here, and, as well, that the work of that custodian is bringing out and bringing up possible defects in our policies (plus cleaning up messes). It's useful. Please try to think and work collaboratively. I'm encouraging that for "them," and I'm encouraging it for all of us.
Meanwhile, I personally need support in my efforts to develop a policy that fully reflects community consensus and vision, and not just the opinions of the most centrally involved. We do have some imbalances here. Let's fix them and not blame our problems on "others." Okay? --Abd 17:10, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Your revert[edit]

Once again, I'm forced to point out that your revert at [8] is both against policy and misleading. This is not a link, as you incorrectly state in your edit summary. This is adding the image to the user's user page. At this point in time, unless you are successful in changing the policy, such use of an image is against the WV:EDP. Why you insist on edit warring to include an image against current policy on the user page of an inactive user is something that I don't understand, and why you continue to mischaracterise that as a "link" is equally confusing. - Bilby 18:00, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Bilby, this is preposterous. What is on the user page is a link. Period. The image is stored in filespace as File:Jibby.jpg. Now, from what you claim, that file must now be on my talk page. If not, how come it appears when I take out the colon? How does removing one character from my user page create complex content?
No, what's here is a link. Follow that link, and the image appears. It's hosted on Wikiversity, unless and until RFD decides otherwise. The page does not host the image. The WV:EDP you refer to does not prohibit use, per se, it prohibits hosting certain kinds of content. But that policy, as you might know, was written by one user and declared policy without discussion.
I undeleted the file because the deletion reason was improper, and the user had not been given an opportunity to change the licensing, plus there is an additional reason that the EDP was not written in contemplation of this kind of file/usage, it's obvious, nor was the Foundation policy written in that way, either.
None of this really has to do with your revert warring. You do not revert war on a user page. Period. Got that? If I've erred here, it would be over the undeletion of the file, which is between me and Simone, and that difference will surely be resolved by the community, that's what RFD is for. There is a good chance, I suspect, that the user herself will request deletion. Another user in the same class blanked her user page over this, it appears. You are damaging the Wikiversity community, which is far more important than a transient violation of a technicality of policy.
Your action then created a new reason for deletion: unused. Cool. That's quite a trick. --Abd 18:26, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, you are amazingly unaware of the difference between adding a link to an image to a page, and adding the image to the page. You reverted to add an image to a user page. Not a link.
On the assumption that you seem unaware of the policy, it states:
Fair use content is only allowed in learning resources in the main Namespace and on media file description pages in the image namespace. If a media file containing copyrighted content is used, the image description page must contain a description of the intended educational use of the media file.
That image is not in the main namespace. It does not have a FUR explaining the educational use of the media file. Therefore you are not permitted, by policy, to add that image to a user page. It was correctly removed, yet you seem to want to mischaracterise what was happening, mislead the user, and revert to add it back against policy. As a custodian, you should perhaps rethink your actions, and read the relevant policies.
In regard to the Foundation policy:
As of March 23, 2007, all new media uploaded under unacceptable licenses (as defined above) and lacking an exemption rationale should be deleted
Surprisingly, this image does not have a FUR nor an acceptable license, and was uploaded after March 23, 2007. Deleting it doesn't exactly seem unwarranted. Personally, I have no problem with allowing the user time to change the license, but this doesn't excuse your actions to return it to her user page against the policy, and it is not against policy to delete the image. - Bilby 18:38, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Stop revert warring, Abd. The image stays off User:Papatsorn until there is consensus that it should be allowed there You can discuss whether it should on my talk page, or on Bilby's talk page, or the colloquium or on the request for deletion of the image, but unless there are changes made to our EDP, it's inappropriate for the image to be in userspace. --Simone 18:44, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for making your point of view clear, Simone, standing for allowing users to edit other user's talk pages, without any policy violation being actually on the page. That may be useful.
As a little demonstration: this is a link to a file allegedly violating the policy you mention: File:HPWave.jpg. That file has been deleted. I am allowed to place that link here. If the file is undeleted, the image will be displayed. If that is a violation, it was obviously not my violation. If it is deleted, the image will not be displayed. Whether or not an image is displayed does not depend alone on the content on my page. Do not remove this link. It is not contrary to policy, if it were, our deletion log would be contrary to our policy, since it consists of links to deleted files. I restored, with my edit, a link to a file, not the file. If there is a license problem, it exists only because of the file's existence, not because of the link. You might notice that our EDP is on the Uploading files page. It's not about content, per se, it's about uploads of files for fair use.
Links are relevant, but not in a way that affects this. The issue raised about the file itself and its licensing is not sufficient to justify removal of the link, contravening our strong traditions against adverse editing of a user page, against revert warring (which does have a definition), and against deletion in the presence of objection without discussion, RFD by policy. --Abd 19:05, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Fair use content is only allowed in learning resources in the main Namespace. What part of this sentence do you not understand ? Placing a "link" to an image which involves that image being displayed on the page constitutes the image being in that page. Ok ? That's policy. As a custodian, you should be upholding policy, not ignoring it. Simone 19:09, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Let me comment I see the question as what is or isn't a link is a matter of perspective. From the preservative of HTML an image on a user page is included in the page, as much as any image is ever included in a page. Just look at the HTML source. From the point of view of wikicode we put in a link. So the question because what is important, what wikimedia servers serve or what wikimedia servers store as wikicode before running their scripts on it. The real image is neither, and is just a file on a disk drive somewhere that apache has to decide what to do with. Overall I suppose I agree with Bilby that since it is in the HTML source, its "not just a link" in the traditional sense. But I hope everyone recognizes the question has no clear answer and is a big gray mess. Thenub314 18:53, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict with below) Welcome to my user page, Thenub. The image will appear on the page if the file link is there, without the initial colon. However, what the user edits is not the image. I'm not sure what comes up in the HTML source, but our user pages, what we edit, are not HTML source, and we don't place the actual image on our user page, only a link. The basic issue here is not, however, the image itself. There are several important issues, and this gets lost in these discussions.
  • We do not normally allow adverse editing of a user page. There are exceptions, to be sure. Let's put it this way, the reason better be sound. From what I've shown above, if there is a policy violation regarding the file in question, it only appears or disappears if the file is created or restored, or deleted. The file is hosted on our servers and anyone can access it as long as it is not deleted. If it's a violation of some kind, that violation exists pending deletion. It's not the link to the file that is a violation, except under a narrow circumstance that I didn't mention above. It's the file. Filespace contains hosted content.
  • The problem here really arose because links were being removed and then the files were being deleted, promptly, because they were unused. This did not just happen with user space, I've discussed another example with Simone on her talk page in the last day. It happened with fair use files in mainspace, where the author of the page was claiming fair use, and where the claim has some color of reasonableness. There is a strong "free content" agenda being shown here, and it's not friendly to Wikiversity, I'm afraid, and the events of the last day have made that plain to me. I'd been hoping otherwise, and was able to work with Simone for the last month. Suddenly, when it looks like the permanent custodianship might fly, it's gotten much more difficult. Anyway, the basic issues here:
  • Revert warring. Revert warring is restoration of a content position created by the user, after change by another, without good-faith negotiation of consensus. You may see an example of such attempt today, depends on what else has happened. Definitions of revert warring do vary, but I worked with this extensively on Wikipedia, and that's where revert warring begins. User A removes material from a page. User B reverts that, disagreeing with the change. That's not revert warring, if this is the only action of A and B involved. But if A then removes the material again, it's revert warring. If you look at the history here, Bilby removed the link and tagged the file for deletion. Then Simone deleted the file because it was unused. The user wasn't notified and given an opportunity to object. I undeleted the file, which could be considered wheel-warring except for some considerations I won't detail. I did not simply undelete, I tagged the file for slow deletion, so that the issue would not fall in the cracks. That was respecting Simone and Bilby's intention. RFD was then filed. That was proper. But in the RFD, it's pointed out that the file is unused. Simple. Look at What Links Here. Nothing. That was because Bilby had reverted my restoration of the link, and Bilby had declined to undo himself. That's damage being done, producing a distorted argument at RFD. So I went back and reverted, having discussed the matter extensively and new cause appearing.
I won't revert again, if reverted, and especially if that's a reversion by someone else, but that won't mean that I'm done. I don't revert war, and I made one exception last year, revert warring with an IP, a banned user, over outing edits. I think I got blocked for that, by the way. Goes to show. Some people pay no attention. I'll do something that will likely be accepted. There is always a way. And the process can reveal much. --Abd 19:31, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
"Fair use content is only allowed in learning resources in the main Namespace" according to our exemption doctrine policy. I wouldn't describe that as a grey area. It's a link of sorts, yes. But any "link" which involves the image being on the page constitutes the fair use content being in userspace. Simone 19:06, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict with below) Simone, have you been paying attention to the discussion with Darklama on your user page? Policies are not necessarily binding. That particular section was never discussed, apparently. It was just created, by JWSchmidt, who seems to interpret it quite differently than you, and I can say for sure that he'd be all over you for what you've been doing, for he, being an actual educator, a professor, takes a dim view of those who come here to delete stuff. Unfortunately, past history here has left him so burned that it's about impossible to unblock him. I'm working to set up an environment where he might once again feel safe to participate.
The content was declared fair use by the user, for sure. However, it seems that a whole set of users, participants in a class assigned a project here, made that claim. The teacher may not have understood our policies, and told them to claim that. In any case, we normally give users at least a week to resolve licensing issues. Simone and Bilby have treated this as if it were an emergency. Simone has now correctly identified the relevance of the link, but it doesn't change the basic issue. The way the EDP reads, yes, file usage in user space would be prohibited, but it's obvious that the issue of personal photos uploaded by the user, for their user page, wasn't considered. And this is why we dislike considering policies as written in stone, to be enforced, to the letter, even when it actually doesn't make sense. Perhaps it does make sense, but we have never considered it. And even considering it is being resisted strongly by Simone, see Wikiversity talk:Uploading files. It's being claimed that we couldn't make a specific, narrow, user space exemption, even though the underlying WMF policy specifically allows "narrow exceptions." This is a rigid, controlling view of policy, and is inconsistent with Wikiversity ideals.
Where I can see Simone's work as valuable is that our policy and actual practice should match. Nobody was looking at these licensing issues. I didn't. I saw those files being uploaded, I saw what this set of users was doing. I didn't address it. And why not? Because I did not consider it a priority, and I had plenty to do. All this activity is not developing resources here, it is only serving the "free content movement," and in this case, there is no actual benefit to even the free content goal. Is someone going to republish all these tiny user pages? There is no copyright violation involved, in spite of what some have claimed. There is an agenda being served by all this which is not improvement of educational resources, it is somewhat inimical to that goal, in actual practice. What is valuable is that we develop clear policy that matches actual practice and what we want for the wiki. Simone's position, unfortunately, is that it's all already written in stone, the WMF has declared it from on high. In fact, the WMF policy is fine, because it allows us to make exceptions. There is no conflict with the WMF here, there is conflict with some users who obviously care more about controlling what others do than in improving the resources. Cleanup is fine, that's not the problem. It's when it becomes heavy-handed, when it can have the effect of driving users away and making the work of users more difficult, then it's a problem. --Abd 19:53, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I never meant to describe EDP as a gray area. I think you and I agree. The tone of the conversation to me sounded like "Your clearly wrong! No, Your clearly wrong!" and that tends to get nowhere fast. I just trying to encourage people to say "I see your point, but this is why I disagree..." There are two clearly defined points of view, and neither one of them is crazy. In my point of view the real question to me is what are we serving. Which I think agrees with what you and Bilby are saying. To my mind Abd is saying, take care of the underlying problem and delete policy violating images from the server, then everything becomes redlinks and there is no reason to worry about redlinks. I can also see the preservative that we want to minimize the number of pages serving the offending image until we decide if it should be deleted. Thenub314 19:35, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Thenub. I hope that I've been doing what you wish. There is a point to what Bilby and Simone have been raising. We do need to examine policy and practice and bring them into alignment. However, we have normal courtesy and procedure here, as well. We do not treat these licensing issues as emergencies, and it takes time, lots of time, to address them. Have you looked at Simone's deletion log? I've only checked a relatively small number of those deletions, and I've found a surprising number of problems, where our procedure, which fully respects user's rights to contest deletions, which gives them plenty of time to respond, has been bypassed. I respected the intention here, that's why with one file, I placed a Slow deletion category on the file, which ensures that the matter won't be dropped. Simone knows, I'm sure, that lots of these files involved users asked to address issues. Like more than a year ago. Part of what is being done is to set up categories that allow issues to be queued for more certain resolution. We need guidelines so that both users and custodians know what to do and what to expect. That's all part of being a friendly and welcoming wiki. Both Simone and Bilby have been, in some ways, responsive to this. It's not black and white.
In this case, I'm saying, don't change user pages unless they are in themselves violations (an example would be pure linkspam). It's not the link to the file that is the violation, per se, with a file like the one involved, it's the file itself. By removing the link and then deleting the file as unused, one creates an impression of an uncontroversial deletion. But it's possibly controversial. No, leave the usage, ask the user for resolution and fully assist the user, make sure that the user knows we are not accusing them of anything reprehensible, all that. And, of course, let's work on our EDP. We should agree on it, so that we aren't at odds over what may be hundreds or thousands of files. The EDP was written in a vacuum, without a lot of experience dealing with what actually comes up. We now have more experience with that. We can do a better job. --Abd 20:01, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Now, I've made that edit I thought might be necessary. Simone did indeed revert me, so I've retreated from the position that we should not touch the user's page, since they are determined to touch it. I restored the link with a colon so that it doesn't display, since it appears that display was considered objectionable. Obviously, links to the file are not prohibited, they are all over the place, placed by Simone and Bilby. I added a note which just explains the fact. This causes the page to show up as linked, which was a major part of my objection to the removal. --Abd 20:36, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
A file can still be deleted as an unused fair use file no matter how many pages link to it. The file is still unused, and still should be deleted as such. --Simone 20:38, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
There is a huge difference, Simone, and why are you still arguing this? The difference is that an unused fair use file, standing unused for a significant time, can be deleted quickly, without RFD. A use was asserted by the user. You may certainly claim that the use was not allowed, but it is a fact that this particular use did serve an educational purpose, a very explicit one. But that's moot. The file is under discussion at RFD, where you may present your arguments. I've done what I could do, given your action and Bilby's, to protect the Wikiversity user community. Now, please drop it as to continuing this discussion here, unless you have something positive to contribute toward consensus. People have work to do, ultimately including developing clearer policy and procedural guidelines for all this, a process which you seem to be opposing. --Abd 21:06, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Cool. What was the educational purpose again ? --Simone 22:20, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
After all this, you don't know what was happening there? A real teacher in a real school decided that the activity would teach the users something, obviously. I've been meaning to look that up, because my memory is not clear on it. --Abd 22:46, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
There is a different reason why we might want to explicitly allow this. Building an educational community by encouraging rapport between students and other participants, by presenting a human face for users, is an educational purpose. Why do you think Yale has that photo of the professor on their faculty site? Do you think the faculty site has any educational purpose? --Abd 22:49, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Faculty sites usually don't have pictures, at least in my experience. When they do the purpose is not educational. Presenting a human face is purely a social activity not educational. If it served any vital purpose I would expect more of the actual math department at Yale not to have that "Image not availble" sad dog staring at you. Thenub314 23:04, 19 October 2011 (UTC)


Let us continue the discussion started at Simone's discussion page here. Based on actual practice, I think the change username space should flat out indicate that due to lack of community consensus in support of account usurpations that request for account usurpations are currently not handled, and may even be ignored or denied. -- darklama  18:48, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Is this the "problem with 'unused' files" discussion? Thenub314 18:58, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes this is continuation of discussion that started there that has nothing to do with a problem with unused files. -- darklama  19:00, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Right. I used usurpation as an example of certain difficulties that Wikiversity has in making decisions.

On the suggestion, I think there is a simpler solution. Document the existing practice as a policy. There really is not any unclarity about it. The objections to this, when made, were made without substantial experience, and the objecting users, as I recall, aren't even active. SBJ actually suggested what is common practice. There is no reason for Wikiversity to stand in the way of WMF-wide practice. I went to fr.wikiversity and got a usurpation for Abd in one day. They didn't even wait for the user to respond to a talk page notice, because it was so obvious that this wasn't an active account. A request was just filed here where the user got a usurpation on Wikinews, I think it was, in a day. That's common, it seems, where there are active 'crats. We don't have to match that, but ... there is also no good reason to make this complicated. I'll propose a policy when I can, having spent a lot of time, now, reviewing those requests and the history. If we have a policy, and if we have no 'crats to implement it, we'll need to address that. It can be done. I'm hoping that we don't need to do what has been suggested on meta: remove the inactive crats. Seems unnecessary to me, I've been able to get 'crat action at meta for what normally takes a 'crat here, when the 'crats were inactive. We just need a clear policy, and it should be simple and match common practice. If it's complicated, stewards won't want to do it.

There is some pretense that the problem is about usurpation policy. There is the same lack of action on simple user rename requests, should be a no-brainer, and, again, I verified everything months ago. It's appalling, Darklama. --Abd 20:13, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

While I can't point out specific diffs due to not remembering when or where exactly discussions took place, I've been around long enough to know just about every bureaucrat has asked at one time or another for the community's input on what should be done when a request involves a name previously registered without a definitive answer. I think names changes where the new name isn't registered at all are fine and can reasonably be considered common practice. Anything else has been at the discretion of each bureaucrat and for the most part they have chosen not to act AFAIK. I am suggesting the problem is about lack of a definitive decision on what the community considers acceptable rather than about policy. I too am involved in other projects where the common practice is to usurper accounts with little or no edits. However, what is common practice at other projects isn't relevant here. The community of those projects have a community consensus to guide bureaucrat actions in that mater. Wikiversity does not. -- darklama  20:40, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
You know, we have a WV:EDP policy, which was never discussed, being relied upon as if it were written in stone. Here we have no followup from those who requested policy discussions, no proposed clear policy, rather a request for "guidance." People just gave their opinions, which were mixed. Nobody took responsibility for closing the CR, it's still "open." We have an operating consensus, which is, in fact, as you have stated is practice at other wikis. Usurpation of accounts with no edits is routinely allowed, providing certain conditions are present. We have a usurpation page which tells users how to request it, and there is a strong policy implication there: if they do what is said, they will get an expected result. All that is missing is some formal policy page, and that could be created in a flash. I'm going to guess that if you look at the development of usurpation policy at other wikis, you'd find little difference. I'll guess that a few people opposed, but that actual practice developed and perhaps a policy was written to enshrine actual practice. Or someone took the initiative and wrote something sensible from the beginning, and that history might vary from project to project. I've looked at the history of this here, Darklama. You are correct that 'crats (or, at least, Mu301) asked for guidance. However, I see a darker side to this. I see that we only have two crats who can now be considered somewhat active, but neither one of them is truly active. I see that both of them have acted consistently with what would be proposed as policy, when they acted, but one of them was uncivil with a user who very reasonably asked him to review the request, after it had stoof for months, a usurpation that was eventually granted, after more than a year, by the other 'crat. (At meta, they tell users to make specific requests when 'crats don't respond.) This was a Wikipedia administrator requesting usurpation, and probably sincere when he said that he wanted to contribute to Wikiversity. My guess, as well, is that the experience dampened his enthusiasm greatly! We have some problems here, Darklama. --Abd 21:18, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Mu301 isn't the one bureaucrat to ask for guidance. I believe SB_Johnny, Jtneill‏‎, Cormaggio‏‎, and a few others who've resigned have also asked in the past. You are of course free to asking the community to provide guidance again, but I doubt the community is any more likely to come to a consensus now. Most of Wikiversity's lack of consistent guidance is due to Wikiversity's history of not being able to agree on anything. I'm not denying there are problems, I'm very aware there are problems. WV:EDP isn't even the only one made policy without discussion. -- darklama  21:56, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Given the comments above I am inclined to agree, "when in doubt do nothing" is not a bad modus operandi. Personally I would not object if a 'crat used his best judgment for any particular case, but given that community support has been sought and failed to be given with any clarity, there is not a lot to be done. Thenub314 22:14, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
The discussion saw very low participation, Thenub. As I've pointed out, there really is not any standing disagreement. If that's your idea of how a 'crat should operate, remind me not to support you for 'crat here. Indeed, you've been almost totally inactive at Wikibooks. (You aren't obligated to be active, but at meta, they recommend that inactive 'crats be removed. I think that's a poor recommendation, because what should happen instead is that it's simply recognized that they are inactive, so that stewards can act. Stewards would do this if we didn't have 'crats.
"When in doubt do nothing" is a very poor operating principle, except as regards hasty action. Wiki actions can be undone. A renamed user can be named back. Pages moved can be moved back. Rather, when in doubt, do no harm. "Doing nothing" is a choice, and there are consequences to the choice. It can do harm.
The community is brought into disrepute when it has a procedure set up, people follow it, and nothing happens. The users are damaged, they have wasted their time.
Come to think of it, one of the last things I did before becoming seriously inactive on Wikipedia was try to facilitate the whitelisting process. People were told that if a page they needed was blacklisted, no problem, just request whitelisting of the specific link. This was often given in the blacklisting arguments for sites which might have some legitimate use.
However, a backlog developed, and remained for long periods. I reviewed the requests and made recommendations. The administrators (or at least one of them) who were accustomed to total, unquestioned power on that page were hostile. They complain about lack of community support, that they are left to do all this dirty work, but when a procedure is set up that allows the work to be spread around (I proposed that blacklist administrators focus on the blacklist itself, plus dealing only with whitelist requests approved by experienced but ordinary users, Clerks, essentially.), well, lets' say, though I wasn't "intervening in a dispute" this was interpreted as a violation of my MYOB ban that forbade my intervention in disputes. And if you really want to get me started, ask why I was banned for that, what was the occasion? It was invented as a sanction especially for me, not before, not since. Very Bad Idea, wikilawyered to death and extended to the point that I really couldn't say boo about anything, even in situations where part of the ban explicitly permitted it. The exceptions were wikilawyered away.
I did learn how to push whitelist requests through. File them, and then after the smoke clears and every POV editor who wants to keep reliable source convenience links out has shot his wad, with preposterous arguments, but all agreeing with each other, and no regular blacklist admin is going to touch it, and it sat there for weeks, go to WP:AN and request neutral review. Worked every time. That's because I never requested anything that wasn't quite in line with policy and the purpose of Wikipedia, and I'd established this with cogent and highly visible argument. You are now getting a bit of the story of why I was sanctioned on Wikipedia. Certain people really did not like that I was effective. I was only actually banned when I gave up, when everything I wanted to do had become impossible from the continual harassment, and so I gave up with voluntary compliance. And, remarkably, I was able to accomplish much more then. But I wasn't going to continue that. Too much trouble for too little benefit. --Abd 22:42, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'll try to remind you if the situation ever arises. We generally desysop inactive people at WB as well, though I think we have more mild conditions on what constitutes activity. Mike.lifegaurd was a big fan of the idea that if you don't use the tools you should put them down and I think that influenced the culture quite a bit. If you want you can broach the discussion there about having my tools removed, you'd probably be successful. Thenub314 23:20, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Okay, why do I think that we can do better? Because our standard sprawling discussion process doesn't create reports on the issues. Rather, we just get piles of comments of varying cogency and repetitiveness. Arguments are given without evidence to substantiate what is being claimed. If someone does present carefully-written examination of issues, they are lost in a blizzard of opinions. This is not consensus process, it is just unfocused discussion. Consensus process requires finding where people agree, starting with that as a basis, then exploring differences in detail. I used to do this on Wikipedia, and I was successful with it. I sometimes think that the success is the very reason I was sanctioned, it's plausible. I was able to demonstrate consensus contrary to the position of certain administrators.... When those issues would come up on a noticeboard, there would be a pile of comments, often little more than me-toos. People would see a bunch of me-toos, at the beginning, and then add more. People like to support what they see as popular.
If you are going to have a discussion like that, how about it starts with a report on the issues, a neutral report, that considers all the arguments discovered? It looks at all the discussions that have taken place and summarizes them. It solicits testimony and argument on very specific issues. It puts it all together so that the reasons one might decide one way or another are all laid out clearly, such that all sides will say, "Yes, that's what we believe." And if this report is presented, and someone argues that it's not complete, it can be amended, it can be expanded, but not to make it more confusing, just to make it more complete. If those working on the report think that the proposal is disruptive, they can refuse, and the one objecting can prepare an independent report. May the best report win!
You haven't seen this, for the most part, Darklama. It's not done much on the wikis, because it is, in fact, a lot of work. But against all that work, we should balance the wasted effort of not doing it, not making sure that we have deep consensus. What people who have worked with consensus process, as I have for years, know is that very high levels of consensus are possible if the work is done. High consensus is self-enforcing, it all becomes easier.
There are more aspects to this. Delegable proxy is being proposed because existing process tends to favor the positions of those who are most active in contentious process. Those who are here just to work on educational resources mostly don't notice what's going on. How can process effectively include everyone? Delegable proxy is designed to make that more real. It is not designed as a rigid decision-making system, because there would be many hazards that would have to be addressed. It's just a way of, hopefully, estimating how broad a consensus really exists, from a small sample of users. If it were difficult, it might not be worth it. But it isn't difficult, it's simple and easy. If the goal is maximized consensus, most of the objections to delegable proxy vanish. But what happens is that user imagine that DP will be used as if voting were involved, with greater decision-making power assigned to more popular users. Not exactly! This is, indeed, part of why the Assembly is not designed to actually make decisions. It's designed to develop reports showing consensus, or the materials from which consensus can be determined. Not by the Assembly itself, but by someone or some community reading that report.
It would be possible to use something like DP to elect an executive committee that could make routine decisions, something that could be better than ArbComm because it could fully represent the community, whereas the supermajority election method of ArbComm actually is antidemocratic (a complicated issue I won't detail now, but this is well-known. It results in minority rule, often.) But I wouldn't use the existing Delegable Proxy table for that. I'd want to see a secret ballot method, using Asset Voting, which is a spectacular election method, demonstrated to produce full representation, something that has often been considered impossible by political scientists.
Don't you think Wikiversity is an ideal place to demonstrate advanced election techniques? Do you know that w:Lewis Carroll, who invented Asset Voting, did indeed test some of his extremely advanced ideas, for his time, at Oxford, in 1883 or so? Academia is often in the forefront of political shift. --Abd 22:20, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Given that, using Dodgson's method is NP hard, I hope we have some computational resources at our disposal when it comes time to decide. Thenub314 22:50, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Great to talk with someone with at least some shred of knowledge. No, this is not "Dodgson's method." That's a form of STV, as I recall, invented by the same person. Asset Voting is a trick, a tweak on STV. Dodgson was dealing with the problem that most voters don't know enough about other candidates besides their favorite and maybe one other, to be able to make good choices about ranking. In Australia, in fact, they get full ranking in ranked elections because they discard ballots that aren't fully ranked. So many voters "donkey vote," thus they have to use Robson rotation to average out that effect. Where they don't make ranking mandatory (they call that "optional preferential voting), many ballots end up exhausted. The voter has not actually participated in the final decision, and it is quite common that the winner did not get a majority of the votes.
Asset Voting was, technically, w:Single transferable vote, but with a simple idea to fix the problem of exhausted ballots: if a ballot is exhausted, the vote may then be re-cast by the candidate who received the vote (the vote in first rank), as if it were the candidate's property (Hence this is more recently called Asset Voting, the votes are an "asset" of the candidate, who may spend it to create results). Add to that what I realized about eight years ago: you can use an ordinary vote-for-one ballot for this, or you can use an approval ballot, but if you do, because votes are never wasted in this system, you have to divide the votes, or you could use an STV ranked ballot, but it really becomes unnecessary, and counting STV can be a nightmare, something that the promoters of w:Instant runoff voting don't like mentioned.
I'm only aware of one election that's ever been held with Asset. It was an election of a three-member steering committee for the Election Science Foundation. The election itself was pretty contentious, there were differing factions. However, the result, even though the test was very small, was spectacular. There were five candidates. 17 people voted, by secret ballot. The result: Every person elected to the committee was either supported directly by the voter, or was supported by the person who had been supported by the user. That's total, accurate proportional representation, limited in accuracy only by the number of members of the committee (i.e., roundoff error). And even roundoff error doesn't mean that the result is unfair, because all votes had equal power. It was done fairly primitively, because the person who suggested the method really didn't understand how to do it cleanly, and proposed some poor procedure. But it still worked.
Asset Voting violates a pile of assumptions about election methods, because it's a trick. It's not really an election method, it is a process of boiling down representation, and it proceeds, beyond the first stage (which is very much like an STV-PR election, and I've recommended the Hare quota for reasons I won't explain now), deliberatively. It's an intelligent process, which is why it can produce results that many have thought impossible.
There is no problem with computation, computers aren't necessary. Just count the votes and report them. From the initial votes, some members of the "committee" may be declared elected. In the election I mention, the only person directly elected was me. I then had extra votes to distribute, since I had higher than the quota of votes. Details like quota had been improperly addressed by the person who set up the election, but it didn't matter. I operated under multiple assumptions, and all roads lead to Rome. The election was completely accepted except for one voter who complained that he hadn't realized what would happen. It wouldn't really have made any difference, he just didn't like that he didn't know in advance. --Abd 23:18, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

I think we can bring this discussion to a close based on your comment to Thenub314. I tend to share his views. If in doubt, get community input, if community consensus doesn't develop, do nothing until it does develop. So I would guess you wouldn't want me as a bureaucrat either. -- darklama  22:57, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Well, now that you mention it, I've noticed this before. 'Crats are elected to solve problems like this, on behalf of the community, otherwise we could use a robot. That doesn't mean that I'd oppose your election, just that it could be useless. "Do nothing until consensus develops" is a formula for a paralyzed community, and, come to think of it, I've certainly seen a lot of paralysis around here. This is not how wikis were built. Rather, the initial principle was "Just do it." Because it can be fixed, it can be improved, and doing nothing is guaranteed to build nothing. Where it breaks down is where people become attached to what they did and defend it, just because they did it. And where most people don't have the foggiest idea what is going on, they just don't like it, so they stay away. And they don't see any options better than this. --Abd 23:23, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
A just do it attitude can create a damned if you do damned if you don't scenario when there is no community consensus and the reason for the lack of community consensus is because it is a source of contention. No volunteer really wants to be be told they are doing it wrong, bureaucrats and uploaders alike. -- darklama  23:35, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Look, I'm a volunteer -- we call it "assisting" -- in an organization that expects impeccability. When I have the orange badge on, everybody seems totally free to tell me I'm doing it wrong, and it's part of my job to listen to them, and to avoid "being right," and I benefit from it. Then I check with those who are more knowledgeable and I find that, more than half the time, what I was being told was nonsense, shallow, not understanding the full picture. It doesn't matter, because I know that all these people want the best for the work.
If you don't like being told that you are doing it wrong, you should not be a custodian or bureaucrat, because we expect such people to be particularly responsive to criticism. We don't expect that, necessarily, from ordinary users. Look, right now I'm blocked on meta. I'm pretty sure that won't last, but I haven't pushed it, because I don't have immediate need for meta. I did mention that my email access was removed, which was way beyond any possible justification, and that was just restored, so if I need something done there, there are lots of people I can ask for it. Why was I blocked? Well, I questioned a position taken by a steward, and it's very obvious to me that the steward basically did not understand the policy (which explicitly allowed what I was asking him to consider doing, but he was saying that it was contrary to policy). I wasn't uncivil. Later, the steward wrote that I'd been misrepresenting things. So I asked him what he meant. He said, basically, I'm not going to tell you. So I wrote, "suit yourself." So, instead of telling me, he went to the administrative reqiest page and demanded that I be indef blocked, supplying a large pile of diffs proving .... proving, basically, that he can't read, but it was done by an local meta admin whom, huge surprise, I'd actually criticized at some point in the past. I was totally shocked by this. This steward I had always thought of as someone who understood the job, and part of that job is being responsive to the community. I still don't know WTF happened with him. I'm coming to suspect that his understanding of English is poor, and that he simply did not understand what was being said to him. But he saw it all as accusation, which it certainly was not. I'd not asserted any misbehavior at all.
That request became a ban discussion, effectively, which is contrary to meta practice. In fact, one of the things I'd been criticized for, in the past, by at least one of those supporting indef, was discussing blocks on the admin request page, the argument being that the page was only for administrators! That very fact, if true (the admin who said that basically made it up, and got little agreement for it), would mean that a ban couldn't be decided there. And so I saw a pile-in of familiar names, saying "me too." And one or two users who pointed out that the evidence provided did not support the claims made in the filing. The contrary, in fact. But this is where wikis break down. People !vote without any consideration of evidence, they just support the conclusion they want. They don't like somebody, ban him! Too often, but that did not used to be common at meta, you really had to work hard to get an indef there. It's becoming so. The meta community is breaking down. I was "infinite blocked" with no prior blocks and no violated warning. Cool, eh? I like it when situations become clear. --Abd 23:58, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I meant wrong in the same sense as volunteers working on resources may leave in discouragement when presented with a problem as if it is somehow their fault for not knowing community expectations. Yes people may expect more from custodians and bureaucrats, but they are also still human. Some situations can create a hostile work environment and even the most laid back of people can break. Anyways, from what I have observed, some people do seem to consider Wikiversity to be a hostile environment for volunteers of any type. Can be hard to tell in which direction Wikiversity is headed at times. Of course some people think Wikipedia is a hostile environment for volunteers too, and consider Wikiversity less so by comparison. -- darklama  00:18, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
By the way, I think that part of what happened at meta illustrates a phenomenon worthy of notice. That steward has obviously read the policy, but he remembered what guided his normal work. The situation that had arisen was quite unusual. When I questioned his decision, he remembered only part of the policy that he normally follows, and didn't realize that there was another part that he'd paid no attention to. People remember, frequently, only what they think important. When I raised the issue, what I was saying differed from his memory of the policy -- this was checkuser policy -- and so he considered what I was saying "misleading." Then, having made a decision, and having committed himself on the wiki, he started to make up arguments, and one was really a doozy. I think I pointed that out. I have to be careful about that, talk about what people don't like! Essentially, he'd committed himself to total preposterousness. The initial failure was to re-read the policy, I suspect he thought he didn't need to do that. Obviously, he was the expert, why should he bother?
If someone really wants to know the details of the policy, etc., I'll supply them. I'm not interested in attacking anyone here, I really do subscribe to the idea that wiki users can make mistakes. Even, and maybe even especially, stewards. It can be fixed, unless they become attached to prior decisions. That's the danger. Not making mistakes. Mistakes are unavoidable, if one tries to do about anything worthwhile. --Abd 00:06, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

What fails to be noticed about usurping an account, even with an account that never edits, might be a disruptive act. It is perfectly reasonable to have an account in order to have specialize preferences for viewing pages. (For example mathematicians who don't edit are interested in having wikipedia use mathjax, and they can if they set their settings right) And without community consensus, it doesn't seem reasonable to give one user a preference because they happen to edit.

I have a very inactive account at DispersiveWiki, which I use to keep preferences. I would be very unhappy if someone usurped my account just because it doesn't edit much. I am thenub314 pretty much everywhere I go. I wouldn't even notice right away if someone at DispersiveWiki were trying to get my attention, because turn up there once and a while. Usurping is a decision that should always be taken carefully and once done, it is not easily undone. Where should the Usurper to go? Back to the user name they don't want? It is kind of hard to undue and be fair to the parties involved. Thenub314 00:21, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Thenub, since you are actually a 'crat, I'm surprised. It's sounding to me like you haven't deal with usurpations. In reviewing the requests here, I look at all SUL accounts and at related accounts on other wikis. First of all, I've seen a lot of usurpations, and I don't recall any actual case where a usurped account shows up and protests. Secondly, the usurped account is, in nearly all cases, one with no edits, and is old. You are talking about an imagined hardship. The usurped account is not deleted, it does not disappear, it merely has a new name, often something like User (Usurped). The user can access the new account name with the same password, it is merely a renamed account. The preferences are not lost. We email users for notification if they have email set. Tell me, why would you be unhappy? If you have edits, maybe, but even then it would ordinarily be a minor nuisance. And if you did protest, a decision would be made, I assume, as to the least disruptive outcome. Notice that having differing users with the same account name on different wikis creates a small, but persistent, annoyance or risk. What we routinely do is give preference to those who own the SUL account. It's part of an overall policy of unification that allows users to easily move between wikis.
If a usurpation was determined to be improper, it could be easily fixed. The 'crat would ask the original usurping user what user name they want, and would rename the account to that. This only gets complicated when accounts have a lot of edits, and the only real complication is that signed edits will still have the old signature. It's the same problem as with any user rename. People do it all the time.
What is being balanced here is an actual inconvenience, continued, for a user who is making the request to fix it, vs an imagined inconvenience to a user who almost certainly is not even looking at the wiki. Sure, there might be exceptions. But exceptions do not make the rule.
Thenub, can you point to a case where there was an actual problem, rather than all this imagination? Usurpations are done all the time. Surely if it's a problem there would be lots of examples.
I just looked at Wikibooks. User rename log for Adrignola. User rename log for Thenub314. There is no backlog at b:WB:RENAME, because requests, including usurpations, are being promptly handled. I don't see any WB policy on renaming and usurpation, beyond [9], which is unclear. That is apparently a list of alternate conditions for usurpation not a list of conditions all of which must apply. --Abd 01:40, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Abd, as you can clearly see, I haven't encountered any actual problems. Whenever I look at WB:RENAME it has been handled by someone else, hence my empty log. I don't know if you've ever noticed but Adrignola is extremely efficient. So as I said before you'd easily be successful if you requested my tools be removed. The reason I would personally be unhappy is that I have used this particular handle for approximately 20 years, and in some circles I am rather well known by it. Indeed, not more then two days ago the subject of which wikipedia user I am came up "in real life" and the people that knew me well knew instantly my username without ever having edited wikipedia or read a discussion page. If someone leaves me a message at DispersiveWiki I wouldn't want it going to the wrong person or otherwise miss it. I have invested in this particular online identity.
Now. all this being said. I am not against renaming users in wikimedia wiki's. But if the 'crats here looked for community support and there was no consensus about what to do, then it seems the correct thing is to is approach these issues very cautiously. And it seems fair enough to warn people that they shouldn't necessarily expect a 'crat to preform the usurp, or even to come to the decision quickly. Mostly I maintain it is always a decision to be taken carefully. Thenub314 03:07, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Okay, the point is that this wouldn't happen to you unless you were not a substantial user of the account. If you have SUL Thenub314, nobody is going to usurp it on any wiki unless the 'crat is incompetent or drunk. If you have an account under some other name important to you, different from your SUL account, well, just make an edit saying on your user talk page how important the name is to you and nobody would usurp you in the future. Making a couple of edits would probably seal it. Further, if you want to make sure you are accessible, you enable email, right? Have you seen the templates I created, or, more accurately, brought in from Wikipedia? The usurpation template includes links that only 'crats can use to email the usurped account. What you are doing is precisely what caused there to be an apparent lack of consensus. The discussion was obscure, first of all, only noticed by a couple of people. Secondly, those commenting mostly had no experience at all and just made up reasons to be opposed, based on imagination. That's just the way it is, right?
Look, DispersiveWiki is not a WMF wiki, so SUL is totally irrelevant there. I wouldn't allow usurpations there, period. Bad idea. But it's different here, in the WMF family. --Abd 03:28, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Reading your message above you seem to think I am in some fear of losing my account, which I am not. I was using a hypothetical situation to make clear that I think there are issues that deserve consideration. What you fail to grasp is that is that I feel it is a valid for a user to object having his account name overridden simply because he does not edit. I find your attitude quite dismissive of the people that disagree with you "made up reasons to be opposed" might easily be rephrased as "considered the logical consequences and didn't approve of the outcomes." Your right that things are different here and the WMF is a family. I have frequently said we should consider a user's actions across wiki when deciding local matters, and I am in a minority on that point. But the fact is, the community here was asked was asked, there was no clear consensus. Until the community makes up its mind what would you want a 'crat to do? Operate in the manner you find appropriate while ignoring the fact that there were objections from others? Finally, just because a person doesn't have the experience being a 'crat doesn't mean their opinions should be discounted.Thenub314 04:33, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
No, I don't think that. In fact, I'm simply saying that your comment about your personal feelings if usurped was not based on a real situation. To state that arguments are being made from theory rather than actual experience is not "dismissive," it's accurate. It doesn't invalidate the arguments, but arguments based on theory and expectation are different in quality than arguments based on experience and observation.
This community is asked questions all the time, and frequently there is no consensus. Yet decisions get made, even if the decision is "no decision." A no-decision close binds nobody. It leaves users free, including custodians and 'crats, to use their discretion. You might notice that Wikiversity has few established policies, most are proposed. If we waited for policy to be established by formal consensus, we wouldn't have a wiki, or we'd have a huge mess. That no policy has been established by an opened discussion doesn't mean that there isn't consensus. It only means that the consensus wasn't necessarily visible in that discussion. As I found out, the CR that was opened on changing username was raised because of a particular situation, where the target account had edits. That is a situation which might be difficult to handle in advance, because it involves considering many variables, and people will imagine different situations and finding some policy statement that will satisfy all situations can be next to impossible.
Wikis handle that by allowing discretion. Policy then covers the situations where a clear and obvious standard can be applied, and refers more complex situations to user discretion, 'crat discretion in this case.
Have you seen Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Abd (Bureaucrat)? There is some relevant discussion there. Note that I really don't care if I'm a temporary crat, I care about fixing the problem.
A problem with the CR that Mu301 filed, as I recall, was that he didn't point to the actual situation, he pointed only to his desire for guidance. What, with my hindsight, I'd have suggested, is that he lay out what was already clear, and present the actual situation, asking for guidance about that very specific situation, instead of asking the community, which almost entirely had no experience with the problem, to solve it in the abstract, and about the general case.
Real bureaucracies, when they are functional, don't set up policies until they have experience, or, sometimes, they lay out a "policy" but change it readily as real situations arise that don't seem to fit the policy. A bureaucracy that starts out by making a weighty rulebook is the kind of bureaucracy that makes people hate bureaucracy.
What would I want a 'crat to do? Respond to requests, considering the promises the community has made to users on the Changing username page. Show up. Or resign. If tools are voluntarily resigned, they can, by custom, be taken up again at any time. If there are no active crats, stewards will handle requests. Maybe putting up a user page notice that the 'crat is currently unavailable for bureaucrat work would suffice, might be simpler. The actual response is up to the 'crat. It could be "Sorry, I don't know what to do." It could state "I'll defer to the judgment of a steward." However, the present cases do not present any controversy at all. There are no requests for accounts with edits, which is the only situation that was not reasonably clear in prior discussions.
You seem to want me to make equal, opinions of people with no experience, and opinions of people with experience. As people, everyone counts. However, you should know that when WMF wikis make decisions, it is, in theory, not numbers that count, but arguments, and arguments unsupported by evidence or experience are, in fact, "deprecated," when closers are following the general principles. When they are just counting votes, that goes out the window.
Your feelings about what it would feel like to have your account usurped are important, but then we need to look, as I did, at your situation. How would I feel if my account was usurped? It would depend on which account! If I registered, five years ago, at one of the wikis, using Abd, but didn't have edits there and didn't have a linked account with that name, and someone else did, and I was notified of the request and I did not respond, and so my account was renamed, and nobody accused me of anything bad, it is (barely) possible that I'd be mildly irritated. More likely, I wouldn't care at all. But this situation is impossible, because nobody else could have a linked account with the name Abd, if I'm correct.
This seems to be actual experience: these accounts don't object. Someone else, imagining themselves to be the target account, without specifying the conditions to make them realistic as to what is being discussed, imagines being upset and expresses that as an opinion or argument. That's what I'm pointing out.
If an account has edits, the situation gets far less clear. What I've been seeing: if the target account is old and has no edits, and they see that SUL unification is being facilitated by the request (rather than defeated! -- do you think that any 'crat would now usurp Abd on one of the wikis if it wasn't me making the request?) 'crats on other wikis are routinely granting these requests without bothering with waiting for response. The reason is obvious: there is immediate value to a present user making a request, and dubious value to the holder of the target account, plus, generally, no major damage (under these limited conditions) even if an error is made.
See below. Real request from real user. What would you tell him? --Abd 13:44, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
It should be noted I am not a 'crat here. If I were at WB I would probably just do it. If I were made a 'crat here tomorrow, I might ask a current 'crat for their opinion, then handle his case and similar cases. Possibly rejecting the request if that were the advice. (The issue being that there are other users who have edited with that name within the WMF.) Being that I am not a 'crat, I would tell him that some steps he could take, as you have done, minus the canvassing bit. Thenub314 15:20, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Thenub. By the way, I've looked at the "other users," and that was de minimus. Those accounts are all usurpable, probably, but that's a decision for other wikis. If they were not de minimus, I'd not be considering recommending this usurpation. You might notice that I haven't made a recommendation yet, and I'll check it all again before doing so. If I were a "probationary bureaucrat," I'd actually announce every decision in advance, allowing plenty of time for objection. Since I've already made recommendations, and nobody has objected to any of them, I'd go ahead and implement all the standing requests where I recommended the change or usurpation.
By the way, with all those requests I reviewed, you can consider my comments as asking the community -- or any 'crat -- for "advice." That's how process like this works. In the middle of real issues and real responses. --Abd 18:07, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Username changing[edit]

Hi, Thanks for your attention in my request. I think there are no 'crats to do this for me, is there? Because many other requests are pending above of mine. So what's your opinion? Thanks again MehranVB 06:48, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

We have bureaucrats. Unfortunately, only two have been active, and neither has had the time to handle the requests. I've tried to make it simple for them by clerking the page, but, for whatever reason, it hasn't happened. There is a claim by some that our usurpation policy isn't clear, which complicates the matter. However, the target account has no edits and there is not really any controversy about that. So, I suggest this:
  • You may make a personal request to each of the bureaucrats. They are listed on WV:Staff. User:SB Johnny has responded to one or two relatively recent requests made on his user page.
  • You may request that a steward look at the situation, on m:Steward requests/SUL requests. A problem is that the 'crats are both not "inactive," because they have been editing. I have previously succeeded in obtaining steward action because a 'crat had not handled a situation.
  • You might wish to comment about the situation, from your point of view, on Wikiversity:Candidates for Custodianship/Abd (Bureaucrat), which includes some recent discussion on the 'crat/changing username issue.
  • Do set up and link, from the request page, the evidence I suggested. It should be an edit that history shows was made by Mehran, preferably on fa.wiki, that acknowledges being MehranVB on Wikiversity.
I apologize for the situation. --Abd 12:10, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
MehranVB, how was it you turned up to this page to bring up your request? Thenub314 15:21, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Thenub, have you looked at what he links above as my request? MehranVB, above, says why the user came here. That we have had massive discussion about the situation with changing usernames, yet you aren't aware of what I've done there, indicates some rather obvious things to me. I'll tell you if you want me to. --Abd 15:45, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
How on earth do you think I was unaware of what your work pre-vetting the requests to usurp? I clearly would have noticed when I clicked on the link to his request. I was aware of what you done and your request for 'crat bit for a while now. I was still a bit surprised about the timing of the comments here, so I was curious there was an email/similar that prompted him to comment at the same time you were trying to make the point that we should discuss concrete cases. No harm in asking. Thenub314 16:24, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
There is no serious harm in asking, Thenub, it merely evidenced your thinking. (There might be minor harm, a user might think they were being put on the spot, criticized in some way. People from different cultures respond differently to things like this.)
No, no email was sent. The user obviously was watching the changing username page, and that's what the user explicitly responded to. This is a real example of a real usurpation request, I did not create it, but I responded to it, showing Wikiversity attention. Who else would the user ask? Just read what the user wrote above! It's obvious to anyone who reads that page. Look, your comment showed no understanding of what was on the page. That doesn't mean that you didn't understand, just that you did not show it.
Let me put it this way, can you see how it would then occur to me that you think I'm up to something underhanded? Like soliciting a user to complain? Do you see that, if this is true, this is failure to assume good faith, not only for me, but for the other user, who would basically be pretending above?
There is, now, after the question here a level of "canvassing" in my response. It's open, and it's the kind of canvassing that is allowed. I responded to a question on my own user Talk page. I pointed to where the user might have something valuable to contribute, that is, personal experience and a personal question. It's up to the user what they say and whether or not they choose to do anything at all. Is there a problem here, Thenub? Do you think I should change my behavior? If so, how? --Abd 17:29, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
No, no changes are being suggested. Your behavior is completely appropriate. Even if you emailed the user and asked him to come here to comment there would be no issue, we are just discussing what would be wrong with asking for addition input? I was just curious because the timing had been just so... prefect. As far as canvassing goes, there is nothing wrong there either, it is just something I personally try to avoid. Thenub314 17:45, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your explanation, Thenub, and for your acknowledgment of propriety. As to canvassing, if it were true that we made decisions based on arguments rather than votes, we'd have no problem with canvassing, it would not be prohibited. That's one of the great paradoxes in wiki practice as it developed, and a lot of damage is done because of this contradiction.
The timing is not really surprising. We have many pending requests, and they appear with some frequency, and you are discussing this with me because I've been trying to do something about it, and that same action of mine was behind the user appearing on this page. --Abd 18:11, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

@Abd: Thanks for your guidance. I think steward request is the last chance will we have 'crats here. @Thenub: Abd didn't email me, I have requested in many Wiki projects in the recent days, you can check them. It's a question for me that why the other projects usurp the account for me immediately (except tow or three of them, that they are about to happen), while Wikiversity 'crats still has not even replied to my request. I don't know who is Abd, but I approve that there is existed a few workless jobs. So Abd (who follows and answers clearly to the requests) may be appropriated to do these jobs. I will give him a support vote if I know I can be a eligible voter. MehranVB 13:06, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

I came across sounding much too cynical by asking, my apologies. We have no particular suffrage requirements, so if you have want to leave a comment there please feel welcome to. Thenub314 15:12, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

An idea[edit]

I've heard many a political guru lately say that the "occupy wall street" movement will soon come to an end because it's going to be just plain too cold to keep camping out there. I heard that again today while on the tractor flipping the compost, and had an idea. The idea needs a bit of electrical engineering know-how, which I lack, but I assume you have acquired while following your cold fusion passion.

My idea is to set up a tent-heating device that would be powered by bicycles: the campers could put a call out to people to come hook their bicycles up to a generator and supply some heat for their tents (while at the same time getting some good exercise).

The generators could be made pretty easily from junkyard parts (starter motors, power window motors, etc.). The heating elements could just be old toasters surrounded by bricks (the bricks would both reduce the fire hazard and provide a sink). I'm sure they could also canvass for donations of bubble wrap to insulate the tents.

Interested? I have very little free time to devote, but I can certainly leave notes on the relevant WP pages to get attention. This seems to me to be the kind of "original research" project that might get us some attention. --SB_Johnny talk 19:59, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

If you get your pricing right you may make a tidy profit. Then they can follow up with a "Occupy Wikiversity". jk Thenub314 03:39, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
I could have a paranoid view of why this proposal is being made here and now. As an engineer, my first thought is always, how can this be done. Exercise machines do it, they convert with high efficiency, energy stored in food and fat into heat, plus exhaust gases (carbon dioxide and water). But as a systems engineer, I look at the overall purpose. Staying warm is easy. (The bubble wrap idea is probably a good one.) The political systems are of more interest to me. How are the protestors organized? The failure of w:Tienanmen Square was a failure of the protestors to be efficiently organized. If they'd been able to rapidly negotate consensus, they would have rapidly transformed the face of China. They were not, and when the government realized that there was nobody there who could negotiate with them, the government then turned to the next option: raw force, which they exercised brutally, but believing in the necessity of it to avoid chaos. There are deep lessons there.
And looking at the WP article on Tienanmen, I see it as ridiculously impoverished, compared to what is available in reliable source. --Abd 17:31, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
It's "now" (well, a few days ago) because that's when I was thinking about it. It's here because I figured you might know a bit about how to make generators and heaters from spare parts.
I met couple people who were in Tienanmen back in grad school. I got the impression from them that it was more like Haight-Ashbury than like Montgomery. --SB_Johnny talk 21:16, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Sure. The movement for integration in the U.S. succeeded because it had clear goals and it developed leaders and disciplined organization (and those are connected). The Haight-Ashbury (I was there in '68, very much a part of it) did not have goals, really, it was more a kind of sentiment.
There is no new engineering needed for your project. Bicycle generators can be purchased off-the shelf, including generators such that, apparently, you just place the drive wheel of a bicycle on a part of the device and pedal away. Seems that humans can generate about 300 watts peak with these, but sustained power of more than 100 watts doesn't seem to be practical. The approach would not be efficient. The reason for using bicycle generators that makes sense would be to power computers, sound systems, recharge phones, etc. Still, if someone wanted to make it easier to heat a tent, what occurs to me would be setting up a ventilation system to allow people to breathe in the tent while getting air from outside (and this becomes more important if the tent is well-insulated and protected from drafts), and then the tent can be heated more efficiently by people using a treadmill or other exercise machine (there are ones that look like about half a bicycle) inside the tent. They get not only the heating from their work, generated in the resistance element, which would exceed what the same amount of work will generate as electricity, but their own body heat will add to it. I don't know the numbers, but I'd expect that to more than double the heating power. Without the ventilation system, the interior of the tent would become very wet, and, depending on the ventilation, the air would become unbreatheable from the CO2. A sophisticated system would have a heat exchanger on the ventilation system, so that air coming in is heated by air going out. With good insulation, it should be possible to keep a small tent pretty toasty with a set-up like this. I think what one might indeed use a pedal-powered device (they can be purchased, they are not bicycles at all) because whatever electricity is generated can be dumped through an electric heater to the extent not needed for direct electrical power. But at least half the heating would be coming from body heat. --Abd 00:37, 24 October 2011 (UTC)


Given the Simone clearly took Jonh's comments personally and given that they crossed the line a bit I am inclined as a third party to restore the redaction. I don't want to create any drama, so I thought I would check with you first. Thenub314 03:36, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Could you please redo the redaction of those comments ? They are personal attacks and were upsetting to me. There are enough users involved in this particular incident already. Also, please do not undo my block of John. I am personally happy to unblock him if he requests to be unblocked civilly. However, if he is to be unblocked without my consent, it should be by a custodian who has the complete trust of the community. I have had a discussion with SBJ concerning my reasons for blocking John, and he understands them, if he does not endorse my block. --Simone 09:17, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Simone, if you ever function as a WMF sysop again, you should know that sysops are expected to be thick-skinned, or at least to not react to perceived personal attacks against them with use of tools. There are very solid reasons for this, and if you don't understand them, you are very much unqualified to be a sysop. That is not, itself, a criticism of you personally, because not everyone is suited for the role. Thanks for your service, and, as I've written elsewhere, your work will prove to have been useful, in many ways. --Abd 17:05, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Pointing out how she failed and why she is unqualified after she felt bad enough to quit the project... from the outside it kind of sounds like your kicking her when she is down. I realize this wasn't your intention, hopefully Simone does to. But I thought you could benefit from hearing this perspective. Thenub314 04:18, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Your behaviour[edit]

I am not banned here, or on any other Wikimedia foundation wikis. You do not believe that I am Poetlister, (who is globally banned), and therefore you cannot act as if I am banned. I've emailed SBJ about this. My "vanishing" constituted an end to my period as a custodian or productive editor here, but while I am not banned, I am free to enter into any discussion whatsoever. It is John Bessa, not me, who is disruptive. I simply would like him to stop editing my request for unlock/commenting about my behaviour here. This is "defending my reputation". I'd rather, you, who has no community support except to do routine anti-vandal and sysop maintenance, and tenaciously edited Wikipedia for so long that you were banned, didn't act in a way which frustrates my good faith efforts to communicate with users here about legitimate issues. -- 20:19, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Simone, the warnings stand. I have not suggested that you are banned here, and bans elsewhere only raise secondary concerns. You are "free to enter into any discussion whatsoever," but some modes of "discussion" are prohibited, and, in particular, I'm now declaring an interaction ban between you and John Bessa. I'll add that as a note on your Talk page.
What you suggest above would be that we, as Wikiversity custodians, stop John from editing on meta. That's utterly impossible and improper. Do not use Wikiversity to complain about John's behavior on meta.
Further, your "good faith efforts" are having a disruptive effect, quite obviously. Therefore, I'm warning you to stop. --Abd 20:27, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
btw, thanks for communicating with Poetlister about this. Can you e-mail screenshots of your communications to the steward Fr33kman ? + feel free to comment at Steward Requests/Global at meta.
Sorry about the comment above, it's a bit shouty and up myself. I think it would be good if you warned John on his talk page rather than by e-mail because it is more transparent. -- 20:41, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I've warned him, SBJ has warned him. He's been warned. However, in addition, I'll point to your interaction ban notice and inform him it applies to him as well. What I'll hope for is that you guys can reconcile, there is no good reason to carry this thing on. What might possibly be legitimate concerns of his can be addressed non-disruptively, but apparently not right now. Thanks for calming down. The ban is in effect, please don't violate it without getting permission (which should be done off-wiki, though it may then be acknowledged on-wiki by a custodian if you are released from the ban).
I can't help at meta, because I'm currently blocked there by an unexpected piece of business. Fr33kman did lift my email block (that was a sign of some extreme over-reaction, not to mention an "infinite" block with no prior blocks and no warning)), so I can email Fr33kman. I suspect that the meta block will be lifted soon, it's entirely outside of normal meta practice. You very likely aren't Poetlister, but the question will be who you are. I don't care, personally, as far as you being a user. As far as being a custodian, it mattered. Apparently you have an arbitrator on Wikipedia who also wants to know. Poetlister, by the way, was not a vandal, at all. Highly productive, cooperative user, former 'crat and checkuser, WP admin, with some oddities that put quite a few people off their feed, but he was non-disruptive here. --Abd 21:16, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm unlocked now. And thanks for the interaction ban, it's appreciated (no sarcasm intended). I'll be over at Commons if you would like to contact me about anything. --Simone 21:22, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Great. Good luck. Global locks were not intended to be used in that way, being designed and accepted for use with vandalism and active cross-wiki disruption, and when it's combined with routine violation of policy that stewards only act transparently, it's quite dangerous. Not the first time, Simone. --Abd 21:26, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

About Nonstandard physics[edit]

After reading of article Fine structure constant it seems it may be deleted if this is necessary - it repeats Wikipedia version, and original or useful information is very small and may be moved to article Stoney scale. Fedosin 18:43, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

  • The article is prepared now to move to a mainspace page, Fine structure constant. It has some explanatory content, such as a definition, with links to pages that discuss related topics, and reference to Wikipedia. Part of content was distributed to articles Stoney scale and Selfconsistent gravitational constants. Fedosin 17:51, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

At page Nonstandard physics is reference to Fine structure constant. Should it be deleted?Fedosin 05:49, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes, just delete the line. I will if you don't. Ideally, the page should be referenced from some other physics page, to place it in an educational hierarchy. --Abd 13:01, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Requesting a little space.[edit]

I get the feeling my contributions are being fairly closely examined. [10],[11], [12] and it is starting to make me a bit uncomfortable. In these cases I had attempted to open dialog with the users in question, I wasn't just blindly adding templates and deleting files. And I would like to request a little elbow room if you please. Thenub314 00:00, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Uh, Thenub, sorry, this is a wiki, and, as a probationary custodian, you should especially welcome being watched. However, I was not tracking your contributions. I have a watchlist and I do Recent Changes patrolling. At one point, I was watching about everything, I can't do that. In this case, I welcomed Dmoreno1899, so this user's talk page was watchlisted. I saw the Shustov notices in Recent Changes, I think. (It's a beautiful resource he built on seismic engineering, don't you think?) And I knew that Leighblackall might be involved with Dmoreno1899, who is a student at U Canberra, and the pages using the images is part of a class there. Leigh is a custodian, but might not have noticed the deletions -- and coming deletions. I thought he should know, he might be able to assist the students, and it really is his business, so to speak.
Now, this might be an awkward question, Thenub. I did not criticize you. Did I protest any deletions? I know easily how to do that, you know. You are doing normal image tagging, and I have not reviewed your deletions, per se. So why your discomfort at my offering additional help? It worries me. --Abd 01:25, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
  • How about this? --Abd 01:40, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
In the cases you've offered help, you seem to be ignoring the fact that I am there already offering help. Compare [13] and [14]. This seems to ignore my existence just a bit. In the case of Shustov, I suspect you've sidetracked the conversation and obscured my point, thus making harder to accomplish my goal. I could be wrong, time will tell I suppose. I am not particularly annoyed about Leigh, or Egm6321.f11, except I was worried it was part of a pattern. I was planning to tag a lot of images and consequently have conversations with lots of contributors, and if you keep jumping in and repeating me, it would be a bit annoying and I wanted to express ask for "a bit of elbow space".
Also on a more personal level I am annoyed with your attempts to coerce me using your vote. I find it especially... distasteful. So as much as possible I was going to try to avoid interacting with you for a bit, which became hard when you started editing/topics the pages I was editing today. Thenub314 03:18, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Sorry about any appearance of coercion, that was not intended. I'm telling you that your position on blocking is important to me, and I want you to carefully consider it. It's not just my "vote," it's what I'll find necessary to say in the decision process, the arguments I'll need to present. I'm not the boss of Wikiversity, but I do understand the place, and its special needs. If I've misunderstood you, I'd like to be disabused of my errors.
I had no intention to harass or present an appearance of harassment with regard to those notices, I'm just wanting to increase support for users having trouble with licensing. I wrote about things that seemed missing in what you wrote, to supplement it, not to negate it, at all. I was providing, perhaps, a different emphasis. But I didn't notice anything that you did that was wrong. How did you think it might have made it harder for you?
Well, one thing I could say. It would be a bit intimidating to a new user, don't you think, to see that big pile of warnings when they look at their user page? You might think about that. How about just using text? Just thinking about the impact on newbies. I do understand that it takes time to write. Perhaps some text versions of the text templates can be prepared. Notice Leigh's response. Some good things may come out of this, eh? --Abd 03:40, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
About the blocking policy. I am very careful as what I regard as a policy (that which must be done) and what I regard as being a guideline, proposal etc (that which should be done.) I mean what I say that just because a policy has some language in it that has been around for a long time means there is no consensus, because outside of admins most users do not take a concern in the policies unless there is a vote on them. I am also concerned that it has been heavily rewritten since the last time contributed it a year or so ago. Some of the text that you pointed as being a long standing part of the policy had only been added about a month ago. I really believe it does not represent a consensus within this community. Parts of it describe what people expect, and as such it is a good guideline, but it is not a policy.
Regardless of any of the above, I do not see SBJ's actions as an abuse of tools or inappropriate in any way. Much of what we do necessarily comes down to our own judgement and his is very reasonable in this case.
You've made things harder in the case of Shustov by taking his focus away from pictures that were his own work, of which there are many tagged, and I believe several more that still need to be tagged, and refocused him on the one fairuse picture that he seemed to feel wasn't a priority. Getting a lesson on topic B in the middle of a lesson on topic A tends to confuse people about topic A (and sometimes B as well). Given that he fixed now that one image but hasn't touched the others leads me to believe he doesn't realize he has a lot more pictures to fix, and so I have to start bugging him again about those pictures. Not a big deal, but I don't like to nag.
But never mind, I thought it was a simple and innocent enough request, but I've already written more on this then I care to. No replies necessary. Let's just go our separate ways. Thenub314 04:12, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
  • As to Shustov, I'd noticed that he'd partly responded and partly not, that's part of why I commented. To nudge him toward compliance with policy. He might need more nudges. Looks to me like the guy is an expert. We should support him. Agreed? --Abd 12:27, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Blocking policy[edit]

  • Do you agree that even if it isn't formally signed on the dotted line, that Wikiversity has a blocking policy, i.e., a community consensus on what blocks are proper and what are not, as a general rule?
  • "Policies" are not rigid rules that must be followed, that's an error, which then leads to a reluctance to approve policies that don't cover every situation. A custodian should be able to act in anticipation of support by consensus and should not act, using tools, if expecting a lack of support, should the matter be discussed, and a permanent custodian should have the skills to know which is which. Do you agree?
  • In what ways, then, do you think that the existing blocking policy does not reflect our community's consensus, as has been expressed in discussions in the past?
  • Should our policy, the draft, be changed? If so, in what ways? --Abd 12:27, 10 November 2011 (UTC)


I have reblocked Poetlister1, until a discussion of this particular user has taken place. Thenub314 15:16, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Not surprising, you were clear about your intentions in your CC. Thanks for the notice. I don't wheel-war, period. Both you and I are personally responsible for what we do.
To others, the issue here is whether or not a user can legitimately be blocked in the presence of positive contributions, and no policy violations here, based on claims about what has happened elsewhere. It's critical. Our policy is clear, and I enforced the policy, against the actions of SB Johnny and, now, Thenub314. I regret the disruption, but when long-standing policies and traditions are violated, action is required; if nobody will act to protect the community, the community is lost. --Abd 15:37, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Feedback about use of unblock and delete[edit]

Regarding your unblock of Poetlister1 and deleting the standard stop agreement page, I recommend discussing potentially controversial custodial actions on-wiki with the WV community to determine consensus before acting. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 21:21, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I did discuss before acting, Jtneill. Too much, even. I'd hope that you'd ask other custodians to likewise discuss controversial actions before taking them! However, as to the deletion of the standard stop agreement, reviewing the discussions leading up to closing, there was more reference to standard stop than I'd recalled, and than I'd seen by looking at the actual close. I am therefore undeleting the page and may take other related actions. --Abd 22:40, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for taking another look at the stop agreement deletion. Re: the Poetlister1 unblock - my sense is that WV discussions on the global ban issues generally, and the PL case more specifically, are ongoing and haven't yet come to community consensus, hence for some people the unblock felt like a sudden action. Perhaps there could be some more discussion about yours and others' reading of the draft block policy on its talk page to help move closer towards a common understanding. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 23:54, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Jt, policy is very clear that users are not to be blocked except for policy violations here. It's been discussed many times, and the community has always settled on the position that this is not to be done. As can be seen from the recent comment of Steven Walling, there is no informed opinion that local communities cannot have such a policy. We have one. There was discussion, with no allegation of local misbehavior (nor, for that matter, of any recent global misbehavior, and our policy also prohibits blocking based on old offenses.) If I should have discussed and found consensus before unblocking, even though it is not normally necessary to discuss to act according to esablished policy or guidlines, so too should SBJ have discussed and found consensus before indef blocking contrary to policy and guidelines. This is quite equivalent to a ban, locally, but we don't ban without CR.
Because there are global issues involved, because there are users whose primary interests are not Wikiversity, this is going to take a serious community-wide discussion to make things any clearer. Our "draft policy" represented actual practice. It still prohibits what SBJ did.
Thenub314 called my action unblocking "wheel warring." Jimbo used that term when SBJ unblocked a local user. It was not appropriate then and it is not appropriate now, unless Thenub314 is also wheel-warring. I'd use the term to mean that a sysop uses tools restores a state established by the same sysop, reversing an attempt by another sysop to change the state. If SBJ had blocked again, that would be wheel-warring. But to change an action after discussion and substantial delay, based on policy, that ordinarily would not be considered wheel-warring. Sometimes it means an action taken with no discussion, reversing the action of another. There was discussion, for example, see [15].
Meanwhile, SBJ jumped the shark. He misrepresented the situation at meta to induce a steward to lift the bit. I know meta and steward practice. They will act upon representations, especially by a 'crat. In order to get this through as an emergency action, he needed to claim an immediate hazard. So he did that, claiming that I was "acting outside the terms I agreed to," which I had not done. I never violated Standard Stop. I never took a custodial action after being warned against it. SBJ is violating the trust of the community, representing the community at meta, advocating his personal position in a dispute as if it were policy and consensus. I have asked him to fix this. --Abd 00:15, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Probationary custodianship - Next steps[edit]

What are your thoughts about next steps for your probationary custodianship? We are in somewhat unchartered territory here, with this being a third probationary period, and currently indefinite as a result of no consensus on the full nomination, and currently with myself being a temporary mentor whilst Draicone is on wiki-break. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 23:54, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Moving forward[edit]

Hi Abd. Your probationary custodianship has been suspended, per my request on meta. I'm not really sure where we go from here, but hopefully you'll help us decide that issue. Thank you for the service you have provided to WV as a sysop... it really did help things along. --SB_Johnny talk 23:58, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

It's unfortunate that you misrepresented the situation to them. You made the request, it was denied because there was no emergency. So you exaggerated it, claiming that I was acting outside my custodianship agreement. They will not investigate, they will act, you knew that. This calls into question your competence as a 'crat. If you'd like to avert consequences from this, either show where I did so act, or restore the bit. Thanks. --Abd 00:26, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

FYI, I've reopened the Abd3 full custodian nomination [16]. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 00:16, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I'll look, but I don't necessarily have time for this right now. The reopening is within your discretion. Thanks for your support. You may decide that the lifting of the bit was outside of due process -- it certainly was! I was absolutely not expecting that, it was pure drama with no necessity. However, if the situation is that I can do month after month of grunt work, routine system administration, and then make one action that a 'crat, mostly inactive, disagrees with, even though my action is clearly following policy, and I'm therefore history, because that 'crat owns the project, I don't want the position. I don't need it to do what I've personally wanted to do, and, in fact, I've neglected my own work in favor of helping with administration. In a way, it will be a relief. What does Wikiversity want? Maybe it's about time we find out. --Abd 00:26, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Please stop[edit]

Edits like this are not especially helpful. For someone who usually insists a user should only be judged for their actions locally you've done a lot of posting about S_Larctia's block/ban/etc status elsewhere in discussions here. It is starting to turn sour, unless there is some pressing issue with this user I would like to suggest you just leave it alone. Thenub314 04:01, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

I disagree. I have not said that users should be judged only on local actions, but that users should not be blocked based on action elsewhere, unless a clear and present danger is seen. Relevant information about user status is welcome and so is S Larctia. You might notice mention here and there that I'm blocked on meta, or banned on Wikipedia. If the mention is civil, it's okay. --Abd 13:56, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
If it came up in some way in a discussion in some way I would probably agree, but with this particular user you've been added this info to conversations where it is not necessary, and in this most recent case where you were not part of the discussion before hand. If it were to continue the user might feel they are being "hounded" by you. They might not, but it seemed to me a good place to ask you to stop. Thenub314 15:18, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
You removed my comment from Simone's talk page, Thenub. Discussions on user talk pages are open. If Simone complains, of course. But she has not. I doubt that she feels hounded, but if she does, I'd certainly respect that. I actually support Simone's participation here, and I think she knows it. She's declined, and that's her business. --Abd 15:22, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
As the only other participant in that particular conversation thus far I found the comment inappropriate, you of course are free to add it back if you feel you should. Thenub314 16:25, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Look, there is ongoing and serious disruption from a user, it's obvious, blatantly uncivil, it's causing damage, and you are worried about that harmless comment on Simone's talk page? Basically, my comment was the same in substance as your own, just with some more specifics. What's this really about, Thenub? --Abd 15:25, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
    If your talking about the discussion at your custodianship page I agree it has gone on too long. It has yet to cross the line into what I would call serious and it is not clear to me how to handle the best way to handle the situation. Everything, in my opinion, started off fine, and snowballed from there. Thenub314 16:25, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • There is only one user who crosses the line routinely, and you can see it in his contributions. My custodianship page is just the latest example. He's been warned. I've been warned also, by the way, for far, far less. Look, act based on the record and the welfare of the wiki, if you will act. Not based on my comment. If I want to make a formal complaint, I'll do it on Request Custodian Action. I don't have time for it. In a way, Thenub, this is your place now, for now. I'm not restoring that comment, it was enough to make it. Insisting would be too much. She can restore it if she wants to respond. If not, not. --Abd 16:39, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, where to start, I am just a contributor. There is no sense that "this is my place" could even be remotely true. About stuff that matters I have no more say in affairs then I did the day I showed up. Also the "for now" bit doesn't quite make sense, because about the stuff that matters I will continue to have the same right to discuss as I see fit unless I somehow get myself blocked/banned, which is always a possibility.
As far as Ottava goes, I don't see any action that I would take. I take it you feel he should be blocked, but I don't see that on the table yet for the actions he has taken. He carried it too far, and I would advise him to put this issue on ice for a while, but that is as far as I am willing to go. If he does cross the line in my eyes I will give him an official warning telling him I intend to block if it happens again. If he crosses the line after being warned about problematic behavior by some custodian then I will act I will act. Thenub314 --18:25, 17 November 2011‎, signed by Abd 18:57, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Suit yourself. My comment was based on a lengthy record of actions, not just one, but I'll assume you have not reviewed the record. You are not required to, specifically, and whether or not you feel any obligation to look deeper, that's up to you. As to "your place", I no longer have any custodial responsibility here, partly thanks to you. Until you commented at meta, it was being denied, you gave support to the request. If I have time, I'll pursue process on matters that are clear. If not, I won't. And I don't expect to have time. So that's that, eh? --Abd 19:01, 17 November 2011 (UTC)


Hi Abd!

There's what appears to be spamming on Talk:Syntactics. Suggestions? Or, should I just delete the text? Thank you in advance. Marshallsumter 04:17, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Well, you tell a custodian about it. I'm not one now, but some watch my Talk page, and it may have been independently seen. Darklama deleted the page. Thanks for the report. You could also report spam on Wikiversity:Request custodian action. You could also, if the whole page is spam, request page deletion with a template, use {{delete|spam --~~~~}}, custodians review the category created. --Abd 13:53, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

How do I change my password ?[edit]

Sorry, can't remember =S. --Simone 19:05, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

It's been said that if the hangman asked me to help him tie the knot, I'd show him.
You are logged in. You have email enabled. You go to Special:PasswordReset. You will be emailed a temporary password. I don't think you have to log out to do that. Obviously, you don't want to log out! But if you have any socking to do, you might need to. Frustrating, I know. Been there.
If that fails, I might still be able to assist. Or not. Let me know. --Abd 19:14, 17 November 2011 (UTC)


What's to do around here? Gravitoweak 00:49, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Ok. But "disruptive" is subjective. Sometimes, just asking for a little bit of justice is sufficient to cause a bad sequence of events. =P Gravitoweak 22:18, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
About Rotating Blackhole at Wikipedia, there was a section about Possible Time Travel which looked very originally researched. Should it be copied here? Gravitoweak 22:19, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
First of all, original research is allowed on Wikiversity. It should be disclosed as such. What we don't want is for some new idea (or an old one that is not generally accepted) to be presented as if it were something accepted.
Yes, "disruptive" is subjective, in a way. However, what I actually wrote on your talk page was a little different, and you may have missed the distinction:
Please be careful to be civil and avoid whatever might legitimately be considered disruptive.
I was not, by the way, implying that you had done anything wrong. You had not.
"Whatever might legitimately be considered disruptive" is actually asking you to make a subjective judgment, based on your own understanding of the community and policies. You are new and you can make mistakes. "Might legitimately be considered" asks you to anticipate the effect of your comments on others. I understand and accept that it could happen with some users that your comments might -- or were! -- considered disruptive, but that might not be legitimate. You might do other things that could cause a good-faith user to object. And I suggested avoiding this, as a matter of preference. Sometimes something must be said, and saying it can lead to a response that could be considered disruptive, even by a good-faith user. However, the truth here might be that it was the underlying situation which was the actual cause of the disruption, not your pointing to it.
On the other hand, sometimes I unnecessarily say something that causes offense. I'm saying that this should be avoided.
Asking for justice can be legitimate and it can be illegitimate. It depends on how and where.
As to the material from Wikipedia, it's better not to copy WP material here. You may link to it, and you may link to some specific version and section. You may start a page to discuss possible time travel, say Black hole/Time travel, and you may link this page from the resource, use a subpage link (i.e., Subpagename (wikitext [[/Subpagename/]]) points to User talk:Abd/Subpagename. These are portable links. Enjoy! --Abd 22:32, 21 November 2011 (UTC)


I'll stay out of your discussion with DL. Thenub314 19:16, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

No problem. Thanks. However, if I do raise an issue of concern to you, there, you may certainly raise it here. --Abd 20:05, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Immediate pre-block activity[edit]


I have been reflecting on this edit. The way you continue to follow S Larctia around and comment about her past ("'Nuff said"?), block/ban status, etc. in conversations that are clearly not related to these things is starting to look a little harassing to me. I am asking you to stop joining discussions on other user pages and interjecting these sorts of tid bits of information. If you continue, and she complains, then I may block. Thenub314 04:27, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't follow S Larctia around (i.e., go where she goes, reviewing her contributions) and toss in comments, and the contributions will show that. I do watch SB Johnny talk, and that was a request to SBJ, a 'crat, to restore custodial privileges. I wanted to make it clear that if S Larctia requests this, there is a huge past that would need to be disclosed. By coincidence, having become concerned about her, based on her last edit to my talk page here, I'd spent the better part of yesterday researching her history on Wikipedia and other wikis and absolutely this user should not have sysop privileges, what happened here is just as I said on SBJ talk, mild compared to the past. I don't think you have a clue. I do not believe, as you know, that anyone should be sanctioned here for behavior elsewhere, but when it comes to sysop privileges, the past should be disclosed, I've been up front and open about mine. Lack of disclosure, in fact, was the big problem with Poetlister's most recent episodes elsewhere. non-disclosure when there was a request for admin privileges.
SBJ wasn't buying it, but seemed to be encouraging that another custodian could mentor, and then he might push the button. Let's say that before you consider such a thing, Thenub, perhaps you might want to look at the history. I did take notes, but, again, it is not my intention to embarrass the user, as long as she doesn't try for advanced privileges, in which case my goal would still not be embarrassment, but only protection of the wiki.
If "'nuff said" was uncivil, uh, there was some very explicit incivility there, and in recent comments by S Larctia. Seems you will strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. Bad sign, it shows bias. In any case, I'm warned, but I will suggest that you should, yourself, recuse if possible. If you see an emergency -- as I did in the past -- sure, act to protect the wiki, but be careful. Crying "emergency" when there is none can result in loss of privileges. --Abd 04:51, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
I did not mean to imply that any one of your particular comments was uncivil, I was making reference to where you spoke of her past. It was mostly the pattern that concerned me, and not as much the content of an individual diff. I will take your advice about emergency's to heart, but it generally isn't something I make a habit of. At this point I will only act if the pattern continues, and their is an actual complaint from the user, and I emphasize that I will act only when both conditions are met. Mostly I believe this is a coincidence, and you meant no harm, but from the outside looking in it was starting to look concerning so I wanted to let you know. Thenub314 05:11, 27 November 2011 (UTC)



Per Darklama's suggestion here, which seemed to me to be the only reasonable suggestion made in that discussion that pointed towards a sensible outcome.

Your request on my talk page is what brought me into it. What I said in September was that I would block one or both of you, and I've blocked both of you. Please sort this out via email or IRC, and provide some mutual reassurance that it won't happen again. --SB_Johnny talk 20:59, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

  • {{unblock|no recent warning, no reason given for block. see discussion --[[User:Abd|Abd]] 21:30, 27 November 2011 (UTC)}} nowiki'd to prevent showing up in current unblock requests --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:08, 10 September 2013 (UTC)


It appears that I've been blocked for a civil complaint about gross incivility, that I'd carefully documented, blocked by a custodian who prejudged the matter months ago. The suggestion from Darklama did not provide any evidence, it was only an expression of frustration that the problem hadn't gone away. There was little or no problem for a long time until a certain user came back.

"It won't happen again." What's "it"? Until I know what specific behavior is not to be repeated, I certainly cannot give assurances. So I'll ask for specifics here, if anyone cares to provide them. Thanks.

By the way, SBJ, that wasn't a request. It was a notice. I thought you'd like to know. No action was requested, explicitly, see the bottom of the diff. --Abd 21:30, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

  • A month and no response to the unblock request. If there are any questions, ask here, I get email notification of edits to this page.
  • The block log says the block is "per suggestion." The suggestion did not state any policy violation that would justify a block without community review. I'm requesting independent review; the proximate cause of the block was this discussion.
  • Rereading Darklama's comment, I find it represents exactly what it condemns: it claims that disputes should be resolved between the parties -- which is true when possible -- but then suggests resolution of a dispute by effectively banning both parties until they somehow resolve it off-wiki. That makes only a naive sense. It assumes parity between the parties, and it assumes that both parties are motivated by Wikiversity's welfare. It refuses to examine evidence and to respond through seeking community consensus. It is fundamentally arrogant, in that it assumes that problems are due to other people, not to us. Roughly, "If you guys would just stop fighting, everything would be fine." It completely avoids the responsibility of custodians, on behalf of the community, to investigate and seek resolution, instead resorting to blame and "a pox on both your houses" judgment.
  • I did not pursue and harass Ottava. I had stated that if there was no custodial intervention, a Community Review would be necessary (probably a re-opening of the old Review mentioned in my RCA report). In that Review, I'd have presented the long-term evidence, which would establish what I'm claiming here: Ottava's sole purpose here had become revenge, payback. In a negotiation between us, what would there be to offer him that had not already been offered? I.e., if he wanted to develop resources, fine. There was never any harassment impeding that. He was only confronted when he became positively disruptive, and I presented only a small part of the evidence, which included attacking newcomers, attempting to stir up superuser action against Wikiversity, and more. And if that's not the case, if Ottava was actually harassed by me, I hope that an independent reviewer will address this, and point out my errors.
  • The primary issue here, though, is block policy, which has become dead letter through this and other actions. Policy is how a community guides custodians, and where custodians exercise control over policy, blocking consensus, there is no restraint. Custodians, by the nature of the job, watch wiki activity more closely than other participants, creating a participation bias in the presence of a conflict of interest. We have a new custodian who demoted long-standing custodianship policy to "proposed," and that was the proximate trigger for the actions that led to the block. This block serves the purposes of a small group of custodians, mostly technocrats, here to "help," but that help becomes, long-term, control. JWSchmidt called it "Wikipedia disease," and he was right about that. JWS's complaints mostly centered around SBJ and various unilateral actions that SBJ had taken -- including repeatedly blocking him, while being involved in conflict with him, something that should be avoided -- and my block, here, serves SBJ's purposes, he had similarly attempted, in the past, to demote custodianship policy to "proposed," and he had personally refused to follow the policy, except when it furthered his own purposes (i.e., the probationary custodianship of S Larctia, a remarkable affair).
  • I was defending long-term community consensus, as represented by established policy, in my actions, but if there is no long-term community, including custodians, to defend policy, it's dead, and Wikiversity is hopeless. I await the judgment of the community. --Abd 15:09, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

From what I can see, the basic issue seems to be that "community" (as considered by a few custodians) more or less got fed up with tendentious editing, particularly on policy and policy talk pages recently, by Abd and Ottava, which seems to have manifested as a straw on the camel's back after previous poor relations between these two users. It seems possible that discussion to clarify the concerns and negotiation of agreement regarding future behaviour could be undertaken to allow unblocking of one or both users. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 00:10, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, James. Can you point to any examples of my behavior that would legitimately be considered inappropriate in context? Was I warned? Were short blocks used to enforce a warning before using stronger measures? And how does this block relate to policy? Are there any policy restraints on custodians getting "fed up"? I was "fed up" with being attacked! As a custodian, I refrained from use of tools in this matter. I believe that I then, just before being blocked, acted properly, by requesting custodial attention. If what I called attention to was improper behavior by the other, why was I blocked? And if it was not improper behavior, why was he blocked? If we were both behaving improperly, why then were not specific behavioral bans imposed? It seems that SBJ's previous comment -- not accompanied by any notice on my Talk page -- was interpreted as an interaction ban, but, if so, it was not being enforced; had it been enforced, there would have been no need for my RCA report. Previously, SBJ had declared such a ban, and when I requested enforcement of it, Darklama had blocked me. SBJ unblocked because requesting enforcement was not considered to be abusive (unless, perhaps, tendentious).
I'm not seeing any suggestion of specific behavior to be avoided, that would be legitimate as a ban.
The underlying issue here aside from a personal interaction problem has been, now, completely ignored. Long-standing policy was demoted to "proposed," leaving power entirely in the hands of 'crats with no restraint from long-standing policy and tradition. I see that I've been punished for defending tradition and policy. My "tendentious editing" would only be a single reversion to the standing version, after a change by Thenub314, repeating what SBJ had attempted many months before. (I had reverted it then, and that reversion stood without objection.) I did not revert war, and I discussed the issue on the Talk page. Is, then, explaining the situation "tendentious editing"? How? Is caring about policy and explaining it "tendentious"?
If there are no active custodians left, willing to stand up for policy and long-standing tradition on Wikiversity, it's dead, and it would take a revolution to revive it.
This is not how I would respond if my goal were personal, if it were simply wishing to be unblocked so that I could "develop resources," on my favorite topics, because, if this situation continues, any resources developed here are not safe. All it takes is a Wikipedian, one with enough Wikipedian friends, to disrupt and harass until a custodian is "fed up" and removes the "cause(s) of the disruption."
What I want is for policy to be followed, policy that represents long-standing Wikiversity consensus. --Abd 18:45, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm guessing that you think you are right, Abd, that Ottava Rima thinks he's right, that SBJ_Johnny thinks he's right etc. Hopefully some more dialogue can occur towards mutual, cooperative understandings about possible ways forward. To this end, my sense is that it could be helpful, for example, to minimise grandstanding, AGF, and take personal responsibility about what you could do differently in future. My apologies if this is not helpful. Sincerely, James -- Jtneill - Talk - c 21:36, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Lucky guess, James! To me, the issue is not "right/wrong" but, rather, I support everyone taking a stand for what they believe. What would you suggest I do differently in the future?
It seems you may think I was grandstanding. About what? Would you point to an example? I made some strong statements above, but they don't meet the definition of grandstanding as I understand it, and as defined on the page you linked. "Grandstanding" involves exaggeration, what do you think was exaggerated? --Abd 02:17, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I would describe your excessively long statements earlier in this discussion as grandstanding. You exaggerate the extent to which Wikiversity policies have consensus in favour of them, and you spout a lot of nonsense about SBJ "abusing" his 'crat tools. --Claritas 16:21, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
"Excessively long" is a value judgment, implying that there is a standard length, whereas the length of a comment may relate to its depth and coverage. There was obviously consensus for both policies in question, one had a formal stamp as policy which had stood for four years, being heavily edited by quite a number of editors. That is evidence for consensus, and it's been explicitly stated, so how would this be "exaggeration"?
"Abuse" of tools can be demonstrated if needed. It would take a few words. "Nonsense" again is a judgment without substance. Now, to understand the comments of Claritas here, we need to know that this is User:S Larctia, who is far from neutral. I hadn't noticed that S Larctia, elsewhere previously identified with Claritas through checkuser at Wikipedia, and blocked as such there, had an old Claritas account here with a single edit. Undisclosed local sock, until today. Just sayin'. The only abuse, here, and minor, would be this edit, above, which would not be obviously "Simone," it might seem to be a neutral user. --Abd 16:41, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

My understanding is that this block occurred as a response to acrimonious editing between two users which was perceived to be disruptive to the en.WV community. If that is the case, then one path to unblock could be to help discuss ways to avoid that kind of tet-a-tet editing between these two users. Another path to unblock could be to argue that the block(s) is/are simply wrong and should therfore be overturned. Regardless, I think it could be helpful for the custodian(s) involved in the block to correspond with the blocked users on their talk pages to detail more specifically what the behaviours of concern were and what could be done differently. I'll also put notices on the Colloquium and RCA to ask for broader community input. I'm about to go on summer break. (WRT to grandstanding, I meant claims of death etc. - my suggestion is minimise sensationalism.). Sincerely, James. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 01:07, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

I am not the only long-term Wikiversitan who has considered the vision dead. I'd love to be wrong, and my "claim" of "death" is obviously a figure of speech, and it was conditional, i.e., "if." Do remember, if you were aware, that I long watched the decay of Wikipedia, as failures to seek consensus accumulated, as being blocked or banned came to be increasingly a question of political position and power, and less and less a matter of the true welfare of the community and project. I watched as users who would independently investigate situations became more and more rare, as, increasingly, "community decisions" were made by a small coterie of mutually-involved users who focused on the noticeboards, and who would vote "ban" without reading a diff, based on what was obviously reasoning from conclusions. I watched as RfC, with its procedural safeguards, was used less and less,
Was there "tete-a-tete" editing? James, you seem to be assuming that there was, based on what? You would see, if you looked, a long period where I responded to oft-repeated provocation not at all, and only when I saw a policy page being damaged, accompanied by gross incivility, did I finally ... finally what? Argue long and tendentiously? No, I filed a complaint on the RCA page, with what I considered adequate evidence on a narrow point, not a comprehensive examination of the situation, requesting neutral review, as policy suggests.
At least that's how I see it. I'm not taking the time to research it again and write a deep research document with diffs, nor do I intend to. There is no readership demanding it. If Wikiversity depends on me to do this kind of work, well, too bad. The community will get what it deserves, it will get what it gives. I've got way too much to do elsewhere to put in the kind of work that I did put in. I have a different role in mind, and the question, really, is whether or not I do that work on-wiki or off. :On the other hand, I will respond to questions. --Abd 01:30, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

History of conflict with Ottava Rima[edit]

In comments above, it seems to have been assumed that there was some kind of continual "tit for tat" between Ottava and myself. So I've set out to examine the history. This will take a few days.

What is missing is review and commentary on the later Ottava actions, and listing my own edits with respect to Ottava, there were a few, as well as checking and editing. My tentative hypothesis is that I was not uncivil or tendentious with Ottava, I did not harass or pursue him, but that this is not true for him. To be clear on this, I'll need to complete this review. That an Ottava edit is listed here is not an allegation that it was improper, this is all edits by Ottava from his retirement earlier this year to the blocks. My intention is to also list all edits of mine that relate to Ottava, so that a comparison can be made.

When I asked for Rollback in 2010, not realizing that it was inseparable on Wikiversity, Ottava offered to mentor. That period ended when I short-blocked Ottava for incivility, and Ottava requested my sysop bit be lifted at meta; the subsequent WV:Candidates for custodianship voting (begun outside of policy without my approval) did not succeed. It appears that Ottava blamed me for his subsequent desysopping per WV:Community Review/Ottava Rima. There was, then, extensive interaction and conflict during my second probationary custodianship, which period led to custodianship removed for me and WV:Community Review/Ottava Rima 2, closed without action when Ottava appeared to retire. The history below begins with the edit announcing hiatus.

The return[edit]

The period leading up to the September block of Ottava by SB Johnny

Edits in bold are edits I'm marking for my own review as possibly having to do with conflict with me. All edits are shown, this is not cherry-picked, but some edits have been placed in collapse.

5 more edits related to this, and discussion of the situation and outcome
three more welcomes. One was of a spammer, which became an issue later.
  • Spammer.
  • I had welcomed Ottava back to Wikiversity, and had invited him to participate in the Wikiversity:Assembly.
The edit above objected to how I edited the policy page. The change stood as modified by Darklama and a little more by me
  • Ottava objected to an edit in which I undid my self-reversion of a change to Custodianship policy. It was a common practice of mine to propose policy changes with an edit that is self-reverted, accompanied with talk page discussion, and a notice that if there is no objection, I intend to restore the change. This is WP:BRD on Wikipedia, and is generally considered a legitimate way to make a bold change. It does not establish consensus for the change, but neither is such a change disruptive (unless revert warring ensues). Often policy pages attract little comment, and RfC is cumbersome. I made this change because I was about to make another proposed change, regarding the voting period, so I was completing old business, there having been no objection. Ottava did not pursue his objection in the short term. The full discussion is here.
  • Ottava opposed my permanent custodianship, making serious charges without substantiation. The claim about not knowing how to block could refer to the Popo le Chien incident, about making new rules could refer to the incident just above, but much of this is unclear.
  • Attacked User:Marshallsumter for supporting me (and me for supporting him through discussions that successfully led him to seek consensus with other users on what others saw as copyright violations).
  • Continues attack on User:Marshallsumter, based on Wikipedia problems. (No "hoax" was shown, that was a speculation at one time.)
  • Continues attack on Marshallsumter.
  • explained the block to the vandal. The welcome had created this user talk page, which has then allowed many IP edits.
  • Claimed that my closure of an RCA report was as a "heavily involved" custodian and was therefore improper. I closed many reports, and where I considered myself involved, I'd disclose it. Involvement does not negate the possibility of closure, but an involved closer should make a closure tentative, which I do. The close was "without prejudice," meaning that the issue raised, possible copyright violation, could be raised again. Because it had become apparent that the user was being cooperative, a continued request for custodian action was inappropriate. Essentially, I was attending to it. Any other custodian could disagree and re-open. This incident brought out praise for my approach from some surprising users.
  • SBJ did re-open (and also offered support to the user). I added a Done template, and, a month later, re-closed, there was no objection.
  • A set of edits that begins with a discussion between Ottava and SB Johnny. Ottava does mention me in the early edits, but not offensively.
I have collected these edits in collapse.
  • Misrepresents my positions and activity on meta. Again points to WP ban, implies that I'd be socking here. (I used one sock account at Wikipedia, as a test, documented extensively. The result was, overall, positive contribution to Wikipedia, except, of course, for the attention paid to blocking the sock.)
  • The full discussion. I commented in it, with what is the first evidence that I was losing patience with Ottava. I describe his behavior in terms that would be routine on Wikipedia Review, but not here.
3 edits: Civil discussion on Talk:SB Johnny, issue of vandal welcoming mentioned but no conflict appeared.
  • Added Oppose image template
Defended his comments about Popo le Chien. Still considers it my failure to follow "protocol."
  • Claims that if the user had actually been Popo le Chien, instead of an imposter, that this could have caused the user "stress." In fact, I had strong reason to think this was an imposter, and Ottava had not noticed and may still be unaware of the problem: straw puppet editing creating an appearance of racism. A user may see that and go away with an impression that cannot be fixed. On the other hand, if I'd have been wrong, the real user could easily have complained and established identity, and the block log could be rev-del'd or annotated. This is simply another example of how Ottava assumes error, quickly, when he's so inclined, and doesn't let go when facts get in the way.
made up supposed policy about Wikiversity namespace
  • made up policy to oppose the Assembly experiment. The Assembly has no authority, it is advisory only, and no Assembly process has yet completed. If I remain blocked, I will request another user take over the position of default clerk, and I would eventually do that anyway. Assembly pages may be in user space, it really doesn't matter where they are, they could even be off-wiki. There can be more than one "Assembly," if needed, i.e., if the community cannot agree on a single one. However, on-wiki does allow transparency, and pages in Wikiversity space may be subject to general clerking if the community agrees to that. It has not agreed, it hasn't been asked yet. It is essential to the Assembly concept, however, that there be a clerk or clerks, this is standard deliberative process, the first item of business in setting up any deliberative body, it merely seems new or unusual on a wiki.
  • Full discussion.
Supported custodianship of S Larctia, who at that point had appeared to oppose my custodianship. Remarkable is the mention of Salmon of Doubt, who was probably the user, under another name, who had engineered my first bans on Wikipedia, and was heavily involved with harassment there. Ottava would not have been concerned if he knew? Ottava is very involved with behind-the-scenes politicking, and some very strange things happened elsewhere that seem correlated to what was happening here. S Larctia is Claritas, and has used other names as well. Above, Ottava mentioned being highly distrustful of anyone who socked, and S Larctia had done plenty of it, and that was obvious. At the time, though, I did not know who "she" was. There was even a sock account here. Complete discussion.
  • Edits were not uncivil or tendentious; however, they did divert attention from my complaint to SB Johnny. Full discussion.
  • Criticizes how the compromise by which I was to remain a "permanent probationary custodian" was handled.
  • Criticizes SB Johnny's positive comments about my work.
  • I responded in this section (since it was about me!) I suggested that Ottava could become a probationary custodian, if he actually wanted to help out.
  • Claims my welcomes (which were voluminous) were "political."
  • Would have immediately blocked me for comments here.
  • Argued with Ajraddatz (global sysop) for supporting my custodial candidacy.
  • I had welcomed Ottava for his welcoming new users, September 16.
  • However, I realized that his welcomes were causing a problem. He was welcoming spammers and vandals. This causes some depression of attention to their subsequent edits, as a practical matter. So I asked him to be careful. This was civil and not blaming. This was his response: We welcome everyone. Don't lecture me about Welcoming, especially in such an incivil and inappropriate manner. And he added more, the complete discussion. As I recall, I did discuss the block with Draicone and he considered it within discretion.
  • And then Ottava complained to SB Johnny about harassment.
  • Made accusations about my welcoming.
  • Brought up old issues around his own desysopping, a situation where he had blocked a user (not a vandal, not a spammer!) perhaps without explanation, but I don't recall.
  • Notified my mentor of the harassment complaint.
  • Angry. There was discussion of my welcoming practice as it relates to blocking and warning, no "walls of text."
  • 03:12, 17 September 2011 User talk:SB Johnny #Abd
    Not comprehensible to me. Spammers keep creating new accounts, whether you warn or welcome. When there is even a small possibility of good faith, I warn and welcome, I've also invited real spammers to create legitimate accounts and contribute where they have expertise, pointing out that if they do this, they might be allowed an appropriate link. Takers are few and far between.
  • 03:14, 17 September 2011 User talk:Deng (Not welcomed in error. This is a user who does not know Wikiversity practice and deserves to be given the notification of our practices before his 1 month block is up)
  • Removed the speedy deletion tag I had placed. (As a now-arguably involved custodian, I would not directly delete.) See also below, 03:53, 17 September 2011, where he adds a block template. This is apparently the only edit of this user, and it is highly unlikely that this user will return, unless to spam. This is likely also User:Celery.
  • And filed a complaint on the Colloquium, somewhat incoherent.
  • Notified me of the Colloquium filing. The Colloquium is not a noticeboard, generally.
Prepares templates to be used for notifying users blocked for vandalism, spam, and socking
and then uses them for 13 users.
  • Thus many useless user pages were created.... The block log, displayed to the user when blocked, explains the block, and users may appeal blocks, generally. They don't. The Hunter Mariner vandal is a major cross-wiki problem, it's well known. Users with spam usernames will never be allowed to edit, and it would be a waste of time for them -- and us --, should they ever want to make positive contributions, to do anything with the old account.
  • Suggests that I be banned from welcoming users. My practice had been to welcome all users who make even a small edit to the Sandbox or their user page, and I only use the welcome template. However, some days I didn't get to it, but I would then go back, seeking continuous coverage. I attempted to set up coordination on this with the WV:Welcoming Committee, but there was insufficient interest. The only dispute was over welcoming spammers and vandals and users with blatantly offensive user names, and later there is a spectacular example of this. I didn't like what Ottava was doing, but never suggested he be banned.
  • Continues alleging Bad Behavior for Abd.
series of warnings and speedy deletion tags
  • The FidaAliEng pages were moved to user space, a simple and common solution to obvious error in placing them in mainspace. I'd been working with this user for some time to educate him to what can and can't be done on Wikiversity.
  • Complains about my treatment of User:MrFidaAliEngr, who is learning to use the wiki. I've encouraged him to write in his user space (which I also did with children who showed up at Wikiversity). He'd made a few mistakes. Fixing the errors was simple. Just move the pages to user space.
a speedy tag and an IP vandalism revert and warning, plus two welcomes
  • and then Ottava was blocked by SB_Johnny for the behavior shown above. He was defiant on his Talk page, see the edits beginning the next section.

Ottava blocked by SBJ, Abd warned[edit]

not reviewed, tentative
  • SBJ blocked Ottava for two days, January 14.
  • When the block expired, Ottava's behavior was worse, not better. I filed an RCA request, seeking a neutral custodian, but none appeared and the behavior was escalating. So I had blocked and immediately referred the matter to the community. I blocked for a year because I knew this was a long-term problem, there had been plenty of warning, but I made it clear that this was tentative and invited review.
  • SBJ immediately unblocked, citing lack of consensus. But he had not waited for consensus to block Ottava a few days earlier.
In any case, he blocked Ottava again, September 17th, for a week, which would be a standard escalating block from his earlier block, as if mine had not happened. Ottava was defiant and attacked SBJ.
  • In his block notice], SBJ had warned me and Ottava (rather unusual to warn a user on another user's talk page, but I did see it!).
  • The full notice and warning.
  • While I wish it weren't necessary to say this, I will: Abd, I will block you if you make any comment that might aggravate this situation, with no prejudice about whether you meant to aggravate it (IOW, please leave Ottava alone). --SB_Johnny talk 20:54, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Oh, I mentioned this on my talk, but I'll repeat it here: If you want to get into an argument about this, the WR annex would be a better venue for me. --SB_Johnny talk 20:56, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

SBJ encouraged Ottava, on his return, to "present [Abd's] shortcomings" in a "coherent manner," while, at the same time, threatening to block me if I comment about it. And that's what happened. Ottava continued his pressure and attacks, without any complaint from SBJ, until Ottava reverted me on a policy page, where I was restoring a long-standing policy tag, coupled with incivility, and I filed an RCA report, and SBJ promptly blocked me (and Ottava). He'd been waiting for this cover, I find the conclusion inescapable, now that I've reviewed these events.

19 welcomes, including 1 spam account and 2 vandalism-only accounts
  • spammer.
  • Cross-wiki vandal.
  • Cross-wiki vandal.
  • reverts vandalism.
  • User should have been blocked. The effect of Ottava's warning was to suppress attention. (This view is controversial, but how Ottava managed to find so many spammers and vandals, compared to legitimate users, is something I've not studied. I don't recall seeing that many doing RCP.
  • This was a classic, the reductio ad absurdem of what Ottava had been doing with his welcomes. "Hello Abusemerump, and welcome."