From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Proposal for a new Oldwikisource editing policy[edit]

So here we go. The following points are dedicated to the improving of this subdomain in some areas; there is no big structure yet, I just try to write down my thoughts from the past.

What are the past and present problems?

  • the Oldwikisource is a multilanguage project; everybody (incl. IP's) can edit here and to create a new page or to add something, without somebody can controll it
  • the most new users ignore simply the advice to categorize all pages in a language category, so in many cases we simply do not know what language it is (if any)
  • there is no system in the language categories - many of them have the English name, many the domestic name, there were languages with both ones
  • there are not so many uncategorized pages [1], but the reason is that many many pages are categorized by a part category (like poem ...) but not by a language category (i.e. many subpages are not categorized by a language as well)
  • many of the users do have no idea what copyright is and wonder when I ask them, if the text is free ("I saw it in internet so it must be free")
  • we have a huge amount of copyvios in different languages (partly probably even with political statements of unknown groups, parties etc.); this concerns not only new or "small" languages but also e.g. Esperanto
  • it is not easy to controll the copyvios as many pages have no sources and no links to the authors (with a date of death)

We can discuss how to improve these (and other?) points:

  • how to improve the being problems
  • what can be done to avoid them in the future


  • what can be done immediatelly
  • what is to be discussed in the next future.

I think there are some possibilities to solve the problems, however, some of them are more or less restrictive.

  • language categories:
  • in the future only in English, redirect on the page with the name in the origin language
  • beeing language categories with the name in the origin language:
  • a short English description on the top of the category
  • a bot will recategorize all pages
  • pages without a language category: ??? to mark them with a template and delete after x days???
  • subpages without a language category: ??? ...
  • or pages with a theme category (poem...) but without a language category: ???
  • new pages without a category: the page will be deleted immediatelly / after x days
  • new pages without a source: the page will be deleted immediatelly / after x days
  • new pages without licence: the page will be deleted immediatelly / after x days

Other general measures:

  • the creation of a new page can be done not by an IP (well, in the time of the SUL it is not difficult)
  • we can create a new short page (English) with the most general copyright advices and links to the special description of the copyright laws of the countries (for the first, we can use commons:Commons:Licensing)
  • before a new subdomain will be created (since years: requests on meta m:Requests for new languages, see about 25 Wikisource requests), this domain here should be asked or give a statement


Please let us complete these points. Regards -jkb- 09:08, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Alright, this sounds very well. About the language cats: I'm also an admin on the incubator where they use a system like "Wn/li/Veurblaad" (wn = wikinews, li = limburgish) and therefore they could disable the creation of unprefixed pages (f.e. a normal user can't create the page "China", because it has no prefix). This automatically also means that we no longer have the problem of new pages without a language cat.
About the copyright problems: perhaps we could add some kind of notice above the edit field when you create a new page which reminds the user of checking the copyright first, before submitting any contents to the wiki. --Ooswesthoesbes 10:46, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks for getting this started. It gives a lot to think about. This gives two major problem areas: categories and copyrights. I would add a third: decision making. The others are relatively minor. I'll take the liberty of setting up headings for these. Eclecticology 20:57, 10 March 2011 (UTC)


I think this is solvable with very little real controversy, but a lot of work. The principal objective should be to allow any person to navigate sensibly through a maze of languages and scripts.

  • The top level category for each language should be the English name followed by its ISO code in brackets. Thus Category:Limburgish (li).
    • The example from the incubator is good. Obviously we don't need the first category element there since everything here is about Wikisource. What is the rationale there about using an oblique as a separator instead of a colon?
  • Primary subject categories should be in English. Subject categories in other languages may be expressed with the ISO code as a prefix. They are to be included in the language category tree for that language as well as the corresponding English category.
    • Ooswesthoesbes, one thing that is not clear about your idea is whether you are attaching the prefix to the page title or the category. I would prefer that it be to the category. Designating the language in some way could be a prerequisite, but we need to allow for a newbie's lack of familiarity with ISO codes or English names. This is especially the case when the first articles are being created in a language that is not yet represented in the Wiki. Eclecticology 20:57, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
      • Well, the oblique is used because then it's a prefix. If you use a colon it is no longer a prefix. F.e. take a look at this page on the incubator: incubator:Wp/aro/Cuetsapa, you'll see that in the left top of the page there is "< Wp | aro", which is very useful for the navigation. It would also be useful to get more "in line" with the incubator, so we can work together better.
      • The first element, that would be Ws/, can't be omitted, because then the entire functionality of the system would be gone. The idea behind it is that the creation of pages without a language specified to it will be disabled. We can only disable this if there is a common prefix, which in this case should be Ws/.
      • To both pages and cats. Why? Two reasons: 1. (see above:) you have to specify the language before you can create the page. 2. If you have different languages that are related you might get problems. F.e. if you create a category called "Poem" you'll get into troubles. Poem isn't only English, it's also Swedish, so you'll get a category with different languages mixed together. In my opinion, this is not a clear system.
      • Taking a look at the incubator, yes, in the past there have been problems with newbies, but since there are clear guidelines these problems are practacly gone. You could also add a notice on top of the page which reminds the user of the prefixes, linking to a page like Wikisource:Prefixes and if a user doesn't know the code, he can look it up at or ask an administrator. --Ooswesthoesbes 09:04, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
        • For now I'm not taking too strong a stand on the use of a prefix though I think that that might be more suited to works such as books that are themselves subdivided into chapters. If the work itself is the basic unit of content then you can have obliques at a lower level and colons at a higher level.
        • The "ws" is useless here. It's implicit in the site's name.
        • I'm fine with requiring the language to be specified when a page is started, but the effect of that could just as easily be to put the article in a category as to add a prefix. "Category:Poem" would be English, but "Category:sv:Poem" (or "Category:sv/Poem") would be Swedish. Seems simple enough.
        • You can't remind users of all the prefixes if you don't know what new language will be added. Also, people tend to screw up complicated instructions. I was thinking more of a box that must be filled with a language name or code. The software would take it from there. At that stage something that is unclear (other than blatant vandalism) would get a response from an admin, and open a dialogue leading to the right name or code. Most such contributors are unlikely to add things in more than one language. Eclecticology 21:47, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
          • Well, actually you can remind them of it and it will also block constructed languages/dialects without an ISO code, which won't get a separate wiki. Yeah, a box could be a good idea though. --Ooswesthoesbes 08:28, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Some points from -jkb- on categories:
  • top level category for each language followed by its ISO code in English - yes
  • primary subject categories in English as well - OK
  • subject categories in other languages with the ISO code as a prefix or in bracketsd etc., - OK, necessary for categories like literatura/e, poem, posie/a ...
  • blocking languages without an ISO coee: if I remember well, this is not the policy exactly - not constructed languages without ISO when still spoken can be here (if there is a chance to get ISO later on)
  • there is a lot of djvu pages - do they have a language category as well? (thex do not as far as I can see)
I think in the case of creating new subdomain it doesn't matter if the category is in English or in the original language - those categories will be deleted in that case anyway.
I also think that a part of the job can be done by a bot very well (I personally have no experience, but I think Ooswesthoesbes has).
But before we start this we should see that all pages are categorized by a language category and the we can start to recategorize Сахалыы into Sakha etc. as the first step. -jkb- 17:21, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
A bot can indeed rename cats (and if necessary automatically delete all pages in a cat). --Ooswesthoesbes 18:35, 12 March 2011 (UTC)


I'll reserve comments on this. Suffice it to say that I mostly tend toward more liberal attitudes about what should be allowed. Eclecticology 20:57, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

I will try to make draft for a brief page on copyright. -jkb- 17:23, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
see User:-jkb-/Copyright WS, be free to contribute there; when ready we can move it so something like Wikisource:Languages and copyright etc. -jkb- 17:30, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Is this still a live discussion? I absolutely disagree with the rule that works need to be public domain in the country where published. Our current policy and WMF policy allow us to allow works that are public domain in the United States only. There are many works which are public domain in the United States because they were first published before 1923 but are not public domain in Europe because the author died less than 70 years ago. There is absolutely no reason that we should make these works go off the WMF's servers that are located in the United States and be placed, if anywhere, on a non-WMF site. It is already problematic that works in a major language can't be posted on their existing subdomains due to local/default policy. For example, Hermann Hesse's works are not PD in Germany (which is not the country of first publication for most of them) and therefore are not allowed on However, many of his works, including the German language original of Siddhartha are PD in the US - we should (and I suggest we have a duty to) allow them here as current policy permits - many German speakers live in the US and PD or CC translations might even result. Proliferation of these varying copyright standards throughout various wikis is one of our greatest strategic weaknesses.--Doug.(talk contribs) 00:18, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Decision making[edit]

A chronic problem in the wikis is how to make decisions. Policy initiatives tend to bounce between democratic stagnation and deaf autocracy. My concept of a bureaucrat on this project includes people who have shown a very broad interest in all the languages and general development of this project. This is in sharp contrast with administrators whose interest may be limited to material in one language or a small group of languages.

Now that we are four, how much leadership can the bureaucrats exercise as a group without sparking a revolt in the community? Eclecticology 20:57, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, to be honest, even if you would implement a "democracy", I don't believe most users will be interested or would even notice the policy initiatives. --Ooswesthoesbes 09:08, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Probably as Ooswesthoesbes says: the normal user will have no great interest to discus here something that doesn't concern his language or even "his" pages. If we would like to change something a bit so we could try to address some admins and to integrate them in some important tasks like: recategorizing the languages, measures against the copyright violation etc. On this way they could help us to bring these ideas among the user of their languages (if there are any). And, if and when the language would get an own subdomain, they could guarantee that a good level of working will continue. -jkb- 16:19, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Other issues[edit]

I have no big concerns about IPs who start articles. We need to be alert to possible new blood and ideas. It's easy to delete what comes from the bad guys, and most tend not to stick around long enough to be a serious problem.

A page with simplified copyright policies would be helpful, but it must balance the legal with the practical.

I very much agree with being consulted about proposed new wikisource domains. I never did agree with split domains from the very beginning. I still feel it was a wrong decision, but we can't put that genie back in the bottle. now that a few years have passed it would be beneficial to go back and review what has worked about that decision, and what has not. How much Wikisource type material has been appearing in the incubator? Eclecticology 20:57, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Answer to the last question: practically nothing. Ws/-domains are being blocked from the incubator. Some newbie-wikipedias might add a few poems and stuff like that, but it's hardly anything.In the past there have been some wikiversities and wikisources there, but they're all exported to the correct wikis and deleted at the incubator. --Ooswesthoesbes 09:10, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Good. That makes the task here easier. Perhaps they could even transwiki WS type material here. Eclecticology 20:28, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, often it's difficult to really know what something is if you don't know the language or can't even read the script. I've seen a few of those pages in the past, nowadays there isn't much of that material added anymore, so I wouldn't worry too much about that :) --Ooswesthoesbes 08:30, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
It seems to be quite easy to deal with this point first. Well:
  • new subdomains: yes, the active users (well, not necessarily admins only) should make a short assessment - do they support the creation of the domain or not, with some reasons pro and contra
  • not active subdomains: it's difficult, the great creation I think 2006/2007 of some more domains was no success in any case; see the edits on the sk.source in the last three months [2] - you will count some 30 edits, but only two edits in an article, the rest is vandalism, creation of new accounts by Pathoschild, vector.css's... As I know this domain well I can say, since 2007 it is the same. There are some more ones, the best it would be to close them
  • when speaking about transwikiing of text from other projects: some times it concerns not only the incubator but the Wikipedias, Wikisources and other projects as well; and the multilingual Wikisource is a project that collaborates with many other ones. At present the transwiki import is restricted to some WS domains (and it doesn't seem to work), import upload is restricted to one user only. It would be helpful when the import upload would be enabled here either to all bureaucrats or to all admins (as in many projects). The request must be done either on Meta (steward page) or per bugzilla, I am not sure. Do we want it?
My response to the above poinst follows. -jkb- 13:21, 12 March 2011 (UTC)


I was just looking at unused articles, and found 464 files, 235 templates and 100 categories that are not being used. Some of the files in particular are old and may have been forgotten when material was moved to a subdomain. It would be a tremendous task to check each one for that. I've been sorely tempted to go at them with a discrete axe, and unless someone objects, or wants to suggest some limits I may start to do just that. Eclecticology 10:25, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

If it is unused, it's useless and if it's useless it can/should be deleted. --Ooswesthoesbes 18:33, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

I think the problem about can and should be deleted is, at any moment people who can delete can do it, and people who decide what should be deleted may not understand what they are deleting, and there is a non null probability that we don’t understand lots of things in our own language (I read lots of books but in any library there are at least 99% of books that I can’t understand even in my own language, are you different?): history is so full of this kind of wrong decisions that I’d like us to be very very cautious about what we delete.
See this example about a very brilliant ancient Greek: Aristotle’s designated heir, but the same thing happened to the works of lots of people in lots of languages where Librarians didn’t succeed in protecting books. (Probably a lot of them tried).
This is what we find in Wikipedia’s article about him:
"Aristotle bequeathed to Theophrastus his writings, and designated him as his successor at the Lyceum. Theophrastus presided over the Peripatetic school for thirty-six years, during which time the school flourished greatly. After his death, the Athenians honoured him with a public funeral. " (Source).
1. On the page fr:Auteur Théophraste (Author Theophrastus) on the French Wikisource you can find how many of his works have not been lost:.
Œuvres conservées (Works kept)

2. List of works by Theophrastus, (English translation):.

    42. "He too has left a very large number of writings. I think it right to catalogue them also because they abound in excellence of every kind. They are as follows:

    * Three books of Prior Analytics.
    * Seven books of Posterior Analytics.
    * On the Analysis of Syllogisms, one book.
    * Epitome of Analytics, one book.
    * Two books of Classified Topics.
    * Polemical discussion on the Theory of Eristic Argument.
    * Of the Senses, one book.
    * A Reply to Anaxagoras, one book.
    * On the Writings of Anaxagoras, one book.
    * On the Writings of Anaximenes, one book.
    * On the Writings of Archelaus, one book.
    * Of Salt, Nitre and Alum, one book.
    * Of Petrifactions, two books.
    * On Indivisible Lines, one book.
    * Two books of Lectures.
    * Of the Winds, one book.
    * Characteristics of Virtues, one book.
    * Of Kingship, one book.
    * Of the Education of Kings, one book.
    * Of Various Schemes of Life, three books.
    * 43. Of Old Age, one book.
    * On the Astronomy of Democritus, one book.
    * On Meteorology, one book.
    * On Visual Images or Emanations, one book.
    * On Flavours, Colours and Flesh, one book.
    * Of the Order of the World, one book.
    * Of Mankind, one book.
    * Compendium of the Writings of Diogenes, one book.
    * Three books of Definitions.
    * Concerning Love, one book.
    * Another Treatise on Love, one book.
    * Of Happiness, one book.
    * On Species or Forms, two books.
    * On Epilepsy, one book.
    * On Frenzy, one book.
    * Concerning Empedocles, one book.
    * Eighteen books of Refutative Arguments.
    * Three books of Polemical Objections.
    * Of the Voluntary, one book.
    * Epitome of Plato's Republic, two books.
    * On the Diversity of Sounds uttered by Animals of the same Species, one book.
    * Of Sudden Appearances, one book.
    * Of Animals which bite or gore, one book.
    * Of Animals reputed to be spiteful, one book.
    * Of the Animals which are confined to Dry Land, one book.
    * 44. Of those which change their Colours, one book.
    * Of Animals that burrow, one book.
    * Of Animals, seven books.
    * Of Pleasure according to Aristotle, one book.
    * Another treatise on Pleasure, one book.
    * Theses, twenty-four books.
    * On Hot and Cold, one book.
    * On Vertigo and Dizziness, one book.
    * On Sweating Sickness, one book.
    * On Affirmation and Negation, one book.
    * Callisthenes, or On Bereavement, one book.
    * On Fatigues, one book.
    * On Motion, three books.
    * On Precious Stones, one book.
    * On Pestilences, one book.
    * On Fainting, one book.
    * Megarian Treatise, one book.
    * Of Melancholy, one book.
    * On Mines, two books.
    * On Honey, one book.
    * Compendium on the Doctrines of Metrodorus, one book.
    * Two books of Meteorology.
    * On Intoxication, one book.
    * Twenty-four books of Laws distinguished by the letters of the alphabet.
    * Ten books of an Epitome of Laws.
    * 45. Remarks upon Definitions, one book.
    * On Smells, one book.
    * On Wine and Oil.
    * Introduction to Propositions, eighteen books.
    * Of Legislators, three books.
    * Of Politics, six books.
    * A Political Treatise dealing with important Crises, four books.
    * Of Social Customs, four books.
    * Of the Best Constitution, one book.
    * A Collection of Problems, five books.
    * On Proverbs, one book.
    * On Coagulation and Liquefaction, one book.
    * On Fire, two books.
    * On Winds, one book.
    * Of Paralysis, one book.
    * Of Suffocation, one book.
    * Of Mental Derangement, one book.
    * On the Passions, one book.
    * On Symptoms, one book.
    * Two books of Sophisms.
    * On the solution of Syllogisms, one book.
    * Two books of Topics.
    * Of Punishment, two books.
    * On Hair, one book.
    * Of Tyranny, one book.
    * On Water, three books.
    * On Sleep and Dreams, one book.
    * Of Friendship, three books.
    * Of Ambition, two books.
    * 46. On Nature, three books.
    * On Physics, eighteen books.
    * An Epitome of Physics, two books.
    * Eight books of Physics.
    * A Reply to the Physical Philosophers, one book
    * Of Botanical Researches, ten books.
    * Of Botanical Causes, eight books.
    * On Juices, five books.
    * Of False Pleasure, one book.
    * One Dissertation on the Soul.
    * On Unscientific Proofs, one book.
    * On Simple Problems, one book.
    * Harmonics, one book.
    * Of Virtue, one book.
    * Materials for Argument, or Contrarieties, one book.
    * On Negation, one book.
    * On Judgement, one book.
    * Of the Ludicrous, one book.
    * Afternoon Essays, two books.
    * Divisions, two books.
    * On Differences, one book.
    * On Crimes, one book.
    * On Calumny, one book.
    * Of Praise, one book.
    * Of Experience, one book.
    * Three books of Letters.
    * On Animals produced spontaneously, one book.
    * Of Secretion, one book.
    * 47. Panegyrics on the Gods, one book.
    * On Festivals, one book.
    * Of Good Fortune, one book.
    * On Enthymemes, one book.
    * Of Discoveries, two books.
    * Lectures on Ethics, one book.
    * Character Sketches, one book.
    * On Tumult or Riot, one book.
    * On Research, one book.
    * On Judging of Syllogisms, one book.
    * Of Flattery, one book.
    * Of the Sea, one book.
    * To Casander on Kingship, one book.
    * Of Comedy, one book.
    * [Of Metres, one book.]
    * Of Diction, one book.
    * A Compendium of Arguments, one book.
    * Solutions, one book.
    * On Music, three books.
    * On Measures, one book.
    * Megacles, one book.
    * On Laws, one book.
    * On Illegalities, one book.
    * A Compendium of the Writings of Xenocrates, one book.
    * Concerning Conversation, one book.
    * On Taking an Oath, one book.
    * Rhetorical Precepts, one book.
    * Of Wealth, one book.
    * On the Art of Poetry, one book.
    * Problems in Politics, Ethics, Physics, and in the Art of Love, one book.
    * 48. Preludes, one book.
    * A Collection of Problems, one book.
    * On Physical Problems, one book.
    * On Example, one book.
    * On Introduction and Narrative, one book.
    * Another tract on the Art of Poetry, one book.
    * Of the Wise, one book.
    * On Consultation, one book.
    * On Solecisms, one book.
    * On the Art of Rhetoric, one book.
    * The Special Commonplaces of the Treatises on Rhetoric, seventeen books.
    * On Acting, one book.
    * Lecture Notes of Aristotle or Theophrastus, six books.
    * Sixteen books of Physical Opinions.
    * Epitome of Physical Opinions, one book.
    * On Gratitude, one book.
    * [Character Sketches, one book.]
    * On Truth and Falsehood, one book.
    * The History of Theological Inquiry, six books.
    * Of the Gods, three books.
    * Geometrical Researches, four books.
    * 49. Epitomes of Aristotle's work on Animals, six books.
    * Two books of Refutative Arguments.
    * Theses, three books.
    * Of Kingship, two books.
    * Of Causes, one book.
    * On Democritus, one book.
    * [Of Calumny, one book.]
    * Of Becoming, one book.
    * Of the Intelligence and Character of Animals, one book.
    * On Motion, two books.
    * On Vision, four books.
    * Relating to Definitions, two books.
    * On Data, one book.
    * On Greater and Less, one book.
    * On the Musicians, one book.
    * Of the Happiness of the Gods, one book.
    * A Reply to the Academics, one book.
    * Exhortation to Philosophy, one book.
    * How States can best be governed, one book.
    * Lecture-Notes, one book.
    * On the Eruption in Sicily, one book.
    * On Things generally admitted, one book.
    * [On Problems in Physics, one book.]
    * What are the methods of attaining Knowledge, one book.
    * On the Fallacy known as the Liar, three books.
    * 50. Prolegomena to Topics, one book.
    * Relating to Aeschylus, one book.
    * Astronomical Research, six books.
    * Arithmetical Researches on Growth, one book.
    * Acicharus, one book.
    * On Forensic Speeches, one book.
    * [Of Calumny, one book.]
    * Correspondence with Astycreon, Phanias and Nicanor.
    * Of Piety, one book.
    * Evias, one book.
    * On Times of Crisis, two books.
    * On Relevant Arguments, one book.
    * On the Education of Children, one book.
    * Another treatise with the same title, one book.
    * Of Education or of the Virtues or of Temperance, one book.
    * [An Exhortation to Philosophy, one book.]
    * On Numbers, one book.
    * Definitions concerning the Diction of Syllogisms, one book.
    * Of the Heavens, one book.
    * Concerning Politics, two books.
    * On Nature.
    * On Fruits.
    * On Animals.

    In all 232,808 lines. So much for his writings.

There have been lots of similar destructions through the ages, and there are still lots of destructions to-day, due to all varieties of ignorance. The happy thing about languages is that mostly all the time, at least we know that we don’t understand. :-) Please, let us be very careful. I don’t mean we ought never delete any page, of course we must delete copyvios, non-senses and so on, but only that I prefer to think twice before deleting.
I thought it important to remind us of the necessity of keeping that in mind. I will very soon add some thoughts about something very different: the naming of the files. --Zyephyrus 09:19, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Absolutely, If I had no reservations about the noted pages I would just have gone ahead without making a comment here. The unused templates and categories are this project's own creations, and thus raise less concern. The files are mostly illustrations, many dating from 2005, which could often be grouped into themes (Sherlock Holmes stories, the krill fishery, etc.). These are where I'm concerned about acting hastily, but am also aware that it would take a lot of work to track down the parents for these orphans. Eclecticology 21:00, 13 March 2011 (UTC)