Wikipedia:Article Incubator, a space for the development of new articles with potential, has been launched by User:Fritzpoll and User:GTBacchus. The aim of the incubator is to save articles from deletion if they show the potential to meet Wikipedia standards. It is suggested as a better solution than userfication as it allows collaborative editing and improvement to continue, and avoids issues over ownership where there are multiple contributors.
User:Fritzpoll says: "We have two major problems around good-faith new articles that aren't up to our standards: the need to get them out of the mainspace and the desire not to bite new editors. The Article Incubator should help with both and we'll take articles from any venue where it is deemed appropriate: CSD, PROD, AfD, AfC, etc." The project is currently looking for more editors to help develop incubated articles.
On Friday, Wikimedia contract developer Andrew Garrettannounced an open beta test of David McCabe's LiquidThreads extension, described as "a next-generation discussion system for MediaWiki". The extension, originally developed as a Google Summer of Code project, replaces talk pages with a full-featured forum system, facilitating more organised and effective discussion.
The second release of features from the Wikimedia usability team was released this week, codenamed Babaco. The features enhance the editing window and editing toolbar, and can be enabled through User preferences, by going to the 'Editing' tab and selecting 'Experimental features.'
Portraits from Commons used in official Nobel Prize announcement
Since last week the second largest Wikipedia has been left without a central institution for conflict resolution, after seven members of the arbitration committee ("Schiedsgericht") resigned at once, leaving only two active arbitrators, below the minimum of five. The resignation statements cited multiple reasons, among them internal conflicts, lack of a clear mandate in certain matters, and lack of authority within the community. The German Wikipedia had introduced an ArbCom in April 2007, at a time when such an institution already existed on ten other Wikimedia projects (some of which were consulted about their experiences). Discussion is ongoing, with many users opining that electing new arbitrators won't be enough to solve the problem and that some sort of reform is needed. In April 2009, the Spanish Wikipediavoted to abolish its ArbCom ("Comité de Resolución de Conflictos") altogether.
A transcript of this week's staff office hours chat with Rand Montoya, WMF Head of Community Giving, is now posted. Montoya answered questions regarding the economic downturn, improving the geographic tracking of donations, and the impending 2 November launch of the Annual Fundraiser.