Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Index

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The Signpost
Wikipedia Signpost - Research.svg

Welcome to the Signpost series index! The Signpost has been in continual publication every week since 2005, and so it carries in its pages by far the most extensive record of going-ons and events in the Wikimedia movement past, present, and, hopefully, future. In the past topically related news items were linked together within the pages of the Signpost by hand via the use of the now-deprecated Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Templates/Series template, but this was a cumbersome process requiring continual maintenance of these templates that never served as a truly complete indexing method. This page serves as the core of a new indexing method using an advanced combination of templates, Lua, and user scripts to compile a much more comprehensive archival index, organizing "stories" into "series" via their topical "tags".

This methodology is used internally within the Signpost to greatly ease the burden incurred on our writers by the need to maintain manually-created series templates (which were never really maintained well anyway). However it is primarily intended to increase the Signpost's role and scope within the community by making it extremely easy for editors at large to make focused use of our archives in exploration of the history of the movement.


Browsing categorically[edit]

This page is organized is such a way so as to make it as convenient as possible to simply chose a topic of interest and browse out from there, either by clicking through to our modular indexing script and reading individual stories, and by browsing related topics with our tag matrix to discover more details about related topics of interest (or by doing both).

Our tags are sorted according to a color identity which is, for the most part, self-evident. In the case of conflicts the question of which section to place a new tag in is at the discretion of the editor who is introducing it. The current tag categories are as follows; note that tags of relevancy to multiple categories can appear multiple times in different categories:

  •    Wikis —Wikimedia projects and external wikis.
  •    Technology — Technology, MediaWiki or otherwise.
  •    People — People involved in the movement.
  •    Issues — External and internal issues facing the movement.
  •    Initiatives, Foundation — Initiatives or events organized with large Foundation input.
  •    Initiatives, Community — Initiatives or events organized primarily by the community.
  •    Organizations — Permanent bodies, Foundation or community.
  •    Internal Policies — Uncontroversial internal policies that are neither issues nor raw technology.
  •    Other — What doesn't fit in the categories above. Generally, external entities.

Invoking specific tags of interest[edit]

Browsing through this page and clicking invocation links where interested is the best way available to get acquainted with various aspects of the projects which are of interest to the reader.

For times when providing a focused link is necessary, however the {{Signpost series}} meta-template has been written to do just that. This template is actually just a switch which provides any one of a large number of ways of invoking Signpost tag series in templated and formatted ways, with use-cases ranging from inline discussion use, to use within project space documentation, to use within the pages of the Signpost itself. For more information on the application of Signpost tag series see that template's extensive documentation. One quick example:

WikipediaSignpostIcon.svg For more Signpost coverage on hoaxes see our hoaxes series.

This was generated via {{Signpost series|type=inline|tag=hoaxes}}.

Core capability[edit]

Whether you click on and invoke a tag on this page or click on and invoke it via a {{Signpost series}} template in the end you will be taken to a URL that will look something like this:[]=incubator

This is an invocation of the core tag visualization template, {{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Templates/Index preload/Core}}, carried out as a previewed edit in the Wikipedia sandbox. This archicture allows checking tags on-the-fly, reducing server load. It also makes it easy to check out a different tag directly in the page, by changing the tag=incubator parameter and hitting Show preview again.

From here you will be able to jump directly to stories of interest through a generated list, as well as learn some contextual data about where and when this tag has been used in the Signpost. Some brief contextual data on article tagging is provided as well.

To use this capacity directly, use {{Signpost series|type=link|tag=hoaxes|link_title=foo}}, which produces foo.


This page was created in March 2015 by ResMar as the central hub for a still-ongoing effort to reorganize the Signpost archives through the use of so-called "story tags" (or "tags" for short). The core of this effort is the article list maker template, a Lua-and-Python enabled template that uses Module:Signpost and an off-wiki Pythonic web scraper to classify Signpost articles according to their topicality via "tags". This core functionality is written and maintained by Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪.

The first-generation implementation of this tagging system relied upon an off-wiki Python script scraping through the Signpost archives and matching item to a mostly manually generated list of tags scraped off of Signpost headlines by hand. The planned second generation of this system will also have the capacity to read in metadata on the stories themselves that will allow the selective manual inclusion or exclusion of tags within an article. This metadata will be generated by hand by volunteers diving through our archives, and will allow us to eliminate the (sometimes numerous) false positives and bring our coverage up from ~50% to 100% of stories written. A user script remains to be written that will support editors in this task.

Part of the process of manually refining our coverage (and of maintaining it going forward) is going to be the creation and maintenance of tags on this page. There is still much that remains to be done before this initiative can be fully presented to the reading public.


Editing the description of a tag[edit]

Improvements to the descriptions for tags, which occur both here and in the invocation template for the tag, are strongly encouraged. To do so, simply hit the (edit) link at the end of the description and make whatever changes you deem necessary. Note that descriptions are watchlisted by regular Signpost editors. Do not change the description's title: doing so will break it!

Creating a new tag[edit]

If you feel that the index is missing a tag you may be bold and add one yourself. This is a much more involved process than merely editing the description of an existing tag.

  1. First, select the category this tag falls under, and edit that section of the page. If the tag belongs to multiple sections, by your approximation, then you can list the other cases separately afterwards.
  2. In the page edit, add that tag to the index, using {{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Templates/Index item|image=|tag=|more=|see_also_tag_one=|see_also_tag_two=}}. Use Show changes to preview the page.
  3. Scroll down to your tag entry and hit the (create) link in the tag description and open it in a new tab (Ctrl+Mouse Click or Shift+Mouse Click). Follow the instructions in the edit-notice in creating a description for your tag. Copy (Ctrl+C) the text bit indicated at the end of the edit-notice: this will look like | editnumber = N, with N replaced by a number. Save the page.
  4. Paste this parameter into the template for the tag item you are creating. Hit Show changes to make sure you did everything correctly—the entry should look like the ones before it, with a description and a (edit) button at the end of it.
  5. Finally, go to Module:Signpost/index and edit the page to add the tag there. An example of a valid string is r"": [u"twinkle"], for Twinkle. This process needs to be improved, and is subject to change.

Deleting a tag[edit]

To delete a tag from the index remove its entry from all places where it occurs. No further actions are necessary. Tags are rarely deleted, except in the case of vandalism or incorrect good-faith definition.





Initiatives, Foundation[edit]

Initiatives, Community[edit]

Groups and organizations[edit]

Internal Policies[edit]



Core script
  1. Add or create a script capacity to return the number of hits for a tag in a given time period (specifically, a year). This will used for visualizations in the index. Yes check.svg Done
  2. Add a script capacity to link directly to the section which invokes the tag. Using [[#tagname]] Yes check.svg Done
Indexing script
  1. Finalize the organization of this tag matrix. This page needs to be arranged in a way that has a maximal allowance for semi-automatic maintenance via scripts. Yes check.svg Done
  2. Initially populate this matrix ourselves (ResMar will probably do the grunt work). Crystal Clear app clock-orange.svg In progress
Tagging script
  1. Write a user script to assist in manually tagging stories. Will interact with the templates created in the "Core script" step. Yes check.svg Done
Public pre-tagging
  1. Prepare a temporary tag suggestions page. Go to the public in as many places as possible and ask for them to give a list of tags missing that they think are important enough to warrant inclusion.
  2. Write and implement the templates that will replace the manual article headlining: {{ib}} and some other yet-unwritten one for lead headers.
  3. Then talk to the AWB people about running through the remaining items regressively. In blocks. Probably.
  4. Do a small test run ourselves to make sure the tagging process we envision works. The results will be overwritten later.
Public tagging
  1. Write a From the editor appealing to the reading population to help us bring our archives into order.
  2. Tag everything. Will likely take quite some time.
Go gold
  1. Make people aware of the fact that they can leverage this system to make discussions more transparent, inform audiences about certain topics' histories, etc. CentralBanner notice? RfC?
  2. Link up as many of the core policy and help pages as appropriate (which is almost all of them, really) to historical data via {{Signpost series}}.
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