I joined Wikipedia as Josefu, but my present name (since twelve years now) is closer to what I'm all about, as I love randomly exploring my since-25-year Paris 'host' city by foot (with camera, of course), and I still haven't covered all of it yet.
A bit about myself
Photographer, all-round 'tech guy', graphic designer, "on call" Art Director, French history buff. Amoureux de Paris. I've been living in Paris since 1989 first as a photographer then also (again) as a graphic artist. I've recently "retired" from a more intensive line of work to develop projects with clients of my own. Research on Paris' history took up most of my spare time (as I also love to photograph her) so today I have more than enough to share. In case of doubt my love for books has given me a library enough to back that up. Wiki has proven to be quite a reliable source for some of my research, so now that I have more time to spare I thought I'd give some of that back.
I have a soon-to-be-updated website of my own consecrated to Paris' history that you can find here: www.paris-promenades.com, and if you would like to see a bit of my "regular" photography and graphic design work you can have a look here.
- "Pride is the belt that holds your pants up, long after your pants are gone." - Stephen King, "Dreamcatcher"
- "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" - my Grandad
Work In Progress
Here are the pages I am working on for the moment:
- Paris - Now a WP:GA article, the next step is WP:FA, so pitch in if you can. I've done a huge amount of work on the article already, so I've reduced my role there to observation (counter-vandalism) only; I'm quite surprised that there are so few contributors there... where are the English-speakers with an interest in Paris? Some grammar refinement could help as well.
- Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (de Paris) - I have a certain affection for abandoned factories and industrial sites (there are many in the inner Paris agglomeration) and I suppose that the "Petite Ceinture" railway falls into this category. Opening as a freight-only line in 1852, eventually starting a passenger service that ended from 1934, the entire quasi-abandoned circle of rail still has buildings and some machinery along its length; I did the whole 32km tour in late 1996, and know pretty much all there is to know about it. The article could still use some machinery images (namely engines), and any quality 'line in service' and 'present state' photos would be welcome as well.
- (August 2017) I completed a massive partial update (that I had been intending since posting the above), I've still a section to complete (the railway's last 'closed' years), and am still working on diversifying the citations (there are very few sources for Ceinture history, and most of these are with the Mairie de Paris (Paris City Hall), Paris Archives, Paris Municipal council records, La Vie de Rail magazine archives (and the city engineer and rail company records they often cite), rather onerous to comb (and cite). I will most likely begin this completion come September (2017).
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Paris Streets - This is a project to make an article for every notable street in Paris - a gargantuan task in reality. Myself I'll be chipping away at a few at a time, every day if I can. Anyone with a working knowledge of French can participate as there's a link to a citable source for all basic information on the project page. You can find the streets existing already in Wiki (named "rue ****" only) here, and the streets done in their 'formatted' version ("rue ****, Paris") here. The infobox is finally done - but the map coordinates could use some work. Suprise suprise, it seems to have become quite popular across wiki and even other sites - you can find it here. It still needs a coordinates system based on longitude and latitude, so If you're a whiz in that respect, please do...
- (update 2 September 2017) - on English Wikipedia, this template has been 'swallowed' by the greater 'infobox street' template, but it still exists in something close to (and better than) its original form in French Wikipedia.
- (update 10 July 2018) - this initiative is definitely dead, especially since 'non-notable' zealots have made it their mission to remove all 'non-notable' (based on what knowledge and critera?) street articles.
Wikipedia is not the platform best adapted to this sort of data-storage, anyway; I will be incorporating everything that's been accomplished so far into my Paris-server RDF-data-source-chain initiative (with accreditation, of course: that's part of, and the whole point of, the verification-chain).
- Mines of Paris - Paris' Catacombes ossurary fills only a part of its 340km of underground galeries whose origins are in the stone of many aboveground monuments - they are not one and the same. I am presently working on an article outlining how Paris' mines were created and exploited, and how later they were used and recuperated. This of course will link to the Paris_Catacombs article...
- Paris Catacombs - a little too folklore-friendly, IMHO.
- Haussmann's renovation of Paris - I (almost completely) rewrote this around ten years ago, and still have much to add to it (namely the unexecuted work he had planned for the capital, but the fall of the IInd Empire prevented).
A few who misuse Wikipedia's popularity to broadcast (knowingly) falsehoods and propaganda... and these are most annoying as, because whatever they're 'preaching' does not stand to factual testing, they've learned Wikipedia's administrative shortcomings and learned to GAME them to a tee (even GAMEing certain administrators for their short-sightedness/intellectual laziness). Most often they target and 'squat' low-editing-activity articles, often in 'revert-and-vote' tag-team groups (to more easily overcome any opposition to their antics). Topics most affected:
- Politics (very instinctive (yet unexamined) 'clan' behaviour around preferred (imagined) leader-provider-deciders ('survival guides') and their dogm... message)
- Religion (ditto)
- Health ('popular legend (hearsay)' (and publications pandering to the same) trumps top-level science, apparently. More of the 'reject, rationalise (and cherrypick)' here. GMO discussions (and article editing) are especially poisonous, which is why I've never touched one.)
- Cities (the 'mine is bigger than X' race)
Since reason nor fact need apply to cases like these, they are 'defended' by all the worst tactics (off-wiki networking (often to help 'win' the revert-wars they initiate, followed by authoritarian (yet disingenuous) 'warnings' and other 'scare' tactics (targeted at the more uninitiated and credulous)). The only remedy to counter this is to bring enough knowledgeable, rational-minded attention to the article to out-weigh the squatters (as, for they, !vote trumps reason, too).
Also a source of annoyance: (often beleaguered) admin short-sightedness, especially when examining cases like the above. The default is to assume good faith, but in matters like these, where ad hominem (no matter how non sequitur) reigns, admins tend to give any and all accusations 'equal weight' (often without further examination). Also, when admins are asked to weigh in on topics they are not familiar with (often by design), they tend to halt at a 'looks good' or 'I don't see a problem' (or 'distract to ad hominem (accusations)') verdict.
In short, Wikipedia can be, and often is, WP:GAMED. And quite honestly, seeing that poisons the entire Wikipedian experience for me... but that's exactly what the above types want, isn't it? So I persevere.
Update: GIS technology (and my own experience/knowledge of it) has made enormous progress over the past few years. My server now hosts a quite large postGIS Paris (through-history) dataset, and I am working on a qGIS (python) extension that would permit an .svg export of any map view. That, with that application's already-integrated ability to custom-style features according to field data, will make creating statistical maps super-easy. I'm not so sure about the 'prettiness' factor, but we'll see. TP ✎ ✓ 08:48, 12 July 2018 (UTC)