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User talk:The Earwig

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TfD closures[edit]

Hi, Earwig. I just wanted to stop by and thank you for helping out with closures of pending TfD discussions. In an ideal world, we would have a pool of 5 to 10 administrators who closed TfDs on a regular basis so that we could spread the burden around. If you have any admin buddies who might be interested in closing 5 to 10 TfDs per week, please let me know, and I will be glad to help recruit them to the cause. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 04:23, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for that, glad to help. Sadly, most of my admin friends are no longer active. I think a more useful version of User:Doug/closetfd.js would be very nice to have, since I find myself doing the same sort of work repeatedly in simpler cases (checking/removing navbox transclusions, deleting talkpages/redirects/subpages, etc) – and I was surprised when I started that Twinkle has no template-delinking function like it has for page links. Perhaps such a tool would encourage more admins to help out? I would work on it myself, but lack of time is an issue. — Earwig talk 04:36, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Hey, Earwig, I suggest you mention your issues to administrator User:Opabinia regalis (another recent recruit to TfD closings), and to template editor User:Alakzi. Alakzi is one of our star coders, and no doubt will have some insights into how the "Doug" TfD closing script might be improved. Cheers. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 04:46, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Last I heard, Alakzi would "look into" it, which was about a week ago. Well, we'll see. I'm willing to give it a shot in a month or so if nothing happens in the meantime. — Earwig talk 04:59, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, his services are popular now. I liked it better when I had him mostly to myself, but I'm told that template editor envy is not flattering on me. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 05:10, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Ha, I'll look into cloning ;)
Agreed, all Doug's script does is stop you from making a typo adding the templates. Automating the tedium would be useful. I've been vaguely thinking of adapting the closeafd.js script, but haven't had the right combination of time and motivation (and it'd have to be a rare combination to make me think 'yes, javascript sounds like fun today'), so I'd be quite pleased if someone else did it! Opabinia regalis (talk) 07:51, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
I, too, happen to be quite averse to JavaScript, so if somebody else were to take the initiative... Alakzi (talk) 08:05, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Oy, I guess I'll start working on that, then. @Alakzi and Opabinia regalis: can we come up with a concrete list of improvements? — Earwig talk 08:16, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Offer to choose between "keep", "delete", "merge", and "do not merge"; automatically mark as a NAC for non-admins; remove {{Tfd}} and Tfm from the template when kept or not merged, else replace with {{Being deleted}}, enclosed in <noinclude>...</noinclude>; and tag with {{Tfd end}} on the talk page. Alakzi (talk) 08:25, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Right. Would a mass-orphan or substitution function (invoked separately) be a good idea or too risky? It would only handle clear cases. Also, the option to move to the holding cell would be useful. Hmm, I have an idea how this could work. — Earwig talk 08:40, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
OK, but what would make a clear case? The HC option is a good idea. Alakzi (talk) 09:03, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure how to strictly define it yet – will see when I get to that point, since the other stuff will come first. Also, a relisting option would be simple and useful. That should be enough to start working on it. — Earwig talk 17:37, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for taking this on, Earwig :) In addition to Alakzi's list, checking for redirects and subpages would be useful. Oh, when the page reloaded after my edit I saw you already said that above. Never mind me, I need more coffee. Opabinia regalis (talk) 19:27, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just an update – progress has been slow but steady due to various real-life things. The main interface and much of the functionality is complete. I hope to finish the first version before next week. — Earwig talk 07:43, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Another update: alas, I'm not able to get back to working on the script yet, given the start of classes and a few other RL things. Tentatively suggesting a workable version by the middle of next week. — Earwig talk 00:11, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Another bump. Some good progress, but a general lack of time to work on it. Will continue to keep people posted. — Earwig talk 02:29, 16 September 2015 (UTC)


Administrators' newsletter - February 2017[edit]

News and updates for administrators from the past month (January 2017). This first issue is being sent out to all administrators, if you wish to keep receiving it please subscribe. Your feedback is welcomed.

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Green check.svg Guideline and policy news

Octicons-tools.svg Technical news

  • When performing some administrative actions the reason field briefly gave suggestions as text was typed. This change has since been reverted so that issues with the implementation can be addressed. (T34950)
  • Following the latest RfC concluding that Pending Changes 2 should not be used on the English Wikipedia, an RfC closed with consensus to remove the options for using it from the page protection interface, a change which has now been made. (T156448)
  • The Foundation has announced a new community health initiative to combat harassment. This should bring numerous improvements to tools for admins and CheckUsers in 2017.

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  • JohnCD (John Cameron Deas) passed away on 30 December 2016. John began editing Wikipedia seriously during 2007 and became an administrator in November 2009.

13:38, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

BAG News[edit]

BAG News February 2017
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Greetings Bot Approvals Group member!

  • 2017 has been busy, with 37 closed BRFA's so far this year.
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The Signpost: 6 February 2017[edit]

Problem with EarwigBot related to openly licensed text which is labelled as open license within .pdfs rather than web pages[edit]

Hi Ben

I'm not sure quite how to explain this issue, so please bear with me. Myself and Graeme Bartlett have been discussing a problem I have been having with content from openly licensed publications being deleted as copyright violations. The text in the article Life sciences in the United States is taken from a CC-BY-SA 3.0 licensed publication UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030 (linked to in the sources section at the bottom of the article).

The publication is clearly labelled CC-BY-SA 3.0 but when text from the publication got copied to the UNESCO website the open license notification is being lost because of incorrect license statement on the UNESCO website, this is a known problem and something I'm working on fixing at the moment. EarwigBot is only picking up the website text telling the operator its a copyright violation, it is not scanning the .pdf text which is correctly labelled. I'm not really sure what to do about this. I think this is going to be the case for many organisations and publishers who make their openly licensed text available as a .pdf rather than a web page. This mean if they or someone else then copied the open license text from the .pdf onto a web page and incorrectly labelled it as not openly licensed then EarwigBot will flag it as a copyright violation.

Can you think of a way around this? I guess a permanent and clean solution would be if EarwigBot had the capacity to scan inside .pdf files but I have no idea how realistic this is. I guess as a temporary solution for UNESCO I could request that unesco.org be added to the the exclusion list until the website notification is fixed? But this doesn't fix the problem for other cases. One other option might be an extra notification on the tool if the page uses the template that is used to credit open license sources.

Thanks very much

--John Cummings (talk) 17:32, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

Hi John,
I suppose there are a few sides to this. From a purely technical standpoint, EarwigBot can already look inside PDFs, but not every PDF is parsable (some are formatted in ways that make them hard for software to read). More generally, though, it will pick the closest match it can find, so even if it finds a PDF with the same content that happens to have a copyleft notice, it may still display the website as the potential violation source if it seems to be a closer match.
But ultimately, EarwigBot's job here is just to point out potential sources of violation, with the assumption that a human will come in and manually verify everything (checking for freely licensed content, reverse-copying, etc.). It doesn't tag or delete anything on its own. So while we can definitely work to improve the detection of freely licensed content, I don't think this is a fatal flaw in the software per se. Noticing when something originates from a freely licensed source is a difficult problem that must be done by a human in the general case. If people are deleting content without properly verifying that it is in violation, that's on them.
You bring up a good point at the end: "One other option might be an extra notification on the tool if the page uses the template that is used to credit open license sources." I think this would help in situations like this one. I will make a note to implement this.
Thanks. — Earwig talk 21:25, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Hi Ben, thanks very much for your thoughtful reply, do you have any links about the way .pdfs can be formatted to allow parsing? Please let me know if I can help with implementing this additional notification, I'm not a programmer but happy to do research, legwork, write instructions etc. There seem to have been a couple different approaches over the years to signify if content is from an open license source, the two main ones I know about are Template:CC-notice and Template:Free-content attribution which was previously called Template:Open-source attribution, I will ask to see if there are any others.
Do you know of any instructions used by editors using your tool that I could add an extra sentence or two to make it clearer people should check to see is there are any open licenses used before tagging the page for speedy deletion?
Thanks again
--John Cummings (talk) 09:03, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
I added some code to show the attribution notification. The list of templates is here; we can expand it in the future as necessary. Beyond that, I'm not sure if there's much else we should update. — Earwig talk 06:20, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

The Signpost: 27 February 2017[edit]