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This is a discussion archive first created in October 2006, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date.
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Converting Major Works to .pdf

As a chronic browser of Wikisource (and associated wikimedia projects) my particular concern about the layout and wiki format of this site is that it is dificult to download/ create a prnt copy of many of the longer works. So I suggest an initiative to "port" major (or even all) Wikisource texts to pdf in addition to their wiki selves. Email me if anyone wishes to go at this,

Using Stable Versions to maintain Text Integrity

At brion's Wikimania talk he presented about the upcoming development of stable versioning for the wiki's. I propose that we used this measure to maintain text integrity when it becomes available. It will be much more flexible than the current use of protection as it will allow changes to be made but not displayed to pages marked as "Stable". Some mock-ups of possbile messages are availbe here. Of course these would be customizable as System messages. The one I am thinking is most useful is second one listed which would be shown on the Stable page when there have been new edits made that have yet to be reviewed. --BirgitteSB 15:06, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree that transitioning to this system would be by far more beneficial than keeping pages protected. This will allow users to add interwiki links, cross-links, etc. All that will be required would be for an admin to review such changes (or whoever will have "review" capabilities--I'm just assuming it's an admin). On other WS communities, I've tried changing interwiki links only to realize that the page is protected for integrity and had to ask on the talk page to make those changes. It was thoroughly frustrating. Curbing such frustration will (I think) ultimately be best for the growth of WS (allowing people to edit every page but the system messages without getting a "This page is locked" message).—Zhaladshar (Talk) 19:41, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
I think the costs of integrity protection outweigh the benefits, and suggest that we cease using it. When we protect a page, we lock not just the text itself, but its presentation, categorization, links, and explanatory notes. We can proofread and finalize the text, but not these other features, which are subject to change as we tweak our layout standards, refine our categories, add interwiki and cross links, and update our explanatory notes (often copied from introductions to Wikipedia articles which themselves are ever-changing). Such improvements will often be uncontroversial, and needing permission to make them is a source of frustration, as Zhaladshar says. Has there really been such a problem with improper alteration of texts that we must incur this cost? Tim Smith 06:03, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Are you against using stable versions? I do not think protection is a good long-term solution but it has been neccessary. I find stable version to be the best solution I have yet heard of for this issue.--BirgitteSB 14:26, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm reserving judgement on stable versions until I've seen and studied the details. But regarding protection, only 64 of our 38,676 text units are in Category:Pages locked to preserve their integrity. Is it really necessary to protect them, given that we have to handle 38,000+ unprotected pages in any case? If we know a page needs no further changes, protection might be justifiable. But all we know is that the text is unlikely to need further changes; its presentation, categorization, links, and explanatory notes are all subject to improvement. We're locking all of these features just to protect the text. Does the convenience of excluding improper edits really outweigh the frustration for users trying to make legitimate changes? Until we find a better method for integrity preservation, I favor unprotecting the pages. We might want to keep the category, though, and rename it to something like Category:Proofread. Tim Smith 00:02, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

(←)I don't believe consensus has shifted so far as that and would rather not sidetrack the above proposal. If anyone else disagrees with that assesment please correct me. To redirect, I believe that the presentaion brion gave at Wikimania regarding stable versions is a near optimal way to maintain text integrity. I really would like to work towards consensus on this. I think it would be great we could implement stable versions as soon as it is finshed. At the same, if it turns out we can only agree about migrating to stable version if a particular feature is availble. Well then now is the time to discover this while it is still in development. If anyone has particular questions about how it will be implemented, I will make an effort to run them by brion on IRC. --BirgitteSB 01:53, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

At last I've got a chance to read everything I've missed on the Scriptorium. This sounds interesting and Birgitte obviously has a good idea of what is involved in switching to & using stable versions rather than our page protection system, however not having seen Brion's presentation I'm not at all certain what changes this will entail or the features which can be incorporated. I think its best to leave this on a backburner until we've got more details on the practicalities. AllanHainey 12:03, 4 October 2006 (UTC)


  • I am confident we should adopt stable versions to maintain text integrity
    • --BirgitteSB 01:06, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
    • Dovi 19:59, 12 September 2006 (UTC). Of course, if others want to be a bit more cautious and take a look at it first that is fine too.
  • I think we might want to adopt stable versions to maintain text integrity, but I would like to see a prototype before making a decision
  • I think we should adopt stable versions to maintain text integrity, only if stable version include . . .
  • I am confident we should not adopt stable versions to maintain text integrity, lets stick with protection

Closed with 100% support (71.4% with condition). —[admin] Pathoschild 21:06, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Tweak standardised header


Nearly eight months since {{header}} was first proposed, it's been implemented on 29353 pages. Partly based on feedback over that time, I've drafted an improved version that eliminates server load caused by transclusion updating for most formatting changes, automagically inserts the appropriate symbols, and automatically removes the author line for a blank author field (currently, an override must be used). See User:Pathoschild/Sandbox6 for examples, usage comparisons, and details.

The simplified usage will require that bots update all pages, which should be relatively simple. Pathosbot will simultaneously standardise header usage. During the transition (several days at the least), we should have a site notice explaining any formatting redundancies.

proposed sitenotice
The standardised header has been improved based on feedback since its implementation. Some pages may temporarily experience minor formatting mistakes like double arrows (see the updated documentation).
proposed changes
  • moved inline CSS to stylesheet:
    – simplifies formatting changes (normal CSS simpler than inline CSS);
    – eliminates server load when changing the formatting (no transclusion costs with stylesheets).
  • integrated navigation arrows and section parentheses using ParserFunction logic:
    – easier to use the template;
    – much easier to change symbols or formatting (no longer dependant on status quo).
  • added ParserFunction check for unspecified author:
    – eliminates need to use parameter overrides for works with no authors.

Any other suggestions or comments are welcome. // [admin] Pathoschild (talk/map) 02:57, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

  • This sounds good to me. It will make use of this template a bit easier now (especially with a bot--some of them can't insert actual symbols like the arrows). And the standardization is further increased by automatically dictating which symbols we use and can easily be changed with merely one edit.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 19:17, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
  • This looks really good to me. I would also like to see sections move down to a new line when they exist. This was discussed before parser functions but was ruled out becausse at that time it would have caused an extra blank line when no section was specified. I believe this would no longer be a problem --BirgitteSB 22:13, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
    I personally prefer paranthetical section names in the current style: "The Book of Martyrs (Chapter IV.)". However, moving the section to a separate name would be easy enough if others support the idea. // [admin] Pathoschild (talk/map) 16:37, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
    I think it looks fine in your example. However in other places the chapters have a section name. There will not be enough room for these causing the the section to be halfway on the line with the title and halfway on a new line. This currently requires manual breaks. See Men of Invention and Industry/Chapter IV--BirgitteSB 17:01, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
    I'm of the opinion that the header need only give as much information as necessary. If chapters/sections/whatnot are named, I think the names should be moved out of the header and placed in the body content of the page. Even with sections having their own line, that's a pretty long section (longer even than the title) and doesn't look that much better than having the title and section on the same line.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 20:00, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
    That practice is not currently standardized. I prefer the subheadings personaly, but if eveyone else dislikes them I will conform. I don't think the question of what belongs in the Section parameter has ever come up before. There will still be problems with books that were not published as chapters (Myths and Tales from the San Carlos Apache/Creation Myth (Second Version) and possibly some books with many subsections (Foo long title/Book II/Part I/Chapter IV) But I suppose if everyone aggres to limit the info under section the exceptions can be done manually.--BirgitteSB 13:53, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
    I agree with Zhaladshar; let's try to keep the header height consistent wherever we can. Chapter titles shouldn't be included if they force more lines. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 04:12, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Bot task bazaar

I'd like to propose the creation of a central page for bot tasks.

Many Wikisource editors regularly deal with texts which can easily have hundreds of pages. Therefore it is conceivable that even regular users are confronted with bot-amenable tasks in large quantities. For example, roughly 1000 pages of A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism need to be moved to be usable with the ProofreadPage extension.

Now, we already have a number of bots on WS, and for some it is possible to request action on their talk pages. However, several problems may occur:

  • a bot owner may not have the time to regularly check for requested tasks,
  • it is troublesome to search for all the different request pages,
  • if a certain task is requested from more than one bot, some coordination effort is necessary to avoid duplicating work,
  • the community at large remains uninformed about possibly controversial tasks.

Possible solution: bot tasks are placed on a central page, say [[Wikisource:Bot tasks]] or even [[Wikisource:Bot task bazaar]], where

  • users post their tasks and sign with four tildes,
  • bot owners may assign any unassigned tasks to themselves,
  • bot owners coordinate their bot schedules, so that too many bots don't run simultaneously,
  • the community discusses controversial tasks.

Comments/suggestions are welcome.--GrafZahl 11:31, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

I've created a page at Wikisource:Bot requests. // [admin] Pathoschild (talk/map) 18:22, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I've just posted the first request.--GrafZahl 11:03, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Remove Category:Authors from {{author}}

If you go to any author page, you will notice that each one is categorized with Category:Authors and Category:Authors-? where "?" is the first letter of their last name. This seems to be a bit redundant, to me, as the second category is merely another way of dividing the authors which the first category already does (note that under CAT:AUTH, they are divided up according to the first letter of their last name as well). I propose, to simplify the categorization, and to make the top-down approach to the category infrastructure more pronounced, we remove CAT:AUTH from the author template.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 20:05, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

This makes sense to me. --BirgitteSB 23:13, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Fixed. —[admin] Pathoschild 21:13, 20 October 2006 (UTC)


Side by side image view for proofreading

I copied the templates and the javascript code from to here :

the first page is here : Page:Brundtland en-000.png

You may also want to require the creation of a separate Page: namespace


ThomasV 15:47, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Requesting a "Page:" namespace might be a good idea. That way we can keep the main namespace from getting cluttered up.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 23:21, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
In order to avoid redundancy, I moved the relevant code to It is imported in Monobook.js. That way, it can be shared by several subdomains. ThomasV 14:33, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

New author page format

The transition to the new author page format is complete; please see the updated documentation. The relevant discussions are "Author page template" (Scriptorium, July 2006) and "Transition to new author template" (Template talk page). The transition was accomplished automatically by Pathosbot, who edited 1021 pages in two steps in 20-second intervals with a runtime of 13 hours 45 minutes. Each edit was cursorily reviewed due to the complexity and likelihood of errors. // [admin] Pathoschild (talk/map) 04:49, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Vote for Bug 7355

Let's get lilypond installed to allow musical notation. [1] --BirgitteSB 19:12, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes, we've been waiting for this extension for far too long. And now we've hit a spot where we REALLY need it.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 21:10, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I vote yes as well. Mattwj2002 15:59, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

This bug was recently closed as wontfix, so the vote is no longer relevant. Brion (developer) commented that "Tim considers Lilypond too inherently unsafe. We'll want something that's cleaner and more secure." —[admin] Pathoschild 04:50, 13 October 2006 (UTC)


"Page" namespace

Why are there no questions in the Questions section? Anyway, I have one: what is this "Page" namespace I just discovered? For example, Page:Brundtland en-002.png or Page:A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism Volume 1 001.jpg. From looking at these two, it seems that the Page namespace is some sort of compromise between the misnamed "Article" main space and Image space. Is there any place where this namespace and how to use it is discussed? Wikisource:Page namespace is a red link... Angr/Talk 17:47, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

The "Page:" namespace is a tool to use for proofreading scans of documents. It's not a compromise; simply a method of making proofreading/transcription much easier. It was developed by ThomasV over at the French Wikisource, and he ported it over to this domain. To make use of this feature, upload an image, and type in the name of the image, but instead of using the "Image:" namespace, use the "Page:" namespace. Note that to get this to work, the pagename after the namespace must be identical to the name of the image.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 20:19, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
You're looking for Side by side image view for proofreading. HTH--GrafZahl 08:17, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

NSRW images

A few users on commons are going through NSRW images, rotating them and cutting off the captions. Is this acceptable? Or should they be renamed and the original page scans kept in their unmodified form? See Wikisource:CommonsTicker for examples. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 13:05, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

I am happy that someone is cleaning up these images for other uses, as there are some really great ones. However, they should be renamed with the original scans left intact. The captions need to be proofread for the Wikisource version of NSRW--BirgitteSB 13:56, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
That's what I figured. Now begins the arduous task of renaming all these things... --Spangineerwp (háblame) 04:30, 8 October 2006 (UTC)


What are the procedures for dealing with vandalism on Wikisource? There's an anonymous user who keeps re-adding a version of the spurious "Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war" quote to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Is there any action that can be taken to stop him/her? --Nicknack009 20:09, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

I was wondering if that were vandalism or not. It read like it made sense, and not having a copy of Julius Caesar I couldn't check it. If it persists, post at WS:AN and the account will be blocked.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 20:17, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
It's cleverly written, but it's not authentic. I've checked my copy of the Complete Works and a couple of different editions of the play, and it's not there. And besides, it's completely out of place in the middle of a discussion between Caesar and his wife about whether her bad dreams should stop him going to the Senate that day. Thanks for the Admin noticeboard page - if it happens again I'll report it there. --Nicknack009 12:19, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Absolute exactness, or cleanup of material?

I have come across a 1911 newspaper article that has a typo in it; sounds simple enough, until considering whether this typo should be in the transferred article or not, because it is by definition "as written" in the newspaper, even though it stands out as one starkly to my own eyes. Should I "repair the problem," or respect the history more than grammar? I lean toward history exactly as it happened, but someday in the future people might think I wasn't paying attention, etc., which would annoy me greatly, I'm not ashamed to admit. Suggestions/guidance? --Chr.K. 17:07, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Exactness. If you could upload a scan of the newspaper to Commons and then link that as the source on the talk page, then no one will think the typo is on your part.--BirgitteSB 17:26, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe Wikisource is meant to contain the exact, untampered with source text. I agree with Birgitte's suggestion. - Politicaljunkie 18:47, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
What I do is add the text as in the original source but note on the infobox on the talk page that, for example, Buonoparte is rendered as in the original text, etc. AllanHainey 12:31, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Maybe we could use a template to mark these. Preumably, it wouldn't render (although maybe you could override that in your preferences), but would show up in the edit box, so an editor who tried to fix the typo would see that it's intentional. -Sanbeg 19:31, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
That's a good idea. Or you could use the somewhat bulkier HTML comment if you wished.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 23:00, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm in favour of absolute text integrity, but not w:pagination, which should be cleaned up to make it easily viewed on a computer monitor and such. Sherurcij (talk) (CRIMINALS ARE MADE, NOT BORN) 04:11, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm thinking of how print media would mark something like [sic]; we could do something similar, like Buonoparte{{sic}}. That could just be an empty template, so that it would only be seen in the edit window.-Sanbeg 23:41, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the [sic] suggestion is highly appropriate. In general, there should be a place for responsible editorial notes. At the same time, no change should be made to the exact integrity of the source text without such a note. Dovi 20:03, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I've been doing this over at de-wikisource. Where there's a typo or misprint in the original, I reproduce it faithfully but then comment out a "sic" message with a correction, along the lines of nucliar<!--sic; nuclear-->. Angr/Talk 17:51, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
I've added a blank template (which, oddly, already had a few incoming links). Currently, since it's blank, it would just ignore any arguments, so {{sic|nuclear}} would be blank. It could also be changed to render an invisible note, so that editors who want to see if could change their configuration; in which case it may be useful to use the arg. -Sanbeg 23:11, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Some texts at Project Gutenberg mark corrections by underlining and showing the correction when the mouse is over the text. see the HTML version of for example. maybe we could do something similar. I find it a very elegant solution to our problem. 21:17, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Something like thiss ({{User:Pathoschild/Template:Sic|thiss|this}})? —[admin] Pathoschild 04:55, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
That looks good, I think it may be worth making the underlining or notification that there is a spelling mistake more visible though as I think people could easily overlook it in a large block of text. AllanHainey 12:07, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
I really dislike the idea of making any mark visible outside the edit screen for these things. What about American vs British spelling? What about The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere (1798)? How about Shakespeare? Where does it end? If someone feels something might be corrected as a typo, lets use the template Sanbeg suggested. It will not affect readers of the work, but if any one goes to "fix" it the will see the "sic" once they are in the edit screen.--BirgitteSB 23:11, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

To Kill a Mockingbird

Quick question: Is it prohibited on Wikisource?

A copyright violation etc?

Yes, to both. To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960, and Harper Lee is still alive. So, the work is still (and will be for some time) protected under copyright.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 22:59, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, a search at gets it as copyrighted RENEWED, so don't bother adding it here for 95 years since publication based on current American law.--Jusjih 07:52, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Note, if this work had NOT had its copyright renewed, it would be PD, whether the author was alive or not. Works by US authors, first published in the US (not elsewhere), published before 1964 (but after 1922), are PD if the copyright was not renewed properly. DESiegel 21:05, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Adding a count next to categories.

It would be nice to have a number indicating how many texts are included when browsing by category. e.g.

 [+]Fantasy (4)
 [-]Fiction (3)
   [+] Fantasy (0)
   [+] Middle English Fiction (0)
   [+] Modern Fiction (0)
   [+] Neoclassical Fiction (0)
   [+] Renaissance Fiction (0)
   [+] Romantic Era Fiction (0)
For this feature to be implemented would require filing a bug report. Go to BugZilla and file one (anyone can do it). Once it's filed, a developer will get around to writing it and implementing it when he can.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 15:20, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
aw that requires me to get an account -_- i searched, and it's been brought up before, although the response was less than enthusiastic. I think such a feature would make browsing wikisource much more enjoyable - surfing to what are really virtual cul-de-sacs wastes both my time and wiki bandwidth (admitedly the cost on both sides is minimal).

Linux From Scratch

Can anybody help me determine whether it is possible to put Linux From Scratch (LFS) in wikisource? you can find a legal notice for this book here. And what about BLFS (which is a different book)? can it be put in wikisource? here is its legal notice. I hope someone can help me, since I'm really confused. - Aateyya 05:20, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

You might want to read the inclusion policy first; especially check if there is sufficient peer review for inclusion. As for the licences, BLFS is definitely not OK, because it uses one of the non-commercial CC licences. To be included, commercial use must be explicitly allowed. It looks better for LFS, but I'm not sure whether "Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted" is sufficient. You can, of course, always ask the author to clarify. You've already guessed that I'm not a lawyer and this is no legal advice. HTH--GrafZahl 09:10, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Page deletion

How do I submit a request to have a page deleted? This page is redundant, because the story in question has already been added: [1] -(Zorayda 04:52, 5 October 2006 (UTC)=Zorayda)

The deletion process is described in the deletion policy. If the two pages are truly redundant, you can use the G4 speedy deletion criterion. HTH--GrafZahl 11:58, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Other discussions

Royal Society Journals free only until December It would be fine if as much as possible would be digitised for Wikisource -- 13:50, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I think this would be a good source to add unfortunately I haven't been able to access it. While it says "After December 2006 subscribers to our subscription packages (S, A and B) will enjoy privileged online access to the archives." I can't find a way into their archives right now as every promising link seems to redirect to the page noted above. AllanHainey 11:46, 18 September 2006 (UTC).
In order to access the journals (it's pretty complicated to find--took me a while to do) go here. I will start downloading the earliest editions when I get some free time. Should start today, though.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 21:08, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I've already downloaded some of the very early ones. The problem is that there are so many of them and that the files are named in a rather strange way. This is why it's been suggested to use Commons for this. Alphax 06:04, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
They're also available at JSTOR ( but I don't know if there's a time limit. Alphax 08:00, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Ugh. I hate JSTOR. I've got almost the first volume downloaded. What do you have? I'd much rather not duplicate your work as that won't help get more of those works on WS.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 22:03, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

It would be fine to have the earliest editions on Commons. Making e-texts can go slowly next year. -- 20:27, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

are you planning to download proprietary material while it is temporarily available.??

Recognizing that this material is intrinsically PD, you are downloading it from a page that is normally protected. Do you/have you been similarly copying material from J-Stor?

I'm a strong supporter of copyright reform (and open access, too), but those working in these areas have made a special point to be particularly carefulI to avoid contention -- to keep our hands clean. I do not think it will help WP's reputation by using material in this way. Of course, I'm new here, and perhaps you have gotten a legal opinion already, or perhaps gotten permission from the royal society and j-stor, or in some other way settled this question positively. If so, I assume you'll be placing some sort of notice, so people like me don't ask embarassing questions. DGG 01:37, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Your heading talks about proprietary material. We have a strict Copyright policy here, and our only hosting material which is free of copyright or released under a free license. The above discussion is only concerned with the older Public Domain materials and not anything that is under copyright.--BirgitteSB 04:40, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Help needed

The Bureaucrat -jkb- of cs: has blocked me because I noticed two copyvios: [2] and [3]. The other sysop Egg has revealed my identity. What can I do? Urgent help is needed. -- Zacheus 10:47, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Violations of copyright law are serious matters, and no user—particularly not bureaucrats and administrators— should endanger the Foundation by committing them. Before appealing to the wider community, please contact -jkb- or Egg to discuss the matter. If you are unable to reach agreement (and if there is indeed copyright infringement), you can post a message to the multilingual Wikisource, where multi-domain coordination is undertaken; the best place would probably be the multilingual community discussion page.
If you post there, please provide evidence of copyright violation, link to any relevant discussions, and explain why you are unable to reach agreement with the administrators. Note that administrators are usually given the benefit of the doubt, since their access shows that they are trusted by the community. // [admin] Pathoschild (talk/map) 16:30, 24 September 2006 (UTC)