Wikibooks:Reading room/Proposals

Replacement filing cabinet.svgArchivesWikibooks Discussion Rooms
Discussions Assistance Requests Announcements
General | Proposals | Projects | Featured books General | Technical | Administrative Deletion | Undeletion | Import | Permissions Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Proposals reading room. On this page, Wikibookians are free to talk about suggestions for improving Wikibooks.

Now under construction: Wikibooks StacksEdit

As part of the infrastructure overhaul I've been doing for, at this writing, just over 23 months, and following from the previous discussion here in the ongoing series of threads (link), I'm now developing a replacement for the current subject hierarchy, in the form of a book called Wikibooks Stacks.

I'm not currently asking for help with this, tbh. Somewhat embarrassingly, given the collaborative nature of wikis, just atm I really need to do this carefully, step by step, myself, because there's still new design work involved at each step. But I do want to let everyone know what I'm doing, and perhaps folks here will offer advice (or point out that I'm making a huge mistake somewhere!).

When I'm all done, all our 3000-or-so books will be filed in both the "old" subject hierarchy and the "new" stacks, and I'll be able to do the equivalent of flipping one of those big high-voltage switches and suddenly the categories visible on each book main page will be shelves instead of subjects, and then I can start the process of carefully mothballing the old subject pages, one by one. Then it'll be time to start in earnest on the final(?) stage of this multi-year overhaul of our infrastructure, the introduction of topical categories that list pages as well as books, which will enable us to provide much better targets for incoming links from sister projects, including from Wikipedia.

Grouping all of this machinery in a book is more convenient, organizationally, than the Subject: namespace, as it happens. The new pages, equivalent to subjects, have name prefix Shelf: or, at the top level, Department:, which are not recognized by the wiki platform as namespace prefixes, so these pages are all technically in mainspace, as is the book. Our infrastructure templates such as {{BookCat}} and {{BOOKNAME}} know to associate these name prefixes with book Wikibooks Stacks, which is convenient because most of the pages involved don't have to have the name of the book built into them at all, they can just use markup {{BOOKNAME|Shelf:}} (which expands to Wikibooks Stacks). Shelves correspond to subjects that use {{subject page}}, departments to subjects that use {{root subject}}.

There are shelf categories, each with an associated allbooks category, just as there are subject categories with associated allbooks categories. When I set up the machinery of the subject hierarchy, I arranged that when any of the pages involved detected a problem, it would flag it out, and provide buttons to help a human operator implement likely actions to fix it. This time around, I've made some improvements to this semi-automation while I was about it.

I also very much want to arrange for dialog-based assistants to replace the older-style editing buttons (with the older-style buttons reappearing if the dialog tools are not detected — thus, graceful degradation when things aren't working right). This would be very cutting-edge use of the dialog tools, and I very much want to learn as much as I can from the experience, about how to make effective use of the dialog tools. Which is actually part of what's holding me up just atm: I could be marching forward with setting up shelves, but then I'd be missing out on this major opportunity to gain experience with dialog. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 19:51, 3 June 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Progress report: All our books have been shelved; they're also all listed in subjects. The shelf categories are hidden, the subject categories are visible; but I'm now in a position to switch that, so the shelf categories are visible and the subject categories hidden. Then I can start shutting down the subjects, which also has to be done manually. Strangely, I've got a discrepancy between the number of shelves and the number of subjects, whose cause should eventually come out during the manual shutdown. I'm not sure what to do about possible incoming links to subject pages that are now going to be either nonexistant or redirects. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 02:26, 29 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Cheers for all the work you have made already. I noticed two things which I'm not sure whether they are glitches or not: 1) Departments do not list any featured books. 2) Under Wikibooks Stacks/Departments the Wikijunior department correctly lists the Wikijunior shelf, but the Help department does not list the Help shelf. -- Vito F. (discuss) 23:46, 10 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
On the second point, actually the link provided is to the help shelf, rather than to the help department. I'm unsure whether that should be treated differently, or if instead the wikijunior department should be treated differently. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 04:03, 11 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I think I've got the department featured books problem fixed. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 06:43, 12 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I've improved both of those displays on the departments page. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 12:44, 13 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Update: My progress on this is currently mired in the various pages associated with quality as assigned by various "WikiProjects". That part of our infrastructure was imported by Adrignola and adapted for Wikibooks —mainly by adding support for Subject pages— back in 2010; it isn't heavily used, but wants updating to support the rearrangement; except that frankly I find its internal design largely indecipherable. How Adrignola figured it out to make changes then, I find hard to imagine, and it's worse now with existing use of the Subject-based version to accommodate. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 13:28, 22 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Still mired. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 21:14, 8 April 2019 (UTC) – 14:33, 5 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Do we really need FlaggedRevs?Edit

I know that's kind of a "central" part of Wikibooks, but for mainspace articles, I'm seeing it as unnecessary. The reason is that by default, we set mainpage articles to show the latest revision by default, which means that there isn't any benefit for the average user. The exception is for the Wikijunior namespace, where we set the default version as the last reviewed one, and I think FlaggedRevs is useful there.

My proposal would hence be to discontinue use of FlaggedRevs on the mainspace - I don't see it as a particularly useful benefit here and personally only causes unnecessary overhead. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 11:24, 23 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Keeping it is highly desirable imho, yes. There's a vast amount of sorting-out-of-what-isn't-vandalism contained in the revision state of pages. The information expressed by a review of a single revision of a page would be difficult to reproduce (the judgments involved are highly context-dependent, so one has to immerse oneself in the specific situation-as-was to figure one what was going on), and when you multiply that by the number of pages involved the cumulative value is staggering. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 14:11, 23 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Highly desirable per Pi zero. I've done a fair bit of anti-vandalism work, and I find it invaluable to do so; since I don't have many pages on my watchlist its my main tool. Without FlaggedRevs I think that I would have difficulty in maintaining this work, as no other tools exist that I know of that would take its place. Sure you could use Special:RecentChanges, but it would be a lot harder to sort the pages. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 19:59, 23 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Help:Contents updateEdit

Hi, I've made a major update to Help:Contents. I've been bold and updated the page already, but if I get any strong objections I'll revert pending discussions.

Anyway its like creating a "one stop shop" on help and project pages, as it contains a good many. It also should contain all the basics on using Wikibooks, whether you want to read books or contributed.

Technical details: although the content is my own, the design is based upon wikipedia:Help:Contents. It uses CSS for two columns; it also uses CSS flexbox, which means it should render as a single column on low resolution screens such as smartphones. On obsolete browsers not supporting flexbox it will still render, although it could be a single column.

Anyway, any feedback would be nice. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 22:29, 29 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Great work! I don't see any issues with it and it does look more appealing than previous versions. —Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 23:15, 29 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I concur, this is a nice update from before. Didn't even know that this page existed. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 07:59, 30 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Enabling blocking in abuse filterEdit

  The following discussion has concluded. Please open a new discussion for any further comments.

Start allowing game strategiesEdit


  The following discussion has concluded. Please open a new discussion for any further comments.


  The following discussion has concluded. Please open a new discussion for any further comments.


  The following discussion has concluded. Please open a new discussion for any further comments.

Draft policy createdEdit

  The following discussion has concluded. Please open a new discussion for any further comments.

Post-closure discussionsEdit

A question about copyrightEdit

Btw, is map art in Minecraft under free use? Can they be uploaded to wikimedia commons? In case you don’t know, in Minecraft you can create art by placing blocks on the ground in a certain area and then use a map to map this area. This has many applications. This has many applications and I’m interested to know if it also has to be uploaded to Wikibooks because it’s technically the creation of the guy who draws the map art. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (discusscontribs) 13:33, 15 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Gifnk dlm 2020: I don't think so, no. If "map art" involves objects and assets from Minecraft itself, then that would not be free use (in general, unless the non-free elements can be cropped out). However, if it's just a drawing solely by the author, that would qualify. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 14:04, 15 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Leaderboard:, I see. Thank you very much! I think that it’s ok to upload to Wikibooks because if I cropped out the surrounding how would I prove that it’s a screenshot from Minecraft and not just something from MS-Paint. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (discusscontribs) 14:40, 15 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Back on this topic, if we want to make the "open-source" video game guide, what if we needed to uses game art of the game itself? I believe we couldn't just upload to Wikimedia Commons ?
Note: It shouldn't be a problem for Open Source Game like [[ ]] but I meant for commercial close sourced games ? Asked by Encik Tekateki (discusscontribs) 00:36, 20 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Encik Tekateki: yes it is a bit tricky, as Commons isn't really an option, unless you go the c:Commons:OTRS route or create your own images.
However we are discussing a new non-free media policy below; see the draft at Wikibooks:Media/sandbox. It is pretty well inline with that of Wikipedia, and video game articles there often have non-free media illustrating them, which is allowed within policy. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 01:19, 20 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Collections of Wikibooks about video gamesEdit

Btw, if I make a collection of a wikibook about video game strategies, and the book contains fair use images, can I also use a fair use image as the cover image of the book? Because I think that a screenshot of the game would work best as a cover image but maybe that’s not allowed, idk. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Thanks in advance, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (discusscontribs) 08:15, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Gifnk dlm 2020: as far as I'm aware, Collections is pretty well defunct. It was basically a way of collecting a book or several books together to create a downloadable PDF for offline use. That capability is broken at the moment, although it may be possible to order a paid printed copy of books (at least, you can do that at Wikiedia). --Jules (Mrjulesd) 15:23, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Mrjulesd:, thank you very much for the reply! It’s possible to order collections as printed books also in Wikibooks (I never did but I looked on the previews). But it has some issues, for example this collection about roblox game development contains a quinze in it (can be seen here, and in the preview it shows just the mediawiki code that was used to create this quiz not the quiz itself. This made me wonder if the same problems happen when creating pdf versions, but back to topic - my original question is can I use fair use images in the title page of the pdf version? 😅 If not, can I at lease use them in the pdf file itself? Thanks in advance, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (discusscontribs) 15:54, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Gifnk dlm 2020: Wikibooks:Collections/ROBLOX Game Development links to pages in the Roblox Game Development and Lua Programming. Things like quizzes aren't functional in PDF versions (as far as I know). As far as I'm aware, rules for online and PDF versions are identical with respect to images and everything else; but its best not to use non-free media in title pages, as it may go against the rules. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 16:03, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Mrjulesd:, I see. I don’t think that quizzes are supposed to be “functional” in pdf versions (functional in the sense that they actually work - a pdf version is meant for printing if someone wanted an “interactive” experience, they would read the original book in Wikibooks. I do however expect them to render properly, I want the readers to see a box with the questions and the answers and not <quiz display="simple"> {What is ROBLOX? |type="[]"} + A website where the content is produced by users (a user-generated website) || Almost all of the content on the ROBLOX website is produced by users. This includes assets in the catalog, content such as comments, forum posts, group wall posts and so on, and also games. - A website that gives information on a particular topic (an informational website) + A platform for developing games (a game development platform) || ROBLOX can be used as a game development platform because users can use the ROBLOX game engine to develop games. + A website for hosting games (a game host) || Games that use the ROBLOX engine can be hosted on ROBLOX..
I think you see what I mean. For copyright purposes, this is the link to the permanent revision from which I took this question (from my understanding I must link to it otherwise it’s copyright infringement). That’s the sort of thing that the collection creator does so I was wandering if pdf versions have the same problem. Again, I don’t expect an interactive quiz in pdf only an image of how it looks like in Wikibooks. Thank in advance, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (discusscontribs) 16:57, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Mrjulesd: and @Gifnk dlm 2020:, I think the PDF version of a book isn't too different from taking a print version of any book and saving that to PDF. With that in mind, I think it's OK to have non-free images for a PDF version. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 17:40, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Leaderboard: and@Gifnk dlm 2020: I was talking about the title page. For the book mentioned, the title page is Roblox Game Development, and there is no image. But if you were creating a Minecraft title page, one solution would be to use something fromc:Category:Minecraft. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 17:46, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Mrjulesd: Even for the title page, I think it is reasonable to assume that the fair-use image is useful, as it "identifies" the book. Hence I am personally inclined to think that this usage is fine. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 17:48, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Leaderboard: well you could be right. But erring on the side of caution, it might be best to use a free image if available. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 17:51, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Mrjulesd, Leaderboard: From what I see, c:category:Minecraft has many good images that can be used for title pages. c:category:Roblox has much less images and most of them are not suitable for being on a title page. the pdf version of the book about Mandarin has an image on the title page while Chinese (Mandarin)/Print version doesn’t. And when I asked about using fair use images in title pages I meant is there a policy that forbids that. Thanks in advance, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (discusscontribs) 18:12, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Gifnk dlm 2020: No, I'm not aware of such a policy (one that explicitly blocks fair-use images in PDF versions) Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 18:59, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Leaderboard:, thank you very much! I heard that in Wikipedia there’s a policy that doesn’t allow fair use images as cover images of books but maybe I’m mistaken. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (discusscontribs) 21:50, 19 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Gifnk dlm 2020: I am not aware of such a rule (also I am not sure what "cover images of books" would mean for Wikipedia because Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, unlike Wikibooks). Regardless, I think you'll be fine from a Wikibooks perspective. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 07:16, 20 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Leaderboard:, I meant w:Book:The Simpsons episodes and other similar books. They are collections of different Wikipedia articles and if I’m not mistaken I think there’s a rule that forbids the usage of fair use images as the cover image, but I could be wrong. If you press on the cover image of this book you will see that it’s in public domain because it doesn’t meet the “Threshold of originality”. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (discusscontribs) 09:11, 20 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Ou the new policy that can be found at Wikibooks:Strategy guides only discusses strategy guides so I was wandering are walkthroughs still not allowed? Thanks in advance, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (discusscontribs) 14:55, 22 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Gifnk dlm 2020: What are the differences? I presume walkthroughs would be describing the journey of a game? Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 15:31, 22 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Leaderboard:, exactly. After seeing your comment, I researched a bit more into the difference between a strategy and a walkthrough, and in w:Strategy guide, it’s written: “Strategy guides are instruction books that contain hints or complete solutions to specific video games. The line between strategy guides and walkthroughs is somewhat blurred, with the former often containing or being written around the latter. Strategy guides are often published in print, both in book form and also as articles within video game magazines. In cases of exceptionally popular game titles, guides may be sold through more mainstream publication channels, such as bookstores or even newsstands. Some publishers also sell E-Book versions on their websites.”. In w:Video game walkthrough it’s written: “A video game walkthrough is a guide aimed towards improving a player's skill within a particular video game and often designed to assist players in completing either an entire video game or specific elements. Walkthroughs may alternatively be set up as a playthrough, where players record themselves playing through a game and upload or live-stream it to the internet. Walkthroughs may be considered guides on helping to enhance the experience of players, to assist towards unlocking game achievements or simply as a means to socialise with like-minded individuals as a distraction from everyday life.”. When asking this question I didn’t realize they were so similar to each other. I thought that strategy guides and walkthroughs are entirely different - with strategy guides only giving strategies and walkthroughs just giving a step by step tutorial without explaining why this is the best way and without giving multiple ways. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (discusscontribs) 15:53, 22 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Gifnk dlm 2020: I always intended it to describe walkthroughs as well as strategy guides, so I have amended the lead to make this clear. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 21:36, 22 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I see that you added the words “and walkthroughs”. Thank you every much! (btw, to y’all wandering I didn’t ping him because I thanked him using the thanks log and I think it’s spam to also ping here.) -Gifnk dlm 2020 (discusscontribs) 21:56, 22 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Turning Wikibooks:Global_rights_policy into an official policyEdit

  The following discussion has concluded. Please open a new discussion for any further comments.

New reply tool and VisualEditorEdit

  The following discussion has concluded. Please open a new discussion for any further comments.

Is Wikibooks:Media#Non-free use to restrictive?Edit

  The following discussion has concluded. Please open a new discussion for any further comments.

Add autopatrol to Wikibooks:Autoreviewed_usersEdit

  The following discussion has concluded. Please open a new discussion for any further comments.

importupload for WikibooksEdit

  The following discussion has concluded. Please open a new discussion for any further comments.

Proposal to update Wikibooks:Card Catalog Office with Wikibooks:Card Catalog Office/sandboxEdit

I've been working on a new page for Wikibooks:Card Catalog Office, which I have created at Wikibooks:Card Catalog Office/sandbox. Its rather more detailed, and it combines elements of Wikibooks Stacks/Departments with that of the present page.

When visitors first visit the site, the most likely way they're going to search is by going to "browse" on the left sidebar. Hopefully this page will be more engaging and give a better sense of where to find content than the current page. Any views are most welcome. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 11:08, 29 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Looks fine to me. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 12:39, 29 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks @Leaderboard:. Another thing I was thinking of doing was to raise Shelf:Recreational activities to Department:Recreational activities. It seems to me that this is the most popular shelf in Department:Miscellaneous, so it makes sense to give it more prominence. I've been studying the Wikibooks Stacks a fair bit, and I think it is actually very easy. I think what you need to do is:
  1. Update Wikibooks:Card Catalog Office.
  2. Create: "Department: Recreational activities" and "Category:Department:Recreational activities" with the relevant templates
  3. "Shelf:Recreational activities", "Shelf:Collecting", "Shelf:Games", "Shelf:Outdoor recreation", "Shelf:Physical fitness", "Shelf:Tourism", "Shelf:Arts and crafts": migrate parent=Miscellaneous to parent=Recreational activities
  4. "Shelf:Athletic games", "Shelf:Board games", "Shelf:Card games", "Shelf:Electronic games", "Shelf:Game design" are already subshelves of Games, so wont need migration.
  5. Rebuild these shelves through purging.
Any thoughts? If it didn't work it would be easy to reverse. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 16:32, 29 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Looks fine to me. Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 10:24, 17 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Update on my workEdit

I have made some changes that I would like to advertise:

As a general point, I'm learning more about Wikibooks Stacks, although I don't fully understand it I'm getting more aware of how it can be manipulated. I think I might manipulate Stacks further, I am concerned about smartphone rendering on pages. I imagine many users are put off by this, as most users today use mobile devices to access websites.

Any comments are welcome. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 23:06, 6 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Remove flood flag from own accountEdit

What do you think about the suggestion to give a user who has the flood flag the permission to remove it from his own account? This way users could remove the flood flag themselves when they are done and not have to ask a bureaucrat for doing so. Regards --Zabe (discusscontribs) 12:41, 29 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Zabe: sysops can remove the flood flag from their own account when they are done, and hence there is no need to ask a bureaucrat (who can still remove the flood flag from anyone if needed). Is there something I'm missing? Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 12:50, 29 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal for new Main PageEdit

See Main Page/sandbox. I am proposing that this replace the present Main Page. Changes can be summarized as follows:

  • The page now use CSS flexbox (for the most part). This means that rendering should be improved, even for very low resolution smartphones. There are also a few cosmetic changes here and there.
  • The page includes "promoted shelves" (see below) in addition to featured content.

The basic idea behind promoted shelves is that they exemplify the most popular areas of Wikibooks. The promoted shelves are "top-level shelves" (just below departments), and have some of the popular books upon them. I've based them largely on Wikistats at , and an analysis of what shelves (from which books) should be most popular with readers.

They are therefore selected on the basis of popularity not quality. Now that is a departure from a featured items on the Main Page, but is done for the following reasons:

  • Featured books/Wikijunior books/recipes are retained, with promoted shelves as an addition.
  • The recent video game strategy guides acceptance hasn't gained a strong foothold yet. Perhaps this will give it a boost with the inclusion of Shelf:Games as a promoted shelf.
  • Shelves are the main organizational structure of Wikibooks, yet possibly remain mysterious and obtuse to the general readership.
  • I think at this stage of Wikibooks we need to do something radical to try to boost readership. Readership is quite down from previous years, see . For example, total page views are down -37.35% year over year. Without readers our active contributors will also fall, and the stats bear this out too. Perhaps it is a time to focus on what brings the readership here, and at the same time popularize our Stacks sorting mechanism of departments and shelves.

At the moment promoted shelves are fixed, but in the future there could be a rotational aspect, like featured content. Anyway, all views and comments on this are most welcome. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 09:58, 17 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Looks fine to me. However, should the promoted shelves be categorised? Leaderboard (discusscontribs) 10:23, 17 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed that would be a logical step. If this gains acceptance then that should be done. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 10:31, 17 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]