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This is a centralized place for discussion on-wiki. See also:

This page includes some legacy text from contributors before the full adoption of CC-BY-SA 3.0.

wiki links

I am new here and am trying to figure out how to add wiki-links. I guessuntil such time when there are more pages here to link to, one should use cross-links to other wmf wikis? Thanks in advance, Ottawahitech (talk) 12:17, 18 April 2020 (UTC)

Yes, you're encouraged to link to other wmf wikis where they cover the topic better, there's no rule against cross-links at all here. Let's build up the connections!--Pharos (talk) 20:00, 18 April 2020 (UTC)
The standard interwiki shortcuts are working now, see #Questions section below.--Pharos (talk) 00:43, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

Small wiki toolkit

This could have some useful tutorials, etc. for a small wiki like this: meta:Small wiki toolkits I'm still digesting the content myself. Koavf (talk) 05:21, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

Possible topic for Wikispore_Day? -- Zblace (talk) 08:07, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
Small wiki tooklit / starter kit has now also been released.--Pharos (talk) 00:52, 23 July 2020 (UTC)


I am just looking around to see what would need to happen for this to be viable to use Wikispore as the place to start growing the Wikilambda community. I think the following steps would be super useful:

  1. Make the usual WMF wiki shortcuts work, i.e. meta for metawikimedia, en for enwiki, d for wikidata, etc.
  2. Install the translate extension
  3. Enable Instacommons

Easier: to delete Wikilambda:Supporting material and then rename the Lambda namespace to Wikilambda. --Denny (talk) 00:00, 18 May 2020 (UTC)

All done now thanks to User:Tgr, though Instacommons was already live before. You can see the translate extension is working at the test wiki, and you can now use it similarly here.--Pharos (talk) 15:10, 29 May 2020 (UTC)
Pharos and/or Tgr Can we also have the usual "beta" extensions like VisualEditor, New Wikitext Editor, StructuredDiscussions, Reference Previews, and FileImporter/FileExporter enabled on this experimental wiki? Basically, anything that the MediaWiki has. If it's good enough there, it should be good enough to test out and use here as we build the prototype pages. Kudos to you, Pharos, for proposing this and for the well-thought out draft proposal. We might actually get a full-fledged wiki farm incubator off the ground here. I'd like to help by devoting nearly all of my Wikimedia editing to this project. Dmehus (talk) 02:40, 29 June 2020 (UTC)

Village Pump name?

I've always appreciated the wiki-trandition of Village Pumps with fun, culturally-specific names (d:Q16503). I wonder if we can think of something appropriate for our own germinating community, with its botanical theme? --Pharos (talk) 18:09, 28 May 2020 (UTC)

The Greenhouse? The Potting Shed? - PKM (talk) 19:19, 28 May 2020 (UTC)
I think I'm a fan of Wiki:Greenhouse! --Pharos (talk) 03:03, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
Greenhouse seems good. Koavf (talk) 19:15, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I like Greenhouse. --ChristianSW (talk) 17:15, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Support for Greenhouse as the "community portal" or "village pump" name for this within its project space. That raises another question, what should the project namespace be called? Dmehus (talk) 02:34, 29 June 2020 (UTC)


We need to have everyone agree to license their contributions to this wiki. All my contributions on all WMF wikis are public domain, so I consent to using any of my work for any purpose. We need to determine the proper free license of the existing contributions as well as future ones. Most WMF wikis use CC BY-SA 3.0 (tho, e.g. the English-language Wikinews is CC BY 2.5). Koavf (talk) 19:53, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

You can sign on to license your contributions here, please do: Wiki talk:Copyrights.--Pharos (talk) 21:05, 7 June 2020 (UTC)

Visual Story Spore

I recently discovered Visual story:The hat-making industry in Curaçao and I think it's a great leave. And I love the idea of a Visual Story Spore as an attempt at documenting smaller, niche, hyper-local stories with audio, images, and video. I wonder if it fits better to call it Local Story Spore. --ChristianSW (talk) 17:13, 1 June 2020 (UTC)

Thanks! I created that page; very happy that you like it! I want to try to find some time and energy to write down some notes about my thoughts and to create a few other examples, but this month June I will still be pretty occupied with other things in work and life. FWIW, I think this format should definitely not be restricted to niche or hyper-local topics. It can totally be super mainstream and hyper-global topics too. Think for instance a gallery with a short introduction to all the films in which Charlie Chaplin has been involved, showing the public domain films if we have them on Commons. Or think photos and videos of protests around the world in response to the death of George Floyd... For me, the most important thing is the new format of 'audiovisual' emphasis - that something is told or explained in multimedia, mainly in large images and videos and sounds and visualizations; not in long-form text as on Wikipedia. I'm also not sure about the 'story' name, because I actually think you can be extremely factual in such a format. Well, I'm sure we can explore and rename as we go :-) Cheers! Spinster (talk) 17:47, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Hi! I really like your ideas and look forward to see and hear more from you. It's great to have this project to explore this new forms of free knowledge presentation. ChristianSW (talk) 13:47, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

Main namespace vs. Wiki: namespace

We should probably figure out best practices for what goes in the Wiki: namespace, and what goes in the main (default) namespace. When we first started the wiki, I put a lot of stuff in the main namespace, and didn't use the Wiki: namespace at all since it seemed redundant, when the reader-facing content is meant to be distributed among the various spore namespaces. A complicating factor is that Special:Random and various MediaWiki shorctuts only work from pages in the main namespace. Also, the Main Page is a bit of a sui generis, and on other Wikimedia projects I think it is always in the main namespace rather than a project one.--Pharos (talk) 17:01, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

Hm. The point about Random pages is interesting. I am responsible for moving a lot of those pages, so I suppose I should answer. My thinking is that things about how the wiki functions (e.g. quality levels or policies) should be in the "Wiki" namespace and things that are the content of the wiki would be in the main namespace or spore-specific namespaces. Compare this with Incubator where the main namespace is made up of landing pages for projects and then all of their subpages but not really meta content about Incubator. The distinction, of course, is that they don't use namespaces per project but slashes and subdirectories, so Special:Random still works to get a random assortment of content. Another solution is to have a button for "View a random Visual Story" on all pages in the Visual Story namespace or one that allows users to view any random spore with a template. Would that work? Thoughts? Koavf (talk) 19:40, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
Not sure I understand every aspect of what you said and how exactly each decision might have repercussions, but for me it would make sense that only mature/ripe pages *(laurels + main page of each spore) should show up in the way I kept all the Civil_Society_Spore pages as subpages as I was thinking this would be easier way to control/backup - now realized this might be wrong as a practice - no? --Zblace (talk) 14:02, 5 June 2020 (UTC)
I do think in some ways, Wikispore more resembles Meta-Wiki, which has almost nothing in the project namespace. Our standard now is to put every meta page in Wiki: namespace except for the Spore pages, which effectively makes the main namespace the "Spore concept" namespace, which is a little odd. It's also not just Special:Random, almost all of the Special:SpecialPages reports are built around the main nanespace. And it looks like Wikiversity is the only Wikimedia project with Main Page in project space. I'm still thinking it over, but I think maybe there is another solution out there.--Pharos (talk) 23:17, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

The Project namespace is meant for content projects where the main namespace is used for the content. On non-content projects it is fairly pointless (compare Meta for example), I don't think we should use it. Wrt random, I doubt people actually use it for browsing a wiki; we should invest into a good main page and sidebar instead. --Tgr (talk) 10:45, 6 June 2020 (UTC)

Will we have Wikiprojects? I can imagine a Wikiproject for each Spore, where editors discuss best practices and item structure and such. I would expect those to be in a project namespace, along with Help pages. - PKM (talk) 19:44, 6 June 2020 (UTC)
Seems unlikely to me as a given spore essentially is a project with its narrow focus and norms. Koavf (talk) 23:15, 7 June 2020 (UTC)

Propose to deprecate Wiki: namespace for now

Given the above discussion, and the fact that we are not currently making good use of the main namespace at all, I propose that we deprecate the the Wiki: namespace for now, and preserve it for some future use, perhaps WikiProject-related. Similarly I suggest we that we avoid the Help: namespace unless it is needed for something. With recognition of the valiant wikignoming that has given us much-needed consistency here, I think it would be a helpful act of simplification to opt for consistency in the other direction.--Pharos (talk) 20:11, 15 June 2020 (UTC)

  • Neutral on deprecating wiki: namespace (clearly, I see the value but I'm a little close to it) and agreed on deprecating Help: until/unless we have unique features that we can't just refer users to w:en: or mw: as appropriate. Koavf (talk) 20:41, 15 June 2020 (UTC)
  • Support - PKM (talk) 20:14, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
  • support --Tgr (talk) 16:46, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose on deprecating the project (Wiki:) namespace. I'm not sure what we should use mainspace for, though. I'd rather Wiki: namespace be renamed Project:—this might give us some ideas on how to use mainspace.
Neutral to soft support on deprecating Help: namespace for now, until we decide how to utilize it.
Comment While a separate namespace for each spore is a nice idea in theory, I'm wondering how practical it may be as new, but struggling, spores need to be "clipped" (i.e., deleted). I guess it's not too problematic, but I don't really like the idea of associating a subdomain with each new spore, especially since we're expected to be incubating new spores every year, some of which will fail. Our existing proposed spores are all probably going to be successful, but other proposed spores likely won't be so fortunate. What do you guys think of using mainspace for the spores, and having all the pages of each spore as a subpages of that mainspace spore (like Incubator)? Dmehus (talk) 22:17, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
Namespaces are actually easier to add and remove than you might think, we have installed a MediaWiki extension for just this purpose. Incubator's use of subpages is apparently a bit of a nightmare for admins, which is why we're using namespaces here which can be easily searched and converted into any other format down the line.--Pharos (talk) 01:41, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
Pharos That's true; I guess I'm still neutral/lukewarm on this. I would probably rather deprecate the Main: namespace, to be honest, or at least it primary for central navigation and cross-namespace redirects to project space or to each of the spore namespaces. Dmehus (talk) 06:15, 10 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Support For the time being, it's better to deprecate and avoid all namespaces we don't actually need, and softly direct people towards the adoption of proper namespaces. Sannita (talk) 10:38, 6 July 2020 (UTC)
I am going to take the prerogative to declare this passed for the time being, until we can come up with some better uses for the Wiki: and Help: namespaces in future. This thread has gone on for a month, and I also raised the issue again at our Wikispore Sunday call yesterday without opposition expressed then.--Pharos (talk) 19:00, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

Wikispore added to the Interwiki map

You can now (soon) add links to Wikipsore on other WMF wikis by writing [[wikispore:foo|bar]] or [[spore:foo|bar]]. See Koavf (talk) 19:30, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

Now live and usable on all WMF wikis :) --Pharos (talk) 17:54, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

Is Wikispore about new kinds of information or new topics?

I'm having a hard time figuring out if we want to be about new approaches to knowledge or about new knowledge--this is basically a conflict between form and content. For instance, if you take a topic like London, that is discussed very differently at Wikidata versus Wikivoyage or Wiktionary. Those projects are different kinds of knowledge about overlapping topics. But it seems like here, we have some spores like the bio spore that are overlapping in the type of knowledge it has (i.e. Wikipedia includes biographies) and it just focuses on topics that would fit outside of the scope of those projects due to things like notability but we also have some like Wikilambda that seem like they are trying to do new kinds or approaches to knowledge that aren't duplicative of existing projects. Are we looking to do both here? If so, how do you decide on if a spore is a new topic or a new form of knowledge? Could we discuss a bio in a bio spore but that same person could also have a visual story or be discussed in the civil society spore at the same time? Koavf (talk) 21:29, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

Good points! I would say YES. I think it should be flexible (at least for now) how people understand and make use of WikiSpore. It is obviously not about precision, but experimentation and also maybe freedom of making mistakes :-) Entries can overlap and as long as they do not clash as in creating conflict, I do not mind that it gets messy here and there. You? Zblace (talk) 12:07, 16 June 2020 (UTC) Possible topic for Wikispore_Day? -- Zblace (talk) 08:05, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
I think that ideally, every spore should exhibit specialization in both subject area and in information design and policy. Some will innovate more in one dimension than in another, but I think they should all be unique, in a way at least somewhat beyond what is typical of the syle guide differences among WikiProjects on Wikipedia. We should probably write a leaf on Spore morphology at some point.--Pharos (talk) 00:46, 23 July 2020 (UTC)

Translate extension

Should we enable this extension here?--GZWDer (talk) 06:06, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Have you seen that it is used on a test version of Wikispore? Do you think it should be ported over here because of the successes on that test? Koavf (talk) 20:54, 24 June 2020 (UTC)
I'd support adding the translation extension as well. Where was the previous test iteration hosted? Dmehus (talk) 02:42, 29 June 2020 (UTC) Koavf (talk) 03:16, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
Koavf Oh, another test wiki...why not? ;) Dmehus (talk) 06:17, 10 July 2020 (UTC)
It is actually already enabled here, although we don't have any pages using it on the main wiki yet - would you like to start one? For an example of the translation extension in use, see test:Wikilambda on the test wiki.--Pharos (talk) 19:12, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
I would use it in August to do few pages in few languages, so please enable it and lets start using it for main page and general info as tomorrow is the major international ;-p Zblace (talk) 08:03, 18 July 2020 (UTC) TNX! --Zblace (talk) 07:09, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

Wrong doing(s)?

Translation live

We have our first translatable page now, Civil Society Spore. I'll be glad to mark any other pages for translation too.--Pharos (talk) 00:37, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

Page referencing

Is it worth establishing citation templates such as's cite news, cite web, reflist, etc.? Or is that me stumbling down the rocky road towards an alt-wikipedia rather than a distinct complementary project? AllyD (talk) 15:18, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

I think it would be quite valuable, citation is a universal value in our movement, and certainly I could have used those when working on Event:World AIDS Day 2019. For these templates to be as valuable as they are on Wikipedia, though, we'd have to install mw:citoid, which is somewhat difficult technically, though fortunately its developer has also been a contributor to Wikispore.--Pharos (talk) 12:43, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
Update: It looks like this may be viable soon, see phab:T237819.--Pharos (talk) 00:31, 23 July 2020 (UTC)


We should have an "importer" user group with "import" and "importupload" user group. Although importupload is a bit dangerous we really need it (e.g. for importing from non-WMF sites).

In addition defining transwiki sources, we at least require import from enwiki, commonswiki, metawiki and incubatorwiki.--GZWDer (talk) 23:04, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

@GZWDer: Support, was about to ask for the same thing. I wanted to import the large amount of templates from Category:Image with comment templates from enwiki, but it is only available to admins and there is no import user group neither a place to request import. (Reminder that this is also needed on the test wiki) --Luk3 (talk) 22:57, 25 July 2020 (UTC)


Other than those listed in phab:T231911:

  • Must have
    1. Scribunto (bundled)
  • Should have
    1. Math (bundled)
    2. SyntaxHighlight (bundled)
    3. TemplateData and TemplateWizard - once we have VisualEditor
  • Could have (would be useful)
    • DynamicPageList - Note performance issue
    • Replace Text - We eventually need to remove this once the site is in WMF servers
    • OATHAuth (bundled), PageImages (bundled), TextExtracts (bundled), Popups, Graph, LabeledSectionTransclusion, MobileFrontend
  • May have (unclear usefulness and requires further discussion)
    • CategoryTree (bundled), CiteThisPage (bundled), ImageMap (bundled), InputBox (bundled), PdfHandler (bundled), Poem (bundled), OAuth, Quiz, CharInsert

In my opinion the most important one is Scribunto, Math and SyntaxHighlight.--GZWDer (talk) 23:50, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

See also T231911. --Tgr (talk) 23:30, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

Scribunto is very much needed to successfully import much needed templates for Wikispore. Was this asked on the Phabricator task? I wanted to ask it, but I'm unfamiliar with the website... --Luk3 (talk) 00:02, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
For Scribunto, you can share your ideas at phab:T258881.--Pharos (talk) 01:13, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

Fatal error authenticating user watchlist "Fatal error authenticating user."

Why do I get this message when I open my watchlist? In this color? Killarnee (talk) 23:42, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

But does the watchlist itself work, is it just a meaningless error message?--Pharos (talk) 00:32, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
See screenshot. Killarnee (talk) 14:51, 30 July 2020 (UTC)
Is this still happening? --Tgr (talk) 09:47, 3 August 2020 (UTC)

What should we call contributors to Wikispore?

A question that has come up a few times, what should be the Wikinym for Wikispore? This is the demonym used for contributors to the project, like "Wikipedian" or "Wikisourceror" or "Wikidatan". We can of course have a variety of terms for varying moods, but there should probably be some sort of standard one. I'm going to create some subsections below with previous ideas and maybe people can add their own suggestions, and give their feedback on some of them.--Pharos (talk) 17:36, 9 August 2020 (UTC)



Wiki farmer


  1. +1 safe and easy option --Zblace (talk) 08:12, 10 August 2020 (UTC)
    I was thinking recently that the slight variation "Wikisporan" (without the final "i") might be a more perfect fit.--Pharos (talk) 21:08, 10 August 2020 (UTC)
  2. +1 --ChristianSW (talk) 16:05, 10 August 2020 (UTC)