Brion Vibber | 21 Jul 09:48 2014

Preliminary work on install-free audio/video playback in Safari and IE

Commons uses the freely-licensed Ogg and WebM formats for media files; unfortunately these are not supported by default in Safari and Internet Explorer, as Apple and Microsoft favor a competing format. Manual codec installation goes against modern user expectations, and isn't possible in some environments.

I've spent some research time working on ogv.js, which uses Mozilla's emscripten and Adobe's CrossBridge to cross-compile the Ogg Vorbis and Theora codecs to JavaScript and Flash. This allows decoding and playing Ogg media in the browser without additional software installation.

Here's a live demo wiki with ogv.js embedded into the player widget:

On Firefox, Chrome, or Opera you'll continue to get native Ogg or WebM playback; on Safari 6.1/7 and iOS 7 Mobile Safari you get the JavaScript Ogg player, and on IE 9/10/11 you get the Flash Ogg player. (Microsoft lists Web Audio as "in development" for future IE versions, which will enable use of the pure JS version there as well.)

This is very much a work in progress, but I'm pretty confident this is something we can deploy later this year to get basic A/V playback to "just work" for another chunk of our users.

I'll be presenting some further status updates & related topics at my Wikimania talk.

Note that the Flash code used for IE is entirely open-source and uses none of the proprietary multimedia codecs built into Flash. I consider this a delightfully subversive use of Flash, and it would please me no end to get it deployed on Wikimedia. :)

-- brion
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Gerard Meijssen | 20 Jul 17:33 2014

People not able to attend Wikimania

I am very sorry to have learned that Amir Ladsgroup may not enter the United Kingdom for Wikimania. As you may know, Amir is crucial to the development of the Pywikibot software.

Not having him present is awful. Obviously other people can present but it is not the same as Amir presenting.. It may be possible to have him present by Skype or Hangout.

Would this be an option ?

For your information the amount of effort that has gone in acquiring a visa for Amir has been huge. A big thank you to all the people involved. It is sad that all the effort did not produce the result we all wished for.
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egliser | 18 Jul 17:27 2014

hola desde manzanillo

muchas gracias .
desearles suerte..

Nunca digas nunca, di mejor: gracias, permiso, disculpe.

Este mensaje le ha llegado mediante el servicio de correo electronico que ofrece Infomed para respaldar el
cumplimiento de las misiones del Sistema Nacional de Salud. La persona que envia este correo asume el
compromiso de usar el servicio a tales fines y cumplir con las regulaciones establecidas


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Federico Leva (Nemo | 11 Jul 07:23 2014

New new photo page design on Flickr

Yesterday a number of highly voted requests were
closed on the basis that a redesign of the redesign has fixed them. It
seems the update is only available in English and I don't find a way to
change interface language (!), can someone who sees it please give some



Dear Flickr members,

We recently launched a new photo page towards the end of June. Because
of the feedback from you, we’re moving the photo page in a direction
that more closely resembles previous iterations of the product, but with
contemporary design and the new framework that delivers photos so much
faster than before.

These are the advantages of the new photo page:
*Moved the photo information back, so now it appears below the photo.
*The comments have been moved back below the photo as well.
*The text is now black on a white background.

If you have any feedback regarding the new photo page, positive or
negative, please feel free to submit it using a new thread.

Please be aware that we are actively listening to feedback from our
users to improve Flickr and your user experience.

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Rainer Rillke | 8 Jul 14:13 2014

Support for Chemical table files

As of now, images of structural formulas have to be created using third
party software and converting the output to SVG or PNG. With MolHandler
we aim for a solution capable accepting and rendering chemical markup
files and providing a web-interface for easily creating, modifying and
re-mixing formula files. This does not only make re-using existing
structures easier and simplifies creation of structures, moreover it
allows Wikis to adopt a unified style for rendering these structures,
makes structures searchable (sub-structure search) allows pulling,
pushing and verifying data from big databases like ChemSpider and
PubChem. In the future we plan to enable support for spectra and more
sophisticated file formats to have at least some minimum support for
chemistry-related Wiki-works.

I am currently looking for features you would find helpful as well as
your opinion of what is needed to deploy MolHandler to Wikimedia Commons
and therefore created a test wiki[1] at which you can create user
accounts. A non-exhaustive list of features is available for raking by
drag&drop. Or just write here what you at least want, what you would
like to see soon and what is less important to you.

-- Rillke


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Federico Leva (Nemo | 5 Jul 08:47 2014

Fwd: One Hundred Million Creative Commons Flickr Images for Research

12 GB of metadata and 50 TB of files released by Yahoo!. «Plus about 49
million of the photos are geotagged!»

Can this dataset help linking projects' articles and Wikidata items to
the images we miss? I can imagine
* a FIST expansion querying the data in some way to find flickr images
"nearby" a geocoded page of ours,
* a bot mapping photo IDs from geolocated Wikidata entries and then a
bot importing on Commons those we lack,
* a Wikidata Game to aid automation in some of the above.
Where an image is in a non-free Creative Commons license, we can
flickrmail the author to relicense it, the success rate is typically
high (we could also do this by bot, if we're able to automatically write
a message mentioning the specific files and the pages where we'd use them).


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Magnus Manske | 3 Jul 22:47 2014


An attempt to alleviate the tensions caused by file deletions on Commons:
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Chris McKenna | 26 Jun 13:22 2014

Re: The tragedy of Commons

On Thu, 26 Jun 2014, geni wrote:

> On 26 June 2014 11:22, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen <at>> wrote:
>> Hoi,
>> I heard it the first time and it does not hold water. For me this argument
>> is in between splitting hairs and sophistry.
>> Thanks,
>>      GerardM
> Can you provide any statute or caselaw to support that assertion?
> -- 
> geni

THIS is the crux of the issue. You are insisting on statue or caselaw to 
prove that these files are Free beyond ALL conceivable doubt because the 
copyright outside Israel is legally ambiguous but in practice any 
copyright that may or may not exist is extremely unlikely to be enforced.

The Wikimedia Foundation lawyers have said that it is OK to host, and the 
majority of people complaining about Commons want Commons to host, files 
that are free beyond reasonable doubt unless and until a _valid_ takedown 
request is received that removes the doubt.

In the Israeli example, the positions can be summed up as:
Israeli government: We don't hold copyright on these images
Commons admins: You haven't explicitly disclaimed copyright outside 
Israel, we demand that you do.
Reasonable people: Only the copyright holder can disclaim copyright, the 
Israeli government say they do not hold copyright and so cannot disclaim 
Commons admins: You're wrong, now go away and get teh Israli government to 
disclaim the copyright they say they don't have.
Reasonable people: But they can't!
Commons admins: We say they can, so they must be able to.

Chris McKenna

cmckenna <at>

The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes,
but with the heart

Antoine de Saint Exupery

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Gerard Meijssen | 22 Jun 18:38 2014

Documents on Wikidatification of Commons

I refuse to post this link under the heading "the tragedy of Commons".

The Wikidatification is not a tragedy and it has taken a long time before it actually started to happen in a manner that the WMF may adopt.

Remember, the most important part of it all is to make the data usable in multiple languages and to improve finding images in Commons. All the rest is not in scope for now.
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Fabrice Florin | 20 Jun 02:21 2014

Media Viewer is now live on all wikis

Hi folks, 

We're happy to announce that Media Viewer is now live on all wikis hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation!

Media Viewer is testing well on all remaining Wikipedias (e.g.: Chinese, Arabic, Hindu, Indonesian, etc.) and sister sites (e.g.: MetaWiki, Wikibooks, Wikiquotes, Wikiversity, Wiktionary).

The multimedia team worked hard in the last few weeks to develop a range of final features, in response to frequent community requests. We hope you will try them out and let us know what you think on the Media Viewer discussion page (1).

1. Features on All Wikis
These features are now available on all wikis as of today:
* View original file (#630)
* Scroll down to see more info (#697)
* Show Commons link to logged out users (#429)
* Easy opt-out for registered users (#703)
* Opt-out for anons (#704)

You can test these features on this Featured Pictures page. (2)

2. Features on only:
These features are now available on and will be deployed to all wikis in coming days:
* Make it easier to find image information (#706)
* Prominent links to different image sizes (#664)
* Add more tooltips to Media Viewer (#546)
* Disable MediaViewer for certain images (#511)
* Track 'View original file’ and ‘Commons link' clicks (#715, #726)
* Track Media Viewer Opt-outs (/#558, #675)

You can test these features on this demo page (3) — and learn more on the updated help page (4).

3. Features in development
Other tasks in development or analysis include:
* Show attribution credits in download tool (#598)
* Make 'Commons link' and 'Use this file' more discoverable (#732)
* Click on image in Media Viewer to help view original file (#712)
* Improve Media Viewer UI on tablets (zoom/scroll) (#716)
* Remember the last selection for ‘Use this file' (#660)

You can view more details about these features on our planning site. (5)

4. Feedback
We keep getting generally positive feedback worldwide, with these latest results: (6)
* A majority of global respondents find the tool useful (60% average across surveys)
* Cumulative approval by language: English 29%, French 70%, Spanish 78%, Dutch 59%, Portuguese 81%, German 28%, Hungarian 62%, Catalan 71%
* Daily approval rates have increased on English Wikipedia from about 23% a day after launch to 39% two weeks after launch (and German approval has also increased from 23% to 56% in the same period).
* We anticipate further approval increases on these sites, as more new features get rolled out in coming days, based on community feedback.

We are also starting to track the opt-out rates to see how many people turn off Media Viewer in their preferences. As of June 16, about 875 users had disabled this feature on the English Wikipedia, two weeks after launch: this represents about 0.34% of all registered users who viewed images on the site since launch. We are sorry that this small minority of users don’t like the tool, but we are glad that so many other users are finding it useful.

Please let us know what you think of these new features on our main discussion page (1). Which do you like most? least? Are there other must-have features that need to be developed right away, before we move on to other projects? 

Thanks to all the community and team members for all you’ve done to make Media Viewer possible. :)


Fabrice — for the Multimedia Team

(1) Discussion page:

(2) Featured Pictures:

(3) Demo page:

(4) Help page:

(5) Planning site:

(6) Survey results:


Fabrice Florin
Product Manager, Multimedia
Wikimedia Foundation

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Emilio J. Rodríguez-Posada | 19 Jun 20:15 2014

1 image per km2 globally

Hi all;

Since I watched the project Geograph Britain[1] long time ago, I dreamed with a global version. I have been playing with maps (mostly Google Maps) in the past years, but now that I'm migrating my tools to Wikimedia Labs, I started to read about OpenStreetMap and Leaflet.

I have made some tests and coded a pretty alpha version of the concept.[2] It shows circles of 500m radius for every geolocated image on Commons (there are about 4 million). Not all are shown at the same time, but only 10,000 per zoom level. So you only have to make zoom on your city or in the search box.

Some examples:
So, I would like to hear your opinions and suggestions about the idea of scaling Wikimedia Commons into a project with at least 1 image per km2 globally.

The code is in GitHub[3] and it is forked merging 2 examples of the thousands of Leaflet library examples available. Currently the code is pretty simple and you can help to improve it.

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