Sam Wilson's Website

February 2022

  1. ABC Great Southern (Peter Barr and John Dobson)

    A tiny West Australian town has rallied to buy its historic 120-year-old pub and in the process save it from ruin.

    Broomehill is nestled in the heartland of the Great Southern region, about 300 kilometres south-east of Perth.

    Of the town’s 250 residents, 75 are members of the Broomehill Village Co-operative which officially bought the pub this week.

    It’s been a long, road to become owners, after the pub, which opened in 1902, closed its doors in 2019.

    The hotel has stood on the Great Southern Highway welcoming travellers for more than a century but has deteriorated in recent years.

  2. In a bit over three weeks’ time we’re going to have the first of what will hopefully become a series of Wikisource “triage meetings”, in which we’ll go through the backlog of Phabricator tickets relating to Wikisource tech. It’s basically an idea to get some clarity around what needs doing, what is being worked on, and probably what things are out of date and can be closed. Read more and sign up here:

    Wikisource technical contributors are not vast in number, but there are still quite a few of us! So hopefully through some judicious collaboration we can continue to slowly and steadily (and without too much disruption!) improve Wikisources’ software.

  3. On the weekend I made a new MediaWiki extension:

    It’s because I kept getting annoyed at having to open a new tab to create a shortcut redirect to the page I was editing, and wanted a simple way to a) see what redirects exist already; b) create new ones without leaving the editing form; and b) have the wiki suggest an available shortcut to the current page. The first two points are working in the RedirectManager extension, and I’ll add the third soon I hope.

    I was surprised to find that there’s no existing API for creating redirects, so the extension includes its own. In building that I realised that content types other than wikitext also support redirects — I don’t know if I’ve ever seen them in the wild, but JS and CSS pages can be redirected (and probably other custom types too, although it looks like^1 maybe only wikitext-based ones).

    I can now get on with making short URLs for a bunch of things on ArchivesWiki (I’ve been adding links from places like WikiTree to biographies on ArchivesWiki, and sometimes the full page name is a bit long and ugly).

  4. I keep being very confused by the BBC’s announcements about this new podcast system. They say things like “you can hear the News Quiz 28 days before anyone else!”, which sounds very exciting, and as much as I would like to hear a satirical take on the news of next month, what they mean is that you won’t be able to hear the News Quiz for 28 days unless you install the iPlayer app.

    In general though, the whole thing sounds pretty terrible and like another step in the direction away from open standards (RSS has been, for the last nearly 20 years, been the technological basis for podcasting, and it’s delightfully simple). These days, it seems that we’re just going to end up with half a dozen enormous and incompatible corporate systems, much like TV streaming services. The BBC is surely one organisation that could’ve fought against this.

  5. Wikimedia Diff blog (SGrabarczuk)

    The Community Wishlist Survey 2022 is over! We would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s edition and express our special gratitude to those who made outstanding contributions to the survey below the results. We could not have done it without all of you!

    Curious about what happens next? Learn about our prioritization process and check out the ranking of prioritized proposals for this year.

  6. Possibly one fix is to give Twyne a post-box at the top of the news list (which doesn’t exist yet) so it’s more Twittery in its usage…