wikipedia Archives

  1. Copyleft, attribution, and data: other considerations


    Public licenses for databases don’t work well. Before going into solutions to that problem, though, I wanted to talk briefly about some things that are important to consider when thinking about solutions: real-world examples of the problems; a common, but bad, solution; and a discussion of the motivations behind public licenses.

  2. Copyleft and data: databases as poor subject

    Card Puncher from the 1920 US Census.

    tl;dr: Open licensing works when you strike a healthy balance between obligations and reuse. Data, and how it is used, is different from software in ways that change that balance, making reasonable compromises in software (like attribution) suddenly become insanely difficult barriers.

  3. Free as in … ? My LibrePlanet 2016 talk

    image from talk

    Below is the talk I gave at LibrePlanet 2016. The tl;dr version: Learning how political philosophy has evolved since the 1670s shows that the FSF’s four freedoms are good, but not sufficient. In particular, the “capability approach” pioneered by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum is applicable to software, and shows us how to think about…

  4. The All Writs Act on Wikipedia v. legal academic reach

    Pageviews Analysis-All Writs Act

    Legal friends! The world needs you. Here’s the graph of readership of All Writs Act on Wikipedia: That’s 45,035 reads yesterday (by humans, not bots).((Big thanks to the tech team for figuring out how to differentiate – not something we could do until fairly recently, at least for public stats!)) That would put it 5th…

  5. Reinventing FOSS user experiences: a bibliography

    There is a small genre of posts around re-inventing the interfaces of popular open source software; I thought I’d collect some of them for future reference: Recent: Drupal WordPress:, Older: Firefox: 0.1 release notes Visual Editor: first blog post I can find (though I’m sure there are many emails), Economist The first two…

  6. Wikimania 2015 – random thoughts and observations

    "Wikimania 2015 Reception at Laboratorio Arte Alameda - 02" by Jarek Tuszynski - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

    Random thoughts from Wikimania, 2015 edition (2013, 2014): Dancing: After five Wikimedia events (not counting WMF all-hands) I was finally dragged onto the dance floor on the last night. I’ll never be Garfield, but I had fun anyway. The amazing setting did not hurt. Our hosts: The conference was excellently organized and run. I’ve never…

  7. What tools are changing our world next?

    HDR automatically created from old pictures of Muir Woods by Google Photos.

    Quick brain dump after a bike ride home: free software took a huge leap in the late 90s and early 00s in large part because of non-ideological advantages that the rest of the world is now competing with or surpassing: Collaboration tools: Because we got to the ‘net first, our tools for collaborating with each…

  8. Come work with me – developer edition!

    By Supercarwaar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    It has been a long time since I was able to say to developer friends “come work with me” in anything but the most abstract “come work under the same roof” kind of sense. But today I can say to developers “come work with me” and really mean it. Which is fun :) Details: Wikimedia’s new…