Forum:EvoWiki

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Today, the site owner of EvoWiki has announced that it needs a new host before November.[1]

The site's database is 511 MB, and pageviews are about 500-2000 per day. I was wondering if anyone here at RationalWiki (or, perhaps, RationalWiki itself) would be interested in possibly adopting the site, it has over 3000 articles including hundreds of pages debunking creationist claims

I am currently the only other active admin there, editing under the name Elassint. The site is not very active unfortunately[2].

Any thoughts? --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 02:29, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

It's up to Trent and whoever else is steering this ship these days. I personally would be for it, there's nothing wrong with a little more content. Tetronian you're clueless 03:03, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind bringing it under the RationalWiki umbrella, per say. However, it depends on server resources, as it is backup knocks us off-line half an hour per day, it might drag the process out if we have a third wiki. - π 03:05, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
1/2 GB sounds tiny. Do you folks want me to bring it up with the RW Board at our next meeting? Please email me if you do in case I miss edits here. I'll email the other two now with a link to this forum. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:47, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Um, where is link to this announcement, and why can't they pay their bills? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:49, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I would be more inclined to propose an absorption of their material, and a redirect of their domain name than to host it as a separate wiki. But I don't know what the current owner is looking for exactly. tmtoulouse 06:34, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
We could give it its own namespace? - π 06:45, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
That might be clumsy. If the site is dead/dying, surely we can figure out a way other than a namespace to store their material and gradually integrate it into out site? Although, that might work as a half-measure - pull it into a namespace with the history intact, and tag every article with a cat like "has to be RWified and removed" or some such? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:48, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
(EC)It would give us to place to put articles on the evolution of the rusty-spotted cat. - π 06:53, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
EC: Just clicking through random pages I'd say that absorption would be difficult. I see technical definitions which go beyond our mission, duplicates of stuff we already have and a tone markedly different from our own.--BobSpring is sprung! 06:51, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I see a lot that could simply be deleted. I don't really thing we will be this dead wiki's savior, unless anyone at least finds some good work worth GFDLing over to here. Onion, do you have any suggestions for articles there worthy of resurrection? ħumanUser talk:Human 07:10, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I am concerned that we may be running a little ahead of the game here. We don't really know what the owner wants.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:35, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
The license is also a problem. You would have to get the approval of every editor of an article in order to copy that article to RationalWiki, because EvoWiki is unfortunately CC-BY-NC-SA. -- Nx / talk 09:12, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not so sure that copyright is such a big deal. Their version is here and ours is here. The only difference I can see is the line in theirs which says: Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.. It also says: "Share Alike — If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one." While our licence is not the same it is undoubtedly similar, and we're not going to sell it - so, as I said, I'm not sure that it's a big deal.--BobSpring is sprung! 13:28, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
If I understand the legalese correctly, SA means that the terms must be identical, but it doesn't have to be the same exact license (see point 4b of the legal code). Our license requires derivatives to not have that restriction (because of SA), their license requires derivatives to have that restriction (again, because of SA), so it is not possible to combine them (if you don't believe me, try the compatibility wizard). It's unfortunate that people choose nc licenses because they think big greedy companies will "steal" their work, when instead it only prevents free projects like Wikipedia or us from using their content. -- Nx / talk 14:01, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. Thanks.--BobSpring is sprung! 14:19, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I think we should be able to negotiate with the site owner about licensing. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 14:42, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
The site owner does not own the content. He cannot relicense the contributions of other editors. -- Nx / talk 16:12, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
This whole thing about licensing would not matter if we just import the wiki in full. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 16:23, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
There are ways to handle licensing if we need to. But lets not worry about the details till we even have the vaguest idea about what we might do. tmtoulouse 16:29, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
The issue really is finding a server to host the content. If we can't (or won't), what would it cost to get another server to host the site? Real first name and last initial (talk) 10:20, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Looking at recent changes, it looks far more dead than RW, so may not be worth saving as an indiviudal project. And hosting another instance of media wiki on the server could put a lot more strain on it, considering we've already thought of dumping RWW to elsewhere at the end of the quarter. I do reckon that ~500 Mb of data could easily be hosted on the server as a content dump file if they want to preserve it - but what to do with it afterwards rather than saving for the sake of it is an issue. What would be more important than the data, that I haven't seen mentioned, is the userbase. If there are people experienced with the more esoteric aspects of creationist claims and evolution, then they would be invaluable for RationalWiki. The more sensible proposal would be to grab them as well as their writing. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 10:55, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
500MB will fit on a freaking CDR if it's a matter of saving it during a transition. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:52, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
It would be good stuff, but I agree with Bob, this discussion way ahead of the game. Talk to the owner first. Especially if we're talking about slicing and dicing, you might want to find out some things first. sterile pork chop 13:30, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
We are The Borg are the Rationalwiki. Your wikilogical and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.--BobSpring is sprung! 13:37, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not an expert, but to me it sounds like creating a namespace for all evowiki articles would be the best option. We could over time fix the articles up so they sound more like mainspace ones, and just like the "fun space" we could keep less technical articles on the mainspace and their more technical evolution-specific counterparts in an evowiki space. I think if we actively reach out to whatever EvoWiki editors are left, we could salvage a few of them and sort of aquaint them to the RW community. --— cm2 — 16:35, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
There's been talk in the past about having a science: space on RW, especially when a certain boy was around. Maybe the articles could go there.

Hi guys, thanks for making this offer. I can't really consider myself to be the "owner" of EvoWiki these days, having neglected it so. I merely run the server that it's on. The decision should be for RW users and the active EW editors -- I've given EW editors a week to comment, and am happy to go with whatever proposal you all prefer. The choice of copyright license was an unconsidered spur-of-the-moment decision -- I'm not sure there's anything that can be done about that now, but if I could change it, I would... JoeD (talk) 22:22, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, whatever happens would have to be done with the existing users. They may not necessarily like RW as it can be an acquired taste. We'll see what they say, then! Scarlet A.pngd hominem 23:20, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Since the site was restored after a 1.5 year downtime, this is the only user from the past that has returned (User:AutoFire, RationalWikian). Other then me (Elassint). So the userbase you speak of is practically nonexistent, it consists of me checking the site for spambots every other day and a few drive by editors that don't spend much time editing. Also, the news has not been updated since July 2008, indicating that the community was stagnant before the server crash even occurred. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 23:32, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Trent's proposal[edit]

Create a separate instance of evowiki on the server, but fishbowl so no editing can take place. Put a disclaimer at the top directing people here. Create a project on RW to move material from evowiki to here that fits or that people want to edit. Place a template on evowiki articles that places the NC restriction to just those articles. tmtoulouse 22:57, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, interesting idea. I would start by importing all 621 creationist claims and giving those pages a unique namespace. We could also merge EvoWiki's encyclopedia of fallacy with our own. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 23:15, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I say KISS as Trent suggested. One namespace, one disclaimer, one project to use it to improve RW. Importing to RW won't work due to copyright constraints, neither will merging. Create an "archive" that includes the article histories in its own namespace, and see where it goes from there. At least it will be easy to credit "sources" of text etc. if it is hosted here. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:28, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I like that idea. However, I do have a question so that the reasoning gets clarified: Why fishbowl the imported materials from EvoWiki? Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 02:40, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

There is some confusion, I mean to create a separate wiki instance of evowiki, as it exist now and fishbowl that. tmtoulouse 02:54, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

OK. So when you say:
  • "Create a project on RW to move material from evowiki to here that fits or that people want to edit. Place a template on evowiki articles that places the NC restriction to just those articles.
That would allow us to directly import any material from the fishbowled EW wiki. We could edit it as much as we liked, but it would perminently have a "No commercial use" template because of the existing EW copyright constraints? --BobSpring is sprung! 07:42, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Screw it, I say let it die if it can't support itself. Is there even anything there worth preserving? I hit "random" a handful of times and mostly got meaningless stubs. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:50, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually I quite like Trent's idea - though see below for a potential problem.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:18, 27 September 2010 (UTC)--BobSpring is sprung! 10:18, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Creationist arguments looks interesting but it seems to have originally been cribbed from, and credited to, a similar talk origins archive. Interestingly the the Talk Origins archive links to creationwiki where they host to these counter-counter-claims. The list also seems to have been published as a book The counter-creation handbook. All of this seems to confuse the copyright issue even more.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:17, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
To be fair, on reading the talk page at Evowiki they seem to have been aware of the potential copyright conflict and taken some measures to stay legal.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:26, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I just became aware of this issue and hope I can add something of value down here.
I was a sysop and occasionally frequent contributor to EvoWiki for a little while up to the point of its great crash. Afterward I managed to find a home here even though the tone there was more compatible with my writing style. I in no way mean any disrespect by this and appreciate your continued hospitality. My point is that contributors there obviously can and do become useful here and should be made to feel welcome if they are not with us already.
As far as what happens to the site, I think the list of creationist claims is worth saving. I realize that it borrows heavily from talk.origins' Index of Creationist Claims but differs in its being a wiki. In this way it can be updated regularly and furthermore can keep up with CreationWiki's attempts to rebut it. See here for an example of the latter use.
Also I believe some of the fallacy pages are worthwhile, especially the one I wrote.
Thank you for your time. zieber (talk) 22:48, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Just to clarify my current proposed plan as there is some confusion. I would like to completely preserve evowiki.org as is right now. All the content on in and history and files etc. But I would like to "fishbowl" it which means just turn off editing. So it stays in whatever state it is when if moves over.

I would then put a notice on top of evowiki directing users here if they want to port over or edit content that was on evowiki. I think we should start a project on RW whose whole purpose is to deal with evowiki content, porting it, editing it and offering a place of commentary, questions, etc. for anyone that wanders over. tmtoulouse 22:53, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

I support your plan and will definitely be part of this project! I'm looking forward to the assimilation legally importing information from EvoWiki. Just a technical question: if you fishbowl the site, would I (Sysop) still be allowed to edit? I'm very willing to help with anything if you want me to. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 23:34, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Well one of the reasons to fishbowl is so that I don't have to create backup scripts and run frequent backups for it, which would draw resources from RW proper. A small amount of editing could be supported for certain purposes if needed though. tmtoulouse 00:06, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Can you "fishbowl" it but allow main talk space edits? I think that would be useful. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:09, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I suppose given the current rate of editing, it might not draw too much resources even if it wasn't fishbowled at all - and backups wouldn't have to run as often. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 06:01, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
This conversation seems to predicated on the assumption that as it is not very active now it will not be active in the future and consequently support and resources therefore will never be a problem. However it obviously has been active in the past and could be so again in the future. What would happen if its rate of editing increased? Presumably we would be obliged to support it.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:47, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Not active? Dude, the site is dead dead dead. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:50, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree. But if we allow partial editing it could come back zombie-like to haunt us. I'd say fisbowl and port interesting parts - but no editing of EW itself.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:56, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm suggesting allowing editing on the talk pages, that's all. The site is dead. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:03, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Thinking about this some more. Fishbowl the wiki. Allow editing on talk pages - but put a notice saying that such talk should be limited to whether or not the article should be ported to Rationawiki.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:05, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Maybe have Talk-talk pages so that the original talk pages are unsullied?  Lily Inspirate me. 11:35, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Unless that causes confusion or technical difficulties I'd say that's a very good idea.--BobSpring is sprung! 11:41, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Talk pages for talk pages can be done. Totnesmartin (talk) 12:01, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I think that might be problematic and probably unnecessary - a little too meta. However, if you want to preserve the talk pages, then it might be better to set up a new namespace that isn't locked and perhaps port over RW's forum templates for discussions about topics and pages. If things then pick up and demand is there, we can look at opening sections of the wiki piece by piece with an aim of getting something more permanent if we can. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:04, 30 September 2010 (UTC)