RationalWiki talk:RationalMedia Foundation

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Not to be confused with the Mod noticeboard or RationalWiki:Technical support.
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Welcome, BoN
Use this talk page to bring matters to the attention of the board of trustees, discuss meta matters relevant to mission of the wiki, and to give input on the strategic direction of the wiki.
The RationalMedia trustees are:

Cosmikdebris โ€ข Spud โ€ข DuceMoosolini โ€ข Shabidoo โ€ข GeeJayK โ€ข Tmtoulouse (operations manager)

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Okay cool so[edit]

@LeftyGreenMario @Spud @DuceMoosolini @GeeJayK so uh hi everyone I am extremely new to this Board Stuff. Anyone know what happens now? Iโ€™m in UTC-10, and bc of my current studies my best available times (in my timezone) are Friday 8-11pm, Saturday 12-10pm, Sunday 12-10pm, and Monday 12-10pm. Thanks v much look forward to working with youโ€™ll ! ๐Ÿ’œ ASELAเฒฎเฒพเฒคเณ ๐Ÿ’œ 02:35, 28 August 2021 (UTC)

(When my current semester ends in like 8-9 weeks-ish, Iโ€™ll have much more availability, as I will no longer be Shackled to the curse of, having to sleep at a reasonable time, but for now this is kinda the best I can do) ๐Ÿ’œ ASELAเฒฎเฒพเฒคเณ ๐Ÿ’œ 02:37, 28 August 2021 (UTC)

Weโ€™ll hash out schedules once we can get everyone into a single off-wiki communication area (so we donโ€™t fill talk pages with boring coordination shit). Iโ€™m trying to get everyone onto the Support Chat, but if Spud figures out what the fuck is going on with the Google Group, we might be on there instead. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosoliniโ€™s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 03:33, 28 August 2021 (UTC)

Crucial board thing[edit]

Yo, we need the mediawiki update prioritized now. I know I like to remind people of it, but uh... it just got a bit more crucial. -- Techpriest (talk) 21:06, 30 September 2021 (UTC)

Iโ€™ve asked David about it again. Weโ€™ll see what he says. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosoliniโ€™s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 21:30, 30 September 2021 (UTC)
I'll get more and more busy over the next couple months. Kinda embarrassing to say this as a trustee, but accountability is important: I dunno what are we supposed to do, but I hope we can do it soon. GeeJayK (talk) 21:33, 30 September 2021 (UTC)
See https://test35.rationalwiki.org. Almost everything works, at least hypothetically, but our election system still needs to be tested. Thereโ€™s also the matter of actually implementing the update in practice. Christopher (talk) 21:39, 30 September 2021 (UTC)
The upgrade remains a dangling question for now, it seems. Is a test of the election system going to be arranged soon, which would require more technical involvement? On other topics, I added a short note for the one remaining detail about DPL3. I also earlier reverted a burst of vandalism. It would be good for the upgrade to get done soon-ish for another reason too, so as not to simply leave another wiki around which requires keeping an eye on because it's yet another target for spam and vandalism (even if much less so far ends up on it than RW itself). --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:13, 20 October 2021 (UTC)

Since I don't want to be accused of nonfeasance[edit]

I'll keep getting less and less active for the next two months as my life is extremely busy right now. But when I said in Augusto this was going to be a priority I meant it. In case I don't answer here just e-mail me or call me on the Discord support chat. I'll still try to come here once a week at least, but I might miss something. GeeJayK (talk) 23:40, 5 October 2021 (UTC)

that time again[edit]

Time for me to bang on about the update. Mediawiki 1.37 got announced. Mediawiki 1.35 is supported until December 2023. We really should update or we'll begin lagging 2 major versions behind. (And the more we lag behind the less security fixes we have...) I would once again urge the board to look into what is delaying the update. The test wiki exists and most features appear to be tested and fixed by now. The sole thing we couldn't actually test is the election extension because nobody is bothering to set it up. -- Techpriest (talk) 16:20, 20 November 2021 (UTC)

Why don't we just... do the election extension later? โ€” ๐—ฆ๐—พ๐—ฟ๐˜-๐Ÿญ talk stalk 16:27, 20 November 2021 (UTC)

site update...[edit]

Yeah this is getting silly. I keep following mediawiki-announce and there's now several bugfixes for CVEs that the site is vulnerable to. Can SOMEONE update the site? -- Techpriest (talk) 12:43, 14 December 2021 (UTC)

wouldn't that shut it down for some time though? -- Andrew5 (talk) 21:51, 24 December 2021 (UTC)

Will DuceMooslini still be on the RMF board now that he is retired?[edit]

Epic Games (talk) 01:52, 24 January 2022 (UTC)

I really don't know. Asela hasn't edited since the 16th of November but is on the board, and CR maintained mod for 3 months despite not making a single edit. --Andrew5 (talk) 02:34, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
There is no requirement that a member of the board maintain an active presence on RationalWiki. See the guide for the exact qualification requirements. โ€”cosmikdebris talk stalk 14:43, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
Regarding Asela, she told us that she wouldn't be able to be very active because of IRL stuff, but don't worry, she's doing fine and we're still in touch with her. As for Duce, I hope he reconsider his decision, but since he didn't formally resign, he's still part of the board. GeeJayK (talk) 16:20, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
The bylaws state that there will be at least one full board meeting every quarter where the operations manager will present the current state of the Foundation and its projects, as well as the fiscal status of the corporation as a whole.
So that means trent, despite no edit for a bit, still maintains project? 2600:387:9:5:0:0:0:B0 (talk) 21:24, 24 January 2022 (UTC)

Issue with upgrading MediaWiki[edit]

Board members should be aware of the problems caused by the long-delayed upgrade of MediaWiki software (RationalWiki:Technical support#Commons connection not working properly). Are board members in charge of paying Tim Starling for this work? Has he made any recent progress reports to the board? Bongolian (talk) 22:30, 31 January 2022 (UTC) @LeftyGreenMario, Spud, DuceMoosolini, Asela, GeeJayK, and Tmtoulouse Bongolian (talk) 03:01, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

I remember that we voted to pay Tin Starling for his previous work, something which we weren't obliged to do. I am not aware of any progress reports from him. Spud (talk) 07:28, 1 February 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, we should do something. At least Spud, Mario and me, since we're the most active members right now. GeeJayK (talk) 16:49, 2 February 2022 (UTC)
I'm willing to assist with the upgrade. I'm looking at creating a test Ubuntu 20.04 LTS VM that has a copy of the entire wiki under a MediaWiki 1.35.5 instance with PHP 7.4. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 17:45, 2 February 2022 (UTC)
Thank you for stepping up on this. Can you can confirmation/permissions from David Gerard or whomever is appropriate? Bongolian (talk) 18:16, 2 February 2022 (UTC)

Corporate Info Filing[edit]

Hey. Forgive me if I'm looking at the wrong thing, but it looks like someone forgot to file the annual corporate statement of information with the state of New Mexico. For example, opencorporates shows the corporate status as "revoked" https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_nm/4330247 If you go to the New Mexico Secretary of State Portal at https://portal.sos.state.nm.us/ and "Search for Corporation" and search for "rationalwiki", the status shows "revoked" and "not in good standing". I think you just need to file the 2021 and 2022 reports and pay the $30 in fees... Cindytalk (talk) 00:34, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

Land acknowledgment?[edit]

I know this isn't really an issue, but I'd like to see some kind of statement that says the foundation and servers are hosted on land traditionally owned by the Piro peoples. I know it's not much, but I feel like that's something that we should do based on our wiki's pro-indiginious-rights content. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 07:17, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

I am not sure where you'd want this to be noted. In addition, I am not quite sure where the servers themselves are hosted either; to my understanding we use Linode (see RW:TECHSUPPORT), which more or less means we're in a datacenter somewhere. GeoIP tells me that the IP for the site is in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, not New Mexico. Google tells me that this means the IP is allocated to the land once owned by the Lenape tribe(? I am thoroughly unfamiliar with how this is properly written out...), but due to complexities in how IPv4 assignments and subsequent redirects can work, we could still be hosted anywhere in the world. What this means in practice is that our presence in New Mexico amounts to a few legal documents and the physical location could be anywhere in the world. This is why this stuff generally doesn't pop up on websites; it's not really that clear cut and unlike a brick and mortar non-profit, we don't have any offices we could reference for this either. -- Techpriest (talk) 17:02, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
No offense, but that is peak virtue signaling... Inmate XIII (talk) 17:04, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

Usage of Google's CAPTCHA service[edit]

Currently, all users who are not registered and autoconfirmed, or granted autopatrolled manually by a sysop, have to complete a CAPTCHA, served by Google, in order to have their edits saved in the wiki. This is done as an anti-spam measure.

However, in my time in this position as a wiki sysop, I've had to delete at least 2 times userpage spam made by what is obviously a bot. Thus, I'd like to start a discussion around the need to keep Google's CAPTCHA around.

I'd like for RationalWiki to cease usage of this CAPTCHA service, for the following reasons:

  • Dubious effectiveness: It is impossible to know how much spam have been caught by this service, however, given that I have seen edits that should have been caught by that service, I speculate that the majority of it is actually caught by our edit filter. In fact, the developer team of ConfirmEdit (the extension used to add the CAPTCHA to MediaWiki sites) puts it's effectiveness on "Medium to Low"
  • Privacy concerns: Even if you are a logged-in user, at least one of your edits (or all 10+ if no-one gives you autopatrolled) will first go through the CAPTCHA, meaning that Google does know the IP address from which you edit as a logged-in user.
  • Accessibility issues: MediaWiki by default is pretty accessible, as it doesn't require JavaScript at all, in fact I don't even have JavaScript turned on in this website and there's only a minimal loss of functions, for example I can't vote in WIGO threads or use gadgets, but I can use all other functionality. In order to solve the CAPTCHA, you need JavaScript, which is not usable in text browsers like Lynx, or in browsers where the user has disabled JavaScript for privacy reasons.

I propose the following as replacements:

  • Just nuke it and not have a CAPTCHA. In this case, RW would rely on the edit filter and sysops to fight spam, which, as stated before, is what I think is the case right now.
  • Use QuestyCaptcha. This extension uses instead a list of predefined questions. If we decide to get rid of reCAPTCHA and go this route, I propose that these questions should be decided the following way:
    • Have all techs meet every year and, through a private channel, like email or whatever (as otherwise spammers can just compile these questions in their spam software), decide if it is suspected that the current list of questions got compiled by spammers and, should it be suspected to be the case, compile a new list of questions, which an administrator would then have to add to the wiki. Quite elaborate, I honestly think we should just nuke the CAPTCHA and not bother, however I would be open to do this as well.

While this is the Foundation's noticeboard, I invite anyone who cares about this issue to comment. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 16:23, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

The reason for the low rating for reCAPTCHA is that most spambots can complete it "mainly due to its accessible captcha alternative". Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 21:19, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
I'd also like to note that our current use of reCAPTCHA is most likely a GDPR violation which probably should get addressed. -- Techpriest (talk) 21:33, 20 September 2022 (UTC)
That's reasonable then. Perhaps you could briefly explain how it might violate the GDPR? Bongolian (talk) 22:31, 20 September 2022 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜ I think the recent spambot attack really puts in evidence just how effective the CAPTCHA really is. It may not stop very obvious bots, but it sure as hell takes me forever to complete manually every time I come across the fucking thing. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 14:48, 22 October 2022 (UTC)

You guys doing okay?[edit]

@Cosmikdebris, Spud, DuceMoosolini, Shabidoo, GeeJayK, and Tmtoulouse

Well Rats, how's it goin'? Haven't checked the website in a while (that's a f@cking lie, been lurking every now and again). It's nice to see this place is still here. There have been some things on my mind. Hope you guys don't mind it if I just throw them out there.

1. I see that no 990-N Tax return forms have been posted in a while... Does the Foundation have a different tax status now or did someone just forget to post the pdfs? (Y'all can't use the "Goat ate my homework excuse", cause I know from experience that PDFs can't be eaten!)

2. Do you guys remember how over the years a lot of you said that you are in favour of greater transparency and would have no objections to posting minutes of meetings (to prove you still exist, if nothing else)? Is that, uhm... like, in the process of happening? Sometime? Maybe? Kinda?

3. We ever get around to officially changing the foundations name? I see the website says RMF, so is it no longer technically the RWF? If so, we can probably fix this little piece of trivia.

4. Do Fundraisers still happen? I remember Tmtoulouse would occasionally update the site notice but I see he hasn't done that in a while... is it done differently now? Is everything okay on the money front?

See, what I'm trying to ask, in a really roundabout sort of way is... are you all confident this website will continue to exist? Not like into next week, or next month but like, next year, or 5 years from now? Cause I would kinda like to edit this place... and I just can't tell if it would be futile or not. Like fixing the engine of a car that's destined for the scrapheap.

I just can't f@cking tell if one day, in the near future, I will type the URL into my search bar and I'll get nothing in response.

But hey, I'm probably worrying over nothin'. "Bad money can never be lost" as they say in the old country. I've got a feeling that some of you f@ckers will be at this lark till the heat death of the universe.

Anyway, thanks for readin'.

Peace. - Rairyu75 (Talk) 00:56, 6 November 2022 (UTC)

The reason nobody's posted minutes in a long time is because we haven't held a meeting in quite a while due to a lot of Board members being busy with IRL stuff. I have a few things I plan to raise on the Foundation discord like posting tax returns and maybe shifting to a more text-centric style of handling meetings, but we're still around and Toulouse still does the maintenance stuff we need him to (he got the ball rolling on the Mediawiki update). This is just a period of lower activity, which frankly isn't that unusual for the Board. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosoliniโ€™s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 07:05, 7 November 2022 (UTC)
He's right, you know. Spud (talk) 07:50, 7 November 2022 (UTC)

Mastodon account?[edit]

I notice that we have a Social-media Twitter link, so I was hoping that we could add a RationalWiki Mastodon link? At the very least, could the person who created the Twitter account grab the RationalWiki Mastodon account (for future use)? Edger Halogen (talk) 05:45, 3 December 2022 (UTC)

There's no one "RationalWiki Mastodon account" due to how the fediverse works. We could register rationalwiki at a fedi instance, but a troll could easily register the same handle at another instance. I would not consider it an immediate priority to set up a Mastodon account. Paging @David Gerard for his input on the matter (as both the operator of our current Twitter and someone who has been using the fediverse besides me ever since the muskrat bought Twitter). -- Techpriest (talk) 21:58, 3 December 2022 (UTC)
The recommended way for official organisational accounts is for orgs and co's to set up an instance themselves. I must note I'm absolutely not doing this myself - David Gerard (talk) 22:35, 3 December 2022 (UTC)
For any other sysadmin who thinks they want to give that idea a try: It isn't that hard, I once installed it on a VM for shits and giggles, it just takes some time and some solid copypaste skillz. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 23:58, 3 December 2022 (UTC)
Okay, but couldn't we register one fedi instance account and then make it a "Verified" account by linking it back to the main RationalWiki page (by adding the <a rel="me" href="โ€ฆ">Mastodon</a> syntax to the RationalWiki main page)? We might not be able to stop a troll, but we could allow interested people the ability to find the official RationalWiki Mastodon account.Edger Halogen (talk) 22:56, 3 December 2022 (UTC)
Yes. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 23:58, 3 December 2022 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜I have created a Fediverse Mastodon account (@RationalWiki@universeodon.com). I'll probably mainly be posting synopses about RW's gold and silver articles. It can be made verified unless there's any objection from the board members. Bongolian (talk) 00:07, 16 January 2023 (UTC)

Thank you.Edger Halogen (talk) 18:59, 16 January 2023 (UTC)