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Facto Post – Issue 20 – 31 January 2019Edit

Facto Post – Issue 20 – 31 January 2019
 

The Editor is Charles Matthews, for ContentMine. Please leave feedback for him, on his User talk page.
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Everything flows (and certainly data does)

Recently Jimmy Wales has made the point that computer home assistants take much of their data from Wikipedia, one way or another. So as well as getting Spotify to play Frosty the Snowman for you, they may be able to answer the question "is the Pope Catholic?" Possibly by asking for disambiguation (Coptic?).

Amazon Echo device using the Amazon Alexa service in voice search showdown with the Google rival on an Android phone

Headlines about data breaches are now familiar, but the unannounced circulation of information raises other issues. One of those is Gresham's law stated as "bad data drives out good". Wikipedia and now Wikidata have been criticised on related grounds: what if their content, unattributed, is taken to have a higher standing than Wikimedians themselves would grant it? See Wikiquote on a misattribution to Bismarck for the usual quip about "law and sausages", and why one shouldn't watch them in the making.

Wikipedia has now turned 18, so should act like as adult, as well as being treated like one. The Web itself turns 30 some time between March and November this year, per Tim Berners-Lee. If the Knowledge Graph by Google exemplifies Heraclitean Web technology gaining authority, contra GIGO, Wikimedians still have a role in its critique. But not just with the teenage skill of detecting phoniness.

There is more to beating Gresham than exposing the factoid and urban myth, where WP:V does do a great job. Placeholders must be detected, and working with Wikidata is a good way to understand how having one statement as data can blind us to replacing it by a more accurate one. An example that is important to open access is that, firstly, the term itself needs considerable unpacking, because just being able to read material online is a poor relation of "open"; and secondly, trying to get Creative Commons license information into Wikidata shows up issues with classes of license (such as CC-BY) standing for the actual license in major repositories. Detailed investigation shows that "everything flows" exacerbates the issue. But Wikidata can solve it.

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MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 10:53, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for February 6Edit

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Facto Post – Issue 21 – 28 February 2019Edit

Facto Post – Issue 21 – 28 February 2019
 

The Editor is Charles Matthews, for ContentMine. Please leave feedback for him, on his User talk page.
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What is a systematic review?

Systematic reviews are basic building blocks of evidence-based medicine, surveys of existing literature devoted typically to a definite question that aim to bring out scientific conclusions. They are principled in a way Wikipedians can appreciate, taking a critical view of their sources.

 
PRISMA flow diagram for a systematic review

Ben Goldacre in 2014 wrote (link below) "[...] : the "information architecture" of evidence based medicine (if you can tolerate such a phrase) is a chaotic, ad hoc, poorly connected ecosystem of legacy projects. In some respects the whole show is still run on paper, like it's the 19th century." Is there a Wikidatan in the house? Wouldn't some machine-readable content that is structured data help?

 
2011 photograph by Bernard Schittny of the "Legacy Projects" group

Most likely it would, but the arcana of systematic reviews and how they add value would still need formal handling. The PRISMA standard dates from 2009, with an update started in 2018. The concerns there include the corpus of papers used: how selected and filtered? Now that Wikidata has a 20.9 million item bibliography, one can at least pose questions. Each systematic review is a tagging opportunity for a bibliography. Could that tagging be reproduced by a query, in principle? Can it even be second-guessed by a query (i.e. simulated by a protocol which translates into SPARQL)? Homing in on the arcana, do the inclusion and filtering criteria translate into metadata? At some level they must, but are these metadata explicitly expressed in the articles themselves? The answer to that is surely "no" at this point, but can TDM find them? Again "no", right now. Automatic identification doesn't just happen.

Actually these questions lack originality. It should be noted though that WP:MEDRS, the reliable sources guideline used here for health information, hinges on the assumption that the usefully systematic reviews of biomedical literature can be recognised. Its nutshell summary, normally the part of a guideline with the highest density of common sense, allows literature reviews in general validity, but WP:MEDASSESS qualifies that indication heavily. Process wonkery about systematic reviews definitely has merit.

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Nomination for deletion of Template:Ælfgifu theoriesEdit

 Template:Ælfgifu theories has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. Zackmann (Talk to me/What I been doing) 00:07, 5 March 2019 (UTC)

Are you also user Jheald on Toolforge/Cloud VPS/Wikitech?Edit

https://tools.wmflabs.org/trusty-tools/u/jheald lists tools which need to be manually migrated from the legacy Ubuntu Trusty job grid to the new Debian Stretch job grid. I am not certain if this Wikimedia developer account belongs to you or not, but I thought I would reach out to check. If it is your account, emails notifying you of the Trusty deprecation have been bouncing, so updating the email address associated with your Developer account would also be appreciated. --BDavis (WMF) (talk) 21:53, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

@BDavis (WMF): Thanks. I have stopped the jobs on trusty & updated the email address. Hope I can get them started again! Thanks once more, Jheald (talk) 22:33, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Facto Post – Issue 22 – 28 March 2019Edit

Facto Post – Issue 22 – 28 March 2019
 

The Editor is Charles Matthews, for ContentMine. Please leave feedback for him, on his User talk page.
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When in the cloud, do as the APIs do

Half a century ago, it was the era of the mainframe computer, with its air-conditioned room, twitching tape-drives, and appearance in the title of a spy novel Billion-Dollar Brain then made into a Hollywood film. Now we have the cloud, with server farms and the client–server model as quotidian: this text is being typed on a Chromebook.

 
Logo of Cloud API on Google Cloud Platform

The term Applications Programming Interface or API is 50 years old, and refers to a type of software library as well as the interface to its use. While a compiler is what you need to get high-level code executed by a mainframe, an API out in the cloud somewhere offers a chance to perform operations on a remote server. For example, the multifarious bots active on Wikipedia have owners who exploit the MediaWiki API.

APIs (called RESTful) that allow for the GET HTTP request are fundamental for what could colloquially be called "moving data around the Web"; from which Wikidata benefits 24/7. So the fact that the Wikidata SPARQL endpoint at query.wikidata.org has a RESTful API means that, in lay terms, Wikidata content can be GOT from it. The programming involved, besides the SPARQL language, could be in Python, younger by a few months than the Web.

Magic words, such as occur in fantasy stories, are wishful (rather than RESTful) solutions to gaining access. You may need to be a linguist to enter Ali Baba's cave or the western door of Moria (French in the case of "Open Sesame", in fact, and Sindarin being the respective languages). Talking to an API requires a bigger toolkit, which first means you have to recognise the tools in terms of what they can do. On the way to the wikt:impactful or polymathic modern handling of facts, one must perhaps take only tactful notice of tech's endemic problem with documentation, and absorb the insightful point that the code in APIs does articulate the customary procedures now in place on the cloud for getting information. As Owl explained to Winnie-the-Pooh, it tells you The Thing to Do.

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MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 11:45, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

Philosophy of thermal and statistical physics is up for deletion nowEdit

An article you created, Philosophy of thermal and statistical physics, has been nominated for deletion. Dream Focus 14:38, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

Facto Post – Issue 23 – 30 April 2019Edit

Facto Post – Issue 23 – 30 April 2019
 

The Editor is Charles Matthews, for ContentMine. Please leave feedback for him, on his User talk page.
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Completely clouded?
 
Cloud computing logo

Talk of cloud computing draws a veil over hardware, but also, less obviously but more importantly, obscures such intellectual distinction as matters most in its use. Wikidata begins to allow tasks to be undertaken that were out of easy reach. The facility should not be taken as the real point.

Coming in from another angle, the "executive decision" is more glamorous; but the "administrative decision" should be admired for its command of facts. Think of the attitudes ad fontes, so prevalent here on Wikipedia as "can you give me a source for that?", and being prepared to deal with complicated analyses into specified subcases. Impatience expressed as a disdain for such pedantry is quite understandable, but neither dirty data nor false dichotomies are at all good to have around.

Issue 13 and Issue 21, respectively on WP:MEDRS and systematic reviews, talk about biomedical literature and computing tasks that would be of higher quality if they could be made more "administrative". For example, it is desirable that the decisions involved be consistent, explicable, and reproducible by non-experts from specified inputs.

What gets clouded out is not impossibly hard to understand. You do need to put together the insights of functional programming, which is a doctrinaire and purist but clearcut approach, with the practicality of office software. Loopless computation can be conceived of as a seamless forward march of spreadsheet columns, each determined by the content of previous ones. Very well: to do a backward audit, when now we are talking about Wikidata, we rely on integrity of data and its scrupulous sourcing: and clearcut case analyses. The MEDRS example forces attention on purge attempts such as Beall's list.

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This Month in GLAM: April 2019Edit





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Facto Post – Issue 24 – 17 May 2019Edit

Facto Post – Issue 24 – 17 May 2019
 
Text mining display of noun phrases from the US Presidential Election 2012
 

The Editor is Charles Matthews, for ContentMine. Please leave feedback for him, on his User talk page.
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Semantic Web and TDM – a ContentMine view

Two dozen issues, and this may be the last, a valediction at least for a while.

It's time for a two-year summation of ContentMine projects involving TDM (text and data mining).

Wikidata and now Structured Data on Commons represent the overlap of Wikimedia with the Semantic Web. This common ground is helping to convert an engineering concept into a movement. TDM generally has little enough connection with the Semantic Web, being instead in the orbit of machine learning which is no respecter of the semantic. Don't break a taboo by asking bots "and what do you mean by that?"

The ScienceSource project innovates in TDM, by storing its text mining results in a Wikibase site. It strives for compliance of its fact mining, on drug treatments of diseases, with an automated form of the relevant Wikipedia referencing guideline MEDRS. Where WikiFactMine set up an API for reuse of its results, ScienceSource has a SPARQL query service, with look-and-feel exactly that of Wikidata's at query.wikidata.org. It also now has a custom front end, and its content can be federated, in other words used in data mashups: it is one of over 50 sites that can federate with Wikidata.

The human factor comes to bear through the front end, which combines a link to the HTML version of a paper, text mining results organised in drug and disease columns, and a SPARQL display of nearby drug and disease terms. Much software to develop and explain, so little time! Rather than telling the tale, Facto Post brings you ScienceSource links, starting from the how-to video, lower right.

ScienceSourceReview, introductory video: but you need run it from the original upload file on Commons
Links for participation

The review tool requires a log in on sciencesource.wmflabs.org, and an OAuth permission (bottom of a review page) to operate. It can be used in simple and more advanced workflows. Examples of queries for the latter are at d:Wikidata_talk:ScienceSource project/Queries#SS_disease_list and d:Wikidata_talk:ScienceSource_project/Queries#NDF-RT issue.

Please be aware that this is a research project in development, and may have outages for planned maintenance. That will apply for the next few days, at least. The ScienceSource wiki main page carries information on practical matters. Email is not enabled on the wiki: use site mail here to Charles Matthews in case of difficulty, or if you need support. Further explanatory videos will be put into commons:Category:ContentMine videos.


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MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 18:52, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

Discussion at WT:FOOTY#Bhutan national football teamEdit

  You are invited to join the discussion at WT:FOOTY#Bhutan national football team. -- Marchjuly (talk) 11:38, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

Hi Jheald. I've added a link to this FOOTY discussion as a courtesy because you were one of the participants in Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 66#Application of WP:NFC#UUI #17. -- Marchjuly (talk) 11:39, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

This Month in GLAM: May 2019Edit





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Placing bulleted "Art UK bio" templates before unbulleted onesEdit

In placing "Art UK bio" templates on articles, you are putting them at the top of the "External links" sections, even before unbulleted templates, which creates some distortion in formatting: a slightly greater distance between the first and second items in the rendered bulleted list than between those bulleted items grouped together, as well as pushing down the rendered unbulleted templates, which usually float to the right. This is more or less noticeable on the rendered page, depending on how many templates are involved. I have moved a couple of your templates down, at William Hogarth and Diego Velázquez. Could you place others that way yourself? Dhtwiki (talk) 23:41, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

@Dhtwiki: Let me think how to filter in AWB for pages where this is the case, then I'll go back and fix them, and be more careful going forward. Thanks for flagging this. Jheald (talk) 23:51, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
@Dhtwiki: Should now all be Done. Jheald (talk) 19:18, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for such prompt and complete attention. Dhtwiki (talk) 23:06, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
@Dhtwiki: See also Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Visual_arts#Art_UK_template_&_links for current discussion/decision on the usefulness (or not) of these links. Jheald (talk) 17:41, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:ReasonatorEdit

 Template:Reasonator has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. Sandstein 09:12, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

@Sandstein: The template is useful on tracking pages, and heavily used on at least one set of pages. It is already disallowed from use in main space, by RfC. I'd appreciate you withdrawing the nomination. Jheald (talk) 11:50, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

This Month in GLAM: June 2019Edit





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This Month in GLAM: July 2019Edit





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Integrating info into sacred prostitutionEdit

Hi, how are you? I wanted to talk to you about our activity in sacred prostitution. I have to admit that, as admirable as it was your load of information about the current article and its particular opinions, I become overwhelmed by its sheer quantity and my unfamiliarity with the topic every time I try to integrate it into the current article. For this reason, I was wondering if you, as the author of the info and someone whose meticulousness and familiarity with the topic I can attest, could lend me a hand at this. I had thought we could work from this revision, which is light enough to integrate all our academic info without the mess of the current article. We could also recruit John B123 if it is not enough. I'll wait for your answer and thank you in advance. Creador de Mundos (talk) 20:04, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

May I have a written answer, my friend? I don't want to be grating, but this is a project whose end I would like to see soon. Creador de Mundos (talk) 21:06, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
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