News and notes

News and notes

New cities join in run for Wikimania 2007

Several new cities had bids entered for Wikimania 2007. Alexandria, Taipei, and Orlando joined the list of running cities. No official bids have been submitted, though unofficial bids are being discussed for the above cities, along with Hong Kong, Singapore, Geneva, Istanbul, Chicago, Las Vegas, and bids for the United Kingdom and Australia.

Official bids are due no later than September 10th. A jury panel composed of the Wikimedia Foundation executive board, the organization team for Wikimania 2006, and Andrew Lih will convene to compose a shortlist of cities on September 15th, after which finalists will answer jury questions and finalize their bid. The final vote is scheduled for September 24th. More information can be found on Meta's Wikimania page.

New sidebar proposal

A proposal to redesign Wikipedia's sidebar has attracted the attention of users and programmers. The change would place an additional box between the search box and the toolbox, containing Wikipedia help pages, and would rearrange other links. Details are being discussed, after which Rob Church has offered to write the MediaWiki code necessary to make the changes work. User input is requested on the proposed changes.

Amendment to changing usernames proposed

An amendment to the current changing username process was proposed this week. The current policy states that accounts "can only be renamed to [another] account that does not exist [already]", meaning that people could not switch account names into one that had already been registered, even if the account had few or no edits. However, despite this policy, the demand for such user-name change has been high, and bureaucrats have been known to occasionally allow such requests. The proposed policy would make this official provided an attempt to contact the account is unsuccessful and the account has few or little edits with no recent activity.


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