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On the bright side

What's making you happy this month?

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By Pine

Some time ago, a Wikipedia group on Facebook started to have weekly threads with the title "What's making you happy this week?". I copied the idea and started similar email threads on Wikimedia mailing lists, usually Wikimedia-l and Wikitech-l. (The Wikitech-l distribution ceased this month after a few complaints that the scope of the email threads is too broad for Wikitech-l.) Often I include a translation of the email title into a language that has some relationship to the week's email content. Other members of Wikimedia-l are highly encouraged to participate by sharing what makes them happy this week.

In the interest of encouraging broader participation, I am adapting content from the weekly emails into a monthly version for The Signpost.

There are many opportunities to discuss bad news, problems, and concerns in the Wikiverse, and I think that having candid discussions about these issues is often important. Many days I spend more time thinking about problems than about what is going well. However, also I think that acknowledging the good side and taking a moment to be appreciative can be valuable.

I encourage you to add your comments about what's making you happy this month to the talk page of this Signpost piece.

Week of 2 June 2019: Quid te beatum facit hac hebdomade?

As usual, I am grateful for the volunteer contributors to the most recent issue of The Signpost.

I was happy to see that Wikimedia Canada and Library and Archives Canada announced a collaboration.

Thanks to Brooke Storm (WMF Cloud Services) and Bryan Davis (WMF Technical Engagement), I found an amusing xkcd depiction of successful task automation and unsuccessful task automation.

Here are some recent stories that were published by WMF:

The Word of the Day for English Wiktionary on June 2nd was "rubicon". I was familiar with a fictional ship named Rubicon and I guessed that the name referred to a river, which it does, but I did not know that more than one river is named Rubicon, and I did not know about many other uses for the name. Thanks to Wiktionary, I learned that the word "rubicon" (with a lowercase "r") has its own meanings and an interesting etymology that refers to the the Italian river as a location of a notable event in history, and possibly also refers the red color of the river.

Week of 9 June 2019: ¿Qué te hace feliz esta semana?

Week of 16 June 2019: 今週あなたを幸せにするものは何ですか?

While browsing Japanese Wikipedia, I found this article with beautiful photos. Although I cannot read Japanese, my understanding from an automated translation is that the article describes the Tajima Highland Botanical Garden in Kami, Hyogo prefecture, Japan, and that there are over 2,000 types of plants in this garden.

The botanical garden article reminded me of an English Wikipedia featured article that I enjoyed reading, "Bonshō".

There is a series of photos of a high speed Japanese train that is under consideration for the Featured picture designation on English Wikipedia. By looking at the code for this nomination, I learned about the “frameless” parameter for images, which I think is new to me.

I am a low ranking novice in the subject of software development continuous integration, and I understand merely some of this email, but there appears to be good news regarding MediaWiki CI jobs.

The Shinkansen N700A Series Set G13 high speed train traveling at approximately 300 km/h through Himeji Station. This photo was captured with a line scan camera using strip photography.

Week of 23 June 2019: อะไรที่ทำให้คุณมีความสุขในสัปดาห์นี้

These "What's making you happy this week?" threads often mention a smorgasbord of subjects. The English Wiktionary Word of the day for June 22 was "smorgasbord". Wiktionary's definitions of that word are:

"1. A Swedish-style buffet comprising a variety of cold sandwiches and other dishes; (by extension) any buffet with a wide selection of dishes.

"2. (figuratively) An abundant and diverse collection of things."

On a related point, Commons has a smorgasbord of featured images of food and drink.

Also on Commons, I enjoy this recent Picture of the day. The caption for the image is, "Linden trees and the sky with clouds in Planina, Postojna, Slovenia". When I look at this photo, I imagine myself laying on the ground and looking up at the sky.

While this incident was not in the Wikiverse, as someone who has spent time in server rooms I can sympathize with the engineer who was sent to do a chore when almost everything that can go wrong, did go wrong. Perhaps other Wikimedians will appreciate the story too, especially those who support Wikimedia technical products or services.

I am grateful for some recent civil and collegial discussions among Wikipedia/Wikimedia administrators regarding certain problems that we are collectively interested in addressing, such as vandalism and spambots.

Also, I am grateful to people who do maintenance or administrative tasks with little expectation for rewards or thanks. My experience with these people is that frequently they have humble attitudes, are idealistic, and are interested in public service.

The Wikimania Steering Committee recently recommended that Wikimania 2020 take place in Bangkok, Thailand. This Wikimania will be supported by multiple Wikimedia affiliates in the East, Southeast Asia, and Pacific region.

Your turn

What's making you happy this month? You are welcome to write a comment on the talk page of this Signpost piece.

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  • @AnonMoos: thank you for the correction. I will make that change. --Pine (✉) 20:57, 3 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks... One place to ask for language translation help (within reason) is the language ref. desk. AnonMoos (talk) 12:10, 4 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]


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