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Primary sources tag[edit]

I had to wait until I got home to type this up, but I'm not understanding why the primary sources tag is being removed. The issue the tag highlights has been tagged since 2010, true. However, that issue doesn't go away just because the article has been sub-par for a given amount of time, the issue is still there, and editors and readers alike need to be informed that this article has this issue. Yes, it says "Please add citations from reliable and independent sources." however Wikipedia readers are Wikipedia editors, and if a reader is aware of this problem and has sources that they can provide, then that serves the dual purpose of introducing a reader to editing Wikipedia and potentially becoming a useful contributor, and also improves the article, and that's a win-win. But the article is still in the state that warrants the template, I'm not aware of any policy, guideline, or even so much as a local consensus that says that a template can only be on a page so long before it is for some reason made invalid. - SudoGhost 00:24, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Agree with SudoGhost. Tags are also a warning to WP's readers, that the article is not meeting encyclopedic standards. For this article, there are lot's of secondary sources that could be sifted through and used. Lentower (talk) 01:02, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Lets look through the primary sources which are used. Its not like its hard to find secondary sources on most of this stuff, but is it necessary? There are clear exceptions when a secondary source is not needed. Please answer the questions below. In summery (written after looking through each source and it use), it look like the PRIMARY tag is missing the actually issue of the article, which the tag "more sources needed" would be more precise. The sources directly attributed to the GNU Project or Richard Stallman are almost all straightforward, descriptive statements of facts, and most would be unlikely challenged (thus allowed per WP:V and WP:PRIMARY). Its the text between those claims, the ones with interpretations made in the wiki-voice that should require secondary sources. At any rate, here are the disputed sources and questions about them.
  1. (Ref1) Is the pronunciation. Is this claim challenged or likely to be challenged? If so, is it not an "straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the source but without further, specialized knowledge.(WP:PRIMARY)"? we could always add a source like this one, but is it necessary?
  2. (Ref2) A claim that the gnu project is an: Unix-like computer operating system, under development by the GNU Project, with the expressed goal of being an "complete Unix-compatible software system". What claim in that list is challenged or likely to be challenged? If there is such claim, is that part not an straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the source but without further, specialized knowledge? Please specify. Dictionary and computer word description list could easy to use source, including the above kwsnet link, but it looks to be unnecessary.
  3. (Ref6) That claim that: GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix!", chosen because GNU's design is Unix-like, and differs from Unix by being free software and not being a derived (in a copyright sense) work from the Unix code. Which part is challenged or likely to be challenged, and would not fall under the straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the source but without further, specialized knowledge? Again please specify so a secondary source for any such part can be identified and added. In my eyes, only the last part is even slightly near to be required a secondary source.
  4. (Ref7) is an in-line attributed claim as by WP:PRIMARY. Citing a living person, secondary sources is commonly not needed or wanted. Interpretation of what he said would require secondary sources however.
  5. (Ref8) Unclear if a secondary source is needed. Should the statement that someone made a press release (but with no added interpretation) be needing a source. Would suggest checking with WP:RSN if this source is disputed as bad.
  6. (Ref9) A claim about the intent of Richard Stallman on why he picked the name GNU. Might be better to be inline-referensed. Would that solve the issue?
  7. (Ref10) As above, this is a claim about the intent of Richard Stallman on why he designed it unix-like (an portable system for the unix environment). Inlined-referenses might be an improvement, if somewhat cumbersome and verbose.
  8. (Ref11-12) A direct claim about what the GNU Project recommends. Is it an claim that is challenged or likely to be challenged?
  9. (ref13) Exactly as above.
  10. (Ref14) as this is written in the wikipedia voice on the matter on who can enforce the GPL license, it should have a better source. This source should be fixed (will look for one in the near days).
  11. (Ref18-19) Attribution claim on who made the logo. Do not look like an claim that would be challenged or likely to be challenged.
Belorn (talk) 03:37, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
The issue is not a lack of sources, the content is sourced. The issue is a lack of third-party sources, hence the tag. Articles can use primary sources but should not be based on them, and this article is, hence the issue of primary sources. Primary sources can be used (with care) in articles, but the article shouldn't be based on such sources. - SudoGhost 04:00, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
"The issue the tag highlights has been tagged since 2010, true. However, that issue doesn't go away just because the article has been sub-par for a given amount of time"
…and clearly it also doesn’t go away with a giant template atop the article, either. What then is the point of the template? Oh right it hasn’t one. :p ¦ Reisio (talk) 05:27, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Please re-read the discussion, your question was already answered by myself and Lentower. The purpose is to both inform the reader of the issue with the article, and to encourage secondary-sources to be placed in the article. - SudoGhost 06:03, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
I didn't have any (non-rhetorical) questions. Please re-read the discussion and you'll notice. ¦ Reisio (talk) 22:09, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Randomly sprinkling sources for claims that are not likely to be challenged will not solve anything. Please specify *where* third-party sources is needed. There are no policy that says that x% of sources can not be sources affiliated with the subject. Like I said above, finding third-party sources is not hard for most current used primary sources, but most of the cases, a third-party source is neither needed nor required.
A tag without specificness is useless. Belorn (talk) 11:57, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Secondary WP:RS/WP:V sources are preferred to primary sources. Tertiary WP:RS/WP:V sources are preferred to secondary sources.
The words above supporting the use of primary sources in this article are clearly against the policies and guidelines. They are the kind of argument, we often hear from those who do not put the readers and Wikipedia first, before their other goals (I do not know if the this is true of the editors here, making the arguments, but they clearly have not understood the policies and guidelines.)
If you want to remove the primary sources tag, do the work to upgrade the sources. Lentower (talk) 15:24, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
I could sprinkle 10-20 sources to general non-challanged claims in the article, but that would not improve it. Please read the whole WP:OR. To claim that Secondary sources are always preferred over primary sources is not supported by the Wikipedia policy Verifiable or No original research. To cite the OR policy:
Deciding whether primary, secondary or tertiary sources are appropriate on any given occasion is a matter of good editorial judgment and common sense, and should be discussed on article talk pages. Wikipedia:PRIMARY
Common sense do matter. To fix a problem, you need to identify where the problem is. You do need to specify which sources could be improved by citing a secondary source. specificness IS requested. Why is specificness so hard to get here? Belorn (talk) 19:19, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
update. Added a ton of secondary sources, while doing my best to avoid adding them to non-challanged claims. The majority of sources are now no longer primary sources. Everyone happy? If not, then specify what part, that is the exact part, you are unhappy with. Belorn (talk) 20:16, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

I added {{tl:Primary sources|date=July 2010}} back. The new citations do not meet WP:RS. There is no reason this tag needs to be hastily removed. Encyclopedic editing and citing is, almost never, a few web searches away. Takes time, care, and effort.

The policies/guidelines you cited do not address the points I raised above. You need to read more of the policies/guidelines. If no one else beats me to it, I'll dig them out for you when I have more time. Lentower (talk) 21:46, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

I do not know what issues you have, because you have not said them. The only raised issue by you above in this talk is that "The article is not meeting encyclopedic standards." Beyond WP:IDONTLIKEIT, do you have any specific issues which then I could try to resolve? Belorn (talk) 21:57, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, you really have not been specific, Lentower. I'm afraid merely claiming some assertion is covered by an unspecified policy or guideline is not enough. ¦ Reisio (talk) 22:18, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Adding three sources does not resolve the issue. The article is based primarily on primary sources. Add three sources, and the article is still based primarily on primary sources. It doesn't matter if these sources are RS if the article is still based on primary sources. - SudoGhost 22:28, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
While Lentower still needs to respond himself to justify his own actions, I'll go ahead and ask you, SudoGhost: what then would you like done? Have all copy that is not attributable to a non-primary source removed? Where exactly is the line, in your opinion, where the article becomes based on non-primary sources? ¦ Reisio (talk) 22:31, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
When even glancing at the article shows over half the references are GNU/FSF, there's no way the article is not currently based on primary sources. There is no bright line for when an article is no longer based on such sources, but this article isn't anywhere near that line. - SudoGhost 22:35, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
SudoGhost, if there is no line, then what you're asking for cannot ever be satisfied, and by extension it doesn't matter if we have a template asking for that satisfaction. ¦ Reisio (talk) 22:43, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm guessing you don't know what "bright line" means. If you believe there is no point in having the template, you're welcome to discuss it here. Until you can get a consensus that the template has no place on Wikipedia, however, it's still relevant. - SudoGhost 22:50, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Consensus means general agreement. At present we have roughly equal amounts of people on both sides of this, which is not a consensus. ¦ Reisio (talk) 00:05, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
That's kind of my point. You boldly reverted the content, and it was reverted. There is no consensus that the article is improved. Until a consensus determines this, the WP:STATUSQUO remains in effect, and the template, which has been there since 2010, remains in place. - SudoGhost 00:09, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
I see, so in your mind the status quo starts after the template was added, and somehow before the template was added there was no status quo? :p ¦ Reisio (talk) 00:17, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
No, "in my mind" the status quo is there because there was a previous consensus on this. consensus can change, but until it does the previous consensus is the status quo, especially since the template had been there since 2010. - SudoGhost 00:28, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Well your mind needs another look then, because that is a discussion between a mere two users, with opposing views (from which a consensus cannot be achieved). ¦ Reisio (talk) 00:49, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
It's very odd that you think there was no status quo for a template that has been there since 2010. I understand that you don't like it, but there was a previous status quo before you decided to edit war to remove any mention of the template (and without any policy or guideline based reason). As such, per your own reasoning about consensus, there needs to be a consensus to change it. - SudoGhost 00:55, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
There's always a status quo, including before templates are added to articles without consensus. ¦ Reisio (talk) 02:51, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
I would like to ask you to do a recount. The total number of gnu/fsf/stallman sources is 10 of an total 30 sources (not counting reuse of sources for multiple statements, in which the total number of sources goes to somewhere around 35 and gnu/fsf/stallman sources goes to 11). My first post after the added sources specifically said "The majority of sources are now no longer primary sources". Belorn (talk) 22:39, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm counting twelve different sources, but having a third of the article based only on what the primary source says makes it very difficult for the article to appropriate adhere to WP:NPOV. If you leave the lede out of it (leaving the actual body of the article) 9 out of the 12 references are primary sources. The lede is supposed to reflect the body of the article, and if the body of the article is only from the point of view of the primary source, that's an issue. - SudoGhost 22:50, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
If we disregard the lead, about 40% of the article (the History section) is cited by the total number of 3 sources. The current template of need sources is spot on there. In regards to the next section called Copyright, licenses, and stewardship (30%), Only the first paragraph and last sentence has a source. Section GNU software (10%) only has the two last sentences sourced, but there are a few citation needed already in the section. GNU variants section (10%) is without any source. The last section, GNU logo (5%), has only one sourced statement and that is on who the author is. Given the trivia importance of the logo section, secondary sources is unlikely to exist.
Some of those sections could be improved by taking sources from lead to appropriate places in the body, but most would require a bit more research. The history section could probably be helped by looking at books about open source and free software, as those are likely to include statements and facts about the history of GNU. The wikipedia article on History of free and open-source software might also have a few insights and sources. We might also want to add a Main article or See also tag, or move this section there. Since its late, I will not do all this work now, but it would be helpful if other people here would chip in (like say the very active posters here in this discussion). No pressure through :).Belorn (talk) 00:05, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

New sources does not follow RS?[edit]

The new sources was rejected as not following WP:RS, including this university publication and this world published book. What, exactly, is the issue? Do I really need to bring this to RSN to have a third-party state that yes, world published books and university publications are indeed reliable sources. It follows as so obvious that I dont know what else to say. Belorn (talk) 21:57, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Let me save you some time on that. You may still take this to RS/N, but as an editor that volunteers there as well I can tell you that the Indiana University source "What is the GNU project?" is not RS. It has no author information and the article itself is not clear if it is the originating source. Generally, university web links will be from the author itself. This does not appear to be the case here. The second link is sketchy in that there can be only one source and the link itself does not appear to be the source itself but the book entitled "Learning Debian GNU/Linux" By Bill McCarty. It is best not to use a web link as the source but merely the conveniance link, but should still be formatted as a book reference using the ISBN number etc..--Amadscientist (talk) 06:42, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
The book link should be reformatted to a correct book citation. The weblink to the book was just the quickest/easiest way to digest the content. As for the Indiana University source, I did not know a source had to have a distinct author to qualify as RS. An clearly identified author helps when determining the quality of the source, but nowhere in the IRS guideline or the V policy do I find a requirement for it. The Indiana University source looks to me to be a internal controlled wiki, originating from credentialed members of the sites' editorial staff (which is explicit allowed under the WP:SPS policy). In that context, and to my understanding, what matters is if the Indiana University has editorial control. Since the evidence looks to support that Indiana University do indeed have editorial control over the page "What is the GNU project?", it looks to me as qualified reliable source. Could you provide example from the policy on an requirement for identified authorship, or a reason why in this case WP:SPS explicit exception in regards to closed wiki pages do not qualify in this case? Belorn (talk) 08:46, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

I have no idea what you are talking about with the closed wiki reference and "looks to me to be" is not enough to demonstrate it as a qualified RS. Specifically WP:SPS is speaking about limitations...not allowance. What it says is:

"Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications.[4] Take care when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else will probably have done so.[6] Never use self-published sources as third-party sources about living people, even if the author is an expert, well-known professional researcher, or writer."

This is speaking about a limit when using an author's self published work. Not a university that is hosting a web page with no authorship. Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources makes it very clear that there are three criteria for RS with just the source and authorship is indeed one:

Information icon.svg Definition of source

The word "source" as used on Wikipedia has three related meanings:

Any of the three can affect reliability. Reliable sources may be published materials with a reliable publication process, authors who are regarded as authoritative in relation to the subject, or both. These qualifications should be demonstrable to other people.

A writer or journalist is an author.--Amadscientist (talk) 09:17, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Can effect yes, but is it an required part of any RS? Its a interesting interpretation of the policy, so I will inquiry at the policy talk page. I do not interpret it as an requirement, but rather an contributing factor when identifying an reliable source, but I am open to change in my interpretation. Thanks for providing an slightly interesting question in how to interpret the guidelines.
As for WP:SPS (in the IRS guideline):

Information icon.svg Definition of source

Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason self-published media—whether books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, personal pages on social networking sites, Internet forum postings, or tweets—are largely not acceptable. This includes any website whose content is largely user-generated, including the Internet Movie Database (IMDB),,, collaboratively created websites such as wikis, and so forth, with the exception of material on such sites that is labeled as originating from credentialed members of the sites' editorial staff, rather than users.

As from WP:IRS but with added emphases. The concept of open vs close wiki's are also discussed at more length at WP:External links. My own interpretation of the policies is that Wikipedia puts the focus on identifying editorial control, in which the Indiana University has over this page. I look forward to see if this is interpretation is correct as I have used the same logic at other articles. Belorn (talk) 10:10, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah...I know what a closed wiki is, how does that relate here? By the way, such wikis are not RS in most, if not all cases, as they are still user generated and do not have editorial control. An expert may still say whatever they want in them.......and I have actually seen this happen. By the do realise that external links do not go in the body of the article? You have not even demostrated that it is such, just that you think it is. Also, what that link says is this "Links normally to be avoided - Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors." And as I said, you have not even demonstrated that it is an open wiki, let alone one that can even be used in an external link. With all due respect sir/ma'am, I personally am not concerned with editor's own interpretation of the policies. I have attempted to help. I will not argue with what you percieve. You need to demonstrate your points at the DR/N you opened. Thank you and happy editing.--Amadscientist (talk) 10:28, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
The page is part of an structure most similar to an closed wiki: its an knowledge base for the University, based on a content management structure like an wiki. Users can not do changes, but only suggest changes by an form to the editorial staff. In all sense, this is an website with user-generated content, but which content is originating from credentialed members of the sites' editorial staff and not users. Like you say, their staff may still say whatever they want, but they are under editorial control of the university. If you want me to demonstrate that the site is indeed an closed user-generated content website which only credentialed members of the sites' editorial staff can change, I would not know how, so please explain how one would be able to do so. At any rate, if people feel strongly that this is an bad source we can avoid it. Its not like there aren't books with the same content easy found, and it would avoid the issue of this source. As a side note, the question made to the IRS talk page about the interpertation of the policy did yield a very good answer, and in thus may improve my future editing in regards to closed wiki's with no identifiable author. Belorn (talk) 13:16, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

The Indiana University source is now removed. If anyone is interested to retain it, we can create take an RS/N request. Belorn (talk) 14:28, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Hello, from a DR/N volunteer[edit]

This is a friendly reminder to involved parties that there is a current Dispute Resolution Noticeboard case still awaiting comments and replies. If this dispute has been resolved to the satisfaction of the filing editor and all involved parties, please take a moment to add a note about this at the discussion so that a volunteer may close the case as "Resolved". If the dispute is still ongoing, please add your input. Amadscientist (talk) 04:01, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

New sources[edit]

Since I am adding new sources quite rapidly, it would be great if someone could go through and remove less than optimal sources where there are now too many of them. I still have a few areas left to collect sources from, but it already is starting to look crowded in the lead. My current focus is to try finding suitable sources for the body, but as I go through books/sites/news, some might still end up being added to the lead. Belorn (talk) 14:17, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

I'll do a cleanup, but I would like to see the whole picture first. So go on adding sources. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 14:25, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. It will take me a few more days, but I will get there. Belorn (talk) 14:30, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Lets call this an early first version. If there are areas needing more sources, just drop an template. When reading, please read the sources carefully. Sometimes multiple sources exist because each one are support only partial part of the claim, but together they support the whole claim. There is also the goal to improve the article text to better reflect the collective story from the sources, so do so when you can. Most importantly, lets try keep good Etiquette and work towards agreement if there are areas which are lacking in quality or truth. Belorn (talk) 11:54, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Good show, Belorn. ¦ Reisio (talk) 02:38, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Misuse of {{rp}}[edit]

The {{rp}} template appears to be being misused to place external links in superscripts. This is not it's intended usage, and prevents the actual title, publisher, etc. of the documents from being displayed or seen in the referernces section. These should be converted to proper citations in footnotes. Yworo (talk) 17:29, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

A unix like operating system or many?[edit]

Is GNU one operating system, because whenver I see a Unix-like OS it's always a Linux distribution like Debian or Ubuntu, never "GNU on its own" (whatever that is) The point of GNU is it's free and you can modify it, "make your own OS" so is it really correct to say that its one operatin system and not many? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:16, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

GNU is not an operating system, it is an organization and set of tools. The Hurd kernel components are GNU's operating system, and this article should be rewritten from scratch to counteract the GNU POV that's seeped in. (talk) 23:38, 28 January 2014 (UTC)