Talk:Main Page/Archive 149

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What about adding the 2010 Peru bus crash?

A death toll of 38 would certainly merit front page news were it to have been in Europe or the US.... A little less 1st world centrism would be appreciated. Carlossuarez46 (talk) 15:58, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

The story has been nominated, but the article is far too short for the moment. To be encyclopedic, the article needs to give some background information that the reader would not find in usual news sources: at the moment, the article only gives the exact same information that readers could find from internet news services. With the article in it's current state, the story will not be posted, as that would be pointless: why waste main page space say exactly the same things that people could find elsewhere. Physchim62 (talk) 16:13, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I understand why the Peruvian item isn't currently eligible, but out of curiosity about your explanation... the 2010 Madeira floods and mudslides article uses only online sources. It's quite informative, but wouldn't seem to pass the above criterium. What gives? Aylad ['ɑɪlæd] 16:27, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Good question! But the Madeira floods article uses many different sources: you couldn't find the same information in any one of those sources. We also have the possibility of quickly linking to the people or authorities involved, to explain (for example) what is the role of the Madeiran government and the what is the role of the national government. For me, those are the differences with the Peru bus crash, and that is my meaning when I say that, for Peru, we can only repeat what news sources are telling us. Physchim62 (talk) 16:41, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Awesome, thanks. :) Aylad ['ɑɪlæd] 16:48, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
"To be encyclopedic, the article needs to give some background information that the reader would not find in usual news sources..." Really? Then at least half of WP's articles are not encyclopedic and ought to be deleted per WP:NOT. <sigh> Carlossuarez46 (talk) 18:03, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
...until you put that quote in context and realize that A. it was referring to encyclopedic articles nominated for ITN and B. a scarcity of information within an article is grounds for immediate expansion, not immediate deletion. Cheers! Aylad ['ɑɪlæd] 18:45, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

I think that this page should have more daily articles on modern yet barely known items. --antapanta45did you knowl?I have 17 accounts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:47, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Why the news of Bal winning in Berlin International Film Festival??

There are many prestigious film festivals where a lot of good films win. Why the bias to this Turkish movie's win? Wikipedia does end up having weird items in its "In the News" section but this is the most bizarre one I have seen in a long time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Katochnr (talkcontribs) 20:04, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

It's not about the importance so much as the article itself, being up-to-date and informative. Also, this is the first time a Turkish film has won in since the 60s. And that's a long time. :)  f o x  (formerly garden) 20:07, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
It's only the "largest publicly-attended film festival" in the world... - Dumelow (talk) 01:16, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Please see WP:ITNR. almost all items in there have been thoroughly discussed already. This is an ITNR event -- Ashish-g55 03:15, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
It's not ewven big enough news in Turkey so... –Howard the Duck 05:14, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Why isn't 2010 European sovereign debt crisis in the news?

it's major news. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Maybe some people might think it's too Euro-centric!!! Denisarona (talk) 15:01, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, there's very little actual information in the article, that is why the particular article could not be featured at the moment. In general – and this partly explains the state of the article – very little has actually happened in this so-called "sovereign debt crisis". There is a proposal open for discussion at the moment on WP:ITN/C to feature today's general strike in Greece, if anyone wants to give their opinions. Physchim62 (talk) 15:16, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for finally limping into black history month

`nuff said...Paradise coyote (talk) 03:50, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

FYI, it's not worldwide Black history month, BTW. It's February in the US and Canada; in the UK it's held every October. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 13:09, 16 February 2010 (UTC).
Just look at it this way: in honor of black history, you get 3/5 of a month! (talk) 15:37, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
When's white history month or asian history month? (talk) 16:50, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
I declare March as Worldwide Freckle Month! If Wikipedia doesn't front-page some on topic freckle-centric content for all of March, I will be gravely disappointed. (talk) 17:28, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Ummm, POTD for February 1 was George Washington Carver, y'know. howcheng {chat} 17:43, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
The UK has a black history month? How damn ridiculous! I guess Europe really is finished... Anyway, I'm not american, I'm not even from the american continent nor from an english-speaking country, and I don't think the english wikipedia is too anglo-centric. But even if it were it would be normal, because the english-speaking wikipedia is logically aimed at people who's mother tongue is english and who's culture belongs to what we call the "native english-speaking world". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Munin75 (talkcontribs) 20:20, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
The latter assertation is questionable. English is a very common second or foreign language and lingua franca. That combined with the size of the English wikipedia means it's of great and natural interest even to people who don't speak English natively. Nor does any policy give preference to native speakers. Nil Einne (talk) 15:09, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

BTW, to answer an earlier question....May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month—a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.Rhodesisland (talk) 01:51, 17 February 2010 (UTC) (talk) 01:50, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, that half answers the question... ;) Kafziel Complaint Department 01:58, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Better than not answering the question at all, now we just need a white history month. (talk) 10:51, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
The other months that don't have _____ history month is White history month. –Howard the Duck 11:40, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Seems a bit unfair to have more white history months then any other (talk) 15:29, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Simplest solution - WP creates its own (region/sub-region) months - to cover topics within the field (historical/political, natural history, geography etc), so more fields can be catered for - and those not directly involved can discover 'things they did not know they wished to know.' Jackiespeel (talk) 15:58, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
An even simpler solution: We shouldn't be ignoring any part of history during any month. We have less material on African history and Black history outside of Africa for a number of reasons, many of which could be fixed by writing missing articles - but the fact that we do have less material on that topic means that we could only achieve topicality by excluding other material to make the material we have more prominent. That is not the correct answer. Gavia immer (talk) 16:14, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Black history month? When was the USA moved to the centre of the Wikipedia universe? For that matter, since when were contributions to Wikipedia obliged to be politically correct, (read: the African-American race deserves preferential treatment, over and above that given to all other races)? BlueRobe 08:13, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm sort of pink with some brown and a lot of hairy bits. My kids are much the same, especially if they wash. We are completely ignored by "historians". Can we have a pink with brown and hairy bits month in March? Michael of Lucan (talk) 22:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, dear, I am making light of a serious subject. To make a point. Instead of whingeing about lack of focus on black history, why not write a few more articles in Wikipedia which focus on the subject? Don't whinge about the dirty floor, if you don't have a broom in your hand. Michael of Lucan (talk) 23:05, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Talking of spelling (see Euro-centric, below), surely the correct spelling of whingeing (above) is WHINGING??Denisarona (talk) 18:15, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

No. Whinge has a soft G, so it produces WHINGEING not whinging. In the same way, singe produces singeing, not singing. You need the E to make reading easier, to remind the reader that the G is soft, and that words do not rhyme with "ringing". Michael of Lucan (talk) 10:47, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Thank you, Michael of Lucan. This is now another rule that they taught us flying out the window. Denisarona (talk) 17:58, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

I believe the correct spelling is "whinging". That said, I also believe that spelling isn't worth arguing about when the word is mere slang. BlueRobe 08:13, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Dictionaries state that both spellings are acceptable, so I stand corrected. My point was that adding the E makes reading easier, and that point still makes sense. BlueRobe - The word "whinge" is not slang. It has been part of English (but possibly not USAian) since at least the twelfth century. Michael of Lucan (talk) 11:32, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
There is room for discussion regarding the issue of when a colloquialism ceases to become "mere slang" and evolves into a formal element of the English language. A great deal of Shakespeare's "genius" stems from his poetic usage of the innuendo-filled slang of the day, (which is something that contemporary literary prudes seem desperately eager to forget). When did Shakespearean slang evolve into formally recognised English? While the word "whinge" is centuries old, its popular usage has been largely confined to Australia and New Zealand (I'm a New Zealander) in the the 20th century (earlier?). Few Americans will recognise the word "whinge". However, those in the United Kingdom have embraced the term in recent decades. The word "pom" is a very popular colloquialism within Australia and New Zealand and has been for many years, (it is a label for the English or British, and usually carries a mildly derogatory sense). When will the colloquialism of "pom" cease to be mere slang? I don't think the answer is as clear-cut as you seem to insist. BlueRobe 13:42, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

BlueRobe - The popular usage of WHINGE has NOT been confined to Australia and New Zealand. It's also widespread in Ireland. Denisarona (talk) 13:58, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I think you'll find us poms have been whingeing about spelling for hundreds of years. Anyway, back on topic, we feature content that we have, usually in no particular order, trying to give no extra weight to any kind of article. OrangeDog (τε) 23:29, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

German Wikipedia over 1 million articles

Shouldn't the bottom section now state that the German Wikipedia has over 1 million articles and not leave it in the "over 500,000" category? (France isn't far behind.) Ecphora (talk) 05:16, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

This has come up before - the reason was that there's not enough wikis to create a separate "over one million" category. hbdragon88 (talk) 06:38, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Seems to me it's a significant milestone that should not be lost in the crowd. I don't see why there needs to be a "group" within each category. Ecphora (talk) 15:01, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, the categories aren't just there to give kudos, they're supposed to be organizational. APL (talk) 17:50, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I mean to say, why are we wasting time on this unimportant issue, when the Irish language Vicípéid has finally reached the 10,000 article group? The importance of that speaks for itself ... obviously. Gaeilge abú! Michael of Lucan (talk) 20:46, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what APL means by "organizational", but the current situation is simply misleading; most people would assume that German Wikipedia has more than 500,000 but less than 1 million articles. Ecphora (talk) 12:12, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
To be frank, does anyone care? It's not to advertise their size, it's to show they exist.  f o x  (formerly garden) 13:00, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Where do you get the idea that the point of this table is just to show that other Wikis exist, but not their sizes? It plainly is to show both what exists and their relative sizes. A "who cares?" argument does not deserve a reply. Ecphora (talk) 13:16, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I suspect that any flippantness stems from the fact that you're attempting to rehash a discussion that has occurred many, many times (including last week). In every instance (dating back to discussions of adding a "more than 500,000 articles" tier when only the German Wikipedia qualified), consensus has been that we should not have a tier for one Wikipedia (or even three or four Wikipedias).
Yes, the Wikipedias are organized by size, and the German Wikipedia is grouped with the largest. Until the end of December (when the German Wikipedia reached 1,000,000 articles), the highest tier was "more than 250,000 articles." Only then (with eight Wikipedias exceeding 500,000 articles) did we arrive at consensus to include a "more than 500,000 articles" tier. —David Levy 14:04, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, David Levy, for a responsible reply which explains the situation. But I hardly think I was particularly "flippant"; I didn't start the "who cares" or "unimportant issue" silliness.Ecphora (talk) 14:17, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I was referring to the responses that you received (and your perception thereof), not to the messages that you posted. —David Levy 15:16, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm sure this is a perennial point, but isn't this list right down at the bottom of the page just redundant to the interwiki links at the side? I notice that a Wikipedia doesn't get an interwiki link unless it is on the list... More serious is the omission of several Wikipedias in the lowest grouping, such as Hindi and Telegu... Physchim62 (talk) 14:22, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

1. There has been a small amount of discussion regarding the section's possible removal, but no such consensus has been reached.
2. Quoth Template:Wikipedialang/doc, "this is not a complete list of Wikipedias containing 40,000 or more articles; Wikipedias below a depth of 5 and those manually determined to consist primarily of stubs and placeholders are omitted." —David Levy 15:16, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
From meta:List of Wikipedias, Hindi has a "depth" of 17 and Telugu a "depth" of six. A quick skin through %E0%B0%AA%E0%B1%8D%E0%B0%B0%E0%B0%A4%E0%B1%8D%E0%B0%AF%E0%B1%87%E0%B0%95:%E0%B0%AF%E0%B0%BE%E0%B0%A6%E0%B1%83%E0%B0%9A%E0%B1%8D%E0%B0%9A%E0%B0%BF%E0%B0%95%E0%B0%AA%E0%B1%87%E0%B0%9C%E0%B1%80 (Telugu "Random Page") hardly suggests that the Wikipedia is composed "primarily of stubs and placeholders". I too am tempted to say "who cares", but as inclusion in the template is necessary for a direct interwiki link, perhaps we should consider adding a couple of Indian languages to the mix when they seem to fulfill the criterai (clearly fulfill the criteria in the case of Hindi!). Physchim62 (talk) 15:35, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
The widespread use of multiple bots performing minor (and sometimes arguably bad) edits has rendered the "depth" criterion essentially irrelevant.
I just loaded 50 random articles (the de facto standard test established at Template talk:Wikipedialang) at the Telugu and Hindi Wikipedias. Coincidentally, this yielded 46 stubs/placeholders at both. At the Telugu Wikipedia, most consist of one line of text or no content apart from templates. At the Hindi Wikipedia, in addition to pages containing one line of text or no content apart from templates, many pages (mostly geographical articles such as this one) contain one line of text accompanied by templates and headings for empty sections. —David Levy 17:37, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Changes in Wikipedia languages

Russian (ru:) wikipedia is now "more than 500,000 articles" IlyaMart (talk) 14:44, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes. Put it in the proper category now, please77.51.152.176 (talk) 15:08, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Done. —David Levy 15:16, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Sachin first "male" player to score a double hudred in one-day

Why not just the first player to score a double hundred in limited overs? Has a female cricketer achieved this feat? -- (talk) 17:32, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, Belinda Clark of Australia in 1997. Physchim62 (talk) 17:38, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Reading Wikipedia like a book?

This is a question not just for the main page, but all the articles too: is it possible to configure the way you view a page so your screen shows up as if you were looking at two pages of a book? And would it then be possible to place notes as if they were at the end of each double page view you had? I mean like looking at a .pdf file, etc. Wikidea 02:23, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

On the left side column of every page, there is an option that says "Download as a PDF". Cheers! Scapler (talk) 04:25, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I can't see it (talk) 16:31, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
It's under "Print/export". --Yowuza yadderhouse | meh 17:11, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
The Print/export section and the "Download as a PDF" option do not show up in the regular, default layout of Wikipedia. You need to use the Beta version (and have an account) to activate the newer layout and see those features. -- tariqabjotu 21:44, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I see it, and I'm not on Beta. But yes, is does require being signed in to an account. Modest Genius talk 22:33, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Scapler, I don't think the download-as-pdf thing gives you the option of having footnotes, instead of endnotes. Do you know how to do that? Wikidea 14:03, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean adding footnotes to the PDF? A.nnotate and some of the more feature-complete PDF editors can do that. If you mean having the Wikipedia article references formatted as footnotes rather than listed at the end, I don't think that's possible due to the way the referencing system works. You could try asking at Help:Books/Feedback, or WP:T might have an idea of other ways to do this. Modest Genius talk 18:17, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I mean a way to have the notes displayed on each page as footnotes (rather than being collected as end notes at the end). Can't be that hard can it? Thanks very much for your suggestions. I've asked at the helpdesk too. I'm not sure if A.nnotate will help - surely we should be able to do it through Wiki? Wikidea 19:08, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Collaboration of the Day

I'm certain the subject has been brought up numerous times before, but I'd like to offer my support for a Collaboration of the Day link or feature on the Main Page. As mentioned here (by me), which in turn received a response linking to several other requests for a similar interactive feature, I am wondering if there are any additional thoughts or concerns relating to this idea. Much like the DYK feature, articles could be nominated for a daily collaboration in which registered users could work together to improve an article within a short period of time. I see the point made that the Main Page is for readers, as opposed to editors, but I think even a simple link or small box would allow readers AND editors access to the article to see just how collaborative, interactive, and efficient Wikipedia can be. Each day, readers and editors could see an article jump from Stub class to a much high class within 24 hours. Any thoughts, ideas, or concerns? --Another Believer (Talk) 07:50, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Discussed here. See also Wikipedia talk:Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive, which describes why that similar idea was abandoned. It was linked from Wikipedia:Community portal, not the Main Page. Art LaPella (talk) 15:21, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I think the spirit of this proposal is good. I know it has been previously discussed to death as it relates to individual articles. Has anyone ever proposed a daily task-oriented drive? E.g. today is add references to unreffed BLPs day. We'll have a how-to, and a category of pages needing references. Calliopejen1 (talk) 21:47, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
That's still not going to do anything about the readers not editors objection Nil Einne (talk) 19:58, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I know, I just think that objection is BS. I think Wikipedia needs to step up recruitment, and there are no easily visible ways for interested readers to get involved in tasks well-suited for newbies. Calliopejen1 (talk) 21:48, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
While you're welcome to your opinions, it's clear there's a large majority who don't agree with them. And so it remains unclear to me why or how this proposal of your is going to be any different from previous proposals. In fact, the 'unrefed BLPs' likely isn't even a task well suited to newbies. If you genuinelly believe there's some way to change minds, I'm not sure just coming up with another random proposal is going to help any since the strength of the proposal was never a big factor. Instead concentrate on convincing people there's merit to change the very long standing consensus and start strongly imploring readers to become editors by adding a section 99.9% of readers are still not going to care about or find useful. Nil Einne (talk) 12:49, 2 March 2010 (UTC)


The first season of Smallville? get real! what waste of a stupid show and this is second fiction in 2 day! Oh + Brooklyn's greatest arcitect Frank Freeman too that breaks one of wikipedia' core rules of neurality and he is at the top so everybody can see that too for sure also have MAJOR problem with 1947 – Civil disorder in Taiwan was brutally suppressed by the Chinese Nationalist military in the 228 Incident. brutally suppressed is breaking the rule again and is OBVIOUSLY anti-china. if wikipedia is going to change its rules and have more fiction and be anti and pro whatever its wants can it just say this in its rules and not be so BLATANTLY hypocriticle all over its own "Main Page"? also want to know if the roach paralyzed and kidnapped by the female emerald cockroach wasp is female or male itself if nobody is too buzy choking on that and i have no more time now will check later for ansears but this not my computer and someone else wants it and I'm being told to go to bed now anyway so bye. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:42, 28 February 2010 (UTC) p.s. i love wikipedia but really gotta make less mistakes.

Full stops are your friends. Just reading that block of text gives me a headache. GeeJo (t)(c) • 01:25, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Interesting how only the IP addresses make posts like these.--WaltCip (talk) 14:45, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Remember, though, that a registered user can log out and make such a comment, such as not to blemish his or her name. (talk) 15:49, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
A registered user would also do well to assume good faith and remember that not every IP is a vandal. Cheers! Scapler (talk) 19:24, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Just as one would assume good faith in not presuming that I assumed that every IP was a vandal.--WaltCip (talk) 03:38, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Then perhaps we should simply avoid presenting suppositions as fact (see: "only the IP adresses" (emphasis mine)). If this is in fact a fact and not a supposition, perhaps you should present the supporting data as well, so as to avoid these unfortunate misunderstandings. (talk) 06:17, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Rather a long and meandering comment for a registered user - and most people accept that there is occasional 'clumping' of topics - whether country/continent specific, 'things that annoy Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells and relatives thereof, fiction etc etc. 'Brutally suppressed" can be a neutral term - defining a level of state-sanctioned/police/military activity against a particular popluation (eg the Hungarian Uprising). Jackiespeel (talk) 15:12, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, let's see (in response to the original post). I am assuming you are talking about the placing of the article on the Smallville season on the main page. The Featured Article is not specifically for articles of especially important things - indeed, that would make it incredibly complicated as many different things are important to different people - but is a showcase of articles that have become, through a process that you can look up, Featured as very well written and designed articles. Some people spent the time and looked up the resources, etc. to make that article a very clear and informative description of its material. So, this is no mistake. It simply happens to be a well made article that deserves to be represented in such a way. Sure, things could perhaps be better spread out at times, but with all the various articles put in the place, it becomes difficult to fairly space everything out to everyone's satisfaction. If you would like certain things to be better represented, go help articles about those topics be balanced, informative, and well written. There are even groups that focus on specific topics which might be able to help you.

On Frank Freeman, perhaps the wording is somewhat vague and unscientific. I would guess that it is intended to mean "Brooklyn's greatest architect, according to a specific group" (perhaps some notable news source, or an expert on the topic), and is worded that way because my more elaborate way is long and boring sounding (indeed, I now see that in the article it now states that he "has been called "Brooklyn's greatest architect"" - the fact that he has been called this is notable and factual). If this is incorrect - you know that the sources are poorly chosen or used, and perhaps he was never called that - please go and help out that article and the subsequent information noted from it on places like the Main Page. On "brutally suppressed" - descriptions like that are often used as a technical term. The suppressors used force in great quantities - whether for good or ill reasons - and probably came off as overusing force (whether they did indeed overuse it or not, for good reasons or bad). The method used can be factually noted as generally more dependent on force tactics than many other options, and "brutally suppressed" gets the message across in a more clear and simple way than writing ourselves into contortions trying to define the point in certain different ways. As for the wasp and roach, I do not know. I would assume that in general the species has no preference (unless perhaps there is some necessity for certain biological capabilities in the paralyzed roach).-- (talk) 00:58, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Indian PM visit?

I don't think that Manmohan Singh becoming the first Indian Prime minister to visit Saudi Arabia since 1982 is important enough to make the headlines. It should be included on the Indian main page. The picture of Manmohan Singh should also be removed. RG104 (talk) 22:50, March 1, 2010 (UTC) —Preceding undated comment added 22:52, 1 March 2010 (UTC).

I agree that it would be helpful to know the significance of this event. It's kind of a so what? situation. For example, I'm sure the President of Dominica hasn't visited...Moldova since ever. Clarification would help. BobAmnertiopsisChatMe! 23:32, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
The section in the bold article India – Saudi Arabia relations should clear this up for most people but here is some context. Apart from 1982 to 2010 being a considerable length of time, this is only the third time in history that the Indian Prime Minister has visited Saudi Arabia (the previous time was 1955). The following is from one of those who commented at the nomination:
This is a very major event in South Asia and Middle East especially because of the fact that 1.2 million Indians live in Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia supplies 20% of crude oil to India. Manmohan Singh will be one of the only few to have addressed the Saudi Shura Council. There are also major strategic implications - An extradition treaty is to be signed and there can be some effects on the talks between India and Pakistan.

This is indeed a very important event, especially in South Asian and Middle Eastern context.

It is also clear from reading the article now that it has happened that the visit was not particularly normal, several agreements were signed, an honorary doctorate was given, a female diplomat was permitted to be present without wearing the abaya or the hijab, and so on. This combination means this visit was notable enough in my opinion and the opinions of others (nobody actually opposed). --candlewicke 15:08, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Then you should mention some of the treaties, agreements, etc. that were made there so that people can know how important this visit really was. Right now, it does sound like a So what? situation, like BobAmnertiopsis said. RG104 (talk) 23:59, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

There is limited space. Reading the bold article should clarify the importance of most things posted on ITN. --candlewicke 15:53, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Canadian Bias?


Does anyone else think this page is pretty euro-centric? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:34, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm sure someone somewhere will, but no, I don't. We currently have items related to the UK, Niger, Pakistan, the UAE & Israel & Europe, Afghanistan, Guam, Libya & Europe, India, Peru, France & Spain, the US, Vietnam, the UK again, and Africa (discounting DYK which changes every 6 hours). I think that's a pretty impressive geographic coverage actually. Modest Genius talk 03:46, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I see no mention of the euro anywhere in it. And it's not Euro-centric either. Michael of Lucan (talk) 17:26, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
If anything, the main page can be accused of too wide a focus, not too narrow.  f o x  (formerly garden) 21:28, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
What??? It's an international encyclopaedia! (talk) 10:01, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Don't forget the Martians... --candlewicke 13:05, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
love how you used the British spelling of encyclopaedia there (talk) 14:29, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
The 82 looks up to the UK, so using the British spelling may be natural to 82 Nil Einne (talk) 21:15, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
As it happens, so does Modest Genius talk 21:39, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Encyclopaedia is of course the original, correct, spelling of the word. The American spelling with "e" not "ae" is a neologism (like "fetus" for "foetus", and "honor" for "honour". When Americans can't spell something, they just drop letters. Unfortunately, their poor spelling is taking over, because Americans dominated the early internet. Michael of Lucan (talk) 23:40, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
"Unfortunately" is a polite way of putting it. All too often, I see Americans accuse non-Americans of illiteracy when they use their local spelling. Most people recognise that people from other English-speaking countries spell a few words differently. In stark contrast, too many Americans seem to think the non-American spelling of any word must be a mistake that needs to be corrected. That is, assuming said American recognises the spelling "error" in the first place. Yes, we spell "recognise" with an "s" in New Zealand. Deal with it. BlueRobe 08:22, 24 February 2010 (UTC)


Pretty much a non-argument, as I see it. Taking a narrow slice of the articles on the Main page depends on several factors; in particular, we have little control over In The News; the editors of Did You Know select, as far as I can see, to give broad and balanced coverage of new articles; it is nobody's fault that these may, from time to time, be biased in one direction or another; that depends on what is available and how interesting the hooks are judged to be. But over a longer time period, I think the balance evens out. One caveat is that writers in English-language countries might well be biased towards topics familiar to them, and that is the pool from which we draw. Nothing to do with spelling, or language preferences; it's just an epiphenomenon of those who are most involved here. Rodhullandemu 01:47, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

@ Michael of Lucan Fetus is the original (latin) spelling of foetus so Brits added the O (talk) 11:28, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
"fetus" is the etymologically correct spelling, as was accepted by the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. The œ grapheme only came into Latin in Medieval (or Mediæval) times, and is incorrectly used in this case (correct usage is for words that came into Latin from Greek, such as œsophagus, œstrus; also œnology). On the other hand, it was already written "fœtus" in the 16th century, so the spelling "fetus" has obviously come about from ligature simplification in American English. Checking the 1828 edition of Webster's Dictionary [2] we can see how: Noah Webster used the incorrect Latin "fætus" as his root, and simplified it as with other æ words. The spelling "fœtus" was listed as an alternative spelling in the 1913 edition of Webster's. Physchim62 (talk) 13:41, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Well just to quote from our very own articles here on Wikipedia:
  • From Encyclopedia [sic] (:P)- "Copyists of Latin manuscripts took this phrase to be a single Greek word, "enkuklopaedia", with the same meaning, and this spurious Greek word became the New Latin word "encyclopaedia"
  • From Æ - "In the United States, the problem of the ligature is sidestepped in many cases by use of a simplified spelling with "e""
--Daviessimo (talk) 11:43, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
From a modern, non-elitist point of view, the British standard spelling of any word is no more or less correct than the American standard spelling. Two different dialects need not be labelled "correct" or "incorrect." From an academic/etymological point of view, "encyclopaedia" and "encyclopedia" both represent altered spellings, as British English simplified the alphabet by converting "æ" – a letter in its own right – to a pair of letters, and speakers of American English preferred to convert it to a single letter "e." Food for thought: any living variety of English is as far removed from its Anglo-Saxon roots as any other. Aylad ['ɑɪlæd] 19:17, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, can't help myself. Having been amused by the mixed-up spellings of "fetus," I checked the etymology of "hono(u)r." Wiktionary gives it as "From Anglo-Norman honur, from Old French honor, from Latin honor." Michael of Lucan's fallacious observation, using his own examples, suggests the (equally fallacious) observation that when Britons can't spell something, they add letters. It's a good thing all standard varieties of English are equally valid, or we'd all have eyren on our faces. Aylad ['ɑɪlæd] 19:28, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Oh well, looks like us Britishers have been well put in our place by our American overlord friends. Clearly time to go back to our castle to have a cup of tea, a cucumber sandwich and then decide what country to invade next --Daviessimo (talk) 19:45, 22 February 2010 (UTC) N.B for those without a sense of humour (or humor), this comment is supposed to be a joke (albeit a pretty bad one)
Oh, no you don't! Invading random nations is our job now! Aylad ['ɑɪlæd] 19:57, 22 February 2010 (UTC) There, now by comparison, your joke looks hilarious... ;)
The Colonials are welcome to the job, IMHO. Back in the Mother Country we're still having problems with places we invaded hundreds of years ago! Physchim62 (talk) 14:14, 23 February 2010 (UTC) This is original research to see how gutter-level the humo(u)r on this page can get! ;)
I don't think it is accurate to say that
British English simplified the alphabet by converting "æ" – a letter in its own right – to a pair of letters, and speakers of American English preferred to convert it to a single letter "e."
My understanding is that in (British) English 'ae' as an alternative to æ became acceptable, probably hastened (if not caused) by mechanical printing and typewriting - both with limited character sets. Whereas in American English a single 'e' is the only correct usage.
Personally I still use the 'æ' form, in handwriting it has always been easy and as computers have (all but) replaced typewriters & mechanical typesetting it is now easy in printed matter as well.
FerdinandFrog (talk) 11:07, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I oversimplified a bit... a bad habit I have. Still, I wouldn't necessarily say that the single "e" is the only correct usage in America. Any time we pretend that British spellings are "incorrect" in America, we are oversimplifying the situation. Americans are perfectly capable of reading British spelling (most of the time, heh) and no American with enough education to correct another American's spelling fails to realize/realise that encyclopaedia and encyclopædia are spelled/spelt correctly. It's more that "encyclopedia" is the preferred spelling in the U.S... at least the way I see it. Aylad ['ɑɪlæd] 13:45, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Isn't it nice to see today's TFA? Ordinarily, the Main Page is far too terra-centric.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 20:10, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

I do not care if the Romans spelt the word fetus. I take that kind of argument cum grano salis, as those people were talking Latin, not English.

We are not talking about Latin, but the original English spelling of foetus, which I believe is late mediaeval. No, dear, it's not spelt medieval. That's USAian, not English.

I am old. (We who are old, O so old, thousands of years, thousands of years if all were told.) However, if I remember my schooldays correctly, the ancient city of Rome was a melting pot of peoples, and the lingua franca of ordinary people was Greek, not Latin. So ordinary folk in Rome would have said something like βρέφος (brephos) not fetus, anyway.  ;-D Michael of Lucan (talk) 11:23, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Question - can someone tell what was going on in these people's lives 2000 years ago that they needed to talk about foetuses/fetuses/brephoses so much? Did they eat them, juggle them, draw them or just sit on a park bench and have a good old random natter about them? --Daviessimo (talk) 11:45, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, it's so long ago now, I forget why the subject used to come up ... Michael of Lucan (talk) 11:53, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Clearly they were most interested in writing about f(o)etuses in their encyclop(a)edias. Random89 10:10, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

As an American who has an awareness and fascination by the spelling differences (and also the zee/zed difference), I must say this is an aesthetic encyclopedia. Are we debating anything anymore? Metallurgist (talk) 06:34, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Metallurgist, we frequently pronounce the letter "z" as zed here in New Zealand. I have always believed that this linguistic quirk was uniquely peculiar to New Zealand. Are there any other countries where zed is used? BlueRobe 22:55, 27 February 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by BlueRobe (talkcontribs)
Certainly Britain, I thought zed was used everywhere in the commonwealth. Modest Genius talk 23:00, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
The obvious answer is check out z Nil Einne (talk) 11:27, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Good grief, I chuck in a throwaway (and perfectly spelled) comment about this being an international encyclopaedia and come back a few days later to find all this. All I can say about WP:ENGVAR is Vive la difference!

Now, on to my favourite bugbear (or should that be insectbear?). The wording of these two tags:

Why can't they have the same wording? And surely for the Br Eng one, it should read 'This article is written in British English, from which American English differs in some ways. As Am Eng is derived from Br Eng, Am Eng differs from Br Eng, not the other way round, and it should be phrased that way? The way it is phrased at the moment it makes Br Eng seem subservient to Am Eng. Br Eng is the subject of the sentence and so Am Eng should be relative/compared to it, not the other way round.

Sorry I can't use all the correct grammatical terms but the way it is phrased to make Br Eng - the mother tongue - appear as a comparison/offshoot of Am Eng really gets on my goat. (talk)

You have a good point, and those two really should be phrased identically. However, isn't this all a bit off-topic for Talk:Main Page? Modest Genius talk 18:03, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
LOL, yep, I guess it is. Just going with the WP:ENGVAR flow above - so where do I raise it? (talk) 19:06, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I imagine Template Talk:American English, if that's the one you want changed. Or you could be bold and just make the change, see if anyone objects. Modest Genius talk 19:23, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Just to add a little more nuance to this conversation...linguistic evolution is very much like biological evolution. It's more of a branching tree than a direct line. So just like humans didn't evolve from chimps (we merely share a common ancestor), modern American English did not evolve from modern British English. They both branched from English as it was hundreds of years ago ("English English"?). So the above statement that "Am Eng is derived from Br Eng" is a little misleading. Rreagan007 (talk) 21:32, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid that's right. In some cases American has retained earlier English usage while we've departed from it. Sometimes the other way round. However, this doesn't apply to spelling. Shakespeare didn't even spell his own name consistently. Spelling was only just getting standardized when they rebelled against us. Peter jackson (talk) 11:13, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid that's wrong. English in any form is derived from English that originated in Great Britain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
What's wrong? RR and PJ are correct that the English that originated in GB is quite different from modern English. And they're also correct that some of the differences between American English and Commonwealth English did not originate because American English changed from this older English but because Commonwealth English did. I'm normally willing to defend CE against AE but in this case, they clearly have a point and I don't see anything wrong about their statements. The place of origin of something you'd call English is not in dispute but arguably not particularly relevant to the point at hand anyway. Nil Einne (talk) 11:20, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
The out-of-sequence insertion of the above coment has altered the apparent meaning of the following comment, which referrrd to the one before that. Peter jackson (talk) 10:52, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
For clarification, there was no out of sequence insertation. An ec occured which was automatically resolved by the software. The fact that you happened to click save first, means yours is technically before mine, although as both are referring to the same comment and were made with out reference to each other, ultimately it doesn't matter and causes no confusion or altering of meaning provided you use proper indenting which you did use for your comment below, but not for this comment since it looks like you're referring to 94 as being out of sequence when in reality, I'm pretty sure you're referring to my comment. Just to repeat that, anyone capable of following a thread should easily see both your comment and my comment are in reply to 94 since you did use proper indenting for the below comment so there's no altering of meaning so there's usually no need to make further comment unless confusion does arise. Nil Einne (talk) 13:32, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
"anyone capable of following a thread" Depends what you mean. I see no reason to suppose everyone reading this page can understand the indenting system. Peter jackson (talk) 11:37, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Of course that's true. But it doesn't imply that the British usage on any particular point came first. Hence Rreagan's statement that it's misleading to say that AE is derived from BE. Not false, just misleading. Peter jackson (talk) 11:18, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Has anybody else noticed that nearly everything in the OTD feature has to do with English speaking countries? Bias, anyone? What about the rest of the world? (talk) 15:36, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
the word bias gets thrown around so much that its lost all meaning. -- Ashish-g55 15:39, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Too Much Negative News?

Could we perhaps try to aim for more positive news entries more often? Or is it purely based on what is -in- the established media? Bad news sells, and all; but since we're not trying to readers, could we put up something other than mainstream negative news articles? (talk) 22:22, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

If you have some good news you would like to see featured, please suggest it at WP:ITN/C. IT seems there hasn't been much recently. Modest Genius talk 22:52, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It is a bit miserable at the minute, isn't it? Unfortunately that's what is "in the news", but if you can think of a more positive news story, we'd love to hear it on WP:ITN/C. We try to keep it balanced, but it doesn't always work. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:53, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that death count is one of the few measures of significance that mostly holds up world wide.©Geni 23:34, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
I suppose we could address the tragedy of the Chilean earthquake as "timely employment opportunities in the construction sector during the global recession", but I would rather hear the gritty honest spin. BlueRobe 01:17, 5 March 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by BlueRobe (talkcontribs)
Don't worry. Want some "cultural news" for ITN? The 82nd Academy Awards is just around the corner.... :-) --PFHLai (talk) 04:42, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Congratulations to Sandra Bullock on becoming only the 82nd winner of the Best Actress award! Lugnuts (talk) 16:05, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Please feel free to work on Togolese presidential election, 2010 & Icelandic debt repayment referendum, 2010 and help get them ready for ITN. (Pls go to WP:ITN/C when ready. Thanks.) --PFHLai (talk) 14:59, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
User:Chuck Marean? Is that you? Woogee (talk) 20:48, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Animated GIFs on Main Page

Would this image be appropriate (in terms of flashiness) for a DYK lead on the main page? Materialscientist (talk) 08:16, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with gifs on the MP, so long as the filesize is kept down. However, I find that a bit hard to follow what's going on. Modest Genius talk 09:29, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Good, as this should motivate you to click on the DYK hook ;-) Materialscientist (talk) 09:39, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we should ban animated GIFs from the Main Page—indeed, I think we've had the discussion before somewhere—but they can be distracting and heavy on download width so we should use them sparingly, only once in a while. I've no objections to this one, although I'm not sure that an image actually makes people click on the link for DYK (or for ITN or OTD for that matter)—so let's call it acceptable eye candy! Physchim62 (talk) 13:41, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
It'll probably be helpful to slow it down. As MG says, it's difficult to see what's actually going on but while the speed perhaps works for the large size, given the difficulties due to the size of the thumbnail, the high speed probably makes it even more difficult to understand. Nil Einne (talk) 13:47, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Animated gifs need to be resized before uploading. The full gif is served by wikipedia, not the resized gif. Last I checked the resizing is performed client size (which is kinda stupid, but I believe some bug was holding things up). (talk) 16:21, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
We have animated GIFs for POTD occasionally. I'll normally substitute it with a static thumbnail unless the filesize is pretty small (< ~200Kb). howcheng {chat} 17:29, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for feedback. I have reduced resolution to the thumb and slowed it down. How about now? The animation is not that smooth. If you wish to try a bit faster alternative, click on the file and then on its other versions. Materialscientist (talk) 23:53, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
That's much better. Is there any way to direct anyone who clicks on it to the full-size version? Modest Genius talk 16:16, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
How about the image on the right. Is piping okay for the Main Page? —  Cargoking  talk  12:17, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the linking tip. The image was featured already on the main page, but this discussion is useful for the future. Materialscientist (talk) 12:23, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
I believe piping of images is avoided in all places due to attribution reasons, but in cases like this where it's a thumbnail of a larger version and the person who created the thumbnail either does not require attribution or also was involved in the original image, it should not be a problem Nil Einne (talk) 06:10, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Someone should make a Javascript method that cycles through a series of JPGs, it would be lower file size and higher quality. (talk) 01:02, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
…and it would break horribly for people without JavaScript enabled. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits|⚡}} 06:17, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

As being not involved in this discussion, do I understand you correctly that you prefer to have/use the low-res, low-size (97 kB) "thumb" version instead of the full-res, large-size (3.2 MB) version (File:TectonicReconstructionGlobal.gif)? I'm asking because the thumb-version is currently considered to be deleted as scaled-down duplicate on Commons. But if you prefer to use it, we would not delete it, of course. --Túrelio (talk) 09:29, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes. As I understand it from the above discussion, the server does not automatically resize animated GIFs for thumbnails and instead sends the full version. This is rather problematic particular in a case like this when the original version is very large. In any case, I've initated a discussion at the commons:vp Nil Einne (talk) 12:47, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Is this specific for gif files? As to my knowledge, jpg files don't have this problem. --Túrelio (talk) 19:15, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
That's because JPG files don't animate. howcheng {chat} 19:56, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

"Arrhae"? Never ever heard of them

The "Arrhae" article suggests these are known to Christians, but I'm Church Of England and I've never heard of them, neither in weddings or the other uses. So a factually wrong article appears on the front page. (talk) 19:20, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Just because you never heard of it doesn't make it factually inaccurate. I replied to you at Talk:Wedding arrhae as well. -- œ 19:28, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
I would also add that the article clearly states they are common in parts of Asia and Central and Southern America, whilst the IP is based in England --Daviessimo (talk) 19:35, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

It does not clearly state that at all - not in the "headline" on the front page, nor in the lengthy first paragraph, nor in the beginning of the second paragraph until I gave up reading. Edit: it actually only mentions that its something local in the fifth paragraph, halfway down the page!!! (talk) 23:52, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

If someone can't be bothered to read the article on a subject they have no knowledge of, then they really they shouldn't start commenting on that subject, particularly when they claim that the article in question is factually incorrect. --Daviessimo (talk) 09:16, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

You can tell when someone realises they've lost the arguement when they resort to personalities.

The articles have to be written from the readers point of view. You cannot expect the reader to plow on for five paragraphs for information that should have been put at the start of the first sentance of the first paragraph. (talk) 12:46, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

So be bold and add a mention in the first paragraph. You're correct, it's not well explained, but the best response is to improve the article. Modest Genius talk 14:07, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Done. Denisarona (talk) 06:43, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Mass extinction

As I post this, there is a ITN hook about scientists affirming the asteroid theory of the dinosaurs' mass extinction. Is it really so newsworthy that scientists are affirming what is already (relatively) common knowledge? --Lucas Brown 03:06, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Well there was consensus for it on WP:ITN/C. Also, not wishing to be bureaucratic, but this kind of post is probably better suited to WT:ITN. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 02:37, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
An abstract note (don't know whether it fully applies here): news reports on some theory are often treated as "already (relatively) common knowledge" before that theory is accepted and endorsed in the scientific world. Materialscientist (talk) 02:40, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
My concern is that the "hook" barely imparts any information on what the paper does, ie. how does it affirm this? New evidence? Review of old evidence? Scientists banding together to generate consensus? It is unclear, and imparts little information. User A1 (talk) 13:48, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Isn't that what the hook should do? To get one to read the article to find out?  urban f o x  09:47, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I read the article and still don't know! It should be clearer as to what they have done, otherwise it is simply fanfare, rather than informative. User A1 (talk) 18:25, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

I would also like to add that just because 140 some scientists now declared it to be fact...dosn't really mean anything. I believe that it was an asteroid but the scientist's word is not fact. It is a power they gave themselves. DWood 00:12, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

"partially recognised Republic of Abkhazia"

Is this a precisely defined term? Because the only countries that recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia apart from Russia (which is obviously going to recognise its own attempt to establish new satellite provinces) are Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru, two of which are non-entities geopolitically, and all of which are thousands of miles away and have no business in that part of the world whatsoever. Except inasmuch as they gain political advantage by sucking up to the Kremlin.

So I would say 'barely recognised' or 'disputed'. "Partial" to me makes me think at least 20 - 30% of the world's states have recognised the place, not 2%. But perhaps "partially recognised" is a legal term that covers all countries recognised by more than one other state or something. In which case perhaps some more knowledgable editor can clarify. -- (talk) 11:16, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

See Partial international recognition. Nanonic (talk) 16:11, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Maybe the best way to describe the situation would be - The Republic of Abkhazia, a state with limited recognition, etc. Denisarona (talk) 17:15, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

The level of international recognition of Abkhazia isn't really terribly relevant to that hook anyway - even if Abkhazia was just a breakaway region with no international recognition at all, the news item would probably still be significant enough to make ITN. (On a related note, what happened to the guideline about deaths not making ITN unless they were very untimely/unexpected?) -Elmer Clark (talk) 12:57, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Jyoti Basu (95), Ted Kennedy (77) and so on, a politician dying at the age of 64 is very untimely/unexpected by comparison. :-) --candlewicke 13:29, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
The main difference between this guy and those two guys, is that those two guys were in their positions when they died. –Howard the Duck 02:08, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

I think what we need to do is quit hedging on all these these entries. Say what you want to say. This entry could just as easily have read "Vladislav Ardzinba, the first President of the Republic of Abkhazia, dies in Moscow at the age of 64." If anyone wants to know what Abkhazia is, they can go to the article. Whether the entity was internationally recognized or not is irrelevant to the headline; he was the president of it. That's why his death is notable. If it was all just in his imagination, we wouldn't have put him on the front page to begin with.

Every time someone comes in here to pule about how such-and-such is not officially recognized, and so-and-so is disputing the results of an election, editors are falling over themselves to add weasel wording to the entry. It's gotten to the point where we're doing it preemptively at ITN/C, and we're still not getting it right. You can't please all of the people all of the time, so it's better to make sure it's factually correct, and direct the disputes about political correctness to the article talk pages.. Kafziel Complaint Department 20:24, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

That's why someone has questioned the entry - it didn't just read "Vladislav Ardzinba, the first President of the Republic of Abkhazia, dies in Moscow at the age of 64." - it gave extra information which led to the query. If its recognition is "irrelevant" to the headline, why include it in the first place?. Denisarona (talk) 06:51, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. It's a common problem on ITN. Kafziel Complaint Department 15:33, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Colourful editing page

How did you make the actual editing box of the editing space have a red background? I had just been reading up on editnotices and was wondering whether it was possible to affect the shape or appearance of the actual editing box when I stumbled upon this. Is there a MediaWiki namespace page that dictates what editboxes look like? --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 15:36, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Looks normal (white) to me... Modest Genius talk 01:23, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
It looks white when I log out, so I guess you have to have the ability to edit the page to make it turn red. I think I know how they make it appear different ways to different people, but I still don't know how they affected its appearance in the first place. --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 04:50, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Arctic.gnome, since you're an admin, you'll find that the edit box's background will turn light red whenever you try to edit a fully protected page. That is being handled by the "mw-textarea-protected" attribute of MediaWiki:Sysop.css, as an extra warning to admins who, for some reason, might fail to notice the editnotices that say that the page is in fact under full protection. And yes, as the name suggests, Sysop.css is an extra CSS page that is only active and visible to admins. Cheers. Zzyzx11 (talk) 05:25, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Your internets is in the post. Cheers.  f o x  (formerly garden) 11:10, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Kathryn Bigelow pic

How many more days is the pic of Kathryn Bigelow going to be posted for????? This is not encyclopeadiac news, is it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:07, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Where's Lugo when you need him? –Howard the Duck 00:34, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
If you have an alternative picture suggestion, please post to WP:ITN/C. SpencerT♦Nominate! 03:05, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
ya its been 4+ days now... even i want a different picture lol. not that there is any other suitable one available. maybe we need to just put a story to get the picture changed :) -- Ashish-g55 14:04, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
We do need a new pic but, as far as I can see, there isn't another one that can be used. Any suggestions are welcome, though. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 14:09, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
What about this one of Tymoshenko? Modest Genius talk 15:38, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
I have replaced it with one of Carlos Slim (which accompanies a new item) - Dumelow (talk) 17:41, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

No animation on Main Page?

Why isn't the animation shown here instead of just linked to the actual animation? I'm almost certain I've seen other animated images working in the main page before... is it a technical issue or something? Kreachure (talk) 13:02, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

We have to keep the filesize down on the MP, and the software doesn't automatically resize animated gifs (it sends the whole thing, which they gets resized on the browser end). Presumably someone tried making it smaller / reducing the file size, but it was unclear what the animation was showing. Modest Genius talk 14:23, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining. Also presumably, it's silly to feature an animation that's not animated... presumably. XD Kreachure (talk) 15:57, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
The item that is featured *is* animated - just click on the large "View the animation" link: It's just not included on the Main Page in its entirety. This isn't silly, it's actually what we do with the Featured Article. We don't include the entire thing on the Main Page, but instead show a small, representative summary/excerpt, and provide a link for those who want to see more. -- (talk) 17:54, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
There is a "View the animation" link which links to the working one. December21st2012Freak Talk to me at 18:17, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Sure, but that's why I said it's (presumably) silly to feature an "animation" in the MP when it's not an animation but a static image that you actually end up featuring on the MP. Either way, I get what you say about it being like the Featured Article. So no more silly talk from me... :) Kreachure (talk) 21:21, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
The featured item is the full item, not the thumbnail. I think a lot of the great photographers that have been featured would be more than a little peeved at your implication that their work (because it isn't animated) is wholly represented by a 100px thumbnail. APL (talk) 16:51, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Mothering Sunday

This is not a date in western Christianity; it is merely a cultural tradition amongst societies that are nominally western ChristianEugene-elgato (talk) 00:03, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

You're thinking of Mother's Day. Easy confused.  urban f o x  15:47, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Oops, no the fault all mine; should have read it first.Eugene-elgato (talk) 20:36, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Missing style on Main Page

I am reporting that, for about a week now, when visiting the Main Page it is showing up with no style at all (I mean CSS). It takes several refresh for the style to show up. I wonder if other users are noticing this too, or if somebody is aware of something causing that. Regards Enrique Vargas (talk) 13:58, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

About Wikipedia languages on Main Page

Why is there "More than 40,000 articles" and why not "More than 50,000 articles"? Also they are not up to date. Pelmeen10 (talk) 13:01, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

The makeup of this section is handled at Template talk:Wikipedialang, please direct your comments there. Modest Genius talk 19:42, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

It's World Consumer Rights Day today

Today (March 15) is World Consumer Rights Day or International Day for Protecting Consumers' Rights. Wikipedia article say so and you may google it. --Quest for Truth (talk) 20:05, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

There are criteria for getting on the Main Page, mainly that the article has to be of good quality, but we can't feature every anniversary and this one appears to have just a few lines' coverage. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:51, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Nazi General is Inappropriate Choice for Featured Article

I opened up Wikipedia today and noticed that your featured article for March 14th is about Luftwaffe General Field Marshal Albert Kesselring. As a person of Jewish descent, I found this choice to be somewhat troubling. Field Marshal Kesselring was found guilty of war crimes by a British Military Court and sentenced to death for his role in the massacre of 335 Italians during the war. He was later pardoned and then released from prison for medical reasons, afterwards becoming the leader of the neonazi organization Stahlhelm Bund der Frontsoldaten. He kept this position until his death in 1960. As an unrepentant supporter of the Nazi regime, I have nothing but contempt for him.

Curious as to the occasion for this article, I looked up the historical anniversaries that occurred on March 14th, and found that this date was the anniversary of the final "liquidation" of the Krakow Ghetto in 1943. On this date, 2000 Jews were murdered. On March 13th, which was the date in my timezone when I found the article, the Nazis completed Anschluss, the unification of Germany and Austria. This was for Hitler a major accomplishment, as he desired the formation of an empire uniting all the German-speaking peoples of Europe, those who were part of the Aryan "master race".

This is a disgrace to your website and an insult to your readers. I used to hold Wikipedia in high regard. According to the Wikimedia home page, the Wikimedia Foundation is "dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content". I believe that Wikipedia is vital to the democratization of the sources of knowledge in our society. Wikipedia plays an important role in the dissemination of knowledge that is not found in classic encyclopedias. Because of Wikipedia's role, I find this display of rude anti-Semitism and worship of a brutal dictator surprising. Nazi Germany was a totalitarian regime, and there is no way that Adolph Hitler would let an institution like Wikipedia exist in Nazi Germany. Nazism is antithetical to the spirit of Wikipedia.

In the interest of promoting human decency, I request that you remove this article from your featured articles and review the process with which your featured articles are chosen.


Mathew Francis Popovich —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:22, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Have you read the article? In what way does it promote anti-semitism or nazism? As far as I can tell, Kesselring was neither. And if you had to look it up before realising the coincidence of the dates, how can it be that offensive? Besides, Wikipedia is not censored, and you're making straw man arguments (how is 'there is no way that Adolph Hitler would let an institution like Wikipedia exist in Nazi Germany' at all relevant to whether we should allow an article on a non-Nazi WW2 general on our front page?). Modest Genius talk 19:35, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
{ec} Whilst appreciating your concerns, our Featured Articles process is concerned with the quality of the writing and not the subjects of those articles. Our neutrality policy requires us to write about a very wide range of topics, which leads to the corollary that Wikipedia is not censored. If you would prefer that we rewrite history so as to ignore The Holocaust and related topics simply on grounds of taste, my opinion is that we should not do that. Rodhullandemu 19:39, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Making an article featured is in no way endorsing the subject of the article. It simply means it is very well written, sourced and factual. His article being featured has absolutely nothing to do with him as a person whatsoever. Furthermore, it is irresponsible and wrong to censor the past simply because it is distasteful to us. Zazaban (talk) 19:42, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes I did read the article. The first three paragraphs of the article are about what a great general he was. That counts as glorifying him. After reading the article, I conclude that he at no time felt guilty for the role he played in helping Hitler attempt to take over the world. He used Jewish slave labor and massacred Italians. After the war, he was the leader of the Stahlhelm Bund der Frontsoldaten, which was a "neonazi organization", according to Wikipedia (,_Bund_der_Frontsoldaten).

Furthermore, I am in no way advocating the censorship of the past. It is important for people to learn about the Holocaust. I think that this article should be kept in its current form on Wikipedia, just not on the Main Page.

MG, I don't understand how I'm making straw man arguments. I wasn't even arguing against anyone. I am saying this is an inappropriate article for Wikipedia to feature on its main page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:51, 14 March 2010 (UTC), if you can update or improve it, please do so. If you want to complain about the article's contents, rather than Main Page's contents, please go to Talk:Albert Kesselring. -- (talk) 21:20, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
(EC) Please also feel free to help out at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates to prevent articles you find inappropriate from appearing on the Main Page. Thanks. -- (talk) 21:20, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, Wikipedia contains material that may be distasteful to you and others. I personally find this man;s actions sickening, but the Main Page is not censored on the grounds that certain material might be distasteful and we are required by our neutrality policy to give all subjects equal treatment so all FAs should have their turn on the MP at one point or another. Btw, please sign your comments with ~~~~ HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:23, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Of course the actions of the man himself are horrifying and anti-semitic, but having it as a featured article isn't suggesting that Wikipedia likes him. It's a well written article. Talking about a bad person doesn't indicate support of them, and mentioning events that actually happened is not offensive or inflammatory. —Vanderdeckenξφ 21:28, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Surely it's better to have a high quality, neutral article on this man than to have a stub or a completely POV mess. It allows readers to collate all the facts on the subject and make their own minds up. It's not WP's job to make people's minds up for them. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:36, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

To the IP who started this: you claim that you do not seek to censor Wikipedia and believe that it is important to learn about the events and atrocities of WWII. Then, what better way to educate people about said atrocities then to give them a link to a well-written article that can educate them on those that played a role in these activities? Cheers! Scapler (talk) 04:13, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I can only imagine how he felt when this article was on the Main Page...  urban f o x  10:21, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Shocking! :o I'll have to have a good read of this smut article to see how disgusted I should be! Other than that "you can't please all the people all the time" ;)-- (talk) 22:40, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm guessing the IP wants Nazi article to be poorly written, or not written at all. Darrenhusted (talk) 23:02, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I am a Jew who hates Nazism as much as any Jew, but I dont see anything wrong with having a featured article on him. Featured Articles are meant to showcase a "complete" article so that a collection of "complete" articles can be amassed. I understand where you come from Mr. Popovich, how "Featured" can make it seem like we are showcasing him, but that is not the case. Would you write a letter to Time Magazine condemning them for choosing Hitler as Man of the Year? Metallurgist (talk) 08:12, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

I think a lot of people did...or for whatever reason at least, they've definitely stopped featuring "bad guys" as person of the year recently. Not picking Osama bin Laden in 2001, for example, is hardly justifiable objectively. -Elmer Clark (talk) 14:09, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I just read that and it's unclear whether they have moved to that direction, although it appears that way. But, you could argue Khameini was bad in 79 or Putin or Arafat even. Although these arent really regarded anywhere near as Hitler. Metallurgist (talk) 04:08, 17 March 2010 (UTC)


I looked into the history of this article, and I don't think the article was thoroughly reviewed before reaching Wikipedia's Main Page as a Featured Article. This article is a bit scandalous. Here is the Talk Page for the article: You can see that there is a dialogue, mostly between three users, Piero Montesacro, Hawkeye7 and Monsieurdl. Three times in the discussion, Piero accuses Hawkeye and Monsieur of trying to write an apology for Kesselring and openly questions whether they are Nazi sympathizers. Much of the discussion page is filled with Piero's intelligent and pressing arguments about the content of the page. Monsieurdl and Hawkeye7 basically dispute everything he said which would lead to a less positive viewpoint of Kesselring. Piero's objections, despite being well-grounded, relevant and well-documented, are mostly ignored and the page ends up being almost entirely what Monsieurdl and Hawkeye7 want to see. Despite the editing turmoil, the article is then certified as a "Good Article" by RJH on April 26, 2009 and made a Featured Article on March 14th, 2010. There is something really wrong with what happened here. This article has lots of positive things to say about Kesselring, including the medals he won, the respect he garnered from his opponents, and his military prowess. However, the article does not go into his relationship with Hermann Goering, the fact that he perjured himself both in the Nuremberg Trials and in British Military Court, and the details of his release from prison, which many do not believe was actually for medical reasons. Additionally, two of the main contributors in article are accused of, at best, writing an apology for Kesselring, including Hawkeye7, who helped push the article to Featured Status.

This article violates several of Wikipedia's Neutrality guidelines, including impartial tone, balance and undue weight. One of the contributer's viewpoints was mostly excluded from the final article. The whole article seems like a tribute to Kesselring as a general. As one of Hitler's most loyal generals, this man does not deserve such a gleaming article. Many of you have accused me of not wanting to face history or of being too easily offended. I am not that squeamish of a person, and normally I do not believe in censorship. This article goes far beyond the censorship issue. The issue at stake is whether we will let Wikipedia be hijacked by Nazi sympathizers.

Wikipedia is a great source of information and to say that this article is among its best is an insult to the thousands, if not millions, of contributors who have made this a great resource. Furthermore, to let such a skewed article be held up as an example of quality is an insult to the millions of people who died in concentration camps under the Nazi regime. For all these reasons, I have asked that Raul654 remove this as a Featured Article, at least until it substantially reflects Wikipedia's neutrality policy and gives a balanced view of Kesselring.

Thank you, Eric (talk) 04:42, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

As noted above, any concerns pertaining to the article's content should be raised on its talk page, not here (where we discuss the main page, from which the article no longer is linked).
Furthermore, even if the article is flawed, your continued insistence that featuring it somehow insults Holocaust victims (even after it's been explained to you that there is no endorsement of the article's subject) is difficult to understand.
For the record, I'm a Jew whose paternal grandparents fled Nazi Germany (from which most of their relatives did not escape). —David Levy 05:08, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Just to add to the above, if you think an article should be have its featured status removed, the correct place to do so would be Wikipedia:Featured article review. Modest Genius talk 14:52, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Mr Popovich's post is so ridiculous it defies belief. If one concurs that the Nazis were especially bad people, as I do, then it is self-evident that they will have done something very very bad on every single day of the year. Which means, to avoid giving offence on anniversaries, that they can never be written about. Ericoides (talk) 21:30, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
An important lesson to be learned from Nazi Germany is that the Germans from that era, even the military Germans, even the officers, for the most part were not unusual. They were just regular people that one way or another wound up supporting a horrible regime. (Think how many people supported Hitler all through the war!) Frankly, I think that's a terrifying truth about human nature, that shouldn't be hidden by pretending that Nazis were demons from hell that were universally loathed from the day they were born. APL (talk) 01:28, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
And furthermore, the German populace were, although persuaded into demonising the Jews, kept unaware of the Final Solution, as were some, if not most, of the German military; it wasn't sold to them on that basis, and they were not privy to the more insidious aims behind Hitler's policies. They were functionaries, nothing more, and following orders the ultimate aims of which they were propably unaware. In hindsight, that doesn't excuse much, and the true guilt lies not with those who were unaware, but with those who knew full well what they were doing. See Wannsee Conference. Rodhullandemu 01:41, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

FA - Ruffed lemur

I think the first letter of the word "ruffed" need to be capitalized. As it is a name, so it needs to be "Ruffed lemur". Tanvir 08:31, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

I think in the first line 'ruffed lemur' is a description (not capitalised) whereas the actual names of the species are 'Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur' and 'Red Ruffed Lemur'. Denisarona (talk) 09:02, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Should probably raise this at the talk page for the article itself, because it's the same there, not just this blurb. Although I do think it's correct.  f o x  (formerly garden) 09:42, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, it's for description i see. Now I also think it's alright. Thanks to you all. :) Tanvir 09:57, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

As distinct from ruffled lemur (g). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:19, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

10 % of Norwegians own an iPhone

More than 450,000 iPhones have been sold in Norway, that means that over 10 % of all phones are an iPhone, out of 4,8 millions citizens. Could be an interesting fast to add at the "did you know section". (Google translate:[3]) - (talk) 09:50, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Did you know is not just about posting random facts - those facts should be taken from either new or recently (5x) expanded wikipedia article. Materialscientist (talk) 09:54, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't think your numbers add up. Not every phone that is sold is in use - and not every person has one and only one phone. Went away to fly (talk) 14:22, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
You can't use 450,000 phones out of 4,800,000 people to say 10% of phones are Iphones; you must the same units. You must show there are 4.5 million phones. Also, must be in an article as already stated. Gabr-el 19:12, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

I dont have a source, but theres two phones for every human in norway, so theres basically 10 million phones. Not all are in use of corse. Excuse my spelling. - (talk) 19:46, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

If there are 10 million phones in Norway, then 450,000 iPhones don't represent 10%. (talk) 08:19, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Link to disable mobile site still not working.

The link on mobile phones that says "perm. disable the mobile site on device". It goes to the next page that says "bad target". Then if you click on "home" it responds as "bad target". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:26, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Best to report this at a village pump (I would copy this over but the page is blocked by a filter on this network).  urban f o x  14:17, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
The vagaries of filter systems - which decide, for example, that the 1851 UK census website should be blocked as matchmaking (!!) but allow things which should be blocked. Jackiespeel (talk) 14:50, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely. :P It calls our local television network's website "intolerable" but allows a lot of xkcd pages. :/  f o x  (formerly garden) 21:36, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

It's Pi Day today

It's Pi day today according to wikipedia ;) and google —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:33, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

It's mentioned in "On this day". Denisarona (talk) 17:11, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

The Google homepage even has a logo for Pi Day. December21st2012Freak Talk to me at 17:18, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
only in the U.S.! For the rest of the world, Pi Day is on 31 April... Physchim62 (talk) 17:24, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I was born on April 31st! For some reason, no one ever celebrates my birthday...Boznia 17:41, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Move your B-day to 22nd July! -- (talk) 21:28, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
If you mean International Mole Day, that occurs on October 22nd. At 0622 hours, to be more precise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:00, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Should that be the International Mole Minute instead? -- (talk) 06:24, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
No, 22/7 is another approximation of pi, like 3.14 is. That would be 22 July in international dating. -- (talk) 07:40, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Mole day is actually the 23rd. (talk) 02:10, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

when written

How about saying what year the book was published so we can have some context? (talk) 15:32, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Kafziel Complaint Department 16:07, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. (talk) 18:08, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

RSS feeds of the Main Page

I would like to have an RSS feed with the updated Main Page feed. How ? I have seen RSS feeds offered in Toolbox, could that be added ? Do i have to do something ? --ThorX (talk) 07:34, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Answers to your questions may be found at WP:RSS. howcheng {chat} 07:43, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. Will ask on your talk page, if i have any more questions.--ThorX (talk) 22:05, 20 March 2010 (UTC)


As per Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(icons)#Remember_accessibility_for_the_visually_impaired. The images on the main page are purely decorative and should generate no alt text or links Gnevin (talk) 19:05, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

They generate alt text and links for me. The issue may be just your browser (I'm using IE8). -- (talk) 19:28, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

The point is they shouldn't generate alt text or links Gnevin (talk) 19:30, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

My bad; I should have read your post more closely. However: they should generate nothing if they are purely decorative. I suppose that the TFA, ITN, DYK, and OTD pictures could be argued to be such, but TFP is definitely not purely decorative. Besides, I have seen some cases where the pictures for the top four sections have been rather helpful to the reader. -- (talk) 19:37, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Surely the main page section images are images and not icons? In which case we should use alt text in accordance with Wikipedia:Alternative text for images - Dumelow (talk) 20:22, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Well if they include alt text surely it should be helpful currently I see Princess Beatrice not that helpful Gnevin (talk) 20:28, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Any other comments Gnevin (talk) 22:28, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Just in general: thank you for bring my attention to an interesting policy I did not know, and which had not occurred to me ever to explore. --Neil (talk) 23:22, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

As a blind reader, I'd prefer the images on the Main Page to have alt text and a link, as they do now. Some of them convey useful info, so they're not usually decorative, and they don't qualify as icons as far as I can tell. I'd also like to know if an image is there, and if they have no link or alt text, that would be difficult. Graham87 01:07, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
This is exactly the sort of feedback we need - if no-one tells us there's a problem, nothing will be done. Have you found the alt-text descriptions overly terse or verbose? At the moment the DYK pic has a three-line alt description, which seems a lot, whilst TFP is described in three words, which seems rather too little for an item whose entire point is the image. Modest Genius talk 01:30, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Well said Modest Genius. At the minute, I'm getting alt text for the TFA and DYK pics, though TFA's looks more like a caption. I'm not getting any for ITN, OTD or TFP. I don't know if it's necessarily an issue for TFP though, since it has a description next to it. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 02:01, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Graham do you always want to know if there is a image even if it's purely decoration or just in cases like this which I admit I was wrong to class as decoration and are function images? Gnevin (talk) 10:04, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Yet again the alt text is pointless Barack Obama instead of Barack Obama as he signs into law the health care bill Gnevin (talk) 22:38, 24 March 2010 (UTC)


There are wholly too many hurricanes as "Today's Featured Article".

Please ensure that there are no more for a very long time. (talk) 03:20, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

I think it's Juliancolton who is nominating hurricanes for featured article, as he is such a fan of hurricanes and edits these type of articles a lot, making them featured articles. December21st2012Freak Talk to me at 03:29, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, Hurricanehink (talk · contribs) wrote this article and Raul654 (talk · contribs) selected it for TFA. I had nothing to do with it actually. –Juliancolton | Talk 00:41, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

TFA is a showcase of well-written articles. If an article is well-written, then there is no reason for not showing up in TFA sometime. As to the frequency of hurricane articles: in the past year (counting today) there have been 8 TFAs on specific hurricanes and one on tropical cyclones in general. That doesn't fit my idea of "way too much." -- (talk) 04:27, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Agreed, thanks for the comment. –Juliancolton | Talk 00:41, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
You're welcome. --Lucas Brown 00:25, 25 March 2010 (UTC) (AKA

Oh come on. You cant possibly be serious. Who cares if we have hurricanes every day? Maybe it's because there are a lot of hurricanes and that is a fascinating topic. If you dont like it that way, work on and nominate more non-hurricane articles. Metallurgist (talk) 07:59, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

'that is a fascinating topic'? Really? I have no problem with the TFA, but that's a bizarre and obviously-subjective thing to say. Yes there is a disproportionate proliferation of hurricanes, cyclones etc. on the FA list, but that's just another manifestation of WP:BIAS. Shrug your shoulders, move on, or work on coverage of an under-represented topic. Modest Genius talk 19:44, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Well there must be someone who thinks hurricanes are a fascinating topic or we wouldn't have so many FAs so I guess it's not that surprising there's one here Nil Einne (talk) 23:43, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I find hurricanes interesting. Not fascinating, but interesting. I have to agree with Modest Genius though- you can grumble about over representation of a certain topic or you can work on improving some other, under-represented topic. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 00:58, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
I've lived with them my whole life, and I honestly don't find them that interesting. However, when I see so many on the main page, my first thought is "good job! That WikiProject is really organized and full of passionate people". Kudos to them! かんぱい! Scapler (talk) 02:47, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
You dont find it interesting that some wind and water can morph into a 600 mile wide well-organized super-storm? --Metallurgist (talk) 06:36, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Pish-tosh; I do that every day. かんぱい! Scapler (talk) 00:35, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but how can you have a "bias" against hurricanes? –Juliancolton | Talk 00:41, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I believe the "bias" he's referring to is the natural systemic bias of Wikipedia being a user-created product. Namely the idea that things which attract editors are better covered than things that don't, because you need editors to improve the topic. Thus, for example, our coverage of business and technical law articles is relatively thin while our coverage of television/anime/etc is much much higher. Not bad or good, just the bias inherent to something created entirely by volunteers. Staxringold talkcontribs 18:12, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Edit request

{{editprotected}} (talk) 23:55, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Main Page/Errors if you found an error on the Main Page, as it said on the top that putting {{editprotected}} on here will not give you a faster response. December21st2012Freak Talk to me at 00:01, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Style problem with Wikipedia in general

A couple of days ago I reported a problem with missing style on Wikipedia (by style, I mean CSS). I am reporting that the problem still continues. It is more common during the mornings and when it happens, the browser halt waiting for a response from I hope this help identifying and resolving the issue I am trying to express. I also wonder if someone else is experiencing the same problem Enrique Vargas (talk) 14:48, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

You'll probably get a better response at WP:VP/T than here, which is just for the Main Page. I haven't experienced the problems you are referring to. Modest Genius talk 18:11, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Need selection process for Selected anniversaries

DYK and ITN have selection processes, things that aren't done up properly aren't allowed on. With Selected anniversaries there is no formal process, and while there are 365*(5-6)=1825-2090 slots available, much less than the number of FAs/GAs and articles that passed A-class, most articles on SA were just put there with stuff of far lower quantity. Maybe we should ask people to go put their FAs etc on there; I say this because today Operation Searchlight is on there, and is unwikified and is largely sourced to involved Bengali army officers, and one of the contributors, admin Ragib (talk · contribs) is putting it back in there, citing WP:OTHERCRAP arguments YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 07:10, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

For now, the OTD rules are more general, flexible and subjective. The selected article only has to be "a relatively complete and well-formatted article. In other words, it should be a good example of Wikipedia content". There are also other factors into the selection however, including trying to vary events from different centuries, different regions of the world, and different subjects.

Now, if your definition of "a relatively complete and well-formatted article" is strictly A-Class or above, that's fine, but also keep in mind about the on going systemic bias on Wikipedia. If such a strict formal requirements were enacted, it may prevent extremely notable events such as the current B-Class article Attack on Pearl Harbor from being posted. It may prevent many notable 18th Century or earlier events from being posted. It may prevent many non-Anglosphere events from being posted. And it may prevent significant events from underrepresented subjects from being posted. This is why there has never been strict, formal requirements on OTD.

Also, if "we should ask people to go put their FAs etc on there", keep in mind that many of these articles out there like Free will are not really tied to any event. Thus, IMO, finding at least a few FA/GA/A-Class articles to post every single day of the year on an "On this day..." section would be almost impossible. Now if you want to replace OTD with a featured GA/A-class section, that is another option. But as the flexible OTD rules currently stand, the "well-written article" rule must also be balanced with other factors like the question, "is it tied to a notable event with an exact day when it occurred?" and the "array of topics should be varied" rules. Cheers. Zzyzx11 (talk) 08:05, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Furthermore there is long precedent that the main page defers to article. In this case, Yellowmonkey has alleged that the article has major problems, yet made no effort to tag the article nor mention it in the talk page. I consider this unacceptable. How on earth are editors of the article expected to know of the alleged problems? How on earth are they expected to deal with these problems sufficiently for the article to be allowed on the main page in the future? Do they have to negotiate directly with Yellowmonkey over this?
In case it's not obvious, one of the additional problems the way this has been dealt with raises is that even if editors somehow become aware of Yellowmonkey's complaints, how they deal with them is uncertain, there are existing processes for dealing with tags but in this case, it seems that all we have is Yellowmonkey's claim on some obscure talk page (from the POV of the article editors) that the article has major issues, how other editors are expected to satisfy YM is unclear and many would feel it's unjustifiable that a single editor is able to hold up another article no matter what, it's definitely not the way WP:Consensus is intended to work.
Also Ragib makes a very good point. If it is alleged that this article does not meet the criteria of being well written (or for that matter some new criteria), then a comparison with other articles currently listed is legitimate. Whether or not Yellowmonkey should have done some cursory check of the other articles before unilaterally removing it may be worth some discussion somewhere, but the main point now is that claim have been made by someone who has done some research. If it is true that the other articles are just as bad or worse, then removing this single article while keeping the others without a good reason sends a very poor message, particularly given the natural systemic bias that already exists. Removing all the articles would be disruptive. In other words, keeping this article for now may indeed be the best solution.
What to do in the future should be discussed and if people want to be stricter in the future that would be fine provided it is universally enforced and some clue be left on the article as to what's wrong with it. If that requirement is that all future articles should be GA-class or better then while we can easily implement that, it definitely needs wide spread discussion first, with notification on multiple talk pages. Personally as with Zzyzx11, I'm unconviced on the merits of such a proposal.
BTW, I'm not opposed to some resonable selection criteria for SA/OTD. For example, I opposed the inclusion of Guru Nanak Jayanti because even though it may be one of the most important festival in sikhism, the article is simply not sufficient (at the time, it didn't even have the dates!). However it was already tagged and while in retrospect I should have linked to some of the main page discussions in the talk page (I have now) I did make an additional effort to call editors to improve it at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Sikhism (sadly unsuccessful) rather then just claiming it had major problems on some obscure talk page (again from the POV of the article editors).
Nil Einne (talk) 11:02, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Hey, can we try to respect the truce line that runs down the Main Page? Bureaucratic and editor-intensive selection processes to the left, more informal selection processes to the right??!! Let's not forget that OTD gets significantly more click-throughs (both in total for the section and per individual hook) than DYK, so it can't be that bad, otherwise people would just ignore it. YellowMonkey's comments smack of WP:IDONTLIKEIT, to be quite frank. Physchim62 (talk) 15:13, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree SA/OTD shouldn't be limited to A/GA class articles, for the reasons discussed above. What about copying the rules for bolded articles from ITN? Lack of references, shortness or orange- and red-level article warning tags would then disqualify an article from inclusion. This has the advantage of being fairly simple, if someone is prepared to check the items a day or two in advance of appearing on the MP. Modest Genius talk 18:16, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I think an informal system along those lines is already in place. If you look at the OTD pages – which can be freely edited for most of the year – you find several entries that are commented out for article quality issues. Physchim62 (talk) 19:12, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, but I believe YM was calling for some formal- and standard-isation of that system. Modest Genius talk 01:33, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
I believe so as well, but I think any such changes should be approached with caution. Would we actually get any benefit from them (over and above what we already achieve through WP:ERRORS)? Because there is a definite cost in volunteer time. Physchim62 (talk) 01:55, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
True, but even if no additional sweeping was performed, the operation of WP:ERRORS could be streamlined by the existence of a clear pass/fail criterion. It then becomes easy (in theory) for someone to report a problem, and for a passing admin to verify it and replace the item. No idea whether that would actually work in practise mind! Modest Genius talk 02:04, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Benedict XVI

Lugo is watching... Raul654 (talk) 18:14, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Well, Benedict XVI has been up for a few days. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

He'd probably need the American brand of health care soon. –Howard the Duck 02:49, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
We can use File:Google China headquarter in Beijing.jpg. --Tone 18:29, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi you guys. I've had an error report for ITN in for days. Please use Obama signs health care-crop.jpg. Thank you. -SusanLesch (talk) 19:37, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
How about we combine the above suggestions into a single hook? Something along the lines of: Barack Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law while Fernando Lugo (pictured) watches. Raul654 (talk) 19:40, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Niiiice idea! (also why is SusanLesch so concerned about having an obama pic?) Modest Genius talk 21:26, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Modest Genius. We got a decent picture for a U.S. event. At first I asked for a picture of Nancy Pelosi. But she re-released a photo of the actual law being signed which coincidentally is done by the President. Thanks a bunch for changing the photo of the pope. (I remember when Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in one Olympics that we didn't picture him because of his U.S. connection. At least that was my impression.) -SusanLesch (talk) 22:14, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Err, it's been a whole 12 days since we last had a US-related picture [4], and only a handful of pictures have been used in between. There's no policy (or even bias I can see) against picturing US-related items. Modest Genius talk 23:03, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
There is no bias and I wish people would stop going on about it. It's good that the photo has been changed. Though I disagree with Susan's reasoning, we should aim to rotate the ITN image as much as possible. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:26, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Almost time to put the pope back according to The New York Times. -SusanLesch (talk) 02:39, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

WP equivalent of Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells - complaining about the images on the main page (g). Jackiespeel (talk) 14:51, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Lugo <3 --MZMcBride (talk) 00:43, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

I feel like I'm missing the Lugo joke - I've seen him come up a few times. What's it about? (Answer on my talk page if necessary.) — Kurr 23:48, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
A while ago (maybe a year) the picture of Lugo was on DYK for a very long time, close to a month IIRC. This was because the new items added did not have a photo that was free or that looked okay at that size. Hence whenever a photo is up a for a longer than normal time Lugo references start to appear. FerdinandFrog (talk) 12:28, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
He was first pictured (in ITN) on 21 April 2008 before being replaced on 4 May, which is the famously long period being referred to (where there were many complaints that he was up too long). He did make a comeback on 15 August 2008 but lasted for only a day before being replaced. (Un)Fortunately his chance of making a hat trick with that image have been scuppered by the increased number of free images of him available on commons. Nonetheless he remains as the best known example of a long-lived ITN image (there should probably be a museum devoted to this!) - Dumelow (talk) 12:45, 27 March 2010 (UTC)


Wrong image, should be File:Paper Clip Surface Tension 1 edit.jpg. Noodle snacks (talk) 00:15, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

fixed.©Geni 02:20, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

vandalism to the FA of the day.

Is it always like this? Dlohcierekim 04:02, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

No, but it is often like this. For a number of largely philosophical reasons the featured article is almost always left unprotected during its day on the front page.
Philosophy aside, it supposedly results in a lot of new readers making useful contributions. A few clicks of the undo button are considered a small price to pay for these contributions. APL (talk) 04:07, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
LOL. Just a few. Cheers, Dlohcierekim 04:09, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't help that ICP tend to draw ... polarized viewpoints among teenaged music fans, you could say. Tony Fox (arf!) 06:33, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Featured Picture: Paper Clip Surface Tension

I am very disappointed by this choice of featured picture of the day. This picture, while fascinating and technically impressive, has been the subject of significant discussion at Talk:Surface tension#Paperclip image, where for three months there have been a number of editors who have objected even to the inclusion of this picture in the article, because in their opinion it is simply a poor choice to illustrate the concept which it purports to clarify. In the most recent discussions (from December to March), the only editor to give unqualified support to the picture (other than the photographer himself) is the now retired User:Franklin.vp, who had less than 1300 edits when he stopped contributing. User:Diliff also provided support for the picture's inclusion in the article, but he also acknowledged that the image might only work with an appropriate caption[5], which to me indicates that even he recognizes that the illustration is not 100% clear. The remaining editors in the discussion (of whom there were at least four more) all opposed the image as confusing and felt that it was a poor choice.

Clearly consensus was not achieved for this photo's inclusion in the article, and I wish that this had been taken into consideration when it was considered for use on the main page. (talk) 11:02, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

TFP is governed almost entirely on a first-come, first-served basis. Images are shown on the main page in the same order (with a few exceptions for anniversaries etc) as they were promoted to Featured Picture status. Issues such at those you raise above are supposed to be taken into account during the Featured Picture nomination; they are assumed to have been resolved if an image maintains that status. If not, the images should be taken to WP:FPCD. Modest Genius talk 14:52, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I think it's an interesting photo & OK as long as the blue appearance of the water is explained. Of course, a non-blue photo of the same sort would be better. Sca (talk) 20:31, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Also, how come this picture doesn't credit the photographer? Is this something new we're doing? Daniel Case (talk) 00:00, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

I think it was just an error. I mean, for a while today we had a non-featured image as "Today's Featured Picture". Pyrrhus16 01:23, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Hypothetical question

What would happen if a notable movie/book/video game/song/etc came out that was titled "Main Page" came out? Would the top of the Main Page then forever say "This is the Main Page of Wikipedia, for the film of the same name see Main Page (film)"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:37, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes. Blue Rasberry 04:38, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
I assume you're just asking to make a point about the perennial suggestion that the main_page be moved to a different namespace, but in case you're not : Don't worry. It could be dealt with. The current main page could be moved to a different namespace, or the search feature could be easily hacked to make sure that people wind up at "Main Page (Comic Book)" instead of here. Or the latter could be done temporarily during the transition phase for the former. APL (talk) 04:49, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

ITN format

I'm quite shocked that my comments yesterday about juxtaposition in ITN have been deleted. Sca (talk) 17:56, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Welcome to Talk:Main Page. Kafziel Complaint Department 18:05, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
They have been archived. and im not sure if your welcome comment is meant to imply that comments get deleted from main page talk. if it is then its not very helpful. -- Ashish-g55 18:11, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I too am rather confused as to why they have been archived, when the discussion was clearly ongoing. Only threads which have ceased to be discussed should be archived, and the bot does that already. Modest Genius talk 18:29, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
i think someone archived it because the talk wasnt going anywhere and was getting offtopic... normally it should be archived with a blue box if its ongoing. -- Ashish-g55 18:44, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Howcheng archived it. While well-intentioned, such an act rarely is a good idea, in my opinion. Abruptly halting discussion—however controversial—doesn't solve anything. At best, the underlying tensions are suppressed from view (but likely will reemerge at some point). At worst, the conflict might even intensify. —David Levy 19:19, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Feel free to revert me if you want. howcheng {chat} 22:01, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I've brought it back out of the archive: it was barely 24 hours old after all. Physchim62 (talk) 23:53, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. I do appreciate that.
Alas, I am not a techie, and cannot myself redesign the computer language to achieve one of the following two possible solutions:
1. Linking the photo and the text which it illustrates, so that as the text moves down the ITN column, the photo would move, too. or...
2. Making the lead ITN item the only item which is to be illustrated by a photo.
As an old (62) newspaper editor, I think these are the only real solutions to a problem that contravenes logical practice in nearly all media, past and presnt. Thank you for your consideration. Sca (talk) 00:41, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that something has to give somewhere. For example:
  1. if we make the photo move down the list, we lose the symmetry of the Main Page layout. We don't always have full symmetry, as we cannot always illustrate the "featured article" which occupies the top left corner, but usually we manage something.
  2. if we say that the illustrated ITN story is always the top story on the list, we lose the chronological ordering of stories. In fact, we do sometimes tweak the strict (minute-by-minute) chronology to move a story with a picture up the list a little bit, although we try to keep the day-by-day chronology correct.
  3. we could also simply not include images in the In the news section – they are rarely great pieces of photojournalism after all – but then of course we lose the image and the Main Page becomes a little more of a "wall of text".
The one thing that we can't do is the solution that a commercial newspaper might adopt, which is to go out and buy an image from an agency. If we're lucky, we can get a photographer to take one for us and give it to us, but that sort of luck only comes around pretty rarely for news stories. Please don't think I'm defending our current solution as ideal – indeed, we get frequent and amazingly varied complaints about the image on In the news, although I must admit that the idea that we were suggesting that Barrack Obama is a newly discovered and probably extinct species of humanoid is a new one. The layout of the Main Page is a compromise between esthetics and "content", as is the case for any media, past and present. Physchim62 (talk) 01:20, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) I too don't really like the way the picture doesn't lie next to the relevant item, an issue which also occurs in the OTD section. However, I've yet to see a working suggestion of a better layout, that still looks good and works on multiple resolutions and platforms (including mobile browsers). If someone comes up with one which is superior to the current status quo, I'll immediately support its adoption. Modest Genius talk 01:32, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

I wish President Obama would just go ahead and discover a new species of hominid. That would pretty much resolve the issue. APL (talk) 03:11, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

I pointed out mentioned a suggestion to slightly color the background around the picture and news item, to associate them more clearly. It's from this archive. Can someone create a mock-up of it? Does anyone else think it might be a good idea? TransUtopian (talk) 04:17, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Having the photo move down the column would serve the reader better than the current practice, which I think nearly everyone agrees is confusing at best and silly at worst. Sca (talk) 11:43, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
That would be my preferred option, but I seem to remember it being attempted before (during the redesign proposal maybe?) but running into technical and compatibility difficulties. As for colour, that has to be careful about maintaining the current colour scheme and not overly compromising the aesthetics. Feel free to try a mockup. Modest Genius talk 12:06, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Three points, related to this topic but not that closely related to each other:

Firstly I don't want to stir things up (but accept that I may be doing so and apologise if that is the case) but it seems to me that the trigger here is not racism (perceived or real) but the highly polarised nature of US politics.

Sca's initial comment did not start by saying that the juxtaposition of the picture and the piece about an ancient hominid was (or could be taken as) racist but actually started "As a Democrat, I deeply resent ..."

I am English but I have worked and had holidays in the US and have American relatives & friends who live there, so I know a little about the nature of politics in the US. It is extremely partisan and people who associate with one of the parties seems to be hyper-sensitive about anything that could be considered an insult to their side. So much so that it seems to me that they scrutinise thinks looking for something they can construe as an insult.

This is not an attack on Sca but a observation about the environment in which he lives and which, inevitably, affects him. I wonder if he would have complained about the juxtaposition of a picture of, say, a black sportsman and the hominid piece.

Having read through the debates I think that Sca was the only person to say that this juxtaposition was racist. Others have said things along the line of 'this might be perceived as racist by some people' but I think that is a different point.

Secondly Sca (just above, not in his original post) says "As an old (62) newspaper editor, I think these are the only real solutions to a problem that contravenes logical practice in nearly all media, past and presnt" which makes me wonder if this might be a difference between US and British printing practises.

When I first looked at DYK, and the picture & first hook were not related, I scanned the text for "(pictured)". To me it was obvious that the picture was at the top, for æsthetic reasons, and the relevant text would be linked in that way.

I can only assume that this seemed obvious because I had come across it before and had done so repeatedly for it to become ingrained like this. Hence the DYK formatting must be common in British printing.

When Sca says that the way DYK is formatted "contravenes logical practice in nearly all media" I take it that what he actually means is nearly all media that he is familiar with, most of which will follow US practise.

Thirdly, irrespective of what the cause for the confusion is, we have to accept that there is confusion. The suggestion supported by TransUtopian above seems like an eminently sensible one to me. If it is feasible I would support its implementation.

FerdinandFrog (talk) 12:23, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Why should everything be about them Americans? Sca didn't mention that, and it just comes outta nowhere... –Howard the Duck 15:44, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Howard I have no idea what point you are trying to make. Sca started his original post with "As a Democrat" which gives a hint to his nationality and a quick look at his user page confirms that. FerdinandFrog (talk) 16:18, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
"As A Democrat"... so? He didn't said "as an American", even if the Democratic Party is an American party. And even if he did said as an "American" do we have to rub that fact that he is American? Can we throw out nationalism in the discussion?
P.S. On DYKs the thumbnail is always related to the first blurb. –Howard the Duck 17:13, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
It isn't insulting or otherwise inappropriate to suggest that someone's viewpoint might have been influenced by experiences typical of the country in which he or she resides. —David Levy 17:25, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
The point I was making was that when starting with "As A Democrat" Sca, to me at least, seemed really to be making a point about the tribal nature of US politics rather than a point about racism. I don't see how I can say that without mentioning nationality.
David Levy makes a clear point. I would take it further and say that someone's viewpoint *will* be influenced by experiences typical of the country in which they reside.
FerdinandFrog (talk) 17:44, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Mockup attempted! Physchim62 (talk) 13:47, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

In the news

Barack Obama

In the news

Barack Obama


(outdent for comments) The left one looks good, but the picture needs to move down a line to be level with the start of the hook it refers to. What does it look like when the item pictured starts to get close to the bottom, so the picture would intersect the base? The right hand one looks rather nasty IMO. Modest Genius talk 14:14, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Guys, see this: Wikipedia talk:In the news/Archive 6#Highlighting item with picture. –Howard the Duck 14:15, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the mock-ups, Physchim62!
On first glance, I prefer the "move the picture down" mock-up too.
And thanks for the link, Howard the Duck! I don't have time to read that discussion right now, but I like the two ideas there. (lighter background color, color box around the whole news item, either the L-shape or not's fine with me) TransUtopian (talk) 14:45, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
That link is useful to see the previous discussion, though it took place in April 2006. Great work on the mock ups. Personally, I'm not averse to the idea (I'd probably support it in principle) and my preference would be the one with the highlight, but I can't help thinking it looks a little untidy. Could somebody try making the colour a little more subtle? I'd try myself but I'm useless with anything more than the most basic markup. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 14:52, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
How does the mock-up look on P:CE? -- (talk) 16:37, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
If it screws up in P:CE, we can make 2 versions: one that works in the Main Page and another for P:CE. –Howard the Duck 17:19, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
It shouldn't screw-up P:CE, but we might need some ParserFunction magic to get the image in the right place. Physchim62 (talk) 17:33, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
you know most of these problems would probably go away if we just make (pictured) bold. only complaint here is that its hard to associate picture to the blurb. Both ITN and OTD can have this since they can be out of order. other changes like moving picture down to blurb or colouring the entire blurb is rather steep for something this minor. Some people will complain about everything no matter what changes we make. -- Ashish-g55 17:40, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Complaints are already and rather frequently raised regarding this issue, so it's no matter - which is not to say that any change should be made without due consideration. I rather think that the current situation is inadequete unless necessitated by some technical concern reagarding these alternatives. All other things being equal, I think it would be more appropriate for the image to simply be situated next to the item being illustrated - position is given, and so it is best to leverage it rather than rely on textual or visual indicators such as highlighting. Ennen (talk) 01:03, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Question : Are you advocating this change for OTD as well? APL (talk) 02:32, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, if feasible - but I hadn't considered it. Wouldn't this apply to DYK as well? Although these sections don't receive the same image position-related complaints as ITN (that I'm aware of) it would seem best to be consistent. Now that I do consider it, however, I wonder if each of these pictures being variably positioned would detract from the visual flow of the page - but it's difficult to say without actually seeing it. That aside, my advocacy stands (for what it's worth). Ennen (talk) 03:39, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
DYK doesn't have a chronological format, so the item illustrated by the image always is placed at the top. —David Levy 03:58, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I believe that DYK items are arbitrarily ordered, so whoever is in charge of DYK (Forgot who, sorry.) just re-orders the list so that whichever has the best picture winds up on top. APL (talk) 03:59, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I see. At any rate, I think a fuller mockup-in-context is in order. I'd like to attempt it myself, but I really must get to bed, and I won't be back for a few days. Ennen (talk) 04:08, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
What's with this idea bolding the pictured is going to magically make complaints go away? As I've said before, we've tried that /Archive 108#Suggestion - "pictured" ITN item highlight and abandoned it when it got too many complaints. Perhaps we didn't try it for long enough. Perhaps things have changed since then. I'm definitely not convinced it's the best solution (I'm not saying I'm opposed to trying simply that you should hopefully be aware of the history and not imagine it's definitely going to work) Nil Einne (talk) 23:13, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
In my humble opinion, I think the mock up on the left is clearer and better than that on the right and, to a non-technical eye, it is more pleasing. Denisarona (talk) 14:12, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway: I MUCH prefer the version on the left. Why? Because it makes sense!
In the print world, a photo is sometimes referred to as an "entry point" for the story — a device that encourages (or entices) the reader to actually read the text. It's just basic logic to have this "entry point" within or next to the text that it illustrates — just as it's basic logic to put the headline (another "entry point") above the story it summarizes, and not above some other story. Sca (talk) 20:35, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
And, this is what we over here, in typically American tactless and grating manner, would call a no-brainer.
The layout on the left only lessens the problem, (Is that Obama signing a bill, or the Pope writing a letter? Or possibly somebody from Google redirecting searches by hand?) and will render differently at different window-sizes. (Remembering that not everyone browses full-screen, so window-size does not equal screen-size!)
With the layout on the right, it's not at all obvious what purpose of the blue highlight is. The connection to the photograph of Obama is very weak. The outline is overpowered by the section header. (I had originally wrote "There's nothing at all to connect it with the photo of president Obama.", but realized I was wrong just before hitting the "save page" button.) APL (talk) 22:42, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps if the image were situated to the left of the blurb it would be more obvious which item is being illustrated, given that the image would cause the blurb to be indented - especialy if this were done without causing the rest of the items to be indented. Of course, this wouldn't help with the screen size problem. Ennen (talk) 14:07, 29 March 2010 (UTC)


Hello! I was joking about being "deeply offended," etc., to make a point. I know what the problem is. I also know that your average reader won't know what the problem is, and that the less astute among them, i.e. the majority, may indeed be offended, confounded or otherwise put off by faulty juxtaposition of text and 'art,' as we call it in the noosepaper biz. Sca (talk) 12:57, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

You probably were unaware of this, but it's become something of a tradition on this page for users to express mock outrage regarding the main page's content (with wording along the lines of yours), purely for the sake of humor. Please note that some of us (myself included) mistook your comment for such a message (and didn't realize that it was intended to highlight a serious concern). —David Levy 17:17, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I certainly was aware of it — that's exactly what I was doing, and I've done it before. But there was a serious issue behind my mock outrage. Sca (talk) 20:27, 28 March 2010 (UTC) (a.k.a. Incensed in Idaho.)
I'm having a difficult time reconciling the above acknowledgment with your distress at not having your comments (posted "purely for the sake of humor") taken seriously. —David Levy 22:04, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I sought to stimulate debate, not to offend anyone. Sca (talk) 00:43, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm not accusing you of seeking to offend anyone. I just don't understand how you "sought to stimulate debate" via a message written "purely for the sake of humor" (which seems contradictory) or why you took issue with people's reactions (despite your familiarity with the customs surrounding jokes posted to this page). —David Levy 00:55, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't know who you are quoting with "purely for the sake of humor." I've mentioned several times that I was joking about being offended, but that there was a serious issue behind the joke. Indeed, it was that issue that made the joke possible. So my intent was twofold all along: To point out the anomaly in a (hopefully) entertaining way. At any rate, I seem to have succeeded in stimulating debate. Regards, Sca (talk) 12:21, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm quoting myself. I referred to the convention of expressing mock outrage "purely for the sake of humor," and you replied with "that's exactly what I was doing" (which seemed inconsistent with your other statements). Did you actually mean "that's sort of what I was doing"? —David Levy 12:39, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Um, well, I suppose I should have said, that's partly what I was doing. Actually, I think my initial intent was humor, but this problem with ITN was in the back of my mind — it bugs me every time I see it — and I guess I expected possibly both humorous and serious reactions. But, David, is this a friendly dicussion, or an exegesis of our previous statements? Sca (talk) 15:00, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
It's a friendly discussion, I assure you. Thank you for clarifying. —David Levy 15:37, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

PS: The problem wouldn't be so acute if we weren't locked into this relatively narrow vertical column with the photo always anchoring the upper right corner. I'm not suggesting the layout be redesigned; it's attractive and functional. But with short news briefs stacked vertically, the reader always will tend to associate the top item with the photo at the top.
It's different when you have, for example, a horizontal box with a single longish story about, say, politics, quoting three or four people. In that case, you can float the speakers' mugs in the text without worrying too much about getting them exactly next to the text in which they're quoted — and anyhow you'll probably identify the mugs with namelines. But that's a format mainly for print media.
BTW, I read The Economist occaisionally, and I don't recall seeing faulty juxtapositioning there. Nor have I noticed this problem on the various news websites I scan from around the world, such as BBC and Spiegel online. Sca (talk) 13:37, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

BBC, CNN, The Economist, etc, don't really have this problem, because they produce or purchase an image to go along with every headline-worthy story. So they don't have to make any of the compromises discussed above.
The BBC for example, is able to 1)Keep it's headlines in any order they choose. 2)Keep the illustration in a constant location 3)Illustrate the top story on the list, regardless of how the list is sorted.
Wikipedia on the other hand, does not have main-page acceptable images for every story, so one of those three goals must be broken. APL (talk) 02:21, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Image for FA

Why is this image used? it is not even in the FA? It looks nothing like the Screen shots in the article? Weaponbb7 (talk) 00:06, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

For a number of reasons, for the last couple of years the Wikipedia front page only uses free content. (Only exception : The Wikipedia logo itself.)
That particular image looks like it comes from a patent application, which would place it in the public domain. APL (talk) 00:38, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
interesting i suspected something like that....Weaponbb7 (talk) 00:39, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

And it's annotated with French text... really, what's this doing on the English Wikipedia? --NE2 06:13, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

I have uploaded File:Iridion 3D Interface en.png, which is an English translation. Would someone more familiar with the whole TFA image shebang replace it with that? bibliomaniac15 06:38, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Done.  f o x  11:47, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

DST updates

Since DST's been implemented, the day starts one hour earlier. On the wiki, our updates to TFA, if not others, are made pre-DST. Could someone fix this? Buggie111 (talk) 23:11, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia follows UTC rather then any countries timezone. As such DST issues don't come in to it Nil Einne (talk) 23:47, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

In the news

As a Democrat, I deeply resent the implication of today's text-and-photo juxtaposition that Barack Obama is "an unknown type of ancient human." This seems racist and certainly highly POV politically. Sca (talk) 15:02, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Although the image doesn't refer to the first ITN item, we could compromise by putting the Pope back up. He's both old and still listed on ITN. (talk) 16:24, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
ITN readers are not necessarily door knobs who can not figure out that the picture is for item that says (pictured). i dont think there is any need for compromise. its fine as is. will get replaced soon by some new blurb anyways. -- Ashish-g55 17:10, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
While it is true that those who complain about this aren't taking the time to really examine the ITN section, it is also true that it's design is contrary to what experienced readers have been taught by the entire history of Western publication. I found it jarring the first time I looked at it, because the text and pictures were not related to each other in a logical manner. In all print media pictures are placed next to text that refers to the picture. While wikipedia is not print, it is silly to discard useful design principles. Instead of insulting anyone who finds the current situation confusing or even just strange, perhaps some time should be spent on redesigning the section. Khajidha (talk) 17:56, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
The above statement is so utterly untrue that it is laughable. Throughout the vast majority of the history of printing, images had to be separated from the text to which they referred, as images were so much more expensive to reproduce. Physchim62 (talk) 23:34, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
  • The problem is ITN is in chronological order by update. Unless that gets changed (which would make it far more confusing, both in order and in updating) the proposal to always have the image correspond to the lead story would disqualify any ITN update that didn't have an image to go with it (as it would be the top story, but would have no image). DYK doesn't always have the pictured lead at #1, I believe. Staxringold talkcontribs 18:18, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
(EC) Khajidha - Perhaps some time should be spent reading the FAQ and/or archives before proposing something which has been discussed to death? Nil Einne (talk) 18:19, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
So, the fact that it's been "discussed to death" by a handful of Wikipedians means there is no other possible way of doing things? — even though that means that millions of viewers/readers/surfers around the globe may be confused/bemused/amused by it? End of story? Sca (talk) 18:26, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
No. However the discussions do explain why it hasn't been done. The 'some time' part is perhaps key. If you can redesign the template including making it work on common alternative main pages an in all main browsers and then go thorough the other alternatives and if it doesn't work, either fixing it or making them use the traditional alignment (a setup which requires two templates and each one has to be manually updated is unlikely to be acceptable) as well as devising something for people who transclude the template on their individual user page etc then when you bring it here I'm sure it will get widescale acceptance. However as long as people just say 'it should be done' and blame others for it not being done and no one bothers to actually do it, I doubt anything is going to happen since it will almost definitely require 'some time'. Personally, I don't care that much (& don't understand the intricities of complex templates nor am I web designer), so I'm not volunteering but since you and Khajidha do, why don't you do it? That's my point and yes and as far as I'm concerned, that's the end of story. (Until someone actually does it rather then starting another pointless discussion of something that has already been discussed to death, that'll be the real end of story, sadly I've participated in enough of these discussions to know people are all concerned when it comes to talking about it, once you ask for people to actually do it, they go quiet.) Nil Einne (talk) 18:33, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the section could use a redesign (how about getting some date stamps in?) but that it would have to be an organised process that takes a significant amount of time. If this particular instance is such a big deal, surely the simplest solution would be to have "(pictured)" in bold? Shouldn't be able to miss it then. --.:Alex:. 19:14, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Bold is reserved for the focus article in each item. "Pictured" is already in italic. And why are we not assuming that people are able to read? --Tone 19:18, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Putting "(Pictured)" In bold was done once. I don't think it lasted two days before everything was back to normal. Personally, I liked the bold, because my eye always catches on the picture first, so I want the "Pictured" to be really obvious so I can go from image to related blurb as easily as possible. Sadly, IIRC, most people just found it distracting. APL (talk) 01:17, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done This talk page is here to take suggestions on improvements, not to defend to the death every template and/or bad formatting decision we make. Another blurb with a free image will come along soon enough; in the meantime, we're fine without one. Kafziel Complaint Department 19:45, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

While I disagree with removing the picture, it seems to have been done already. You left the "(pictured)" though, which should be removed. (cross-posted to errors section above). Random89 20:03, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Fixed even before this was posted. Thanks, though. Kafziel Complaint Department 20:29, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I have to say that this is quite possibly the most extreme case of political correctness I have ever seen on the internet. Removing the image of Obama, because when it is taken together with the completely unrelated item next to it, it may be seen by an absolute minority of people, as racist, is quite frankly remarkable!
As an aside, whatever happened to the principle of WP:NOTCENSORED. I mean, a couple of people take offence at what is quite clearly an issue of their own mis-interpretation and all of a sudden we start changing what has been done since I can remember. Aside from the fact that there is nothing to be offended at, since when has there ever been a precedent to alter something on the main page on the basis that someone doesn't like it (as opposed to the normal issues that relate to grammatical and formatting issues and factual inaccuracies) --Daviessimo (talk) 21:14, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with removing the image; this is nothing but appeasement of Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells. There's no way any reasonable person who bothered to read the section would think we were being racist. Modest Genius talk 21:23, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I have restored the picture. I don't want to get into any WP:WHEELWAR but I really can't see the perceived insult here. More importantly there was no consensus that removing the picture was the next step to take - Dumelow (talk) 21:25, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Unacceptable. Saying you don't want to start a wheel war doesn't cut it - you just did start a wheel war. Not even so much as a note on my talk page. I have not been unresponsive at all. Self-revert, or I will take this further. Consensus is not required for removal of a photo, and it does not support undoing another admin's actions.
WP:NOTCENSORED has nothing to do with this. If you want to talk about WP:NOT, let's talk about WP:NOT#BUREAUCRACY. Someone had a reasonable concern—shown to be reasonable by the fact that none of us are mystified by what he/she was referring to—and the only arguments for keeping the photo revolved around syntax, formatting, and esoteric template norms. All of that stuff should be ignored if it improves the encyclopedia, which it did. Kafziel Complaint Department 21:35, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Fine, I have better things to do than get into an argument over this. I briefly replaced Obama with the Pope but as far as I can tell if there is a problem with one person being adjacent to that blurb then it remains if another is there. Frankly I find this whole thing ridiculous but I'm sure some intelligent discussion here will resolve it - Dumelow (talk) 21:48, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

(EC)The problem here is that after loads of requests (and normal accusations of ITN being anti-american) Obama picture was added. It was not even the first item when this was done. So the reasoning behind the removal doesnt make sense. I agree with Daviessimo that this is simply political correctness. If pope was up there (which was suggested earlier as compromise) then then would not have happened. No one here was trying to be racist or implying that Obama is some ancient human and removing the picture for this reason (when i dont remember this happening in past) is whats wrong. It inaccurately supports the notion that ITN infact was being racist. -- Ashish-g55 21:55, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Anyone who knows me knows I'm hardly a bastion of political correctness. And I tend to agree with everyone else that it's really not a big deal. But the reasons for keeping it are every bit as weak as the original complaint. Weaker, really, since they all have to do with Wiki process rather than readership. We should be focused on what our readers want, not what's easier for us (or what we're used to seeing). Someone up there even refused to budge on whether we could use a bold font, for heaven's sake. Come on, guys.
I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time ITN has been without a photo. Ashishg55, you yourself pointed out that the photo would be replaced soon enough by some new blurb, and the same holds true for the lack of a photo. Don't Panic. Kafziel Complaint Department 21:59, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Ok, what about changing the order of first two items? Abel prize was announced on the same day so it can be on the top. Would you still oppose having an image in the box in that case? Frankly, that's highly ridiculous, not having an image if there are images we can use. The only case when there's no image is in TFA, when there is no free one available. --Tone 21:59, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I actually dont mind making (pictured) bold. but then it should be bold in all 4 sections. since OTD runs into similar problem. -- Ashish-g55 22:05, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
That John Tate sure lux lots like Mister Obama. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:07, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Tone, you're still focused on the bureaucracy of it all. What we would normally do as far as formatting and syntax is irrelevant to our readers. Losing the photo is only ridiculous to the handful of us discussing it here; the rest of the world isn't grinding to a halt in shock. 99% of our readers won't even notice that a photo should be there. And it was up for a day, when the story was relevant - it really adds little or nothing to the section at this point. Wheel warring isn't helping your case. Kafziel Complaint Department 22:11, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I am just trying to find a compromise for the time being. The thing I see is that people do not like to have no image in the box and that a combination of the previous first item and the image is seen weird by some other people. We are having those problems relatively rarely and until something better comes up, a compromise seems the easiest thing to do. --Tone 22:15, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Some people don't like not having an image there. Main Page regulars, to be specific. None of it excuses the wheel war. See you all at ArbCom. Kafziel Complaint Department 22:18, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm rather confused by this whole discussion. This obviously isn't the first time we've had a complaint, I don't recall we've ever gone to the extreme of completely removing the picture. And even when we don't get complaints, the lack of synchronisation happens quite often. Is Kafziel trying to set a new policy that we remove the picture when it's not for the top item? If so, this is hardly the way to go about it. If not, I see no rhyme or reason for this removal.
This hardly even seems the worst incident, what about the times when we've had a picture of someone and the top item has related to some sort of terrorist attack or shooting or court case relating to something like that? If anything, it seems to me offensive that we made this case special, as if there is any logical reason why people would associate Barack Obama with a type of ancient human and not instantly recognise the items are unrelated, particularly since Obama is well known thoroughout much of the world.
It seems to me when we have some relatively unknown person and entry on something criminal act or whatever, that's far, far worse since it's much more likely that people may think that person was somehow involved. As it stand nows, we're associating John Tate with a picture of Barack Obaam. In the unlikely event someone really doesn't recognise that as Barack Obama, this is surely offensive to John Tate (not because there's something wrong with being associated with Obama but because he isn't Obama and deserves to be recognised for who he is, not some other random person), again far worse then the earlier juxpiction.
In fact I don't even think this is an over PC reaction, rather we're giving (even if unintentionally) heed to racist ideas by suggesting there is some merit to the idea there might be real confusion when in reality any non-racist person, even someone who doesn't know Barack Obama is going to recognise that's a picture of a modern human being (note I didn't even mention race, it's irrelevant), not some ancient one. And yes, I do think this wouldn't have occured if it was a picture of the current pope.
Also what wheel war? Dumelow made several changes but all self reverted. Tariqabjotu is the only one who made a reversion that he? didn't revert. (I'm not counting Tone who attempted to alleviate the problem by compromise, some may argue he/she should have achieve consensus first, but some may say the same for the unilateral removal.) While not a good look, given the unilateral and completely out of process removal of the picture, it hardly seems a terrible thing.
BTW, while I appreciate if the dates of the items are the same, it's somewhat arbitary which one is at top and winning the Abel Prize is a significant achievement so don't have a particular problem with this change of order, it would be problematic if we set a precedent to automatically put higher up the item with the picture or if neither has a picture, put one where it's somehow deemeded less offensive to associate the item with the picture.
P.S. Is there some sort of scientific survey of our readership that just came out where people said they would prefer no picture to a picture of Barack Obama next to unassociated items and the item of Barack Obama below? If not, I'm confused how Kafziel knows what the readership wants. Is he/she psychic? I do know we get complaints all the time about the lack of pictures on TFA.
Nil Einne (talk) 23:21, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
^Good post. It does seem to me that Kafziel has come in and tried to change long-standing policy without discussion, and then cried wheel-war (and ArbCom!) when the MP regulars have objected. In the discussion above, those arguing for removal seem to be in a minority of two; consensus is clearly against them (so far). There was no good reason for that picture to be removed, and it should not have been removed until there was a clear consensus to do so. Modest Genius talk 00:19, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
My kids aren't home, so somebody ask someone unfamiliar with guidelines, what it looks like when a story about lower life forms is illustrated with a picture of Obama. I bet they'll say it's vandalism. (To me, liberals are lower life forms regardless of race, but I still wouldn't have posted that.) I'm happy with the mathematician on top; I can't think of a non-bureaucratic objection to that. Art LaPella (talk) 00:28, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm generally supportive of Obama's actions and saw no problem with that picture next to a news blurb about an ancient human. (Current placement's fine too.) It was obvious to me that it relates to the news that begins "U.S. President Barack Obama signs..." and it's showing him signing something.
What about a slight coloring around the image and news blurb? TransUtopian (talk) 01:13, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, My biggest complaint with Mr Obama is that he isn't liberal enough, but I still had a moment of confusion when this complaint came up, and am honestly surprised that the complaint was taken seriously. I see now that it isn't, but I initially assumed it was one of the intentionally nut-ball complaints designed to troll the admins. (Such trouble-causing complaints turn up regularly on Talk:Main_Page.)
(If it makes any difference, I browse the main page at a reasonably high resolution, so that the entire ITN and usually all of OTD are visible at once.) APL (talk) 01:24, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I thought the problem was that Obama was black and therefore there might be some suggestion from the juxtaposition that black people are lower life forms. But, obviously, if the acceptance of this interpretation as sufficiently feasible to require the removal of the image is not in itself racist, at the very least it is recognition that people with such racist predispositions do exist. And, to be honest, I fail to understand why we should be considering that group when writing this encyclopedia. -- tariqabjotu 02:00, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

The initial complaint struck me as so far-fetched that I mistook it for a joke. But it comes across as far more sensible than Kafziel's apparent assertion that an administrative action is sacrosanct, with any reversion (irrespective of consensus or the lack thereof) automatically constituting wheel-warring warranting an ArbCom case. Good grief. —David Levy 03:06, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Consensus is not determined by who can shout the loudest. Opinions are not negated simply because they are posted by anonymous editors; you and I have been over that before. And consensus is absolutely by no means required to remove content. It is required to keep content. If you think for one second that I need your permission to correct potentially libellous (or even unintentionally offensive) content, by all means take it up the chain. Good luck. Go ask Jimbo whether he thinks we should sit around debating before fixing it. Go ask ANI. Let's hear it. Let's hear how the simple removal of a photo is such a massive travesty that it called for edit warring and all these personal attacks.
As for the wheel war: Editing any fully protected page is an admin action. Undoing that action once—which I did, by removing the photo—is permitted. Undoing that action (which both Dumelow and Tariqabjotu did) makes it a wheel war. End of story. That's not my opinion, that's the policy. I'm not interested in getting anyone desysopped over this, but sometimes these things find their way to ArbCom on their own. Particularly when they happen on the main page. Kafziel Complaint Department 04:09, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

::Congratulations. This is the single stupidest "complaint" I have seen on T:MP for some time. If people are too stupid or too lazy to scroll down and read "(pictured)" we shouldn't be accommodating for them. You can't go crying "wheel war" or arbcom because somebody a reverted a poorly judged but good faith edit. Images on ITN and OTD are not and do not have to be related to the top item. We don't have a free image of the newly discovered species so there isn't one on the MP. That doesn't mean we should remove the current one and disregard consensus on grounds of political correctness brought up by Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells. Kafziel, you made a mistake, you were reverted, as happens all over the wiki thousands of times a day and just because you're an admin doesn't exempt you from that. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 04:37, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Stupid. Lazy. Crying. Yup, these arguments get more and more mature. Kafziel Complaint Department 04:39, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
i believe the words good faith are in there somewhere too -- Ashish-g55 04:41, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
So anyone can say whatever they want, as long as they also say "good faith"? Is that how you think it works? Kafziel Complaint Department 04:51, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
i am not trying to say how it works but merely suggesting that you should assume some good faith on part of reverting editors. if not then atleast try to understand the reason behind revert instead of labeling it a wheel-war and waving arbcom around like a threat... -- Ashish-g55 05:32, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
1. I'm baffled by your reference to anonymous editors. When have I ever stated that their opinions don't count? And how does this even relate to User:Sca (the non-anonymous editor who posted the complaint)?
2. I wrote nothing about anyone needing my "permission" to do anything, nor did I claim that your removal of the image was "a massive travesty." I've merely criticised your response to the reversion of your action, which I regard as overblown. "See you all at ArbCom"? Is that really called for?
3. I disagree with your interpretation of the events. The issue of disparity (and mistaken association) between the section's top item and an unrelated image has been discussed on several occasions, with consensus always being that this isn't highly problematic (because we identify what's "pictured") and no format changes should be made to address it.
So my interpretation is that the initial administrative action of direct relevance was your change from having an image to not having one (based on a concern repeatedly opposed by consensus).
But please understand that while I disagree with you, I'm not deeming your view invalid. I'm pointing out that this is far from the cut-and-dried instance of administrative abuse that you make it out to be (or anything remotely warranting an ArbCom case). —David Levy 05:01, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
The problem was not simply another instance of the common "photo not depicting the top story" complaint. And Sca may have started this thread, but other IP users posted here with identical objections. Essentially, they said "This is conceivably racist and offensive", and they were told "too bad, luck of the draw, that's how we do things". If you feel that's an adequate response, there is a serious problem here.
All I did was defuse a possibly offensive situation, and almost every editor on this page immediately went off the deep end. I'm not even going to bother going through to count all the instances of regulars calling other users variations of "stupid" and "lazy". I'm comfortable with every one of my actions, and wheel wars automatically warrant an ArbCom case - again, not something I made up. If you think what any of those editors said and did was defensible, let's head on over. Kafziel Complaint Department 05:21, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
1. In addition to the "photo not depicting the top story" issue, previous discussions have specifically addressed concerns regarding potentially problematic associations.
2. Can you please direct me to the identical objections posted here by IP users? I was unaware of their existence.
3. Your statement went beyond this situation:
Opinions are not negated simply because they are posted by anonymous editors; you and I have been over that before.
To what were you referring? That seems to imply that I've made such a claim in the past.
4. I don't condone the "stupid" and "lazy" remarks. Note that you haven't seen such comments from me.
5. I think that all of the pertinent template edits (including yours) were defensible. I don't understand why you apparently find it preposterous that the other editors even could reasonably perceive their actions as anything other than blatant wheel-warring. —David Levy 06:12, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
1. Previous discussion isn't binding for current circumstances. And I'm sure you'd agree it's not reasonable to expect anyone (except Main Page regulars who were here when it went on) to be aware of some obscure, archived discussion that may or may not have set a precedent.
2. The objection that first caught my attention
3. You and I have discussed at length the issue of main page regulars discounting the opinions of newcomers. At the end of that conversation, I said, "I think the best possible outcome for all of this is that maybe a few regular editors will take a more proactive role in making sure rules like WP:CIVIL and WP:BITE are followed a little more closely." Clearly I was wrong. Even before I removed the photo, regulars were stating that anyone who was confused was a "doorknob" and that "Perhaps some time should be spent reading the FAQ and/or archives before proposing something which has been discussed to death". Lurk moar is not a civil reply to anyone.
4. Appreciated, as always. Your input came hours later, unfortunately. Not everyone here made personal attacks against the complainants and myself, but almost everyone did. I was particularly shocked by Modest Genius's immediately uncivil remarks that "ITN looks stupid" without a picture (the policy basis of which I can't seem to find) and that there was "no way any reasonable person who bothered to read the section" could possibly be confused. An editor who is normally quite reasonable and eloquent became absolutely outraged... over the removal of a photograph? Clearly some people have a serious hot-button about censorship—probably most of us, actually, or we wouldn't be editing a free encyclopedia—but censorship this was not. If Obama was found to be a lower form of life, and I removed that from the main page, that would be censorship. This was correcting what boiled down to a formatting faux pas. We're not censored, but we can still have a modicum of journalistic integrity in our layout.
5. Anyone was free to disagree with me; I was answering the objections with civility, appealing to reason and Wikipedia policy.[6][7][8] But there are specific exceptions to WP:WHEEL, and disagreeing about photo placement is not one of them. If an editor breaks 3RR, even if he is also participating in talk page discussion, it is still a violation of the edit war policy. The same goes for wheel warring. In fact, in this case, neither of the admins participated in the discussion at all beforehand. The first time Dumelow posted was to admit his error and self-revert. Tariqabjotu never explained his action, either here or on any other talk page. I feel I should also clarify, for those who do not know, that the first undoing of another admin action (in this case, it was me undoing the addition of the photo, as you pointed out) is permitted. It's the second revert—Dumelow's and then Tariqabjotu undoing Dumelow's self-revert—that made it a wheel war. That's a fact. Wheel wars go to ArbCom. That, too, is a fact.1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6
Now, as I said earlier, I'm not interested in anyone being desysopped. But I'm also not willing to see new users (or old users, for that matter) bullied by regulars. That behavior is always explicitly denounced after the fact, but tacitly accepted while it's happening. Even after your polite suggestion that HJ Mitchell apologize to Sca, did he do it? No. So what's to come of all this? If the answer is "nothing", and we're just to sit and wait for this to be "archived" again, then I think there is a serious problem here. Kafziel Complaint Department 00:56, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I really have to respond to this. I was particularly shocked by Modest Genius's immediately uncivil remarks that "ITN looks stupid" without a picture (the policy basis of which I can't seem to find) and that there was "no way any reasonable person who bothered to read the section" could possibly be confused. I don't understand why you think I wasn't being civil. I wasn't calling you (or anyone else) stupid or unreasonable. I thought the layout looked poor. Admittedly 'un-aesthetically pleasing' would have been a better way of putting it, but it still looked bad. As for the second quote, I stand by it, and don't think any reasonable person who read the entire section would think ITN was implying that Barack Obama was of a different species to modern humans. I was not implying that the complaint itself was unreasonable, but that anyone who actually drew that conclusion, rather than merely noting the possibility that others might, would have been acting unreasonably. Oh and if you insist on being bureaucratic, the relevant policy is located at Wikipedia:In_the_news#Images: "One and only one image shall be included on Template:In the news at any one time." Modest Genius talk 01:28, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't see the distinction. You said, and are still saying, that the person who did think it was inappropriate was either lazy or unreasonable or both. Now, I don't know him, and I'll admit it's possible that he is both of those things, but pointing it out is still a personal attack. People don't need to actually draw the conclusion that we are racists; just drawing the conclusion that we are having a laugh is enough to make it irresponsible, and it's not unreasonable for someone to draw that conclusion. We're not racist, we just don't mind winking at a racist joke. Which one can you picture on the Colbert Report: "Photo of Obama next to cave man story", or "In the News goes a day without a photo"?
As for the rest, ITN doesn't say any photos are required, just that there should be no more than one. And let's be very clear that ITN is not a policy. Neither is Wikipedia:Editing the main page. Neither is any part of the manual of style. Nothing related to page layouts and templates is a policy. Ignore All Rules is a policy. Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy is a policy. No wheel warring is a policy. No personal attacks is a policy. [By the way, I hate when people link to really basic pages as if you've never read them, and I'm not doing it to be patronizing. I'm linking them so it's easy for everyone to see that they are, in fact, policies. Not guidelines, not help pages, but official policies.]
Hey, I know WP:ITN kind of becomes your bible when you work on it every day. That's how it goes. But everyone here should be operating according to the policies that have wider consensus than those found at ITN. Actual policies, not just a list of aesthetic norms. To an outside observer, the aesthetic difference between no picture and the wrong picture is nil at best (and offensive at worst). In most cases, I'm fine with a gentle "Yes, it can be a little confusing at first, but that's how we do it". But in this case, this specific case, it called for more than that. Not a lot more; not a wholesale removal and restructuring of the section or anything like that. Just removing one little photo while we waited on a new story. And the policies I went by trump the usual ITN guidelines. It's as simple as that. Of course, people can still argue about the application of those policies (without edit warring, of course) but I have yet to see anyone actually do that. I see a lot of personal opinions about the content, but no policy saying I was wrong to err on the side of caution by removing it. Kafziel Complaint Department 03:17, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
The issue, as I see it, is not whether you were wrong to remove the image. (I personally disagree with this action, but you've made a reasonable case for it.)
The issue surrounds the determination of an appropriate response to the reversions that followed. In my opinion, immediate invocations of "wheel war" and "ArbCom" (evidently dismissing as utterly inconceivable the notion that others might have perceived the situation differently than you did and sincerely believed that they were acting in accordance with policy) did not constitute such a response. —David Levy 03:45, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Even if they thought I was way out of line, even if they thought I had gone insane and removed the photo in blatant and demonstrable violation of policy, that's still not one of the exceptions. Unless they thought there was the "reasonable possibility of actual, imminent, serious harm to the project or a user." Surely that's not it. They didn't think removing the ITN picture would literally destroy Wikipedia, did they? Or that it might cause someone to die?
Of course not. Dumelow knew it was a wheel war, and reverted himself to avoid it. He did not debate that for one moment. What the objection now seems to be is that I said "wheel war". That I said "ArbCom". That I called it what it was, and said where it could end up. That I dared to speak the words. Well, you bet I did. I tell it like it is. Apparently a lot of editors on this page think that constituted some kind of baseless, petulant threat. That I did what I felt like doing and then "cried" ArbCom. Well I've been in far bigger disputes than this, with far bigger admins than these, and I invite everyone to look through all my years of contributions and see if they can find even one other instance of me doing that. Do I actually need to go file an ArbCom motion and add this one to the list, just to prove I was justified in saying that I could? That seems absurd.
I let it go because it would distract from the actual issue—the issue of the photo's placement in ITN, and the larger issue of how main page editors treat main page readers—and I wanted to solve that, but evidently nobody can focus on any of that at this point. So is my only recourse to follow through on it, at the expense of others' time and user rights, while the original problem sits unresolved? Is that what needs to be done? If the issue was whether I was right to remove the image, I would be (and have been) willing to discuss it. But not if we're talking about a wheel war, because it is that clear-cut. So, aside from going to the ArbCom, what other option do I have here? Is that it? Because it seems like what you're saying is I either drag this over there, or I'm the bad guy. Kafziel Complaint Department 06:44, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
1. You're still missing my point. You continue to assume that the other administrators perceived their actions as (and consciously decided to engage in) wheel-warring. You treat this as a given, with all of your arguments stemming from this indisputable fact (in your mind).
As I've explained repeatedly, my interpretation of the situation is such that your edit constitutes the initial relevant change, not a reversion.
But again, I'm not asking you to agree with that. I'm asking you to accept that such a view is (or at least was) defensible.
2. Dumelow self-reverted in direct response to your demand (accompanied by the accusation of wheel-warring and threat that failure to comply would lead you to "take this further"). You now cite this response (followed by the explanation that Dumelow wanted to avoid an argument) as an admission of guilt? Wow.
3. I don't know how to take your comment that you're dealt with "far bigger admins than these." What does that even mean?
4. People are focusing on the image placement below. It turns out that the polite suggestion of actual ideas better facilitates that than hurling threats does.
5. No, you aren't "the bad guy." The problem is that you believe that there has to be a "bad guy." —David Levy 17:17, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
1. That's interesting. I hadn't thought about it that way and, I'll admit, I did miss your point. I will concede that it's possible Dumelow's revert was within policy. At the very least that he thought so, and I should have given him the benefit of the doubt. So the wheel war didn't actually start until Tariqabjotu reverted Dumelow. I can see how that's possible.
2. As above.
3. Are we really going to go off on yet another tangent, with you taking the position that all admins are the same? I'd rather not. Let's save the "some animals are more equal than others" debate for another time.
4. On the contrary, it seems to me that sometimes this kind of dust-up is the only thing that gets regulars here to be civil and receptive. The basis for the ideas being discussed below were dismissed out of hand yesterday when Sca and Khajida first brought them up. If this is what it took for to let him be heard, I'm comfortable with it.
5. The fact that you still claim I was "hurling threats", rather than standing up for what I believed in good faith to be policy, tells me you do think there needs to be a bad guy. Kafziel Complaint Department 19:04, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
1. A procedural self-reversion is an indication that the user wishes to effectively remove his/her prior edit from consideration (as though it never occurred). There was no edit war between Dumelow and Tariqabjotu, the latter of whom "reverted" the former only in a technical sense.
3. Okay, I think that I understand what you're getting at. Indeed, let's drop this.
4. I disagree that the concern was dismissed out of hand (apart from specific comments that I agree were inappropriate).
5. I have absolutely no doubt that you were standing up for what you believed in good faith to be policy. You did so by hurling threats. This doesn't make you "bad." In the heat of the moment, you responded in a manner that I regard as misguided. That's all. —David Levy 19:54, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I do have one suggestion. I'm willing to drop all of this, and won't even oppose archiving the thread, if we can all agree that flippant responses on the order of "that's just how it's done" and "we've already discussed this to death" are not helpful to casual users asking questions here, and that someone other than me is willing to be truly proactive about that. If another regular is willing to be an advocate for new and anonymous users on this page—even if it means being the devil's advocate—I'd feel comfortable leaving the main page alone entirely, and we can all go back to work. Anyone? Kafziel Complaint Department 07:28, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
I reject the premise that no one other than you provides helpful responses to such inquiries.
Please note that Sca has acknowledged that he worded his post as a joke, so it's hardly surprising that some of us (myself included) perceived it as such and didn't realize that it was intended to highlight a serious concern. —David Levy 17:17, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Please note that Sca's was not the complaint that brought me here. Also note that he didn't say he worded his post as a joke, he said it was a joke. Is it really true that people screw around on here so often that it becomes hard to tell when a valid point is being made? That may be the root of the larger problem. Kafziel Complaint Department 19:04, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Sca's was the complaint that some of us (myself included) read, interpreted as a joke, and treated accordingly. (I did so by simply ignoring it.) When it later became clear that the joke stemmed from a sincere concern, we shifted to serious discussion.
The usual problem is that satirical messages are mistaken for serious complaints (and addressed as such, sometimes leading to rather emotional responses). —David Levy 19:54, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
1. Indeed, consensus can change. I don't assert that past decisions are set in stone or that further discussion is inappropriate. And yes, I agree that it would be unreasonable to expect most users (including Sca) to be familiar with the aforementioned discussions.
My point is that consensus thus far consistently has been that we should not make changes in response to the concern in question, and there is nothing outrageous about an administrator perceiving your removal of the image as an action contrary to this consensus and (and therefore reverting it).
Please understand that this is not a statement that such reversion necessarily was called for; it's an explanation of why it was reasonable for an administrator to believe that it was called for.
2. You said that "other IP users posted here with identical objections." In the thread's final revision before its removal, I see one complaint from an IP user, two replies from IP users explaining that the image didn't illustrate the top item, a reply from you in which you acknowledged the possibility of confusion but referred to it as "a bit of a stretch," some posts that followed the image removal (including a comment from Modest Genius that you quoted above), and zero responses along the lines of "too bad, luck of the draw, that's how we do things."
3. Where in that discussion or any other did I advocate discounting newcomers' opinions?
I don't condone (and did not take part in) the denigration that you describe (e.g. the "doorknob" remark).
4. Your assessment of Modest Genius's comments strikes me as unfair. The statement that "ITN looks stupid without [a picture]" is the expression of an aesthetic opinion (and not remotely uncivil). And I find it difficult to refute the statement that "there's no way any reasonable person who bothered to read the section would think we were being racist," which is very different from saying that no one could be misled at first glance.
Again, while I disagree with the image's removal, I'm not opining that it was unreasonable or worthy of outrage. However, from my perspective, you were the one who appeared to become outraged (in response to your perception of outrage that I'm not seeing). Yes, some inappropriate comments were made, but it seems that you detected a level of underlying emotion that simply wasn't present.
5. You misunderstood what I wrote. I view your action not as "undoing the addition of the photo," but as the initial relevant edit: changing the template from its longstanding state of containing an image to the state of not containing one.
But again, I'm not asking you to agree with me or claiming that your interpretation is indefensible. I'm saying that it's unreasonable for you to hold your interpretation as the only defensible one (meaning that no rational individual could possibly regard the other administrators' actions as anything other than wheel-warring). The situation simply isn't that clear-cut.
6. This thread was temporarily archived seven minutes after I posted that advice, so perhaps HJ Mitchell still will apologize. I hope so. —David Levy 03:16, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
I await your reply. —David Levy 17:17, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
"All I did was defuse a possibly offensive situation, and almost every editor on this page immediately went off the deep end." Perhaps that should indicate that you might have been over-zealous? And that those who are disagreeing are not insulting you by doing so? Modest Genius talk 18:28, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, David. That was the point I was trying to make, but you made it much better than I did. This has been blown out of all proportion and is getting truly absurd. I suggest we archive this and move on before it gets even more ridiculous. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 05:29, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
So you show up 8+ hours after the fact, call me "stupid", now declare my position "absurd" and "ridiculous", and that settles it? I think not. And if you think David condones your insults, I think you're very much mistaken. Kafziel Complaint Department 06:03, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Kafziel is correct on this point; I don't condone those remarks. —David Levy 06:12, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
My apologies to you, David. It was far from my intention to imply that you endorsed my remarks. Kafziel, if you had bothered to read my posts, you'd know that none of the words you misquote above were directed at you. I said "This has been blown out of all proportion and is getting truly absurd. I suggest we archive this and move on before it gets even more ridiculous." I also said that you made a simple mistake and that you were acting in good faith, but you chose not to quote those. It's a shame that you persist in taking this so personally, but I came here to express my opinion on this thread in the hope of participating in a sensible and rational discussion. Your refusal to accept that anybody who disagrees with you could even believe they have a point is unhelpful, as is misquoting me in order to advance you own position. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 06:50, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
You don't owe me an apology, but I suggest that you apologize to Sca (and others with the same concern) for the "too stupid or too lazy" comment.
I agree that your 05:29 post wasn't explicitly directed at Kafziel, but I can understand why he may have genuinely interpreted it that way (particularly given your tone above). After reiterating your assumption of good faith, it isn't helpful to accuse him of intentional distortion.
I urge both of you to calm down and try to be more considerate of each other's position. —David Levy 07:20, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Can we assume that 'most people' know the difference between 'Barrack Obama' and 'an unknown type of ancient human' - unless used in some satirical magazine. Occasional peculiar/inappropriate juxtapositions will always occur with ITN and some of the help topics on the community portal. Jackiespeel (talk) 00:02, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps I should just let this die but the extremely saddening events in Russia have created a situation partially like I described above. We now have a picture of Obama next to a story of bombings in Russia. Obama isn't an unknown so this isn't a perfect example however given the problems between Russia and the US isn't the risk people may somehow think Obama or the US is associated with the Russian bombings greater then the risk people may think Obama is 'an unknown type of ancient human'? Nil Einne (talk) 23:35, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
And now we have Alan Mulally, who I've never heard of. I like the suggestion to color the background of that item and the picture a different color to relate them, but obviously that would require some work on someone's part. (talk) 15:47, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

picneds cap[itISconfusin asis{istil ofnlink pic-1st item,evnKNOWINbynow'boutdeBADlayout!}-NOTevry1hasdeTIME2readEVRYTIN+befriendly!!--i'v[[RSI]]>typin=v.hard4me!! (talk) 02:06, 1 April 2010 (UTC)