Talk:Main Page/Archive 161

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Today's Featured Article looks like an advert

I know it isn't an advert. But having Transformers as your daily feature on its sequel's opening weekend looks that way. 188.222.170.156 (talk) 11:09, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

I was thinking the same thing. Mea culpa - I should have looked up the featured articles ahead of time, and commented then. But truthfully, I don't pay that much attention to upcoming film releases either, so I probably would have missed the connection then. - Tenebris 11:42, 3 July 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.112.29.121 (talk)
Appropriateness != advert. If the blurb had mentioned that the sequel opened this weekend, it would have looked more like an advert, but even then, not much of one. In fact, in the UK, one of the major terrestrial channels broadcast the original Transformers film at the weekend without anyone in the press complaining "advert!", as far as I am aware. --BencherliteTalk 14:13, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

In the news update

There is now a separate article on the death and funeral of Otto von Habsburg (Death and funeral of Otto von Habsburg).

Can someone update ITN? Mocctur (talk) 03:00, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Suggested text:

'''[[Otto von Habsburg]]''' (pictured), former Crown Prince of [[Austria-Hungary]], [[Death and funeral of Otto von Habsburg|dies at the age of 98]].

Done. —David Levy 03:07, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

US centrism

Okay, it's 4 July but can we expect this level of saturation - US Featured Article, US Featured List, US Featured Image - for any other country's national day? I very much doubt it. 86.152.240.132 (talk) 06:52, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

You forget to mention the leading Did You Know item. HiLo48 (talk) 06:55, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Oh grow up. Canada got the FA, FP and DYK too. They didn't get a list because it's only a Monday thing. Hot Stop (c) 07:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
You realise the US makes up 45% of the audience? And that the #2 country in terms of audience, Britain, who only make up 10.4% of the audience don't have a national day. Canada comes in at #3 with 5.9% of the audience followed by India at #4 with 3.7% of the Audience, which is 10x less readers than from the US. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:09, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the UK has four national days: 1 March, 17 March, 23 April and 30 November. 5 November can also be considered a celebration day.—Optimist on the run (the admin formerly known as Tivedshambo) (talk) 09:45, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I would note the UK got FA, DYK, and ITN on the day of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Also, the days Optimist on the run noted are celebration days, but are not public holidays in the United Kingdom. Canada Day is a public holiday in Canada, and Independence Day is a public holiday in the United States. OCNative (talk) 09:50, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Sts. Patrick and Andrew's days are Bank Holidays in NI and Scotland respectively.—Optimist on the run (the admin formerly known as Tivedshambo) (talk) 09:59, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I (and I'm an Englishman before anybody starts) think it's perfectly acceptable to saturate the Main Page with American content on the American Independence Day, just as we saturate with (supposedly) amusing content on April Fool's Day and other relevant content on relevant days. If we have quality content with date relevance, we should show it off on that day, because that's the day it's likely to get the most views. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 13:39, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

In 10 days time there will there be more complaints about too many or too few France-related articles? Jackiespeel (talk) 17:29, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

I think we ought to ensure that we get complaints about too many, actually. Face-smile.svg
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 14:03, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

July 5 centrism

OTD and FA dedicated to July 5. Will other dates get the same treatment, or is this just another example of July 5 editors running amok. Hot Stop (c) 00:49, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

That's what's OTD is for so let's discount that part. We have an FA dedicated to something that happened on this date. Whilst I wouldn't like to see our making a habit of this, here's a question. What better day for this particular FA to get onto the Main page? JIMp talk·cont 01:00, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
My birthday's coming up. Expect to see appropriate saturation attention here. HiLo48 (talk) 01:15, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Battle of Osan was specifically requested at Wikipedia:Today's featured article/requests to appear on July 5. Let's look at the previous and following weeks:
As you can see, more articles have a date connection on the Main Page than do not, these days. Which isn't that surprising, considering how many such connections there are. GeeJo (t)(c) • 23:45, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm saying it's fine if you start with the FA and then choose a good date for it to appear but let's not get into starting with a date and choosing a good FA to put on ... of course it might not be that easy to disentangle these. JIMp talk·cont 02:00, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Considering this was posted below an absurd rant about posting American stuff on 7/4, I'd assume this post was satirical in nature. Hot Stop (c) 05:57, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Shelton Benjamin FTW –HTD 06:26, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Hate the date-dwelling. It is crufty crap from the a--. Most of the topics are very non-notable to start with, and then even so date connections (founding of a uni) are not really what is important about them (as opposed to say Pearl Harbor...which almost equates with December 7th...a "day that will live in infamy".) It just seems like we prioritize dating much higher than we should. And don't spend enough time thinking about diversity of subjects shown as well as notability (mostly criticizing TFA here). And I know we are all volunteers and not trying to make the TFAers feel sad. Just to get people thinking...TCO (talk) 16:18, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Biased text

The text about evangelical Protestants rioting against Abolitionists contradicts the article. —Leandro GFC Dutra (talk) 23:09, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Yeah that was my bad on the reading comprehension. howcheng {chat} 01:39, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Image alts

I've been noticing lately that the image alts for TFA, ITN, OTD, and TFP have consistently been short, caption-like statements while the image alts for DYK and TFL have been lengthy descriptions of the visual elements of each image for the purpose of users who are unable to view images. Is there a reason for this inconsistency? Neelix (talk) 14:52, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Short answer: No, no reason at all. Longer answer: Different people work on different sections and we don't coordinate. howcheng {chat} 16:42, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Some information on volunteering. Art LaPella (talk) 20:18, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
DYK and TFL doing something better than TFA! Ha! Stick in the eye...TCO (talk) 22:16, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Quite the reverse in fact, and this has been discussed at length elsewhere. The fashion at DYK, for instance, for lengthy florid alt texts is the antithesis of their purpose, which is to act as an alternative for the image, not a description of it. The distinction is one that many seem to find difficult to grasp, but it's an important one nevertheless. Malleus Fatuorum 22:20, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
You were wrong about the lag impact of cite templates and SV was right.TCO (talk) 22:22, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
SV most certainly was not right. Malleus Fatuorum 22:29, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Speaking as one of the people using "lengthy florid alt texts", I found the polite collegial message of Neelix at WT:DYK very helpful. I had learned, in some long-ago alternate universe, that alt text describes the image for those who can't see it. Now I've read WP:ALT and plan to change. Sharktopus talk 22:30, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
  • "As a screen reader user, I think alt text should be encouraged, but not required on every image. If there's no alt text in math equations, screen readers will read out the raw LaTeX, which is never easy to parse. Long alt text is hard to read for me; a screen reader says "link graphic" before each line. Therefore alt text should be succinct; Eubulides' alt text for At Eternity's Gate is a good length. However, a picture paints a thousand words, and there are some images which probably can't be described succinctly, like maps or photos. Sometimes I find that all I want is a tactile diagram of an image, so I can properly understand it." -Graham87 from hereTCO (talk) 22:44, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Parsing this, there are sort of two sides of the coin he presents (the thing about the linkgraphic was interesting). But note that he says for a photo (our most common type of image) that a thousand words may help. Also, in another part of the discussion, he says "I don't know what I'm missing". So I think the general "describe it to a blind person" advice is more right than not. More right than our policy guidance with a purely nominal statement like "painting of Napolean Bonaparte". Something saying he has his hand in his jacket might be useful.TCO (talk) 22:44, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
      • No, it isn't. The correct general advice is to make sure that the image is not necessary to understand the article, and to make the alt text short and sweet. Malleus Fatuorum 03:02, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
        • Do screen readers (HAL/Supernova, Thunder etc. - not just Windows/Mac's built in ones) read the alt + the caption, or just the alt? Chaosdruid (talk) 08:01, 8 July 2011 (UTC)PS I just tried the Microsoft one that comes with Vista - it thinks all Wikipages are empty, in both Firefox and IE. Chaosdruid (talk) 08:17, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

That sounds...like...eh...doctrine, Mall. Did it come down from the mountain on a tablet? ;-) I find the old convo with Graham much more revealing than the Wiki page o' guidance. To your points, certainly writing body text to be self-supporting is a nice ideal, but at the same time images certainly can be more revealing than decorative. Can even be a functional method of communication. Walls of text with pretty pictures is not the only method of communication or always the ideal one. And body text could be significantly weighed down if some aspects of visual description, that are easily seen by the eye, were incorporated.

B4 Western painted turtle underside.jpg

For instance, do we really want a discussion of the "swirls" of color on the plastron of the western painted turtle's shell, when the almost paisly, totem-pole-like pattern is easily seen as an "aha" by picture? So then for the person who lacks images (from device or from lacking sight), perhaps an attempt to really describe is helpful? Better than the so vague as to be a waste of words "bottom of a western painted turtle"! (Consider the analogy to "painting of Napoleon Bonarte".)

TCO (talk) 13:24, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

My understanding from WP:ALT is that alt text depends on context. In its current position in Painted turtle (in a gallery showing tops and bottoms of the four painted turtle subspecies), such an alt seems reasonable, but if the neighboring text were discussing animal camoflage, the alt text would need to be something quite different. cmadler (talk) 13:51, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
It came from the W3C, so yes, it was handed down from the mountain on a tablet. Malleus Fatuorum 13:55, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
The discussion there says that you can go either way (an actual description OR just the placeholder "painting of Napoleon Bonaparte"). It is not a no-brainer and there are advantages/disadvantages to either approach. See examples 2.1 and 2.2 hyar.TCO (talk) 14:03, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

ITN passive voice

"The closure of News of the World is announced..." Who announced it? --Coemgenus (talk) 21:11, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

This was addressed at Wikipedia:In the news/Candidates, where it was decided to "phrase the blurb in the passive voice, as the sources differ between whether News Corp or News International announced the closure, and because who announced it really isn't important." —David Levy 22:10, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
We could just say 'James Murdoch announces...' since that's unambiguously true. Modest Genius talk 22:15, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm surprised no one has said it was Otto von Habsburg Nil Einne (talk) 11:42, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Tomorrow's POTD: WP:VERIFY

Tomorrow's POTD: I had to put a refimprove tag on the main article. And the Commons description page cites a "P. Boomgaard, 2001", but there seems to be no way of locating this reference, which might have been translated from the Dutch. The source link is to a page in Dutch that doesn't mention the claimed author (if it's on a subpage, I think the Boomgaard ref should link to it directly). The blurb info is not in the article. I'm not good at sorting out this kind of thing. I've left a note on Howcheng's page. Can anyone assist? Tony (talk) 08:49, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

The description on Commons comes from the source page ([1]) - you need to click more ("Meer") to get the complete paragraph. There is also listed on the source "Boomgaard, P. en J. v. Dijk, Het Indië boek, Zwolle, 2001, p.218". Perhaps this is what the description refers to?--Kateshortforbob talk 09:23, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Sounds promising, thanks, Kate. Anyone speak Dutch, to translate the title? Possibly this source should be included in the article. BTW, I removed "nicely" from the blurb (comes from pic description page, apparently from Boomgaard), because it's a bit subjective and vague. I'd love to know what the cultural anchor is for the decorations; the pictured stone doesn't seem to be decorated. Tony (talk) 10:52, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Google says the title means ....

Dragging the stone 'Darodaro' for the death of Saoenigeho Bawamataloea, Nias.

  • My Dutch is rusty but Google's is pretty good. The village where the stone was set up was Bawamataloea. "Darodaro" seems to be the name of the stone (capitalized as if it's a proper noun). "For the death of Saoenigeho" suggests it was a monument to somebody whose name was Saoenigeho. Sharktopus talk 11:05, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

ERROR IN 9 JULY MAIN PAGE

Please add Independence Day of South Sudan to the "On the next day..." section (next to Independence Day of Argentina) --Gimelthedog (talk) 21:48, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

That's not an error. That section is for anniversaries, and since this is the independence day itself, rather than an anniversary of independence, it doesn't belong there. It is, however, currently the first item in In the news. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:30, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

POTD

Why is it so small? It has about as much impact as a tea bag. We're not lacking in space that I am aware, so allowance should have been made to display the panorama at a size which does it justice. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 10:17, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Bigger is better (in pictures).TCO (talk) 13:37, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:MOSIMAGE sets the maximum width to be 550px. I tried not too long ago using {{wide image-noborder}} but there were complaints that it didn't work correctly for IE7. howcheng {chat} 16:46, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I concur with Ohconfucious more and more every day, but that's beside the point ;)—the image is useless at that resolution. There's enough unused space that it could be made "longer", and probably "taller" as well. The MoS was written for articles, which consensus has repeatedly deemed the MP not to be. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:38, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
The MOS takes into account screen width; just because we're on the Main Page doesn't mean users' screens are going to be any wider than when they're looking at articles. It is true that we're working based on an 800px wide viewport, which may or may not be accurate anymore. howcheng {chat} 02:16, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Well I need to be taken out the back and shot: I regularly use 550–600px. Tony (talk) 06:33, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm bored

too tired to work on an article. but no good flame wars going on. Discussion forums seem slow. maybe someone direct me to something interesting? TCO (reviews needed) 04:11, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

WP:CENT, maybe WP:ITNC if that's your thing. Hot Stop (c) 04:25, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Have you tried one of the Wiki Fixup Projects? Most of them are non-controversial maintenance, and gets a little tedious IMO, but it does takes you on a 'whirlwind tour' of various articles and subjects around Wikipedia... Zzyzx11 (talk) 04:27, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Those are all damn good suggestions (serious). I was expecting instead that we would have a kerfuffle since I called the talk page a forum. Maybe I will go pretty up my Wiki wall.TCO (reviews needed) 04:30, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Take a look at "centralized discussion". Drop in and review a few DYKs? Or FAC? Or FLC? Desperately short of reviewers. Tony (talk) 04:31, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I'll look at FLC. It's been so much sports and pop culture lately, but if there is geography or something, I like that. FAC there's no new science ones up. Actually...I probably should go learn how to review a DYK. I have a to do to understand that area.TCO (reviews needed) 04:35, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
FLC would be fantastic, thanks. Dabomb87 (talk) 04:49, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Yessir, boss-man. Just ripped one. Hope I did not discourage a person who can contribute.TCO (reviews needed) 05:41, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I can't beleive you guys are getting more free work out of me. You should be chiding me for calling admins moderators and Wiki instead of Wikipedia and all that.TCO (reviews needed) 05:46, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Contribution Team/Backlogs - Pick one, enjoy. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:59, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
bwahahaha. I'm too good for that. I'm an article writer. TCO (reviews needed) 06:02, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Too good for that? Too good for that? Well I suppose one very long and impassioned explanation as to why such a philosophy was harmful didn't get though, so I won't waste time on you with another. You disappoint me. Sven Manguard Wha? 06:59, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I want your other leg too. (You could have an admin ban me. :)) TCO (reviews needed) 08:44, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I must have missed something there. What's with legs? Also, you haven't done anything banworthy. Sven Manguard Wha? 23:05, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Peace. TCO (reviews needed) 00:52, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
User:Sven Manguard - It's TCO humour, as in pull the other one, pull the other leg - i.e TCO is pulling your leg. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 01:53, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Internet is serious business! :(TCO (reviews needed) 02:04, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Redesign?

I was looking through the FAQs (yea, I was that bored) and found Wikipedia:Main Page alternatives and Wikipedia:2008 main page redesign proposal. Seeing that the current Main page is now five years old (or ancient in internet terms) is there any chance of another possible design contest? Hot Stop (c) 04:37, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

If you noticed, the 2008 redesign contest lasted for several months, and none of the proposals failed to gain any consensus. A major problem is that many initially came into the contest just for the sake of redesigning the page – without any clear enough goals. Many did not realise, or ignored the fact, that the current design was the result of a long web usability project in 2006. There is a significant amount of users who would like to keep the Main Page as web friendly and web accessible as possible. So after several months of submitting proposals and debate, there was finally a discussion about why we were having the redesign contest in the first place (archived here). But again, there was a lot of talk about what the goals should be, and it eventually ended without any consensus. So any new redesign contest in 2011 would have to go through a similar long process. Based on those previous discussions and consensus, just because the Main Page "looks so 2006-ish" is not a sufficient reason to do a major redesign. Cheers. Zzyzx11 (talk) 05:05, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Another thing I remember about that 2008 contest was that there were various discussions about adding or removing Main Page sections. And I once asked, "Shouldn't that be a separate issue altogether?". So again we have to be clear and have consensus on what are we redesigning first before holding any such new contest: Are we just changing the layout and appearance? Or are we also significantly altering the Main Page sections? Because the latter issue compounded the problem in 2008, IMO. Zzyzx11 (talk) 05:28, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
The main-page design is so bad it's a joke. Urgent action is needed. Tony (talk) 06:32, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Tony. If all websites looked like they did in 2006, they'd be awful. AD 09:07, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Too much information?

Here's something which struck me reading the Wikipedia main page just now: we include a lot of information on the front page. Most websites these days don't show much information on the front page, whereas Main Page just hits you with a wall of text and relatively few/small pictures. I actually forgot about the portal links in the top right corner (though for what it's worth, I don't visit the main page all that often). In re-designing, might we consider a more judicious use of space? hare j 06:27, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

TCO-troll editorializing

1. Yeah, I find even text-heavy law blogs more engaging than our FP. And ESPN or CNN sites are WAY more fun to enter. Even some corporae website. I mean, shit, we got the ARTICLES to bore people with walls of text. (although I want more pics there, too!  :-))

2. but srsly, the thing has a lot of issues. Long paras (in columned text [Hello! *bonk on head* "Anybody home, there, Mcfly?])

3. The ITN stuff is probably decent content to pimp people in with a newsreel...to looking at our Main Page, but then we blow it with several day old news (and have some bizarre rationale of oh we are an encyclopedia...but why have a news tape and have it so far out of date...just fucking half-pregnant.

4. We are missing GAs, FSes and Featured Videos on the site (I realize the last two need work as programs...but heck...this is 2011, being able to stream a video is basic, peeps...let's get over our mp3 hayt-tred.)

5. ITN (and somewhat other hooks) have way too many "side" wikilinks rather than the main ones. It's just a mess for the reader. But our half-pregnant mindset drives this. I mean 40 odd links from the various hooks themselves is enough peeps. Packking in 5 times that causes confusion. I can't even tell on ITN how to get to the main article stories.

6. All tha said, I think we need to realize we are modular (have a lot of people doing different programs) and have volunteer updating of the page, at high frequency. So making it too centralized or coordinating will be a hash. That's why I love the listers. They said screw it. Gives us a box at the very bottom. It won't cause some interaction with anyone else. We'll just make our thang work!

TCO (reviews needed) 08:59, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

There are many, many ways to improve the main page. If it was me, it would be much more like the front page of an encyclopedia, with a lot less text, more pictures and more about Wikipedia itself - it says "that anyone can edit" at the top in small letters, but that's not enough to entice most people, and easily missable.
I would do away with blurbs altogether, and simply link to articles (maybe with just a description "Henry VIII, King of England, 1491-1547"). I would change DYK to become a place for new FAs/GAs to be featured. ITN would be scrapped completely. But I realise these are radical and it's unlikely anything will change. But there's always hope. AD 09:07, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Looking through the 2008 proposal, I see a big problem in that most proposals don't actually do much to alter the design, which is the point of it after all. Apart from a few colour changes, font changes, and a bit of a shuffle around they generally don't look that much different. What we do need is consensus on what is actually wanted on the main page; I don't think everyone is happy as it is. AD 09:21, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I think people like updated content. See that as why blogs draw so well. Here's one to throw out, but what about some daily editorial (maybe some rotations of improvements going on, old war stories, new discoveries, and basic how to use the 'pedia). Someone like Sue or Jimbo or Ira. Maybe with a little columnist's photo in the corner.TCO (reviews needed) 09:31, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Signpost on the main page? AD 11:00, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Check out Wikipedia:Community_portal, which already has the Signpost and might be a good place for some of TCO's ideas as well. Sharktopus talk 20:58, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Little bit. Not quite as in crowd, though. But some of the stuff. There's a reason why newspapers have columnists as well as straight stories. It will get reads...I promise. More than the TFA blurb.— Preceding unsigned comment added by TCO (talkcontribs) 11:05, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
There is also a reason that editorials are placed in the editorial section of the paper instead of on the front page. --Allen3 talk 11:12, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
There is a reason the women of Wiki suspect the men of being virgins.  ;-) TCO (reviews needed) 11:19, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, wikipedia should have columnists doing what is needed to get reads. 129.67.86.189 (talk) 20:39, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
When ITN works it does deliver useful content, that it doesn't always work is a significant issue however. I do think changing the main page so it wasn't a giant wall of text would be a significant net positive. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:27, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

FPOTD & DYK oversight

Has nobody noticed the Pic of the Day and our topline DYK combo yet? If this is intentional editorializing it's beyond disgusting. If it's a mistake we should be taking a second look at how we coordinate material on the front page. Can we slide the FPOTD to tomorrow and swap tomorrow's for today? We get enough charges of bias and POV without this sort of thing. TomPointTwo (talk) 18:48, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Speaking for DYK, the item was selected based on date relevance (as well as image quality making it suitable as a lead item), and with no consideration -- possibly no awareness -- of the FPOTD. cmadler (talk) 19:06, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
We don't need to debate this in triplicate; I would like to draw readers' attention to the two other threads on ANI and FPOTD talk. bobrayner (talk) 19:13, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Good-looking websites attract trust

As if to resonate with the general feeling that WP's main page needs a redesign, new research results supporting a connection between trust and web-page attractiveness have just been reported in the mainstream press and Google news. It's odd that the buzz is out before the paper is presented next week at the 2011 World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Applied Computing in Las Vegas (perhaps a deal was done with the conference organisers). And I'd like to see the methodology before coming to any conclusions. But one thing caught my eye: "The biggest source of frustration for internet users is irrelevant information". Memo to TFA.

And before anyone dumps on this by saying it's by an internet marketing academic, and involves "consumers", I think the case is theirs to make that consuming WP's free information is in principle different from the psychology of other forms of consumption. Tony (talk) 07:23, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

  • It would be great to have another crack at rallying together and making some progress on this. I think a good way to start would be to agree on the aims and audience of the Main Page, establish exactly what content should be present, and only then bring a refreshed visual design into it. — Pretzels Hii! 13:58, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
    • "The biggest source of frustration for internet users is irrelevant information". Memo to TFA. Curious: I'd be inclined towards "Memo to DYK, ITN and OTD". SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:01, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
      • Before we can really begin to consider what information is relevant or irrelevant, we first have to know what information Main Page visitors are seeking. Are they trying to learn about Wikipedia itself? Are they here to look up articles on a specific topic? Are they interested in contributing to Wikipedia? Are they really looking for Wikipedia in a different language, or for a different Wikimedia Foundation project? Are they just here to browse for interesting information? Each purpose suggests a different optimal layout, with different aspects receiving more or less emphasis than they currently do. cmadler (talk) 14:16, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
        • I know more than one of us who only read the main page to see what plagiarized, poorly sourced, sensational misstatement of fact is up on DYK. They never disappoint. ITN has also run POV more than once. So Tony's finger pointing at TFA is still curious. But you do have a good point; who are our mainpage visitors, anyway? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:34, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
          • Wikipedia is a mainstream website, standards need to be high. With an army of critics (on various points in the logical arguments to vitriolic spewings scale) we can't keep giving our enemies low hanging fruit like this. I personally believe that the main page should only display peer reviewed material, which in Wikipedia would be the work of our featured processes. I'm in favor of scrapping everything on the current Main Page except for FA, FP, and FL, and bringing Featured Portals onto the main page in a not-trivial way. FS is kinda dead again, and FT could have a place, but people don't seem to like the idea. I understand the desire to highlight new and current content, I really do, but unless we find an effective method of quality control for the other sections, something that I don't believe has happened, they shouldn't be on the main page. Sven Manguard Wha? 14:47, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
            • (e.c.) Sandy, I mentioned TFA because it's by far the longest continuous piece of text on the main page and could be trimmed with better effect in most cases. To me, it should function as a big hook to the FA. If you want an example of the irrelevant in a TFA blurb, here, at random; it comes complete with the rail yards and parking lots that used to be where Chicago's Millennium Park is, in the second sentence if you please.

              But what you raise goes beyond this: I quite agree that peer reviewing is inadequate for our showpiece, especially at the tsunami-paced DYK, with up to 32 articles a day. How on earth can they be checked for copyvio, close paraphrasing, balance, and other issues the site has deemed germane to articles? The reviewers at DYK are unable to cope, although the queuing admins do their best to make good of it.

              Cmandler, yes, there's so much research done on WP you'd think someone could conduct a study on the demographics and desires of people who visit the main page. But using up-to-date web-design and technology shouldn't need us to know much more: to me, it's a no-brainer that we need to use images more cogently and have mouse-over short texts that click to the gateway forums currently cluttering the main page. Sven Manguard, I think the regular forums are well designed in concept (although need some updating in practice). Yes, portals and topics should be given more oxygen on the front door. Tony (talk) 15:21, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

              • Without knowing more about Main Page visitors, it's not a no-brainer. Consider that one of the most-visited, most-trusted pages on the web is also one of the simplest. The vast majority of people who go to that page do so to use it as a way-point to find something else, and the simplicity of the page reflects that. If this is how most people use Wikipedia's Main Page, we might consider a move in that direction. On the other hand, I'd wager that most visitors to this page are looking for a general type of information (news) but not necessarily for a specific item, and that's reflected in a very cluttered design, with a few items deemed very important or of widest interest given more space, and a plethora of bulletted links on many topics, inviting the visitor to pick something that might interest them. This site takes a very different approach, giving nearly all of the "above-the-fold" space (depending, of course, on screen size) to a single story. Right now, I'd say the Main Page is something of a hybrid between the latter two, with focus given to TFA, but a greater variety of content linked through ITN, OTD, and DYK. I suspect that FP is below the fold on most visitors' screens. My point is that, while each of these is a valid approach; a Google-type layout wouldn't work as well for CNN, and vice versa. There is no single optimum design type that transcends all uses. cmadler (talk) 16:48, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
            • I'm with Sven ... the DYK plagiarizing sensationalizing inaccurate poorly sourced info displayed on the mainpage needs to stop. We've been asking them for YEARS to deal with the issues, and it just hasn't happened; in fact, it's gotten worse since their solution was to require nominators to review (nominators are often ill-qualified to review hooks). And every time I've gotten involved with ITN it's been because they were running POV-- it's a corner of Wiki that not enough editors pay attention to. Featured pictures often run inaccurate text and inadequate captions, even if their pictures are purrrrrdy, so I'm not so sure on that score. So, all in all, I don't see why FA shouldn't have exactly the space it does have-- the solution to the occasional crappy blurb is for reviewers to stop passing that crappy prose, and no one in this discussion is blame free on that score. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:38, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
              • (first line @ Tony1) I wasn't trying to say that they were poorly designed, indeed I saw how much effort went into the process and procedure for ITN. Execution, however, is of concern. ITN is slow to update, DYK's deficiencies are well documented in this thread. OTD (while vastly better quality than many other OTD pages on Wikipedia) is often English/US-EU-AU centric, although that's really the worst I can say about it, so it's better than the other two. I support revisiting an idea that, iirc, Tony1 either proposed or championed, of non-protected prep pages, several days in advance. With the exception of ITN, there is no excuse why there can't be several days of padding for main page content. Non-protected subpages (that do not automatically transclude at the time limit) are the way to go here, for all the dynamic sections. Those pages need to be easy to get to for interested parties. There is room for improvement, for sure. Only willpower and the willingness to compromise are lacking. Sven Manguard Wha? 16:50, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
                • "DYK's deficiencies are well-documented in this thread"? To me, documentation would imply URLs pointing to issues in specific recent DYK articles. It is not my impression that "Errors on the Front Page" reports recent spectacular errors in DYK. Nobody expects the quality of Wikipedia's newest content (DYKs less than 10 days old, and ITN often newer) to match featured content. If you want to figure out what people are looking for one the front page, you can look at the clicks generated by items in different sections when they are on the front page, using this day-by-day stat tool FA and ITN are at the top of the page – on my laptop they are all I can see unless I scroll down – so they would be expected to get more clicks. Sharktopus talk 18:01, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Redesign is already being discussed above; maybe it is time to put together some sort of proposal/RFC/whatever to iron out the details? AD 17:43, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

I'd love to see a mainpage that was simpler not more complex. It's difficult to imagine that happening. Everyone agrees that simple is good, but no one will agree to removing their favorite section of the mainpage, or to removing a link to their favorite project. Things can be added, but never removed. APL (talk) 20:10, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

RFC on Main Page features

If we are to get anywhere with updating the main page, we need to agree on what is actually wanted on the main page. So I have created an RFC to discuss. Please participate! Thanks. AD 19:20, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

TFA is a bit weird ...

Weird bits I've italicised.

Somerset is a county in South West England. The county town is Taunton, which is in the south of the county. The ceremonial county of Somerset borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the coast of the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the River Severn. Somerset is a rural county of rolling hills such as the Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor National Park, and large flat expanses of land including the Somerset Levels. There is evidence of human occupation from Paleolithic times, and subsequent settlement in the Roman and Saxon periods. The fFarming of sheep and cattle, including for wool and the county's famous cheeses (most notably Cheddar), are traditional and contemporary, as is the more unusual cultivation of willow for basketry. Apple orchards were once plentiful, and to this day Somerset is known for the production of strong cider.[Even though the orchards aren't plentiful now?] Tony (talk) 04:56, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

  • The blurb on Today's Featured Article, Somerset, is atrocious beyond belief. In my view, it ought to have been completely rewritten before making its way onto MP. Instead of making wanting to learn more about the county and inviting me to read the article, it is an utter turn-off. Not only is is covered in links which are of marginal relevance, I am certain there are hundreds of more interesting facts about Somerset that could have been used in the blurb. I would certainly question its focus – the boring geographical description is about a scintillating as a wet towel. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 04:57, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
I've had a stab at tweaking it. Any outstanding isues, please post to Errors. --Dweller (talk) 08:55, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your attention. Interesting suggestion though, particularly if you were suggesting that poor or boring prose should be 'corrected' as if it was an error... --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 15:48, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
I meant (by "isues", grr at the typo) little fixes that can be easily implemented, like the ones I did, rather than a wholesale rewrite. Agreed that the blurb makes the article thoroughly unattractive. A great shame, but like Sandy says below, it's because the article's lead is poor. --Dweller (talk) 15:51, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
And one glance at the FAC shows what happened there ... it had to be restarted, with prose deficiencies apparent from the get-go. Where were the reviewers who should have opposed, hmmmm ??? I no longer let 'em through just because they get unqualified supports, but some help from reviewers would be nice. There is little as unhelpful as a green light on crappy prose. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:55, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Hyperbole notwithstanding, wrong target: the problem is not the blurb-- the problem is the article from which the blurb derives. Some folks might want to review more FACs and not approve of those with substandard prose, particularly in the lead. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:03, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry folks - blurb was my fault - I saw teh request box empty and thought it'd be a good broad article to mainpage. I did some trimming but was in a hurry and neglected to copyedit. Will double check next time. Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:07, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

You would think Raul would find the problems on the blurb no? I mean this is not a case of some hidden badness far down, but of it front and center. But I do agree that article improvement and rating itself is more important than the front page kerfuffles. TCO (reviews needed) 17:34, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Too many notes ...?

In German, Emperor Joseph's remark is usually reported as:

Zu schön für unsere Ohren und gewaltig viel Noten, lieber Mozart. (literally: "Too beautiful for our ears and enormously many notes, dear Mozart.")

with Mozart's response:

Grad so viel Noten, Eure Majestät, als nötig sind. ("Just as many notes as necessary, your Majesty.").

So, actually the Emperor did not complain about too many notes.

--Furfur (talk) 07:44, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

(Web links: http://www.nzz.ch/2006/01/21/li/articleDI1OR.html, http://staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/suche/einzelansicht/article/2006-10-16-4037/).

(This refers to On this Day.) I think if you take the transcripted meaning, he does, but literally he does not. It's roughly the same thing regardless.  ƒox  08:17, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, too many notes has a negative connotation in my opinion (a kind of critique, on the Main Page the remark is called a "complaint"), while gewaltig viel Noten /"enormously many notes" expresses a more positive feeling (also appreciation. i.e. being impressed). --Furfur (talk) 08:49, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Note the word "anecdotally".  ƒox  09:23, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
That's how the story goes in English, which is probably due to a bad translation in the first place. howcheng {chat} 09:50, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

TWA Flight 800

Fifteen years ago today, TWA Flight 800 crashed. But OTD, for some odd reason, chooses to highlight the fact that some people saw a streak of light and believe that there was a government cover-up:

1996 - A "streak of light" was seen immediately before TWA Flight 800 exploded in mid-air off the coast of New York, leading to a number of alternative theories that allege a government cover-up.

Before I just go in and change it, does anyone know if there was a decent reason why the blurb was formulated this way? -- tariqabjotu 14:25, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

I know of none and have a hard time thinking of what kind of justification could be used, I'd support the change. RxS (talk) 14:29, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I came in to ask about this myself. Wikipedia has no place putting conspiracy theories in the front page description of a historical event instead of a better summary of what happened. ShadowUltra (talk) 15:04, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Change it. That is an absolutely brutal example of using the main page to push a fringe theory. Resolute 15:46, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Changed, please tweak as needed. RxS (talk) 16:00, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Wiki love

What a great new option. Immediately encourages a positive atmosphere, greatly needed on here.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:29, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

I wouldn't call it new anymore and what does this have to do with the main page? Nil Einne (talk) 17:54, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Nitpickers hate Wikilove. –HTD 02:59, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually I don't give a damn about wikilove (in fact I think I'm on record when there was the whole big kerfulle when everyone else noticed as saying I don't get why people are so worked up about it, if people want to use it let them, if not don't, if it improves the atmosphere good). However if you're really interested in wikilove you may want to notice it 3 weeks or so ago when everyone else did. And more to the point, if you aren't a new user and so can be expected to know what is and is not suitable for the talk main page even without reading the big header which says "Please note: The purpose of this page is to discuss the main page. It is not a place to ask general questions or submit encyclopedic content" you may want to consider whether the best way to promote wikilove and a positive atmosphere is by not making people waste their time reading pointless off topic messages about 'new options' which were added 3 weeks ago when there are far better places to discuss such things. Nil Einne (talk) 07:48, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
I guess there's not much Wikilove between Dr. Blofeld and Nil Einne. (Now I need a sad symbol.) HiLo48 (talk) 07:55, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually I don't really care that much. In fact my bigger beef is with HtD and even that isn't a big deal. The fact remains though IMHO it's far better to work fruitfully with your fellow editors then to hand out kittens or whatever else. And part of working fruitfully means thinking about what you're saying and where you're saying meaning it's best to keep stuff ontopic, particularly in a place like here where we get tons of off topic messages all the time and in a case where there are far better places on wikipedia for your message. Nil Einne (talk) 08:01, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
So you're bitching on the section called "Wikilove" because this is off-topic and you don't like cute kittehs? What a sad state of affairs.... and where's the sad symbol? –HTD 08:26, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

The section wins the internet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.209.200.3 (talk) 09:28, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Metric conversion

I moved this from #Any other problems, as the instructions in that section indicate. Art LaPella (talk) 19:32, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Yesterday's picture of the day: said "through three feet of ice". It has no metric equivalent. Is that a one-off error are a systematic error? Lightmouse (talk) 17:45, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't recall seeing a lot of MOS:CONVERSIONS problems on the Main Page, so I'm less likely to be looking for them for that reason. So I'd say closer to "one-off". Of course every Wikipedia volunteer has the ability to report such problems at WP:ERRORS as they occur. Art LaPella (talk) 19:32, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

I can't think why I didn't manage to follow the instructions. Thanks for moving the question. I hope it is a one off but I may spend some time at the POTD preparation pages. Thanks. Lightmouse (talk) 21:03, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Normally I catch those. Not sure how I missed it. howcheng {chat} 04:53, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
And doesn't MOSNUM say units should be accompanied by numerals, not spelled-out numbers? "3 feet"? Tony (talk) 06:14, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but that is among the issues on which MOS:NUM comes down firmly on both sides: "write five minutes", "Measurements, stock prices, and other quasi-continuous quantities are normally stated in figures, even when the value is a small positive integer: 9 mm, The option price fell to 5 within three hours after the announcement" (if hours aren't quasi-continuous, I don't know what is), "one mile (1.6 km)". Art LaPella (talk) 14:08, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
The measure 'three feet' is suspiciously like 1 meter. US Navy submarines measure ice thickness in meters. See: Satellites and Submarines Give the Skinny on Sea Ice Thickness. Regards Lightmouse (talk) 16:03, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, fairly sure it's one-off. Good spot.  urban f o x  11:31, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. Lightmouse (talk) 11:09, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Must one have an account in order to propose a new article ?

I have noticed that one cannot find an article on the English language Wikipedia about a particular writer and I would like to propose or even contribute myself to writing an article about that writer. At the present time one can only find articles about him in the French and the Romanian language sections of wikipedia, and I would very much like to introduce him to the English speaking world. I do not have an account on wikipedia. I am not particularly interested nor do I have the time to become a regular contributor to wikipedia. Could I contribute with this one time contribution without having a formal account ? The last thing I need is remembering yet another password in my life ! Thank you very much for clarifying this for me, or even for forwarding this question to the appropriate department for me...(I know nothing about how this works or how it should work, nor am I particularly interested in finding out.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 161.4.82.7 (talk) 08:02, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for helping Wikipedia grow! Wikipedia:Articles for creation is where you want to be. howcheng {chat} 08:26, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Thank you, "Howcheng". I apologize for not researching the correct pages about contributions before asking my question on the main page discussion. 161.4.82.7 (talk) 10:03, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

'If unfamiliar with a place, ask at the most obvious place for directions' (WP-ians and other wiki-ists are normally helpful under such circumstances).

Even 'occaional users' can have usernames - and several persons can use the same IP address to different ends. Jackiespeel (talk) 14:23, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Lunar landing

How could the greatest feat in human history be missing from OTD?Kember (talk) 18:35, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

I would guess because it's been on OTD every year since the section was started and it's necessary to maintain a variety of topics. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:49, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm guessing it was decided (correctly, I think) not to have two space travel items on the same day. Personally, I would have retained Apollo 11 and left Viking off, but I suppose that's debatable.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 18:58, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
  1. "1969 – Space Race: Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission (July 20th in North America)."

The above is copied from July 21st. It would seem to me, that (according to Apollo 11) that the first space walk occurred on July 20th, 1969 (But it occurred on July 21st according to the UTC standard).... Something seems wrong with that, the whole mission was supervised under the time used in the USA (EDT i believe). Shouldn't the Apollo 11 moon walks have been in yesterdays OTD (as was suggested in the above posts)? It is kinda like saying: "New Years Day is January 1st (December 31st in North America)." See what i am saying? It should be removed from the OTD as it did not occur on July 21st!Dusty777 (talk) 02:12, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Apollo 11 has a maintenance tag on it, making it ineligible. Meanwhile, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are featured on Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/July 21: Events are usually listed according to local time where they occurred. The Moon not being in any time zone, UTC is the most applicable. howcheng {chat} 04:52, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Let me get this straight (for the record). The moon has no time zone so you cannot very well say what time it was when the moon walk occurred, but UTC (on earth) is applicable to the moon? Still seems strange..... Anyway, thanks for the explanation! =D Dusty777 (talk) 15:32, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Because of where the moon was in its orbit, the TV pictures of the first moon walk were received in Australia. Should we use the date there? (21st) Even though I'm Australian, I would argue against that, but UTC avoids such arguments completely. HiLo48 (talk) 12:06, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Note that because the main page follows UTC, for all events happening in a narrow time frame, if we follow the date it occured in some other timezone and this date is different from the date in UTC, this means it will not appear on the main page when the event actually happened. For events with a clear cut connection to a local timezone or date, it makes sense to follow that date even if this means it isn't going to show when the event actually happened. This isn't so clear when an event has no clear cut connection to a local timezone or date. Note the New Years Day is a poor example, if you're using the Gregorian calendar, New Years Day is on January 1st. New Years Day is not on December 31st in North America Nil Einne (talk) 07:54, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Probably a better comparison might be the Attack on Pearl Harbor, memorialized as December 7, 1941, in the US. But in Japan, that was December 8. howcheng {chat} 18:05, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
And an American space mission doesn't have a clear cut connection to American time zones? --Khajidha (talk) 19:04, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
To reiterate, events are included based on the local time zone of where the event occurred, or UTC if not applicable. howcheng {chat} 20:51, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes I don't think it's that clear cut compared to an event which actually occured in one place following a specific time zone Nil Einne (talk) 11:51, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
My understanding is that American military operations that are not really connected to a time zone (e.g. submarines) use GMT (or Zulu time). Anyone involved in actions across time zones know what their local time is relative to GMT but not relative to some arbitrary other time.
On that basis using GMT for space missions is a sensible practical point. FerdinandFrog (talk) 12:59, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

list of people with hepatitis c

wtf? wow thats really classy wikipedia, making a list of people with a disease, how like a stalker — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.164.62.0 (talk) 02:54, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

This doesn't belong on Talk: Main Page. However - "A number of celebrities diagnosed with the disease have decided to go public in order to raise awareness about hepatitis C and to encourage more people to get tested for the disease." -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 03:18, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

RfC: DYK quality assurance and archiving

An RfC has been launched to measure community support for requiring the explicit checking and passing of DYK nominations for compliance with basic WP policies, and to improve the management of the nominations page through the introduction of a time-limit after which a nomination that does not meet requirements is archived. Tony (talk) 03:44, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

There are a zillion RFCs there I dunno where to start. –HTD 16:17, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Start with the ones at the link and work downwards. :–) Tony (talk) 00:45, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I dunno how can I support the proposals that labels me as someone who has "no sense of shame, decency, or intelligence." –HTD 15:24, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Ignore anything personal, and have a think about what you want. Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:35, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
By the rate this is going (new stuff such as checklists), people who submit DYK blurbs will be so pissed off they'd stop submitting new blurbs, then there'll be no more hooks, making it easier for the GA guys to take over prime Main Page real estate. –HTD 03:58, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Adding the FA/GA count

On the main page we currently list the number of articles as inspired from an RFC comment by User:A._di_M. I think we could add the count of the number of featured articles to the main page as well. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:30, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

We had that before. It was removed either because it had to be manually updated as the bot couldn't edit a cascade protected page or because the bot died Talk:Main Page/Archive 92#FA count off Main Page Nil Einne (talk) 17:35, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
{{Wikipedia:Featured articles}} produces 4303. An easy way to do this would be to change More featured articles... to 4303 featured articles..., assuming that the TFA folks think it's worth mentioning the number at all. —WFCTFL notices 00:02, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
As I understand it, that will result in Wikipedia:Featured articles where the number is coming from being protected due to cascading protection from the main page (and if it doesn't that's a security risk so would be even less accepted). If this is considered an acceptable tradeoff (the obvious concern is that it will prevent User:SandyGeorgia from editing the page) then I guess that's okay but I presume there's a reason it wasn't done last time around. The alternative is to put the count somewhere else but that would need to either be manually updated or a bot with administrative permissions. (We could somewhat change the current system and put the number in {{FA number}} or somewhere else as the main source and just transclude the number from there in W:FA so that only one page needs to be updated. Altho it would still mean only admins can update the number.) The other alternative is to use {{PAGESINCATEGORY:Featured articles}} but that's considered less accurate. Nil Einne (talk) 10:12, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Will this add to text crowding? Editors have made it clear they want less text and more images. I'm inclined to remove the "Recently featured" line and a half of clutter at the bottom of the TFA box, since there's already a bolded link to the whole month's "Archive" a centimetre below.

The reduced-clutter version, with the number of FAs, and a more obvious pipe to the month's archives, and losing the second set of ellipsis points that compete with the "more...", would be:


... However, he took up the title once again the following year, joining his son Maxentius in rebellion. After a failed leadership challenge in 307, Maximian fled to the court of Constantine in Trier. At the Council of Carnuntum in November 308, Diocletian forced Maximian to once again renounce his imperial claim. In early 310, Maximian attempted to seize Constantine's title while the emperor was on campaign on the Rhine. Few supported him, and he was captured by Constantine. He committed suicide later that year on Constantine's orders. (more...)


Instead of the current clutter:

... However, he took up the title once again the following year, joining his son Maxentius in rebellion. After a failed leadership challenge in 307, Maximian fled to the court of Constantine in Trier. At the Council of Carnuntum in November 308, Diocletian forced Maximian to once again renounce his imperial claim. In early 310, Maximian attempted to seize Constantine's title while the emperor was on campaign on the Rhine. Few supported him, and he was captured by Constantine. He committed suicide later that year on Constantine's orders. (more...)

Recently featured: "Nothing to My Name"Robert Peake the elderCanadian heraldry

Tony (talk) 01:34, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

If the only concern is permissions lets give Sandy Georgia the permissions. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:58, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
You can't just give them to her, and there's no way she would submit to an RfA. Malleus Fatuorum 21:22, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Then change the rules to let her have the permissions, or get arbcom to give a ruling. Damaging the front page which is viewed by millions of people each day because you can't give one user the ability to edit full protected pages is really, really stupid.
If its a bad idea that's fine, but if the only reason we aren't doing it is giving a trusted user some permissions that flies in the face of WP:NOBUREAUCRACY and common sense. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:28, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
The packaging of administrative rights has very little to do with common sense. Malleus Fatuorum 21:40, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Then Arbcom should be able to make an exception and give her the rights to edit fully protected pages - if not they aren't doing their job. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:43, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
If they did, they'd be lighting a powder keg. Malleus Fatuorum 21:47, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Then they should light it. This shouldn't be controversial at all, and if they aren't willing to do this there will be plenty more things they should do that they are too scared to do. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:51, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
It's more complicated than you seem to realise. For no particular reason other than laziness or lack of foresight the administrator rights are all bundled together. It's just not possible to hand out one and not the others. Malleus Fatuorum 22:04, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
No, but it could be made possible. Certainly the ability to edit through protection could be relatively easily devolved—the main problems that have stood in the way of previous proposals are a lack of clarity over who would be granted it by whom and for what. @Eraserhead: ArbCom, whatever lofty powers they like to think they have, have no authority to assign admin rights. They are, in name if nothing else, a dispute resolution body. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:20, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
It could, were there a will to do it. But if you look at my rights you'll see that I have none, as my concern isn't who hands them out, but who takes them away. Malleus Fatuorum 22:25, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
ArbCom is not Wikipedia's government. It has ZERO right to unilaterally change rules to suit momentary whims. The community has the right to do so, but not ArbCom. That being said, if Sandy doesn't want the tools, or if she is not willing to go throug RfA, that is her decision, and one that should be respected. Such a decision as you suggest would cause massive drama for no real benefit. After all, we are only talking about changing a word to a number. The easier solution is to use estimations and have an admin periodically update the affected main page template to say "3300+ FAs", then "3400+ FAs", etc. Resolute 22:29, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I hardly think it's necessary to give someone the rights just to edit the main page for simple numbers, anyways, and I don't think Sandy's interested. Maybe it's just better to go without? ceranthor 22:33, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

The issues with sandy not being able to edit it not withstanding, I don't particularly care for this proposal. I think it is uglier (in that the FA is the only section doing it while none of the other sections do) and that the FA count isn't an especially useful thing to have there. Raul654 (talk) 23:04, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

So I still don't know why links to adjacent TFAs are necessary when there's a link to the whole month's archives. There's too much clutter at the bottom of TFA. Tony (talk) 01:01, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
How would you define "cluttered"? The proposed version's footer is longer, hence appears to be more "cluttered". Probably a better idea to ditch the archive link if there is a link to the entire list. –HTD 06:34, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Howard, cluttered I define as 169 characters (84 of them redundant, in my view) as opposed to the 60 characters at the bottom; please see my two examples above.Tony (talk) 07:03, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
If we do decide to keep a count, I like Tony's reduced clutter example. Something like that would be optimal. ceranthor 14:36, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Overlinking of plain English terms

We have links to:

  • United States
  • World War I
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Pakistan

OTD, DYK, and ITN are all overlinking. Why are they all making the same error? Lightmouse (talk) 11:29, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

This should ideally be discussed below at Talk:Main Page, not the errors section, because it's a long-standing practice, not an error we didn't notice. It was discussed here for instance. I would like to see the WP:OVERLINK guideline harmonized, one way or the other, with the longstanding practice of ignoring that guideline on the Main Page. Same for the WP:NOTBROKEN guideline. Art LaPella (talk) 13:39, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. I've tried to move it but I'm somewhat confused by the instruction with a link. It looks like it should take me elsewhere but I found it takes me right back here. Regards Lightmouse (talk) 14:09, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

I didn't find "the instruction with a link". Is it still a problem? All the links in this section correctly take me elsewhere when I try them. Art LaPella (talk) 15:07, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
He was referring to the Any Other Problems section at WP:ERRORS, which I hope I have made less confusing: it previously looked like a circular link. Kevin McE (talk) 15:49, 28 July 2011 (UTC)


Overlinks just keep on coming! More to:

  • fish
  • pennies
  • schoolchildren

See: Template:Did you know/Queue/1 as of now. Lightmouse (talk) 14:49, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

"Fish" and "schoolchildren" have been de-linked. "Pennies," however, is a potentially ambiguous term. Several countries have a "penny" denomination, while the U.S. uses the term only colloquially (sometimes leading to confusion among people aware that a U.S. dollar comprises cents and unaware that a one-cent coin is commonly known as a "penny").
Regarding your original complaint, we routinely link terms of central relevance to items, including the names of countries. As has been discussed on previous occasions, these links do not merely serve to clarify unfamiliar/ambiguous terms. One of the main page's purposes is to illustrate the encyclopedia's comprehensive nature. —David Levy 15:12, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but we have three million articles. Just because a subject has an article, doesn't mean it is appropriate or necessary to link to it when it's mentioned, on the Main Page or otherwise. We need to be a little more selective in our linking, or we end up with blurbs that look like this. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:23, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Hence my above reference to "terms of central relevance." Indeed, "schoolchildren" and "fish" were examples of overlinking. —David Levy 15:31, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps we should come up with a system of "rating" links. All links other than the bold one get a mark out three, depending on their relevance to the subject and how widely their subject would be understood by English speakers. A link that's very relevant (like President of Vietnam on ITN currently) would get 3 out of 3, and a link to a widely-understood subject that's a few degrees of separation from the subject (like China, in the Wenzhou derailment blurb) would get 1 out of 3. I would also rate the link to Israel low, because it's the second link (excluding translations etc) from Tel Aviv and the first from Jerusalem, which are both linked in the same blurb. I understand the purpose of the links, but I think we can afford to be a bit more selective. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:43, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Surely the only relevant rating is appropriate or inappropriate. Is your proposal that we have 2 star scoring links included, but not one star ones? We only have one star links if there are fewer that n links already in the blurb? I don't get it, and we could end up with diversion into arguments of how many stars a link should have. People know we have 3.5 million articles: we don't need to alert them to the fact that we have got round to including one on Australia, and if people are reading a blurb about a bike race in France, is that really going to prompt them to wonder about about the flora and fauna, or the demographics, of Australia. Kevin McE (talk) 16:17, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
"As has been discussed on previous occasions ..." for years, and as will continue to be discussed on future occasions, as long as we give people opposite instructions. Art LaPella (talk) 15:54, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

More...

  • Jewish
See Template:Did you know/Preparation area 2 as of now.
  • New York
  • Brazil
  • Rice
  • Coffee
See Template:Did you know/Preparation area 4 as of now.

Regards Lightmouse (talk) 15:49, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Prep area 2 and Prep area 4 are not on the Main Page. They are both part of a processing location for DYK, where people concerned about overlinking have the chance to make alterations before the text goes onto the Main Page. Are you now complaining that the process allows you and others to correct the problem of overlinking in advance? --EncycloPetey (talk) 19:34, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Also, the DYK prep areas are unprotected, so any editor -- even an unregistered IP user -- can fix problems there. cmadler (talk) 19:48, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Fixed all. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:56, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Pointing out multiple defects heading for the Main Page isn't a sign of problems with the reporter. It's a sign of problems with the DYK process. Yes, I could fix 1, 2, 5, 10 defects. But pointing out a systematic problem is much better for you, me, and the Main Page. We're allies, not enemies. Lightmouse (talk) 21:08, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
The only problem I can see with the DYK process is that people are spending more time complaining about the process than acting to fix things that could be corrected in less than half the time. When a child cries over spilled milk, there is no need to mount an awareness campaign seeking to pass stricter laws regulating the construction of beverage containers. Instead, just clean up the milk. --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:04, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, quality control at the bottle factory is such that the bottling company probably ought to have gone out of business by now, but the customers just resign themselves to having to mop up on a very regular basis. Kevin McE (talk) 23:11, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
The factory door is unlocked and anyone can participate in quality control. What instead happens is that everyone seems to want to stand outside and watch for mistakes after the bottles come off the line, instead of walking a few feet inside to catch problems before the bottles leave the factory. --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:20, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
The trade unions there are strong: anyone who tries to tighten up the production line will soon be drummed out of the place, accused of upsetting the apprentices. Kevin McE (talk) 23:25, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
By "tries to tighten up the production line" you mean "tries to level the place to make another parking garage". I've never seen anyone "driven out" for correcting the problem of overlinking or just pitching in to help. --EncycloPetey (talk) 00:40, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
No, I mean someone who says "If we are going to put this stuff in bottles, we should make sure the bottles don't embarrass the shop-keeper who would put them on his shelves." Kevin McE (talk) 10:10, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
It mostly depends on hook submitters on how the hook will be linked -- most of the time the reviewers don't bother to question how the linking is made up. If the submitter didn't include links then most of the time it won't be linked. This is sorta different in ITN where there are fewer suggestions and admins have more time in editing the blurbs. –HTD 03:50, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Interesting sparring, but the problems at DYK are systemic and part of the flaws in the process; it's not possible for any one editor to dig in and clean them up. When the "trade union" starts taking them seriously and corrects the oft-mentioned and well discussed flaws in the process, only then will it make sense for other editors to spend time in review. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:17, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Errors? Defects? Problems? Are we really talking about overlinking? Seriously, the extra links may be useless and sometimes annoying, but they don't do harm but waste character space in the wikicodes. Anyone with the extra time and energy to deal with errors, defects and problems are encouraged to go to T:TDYK and help screen DYK hooks before they get to MainPage. There is always a shortage of hook reviewers to deal with copyvio, BLP vio, poor referencing, poor formatting, close paraphrasing..., etc. and yes, please remove the extra links from the overlinked hooks while you're at it. Thank you. --PFHLai (talk) 04:24, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
THIS. –HTD 04:36, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm glad this has been raised (I've only just been alerted to it by a note at the DYK talk page. There seems to be absolutely no reason for linking common terms, per the Wikipedia Pillar that "Wikipedia is not a dictionary". I think it's time to treat our readers as above idiot-level, and not to crowd hooks with links to commonly known countries; worse that these link-targets are to very general articles that have only the vaguest relationship to the hook; and worse that these low-value links detract from getting readers to link to the subject article of the hook, whatever section we're talking about. The only exception might be OTD, in which I can image there would be angst if the year article were not linked. Tony (talk) 06:29, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Tony1. The linking of common terms makes it harder for readers to find the links that deepen the understanding of an article. Effective linking is a difficult skill to master, and we need to encourage editors to be (very) selective with their linking. GFHandel   06:39, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
"...but they don't do harm...". With respect, I would suggest that they do. By diluting the higher value links it is harder for readers to recognise the links that deepen the understanding of an article. Yes, things can be cleaned before release, but we need to have policies and examples that encourage better linking practice at the earliest opportunity. GFHandel   06:45, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Overlinking is indeed not a good thing to have, but we really have worse things to deal with at T:TDYK. While most submissions are okay, the bad ones really stick out. Please come and help. You can remove all the unnecessary links you want while handling the missing references, POV pushing, BLP violations, ... etc. Thank you. --PFHLai (talk) 08:09, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I would delink major countries etc. when I proofread WP:DYK/Q, if that were the consensus or if the guideline made it explicit that the Main Page is not an exception. Art LaPella (talk) 15:38, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
With all those problems, it seems that fundamental change is needed here—to avoid all the down-stream problems. GFHandel   08:18, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Look at T:TDYK today. Indeed, there have been seismic changes lately. Just because a bad hook shows up on MainPage every now and then. --PFHLai (talk) 10:54, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
The Main Page currently looks like a jumble sale at a refugee camp, it's ugly and every now and then an unexploded bomb is found. It's time for the Main Page to decide what it wants from content suppliers. Lightmouse (talk) 11:19, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes. This fact only escapes those too close to the Main Page trees. GFHandel   11:37, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Really? What does this refugee camp have to do with OVERLINK? Anyway, if you think it's time to re-ignite Wikipedia:WikiProject Usability/Main Page or start a follow-up of Wikipedia:2008 main page redesign proposal, good luck. --PFHLai (talk) 13:19, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia has been digging not very deep and finding unexploded DYK bombs all over the place. Tony (talk) 16:00, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I've been digging not very deep, and finding unexploded bombs in all sections of the main page, including TFA. And so? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 16:57, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Really? Where can I find those instances and discussions? Unlike ... ahem ... certain other processes where there is no accountability, I'd like to know if they require my attention (I did see a big problem in the blurb of today's TFA, which is a *very* old FA, passed before my time on a very scanty review, and from a nominator I personally cracked down on years ago and whose work has improved greatly via collaborations with other editors, but I'm not an admin so don't fix blurbs. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:12, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Unexploded bombs

This thread has brought us to the elephant in the living room of the main page: that every "secondary" wikilink is a potential unexploded bomb unless it's been checked out for copyvio, plagiarism, reliable sources, BLP policy, and the rest. So why insert wikilinks to secondary targets more than very judiciously when they expose us to risk, and carry the further disadvantages of: (1) diluting the traffic to the subject article, which presumably contains the secondary wikilinks in the first place (usually prominently); (2) making the main page look rather messy; and (3) often, in the case of "dictionary" terms, violate the site's styleguides. I note that the right side of the page (ITN and OTD) seems to be especially keen to drown subject articles in low-value link targets, as raised in the thread above.

But worse, we're learning day by day that even the subject articles are not audited; witness this embarrassment that was recently exposed on the main page via DYK—paste-ins of tranches of text from an obituary in a leading broadsheet, with legal and emotional implications; apparently it's not uncommon. In the past hour, someone at DYK has stated that the even subject articles are waved through without checking for compliance with basic site policies:

... most articles linked (unbolded) from the main page are in much worse, and often disastrous, state and that this should be the priority in the main page cleanup; that there is a mainpage culture of wlinking any uncommon term without looking what is being linked? ... ITN articles are not scrutinized even when bolded. Many, if not most, fresh ITN articles have bare-url refs and problems with sourcing and prose, and get cleaned up quickly while on the main page. My point is that WP is work in progress, and that main page helps fixing the problems ASAP. That only a part of main page content and links is actually screened.

The astonishing implication is that the main page is being used partly as a dumping ground to stimulate article clean-ups. Tony (talk) 05:40, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

which is just your assumption, Tony. Materialscientist (talk) 06:24, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
I have often followed unbolded links from the Main Page and ended up spending time cleaning up some pretty messy articles. The casual reader receives a very poor impression of Wikipedia from such low-quality material. Colonies Chris (talk) 08:10, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Or perhaps they receive an honest impression. That has its advantages.©Geni 10:30, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
It's true that we do not necessarily need to have the only best articles linked from the main page, we need a modicum of checks to ensure there are no 'obvious' problems. For the "honest impression", the reader can already access the 'Random article' button on the sidebar. I'm sure there are many who enjoy clicking on that endlessly, just like there are others who navigate from one article to the next by clicking on the link which most appeals to them in any given article. WP is a work in progress, and isn't perfect by any means – including our GAs and FAs, but those usually have more critical eyes on them, so it's better than nothing. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 02:49, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Main page screenshots

Does WP make regular screenshots of the main page? Or is it practically possible to recreate historical main pages? -- ¨¨¨¨ — Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.103.206.249 (talk) 11:07, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

By clicking the tab "History" above, you will see the history of this page. For example, the first Main Page looked like this (however, the blurbs are everytime the same, no matter which revision you are looking at, eg [2], except Wikipedia:Main Page/Yesterday). I am not sure, do you need the layout or those several blurbs, like TFA, DYK, OTD, etc? If you need the first TFA, for example, go to Wikipedia:Today's featured article/February 22, 2004, found in the archives. However, I can not answer your first question, but your latter. Yes it is possible to recreate historical main pages, but you would only see the old layout, and not the old blurbs, as mentioned above. Regards.--♫Greatorangepumpkin♫Heyit's meI am dynamite 12:14, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Main Page history for archived versions made in 2011 with Special:ExpandTemplates applied to the source of the main page. They are searchable text and not screenshots. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:38, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

A comment on Main Page redesign

This post is intended to follow on from comments about Main Page reform in the section above. The overlinking section should remain about overlinking, as I think there is further discussion to be had on that front.

When we do run discussions about the future of the Main Page, many of those calling loudest for change make comments that some might categorise as "negative" and/or ignorant (before I go on, the irony of me repeatedly criticising the tone of others is noted; what I will say is that tone and timing are close cousins). Differing opinions about what constitutes ignorance aside, such comments are fine if counterbalanced by "positive" suggestions on what we should actually do. But invariably we suffer from a lack of "positive" suggestions, and invariably calls for change result in no change by default.

People who want wholesale reform need to learn a thing or two from people who have gotten changes to the main page, whatever they actually think of them. Those who want to change the Main Page need to emulate the success of those who have already achieved it, and frankly they will need some of those who are "too close to the Main Page trees" to support a redesign to have a hope in hell of getting it through.

As someone who has been part of a team that did it (the unanimously supported TFL proposal), I don't think the stumbling block to change is actually that big. We have five daily and one weekly section on the Main Page. All of them bar On This Day have pretty clear-cut support to continue in one form or another. That said, there is broad agreement that we have too much text in most sections, too little freedom on image size and shape, and that we should streamline the other busyness on the page (although further discussion is needed to determine exactly what elements of the very top and very bottom we should retain and discard). In effect, people are saying that the main page looks rubbish, but that it does the job, and that the new one should have a simple yet modern look whilst doing a reasonably similar job.

Sooner or later, the community needs to confirm the design parameters. The biggest unresolved point that I can see is whether to retain OTD, and if not, whether to replace it with something else. Other factors to consider include the quantity of text (we should determine the upper and lower bounds for each section that are considered desirable by the community, and the upper and lower bounds that any designer must be adhere to), the size/shape of images that need to be accomodated (same criteria), and whether there is scope for ITN to take on a ticker format (is more prominence and less space too good to be true?). Additionally, what is the designer allowed and not allowed to do with links outside of the six main sections? What constraints are we putting in place with regards to colour scheme? Until we get decisions on these points and similar ones, no further progress can be made.

As a recently departed editor I was starting to grow fond of might have said, find a way to bang the right heads together, and the rest will come. —WFCTFL notices 14:13, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Currently, the most likely section to die is DYK not OTD (see most of WT:DYK), after a reform that requires enough extra work to probably eliminate nearly all of its content. Art LaPella (talk) 15:47, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Over-pessimistic on DYK: it's likely to die only if if stays the same. If it can adapt in ways that will regain the community's confidence, so be it (I hope so). Whatever happens in main-page design, the time will soon come when we need a main-page directorate, and editors to assist them who treat the whole page as a single entity rather than separate fiefdoms as now. Each day, coordination between the sections is required to produce the stunning, professional web-page of which we are capable. Tony (talk) 16:07, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
For years, DYK reviewers have periodically fallen behind and created a backlog. There does seem to be an outburst of reviewing at the moment, much of it your own, but I can't imagine it continuing indefinitely to keep up with the greatly expanded pace required, just because yet another voice has called for it. We'll see in a few months. Art LaPella (talk) 16:20, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Also note that SandyGeorgia has repeatedly called for DYK to reduce its schedule to say, once a day, to allow time for extra reviewing. At least that is realistic. Reviewing time is a finite resource. Art LaPella (talk) 16:46, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't recall that I specifically asked that it be reduced to once a day (I may have?), but some reduction in turnover is necessary to get a grip on some barely minimum standard of quality control, to avoid its current status as Plagiarism Central. I'm unsure where the notion that anyone who "pretended" to meet the DYK criteria (although they don't always) gets to be on the mainpage-- if they can't control the quality to avoid massive copyvio, BLP vios, etc, then production should be reduced, but I don't know if that means to one queue per day, or two, but something less than what they are attempting now. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:26, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Quotes you don't recall:[3][4] Art LaPella (talk) 23:27, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
I did say "in one form or another", and I chose those words very carefully.

Support for the main page carrot for new/expanded content is strong. Support for short, snappy, extraordinary facts on the main page is considerably stronger. You'll find few who are opposed to both concepts, even among those who believe that what we know as DYK should be put out of its misery. Therefore, as far as main page redesign is concerned it is safe to assume that either DYK or an equivalent will be there. Any change to that section, however drastic, is of no concern to the designer(s). —WFCTFL notices 23:00, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

And the words I chose were about DYK starving for lack of approved content, not about those who want it to die. Art LaPella (talk) 04:27, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
How can it "starve"? You just lengthen the exposure of the shifts as necessary, thus giving more time to worthy DYKs. Tony (talk) 04:40, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Better. Say it that way, and my objection is resolved. Rather than just continue and give up for lack of content. Art LaPella (talk) 05:03, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
But remember the objection that the incoming stream of candidates will continue even if we don't have time to deal with them. Art LaPella (talk) 05:08, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't see that as a valid objection: when FAC has a backlog and a lack of reviewers, that doesn't mean FAC is obliged to pass faulty FAs. It means the nominations get archived after a certain period of time, unless they've demonstrated they meet criteria, which is exactly what DYK could do, instead of assuming any 'ole thing gets mainpage exposure regardless of review. What DYK specifically did wrong was to institute Quid Pro Quo reviewing, which means unqualified reviewers can pass unworthy nominations. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:28, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
DYK has a voracious appetite for new articles, a result of the notion that every new article should be showcased on the main page, when the obvious truth is that most new articles ought to be worked on to bring them up to some kind of minimally acceptable standard. Free of obvious grammar and spelling errors would be a gigantic step forwards for instance. It's quite clear to me that most DYK reviewers don't read the whole article, no matter how short it is, so no surprise that they very rarely catch the all too frequent copyright problems that DYK propagates. Malleus Fatuorum 21:31, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a strong opinion on quality versus quantity (although you'll see me working on the former, not the latter), and in particular I fall short of Wikipedia's assumption that everyone has as much understanding as a copyright lawyer. But if we're only moving through a small fraction of our submitted DYK candidates, then allow even more time for somehow choosing the most promising candidates without thoroughly reviewing them (there is surely no time for thoroughly reviewing everything by the new rules), or else expect to select them at random. Just so everyone remembers reviewing time has to come from somewhere. Art LaPella (talk) 23:41, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
I count 5 entries whose approval was completed on July 31. At that rate, even one queue per day is too optimistic without shortening the 8 entries per queue. And that's even though there was often no record of compliance. Art LaPella (talk) 14:54, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
The main page isn't that bad. The amateurish thing for me is the placid pastel colours used in the headers and the feeble excuse for a header bar. Pinks and light greens are not really what I'd expect on a front page encyclopedia. You'd expect something a little bolder and stylish, with more conservative colors. A change of color of the headers say to a neutral grey or something would at least be a start. But then you'll get people moaning that grey is boring etc.. I also think the portals in the header are a complete waste of space. At best they should be at the bottom of the page. Portal Mathematics for instance gets on average about 2000 out of 4.8 million people visiting it every day. The extreme majority clearly do not want these portals there. I've personally always ignored them, I can't vouch for others though, but he statistics show clearly that most ignore them too. What I don't want is another few months of time wasting discussion only for it to be sidelined again. We have 3.7 million other articles to worry about.♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:05, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thanks for taking this away from bleating about DYK, and back on topic Dr. Blofeld. I certainly echo your last two sentences.

As for your point about portals, I think it's worth considering some sort of drop-down interface for tangentally useful links. I would hypothesize that someone who clicks on Portal:Mathematics is more likely to become a mathematics editor than someone who clicks on a TFA or TFL is to become an editor in the applicable field. Admittedly this is impossible to prove, but logically someone who was after articles on a specific field and found them is more likely to "convert" into an editor that someone who happened to find Dickin Medal or Double Seven Day scuffle interesting. For that reason I think there is value in those portal links, but I can see why many feel that the space taken up is disproportionate to the benefit. —WFCTFL notices 15:03, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Infoboxes

Standard & Poor's downgrade USA's credit rating

Special care when including information from the Arab/Israeli field

On the 4th of August the following appeared in Wiki's DYK section.


If anyone had checked the Mein Kampf in the Arabic language talk page at that time, they would have noted that the "bestseller in parts of the Middle East" was a controversial claim. Could editors please exercise special care when including information from the Arab/Israeli field, as information is notoriously unreliable in times of war/conflict. Thanks Prunesqualor billets_doux 10:35, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Looking at MP redesign from another angle

Permit me, if you will, to give us all a hypothetical situation, so that we can think about the Main Page, and any reform or redesign, from a different perspective. Let's imagine that there is no Main Page, and four million people a day looking at nothing, and we've been tasked with giving those nice people something to look at. So, in that hypothetical situation, what would we put on the front page of one of the ten most-visited websites? I'm not looking for a straw poll, and I don't expect radical proposals to come of this straight away, but I'm hoping for a brainstorming session on what we want to see on the Main Page, and how we want it laid out, in the hope that it might guide future discussions. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:56, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

A logo and a search box. GFHandel   00:49, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Which makes sense for a search engine like Google. We should be highlighting the fact that we are an encyclopedia that anyone can edit - that we are constantly expanding and that we have high quality content. We currently highlight these facts with a daily Featured Article and DYK. WormTT · (talk) 09:44, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
I apologise for a conservative comment in a deliberately left field thread, but my two cents are that the theory behind the main page is still extremely good. We have a search function and we have various methods of drawing people in, as well as various links that are considered helpful. That is genuinely what I want from the front page.

Question marks over OTD's existence aside, the only radical decision with any relevance at all to redesign is the look itself. Radical changes to DYK can be sorted out at WT:DYK, likewise for ITN; in one form or another there is no question that they will remain on the Main Page, so the designer does not need to concern him or herself with it. —WFCTFL notices 10:09, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Think outside the box! ;) If I deleted ITN or DYK or OTD not that I could, even if I wanted to, since ITN and DYK both have over 5k lines in the history and we decided to do something else with the space, what would you like to see in its place? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:34, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
I've shown on many occasions in both article and wikispace an ability to think outside the box, and I respect and appreciate what you hope to achieve here. But my honest answer is that if DYK or ITN went, I would like to see a better run and/or more efficient and/or slightly refocussed equivalent.

I have a slightly different opinion on OTD; if ITN were adapted into a ticker format, I'd replace OTD with a simple wikilink to the day's date. If not, I think OTD provides very important balance. —WFCTFL notices 15:18, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

A logo, a search box, and a very short blurb about "...everyone can edit..." cmadler (talk) 11:06, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is not a search engine; it is a site that has its own content. The Main Page is the logical place to give the reader a taste of that content. I think all the current sections should be included but reduced by at least half in the number of words each has. Recall that sections we now have started as a line or two of linked articles. Now, that is likely too minimalist for readers today, but having a strict size limit per section I think is in order. Too much bloat, ATM. And please try to think of OTD in the perspective of the occasional reader, not an editor that sees the same events year after year. --mav (reviews needed) 11:33, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
    To comment on OTD, as I've been taking care of a lot of it since December 2010, I've been making a big effort to include new articles (i.e., not previously or recently shown) for greater variety. In the past 9 months, I think I've been able to get a wider variety of things to appear here. howcheng {chat} 18:09, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
    A search box with links to the current main page sections below. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:17, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Whoever takes charge of the main page can you try #FCFCFC replacing the green blue and purple headers?♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:45, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I really think that a "current trends" list of articles (like [5]) is a sensible replacement for OTD. —Andrewstalk 09:10, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree that would be a good addition, but not with the evaluation that it would be a "sensible replacement for OTD". In my view, OTD's raison d'être is to counterbalance what could be seen as recentism on the main page. —WFCTFL notices 18:16, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Maybe "current trends" can be placed under OTD, to the right of "Other areas of Wikipedia"? --PFHLai (talk) 12:33, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
  • My suggestions, assuming we start from scratch:
  1. devolved cascading structure – Minimal amount of text and spurious links on the page
  2. greater reliance on colours, and large images as clickable icons
  3. elevating the status and prominence of the different portals of the current site, by having singular links leading to the central repository.
  4. FAC, GAC, DYK, each ranking as portal in their own right.
  5. "What's new" - section listing recently expanded articles to replace the DYK; reduced reliance on catchy hooks to attract attention
  6. "What's Hot" - section listing articles with the most significant rise in readership
  7. "Today in history" - single image (with caption) relating to a significant event whose anniversary is celebrated, linked to the date article. (This is despite the fact that most of our date articles are a mess and a disgrace, but will surely be a way of forcing a rethink of their role and their quality) --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 04:07, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia languages section

Azerbaijani language has 79158 article(http://az.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ana_S%C9%99hif%C9%99) but is not in the More than 50,000 articles list. Freedomist (talk) 17:23, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Quoth Template:Wikipedia languages:

This is not a complete list of Wikipedias containing 50,000 or more articles; Wikipedias determined to consist primarily of stubs and placeholders are omitted.

David Levy 19:01, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I was about to question the assumption that the wiki is overwhelmingly stubs after seeing [6] and [7] in the first five articles, but then I came across these pages in consecutive clicks: [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]. Unless that was an exceptionally unfortunate run, more development is needed on current articles I'm afraid. —WFCTFL notices 02:16, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Please add a news phrase about the huge demonstration yesterday in Israel

There was a huge demonstration yesterday in Israel (and especially in Tel Aviv) with over 320,000 people, 280,000 of them in Tel Aviv, who want a financial reform — Preceding unsigned comment added by Someone35 (talkcontribs) 06:39, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

As per the big header, see WP:ITN/C Nil Einne (talk) 07:49, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps ITN/C needs to be more prominently advertised within the header? 80% of threads incorrectly posted here belong there. —WFCTFL notices 02:07, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Image size

We really ought to do something about the rather pathetic size (100px) of the thumbnails on the main page. I think the thumbnail is a total insult to most images anyway. Just for example, the cute little image of the lizard looks like an undiscernible mass; the image of the Sistine chapel fares only a little better. Most readers would be content to see a reasonable-sized version without needing to click to enlarge. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 02:32, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

There is a reason why we, Google News and others use thumbnails in general. Because people do not always have wide-screen, hi-res monitors. We had two solutions in the past: The first was that we were more selective in choosing images, and rejected ones that did not look satisfactory in a thumbnail scale. The second solution was that some users regularly cropped images, and uploaded these with the {{M-cropped}} tag. Zzyzx11 (talk) 02:39, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I disagree that we should expand images at the expense of text. Thumbnails are a hint of something better. If you want to see something better, you have to click. Meanwhile, it would take virtually infinite pixels to display the Sistine Chapel on our front page, to the exclusion of everything else we wanted to do there. In New England we have a word for what thumbnails achieve: "A lick and a promise." Let it be so. Sharktopus talk 02:52, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is about the text, though, not the images - we're not Commons. — Joseph Fox 16:38, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
A picture is worth a thousand words. Deterence Talk 02:15, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I am a practical fellow. Use of clichés are well and good, but don't tell me we ought to get rid of all images, or go to the other extreme and use only images (as the two comments above seem to imply one way or another) – yes, I'm putting words into your respective mouths. ;-) Clearly, it's not a simple or binary as that: if you want that image to tell the story for you, each should be displayed at a size that befits it. If on the other hand the choice is to stick to a certain format/size (in this case a minuscule size, then greater care must be taken to select images for display. I think it's a mistake to expect the reader to want to click on an image that is way to small. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ohconfucius (talkcontribs) 10:53, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Featured 'London riots' news article up for deletion: here

Use of coins as scales in photographs on the Main Page

Two out of the last six Did You Know? photographs have featured coins as scales. I have no idea how big these coins are, and I imagine a large part of the English language readership won't either, as we are not familiar with them. By featuring these photos on the Main Page you are suggesting to the Wikipedia audience / editors that using coins as a scale is a good idea. It is not. Can we please have some sort of moratorium on such images, to prevent any more being taken and uploaded? If people see them on the front page they are bound to think it's okay. There's a category for such images precisely because they are Not a Good Thing and should be weeded out: [Category:Images with coins to indicate scale]. Thank-you. 86.152.23.211 (talk) 16:26, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

They're not an ideal measure, but they're useful to gain a rough idea of something's size. For example, one can tell from the image currently on DYK that the beetles are very small, which is the idea. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:39, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
There's another potential problem with this, in addition to being unfamiliar to some readers. Many (most?) coin images are under copyright, and using them to illustrate a different concept is not in line with WP:NFCC. cmadler (talk) 17:49, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Template:NoCoins already says all that. It doesn't suggest they should be excluded from TFP and I can say the chance of this happening is slim to none. In any case, the only way it's likely to happen is with a widely advertised RFC. Some random comment on Talk:Main Page where it's arguably OT anyway (it only concerns one specific subsection so there's no reason why the discussion should take place here although advertising an RFC here would be advisable) isn't going to cut it. Nil Einne (talk) 23:58, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I imagine that coins are generally used because there is usually no variation in size from one coin to another, whereas if you used something else small - say, a peppercorn - variation is a lot more common.--WaltCip (talk) 18:19, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I think the why is not in question here. I believe the point is that using a coin from a particular country does not actually help readers from other countries that aren't familiar with said coin. For example, there's a significant difference in diameter between a €2 coin and a €0.01 coin, and people who don't use Euros don't have that context. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 18:44, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Coins vary in size from country to country, but not so much that "a coin" doesn't roughly show size. A US dime is about 2 cm and a Chinese Panda Sterling is about 4 cm diameter. The coin images on Paederus beetles were cropped from a PD image created by the US Army, so coin images are probably not copyright in the US. If you click through to the actual article, you can see the full image, with two views of a beetle next to a "1cm" marker. Sharktopus talk 18:52, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

en.m.wikipedia.org part 2

I am just saying Well Done to those people who implemented changes, bringing in most of the other sections of the Main Page to the mobile site today. Simply south...... unintentionally mispelling fr 5 years So much for ER 18:37, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it's changed. After seeing your comment, I took a look, and I see only TFA and ITN, as it's been for some time. cmadler (talk) 11:38, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
mobile site Its funny. I looked this morning, it had changhed, then later it reverted to its old site and now its back. Is there testing going on? Simply south...... unintentionally mispelling fr 5 years So much for ER 16:15, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
No idea, the mobile site is not something we really have much control over and is primarily run by the foundation. While community feedback is probably welcome I think it's generally seperate from the en or other projects. You may be interested in Help:Mobile access or Meta:Mobile Projects. It appears the current mobile interface is going to be replaced. Nil Einne (talk) 14:24, 11 August 2011 (UTC)


Please put link to Khmer Wikipedia

It is the link to Khmer main page [​[km:ទំព័រដើម]​]. Thank your for your help. (Nisetpdajsankha (talk) 11:02, 11 August 2011 (UTC))

Note: its alphabetic position is in the P’s, just above Polski. However, Khmer Wikipedia contains only 2,892 content pages. —Stephen (talk) 11:33, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Some people at Khmer wikipedia, they request that should have a link from English to Khmer. Can you help on this case Stephen. It's link may be above Korean (ko) and Khmer (km). (Nisetpdajsankha (talk) 11:53, 11 August 2011 (UTC))

The English Wikipedia's main page contains links to Wikipedias containing 50,000 or more articles (excluding Wikipedias determined not to meet minimum quality standards). Sorry. —David Levy 12:20, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Oh! I'm sorry that I don't know. Thank you for your reply, so I will tell them bye everyone. (Nisetpdajsankha (talk) 12:41, 11 August 2011 (UTC))

Mobile site?

Did anyone else just get the mobile version instead of the standard version of Wikipedia just now? Was a tad confusing what. Quintessential British Gentleman (talk) 20:53, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Here, and on some other pages, but fortunately this snafu seems to have been fixed. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 21:03, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

i got the mobile version as well Tony (talk) 22:52, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Interwiki link to Kazakh Wikipedia

Is it possible to put interwiki link to KKWP? Thank you. 89.106.237.235 (talk) 12:38, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

The Kazakh Wikipedia appears to consist primarily of stubs. We omit such Wikipedias from our main page lists. Sorry. —David Levy 07:10, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

On this Day

Why Pakistan Independence Day is not mentioned in this section today? That's very unfair & biased approach! nomi887 (talk) 09:52, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Fix up {{Refimprove|date=November 2009}} first. --174.89.159.132 (talk) 10:34, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes the article includes a single ref which is to a blog (of a Asst. Professor but of Psychology) Nil Einne (talk) 13:07, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
You might have already read this, and in that case I apoligise, but you may be interested in the FAQ question " Why is [Insert event here] not posted on "On this day", an event that is "more important and significant" than all the others that are currently listed?". Summary: The main page is about the best content (article quality wise), not importance or bias. Puchiko (Talk-email) 20:30, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

News

Link to temporary injunction?--Gilderien Talk|Contribs 20:09, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. howcheng {chat} 23:34, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Today's featured picture

The caption says the Hohenzollern Bridge survived numerous Allied bombings in World War II, only to be destroyed by German engineers as the war drew to a close in 1945.

There seems to be some confusion about syntax here. Destroyed, according to Webster's, means "demolished," "spoiled completely," "ruined." This, as opposed to heavily damaged. (One could draw an analogy with killed as opposed to seriously wounded.) If a structure is destroyed, it can’t be repaired, though it, or something like it, can be reconstructed. Only a damaged structure can be repaired.

Compare the German Wiki entry, which says: ... am 6. März 1945 wurden die Brückenpfeiler durch Pioniere der sich zurückziehenden Deutschen Wehrmacht gesprengt. Dabei wurden die uferseitigen Bögen teilweise nur gering beschädigt. Translation: On March 6, 1945, the bridge piers were dynamited by engineers of the retreating German Army. In this action, parts of the arches near the riverbanks were only slightly [gering] damaged.

Thus, the bridge was not destroyed, but only damaged. It seems it was repaired after the war, and later expanded with a third set of arches.

Excellent photo, though!

Sca (talk) 20:03, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Compliments

Today's main page (August 18, 2011) was really enjoyable. The content in every section held my interest and I found myself constantly going back to it to follow all the various links. Just wanted to express my appreciation, as I'm just a reader rather than a contributor to the main page areas. -- œ 07:28, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Makes a change from the usual complaints we receive on this page! Congrats to all involved. Modest Genius talk 16:42, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

USA! USA! USA!

Did you know...

... that a cinema in America once banned popcorn?

... that an American published the first studies about African-American women in college?

... that the Kneeland Prairie penny-cress is a mustard flower found only in the United States?

... that an American was the first Asian American student at an American college, the first Asian American quarterback in the NFL and the first Japanese coach in American football?

... oh yeah, and something about a Canadian science-fiction series and a Spanish mouse...

Seriously, four out of six items that "center" on the United States do not suggest that Wikipedia has an international scope. A parochial scope, yes. An insular scope, definitely. An Americocentric scope, without a doubt. But America is not the world. 87.114.100.56 (talk) 19:31, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

I made up that list of 6 items, so I do apologize deeply to any to whom "the Kneeland Prairie penny-cress is a mustard flower with spoon-shaped petals and spatula-shaped leaves" causes offense. Because so many US-centered articles are submitted, typically roughly 50% are US-related. I did not realize the penny-cress was offensively US-patriotic; otherwise I could have stuck it into a different prep, thus rendering this set of DYK only 3 of 6 US-related. Please, please, please submit articles focused on a country you favor to DYK, we would love to have more of them. Sharktopus talk 20:12, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
(ec) DYK articles on the Main Page reflect articles submitted at T:TDYK. Although it fluctuates, in general about half of the articles submitted there have to do with the US, and so about half of any DYK update will deal with the US. We realize that coverage is not balanced; perhaps you'd like to help at Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias? Or you could watch Special:NewPages and submit suitable non-US articles to DYK. Thanks, cmadler (talk) 20:18, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I invite anyone curious to take a look at many other recent sets of DYK nominations to see how rare it is to find a set with "Seriously, four out of six items that "center" on the United States." Which makes us all the more grateful for the intense vigilance of logged-out anonymous editors flagging unintended but nevertheless hideously offensive bias. Thank god for those brave whistleblowers! Sharktopus talk 20:54, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Without comment on the rest, the fourth item is rather strange or poorly phrased. How is it possible anyone other then an American could be the first Asian American (student at an American college/quarterback in the NFL). Are there Asian Americans that are not Americans? I know people sometime claim that certain things are obvious but this is rather different since it seems to be something that by definition has to be. If the item is trying to illustrate that same person was all these things, surely it could still be better phrased? IMHO just calling him by name would have been better then what we have. And he isn't living so there aren't BLP concerns either. Nil Einne (talk) 08:15, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
None of the items actually appeared in the section as written above by 87.114.100.56 (who modified their wording to introduce deliberate absurdity). —David Levy 08:35, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah okay, apologies, I thought they sounded odd but rarely pay much attention to DYK so decided that must be how they're usually written nowadays Nil Einne (talk) 11:34, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
I find it funny that "some Spanish mouse" had nearly twice the hits as the rest of the set combined. The power of Spanish mice should not be dismissed out of hand, I guess. Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:22, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
It might make more sense if you look up the traditional uses of Spanish fly and then consider that recollection for search purposes often tends to be imperfect. - Tenebris 15:21, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
time of year I suspect. If you run the stats I suspect most of the time the most extreme bias (in terms of DYKs to population ratio) is actualy towards the UK.©Geni 16:46, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I fail to see the problem. The US accounts for roughly 2/3rds of the native English speaking world population. It is true that Wikipedia's philosophy is a world approach, but it's also acknowledged that in practice, editors write what they know. The "bias" towards articles with some vague, tangential relation to the US is a reflection of editor population bias more than it is systematic political bias. - OldManNeptune 06:05, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
The US only makes up about 45% of the readership ;). -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:07, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
...thereby proving the less than well informed US bias that exists among some American editors. HiLo48 (talk) 07:41, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Not exactly, lots of people read the English Wikipedia because it goes into more depth and has more articles, they aren't necessarily native speakers which is the point OldManNeptune is making. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:13, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I didn't read it that way. HiLo48 (talk) 11:09, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I can't help what you read. I was pretty clear in specifying "native speakers." I might also point out the less than clever switcheroo pulled in the response - comparing readership to editors and edits made. I occasionally read the German Wikipedia (which, incidentally, has superior articles on certain subjects) but I never edit it because my competence in German is not sufficient that I'd be willing to do that. - OldManNeptune 22:15, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Some editors from Albania, Brazil, China, .... and Zambia edit Wikipedia in a way that reflects nationalistic bias. This is regrettable. We have many editors who live in the US. It is regrettable but to be expected that some of the edits by some of those people will have US-centric bias. Working to reduce US-centric bias in Wikipedia is a good thing. Being outraged about having detected US-centric bias is short-sighted and may be a ticket to high blood pressure. Sharktopus talk 19:01, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
If there was any doubt that the USA is over-represented in Wikipedia, it is roundly trounced by the appearance of the non-event, 2011 Virginia earthquake, as an In the News item on the Main Page. Deterence Talk 12:24, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I hope other M5.0+ earthquakes are shown in the Main Page. emijrp (talk) 12:32, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I won't hold my breath. Here in New Zealand, there have been 30 earthquakes and aftershocks of magnitude 5.0+ just in the last year alone. Deterence Talk 12:53, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Hmmm, looking at this list of '2011 significant earthquakes', I wonder how many of them got on to the front page? Certainly there is US bias in the presenting of a huge non-news story in ITN - even other Americans are saying 'so what, what's all the fuss?' so why is it on the front page? Because it happened in the US, that's why.81.129.134.82 (talk) 16:36, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Please see the discussion that led to the item's inclusion.
The event in question, due to its extreme rarity in the area of the world in which it occurred, had an enormous (and international) impact. That many regard the disruption as an overreaction doesn't negate its existence. —David Levy 17:10, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
The US has the highest GDP rating in the world, the largest military in the world, and has the third-largest population in the world. It has influenced every country in every which way possible. Is it REALLY that far-fetched to see US-related factoids or news on the country EVERYONE knows? 109.186.20.122 (talk) 21:10, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
How does one event prove that that the USA is over-represented specifically? Just because you don't agree with a single ITN posting you make this broad generalization. RxS (talk) 13:44, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
It is an especially amusing complaint given that the current ITN points are about an Indian protester, the death of a Canadian politician, the earthquake (which did also affect Canada), unrest in Syria, the charges against a Frenchman being dropped, and finally Steve Jobs' resignation. So two out of six entries. While I do believe that there is an issue with US-centrism at times, ITN as it is currently composed certainly is not a good example. Resolute 17:42, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Sorry if my commentating is a little incorrect, but isn't the reason why the earthquake is in the news because it's not in an earthquake- prone area? If a similar quake happened in say, Chile, or California, or New Zealand, it probably wouldn't warrant much attention. But since It's in a not-so earthquake-prone area, and the fact that some people mistook it as a terrorist attack. (not quite sure if that's true, heard it from a friend)I think it does warrant attention. Wouldn't even a moderate earthquake in, say,Western Russia warrant attention? (Then again, I have no idea of Russia's tectonic activity) 76.95.96.150 (talk) 01:07, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

TFP resolution

This true-color satellite view of the Hawaiian Islands shows that most of the vegetation on the islands grows on the northeast sides—not at that resolution, it doesn't. If we're expecting readers to pick out detail like that, we need to make the image bigger. What's the reluctance to render the TFP at a resolution at which it has a chance of being useful? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:11, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Well it might cause a minor issue for the ~1-2% of users who still browse Wikipedia at less than 1024x768 resolution. Whereas of course when it comes to diagrams putting them in SVG format, which is completely unsupported by the browsers used by ~50% of web users (IE 6, 7 and 8) is completely acceptable.
There is no good reason not to double the size of the image IMO. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:21, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
It would definitely skew the main page for me (1024x600). Don't loading times have something to do with it as well? Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:30, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Looking in my web developer tools the image in question is currently 9.53kB out of 200kB to load the main page (uncached). If we doubled the width and height that would quadruple the area and therefore increase the image size by a factor of 4 to 38.12kB increasing the amount downloaded by ~ 14%. Far more critical to loading times is the fact that I need to download 46 different files to load the main page and the latency of doing that.
Additionally it looks fine at 1024px width:
screenshot at 1024px width
. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:57, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Not everyone maximises their browser window, so even on nominally high resolution monitors there isn't always a huge amount of space. But it could certainly be, say, 500px wide. Modest Genius talk 00:38, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Width isn't a a matter, but height is. The preview on the file page barely fits between my address bar and the search bar (Firefox 6.0, Windows XP). Rather distracting. Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:37, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
The preview is at a much higher resolution than double the main page resolution as it is in my screenshot. My screenshot only made the image 500px wide. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:43, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
BTW other then other issues, I can't help thinking two of the reasons the image was kept small is because it would be distracting if so large at many resolutions; and aesthically it looks odd given the small amount of text, more so the greater the browser resolution particularly the horizontal resolution (i.e. it's worse for people with widescreens and large resolutions). Look at User:Nil Einne/Sandbox with such a monitor (it doesn't look as bad in the example above precisely because of the small horizontal resolution). Nil Einne (talk) 06:35, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
The fundamental point of the matter is that we are prepared to penalise large numbers of users and editors so that billboard users can use Wikipedia diagrams and so we can use a theoretically technically superior format. Whereas we are unable to penalise 1-2% (or 3-4%) of users who browse the internet at below 1024 width even though every other website on the internet does. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:43, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Hold on, we're having two separate discussions here: one about image sizes in general and another about PNG vs SVG. Let's try to keep it to one topic or the other. howcheng {chat} 17:13, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I've been bold and collapsed the comments on SVG's they are basically a rant anyway (at least on my part). -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 17:24, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
You collapsed your own comments? The mind boggles... Deterence Talk 14:33, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
The point is we're not penalising them. In fact, as I said SVGs are still often an advantage even to those without native support. Yes I know you've collapsed the rest of the discussion so I won't reply to you other misleading claims (except to say edibility is often an advantage not a disadvantage of SVGs) there but as long as your IMO extremely misleading claim here stands, this is a fair reply. Nil Einne (talk) 23:00, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
That sandbox does indeed look ugly, but on my old laptop (1024x768, but browser not maximised, So something like 900x700). The text spills over more height than the image occupies, and because most of the width is image it horribly messes with the text justification. Which I think is the opposite of the point you were making! Modest Genius talk 18:30, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
This is why most websites have a fixed width layout. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:27, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
That's a problem but the one which would be fixable if it's possible to make the text appear below image when necessary as I suggested. The oddity of a large image vs. a tiny amount of text particularly visible at higher resolutions is not something easy to fix except perhaps by always putting the text below or by increasing the amount of text (which sort of defeats the purpose of it being TFP). Nil Einne (talk) 23:09, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
This proposal is predicated on the premise that displaying featured pictures at substantially larger sizes on the main page is desirable (provided that it's technically feasible). I disagree.
Wikipedia isn't an image gallery website. It's an encyclopedia, whose images are presented in a manner intended to complement the textual content. Our featured pictures aren't standalone entitles; they're encyclopedic assets selected because their high quality or unique significance enhances articles to an exceptional extent.
We don't use giant image sizes in articles, so I see no reason to do so on the main page (thereby presenting featured pictures in a context contrary their reason for being). In my view, this would convey "here's a cool image" instead of "here's a valuable element of the encyclopedia."
Readers are, of course, able to click on the featured picture to view it at a higher resolution, just as they would when reading an article. Perhaps we could actively encourage this (which also would serve to inform newcomers of the function). —David Levy 19:59, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Enhancing the size of an image to a resolution at which the text makes sense would most certainly be useful. At the resolution of yesterday's TFP, there was no way to tell those brownish-greenish blobs on a blue background were islands, much less that vegetation was more prevalent on one side than the other. If we're not going to render the TFP at a useful resolution, let's scrap it altogether. I'd rather see a permanent TFL or GAs or featured topics or something that requires more than uploading an image from NASA's website. But if we're going to have a "Today's Featured Picture" (not "Today's Featured Caption"), we shouldn't display it at such low resolution that readers can't even tell what the picture is. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:14, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
If an image's subject is unrecognizable, I agree that this is problematic. I had no difficulty discerning the islands (or even the vegetation distribution), but perhaps this is because my resolution is lower than yours. I'm not arguing that we mustn't make the thumbnails any larger, but the sandbox/screenshot example strikes me as over-the-top.
Indeed, this is "today's featured picture," but that doesn't mean that it should be displayed on the main page at anything approaching its native resolution. We include only a small sample of "today's featured article," with the expectation that interested readers will click through to access the real thing. I see no reason not to apply this principle to the featured picture, just as we do when using images in articles. —David Levy 20:40, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, the TFA blurb is very informative, even without reading the entire article. It's the lead, a nice concise summary. A smaller version of a picture isn't exactly the same as a summary.
One important point is that at WP:Featured Picture Candidates, the full resolution is the deal breaker. A very large resolution is required for images to even be considered, and minor flaws (observable only at the full resolution) are often the reasoning for oppose votes. Now, in WP:FAC, we also judge the entire article (even though only the blurb will actually feature on the main page) but I think there's a more direct connection there. Firstly, it's unlikely the blurb will be good if the rest of the article isn't, and secondly, the page views for TFA are much more than the full size views for POTD.
An unrelated point is that on most monitors, the POTD isn't visible until you scroll (I personally am annoyed by this, I find POTD far superior to the high-profile ITN).
Summary: the current judging criteria at WP:FPC rely on the full resolution, but only a minority of readers ever see that. At the mainpage thumbnail, the pictures don't really have the qualities (excellent sharpness, wow factor, high detail) they are chosen for. I like User:Eraserhead1's 1024px width box. Puchiko (Talk-email) 21:18, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't mean to imply that an image thumbnail is "exactly the same" as an article summary, and I agree that it's as important for an image to be displayed at a useful size as it is for a blurb to convey useful information. But just as the TFA blurb doesn't illustrate every consideration behind the FA promotion, the TFP thumbnail needn't illustrate every consideration behind the FP promotion.
We want readers to click through to featured content of interest to them. That relatively few readers do so with the featured pictures is unfortunate, but it obviously is no more feasible to display the full-resolution version on the main page than it is to display a full article there. That's why I suggest that we actively encourage readers to click, perhaps via a format similar to the one occasionally used for animated GIFs. —David Levy 21:50, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Displaying it at full resolution would plainly be impractical—it would take up a huge amount of space and it would be murder on the load times—but I think we're a bit too conservative with resolutions. We could easily make the TFP slightly bigger without any adverse effects, and it wouldn't be necessary even to do it for every TFP—the resolution was okay for the (very cute) koalas, and it's not bad for today's battleship, but it was inadequate for the image which prompted me to start this thread, and has been for others (especially landscapes) in the recent past. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 02:17, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
"Slightly bigger" strikes me as quite reasonable, particularly when such an issue arises. —David Levy 02:26, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support enlarging TFPs on the main page. I think 100% in height and in width would be excellent, failing that, 41% (doubling of the area on screen) would be good. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 02:33, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
    I prefer the idea of slightly increasing the size when necessary and actively encouraging readers to click through to the image page. —David Levy 03:37, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
    Lets' not be too vague here. Please define 'slightly'. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 03:42, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
    However much is needed to address the problem described by HJ Mitchell, which would depend on the specific image. —David Levy 04:34, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
    Hahaha. Nice try. 'Piece of string' argument. ;-) --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 04:53, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
    Sorry, I don't know what that means. (I see the emoticon, so I assume that it's humorous to some extent.) —David Levy 05:15, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
    Yea, British expression. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 07:16, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
    Okay, but that isn't a comparable context. I don't advocate that the images' dimensions increase by a finite amount (or at all unless the issue described by HJ Mitchell arises, in which case it would depend on the specific image's characteristics), so I'm unable to provide the sort of response that you sought. —David Levy 17:06, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
    "100% in height and width": do you mean the picture should be displayed at 100% of its height and width, or do you mean 100% of the container's height and width? The former is obviously impractical because most of the images are several megapixels in resolution and several megabytes in file size. If you mean the latter, that's not technically possible: images can only be set to a fixed size, not a relative size. The best you could do is a Javascript hack that calculates the available space and then dynamically loads the right size. However, the drawback to that is that MediaWiki creates thumbnails on an ad-hoc basis. The Main Page being one of the site's most requested pages, we are going to have a huge variety in browser screen widths. That means MediaWiki will end up creating that many different thumbnail images. Disk space may be cheap (and even then, you'd need to consider that having N thumbnails per image per day will quickly eat up disk space anyway, and almost all of those thumbnails will never be used again), but processing power isn't, so that's not really practical either. howcheng {chat} 16:27, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
    The wording confused me as well (with both of those interpretations coming to mind). I then realized that Ohconfucius was referring to a 100% height/width increase (quadrupling the image's size). In my view, even doubling the image's size (mentioned as a second choice) is excessive. —David Levy 17:06, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


Question

On this day...

On August the 27th it's Laylat al-Qadr, a very important Muslim day. So it must be included? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.80.208.136 (talk) 00:32, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Laylat al-Qadr is well defined, and even if you take it as the 27th night of Ramadan, it would be more relevant for August 26, which has already passed. -- tariqabjotu 02:36, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Sorry we missed that, it wasn't included in previous years, so I had no way of knowing it was coming up. Actually, checking the article now, I have to say it wouldn't qualify because it needs more footnotes. howcheng {chat} 08:57, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

"... signed the Treaty of Nerchinsk, establishing the Russian–Chinese border almost as it stands today." Almost? After that treaty Russia expanded its territory in hitherto Chinese basins of Amur and Ussuri Rivers. Quite an "almost" indeed, some 350,000 sq.mi of it! Apcbg (talk) 05:44, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Hmm, I had verified that against the source, but that page is no longer available for viewing in Google Books. Will change. howcheng {chat} 08:56, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Images

Do we no longer copy to en: (and protect) commons images for use on the main page? Rich Farmbrough, 18:35, 30 August 2011 (UTC).

Some administrators might have decided to rely on the Commons bot that automatically cascade-protects images used on the English Wikipedia's main page. I disagree with this approach, as it doesn't account for the slight delay or the possibility of the bot malfunctioning.
My understanding is that the Commons bot's task was set up to serve as a fallback (for images accidentally left unprotected), not as a primary protection method. —David Levy 18:53, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
I know DYK has a few Commons admins who handle image protections there, and ITN images should be uploaded locally but there's no need to protect them because ITN has its own cascading protection. I don't know what happens elsewhere. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:01, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I should note that I'm not referring to instances in which images are manually protected at Commons (as I sometimes do).
Regarding images temporarily uploaded locally, I do think that manually protecting them is a worthwhile precaution (for a reason that I'm reluctant to mention publicly, lest I give any vandals a new idea). —David Levy 19:23, 30 August 2011 (UTC) I've e-mailed you an explanation of what I have in mind. —David Levy 19:31, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, cascading protection is a nice fallback, but manual protection should be the primary protection method. cmadler (talk) 19:55, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Eid ul-fitr on Aug 30 and 31

I removed the ref tag from the article. Now can someone add the article to On This Day? Thanks. --Kenatipo speak! 02:09, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm calling IAR on excluding mention of Eid on the Main Page today. I removed the ref tag on the article -- it was added by an IP with 2 whole edits to his credit. Can someone please add Eid ul-Fitr to On This Day, please? --Kenatipo speak! 02:12, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I would also point out that this item has been on the Main Page every year on the appropriate day (or days) since 2004. --Kenatipo speak! 03:21, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Restored now, but your second argument is irrelevant. Articles that previously were acceptable for Main Page inclusion may no longer be eligible, as article quality has become much more important over the last year. howcheng {chat} 08:34, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, howcheng! May your tribe increase! --Kenatipo speak! 14:16, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Actually, the Eid ul Fitr was on 30 August. But the Muslims in South-East Asia are celebrating a day later.Runehelmet (talk) 13:45, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

No it was celebrated on the 30 August in Malaysia [18] Nil Einne (talk) 17:30, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Does anyone know where it's being celebrated today? (I didn't even know how it was pronounced until a few days ago and my next door neighbors are Muslims!) --Kenatipo speak! 17:47, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
There is a rather comprehensive listing at the bottom of this page. I've removed the listing. First, a lot of people consider Eid ul-Fitr to be a three-day holiday, which would mean it does not end tonight regardless of when it started. Second, more countries began celebrating yesterday (although, yes, I understand Indonesia and South Asia's choice of today means more Muslims celebrated the holiday today). We should post the first day of Eid for the first reasonably large batch of celebrants [August 30] and/or the evening start of Eid for that first batch [August 29]. But, putting it on August 31 seems forced. -- tariqabjotu 18:43, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for that info, Tariq. Next year we'll have to be more alert near the end of Ramadan! --Kenatipo speak! 22:35, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Asia-Centric Bias on In the News

The "In the News" stories are all about Asia, with one each on Japan, India, and Singapore, and even the space story is about work from the Japanese space agency. Why is this so Asia-centric? Surely, there's some news from Africa, Australia, Europe, North America, or South America. 75.62.145.145 (talk) 07:33, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Firstly Asia is the world's biggest continent, secondly stories are never going to be equally distributed around the world at any one time. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:38, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm not saying there shouldn't be stories from Asia (or even multiple stories) nor am I saying that there should be a geographic quota, but isn't having all the stories from one continent a bit much? 75.62.145.145 (talk) 07:41, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
This is an interesting change from the usual US-centric complaints Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:16, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Now when will we have an all-Asian ITN that doesn't include items about politics, disasters or science? :P –HTD 10:31, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
A US-based IP address complaining about pro-Asian bias? Almost a mirror image of the usual complaints! I suppose if we reach the point where we get equal amounts of both complaints then we'll be doing well. Modest Genius talk 12:11, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I came to this discussion page thinking it would be a hilarious "take that" to see someone mention the "Asia-centric bias" on the front page. I was not disappointed. Well played, sir. - OldManNeptune 15:17, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Any centrism that occurs generally is a result of fear or preempting potential accusations of bias by refusing to post stories of certain types or from certain locations. To be frank, I'm very confused as to what constitutes "newsworthiness" on WP:ITN nowadays. I'd almost say get a mediation committee on it.--WaltCip (talk) 22:40, 31 August 2011 (UTC)