Talk:Main Page/Archive 2

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Jump to: navigation, search no longer responds on the internet - is anyone aware of that?

Works fine now, I dunno when you wrote that. --Brion 10:56 Aug 27, 2002 (PDT)

"We started in January 2001 and already have over 27,748 articles". Let me take a wild guess: at the time I read this, we had 27,749 articles?

Either name the exact number, or use a number that is easier to the eye when you give an estimate: "We [...] already have 27,748 articles" or "We [...] already have over 27,500 articles".--branko

I agree, the current wording is odd. --maveric149

Changed. the code said { { NUMBEROFARTICLES } } articles--without the spaces between the { {, so it's not something I could convert into an estimate. Koyaanis Qatsi, Sunday, March 31, 2002

The link "Technology Review" (almost at the end of the main page) does not work ("File not found") --Tobias Hövekamp

I've removed it. If someone can find it's new location (if any), it was formerly " - MIT's Technology Review". Brion VIBBER, Thursday, April 11, 2002
They just moved it, here:

Can we add, under "Culture", a category such as "Craftwork"? (I'd say Craft, but that's ambiguous with naval craft and the like.) There are things like metalwork and beadwork which deserve (I think) a top-level category of their own. -- April

  • Sounds like a winner to me. Work it into existence with your fingers unless others disagree. Rgamble
  • Might also consider adding a crosslink to craftwork from the technology index if it includes generic commercial/industrial/economic hand production such as is still practiced in less industrialized/automated countries. Alternatively specialized articles in both places with crosslinks. user:mirwin  
    • Hm. Which is better: "craftwork" or "handicraft"? It occurs to me that the latter has the implications of hand-crafting (i.e. simple tools), while the first could be ambiguous. -- April

I prefer workmenship....Jason t***Well, Simon... errr... Google says that handicraft when combined with the two examples you gave (metals and beads) have about an order of magnitude more hits than craftwork. (Metal and handicraft = 31,700 hits; Metal and craftwork = 2040 hits; beads and handicraft = 2890; beads and craftwork = 435). I personally know the term craftwork more (draws an image of handcrafted items like you described) but seems like handicraft is the more generally used term. --Rgamble

I think the use of double hyphens "--" to indicate a dash (punctuation) looks a bit clunky and unprofessional, as in the sentence: work--with few exceptions, anyone can edit any article--copyedit...

I would prefer: work - with few exceptions, anyone can edit any article - copyedit...

Or ideally: work — with few exceptions, anyone can edit any article — copyedit...

which looks much better, though I'm not 100% sure it works in every browser/font. Could someone with access to the main page consider making this change? Enchanter

I sort-of agree, and I'd love to use real em dashes, but (1) I do think we have enough users of Netscape 4.X and other older browsers that — would be confusing (though after the new software is installed I'll be able to test that theory by looking at logs). And (2) as ugly as -- looks, frankly, I think - is worse. At least it's clear that--is, in fact, an em dash. And I'm old enough to remember the age of mechanical typewriters when we were all taught to use two hyphens to simulate a dash, so there's historical precedent for the way we're doing it now. Maybe the best option is to reword things to avoid the need of em dashes on the front page, and use real ones on interior pages. --LDC

I love the em dash, and I've been feeling guilty lately for putting them on pages when I'm not sure that they're readable by the vast majority of users — so (see, there's one now) I'd like to see the results of Lee's logs. But I will say that, if we stick with ASCII, then "--" is an ASCII em dash, while "-" is an ASCII en dash (or hyphen or minus sign, of course). That's the way I learned it, at least, and the way that I still write on Usenet. — Toby Bartels, (there's another one!) Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Maybe this is just silly, but: the title of Main Page is conform to the Wikipedia naming conventions; the P should be small (just like "Current events","Bug reports","Special pages", etc.). Jheijmans 07:22 Jul 24, 2002 (PDT)

Well, the simple thing would be to create a redirect; that won't break anything, ¿will it?. Then the programmers can change the hard coded links at their leisure. — Toby 11:00 Jul 24, 2002 (PDT)

Main Page is right in my opinion: it's a proper noun -- there can be only one Main Page, but there can be lots of recent pages, watch lists, special pages, etc. etc. -- Anon.

The Main Page, current events, bug reports, special pages are not encyclopedia articles (as are all namespaced pages) and therefore wikipedia:naming conventions do not apply. --mav

Heres a suggested edit to welcome text on front page for discussion:

Welcome to Wikipedia, a collaborative project to produce a complete encyclopedia from scratch. We started in January 2001 and already have 4,554,916 articles. We want to make over 100,000 complete articles, so let's get to work! Anyone, including you, can edit any article right now, without even having to log-in. You can copyedit, expand an article, write a little or write a lot. See the Wikipedia FAQ for information on how to edit pages and other questions.

In the Wiki spirit, feel free to edit the above suggestion with any improvements! The reasons I would like to see a change are:

  • To emphasise that anyone can edit any article, right away, without logging in or anything else. The current 'with few exceptions' seems to detract from this message - it's not obvious to new readers what the 'exceptions' are and might well make them think that they have to be 'approved' in some way before they can edit an article.
  • To get rid of the ugly '--' m-dashes which look like they were produced on an ancient typewriter. Enchanter 17:25 Jul 24, 2002 (PDT)
    • OhKeeDoeKee. --mav 18:04 Jul 24, 2002 (PDT)

I like the wording and agree with the intent but the front page on which that statement would rest is protected for practical reasons (although the front page is not an article per se so the wording might just work). I will put the new wording in after an hour or two and see if I get yelled at by the other sysops (which reminds me I should log a feature request to allow long-time non-sysop users the ability to edit protected pages -- there simply ain't enough of us to maintain the dozen or so protected pages and no reason why users like you shouldn't be able to edit them). --mav

Mav - I would suggest not making the change to the main page yet. I envisaged leaving it for a few days or so so that people can reach a consensus on some good wording by discussing on the talk page. Enchanter
I think the new wording (about editing articles, that is) is right on! Everybody can edit every article; that is the truth. The only thing that might be necessary is to remind people that not every page is an article. Preliminary suggestion: "(Not every page is an article -- this main page is protected, for example -- but even most of these special pages can be edited by anybody too.)" Although somebody should come up with a better word than "special page" has an technical meaning here. — Toby 13:10 Jul 25, 2002 (PDT)

I don't mind if you change the wording, but I will very much mind if anyone goes on a crusade to change the dashes to HTML codes--so far as I'm concerned, the simpler the better. --KQ

Agreed - we shouldn't start using the proper — while many browsers don't support it. Enchanter
Heavens no! All I see in Konqueror is a blasted question mark instead of a dash. NOTE: MS Word does this conversion automatically for you so be careful not to edit wikipedia stuff in Word and paste it into an edit window -- it will look fine in IE but will be all screwed-up in many other browsers that don't speak the non-standards compliment language MS products do. --mav

I won't guarantee that M$ does it correctly, but "—" is perfectly standards compliant, as —. I agree that there's no rush to remove "--"s, however, even if I stick "—"s in my signature. — Toby 13:10 Jul 25, 2002 (PDT)

Minor edit -- The word "Portuguese" is mispelled on the main page as "Portugese".

This is an error in the internal string table for displaying inter-language links; I've submitted a correction. --Brion VIBBER 00:28 Jul 25, 2002 (PDT)

Where's the content and history of the Main Page??? Jeronimo 14:10 Aug 5, 2002 (PDT)

Gone, and the history of the page too! Appears the search engine is f%¤"ed as well. I've put up a temporary page, but could someone load up something from a database dump or something? --GayCom

Time Zone Note

Here's an edit that I think belongs on the "recent changes" page and on other pages featuring times:

"All times noted are Pacific Time." Just a minor housekeeping thing.

--John Knouse

Good note. Although we really should have everything in UTC. --mav
I agree. Are times actually recorded in UTC and converted on output, or are they recorded in Pacific? If the latter, does the computer shift to DST? -phma

PHP just makes it easier to deal with local time, so the code is all US Pacific internally. I agree that it should probably be UTC intermally, but that's a fix pretty far down on the priority list. --LDC

I would like to add a new top-level topic, Stages of Life, under Culture. This would have subtopics and/or links like Conception, Neonatal, Infancy, Toddler, Young Adult, Adult, Marriage, Middle Age, Senior (or Mature, Old, Elder,...), Death and Dying. Further elaboration could include topics such as Neonatal>Sonogram>Ultrasound Sensors. David 09:36 Aug 8, 2002 (PDT)

David 07:13 Aug 10, 2002 (PDT)

Start by creating the topic. One problem with the topic title "Stages of life" is that your intention is that it only describe the human you might need to think of a better title. --The Cunctator

I would like to point out that srpskohrvatski (serbocroatian) language does not exist. Darko

Should pages listing trivia be part of our encyclopedia? I offer as an example Atlas Shrugged/Food (and its redirection link AtlasShrugged/Food). David 11:21 Aug 9, 2002 (PDT)

See m:Wiki is not paper.

I just spent a half hour composing a new page. When I submitted my edited text, the server appeared to think about it, then I got an error notice from my browser (server not found?). When I backed up to the previous page, hoping to resubmit my new page, I got only an empty edit box.

My browser usually works. I had already done a successful edit before that. I'm using Windows 98, dialup.

Are these fixable problems? David 07:13 Aug 10, 2002 (PDT)

See Wikipedia:Bug reports.

Current Events/Recent Celebrity Deaths

Should the link to Israeli-Palestinian conflict be removed? It is very prominent at the top of the page, but since it has now been reduced to a stub it doesn't seem like a good advert for the project. GrahamN

No, this is an ongoing issue that can affect the whole industrialized world if it goes completely out of control and we do need to say something about it. Somebody should take the highlights from the removed timeline, NPOV that and create a narrative for Israeli-Palestinian conflict article. --mav
I see what you mean, but on the other hand there are any number of more appropriate sites that people will go to find out about this very significant conflict. I may be wrong but I didn't think the aim of Wikipedia was to become "Earth's Premiery News Node", but to be a straightforward, but very good and very comprehensive, encyclopaedia. As a newcomer here, I hope you don't think I'm being too forward in saying this. GrahamN 19:02 Jul 24, 2002 (PDT)
All current events is a place to mention some news that pertains to either current or potential encyclopedia topics. That's it. We don't pretend to be a news service. --mav 19:11 Jul 24, 2002 (PDT)
The intent of things like the "current events" page and these front page links is for us to serve as a good source of background info to stories in the news. Newspapers, television, and the web all do a much better job of reporting breaking news; but when you've heard what happened to whom, you can come here to get maps of the region, the history of people involved, etc. So the links should still be there, and they should just point to good encyclopedia articles, not necessarily rehashed news reports. --LDC

The problem with Israeli-Palestinian conflict was that it was trying to be a newspaper. That's changed now, however, so I agree that the link is OK. (An article still needs to be written, of course.) — Toby 13:10 Jul 25, 2002 (PDT)

Why did Recent celebrity deaths disappear from the Main Page? -- Zoe

Because LDC felt that it was time to do so (Recent celebrity deaths is only on the front page when a celebrity has recently died -- the two on there before had beed dead for a few weeks). --mav 00:30 Jul 25, 2002 (PDT)

I like the old method of interspersing celebrity's names with the other current events topics. What's so special about celebrity deaths? — Toby 13:10 Jul 25, 2002 (PDT)

Toby, no need to add Tour de France anymore, it finished yesterday... Well, there may be a few hits afterwards, but it's a bit late. Jeronimo 23:47 Jul 28, 2002 (PDT)

I didn't realise that it was going on until Zoe's note in Current events; I figured that a few other people might be in the same position. Armstrong's win is still listed as a "Top story" at , for example, and I intended to leave it up until that sort of thing was no longer true — thus probably for less than 24 hours. Does that seem reasonable to you? — Toby 00:15 Jul 29, 2002 (PDT)

I think Stock market crash of 2002 is inappropriate as a link under current events. As an encyclopedia, we should be linking articles that give background to current events, not attempting to deliver people news as it happens. Wikipedia is not a news service! (I know that isn't on the Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not page, but I think it ought to be.) At the moment, that article is just a collection of facts from the recent news and some speculation. One day it will be a great encyclopedia topic, but not yet! I suggest it is removed. Enchanter 15:10 Aug 4, 2002 (PDT)

I agree. How about a link to stock market? — Toby 00:32 Aug 5, 2002 (PDT)

I'm all for nixing recent celebrity deaths from the home page. That makes Wikipedia look really lightweight. I mean, we might care if our favorite celebrities have died, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea to put a link to the relevant page from the front page of an encyclopedia website. Remember, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia...or at least, it's trying to be one. --Larry Sanger

Hey, Larry Sanger's back! I don't know if you know me. BTW, did your editer change "¤" to "?" in GayCom's note just above yours? Does this mean that we shouldn't put any Latin-1 directly into the wiki code? — Toby 19:23 Aug 5, 2002 (PDT)

I tend to agree that the RCD page itself shouldn't be there, but if we're going to have a "current events" section on the main page at all, we should certainly link to bios of recent decedents in the news. It would have been a mistake, I think, not to write a good bio of Ted Williams and link to it there. It also serves as extra incentive to write those bios. --LDC

Agreement with LDC on each count. — Toby 19:23 Aug 5, 2002 (PDT)
Also agree with Larry Sanger; top-level topics should be general David 09:23 Aug 8, 2002 (PDT)

Please add Edsger Dijkstra to current events/breaking news. Thanks. --JeLuF 15:41 Aug 7, 2002 (PDT)

It appears a major economic crisis has developed in South America, in Argentina, Brazil and Uraguay. This seems like an important topic despite its remote location in relationship to the Wikepedia center of gravity and might be included in current events perhaps under the topic South American economic crisis.

I agree that this event is important. However, we are writing an encyclopedia, not attempting to write about current events as they happen. The articles under current events should rather give *background* to current events. It will probably be a while before we will have a good encyclopedia article on the South American crisis (remember that many economic statistics are not prepared until months after the event, so that we can only really speculate at what the current economic situation is). In the meantime this article will remain an incomplete work in progress, and not a good advert for Wikipedia to have on the main page.
I still think that stock market downturn of 2002 should be removed from the main page for the same reason. Enchanter

I intend to change the current events link from Stock market downturn of 2002 back to Stock market, as was previously agreed to on this talk page. If people think that it should be otherwise, then that should be discussed and agreed to here. — Toby 03:08 Aug 9, 2002 (PDT)

--- I have to say I disagree with the statement

The intent of things like the "current events" page and these front page links is for us to serve as a good source of background info to stories in the news

That may be some people's intent, but everyone's intent is not identical. I think the current events link should link to current events articles.

For example, having a link to stock market under "current events" is essentially useless in terms of current events. The link should either be to stock market downturn of 2002 or to nothing at all.

I like having incomplete, timely articles being prominently displayed. It encourages people to participate. --The Cunctator

Well, it appears that Cunc disagrees with the other people that have remarked on this page, so I'm going to ask the mailing list. — Toby 02:20 Aug 12, 2002 (PDT)

The discussion should stay here. I'm just going to delete the entry.

I think that it's a good entry to have, under either name in fact. I just thought that one name was better than the other, and also got the impression that most people agreed with me (if they expressed an opinion at all). This bit about agreement, BTW, is so relevant since this is the Main Page; I normally wouldn't take this sort of thing to the mailing list. I agree that this talk page is the right place to discuss the issues that are specific to here, but I wanted to have everybody's attention, given the prominence of the page. — Toby

Another point: better than general rules is a case-by-case analysis of the article: is Stock market downturn of 2002 a ready-for-prime-time article? It wasn't, but it's much better now.

I don't think that that really matters in this sort of situation. While stock market downturn of 2002 is definitely better than it used to be, it still gives (IMO) for of a running commentary with (almost) daily updates than a source of solid information. That's what needs to be decided on a case by case basis: Is this a relevant background article? — Toby

A basic user interface principle is that you shouldn't lie about groups. At a minimum, the entries linked from the current events bar on the Main Page *must* have something in the entry itself that refers to the current event connection. E.g. a person who has recently died; the death date. The 100-year flood article mentions August 2002. Etc. The stock market article does not. It's deep background. --The Cunctator

You definitely have a point here. IMO, this is a flaw in the Stock market article, which I shall now fix. — Toby 01:47 Aug 16, 2002 (PDT)


On the "Recent Changes" page, one finds the following lines:

Below are the last 50 changes in the last [n] days.
View the last 50 | 100 | 250 | 500 changes;
View the last 1 | 3 | 7 | 14 | 30 days

In my experience, 500 changes usually covers a few hours. I can think of no time since I have been checking Wikipedia (since the New Year, I think) that 500 changes has extended into 3 days. In short, the third line seems ineffective and redundant. Or I haven't figured out how to use it -- is there any way to find all changes over the past 3, 7, 14, or 30 days? I know from an exchange with Jimbo that this has and perhaps necessarily would entail serious delays in accessing the pages. Personally, I wish there were a way to access the past three + days of changes. But if I am using the page correctly, and am right that it is impossible to get more than the past 500 changes, and that this number never covers three days, perhaps this third line should be deleted. I would miss it, but at least I would feel disappointed rather than frustrated... Slrubenstein

Yes I was just thinking the same thing. You can manualy edit the URL after hitting say "last 500 changes" to whatevery you want. The first thing I do each day is check the last 5000 changes in 1 day. --mav
Uh, okay, I guess that was obvious (your solution, I mean -- thanks). Slrubenstein

Discussion on Wikipedia article FAQ page moved to Wikipedia talk:What is an article

As per rumblings of discussion in Wikipedia-L preferring use of to, I've changed the software to spit out .org URLs by default instead of .com. Please say something if this causes any problems. (Note that you will probably have to log in anew, as your login cookie from .com isn't valid on .org. Computers are soooo smart that way.) --Brion 15:10 Aug 15, 2002 (PDT)

Thank You Brion! --mav

"This page has been accessed 100000 times. The page was last modified 00:41 Aug 17, 2002." Not yet 100,000 articles but it is also somthing special. -- user:giskart

Please add the resignation of Prime Minister Jean Chretien to the current events section. This is very big news in Canada. - user:Montrealais

First priority, before adding the link, has to be to mention the resignation in the Jean Chretien article - otherwise people following the link will wonder why it is relevant. Enchanter
That's been done. - montrealais

I couldn't get in earlier today. It kept telling me the connection couldn't be made. Then I got a screen saying there were too many connections to access the database. -- Zoe

Had another one today (circa 7:30 pm to 10 pm, Aug 26). May be the result of a manual database query gone wild. --Brion 21:55 Aug 26, 2002 (PDT)

I notice that this page is not edited often. Does that mean that this is no longer the place to ask for help on Wikipedia? David 08:53 Aug 27, 2002 (PDT)

See top. --Brion 10:56 Aug 27, 2002 (PDT)

See Wikipedia talk:Statistics for discussion of the article count a proposed tweak to the wording of the main page. Enchanter 17:23 Aug 28, 2002 (PDT)

It seems somewhat redundant to link to both History and the History of science and technology. The latter link should be removed.--NetEsq 12:44pm Sep 5, 2002 (PDT) is abandoned, and I'd like to work hard on it, together with some friends. Problem is, in the portuguese version, the wiki application is old and, this bothers me personally, the pages are white, not yellow like most pages. (BTW, shouldn't you guys change the Main and the other pages to yellow?). Well, in a word, where can I find an admin? Yves

All article pages on the English wiki are white; only non-articles (like this talk page, the recent changes page, etc.) are yellow. There is no shortage of admins around here. The international wikis are being upgraded to the new software roughly in the order they can come up with people willing to work on them. The only one currently running is the German one; Spanish is probably next, then Polish and French. None of the others have enough people involved to do the work. For example, one of you will need to create the file "LanguagePt.php" to translate the new software's messages. You can find the new code at . Once that's done, we'll put you in line for the upgrade. --LDC

Thanks, I'll work on it. Yves

Removed the In Memoriam of September 11, 2001, since there is no reason to make an exception for this event. On any day of the year, millions of people have died, of which many in terrible circumstances. Jeronimo

I wholeheartedly disagree. Regardless of one's viewpoint, the events of September 11, 2001 are unprecedented in terms of sheer numbers of casualties and the global impact of the death, destruction, and injury. These events are also very meaningful because they are so recent. As such, the in memoriam article should be featured prominently on the front page as a current event, at least until September 12, 2002. --NetEsq 11:00am Sep 11, 2002 (PDT)

Well, it's fine with me to put it as a current event, but why would it have a special status (it was featured in fontsize 2 and with grey bars earlier)? Just a week ago, it was 30 years ago 11 Israeli athletes and a police officers were killed. Some 56 years ago, probably thousands of Jews and others were killed in German concentration camps. There have been thousands of events with millions of deaths in history, and NONE of them receives a text on Wikipedia's front page large than any other text there. I agree it should be there given the large attention, but that's it, no special mumbo-jumbo. Jeronimo

<< Well, it's fine with me to put it as a current event, but why would it have a special status (it was featured in fontsize 2 and with grey bars earlier)? >>
I'd say that a fontsize 2 with grey bars is totally appropriate. Indeed, I am hard-pressed to find a single major Web site today which does not feature a prominent reference to September 11, 2001. (See generally: Google (red white and blue ribbon logo) and Yahoo! (grey color scheme with large black September 11, 2001 banner above the fold).)
<< Just a week ago, it was 30 years ago 11 Israeli athletes and a police officers were killed. >>
Given a random sample of one hundred people, I would be very surprised if more than two of them would be able to remember an event which took place thirty years ago and involved less than a dozen casualties as opposed to an event which happened exactly one year ago and involved thousands of victims from all over the globe who died in a matter of hours during a live broadcast.
<< Some 56 years ago, probably thousands of Jews and others were killed in German concentration camps. >>
Once again, the passage of time makes such events less prominent. Moreover, the German holocaust took place over a period of years rather than during one day, and it was not broadcast on live television to billions of viewers worldwide.
<< There have been thousands of events with millions of deaths in history, and NONE of them receives a text on Wikipedia's front page large than any other text there. >>
Once again, the passage of time and other factors makes such events less prominent whereas the unprecedented events of September 11, 2001 are still fresh in the world's mind.--NetEsq 2:21pm Sep 11, 2001 (PDT)

I would like to change the two lines

Current events and breaking news
Encyclopedia articles about the topics behind the news.


Background of current events

since the two lines are somewhat redundant and all other headlines on the page are short one-liners. Is that agreeable?

Also, I think the Wikipedia section of the main page looks awfully cluttered compared to the other parts, because the entries mix with the bold-faced headers. Maybe it can be organized as a table, keeping headers and entries separate? AxelBoldt 18:24 Sep 11, 2002 (UTC)

Yes, both sections could be simpler. For the latter, I wouldn't even bother with a table, I'd just eliminate most of the bold headings. In most cases, the article titles speak for themselves; there's no need to impose structure upon them when they are so few. --LDC

I removed all those confusing subheads. You may want to reorganize the links a bit, or even revisit which ones should go there. Likewise, I undid Ed's "copy-edit". Nothing personal, Ed, just most of the other wikipedia pages are using the non-hyphenated form, which is the preferred for in most magazines and newspapers these days anyway. --LDC