This was a bit unfair Iridescent. If you actually check the history of the article I did not find that as a source. I was simply cleaning up the existing sources and filled out the lead a bit until I come around to editing it myself. I'd likely remove that and greenwich meantime as a source. I added that the other evening with all sorts of things on my mind and it didn't even occur to me at the time that it was a corporate website, all I know is that the Dorchester is certainly one of the world's most prestigious hotels and to me, an outsider, it is one of the best known landmarks (institutions rather than architecturally) in London although I can think of many more which are better known so perhaps that is a controversial statement. If somebody says to you hotel in London I think Savoy, Ritz, Dorchester, Claridges, but I'd agree with you that if somebody says "famous landmark in London" Dorchester is unlikely to be near the top of most people's lists. Have some patience though please.. I and the others intend to expand it significantly, so being an expert on London you might see some problematic sentences and errors which I'd appreciate you helping out with of course, but not if it means unnecessary edit summaries like that which degrade the contributor.. I'm increasingly feeling fed up enough with this place as it is... ♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:51, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
- It might have been snappy in which case I apologise, but I stand by both the edit and the summary. If this were a newcomer I wouldn't bite them like that and would instead give them an explanation as to how reliable sourcing works, but I know you know better than to allow that kind of obvious corporate puffery. Personally, I wouldn't consider the Dorchester even in the same league as the Ritz, Savoy, Claridges, Lanesborough and Hilton when it comes to name-recognition even among hotels, but that's a value judgement. There's no possible way it's up there with Tower Bridge, Parliament, the London Eye, the Tower of London, Wembley etc in more general terms of notability or public interest. (The Dorchester gets considerably fewer pageviews than Acton Town tube station, London Buses route 9 or Pig-faced women. You know of it because you work on hotels and I know of it because I worked on Westminster, but I doubt more than one Londoner in a hundred has even heard of it and one in a thousand could tell you where it was.)
- I assure you, my summary was a lot politer than you could have expected had I left it in place until Eric Corbett or Pyrotec spotted it once you took it to GAN/FAC :). I don't dispute for a moment that the Dorchester is a notable hotel (albeit nowadays a shadow of its former self), but "notable" is not a synonym for "landmark", and there's no way on earth that anyone would ever consider the Dorchester "one of London's most famous landmarks"—the building is a generic 1930s Neues Bauen concrete block of a type found in any part of northern Europe where there were building works going on in the inter-war period. There's no way it could be considered a landmark ("a conspicuous object which characterizes a neighbourhood or district"); nobody would either use it in the BrEng sense to give directions ("turn left at the Dorchester") or in the AmEng sense as representative of the area ("My house is near the Dorchester"). Remember, within a five minute walk of the Dorchester you have the genuine landmarks of Buckingham Palace, the US Embassy, the Memorial Gates, Apsley House, Marble Arch,* the Australian War Memorial and New Zealand War Memorial, Jagger's Royal Artillery Memorial, the Wellington Arch, Westmacott's Achilles and the Animals in War Memorial—all but the first three on Park Lane itself—not to mention the far more architecturally distinctive London Hilton on Park Lane hotel three doors away which (by virtue of its intrusive ugliness and grossly out-of-place oversized tower) has far more of a claim to be a landmark. – iridescent 13:28, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
- *@Bishonen, Nev1, Giano, DavidCane, MRSC: Marble Arch, just up the road from the Dorchester, is currently Wikipedia's most-viewed London-related article other than One Direction, and got over half a million hits last month, if anyone wants the holy grail of an ultra-high-traffic article on a completely non-controversial and very well-documented topic which is currently in a terrible state but could probably be taken through FAC in a couple of weeks.
OK, but I consider it a very notable hotel, even if architecturally it is unremarkable. I was under the impression it was as famous an institution as Harrods and home to Ducasse's 3 star restaurant, one of the world's top restaurants. If it isn't among London's well-known landmarks it most certainly is one of the world's most notable hotels and I could find many sources which support that at least. When I say landmarks I don't mean architecturally prominent, I mean one of the famous place names in London, I associate the Dorchester with high end London like Harrods. I thought it was in the same league as the Ritz and Claridge's, I'll take your word for it that it isn't. I think I would have spotted it before taking to GA anyway because I would have cottoned on to the fact it was written by the hotel creators and when I couldn't find a credible third-party source I'd have removed it. As I say, I'd be happy to work with you on either Dorchester or Marble Arch and greatly value your knowledge of London, but it seems you don't value the Dorchester so maybe the Ritz or Savoy would be a better choice?♦ Dr. Blofeld 15:37, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
- The Dorchester is certainly a very good hotel; as a hotel, whether it ranks with the Ritz and Claridge's is a matter of opinion; I would say not, but then I think that the Savoy has lost its panache these days. Likewise the architecture of the Dorchester is a matter of opinion; I prefer the Belle Epoque of the Ritz and current fashion, even with Art Deco in vogue, is certainly not to admire the uninspired facade of the Dorchester; however, it's pretty nice (if 'hotely') inside. I've taken a look at Marble Arch, you can have a go at that too if you like Dr B. Giano 16:53, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Yup, I'll keep it in mind. Still need to finish off the sourcing of your baroque article first though. I think the Dorchester is worth working on for GA at some point, the interior design is notable at least but it will take some time before it is up to scratch and comprehensive though but interesting if I can glean together as much as possible from various sources on it. I got the Hotel Ritz Paris up to GA and might do the same with the London Ritz. Marble Arch given the page views is a must in my opinion for at least GA. Giano, any idea what the official name is for the yellow and white striped covers on the facade of here You see them in Italian architecture and can't quite remember what they're called! Veranda doesn't seem quite the right term? ♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:09, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
- In English, I just call them awnings, I don't think many people would get tendalino a scomparsa. Giano 20:39, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks.♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:33, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Hollar's 1647 panorama of London
Not sure if you have seen it before, but today I came across a fascinating 1647 panorama of London by Wenceslaus Hollar. I will likely get told that Commons is the place to do a page making sense of the places labelled there (mainly to see which ones we have articles on), but I did find the panorama among those listed at Panorama of London. Do you think that article has potential (in terms of art history at least), or should it be moved as suggested there? There is also Visscher panorama, which has many of the same places. If I get stuck with any of the places labelled on the Hollar panorama (many of the buildings are no longer there, as some fire happened about 19 years later), I will ask. There is a comprehensive description of the panorama here. There is also a partial description here. Anyway, one of the figure flying above London there is the wing-footed Mercury, which allows me to segue many thousands of kilometres closer to the Sun and bemoan the lack of response here. I did ask at WikiProject Solar System, but I'm guessing I need to look around a bit more to find someone to ask about that. Carcharoth (talk) 01:09, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
- As regards Hollar, you want The Man Who Drew London by Gillian Tindall, a comprehensive bio of the man which by happy coincidence came out about six weeks ago. Hollar aside, I'm not sure there's enough to warrant an article on Panoramas of London; the traditional "long view" for London was and still is the "scrolling view along the river", rather than the true panorama. (The geography of pre-industrial London, with its very flat landscape with no hills and few high towers, doesn't really suit the panorama as an art form—aside from the top of St Paul's, all the vantage points—Parliament Hill, Highgate, the Islington Spur—were outside the city so there wouldn't have been a reason for a 360° view. I Am Not An Expert, but the only significant true panorama of London I can think of that survives is Barker's Panorama.) I'm not convinced the Panorama of London page ought to exist, since aside from Hollar all of the drawings there are prospects (traditional drawings or paintings in a wider than usual form) rather than panoramas (all-encompassing 180° or 360° views from a single vantage point, displayed on the inside of a cylinder—if the canvas doesn't curve, it's a diorama not a panorama). The "Visscher panorama" isn't a panorama by any definition of the word, and the name seems to have been made up by the Wikipedia article's author; the BM's catalogue description doesn't use the word "panorama" once, and Visscher and his contemporaries certainly wouldn't have used the term, as it was coined by Robert Barker more than a century later.
- What might be do-able is Panoramas in London; there was a great market at fairs and exhibitions for panoramas of other places, allowing people to see what all these places they read about in the newspapers looked like. The V&A has a superb panorama of Rome, and the former panorama rotunda at Leicester Square is very well documented; there was a major exhibit of surviving panoramas at the Barbican in the late 1980s, and its catalogue is probably your best bet. I suspect it would be hard to make the case that London needs a stand-alone article, though, since the things were just as common in Paris, Berlin, New York etc and it would inevitably duplicate a large swathe of Panoramic painting; it would also be quite difficult, as very few of the panoramas survive. If you ping these people (I can't believe that article actually exists) they can probably point you in the right direction to whatever sources exist. – iridescent 11:55, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
- Thanks, for the news of the biography in particular. 'Scrolling' is a good term for those not-panoramas. Dioramas, cycloramas, panoramas, even cosmorama (that last one is new to me). I'm not surprised there is an International Panorama Council, though less sure why you are surprised the article exists (clicking on random article, or browsing, throws up a wide range of articles of varying types, and that looks no worse or better than others out there). The Great Fire of London article calls the Visscher depiction a panorama, and I've left a comment on the article talk page pointing out the later Hollar depiction. I've also realised that what I really want to do with that Hollar panorama is make a list of the places labelled there. I hope you won't mind if I put that here later on, and ask about what gaps could be filled in (similar to that Hays Wharf you pointed out earlier). 13:43, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
- Adding to what I wrote above, most of the places named in the panorama have articles (or are covered in other articles). One that appears not to have an article is 'New Exchange', apparently a building on The Strand, mentioned in the articles Simon Basil and Strand, London. That artwork is here (only used in Jacobean debate on the Union). Also possibly of interest: Watermen's Stairs. One gap in coverage seems to be 'Scotland Yard' - the history of this area in the 17th century and earlier appears to be partially recounted at Great Scotland Yard rather than the article Scotland Yard, but is still patchy. Probably a Jacobean-era article waiting to be written there. Also, the Clock House that was built in 1365 as part of the Palace of Westminster is labelled on the map, but not mentioned in the Wikipedia article as far as I can tell. Most of the churches, pubs, wharves/quays and theatres are easy enough to find in articles (despite the archaic spellings), but 'Gray Church' is proving a bit difficult - I'm wondering if it is Christ Church Greyfriars? The other label that stumped me was 'stiliard' - there is a reference to that in Pepys' diaries, but not much else around on that. Ah, it seems it is an archaic spelling for 'steelyard', and a useful resource will be Wenceslaus Hollar and his views of London and Windsor in the seventeenth century (1922), which has another detailed description of what is shown in Hollar's panorama. Carcharoth (talk) 00:44, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
- Feel free to ping me about anything. If you're going to be doing this a lot, I'd recommend investing in a copy of The History of London in Maps, which makes it much easier to identify streets and buildings, as well as to make sense of what changes were made at which time. If you want, I do have bandwidth-crunching ultra-high-res scans of the 1746 Roque map and the 1830 Greenwood map (the two maps excerpted in the "vanishing tower" discussion), which I can email you if you want. I haven't uploaded them and don't intend to, as the Museum of London claims copyright on them. While I've no doubt any attempt to enforce copyright on something published in the 18th century would be laughed out of any court, I don't see the sense in antagonising an institution with as much clout as the MoL—Wikipedia has never fully recovered the goodwill lost during the National Portrait Gallery fiasco.
- Regarding the New Exchange, this should be more than you ever wanted to know:
|The New Exchange
In the reign of James I. the thatched stables of the mansion, fronting the Strand, were pulled down, and a large building, called the "New Exchange," erected in their place. It was opened in 1609 in the presence of the king, the queen, and Prince Henry, when his Majesty bestowed upon it the name of "Britain's Burse." A rich banquet was served on the occasion, at the expense of Lord Salisbury.
The New Exchange consisted of a basement, in which were cellars; the ground-floor, level with the street, a public walk; and an upper storey, in which were stalls or shops occupied by milliners and sempstresses, and other trades that supply dresses. The building did not attain any great success till after the Restoration, when it became quite a fashionable resort, and so popular that there is scarcely a dramatist of the time of Charles II. who is without a reference to this gay place. The shops, or stalls, had their respective signs, one of which, the "Three Spanish Gipsies," was kept by Thomas Radford and his wife, the daughter of John Clarges, a farrier in the Savoy. The farrier's daughter, as we have stated in a previous chapter, ultimately became Duchess of Albemarle. She died within a few days of the duke, and was buried by his side in Henry VII.'s Chapel, at Westminster Abbey.
But she was by no means the only duchess associated with the New Exchange. The Duchess of Tyrconnel, wife of Richard Talbot, Lord Deputy of Ireland under James II., after the abdication of the one and the death of the other, is said to have supported herself for a short time in one of the trades of the place; and she is commemorated by Horace Walpole with his usual piquancy. Pennant speaks of her as "a female suspected to have been his duchess," adding that she "supported herself here for a few days, till she was known and otherwise provided for, by the trade of the place, for she had delicacy enough to wish not to be detected." She sat in a white mask and a white dress, and was known as the "White Milliner." This anecdote was dramatised by Douglas Jerrold, and produced at Covent Garden Theatre in 1840, as "The White Milliner." She died in 1730 in the Convent of the Poor Clares in Dublin.
It was here, too, that a certain Mr. Gerard was walking one day, meditating how he should best carry into execution a certain plot in which he was engaged—the assassination of no less a person than Oliver Cromwell—when he was insulted by Don Pantaleon, brother of the Portuguese ambassador, and resented it so warmly that the latter, in revenge, the next day sent a set of ruffians to murder him. His murderers mistook their victim, and killed another man. The dénouement is curious, as well as tragical. Don Pantaleon was tried, found guilty, and condemned. On the scaffold he met the very man whom he had intended to destroy, Mr. Gerard, whose plot in the interim had been discovered, and the two suffered in company.
The New Exchange was a long building running parallel with the Strand, and its site is now occupied by the houses Nos. 54 to 64, the bank of Messrs. Coutts being the centre. It stands on the court garden front of Durham House, and, next to Drummond's, is the oldest of the West-end banks. It was founded by one George Middleton, and originally stood in St. Martin's Lane, not far from St. Martin's Church. Walter Thornbury (1878). "The Strand, southern tributaries - continued". Old and New London: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- As with most street articles, I'm doubtful Great Scotland Yard ought to exist as a standalone article, since it's a minor side street known only for one thing, and that one thing is covered elsewhere. I'm not going to be the one to AFD it, though. Given the time and effort it took fighting the "keep, it exists" brigade at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/The Roundway, on a totally insignificant road with no landmarks of any kind and no notable event ever having taken place there ("The eastern half is residential with a newsagent, a Chinese takeaway and a Snack Bar in a small parade at the junction with New Road. The western half is also residential with an off licence and an Indian Takeaway."), I've no doubt any AFD discussion on Great Scotland Yard would attract a swarm of ARS-holes parroting "keep, I've heard of it". If it stays it needs a major rewrite. In fact, the whole Palace of Whitehall suite needs major rewriting, since the parent article in particular really doesn't do justice to what was in its time one of the most important places in the world (the Tudor/Jacobean equivalent of the Kremlin or Vatican today). Giano is probably the person best placed to point you to people able competently to write about demolished palaces.
- Funnily enough I used to live a stone's throw from Great Scotland Yard in a grotty flat that's now part of one of the city's most salubrious hotels. How times change. I wonder is my shag pile carpet was retained. Giano 10:05, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
- I doubt there's much to say about the Clock House at the old Palace of Westminster. The entry in John Strype's 1720 updating of Stow's Survey of London reads, in full:
- The said Palace, before the Entry thereunto, hath a large Court, and in the same a Tower of Stone, containing a Clock, which striketh every Hour on a great Bell, to be heard into the Hall in Sitting Time of the Courts, or otherwise. For the same Clock, in a Calm, will be heard into the City of London. King Henry the Sixth gave the Keeping of this Clock, with the Tower, called the The Clock House, and the Appurtenances, unto William Walsby, Dean of St. Stephens, with the Wages of six Pence the Day., out of his Exchequer.
It was first built and furnished with a Clock, out of a Fine which one Justice Ingham was fain to pay, being 800 Mark, for erazing a Roll. For that a poor Man being fined in an Act of Debt at 13s. 4d. the said Justice, moved with Pity, caused the Roll to be erazed, and made it 6s. 8d. This Case Justice Southcote remembered, when Catlyn Chief Justice of the King's Bench in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, would have ordered a Razure of a Roll; Southcote being one of the Judges of that Court, utterly denyed to assent to it, and said openly, That he meant not to build a Clock House.
By this Tower standeth a Fountain, which, at Coronations and great Triumphs, is made to run with Wine out of divers Spouts.
- I suspect that's as much as you'll find about it anywhere. If you're doing a lot on history, it's probably worth paying a visit to the shop at the Museum of London—tucked away in the far corner is a separate section of "serious history" books, with a lot of obscure archaeological books which don't make it onto Amazon, let alone into shops. The local museums of the 32 boroughs can often be very useful as well, as they quite often stock books which have been out of print for decades. For the City itself, nothing comes close to the collection of Guildhall Library. – iridescent 09:40, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
- Goodness. That is a lot of information to file away somewhere safe. If I do end up at that bookshop, I suspect I may stagger out a few hours later heavily laden under a pile of books. The library looks great as well, and I often end up at those www.british-history.ac.uk reports. I'll not ask any more questions (for now), though I was half-expecting something on how the 'stiliard' was replaced by Cannon Road Tube Station... (I may be mis-remembering this slightly). Carcharoth (talk) 00:54, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Hello - "the Wikipedia article's author" here. While I had to pick a title for the article, I didn't entirely make it up. As is probably apparent from my amateurish stumblings around, I am not a subject matter expert, and I am very happy to defer to someone who knows better (Tüchlein or glue-size?). I like to hope that the rubbish I write is better than nothing at all, but maybe we would all be better off if I did not bother.
Anyway, I agree, the print is not, strictly speaking, a panorama, although you could loosely say it is panoramic, but there were plenty of other people using the terms "Visscher" and "panorama" to describe the print before I wrote the article last December - from the Museum of London through various books and blogs to Wikipedia itself. Feel free to move it if another title would be better - perhaps Visscher's panorama of London or London (Visscher) or something else.
Hollar's Long View of London from Bankside has been on my long list for some time. -- Theramin (talk) 00:00, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Books and Bytes: The Wikipedia Library Newsletter
Books and Bytes
Volume 1, Issue 1, October 2013
by The Interior (talk · contribs), Ocaasi (talk · contribs)
Greetings Wikipedia Library members! Welcome to the inaugural edition of Books and Bytes, TWL’s monthly newsletter. We're sending you the first edition of this opt-in newsletter, because you signed up, or applied for a free research account: HighBeam, Credo, Questia, JSTOR, or Cochrane. To receive future updates of Books and Bytes, please add your name to the subscriber's list. There's lots of news this month for the Wikipedia Library, including new accounts, upcoming events, and new ways to get involved...
New positions: Sign up to be a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar, or a Volunteer Wikipedia Librarian
Wikipedia Loves Libraries: Off to a roaring start this fall in the United States: 29 events are planned or have been hosted.
New subscription donations: Cochrane round 2; HighBeam round 8; Questia round 4... Can we partner with NY Times and Lexis-Nexis??
New ideas: OCLC innovations in the works; VisualEditor Reference Dialog Workshop; a photo contest idea emerges
News from the library world: Wikipedian joins the National Archives full time; the Getty Museum releases 4,500 images; CERN goes CC-BY
Announcing WikiProject Open: WikiProject Open kicked off in October, with several brainstorming and co-working sessions
New ways to get involved: Visiting scholar requirements; subject guides; room for library expansion and exploration
Read the full newsletter
Thanks for reading! All future newsletters will be opt-in only. Have an item for the next issue? Leave a note for the editor on the Suggestions page. --The Interior 21:59, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
- Why am I on this mailing list? I'm not signed up to any of the things mentioned in it, and have never had any kind of free account through Wikipedia in my life. – iridescent 10:14, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Iridescent, what you said here ("I very much doubt Worm made a decision this contentious on his own, and suspect that today's page in the next set of arbcom-l leaks will make interesting reading.") is not at all helpful. It is completely unfounded speculation, and I would have expected better of you. I can personally vouch that none of this was mentioned on the arbitration mailing list until over an hour after WTT carried out that block at 15:32, 29 October 2013. The first I and probably several other arbitrators knew of WTT's block was when a different arbitrator e-mailed an FYI e-mail pointing us to the AN discussion that was then in progress. The following four e-mails were procedural and all discussion has been kept on-wiki. Other matters have been occupying/vying for our attention, which isn't an uncommon occurrence on that mailing list, as you will recall. Could you please consider striking what you said on Ched's talk page? Carcharoth (talk) 01:54, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
- personally I think you are out of line here Carcharoth. I'm very surprised to see this from you. — ChedZILLA 02:11, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
- Ched, I left the note at your talk page because I was responding here to something said there, and I wanted you and the others there to be aware of it. The note here was left for iridescent to reply to, not for you. Anyway, the other person that really needs to be aware of this is WTT. General discussion about the current drama of the day, fine, but making some ridiculous, veiled accusation that WTT was colluding with others is beyond the pale. If iridescent really believes that, they should have had the courtesy to go to WTT's talk page and raise it with them, not shoot their mouth off on your talk page. It is the very definition of casting unfounded aspersions. Carcharoth (talk) 02:34, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
- Iri emailed me the same suspicions, and I hope I laid them to rest. The only comment I made to the arbitrators was the following text On the Eric issue, I'm afraid I'm to blame. I, of course recuse, should it come to a case and apologise in advance for any problems you all have to deal with, in response to a warning that a case would likely be raised. I spoke to no arbitrators prior to the event, and none after more than that text. I can see why Carcharoth is upset, I understand such accusations being flung at me, but on wiki and without a chance to address such concerns is problematic. WormTT(talk) 07:50, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
- I've spoken to both Carcharoth and WTT privately already, but some thoughts on this issue included here near the bottom of the wall-of-text. – iridescent 10:19, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
You wrote at Keifer's page "the disturbing number of people who think that the higher their ranking on WBFAN the more right they have to ignore even fundamental core policies" - I sincerely hope I'm not one of those... and if I am, would someone please hit me with a clue-bat? Ealdgyth - Talk 14:18, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
- Ealdgyth I know of a handful who fit that definition (just ask 'em, they'll be glad to tell you how important they are, how many FAs they have, how many GAs they have, how many DYKs they have, and to question who you think you are if you don't have as many as they have, and they believe the rules don't apply to them), but you ain't it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:11, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
- What she said, although the people who have a laundry-list of GAs and FAs on their userpage, or the admin icon at the top of their talkpage, aren't necessarily a problem; it's the ones who think that having an FA credit, an admin bit or whatever somehow magically makes them an Old Testament Judge. – iridescent 16:40, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
- Metropolitan police salaries
- http://www.metpolicecareers.co.uk/newconstable/pay_and_benefits.html, "All new police constables in the MPS will receive a basic starting salary of £22,221 per annum rising to £36,885. All new constables will commence service at the start of the scale and will progress according to relevant Home Office guidelines and police regulations. In addition to basic salary all Metropolitan Police officers receive London weighting and allowances currently amounting to approximately £6,615 per annum." Without going into details - but WMUK offered salaries were in the recruitment ads - and excluding the CE, very few bobbies in London indeed will be on less than WMUK people, many of whom are part-time also. I can't be bothered to work out London teachers' salaries. Johnbod (talk) 15:31, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
- Salaries vary between forces but the typical starting salary for police constables in England and Wales is £22,680 on commencing service and £25,317 on completion of the initial training period; The main pay range for a qualified teacher is from £21,804 to £31,868. Every WMUK post other than the CEO and the Office Support post (21-23k) appears to pay £25,000 – £29,000 per annum., , , , , , ,  (btw you may want to reword "He also organises payments to volunteers", since if the Charity Commission spot that they'll shoot first and ask questions later); the only way you're getting the teachers and rozzers to come out higher is by looking at the top of the pay-scales where the ten-years-service people sit, and by cherry-picking the Met Police which gives its officers a package of London weighting and subsidised train travel which artifically inflates their nominal income. For reference, the median salary in the UK as of 2011 was £21,326 (owing to the pay freeze, it won't have shifted substantially), lower than even the lowest-paid person at WMUK (who appears to be this guy). They may well earn every penny of it—along with virtually everyone else within Wikipedia and despite having met most of them at one time or another, I have very little idea what WMUK actually does and your website sheds very little light—but pleading poverty isn't going to cut it, especially in an environment where the overwhelming majority of those involved are working for free. – iridescent 16:40, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
- With one exception, and maybe one other partial one, the WMUK jobs are located in Central London; there is nothing "artificial" about London weighting, or using it for comparisons with other London jobs, indeed not doing so is "artificial" at best. What is the London weighting for teachers? It seems from what you say that starting Met bobbies get almost £2,000 more than the WMUK mid-range figures at starting, and less than £200 under the WMUK maximum figure given, and then get significantly more than that (£3,000 odd?) immediately after completing training. It's not "my" website. "Payments to volunteers" are essentially travel expenses, plus the odd microgrant etc. This page from the ONS is an easy place to start considering how the WMUK figures really relate to average. Other factors are of course by type of industry, where there are huge variations, and by region. Johnbod (talk) 18:03, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
- London weighting is intended for those jobs (teachers, doctors, shop-workers etc) which have to be based in Central London, and to compensate for the expense of travelling in. This doesn't apply to WMUK, which is only in Central London out of vanity; even if one were to accept the (dubious) argument that it needs to be located in the south-east to be near the London museums and the seat of government, it could operate just as well from a unit in the suburbs for less than a third of what WMUK is currently paying for the privilege of being up the road from Google.
- I also note that I appear to have given too much benefit of the doubt in assuming that in a climate of austerity WMUK wouldn't be awarding themselves pay rises, and assuming that the 2011 figures for WMUK's salaries wouldn't have changed substantially; in fact, WMUK's budget shows the salaries rising steadily with the lowest-paid staff member now on £26,356 and the highest on £63,205(!).
- I'm perfectly willing to be persuaded that WMUK are valuable and necessary—and as I said previously, every WMUK person I've met has appeared decent and dedicated—but I can certainly understand where the critics are coming from. Judging by the material on the website—which is all that non-insiders have on which to judge it—WMUK gives a definite impression of having become a group of perhaps 200 or so people at most, who spend their time awarding grants to each other out of donor funds, and who rarely if ever have any interaction with or impact on the regular editors or readers of Wikipedia. – iridescent 13:21, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
- The WMUK office holds plenty of meetings and is supposed to act as a hub for the community, with people dropping in. That simply wouldn't happen if it was in Elmbridge. If you really can't tell the difference between salary and staff costs ("the cost of these employees as described below includes the salary, employer National Insurance (X% of base salary) and employer pension payments (6% of base salary). We have increased the salaries of our existing staff this year to incorporate both the increased costs of living due to inflation (currently estimated as 2%) and to take into account the increased experience that ...") you really should avoid attempting to comment on these matters at all, as everything you say will be as misleading as the comments above. Johnbod (talk) 14:10, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
- FWIW, I was quite happy to get three rounds of this up and running out of ....Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:53, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
- "Hub for the community with people just dropping in"? So, if I "drop in" they're not going to set security on me? Sure. (How does "hub for the community with people dropping in" tally with "Visitors to the office are to be accompanied at all times by a member of staff or otherwise authorised personnel (i.e. Trustees)"? Even if the whole "hub" thing is true and unlike every other WMF site* they really welcome visitors, it's still no argument for being in the centre of the most expensive city in the world. If WMUF are really snobby enough to think they have to be in a city centre, I could make a far better case for Birmingham or Manchester, where Wikipedia's UK editors actually are. (Given that I was 1/3 of the active membership of WP:LONDON and the other 2/3 were User:Kbthompson who is now dead and User:MRSC who seems to have lost interest, I know better than most how sparse Wikipedians are in London; the spark has always burned far brighter in the North West and the West Midlands.)
- *IIRC, the WMF itself doesn't even allow people to enter the lobby without an appointment, and does their best not to even allow the public to find out their address.
- On the more general issue of funds, Fae probably knows more than anyone else about the internal workings of WMUK, and I'm more than willing to believe his statement that "less than 48% of donated funds go to projects with outcomes in line with the charity's mission, the rest of the funds going on administration such lawyers, employment costs, rent, and local fund-raising". If true, that's atrocious wastage unless there's something really exceptional going on; 60% to programs is generally regarded as the acceptable minimum. Even the much-maligned WMF manages 68.2%. – iridescent 18:01, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
You wrote, "as a more general musing on Arbcom, I think it would be healthy for all concerned were NYB, Roger Davies and Risker to take at least a year off."
FYI, Risker has already stated (including on her talkpage) that she is not running again. My term has another year to go, but I'm done after that (I briefly considered stepping down at the end of this year, but it is already guaranteed that next year's Committee will have a majority of newcomers, so I can't justify creating another vacancy). I can't speak for Roger. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:56, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
- I know I've shared my thoughts on this with you before. It's not that I feel anything particularly negative about the three of you, but I don't think it's healthy in general for Wikipedia to have "elder statesmen" (look at how much hassle it is to persuade people that some piece of badly-informed nonsense spouted off-the-cuff by Jimbo shouldn't be treated as Holy Writ). As you presumably know, if I were in charge I'd start desysopping admins like it was going out of style, and if that caused a shortage just reduce the RFA pass-mark to 50% and recruit a load of new blood. Churn is good. – iridescent 16:40, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
- You don't hear me arguing. It's always importance to strike the right balance between continuity and turnover, and I accept that the time will come soon enough for me to be turned over and/or overturned. Newyorkbrad (talk) 17:47, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
- I'm happily looking forward to January 1, when my term will be over. I'm hoping that there will be a renewal of the committee like the one we saw in 2009, when there were lots of new, fresh faces; the following 18 months (despite the occasional misstep) was the most productive and community-oriented period that Arbcom ever saw, and I am unusually proud of the accomplishments of that time. Creation of the AUSC, community involvement in selection of checkusers and oversighters, standardization of a lot of Arbcom processes, development of the BASC (although its next logical step, turning non-Arbcom/AE ban/block reviews over to the community, has yet to happen), community participation and authorization of a new Arbcom policy....and that's just the structure. We have a few things left to do in the next few weeks, and I hope that one of the tasks taken on by the new team will include reviewing some of the changes that have been made in the last few years to verify their effectiveness and take them to the next level. But I am am more than ready to step back from this particular responsibility. "To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high". John McCrae, 1915 Risker (talk) 05:20, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
- You know my thoughts; in some ways I think the "hasten the day" crowd have a valid point. A disastrously incompetent committee leading to either systemic failure or a total disregard for Arbcom rulings might jolt the WMF into taking some responsibility for their baby, rather than constantly dumping anything that looks difficuly onto a committee that's often horribly ill-equipped to handle it. – iridescent 13:21, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
- I have no idea why you'd think the WMF will do anything to step in and save English Wikipedia. The events of this summer, with the VisualEditor and the very deliberate decision to sabotage any chance of successful implementation of that software should tell you that the WMF is in no way capable of understanding this project. A few people there get it, but they're very much in the minority. They're certainly not in the executive suite. Risker (talk) 15:50, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
- Even at that, I get complaints at least once a week that the WMF only focuses on the English Wikipedia. :/ --Rschen7754 18:22, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
- It should also be noted that there's really nothing on Arbcom's plate that wasn't there already a very long time ago, before the WMF really existed as anything other than some fundraising and a few servers and half a dozen staff; there's pretty much nothing that has been "dumped" on Arbcom by the WMF. What is now called "child protection" started back in very early 2006 (with Fred Bauder taking the lead), and it is the enwiki community that created the policy that put it firmly in Arbcom's pocket more formally in 2010. Checkuser and Oversight have been in Arbcom's pocket literally since the day they were implemented, with Board policy written to support it pretty much contemporaneously; again, only a handful of WMF to speak of at the time, most of them dedicated to the technical side. Cases were the whole point of the committee; many of the cases the committee saw pre-2008 are things the community regularly manages by itself now. The one thing that seems to have been added in was final review of blocks and bans, and that seems to have appeared somewhere around 2007. AUSC and BASC are creatures of arbcom's own making. And that's pretty much the summary of what Arbcom does. Risker (talk) 19:01, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
- I disagree. I understand why "To resolve matters unsuitable for public discussion for privacy, legal, or similar reasons" was added to WP:AP (you and I were both there), but that doesn't mean I have to like it—Arbcom shouldn't be simultaneously acting as an open dispute resolution body and a secret Star Chamber. The skill sets for the two roles are very different (one requires tact, diplomacy and a willingness to bend; one requires ruthlessness, cynicism and a willingness to assume bad faith where necessary). Quite aside from the corrosive effects on the Arbs themselves (you and I both signed up to try to resolve internal disputes between good-faith users, not to act as Sue Gardner's bouncers against a rabble of psychopaths and kiddy-fiddlers), it confuses the hell out of normal users. I still remember how strange it was watching the 2007 Arbs flip back and forth between genial and helpful enthusiasts and a creepy secretive cabal, but I'll be the first to admit that I became exactly the same and so IMO has everyone else who's ever served on it. – iridescent 18:01, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I just saw your mention of The Man Who Drew London above. If you have any sources about her and can spare a few minutes, would you like to tidy up the Gillian Tindall article? I haven't anything to offer in return, except that I've got an 1833 Schmollinger map of London and a macro lens. So if you ever need unencumbered close-ups like Royal Mint or St John's Lodge let me know. I can do bigger areas like Hyde Park and Regent's Park too. - Pointillist (talk) 14:57, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
- I only really know her as the author of The House by the Thames and The Man who Drew London, and nothing at all about her life or wider work, so I'm a bit reluctant to touch her bio as I'm not sure what weight to give the various works. Pinging SlimVirgin who is probably better place than me either to help, or suggest someone currently active who's likely to have an interest. – iridescent 18:01, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
You can probably guess who I am. "Man katal" is Arabic for "Who killed?" Some years ago, my Arabic teacher in college produced an Arabic newspaper headline titled "Man katal Yasser Arafat?" as in "Who killed Yasser Arafat" implying that someone killed him and he didn't just drop dead of heart failure. But reading the Wikipedia article you wouldn't know it. I have tried to start a discussion of this problem at Talk:Cause of Yasser Arafat's death. I know that there are many editors who read this talk page, and I would invite all of you to improve the article and make it more neutral. I don't mind what happens to my account, but I want to make sure that the site I formerly cared so much about is not a vehicle for anti-Semitic crap. Man katal (talk) 02:48, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
- My personal feeling is that all these "Death of…" pages shouldn't exist except in a very few cases like JFK, Joseph Smith, Osama Bin Laden etc where the death itself is so major a topic that it would be perverse not to cover it in detail, and including it in the main biography would overwhelm the bio. (If you have a long memory you may recall me once salting Death of Michael Jackson.) In the case of Arafat I think it's particularly inappropriate, IMO it's arrogant in the extreme for a bunch of Wikipedia editors to second-guess the coroners who are working from the forensic evidence rather than a bunch of newspaper clippings. If I had my way, I'd delete the "Death of" article and just end the Yasser Arafat with a "The manner of his death is disputed as there is some evidence to suggest he was unlawfully killed". I do recognize that mine is a minority view, and the general attitude on Wikipedia is "if it appeared somewhere in print, it goes in".
- In this particular case, I suspect Cause of Yasser Arafat's death is in practice a heatsink page, intentionally set up to provide a low-Google-visibility playpen for the POV-warriors to duke it out over their conspiracy theories while those with a genuine interest in providing a neutral biography of the man can work on the biography without constant interruptions from cranks. Malleus and I set up something similar at Guy Fawkes in popular culture to act as flypaper for all the fanboys who wanted to ramble at great length about V for Vendetta and Anonymous; there are also similar crackpot-honeytraps at, for instance, Michael Jackson's health and appearance, Criticism of Microsoft, Israel and the apartheid analogy, Controversy and criticism of The X Factor and many other places. In cases like this it's easier for all concerned to funnel the Righters Of Great Wrongs into shadow pages where they can expend their time chasing each other's tails, than to try to throw blocks and protections around which rarely work for long in practice. – iridescent 18:01, 22 November 2013 (UTC)