User talk:Buddhipriya/Archives/2007/July

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Request to add updates on WP:HINDU

On the new-look WikiProject Hinduism page, there is a "Recently updated articles" section where updates and creations related to Hinduism can be listed which will bring its attention to other Hinduism editors. I encourage using it as an effective and efficient notification tool. Thank you GizzaDiscuss © 22:43, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Image Licensing

I know the issue is very confusing, so I'll summarize a few rule-of-thumb (please note that (1) I am greatly simplifying here,(2) I am assuming that the images is not being used as Fair Use, and (3) since I am no lawyer, even my understanding may be wrong!).

  1. In general if we have a photograph/scan of a painting or statue we need proper licensing from both the creator of the art piece and the photographer/scanner.
  2. The creator can either give his/her permission explicitly (by putting it in public domain; which is very rare for art-works!) or we get the permission "automatically" if the creator has been dead "long enough" (roughly 70-100 years, although the details are very complex)
  3. That leaves the permission of the photographer/scanner; again this can be given explicitly (for example, if you have taken the photograph yourself or obtained it from flickr where the photographer released it under under the proper license) or "automatically" if the picture is a faithful copy of a 2D object (but not for 3D statues!).

So, as far as any historical image on the Ganesha article is concerned it is easiest to establish that the image is in pubic domain if

  • It is a picture of a old painting and we can show that the painting is old enough. For this we need to know what the exact object is (say, 18c rajasthani painting, a Ravi Verma painting etc) but don't really care who the photographer, or scanner is.
  • It is a photograph of an old statue, in which case we again need to establish that it is old, but we also need permission of the photographer/scanner.

Currenty the Image:Vakratunda.jpg page does not say how old the painting is, or rather when the artist died (morbid, but true!), and therefore it is not properly licensed. Hope that makes some sense! Abecedare 01:49, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, this is a helpful summary. I think this will be a good opportunity to learn more about these policies. My general view is that we should be very strict in the enforcement of all of the rules, and therefore I would recommend removing any dubious content from the article right away pending future verification that the images are OK. The difference in handling of two-dimensional art is very interesting, and I was not aware of the issue. If I understand you correctly, any picuture of an old painting or drawing is fair game, regardless of the date the reproduction was made, so long as the details of the original work can be well-documented. If that is correct, I think I can locate lots of high-quality two-dimensional art with academic citations as to origin of the work. I guess I should figure out how to use the scanner here. Buddhipriya 18:23, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you should be able to scan in pictures of old Ganesha paintings, with the one additional caveat mentioned here (don't you just love how straightforward all this is! :-) ).
I share your view on strict enforcement of copyright rules. In fact, I don't even think we have a choice - all other guidelines and policies on wikipedia can potentially be overlooked or modified if we have consensus, but no amount of discussion/consensus on wikipedia can make it OK to break the applicable copyright law. T'is sad in some instances when we have to delete desirable images, but unavoidable. Abecedare 20:15, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

reg Gayatri mantra Popular Culture section

I believe that the reference to Talvin Singh is a valid one, he is a major player in the development of the Asian Underground scene. If the reference to Singh is not deemed relevant, then neither should the other references. Would it be better perhaps then if I references the Gayatri mantra from the OK album page?

The above unsigned comment was added in this edit: [1]
Thanks for getting in touch. I suggest that you take up that matter on the talk page for the article involved, as it will then allow all editors to see what you think is the best course of action. Please review WP:TRIVIA for general information on the issue of trivia in articles. And feel free to delete other trivia when you see it. The fact that one item was cut often triggers removal of other items. Buddhipriya 09:12, 4 July 2007 (UTC)


Your Hinduism related edits need this--KnowledgeHegemony 13:08, 3 July 2007 (UTC)


I was wondering if you knew anything specific about that term from sources. It's come up recently here. Arrow740 08:23, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

The Sanskrit term mlechha (म्लेच्छः) is defined as "a disparaging name for non-arya peoples" in the index to John Keay's India: A History, (p. 569) where it is mentioned frequently. The term comes up often in various usages. The root from which the word is derived is म्लेच्छ् (mlecch) which Apte says means "To speak confusedly, indistinctly or barbarously" which points to the original sense of referring to people who did not speak the same language. Here are the various definitions given by Apte (A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary, p. 776) showing several senses when used as a masculine noun: "1) A barbarian, a non-Aryan (one not speaking the Sanskrit language, or not conforming to Hindu or Aryan institutions), a foreigner in general; 2) An outcast, a very low man; 3) A sinner, wicked person. 4) Foreign or barbarous speech." When used as a neuter noun (म्लेच्छं) it means the metal Copper. Note that various compounds have special senses, however. For example, the compound मलेच्छभाषा (mlecchabhāṣā) means "foreign language".
You could probably make a case for mlechha as infidel, but I think that the semantics are a bit different, as it is not based on matters of faith, but on racial difference or simply "foreign-ness" in its basic meanings. In Hindu philosophy, the technical term for those those persons who do not accept the authority of the Vedas is नास्तिक (nāstika; "heterodox"), with citations to be found at Nastika. I don't have the energy to comment on that article now, but the sourcing I have given here you can cut and paste if you wish. Hope this helps, and if you do wish more citations please let me know. Buddhipriya 09:14, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
As always, thanks for the quick, informative response. A user wants to make the point that the concept of "infidel" isn't exculsive to Abrahamic religions, you might want to comment here: User_talk:Arrow740#Mlechha_etc.. Arrow740 08:44, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Discussion to resolve ongoing conflict

Could you please contribute to the discussion at [2], to resolve the ongoing dispute regarding Aryan migration theory/OIT related issues Sbhushan 17:43, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for getting in touch. I would be happy to comment there, but it may take a few days to get to it. Currently my Wikipedia time is limited due to real life issues and that is not an article I have followed closely, so I would need to get up to speed with the editorial dialog there. I do appreciate your request, however, and will try to look at it in the next week. Have you tried posting your suggestion on the talk page for Indo-Aryan migration rather than on the general Hinduism topics notice board? The lead for the article says that it is a hypothesis. Buddhipriya 08:27, 6 July 2007 (UTC)


I guess you are busy with real life, but whenever you are back, can you please keep an eye on this article and BalanceRestored (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · nuke contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)'s edits ? I have asked Dab and DaGizza for help too. Thanks. Abecedare 05:53, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

I have made some comments on the talk page for that article. The user clearly does not understand the concept of sourcing. The continued wear and tear on multiple articles is clear in the user's contribution history. I will have very limited Wikipedia time for the next week, but I share your concern. Buddhipriya 07:37, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I refrained from reverting his clearly unacceptable edits on Veda myself, since I have been cleaning up after him on several pages, and I didn't want him to misinterpret it as a "personal" issue. Hopefully after your comments, he will better understand the reason his sources are unreliable for this topic and the content he added is considered to be fringe.
You may recall that the user has been indef. banned earlier for his tendentious and disruptive editing, edit-warring and sockpupettry (on Indian caste system) and was unblocked, assuming good faith, under stringent conditions - that may yet not be sufficient.
I noticed that you were off-wiki the past few days and assumed you were busy - you definitely shouldn't ignore real life for this maya wikiworld :-) Abecedare 08:02, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I am starting to wonder if in regard to the Pranava Veda issue the user may be somehow referring to the metaphysical notion that all of the Vedas spring forth from pranava (om). Perhaps that is what the idea is, I really cannot make it out. The basic communication process is so difficult it is like a fire that generates little light but much smoke. Buddhipriya 08:18, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
You'll note that the user's only source of references is Google Books (that is true for his edits on other pages too), and he often basis his edits on two-line snippets that are available through preview, without any appreciation of the source or the content. For example, with regards to this reference, I have repeatedly asked him to at least mention the title and authors of the article he is referencing, but he doesn't seem to realize that the "Annals" is a volume of an academic journal , even after I explicitly told him that.
As far as "Pranava veda" goes, google books shows four hits and I think that is the sum total of information BalanceRestored is basing his edits on. I think your interpretation of "pranava" is correct as far as some sources go (for example the arthashastra); however there seems to be some "Pranava veda" mentioned by astrological and Vaastu websites which I guess is just an attempt to earn credibility by labeling a text "veda". Anyway, that's just my opinion - hard to say anything definitive without sources! Abecedare 08:35, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

This is what someone on Yahoo Answers has to say about Pranava Veda, "the 4 Vedas were compiled by Vyasa after the great deluge which wiped out Kumari Kandam...they were originally only one volume known as 'Pranava Veda'....remember 'Vyasa' means 'to split.... Pranava veda is actually the most authentic and was written in a technical language which was partly mistranslated by Vyasa as he was a Brahmin and did not understand the technical nature of the language..." Explains a lot! :-) Abecedare 08:38, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

WP:V opinion request

Hi there, do you have an opinion on which of these formulations of a paragraph in this policy is preferable? Tim Vickers 16:26, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for asking! I put in my two cents here: [3]. Buddhipriya 07:34, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard

It is a recently created page that would serve useful to alert other about fringe theories. Unfortunately, it has been put up for deletion. Your opinion will be appreciated. GizzaDiscuss © 09:41, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for making me aware of this Noticeboard, which I have added to my watch list. It looks useful, and I added a "keep" comment. Buddhipriya 09:47, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

You are promoting Racial Slur

Information.svg You are found promoting racial slur at Nastika attacking 2-3 religions. Complaint registered at BalanceRestored 12:15, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I have replied to this charge at the place where you have posted it. Buddhipriya 05:11, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Buddhipriya, I had an interesting discussion with User:Rājagṛha on my talk page regarding the nastika article. I think you'll be interested in looking it over. Abecedare 05:29, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

ANi message removal

I removed the following message of yours from ANI:

Here is an example of violation of the 1 revert restriction that was imposed, with a "zero tolerance": First revert: [4] Second revert: [5] Buddhipriya 07:44, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

since I have already mentioned those diffs at an earlier ANI report and he was blocked for 24 hours (!) as a result. I don't want BR accusing us of trying to get him blocked twice for the same offense, even though I feel that his continued disruptive behavior deserves the resumption of the indef. block. I hope you don't consider my deletion of your comment to be presumptuous! Abecedare 07:53, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Not at all, thank you for doing it. Obviously I am out of the loop as I have not been around much. Same will be true for most of the coming week. Buddhipriya 07:55, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
I restored and archived the ANI "discussion" for future reference. By the way, did you see my note in the above "You are promoting Racial Slur" section ? Abecedare 08:15, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I noticed it but have not had time to actually review it. I regret that my ability to keep up with multiple issues is poor right now due to time constraints. Unfortunely almost this entire editing session has been spent dealing with disputes, with no opportunity to work on content. Thank you again, by the way for your very interesting work on compiling the various definitions of Hinduism. It was very informative. There is another unfinished loose end related to the ideal note for that Flood (2003) article on definition of Hinduism. I am so grateful to you for having made me aware of the Blackwell Companion. I am hoping to find time to sit down and re-read the piece which you suggested as a citation (I only skimmed it quickly). It is wonderful to have your help with learning about this material. Buddhipriya 08:24, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
No hurry regarding the Nastika, Hinduism or any other page. Check your email - I just sent you an article you might enjoy reading. Regards. Abecedare 09:09, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Is there a standard for the citation of Sanskrit nouns?

Stem form, nom. sing., ... ? The question arose at Talk:Chakravartin. Rājagṛha 17:24, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

For noun forms, the two most commonly-cited Sanskrit dictionaries are Apte and Monier-Williams, and they use two different methods for citation of noun forms, so if by standard we mean a standard that one can rely on across multiple authorities, I would say no. Also, if you look at the vocabulary lists in books on Sanskrit grammar they often use variant methods. Some list things in stem form, while others provide gender finals for nominative case. However I would say that the use of a root to cite a noun would be very rare, because roots can form almost any part of speech. The main issue that the lexicons need to convey is the gender of the noun, which cannot be shown by giving the root. Also, some roots form nouns in more than one grammatical gender (masculine, feminine, neuter), with a different meaning for the noun depending on grammatical gender. Consider the example of rājakaḥ (masculine, "a little king, a petty prince") versus rājakaṃ (neuter, "a number of kings or princes, a collection of sovreigns") as given in Apte, p. 798. Since both words (and many others) all derive from the root rāj ("to shine, to appear splendid, to be eminent") showing the root would not do the job, and two different genders must be cited as independent nouns. Some lexicons use a format for nouns where the gender is inferred, while others show it explicitly. I would say that some types of noun probably do appear the same way in multiple sources, including the specific compound word cakravartin which uses the ending -in (चक्रवर्तिन्). On Wikipedia another issue is how to romanize both Sanskrit and Pali from Devanagari. To keep track of various threads related to that, see: User:Buddhipriya/IASTUsage. If there is a particular word you would like me to look up, let me know, and perhaps we can see if there are variant citation methods for that word. Buddhipriya 05:20, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
The Sanskrit book which I used while studying the language (Reading Sanskrit by J.S. Sheldon) use the stem for masculine nouns (eg. putra), nominative for neuter (nagaram) for nouns with vowel ending stems. I can't remember feminine and consonant ending stems. For the verbs, the root was used. Not the infinitive like is generally used in Latin. GizzaDiscuss © 04:59, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be fun to compare several sources. I have never really thought about this before. For comparison:
  • R. Antoine's dreary A Sanskrit Manual, which is rather officiously stamped "Approved by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination", lists masculine nouns ending in in the nominative case ending (e.g., aśvaḥ ) and neuter nouns with the neuter case ending (annam, food).
  • Apte's The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary, lists aśvaḥ (a horse) and aśvā (a mare) as separate nouns. Apte's listings are in Devanagari, and since he does not give the grammatical gender explicitly, one is expected to know the rules for formation of nouns with stems ending in .
  • Macdonell's A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary has an entry under the stem form aśva in Devanagari with a roman (m.) for "horse" and a subnote for "ā, f., mare"
  • MW [6] has the main entry using the stem form aśva with gender explictly noted as m., and the f. given as ā.

I knew this would pay off. I just found a citation discussing this problem in Roderick Bucknell's Sanskrit Manual, which is filled with essential cheat sheets for this sort of thing. On pp. 11-28 he covers he ins and outs of various noun classes, noting that there are many different declension paradigms for different noun classes. On pp. 13-14 he discusses dictionary variations and says:

"In dictionaries, nouns are usually cited in either of two forms: (i) in the nominative singular, or (ii) in a hypothetical underlying stem form. Examples of these two methods of citation can be found in popular dictionaries such as those of V. S. Apte and M. Monier-Williams.

In Apte's dictionaries, method (i) is used as far as possible, but method (ii) is resorted to when necessary for clarity. For example, the words for 'elephant', 'city', and 'creeper' are given as gajaḥ, nagaram, and latā respectively, i.e. in the nominative singular. No indication of gender is given, it being expected that the student will recognize the endings -aḥ, -am, and -ā as characteristic of the masculine, neuter, and feminine genders respectively.... On the other hand, the words for 'merchant', 'mind', and 'mother' are not given in their nominative singular forms... (details on variations in Apte omitted)

In the dictionaries of Monier-Williams, hypothetical stem-forms are more widely used, being adopted even for members of the very common paradigms... (details of which paradigms omitted) For example, 'elephant' and 'city' are given as 'gaja m' and 'nagara n' respectively. However, 'creeper' (paradigm 32) is given in the nominative singular as 'latā f'.)

From the practical point of view the method adopted by Apte has the advantage of presenting the majority of nouns in forms which actually occur, and which bear their own in-built gender labels. For example, the student wishing to learn the gender of 'city', will find it easier and more realistic to memorize the word as 'nagaram' rather than as 'nagara (neuter)'. On the other hand, the method adopted by Monier-Williams has the advantage of drawing attention to correspondences across the genders; for example, it identifies the masculine, neuter, and feminine endings -aḥ, -am, -ā as constituting a related set, a point whose significance becomes apparent in the next section on adjectives.

In looking over this discussion I also noticed that the terms "root" and "stem form" need to be distinguished. A grammatical root is not the same thing as a noun stem form. A nominal stem form is a derivative form, created by applying certain rules to a root. For example, the stem form "deva" is derived from the root "dev" which means "to shine". Thus the devas are "the shining ones", a nominal application of the root. Buddhipriya 05:58, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of famous brahmins

Please see this. GizzaDiscuss © 02:21, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I made a delete comment, thanks for letting me know about it. Buddhipriya 00:56, 13 July 2007 (UTC)


A while ago you asked if there were any reliable sources discussing Frawley. The Bergunder piece occurred to me. I've come across another in a very reputable journal, written an academic who also wrote a book on Hindu Nationalism. The ref is "Ethnic Absolutism and the Authoritarian Spirit", by Chetan Bhatt in Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 16, No. 2, 65-85 (1999), with an abstract available here[7]. If you have access, you might be able to download the whole text, otherwise let me know. Frawley is discussed in several places, but in particular at the bottom of p77, some of which I quote to save you time.

He says of Elst and Frawley that they are "key ideological supporters of far right-wing Hindu nationalism in India, and key Western apologists for the militant strain of Hinduism of the RSS.."; "Both discovered Hinduism through their New Age activies. Frawley is a Vedic astrologer who is particularly important in the Western context for his numerous books on astrology, ayurveda and spirituality. There is little that distinguishes his work from the glut of New Age aphoristic manuals available. In India his chauvinistic Hindu nationalist work is published by the far right-wing Voice of India press, a key publishing house for BJP, RSS and Hindu nationalist writers, that also publishes much of Elst's vituperative work." "A key recent New Age publication, virtually a trademark of the civilizational method of much Hindu nationalism is 'In Search of the Cradle of Civilisation'...with Fueurstein and Subhash Kak. Kak has a substantial and long-standing publications record in the journal Mankind Quarterly, the latter perhaps the most influential racist and eugenicist journal in the world." Fairly uncompromising stuff, and perhaps useful in a few places. Hornplease 20:21, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the followup. The citation appears to me to meet the test of WP:RS and I would encourage you to add this information to the article as it establishes the notability and context. I mainly have been pruning unsourced material, as I have been almost entirely unable to find any references to him in the books I have available. There are a couple of mentions of him in the book by Vinay Lal, The History of History: Politics and Scholarship in Modern India. Oxford University Press: 2003, ISBN 0-19-566465-5. I have not read the book but I have gotten a copy and it is sitting in my "if I get time to read" pile. Buddhipriya 16:58, 14 July 2007 (UTC)


Regarding your reversion of my edit at Advaita Vedanta, let me first of all say that I am entirely ignorant of the subject of the article. And it may well be that my ignorance means that I cannot understand that importance of placing that tag at the top of the article. But in general, I believe such tags should not be placed at the top, for reasons that might be better explained if you could take a moment to read this. I don't agree with it entirely, but it has made me think twice about the placement of tags within articles.

Of course you are correct that the tag "warns readers that the article is not reliable". But by implication, then, if you decide to not place such a tag on an article, are you then certifying that that article is reliable? I mean, given the nature of the Wikipedia article, pretty much all articles are suspect, to a greater or lesser degree, are they not? Can not such a tag be justified almost anywhere, except perhaps on the tiniest of stubs?

Please do not dismiss me as a polemicist; I have a serious point here. If all articles are suspect (and yes, I know, some articles are worse than others, some are actually very good) to some extent, then is it not logical to tag all articles like this? Of course not; a tag on every article makes no distinction at all, and would rightly be ignored. So I do agree that tagging only suspected poor articles is a good idea. I merely point out that it is a highly imperfect system, since many thousands of articles needing such tags are being overlooked.

Given that the lack of efficacy of such a system is self-apparent, the more prominent its use (when it is used), the more misleading it becomes! Why? Because if the casual reader comes to see such tags as his protection, then the lack of such tags will appear to him to indicate the opposite—that is, that the article is reliable! Yet you and I both know that this is not necessarily true at all.

If the tag is placed at the bottom of the article, I feel that it is better for the following reasons:

  • First of all, it is aesthetically more pleasing. My personal feeling is that all tags placed at the top, before the first word of text is read, are distracting, almost to an offensive level. Many of them (though not the type that we are discussing here) are so self-involved, so self-referential, so indicative of Wikipedians' love of their own Wikipedianess, that I think it must turn off hundreds of first-time visitors every day. I'm glad that some editors are starting to recognize this problem, and at least one of the tags (the semi-protection tag) is on its way out being gradually replaced by a far less obtrusive icon. I favor doing the same thing with several other tags, most notably the "clean up" tag.
  • Secondly, a tag relocated to the bottom still serves a major purpose of all tags—placing in a category where diligent editors will still be able to locate it and improve it as needed.
  • Thirdly, a tag located at the bottom does serve to indicate (albeit less prominently) to the reader that this is an imperfect Encyclopedia. But at the bottom it will carry less "shock" value. It won't be first thing that they read, so they will be thinking about our content rather than our shortcomings.

Hey, World Book and Britannica have their problems, too. But they don't begin their articles or even their volumes with warnings as to their imperfections. We probably have more imperfections than they do, but that doesn't mean that we have to scream them at the top of our lungs just as someone lands on a page.

Of course, there is that instance of an article that is so blatantly inaccurate that you can't stand not letting the reader know about it NOW. As I said earlier, I am completely ignorant about the subject of this article, so that may indeed be the case here. But Buddhipriya, there's another solution for that problem. Fix it. I know, I know, we're all busy. But if it's really that bad, correct the inaccurate info, or, if you don't have time, just delete it, with an edit summary saying "Inaccurate info deleted, do not revert without citation", or something to that effect. If you do that you will contribute far more to the quality of this project than if you just place another tag.

Well, that's my three cents worth. I can see that you are a serious and thoughtful editor, so I look forward to your thoughts. Unschool 04:39, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for getting in touch. From a Wikipedia format point of view, all of the Hinduism articles that I see that are being questioned have the tags at the top. Here is another example of one of the regular editors on Hinduism articles reverting the movement of a tag to the bottom of the page, which this editor characterized as "hiding" the information: [8] Regarding the user essay, I do not agree with it. There is a tremendous amount of nonsense on Wikipedia, and we should be doing more to make it apparent to readers that what they are reading may be completely false. Pretending the quality is better than it is is not a service to the readers. The idea of putting icons on the article rather than plain English statements seems to me a very bad idea, as it will require the reader to figure out the Wikipedia coding system in order to get the point, something which only the minority will do. The present method of clear English tagging is much more user-friendly than icons.
Regarding the idea of mass deletions of content, that is permitted under Wikipedia:Verifiability but personally I use a more long-term approach on those articles where I want to make a real impact. That involves gradually fact-tagging a bit of material, giving editors a chance to source it, and then deleting when they fail to do so. That approach is spelled out in WP:V as a more collaborative style of editing, and while it takes longer (sometimes months) during that process one can enlist collaborative help rather than just provoking edit wars.
Fixing the articles can take months, and during that time the tag at the top is helpful to draw the attention of editors to the fact that the article is challenged. So I think this is just a standard practice. Putting the tag at the bottom results in most users never seeing it, as it is "below the fold" in newspaper jargon. If you look at the upgrade process for many of these articles, they are sometimes the subject of debate where getting it "right" is more of a social process of collective work than a matter of simply sitting down and sourcing something. But I am sure that your thinking is well-intentioned, and I appreciate your comments. Buddhipriya 07:15, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for actually reading both my comments and the essay. As yet, you have not persuaded me; however, your arguments are stronger than most I have encountered on the topic. I will have to give this some more thought. (It is not only editing articles that can be a lengthy process.) Unschool 07:32, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
The speed with which you are making mass tag changes suggests that you are using a bot. Is that the case, and is the bot approved for this use? Please see: Wikipedia:Bot policy I suggest that you discontinue making mass bot changes to the Hinduism articles since this practice may result in concerns. The bot policy specifically says that before making mass changes, you need to be sure that you have agreement on the issue. In case you did not see it, here is a previous ANI related to this issue: [9] Buddhipriya 07:33, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Ha! I know that bots exist, but I don't know the first thing about programming one or even how you use one. No, no bot was used; I merely identified articles that seemed appropriate and then did them in sequence. But you spoke of mass changes to Hinduism articles? If that is the case, it was truly unintentional. Most of the changes that I have been doing tonight consisted of deleting tags entirely—specifically, I have been deleting the "recently deceased tags" that people have left on persons that have been dead for a long time.
It's an example of a tag that, to me, is a good example of tag pollution. People put on an article, "This is about a recently deceased person. Information may change rapidly as more is learned." What is up with that? Sure, sure, in a very few cases, such as the Chris Benoit deal, this is true. But when some aging Hollywood starlet dies at 93 years old, why on earth do we need a tag at all telling us that "information may change rapidly"? And even if the information may potentially change rapidly, why do we need the tag? First of all, what's going to change? Her body temperature? And when the information does change, why not just change the article. I mean, everything that takes place in Washington DC or Baghdad or New York City "may change rapidly", but we don't tag it so. It makes no sense at all to me, and what's worse, people will place these tags and then forget about them entirely and then months later (or years later, once the tag has been around long enough), the "recently deceased" tag is still there. It really lowers the quality of the product we are striving to achieve, in my opinion.
Okay, so now I'm ranting, which is something I didn't want to do this weekend. I apologize. But hey, I really didn't realize that I had mass hit other Hinduism articles—everything I touched on the tagging issue was not intentionally selected, so sorry. I couldn't even name the articles I worked on tonight. I certainly don't have a thing for Hinduism articles. And I meant what I said about the tags in general. I have been thinking. I'm starting to consider the possibility of accepting some tags at the top, such as POV tags. But I still think most of them (clean up, page protection, tone, etc.), really detract from the encyclopedia. And I think that "editors" who race to add the RDP tag to every name they see on the obituaries probably do so because it makes them feel important, for whatever reason. Maybe those editors are people who have little to say, or little to offer, anyway, but this is something that makes them feel like they've done something. I need to go to sleep. Hey, Buddhipriya, I'll see you around. Sorry if I ruined the mood. Unschool 09:45, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Re:You deserve a cookie

Tasty, thank you :) If you agree with me, please don't hesitate to point out so in the discussion, I have a feeling Jossi may not agree with my claim that it is he who is acting against consensus, unless several other editors chime in to back me up.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  08:03, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Automated response?

Sir: I was astounded that my small efforts to add a little balance to a very obviously biased page were answered with your text message:

"Welcome to Wikipedia. We invite everyone to contribute constructively to the encyclopedia. However, the external links you added to the page Yoga Sutras of Patanjali do not comply with our guidelines for external links. Wikipedia is not a mere directory of links; nor should it be used for advertising or promotion. . ."

I can only hope that this was some automatic response and you are not in some manner culpable here. I posted the following at the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali page, a step I otherwise had no intention of making.

"The current links are biased and not nuetral. In this case, given the wide divergence of translations in a much disputed field Wikipedia can only honestly present the competition. And since those nuances of difference may not even be suspected by researchers, Wikipedia must present a comprehensive list of available translations. Further, this page as stands is an outright advertisement for "Ashtanga Yoga". It needs to be totally revamped both in the light of current spiritual thought (or organisational strategy) and the light of modern academic research. Patanjali is not an userpable trademark for a single group. While the interlinear is an admirable work it is not definitive. The inclusion of the BonGiovanni translation is problematic, one that I would suggest was made to play up the qualities of the other more thourough work. Though I'm not much in favor of the his treatment of the third book, let me quote BonGiovanni (and Patanjali) from the second;

2.23 The association of the seer with Creation is for the distinct recognition of the objective world, as well as for the recognition of the distinct nature of the seer.

2.24 The cause of the association is ignorance.

Don't force associations on this pure work."

Just to say, man, I'm just a gardener who practices. I am in no way connected to any organisation. I seldom have access to a computer, so:

You would honor me with a speedy reply.

The above unsigned comment was made in this edit: [10] by User:Klasovsky. Buddhipriya 21:17, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for getting in touch. The removal was not done by an automated bot, it was done by me because the links you added did not seem to me to comply with the guidelines given at WP:SPAM. Regarding the specific points that you raise regarding article content, if you wish to pursue them I recommend that you mention them on the talk pages for the articles involved so that other editors will have an opportunity to see your ideas and dialog with you about them. For more information about sourcing, please read Wikipedia:Verifiability which covers the use of WP:RS. Your participation in dialog regarding appropriate sourcing would be very welcome on the talk pages for the articles involved. It is quite possible that other links in the article should be deleted, but the fact that there are dubious links now does not justify inclusion of more links. That is a type of straw man argument. You are free to challenge any link currently in the articles you mention, and if there is disagreement the talk pages are the place to dialog about it. Buddhipriya 21:21, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

what not a bot, just following orders?:-) I feel very strongly that some variety must be shown here. This is one of the most translated texts ever, and the site supports it with only one really workable link? I hope you will be able to give a little attention to this matter.

But very definitely it is not a straw man argument- in fact I dont think that means what you think it means- but sinply: there are 10 online english translations of a short text, not 1 or 2 or 10 thousand. Why get outside authorities to cite a number or learnedly select one as represenative? By listing them all we serve scholarship openly. anything else is defacto censureship.

The above unsigned comment was made in this edit: [11] by User:Klasovsky. Buddhipriya 22:54, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
If you wish to continue discussion on content issues, please do so on the talk pages for the articles you feel should be changed so that the editors of those articles will have the benefit of your views. Buddhipriya 22:54, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
you are right, entirely; and I will take this up on the content talk page; though I tend to believe the issues would have sorted themselves nicely without intervention, perhaps I am wrong in this too. In any case don't you think that rolling back the page entirely and wiping out my other minor edits was a little precipitous [uncritical]?

By the way I think "straw man" refers to first inculcating an idea into another, or encouraging a latent developement and then destroying it, and him both. But then there's a Taoist saying, "to the superior man, all things are straw dogs" so: peace!Klasovsky 16:04, 15 July 2007 (UTC)


Hello 'BuddhiPriya'....wahtever i added to 'Wikipedia' is rational one...if u r doubtful then u can carry your own check...I hope u have not any agony about we 'Marathas'....Just bcoz of Maratha kings we have hindustan now....otherwise whole of India would have been Pakistan....stop giving me waring...instead add ur knowledge about 'Marathas'....and their contribution to hindutwa... Lalitpatil 07:11, 16 July 2007 (UTC)


Buddhipriya, I am done playing around with the article for. I have attempted to incorporate all the textual changes that you had made to the article earlier today, although it is possible with all the cut-n-pasting that I inadvertently missed something. Also see my note on the talk page regarding these edits. Happy editing! Abecedare 06:04, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

I have replied on the talk page for that article. Thank you so much for your work there, I will try to not ruin the format. I will work on the IAST conversion as the first task. I must cut down on the number of articles that I am active on in order to accomodate reduced time, but I will try to get this one done as a priority. Buddhipriya 06:10, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
I know what you mean about having too many articles on the plate. One tends too loose track of the wrk that had been started and planned. On the other hand though, it is sometimes fun to lets ones mind wander and learn about/edit some new article/subject altogether. In the past I have had great fun reading and/or editing what are (for me) off-the-beaten-track articles, such as An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump, Alice Trillin, Gender verification in sports or M. S. Valiathan. Keeps the charm alive :-) Abecedare 06:22, 18 July 2007 (UTC)


Hello Buddhipriya, I couldn't see anything in the Shiva article to warrant the POV tag, but didn't want to remove it altogether in case whoever added the tag disagreed. I'm glad it's since been removed as the article looks much better than how I remember it a month or so ago. Regards, Gouranga(UK) 10:34, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your help in improving the article. Another editor removed the POV tag, and hopefully it will not return. Buddhipriya 14:32, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

HINDUISM : unsourced edit

Thanks for your attention on my edit to 'Hinduism'. I know some of my additions will cause problem to many readers who are long fed with wrong interpretations. But I request you to read my contributions again : I have cited references within the contributions in more clear and reliable way than a footnot reference can do. For instance, 'Dharma' has been vaguely defined as 'Law' by many scholars, because there is a lot of difference between man-made Law and divine Law. The fact that Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism is not man-made was already mentioned in the article, hence the definition I gave does not need a separate reference. You did not object to this addition, but others may do, hence please keep a vigil. I made reference to Mahabharata while providing the ancient Indian version of the term 'Sapta-Sindhu', and I possess the verse number as well but I do not remember the verse by rote, and you removed my contribution without asking me to provide the verse. I have no complain against you, as you kept the counter view on Samkhya because I qouted the verse of Gita , which I know by rote. But this meaning of Samkhya puts it at par with Advaita Vedanta of Badarayana , which you should not have removed. Some modern scholars have propagated wrong interpretations of Indian philosophy and religion. In this matter, original text is the criterion of truth, and later interpretations are of secondary importance,esp. when they go against the original text. I will contribute much to this article later, at present I am busy with an international conference on monsoons to be held at IISc (Bangalore) where my paper is a part of agenda. When I return (at the end of this month) I will provide you the original verse of Mahabharata about Sapta Sindhu, which I believe you will like to keep in this article, although it goes against the modern view of indologists most of whom were more concerned with proving an Aryan invasion from the West than with a fuller interpretation of original texts. I know the Wiki policy, and I never use unsourced material, but I am too busy now. VinJha05:50, 19 July 2007 (UTC)


See 'Hinduism', Abecedare has reverted everything added by me. He regards citation from Gita not apt for a source. Perhaps only a western 'expert' can be a proper source for Samkhya, and the view of Gita cannot be quoted. The whole team of DAB &c is tracking my user page ,and is deleting or reverting all my contributions in everywhere. No unbiased editor supports me, hence I am giving up. DAB has also tried to block me. VinJha 09:38, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for getting in touch. My opinion is that the reversions that have been made are in line with the policies of Wikipedia:Verifiability, which says: "Articles should only contain material that has been published by reliable sources. Editors adding or restoring material that has been challenged or is likely to be challenged, or any quotations, must provide a reliable published source, or the material may be subject to removal." Please keep in mind that Wikipedia is intended to be an encyclopedia for readers of all types, most of whom will not have faith in any particular scripture. Thus is it necessary to bring to bear additional sources to prove points even to the most critical reader. If an article on Jesus were sourced only be references to the New Testament, those who do not accept those scriptures as historical records could challenge any point made by them. So scripture can be used to establish what the scripture says, but it is not effective as a proof of the facts. I encourage you adjust your thinking along these lines, and consider if you can find other types of reference materials that would be judged acceptable by other editors. You may also talk these things out on the talk pages for articles to try to reach agreement with other editors prior to making edits on the articles themselves. If you try to build collaborative working relations with other editors by engaging them in dialog on disputed points, some of them will respond positively and may even assist you in finding references that express your ideas in ways that are consistent with Wikipedia policies. ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः Buddhipriya 19:02, 19 July 2007 (UTC)


I just saw the recent bouts of reversions on this article. I am in general neutral on (if not mildly opposed to) including extensive non-English quotes in wikipedia article, but I do wish the issues are discussed calmly on talk pages to bring out the pros-and-cons in each specific instance; especially when good-faith, experienced editors (and not drive-by vandals) are involved. Sigh ... Abecedare 20:19, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

If you wish to dialog on this content issue, I would be happy to do so. On the talk page for the article I suggested two alternative approaches, such as moving the Sanskrit content to Wikisource or creating a separate article for the issue of the meditation forms, which are noteworthy in their own right. On two occasions the other editor involved has made significant structural changes to the article with no serious attempt to reach consensus prior to making the changes. Since I try to follow a one-revert rule, I suspended editing of the article itself pending further consensus, which is what I said on the article talk page. This is just one more example of the fact that the basic design of Wikipedia seems to encourage conflict rather than cooperation. The effect of the removal of the content does not affect me much directly, because I have access to the material in other sources. But for many others, the primary sources are hard to obtain, and removal of them from Wikipedia is a loss. If you have a specific request regarding how to proceed I would be happy to entertain it. Buddhipriya 20:32, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I think Redtigerxyz edits in which he changed the formatting into a table and deleted the Kannada quotes, in the first instance were fine since wikipedia encourages editors to be bold in making good-faith edits. But once it was obvious that you were against the changes, he should have engaged in a discussion on the talk page before repeating the edits. Repeated reversion is fine when one is engaged with vandals or BLP/Copyright issues, but it seldom is a good idea when dealing with established editors such as yourself. IMO such confrontational as opposed to cooperative approach reflects badly on the editor and leaves the article in worse shape by driving away editors who would else help in improving it. I saw that you tried to discuss the issue on the article's talk page, which IMO is exactly the right strategy.
As for the content issue itself: I take a somewhat article-dependent approach on this issue. For, say, the Hinduism article which has extensive material and already has size issues, I would be opposed to adding lengthy non-English quotes, transliterations, or even translations (of course individual terms and pithy quotes are fine, as long as used sensibly). On the other hand, for articles with limited scope or content such as Jana Gana Mana or Sritattvanidhi (at least in its current state), I am fine with retaining such material.
I'll drop a note on the article talk page, expressing my thought, though I may be too busy in the next few days (with real life and other articles) to edit the page myself. Cheers. Abecedare 21:10, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Re:Splitting notes and citation in Hinduism

Among the regular editors, you and Abecedere have expressed opinions. However, I cannot find IPSOS in the most frequent contributors list of the article. It cannot be called a consensus. No problem, the article can wait. FAC is still pretty far.--Dwaipayan (talk) 20:45, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the good-faith dialog regarding this matter. As I said before, I am particularly appreciative since my opposition only surfaced after the change, due to no fault of yours. Regarding IPSOS, if you check his edit history you will see that he often plays a supportive role on various Hinduism-related pages, often serving as a spam and vandalism defender rather than as a content creator. Since you agree that consensus does not exist, I have called for restoration of the single section method on the talk page for the Hinduism article, but note there that some may wish to have further discussion. I understand that you feel making the change would improve chances for FA status. While I do not agree, is there some way we can collaborate to help you achieve that goal? I personally do not care much about FAC issues, and have made little effort to work on the Hinduism article because it is a magnet for controversy, which I dislike. However if there is any particular article where you would like to collaborate, I would welcome the opportunity to work with you on specific content issues. Buddhipriya 02:02, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
It's ok if you have misread my comment. As the article has been edited to get beck to the former kind (single section), I have no problem either, because consensus has not been reached :) I have asked for opinion from regular editors in the talk page. However, at present, even the combined section looks somewhat better than when I started work.
Regarding FA collaboration, yes we need to collaborate. There is problem regarding the references. Many citations lack page number or page ranges. While the format question can wait, can you please try to provide page numbers? Also, the prose needs tightening (I worked on some sections). However, more skilled copyeditors are needed. Even such a controversial article as Jerusalem got featured status, so controversy does not always impede the process. Shanti prevails after some time!
So, I request you and other regular editors to please provide page numbers and ranges to all teh citations. This can be taken as the first step of collaboration towards FAC :) Regards.--Dwaipayan (talk) 04:50, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Since I have never really worked on the citations for the article, I can at least do a pass over them to see what looks vague to me. I may not have access to the book mentioned, but perhaps I can find something else. If there is any particular point in the article that you feel is weakly sourced, please tag it with a [citation needed], even if it has an existing footnote. One of my pet peeves is that people make some statement such as "Cellphones cause cancer" and cite by something like: See: Foo. Not good enough. If the reference has no page number it may be objected to as not verifiable. FYI, I dislike combative editing. My style on articles of this type would be to do a slow process of chipping away at weak citations over the next couple of months. Buddhipriya 04:59, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
References apart, I also tried to summarize several sections. Added some stuffs as well. So, as a regular editor, you can go through the article for the changes and see if those are ok. With a goal for FAC, citation, prose and summarization should go hand in hand. I do not have access to any of the books used. Other regular editors have to try to provide the page numbers.
Bye the way, why don't you go for FAC of Ganesha?--Dwaipayan (talk) 05:15, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
My preferred citation method is (I think) bulletproof. It involves an inline citation along with a context gloss that makes it difficult for some future editor to let the reference wander away from the main sentence. Personally I do not use web citations and generally try to delete them when I find them unless they are very strong. I generally do not use the Harvard templates because I dislike them, and I generally remove all named references that I find. I would be happy to discuss referencing methods in detail, as this sort of thing appeals to me. Regarding Ganesha, I am pleased to say that it is one of the few articles in the Hinduism project where people have been urging it to go to FAC for some time. I have always suggested further improvement rounds in response, because I do not care about FAC. What matters is that the article be the best possible article it can be. Currently we are at the tail end of a copyedit and image makeover. I suspect it will be ready for FAC in another month or so. Would you mind giving it a read and please tag anything there that can use improvement? Buddhipriya 05:27, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Seeking opinion from regular editors on reference pattern

References: Notes and citations section; change in reference and notes temporarily ceased; WP:FOOT says I am not doing wrong; Separate Notes and Citation sections

Opinion is sought from regular editors of the article Hinduism regarding the splitting of Notes and references section. This is a short gist of the discussions going on in the above mentioned talk links: Having a separate "Notes" (for explanatory remarks) and "Citations" (for direct citations), although permitted, is relatively rare in Wikipedia, and also in academic journals. The main rationale behind doing this is to distinguish a series of explanatory remarks from the series of citations (please see Rabindranath Tagore, Demosthenes for examples).

This sandbox gives a glimpse of how the article would look if we split the sections (the sandbox is under work, so may not be perfect). This link shows how the article looks with combined section. This may give an idea how it looked when I started working on references. I converted many references to Harvard format, apart from splitting the sections.

Opinion for regular editors are sought regarding the application of splitting of two section for this article. Please do so in Talk:Hinduism in the section Talk:Hinduism#Seeking_opinion_from_regular_editors_on_reference_pattern. Regards.--Dwaipayan (talk) 05:00, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

New section for discussing reference methods

This is rather unrelated to the discussion doing the rounds :) I have a query. You may like or dislike one method over another. that's personal preference. But, why do you remove named references? I can't really get that.--Dwaipayan (talk) 17:13, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

I remove named references for three reasons. 1. They often cover up weak citations, being used to refer generically to a single book with no page references, making the citations difficult to verify. In such cases I replace each case with a specific challenge and call for page numbers. 2. They make the article more difficult to maintain, often causing structural errors when casual editors make a change to one use of a named reference with no systematic checking for collateral damage. You created one such error yourself during work on the Hinduism article, which I fixed. I understand that that was a work in progress, but the ease of breaking relationships is the issue. Since multiple references are linked together by a named reference, editing them requires care and and overview of their inter-relationships, which is sometimes lacking on the part of the editors. Making each reference stand on its own feet makes the individual references more difficult to challenge and disrupt. Wikipedia is a chaotic environment and we cannot count on having careful editors. 3. Casual editors often make disruptive changes to sourced statements, and use of a gloss in the reference itself permits repair of such disruptions by editors who may not have the sources at hand. For example, consider two statements "There are no health risks to asbestos" and "Asbestos is a good insulator of heat" both sourced by a named reference to: Jones, 1931, Asbestos: The Wonder Mineral. Each reference just says: "Jones, 1931". That's not good enough. It would be better to have two different references: 1. "For a review of medical information related to asbestos, and lack of human health risks, see: Jones (1931), p. 50." 2. "For use of asbestos as an insulating material in home heating systems, see: Jones (1931), p. 3." You can't use a named reference to cover both of these. You would need two named references pointing to pages in Jones. But what if there is a different fact on the same page that needs citing? What if you also cite p. 3 of Jones to say: "Asbestos is a recently-discovered material." It may be on the same page, but it may require a different gloss. The presence of the gloss in the note also makes it possible for other editors to detect blatant changes to statements even if they do not have the books, which are sometimes hard to get. If someone edits the statement "There are no health risks to asbestos" (deleting the word no), the statement is given the opposite meaning from what was in the source, but this can now be easily detected if a good gloss had anticipated such disruption. Many, many disruptive edits are made to sourced material. Buddhipriya 17:41, 22 July 2007 (UTC)


I doubt it, it was far from malicious and not even "deliberately non-constructive". 17:59, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

I think this was just a bad-faith effort on your part. Just apologize and be more careful next time. Pilotguy 19:15, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry you don't agree. I do not agree that the edit was made in bad faith. It can be difficult to tell if remarks by anonymous IP editors made with no context are intended as vandalism or not. I note that the IP address in question is apparently a stable one. If the editor wishes to build constructive relationships, one step might be to register a username, which may help others to more easily put your contributions into a larger context. Buddhipriya 19:23, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

RS fallback

We can always put our current work at WP:RSEX - at least it will be preserved for some future use. I advertised our conflict at Village Pump and RfC, but until we get more interest, we have 2 for, 2 against, and even if we point out they are not interested in discussion, we can hardly call our version a consensus :( -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  21:05, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Personally I try to follow a one-revert rule for this sort of thing, so I will not be engaged in any further direct edits to the content, but I may continue to follow the discussion. My time on Wikipedia will be limited in the coming week due to real world issues, so I probably will not be able to participate in this very actively, but I support keeping a clear examples list. Keep up the good work! Buddhipriya 02:02, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
:). You know, all editors who commented on specifics agree with us... we are reverted on general claims of 'no consensus' :( -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  21:24, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Your views on Harvard templates

Buddhipriya, I am slightly confused on your views on Harvard templates, for example as you wrote:

While I dislike the Harvard system in general, I can live with the use of some of the simpler Harvard book citation templates so long as they are confined to footnotes, not appearing the main body of the text, and do not use named references for their implementation. However given the choice I probably would not use them much.

As far as I have seen you have always used a "Harvard-type citation in the footnotes", (except of course when there is no separate citation and reference section and the full citation needs to be provided), so I am not sure why you say that "Given the choice I would not use them much". Are you objecting to using "short citations" themselves (i.e. citations which appear as "Flood (1996), p.7") or to using the Harvnb template in order to implement them ?
Note that I am not talking about using inline harvard citations that appear in the main text itself, since that would make sentences like, "Devas may be translated into English as gods,[1] demigods,[2] deities,[1] celestial spirits[3] or angels.[4]" absolutely unreadable!
By the way, this message is only for my curiosity about your personal preference, and not part of any debate :-) Abecedare 19:34, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for dialog on this. I regret if I have not been clear in expressing what I feel about the Harvard methods. You are correct that up to this point I have used a "Harvard-type citation in the footnotes", and I am now warming up to the use of one specific Harvard template to handle such citations in footnotes. I also tend to prefer adding some sort of gloss to the citation to reduce the difficulty of repairing the frequent vandalism and careless changes to citation/text linkages that take place. I do not support the use of the Harvard citation system in the sense of showing inline citations within the text of an article because I think that formatting is distracting for the average reader, and it seems that on that point we are in agreement. I personally prefer to see all citations in one linear sequence as part of endmatter or at the bottom of pages as sequentially-numbered footnotes so they can be quickly scanned to get a sense of who is being cited. I strongly oppose the use of named references in any form (with Harvard methods or not), which is a separate issue. The method I am applying on Shiva now to deal with the two Sharma books is the method that I think gets the benefit of one specific Harvard template for page citations to a recurrent book, but without the cumberson problems of named references and visual distraction of inline references. My resistance to the full implementation of the Harvard templates is that some of them are more complex than others. Some of the simple uses (e.g., Harvnb template) that can be used without the need for a named reference are OK. Please reply with further dialog on this, because I would like to be sure that we are on the same wavelength regarding these issues. Since whatever minor contributions I may make to Wikipedia will probably be in the form of transcribing obscure facts from books, getting agreement on how to do that scribbling is important. Buddhipriya 19:52, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, that helps me I understand your viewpoint better. Here are some quick comments:

  • Inline harvard citations within the text is very cumbersome, for the reasons both of us have cited above. Thankfully this is not used on any Hinduism article that I am aware of and nobody I know is proposing their use; so to me this is an non-issue.
  • I personally like your idea of using a gloss along with the citation for the reasons you have described above and in previous posts. Even though this is not prescribed in the MOS or used oftren on wikipedia, to me that is not a concern. A web encyclopedia, unlike a paper publication, is a living medium and can benefit from good-faith experimentation in the areas of style, even if that introduces inconsistencies for some time, since that is the only way it can possibly evolve and improve (as opposed to only expand).
  • I don't know which Harvard citation template you think is complex. Perhaps {{Harvard reference}}, but the use of that is anyway depreciated, and using {{cite book}}, {{cite journal}} etc is preferred. Anyway, since the only template of interest for our purpose is {{harvnb}}, complexity is again an non-issue.
  • I personally like the use of templates rather than formatting references by hand, becuase the former can ensure consistency of style and punctuation. Note that this issue of consistency within an article is different from consistency between articles. Also using templates serves as a useful reminder to provide all the relevant fields (year, publisher, edition, ISBN etc).
  • As for named references. I like to provide a name for all references (even ones which are used only once), usually something like <ref name = "Smith2003p7">. Then, if it is appropriate, one can choose to use the named reference or not. An example for justified use of a named reference would be say an article which refers to a particular dictionary 10 times; I think it is better to have one consolidated entry for the publication in the citations rather than 10 different entries. (Aside: Also in this case, I wouldn't bother with even providing the page number since IMO navigating a dictionary using the entry word is as easy/difficult as using the page number.) Another example would be when one say cites a census table for Hindu, Muslim, ... population of India in 5 different places in an article; again I would vote for having a consolidated entry for all in the citations. The only concern I can see with named refs is maintainability, but in practice that is not a big deal for a well-watched article especially since deleted information can always be retrieved from the article history.

Abecedare 20:38, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

It seems that we can agree that use of the {{harvnb}} within the text of individual Notes, which may also contain additional glosses in addition to the template, and which do not display as part of the article main text, is OK. And if you prefer that type of citation method, I would not object to implementation in that manner in order to get the benefit of consistency, which I agree is a good thing. It seems that we do not agree on the use of named references, and I would like to continue dialog on them, since I prefer to remove them whenever I see them. I have outlined my objections to them in a prior post, but I would benefit from an exchange again on this.
To reduce the need to hunt for them, here is a refactoring of my objections to named references.
  • 1. They often cover up weak citations, being used to refer generically to a single book with no page references, making the citations difficult to verify. In such cases I replace each case with a specific challenge and call for page numbers.
  • 2. They make the article more difficult to maintain, often causing structural errors when casual editors make a change to one use of a named reference with no systematic checking for collateral damage. An example of this type of error just happened on the Hinduism article, which I fixed. Since multiple references are linked together by a named reference, editing them requires care and and overview of their inter-relationships, which is sometimes lacking on the part of the editors. Making each reference stand on its own feet makes the individual references more difficult to challenge and disrupt. Wikipedia is a chaotic environment and we cannot count on having careful editors. Most of the Hinduism articles seem to have few or no steady editors keeping track of them, which means that when the occasional review does take place it may be difficult to reconstruct what was reliable.
  • 3. Casual editors often make disruptive changes to sourced statements, and use of a gloss in the reference itself permits repair of such disruptions by editors who may not have the sources at hand. For example, consider two statements "There are no health risks to asbestos" and "Asbestos is a good insulator of heat" both sourced by a named reference to: Jones, 1931, Asbestos: The Wonder Mineral. Each reference just says: "Jones, 1931". That's not good enough. It would be better to have two different references: 1. "For a review of medical information related to asbestos, and lack of human health risks, see: Jones (1931), p. 50." 2. "For use of asbestos as an insulating material in home heating systems, see: Jones (1931), p. 3." You can't use a named reference to cover both of these. You would need two named references pointing to pages in Jones. But what if there is a different fact on the same page that needs citing? What if you also cite p. 3 of Jones to say: "Asbestos is a recently-discovered material." It may be on the same page, but it may require a different gloss. The presence of the gloss in the note also makes it possible for other editors to detect blatant changes to statements even if they do not have the books, which are sometimes hard to get. If someone edits the statement "There are no health risks to asbestos" (deleting the word no), the statement is given the opposite meaning from what was in the source, but this can now be easily detected if a good gloss had anticipated such disruption. Many, many disruptive edits are made to sourced material.

Buddhipriya 20:52, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Your points 1 and 3 are valid concerns regarding referencing in articles in general, but I don't see them as objections relating to named references at all. Perhaps we are using the term " named referencing" to refer to different ideas, so I'll clarify what I mean by it:
To me a named reference is something like
<ref name = Census2001religion> For statistics about population distribution by religion, see {{cite web| ....}} </ref>
as opposed to
<ref> For statistics about population distribution by religion, see {{cite web| ....}} </ref>.
In the former case if the exact same citation is used 5 times in the article (as is likely) all those will point to the same entry in the citation section and will appear as
* a,b,c,d,e For statistics about population distribution by religion, see ...
while in the second case the five citations will appear as five different (not necessarily consecutive) entries - which to me is both ugly, needlessly lengthening the citation section and of no particular benefit to the reader.
In the asbestos example you cite, the citation are different, so they will have different names, perhaps <ref name = "Jones1931p50">, <ref name = "Jones1931p3a">, <ref name = "Jones1931p3bb"> (that is the convention I use to oraganize my bibliography using bibtex in real life, so it is not surprising that I am partial to it :-) ) and will have different entries in the citation section; of course, if each is used only once in the article, giving them a name serves no useful purpose at present, but may be of use in the future. So I don't see the link between using named references and vague or incomplete referencing.
Your 2nd point is IMO a valid objection to using named references, but in my experience not a big deal in practice since one can always retrieve the deleted information from the article history (as you probably did fro the Hinduism article). Abecedare 21:14, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for mentioning your experience with bibtex, as it has helped me to understand your perspective on this. I agree that the use of a system of that type to support writing in a controlled context would be of great help. I also have some exposure to reference management system (other than bibtex) and support their use in institutional settings, single-author projects, and collaborative writing projects where all participants are using the same methods and can be counted on to use the tools properly. Unfortunately, Wikipedia does not have the same degree of integrated capability, and the chaotic interactions between editors often result in conflict rather than collaboration. For that reason, it may be difficult to obtain the benefits of such a system within this particular writing environment.
I am glad we agree on point 2 above, namely that they make the article more difficult to maintain, often causing structural errors when casual editors make a change to one use of a named reference with no systematic checking for collateral damage.
Regarding point 1, your comments have helped me make a better distinction between different types of named reference. It is quite possible that for a web site their use may be helpful, but since I rarely use web sources I do not have the experience with citing them which would let me speak with any real appreciation for the issues there. For book citations, I see that there are two different types of citations, one for a generic reference to an entire book (Jones, 1931) and another to a page reference within a book (Jones, 1931, p. 4). You are correct that the problem of weak citations that refer generically to a single book with no page references (making the citations difficult to verify) is the root issue, and that named references are a secondary problem when used to implement such references. In such cases, one way to push back on the weak citation is to remove the named reference to a generic book and replace it with a demand for a page number or stronger citation for each specific point. This would result in having each statement supported by a unique reference. Then, for books, if the citation to a page were done by a {{harvnb}} template, do you feel that there is still some added value of using a named reference like <ref name = "Jones1931p3a"> that outweighs the potential maintenance problems which you agree can arise? In other words, could you accept as a standard the use of the {{harvnb}} template as eliminating the need for a named reference to a specific page? The structure of the {{harvnb}} template itself may give the consistency which I agree is valuable, but without taking on the need to have editors understand the interactions between notes in an article, which is the real source of maintenance problems.
Regarding point 3, I probably was not clear in saying that in general I think that the use of glosses to tightly connect a reference to a statement is a defensive measure intended to deal with the hostile editing environment of Wikipedia by making it easier for editors who do not have the sources at hand to unscramble problems caused by malicious or simply overly-casual editing. Use of that practice would tend to result in each reference being somewhat uniquely tailored to the text, resulting in few repetitive references. This then brings us back to the possible compromise alternative of using the {{harvnb}} template, plus a gloss, but with no named reference.
Your comment about the visual display format for multiple citations of a single named reference (a,b,c,d,e For statistics about population distribution by religion, see ... ) reminded me of another annoying factor about named references, which is that they are (for me) hard to find if you work backwards from the Notes to try to locate all of the places in the text where a particular citation is being used. The numerical sequence of footnotes is out of order. Also, I have not found a way to easily search for a letter citation such as a,b,c,d,e without the need to go into edit mode for an article and use a word processor to manually search for the named reference tags themselves. Perhaps there is an easier way, but I have not discovered it. I sometimes read an article "backwards" by starting with the citations to understand what sources are being relied on. If I see that some dubious source is being used, I may then work backward into the text of the article to see all of the statements that are sourced by that reference. Having two unrelated citation systems -- one numerical, another alphabetical -- is just a variant of the two-section problem, in which we lose the benefit of having one sequential list of every citation in numerical order. I understand that you may not agree that such a list has value, and other editors have actively objected to it because they would prefer a short list of just the "meaningful" (to them) issues.
In summary, I am wondering if we can agree on a strategy that we both could live with. This then brings us back to the possible compromise alternative of using the {{harvnb}} template, plus an optional gloss, but with no named reference. Do you think that approach might be something that would work? Buddhipriya 16:52, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Here is a perfect example of why using a "gloss" along with references makes so much sense. Doergood (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · nuke contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) simply inverted the sourced claims while retaining the references - so that the sources now appeared to be supporting statements which clearly they don't!
(Am busy nowadays so will resume the above discussion in a few days) Abecedare 18:12, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for this example. Please note the edits that I am making [12] to the named references for Monier-Williams on the Hinduism article for the specific purpose of adding a detailed gloss for deva. Buddhipriya 18:26, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
On closer reading I see that Doergood reworded a quote from the cited source (!), I am sure he would have simply changed a gloss too. Well, I don't think think any "protection" can work against such unscrupulous vandals, who simply need to be reverted on sight.
As for your Hinduism edits: I am fine with adding the gloss to MW citations, and if someone isn't I guess they'll speak up :-) Abecedare 18:32, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Adding a link on the Kama Sutra page

Dear Buddhipriya,

GradeSaver is the first online resource to offer a comprehensive study guide on the Kama Sutra. It has a lot of great information including an author biography on Vatsyayana, a discussion of important themes, glossary, context information and quizzes. I hope you will consider adding a link to this useful resource.

Thank you,


The above comment was added in this diff by an IP user: [13]
Thanks for getting in touch. The site is interesting, but cites no WP:RS and thus as far as I can tell fails the tests for WP:EL. In order to comply with that policy and with WP:RS it would need to document where the information came from. Buddhipriya 07:39, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Dear Buddhipriya,
Thank you for your response. The author of the GradeSaver Kama Sutra page is Soman Chainani, a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard University in Literature. He has well documented his sources here:
I hope you will agree that his citations pass the WP:RS and as such that his Note passes the test for WP:EL. I think this is a very valuable resource for your users and would complement the existing information you have offered.
Best regards,
Olivia (July 10, 2007)

The above comment was added by an IP user in this edit: [14]

I appreciate your response. Unfortunately the citation style of the web pages makes it impossible to track any specific statement back to a WP:RS. The arrangement used on your web site does not meet the tests of Wikipedia:Verifiability because there is no use of inline citations. I would not find the web site acceptable as Wikipedia article, but I do feel that it is making a good faith effort. If you can address the problem with inline citations on the site it would strengthen your case. I noticed that the sources rely on the Burton translation, which is worthless in my opinion. The weakness with Burton is cited in the Wikipedia article, and the citation there is actually a very toned-down version of the blistering critique which appears in the source cited. Buddhipriya 23:47, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Dear Buddhipriya,
Thank you for your response. It is thorough users like you that make Wikipedia a great resource. On the inline citations: most of Chainani's analysis is his original thinking as an academic. For this reason, there are few citations. In places where Chainani has referenced other academics' works, he has used inline citations. For example, scroll down to the analysis section of Book 3: . Here Chainani references Spellman and the page number where he found an idea. I hope this convinces you to add a link to the GradeSaver page on the Kama Sutra to the Wikipedia page. I think that it is academic pieces like this that really represent the true nature of the Kama Sutra, as opposed to all the kinky sex pages out there. Also, re: Burton. I totally agree it's not the best translation. However, it is the most popular. Even the Kama Sutra Wikipedia page has two links to Burton translations.
Thank you for your time.
Best regards,
Olivia (July 14, 2007)

Dear Buddhipriya,
I responded to your follow-up questions on how GradeSaver uses inline citations, but I think maybe you didn't see the response? Please read above and let me know if the use of inline citations is sufficient.
Thank you,
The above unsigned contribution was made in this edit: [15] Buddhipriya by User: -- 16:27, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

I regret the tardy reply as I did not notice your comment here. I appreciate your continued good-faith dialong on this matter. I am unsure why you feel that it is best to discuss this matter directly on my talk page rather than on the talk page for the article so that all editors who are interested in the article can participate in the discussion. Please note that I try to obey the spirit of WP:OWN and thus you do not need my approval to edit any article on Wikipedia. If you were to add this site to the article I would probably remove the link for the reasons that I have previously given, but other editors may like the link very much and thus would revert my reversions in the usual Dawinian struggle for suvival that information has on Wikipedia. The information regarding the sourcing process for the article is interesting and helps explain the process by which the article was written.
I will summarize my concerns again. Please keep in mind that in general I dislike the use of commercial web sites such as that are loaded with advertising, which is one of the factors to be evaluated when judging WP:SPAM links. One of the content features for the Kama Sutra article there is a message board, and blogs and message boards are one of the types of online content that are specifically prohibited in links, since they may contain complete nonsense. This lack of quality control over the content means that even if the article written by your contributing author is not bad, the reader may get nonsense delivered to them via your web site if they read the message board. Thus there is no effective quality control over the content being delivered to the user. The site overall seems unacceptable as a source for those reasons (excessive commercial advertising, user-generated content component).
Regarding authorship of the article, the only copyright notice I can find on the content says "Copyright (C) 1999-2007 GradeSaver LLC. Not affiliated with Harvard College." Perhaps I missed it, but the identity of the author(s) of the piece is not visible on the article itself. You mention in your post Chainani as the author. I did a search for the term "Chainani" using the search feature on your web site and got no results, suggesting that the name is not used on any of the indexed content on your web site. It does not matter who the author is if the article is not credited. It is just more self-published original research on a web site and has no standing in its own right as a published academic article. Regarding its use of the flawed Burton translation, you say "I totally agree it's not the best translation. However, it is the most popular." That is not a very good index of academic judgement, and overreliance on that source suggests that the author may not have looked into the problems with Burton very closely.
I do agree that the web site is not just another one of the tedious sex sites that is trying to generate ad revenue by showing pornography. However in my opinion it still must rise to meet the tests of WP:EL which call for the site to be in itself a WP:RS on the subject it is linked from. Since my standards for what constitutes a WP:RS may differ from those of other editors on the article, I suggest that you consider taking up further discussion on this matter on the talk page for the article. If you do so, I will be happy to move these prior discussions there so that the ideas will be included in the dialog there. Thanks again for getting in touch. Buddhipriya 16:58, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Dear Buddhipriya,
Thank you for the reply. The reason I wanted to talk to you before simply including the Kama Sutra link, is that I figured you would be the first one to take the link down, and people would just defer to your judgment since you so actively monitor the site. I'm trying to convince you not to take it down immediately, and allow it a chance on the site. In fact, I was hoping to convince you to actually support the website as a relevant external link to the Kama Sutra page.
I know this conversation has gone on for a while (I appreciate your patience), so a few quick clarifications:
1. Soman Chainani is referenced as the author on this page:
2. The reason why GradeSaver has referenced the "popular" Burton text, is that it is the one that is most referenced. It wouldn't be very useful to students if GradeSaver analyzed a text not widely read.
3. The message board is the only part of the site that is user-generated and it is actively monitored by the people at GradeSaver. Generally the message boards are used for academic conversations, and any content that is destructive to learning is taken down.
4. The ads on the GradeSaver site allow for the company to pay for more content. Unlike Wikipedia, GradeSaver does not have the good fortune of having people add content for free! The ads are not overly obtrustive, and people who pay membership fees can access ad-free content.
Honestly, I feel like you might be the sort of Wikipedia-user that would punish a GradeSaver link, just because it is commercial. Am I wrong? Please tell me I am :)
Best regards,
Thanks again for getting in touch, and for noting where the authorship is shown. Apparently Soman Chainani's credentials are a BA (?) in literature, and while getting through Harvard is an accomplishment in itself, a BA in literature is not a particularly impressive credential. The article reads like something which was submitted as a student paper, which would explain the somewhat superficial sourcing. Perhaps the author has additional credentials in Indology or Sanskrit Literature, but so far they have not been mentioned. Thus it would be a weak source even if published in a non-commercial setting. I have previously explained my position regarding compliance with WP:EL and WP:SPAM, which in my view make a link to your site inappropriate because it is 1.) not authoritative from the point of view of WP:RS, 2) includes user-generated content, which is specifically prohibited, and 3) contains an excessive amount of advertising. Please do not suggest that I would "punish" a link of any type. This is about moving Wikipedia to the highest possible standards of sourcing, particularly for articles that are magnets for sexual spamming and unsourced nonsense content. I am certain that at least some other editors will disagree with my opinions and will view your site as a good addition to the article. Your site clearly performs a valuable service for some students, and there is no question that your work is well-intended. Since Wikipedia:Conflict of interest prohibits advertising by parties connected with web sites, you are taking a correct course in trying to find some editor to advocate on your behalf rather than placing the link yourself. Unless some new point of fact is raised, or the quality of the sourcing on your site improves, I regret that I am not the best choice of an advocate for you at this time. If you wish further dialog on this matter I would be happy to have it. Buddhipriya 05:12, 27 July 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for thinking of me, the article looks good now (thanks to your work) but I'm really busy right now and will not be editing much in the foreseeable future.Bakaman 23:58, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Message from Ancientcoinsofindia

The account Ancientcoinsofindia was mine but i forgot the password (as it was not used since long time) and hence created another account Ancientcoinsofindia1 . i am not familier with editing . My intention is not to advertise or to promote . My website is not commercial but it is educational . All images i had uploaded are my sole property . i had offered every image and information free of cost for wikipedia under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license (Use with proper attribution to my wesite). Link :

I was very disappointed to see very poor information except that provided by PHG. If somebody is intrested to enrich wikipedia you are alledging us that we are advertising . I had provided to my links because i had posted the images there and i had quoted the link for referring further improvements and updates ( My website has 800+ images of Ancient indian coins). If Wikipedia Don't need any contribution then tell me . I will remove my images & will stop contributing . Such kinds of allegations make new contributors nervous .

The above unsigned comments were made in this diff [16] by User:Ancientcoinsofindia1. Buddhipriya 18:10, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for getting in touch. I am sorry that you do not agree that your creation of a large number of links to your web site on various articles, plus uploading of images that carry a visible digital watermark advertising your site constitutes spamming. For information on spam issues on Wikipedia, please read WP:SPAM. I am not the only user who has objected to the advertising of your site via the copyright marks on the images being uploaded, as you can see from the histories on image pages where objection tags have been placed due to the watermarks. Regarding ownership of images, since anyone can claim to be anyone, simply stating that you are the operator of a web site does not constitute proof. I am not saying that your claim is false, I am simply saying that the claim would need to be verified in order to establish your right to distribute the images. But even if the cloud over ownership were removed, since each image includes an advertisement for a web site in the copyright mark, the images would be objectionable on that basis anyway. Currently some of the images are under review for deletion, and if one is deleted, the rest will probably begin a similar deletion review. In the future, please consider uploading images that do not contain advertising. For information on external link policies, please see: WP:EL. A web site operator going around placing links on multiple articles to a web site operated by that person constitutes spamming, and such links should be removed on sight. It is a form of self-promotion which is specifically objectionable on Wikipedia (see: Wikipedia:Conflict of interest). Your future contributions will be most welcome if you make them in accord with these policies. Buddhipriya 18:21, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Mythology tags

Almost all the articles are being tagged on the basis of their being articles about the gods or goddesses of Hinduism, and all are included in the Category:Hindu mythology, although I have not actually been tagging all articles within that category. Basically, I have been trying to limit the tagging to those articles which clearly relate to the stories of Hindu religion. Also, in several cases, the banner was already there, but was turned into a redirect to the main Hinduism Project banner, leaving two identical banners on the same page. In those cases, I removed the one banner and added the "myth=yes" tab to the Hinduism banner. The articles are also being listed in the Wikipedia:WikiProject Hinduism/Mythology/Articles list, which will probably link to a similar article list for the main project later. I myself had reservations about some of the articles, particularly those which relate primarily to cities and the like. In those cases, however, there seemed to be some existing content relating specifically to Hindu mythology, which presumably was the cause for the articles being categorized as they were in one of the subcats of Hindu mythology. If you believe that the articles should not have that banner, however, and I can clearly acknowledge that I may have made mistakes, please feel free to remove them. The ultimate intention is to tag all the articles which explicitly relate in some form to Hindu mythology, help that group have an idea of their best articles and most important articles through the article list and the inclusion of FAs, GAs, and the like on the list on that project page, and eventually add them to the lists of recognized articles for the Hinduism and Religion projects as well. But, again, if there were any mistakes, please feel free to remove the banner from the talk page, and, if you do so, probably from the Wikipedia:WikiProject Hinduism/Mythology/Articles list as well, as well as possibly recategorizing them so they don't show up in that category anymore. My apologies if I have been found to have overstepped myself. John Carter 19:57, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply. Of course I appreciate the positive efforts which you are making to clean up mistagging. It is a great help. My objection is that only articles which explicitly have something to do with mythology should be tagged as mythology. Articles on cities, definitions of Sanskrit terms, etc., clearly should not be classified as mythology unless there is something explicitly in the article that pertains to mythology. I understand that the tagging problem relates to existing classification tags implemented by others. My suggestion would be that as you continue your cleanup, if the article does not seem to you to have anything to do with mythology, that you simply remove the prior misclassification as mythology. That would assist in sorting things out, making the mythology tag more meaningful by making it more focused. An example of mistagging is the core theological concepts of Ishta-deva, which is a technical term and does not seem to me to have anything to do with myth. It is a central tenet of a particular denomination of Hinduism. That term is correctly categorized now as Category:Hindu philosophical concepts, given the fact that in Hindu philosophy the term "philosophy" has a somewhat more broad sense than the English word. I recognize that normalization of usage for these tags will take time, and improved understanding of the content. Buddhipriya 20:07, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I am trying to rework some of the categorization as I get to it. The Category:ISKCON has already been worked on, and I'm probably going to revise all the various "(X) temples" catgories as I get to them as well. I think in the article in question I saw the mention of Hanuman's Ishta-deva being Lord Ramachandra, but really that isn't sufficient cause and I apologize for that mistake. And, for what it's worth, I probably would include Adam and Eve, the post-mortem appearances of Jesus, etc., as "mythology" as well, but I know I would catch all kinds of heat for doing so. Regarding the places that have been tagged, I think they all like Vrindavan have some sort of relevant mythological content, in that case the "Religious heritage" section, even if they are real cities too. I wasn't real sure in those cases, but decided to make the possible mistake anyway. In the future, though, if any come up, I will post the messages on the talk pages there like you suggested. Thanks again for your catching my mistake. John Carter 20:17, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
I suspect that if you tagged the Resurrection of Jesus as mythology you would receive some criticism. It is an interesting double standard that tagging central tenets of Hinduism as mythology is not considered inappropriate. However the cleanup effort which you are making is an improvement overall, and I appreciate you doing it. Regarding Shiva, you made a comment that the article may have POV issues. Can you please tell me exactly what they may be? I have been working to improve that article and specifically have been trying to get the POV material identified and removed. Specific feedback would be more helpful than a general warning that the article "may" have POV issues. I would particularly welcome your input as an editor who is very familiar with Christian materials. It is sometimes difficult to get qualified Christian input on Hinduism articles, resulting in obscurity of language and sometimes incomprehensible prose. Buddhipriya 20:36, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
@Buddhipriya, I had precisely the same objections to overzealous tagging (see his edit history of two days ago) which Warlordjohncarter rejected as symptomatic of WP:OWNing.
It wasn't the first time he had done that sort of thing either. He had previously tagged Prithvi/Ap/Akasha/Tattva/Mahabhuta/Vayu et al (as well as the Zoroastrian equivalents of those) as Wikiproject Neopaganism. Cripes.
Given that he tagged all bio articles for Parsis as {{Wikiproject Zoroastrianism}}, I'm almost expecting him to started tagging all Bollywood flicks as 'Hindu mythology' too. (Although I meant that tongue-in-cheek, its. not. funny. Guess who's going to clean up the mess?)
-- Fullstop 01:04, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
This is the first interaction regarding tagging of this type that I have had, and I assume good faith. The issue of characterizing some aspects of Hinduism as mythology seems to come up now and then. I do agree that some of the articles in the Hinduism project should properly be classified as mythology, since they are treated as such in many Hindu sources (the Puranic myths, for example). The complexity is in separating out core philosophical notions, technical terms in religious practice, etc., which is really the responsibility of the Hindu editors in the long run. Sometimes misunderstandings of this type can stimulate improvement in the articles which may not have been clear. Always we must try to use these incidents as opportunities for dialog and the building of better understanding. I regret that I so often fail to meet my own standards of dialog for such interactions. Buddhipriya 03:22, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, you have more priya than I have. ;) Seriously though, I'm not questioning good faith. Its the lack of judgement (the result of a lack of familiarity with the material) that is problematic. Combined with the "this is better for WP" attitude its downright outrageous. And because all previously placed tags have been devalued (can't tell the difference between an authoritatively placed tag or a bot-like placed one), someone will have to take the time to re-evaluate those edits, which is cumulatively an enormous waste of manpower. Even just removing them is a headache when there is effectively only one person dealing with the subject. Its going to take me some time to tackle this. ~250 of the ~350 shouldn't have the tag. -- Fullstop 05:31, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the value of the tag is unclear because is so overused. I just removed it from a couple of Puranas, for example. While I would agree that the Puranas contain a lot of myths, they are currently tagged in the Hindu scripture category, so I guess the question is whether all Hindu scripture in the Puranic group should be tagged as myth. I would say no, on the basis that the relevant tag is their scriptural classification as Puranic, which is a more discrete category. I did a little looking at some of the other articles he tagged and I do agree with the majority of them falling into the myth category. This may be a good action project to suggest for the Hinduism project, namely, to get better clarity on what the Category:Hindu mythology tag means and which articles should have it. I think you may have the right idea that lack of familiarity with the material is involved. However we could be grateful for the enthusiasm of an outside opinion, and engage in dialog to see if we can arrive at a strategy for next steps upon which all can agree. If after appropriate dialog you are unable to reach agreement, there are always the various conflict resolution measures available, such as mediation. I felt that my dialog with him was positive, and I learned something from him about what is being tagged where. I really have not looked closely at this issue before. Buddhipriya 05:42, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

<posted after EC>
Buddhipriya and Fullstop, I read the comments above and I think there may be some confusion regarding the function of project (or workgroup) templates. As per my understanding, they are not supposed to indicate ownership of the particular article by the related project, or categorization of the article under a category defined by the project/workgroup name. Rather their purpose is simply to indicate that the particular set of editors involved in the project/workgroup may be interested in improving the article. The inclusion of templates on article talk pages thus serves two useful purposes:

  1. It aids the respective project to keep track of pages that are of their potential interest- thus they can monitor, how many articles of their interest are at FA/GA/stub level, what new articles are created or nominated for deletion, select articles for improvement drives etc.
  2. It helps an "outside" editor who comes to a wikipedia page and has a comment or question, find people who may be interested and knowledgeable about the subject. For example if someone not too knowledgeable about Shiva is copyediting that article and is wondering if Shiva should be referred as a God, god or deity, he can post the question on the article talk page or contact members of the project(s) listed in the templates for guidance. Or if there is a debate on a page between two editors, the project members can be contacted for a third opinion.

In my opinion, it is perfectly OK to have templates for project which are not obviously related to the subject included on the article talk page, as long as editors in that project express interest in improving the article. I admit that my position on this issue is somewhat idealistic, since there have been hot debates and edit wars in the past on the topic of inclusion of India and Pakistan templates on topics such as Indus Valley civilization. However I fail to see how excluding potentially interested editors from articles, or making them feel unwelcome, by removing project templates helps in improving the article.
Basically, project tags, which you'll note are applied to article talk pages and not to the article themselves are just a internal bookkeeping mechanism that wikipedia uses to aid in editing of articles, and is of no interests to a reader. For the same reason, the name exact name/title chosen for wikiproject/workgroup is of marginal interest or value. In my view the more project templates one can justifiably1 have on a article page, the larger the possible pool of editors who can help in its editing and the better it is for the article in the long term! 1 by justifiable I mean that the the editors in the listed project are interested in the article, and the template hasn't been randomly applied.
Note that all the above statements are my personal opinions and not based on any project policy/guideline pages that I have seen. So if my understanding of project tamplates is incorrect, I would be happy to be corrected. Thanks. Abecedare 06:05, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

The previous comment was posted before I read Buddhipriya's 05:42 comment so I am adding this addendum.
In keeping/removing the mythology project template from say the Ganesha Purana talk page, the question that one should ask is not whether the Puranas are classified as mythology or scriptures, but rather whether people who work on Hindu mythology articles would be able/interested in help with that article. If the answer to the latter question is yes (as I think it is) the template should be retained. Of course, in this particular case the retention/removal does not make much practical difference, since the set of editors working on the two project/workgroups are essentially the same (and unfortunately a very small group.) But I am just trying to explain the principle here as I understand it (which, as I stated above, may be wrong!) Abecedare 06:15, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your perspective on the tags. As I said earlier, this is the first time I have looked closely at them and I think it would be fair to describe myself as completely ignorant of Wikipedia policy on the matter. I like your optimistic interpretation that tagging may attract more editoral help. As an editor looking for work, however, I would be more likely to look for articles that were tagged with a more specific tag, such as Puranas, or Indian Philosophy, rather than a tag which seems to have no clear definition. Perhaps the overuse of the tag for marginally-relevant articles dilutes it value. I do not understand if there is some clear hierarchy to the tags, either. For example, I think that a category for "Hindu deities" is useful. Is such a tag a subset of "Hindu mythology"? I really am unclear on the organizational structure, as I have never really looked at it. Since some of the deities, such as Shiva, Vishnu, and Ganesha, are worshipped as living god-forms by millions of people, dismissing them as "mythology" seems inappropriate to me. In effect, all of Hinduism is dismissed as "mythology" by this overtagging. However I choose not to become upset by this practice, which is understandable since Wikipedia is primarily the work of non-Hindus. When in Rome, etc. Buddhipriya 06:28, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
If I understand you correctly, your issue is not with the placement of the workgroup template but with the scope of the Hindu Mythology workgroup iteslf - a critique that I agree with since the scope of the group is so vaguely defined, "This group works with articles related to Hindu mythology. Specifically, it includes within it's scope those articles which are included in the Category:Hindu mythology." The project just lists a category of interest and a list of participants, without trying to lay down guidelines on how article in this area should be organized, written etc. Also, as you'll see from the infrequency of messages on the workgroup's talk page, the effort is essentially defunct. To see what a well organized workgroup should look like, see the one on Indian cities which not only lays down detail guidelines on writing articles on this subject but has also managed to have 11 article promoted to FA level.
Of course, one can work on reorganizing this whole structure, but recently I read came across the term Metapedian, which served as I reminder to me that personally I get greater satisfaction from content creation, improvement and interacting with knowledgeable editors (such as yourself), rather than getting lost in dowsing endless fires that are always being ignited around here. So I plan to focus my attention along those lines in the immediate future, although I have a great and increased respect for editors who are willing to take the essentially thankless task of project management. Abecedare 06:54, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
I think you have hit two nails on the head with one posting. The problem does seem to be the vague scope of the Hindu Mythology workgroup itself. Secondly, I had not hear the term Metapedian, but it sums up my concern that my own time is drifting away from content development. During this edit session I have made one content edit [17]. The rest of the time has been spent on talk pages and dealing with conflict. This does not seem to be a good use of time for me personally. However I can understand the fascination that the policy pages have for some editors, because I believe that many of the things people do are caused by the systems within which they exist. I would like to focus on content issues, but the Wikipedia environment makes that very difficult. The policies themselves seem designed to encourage conflict at every turn. Buddhipriya 07:11, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
The alternative may be Exopedianism, which in an extreme form could involve exercising my right to vanish and simply doing content edits here and there as an anonymous IP editor. It is an interesting strategy that I had not heard of. Buddhipriya 07:17, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Comment in reply to your 6:28 comment:
By the way, I disagree that the current state of Hindu articles is a reflection of wikipedia being primarily a work of "non-Hindus". In my experience, with a few high-profile exceptions, most Hinduism articles are essentially the creation of Hindu/Indian editors and their current state is therefore a not a reflection of non-Hindu viewpoints. Rather the main shortcoming, as I see it, is that the group of regular editors involved in this area is very small (I am sure you know almost all of them by now!), largely "amateurs" (such as myself) and that a significant portion of their efforts is lost in fighting (on either sides of) hot-button issues of Hindu nationalism, Hindutva, and sectarian and religious divides.
As I have said before, I would categorize myself only as a dilettante, and not a scholar, in the area of Hinduism. But the fact, that even I am often disappointed by the level of sourcing in Hinduism articles (generic websites, sectarian/devotee publications and often context-less quotes from primary sources) shows that the problem Dear Buddhipriya is not in our stars (or non-Hindus), but in ourselves that our articles are underlings. (with apologies to the bard) :-) Abecedare 07:25, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Comment regarding your 7:11 and 7:17 comments:
To be clear I am not disparaging metapedians, their role is essential in the continued success of wikipedia. Just stating that that is not my cup of tea, and if I am not here to do what I find enjoyable, why am I here at all ?!
That said, I see that you are being frustrated by the level of drama that one can see around here. In such circumstances, I always like to remind myself of the myths of Sisyphus and Tower of Babel, which in my view are perfect parables for wikipedia. Those tales along with Gita's saar, help me keep things in perspective. Cheers and happy editing. Abecedare 07:25, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
With the amount of editors being small, it seems counter productive to further split Wikiproject Hinduism into smaller sub-sections. Surely the admin would take more time than the actual editing. IMO the 'mythology' tags (if required at all) should be included only with articles which are primarily of a mythological nature - or even better be incorporated in the standard Hinduism banner along with philosophy etc.... Regards, Gouranga(UK) 13:52, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the small number of editors involved results in no critical mass for some subprojects at this point. However apparently the Wikipedia policy is that one editor can create a project on anything. I discovered a project on Shaivism, for example, which has little activity. Incorporating some of these things into the standard Hinduism banner is a good idea. If the tags are overbroad they mean nothing. Buddhipriya 15:55, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Please note also that User:Fullstop has on the talk page of Wikipedia:WikiProject Zoroastrianism, a project of which he is not a member by the way, sought to both encourage editors of the project to use only those sources he liked and actively sought to tell the project members, of which I was for a short time one before reviewing his actions there, that his opinion of the scope of the project was actually more important than the existing stated scope of the project itself, on the basis that actually dealing with all relevant articles might be "confusing" to someone in some way. Also note that he seems to believe that members of a dynasty whose official religion was Zurvanism, and were themselves to all appearances adherents of that faith should not be included within the scope of the project because they "aren't relevant to Zoroastrianism", and has subsequently removed many such tags. Regarding the Neopaganism tagging, all those articles so tagged were included in one or more of the subcategories of Category:Neopaganism, as per the Wikipedia:WikiProject Neopaganism/Articles page. Whether they should have been included in such a category is not necessarily my place to say. However, many of them did seem, based on my admittedly limited knowledge of the subject, to contain content which directly related to that project. Certainly, I think one of the most important issues the various religion projects might be facing is the fact that many/most of the most important articles are of importance to more than one project, although to varying degrees. This will become even more problematic if and when the Version 1.0 group actually starts to use the bot currently in development which will try to rank all of wikipedia's articles by a comparatively objective importance ranking, based on number of references to a subject on the web, in wikipedia and other encyclopedias, and so on. Bible, Moses, Adam and Eve, Karma, Buddha, Jesus, and any number of other articles are all of clear relevance to more than one project
I am currently trying to tag all the articles which seem to be relevant to each of the religion projects individually, by project, starting from the bottom of the WP:PROJDIR/PR page. Unfortunately, this has resulted in tagging for some of the smallest projects first. However, when I'm done, hopefully in no more than a few months, I think we will have more eyes watching those articles, particulary through the "recent changes" functions which I am trying to incorporate into the project page of each project. This is not saying, of course, that the articles would each be of equivalent importance to each of the involved projects, simply that they do directly relate to those projects to some degree or another. Ultimately, as has been discussed elsewhere before, I personally think the best final outcome would be to have the projects for which a given article is of High or Top importance to have their project banners shown separately on top, and the projects to which the article is of less importance be included in one of the banner shell templates below. Also, as has been stated elsewhere, I think the Hinduism project's banner might work a bit better if the various subproject banners were of the "drop-down" type, like those of the subprojects of Wikipedia:WikiProject Australia and Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography, rather than separate banners placed above the main project banner. By doing so, the Hinduism project would appear to the viewer first, and the subordinate project would only be visible smaller and lower. Unfortunately, I have to date proven remarkably less than effective in making such changes to banners, so haven't made things worse in that regard by trying to change that one.
Unfortunately, the matter of categorization is a major one, particularly considering Wikipedia:WikiProject Mythology and Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion are separate entities. If and when I get done with all the bannerizing and creation of article lists, I hope to be able to then use the visible layouts of the various project's articles on the article lists to help clarify the structure of relevant articles and categories. That, however, at this point is probably at least a few months down the road.
Regarding the matter of "mythology", I personally wish that weren't the word used in the name of the subproject. Unfortunately, it is. I have mentioned elsewhere that some other name for such groups might be less controversial, like maybe "myths and legends", but unlike some others I recognize that I do not have the authority myself to make such changes to the pre-existing content of an existing project. It does occur to me that, perhaps, if this is an issue which you all belief to be unnecessarily controversial, that subproject page, together with the related templates and template functions, might be deleted completely. The only other extant major religion (Egyptian polytheism/neopaganism excepted), which seems to have separate projects for mythology and religion per se are Wikipedia:WikiProject Japanese mythology and Wikipedia:WikiProject Shinto, who have also perceived the difficulties arising from separation. I do think that if many/most of the members of the existing Hindu mythology project are also members of the Hinduism project, rendering the Hindu mythology subproject ineffective wouldn't be much of a problem. The same may very well hold true of the Saivism subproject. However, I don't have the experience within the project to make that decision myself. Personally, though, I wouldn't object to it, and think it might be a good idea for an established member of the project to perhaps propose their "deactivation" on the main project talk page, as such a person's statement would probably have more impact than mine likely would. John Carter 16:30, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Thank you very much for this informative post. I am completely ignorant on the subjects of both Zoroastrianism and Neopaganism and do not wish to become involved in any disputes which may pertain to those subjects. Regarding your tagging efforts, I commend you for taking on a difficult but needed classification task. Since I have not really looked closely at the organization of tags for Hinduism-related content, I am unqualified to give an opinion on their present setup. I would be very happy to dialog with you regarding any ideas which you may have regarding how to optimize Hinduism tagging. I make no claims to expertise on any topic, by the way, and thus would recommend that any change to existing tagging arrangements be discussed on the notice board for the Hinduism Project. You clearly are sensitive to the fact that describing someone's belief system as "mythology" may not be the best approach to building interfaith dialog. Thus I would support a more strict interpretation of the term mythology. Since I have seen this tension arise before on various articles, I feel that this is not just a personal reaction to the term, but likely to reflect the views of at least some other readers. I do not know what the Wikipolitics are for suggesting that a project of small size be extinguished, and I do not want to become involved in another polarizing conflict. However you clearly are making a good faith effort to tackle a complex organizational task, and if there is some specific dialog you wish to have on the subject I am sure that I could learn much from you on the subject. By the way, I am very interested in interfaith issues and feel that in the long run some common view of how to approach religious topics on Wikipedia will be beneficial to all. I wish, for example, that there were a crew of editors of various faiths who could be called upon to read articles to help eliminate POV issues and incomprehensible language from articles. If you can help with such an effort please let me know, and I will suggest a couple of articles for you to help improve. Buddhipriya 16:55, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Here is an example of a positive step which editors can take to adjust the misclassification of articles: [18] I do not really understand the coding options for these templates, but now that I have seen Gourangaji's example, I can at least copy it for articles that pertain mainly to philosophy. Buddhipriya 17:04, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:WikiProject Mythology has been involved in a very lengthy discussion of the appropriate meaning of the word "mythology" to make reference to. Many editors have understandably reacted less than positively to the term, particularly if applied to the "myths" of the smaller extant religions. Luckily, that project seems willing to allow more focused projects to deal with articles which are almost exclusively within their scope, so I don't think they'll be very involved in Category:Hindu mythology, leaving that to the Hinduism project. Certainly, I have no intentions on placing duplicate tags on such content for them, unless, somehow, that article is also relevant to some other "mythic" subject. I can't think of any such instances right now, but they might exist. As for thinking you could learn from me, knowing how confused I myself have been getting on the matter at times, I have serious doubts about that, but thank you for the kind words. I will make the suggestion on the Talk page of the Hinduism notice board to perhaps "deactivate" the mythology subproject. I don't know how such a thing would be accomplished, or what steps should be taken to do so if it is, but hopefully someone there will if that's what's decided upon. Also, I have proposed a subproject of Wikipedia:WikiProject Religion for inter-religious content. Right now, the biggest stumbling block they have is determining what content they should deal with, which is one of the reasons for my current tagging. But you could make proposals there as well. John Carter 17:08, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Best of luck with your efforts. I currently am considering becoming a born-again Exopedian and as such am trying to drastically reduce my involvement with policy questions unless they seem to directly affect content editing. If I can be of specific support to you, please let me know. Buddhipriya 17:13, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Many concepts in Hinduism are myth, because they are not proven by reliable sources. Now, in the Resurrection, there are reliable witnesses to this holy event. Thanks. Laleenatalk to me contributions to Wikipedia 20:41, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Comment on comment

Hi Buddhipriya, This is regarding your recent comment on Amol's talk page. While I agree that individual editors may have a personal preference for licenses that do not require attribution, wikipedia as a whole is agnostic towards such licenses; in fact the wikipedia text itself is licensed under GFDL which requires attribution to the source and one purpose of having article histories is to maintain a record of all the contributors to an article (that is the reason WP:MOVE discourages cut-and-paste moves of articles).
Also the phrase "If the user really wants to make images freely available" (emphasis added), may be read to be questioning the contributor's motives which I don't think assume good faith or makes him feel welcome to the project. I wouldn't even bring this minor issue up with any other editor, but I know that you hold yourself to very high standards, and I thought my observation will be of value to you.
By the way, I completely support your removing the links to the website from articles unrelated to numismatics. However I don't think watermarked images are a big concern if the images themselves add value to the related article - a better strategy than removing these possibly useful images from articles is to remove the watermark as was done for this Taj Mahal image (see the before image). Perhaps the newly created Wikipedia:Graphic Lab project can be asked for help in this task (I'd do it myself but don't know how much time I'll get over the next few days). Cheers. Abecedare 08:29, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your helpful comment. I have edited my remarks to emphasize that my preference for public domain images is a personal view, and that attribution-based licensing is permitted and common: [19]. Please note the edit history for that user, which was being used to place external links on multiple articles, a pattern that is specifically of concern for WP:SPAM. The user has now explained why a duplicate account was being used, but at first the presence of multiple accounts and repetitive self-promotion via external links seemed similar to the behavior often seen with spammers. I think it is clear that this user now understands the need to comply with Wiki policies. I am not the only editor who has objected to the watermarked images (e.g., [20]), which are in my view clearly inappropriate on any article, numismatics-related or not. There is a clear potential conflict of interest in this case, since the user operates a commercial (.com) coin service. Buddhipriya 06:08, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for taking my remarks in the right spirit. To clarify my own position:
  • Yes, the links being added by the user (though possibly well-intentioned) were inappropriate and were rightly removed. A new account adding such links should be politely informed about wikipedia's policies at first, and then warned in progressively stronger terms if the user persists.
  • Yes, the watermarks are also inappropriate for wikipedia. However IMO the preferable way to deal with them (assuming that the images themselves are of value), is to edit the images to remove the watermarks - since that is perfectly permissible for images with "free" license - rather than delete the images themselves since that is throwing away the baby with the bathwater. :-) You'll note that Amol himself re-uploaded several images earlier today without the watermarks!
  • In my view Ancient coins of India is not a commercial venture at all, just a hobbyist website. As far as I can see, it doesn't sell any product or coin service, or carry any advertisements of its own. The only ads on the site are the ones placed by "Yahoo Geocities" in lieu of "free" web-hosting and Amol doesn't get any "cut" from the generated ad-revenue. Am I overlooking something ?
  • I am no numismatic, so my judgment in this area is likely to be suspect, but Amol seems to be a serious and knowledgeable hobbyist in this area (see his links on Bibliography and Articles which seem to show a good awareness of published literature in the field), and perhaps he should be encouraged to develop article on coins of India on wikipedia. Of course, any such articles should use the published sources, and not use his website as a citation.
I hope the above points clarify why I am inclined to give Amol the benefit of doubt in spite of his early editing errors, which I am currently assuming were borne out of ignorance of wikipedia's policies (no one had even placed the welcome template on his page till today!), rather than malice. Abecedare 06:46, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the site is problematic either if it can be shown to be a commercial effort (I do not know the details of how revenue sharing is done with geocities advertising), or if it is a hobby site. If it is a hobby site, it is just an example of a self-published site that would probably fail the tests of WP:EL. A Geocities site does not inspire much confidence, and it is covered with advertising spam connected with Geocities (like all such Geocities sites). Personally I almost always remove links to Geocities sites when I see them because they usually fail to meet the criterial for WP:EL by not citing any WP:RS. The site has a long list of books noted on it, but that is not good enought to meet sourcing requirements for any specific statement on the site. In fact, his bibliographies on some articles quote Wikipedia as a source. That does not inspire confidence, and of course Wikipedia cannot be used as a WP:RS. So if it is being used to source statements, I personally would delete any such references as unreliable. How do we know he is correctly identifying the coins? I know nothing about numismatics and cannot evaluate the quality of the information which he presents, so I will leave that to other editors. If I put up a hobby site with lots of pictures of coins, can I have a link? I think not. Some other standard of relevance must be met. If he is a hobbyist, is there an actual licensed business entity for "Coins of India"? If not, can the license be made in that way, if he is producing work as an individual? Buddhipriya 06:58, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
I am confused on what we are actually disagreeing on :-)
As I stated above, I agree that the site is neither an appropriate external link, nor a reliable source for wikipedia. The only point that am confused on is why you think it is a commercial site ?
Also I didn't understand the questions you asked in the last two sentences of your comment above. Can you please clarify? Thanks. Abecedare 07:26, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
I am confused on how this all came to be so confused! My confusion about the commercial site is probably due to the Geocities ads that are there. I do not understand the revenue model at Geocities, and assume (apparently incorrectly) that it is like the Good adwords program. Many sites try to drive traffic to them to generate adsense revenue. If there is no clear business model of that type on the site, adsense revenue is usually still a factor. But I guess that is not a factor here.
Regarding the two questions about business entities, the licensing for Image:Pratihara_bhoja.JPG seems vague to me because it says in a general comment: "Uploaded By owner Amol N. Bankar,", but the source is listed as "Coins of India website" (with a link to it), and the author is listed as "User:Ancientcoinsofindia1, English Wikipedia". The references to "owner" and to "Coins of India website" are references to businesses entities or other non-personal things. If an individual were doing this, you would expect to see just the name "Amol N. Bankar", not impersonal entities. And why is there a link to the web site there? That, in my opinion, is linkspam because it is promoting a web site. Buddhipriya 07:44, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh, now I understand your question ... or at least I think I do!:-)
Here is my attempt at explanation of the terms:
  • The word "owner" is used for the owner of the copyright and not any business. Note that licensing an image, text, patent, does not change ownership of the intellectual property and Amol retains that ownership even after releasing the image under the CC-BY license, just as you retain the own the copyright over all your edits on wikipedia!
  • The link to the source website is actually desirable by wikipedia policies and not considered linkspam irrespective of the commercial/non-commercial nature of the website. The only minor cavil I have is that the link should ideally be to the exact page on which the source image is found, and not only the mainpage, but of course you/I/anyone else is free to correct that.
  • As per the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.5 the author is free to specify the way he wants the work to be attributed (i.e. it need not necessarily be the authors name) and Amol is breaching no legal, ethical or wikipedial guidelines by specifying that he wants his name/website/yahoo email address mentioned.
By the way, in writing the Summary Box contents, Amol is just following the example that User:PHG showed him with the sample image Image:EranVidishaCoin.jpg. You'll note that he did not even correct the name of his own website viz. "Ancient coins of India", rather than "Coins of India". Does this answer the questions you had, or am I barking up the wrong tree ? Abecedare 08:11, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the source, he is the source, not the website. He created the image and is using it on his website, and is also uploading it to Wikipedia. The web site did not take the photograph. Thus the attribution is unclear, in my opinion.
I believe your analysis that he has the right to do what he is doing now, as opposed to when this started. I do think the documentation would be cleaner if he just used his own name at all times. We had a similar go-round with the Himalayan Academy people over the vigorous campaign they were doing to promote their images, as you recall. The net effect of this sort of permitted linking is to drive traffic to web sites of dubious quality. While he has the right to demand attribution in this way, I have the right to prefer public domain images over ones that require attribution to dubious web sites. If two images of equal quality were available, I would tend to pick the public domain image over one which came with the attached string. I theorize that in the long run the pressure for public domain preference will grow on Wikipedia. I have seen various discussions of this on some of the licensing pages but at the moment cannot find a good link to them. Buddhipriya 08:31, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

You are right about the source, as per Template_talk:Information. I'll try to figure out the correct way of presenting the summary and licensing information and drop ACOI1 a note in the next day or so.
By the way, I hope you have Vedas on your watchlist, BR has resumed trying to add a "fifth" veda to the canon :-) Also, I plan to begin improving the Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan article in around a week's time - your input and help will as usual be appreciated. Cheers. Abecedare 09:11, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the problem on Vedas, I think some sort of action needs to be taken to either get a dispute resolution process in motion, or ask for another block on this disruptive user. I had removed Vedas from my watchlist along with many other articles, as I have been trying to pull back from the conflict zones. The lack of editors keeping an eye on these articles is a critical problem in some cases. I have been trying to comply with a voluntary one-revert policy, which puts me at a serious disadvantage in dealing with some of the disruptive forces on Wikipedia. Buddhipriya 04:05, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
I found a quote today whose relevance to the BR situation you'll certainly recognize. See my user page. Keep your spirits up and don't let the trolls get to you :-) Abecedare 04:33, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
It's a great quote. You probably have already read Wikipedia:Expert_retention. Buddhipriya 04:47, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
By the way, don't devote too many brain-cycles fretting about BR. Enough editors are aware of this user's editing background to keep the mainspace clean of his fringe claims ... and that is all I really care about anyway. Your time and knowledge is better devoted to expanding and improving articles. Cheers. Abecedare 05:24, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
I have made a call for a block on BR: [21] as I think that it is important to make use of the Wikipedia incident reporting mechanism for this. Buddhipriya 05:34, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Agni and your "warning"

Take a look at the edits I made; I didn't add the link, I just moved it down and labeled it properly. If you really want to warn somebody, try digging through the history and warning the real culprit. 08:06, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry that you don't feel the warning was appropriate. You are correct that in creating the new External Link section for the article you used a link that was already there, and expanded it. You are also correct that the warning I gave should probably not have been a generic one. I hope that in the future rather than adding External Link sections to articles in such cases, which will only attact more spam to them, you will delete SPAM links like that one. For more information on spam issues on Wikipedia you may want to read WP:SPAM and WP:EL. Buddhipriya 08:13, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Um, there shouldn't have been a warning at all. You assume that by simply looking at the URL I'm supposed to know a SPAM link from something else and should be warned for not checking it out. I was looking for the presence of references, not scrutinizing the article for every flaw. 08:22, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
I can understand that from your perspective you feel the warning was inappropriate, and I have already agreed that rather than using a standard warning it would have been better on my part to post a more customized message. The concern I have is that the addition of External Link sections to articles, and populating those sections with inappropriate links, attracts other users to then add more spam. In the future when you see such cases of dangling links, an alternative would be to just delete it entirely, or move it to the talk page for the article with a comment that its role in the article is unclear. My opinion is that it is best to weed out such links when you see them. I am sure that you are well-intended in this, and I regret any failure on my part in the warning process. Buddhipriya 08:28, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
And I completely understand your perspective - at another time, I would probably share it. My focus right now is Category:Articles lacking sources from June 2006. 08:42, 29 July 2007 (UTC)


Namaste in Agape, Walking my talk in Beauty
B9 hummingbird hovering (talkcontribs) 09:14, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference MW_Sanskrit_dict. was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Vedic cosmology". Vedic Knowledge Online. VEDA - Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  3. ^ "Manifold Mahadevas Nature Spirits". Maureen Grace Burns, Blessings Cornucopia. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  4. ^ "MAHA KUMBA MELA". Frontpoint Systems Pvt Ltd. Retrieved 2007-06-25.