User talk:Fred Gandt

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wtf, Toddst1?[edit]

Fred's a sharp editor and you kick him like this? No wonder the project is failing. Alarbus (talk) 07:49, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

You are kind to stick up for me, but frankly he's right. I should have let the article get slowly ruined while fussing about with reading up on the mountains of related policies. Shit! Usually I'm quite good at sarcasm. Just not feeling up to it right now. I guess being insulted has knocked the wind out of me. My track record will exist as long as the servers are fuelled. At least I helped a bit. Oh and btw, I have read WP:DIVA and if anyone feels like suggesting that might be me; check my contribs. Work out for yourself if I should feel insulted and abused. Seriously? I might need to read WP:ROLLBACK. You think I haven't? I read it all before requesting the tool. See for yourself how frequently I've used it. Try looking into an editors history before slamming their efforts. Physically shaking with anger.
You know WMF handed out barnstars to everyone who commented on the last SOPA !vote? Barnstars from the foundation for contributing to that farce, and warned that you're misusing a tool you've hardly used (and actively avoided using) while trying desperately to protect an article from a crazed loony.
Ah whatever! My contribs are all the proof I need that I did my best.
You know why I am reacting so badly to this? I do. fredgandt 08:52, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I didn't look too deeply at the Javascript editing. That's not what's important. You understand "rollback"? No one needs it, it's just fake a bit that amounts to a brass ring. Your editing has spoken well for you. I've seen plenty of posts by you to know that you're worth having around. And you must have seen that Toddst1 called my post on his page 'trolling'? Presumably due to the Unicode “barnstar” but I'll say it again, here: Toddst1 has hurt the project.
Take a few days to think and consider that it's the nature of the internet to route around damage (and I used this phrase in another context, just the other day, but no matter). There is lots “damaged” here; go around it, leave it behind. Someone else will help it (if it's worth helping), and eventually stuff that has lost its way will be seeking to catch up with reality. Best wishes, Alarbus (talk) 09:14, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Losing the tool isn't the problem. It's handy when things are moving fast and mostly (obviously) when undoing multiple edits, but owning it doesn't mean a damned thing to me. What gets me is that I am the bad guy??
As far as I'm concerned, repeatedly breaking content whilst ignoring advice not to, is basically vandalism. If a conversation has already been started on the subject and one party chooses to ignore it and carry on breaking things, that person is both edit warring and vandalising. I tried to do it nicely; Christ! I even fixed their dubious first edit. How's that for good faith? How many times do we have to pussy-foot around before accepting that the user is not going to read the advice/warnings and just get on with protecting the article? JavaScript is hardly a fringe subject, and is thus likely to have quite high traffic. Better in my view to protect the content than play nice with someone who clearly has no idea what they're doing. Ironically, the page was damaged (for the second or third time in a row) while I was reading the instructions on how to report them for edit warring, and I wondered how I was supposed to undo their destruction without being the other half of the war. I mean, how messed up is the system if in order to report a user for edit warring, you have to be involved in an edit war? It's the bullshit of it that I'm pissed off about. I've done nothing but try to help in any way I can, and because of the unwritten policy of policy over content I get a slap on the wrist.
Here's the sit in a nutch. I am fuming; not because an admin told me off, but because that admin is wrong, and admin should know better. Support the IP who edit wars to break the content of a popular article while suggesting the editor trying to protect the article is abusing his privileges? Screw policy! Try using logic. Which is better? Editors who anonymously break content and refuse to respond to requests to stop, or editors with nothing but a clean track record who spend most of their time trying to help others?
Here's the giggle. I was just about to start adopting. After spending a fair bit of time recently at the help desk, I realised that half the problems we deal with could be avoided if only new users had some guidance. Apparently it's a good job that never happened, or I'd have been training the next generation of policy dodging privilege abusers!!
As far as I'm concerned, nothing but a desysopping or a very long and detailed apology will change my mind. This is purely a matter of principal. fredgandt 10:33, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
It's too bad you're taking this badly Fred, I hope you take a few days off to recharge then come back, 'cause I think you do pretty good work.
In this specific case, it might not be what you want to hear, but it looks to me like Toddst1 was right. You were abusing rollback and if you do that, you lose it. It's only for blatant vandalism of the kind that anyone reasonable looking from the outside can agree is blatant vandalism. Basically, when no edit summary is needed. So Toddst1 gave you a warning, and when you didn't respond positively, removed the bit. You can always ask for it back, it's made to be easy-come, easy-go.
As far as your general frustration about keeping quality up on articles, yes it is very difficult when someone starts insisting on making changes that don't improve an article. But we have processes for that, they do work eventually, and except for things like defamation and copyright violations, if an article sits in bad shape for a day, it's really not that big of a deal. The best way to protect yourself from charges of edit-warring is to open a talk page thread outlining the problem with the edits you reverted, ask the editor on their user talk to participate there if they keep insisting on their version, wait for other people's comments, and if necessary, make further reversions as "rv, please discuss on the talk page". In this case I see several other editors were agreeing with you anyway, so it was pretty clear who was doing the warring. But that talk page step was missing.
And it looks to me like you just got caught up in the situation. Your first message on the IP talk page was snippy (insulting actually) and users are allowed to remove warnings. We check for that when AIV reports come in, if the editor thinks they're avoiding scrutiny by blanking, they should think again.
So please, cool down and remember it's not the end of the world. You made some mistakes, but we all do that, and they weren't big huge mistakes. Toddst1 made a call on the situation at hand. That doesn't mean that all your other good work is not appreciated. Think it over and if you want to ask for rollback again, I'll go with you to Todd's page and endorse the request - if you can bone up on just how few places rollback can actually be used. Hope to see you again in a while! Franamax (talk) 19:13, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the offer Franamax (really). Clearly my judgement is floored, so best to not exercise it. You're right; not the end of the world. Being accused of edit warring and abusing privileges, is just not the sort of thing I do react well to. I could have taken more time to explain to the IP why their repeated reversions... Nope; accually, I couldn't. So that's that. My judgement sucks and I can't be trusted. Sounds fair. Gonna do something else. However I look at this, I see an editor not taking the time to think before acting, and thus repeatedly doing what isn't best for the article. Someone who doesn't know what they're doing, but insists on doing it anyway. The question is: Which of the two editors involved am I describing? I said it above: policy over content. *Insert long winded rant about how Wikipedia could be improved by releasing some of the tension in that collective sphincter* I have one last job to do though. See you at proposals! (quite certain that section will get shot down in flames) fredgandt 20:35, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually, not going to bother. fredgandt 22:41, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Killing birds (not stoned)[edit]

I was going to ask Toddst1 to go easy on Alarbus, but that might just piss him off. I thought to suggest to Alarbus to not get into hot water on my account, but then WP:BEANS (gotta guideline for everything (more than half the bloody problem)). Decided to post here so anyone who gives a monkey's can read the same thing without hopping around. I'm not worth the agro!

I was getting pretty (very) pissed off with all the bureaucracy of late, and actually stopped watching the vast number of discussions about such scintillating issues like what colour the carpets should be, or what to call Thursday if the date is the 27th and the year is an even number. So the response of "just the kick in the butt I needed" was more honest than you might believe. The fact is: I'm glad my attitude got me scolded. Otherwise I might have gone on to waste even more time on this bloated hot air machine. The shame is that without the endless policies, guidelines and debates, the rest of the project would be awesome, but almost everything is tainted by the bad smell wafting off the dung-heap of bureaucracy. I thought about seriously proposing that Wikipedia go anarchic. Drop all the policies and guidelines, and guidelines on guidelines, and essays on guidelines on policies on guidelines on essays on something that someone said sometime.......... and effectively fire all the admin by making all qualified (1000 edits?) editors into admin by automatic default. What a joy that would be! Level playing field and the wisdom of crowds (Ahhh, Bisto!). But I know full well the proposal would have melted away to nothing (apathy) or been slammed shut by a frightened traditionalist (who never looked the word "Anarchy" up before, so doesn't know how harmonious it should be). That's the greatest problem of all now; the red tape is so tangled that almost nothing gets through. Slowly but surely the project will grind to a halt.

So, this is my last statement worth a damn. I may tinker here and there; I may not. I may finish the user scripts I was working on and publicize them (for others benefit (better add that before an admin throws a WP:NOT at me)); I may not. For now I'm going to play with my new fractal explorer and start designing something to program.

So Long, farewell, auf wiedersein, adieu! To yieu, and yieu, and yieu and yieu and yieu! (love that film) fredgandt 12:16, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Group of rational points on the unit circle[edit]

Fred, can you work that magic again at the article above? If so, thanks once again.

-Rich198.189.194.129 (talk) 22:12, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Although we've talked by email; for the public record of it; I'll get to it in the next few days. If someone gets there first, as long as the article is improved, that's what matters. fredgandt 20:49, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Let me know if I can help you in any way; Alarbus mentioned you on my talk. Peace,--Wehwalt (talk) 13:42, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Hiya. User:Richard L. Peterson (the IP above) has been doing awesome work to improve some maths articles. I've been working with him to tidy up the presentation. I'm in the throws of creating a couple of bespoke web-sites for clients and am thus a little busy, but will get around to the tidy up soon (if nobody else does it first). If that's something you feel like helping with, all good Face-smile.svg
As for all that other crap (further above); whatever! Life's too short. fredgandt 15:53, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
As you wish. I will be happy to do a copyedit of his work, just tell me one to do.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:56, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, sorry. Still up to my eyes. Complex cross browser compatibility nonsense is making life difficult (I really don't like IE). Might be better if someone else does the tidying this time. I'll check up and do what I can later though. Keep up the good work Rich! fredgandt 23:36, 20 February 2012 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2012 January 24 in the section "Creating existing page in another language" and "Redirecting/merging" you linked to WP:Attribution I do not think this is not the best thing to do as the page is a failed policy page for which there was no consensus that it was ever accurate and it is not kept up to date (See the diff over the last 50 edits that takes it back to July 2008).So is likely to be confusing for people using the help desk. -- PBS (talk) 01:06, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Patrolling pages[edit]

The page-patrolling script at User:AlexNewArtBot/MedicineSearchResult doesn't seem to be working for me today. It asserts that 100% of the listed articles are unpatrolled. It worked earlier this week. Has anything changed that you know of? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:43, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

At least one of my other scripts appears to have broken too. All it takes is for an element to get moved or renamed and things can turn to shit real quick. You may have noted that I'm not really around much these days; if I get the chance I promise to look into it, but may not get the chance any time soon.
Sorry. fredgandt 06:18, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
The problem might be related to identifying patrolled pages, since Scottywong's NPP report on the Toolserver also broke. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:39, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Fixed for you. The issue is/was that there has been added (to the new pages listings) some html links with similarities in the tag attributes, so the script was reading the wrong links to check for the signifier that the page is unpatrolled. I've stuck a double-take in the script, so it ignores the first of these links and reads the second (which used to be the first). Seems to be working again. Let me know. I'll respond eventually (busy boy!). fredgandt 01:24, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
The script broke. It reaches "Gathering data: 78 of 79 unique authors" and then stops. They're working on a major update, so this might be a temporary issue. Also, have you seen Special:NewPagesFeed? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:55, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
I've had a quick look and found the problem. One particular user's articles or their name is fouling it up. I checked on another category and the same user broke the results. I need to add some error handling to the script. I'll get around to it as soon as I can. In the meantime search the results for 'Gök&Mah' before starting the script, edit to remove any entries from that user, run the script, then when you're done undo your last edit. I realise that's a little pain, but it will cut the immediate corner. fredgandt 20:29, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. The work-around seems to be working for me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:37, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
It stopped working again. I think that last week's updates may be the cause. I thought it might clear up if I waited a few days, since there were all sorts of odd problems, but it's still down. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:41, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm afraid the whole thing may need rewriting. *shrugs* fredgandt 15:23, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, it was nice while it lasted. They're doing a whole bunch of stuff around page patrolling, so I honestly don't think that re-writing it now (or any time in the next few months) would prove to be a good use of your time (unless, you know, you've absolutely run out of anything else to do and desperately need something to stave off boredom). So Face-smile.svg Thank you for a year of usefulness, and we'll see what happens later. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:51, 14 December 2012 (UTC) +1


Help with script[edit]

Hi Fred,

I'd like to enlist your help in writing in a particular functionality in my Sources script. I'm not actually a programmer, and have arrived at this result using adapted code. However, it is beyond me to work out how I could code up this part of the script to switch correctly-named sources into either italicised or non-italicised forms when these are parts of citations not employing citation templates – in other words, to substitute "[''table'']" for "[table]". I reckon it's different from the "newWord" technique successfully employed in this array. In addition, I'd be interested in restructuring the script by ejecting the tables/dictionaries, and it would be great if you could advise. Of course, if there are other ways to streamline the code, I'd be please to learn. There is some documentation as to the aims and principles at User:Ohconfucius/script/Sources. Cheers, -- Ohconfucius ping / poke 08:34, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

I'll take a look, but promise nothing. fredgandt 11:31, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, sorry, sorry. Been busy doing things. I think you'll be far better off asking someone else for help if you haven't already. Really sorry, I completely forgot about this (I just swung by to read articles and my bookmark brought me here). Sorry. fredgandt 04:21, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
Never mind. Do swing by if you have time. I'm such a dunce with programming that feel I can never be to short of technical advice. -- Ohconfucius ping / poke 07:40, 7 December 2012 (UTC)


Hi, i recently created this template {{Welcome-Mauritius}} particularly similar to {{Welcome to Wikipedia}}, however i'm experiencing some problems, only the first paragraph of the template appears when the template is use on a talk page and the red border also include the other content found on the page. Can you help me to solve it please.Kingroyos (talk) 11:07, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

I had a few stabs at fixing it, but failed. It's been a long time since I worked on Wikipedia templates, and am very rusty. I'll try a total rebuild later.  fredgandt 17:16, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Seems to function correctly as I've rebuilt it. There's no automatic section heading any more though. A casualty of war ;-)
I've edited the documentation to suit, and tested quickly and roughly.  fredgandt 23:00, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, it work perfectly now.Kingroyos (talk) 04:31, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:Que[edit]

Ambox warning pn.svgTemplate:Que has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. Frietjes (talk) 19:56, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up :-)  fredgandt 06:27, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

Message for any visiting admin[edit]

I'm in the process of updating my user scripts and css with an aim to make them ready and available for other users as standard scripts and possibly gadgets.

  • I appreciate that my recent contributions read like I'm using Wikipedia as a playground, but these things don't write themselves ;-)

Bare with me? Cheers.

If however, you were here for some other reason - fire away :-) fredgandt 13:13, 29 June 2014 (UTC)