User talk:J. Johnson

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Canonical IPCC citations.[edit]

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Multiple uses of a single source in an article: Footnote format thoughts[edit]

I may have tracked the first use of "Harvnb" footnote format to you at 2014 Oso mudslide (via the charmingly nicknamed "WikiBlame"); in any event, you used it here.

For my purposes, I don't find the format as helpful to the reader as the "ref name" one; the latter brings the reader always directly to a full footnote rather than being requiring him or her to search back up to find the last exact citation (which "Miller" ... or which "Bartlett" article is it? in the case of mudslide) (or, I guess, one can click on the abbreviated cite "Miller" eg to find the full one). I recognize Harvnb to probably be a more academic format. That's not my world, Wiki or otherwise. I've gotten as far as this Wiki page to figure out Harv but still have not found even what it stands for (beyond guessing probably "Harvard") much less how you're using it et c..

If you're unfamiliar with the "ref name" format I used one in this recent edit to the page.

I don't necessarily expect to change your routine but would appreciate hearing your rationale and having maybe direction as to where to find more about the Harv format; and maybe I'd suggest you could say "introducing Harvnb footnote format" maybe even with a link to an explanation of what it means/entails when you start using it on a new page. I do recognize from quick skims you've done a lot for the article and I appreciate that (value judgment on scale of effort not content so far).

I was (separately maybe) working off annoyance when I came here that someone removed a perfectly good NYTimes Tim Egan cite for the interesting John Pennington "completely unexpected" quote. Maybe it was you. I think it was a Harvnb cite that replaced mine. In a two-hour stretch since I wrote most of the rest of this note to you I've struggled with finding an alternative way to present some info which was not (I now see) in the Egan article but which was good for the article I still think (again, if you were involved or are interested) and was removed along with the Egan cite; much of the time spent was here. Ach. Love Wiki. Cheers. Swliv (talk) 15:06, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

You raise a number of points. Let's start with the cite of the Egan op-ed piece. Possibly you refer to its first insertion by (you?) to the "History" section. While the history may support Egan's commentary, the contrary is not true. This was inappropriate (it is not "perfectly good" to base fact on unsupported commentary), so I removed it. However, please note that I did re-insert it into the "Controversy" section, where it is appropriate. Is that satisfactory?
Now I see that you added Egan again right after the Pennington quote. (By the way, thanks for correcting my — ouch! — "unforseen".) I point out that the basis for the quote is the report in the newspaper, not Egan. He gets cited further on. It's sort of like a debate: one side speaks, later on the other side rebuts. When Pennington is quoted it is not useful to immediately characterize it; that comes later. Immediately after the quote is too soon, and I would suggest removing it.
Something else: building citations without a template leads to all kinds of problems. Please use a citation template! Look at the other cites for examples. BTW, "Armstrong, Carter & Baker 2014" does link to the full citation, and I did just add the missing url to the Times. The Yakima Herald only reprinted the Time's article.
One other point for now. I'm not clear on what you are doing with the white-list; it does seems like an unnecessarily round-about way of getting in a source. Which turns out to be irrelevant, because Pennington spoke as the DEM spokesman, not as a representative. That should be removed.
I need to attend to other stuff, so let me get back to you later re Harv.

You cover a lot of ground, so I am going to interpolate my comments.
If Egan has a quote because he's commentary he can't be cited, is that what you are saying? I can accept it if it is, for now, but I'd like to know your opinion on it if I can.
You're not making sense, so I'll try to answer what I think you're asking. Egan is stating an opinion. If he says that the moon is made of blue cheese, you can cite him for stating his opinion. But you cannot cite him to support a position that the moon is blue cheese unless he is an expert, with some kind of basis for his opinion. -JJ
I know the non-template approach ... is not favored by all .... I've never been inclined to buckle down to it (and have done ... a pretty good number of edits). Well, point taken ... though I'm not sure I'm sold yet. Your assertion of "all kinds of problems" I'd love to see spelled out somewhere? I think the official Wiki pages are neutral on the subject and in fact say (or did when I looked them over a good while ago, a few years back), one way or the other on each article, don't mix. And many don't listen to that advice/policy, I've observed. I use templates occasionally when I can lift a format from elsewhere in an article I come to work on.
The "official" Wiki pages are not so much neutral as agnostic. This is because citation is so contentious. The one basic rule (WP:CITEVAR) is that in any given article you should conform to the the existing style. And in the Oso article we are using templates. Therefore, so should you. One of the advantages of using templates is that all of the petty formating details — and links! — are handled automatically. If you try to format your citations explicitly you will be spending a lot of time and effort trying to get the details of ordering, quotes, commas, italics, etc., just right — and not always getting it right. Let the template code figure it out for you. -JJ
It's just tone but your way of putting it -- "removed unnecessary link" -- does cut a bit. It was necessary at the time I put it in. You or sombody had left it out. I Googled for it and got Yakima and no Times so I went with Yakima. It was better than nothing and better than it had been before I contributed my time and effort and the link, I'd rather you'd acknowledged. (I know the Yakima only reprinted the Times article. I checked it. It was still the Times article (almost certainly to the word though I took that chance; it was four pages long at Yakima, same writers, credit Times, seemed solid).
Yes, like I said above, I omitted the url, now added to the template. At which point your external link was no longer necessary. I am sorry if you feel your effort was unacknowledged, but, frankly, you seem to expect a lot for very little. We all contribute time and effort towards general improvement of the project; kudos generally follows only where you do exceptonally better than average. Note that Gorthian, who did a LOT more work straightening the logging section, got only a single, simple thank you. BTW, I don't know why Google would not have popped the Times to the top of your search, unless it thnks you live in Yakima. Note that you can search a specific site with a term like "". -JJ
I appreciate the thank you. Glad to catch it. Thanks through to Wiki spellcheck. Didn't check to see if the cite had the misspelling.
If you did a global find and replace — be careful! The only reason for "fixing" something in a quote (or a title) is if it varies from the original. In this case it did, so you're fine, but in general do not change any quote (or title) unless you're staring at the original. (And perhaps not even then if it's 2 in the AM.) -JJ
I don't really follow all your Egan piece but think I get the gist and can live with it. I'm not and don't find any edits by that IP on the Revision history page. ... Ah-h. Here I find it now. On the Talk page. ... Well, having been through my share of endless (long) Talk page mashes I can understand perhaps your tone with me ... a little. But now I see you've mixed that up (166 there not on the article) and you're riling some feathers at least over there (at Talk) maybe it's more important to remind you of tone (where I know it hurt; me; see above). ... We can each only do what we can do. If we can't do it all then we have to let the litter sit by the side of a road, to use an analogy from another part of my life, no matter how much it hurts. Now on the other hand I'm still not judging the content of your work on this article and you may be doing truly stellar work on an absolutely horrible (subject matter: grim) story. I'll leave that. And I haven't seen how you've worked out to use the Egan piece. I still don't know if it was you that removed my first use of it in the article. But ...
If you want to get down to who did what you really need to link to specific diffs. I believe the first use of Egan was in the History section, and that was quite inappropriate because he has absolutely nothing to add about the history of sliding at the site. I did cite him in "Controversy" to show that the criticism was national. -JJ
... final thing for now. I'm really surprised you would say that another half a line of directly relevant job experience by one of the lead people on the ground, John Pennington, is, how did you so charmingly put it? "irrelevant". What? You don't think "disaster response" is political? (Aren't you even curious how he shifted counties in getting the job? In a job (FEMA) when he seems to have grossly disagreed with common wisdom after the event about the risk of a slide? I don't know but I think you're sounding pretty haughty and way off base on this one. That, to put it briefly, is more of why I'm at the infernal(ly tortuous) white-list. For the time being I'm quite proud of my citation-alternative (clear, to the point, a reader can easily find the cited document via Google; as s/he ought somehow (I'm not a specialist here) to be able to do by clicking a link in Wikipedia (I know: I don't know the problems links have caused; I accept the (infernally tortuous) white-list process with almost-good grace)) and my half-line on the subject and you may remove it if you wish but obviously such a move wouldn't have my pleasure or support.
That is the crux of the problem here: you have an agenda. You know — what? That Pennington got the job purely on political pull, and lacks competency? Does Egan say that? Nope. Anyone else? Not that I have seen. And what you "know" (how? are you psychic?) does not count here. You want to mention that he was a legislator so that readers will make this connection, but you have no source for that inference. And you seemed to have missed my point that the significance of this remark is not that it was spoken by a former legislator (there are lots of former legislators, and who gives a rat's ass what they say?) but by the Director of Snohomish County's Department of Emergency Services, who is charged with forseeing disasters. If it turns out that he was so clueless because is incompetent, well, that would get established further on. But the significance of the remark has nothing to do with his previous career, only with his current position. -JJ
Thanks again for all you're doing. Cheers. 23:18
You're welcome. -JJ
My point about the Harv is that it gives a footnote like the current #44 "Miller 1999, p. 1." (I like that it has page-number capacity which "ref name" doesn't have though I've juryrigged it a few times.) The reader then has to click on the "Miller" to be directed (via highlight) up to note #37; or scan visually up there without clicking. It's an extra step which, for many readers for whom I imagine footnotes alone are rather alien, is a step not taken and an opportunity lost (for Wikipedia to teach). That's all. Plus of course the fact it's an arcane hard-to-penetrate editing art which I of some experience cringe to think of even trying to penetrate (having done my first rounds of searches, as noted above). On we go, eh? ... But while I'm back: Any opinion on (a) the multi-part citations like that #37 and (b) the fact that they don't "match up" to the cite #. My first impression is that they ought to be three separate cites with three numbers. Just cleaner. And they'd match up. Swliv (talk) 23:36, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
People to whom footnotes are "rather alien" probably won't click the first time, so no loss, and for the rest a second click is so miniscule that the objection lacks substance. The real objection is editor antipathy, or just plain fear of the unknown. It is not arcane, as I propose to show you. Provided that one uses {{Citation}} templates (or {{Cite}} templates with an extra parameter), in most cases all that you need to use Harv templates is the first four authors' last names and the year. E.g.: write {{Harv|Smith|Jones|Brown|2004}}, and everything else is done automagically. You can also add (e.g.) "|p=4", "|pp=23-28", or "|loc=§2" to specify page, pages, or location. Simple!
By "multi-part citations" I presume you mean where there is more than one full citation in the notes. This can be hard to read, so they are put into list format, typically with a bullet. (See WP:BUNDLING.) Alternately, some editors do break them up into separate notes, as Gorthian did in the logging section. But this can create long strings of footnote links (the superscripted bracketed numbers), which many people find repulsive. This is a good reason for using short cites: you can string them together in a single footnote. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:12, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Believe it or not I interpolated extensive responses to yours above; got squeezed for time; then lost my copy. I can't take it on again; no big deals; I do appreciate the dialogue, don't agree on all the details, will have to leave it at that for now. Thanks again. Swliv (talk) 22:16, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I also appreciate dialogue, and in turn thank you. Although sometimes digestion is aided if we can take smaller bites to more thoroughly chew. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:34, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Your edits[edit]

I note that of your last 100 edits, which go back one month, you have only made four edits to articles, one of which was a reversion of vandalism. Do you think you would find it more satisfying to work on some article improvement? There is nothing wrong with doing meta-content work, but my experience is editing articles is (usually) more fun. It certainly puts your comment here about "real work" into perspective, in my opinion. What do you think? --John (talk) 10:19, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

I am inclined to agree with you that writing articles is generally more satisfying. (Excepting, of course, when the yahoos jump in.) But why are you so concerned about my edits? Aren't you really trying to draw me away from WT:Manual of Style#ships as .22she.22.2C additional points, where you are of an opposite position? You are kind to be solicitous of my well-being, but should we not be even more concerned about Sdkenned, who has barely forty edits in all? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:06, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Sept vs Sep for September[edit]


Sept vs Sep for September — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robert - Northern VA (talkcontribs) 05:24, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Talk pages[edit]

It is obvious to me that you are not familiar with how we use talkpages. So, just for the record, removing stuff as you did here is fine but constitutes acknowledgement that you have read it. If you already knew this then I apologise but, either way, you certainly do now. Feel free to delete this aide memoire, obviously - the history is now there. - Sitush (talk) 00:46, 28 August 2014 (UTC)