User talk:Jheald

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Photoshopping old prints[edit]

Hi, I see that you are involved with handling scans of old prints on Commons and thought you may be able to give me some guidance on how I should process images that I wish to use on en:Wiki.

When uploading scans of prints from old books I'm unsure as to how much I should manipulated the image in Photoshop. Should I make the background white and convert to a grayscale image? How tightly should I crop the image? Should I try to correct imperfections and brown stains? As an example, I recently took this picture from the Internet archive: and uploaded File:Palais d'Ahmadou à Ségou.jpg to Commons (replacing an earlier upload). Would it have been better to keep the yellow background? Was it a good idea to crop the image and remove the original caption?

With the uploading of images to Flickr by the British Library, some of the images that I've uploaded in the past are now available at higher quality than I could obtain from Google/Gallica/Internet Archive. The above image is here:

When using the BL Flickr images how should I proceed? Should I upload them to Commons as is and then make a separate derivative that is rotated, cropped and perhaps colour corrected? Many thanks Aa77zz (talk) 14:14, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi! Many thanks for your very good questions.
I don't know if I know all the answers. There are probably forums on Commons that would be good places to ask these questions also, and other users who may be able to give better more authoriatative advice. But here are some thoughts anyway.
Looking at my Commons user page, the material that I think I worked hardest to clear up (at least from a uniform source) was the Commons:Le Keux, Memorials of Cambridge series.
If you look at the image description page for one of the images in that series, you can see that I did some quite aggressive compensation for the background of the image, followed by further bleaching out of the background, straightening, and finally cropping to a standard size of border. I was using Gimp v2.8 for software, on images taken at the Internet Archive, and found that a useful tool was the 'divide' filter -- a characteristic of the University of Toronto scans was that the middle of the page was lit more brightly than the edges. I found if I found a 'blank' page from the book, and applied a blur filter to it, that gave me a good baseline reference that I then could use to 'divide' the scan by, to get rid of most of the effect of the background (and deal with most of its non-uniformity). That may be less of a problem with BL images though -- they seem to have been illuminated more evenly.
I also did then usually use the 'curves' tool to further adjust the contrast, and I think I usually did convert the images to greyscale. (I can't remember if I usually did so on the basis of 'luminosity' or 'lightness' -- Gimp gives both options, and I'm not sure that I was necessarily consistent.
I'm not at all sure I got it 100% correct though -- looking at the page of thumbnails, they don't look quite "right" to me. Perhaps they're all just a bit too dark, suggesting I overdid the contrast enhancement; or perhaps they're just a bit too even, too smooth, or too silvery grey. I can't quite put my finger on it (and I'd welcome anybody's input or thoughts), but to me there's some attractiveness of the original that I've lost, and I'm not quite sure why. So this may be an example of over-cleaning of images.
Some more recent work was on Commons:Category:Ackermann's Repository - London views. There are probably mistakes here as well, but I think the results are a bit happier (though dirtier, because of the quality of the source material). Colour images are more fogiving in a way, but also you can't push the cleaning as far because (a) you're not trying to get to pure black and white, so you have to be more protective of the colour; and (b) I found that, at least with Gimp, if I did push it too far, I found I'd start getting very unrealistic pinks and blues starting to appear, particularly in the background and around the borders. (Though that may just because I don't know how to fly the software well enough, or perhaps strictly speaking because I ought to be working in a different colour space, eg something like CIELAB, cf HSL_and_HSV#Disadvantages. But Photoshop perhaps works in that more advanced colour-space anyway?).
One thing I did do, having again used the divide trick to reduce the effect of non-white backgrounds (this time just by sampling a point in the background, and then turning into a layer), was then to multiply by a uniform layer of off-white colour -- looking at an old workfile I think I used #fbf7ea -- which makes the image a bit warmer, and seems to correct the overkill of the colour-correction itself. I think this probably is a good idea, though I don't know the best off-white colour to give black-and-white images.
But "your milage may vary" as they say. I think it probably really depends on how you want the image to look on any eventual Wikipedia page or gallery page.
In terms of filenames, I think it is okay to use the same filename from original upload to what you consider is your "best version" of the original image. One good thing about the Wikimedia upload system is that it makes it very easy to see previous versions, and I think it is good to deliberately leave an audit trail of the major changes you have made, so people can see what the original version of the image looked like, and what treatments you have applied to it (in case they may to try different choices).
As regards cropping, there are different points of view. Myself, I quite like to know what the original caption text was, and especially if there is any information there about the artist and the engraver. So I tend to leave any caption, plus a little white space below it, and a similar amount of white space around the image. But on the other hand, it's undeniable that larger images make more impact, and you will get an appreciably image in a thumbnail on a Wikipedia article page if there is less surrounding white space. So a lot of people like to crop right on the boundary of the image -- and I would quite likely use one of their crops if I was selecting the image to use on the WP page. So I think this is a situation where there can be a case for having two images -- one cropped to leave in any caption, and then a second cropped variant that is more tightly cropped just to the actual picture.
But in all of this, it's entirely up to you as to how much work you want to do, and how far you yourself feel you want to go -- with an eye to how you want to use the image, or how others may want to use the image if they find it for example through Google Search. For example, looking at some of my most recent uploads,
File:Heinrich Barth's route through Africa, 1850 to 1855 (Deutsch).jpeg,
File:Routes of European explorers in Africa, to 1853.jpg, and
File:View of Constantine, Algeria, 1899.jpg,
the first two are exactly as I found them -- one from the BL digital collection, the other off the internet -- as really is the third one, apart from my having cropped it.
So I guess my answer is, do as much as you feel you need to do to make the image seem as useful and usable as it can be; but it doesn't have to be perfect (and probably never can be).
Finally, you asked about over-writing existing versions of files. I think the answer, again, is to follow your instincts. File:Harlaxton Manor Morris.jpg is an example of a file where somebody has done just that, entirely reasonably I think, and also with the advantage that they don't have to edit Wikipedia pages in 5 different languages to point to a new filename. On the other hand, both Commons:Category:Bury's Coloured Views on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, 1831 and Commons:Category:Pyne's Royal Residences include some different variants of the same view, and that's also fine I think. If there's something identifiably different about the other view, eg a different caption, or a different 'state' of the engraving, or a different colour scheme, or perhaps if it is from a different source, then it may well be worth having two different versions. Equally, if somebody else has done a lot of image enhancement on the other image, or simply if it doesn't fit into your preferred naming scheme, then it's probably uploading your own new version. But otherwise it's up to you I would say.
And now I seem to have written an awful lot, without really having given you very many very clear answers. Again I should caution that there may be people that are far more knowledgeable than me on Commons, both as regards best methods/use of technology and best practice. But thank you for giving me the chance to try to put my own thoughts in order, and I hope you can find at least some counsel of use in the above! All best, Jheald (talk) 19:18, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Wow - many thanks for your detailed reply. How much to "improve" an image is always going to be a tricky decision. Here is an old photograph that I uploaded: File:Edouard Baldus Tour Philippe le Bel c1862.jpg. If you zoom-in you'll see that there is a brown/orange stain to the left of the tower - it would be trivial to remove (photoshop healing) but on this occasion I resisted the temptation. Aa77zz (talk) 13:29, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

File:Hornby early logo.png missing description details[edit]

Dear uploader: The media file you uploaded as:

is missing a description and/or other details on its image description page. If possible, please add this information. This will help other editors make better use of the image, and it will be more informative to readers.

If you have any questions, please see Help:Image page. Thank you. Message delivered by Theo's Little Bot (opt-out) 04:42, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Fixed. Jheald (talk) 15:06, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Le Keux images[edit]

Honestly, I'd say most of the issues with these come down to:

  1. The originals have a lot of JPEG artefacting.
  2. The effective resolution of the originals isn't enough to show the microscopic lines that make up steel and copper engravings, giving them a photogravure-like appearance that doesn't really match engravings as we know them
  3. The white point is set to remove all paper texture, which can look a little unnatural with this kind of image.
  4. They are completely desaturated. Most paper and ink has a slightly warm tone to it, whereas desaturated grey tends to appear somewhat on the cool side.

In all honesty, it's rather good work with a mediocre source. This is why I prefer to self-scan engravings as much as possible; they're much harder to get good sources for. Lithographs are far easier. Though, I'll be honest: I still struggle with getting colour right, pretty much every restoration. It helps a lot to work from originals so you can compare, though this is, of course, impractical in a large number of cases.

As for your advice, I'm honestly a little surprised you use layers. I've never seen much need to go beyond the Levels, curves, clonestamp, healing brush, hue-saturation, and select tools. But then, I'm often rather unhappy with my background borders, so I suppose I can't say that's sufficient.

Oh, one bit of advice I'll add: You'll often need to deviate from it by the end of the series - especially if the paper in the book varies a lot - but note down exactly what you do to the first image of a set, saving any settings you used, and you often have a big start on making a consistent set. Don't force everything to match those instructions - you'll screw yourself over that way - but it's a start, and helps. I did that with, for example, the Puck of Pook's Hill set. In fact, I have those instructions still. They're applied after the cleanup is finished.

Those are applied in that order; most of those are linking to saved, pre-done adjuments. ("Levels: Puck of Pook's Hill" means "Go to levels, appy pre-made setting 'Puck of Pook's Hill'"). You'll probably note that a lot of the images don't actually fit the dimensions given. And I did need to adjust the curves and levels for some images (extremely for some more faintly-printed ones in the middle of the book.)

I think the biggest obstacle is the quality of scans. A bad scan - one where the page isn't pushed flat onto the scanner, and where the resolution is too low, or the image saved at low-resolution - can screw you over. Chromatic fringing leads to the pink and blue spotting you mention - a GOOD scanner will avoid that. I find that I need to replace scanners every few years, when that problem develops. Adam Cuerden (talk) 18:58, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Oh, one more thing: I think the amount of cleanup justifiable depends on the medium. When you're cleaning up an engraving, you're basically trying to create - of the hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands copies out there - an ideal example. With a painting, all I could really see fixing was fixing the image to better resemble the original (hue/saturation, levels, curves, crop, maybe, perspective adjustments if the photograph was taken at an angle), and perhaps - at the most - combining a few copies with different lightings to remove excessive light reflections. The painting is a singular object; the engraving multiple. Adam Cuerden (talk) 19:02, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Huh. Though, mind, saying that, I don't obey that rule all the time, as there's a competing interest. With old photographs, there's a type of common damage - the albumen being scratched off the glass plate - that is particularly distracting, as in, it makes it difficult to focus on the image itself. In that case, a restored image that removes the damage and thus puts the focus back onto the subject of the image can be very helpful to the encyclopedia. Paintings are generally notable as paintings; photographs for their subjects. Adam Cuerden (talk) 19:08, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

If I had to guess about the pink and blue - particularly if the image started off a little yellow or the like and got adjusted to white, it's not hard to get something slightly off - a white that's, say, 253, 249, 247, or the like. If you upped saturation on that enough, it'd look pink, while appearing white before that. And a lot of people are going to be using auto settings, which have a high chance of getting those slightly off colours. There's natural variations int the image, after all. And particularly with curves adjustments. It's not really something to worry too much about. In a worst case scenario, I'd just completely desaturate the image, then add a little yellow back in by manually adjusting the levels (there's a box where you can set the white point for blue at, say, 250, adding a bit of space on the right.

As for rotation - honestly, I've never been able to notice a difference. But I wouldn't worry too much about making very slight adjustments if it looks alright already. Your bigger nemesis is saving as JPEG before the very last moment - repeatedly saving as JPEG will degrade the image rapidly. I tend to use PNG. Lossless, but smaller file size and better supported than TIFF.

Oh, and save the JPEG at at 99 or 100 quality. Adam Cuerden (talk) 23:36, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

By the way, I've actually updated Durova's instructions a bit. Some of what she did came back to bite her at times, like cropping and then having someone object to the crop, after she spent hours restoring. Adam Cuerden (talk) 23:41, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

An RfC that you may be interested in...[edit]

As one of the previous contributors to {{Infobox film}} or as one of the commenters on it's talk page, I would like to inform you that there has been a RfC started on the talk page as to implementation of previously deprecated parameters. Your comments and thoughts on the matter would be welcomed. Happy editing!

This message was sent by MediaWiki message delivery (talk) on behalf of {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 18:27, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

gwtoolset handling of special characters[edit]

Just a heads up and to keep you in the loop, I filed bugzilla:62909 for the issue of gwtoolset converting apostrophes and parenthesis to dashes. Bawolff (talk) 05:44, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Merge discussion for LBC[edit]


An article that you have been involved in editing, LBC, has been proposed for a merge with another article. If you are interested in the merge discussion, please participate by going here, and adding your comments on the discussion page. Thank you. Khairul Islam 00:43, 3 June 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Khairul Islam (talkcontribs)

Disambiguation link notification for July 12[edit]

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TTIP and GMO crops[edit]

Are you sure that the EU negotiators have a red line on GMO? I thought the issue was that that the EU members only want GMO to be labeled as such (and the products could then be offered for sale - making it down to condumer [and retailer] choice to buy or not) but the US disagrees. I don't have a source for either position [(a) ban or (b) label]. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 16:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

OK, tyvm. I knew that growth hormone beef was a red line. I'll look at the text again to see if it was the phrasing that misled me. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 16:52, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for August 1[edit]

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Hi Jheald, It was really nice meeting you at Wikimania. Keep up the good work on Wikipedia. :) — Stevey7788 (talk) 20:39, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Discussion at WT:NFC[edit]

I started a discussion at WT:NFC regarding the discussion you had with staffers of the Foundation. The thread is located at Wikipedia_talk:Non-free_content#If_it.27s_legal.2C_it.27s_ok.. Good day, --Hammersoft (talk) 14:39, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Hammersoft talk page comments[edit]

Jheald, I have no interest whatsoever in injecting myself into whatever disharmonious relationship you may have had with User:Hammersoft. That having been said, I have been a registered Wikipedia editor for over five years, with over 60,000 edits, I have acquired some sophistication in Wikipedia policy generally, and I have a working knowledge of our NFCC policy as applied to the areas in which I edit. My own relationship with Hammersoft started in an adversarial fashion, but has long since evolved into a constructive working relationship, and I have have used his knowledge of NFCC policy and enforcement procedures when I have encountered photos, team logos and other copyrighted images that I strongly suspected violated Wikipedia's NFCC policy. As for the new user names suggested on Hammersoft's talk page, that was intended to be funny. If you're going to inject yourself into the private conversation of two other editors perhaps you should be aware of their history and not so quick to comment on the good-natured humor in such private conversations. Thanks for your understanding. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 14:59, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

No problem. I just was trying to be helpful. From the conversations I've had, I think there are nuances that the pages Hammersoft linked to don't quite get right, that it's useful to be aware of; and I thought the Techdirt page was quite empowering as to how one can take on such a task in a positive, open-handed, community-spirited sort of a way. I regret Hammersoft seems to have taken offence. No offence was intended. I really wasn't intending to be critical, just offer what I thought was something that was relevant and positive. But I'm certainly not going to let it bother me any more -- there's a lot too much other stuff I want to be getting on with. Jheald (talk) 15:14, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Jews in Carthage[edit]

Hi Jheald: Having just revamped the entire Jews in Carthage article, your help in improving it would go a long way. Thanks so much, IZAK (talk) 07:02, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Vitruvian Barnstar Hires.png The Technical Barnstar
Thank you for trying out / using! Let me know if there are any improvements you would like made to it :) YuviPanda (talk) 14:55, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

The Golden Rule[edit]

Hi Jheald: Having just revamped the Judiasm section of entire The Golden Rule article, I am having trouble with people vandalizing it - reverting edits which were jointly written by a collection of Rabbis to accurately reflect a Rabbinic Jewish position on the topic. I need some help arresting the reverts. Any suggestion you can offer is appreciated. Jaim Harlow 00:36, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

A lesson on subject-verb agreement (for the t-distribution page)[edit]

Here's how subject-verb agreement works: in a sentence, the verb must correspond with the subject. For instance:

John walks to the store.


John walk to the store.

So, for our sentence:

In probability and statistics, Student's t-distribution (or simply the t-distribution) is a family of continuous probability distributions that arises when estimating the mean of a normally distributed population in situations where the sample size is small and population standard deviation is unknown.

"family" is the subject--NOT "t-distribution." "Arises" is the verb. Therefore, the sentence must say:

a family...that arises


a family...that arise

If you would like to change the subject of the sentence so that the sentence is a little clearer or reads differently, that's certainly fine. My point is that the sentence has to be grammatically correct. The math content should be accurate, but it needs to be written properly, too. We can work together on this, if you like. I'm not a big fan of using "family" to begin with; I just corrected the sentence the quickest way possible, for now.

I can come back to this talk page and we can come up with something you like better. But do you understand the issue now? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Weyesr1 (talkcontribs) 22:37, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

@Weyesr1:. Family is a collective noun. "The family is happy" (presenting the family as a unit) and "the family are happy" (presenting the family as individuals) are both correct.
Here we are presenting how the individual distributions arise, so the plural is entirely appropriate. Jheald (talk) 22:41, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
More to the point, in the phrase "a family of distributions that arise", ask yourself what the word 'that' principally refers to. It is not the family, it is the distributions. Jheald (talk) 22:49, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

People do not use family in the way you are describing; have you ever said, "my family are taking a vacation this summer" or "the whole family are sick"?

I do not know why you are insisting on making the sentence awkward and bizarre. It is not appropriate the way you are using it. I have offered to work with you, and instead you are just reverting the sentence. This is not helpful and does not improve the article.

I have made a different edit this time. This one is just as accurate as all of the other sentences I have written but makes "distributions" the subject. Hopefully that will be more to your liking.

@Weyesr1: This is possibly just a variation in English as spoken in different parts of the world, similar to the way WP:LQ is not (yet) universal for written English. I would find it entirely natural to say "the whole family are ill" -- stressing each and every last one of them is not well, or "the family are going on holiday together this year" -- identifying that this was something that all the individuals in the family were going to be doing. I would find using the singular in either of those cases unnatural.
But even so, as written above it was the distributions that was the referent of the relative clause, so really the collective noun issue doesn't arise. (In the same way that it doesn't arise when you wrote "consists of distributions that...") So even in U.S. English, the subject-verb agreement as originally written is actually correct.
However I don't think you can properly say that "a distribution consists of distributions"; whereas it is quite a standard thing to talk about a parametrised distribution as a family of distributions -- for a specific value of the parameters you get a specific distribution; or if you consider the parameters taking different values, you get a set of distributions.
So I'm afraid I'm going to revert you again. Perhaps we should ask for other views at WT:MATH. Jheald (talk) 08:15, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

@Jheald: You are still not offering any new solutions. I am offering a new solution, once again. If you don’t like my edits, you should be productive and useful--reverting back to the same problematic word over and over again is childish.

I have changed the subject again, so that the subject and verb agree WITHOUT ANY QUESTION. If you don’t like this edit either, please find another way to make the subject and verb agree, no matter who reads it.

@Weyesr1: One thing you can't say is "the t-distribution is the continuous probability distributions that arise..." -- because that plainly doesn't have subject-verb agreement. I have asked at WT:MATH for some wider community input. Jheald (talk) 23:36, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I've asked User:Weyesr1 to stop edit-warring on this article. I think they probably deserve a tiny bit of slack about this because they seem to be a relatively new editor, and not yet aware of Wikipedia's rules on edit-warring, but I've given them links to the appropriate policies on their talk page, which should hopefully sort them out on that point, and requested that they discuss this on the article's own talk page. I think the right thing to do would be for everyone to take this to the Student's t-distribution talk page now, and sort it out there before making any more edits to the article. I've made a couple of my own suggestions there to start things off: this really is a very difficult thing to phrase! Thanks, -- The Anome (talk) 23:42, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

@The Anome: I will do my talking on the t-distribution page from now on. Thanks for that direction. I will pursue this further when I have the time (I have real work to do at present, so it may take me a little while). However, for the record, I am not the one edit-warring; Jheald is. I continue to offer new solutions, whereas he keeps simply reverting to a problematic sentence. He is warring, whereas I am offering new ideas and choices.

Also, I am not a new editor; I have been editing for four years. I have not made tens of thousands of edits, like some people, simply because I have a full-time job. Please check your facts before making erroneous comments. Weyesr1 (talk) 22:48, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Hi, can you make a comment about my new project[edit]

hi, Hi, can you make a comment about my new project

Feedback on RfC wording about non-free SVGs[edit]

Greetings, I am leaving you this notice because you participated in the discussion about non-free SVGs at WT:NFC. I have received a response from WMF on the matter, and they told me that this is a decision that has historically been left to the community. In order to get some clarification, I would like to run a widely-advertised RfC, but since I obviously have an opinion on the matter, I would prefer it if other editors could give me some feedback on the neutrality of my wording before I actually make the RfC. You can comment on the proposed statement here. Thanks! 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 17:42, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Can you help with an excessive quotation issue?[edit]

Hello, User:Jheald. :) An IP brought up concerns about the extensive quotation at Josip Plemelj - from the third paragraph under "A geometrical construction from his schooldays" to the end is a quotation. Investigation confirms that this material is likely under copyright, which means that the IP is right that the quotation doesn't comply with copyright policies. WP:NFC forbids extensive quotation. I'm knocking at your door because I see you've done cleanup at that article. I would really prefer to ask somebody to help turn that into a proper paraphrase than to blank the section - I think it's quite unlikely that I could paraphrase it myself, since the material is so far from my realm. Would you be able to help out with this? If not, I can of course apply the usual {{copyvio}} template to the section in hopes that somebody else will. But with a case like this one, I really hate to do that. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:47, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

DYK for Phyllis Richman[edit]

Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:09, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Problem with single rotation[edit]

Hi - I was wondering if you can help me with the problem at Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Mathematics#Problem_with_single_rotation_in_SO.284.29_using_quaternions PAR (talk) 19:06, 5 December 2014 (UTC)