Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2007 April 14

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April 14[edit]

Pre-link Preview Box[edit]

About a year ago, a friend at school altered my account so that when I rest my mouse over a link, it shows a small preview box of the article the link points to. Since then, I cannot for the life of me remember what he did, and I would like to know. Not to get rid of it, but to see if I can apply it to my IP address for when I don't feel like logging in.

Anyone here have any idea what I'm talking about? Slokunshialgo 00:49, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Its popups, a javascript tool added to your javascript page. I'm not sure if IPs can have monobook.js pages, as the address may be reassigned. Mr.Z-mantalk¢ 00:55, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
That's exactly what I was after! And if it works on any IP address, it should work, as my ISP keeps us with a static IP. Slokunshialgo 01:51, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether anonymous logins will load monobook.js, but I'm pretty sure they can't edit their own monobook.js or monobook.css, so it's kind of a moot point. Mike Dillon 03:07, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

delete my account[edit]

How do i delete my account?Fishcoin 01:46, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

You can't.--$UIT 03:07, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
In order to comply with the terms of our license accounts cannot be deleted, but you do have the right to vanish. --Kwekubo 14:35, 14 April 2007 (UTC)


I was just wondering about the zodiac and how they line up with each other. Such as a gemini would get along better with a so-and-so.

The point of this Help Desk is for users to ask questions about Wikipedia, its policies and so on, not for trivial matters such as the Zodiac. Try taking it to the Misc. Help area--$UIT 03:06, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
The right place to ask this question is at the Wikipedia:Reference desk. They answer questions not related to wikipedia. — Lost(talk) 05:28, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

link exchange[edit]

is there a way that I can link my site to wikipedia. my site content consist of informative links. info on the worlds greatest vitamin and other realated contents THANKS IN ADVANCE —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:53, 14 April 2007 (UTC).

Please see WP:EL. External Linking is generally frowned upon especially if it is used to generate traffic for your website. If you would really like to share encyclopedic information, please add it directly to the relevant article — Lost(talk) 05:25, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
You have misread their question from what I can see. They want to link to Wikipedia. Not put a link to their site on Wikipedia. Wikipedia:Banners and buttons shows a number of banners and buttons that you can use for a link to Wikipedia. As for what to link to, that's up to you. Linking to will allow the user to choose the language version that they'd like to read while linking to will put them directly into the English language version. Dismas|(talk) 12:52, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
The presence of link exchange in the question's heading may mean the questioner is asking about a reciprocal link exchange with Wikipedia, not something that really fits the model of Wikipedia as I understand it. The advice on linking to Wikipedia is valid, of course. --Teratornis 19:23, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

How to Apply[edit]

Please help me understand the Admission process 06:58, 14 April 2007 (UTC) +

Fee Module 06:58, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Sorry, I think you have the wrong site. We are an encyclopedia. What are you looking for? Notinasnaid 07:09, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Admission to what? - Mgm|(talk) 11:42, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Using & instead of &amp ;[edit]

when typing the & symbol in wikipedia on the source code of the generated page it looks like this &amp ; instead of just & I need standalone for a link the &amp ; wrecks the urlBouncingmolar 08:15, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Testing: [1] [] Well I don't see any problem with that? Perhaps you can past what you wanted to type to let us understand your situation. - LR4087 08:22, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
sorry I can't find a specific link that will work :| If you have a look at the source of this page, you can see that any &'s are actually $amp ;'s so maybe there is a way of typing & without it being converted to an &amp ;. Yeah actually this question is probably outside the scope of wikipedia, its actually for a wikimedia project. Bouncingmolar 08:46, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
It is supposed to be converted to &amp;, otherwise the page would not be valid XHTML. Are you having problems clicking on a link somewhere, or are you trying to copy and paste a link from the HTML source? Mike Dillon 15:56, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
the & is used in URL Query strings. The query string requires the & to be a pure not an &amp; . otherwise the query string isn't recognised. An example of a link is clicking on the link works, but when you view the html source of this page the & have been replaced with &amp; so the link looks like this;action=edit which doesn't take you to the edit page. I've been looking at this wikimeda:ampersand problem - Bouncingmolar 09:57, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Is there any limit to how in-depth an article should be?[edit]

This is probably a very stupid question, but once in a while when I'm researching something in scientific articles (JSTOR,, college library, etc) or just studying a textbook, I find that articles are either less precise than they could be (hypothetical example: stating 49% when it's actually 49.03%) or give only a very basic overview of a topic/concept (common example for me: saying "X is mediated by Y" without providing any information on HOW that mediation occurs). End result is I feel I should add that information, but I'm worried about hitting the other extreme, like writing pi out to the millionth digit. So: is there a policy on how much information is too much? Drushki 08:52, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Personally I feel there is a difficult balance to be struck and many articles don't manage it. I have no problem with heavy technical detail that I don't understand, provided it is presented in such a way that the layman can still get what he or she needs. Generally an article should be written so it has full details and the lead section acts as a summary (nothing in the lead section that isn't repeated further down). Some subjects may take more levels than this, presenting details but saying that there are more details on particular topics.
Be vary wary of the numeric example you made up. To assume 49.03 is more right than 49% is a common error; it often is not. Abuse of significant figures is a common error. In one article I found a formula, given to three significant figures, which an editor had inverted. Using a calculator, they had given the inverse coefficients to 18 decimal places, which is very much wrong. For a simpler example, suppose a distance is described as "4 miles". It would be ludicrous to say "6.437376 km", and even "6.4 km" is highly suspect. I think 6 km is a far more accurate answer, since the "4 miles" was likely to have been anything from 3.5 to 4.5 miles in fact. If the source had said "4.0 miles" it would be a different story. Notinasnaid 10:12, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, an article can be too detailed, but how much is too much is pretty much a feeling you have to develop. I'm not talking about numbers. (I'm talking about what to include and what not.) - Mgm|(talk) 11:40, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
The ideal length of an article is whatever the reader wants it to be. Since every reader is different, no single length is "ideal," although if it were possible to determine the preferences of every reader and average them all, that might be an acceptable compromise. But how would we count the probable majority of people who have no interest whatsoever in a particular topic? Also note that when Wikipedia deletes an article, it is effectively saying the ideal length of an encyclopedia article on that subject is zero. If a subject is not notable in Wikipedia's judgement, there might still be dozens or hundreds of people with a burning interest in the subject who feel seriously shortchanged by its absence here. That would be common, for example, for subjects interesting only to people who live in a limited geographic area. Your neighborhood may not be notable to distant folks, but it is certainly notable to you.
Obviously the notion of "one size must fit all" is outdated. Eventually Moore's Law should deliver enough computer power to give everyone the view of the Internet they prefer. Wikipedia might (eventually) help by allowing users to rate articles (and perhaps even individual sentences in articles). If enough people rate enough chunks of content, and expose their ratings for comparison, it should be straightforward for software to identify similarities. For example, suppose your ratings very closely match the ratings of several other people on the content you have all viewed. Then perhaps their ratings of other content you have not yet viewed would accurately predict your eventual rating of it. I.e., you would have found some people who share your preferences, and by seeing what else they have liked, you might more efficiently zero in on things you have not yet seen but would also like. (Since no two people are likely to share identical preferences in all respects, the algorithm for determining similarity of preferences would obviously have to be more sophisticated than merely identifying some individuals who share some of your preferences, but you get the idea.)
If the rating system turns out to be a sufficiently accurate predictor of what a given user wants to see, that user might set a preference to have the system prune down articles accordingly, cutting out the details the user is highly likely to consider superfluous or bothersome. Everyone could, in effect, see his or her own "My Wikipedia."
In the meantime, we'll just have to muddle along with "one size must fit all." --Teratornis 17:57, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I'd say the ideal length is the compromise length talked about above. The 'size that fits most people'. You can look at the articles gained featured status recently to get an idea what the ideal length is considered to be right now for various topics. - Mgm|(talk) 21:31, 14 April 2007 (UTC)


I would like to read the information re: sciatic nerve in Chinese. How do I do this????

See Help:Editing and check to see its verifiable to a reliable source. TellyaddictTalk 12:44, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Have a look through the Chinese version of Wikipedia (link in the language box in the left pane). It might have a translated version or an equivalent. Adrian M. H. 13:10, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Looking at Sciatic nerve, there is not an interwiki to zh, so it appears that the Chinese editors haven't gotten around to creating the article. zh:神经 may have some relevant info. The PRC government blocks access to Wikipedia, thus dramatically slowing the growth of zh. - BanyanTree 08:05, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Article hits[edit]

How do I see how many views a certain article gets? --Candy-Panda 14:23, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

You cannot. Nobody is counting. Notinasnaid 14:28, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
The functionality exists in the MediaWiki software to count pageviews, but the feature is currently disabled as it impairs the functioning of the site. --Kwekubo 14:32, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
There might be a rough correlation between the number of views of an article and the number of edits in the article's history, or the amount of traffic on the article's talk page. Marieke Guy cites Charles Arthur's claim:
  • The 1% rule suggests that for every 100 people online, one will create content, 10 will "interact" with it (commenting or offering improvements) and the other 89 will just view it.
Thus it might be a good bet that an infrequently-edited article gets proportionately few views. I think that bet improves if the infrequently-edited article contains obvious typos and other deficiencies which cry out for repair. If nobody is making the obvious, easy improvements to an article, we could suspect the article is getting few views.
The claim that "nobody is counting" may slightly contradict the notice on Talk:Wiki, which claims:
Evidently someone is counting views for at least some pages. --Teratornis 18:47, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Policy on contents of userpage[edit]

While cleaning up editing tests, I happened to come across User:AUSwimming, and I couldn't help but feel that this is just someone using Wikipedia as a free web-host. I'm pretty sure there is a policy against it, but I was unable to find it. What to do? --Pekaje 15:24, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:User page tells us what is and is not permitted, but I have thus far found it impossible to locate any advice about how to deal with material that contravenes these guidelines. Sorry I couldn't help further. Adrian M. H. 15:46, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Userpages that violate the guidelines are submitted for deletion at WP:MFD. - Mgm|(talk) 21:07, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, will remember that for future reference. Also, thanks for dealing with the issue. --Pekaje 21:31, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

How do you move/rename a category?[edit]

How do you move/rename a category? Example, "Category:Home schooled people" should be corrected to "Category:Homeschooled people" as it is the accepted word. I know you can move article, but how do you move a category?

Also, How do you alphabetize people in a category? example "Category:Homeschooling" Joshua Harris should be listed under "H" rather then "J". Since the list is auto generated, how would we correct error's like this? Thanks Ncix 15:38, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I think you have to change all the articles' category links manually. A pain if there are a lot of articles. Alphabetising in categories is a mystery to me; I was originally instructed to enter the category link like this: [[Category:Authors|Ellroy, James]] but I have seen that edited on some articles to remove the piped section, which surely defeats correct alphabetisation. The piped method was advised to me when I saw the same occurrence that you have found. I have seen some people using a defaultsort template, but I don't know the details of that. Adrian M. H. 15:51, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
It is best to propose a category move at WP:CFD. If it is agreed to there, someone with an automated script will do the edits needed to carry it out. That is also where unneeded categories are proposed for deletion, and where category merges are discussed. DES (talk) 16:30, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

How to turn a link into text[edit]

How to turn a link into text? i dont want this to appear as a blue link people can click on, i just want it as text (:O) -Nima Baghaei talk · cont 15:45, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Put it in nowiki tags. I have done it to your link by way of example. Adrian M. H. 15:53, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Log In[edit]

I am Jeffrey Newman - truly! The same 'Jeffrey Newman' as made a number of entries in June 2005 - and there is still a user page to prove it. But, I can neither log in, nor register my name. What should I do? 16:07, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

If you supplied an email address when you signed up, you can have the password emailed to you. Dismas|(talk) 16:23, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. Maybe I did not supply an e-mail last time - or the address may have changed. But, I want my identity back and I cannot create a new password because when I try, I am told there is already a user under that name! Further help, please! Thanks for Adrian's response - but can we go further. 16:50, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

title of an article[edit]

I would like to edit the title (name) of an article. How do I do this?Ecorning 16:17, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

See WP:MOVE. Titles can't be changed. The article can only be moved to the correct title. And you have to have your account for at least four days before you can move an article. If your account isn't old enough, see Wikipedia:Requested moves. Dismas|(talk) 16:22, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Endorsements Wikiproject[edit]

I found the Wikiproject on Endorsements a few day ago and can't find where it is now. Can someone wiki-llink the page? --TeckWiz ParlateContribs@(Lets go Yankees!) 16:48, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, if you cannot find the link from your contribs, maybe it was deleted (?). Why don't you try checking the deletion log? Also, about a Wikiproject on Endorsements, I only found this deleted one, please see here for the reason given. Hope this helps PeaceNT 16:55, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I find it funny that the project was deleted exactly when I posted my reply here. PeaceNT 16:59, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Because this of course is how I found it :) I've posted a notice of deletion at WP:ANI; but in the meantime, should it stay deleted, TeckWiz should be told it was a joke, he wouldn't actually get any official endorsement of his RFA. --kingboyk 17:03, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh. I knew it was a joke. I think it was to counter Kelly Martin votes based on the fact that she won't vote support unless the candidate has the approval of a WikiProject. I know it said somewhere that they also do something with AFD. I think it endorsed every candidate up for RFA. --TeckWiz ParlateContribs@(Lets go Yankees!) 17:05, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Right, I think it did. Just a bit of fun but not very productive, which is why I deleted it. I've invited review of my action so it may well reappear shortly, let's wait and see :) Thanks for your understanding. --kingboyk 17:12, 14 April 2007 (UTC)


Hi i was wondergin what <cite> does, thanks! A response or to just to let me know there is one on my tlak page would gbe greatly appreicated thanks!100110100 17:27, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

For the closest thing I know about, see WP:CITE and m:Cite/Cite.php. Echoed to User talk:100110100. --Teratornis 18:18, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I assume that you mean the HTML tag. Adrian M. H. 18:22, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Harding High School[edit]

Good morning. I am 84 years old and would like to do a Wikipedia template but I am limited to remembering all the codes. Do you have anyone that can do the template if I furnish the data and raw materials? {{Jarrial 17:51, 14 April 2007 (UTC)}}

I'd be willing to help you with it, but you should (if you haven't already done so) check that no suitable template exists. Is it for an article about "Harding High School"? If so, I would expect to find some school infoboxes already available. Adrian M. H. 17:55, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
It's also worth doing a search for the subject. these results have no exact match but a couple of very similar titles. Adrian M. H. 17:57, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

User Talk page that seems uneditable[edit]

I would like to open a discourse with User talk:Misterrick, but am unable to edit his page. Please advise. TonyTheTiger (talk/cont/bio) 18:07, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

It seems as User talk:Misterrick has been protected, so that only administrators can edit it, due to vandalism. The best thing to do would be to wait out the protection, and then address the concerns. Chickyfuzz14(user talk) 18:09, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I also just saw that the protection has been in affect since December of 2006, so it seems that it isn't going to go away any time soon. What I would do would be to ask another user that might be able to open a discourse with. Chickyfuzz14(user talk) 18:16, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
The user in question is blocked indefinitely. See [2]. Garion96 (talk) 18:19, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Add an Entry[edit]

I don't see any information about Mia Butler. Can she be added? She is the host of "Movie and a Make Over" on Saturday mornings on TBS.,,1343,00.html —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:23, 14 April 2007 (UTC).

The question is, is she notable? And can the information be attributed appropriately? Adrian M. H. 19:56, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
If those questions above can be answered correctly, and you can have sources, you can create an article on Mia Bulter. First create an account and then follow the guidelines of WP:PERFECT. If you do that, you should have a pretty good article. Before creating the article, make sure she is notable and that the information be attributed appropriately. Thanks! Chickyfuzz14(user talk) 20:07, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Aout bspaceAliens[edit]

The Alien un verse Time line Venicles and planets with thanks to Darrell curtis Eric Adoms and tom Baviour Note Iam a physicsst or an engineer so the information blew is open to inteoporetation and discussion. if you have anything to add please let know preferab with evidence to back your claim up. the Alien was ascience faction film under —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:19, 14 April 2007 (UTC).

  • Have you tried Wikipedia's Reference Desk? They specialize in knowledge questions, and will try to answer any question in the universe (except how to use Wikipedia, since that's what this Help Desk is for). Just follow the link, select the relevant section, and ask away. I hope this helps. - Mgm|(talk) 21:03, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Also see: Typing. --Teratornis 21:16, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I need some help really badly[edit]

Can Some1 Help me i created a page and i named it but then i looked it up and it said it wasn't there what did i do wrong???????????????????????HoneyBeeBABY 21:14, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

See: Wikipedia:Why was my page deleted? --Teratornis 21:17, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Spanish user[edit]

I'd like to be able to edit Spanish articles with my username. I've added to my user page that I'm a near fluent speaker of Spanish, but I am still unable to sign in with my user name and password in Spanish pages. I imagine there is someway to do that without developing another user name, but I don't know what it is.Sjmcfarland 22:21, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I suppose you mean the Spanish Wikipedia? You have to create a separate username there. When (and if) the developers get the m:Unified login working, that won't be a problem, but until then, all the language Wikipedias are independent of each other in terms of logging in. x42bn6 Talk 22:24, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Also be aware that has slightly different policies, but you can create an account by going to es:Especial:Userlogin. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 22:25, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Definition of newbie on wikipedia[edit]

Hi, I was wondering, in the context of [3] what is meant by the word "newbie"? WP:NEWBIE and WP:NEWBIES do not define the term — Jack · talk · 22:56, Saturday, 14 April 2007

I think it's their first contribution that gets listed there, in which case the term would refer to new accounts that have not yet made other contributions. Picking some of those contribs at random suggests that this is the case. Adrian M. H. 23:06, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Nope, I initially thought that, but I've seen people logged there after over fifty edits, and my 24hour theory fell through too — Jack · talk · 23:19, Saturday, 14 April 2007
Suggest asking at WP:VPT. ViridaeTalk 23:23, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Could it just be users without their autoconfirmed flags?--VectorPotentialTalk 23:26, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
If you find out, post it here. I'm curious now.... Could it be four days, perhaps? (Which would tie in with the ability to move pages). Adrian M. H. 23:29, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
According to User:MaxSem, "newbies are those who registered among last 1% of users." Which certainly sounds plausible — Jack · talk · 13:16, Sunday, 15 April 2007
Thanks, Jack. Adrian M. H. 15:56, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

How do you make a disambiguation page[edit]

How do I create a disambiguation page that will link several articles?

See: User:John Broughton/Editor's Index to Wikipedia#Dis. --Teratornis 01:00, 15 April 2007 (UTC)