Wikipedia:If you could re-write the rules

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If you could re-write the rules of Wikipedia, what would your new rule-set consist of?

Post your responses on this page. Don't be afraid; this is a wiki!

(Consider this page to be a constitutional convention, completely irrelevant, or anywhere in between). I want the insight of everyone, and I want some varying opinions. If you're not sure whether or not to post something, post it.

MessedRocker's Rules[edit]

This probably won't cover every nook and cranny, but should I overlook anything, I would hope that these rules would inspire the rest. This also delves a bit into community practices which are not necessarily rules.

  1. Have Fun - The true guiding principle of an encyclopedia written by a bunch of people on a website. The Internet should be fun, not just a re-enactment of the misery of real life. This also means that we need to stop being such hardasses over people who don't always spend their time doing encyclopedic things, since those are the things people like doing (and then they'll feel obliged to contribute in return).
    I can't believe how many people lose sight of this. For a website that doesn't pay its volunteers, lighten up. bibliomaniac15 20:49, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  2. Break rules if you have to - This is an alternate wording to "Ignore all rules", because I don't think that conveys the point properly.
  3. Don't be a jerk - In inevitable conversation, avoid demonizing or being overly pedantic, etc. I have violated this rule at least once. (I am sorry, Centrx).
  4. Neutral point of view would stay the same, as would Verifiability (under the caveat that different sources can be reliable for different things).
  5. Some original research allowed - Only when everyone with a functioning brain would come to the same conclusion. Otherwise, let's have Wikipedia continue to be a passive relay of existing knowledge.
  6. No pre-emptive blocks - they give Wikipedia a bad reputation, and they really shun the culture of letting people participate. Really, how would you like to blocked because you violated some social custom you didn't know about? I'd feel like the guy who whistled at the wrong woman.
  7. Template messages should seem like natural text - Personally I would be in favor of getting rid of template messages entirely, but that would be annoying. Let's compromise by making them look like actual messages someone would post.
  8. Stop obsessing over MySpacers, as we have pejoratively labeled them because Lord Almighty forbid people enjoy using a website to socialize. No, this is Wikipedia. This is serious motherfucking business, and don't you forget it, or I will condemn you to live in New Jersey. (Greatly sorry, New Jersey.) End this prosecution of victimless crime, because for all you know they might be interested in doing some actual work once they've been acculturated to Wikipedia. This is relevant because I know of a website where they allow all sorts of fun and socializing, and it has only encouraged me to participate on the real work).
  9. Hyphens! - Sorry, I had to say something. Hyphens are on my keyboard; the two varieties of dashes are not.
    They are, they just require between 3 and 5 keypresses depending on your OS :) -- Gurch (talk) 13:53, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
  10. Implement then evaluate - All this hardcore discussion before we change any part of our policies or procedures is pretty hypocritical. If we had such a discussion when founding Wikipedia, it would have never been made. Since most things are reversible, it is a better idea to try something and then see if something is good not just on paper but in practice.

I can't think of anything else right now. Please, I want other people's input. If I was the only one writing rules, you would absolutely despise my incumbency as a legislator.

(As an aside, that comment left by that banned user was greatly amusing. I enjoyed reading it. Too bad s/he's banned.)

That was Moulton. Believe me, now you've got his attention I dare say you'll be hearing a lot more than you ever wanted to hear about the Evil Conspiracy against him in which everyone involved behaves Just Like The Nazis in their attempts to stifle his advocacy of the Pre Hammurabic System. (Or maybe he's against the PHC and Wikipedia and the Nazis are for it – I don't think anyone's ever read one of his posts all the way through to find out.) If you're really lucky, he'll share some of his song lyrics with you. – iridescent 02:23, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Addshore's Rules[edit]

I will just start simple and slowly add things as I go along. I agree with nearly all of MessedRocker's rules.

  1. Common Sense Yes we all should have it but do we all use it? Not only that but should we use more common sense with wiki related tasks? An example that I got told was "penis article dosn't need 200+ images".
    I think that's what IAR is supposed to be (but rarely is) -- Gurch (talk) 20:16, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

As I said I will continue to add things here if I think of them. ·Add§hore· Talk/Cont 11:32, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Reyk's rules[edit]

  1. Take some pride in your work. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia created as a collaborative effort by normal people. It was never intended to emerge into the world as a perfect, complete thing; it is part of the whole Wikipedia philosophy that an imperfect article is to be fixed if possible, rather than destroyed or not written in the first place. But that is no excuse for lazy, slipshod work! The whole world can see what we contribute and judges us more favourably on ten good articles than a hundred terrible ones. Strive to be as careful, thorough and professional as you can. Take some pride in your work.
  2. So go and do it!- In AfD discussions, the phrase "Keep and clean up" shall henceforth be taken to mean "Keep, and I volunteer to clean it up" rather than the current meaning of "Keep. I'll never touch it and odds are nobody else will, but I won't suffer it to be deleted so stick that in your pipe and smoke it you evil deletionist!" Those who violate this rule shall be whacked with a wet trout and the article summarily deleted.
    • Whilst I wholeheartedly agree that anyone opining an ordinary editoral action in an AFD discussion should do so only if xe is prepared to perform that action xyrself using xyr own ordinary editing tools, I disagree with the implied notion of using AFD as a hammer. AFD is not cleanup. It isn't a way to get articles cleaned up according to some arbitrary timetable imposed by editors who (in an ironic similarity to the above) are unwilling to actually edit the articles themselves, or do cleanup themselves, or do research themselves, and who nominate articles effectively as a demand that other editors do all of the work for them, whilst they do no work at all themselves, not even a simple search for sources. AFD is not a hammer for hitting editors with. It is not a way for editors to whip other editors into writing for them. Wikipedia:Reward board is the way to get other editors to fix things that one wants to be fixed. "Put your money where your cleanup templates are!", perhaps.

      So if you want a better rule, I suggest a more neutral rule, that doesn't involve namecalling (even namecalling in supposedly reported speech): Writing the encyclopaedia is not Somebody Else's Problem. Indeed, you'll find your idea already written up in that form, without the namecalling that you used, at Wikipedia:Somebody Else's Problem.

      (There's a more generalized aspect to it, not addressed in that essay. Maybe I'll get around to writing a page on it one of these days. For more on this, see User talk:Uncle G#Wikipedia:Somebody Else's Problem.) Uncle G (talk) 03:24, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Richard0612's rules[edit]

  1. Think! Before doing anything, think critically and assess whether doing it would be a net benefit to WP. Imagine if someone else did it, and you were asked to comment, what would you say - and be objective! This may only take a few seconds, but it may save quite a bit of time in clearing up messes.
  2. Don't put process above product. In essence, don't do something purely because 'the rules say so'. If you can see that doing it would benefit some(thing|one), do it! Nearly everything can be undone, and while it's best to make the right decision in the first place, making the wrong one and undoing it is preferable to sitting through a week or so of needless bureaucracy!

Iridescent's rules[edit]

  1. Massively streamline the MOS and codify what's left. Go through the MOS from top to bottom. Remove anything contradictory (if we say different things in different places, that implies there isn't a consensus on the matter). Remove anything that doesn't absolutely need to be there – do we really need a policy on when to use the unicode ½ character and when to use the {{frac|1|1|2}} template? Merge all the subpages into a single page. If this page comes in at over 100kb in length, pare it down some more. Once we're down to a few key guidelines that everyone agrees are necessary, give that the force of policy. Create a deliberately difficult RFA-style WP:Requests to amend the MOS for any proposed change or addition to it. There are some circumstances where "anyone can edit" doesn't mean "anyone should edit", and this is one of them.
  2. Create a new Userright:Limitedsysop, allowing users to delete pages less than 24h old with fewer than 10 revisions; block accounts with fewer than 50 edits; semi (but not full) protect pages for a period of up to 24 hours. Give this right automatically to any account over six months old with 2000 edits and a clean block log, and via an informal rollback-style process for anyone not meeting the above criteria. Six months after gaining Limitedsysop (e.g., after a year's activity in most cases), accounts are automatically submitted to RFA unless they choose to opt out. Should the powers be misused, any "full" admin can withdraw the right at any time, as is currently the case with rollback.
    The former would mean that commentators at RFA would have concrete examples of a user's behaviour (or misbehaviour) with admin tools to judge in the RFA instead of relying on "seems trustworthy/untrustworthy", whilst avoiding the blanked granting of undelete powers the Foundation has ruled against; the latter would avoid the twin problems of "Support, I like the nominator" and "Oppose, self-nom"; it would also end the "how can I find suitable candidates" issue.
  3. All admins/crats are automatically desysopped after 12 months and resysopped 3 months after that. This would break up cabals (or the perception of cabals) and force the "policy wonk" admins who (rightly or wrongly) are accused of losing touch with the content creators to periodically see things from the other side. I'd enforce this all the way through the pyramid with the exception of the developers, up to and including the checkusers, arbcom and Jimbo.
  4. Abolish WP:COI as a policy. A conflict-of-interest policy is fundamentally incompatible with a system that relies on anonymous editing. All it does is penalise users with a possible COI who try to be helpful by admitting who they are. Our editors (and readers) are intelligent enough to work out for themselves if an article is biased and fix it where necessary.
  5. Abolish A7, A9 and possibly G11 as speedy deletion reasons. Speedy deletion is fine for vandalism, attack pages and copyright violations; for anything else, there's no need for it. It does the project no harm to include a non-notable biography/band/company for five days, and {{prod}} tagging is no harder than {{db}} tagging for either the tagger or the deleting admin. New users don't understand the minutiae of Wikipedia and don't know about userspace sandboxes; plenty of perfectly viable articles start life as one-line stubs with no assertion of notability. (There's quite a good current example here of an article speedy-tagged after two minutes which is currently growing into a perfectly viable article.) Having been on the receiving end of this myself when I first started, I know how dispiriting it is to have an article on a topic you know is notable, speedy deleted because you don't yet understand Wikipedia's policies on sourcing. I stayed around, learned the policies and resubmitted the article in a viable form, but how many thousands of others have written an article, seen it deleted, thought "screw this site" and moved on elsewhere? (I don't say this as an obsessive inclusionist, but as someone who's deleted almost 3000 pages.)
    This and the alienation of more social users is probably the biggest problem with Wikipedia. Brilliantly stated. —harej // be happy 20:29, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
    Ditto - see Oscar Werner Tiegs for example. Peet Ern (talk) 12:28, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  6. Work out once and for all what our image policy is, getting a foundation ruling if necessary. NFCC probably causes more grief than any other policy. Either we allow fair use, or we don't. Once we have a policy (as opposed to a "guideline"), enforce it with no exceptions.
    Surely a foundation ruling is the last thing we want – it's only because of one of those that we even have NFCC in the first place -- Gurch (talk) 20:13, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
    I might not have been entirely clear; what I mean is that the foundation should either shit or get off the pot when it comes to non-free content. Either issue a once-and-for-all "free use only, no exceptions" ruling and delete every fair-use file (or abolish Wikipedia file hosting altogether and only allow Commons images and soundfiles); or, spend some of that $6 million on hiring someone with a professional knowledge of copyright law to assess the validity of DMCA takedown notices as they come, and quit relying on volunteers and dubiously-scripted bots to preemptively patrol anything that might be zOMG unfree!!1! – iridescent 15:56, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    Given their budget for legal expenses, I think that's what they are doing; I don't think the problem is as much Wikimedia, who employ a lawyer and, one presumes, already take action in the event of DMCA takedown requests or legal threats of any substance, but rather Defenders of the Wiki who decide to take the matter into their own hands -- Gurch (talk) 16:08, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    In which case, get a statement to that effect. Disable all the tag-bots and warn the taggers that it's down to them to prove a copyright violation before they tag something, with none of this "possibly unfree image" weasel-wording. Either something is a copyright or it isn't. Even if it is, the number of photographers who'll complain about their work being used legitimately on the Eighth Most Powerful Website In The World™ is minimal; most of them will be more than happy with the free publicity and just want a picture credit. – iridescent 17:24, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  7. Abolish pre-emptive blocking completely unless there's a very good reason. While I've seen others griping about it before, this incident drove home to me just how arbitrary "edits from a similar IP" is as a reason to block. Our numbers of regular contributors and new account creations are declining; we can't afford to drive users away for "hasn't done anything but might be a sockpuppet" reasons like this.

More to follow if I think of them…

bibliomaniac15's rules[edit]

  1. Split out bot flagging to the BAG. It still remains a conundrum why the people who know about bots can't actually flag them.
  2. Allow crats to desysop/decrat. Another sort of common sense-based rule.
  3. Streamline MOS, create "for dummies" primer. The MOS has reached the proportions of a legal document, and accordingly requires someone with the skills of a lawyer to actually remember.
  4. Don't over-obsess over "Myspacing." That doesn't mean we totally ignore it. But I think fun and socializing to a limit is actually useful as a tool for bringing in and keeping new users.
  5. The process is not broken. RFA cannot do anything in itself. What type of interview doesn't ask questions of a potential employee? The problem is that people oppose just because, not because there is anything that would actually put doubt on one's ability as an admin. People want to look for a scapegoat without implicating themselves, and so we have come to blaming the process when it doesn't actually have an "autofail" setting. If I wrote a program to find the first 100 prime numbers and all I got was one, I wouldn't blame the programming language for screwing it up. I would check to see what I inputted. Our criteria for RFA is trust and judgment, because as our superrule is IAR, we must prime and judge our admin potentials to have the trust and judgment to fully do it.
    In simpler words: RFA isn't broken, people are broken. —harej // be happy 20:28, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  6. Expand G1. One of the things that really bug me is people badgering others over an incorrect use of "patent nonsense," especially on venues like RFA. My solution is just to remove the "patent." If it's a hoax, delete it. If it makes no sense, or is just out of place in an encyclopedia in any form, delete it. Nonsense of any kind has no place here.
    • Hoaxes cannot be determined to be hoaxes (unless they are blatantly obvious vandalism) without the review of many pairs of eyes from around the world. It's unsafe to leave such a determination to one person. No editor knows the sum total of human knowledge. That has been explained in many ways, in many places, again and again. Please read all of the many times that this has been explained. Uncle G (talk) 04:18, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  7. Vandals are not allowed to remove warnings from their talk. I have no idea when this idea came in vogue either, but it lengthens the lifespan of the crafty vandal. Unless the user clears it with the person who left the warning, their history needs to be fully visible.
      • It has never not been in vogue. Uncle G (talk) 04:18, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    • Never ever? Would you at least allow archiving? Also what about warnings from those who are subsequently blocked for disruption, how would one get them to agree that their incorrect warning should go? ϢereSpielChequers 16:01, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
      • I fixed it to be specific to vandalism. As for it being in vogue, it was a very slow change, but I noticed it right around the middle of 2007. Before, a vandal removing warnings would have all their warnings restored with an additional one. Then, right around when I became an admin, I started to notice that they were starting to be allowed to remove warnings from their talk page as part of their "talk page rights." I think that's fairly silly. bibliomaniac15 22:00, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
  8. Flagged revisions. Why it isn't here yet, I have no idea.
    • Because it's a change to the configuration of the wiki software itself that will result in significant changes to the way that we maintain articles, that requires thoughtful discussion rather than just charging ahead like bulls, and that (like all such changes) requires evidence that the community backs it before developers will be willing to enact it. Uncle G (talk) 04:18, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  9. Destroy the idols. In an earlier age, many rules were introduced to facilitate the building of our encyclopedia. However, I have seen far too often their use as idols the equivalent of, or even greater than, our central mission of building an encyclopedia. We must strip them of all religious mystique, those rules such as NPOV, BLP, 3RR, OR, and CIVIL. I don't call for any of them to be completely overthrown, but they have just turned into fetishes held as a way to promote one's own interests.

Garden's rules[edit]

Now, because I am the most unoriginal person on the planet (or not far off, anyway) most of these will be virtually identical to those above. I agree with most of the ones up at present but not all of them; some strike me as a bit savage and some aren't savage enough. Trust me, most fall into the former category.

Anyways...

  1. Having fun is not illegal. As much as it hurts me to say it, users can't focus on the cold, hard editing side of this encyclopedia forever. Would you read a Stephen King book from cover to cover without so much as a wink of sleep? Ok, bad example, but you see what I mean. Of course, no editing altogether and using Wikipedia as a weird sort of Facebook or something is really quite stupid in numerous ways but we needn't look at it through a sniper scope.
  2. Kill COI once and for all. Basically what Iridescent said. We have Huggle now. Biased edits are gone in fractions of seconds. Sure, we get false positives, but these are easily fixed nine times out of ten.
    Er... you do know that's not at all what Huggle is for, right? -- Gurch (talk) 13:51, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
    Should be. Perhaps a new program needs to come out. Garden. 12:28, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
    Actually, what the fuck was I thinking? Garden. 12:37, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
  3. BAG flagging. Bibliomanic's first rule. Pure common sense this one. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone when I say I genuinely thought this was already possible.
  4. A new Userright for deleting new pages, blocking obviously vandalism-only accounts and semi pages for limited periods of time. Yes, this is precisely what Iridescent said. I would also use the same revokable/RfA caveats that she did. I did say I wasn't original. I have however been pondering this for a while and have come to the conclusion it would be an ideal solution for numerous situations.
  5. RfA should be age-limited, perhaps for those 16 and upwards. (Wow, that's really hypocritical.) I have nothing against the odd Anonymous Dissident coming along to RfA once in a blue moon, but users that can't even spell administrator really shouldn't have extra tools than those who can. I am absolutely against ageism (as are most people my age, lol.) but you must discern that many of the world's 12-year-olds aren't really fit to administrate the eighth-biggest website in the world. Also the legal shite that most people complain about. But yeah, young generally equals immature, and immature generally equals no adminship. Or it should.
    Or how about we forget about the age limit and instead only give the pass to mature people, so that we can have mature children and not have immature adults. —harej // change the rules 18:11, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
    Agreed wholeheartedly, people who act immature or who are otherwise obviously lacking in necessary competence should have their RFAs NOTNOWed.--Ipatrol (talk) 23:20, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
  6. Common sense = good. ARGH. The amount of loopholes people can find in the guidelines here is amazing. Use your frigging brains, people. Even those of you with no common sense, like me.  :D

More will probably be added later.

mattbuck's rules[edit]

  1. Commons rules your ass - get used to it.

Realist2[edit]

  • Certain BLP rules would also apply to biographies of dead people. We want classy articles on people, not a criminal record or tabloid smut.
  • Biographies of people (living and dead) would be indefinitely semi protected.
    These two raise an issue that I haven't seen satisfactorily dealt with yet: How do you rigidly define what is and is not a biography of a person? A vague definition isn't really enough because an article would either have to be semi-protected under the policy, or not, it can't be half and half. So what would be done for historical figures from several millennia ago? Semi-legendary figures that may or may not have even been alive? Completely mythical figures that may nevertheless have been based upon real ones? Fictional people that are 'properties' of corporations? Articles about aspects of people rather than the people themselves? Articles about groups of people? Articles that aren't about a person at all but nonetheless mention facts about people? Articles about organizations that are made up of people? Articles about corporations, which are run by people? Articles about places, which are inhabited by people? See the problem yet? -- Gurch (talk) 13:04, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
    Ow, sorry Gurch, I didn't realize people were allowed to comment on other peoples "rules". It's a bit late for me now, but I'll happily respond to this in the next 24 hours. You should have poked my talk page. :-) — Realist2 03:03, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Controversy and criticism sections would not exist.
  • No one likes a genre warrior, the infobox of music articles would not contain a genre section.
  • I would ban linking to myspace and youtube.
  • I would ban external link sections.
  • I would liberally blacklist shitty forums and unreliable sites.
  • I would split out admin tools.
  • I would sort out WP:AN and WP:ANI, making one simply page.
  • User's would not be able to remove talk page warnings. It's amazing how much longer a long term vandal lasts by removing warnings. If a warning is a mistake, the issuer can strike it out.
  • Scrap 3RR, it tends to catch newbies off guard (newbies just don't read policy) and is applied differently in different circumstances. A more general "edit war" policy needs introducing. Continually removing unsourced information is not edit warring.
  • Newbies would not be allowed to create new articles, sorry, I work with music, it's a nightmare.

Rgoodermote's Rules[edit]

  • If it works, let it be. It isn't the process merely the person
  • AN/I and AN are not for personal complaints. (unless it is serious)
  • When everyone tells you that you are wrong. You are wrong.
See Don't be a dick on Meta. "If you've been labeled as a dick, especially if you have been told this by several people in a particular community, it might be wise to consider the possibility that it is true." Thor Malmjursson (talk) 18:27, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah I know. But I like how I said it. :) Rgoodermote  15:10, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Lighten up, you are not getting paid for this. So don't take it like you are.
Maybe that's why we behave like we are getting paid for it. If we acted like we weren't, people would quickly lose interest in this place. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 18:27, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Racism, sexism, genderism (too lazy to find out the real name), homophobia and in general hate will result in immediate block. We don't need you spreading your message of hate.
  • Youtube, Myspace and blogs are not sources!
  • It's only COI if you are writing like it is an advertisement board.
  • If you are under 18, you aren't posting your photo here.
Agreed, wholeheartedly! This should already be a policy. Why isn't it policy? Thor Malmjursson (talk) 18:29, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps because not everyone here is obsessed with "protecting" (read, ordering around) people who are often more mature than those doing the "protecting" -- Gurch (talk) 12:55, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Nice one. That does tend to be true about 90% of the time. But, I still have a problem with minors posting images of themselves. We have a lot of people who like to out people and it would be horrible for them to out a minor that was editing here. Rgoodermote  13:31, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  • A fake yellow bar is only appropriate on April 1st. Any other day and it is annoying.
  • If you ignore the new message. You are held responsible for what may occur.
  • You've found the lost city of Atlantis. Now stop digging your you're only going to make it worse.
  • If you can edit at AN or ANI. It's a safe bet you are not blocked. So don't ask.
  • A threat is a threat. Report it!
  • Let's just be friends
  • We know it is the Internet. But please use a spellchecker (I.E. Firefox)
  • Your opinion matters. As long as you make sense.
  • There is no such thing as a designated editor. So sober up before you edit!
That already is on here - see Editing under the Influence Thor Malmjursson (talk) 18:27, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Again, I prefer my title. It's a lot more witty. Rgoodermote  15:10, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Slow down on the video game articles and start working on the mathematics articles we have 109 video game featured articles and 17 mathematics featured articles.
You can't direct people as to what they can and cannot edit. There is no point in someone who knows diddly about Mathematics editing a maths article, is there? :) Thor Malmjursson (talk) 18:27, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, but you would think with a million geeks we would have a lot of mathmatics articles. Rgoodermote  15:10, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  • If you know it is going to cause drama. Don't bring it up.
  • Argue in your emails. Talk in the Wiki. If you can't. Leave.
If its an argument you need to bring up on wiki, you need to bring it up on wiki. Just don't turn it into an all out war :) Thor Malmjursson (talk) 18:27, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Tea and Biscuits should be the last warning. If you deny the tea and biscuits..you are banned.

Yeah, I know. Not rules more like essays I hope some one writes some day. Rgoodermote  02:41, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Majorly's rules[edit]

  • Editors who are continuously miserable put a downer on the atmosphere - until they can learn to work with others positively, they should either remove themselves from the project, or be banned if they cannot co-operate. If someone is not enjoying editing Wikipedia, they should stop editing it. People are here out of choice, and it seems nonsensical to come here if they're just going to go round in a grumpy mood all day, spoiling other people's leisure time.
  • Abolish RFA and split the tools up. Grant via a rollback like process, and give admins ability to remove. Remove admins' rights after they are inactive for three months, or after a community vote if there is abuse.
  • Abolish 3RR as a useless concept.
  • Allow articles to be rated by the most important people on this website - its readers. Abolish FAs and GAs, and all other kinds of class of article, which are essentially badge-gaining exercises. What's wrong with improving articles for no reward at the end? Allow the readers to rate the article, and the result is shown somewhere which gives people an idea of the quality.
    • Some of those things probably motivate people to write. Who doesn't want to have a star on their user page? Of course, there should also be a mechanism in place by the readers. —harej // change the rules 18:16, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Ban the use of plain external links [1] (like that) in main prose (one of my pet hates).
  • All regular editors should have a userpage.
    Why? -- Gurch (talk) 13:49, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
    Rightly or wrongly, a red userpage makes the person look like a brand new user. A redirect or blank page would be fine, just better than the red. I don't like seeing red. Especially in default sigs. Majorly talk 14:50, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
    The problem with encouraging that is that it makes people associate 'userpage' = 'experienced user'. RC patrollers are particularly prone to this. And the situation there is bad enough as it is; several persistent vandals have learnt to create user and talk pages for their socks before using them maliciously -- Gurch (talk) 15:57, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
    Unless I know of the user (e.g. User:JzG, User:Badger Drink), I assume a red page user is new. It's prejudiced I know, but that's how it is for me personally. I did say regular editors should create a userpage, not every user. Most do anyway. Majorly talk 17:36, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
    What about some sort of thing like autoconfirmed for userpage creation?  :D Garden. 12:41, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
    • I suggest un-learning that prejudice, rather than trying to force its effects onto other people. I've been around a … cough … fair while on Internet, and I knew the perils of personal information on WWW pages long before Wikipedia even existed. User:Uncle G/On having a user page came up when I was nominated for administratorship. When, much later, people here experienced problems with stalkers that resulted in their having to delete their user pages, I resisted the temptation to say "I told you so.". Don't force people into a bad move simply because you want the colour red in an edit history or a log to mean something other than what it does mean: which is simply that a page linked-to does not exist. Uncle G (talk) 04:36, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
      • Yes, I read your essay before, and it's a good one. But userpages, as I explain above, do not need any personal information on them. A blank page, a redirect - or even, just not mentioning any personal information on it would work. I simply dislike the broken link, the fact when it is clicked it causes the user page to go to edit mode, and it is a nowhere near as nice colour as blue is :-) Majorly talk 10:02, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Delete Template:Talkback.
  • Ban the use of double spaced sentences. Yes, really. Annoying aren't they?
    Not at all. HTML studiously ignores them when rendering :) Stifle (talk) 12:27, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
    It doesn't ignore them in the source code though. Majorly talk 14:50, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Change the standard skin to Modern - it's neater than monobook imo. Userpages that have a banner on the top made in monobook look just dreadful in Modern :-(
  • Accept that IRC exists, is used, and is abused on occasion, but it isn't evil, and it is going to part of the project for a long, long time. There's nothing that can be done about it.
  • RFA is not broken, people are. No more perennial suggestions please!
  • Rename the Main Page to something out of article space.
  • Learn that Wikipedia is not just an encyclopedia, and meta discussion is, in fact allowed. No more "Go and write an encyclopedia!" comments in discussions please.
  • Discussions to ban disruptive users are not "lynch mobs". Anyone found calling it that will be banned forthwith :-)
  • Polls are not evil, people complaining about them are.
  • Editors of all ages are as welcome as each other, as long as they're a net positive. No ageism allowed!
  • Every admin should be a bureaucrat. Bureaucratship is not a big deal, and it would be even less so if they could reverse themselves with promotions.
    • I actually think the problem is that b'crats don't really have many rights. I would support giving 'crats the globalblock-whitelist right and removal of 'crat and admin groups right to start.--Ipatrol (talk) 23:12, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Peachey88[edit]

These are not so much proposed rules, but proposals to the pre-exising systems so they work better.

  1. Simpler style guidelines
    1. Cleanup MoS so is easier to understand for less advanced editors.
    2. Reduce the number of subpages so content is easier to find
    3. Have a common place for style guidelines (for example some WikiProjects store their own in their place and some contradict MoS standards)
  2. Make sure standards/documents don't contradict each other. An example of that is
    1. WP:MOSNUM » "the first occurrence of each unit should be linked"
    2. WP:OVERLINK » "It is generally not necessary to link... Plain English words, including common units of measurement".
    3. A example of this issue can be seen at Wikipedia:ANI#Possible Lightbot Problem (Perma Link)
  3. Define some of the documentation meanings. Some of examples of this inculde:
    1. "Common English"
      1. What is common english?.
      2. This "common english" could/would/does easier differ on the country its being taught in.
      3. For example its common for me just to refer the temperature as 22 but that's not common in America because they use a different system, or i use the letter M for meters where as some locations don't and write it out fully.
  4. Reduce locations of noticeboards for different matters (For example it can be hard for some less advanced users to find the correct one and they default to AN)
    Some of the noticeboards that i quickly found for users lodging complaints:
    1. Wikipedia:Wikiquette alerts aka WP:WQA
    2. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents aka WP:ANI
    3. Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard aka WP:AN
  5. Standardize Usernames for certain things. A example for this would be:
    1. Bots » Most have the world in their username but some don't (Easier to notice on Recent Changes/Page Watchlist)
  6. Common sense when it comes to images. Sure a article does look nice with images but don't overload it and lay them out nicely.
    For example:
    1. Don't go overboard, eg: as my IRC quote has already been shown by AddShore "The penis article doesn't need like 200+ images/examples" Sure it might benefit for a image or two and maybe a diagram but it doesn't need much more than that.
    2. But there is a free version, we should use that instead. Free isn't always better, If theres a Fair Use image that identifies that image subject better than a Public Domain/GFDL one, i'm all up for using it.
    3. Layout the images nicely, eg: (This) looks worse than (This). Don't be afraid to move them into different sections, place them different sides of the page or even thumbnail them so they appear smaller.
  7. Ban the whole "Unwritten Rules" system, it just causes more problems and issues than its worth

Caulde's rules[edit]

  • CHU clerks to get new right(s) to rename – the task is ridiculously simple and shouldn't be limited to just 'crats. Most clerks are well-experienced administrators and are aware of the relevant 'unwritten guidelines' which could be violated.
  • Username flagging – implement a bot to automatically block all usernames which are deemed unacceptable after a 48 hour period (the time would begin after the leaving of a note regarding that on the respective user's talk page).
  • Cross-wiki administration – allow all admins on commons and meta to automatically be administrators on the English Wikipedia.
    And vice-versa? -- Gurch (talk) 12:59, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
    Possibly. Commons would need an admin who is very familiar with image policy, though. Caulde 14:13, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
    And Wikipedia would need an admin who is very familiar with its policies, too. You can't have it one way and not the other -- Gurch (talk) 14:15, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
    Meta is fairly interchangeable with the English Wikipedia, whereas Commons admins have preference to working with images – most of the time, so I wouldn't see a reason why they would wish to change that. Caulde 18:10, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
    So you'd give just Meta administrators adminship on this project? Or give Commons administrators adminship but only allow them to do image work? Or something else? -- Gurch (talk) 19:30, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
    That's right for the meta administrators, however, for commons' they would have to be familiar with Wikipedia-specific policies as they are already familiar with so-called "etiquette" policies or what have you on commons. This would only be done upon request though and only stewards would enable the flagging of +sysop on the wiki, it would be quick and simple without the need for an RfA - only questions "proving" some kind of familiarity with process here will be asked to the user, no supports/opposes that sort of thing - but don't listen to me if you don't want to, this is just a wacky idea. Caulde 20:10, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Contacting users – encourage users to set up a dedicated email account for Wikipedia-related activities; it cuts out all that about "How do you know my name?".
  • Remove future-class – seems entirely obsolete to me; though I haven't seen the discussion regarding that yet.
  • Bureaucratic powers – ditto what Biblio says above; I can't see a reason why not to.
  • Deletion policy preservation – Leave policy on article deletion as it is, there is nothing wrong with it; unless any future situation(s) may require amendments.
  • Sourcing significance – delete all articles without any sourcing, even if the event/place/person/thing is well-known.
  • May add more soon. Caulde 17:57, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Juliancolton's rules[edit]

  • Delete all articles lacking sourcesJuliancolton Tropical Cyclone 20:35, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
    • Agree, sorry folks, but I do. — Realist2 03:08, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
      • Deleting articles that lack sources is already Wikipedia:Deletion policy. You mean deletion of articles that don't cite sources. That's a very different thing. Careless conflation of the two has caused many problems for novices in understanding our policies and guidelines over the years. Uncle G (talk) 04:50, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
        • Actually, I meant the article itself. Regardless of sources available, I believe that pages without citations should be dealt with properly, aside from simply sticking an ugly tag on it. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone

Patton123's rule[edit]

  • Make abuse of WP:POINT bannable it's "do not disrupt wikipedia to make a point", not "do not make a point". The amount of times I've seen people interpret it the altter way is unbelievable.--Pattont/c 23:17, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
[citation needed] – iridescent 23:26, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Res2216firestar's rules[edit]

  1. "Second chance" unblock I would allow blocked users a guaranteed second chance to be a good editor with an unblock, but if the bad faith editing or vandalism returned, the block would be back with no more chances.
  2. Lower the threshold to pass an RfA The current 70-75% support threshold is too high, it should be lowered to 60-65%.
  3. More encouragement for new users to learn about editing Wikipedia (formerly, "More restrictions on anon editing.) Here's an idea, let's put a big notice on top of the editing box for IPs and new users saying something like "Welcome to Wikipedia! Here are some pages to help you get started." Also move the link to the sandbox to above the edit box for new users and IPs. This would discourage test edits and help new users get started, and encourage IP editors to register an account.

Most of the comments below are about a proposal that is no longer listed here.

    • Why? -- Gurch (talk) 23:07, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
      • Scratch that, I just generally think that IP editors are hard to distinguish between, not password protected, are the main source of vandalism, and therefore should have more restrictions.--Res2216firestar 21:03, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
        • True, but it seems odd to impose restrictions only on constructive contributors. Also, while anonymous users are the main source of vandalism, that doesn't mean it would go away if further restrictions were imposed. You could ban all anonymous editing, but that would just make new users the main source of vandalism, and so on -- Gurch (talk) 21:06, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
            • Just IPs in general, I mean. I also think that a lot of vandalism is from people who want a quick spot on a popular website, and vandalism would go down if some well-placed restrictions were imposed. Res2216firestar 21:13, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
        • The problem is that that preconception is just wrong. There have been studies in the past concluding that editors without accounts are in fact the majority source of all of our content. See also Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive501#Anhydrobiosis, where all of the editors without accounts were constructive contributors, quietly improving the encyclopaedia, all being reverted by the editor with an account. This situation is not unique. Uncle G (talk) 05:01, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Thought up a new proposal relating to the old one, check it out and let me know what you think.--Res2216firestar 19:10, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Responding to Uncle G, my proposition was not based on the preconception you mentioned, I did not say that IPs are mainly the source of vandalism, I said that IPs are the main source of vandalism. I thoroughly believe that with enough thought and discussion, we can find a way to discourage vandalism while not discouraging constructive contributors.--Res2216firestar 19:23, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  1. "IPBlock" userright Many are saying that more admin functions should be opened to non-admins. One I would like to see is a userright allowing editors with the right to block vandalism-only IPs with less than +/- 50 or so edits for 24 hours or less.

I will think up more and add them.

Iceflow's Rules (Amended)[edit]

  • Administration Rights

Any user with at least 2 years worth of service (editing, article creation, participation in main and/or wikispace) to Wikipedia will automatically be offered the Administrator flag. They do not have to accept it, of course, but potentially, this solves the issue of RfA currently being an obstacle course which very few people ever finish.

Wouldn't this just encourage people to not mark their edits as minor? -- Gurch (talk) 12:57, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I hadn't thought of that, but I am prepared to amend that rule. See above. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 18:06, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, I'm not sure about that one, it would solve the RfA problem, but it might would encourage people to just edit to become admins.--Res2216firestar 21:08, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

  • ArbCom

ArbCom would be increased from one team to two, to allow them to carry out their work more efficiently and to save them becoming bogged down in their decisions.

  • Flagged Revisions

Flagged Revisions would never, ever, get implemented here. Too long winded, too off putting and exceptionally discouraging to new editors.

  • Bot Licensing

Every editor wishing to use any form of bot on Wikipedia would be required to pay a usage fee to assist with the fact that when they go wrong, sometimes a lot of work is involved in cleaning up the fact that they went wrong, and the botmaster is not always in a position to clean up the issues the bot creates. The usage fee would go toward the WMF's financial funds.

How much? -- Gurch (talk) 12:57, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
$39.95 (or local equivalent) - This would apply to all Wikipedias, not just en. That would reduce the amount of donation required in the donation drive. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 18:06, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, I'll humor you. Wikipedia:Bots/Status lists 187 active bots. That page is rather inaccurate but I'll take that as an approximation; any increase in that number as a result of it being out of date is more than countered by the fact that if there was such a policy in place everyone who had a bot account would only have one rather than making a new one for every task. So assuming everyone pays up, that gives you $7470.65. That reduces the required donation amount from $6,000,000.00 to $5,992,529.35. And it wouldn't even do that, because most people wouldn't operate a bot at all if they had to pay for it. Is that really worth it in exchange for all the extra stuff that would have to be done by hand? -- Gurch (talk) 19:27, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Forget the Rules

I would implement WP:IAR as sitewide policy rather than a guideline. If a rule stops you doing something which makes the encyclopedia better, forget it. There is no point in having a free encyclopedia and then sticking hurdles in the way which people can't get over.

    • It already is a policy. —harej // be happy 05:48, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Point taken, I thought IAR was a guideline :) Thor Malmjursson (talk) 18:06, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
  • No IP's. At all. EVER

Any one editing Wikipedia would be required to make an account. IP editors cause much confusion on here, are responsible for a considerable proportion of vandalism, are difficult to block in some situations (such as dynamic IP addresses), and they would become a thing of the past. No Account? No Edit!

  • Logged-in users on dynamic IP addresses can simply register a new account with their next IP address each time they're blocked, eventually forcing a block of the whole range. They are thus no easier to block than anonymous users on dynamic IP addresses -- Gurch (talk) 21:13, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
    • When I do recent changes patrol I usually just look at edits by IPs with red talk pages, not because they are mostly vandalism as the vast majority are good edits, but because the Hugglers usually beat me to other vandals. I don't think we should reject all the good work done by IPs, and if we did would we still get editors like me who started as IP editors? ϢereSpielChequers 23:54, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
      • It's a perennial proposal (Anonymous users should not be allowed to edit articles) that is simply based upon an erroneous preconception about who contributes most of the content to Wikipedia, and who does the vandalism. See above. Uncle G (talk) 05:07, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
        • My proposal was nowhere near this, I am simply calling for more restrictions and more education to new users to prevent (at least some of) the bad editing and keep the good coming. Also see what I am about to post in my section.--Res2216firestar 19:18, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

One's rules[edit]

  • Lighten up. I sometimes can't believe how seriously the site tries to take itself with vandalism like that of Willy on Wheels / subtle vandalism like that of Lir / what have you. Lighten up, and don't create essays to attempt to rewrite site history.
  • Be a wonk when necessary. This should be fairly self-explanatory.
  • Stop writing policies like we're some sort of constitutional convention. Unlike the Declaration of Independence Constitution, 'rules' like WP:IAR need not be vaguely worded or able to be interpreted in five hundred different ways to suit one person or another's viewpoint.
    • I think you mean the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence is more direct in expressing contempt for the King. —harej // change the rules 11:59, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
      • Yeah. Thanks. One (talk) 03:37, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Avoid overzealous tagging. Do a little research into what images you're tagging for speedy deletion or what articles you're tagging for speedy deletion before tagging them en masse.
  • We're all in this together. Take everything in stride. We're in it together to create a new-age encyclopedia of knowledge. Let's treat each other with mutual respect and kindness on that long road there.

There's probably more, but I can't think of any, probably because it's 5:33 in the morning over here.

Melodia's Rules[edit]

  • Informing people is not bad -- one thing I never understood is why people get up in arms about telling others about a some talk this or that they may be interested in; even to the point that people's opinions shouldn't 'count' because they happened to find out from someone with an 'agenda'.
  • Don't do what you don't want to do -- Wikipedia is completely an optional effort. If you don't want to work on something, DON'T. Don't berate others for "giving you a bigger workload", and so on.
  • Your area of interest is not the only one a reader cares about -- one thing that really bugs me is the attitude I often see that topic X is or is not more important than topic Y. A lot of people seem to want to separate out any associations between things when the associations are there (I'm especially thinking of one specific topic where a few editors didn't want a hat note because it was insulting or something).
  • No more than three edits to the same page by the same editor in two minutes (or some limit of that nature) -- I'm sick of seeing my watchlist fill up with 20 tiny edits in a half hour that could have easily been caught with the preview function. Yes, I myself make errors, but I'm talking about the ones seem to do it every single time they edit or post to a talk page.
  • Projects can't have consensus -- Some projects seem to like to apply rules to all articles covered under their banner. This shouldn't happen, as it leads to horrid WP:OWN issues. Consistency is good, but not because a few editors have an axe to grind with a certain convention.
  • Kill project banners, instead make a simple link to ALL relevant projects -- The nested thing is pretty good, but I'd much have a completely neutral set of links to projects, which includes anything relevant. People shouldn't be able to claim an article exclusively if it falls under something else more generally (even though often they have mostly the same editors).

Neurolysis' rules[edit]

  1. The inclusion of DYKs, GAs, FAs, ITNs, or generally any de facto requirement for RfA that requires a demonstration of article writing prowess is plain wrong. Article writing can say good things about a user, yes, but it is not the only way to verify both a user's intentions, their literacy, and their prowess at working through the system, if you like.
  2. Wikipedia does not deal in facts, 'the truth', or whatever you want to call it. We deal in verifiability.

Cimon Avaro's counter-reformation[edit]

Usefulness
should be king. The great apostasy of wikipedia from the grand tradition of nearly all encyclopaedias before it, was from this principle. An article on a wind-mill driven well should endeavour to be as detailed as possible; since space is not a consideration for us for anything other than readability unlike Denis Diderot and many later encyclopedists, who even when severely hamstrung by a dearth of space, still tried to make the illustrations and descriptions such as could be directly implemented by an ingenious person. If we only would take our superordinate goal of comprehensiveness seriously our article should enable somebody in possession of nothing but that article to construct a working wind-mill driven well. Historically what brought this on was an unconscionable fetishisazion of Neutral Point of View. The original *purpose* of NPOV as conceived, was to be an enabler of coöperation, not an end to itself; and the setting of it as "non-negociable" was meant to underline its vital necessity in that enabling role, and not as an excuse to raise it to a mindlessly worshipped idol or fetish. The "banning" of "how it is made/done" knowledge from wikipedia is additionally wildly unevenly enforced. I won't say what parts of our content it is not enforced rigorously, or not at all, because getting rid of it there is the last thing I want, but I do posit there are strong and useful areas of wikipedia where whole articles contain little else but the eminently useful description of how something is made/operated/used, the "recipe" of the thing. This would be item one of my counter-reformation. -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. (talk) 22:35, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Defensibility
should govern our limits of inclusion. Sources, citations, references are golden, but simple discursive defensibility is silver, and as such plenty good specie. What we keep on wikipedia should be defensible on the articles talk page, and within the context appropriate to the field the article belongs to. No cookie cutter rules applied to religion and maths in the same fashion for instance. This would be item two on my counter-reformation.

Poached rules[edit]

Preamble
There are some rules posted by other users, which I can fully agree with, to the last jot. I have collected those below (and will consider on how to summarise the ones that I agree with in spirit, or only partially with, at a later time):
From Danny
Eliminate length as a(n unspoken) criterion for a successful article.
From One
We're all in this together. Take everything in stride. We're in it together to create a new-age encyclopedia of knowledge. Let's treat each other with mutual respect and kindness on that long road there.
From Majorly
A good few rules:
  • Editors of all ages are as welcome as each other, as long as they're a net positive. No ageism allowed!
  • Accept that IRC exists, is used, and is abused on occasion, but it isn't evil, and it is going to part of the project for a long, long time. There's nothing that can be done about it.
  • Ban the use of plain external links [2] (like that) in main prose (one of my pet hates).
  • Rename the Main Page to something out of article space.

Seraphimblade's rules[edit]

Actually, the rules we have are generally good. The main problem comes in spotty enforcement of them in some cases and overenforcement in others. So, rather than adding new rules, I'd mainly like to see the ones we already have used properly.

  1. This is a free content project. Our goal is to generate free educational content, and right now we're failing miserably at that by splattering nonfree content everywhere you can imagine. Exceptions, if we allow any at all, should be limited and only with overwhelming and demonstrable need for a nonfree image, as at Kim Phuc, Virgin Killer, or Guernica. The vast majority of subjects either have free images available or possible, or can be described just fine with text alone. We don't need logos, album covers, screenshots, etc., splattered everywhere, in the majority of cases they are unneeded.
  2. BLP is a good idea when it is used to remove negative unsourced or poorly sourced information, or hatchet jobs. It should not go beyond that. It should certainly never be invoked to remove information in the name of "privacy" when the information is publicly available in reliable sources. That is censorship.
  3. Verifiability and sourcing are requirements, not niceties. Find your sources before you write. We should enforce that anyone may remove sourceless information, and that it may not go back without proper sourcing, up to and including deletion of articles that cite no sources whatsoever. People only put importance on something that's enforced. We should enforce and absolutely require sourcing, not pay lip service to it while in reality not caring.
  4. Notability is our main quality control mechanism for keeping out cruft. Multiple independent reliable sources mainly about the subject should be required for every article, every time. Those don't exist? Doesn't belong in its own article, maybe in a parent or list if an appropriate one exists.
  5. Notability at WP:N is objective. Have sources that are reliable and have no interest in doing so written extensively about the subject, or not? That's a good way to determine whether we should have an article on the subject, or whether our doing so would be giving the subject undue weight when it's only mentioned in passing elsewhere. The subguidelines, on the other hand, are subjective. Awards a band's won, how many pornos someone's been in, what academic articles a person wrote and where, are not sources about the subject, and don't necessarily mean we should have a full article. Notability subguidelines should redirect to WP:N, or at very most make clear that they are not an exemption to it, just make it more likely proper sourcing exists.
  6. Stubs that can be improved are acceptable. Permastubs, those articles which cannot reasonably be improved past stub level, are not. This includes on towns, villages, railroad terminals, and everything else without exception. If we want coverage on several things in a series, but only some of those things are notable enough for separate articles, we have lists for a reason.
  7. As stated above, don't overly worry about people blowing off a bit of steam by socializing. It's a problem if they're only using the site to socialize, but it's normal and healthy for people who work together to get to know one another, including on volunteer projects. It can also really help in getting newcomers acclimated to the project, and in getting people to collaborate with one another. It's harder to be uncivil with people you've shared a good laugh with. Given that most of us can't just get together for a beer after a long day's editing, as tends to happen with real-world organizations, that's the next best thing.
  8. Assume good faith, but not to the point of idiocy. Some people make it very clear very quickly that they are not here to work in line with the ideals of the project. If someone is here to push an agenda rather than write an encyclopedia, warn them once and then get rid of them if they don't stop completely and immediately. We end up doing it a couple months to a couple years later after they've caused far more damage anyway.
  9. A project of this scale and scope requires administration and meta-discussion. Those who help with that are just as much a help to the project as those who write articles, and telling them to "just go write an article" is highly uncivil and unappreciative. "Wherearetheeditscountitis" is just as bad as editcountitis. Would we really be better off if the developers, crats, admins, etc., all just started writing articles instead?
  10. Editing to remove superfluous content is done by good editors the world over, and is indeed a major part of any editor's job. Cutting is every bit as valid and important as adding is, and every bit as necessary. No bias against trimming or attacks on people for doing it are tolerable. Nor is taking trimming or a request to delete as an attack. "If you don't want your work to be edited mercilessly...do not submit it"!
  11. Bringing up concerns in a frank and clear manner, even about a specific person, is not a personal attack, provided it is not done in an unnecessarily rude way. Don't be rude without cause, but don't dance around real issues either.
  12. The only valid argument to keep an article is to present where you have found the substantial, reliable, independent sources on the subject. There is no other valid reason to have an article. "Keep and clean up" and "Keep and source" arguments should be accepted once and only once, if a credible explanation of where sources might be found and why more time is needed to get them, and with a time limit. If not done by that time, it goes.
  13. Don't worry too much about what I've written here. It would work, but it'll never come to be.

Danny's Rules of Elimination[edit]

  1. Eliminate all rules except "Common Sense."
  2. Eliminate edit counts.
    Thank you! Edit counts are so worthless they should be banned.--Res2216firestar 01:55, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
    Hard to do that, though. Unless Special:Contributions can be disabled -- Gurch (talk) 13:36, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
  3. Eliminate non-free content.
  4. Eliminate promotional material from articles.
  5. Eliminate all permanent admin positions and replace them with biannual confirmations.
  6. Eliminate length as a(n unspoken) criterion for a successful article.
    That last one is my favorite. –Juliancolton Tropical Cyclone 00:10, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

WereSpielChequers' Rules[edit]

  1. Flag IP revisions in a similar way to New Page patrol - at present I bet some good IP edits get eyeballed multiple times whilst some aren't checked at all.
  2. Enforce wp:civil at RFA.
  3. Go on the offensive against serious vandals - we need links with Police and ISPs to get the real sickos locked up.
    I'm pretty sure that Wikipedia vandalism isn't a prosecutable crime. One (talk) 02:22, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    Perhaps not in some jurisdictions, but I'm not talking about the 99% of vandalism that deletes stuff, adds poop or warns us that giant beavers are about to take over the world. The sort of serous vandalism that I think we should report to the Police involves death threats and other truly sick stuff. ϢereSpielChequers 09:50, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    If the content isn't actually illegal in itself, adding it to a public website isn't illegal either. And if it is illegal, then there's nothing to stop you reporting it yourself, if you think it would do any good. We don't need another layer of bureaucracy to do it -- Gurch (talk) 13:20, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    I'm no lawyer but I don't see a moral difference between using a spray can to graffiti someone else's wall without permission and to put the same Graffiti on a Wikipedia article. As for whether this requires bureaucracy, well maybe it does, otherwise we could have an inconsistent standard as to at what stage we go to the Police. Also I suspect the Police would take the matter more seriously if the complaint was made on behalf of Wikipedia not an individual. ϢereSpielChequers 17:04, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    I don't see a moral difference either, but morality and law are not the same; "being a pain in the ass", which is what childish vandalism amounts to, is not illegal -- Gurch (talk) 17:17, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    The childish vandalism may or may not be illegal, but the serious stuff includes hate crimes and death threats and I suspect is illegal in some countries. ϢereSpielChequers 18:21, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    When it comes to death threats, "credible" is the pertinent word. In the very few cases of "true" stalking on Wikipedia, the police already do get involved, including at least one user imprisoned. As regards vandalism in general, the offense of criminal damage only exists if the damage is malicious and not easily reversed, which isn't the case in a wiki model. Theoretically the reverter has a civil tort against the vandal for the value of the time taken to reverse the vandalism, but it's about as clear a case of de minimis non curat lex as I can imagine. – iridescent 19:07, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  4. If someone suggests a change and the only responses are along the lines of "see Peren", then its time to implement it. OK there may be some proposals stuck at Peren that shouldn't take place, and perhaps this rule needs a sub clause for proposals where we have an essay summarising why a proposal can't or shouldn't be implemented. WereSpielChequers 12:36, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
  5. Allow for topics where "Notability is not yet determined". This would include for example sportspeople who have signed up for a team which if they play for the first team they will be deemed notable. If they leave the squad without making the first team then they can be deleted. ϢereSpielChequers 20:10, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Lar's idealistic and unlikely to be implemented rule[edit]

  1. Real names only. No pseudonyms, no editing by IPs, and setting up an account requires a donation equivalent to the cost of a cheap meal in your home country (this would be 5 bucks in the US, likely a lot less in many countries), paid by credit card (or other traceable payment mechanism, for example via mobile phone in countries where such is used for payments) with a name that matches the account, verified before the account goes live. This makes the probability that there is a real person behind the account much higher than if WMF just takes your word for it, and imposes a non zero cost to sock, although it's still spoofable, no system is perfect. You can use a "handle" but your user page must, at all times, disclose your real name (and includes a link to some WMF developed thingie that shows all and sundry that the name matches the donation payment, this link cannot be removed, it's a feature of the page, not an editable thing...) playing games with the name is a bannable offense, liftable by a payment of 10x the last payment, so 50 USD for the first offense, 500 USD for the next, and so forth.
I can hear all the counterarguments already.... that's why this is tagged "idealistic and unlikely to be implemented", but this page is tagged "if". This rule would solve a lot of problems. Much less socking, much less hidden POV pushing, much less disputation about credentials, and since there would be no "walk away and start a new account and try again", the incentive to behave oneself is much higher. ++Lar: t/c 14:14, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
"Idealistic" and "unlikely" don't concern me, but there are a few other specifics that I would be interested to hear your take on:
  1. What about bots? What about other legitimate uses of multiple accounts?
  2. What about people without a credit card?
  3. We already have trouble getting people to give up their time to work on an encyclopedia. What sort of effect on this would you foresee such a change producing?
  4. What would your response be to the suggestion that such a change is best accomplished by setting up a new project with the content of Wikipedia as a starting point?
  5. What do you mean by the phrase "probability that there is a real person behind the account"? Excluding bots, I would have thought that probability is close to 1.
-- Gurch (talk) 14:41, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Good questions, Gurch. Forgive me for changing your format to add numbering, but tis so I can address without interspersing.
  1. Bots are fine. As long as they're clearly disclosed. Ditto multiple accounts (although the reasons for them diminish)... yes, this means throwing away the part of WP:SOCK that says you can have a separate account to edit in controversial areas. Oh well.
    So you'd need to pay an extra $5 to operate a bot? Is this on top of the $39.95 yearly fee proposed further up this page? :) Something tells me the average regular here has a little more money than me. Or just really hates bot operators :( -- Gurch (talk) 16:12, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    Well... maybe a loose end there, hm? A bot account, seems to me, is closely associated with a particular person. As long as the association isn't hidden, is it really two accounts? (for the purposes I'm driving at here, not technically) No. It's not. Any bot edit that's screwed up... well, today we go after the bot owner and ask them (require them if it's egregious) to sort it out, on pain of the bot losing privs. Same same under this. ++Lar: t/c 18:38, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  2. Color me elitist. If they don't have a CC and don't have a mobi, they can't edit. Oh well.
  3. A massive decrease in edits by people not committed enough to the project to invest 5 USD or equivalent. That's a feature, not a bug. Color me elitist.
  4. Sure, it probably is. Except this is an idealistic statement, not a realistic one, so that isn't relevant.
  5. I mean that the name actually is their real name. This idea increases the transaction costs of faking your name. It's not impossible, but it's no longer as easy. My bad for being imprecise. Because you're right, every account has (one or more) real people behind it. Including bots, technically. Unless we have aliens among us. But that's out of scope for this discussion. :) ++Lar: t/c 15:13, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
“No, but, yeah, but, no, but…″
User:Jack Merridew aka david 15:59, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
This pretty much exclues anyone under 18 already, beyond already said points. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 16:07, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Color him ageist as well as elitist, I guess -- Gurch (talk) 16:09, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd not be happy with losing our younger editors, though I'm not sure that would be the result. My suspicion is that we would get more shared accounts if we charged by account, and arguments as to who authorised particular transactions. But there are two other reasons I can see for anonymity. If you go for a job interview nowadays its a reasonable bet that the person interviewing you has googled you, this could lead to awkward situations along the lines of "I see you are quite active on Wikipedia, our marketing chap would like an hour of your time." Also what about those of us who specialise in some of the more eyebrow raising areas of Wikipedia? If I was editing in my own name I would probably take MILF and Beaver off my watchlist. Of course all this adds another discrimination between wikipedians; If you have a common name like John Smith there would be nothing to connect you to the various John Smiths who would be Wikipedia editors. But the last time I googled myself there were only two other people with my name. ϢereSpielChequers 17:34, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Lose minors? Ok by me. ++Lar: t/c 18:32, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Agree (weakly) on compulsory account creation. Totally disagree on real-name editing – it's not like we don't have a problem with stalkers (in the real sense, not Wikipedia's "person who disagrees with you a lot" sense), and this would green-light them. Totally and utterly disagree with the "membership fee" thing; Wikipedia's twin strengths are that it can be corrected by passers-by who look something up and happen to spot an error, and that it's the only major source that caters to The Kid In Africa™ who can't pay subscription fees. This negates both. The rest of the world isn't like America, and most people don't have credit cards – even in Western Europe I think the take-up rate is only about 30%. These proposals would simultaneously restrict the ability to edit Wikipedia to Americans and the rich, and drive away anyone interested in anything remotely controversial. You can see for yourself what the end result would look like. – iridescent 17:51, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
The fee isn't for the priv, per se. It buys you no privs. It's to keep you honest. Heck, give it back after a year for all I care. It's merely a deliberate barrier to entry. Doesn't have to be a credit card per se. A debit card, a bank draft, a mobi payment... as long as there was an ID verification in there somewhere, that's good enough. As for the Kid in Africa, maybe get a charity sponsor. As for real names, well, agree to disagree. I think if you're not willing to stand behind what you say, don't say it. This is my idealistic rule set, after all. Note the lack of any other rules. The rest of it all goes away once you make people put their name on their words. As for Citizendium, its failure isn't due to real names, at least IMHO. ++Lar: t/c 18:32, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Why would you take Beaver off your watchlist, even if you were editing in your real name (how is it an "eyebrow raising area")? Brian Jason Drake 08:55, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Zunaid's rules - bucking the trend[edit]

  1. Set a clear goal: This is an Encyclopedia first and a wiki second. The wiki is a means to an end and NOT an end in itself. Sometimes not everyone should be allowed to edit, and this fact should not be a Big Deal. Is our aim to write the best possible encyclopedia (content, grammar, style etc.) out there or is it just to aim for an averagely good one? In fact, change the title to Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia and use that as our mission statement.
    Neither. The project's goal is to write "a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit". It doesn't say anything about quality. That does not, of course, mean that it can't be of high quality, though it does mean that intentionally reducing openness in an attempt to increase quality is going somewhat against the project's goal -- Gurch (talk) 17:45, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  2. Semi-protect all BLP articles and/or implement flagged revisions. Full protect Featured Articles, they only need to be updated when information changes anyway, as FAs are already supposed to be stable.
    I do believe the reason FAs aren't protected is exactly because it DOES tend to get good edits on the day it's featured. Featured doesn't mean perfect, after all. Also, it's contrary to the goals of 'anyone can edit' if you can't edit the most prominent article at the moment. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 18:14, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  3. Auto-confirm raised to 60 days and 100 mainspace edits with a clean record (no blocks or warnings).
    So you have to wait two months before you can edit an article about a person on "the encyclopedia anyone can edit"? Fuck that. -- Gurch (talk) 17:49, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  4. Admin rights automatically granted after 12 months and 1000 mainspace edits with a clean record (no blocks or warnings), to those who request it.
    I'm so tempted to support that, but I fear it would be just too easy to game such a system, a thousand minor edits to your own user page? Or create an account leave it dormant for fifty weeks then welcome a thousand "newbies" who've been dormant for three months. Yes I agree that the current RFA process seriously sucks, but we do need some filter before entrusting people with tools such as view deleted pages. ϢereSpielChequers 13:03, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    1000 mainspace edits. Majorly talk 13:09, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    Whoops, OK but a thousand minor edits fixing typos or redlinks? ϢereSpielChequers 13:20, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    Fixing things is for sissies, easy to get 1000 edits in a day by reverting stuff. Granted, half of them will be warnings. So you actually need two days. Then I guess you spend the remaining 363 days doing actually useful stuff. Or making another 181 potential administrator accounts, if you're so inclined -- Gurch (talk) 13:39, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
    I think that everyone complains about RFA for no good reason. People learn at different rates and contribute to Wikipedia ad different levels. Think about RFA as an interview and the 'crats as human resources; we need to thouroghly address all concerns as to how an admin will use the tools and not become a tool. However, I would like to see one simple and mabye even plausible change to RFA: any negative comment that doesn't explicitly address how an admin will use their tools will be treated as a personal attack.--Ipatrol (talk) 02:19, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
  5. Juvenile vandalism = 31 hour block with a nicely-phrased message on the talk page explaining why. Fuck level 1-4 warning templates. If I vandalise on an internet forum or throw insults around on IRC I KNOW a sysop will come around to block/kick me sooner or later. Why should Wikipedia be different?
    Perhaps because we'd need about three times as many administrators in order to be able to dish out blocks that fast, and would probably end up with three times as many bad blocks as a result -- Gurch (talk) 17:48, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  6. Serious or persistent vandalism = indef block. You are no longer welcome. Go create a new account and get auto-confirmed again.
    This is what already happens, no? -- Gurch (talk) 17:48, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  7. MoS streamlined and made into policy.
  8. Expansion of CSD criteria (especially A7) in conjunction with...
  9. ...a MASSIVE template/warning box on new article creation explaining the need for reliable sources and notability, or...
  10. ...new articles can ONLY be created using a guided article creation wizard (with a specific step to insert sources).
  11. No Myspace-like user pages (including my own). That's what Myspace is for.
  12. No customising of signatures (even though I've done it before). Signatures point to your talk page and to your Contributions and that's it.
  13. Notability elevated to a core policy. We cannot possibly write about everything in the world and should limit ourselves to the most important information that our "workforce" is reasonably capable of maintaining (a la Citizendium).
  14. Notability requirement introduced for "informational" lists (as opposed to navigational lists which don't need a notability requirement).
  15. Interpret all keep and cleanup !votes as delete unless cleaned up at AfD. Insist on good sourcing from the start, not the promise that sources "will be found" and that articles "can be cleaned up later". The burden of proof lies with the editor adding new information and statements.

Dweller's Rules, <ahem> Rule[edit]

  1. What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Law; the rest is the explanation; go and learn. --Dweller (talk) 12:18, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    Alas, if only. (I don't care what people say about me, does that mean we can abandon the biographies of living persons policy?) -- Gurch (talk) 12:51, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    Not doing a negative is not a command to do a positive. If I ask visitors to my home not to sit on a chair because it is broken, it does not give them permission to set fire to it. Besides, it looks like you missed the last eight words of the Rule.--Dweller (talk) 13:16, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    No, though if Wikipedia's policies are an explanation of anything they're doing a bad job of it. As WereSpielChequers explains below, "hatefulness" is a rather widely interpreted concept. If I was indeed to strive not only to not do anything that is hateful to me, but also not to do anything that might be hateful to some other person, somewhere in the world, I would probably find myself rooted to the spot -- Gurch (talk) 16:07, 6 January 2009 (UTC)#:Lovely start, but the problem as I see it is that what is hateful to some may not be hateful to others, and vice versa. We are a global operation where people get into daily discussions about Abortion, Hamas, Russell Brand the Balkans, wrestling, Richard Dawkins, Global Warming, the LHC and enough other dwamas for an entire series of Jerry Springer; and we do so in a mix of different English dialects and using BC, BP and BCE dating. It isn't enough to just respect your own values, we also need to "cherish others for their otherness" ϢereSpielChequers 14:50, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    Looks like you missed the last eight words of the Rule. --Dweller (talk)
    You're both complicating and expanding it beyond what it says. It's very simple - if your own antennae tell you it's a bad thing to have done to you, don't do it to others. That's all. It's not about trying to anticipate what other people might find "hateful", so no need to worry about being rooted to the spot. And it's not a Rule to void all others, but one that directs you to go find and learn the others. --Dweller (talk) 11:00, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
    Sorry Dweller, I got hung up on "this is the whole law", thanks for the further lesson. ϢereSpielChequers 22:48, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Mailer Diablo's doctrine[edit]

  1. Reboot all rules, exceptwith first four principles of Foundation Issues in mind. Yes, every single rule, every single decision. Rewrite them from scratch and write only what we actually need. Several of the rules are overly complicated, and are usually band-aid solutions as the result of some unfortunate incident. Inertia has resulted in proposals getting rejected (without chance to prove itself; proposed deletion would not be here today if it went the green paper way), and reforms to existing rules difficult. Having a clean slate and the benefit of retrospect would offer the community a chance to create streamlined rules, making the internal processes on Wikipedia a lot more efficient. We will also be able to avoid policy mistakes, lessen conflicts, and foresee and forestall problems in the first place.
    Is there a particular reason you linked to that page for exceptions? If something like this ever happened, the list of exceptions would unavoidably include things that have been forced upon us from above, such as the non-free content policy, "office actions", biographies of living persons and so forth, none of which are mentioned there. The things on the "foundation issues" page, on the other hand, are with the exception of #1 not codified in policy, which is just as well, as #2 and #4 are completely false (and #2, if this page is anything to go by, will become much more false in the future) -- Gurch (talk) 16:03, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    Since we are being idealistic here, I would say preferring to retain only principles #1, 2, 3 and 4. - Mailer Diablo 16:07, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    You mean retaining #1 and #3 and re-introducing #2 and #4, then? Because I feel that the latter would be much more of a change than "rebooting" existing policy. Or have you not noticed the direct contradiction between #2 and page protection (my repeated attempts to insert "most" before "articles" have been reverted), and between #4 and the non-free content policy? -- Gurch (talk) 16:10, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
    Yes. By "Rebooting" policy though it doesn't mean we must rewrite it under exactly the same title, just that we have to keep the very concept of need in mind and having a solution to it. It is a form of change. For example, the community would rethink of how they should go about choosing their administrators, if there are term limits, segregation of powers, etc. If they choose to rewrite under the same title or/and implementation of the rule because it works perfectly, then let it be. - Mailer Diablo 16:23, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

J Milburn's rules[edit]

We need more rules written like this. Who needs to bite newbies when we can scare them off?

  • Do something in the mainspace. Leave the bloody userspace alone. Stop arguing about who insulted who and who is being WP:CIVIL and who is being WP:NOTFUCKINGCIVIL.
    Corollary: autoblock any user whose edit count in other user's User space pages exceeds their own Main/Template/Category space edit count. Peet Ern (talk) 13:03, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
    *bans SineBot and MiszaBot* -- Gurch (talk) 14:22, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
    No, because in enforcing this rule, you are breaking it. J Milburn (talk) 17:55, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Sources, or it dies. Original research should be a blockable offense.
  • More freedom to delete shit. No sources, one event, minor fictional character, whatever. Delete now, ask questions later. There's too much rubbish. Remember that it's often easier to delete an article and let someone write another one than work on the one we have.
    Are you serious? Careful, or one of these might fall from the heavens and zott you! (Encyclopedic content, maybe, but its own article, no!) Or even worse, some no hit no wonder music group might lampoon you in song, or some never heard of by any one local sports team single appearance member might through a ball at you. Peet Ern (talk) 13:03, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Ignore idiots.
  • Block idiots if they don't shut up.
    • How do you define idiot? Garden. 21:17, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
      • "person I don't agree with", most likely -- Gurch (talk) 21:41, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
        • "Person with fewer friends than me". – iridescent 22:02, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
          • Yeah, this wasn't quite meant as serious. J Milburn (talk) 17:55, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Block people who ignore the NFC rules. People ignoring NFC is significant. I certainly do not propose we remove all NFC, and I don't think rules need to be any stricter- they just need to be enforced.
  • Ignore copy paste rationales. Copying and pasting a rationale defeats the point. Let's take this one-
Though this image is subject to copyright, its use is covered by the U.S. fair use laws because:
  1. This is a historically significant work that could not be conveyed in words.
  2. Inclusion is for information, education, and analysis only.
  3. Its inclusion in the article(s) adds significantly to the article(s) because it shows a major type of work produced by the artist.
  4. The image is a low resolution copy of the original work and would be unlikely to impact sales of prints or be usable as a desktop backdrop.
  5. It is not replaceable with an uncopyrighted or freely copyrighted image of comparable educational value.
You can guess the image is of a piece of artwork of some sort, but God knows what the article is, what the image is illustrating, what significance the image has to the article or why it is actually needed. This completely defeats the point of fair use rationales.
    • Jeez, not another hoop everybody who's ever uploaded a fair-use image will have to jump through... I've already, over the years, had to go through several rounds of having my talk page cluttered with warnings that images I uploaded long ago are about to be deleted if I don't comply with some new rule requiring the rationale to be presented in iambic pentameter. *Dan T.* (talk) 03:23, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I may add some more. J Milburn (talk) 21:00, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Darkfrog24's Rules: Extend ENGVAR to punctuation[edit]

  • Extend ENGVAR to punctuation.

{{For direct quotations, place all periods and commas that are part of the quoted material inside the quotation marks.

Correct: The Prime Minister said, "The treaty is reasonable and will be signed."
(The Prime Minister spoke a complete sentence with its own stop.)

When using quotation marks for partial or indirect quotations, words-as-words, short-form works, or expressions, American and British punctuation styles differ. Most other varieties of English follow one or the other of the two models shown below. Follow ENGVAR.

American: The Prime Minister said that the treaty was "reasonable."
British: The Prime Minister said that the treaty was "reasonable".
American: "Carefree," in general, means "free from care or anxiety."
British: "Carefree", in general, means "free from care or anxiety".
American: Bruce Springsteen, nicknamed "The Boss," performs "Born in the U.S.A."
British: Arthur C. Clarke wrote the short story "Loophole", which was published in 1946.

When quoting data strings or keyboard entries, place periods and commas outside the quotation marks. This is considered correct in all varieties of English.

Correct: To use a long dash on Wikipedia, type in "&mdash;".


Right now, Wikipedia requires British-style punctuation (also, rather misleadingly called "logical punctuation") on all articles regardless of what they're about or what variety of English they're written in.

What does that mean for those of you who aren't punctuation nuts? Basically, it's about whether periods and commas go inside the quotation marks, "like this," or outside the quotation marks "like this". American English puts them inside almost all the time, making exceptions only for things like web addresses (I'll type in ".com". No, type in ".co".) where the presence or absence of a single character could cause confusion. British English places them inside or outside depending on whether or not they belong to the quoted material.

People have argued that the British way is more logical and intuitive ...and yet it's more logical to spell "center" t-e-r than t-r-e and we still don't push "center" in BrE articles; we use the correct British spelling.

People have argued that the American style is confusing ...and yet it's worked largely without incident for over a hundred and fifty years.

People have argued that the American style isn't really American and the British style isn't really British ...but each is used by the overwhelming majority of the professional and lay writers that write in those respective varieties.

People have argued that the American style is unsightly, but that is purely an eye-of-the-beholder matter. What I personally have seen is that people prefer the look of the style with which they are most familiar.

People have argued that it looks to them like the British style is becoming more popular but Wikipedia is not a crystal ball, it could just be a case of a lot of visible people making the same mistake, and, most importantly, it's not Wikipedia's job to reinvent English. We should use the English we have, not the one we wish we had. (Also, Wikipedia's changeable nature means that if, twenty or thirty years from now, the British style were to supplant the American standard, we could always change the MoS then.)

I'm not saying that we should ban BP/LP; it's fine. I just think that we do a disservice to our readers when we use or promote incorrect usage and, in an American English article, putting periods and commas outside the quotation marks is as incorrect as spelling "harbour" or "labour" without the U would be in a British English article. Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:12, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Doc Tree's rules[edit]

  • Never allow perfect to delay excellent. Excellence is a worthy goal. Perfection is almost impossible. As perfection is approached, it takes more and more time and effort to achieve less and less improvement. Be satisfied with excellence and move on to improve another aspect of Wikipedia.
  • Admit mistakes, them move on. Everyone blunders once in a while. Don't go away to hide in shame. In time, you'll chuckle when remembering past errors. Move on, striving for excellence.