Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

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The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines.
If you want to propose something new that is not a policy or guideline, use the proposals section.
If you have a question about how to apply an existing policy or guideline, try the one of the many Wikipedia:Noticeboards.
This is not the place to resolve disputes over how a policy should be implemented. Please see Wikipedia:Dispute resolution for how to proceed in such cases.

Please see this FAQ page for a list of frequent proposals and the responses to them.

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Proposal to change the focus of pending changes[edit]

Should we enable the creation of articles by IPs with safeguards? See Wikipedia:Village pump/technical#Where do we go from here? 156.61.250.250 (talk) 09:38, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Some years ago, pending changes were introduced on an experimental basis. A subsequent RfC voted to end the experiment, but pending changes are still with us. Some administrators take advantage of this fact by putting more articles in. Most of the work on Islamic calendar, for example, is done by IPs, but since it was put in pending changes (for no good reason) editing has stopped. I suggest we enforce the RfC and that all articles currently in pending changes be taken out.

This will mean that pending changes reviewers (who I take to be everyone who is autoconfirmed) will have nothing to do. I therefore propose that IPs be given back the right to start articles for an experimental period of six months on a pending changes basis. That is to say, their articles would not be publicly visible until the text had been approved by an editor.

Technically, I suppose that what would happen would be that the article would be created and accessible as normal, with the usual edit and history tabs. The text created by the IP would appear in the edit box but would not be seen publicly (the article would appear as any page does when it has been blanked). Editing would be as normal for pending changes, with the first edit to be publicly visible being the first edit by an autoconfirmed editor. Normal deletion policy would apply.

Where an editor tags for CSD he may find it convenient to make the offending text publicly visible to assist those following up. Either way, if there are no objections an administrator will be along about fifteen minutes later to delete. Every article started in this way will automatically remain within pending changes for one month after creation.

There are two big advantages of this proposal. Article growth went well from inception until just shy of the five million mark, when it stalled. This proposal will put it back on track. It will also result in an infusion of new blood. Wikipedia is haemorrhaging editors. It desperately needs new ones. 156.61.250.250 (talk) 14:46, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Isn't that essentially AfC? Kharkiv07Talk 15:06, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
The difference is that you can put something in AfC and it hangs around for months so most people don't bother. Under this proposal you are in the driving seat so a lot more people will add worthwhile content. 156.61.250.250 (talk) 15:48, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
As is, most articles created by newcomers are deleted quickly without discussion, a situation which I believe to be very BITEy, and possibly is a significant cause of Wikipedia "haemorrhaging editors"; move the permission to create articles a bit farther back, and the situation will become worse, not better. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 20:28, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm confused by your proposal for a few reasons. First, IP editors can still edit with pending changes, in effect it is a weaker version of semi-protection which BLOCKS all IP editors. I would suggest moving many semi pages to pending changes actually and strongly oppose removal of pending changes. As for AfC, it works. Reviewing a new article is a process, more so than a simple pending changes button, and does take a little longer. And third, only users with the Pending changes reviewer can review the pending changes, even though any auto confirmed users edits will be accepted. EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 23:31, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
  • You seem to have missed the series of RFCs that reauthorized the use of pending changes protection (level 1 only). Monty845 23:43, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
The last RfC decided that PC was wanted and it was up to editors to decide how to implement it. To date there has been no consensus on this so there is no mandate to put Islamic calendar (or any other article for that matter) into PC. PC seems to be very complex - there are at least two levels of it and SlimVirgin said she didn't understand it. I think it is too complicated. Given that here in March there was a consensus that PC should not operate for an extended period all that is needed is a week of semi - protection where necessary to drive the vandals away.
Od Mishehu says that "most articles created by newcomers are deleted quickly without discussion". That's a failure by the established editors. They should work to bring the articles up to standard, not delete them. This is why IPs should be allowed to create articles - they then get the benefit of all the other editors who know something about the subject adding sources and content. That is the essence of crowdsourcing.
Replying to EoRdE6, AfC takes months and is permanently backlogged. With direct article creation other editors can come in and get the article on the road to GA status in a few days. You see articles like the Charlie Hebdo massacre which within just a few hours of creation are full of content and sources. The system of creating stubs giving experts the opportunity to come in and build a full length article has worked well.
There is a proverb "If you want a job done do it yourself". AfC relies on getting other people to post the content to mainspace. It's a form of action by proxy which is proven to be inefficient. The British government in 2002 experimented with postal voting - included was the local council election in my area. There were no polling stations (no electronic voting here - today is the general election and everyone takes printed ballots, fills them in and posts them into the ballot box). The voters had to fill in the ballot papers then give them to the postmen who had to give them to the council. Needless to say the experiment was not repeated.
It's the same everywhere. We got supermarkets from America - before then shoppers queued at the grocer's while he picked their selections off his shelves. Now checkout operators have been done away with and customers scan their shopping themselves - no more queuing. No more queuing at the public library either - readers return and renew their books themselves at self - service kiosks, resulting in a more efficient use of their and the staff's time. Self - service machines are at railway stations - everywhere you can think of. Introduction of AfC was a retrograde step. 156.61.250.250 (talk) 11:21, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
I suggest you take a reread of Wikipedia:Protection_policy#Pending changes protection and Wikipedia:Pending changes as you are mistaken. The closing statement of the last RFC which dealt with the issue is quite clear Wikipedia:PC2012/RfC 3.

There was very strong consensus to enable the use of Pending Changes throughout all namespaces

and further

The consensus on this was fairly clearly against having any specific criteria, but a significant minority expressed concern that its use is less well-defined than is the use for conventional protection methods; if enormous inconsistencies with application are seen upon implementation, this may be a topic worth revisiting

and at the end

As with the previous RfC, assessing the usefulness of what gained consensus here will require some monitoring. The same time frames (1 month for obvious problems, more for subtler issues) seem to fit with everything in this discussion as well. It appears that after this and the previous RfCs, we have the necessary framework to roll out Pending Changes, and we know what aspects of its use will require the most monitoring and later attention.

So no we aren't waiting for the community to come to some sort of agreement on how to use it. (There were earlier RfCs which also dealt with when to use PC1.)
Of course, if you feel that PC1 is being in ways that are unhelpful in some instances, you're welcome to start a properly fleshed-out RfC on the matter, but I strongly urge you to talk to others about this before hand, and make sure you actually otherstand what the history is, otherwise your RfC is unlikely to do anything useful. (As it stands, you're failing to follow information I had sort of heard before, but to be honest had mostly forgotten by now and only properly relearned by actually reading the PC page and following the links to the RfC has lead to your proposal being sidetracked by this unnecessary discussion.) Now if you feel the admin's closing wasn't an accurate summation of the RfC consensus, or if you feel that the RfCs had insufficient participation compared to earlier RfCs, you could try to dispute that, but relitigating stuff after 2+ years rarely works well.
There were two followup RfCs, Wikipedia:Pending changes/Request for Comment 2013 and Wikipedia:Pending changes/Request for Comment 2014, which concerned PC2 and ultimately came up with criteria for the use of PC2, but no actual consensus to use PC2. These don't of course affect the use of PC1, for which in the absence of clear evidence consensus has changed, we stick with the older RfCs which showed there is consensus to use PC1.
Nil Einne (talk) 15:11, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Your example also seems fairly poor.

Perhaps Islamic calendar may have had useful IP edits, but it also had many that were reverted (which look to be more or less the same edit from a persistent IP hopper). I didn't look in to these enough to say if the reversions were proper, simply that they happened therefore whether before or after PC, IP edits were being rejected.

More importantly perhaps, the time frame here is insufficient to tell us anything about pending changes, particularly if you look at the logs or edit history carefully. On 13 April, both PC1 and semi protection were applied with the PC1 due to expire on 13 July and the semiprotection on 27 April. My thoughts and a search confirmed via Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2015 March 18#Pending changes and Semi-protection simultaneously that this works and is evidently done sometimes when it's felt that there is an acute problem that needs to be dealt with via semiprotection for a short time, and a chronic problem that needs PC1.

Without commenting on whether this was the case for Islamic calender, this means it was impossible for IPs to directly edit from 17:36 13 April to 27 April. So there's a fair chance the absence of IP edits for this period had nothing to do with PC1.

So really all you're talking about is from 27 April until now. In that period, we had 3 IP edits. 2 were rejected, 1 accepted. Again without commenting on the appropriateness of any of these edits, unless we were getting an average of 1 useful IP edit on average every 3 days or so (which it doesn't look like we were), it's difficult to useful conclude things were so much better before PC1. You simply lack sufficient data to be able to make any conclusion about a reduction of helpful IP edits. And at the very least, the editor who kept making the same change which I think lead up to the semiprotections and PC1 seems to have left for now.

BTW, for the avoidance of doubt and confusion, I should mention I'm aware editors who haven't been auto/confirmed are affected as well, I just used IPs for shorthand and since it's also harder to spot such editors.

Nil Einne (talk) 15:59, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

I think that the proposal that an article should go into PC just because a lot of IPs don't edit it is misconceived. The Islamic calendar is hardly a mainstream subject. Your comments on PC generally are a joke. About twenty years ago the local council proposed to demolish a housing estate and being short of cash proposed to sell off the land to a private developer. To do that, it needed the consent of the tenants. It assured them that the estate would not be sold if the majority were opposed. The tenants kept asking for a ballot but the council ignored them. Finally the ballot papers arrived, and the tenants were dismayed to see that their votes would be rolled up among those of tenants on other estates which were going to be refurbished. This followed an "opinion poll" conducted by a survey company which doorknocked to ask the tenants what they wanted for their estate but did not ask the key question Do you want your estate to be sold or not? The council's ballot paper was craftily worded - not "Do you want your estate to be sold?" as discussed in literature and meetings but "Do you want your home to be sold, meaning that the tenants' views would be submerged amongst the views of all the tenants on other estates who were going to get new kitchens and bathrooms instead of seeing their homes reduced to rubble.
Same here, there was a lot of discussion about how pending changes might work, but no discussion of whether its reenablement would be a good or bad thing. Since pending changes is a dead loss, let me reformulate my proposal. IPs would be able to create articles just as before Siegenthaler with one exception - edits by non - autoconfirmed editors would only become publicly visible when the page was first edited by an autoconfirmed user. 156.61.250.250 (talk) 13:21, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

The claim "Some years ago, pending changes were introduced on an experimental basis. A subsequent RfC voted to end the experiment, but pending changes are still with us" is factually untrue. What happened is that PC was implemented with permission of the community with the restriction that it be removed after a set period, that promise was broken and PC remained, then all hell broke loose. Later, after it was removed and we put down the pitchforks and torches, a second proposal was made to implement PC permanently, and the decision of the community was yes for level one PC and no for level two PC. So the reality is that [A] the current PC policy is supported by the community and [B] we would be fools to ever again believe a promise like "let's try this for six months and then we will turn it off and evaluate how theexperiment went" after having been lied to in the past. --Guy Macon (talk) 13:34, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Editors were given two alternatives: PC anywhere or PC in restricted areas. The third alternative, PC nowhere, was not presented. This is the same trick the council played when wording its ballot on council house selloffs. After John Prescott was told where he could stick his housing policy he came up with more alternatives:
  • transfer to private landlord (and if you disagree there's no money to maintain your home so it will fall to pieces around you)
  • private finance initiative (PFI) where developers get a long lease in return for financing the work
  • arms - length management organisation (ALMO) where the council retains ownership of the homes but the management is farmed out to a quango (quasi non - governmental organisation).

The fourth option, stay as you are, was not presented.

Tenants were ballotted on the three options and - surprise - the council claimed 80% of them were in favour of option 3. In fact, hardly anyone voted, so the actual percentage in favour was tiny.

As for broken promises, anyone can start an RfC suggesting that PC be turned off, and if it wins a consensus that's more power to the community. Don't underestimate the power of public opinion - Prescott had a scheme to decimate (and I don't mean reduce by 10%) perfectly serviceable housing in Liverpool which was withdrawn in the face of strong opposition. 156.61.250.250 (talk) 16:30, 21 May 2015 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 156.61.250.250, I suggest that you read the discussions and RfCs in question and edit the above claims accordingly.

In particular, Wikipedia:PC2012/RfC 2 and Wikipedia:PC2012/RfC 3 clearly show that your your claim "The third alternative, PC nowhere, was not presented" has zero basis in reality. Did you really imagine that nobody would check? --Guy Macon (talk) 21:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

You've linked to eleven RfCs on this subject. I was given just two to look up, one of them being Wikipedia:PC2012/RfC3 which you also cite. I don't see anywhere in that wall of text where editors were asked to !vote on the proposition "Do you (a) want to enable PC or (b) switch it off. 156.61.250.250 (talk) 08:43, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually you were given 2, which all have the header showing all the RfCs. More importantly, your original comment was "The last RfC decided that PC was wanted and it was up to editors to decide how to implement it. To date there has been no consensus on this".

I'm sure I wasn't the only one who assumed that this meant you were already aware of Wikipedia:Pending changes/Request for Comment 2012 (which had, we think at least 503 participants) where the decision had already been made that PC was wanted. It sounded like you only weren't aware about the following RfCs (together I think with the discussions on the policy page), where decisions were made and consensus reached on how to implement the existing consensus for PC.

I don't know that much about the history surrounding all the RfCs, but I presume the decision was made that there was no need to revisit the decision to implement PC since it had already achieved consensus in the earlier RfC. (Although opposition to PC wasn't ignored, it just wasn't made a specific question in the RfC.) Note that the consensus wasn't conditional on there being a final yes or no !vote (which is a silly concept anyway) on whether to implement PC after a policy a better policy was in place.

In fact the RfC itself didn't even find there was need for consensus for a new policy, the draft policy was sufficient but not ideal. Notably also, it looks to me like there were far more participants in the decision to implement PC, rather than the later discussions surrounding PC policy. (Only the 2013 RfC about PC/2 seems to have come close but also still quite far.)

However if you believe consensus has changed, you're welcome to open yet another RfC. It would of course pay to do your own reading in the hope you will show a far better understanding then you have here on the history. Rather then expecting to be spoonfed everything when you are the one making the proposal. If not, frankly your proposal is likely to fail as much as your one here.

Not to put a subtle point on it, but your original comments were bad enough. Now it sounds like you didn't even know about the major RfC despite being up in arms about how PC never had consensus (even if it wasn't the focus of your proposal). If you start an RfC where the focus is disabling PC saying there was never any consensus, and you say this partly because you weren't even aware of the RfC which had (we think) at least 503 participants, well expect to be ignored.

Nil Einne (talk) 17:01, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Hello, here's my view on the subject. In a word, social issues can't be solved with technical solutions. --NaBUru38 (talk) 00:53, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I think it's time to add a comment which has been sitting on 156.61.250.250's talk page for days waiting to be pasted over.

@Nil Einne:Would you please paste the following statement to the Village pump (policy) discussion.

I've been given confusing references - RFC 2012 (Sept.Oct.Nov), Wikipedia:PC2012/RfC 2, Wikipedia:2012/RfC 3, and now Wikipedia:Pending changes/Request for Comment 2012. Having read through this last I see that editors endorsed the use of PC in line with a draft policy. This draft policy explains the variations PC1 and PC2 but says nothing about which one is the more desirable or whether neither is desirable. After mentioning the above RfC you mention "the following RfCs ...where decisions were made and consensus reached on how to implement the existing consensus for PC."

@Nil Einne:RFC 2013 and RFC 2014 are by definition "following RfCs". RFC 2013 decided

There is only a consensus for implementation if and only if an rfc concerning criteria for its use gains community - wide consensus first.

So there is one more RfC to look at - RFC 2014 - and the close of that is a reiteration that PC will not be implemented until there is a consensus on how to implement it. If and when that discussion takes place it would be totally wrong to deny editors the opportunity to decide that they don't want PC at all. This is the principle of "no parliament can bind its successor". 156.61.250.250 (talk) 08:48, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Is citing the definition of a dictionary an original research[edit]

Hello

I'm not sure this is the right place for the discussion, please forgiev me and show me the way to the correct place in this case.

in Role-playing game terms#R, we can read

Race: A character's species, ethnicity, type, or other description of their physical and cultural heredity. Role-playing games often include fantasy races, mutants, robots and other non-human types.

This imho obviously extends usual definition of a race, e.g. in wiktionary:race#Etymology 2

  • A group of sentient beings, particularly people, distinguished by common heritage or characteristics
  • A population geographically separated from others of its species that develops significantly different characteristics; an informal term for a subspecies.

(although in the first definition, "sentient beings" could be wide enough to enclose positronic brains). Am I right or am I flawed by the fact that I'm not a native english speaker?

If I'm right -- and even if I'm wrong, the problem could be for another topic --, can I then cite a definition of the dictionary and mention this discrepancy, or would it be considered as an original analysis of primary sources and thus an original research?

cdang|write me 09:53, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Anyone can edit Wiktionary so it shouldn't be used as a source per WP:USERGENERATED. Furthermore, the lead of Role-playing game terms is clear that the shown meanings are in the context of role-playing games. Words often have different meanings or nuances in different contexts so citing a "discrepancy" with a reliable dictionary would also be bad, unless that dictionary specifically talks about the meaning of "race" in role-playing games. Such games are full of supernatural and fictional beings so it's hardly surprising if the terminology doesn't adhere strictly to the common usage for real beings. And we certainly don't want users going through Category:Glossaries and point out whenever a field gives a new or modified meaning to an existing word. PrimeHunter (talk) 20:33, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. I used the Wiktionary because I don't know reliable online English dictionaries and don't have a paper English dictionary with me (I'm not a native English speaker); but the question is about any reliable dictionary, online or paper.
I agree with you that the definition of some words is different in fictional works and in common usage, the question is: is it possible write that it is different, just refering to the definition of a reliable dictionary, or would it be considered as an original research? (The aim is not to point out every word in the glossary; but it can be relevant in some cases.)
cdang|write me 07:54, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
OK, maybe I could be a bit more specific. I wrote the article Character race. It was a draft until a few hours, and was accepted sooner than I expected (I won't complain (-: ). The aim of my question was to clarify a point to be sure it would be accepted, but my question remains.
I wrote : "The term “race” is even broader than the usual meaning, as it also includes extra-terrestrial beings, vegetal beings — e.g. the Aldryami in Glorantha (1978)[6], the Sylvanians in Fantasy Craft (2010)[7] — and robots — e.g. Artificials in Fantasy Craft or the Forgeborn/Dwarf-forged optional race in 13th Age (2013)[8]."
Notice that I even didn't cite a dictionary (which would be a primary source). Can I write this without a secondary source stating this ?
It may look ridiculous as this, because this statement is quite obvious. But obviousness is a valid arguument for Descartes, it is not for Wikipedia. And, believe it or not, this statement caused me some problem in the French wiki, on the same topic.
So, is it the same on the English WP? Would someone add {{refneeded}} or is the statement acceptable as this?
cdang|write me 20:29, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
WP:You don't need to cite that the sky is blue. In cases like this though, citing a definition to a defining source would be appropriate, I believe. So yes, you can cite a dictionary (like Oxford or Merriam-Webster, or a game’s rulebook). —174.141.182.82 (talk) 22:42, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
OK, I'm a bit paranoid then (-:
I realise that the main problem is not on the content of the article itself, but on the language. The english word "race" was initially translated as race in French; in French, it was used for both humans and for animals (means "breed"). In the early 1980's, when D&D was first translated in French, this was still accurate, although a bit outdated. But things evolved, essentially pushed by the bad memories of the WWII and the evolution of genetics. A 1991 French dictionary already notes that the notion of race "is to be rejected" for humans (but still give the definition, which is OK because we need to understand outdated texts). Now the consensus is that race can only be used for "breed", and is banned for humans (we use ethnicity or type instead); the word race was even banned from the laws which punishes racism (16 May 2013, [1]).
So it is obvious to me (as the skye is blue) that "race" has become a faux ami (see table below), but well, this is quite new, and there is no source that really states "race is a faux ami", all I have are dictionaries. And thus it is obvious to me that the title of the French article cannot be "race" and I used the word peuple (people) instead. But as the word "race" is still widely used in role-playing game rulebooks in French, I don't have a secondary source citing "people" (but have some primary ones), and "race" is what comes up with Google, so many claim that the notion of "people" does not exist in RPG and that it is an original research of mine. See the point?
So, that does not concern the English WP, but I wanted to explain why I asked that silly question. Sorry for the disturbance.
cdang|write me 12:31, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Race in modern English and in modern French
Modern English Modern French
race éthnie, type
breed race
  • A similar question has also come up at Landrace, in such rancorous debate at Talk:Landrace that resolution has been stalled for many months. In that case, one editor wants to include in the lead some wording from and a citation to a general dictionary, and a similar one from an internal regulatory document of the FAO. Meanwhile another editor wants to limit the article's examination of definitional issues to a terminology section devoted to that, including more precise and nuanced definitions from topically-specialized sources, and have the lead only present an overview of what the term refers to, without citing either the dictionary or FAO sources, detailing in the terminology section why these two sources may be questionable on the matter. Each editor has made WP:NOR and WP:NPOV claims against the other over this editing dispute (see Talk:Landrace#POV promotion of vague FAO and OED definitions, and some earlier threads, for details). It needs some new eyes, preferably ones of editors who do not have any vested interest in domestic animal topics. Obviously I am the second of the two editors in this dispute. Both of us are making an effort to avoid further interpersonal conflict, so I think it would be especially helpful in this case for non-involved editors to weigh in on this matter, and others raised on the same talk page. A cursory scan of the article shows that it's stuck in the same in-between state it has been for months, with the dictionary definition moved to the terminology section, but the FAO definition retained in the first sentence of the lead.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:01, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Hi SMcCandlish, If it's just the two editors involved in the content dispute, have you considered requesting a third opinion at WP:3O? If you don't get anything there, I'll try to have a look myself, but it might be a day or so. Hope this helps. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 12:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
@Ryk72: I've attempted formal WP:DR with the editor before, but this was rebuffed. I'm skeptical that the opinion of a single additional voice via WP:3O would help much. Rather, multiple editors applying critical thinking about what constitutes WP:OR/WP:SYNTH is needed. Each editor claims that the other is engaging in novel synthesis, and it's unlikely that they can both be right, when the edits they make are back-and-forth, directly opposite edits to the same small bit of the lead. (Of course it's possible for two editors to engage in SYNTH in different ways on the same page.) Either a vague dictionary definition and an out-of-context NGO one from a house organ can be used in place of more particular, secondary, journal sources, or they can't. PS: A third editor might already be involved (one that the other enlists against me in a WP:TAGTEAM on virtually every page in which we come into conflict, for around 18 months now), so WP:3O might not even be available.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:45, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

RfC: Guidance on commas after Jr. and Sr.[edit]

The previous RfC: Guidance on commas before Jr. and Sr. has been closed with the decision to allow the comma before Jr. or Sr. to be optional provided that each article is interally consistent. Accordingly, Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biographies § Names §§ First mention §§§ Child named for parent or predecessor has been amended to read:

Editors may use or omit a comma before Jr. or Sr. so long as each article is internally consistent. Do not place a comma before a Roman numeral designation. Examples: Sammy Davis Jr.; Martin Luther King, Sr.; Otis D. Wright II, not Otis D. Wright, II.

Hopefully this will avoid ongoing arguments on which is the "right" form for individual subjects (based on their preferences or sources' preferences) and won't lead to editwarring (see MOS:DATERET for the guideline avoiding similar editwarring over date formats).

As flagged in the previous discussion, this raises the issue of commas appearing after Jr. and Sr.. All style guides state that, if a comma is used before, a matching comma must appear afterwards if the sentence continues—acting as an appositive, much like commas after dates in MDY format (MOS:DATEFORMAT) and after city–state combinations (MOS:COMMA).

Unfortunately, many editors are not aware of this rule in English and sometimes argue against it. Therefore, I recommend this section be further amended as follows:

Editors may use or omit a comma before Jr. or Sr. so long as each article is internally consistent (Sammy Davis Jr. or Martin Luther King, Sr.). If using a comma before, also include a comma after Jr. or Sr. if the sentence continues (John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was an American financer and philanthropist...).

Do not place a comma before a Roman numeral designation (Otis D. Wright II, not Otis D. Wright, II).

sroc 💬 05:54, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Guidance on commas after Jr. and Sr.: Comments[edit]

Please add your comments below.
  • [Support:] Yes, if a comma goes before, it goes after. Standard logical clause construction. NB. Much prefer the British style where Jr and Sr do not need the period. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:21, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support the use of proposed addition. Consistency is a poor justification for going against WP:UCRN. GregKaye 06:34, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
    User:GregKaye - what does requiring the second comma have to do with WP:UCRN? Dohn joe (talk) 16:54, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
    Dohn joe My personal preference is that we should generally use a form of name that corresponds to WP:RECOGNIZABILITY and WP:NATURALNESS. Unless there are other pressing concerns, these are the considerations we, I think, should predominantly follow the way things are normally done for that person. WP:UCRN presents that: "Wikipedia prefers the name that is most commonly used (as determined by its prevalence in reliable English-language sources) as such names will be the most recognizable and the most natural." GregKaye 18:56, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
    User:GregKaye - agreed. But again, what does that have to do with whether we allow "John Smith, Jr., was..." and/or "John Smith, Jr. was..."? This RfC is only about whether we require that second comma after Jr. or not, not how we present the name (except for cases below like the Rockefeller library). I'm still confused about the relevance of wp:ucrn. Dohn joe (talk) 19:04, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Dohn joe My apologies for not understanding what you were saying. My support is mainly for the inclusion of examples such as "Sammy Davis Jr. or Martin Luther King, Sr.". I still think the commas content makes reasonable sense but you are right to point that this has nothing to do with issues relating to prevalence of use. GregKaye 19:40, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - What are you trying to do? The whole proposal that you have supported had no consensus. I checked the closed discussion, and you're still persistent on having all commas before successor or predecessor omitted. Also, you haven't contacted or pinged Go Phightins!, who accurately closed the previous discussion. Well, I'm still in favor of omitting a comma, but not when sources are divided or when consensus opposes it. This is instructional creep. --George Ho (talk) 07:04, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
@George Ho: What are you on about? This RfC isn't about the comma before Jr. or Sr.—it's about the separate issue of providing guidance for the comma after Jr. or Sr. All style guides say if there's a comma before there must be a comma after. That's all this RfC seeks to add to the guideline for clarification. sroc 💬 15:21, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Note that this proposal was already flagged in the previous RfC:

Note: This RfC only concerns the comma before Jr. and Sr. If the result allows for that comma, then a follow-up discussion may be necessary regarding guidance on a comma after Jr. or Sr.

The result of that RfC allows for the comma before, so this RfC is about the comma after, exactly as previously stated. sroc 💬 15:47, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
My bad. If you're concerned about a comma after Jr or Sr, perhaps I was mistaken. I struck original vote, so I will make a fresher one. George Ho (talk) 18:37, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Weak support - Look like an instructional creep, but a comma after Jr/Sr makes more sense when a comma before Jr/Sr is added. No comma before, no comma after, however. And I wouldn't care about regional differences as long as commas are properly used.
  • Oppose, it's an archaic style that's still listed in quite a few places and used in even less. The Jr. or Sr. without a comma has been the standard way of using the style as long as Jr. and Sr. have existed, or at least in my experience, which is almost as long. Official names, such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, don't use it, probably because it makes things look worse instead of better and is so uncommon that the mind latches onto it and won't let go, like some kind of little dog sitting there growling at the preceding period. Randy Kryn 10:54, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
@Randy Kryn: That would be a good argument to do away with the commas altogether, but that argument has been and gone. English construction and style guides universally agree that a comma before requires a comma after. The fact that some sources flout this rule is no reason for this encyclopedia to follow in their folly. sroc 💬 15:56, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The recently closed RFC closure on the issue of commas before Jr. or Sr. (essentially saying that we should have no rule other than "be internally consistent" within an article) reflected a practical and common sense approach that accounts for our lack of consensus on the issue. I think the same approach should be applied to the question of commas after... The important thing is for the style to be internally consistent within any given article. More than that is unnecessary instruction creep. Blueboar (talk) 13:33, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
@Blueboar: Style guides generally agree that commas may be included or omitted (the trend is to omit them) but all agree that a comma before requires a comma after. If we're consistent within each article about whether or not to have the comma before, "common sense" requires that we also be consistent about whether or not to include the comma after. sroc 💬 15:24, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm fairly certain this covention is completely unknown in British English - were any of the "all style guides" for BE? People should be more careful about this. Even in AE it doesn't seem to me to be what is usual. Just in case it is adopted it should be made clear that this applies within AE only, for ENGVAR purposes. Johnbod (talk) 14:01, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support – The following comma is required in both British English and American English, and always has been (I'm a Briton). If the form with the comma before is to be allowed, the following comma must also be required. RGloucester 14:24, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
This is simply nonsense! Johnbod (talk) 15:17, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
There is nothing "nonsense" about it. Yes, we don't generally use "junior" and "senior" suffixes in British English. However, the rules of comma usage remain the same. Completing the apposition requires a following comma. Take a look at this guide here, which explains the use of commas with appositives quite well. In the American context, one might look at this Chicago style guide bit, which notes the necessary nature of the following comma. RGloucester 15:09, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Now I know why the British omit the period, so you do not have to argue of the mid sentence period. I agree that you should have a comma after a mid sentence period, except after Mr. and Dr. and others that are name prefixes, but that has nothing to do with changing the titles of articles. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 15:52, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It may be that all style guides that address the issue recommend using the second comma, but there are two complications. 1) Not all style guides even discuss this relatively minor point of punctuation. 2) In practice, many reputable sources leave out the second comma, regardless of the preferences of style guides. For example:
Routledge: Cromwell, Adelaide M. An African Victorian Feminist: The Life and Times of Adelaide Smith Casely Hayford 1848-1960. p.31. 2014.
Oxford University Press: Lischer, Richard. The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word that Moved America. p.197. 1995.
Many more (see for yourself with this Google Books search).
We have also already come across the case where WP editors have decided that the second comma might not be a part of the name of something. For example:
Talk:John_D._Rockefeller,_Jr._Memorial_Parkway#Requested_move_2_March_2015
Leaving out the second comma in general does nothing to change the ability of our readers to comprehend the meaning of the sentence. Despite style guides' efforts, the second comma is quite often left out, even in reputable, professionally edited sources. Real-world usage shows that both using and leaving out the second comma is acceptable in English. WP should therefore allow both styles, as long as an article is internally consistent. Any particularly strong argument for including or omitting the second comma should be taken up on a case-by-case basis. Dohn joe (talk) 16:41, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
@Dohn joe: The fact that some sources don't follow proper punctuation is no reason for this encyclopedia to follow in their folly. Cases like the Memorial Parkway (where even the "official" sources disagreed on the punctuation) show exactly why we should have proper guidance on this to avoid recurring debates by editors who are singularly focussed on particular articles without a considered understanding of this specific punctuation issue. sroc 💬 03:55, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
User:sroc - the point is that style guides do not have a monopoly on what is "proper punctuation." Usage in reputable, professionally edited sources is good evidence of what is proper usage. When a significant portion of sources use a style (as with not using a second comma after Jr.), then WP should be allowed to permit usage of that style. Dohn joe (talk) 15:36, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
@Dohn joe: Prescriptivism vs descriptivism. I would rather defer to style guides on matters of style. If there was some leeway in some style guides then I might accept the argument, but all the style guides I've seen say comma before requires a comma after; none concede that the comma after is optional when the comma before is used. It's poor form for an encyclopedia's style guide to go against all style guides on proper punctuation. sroc 💬 04:22, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
If this is folly, as you repeat, then the U.S. government is guilty of folly (not for the first time, if truth be told) over and over again. The comma after a Jr. or Sr. would change the name of institutions and memorials, of books and beanstalks. As I said, the use of comma after such a word combination misses the point of clear and clean language, and just adds more data into something which doesn't need to be explained. Randy Kryn 11:10, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
The comma is there precisely because it makes for "clear" language by following standard logical rules, as explained by the mentioned style guides. Some sources fail (for example, it has been said that newspapers omit the comma after MDY dates and city–state conjunctions to economise on space in narrow columns) and often disagree (for example, the same geographical feature is "officially" named as "John D. Rockefeller, Junior, Memorial Parkway" in founding legislation; "John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway" on signs and publications; and "John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway" on its website). Where others fail, we should strive for accuracy and encyclopedic standards. sroc 💬 11:40, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - As far as I am concerned, British English uses' this standard. CookieMonster755 (talk) 23:12, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support—if editors are going to use a comma before Sr./Jr., then some form of punctuation is necessary to close the appositive. By default that is another comma, but it could be a semicolon, dash or terminal punctuation. We do this with constructions like "Milwaukee, Wisconsin", so we should be doing this with these types of names. (Dropping the comma completely in these names would simplify things greatly, of course.) Imzadi 1979  05:32, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
    The comma in the Jr. or Sr. is part of a person's proper name. "Milwaukee" is a proper name on its own, as is "Wisconsin", so in that form the comma is needed, but not if the comma is part of the proper name. Randy Kryn 1:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Except his name is often given simply as "Martin Luther King" and the "Jr." is only added as a distinguishing feature when needed; and in any case, this involves the rules of English punctuation which are supported by the cited style guides—you have provided no style guide references to contradict this. sroc 💬 01:43, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
King himself used the comma as part of his proper name. The U.S. government, in its naming of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day have set the style in his case. Randy Kryn 1:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - on the basis of completing the apposition. Cinderella157 (talk) 00:52, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support- logical --L235 (t / c / ping in reply) 18:14, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support as proposed. If anyone doubts this lack of clarity results in editwarring, guess again. sroc 💬 01:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
    You began that editwar (I'd rather call it an edit disagreement, or edit snowball fight) by choosing the very prominent Dr. King page to place the awkward after-proper-name commas without a consensus being reached. The consistency in Wikipedia of not using the comma after King's name is present in using the names that the U.S. government has given to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Randy Kryn 1:54, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
You may think it "awkward", but it's English. The alternative was to do away with commas before "Jr."/"Sr.", but the consensus went against that. Americans failing English punctuation is no excuse for Wikipedia to pander to them. sroc 💬 01:59, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Eh, it's generally everyone but American's who are dropping the commas, though.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:53, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish: I was responding to Randy Kryn's comment about US government sources. I don't care who's dropping the comma after; mismatched commas are wrong and an encyclopedia shouldn't settle for sub-standard punctuation. sroc 💬 17:47, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Right. :-) — Preceding unsigned comment added by SMcCandlish (talkcontribs)
  • Support a comma after when there is one before. – SJ + 15:15, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support: Yes, this is basic English punctuation. I'm skeptical that a Village pump (policy) RfC was needed for this. Minor clarification edits to MOS pages are discussed at their talk pages, or at the main WT:MOS talk page if the MOS subpage's talk page is poorly attended.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:56, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I posted it here because the antecedent RfC: Guidance on commas before Jr. and Sr. was posted here, and that was because it was considered that MOS was not sufficiently patrolled for a previous RfC. Notification was also posted at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biographies § RfC: Comma or no comma before Jr. and Sr. §§ New RfCs. sroc 💬 02:16, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
By the way, I would have hoped this wouldn't be controversial, but alas my fear that this would court controversy was realised. sroc 💬 02:23, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
It courts controversy only because MOS-bashing has become a wikisport (and a team one at that), while not everyone who writes Wikipedia has much training in writing, plus the human tendency to believe that a rule someone doesn't want to be bothered with is a wrong in the world. Competent writers, and reliable sources on English-language usage, all know that commas are balanced in cases like this.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:36, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
It's controversial simply because competent writers, and editors, such as the ones cited above from Routledge and Oxford, do in fact sometimes omit a following comma. An acceptable option in reliable sources should be an option here on WP. Dohn joe (talk) 17:00, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Evidence of usage that has managed to make it into print doesn't constitute reliable sourcing that such a style choice is widely acceptable in a formal register like encyclopedia writing. Routledge and Oxford as publishers have little to do with the output of Cromwell and Lischer, the authors of the books in question. While the writers were surely subject to some level of editorial revision, we have no insider data on why this usage was not corrected to something more standard; we can't suppose it was because officials at the publishers preferred it, or it was just an oversight, or the authors in each case lobbied hard for it because they thought their audience didn't like commas, or what. There's no evidence.

It certainly isn't the case that Oxford can be cited as some kind of authority of in favor of omitting that comma, or even being neutral on it. Oxford's own style guide under various titles doesn't address this exact case, but they do address the general case. With the comma in such a name, "Jr." or "Sr." is an appositive, a qualifier, added to the name. Oxford is clear on these in general: "Use a pair of commas when the apposition falls in the middle of a sentence; they function like a pair of parentheses or dashes, though they imply a closer relationship with the surrounding text". (New Harts Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors, p. 68, Oxford U. Pr., 2005). That even neatly explains why we use commas, instead of some other convention like "Martin Luther King (Jr.)".

So, we do have four things here: 1) style/usage guides recommending commas before and after "Jr." and "Sr."; 2) guides not addressing this specific question but giving more general advice that inexorably leads to the same conclusion; 3) guides recommending or at least permitting the dropping of both commas (mostly news style guides, with focus on expediency); and 4) guides offering no applicable advice at all. The one relevant thing we do not have is style guides recommending dropping the second comma if the first is used. Even if a style manual can be found somewhere recommending no second comma, it would be dwarfed by the stack of books contradicting it. So there's really no debate to continue with on this point. It remains well sourced (in this thread and many before it) that reliable sources on English-language usage consistently say that commas are balanced in cases like this. The dropping of the second comma is fairly common in vernacular and journalistic writing (including books written by journalists). I catch myself doing it out of expediency pretty often. But it's not formal, precise writing, and it can lead to sentences that are difficult to parse correctly. Finally, WP is not bound to do what a numeric majority of external style guides do, anyway. MOS recommends what our consensus (collectively built and refined) determines is best for the encyclopedia's purpose and readership, not for the approval of pundits at any external publisher of style guides. An enormous number of WP:MOS-related and WP:AT-related arguments are predicated on approaching MOS/AT as if we're writing a style guide / naming convention for the world, instead of an in-house one for a single publication.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  18:24, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

English policy: So blindly obvious, but...[edit]

Over the weekend I had an incident on Wikipedia that convinced me the following needs to be proposed as policy:

All entries in article space need to be in English

Preamble

In order to assure all involved that any article satisfies the Five Pillars of Wikipedia, as well as Wikipedia's policies and guidelines the article needs to be able to be read. Since English is the language of this particular wiki, most users on this Wikipedia read English and communicate in English. Further, most of the users on this Wikipedia do not read any other language. Therefore it would be impossible to assure that any article meets the aforementioned Five Pillars and guidelines without being able actually understand what's being written. Therefore any article in the article namespace needs to be in English.

Instructions

Since Wikipedia assumes good faith, articles not in English can be moved to the Draft namespace and a tag requesting translation can be added there. That way, there is a mechanism for allowing a non-English submission to be considered for Wikipedia. Once the article is translated in Draft namespace and judged to meet all policies and applicable guidelines, it can then be moved to the article namespace.

Any article not in English posted in article namespace should be moved into the Draft namespace and a note to the submitting author must be sent informing them what has happened.

This is being done to verify that the article in question doesn't violate copyright, which is a pretty serious issue here, doesn't violate any office actions, and more simply put, that it doesn't violate any Wikipedia policy or guideline. This cannot be done if it's in a language that cannot be read on this Wikipedia (i.e. English). We have other vrrsions of Wikipedia for other languages, therefore, it's not an issue of exclusion, but rather one of making sure that the article meets all guidelines and policies.

KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 11:02, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

English policy: Support[edit]

  • Support as proposer, not to mention it's so blindly obvious KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 11:02, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support all non-English articles should generally be moved to draftspace on sight when they don't qualify for speedy deletion but also can't be fixed up in a short amount of time. With the current process, if someone creates an article about some non-notable nonsense in English then it gets speedied in five seconds, but if the article happens to be in some other language then we give it a two-week grace period to see if it gets translated and/or it may get forgotten entirely -- this doesn't make any sense to me and dealing with these articles is pretty annoying. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 11:36, 18 May 2015 (UTC) amended — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 17:23, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
    • Amending my !vote: this doesn't necessarily have to be a new policy page, it can also be written into some other policy or information page, and described as a standard/approved/okay method of dealing with non-English articles. But also it doesn't have to be mandatory to move every non-English article into draftspace (if an editor feels that it will be easy enough to turn that article into something worthy of inclusion on Wikipedia, i.e. they understand what the topic is and have the time to work on it). — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 14:55, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I think this is the essence of just do it! If you can translate the article, do it! But if you can't or don't have the time right now, add it to the list at WP:PNT and you or someone else can get to it soon. Is it easy enough to move an article back from Drafts to the mainspace, or does this require an admin to move over a redirect? sroc 💬 15:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
After moving an article to draftspace, the redirect that gets created after the move should be speedied as R2. Cross-namespace redirects -- articlespace redirects that redirect to the Draft namespace should get deleted. So, assuming some time has passed and the redirect has been deleted, it will be easy to move the draft back to mainspace. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 16:11, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I just saw this. All the more reason to move the article to drafts if you can't fix it right away, and it can be moved back when it's done. Not that the move needs to be mandatory, but they shouldn't linger in the article space unnecessarily. sroc 💬 16:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
    • Another amendment: as said I don't necessarily support the creation of a new policy, but, wherever it is written, we should not include this part: "This cannot be done if it's in a language that cannot be read on this Wikipedia (English)." -- we can indeed judge articles even if they're in a language we can't understand, it can often be possible to determine (like by using a translator) if an article is total baloney or not. We can do it and we're allowed to, too. (And then tag for speedy (with an explanation for deleting admin if necessary) instead of moving to draftspace.) — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 17:14, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support-ish. I don't see that we need to enshrine in policy the fact that this is the English Wikipedia, but I'm a big fan of the idea of automatically moving non-English submissions into Draft-space. Yunshui  11:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
@Yunshui: What do you think of my counter-proposal below? sroc 💬 14:11, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support – Anything that makes WP:ENGLISH stronger is welcome in my view. --IJBall (talk) 13:06, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - yes, I think that this should be obvious; however, I think that draftifying non-English articles is better than either keeping them in the mainspace or deleting them outright. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:10, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
@Od Mishehu: What do you think of my counter-proposal below? sroc 💬 14:11, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support This will only have positive effects.Bosstopher (talk) 13:11, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support As per above. A no-brainer IMO. Regards  Aloha27  talk  13:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I don't know if there's something in the water but there seem to be more and more non-English articles turning up at NPP (or simply I'm noticing them more), and investigating why people are not inclined to put them in the right language Wikipedia is probably also worth investigating. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 13:52, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support as per above. But are there any non-English articles in mainspace, or is this preventive? Robert McClenon (talk) 13:54, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
@Robert McClenon: See Category:Wikipedia articles needing translation. Winner 42 Talk to me! 13:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support This is a fairly common sense proposal. It is preferable to the current status quo of tagging them for translation and leaving them in article space. Winner 42 Talk to me! 13:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
@Winner 42: So move them and tag them. We don't need a policy for this. See my counter-proposal below. sroc 💬 14:11, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, I have seen non-English articles in mainspace before, most of which get mopped up in the NPP process. I have also seen articles that have been vandalized and left with completely non-English text for months though, so I would add the cautionary note of "any editor who is preparing to move a non-English page to the draft namespace must check the edit history to see if there is an English version that can be restored". Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 14:26, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Duh. This is the English wiki, if someone wants an article in a different language, it should be directed to that language's wiki. GregJackP Boomer! 15:19, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Lingua anglicana est universale.--Sigehelmus (talk) 22:55, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support it really is a no-brainer. Get them into draft space so they can be translated and verified more easily. Fyunck(click) (talk) 04:53, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

English policy: Oppose[edit]

  • Oppose creating a new policy to say we can do this. There is nothing in any policy that says we can not move (not cut and paste) an article that is not ready from the mainspace to the draft space. An article that is not written in English is not ready for the mainspace so there is nothing stopping us from moving it. The creator should be notified where the article was moved to and why, so they can work on it. -- GB fan 12:14, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
    • Well that's an option too: we don't need a policy for this, if an editor is still allowed to move an article into draftspace for the main reason that it's not in English. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 12:31, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose the proposed policy as unnecessary. I have an alternative proposal set out below which I think is a lot simpler and easier to implement. sroc 💬 14:05, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is a good example of an idea with a lot of merit, but some flaws that need addressing. A candidate for the Idea Lab to work out the kinks before asking for an up or down vote. Examples of kinks:
    • Suppose I run across an article in mainspace in another language, which when translated, is absolute gibberish, and qualifies as a G1. Of course, after moving to draft space I can delete it as a G1, but this policy, as written, requires that I move it to draft space first. If I do not, I am potentially santionable for violating policy.
    • Rinse and repeat for an article which is a clear copyvio, but in another language.
    • Or an article which is an attack. Yes, this could be fixed, but there are other issues to address. It states that the article will be moved to draft to verify that the article in question doesn't violate copyright . Moving an article to draft space doesn't solve the copyright problem. We don't have an exception that allows copyvios in draft space. There are other issues as well, so it isn't the case that a couple minor copy edits will make this acceptable as is. That said, it has promise.--S Philbrick(Talk) 14:57, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
      • These are problems that we already have. Currently it's not possible to speedy an article simply because it's non-English, and often that's a problem because we can't tell whether the article complies with policy or not. It could be blatant vandalism but we have to keep it for at least two weeks until someone can identify what we're dealing with. Moving that kind of an article out of mainspace (and to somewhere where search engines can't find it) is a good compromise. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 15:07, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it is possible to speedy an existing article in another language. (After re-reading, I guess you are saying that simply being in non-English is not a sufficient reason for CSD, but as I'll explain, I can identify valid CSDs even though my language skills are minimal.) I can tell that something is a copyvio if it is clearly an exact copy of a published item. Google translate is deficient for some purposes, but if Google Translate produces John Doe is a well-know child molester I don't need a competent human translator to tell me it can be deleted. If the article is created by a banned or blocked user, I don't even need to translate the content. Yet, this proposed policy says I should move it to draft space first. Why?--S Philbrick(Talk) 16:57, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Does it really say that? That you must? I'm not seeing it. If you can tell that an article qualifies for speedy then of course you can speedy it, I don't think anyone would argue that. Though in cases like this you may have to leave a note behind explaining how it qualifies, if it's not immediately obvious to admins who do the deleting. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 17:03, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose as unnecessary bureaucracy. Speaking as one of the half dozen or so editors who handle non-English articles at PNT every single day, we always deal with these articles in the best and most efficient way possible. This can be one of many ways, sometimes they're translated, becoming valuable articles, sometimes they are speedy deleted if they meet a criteria (and yes I'll admit that I usually IAR delete the essays and rants we often get), sometimes they are prodded/blpprodded or afd'd if we think they're not worth translating, if we think they are worth an article but can't translate them ourselves we leave them (and after two weeks they are prodded and deleted it not translated) and yes we sometimes userfy them if we feel they were created in good faith and that . To just point out how small a problem this is, currently there are 6 articles (out of 4,883,112) that are entirely not in English, 3 of which are currently prodded. Trying to enforce a firm rule that all non-English articles be immediately userfied is just overkill, and a good way to prevent potential good articles, the current system works just fine, the article which started this whole drama-fest being a perfect example.--Jac16888 Talk 17:18, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP. We already have processes for non-English articles. While they are not perfect they work well enough, better than this clunky idea would anyway. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:04, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Jac16888 who says the current system is working fine. Also, we assume good faith until shown otherwise. We don't assume the article may be "dodgy" just because we can't read it. SpinningSpark 18:22, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is already an established procedure for translating non-English articles, Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English. This happened to me once. I created a new article by copy-pasting the French language version, then proceeded to translate it in place. I expected this to be a quick task, but got sidetracked and then interrupted by an offline event. (I should have created it in the draft space, but this requires an admin request.) For my trouble I got templated that I should first list the article for translation, and then come back and translate it. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:07, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
* Comment Actually it doesn't require admin permissions. I've created a draft space article and I'm definitely not an admin. KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 20:14, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Even IPs can create draftspace pages. o_O — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 20:16, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
True! But unfortunately moving the draft article to the mainspace causes a redirect to be left behind, which then requires a CSD (admin request) to delete. So I try to avoid this whenever I possibly can. Sorry, I did not make myself clear. Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:53, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Redirects from draftspace to mainspace are okay. AFC reviewers leave them behind all the time. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 09:06, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
@Hawkeye7: When moving an article there is an option to not leave behind a redirect = uncheck the "leave a redirect behind" box. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:42, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
@Ceyockey: Not true if you aren't an admin. Though I have been pushing for allowing this permission for non admins recently, it has been met with resistance. EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 00:45, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
@EoRdE6: Ahhh. I did not realize this was an admin-only function. Apologies and thanks for highlighting that. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose revoking WP:PNT#Standard procedures without the proposer either acknowledging its long-standing acceptance or notifying the page that he hopes to revoke it (perhaps he just didn't know that it exists? Nobody can keep up with everything around here, because there are so many pages). In fact, most of the above "votes" don't seem to know that we have a procedure for handling such pages. I expect they all would have guessed that "edit-war to blank the page" isn't it, though. Jeraphine, Yunshui, IJBall, Od, Bosstopher, Aloha27, Ritchie333, Robert, Winner, Luke, Greg, I'd be interested in knowing how many of you were aware of the standard procedure before this discussion, and whether you think that years-old advice is probably an adequate approach, or if you still think we need yet another policy or guideline for the occasional article that isn't written in English. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:39, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I was aware of the standard procedure when !voting, and have looked at and speedied persian article on WP:PNT from time to time. I voted under the assumption that if this passed, PNT would still function, only pages translated would be temporarily moved to draftspace first. This seems like the most common sense solution.Bosstopher (talk) 21:50, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I can see why a reasonable person might hope for that, but this policy would actually preclude the standard procedure. The proposed policy prohibits leaving a non-English article in the mainspace for two weeks (= it prohibits "the standard procedure"). The editors at PNT do not handle articles anywhere else (by choice, and those WP:VOLUNTEERS are the only ones who get to make that choice). It is not possible to have "the new policy" and "the standard procedure" operating at the same time. "There must never be articles needing translation in the mainspace" and "We only translate articles in the mainspace" cannot function at the same time.
The potential for confusion is why I'm unhappy about the failure to be more explicit about the policy's effects. I am worried that some people are voting for a benign-sounding, commonsensical statement without understanding that the intended outcome is to eliminate a long-standing process. This proposal amounts to revoking PNT's standard procedure, although it doesn't come out and say so in ways that will be clearly understood by everyone. If you want to change an old process, that's fine, but IMO you should say so, using words that cannot possibly be misunderstood (e.g., "I propose stopping the bad old way and replacing it with this obviously better idea:").
The immediate history also gives me pause: The precipitating incident is that the proposer blanked an article (three times in three hours, if the comment below is correct) and was told that the standard procedure is to tag it and wait for two weeks. He was not satisfied with waiting for two weeks, so he proposes here a policy to override it. However, he does not mention the existing standard procedure. He gives only the briefest mention that he lost a dispute because of it. The sole practical effect of his proposed policy is to revoke the process that caused him to lose the dispute. He makes no acknowledgement of how this proposal affects longstanding processes. I've spent years around policy pages, and I can tell you that this situation is a fairly reliable recipe for disaster and drama. If you want to kill an old process, then you need to tell to people that you're doing it.
Note that I don't mind changing old processes, if that's what people want to do. I've done it myself. My only requirement is that supporters understand that's the point of the proposal and say that they're intentionally replacing an old process. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:38, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I think it's very simple to keep the old and new processes in place at the same time. You just apply all the same rules to the drafts that you would to non english articles, and speedy them if no one translates after two weeks. A venue for translation is still maintained and you don't end up with old non-english articles on god-knows-what languishing about in draftspace. Best of both worlds.Bosstopher (talk) 23:46, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  1. This proposal doesn't actually do what you want it to do. (The alternate below does something close, but the original does not.)
  2. In my experience it is never "simple" to force volunteers do things that they do not choose to do, and the volunteers at PNT have already said that they have no interest in doing what you want them to do. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:43, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
First of all I am someone who volunteers from time to time at PNT (as is GregJackP who supported the proposal and responded to you below), and in my capacity as someone who does so I believe its better to not have completely non-english articles languishing about in mainspace, and I would completely willingly move non-english articles to draft space. Also can you point me to exactly where the collective you refer to as the "volunteers at PNT" have unanimously opposed this decision? As for the proposal not doing what i think its supposed to do, this seems to be another example of an incredibly simple and beneficial change being bogged down in Village pump bureaucracy. I'm sure the closing admin will be able to interpret what I mean.Bosstopher (talk) 16:48, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I base my statement about the volunteers at PNT on the comment below: "There is a long-held consensus, re-affirmed just a few weeks ago, at PNT that draft articles do not fall within our scope of work..." by User:Jac16888. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:13, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for directing me to that. Although I'd forgotten about it, I actually took part in that discussion and at the time (although I didnt write it because enough other people had) was opposed to the idea of putting all non-english drafts in PNT. However, I think this case is very different to that, as only drafts that were intitially posted in article space would be brought to PNT for temporary holding, as opposed to any gibberish written in draftspace. I think it's an apples and oranges situation. Bosstopher (talk) 20:22, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I was aware also, and have tagged many such articles. I've also watched articles not be translated for significant periods of time. However, I don't think that we need to keep articles which are not written in English. BTW, your comment was very condescending, I guess us mere non-WMF editors wouldn't have thought of other options. GregJackP Boomer! 22:53, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
It's worth noting that the existing standard procedure predates the existence of the Draft namespace, and therefore might be due an overhaul with the new option in mind. That's probably something for the appropriate talkpage, though. It's my opinion that the suggestions offered here, especially the alternative version below, constitute an improvement on the current process. Yunshui  07:50, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Over at Wikipedia:WikiProject Anime and manga we use a template called Template:nihongo, not everything should be in English per WP:BIAS. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 23:59, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with Beeblebrox that this is nothing but WP:CREEP. There is no need to have a policy or guideline to state that the English Wikipedia should in English. —Farix (t | c) 00:31, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose (a) the proposal incorrectly implies that there is a single english language and (b) articles have very good and well established grounds for using non-English languages (be it Japanese, Arabic; Latin or native american languages) in places (alternative names, linguistic examples, etc, etc); many articles would be significantly impaired with those. Stuartyeates (talk) 10:43, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per several comments above. Most notably, we already delete or translate articles written in foreign languages, so this proposed policy does not actually accomplish anything. As such, it is unnecessary WP:CREEP. Resolute 14:10, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Knowledgekid87 Bias huh ? Note the proposal is for articles not templates (I'm also a self-described Otaku :) ) TheFarix I actually agree, this shouldn't have to be policy, I would have thought it common sense, however this little incident told me otherwise. SpinningSpark AGF is not a suicide pact, further, author editors, even in good faith sometimes run afoul of copyright concerns because they're not aware of how ours works (and BLP as well ). KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 15:42, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The template makes both Japanese and English text appear on the page, we also have Japanese names as article titles and as character names (as such the name would be included in the article's body) per WP:COMMONNAME. By all in English do you mean all content of a given article? I want to have an open mind but please specify as it sounds too broad if I read "All entries in article space need to be in English" right. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:29, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • @KoshVorlon: I would support your proposal for entries that are written fully in another language or a certain percentage of the article, there has to be some kind of footnotes/exceptions though if this is to become policy. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:40, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Kosh, you continue to refer to your "little incident" as why this change needs to be made, and yet the article which started all of this (Detective Willy for anyone not already aware), was, once properly reported to PNT, translated and then prodded within a few hours of being created, similarly a dozen+ other articles have been created and dealt with in the time since then - I don't see how any of this is problematic. If anything your incident shows that, when procedure if actually followed, the system we have works great --Jac16888 Talk 20:41, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • "Hard cases make bad law" or in this case bad policy/guidelines. It's clear in that discussion that you didn't follow already existing procedures for handling such types of articles. But I honestly don't see the need for a policy over just one incident. —Farix (t | c) 20:20, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If it ain't broken, don't fix it. The current process is working fine, and no non-English article is kept any longer than necessary. De728631 (talk) 18:30, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: no pressing need to adopt an English only policy for the first appearance of an article. A working proceedure is in place. — Neonorange (talk) 21:22, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment For those opposing, please see this recent posting to WP:AN where the the reverse happened. Just so I'm totally clear, I'm not suggesting that if we have an article about a Japanese term, or a Spanish term, that we can't use the Spanish or Japanese word itself, nor am I suggesting that that word be written out in the English alphabet. What I'm suggesting is that any article in article space needs to be in English, currently we're getting entries in article space that are 100% not English. I'm suggesting that they be placed in draft space where they can be translated , then judged to be in compliance with all applicable Wikipedia policies and guildelines. That's it, simple, obvious and very much common sense. KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 11:00, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
You mean the posting which shows that when a non-english article is submitted to the proper place, it is dealt within just a few hours? A perfect example to me of how well the current PNT system works, when of course it it is actually used rather than ignored--Jac16888 Talk 16:32, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Except that article space is the wrong place for non-English articles. So no, it wasn't in the proper place. KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 16:42, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Not sure if you're intentionally misunderstood my point there or not. By "proper place", I mean PNT, as in, a user followed procedure and logged it there, and then it was resolved shortly afterwards. In fact had you done so yourself, or had you actually moved it to the draftspace properly (that being one way we do deal with non-english articles already anyway), there would have been no issue. I feel I have to ask this, as you've never actually addressed this: please can you tell me that you understand why blanking a page or copying and pasting it to another place is a bad thing--Jac16888 Talk 17:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Jac16888 - yeah, I did. I consider article space to not be the proper place for articles not in English, rather I'd say Draft space is. The article was in article space when I first ran across it. Yes, I agree PNT acted correctly by translating the article, I wasn't trying to change the process that got the article translated, rather the fact that the article should have been in article space prior to translation. KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 15:29, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - you lost me at "Further, most of the users on this Wikipedia do not read any other language." That's absurd. Where did you get this information? I don't remember indicating what languages I can read when I created an account. It seems that, because you can't read any other languages, you assume everyone is the same? Otherwise why would you assume this? Further, how often are there articles that are entirely in another language that are not copyright violations or able to be removed for another basic reason? Why is this policy necessary? I looked at the ANI you suggested as cause for the proposal and I agree with Jac16888 - your insistence that you should be able to blank a page because it's in another language is not sound. It's laziness at best, censorship at worse. МандичкаYO 😜 00:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, what I mean is the language of this Wikipedia is English. I see your name is in Russian (ok, Cryllic , so it might not be Russian as other languages use the Cryllic Alphabet ) assuming you ARE Russian, would it make sense to have an article in ru.wikipedia.org in English rather than in Russian, even though there may be people on that Wikipedia that read English ? Of course not, it's common sense, the lingua franca on that Wikipedia is Russian, just the the lingua franca on this wikipedia is English. Articles should conform to the lingua franca, obviously there may be portions of the article that need to be in a different language (reliable references in other languages, a term in another language that needs to be in. That kind of thing. ). What we should not have in an article of any sort , written completely in another language. KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 15:29, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
What irks me more is how we have maps that are written in different languages being used (Examples: Battle maps, road maps, ect...). Yeah the maps are encyclopedic but unless you speak the language there is no way to understand them. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 15:54, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
A good caption on the map can usually address that problem adequately. There's also a brand-new tool for making charts and maps (links at Wikipedia:Graphs and charts#Vega) that should make it much easier to translate vector-based maps. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:32, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: We don't need a WP:POLICY for this. That's overkill. Userspacing or deleting these things is already standard operating procedure. [PS: The expression is "blindingly obvious", not "blindly obvious"; it's a metaphoric reference to a very bright light.]  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:47, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:CREEP. VQuakr (talk) 03:45, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose PNT works pretty well as far as I have seen, don't fix what ain't broke. This proposal also seems kind of pointy to me. Fyddlestix (talk) 23:19, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

English policy: Discussion[edit]

I can see that KoshVorlon had an issue (Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard § Behavior of Jac16888) after blanking (three times in three hours) the article Detective Willy which was written in Spanish (it was translated into English within two hours afterwards).
Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English (WP:PNT) provides a process encouraging translation before hasty deletion, which may be a useful approach. It worked for the above-mentioned article and, if the article survives proposed deletion on notability grounds, it will be a good addition to Wikipedia. PNT isn't a policy or guideline, but if the policy proposed here were adopted, it would need to be completely re-worked. Accordingly, I have flagged this discussion on its talk page (Wikipedia talk:Pages needing translation into English § Proposed policy to move articles in foreign languages to draft space).
sroc 💬 12:36, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't see why an article could not both be (1) moved into draftspace and (2) listed at PNT. Wholly non-English articles where it's hard to even determine the subject, are not ready for articlespace, and they shouldn't be immune from our usual deletion criteria (like A7) simply because we can't understand what's going on in those articles. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 12:42, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
@Jeraphine Gryphon: I don't think Wikipedia:Criteria for speedy deletion § A7. No indication of importance (individuals, animals, organizations, web content, events) necessarily applies just because an article is in a foreign language; however, you're quite right that an article which has no (or barely any) English-language content doesn't belong in article space. Wikipedia:Deletion policy § Alternatives to deletion §§ Incubation can be applied to move them to draft space while they are being re-worked.
I note that some of the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English § Pages for consideration have some English-language content and some foreign-language content requiring translation, so these would not be ripe for deletion and leaving them in article space may attract users to bring them up to grade. There are some articles, however, that are entirely in a foreign languages and have been listed for some time:
That's just the ones that are over the two-week period. This shows that while the system can sometimes work quickly (as in the case of Detective Willy), articles can languish in article space waiting for attention. This being the case, I would support WP:PNT being revised to encourage moving articles to draft space until they are translated, perhaps then allowing a longer period before nominating them for deletion to give them a better chance of being salvaged. I'm not convinced this needs to be enshrined in a separate policy, however. sroc 💬 13:43, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Question: Will this be appended to, or be a new part of, the pre-existing WP:ENGLISH? Or will these be merged together? If not, how will this work?... --IJBall (talk) 12:33, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
IJBall I'd suggest making this part of WP:ENGLISH. KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 13:03, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Sroc You're right. That's what started this proposal. KoshVorlon Rassekali ternii i mlechnye puti 13:03, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
WP:ENGLISH is actually Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English), which I see as interpreting Article titles policy, so I don't think it can simply be appended there -- at least not without additional changes. This new rule would apply to the whole article, more like WP:MOS. I see this new rule as based more on the policy Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not or Wikipedia:Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, where the English-language Wikipedia should be defined as written in English. --Boson (talk) 13:40, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree that this should not be part of Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English). There's a section Wikipedia:Drafts#Incubation which discusses moving articles from mainspace to draft space. Maybe a paragraph about when this is appropriate could be added there, including pages not in English.—Anne Delong (talk) 13:47, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Suggestion: As this is the case, I suggest that the new policy's "shortcut" should become "WP:ENGLISH" if adopted, and the "old" WP:ENGLISH's shortcut should become something line WP:ENGLISHTITLE or some such... --IJBall (talk) 13:53, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
WP:ENGLISH is a bit vague, and WP:ENGLISHTITLE may be better. However, a new policy may not be needed; instructions to move pages awaiting translation to Draft space can be added at Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English#Standard procedures.—Anne Delong (talk) 13:59, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
WP:ENGLISHNAME would also work. --IJBall (talk) 14:02, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Changing the target of shortcuts if often a bad idea, because previous usages of the shortcut will then all point to the wrong target. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 14:33, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, agreed. But if this proposal passes, I think it may be warranted. At least, it should be discussed. --IJBall (talk) 15:54, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I think changing the description of the process would be better than a "policy" change, but am still wondering about whether any change in normal practice is necessary. In any case, it might be appropriate to change WP:English into something like a disambiguation page pointing to a number of pages that also deal with the use of English (e.g. pages needing translation, diacritics, transliteration etc.).--Boson (talk) 19:27, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Or at least to add a hatnote to ENGLISH that directs people to WP:PNT#Standard procedure. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:42, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment In at least one country where English is the most widely used language, requiring English, or mandating English is a politically fraught topic (see English First). Also in en.Wikipedia, it seems. Better to ease along with what has worked for 5,000,000 articles. — Neonorange (talk) 02:22, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Alternative proposal for dealing with foreign-language articles[edit]

The proposed new policy is unnecessary and would conflict with existing processes, such as Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English (WP:PNT), which would then need to be re-worked. Instead, in order to streamline things and avoid fracturing, I would recommend amending WP:PNT to change the process for dealing with articles entirely (or almost entirely) in foreign languages as follows:

  1. Move the article into the Draft namespace.
  2. List the article at Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English § Pages for consideration.
  3. Articles that are not likely to survive may be proposed for deletion according to the usual deletion policy or speedy deletion criteria to the extent that they apply to drafts (see Wikipedia:Drafts § Deleting a draft).

sroc 💬 14:03, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge KoshVorlon's insight in highlighting this issue and getting the discussion going.
I would like to add that my proposed process doesn't need to be mandatory: if an article in a foreign language is obviously a copyvio, vandalism, etc., it can be sent straight to speedy deletion as usual without having to be moved to Draft first. This process is intended for articles that could survive if they are translated into English. sroc 💬 17:08, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - Not because I disagree with us KoshVorlon's idea, but because we don't need a policy, we need a process. As a new page patroller, I routinely move articles to draft space as an alternative to deletion, or as an alternative to leaving really incomplete content in article space. If either of these proposals passes, someone should follow up with the Twinkle developers to make sure that this multi-step process can be semi-automated.- MrX 14:35, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I'd be equally happy with this proposal (and hear hear to getting the process Twinklified). Yunshui  14:39, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Has the same net effect as the above policy, but is a more efficient implementation. Per MrX I would like to see Twinkle support moving articles to draft space more easily. I would also like to here other editors thoughts on moving other types of very-low quality articles by new editors into draft space without going through AfD to do it. Winner 42 Talk to me! 14:44, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support – OK, this sounds good as well. --IJBall (talk) 15:57, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support It seems clear that KoshVorlon's idea is based on an actual problem (and not an imaginary one) but I am skittish about adding still more rules to Wikipedia's already large collection. This looks like it would dovetail well with the existing structure. Also, "most, if not all read no other language"? Mis seis años de clases de español no están de acuerdo contigo. WP:COMMONSENSE already covers the idea that the English Wikipedia must be in English, and this looks like it would protect Wikipedia from copyright violations without overdoing it. Darkfrog24 (talk) 16:15, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose As noted above, there are articles entirely in non-English that may qualify as a CSD. If this policy is approved, it means if I find an article in Spanish written by a banned user, I cannot simply delete it as a G5, but I must first move it to Draft space. This is the very definition of silly bureaucracy. On a more general note, what is the reluctance to use the Idea Lab to sort out a sensible approach?--S Philbrick(Talk) 17:05, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
    This would not be a policy. It would be a process that you can choose to use, or not. Neither this nor the previous proposal would prevent other deletion processes from being used as needed. You say that this is the definition of a silly bureaucracy, but suggest sending it to the Idea Lab. Irony?- MrX 17:23, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
@Sphilbrick: Are you saying this to oppose Kosh's proposed policy or my proposed amendment to WP:PNT? Articles could still be deleted without being moved to Draft first, at least with my proposal, so your reasoning doesn't hold. sroc 💬 17:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Given that the original was proposed as a new Policy, and this is labeled as an Alternate proposal, I thought it was intended to be alternative proposal for a policy. I now see it is an alternate proposal for a rewording of a process, so it doesn't contain the same weight as a policy. Still, my objection remains. The proposal step one says Move the article into the Draft namespace. I disagree. I'd start with Determine whether it qualifies as a CSD as is.If not, or indeterminate, move into the Draft namespace But this is OTTOMH and could use word smithing. Re "irony" I think it is misplaced. I am a big fan of bureaucracy, when sensible. We ought to have well-thought out rules for handling solutions, and well-thought out processes for dealing with issues. What I oppose is mindless bureaucracy, such as moving an article to Draft space, then deleting it when it is perfectly obvious it should be deleted as is. The entire concept of the Idea Lab is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to write up new Policies, and there ought to be a place to work on them, and get them ready for an up or down vote. Both the original and the alternate proposals qualify. Neither were ready for prime time. Both has some good ideas that I could support if the issues were addressed. The Idea Lab is intended as a place to address them. I get why people want to come here first, because they think their idea is so good it can be supported exactly as worded, or maybe with a tiny word change, but they miss that it often takes a robust discussion of issues to come up with good wording for a new proposal. This is more true today than it was in the early days of WP, when there was so low-hanging fruit, and it might have been reasonable to slap together a policy and approve it.--S Philbrick(Talk) 18:09, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
@Sroc: I oppose the policy proposed by Kosh as written, for the reasons I outlined (and there are more objections, I just didn't think it was necessary to be exhaustive.) I oppose the alternative wording of WP:PMT. The existing process has a set of steps for entire articles. Your proposed step 1, which presumably replaces the existing step 1, says Move the article into the Draft namespace. Maybe you think it is implicit that you can delete via CSD before this step, but that's not what it says.--S Philbrick(Talk) 18:16, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
@Sphilbrick: Nothing in my proposal seeks to usurp current deletion policy, and I've expressly said in my further comment that articles could still be deleted as usual without having to move them to Draft namespace first. I haven't set out the exact wording as I was just seeking ro assess general support—the exact implementation might be put to an RfC if necessary—but I was especially hoping to point out that although Kosh's intentions were good, that doesn't mean we have to leap to the first proposal (i.e., a new policy) and alternatives should be considered. sroc 💬 19:08, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose also per WP:CREEP. We don't need a new policy, or a new process. And I do not like setting a precedent that anyone can just move an article into draft space on a whim, that will put us on a slippery slope. The correwct way to currently deal with such issues is to put the great big {{translate}} tag on the article, list it at pages needing translation, and add one the appropriate tag from WP:PNT/T to the creating user's talk page. I don't see how temporarily hiding it in the draft namespace on top of all that is any better. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:12, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't disagree with @Beeblebrox: on many things, so I'm probably wrong here, but I wouldn't mind if we were more aggressive in moving articles into draft space. However, I'd prefer to do it as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the review process, in which articles which aren't quite ready for prime time were moved to Draft space, and I see articles written in a foreign language (which are otherwise not eligible for CSD) as an important special case. However, I worry that Draft may become a wasteland, so I wouldn't support it unless we had some good processes for clearing it out. I'm struggling with this because my position is closer to Kosh's and Sroc's than my opposes may suggest. I, too, have run across articles in main space, written entirely in another language, and thought that moving them into the Draft space might be a good next step. But while I can think of such examples, getting from a couple examples to a policy or even a process is trickier than some seem to realize.--S Philbrick(Talk) 18:25, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
@Beeblebrox: My counter-proposal is not really a "new process" but refining an existing one. In fact, moving an article to Draft namespace may save potential articles that just need to be translated that might otherwise be hastily deleted just because the current (arbitrary) two-week time limit has passed. sroc 💬 19:12, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I now see the language in wp:PNT I had missed earlier Articles that are not in English are still subject to all other forms of speedy deletion should they meet the criteria. That mitigates my concern, but emphasizes the need to improve that page. When I see a process page with a list of steps, it seems reasonable that I should start with step 1.
In fact, one is expected to carry out some unnumbered steps first, which I will number, with the smartaleck convention of keeping the existing numbering intact:
Step -2: If someone speaks the language the article is written in and can state that it is not worth translating, the item should be moved to AfD or tagged with {{prod}}
Step -1: If the article is a mere copy of (all or part of) an article in a foreign-language Wikipedia, it can just be tagged with {{db-foreign}} to get added to Wikipedia:Candidates for speedy deletion
Step 0: Check to see if other CSD criteria apply
Step 1 (existing): Use the notice {{notenglish|NameOfLanguage}} ...
Step 1 (proposed by you):Move the article into the Draft namespace.
Did you ever read the book Onion John? (I loved it, my daughter hated it), John waswanted a barn door hinge for the door on his house, because the wood is so rotten, standard house hinges won't hold. The town decides that they shouldn't just do the minor fix, they should replace the whole house. It goes badly. Which is unfortunate for me, because I'm looking at your proposed replacement of step 1 with a different step, and I'm noticing that the house is falling down, and think we ought to fix the house, while the lesson in the story is that this approach ends badly. So I don't know what to do, but I am still unhappy about tinkering with a process and ignoring the glaring problems.--S Philbrick(Talk) 20:35, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
@Sphilbrick: I haven't read that book, but I see your point. I agree WP:PNT could use some work and can probably be simpler to follow. I would support a re-working of WP:PNT to solve the underlying issues and incorporate the use of Draft namespace (at whatever stage); I think that would be more productive than a new policy (which would only make WP:PNT harder to follow).
The comments here suggest an emerging consensus that: (1) something needs to be done to prompt utilising the Draft namespace for articles in languages other than English that need attention before being re-admitted to article namespace; (2) a new policy is not necessary or desirable to achieve this; (3) WP:PNT should be re-worked to address this (amongst fixing the barn generally). Perhaps this should be workshopped on the Wikipedia talk:Pages needing translation into English talk page? sroc 💬 21:27, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Beeblebrox and SPhilbrick. GregJackP Boomer! 19:19, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I feel I need to make another clarification here in regards to this counter-proposal, it will read a bit odd at first, but bear with me. WP:PNT is not a translation project (keep going): it is an article crisis-centre, along the lines of Wikipedia:Copyright problems, Wikipedia:WikiProject Unreferenced Biographies of Living Persons, Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard and more. Just like those pages we focus on a specific issue and we fix it however we can. There is a long-held consensus, re-affirmed just a few weeks ago, at PNT that draft articles do not fall within our scope of work, as they do not fall under many other "problem article" pages, to change that would be to swamp us with hundreds of pages that are simply not a problem for Wikipedia. Wikipedia:Translation is the translation project, it is there that editors specifically looking at translating articles (properly I mean, not just dropping non-English articles into the articlespace) --Jac16888 Talk 21:40, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
@Jac16888: Thanks for the insight. Do you think this would work better if articles that have not received attention after the two-week period, and which otherwise do not obviously meet any deletion criteria, be moved to the Draft namespace then? Thus, all articles in foreign languages: (1) would be marked with a maintenance tag and listed at WP:PNT, as they are now; (2) after two weeks, would then moved to Draft namespace where someone could recover it in due course if they felt inclined; (3) could be deleted at any time just as with any article or draft subject to the deletion criteria. sroc 💬 22:35, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
That could be done, but chances are that if after two weeks a page hasn't been translated by the creator or anybody else, it never will be.--Jac16888 Talk 23:02, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I dont see the earlier proposal as clashing with this one, but oh well.Bosstopher (talk) 20:15, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - first, there is already a process that works fine. If the good people who patrol WP:PNT felt there needed to be a new policy and their current routine wasn't working, I would defer to them. Instead this seems to me to be about an editor who randomly came across a page in Spanish and doesn't like that his decision to blank it kept getting reverted. Secondly, moving them to userspace decreases the likelihood that an editor who doesn't patrol WP:PNT will come across the article and help translate it. I strongly feel tagging the article with "please translate me if you can" is the best approach. МандичкаYO 😜 00:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but do clarify: Existing processes are working. User:Sphilbrick's note above about "Step -2", etc., indicates that extant procedure needs clarification, but that can be done without a proposal like this, simply by amending the PNT instructions. His "smartaleck" list (with adjusted numbering) is actually a good draft of what to use.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:05, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

RfC: Should the holder of a political office be linked within an infobox more than once (i.e. as the successor), when they have already been linked (e.g. as the vice president, predecessor, lieutenant, etc.)?[edit]

Opening rationale and instructions[edit]

some possible Reasons to Support-

  • Ease of navigation
  • WP:OVERLINK (certain parts)
  • Conformity with articles where this issue does not occur
  • WP:IAR, occasional exceptions to rules

some possible Reasons to Oppose-

  • WP:OVERLINK (spirit of the guideline) and that this issue is already covered there

Having recently closed an RfC discussion at an article regarding this a similar issue, I will not be expressing an opinion here (in the spirit of neutrality). I'm simply advocating consistency, in the hope to unify the style that should be used when this occurs throughout the encyclopedia. Godsy(TALKCONT) 05:23, 19 May 2015 (UTC)


"equal[ing] out the reasons.... [in the spirit of]... fair[ness]" [2]
some more possible Reasons to Oppose-

  • It looks less professional and more cluttered
  • Harder on the eyes to follow with continual alternating colors
  • Multiple links in an infobox are simply unnecessary

Fyunck(click) (talk) 23 May 2015 (UTC) (Restored @Fyunck(click):'s changes here, as opposed to changing my opening post.Godsy(TALKCONT) 09:43, 23 May 2015 (UTC))

Support (names should be linked more than once)[edit]

  1. Strong support - any place where readers are likely to expect links, we should give them those links. While in prose text there are issues with some browsers (so I ubderstand, when it comes to browsers for the blind), these issues don't come up as much in infoboxes. And if someone wants to follow up, for example, on all Israeli prime ministers since 1990, they would expect a link to the next prime minister for the 1992-1995 term of Yitzhak Rabin. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:06, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  2. Support - WP:OVERLINK does exist for a reason, and it is best that we apply it where practical; however, we need to actually apply common sense before going to endless lengths to ensure that every last policy or guideline is met. Dustin (talk) 11:35, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  3. Support - WP:OVERLINK says "Generally, a link should appear only once in an article, but if helpful for readers, a link may be repeated in infoboxes". That seems pretty explicit, so why is IAR listed under "some possible Reasons to Support"? There's no IAR necessary. Unlike an article, which has a top-to-bottom flow/narrative, infoboxes and tables are things people scan for particular information -- and we should have that information linked. To be clear, though, I don't think this requires additional language be added to any of the guidelines unless consensus opposes. If supported it's just a reaffirmation of what WP:OVERLINK already says. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:53, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  4. Support I try to use common sense as well. While I hate overlinking (everyone knows what an rabbit is) I frequently relink when a lot of names are being used or when information is lenghty and/or difficult to understand, as in a medical article. I try to put myself in the place of a person that has no previous knowledge of the subject. Gandydancer (talk) 15:13, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
    This is a good point. Often in wiki table usage we relink things because to re-find the first linked instance isn't always easy when you want to click on it for more info. In prose it disrupts flow of reading. In an infobox some readers expect all names to be linked because they specifically use it to navigate. Fyunck(click) (talk) 19:43, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  5. Support. I think it's useful there. I've used those links to navigate, and I know others have, too. And, as noted above, there's a clear exception in the overlink policy that supports useful links in infoboxes.--Coemgenus (talk) 15:58, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  6. Support. WP:OVERLINK explicitly says links can be repeated in infoboxes. It benefits readers to have the links repeated there and it does not clutter the page like overlinking in the prose does. Calidum T|C 16:05, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  7. Support The whole purpose of the infobox is to present material in a succinct manner. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:03, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  8. Support Of course it's helpful to repeat links, and we should do it. Not everybody reads articles top to bottom. Some just look at the infobox, some only read the text without the infobox, many only read a particular section (and we have links to sections all over the place), in some cases users might skip to the navboxes at the bottom. We should be accommodating all of these reading styles, and that means repeating links, sometimes 5 to 10 times in an article. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 22:13, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  9. Support As a matter of common sense, it makes navigating Wikipedia easier for readers. WP:OVERLINK is a policy designed to prevent linking to the same article multiple times within the body, which makes sense because if someone is reading through the page, they've already seen the available wikilink. However, when navigating through successive offices (or for that matter NFL seasons, NBA seasons, Artist singles, etc.) using the infobox, it is best to have everything linked for convenience. Yes, this means sometimes people who hold multiple offices will be linked more than once, but for the sake of sanity we should just link them all, if we have to go through each article and determine which ones to do de-link it will be a headache for editors and readers alike, and only serve to cause confusion. We have a hard enough time enforcing WP:OVERLINK within the bodies of articles, let's not give ourselves extra work for no good reason. -War wizard90 (talk) 23:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  10. Support per all the sound reasons listed above МандичкаYO 😜 00:40, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  11. Support because it allows much more easy navigation and helps spread knowledge by making it easier to access. StudiesWorld (talk) 21:32, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  12. Support—it helps with navigation, and WP:OVERLINK specifically says it can be repeated. Imzadi 1979  04:34, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
  13. Support (weakly, on a case-by-case basis). The reason for discouraging duplicate links in running text is that we expect readers to go through the text sequentially, so when they encounter the second instance of the name they will already have seen the first. But the tabulated format of an infobox is designed for non-sequential reading – you can use it for looking up just one piece of information at a time, in any order. A second set of arguments about using or avoiding link is that bluelinks in running text increase visual distraction – but if in a tabulated box you have all entries bluelinked, then the same kind of distraction may be created by having a single one among them not blue. Fut.Perf. 11:02, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
  14. Support readers expect infobox items to be linked and probably think it is an error if it is not. I cant see why it would be seen as overlinking as that really deals with the article body. MilborneOne (talk) 12:24, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
  15. Support Guidelines using the word "generally" are easily overruled by rational justification. The spirit of WP:OVERLINK is to avoid clutter. Logical or expected links are not clutter. Easy and consistent navigation is a high value justification. Alsee (talk) 04:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  16. Support I thought about this carefully and I think the benefits outweigh the cons. I looked at several other infoboxes that were fully linked and it wasn't any tougher visually if all the politicians are linked multiple times (as opposed to prose where it gets very annoying and where I wish the links were the same color as the surrounding text). It's more like a table where, in scrolling down, continual links can be helpful. I'm not 100% convinced we need every city councilperson's name linked many multiple times in an infobox, but I can't see it hurting anything either. The most important subjects should be linked multiple times, and if there is scrolling distance between the last link it may also be linked again. It absolutely can help readers navigate, especially if they are new to the subject, as this happened to myself recently on one of the presidential articles. I agree with @Rhododendrites: that it doesn't go against MoS/Guidelines now so no need to re-write anything. This simply affirms the practice in infoboxes. Fyunck(click) (talk) 23:45, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  17. Support per Alsee. We should be careful with putting links in the body text since too many there become distracting. However, navboxes and infoboxes are hotspots where links are expected. Sjakkalle (Check!) 07:12, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Oppose (names should not be linked more than once)[edit]

  1. Oppose - WP:REPEATLINK says if helpful for readers, a link may be repeated in infoboxes. We have to ask "is it helpful" to repeat this link and generally the answer is no. An infobox is supposed to summarise key features of the page's subject. It is effectively the same as a single, listified section and we don't link multiple times in a section so why would we link multiple times in the infobox? It's unnecessary. --AussieLegend () 07:55, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  2. Oppose as unnecessary repetition. As AussieLegend said, it doesn't really benefit to repeat links. Snuggums (talk / edits) 14:39, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  3. WP:OVERLINK oppose. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 00:07, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
    Does that mean you support rewording the part of WP:OVERLINK that says, "... but if helpful for readers, a link may be repeated in infoboxes, tables, image captions, footnotes, hatnotes, and at the first occurrence after the lead." because unless that wording is changed, then I don't see how WP:OVERLINK can be used to oppose this RfC. -War wizard90 (talk) 05:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
    Obviously, because its not "helpful for readers" as AussieLegend already said.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:33, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
    I don't see how navigational links inside an infobox, even if repeated aren't helpful for readers. It's not a distraction, as it's not a body of text being linked, and if you went to any other website on the web, they would keep this kind of linking consistent because it's what is obviously easier for readers. Especially for infoboxes in succession, there is no way it isn't helpful. Just my opinion though. -War wizard90 (talk) 23:35, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  4. Oppose per WP:REPEATLINK/WP:OVERLINK. It isn't "helpful for readers" to repeat links in a back-to-back or nearly back-to-back way (and not just in infoboxes; it's a general principle). WP:COMMONSENSE application of "helpful for readers" tells us that in very long infoboxes, where the recurrence of the name is widely separated from its initial occurrence, it's okay to relink. Many of the support !votes are effectively making the case that it's somehow always useful for readers if we repeatedly link these names in infoboxes, but that cannot possibly be true or the "if helpful for readers, a link may be repeated in infoboxes..." wording would not exist! QED.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:33, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
    Twice in the same infobox doesn't mean back-to-back. To take the infobox of Shimon Peres, for example, I can certainly see that there is no need, for the second term as prime minister (84-86), to link to Yitzhak Shamir in both the precceding and the successing. On the other hand, if someone wants to follow the succeding link for the first-listed (most recent) term as Minister of Foreign Affairs, no reason to make the reader have to go all the way up to the prime misinter section to find the same name there, nor to te presedent section to find the second prime minister listed there. (Benjamin Netanyahu). עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:51, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
    Sure. You seem to be restating what I said, in detail, just in different wording and with examples.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:26, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
  5. Oppose I agree per SMcCandlish. Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 14:05, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Neutral[edit]

  1. Policy and guidelines on this already make it clear that multiple links can be used where appropriate. We do not not need a "should" or "shouldn't" policy over and above what we already have. All the best: Rich Farmbrough11:42, 23 May 2015 (UTC).
My reasoning behind this RfC was to try and make the linkage of officeholders within the Template:Infobox officeholder consistent throughout its use in the encyclopedia. This can differ with no guideline specific to the matter at hand. Unifying the linkage of names whichever way the consensus of this RfC falls, would be better than it being determined by consensus on a per article basis. We already do this, one such example being guidelines for specific types of articles, such as the video games "manual of style". The need is there, if we want to be homogenize the usage, and I think this is one case where that would be sensible. Godsy(TALKCONT) 17:38, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • Comment - This is not exactly the same topic that was closed recently at Talk:FDR. That was specifically about the President of the United States and the problems it creates (especially for children) when the "Preceded by" and "Succeeded by" are not linked. Every other President of the United States was linked for easy access EXCEPT for Franklin Roosevelt. Truman was the third vice-President so it was not instantly apparent where to click for Truman. And when a youngster is doing a report we want them to have easy access to information, especially for the highest office in the United States. Being able to click from infobox to infobox was very helpful. Of course the result was a snowball to make it consistent with all other US Presidents and because of the importance of the office.
Now whether that should hold true for every other political office/elected official (that would include elected judges/mayors/councilpersons/school board members/etc) I do have my doubts. We've established it for US Presidents, but I'd like to read some viewpoints here on whether that should also apply to every political office. Maybe overlinking shouldn't apply to infoboxes since they are a helpful summary of the most important items of an article? Then again, unless it's as important as potus, why do we really need it linked over and over? Food for thought and I'll be reading some posts before deciding whether to expand things or not. Fyunck(click) (talk) 07:13, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I didn't mean to imply that it was the same issue in my opening statement, merely that it was related. I changed my wording there to be more clear. Godsy(TALKCONT) 07:18, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Why is this specific to political offices? There are plethora other templates that link to names. For example, where a TV show uses {{infobox television}}, it is common that the same person may be listed in multiple roles (e.g., in Louie, Louie CK is listed as the creator, writer, director, and star) but only linked in the infobox the first time. Whether it is convenient to do this may depend on how the infobox is built (e.g., whether links are inserted automatically and not easily overridden) and how they appear (e.g., whether the references to the same person appear close together), but what is the reason to treat political offices as a special case and could/should this have a broader application. sroc 💬 14:36, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
There is succession in political offices. For example a user may want to browse through all the governors of New York in order, from the 1st to the 56th. It could be argued that it would be convenient to have all the successors linked, even if they happened to serve as the previous administration's lieutenant governor for ease of navigation. The same cannot be said about the benefit of linking other non-ordered things, such as in your example. That's why I specified the proposal in the way that I did. Godsy(TALKCONT) 15:19, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • @AussieLegend:We often link multiple times in long tables, and the infobox is closer to a table of information than reading actual prose. We know that overlinking in prose is a distraction to the flow of reading. That's why we don't overlink in prose. My question is, if many readers are finding it helpful to use the infoboxes as navigation tools, what does it hurt to link everything? It's usually done in row after row formatting so it really shouldn't cause added eyestrain. Other than it breaks some rule, how does it really hurt those who say we shouldn't do it? Does it really make it harder for people to view the infoboxes if everything is linked? I'm trying to get a grip on why this rule interpretation came into being. Maybe the overlink writers weren't really thinking about infoboxes when it was initially written. I'm not sure. And since if everything is linked in an infobox I don't think it would bother me at all, I'd like to hear some views as to why it causes problems. Fyunck(click) (talk) 20:07, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The content in an infobox is a range of essentially disjointed information, whereas in a table the content has a common theme. As such, it is closer to this than this, so the table analogy is incorrect. --AussieLegend () 03:23, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • For the record, there's been someone, using various IP addresses, going through political candidates and removing the extra links, even though this discussion is ongoing. I don't have a horse in this race, but someone should maybe speak to them and invite them to the discussion. Either they don't know about it (AGF) or they do, and are ignoring the trends here. Lets hope its the first. --Jayron32 16:37, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Looking through "support" and "oppose" reasons again, I have to say this proposal comes off as biased for listing more "support" reasons than "oppose" reasons. Snuggums (talk / edits) 12:11, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I made an attempt to summarize/generalize both sides of a recent rfc I closed regarding a similar issue. I didn't inject any original thought about the proposal, or try and raise reasons that weren't brought up there for the sake of neutrality. I think trying to measure bias numerically has its flaws. There could be 10 reasons against something, while only 1 reason for it, the 1 could be particularly sound. That aside, I apologize if in my attempt at neutrality, I didn't put forth enough for one of the sides. I could have played the angel's advocate and found new reasons for a side, but (again) I'd have had to have put my own thought into it, which I was trying to avoid. I have trust in the competency of the community to find their own reasoning or verses in the guidelines. The reasons were meant more as neutral examples to encourage taking positions and having opinions with a basis, rather than simply liking it or not. Godsy(TALKCONT) 12:48, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Animated GIFs in infoboxes[edit]

The new Shri Ram Institute of Technology has had an animated GIF put in its infobox, where one would normally expect a logo or similar. Is this allowed? I find it rather distracting. (see GIF at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shri_Ram_Group.gif) 220 of Borg 13:51, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia has no rules against the use of animated GIFs, AFAIK. There are some that have been featured picture of the day, even. That being said, merely because something is allowed, doesn't mean it is a good idea; editorial discretion and article quality are more important than rules, and if the image detracts from the article quality 1) feel free to remove it and 2) if someone objects and puts it back, don't edit war but instead have a discussion and come to a consensus. --Jayron32 16:36, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Jayron. I think I have never come across a animated logo in an Infobox before though. An IP editor has now removed it. I think I'll leave it at that. 220 of Borg 17:04, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Kill it. Kill it with fire. If we don't have a rule against animated GIFs in infoboxes we should make one. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:14, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
    • I largely agree with Guy. I think animated Gifs have their place, and think we could use more, especially good ones, but generally oppose them in infoboxes. I'm not quite ready to support a firm rule, as I can imagine excepts. we do not have an article on animated Gifs or animated Google Doodles yet, but in such an article it might be desirable for an example in the info box. I do see that there is an animated Gif in Gif, and think that is a bad idea, but I don't have the energy to start the discussion there.--S Philbrick(Talk) 17:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Although rare, gifs are useful in some articles. For example, in our chess articles, where certain positions or a sequence of moves must be presented to describe the topic. See Scholar's Mate for an example; it doesn't have an infobox, but if it did, I can't imagine any image being appropriate there except a gif of that particular sequence. The OP's example is obviously a very different case, and that gif should probably be removed.   — Jess· Δ 06:50, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
    • I can see keeping the animated gif in the chess article, but in an infobox on the chess page? No. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:16, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
      • Why? Why would it be okay to put a valuable "Animated.gif" just above the infobox, as the lead image, but not inside the infobox, in an equally prominent position? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:36, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
  • GIF animations of instructive things like chess moves are simply WP:VIDEOS, covered by that quasi-guideline. The use of the same technology to animate an oversized icon to be attention getting is arguably already within the purview of MOS:ICONS (basically: don't use icons as decoration), and even if we don't think it's covered, it's a simple matter to ensure that it becomes covered there.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:39, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Banning animated gifs from all infoboxes, is a little too broad of a rule for my taste. There are certainly some articles where gifs in the infobox would be warranted, though it may be few and far between. Advising against them in general as guideline would be fine, but a policy outright banning them would be too much. Godsy(TALKCONT) 18:01, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
    • Having MOS:ICONS address it would work, since it's a guideline.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  18:28, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

IPv6 IPs[edit]

Anybody can edit Wikipedia. But we need to remember an Ip user when we want to mention him/her in any discussion. these huge Ip s are not easy to remember. So we must encourage them to register. And the check user tool should be good enough to deal with these huge alpha-numeric IPs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/2602:306:8B0B:5020:68:EF0B:4734:D9C2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/2601:8C:4000:9C:7D6D:A070:E47C:7EE4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/2602:306:3485:AF10:E409:E027:2054:89CE

Now if i mention them anywhere in talk page discussion just think how difficult it would be remember them. Sometimes user report IP socks when they see similar range. But in these cases the users won't be able to recognize IP-shifting socks as it may not be possible for human brain to recognize the IP-range. Wikipedia can't stop them from editing. But if they don't listen to request of opening account, we can come to some solution where they can be shortened through some software.

--C E (talk) 16:55, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

The length of IPv6 addresses is certainly a real problem. What I don't see here, however, is any proposal to make it easier. Do you have a proposal here Cosmic Emperor? Oiyarbepsy (talk) 20:58, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I suggest adding language to the welcome template for IPs that points out that IPv6 addresses are difficult to remember, as an additional incentive to create an account. (IPv4 addresses are worse in one respect. They are usually dynamic, because ISPs have to manage the pool, and this is a different factor that makes it difficult to communicate with them.) About the only reasonable thing that comes to my mind is adding language to the welcome template. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:04, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
@Robert McClenon: Why would anyone want to remember their own IP address? Or are you suggesting that a significant number would register to make remembering their identity easier on others? I mean, the word incentive usually implies a benefit to one's own interest. ―Mandruss  11:46, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
The complaint appears to be about the difficulty of other editors remembering the long IP address, e.g., in order to use their talk page. I agree that remembering your own IP address is a silly issue, especially because the IP can and should always just register an account. Robert McClenon (talk) 14:52, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Another annoying thing is the long prefilled undo edit summaries where the username or IP address is used three times in MediaWiki:Undo-summary with source Undid revision $1 by [[Special:Contributions/$2|$2]] ([[User talk:$2|talk]]). For IPv6 we get the form Undid revision 664551967 by [[Special:Contributions/2A02:2F0B:814A:F700:E000:FE0D:D317:BEE1|2A02:2F0B:814A:F700:E000:FE0D:D317:BEE1]] ([[User talk:2A02:2F0B:814A:F700:E000:FE0D:D317:BEE1|talk]]). It renders as "Undid revision 664551967 by 2A02:2F0B:814A:F700:E000:FE0D:D317:BEE1 (talk)", but the code is 194 characters. Edit summaries can be at most 255 characters so there is only 61 left for the editor to explain the revert, unless part of the prefilled summary is manually removed first. IPv4 only uses 119 characters, leaving 136 for the editor. If you undo an edit then the undone edit is usually right before in the page history so there is easy access to the links, and I very rarely click the links in the undo summary. Is it possible to insert a test in MediaWiki:Undo-summary and produce a shorter text for IPv6 (and possibly long usernames), or would the test code just become part of the edit summary with the current software? I'm and admin so I suppose I could just try but I don't like experimenting with live code. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:47, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
PrimeHunter has pointed out another problem. What if an "IPv6 IP" reverts edits made by another "IPv6 IP"?. Just think what the edit History will be like. They have the right to edit WP, but we need to come to a solution which will help us remembering them so that we can report them in case of IP sockpuppetry cases.C E (talk) 13:32, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
But why do you need to remember these numbers? Surely you're not typing these numbers out manually, and I'm pretty sure that if your computer is modern enough to edit Wikipedia, then it is capable of copying and pasting a mere 39 characters. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:43, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Sometimes Users report IP socks. They are able to find the similarity due to small IPs. Now it will be difficult.C E (talk) 09:15, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Generally, the first 4 segments are the equivalent of a full IPv4 address. So in theory, 1111:2222:3333:4444:AAAA:AAAA:AAAA:AAAA and 1111:2222:3333:4444:AAAA:AAAA:BBBB:AAAA are most likely the same person on the same connection to an ISP. 1111:2222:3333:5555:AAAA:AAAA:AAAA:AAAA should be the same ISP, but is likely a different user. Actual ISP practice isn't well established, and so you could in theory have multiple unrelated people on one /64, or have one person receive IPs from multiple /64s, but it hasn't come up much that I've seen. Monty845 13:50, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

"Fair use" from third party as opposed to official sources[edit]

Given that a truly free image to illustrate the John Menzies retail outlets can't be found after a reasonable amount of searching, is there any preference in the "fair use" policy to using a non-free images from a third party (e.g. this person's website) as opposed to one taken from the company in question's site ([3]) and presumably owned by them?

My gut instinct would be that the latter is preferable, but I've no idea if that has a basis in legal fact and/or WP policy...? Can any one clarify this?

Ubcule (talk) 17:21, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

I think neither are acceptable, but perhaps I am misunderstanding the question. The business still exists, so why can't someone walk over an take a photo?
Are you talking about photos from other eras?
By the way, this is a subject for this page, which is to discuss changes in policy, not the application of policy. The help desk or wp:MCQ is a better place.--S Philbrick(Talk) 17:29, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
While Menzies still exists as a newspaper distribution and aviation business, the retail side- which was widespread and very well-known (particularly in Scotland)- was sold off in the late 1990s, and I've been unable to find free photographs of the shops in their original state.
As per your comment, though, I've moved the discussion. Ubcule (talk) 19:51, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

"Comprised of" and the problem of pet peeves in editing[edit]

Giraffedata (talk · contribs) is by now well known for his crusade against the phrase "comprised of" (the phrase has its own article). Some people think it is good that he "takes an interest in grammar", others think it is silly or offensive that he thinks he needs to enforce his own arbitrary preference onto other peoples' completley crammatically correct language usage. I admit I am among the latter. The problem is that his practice creates conflicts, as can be seen from his talkpage where editors regularly complain about his changes to their language, frequently saying that they use the phrase deliberately and pointing out that it is not in fact considered incorrect by English style authorities, or by linguists who specialize in English. Giraffedata, generally responds with contempt asserting that he has a right to change any word in the encyclopedia as he sees fit. This is of course true in principle, but it seems to conflict with our general approach to arbitrary style issues such as WP:RETAIN, WP:CITEVAR and WP:ERA which generally suggests that editors should not arbitrarily change between styles in articles to which they are not major contributors. Giraffedata responds, correctly, that neither these nor the MOS explicitly cover questions such as grammar and word usage.

The problem of course with this attitude is that if Giraffedata can use semiautomatic tools to change between styles, and refuse to for example make a list of exceptions, or to even concede the right of other editors to use these expressions in article space, then any other editor can do the same. I could for example with the same reasoning create a bot to insert the wording "comprised of" instead of "composed of" across articles, or simply manually revert Giraffedata's changes. Or I could choose some other arbitrary style choice or word to systematically change. Currently there is nothing in policy or practice that could deter me or someone else from doing so, or any policy that could be applied if I were to do it, that would not also apply in kind to Giraffedata's practices.

So I think it is time that as a community we discuss the principles in this and whether they should motivate us to change policy, MOS or make some other decision to avoid this kind of issue getting disruptive. I realize that this discussion is both about policy and about dispute and about user conduct - but I hope we can focus on the principle of it, and work towards finding a solution that will make most editors happy.

I think that different possible solutions could be to 1. create a policy that covers this, such as a parallel to WP:RETAIN that states that whenever two grammatical forms can be considered equally correct, the choices of the main contributor should be respected. 2. Require that people doing large scale changes of a single term or construction should maintain a list of articles that are exceptions and will not be "corrected". My suggested solutions can be seen in the essay WP:NOPETPEEVES ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:27, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

For the record, I think the editor you mention as an example is doing good work and contributing positively to the encyclopedia. I am with you in the spirit of your new Wikipedia essay, but the devil is in the detail of discussing when differences of usage matter and when they do not. As a reference on that topic, I recommend that all the editors following this discussion here or watching Maunus's essay under construction read Steven Pinker's book The Sense of Style at their earliest opportunity. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 21:18, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I think there is a sufficient fraction of our readership that is going to find "comprised of" jarring that we probably ought to avoid it, even if there are ambits where it's considered unremarkable. It strikes me as rare that it would really be important to phrase things that way. This is sort of in the spirit of WP:COMMONALITY — don't strain to use forms that will appear inferior to a lot of readers, even if you don't think they're inferior, provided there are good substitutes.
What about the fraction of our readership that feels exactly the opposite? Who wins, and why? Barry Town People (talk) 23:06, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Similarly, the which-v-that thing is mostly noticeable only to American readers, but if it makes no difference to UK readers, then why not use "that" even in BrEng articles? --Trovatore (talk) 19:49, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Whether or not it is important to phrase it like that is kind of besides the point - because there are significant fractions that feel either way. The point is that dozens of editors approach Giraffedata on his page to tell him to please not correct that which is not in their eyes wrong. Why should their views be overruled by Giraffedata and the other "significant fractions" views?·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:45, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I think you meant to say "beside the point". --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 08:54, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Meh. Unless it is part of a direct quotation, I agree with Trovatore that there's little benefit to insisting on using a form that many will find problematic. olderwiser 19:59, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
OK then. I and plenty of other people find "consists of" to be problematic, so there's little benefit to Giraffedata's insistence on its use. Barry Town People (talk) 23:07, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
There is a lot of words and usages that "many" find problematic, but which are nonetheless an entirely accepted and acceptable part of ordinary English usage. Should we allow other editors to create crusades to remove split infinitives? Prepositions at the ends of sentences? Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia involving people with many different views, and that alone means there is value to allow pluralism whenever possible. What are your thoughts on the larger principle, that of avoiding conflict over irrelevant style issues?·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Has there been an RfC on this? Counting those who complain the loudest (on either side) on a user talk page isn't a reliable way of gauging community consensus. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:55, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't think there has been no, but counting those who complain the highest in an RfC also isnt a good way to gauge consensus necessarily. RfCU's have a tendency to degenerate very quickly. I had hoped that this could be a venue to address the issue without making it about the person, but obviously I shouldnt have named the thread the way I did then (I will proceed to rename it). That is why I am trying to see here whether anyone else sees the problem - which is not specifically Giraffedata's edits but the principle of avoiding conflict on arbitrary style issues. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 00:00, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • "Comprised of" is a perfectly acceptable phrase used on a regular basis by the English-speaking world (see comprised of for some examples). I find it disruptive for one user to dedicate himself solely to removing it, despite objections of others. Calidum T|C 00:01, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • In areas of significant dispute, I think widespread changes should require explicit community support. RfCs may be flawed, but they are the best we have at this point; and most of the flaws are within us, not the process itself. I think (1) Giraffedata should run an RfC, bear the consensus burden, and refrain in the meantime, and (2) Giraffedata should agree beforehand that they will leave all changes of this type to others if the RfC fails, something of a voluntary topic ban. (Side note: Maunus said "RfCU's have a tendency to degenerate very quickly", and I don't know whether that was a typo. RFC/U has been dead for some time, and that's not the kind of RfC I'm referring to.) ―Mandruss  05:36, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I think that is exactly a good solution. In the absence of a general consensus to deprecate the usage, he should refrain untill the consensus is generated. I forgot that RfC/U is gone, it would be an RfC about "comproised of" then.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:31, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Numerous mainstream style guides deprecate the use of "comprised of"; hopefully, no one here wants to argue that point. I will remove or replace the phrase in any article of which I am doing a significant re-write because better word choices are available. That said, it is a relatively minor style point, like campaigning for the mandatory use of the serial comma or such. Frankly, I find it rather weird that anyone would aggressively work for the phrase's universal removal -- who has the time to spend on such a trivial matter across four million Wikipedia articles? There is an element of obsessive-compulsive insanity about it. I suppose the question that should be asked is Are these edits really disruptive, or just irritating to a handful of editors who think "comprised of" represents good writing? If these edits really are disruptive, how about some examples of such disruption? Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 06:36, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    I don't think your question is answerable in any objective way; it's a matter of perspective. If Ngram Viewer shows nothing but increase in the use of "comprised of" in books, that's enough to require an RfC to establish community consensus. Any evidence from style guides could be presented and considered in the RfC. To clarify, I'm not suggesting that the RfC would decide whether "comprised of" should be abandoned completely, but whether there is community support for widespread changes of a crusade nature such as is being considered here. ―Mandruss  06:45, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Just the fact that he can make hundreds of edits every day of the week, shows that the phrase is considered a totally natural part of many thousand editor's usage. it simply is waaaaay too commonly occurring to be considered incorrect. And of course it is found in literature by writers from Herman Melville to Pynchon. 4,3 million hits on google books, 1,1 million on google scholar.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:42, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Myriad English-language quirks, colloquialisms and errors are "natural" parts of thousands of editors' everyday language usage, but that doesn't make them all appropriate in an encyclopedic register.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:56, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, the relevant Ngram viewer would seem to be one comparing comprised of and composed of, which shows "comprised of" (falling rapidly) well ahead of "composed of" (rising slowly), which leads me to ask what's the third alternative that's taking grammatical market share away from "composed of"? But I think the issue is: does this change protect the integrity of Wikipedia more than it discourages participation? If "comprised of" is grammatical then it is hard to argue that obliterating it protects the integrity of Wikipedia. So then the follow-up question becomes do hypercorrections discourage participation? Thisisnotatest (talk) 08:09, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm 100% in agreement with Trovatore. Giraffedata's edits are in the spirit of WP:COMMONALITY, which takes precedence over WP:RETAIN. The former is about seeking common ground (e.g., the mutually acceptable "glasses" instead of "eyeglasses" or "spectacles", each of which is widely used only in certain English varieties). The latter is to be relied upon when there's no consensus that either/any option has tangible benefits when compared with the other. Despite a common misconception, WP:RETAIN is not an instruction to refrain from modifying any style that isn't flat-out incorrect, irrespective of the rationale.
    Opinions differ as to whether "comprised of" is proper English. Does anyone assert that Giraffedata's alternative wording isn't (or that it's inferior in some other respect)? If not, what harm is he causing?
    It seems as though much of the opposition is based on the principle of the matter, not a belief that Giraffedata is damaging the encyclopedia. Some view his edits – which they perceive as the replacement of one perfectly acceptable style with another – as utterly pointless. That's a valid opinion, but why is it grounds to counter his efforts? If the result is something equally good (albeit not better, in your view), what's the problem? That Giraffedata is wasting his time instead of doing something that you consider worthwhile?
    In my opinion, the real waste of time is the crusade to counter Giraffedata's crusade. All of us have better things to do than revert harmless-at-worst edits and participate in discussions such as this one.
    Of course, if someone asserts – in good faith – that some of Giraffedata's replacement wording is inferior to "comprised of" (for one or more reasons unrelated to which phrase appeared in the article first), that's a different story. I want to stress that I'm not referring to such a scenario above. —David Levy 08:03, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    I have a few pet peeves myself, but I have refrained from hunting down and "fixing violations" because I felt that would be seen as disruptive. These pet peeves are no different from what is being discussed here. Like this, they are in gray areas where there is no clear consensus in style guides or among the Wikipedia community, but some will of course disagree with them since nothing has total agreement at Wikipedia. They are a matter of personal opinion, and, like Giraffedata, I would be implementing mine on a widespread scale. If your view wins out here I'll consider that a community green light for such activity. It would not be WP:POINTy behavior, as I would be doing it to make what I consider improvements to the encyclopedia, not simply to make a point; my desire to make these changes predates this discussion. Are you ok with this? ―Mandruss  08:50, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    If, among those with an opinion on the matter, a significant percentage regards the styling that you wish to remove as less valid than its potential replacement and substantially everyone else regards the two styles as equally valid, I'm beyond okay with that. —David Levy 10:47, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    Where are you getting your information about how the community feels about "comprised of"? ―Mandruss  11:18, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    Please reread my 08:03 message, wherein I convey my observational impression and inquire as to whether anyone's position is inconsistent therewith. You're welcome to answer my questions, of course. —David Levy 12:18, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    I have no particular perception in that area, and I wouldn't use it as a basis for argument if I did because it would be very error-prone. ―Mandruss  12:57, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    I'm not requesting an assessment of positions held by the community at large. I'm asking whether any individual's opposition to Giraffedata's edits stems from a sincere belief that the resultant prose is inferior to that which it replaced (i.e., that Giraffedata's changes aren't merely unnecessary, but actually reduce the articles' quality). —David Levy 13:20, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    Sorry for my misunderstanding. When writing new prose, I think I would generally choose "comprised of" over "composed of", I guess because "comprise" has a narrower range of definitions than "compose" and is therefore more precise. This is based on nothing but instinct, but I would have to say that, in my opinion, "composed of" does slightly reduce articles' quality. Does the difference matter to five percent of readers? Probably not, and that's why I'm not roaming Wikipedia making this change wherever I see it. I simply ask that others offer me and those like me the same consideration. Does that answer your question? ―Mandruss  13:55, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I think Giraffedata's replacements are sometimes, not infrequently but not always, clearly inferior. I think "composed of" and "comprised of" are not fully synonymous in all contexts, and sometimes give different nuances to the meaning. To me composed of means that something has been composed into a certain order, with the components in specific relation to eachother, whereas comprised of means that some category simply subsumes a set of elements.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:31, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
That could be a valid point in some contexts (especially patent law, as I observed elsewhere). But we know that Giraffedata doesn't robotically replace all cases of "comprised of" with "composed of", and in any given case it's unlikely that he (or anyone else) would object to some other alternative. The fact his choices are not 100% perfect every time according to everyone isn't indicative of a policy problem, a user behavior problem, a generalized style/grammar problem, or any other real problem. There are simply sometimes personal, contextual disagreements, that can be resolved in the usual way. I don't see any evidence provided that Giraffedata insists on retaining his preferred wording.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:03, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The issue, though, is that you don't need an "of" with "comprised". "Comprise" is grammatically the equivalent of "include". You would not say that something is "included of" or "including of" something else; you would say that it "includes" something else, or is "including" something else. See Transitional phrase for the use of these terms in patent law, which is very serious about using the right terms. Cheers! bd2412 T 16:25, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    But "include" and "comprise" are not equivalent. It is valid to use "comprised of" but not valid to use "included of". Omnedon (talk) 16:46, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    Perhaps it is a matter of context, but a patent claim can either read "consisting of" or "comprising"; if "comprised of" were used, the claim would be invalid. bd2412 T 16:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    I don't know that; but even if true, that a specific field has specific usage rules is not really relevant here. "The committee was comprised of three members." "Three members comprised the committee." Both are valid. Omnedon (talk) 16:57, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
    BD2412: The issue, though, is that you don't need an "of" with "comprised". "Comprise" is grammatically the equivalent of "include". You would not say that something is "included of" or "including of" something else; you would say that it "includes" something else, or is "including" something else. Let's suppose for a moment that there is an issue (though I'm not at all sure that there is one). Then this isn't it. Not only is it not the issue, but (like many people) you've conflated the verb COMPRISE (which of course has forms comprised) with what's being (unnecessarily?) discussed in this section: the adjective COMPRISED. (See the article "Comprised of" for the distinction.) That you wouldn't say that something is "included of" or "including of" something else (as I too would not) is by the way. ¶ "Comprised of" is a mildly interesting formula. If it's anomalous, it's not uniquely so: consider the pair POSSESS and possessed of. (Props to Ecwaine for bringing it to our attention.) -- Hoary (talk) 00:25, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
    That goes straight to my later point, that we should not be using words with potentially confusing meanings when more common words are available that don't have this problem. bd2412 T 00:51, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
    The problem with this word is that "The committee comprised three members" and "Three members were comprised by [or in] the committee" are also valid. See any dictionary if you don't believe me. Even wikt:comprise has this in considerable detail. The word is an auto-antonym and thus its use is generally always going to be confusing to someone, even pretty intelligent people, no matter what. A strong case can thus be made that it should generally not be used here except where it must be, and probably the one and only case that is true is, as bd2412 and I have both already pointed out, in patent law, where it is a strictly defined term of art. The fact that there are some editors who do not understand this problem and thus think there is no problem with "comprised of" does not somehow make their opinion that the phrase shouldn't be changed equally valid. WP:Consensus does not require unanimity, and it very, very often comes down to which argument makes more sense, not which is argued with more fervor or preferred by more arguers. There simply is no contest when it comes to which side of that debate has more facts on its side and what conclusion they point to. The auto-antonym problem is genuinely intractable and incontrovertible.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:44, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
    Please explain how comprise is an auto-antonym, how it can mean either x or not x. ―Mandruss  00:27, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
    Never mind. I read Talk:Comprised_of#Auto-antonymy and consider that a misuse of the term, but I'm not going to quibble over unimportant semantics. ―Mandruss  00:48, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
    I hadn't read that talk page thread, and can't vouch for it. If you just search this VP for "auto-autonomy", you'll find my reasoning on the matter.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:38, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • My knee-jerk reaction is to object to editors going around enforcing their views on prescriptive grammar. This is mainly because prescriptivists are often misinformed. I also appreciate that using a form acceptable to both sides may result in a loss of richness in language (as Geoffrey Pullum and/or Arnold Zwicky put it: acceptance means that "crazies win"). However, on examining several of the edits by Giraffedata (talk · contribs) I generally found them to improve the style and/or reduce potential ambiguity, so I agreed with them. I also found the explanation on the user's subpage well-informed and valid (which does not mean that I agree with everything). Similarly with "that"/"which", where I usually find the use of "that" equally appropriate where "which" is used to introduce a "restrictive" relative clause. I have so far resisted the urge to revert what may look like prescriptivist "corrections", since I believe that the restrictive "that" is (at least consciously) accepted by more people, though it should also be noted that many who say they insist on "that" intuitively prefer "which" in some circumstances in their own writing. Another consideration is that some people object to use of "that" when the antecedent is human. So, on balance, I think the decision shoud be based on what is stylistically better and on commonality. For this sort of issue, I am not in favour of invoking strict application of anything like WP:RETAIN and WP:ENGVAR, which, I think, have the potential to create more disruption. I would be in favour of advice that recommended avoidance of ambiguity (for instance where "comprise" and "include" may be viewed as denoting substantially different logical relationships, the use or non-use of a comma may be regarded as insufficient differentiation between supplementary and integrated use of relative clauses, or the avoidance of a split infinitive may introduce ambiguity). --Boson (talk) 16:02, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are several points to respond to in this proposal and thread:
 — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:58, 25 May 2015 (UTC) Updated: 01:51, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • For words like this that have multiple senses that can be confusing because of their nuance, can't we just replace them with clearer language? Perhaps "the collection includes 50 pieces" or "there are 50 pieces in the collection". While this is not at the level of certain hard sciences articles that use jargon that is incomprehensible to the average reader, vocabulary selections can be a barrier to clear understanding, and one that is easily avoided. bd2412 T 17:07, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, that's the very idea that's at issue here. Some editors are convinced that such constructions are in no way problematic, and want to take Giraffedata to task for changing them to clearer language.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  17:14, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I would not consider changing "comprised of" to "comprising" to be using clearer language; why not change those uses to more common words like "consisting of" or "including"? bd2412 T 18:12, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Giraffedata does not change it to comprising, in fact he also removes "comprising" and all other occurences of the verb comprise. The argument that he is simply taking thers to task to make them use clearer language is of course predicated on the notion that comprising is unclear or confusing - an assertion foer which there is no evidence whatsoever. It is not the case that auto-antonyms are necessarily confusing, and I have yet to see a usage of "comprised of" that was actually ambiguous. It is ambiguous only in the mind of someone who thinks it is language's job to be fully governed by binary logic and is unable to understand that meaning of words vary in context. If Giraffedata was actually making attempts to understand the reason why people choose to use the word or see how it fits into contexts, and only changing those that were possibly confusing then I am sure this issue would have never arisen. but that is not his approach, his approach is a one-size (his) fits all argument. Which can be reasonably and non-civility-breachingly be called a crusade.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:25, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Here is one instance of Giraffedata changing "comprised of" to "comprising". bd2412 T 19:31, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, I have seen him change "comprising" to "composed of" as well.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:39, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
(EC) bd2412, Giraffedata most commonly uses "composed of" or "consists of", but explains the various replacements here. It's also instructive to actually look at the related threads on Giraffedata's talk page. You find that the characterization of him as 'generally respond[ing] with contempt asserting that he has a right to change any word in the encyclopedia as he sees fit' is quite disingenuous, and borders on psychological projection. Giraffedata even has a well-reasoned and well-researched user essay about the "comprised of" matter at User:Giraffedata/comprised of, but most complainants have not even looked at it, despite his edit summaries linking to it, and despite the fact that the whole point of it is addressing their concerns with reason and sources.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  20:01, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I can count at least three editors on the talkpage saying that they have read his essay and disagrees, and requests for him not to continue to change it in the specific articles they have used the wording int. And in each case he responds in an offended tone, and draws the same ludicruous "ownership" argument that you defend below - which amounts to saying that the person who actually wrote an article has less of a right to determine wording in it than some one who hasn't because allowing any of their preferences to stand would be condoning article ownership. He makes no attempt to reach a consensus on the question, just stubbornly asserts his right to make the change. Yes, I get stubborn and angry as well when faced with that kind of an attitude - but that is EXACTLY the reason we need some kind of policy or guideline on this issue. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:31, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I have to respectfully disagree. I find his "tone" (to the extent that word makes sense in a text environment) to be measured, calm, and reasonable. Neither me nor Giraffedata have made any such argument 'that the person who actually wrote an article has less of a right to determine wording in it than some one who hasn't'; rather, the clear fact is that no editor has more or fewer editing rights in this regard, but the proposal we're discussing here would install one, that conflicts with already long-established policy. The rewording of it just above is also self-contradictory on its face, since making any such wording edit automatically constitutes helping to write the article, so it's a self-fulfilling "condition".

Some further background may help others understand why this dispute is a one-sided tempest in a teapot, a demand to fight being made against someone trying to avoid a fight (i.e. you engaging in what looks like the very "bullying" you complain of). Giraffedata said 'You don't have to agree with me either', and explicitly suggests that you revert him in articles where you insist on disagreeing with him, 'unless you're interested in finding a compromise or you think you can convince me this is the least awkward wording'. You'd earlier said to him 'What else do you want me to do, edit war?', to which he responded 'You won't be able to edit war on this, though, because I won't participate. Note that the Wikipedia definition of edit war requires making the same edit multiple times per day, and you have never seen me do that.' I just really don't see a problem here. You're being at least as "stubborn" as he is. I think anyone would be "stubborn" in the face of baldfaced claims that they have no right to edit an article here. When I turned your requirements back on you in a tongue-in-cheek way, you reacted with immediate umbrage, remember? [All of these quotes are from User talk:Giraffedata#Roaring Creek (Pennsylvania), shortly before you opened this VP thread.]  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

No, policy is very clear that slow editwarring is also editwarring. And all of te arguments you produce apply in equal measure to giraffedata- his edits are ALSO selfish, You seem to be graduating the latter of disgusting rhetorical strategies, now also attributing quotes to me that I never said. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 23:59, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Edit warring does not say what you seem to think it says. I just read it top to bottom, in case it changed. Another relevant policy, WP:Consensus makes it clear that consensus can change, so the notion that once a change is reverted it can never be made again is not applicable. But let's return to your accusations and the facts: Where's the proof that Giraffedata has in fact gamed the three revert rule by slowly re-reverting and re-re-re-reverting the exact same edit? I see no evidence of this, but it is required. Direct policy quote: 'An edit war only arises if the situation develops into a series of back-and-forth reverts.' I'm sure you're aware, as we all are, that it's common editing procedure to try an alternative change if one change is reverted but an editor still feels the present text is flawed. This appears to be Giraffedata's editing pattern. It simply is not the case that he always changes "comprised of" to (or back to) a specific alternative like "composed of". You even said so yourself earlier. And if anyone doubts that I'm quoting accurately, they can simply go read the original thread, since I posted exactly where it is. [PS: If you're just objecting to the [interpolation in square brackets], it was from the sentence immediately preceding the quoted part, which anyone can verify.] I have to observe that there's a clear pattern emerging here: I and others address your points in detail, while you respond with emotive hyperbole and red herring distractions that seem to serve a FUD purpose, but which evade answering most or any actual points raised against your position, and which especially fail to provide any evidence that is asked for. I have to say I don't think this strategy will be successful.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:43, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, we did have at least one active admin who believed that every single change to another's contribution was "technically a revert", but I think he got over it when the absurdity of his position was explained (his "rule" meant that every single edit after the page creation was a reversion, no matter what the edit did). WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:05, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Most people here are failing to address the substance of the proposal, sticking to their own opinions about "comprised of" specifically. The question is: what is the poper etiquette and procedure for enforcing one's pet peeves on other peoples writing? If there were a consensus that "comprised of" should not be used in wikipedia then of course that would settle the specific question here, but not the wider principle of how to handle style related conflicts where there is no "right answer". ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:16, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
In general, I think that if constructions such as "comprised of" are deemed grammatical, then it's unhelpful for someone to do nothing on Wikipedia but remove them. I would wonder about the motives of someone who edits in such a fashion anyway. Are they here to construct an encyclopedia or just to eradicate a grammar foible that they don't like? That said, if changing wording makes the sentence clearer for people to read, then fair enough. However, I would echo BD2412's point that, if you are going to make wording clearer, use a more common word entirely, or a construction that is unambiguous.
Perhaps, if an editor wants to make a grammar edit where the grammar was previously correct, he/she should only do so while making other substantive edits to the article. Bretonbanquet (talk) 19:28, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • To get us back on track: Mandruss has let us know that if i turns out that there is a general consensus in this discussion to the effect that as long as someone can argue that their preference is preferable to some other choice, and there is no general consensus to say otherwise, then an editor is justified in programatically enforcing their preference, then Mandruss will personally take up such a practice. I will myself do the same of course. So what rules of etiquette would you like Mandruss and me I to follow as we purge the encyclopedia systematically of usages that bug us and that we consider to be likely to be bugging likeminded readers?·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:34, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I for one get my knickers in a twist when someone dare end a sentence with a preposition. Calidum T|C 19:43, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The "substance of the proposal" is that Maunus wants to turn WP:OWN on its ear. His request for 'a parallel to WP:RETAIN that states that whenever two grammatical forms can be considered equally correct, the choices of the main contributor should be respected' is grotesque and un-wiki. Such an idea is not parallel at all to WP:RETAIN, but an argument for "whoever can dump the most words into a page, whether they are encyclopedic or not, controls it forever". Such a rule would be an unmitigated disaster, and nothing on Wikipedia works anything like that. See also User talk:Giraffedata#Roaring Creek (Pennsylvania), where Maunus makes patent WP:OWN claims over an article: 'No you do not [have as much right to choose article wording]. If you were to actually do something useful and write an article, then you would have a right to make style choices for it.' Maunus then vows a WP:POINTy, WP:BATTLEGROUNDing revertwar campaign: 'I for one am not going to back down, and the next time you revert "comprised of" in an article where I have reverted you once I will not be this gracious about it.' (Note: Nothing was gracious about Maunus's post.). Most of what Maunus says in that thread is very confused about various policies and guidelines, as is what he's saying on this page, too. So, let's be really clear about this: No, Maunus, you do not own and control an article or any page here by virtue of jealously guarding it and ensuring that your own edits dominate its wording. The fact that you object to someone editing "other people's wording", by which you really mean your wording, means you do not understand WP:Five pillars. PS: A key detail in the proposal is ""two grammatical forms [that] can be considered equally correct", which is rarely the actual case with any two forms, is certainly not the case with "comprised of" (which is widely denigrated in numerous reliable sources) and even in cases where is it approximately true that there's "equal" acceptance, it's usually a difference between UK and US English, i.e. it's already governed by WP:ENGVAR. It simply comes up so infrequently that editors like Maunus will vow they're "not going to back down" and "will not be ... gracious about it", that we do not need some new etiquette rule about people using AWB to make minor wording tweaks to articles in series and over time. That's what AWB is designed to do.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  20:01, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
OOh what a civil way to insult and personally attack someone. Very impressive, you must have practiced that a long time. Giraffedata is the one who is in constant battleground mode and is slow editwarring without having any backing by consensus. If there were a consensus that comprised should never be used then I would follow it, but I am not obligated by policy to sit down and peacefully let him bully anyone who disagrees with him. If he wants to change this usage in articles on my watchlist he will have to get a consensus for it on the talkpage in each separate case untill there is a general projectwide consensus that supports him. And in doing so I will be entirely within policy as it currently exists. So either you make a set of guidelines for how to approach this issue, or I will be fully justified in reverting giraffedata on any article where he makes this change - untill a local consensus is established. That is the substance. So if you would like me not to do this I suggest you get your head out of your sanctimonious bum and address the actual issue. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:07, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for making my case for me. Please actually read WP:POINT for starters. An "I will hunt you to the ends of the earth if you dare edit one of my pages" attitude is not going to serve you well here. Let's turn your reasoning back on you: Show me a site-wide consensus that the alternatives to "comprised of" that Giraffedata uses (there are lots of them, depending on the contexts in which the phrase is found) and which many other editors prefer, should never be used. None of us are obligated by policy to let you bully us into accepting wording that many find awkward, confusing, ignorant, or jarring. If you ever want to use that phrase again, you must get consensus for it on the talk page in each separate case until there is a general project-wide consensus that supports you. Does that sound fair and reasonable to you? BTW, I've actually read most of the relevant threads on Giraffedata's talk page, and he's quite calm, reasonable, civil, and patient, in stark contrast to the ranty fist-shaking posted there by you and several others with an axe to grind. The fact that it's in favor of some pet peeve instead of against one doesn't make it any less a case of axe-grinding and of advancing the very kind of pet peeve you just produced an essay about avoiding. PS: Being civil does not require being flattering or refraining from criticism. Here's an example of being actually incivil, you referring to another editor's work as 'your crusade'. (See my previous post for why this is essentially the same as saying "your Kristalnacht"). It's also hypocritical to disrespectfully confront another editor, and make long-term editwarring threats, and then call them 'confrontational and disrespectful'.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  20:48, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
So this is where your argument collapses, and you are forced to admit that this kind of behavior is not ok and is disruptive and problematic. Yuo could only see that problem, when it was in the context of an edit with which you didnt agree and by an editor you didnt like. but you saw it. If you can see that it would be a problem if I were agressively inserting comprised of into articles to which I have not otherwise contributed without getting consensus, then of course you can realize that that is esxactly what Giraffedata is doing (and what I am not...yet). And no, using the word the word crusade as a metaphor for a similar agressive coampaign to make the rest of the world conform to one's belief is not a personal attack. Imputing other editors viewpoints they have not expressed or speculating about their real motivations in a snide and sarcastic manner is. So pardon me while I go vomit over your hypocrisy.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:55, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
That response is an incoherent hand wave, full of straw men, and unresponsive to any point I made. Hmm, "imputing other editors['] viewpoints they have not expressed or speculating about their real motivations..." A good example of that would be "could only see that problem, when it was in the context of an edit with which you didnt agree and by an editor you didnt like. but you saw it." Anyway, you utterly missed the point. I too think it would be unfair to require of you all those things before you could make such an series of edits! That was the whole message of that Gedankenexperiment. Please exit the "me vs. them" mode. I believe, and Giraffedata has also said, you are free to make such edits yourself, even to simply revert him. No one is trying to impose pre-emptive consensus-seeking requirements on you before you can make minor wording tweaks to articles, much less invent some new policy to enforce it. WP:Be bold is already genuine policy here. It's unreasonable of you to expect that policy to not apply to someone else just because you happen to disagree with them on some point of grammar, and to propose your new anti-BOLD policy. I'll quote Giraffedata directly why he doesn't think you should go on a spree of reverting him: 'that [would be] pretty selfish, since I think your choice is one of the most awkward, but I let it stand for months.' That strikes me as remarkably non-confrontational on his part. What we really have here is two editors each with a conflicting preference and each occasionally editing in their preference at a particular article to see if it sticks, and each using a similar rationale. This happens a zillion times a day on Wikipedia, and it's actually highly unusual for one party to such a disagreement to wait months before approaching the change again. It's the exact opposite of edit-warring.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:31, 25 May 2015 (UTC)later and reinser the same change.
Sloweditwarring is also editwarring. And yes, Giraffedata does editwar, he will come back to the same article two months and revert again. And he does not keep a list of articles where his edits are contested. And when requested to make an exception he states that making the edit is his right and that people dissagreeing with him are wrong and selfish to insist in correcting his corrections back. And no, my polic is not anti-bold it is specifically about what to do when a bold style edit s reverted. And the answer is GET CONSENSUS> which is basic fucking policy already. So it is you who is trying to create an exempt category of edits, where the burden of discussion and argumentation is reversed. And yes I am being almost equally stubborn as giraffedata (not yet to the degree of embarking on a crusade) but for some reason you are fine with only faulting me for being stubborn and selfish not him, in spite of the fact that I am the one trying to make a proposal to avoid people being stubborn and selfish in general. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 00:10, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
But only because it suits your editing goals. You've not identified a real problem, you've conjured up a hypothetical abuse problem, and are scapegoating an individual editor whose grammar you don't like. Re: 'Giraffedata does editwar' – For the fifth time: Prove it. Where are the diffs? Attempts at proof by assertion won't convince anyone. I don't only fault you for being stubborn. I clearly observed that being supposedly stubborn in response to threats to your editing rights is entirely reasonably, and that's it's hypocritical to call someone else doing that "stubborn" when you do it yourself. I scare-quoted "stubborn" because it's your word, not mine. We can analyze other word choices of yours like this. Take "crusade". Aside from my feeling that it's a variant of argumentum ad Hitlerum using Saracen-slaughter instead of Jew-slaughter, I think you making a big stink at VP about this rather illusory problem, that is not demonstrably disrupting anything at all, over a personality dispute with another editor, looks like a "crusade" to anyone who doesn't mind that pejorative label, and a particularly ad hominen type of campaign at that. It's fallacious to point at one editor and say what amounts to We have to do something about this terrible problem that might happen if someone other than him abuses editing tools in ways I can't prove he's really doing. It's even worse to then defend at length all your animosity about this particular editor and his edits, while trying to convince us you are really focusing on a general problem, not this editor, and that people are misinterpreting the point of the proposal. It's disingenuous, or confused, I'm not sure which.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:35, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • To me this sounds like a behavioral issue... not a content issue. The fact is, going on a Wiki-crusade of any sort is disruptive - no matter what the cause or how just and right it may be. Make a correction (of any sort) in one article, and you are seen as improving wikipedia ... go on a crusade, and make the same correction in thousands of articles, and you are quickly seen as being a disruptive asshole. Blueboar (talk) 20:32, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Not a content issue true, but a behavioral issue which is not covered by any of our behavior policies and which some editors condone because they happen to agree with the person causing the disruption. A solution to the immediate problem would be to establish a consensus that "comprised of" needs to be removed aggressively and people should have barnstaers for doing so. This would however quickly cause other people to do the same, introducing changes that may not be as agreeable to the majority, and then we have the problem again. So the solution is to have a behavior guideline on how to proceed when you want to make style changes across many articles.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:36, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't know about that. I have made hundreds of thousands of disambiguation fixes with AWB, and have done mass-repairs of misspellings of "received" and "hierarchy", and have only very rarely been criticized for doing so, even when I have made runs of many thousands of edits at a time. A style change that is likely to make the wording of an article more accessible to a broader audience is not much different, in my view. bd2412 T 21:50, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Well there is a difference whether or not you can see it. Namely that Giraffedata's talkpage is full of equal amounts of praise and criticism. The difference may have to do with the fact that all users of English agree that recieve and haeirarchy are errors, but there is not such agreement on comprised of and a bunch of other style changes that some consider improving prose and accessibility and other's dont.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 22:13, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
"Not much different" already concedes there's a difference. The talk page comments are not really equal, and Wikipedia doesn't work on the basis of voting and headcounts (except to an extent at WP:RFA). We all already surely know that people are an order of magnitude more likely to invest the time and energy to register a disagreement than an agreement; this is a well-known fact of human behavior generally. More interestingly, the praise received is often from editors who never even thought about the question before and were not participating in any related discussions, while the criticisms never seem to be from uninvolved editors. I don't see anyone at his talk page posting that they agree with one of his edits, but oppose his ability to use AWB to make it. No one is even saying that they are undecided on this usage point, but sure that he alone should somehow be retrained from being able to edit articles to reflect what he thinks is better wording. There's also a huge civility gulf; most of the commenters against this editing pattern arrive on his talk page with an aggressive "how dare you" attitude, a belittling view that he's wrong and/or stupid, and that his contributions are of no value and "obsessive". It's deeply insulting, and evidentiary of problems that exist between those commenters' keyboards and chairs.More importantly, the fact that many do consider the changes to be an improvement is reason enough to make them. WP:BOLD is policy; the only way that WP improves is by people boldly making such changes. The burden is on resisters against wording tweaks to demonstrate that they should be reverted. A change in readability is not comparable to something like insertion of a new fact that may not be properly sourced. Changes to articles that trigger core policy concerns like WP:V, WP:BLP, or WP:COPYRIGHT can basically be reverted with impunity until the policy concerns are satisfied, but there is no comparable policy concern raised by whether "comprised of" or "composed of" (or whatever) is better wording. The Wikipedia default is that such changes can be made "mercilessly". As Giraffedata himself frequently points out, other editors are free to revert such a change at an article. The only place in this dispute where I see anyone suggesting that one editor has no or less right to edit an article is Maunus's comments. I'll quote it again in case anyone missed it: 'If you were to actually do something useful and write an article, then you would have a right to make style choices for it.' I.e., if you did not write most of an article, you have no right to make style edits in it, and if you are not writing an article, the work you're doing on Wikipedia is not useful. It's simultaneously among the most confused and most insulting things I've ever seen here. (BTW, I'm having this reaction without previous involvement; I don't recall ever having interacted with Giraffedata in any way before today, and my interactions with Maunus have been brief, uncommon, and barely memorable.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:09, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Talk about not understanding basic policy: "The burden is on resisters against wording tweaks to demonstrate that they should be reverted." And here you are just inventing policy on the spot: "A change in readability is not comparable to something like insertion of a new fact that may not be properly sourced." Again thanks for the gratuitous condescension and veiled insults - I am getting used to that from the selfavowed upholders of civility by now. Please. And yes I admit wholeheartedly that I consider Giraffedata to be an utterly useless editor who is in no way improving the encyclopedia, but merely wasting other peoples time - but the purpose of this entire discussion is exactly not to enforce that view on others, but to find a way to deal with the problems that this approach would cause if it were generally adopted by others.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 23:22, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
WP:EDITWAR: 'Note that an editor who repeatedly restores his or her preferred version is edit warring, whether or not the edits were justifiable: "but my edits were right, so it wasn't edit warring" is no defense.' You self-admittedly directly revert Giraffedata, and have vowed on this talk page to continue to do so, programmatically and pointedly: 'I for one am not going to back down, and ... I will not be ... gracious about it'. For I think the fourth time, I demand proof that Giraffedata is actually engaging in reverts at all. What I see is that he sometimes makes similar edits to the same page, sometimes months after the fact. These do not constitute reverts. But if he once in a while incidentally makes the same edit, it doesn't establish anything like a pattern of editwarring as defined at WP:EDITWAR policy. It's unlikely that any regular editor has never incidentally made the same minor editor long after having made it once before. Next, an observation that some things, like insertion of alleged facts without sources, trigger specific policy concerns, like compliance with WP:V, while making a stylistic change does not trigger them, is not "inventing policy on the spot", it's reading comprehension and basic reasoning. Thanks for at least and at last conceding that you have what we can all see is an intense personality conflict with Giraffedata. No new policy needs to address that. More to the main point, we don't need a new policy that sharply conflicts with established policy, to address some evidence-free hypothetical, like people doing stupid or malicious things with tools like AWB, when we already have permissions approval and revocation processes for them. I think I've covered every point I need to about this proposal and your defenses of it, and it already has so many other objectors that it could never gain consensus, so I'm skeptical that I need to respond here further. My interaction with you directly is just getting circular because you keeping going back to emotive complaints about who is asking evidence instead of providing the evidence.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:25, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I know this discussion isn't supposed to be about the word "comprise", my efforts to minimize its use to mean "compose" in Wikipedia, or me, but since I'm being used as the primary example of the problematic behavior, I want to correct a few misconceptions a person could have after reading some of the above: "comprised of" is not a pet peeve of mine; and I don't enforce any particular grammar in Wikipedia.
"Comprised of" does not peeve me any more than about a hundred other forms of fractured English, and probably a thousand other human behaviors, that are common. And it doesn't peeve me more than it peeves everyone else. There are plenty of people who are equally peeved by this - I find them everywhere I look. But I have probably read more "comprised of" than anyone in the world, and have become desensitized to it like a surgeon is to blood.
Enforcing a view would be watching an article and reverting any attempt to change it to something inconsistent with that view. In contrast, I edit an article once. That's nearly always enough, but in rare cases, someone changes it back to its original wording any time I touch it. 2-3 times a year, I'll find that same article again and edit it again. This is entirely reasonable, because any day, the owner of an article could retire or otherwise loosen his grip on the article and give the rest of us a shot. And it's simply not a great burden on someone who cares enough about these two words to argue about it to reinsert them 2-3 times a year. Wikipedia even provides a convenient "I'm right and you're wrong" button for that. Ideally, the person would seek a compromise, but I certainly don't insist. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Bryan, I would suggest that when you change some bit of wording, and another editor reverts your edit... you should be the one who reaches out and seeks a compromise. Try discussion rather than slow revert warring. If you are sure that your reverted edit is right ... don't just go back a few months later and make the same rejected edit again... go to the article talk page and persuade the other editor to see your point of view - engage in discussion. Blueboar (talk) 12:17, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I guess you missed my point. I don't seek compromise because I just roll over and give the other person what he wants -- let someone else fight him on it while I work on things I do better. I don't consider it a reversion to make a similar edit 6 months later, and I certainly don't think you can call something that lazy a revert war. There has to be a horizon past which editors are allowed to call it a new day, forget the history of the article, be bold, and say "what's the consensus today". We just can't say that an editor can plant a flag on an article (or sentence) by reverting a change and say the matter is now presumed to be under dispute for the rest of time. On the timescale of Wikipedia, in which there have to be 3 edit cycles in a day to define a revert war, in which conflicts are often resolved by protecting an article for a week or blocking an editor for a day, and it's hard to find an article that hasn't been edited in the last 3 months, 6 months is forever. If an article gets anonymously vandalized twice a year, it doesn't even qualify for article protection - we just say revert the vandalism when it happens and forget about it.
So if we're going to talk about an editor's right to enforce some word usage across the encyclopedia, we're going to have to come up with some example where the editor actually make articles use the word that way when at least one person wants to use it a different way. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 21:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Hear, hear.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:22, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I have long advocated a similar approach to weeding out external links. If you get reverted, then move on. Maybe you'll happen to run across the same article in another month or year, but just move on. The person who reverted you might be right or might be wrong, but you can weed out a dozen other link farms in the time that it would take to have a discussion about it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:17, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

I have no strong opinion on the comprised-versus-composed question, and I understand that that's not the purpose of this debate anyway. The question simply seems to be about the value of that kind of behavior. Is it good for the project when one editor swaps en masse one acceptable phrase for another acceptable phrase based on nothing but his personal preference? Given the contention that apparently surrounds the comprised/composed example, I'd have to say no, it's not good for the project.

While such large-scale behavior may be technically acceptable, it's nonetheless divisive and (rightly or wrongly) a conflict generator, as this and other threads demonstrate. That cost swamps whatever meager benefit we might get from some minor grammatical tweak. ╠╣uw [talk] 14:58, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

  • My comment to the mass-changer is just an observation that I hope may be helpful: when you are changing, your reason is 'you, author, mean something else - so I am changing it to what you mean' - but somehow they have communicated to you what they mean - having done, so - their usage is clear before you changed it. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:23, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I believe we're mainly talking about cases where the mass changer does not claim the original meaning is unclear. For example, if someone were to change every instance of "could of" to "could have", there wouldn't be any issue of what was meant by the original. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 21:30, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
(ec) Re: 'you, author, mean something else - so I am changing it to what you mean' – This essentially does not compute as any kind of analysis of Wikipedia editing. The instant I save a change to an article, there no longer exists any "what I mean", there is only what the article actually says, and how readers around the world are going to interpret it. This is why several of us commenting here think this is just a personal editing spat, with WP:OWN overtones. If you edit something into a WP page, you're giving those words away to the entire world to edit, "mercilessly".  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:22, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
"Essentially does not compute"? That's an absurd phrase and an absurd thought. You are editing someone else's work always when you edit (unless it's your own work you're revising). That hardly means they own it but you had better know that is what you actually are doing, or you really should not be editing here at all. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:30, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
You're making the same point I am without seeming to mean to: "You are editing someone else's work always when you edit". Yes, exactly. The obvious consequence of this is when you're done with your edit, the next edit by someone else may be editing your work (which you gave away to the project and the public, so it's no longer yours except in a vague historical sense, evidenced in edit history). The proponent's premise (underlying this proposal, and explictly stated at Giraffedata's talk page, though I've quoted it several times here already) is that he should have more editorial rights than another editor to control the content of an article, in proportion to how much content he's put into the article vs. how much the other did. Wikipedia does not and cannot work that way. Sorry you didn't get the "does not compute" humor; see that article for the cognitive dissonance to which the phrase refers. In a nutshell, the dissonance here is caused between conflating "my own work" (translation: effort I put it in, the past tense), and "my own text" (translation: content I own and control, in the present tense). These concepts are dissimilar, and the second does not apply in any way to Wikipedia. Yet one can sometimes feel about the former the way that one might feel about the latter. This is an impulse that has to be restrained (and re-trained).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  19:05, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, your alleged humor is senseless, as it has nothing to do with understanding the meaning of someone's words - and as you agree you are editing someone's words, understanding their meaning is vital. That you think it's just about editorial control, when what's being discussed is mass changes that others object to and disagree with in substance and in how they are being done is just your mistake. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:15, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
It's not a crusade. Comprised means "composed of", So comprised of means "composed of of". Many people makes this silly mistake. We can say "comprised one-third of" , This is not Simple English Wikipedia. If he is correcting grammar, so what? C E (talk) 13:50, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
He's not just "correcting grammar". He's "correcting grammar that a small number of people believe is already correct". WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:17, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
To be specific, he's changing "grammar that a small number of people believe is already correct", but which might be confusing to some people, to "grammar that everyone believes is correct", and will be less likely to confuse anyone. bd2412 T 00:11, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
C E, you seem to be conflating the verb comprise (which of course has the form "comprised") with the adjective comprised, whose alleged misuse is what some people here don't like. Also, your argument seems odd: "I met up with an old friend for lunch" has pretty much the same meaning (in my idiolect, at least) as "I met an old friend for lunch", and I can therefore say that meet (here) means meet up with; but I don't then go on to say that "meet up with" therefore means "meet up with up with" and thus is a silly mistake. Moreover, WhatamIdoing (and others), our man Bryan is hardly "correcting grammar that a small number of people believe is already correct"; rather, he's doing some rewording of what he and a lot of people (including a high percentage of "language mavens") think is infelicitous (or worse) but a lot of people (including a high percentage of ditto; see the American Heritage Dictionary) think is perfectly OK. (As for actual linguists, they're rarely interested in such trivia.) ¶ I've yet to see either (i) a credible account of confusion caused by "comprised of", (ii) similar indignation over "possessed of" (which flourishes in en.wikipedia), or (iii) an explanation of how "comprised of" is worse than "possessed of". -- Hoary (talk) 00:46, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Here's my answer to Maunus's question: If you are making the same grammatical or spelling change repeatedly, you should:

  1. be right, according to prescriptivists (e.g., all of those reliable sources that say Giraffedata's changes are correct), even if the grammar construction you're removing is "common";
  2. pay (just) enough attention to what you're doing that you aren't correcting grammar or spelling in direct quotations;
  3. not bother UNDOing reversions to the "wrong" version;
  4. not bother starting discussions with people who do not understand the problem you're fixing, although you should reply (or not) to direct messages about the grammar just like you would reply (or not) to any other direct message; and
  5. not keep a list of articles where some other editor prefers a laissez faire approach to grammar, even though this means that you might re-encounter the error and re-fix it later. For manual edits, lists of random articles basically never work in practice anyway.

My main reason for my last three points is efficiency, although some of them happen to have anti-edit warring effects as well. To give a different example, editors can and should make changes like this one to replace the common, non-standard spelling "alright" with the standard, prescriptivist-approved "all right". But most of the uses in the search results are song titles or direct quotations, and should be kept. (However, in my quick check, looking for this word is a very effective way to find poor writing about pop culture subjects.) Similarly, "alot", which is always considered incorrect, should be fixed whenever you find it outside a title or direct quotation, because this clearly improves the article. But if someone comes along and decides that the original "designers were able to alot a more comprehensive medical reediness kit into missions" is actually better... you know, I can probably trust another editor to handle it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:49, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

What is this adjective "comprised"? It's not in Chambers' dictionary. The entry for "comprise" is

vt to contain, include; to comprehend; to consist of (often incorrectly, with "of").

Cosmic Emperor says

Comprised means "composed of".

It doesn't. "Comprises" is the right form, "is comprised of" is the wrong form. "Comprise" does not have a passive form. "compose" does. That's another reason why "comprised of" is wrong and "is composed of" is right. The definition of "compose" is

vt to put in order or at rest; to settle or soothe; to design artistically; to set up for printing; to create.

The passive doesn't imply anything has been put in order, just a set of constituents. I see that "comprised of" is not allowed in patent claims. That's unsurprising since incorrect terminology is not allowed in legalese. "Possess" is a strawman because it can take the passive. 87.81.147.76 (talk) 10:20, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Dictionaries, even respected ones, are very poor guides to lexical categorization. As an example, even now most refuse to recognize that intransitive prepositions exist. Rather, dictionaries seem designed not to upset fogeys who prefer not to question what an earlier generation of fogeys taught them, ignoring decades of consensus in mainstream linguistics. (Grammatical understanding is not just a matter of parroting what you heard decades earlier; it actually advances. In fits and starts, and with some missteps, yes; but it advances all the same.) See Geoffrey K. Pullum, "Lexical categorization in English dictionaries and traditional grammars" on the matter. Additionally, if you're going to limit yourself to the definition(s) of one dictionary, then that dictionary had better be very large: I'd recommend the Oxford English Dictionary (oed.com). -- Hoary (talk) 02:18, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Didn't you just say that "actual linguists" are "rarely interested in such trivia"? But now you want us to pay attention to "mainstream linguistics" (none of whom I see cited here on the question of whether this particular phrase is accepted)?
I'm actually not sure that we need to worry too much about linguistics. This construction annoys some people, makes other people believe that Wikipedia is poorly written, may mislead still other people, and can be replaced by something that is always accepted as being good grammar. We should put this in the same category as replacing, say, outdated names for ethnic groups: there's no urgent need to keep it, and there's some good in replacing it. So why not just do that, rather than trying to preserve something that is awkward and that an actual majority of reliable sources say is wrong, or suitable only for informal writing? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:41, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Making it crystal clear

Comprised means "consist of" or "To be composed of" or " to include" .

And he is famous in media, I am not mentioning his real name here due to privacy policy.C E (talk) 10:46, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Who's famous in media, and what's it got to do with the discussion? Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 17:53, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
He is very much related to this discussion.Cosmic  Emperor  11:03, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
And of what is this res comprised? Consider your pet peeve may be another editor's pet phrase—approach replacement accordingly. — Neonorange (talk) 04:36, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Article consensus vs blacklist consensus[edit]

There have arrived a problem where article consensus conflict with the blacklist consensus, and as a work-around, a link exist in text format rather than link format.

The article consensus was to add the link to the article, but a non-unanimity consensus had been reached previously on the blacklist page that the type of link that the link represented was bad, and a wildcard entry had been added for the type. A whitelist request was thus requested, but denied since the type of the link was unchanged and thus the situation was identical to the one at blacklisting. Looking at spam blacklist policy and spam policy, it all seem to assume that blocked content are unwanted spam that the community/consensus around an article would not want.

The blacklist policy gives a rather free range of operation to the blacklist operators, by the inclusion of the "or simply violates Wikipedia's policies" line. With this and the infamous WP:IAR we have gotten to the situation where one consensus and interpretation of Wikipedia's policies has been decided on the blacklist, and an other consensus and interpretation on a article talk page. This creates a result in which the link in question is technically blocked in the link format, but then used in text format in the article as per consensus. This seems as an imperfect solution, sends conflicting messages to editors, and where clear policy would help find a consistent solution. Belorn (talk) 08:49, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Been there done that. The "simply violates Wikipedia's policies" means that ideology trumps building an encyclopaedia. For some reason the content creators have never accepted that. Hawkeye7 (talk) 09:00, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
As I've already advised you elsewhere, if you want to reverse existing consensus, or dispute that a consensus exists, raise an RfC. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:30, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Consensus at a single article talk page cannot overrule wider community consensus; this is detailed at WP:LOCALCONSENSUS. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:30, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

(edit conflict)Local consensus on a talk page can't override our policies. This is a good thing IMHO and hardly to do with ideology. Doug Weller (talk) 12:56, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Interesting case. The operators of TPB were convicted as accessory to crime against copyright law in Sweden and WP:ELNEVER states that "For policy or technical reasons, editors are restricted from linking to the following, without exception: Policy: material that violates the copyrights of others per contributors' rights and obligations should not be linked." By providing direct links to TPB sites, are we saying that they don't primarily host copyright infringements according to U.S. law? --NeilN talk to me 13:27, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Some interesting comments.
@Andy; is each blacklist entry equivalent to an policy decision regarding that entry? Both people on the talk page and the people on the blacklist read the policies, reach their own conclusion based on the policy, and thus a consensus was formed on two separate Wikipedia pages. People reaching different conclusion based on same policy is not unheard of, and when the participants are low (3 in one, 3 in the other) I would even be so bold to say it is common. The question is which consensus should overrule the other, and the current consequences that both consensus are followed at the same time.
@NeilN; The site do not have material that violates copyright, but does encourage copyright infringement, which is what the site founders got caught for. People have discussed this subject several time if TPB official link triggers ELNEVER, and previous consensus has been to keep it, and that anyone is free to send a email to the foundation and ask for their legal input (vaguely recall someone doing that, but could be mistaking it for an other article discussion). The question regarding linking to people who encourage copyright infringement, and if it itself is illegal under U.S. law is an interesting question (Would be assisting in assisting in copyright infringement, but that would only be up to discussion in Sweden if "the primary purpose of the service (Wikipedia) is assistance" as per court judgment quote), but I suspect that is a discussion for different time and place. Belorn (talk) 14:30, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
  • There is no policy violation in linking to something that is not a copyright violation at a site that has some things on it which are copyright violations. If this were the case, we could never link to anything on YouTube or any site like it, since enormous amounts of material on them are copyvios. BTW, it's a known fact that some bands, etc., intentionally release their own material via TPB and other torrent sites. So, the plain language of policy, that "material that violates the copyrights of others per contributors' rights and obligations should not be linked", is not in any way triggered by a link to something non-infringing on a site that may have infringing things on it, including the site's homepage if the article is about that site, or a source being cited if that's the principal or only way to obtain it. Whether there's a simple way to work this fact into how the blacklist works is an open question, as is whether the editors who control it will cooperate enough to make any such solution likely to be practical. There may be non-"ideological" reasons for blacklisting certain types of link (magnet: URLs, or whatever; I honestly don't know what URL schemes and such are blacklisted). And in the case of the archive.is kerfuffle, there are obviously additional concerns at work, including the behavior on WP of people associated with the site. That said, the fact that a few editors took it upon themselves to strip archive.is URLs out of innumerable citations without replacing the archiveurls with alternatives is at least potentially a serious problem (how serious depends on how many of those changes resulted in actual dead links, and have not been fixed). Archive.is no longer appears to be blacklisted.[4]

    PS: I'm not convinced by an overbroad, lopsided WP:LOCALCONSENSUS interpretation here. Specific decisions to blacklist this or that often appear to made with very little input, even if they're not unilateral or uncontestible. I'm sympathetic to the view that there being a site-wide, centralized place for this at MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist means a decision to blacklist something is less likely to be a LOCALCONSENSUS itself, but that doesn't mean that it's infallible and that local consensus problems can't arise there. It's a much more rarified venue than, say, WT:MOS or WT:RS, which have wide participation and are watchlisted by thousands of editors. If editors at articles keep coming up with local consensuses that the blacklist has entries on it that impede improving the encyclopedia, then it's probably true. And it also may be the kind of instance where resorting to WP:IAR is actually valid. The fact that the blacklist technologically makes it hard to IAR in certain ways is a little problematic. This might be mitigated by the fact that there's more than one way to get around the blacklist if you really want to, e.g. using an "approved" archive site to archive a page at an "unapproved" archive site. >;-)  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  17:59, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

    PPS: The only time I've done this myself that I recall is actually a good illustration of legitimate IAR against the blacklist: I needed to cite a page at a blacklisted site as a primary source for a fact, pertaining to the site itself, that could not be verified any other way, and had to do this with URL fudgery that tricked the blacklist. There is no policy that I have to obey the blacklist, but there is both a policy that facts in articles must be verifiable, and another for my right to ignore a rule, like the blacklist, if it really is necessary to do so in order to improve the encyclopedia.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:10, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

  • It seems to me that there is very little copyrightable material on TPB homepages on various domains other than the logo. If there is no claim that the logo is copyright-infringing (and I've not seen such a claim), I see no policy-based reason that they can't be linked to. I believe that technically this can be allowed by ensuring that the entry in the blacklist entry contains \b which would match the / between the domain and the path path of the URL. If the blacklist maintainers are not amenable to this, start an RFC to make them amenable (and feel free to ping me of you start an RFC). Stuartyeates (talk) 01:46, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Non-free image resolution[edit]

I've asked before, but never got a clear answer:

Non-free logos should be around 400 x 400px, so I've been told. But, I see them often replaced with svg format. But those are really high resolution, which is not allowed per Template:Non-free use rationale documentation.

I do not know if this and this are relevant. They go on and on and I do not know where they end up on the matter.

Guidance please. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 21:02, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

The template doc you linked to already explains this: "for vector graphics, this would involve the level of detail in the image". Jackmcbarn (talk) 21:42, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The only allowable use of non-free logos in an SVG format is if the SVG originated directly from the company/entity that the logo represents, such as from their website, a PDF with the SVG embedded or the like. This avoids mis-representation of the SVG in other formats. Otherwise, a low-resolution PNG/JPG must be used instead. User-created versions of non-free logos are not allowed. --MASEM (t) 21:45, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The use of SVG reproductions to replace non-free logos has always struck me as dubious at best. Maybe the legal principles here are solid, but I suspect a bit of magical thinking here. At any rate: if the issue is that smaller non-free raster logos are being deleted when a high-quality SVG image is uploaded -- and then the SVG also gets deleted for being too high quality for a non-free image -- this sounds like a reason to update the deletion rationale to make sure that the eligible non-free images are prioritized over ineligible ones. —Tim Pierce (talk) 21:46, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Where would you suggest as the best place post such am RfC? --Guy Macon (talk) 23:24, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I really hadn't thought about it, but now that you'd ask, I'd suggest WT:Deletion process, WT:Files for deletion and possibly also Template talk:Db-meta and WT:Non-free use rationale guideline. —Tim Pierce (talk) 00:28, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Exactly, Tim. The older version gets deleted as unused non-free, then if the svg gets deleted, we have to go find and upload the image again. I'm experiencing this right now at my talk page, not with svg, but high-res pngs. I wish we could have some sort of bright line in terms of px. As for Jackmcbarn's "for vector graphics, this would involve the level of detail in the image", well every svg I've ever seen is infinitely high res. I mean, that's what they are, right? Perfectly smooth lines no matter how much you blow them up, ideal for copying. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 04:30, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
SVGs aren't infinitely high res. They still lose detail when you blow them up, just not in the same way as raster images. Jackmcbarn (talk) 04:58, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
The legal principle involved here is that a non-free use image may not be rendered any larger than is required for the purposes of identification and/or critical commentary. Since an SVG is infinitely scalable, regardless of the underlying quality of the image, Wikipedia has no control over the scale at which it may be rendered and is hence is in breach of that requirement by default. The "safest" option is to avoid use of SVG for all non-free content.  Philg88 talk 05:45, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Philg88. And thanks, Jackmcbarn. I stand corrected. I can't get my head around all this res and quality stuff. I do know, however, that these non-free logos and such are just for visitors to identify the subject. When I download some of them, they're a foot wide with sharp edges. Anyhow, for logos, which is what made me post here, can we set a px width or height maximum? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:22, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
This of course applies only to commercial images, since the purpose is to minimise commercial damage. When dealing with a non-commercial image, it need not and should not be altered. Hawkeye7 (talk) 09:33, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely, Hawkeye7. In fact, can we nail something down right here and now for logos/"commercial" images? How about for future uploads no bigger than 400px x 400px with no svgs allowed? Those would be fine for articles while useless for other purposes. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:45, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
"Commercial images" for the purposes of non-free are images that are meant to be sold, such as press agency's photographs. A non-free logo for a commercial corporation is a non-commercial but non-free image. However, we still want to minimize the size of any non-free used, and that size typically should aim to be less than 0.1 megapixels. --MASEM (t) 17:43, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Sigh. I went for a good while without seeing yet another debate where people misguidedly argue that SVGs are somehow impossible to use for non-free logos and should be blanket-banned because they can be rendered at arbitrary sizes. Trying to apply raster image pixel limits to something that isn't a raster image is as pointless as trying to apply article-space-specific policies to talk pages and noticeboards.
The key, as has long been established, is level of detail: if rendering the image at 4000×4000 doesn't reveal any detail that is too small to be visible at 400×400, why try to claim the SVG is somehow "too big"? If a user-created SVG is faithful to the source to the limits of the usual resolution, there's no difference between it and a user-created PNG or JPG version. And if a logo is simple enough to be represented perfectly as a low-complexity SVG intended for rendering at small image sizes, we might well have a {{PD-simple}} going on. Anomie 00:07, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
There's zero issue on logos that fail the threshold of originality, to use a user-created SVG licensed as CC-BY or equivalently free. The issue with a user-created version of a non-free logo - which by definition has creativity involved in the base logo - is that the user's version would be a derivative work, not just a simple mechanical rescaling, so creates added complexity. (And this ignores what auto-trace functions try to do which are imperfect to start). If there is a company-owned SVG available, that's fine, but otherwise the non-free logo should be a low-resolution raster image, no matter how easy it would be to recreate it. --MASEM (t) 00:12, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Why should a non-free logo be a low-resolution raster image? Why not a low-detail vector image, if that works as well or better for our purposes? Anomie 00:23, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
A low-detail vector - presuming one that had been made by a WP user - is a derivative work, so that complicates the copyright matters, an additional copyright layer atop the logo copyright. So from a free-ness standpoint, the raster version of the logo is freer than the SVG, and we're encouraged to use the free-est version possible. Further, there's little use in a scalable raster image, since most non-free logos are used only once, in the infobox of the entity they represent, and nowhere else. For something like flag icons where the image has many possible uses and thus having infinite scaleability makes sense, it just doesn't for non-free logos. --MASEM (t) 00:27, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

I have no idea where we are at now. Is there any rule I can use to know which logos are too high res, and which are acceptable?

I like to keep things simple. What is not simple is all this talk of scalable raster, high-resolution vector graphics, embedded PNG/JPG, infinitely scalable SVG, commercial-non-commercial, low-complexity with simple mechanical rescaling and added complexity for a low-detail vector image.

How about common sense? To me:

Anna Frodesiak (talk) 21:04, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

For the two images, differing claims are made for non-free use; for the University of Petroleum image, no claim of low-resolution is made. To meet the current letter of non-free use, .svg renditions should not be used. For an easy-to-understand example, try a .jpg to .svg conversion of the Harbin image and an .svg to .jpg conversion of the Beijing image. Only .jpg seems to meet the requirements (there is an on-line image converter at [5].
Ignoring the license for a second, should File:China University Of Petroleum (Beijing) badge.svg be allowed at all? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:15, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, I favor changing what seems to be current consensus interpretation of fair use to, instead, the most liberal interpretation possible of non-free image applicable under US law. That is, both examples you give are OK. There is actually more information in the Harbin image than the Beijing image; I would guess the NSA could recover a comparable quality .svg from the .jpg (I tried, but my efforts left out the orange). — Neonorange (talk) 02:09, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
More information? I think we need to be clear on the spirit of the law. It is about not hosting images that can be used commercially, right? Well, the Harbin image is useless while the Petroleum image is perfect for copying. Isn't that what this is all about? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 05:19, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I apologize for adding to the confusion. I should not have raised the question of how en.wikipedia should interpret fair-use in this discussion. However, looking at the fair-use rationales used for .svg images in en.wikipedia, what I see are more liberal interpretation of fair-use. Which solves technical problems like to-use-or-not-use .svg images, while improving the utility of en.wikipedia. Either way, the logos in your examples are on the Internet, and the barn door is open (as it should be; a shoddy replication of a logo should not be used). — Neonorange (talk) 07:26, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Hi, Neonorange. Not at all. You didn't cause the confusion. The "barn door" thing is no excuse for copyvio text, so I do not know why high-res logos are okay, but fine. I think I will just drop it. The community doesn't seem to find all of this an issue. All the best, and sorry to waste everyone's time with this. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:49, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── These discussions just go round and round, with each side claiming to know The Truth™ about fair-use limits to the "resolution" of a vector graphic. How about we try something totally radical, like finding an actual attorney who specialized in this area, and requesting a formal white paper or recommendation or whatever they call it? Maybe we could find someone willing to work pro bono, or maybe we could get an m:IEG to pay for it, but how about we try to get an expert answer from a legitimate professional? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:32, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

This discussion repeats something that has popped up over and over again. Logos will often have to be considered on a case by case basis as organisations usually have special rules about their use. Often they do not want their image tarnished by a degraded quality. Often they give permission for use to identify them. But derivatives of the logo are not usually permitted. User created .svg files are likely a derivative. But a company supplied .svg should be fine to use here. Anyone else making use of fair use logos from Wikipedia has to justify fair use for themselves, and Wikipedia and its editors do not have to worry about it. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 04:31, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree with WhatamIdoing: all of this analysis as to what "really" is or isn't permissible with respect to reproducing a logo is pure guesswork in the absence of qualified legal guidance, and could be more harmful than helpful. Rather than reading the tea leaves or engaging in cargo cult estoppel, I think it would be wiser to reject any SVG logos at all (or perhaps all logos, period) until the legal issues can be resolved. —Tim Pierce (talk) 15:17, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Use of tertiary sources[edit]

I've written up a fairly detailed interpretive/guidance essay on tertiary sources and their relation to WP:NOR / WP:V / WP:RS / WP:NPOV issues. I invite a perusal at Wikipedia:Use of tertiary sources. It's not a user essay, and is intended for community development, though of course I'd prefer talk page consensus before significant bold changes, other than to add something I've obviously missed, or to correct obvious errors. While I only spent the afternoon "codifying" it, it represents several years of approaching and thinking about the issues raised by that class of sources. It is written to address genuine WP editing problems I've encountered (though using hypothetical or broad examples to avoid "picking on" any particular pages, interests, or editors). Avoiding WP:CREEP / WP:BEANS issues was a goal.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:01, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Identifying and using primary and secondary sources seems like it covers the same bases, only for 1ary and 2ary sources. A merge might make sense. --Izno (talk) 05:00, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
In theory, though the new page uses a more explanatory essay style. It's probably more practical to develop the idea and examples and make sure all the ground is covered in an essay, then approach WT:RS with a proposal to integrate the gist, than try to change RS while the ideas are still gestating.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:12, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
@Izno: Sorry, I initially misread that as linking to WP:Identifying reliable sources. I agree these pages could and perhaps should merge, at least conceptually, but the approaches are very different. I'm not sure it's necessary, though I think I'd prefer that outcome.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:42, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't think Wikipedia:Use of tertiary sources particularily well-written or of much practical value. Somewhat like Wikipedia:Use of primary sources in Wikipedia (tagged "historical" long ago, and of little consequence).
I'd help improve it if I thought it could become something practical, like I improved the primary sources proposal into Wikipedia:Wikipedia is a tertiary source with a somewhat different scope, and more practical. But then again there's already Wikipedia:Sources – SWOT analysis which imho covers the essence on all three types of sources, apart from what is already in the WP:PSTS policy. --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:44, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
@Francis Schonken: Does this mean you think it can't be made practical? In what way(s) is it not practical? The intent of the page is to be practical, which is why it's organized in a step-wise way (identify tertiary sources, mindful of exceptions to that general rubric, then determine reliability, then check that the use you have in mind is actually appropriate). The SWOT analysis is a nice start, but it's a way of thinking about and evaluating the relative qualities of different source types, not advice, really. I'll link to it from the one I've been working on, but they're completely different kinds of documents. The raison d'etre of WP:Use of tertiary sources in the first place is that WP:PSTS and the other policy and guideline pages barely mention tertiary sources at all, and many editors are not at all clear on the difference. It's my estimation, based on experience, that a large proportion of editors think that most tertiary sources, with the possible exception of other encyclopedias, are secondary. There's frequent trouble discerning tertiary sources that are not in particular categories/formats, like encyclopedias, dictionaries, databases, and textbooks; it suggests widespread confusion that the type of publication rather than the type of content is a determining factor. It's a problem of instilling that "the medium is not the message" when it comes to determining source levels.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:32, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I have to agree with you, Francis Schonken. I also think that the essay is lacking of concreteness. Lot's of bullet points, lot's of examples like "...is usually considered tertiary, although sometimes it might be considered primary or secondary." I think the essay still needs a great deal of work with respect to the readability, and a great deal of concreteness. Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 20:56, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I noticed the delta in approaches to the differing pages, so the merge is probably non-trivial. Amusingly, you highlighted yet another related page at WP:Person and party on my watchlist today.... --Izno (talk) 14:45, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I've been making some conforming tweaks here and there.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:01, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Parts of that WP:Identifying and using primary and secondary sources essay are actually wrong. In a list of examples of what would probably be secondary not primary sources, it gives 'Historical reports: A special television program is broadcast to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. A newspaper column lists the events reported in that newspaper on the same date from 25, 50, 75, and 100 years before.' The second of those is actually a tertiary source, not secondary. And the first one is possibly also tertiary, if the content is regurgitative of previously published work without including some kind of novel analysis/synthesis/commentary. Many "infotainment" one-hour documentaries on The History Channel, etc., are tertiary sources (and some that come to exaggeratory conclusions, as many of them do, are primary with regard to such claims; I don't mean to overgeneralize). I found this problem in the essay just by skimming it for a minute or two; there are probably others. Yeah, I looked again for 15 sec., and found that the "Book reviews" entry makes the same kind of error; such reviews can be primary (aesthetically opinional), secondary (analytical), or tertiary (neutrally abstracting), but the essay calls a neutral abstract primary. This is clear evidence of the kind of problems I was talking about in response to Francis, above.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:01, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that it's complicated. Those examples could both be secondary or tertiary, depending on their content. For example, a list of events that identifies key events or shows their relationship to each could easily be secondary, but a semi-random list of whatever interested the editor would probably be tertiary—assuming that you're using a system that has tertiary sources at all. (That would be very appropriate for a history-related subject, but legal scholars apparently do not admit that tertiary sources exist. It's either "primary" or "not", and the "not primary" sources are called secondaries.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:03, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
IMO, you're going in entirely the wrong direction. "Primary", "secondary", or "tertiary" doesn't actually matter except if you're trying to pass WP:N, and all the talk about it in various policies and guidelines is a poor heuristic that has taken on a life of its own over the years after losing sight of the original purpose.
We cite what reliable sources say, we don't apply any of our own analysis no matter whether the source is "primary", "secondary", or "tertiary". There's nothing magical about "secondary" sources that makes their analysis better than that of a "primary" or "tertiary" source. The heuristic exists simply because a "primary" source is likely to have raw data without much analysis that's useful for writing an encyclopedia article, while a "tertiary" source is more likely to be so far from the facts that we risk importing bias and oversimplification.
And, as has already been said above, the same source can be considered "primary", "secondary", and "tertiary" depending on what exactly we're using the source for. One of my favorite examples is a source where John Doe makes some statement X: it could be an unreliable secondary source for "X", but a reliable primary source for "John Doe says X" that we might well use if it's relevant to the topic at hand what John Doe says about it. Anomie 00:21, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
The concepts matter a lot for WP:MEDRS. But I agree with you that "primary" is not a synonym for WP:NOTGOODSOURCE. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:03, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Disney Cinema[edit]

A user at Disney Cinemagic, has reverted my edit to the page in which I changed the incorrect "Disney Movies" to the correct name of the channel "Disney Cinema",[6] the user mentioned "this is the English language wikipedia not the French WP". This comes as a surprise since we have many French TV channels at Category:French television networks listed in their original French. -- [[ axg //  ]] 13:46, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

As a first step, I would suggest that you engage the objecting editor in discussion (on the article's talk page) - so you can explain why it might be more appropriate to use the french name in this context. Blueboar (talk) 14:06, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Would seem the other editor won't change his opinion on this. --Gonnym (talk) 07:21, 29 May 2015 (UTC)


If the source is reliable i think we can use non-English sources especially those languages which uses alphabets similar to English. Provided if a third good faith editor who can read-write-understand both languages,verifies that the source is reliable. And google translate is the best way. Notable French, German, Japanese newspapers , magazines and Authors are also reliable.C E (talk) 13:44, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

MOS:IDENTITY clarification[edit]

As is to be expected, there's some issues brought up at Talk:Caitlyn Jenner on how to handle certain aspects of self-identity in Wikipedia articles. MOS:IDENTITY clearly indicates that in issues of self-identified gender, Wikipedia defaults to the most recently expressed wishes of the subject of the article. The question is, to what extent does MOS:IDENTITY apply. Does it apply only to the article about the subject, or does it apply Wikipedia wide, to every article, and in every context. The specific question came up with how to identify Ms. Jenner in regards to her participation at the 1976 Summer Olympics, she identified at that time as a male. We know that in the article about her, we use her preferred name and female pronouns throughout. The reasonable question becomes, in articles where the time period in question does not include the phases of her life where she self-identified as female, do we use her current identity or her historic identity? To put this up to a !vote:

Option 1)
  • In articles outside of the biography itself, the timeframe of which only covers the period when the person self-identified as one gender, with a particular name, default to the historic name and gender
Option 2)
  • In every article across Wikipedia, all mentions of the transgendered person should use their current name and gender identity.

I don't really have a horse in the race, but I wanted to see what the consensus was, so it could be clarified in the relevant guidelines and policies. --Jayron32 02:35, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

This RfC illustrates recent consensus (or lack thereof) about MOS:IDENTITY, it's worth giving a look. Diego (talk) 12:24, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Option 1 (preserve historic gender)[edit]

  1. Support - Thanks for starting this! I support this for historic purposes, such as athletic accomplishments, as well as for past relationships that are over (Kris Jenner was married to Bruce Jenner; she was not married to Caitlyn); but not for continuing relationships (ie Brody Jenner's parents are Caitlyn Jenner and Linda Thompson) МандичкаYO 😜 02:55, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
    To add on to Wikimandia (—МандичкаYO)'s point, something definitely needs to be done regarding the marriage aspect; see this edit, where Andreas11213 understandably stated, "This implies that she was in a lesbian relationship when she was in fact not. She was married to Bruce Jenner not Caitlyn Jenner." Flyer22 (talk) 04:48, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
    The major factor to consider with these other articles is that, as we do our best to get it right with Caitlyn Jenner, we must also get it right with Kris Jenner as this is also a WP:BLP. So on Kris Jenner's article, it would not be particularly fair or accurate to say her wife for 20 years was Caitlyn Jenner. That would be very misleading in a biography about her, because yes it does imply she was a lesbian, or she that knew Bruce identified as Caitlyn even though she claims she didn't, or any of of the complicated things that we have no business trying to work around. МандичкаYO 😜 05:01, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  2. In general support but there are complications. Jenner's interview mentions being dressed in women's underclothes in the past when presenting as a male publicly, so there is the issue of what gender they considered themselves at what times. Gaijin42 (talk) 03:28, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  3. Support - I think it would be silly to start listing "Caitlyn" as a medalist in the "Men's" event. Alternatively, in cases where it's ambiguous which is more appropriate, she can be listed as Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner? Just a thought. -War wizard90 (talk) 04:08, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  4. Support - It makes no sense to refer to Jenner as a "she" when Jenner was legally a Male. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:4a:101:8610:99fa:284d:2c1d:1380 (talkcontribs)
    'legally' is not the threshold under our policy around biographies of living people. To make it that threshold would be to draw an entirely uneven and artificial line (as well as a tremendously unfair one) Ironholds (talk) 07:26, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  5. Support - She's drawn her own line of demarcation for us. Before today, his accomplishments were as Bruce Jenner; from today onward, her life is as Caitlyn Jenner. --Drmargi (talk) 04:49, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
    Did she? Awesome. Just when I thought I couldn't like her more, she does that for us!!! МандичкаYO 😜 05:01, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  6. Support obviously this may not apply to every case, but generally pre-Caitlyn Jenner articles and links should be Bruce Jenner articles, links, or accomplishments. That's what redirects are for. Fyunck(click) (talk) 05:19, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  7. Support During the times of his major public appearances, the Olympics (and all of his athletic career) and all of his post athletic movie and TV career, and celebrity existence until 2015, HE was known as Bruce Jenner, performing in male roles and events. To ex-post facto refer to such a notable identity in a new transgendered identity is to go back and rewrite history. That is not wikipedia's role. In fact, we are specifically supposed to follow sources. The reporting of his accomplishments in anything written before 2015 refers to this individual in a male identity. Before we change every record of his appearance before 2015, somebody please show a source contemporary to those activities using the new female name. Its is clearly impossible because the name did not exist publicly until a few days ago, so all of this change to content is unsourced and against key wikipedia policy. That goes the same for any individual undergoing the transgender change. If they have a historical public identity, we should follow that up to the point in time they announced their change. Certainly we can cross link so we can see who they are now, but for example Chaz Bono was seen millions of American television viewers as Chastity. Bradley Manning is the name reported of the individual originally charged with espionage. These situations are confusing enough to follow, obviously beyond the norm. Repeating: To artificially rewrite history, against the reporting of sources is not wikipedia's role. Trackinfo (talk) 05:45, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
    Neither is deadnaming or denying a BLP's right to self-determination and self-identity, so your emphasis of male pronouns is unnecessary. I'd suggest revisiting it. Ironholds (talk) 07:26, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  8. Support - Agree that it would be entirely confusing to refer to Caitlyn Jenner competing in male sports. Are we to assume that official Olympics records have been updated to change Bruce to Caitlyn? Seems very unlikely to me. I wouldn't see a problem with the form "U.S. track and field athlete Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner) won the gold medal for decathlon, setting a world record of 8,634 points." That form could be mentioned in the guideline, but it should be a tentative mention. It should be clear that the new name may be shown following the then-current name, but that it's local discretion. And that form is much preferable to "Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner)" in a male context.
    Additionally the question of which name to link when both are given is closely related to this question, is almost as important, and probably should be addressed in the guideline as well. "Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner)" or "Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner)"? Or, for that matter, "Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner)"? This will be a battleground issue and will need resolving before long, but I guess we don't need to complicate this discussion further. ―Mandruss  07:33, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  9. Oppose per WP:BLP - The concerns expressed at MOS:IDENTITY apply to all content about the person, not just the biography article, as being the safest with respect to protection of the living person. Talking about "the historic gender" or "historic identity" is one of those misconceptions that the rules in the guideline try to address - gender identity has a biological component, so self-identification is the most reliable source, and in transgender persons often goes all the way to when they presented a different public identity. If the problem is one of using female to someone competing in male disciplines, that can be explained by mentioning the fact that she's a transgender woman - which would be relevant in that context (Transgender in sports is a notable topic). I think using the name used at the time would be OK (in this case Bruce) as it was the name used for registration in the competition, but not using the male pronoun. See Wikipedia:WikiProject LGBT studies/Guidelines and the proposed Wikipedia:Naming conventions (identity)#Sex and sexual identities for criteria commonly used by the LGBT wikiproject. Diego (talk) 09:17, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  10. Support - I also think War wizard90's additional idea is even better, listing in some cases "Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner". As currently in her article (and infobox) it would seem Caitlyn Jenner was married in a lesbian relationship, which is not the case. --Gonnym (talk) 10:04, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
    You don't need to repeal MOS:IDENTITY to avoid that problem as this option proposes, just clarify the sentence. Diego (talk) 10:07, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  11. Support using the Caitlyn name in some form in all body-text. For more constrained historical situations (tables, lists, etc) it may be better to use Bruce Jenner with a footnote (or similar) containing the new name and potentially a longer explanation. Stuartyeates (talk) 10:35, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  12. oppose a blanket "preserve historical gender" but we do need to be clear about things - a Caitlyn - Kris Jenner marriage would still be illegal in about half the states. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 12:23, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  13. Support for all historic cases. The person's name at the time of the event is the name that should be used in our articles. ¡Bozzio! 13:24, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Option 2 (use most recent gender across all Wikipedia articles)[edit]

  1. Support. This is the current consensus per MOS:IDENTITY, which has been thoroughly discused to its current form (search for 'identity' at the MOS archives for many of the arguments held in the Support section which have already been addressed). Diego (talk) 09:17, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

General discussion[edit]

  • For articles where the gender is important, and where the current publicly expressed gender identity would cause unjustified confusion, I think using their publicly expressed gender identity from that historic time frame is the way to go. For articles where that is not important, I'm really not sure. So in this case, because the gender of an athlete in the Olympics is important, I would say continue to use the historic male gender identity in those articles. But if we aren't talking about an athlete, I'm not sure. Say its an article about a company that talks about the CEO. On the one hand, the CEO's public gender identity at the time they were CEO may be interesting to some people. But on the other, it is at least somewhat common for people to say their current gender identity long predates when they started publicly expressing it, and we should try to be respectful of that. It also wouldn't be nearly as confusing as in the athlete example. I don't know how this would be turned into a guideline either. Monty845 02:49, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Well, gender is important for sports, as most disciplines use it to create separate categories - usually for good reason. Learning about transgender people competing in sports with a category different from their self-identified gender will be more and more common, now that it is becoming less of a taboo. It makes sense to register a specific sentence in the guideline, but it should be based on the same criteria of the current MOS:IDENTITY. If the topic is confusing to some people, the guideline could help editors deal with it in a consistent way. Diego (talk) 09:33, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • For a historical listing on a page of athletic events, the name seems more relevant than the gender. As except for co-ed athletic events (equestrian?), it is assumed that everyone in that particular listing is of the same sex (or identified as such at the time of the competition). I was looking for an example of a prominent cisgender athlete who changed names during their career, and hit upon Muhammad Ali. On the list of heavyweight boxing champions he is listed as Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) for the year 1964. I think doing this on articles referring to Jenner's athletic career - i.e., Caitlyn Jenner (Bruce Jenner) - with a footnote about the gender change, might work. Funcrunch (talk) 03:00, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
    An interesting precedent. I hadn't thought of that angle. Good idea. --Jayron32 03:05, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
    Funcrunch has it right. When the old name is reasonably expected and perhaps needed for context, include it in parentheses. Otherwise, use current name. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 03:18, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Well, I think that might be because of Wikipedia's specific preference/obsession for the "common name" to be used, rather than the accurate name (who cares if the entire world calls it Myanmar, its official name? Common name is Burma!!! No discussion!). In the sports-reference results from 1960, he is Cassius Clay, and his sports-reference profile (based on his 1960 results) he is also Cassius Clay (with Muhammad Ali listed under "other names"). МандичкаYO 😜 03:19, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Given how WP:RS are treating Myanmar in the past year or so, it is likely ripe for a rename, but that is neither here not there. MOS:IDENTITY clearly lays out an exception for gender identity, the current discussion is merely how to clarify that guideline for articles outside of the subject article itself. --Jayron32 03:29, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • I think gender should reflect the choice of the subject (or in all cases should strive to be neutral where it interferes with proper continuity), but the name should reflect that which the subject was known by at the time. This also raises a question regarding gender-specific achievements. Ie, if Jenner's record was for male decathalon, would we use female pronouns in these cases? - Floydian τ ¢ 03:45, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
    The guideline says "yes", if that's the person's preference. That's the aproach most respecting WP:BLP. Confusion about a woman participating in men's category could be handled by noting that Jenner is a transgender person, which IMHO is relevant in that context. Diego (talk) 12:06, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • There is a precedent for using names that the athlete used at the time of their athletic achievements. Ron Atest (Metta World Peace), Mike Stanton (Giancarlo Stanton), Domanick Davis (Domanick Williams), Olivier Saint-Jean (Tariq Abdul Wahad), Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) did not have their records retroactively changed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.69.186.3 (talk) 04:02, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • In my opinion, use female wherever possible except in the cases where it would be likely to lead to confusion or implicates something that is not the case. (Her former marriage, at the least. Possibly her athletic accomplishments and her appearance on the Wheaties boxes as well) In the cases where her female name is likely to lead to confusion or false implications, use Bruce Jenner (Caitlyn Jenner). AddWittyNameHere (talk) 07:42, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • In sentences where female pronouns would cause problems, a common guideline is to use the last name (i.e. "Jenner competed in male categories" rather than "she competed in male categories"). Using the parenthesis is a good idea when the full name is needed - it's the most informative. Diego (talk) 09:33, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I strongly encourage all participants in this thread to read all of the Wikipedia:Gender identity essay - and in particular Retroactivity and Common name, which is the topic at hand. It works as a FAQ for MOS:IDENTITY, dealing with the most common objections to it, and reflecting the values that were used to craft the current guideline in defense of BLPs. Would it be a good idea to post it at the lead of this discussion, above Option 1? If there are no objections, I'll post the link there. Diego (talk) 10:14, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

  • The only problem I have with that is that it makes too many presumptions on the part of the transgendered person. For some transgendered people, the act of "coming out" as one gender may be merely the revelation to the public of a gender which they have had their whole life. However, the experience of transgendered people (like all people) is diverse, and the experience of one person cannot be generalized across all people. Gender can be a fluid concept, and while for one person, the act of "revelation" may be what is happening, other people may genuinely be one gender for some phases of their life, and may genuinely be another gender for other phases of their life. It isn't for us to decide, in any one particular case, what gender means to all people at all times. Sure, for some the act is merely a public revelation of a life-long gender (as noted in the essay), but for others the situation is more complex. We're also considering, in that essay, the implicit notion that people's experience exist only on the binary state of one of two genders; or perhaps on a continuum between those two genders. Human experience cannot be reduced to a single axis on any trait; we need to be careful not to minimize the experience of those who identify as a third gender or the genderqueer. My concern with that essay is that it's advice is not inclusive of the range of human experience, and we should NOT assume that all people who "come out" as trangendered are doing so for the same reason as all others. If a person genuinely identified as a different gender at a different phase of their life, we should not minimize that experience any more than a person who identified as one gender, different from their public persona. Both experiences should be considered "valid" (insofar as it isn't any of my or your or anyone's job to determine validity for others in a situation such as this.) --Jayron32 11:03, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't see the essay as excluding the genderqueer nor assuming a gender binary; even if many examples deal with the case of transgender persons, the main theme is that of self-identity, whichever that is. It's true that we shouldn't soehorn all experiences into a common category, but that's not what the essay is about, quite the contrary. We do need a standard on how to handle our "default" way to write, so to say, and for transgender people (the topic of this discussion) the most sensible way is well handled by the external guidelines on which our MOS:IDENTITY guideline is based.
Exceptions to the guideline may still be handled case by case. If we find evidence that one particular person doesn't consider themselves to have always been the same gender, the writing for their biography could be handled on the light of the particular expressed self-identification of that person at different times. The problem with Option 1 above is that it encourages doing this even for people who self-identify as always having been the same gender. Diego (talk) 11:23, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
I very much appreciate Jayron's commentary about transgender people having different gender identity expressions. And on that point, it is also worth noting that while the term transgender is commonly used in a restrictive sense (for cases such as Chelsea Manning or Caitlyn Jenner), it is also an umbrella term for gender variant people. Because the biology of gender (including the causes of transsexualism topic) is still so heavily debated, with so much of the debate being inconclusive, and the complexities of gender variance, I remind myself to be cautious about making gender identity automatically a matter of biology. For many transgender people, they absolutely believe that there is a genetic basis to their gender identity; for other transgender people, they don't.
On another note: What should we do in cases like this edit, where CloudKade11 changed the label of "father" to "mother" regarding Jenner? How do we know that Jenner identifies as a mother? Flyer22 (talk) 11:55, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I think, however, that we miss the basic premise of these discussions when we focus on issues like "biology" and "choice" and "genetics" and "environment" and all the rest. The implicit assumption in the above (well meaning) discussion is the same as the transphobic people use to justify their bigotry: They choose to mistreat someone based on the fact that their identity is not valid based on concepts of biology; that a person "chooses" a certain gender, and that choice therefore means that others get to impart "consequences" based on that choice, etc. The first, and again, well meaning attempt is to refute those notions by saying "no, it really does have a genetic or biological basis" or "it is not something people choose". While well meaning, that misses the point entirely. The point (and excuse the emphasis, but I am doing this for clarity, not to shout or be rude), is that people are afforded dignity for no other reason than they are people. When you find someone mistreating a person because they claim that their biology makes them one gender, and they've (in the mind of the transphobic person) chosen to disobey their biology, and you counter that with "no they haven't, their biology and not their choice makes them who they are, even for transgendered people", you've focused on the wrong issue, and ultimately do a disservice to the proper resolution of the conflict. The response is "people are afforded the same basic level of dignity no matter who they are, and that includes the same rights to self-determination and identity that are afforded to all, irrespective of all considerations". That's the end of the debate. That's the point we need to get across. When we make dignity dependent on why a person is the way they are, that opens the possibility that there will be people who don't qualify for dignity based on your debated definitions. Dignity is not optional. --Jayron32 12:19, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
See this archived discussion at MOS talk page. BTW, when infoboxes can't properly summarize a complex situation, isn't it common practice to simply remove the problematic fact and explain it in prose? Diego (talk) 12:17, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • If anyone seriously wishes to challenge or change Wikipedia's established position on this, I would strongly suggest starting by studying the history of our articles on Chelsea Manning, Wendy Carlos, and Chaz Bono as well as the extensive discussions about the naming of each on multiple noticeboards. --Guy Macon (talk) 12:11, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • We really need an official FAQ that summarizes the previous conversations about the guideline, otherwise we'll be revisiting it for every new variation of its application. Diego (talk) 12:17, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Well, I think the issue is that if this had been discussed before, it is not self-evident from the way the existing guidance is written at MOS:IDENTITY. The point of the discussion is not to overturn any aspect of that well-crafted guideline, it is to clarify as there is some ambiguity. The point of the discussion is to hammer out how to handle issues which did not come up in the cases like Chaz Bono or Chelsea Manning; neither of them competed in sports where their results were awarded to them under their prior names, a situation which we need to clarify for the current hot topic, but to do so in a way where we don't have to debate it again in the future. It is because this situation has not been clarified for policy's sake that the discussion is necessary. Once this matter is settled, we won't have to deal with this one. That doesn't mean some new, novel problem we hadn't thought up yet won't arise in the future that we hadn't yet considered. The process is not ever going to end; that's not a bad thing. Not because we're rehashing settled policy (which this discussion is not, MOS:IDENTITY is not under challenge), we're dealing with situations we hadn't the foresight to clarify previously. We'll have situations in the future similarly as well. This is just the way it goes. --Jayron32 12:27, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── But we have cases that cover transgender identity in the context of their previous careers, like Linda Wachowski and Danielle Bunten Berry, and which were taken into account when drafting the guideline. Current consensus is to use the latest expressed identity and gender pronouns even for the periods where the public identity was a different one (and even on articles about their careers), handling any potential confusion through careful wording.

If the goal is how to clarify the guideline on how its current wording applies in some particular cases, it cannot override its purpose - the clarification must be compatible with what we already have. Or if this discussion wants to change that existing consensus, it needs to address the arguments that lead to it, not merely ignore them nor assert that they are no longer valid. Diego (talk) 12:52, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

  • I'm not doubting whether the discussion happened before. The issue is the current state of the guideline has some ambiguity. Insofar as the ambiguity exists now, a discussion is needed now to resolve the ambiguity now. When this discussion concludes, this ambiguity will be resolved to the community's satisfaction, and the wording of the guideline will be changed to be less ambiguous. --Jayron32 13:46, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't believe that there are any examples of athletic records being changed when an athlete change their name. It would be quite confusing for a reader to see "Caitlyn Jenner" under 1976 Olympic Gold Medal winners. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 104.254.93.62 (talk) 13:33, 2 June 2015 (UTC)